Tuesday, November 11, 2008

...the fam...

thanks to THE NICKERSONS, we finally have some pictures of US!!! it's so funny being the person on the OTHER end of the camera! i finally understand how it feels to wonder how your pictures turned out, to hope the angle was right, and to get excited about the end result in an entirely different way! we needed some family pictures and they were so sweet to capture the images for us!! here are just a few that i was able to upload before bed :) enjoy!
























Thursday, November 6, 2008

breastmilk, anybody?.....

so we may be in a recession and all...but one member of our family will probably never starve....





guess i can return my hospital-grade pump, now....

the pinto fam!

i had the privilege of shooting some very close family friends!! talk to me about how cute their baby is, puh-lease. PRECIOUS!!! enjoy :)
(hope they dont mind!!!)


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i swear...he's impartial...










the big day....

An email sent by Huntley Brown:

Dear Friends,
A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating...

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.

I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)
To beat Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating. There is a reason the homosexual community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue

The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:

A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

God help him. There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.

Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.

There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years.

Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now?

Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a ...

1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.

Would you support a President who went to a church like that?

Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.

This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.

A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it is a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: 'Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.

Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?

So what does all this mean for the nation?

In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment.

Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king. First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.'

Then God says

1 Samuel 1:18 ' When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.' 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.' 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.'

Here is what we know for sure.

God is not schizophrenic

He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.

Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.

I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.

Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,

1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.

2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Blessings, Huntley Brown

Monday, November 3, 2008

oversimplified reasoning for my support of mccain

well, here we are.
it's Election Eve.
and there will be NO love lost over the conclusion of election season...i'm SO ready for it to be behind me. yet. somehow the news is already talking about the 2012 election season, which i know will start on wednesday morning. how foolish of me to think i'll get a break from hearing about it all.

i know this election season has been rather dramatic. first woman VP. first black President. america has come so far, and we pride ourselves on being oh so progressive. yet, i'm incredibly disappointed over how incredibly stupid i feel so much of america is, as well. senseless. emotional. without direction. desperate. maybe i'm just reaching an age where i can recognize it for what it is. maybe i've finally been around enough to compare this election season to those of yesteryear. maybe i've reached an age where i actually care like i haven't before. where i can understand reaping what we sow, as a nation. where i recognize the feeling of aftershock tremors, whenever the earthquake happens in washington....it affects me. it affects you. whether we accept that or not.

politics affects us all.
and we should care.
we should fully understand the repercussions of this election.

and so i'll briefly underscore a few of the reasons why i will vote for John McCain tomorrow.
in a country where the voice is SO LOUD for Barack Obama, i feel it's only fair for me to speak up for my candidate of choice.

and listen, we all relate more to one candidate over another based on WHAT MATTERS to us. no two lives are the same, no two sets of life circumstances, no two minds are the same for how we perceive life.
this is simply my choice based on what matters to me. allison. it may not matter to you. other things may matter more. that's ok.
we all prioritize and vote accordingly.
voting is patriotic. period. no matter who you vote for.
i may REALLY dislike who you've voted for -- but am thrilled you voted. that's democracy. that's how it should be.

The Economy:
i feel there is an assault on capitalism. obama is going to increase taxes on the very entities that create jobs in america, which in turn, will result in more job loss and loss of benefits. hello. joe the plummer. i mean, that interview SAYS IT ALL. "i think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." this should be a window into the future of america, under obama. even the most nonchalant bystander can recognize that for what it is. and i certainly don't like it. an even bigger problem under obama is the filibuster-proof majority in congress. the democrats will hold a super-majority, during a world economic crisis, a situation that is CAUSED by democrats defective ideology. sure, mccain is not the sole solution. i personally believe the economy, at this juncture can only sort itself out. but i firmly believe that obama would horribly magnify this painful experience.

you know, while i'm at it...take a look at both obama and mccain's tax forms for the past 6 years.
guess who gives 6% to charity and guess who gives 27%.
for a guy who does NOTHING but talk about spreading wealth and being his "brother's keeper"....uhm...then why did you give 0% to charitable organizations until you started running for president 2 years ago. obama, you made $1.7 MILLION DOLLARS in 2006 and only gave 6% to non-profits? that's IT? mccain wasn't even RUNNING for president and has consistently been giving 25-27% for as far back as his tax records go.... i just think this speaks VOLUMES about a candidate. obama would rather take other people's money than to simply DONATE his own to causes that are dear to his heart. why are taxes the answer for people who are too selfish to generously donate. he's NOT his brother's keeper and he showed NO interest in spreading his wealth. it makes NO sense to me. it reminds me of a friend i have, a real true friend. real life here. she lost her job this time last year. she decided to work under the table. she's never paid taxes on her "home business." she collects unemployment bc she's just "unsure about going back to an office." and she gives 0% of her money away to charity. (even when she made 6 figures, she didn't either...we would talk about it.) in my eyes, she's a drag on society. she refuses to go to work. she refuses to pay taxes. she refuses to be HONEST with the unemployment office. and she refuses to contribute to non-profits. YET. she looks at me with a straight face and says, "obama SHOULD raise taxes! look at those people who make so much money....they SHOULD help out the middle class...." why do i always feel it's the people that don't GIVE....that want to tax america more? whether it's the millionaire or the friend who lost her job.....it's unamerican to me. until YOU GIVE charitably, how dare you suggest i be taxed MORE, to suit the government's programs that i don't even support!?
WHY should the person who GETS UP every day, heads to a corporate office, sacrifices his OWN TIME to invest in HARD WORK, went to college, makes a COMMITMENT to an employer, WHY should THEY be taxed more b/c they make more? did they not EARN their stature? did they not put in MORE TIME than the friend who'd rather sleep in, and be a leach on society....sucking other's tax dollars so that she can ...."find herself...." please, people. wake up. the business owner should hardly be penalized any more than that waitress who chose to not pursue higher education and potentially create jobs...

