Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Updated RJ's Birth Story!

Some thing we were talking about in the last ICAN meeting got me feeling like I really needed to write otu the whole story of what happened with Riley, it was hard but I'm glad I did it...You can check it out here...Also at the bottom is a link to Amity's updated story...There are a few things I have processed further.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Some times I wish there was an extra breast I could leave in bed with Amity so she could comfort nurse...Now I know there are such things as pacifiers, but those things are hard and tiny and uncomfortable and plastic and Amity will not take them...Riley wouldn't either- Lord knows I TRIED (well I tried after we got our nursing issues figured out and she wouldn't have any thing to do with it). My babies are smart- they know when it's not the real thing! I wonder if I will ever have a baby that will take a pacifier? I am not completley against them, but at the same time, I like being the one they want to snuggle with. If we ever have twins I will use pacifiers, if they'll take them. I wonder if they wouldn't take them becuase we give up so easily? Or because my first response is to quickly nurse them to see if that will calm them down. Amity doesn't have as high a sucking need as RJ did that's for sure!
ANYWAY, some nights, particularly tonight, I was tired of laying there while Amity comfort nursed to calm down and get into good sleep. The suck, suck, suck suck pause...tongue shiver...suck, suck, suck ...allllmost asleep, nope: tongue shiver! Gets really old and gives me the shivers. And if you don't know what a tongue shiver is I can't explain it, all I know is that both RJ and AJ have done it while allllmost asleep and it gets under my skin. Amity is better about being pulled off and put to bed, but tonight it took 4 attempts before she'd let me unlatch her and lay her down in her bed.

In other news, Amity really oh truely oh started rolling over today! She started rolling to her belly ocassionally around 4 or 5 weeks, but today she was doing it non-stop, she couldn't get enough! Soon she'll have the belly to back figured out and she'll be travelling around the livingroom getting into every thing.

Ryan and my Mom cleaned out the basement today! HUGE job! Mom found a tub full of my old baby dolls...She brought one up (it's anatomyically [sp?] correct- girl!) that was a real favorite of mine for a while... Riley found her and LOVED her, she was carrying her around all evening takin care of the baby. At one point she said, "baby eats!" and laid down on the couch with the baby next to her to nurse. SO cute. And funny because the laying down position is obviously the way babies are supposed to eat. hehehe Amity has been so hard to nurse lately I've taken to laying down and nursing her whenever she is really hungry...other wise my little nosey rose won't eat more than a few slurps between craining around to see what's going on- she can't miss a thing!! Yesterday morning I was nursing her while we were all waking up...Ryan and Riley were playing on the bed and I was nursing Amity.
Aj'd nurse nurse nurse, pop off and turn around to see them, get all excited spin and face me nurse for a few seconds, pop off and see what Daddy and sister were doing, spin back for some more...Ryan was watching her and laughing so hard at her antics, it really was cute...She was hungry but annoyed that she had to eat before watching the fun.

Amity also loves to watch Barnabas and Riley play together. She is mesmerized by all the action all the running and squealing (Riley) and jingling (barny's collar). She's growing up so much, it's incredible to see her little personality coming out! Sometimes I feel guilty at how in love with her I am...They say love grows with every child- you were sure you couldn't love another as much as you love the one(s) you have and then that baby arrives and you can't believe how your love grew. Well it's true, but on top of it I some times am scared that I love and am enjoying Amity even more than I did Riley at this age... But then again I'm probably not being fair, I know HOW to love this time around...Riley taught me what love really is. I'm sure that sounds cliche, but I had to learn how to love and relax and enjoy. And in the midst of all that learning there was grief and adjustment (huuuuge adjustment!). Becoming a mother wasn't as natural as I thought it would be, I mean I knew what to do, I was surprised at how strong my instincts were. But the further away I get from that time the more I see "Wow that was incredibly difficult!!! What a huge change!"

I think the hardest thing was how nothing ever stayed the same. She'd do things one way and BAM it wasn't that way any more, over and over and over again...Hour to hour was different with Riley. I never knew what to expect. I don't remember any one warning me about that, and it was frustrating- that is an understatement. Amity is a little more predictable. But even with that, I don't let it stress me out when she's been going to bed at 6:30-7pm for 3 weeks in a row and then BAM back to 9-11pm bedtime. Am I a bit bummed that I'm losing that time for just me and Ryan? Yes, but I also count my blessings that even though she's up late she's HAPPY...And in a few weeks if it's not this it'll be some thing else (she went to be at 7 tonight ...I'm holding my breath she stays down)- that's life in this season.

