Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Liam Pictures….because they make me happy

The last few weeks have been an interesting time.  Interesting in the way where you hold your breath because you’re afraid that any second the world is going to flip on its head.  We’re holding our breaths here, waiting to see if the world is going to flip.  In the meantime, we’re trying to go about life as if it’s business as usual.  And that means enjoying the bitty as he grows up quickly (I’m almost certain he’s cutting a tooth right now—way too young!!!).  So without further ado, here is the little e-tiny who makes our lives so much better :)

Liam2 Liam3 Liam9 Liam10 Liam15

Friday, September 16, 2011

Liam at four months

Bitty Babe,

You are four months old now—a third of a year old (not a quarter, like I kept saying…your dad pointed out that there aren’t sixteen months in a year).  You have been so much fun this month—it’s an honor and a delight to be your Mommy.

You are wearing a size 3 disposable diaper, and you are into your BumGenius cloth.  You are still mostly wearing 3-6 mos. clothing, but some of your pants are larger…but that’s only because I don’t have anything smaller.  We’ll find out your height and weight at the doctor next week. 

You are so funny now.  We love your to pieces, and can’t get enough of you.  You laugh so hard it sounds like you’re crying sometimes.  You have the biggest smile, and you flash it almost anytime someone talks to you—today you smiled big and giggled for Miss Laurie when she held you, and you smiled when Ben was trying to crawl into your carseat and touch you.  You’re a big hit at church too, because you smile and laugh when people lean in to talk to you.  You are quite the little entertainer—just like your Daddy.  When you’re tired,though, you want none of it.  You wear out, and then you scream.  For a long time.  So we try really hard not to let you get too worn out.

We finally figured out napping for you this month.  It’s been a real blessing for me and for you.  I watch you like a hawk and as soon as you start exhibiting sleepy signs (yawning, tired eyes, glassy stares, slowing down playing), I whisk you off to bed where you take a lovely nap.  If we miss the magic moment, it’s not good.  You scream and yell and can’t calm down and can’t get a good nap.  So we work to make sure we don’t miss the magic moment.

You discovered Oliver this month.  Really, all of your toys, but you love Ollie.  You like to reach out and grab him…to touch his leg or pull his beard.  He tries to back up when he sees your hands coming.  You like playing with your toys too—you love the Exersaucer, the bouncy seat, and your activity mat.  You also really love a few very specific toys—a pull rattle from Lamaze toys, your linking rings, and the furry tag ball Miss Shannon made for you.  I keep those with us because you love playing with them.

You love fabric—your burp cloths, your curtains (you pull them over your face when you are getting your diaper changed), your bunny rabbit from Aunt Kim (you like to snuggle him in bed).  You pull things over your face and shout until someone comes to rescue you.  Your dad and I laugh so hard at you because you are just so silly.  You like to “kick back” in your bouncy seat—you flip your feet and tush up in the air while you grab your toys.  It looks so silly and so funny.  I’m thinking the bouncy seat is going to be retired soon because of this—I’m afraid you’ll kick too hard and knock yourself out of it.

You love being the center of attention.  If I put you down for too long to go do something (change laundry, grab lunch, etc) you start screaming and crying until someone comes back and talks to you.  You want us to focus on you always.  You are super funny about it.

I love you sweetheart, and I can’t wait for this next month :)



PS—I’ll add photos later—this month’s photo shoot is proving to be difficult to get

Monday, September 12, 2011

A productive and lazy weekend all wrapped into one

This weekend was a nice mix of relaxing and work-filled.  I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen, and that day of work has paid off with a week’s worth of meals, and soups for this week and next.  I was having a mental block with our diet, and I needed some motivation.  So I found five recipes from allrecipes.com that fit the diet criteria, and made them (3 soups, 2 bean salads) and I boiled some eggs and made egg muffins (eggs, sausage, spinach, mushrooms baked in a muffin tin).  I worked at it fairly diligently (taking time off to feed/play with Liam, hang out with Andy, etc.) from 11-5 Saturday.  Then I cleaned the whole kitchen and took the recycling out.  I was pretty proud of myself, and the fridge had more food in than it had in a LONG time.

