Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Clara is sick. Her fever is 102 today. That means in addition to a regular doctor's appointment she has to be cath'd and checked for a UTI. How fun, right? Because it's not bad enough that she's sick but then to be stuck in the bladder. Gah.

This time she's going to Hopkins. I don't care how much more it costs us to have it done there. I don't care that it's completely inconvenient to my house or my life. I will not have her screaming on the table again while an incompetent nurse trys to locate where to put the cath.

Ray is taking her to her doc's appointment at 3pm. She was just there on Friday and was diagnosed with a simple "virus" and "not to worry"- but she has since gotten worse. Last night was probably the worst night we've had with her since she's been three months old. I hope not to repeat that tonight.

And of course with all this illness going around one of us has to stay home with her and it's been Ray because I have absolutely no time to take. Life is sucky. We'll just have to hope it isn't a breakthrough UTI (that's really bad news) and that it's something that can be easily remedied (i.e. not H1N1).

I wish this post was happier.

I have to say though overall Clara has been really great. She still won't crawl-which has me somewhat concerned about her gross motor skills. Her fine motor skills are coming along great though. She's also been very iffy with food lately. Not sure why. I don't know if it has something to do with her being sick or if it's teething again (why is everything teething?) But she's a happy happy girl. LOVES being on her daddy's shoulders and playing with Aunt Jenni. I am thinking about buying her some toys she can really play with (we have a few dollies and thing but no real toys) I think she'll like that.

Christmas is coming- it's going to be interesting with her. Plus we've got some house issues to deal with so Christmas may be a bit on the lighter side. I told Ray that we really just need to wrap a few boxes and give them to Clara since she'll only want the paper and the box anyway. LOL

Well that's all for Clara updates. Sorry I have been so MIA lately. Life has been nutty. Check out my other blog for more about that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh Wow

It's been a while eh?

So what's new, you ask, in the life of little Clara Rose?

She is learning to crawl. I am not sure we're ready for her mobility yet but, either way it's coming. And of course she gets cuter by the day.

She's eating some solid foods now. We're doing a baby led weaning approach which we love. It's a mess, but she's so cute eating that I could never do purees with her. She just enjoys gnawing on stuff too much. She's getting the hang of it. A lot less food on the floor and in her hair now anyway.

Clara is growing every day. I am so much enjoying getting to know her cute little personality. We have three teeth now too. She giggles so much it makes me heart melt. She's daddy's little girl.

As for me? I had my yearly GYN appt the past week. The PCOS is still running rampant. Dr. J and I talked about the possibility of having another baby. I told her that wouldn't be a for a while- as in Ray and I won't be discussing having another one until Clara is at least 2. She recommended that I go on birth control to help ease the PCOS symtoms. I agreed since the symptoms are f'ing with my life right now. I need to have some blood work done since I am being put on YAZ. I sure hope it works better for me than the last round of BC I was on.

If we have another one (which, I am not sure we will honestly since I am looking to go back to school next fall to do a very time intensive program) I will probably have to go back to the RE to do it. And although the 50mg clomid without the trigger worked last time there is no assurance that it will the next time. So needless to say, I am nervous about that. Maybe before head right back to the RE's office we'll do some trying on our own. Maybe additional weight loss and the control of the symptoms with BC will help the next shot out.

That's it here. I leave you all with a picture of Clara and her daddy:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clara's First 6 months- a Picture Retrospective

Three days

One Month

Two Months
Three Months
Four Months
Five Months

Six Months

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Big

Our little Clara is growing up. Today Clara Rose is 6 months old. I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday we brought her tiny little self home-all bundled with blankets. That teensy little 19 7/8ths inch, 6lb 12oz baby girl is now a full 26 inches long and 15lbs and 5 oz. And where has the time gone.

She has since sprouted 2 teeth (another on the way very shortly), learned to turn over, hold a bottle and sit up without help. We are about to begin on a journey of solid food via baby-led weaning (which Mommy is quite excited about). She’s got to be the happiest baby on earth though. She doesn’t cry except when she’s hungry or teething. She laughs and smiles often and she LOVES being close to people. She’s the hit of the daycare.

It’s hard to imagine just how much she’s changed in these last 6 months. She seems so big now from when we brought her home. I can hardly remember those days (I remember the nights well enough :P). She’s thriving and a joy and I couldn’t be happier.

In 6 months time we’ll be celebrating her first birthday in DisneyWorld. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings for us…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nothing like a little poke in the bladder...

INCOMPETENCE. No seriously, the nurses at St. Joe’s here in Baltimore are incompetent.

Two Fridays ago (yes folks it has been that long since my last update), my mother and I went to St. Joe’s for Clara’s re-cath and VCUG If I failed to mention what was going on with that the doctor, to rule out VUR sent Clara in for this test and a re-cath to take her urine to check to make sure all the e.coli was gone. Apparently it is common in young girls to have some type of VUR which they typically grow out of. Anyway, so the last time we were at St. Joe’s the nurse and PA took about 2 mins to cath Clara, grab the urine and take out the cath. Yes, she screamed but once the cath was out she was fine. So I expected much the same thing to happen this time. But did it? No.

