Saturday, January 31, 2009

Showing off

Well, I never could get Blogger to let me upload my video of Brooklyn's first time crawling. Disappointing, I know! But she still wanted to show y'all all of her newfound skills....

"Hey everybody! It's me, Brooklyn! I am learning so much cool stuff lately!
It's so fun to keep my Mommy and Daddy on their toes.
Look, I can crawl!"
"I can pull myself up!" "I can stand up with a little help. When somebody holds my fingers, I can walk around, too!"
"And I am probably about to get my second tooth!"
"OH - and I learned how to clap yesterday, so I can help Mommy and Daddy cheer for all the great things I am learning to do!
According to Mommy, I am also getting cuter everyday.
Whew! It's a lot of work being a baby!
I sooooooo rock."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A weighty problem

At Brooklyn's gastroenterologist appointment on January 20, she weighed 14 pounds, 15.7 ounces. This was up only 12 ounces from her appointment on December 2. So...7 weeks and only 12 ounces gained. You know that 3rd percentile line on the growth charts? The one that we had fought so hard to get her on? Yeah. She's below it again. Back to being off the charts.

I don't really understand why this is, she seems to eat well. We can only give her baby food once per day because baby food has less calories per ounce than formula or breastmilk. We are still increasing the calories in her formula to 30 per ounce instead of 20. We add extra formula powder to her bottles for the calories, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of rice cereal per ounce to thicken it to a "nectar" consistency.

Now, I will say that the more active she has gotten, the worse her reflux has become. With rolling over, sitting, bouncing, standing, and now crawling, it has just gotten worse and worse. She spits up constantly while she's playing, so much so that I usually have multiple burp cloths around at play time and usually let her just play in her sleepers instead of nice clothes. And I always have to change her clothes afterwards, they are just soaked. We are talking usually 10+ big spit-ups every time she is on the floor for playtime, regardless of whether she ate 30 minutes before or 3 hours before. I wonder how much of the failure to gain weight is related to the volume of food she is spitting up.

I know that some parents have told me that their babies' cases of reflux improved once they could sit upright, that they were able to keep things down once they could sit themselves up. That seems logical, yet we are experincing the opposite. I don't know if moving around could be putting that much extra pressure on her stomach and causing the spitting up. That doesn't seem right, especially at 10 1/2 months. She ought to be outgrowing this by now, right??? Her stridor tends to get a lot louder when she is excited and playing. I know this is normal with laryngomalacia. It has always been the case with her. But could the spitting up be related to that as well???

As usual, I have so many questions and no answers. It's hard because I feel like a good mom wouldn't keep having all of these problems, I should just know how to fix it all for my little Baby Bear. I worry about what the doctors think of a mother who has a child with "failure to thrive" and "feeding problems" and can't seem to make any progress in making it better.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Moving forward!

Brooklyn started crawling to me when I came home from work last night! It was so exciting! We know that she has been wanting to crawl for a while now, she just couldn't. Hooray for Baby Bear! She does a few strides forward and is working sooooo hard at can tell by her breathing....then she sits up and puts her hands in the air and waits for us to say "Yippee! Yay, Brooklyn!"

She is so proud of herself. It's awesome to watch. And it's encouraging to see her hitting her motor milestones, even if she is behind on them. We were not sure that she would ever actually crawl. So this is great.

I think I have forgotten to post that Brooklyn also cut her first tooth on January 7, just a few days shy of turning 10 months old. And she pulled up to stand on January 17. This has been a HUGE month for her so far, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it!

I tried to post the video from last night of her crawling, but the computer isn't cooperating with me right now. I'll try again's just too cute to miss :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

New 'dos for the girls

Whatcha think? It's five or six inches shorter and oh-so-much lighter feeling!
I think I like it.

Brooklyn has a new hairstyle too.
It's much cuter than mine.

Here's her first ponytail!
And two minutes later....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fingers crossed....

I called Brooklyn's pediatrician on Wednesday and talked to the nurse. At first she told me to bring Brooklyn in, but then changed her mind and said that she didn't think that Brooklyn needed to be seen yet. She told me to watch for fever and wheezing, and if either of those things started, then Brooklyn would need to be seen. As far as the fever goes, it hasn't gone above 99.5. She is coughing, sneezing, has a runny nose and watery eyes. She is pretty cranky. Would someone please tell me how I am supposed to know if my baby is wheezing since she is already a noisy breather due to her laryngomalacia? Sigh.

She doesn't seem to be getting any sicker, so hopefully she will get over it this weekend. I am scared that it will worsen over the weekend. I probably should have just insisted that the pediatrician see her, just for peace of mind about the RSV situation if nothing else.