Speaking of this season, I'm feeling a bit isolated. It's so hard to get out with two...Especially with Amity, she gets so so so grumpy when we're out and about, she is fussy (not like her) she doesn't nap well she is just plain miserable. Going to meetings that involve having to put a coherant sentence together is nearly impossible...Between comforting a grumpy angry baby and keeping the percocious toddler from scaling and dancing on tables, pulling papers of shelves, asking for a drink, asking for a snack, having toys stollen and crying, tripping and crying and crying (seriously I look like a mound of screaming children rocking on folding chair trying to calm every one)...Well it's hard (understatement). But they'll grow, some day... True that right now I feel isolated, I don't need to be around people a lot, but it's hard when you HAVE to be home for naps because the littlest is a mess if you aren't. :0/

Well I've rambled enough hopefully RJ goes down soon so Ryan and I can have a bit of time together this evening. I think I hear her over the monitor singing.

And Amity is up... That was a 40min nap not bedtime I guess. ergh. This is exascerbated by having two little co-sleepers...I guess it's the trade off for getting to snuggle two babies at night...But it is really frustrating...I really think Amity would naturally self soothe- make some noises talk for a while and go back to sleep...But because RJ is sleeping a few feet away we can't do that and we have no where else in the house to sleep even if we watned to split up the family bed. ergh.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I had some thing I really wanted to write about.

But I can't exactly think of what it was. We went to the ICAN meetings this morning. I love those meetings, it means so much to be around other c/s mom's... All the Mom's there that have had VBACS did it at home!

Those meetings are also hard, it's hard to hear the horrendous treatment of women still in place in hosiptals. It makes me sick. It also brings up other issues I have with Riley's birth... Just remembering it...I really do need to write out every thing I remember about it...I mean even the negative things...I was so extremely numb the first few months. I still am OKAY with how it happened...But especially since Amity was born and seeing how beautiful it CAN be it makes me even sadder about what happened with Riley. And remembering certain things I feel angry.

The woman who started the group talked with me about becoming an officer... I am praying about what I should do... I think I'd like to be a co-leader and help run the morning meetings to free her up. I'm just not sure.
attered post, I think I need to p
This is a scrocess some more before I write.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

House rules

I don't know if you'll be able to read this... One of the projects I've been working on...If you click on the picture it should enlarge it some. Planning on hanging this on the fridge.

Teaching and Healing- hand in hand.

Riley yesterday at breakfast...
Me: Riley do you want oatmeal or toast for breakfast?
Riley: cake.

We've been telling her she's going to be TWO next month and it will be her birthday. And she's all excited about it- well mainly the cake :0) We have a Sesame Street puzzle (.25 at a yardsale :0) with all her favorites (minus elmo, it's an old puzzle) and it's some one's Birthday and there is a giant cake- she carries around pieces of the cake going "num num nummmm. It's wummy" (well that was a couple weeks ago, I've hidden the puzzle - tired of picking it or putting it together with her 7 times a day).

Riley's doing better and and better every week lately. I think part of it is that the 18mos disequelibrium (sp?) is starting to balance out again. Another part is that she's starting to feel "normal" again since Amity Joy was born. I am putting a Christmas project together for our families...We're making a calender of the year on shutterfly and giving it to Ryan's family and one to my Mom. I was putting the collage together from August and September, Riley has grown so much...I was remembering that time- just 3 fast months ago and it's like we live in a different world now! I think she's through the biggest stage of grief- I hope.

Not to rant on and on about RJ in this post- but I'm so proud of her! She's been getting so good at using her "feeling words". She says "I sed" when she's crying. And when she's happy she shouts, "HAPPY!"...She also shares that she's "cited", "angy", and some times she tries to say frustrated ("fustated"- fuss part sounds about right!)... There was one feeling word she was using a LOT and I just couldn't understand it. TWO weeks of being in the dark on this word- it just seemed so random.

Yesterday morning we were getting dressed before breakfast. And RJ wanted to go be with Daddy while he got ready for work in the bathroom. I told her "Sorry, you can't right now. We get dressed before breakfast and that's our job right now." She didn't melt down or any thing but she started saying "puunted....sniffle....I puuunted". I felt so bad, I couldn't understand what she was saying.

