Thursday, July 30, 2009


I had several pictures and random tidbits to post so I thought I'd just lump them all in one miscellaneous post. So here goes...*deep breath*...
* This is our first family two photographs...because one of us had to be behind the camera. Frazier loves that swing! Many thanks to Merrisa for the chicken spaghetti. It was yummy! * This is my favorite Frazier picture so far:
...and the next two are close seconds:
* I'm amazed at his hands...not at how small they are, but at how big. My hands may be small, but compared to them his certainly don't seem tiny. I hold them sometimes and instead of marveling at his little fingers, I think about how long it will be before his hand is the same size as mine, how long before it's bigger? How long before he walks with his hand clasped in mine, and how long before it's no longer my hand he wants to hold?
*He's actually spending more time awake these days so I'm forever looking for activities to fill our time. I don't want to waste it. We sing a fair amount (more on that later), but we've been reading, too. He actually seems to enjoy it- you just can't begin too early. :) Reading is important to me and I'm determined to siphon as many books into his head as possible. I've been collecting books since we found out he was on the way so I've amassed plenty.
Here are some of MY favorites. One day he may prefer to read about bulldozers or frogs, but today it's up to we're reading The Little Prince, and though I bought it for him in English, too...I think we'll read it in French. :)

"You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be--

I had a mother who read to me."
-Strickland Gillilan* So on the subject of activities, and speaking of singing, here is something that should have gone on my favorites list. I can't remember what exactly it's called, but it's made by Playskool
and it plays music. It comes preprogrammed with three categories filled with songs and sounds: Playtime (think "If You're Happy And You Know It" or "Skip to My Lou"), Soothing (think classical music- Fur Elise, Canon in D- and Lullaby, All The Pretty Little Horses, Hush Little Baby) and Sounds (think ocean waves and gulls, animal sounds, etc.). While it's playing the big play button lights up in different patterns of colors so it's fun to look at, but that's not the best part. The best part is that there's a removable mp3 player in the back and it comes with software for your computer (super easy to install and use) so you can add your own music to any category (or there's a fourth option that's plays a little bit of everything). So I have a Frazier's Playlist of songs that I enjoy listening to, too (think anything from The Beatles- Yellow Submarine, Hey Jude, Strawberry Fields, Golden Slumbers, Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da; Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and Buddy Holley, to totally random Jambalaya- Hank Williams :) 'cause we're Louisiana people at heart, aren't we?, The McCoys- Hang on Sloopy, Danny Boy- Shane McGowan, Colors- Kira Willey; to contemporary folk rock, indie rock and alternative stuff (Little Boy Blue- Bonnie "Prince" Billy, First Day of My Life- Bright Eyes, Paper Boat- Belle and Sebastian, Coldplay, Blessed- Brett Dennen, Wake Up- Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, and Elliott Smith) even covers of favorites (many thanks to Corey for those...and like, over half the music I own!) like Everyday- Nada Surf, California Girls- Wakey! Wakey!, Me and Julio- Julie Doiron, Little Boxes- The Decembrists, Our House- Beirut); we even have a kids' hymn CD on there...with all the best old hymns. The list goes on and on...because I love music and so does Josh...and so, one day, will Frazier. ;)* And on the subject of favorites again- my Mom was over yesterday and said I should have mentioned my wipes warmer as a favorite thing. So I'm mentioning it. Because it is pretty cool...or warm, rather. While not at all does seem like a nice gesture for little bums, doesn't it?

So that's about all the miscellaneous randomness I've got for today.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

These Are A Few Of My Favorite...

Baby Things!

So these are the things I've decided I'd really hate to live without.

*The following list is by no means exhaustive.
Number 1: Pacifier
Three words: Aptly. Named. Device.
I was hesitant to give one to him, and I made it about a week, but the turning point came when he was in his lightbox and would get fussy and we weren't able to take him out and console him. I broke down once or twice. Now that we're home we're not so strict with it...though it's still a last resort. But like I definitely is not misnamed. :)

