Friday, January 29, 2010

Thank you, Tylenol

I love Tylenol, if for no other reason (which, admittedly there are several) then for making such an infant-friendly medicine dispenser. 

We got to my parents' house in Portland pretty late on Wednesday night.  Amelia had slept the entire way down and didn't so much as wiggle a finger as David carried her in the house as she sat in her car seat.  Once we got inside, she woke up but only barely.  My mom waited up for us (Dad was out of town on business) and was so excited to see Amelia that we handed over the dazed baby to a very eager granny.  Amelia was obviously still very tired, but after an hour of visiting with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law, she was on an over-tired buzz. 

I tried to nurse her.  We gave her a bottle.  We laid her down.  She screamed.  We sat her up.  She fussed.  I rocked her.  She screamed some more. 

The only thing that worked was giving her that blessed Tylenol bottle and letting her go to town on the rubber applicator top.  She didn't scream when we would sit her up in the portable crib and let her play so that's what we did.  David was exhausted. I was tired and getting more tired every second that passed.  There was a small lamp on the desk in the room where we were staying so I turned that on and we decided to let her play for a bit and see what happened.  She's never been the kind of baby to fall asleep while playing, eating, or anything else, so I really wasn't expecting her to just topple over and succumb to slumber.  After a few minutes she started whining.  Then fussing.  Suddenly the Tylenol bottle was completely abandoned and she was staring at us through the mesh of the crib, lip puckering.

I'm not opposed to a little "cry it out" action, and I would have just let her do her own thing in her crib to fall asleep had it not been for 5 other people in the house trying to get some sleep.   

I had this under control.  My daughter has been on this earth for a mere 6 1/2 months - she can't beat me at this!  I knew that nothing was wrong except that she didn't want to sleep.  Or, rather she really did want to sleep but was so exhausted that she couldn't figure out how to relax herself and fall asleep. 

I picked her up, put her paci in her mouth and assumed "the position".  It requires her head cradled in my left arm with my left hand wrapped around to hold the pacifier in place while my right arm holds, and subsequently pats, her rear end, all the while standing in place and bobbing up and down while swaying side to side.  It hurts.  It hurts real bad, and at first she was really mad. 

Just as a side note, you know how "they" say you should relax when your baby is upset because it helps them relax?  I so wish that weren't true.  I have to go into full-on zen mode to tune her out so I can compose myself enough to relax my body.

So, back to the cradling, patting, bobbing, and swaying.  I was doing all of that.  It started to work.  It's funny that the second it started to work, it worked quickly.  She had been crying pretty hard so when she fell asleep she was still sniffling.  That always breaks my heart.  I thought for sure since she was calm and sleeping when I was holding her that she would wake up the second I dared lay her in the crib.  Nope - she stayed asleep, sniffling and all.  At 1:30am.  She woke again at 6:30am then at her normal wake-for-the-day time of 9am.

It would take a while to explain the sleeping arrangements at my parents' house right now since my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew are crashing here until their house is finished, but I'll say that we are sleeping in my mom's office and I'm sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor while David sleeps on the floor.  Just thought I'd explain the context of the pictures.

Edit from my last post:I love my sisters, and being that they were very young in my childhood memory, I doubt they meant anything by the looks they gave me.  As a matter of fact, maybe I have a Cinderella complex and just imagined that they were glaring at me when, in fact, they were actually not glaring at me at all. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unrealized talent

I shouldn't be posting but I decided a quick one won't hurt.  We're packing...heading to Oregon tonight after Bible class. 

It's amazing what we can fit into our car.

It also validates our need/desire for a van.  I never thought I'd use the words "van" and "desire" in the same sentence, but I almost salivate now every time I see a newish Odyssey.  Oh, the space.  Oh, the comfy chairs.  Oh, the DVD player.  Oh, the automatic sliding doors

I was thinking today about unrealized talent. Of course, my main desire for my baby girl is that she grow to love and serve the Lord.  I think I will have failed as a parent if I haven't succeeded in instilling how important her soul is to God, to herself, and to us.  Then I got to thinking about how much responsibility it is, as a parent, to scope out what your child is good at (and enjoys) and really foster that. 

When I was 7 years old I was sitting in the bleachers of a middle school gymnasium with my parents watching my younger sister play basketball.  Lindsay was/is the athletic one of our family.  She always excelled at sports and really enjoyed it.  Zoom in on me when I was on a little league softball team and I'm squatted down in the outfield plucking dandelions from the grass.  I know it's pretty common to be 6 years old and completely uninterested in organized sports.  I still wish I would have picked a sport and stuck with it just for the experience of team playing and staying physically fit.  But, anyway, not my point.

So I'm on the bleachers with a blank sketch pad in my hands.  I drew a cow.  I remember this next moment very vividly.  My mom praised me for drawing such a good cow.  I mean, she really praised me.  I felt so good about that stupid cow.  Soon after, my mom took me and my sisters to a hobby store to load me up on some art supplies.  My mom is extremely talented...she was always a skilled art student and looking at her drawings from high school and college always inspired me.  The creativeness I have in my DNA, I'm proud to say, came from her. 

