Saturday, May 31, 2008

Very cool family heirloom

I'm not really all that into antiques. I mean, I think they are cool and I do have a smattering of them around my house, but I don't go shopping for them or anything. Most of what I have are thing from family members. I have some knick knacks and jewelry from my grandma, and my aunt Sharon does collect antiques and knows I enjoy them, so has shared some with me when she's been cleaning house.

This is one of those that Sharon sent me. The very cool thing about this is it belonged to my Great Aunt Ruth. It's her baptismal cape/gown/dress thingy. Sharon thought of it when I scheduled Ruthie's baptism for the weekend she and Keith will be visiting.

How cools is that?!? Ruthie can wear her namesake's baptismal cape at her baptism! I call it a cape because it doesn't have any sleeves, and just has one button at the collar. It's white cotton with flannel lining. The cotton is worn in many places, which makes me wonder if it was used for more than one baptism or has some other family history. Or maybe aunt Ruth just played with it when she was a child. ;) I had to fix where the collar was coming off in one spot, hand sewing is not one of my stronger skills, but I don't think I did too bad of a job of it.

It also has flowers embroidered on both the cape and the collar, not sure how well they show up in the photos.

My MIL is buying Ru a dress to wear underneath, as just a pink onesie just isn't going to cut it with this event. ;) Besides, she wanted to buy one for Leslie (her daughter) and couldn't afford it. Then Leslie didn't get her daughter baptized, so this is Nana's first chance to buy one. I'm good with that, I don't mind other ppl spending money on my daughter at all...
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Cool baby clothes site

I don't remember how the topic came up, but recently my hubby and I were suddenly concerned about if my little bro ever has kids. He does have a girlfriend, but as far as I know he's not in any rush to get married and maybe he doesn't even want kids. But if he does, they will need appropriate clothing.

My bro and his current girlfriend very rarely wear anything other than black t-shirts. I haven't ever seen a black onesie. What on earth will they do if the situation ever occurs??

Fear not, there's this cool shop called Rebel Ink Baby. All of thier toddler shirt and onsie designs come in either white, or black. And some of them are pretty dang funny. With Ruthie's recent habits, this "party in my crib, 3am" one would be very appropriate. I also love the sniff test shirt.

Maybe you could help me out! You could either go buy me cool stuff there, or take a shot at winning one for me here, at the sassyfrazz blog they are giving one away! Go leave a comment and get me a sniff test onesie or something... ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hands free!

One of the things that made us happy when we brought Ruthie home from the NICU was that we finally had a "wireless" baby. All the monitors, leads, and wires were finally off of our baby. (you have no idea how much that sort of stuff complicates diaper changes until you try it)

Now that we've gotton used to wireless, it only makes sense that we would add a hands free kit to our newest....uh...."gadget." So this is my hands free kit. It is a Moby Wrap, basically 6 yards of a knit fabric that is just ever so slightly stretchy. You really do need all 6 yards (well, big kids like Brian and I do) because you wrap it around yourself about 4 times if you count each shoulder as once. There's a bunch of different ways to tuck the baby in, right now we do the "newborn hug hold." We don't have her head secured in either of these pics (because we didn't want to cover her cute little head for the pics!) but it's easy to pull the fabric over a bit more and support her wobbly little head.

I've been practicing since I got it last week, this pic was Brian's first time with the baby actually in it. You can't exactly go jogging, and you still have to be careful and aware of the delicate life form now sticking out from your chest, but it's great for bopping around the house. Ru really likes to sleep tucked up on your chest anyway, this way we can still type while holding her. (or safely take a nap in the recliner without worrying about her sliding off!

The only problem with the wrap is that it is pretty warm. Ru tends to run pretty warm anyway, so having her secured to another warm human being with three layers of thick t-shirt type fabric over her is not going to work when the weather warms back up. (that's another reason we let her head be unwrapped) So I checked with my trusty online friends and found another fabric that works really well.

This one is made with crinkle cotton gauze, it was even on sale at Joann's for 50% off. Actually, I haven't hemmed the edge yet, I'm thinking about leaving the selvage and just zigzagging along the other edge and letting it fray a bit, I think that will look ok on this fabric. I do love the neutral colors and flower print, the downside is there is a wrong side of the fabric that does show if I don't take time to fix it. (and I'm not bothering to do that on my back) I also bought a bright blue batik that won't have that problem.

