Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This and that

OK, so I am more daring these days. After dragging the three youngest boys to Quinn's gymnastics, I took the twins to get haircuts and then we all went out to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory. They were begging to go. This, I believe, is because they were 'starving' after refusing to eat any stew at Nonni's house last night. I used it as a motivator with the behavior for haircuts as Connor likes to be difficult if he thinks he can get away with it. Quinn, on the other hand, seems to actually really enjoy getting his haircut.

Connor did try to be difficult and I simply said that if I had to come help the barber again, we would not be going out to lunch and that was the end of it. He did pout a few times and make faces which I wish I had caught on camera, but he did what was asked.

A customer walked into the barber shop and said "wow, these boys are so well behaved - they are not squirming or making a fuss at all... how nice" and the barber says "Well they have been coming here for a very long time in their short lives." Which is totally true. I was trying to roughly calculate in my head how many haircuts they have had their (all of their haircuts have been there) but got tired of the effort.

Here is the hair cut pics. I really wanted a true before and after but I forgot to grab the before shots (their hair was really getting long!) so you get a during and after:

Connor (above), Quinn (below)

Lunch went OK. Teagan fussed a bit and there was the whole issue of needing to take Teagan to get his spit up clothes changed but the boys wanting to stay at the table and me worrying that someone would call child protective services for leaving them there for a moment... and then of course they decided they needed to use the bathroom when I returned to the table after I had already asked them about 3 minutes prior! No other major mishaps though.

It was challenging to drive home after lunch... I was SO TIRED. All my passengers had the luxury of getting to sleep! When we got to our house, I just parked the car and napped a bit myself since everyone was asleep.

Teagan did well on all the adventures. He has spit up / vomited a decent amount after every feeding so far today... sigh. Part of it is the car seat use - that always seems to bring it up, but some was at home also.

Today is day 8, I think, of the no dairy diet for me. I am totally craving cheese! I have no idea if it is even helping. Everything I read says I need to wait 2-3 weeks to see. Plus there are other possible food sensitivities -- like apparently, babes with a problem with dairy may also have trouble with beef. Eggs are a very common allergen also as is soy and wheat. There is a total elimination diet (TED) that you can follow so that you cut out all the major allergens at once and then add things back one at a time. I just couldn't bear the idea of having such limited food choices. Wish I knew for sure if it would work. If someone said "Hey, he definitely has an allergy, you need to do the TED thing and find out what it is" then I would do it -- but trying it just to see when I am not even sure it will help is hard.

Oh... I almost forgot to mention -- Teagan totally belly laughed today! I tried to grab the camera and do the video thing but the batteries were dying and he also had to stop doing it to stare at the camera... it was really cute though. :)

That's all for now... I don't think he will nicely coo at the mobile in the crib behind me for much longer.

Snow Day!

Andrew up on the play set and Connor climbing up the ladder... Connor and Andrew

Actually, we are the only school district that went with a 2 hour delay instead of the day off. Worked out fine, everything was basically melted by noon!
This was all yesterday -- I just didn't download pictures in time to post it then.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today's pictures...

Finally Joe got a smiling picture for us. Andrew worked hard at it too and got some cute ones like the one here with Teagan's dimples.

Also shown here is Andrew's completed MTT - a LEGO Star Wars set with over 1000 pieces. He got the set in November and just now got it done (though admittedly his Nintendo DS and school and chess club and other such things have kept him busy and away from LEGOs at times).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our weekend... general rambling

So last night I went out to 80's night at the Crystal Ballroom with a group of friends from work. This is only the second time I have gone -- last time I was about 20-something weeks pregnant :)

We had a really good time. Stayed until they closed the place down at 2am. I had moments of feeling like I shouldn't be out dancing when I have a husband and 4 kids back at home... but then I decided the exercise and social time with friends was well worth it. I don't really feel 'old' per se, just no longer really young. My aching knees today also reminded me that I am not so young anymore. But given it has been at least 9 months since I have done much of any physical activity other than just walking, I think I fared pretty well.

Today Andrew competed in his second ever chess tournament. He won 2 out of his 5 games which is what happened last time as well. I think he needed to win at least 3 games to qualify for the state tournament. He was frustrated by it a bit. I think it is really good for him to deal with losing though. As an oldest child, he tends to think pretty highly of himself because he can beat his brothers at games and knows more school/general knowledge stuff than they do. He needs to learn to be a bit more humble.

