Friday, August 29, 2008

Introducing Sydney Olivia Huddle

Manda & Johnny, good friends of ours, became super proud parents of this little one last night:

Sydney Olivia Huddle
Birthdate: August 28, 2008.
Time: 9:03 PM.
Weight: 10 pounds, 7 ounces.
Length: 22 inches.

Aren't mom and baby just beautiful? Most moms I know don't feel very beautiful after birth, but I think Manda looks great. Better than great, fantastic!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Calling for cloth diapers reviews

I'm not really sure what has caused me to peak in interest in cloth diapers at least today.
  • Gdiapers?
  • Bumgenius?
  • Some other brand?
  • "No" on the cloth diapers?

Specifics would be appreciated. I already am aware that this is more eco-friendly, and I'm aware of how much waste I'm producing using disposable diapers. I need voices of hands on experiences. I am a mother of two babies under the age of two. With that in mind, remember that ease and simplicity are rather important to my sanity.

What works? What doesn't work? Leaks? Too complicated?

Your input would be appreciated so much.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Higher cholesterol in pregnant women and breastfeeding moms

I called my ob office in South Texas on August 13th to find out my blood test results from my 6-week post-partum checkup (which was towards the beginning of July). Was alarmed to hear that the total was 361.

The nurse from the office said as a matter of fact that pregnant women tend to have elevated cholesterol levels. Great. My friends were shocked to hear that I have high cholesterol, given that I'm not over weight and that I don't consume high (bad) cholesterol foods in large quantities. One of my doctor friends believes it has to be pregnancy related. Another friend from Texas who is a dietitian hadn't heard of the connection between high cholesterol and pregnancy, and such a connection is important for her to keep in mind in her work. Here's what she sent me:

High Cholesterol and Breastfeeding? Elevated Cholesterol in the Nursing Mother

Here are a couple of other articles I found:

Higher cholesterol levels when breastfeeding?

breastfeeding and maternal serum cholesterol

Long story short. The liver produces cholesterol, larger in quantities when pregnant or breastfeeding. As the second article said, " Women of childbearing age are generally at very low risk for developing heart disease." Have you heard of a breastfeeding mom or a pregnant mom dying of a heart attack, as a result of not getting high cholesterol treated?

This is just my personal (non-medical) opinion. Wait until you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding (for the most part) before getting your cholesterol checked, unless there is some specific concern at hand. And when getting tested, get the breakdown of the lipids. Don't just get the overall cholesterol level.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Introducing Katherine Isabelle Poston

One of my best friends, Christine, gave birth this past Wednesday. Ted and Christine are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl they are calling "Belle."

Name: Katherine Isabelle Poston
Date: August 20, 2008
Time: 8:03 PM
Weight: 7 pounds, 11 ounces
Length: 20 inches

Friday, August 22, 2008

Emanating cuteness and keeping it real

I try really hard not to be entirely doting on our family, as if we are flawless and experience no struggles. Growing up, my family would get various family newsletters that were basically glorified resumes, so much so that you'd want to throw up reading it. How could each of these families have the best and smartest family members ever? You do the math.

I do some bragging about my family, because they are my pride and joy, but I also try to keep it real. I'm somewhat transparent (do didn't think I told you everything about our lives on my blogs, did you?!) about the struggles I endure as a parent. New parents and parents-to-be need to know that they are not alone in the world.

With that being said, look at Isabella here. Isn't she just emanating cuteness?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One and the same?

Another night of sleeping seven hours overnight for Victoria, yay!

For the second night in a row, Victoria slept just over seven hours overnight without waking to nurse. That's so great. Thank you, thank you, Victoria.

