Monday, November 30, 2009

Good feeding promotes good eating

In the last few weeks (months) I've noticed that Dean's progressively gotten worse and worse at eating what is made for meals. He's turned into a wandering snacker and drinks the majority of his diet in the form of milk with a little isagenix mixed in to each cup. After reading a post by my friend Jeremy's wife, I decided his poor eating was at least partially due to my lax eating rules, and I decided to put my foot down. It really is amazing how quickly his eating has improved since implementing just a few rules.

I try and keep all meals and snacks "balanced" so he has a small amount of a few things on his plate. Like today at snack he had 3 triscuit crackers and fruit snacks (yesterday he had apples and 1/2 a cheese stick). At lunch he had pears, broccoli, carrots, and celery with ranch, and mac n' cheese. At afternoon snack he had a granola bar (which he asked for but didn't actually eat). At dinner he had soup, salad, and a biscuit. He didn't eat everything at every meal or snack, but he ate WAY more than he normally does.

Our new rules:
1. Stop letting him drink his appetite away!
  • At meals he would start with his milk or diluted juice and just chug away. He'd then ask for more and more and more and then wouldn't eat much.
2. Meals and snacks are served at the table in the kitchen. No wandering eating.
3. Set regular "times" for meals and snacks. If he chooses not to eat at the designated time, he doesn't get food (or milk) until the next designated time. He can have as much water as he wants throughout the day.
  • Sippy of "chocolate milk" (milk + a little isagenix) when he wakes up at 7.
  • Breakfast at 8.
  • Snack at 10. (At the table.)
  • Lunch at 11:45-12.
  • A sippy cup with milk at 12:30 in prep for his nap at 1.
  • Snack after his nap. (at the table)
  • Dinner at 5-5:30.
  • Sippy with milk at 6:30 in prep for bed at 7.
4. Only water with meals (so that he wouldn't drink his appetite away).
5. No leaving the table until mom or dad is finished eating and has gotten up. Even if he's done eating, he has to stay at the table till one of us is finished.

Seriously, he's eaten soooo much better at meals. And he really hasn't complained much about the new set up yet. I have to be way more organized and structured, but I think it will really help us in the long run.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ain't that somethin'

I started off my "new life" today with a bang. Walt had one of his worst night's sleep EVER last night. I got myself to bed by 10:35 and was able to fall asleep before 11 even though Matt had a hockey game to watch and wasn't with me. Then starting about 12 or 1 Walt woke up about every hour or so. And then at 4 something he decided he was up for the day. He's never done that. We let him talk it out for awhile, I tried to feed him, we let him scream for awhile, Matt rocked him, we let him scream a little more and just as I got up to rock/feed him about 6, I hear Dean crying and walking toward our room telling us to turn the light on. He's never done that. I tried to tell him it wasn't time to get up yet. I tried to coax him into bed with Dad even. But no, he just wanted to sit with me as I was trying to get Walt back asleep. By 6:30 I gave up and took both boys out so Matt could sleep a little.

Then as I was running later this morning, there was a short part I had to run on unpaved ground. My foot caught a hole and buckled under me. I didn't think it was that bad. It didn't hurt much and I even ran home on it. The majority of the day it felt very minor. And then around 4 I tried putting shoes on to go run errands. Ouch! And from there it's just gotten progressively worse. I have to limp and it's kind of difficult to cart Walt around on it.

Ah well. Such is life. At least crazy Celia didn't make an appearance today despite the obstacles.

As for my injury and exercising, well, I'm hoping I can do yoga on it. If not I guess I'll get a start on my killer abs and leg lifts till it gets better. =)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Getting my life back

Well, yes, I have been busy recently, mainly I've been doing a lot of family history stuff. All of those other crafting things I wanted to do? Swept by the wayside. However, that's only a little part of why I haven't posted much this month.

