Monday, February 28, 2011

Craig and I started noticing that Evie prefers looking to the right and pretty much always faces that way. If we face her head the other way she'll move it back to the right within a few seconds. I thought uh-oh, something's up. 
I brought her back to the chiropractor last Friday to see what's going on. She had been at 3 days old and the Dr wanted to see her again to work on some stuff but we couldn't afford it at $30 a pop. But now she obviously needs it.

The Dr said her neck muscle on the right side was really tight, much tighter than a baby's muscle should ever be. She adjusted her neck and back and worked on her skull bones also (they are slightly lopsided in the front). She recommended that we roll up a thin blanket and place it along her right side at night to force her to look left, and also do the same thing in her carseat. And also to massage that neck muscle when we can to help her loosen up. She faces right so often that her head bones in the back have even shaped to the one side a little. Not a huge deal honestly and I think a lot of babies have little weird things like this and they grow out of it or whatever, but I just wanted to deal with it now if we can.

Now that I'm conscientious of what is going on, it's much easier to correct the problem. I switched sides on the bed with Craig so that I would be on her left. I knew she wouldn't want to always face left if she still smelled mommy and the milk on the right (and yes, she is still co-sleeping most nights). Since then she's done great facing the left. Same thing in her swing and carseat. I'm noticing she is able to look both directions much easier. And it's only been 3 days. Yay! We see Joella Pettigrew of JP Chiropractic in Port Orchard. She is Webster Certified and specializes in pregnancy and childhood chiropractic care. She made a huge difference in my pregnancy also. Sadly, I think I'll need to switch to someone else because it's a long drive from Poulsbo, once we're moved, and she doesn't bill insurance (she'll give you a superbill though). I believe Molina/DSHS needs to be billed by the chiropractor in order for them to pay.

And then there's Eliana. She's in a "refuse to nap" phase. Not my favorite. Today is day 4 I think of no naps. I put her down at 1 or 2 like normal but she just cries or screams. Today she cried for over 30 minutes (I went in once to calm her and remind her it was nap time) and now she is in her crib talking and singing to herself. Yes that still equals quiet time but she will be a wreck by 6pm tonight and that's the bummer. The last couple nights she just started crying around 5:30 or 6 out of exhaustion. I've made her wait til 7 to go to bed, but maybe I should put her down at 6 and see what happens. I'm praying this is a phase and I believe it is considering she still clearly needs naps. And she's not even 2 1/2 yet! I also believe that a toddler taking a nap is just as important for the mom as it is for the toddler :) And I suppose if she handled not napping well I'd just move on from naps and it would give my schedule some freedom- but the meltdowns and crankiness tell me she is not ready to move on.

Also along the lines of sleep (or lack thereof) is Evie. Ever since getting sick she hasn't slept well. In fact, she was getting up every 1-2 hours at night. For an almost 3 month old I think that's a little insane. She's over 15lbs, there's no way she needs to eat that often! I let her eat or just rocked her if she wasn't hungry, but my point is that as the mother, when you are being woken up that often and never have a chance for a REM sleep cycle- you start to feel like you are going crazy. Seriously. Sleeping in 1 hour pieces and being awake 30 min -1 hour in between doesn't work.
Last night was a lot better. She didn't go to sleep til 9:30pm, but then only woke 2x to eat. Much better. I'm praying she can get back to where she was prior to being sick which was a 5-7 hour sleep stretch and then 1 or 2 feedings. Mama needs to feel human again!

I haven't talked about nursing much lately, but rest assured it's going great. She is still exclusively breastfed. I would like to try and get some milk stored up in the freezer just in case I need it, but I've been putting it off because of my oversupply. When you pump your body sees it as another feeding and will increase supply to keep up with that demand. As it is, poor lil' Evie still chokes/gags on my forceful letdown 1-3 times a day. I don't want to make that worse! I tried again to feed laying down in bed last week and she choked, again, so I went back to our usual- which is me sitting up to nurse her so I can catch her from choking faster. So, at this point she has not received a bottle and gets her feedings only directly from me. I also heard at LLL last year that for women with PCOS, pumping is not the best idea. To keep a good supply women with PCOS should be primarily feeding from the breast. Maybe once we're moved I can try to get some milk stored up. I also will start thinking strongly about potty training Eliana once we're moved. I don't see the point right now since she's not even 2 1/2 (all the material I can find says to wait until 2 1/2-3 unless they show strong initiative on their own) and we have a major life change coming :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Farm House

