Wednesday, April 25, 2012

puppies and babies

I love that babies have this magical power to make anyone feel all warm and gushy. Perfect strangers, doesn't matter the age, race, or gender... or 'look'...

I had to do a return at Home Depot today. Paul took Garrett with him this afternoon to pick up a grave marker, so Addie and I ran to do my return.

While getting my refund, Addie was in the cart in her carrier. I heard a man get in line behind me but I didn't look at him. I heard him throw out a 'what up dawg' to an employee that was standing near the exit. I finished and turned to pull the cart to walk away. The man behind me- he was black, had saggy jeans, a gold front tooth, and a backwards baseball hat. As I started to push the cart into the store, he said, "you have a very beautiful daughter, by the way."

We went to the paint section. (Because I'm gathering a few paint chips for a project...it's not stealing.) I felt like the guy who was also checking out paint chips, was standing kinda close. I even felt like I was in his way a few times. I finally looked at him and he was looking at Addison smiling. He was an older white Grandpa type man, wearing a suit and tie. I smiled at him and he said, "what a pretty little girl."

Leaving the store a few minutes later with my (free) paint samples, there was a couple just outside the door. A tiny, short women, and a super tall Hispanic man with a totally shaved head, a long black gotee, a woman's face tattooed on his neck, those eye dot tattoos, and he was wearing what can best be described as an orange prison jumpsuit. As we walked past him, he loudly said, "Oohhh man! Look at that baby!! That baby is CUUUU-UTE!!!"

I laughed as we walked to the car. Such a diverse and complimentary day at the man warehouse, just me and my baby girl.

So, yesterday, Paul text me to tell me that Levi, one of the White's family dogs was sick. He was having a really hard time breathing. They had an x-ray done, and he had a huge tumor in his chest. :( We all met at the Vet to say good-bye to the puppy. Yes, he was almost 8 years old and about 250 pounds, but I've always referred to him and his sister as 'the puppies'.It was sad. (And just between you and me, I don't even really like those dogs.) Garrett loves them. We told him he was really sick and had to go bye-bye. I'm not sure he got it, but they sure had fun together for the last few minutes of Levi's life. Garrett fed him his last meal, a Whopper from Burger King. He rode him for a while. He blew him a kiss and said "Byeeee". When Levi left us to get his sedative, Garrett just stood at the door, all alone, staring at it.

Happy little Addie. How nice it would be to be totally oblivious to a situation once in a while.We all went to the room as they put him down. Even I cried. I'm not a dog person. But I'm fully aware that I married a dog person. And I'm fully aware that I gave birth to a dog person. We will have a dog (or dogs) someday. I just can't imagine how sad I'll be if we ever have to go through something like this and it's Garrett's dog.Good-bye, Levi.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The drive home

We got home from a 10 day trip to Utah last night. Well, me and the kids 10 days, Paul, less than one day.

He had a trip to Canada with his dad planned and I didn't want to stay in California while he was gone so my mom flew out and drove to Utah with us, then Paul flew in Sunday afternoon and we left yesterday morning.

There's so much to blog about, but right now, I'm just going to tell you about the drive from hell. I mean, the drive home.

Generally speaking the kids do just fine. We have some tired/grumpy/hungry/bored/poopy moments once in a while, but that's to be expected, and so far we've gotten along just fine. We always do the drive in one day. Only once in maybe 25-30 times have we stayed in Vegas, and that was just me, my mom, and Garrett. But that was mostly for me because I was over 8 months pregnant with Addison and couldn't sit any longer.