Rather than get two competent nurses we got one fresh-out-of-nursing-school nurse and some other moron with a nursing degree. But first things first. After we registered we were told to head to radiology where they would be doing the VCUG (natch). The nurse in radiology told us “we don’t cath here you have to take her to 2 north [pediatrics].” Mom and I hustle up there to find that there is no record that we are coming in (remember I said Clara was also supposed to have her urine re-tested so they SHOULD HAVE had a record of us but they didn’t). The fresh-out-of-nursing-school nurse runs down the hall to get charge nurse. I am not sure who she actually got but neither she nor the one she got were competent in any way. Have I mentioned their extreme level of incompetence yet???

So these two moronic jerks set out on a course to cath my 12lb, 25in happy, adorable, bundle of love. Clara had no idea what was about to happen but the two of us (me and my mom that is) were there to soothe her should anything go wrong. And go wrong it did. The more experienced nurse (I assume) handed over the reigns of cath’ing Clara to the just out of nursing school nurse. For 15 minutes she tried to cath my baby. All the while my beautiful and happy baby is screaming bloody murder. AND speaking of which she actually made my child BLEED. Finally, after bringing me to tears (I just couldn’t stand it any more) I told them to STOP, STOP IT RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT- which was met with “but but but” and I said GET OFF HER RIGHT NOW and so they did. I calmed down Clara (actually my mother did as I ranted about how pissed I was). The two re-entered with a new cath. I almost had it in my mind to get an actual Dr or PA or NP but I didn’t because my mother assured me all would go well this time.

It didn’t. And again 15 minutes of crying and excuse making by the more experienced nurse occurred. “Oh, sometimes a baby’s anatomy is off to the side and it’s hard to get to” to which I responded “this isn’t the first time she’s been cath’d the last time it took 2 minutes what the HELL is your problem”- a very surprised look from the nurse. Finally, they got it in and now I was charged with walking my child, screaming, crying, fidgeting and fussing down to radiology on 1 South. That’s an elevator ride and a nice LONG ass walk. We get to radiology and they took her right in THANK GOODNESS.

What did the doctor find? She definitely has VUR- at least Grade III if not Grade IV, maybe higher. We were given antibiotic prophylaxis to take until she can see the Pediatric Urologist on August 10. The Ped Uro is at Hopkins and he’s a pretty popular guy (well he should be, he’s the head of Ped Uro there). So it’s a waiting game.

In the meanwhile Clara has learned to turn over, laugh and, get this, hold a bottle all in the last month-totally amazing both me and her daddy. She has the world’s best, most heart-melting smile. She has begun to teethe but I hear that it can take a while to see teeth; lucky us. More pictures to come- I promise.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And now for the conclusion (Part II)

I chatted with the daycare director face to face yesterday when we went to pick up Clara. The room was in much better condition (still not 100% but a lot better than when I walked in yesterday). Ms. Millie had left for the day so I still didn't get to speak with her (apparently her hours are 8:30-5:30. We have to drop Clara off before 7:30am and we can't pick her up until 6:15pm because Ray and I both work in the city and the daycare is way out in the 'burbs). After having a brief chat with two of Clara's "old teachers" (they are the original Infant I teachers that are now the new Infant II teachers) I spoke with Jessica (the director).

I explained to Jessica how I felt and what I thought about the switch and how I wished it had been better explained to us. I told her I was rather upset with the state of the room in the morning and I felt like there was enough time for Ms Millie to set up her room for all the new infants she was about to get. I let her know that I didn't think it was acceptable that if I am handing over medication to teachers that the actual teacher who would be administering the drug to my child wasn't there to speak to. Jessica explained that whatever teacher I spoke to could relay any messages. I said "look I know they are supposed to do that but when you have 6 children who are all either in stages of crawling, crusing, walking etc your primary concern when another teacher walks into the door is to get help. That usually means handing over whatever children aren't really 'your' children and stopping the children that are 'yours' from running amok in the room. Now with that in mind some things, some very important things, may not be communicated and while I know I can write a page long note about my Clara-once again with other children involved things don't get read, things get missed and we have problems." So Jessica said she understood my concern. Then I mentioned about the little babies typically being asleep earlier in the morning (or at least going down earlier than the 9-18 month crowd). I said "listen most 9-18 month olds have set nap times, right? Little little ones usually don't-they sleep when they are tired, eat when they are hungry typically-they are much harder to schedule. When you have to have them in a room where there is no place for them to sleep except the floor on a boppy or in the bouncy seat or in another child's crib [I actually don't think they allow this] it's really not conducive to their happiness and well-being. Not to mention when Ms. Millie comes in the door at 8:30am if my child happens to be napping already, now Ms. Millie has to pick her up, move her to the other room, put her in her crib. That can be disruptive and disturbing to my kid, you understand what I am saying?" And Jessica said "absolutely and I never thought about it like that. Perhaps what I need to do is have one of the Infant II teachers in the Infant I room until Ms. Millie comes in." Then Jessica said she thought it might be difficult to convince any of the now Infant II teachers to move to the Infant I room because all the Infant II teachers are very social and part of the reason Ms. Millie only has three babies is because she likes to "work alone." Well HELL PEOPLE- this ins't a freaking democracy is it? I wanted to say "Uh but Jessica YOU ARE THE BOSS AND YOU MAKE THE SCHEDULE" I mean tough crap that you HAVE to be in an hour early so you can actually TALK to parents (GOD freakin' forbid that happens) or that you have to leave your precious Infant II room so that someone can pay attention to my kid while she sleeps. LOOK I know it's no fun dealing with a 4 month old- I mean what does a 4 month old do but eat, sleep, poop, smile and be charming? But honestly NOT MY PROBLEM. You get PAID to sit and watch my kid sleep for heaven's sake. It's the easiest f'ing thing to do that, no?

