Monday, December 28, 2009

Can't We All Just Sleep Through The Night?

About 1:15am this morning I hear that horrible, unmistakeable noise coming from the dog bed. Rggh. Rggh. Rggh. Nothing can be mistaken for the sound of a dog about to barf. I leap from bed and ask Griz, "Do you need to go outside?" To which he promptly answers, "YES!!" as he bee-lines for the back door.
Great. So, I think to myself, "Todd will be up in two hours. You can sleep outside until then."
Right as I fall back asleep I hear the scratching on the back door. It was cold and I know he doesn't like to sleep outside, so I reluctantly get up again and let him back inside. Ahhh. 2:15 - back to sleep.
Rggh. Rggh. Rggh. AGAIN? 2:45am?? Come on...just one night of sleep? Uninteruppted?? Luckily Todd had responded to this one and out Griz went again.
3:15am. Todd's alarm goes off. Up again. Back to sleep. 5:15am. My alarm goes off.
And you know what the super-sucky thing about all of this is? Not Todd, nor Griz nor myself got a full night's sleep - but Colt did. I'm glad someone did. 'Cause he's just so damn cute when he's sleeping!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas - Like Old Times, Only Better!

Let me first preface this blog by saying we were way ahead of the game this year by simply having a Christmas tree. Inside. With decorations and lights. Big improvement over last year if you'll remember? Cancun for 2 weeks ring a bell? Chirstmas dinner buffet style? Margartitas for dinner. Right. Here in Smeltzerville we're all about skipping Christmas. Now, before you go getting your panties in a bunch all worried about our Scrooge-like behavior let me point out the perks:
  1. It usually involves missing out on a week or two of crappy NW Washington weather and heading somewhere tropical. Like, say, Mexico!
  2. Totally skipping the last minute "oh-my-god-we-forgot-to-get-something-for-aunt-Marge" run to the overcrowded mall.
  3. None of those pesky pine needles clogging up your vacuum. Don't say that doesn't piss you off.
  4. None of that pesky "it's time to take the tree down because it's already March" kinda moments.
So, with that said, I am happy to announce that, yes, we celebrated Christmas this year. Or, well, at least we plan to. As I type this blog at 10:00am on Christmas morning I am sipping coffee sitting here at my desk at work. At work. Not at home. At work. And I was at work yesterday too. Because that's what you get when you work for a company that runs 24/7/365. You don't get a fricking day off.  Think of the worldwide pandamonia that would play out if we stopped producing gasoline for one day because "Rikki wanted Christmas off." Right. So, we celebrated a little last night, we'll celebrate a little more tonight with my parents, then we'll pretend that tomorrow morning is actually Christmas morning, then most of the family is coming to our house on Sunday to celebrate yet again. So, we're actually having four days of fun instead of one. (Well, minus the two days I have to spend at work since I'm not counting those as fun....)
We don't buy each other gifts either. (*gasp*) Instead, I mailed off three or four checks to local charities with the money we saved on buying for each other. I'm sure the local Mother Baby Center, for one, can use the money much more than myself. (Plus, they were the first line of defense when I had the yeast infection nipple incident. Lactation consultants staff that place round the clock thank god.)
We did manage to make gifts for our family and purchase a few things we knew our relatives would just love. Because the holidays are so much more about giving than getting, right?
So, don't worry. Although we probably could have gotten away skipping one more Christmas because Colt is so little, I doubt we will ever get away with skipping another! I am happy to announce and you heard it here first: Smeltzerville will be hosting Christmas again next year!
Well, I've got to go. Looks like a tank of diesel is about to ship.  Love the holidays at the re-fun-ery!

Monday, December 21, 2009

....and Let's Not Forget "The Sleep Deprived, Somewhat Neurotic Mom." the other morning I say to Todd, "Wasn't that great Colt slept through the night again?!"

...and he replies, "He didn't. You were up feeding him at 4:00. Don't you remember?"

...hmmm. I guess I didn't. And still don't. So, I'm guessing that puts me somewhere right between normal and not. They say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Might we say I've found it?

I guess I got a baby that sleeps through the night for Christmas. Or at least I got the belief that he does. Really, what's the difference?

Looks like Christmas came early at our house!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back By Popular Demand: The Story of How I Shocked My Ass with the Seat Warmers.

I realized the other day I referenced the story of how I shocked my own ass and perhaps not everyone out there heard the story of how that came about. So, here goes:

Upon arriving home one afternoon last spring, I pulled my car up to the garage door. That's right - pulled it up to the door (not inside the garage like I normally do) and left the keys in it (which I also don't normally do). It was beautiful that day and I had driven home with the sunroof open. My plan was to ride the horse then run in to town quick and grab some groceries. Well, I became distracted (probably by something shiny..) and didn't accomplish riding or running to town. So, there the car sat.
At 5:00 the next morning I awoke to sounds of rain on the roof and water in the downspouts and one big "Oh crap" in my mind. I knew instantly what I had done. After getting dressed I headed out to check out the damage. Damn. It had been raining all night. Hard too. Damn damn damn.
When I tried to open the driver's door I found it locked -- very suspicious. Although I rarely park outside, one thing I never do is lock my car. Hmm. Weird. I checked in the house, my purse, the bedroom, the door lock, everywhere - and no keys. That's weird. And, upon further inspection I realized the keys were in the ignition. And, we don't have a spare. The keys were in the ignition, the doors were locked, we don't have a spare.... but, wait! the sunroof's open!!
So, there I was: 5:00am maneuvering my pregnant ass through the open sunroof (in the rain..) and into the driver's seat of my car. There was water everywhere. The cupholders had about 1.5" of water in them and I was certain the two buttons on the center console were fried: the hazards and the door lock (which had obviously fried overnight and locked the doors.) The leather seats had standing water on them and were soaked to the core.
Anyway, at least the car started. I shut the sunroof (duh) and turned on the defrost and seat warmers to try to dry the car out. Twenty minutes later I headed off to work. I was about 1/2 way to work when I felt the wet seats soaking through my pants. The hazard button wouldn't work at all and when I tried the door lock button the hazards came on. Oops. Totally fried the console buttons.
Moments later I started to feel my heartbeat in my butt. "Hmmm. That's weird" I think, but continue on my way to work. Then the heartbeat gets more intense - to the point of being really distracting, almost painful. "I wonder if all pregnant women feel their heartbeat in their ass?" And continue on. Then it started to downright hurt where I had to lift my butt off the seat to drive. "I can't possibly be being shocked. What could shock me? The seat warmers? No way. Maybe. Hmm." So, I shut them off and it stopped. "Well, that's weird." So, I turn them back on. "Ouch! Dammit. That hurts. They ARE shocking me. Wicked." I turned them off for good and drove to work. I had a wet butt all day long (luckily my lab jacket covered that) and it took two days for the console buttons to start working right and nearly a week before I was brave enough to try the seat warmers. Which, by the way, didn't shock me then nor have the since.
I'm sure it was a total freak accident, but here's what I learned: the reason seat warmers work is because there is a heating element in the seat, which is prone to shorting out from moisture just like any other outlet. Let's just all be glad I don't routinely use a blow dryer, right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Operation Vermin Control

We have for several months now been fighting a battle with two of our friendly neighborhood raccoons. They sneak into the garage at night and help themselves to the cat food and water. Cute, yes. But a little irritating. It became really irritating when they, apparantly wanting more than what I was feeding the cats, tipped over the tupperware container holding the cat food and helped themselves to 5 lbs of cat food, buffet style. Three times.
And, to no one's surprise, I have had a difficult time with the mechanics of the trap door on the live trap. Sometimes simple workings elude me. In fact, I have set up and caught, then released said raccoons approximately three times. I never seem to get the trap door right. Until yesterday. Oh yes, read on....

Scene: Our bedroom, 3am this morning.