So we're in the hobby store and she wants to buy me an art portfolio - you know, one of those big folders with the handles that you can carry your art around in.  She's squatted down in the aisle of the store, propping a portfolio in her hand, looking at me.  She asks me if I think I could use one.  Inside I screamed, "Yes!" and was literally bursting with pride from the attention she was paying me.  But, I could tell my sisters were less than enthused about our little hobby store outing, and when I glanced behind me in the aisle of that hobby store, my gaze was met with glares.  They were kids.  They saw that I was getting attention and they weren't.  But, I didn't want to cause friction so I declined the portfolio.

I still regret it.

I don't know why - I just do.  My mom was trying to show me that she saw my interest in art and she was investing time in my talent. 

So, my prayer is that what Amelia finds that she's interested in and talented in, that I can also recognize that and support her.  Obviously as long as it's wholesome I want to be able to really let her blossom into whatever she wants to be. 

I do, however, want to start her out with a musical instrument (with her fingers, hopefully the piano or the violin) and a sport and crafts at home. 

Okay this went on a lot longer than I had hoped and now David is waiting on me to finish packing so we can get the car loaded.

This started a whole new line of thinking in my head so I'll probably want to continue with it later. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And the winner is...

Congratulations, Micah! 
Email me your address and I should have your bows in the mail by next week!  Also let me know what color you'd like the flower clippies.

Thank you, everyone, for entering!  I'm sure this isn't the last clippie/hair bow giveaway I'll do, so stay tuned!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Giveaway!

I've been having so much fun making bows... take a look at my Etsy store.  I think everything is very reasonably priced and the awesome part is that every bow is completely custom-made for you.  If you don't see what you're looking for - just ask!  I decided to do a giveaway since my business is just starting out and it's a pretty competitive market.  Couldn't hurt to send out some product! 

So, here's what you'd get...

Two (2) owl themed mini bows on lined alligator clips
(yours would have the owls right side up!)

Two (2) cherry themed bows on lined alligator clips

And two (2) flower clippies, the color of your choice
(subject to availability of ribbon I have on hand)

I can make any of the above bows except for the flower clippie on either a plastic barrette or a small french clip - your choice if you'd rather one of those instead of an alligator clip.

Here's how to enter...
• Comment on this post (on Blogger, please) - 1 entry
• Become a fan of Millies Bows on Facebook - 2 entries
• Become a Follower of my blog - 2 entries
• Mention this giveaway on your blog - 3 entries

So, you really have 8 chances if you do all of those things!  Leave a separate comment for each entry.

I'll draw the winner at 6pm on Tuesday, January 26th!

Friday, January 22, 2010

$4 for a box of cookies. And, a question.

First, I just have to say I felt like a genius today.

Millie and I drove to pick David up at work today.  As we were pulling in to the parking garage I was talking to him on my cell phone (I only called to tell him we were there - shhh - don't tell Oprah!) and he told me that he'd be down in a few minutes - he was busy ordering Girl Scout cookies.  We're Samoas people, and apparently David thought we should have 4 boxes.  4.  boxes.  We don't even pretend that we can't possibly eat more than 1 box before they go bad, thereby stuffing the other boxes into the freezer for safekeeping.  I'm pretty sure the last box is still warm from the Girl Scout's hands whence they came as we polish off the final cookie.

Now, my genius moment.

I was waiting for David to come down to the garage and decided to play with Amelia since she was stuck in her car seat and I didn't anticipate waiting long enough to unstrap her and pull her out.  As I was singing along with Do Your Ears Hang Low? on her Baby Genius CD, I glanced at my front passenger tire.  It looked kind of flat.  Because often tires can look a little flat at the bottom and I've been known to point out "almost flat" tires that aren't flat at all, I went to the tire and pushed my foot against it.  Pretty sure it isn't supposed to be squishy like an intertube.  Just to make sure I wasn't crazy, I did my same scientific test on the rear passenger tire...pretty firm. 

David came at that moment and before he could reach the car I said, "Lookatmytireit'sflat!" 

I was completely proud of myself for noticing my flat tire and potentially saving all of our lives. 

David took a glance at it and then back at me, smiling.  "Ooooh, it's fine."  That's the kind of "Ooooh, it's fine" that generally means, "Silly, Jamie.  It's so cute that you think you're right."

"Push the tire with your foot!" I said, and watched as he did.

"Hmmm, yeah, you're right - it's pretty low.  I'm going to try to make it home, though."

AAAHHH!  Ha!  Haha!  I was right!  Not only was I right, I was right enough that we might not make it home.  Exciting!

David filled the tires when we got home and reported that the tire pressure is supposed to be at 30 for all tires, but it was only at 25 for 3 of them, and the "flat" one I noticed only had a tire pressure of 15.  He said he didn't see a nail in the tire, so that's a good thing.

I know realizing your tire is a little low is nothing to get excited about, but when you have a husband who notices everything before you do, it's kind of fun to notice something first.
Now, the question...
What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

I'm trying to expand my blog-reading options and would love to see more of what's out there.