The Moby has a tag sewn to mark the middle of the length of fabric. I decided to use a button instead, since it's not like it will be on the inside pressing against baby or anything. It really helps to be able to find the middle quick, since you are dealing with 18 feet of fabric!

I don't seem to have much productive time with the baby anymore, but hopefully I'll get this wrap finished and washed so I can wear it for more than just modelling for pictures. Then I'll get the blue one done and get some pics up of that one, too.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

I love this outfit!

The back story to this photo is great fun. First, it's about 1:45 am. This is the third outfit she's worn in the past 30 minutes. She woke up with a VERY, VERY poopy diaper. It wasn't even diarrhea or anything. Just a rather large quantity of doodoo. I was fairly impressed since it's not like she had been working on it for that long, I had just changed her diaper an hour or so ago. I was NOT impressed with the diaper, some squished out one side at the leg, and quite a bit out the top of the back.

So that outfit came off, since I rather like that outfit and it was just the back that got hit, I set it aside to rinse in the sink before dumping it in the hamper.

Next she told me she was starving, so while I dropped the outfit off in the sink I got a bottle of breastmilk+formula ready for her. I also noted I forgot to put the extra in the fridge, so I brought that back to the nursery with me. She downed all 90 mL of the formulated stuff and another 20 of the extra. Then she spit up on herself. Not too horribly bad as far as spit ups go, but enough to get the front of her onsie all wet. No one likes to hang around in a wet onsie, so after we finished burping and I was sure she was done spitting up I decided to put on this pink striped one. It is pretty thick so I hadn't put it on her yet; I figured she would get too hot. But at the rate she's burning thru them tonight she'll prolly mess it up before that happens.

Sure enough she did spit up pretty big again when she got the hiccups, fortunately I hadn't even gotten as far as putting it on her and her head was aimed the other direction. Yeesh. Babies are juicy!
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Age is just a number...mostly

Today is Ruthie's due date.

You would think the due date was out the window and unimportant once she decided to come early. That's how I thought it would be, until we spent time in the NICU and her age was counted not by how long she's been out, but rather how long she was in. She was 34 weeks old when she was born, and they continued to count her gestational age rather than birth age.

Her gestational age is now 40 weeks, she is now theoretically prepared to be part of the world. (nevermind that she's been here 6 weeks already, obviously she wasn't really prepared when she first came out) But as a parent, it is a small breath of relief. True, she still is a pretty small baby. And if she gets sick with a cold she still has a greater risk of RSV (basically back to the NICU and onto a respirator to keep her lungs going) and a greater risk of SIDS. But now it feels like she is a bit more normal; more on the same scale as the other newborns that came out closer to on schedule. We also have a bit more practice as parents, and I am much more confident I'm not going to mess her up for life by forgetting to wash behind her ears when she gets her bath. For that matter, even baths were intimidating when we first got home as she had such a hard time maintaining body temperature. Now they are no big deal.

As I sit here typing with my baby sleeping (noisily I might add) on my chest in her wrap, I feel like we have passed a milestone more important than the number of months she's been in this world. Now, she's supposed to be on my chest, rather than in my belly. And while I still pause and hold my breath whenever she does for a few seconds, I don't feel that same sense of panic and start patting her to get her breathing again. I just give her a few seconds to get going on her own, without my help. I guess that is one of the true signs of growth. More and more she will learn to do things on her own, and I will practice stepping back and letting her grow and develop into the beautiful young woman she will someday be.

One month old

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ruthie's early AM to do list

Ruthie and I seem to be getting a pattern established. She wakes up around 1 am, and we go to sleep around 6 am. Her todo list looks something like this:

--get the hiccups
--spit up
--lie in crib and grunt while mom pumps
--snuggle with mom
--make a wet diaper
--scream and fuss until wet diaper is changed
--spit up
--take a short nap while mom pumps (wake up when she's done)
--make a few more wet diapers
--snuggle mom
--sleep (finally!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

MIL to the rescue!

The first full week were were home from the hospital, my mom came and stayed with us. Brian had to go back to work so he wasn't able to help out like he had the week before. I was really glad mom came! This was great, as I could hand little Ruthie over to her during the day and catch up on my sleep! The plan was mom would stay for a week, then Brian's mom would come.

