Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, Bee and I had a visit to Dr. Punger's office this morning. I was SO pleased that they could squeeze me in this morning. I've got Brochitis and Nati has a touch of congestion in her lungs too. Dr. Punger gave us a breathing treatment and me some antibiotics. We've got a nebulizer at home and we're going to try to get better. She's still really cranky (understandbly... I'm cranky too, ask Mike!), but we're hanigng in there.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Still Sick

I don't know how much longer I can take this. Nati is VERY sick now and I'm VERY sick. I was awake at 11:30 last night with a 103.5º temp rocking a baby with a 101.5º temp. Needless to say, my body heat didn't help her out much and as soon as I put her in the crib, she vomited. I think I'm fighting bronchitis and Nati, for now, just has the flu. She's vomiting, diarrhea, fever, coughing and stuffiness. Poor thing. I called our Ped. who basically told me to keep pushing Tylenol every 4 hours, give her Pedialite for the vomiting (uh.... no) and bring her in on Monday if she's still feverish.

I'm just not sold on this Ped. I LOVE him for Christian and AJ, but I'm just not sure about him taking care of Nati right now.

I just want my baby to feel better (oh, and me too...)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Flu Family

Everyone is sick in my family - well, almost everyone, and if they're not sick now, they're coming down with it. Poor Nati is even getting the flu, I'm afraid. I have a feeling we're heading to the doctor tomorrow. *sigh*

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mini Melt-Down

Since we had such a busy weekend, I hadn't had a chance to do my weekly grocery shopping yet. The kids needed lunches for the next day, so I headed off to Albertson's (which I DESPISE). Mike had been running a fever all weekend, so I took Nati with me - not wanting to chance getting her sick AGAIN (she screamed all the way there).

Nati continued to cry in the store and nothing I did could console her. So, I quickly got just the kids lunches and something for dinner the next night and headed to the checkout. People all around me were staring - which is always fun.

I have a slight altercation with the pre-teen checking me out and end up slinging my groceries into the cart, muttering about how much the store sucks under my breath as I walk out. Yup... Nati's still crying.

I get in the car and the crying turns to screaming - blood curdling, end of the world, just got a shot at the doctor's office screaming. I call mom to make sure she's at home and head there. I tell her "I need a break". She meets me at the door and takes Nati while I fall into a pool of mush on the couch. Nati, of course, stops crying and, if I remember correctly through my tears, actually starts smiling at Grammy. I'm convinced my daughter hates me.

Mom calms me down and I feed Nati who obediently eats. Mom takes her from me and burps her, then gets her dressed in some jammies. Mom and I talk while I feed Nati some more and I get a lot off my chest. I'm just so tired.

I'm pulled in all directions, trying to take care of a house, a husband, two grade-schoolers and a new baby - and unsuccesfully doing any of it. My house is a pig-sty, my husband obviously feels disconnected with me, my step-children are being treated like "step-children" instead of my children and my daughter is screaming trying to get her Mommy to slow down and take care of her. All this time, my car is on empty and disgustingly dirty, I only own 3 pairs of work pants and 4 shirts (and work 5 days a week), I have to make excuses at work to head to the store to get things for the kids' easter baskets. I'm constantly 10 minutes late to work in the morning and I'm rushing to the daycare afterwork. In short - I have NO time to take care of me. I'm not a selfish human being at all, but it is true - you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. And I have NO time to take care of myself.

So, back to mom's.....

She tells me that I should try to take a bottle when I head out, and maybe try to introduce formula so I can take those small bottles with me. I'm too tired to fight back. She says I can just prop a bottle up in her mouth and keep going. You've got to be kidding me. I know she means well, she'd do anything for me, but she just doesn't understand.

I'm there for about an hour and need to head home. So we put Nati in her carrier and .... she starts screaming.


God give me strength.

Weekend Recap

WOW! What a busy weekend. It started off really great.

