Friday, May 6, 2011

Green beans? Oh P(l)ease!

So today was Co-Man's 4 month check-up.  As we thought, he is right on track height and length wise.  Yay!  And as we also thought, he's ahead developmentally.  Yay!  The kid is so close to learning how to crawl, I swear.  But we did also learn (but so already knew...see below) that Co is a spitty baby.  Because of this, as well as him being ready in other ways, we are moving on to solids, folks!  Double yay!  Yes, we are ready to weigh the contents of his tummy down to avoid below incident.  My sweet momma recently bought us a Baby Bullet as agift and I've been dying to try it out.  It looks incredibly easy from the incredibly cheesy infomercial, so how hard could it be?  Our first suggested food is green beans.  I found a really cool baby food making-strainer at Green Bambino so I could steam the veggies first, then I was to use the Bullet to puree.  Easy peasy.  So I read the directions online and was ready to go.  I prepared the fresh green beans, filled the pot with a little water, then put the strainer, with green beans inside, in the pot.  Then a lid, and we are all systems go.  The directions said it would take about 5 minutes for the green beans to be steamed and ready.  About 10 minutes later they were still too crisp.  Then about 15 minutes later I smelled burning.  I rushed over only to realize there was no longer water in the pot, and I had cooked my strainer to a nice shade of black on bottom.  Not like the commercial...and not super easy.  Thankfully I had a few beans left and successfully was able to fill two tiny containers almost half-way full the second time, refraining from re-cooking my strainer, which had to be scrubbed.  Unfortunately what little I was able to make will probably be worn or spit back out tomorrow.  I did try my hand at peas and was much more successful with those, filling one container almost half-way full.  Here's hoping I get better at this.  Fast.  Blog with feeding adventure to soon follow.

On to my other story...

So lately Cohen loves being upside down (like on his tummy but in mid-air). I walk holding him in the football hold through the house when he's fussy and he loves it...we hold him up in the air and he squeals...and we lay on the floor and hold him over us. When we do the last thing we always have fair warning if he is going to spit-up, because he's a reflux baby and that's what he does. Today we were having play time in the floor and I was holding him over me and we were both laughing. He had eaten about an hour before and seemed fine. I'm sure you see where this is going. Then, as both of our mouths are open and we are laughing, he projectile threw-up! And while some went on my just fixed hair ( I have to shower again), and some went on my face (with make-up, which rarely happens)...and the vast majority went IN MY MOUTH! Oh my gosh! By far the most horrible thing that's ever happened to me so far. So for those girls who say we feed our babies posion (aka formula), no it only tastes like poison when it's thrown back up! :)

Ugh...welcome to motherhood...Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cohen's Dedication

Sunday, March 27th we were blessed to be a part of a church-wide baby dedication.  This is something our church, Council Road Baptist, does twice a year for the new babies and their families.  Both sets of grandparents, a great-grandma, aunt, and cousin came to see Cohen and it was a lot of fun.  They were able to spend both Saturday and Sunday with us, which Cohen loved!

It was also very special because several other couples in our church Sunday school class also took part in the celebration.  It was so neat to be together on such a special day as our church commits to loving our babies.  This is a picture of all the couples in our group that took part in the day.  We are so blessed to have such sweet friends.

During the services, Pastor Rick introduced each new baby, then the church prayed for them.  Cohen had been sick with bronchitis and an ear and eye infection that week, but was starting to feel better by that day.  He woke up off schedule and was in great need of a nap, but when it was his turn he was so big and did such a great job.  It was such a blessing to stand before the church with him and have them pray.  We were given a package upon leaving with gifts just for Cohen.  Included in the package was his first Bible with his name engraved on it, a little book our Children's Minister loves, a certificate for the big day, a letter to Cohen, and a letter to us.  Our letter explained Cohen's letter, asking us to give him his when he accepts Christ.  It was so hard to keep from sobbing as I read both letters.  Cohen's letter explained that on that date our church committed to praying for him, and his parents to raising him with the love of Christ foremost.  It went on to say that we had all been praying for the day he would accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.  I still get tears when I think about it.  I will always look back on this day with so much excitement and joy. 

We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family and to be a part of what God is doing there.  And I know Cohen will have so much love and support from those in our church who help us in raising him to love God.  What a blessing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Day Our Lives Changed Forever.