Anyway. My fingers and toes are crossed that it just goes away.

Baby Bear is 10 months old now. How incredible is that? Double digits, baby girl!

Oh, and on another note, I get to go have my hair done tomorrow. My mom is coming so that she can hold Baby Bear while I am getting my haircut. It's been 6 months since I even got it trimmed. I miss having time to do things like that to take care of myself. I'm not a high maintenance girl by any means, but I appreciate the little things that just make me feel a little bit better about myself, like painting my nails, or trying out a new hairstyle, or putting on more makeup than just powder and lipstick (the bare that I don't scare people.) Those things that I can never find time for anymore. You know? I'm not sure what kind of cut I am going to get, but I need a change. Maybe something that won't make my face look so fat? Something that will minimize my 18 chins? I can hope for it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paranoid mama?

Brooklyn was coughing all morning. And it didn't sound like the normal, harmless cough she usually has when she coughs. It sounded all rattly, like she's trying to cough up something. And she was doing it a lot. I ctalked to my mom a little while ago and my mom said she is still coughing.

I am freaking out over here. I am so terrified of RSV. Please please please PLEASE don't get RSV, Baby Bear.

So if I call the pediatrician, and tell them that Brooklyn has a bad cough but nothing else seems to be wrong so far, is that stupid? Can they even do anything? Will they see her? Or am I just being the high-strung-always-worried-petrified-of-RSV-paranoid mommy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The other side of her

So, I have this coworker who I USED to be very close friends with. I will call her Amy. She started working here about nine months before I became pregnant with Brooklyn. I helped her learn her job and was a friend to her when she wasn't fitting into the little clique on her floor. We went out to lunch and ran errands together a lot. We started walking around downtown together during our lunch hour to get some exercise. We hung out at work every day and talked on the phone most days too.

By the time I got pregnant with Brooklyn, Amy was one of my closest friends. She was one of the first people to find out the night I got my BFP. She was so excited with me, she screamed with happiness and talked on and on about how great it was going to be. "Oh my God," she said. "I can't wait. We're going to throw you a baby shower. We'll have so much fun shopping for baby clothes. We'll paint a big smiley face on your belly and take pictures of it. I want to hold the baby and give the baby a bottle. This is going to be so much fun!"

And it was. Amy calmed my first trimester freakout fears. She helped me decorate Brooklyn's nursery. She did co-host my baby shower. She bought us an expensive baby gift, even when I told her not to. I invited her to be one of the 10 people we could bring to my 3D sonogram.

I was there for her too. I babysat her son. My husband went to her son's "Grandfriends" day at school with him because he didn't have an adult besides Amy to be there with him. She was going through a lot of problems with her son's father and a major custody battle ensued. Her son started having behavioral problems. I was her support. She would always call me to cry and vent and yell about her ex, her son, and other things too.

Amy was at the hospital to see Brooklyn within hours of her birth. She came to see her the next day, also. We had to go to my office to fill out some paperwork when Brooklyn was a week old. Amy held her for an hour and wouldn't let anyone else take a turn. But then, my maternity leave had begun, and I stopped hearing from Amy. I think she called me two or three times for the entire twelve weeks that I was off. During those conversations, she would tell me that she was going to come over. But she never did. And I needed her. We were having such a hard time. Brooklyn had feeding and weight gain problems. Then the reflux started. Then the respiratory problems kicked in, and we didn't know what was wrong with her. I was terrified. I needed her. I couldn't understand why Amy wasn't there for me anymore.

It's true that the phone works both ways. But I was in the throes of postpartum depression. I isolated myself. I couldn't reach out to anyone. Amy is actually the only friend that I told about my PPD. But she still wasn't there.

When I came back to work, things were not the same between Amy and I. We talked, but not as often, and it was just different. We went out to lunch occasionally. We didn't see each other outside of work.

Then, at the end of July, Brooklyn became very ill and was hospitalized for several days. I talked to Amy for a few minutes after Brooklyn was admitted. She didn't come visit. She didn't call to check up on Brooklyn.

Amy came to my office the day after Brooklyn got to come home from the hospital. "So," she said, "You never called me. What's going on with the baby?" I was hurt by the fact that she hadn't even checked on us. I said, "She's home. She's getting better. I never heard from you, so...." Amy got mad and said something about the fact that I could have called. I told her that I was busy taking care of a very sick baby. She acted all taken aback and stormed out of my office. A few minutes later, I sent her a message saying that I didn't understand what she was mad about. She sent back a long reply that she wasn't mad, she was disappointed. That she had done so much for us, and she couldn't believe that I could act this way. That she was angry that I hadn't called her to babysit when she had offered to do so. That I had used her. She said that she knew what it was like to have a very sick child, but that the way I was acting was unexcusable. That I had treated her badly, she didn't appreciate it, and she damn sure wasn't going to take it.

