Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a day late, but yesterday was a rough day. It's better that I didn't post what I had written yesterday. I'm doing much better today, thanks to the relief Londo gave me yesterday.

I have hope (again) for the new year. I know that things will get better. Winters are always rough for me. This winter, my SAD has (again) become PPD. I find that rather depressing (is that irony?). But we'll manage. We always do. I see my doctor on Monday and I'm already extending the time I do my light therapy. Londo and I are working out ways to get me more sleep.

Londo called 2009 The Year of No Sleep. He's not wrong. But 2009 was also the year our family became a family of four. Our beautiful baby boy was born this year, and our amazing little girl has grown so much. Even with the little sleep, this year was wonderful.

I hope you all have a fantastic new year full of sleep!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly End of the Year

The last full night of 2009 was a very weird one for us. It was good. It was bad. And it was ugly.

The Good
The Pookie slept over seven hours in a row! I put him down just after 7:00 in his crib in the nursery. He made some coughing noises around 9:00 when I was going to sleep, but that was all. He didn't actually wake up and fuss until 2:20 - 2:30 (on and off fussing before I actually went in). We were absolutely amazing by this, since he hasn't slept longer than 3 hours on his own before, and usually he's up every 2 hours or less.

Although it seems incredible, don't celebrate for me yet. Keep reading...

The Bad
Around 12:30, the Pumpkin came into our room. This was a bit frustrating, because she had been pretty much sleeping through the night for the previous week. She had been waking up early, like 5:00ish, but then lying in bed quietly with us. I had hoped we were done for a while with the middle-of-the-night wakeups, but apparently not quite yet.

The good part about it was that she went almost immediately back to sleep, so there was minimal disruption to our night.

However, it was really uncomfortably hot in the house. I got up to turn down the thermostat and check on the baby, who had been sleeping over 5 hours at this point. I went in, put my hand on him and felt him and saw him breathing, so I went back to bed.

Not so bad, I know. Keep reading...

The Ugly
When the Pookie finally woke up, I went in to feed him and planned to put him back down in his crib. When I lifted him out of the crib, he felt all wet behind his neck and back. My first thought was that sure was sweating a lot, even though I had turned the air down two hours ago.

Then the smell hit me. I quickly realized it was vomit. I picked him up carefully, turned on the light and surveyed the major puddle of drying vomit my child had been sleeping in.

Very gross.

He seemed totally fine otherwise, though it's odd to me that he slept through the vomiting and laid in his own vomit without really waking or fussing about. Especially since he seems to wake up and fuss about EVERYTHING ELSE!

He was fine through my nursing him, my cleaning him up with a quick sink bath, my putting him in a clean sleeper, my changing the sheets while he was entertained by a music-playing toy and my nursing him back to sleep. I ended up putting him back to sleep in his swing because of the time of night and to keep him more upright. It took an hour and a half, but I was pretty well rested and able to deal with it all fine.

Edited to add:We don't know why he threw up. He didn't have a temperature and doesn't seem sick. But it was really hot in the house, and the nursery is the hottest room in the house. Was it the heat? Was it the banana he had at dinner? Was it the soy I now have in my diet to replace the cow's milk? Did the pacifier gag him in some way? Is it some sort of stomach bug? We have no clue, and our doctor's office said that they aren't worried unless he throws up again or shows other signs of sickness.

And on a bad mother note: I'm not sure which is worse: waking up every 2 hours or less, or cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night after sleeping 5 hours with very little disruption! Actually, I do know what's better for me, but it's not better for the baby to sleep in vomit for hours. ;-)

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and that your 2010 is filled with a lot of Good, very little Bad and no Ugly!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Family Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas! Our first Christmas as a family of four (plus 2 pets). It was special and meaningful and fun.

The Pumpkin is at a great age for the holiday. She is really starting to understand and remember and "get" it. Leading up to Christmas, she helped Londo pick out a tree, she helped us decorate, she read books about the birth of Jesus and about Santa Claus, and she generally participated in the holiday preparations and fun.

We are also starting our own traditions for our family. On Christmas Eve before we went up for bed, we each opened a small present and then hung our stockings up near the fireplace. After putting the kids to bed, Londo and I finished wrapping the presents together down in the family room. It was neat to realize that now WE are the parents and that it's OUR responsibility to get everything taken care of the night before Christmas while OUR children are asleep in their beds with sugarplums dancing in their heads.

On Christmas morning, Londo got up with the Pumpkin and took her downstairs while the Pookie and I slept an extra half hour (not only had we both stayed up a bit late getting ready for Christmas, but I was up with the Pookie for an hour at one point in the middle of the night and I was freaking tired!). He entertain the Pumpkin with the present she'd opened the night before.

When the Pookie and I came downstairs, we took down our stockings and opened them. Then we went into the front room/parlor/future library (when we can afford nice shelves) where the tree is and opened our presents. The Pookie hung out with us in his exersaucer and was pretty entertained by all the hubbub of opening presents. The Pumpkin sat in one of the chairs with us and was a champ at tearing the wrapping paper off and tossing it on the ground. Once a present was opened, she go, "Oh, thank you!" in this delighted voice, even if she wasn't sure what it was.

After presents, we had a delicious breakfast of omeletes that Londo made. Then the kids sat around playing with presents while I put together the apple pie I was bring to my parents' house. We all got ready in our red and green and headed over to my parents'. At my parents' house, we exchanged presents, ate a delicious meal and enjoyed time with family. For the dinner, there were 13 adults (including my almost 96-year-old grandma), one teenager (my 15-year-old niece), 6 pre-schoolers/toddlers (3 of which are my kids' cousins) and two babies (mine and my sister's boys). It was a full house and full table! It was wonderful.