Saturday morning Mom and I went to get weighed-in at Weight Watchers and I lost another 1-1/2 pounds, making it 8-1/2 lbs in 5 weeks. I'm pleased. Then, Nati and I were off to a LLLI meeting in Ft. Pierce (she screamed the whole way there). To be honest, I was VERY apprehensive to go. I had NO idea what types of people I would meet or how they would view my particular parenting styles. I was relieved to have met a wonderful, supportive group of women (with adoreable babies!) who I hope to get to know much better. I will definately be returning.

After the meeting, Nati and I went home (she cried the whole way home). Around 4:00 or so we went to the mall with the kids to get a few last minute Easter clothes. Nati fussed and I ended up carrying her the whole way (I still haven't found a carrier I like). We ended up eating at Ruby Tuesdays and I tried to feed her while we were in there. The booths were WAY too tight and the restaurant was really crowded so I wasn't comfortable at all. Nati cried some more. I finally was able to feed her but she wasn't too happy.

Sunday morning we woke up to Christian screaming "WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!" upon seeing his Easter basket. It was nothing too special, but he does enjoy having surprises like that. I had him write a letter to the Easter Bunny the night before and I wrote him back a letter and nibbled on the carrots he put out. It was fun watching him read the letter in the morning. We got dressed and headed to church where Nati behaved during worship, but proceeded to fuss once the message started.

Here's Nati in her Easter finery:

So I headed to the mother's room where it was standing room only, it being Easter and all. So I sat on the floor and nursed her. I use a nursing cover when I'm in public (it helps me really not be too self conscious.) I just LOVE it.

The past few weeks there's been a different nursing mother in there every Sunday. I think that's GREAT! Usually, they're fussing with a blanket or obviously uncomfortable shielding themselves from a bunch of strangers, so I pass my cover around and they love it! I end up walking out front to get a piece of paper and pen to write down the website. This weekend, there was a grandmother in there bottle feeding her granddaughter. She loved the cover and said she needed to get one for her daughter, as she's about to give up breastfeeding all together as she's not comfortable doing it in public. I RAN out of the room to get a pen and paper and urged her to get one for her daughter in hopes it would make her more comfy. I can relate - really. I HATE getting the stares from people (oldy enough, it's the older generation that seems to have a problem with it), but it's what's best for my Bee, so I have learned to "get over it". haha.

After church I took Nati over to Moms to relax and visit while Mike and the kids took a nap (she cried on the way over). Then around dinner time we went to Mike's Aunt's house for dinner. Nati fussed A LOT. I spent lots of time in the bedroom cuddling and nursing her, but she was so tired from such a hectic weekend. I felt horrible. She didn't want me to sit down (except when I was nursing her) so my feet hurt from pacing the floor for 3 hours.

We finally left and headed home (she cried all the way home).

THEN.... it happened...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Nati's Birth Story

After reading Lauren's breastfeeding story, I realized I hadn't really finished writing my birth story. I have bits and pieces of it in places, so here it is from start to finish.

December 19th –
I started having contractions around 2:00 am (they woke me out of a sound sleep)- averaging about 10 minutes apart. Around 4:30 am, Mike got up and we started seriously timing them. They were averaging about 5 - 7 minutes and about 1 min long by that point and they hurt!!
During this time I did a few loads of laundry, cleaned the bedroom, etc...

Lost my mucus plug around 5:00 am - wow, that was weird. It was like 2 HUGE blood clots. And they looked like blood clots too. Really red and full of blood. When I wiped, it was really really bloody too. Everything I had heard said "blood tinged". This was not tinged!!!!

After the 2nd part of the plug, the bleeding stopped, then about an hour later, started trickling again. Went ahead and called the doc on call who was an ASS. I told him there was a decent amount of blood and I was concerned. He said "how much blood". I said "like when I'm on my period - a heavy flow". And he said "ok.... so... how much??!!" UGH! He was getting annoyed that I couldn't convey exactly how much. So he told me that with the contractions being that close together, to come on in and get evaluated. (Looking back on it, that particular ASS of a doctor was the one who called me ON THE PHONE to give me the bad results of Nati's ultrasound at 20 weeks). That was about 6:15 am or so.

