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Happy Birthday Nathan! December 30, 2005

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This post is way overdue; on December 21st Nathan turned Seven. It’s hard to believe it’s been that many years since I brought him home from the hospital on Christmas Eve day. He was tiny and perfect and such an easy baby. He hardly ever cried or fussed. And now he has grown into this amazing little boy. We had a family dinner to celebrate. This is the chocolate mint cake he picked out. It was sooo good. And made by the grocery store, not me, by the way.

After blowing out the candles, there were gifts: the Madagascar DVD and a Stuffed Snoopy.

I am so lucky to have such a great son. He always has a hug and kiss for me, doesn’t hesitate to say “I Love You”. He is great with Kaitlyn, and although he sometimes fights with Ryan they are best friends. I am always hearing from teachers and other family members how polite he is, how well he behaves in public. He is a joy to have around.

Happy Birthday Pumpkin! I love you sooo much.

Does anyone have a suggestion? December 30, 2005

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Poor Kaitlyn has had a rough couple of days. First, we think she might be teething. She keeps rubbing her tongue over her bottom gums, which was cute at first. You know, “look, Kaitlyn is sticking her tongue out at me!”, which became less cute when accompanied by crying, pushing the bottle out of her mouth, and sleeping only 10 minutes at a time. Can I give infant Tylenol to a 6 week old baby?

Second, her face is all broken out. Not her whole body, just her face. She’s been doing a lot of spitting up, and we’ve been using Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash in her bath. I’m thinking that is probably the culprit. So can anybody recommend a) something to clear up the little pimply bumps and b) something else to wash her hair and face with? Specifically, does anyone like any particular brands of soap and body lotion that don’t irritate baby skin? The air here is very dry so the Dr. said keep her skin moisturized, that could also be causing breakouts.

Also, how about a caption for this picture? He’s playing Lego Star Wars.

Happiness is Blog Friends December 23, 2005

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As much as I would like to take the time to write each of you a warm, personal email thanking you for your very nice comments on my last post, I just don’t get that much time to sit down at the computer. She might take two hour naps, but it’s funny how fast that time goes.

So, to Nancy, Dawn, Nixie, Belinda, Beth, Becki, Mabel and Fraulein N*, thank you so much for your very nice comments about what great big brothers my boys are, and how cute Kaitlyn is. Believe me, I’m counting my blessings every day.

And I definitely don’t write enough about how wonderful my husband is. Last night, for example, I went to bed at 8:00 and didn’t wake up until 4:00am, which means he took care of the boys and the baby for 8 hours, while letting me sleep undisturbed. For eight hours.

Finally, here’s wishing you all a very Happy Holiday, whatever that means for you and your family. Hope you have good times and get good presents!

*I also have had nice comments from Julie, Jenny, Mary, Jess and Boston Jen-thanks to you guys too!

Merry Christmas from me, BC and the kids:

I’m Loving Christmas Vacation December 20, 2005

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When I first thought about the boys being home every day for two weeks, I imagined that they would spend most of their waking hours either driving me crazy or driving each other crazy.

Instead, they are turning out to be amazing helpers that are giving me the best present ever-time. Yesterday, for example, I had unexpected out-of-town company coming, and I was trying to get my Christmas cards addressed, stuffed, stamped and into the mailbox. Plus we had to go to two different grocery stores, and on one of the trips Ryan had to sit next to Kaitlyn and stretch his arm waaay over to her side of the van to keep the bottle in her mouth. I don’t know how many times I asked them to drop what they were doing and get me something, or come and hold the baby so I could get something. They are both becoming excellent bottle-givers, and they both love holding her while she sleeps.


I’m actually getting dishes done, and laundry, and I’ve even been able to take showers, none of which are very easy to do when I’m alone.


I wish Christmas vacation didn’t have to end.

Month One: Update on Kaitlyn December 18, 2005

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Today Kaitlyn is one month old! She weighs nine pounds now, which feels surprisingly heavy sometimes. She keeps her eyes open for longer periods of time now, although it seems to frustrate her sometimes, as if she doesn’t quite understand why she is awake.