Sunday was more the easy day.  After church, Liam was kind of a mess.  His nap schedule gets off on Sunday mornings and he has a hard time dealing with that, so I spent most of Sunday snuggling him and trying to get him to calm down.  I never achieved a crib nap on Sunday, and that hasn’t happened in a few weeks.  He had become quite the napping champion, but he fell off the wagon yesterday.  So I snuggled and walked with him and watched tv most of the day…hence the lazy day.  Last night after he went to bed, though, I dusted off my old Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and did it.  It was the first time I had really worked out in over a year—and I was pleasantly surprised.  Before I started, I told Andy I was sure I was going to die and I didn’t think I would make it through..but I did.  I didn’t even get covered in sweat.  And I wasn’t super tired or sore after.  So I am definitely a lot stronger than I thought—maybe pregnancy gave me a superhuman strength (HA!).  I decided I would still stick with Level 1 for a week, though, just to get used to it, then I’ll go on to the next level.  I don’t want to get too arrogant :)  I really thought I would have to spend like 3 weeks before I switched levels, so I’m glad I felt so strong last night.  After I finished, I found a few other Jillian videos I might order in the coming months (because I can face reality and recognize that right now it’s all I can probably really accomplish…Andy makes it to the gym 2-3 times a week after Liam’s asleep, and I don’t really want the two of us to not see each other any night, so this is better for me right now).  Here are the others I am looking at (after I get through my 30 day shred…I thought I’d try each of them, then mix them up for some variety).  They are all Jillian because I have a slight girl crush on her, and I can appreciate it when she hands me my butt.  And because she has never steered me wrong in the results department.

Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs


Ripped in 30


6 Week Six Pack


Friday, September 9, 2011

Four months ago…

Liam will be four months old tomorrow, and I realized that I had never actually written down what happened when he was born.  I suppose I don’t have to, but I have found that I enjoy having this blog because it reminds me of things I have forgotten that happened in the past.  And so I do want to recount those first few weeks….the “almost” weeks as I like to call them.

When Liam was born, everything appeared to be fine.  He was breech, as we knew, so when I went into labor early, they had to get an OR ready and the doctor on call came over for the surgery.  She wasn’t my doctor, but if I couldn’t have my own, she was definitely the one I wanted, so I was thankful for that.  We didn’t have anything with us.  Andy ran home to grab stuff before the surgery (now, I realize we should have just waited and had one of our parents do this) and left his keys at the hospital.  He broke into the house through the bathroom window.  And came back with the laptop, a change of clothes for himself, and fruit snacks.  But not the camera.  He brought fruit snacks, but forgot the camera :)

When Liam was born, he was so beautiful.  We didn’t hear his little cry for a few minutes because he had gone to the bathroom inside, and they were clearing his little lungs.  I got to see him for a very short second, and then he and Andy were whisked off to the nursery and I got stitched up and went to recovery.  My parents and Andy’s mom came that night to meet our sweet boy.  Andy’s dad was in New York building a stadium, so he didn’t make it until Friday.  That night, nothing seemed wrong.  Everything was just kind of hazy, since I was recovering from surgery.

Wednesday we met Liam’s physical therapist (she showed us how to work with his little legs since he was a little frog) (he hasn’t had to see her since he left the hospital—he’s fine now) and tried to figure out nursing.  That afternoon, we all fell asleep at the same time, and woke up when Andy, Mandy, and Ben came to visit.  Through their whole visit, I couldn’t stop shivering.  I was absolutely freezing.  Mandy put every blanket in our room on top of me, but I was miserable.  Rebekah came to visit shortly after they left, and I was a mess by then.  When my nurse came in after Rebekah left, she could tell I wasn’t okay, and checked my temperature.  It was over 103 at that point.  She gave me Tylenol and called the doctor on call that day.  I had the first of many rounds of tests as they tried to find out what was wrong with me.  That night, my fever spiked a few more times, always with the chills followed by soaking sweats.

By Thursday morning, I was really weak.  It was all I could do to try to feed Liam from the side lying hold.  Wednesday afternoon before the fever, I had been up and walking the halls.  Thursday I could barely make it to the bathroom by myself.  At this point, Andy and the nurses and his mom were doing almost all of Liam’s care.  I could only hold him a few minutes at a time.  My doctor was on call Thursday, and it was an incredible blessing.  She came over to check on me several times.  Just before lunch on Thursday, she found out what was wrong with me.  The pathology report from the c-section came back and showed that there was a fungal infection in the umbilical cord that was making me sick.  It’s something that occurs in 1 in 60,000 pregnancies, and 16 percent of the time it also affects the baby.  At first, it appeared as though Liam was going to need a 24 hour iv just in case he also had the infection, which nearly did me in.  But the pediatrician on call that day called the CDC and the Children’s Hospital in Louisville to discuss it, and they decided that since he wasn’t showing any signs, they would run his blood and watch him, but that giving him an unncessary iv wasn’t probably great either.  His blood tests came back negative, so he never had to be treated.  I was switched from antibiotics to an antifungal, and we hoped things would get better.  They didn’t.  My fever spiked higher than ever…to 104.8. 