Todd is preparing to leave for work and heads out to his truck parked outside our bedroom window. Tromp, tromp, tromp, then tap, tap, tap on the window.
Todd (through the glass): "Did you move the trap? It's way down by the blackberries."
Me: "No. Check it. It probably has a cat in it."
Tromp, tromp, tromp.
Todd: "Nope. We got a 'coon! I'll get it after work."
Me: "You can't leave it there all day."
Todd: "They live outside. He'll be fine."
Me: "It's inhumane to leave him there all day. Can't you take him to work and let him go?"
Todd: "Fine."
Tromp, tromp, tromp. Back to the trap. "Ouch! Dammitt! #$%$%^ man."
Tromp, tromp, tromp. Back to the window.
Todd: "He's crazy. He went after me when I tried to pick the trap up."
Me (half asleep):  "Maybe some gloves....?"

I hear a gun cock, then tromp, tromp, tromp. *pause*        

      BLAM.            Silence.

Truck tailgate goes down. Trap in bed of truck. Tailgate goes up. Truck drives off. Hmm.

So, then I start thinking "I wonder if the neighbors called the cops?" Because that kind of behavior is normal: yelling through the windows in the middle of the night, yelling back from inside the house, tromping around, gunfire, vehicle traffic after shots are fired. Our neighbors love us. Perhaps I should call and tell them I'm OK....

...and the Statistical Outliers....

Every good set of data has those totally unexplainable data points that just seem to throw the whole analysis off. Ya know, things are going good, going your way, then *BAM*, there comes a result that you weren't expecting, throws your whole data set off and makes you question whether or not your data is reputable or not.
That would be (aside from last night) the two nights prior when we were up not just once, but twice each night - once at midnight and again at 3am. we say we spoke too soon on the sleeping through the night thing? NO! Because last night he slept from 7pm until 3 this morning. That, however, could have been from the dose of Tylenol, but I'm counting it anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Anomaly, the Coincidence and the Trend. And Their Nasty Cousin: The Habit

It's important to know the difference. Being of a very scientific nature I believe everything (well, nearly everything...) can be broken down into one of the above categories.
Here in the lab (where I spend an inappropriate amount of my time..) we run every test three times. This eliminates any possiblility of having either an anomaly or a coincidence. You get three good runs and you've got yourself a believable number. So, let's apply that thought process to our everyday life. I'll show you how easy it is!
For example, last Friday night Colt slept from about 8:00pm until 6:30 the next morning. It was amazing. Mostly because Todd and I both had a few drinks at the Christmas party and were up WAY past our bedtime of 7:00pm. It felt so good to sleep through the night. There we have what I call an anomaly. Wikipedia defines anomaly as: An anomaly is any occurrence or object that is strange, unusual, or unique. Sleeping through the night was indeed an anomaly - very unique. We're able to tell this because Colt did NOT sleep throught the night Saturday night.
However....on Sunday night he DID sleep through the night. Because they were separated by a night of the usual wake-the-sleeping-mommy-for-a-midnight-snack-at-3am we weren't "trending" towards sleeping. We had merely hit the coincidence stage. Wikipedia defines coincidence as: Coincidence is the noteworthy alignment of two or more events or circumstances without obvious causal connection. One can't argue with the facts: we have a coincidence on our hands!!
Tuesday and Wednesday nights again up at about 3am for the usual feed-me-and-I'll-back-to-sleep routine.

However, last night he went down about 9:30 and woke this morning at 5:30 - right before my alarm clock was to go off.
Our baby has, at the spry age of 11 weeks, developed a sleeping trend. Three nights of sleeping through the night and we're trending!! Trending in a good way.

Now, let's address the ugly cousin of the anomaly, the coincidence and the trend: the habit. I would like to say Colt is in the habit of sleeping through the night, but let's not kid ourselves - he's not. He's still hovering around trend stage and I'm seriously hoping we'll progress to the habit stage. No, no....the habit I'm talking about here is the one I've developed where I get up at 3:00am to feed him. Because there I was: 3:00 o'clock this morning wide awake, staring at a baby sound asleep in his bassinet, smiling just a little bit because he was no doubt thinking, "I own you mom. I own you both. Welcome to MY life for the last two months. See you at 6:00am"

And the truth is he does own us. He has me trained so good. So, after I made sure he was indeed still breathing (why else would he sleep through the 3:00 feeding?) and admired just how adorable he looks while he's sleeping, I went back to bed for an hour. I think I'm more exhausted now that he's sleeping through the night than I was when I was up feeding him!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Do You Do When The Pigs Are Bigger Than You?

Weighing in at about 90 pounds each I don't think they're such cute little piglets anymore. And, they have this irritating habit of getting behind me whenever I go in their pen and rooting at my calves and trying to chew on my boots - a trick that was cute when they were little - not cool now that they're bigger. Plus, but the time I turn one around to shoosh one of them away another one comes around the other side headed for my other leg. I'm sure I look like an idiot tripping through the mud trying to scare the pigs away from me.
 I thought I had the perfect fix to the problem: I moved their feed and water troughs close to the fence so I wouldn't even have to go in their pen anymore. I can simply dump the slop over the fence and can reach the water faucet from outside their pen. Tada!
 Now, don't get me wrong: the pigs have done an amazing job of rooting up the little enclosure. It was full of burdocks and weeds and who knows what else they've dug up (rocks, sticks, stumps, bricks, nails, etc.) and they have done an amazing job making it look like a perfectly rototilled garden. That was until it started raining three weeks ago. Then it turned into, well, a pig sty! The foot of beautiful tilled dirt turned into two feet of boot-sucking, slippery-as-snot mud which is what forced me into moving the troughs against the fence. I was lucky to leave that pen alive some mornings.
 Well, the two feet of hilled-up, mounded-up, stinky-ass, slicker-than-snot mud has now turned into the Himalays of frozen tundra. I kid you not: there are frozen peaks of mud and pig poo at least 3 feet tall out there. So, night before last in the freezing weather I ran out to throw some more straw in the pig house. Did you know pigs get goose bumps? Poor things....
 Anyway, it was dark and I was carrying probably 20 pounds of straw through the pig pen trying to see using light from the neighbor's barn to reflect where the peaks and valleys of frozen pig poo were. A head lamp would have been smart, but I digress...
 I'm trying to help these things out, ya know? And there they came: all three of them, swarming me like I was a cart of fresh produce. I got so freaked that they were going to knock me over I tripped on a peak of shit and nearly went face first into the dirt. I just kept remembering what my dad said about his friend who's own pig bit his leg and he had to have it operated on. Dear God. What have we done? I stumbled around and managed to get the straw in the house and make a speedy exit. I keep wondering though...if I'd fallen down who would have found me? Todd would have come home and found the baby watching Shrek, the dog laying there hungry and no sign of me. Because, really, we've all seen Hannibal Lecter. We know pigs eat people. And people eat just depends on who comes out of the pen alive, right? I'm working on some kind of straw-launcher so I really never have to go in there. I'm not gonna die in there.

Monday, December 7, 2009

When Drunk in Public Meets Public Transportation... and why that's not always a good thing.

Before I get to the meat of the story, let me just say this weekend was amazing on so many, many different levels. Might I showcase today's blog with some of the good highlights:

  1.  Friday night Todd and I went on our first "date" and left Colt with his aunt and uncle. We weren't anticipating staying out too late but ended up having so much fun, stayed out far past our bedtime (of 8pm) and had perhaps a little too much alcohol. But, what an occasion: first date after our first born!

  2. I got our Christmas tree. I know, I know...this is a lot of people's favorite part of Christmas. Todd and I usually skip Christmas though but figured we'd do it up for the baby. Remember last year? Cancun? The sun, the sand, the surf, the booze? The baby due 9 months TO THE DAY after Christmas? Not falling for THAT one again... The tree is still on the deck waiting to be brought inside and decorated. We're already WAY ahead of where we were last year.

