down in the dumps: a diaper story

I don't mind changing diapers - really.  I get a little sick of it when it's the 4th or 5th poopy diaper of the day, but normally I'm totally fine with it.

Unless of course the child completely refuses.  Right now, that's what my child is doing.

Squirming, flipping over, arching his back, and refusing to let me 1) take off the dirty diaper 2) clean the diaper area 3) put a new diaper on.

It's been a few weeks like this.  The doctor said he might begin to "resist" diaper changes.  Hah!  He down right refuses!  Just a few minutes ago he smelled funky so I knew he needed a diaper change.  My heart sunk.  By now I know the routine.  I lay him down and he's ok for a second until I reach to take off the dirty diaper.  I try to distract him.  Just now I found my old Game Boy and gave it to him.  He watched it while it lit up, all the while squirming and twisting and flipping over onto his back.  I try to change him while he's standing, while he's crawling away, while he's rolling.  I try to change him on my bed, on the floor, on the table, anywhere!  Nothing works.

When my husband is home we try to double team it.  That works maybe 20% of the time.  It's come to me actually pinning him down with my left forearm while I wipe as quickly as possible and haphazardly stick the sides on the front.

At the doctor's recommendation, I've been rinsing off his bottom in the sink (he tends to be rashy, and she said this could help.)  That takes care of the "clean the diaper area" part, but there are still the 2 other parts of the equation that I have to get to.

I neglected to mention, too, that he doesn't just flip and squirm and refuse.  He screams.  He cries.  Then he starts coughing (he always does this when he gets upset.)  The whole things turns into a scene and I'm left frustrated with poop on at least one of my hands, if not both, and a very upset child.

A few minutes ago we went through it.  I took the advice of someone online and asked Isaac, "may I change your diaper?"  He didn't protest so we started with the shenanigans.  I actually got up in mid diaper (I had managed to force the dirty one off, clean the area and got the new one half way on), closed the nursery door, and stepped outside for a second.  I heard Isaac crying.  I took a few deep breaths of the muggy morning air and closed my eyes.

This too shall pass.  This too shall pass.

I came back and opened the nursery door, a little more prepared to be patient and understanding.  He was standing at the door, huge crocodile tears dripping down his cheeks.  He smiled at me as if to say, "you didn't abandon me."  I fastened the other side of the diaper while he was standing, and then picked him up.  I gave him his pacifier and lovey, and put him in his crib.  He's sleeping now.

Oh the drama!

I pray each night that God would mold me, change me, give me His heart.  No one is as patient as He is, no one as understanding.  I want to feel the love for Isaac that God feels for me.  I want to be selfless.  Kind.  Quick to pick up and hug.  Forgive and forget.  Press on.  I keep praying.  And waiting.


when to take things away from your child

I rarely ask for advice on this blog (although I'm always willing to take anyone's well-meaning advice, as long as they know that it's my right to take it or leave it), and maybe I'm not really asking for it now, either.  Maybe I'm just asking questions out loud.  Maybe if I write them out I'll be able to think them through and come to a conclusion.  But, seriously, if you read this blog and are a mom, please leave a comment to let me know any thoughts about the subject of taking things away from your child.

What do you mean, you might ask.  Well, the two I'm dealing with right now are the pacifier and the bottle.

I don't see the harm in either.

I do feel, however, that I'm sometimes judged when people see my 13 month old drinking from a bottle.  There's the issue of baby bottle decay.  Well, I've read a lot about that, and working for a dental office and having gone through dental assistant training, I've heard a lot about the subject.  From what I gather, the main issue with baby bottle decay is that it happens when a baby is given a bottle while they are in their crib, and allowed to sip right before bed or all night long, without getting their teeth brushed.

I did an experiment with Isaac yesterday.  I was determined to wean him off the bottle this week while I'm off from work.  Yesterday I gave him pediasure and formula in a sippy cup.  He drank about half as much as he usually does, and he was very cranky, clingy, demanding, and upset all day.  I thought he would be.  I didn't expect him to be a perfect child who would be fine going from three or four bottles a day to none.  I thought, "I'll be a good mom, I'll be strong.  Cold turkey for us."