(email me if you want the candidates tax forms....i have them.)

National Security:
we are at war. duh.
one candidate has middle-east sympathies, with zero military expertise.
one candidate has been serving his country for 40 years.
this was so easy for me.
obama wants to diminish the military of this country. he wants to dismantle the missile defense shield at a time when russia has 2x the nuclear power that we do.
north korea is working to become nuclear.
iran is spitting in our faces ad doing the same.
china is increasingly their military budget....all while obama wants to shift money away from national security.
obama wants to CUT our military budget by 25%. somebody out there PLEASE help me understand how this is smart. sure, we NEED to cut spending. but is this REALLY the area we should start at? really??? REALLY???
i'm sorry, but i can't vote for a dude during a WARTIME season, who's voting record in Illinois was "present" 97% of the time. great. you showed up for work. and you CHOSE not to take a side 97% OF THE TIME? doesn't this scare people? doesn't this cause SOME nervousness? he refused to make a decision. he KNEW how he felt only 3% of the time. he was willing to take a stand 3% of the time. wow. would i go to a hospital and allow a surgeon to operate on me when he's only been confident of his capability 3% of the time? would i hire a lawyer who was confident in his capability 3% of the time? then how can i vote for a guy when he's only made his opinion clear to the public, 3% of the time? sure, palin may not be ready to be VP...but at LEAST i know what she stands for. at least i can trust her. next point.....

Character:
i feel like mccain makes sound judgements. obama doesn't.
obama has somehow surrounded himself with the likes of William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi, Samantha Powers, and Acorn, etc.

it seems that obama has made alot of friendships that were for convenience, because i love how he claims he hardly knew any of them, despite contrary evidence. he discards his "friends" when they become a liability. where are his true friends? where are the friends of his childhood that will speak of his character? tried and true friends? he's only supported by supporters of his campaign. mccain, on the other hand has many lifelong friends dating back to his time as a prisoner. people who can really give testimony toward his loyalty and faithfulness. not to mention, he's got a public track record. we know how he values his priorities, how he votes, we know so much more about it bc he's been around so much longer.

Sanctity of Life:
mccain - prolife.
obama - pro choice.
i'll spare you any additional in-depth discussion on this...but i do feel this speaks to the moral fabric of our country. we should protect all life. even when it's inconvenient. i'm INCREDIBLY disturbed that obama (in that 3% of the time he voted up or down) was one of the few congressmen who voted in support of partial birth abortion. horrific. another easy choice for me.
(i'm sorry, but when you justify a procedure that pulls the entire body of a full-term baby out of a women, just shy of delivering the head and procede to crack the skull open to suck out the brain and then deliver a dead human being...i just can't vote for you. i just cannot. sorry...but i have standards. obama -- that makes you a sick, sick human being. to stand on the senate floor and FIGHT for the right to take away a child's right to LIVE. a breathing, kicking, living baby...and to fight for the right of a 16 year old to undergo this procedure w/o the consent of her parents, well....this presents some serious character issues, folks. pro-choice is one thing. i disagree but can UNDERSTAND the panic of a woman who's pregnant at 6 weeks. no less murder. but. i am not beyond seeing their point. but a 40-week old infant?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?)

you know...i could go on all day. we could discuss education, healthcare, borders, judicial nominees and the protection of our Constitution, 2nd amendment, national service, and more....but it'll get tedious and overbearing.

so let me just say this.
in the event of a national crisis -- and since they happen every other day, these days -- which is a real possibility:
who do you trust with the crisis.
obama?
mccain?
honestly.
i'll leave you with a piece written by Krauthammer:

"Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident? Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory? There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test? And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success. The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor. Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb."

no, mccain is not perfect. yes, i disagree with him on many things....but at least he's got a track record. a resume thicker than one page. and claims Christ as his Savior. i may disagree with him, but i sleep better at night when my Commander in Chief recognizes who he will ultimately answer to. and it's not just the voters....