Mike left to take Christian and AJ to their grandparents house (they were leaving that afternoon to head to North Carolina to be with their Mom for Christmas), He got back, we finished packing our bags and headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 9:00 am or so. They hooked me up to the monitor and said I was definitely contracting and in labor, but was only 1 cm dilated, but 90% effaced. Even though they were 5 minutes apart and very intense, my lack of dilation and because my water hadn’t broken, they sent me home. We left there around 11:00 am with the nurses guessing they’d see me later that night.

We stopped by Cracker barrel for lunch – I could barely eat. I must have been a sight! I was doing my breathing and clutching my belly the whole time! Got home and I camped out on the couch.

Around 6:00 pm, the pain started getting REALLY REALLY bad so we headed back to the hospital. I was 5 cm at that point and they took it as a good sign that I progressed so quickly. My water broke almost immediately after we got set up in the room. They gave me the epidural and we waited. Mom and Dad showed up and waited as well. Periodic checks throughout the night showed my progress had slowed considerably (due to the epi, I'm sure). I remember sincerely thanking everyone who came in the room to check on me. I used my “yes ma’am”s and apologized whenever I felt I was inconveniencing anyone. Mom and Mike kept laughing at me. None of us slept worth a crap, and by early morning Dad had to leave to head to work.

December 20th
Around 3:00 am or so (??), they had determined that my contractions weren’t making any progress, so they turned off epidural and gave me Pitocin to help speed things along. Around 6:00 am, I was barely 10 cm and was allowed to start pushing (the whole time saying “yes ma’am” and “please” and “thank you” – it was rather comical. The nurses said I was the most polite woman in labor they’d seen!). Mike was counting me through the pushes – and at one point he had to take a break to go to the bathroom. I could hear him counting loudly from the bathroom for me (I love that man).

My hemrroids were horrible. There was one nurse who’s job was to put pressure on my bum to keep them from getting worse – poor nurse. At one point the doctor came in and said he didn’t really like the progress that was being made, and that Natalie’s heartbeats were dropping during my contractions. If she didn’t come out soon, I’d be getting a c-section. For a few moments I gave up hope – I remember I said “I can’t do this” and came SOOOOO close to asking for the c-section. Remember, I’d been in labor since 2 am the day before – 31 hours and the epi had been turned off). Mike helped me through it and about ½ hour later Natalie was starting to crown. She had started coming out sunny-side up and they had to turn her as she was crowning. I remember I only screamed once, it was as the push just before her head came out. I felt a strong pain in my pelvis. Looking back on it, it was the point when my pubic bone seperated. I was in intense pain for WEEKS after. At 9:33 am, Natalie Joyce came screaming into the world.

They cleaned her off quickly and brought her back to me and I started nursing her right away. Neither one of us knew what we were doing, but we made it happen anyway. I'm so thankful that my husband had the camera right after the birth and happened to get photos of me nursing Nati for the first time. I cherish those photos.

I was terribly bloated from pushing and probably from labor in general. The bloating took about 2 weeks to subside. I had burst blood vessels in my eyes from pushing so hard – but at the time I was pushing I didn’t care – I wanted her OUT! I couldn’t focus on anything without closing one eye and oh… my tushy. Ouchie.

It was all worth it though when they placed her in my arms. That first moment when she looked at me and I held her I was completely in love. This little person that poked me tirelessly during the past nine months was here and I finally had a face to the love I’d had in my heart. She was perfect.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Digi Scrapper of the Month!

I won Digi Scrapper of the Month for February on a forum I hang out on for this page I did last month. I JUST NOW got the time to visit that board again and realized that i won. I wish I had more time for scrapbooking, but Nati keeps me pretty busy these days.