Off to make bows!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy lab rat

Amelia's whining in her crib right now and I'm sure it's because she's over-tired.  Here's her normal schedule (there's a reason I'm posting this - I'll get to that later):

Around 9am :  Up for the day
Nurses, then a bowl of oatmeal with whatever pureed fruit I'm feelin' that day.
Top her off before her nap (the girl won't sleep without a full stomach)
10:30-11am :  Naptime (usually she'll sleep for an hour)
Nurses again, gets a veggie of my choosing
1:30-2pm : Naptime (usually she'll sleep for at least an hour and a half, sometimes two and a half hours)
Nurses then a bowl of oatmeal with, again, a fruit puree mixed in
7:15-7:30pm : Wipe down, jammies on
Kiss from daddy, story read by mommy
Kiss & cuddle with mommy then bed

So, for the last couple of days I've been taking her for appointments at the University of Washington Infant Hearing Lab.  Shortly after she was born, we were mailed something that asked if we'd be interested in her participating in research studies.  David and I both thought it might be interesting, so we signed her up.  David's a UW Alum and knows his way around the campus but no matter how he tried to explain to me how to get there, and no matter what the Garmin said, I still got hopelessly turned around.  Fortunately I made it with time to spare.  Time I spent driving around aimlessly looking for the designated parking lot.

The first day, I opted to carry Amelia the 2 blocks to the Hearing Lab.  If we lived in a normal city, that wouldn't have been such a problem.  But in Seattle, it's hills, hills everywhere.  It's downhill getting there, but wow, lugging 15 lbs of a baby back to the car, up hill, is not an easy task.  Not for me, at least.  I need to get in shape.  Luckily I could still keep at least some composure and not pant with my mouth gaping the entire way.  I get embarassed about that - the cars driving by and the numerous college students walking the streets could see me struggling to lug my baby up the hill and, you know, talk.  That's how narcissistic I am - everyone must be looking at me.

(If you want to skip my explanation, scroll down to the italicized font where I've put links you can follow to hear the process explained by people who know what they're talking about.)

Anyway, we're talking about the hearing study.  So we got there and, as usual, Amelia gets a lot of attention.  Babies usually do - especially when they're as cute as Amelia.  Friends of ours gave us an adorable outfit the night before so I put her in it then realized I didn't have a bow or headband to match.  So, I made one, put a piece of velcro on it so it didn't slip out of her fine hair, and clipped it to her head, right on top of that place on some babies' heads that pulses.  So, not only did she have a fancy bow.  She had a fancy bow that moved

Here's how the hearing study worked.  We walked in to a room that is kind of a "staging" area.  I signed a consent form and also a receipt of my check ($15 each visit which will go into Amelia's savings account -she earned it!).  Then I chose a CD from a very minimal selection of CDs.  The best I could do was Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.  I actually like Billy Joel so I didn't mind.  Since it's a "blind" study, the parent holds the child on his/her lap but must have headphones on so they can't hear what the child hears.

Then we walked to a room next door where there are two large sound-proof booths.  The person running the study sits on one side of a one-sided window and then her assistant comes into the other side with Amelia and me.  They place a foam-tipped earplug-lookin'-thing in her right ear and tape it there.  There are a lot of wires connected to it which they clip to her shirt in the back.  The entire time the test is happening, the assistant is holding up toys for Amelia to look at so she stays distracted. 

Apparently, the earplug Amelia is wearing plays a continuous beeping tone that is obviously there and she can hear it but it's not annoying or loud at all.  Then, every once in a while, the tone changes or another beep comes in.  The person running the study who is sitting on the other side of the mirror is looking for signs that Amelia recognized the tone change.  When she sees that Amelia heard it, she lights up toys in a glass box in the corner or turns the TV on in the corner for a couple of seconds as a "reward".  I was encouraged to bounce Amelia on my lap or clap to reward her when I saw the toys light up or the TV go on.  Amelia didn't give two flips about the TV or the toys lighting up - we couldn't even get her to look at them. 

The first day, Amelia was tired.  The appointment was at 2:15 so I didn't have time to lay her down for her second nap before we had to go.  Our time in the booth was, maybe, 5-10 minutes because Amelia would cloud up and rain every time she heard the noise.  If you know my daughter, you know she's not a crier, especially in public.  At the very least she'll just go quiet and straight-faced, but generally she's a really easy-going kid.  Apparently, she did not like the noise because she would turn toward me and try to grab onto my shirt to pull herself to me and cry when the noise happened.  I felt bad that we were botching it, but I really wanted to let her cuddle me even though I resisted the urge and tried to get her to face forward and keep going.

Today was much better. I think we must have been in the booth for 20 minutes.  All I know is that the first day I barely made it to "You May Be Right" on Disc 2 of Billy Joel's Greatest Hits, whereas today I got all the way through "Allentown".  Our appointment today was at 12:15, so Amelia was fresh off her first nap and wasn't quite tired enough for her second.  She was pretty solemn, but not grouchy.

