Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grandma Barbara

Life has really thrown my family a curve ball. My wonderful, energetic, fantastic Grandma Barbara (the one that threw Ben and Jo's wedding this summer and throws fantastic parties) went in for a knee replacement surgery on Monday. She was so excited to get her new knee, ready to recover and get back to a summer of hiking and gardening. The surgery went well, and on Monday after her new knee was in place I talked to her, promising a visit the next day. She was excited and lucid.

And then the worst happened.

On Tuesday morning a physical therapist got her up to walk and her left side went numb. She had had a stroke.

Nothing could have prepared my family for this. Nothing.

She was rushed to the University of Utah hospital and right to the neurological intensive care unit. Her brain was swelling and we had no idea how much damage was done. But she was alive.

Over the last two days things have gone up and down. She was somewhat responsive on Wednesday, but today another clot moved to her lungs and she was put on oxygen. The doctors have no idea if things will get better or worse from here. It is very touch and go. Very very scary.

Tonight she had another procedure to place a device that will catch more clots if any move towards her heart. There are a few more clots in her leg, near her knee, so we are hoping this device is life saving if another clot is dislodged.

Needless to say, life has been really really stressful. It is horrendous to see someone you love so much, someone so full of life, to be so so sick.

We are wishing for a full recovery.

One of the things that makes me smile these days is my sweet sweet baby man. He is adorable and has really started to grin. Love him.

Isn't he just the sweetest? He had his two month shots this week and the next day was so sick with a tummy bug! I was so worried about him and my grandma, let's just say it wasn't a good day.
He's such a goof.
His eyes are so beyond beautiful. So blue. I wonder if they'll stay blue...
Just chilln' making his stressed out Mama happy. He's such a good baby.
Above: My Grandma Barbara on Easter right after we announced my pregnancy. I hope she is back to her old self soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting bigger - Two months with Wolfy

James is growing at such an amazing rate! Every day he's bigger bigger. He is such a sweet, good natured, adorable baby. And every day I can see myself becoming a better mom. I know now that most the time when he cries in the late evening it is because he's tired, and getting him to bed has become a great routine. Bath, play with Daddy, eat, and bed. All by 7 pm.

And after I wrote the last post about how James was fussy at night he proved to be a wonderful little angel and for the past three nights has been back to his two time a night feedings, which works out wonderfully. Especially since he's been good about sleeping in as well. Last night he went to bed at 7pm and woke up at 10am. Yes, he woke up twice between then to eat, but how did I get so lucky?!

Because he's getting more sleep, and he's past the worst of his fussiness, he is a delight to be with most of the time. He is sweet and coos and kicks his legs when he's awake, and fusses a minimal amount. However, over the last two days nap time has been quite a challenge. I'll keep you posted...

That said, I have quite a few photos from today, along with his monthly Wolfy photos (here he was one month ago with Wolfy), and even a video! My little baby man is growing up!

Side note - I plan to write letters to James (like the one seen here) quarterly. So he'll get another one next month, when he's three months old.

Look how big he is! I propped him in the corner of the chair for photos and it was amazing how easily he sat there, holding his head up and everything. Such a big guy.
And he's found his hand! Yum yum.
This photo cracks me up. Kisses from Daddy. I kept trying to get James to look at me, but something off to the side was much more interesting.
And here he is with his Mama. So sweet!

And here is a little video I took this morning while he was getting dressed. He's a goof ball.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nighttime is not fun

Oh the woes of new motherhood...

Nighttime. My worst time. Either I'm not sleeping or the baby man isn't sleeping. Two weeks ago, James was doing great at night and I was up. Now it is reversed. I'm exhausted at night, to the point where I'm going to bed at 8pm most nights, and the little baby man has decided that nighttime is fussy time. He wakes up around midnight for a feeding, and over the last two nights has fussed and fussed until his 5am feeding. I don't want to just feed him again when he cries at 3 am, because the last thing I want is a baby getting up three times a night to eat!

Only saving grace? He goes to bed without much crying at 7pm. Yes, seven. That means that most nights my best sleep hours are between 8pm when I go to bed and midnight when he wakes up.

Let's hope things get better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Snowshoeing with the babe

Yep, E and I took our first trip up the mountains with the babe this weekend to escape the inversion and go snowshoeing. At first James was a little unsure, the cold wind on his cheeks was not fun, and Mama pulling his legs through the baby carrier makes him quite mad. But once he was settled and we were walking he went to sleep.

The day was fun with a loop around the White Pine meadow. The sky was mostly cloudy but it was wonderful to get out of the pollution in the valley! And nature was celebrating James's first trip snowshoeing! We got a special treat: baby moose sighting near the river! So adorable.