I won't go over every detail of the drive, although it's riveting. I'll just paint a little picture of the suffering Paul and I endured, bullet point style.
  • We forgot something and had to go back. (we weren't far, but still)
  • We had a last minute stop for breakfast with the Elberts (best part of the day), but that breakfast included two drink spills. One by Garrett, all over himself, and one by Addison, she's a grabby little one.
  • Garrett dropped a crushed cracker and spilled apple juice into my computer bag. (luckily no harm done.)
  • We started about 5 different movies for Garrett and he was bored out of his mind before 15 minutes into each one. He will only watch Shark Tale. I'm embarrassed to say I bet he's watched it 25 times since we turned him forward facing in his car seat. (at least 5 times yesterday) I hate that movie and I've never seen it. It has a siren sound at one part and I STILL think I'm getting pulled over every.single.time.
  • Garrett pooped 4 times between Cedar City and Las Vegas. Thankful for wipeable leather seats, because the diaper changers that happened in the car were not pretty.
  • There were a lot of tears from Bountiful to Vegas (from Garrett, Addie slept great), so we decided a break was in order so we did a little Bass Pro Shop wandering...watched the fish, played in the jeeps and boats, etc. That's when Addie decided it was her turn to poo. And that one poo was equal to the four of Garrett's combined. Which is why she's 'dressed' how she is in this picture.
  • Garrett would.not.eat. I got a tiny bit of fruit in him, and he finally got interested in some vanilla sandwich cookies, so I gave in. He 'ate' 4 or 5. Then I looked back and saw the stack of cookies...all he'd done was pull them apart, lick out the frosting and pile the cookie pieces on his lap.
  • The elevation changes were killer. Every time MY ears popped, Addison would SCREAM!!! I didn't want to take a crying picture, but don't let that happy face fool you.
  • They were both so tired but could not and would not sleep.
  • Addie got so worked up at one point that she started choking and she threw up so we had to do an emergency pull over.
  • I plugged my ears for probably 20 minutes at the end.
  • I almost made Paul pee in a bottle because of course he HAD to go right during the few seconds that both kids were asleep, and they ALWAYS wake up when we stop.
And then, 14 and a half hours later we were home. We each took a kid, changed diapers and put jammies on. They both were asleep within seconds of putting them down, literally, no feedings needed.

I swear I'll never do the drive with both kids in one day again.

We all four fly to Utah in three weeks. We'll see if I'm still singing the same tune after two hours in a plane with two under two.

Maybe I'll blog tomorrow about the trip, if my attitude is better.

I also need to tell you about Levi, the dog that is no more. Some crafty DIY stuff. The play room that right now, only exists in my head. Geez, I hate being behind...not to mention the kid's blogs.

Sigh...

Good-night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Fun Day #1

Paul works one Saturday a month, and during the week that he works Saturday he gets a day off, and that day was today. We decided that we need a family fun day every month on that day off. We have fun doing things on the weekends but it's so much more fun on weekdays because there are about a bajillion less people out during the week.

We went to Naples Island and walked through the darling neighborhoods and dreamed about being millionaires and living in one of those homes on the water.Garrett splashed and ran around a fountain at a park.We found a super cute little outdoor cafe right on the beach and had lunch. I think Garrett loved eating outside. He was so happy and goofy, even though he was well overdue for a nap. (Although you can't see his happiness in the pictures. He's become even more of a camera hater the older he gets.)After lunch we walked over to Seal Beach and went to the end of the pier for ice cream at Ruby's. Both kids were zonked out before we even walked out of the cafe parking lot, and they stayed asleep until we got back from the pier and loaded them in the car.I always get cold by the water so I fail to think about sun screen. I really need to start remembering. Paul got the worst. Fortunately Addie was covered almost the whole time, but Garrett and I got a little sun kissed, too.

It was such a good day. And it ended with both kids bathed, in bed, and asleep before 8. Great day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

We had a full weekend. Busy, but fun.

Friday night after the kids were in bed I hid eggs and little gifts all over our living room. Paul pulled out a huge basket for Garrett to throw the eggs in because I didn't buy him one.