Next year, we'll go down to the inlaws for Christmas. I know I'll miss waking up in our own beds and doing our own traditions, but we really love to visit the inlaws and we always enjoy the holidays there. Too bad there is no teleportation devise so that we could wake up in our house and beam over there for Christmas dinner.

We had a fantastic holiday and are looking forward to many more. Although winters are tough for me, the holidays are definitely a bright spot. I hope you all had happy holidays as well!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dairy-less

Today is the first day of me giving up dairy. Again.

That's right, again. Way back when I was in college, I started having regular stomach aches and was burping a lot. More than normal. The doctor I saw was no help, but the nurse! Ah the nurse suggested a few things to try, first and foremost giving up dairy to see if it was lactose intolerance. At this time, I'd never heard of lactose intolerance, nor had any of my friends and family. And it turns out that I didn't have the common symptoms that most people associate with it nowadays. But the nurse was smart enough to suggest that my problems might be that and what I needed to do.

So I cut out dairy from my diet for two weeks. It was not easy, not just because I love ice cream, milk in my coffee and chocolate bars. The byproducts of milk, such as curds and whey, are used in so many things, from processed meats to packaged breads. Lactose is even used as a filler in many supplements (note to self: check the non-active ingredients of the fish oil, vitamin D and iron supplements I take). Amazingly, my stomach issues cleared up. Over the course of the next couple years, I discovered Lactaid milk and ice cream, Lactaid pills, soy milk in my coffee, dairy-free cookbooks and the level of dairy I could consume without having any issues.

So why am I still not off the dairy? Well, when I was pregnant with the Pumpkin, I discovered that I could tolerate pretty much all levels of dairy once again. I quickly jumped back into the world of dairy and loved every second of it.

So why am I giving it up again? It's not for me. It's for the baby boy. And for me. The Pookie seems to be pretty gassy and always has been. He's still waking up a lot (A LOT) at night and seems uncomfortable. Soon after waking, he has a few farts and then seems to feel better. This may very well be totally normal for a baby with a developing digestive system, especially now that he has started solids. Unfortunately, he seems to prefer to be nursing so he can relax and let the gas out. As usual, I. Am. Tired!

I started wondering if the gas could be related to dairy, either how his system handles it or how mine does, since burping and gas was one of my lactose intolerance symptoms. I've noticed that the level of lactose I can handle has gone back down so I need to eat less dairy products that I have been. Maybe it's affecting him?

Maybe it's not. Maybe it has nothing to do with dairy or diet or anything like that. But I can go without dairy for two weeks (again) and see if there is a difference. Doesn't hurt to try.

Well, it hurts a little. Because that veggie omelet I had this morning would have been better with cheese, and the toast would have been better with butter. At least I still like soy milk for my coffee.

(Next diet change to start after the new year will be the Pumpkin's diet, in case dairy or fructose malabsorption are an issue for her. She is currently doing that picky toddler eating/non-eating where she is mostly living on yogurt and air, so I figure I can mess with her diet since it's currently so limited anyway. I've always wondered if she's had an issue with her diet and have been wanting to try and see if we need to change her diet. I suspect our diets affect our bodies a lot more than most people give credence to. So we are going to try!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Question of the Week - Swiping Good Stuff

My family does Secret Santa every year for Christmas for the adults. For those who don't know, Secret Santa is where each person draws the name of another person, and that's the person for whom they buy a gift. Everyone is supposed to keep it a secret until after the presents are opened, which is on Christmas for us.

This year, my dad got me (and I got my dad). He got me a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt with the logo from where he used to work. This may sound ho hum as a present, but it was actually extremely thoughtful and very meaningful.

You see, years and years ago, my dad had a similar pair of sweatpants. It turns out that they were very comfortable. So comfortable that my sister "borrowed" them from him and didn't give them back. But one year she forgot them when she left for college. So I tried them on. And discovered just how amazingly comfortable they were! And didn't give them back!

All through college, I kept these pants. All through grad school. When the bottoms of the legs got holes in them from my heels walking on them (I'm really short) and I kept tripping on them, I was so upset thinking I had to get rid of them. But Londo suggested that I just cut off the bottoms so they came to my ankles (like normal pants), and that gave them new life.

Over a decade later, I'm still wearing these sweatpants, but they are falling apart. I have known that they can't take much more wear or washing. Soon, I will have to retire them forever. As it is, I wear them only occasionally to help extend their life.

My dad knows all this and long ago resigned himself to the loss of his pants. I have requested another pair, but that they had to be the same kind so they have the certain aspects that make them so comfortable. Alas, the company he worked for has not had them in many, many years.

Until just a few weeks ago! He happened by the company's store and checked in (as he always does), and lo and behold! The pants! Almost exactly the same! And matching sweatshirt! AND he happened to have me for Secret Santa! It was a Christmas miracle!!

So this week's question of the week is:
What is the best item you have "borrowed" from a family member?

Those pants were definitely the best for me, but a close second is another pair of pants I "borrowed" from my poor dad last winter. We were on vacation in Florida and I had forgotten those sweatpants or really any pants to sleep in. My dad let me borrow a light-weight pair of navy blue pants. And when I was packing to go home, I told my mom that if my dad was looking for the pants that he shouldn't bother. Hehe. My dad and I have been joking about that for a year. Hey, is it my fault that my dad finds the most comfortable pants and then lends them to me or leaves them around where I can find them?

How about you? Have you shared clothes with someone only to not return them? Have you snuck into a parent's closet and swiped a coveted item? Have you sneaked items out of the kitchen because you just can't find one just like the one you had growing up? What have swiped from family?