3 Months Old!

Happy 3 months my Baby Bee! The time has gone so quickly, and as sad as I am to see you grow, I'm very excited to see what a beautiful young lady you will become.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good Luck, Kid

Last week, Christian's class made cards for the 5th grade class to wish them good luck on their FCAT tests. Well, Christian's kindergarten class has their SAT10 test tomorrow, so the fifth graders returned the favor.

Pretty much says it all.

Yea, kid... good luck.

A Mother's Dedication

Unreal. This woman is simply unreal. It makes my struggle with pumping at work seem trivial.

Long Journey for Mother's Milk

Monday, March 17, 2008

Christian turns 6!

On Sunday, we went to my Mom & Dad's house to let the kids go swimming to celebrate Christian's birthday. He got a hand-held V-Smile from Grammy and a new big-boy mountain bike from Daddy & Granny (without training wheels!). Even AJ had an exciting day - she swam for the first time without her swimmies! YEA!!!

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Lion Country Safari

Christian turned 6 yesterday. It's a HUGE milestone according to him - you'd think he was turning 21! We went to Lion Country Safari on Saturday and had a GREAT time. Grammy Rowe (my mom) went with us. Here's some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bee is definately sick

Poor thing. Today she started getting a fever and as of 7:00 this evening, it was 101.2. We gave her some Tylenol and it seemed to come down pretty quickly. She's sleeping fairly soundly now in her crib. She has slept pretty much most of the day, but was awake for a while at my Mom's house while we were having Christian's birthday party (I'll post about that tomorrow).

She's got a stuffy nose and coughing a lot. She HATES being suctioned. I've really got to invest in one of those electric asperators.

This picture sums up how she felt today. Her eyes were all puffy and red and she had this sullen look on her face. Poor baby.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Bee is sick

Poor little thing, she's had a cough for a while and yesterday it started getting "wet and gurgly" sounding. Of COURSE with the weekend coming up, it would start getting worse. She's also started developing a small rash on her groin area. I wasn't too worried about it for a few days, then yesterday I noticed it had grown considerably. I was concerned, so I went onlnie and checked it out. I'm pretty sure it's ringworm. How she got it, I have NO idea. So, I called the doctor's office this morning and got her in for a 2:50 appointment. I've got a meeting this afternoon, so luckily Mike can take her. We'll see. I just want my baby Bee to bee all better.

Well, over the weekend I found some Baby Legs locally. I was SO excited. I've wanted to try these out with her for quite some time. I absolutely love them and need to get some more!

We had to do a photo shoot and I just LOVE her bare bottom. These are the best photos I could manage with her squirming around and with the limited knowledge of my new camera.

Edited to add: Mike just called, Doc isn't concerned with her cough, but she's definately got ringworm in two places on her "girly parts". Poor thing. He said that it could have come from anywhere (even the cats!) and it's very possible, in fact very likely, that no one else would have it. Good news is that she doesn't seem bothered by it. He gave us a cream to put on there and she'll be fine in about 1-1/2 weeks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Swivel, Swivel

Oh, my girl is in trouble now. Too bad they're $94.00

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who knew Super Heros could Lindy?

This is just awesome!

Orion and Colleen ALHC 2007

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday's Guilty Pleasure

A blog I found months ago is calling me back. The problem is that it's not a current blog - I think it was last written in 2007. Trixie Update

My favorite part of the blog being "Milk Week", a father's view of his wife pumping breastmilk and his beyond psychotic way of tracking each and every bottle. Milk Week

Guess it worked out though, because now he has a company which develops software to track baby feeding, sleeping, changing, etc. Trixie Tracker

Aah.. I wish I were as dedicated with tracking my milk supply.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The day the earth stood still

This outfit is very special - it is a happy, but very sad outfit.

Mom and I bought this at Dillards the day of Natalie's first ultrasound - August 1, 2007. That was the day Mike and I first saw our little princess and found out she was a girl. I was on cloud 9. I sailed through the rest of my day, telling everyone that I had seen my baby for the first time and that God had blessed us with a daughter.

