Thursday, July 29, 2010

Elias Update

Elias got a lot worse from Monday night to Tuesday morning. When I got him up the rash had moved over nearly his entire body. However, the areas that were the worst Monday were practically clear Tuesday which hinted that the rash was on its way out. And despite his slightly grumpy expression in the photo he didn't seem to be bothered too much by it, maybe a little when he was trying to sleep but otherwise not so much.

And I'm happy to report that the rash miraculously disappeared as fast as it came. With the exception of a few baby pimples on his head his skin is clear. Wow! Thanks so much for your prayers!

On a not so good note, the doctors called to let us know that the blood panel revealed a dairy allergy. Dang it! Part of me if relieved that it wasn't worse but part of me is uber frustrated. At the very least, because of Gideon's allergy, we are familiar with this. Only now it effects MY diet. As long as I breastfeed I can't have dairy either. At least that is what we know right now. We are receiving a referral to the same pediatric allergist that treats Gideon and then we'll know more.

And I thought the roller coaster ride was over. Silly me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not The Same

When I'd hoped to take pictures today to celebrate Elias turning one-month old (which actually happened yesterday but we all agreed to forget about that, remember?) this isn't what I'd intended.

Elias woke up looking like this:

Keeping it g-rated here.

This one was taken with my cell phone at the doctor's office so the quality is poor but it shows a close up of the white circles within the red areas.

Poor baby. :(

It's all over his neck and cheeks too as well as his arms, legs, bum and around his belly button. Oddly there isn't any rash on his chest or back. See how worried he looks (I think he's actually worried that he'll never eat again, he was waiting for his milk at the moment).

The doctor we saw today is concerned to see a rash like this in so young a baby. She sent us straight to the lab to have a CBC and allergy panel done (please pray it's not a cat allergy. I know that sounds odd but Zion will be heartbroken if we have to get rid of Eva and she won't understand at all). In case it's an allergy I'm to stay away from seafood and peanuts. Darn it. But we should get the blood work back in a few days. Until then we have to keep an eye out for blisters or difficulty breathing, both of which would require an ER visit.

I have to say I was a bit nervous having to go to the lab with him. It was so reminiscent of heading there with Gideon when he was so sick a little over a year ago and them not being able to hit a vein. Then having to take him to the ER and having them stick him over and over trying to place the IV and draw blood, then being in the hospital for a week. Ugh. I was ever so grateful when the tech hit a vein on the first try and I told her so. God bless the nurses!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Math

I know why God gave us another son. Because 3 boys = 1 Zion. She is a force to be reckoned with. She is so darn funny. The attention span of a gnat. But really funny.

She loves Elias so much. I let her feed him all by himself the other day. Look at the pride on her face. She loves helping to take care of him.

Later Elias was hanging out on the floor and he spit up. Not a big deal but she got quite alarmed. She yelped "Oh no! Your baby spilled up!" ha ha ha (OK, so probably I'm the only one to think it's so adorable being the mom and all, but still, had to share.)

Today after church we stopped by a local park that we'd yet to visit. It doesn't have much for play equipment, just one slide and one swing, both of which are too big for Gideon though he doesn't agree, but the thing that caught my eye when we would drive by was a sliver of sand on the river under the cover of tall shade trees. Ooo, if the river isn't too fast that would be perfect for wading with the kids. It is confirmed. Kid tested, mother approved! We will be going back.

Even though we weren't prepared for water play we let the kids go in and Gabe surprised us by soaking himself in the river. He was soaked to the skin. I told him he'd have to take his clothes off for the ride home and he obliged by striping right there in the parking lot. I had only meant down to the undies but oh well. When we got home Zion told him, in a very bossy tone (I think bossy is only one of two tones she possesses really) "You need to go in and put some clothes on, Mister Boy!" I snorted in laughter. On the inside only of course. She seriously doesn't need encouragement in the bossiness area.


On another note, Elias turned ONE MONTH OLD today! Wow. Time flies! Doesn't everybody with a newborn say that? I know I've probably said it every time. Oh well. It makes it no less true. I had great ambitions for the day but between waking, nursing, churching, lunching, wading, nursing, and heading out to my knitting group I totally failed to take pictures of him today. So tomorrow (I hope) to take pictures and later we won't mention that they are actually one-month and one-day pictures.

