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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fabric Sale!

Shortly after Isaac was born, I ordered fabric from Barn Fabric Center.  Right now, all their drapery, upholstery and retro fabrics are 50% off!  And if customers frequently get emails for $3.99 or $4.99 sales!

Barn Fabric Center is a small, family owned fabric store located in Pennsylvania.  I placed my last order over the phone and Gary was very helpful.  Shipping was fast, and overall, I’m very pleased with my purchase!

The fabric I ordered will be used in Isaac’s room, the new bathroom, and the dining room.  I’d love to take a picture, to show you how they coordinate with other elements in the room, but I’m trapped in the rocking chair, perfecting my role of “human pacifier.”  Three of the fabrics I ordered are still available online, so I c&p’d a picture here.

 

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I ordered a bit of that for the living room/dining room.  You KNOW I don’t have enough neutral fabrics. :)

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And these are for the bathroom or Isaac’s room…I’m not really sure yet.  Maybe whichever room is finished first.

 

I also ordered outdoor fabric for my patio chairs (They have BEAUTIFUL outdoor fabric!) and another neutral to use in the dining room. I may recover my dining room chairs with it.

So head over to the Barn Fabric Center website and take advantage of their fabulous sale!

 

(Blah blah blah – I think I’m supposed to say something about how these opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.  right? right.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Isaac at 3 Weeks

It’s been 3 weeks already since Isaac officially joined our family.

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Although some days (and nights) are harder than others, overall, our transition to a family of four is going pretty smoothly.

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Isaac is very mild-mannered, which undoubtedly makes things easier.  He rarely cries, and the smiles that come when he’s sleeping are enough to melt your heart.

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Speaking of sleep, we are getting some.  He sleeps next to our bed in a co-sleeper, tightly swaddled, with a white noise machine to soothe him.  He usually wakes twice to nurse, and generally goes right back to sleep afterwards.  Some nights, he grunts all night in his sleep, keeping me awake, but a tighter swaddle seems to be helping with that.

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He nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-5 hours at night.  Although it was initially painful, nursing has been going very well- much easier the second time around.  We had a few days of excessive spit up and some projectile vomiting, which was very worrisome.  Adam had reflux, and I was terrified of going through that again.  In fact, the first time Isaac vomited, I cried. But, I made some adjustments to our nursing routine, and he is spitting MUCH less. 

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Adam is still embracing his role as big brother!  If he is playing and I ask him to bring me something, he won’t always do it, but he’s still very patient when I’m tending to Isaac.  He has been going to daycare part-time, which helps me out a lot.  He loves to interpret Isaac’s faces and noises, already speaking for him.

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I am doing very well so far, too.  Physically, my recovery was a lot easier this time, and emotionally, it’s been easier, too.  Of course, there are times when I feel overwhelmed and times when I’m not sure I know what my baby wants or needs, but in general I am much less anxious and stressed than I was when Adam was a newborn.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Sew Crazy about my Baby!

I can tell my post-partum hormones must be nutso, because I’ve been sewing a bit, and almost enjoying it!  I was even able to follow directions on a tutorial AND sew reasonably straight lines.  I’ve done three projects and only yelled at the sewing machine twice!  There’s clearly something wrong with me. :)  Or maybe my love for Baby Brudder Isaac has inspired me.

I made two of these “nursing wraps” aka “hooter hiders.”  Now, I can nurse Isaac in public without mortifying anyone around me.

 

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I *kind of* followed these two tutorials.

Made by the Mama Monster

and

Little Birdie Secrets

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There is boning at the top so that you can see your sweet baby if needed.  One tutorial called for 12 inches of boning and one said 16 inches.  I made a denim cover with 12 inches, but I prefer this one, with 16 inches of boning.  It was easier to see Isaac’s face with this one.

And I even made adjustable straps.  Sorry for the lousy picture.

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Then, I made a moby wrap.    Like this one, over at Moss Moments.

If you don’t know what it is, you really should go check it out.  It’s enabled me to “carry” Isaac around and go on doing normal things at the same time.  I read to Adam, carried him to time-out, and put him to bed last night with Isaac strapped to my chest, sleeping.  And everytime I look down, I get to see this:

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Okay, well, I tried really hard to get a good picture of what I see when I look down,but that was the best I could do. 