That lasted a whole day and a 1/2.  Today I gave in and gave him a bottle.  He sucked it down and cried for more.  So instead of cold turkey, we're going to try 1 bottle a day (we only have the small bottles so it's technically 2, 6-8 oz of formula or pediasure).

Pacifiers.  Isaac doesn't have to have his unless he's taking a nap or going to sleep for the night.  If I give it to him during the day at all, it's because his teeth have been bothering him a lot, or he's fussy and nothing else I've tried seems to help.  Someone once asked me, "he's not going to be one of those two year old still sucking on a pacifier, is he?"  At the time I assured this person that, "no, no, we'll be done with it by then."

I think I was too quick to jump to the conclusion that Isaac will not be using a pacifier when he's 2.  Ideally, for me, he won't.  But, what if he does?  What's wrong with that?  I don't see anything wrong with that.  Who am I to take something away from him if he likes it.  It's comforting to him.  Why am I in such a hurry for him to grow up?

I found this article about pacifiers not being the cause of crooked teeth.  I found it here: http://parentsknow.state.mn.us/parentsknow/age1_2/tips/QAs/PKDEV_000890



My mother-in-law is very upset that my four-month-old uses a pacifier. She worries that we're making a sissy out of him and she says that it will give him crooked teeth. Should we be concerned?


Your mother-in-law is not alone in her concerns about your baby's use of the pacifier. Her point of view was very common a few years ago and is still shared by many people today. However, most child development specialists see little cause for worry when a baby uses a pacifier. As for the effect on your child's teeth, dentists say there is no evidence that pacifiers cause crooked teeth. Concerning the impact on your son's emotional development, rest assured that using a pacifier will do no harm and, in fact, probably will do him good.

The instinct to suck is very strong in nearly all babies, so strong that they often need much more sucking than they get through the feeding experience. Sucking is a great source of comfort to a baby, and a pacifier can provide an easy way for the baby to soothe herself at times when mom and dad are busy and not available to provide comfort. A baby's need to suck is often especially high when she is tired, not feeling well, cutting teeth, or is in an unfamiliar environment that makes her feel somewhat unsettled.

If you were to interfere with your baby's efforts to comfort himself, his need for the pacifier probably would become even more intense. But if your son is allowed to satisfy that need for comfort, he will gradually outgrow his need for the pacifier. The surest way to help your baby grow to be a strong, secure boy, is to show him that you respect his need to feel safe, comfortable, and satisfied now. As your son becomes increasingly sociable, as he learns to babble and make faces and play with others, as he begins to move around and explore the world around him, the pacifier will become less interesting to him. Of course, for many months he may still want the comfort the pacifier provides when he's sleepy and alone, but eventually he won't even need it then. He will develop new ways to feel calm and comforted-like snuggling under a favorite blanket, listening to grandma read a bedtime story, or hearing dad sing a lullaby. Keep in mind that no matter how young or how old we are, we all need comfort. By letting your child find comfort in his pacifier, you are showing him that his needs count.

A question-and-answer column with Dr. Martha Farrell Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Let me just say that the person who asked this question is not alone when it comes to other people being concerned about the way she chooses to raise her child.  Things like pacifiers, formula, bottles, breast feeding, when to potty train, when to start feeding solids, and other things like that are the parents decision!  Shame on anyone (except maybe a trusted pediatrician) who thinks they can tell the parents otherwise. It's hard enough being a parent without everyone telling you that you are doing this and that wrong.  Of course, if the person was harming the child, that's different.  But c'mon, a pacifier is going to turn a baby into a sissy?  Ha!

With the 1st birthday of Isaac I've been quick to think, ok, what can I take away from him now that he's not a baby anymore?  Well, he IS still a baby, and so what if I allow him to hang onto his baby comforts for another  6 months or a year? He'll only be a baby for a little while longer, I need to stop rushing it.

If that's what you're into...

I've read a few blogs where people have posted what they are doing right now.  I thought it might be fun!  Here goes!

What am I....

....reading right now?  The Nanny Diaries.  It's pretty funny.  There is the occasional swear word I could do without, but other than that, it's a good book.  I'm also reading Codependent No more.

