May 30, 2007


In the last hour, I've:

  • Nursed Katie
  • Changed her clothes after she spit up all over
  • Changed my clothes after she spit up all over
  • Pulled the sheets off of our bed and put them in the washer (see above...)
  • Folded two loads of laundry
  • Changed a horribly poopy diaper
  • Made a pot of coffee
  • Checked my email.
And I wonder why I'm so tired at the end of the day.

May 28, 2007

In Memory

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 2007-05-28). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.

For me (and I think many others), Memorial Day is also a day to remember important people who have passed on, regardless of military experience. It's a day to visit cemeteries and to revisit memories you acquired of said people. It's a day to reflect on how they impacted your life and how much they're missed.

My grandfather is one of those important people that I think of on this day. He was in the Air Force and served for many years, but was not killed in the line of duty. I was lucky in that he passed away after living what I hope he found to be a very full life. He was my inspiration to do many of the things that I have done. From an early age he always encouraged me to work hard and to do everything I wanted to do. After my Mom, he was the one I called with all of my accomplishments -- ACT scores, acceptance to Michigan State, scholarship awards. He'd always tell me how proud he was of how hard I worked and the things I was accomplishing. This spurred me on to work even harder. It meant the world to me that he and my grandmother made the trip from Florida to Michigan for my High School graduation.

Unless you knew him, it's hard to understand why he was such a role model. For me, he was the epitome of strength and perseverance. He was a diabetic who had to give himself insulin shots everyday; he survived numerous open heart surgeries, a stroke and had a pacemaker put in while I was a senior in High School (that trip in itself will never be forgotten -- "I can't believe we're in Cincinnatti..."); he lost one kidney to cancer...But he never let any of this slow him down. He was an avid hunter who won many awards running 'coon dogs. In the years before his death, he worked as a golf course ranger in the sticky Florida summers.

To this day I remember vividly my mom calling me at work that summer day in July of 1997. She asked me to meet her at home and in my heart I knew what was wrong. I remember driving, literally about 90 miles an hour to get home. My sisters were there and were surprised that I was home and that I was so shaken up; I don't think my mom had called them. I don't remember much of the conversation but as my mom made arrangements for us to fly to Florida, I drove down to my Dad's to tell him. My body was racked with sobs and I could barely get the words out. He held me tightly and let me cry. I still had on my work clothes and I ended up with grease on my dress from my dad -- he'd been working on a tractor when I pulled in. I flew all the way from Detroit to Florida with that grease spot on my shoulder. It never did come out of the fabric...Funny the little things you remember...

He wasn't around physically for my wedding, for my graduations from college, or for the birth of my daughter. But I know that he was there. I know that he is proud of me for the things I've done. I just hope he knows how important he was, and still is, to me.

Memorial Day is also a day that I remember the babies that I've lost. Two years ago, through many tears, I acknowledged my heartache with this...

It had only been 4 weeks since that dreadful night in the emergency room but the wound was still very raw. The pregnancy had started out very well. I conceived on my 5th round of clomid; initial bloodwork showed my hcg levels to be increasing perfectly. On Thursday, April 28th, I had my first prenatal appointment in which everything looked great. My body was still showing all signs of a perfect, healthy pregnancy. I tried to push for an ultrasound that day but the doctor dismissed the idea since my history didn't warrant it. He warned that I might experience some spotting after the exam but that it wasn't anything to be concerned about. The next day the spotting began, but was light brown, old blood. No need for worry. At least that's what I tried to tell myself. It got heavier as Friday progressed, heavier yet on Saturday, but still brown. Sunday early afternoon it turned red. I laid on the couch, not saying much to C, and cried. In my heart I knew. About 8pm the cramping began and through a veil of tears, I told C we needed to head to the hospital.

At the hospital they tried finding a heartbeat with the doppler and were unsuccessful. At just over 8 weeks gestation, this was a long shot as it was. They drew blood to check my hcg levels and ordered an ultrasound to see where the bleeding was coming from. Since it was a Sunday and a small hospital, we had to wait for the ultrasound technician to arrive. They wheeled me down the hallway and I was numb to the sounds around me. The ultrasound room was set up horribly. The bed was next to the wall, with the machine on the right hand side. There was no room for C to stand next to me and hold my hand. He stood at the foot of the bed and watched the computer screen intently. The only sound in the room was the clicking of the machine as the tech measured the size of the baby...

Click, click, click...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...
"Are you sure that you're 8 weeks along?"...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...

