Thursday, April 11, 2013

Project Fever

We have the fever...project fever!

It has been a long time since we tackled a big home project that wasn't baby related. 

The husband made a bold proclamation last weekend.  He has dubbed 2013 the "Year of the Deck."  I probably would have gone with "Year of the Baby" but oh well.

We have been threatening to do a deck for the past two springs but for one reason or another it kept getting back-burnered.  The space is ready.  When we designed the back yard we had the landscapers put in a gravel pad that would eventually be the future home of the deck.  It is a great space as we face the east.  We will be able to escape the summer heat in the afternoon/evening hours.

The husband wants to design and build the deck himself (I wouldn't have expected anything less).  He will admit he is a bit intimidated.  This will be his first large building project.  He shows no fear with furniture and remodeling but ensuring something is weight bearing and up to code had him dragging his feet a bit.

In true husband fashion he has done a ton of research and has a solid game plan for this year.

The end goal is to have a two-tier deck that will eventually include a pergola (that may not be this year).  He will remove our existing small porch, expand it out, and tie it into a lower deck with a new set of stairs.

That is the plan anyway.

So check back in for more updates as we hope to start this project next weekend.  I suspect we will run into a few problems during the post digging (we have a ton of boulders in our ground), the husband will be renting an auger, and there will no doubt be some frustration over getting everything level.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hitting the Bottle

One bottle, two bottles, three bottles, four.

Five bottles, six bottles, seven bottles...more!

The past few weeks have been pretty stressful in the baby feeding department.  We were really lucky and thankful when baby girl took to nursing as quickly as she did.  We had no problems from day one.

That is all catching up to us now. 

As we approach 7 weeks old she will NOT take a bottle.

In a quest to find the right baby/bottle combination we have amassed an enviable collection of pretty much every bottle on the market.

We have tried Tommee Tippee, Playtex Vent Air, Playtex drop-ins, traditional latex nipples, Simalac, Medela Calma, Dr. Browns, and mOmma. 

I am going a bit crazy.  Not only have I been looking forward to being able to have the husband give a meal or two so that I can either sleep a bit more or just be able to leave the house for a quick baby free errand...but now I am also concerned about going back to work in a few weeks.

We have tried dozens of tips and tricks suggested by friends.  Scoured the Internet for sure-fire bottle techniques.

Baby girl is stubborn. 

What we know at this point is that she does not care for any bottle that has a nipple that drips milk into her mouth before she is ready.  Unfortunately even the slowest flow nipples seem to be too quick for her.  She does like to pause a bunch during feedings so this was not a huge surprise.

We have had very limited (VERY LIMITED) success with the Medela Calma and the mOmma bottles. 

All of this bottle work has left mom, dad, and baby tired and frustrated.  Feeding time is pretty much all of the time now as we start with trying the bottle for about a half hour.  We then rest for 15 minutes (to calm down and not associate the refusal of the bottle with getting to nurse) before nursing.

So by the time we are done with one feeding it is almost time for the next feeding.

To complicate things one of the repeated recommendations is that mom should not give the bottle.  This makes things really hard as the husband works during the day.  Baby girl usually is pretty sleepy in the morning before he goes to work so we only have one shot at the end of the day right when he gets in the door.  Not ideal.

I have started to try giving her a bottle during the day.  We need more practice so we are just going to have to jump right in.

You really can make yourself crazy trying to figure out if there is something about the bottle, milk temperature, feeding position, etc. that is causing her to reject.

I was not anticipating this struggle and wish someone had given me a "heads-up."  I sat in a lengthy breastfeeding class where they did a great job of putting the fear of God in me about introducing a bottle too early.

Don't introduce before 4 weeks they said or else you are likely to get nipple confusion.

What they failed to state is that babies that have not taken to a bottle before 6 weeks are very likely to struggle with bottle acceptance.  If I had known that little fact we would have been more aggressive about the bottle training beginning at 4 weeks.  We wasted some time not introducing the bottle right at 4 weeks and then when we did we only worked on the bottle every once in a while.  We should have been working with her everyday.

I have no doubt that baby girl will eventually figure this whole bottle thing out.  We will continue to search for the right bottle/feeding combination.

I am less sure how much of our sanity will be intact when that glorious day happens.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Tomorrow my life-long friend is coming for a visit.  Too many people throw around the phrase life-long friend.  They typically mean someone that they have known from early childhood.  In some cases they may have even known the person before kindergarten.  While that is a long time I challenge the statement of "life-long".

Not to brag...but mine is a true life-long friendship.  It acually started in-utero.  Our mothers were friends before we were born.  They were friends before they were married.  Friends before their pregnancies. 

Once roommates they ended up loosing touch after one moved across the country.  After moving back years later they ended up running into each other on the street both pregnant by this time.  Our mothers started up their friendship again supporting each other throughout their pregnancies. 

On the day of my birth my Mom called up my friend's Mom to see how she was doing.  When she called she found out that she had actually gone to the hospital; she was in labor.  Not long after making that phone call my Mom went into labor.

My Mom ended up in the same delivery room as her friend.

We were born on the same day...40 minutes apart.

We grew up together.  Even though we went to different schools and had different circles of friends we had a special friendship that has lasted through the years.

I have been lucky to have her in my life.   She has two beautiful twin girls that mean the world to her.  They have had their struggles.  Born premature they needed extra TLC from the beginning.  When one of her girls developed liver problems and needed a liver transplant she handled everything with an amazing inner strength.  She had to struggle through long days and nights, numerous trips to the hospital, and watching her little one go through multiple procedures.  She is the strongest person I know and I hope I can be half the mother she has become.

Last week she called and let me know that she was making a surprise visit to see me and baby girl this week.  I didn't realize how much I missed her until I knew she was coming.

I want her to meet my baby. 

I want to hug her. 

I want my best friend.

Our friendship has evolved over the years.  We are no longer the girls that used to sing stupid songs, fall off chairs, and spin around until we touch hands.  We are mother's and have our own girls now.  While they won't be able to say they are life-long friends I hope we can raise them as special friends.  Friends that don't necessarily need to talk or see each other everyday.  Friends that will be there no matter what, no matter the distance, no matter how much time has gone by.

Kristie (you will always be Kristie to me) thank you for planning this trip.  I love you and can't wait to see you tomorrow.