After breakfast we do the dishes together. Riley "helps" by standing at the counter with 3 tiny tubberware cups, two 2cup measuring cups- and I give her a few tablespoons of water to dump from cup to cup. She has a BLAST!!!! But the rule is, you dump it on the floor I give you 1 reminder (she is little and forgets easily) you dump it again you get down...I'll give her a few refills (spills happen, and she likes to drink the warm water) but if it seems like she's getting bored and going to make a mess she gets down. Well she dumped twice and I said "uh-oh, you dumped the the water on the floor! It has to stay in the cups, time to get down."
And again she got sooo sad and said "I puuunted. I puuunted".

Disappointed! She means disappointed! I can't believe she has learned to recognize that emotion! I reflect with "Oh I'm sorry, it's hard when you can't do some thing you want, you're disappointed" but - she's not even two yet!

I love how this works. I hope she can always name her emotion to me. I am learning so much, and making a concious effort to name out loud the feelings I'm feeling. When she's whining or Amity is fussy I say "I'm frustrated with this situation, what can I do?" if I feel angry I say "I'm Angry" and if I'm really angry I run in place stomping my feet to get it out- which Riley usually finds funny. It's helping me...Which leads me to this article For Parents: Healing Yourself I found it practical in keeping some things in front of me when I'm having a hard time.

Also I would like to read "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves" (it's advertised at the bottom of that page)... It sounds interesting. I found the most awesome quote from a Mom on GCM and I copied and pasted it to hang on my fridge but I'll put it up here:

God does give us our children for a purpose... it is to help US grow up spiritually. Easy, compliant children who always obey and never do anything wrong do absolutely zero to help US develop the fruit of the spirit in our own lives. You don't have to be patient if your child is always instantly obedient, you don't have to be long-suffering if they always listen, you don't have to work hard to be kind and gentle if they don't ever push your buttons. It is easy to have "joy" and "peace" when there are no challenges... but God wants us to grow up to the point that we can have all these things even when we are faced with challenging people in our lives. If a child who doesn't always listen can destroy all these fruits in your life, then they weren't very well developed to begin with. As the adult in the equation, God is much more concerned about how WE behave towards our children than how THEY behave for us. Children are not given to us for us to perfect, they are given to us to perfect US.
Also this (talking to a Mother who was concerned about her sons "defiance" when it came to going to get weekly shots- he'd run and hide in the doctors office bathroom) ...
If you miss this, if you dismiss his feelings and punish him for being afraid, you are missing your purpose as a parent. God didn't put your son in your care so you could turn him into a perfectly obedient person, he put him there for you to develop a relationship with him that will mirror your relationship with God Himself. God is not impressed if your child is always perfectly compliant or never talks back... he IS concerned when one of his children is hurting or afraid and the person in charge of his care does not respond the way God himself would. We are supposed to be God's representatives, acting for God in his place, doing what we believe God would do if he were here in the flesh. There is never a time that we are afraid or hurt that God tells US to just "suck it up and deal with it". He calls himself the "God of all COMFORT". The Bible is full of references to how attentive God is to our cries. This is supposed to be our pattern as parents. This was a very hard lesson for me to learn, because it went against the way I was raised. I was taught that the main focus of parenting was to create well-behaved, respectful children who would then grow up into good, Christian adults. A child who was "defiant" meant I must not be doing my job right. I was so focused on making sure the outside was correct that I completely overlooked what was going on on the inside... just like my parents did. Our lives here are not supposed to be 70 years of doing everything right... they are supposed to be 70 years of building and maintaining relationships.

-by arymanth (don't know her real name :0/ ) - Mother of 7 children!

Reading that "Aha! Parenting" site makes me SO glad I found GCM first... GCM doesn't sound quuuite so erm... what's the word? Physchologically mumbojumbo-y. GCM makes gentle and Grace Based discipline seem so much more PRACTICAL. I can't say how much God has used GCM in my life, how much I am learning from the wise experienced Christian Mom's on that site.

I'm going to close in a moment, but I just want to say how nice it is to be writing again. For months and months I didn't have any thing to say... I've been internalizing and trying to figure a lot of stuff out and in the past week every thing has just been exploding and I want to write it out...I want to write again...Finding the time is hard though... Have RIley parked in front of hte TV eating her breakfast at the moment, really need to run and move the cars and get this day started.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just some random stuff.

Becky, I doubt you'll get a ton of time in the next couple of days to read (then again if breastfeeding goes well you might be a one-handed wonder and looking for some thing to do! :0)

I thought I'd share this site: I wish I had found it before (and maybe you already have but throwing it out there!) Aha! Parenting
I found it so interesting- I wish I had read all those articles before.