These next two items go hand-in-hand and we use them often since eating is one of only about three things we do anymore. Number 2 is my Medela Harmony Breastpump. It may be my new best friend. I'd bought one...and then my lactation consultant, Paula, gave me one so I actually have two. This means I can always have a disinfected one on hand. I use it after feedings when Frazier falls asleep or stops short of adequately draining one breast. From my research I understand that failure to do this often can contribute to infection. That also means he isn't getting the hindmilk, which Paula calls "the cream". So pumping the rest serves two purposes. It also means that by nighttime, I have at least one full bottle on standby so that Josh, who is a nightowl anyway, can do the 11-1 am feeding (one usually falls somewhere in those two hours) so if I go to bed by ten or so I have the potential to get six hours of sleep in a row. He naps when he gets home from work sometimes, then sleeps from his midnight feeding until 6:30. So we're both getting very decent amounts of sleep in. Josh's feeding is where the bottle warmer comes in...pic number two. It's made by Munchkin and works like a charm! You add water in different amounts depending on how much is in the bottle you're warming up and basically it steams the bottle warm. It's never too hot and there are never hotspots to worry about. This fits baby food jars we'll be able to heat them later. Plus it comes with a pacifier basket for steam cleaning pacis! Next up is the Itzbeen. There are four timers on this thing- one for diapering, one for feeding, one for sleeping and a bonus one. It's pretty easy to keep up with those things in my head when it's just Frazier and I here but when we're out somewhere (this thing was essential during our hospital stays) or when there are lots of people around it's a Godsend. We used the bonus timer to keep up with my meds. You just push the buttons each time you do any of those three (or four) things and it begins a count of how long "it's been" since you did so. There's also a little reminder switch at the bottom for breastfeeding- you can mark which breast you nursed from last.I don't know how long these things have been around, but it's ingenius: diapers with an indicator strip. These turn blue-green when they're wet. So there's no guessing game. Brilliant.Pee Pee Tee Pees...they're not just cute...they're clothing and wall and changing table pad and diaper savers. Who knows where we'd have tee tee with out these things? I know where we have it despite these things and that's bad enough!! Wish we had more than six...I keep having to wash them. :)
The other thing I know I absolutely couldn't do without is the monitor we got. It's an Angelcare Bebe Sounds set with movement sensor. I couldn't take a picture of it because it's all set up and some of the pieces are covered up or plugged in and stuff. So I'll just describe it. As far as the monitor goes it's just like any other...there's the unit you leave with him and the parental handheld, but it's the movement sensor I bought it for. It goes under the mattress or mattress pad or sleep positioner your baby sleeps on (it looks like a big plastic mousepad) and hooks up to the monitor. The way we have it set, a light blinks to indicate he's moving and if he stops for 30 seconds an alarm sounds. I know I may be paranoid, but I don't think I could sleep without it. I fall asleep every night watching that little blinking light!

So that's the end of my list for today. Like I said, by no means exhaustive. We've found there are lots of things we're glad we have...and a few things we might could've done without. But that's another post. ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So I got an infection... my left breast. And it has been incredibly unpleasant. I didn't feel well Friday and Saturday, but chalked it up to having lots of company over those two days and my being upset over my Dad's departure, but by Saturday night I was sure I had a fever which meant something else was wrong. By Sunday morning I felt like I had the flu- exhausted and achy all over, temp of a little over 101 and the right side of aforementioned left breast was red and swollen and very painful. All textbook symptoms of mastitis, as it turns out. Fortunately, my in-laws were in town and came right over to keep Frazier while we went to the urgent care clinic not far from our house. I'm on an anti-biotic and feeling much better now. It was amazing to me how quickly it escalated and how badly one little infection could make my entire body feel. A hazard of breastfeeding, I suppose. I saw my lactation nurse, Paula, again yesterday and she identified some "nipple damage" through which bacteria (either from Frazier's mouth or my skin) must have entered my breast and colonized around a milk duct. I'd noticed some bleeding while expressing the milk from that breast Saturday night- which freaked me out- and the nipple damage explained that. It resulted in pink milk...which I promptly poured out...and it hasn't happened again, thank God. I suppose it's healed up least enough not to bleed. The interesting thing is that the infection isn't actually in the milk duct so feeding him the milk from that breast is perfectly fine...and Paula says breastmilk comes with antibodies that kill bacteria on contact anyway- and that it is extremely difficult to get any bacteria to grow in it at all. It also seems it's very important to continue draining the infected breast even though it's I'm pressing on through the pain. :) In addition to my antibiotic (which I take two capsules of FOUR times a day...that's right, that's EIGHT pills a day) Paula also has me on a regimen of probiotics because, Paula informed me, antibiotics are not picky and will destroy the good bacteria, too, which could leave Frazier and I susceptible to yeast infections. And no one wants that. :P Perhaps you found this to be a case of TMI, but I found it very interesting and as I was uninformed until this week on the subject of mastitis- I felt compelled to pass on the info.
* * *
In other news, Paula seemed pleased with his nursing progress though we're still hopelessly attached to the breast shield (our goal, according to Paula, is to be nursing without it by three weeks- so we've a little over a week to get this down). Also, Frazier was almost back to his birthweight yesterday- he was at 9 lbs 8.6 oz and he weighed 9lbs 8.8 oz at birth- so he's a few days ahead of the game! And as of this morning (after urinating and before breakfast which is the only time I like to weigh myself) I weighed one pound less than I weighed at my first OB visit at which I was six weeks pregnant. So I figure I may still be somewhere around 5 lbs away from my actual prepregnancy weight...which I wasn't particularly happy with at the time. I gained less than 30 lbs altogether and almost ten came off immediately once Frazier was out! My plan all along was to come off this whole baby thing better than I went in and it seems (now that my body has siphoned off most of this excess fluid) that I'm well on my way. I'm anxious to get back into a workout routine...but the body isn't quite up to it yet. It just gave birth 12 days ago, afterall. So I'm cutting it some slack. And really, I'm pretty impressed with the way it's bounced back. I did not expect to ever be the same- I have reasonable expectations in most situations. And it still appears this may be the case. Though it's almost back to its original flatness...which was never perfectly flat...and when I flex I can actually see a silhouette of my abs in there (I do still have muscles in my tummy after all!) my stomach still looks deflated and when I touch it it sort of waves...think waterbed movement. Then there are the stretchmarks. I made it to nine full months without stretchmarks...and then the last two weeks these little ones appeared at the very bottom of my tummy and now it looks like that material that if you pull it out too far it gets all scrunchy and never really goes back to the way it was. The literature says they'll fade some...and I suppose if they don't it isn't such a big deal. It isn't like I ever showed my stomach in any public capacity anyway- and they're sort of a badge of honor aren't they? I grew and birthed a perfect, 9 and a half pound baby. I'm proud of that. And really, these webby little stretchmarks...and even this bout of mastitis...are an awfully tiny price to pay.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tot Ziens, Opa