Joe seems to really enjoy attending the tournaments and chatting with other parents and getting to know the other kids in chess club. I feel a bit left out of all of it. I am the mom with the new baby who stays at home during these events. But I am also terrible about making small talk and meeting new people and all that, so even if I did attend, I would not be very involved. Joe really shines at that sort of thing.

I was thinking today about what a really great dad he is. He is so invested in the kids and honestly pays attention to all their ramblings about video games and Lego creations and all that. I hate to admit it, but I tend to start tuning some of that out after the first 10 minutes or so. I blame it on having all boys and just not being able to really "get" them. But I am pretty sure their are moms out there who make more of an effort than I do with their boys. I think the ages we have right now combined with the fact that I am very distracted by and tuned into my new baby make it hard for me. I simply have no interest in computer game levels or watching Scooby Doo for the zillionth time!

I love them all to death of course, but I do get sad and frustrated when I realize that I am just not very interested in the things that really excite and interest them these days. We were at the bookstore the other day with my brother and SIL and my brother was pouring over graphic novels / comic books with them and they were all so excited about the characters and my thought was that I just have no interest in comic book heroes! SIGH...

I still have LOTS of moments where I am still wishing for a daughter. I can't sleep some nights because I am day dreaming about it and can't get it out of my head.

Anyway... I think that is has personal as I want to get at the moment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


So here is the little man again (still can't catch that smile on camera!)
And another try at the smile with the camera and a mirror... sort of worked.
Next is my new infant carrier. A Mei Tei that my mom made using a pattern from http://haveaballbaby.com/. It takes a moment to get it tied on, but is MUCH better on my back than other carriers I have tried. I still like my sling for quick trips -- but for any long walks, this new one is the way to go.

The Land of Sick Boys...

So most of the crew is sick now. Joe has a nasty cold that has lasted a few days so far, Quinn is very stuffy and snotty also. Andrew has a sore throat but given that is his only symptom, we sent him to school today anyhow (he wanted to go). Connor threw up two times this morning. I missed all the excitement on that one because I was upstairs with Teagan. Poor Joe often seems to be the parent that gets thrown up on these days.

I am not really excited about a day at home with the sick kiddos, but oh well. Teagan seems to have a mild stuffy nose which could be illness but also could just be from being a baby with a small nose and dealing with all the dry, cold air.

Nothing else new to report.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good baby

We visited Nonni (my mom) at lunch time and said hello to old work friends (as I used to work for the health department doing the same thing my mom does). Then we went to my staff meeting at work. He never squawks about anything much and spent a good deal of time at the meeting cooing and babbling to no one in particular. I am so fortunate to have a boss who is OK with me bringing him along and lucky to have an easy going baby as well.

I also weighed him today officially (like I undressed him and used the baby scale at work) and he only weighs 13 # 10 oz. That is up only 7 ounces from his 2 month visit which was 3 weeks ago. Given that the minimum gain per day is about 1/2 an ounce -- he should weigh a bit more. But I am not sure for how long that 1/2 to 2 ounces per day weight gain guideline applies.

It is hard to gain weight when you vomit a lot of your feedings and then you also use up a lot of energy kicking your legs around all day long. Today is MUCH better in terms of vomiting though and I have been avoiding dairy (except for a bit of cheese here and there) since the Dairy Queen cone.

This picture id supposed to be of him smiling, but of course as soon as I got the camera out he just stared at me. Oh well. I took it last week I think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thanks for the comments...

I am getting all these great comments from readers. The way I have it set up, they come to my e-mail. I'd love to reply to everyone but hitting "reply" doesn't work as these are notification type e-mails from blogger. So I will just say here that I read all the comments and appreciate it all.

So I am trying to decide if I want to officially sign up for weight watchers again or just try one of the freebie online programs like Sparkpeople. I was also looking at the "Biggest Loser" website -- I have taken quite and interest in that show lately. Weird for me as I don't really like reality television. I just like seeing how dramatically they drop their weight -- it is really impressive and the transformations in the final show are really fun to watch.