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BIRTH OF AIDEN! I'm SOO excited, and you and Nathan must be absolutely thrilled he's finally here!!! :0)

Onto other things... it was such an awesome day. I got to cuddle and nap with Amity all morning. I don't know I have always loved 3month stage, but right now I am absolutely twitterpated. Amity is such a little bundle of fun, seriously!
Need to write this out because I haven't.

Birth: 7lbs 15 oz 21inches tall. A smiley amazing goober
2day: 7lbs 13oz
2week: 10lbs8oz 22inches
6weeks 13lbs2oz (I don't think we did height) giggling, smiling and very interactive, "talking" and jabbering. Starting to roll over on occassion.
2months: 15lbs and 24(? - we skipped that well baby visit! Going at 4mos for sure!)
3months: 16lbs 26inches tall and smiling, rolling over, laughing out loud, loooves to play games. Itsybitsy spider, "so big" (gets a big laugh) and "this little piggy" are big hits.

There! I still haven't gotten Amity a baby book (poor neglected 2nd child) and I haven't written that all out yet (yikes!) so glad I have some document of it ...Aiden's birth today made me realize how fast time flies and I can't believe we don't have a newborn in the house any more. Watching the video of him made me want another one, almost. :0D I really do not want to go through labor again anytime soon- I need another while to forget THAT.

Anyway, Ryan just came down the girls are asleep- need to go clean up from supper and then it's oreo and The Office Time!!!!!!!!!!!! Which is just a fancy way of saying it's time for a at-home date *Wiggle eyebrows*.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Riley and I have been reconnecting this week. Our relationship seems to be finding it's new ground, things were rough after Amity arrived.

I love being a Mother. My mind ahs been so full of all these things I've wanted to write about, to ponder. But my days are so full, it's so hard to find even 3 minutes to think straight with out some one wanting to be held or "tuddle"ed. With out some one pinching their fingers int eh trashcan, or falling of their tricycle...Or stepping on their little sisters hand and making her scream, or sone one just plain screaming for screamings sake.

I'm trying to remember the me before I was "Mommy". Trying to remember those last days and hours before Riley arrived. Misery is really all I remember. I wonder if I'll ever get through a pregnancy with out feeling like I'm going to die by the end of it? Hm.

Beck, if you're reading this, I think just knowing how anxious you and N must be feeling...The waiting, WHEN is it going to happen? It's gotten me thinking (and praying for you!) about those precious last days. You're almost too miserable to enjoy them...

I'm trying to remembe rthe early days with Riley. Remember the things I didn't write down, the things I didn't really realize or recognize untill Amity came. I remember my first night with Riley in the hospital. She wouldn't sleep, we were so tired. I thought having a baby would be fdifferent. You always hear aboutg sleep deprivation, I don't think it's so much even the lack of sleep always, I think it's the tremendous and sudden responsability. Or at least it was for me, it was like the incredible reality of this new human was in my arms. She was so floppy and tiny and pink- is it cliche to say a girl is pink? No she was orange...Not in color just holding her was like holding a little fireball of life, she was so fidgety and restless, I din't know how to help her calm down. I was numb, I couldn't believe I was holding my baby. I think having her via c/s really kinda exaserbated that as well. I knew she was mine. But...?

Amity...I remember being relieved when she was out, that is an understatement. I was ecstatic she was OUT. I'm trying to remember the sensation of giving birth, but all I hear in my memory are my loud loud screams and yells getting her out. I didn't know i could make those sounds! I had hoped I would be a little more mellower when giving birth- nope. Every thing just WAS, her crowning didn't hurt, if any thing it was the nicest part of the whol horrendous deal. Then she was out, I sat back and Amity was laying on the floor. I was way more exhausted than I thought was possible...And my throat was sore from yelling. And it felt like some one had stuck some dynamite down there and let it off. And there was this precious little baby laying in front of me trying to figure out how to breath. She looked huge to me...I remember thinking Riley looked small, Amity never seemed small to me. She felt huge coming out and she looked big even after.
I knew she was mine and in a way it healed some thing with Riley, I feel more connected to Riley after giving birth than I thought I would. Now when I snuggle Riley it's fixed some how.

Does that sound awful to write out? Honestly, I still have a peace about how things went down with Riley. Do I regret how some things were handled? Absolutely. I wish I had decided to have a homebirth with Riley...But given the hospital birth circumstances she had to be a c/s. Giving birth to Amity reconnected me, or connected me in a new way to my body and my children.