 

Now, I need to go tame the pile of fabric that escaped from my china cabinet when I decided to get crafty.  I can no longer use the “I have to hold the baby, he’s asleep!” excuse anymore, since he’ll sleep happily in his little moby-wrap-nest while I clean.  Rats.  Maybe I should re-think this…

 

Katie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Problem Solving Matrix

This is a problem solving tool that is part of the PETS curriculum I use with 3rd graders.  I think it’s great for adults, too.  My friend is having trouble making a decision, so I am posting this for her so that maybe she can give it try!

 

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Here it is filled in…

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I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Just put in your options and the criteria you’re using to make your decision.  If there is one criterion that’s far more important than the others, maybe put it twice?  Then, rate each option for each criterion, total up your scores, and voila!

(Now, I need to seriously fill this in for the 4 siding bids we got last month.  Any other questions I should add?)

Isaac’s Birth Story: All the Gory Details

We are still doing well at home – just adjusting to life with two little boys!  I finally have a somewhat coherent version of Isaac’s birth story written and I know some of you have been waiting to hear it!  There’s a brief timeline at the end if you don’t want to read the whole thing. :)
 
In my mind, Isaac’s birth began Sunday, March 27, at 3:00 AM, when I was woken up by painful contractions and ended 45 hours later at 11:58 PM on Monday, March 28.
Sunday morning, my contractions were about 20 minutes apart until about 5:30 AM, when I got up to start timing them. At that point, they were closer than 10 minutes, and becoming more painful. Around 7:00 AM, we made arrangements for Adam to go to church with Bart’s parents, and really thought we were probably going to the hospital soon. And then they slowed to 20 minutes again and continued that way for the rest of the day.
Sunday night/Monday morning, they picked up again; more painful and more frequent. I barely slept, but tried to avoid waking Bart. Every hour that went by, the contractions got stronger, until finally, about 2:00 AM, Bart and I got up. I needed him to help me through the pain, and I was sure that we would be heading to the hospital soon. We called my mom and gathered last minute items for the hospital bag. By the time my mom arrived, 20 minutes later, the contractions had slowed again. We sent her home and tried to sleep.
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(Picture taken about 2:15 Monday morning…we thought we should probably get a 40 wk belly shot before I had the baby!)
   