I've really been struggling to keep crazy Celia contained the last couple of months. My emotions have been all over the place. Some days and some moments I feel totally normal, fine, sane. Other moments and days I'm sitting on the couch in tears, feeling too tired and overwhelmed to deal with Walt screaming and Dean doing some normal 2 year old thing. I have felt profoundly lonely the last couple of months. I have been very aware of my physical distance from family and old friends, and I don't have the deep connections and friendships yet here that I really have been needing and longing for. It's so much harder to make those deep connections when you don't live with the people. Don't get me wrong. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have lots and lots of happy moments and days. But I've just had waaaayyyy more lonely/crazy days and moments than I care for.

Other things that factor in to my craziness: I have been pretty sleep deprived the last 4 months. And not just "nursing newborn" sleep deprived. It's that, plus we go to bed way too late, plus stupid insomnia once we get to bed. I often don't fall asleep until 2 am and then am up again around 7am when the boys wake up. I am pretty much running on fumes most days.

This morning crazy Celia was in full swing. Matt woke up to me sitting on the couch crying with Dean sitting on my lap (I was trying to get pants and shoes on him to go outside, but he was evading me) and Walt was lying on a blanket scream talking since he was tired of being ignored (and he skipped his nap, adding to my and his frustration). After a little crying and talking with Matt, he suggested I go take a run while he stay with the boys.

So I went. While I was gone, there were a number of things that came to my head about what I need to do to get my life back. First I tried to identify my problem: was it just lack of sleep? postpartum depression? pms? Then I decided it didn't really matter at this point. Before I get any sort of chemical or professional help, I realized there are common sense things that I have to do to take care of myself that might take care of my problems. I mentally made a list of things I need to change and can reasonably change. When I got home I wrote down a list of 10.

Common sense things I need to do to get out of this funk:
1. Exercise 5 days a week. At least 1/2 hour, preferably by myself, but with the boys if need be.
  • This means I'll need to get up around 6 am before the boys, work out after they go to bed, have Matt stay with them (on weekend/holidays), and/or get a double jogging stroller.
2. Eat 3 real meals a day.
  • Lunch has been a real struggle for me because I've been getting Dean's lunch, feeding Walt, putting Dean down for a nap, and then Walt needs a nap. By that time I'm pretty exhausted and I end up choosing nap over food. I'll generally get a snack or have a shake once I wake up since it's around 2 by then.
3. Drink enough water.
  • I used to be really good about this. I just get side tracked with the boys and forget.
4. Eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • This corresponds with #2. I need to make a big salad with lunch every day and eat fruits instead of other sugars in the evening.
5. Read scriptures and/or the Ensign at least 1/2 hour every day.
  • Right now I read scriptures right before bed. I don't mind reading at night, but I need to start earlier since I end up only reading anywhere from 1 chapter to 15 min. max.
6. Make a detailed schedule for the week, post it on my wall, and stick to it.
  • Having a goal and direction will help me as much as I like freedom and flexibility. I know I don't use my time as well as I should.
7. Go to bed by 10 and absolutely no later than 10:30. Even if I am having a hard time shutting my mind off.

8. Cut out most refined sugars. Absolutely no candy (yes, even over Christmas). If there is a homemade holiday dessert, that's ok, but limit myself to small portions.

9. Take a break from FB for a little while.
  • I could explain this, but I'd rather not.
10. Go on an "out of the house" date with Matt AT LEAST once a month. Check into trading babysitting with another couple.
  • We have probably gone on less than 5 dates this whole year, including trips to the temple. That has really added to my loneliness. Walt's getting to the point where we'd be able to leave after about 7:30 or 8 and not worry about him waking up till after 11 or 12 or so. (He just woke up and is crying as I type this, though. =P)
So, that's what I need to do for starters. (That and get a blessing from Matt.) It needs to not be talk. I have to make real, long term changes. I'm sick of crazy Celia. She needs to go.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waiting for the fog to lift

Do you ever have those days/weeks/months where there seems to be a fog clouding up your mind and you can't seem to process things very quickly? This week kind of feels like that. I'm guessing it's from the classic combo of sleep deprivation and sickness, but I'm wanting to be done with it. My cold's finally leaving and Matt finished his big Warhammer painting project last night, so maybe we can get to bed at a reasonable time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Sunday Sight: Brothers

On the Potty Train

After hearing that my friend Cassie's son (who is a month younger than Dean) is completely potty trained (except for 1 night diaper), and after hearing her method, I decided I really needed to hit potty training hard now or be resigned to the fact that it probably won't happen till he's closer to 3.