Anyway, we'll see what Jessica ends up doing.

*sigh* Yet another reason I need to be home with my kid. WHY does it have to be so hard folks? Why?

P.S. The doctor called and she has e. coli in her urine. Ugh. We have to keep giving her the abx and call the doc in a week. My guess is for a follow-up cath. Fun!

Monday, June 1, 2009

And now for the conclusion (and a rant)


So yes she did have to be catherized on Friday (ugh). Ray took her to the doctor and once again he found not apparent problem with her but to be sure he made Ray take her over to St. Joe's peds wing to get a catheter so that they could do a urine dip and a culture. The results of the dip were inconclusive (there could be something but it's really not likely causing the issue etc etc) we were told the doc would have the results of the culture yesterday but in the meantime he was putting her on abx. The doctor didn't call yesterday so Ray will call this morning to see what the results are. She stopped needing the tylenol on Saturday afternoon. But that's normally how it goes with her. She runs the fever for less than a day and then she's perfectly fine. So, if it is a UTI then at least she won't be running any more fevers with no apparent cause. However, if it isn't a UTI then I am not sure what our next step will be. Ray will find out today.

And while this is all stressful enough for a new mommy I've got other issues on my mind.

Last Thursday the daycare sent out a letter saying that they were changing the Infant I and Infant II rooms because they had more infants that were crawling, cruising and walking then they had in Clara's age range (under 6 months). The way they were doing it is to move the younger infants to the smaller room and leave the older ones in the bigger room. The teachers, however, would remain in their original rooms (i.e. Clara would have a new teacher). OK, fine I thought not a problem she's only 4 months old she doesn't care who gives her the bottle and changes her- this should not be an issue.

HOWEVER, I thought that since today was the first day of the switch I would (A) get the meet the new teacher (nope didn't happen-apparently "Ms. Millie" doesn't get in until 8:30am) (B) the room where she would be staying would be set up (no again). In fact the mattresses weren't in the cribs and there were no names on the cribs. And just an aside Clara is ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS asleep when I bring her in the morning and I like to lay her down in her crib so she can get some extra zzz but with no teacher in there and no freakin' crib to sleep in what the heck am I supposed to do???? THAT on top of the fact that usually I fill out a sheet for Clara (saying what time she ate and woke up plus special notes for the teacher) but the new room didn't have a clipboard, pen or the freakin' sheet for me to write on. Not to mention the fridge being an absolute mess and labled with the wrong freakin' names. And finally, to add insult to injury, I am supposed to leave Clara's medication for Ms. Millie to give to her but I couldn't talk with her about it because she wasn't in. No thanks. I'll just give her all the medication at home thankyouverymuchandhaveaniceday.

They knew they were doing this Infant I/Infant II switch-a-roo long before the parents got notified (which for the record no one asked if we were okay with). With that in mind why didn't they have all the stuff done? This switch should have been freaking effortless and not the cause of frustration. I am so angry right now. I should not have walked into the new infant I room today to see other children's names where my child's name should have been. I should not have walked into that room and NOT seen my child's teacher. If anything TODAY (and even if it was just today) Ms. Millie should have gotten her ass in early to meet the parents of her students. For crap sake!

I guess I'll be making a phone call this morning...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh No

Another Friday, another fever. WHAT IS GOING ON?

I'm distraught. Waiting, impatiently I might add, for the doctor's office to call. WHY ARE THEY NEVER THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM TO BE? The fever is 101.2 in her armpit, so for all intents and purposes probably closer to 102. Daycare just called to have me pick her up. Except I can't because Ray and I commute together (we're saving the world one car at a time :eyeroll:) on days like this WE NEED TWO F'ING CARS. So Ray went to get her (this is the 4th Friday he had to take time from work to take her to the doctor-his boss is looking at him a little funny now). Overall situation= THE MAJOR SUCKAGE.

Doctor suggested last time she may have a UTI which would require a catheter to get the pee out. :( My poor little thing. If that yields nothing then it's blood test and eventually a freakin' spinal tap. Please dear lord if you only grant me one prayer this year let it be this. NO SPINAL for Clara. I am fairly sure I'd be absolutely beside myself with sadness if they had to give her one. UGH.

Why only on Fridays? Why? She seems so happy and so wonderful during the week and then on Fridays all hell breaks loose.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

4 month check-up

So the Clara Rose had her 4 month check up today and her next round of shots.