I've been watching a new show on Lifetime called "One Born Every Minute."  There's always at least one point in the show where I begin to tear up (as does someone else watching on the couch who will remain nameless).  Every Tuesday it brings me right back to our special day, the day that changed our lives forever.  So, in memory of that day, here's our story...

I had developed PUPPPs, aka endless miserable itching that camps out in your stretch marks and travels all over your body, and begged for an eviction (yes, eviction) date.  Thankfully my doctor had sympathy, after sending me to a dermatologist and for blood tests to see if I was having liver problems, and she agreed.  The hospital confirmed I would be induced December 30th at 6 PM if Cohen didn't arrive sooner.  And of course he waited patiently until that date.

That Thursday we did whatever we could to stay busy and distracted.  We packed our bags, then stopped off for a quick dinner at Johnnie's.  After that it was to Lakeside to check-in.  I can't even begin to express what I was feeling that day, which is why I remained as quiet as possible.  I was so nervous I broke a glass dish after cleaning the whole house.  I was a mess.  I had been told getting the IV was the worst part, so I told myself to concentrate on that.  The nurse told me I had one good vein...then told me she blew that one good vein.  It was all I could do not to break out into tears at that point.  Finally another nurse was able to get an IV in and it was truly painful.  Then they inserted the Cervidil.  Enough said there.  Thankfully Kevin was helpful in keeping me busy.  We had several friends visit that evening also, which made the waiting so much easier.  Finally we settled in for the night (if you could call it that) and tried to get some sleep.  Even with the help of a sleeping pill I was still unable to get rest.  Even after a month of little sleep due to the PUPPPs I was still unable to really relax and let my body prepare. 

Friday morning the adventure really began.  It was New Year's Eve and we prayed it would be the day we finally met sweet Cohen.  Both of our moms came early that day and camped out with us in the hospital room.  Thankfully my doctor allowed one last meal that morning before a long day of ice chips and popsicles.  Then came the Pitocin.  And shortly after came the epidural.  I was having contactions here and there when we arrived the night before, but after 45 minutes or so of Pitocin I was beginning to feel them.  Because I've had a seizure in the past from pain, the epidural was ordered to be there soon after.  Unfortuately my body didn't take too well to the epidural needle.  It took 4 tries (that I was able to count anyway) before the medicine was administered due to strong back ligaments.  That was by far the worst pain I had felt up to that point in my life.  Thankfully it was well worth the pain.  It kicked in soon after and I began to feel better.  We spent the day with our moms.  They would visit and work while I tried to rest and progress.  Throughout the day my body continued to get closer to delivery, however Cohen refused to drop.  Evening came and I had made great progress but the little guy just didn't want to move.  Thinking back now I can see that all along they thought I would be a c-section because of this, however at the time I remained hopeful.  More friends came to visit, hoping Cohen would soon be making his debut.  So did I.  The day felt like it went on forever.  I was dealing with a side effect of the Pitocin, uncontrollable shivering, which was making sleeping even harder.  Also, at some point during the evening my epidural wasn't working right and I could feel the contractions.  I grabbed Kevin's hand in pain and begged for more medicine.  Everyone was sent out of the room and I was given more medicine finally.  It took an hour before they could get rid of the pain again.  That hour was truly the worst part of labor and delivery.  For those who have delivered a baby without an epidural, you are my hero.  I have so much respect for you.  I also developed a fever late into the evening, which meant I needed a dose of antibiotics in my IV.  And it was suggested that I be on oxygen through part of the evening as well, although I'm not sure why that was.  Finally, around 8:00 or so the nurse said I was fully dialated and effaced.  They began shifting me in different positions to "labor down" and get him moving.  Then around 9:00 the nurse said she would try to get a hold of my OB again to see what to do.  My OB suggested a few "practice pushes" to see what happenend, proof that they were expecting a c-section.  I took that as my chance to fulfull my wishes of a vaginal delivery and when I began pushing at around 9:30 I gave it my all.  After 15 minutes of pushing my nurse called to tell my OB I had pushed him down 3 stations, meaning he was coming very soon.  20 minutes later she arrived to help me through the rest of labor.  I was exhausted from the day, but that instinct truly kicks in giving you renewed energy to get the baby out.  Enough of my epidural had worn off that I could feel when I was having a contraction.  I wasn't necessarily feeling pain, but I could tell I needed to push.  I began pushing when I knew I needed to, instead of waiting on the OB to tell me when.  Then at 10:29 I pushed for the last time and he was here!  He came out with arms stretched out and eyes wide open, not crying at all.  He looked right at me.  It was by far the most amazing thing I've ever experienced.  And from the look on Kevin's face it was for him as well.  Tears of joy streamed down both of our faces.  They laid him on my stomach and I looked into his eyes...and I can't even begin to describe how it felt.  I knew this was the day everything changed.  I would never look at anything the same. After months of waiting I finally met our little boy...part me, part Kevin, and all a blessing from God. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

You use what?