However, the best laid plans often fall apart, and my Mother in law had to stay home and deal with HER MIL and FIL needed to go into a home. (not just a home for that matter, but the dementia ward no less) This ended up being a huge big deal with neighbors accusing them of abusing the folks. (senior services was called in and an investigation found no evidence of abuse, of course) Other family members were involved pressuring for other options, it was just a mess. My MIL was a bit of a mess too, as it was a VERY stressful process and she was in the thick of it the whole time.

I also was a bit of a mess. My slave labor plans had not materialized, so now I had to handle my beautiful baby all by myself, all night and all day. Remember, I have to pump AND bottle feed, so it takes a bit more time. And of course, this WOULD be the week that Brian had church stuff going on almost every evening. So I was just about on my own. There were a couple of mornings I wasn't sure I could keep going, fortunately my wonderful hubby sacrificed his own sleep and saved me. Who knows what sort of interesting things he did at work in his sleep deprived state. Some of my own interesting antics included not noticing Ruthie peeing all over herself while I was changing her diaper, leaving the breast pump on after I finished while having a conversation with Brian, putting a shirt on backwards, fed my dog a battery (kinda, he swiped one and I dunno what he did with it, I don't think he actually ate it. It's prolly buried in the backyard) and all sorts of other little things that I no longer remember.

Today, my in-laws are here. My MIL will stay for the week, and my FIL will head back home alone. It's just about killed her to have to stay away all week, especially since it hasn't exactly been an enjoyable week for her at home. She's happy to be here, I'm happy to have her here, and I'm sure little Ruthie will be happy to have another grandma here to snuggle her!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

So it's really hot here for the first time this year (finally summer!) and the upstairs part of our house gets pretty warm. So Ruthie and I moved downstairs during the day yesterday and today. Yesterday when I went to put a bag of milk in the freezer I found the entire top of the chest freezer just scattered with bags of milk. I thought to myself "geez, you would think mom and Brian would be a little more organized and move the food to one side and keep the milk on the other!" I'm not exagerrating, the entire top surface was COVERED with milk bags, you couldn't see any food underneath at all, and I wasn't sure where to put my one bag so the top would still close. But Ruthie was hungry so I tossed it on top and went about my day.

Today Ruthie was awake for a while and happy squeaking and cooing in her play pen bassinet thing. I was hungry and I KNOW we have food in that freezer, so I decided to organize the milk since I also know there's plenty of empty space under there. We have two crates that sit on the left side of the freezer, then a bunch of empty space on the right, and a basket that hangs on the top right. So I pulled the basket out and set it up above on the edge, and grabbed a couple of gallon sized ziplocks. Of course, the milk was frozen in whatever shape it landed, so I wasn't able to fit it in very efficiently, but it was better than just tossing it all willy nilly on the bottom of the freezer.

I got it all out of the basket, then started on the crate. I quickly discovered the top layer of milk bags was..uh....just the top layer. The tip of the breast milk iceberg if you will. I filled up SEVEN gallon ziplocks with the stuff!! Granted there's lots of airspace because of the way it stacked, but geez! It's scary how much milk there is in there! I left out a bunch of partial bottles left over from when we were still in the NICU, I figured we could use the bottles and there's lots of wasted air space there. I put the full bottles in another ziplick, there were 10 more 3 oz bottles. There's prolly at least 2 gallons of breastmilk in my freezer. Geez. Sheesh! Moo....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cute moment of the day

I thought I should share cute things Ruthie does frequently, for no other reason than I don't want to forget them. So much of it will be daily routine things. For example today I'm going to talk about her little noises.
Ru is a very noisy little sleeper. She grunts anytime she stretches, has gas, or poops. She coos sometimes every time she exhales, almost like a happy little sigh. When she is a bit more awakish, she might while a bit by repeating "eh, eh, eh, eh" over and over, or even more fun she'll repeat "uh huh, uh huh, uh huh" as if agreeing with you. She also makes a rather startling gaspy noise occasionally, Brian and I don't care for that one.

Right now she's not quite asleep, in there making cute little sucky noises on her pacifier. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still not all better...

Last night I was more sore than I had been before, on the left side rather than the right. Not exactly painful, but uncomfy. I told Brian maybe I overdid it with the 3 am bath, etc the night before when Ruthie wouldn't sleep.

When I got up at about 1 am to change a diaper (or something, I don't even remember) I realized I was still pretty sore, and decided it is probably because I've been sleeping in the twin bed. Actually, the sleeping isn't the problem, it's the getting in and out of it, particularly out of bed. So while the bed is WAY more comfy, I guess I'll go back to the recliner most of the time, and save the bed for just one or two naps a day. Ugh, the recliner is not comfy on my neck. (altho it isn't stiff in the morning or anything, just hard to get comfy)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy birthday Ruthie!