I replied back that I had not used her, that I had been there for her too, that I didn't understand where all this was coming from. She never answered me.

Amy has not spoken to me since. In fact, she has refused to even look at me since then. Even when I have brought Brooklyn by the office to visit a couple of times. She has ignored me, turned around, and walked out of the room. I knew that Amy is a bitter person with a lot of hurt. I knew that she had a quick temper and an angry tongue and got into a lot of confrontations. A lot of people we work with don't like her because of that. But before all of this, she had never been that way to me. She had been a good friend to me.

I really don't understand what happened. And I don't know what to do. It still hurts me. I do miss her. I have thought about apologizing, but honestly, I never so much as said a cross word to her. I don't know what I could possibly have done that would warrant an apology. I have thought about going upstairs to her office and telling her I want to talk the whole thing out and make it all okay again. I've thought about asking her to lunch and telling her I want to put this all behind us. But now it's been over five months since we have spoken. And maybe that's just too long. I don't know if I should just leave things the way they are now. I wonder if all of this should tell me that Amy isn't the kind of person I should be friends with. I don't know what to do. Is it over for good? Why is it so hard for me to have and keep any true friends?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boredom killer personality quiz

I took this personality test to kill some time while Brooklyn is laying here napping in my arms (Thanks, Liz!) It's frighteningly accurate. It even included my job and degree (social work) as ones that are appropriate for people with my personality type. If you decide to take it, let me know so that I can snoop on your results too!

Click to view my Personality Profile page

ISFJ - The "Defender"

ISFJs are traditional, loyal, quiet and kind. They are very sensitive to other people's needs because they are very observant. They have rich inner thoughts and emotions. They value stability and cultural norms. They are very adept at giving attention to detail. They do not seek positions of authority.

About the ISFJ -
"ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their "need to be needed." In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life."
- ISFJ Profile (TypeLogic)"modest, not confrontational, easily hurt, observer, prone to crying, not spontaneous"
- Jung Type Descriptions (ISFJ) ("ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after..."
- Portrait of an ISFJ (The Personality Page)
"The primary desire of the Protector SJ is to be of service to others, but here "service" means not so much furnishing others with the necessities of life, as guarding others against life's pitfalls and perils, that is, seeing to their safety and security."
- The Portrait of the Protector Guardian (iSfJ) (Keirsey)"At work, ISFJs contribute loyal, sympathetic, consistent, and considerate service to others. They are know for their kindness and for their willingness to go to any length to help those in need. They take the practical needs of people into account when they do their work, and their strong follow-through skills allow them to carry out organizational goals. They do at least what is expected to them and oftentimes more, without attracting attention to themselves. They are painstaking and responsible with detail and routine, and feel it is important to have the right things in the right places at the right times."
- ISFJ - The Nurturer (Lifexplore)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sleepless nights

For a while there, Baby Bear was sleeping through the nights pretty well. She would sleep about 7 or 8 hours, only waking a few times to fuss until we put her paci back in her mouth.

We have regressed. Oh Lord, have we ever regressed. Over the past three days, I think I have had about 7 or 8 hours of sleep total.

I know one problem we have been having is that Brooklyn has been really constipated. I have no idea why, because nothing changed with her diet or her meds. But anyways, she went a week without "going" until I finally had to give the poor baby a suppository on Monday and oh, what a fun experience that was for both she and I :(. So over the past week or so, she would wake up a lot, screaming and grunting and straining. Poor thing.

My mom thinks, and I am starting to agree, that Brooklyn's other sleep problem is that she is sick of sleeping in her car seat. My mom feels like Brooklyn is uncomfortable and wants to be able to stetch out and move around while she is sleeping, and obviously she can't do that when she is belted into one position. She sleeps much more restfully when she takes naps. She will only nap if she is being held.

Brooklyn also will not go to sleep before at least 1 or 2 in the morning. I do NOT know why. But we can't seem to change this. We try to put her to bed before this, but she just fights and fights it.

I wonder if when I get the Tucker sling, if Brooklyn's transition to her crib will be any easy one. I kind of think it can't be much worse than her sleep habits right now, but who knows.