Today is a 2-for-the-price-of-1 kinda day since Cohen is taking a much needed nap and I'm caught up on work and housework for now. 

So I do something that many friends find to be a little strange and I've decided to write about it since I'm passionate about it.  What is that you are probably asking?  Cloth diapering.  I know, shudder.  This is not an attempt to win you over...or make you feel like a jerk if you love disposables and hate the idea of cloth.  It's just a blog about why I like it. 

Why?  For several reasons and in this order.  To save money, because it's good for our child, and it's good for the environment.  Well, maybe not in that order.  Really all three of those reasons are equally inportant.  Let's discuss, shall we...

Saving Money:  Using cloth diapers can save money.  How?  Because you are reusing diapers not only over and over again with one child, but you can also use them from child to child.  How much money do you save?  Over $1,500 per child.  Then if you use those again with other children you will have no additional costs.  So instead of literally throwing away money every day, I'm saving it.  Most of our cloth diapers came from friends and family (THANK YOU) at baby showers.  Because of Cohen's size, we did decide we loved cloth enough to buy newborn-size diapers after all the disposables we had been given had been used.  And we have bought a couple of larger sizes just because we love them.  But all in all, we paid very little to cloth diaper Cohen.  And the diapers we bought will last thru potty training, meaning our next purchase will be big boy underwear. 
Good for Baby:  Cloth diapers are much more "breathable" than disposable diapers.  Babies are also less likely to be allergic to them because there are fewer ingredients that can be irrititating to baby skin.  Often times it's hard to tell if a disposable diaper is "full" of liquid because of how much they can hold.  With cloth diapers you can easily tell when the diaper is wet, meaning baby will have more diaper changes, meaning again less chance of diaper rash. 

Good for the Environment:  This one's easy.  Using cloth diapers means there will be less diapers in the landfills.  This is not becoming a crazy's just me going against the normal American idea of "easier is best" and "worry about the now, not the later."  I know the choices I make now will have either a positive or negative impact on my child's future.  Because of that, I want to make sure that future is a good one in any way I can.  To me, this is one way.

Other Benefits:  Let's face it, these are not yesterday's cloth diapers with safety pins and folding.  It can be if your heart so desires, but it doesn't have to be.  Today's cloth diapers look very much like today's throwaway diapers...but cuter.  They are user-friendly and easy on the eye.  Gone are the days of toilet dunking.  If babies are breastfed then no extra work is required.  Soiled diapers can be tossed into the washer and all is well.  Diapers of formula-fed babies like Cohen require just a little extra care.  We have a toilet sprayer hooked to our toilet that knocks off waste into the toilet and then it's flushed away.  Then the diapers are tossed into the wash.  We also have sheets similar to dryer sheets that can be placed on the inside of the diaper.  These sheets catch the waste then you flush both the waste and sheet down the toilet.  Super easy.  No touching poop.  Nothing too inconvinent.  In researching diapers I discovered you are actually supposed to remove waste from disposable diapers before throwing them away.  So if I have to do that either way, it was an easy choice to make. 

Most Common Types of Cloth Diapers:
All-In-One:  The easiest type.  We love these!  These have a waterproof cover, absorbent layers inside, and an inner lining sewn together.
Pocket Diaper:  We love these as well!  These are similar to the AIOs but have a pocket inside for inserts to customize absorbancy.  These are great for sleeping through the night.
One Size:  This diaper grows with your baby.  It has several snaps on the front to adjust the fit so you can use the same diaper as your baby grows, often even through potty-training.

Brands I Love:
Fuzzibunz -
GroVia -
Rumparooz -
Flip -

My other big question in considering cloth was "will I be doing laundry every day now?"  Not unless you want to.  We own enough diapers to wash them every 3-4 days probably, however it's recommended to wash them every other day.  We use a soap that is recommended for our diapers so they will last much longer.  And how much water are we wasting?  The amount of water used to wash the diapers is equal to 3-4 more toilet flushes, which Cohen will be doing when he is potty-trained.  So, again, it's easy. 