This week has been hard, but Riley and I have been having more fun than I think we ever had...She's getting old enough to tell me about things, she tells me these fragmented little stories that only I could translate because I watched them unfold. Today's story: "highchair, sittin, trash can, Mommy said. I hurt finger. hurt." Translation: "I was sitting in my highchair playing with the trash can lid, Mommy said not to. And then I pinched my finger and got hurt" she told that story to me 5 or 6 times over the afternoon, whimpering a little bit as if in need of some more healing sympathy. I don't know it was a really hard week in some ways. But I have been working SO hard at reconnecting with Riley, i was feeling so negative towards her for sevral weeks- I was ready to head for the hills ...But we played together, we did "stawfall" ( and played on and we're reading The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe outloud right now- we're on the 4th chapter and Riley loves it! We usually read out loud in the bedroom. I lay down and nurse Amity and read outloud while RIley jumps on the bed. But she mostly snuggles in behind me nad just lays there very peacefully and listens- it's shocking! I love those hours, Amity snuggled at my breast looking up at me with her big solemn grey/blue eyes and Riley rubbing her cold feet along my back or pinching my waistline or snuggling a stuffed animal. I feel so blessed.

I've been remembering the hours and days after Amity was born...Just a dream. I remember waking up the next day and all the muscles in ever part of my body hurt- specifically my upper body which I wasn't epxecting- I guess it was from gripping the wall so hard when pushing? I realized I pushed in a position I never ever expected to- semi standing/squatting against a wall- not what I thought I'd do at all! I'm all over the place with this post. Just remembering... I just feel so, and I'm scared to write it, happy. I was thinking as I was trying to get Amity down for the night, I can't believe I have two children...Two little ones I take care of all day every day- by myself- whose idea was this am I really grown up enough for THAT? I just am loving every minute with the girls, Amity gets more aware every day and surprises me more and more every day. Today we were all at my computer playing and Amity was snuggled in the crook of my arms. She had been nursing but she was just sitting up now against my one arm. I looked down at one point: she had fallen asleep! I was so shocked!

I'm rambling, Ryan should be home soon hopefully, he's at a meeting...I should close... I just in general wish I could document all the things my kiddos do. I really need to write more about the day to day... Oh Amity is officially rolling over from belly to back- she started doing it sevreal weeks ago and then stoppped, she's doing it again :0)Her arm still gets stuck but she is on her belly and proud.
I love being a Mom.

To Vaccinate against H1N1...Or Not?

There is no question in my mind, NOT.
1) There is themerisol (mercury) in the vaccine. But more importantly, the FDA raised the amount that is allowed in the shots. Themerisol has been linked with many many nueralogical disorders, even death. No thank you.
2) I was poisioned on 3 occasions from a 3 round vaccination when I was 16. The first dose landed me in bed for 2 weeks with what we thought was mono (my bestfriend had it, we shared drinks all the time we assumed that was what I had too) bad body aches, feeling like crap. The 2nd dose made me sicker for about a month (again thought it was a relapse of mono- I was under a lot of stress). The 3rd dose landed me in bed for 6months with horrible body aches (like the flu), jaundice, and a swollen liver and splean it was the worst year of my life...Tons of tests (tested negative for mono) tons and tons of trips to the doctors and specialist trying to find out what was wrong with me.

My girls will not be recieiving vaccines with themrisol in it. We eat well (better than the average American), we practice good hygene, Amity is breastfed and we stay home most days of the week. And I plan on keeping us home as much as we can be this winter just to be extra safe...Our exposure level is low. I would rather the worst case scenerio be that the get H1N1 and if something went wrong I could live with it. Sickness happens, it's part of life and some times things go very wrong. I could not live with myself knowing I made the choice to inject them with some thing I knew (from experience) could cause irrivocable damage and they were killed or handicapped for life. No, no thank you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

House Hold Daily Schedule

I started a schedule for our house this past week. We've been doing things pretty much the same for the past year, but I lacked accountability and focus ..SO things would slip and then messes would grow, and I'd feel overwhelmed and kid(s) would get increasingly fussy with messy surroundings, and well it wasn't helping and it was a little different every day. This is a loose schedule it's more a set rhythem and accountability for how things go...The times are approx as I don't feed Amity on a schedule and some days she's hungrier and needing more time to nurse than others, some days she has a hard time napping and ...But generally she rides on my back or naps in the livingroom while Riley and I work together on cleaning and doing the things together...Washing dishes she stands on a chair at the sink and I give her a bowl of clean water and some clean spoons or 1/4c measuring cup (less water dumped out of sink- it does happen- I just put a towel on the floor) and we get time together and cleaning done and RJ has a blast!
Hopefully you can see the schedule! :0)