As far as my lack of sleep, the nights when my husband works overnight security are the worst, because it is just me to get her to sleep, and just me to get up with her. No tag team. For example, here is how last night was worse than usual:

10:45 - Last dose of meds. She has to wait 30 minutes to eat. We played for 30 minutes.
11:15 - Last nursing session and formula supplement
11:30 - Snuggle time, rocking, singing, whatever, to try to get her to sleep. She will calm down for a little bit, then decide she wants to sit up, squirm, get mad, pull my hair, scream, slam her head backwards into my chest or face get the idea. This goes on for an hour or so.
12:40 - Now she's got a really wet diaper. Diaper change.
12:45 - Try to hold her close and get her to sleep again. She just gets mad. So I figure I will just try putting her in the carseat. This does not go over well. Cry, cry, cry, scream. I take her into my bedroom and put her carseat on the bed and lay next to her. She holds onto my hand and I rock the carseat with my other hand.
1:15 - She's asleep.
1:30 - Every time I try to move my hand off her, she wakes up and starts screaming. She pulls my fingers to her with one hand and grabs by forearm with her other hand. I need to put on my PJ's and take my contacts out and brush my teeth. Oh well. I guess I'll do it later.
1:45 - I doze off for a bit.
2:05 - I really have to pee. I gently take my hand off her and before I can even roll over to get out of bed, Brooklyn is screaming her head off. I take out my contacts while I'm in the bathroom, because she is already throwing a huge fit, and I don't want to have to do this again in an hour or so.
2:10 - Cry cry cry cry...rocking, singing (in the carseat).
2:30 - She falls asleep again.
2:50 - The dogs (in the living room) start barking for what seems to be absolutely no reason. And. They. Won't. Stop. Barking. Brooklyn wakes up, crying.
2:55 - I get pissed and put them outside. Well, I put my pug outside...but my dachshund runs away and it's dark and I have no contacts and I can't find/catch her. I get madder and give up.
3:00 - Rocking, soothing, stroking Brooklyn's face, etc., while she cries.
3:10 - She's back asleep. I doze off too (hand still on her, of course).
3:40 - My pug, who has been barking outside the whole time, still for no reason, starts scratching really loud to be let in on the door right by our bedroom. I finally get up and let her in because it's cold out. Since my hand is no longer on Brooklyn, she cries. The dogs start running around chasing each other. I shut the bedroom door so they can't come in there anymore.
3:55 - Brooklyn's back asleep. Me too.
5:00 - Dogs barking again for no reason. Wakes me up, but only wakes Brooklyn up for a quick second, and she calms down when I give her her paci.
5:30 - Hubby gets home from his security job. I wake up for a minute.
5:45 - Hubby gets into bed. To do so, he must move Brooklyn's carseat off his side of the bed, thereby taking my hand off of her. She screams and cries. He rocks her carseat until she goes back to sleep.
5:55 - Everyone's back to sleep.
6:10 - My alarm goes off.

Somebody help me. Please.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Just a few things before I have to get back to work. (Sigh)

Our friend who was in the car wreck is still fighting. He is starting to show some improvement...he's still in a "moderate coma" in the trauma ICU, but has been responding to some stimulation the past couple of days. He wiggled his toes on command, squeezed his mother's hand on command, and gave his family a "thumbs up" when asked to. He has come so far in a week. Baby steps. As long as he is moving forward it is such a great thing. He squeezed my hand a couple of times the other night as well. His nurse cautioned us that he may never wake up any more than he is now. But the improvements over the past few days have given everyone hope. He is not gone, he is in there somewhere...

Family drama this weekend. My brother was arrested yesterday. He is now in jail and nearly took my other (baby) brother with him. Stupid decisions on both their parts. They both refuse to let go of the drugs. It seems as though nothing ever really changes with them. Any time that it seems that they might have moved on or grown up, we are right back here again. Although my youngest brother was not arrested, the military will likely find out what has been going on, and he will pay for it then.

I may write more on this later. I get so frustrated and disappointed in him. I know he can do better. The one who is sitting in jail right now...I don't think that he will ever stop living the life that he is living. He has let drugs take everything from him and still won't stop. Homeless. Jobless. Every problem that he has, he has created with his drug use. It's a terrible thing to say that you have given up on someone, but in his case, I have. He is not the brother I grew up with. That person is gone.

The youngest one could do so much better. I have so much hope for him. It breaks my heart that he keeps doing this to himself. He has so much to lose.

Dave and I have both had a nasty cold/sore throat/sinus thing. Brooklyn has managed not to catch it so far, hopefully she will keep fighting off all these nasty winter bugs.

I will write a better post soon.

Back to work now.
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