So to sum this blog up, I love cloth diapering.  I now love talking about cloth diapering.  I'm a believer.  If you are interested I encourage you to research it for yourself.  There's lots of helpful information out there.  And I LOVE Green Bambino in OKC -  Check them out if you are interested in seeing these in person.  They are a huge part of why I use cloth diapers.  Thanks for reading!

Finally the 2 month mark!

In those first few weeks of being a parent of a newborn, we asked everyone we knew the golden question:  "when does this get easier?"  The general response was always 6-8 weeks.  By 8 weeks, according to friends with babies, life will be somewhat normal again.  And as any new parent would, I hated that answer.  I kept asking and hoping that someone would tell me to give it a couple more days and that "what were we thinking" feeling would go away.  Then I felt like a horrible parent for feeling that way.  But the endless amount of diaper changes, bottles, and night cries were wearing me out, as I'm sure happens with every new parent.  Cohen and I cried together as we struggled each day to figure each other out.  It felt like life would never be the same.

Friday we celebrated Cohen's 8 week birthday in our house with the traditional week-of-growing picture and, as we did so, realized we were in fact looking at an 8 week old baby...and life had become easier.  Ahh.  Cries can often be decoded, I know when to expect the dreaded #2 diaper of the day, I can get a burp out of this hard-to-burp boy, and night cries are few and far between.  He's still not a huge fan of the car seat, but he will go in willingly now.  We've realized the need for reflux medicine so the days of fussiness from pain are over.  Now, I'm not saying I'm ready to tackle Cohen's first sickness or anything else like that, but things are generally easier now.  And I know that as soon as you get settled then something happens to shake things up.  However, I praise God for each day being easier than the last, and the promise of easier days to come.  The sweet coos and smiles our son blesses us with each day make life so much better than we could ever have imagined it to be with a baby.  Praise God!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little love letters from God

It's amazing to see God's love for us in a new way.  With this being Valentine's Day week I can't help but relect on God's love for us, and something my sweet friend Jana said the other day has been in my mind.  She was talking about how her new baby girl will fuss and cry when she's hungry after waking from a nap.  Jana will be in the other room making a bottle but her baby has no idea.  She feels like mom has forgotten her and her needs won't be met.  She is so worried and scared of such a thought and so she cries out to mom as loud as she can.  Cohen and I go through this every day, multiple times a day.  He realizes he's hungry and cries like it's the end of the world.  I'm out of sight preparing a solution, but he doesn't see me.  And even if he did he probably wouldn't understand what I'm doing at this age.  This is so true with God.  There are times we feel our needs aren't being met, or things just aren't going our way, and we cry out to God and there's no answer.  Little do we know, he's in the next room making our bottle.  The more I get to know our son the more I see God and His love for us.  In those early days as a mom Cohen would cry and I would have no idea how to fix it.  I would tell him, "if I knew what to do to fix things I would."  And there may not have been anything wrong, he just got himself worked up.  I would wish he would just stop crying and focusing on being upset and let me hold him, and then I could calm him down.  What a great reminder to stop, take a moment, and let God hold us.  There are so many times that if I would do that I wouldn't miss what God was trying to show me...or I would just be able to receive the peace that only comes from Him.  Those frustrations that come with being a new parent keep reminding me of my relationship with my Heavenly parent.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun with our little 5-week old and bi-polar weather...

This week has been full of new things for Cohen to experience.  We took him to the park in Edmond for the first time.  It was in the 60's so it was great to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Then, later in the week February temperatures returned and Cohen saw his first snow!  The blizzard of 2011 hit and we spent Tuesday-Friday inside.  School was out so both Kevin and I were off work.  It was so great to spend quality family time together.  Then we bundled up Cohen in his homemade hat, made by our sweet friend Brenda, and his fuzzy bear outfit, and walked over to see our neighbors.  We played outside and visited with friends Wyatt and Madeline, then back home we went.  This week Cohen is working on smiling and cooing, which makes every day more exciting.  Also this week he has started sleeping in his own room.  So far he's doing great with that and we are so proud.  This week has been such a blessing.  It's so great to be a family of three!