He's nursing a bit better and still getting supplemented with some formula (but I just bought a better breast pump which I hope will both help increase my supply and give me extra milk to supplement with) but I confess, I'm a chicken and haven't had him in to check his weight. Neither my doctor or my midwife said I needed to but I feel like I should still I'm just afraid. I'm a dork, I know. He's doing really well in all other aspects though so I'm trying to worry about the numbers. Anyway, stay tuned for what I hope to be some really cute pictures. :)

p.s. I'm watching The Goonies right now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jameson's Fourth Heavenly Birthday Party

Another July has come and another opportunity to celebrate the life of my nephew Jameson and to raise funds for the lending library that is in his name at the ARC (which you can make a donation to if you'd like).

He was lovely and special and he touched lives where ever he went and he lived a full life in his short five years.

Now he's gone and all we have are memories so once a year we get together to celebrate his life.

We write messages to Jameson on paper and attach them to balloons to send up to Heaven.

Messages written and awaiting the countdown for release.

3, 2, 1, let 'em go!

My cousin Cheryl and Elias get to have a one-on-one about future grandbabies (mostly, how hard it is to wait for them - the conversation was somewhat one sided).

Gideon's favorite thing to do is bury cars in gravel and find them again.

Zion would probably be hard pressed to decide if her favorite part is access to a bunch of sweets or...

...playing with one of her best friends, Abby.

There was also live entertainment this year. Besides karaoke and Rock Band that is. May Palmer, the Queen of Soul has an amazing spirit and an even better voice.

She provided lots of opportunity for laughter and dancing.

Gideon wasn't sure what to think of the volume but he couldn't hold out and started drumming the table.

Elias, on the other hand, pretty much slept the whole time.

Ahoy, mateys!

Gabe found a friend there named Luke who also had short blond hair and a grey shirt and I kept mixing the two up all day. Gideon has found a different patch of gravel to bury toys in.

Elias and I found a nice place to hunker down (he's under the blanket - the blanket that I knit for him) toward the end to just listen to the music and watch everybody have fun.

Oooo, Jessa's got a boyfriend. ;)

A good friend of the family is Billy. My kids adore him. Gabe especially because Billy saved the day when they were staying at my sister's when Elias was born and her Wii wouldn't play her new game. A game that Gabe had been chomping at the bit to play. So Billy brought his Wii over along with a black controller (super cool in Gabe's mind) and made it work.

At the end, donning pajamas and a very sleepy stare, Zion can still get some hip action going. The funniest thing is, I didn't even know she had hip action.

And there ends another perfect celebration of a perfect life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Final Tally

I'm removing the poll about "Baby D's" gender today. 20 of you voted girl (that's OK, I did too) and 5 of you voted boy. Well, technically there was a sixth vote for boy but it was made AFTER Elias was born so it doesn't count! Thank you to everyone who voted. Off to feed the baby.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Attention Please!

I just want to call your attention to the side bar. I finally got around to taking new pictures of the kids to update their blurbs. It's a sad fact that Gideon's picture was almost two years old.

Yes. Seriously.

But it was just so darn cute.


We had a great day today. There was so much potential for a not so great day. Mostly because Rob returned to work today. That means nobody to make breakfast for the kids while I nurse the baby. Nobody to get the kids dressed while I nurse the baby. Nobody to bring me a snack while I nurse the baby. Nobody to address sibling rivalry while I nurse the baby.

You get the picture.

But we received a miracle today. Elias actually slept while I made breakfast. We watched Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and then I took them to the library! And I left home with four kids and I came home with four kids and they were even the same kids. Woohoo! Most importantly everything was calm and fun. The kids were super thrilled to get to pick out a video and Gabe discovered there is such a thing as Nintendo Power magazine and all it talks about is video games (shocker!) and Zion found Disney Princess magazine.

Then we grabbed lunch at Wendy's, that was the funnest part of the day for Gideon I think. Came home and it was naptime for Gideon and he was really excited about that. I love it when he looks forward to his naps. I guess I kind of am living vicariously through him when it comes to naps. I'd love one. Or five.

The whole day just went really smoothly and I got to go to a women's Bible study tonight and the study is The Power Of A Positive Mom. I'm loving it!

Hoping that tomorrow is just as wonderful.