It's our 1 month birthday today! Ruthie was so excited she stayed up all night last night. (ok, so maybe she hasn't a clue, but we DID stay up all night last night. I finally gave in and went on with life, gave her a bath, etc) To celebrate we slept in (A LOT), I had a chocolate brownie that a friend brought me, and Ruthie had delicious mama milk that I swear I made chocolate brownie flavored just for her. (safe claim, who else is gonna taste it and call me a liar?)
I was gonna take some of those cute naked baby pictures, you know, where the baby is on her stomach with her little baby legs tucked under her and her little tushie showing. However, she had other ideas and proceeded to squirm and squirm, grunt and wiggle, etc. Oh yeah, and pee. But I was prepared for that with a mat under the fabric I was using as a backdrop. Obviously staying up all night doesn't make us tired enough to sleep when mama wants sweet sleepy baby pics. Maybe she just needs to spend more time hanging around naked to get used to it. Or maybe I don't want to start establishing habits like that even this early... ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cool Product!

My post yesterday wasn't very cheery, so I thought I would write about a cool product we bought when Ruthie came home that we're pretty impressed with. It makes us happy!
Because she had sleep apnea issues once in the NICU, Brian and I were a bit worried about it with Ruthie. The doctors were not, at least not enough to send us home with a monitor for her. I had seen this one advertised in the baby magazines. It's pretty spendy, $130 at But if you are a worrier, the Bebe Sounds Angelcare® Deluxe Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor may be worth its weight in gold for the peace of mind.
It seems to work just like it claims. Even when our tiny Ruthie is in a deep sleep, it seems to magically know she is breathing. The only problem we have with it is if we forget to turn it off when we take her out of the crib! We'll get ourselves trained on that eventually. It also works like a standard baby monitor with sound transmission, etc. I thought the room temp thing a bit frivolous, except it did come in a little handy since Ru had trouble regulating body temp.
So if you are looking for a big gift to buy for someone expecting, and if you or they are the type to not sleep at night for fear the baby will stop breathing, this might be just the thing to get them. (and no, they aren't paying me, or even aware I am writing this review. Maybe when me and my little blog grow up we'll try and do giveaways like other bloggers...)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I hate the breast pump!

Maybe I need to join a support group or something.

Ruthie has to have special formula added to her breastmilk, and she has a minimum amount she has to eat each day. This means there's no point in spending a lot of time learning to breastfeed (we do practice a couple of times a day) until she is off the supplements. So I have to pump.

To keep my milk in, I'm supposed to pump eight times a day. EIGHT times. That's every three hours if you don't want to do the math in your head. I can skip a nighttime one as long as I do an extra during the day. It takes about 15 minutes for me to suck the girls dry. Again I'll do the math for you, I spend 2 hours a day with the breast pump.

It wouldn't be so bad, except it HURTS when I first get started. I understand this is common when you breastfeed too, except then I would have a cute little fuzzy head latched on. It hurts when I'm done, too. And frequently thruout the day my nipples get that lovely burning feeling. Ugh. But it is certainly at its worst when I first start with the pump.

I'm trying tho, I really believe breastmilk is best for my baby. I wouldn't add the formula at all except she was preemie and needs the extra nutrients in it. (it isn't standard formula, it's special stuff) So I tell myself I'm doing it for her.

I also tell myself it is a weight loss machine. In moments of frustration with my body I remember thinking to myself if only there was a machine I could just hook up to and it would do the exercise for wouldn't matter if it hurt, etc. Now I've got that machine (kind of) and here I am whining about it. Not being cheery. I guess I need to get over it. I know I need to go spend some time contemplating it. Right now. Over the pump.

Welcome to the my blog!

Ok, so the last blog I created I posted to an entire one time. I'll try and do better on this one. Last time it was about my pregnancy, which other than the gestational diabetes was pretty uneventful. This one will have lots more info about the baby, which is a much more fun topic to talk about. ;) I might also ramble on about other things like my youth group, cafepress shop, the cool giveaways I find, and stuff like that. Whatever suits my fancy.

Oh, and the name of the blog comes from my nickname, JenO. Brian now sometimes will sign off an email BrianO, and now we have our little RuthieO. So there are three of us...usually cheery..."Os".