  3. Colton slept through the night. TWICE.

Now, onto the perhaps not-so-fun yet still totally entertaining part of the weekend:

As an early Christmas gift Todd was invited by a vendor from work to attend the Seahawks game yesterday afternoon. Kevin lives in the Seattle area and Todd was to meet him near the stadium before the game. Amtrak trains run from Bellingham on a perfect schedule to and from the game. I dropped Todd off yesterday morning and was to return for him at 9pm last night. That's pretty late for us here in Smeltzerville but there I went: me (in my pajamas), the dog and the baby.
About 2 miles from the train station I get a call from a "Restricted" number and I answer anyway.
"Is this Rikki?"
"Uh. This is Officer Thompson with the Mt. Vernon police department. We have your husband Todd here."
"Right. He's on the train." Because this prank smelled of Todd from the beginning: Get some unsuspecting train rider to call his wife and pretend he's been arrested.
"I'll let Todd explain what's going on here."
Me: "What the %#^ is going on?"
Todd: "I don't know. I went to get chowder and a hot dog, then I was still hungry and I went again, then they kicked me off the train and called to police."
Office Thompson: "We've got him here at the train station but I'm afraid to leave him here because it's so cold. If we take him to Denny's to get some coffee can you pick him up there? He says he doesn't have any money for coffee."
WTF? "Is he drunk?"
"Hold on.....'Todd, are you drunk?'"
"Uh, yes. He's says he's drunk. But he's walking around. Not really the level of drunk we usually deal with I guess."
"Um sure. I'll be right there."

So, I got back on the freeway and headed to Mt. Vernon to pick up my drunk husband who somehow got himself kicked off the train. Meanwhile, Todd and the officers are all buddy-buddy.
"Hey, Todd, I bet you're around a 0.12%. Wanna blow a breathalizer and see how close I am?"
"I bet I am - that's why I'm not driving! I know I'm drunk..Is this a trick? Are you going to arrest me?"
"No man, just try it!"
"OK. Hey look - 0.12%. Pretty good." He even got to keep the souvenier blow parts. Neat, huh?

The thing was when I got there he wasn't that drunk. He definately couldn't drive, but he wasn't belligerent or angry or stumbling. Just kinda drunk and wanted to go home. But, he absolutely stunk of gin but insisted he hadn't been drinking any gin. So I'm thinking "What was his blood alcohol content when he got ON the train three hours ago?" No wonder they called the cops. That, and he was dressed like a homeless man for the cold football game: Undershirt, T-shirt, hoody, jersey and a tattered blue, wool snap-up jacket, ball cap and gardening gloves. (I think it was the gloves that gave him away, but they were all we had...)

Now, remember how I just blogged about my car that needs new back brakes? The ones that get replaced tomorrow that the guy assured me would be alright to drive on "for short trips."?? Like to Bellingham and back - not Mt. Vernon and back?? Right. So, like so many other blogs start: There we were: me, the dog and the baby in the car when......blah blah blah. Luckily my tire didn't burst into flames on our way back. But then, would it really have surprised anyone if it had?

Friday, December 4, 2009

And a Flat Tire Makes Three!

I'll admit I'm getting pretty good at realizing when my brakes need to be looked at. Year before last I drove on a squeaky brake for two weeks before having it looked at.
Me: "No, I swear it wasn't doing that last week."
Todd: "Are you sure."
Me: "Yes."
Todd: "How could you tell with the music up that loud?"
Me: "I would know. Really. It hasn't been doing it very long."

And that episode resulted in not just new brake pads, but a complete overhaul of the braking system: new pads, new calipers, new blah blah blah to the tune of $500.

Then, last year when the other brakes started sqeaking I only let it go for, oh, one week. Again, too long to be squeaking. Again, a complete overhaul of the back-end brakes to the tune of another $500. Lesson learned: squeaking is not good. Got it?

So two days ago we get the squeak again. But not before we had a complete and total car-meltdown. Because nothing is ever simple for me and vehicles. Remember the final days of the Range Rover? The electrical "issues" we were experiencing? Or, my inability to recognize when the car needs some gas (despite the glaring yellow gas light?) Twice.   Or, perhaps the time I left my sunroof open and the car outside (two things I NEVER do normally..) and got my ass shocked by the electric seat warmers? What about the time I left the keys in the car with the sunroof open and the rain shorted out the locks and locked the keys inside the car? I had to crawl through the sunroof. And the list goes on and on.

After a day of running around there I am: leaving my parent's house with the baby and the dog mashed in the backseat of the car - because that's how I roll - I never have problems when its just me in the car. About 100 yards up the road I sense that the car just doesn't sound right. When I let go of the wheel it pulls hard to the right. Like swerve off the side of the road hard - and even I know that's not right. Upon further inspection my suspicions were confirmed: flat tire. I manage to drive the thing back to my parent's house where my dad helps me temporarily pump up the tire in order to meet Todd at Les Schwab's Tire center to promptly switch over to my winter weather all season radials. Problem solved. Or so I thought.

So, after the life-saving tire swap, the squeak was back. The bad brake squeak I've come to know so well. Back to Les Schwab yesterday. Diagnosis: New Brakes. Because I just had them replaced last year they're still under warranty! I managed to get out of there with new brakes without paying for a $500 brake rebuild job!

Oh, and the flat tire? No way to save it OR the other front tire. Two new tires to the tune of $500. Dammit anyway.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who's Ready For Monday Night Football??!

So maybe teaching him to watch TV this early isn't a good idea and will come back to bite us, but there's nothing cuter than watching Monday night football with dad dressed head to toe in his Seahawk jersey!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some More Pics of the Little Guy!

Say hello to the cutest kid ever!!

The cutest thing: here Colt is in his swing (sans the actual swinging motion - that seems to terrify him still!) and Griz lays there protecting him! We say, "Griz. Where's your baby? Get your baby!" and he runs over to him!

Colt loves sitting in his Bumbo chair in the kitchen while we cook.

This whole smiling thing is pretty new. He just started really doing it on purpose last week. Totally the cutest thing ever!

...and for Christmas I want a husband that can breastfeed.

Because, really, how could would THAT be? The genius idea came to me the other night during one of the many, many midnight feedings. There I was: propped up against the headrest of the bed, boppy pillow in place, feeding Colt, staring off into space and listening to my wonderful husband snore quietly in what looked like the most wonderful sleep of all time. I'll admit it: I was a little jealous - having just cleaned, diapered and fed the baby yet again, and preparing to spend a good 30-40 minutes having the marrow sucked from my bones while he, well, just slept.
So here I make my case for the breast feeding man: why in God's name would men HAVE nipples if they weren't meant to USE them? It's not like they're there for looks, right? It seems like the only good thing for men to do with them these days is pierce them which, in my opinion, would render them useless for breastfeeding anyway.
I suspect that in the early stages of genetic engineering a man (of course) was thinking to themselves, "Hmmm. I HATE getting up all the time in the middle of the night to feed the baby. If I somehow deleted the breastfeeding gene from my genome I would be totally off the hook with this one." And is was then, in a feat of engineering magic when men were genetically engineered to be unable to breastfeed. They still have the nipples so they look right, but the nipples themselves are rendered useless. Furthermore, I suspect that when said gene-deletion occured they also deleted the gene that codes for the ability to tell when the toilet paper is out, when a load of laundry needs done or the dishwasher unloaded.
So, Amy, if you're reading this: if you get your wife for Christmas I better wake up this Christmas morning and find a husband who makes breast milk. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Midnight Play Time

Scene: Our bedroom, 2:30 am night before last.

After finishing yet another near-midnight feeding in complete auto pilot, I'm standing there over the bassinett with my eyes closed slowly rocking Colt back and forth in some semi-concious pattern.  Although I can tell he's not asleep he's fading fast and I think to myslef if I just keep my eyes closed a little longer I can somehow will him to sleep. Right. And what fairy tale world do I live in?

I've developed the incredible ability to actually sleep while I'm standing up. I know - yet another newly discovered talent. He's still a little fussy and not asleep, so I rouse myself awake and take a peek at him. And he was laying there, staring straight up at me with the biggest grin on his little face and when he saw that I was looking back down at him it set him off into total laughing hysteria. Apparantly when you're two months old laughing equates to sucking air in your mouth in order to make a noise while smiling as big as you can.
Absolutely. Fricking. Adorable.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And THAT'S Why Babies Don't Wear Underwear

Last night after Colt's bath I had him layed out on the couch snapping up the cutest little onesie. I snapped from the neck down and was working my way up leg #1 when I think to myself, then (unfortunately) say out loud to Todd, "Isn't it weird that babies don't wear underwear?"
Which was promptly followed by laughing and then, "Um. They do. It's called a diaper."