When I asked her what her secret was (both of her kids were potty trained before they turned 2), she said, "make every second of it fun and silly when they are doing it, let them watch you, make it a race on who can go fastest, be sooo excited when they do it, and be very {sad} when they have an accident (the guilt factor) how mean i know!, quiz them all the time on where we go peepee and what we call {toto} day-- completely saturated him with water--TONS. he really got the idea of what it felt like to NEED to go- and then starting telling me for the 1st time!"

I can see now that there is a small window where potty training is "fun" for little people because they're doing something you're doing. I'd kind of done some of the things she suggested, and Dean's been going on the potty a couple times a day since he was about 18 months. Just a short 3 weeks ago I think he was very open to it and was going both poop and pee on the potty. He was so up and down and up and down, though, that I have to admit I was getting kind of frustrated with him. I think he started having some negative experiences with the potty because of my rigidity and frustration. Since then he's digressed and hasn't wanted to use the potty much.

So today I put two bowls of treats in his sight (one with smaller treats for pee and one with bigger treats for poop) and let him go commando all morning. (I would have put undies on him if he would have let me, but he wouldn't. I'll try and get some boxer briefs and tell him they're undershorts.) I tried my absolute hardest to be really flexible and excited and happy and not get frustrated with anything related to the bathroom. I knew I was probably going to have to clean up a few accidents, but I really wanted to know how frequently and how much he went since I know he doesn't tell me every time he needs to go. He REALLY wanted treats so he was in the bathroom all morning. Sometimes it was legitimate. Sometimes it was a rouse to get treats. But I tried to just praise him for the mere fact that he was in the bathroom.

I had to clean up a couple pee accidents. The first time I saw the accident. The other two times I knew because he said, "Mommy so sad." since that's what I told him the first time.

All morning he said he had to poo, but he didn't want to go on the potty because "bum hurts". While I was trying to put Walt down for a nap, Dean ran in and said he needed to go. I encouraged him to run into the potty and a few minutes later he came in and declared "big poop out!" So I went and checked and sure enough. A BIG poop was in his potty. He must have been kind of backed up. (TMI, I know.) I didn't have to feign praise or excitement one bit for that one! I even took a picture of it so (I'll spare you all the photo documentation) he knew it was a good thing and so we could show daddy what a big boy he was for going in the potty.

Another time I after rocking Walt I came to check on Dean. I'd told him to wash his hands and this is what I walked in on. An ENTIRE bottle of soap. HAHAHAHA. It was so funny I couldn't resist.

The afternoon wasn't as productive. I had a piano lesson so we had to put a diaper back on him for decency purposes. He didn't want to go in the potty nearly as much after that. I hope I can have enough energy to do it all again tomorrow!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Announcing Walter James

I'm pretty sure by now my announcements should have arrived, so I will post it now here.

The front of the announcement said, "Just arrived" and after that the details varied. Some had a stamped animal train. Some had felt cars, trucks, or planes. The colors were all similar, but I didn't have a cookie cutter announcement. I can't ever replicate anything exactly. Just not my style I guess.

Is he not one of the cutest little (big) guys ever?? When I snapped this photo (about a month ago) I was so happy I finally caught him on camera so perfectly.

At 3 1/2 months he weighs in at 18-19 lbs on my scale and by my measurements he's about 26 inches long! That means he's gained about 11-12 lbs. and grown about 5 1/2 inches in just a few short months!! That just seems like a ton.

He is my wonderful little Walter. (I call him both Walt and Walter depending on my and his mood.) He is a fabulous baby. If he's fed with a clean diaper and has had enough sleep, he is just as content as can be.

He is in a very fun stage right now.

He is gaining control over his hands and arms and licks/sucks his hands like little lollipops. He rarely puts individual fingers in his mouth, though.

It's easy to make him smile and giggle.

He is ticklish, especially when I'm changing his clothes.