Toys away and no yelling, please; oh, and being polite, please

Two big lessons Isabella's learning these days are:

1. Learning to put her toys away - She has to put toys away before doing something she likes (watching Elmo or playing with Play-doh), before meals, before visitors come, and before she goes to bed. Consequences of not listening? Not getting to do what she is anticipating or going to a 2-minute time out (for not being obedient)

2. Channeling her independent streak in a more constructive fashion - Yelling is no effective or nice way to communicate. She has a chance to speak nicely. Her other choice is to go to her bed for a time out.

I've only been doing time outs for a few days (three or four days?) and actively teaching her these two things. She's coming along pretty well.

What also keeps her tantrums at bay include making sure she gets the sleep she needs (a nap early afternoon and a good night's rest) and tending to her other needs before too late (in addition to her three main meals a day - and she needs actual meals - she also needs a snack between breakfast and lunch and another between lunch and dinner). She's also a lot more pleasant company if she's had time to roam and explore the great outdoors.

Well, I should include a third:

3. Isabella's ongoing lesson is that she needs to be polite, using "please" when asking for things and saying "thank you" when given something or when assistance is given. She also says, "excuse me" when she burps.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Isabella is 23 months old today!

Isabella is 23 months old today. Can't believe that she's almost 2 years old! Still have pretty lucid memories of the day she was born.

Let's celebrate this day by stating things she loves:
  • going outside (good thing we now live in a place where the temperature actually cools down to something decent at night, not a "cool" temperature that is hovering in the mid 80s like in South Texas).
  • playing with Play-doh.
  • watching Elmo.
  • taking a bath (except for the wetting of the hair part).
  • carrying, loving, feeding, burping Henry, her stuffed dog (a TY Puppers, which is no longer being made anymore).
  • eating (takes after both of her parents).
  • listening to music (she knows how to turn on the stereo, she always turns on the music on the bouncer and the infant swing, and she likes to turn on the television).
  • playing any musical instrument she can touch or handle (piano, guitar. . .) and singing (she can actually get some notes!
  • sitting on everything, even if the thing is not a chair!
  • citing alphabet letters (she only recognizes capital letters at this point).
  • pulling books off the bookshelves.

She's our little cautious but excited explorer. We love you Booboo.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A very, very leaky faucet

Warning, warning, WARNING! TMI. Don't read any further, unless you desperately want to know some mommy/baby stuff.

You're still reading, are you?

Well, last night, Victoria went the longest ever without nursing. Somewhere between 7 and 8 hours, I think. Well, I woke up, shocked, that Victoria went so long without nursing and that Isabella hadn't woken up, yet. It was about 7:40 AM.

Immediately, I got ready to feed Victoria, as I knew soon she'd been hungry mad or madly hungry and Isabella would be waking soon, too. Then I realized, in my half awake stupor, that I needed to check Victoria's diaper first. Not too wet. Changed it anyways. As I was putting on a new diaper, half exposed myself, Victoria started cooing. Don't know whether my body was responding to her noise or to her in general, but I started dripping quite quickly, so quickly that I didn't bother to completely button her clothes back up before getting to take care of my leaking issues.

Pretty funny to me. Hey, we look for the glass half full when ever possible, especially when I get to be home alone with the girls for four days, until Wednesday, when Troy gets back from a faculty retreat.

Jenny & Aaron's new addition to the family

Jenny & Aaron (Troy's brother) Nunley ushered in a precious little baby into the world on August 12, 2008.

Name: Brennan Isaac Nunley
Weight: 7 pounds, 7 ounces
Length: 20 1/4 inches

This is their first child, and Brennan made his entrance several days early. I am jealous, jealous, jealous. Both of ours made their way into the world full term. Past full term. I don't even know when Isabella would have been ready to come into the world. Maybe never.

Isn't he a cutie?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Victoria at 3 months

Victoria is 3 months old today. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. Not quite one of those days that is easily forgotten.

Poor little thing, Isabella steals the press most of the time. Still. What is Victoria doing these days? Less than a week ago, she started laughing, audibly. She has started noticing her own hands and will look at them for awhile. Looking at me brings smiles and giggles to her face. I really miss that about Isabella. . .