Saturday morning when we were all up and going we headed to the living room for the hunt. Garrett totally caught on so quick and spotted almost all the eggs on his own, and would carry them one by one to the huge basket and proudly toss them in. (55 eggs was too many. Not for Garrett, but I got a little bored.) Each egg only had one jelly bean in it, but they could have been empty and it would have been just as fun for him. He was so focused on finding the eggs that he couldn't care less about the extra little gifts. We got each kid a pee wee pillow pet, a couple books, and Garrett got a mini splash pool and some water toys. Even when there was an egg right by a gift and we'd say, "Garrett, look! A new book!" He'd grab the egg and leave the gift. But the 'grand prize' that was hidden in the guest room finally got his attention. We wanted to get him this for Christmas, but when we went back to buy it they were sold out and they finally got them back in a couple weeks ago so we grabbed one. (Costco) I swear the kid got more for Easter than he did for Christmas, and it won't be like this every year, but we just got a little carried away.Saturday night we had Paul's family over for a barbecue and an egg dying party. It was a success! We did silk transfer eggs with old ties and shirts, glitter polka dots, and kool aid eggs. I hate smelling vinegar and I didn't want Garrett to lick his fingers so we did the popular pinterest version this year. About 2/3 cup warm or cold water and a packet of kool aid. It's worked better than vinegar and food coloring! And it smelled fruity and delish! And I made cupcakes that were supposed to look like eggs.Yesterday morning we had breakfast and read the Resurrection story from the Bible. Later on we headed to Paul's parent's house for more festivities. There was an adult hunt with a cash prize for the first person to return with the basket with their name on it. (I found every one's but my own.) The kids got baskets full of books, toys, clothes and treats. And Garrett had his own little egg hunt.After nap time (which Garrett took part in and Addison did not, that girl didn't nap 5 minutes all day long, but she was happy all day long too, so I guess I can't complain) we had lunch. And Paul and his dad (and Addie) watched the Masters.Later when we got home we had some skype time with Grandma and Grandpa Greenhalgh and then put the kids to bed.

But just before putting Garrett down I had my little Easter victory that came after was too much candy and snacking- I had a bowl of salad to help myself come down from a sugar high and Garrett wanted a bite. I thought it would be two seconds of chewing and end with him picking pieces off his tongue and handing it to me. But we shared 2 bowls of salad together! He ate tons of cucumbers and some cabbage. If you don't know what a picky eater Garrett is you won't see this as much of a victory, but believe you me- I even did a victory lap after I put him to bed.

I had big plans of getting all kinds of darling pictures of the kids all cute and Eastery, but Garrett got wet in the pool and Addie peed all over herself before any fun pictures were taken. So Garrett looks like a hobo and Addie spent most of the day naked. And I just remind myself that they are 18 months and 5 months, and that not every moment will be picture perfect, but we still have fun, and I get over it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Me Update

I was going to combine this with the sleep update yesterday, but I wanted to bore you to death two days in a row.

I've been blaming my fatigue on Addison for 4.5 months now. I hate saying 'blame', but it's the only word I can think of. And while these two do a good job at wearing me out, I actually felt more busy when I just had Garrett. We were moving, I was painting and unpacking and decorating and cleaning our apartment, trying to learn my way around California, Garrett had 3 appointments a week, I was dealing with months of fridge, cable, air conditioner, electrical, shower head, internet problems... sounds lame, but for at least 2 months I felt like someone new was here 2 or 3 times a week to 'fix' and 're-fix' and build things. This was the first time that this whole side of the building was 'residential' and there was a lot to do to make it livable. Anyway, and I was pregnant.

So, while Addison isn't the solid sound sleeper that Garrett has been since he was just a few weeks old, (aside from a few rough teething nights), like I said yesterday, she's not as bad as I've made it sound in weeks past. The truth is *I* can't sleep through the night.

I know I'm not depressed because I'm tired. But I know I don't sleep well because I'm depressed.

I've been fighting an internal battle for months about nursing while on an anti-depressant. Literally, months. My doctor and Addison's pediatrician have both stepped in, and even had conversations with each other about me and postpartum depression. They know I've been in counselling, and they both feel that medication will really help me at this point.

My prescription sat filled at the pharmacy for 3 months before I finally gave in a few days ago.

These are some of my battle conversations (with myself).