:::
:::

to end on a humorous note, please look at the face of a kid who hasn't pooped in 4 days:




Thursday, October 30, 2008

holding steady




so we had our visit with georgetown hospital's apnea clinic. i love these people. they're so...i dunno. chipper? they squeal when they see how chubby isaac's gotten and he responds by peeing all over the baby scale. win/win for everybody.

and truth be told -- the kid is a tank.
frankly, chad and i call him "baby grenade."
after he is done eating...his belly is so round and hard and full, that we swear he'd blow up if he threw him across the room.

which is pretty disgusting if you think about it -- but nevertheless -- he's Baby Grenade.




he'll be 3mths on saturday. he's 13lbs.
bear in mind, 12 weeks ago, he weighed 5lbs 2oz.!
if they chart that for percentages, out of 100 babies born 6 weeks early, at 12 weeks of age, he's heavier than 95 of them.
NINETY-FIFTH PERCENTILE.
all breastmilk, people.
i deserve awards. lots of awards.

and out of babies born FULL TERM, who are now 12 weeks old...he's 6oth percentile!
we're proud of baby grenade.

oh, and he's 23 inches long, up from 18.

now, funny part is -- his father is almost 6'5".
looks like isaac is taking after me in the height dept though, because he's only 75th percentile in length. chad is extremely disappointed that our child reminds us of john belushi. my bad.

he's still chained to his heart monitor for another 4 weeks.
he had heartrate dips twice over the last week, which gives them reason to feel it's best to keep him on the monitor for another month. and that's fine with me because at this point, i feel like that wire is attached to his life support or something. whenever we take if off to bath him, we watch him like we've just cut his oxygen off or something. like his heart is gonna stop and stuff. it'll be a tough day once they take it away from us....!

::shudder::



ISAAC WAS APPROVED FOR HIS RSV ANTIBODY INJECTIONS!
this means massive things for us! we can leave the house now! i sorta dont even know where to begin! i'm almost intimidated. it's been so long since i've lugged him around town, that it feels like a major undertaking. but i'm willing to take on the challenge, compared to staying in this SAAAAME room. yknow?
HUGE MIRACLE!!!!



on a serious note -- my grandfather is dying.
it's my mom's dad and it's a very sad thing, as he's our last remaining grandparent and isaac's never met him.
THEREFORE, like the insane, crazy person that i am -- i've booked a ticket with my parents, to go say goodbye to him, while i still can. we're headed to Louisiana to spend time with family, which i haven't done...since...i really don't remember. it's TIME. it will be neat to get the 4 generation photograph...to have something that will remind isaac that he did meet his great grandfather at one time.

i have no idea how the flight will go. i'm sure it'll be the biggest undertaking ever, considering my mom will probably be equally high-maintenance (sorry, mom!!! haha), AND we have a lay-over each way. man. say a prayer. nov. 11th. gonna be interesting!!

ok...time for PJs.
i would also like to eat something better than pancakes for dinner...but i have nothing in my house.
should i order take out...again?

oooooooh, halloween is tomorrow! standby for pictures of isaac's first day of FREEEEEDOM! ;)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

God pulls strings for Isaac......

from my post yesterday:

"...please pray that either our insurance does a 180....or that we open our mailbox this week and learn that somebody has decided to send us ...oh....ten thousand dollars...give or take a few."

i, did in fact, go to my mailbox at 7pm last night and did in fact begrudgingly open an unexpected letter from my insurance company....

AETNA has made a decision about coverage for the following health care services for Isaac Morgan (references RSV injections.)

Please disregard the denial letter that you may have received for the service outlined in the decision summary above. We have received new information and have changed our previous decision. For the services identified, coverage has been approved.

just like that.
$12,500....provided.
i had to read the letter five times....and could hardly breathe....

why do i always fail to trust in God the way i should....???
THANK YOU LORD!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

sleeping update....

so your comments and suggestions have been a lifesaver. thanks for filling me in on how to get my little party animal back to sleep in the middle of the night. i actually didn't give him enough credit...he was one step ahead of the game...or a mind-reader, because i think he saw it comin.'

that night after i posted about his second wind at 4am, i fed him, changed him, and put him right into his crib, in a semi-awake state. (OK, OK....so i rocked him for 3 minutes....i'm ADDICTED.) he did not utter a PEEP and went to sleep like a champ. same for the 4am feeding. same for every night since then!!??

i find myself standing, holding my breath in the hallway, waiting for a freak out....and sometimes i hear a grunt or can tell he's straining to BUST out of his straight-jacket swaddle blanket (how did mothers LIVE WITHOUT THESE before some Einstein created it...) with all his might, but he eventually succumbs to the realization that he's stuck there and may as well doze off, or it'll be a long night.

we've even had moderate luck with this technique during the day, for naptime. i have to admit, "naptime" is a very liberal term right now. he naps non-stop. but i am about to make a huge confession. yoooooooge! for the first 11 weeks of his life....he never once napped in his crib. THEREISAIDIT. i would set him in his little boppy on the couch....and he would nap next to me, while i'd watch tv, edit pictures, email my friends/clients, eat my lunch, whatever the heck it is that i do all day. but, in recent days i've noticed he's alot more alert and "disturbed" during naptime by the noise of his surroundings. things like...oh...pots and pans banging, me doing the dishes, me on the phone, etc. etc., seems to now awaken him from his coma-like naps. now before you go judgin' you should understand how naptime in the living room came to be! the kid has a freaking heart monitor, ok? and when he was discharged, that puppy fired off every other minute. and outside of the fact that you have to RESET the monitor after every "heart event"...and record it on a notebook...i simply didnt WANT to be that far away from him. his room is upstairs. and i wanted him as close to me as possible at all times. and stairs aren't cool after c-sections. and my excuses could drone on all day. but there you have it. it was time for NURSERY naptime.