After each test, we go back to the staging area and they stick a little rubber thing (I know, I'm so technical) in her ear that blows tiny puffs of air to make sure she doesn't have fluid in her ear.  Then, we're done!  The whole process, start to finish, lasts less than an hour.

(Okay - seriously I just wrote this entire blog then was able to find the actual lab's website explaining why they're doing what they're doing.  In about 2-3 sentences.  Ha.  Here's the link.

Also, here's the link for explaining the entire process.  In 3 very short paragraphs.)

Today, I wised up and brought the stroller.  It was actually sunny and almost 60° today which is about 10° above normal for western Washington for this time of year.  I had to break out the sunglasses for Amelia and for me. 

So, anyway, yesterday we picked David up from work on our way home since we drove right by Bellevue City Hall then rushed to eat dinner and head to Bible class.  We didn't get home until close to 9:30 and Amelia didn't fall asleep until 10.  Then, today she slept on the way home from the UW but didn't want to sleep once we actually got home.  She slept for half an hour and was done.  I put her back down around 5, though, and she slept for an hour and a half.  Then we ran some errands tonight after dinner and didn't get her in bed until 9 which she wasn't too thrilled about since she whined until 9:30 then fell asleep.  The poor child isn't used to being out and about.  I really should do it more - it was fun.

So, as usual my post is long and boring and I don't even have pictures.  I'm going to ask on Tuesday when I go back if they mind me taking some photos.  For posterity.  I don't know if they will let me, though.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Disaster & every day life

If you can watch those news reports about Haiti and not get a little misty-eyed (or bawl, like me) then you're not human.  I wanted to reach through the screen and grab all those orphaned babies and children and bring them back here to live with me.  I felt an obligation to watch when they showed a 3-month-old baby girl in her mother's arms and the reporter narrated that she was starving.  I felt an obligation, but I didn't want to watch.  I wanted to change the channel and forget what I saw.  Before I became a mother, scenes like that would touch me.  Now that I'm a mother, scenes like that haunt me. 

I remember when my baby girl was that age. 
I remember her tummy, how I'd watch it rise and fall with every breath she took. 

The baby girl on TV was so calm, but her eyes were like saucers - staring at the camera in almost a pleading way.  I have heard that there is a movement to bring as many orphaned children to the United States as possible to get them medical care and, hopefully, loving homes.  However, efforts like that can take time.  A lot of time.
Amelia was napping when David and I were watching the news story about Haiti.  When she woke up, I squeezed her extra tight and kissed her over and over again.  And I looked at the remnants of our dinner, thinking about what some Haitians would do to get even a nibble of what we have to eat.

Keep the Haitian people in your prayers. There are still people buried under those buildings and some are still alive, but they are running out of time very quickly.


Switching gears...Hard to do, I know.

When I wrote my previous post I said that my laptop didn't have a USB drive.  It was late.  I shouldn't write late at night.  My laptop obviously has a USB drive, however, it does not have an SD card reader so I have to use a separate SD card reader that has a USB adapter on it.  There. 

My right eye, for the last few days, has been leaking like crazy and has swollen to impressive levels.  The most fun, though, is waking up in the morning with my eye crusted shut.  Mmm, details.  I'm sure you want to know more.  I wish I could tell you why my eye is going all Hunchback of Notre Dame on me, but I can't.  I have no idea.  I changed my pillowcase thinking maybe it was allergens, but it didn't help.  I took Benadryl last night before bed but that didn't seem to make a difference, either. 

On Monday morning, David said "Wow, yeah your eye is all swollen and crazy".  He got out of bed and walked toward the bathroom.  I thought, How sweet - he's getting me a cold or warm compress for my eye.  He returns to the room and hands me something.  A mirror. 

Thanks, babe.

To his credit, I did ask for a warm compress and he happily brought one to me.

Switching gears again.  Amelia slept 8 1/2 hours last night!  She woke up around 5am and I fed her then laid her back down and she slept for another 4 hours!  Then, for her morning nap when she would usually only sleep for an hour (her long nap is generally the afternoon one), she slept for 2 1/2 hours.  Maybe it's a growth spurt.  Or, maybe, just maybe, the "sleep training" is working.

On Sunday night, she woke up around 1:30am as usual and it had been about 5 hours since she last ate so normally I would just give in and go feed her.  But, I didn't.  I checked on her 3 times in the hour that she was awake and fussing but she never really cried like she meant it and she would even stop for short intervals to look at something in her crib.  She finally fell back asleep and slept for another couple of hours.  So, woo hoo.

We took this picture of Amelia a couple of nights ago.  She's modeling the super cute, very clever "car seat blanket" that her great grandma Baldwin made for her.  We love it!  And she's sitting on a blanket made by David's cousin, Coralie.  We come from a very talented family! 

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.  Amelia and I are going to the University of Washington to participate in a hearing study tomorrow then again on Thursday.  Innnnteresting!  More on that later.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the Bedroom

I don't know what's happening, but the list of blogs on my page won't refresh which means I don't have a clue who has updated recently.  My not seem all that important unless you're sitting in a dark living room with your husband who is playing Xbox and it's either sit there and watch him play or catch up on your blog-reading. 