And that's why it looked so weird. He didn't have a diaper on. Thank god for Todd pointing that one out. That could have been a REAL mess if he cut loose with one of those trademark bowel evacuation things. Close call. Way to go dad.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Last Kick In The Face.

I complained a lot when I was pregnant. A lot. I'll admit it. I complained about peeing all the time, the maternity clothes, the weight, the aches, the pains, the waking up in the night and so on and so on. However, I will say I got off pretty easy when it came to the whole childbirth thing. Planned C-section. Check in to the hospital, get an IV, get a shot, have a baby, go home. Not bad at all. Very few complaints.
I do however have one final complaint. As most of you have heard I no longer drive the spacious Range Rover due to mechanical malfunctions (see the previous blog) which means I'm back in the car. The sub-compact, really cool and sporty car of my dreams with a really little trunk with a big sub woofer in it. I spent nearly 3 hours last weekend attempting to stuff my somewhat large jogging stroller into the obviously much-to-small trunk and finally concluded it just wasn't possible to have both. The woofer had to go and Todd took it out - voila! The stroller fits now.
I think I've given a lot during this whole pregnancy/kid thing. Really. A lot. But the sub woofer? Come on. This is the one last cool thing I had. The one thing that screamed "You're hip. You're cool. You're in your 20's and loving life." And now that's gone too. Because, really, I had myself totally convinced it made me just a little cooler. Bummer dude.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our First Road Trip and Overnight Stay!

This Friday I go back to work and wanted to get a trip in to see my best friend Amy down in Puyallup. Three hours in the car and a one night stay away from the comforts of our own home? Sure! Why not? Suprisingly enough Colt slept the entire way there. I was a little nervous since he had a long nap at grandma and grandpa's before I left, but he made it the whole way plus some!
We discovered right away I didn't pack enough clothes. Three changes is obviously not enough since he ripped through those in the first 4 hours we were there. There was the post-travel bowel explosion, the post-travel bladder evacuation, followed closely by the post-travel barf on everything episode. The barfing episode happened the moment we convinced Zoey, Amy's nearly 3 year old, to hold Colton while we snapped some cute pics. A little barf got on Zoey's shirt which upset her so much she said, "He's ready to get up. He's ready to get up and I need a new shirt. Get him up." And she didn't even get hit with any chunks. So, pretty much Amy spent her day off doing our laundry. We'll pack more next time!
At one point the house was packed with the perfect form of birth control: my 2 month old, Amy's friend Sharon's 3 month old, Zoey, and Alisa's two toddlers, Avelyn and Finley. The cyclone of kids running around wore Colton out and he slept most of the time we were there!
I had an awesome time and now know you have to pack WAY more clothes and WAY more diapers than you think you could possibly use.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not Going To Be Sad To See This One Go...

We've been busy shopping for a new truck this week because I flat out refuse to drive the Range Rover after last week's "episode." I seem to have soooo many more problems driving that thing then Todd does. Seriously, it respects him. And it hates me, obviously.
So, a little history on the Range Rover: we purchased this car 2 years ago as a bigger, more reliable vehicle that could carry the dog, the stroller the baby, the groceries and tow a trailer. Plus it looked really cool and had tons of cool electronic features like air ride suspension, navigation and on and on..
When Colt arrived we decided it was easier if Todd took over driving the car and I took the RR. With all my time running around, jogging, shopping and shuttling it just seemed easier. Right.
I've been having small battles with the RR ever since I took possession of it. For instance, whenever I put the left turn blinker on the windshield wipers come on. And, sometimes when I'm driving it displays an "EAS Fault" and says "Slow to 35mph max." Hmm. That's nice. Then it will be totally normal after I restart it.
Well, last week on my way to mall walk (because thats what I do now. I've aged 30 years in the last 2 months.) with my mom, the dog, the baby and the stroller in the car, turning right on to a very busy road it started beeping and displayed "gearbox failure." WTF? What's a gearbox and why's is failing in the middle of the intersection?? Well, turns out the gearbox is directly related to the transmission. In other words: the part the makes the car go. The RR was running, stuck in the middle of the intersection, beeping and flashing "gearbox failure", and the engine would only rev when I pressed the gas. Super. Because there's nothing like being totally stranded with your mom, the dog and the baby! Not like we could all fit in the back of a tow truck.
 I managed to get 'er going and we limped to the mall. And, upon leaving the mall the RR would only make this weird clicking noise when I turned the key. I didn't leave the headlights on dome light on so this was most unexpected. I cranked and cranked and it finally fired up. I skipped the errands and headed straight home and half way there got the good old "EAS failure - slow to 35mph." Right on. This just kept getting better. And, oops...there go the windshield wipers again.
I spent the whole next day reorganizing the car and haven't driven the RR since. And I won't. It hates me, I swear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And Then There Was None

D-day was Monday. We all knew it was coming. We all knew they were livestock. This is a small farm with farm animals not pets. Cows are stupid and dirty. They make a mess out of your field. The pasture is destroyed in places and need to be reseeded. There is cow poop everywhere. We had to worry at times if the fence was on or if the bull got out with the neighbor girls. We got up at least twice in the middle of the night to see if the fence was on and went into the woods to see if they were all still on our property. We had to worry if they were getting enough food and water. When we went out of town we had to hassle the neighbors or the folks to watch them. Livestock are a hassle all around. #84 got sick his last two weeks and cost us $ 160 to try to make his last days more comfortable. Is that good husbandry? I don't know. But it was the right thing to do. So Monday we were all a little happy for them to go right? They will be providing cheap meat for are friends and family. We might be able to save a little money on meat now. They were just cows. If that was the case then why would we look out the kitchen window wanting to see them in the pasture? Hopefully the next group of cows will be just like these, just cows.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh...THAT Baby.

Yesterday before I started in on all my running around I treated myself to a latte at the local drive through espresso stand. I hate to admit it, but some of the reason I go through the drive through stand is because Griz loves it. They usually all have some kind of dog treat, and if you hit the right one, sometimes they have full sized dog bones; not the half sized ones for small dogs.
I pull through and order the usual: (what they often times refer to as the "why bother") single, tall, decaf, nonfat soy latte. The soy is a new change since I've (very painfully) cut dairy out to see if it helps with Colt's evening crying.
Anyway, the barista gives Griz a bone and comments on how cute he is. And who wouldn't, really? He props his chin up on the window and cocks his ears a little and gives you that, "Aren't I the cutest thing you've ever seen? Don't you want to give me a treat?"
Then she says, "How old is your baby?" and I reply, "Oh, he's going to be 8 next month." And she gave me the STRANGEST look.
Then I realize she's not talking about THAT baby...she's talking about THE BABY. Colton.
So, I quickly correct myself, "Oh, that baby. He's six weeks old."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I've Seen A Lot of Gross Things...

...but watching the vet "syphon drain" a cow's stomach rates up there pretty high. Thank God my dad came up to help with the vet call this week. (Notice how he gets all the fun cow-related call outs? The castration, the loose bull, the stomach pumping...)
So, #84 had a huge air bubble in his rumen and needed the pressure relieved apparently. This involved some pretty exciting equipment and maneuvering on the part of both the vet and my dad. The really great thing is that since I had the baby strapped to the front of me I became just an observer instead of a participant.
First, he inserted a 1 1/2 inch piece of PVC pipe about a foot and a half long into his mouth and clipped it with one of those bull nose-clippy things right to his nose. The pipe was just so he didn't bite down on the 6 feet of garden hose he threaded through it down into his stomach. He used what looked like a bicycle pump to pump ~3 gallons of water into his stomach via the tubing. He was supposed to syphon-barf his stomach contents, but it didn't work. Hmm. Add another 3 gallons or so? Yep!! He pumped some more and when he disconnected the hose all hell broke loose!!! You have got to be joking me.
#84 barfed probably 5 gallons of green, half-digested, stank, rank, absolutely stinky cow vomit all over the stall. And it wasn't like he stood still either - he was all poltergeist about it. His head was thrashing all over and the vet and my dad jumped back while he barfed, and barfed, and barfed some more. I had ring-side seats for the whole thing and barfed a little in my mouth. Gross.
They pumped him full of electrolytes and sent him on his way.
$165 later and an entire day spent scrubbing the stall down, we're good to go.
You couldn't pay me enough to do that.
See? Anyone can sit up when they're totally surrounded by pillows! And this week Colt started to smile! See it there? A little?