and so last week, i put him in his crib, half-awake, and he WAS NOT THRILLED. it was the first time i think i realized he's a weeeeeeeeeeeee bit spoiled. but we toughed it out and whaddya know -- he slept for FOUR HOURS. i almost got scared. and then i remembered that if he's dead...his heart monitor would have relayed that message to me.

now that you're all up to speed on my sleep failures/successes, i'd like to ask my next question i have in my pursuit of "good mommy-ness." remember back in the day when i said my kid NEVER cries for no reason? awww, that was really sweet of isaac to entertain his little 8 week old brain and stare at walls in deep content. well. he's still pretty content. and. he still rarely cries for no reason.

but what the HECK do i do about all the times he cries and i KNOW what his reason is....and i must deny him!? somehow over the course of the prior 2.5mths, he's grown an affinity for being held. all. the. bloody. time. the little dude has massive opinions about being put down on his play mat. he watches me. he cranes his little neck to stare at me leave the room to refill my cup of coffee. and he voices ALOT of dissent.

alot.

i try to let him howl it out, when i KNOW his tank is FULL of milk, his diaper is freshly changed, and he's recently taken a nap and should NOT be tired or cranky. but there is something incredibly UNNERVING about trying to ignore a kid screaming...when...it goes on...for...ever? and the SECOND you pick him up -- he takes a few minutes to catch his breath (slamdunk for isaac b/c mommy feels REALLY abusive when he's so upset that he's panting...) and gives me this HUUUUUGE smile....and all is well once again in the world. ooooooh, you little stinker....

i've pretty much tried it all.
i've even resorted to popping the creepiest thing i've ever seen, into my DVD player.
BABY EINSTEIN VIDEOS for 3+ month old babies.
holy-tripped-out-acid-induced-flurry-of-babble-talking-puppets-
and-psychedelic-colors.
i found myself wiping the drool off my chin, after becoming entranced by the darn video for a good 20 minutes....while isaac found contentment in my lap, staring at a window. he couldn't have cared less about the entire ordeal.

i've tried swings.
play mats.
toys.
tv.

and he'd simply sell his soul to be held.
and i start waiving a white flag and give up b/c i start to wonder if he's miserable and....OMG I AM BECOMING THAT MOM. HELP ME. not to mention, i've also becoming a lame duck all day, staring at a to-do list that is ever growing.

suggestions?
i'm takin' 'em!

in other ground-breaking, front-page worthy news:
I AM BACK INTO PRE-PREGNANCY JEANS

i mean.
it's been 12 weeks.
i have no idea what's normal or not.
and i will make no further comment about how MANY pairs of pre-pregnancy jeans i fit into (i think we need a graveyard for clothing that my body will NEVER fit into again...) but the POINT IS, i have fully packed up my maternity clothes and dragged out all of my winter clothes and hung them up. i feel like a new woman, getting dressed in normal clothes again, however i may never, ever relinquish my maternity underwear. much to my husband's dismay.

he asked me last week, "al, ....don't you think it's time to go back to your....other underwear?" it took me a minute to EVEN KNOW what he was talking about. that's how much my maternity underwear and i, are one. they are cotton briefs. WHATS WRONG WITH THAT? but omg...are they ever comfortable. and i argued, whats the POINT?! as long as i'm in NURSING BRAS, which are far less sexy than plain old cotton briefs -- why bother! nothing says HOT MAMA like a grammy-sized nursing bra and lace thongs. jeez. i would look like a hooker with an identity crisis. however, i think my husband would be ok with that.

(for the record i do not OWN lace thongs, nor would my booty enjoy lace thongs. just sayin.)

so hip-hip-hurray for pre-preggo jeans.
no matter how snug they are.
my body is very reluctant to let GO of those last 5-7lbs, but i should be grateful, because i have a good idea where they are. the day those 5-7lbs vanish, i venture to say my bra cup size will vanish as well. and it ...wont...be....pretty.

better hope those lace thongs do ALOT of distracting.....ugh.

well, if you think of it -- say some prayers for us this week.
for starters, isaac has been advised by his pediatricians to receive the RSV antibody. 15 babies in our pediatrician's office have qualified for it -- isaac being one of them. given he was born before 35 weeks, and under 5.5lbs, and within 6mths of RSV season -- they find it very advantageous for him to receive this injection every 29 days, for the 5 months of RSV season.

upside -- immunity from this potentially devastating illness (his lungs would not handle it well, considering they are still recovering from being born too early.)

downside -- our insurance has refused to cover them (based on some CRACKED OUT reasons that we are still fighting), and they are $2500 PER INJECTION. and frankly, thats a crapload of money we OBVIOUSLY do not have.

please pray that either our insurance does a 180....or that we open our mailbox this week and learn that somebody has decided to send us ...oh....ten thousand dollars...give or take a few.

also, on wednesday, isaac gets his next vaccines! THRILLING! after this wednesday, we're FREE TO GET ON WITH OUR LIVES!!!! PRAISE GOD! i am free from this HOUSE!

and on thursday, we head to georgetown hospital to have them review isaac's heart monitor recordings and let us know if he's back to "normal" or if he needs to spend another 4 weeks on it. either way....i'm fine with, for varying reasons.

welp, it's almost noon and i'm starving so....have a great week!
toodles.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

so i hit a wall this month.
lots of frustrating, crappy things happened, but hopefully it's behind me and i can get on with my duty of blogging. ha.