David and I bought our laptops at almost the exact same time.  We weren't even dating yet.  In my little mind we were good friends and we really liked spending time with each other.  Meanwhile, the more time we spent together, the more he liked me and wanted to date me.  But that's another story for another time.

Our engagement photo. 
Wedding guests signed the mat and now it hangs in our bedroom.

Anyway, we bought our computers in August of 2005.  I only know this because of when David and I started our friendship (July 2005) and when we started dating (September 2005).  My point is that, in laptop years, our computers are old.  Way over the hill.  As a matter of fact, mine is literally falling apart and David's doesn't even keep a charge anymore unless the cord is held just a certain way which requires it to be held down underneath the computer and tilted just so on the table.  Once, a couple of years ago, we had a guy come to our house to give us an estimate on what it would cost to replace the aluminum windows on our house with vinyl.  He was an older man, and I remember feeling sorry for him that he had to spend his post-retirement years driving around being a salesguy.  I tried to stay as uninvolved in the bidding price as possible, but they still won't do a bid unless the spouse is in the room so I had to be in the vicinity, pretending to listen.  I was sitting in an overstuffed chair across from where I would usually sit on the couch, my laptop perched on my legs which were folded under me.  My laptop was plugged in because, as I remember, it was almost out of battery power.  Only problem was that it was plugged in over by the couch where I usually sat and this poor old man decided to walk to the bay window in our living room without watching where he was going.  He tripped on the cord and my laptop went flying.  Luckily, the old man was okay if not a little embarassed (as was I), but my laptop suffered a couple of minor casualties.  Among them, a piece of plastic broke off the corner on top of the laptop and the portable USB adapter (my laptop is so old that it doesn't have a USB drive) bent and was never the same.

My corner of the room. 
I was so proud of myself for picking out and deciding where those shelves should go. 
Notice we don't have window treatments.  Sigh.

Not to bore you with our laptop woes, but my laptop is incredibly slow and doesn't hold a charge for longer than 20 minutes.  David's hasn't held a charge for quite a while, but only recently has he had to finagle the cord a certain way to even get battery power to his computer.  I'm pretty sure his battery is gone. 

So, in November we bought a PC.  I went back and forth about whether I actually wanted a PC or a laptop, but in the end we decided on a PC because of how much it would store compared to a laptop.  We need the space because we are parents.

David's grandma B made this for me and I absolutely love it.  It fits between the box spring and mattress to hold magazines, notes, whatever!  I'm so glad I don't have to keep my magazines on the floor anymore.

I did fight where David wanted to put it:  in our bedroom.  Our bedroom is so ghetto-fabulous right now.  We have, literally, 3 different styles of furniture in our bedroom and 7 pieces of furniture.  My husband has a lot of clothes.  He actually wears the same rotation of about 8-10 shirts and 3 pairs of pants, but he keeps 80% more clothes than that "just in case".  Just in case of what, I don't know.  But anyway, the desk joined the Bedroom of Misfit Furniture and is now happily residing squished in here with everything else.  We are a Realtor's nightmare.  The simple truth is that there wasn't another logical place to put the desk & computer.  The desk used to sit idly in the upstairs guest bedroom, collecting old issues of Real Simple and acting as a catch-all for whatever our guests decided to put on it.  We couldn't put the computer in a guest room - it might be a little rude to barge in on guests when they're staying here so that I can check Facebook or write a blog.  I mean, I'm no etiquette expert - I'm just guessing.

The desk. 
The bows and clippies I've made hanging tackily on the wall.  I need a designer or something.

It's not a bad desk.  I have dreams of sanding it down, painting it, and replacing the knobs but it's a family desk and I am not allowed.  Same goes for the dresser and nightstand that match.  So, I learn to appreciate the charm of a mismatched room. 

I've been sitting here trying to figure out why, A) Blogger keeps turning my right-side-up pictures sideways when I upload them (annoying!), and B) How to add captions to pictures in Blogger.  Too frustrated to keep messing with it.  It really should be easier. 

It's late and I'm going to bed.  Thankfully, David has tomorrow (today) off work.  A perk of being a government employee.  Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

He knows me very well

David came home on Wednesday with a gift for me.  In case you're wondering, yes, he does read my blog so he knew I was having a fat day.  He also knows that the way to make me feel better about my fat day is to bring me the biggest cupcake he can find.  What a guy!

Behold, Trophy Cupcakes.

And the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

I was planning to eat half of it and save the rest for later.  But then I took a bite.

Seriously.  I ate it all.  Actually, I'm not completely barbaric - I did give David a bite.  Just one bite.
It was delicious. 

On the sleeping front, we're doing better.  When Amelia started feeling better we began letting her cry again.  She never has a problem going to sleep initially.  Naptimes are great, bedtimes are fantastic.  It's that she wakes up an hour after we put her to bed and she's mad that we don't come get her up to play.  So, the night before last she fussed/whined/cried for an hour before finally falling asleep.  Last night she woke up 45 minutes after I put her to bed and she cried for 20 minutes before falling asleep.  Hopefully it's working.  I haven't been leaving her for the full 8 hours.  She seems to want to wake up around 1:30am every morning and since it's been 6 hours since I put her to bed I feed her.  I know she could go longer, so I guess I'm waiting until she doesn't wake up that first hour then we'll work on the rest of the night.