I couldn't see the computer screen so I stared at C's face to watch for a sign. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and shook his head. The floodgates opened and I began to cry.

The tech told us that he couldn't find a heartbeat and if my dates were correct, there should be one at 8 weeks. The baby was only measuring 5 weeks, 3 days. He kept saying that perhaps my dates were wrong and everything would be okay. Back in my room, the doctor kept repeating the same thing. I tried to tell him that I knew my dates were right, not only because of the clomid (and tracking my ovulation) but because of the initial hcg levels. But he wouldn't listen and I was too exhausted to try to get it through his head. They diagnosed me as a threatened miscarriage and told me to call my OB in the morning. I didn't say a word to C as he helped me get dressed and into the truck. I knew that if I looked at him, I would completely lose it. At home there was a message from the ER doctor on our machine, telling us that my hcg levels were only at 3300 and they should be ten times that by now. He expressed his sympathy and said that a loss was inevitable. I hung up the phone and collapsed on the kitchen floor.

Monday morning brought the most difficult aspect of all -- making phone calls. I called my boss before she was in the office and left a message on her voice mail, telling her what had happened and I'd be out for a few days. Then came the calls to my parents. My mom was the hardest, my dad being only slightly less difficult. I asked them to pass along the news to the rest of our family. C fielded calls to his folks, asking them to relay the message as well. After that we shut off the phone and let calls go to voicemail. My OB's office got me in that afternoon and we scheduled a D&C for Wednesday, May 3rd.

4 weeks later, I was still consumed by my grief. I longer to find a way to help ease the pain. The tattoo is one that I designed myself, with my angel in mind and was placed on my left hip. I cried the entire forty-five minutes it took to get done. I'm sure the artist thought that I was just a wimp who couldn't handle the pain. I guess in some ways, that was the truth...

May 25, 2007

Big Girl Bath

I'm sure that one day she'll hate me for this, but it's just too cute to resist...

Quiet Time

Why is it that the best thoughts come to me in the middle of the night when I'm lying in bed listening to KT through the baby monitor? I think of beautifully written, eloquent posts and catchy titles to go with them. Topics that are interesting, witty and funny. But when I drag myself out of bed the next morning they disappear as fog does when the rays of the morning sun hit it.

I've really had stuff to say lately. Stuff that doesn't involve cranky babies or random tales of parenting. When I log in to Blogger (which I have done 2-3 times a day for the past week) it all just disintegrates. I can't put together sentences to save my life. It sounds like boring, mindless drivel that no one would want to read. Stuff that I don't even want to read, heaven forbid think about posting. So I haven't. Instead I tab back to Out!ook Express and hope that something for work has come up and will occupy my thoughts.

There really is a lot going on right now. A lot that's bouncing around inside my head. I'm just not finding it easy to get the thoughts out. Why is it that when you have things to say you often have the hardest time saying them?

And like always, I can hear the baby stirring in her crib...


May 22, 2007

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

There hasn't been much that I've bought for KT that I could classify as having "splurged" on. Most of the time when I've bought her clothes I've shopped at Target, Old Navy or Wal-Mart. When I wanted stuff that was a little bit better quality I've watched for them to be on sale from places like GAP, Children's Place, Gymboree, etc. We bought her a middle-of-the-road crib from Target. Same with everything else that we registered for -- infant carrier, stroller(s), pack 'n play, swing. Everything is of good quality and had really good ratings and reviews but wouldn't break the bank. (Excluding our bike trailer purchase last weekend; but I'm classifying that as C's splurge. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket)

So anyways, when Cris got some unexpected bonus money a month ago I decided to do something very atypical of me. It was delivered yesterday and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE it! I also bought the matching changing pad and diaper carrier, but didn't get pics of them.

Based on KT's taste test -- looks like a winner with her as well!

May 19, 2007

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Technically, it's not a buggy. It's a bike trailer.

And now it resides in our garage.

May 16, 2007

Some Sleep

KT seems to be doing better today. She slept almost 11 hours last night, with only one brief interruption for a pacifier reinsertion. KT, C and myself all woke up in much better spirits today. We were all suffering from the lack of sleep. Her nose is still stuff/snotty but she's not sneezing anymore and isn't very cranky at all.

Me on the other hand -- I feel like I got run over by a truck. I can feel the head cold settling in nicely. Hopefully we don't just pass it around the family.