We just moved Dean's old crib into our bedroom since Dean is happily transitioned over to the toddler bed and has been for a few months. I am so glad to be done with the pack and play. He was so long I had to put his feet in first (under the changing table) and then lay his body down. I will get a real mini-crib (or a wooden rocking cradle) the next baby we have if Walt's still using the regular crib! I am not a fan of the pack n play bassinet any more.

He has beautiful blue eyes.

He is close to rolling over. Every time he's on his back he cranes around to the left and twists till he is all but flipped completely.

He no longer sleeps all swaddled up, but it has been a little harder and taken a little longer to get him to sleep. I think he's getting closer to the point where I don't have to put him in bed asleep, but will fall asleep on his own without his arms jerking and waking him up.

His longest naps seem to take place in my bed after I've nursed him/taken a nap with him. I finally figured out how to nurse in bed! I never could get it down with Dean. I only do it during naps though. It's too frustrating at night.

He "talks" a lot when I am out of sight. He squeaks and squawks letting me know that he wants a little attention. He doesn't cry a whole lot (unless he's been "talking" for awhile without any response from me), but he does let me know he wants to see me or be picked up.

At night he sleeps from about 7-7 and normally eats 2-3 times during that time.
Walter's Birth Story

I never actually told his birth story. Since he was a scheduled c-section it just seemed a little anti-climactic.

He was due August 3rd and we scheduled his c-section 1 week earlier on July 27th. I never had any contractions with him. We were the first surgery that morning and we had to get there around 5:30 am. My friend Alexis came to our house about 5:15 that morning and hung out on the couch until Dean woke up. She then took him to her house to play with her daugher who's 2 weeks younger than Dean until Matt could come get him.

We drove to the Medical Center of [our town]. After we got inside they immediately had me dress in a hospital gown. Since we'd forgotten to check in and pay our co-pay, Matt went down to do all that while they were doing my IV and vitals.

When they put in my IV the prick hurt worse than any prick I can remember. My blood pressure dropped really quickly, and I nearly passed out. Another nurse was taking my vitals at the same time and my numbers were like 60/40 or something crazy like that. My lips and face lost all color and when Matt came back, I was white as a sheet and they were trying to get me through that.

We waited about 30 min. for the doctor to arrive and prep and then they wheeled me into the OR. I got a spinal and my anesthesiologist was a great. He was really nice, warm, upbeat and a calming influence. I think I twitched the first time he tried to do my spinal, but he got it the second time and it really didn't hurt. While the drugs started kicking in, he made casual conversation, mainly about that YouTube wedding video where the wedding party danced down the isle that was circulating at the time. And he talked about fishing at the lake in his back yard.

The spinal was WAY better than the drug route I went with Dean. They put up a sheet to cover my lower half and they brought Matt in. He stood by my head and held my hand. They cut and tugged (all the while I didn't feel a thing. I love modern medicine.) and within about 15 min. they pulled out our baby. Matt snapped a picture of the doc holding him right after she pulled him out and you can totally see my belly all cut open. Pretty crazy.

Nurses took him and cleaned him up a little in the corner of the OR. They wrapped him up and someone held him by my head so I could see him while the doc. continued stitching up my belly and whatnot.

While I was drugged and barely had use of my arms, I was lucid and was able to actually see him. That was nice. I didn't have the body convulsions I had after Deans, and I felt very calm. It was surreal, but I was calm.

They took him and did all his tests and measurements and I waited somewhere (in the OR?) about a 1/2 hour until a recovery room was ready. While we were waiting for our room Matt and I talked about name impressions since we hadn't settled on a name beforehand. The name that came to Matt was Walter Campbell. After seeing his super blond hair with possibly a tint of red, Walter James or James Campbell kept alternating in my mind. It took me 2 days, but I finally went with Walter James. I'm glad we did. He's a good little Walt.

All of the nurses and hospital personnel continually commented on how much blond hair he had. I guess it's pretty uncommon to see so much blond hair on a new born.