First time in the Bumbo chair. Colt did pretty good, but once he slumps over he can't really get back up himself. We're getting there though!

Bath time! We don't even cry anymore - in fact, he kinda likes it!

"Ok Daddy...I push the red one, then the blue one, right? I love Madden 10 on the XBox."

Please Repeat Your Selection

I have found that it is impossible to work your way through the automated call center over the phone while holding a crying baby. All I wanted to do was call our corporate office and ask what address to send some paperwork to, so I really didn't need to talk to anyone "live", I just needed to get the freaking address.
"Please enter your employee ID number."
"Waaa. Waaa. 6. 2. Waaa. 7. Waaaa."
"Hmm. I didn't catch that. Please enter or say your employee ID number."
"Waaa. Waaa. 6. 2. Waaa. 7."
"If 93696 is correct, say yes. If not, say no."
"NO. Waaaa. Waaa"
"Yes, alright then. For HR say one, for IT say two, for benefits questions say three."
"Waaaa. THREE. Waaa."
"Hmm. I didn't catch that. Please choose one of the following options: For HR say one, for IT say two, for benefits questions say three."
"Waa. THAA-REEE. Waa."
"Hmm. I didn't catch that. To be transferred to an operator say 'operator'."
"Waa... OPERATOR. Waa."
"Hmm. I didn't catch that. Please choose one of the following options: For HR say one, for IT say two, for benefits questions say three."
Whatever. I just hung up. Obviously the computer system doesn't speak baby.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Late Night TV

On a particularly hard I'm-not-ready-for-bed-yet kinda night, Colton and I were up watching some late night TV. And by late night, I mean anything that's on after 8pm, because that's bedtime around our house. Todd had to work early, so in consideration of his ever-dwindling sleeping hours, Colt and I parked it in front of the TV. I'm a big fan of the "Life in the ER" and Discovery Health stuff which Todd isn't too into watching so I thought it would be a good time to catch up on some of that "quality" programming.
As a side note: I'm totally convinced there is some weird biological mechanism at work which TOTALLY shuts off all of the horrible memories of being pregnant right after you give birth. This is what secures the future of our race because if anyone could remember what it was like being pregnant: the peeing, the strained ligament (remember the peas on my crotch), the wardrobe malfunctions, the aching pains, the sore joints, the lack of booze, the I-can't-eat-that, the not being able to get comfortable, the body pillows, the pounds and pounds you pack on NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would have another kid. Therefore, there is something that suppresses those feelings deep within you and you can actually start thinking having another would be a GOOD idea.
Even before I had Colt I could identify this happening to other people and SWORE it would not happen to me. That said, a co-worker commented the other day about how different I look now and asked me if I could remember what it was like being pregnant. I remember complaining a lot, but other than that....I can't really remember a whole lot. In fact, I said to him, "Yeah, it wasn't really that bad I guess." WTF?? Did that really come out of my mouth? Near the peak of the pregnancy I can remember swearing I would never do this again. Obviously even the strongest willed are sucked in by biological mechanisms. Dammit anyway.
So, I thumbed through the Discovery and TLC channels, but was totally horrified by the programming on ALL my favorite channels. Biology may be able to erase the feelings that being pregnant wasn't that bad, but man, TLC and Discovery will remind you exactly what it was like. No joke, the titles of the first six programs I looked at were: Pregnant and Obese, Paralyzed and Pregnant, Mystery Diagnosis: When Being Pregnant Can Kill You, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, Trauma in the Maternity Ward and some special on preemies. It was a sign from above. I can see that now. Thank God Colt went to sleep quickly. I was up the rest of the night thinking about what it would be like to be pregnant and paralyzed, but at least he was asleep. Creepy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When The Boys Get Sick...

...everyone suffers...
Perhaps I have some supped-up immune system because luckily I did not fall victim to whatever affliction Todd and Colt did last night. Let's call it the four hour flu. Because that's how long it took to run it's course.
Things were going well...we had dinner and then the usual 6pm fussiness set in. The problem is when it came bed time (8pm) it wouldn't stop. By 10pm, while Todd slept, I was nearly catatonic while still entertaining a now completely hysterical, inconsolable little baby. We want to nurse, then we don't want to nurse, we want to be burped, then we barf uncontrollably (which, by the way makes the nursing feel totally useless), we want to be swaddled, then we freak uncontrollably and try to scratch our face off, then we want to be held upright, then sideways, then on the stomach, then patted, then rubbed, then left alone...and on and on and on.
So, by 11:30ish I was completely at my wit's end with the baby laying in his crib at the other end of the house with the vacuum cleaner running. And, then I heard the sound of heaven: total silence. He was wide awake, but listening to the vacuum cleaner run and run and run.
Meanwhile, Todd is up suffering from the worst bout of lack of intestinal fortitude I've ever seen, suffering hot flashes and cold bouts, shaking uncontrollably and feeling all around pretty crappy. Pretty much what the baby was feeling, but lacking the ability to vocalize.
So, the baby, the dog and myself camped out in the back bedroom, far from Todd (who had to be to work in...oh, 4 hours....) with the hall light on and the vacuum cleaner blaring away. After 20 minutes I attempted to shut of the vacuum, but was met with more hysterics. Somehow I managed to sleep with it running for almost an hour and a half with one finger plugging my ear. When I woke up at 3am this morning I shut the vacuum off, nursed the baby and he went to sleep like nothing had been wrong. Just like that - over it and acting like nothing had happened. Acting like the night had gone smoothe.
I promptly put him next to Todd in the bassinet and retreated to the back bedroom where I got 1 hour of uninterrupted sleep before Todd left for work. Then, when Todd left I spoiled myself (and Colt) and slept for another 2 hours!!
I think I'll invest in another vacuum.
And he's so cute this morning. I take back all the things I said last night..and even the ones I thought and didn't say. And today he's the perfect little baby again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More Pics of the Cutest Baby Ever!

Colton's first pumpkin! My mom brought it over for him the other day. Funny a pumpking that can fit in one hand is that much bigger than him!
Just hanging. We do a lot of that!

This is how we get through those afternoon screaming bouts. He likes to be strapped in the front carrier and walked around the house. Notice the iPod with the head phones. Todd walks him singing (if you can call it that...) the lyrics to Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby." Maybe that's why he cries? hmm..... I take him in the front pack too, but stick to the old fashioned orange ear plugs.

Baby's first bottle! My first sense of independance knowing dad can handle the feedings! We call this being thankful for breast pumps!


When a person claims they have just "gotten over" the H1N1 virus should they really be out at the local grocery store pawing through the produce section, ordering from the deli case and generally spreading germs about? Or, worse yet, should said person who's entire family has "just gotten over the swine flu" hug a person toting a 3 week old baby? Maybe I'm over reacting here, but seriously people...I don't want to spend my last weeks of paid leave from work sick as hell. And, moreover, I don't want to spend my last weeks of paid leave sick as hell, nursing a sick husband and nursing a sick 3 week old baby!! Geez.
My mom, the kid and I were out running errands the other day and ran in to a kid I grew up with. Well, the kid is about 30 years old now, has a wife (of probably 8 years), a kid in kindergarten and another that's about 3 or 4 years old. Anyway, I hadn't seen him in ages, so I walked over, said hi, gave him a big hug and exchanged the usual "what have you been up to?"
"Well, we had the baby...he's about 3 weeks old now. Things are good. How's the wife? How are the kids? I bet you have one in school now, don't you?"
"Yeah...things are good. My oldest son is in kindergarten this year. Although, he hasn't been in two weeks. We all just got over the swine flu. We were holed up for, like, 8 days. I had a temperature of 104 degrees and almost had to go to the hospital. We're doing good now though."
"Step back from the baby dude."
Right. I'm sure you're feeling fine. Aren't we all? I mean, aren't we all feeling fine...the ones of us that DON'T have the swine flu?
"Alright. Well, we've got to be going!! Swine flu? OK mom. Don't touch anything. Let's get our stuff and get outta here. Yuck."
I swear there isn't enough hand sanitizer for me to take another trip to the grocery store. Gross.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sick Cows...Everyone's Favorite!

