Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Raising Boys

This made the email rounds a while back, but I just came across it again. It is purportedly written by a mom in Austin, Texas:

Things I've learned from my Boys (honest and not kidding):

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old boy.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

25. Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

Friday, February 24, 2006

6 Weeks Old

Generally speaking, children get easier to care for the older they get. However, newborns are the exception - they eat and sleep for a couple weeks while you are recovering from the birth and trying to figure it all out. Then they get to be a little more work.

At Wednesday's appointment with our midwife, Andrew weighed in at a good sized 12 lbs. 1 oz. The even bigger news is that mommy weighed in at 125 lbs. - 20 pounds less than my maximum pregnancy weight. Yeah haw! Only challenge now is to keep it off, a feat I have not been able to accomplish in the past. Now, I am far from svelte - my hips are huge and I still look several months pregnant. But there is hope for my wardrobe. Enough about me, back to the baby.

Details... Andrew's acne is clearing up, but he's sprouted a bit of cradle cap. My husband bought Size 2 diapers tonight, though he is at the bottom of the weight range. He is smiling, not a whole lot but occasionally when you smile or make a funny face at him. He smiled at his big brother Christopher yesterday, which just about made C's day.

While he does fuss occasionally, we haven't had more than one or two instances of really colicky behavior. He falls asleep about the same time every night and wakes up about the same time every morning, though his daytime nap schedule is amazingly inconsistent. We suspect he is having a growth spurt, too.

The block nursing technique seems to have helped a lot with my forceful let-down problem. One piece of advice to anyone trying this: ease into it slowly so as to avoid engorgement and the perils that sometimes follow (plugged ducts, mastitis, etc.). From your breast's perspective, it is like suddenly skipping every other feeding. Not good.

Last weekend's night out went fine. He took a couple ounces from the bottle without much problem. I showed my mom our "secret" for getting him calmed down and asleep: turn on the kitchen exhaust fan and hold him, bouncing up and down a little bit. Before we left the house to go to the event, my mom was cooking dinner, I had just painted my nails, and Andrew was fussing in his basinette, so I asked my step-dad to pick him up. He turns out to be a super baby calmer; when we returned home Paw Paw was sitting on the couch holding a sleeping baby.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I Told You So

Hathor the Cow Goddess has a new cartoon series titled "I told you so!" Pretty sharp stuff.


Over the past week or two, I've come to suspect that Andrew and I are having a problem with forceful let-down and oversupply. I read what kmom has to say on the topic, and we are hitting 5 of the 7 criteria listed (no clicking or biting). So, I have been "block nursing" - that is, nursing from one side at a time and switching sides every few hours, instead of in the middle of a single feeding. Also, if I know I am having a strong let-down, I take him off before he starts choking, instead of waiting for him to unlatch himself. He seems to get less angry that way.

Anyhow, I know some of my readers are professionals and/or experienced breastfeeders. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One Month Old

...and a couple days.

Sometimes I look at him and am amazed at how big he is. Other times he seems so tiny. He is definitley getting heavier. Yesterday my husband and I got out the 3-6 month clothes from the closet, and I washed some of them. Not that he's outgrown his newborn clothes just yet, but they do fit just right.

Andrew can track a moving object from side to side. He will turn his head toward a familiar voice. We do get little smiles from time to time.

I mentioned baby acne? Now even his pimples have pimples. He's still cute, though.

We're going out and leaving the boys - all three of them - with my parents this weekend. Just for a few hours, but my project this week is to get Andrew used to a bottle - or devise some other way to get milk into him - and a pacifier. I've also pumped a total of 9 oz. so far, which I think is pretty good. Helpful hint: if you can manage it, pump on one side while nursing the baby on the other. I heard this week that your body thinks it's making milk for twins, and boosts production accordingly. Anyway, it seems to be working. Although, for the most part, I don't like to do the bottle thing, even if it is filled with my milk.

Friday, February 10, 2006

4 Weeks

Little Andrew has a raging case of baby acne all over his cheeks. And a receeding hairline (it will grow back in blond, based on past experience, then gradually darken as he grows up). He is still exceedingly cute, though.

DS5 has learned that Andrew will open his hands by rubbing the backs of his fingers. So the big entertainment around here consists of getting Andrew to grasp your finger - or toe. Andrew also has reached up and grabbed hold of my necklace often enough to convince me he's doing it on purpose. And we have gotten a smile or two, although most of the time he looks at us like "who are these strange people and why are they staring at me?".

I'm starting to get the hang of things. Before it was, "do I do the dishes now, or later?" Now it's, "Andrew's asleep, if I want to get the dishes done, I'd better do them right now." Just a slight shift in thinking. He is an extremely patient baby, however. A couple times I've had a semi-emergency situation in the house and have laid him down, awake and even somewhat fussy, in his bassinette. He might peep a little but does not scream. I guess he knows I'll be back to get him soon.

Friday, February 03, 2006

3 Weeks Old

Wow, how time flies. Andrew is just eating and sleeping and growing and, more and more, will stop and look around a bit. He often makes cute little cooing noises when he sleeps or nurses. He sometimes smiles in his sleep, and even smiled once or twice when awake. He's moved up from Newborn diapers to Size 1. I've trimmed his fingernails three times already.

DH went back to work this week. I'm doing o.k. with that, except that I have to re-learn how to get things done with a baby in the house. When he asked me if I would be all right alone with the boys, I told him yeah, I might not do anything but sit on the couch all evening, but I could manage. Actually, though, I have be able to fix dinner (though I often leave a pile of dirty dishes in the sink for him), do a load or two of laundry, and get the kids ready for bed on a consistent basis. There are still parts of my house that are a complete disaster, but I am gradually reclaiming them. Baby steps, you know.

Andrew has one "fussy" period a day, but he hasn't quite decided when that will be. Last two nights, it's been between about 10 pm and midnight, which is fine, because then he drops off to sleep for a while, and rarely is anyone in this household asleep before midnight anyway, least of all me. The "not fun" nights were when he decided to be fussy between roughly 1 am and 4 am which, since I hadn't gone to bed yet, meant I didn't get to sleep at all until nearly 5 am except for a few 5 or 10 minute stretches when DH was on baby duty. Hopefully we've gotten everything all straightened out. The rest of the time, though, he is exceedingly calm.

The older brothers are doing great. When Andrew cries, they make "shhh" noises at him like Harvey Karp, and Christopher pats him gently. They've not tried to pick him up or feed him peanut butter or anything scary like that, although I do worry about toy footballs landing in the bassinet. Timothy is doing well with the potty training, not completely trained but making progress, despite the fact that his parents have often not had the energy to work with him on it over the past few weeks. He just turned three and his brother will be 5 next week.

I've never had postpartum depression, but I do get the "baby blues" pretty predictably. My tears usually are associated with the changing relationship with my older children - I have a "new" baby, but I am loosing my older "baby". My husband and I are always amazed at how much our other children "grow" on the day we have a new baby. We also look at each other and say things like "Can you believe we made another human being" (at which point my husband reminds me that we only helped), and "Can you believe God actually trusts us enough to give us children?". And with the last one, "Two of us - three of them. Oh no, we're outnumbered!"