They brought him back to my room after all his tests. He seemed so little. He was a lb. lighter than Dean was when he was born, and he seemed so bony! While in the hospital we had a little scare that he might have strep (though my doctor thought that was nearly impossible) because of some weird blood counts, so they had him on an IV the whole time. That was so sad to see his tiny hand all wrapped up with the IV.

Since I couldn't lift him out of the cart by myself and Matt wasn't with me the whole time, he mainly stayed in the nursery and they brought him to me to nurse.

After I was settled, Matt went and picked Dean up around noon. He took Dean home and put him down for a nap then they came and visited me in the hospital after he woke up. Dean was a little confused, but kind of just thought Walt was a passing novelty. He waved to him and could say Walt's name. He was really nice to him in the hospital. He took me not being at home for 4 days better than I thought he would. That was scary and hard for me since we'd never been apart for more than 2 hours before.

On a side note, here is the best advice I can give to people having c-sections: Bring Fiber-One bars. There's a high probability of being constipated from the drugs and surgery. After Dean I drank a ton of warm prune juice mixed with soda. It wasn't horrible and worked ok. But let me tell you! This time I ate 3 fiber bars (that were delicious) and a bowl of Fiber One cereal the first day and by the next morning, just 24 hours after my surgery, I had a bm and it wasn't even painful. I ate 2 more bars and a bowl of cereal that second day and I didn't have one problem with it at all after that. I had to laugh when they asked if I'd passed gas yet and I said, "Well, I've already had 3 bowel movements!"

The first shower I took in the hospital was a crazy experience. I got in and turned it nice and hot. It felt good to stand under hot water and get clean. But then I started feeling very woozy. I had shut the door and it was super hot. I had a chair in there and somehow got myself into it. Just when I felt like I was going to pass out, I heard a nurse in my room calling in to me, "Is everything all right in there?" I told her I was feeling woozy and she came in and got me. She quickly called for help because she could tell I wasn't doing so well. Another nurse brought some smelling salts because I was on my way out of consciousness. Those things are strong! But it helped and they wrapped a towel around me and took me back to my bed. It was pretty crazy. They said maintenance had been working on the water and must have turned the heat up higher than normal. I leveled out after I got some cool air. I hadn't rung for help, so I asked the nurse how she knew I needed something. She said, "Well, I just got this feeling like I needed to come check on you." How grateful I am that the Lord sends promptings to everyone willing to listen! I am positive that's what it was. She was one of the nicest nurses (and I knew her from my first stay there as well). I felt very blessed.

This time I was able to walk quicker, stand up straight quicker, and over all I felt better faster. I have to say, though, that it was pretty hard not to be able to pick Dean up for 6 weeks. I only made it 4 and then I couldn't take it. I kept worrying that I was doing too much, but I just couldn't not pick up my little Dean. After I started picking him up, all I heard for about 2 weeks was "Hold you me mommy!"

I stayed alone in the hospital since Matt had to stay home with Dean. I had some really great nurses this time around. One of them was LDS and had 5 kids of her own. She was really helpful one night when Walt didn't want to do anything but sleep when he needed to eat. Matt came and visited me about twice a day with Dean. My parents got there on Wednesday (I had surgery on Monday) and then I came home from the hospital on Friday.

Walt's just been a dream baby. He is just the baby I needed this time around. I love seeing his personality form. Dean's really coming into being a big brother. We all still have our "adjusting" moments, but he's just been such a blessing to our family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And that's a wrap

Well, I got Walt's announcements mailed out yesterday. Didn't even make the full 30. It was more like 25. And while brads and buttons make cards cute, I realized that they're going to have a harder time in the mail. I hope the pictures don't get too damaged because of it.

I've hit my next project hard (gotta stay hush hush since it's a gift) and it's been so much fun.

I'm trying to transition Walt from being swaddled to just wearing warmer clothes for bed. He's too big for all but one of my wraps! He did pretty well the first night, but it's a little harder for nap time and it takes a bit more rocking to get him to sleep. He's really started doing some cute things and I've had a blog post in my head about him, but I never feel like I can sit down and do it justice. Soon. Maybe after my announcements arrive I'll write up a great post so you can see his cute picture.

