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!!