Sunday, July 31, 2011


Today, a 2 month old baby died, his name was Joshua.  I didn't know him, I barely knew his parents but my heart was instantly saddened.  I look at how alive Patrick is and how everyday he interacts with us more and tears flow freely.  I don't know if it's the hormones or empathy but I'm holding my baby a little tighter today and everyday.  I take every day of Patrick and I cherish it.
Say a prayer for baby Joshua and his parents, Leah and Scott.

Friday, July 29, 2011

the 90 minute plan

I thought I'd take this quiet time to write one last post before I go back to work and I'm not sure what my life will be anymore.
Today, savoring every last minute with our Patrick has been so important.  He's really smiling now and I was feeding him just a little bit ago and we were gazing at each other and he cracked the biggest smile.  As milk trickled down my stomach, it warmed my heart and made me giggle.  He also has found his voice recently and will coo and make noises back at Joc and I when we do it to him.  Especially when he's chilling on the changing table and flailing his limbs around as he does.  We just love him so much.
We are trying a new sleep thing- trying to get PJ to sleep for longer during the night, called the 90 minute sleep program.  Basically, we pay close attention to patrick after he's been awake for 60-90 minutes and see if he's acting sleepy.  We then swaddle him or sooth him and he almost always falls asleep and naps for about an hour or more.  This "program" tries to get babies the sleep they need to grow their brains.  It's supposed to help with fussiness, and help them sleep "through the night".  We've only been doing it for a couple days... it's not that hard since Patrick is usually starting to get tired after he's been awake longer than an hour... so we just help him take a nap.  Gradually, over the next month (since he's 8 weeks today) he should have longer awake times and be a better nighttime sleeper.  Whatever, it sounds logical but I've been asking myself repeatedly how long should he be sleeping during the day?  Do I keep him up so he gets better sleep at night?  Any place I looked basically said he should be sleeping 15-17 hours a day... I mean, what is that?!  And many people you ask with kids say, "i don't remember how long my kid slept for... he was awake a lot."  (Not helpful!)  So, when a co-worker told me about this book and I've skimmed most of it.. it makes sense and while PJ isn't sleeping through the night, he's getting better daytime rest and he's still awake and interacting with in between those naps.  And really, I'm savoring the quiet night feeds that are time spent with Patrick in a way that he will soon grow out of (hopefully).
Being a mom is hard work!!  And I thought picking a name was challenging. (c:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to work

Joc and I head back to work in a week... I'm actually looking forward to it, let me tell you why. Before I had PJ, I started a new position as staff/nurse educator. You might recall the drama I experienced with full vs. part time, well about 3-4 weeks into my maternity leave my boss leaves me a message that another educator has resigned and she has a full time spot to "play" with. Which translates into me and the other new hire part timer getting full time if desired. My immediate response was, "hell yeah!" I wanted it before, te cost of benefits are half as much (especially with PJ on mine now) and I can get more done and get that pay increase that makes the job switch more worth it. Still, my feeling is strong toward full time, it's just I've never worked 5 days a week in my life so now I'm leaving my boy 5 days a week. It might be tough to get used to. I just didn't feel like after all the drama of the original position and me gripping about part time, that I should turn down this opportunity for full time, especially when I'm not sure when or if it'll ever come up again!
I am excited to be around more grown ups, who can take care of themselves and speak to me. I'm excited because I'm coordinating the simulation center that the hospital is starting, I have lots of new hires who are working on the unit and I'm looking forward to meeting them and getting to know the new population of nurses in our unit. I'm also taking on another staffing area, that is hasnt had an educator, so I have a lot to work on there. So lots to do, and time is ticking away! That's why I'm excited to return to work.
Joc and I have spoken about her dropping back a day so PJ would get an extra day with us. Will he know who we are? Will he start to favor Sara over us because she's with him every day we aren't? I have to believe it all works out because we aren't the first parents to wok full time and have kids... It just worries us a little.
I guess we'll see in another week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When I'm a parent, I would NEVER...

Before Patrick, I had many parenting opinions, not that I shared them with too many people it was mostly thoughts I formulated about how I would handle (or planned to handle) different situations.
One thing I've learned: it all goes out the window when you are really a parent.
#1.  I'll never let my child sleep with me.  Please.  It's 4am, PJ has been up every hour and I'm so tired that when he falls asleep on my chest while burping him I lay back and close my eyes.  When we wake up 3 hours later I now know that yes, yes, I will occasionally allow PJ to sleep with me.  (for now, I know that once he gets just a touch older it will form a bad habit and I really don't want a toddler in our double bed as Cooper takes up enough room as it is.  But, for now I will break my rule.)
#2.  I'll never buy a minivan.  I'd like to have three kids, God willing. (I know, I know, get through one first!) A mid-sized car (mine) and the Escape (Joc) will not handle three child seats not to mention any friends the kids may have... so while a new car is hopefully a few years away, I think a minivan might be the most economical instead of the extended SUV that might be more hip.  Joc and I will have to decide when we need to cross that street... but a mini-van may be in our future... oh man...
#3.  We'll be a mobile family, able to travel no matter what, we won't stay at home just because we have kids.  Man oh man, is travel more challenging that I thought.  This baby, this 6 week old dude, has so much crap!  And what will he need while we're away?  How many outfits should we bring?  How many diapers?  Do we bring his vibration chair and his swing and his pack n play?  He has to have tummy time, so his activity mat has to come (because he's too good for a blanket on the floor!) and toys, we have to bring toys (even though he doesn't even know he has two arms and hands to play with them) and books, and PJ's stroller... and we haven't even packed for us yet!  And don't get me started about this child who needs to eat every 1-2 hours, so if he wakes up (if he sleeps) then he's screaming and we have to pull over to feed him (even if I pack a bottle, there are times he won't take it unless he's being held) and now our 1 hour 15 minute trip to Cadillac is more like 1 hour 45 minutes...  not that we just won't travel but man, we gotta get a better routine down or a trailer... (c:

This is my list and PJ is only 6 weeks old... life is definitely different with a little one.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I'm having a hard time with these hormones. I feel irritated, worried, tearful and angry often. Last night I was informed I have become a pretty negative person. Which leads me to the question: who am I now? Am I becoming an unlikeable person? Are these hormones forever gonna make me this way or maybe it's not the hormones and I'm just becoming this negative, judgemental and angry person.
I don't think it's postpartum depression, it might be the blues or it may just be me. Either way, I'm not into it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Charlevoix and other things

We have ventured north for a week away from Grand Rapids into the waters of Lake Charlevoix. Okay, we're not really in the water but we're next to them at Grandma Judy and Grandad's lakehouse.  Patrick seems to be adapting well to the new place, I was of course worried (I worry a lot these days) he'd have trouble sleeping or be disoriented, but he is doing well.  We've only been here going on our second day but the sun has been out and it's been perfect.  Yesterday we were down by the water most of the afternoon, Joc and I even went for a run/walk yesterday morning.
Speaking of exercise, i've been anxious to get back into working out now that i have my figure back (ha!). So, like a good nurse/patient, when my doctor said to start run/walking after 6 weeks, I decided now (4 1/2 weeks post delivery) would be the best time.  (c:  At least I didn't go all out and run a 5K ok?  Joc thought she'd like to try running again, I'm a touch skeptical as she finds running "boring", but I'm supportive in her efforts.  I'm encouraging biking though, as she enjoys that activity more, but maybe she'll learn to love running like me.  Who knows?  My back has been really sore too, from holding the ever growing PJ.  So I threw in some ab and back exercises yesterday.  I feel a touch sore in the legs today so I know it was ok and everything else seems good too.  I find my posture is horrible these days and when I'm feeding PJ I'm hunched over.  I need my muscle mass back, pronto!
My baby is growing like a weed!  I was uploading photos to shutterfly and facebook and looking back on his birth photos... what a pudge he's becoming!!  He's filling out everywhere.  I love it!
On another note, the crying is better.  Taking the advice of many people, I'm feeding him almost every time he's crying and it's cut back on his screaming spells.  I'm living by the "you can't spoil a newborn" mantra for another month or so.  I'm nurisng him to sleep and making sure he sleeps much of the day so he's not overtired.  So, it's improving.  Thank you for the help!
Finally, I'm trying to decide about a type of electronic babybook for the little dude.  I saw a commercial awhile back where a dad set up an email account for his child and sent him emails along the way of life so when he gets older he has many of his memories.  Joc created the blog but I want one where I can write to patrick about his growth and development.  So, I'm either creating an email account or a blog that I'll write to him and maybe in a few years, create a book... I probably won't link it to this blog as it'll just be for PJ but it's something I'm tossing around.  We did buy a babybook for him but in the digital era, for a digital native baby... I say, why not?

Happy July friends!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's not all roses

Patrick has been doing a lot of crying lately.  We haven't quite figured out what causes it exactly but we're troubleshooting it.  These are the times I wish he would just come out and tell us what's the problem.
Last night, as he screamed so hard his face turned red, his cry was silent and he was sweating from the exertion I thought I had it figured out- overtired.  He's a decent nighttime sleeper and he usually sleeps until about 8am, which is really to say we sleep until 8 am.  But he has been staying awake much of the morning, we try to get him to sleep around 9 or 10 but if he falls asleep it's only for 10-20minutes.  Then he has a breakdown (crying/screaming/hard to console) around 11 or 12, once we get him to sleep he will sleep soundly only waking to eat then going back to sleep through most of the afternoon.  This is why I thought he was overtired, thus the breakdowns.
On facebook, someone recommended ColicCalm and after reading about it and seeing it's all natural and soothes gas, colic, GERD and hiccoughs I thought, "what the hell?"  But so far, I'm not convinced it's any of those problems.  It's not like he screams for hours... maybe 30 minutes to an hour... we take turns, Joc is excellent at rocking the screaming baby.  I'm a sucker, I give him the boob and it soothes him to sleep but he only eats for a short time before falling asleep.  So he's essentially using me as a pacifier... which I'm borderline okay with until he's a little older.
Basically, I haven't figured my baby out... he's 4 weeks old and I still can't determine why he gets screaming like he does.
Other thoughts I've had:  overstimulation (we put him on the activity mat and let him stare at the toys), milk supply (but he's gained 3 lbs since birth so I know he's eating plenty and many times I have just fed him and then he gets to screaming), boredom (but from what I read, this should subside once we pick him up and talk to him), frustration (maybe he's ready to move and he's not able to?), gas (but the simethicone and the ColicCalm are for this and I can't say I've seen a direct coorelation between giving him the stuff and him calming down), illness??? (We took him temp once because he was so hot to the touch but it was normal... could he have an ear infection at this age??).  Above all, maybe he's just in a fussy stage right now and needs to cry... I shouldn't complain as the books I read on uncontrollable crying talk about a baby who cries for hours, yes hours, at a time.  I pray, hope and cross every finger and toe, and knock on every wood surface in my house, that he never screams for this long.
So, this post is to basically tell you that Patrick, as much as we love and adore him in our lives, can drive me nuts too.