...listening to right now?  A lot of Death Cab for Cutie's newest: Codes and Keys.  I love them so!  I've also been sampling Owl City's latest All Things Bright and Beautiful, Coldplay's new singles, and a song called Price Tag by Jessie J.

...watching right now?  Little House on the Prairie (although I'm frustrated with Hallmark because they don't play them in order!) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, anything on HGTV, and reruns of Parks and Rec!  I miss it so!

...eating right now?  I just ate a couple spoonfuls of brownie chocolate ice cream.  I'm not supposed to because I'm weight watchers.  But you know what they say, eat whatever you want, just count it!  And then, stay within your points, of course.  I've been trying to eat lots of fruit (zero points!) and things that will keep me fuller longer, like protein, healthy oils, veggies, things like that.

Let's make a list for Isaac!

What is he....

....reading right now?  He loves this book Grammie sent us, it's a sesame street one called "what's that sound?"  It's a soft book, and there are buttons to push on each page.  A rubber duckie, a bug, a cow, a bus, a ball, all these things that make noise.  He likes it a lot.  He also likes this little chunky opposites book.  Happy, Sad, Big, Small, Short, Tall...he will pick it up and give it to you as if to say, "read it again!"

...listening to right now? Whatever mom or dad is!

...watching right now?  Although I try to limit tv, we do watch some in the morning.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Special Agent Oso, and sometimes Jake and the Neverland Pirates (not my favorite!)

...eating right now?  Well....he eats whatever we eat mostly, but in small, small portions.  We keep trying to get him to eat more, and he keeps eating about the same amount.  He's growing and thriving, so I try not to worry, but I am a mom after all.  I actually bought that ice cream for him!

Isaac also says "hi" and waves at everyone and everything.  He sleeps through the night and does good with two naps a day (mostly).  He bounces up and down and back and forth and side to side....I can't tell if he's dancing or just doing it because he's happy.  He is good at sharing, always giving me and his dad the toy that he has.  We always say "thank you" and sometimes I think he tries to say it too.  It comes out sounding something like "do dah", haha.

He's a fun little guy.

What are you into right now?


Rainy Monday

I finally got the gumption to do something - take Isaac to the park - and it rained.  He also soiled his diaper and I didn't bring any wipes!  It was a quick trip to the park!

Isaac is growing up so fast!  He is walking!  He's been walking here and there for a while now, but just in the past week or so he's actually walked across the room.  He prefers crawling, but if you prop him up on his feet, he'll walk!  He has great control.  It's so very cute.  He also has 4 teeth, and 2 more are popping through.  Hard to believe he'll be 13 months in 3 days!


I took the plunge

I went to my first weight watchers meeting today!

If both my mom and sister can do it and become lifetime members, then I can too!  

We got Kinect and Dance Central, too, so I'm really excited to use that to help me get moving!  We've been playing for a little while tonight, and it's so fun!  I think there is an exercise option on the game!  Looking forward to losing weight, but it's going to be a rough start.  At least I've already been trying by walking and doing some pilates.  Maybe this will help me stick to my exercising more!


soundtrack for picking berries

I forgot that you can still get sunburned through the clouds.  How could I forget that?  I'm not sunburned, although my face is a touch red and a bit sensitive from strawberry picking on a cloudy day with Kari, Ben, and Isaac.

Columbia Farms, U-pick berries.  Beautiful drive.  Big, open field.  The sky looks so much bigger when you're out in the middle of nowhere.  We crouched down low and dug into the strawberry bushes, hunting for ripe, juicy, pretty berries.  Isaac roamed up and down the rows, shoving anything remotely resembling a strawberry in his mouth....dirt and all.  He even ate the non-ripe ones.  At one point I looked at him to see streams of brown and red running down his chin.  I asked Kari, "does dirt have iron in it?"  She said, "yep."  I told Isaac, "eat away!"

Ben is a cutie.  He sat on the sidelines, very vocal, taking it all in.  His hair color has changed in the few short weeks since I've seen him.  He's a blondie!  Adorable.  Huge smiles.
All the while Kari and I talked.  We got distracted now and then by the babies, but we'd get back into it in no time.  How nice to have a friend who knows me.  Who gets me.  Who loves me despite my insecurities and fears.  It was refreshing and renewing.