She is 11 lbs 4 oz (hanging out around the 15th percentile for weight) and 25 inches (she's in the 75th percentile for height). Dr DeVoe doesn't seem concerned in the least. He said infants usually grow about 10 inches in the first year and she's already at half of what she would normally grow so he seems to think the next few check-ups she won't grow taller so much as gain weight. No worries. She's a cutie pie. I just keep saying she's tall and skinny like her daddy.

She got her next round of shots too. She took them like a champ. She barely cried and when it was all over she didn't cry at all. She just sucked her pacifier and went back to sleep. We dropped her off at daycare (I gave her some tylenol just in case) and she was as happy as happy could be. Her little friend in daycare (her name is Annika) is sick though and was having a rough day. Hopefully Clara will not catch that.

Overall the doctor seems to think she is doing very well. We just have to keep our eye on her spiking the fevers (which she did two fridays ago and the friday before this last one) because it could be a UTI, although not likely.

I've got more pictures to post as soon as I get to it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mama Really Does Know Best

Last week the teachers at Clara's daycare asked me to talk with the pediatrician to up her bottles from 4oz of formula to 6oz since she seems to be "hungry" all the time. Anyway, Clara and I have had some issues breastfeeding lately (she's on a bit of strike I'd say) and because my production has gone down (due to a nasty cold and the return of my not so wonderful cycle) I've had to really start to supplement her at daycare with formula (not really by choice mind you, by necessity). She's taken to the formula okay but she does tend to spit-up a lot more when she eats it. Now, I am not sure if it's the formula (probably not) or the fact that she cannot control herself when she gets her cute little mouth around the bottle nipple. Either way- disaster almost always strikes within moments of a feeding if she is not burped right away.

The thing is, I believe the teachers have mistaken her "I am so full" cry for "I want more" cry. So this weekend I tried a little experiement. Since Clara is still on strike with my boobies (I pump to retain any semblance of supply- ask me how that's going :/) I gave her formula and then pumped (the amount I pump is not enough to use at the next feeding so I just keep it in the fridge and continue to add to it until I have enough for a bottle-very sad). This past Sunday morning I gave her 6 oz like the teachers at daycare suggested. She gulped it down and then without missing a beat promptly, without even so much as me lifting her up after feeding, spit up half of it. Ahhh, I thought to myself she is WAAAY overfed. Next feeding I gave her only 5 oz and when she was done she cried like she was still hungry but instead of making another oz or two of formula I let her cry and burped her through it. Wouldn't you know it, she burped up a really good burp followed by two smaller ones, she sorta cried after that, I gave her the pacifier and she went right to sleep. SOOOOO- what that tells me is that she would eat as much as I put her little mouth even if she isn't hungry enough to eat it. She still only needs maybe an extra ounce of formula/breastmilk and one really good burp followed by some extra sucking time (like she usually does when she breastfeeds) in order to keep most of her food down.

I repeated this experiment the next feeding and, same thing. She cried after the feeding, I burped her until she let one out and then she calmed down a little, gave her the pacifier and she went right to sleep. I had a feeling that upping her to 6oz was going to be too much. The girl is only 11lbs at the most, technically she only needs 28oz of food each day in order to gain weight. If I gave her 6, 6oz bottles she is being WAAAY overfed. Even 6, 5oz bottles is more than she really needs but I feel more comfortable with 2 extra ouces than I do with 8 extra ounces that she spits up anyway.

Needless to say, today when I went into daycare I told them about our weekend and explained to them what they need to do in order to make sure she is getting all the food to stay in and at the same time sending home with me less bibs with spit up on them (now granted she does tend to droll a lot). PLUS I was noticing with the more formula she was drinking the more constipated she was getting. Also a sign she was getting way more than her body could handle.

Mommy 1, Daycare 0. And reason #12,342,302,935,982,349,283,749,823 I need to find a way to be a SAHM. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Daycare Stinks

Oh, I don't mean my daycare. I mean daycare in general. The daycare Clara goes to is extremely nice- very learning focused and the teachers are wonderful. But having her go there sucks in general.

30 years ago when I was born I think women had it the best. I say this because- they had the option to work but didn't have to. Now I feel like it's the opposite of the way things were in the 50's. Back in the 50's women couldn't/didn't work- they didn't have a real choice to work. These days I don't have a choice but to work. So few women these days can really afford to be stay at home mothers. There are probably more working moms out there now than there used to be. Back in the 50s there were probably very few working moms-today there are few stay at home moms. You see where I am going with this?

That's why I say things were better 30 years ago. It was probably more evenly mixed back then. Or perhaps I romaticize it a little. I just know that my mom stayed home with me and my dad worked and he was the only one who had to work. Now in order to pay our bills, I have to work. And that isn't to say that we live beyond our means. We don't-at all. But we have an electric bill, oil bill, water bill, gas bill, mortgage, car payment, cable, food purchases, student loans and, of course, daycare (notice in there no credit card bills...can't imagine how we'd do anything if we had that kind of debt hanging over us). And although Ray makes a nice chunk of money that chunk would only pay about 1/2 of our bills and my income has to make up the other half. It's totally sucky.