Baby moose are almost as cute as baby James.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Little art lover

James has fussy moments, like any baby. There are some things that seem too soothe him when he's feeling fussiest. He loves taking a baby bath, he loves looking at the Christmas tree, he loves walking around the house and kicking his legs.

When he is really really fussy E discovered something else he loves. Art. Yes, E can walk him over to one of our framed pictures and he'll look up at it and seem to calm down. Vermeer and Hopper seem especially soothing.

Little art lover on our hands?

Above: James seems quite intrigued by the Vermeer painting in our kitchen.

PS - I am loving all the comments to my de-lurking post! If you haven't commented there yet, please do. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

National Delurking Week

It is National Delurking Week this week! What is lurking? It is reading a blog/message board/etc. but never participating. I don't mind lurkers, but I do LOVE comments!

So, for once, if you are a reader, and have never commented (or if you are one of my fateful commenters) please leave a comment to this post. I'd really love to see how many people read my blog. If you want to stay anonymous, that is fine, just comment, if you would.

Also, if you want to leave a question, I'll try to answer them all.

Thank you. :)

Also, just because it is fun, I'll share some of my favorite blogs here, in case you want to add to your blog list.

Heir to Blair - Mama blog that is so so funny and honest. Her son is only 5 weeks older than James.

Foster Family - Mama blog of twin girls. Plus, she loves photography, which of course is one of my favorite hobbies too.

Betz White - A new craft blog I found. There are some of the neatest projects on it.

Kensington Blue - This photography blog is done by a high school friend of mine. I just love it.

Postpartum Anxiety

I try to keep my blog as honest as possible. The reason I blog is for me, as an online journal that I can always look back on, and always remember. Other than a few material things (camera, house, dolls) my blog is one of my favorite things that I "own". That said, I've usually kept highly personal stuff off of my blog, because I also love to have blog readers and followers.

However, everyone is so caring and wonderful, I've decided to post what I've been going through the last few days. It's been horrible.

So, prepare for a very long, detailed post...

It all started on Wednesday night when I went to bed, but did not fall asleep. For most the night I tossed and turned. I worried about James. I worried that I wasn't getting enough sleep. I stayed up and worried. On Thursday my mom came over to take care of James in hopes that I could take a nap. Instead of sleeping, my mind just kept racing. I rested for awhile, but didn't sleep.

Then on Thursday night it happened again. I was up for the majority of the night. I kept thinking "did I hear the baby?" or "what if I don't hear the baby?" or "I'm going to be too tired tomorrow to care for James unless I fall asleep soon." As you can imagine, sleep didn't come.

Finally around morning I realized what I'd been feeling: anxiety. For some reason, it took me two days to realize this. Once I put my finger on it, there was no stopping it. My heart started pounding, my stomach twisted into a tight knot, and I felt too hot. I was having a panic attack. Then I realized what was at the root of it (yes, it took me nearly three days to figure out what my subconscious was worried about) - E was due to go out of town in less that 24 hours.

I've never been much of a worrier about staying home alone. However, with a new baby things suddenly were so so different. I was terrified of two things: 1. That I would be too tired to care for James during the day, because of my lack of sleep at night, and 2. That if I did finally fall asleep I would not wake up when James cried. So, because of both of these things, I never was falling asleep. And then thinking about E going out of town would send me over the edge, into full blown panic mode.

I've had anxiety issues in the past, and anyone that has ever dealt with this kind of disease knows how scary and horrible it is.

After much thought I asked E to cancel his trip. Never, had I felt, that I needed him more. I called my doc and we discussed something she called postpartum anxiety. No, I was not depressed. In fact, I love being a mom. But the fact that I wasn't sleeping was causing a huge problem.

E and I decided it would be best if I could get a heavy duty sleeping pill and try to have a few good nights rest. This required someone to be in charge of James's nighttime feedings. E, of course, stepped up to the plate. James, my wonderful, perfect little man, took to a bottle and formula like a pro.

So, after three nights of 10+ hours of rest, and some anti-anxiety pills in my system, I feel much much better. The panic attacks are gone. I feel rested and healthy. I can't thank E enough for being my total rock and support.

Onto better days!

Friday, January 08, 2010

I loathe myself

I hate myself right now. Loathe would be a better word. Why you ask? Because it is four am in the morning, and James and my husband are dead asleep. Me? Wide awake. Have been since midnight. God, midnight! What am I doing? I'm trying to sleep, tossing and turning. I've been up with James once, and he fell back to sleep like charm. Me? Not so lucky.

So after four hours of tossing, turning, taking a breast feeding approved sleeping pill, tossing some more, taking another sleeping pill, here I am awake. And this is not the first night like this... oh no, this is now my standard.