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Terrible Two Tantrums


Does this face look like the face of one who throws tantrums? No, no. Too sweet, too cute.

Except, she has a move, an introduction of a new family member, and the trials of a two year old to deal with. That being said, she threw a tantrum that lasted at least an hour this morning. Part of the problem was that she didn't want me on the computer or doing anything that didn't involve playing with her. Then, anything and everything made her MAD.

Walk away. Walk away. Yes, sometimes that's the best a parent can do. I left her safe in the living room, and i went to our bedroom. Waited until she was calm enough to use words, like "please" and "yes," instead of vehement "NOs."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Going on a date and providing reinforcement by pumping

Friday was the first time I've pumped, since Isabella was 6 or 7 months old. The only reason I pumped was because I didn't want Ashley or Mike to feel like they had no way to feed Victoria if they panicked and thought she might be hungry.

Victoria was nursed just before they arrived. We picked a late night showing intentionally, because Victoria can go from 3-6 hours without nursing overnight.

I have never pumped breast milk for Victoria until Friday. Though I pumped a lot during the first 6-7 months of Isabella's life because I returned to teach the semester immediately after I gave birth, I thought of the times I pumped at the hospital while Isabella was in the NICU. The sounds of the pump. The smells of a new born baby.

Victoria has never had a bottle in her life. I bought a Bisphenol-A free bottle, since we couldn't find any of Isabella's old bottles and I've read lots of damning articles on plastics with the number 7 on them. Unfortunately most plastic baby bottles and Gerber baby food containers have the number 7 on them. I put some of the breast milk I pumped in to the Born free glass baby bottle I bought. It's significantly more expensive, by the way. Didn't need it. She slept the entire time we were gone. Yay!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Terrible twos



You wouldn't think that a child who is so sweet and can self entertain from time to time, besides the times she's hanging on to her mommy's legs everywhere, would throw any tantrums, right? WRONG!

Remember, Isabella's gone through two life changes in two months: getting a baby sister that is NOT going away and moving. She asks for her little friends in South Texas: Naomi, Maritza, Caspian, Auntie. . . Plus, she's approaching two, and she's between wanting to be treated like a baby (and have us somehow intuit what she wants) and asserting her independence (get what she wants on her own).

Here it is folks. This past Tuesday, she had a screaming match for 45 minutes or so. Wasn't exactly counting minutes, but it seemed an eternity. After her afternoon nap! Didn't want any food, even her favorite snacks. Didn't want to be held. Didn't want to play with Play-doh. Rejected a bunch of her favorite activities. Screaming, crying, screaming.

What finally made the tantrum pass? I held her, took her out to get the mail. Didn't want to walk. . . until we got close to the apartment. Then she wanted to be outside, walking back and forth, and playing with the rocks.

At the end of the day, she's still our sweet baby. Just going through a few adjustments here and there.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Melissa & Doug toys

Isabella got this via UPS the day before yesterday, as a gift from family. It's really cool for at least a couple of reasons, a lot of Melissa and Doug stuff (including this piano) is made from wood, non-toxic colors on the wood. The history of the company is kind of neat, too.

Well, Isabella's two-year birthday is coming in a month and a half. We purchased Isabella a stacking train, either as a moving present or a birthday present:

Well, I looked around the website and found some other things she would love. The stuff seems a bit expensive, but considering that the stuff is made of wood and made using non-toxic paints, perhaps it's not so bad. Anyways, window shopping is harmless. . .

Isabella is in the stage where she loves to make believe.

I got some version of the following as a birthday gift for a two year old, and she absolutely loved it, so I was told by her mommy. This is Cutting Food:

This one's Food Groups:

The one below is Kitchen Accessory Set:

This one seems cool to work on for hand-eye coordination - Monster Bowling:

So, Isabella is way too young for this, but it's okay to look down the road, right? No harm in dreaming. Folding Princess Castle: