Saturday, December 18, 2010

The big news!

If you’ve been following this blog for about the past 6 months to a year you know I’ve posted many things about how unhappy I am at my current job. 2 different bosses and still things continue to go downhill. I’ve even recently been demoted within my group simply due to my age and inexperience with Catia V4.

Also I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been looking for a new job. After the last round of random layoffs in my office that search got put into high gear. I’ve thrown out resumes to places all over town with no luck. Then I started applying to jobs out of state. Specifically up in Washington where there seemed to be a lot of engineering openings. The first job that I was considered for I  got to the second round of interviews  but got rejected. This is about the point that W and I started getting down about things.

Then I applied to another job opening at the same company and got asked to attend a job fair in Seattle WA. So I made arrangements and went up there thinking that this was just the first step in a long interview process. After a delay at the hotel I got to my interview right on time and as soon as I sat down was told that I would be told that day if I got the job or not.

The interview went well but I felt like I struggled with a couple of questions. I felt good about it but my nerves were shot after the hour long interview. Then came the hard part; waiting to find out if I got the job or not. After about 45 minutes of waiting I was finally called back. I got the job!!! I was told the job offer would come within 3 weeks and then I would get my start date and the exact location of where I would be working. I immediately called W and shared the news. To say he was floored was a complete understatement. What we had been working so hard for was starting to pan out!

The official offer letter came on Monday to our amazement. The letter contained a few details and confirmed that I will be working in Everett WA. Since then we have been busy looking at places to live and talking too many of W’s old friends about the area. We have also told our immediate family. Some have taken it better than others which we expected but everyone knows we are doing this for us and nothing else.

Since getting the official offer its been a whirlwind of things going on. We've been looking at apartments and I've been doing all of the standard pre-employment things. We are contacting friends in the area that might be able to help us. I should be contacted by the relocation office once my background check is complete which we expect to be here soon.

So that's the big news. We are officially moving out west sometime in February!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Butters after a long month

It’s come to me to write something to Butters. One day I'll be able to explain all of what is going on to him but for now it will reside here.

Dear Butters,

The past month has been really rough. We started out just thinking you were having a little problem speaking but it turns out things were much worse. Most nights when you go to bed it all hits me. How hard we have been working with you and how hard you are trying. Your dad and I struggle to understand you and make sure that we are not being too hard on you while still making sure that we push you to talk and act correctly.

I was one of the worst people though. I kept saying that you were just a normal 3 year old boy. You didn’t talk too much because in all honesty you didn’t need to. You are very much like your dad in that at times you are just quiet. You’ve always been outgoing in your own way and over time we have just learned that your interactions with people are just your own.

Over the last few weeks we have learned that you have been having seizures. There are drop or atonic seizures that only last for a few seconds. You never seem very phased by them and for so long we just thought you were clumsy like I am. The day of your occupational therapy evaluation when we found out about the seizures I just felt horrible. I of course beat myself up for not understanding that these things were not normal.

Over the next weeks and months there will be more tests. There will be changes in your routine that are going to throw you off of your norm. All I know is that even this process is going to be challenging it will get better. We will be going back to see hockey games once the team gets back in town. I promise you that. I also promise that once all this maddess of testing is over you will be able to start playing sports with other kids.

We will continue to let you see numbers and be completely amazed by your abilities. You learn in a very unique way and while it may be more difficult for you to understand things that other kids do so easily trust me it will come. Just trust me that your dad, sisters and I will do everything we can to make things easier for you to understand.

One thing I can tell you is that you surprise me every day. You are amazing in the unique way you see things. No matter what the end diagnosis is you are still you. At times you drive us mad with your unique ways and others completely surprise us with the things you have absorbed. At this time I know no other 3.5 year old that knows about half of the UAH hockey roster!
Just know that no madder what we love you and will be here through all of this.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another week and more news

So this was quite an eventful week. It started out with taking Alvin to a trial class at the Little Gym. It started out well enough but about half way through I started wondering if it was right for him. I had to go in and assist the teachers to control him when they broke out into stations. He screamed and cried thinking he was in trouble. By the end of it all I saw him struggle heavily to interact with other kids. He wanted to so bad at times but just couldn't figure out how to. The teachers suggested that I bring him back on Wednesday night due to that night being a smaller and calmer class.

Tuesday morning at work I got the call that the occupational therapist had an opening that afternoon. I dropped everything at work and made it home shortly after lunch to get him and head to the hospital for the evaluation. The team (one occupational therapist and one master's student) were wonderful with him. Within 15 minutes they knew what was going on with him. We went through some exercises and other things that would help him including using a plastic bristled brush to calm him. Once during the evaluation Alvin was sitting in a seat and suddenly slumped over then popped right back up. This immediately caught the therapists eye. She asked me if he had done that before and I said yes. He is 3 so of course he's clumsy. Well apparently this is not just him being clumsy and its called a drop seizure. She wasn't overly concerned but said we should go ahead and consult with our pediatrician.

So the next morning I got on the phone with the pediatrician's office and we got an appointment at 11 that morning. I discussed everything that happened and he came to the same conclusion that the occupational therapist did. He wants him to have an EEG on the 18th just to rule out anything else with the drop seizures. He reassured us that this was something that is very hard to spot in a kid of his age. 3 year olds are inherently clumsy and drop seizures can be very hard to spot.

On Thursday he had is first speech appointment with his new therapist and he did great. He was taken away to a seperate room and after 10 or 15 minutes he warmed up to her and finished strong. When we left he was happy and had a sense that he accomplished something that day.

So right now we have had 3 professionals tell us the same thing. So right now I'm about 90% confident with what we know. Right now we think Alvin has Asperger's syndrome. Basically its a form of autism where the person or child has a high level of functioning and a high level of intellect but have a hard time socializing. W and I are actually taking it pretty well. We have our moments when we break down and wish we didn't have to worry so much about therapy. We now approach Alvin slightly different. We work with him as much as possible and and make sure we are handling the situations appropriately given what we now understand about him.

This next week we continue the process. I'm meeting with a psychologist tomorrow to discuss his case and when he can be tested. Tuesday we go back to the occupational therapist and Thursday we go back to the speech therapist.

For a while this is just the way its going to be for a while. Luckily everything we are doing right now is in hopes of getting a better diagnosis and preparing for the evaluation in January.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another twist and turn

The past month or so has been a blur. I’ve been working on finding another job after figuring out that things in my group are just not going to get better. I’ve done everything I can and still things have gone downhill. I’ve been sending out resumes and applying for jobs both in and out of state. I even got as far as to a second interview with a company in the northwest and after dropping everything to get up there with a 48 hour notice I got the call on Tuesday and was told thanks but we decided to hire someone else.

During all this Elliot turned 1 and we had her birthday party. Everything went well and we got a few good shots of her smashing a cupcake and loving every bit of it.

The biggest impact on things we have been facing is a challenge with Butters. I’ve been in denial about it for some time but we finally got him tested by a speech pathologist and were not prepared for the results. We knew he was speech delayed and that since Elliot was born but not the degree we were told.

The basic diagnosis so far has been a severe delay in receptive and expressive language skills. Basically the test said that he is around the same place as a 1.5 year old with language and he is 3.5. When I read this it was like someone just knocked the wind right out of me.

Also her recommendations on how to start correcting things were quite drastic. She said that we need to take all of the things he loves (his cars, numbers, hockey ect) away from him. She suggested that the only tv he get to watch is educational programming. Well this is not the path we decided to take. We are working within limits and doing everything we can to encorage him to use more words together. Something as simple as saying “juice please” is a big deal and we are getting him to say it more and more.

The funny thing is that in the past couple of weeks Butter's has started to learn the UAH Hockey roster. His favorite thing is to say “Starting at left defense, #2 Ryan Burkholder”!

So what do we do now is the question I’ve gotten from a few people. Right now we are working like crazy to get him into the early intervention program at the elementary school we are zoned for. This is becoming challenging though because they can’t evaluate him until January 5th. So in the mean time we are working like crazy to get another evaluation set up at the children’s hospital as well as social therapies started. The hospital has a therapy center for this kind of thing but first they have to evaluate him for speech and occupational delays.

Luckily since beginning this post I was put in contact with a speech pathologist that works primarily with preschool aged kids. The therapist I got to talk to on the phone was really wonderful. They just ask that I bring a copy of the initial test results and give it a shot. She recommended that we try a couple of sessions then if he doesn't take to her then maybe we could try someone else.

I’m also looking into starting him in a structured athletic activities. The Little Gym has a preschool program and we are going for a trial class Monday night to see how he has responded. I’ve also contacted several other gyms about their classes trying to find the best fit for him.

So this is the point we are at now. We are doing our best to get things started but it’s a very slow process.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo courtesy of Will Nickelson

I'm late posting this but the birthday girl enjoying her cupcake! She turned 1 on October 5th.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My take on babywearing

After seeing a lot of posts on twitter and facebook about the recent baby carrier recalls I realized that while I have been doing quite a bit of baby/toddler wearing since Alvin was born but I've never really talked about it here.

I started out when Alvin was about 3 months old. I had a Jeep front carrier and quickly realized that it wasn't working well. Then I went searching for another and found the mei tai. I wore it with Alvin all the time. It was my best friend and hockey games and I used it in any weather for about 3 years.
Taking a ride in a backpack carry.

When Elliot was born things changed. I had already received a ring sling as a gift and was prepared to use it. Then I found a fleece pouch sling on clearance. This was the answer to what I would need to get through the next few months of hockey season with a infant and 2 year old. The sling worked wonders for us all season long. I managed to nurse in it when needed and juggle both kids and their needs with ease.
Napping in her peanut shell before a hockey game.

During the middle of the game her bottom is still in the sling and she knocked out.

As the kids have grown the way I carry them as also grown. Now I primarily use my Ergo carrier. Its a quick on and off and also easy to nurse discreetly in when needed. I can walk around for hours and not need to readjust or mess with it once its on.

In her normal spot getting ready to go inside for a hockey game.
Sleeping in the Ergo during the middle of a college hockey game.

I have gotten a lot of comments over the years regarding how I wear them, why and what carriers they are. Every time they ask where I got one I refer them to a local shop and advise them to bring their child with them and get help with getting fitted for the right one. I am a big supporter of baby wearing but I also advise people to get the appropriate help when choosing one.

My carriers though have gotten us through sleepless nights when motion was the only thing that helped them. Its given us the ability to walk around museums, malls and other crowded places without needing to break out the stroller. But above all else its given me closeness with my kids. The time I have spent with both of them strapped to me has let me get to know them both in different ways. I got to know their personalities and it allowed them to be very social in situations that I never would have imagined.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Elliot 11 months

Part of me can't believe that she is almost a year old. The past week I have begun planning her birthday party next month and I think I am about ready! Over the past couple of months she has gone from crawling slowly to being able to go rather fast. She is at least 24 lbs now and really doesn't like it when we try and feed her anything. She is definitely an independent feeder and would prefer us to give her cut up pieces of meat, fruits and vegetables rather than us feed her anything.

She is also cruising using on all the walls and furniture. Alvin has also learned to keep his snacks and drinks out of her reach since she will eat anything within her reach. She loves to say ma and ba.She recently discovered how to roll a ball back and forth. Around the house she has become very aware of Alvin and follows him around like a puppy some days. When he is around all she wants to do is play with him

The other night we got home from running some errands and she found one of Alvin's hockey sticks and a puck and started trying to hit it. The cutest thing was when I picked her up to let her practice walking she refused to let go and wanted to carry the stick with her! I guess our love of hockey is starting to wear off on her. I just wish I could have gotten a picture!

Luckily for all of us here the start of college football season means college hockey season isn't far off! We will be going to our first game on October 7th and 8th and we can't wait. This will be the first year that she will be able to really start watching and I can't wait to see how she reacts to watching warm ups.

And now for the pictures:
After the Swim For Melissa. This was the smallest shirt they had and it swallows her!
Battling cranberries for dinner. She didn't care she was a mess and had so much fun!

Here have some pasta.
Swinging at the park.

College football game day. Complete with the hounds tooth bow.
Roll Tide!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My recent issues with pumping at work

If anyone has been following my twitter or facebook feeds you would know that last week I had some very interesting things happen at work.

I've talked about my pumping situation a couple of times before. Here and here. Basically I use an executive's office who is only here about once every 3 months or so. When he is here I use the storage closet next to it. Its a nice situation and I do everything to work around people's schedule and basically make sure I'm not bothering anyone. I even keep paper towels in my bag just in case anything spills it gets wiped up immediately and there is never a trace that I was even there.

On Wednesday I was approached by one of our administrators. She was unhappy about something and seemed really uncomfortable about what she needed to tell me. She said that one of the people upstairs (executives) had made a complaint about me leaving a mess in the office. She said there was now some cleaner/disinfectant in the office and that every time I am in there I need to wipe the desk down. While it disturbed me that someone had said this I assured her that I would be more sure than ever that there was nothing left behind. But like I said before I'm still not sure why anything was said since I am extremely paranoid about leaving any trace that I was ever even in the office.

The next morning I ran into the IT guy and he asked if our administrator had said something to me. I told him about the conversation the day before and said that he had even heard some rude comments about it. While he doesn't have kids he completely supports what I do. He said that one of them actually asked why I couldn't just go in the bathroom. His response was perfect. He asked them if they would like to go in the bathroom and eat and that's when the person dropped it. The IT guy also said he expects the wet marks on the desk were from other executive's that use the office from time to time. I was just getting blamed because I'm an easy target.

To cap off the week on Friday morning I was talking to someone and they told me that at this point my daughter was getting no nutritional value from nursing and that there was really no benefit. He said it was a lifestyle choice and that making a consecssion for me to have a room to pump in is liken to letting gay couples have rights in the work place. He said it was all about lifestyle choice and I could just give my daughter formula and save the hassle for everyone. At this point I ended the conversation. That kind of stupid logic I just can't deal with.

The funny thing about all this is it took me pumping at the office for almost 10 months before this stuff was ever said!! Reaslly! I honestly expected this kind of thing to come up much earlier if it was.

So why am I posting this. Well first off to share my story. I refuse to back down on this. Luckily the health care reform law was passed in March. This guarantees me that my employer can not ask me to pump in the bathroom. It specifically says that until she turns 1 I am entitled to pump in that office.

The entire situation last week enraged and frustrated me. I now know why so many women who work full time give up pumping when faced with these obstacles. If I had not been better informed or as educated regarding the law and my companies policies I could have easily backed down. Luckily I know what I can and can't do and stood my ground.

So what happens now. Well I am collecting information and printout to keep with me at work. I want to be able to pull this stuff out a moment's notice. I also hope that what has happened to me won't happen to any other woman that wants to pump at work. I plan on giving a copy of pertinant information such as the law and company policies to our administrators so that they can also help since most of the time they are just the messangers of the news.

If you have any comments or suggestions I would be happy to hear them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to take really young kids to a UAH hockey game!

I'm published over at Save UAH Hockey! Go take a look! Basically after 3 years of taking at least one kid under the age of 3 to games so I have a good idea of what works for us at this point.

Here are 2 quick pictures of the past 2 years of taking them to games.
Tackling the steps before a game.

Elliot sleeping through a game.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swim For Melissa

Well who would have thought at this time last year that I would have a second story to share regarding the NICU. This past year since we participated in Swim for Melissa has been a struggle of ups and downs. Last year was great to see Alvin have a great time at the event and share his story with others. This year we now have a second story to share that most of you know all about. Elliot I guess wanted to make her mark on the event and now this year she too has a page of her own.


I am doing the swim with the kids again this year for a number of reasons but one really sticks out in my mind. This year the funds will not only be used to buy state of the art beds but also to provide for a family counselor. This is someitng that I really believe that they need. When Butters was born W and I only really had each other. No one else could relate to what we were going through. When the same thing happened to Elli we once again retreated back and relied on each other for support. We remembered how it was the first time which made it slightly more bearable. Having a family counselor on staff could really help out so many families like we were when Butters was born.

So this year both kids will be participating in a fund raiser called Swim For Melissa. You can read more about the basics of the program here. Butters and Elliot both are not old enough to actually swim this year but he is participating as what is called a paddler. He will be there getting to play with other kids his age and just helping out with any money we raise. The really nice thing is they have so many activities for all the kids and the shallow end of the pool will be open as well.

Since both of them are participating this year and I was hoping to get some people that I work with to also join I created the Splash Hawks team. From this link both Elliot and Alvin's pages are accessible. This past Friday we had our company picnic and did a dunk-a-boss booth to raise money for the team. As of this morning we raised $207! This far exceeded my expectations!

Also if anyone is interested a local salon is having a golden ticket event. When you buy a box of chocolates for $20 you get a golden ticket that is valued between $30 and $1000! I got one a couple of weeks ago and it was about a $50 value and doesn't expire til the end of November. For more information here is a link to the flyer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

9 months

Wow its been really nothing going on here. I've been absent for a while due to things just being crazier than normal. I really don't see how some people do it. With working full time, having Mac here for the summer plus trying to keep up with the other 2, its been busy.

There was also the small issue of a job I applied for out of state. I ended up not getting it but I had to keep quiet for a while.

Elliot is now 9 months old and she has grown a ton. Around 8 months old she started kind of rolling then scooting a little until she gets where she wanted to go. Just a couple of weeks ago she finally got the idea of crawling and has been really working on that more and more. Also in about the past week she has started crusing a little. She can pull herself up on almost anything she can find be it person or object. Also she even had her first hair cut. Her bangs were getting far too long and I was able to get someone to trim them for us.

With all of this activity eating has become a challenge with her. Nursing in particular and even bottles are seemingly far too boring for her and sitting still to do either one is something she wants to do much of. Lately this has shown itself by her wanting to nurse all night long. During the day she will only take one bottle and snack a little. So what she has been doing is called reverse cycling. I've found out its fairly common for babies of working moms to do this. She is growing and developing normally she just choosing to get the bulk of calories at night rather than during the day.

Her official 9 month stats are she is 27.5 inches long which is right around average and she weighed in at 21.5 lbs which is in the 87%. Our pediatrician was happy that she is eating all table food now. The only thing that he is concerned with is she is slightly anemic. He recommended giving her something called poly-vi-sol but we have tried that in the past and the smell is horrible and I'm sure it tastes about the same. So instead we are going to try and just give her more iron rich foods for a while and see if that helps. The first night she had watermelon, avocado, some broccoli and cheerios. Luckily we also have plain rolled oats that I made oatmeal out of and she eats on during the week. Our pediatrician said the cheerios were a great source and that her iron levels would also start to rise as she started eating meat more.

And now for a few pictures from the last 2 months!
Good morning!

Supporting her team in the championship game.
Loving the ball pit at an indoor play ground.

Look what I can do!
Happy baby girl!

Monday, May 10, 2010

7 months

Well I'm a week late on this but here we go. Elli turned 7 months old last week and now weighs in around 19.5lbs. My tiny little girl that fit into newborn clothes for almost 3 months is now primarily wearing 12-18 month clothes! She is babbling a ton and is on the verge of crawling. She has gotten really good about laying on her tummy and turning in circles. As far as food goes she hasn't found much that she doesn;t like. She has tried all kinds of things and most nights works really hard to get what is on our plates in addition to what she already ate. She loves to be held and the ring sling and mei tai are our best friends when we are out and about. She hardly makes a sound when in one of these and watches people around her very intently or just goes to sleep.

The latest development is a tooth. This past weekend we finally felt one pop through. She has been pretty good about it all and Hylands teething tablets have been our best friend!

There is one thing she isn't doing yet and that's sleeping for more than about 5 hours at a time. This past week she has been up every 3 hours at night wanting to eat. Out of me needing sleep she normally ends up in bed with us until I go to work then I move her back to her bed. While I personally never thought we would get to this point right now it works for us. I'm just patiently waiting for the day that she is consistently sleeping through the night so I can resume my crack of dawn workouts that I used to enjoy so much!

And now for the pictures taken over the past month.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Elli 6 months old

 At her 6 month appointment she was 17lbs 8oz and 26.5 inches long. She is now wearing size at least 9 months old but most of the clothes we have out are 12 month! She is so big and is really a chatty little girl. She has also decided that she would rather walk then roll. She has rolled from front to back but other than that she just doesn't care to do what we jokingly call stupid baby tricks. She is eating just about anything she can get her hands on and loves to sit at the table with us and either eating or just playing with her toys. She still isn't sleeping completely through the night but she is getting better and when she wakes up she has a purpose and after that is met she tends to want to go right back to bed. Here are a few pictures!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The truth about pumping at work

The truth is, I’m not fond of it. Most of you know that due to working full time I have to pump at work. There are days where it’s not a problem and others where I just loath it. But the truth of it is even on the days I want to stop I won’t let myself.

Be it either my cheap thrifty nature or something else I will not use formula. I would rather spend money on freezer bags to store the excess in the deep freeze than spend money on formula. Of course there are the health benefits and other things but I won’t go into that here.

Right now I pump 3 times a day and probably will continue this schedule for another few months until she is eating solid food on a regular basis. At this time I will be able to go down to pumping twice a day and then slowly weaning sometime after her first birthday.

But let me say this some days pumping is not my best friend. You know those days when your schedule at the office is just insane and you can barely find time to eat lunch much less get away from your desk for a few minutes. Or the days when you look at a day and realize you are stuck in meetings most of the day. Well those days have been about my past 3 months straight. Things at the office have been really crazy and some days it’s hard to get away. One week it was so bad that I ended up setting up timed reminders on my desk top. Then one day when I got into the office and looked at the outlook calendar I saw a full day of meetings and my first thought was I wonder how I am going to get a few minutes to go pump.

One thing that does make it easier is how little time it takes me to pump. I generally only take 15 minutes from the time I leave my desk to the time I return. In this time I can pump (normally around 6oz), wash out all the parts and dry them. I use a Medela pump in style that besides being a little big is worth every penny we paid for it.

Other days I love the time I get away from my desk to pump. It’s nice to not have to look at a computer screen or talk to someone about a program that I’m currently working on. Its also nice to get away from listening to some of the idiotic things I tend to overhear from the guys.

Since starting to write this I found out that with the new health care reform bill  that there is now a provision to allow for mothers to pump in a place other than the bathroom for one year. I’m not going to get political here but for working moms like me this is a huge step forward. I personally had to fight to get a place other than the bathroom and now with this on the books hopefully other moms won’t have to go through what I did.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

To Butters on your 3rd birthday

In 3 years you went from this

To this

I’m still not quite sure how it all happened so fast. You are a constant challenge to us and your creativity of how to get to things never ceases to amaze us. You have been a great big brother to Elli even though most of the time you refuse to say her name and rather just call her baby. You love to try and give her a bottle and give her kisses. When she cries though you cover your ears and run!

You are our hockey playing little boy even now. You still love the game and get really mad when we try and change the channel. Over the past year you have made friends with players and coaches of our beloved UAH Chargers and have stolen many hearts at games with how well behaved and cute you are running around the VBC in your jersey. Of course this year also has been one of you learning the chants at games thanks to our good friend! Hearing you run around the house saying “U-A-H” and “ You feel shame. Sitdown hack. See you in 2 minutes or less” has been priceless. Of course you have also picked up other words too but sometimes I can’t help but laugh at how you say them.

Your 3rd birthday is starting out like the weekend you were born. UAH is off to the NCAA regional tournament and while we might not be at the game your father and I can’t forget how this time 3 years ago you were working on making your appearance.

Happy Birthday to my little boy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-The Stanley Cup comes to Huntsville

Of course we wouldn't be much of a true hockey family if we didn't get the kids picture taken with it!

(photos taken by @gamingwithbaby)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Smartipants Review

Back when I initially started to dig into all the different cloth diaper types and started building our stash I heard of the Smartipants brand and was intrigued but was hesitant to order any due to wanting to see some more reviews. I subscribed to their blog and twitter feed and kept up with the company but never ordered one.

One day on twitter they asked for reviewers and I sent in an email and to my surprise about a month later I received a cool blue Smartipants diaper with one microfiber insert.

After taking the diaper out of its package I started playing with it a little. The snaps are VERY sturdy. Many times I feel like I am going to break them off because they hold on so tight. The diaper has a 2 snap adjustable rise in the front that uses 3 settings from snapped all the way down for a tiny one to all open for a larger baby/ toddler. After playing with the diaper a little I threw it into the wash to prep it. Once washed I was ready to put it to the test on 3.5 month old Elli. Lately she has really been putting diapers to the test by flooding them very quickly and having some massive teething explosive incidents so I was curious to see how it would hold up.

Well she is not one to disappoint and after an hour I heard her really mess up her diaper. When I went to change her everything was held in and the insert absorbed all the moisture.

Next I wanted to see if the insert really did come out in the wash. Once again I was not dissapointed. I threw the entire diaper in with the others and did not take the insert out. On wash day I did my normal routine and sure enough when I went to put things in the dryer the insert had washed right out and was perfectly clean.

The final test was seeing what else would work in the pocket. I stuffed the pocket with a pre-fold once, the hemp insert from a Thirsties Duo diaper and a Bum Genius microfiber insert snapped down. The only one I had problems with was the thirsties and I think its because the insert is a little wider than the pocket.

My overall opinion of this diaper is excellent! It is the easiest diaper in my stash to care for by far. Simply because I don't have to remove the insert and the shell can be dried on a low heat setting or hung up to dry. The smart sleeve insert that comes with the diaper is super absorbent in my opinion. Also the leg casing held the most explosive messes and showed showed no signs of wear after a month of use.

The only thing I think I would like to see improved in this diaper is the sleeve insert. While it fits one insert great but with an older baby who is a heavy wetter you might need a greater ability to stuff the diaper with more than one insert. I think the pocket could be just a touch wider and larger to allow more stuffing.

Other than that this diaper worked very well for us and I have sense bought a few more. It is now the diaper that when I reach for a pocket at home it is my first choice.

Monday, February 8, 2010

4 month stats

Elli had her 4 month check up last week and to no suprise she has defiantly hit her growth spurt. She weighed in at 14lbs 4 oz which is around the 67th percentile and 25.5 inches long which is in the 90th percentile! Her pediatrician said that she is following Butters and getting very tall extremely quickly.
He asked a ton of questions of course regarding her reflux and developmental milestones. He told us that the reflux should subside when we start solids. Also he agreed about delaying solids until 6 months. She is growing very well so there's no need for any supplements or anything like that. She is determined to stand which he liked but rolling over isn't anything she is concerned with right now. He was also happy to see her wanting to sit up on her own and agreed with us that she might just skip rolling.

The only thing he wasn't very happy about is that she isnt sleeping through the night yet. The thing is she is sleeping in 6 hour stretches and only waking up once a night. Normally she gets up between 1:30 and 3:30am, eats, gets her diaper changed and goes right back to bed. So in that respect she is doing well though.

And now for the pictures:

on the changing table just happy

Hanging out in the mei tai asleep while I pack.

On the road again

Well I'm off on another adventure by myself. I was informed on Thursday that I needed to get to NAS Corpus Christi as soon as possible. So I set out getting my flight, hotel and rental car all booked. Things were a huge flurry of activity. I let W know and all of a sudden it set in. Elli just turned 4 months old and I'm leaving. Part of me just wants to cry. It was pretty rough when I left Butters for the first time and while it might be a touch easier this time it still just sucks and there's no way around that.

So the question is what about nursing and everything. Well luckily we have enough frozen milk in the deep freeze that she should be fine. I calculated that we had enough to last 11 days assuming that she eats 30oz a day. This is quite the stretch because I think in 24 hours she might go through 20 to 25 oz max.

Luckily the trip is only for the week. Granted I am going to try and take the time I have to catch up on a review I need to do and get a couple of other posts done. I return Friday night and I can already tell you that I will be very happy to see all of them and the return of Mac for the weekend!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Body after baby week 4- Do you snack?

So this week’s topic is snacking and what is your favorite snack. So do I snack, in a word yes. I’ve found that snacking during the day and eating smaller meals I generally feel better about myself and what I eat. At work I keep snacks at my desk that are healthier than vending machine stuff or leftovers from meetings. Right now at my desk I have baked chips (to eat with lunch some days), 25% less sugar peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars, a couple of packets of hot chocolate (for the massive chocolate cravings, oatmeal and honey bunches of oats. I also keep crystal light drink mix and skim milk at my desk along with my coffee supplies. With all these things I still only snack or eat meals when I’m really hungry. My favorite snack though lately has been chips and salsa. I’ve been on quite the spicy food kick lately and that really satisfies the snack craving.

So this past week has been pretty good. I’m still logging all my food/ activity on fat secret and syncing it with my blackberry. I think the thing I like most is that I can put in all the activity I do during a day from sleeping, nursing, desk work ect. The program counts all of it and shows you how many calories you burn during a day vs how many calories you’ve consumed.

Since starting this I’ve been able to see how much I’ve lost. I normally weigh in twice a week before I go to work. I try and do it around the same time so that the conditions are the same each time. This week I weighed in on Sunday at 132.8 and when I weighed in Thursday morning I was down to 131.6. If I can keep this up I’ll reach my initial goal of getting down to 130 in a couple of weeks. After that my goal is to get down to 125lbs which is where I started before I got pregnant with Dot.

My goals for this week are pretty simple. I just want to stay on track and keep up with my food tracking. Also a side goal is to not manage to injure myself this week in our ice hockey scrimmage!


So some of you have noticed the last post I did was a product review. Well I wanted to let people know that my blog is about to start changing slightly. I’ve been contacted by a couple of other companies about doing product reviews. I have accepted and they will be posted here in the coming months.

I will still be posting about how things are. I have a couple of posts in mind with more about the reverse roll family that we have and about current things going on (kids, school, hockey ect).

I’ll be getting to these posts when I get a chance. To be perfectly honest I do all these posts when I get a chance in my free time. I tend to do them during lunch at work or after the kids are in bed so at times they can be few and far between depending on how busy I am between work and home. So please bear with me in the coming weeks while I attempt to get things going again and get these posts done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My little hockey player in training.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Body after baby week 3. What motivates you.

This week went by extremely fast once again. Between work and family I feel like I've been in constant motion.

The good news is I am still gradually loosing weight. I weighed in this morning at 132.8. Also even after I said I wasn't going to track everything I eat, W found a site that syncs with my blackberry called fat secret. I've been tracking everything for about the past week and I'm really surprised. I'm not getting really bent out of shape about the days I cheat and I still do just about everything in moderation. Doing this has really helped me with my portion control this week. I'm feeling pretty good about things and have only had problems with my body a few times this week.

Also this week was my first hockey scrimmage. Thankfully the coach matched up the beginners vs beginners and the advanced vs other advanced players. The game went really well and I felt after the first period that I was starting to remember things. After my first two shifts on the ice though I felt the pain. I was so out of breath and winded I thought that I was doomed. But that was the least of my worries. I ended up falling and nailing my tailbone twice during the game. By the end of the game I was still going but man was I sore. When I got home that night I told W that I broke my butt and all he could do was laugh!

So this week's question for body after baby over at Mama Notes was what motivates you. Well both my kids and husband motivate me. I want to show my kids a good example and also take care of my self to be there for W as well. I truely enjoy being active and playing most sports. Its important to me for the kids to see me as an active healthy mom.

Also this week's challenge was to do 30 minutes of excersize 5 to 6 days a week. So far I'm doing well. Most of mine gets broken up into 10 minutes at a time or so but I generally can get 30 minutes in every day just in smaller incriments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honeysuckle Breastmilk Storage Bags Review

When I saw Melodie of Breastfeeding Mom’s Unite post a tweet about needing a pumping mom to review a new milk storage bag that is biodegradable I jumped at the chance.

I’ve talked on my blog before about my pumping situation. Right now I pump 3 times a day and normally get around 20oz and Dot normally only eats at most 12oz while I’m gone to the office. So basically I end up freezing one bag 4 to 5 days a week of about 8oz each.

After using these bags for a week I really can't find anything I didn't like. They have a tamper evident tear off seal, a large opening at the mouth and a double zipper at the top to prevent leaks. The write on tab is quite large which is very nice. One other thing is the texture of the write on tab. I write the date with a permanent marker and the tab seemed to help the ink dry quickly to reduce smearing once in the deep freeze.

The other thing I noticed about the bag was the reinforced bottom. The bottom portion of the bag where it folds in has what looks to be an extra layer of plastic. This is where I have seen leaks in the past during the thawing process.

I did what I thought was a good test of the bag. On Sunday I put about 8oz of milk in the bag and dated it like normal then put it in the deep freezer. On Thursday night I brought it back out and did a quick thaw under cold running water.

The bag shows markers for the amount in it and I purposely filled it fuller than expected to really test it. I am happy to report that we had no leaks at all during the thawing process. The bag held up very well after being in the bottom of my deep freezer for the week.

Overall I was very happy with the bags and the opportunity to review them. the bags worked well and I really had no complaints at all. They can be purchased from  and the company is working to get them on store shelves soon. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Body after baby week 2

This week was very busy between work and family. Dot decided to do a bottle strike and her reflux has been really bad! So needless to say this will be a short post.

While I didn't get on the Wii fit as much as I would have like (meaning not at all after Sunday), I did continue to do mini work outs at work.

Also I started hockey back this week. It was great to see everyone again. When we split up to start practice I voluntarily went with the beginners after being out of practice for 9 months. After a few minutes I remembered how much fun it was. Granted we were working on basics but I really enjoyed it. By the end of the hour and a half I was soaked in sweat and generally feeling that I got a good work out. Next week is going to be the real test when we scrimmage for an hour and a half. This will definitely be a test of my cardio endurance.

Also we have skate with the Chargers this week. I know Butters will have a great time seeing all the guys again and it is one hell of a work out for me trying to hold up a 40lb 2 year old on the ice!

Now to address the question of the week. What is your favorite part of your workout? My favorite part is right after I stretch out and really get into it. The endorphins start to flow and I just tend to really get into it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Body after baby week 1

Week one of body after baby went pretty well. I stepped on the scale today and one pound is gone.

On the exercise front I was able to work out on the Wii fit a few times this week plus increase the mini workouts that I do at the office. I mainly do squats and leg lifts while I pump since I have nothing else to do during that time. Plus I spend most of my day sitting at a computer so it always helps wake me up a little to get up and get moving in some small way. Due to the really cold weather we have had lately I haven’t been walking during lunch. I can’t wait til it warms up a little more and we can start walking again.