We're such naturals at this whole farming thing. Sometimes I wonder what we've gotten ourselves into. It will be nothing short of a miracle if these things live to see the slaughter house! Who knew you could actually overfeed a cow? Can't they eat any amount of anything? Apparently not because when we fed them, oh, ten 5 gallon buckets of some left over granola they weren't right for a few days. Apparently if cows are licking the wood in their shed it means they are missing some minerals...
After an early morning call to the vet's office they assessed they had a serious case of indigestion and recommended giving them a pound of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda - an antacid) and each of them would need to be giving 4 magnesium oxide tablets (a laxative). Because a person can just walk right up to a cow, ask them to open their mouth and put the pills in, right? Or, maybe if they were laying down we could just slip them in? No doubt this involved putting the halter on them and we haven't been practicing that...
I found 4 pound packages of baking soda at Cash and Carry and, surprisingly, when it was sprinkled on the salt block they licked it right up. Sadly enough I wasn't part of the pill-popping brigade. That was left to Todd and my dad - the official cow whisperers.
The scene played out something similar to the time we had #84 castrated. If you remember it was pretty much a shit show. I was inside with the baby and caught most of the show from the kitchen.
#86 went well. Well, its hard to struggle much with the rope so tight around one's neck....and #81 (the bull) even went well. I think they were even able to get the halter on him. #84 got his dose too, but the best part was watching Todd try to run down the sketchy #85. He's a little wiley and pretty quick and obviously was feeling much better than the others because he ran Todd back and forth across the field a good 5 times before Todd gave up. I'm thinking if the cow is running the 40 yard dash he's probably feeling alright and doesn't need the medicine anyway.
So, what we've learned here is that cows can develop a fairly common condition called acute acidosis that is similar to a person getting an upset stomach. That condition requires a person to dose them orally which sucks. You're better off cutting back the grain and sticking with upping the roughage!! Who knew?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In With One and Out With Another...


Just when you think we should start charging admission to the "Smeltzerville Petting Zoo" we have added to our brood! We recently acquired (short term anyway) another horse!! I know what you're thinking: I have 5 more weeks until I can even think about getting on the one I already have, so why another? Well, Shadow is the retired 4-H project of a friend of mine who needed a place to crash for a little while. Jazzy had a difficult time accepting the gift of instant friend, but after a couple of days seems to be doing just fine with it.

And, as one comes in one goes out! Tux, the black and white cat (get it? Tux?) that we acquired a couple of years ago has gone back to his real home with his dad Burch. Before Todd and I bought our house we were living at the beach at Semiahmoo. Our friend Burch went sailing for nearly a year and we took over watching Tux. Well, after a voyage full of wild tails that spanned from here to Mexico, Hawaii and back he has landed safely in Blaine and was excited to see his old friend Tux. He moved out yesterday and was headed to a much quieter house with Burch and his 12 year old Chihuahua, Pancha. I'm sure he's glad to be out of our mad house!

Friday, October 9, 2009

When Bath Time Goes From Fun to Very Un-Fun....

Last night was a big night at the Smeltzer house. It was Colt's first bath night!! Because the doctor advised against total submersion and because we have just about the coolest double headed glass encased shower stall in the world we opted for the shower for three. I will admit I was a little hesitant bringing the little guy into the shower for fear that he would be pretty slippery and we would re-enact that scene from Pretty Women - ya know "sure are slippery little suckers..." but all was going well.
He loved the shower! He loved it spraying on his little head and if we deflected the spray enough and let it dribble down over him it kept him warm enough he was totally digging the shower. I thought maybe my shower head spray was a little strong for him and Todd suggested we adjust it to spray a little softer. I was holding him and Todd managed the adjustment.
Well, as many know, there are three settings on a dial-style shower head: light mist, normal setting and the super-duper, three spray pulsating rip your skin off setting. Right. So, set at normal there were only two ways we could go...and we went the wrong way. Todd twisted the shower head and before I could shield Colt from the impact the pulsating spray hit him right on his stomach. Luckily no skin was blasted off, but the shock was enough to scare him into total hysterics.
And that, my friends, is when shower time went from fun to very un-fun. Sometimes I wonder if this kid has a fighting chance with us!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Packing up That Bucket of Fun!

Yesterday I grabbed a plastic tote and started the process of packing up the maternity clothes. Well, the packing actually consisted of 2 minutes of ripping things hanger by hanger, throwing them in the tote and banishing them to the garage. Some notable items include:
  • The blue and black polka-dotted shirt with the ties in the back. Ya know, the one who's ties ended up in the toilet water the first time I wore it? It's only redeeming quality was the fact that it's plunging neckline made my already large boobs look even bigger.
  • The black snap-strap summer dress. Remember the one that cut loose as I got out of the car at the dealership leaving me totally exposed as the salesperson came over??
  • The jeans with the huge tan fake stomach like front panel? I mean, why do they even make those? Have they ever held any one's pants up? Or, is everyone else like me: in a constant state of hiking the pants back up to where they're supposed to be?
  • A white cotton shirt worn at the very end of my pregnancy that looks more like a boat sail with pockets sewn on the front. It really would have been cute, say, 10 sizes smaller!!
  • The yoga pants. They were total high waters and the waist band was like 10 inches wide.

The only thing I was really sad to see go was the one pair of maternity jeans I found for $4.99 at Value Village that were already broken in, fit amazingly and had the small 2 inch elastic waistband sewn the whole way around. They were awesome. Sad to see them go.

All things are safely stored now. I was inclined to send them straight to the Goodwill, but I'm a firm believer there's this biological mechanism in all women that somehow allows us to block out all the sleepless nights, the frequent peeing, the constant crying (not just the baby....) and the aches and pains and somehow we end up with more than one kid. So, somewhere down the line those clothes might make it back into the house, but for now they will live in the garage!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Pictures of the Cutest Boy in the World!!

This picture is just so great. This was after we were prepped for surgery, right before we headed in. Todd and I were pretending we were in the Beastie Boys. The last picture of me in my "round" state.
They look sooooo cute when they're sleeping, don't they? You would never guess they could turn in an instand into some devilish screaming nightmare, would you? :)

The proud momma!

This is what happens when I get up in the morning. They spend a little more time in bed while I try feverishly to start the laundry, empty the dishwasher and organize for the day!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Milk Does Not Do a Baby Good.

Well, the milk that I'm drinking anyway....
After day 5 of the manic screaming during the evening hours I think we've finally narrowed the cause of his "episodes" down to me eating dairy products. The screaming the first night home from the hospital we're pretty convinced was because of the amazing dinner Todd cooked for me: red peppers, chicken breast and jalapenos in coconut milk over rice. Who knew babies don't really like jalapenos? And the second night of screaming was probably from the veggie sandwich covered in red onions. So, after eliminating nearly everything worth eating (coffee, caffeine, things with carbonation, things that are spicy, things that contain either onions or jalapenos and most things that taste good) the nightly screaming continues on...
And we're not talking normal baby crying. We're talking full-on, blood curdling, lip quivering, red faced crying for usually about 30 minutes to one hour. Every evening. Like clockwork.
My best friend Amy suggested cutting out dairy since Zoey (her nearly 3 year old) was intolerant of it for the first few months. But seriously? All they eat is milk. Would it really hurt him for me to drink milk? I love milk....
Night before last was by far the worst so far. He was inconsolable. Nothing would stop him. Nursing only meant more crying, although that was the only thing that would momentarily stop the shrieking. And that day consisted of:
Breakfast: One heaping bowl of Cheerios, covered in milk.
Lunch: Cream of mushroom soup and grilled cheese sandwich.
Dinner: Creamy noodles with salmon, Parmesan and feta cheese.
As I was trying fruitlessly to console Colton Todd thumbed through our complimentary (thanks to St. Joes) copy of Your Baby's First Year. Sure enough: we have a potentially colicky baby. We should try eliminating dairy from my diet and (under advice from the pediatrician) try drinking mint tea. Both of which I did yesterday. And, last night was night #1 of absolutely no crying. Not even a peep all night. Perhaps Amy and the doctors know what they're talking about, no?