She loves to look at the curtains hanging behind our couch, which are a dark red and provide good contrast to the sliver of light that comes through. She also loves the Christmas tree, and will swivel her head around to look at it if she isn’t facing that direction.

Other than that, it’s pretty much sleep, eat and make diaper messes. But in a cute way.

Happy one month Birthday, Sweetie. Who’s a sweet baby? You are!

Feeling Very Old. December 15, 2005

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I saw my Doctor yesterday for a follow-up and to get the results of the blood tests I had at the end of November. And now I could be one of those people in those drug commercials who ask their doctor if Drug X is right for them.

My blood pressure was 180/100. I know, Holy Crap. Apparently, actually having the baby and losing 27 pounds in 3 weeks was not the answer to the high blood pressure problem.

Just for my own personal pleasure, let me repeat part of that sentence. TWENTY SEVEN POUNDS IN THREE WEEKS. Sorry, that just feels really, really good to say, even if I lost most of the weight on the Catch-a-highly-contagious-virus plan.

Anyway, the treatment plan for the high blood pressure is that I am taking Toprol XL. If you watch enough TV you may catch the commercial for it, where the concerned Doctor tells his patients why it’s important to take it every day. And that side effects include dizziness and drowsiness, which is why I’m taking it at night in case it makes me fall asleep. Like I’m not doing that anyway.
I also have an extremely low hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin transports oxygen through your blood. A normal level is twelve, mine is eight. The Doctor actually said to me, ” If I had a hemoglobin level of eight, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.” Well, I wish I could stay in bed too, but there’s this tiny person at my house who wants to be fed every two and a half hours, and she gets pretty mad if you don’t respond.
So for the low hemoglobin, I am taking FOUR 150 mg Iron capsules a day. I hate taking medicine as it is, with the Iron I have to remember to take it either one hour before or two hours after meals. And I can look forward to the fun side effect of constipation! Yeah!
That’s what I’ve been up to this week, plus the kids have had activities at school and we spent Tuesday night calling every department store in town trying to replace Nathan’s snowboots. He took them off after school Tuesday and the liner things came out in shreds. Did you know that most department stores think that snow boot buying season is OVER by mid-December?
I have some pictures to show, one is Kaitlyn sleeping in the bassinet that I got from my parents when Ryan was born, then Nathan slept in it, and now her.

BC took this picture to show just how tiny Kaitlyn’s head is. I think it’s cute.

Oh, and HEY! Thanks everybody who suggested I try Coke Zero! It is pretty tasty. My Doctor did confirm that hormone changes can affect your taste buds, who knew? And I’m really supposed to be drinking tons of water because of the extra Iron, but it’s nice to have a pop once in a while. Or a soda, if I’m travelling outside of Michigan 🙂

Happy Birthday Parker! December 15, 2005

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Yesterday was the first birthday of my nephew, Parker. Here he is with my SIL Alisa:

They live in Toledo so unfortunately we were not able to get together for a party. But since his birthday is so close to Christmas, Alisa plans on doing a half-birthday this summer. So hopefully we’ll be able to be there for that. Happy Birthday Parker! Can’t wait to see them for Christmas.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do December 10, 2005

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It’s been 3 weeks now since I gave birth to the prettiest baby in all the land,

and for the most part I have recovered completely. I can eat whatever I want without dire consequences, and bathroom functions have returned to normal. I do have a problem with lower back pain, no doubt a result of my completely useless stomach “muscles”. There is, however, one problem I’m having that I can’t find any logical reason for.

Diet Coke doesn’t taste good anymore.

You need to understand that I have been exclusively drinking Diet Coke since the 80s. My diabetic Mom only bought diet soft drinks, and when Diet Coke came out she stopped buying Tab. It became my drink of choice. Oh sure, once in a while at a restaurant I would order Diet Coke and get served Diet PEPSI instead, which I begrudgingly drank while grumbling under my breath that waitresses should TELL you if they don’t have the drink you ask for.