So Saturday was the day that my Dad flew back to Belgium to stay, so Friday we had a little party here; a belated birthday for him and an early birthday for my grandmother, plus an opportunity to all get together one more time.There have been times in my life I was sadder, but lately they've been hard to recall. On a brighter side, my Mom will be here until the 21st of August so she still has a few weeks with us. And I'm so very grateful for the week my Dad was here with Frazier. Here's hoping they get to see each other again soon!

Ik hou van u, Dad...and ik mis je.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Frazier's bilirubin count was down yesterday- praise God- but continued to hover just in the low risk range so we're still chillin' in the window by day...We gave him his first sponge bath last night...though the very next time he ate he was all sticky again and he'd peed all over the place before we'd even gotten him off his bath pillow so I don't know why we bothered! He really liked the bath pillow, though. We set him on it and right away he got comfy and assumed this position:

It's harder to bathe someone so little and squirmy than I'd imagined. Mission accomplished, though...albeit temporarily!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life With Frazier

I had the following post almost all ready to go the other night, but I started feeling really sick before I could finish it and had to quit. I think it was my pain meds...which I have semi-straightened out now. Anyway, the next morning was a whirlwind because we had to take Frazier in for a follow up lactation appointment and bilirubin test. While lactation went okay, his bilirubin count was elevated to the point his pediatrician called and said to pack a bag and take him to the hospital. So we spent two nights there and I didn't have my camera cord and stuff or I'd have updated before now. As of this morning his bilirubin count was back down about 8 points from where it was Monday so we were released, but we're going in tomorrow morning for more labwork and hopefully it won't have jumped back up. Here's Frazier in his "tanning bed" with his UV shades. He was determined to get them off along with his IV and the heart monitors. Unfortunately, he was strong and stubborn enough to succeed with almost all three a couple of times! So we're back home now and we're relieved though prayerful for the lab results tomorrow. It's just nice to here again...and best of all my mom was here when we got home so we both got to take our second showers since Frazier was born. It's good to be clean. :)

Here's the post I'd planned for outdated, I suppose...but at least there are pics!

It seems that we've had him so much longer than three days. It's already hard to remember what life was like without him!
I just wanted to post some new pictures and an update. We're still doing fine. We came home yesterday instead of Friday since we were having some trouble breastfeeding (despite all my research and the lactation class...turns out it's more complicated when you actually have a real baby to work with). We're just now having some success, but he has jaundice which is making him too sluggish to sustain many feedings so I'm pumping to ensure he gets enough for now. And most of our day is spent sitting with him in a window letting him soak up some sun. The poor little thing is all yellow-orange-y...even the whites of his eyes. We have an appointment back at the hospital tomorrow morning and we're hoping for a good report. Even jaundiced and sluggish (we rarely get to see his eyes he's asleep so much and we've had to wake him up for every feeding!) he's been so much fun. We still stop now and then and say how surreal all of this is! It's so interesting after so many years together to be seeing a new side of each other, too! Josh has been a new daddy extaordinaire!
I keep watching them and thinking what a lucky kid my son is to have my husband for his dad.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

He's Here!