My doctor was concerned, my nurse was concerned…my nurse had it written all over her face when she walked in my room.  I’m pretty sure Andy and his mom were pretty concerned as well.  At one point that night, my doctor came in and told me that I had to start complaining…she needed me to tell her everything that was wrong because they were getting concerned.  She called a friend of hers who is an internal medicine doctor and another doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.  Together they found the antifungal that actually worked, but it was an iv treatment only and could be damaging to Liam’s kidneys, so we had to switch to formula.

That was my breaking point.  I had handled everything up to then, but that nearly did me in.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  A radiology tech came up to get me for a chest x-ray and I sobbed the whole ride to radiology and the whole ride back.  I had to stand still for my x-ray, so I held it together for those few minutes.  By this time, my arms were incredibly bruised and I looked like a pincushion from all the blood tests.  I just wanted to cry.  That was all I could do for a bit that night.  I couldn’t give Liam his formula bottles, I had to have Andy do it.  It was a crushing blow for me.  I felt like I had failed him as a mother.  I hadn’t changed a diaper yet, and now I couldn’t feed him.  Andy was picking up parenting a lot faster than I was.  And I was miserable.  I remember trying to hold it together on the phone with my mom, and wanting only to break down sobbing.  But all I could think was, “I can’t cry right now, I can’t….I can’t worry my mom anymore than she already is.”  We also found out that night that I had some fluid on my lungs and my potassium was low, which really just felt like the kicks just kept on coming. (Sidenote, liquid potassium might be the most disgusting thing ever….I requested 43 bananas instead).

I got my first treatment that night, and my fever didn’t spike again.  The next morning, we learned that if it had gone up again, they were transferring me to the ICU.  Apparently there was a lot of discussion about our case, and what to do with Liam.  The pediatrician and the OB were coming up with a plan for us, to make sure that Liam was cared for because they knew I couldn’t do it, and that Andy was killing himself taking care of both of us.  My mom and Andy’s dad all came that day.  My sister made it that night.  My dad came the next day (right, dad?).  By Friday, I was regaining some strength.  I was able to get out of bed.  I held Liam.  I showered.  We had visitors and I was able to speak coherently to them.  These were all a huge deal at this point.

By Friday night, it looked like I was going to go home Saturday.  I had to go 24 hours without a fever, and I made it.  I was learning how to pump that day, and I hated it.  That night a nurse came over to install my PICC line.  She assured me it was a quick and easy process, and commented on how awful the lab techs had made my arms look.  An hour and a half and SEVERAL failed needle pricks later, my PICC line was installed.  I was covered in sweat and miserable.  I had to have another chest x-ray, but this time they let me have the portable one, so they could verify my PICC line was in correctly.  I think Liam was in the nursery for all of this.  Lauren, do you remember?  That’s how hazy this whole week was….I can’t remember where my child was.  I do know that the nurses kept him in the nursery that night because they decided I needed some sleep (acutally, she thought we both needed sleep).  They fed him and changed him and tried to wake Andy and I as little as possible.

On Saturday morning, it was decided I could go home.  Our nurse that day started calling insurance to set up home health care…she thought it would be much easier and better than having to come back to the hospital every day for my iv treatment.  It was.  We finally got to go home that afternoon, and it was glorious.  I don’t remember much about it, except that we were home, and I was thrilled.  My mom stayed with us through Wednesday, and Andy’s mom came for the rest of that week.  And she came back the next.  They did everything for us those two weeks…all the cooking, cleaning, a lot of Liam’s care, helping me recover.  We wouldn’t have made it without them.  Our church family was a huge blessing at this time too, we kept our small group updated, and they were praying for us, and supporting us.  The church was praying for us, and our pastor came down twice to see us and pray with us.  Our small group sent flowers, and several of them stopped in to see us.  A lot of those first weeks is hazy to me.  But I do remember being incredibly thankful.  We were so blessed by our friends and family.  It was amazing to me to see how many people stepped in and showed us that they loved us and cared about us.  I definitely don’t want to forget that.  And now, four months later, I can see where our little family was forged together in those early weeks.  Liam’s arrival really was trial by fire, and we emerged stronger.  I hated that things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to…I hated that I couldn’t take care of him, couldn’t provide him with food, couldn’t do the things I thought I was supposed to be, but now I realize it was okay.  He doesn’t know any of that.  And he’s healthy and happy, regardless of what happened.  And that’s all that really matters. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The diaper box made me teary