May 15, 2007


After posting last Thursday, I made the executive decision to get KT into the doctor's office a day early. A quick check of her ears and throat and I was told that she does indeed have a sore throat (and a low-grade fever) but her ears looked okay. It didn't look like strep, yet, but to give her Ty!enol if she was uncomfortable and make sure she got plenty of fluids and plenty of rest.

Constant doses of Ty!enol on Thursday and Friday gave us a fairly well tempered baby again. Saturday brought the beginnings of a snotty nose and some sneezing; Sunday was full on congestion, runny/snotty nose, sneezing, some coughing and difficult breathing. Naps have been frequent, although very short in duration. The congestion makes it difficult for her to breathe so she snorts and gasps for air, while thrashing about in her crib. 20-30 minutes it about all that her little body can take and she's back up for another stretch.

Nighttimes are horrible. Last night she went down easily at 8pm and slept until 11:30. From 11:30 until about 4am she slept in fitful bursts of about 15 minutes -- thrashing about and struggling to get a good breath. Every time she woke she'd cry and need me to get her calmed back down. About 1am I headed to the guest bedroom and laid her in bed next to me. I figured that it would be easier to console her if she was next to me, than to get up out of bed every 15 minutes. I dozed off an on the entire time. Each of her movements would jar me awake. Somewhere around 4am, exhaustion overtook both of us and we fell asleep. Perhaps it just overtook me and I was too comatose to notice she still wasn't sleeping well.

C woke us up shortly after 7am. Technically Logan woke up up. C was coming downstairs to check on us and Logan didn't listen to his "stay" command and bounded down to the guest room, waking both KT and I. After a diaper change and a somewhat fully belly we both snuggled back into another cycle of fitful sleep until 9. We're both beat today. I can see it in her eyes. But I also see a hesitation to give into that exhaustion because of the difficulties of last night.

I've got a call into the nurse at the pediatrician's office but am waiting to hear back. At what point do I just demand an appointment?

To top it all off, my body has decided to play a cruel joke on me and is trying to kick start itself again after 15 months (to the day). So now I'm dealing with a cranky/sick baby, exhaustion, cramps, a headache and a drop in my milk supply. Fun, fun, fun...

May 13, 2007

To My Wonderful Friends!

May 10, 2007

SAS and Crankiness

As in SAS, I don't mean the kind where you talk back to your mom. I mean the kind (Statistical Analysis Software) that makes you curse at your computer, curse at yourself and curse at the data. That's a whole lotta cursing going on! SAS is a very powerful statistics program and it's generally used by people in sciences. Unlike doing statistics in other programs, i.e. Excel, Minitab or possibly SPSS (I'm not exactly sure about how this program is run), you have to write the programming code in order to get the data. Like old school web page design where you had to write out all the HTML code. It's not a "point and click" kinda thing and small syntax errors cause huge problems when trying to run data sets.

The past 3 days I've been muddling my way through data from two experiments that concluded last fall. Both were projects that spanned multiple growing seasons and there is some dissension among collaborators in regards to how the data should be handled. I've struggled to get my ideas across to others; struggled to get the stupid program to run how I want it; and struggled just to find chunks of time where I can actually work on it. Unfortunately, SAS is the type of program than in order to be proficient in it you really need to work with it routinely. More routinely than I do. Plus I always need 10-15 minutes to get my mind back into what I'm doing. So when I only have chunks of 30-45 minutes here and there to work on stuff, it isn't very efficient.

As for the crankiness. Holy cow! KT has been a bear the last few days. So bad that last night C remarked that he didn't know how I dealt with her all day -- he'd only had 2 hours with her last night before bed and he was at his wit's end. She's still sleeping for 45 minute stretches at a time. But that's only when I can get her to sleep. She'll usually take a quick morning siesta, but then fight naps the rest of the day. Going from 9:30am on with no naps does not make for a pleasant KT or a pleasant Mommy! Yesterday was total hell. She screams when you try to lay her down but you can tell just by looking at her that she's so tired. I've tried everything I know to do and she just won't sleep. I'm unsure if it's just a phase, if it's teething or if it's an ear infection. Her 6-month checkup is tomorrow so we'll see what the doc says when we're there.

How come babies don't come with an LCD display that tells you what's wrong before they can talk??

By the way -- between the SAS and the crankiness -- that's why I haven't been "around" much the last few days.

May 5, 2007

No Way, Jose!

Today we had planned as a family to do the March of Dimes Walk in honor of Katie's friends, Victoria and Avery. I woke up an hour ago to hear the wind howling and see the snow blowing.