Still Hot To Trot

And no, I'm not talking about me and Rob. That's a whole 'nother post. I'm talking about an Arab mare who is 42 years old. If you're confused, I'm talking about a horse. Most non-horse people think 20 is old for a horse. Horse people know 20 can still be prime for a horse and think that 30 is getting up there. Regardless, 42 is definitely something to write home about - or at least write on your blog about. And the real kicker is this mare is still going strong, riding on trails pretty much daily, carrying full grown men as well as packing kids around. Just goes to show, when you take good care of them how well they can do. I love stories like this. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back At The Trek

Last Friday we had a play date lined up with a little girl that Zion loves to play with. Wouldn't you know, the night before said girl comes down with a fever and spots. So not OK to have her come around Elias. Zion took it in stride. She was sad at first but then reported back to me that it wouldn't be good to have her little friend come over when she was sick because then she (Zion) could get sick too. Yep. Darn tootin'. So at the last moment we took off to one of our favorite animal viewing venues, NW Trek.

I counted on having a bit of fun. I didn't count on it being so dang hot. Blech! Too hot for my pale self and my pale kids. We are so totally English and Swedish and Irish and whatnot. Way too many -ishes to be at all made for the sun. So we slathered with sun screen. A little too much apparently because at only our third stop to see our furred and feathered friends Zion started screaming. Turns out she had some sunscreen left on her face and she accidentally rubbed it into her eye. Oh my goodness, I know how much that burns. Poor thing. I tried to wipe it out with water on Elias' burp cloth. No good. Especially since she continued to rub which only got more in her eye. I had to wrestle her arms down and rub what was left on her face into her skin but she just kept crying and rubbing and and I only have two hands - ahhh! Then I poured some of our water into her eye to flush it and I thought we were ready to continue but a minute or so later she's still rubbing and started crying again and saying she couldn't see. Talk about a heart stopper for a moment while I tried to clarify what she meant by that. Regardless it was clear that we needed a bit of help so we sought out the first aid station.

We were lucky that they had a handy bottle of eye wash and between Rob and I we were able to flush out her eye enough to make her feel better. Her eye and face remained red the rest of the trip but at least she wasn't crying anymore and we could continue. To make the most of our short time left we hopped on the tram. Spring and summer is the time for babies dontcha know.

A little mountain goat baby.

And a little bison baby (not a buffalo - a bison mind you).

And all of my own babies including little Elias who got to ride in the Moby Wrap for the first time. Unfortunately, he didn't get to stay long as we both got WAY too hot. But he was happy while he was in there.

As it happens we were sitting across from another family who had a 5-year old boy and a 3-year old girl. She became fast friends with Zion and they chatted the entire time as little ladies will tend to do and hardly noticed the animals as we drove by.

There was also this gorgeous elk and his ginormous rack. Holy cow, look at the size of those things. I'm always amazed how they don't just tip forward under the weight.

Gideon got a little giddy at the end. He will do that when he feels like he's gotten away with something naughty like not getting put down for a nap. It can only last so long though. Shortly after I snapped this he snapped himself and became obsessed with wanting to walk around the tram and a fit ensued. I prefer to think about this cheeky grin though.

After getting off the tram we were all hot and tired and needed to get home so we skipped the rest of the park and headed out. A fun, oddly adventurous kind of day. Especially when on the way home Rob thought he'd find a backroad to get us home "faster". I'll leave the rest up to your imagination. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two-Weeks Old

Should we sing Happy Birthday? OK, maybe not. But how 'bout a couple of pictures then.

The two of us got to hang out on the patio swing for a little while tonight after it had cooled off a bit. He seems to like being outside.

After dinner he takes a snooze in his bouncy seat. So cozy and peaceful. Terribly cute as well if I do say so myself.
We had him at the doctor again yesterday for a weight check among other things. I was disappointment to find out he'd only gained about an ounce and half. That is about half of what they expect babies to gain in the same amount of days. We had our regular pediatrician though and he is not worried. He doesn't get worked up about weight gain as long as everything else looks good. I wouldn't say I'm worried but I do wish he'd gain better. Mostly because of my supply issues. Weight gain always has me second guessing myself. If he gained better I would be less inclined to do so. But right now he's all bright eyed and busy watching the little fish on the toy bar of his bouncy seat so I guess he's doing well.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family Fun Day!