We're officially parents and I'll be's weird. But awesome. (And quite painful for some of us, as it turns out) :( It took us twelve long hours, but finally we got him to come on out and he's just amazing. We can't get over him. This has been the single longest day of my entire life so if we could just get him to sleep I'm going to attempt that myself, but I wanted everyone to know that all went well today and we're doing just fine. I don't know that I've ever been so grateful as I am for what took place this evening. Frazier weighed 9 lbs 9 oz and was 20.5 inches long. He was born at 6:48 pm and at 6:49 pixie dust fell from heaven and suddenly our world was a better, brighter place for having him in it.

Many more pictures to follow, I'm sure!
Much love and thanks again to all-

Randi, Josh, and Frazier

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well, this will officially be the biggest I'll be I here's the final belly shot! 41 weeks 1 day:
Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers for a happy delivery tomorrow! They're much more appreciated than you know.
Love to all-
(and Josh, Gatsby, and Frazier, too!)

"Like the end of something wonderful sometimes..."

*That title is a lyric from a song called "I Am Good-bye" by Bonnie "Prince" Billy which I was going to have playing on the blog for today, but I can't find it on and I'm too lazy to figure out how else to post you'll have to look it up on your own if you want. Good song.
* * *
While yesterday I was still hopeful I would have the baby without help, I woke decidedly more resigned today to the fact that we'll have to induce tomorrow and have been trying since the wee hours of the morning to come to a peace about it. This just wasn't exactly how I expected things to go...and I haven't liked the decision making that has gone along with the thwarting of my plans. We talked seriously last night about pushing the induction to Tuesday which is the absolute latest my doctor will let us wait, but decided against it. And not because I just don't want to be pregnant anymore. I'd gladly be pregnant another month if I thought it was the best thing for both of us. I hope I've made the right decision with tomorrow. Perhaps I've already waited too long and he's too large and I've missed my chance at a vaginal delivery. Whereas if I'd chosen to induce on the 8th, which my doc was perfectly willing to do, there would have been no complications. Or maybe if I'd just had until this Friday he'd have been born on his own and the labor experience would have been just as I'd hoped. I'll be glad when it's over- however it goes. I'd planned to spend today doing some household chores in quiet contemplation. However, that plan, too, was thwarted by yet another blow about the whole name thing...which I know I said I wasn't going to say anything else about. But I really must mention that today- the day before the baby will be born- when we've already decided on his name, Josh was asked about it. And when he answered (without even asking for an opinion) he got comments like "He's not even here and you hate him already?" "You want him to get beaten up on the playground?" "I'll be honest, I don't care for it." Where, I ask you, is this appropriate behavior for adults? These would be inappropriate, scold worthy comments from my any name. Now you know what kind of hurtful people we've had to deal with, lest anyone still think I'm overreacting. Therefore, instead of spending a relaxing morning before the birth of my child in quiet, peaceful contemplation I spent 2 hours and 40 minutes on the phone crying to my mom...afraid I was making a mistake in naming my baby. WE'RE NAMING HIM FRAZIER- my maiden name! Is that really so bad? And even if we were naming him Feather- how dare people be so cruel?
I am feeling better now, though I will always be flabbergasted at how uncouth some people are. And now I have a little list of home stuff I want to get done before Josh gets home and after I post this I'll get started. It's been sort of quiet here lately. Not really somber, just thoughtful. We went out to dinner last night because it seems we were both thinking about how little time was left just we two...or three if you count Gatsby...though he didn't get to go to dinner. ;) Of course, we didn't expect to have even this much time...but having a concrete end in sight seemed to make a difference. It has been something wonderful, all these years we've been together- 9 altogether...five dating, four married. And change is hard, even change for good. So while we rejoice in the coming of the baby, it's hard not to do some mourning for this happy little life we're leaving behind. I will admit that it does feel like the end of something wonderful sometimes, but presumably, it's the beginning of something better! :) As we were walking last night (yet another 3 mile trek that did nothing but leave us very tired and sweaty) we talked about how we expected we'd react to actually having the baby. It's hard to love someone you've never met. You can really only love the potential or the idea of them. I share these feelings here not because we aren't completely sure we'll love him (because of that there's no doubt), but because I figure this unsure-of-yourself-as-a parent-feeling is probably very common...just not often talked about because no one wants anyone else to think they aren't reacting appropriately. Or perhaps it's because we've been surrounded by so many overzealous new parents lately that we feel we're reacting inadequately by feeling apprehensive. I suppose it could be that we just approach everything so realistically and practically that we rarely, if ever, get giddy. "Maybe it happens when you see them," Josh postulates as we walk "Maybe when you hold them the first time, pixie dust falls on you from heaven and then you feel like you're 'supposed to'." This theory made me smile. So while I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow (though I've been doing in-depth research on inductions just to be as educated as possible) I'm praying it all goes well, then leaving it up to God. And I'm hoping for some pixie dust. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just In Case You Wondered