I am already cutting back on eating high calorie/low nutrient type food. I am trying to only eat when it is nutrient dense and I am actually hungry. But then I find that I am feeling hungry in between meals and don't have a good for me snack to grab that is quick. I spend so much of the day nursing Teagan and such that I just don't want to mess with fixing something other than the meals I already fix (breakfast and lunch... Joe mostly handles dinner).

Teagan is fussy again today. I am still trying to decide if it correlates to what I eat. I guess when I start tracking food for my weight loss (I haven't been tracking yet -- just watching what I put in my mouth!) then I could track his moods also and see if I can figure it out. There is a lot of info out there that suggests dairy, soy, wheat, and some of the other major allergy triggers will affect breastfed babies when their mothers consume them. I know there are also docs who think it is hogwash -- but there seems to be quite a bit of evidence that there is something to it.

I am having trouble dealing with the idea of totally dropping all dairy from my diet even though I suspect that is the culprit. I cheated and had Dairy Queen ice cream yesterday (see, I also cheated on my eating empty calories plan as well) and he has been vomiting part of just about every feeding today and some have been a LOT. Most days he vomits once or twice a day and often not much any more.

Anyway... nothing else new to report around here. Oh, we made our vacation plans for spring break and summer. I am happy to have that all arranged as it was starting to stress me out because we were looking at houses to rent and they were already so booked up! Man, is it January and we are looking at flexible dates in July or August and everything was booked. One place said if we called in May we could book for summer 2009! This is not a tropical island -- we are talking about the Oregon coast... Neskowin to be exact. So we are thinking of trying something new and heading to Bella Beach which is a planned beach community near Lincoln City. The have walking paths and a playground and basketball court and the beach front seems fine -- not as expansive as Neskowin, but nice.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weight loss

I am trying to get myself geared up to work harder on this weight loss stuff. I am not fortunate enough to be one of those women who just effortlessly drops the pregnancy weight after delivery (we hate those women!)

I have considered WW, which I did about 2 years ago and successfully lost 30 pounds. I am just not really up for adding another weekly meeting to attend right now on top of work and work related meetings and such. I am not sure if the online stuff will be enough. I am gradually being more careful about what I eat but it is hard because DH buys stuff that tempts me and I give in at times. My biggest thing lately is to just try and get protein in with every meal or snack... seems like that helps. I have shed 3 pounds in the last couple of weeks.

That puts me at 32 pounds lost since I delivered 2.5 months ago -- which sound impressive except for the fact that I gained just over 60 pounds this pregnancy!

I also worry because with the twins I dropped it like this but then I started putting it back on gradually over the months and by the time they were 2 years old I think I was at one of my heaviest non-pregnant weights ever. Ugh.

Anyway... any comments about great dieting plans (that I can stick to and live with -- not just fad diets) are appreciated.

Until later!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mr. Crankypants

So we had a morning of sleeping in... usually a nice thing, but then he vomited all over me in bed. Argh. I keep forgetting I can't nurse this guy in bed because of that. Sigh... He has since continued to spit up on and off all morning. I wish this reflux stuff would just go away.

Funny thing Quinn said this morning: he was helping make breakfast and in the other room Connor was entertaining Mr. Crankypants aka Teagan. Connor calls out that he "thinks Teagan likes him" and I said "of course he does, he loves you." Then Quinn says "well he loves me more" and I say "no he loves all of you." "But," Quinn interjects, "he loves me the most because some day he will be mine." "What?" "You know mom, when I grow up Teagan is going to be my baby." Hmmmm. I tried to explain that he is Quinn's brother but Quinn was pretty confident that I was wrong and didn't know what I was talking about. Oh well...

Maybe I should let him deal with Mr. Crankypants today... off to deal with that now!

Monday, January 7, 2008

One of those GOOD days...

I started out the day so TIRED. It is hard adjusting back to working nights and very hard to get to sleep appropriately after having slept most of the day following a night shift. To make it even more challenging, I had some asthma trouble last night and was coughing and then used my inhaler and then was up feeling jittery. About the time I got to sleep, it was time for the 4am nursing session with my little man. SIGH...

Luckily the twins played nicely together today and after lunch when I told them to go play upstairs so Teagan and I could sleep on the couch, they did! Yea! So I got a decent nap in.