On Thursday I start practicing with the women's hockey team again and I’m really excited. I know I’m going to be really sore and tired come Friday but it should be a lot of fun to put all the gear on and lace up my skates once again.

My desk at work is stocked with healthy items such as baked lays (so I can stay away from the vending machine chips), oatmeal, special K granola and Archer Farms triple berry granola bars. The Archer Farms bars are just sweet enough and have a good bit of fiber and protein in them which helps me feel like I’m eating something more substancial.Well this week went pretty well. I stepped on the scale and one pound is gone.
On the exercise front I was able to work out on the Wii fit a few times this week plus increase the mini workouts that I do at the office. I mainly do squats and leg lifts while I pump since I have nothing else to do during that time. Plus I spend most of my day sitting at a computer so it always helps wake me up a little to get up and get moving in some small way. Due to the really cold weather we have had lately I haven’t been walking during lunch. I can’t wait til it warms up a little more and we can start walking again.
On Thursday I start practicing with the women’s hockey team again and I’m really excited. I know I’m going to be really sore and tired come Friday but it should be a lot of fun to put all the gear on and lace up my skates once again.
My desk at work is stocked with healthy items such as baked lays (so I can stay away from the vending machine chips), oatmeal, special K granola and Archer Farms triple berry granola bars. The Archer Farms bars are just sweet enough and have a good bit of fiber and protein in them which helps me feel like I’m eating something more substantial.

My hypoglycemia has been ok. Monday and Tuesday were bad. I just couldn’t seem to get control of it. Gradually I am getting better but some days are just really difficult. I try and snack before I feel it get really bad.

So far though so good. I'm happy with my progress and I know the ares that I need to work on.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


How many parents know how it feels to have their baby only minutes old be taken away to the NICU? How many with their second have the exact same thing happen? These questions have been on my mind lately.

When I was pregnant with Butters I remember sitting in childbirth class and watching the video of the NICU. All I wanted to do was cry the entire time. I just thought that things were going so well with the pregnancy that there was little chance we would end up there.

I vividly remember Butter's birth. When I went into labor I was 37 weeks pregnant and so close to full term that we and my OB thought things would be fine. He said there was a slight chance of respiratory issues, but the chances were pretty low. Only minutes after he was born I was still in shock and he had barely let out a cry. I was told by a nurse within a couple of minutes that they were going to take him to the NICU for further observation. Luckily W got to bring him to me and let me see him before he walked with the nurse up to the NICU. Then about an hour later we got the call that he would be there for 4 days minimum. The 4 days turned into 7 before he finally got to come home.

Fast forward 2.5 years. I was pregnant with Dot and having constant contractions. I was on meds to stop labor and yet they kept coming. All of this started at around 28 weeks. We were so focused on getting as far as we could to give her the best shot at not having to go to the NICU like her big brother. Finally at 37 weeks and 1 day I was admitted to the hospital to finally let nature take its course after having contractions the night before. We were told so many times that girls do much better so we didn't think there was any reason to worry. After she was born she did cry, but the NICU was called for a consult. Once again my child was taken from me. And once again about 2 hours after she was born I got the call in my room that she was being admitted. I remember the neonatologist said that they did everything they could but she was following in her brother’s footsteps.

A couple of days into Dot’s stay I got to talk to Dr. Morris as he made his rounds. He told me that the studies are still being reported on, but it looks like if the first baby has respiratory distress like Butter’s did, that the chances of a sibling having are in the 80 to 90% range. He even said that there was another baby in the NICU that the exact same thing happened to his/her older sibling.

When your child is in the NICU there aren’t the normal visitors of friends and family for the most part. When Dot was born we did have W’s family come up and another good friend, but that was it. For me the biggest support with both kids was W and the nurses and lactation consultants at the hospital. The one we had at night with Dot was wonderful. One night she stayed in the room and just talked about things with us. Because sometimes after a situation like that you just need someone who has been there / done that kind of thing. There was also the lactation consultant came by one day before I headed down to the NICU. Her words of encouragement were priceless and just the fact that she came by to make sure I was ok not physically but emotionally. She talked for just a few minutes before giving me a hug and reassuring me that I was doing everything right for my baby girl. Another group that was a huge help were the women on a local breastfeeding message board run by the owner of A Nurturing Moment. She herself is a lactation consultant and answered my questions and just made herself available if needed. The other members were also wonderful in offering their support.

Having both in the NICU within 2.5 years of each other brought out the best and worst in W and I. Many times we were just mad and generally angry at the turn of events. But even through it all I think it made us stronger.

To this day I still feel guilty. I know I did everything I could but the guilt is still there. All I wanted was to bring one of them home when I was discharged. I wanted to room in, but of course that didn’t happen. I remember crying in the middle of the night while W was asleep. I kept hearing babies down the hall and it just tore me up inside.

I have no clue what spurred me to write this post. I’ve had these thoughts in my head for some time but struggled to ever write them down.

I guess in some way I hope that someone will read this at some point who is either going/ been through something similar. I hope that it shows them that they are not alone even though that’s exactly the way it feels.