My sister, Carrie, started her blog again.  I hope she keeps it up now...I really enjoy reading her posts.  Her blog is here if you're interested in reading it and/or saying hi. 

And, just for fun, look how big my baby is getting.  This picture really makes her look huge.  Pardon the sweet potatoes stain on the front of her shirt.

David has a 4 day weekend (a perk of working for the government) this weekend, so I plan to work on more bows and post them and he plans to get some things done around the house.  Amelia plans to be cute.  So far, so good.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Valerie,

I'm really happy for you that you lost all that weight on Jenny Craig.  Really, I am.  Forget that I weigh what you did when you were "fat".  My only saving grace is that you're 4" shorter than me, but even then I'd be in denial if I said I wouldn't love to lose 30 lbs.  Love.  It.  But, anyway, we're all real happy for you that you've kept the weight off for 3 years and that you are still eating the Jenny Craig food (yuck!), but can you please go be your perky, slimmer self somewhere else? 

Resentful Fat Girl

I'm not really resentful.  And I really am proud of Valerie and her blue bikini - I'm just tired of looking at it.  I don't really make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, mostly because I'm constantly thinking to myself "I should do this" or "I'm going to commit myself to do that" and then I falter and, ultimately, fail.  Every time I try to watch what I eat, my milk supply seems to decline.  I couldn't tell you what my milk supply does when I exercise, but then what excuse would I have?  David has been kind enough to offer to exercise with me which I think will really help.  And, nice weather would help, too.  I am excited to get out and go for walks to the park with Amelia this spring/summer.

Speaking of lactation and weight loss.  Okay, not really speaking of weight loss.  But tell me this batter doesn't completely blow your mind.  I could live off of it.  Or die off of it - whichever.  But I'm prescribing myself cookies and it doesn't get much better than that.

I call them lactation cookies even though I didn't follow an "official" lactation cookies recipe. I just made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and added coconut like my mom used to do in her oatmeal cookies.  Little orbs of perfection.

Oatmeal and flax seed are supposed to aid in increasing milk supply and I put both in these cookies, so here's hoping.  Even if it doesn't help, they sure are fun to eat.  I only made two cookie sheets worth and put the rest in the freezer for a later time.  I love having cookie dough in the freezer.  I mean, obviously not more than I love having it in my mouth (hence, the Fat Valerie dilemma).

Amelia's congestion seems to have improved but she still struggles with it, especially at night.  Tonight, for no good reason at all, she woke up about an hour after going to bed, screaming.  She was pretty much inconsolable until I stuck my finger in her mouth and stuck a couple of Hyland's Teething Tablets under her tongue.  Nothing says reality like someone's finger jammed in your mouth.  I think she must have had a nightmare and then stayed in a daze for a while.  After the Hyland's incident she seemed fine if still not really congested (even more so now, after crying).  David's dad used to be a pharmacist in the Army and recommended Benadryl to help her breathe better and to help her sleep.  Since we already have the cool mist humidifier going at full blast in her room and that doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot of good, we decided to try it last night.  She slept for 5 hours straight, which is far longer than she's been sleeping with the cold (or without it, for that matter).  We tried to hold off giving any medication to her tonight but she was just miserable.  She fell asleep shortly after I put her down after the nightmare episode, but slept fitfully and would whine/fuss in her sleep before finally waking up.  That's when we gave her the Benadryl.  She played happily in her crib with a tag on her blanket (we have video monitors - thank you, Lord, for video monitors!) until finally turning over and zonking out.

One more note on the sleeping thing.  Last week on our first night of Ferberizing Amelia, she woke up at 1:15am which was too early.  She wouldn't be fed again until 3:30am, so I laid in bed and watched her on the 7" screen on my nightstand, cringing and hoping for only a few minutes of Angry Baby.  She barely woke up, reached for her pacifier which I had put beside her in the crib, put it in her mouth, and fell back to sleep.  Seriously.  I wanted to go into her room and wake her up just to give her a high five or kiss her chunky cheeks.  But that would defeat the purpose, so I just woke David up and told him about it instead.  He appreciated that.

It was out-of-control cute last night when David was playing with Amelia on our bad.  Tess, the dog, decided at that very moment that she needed to be pet.  She nustled up next to Amelia, turned on her back, and put her head in Amelia's lap.  I grabbed the camera just as Tess decided she was done being cute, so these aren't the best representation of the scene, but they're still cute.  P.S.  I know it's not in good form to not use a flash when shooting a very quick moving dog and baby, but when I use the flash Tess ends up looking like Demon Dog and I try to avoid that.  Amelia still absolutely loves Tess.  I have to send Tess out of the room when I feed Amelia, otherwise the child won't eat because she's too busy staring down the dog.  I'm still thinking Tess gets the most baby giggles.