i think there was a catastrophic union between A) sheer exhaustion catching up with me, B) mourning, C) illness, D) isaac's newfound lock-down (due to a choice we made in the vaccination arena), and E) Puff's travel schedule.

wow.
knocked me over and left me reeling.
i still don't feel 100%, but i think i'm on the mend.
i did however find strange solace this month by watching a new season of jon & kate plus 8, and the amazing race.

have you ever noticed it's more fun watching tv with somebody? why is that? normally i dont watch much more than Fox news. but it was actually alot of fun watching amazing race with puffy. my mom is always asking me if i watch certain shows throughout the day and i have no idea what she's talking about. lots of peeps were high on life with the "new season of such and such" starting and i'm thinking, "when do new seasons start? or end, for that matter?" well, that's not fair b/c i was keenly aware of when The Office season was over. i shed a few tears when i have to watch reruns for months on end.

uhm, oh right. i have a kid. and he's getting huge.
he'll be 12 weeks old on friday.
can you even handle it? frankly, i feel like he's WAY older than 12 weeks. sometimes it does feel more like 12 years.
i went back to church for the first time on sunday and it was WEIRD. because he was so little and breastfeeding was SO complicated, i just couldn't be bothered to wake him up, spend an hour breastfeeding, then another 20 minutes pumping, then change isaac and get him situated, in enough time to perfectly coordinate walking out the door and walking back through the door to get to church and back. forget it. i got overwhelmed just thinking of it. so i would stay home and chad would go to church.

well on sunday, i went and i have to say, it was crazy weird. so many memories flooded back.
the last time i was there, i was constantly mapping out where the bathrooms were, constantly starving, and uncomfortable. gosh, if i only knew what my week would hold, the last time i sat in those pews. craziness. but it felt SOOO good and refreshing to be out of the house and back at home with a bunch of faces i haven't seen in so long, at church....

ok, so isaac is doing this HORRENDOUS thing lately, where he wakes up at 4am and wants to party. full on bouncing, smiling, trying to stand up, talking....PAAAARTY. i even try to sit there and rock him in pitch darkness, which calms him down a little bit....and so i put his head on my shoulder and rock for twenty minutes, only to pull him away a bit long enough for me to see if he's dead asleep...and HE IS STILL STARING AT ME. wide eyed. you must be kidding me, kid. if you weren't so GOSH-DARN CUTE i would tear my hair out.

i've decided that maybe it's time to put him back to bed -- wide awake. i cringe b/c chad is such a LIGHT sleeper that if isaac decided to pitch a fit about it -- chad is the one who will suffer. and chad is the one who has to get up and bring home the bacon. so chad takes priority.

but last night, (er, wee hours of the morning) -- into the crib he goes.
and he proceeded to protest until 715am.
not crying.
just....protesting.

how many of you moms would do a mid-night feeding, change diapers, rock for a while...and proceed to put your kid back to bed wide-awake?? why does it break my heart to close his door knowing he's staring into darkness, all alone? I CANT DO IT!!!! but i'm trying. i need encouraging stories....

help me not feel so guilty.
anybody?......

Sunday, September 28, 2008

almost october?


almost ...
october?

i mean, the only highlight i can see, from staring into the face of the upcoming winter is, NO MORE ELECTION COVERAGE. somebody make it stop. i can't TAKE IT ANYMORE. so sure, it's jarring to think that october is merely hours away, but it brings us THAT much closer to the election and hopefully, the end of all this hoopla. you do realize that i feel as though i've been submerged in this crap for far too long. i started my final desk job back in 2005, and we were talking about the 08 elections then!....i cannot believe we're still talking about it NOW. obviously it makes sense and all that we would...being it is 08, and all....but gosh. it deters me from watching the MINIMAL amount of tv that i normally splurge on.

...i'm starving...random.

(isaac fussing in his sleep. omg. sleep. i would kill to be a baby again. when i'm not cuddling and cooing and feeling warm fuzzies about my baby....i'm bitterly staring at him in his warm swaddle, wishing i could crawl into a velcro straight-jacket and sleep for 4 hours like him. or 3 hours. 4 hours was wishful thinking....)

so i fell for the craze.
i broke down and bought "happiest baby on the block."
i got the book and the DVD.
along with "the vaccine book" by...er....some pediatrician...dr. whatshisname. WHATHISNAME??? this is gonna kill me....SEARS? seers? veers? whatever.

anyways.
i dunno why i wanted happiest baby on the block. i guess all my friends told me they loved it. so i bought it on amazon and it arrived last week.
i've cracked the book and taken a gander or two, but reading makes me crossed eyed these days, further explaining why moms just...become a little less.....how shall we say....sharp? yeah. sharp. you just dont have it in you to READ like you used to. the newspaper. the magazines. the fine print on the narcotics bottle. you know. anything.

so i didnt make it very far in the book.
maybe when i get more than 4 straight hours of sleep, i'll feel more attracted to books.
anyways. the dvd was interesting.
i decided to watch it with my mom while she was here...and it was fun to sit down and have her commentary as well.
we enjoyed the movie...but she brought my attention to something i feel a weeee bit hesitant to admit....

...i already have the happiest baby on the block....

gasp.
i said it.
i'm currently ducking behind my laptop, waiting to have that "colic" mom hurl tomatoes at me.

i've never had a baby before.
apparently, according to my mom, some babies just...cry for no reason.
scream. alot. like...for hours.
and considering i've never really babysat...and considering this is my only REAL hands on, longterm experience with babies....i had no clue.

so we watched the video and wanted to wait until isaac had a FREAKOUT, to try some of this dude's maneuvers...and...were never given the opportunity. and i realized, gosh, isaac's a chill dude. sure, he cries when he's hungry. easy. check. feed him. check. and he stops crying. or when he's tired. check. swaddle. check. rock. check. he stops crying.

i realized, and i told my mom, i've never wondered what was wrong with him. he's never cried and had it baffle me. he's never wailed for hours on end...for no reason. i felt HORRIBLE for these moms on the DVD!? "my baby cries for 5 hours straight...."

and the video cuts to this scrrrreaming baby, who looks SO UPSET. i would DIE! how TRAGIC!? how can this be!?

i steal a glance out of the corner of my eye, to check out isaac, who is doing this:



my kid just flat out rocks.
and it took my mom pointing it out, for me to realize...wow...he sure didn't get chad's looks, but he CERTAINLY got chads personality! THANK YOU LORD. all day, isaac is happy to sit in his little boppy and survey the world. he tells me when it's time to eat and when it's time to sleep...and sometimes has a quick chit chat with rudy...and loves life.

whew.
so if you wanna borrow the happiest baby book or DVD, you just let me know -- cuz for now (you will gleefully watch me eat my words, if the tides change, which i'm sure they will. i am asking for it, by pressing "publish..") i guess i don't need it? yikes. what has this world come to!!!!

in other news, i'd like to thank jujube for lending me one more baby THING that clutters up my living room with those bright obnoxious "toddler colors" that i lived to HATE during my young adult life. ISAAC LOVES IT :) of course, the "play mat" as we call it, us mostly used for this:



but he only ends up like that after a full hour of staring at all the bright shiny things, and blowing up his brain with flourescent stimulation. thanks for letting us borrow it!!! you may never get it back :)

isaac is brilliant.
he already learned to give kisses.....
har har har



more brightshinyscarypsychosis for afternoon entertainment....
dont you just wanna SQUISH those cheeks.
dang. he certainly got my forehead.



remember when i said he never cries?
HA.
how soon i forget bath time. does that count?
and no, he wasn't plugged in via wires. no children were harmed in the taking of this photograph. we politely turned off his heart monitor, as to avoid electrocution.



check out the attitude change....
oh...and my enormous ta-ta's.....



i can't STAND the cuteness....



that's it for your monday edition....
my mom, sister in law and brother took off this afternoon and it was ALOT of fun having them!!! my brothers still had not met isaac and moms are just good to have around PERIOD!

but it APPEARS from the looks of my raging social calendar, that OCTOBER is guest-free!!!! guest-free FREEEEEDOM!!!!!! no more washing sheets, towels, bath tubs, dishes....or my hair. jk. i'll still wash dishes....

on a final, and slightly more serious (delirious) topic....
...lets talk vaccines.

i've interrogated 4 pediatricans about this.
and if you've come to my house to visit me since isaac's arrival, i've interrogated you, too.
i'm exxxtremely torn on vaccines.
and the book i'm going through is incredible.

isaac's scheduled for his first round of vaccines on wednesday.
i'm pro-vaccine.....
i'm NOT excited about the current vaccine schedule.
i may reconcile all the pros and cons by simply breaking up the vaccines and re-ordering how they're administered....

but i'm too tired to dive into that topic tonight!
besides, i think i have some choc chip cookie dough distracting me....
more on this later....

bye!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

this must be a joke.....

hollllla!
this past week or two have been a little crazy b/c my inlaws have been in my little crazy house to sit around and stare at my little crazy kid.

and now that the inlaws have left, my own family arrives to stay for 10 days.

whew.
not gonna cry myself to sleep when it's just me and isaac again.
well...and chad, too. ;)

we've had a revolving door for the past month with visitors and immediate family and they've all been very helpful, most specifically, in allowing me to sleep!

but without further ado, i'm going to explicitly describe (complain?) my breastfeeding hell. people, you can NEVER understand how complicated breastfeeding can be until you have a preemie. i'm sorry, but when you bottlefeed a child for the first 2 weeks of his life (with breastmilk, no worries!) and then attempt to transition to breastfeeding -- IT IS NOT EASY!!!

when isaac was born, he was tube-fed for a day and then they started taking my breastmilk and putting it in these ITTY BITTY bottles that looked as though they'd more perfectly fit in my cabbage patch kid's mouth -- not my REAL baby's! they were so small, but fortunately, he handled the milk very well and we were able to increase his milk "doses" every day!!!

by the time he was a week old, they encouraged me to attempt breastfeeding, if i was in fact, going to pursue that path. i felt incredibly intimidated by the entire ordeal and frankly, i felt too modest to try such a thing in the presence of all the NICU staff. but thank GOD i did. they gave me little tricks on how to get isaac to open his mouth, on how to best hold him, on how to get him to swallow, on how to keep him awake....it was one-on-one training, every day, in breastfeeding!

but still, we continued to hit snags....34-35 week old babies just don't really understand the "suck" ordeal. they try, and it's just ALOT easier for babies to drink from bottles, particularly ones that have massive holes in the nipples to allow the milk to drip effortlessly down their throats. and of course, since weight gain was PARAMOUNT for isaac -- and because he was so little -- we did NOT want him burning calories trying to fight through breastfeeding.

did you know that breastfeeding burns more calories than bottlefeeding? and had we forced him (if we even COULD have) to breastfeed, he'd burn more than he'd consume. SO....bottle was the way to go!!!! each day i'd sit in the NICU room and pump with this FANTASTIC hospital-grade pump and hand the milk over to the staff and they'd freeze/refridgerate it for me for his feedings every 3 hours.

as his discharge drew closer, we tried breastfeeding daily, and it was frustrating b/c i was being told my boobs had issues. they were "flat." hmm. interesting. i had never HEARD of such a thing...but apparently my puppies are particularly difficult for a newborn to latch on to. awwwesome. so we started using THIS:



a "nipple" shield.
IT WORKED WONDERS!!! if you've ever contemplated using one of these, please be encouraged to do so!!! my little preemie was able to latch on immediately and pull the milk out -- but it SUCKED having to keep it on standby for every feeding. and they're CLEAR so they're easily lost around the house. WHY couldn't they design a flourescent...or BETTER YET...a glow in the dark nipple shield. chad would have LOVED that......HA!

so anyhow, that helped up big time...
as did THIS:



the milk i was able to bring home with me from the NICU!!! i had pumped so much and he was drinking soooo little, that they kept it in a freezer for me and sent me home with it. my little treasure chest of goodness.....

and to think -- it's still in the freezer! both moms got a big kick out of it and i feel sad that it'll probably go to waste :( anybody need some colostrum/milk? ew....

so i'm finally home.....and i wake up one morning feeling....cold.
i jump out of bed to get ready for the day and stare at myself in the bathroom mirror and MY T-SHIRT IS SOAKED!? i run back to the bed and MY SHEETS are SOAKED?! why did NOBODY tell me that your boobs explode in your sleep on day...oh...5, after the baby's birth??? holy crap! my boobs were on FIRE and my shirt and sheets were covered with milk!!! it was then that i decided it was time to get serious about nursing bras and nursing pads!!! or i was going to be in a milky mess all the time!

collection of nursing bras/tanks:



i'm sorry, but WHAT SIZE do i need?
exactly.
34/DD

last year i was fitted at victoria's secret as a 32A.
THIRTY TWO A ---> THIRTY FOUR DOUBLE D!!????
that's just gross.

but let me just 'sidebar' for a second.
i felt HOT the first week after isaac was born.
i was limping around in pain, and trying to figure out if my world had really gone upside down as i expected....but i felt HOT. my stomach was WAY lighter and smaller than the week prior, and my boobs were HUGE!!! and by huge -- i mean OUT OF THIS WORLD big!

and then the explosion happened in my sleep all over my sheets and it wasn't as cool anymore. HA! but i know alot of women feel like crap after their baby is born, but i felt really attractive and beautiful. i felt accomplished. i felt ....very content and happy with myself in a way that i never had before...



anyhoo, i made the crucial mistake of pumping and pouring the milk into bottles and feeding isaac through a bottle during his first 2 weeks home (36-38 weeks). he was still a wee wittle bebe, and we still needed some significant weight gain, so i felt it was best to make his life easy. LITTLE DID I KNOW i was shooting myself in the foot! he would gobble up the bottles and i would pump (time consuming, but worth it!)....

and then i'd have to wash all the parts on a daily basis.
and there...were...alot...of parts.
you figure you're pumping 8-12 times a day -- and that adds up!!!
i have a freaking medela factory in my kitchen!!!











and a medela factory in my FRIDGE.....



but then things went downhill.
my milk supply started to dwindle.
apparently, pumping exclusively for 4 weeks, takes it's toll on your milk.
breasts dont like the pump.
they like BABY.
and isaac hadn't been properly trained on how to latch (minus breast shield) so.....i was eeking out ounces at a time....and my fridge was starting to take a hit on my milk reserves.

i frrrrreaked out.
and called a lactation consultant and IMMEDIATELY got an appt for the next day.
i decided i needed to revert back to my hospital grade pump.....so i rented one from them. you can pay by month -- and BOY this puppy works!!!! it's the same one i used in the NICU and i may NEVER give it back!!!! :)



then the consultant put me on a crazy "suppliment" schedule!!!
Fenugreek capsules = three pills, three times a day.
Mother's Milk Tea = THREE CUPS A DAY! (and it tastes like S***)
Mother's Milk Plus drops = 1ML mixed in water, three times a day

oh...and a bowl of oatmeal a day.



then she wanted me to pump 12 times a day.
EVEN if he breastfed for a feeding -- i was still ordered to pump after he ate, regardless.
i did this at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 6am, 8am.....etc etc.

and stored it in these bags....



...and.....