I stopped when I had a box-lid full of berries.  I paid $10 for almost 8 pounds of berries.  Not bad.  I put some in the fridge for immediate eating, and the rest I cut up and put in the freezer.  Looks like smoothies will be on the menu this summer!


Up & Up

Things are looking better from where I sit.  I'm feeling better.  I don't feel great, but I'm making it.

I made sweet tea, dinner, and cookies tonight.  Three things I did, instead of NOT doing.  It's a start.  Tomorrow it's work.  I have to say I hate going back to work after being sick and missing days.  Everyone has always been more than understanding and welcoming, I just have this looming feeling of guilt because they had to be without me.  They always get by, someone always fills in, but it's hard knowing that I'm the reason that someone had to fill in and pick up my slack.  I have to get over that I guess.  They understand that I was sick and that's that.  I just wish I didn't get sick so much.  Someone once told me "that must just be your constitution in life."  Luckily that someone was my boss, and she understands.  I just wish that wasn't my constitution.

Today I went to Rite Aid and spent $1.50 on $9 worth of products!  Yay for coupons and receipts that print out for $5 off the next purchase.  For toiletries, Rite Aid really is the best place.  Wait for manufacturers coupons, wait for store sales and store coupons, and then stack them.  Also, use that register reward that printed out from your last visit. I haven't seen it personally yet, but I have some friends who have gotten many things for free or almost free.  I can't imagine shopping without coupons now.  What was I thinking paying full price for things before?  I am not a crazy couponing lady, but I do save a little bit.  That's worth it to me.

Summer, where are you?  I'm tired of this muggy-sometimes-rainy-sometimes-partly-sunny-then-hot-then-cold-unsure-weather.  Today it was overcast but it didn't rain.  I was sweating all day...hot inside my house with all the windows open.  I know we have insulation but I think the sun (or sun behind the clouds) beats down on our house all day and makes it hot, hot, hot inside.  I can't see us getting air conditioning for the two or three weeks of hot weather we get.....but those two or three weeks sure are miserable.  I'm ready for some sun though - miserable or not.  C'mon sun!  I need some freckles.


10 minute pilates

Do you have ten minutes? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it.  Now that Isaac and I have gotten into a groove with his sleeping patterns, I have some time in the evenings that might be called "down time."  I usually use this time to neglect the dishes and watch copious amounts of TV.

Tonight I was feeling extremely sluggish and out of shape, especially since I'm still getting over that mystery illness.  I decided to look at the ten minute pilates on Netflix that my sister told me about.  It's neat because you can choose to do specific ten minute segments (abs, arms, legs, burn, stress reducer), or you can do all five.  Tonight I chose to do ten minutes of abs.  It might not seem like much, but I really feel it now (and not just abs, my entire body.)

I'd like to say that it's something I can do everyday, but I think I'll just say, for now, that I'll try to do it as often as I can.  That and walking, and I might just get somewhere.  If you have netflix, use your xbox or go online and check out the streaming work out videos.  There are lots!


Isaac's first word was Dada.  He loves his dad so much!  And with good reason - he has an amazing dad.

I often get sucked in to the teen pregnancy shows on MTV.  16 and pregnant, Teen Mom, etc.  I always find myself yelling at the so called "dads" in those shows.  They are selfish, mean, hurtful, and down right stupid.  I have to remember that they are teenagers, and I was once that way.  The other night I was watching a particularly frustrating one.  When it was done, I went into the office and kissed my husband.

"Thank you for being a good dad," I said.
He smiled and said, "watching more teen pregnancy shows?"

I want to thank my husband for doing things as a dad that are sometimes impossible for me as a mom.  He is able to be patient when I'm trying to rush things, understanding when I tend to jump to the worst possible conclusion, energetic when I'm exhausted, positive when I'm negative, and giving when I'm completely selfish.

I feel lucky to have him.  Beyond lucky.  Absolutely blessed!  Happy Father's Day!