Millie's Bows - NEWS
Now available:  You may opt for a thin piece of velcro to be applied to the inside of the alligator clip for no additional charge.  This is especially helpful for Moms who have babies with thin hair or very little hair to keep the bow in.

Also, new to the shop (both will be posted tomorrow 1/12)...

The Dainty Mini.  $4 for a set of 2.

Also, the Big Girl Bow.  Approximately 4 1/2 inches in length, perfect for post-toddler girls.  Soon will be available on a french clip.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My baby is sick

She is.  This is a whole new arena for me.  For 6 months she's had nary a sniffle but now, all of a sudden, she has horrible sinus congestion and today has been consistently running a 99.7° fever.

Have you ever nursed a baby who had sinus congestion?  Not fun.  Amelia would try to nurse then she'd choke because she couldn't breathe.  I mean, imagine your worst cold where you couldn't even blow your nose because nothing would come out yet you were so stuffed up that it hurt to blink.  Now imagine your food source being something you have to suck on at a 90° angle.  Talk about impossible.

I tried pumping and giving her a bottle in a more upright position but she would take maybe 2 small gulps and refuse it.  Again with the sucking thing.  She looked at me like "Seriously, Mom?  Are you trying to starve me?"  So, I took what I pumped and made a yummy green bean, oatmeal and milk pile of goodness for her.  She was slow at eating it but she ate it.  Then she took a nap and slept for 3 hours.

The pediatrician wanted to see her when I described her symptoms so I scooped her up right after her nap and took her in.  Just a cold.  Scooped her up and took her back home. 

She's just been cranky, tired, and miserable today.  She took 3 naps, none of them long, and I put her to bed at 6:50pm because of how tired she was acting.  I hope she starts feeling better, although truthfully David and I both aren't feeling 100% tonight, either. 

In other news, David spent a lot of time today entertaining the very grouchy Amelia so that I could create my shop on Etsy.  It's a lot more of a time-consuming process than I originally thought but it feels good to have it done!  David made me some bases with dowel rods sticking out so I can stack my ribbons on them.  Makes me feel a lot less cluttered. 

I spent some time the other day reading through posts I wrote right after Amelia was born.  I wrote about sleep then, too, only not as much.  You'd think lack of sleep would be more prominent in those first few months, but apparently I was too busy being grateful and stuff.  Also, I used to be kind of witty...I don't really know what hap-- wait, what was I saying?  Oh, yeah...I had a baby and my brains fell out.

Gotta go check on my baby.  And clean up my ribbon mess, or at least organize it.  Wish me luck and an early bedtime.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Hobby...For Sale

Because I need a new hobby - I don't already have 5 hobbies with supplies for those hobbies stacked up in dark corners of my house.  I guess I should look at it as gaining another valuable skill rather than taking on yet more craft supplies that I'm still not sure where to store.  I'm having a lot of fun with this, and I am genuinely hoping to attempt contributing something financially to this family with my new hobby.

 In other words:  I'm selling them.

I'm working on opening my Etsy shop at the moment so I don't have anything posted online, but I'll post pictures of what I've done and tell you that I'm constantly creating and churning out bows.  I'm not completely out of my mind thinking that making bows is a novel idea.  I realize that the market is competitive.  I also realize that I'm just getting started and, while I think my bows are lovely, I know others have been doing bows longer and are better at them.  Which is why I'm not selling them at boutique prices.

SO...  all of this is on a trial basis.  I want to sell my bows for a very reasonable price but I also want to hear feedback about them from people who have them. 

Now, on to pictures of the bows.  Realize I'm not anywhere near a professional photographer and don't own a nice SLR camera with which to take pictures of my products.  All of my photos have a yellow tint because of the harsh lighting above my dining room table - and there's my disclaimer about the photos!  I will probably apologize more than once about the quality of the photos...
- What you see above is just the ribbon I have on hand, but I have access to every style under the sun and every color of the rainbow.

- I can also make them whatever size you need.  3/8" ribbon, 1" ribbon, etc.

- I also have the following resins on hand: ladybug, strawberry, cupcake, and daisy, but I have access to many more and can show you pictures of other resins if you're interested.

- All bows are on lined alligator clips, but I can also make them on alligator clips with teeth, ponytail holders, etc. 

These bows are some of my first attempts, and I do get better with each bow I make.  You'll notice the butterfly clip.  I can make that in any color and can also make a bumble bee and a ladybug...I just haven't made either of them quite yet.

And...just in time for Valentine's Day...

$4 per large bow
$4 per set of mini bows
$3 per insect bow
$2 per mini bow

Shipping not included.  Buy 5 or more bows, get free shipping.
But...I will match any competitor price.
I'm just starting out so I don't think it's fair that I price my bows higher than anyone else's right now.

Here is a photo of the bows I made for my nieces.  Already, looking at the pictures I took I can see a lot of errors that I know how not to make anymore.  Again with the lighting - sorry!

I have another style of bow to show you, too, but I'm still trying to figure out what to put in the middle of it.  Maybe I'll post a picture when I figure it out.