IT WORKED!!!!!!
this is my freezer now:



yep...more milk hiding behind the ice cream!



it's HARD WORK, but it IS POSSIBLE to restore your milk flow if you're willing to COMPLETELY sacrifice your sanity, sleep, and social life.

i have been doing this for the past 5 weeks.
i have cried while pumping out of INSANE boredom.
each feeding would take an hour and a half.
try to get him to breastfeed.
then suppliment with a bottle of breastmilk.
then pump the rest out.
put it in bags....
change his diaper.
and do it all over again in about....oh....10 minutes.

there was one day where i did not leave his nursery for EIGHT HOURS.
this vicious cycle just trapped me that day and by the end of the day i was in tears.
staring out his nursery window.
wondering HOW LONG a tortured day can last.
you figure each feeding took at least an hour.
and you do that 8-12 x a day....
THATS TWELVE HOURS of feeding!?

i have to admit, i'm shocked anybody in our generation would do this. our generation is GO GO GO...and all about convenience...and this cycle was STOP STOP STOP and UTTERLY inconvenient....

but isaac was worth it.
maybe it was my way of making it up to him.
my way of offerring him something i felt he deserved after being so short-changed because of my body.

i INSISTED on this working and nearly killed myself doing it.

i decided to eventually "cheat" and skip his 6am feeding, so that chad could feed him and let me sleep from 4-8am. and i'd skip the 6am pumping session.

it really helped restore SOME of my mental energy.
but then we had to buy stuff for CHAD to be able to do so....
new bottles that most closely resembled "the breast."



and bottle heaters:



and our little system was....at least, established.
until.
life got EVEN MORE complicated b/c i contracted YEAST/THRUSH infection in my breastmilk.

DEAR LORD NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
i noticed the pain involved with breastfeeding made EVERYTHING WORSE. i had NO IDEA breastfeeding could BE SO EFFING PAINFUL. i would hold my breath, break a sweat, get nauseous when he'd latch on. i would cry, i would want to throw isaac across the room, i would GO MAD each time he was leaning in to latch on......

my boobs would shrivel up and DIE at the thought of feeding isaac.
WHAT WAS WRONG?
i went to my OB and then to my primary doctor and then to my pediatricia...

hello.
yeast.

if you thought my breastfeeding regimin was bad before -- YOU NEVER WANT TO GET THRUSH!!!!!

it involved the following items:

MORE nursing pads b/c you can NEVER reuse one, once it's used...b/c of the spread of yeast.
then it involved cream for isaac's bum.
cream for my boobs.
drops for his mouth.
vinigar/hot water.
steam bags.



















basically, lets go through this again:

cry through breastfeeding scenario: isaac fights to latch (so complicated), then i cry through pain, then he gets frustrated b/c he's confused as to why he's not drinking from a BOTTLE
then i make bottle of breastmilk.
then i change his diaper.
then i pump.
then i take a dropper and cutip and swab his mouth with medicine.
he screams.
spits it out.
repeat.
then i wash his hands with hot soapy water b/c babies spread yeast by sucking on their hands.
then i mix 1 part vinigar to 3 parts water...and wash boobs.
air dry.
(baby still screaming)
then put ointment all over boobs.
then take oral antibiotic.

then daily STEAM all those bottle/pumping parts we discussed earlier to disinfect EVERYTHING he touches.

then cry more.
and do it all over again.

i was lucky to eat a granola bar...lucky to catch my VMs days too late...lucky to get to my emails....lucky to DO ANYTHING for myself.

but that was only for 10 days.
only.

then i headed back to the lactation consultant's office.
follow up appointment to weight my baby and discuss our course of FUTURE action.
she weighed him.
i breastfed him.
and weighed him again.

he didn't eat enough.
which meant, i was sent home with a scale to do this myself at each feeding to ensure he's getting enough and to suppliment each meal with the difference in a bottle.

SO NOW, in addition to ALL the aforementioned crap....i had to do MATH!?
weight x 2.5 divided by 8 = ounces per feeding.

weigh, feed, weigh, bottle, pump, ointments, creams, washing, vinigar, steam, medicine...

SHOOT THE MOTHER ALREADY.
they put horses under for far less misery than this....







but guess what?
he's now over ten pounds.
he now exclusively breastfeeds :)
he now sleeps 4 hour stretches through night.
he now GETS IT and I DID IT!!!!!!

it was ALL worth it!!!!! i feel SO SO SO proud of MYSELF and of ISAAC for making this work!!! we have had some tearful late nights and some insanely long days....but he's almost 8 weeks old (1.5 WEEKS adjusted age--one and a half weeks past his due date) and weighs 10+ pounds!!!!!!!

and the pain is FINALLY GONE....and i feel the worst is behind us!!!!!
i've spent a fortune....i've tearfully rocked my baby for HOURS and HOURS.....and the end was SO SO SO worth the means...!!!!!

WE LOVE YOU ISAAC!!!
this is what my boys do while i'm slaving away, at the end of the day :)
SO not fair!!!







my husband is great....
he did feel REALLY bad for me on those long days....
it was torturous for him to witness....

and he left me this next to my pump, in the baby's nursery....
a love letter....
i looooove my husband! he makes my job as mother SO much easier, through his careful support and loving care of me!!



and these :)



all to say -- IF I CAN DO IT -- anybody can do it.
well.
if you have limitless numbers of hours to kill....and a great support system!

THANK YOU NORTHERN VIRGINIA LACTATION CONSULTANTS and all the consultants in the NICU!!!!