By Monday morning, I hadn’t slept well in almost 2 days, and I was getting frustrated. I was still having contractions about 10 minutes apart, so we took Adam to daycare, loaded up the hospital bag, and headed to town. When we left Adam, I told him he’d be able to meet his brother that night!
We stopped at the chiropractor, and then called the doctor’s office to let them know what was going on. I was SURE we would be checking into the hospital soon, and I really thought we’d have the baby that afternoon. Since the contractions were still so far apart, we decided to run a couple errands and walk around, hoping to get them moving faster.
We wandered through Target, picking up a few things, and the contractions were anywhere from 8-12 minutes apart. Then, we stopped for lunch and headed to the mall. I walked for about an hour there, until they were 5-7 minutes apart. Then, we called my OB and headed there to be checked.
At that point, I was VERY frustrated. Adam’s labor, from first painful contraction to birth, was 8-9 hours. But this time, by the time my OB checked me, I had been having painful contractions for 36 hours. I wanted to have this baby without an epidural (like Adam) but I felt like every hour that went by made that less possible. I was already so tired and disheartened. I was doubting my ability to make it the rest of the way without something to ease the pain or help me sleep. I had been sure that progress would speed up, and that the baby would have been born already. I never expected that early labor would last so long!
While we waited at the OB’s office, I continued to walk. Finally, at 3:00, my OB let me know that I was 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I told him that he didn’t have to send me to the hospital, but I wasn’t going home. We’d go back to the mall and walk until they’d admit me. Since we live 30 minutes from the hospital, and I was sure that sitting in the car would slow things down again, I really didn’t want to go back. So, he hooked me up to the monitor for about 20 minutes, and then we headed to the hospital.
We visited my grandma, who was in the hospital, and I chowed down some donut holes, and then we checked into L&D. I was the only laboring mom there, and as soon as they let me, I started walking again. My OB checked on me before he went home, and I tried to convince him to break my water then. I was so tired and frustrated, and I really felt like that would speed things up. But he wouldn’t do it…he told me to beg the OB on call to do it, instead.
As luck would have it, the OB on call also delivered Adam. He was born at 2:20 AM and she happened to be on call then, too. My nurse talked to her, went over my previous labor history, and she agreed to break my water when I was 4 cm dilated.
That gave me a surge of energy, and I walked more. But no matter how much I walked, my contractions still weren’t getting much closer together or lasting longer. They were getting more painful, and I was getting more exhausted, but other than that, it didn’t seem like I was making much progress.
Around 7 or 8 PM, I began to think about some sort of pain medication to help me sleep through the night. The nurse wouldn’t do an internal check – she didn’t think I was making any progress. I decided to labor in the whirlpool for awhile and try to relax. In the meantime, my mom arrived.
Finally, at 9:30, she agreed to check me. My contractions were still 5 minutes or more apart, and only lasting a minute. At that point, I had decided that if I hadn’t made progress, I was going to ask about pain medication to help me sleep that night. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go that route. The nurse was shocked when she checked my cervix and it was almost 6 cm dilated!
The nurse called the OB, and at about 10:30PM, she broke my water. I was ecstatic. I knew it would only be a couple of hours before I met my little guy!
As I expected, the contractions picked up in intensity very quickly. At 11PM, my nurse’s shift ended, and my new nurse came in. She was AMAZING. She had a student with her, and they both were very hands on, which I really needed at that point. She really helped me breathe through the contractions, and did a great job of applying counter pressure for my back labor. Soon after she got there, I began feeling the urge to push, although I was not fully dilated. Pushing before you are fully dilated can actually swell the cervix and cause things to slow down, so I struggled to resist the urge and let my cervix do its thing. This was the hardest part of labor for me.
Finally, I was completely dilated and ready to push. For some reason, the OB was not getting the pages my nurse kept sending. So even though she was right down the hall, she almost missed the baby’s birth. She came in and there was a flurry of activity. It was 11:50 PM, and I knew if I had the baby after midnight, I’d get to stay an extra day in the hospital. But there was no stopping me. Isaac was born at 11:58 PM, after 8 minutes of pushing.
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Summary:
Long, frustrating early labor until OB broke my water at 10:30 PM, then I started pushing at 11:50 PM and Isaac was born at 11:58. No pain medication.  Awesome nurses.
Timeline:
Sunday, March 27
3AM – woken by painful contractions, 20 minutes apart
5:30AM – contractions 10 minutes apart
7:00AM – sent Adam to Bart’s parents, contractions slowed to 20 minutes
9:00PM – contractions became more painful, but still every 20 minutes
Monday, March 28
2:00AM – I woke Bart so he could help me deal with the pain. We called my mom and she came over.
2:30AM – contractions slowed. Sent Mom home.
Morning – contractions 10 minutes apart
9:00AM – dropped Adam at daycare and told him he’d be able to meet his brother after his nap!
9:30AM – chiropractor
10:00AM – contractions 8-12 minutes apart, walked around Target, had lunch, went to mall to walk more
1:30PM – contractions 5-7 minutes apart while mall walking
3:00PM – OB’s office, 3 cm dilated, checked into hospital
9:30PM – contractions still only 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, but I was almost 6 cm dilated!
10:30PM – OB broke my water
11:50PM – completely dilated, began pushing
11:58PM – Isaac was born!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Big Brother

“Adam, tell Grandma you love her before she goes home!”

“Nooo, I wuv my baby brudder intead!”

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Adam really is a great big brother.  He still seems to adore Isaac, and wants to be near him all the time.  He stops periodically while playing to check on Isaac, and can’t seem to get enough snuggle time with him.  He brings me things when I’m nursing and helps me read to Isaac.  He waited patiently for a snack while I was nursing, and finished a puzzle by himself without complaining when I had to tend to Isaac.  So far, he hasn’t shown any sign of jealousy.  So far.

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And he’s been enjoying some special time with Daddy.  Adam helped him “farm” Monday and Tuesday morning.  Both Daddy and Adam are loving this!

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