The first weekend of May! Sorry guys, but this baby girl isn't gonna be walking today. We'll still send C in to submit our money. I think though we'll have to find another way to have fun on Cinco de Mayo!

May 3, 2007

Reversed Gender Roles

I'm sure that last night solidified the fact that most of our neighbors think we're nuts. (I'm sure they also think we're irreverent heathens, but that's besides the point.) Why do they think we're nuts? Because after C got out of work last night, I was outside mowing the lawn while he was "parenting" the baby. Most people would think this was backwards. That I should be inside tending kids while the man of the house is outside doing manual labor. Not how it works around here.

And no. I didn't lose a bet. I asked to mow the lawn. He gladly conceded the responsibility (C hates to do the mowing/trimming). Part of my desire to mow lawn stemmed from the fact that I didn't mow at ALL last summer because of the pregnancy, hyperemesis and modified bedrest.

I've always really enjoyed doing yard work -- even if I didn't show it as a kid growing up. Must have to do with that whole "being one with nature". I think it also has to do with being able to see tangible results of your hard work. When you start, the yard is a mess; when you finish, the yard looks pretty.

Both of my parents have big yards. The kind where it takes a good chunk of the afternoon and you have to use the riding mower, the push mower and the trimmer to get it all done. I always found that time so relaxing. I loved being by myself with my own thoughts. Being able to sing at the top of your lungs and no one could hear you over the engine of the mower/trimmer. Seeing the results of your hard work when you were done. Last night I just really needed some time by myself with my own thoughts. I also needed to see immediate results of my efforts.

I feel like lately I'm spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I also have a ton of things bouncing around in my head that need to be sorted out. I'm not sure if I got anything sorted out, but after two hours the yard looked fantastic and I was too tired to care.

May 2, 2007


KT's been rolling over like a madwoman today. 5-6 times for me this morning; twice for Cris at lunch; 2 more times for me just after he left. Anyone know if there is a correlation between developmental milestones and sleep regression? I thought I had read somewhere that there was...

The Tables are Turning

(Nah -- she's still not napping well. Almost got ya, didn't I?? *wink*)

Over the last 8 years that C and I have been together, we've slowly been purchasing "good" furniture. Not the kind you'd find in a dorm room or college apartment but real, expensive furniture. It's been piece by piece and has slowly come together. Moving into the house last fall pushed us into purchasing the furniture for the office and buying a new dresser for the master bedroom.

The only major item we had left to buy was a new kitchen/dining room table. We don't have a separate dining room so we just have one table. No need to have anything fancy. The table we had was quite a piece of work. We had bought it at a garage sale back in the summer of 1999 when we were living in Wisconsin. The couple we bought it from were older and were selling their house and moving to an apartment. They'd had the table for years, so there is no telling exactly how old it is. It's in pretty sad shape too. The dogs (while in their destructive puppy years) chewed on the legs of the table and the chairs. So everything has teeth indentations and scratches. Of the four original chairs, only 2 are still "alive". The table top also has those white marks on the wood -- the kind that develop from having something too hot placed on it. Years ago when I was canning one fall I put my hot canning jars on the table to cool. I had 3 layers of heavy bath towels on top of the table but it still left nice white rings from the jars. At one point I had discussed refinishing the set so that it looked nicer but quickly decided it wasn't worth it for a table we bought before we were married for $50.

With our tax return this year, I made the executive decision that we would finally buy a new table. This would complete our furniture collection (with the exemption of a couple of end tables and night stands that are needed) and bring everything in our house up to date. And up to our taste. After being on order for four weeks, this is what we now have in our kitchen!

At some point too, we can finally host family dinners as it extends out to 96". All we're missing now is enough family to fill all that space!

May 1, 2007

Nap Regression

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all ended up with the same results: one morning nap that lasted from 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the rest of the day's naps were about 45 minutes each, occurring about every 2 1/2 hours.

Yesterday and today, we're back to our old schedule. No more than 45 minutes of sleep at a time. There has been no change in anything we've done. Bedtimes are the same; morning wake up times have slowly been creeping earlier and earlier. She was wide awake at 6:15 this morning.

I'm totally confused and out of ideas. I thought that maybe we had set a pattern and we were on the right track. Guess not. Looks like we're back to square one and we'll start all over.

This must be one of those "trying" times of parenthood that people talk about.


I know, I know, if this is the worst I have to deal with, I'm lucky. Still stinks though.