I bought diapers and wipes at the grocery store on Saturday, and instead of putting them away, I just sat them in the edge of Liam’s closet.  The other morning, I was looking at them and it hit me.  When Liam came home, he looked like the baby on the Pampers sensitive wipes box:


But now, he’s not that tiny baby anymore.  There’s no newborn left in him.  He’s totally more like the baby on the Pampers Cruisers box:


Combine that with the fact that his first year is nearly a quarter over, and I had that moment where I realized, I am going to blink and he is going to be in kindergarten.  And then I will be sending him off to college 12 seconds later.  So I got a little teary.  But then I realized, it’s okay.  I love the way he grows and changes, I love getting to see his little personality.  He’s a sweet and funny little guy.  Here he is yesterday covering his face with a burp cloth (the kid is obsessed with putting fabric in his mouth, and covering up his whole face with whatever he can get his hands on).

liam cook baby burp cloth

And after I took his burp cloth off his face (clearly, he is stunned):

liam cook baby activity mat

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A map?

We got a delivery today from UPS.  It wasn’t our regular driver, Greg, but a younger man.  After he dropped off our package, I watched him go back to his truck and unfold a map.  He sat at the end of our driveway for a minute or two, examining the map.  And all I could think was, “Really?  UPS doesn’t use GPS?  He’s seriously using a map in 2011?”

UPDATED: Andy told me later that they have GPS built into the truck.  So I don’t know what he was doing with that map.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Is it Saturday yet?

Some little boy learned the Purdue fight song this morning—and loved it!  I wish we had a video camera…he smiled through the whole thing (possibly because I was clapping his little hands together, and he loves that…but more probably because Boilermaker runs through his blood).

Here he is—ready for the start of football season tomorrow (also—a nap)!


He also wants to say—Thanks Miss Lauren for my awesome outfit!  I love it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Four projects for ZERO dollars!

First off, Andy and I are having a disagreement about my zero dollars claim.  I claim that since all materials for these projects were located inside our house and purchased at some point for something, the cost is associated with the previous project or use…and I am simply using what I have to make things for free.  He says that with my logic, if he went today and bought all the materials to make a house, then let them sit for a while and then made something else, the something else still isn’t free.  Then I threw a pillow at him.

But back to the real reason….I have been pinning inspiration images on Pinterest for a while now, and I hadn’t made any of my projects.  Since Liam started napping on Tuesday, I have had some time to get some things done.  I got the house cleaned and the laundry done, and then decided to do something that would make me feel more like a human and less like a person who changes diapers and feeds and sings silly songs for all of her waking hours (which I love…truly, but I needed something that would make my brain work a bit).  So I have four projects I have completed based on my Pinterest inspirations…and here they are! (Actually two of them were done before this week….I just got them hung up this week)

Project 1:

Source: etsy.com via Kari on Pinterest


Project #1:


I just used Paint and typed out the words to fit the frame…changed the green to go in the kitchen and I was all done.  This has actually been sitting in the house since April, waiting to be hung…I just did it this week. 

Inspiration #2:


Project #2:


That canvas was hanging in our garage, covered with a piece of fabric.  I bought it when we first moved in, and hadn’t used it in a long time…So I painted it green.  The flowers are toilet paper rolls cut into fourths and hot glued on in that pattern.  It took maybe a month of collecting rolls to get enough…and the top right only has three petals because someone named Oliver reached up on the table, pulled one down, and ate it while I was changing his brother’s diaper.  Same kid stole a green bean yesterday when I was snapping them…and got into the trash and ate part of a bacon wrapper…then threw up the bacon wrapper all over the carpet.  But enough about my bad dog :)

Inspiration #3:


Project #3

IMG_4477 IMG_4478 IMG_4479

Yup…it’s a diaper box turned book storage container.  Mine isn’t as pretty as hers…I just hot glued it on so it looked sort of okay, and went with it.  It’s holding Liam’s most commonly read stories on a shelf in the living room (it also has my Bible study books)  Oliver kept getting into hot glue and had strings of it hanging from his beard.

Inspiration #4


Project #4

The canvas I had was one that I bought at Target a few years ago.  It’s brown with white dandelion silhouettes on it, and I still like it, and may want to use it someday in future, so I knew I didn’t want to paint over it.  I had a lot of that fabric (it’s from Liam’s crib skirt), so I just hot glued some onto the canvas, so I could cover it and remove it in the future if I wanted.  Then I found an outline of the state of Indiana and printed it out.  I traced it on cardstock, cut it out, and painted it green.  When it was dry, I used spray adhesive and glued it onto the canvas.  You’ll see this in a future project I’m working on right now.