Well, since my post last week things got worse illness wise in the Frazier Household. Eliana was getting worse every day despite being on antibiotics for her double ear infection. I knew something was up. Then little Evie got sick! Ack! Eliana never got sick until she was about 13 months old, so a sick infant was totally new to me. Evie was coughing, snotty, cranky, wouldn't eat, etc. Not cool. I called last Friday and got them in to the Dr that day. Turned out Eliana's ears were worse from the previous Monday and were actually filled with puss now (ouch!). The antibiotic she'd been on didn't work for whatever reason so we went to the next one that is a little more powerful. My poor little Evie, not even 3 months old yet, also had a double ear infection :( Craig and I both had tons of ear infections and tubes in our ears as babies, so we knew there was a possibility that at least one of our children would have ear infections as a little baby. I just hoped otherwise! Our pediatrician said that when a breastfed baby gets an ear infection this young it points more to the anatomy of the ear and that she probably has an internal ear shape that is prone to ear infections. She said she could count on one hand the nursing babies that have gotten an ear infection so young, it's very uncommon, and that all of them went on to need tubes. So, we'll see. Maybe this is a fluke and she'll be fine- that would be the best obviously! But if she needs tubes down the road I'm all for it. Craig can't hear out of one ear and that's what we want to avoid. We also started Evie on antibiotics. I felt torn about that. Antibiotics are known to kill the good stuff while they are killing the bad stuff and I didn't want to do that to my baby. However after chatting with the pediatrician and her explaining that in a baby this little an ear infection and illness is more serious and it's not worth messing around with...I gave in :) I trust our ped, we agree about a lot of things and are very similar, so I let her expertise on this subject be the guide. Amoxicillin has been around for decades (the yummy pink stuff we all took as kids), so that also is reassuring. So, that was Friday and it took until yesterday (Tuesday) for things to look up. Craig also got sick Friday and is just now getting better.

Having 2 sick kids is crazy. Elly constantly needed her nose wiped and just wanted to be held and was fussy. Then she'd cough so much she'd make herself sick. Evie was fussy, having trouble breathing, not able to nurse, etc. She also coughed so much she'd vomit. A lot. And always on me, yay. Then you add a total of 5 medicine doses a day into the mix- not fun! But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm running towards it :) Eliana is finally eating again and has just a small cough left. Evie is still a little wheezy and not sleeping at night, but getting better. So, and I say this with love, if you or your kids are sick, stay away from my family! ha!

The Farm House. Ahhhh (said like a calm breathe, not AAHHHHH!). The house we are moving into shall now be known as The Farm House :) It is over 100 years old and is actually two old homes put together. Two original Poulsbo homes that are part of the history of Poulsbo. Could that be any more perfect? There are 5 bedrooms (Craig says that means more kids!) and 3 bathrooms. This will be the first time that Craig and I have lived somewhere with more than one bathroom (other than the 6 months before I got married when I lived with my parents). The house is white with blue shutters and has a wrap around porch. It's on 7 acres and already has 4 raised garden beds! It's a dream. If God said to me, "drive around Poulsbo and pick the house you think I'll let you live in," I never would've picked this. We feel so blessed. AND we'll be spending much less a month that we currently do for our teeny little house! We will be moving in about 3 or 4 weeks.
A couple weeks ago I made this list and would now like to share it :)

What I'm looking forward to most about living in the Farm House

1). Having people over. Finally. It's been a very long 5 years of not being able to entertain! I suppose technically I could've had people over, but we have no dining room and the living room is half office and half toys. Hmmm.

2). Being able to use/view/see all the things that have been sitting in our unfinished basement for the last 5 years. We have gifts from our wedding we've never even used!

3). Putting the beautiful tea cups that were my great grandmothers on display in the hutch that has also been sitting in our basement.

4). Playing piano and writing music again. There is a piano that's been in our family for years and years and a very dear relative promised it to me and said it was mine when we had a house that would fit it. *Tears*. This means more to me than I can say and I've been so looking forward to having it! I will probably cry every day that I walk by it for a few weeks. And no, your sweet children (and mine) will not be allowed to bang on it :) Real players only! he he

5). Being able to host my own children's birthday parties at my house if I so desire.

6). Feeling settled. We've lived the last 5 years thinking 'we won't be here forever', which was true, but a hard way to live. I want to live in the Farm House like we'll be there a while.

7). Being 5 minutes from my mom, Craig's work, my Mom's group, Aroy Dy, Central Market, the Farmer's Market, etc.

8). Being in Poulsbo. I'm half Norwegian and Poulsbo is part of my heritage. I love Poulsbo. I love the history. And while I do think it's odd (and a tad annoying) that 82.5% of Poulsbo residents don't know that 4-way-stops are first come first go....I still love Poulsbo. hehe.

9). Having more than 1 bathroom.