We had a day free of appointments so we went out to have some fun. We started off by having breakfast for lunch at IHOP. I confess that the advertisements for their new dishes celebrating the movie Despicable Me (which looks totally cute!) have been tempting me and Rob for a while now. The kids had a great time. Gideon spent most of the time bouncing on the bench seat with half a slice of french toast in his hand (powdered sugar, no syrup). Zion and Gabe got MinionAde with their meals. Rob and I stole sips, it was super yummy.

Then we stopped at Walmart to pick up a pool. The one we've had for a couple of years broke. Naturally Walmart was sold out of anything that wasn't HUGE.

So then we went to Target.


We finished at Target just in time to hit the movie theater. Elias' first movie ever was Toy Story 3. Granted, he won't remember it but he was a very good boy and nursed or slept the entire time. A huge relief to everyone in the theater I'm sure since he was screaming when we walked in (he hates his car seat so far). I'm pretty sure I felt a few eye rolls in the room when we walked in. Gideon, Zion and Gabe were darting about finding seats, Elias was screaming, Rob and I were burdened with snacks, drinks, car seat and diaper bag. All we needed were a few minutes to settle in though and we were golden.

I absolutely loved looking down the row of seats that we occupied to see all three of my oldest babes, their faces aglow from the screen, eyes wide in amazement. They were SO good the whole movie - and it was a LONG movie! Toy Story 3 itself was a pretty good flick. I especially liked the ending but I won't spoil it for you. There was a moment or two that might have been a titch scary but the kids didn't let it bother them and at one point Zion was overcome with emotion and shouted at the characters some advice as to what they should do to get out of their predicament. It was so super cute.

After leaving the theater we headed for home and Rob got the honor of blowing up the new pool. What a guy! This one has a little shower and slide. I hope I won't regret getting the darn thing since now that pretty much means the kids can't play outside without supervision (Gideon is just a bit too young still to not watch around the water). I guess I will be making a home for myself on the patio swing again. Not such a bad place to hang out, especially now that summer weather has FINALLY hit Washington.

Suddenly it was bedtime. Funny how it sneaks up on you sometimes. Now if only I could get myself to go to bed when we put the kids down...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Random Pictures

Ah, some of my favorite posts are my random photo posts. I hope you like them too.

This is the photo I mentioned the other day. Elias is one week old this day and Zion is just in love. She is a sweet and caring big sister and seems to have forgotten that she was hoping for a little sister instead. Yesterday in the car Elias started to cry. Zion told him "Don't worry, baby, we're almost home." Then when we got home he stopped crying and she said "See, I told you it would be OK." Her words are so tender and sweet.

Rob gave me a pedicure for Mother's Day. I've never had one before and I was SO excited. I planned it for a weekend when I thought it would still leave me with pretty toes while I was in the hospital. I chose a bright purple called "Let's Grove". I think this may just start an obsession with pedicures. It was really amazing, so relaxing and of course the gal who did them did a way more amazing job than I could have done even if I could have reached me toes (bear in mind that this photo was taken weeks after they were done so they don't look as nice as they did at first).

We have been blessed with a number of our friends bringing us meals since we came home from the hospital. Nora, Matthew and the kids were the first and brought some super yummy pork stew and blessed us more with their company at dinner too. Matthew really loves babies so we let him get a fix while they were over. Seems like a super good deal to me.

One of my most favorite things is a baby in what we call the "little bean" position. You know, with their knees all tucked up and cuddly they look like little kidney beans. This was the day we came home. Boy, his hair looks red! Sometimes it looks brown, sometimes a darker blond. He'll need more hair before we will be able to tell what color it will stay.

We purchased in advance a little gifts from the new baby to each of the kids. Gabe got a small Lego kit that makes a fire engine, Zion got a new My Little Pony and Gideon got a Lightning McQueen play mat. Later Rob took the kids out and they each got to pick out something little for their new sibling to welcome him to the family.

Grandpa Jim (my dad) getting to meet his fourth grandson for the first time.

Zion getting to meet her new little brother for the first time.