The Blinding Sun

Yesterday I went to the doctor because I've been sick for 4 days.  Normally I wouldn't go to the doctor.  I can't say I really like it.  Since I missed some work and wasn't getting better, though, I thought I should go.  Just in case it was something crazy.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't definitive.  What's wrong with me?  No one knows.  They did a flu test.  They took the longest q-tip I've ever seen out of it's individually wrapped package and stuck it up each nostril (and I mean UP - into my brain) and twirled it around and around.  I was crying, but not because I was sad.  I didn't have a choice.  My eyes were watering something fierce.  The nurse said, "umm, there's some tissues if you need one."  I had nightmares about it last night.  It was awful!

All to tell me, "good news!  You don't have influenza type A or B!"  Good news I suppose...except there's still that question, what's wrong with me?

I was given a dose of antibiotics.  They messed up my stomach.  But today I feel a little better.  The sun is shining outside.  If, when all the antibiotics are gone, I don't feel better in 5 days, I'm going to have to get some labs done.  So, that's what's going on with me.

My roses have finally bloomed.  

Winston the Hummingbird's Flowers


Mama the Grouch

I tend to give up on things.  I have an idea - I'm fired up, excited, ready, willing, eager, hopeful.  We try it.  It doesn't work.  I'm ready to give up.  Forget it.  Why did I even try?  How could I ever have thought this would work?

This morning was the first time trying our new routine with Isaac.  Scratch that.  I don't want to call it a routine.  I want to call it....something else.  What, I don't know.  A new mindset maybe.  I different way of looking at things.  She suggested we give him food before formula.  I tried scrambled eggs and a piece of toast with marionberry jam on it.  Who would refuse that?

My son would refuse that.  And not just refuse, but get upset, cry, squirm, fight, fuss, push.  Finally I tried some rice cereal.  Three bites and then it was back to refusing it.

I stormed out of the room.

I blame it on three things: 1)it was 7:30 am.  I am not a morning person.  I was grouchy.  2)I was so excited that we had a new idea about getting Isaac to eat more.  Surely giving him food when he's starving in the morning would work. 3)I want him to eat more so that he can be at a healthy weight, and HE JUST WON'T!

My patient husband stayed with him and kept trying.  I was sulking in the nursery and I heard him practically cooing at Isaac, talking in a normal tone, asking him what he needed, what he wanted.  Finally Andrew took him out of the high chair and gave him his bottle, of which he drank maybe 1/2 an ounce.

It's so frustrating!  I want what is best for him.

Why is it that when we go to a friend's house, he'll eat them out of house and home?

What is really bothering me?  My pride maybe.  I want people to think that I'm capable of nourishing my child.  That I am able to get him to eat, because "mama knows best."  I want his doctor to know that I'm capable, just like most of those other moms out there whose sons are smack dab in the middle of the growth chart, exactly where they should be.  I don't want them to think I'm a bad mom.  Bad mom.  I can't do it.  Why can't I do it?

So, it all boils down to me.  What I want, what I need.  I really do want him to be healthy, so that he can be happy, so that the doctor will be happy, so that I WILL BE HAPPY.  Hmm.  How can I stop being so selfish and start thinking more of his needs?

I turn to the only place I can find pure, unadulterated wisdom and strength.  Jesus.  He knows my weaknesses.  He knows I'm prideful, selfish, arrogant.  I ask Him to break me, change me, renew me.  I give Him Isaac's health, his eating habits, his place on the growth chart.  No, I can't give it to Him freely.  I want to hold on.  So I ask Him to take it.

Being a mom is so different from anything I've ever known.  Fierce sense of protection.  Overwhelming sense of worry.  Nagging feelings of failure.  It's not the same for some of you reading.  You might think "what is she talking about?  I've never been happier!"  I'm not saying I'm not happy as a mom.  Yesterday when Isaac sat with me watching Little House I had to hold back tears of joy when he looked up at me and stared into my eyes.  He knows me.  He loves me.  I'm his Mama.  But being his Mama is just - different.  Different than anything I've ever experienced.  I'm learning the hard lessons.  I'm being removed of sinful habits...they are being sifted and pounded and baked out of me - and it hurts.

So I turn to Him.  And He tells me that although he won't take away the pain yet, He's holding me through it, and He'll be there to bandage up my wounds at the end.

We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope.
And this hope will never disappoint us, because
God has poured out his love to fill our hearts.
Romans 5:3-5


Skinny Minny

It seems I have a puny child.  He's been in the low percents for his weight ever since he was born.  Today at his doctor appointment his stats were:

Weight - 18.1 lbs     1%
Height - 29 in         21%
Head Circ 18.2 in   43%

According to his new doctor (who I like very much) his height and his head circumference are just fine and right on track.  She also asked me a lot of questions about his development, and he is doing wonderfully in that area.  She could tell from the way he was crawling all around the examination room, trying to open the door to escape from the examination room, and talking to the nurses outside the examination room that he's developing well.

We have a new plan for helping him get more calories into his system.  The doctor said she thinks the reason he's not gaining much weight is because of how busy he is.  He's burning more calories than he's taking in.  The idea is to give him a lot of time to eat, be very patient with him, and minimize distractions.  He won't be drinking formula until after he eats solid foods, and he'll be staying on formula until at least 15 months.

I hope that this plan helps him gain some weight so that he's got a little more meat on his bones.  Thankfully, even though he's a skinny guy, he is still very healthy and happy.  I'm also very happy, because I feel like I have a doctor who will work with me instead of make me feel worried.

Isaac had to have 2 shots and his blood drawn today.  He sat on my lap while they drew his blood, and I think that it was harder on me than on Isaac.  He cried, but he got over it quickly, and now he's sleeping peacefully.  The Phlebotomists were so wonderful and took great care of him.  They took the blood to check for anemia, lead, and vitamin D levels.  I didn't know that sometimes bright colored toys can contain lead.  He has a lot of those!  I'm sure the tests will come back just fine.



Last weekend Andrew and I celebrated our 7th anniversary.  We went to Gleneden Beach, and stayed at Salishan Lodge.  It was a good time.  We went to the aquarium in Newport; I had never been before!

It was also the first time that we weren't with Isaac at night.  He stayed at Grandma's and had a wonderful time.  The biting edge of his top tooth finally broke through the surface.  From the looks of the gums, the ones surrounding that top tooth will break through anytime.  He's been doing so well through it all.


3 teeth

Isaac's third tooth is popping through!  It won't be long before we'll see it.  He's been doing so well through it all, not fussing or complaining....and I'm sure it's not comfortable.

We were due for his 12 month check up today, but his doctor had an emergency and was called away.  We rescheduled for next week with a different doctor.  That's right!  For awhile I've been questioning if we should try another doctor, and my gut told me yes.  I'm such a people pleaser and afraid to hurt anyone's feelings that I put it off for quite awhile.  When they called me this morning to reschedule his appointment, I said, "by the way, while I have you on the phone..." and it didn't seem like any problem at all for me to schedule Isaac with a different doctor.  There are 4 pediatricians at that practice, and I am willing to go through them one by one if that's what it takes to find someone that I feel comfortable with.  I am excited to know how much he weighs and how tall he is.


I've been reading a blog about a girl who moved very far away to feed, clothe, help, pray for, and love little children.  She gives them medical attention, and holds them when they cry.  She's even gone so far as to adopt many of them as her own.  She does this all in Jesus' name.  I read her blog and I cry every time.  I feel so selfish and small and afraid when I read what she is doing.  I thank God for people like her.  People that He chooses and who are willing.

I notice that through all of her sacrifice and exhaustion, she has overflowing joy.  It's interesting.  I who am (too) well fed, have a car (two if you count my husbands), a big screen TV with more channels than I could ever watch, a warm bed, a cushy job, money, health....and the list goes on and on.....am not content.  I am down right unhappy most of the time.  I have joy knowing that I am a child of God and share a part of that inheritance, but most of the time the rest of the things I know about the world are so heavy that I get too bogged down to remember that inheritance.  I forget what Jesus did for me.  I forget about those people suffering and dying so that others might hear what He did for them.

I want to know God more.  I want to serve him.  I want to sacrifice for him and for others.  Not so that it gets noticed, but because it's what I'm called to do....and I believe it produces great joy.
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