I am exhausted. Totally wiped out. Yet, I can't sleep. Not at all. I have a lot of self hate right now. I've been trying to stay calm, tell myself it is ok, but after hours at night after sleepless night I have to ask my mind "are you trying to kill me?"

I hope these horrible nights will soon be a thing of the past. Because I'm miserable. And I'm not a good mom when I'm tired, overwhelmed and teary because my lack of zzzs.

Here is a sweet video of my little man I took before bed last night, when I was still full of hope and longing that I'd have a good night.

Monday, January 04, 2010

First farmhouse visit

Only once in your life can you claim "first". Well yesterday E and I decided to take Sweet Baby James to the farmhouse for the first time. The farmhouse has been in E's family since it was built 200+ years ago. E has memories of going down as a tiny boy, but he was going down there before he could remember.

So yesterday E and I packed up the car and headed down south. The drive was beyond brilliant. The skies were clear, the snow was dancing with sparkles, and the air was freezing. Once there we stayed warm inside, played some games, snuggled and snapped a few photos. Then we had a big chicken dinner and E and I headed back home.

James seemed to love the farmhouse. Can't wait to go back with him, and watch him get bigger at a place that never seems to change.

Grandma and Auntie Chelsea give James some loves in the warm kitchen.
E sits with James near "Old Betsy", the coal burning stove. E has memories of sitting on his Grandpa's lap in this same chair keeping warm near the stove.
We had to take James outside, even for just a moment. It was his first time to the farmhouse, after all.
LOVE this photo of my two boys. Could they get any cuter?
Daddy and James tromp through the snow.
Before we left James got kisses from Grandma. This boy gets kissed a lot.

First trip to the garden

One of the things E and I love doing is visiting Red Butte Garden here in Utah. (See? Here, here, and here). The garden is on the foothills on the U's campus, and it is always so fun to go take a walk outside.

After a week of poor weather and being cooped up inside, E and I decided it was time to take James to the garden for the first time on Saturday, when the weather was mild. We bundled him up in his baby bunting and strapped him in the chest pack. He fell asleep before even seeing the garden, but was a joy to walk around with.

E carried him and we wandered the wintry paths and talked about our own garden plans. And of course I snapped a few photos.

Family photo near the koi pond. Aren't James's legs so cute?
Dad and son, melts my heart.
Kisses from Dad. I ask James how many kisses he thinks he gets a day. He estimates one hundred thousand.
Pretty grass in the snow.

Week at home

Last week E had the entire week off, paid. Yes, from Christmas Eve to January 2nd, E's company had a paid holiday. How very very thankful I am that E works at such a kick ass company.

Because of that, James and I were beyond spoiled to have Daddy home all week. What did we do? Nothing. Most days we woke up late (or James woke up early and I handed him off to E so that I could get an hour or two more of sleep), then E would make a big breakfast. One day we had his new famous frittata with basil, roasted tomatoes and feta, and another day we had German pancakes. Then, most days, I'd give James a bath and play with him for a little while before putting him down for a nap. Then E and I would get lost in LOST, our new favorite show.

The afternoon was usually spent relaxing, napping or watching LOST, and then for the majority of last week we had evening plans. Dinner out with the Trumps one night, a New Years Eve part at my Grandma's another night. It was a fantastic, restful week. Today I miss having my sweet husband around. But, alas, I think we'll survive.

With E home so much we both got to spend a lot of time with James. James is wonderful, and he has a few personalities, some of which E has named. Our favorite personality is "Sweet Baby James" (like the old song). Sweet Baby James smiles, sleeps, snuggles and coos. He is around the majority of the time (yea!) and is a joy to be with. Then there is "Grunty von Gruntmiester" who is also quite sweet but loves to grunt. Sometimes is gas, sometimes is poops, but most the time it is just grunting for the sake of grunting. I need to capture this on video soon, it's a hoot. Then, there is our least favorite personity "Fussy McGoo". We had Fussy McGoo visit us a few times last week, where it seemed like that most the day James was just fussy. We told him, quite seriously, that we'd like Fussy McGoo to board a plane and go on an international trip, leaving Sweet Baby James with us. Surprise surprise, he returned after only two days. These little dialogs we have with James are so fun, even when he's fussing. We laugh at how silly we are, and hope to dear god that Fussy McGoo will head out of town again soon, leaving Sweet Baby James.

E's fantastic German pancake. It puffed up so nicely. Squeezing lemon and sprinkling powdered sugar on the top is the only way to eat these. So so good.
E's grandparents came up for a visit. James was thrilled (so thrilled he slept the entire time) to meet his Great Grandma Bonnie and Great Grandpa Dean.
Quality time with the babe. Daddy reads "Polar bear polar bear, what do you hear?"
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