Baby Geyser!!

Last weekend I was hanging at my brother and sister in law's house catching up on some much-needed time on the internet. (We don't have the internet at our house, hence the very sporadic blog postings and late-comings of the pictures of Colton...)
I was paying the bills, catching up on the latest Jon and Kate Plus Eight news and emailing with fury while Erica watched Colton. It really is much easier to type when someone else is watching the baby, not with him sprawled across my lap on his Boppy fussing like he is as I write this...
Erica (bless her heart) bounced him, talked to him, entertained him and even changed him while I went about my merry way. It's like heaven when someone else says, "Do you want me to change him?" I mean really....I'm well practiced in the diaper changing already but welcome any offer of a free change for the little guy.
So, I'm typing away in the other room while she lays him down on the chair to change him. Not just any chair...Daren's chair. They have matching recliners - his and hers. When I hear a gasp, then a laugh, then an "Oh my god..." and by the time I get out to where the action is Erica is full-on laughing and I can see that while the little guy was mid-change (diaper off, grabbing for the fresh one) he had cut loose with the water works. I have bore witness to this myself, but never with the force he demonstrated for her!! He not only got his stomach, chest, face, clothes and blankets... he managed to spray clear over his head and finish strong by dousing most of the bottom half of Daren's chair. Awesome!
All we could do was laugh. There he was, covered in his own pee and us standing there laughing. Poor thing. And, being the totally ill-prepared mother that I am, I had not one change of clothes or one extra blanket in my diaper bag. Erica bagged all the wet stuff, wiped him down, wiped the chair down and I wrapped him in the only thing I had - a nursing shawl. So, there we were: headed home after a long day of geyser making, wrapped in a nursing shawl with only a diaper on. Thank god we didn't get pulled over. We looked ridiculous. On the brighter side, I did get a lot of work on the internet accomplished...and found out that Jon wants off the show. The day wasn't a total bust after all! And, the first thing I added to the diaper bag was TWO changes of clothes and some extra blankets. I won't be caught off guard again!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Putting the "Steam" in "Steamroller."

If you know me well enough you know my acute ability to spot the very obvious disguised in the not-so-very-obvious world. Ya know, the things most people link together in their first, say, 10 years of life and those who don't would never tell you that as adults they've just discovered something everyone else already knew.
Right. There we were, the three of us headed to the UPS store to send a fax yesterday. The whole strip mall parking lot was torn up as they were resurfacing the entire thing. We slowed for the crosswalk when I looked over and saw what appeared to be a steam roller gassing up, but there was no pump - they had the hose running right out of the side of the grocery store. Now, since my operation I have been on some pretty strong meds (like 800mg ibuprofen...) and even in my drug induced stupor I knew you don't run gas pumps out of a grocery store.
So, I say to Todd, "Are they putting gas in that thing? Or, wait, it looks like they're filling it up with water? What do you think the water's for? To weigh it down?" Because the only possible explanation for filling a steamroller with water is to weigh it down...right? Then Todd answers, "Well, they're filling it with water because its a steamroller. I think they make steam from the water."
Ah ha! I get it. Never thought about it before, but I get it now. STEAMroller. Right.
Don't even get me started about the day (last year...) I discovered the warning on hairspray "Contents Under Pressure" actually means that the internal contents are under pressure, not that the can will somehow spontaneously "content" under pressure. Subtle difference....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Colton Daniel

Friday morning we woke up at 5:45 to get ready for our baby boy's big day. We took care of the animals and got ready to go. We dropped Griz off at Uncle Donnie's where Griz is free to sleep on the furniture and eat junk food. We got to the hospital a half hour earlier than we were supposed to and sat around waiting anxiously for our scheduled C-Section. When the time came Rikki was hauled off to the OR. The nurse came back with a blue jumpsuit for me to wear and escorted me to the OR waiting room. I had to wait till Rikki was all sedated before I was let in. The nurse came out and told me not to be alarmed over the page I am about to hear over the intercom that it was not an emergency. "Respiratory Therapist is needed in C-Section OR STAT." This OR team member was running a little behind schedule I guess. Found out later that Rikki's mom was in the cafeteria when she heard that and panicked. Poor woman. The surgery went great I got to cut the cord. Colton Daniel was born Friday morning at 10:16 weighing 8lbs 5oz and 21 inches long. Momma is doing very well after surgery. Colt came out screaming and kicking full of life. Is this a sign of things to come. Everyone is healthy and doing good.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

3 New Additions to Our Family!!

No, it's NOT triplets!!

The perfect time to add three 8-week old piglets to an ever-growing collection of farm animals is 2 days before the birth of our first baby, right?

They are so cute though! They're all from one litter and are about the size of a medium terrier now - but they grow fast! I was out last night playing with them and they're still a little timid, but two of them let me scratch their snouts and then relaxed enough for me to scratch their heads and behind their ears. They really are adorable.

And, for those of you who are wondering if we've named them: NO, we haven't! If we're having this much trouble coming up with a name for our baby do you really think we've got it together enough to name the pigs? Come on...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Canning - Therapy for Pregnant People

I don't know what it is about canning that just seems so theraputic at this point. It started out pretty innocently with 8 jars of pickles and 6 jars of pickled green beans and went out of control from there. Applesauce last weekend (12 or so jars of the regular and 12 or so with blueberries mixed in) and more pickles night before last. There's something about having a kid that put me into overdrive with the canning thing. Because normal people don't drag their husbands out of bed at 7am on a Sunday morning to pick pillowcases full of apples to convert to sauce, right?

Our pickles didn't turn out very good at all - WAY too much spice, so after the "version" fiasco the other day, thinking I totally deserved a watermelon from the fruit stand, we ended up with 20 lbs of pickling cucumbers too! We spent ALL night boiling jars of cucumbers and I'm proud to report we have a new addition of roughly 30 jars of pickles to add to our collection of canned, frozen, or otherwise stored food!

Because babies eat applesauce, plum butter and pickles, right? And as Todd pointed out: we have never once bought a jar of applesauce. Looks like everyone is getting pickles for Christmas!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

External Cephalic Version


So, here's how I pictured my conversation with the doctor going during my last week's appointment (at 38 weeks..):

"My, Rikki, you're doing a amazing job gestating this baby. He's so happy and healthy, you look fabulous, you'll have no problem delivering, your recovery will probably be the quickest I've ever seen given your outstanding physical condition and positive attitude. He's looking fabulous and you're ready to go into labor any day now. We'll see you next week - if not sooner!! Oh, and don't forget to bring along those size 6 pants to go home in - you'll have NO problem fitting into those!"

And here's how it really went:

Nurse: "Sorry I'm running a little late...the doctor's in the hospital so I'll be doing your exam today!"

Me: "Oh, delivering a baby, huh?"

Nurse: "No, he crashed his bicycle and has pancreatitis . He's in the hospital. Well, how do you feel:"

Me: "I feel great! I could go at least another week. I don't even have the foot in my ribs anymore and I feel like I can breathe better too!"

Nurse: "Fantastic. Well, I can't tell for sure if this is a head, so at this point we'll throw you on the ultrasound and see where he's at. We don't want any surprises."

Me: "Awesome. I haven't had an ultrasound in almost 5 months - I can't wait to see what he looks like!"

Nurse: "Well, that's why you don't have foot in your ribs - his feet are way down here... When did your baby flip over? And, he's looking back towards your liver so we can't see his face either. Well, that's you have a couple of options. We can try flipping him over externally, which has some risks associated with it, or, how do you feel about a C-section, say, next Thursday?"

So, there I was: sans Todd (because, it was, after all, only a checkup to tell me how great I was doing...) and totally sideswiped with this untimely change of events. Hmm. That's exciting.

Nurse: "Well, here's some information, talk to your husband, call us tomorrow. We'll need to do the version soon if that's what you want to do."