In college, I would order rum and Diet Coke at the bar. But what really solidified my love affair with this elixir of life was when our local chain of convenience stores started offering 32 ounce refillable mugs, which cost ONE PENNY an ounce plus tax. So for 34 cents I could get enough delicious pop to last an afternoon, or a shift at work. One summer BC and I sublet an apartment near the MSU campus, right across the street from the convenience store. I don’t remember how many times a day we would run over there to fill up our mugs.

I’m telling you all this so you’ll understand my confusion, my hurt feelings, my despair over what has become the sad fact I call “Diet Coke doesn’t love me any more.” The last one I drank was Nov. 17, the night before I had the baby. Then I got the virus, and didn’t drink anything but a few sips of water for a week. When I left the hospital, BC said “would you like to stop and get a Diet Coke?” Why yes, yes I would! We stop at the same convenience store mentioned above, and out he comes with a delicious cup of fountain pop. I take a sip, and something is…wrong. It doesn’t taste right, I say. Maybe it’s just because I’m still sick. 4 days later, at the grocery store, I buy a 12 pack of cans. Come home, quick-chill one in the freezer, pour it in a glass. It tastes…wrong. My friends, that damn stomach virus apparently ripped the very taste buds out of my mouth that were reserved for Diet Coke drinking pleasure.

I googled “stomach virus” and “changes in taste buds”. Nothing. I asked the student nurses who came to interview me for their Patient Care class. Nothing. I have NO IDEA if I will ever enjoy drinking Diet Coke again. It’s like losing a friend I tell ya. If anybody has ANY experience with this, or has any thoughts on the subject, please feel free to share. Because I don’t know what else to do. I want my friend Diet Coke back.

Here’s a picture of my Dad with Kaitlyn, and one with me

We Have A Winner! December 5, 2005

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After reviewing the submissions in the guess-my-due-date contest, I am officially declaring Dawn the winner. She was the closest both on the due date ( she guessed Nov.21) AND on the weight ( only off by one ounce!). So congratulations Dawn, got any lottery numbers for me?

Okay, not the best picture of me, but I had just had surgery and the virus from Hell was brewing inside me, so what do you expect?

I’m Alive December 2, 2005

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I know, I know, I’m SORRY! I look at the laptop, I think “gee, I should post something”, then I either have to feed/change/rock the baby or go lay down. Every time I think I’m making progress towards being healthy, I seem to take a step back. This week we saw the pediatrician, Kaitlyn now weighs 7 lbs. 2 oz. and is good and healthy. All she does is eat and sleep, with only brief moments of eyes open and looking around. But man, just you try to change both her diaper and her clothes and you’ll be treated to louder crying than any tiny person should be able to make.

I also saw my Primary Care Doc, who clucked sympathetically about the stomach virus, said it had to run it’s course, and suggested Iron tablets for the fatigue and Metamucil for the bowels. Ever had Metamucil? Foul, nasty stuff. I bought the powder because it was the cheapest. It mixes into water and becomes this slimy liquid that tastes nothing like “orange flavor”.

Unfortunately, it looks like the breastfeeding is a no go. Kaitlyn just doesn’t want my nipple at all. And the prescription medication Doc gave me to increase milk production has the unfortunate side effect of causing diarrhea. I mean come ON, haven’t my poor bowels suffered enough? I just get the Gastroenteritis out of me, and now in order to make enough milk to pump even a few teaspoons I have to take medicine that gives me diarrhea?

So BC and I talked about it and decided that it is better for everybody in this family if Mom is healthy and strong even if that means Kaitlyn stays on formula. I refuse to feel guilty about it. Breastfeeding is great, I absolutely understand why it’s important, but for our family it’s not going to be our choice. I really don’t expect anyone to look down on me for that decision.

O-Kay! In other news, I’m looking forward to decorating my house for Christmas this weekend, I may even convince BC to bring up the tree ( we use an artificial one, I LOVE real trees but this year I need something lower maintenance). My Dad is giving me my Mom’s collection of Dickens Village, there are lots of little buildings and accessories and a skating pond. I’ll take a picture once it’s all put together. I would love to see other peoples’ trees and special Christmas displays, I’m a big dork when it comes to Christmas. Did I mention how much I love Christmas MUSIC? Oh geez, that’s a whole separate post right there.

Time for a picture of the baby, don’t you think?