So that's why I say- Daycare Stinks because if it didn't exist we probably would find other means for me to stay home but because it does, and because it doesn't even come close to being ineffective cost wise (i.e. it's still "cheaper" for me to put Clara in daycare than to give up my entire salary to stay home with her)-here we are. And it sucks.

I have this fantasy of when Clara is in elementary school. I'll be able to pick her up after school (not possible now with my 9-5) and take her home, work on her homework or watch her play. Then in the summer I'll be able to take her to the park or out to Nana and Pappy's or up to Grandma and Grandpa's without having to "request time off" to do all that stuff. But it's a fantasy and that's it. Because, it can't and never will happen.

I told Ray one of the reasons (besides the whole pain of labor thing) why I don't want to have any more children, isn't because I wouldn't LOVE to have more (providing I could get over the whole pain of labor thing-which so far, not happening) but because I cannot feel my heartbreak by putting yet another child into daycare. Having someone else watch all his/her milestones, wondering if his/her first word will not be Mama or Dada but a teacher's name. It's an awful feeling.

I try to convince myself that being at work is okay. That being here is good because 1. I get adult interaction 2. I use my brain more (ok some days that isn't true) 3. I am providing a home, clothing, food for my family. But- money is money and at the end of the day I am providing tangible things for my family but what I have to exchange for those tangible things is quality time with my baby. What do you think, at the end of the day, she will remember more? The fact that she had new clothing to wear or the fact that Mommy made her breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, picked her up from school, helped her do her homework, did art projects, took her to swim lessons...yeah that's what i thought.

And now, I must end this post before I cry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I'm absolutely convinced that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I need to get done. And now I am about to add less time to that. But first things first...

Isn't she just the cutest thing EVER? We went to church on Sunday for the first time with her. We had her in her Easter dress and bonnet because we aren't seeing Ray's family for Easter this year and we were having them over for "Easter Dinner" on Palm Sunday. So I dressed her up for them. I bought the dress from Janie and Jack two weeks ago. Normally I just browse the sale rack there but this dress was so freakin' adorable I had to get it. But the bonnet they had with the dress was too big for her and it was more like a sun hat than a bonnet. So naturally I complained to my mother. She found two adorable bonnets at dillards in Oklahoma City while she was visiting with my sister. And this one was perfect with her little dress.

While my mom was here we did some more shopping and found two more cute little dresses for her to wear. Now that she's finally in the 0-3 month sizes (more about that in a second) her clothing options have opened up a bit. I am so excited it's going into spring and there are such cute things out there for her.

Regarding the 0-3 sizes- last Monday we took Clara to the doctor for her first set of shots. She did okay- I was a mess, naturally. She cried for a good 5 minutes with real tears and everything. I never saw her get so worked up over anything. Anyway, according to Dr DeVoe (her pediatrician) she weighs 8lbs 11oz now and is 23 inches tall. The charts tell him that she is falling between the 10th and 25th percentile for weight but in the 75th for height. So naturally the doctor asks "is she still being breastfeed" and I said "yes"- I assume to look at the weight in a more realistic way if he is using a "formula chart" so he said "okay" and then he said "well it seems to me that she's putting all her calories into growing taller." I asked if he was concerned with the weight and he said "not really, babies tend to catch up eventually"- we talked a little more about her incessent hiccuping and her explosive poo diapers (for some reason every three days or so she explodes a diaper- we have no idea why) and he said it was all pretty normal (which we figured but one never knows).

In other news, I had Ray print out 30 invitations to Clara's baptism that will be taking place on May 10 (Mother's Day!) And oh the hoops people have to jump through these days to be Godparents. Who knew? Either way, the invites are going out this week along with the information to the church about the Godparents. Ray and I need to attend some kind of class before hand too. My goodness...anyway we are having a party at our house afterwards and I decided not to do a lot of cooking. The only thing I am doing is making a spiral cut ham- and even that is mostly done just the glaze needs to be put on it. So, it should be nice if we get people to come. The ceremony is taking place after Mass so, at least that's good for those who don't want to spend an hour in church. The bad thing is that we'll have at least 4 other babies being baptised along with Clara. Meh, as long as she gets baptised who cares who else is there. So we decided to have my twin sister and Ray's brother be the Godparents. I even bought a new dress for the occassion. My sister and I are supposed to go look for one for Clara this coming weekend if there is time between visiting everyone in creation with Clara in tow.

Other than that stuff. And getting back to my original comment. I've decided to go back to school. Ray and I discussed having another baby right away considering my health and age and I determined that I am content for now with Clara and that I had been thinking a lot about going back to school. I want to go into a field that I feel good about- reviewing insurance advertising (while fun and exciting :eye roll:) is not my idea of an altruistic career path. And now that I have Clara I feel like I want to help people more, not contribute to trash that's created (yes I am that evil-doer that reviews the junk mail you toss out regularly). So in the past my interests were to return to school to get my PhD in Sociology (specifically demography) but I cannot commit 7 years to a full time program and my interest in demography has waned significantly over the years. And I still need to take care of Ray, Clara, the house and more than those things I need to be working. My other areas of interest were to work in the health care industry and get out of legal all together. To that end I research some things I was interested in and decided to go back to school to become a Speech Language Pathologist.