I need to be here, 100% for my kids. But I'm scared of what the meds might do to my milk. What if my supply drops? What if Addison starts acting different? What if there's a long term side effect on her? Is it better to breastfeed and be really depressed, or bottle feed and be really happy? Or should I take them and keep nursing and stop worrying. If I don't take them now, and then start in a year, and they help, will I look back and wish I'd started sooner, and feel like my kids were without a totally present mom for a year? If I start them now, will I still beat myself up because I need meds to be 'normal'? Why can't I just look at how blessed I am and be HAPPY?! My kids deserve a better mom. I'll give it one more month, and then I'll start... I'll go get the pills, but I won't start until I have a really bad day... I spend so much time thinking about them, that it's obvious that I need them...

These aren't daily thoughts, and sometimes a week or so will go by without thinking about it, and I feel really good. But it happened often enough that I knew it was time to make a decision. And I knew what the decision needed to be. I've (mostly) gotten over all my fears.

I had a little realization this week that really helped me. My 27 year old brother has been diabetic for 16 years. He's insulin dependant. He's not 'normal' without insulin. Without it everyday, several times a day, he would die. Taking medication makes him normal.

It's easy for people who have never battled depression to say it's easy to fix, "just be happy". Oh how I wish it was that easy. I want to be happy. I want to stop fearing the dark cloud. I want to feel balanced and normal. And I need medication to make me feel that way. I know that's pretty elementary sounding, and I kind of suck at analogies, but it helped me.

I've been on it for 4 or 5 days now. 'They' say I won't see a change for 1-2 weeks, and maybe up to a month for the full effect. It made me feel sick the first day, but since then, nothings seemed different.

So I wait...

And just keep loving these yummy babies of mine. If I could have shopped for kids at a store full of a billion babies, I swear I would have picked these two. I love these kids. And they love me.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sleep Update

Because I'm sure you're all losing some yourselves just wondering how we're doing.

I think I've mentioned before that Addison really isn't a bad sleeper. Most people would welcome a 4 month old that goes 7-8 hours at night without needing to eat. In fact, we were with some friends Sunday night and one of the moms of 3 kids asked about it, and when I told her Addie's usual pattern, she said, "Wow, you're lucky." Yet another reminder that I was totally spoiled with Garrett, and I need to cut Addie some slack.

That being said, I still needed a couple things to change.

Here's what we've done (and been through) the past week or so. We tried cry it out. She's not ready for that. She cried for a hour and a half before she finally gave in. Paul would go check on her. And at one point I even went for a drive. About 3 hours later she was up again crying for a hour. The next day I apologized to her all day and hoped I hadn't traumatized her for life.

We had another totally crappy night, where, for some reason it took us 5 hours and 50 minutes to get her to sleep. Can you even image?! We started at 8PM and I crawled in bed at 1:50AM. Then she was up at 6AM. Some things I may have been heard saying that night... Is it too late to send her back?? ... I think she might never sleep again... If I ever tell you I want another baby remind me about tonight...

However, MOST of the time, it takes about 45 minutes to get her deep asleep, and then we get about 8 hours before a need to feed. But once or twice in that 8 hours she stirs and needs a binky and is right back asleep in a few seconds. That's where my issue come in to play. I CAN NOT get back to sleep once she's been awake. I toss and turn and worry and think and get frustrated and wonder if she's really asleep...then 5 hours later when I FINALLY start to doze, she stirs again.

I was a walking zombie, and not giving Addison enough credit for how well she was doing.

Paul, on the other hand can practically sleep walk her binky to her and never actually fully wakes up. So, desperate times called for desperate measures. We are not co-sleepers. Nothing against it, just not for us. But, we (Paul) gave it a try. I got the boot by Addie. I slept on the couch for 4 nights in a row and Addie slept with Paul. That way he could quickly get her binky to her and NONE of us lost sleep. Each night it got a little better. Less stirring, less need for the binky, sleeping a little later before needing to eat. Last night I ventured back into our bed and she went back to the crib. She slept 9.5 hours before needing to eat, and no binky wake ups! She went right back to sleep after the feeding and 3 hours later is still asleep. I'm not optimistic enough to say she's fully sleep trained, but I can tell we're on the right path and have found what seems to work to keep us all sane.