I'm still pregnant despite much effort and fervent prayer to the contrary. My desire to go into spontaneous labor last night or today remains unfulfilled so I remain sorely disappointed. I am holding out hope for tonight or tomorrow.
Over and out-

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Last Monday Appointment

Today, my 41 week appointment, was my last one. We won't be going back next Monday because by next Monday I won't be pregnant anymore! We scheduled the induction for Thursday morning...which will be nine days after the due date and we feel okay about going for it since I'm already at 4 cm and it seems both of us (me and the baby) are all ready for labor...we just need some regular contractions. It'll also mean we don't have to worry about having him on another weekend when my doctor and our pediatrician may not be on call and all that...and he'll have more than a week with my Dad. We did an ultrasound biometric screening which revealed he's just fine hanging in there for at least a couple more days. Fluid levels and all the measurements were sufficient so we aren't worried. His weight estimate was 9 lbs (give or take 10%)! Seems I was right about something else...I knew he'd be big. So anyway, that's the plan! Of course, there's always still the chance he'll decide he'd rather be born tomorrow or Wednesday...and that would be fine too. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A tribute to my first child...

...the furry one.
* * *
While this first human child we expect any day now was a happy surprise and unexpected blessing, our first pet was a far more well-planned ordeal. And Gatsby, though not exactly what we bargained for despite all of our forethought, has proven to be not only excellent practice for parenthood, but also (besides Josh) the best friend I've ever had. I felt that, since I find myself with time on my hands I didn't expect to have, I owed Gatsby (at the very least) a blogpost before he is demoted to second fiddle and has to take a backseat to the real baby.
Naturally, I had a list as long as my arm of criteria for our dog...I wanted him to be small (because small dogs are, by default simply because of their size, more portable, more easily managed, prone to be less destructive and to make smaller messes, and are more widely accepted in more situations than larger dogs). Gatsby, for instance, can fly as a carry-on and is incredibly easy to bathe. I didn't want a dog that shed, I wanted a dog that, though small, wasn't stupid. I wanted a dog that would have a reasonably long lifespan. I wanted one that was a mixed breed so as to avoid the issues of inbreeding...the list goes on and on. And Gatsby, hypothetically, met all of them. When we brought him home he weighed 12 ounces so it was sort of like having a guinea pig...or a large hamster...and though we were told he'd weigh around ten pounds, he's three now and stunted at 6.5. Then, despite my efforts to ensure a healthy dog by picking a poodle-terrier mix (which were also touted to be intellingent and good family dogs) he had a fontenelle that didn't fuse, seizures, an undescended testicle, ear mites, a skin fungus and a liver condition. And while he isn't really aggressive, he's pretty afraid of other dogs...sometimes cripplingly so. So much for lists and planning. But he is smart...and pretty darn cute. And now that we have him on a special diet most of his seizures and vomitting have been curtailed. He has an incredible vocabulary...because we've been together pretty much 24 hours a day for over 3 years...and I talk to him all the time. I've never in my whole life spent so much one on one time with any other living thing. So we're pretty close, he and I. We can communicate even without words...sometimes it's weird. And honestly...with all his health issues it's been a real test of ourselves...and decision making and heartbreak, too. We were told he probably wouldn't live. And I was so upset I spent a full day in the bathroom nauseous. And then I realized that sobbing on my bathroom floor wasn't helping anyone so we made some hard decisions and thank God, he's still with us. And we learned a lot. About the best laid plans, about being flexible, and being patient when you're really tired and upset. About loving and caring and being responsible for something just the two of us... It's hard to know, when you've never had a baby before, exactly how you'll feel about it.
But we think sometimes about how much we love Gatsby...who is a dog...and who we just purchased...and we can't imagine how much we'll love an actual human...that we helped to create.
So here's to Gatsby and the happy family of three we've been. And here's to my two best friends (seen above in their matching Tech gear :) and to all three of my boys...and the family of four we'll be.