Like I said, I know the bow market is a competitive one and that I'm just an amateur, but I'm getting better by the bow.  I hope you'll think of me when considering ordering a bow.

I'm also working on nylon headbands for alligator clips.  I made some for my sisters' babies but I'm still trying to round up the supplies I need to make them.  I'll let you know.  Here's a picture - let me know if you'd be interested in them so I don't round up all the stuff then no one cares (the one with the bow is actually a single bow with an alligator clip - it's just as an example)...

Sorry to market my wares to you.  I promise it won't happen again.  Unless I want it to.

If Amelia had enough hair, I would have her model some of the bows for you.  Oh, if you scroll down to the previous entry, my nieces are wearing the headbands I made for them.

Ah, need to go to bed.  We let Amelia figure out the sleeping thing relatively on her own tonight and it went pretty well.  Of course, she went down easily, but she woke up an hour after that and stayed awake for another hour and a half.  She never got angry...just whined/fussed and played with her pacifier and rolled around her crib.   

By the way, my little girl is sitting up SO well by herself now.  I took a picture a couple of days ago...  It must have been about time for her to eat.  She gets to be like Pavlov's dog with the drooling around mealtime.

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas in Pictures

I got so used to making enough coffee for 8 adults that I accidentally made my coffee the consistency of tar this morning.  That's what a week in Oregon does to me, I guess.  I don't mind.

I'm going to summarize the Christmas holiday in the only way that isn't over-the-top wordy and completely boring to all of you (and saves me from a lot of proofreading) pictures.

On Christmas Eve, Amelia got to play with cousins Lucas and Isaiah that she hadn't seen since August...

When we got home that night, Amelia mostly enjoyed chewing on wrapping paper while we opened a few gifts for her.  Here she is in her snowman pajamas playing with a Christmas present from a friend.  She's laying on a quilt made for her by her great-great-aunt Nan!

On Christmas Day, we delivered treats to our local fire department before heading to David's parents' house for Christmas breakfast made by the guys.  They made breakfast sandwiches on croissants.  Yum.

That morning, Amelia got to try on a hat made by her aunt Stephanie and a bib that David's grandma made and that David wore when he was a baby!

She also got to see her cousin, Nora, who is David's cousin's 3 month old baby girl.  I have a feeling they'll be friends when they're older. 

The QT with cousins didn't stop there.  We decided to head down to Oregon on Christmas night instead of our original plan of waiting until the following Tuesday.  Amelia slept the entire way and we got in really late.  In Oregon, Amelia... to defend her pacifier from her cousin, Kate, who was very curious about the plastic object protruding from Amelia's mouth. to play with Kate (when the paci battle was over, of course) with both of her girl cousins!  (Sorry the picture is blurry.  I loved it too much not to post) to go to the baby Bible class for the first time (since she's the only baby where we attend up here, there isn't a Bible class for babies)!  Even though she was tired I think she really loved it! to see her very first snowfall since Hillsboro got 4 unexpected inches of the white stuff (notice out the window behind Millie and her Granddad)!  She didn't care much.

Millie and I were in Oregon for a week.  We had such a great time.  The longer I was there, the longer I wanted to stay!  Carrie and Chris bought a house at the end of November and, because it's a "fixer-upper", they're staying with my parents until the house is actually liveable.  So the guys spent every night (and day!) over at the house fixing it up.  One night, the guys stayed at my parents' house with the kids and the girls all went over to the "fixer-upper" and primed doorways and window sills.  We worked a lot but we laughed even more. 

Speaking of Chris & Carrie, I'm going to be an aunt again!  Anna is 8 1/2 months old so she'll only be about 16 months older than her next sibling and Amelia will only be a little over a year older than her next cousin!  Does it get any better than that?!

David had to work the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas, so he went back home on Sunday night then returned late Tuesday evening.  While he was home after work on Tuesday evening, he and his brother-in-law, Jake, worked on our master shower.  I'm happy to say that I think it's nearing completion.  David tried to put up sheetrock tonight but it was really loud and the baby was asleep.  She woke up so he stopped.

We got back to Washington in time to see David's aunt and cousin from Chicago.  While we were there, Amelia got her first look at Sage, Jake and Stephanie's lab.  I can't get my baby away from the animals - she wants to love on every dog and cat she sees, and Sage was no exception.

Here's Amelia's 5 month shot and 6 month shot next to "the pig".  My dad won that pig for me when I was 2 and except for the stick-on black nostrils that got lost in the wash, I'd say it's in pretty good shape.

I think month 5 was a huge growing month for her.  Now that she's on solids, she's really beefing up.  So far she's had...

- Peas (loved them)
- Green beans (loved them)
- Squash (yum)
- Applesauce (absolutely)
- Pears (nom, nom)
- Prunes (out of necessity...she ate them fine)
- Peaches (not a fan of peaches.  Who doesn't like peaches?!)

Tomorrow is her 6 month checkup.  I've got my questions for the doctor written down.

Seriously.  See, this is my problem.  I start a blog and can't shut up.  I need to work on breaking up the posts.

Have a good Wednesday,