In order to do that I could go in one of two directions a "three year" program where I would take any and all undergrad requirements along with the courses to get an M.S or I can start to take classes for a second bachelors degree and get my B.S and then apply seperately to the Master's program. I decided to do the latter since the former is a full time program that I cannot commit time to (see reasons above). I sent out my application today and requests for transcripts today also. I should know in a few months I think if I got in for the fall semester. Then I can start taking classes part time. The first classes will be algebra for applications, biology for health professionals and ASL. The math and science class are required to apply for the major, ASL I think will just help me in the field generally since the field deals with speech, language and hearing problems. Wish me luck.

So that's really all that's going on around here. More pictures after the weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Adjusting to Mommyhood

So, on the 28th Clara will be 2 months old. Hard to believe.

We took Clara for her first set of pictures about two weeks ago. They came out so cute (I'll post them at the bottom). She is doing so well and she's just a joy.

Going back to work has been- well, interesting. It keeps me busy since I am only there three days a week I have to shove a lot more into my days now. But that's a good thing I don't spend a lot of time thinking about missing Clara. The only time I get sad is when I am pumping milk for her.

We've taken her out a few times- mostly to Nana and Pappy's house (Ray's parents) and around the block in the stroller. She's so calm and happy and loves to play with her little play gym or in the bouncer that Ray's parents have. They even got a pack and play for her so we didn't constantly have to drag ours up.

We are going up to NY to see my parents for Easter. She'll get to meet my grandmother and my aunt, uncle and cousins as well as my brother and future SIL. Unfortunately my sister won't be there but that's okay my sister will be in around May for Clara's baptism.

Other than that life is wonderful with her. She's sleeping more through the night. She's happy and alert most of the day. She's eating well, gaining weight and growing. She's smiling and grabbing on to things- she loves music and she loves being held by EVERYONE. She's just a joy to be with!

So here is a picture from her first set of professional pictures. Isn't she just the cutest?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daycare and Gas

I am feeling all bound up. Like my darling Clara.

That's what's been the issue by the way with why she's not been sleeping well. She's totally a gas bag. It seems that I have overproduction problems, mainly because Clara is a comfort sucker and so I am overproducing milk and thus having a more forceful let down when she first chomps on. Poor thing. So we're fixing that by me pumping off the first 5 minutes and then letting her latch on, this way the first let down is gone and the rest go a bit easier. Not sure how it's working yet. Ray feeds her the pumped portion. We were originally going to go with bottles to feed her the extra (since the pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start her on that so she would take a bottle once she's being watch by someone other than me) after she gets off me but the nipple flow is still way too fast for her causing dribbling and gas (which we are trying to avoid). So we are back to finger feeding to avoid the gas issues until the nipple flow isn't an issue any more. I'll try again with the bottle tomorrow night.

The reason I am all bound up? The daycare situation. So, silly me didn't think about doing all that much research on the whole daycare bit since, at the time, I only needed daycare one day a week. I figured- how hard can it be to find a daycare for her one day a week? Well apparently very hard. The situation was supposed to be me two days a week, Jen (my SIL) one day and my MIL one day. But my MIL can no longer do a day so I am left with two days that Clara needs daycare. Still not really an issue-it will cost a little more but no problem we are okay with that. The issue is now finding a place to put her two days a week. The three day care places I contacted all have waiting lists or don't take infants part time :(.

I checked craigslist for part time nannies since that's really the only option. The question then becomes "how reliable are these people" and "how do I pay them so that all the right taxes and things get taken out?"- most of the nannies advertising are child ed students at the local university- 22 year olds. How much infant experience can they have? But, in truth, my SIL probably has just about as much experience, if not less, than these folks do- but since she is my SIL I am way less worried about it. For two days a week, as long as the person has decent references and doesn't want 100 bucks a day I might consider it. Of course Ray thinks this is crazy-he rather, I guess, have her in a facility with 15 other infants where she won't be nearly as well monitored. I dunno. There are pros and cons for each. I just wish there were more mommies around here that worked part time so that we could trade off days...it just ugh.

So now I have about 4 weeks to square a few things- health insurance, daycare, my work schedule and Clara's baptism. So much stress....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So tired

They never tell you how difficult parenting really is. I mean people talk about sleepless nights and fussiness and all kinds of things but you never think "that will be me"- or maybe you do but you don't care.

Well last night was a dozie. We gave Clara a bath around 8:30 and I fed her around 9. She finished up around 9:30 and promptly fell asleep. At that point I told Ray we should probably head to bed but we were both watching an episode of Boston Legal and wanted to finish it. At 10:30 we headed to bed. The moment I put her in the bassinet she woke up. Full on awake. And remained that way until 4am. Ray took her downstairs to be rocked in the glider from 2am until 4am. At 4am I fed her again and she finally went to sleep until 7am. She's been napping on and off all morning.