Matt was sick with a cold the week of Dean's birthday. Somehow the rest of us avoided it. Then he got better and within a few days of being better, he got sick again. (The hazards of being a nursery worker at church!) This time Dean and I (and I'm pretty sure Walt) got sick as well. At least it's just chest colds and not the flu. No fevers, just a lot of congestion and runny noses and coughing. And not enough restful sleep.

That's all for now.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Recently I've been trying to figure out how to make my life work like I want it to. I've pretty much given up watching tv in the evenings. I really ought to ban myself from the computer, but I tell you, I feel too isolated that way. I do not like being alone or feeling alone that much. And I do think that blogging is good most of the time since it serves as my journal. There are other time wasters that could be cut out, though.

We're now entering the busiest part of the year where there's almost always a project I need or want to do. I'm currently trying to wrap up Walt's baby announcements. I have the pictures (I really love the picture I decided on) and the cards are mostly finished. I'm only doing 30, and I have a large family, so please don't feel offended if you only get the digital version here on my blog after I've mailed the originals! I figure I should probably get them out before he weighs 20 lbs. (he's at 19 now so I better hurry!!). =) He's almost 3 times his birth weight at 3 months! (a lady at the park yesterday asked how old he was and promptly said, "Wow! He's a hoss!!!" after hearing 3 mo. hehe. southerners.)

After that I have:
  • Thanksgiving to plan and execute.
  • fabric ornaments to make. I think I'm going to try to make a fabric partridge and some pears for our tree this year. And maybe some balls. The inspiration came from here.
  • a fabric tree garland, inspiration found here.
  • Christmas cards. I found one from last year that I started and never finished. I liked it better than I remember liking it at the time so maybe I'll run with it...
  • gifts to plan. Possibly some fabric food. Maybe some animals.
  • Christmas music to find. My selection is far too sparse, and I think Dean will really enjoy Christmas music. Any favorite albums?
  • Baked goods for neighbors and friends. I've never done this and I think I really ought to this year. Caroling and goody plates were some of the best parts of the Christmas season growing up. Not that I could convince Matt to go caroling with me.
Those are just my seasonal items. I really want to cut down on my [wasted] time online and focus more on scripture reading and conference reading as well. I also know I should spend some time looking over what I spend and possibly look into the world of couponing for our groceries. I know I really ought to because you can save a bundle. Lots and lots of my friends are hard core couponers, so I just need to have some training I think. It really just makes my skin crawl just thinking about it, though.

So, if I'm a little sparse, you at least know what I'm up to...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Walt's Blessing

Matt finally blessed Walt today in church. At 3 months and 18+ lbs. he baaaarely was able to squeeze into my father-in-law's christening outfit that all 5 of the Bras(s) grandsons have worn. We actually couldn't snap the last snap on the shorts.

A few of the things we remembered to write down from the blessing were that he would:
  • be a righteous boy
  • have love and charity for his fellow man
  • have a measure of the spirit
  • have a love for the scriptures that would grow
  • have a strong testimony
  • be a good example
We were rushing around this morning to get to church on time. I wasn't able to get my hair straightened (at least I got it blow dried) and Matt didn't get to shave, so we look like a haggard bunch.

All things Halloween

On Friday we took the boys to Scare on the Square (which was totally overcrowded and not worth the hassle) downtown. We dressed Walt in Dean's old bear bunting and Dean was a firefighter. My mother-in-law is a great seamstress and busted it out for us while she was here. It would have taken me as long to get up the gumption to cut out the pattern as it did for her to make the entire thing! Thanks Kris!!

On Saturday we carved 4 pumpkins. Matt carved the "roar" pumpkin and the "crazy eye" pumpkin. I carved the owl (mine) and the "doggie" (Dean's) pumpkins. I don't know why Dean kept calling it the doggie pumpkin, but that's what he thought it was. Later that evening Dean and I went to our ward's trunk-or-treat while Matt and Walt stayed home to take care of trick-or-treaters.

Walt hanging out while we carved pumpkins.

My new glasses that were accidentally transition lenses that I didn't want.
I'm picking up the correct new glasses tomorrow.