Mom and I decided to head to the mall that evening to buy some pink things to celebrate. I had picked this outfit out for Natalie to give to Mike. While we were shopping, I received a phone call from one of the doctors from the office.

Here's the excerpt from my pregnancy journal:


I feel like I just got the wind knocked out of me.

The doctor called - he just reviewed the ultrasound and there's some things that concern him - 3 actually. She has a cyst in her brain (but he says it's somewhat common and normally goes away). She has some issue with her kidney - something like they're dialated or something, and there's slight thickening of the skin on her neck. He said everything is within normal range, but at the high end of normal. Any of these by themselves, and he wouldn't worry too much, but with all 3 - he's recommending an amnio to rule out downs syndrome. He also said we could go to a perionatologist who could do a level II U/S, but the same things would probably show up.

Mike and I are a mess and he's not taking it well at all - I guess neither am I. I'm a wreck.

I'm going to call the OB nurse (who is WONDERFUL) to see about scheduling the amnio asap.


I remember feeling my legs give way under me as he was talking to me. Mom stood next to me and just held on to me. We stepped outside to try to begin digesting the information he had just given us.

After a good cry, we went back inside the store and I purchased this outfit. Buying it represented my hope and prayer that my little girl would be alright. It also represented to me that if God meant for her to have Down's that I would love her just as much if not more. Regardless of how she would be, I would love the sweet baby that would one day wear this outfit.

Many times during this ordeal, I hugged this onsie, held it over my belly and imagined my perfect little girl in it. I thought it had, for a short time, manifested into a tangable piece of her, when in reality, it was a piece of me struggling to hang on to hope.

20 days later, we received the test results from the amnio and learned that our Baby Bee was just fine.

Mike's sister Julie said: "we will bombard heaven with our prayers for a good report." God answered our prayers and blessed us with the most perfect angel.

I put this outfit on her today and cried a little. I had waited SO long to put this on my baby. At the time, I wasn't sure if she would be ok, but I knew that regardless of how God wanted her to be, I would love the little girl in this outfit more than anything in this world.

Friday, March 7, 2008

You are a dash

Your life is fast paced and varied. You are realistic, down to earth, and very honest.You're often busy doing something interesting, and what you do changes quickly.

You have many facets to your personality, and you connect them together well.You have a ton of interests. While some of them are a bit offbeat, they all tie together well. Your friends rely on you to bring novelty and excitement to their lives.(And while you're the most interesting person they know, they can't help feeling like they don't know you well.)

You excel in: Anything to do with money

You get along best with: the Exclamation Point

I'd say this is pretty on point. I always have so many things in the fire and I'm always looking for something new to experience or try. I don't know about the exceling with money thing though. I don't even balance my checkbook!

If you want to take the quiz, click here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why blog?

I've never been a blogger - more of a chatter or even a forum-lurker and I'm not a particularly gifted or elequoent writer, but to coin a current Johnson&Johnson ad campaign "having a baby changes everything".

Since the day I found out I was pregnant with my Baby Bee, my favorite pasttime has been to talk about her. And now that she's here - oh, look out! I try to be conscious about gushing over her in particular company, and try to only forward 3 photos MAX at a time in emails. The problem is that I don't ever stop thinking about her.

My office is plastered with photos of her, as well as my computer desktop. I hum the tune to her new favorite toy all day at work. I look forward to closing my door 3x a day to pump breastmilk for her, as it's sort of a bonding time of sorts even though I'm not with her. And I admit, I do 5 - 10 mph over the speed limit on I-95 on the way to pick her up from daycare at the end of the day.

God blessed me with the most beautiful, perfect daughter. Some days I wonder what I did that was so right that He felt I was worthy enough for her. She's my heart, my soul and the air I breathe. It's amazing how this small, little, helpless person can have the biggest impact on me - she's made me a Mommy.

So... Here's my Baby Bee, Natalie. Born December 20, 2007. I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of her to come!