Me: "Uhh. OK."

So, that's how we got involved in the External Cephalic Version, simply called "version". We scheduled it for Monday and after three VERY painful and completely unsuccessful attempts with me strapped up to an IV pole, prepped in the hospital (in case we had to do an emergency C-section) we landed ourselves a one way ticket to a planned C-section this Friday morning. I am convinced now that when a doctor says, "You'll experience a certain amount of discomfort." That is actually code for: "This is going to hurt like HELL during the procedure and be tender for days afterwards."

The little guy (who still remains nameless...) somehow over the course of Labor Day weekend turned completely around and is now anchored solidly in the breech position. They couldn't even tip him! So, in a very anti-climactic finish to an otherwise very un-eventful pregnancy, we're going to waddle myself into the Childbirth Center this Friday morning with an appointment to meet baby at 9:30 on the 18th.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Practice, Practice, Practice....

Monday I spent a significant amount of time totally consumed with dismantling, washing, wiping and reassembling the car seat. Why you ask? Because that's just one of the psycho things I do these days: take totally normal, functioning things and completely dismantle them because they just haven't been cleaned in a long time.

Right. Like the time I moved the washer and dryer out and was in the process of shop vac-ing and wiping up the lint... because normal people do that. When Todd asked, "What, exactly, are you doing?", my only response was, "Cleaning the was dirty?" He then proceeded to help extract me from behind the dryer - because I had wedged myself in there so far I was lucky we didn't have to call Medivac to cut me out.

I digress.....the car seat. So, in some pregnancy-induced panic attack I realized that if we were to arrive at the hospital, have the kid, and then then try to load him into the car seat to go home we would have no idea how to work the damn thing. Not to mention the car seat bases aren't even installed in either of the cars, so we couldn't leave anyway. Well, I wasn't about to look like a MORON trying to buckle the kid in to leave, so naturally the only thing to do was completely disassemble the seat (to inspect every strap, buckle and clasp for defects), remove all fabric coverings (to clean, sanitize, press, etc.), get a feel for what we were getting into and then put it all back together again.
Somewhere along the way I decided one of the crotch buckles on the 5-point harness thing was flipped the wrong way. You know, like when the seat belt buckle in the car gets twisted and the metal clasp is pointed the wrong way so you have to wear the seat belt with a twist in the lap belt part? That irritates me so badly that I wasn't even willing to let the poor little kid endure the mental anguish of a "flipped belt", so I pulled the straps out too.

A good 2 hours later, with the whole thing pulled apart on the floor and Todd practically begging me to come to bed, I finally gave in and called it a night. I layed there until I was sure Todd was asleep and when I was convinced he had dozed off, I got back up and headed BACK to the car seat. Not even sleep deprivation could keep me from it. I mean, what if we had the baby tonight? We would be totally ill prepared to take him home. Satisfied that I had conquered the car seat I called it a night. Total time spent "fixing" car seat: nearly 5 hours.
Then, yesterday after work, just to prove that I could work it I gathered two stuffed animals: one small one (to represent the newborn) and one slightly larger one (to represent a 2-3 month old) and put them in and out of the seat, adjusting the buckles appropriately and practicing loosening and tightening all the straps. I can adjust the crotch strap and cinch that baby up so fast the hospital staff is going to be amazed!!

And all of this "Because we don't want to look like idiots when we go to take him home." Right. Because there are a lot of things that look worse than some 9 month pregnant lady feverishly buckling and unbuckling a FRICKING STUFFED TOY from a car seat. I fear I have reached a new low.

However, I must say, when I showed Todd how adept I had become at moving the "baby" in and out of the seat and insisted he practice too, he did humor me by removing the "newborn" and replaced it with the "bigger baby." Obviously his learning curve peaks sharper than mine.

And......No Baby!!!

It's true: we're back from vacation, safe and sound, with the baby still on the inside!! Try as we might, we just can't get the baby to come out any sooner than he wants to.

There was one moment during out 4 day stay when I thought would just be oh so NOT the right time to have a baby.....the first 3 days were beautiful and peaceful and we were able to enjoy walks, bike rides and Todd and my dad spent a decent amount of time fishing. Then, Saturday night, a huge rain/winstorm blew in.

Todd and my dad thought it was the perfect time to take the car for a drive and explore some back-woods gravel driveway they had found earlier that day. My mom and I were hanging at the cabin and I was doubled over some pillows on my bed trying to stretch my back. The somewhat "rustic" sleeping arrangements left a nerve in my back pinched and at times it seemed like it would drop me without warning. So, there we were: my mom (who was partially convinced I was having back labor...and had actually started worrying me too..) and I shacked up in the cabin with the car and guys gone when the power went out. Great. Just great. That would have been the time - but no. All 3 of us made it back just like we had left.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Couples Prenatal Yoga is Not Appropriate for People Who Can't Be Serious and Pregnant Women Who Can't Control Their Emotions...

Because I love yoga and because Todd loves me, coupled with the fact that it was my birthday weekend, I was able to talk Todd into attending a "couples only" prenatal yoga class. I thought this class would be a lot of fun considering I love yoga, have been doing it intermittently at home and would perhaps be a good venue to introduce Todd to yoga.
Upon arrival you could tell we were obviously not in the same mind frame that the other couples were. We could not stop laughing and joking around...
All of us were pregnant (obviously..) and had brought our "support partners" (because who has spouses these days, right?!).
To get started the instructor asked us to introduce ourselves, tell how far along we are, what we expected to get out of the class, if we're prepared for childbirth, and for the "partners" what kind of "body connection" they were expecting from the couples class.
For example: "My name is John, I'm here to support Tracy. We're having an at home water birth and I want to be able to support her throughout her labor. I think this class will help us connect in a way that will help me understand her needs as we bring this wonderful life into the world. I am here for her and anything she needs."
Right. Sucker. The second she gets in that tub and you get too close to her she's going to grab your neck and shake your emaciated little hippy body until you can't breathe anymore....
Me: "My name is Rikki...I'm about 37 weeks...I've done yoga in the past and really like it. I'm SO ready for childbirth mostly just because I'm SO DONE with being pregnant. I'm uncomfortable, have something jabbing my ribs and can't breathe and am so ready. Perhaps not emotionally ready, but oh so physically ready for it. I brought my wonderful husband Todd to his first yoga class today."
Todd: "Hi. My name is Todd and I look like I'm about 39 weeks. Umm. My wife and I already had a 'body connection' about 9 months ago - which is how we ended up here in the first place. And I want to be able to touch my toes again with my fingers."
And I was laughing hysterically. No one else really 'got it'. We were busting up though. And that set the mood for the rest of the class. They were all serious and we were class clowning it. It was a blast. If you've never seen your husband attempt a "down dog" I seriously recommend it. Hysterical.
By the end of the class I'm pretty sure the rest of them had had enough of our joking and obvious inability to focus on the "connection" we were failing to make. Plus, we were probably just one of those couples who race to the hospital (*gasp* - not the natural birthing center or the big tub in the front room) ask for pain meds (how could you dope up not only yourself but the baby too? Why would you miss out on one moment of this beautiful experience?) and then get an epidural (are you unfit for motherhood?). You've hit the nail on the head hippy yoga-masters. Read us like an open book.
We'll just be making our way to the door.....but, wait, not before we spend the last three minutes of class practicing non-verbal communication so our partners can learn to recognize what we need emotionally without having to say it by "gazing into each other's eyes without speaking." Sounds simple enough. But really, have you stared at someone non stop for that long? Plus, when I looked at Todd he had his eyes crossed. I could not hold it together and finally I burst out laughing. Out loud in a huge yoga room with 12 other people who were able to maintain their calm.
Not only did I burst out laughing, but when I couldn't stop, in some weird pregnancy - induced hormonal fit I started crying! It was awesome. Todd kept asking my why I was crying, but since there really wasn't any reason for me to be crying, and since I now felt like a retard, I just kept crying.
Luckily during the "corpse pose" relaxing 5 minute finale to the class I was able to calm myself long enough to make a half-assed exit from the class. Wow. That was fun. Maybe next time I'll get a DVD and we'll do it at home.