I am at a loss for what to do. Do I try and keep her up today in the hopes that she'll sleep tonight? Do I let her sleep today and sleep when she's sleeping and then just stay up with her tonight? If I didn't have a weight watchers meeting tonight I could do that. Jen is coming over this afternoon and would be able to "watch" while slept. But I would feel bad just leaving Jen to watch tv with no interaction from me. We'll see what happens when she gets here.

And lately, I don't know if it's stress and lack of sleep or what but my tummy has been hurting more now than ever. I have no idea what I am going to do when I have to go back to work. Which is another stressor all together since my daycare situation has changed now :(

More stress between Ray's job, daycare, not sleeping...ugh.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Monday, February 2, 2009

So---A Day in the Life of Clara Rose

Eat, sleep, poop---repeat

But she's wonderful. We had a few tough nights there but now we're all set. She feeds really well, usually, but there was some concern that I might not get milk in due to the fact that I have PCOS. So ladies, if you've been diagnosed and you plan to breastfeed- let the postpartum nurse (or lactation consultant) know. They may have you supplement with formula for a little bit (via finger feeding). My milk did come in so everything seems to be okay.

Clara had lost about 11% of her birth weight, even with feedings every two hours- also her bilirubin level was moderate to high when we left the hospital on Friday. They made us repeat the bilirubin level on Saturday and the pediatrician called to tell us that he thought the level was okay but that we'd repeat it after we saw him today. So tomorrow we are going back to the hospital to have the level repeated. The pediatrician seems to think she'll be in normal range. The rest of her check-up went uneventfully. She gained back 8oz so now she weighs 6lbs 8oz Ray keeps saying how tiny she is. But considering how short I am, how big did he think she was going to be? I had no place to put her. LOL

I am not usually one to repeat birth stories but since it was requested I will. Those who don't want to read can stop if they want...

So, Ray and I were asked to be at the hospital at 6pm for an 8pm induction. Why? Who knows, they didn't even know. So we ate dinner quite early (around 4:30). We got the hospital and signed in but the charge nurse who was on duty was going off duty at 7pm and she told us we'd have to wait for the next charge nurse to come on duty before I could be admitted. So Ray and I went down to the hospital cafeteria for a drink and to work on a crossword puzzle.

At 7:30 we went back to L&D and the charge nurse admitted me. We were put in a labor room and I changed into a gown. They stuck me so that I could have an IV (apparently for fluids, pitocin and antibiotics for the GBS). My doc came in around 9:30 to let me know that they were going to start me on cervidil (a cervical ripen agent) since I was still only at 1cm, 40% and -2 station. I was told to try and get some sleep after they put the cervidil in. Well I tried to sleep but by 4am I was absolutely STARVING. Crying in hunger pain. The nurse came in only to tell me I couldn't eat- I couldn't even have a glass of water. But thank god for Ray because he just kept going out there to tell them how miserable I was. Eventually the resident on call came in and said I could have some ice with cranberry juice in it (SUGAR=GOOD). When my doc (the attending) heard about my anguish she agreed to clear liquids (meaning I could have some broth, jello, tea etc). So I ordered my food and Ray and I ate around 9am. Which is also about the time my doctor took out the rest of the cervidil and determined I was 2.5cm and about 60% effaced but still at -2 station.

The baby had to be continuously monitored due to the PIH- so I was strapped in bed nearly the entire length of time (1.5 days). Which, let me tell you sucked. After they removed the cervidil and before they started the pitocin my new nurse let me shower and walk around the room for about 10 minutes before forcing me back into bed and starting pitocin and antibiotics. So things were relatively uninteresting for quite a while. Mainly because I made almost no progress. At 4:30pm my doc requested that they break my water and lower my pitocin, figuring that I would have regular contractions on my own. That didn't happen. Around 7pm my doctor came in and told me that she was off on-call and that one of the other docs from their practice would be in (one I saw, thankfully). A new nurse came on and it was decided that they would continue to up my pitocin after dialing it back and seeing very little progress.

The nurse continued to up my pitocin until my contractions were regular. At this point I was in a ton of pain. So Ray suggested that I decide whether I want an epidural. I still wasn't sure since I was only 4cm at that point. I opted instead for stadol. Which really really helped me relax through my contractions better, so much better that within 3 hours I had gone from 4cm to 7cm. Then I started to have serious pain. I asked for them to give me more stadol since I knew it only lasted 3 hours. But the nurse told me I'd have to wait an extra half and hour for them to give it to me. So we waited but they never called in the order for the medication. So at that point I figured since I had to wait another half hour I would take the epidural.

By the time they ran all the fluids into me to do the epidural and I was checked again prior to getting it. I was at 9cm but I knew I couldn't deal with the pain. Not to mention the pressure since Clara has clearly come down into the birth canal. It was the best decision I ever made- because then all I had to do was work my way though the pressure. That took about an hour and then Ray called the nurse because I was feeling the urge to push without contractions.

The resident came in and let me push for a few contractions. They broke down the bed and I pushed for about 20 minutes and then, she was here. In all her cuteness.

I saw my doc the following day and she said at one point they had concerns that I would need a c-section since I made so little progress at first. But, the nurse was so good about the pitocin and I let myself relax after the stadol that it became unnecessary. My doctor told me that she was proud of me.