Gideon is meeting Elias for the first time too but seems to be afraid of him. No worries, he's since gotten over it. He's not super in to his little bro but he's not afraid. One time since we have all been home together Elias was crying really hard and Gideon started to cry too. He kept saying over and over "I don't want it!" Poor little guy. We asked "do you not want the baby to cry?" and he said, so pitifully "yeah." Aw, poor little guy, he was just so sad to hear the baby cry. We are thankful that Elias doesn't cry very often and Gideon seems to now understand that it's OK. Ever since we added Zion to our family and Gabe was concerned with the crying we've told our kids that babies cry because they don't know any words yet and that it's OK when it happens and they aren't bothered nearly as much.
Elias and I had a bit of a rough weekend. His ability to nurse kept getting worse and worse until finally over Friday night he quit nursing entirely. He was clearly hungry but just wouldn't latch on. So Saturday morning he and I went to see a Lactation Consultant. She helped us figure out that Elias only wanted to latch while in a vertical position. Imagine me perched on the edge of a chair holding him as he dangles between my legs and letting him find me to latch on all by himself. Yeah. If you are picturing this correctly you can imagine how uncomfortable this is for one of us. She gave me some other helpful tips about getting Elias' latch to improve. As it was, it didn't matter how long he nursed, he just wasn't moving milk. So after getting to the point on Friday where I thought we'd have to give up entirely we are doing much better now. He is latching better and that has enabled me to gradually get to the point where we can nurse in other positions and get rid of the darn plastic shield we were using. Now I just have to get my supply up so we can ditch the occasional formula bottle we are having to give. Today he had a weight check and was only up an ounce since Friday. It's not as much as we'd hoped but at least he isn't losing any more. We'll have him at the doctor again on Thursday so let's hope for a big jump by then!

Friday, July 2, 2010

1-Week Old Today

...and I forgot to take a picture. OK, I did take one of Zion holding Elias. It's really cute. It's still in my camera. But here's some cute for you:

Eva seemed to double in cuteness while I was in the hospital.

And double in size. She still can't compete with Elias though, bigger and cuter.

All of our cats seem to realize there are good cuddles to be had when one of us settles down with a baby. It's always been that way.
Things are going pretty well with the little guy. He sleeps pretty well at night. Sleeps so well he will not wake up for anything when he's not ready. This does not bode well for when he starts school (he's going to need like 5 alarm clocks) but for now it's hard to get him to gain weight when he misses what could be 2 or 3 nursings. I would try to make up for them during the day but he won't have it. He also has a bad latch. Bad latch = not getting as much milk per nursing and a TON of pain for me. I have not had such a hard time with this with any of my kids. There's always a period of soreness and with Zion a lot of frustration because she didn't much care for the work nursing took and got fed up but nothing like this wretchedness. Sore, bruised, bleeding, crying, massive amount of pain that doesn't go all the way away in between nursings.
He has lost a lot of weight, down to just about 9 pounds and hasn't started gaining yet. *sigh* He is alert when he is awake, has the right amount of pees and poos and all that. Zion did this. Gideon lost more than average but bounced back quickly. If only we could get in some more nursings and if he was better at latching on so he could get more for his effort (calories in needs to be more than calories out and all that)...
His jaundice is better though. We had to have him at the doctors on Tuesday for a recheck and back again today. The doctor didn't feel the need to retest him since his skin had cleared up enough. Small victories though I feel frustrated that I've had four babies and I've yet to just be able to rest and recover. Something always happens that keeps us running back and forth to the doctors almost every day.
Even today after we got back from Elias' doctor appointment and grabbed some lunch Rob had to take Zion to the walk-in clinic. When she was with my sister (all the kids got to stay with Jamie for a few days when we came home, it was awesome for us and them) she pulled a door over her toe and flipped the nail back and took off some skin. This morning she started fussing about it big time in a new way so I knew something was up. Luckily, it doesn't seem to be broken but likely some infection was starting to set in so she's on antibiotics now and seems to feel better already.
Most likely it's just the baby blues talkin' but I'd so wished that this pregnancy and delivery and recovery would be free of complications and I'd just be able to enjoy. I guess that sort of thing wasn't meant for me. Tomorrow is Saturday. Perhaps we can stay out of the doctor's office for a day.
On a different note, Gabe realized that it was July today. He remembered that we set off fireworks on the Fourth. It was unexpected. Suddenly I realized that I have a child old enough to remember holiday traditions like that. It's going to get harder to skip these things when we just don't feel like it. So tomorrow we'll head out for diapers (those newborns sure go through 'em) and fireworks. Small ones. Little flowers and bees and things. Remember those?

Oh dear, I hear a baby over the monitor. Gotta go.