So here's what we do now: Bath at 7-ish. Feed until close to 8. Unfortunately we can't get her to sleep during feedings anymore. :( She goes in the swing for about 20-30 minutes. That swing is a life saver! We pick her up when she's good and asleep. Swaddle her. (Yes, we've brought the swaddle back.) And put her to bed...sometimes she needs just a little to eat post-swaddle, but she stays calm and sleepy.

Garrett on the other hand, I'm convinced could sleep through a hurricane now. He didn't make a sound on either of the nights from hell. (Cry it out, and 6 hour marathon.)

Knock on wood.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Springy time!

I feel like spring has been cooler than winter was here in California. I never thought I'd say this, but I've kind of missed the Utah cold a little bit. Not driving in, cleaning off, shoveling, or digging out of the snow. Just scarves, hats, boots, hot chocolate, seeing my breath on afternoon walks, etc.

Anyway, it's nice to say it's spring, and I like that it's staying light later...although with Addison's new bedtime, the light might cause me more trouble than it's worth. Every night at bedtime, for the past few nights anyway, I sing Kelly Clarkson's "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" in my head. That's how I feel about Addison lately and her new found determination to never fall asleep again. And for the record, I'm not killed yet, but I don't feel a damn bit stronger. Maybe the sleep stuff should be a different post for a different day...

So...Spring!

Garrett got a fresh new haircut. Haircut number 7. But haircut number 1 by someone who actually knows what they are doing. He looks so sharp and handsome and old. We took him right after having a shot at the doctor, which maybe wasn't the best idea, but he did ok. He just needed his alligator...then he needed the hair cutters spray bottle- that he kept spraying her with, then he needed a sucker from her, then he dropped it in hair so he needed another sucker from her, then she had to find him a little bee to play with, then he wanted to try another stylists spray bottle, then he needed to have his bottle hanging out of his mouth for security, then finally I had to hold him so he'd be brave enough to let her do around the ears. It was a LONG process, but a success! Needless to say, we gave her a more than 100% tip. And Garrett got a quarter for a surprise out of the machine, which made everything fantastic.We celebrated Poppy's real birthday after the cut, at Marie Calendar's, but this was the only picture I took.Oh and here's my two little cutie's on the exam table.Addison tried 'real' food. I swore I wouldn't try it as early as we did with Garrett, (about a week before 5 months), but we actually tried it earlier with her (4.5 months). It was an attempt to fill her up to help her sleep better, but she didn't swallow enough to even see if it would work, and I think it'll be a few weeks before we try again. But she's sure cute trying!We went to a birthday party for some friends who's little boy turned 3. It was so fun, lots of kiddos! And I love a good party with a good theme, and Rebecca did an amazing job combining dinosaurs and trains for this party. So many fun things and Garrett had a blast! There was a huge train set to build and play with, a train wagon to ride in, a dinosaur egg hunt, bowling, yummy food, bubbles, and a fun backyard with some slides and toys. Garrett was entertained the whole time. I told Paul I'm really looking forward to someday having a yard again, and he agreed.Garrett seemed to understand the egg hunting thing, makes me excited to see how he does on Easter.Garrett and the birthday boy.He loved exploring and playing in the yard.And he loved the big bubbles! He'd watch them one by one get higher and higher until they popped. I love watching little kids so fascinated with things.Oh, and if you're wondering how the bottle cold turkey situation is going, I'll tell you. The day after his doctor told us to have a "Bottles are for babies, and you're a big boy now" throwing away party, I gave him a sippy cup after breakfast. He took it just fine. And he used the same cup all day. No reaching toward the counter where the bottles are. No dropping the cup and falling to the floor in tears. It was like he'd never used anything else. The next day I debated just getting rid of them without him seeing, but I decided to have him help so if he ever reached for them I could remind him that we threw them away because he's a big boy now. I put the bottles and all the pieces in a box and explained what we were doing. He helped throw everything away and he was fine. The only frustration came when I wouldn't let him play with the trash lid. Anyway, he's only had sippy cups since, and not a single complaint. It's so weird. It's like he heard the doctor and was like, "Ok, I get it. No more bottles...Blah, blah, blah." Anyway, we're good. And I think there are worse things than letting a baby make it to 18 months with a bottle so I don't regret not going cold turkey sooner.