10). Having a room that my stepson can call his own when he visits.

11). Having the extra fridge and freezer in the basement and easy for me to get to- rather than across the whole yard and down steps to the separate garage/shop.


Can't wait to have y'all over to the Farm House :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The kind of week that makes you say, "Whew". And other things :)

Wow, can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post!

I had the flu, ugh, and finally got better and then my little Eliana caught something last Friday. Today is day 6 and she is still coughing, snotty, and not wanting to eat. She is just bones now which is kind of disconcerting! We went to the Dr on Monday and she had a double ear infection so she's on antibiotics and I'm just praying she'll start feeling better soon. For her sake and mine! All you mamas know it is exhausting dealing with a sick toddler and a baby.

Evangeline didn't sleep well last night. I'm not sure if she is not feeling well or maybe she didn't like all the chocolate I ate before bed (hey, I was coping with the stressful week!), or maybe she is already teething. Hard to say. BUT she didn't really go to sleep til 4:30am-ish. And then Eliana woke up screaming, coughing, and covered in snot at 7am. Lord help me. Is it bedtime yet???

Just one of those weeks. I am holding it together as best I can just to keep the basic stuff going like laundry and meals.

The other big thing going on is that we are packing. Yes, we are moving! I don't know a specific date yet, although I do know a where :) Craig is packing in the evenings after he gets home and before the kiddo's go to bed. I will probably eventually be willing to blog about everything going on, but at this point all I'll say that God has been making our path clear and after fighting it for a few weeks, I finally got on board. Craig's been on board since last year. The new house is a rental, much bigger than our current one, and only 5 minutes from Craig's work. It'll be life changing, that's for sure! Our sweet little bungalow will be on the market very soon.

Ever find that when you are tired, stressed, tired, and mostly just tired ( :) ), it's very easy to take things personally and feel like people are attacking you? Yes, that is me this week. Facebook has been unkind. Well, not exactly Facebook, but people jumping to conclusions and making snarky comments. Sometimes snarky is good and appreciated, sometimes it's just judgemental. Written word is tough because it is a challenge to determine tone. When speaking in person we can go off facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, etc. When speaking on the phone we can go off tone of voice. When speaking by written word we have nothing but....written words. LIKE WHEN I TYPE LIKE THIS DON'T YOU FEEL LIKE I'M YELLING AT YOU?! Anyway, I'll just get over it, but people are quick to post comments before thinking. I know I've been guilty of that myself a time or two also. Most the time I just ignore the comments, but weeks like this one where I am surviving on minimal sleep and lots of frustration, I have to hold my tongue (or keyboard I guess?) from shooting back some rude comment. That is my nasty human nature. So instead I'll try to breathe, pray for them and myself, and walk away.

I am now at my moms for a few days so Craig can get needed work done around the house. That's what you have to do when there's only 700 sq ft and things need attention. He literally can't pack or work on stuff when we are there because there's no room! Eliana LOVES (not screaming, just emphasizing) her Grammy, Auntie, and Grandpa, so it'll be nice to have that help the rest of the week :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shabby Chic

Today we went to two cool places in Kitsap County that I highly recommend. DanaLee's Furniture and Flea Market Chics. These are the websites:

DanaLee's is only open Fridays and Saturdays and is just 2 side by side outdoor storage units with furniture in them (pee before you go and wear a coat!). We found a very cool sea foam green hutch at DanaLee's for $60. It is quite large and has an icebox and cutting board and lots of storage. It was made in Wasserfest, which is near Berlin. I can't seem to find more info on it in order to properly date it but it appears to be pre-WWII era. Very vintage and cool.Would love more info on it if anyone reading this blog knows anything :)

Amazing, right? Very cool and only $60? Yes please!
We also picked up a sea foam green magazine rack (the white one I was seriously wanting sold right as we got there) and a darling white side table. They were a total of $38.

Then we headed to Flea Market Chics, which is a small shop on the Pacific Ave side corner of Evergreen Park in Bremerton. This shop had lots of shabby chic nicknack's and also higher end furniture. Still very reasonably priced but dressers were $100 or more. There was a pretty sofa for $400. So, higher prices than DanaLee's, but nice stuff.
I got a silver cake serving tray and lid, crystal ring holder, and darling little glass covered dish all for $23 total.
The inventory is constantly changing in these places so I will be back! I'm hoping to hit up Dana Lee's next weekend if I can. Her prices are out of this world. Side tables are $35, coffee tables are $40-$50, etc.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Definitely not a feminist blog

As I was tidying up during Eliana's nap today I realized (or more so remembered) that I LOVE my life. I have 2 amazing little girls and a husband that loves me and works hard to provide for us! Not everyone can say that and I know that.