Our neighbor's 6 year old came over again to play after school as she does everyday. I am thinking I should rename the blog "Tales from the Land of Boys (plus Hayden)..." because she really is over here every day. I felt guilty today because I had this annoyed feeling of -- 'man I have 5 kids over here messing up my house while they are left with only their one 10 year old daughter at their house EVERY day... ' She is a darling girl and I even like to think she gives me a chance to have a daughter figure around, but there can be lots of noise and fights and mess making when she is here.

They actually all played nicely today.

Anyway, I turned her away when she returned after dinner for round 2 of play time because I just wasn't up for it (plus why jinx a good day by tempting fate). I felt bad about it too... hmph.

I so wish we could get a bigger house! The housing market is not good right now though. Once again, I really should take pictures and post them but I may be too embarassed if there are actually people out there reading this besides me.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Meet the boys...

If I am going to talk about the kids - might as well introduce them.
Andrew - age 9, in the 3rd grade
Andrew is a true eldest child. He likes to boss his brothers around. He embarasses easily these days as I believe he likes to think of himself as being a big kid and can't handle it well if he is caught acting too childish. I find it a challenging age because he can take on all kinds of responsibilities one day and he can drive you crazy and be no help at all the next.

He is a very bright boy and unfortunately he knows it. I hope he learns to be humble. He loves math and science. Enjoys drawing and creating stories; though he would rather tell a story through pictures or cartoons then use formal writing and paragraphs. He generally is a wonderful big brother and knows just how to cheer everyone up -- including the baby -- which is a great help.

Connor - age almost 5
The comedian of the family these days. He can go from being extremely happy to a sobbing mess in no time flat. He needs to learn to manage his whining a bit better. On the plus side though -- he is very creative and very articulate. The things he says are always surprising to me. He loves to play and talk and live in the land of make believe.
He is less into computers and videos games than his twin or older brother and more into drawing, writing (abstract letters and shapes that look like real writing but aren't) and building legos.
Quinn - age almost 5
The twins are such opposites in so many ways. Quinn is very athletic and full of energy. We try to give him oulets for that with gymnastics classes and soccer -- but I think I need to find more for him. He likes computer games also like Andrew but at this age frustrates easily if he isn't able to get it working right. He is much less talkative and out going than the other two in public - but he warms up to people quickly.
He adores the new baby and intially lavished a lot of his attention on him... it has slowed down lately as there are so many new toys and games from Christmas that are a bit more interesting than the baby.
Teagan - age 2.5 months
The new guy :) His personality is starting to come through more and more. He is my best sleeper yet as an infant. He is calm and generally laid back (just don't stick him in a car seat or try to clean out his nose!) He loves to cuddle and be held and lately loves to try and stand and be held upright all the time.
He spits up frequently and vomits regularly -- but is gaining weight slowly and surely. He arrived weighing 10 # 13 oz. so you can't really tell he is a slow gainer. At this point I am happy for him to stay small -- they are all getting older and bigger too quickly these days!

Tired of spit up...

So I must say I am getting a bit tired of being vomited on by my darling little one. I still honestly don't think reflux meds will help much because it seems to be a factor of over-eating - but I wish I knew for sure.

I am tempted to take pictures of the mess that is my house to save for future viewing as it is just appaling that we have so much stuff around here and and so bad about storing it all effectively. The baby gear in particular just sprawls across the living room. And my 13 year old couch that the kids use as a jungle gym is just so "yuck" these days! I watch that 'Extreme Makeover Home Edition' show with envy these days.

Speaking of which... I watch WAY TOO MUCH television these days. I get that being stuck nursing for hours a day means I get bored and the TV is a nice distraction... but I get where I watch it when I am not nursing just because I have things I like to watch now. Ugh... I really could put all that mindless time to much better use. Maybe I need a New Year's resolution after all. Of course, I also really want to lose this pregnancy weight... and given my track record with New Year's resolution type of commitments, I should probably only take on 1 challenge at a time.

Anyway... off to go add some more links to the blog. I like the idea of having all the stuff I am looking at lately in one spot as my pile of "Favorites" in Internet Explorer is long and cumbersome these days.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Challenges with blogger

This wasn't how I planned to start my first post... but man I am finding it hard to set up this page! All I really want is to post a small sized pic of myself up in the corner, but blogger keeps warping or cropping the pics. Ugh.

The little guy is waking up so I guess I will work on this later. SIGH.