I only ended up with two minor tears- that don't even hurt. Overall it was an okay experience. I do wish they had let me walk around more, I think if they had she would have moved down and put pressure on my cervix making upping the pitocin level less likely. But as it was no compliants and Clara is wonderful. Though I am not too sure i want to repeat this experience any time too soon...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a Girl

Clara Rose born on January 28, 2009 at 2:14am. She was 6lbs 12.7oz at birth and 19 7/8ths inches long.

She breastfeeds extremely well, sleeps well and is all around a happy baby. We are so lucky.

I apologize for not updating sooner but I've been trying to get a routine together while we are here in the hospital and last night was a toughy for us. But we made it through.

My mom is staying with me tonight, Ray went back to house with my dad so he can sleep in our bed and get some rest. He'll be back tomorrow and I'll be released from here. The experience has been wonderful.

I will however spare the details of the birth process---but that wasn't too bad either. Here's a picture of her:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today's The Day

We'll be heading to the hospital in 5 hours to start the induction of Baby Parrish. I am nervous, excited and scared but I really can't wait to meet our little one.

I have to admit I had a total freak out Sunday- fit with crying and everything. Ray was great, told me we'd be fine (do I believe him?) and that we have lots of support and love and that's what's important.

I know all that. But still, you know...

Anyway, I think the freak-out was pretty normal and I am over it now. Everyone will be around (though I am not 100% sure if that's a good idea) the first week or so after the baby is here. I am hoping I get some peace and quiet in the hospital tonight- just me and Ray.

Well- the next post will let you know what we had, what the baby's name is and all the details. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Well it's official

The doctor has scheduled an induction for next Tuesday. So I have to go into the hospital on Monday night to get some medicine to soften my cervix. hopefully it will all go well.

Naturally there are still a bunch of things that need to be done before Baby P's arrival. But none of it is major end my mom will be here this weekend so it will all get done.

As soon anything happens I'll update again. In the meantime we've got lots to do.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ahhh yes...

So I've determined that this whole bed rest thing might not be too terrible. I haven't quite been feeling that great and I certainly can't sleep. Poor Ray.

I do feel like I should get back to work though. I wish I could work from home but the way my job is structured I just cannot. It sorta sucks.

Today I have to speak with our Employee Service Center to get my leave taken care of. My doc indicated that she thought if my pressure was okay I could go back to work. But I will only do that if I can go back full time and not have any complications. If she only lets me back part time it wouldn't be worth it. Plus I'd have to make the 5 work day elimination period AGAIN and I am not sure I want to do that. The only advantage is that I could, possibly do the 5 day elimination period unpaid without too much consequence for our budget. Really, it's not a big deal if they keep me out for the rest of the month- just I would have had more time as a p/t employee after my 6 weeks of paid STD leave was up under the FMLA rules. Now I have to sorta re-arrange it.

Overall though, I am doing okay. I finished the baby's blanket (finally) and we got the baby's name up in the room, which means NO ONE is allowed in there now. It looks so freakin' cute. We still need to put the shelves up above the changing table but because our house was built in '41 we don't have drywall in there but plaster walls and it's been really really tough locating the studs with the stud finder. So we are trying a different approach (one I am not too happy about btw). But at least it will allow Ray to find the studs and hang the shelves this week.

Once the shelves are up, we have two more things for the wall and then the room is officially finished. Ray can then move the glider up to our bedroom and I can move our mini-rocking chair in there. After the baby decides to sleep through the night we'll move the glider back into the nursery.

I am so happy with the way it turned out. Once the baby is here I'll post pictures.

So, things are okay. I just wish I could sleep. I was up at 3:30AM today and I have an early morning NST today too. I just hope my pressure is looking okay. My guess is that everything will be fine. As usual.

I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday and then another NST on Thursday. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's all fun and games until they make you pee in a jug

Oh Ann, I never thought I would truly understand how you felt about the jug o' pee until I got the chance last night to experience it myself.

Bleh, and I'm on bed rest for at least a week. Which sucks hardcore btw.

So the story goes that I went in for my routine check up yesterday with my doctor. My pressure, after the nurse took it for the third time was 143/98- very bad. The doctor came in and checked it herself- it was 143/92-not too much better. I got to go to L&D triage to be monitored and checked for pre-e-fun? Not so much (i was really hungry). The tests all came back normal-I'm not swelling or anything but my pressure goes up when I sit up, stand up or lay flat. So I am supposed to lay on my right side or left side for at least the next week.

Of course I have a ton of crap to do-which includes finishing the nursery and my blanket.

Anyway, if the urine comes back with protein in it there is a pretty decent chance I'll be induced this week. Hopefully, everything will be normal and we won't have to worry about it. I am so not ready for this baby yet. But it's going to be what it's going to be, I suppose.

In the mean time I am going to do my best to take it easy. At the very least I'll finish packing my hospital bag (just in case) and do whatever left over baby laundry I have to do (only a few things). Ray can work it out with my FIL the rest of the nursery. With any luck the baby won't be here early and I can go naturally, like I want to.

So, that's it for now.