There are things that stress me out and bug me and things I would probably shave my head for if it would change them.....but looking at the big picture, I love my life.

Being a stay at home mom is challenging. No joke. Although it probably looks fairly leisurely to those on the outside looking in- it's usually anything but leisurely! While I don't wake up to an electronic alarm most days, I wake up to a human alarm every day. I don't get a lunch break, a coffee break, or set time that my day ends. I feed two children all day long and if I'm lucky I eat something besides Cheese Its. I make lunch and coffee for my husband for the next day, do 1-3 loads of laundry, sweep, vaccum, clean the bathroom, pay the bills, make appointments, work on Moms and More stuff, prepare dinner from scratch, etc etc etc. There is seriously no way to measure how time consuming it is feeding and taking care of a 2 year old and 9 week old.

I worked 8:30-6 Mon thru Fri and 9-1:30 on Saturdays until 2 days before I had Eliana. Two day weekends were something we longed for and got once or twice a year. Customers would say, "you're so lucky you get banker's hours" and that made me want to slap someone. I got to work when it was dark and got home when it was dark AND worked almost every single Saturday. Banker's hours? Bah, it's not 1920 anymore!
I worked in banking which those of you in banking know is actually just glorified sales. So, sales it was and the goals were steep and majorly stressful. Did you know that when you open an account the person opening it is supposed to get you to get a credit card, debit card, savings account, IRA, CD, Heloc, etc? And if they don't get some of those things they can be penalized? And if you do get a debit card but don't activate it within a certain number of days that same person who opened it gets penalized for that? Talk about stressful. But what I didn't realize was that as stressful as it was, I got lunch breaks. I got to pee without a child sitting on her stool watching me. I ate my packed lunch and read a book or watched TV for a whole hour (it was required). THAT was leisurely. And on top of all that, I got PAID!

My life is SO different than it was a short 2 1/2 years ago and I wouldn't go back to that now for just about anything. I think there is a general message out there that you can "have your cake and eat it, too." But honestly (and as you know I am always honest on this blog), I don't think you always can. I feel that if you work full time, something else (or someone else) has to suffer. I realize some of you want more than anything to stay home with your children and I empathize and feel deep sorrow for what you are missing out on and I encourage you to take your feelings to God every day. But that being said doesn't change that I feel it's a tad more 'either-or' than society wants to make us feel. As with everything, it's a choice. If you choose to work full time then you are choosing to have your child watched by someone other than you for most of their waking hours.

I don't mean this as "you are a terrible mom" and a judgement, just more as a dialogue.
So, what suffers when you stay home? Your checkbook and sometimes your sanity. However, I look at my 'baby' who is running and singing and totally a toddler now and it was seconds ago that she was born. Right? The days can pass slowly but the years fly by. I know that I can never get this time back. I can always work, but I won't always have babies. I want to be there when they first roll over, or sit up, or crawl, or say mama, or take their first steps. Those are moments I don't want to share with a childcare provider. Eliana spends much of her waking hours taking care of her 'babies' and making things in her kitchen. I watch her as she is copying me and doing the things I do, only in toddler version. She tells her babies, "mama Elly will be back, OK? It's OK honey." And I know she is saying that because I've said that to her. I don't have to wonder what she is seeing or hearing without me during the day.

Many people comment back quicker than a wink, "well, I HAVE to work." Ok, maybe you do. But maybe you don't. What are you willing to give up in order to stay home? Are you willing to not have all the newest fun toys? Are you willing to not take expensive vacations or eat out regulary or go to the movies? Are you willing to drive an older car or live somewhere cheaper? Do you absolutely have to have cable tv, new cell phones, a home phone, etc? Are  you willing to buy things on sale or even *gasp* buy your kids clothes at Goodwill? My poor husband doesn't even get an allowance (well, neither do I). He doesn't spend money on himself. Ever. There's no doubt about it, for most of us it takes major sacrifice to live on one income.

Do I miss my old paycheck? Yes. I miss eating out, getting my hair done, spending hundreds in a weekend on who knows what (and it was cash), and having no debt. There's a trade off and that's what I'm getting at. For some, the payoff of going to work everyday outweighs the sacrifice of not being with your kids each day. Maybe it's literally the paycheck or maybe it's more intangible such as the reward of being at work and feeling accomplished. We are all driven by something different so it takes something different for each of us to feel that we are successful. To me, being a mom and wife and doing both those jobs really well makes me fully successful. But I was raised that way. Anyway, blah, blah, blah. I know lots of women would totally disagree with me and think that you can have it all........

Can you tell I'm not a feminist at all? To me, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen is beautiful :)