Sunday, June 29, 2008


Grace had a joke published in Ranger Rick!

She is very excited and we are very proud!

Riddle: What is a shark's favorite movie?
Answer: The Wizard of Jaws

Many pics and a few stories to blog about. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I blinked.............

and Katie went from this....

to this....

to this......

Where did the time go?

Cute kids and animals

Tristan, Ben, Emma and Pumpkin.

Emma had her dance recital last week. She wasn't sick this time and was so happy to be able to actually dance on stage this year! Tristan's hair looks red in a couple of these pictures. It is NOT red. In certain light it has some red to it but is most definitely brown hair. I think he'll be about as dark if not darker than grace. His eyebrows are coming in and they are dark like his hair..oh and he is getting eyelashes too.
One of these pics is just Tristan's hand. Contrary to popular Texan belief he is not makin' the hook 'em horns hand gesture from UT, for that his thumb would have to be in :-D He is makin' the " I love you" ASL sign.

Friday, June 13, 2008

OM Worlds Pictures and words from the team

Pictures of the team, their buddy team and a synopsis of their long term solution.

Six weeks old!

Can you believe it? Tristan is 6 weeks old today. Those 6 weeks have flown by.
He is a great baby. (Like I would say anything else).
He has started to smile at Momma. Also has his first cold which isn't thrilling him. No big deal, just a pluggy nose but when you only know how to breathe through your nose it is pretty miserable. He is also spitting up a lot more because of it :-( I think he has a touch of reflux too but not too bad. He is about 10lbs but with itty bitty feet. The jury is still out on who he looks like. When he is crying he looks just like Lucy and depending on the expression on his face when quiet and alert he looks like Ian or Ben.

I'll try to post some recent pics today or this weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

for the record, Jack asked to hold T.
he just wasn't thrilled I was taking pictures

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Texas Boy

I'll turn the pic later

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

OM Results

Katie had a smashing time (literally) at Worlds. SA-HERO placed 11th which is up 6 places from last year and pretty darn good considering they competed against over 40 other teams. Their Polish buddy team from last year placed 2nd and won the Renatra Fusca (in the same problem SA-HERO competed in this year). Katie is now on her way to NJ with my mom and uncle where I'm sure she will be completely spoiled and then off to CT in a couple days to see old friends.

I can't think of a good title.....if you do, leave it in the comments

First, breastmilk rocks! Tristan weighed in yesterday at 9lbs 5oz (dressed with diaper) so we'll call him 9lbs. Not too shabby for a boy who was 6lbs 5oz on May 9th. He is also 22inches long. He is as sweet as can be and a very normal newborn. Not particularly easy or difficult. He likes to eat and be held, doesn't spit up much and poops more than any other child....EVER. He also has more pimples then his teen siblings combined, but that too shall pass.

Tristan on 6/4/08

I would like to blog about slinging/slings. (Pictures to come later)

I bought my first sling when Ian was a baby. I've been successfully using them since Emma was a baby, when I had someone who knew what they were doing show me the correct way to wear/use one. Now I am a bit of an addict. I have 4, three of which I actually use. Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Cotton Pouch, Moby Wrap and Kangaroo Korner SolarVeil ring sling.

Babywearing in developed countries is a product of the attachment parenting philosophy. In the rest of the world and for most of history it has been part and parcel of life and survival. So why do I wear my babies in a reasons are closer to the women of ancient history then to some warm fuzzy reasons from a book:-) It's about survival. For the baby and for me.
If the baby is in a sling a 2 year old can't drag him out of his crib or climb in with him and 'love' him. If the baby is in the sling the cat can't lick the spit up from his chin. If the baby is in a sling I remember where I put him and can find him when he starts crying. If the baby is in the sling and not in my arms I have two free hands. I *need* two free hands, it's hard enough to run after Houdini (aka Lucy) if I had only one hand to capture her with she'd make it halfway to Timbuktu instead of just into the neighbors yard. Not to mention cooking, cleaning, blogging, putting on making up and all the other important things I do everyday.
One of the best things about wearing your baby is wearing him in public and listening to the whispers and talking to people. It all changes depending on which sling I am wearing, if it is the pouch (which you can't see any baby at all usually-just a lump) I often hear as I walk by, "Do you think there is a baby in there?" Followed up by comments such as "It's her purse."
I will usually turn around and say, "yes, it's a baby." and then people will want to see and ask questions.
When I wear the Moby, which means folks can usually at least see his feet, it's all, ""Awwweee, look at the little baby." " What tiny feet." etc....and occasionally someone will stop and ask about the Moby specifically because it is a pretty eye catching deal. 99% of the time people are wonderful. Intrigued, questioning but generally quite positive. I will share with my 4 readers the two winner comments I have received while wearing a baby in a sling.

"Is that a baby or a dog in there?"

and the ultimate #1 winner of all time!! ::::::drumroll:::::

"Is that legal?"

Monday, June 2, 2008

The NICU Experience

Suffice to say I am still reeling from Tristan's pregnancy, birth and NICU stay. I can't believe that I ended up with the 'trifecta' of a complicated pregnancy, birth and sick baby. I thought I would have caught a break somewhere, right?
I've been pretty..proud...I guess would be the word..too proud of being a 'been there, done that' mom. "I have 7 kids, I know most everything." Well this experience with Tristan was a God-slap upside the head. In the NICU it really didn't matter that I had 7 other children, aside from being a conversation starter. It didn't matter that I spoke 'the language' (thank you nursing school) and understood what they were doing to my baby and saying to me. My baby was sick and for the first 28 hours....really sick. Scary sick. I don't think anyone really understands what the feels like until it is you. What a great equalizer the NICU turned out to be. I, the *experienced mom*, was no different then the first timer across the ward. My fear and hers were the same. "Will my baby be alright?"

Silent camaraderie. That would be the best description I could come up with. The NICU is not a happy place. I doubt that is a shocker to anyone. It is a place of tension, anticipation, sadness, loss and hope. It isn't a place of conversation (except when I am in there :D) it is a place of observation. We watch our babies, we watch other parents walk in and out, we watch other babies, we watch the staff with our baby and with the others, we watch the damn monitors. The walking wounded. The moms shuffling in in their pajamas. Just given birth, supposed to be holding a sweet smelling newborn with friends and family hovering and bringing gifts. Rest, recover. MMMMM....nope. Instead she finds herself treading up and down hospital halls. From room to NICU, back to room, back to NICU. Eat? Maybe if she remembers. Rest? Forget about it. Standing (maybe sitting if there is a free chair) next to a NICU warmer isn't restful. Back in her room, in her bed. Anxiety and worry are what awaits in the quiet. Who can sleep not knowing what is happening down in the NICU? Then there is the pumping. Instead of nourishing her warm, wonderful newborn she is putting plastic cups on her breasts and hooking herself up to a machine. It isn't easy waking up to a nurse a baby in the middle of the night, waking up to pump in a dark, lonely room is a lot harder. She'll never catch up either. If she is lucky enough to go home with her baby, then the normal day-day newborn exhaustion kicks and if the baby stays in the NICU? then it is the back and forth to the hospital.

Even without chatting with the other parents you do get to know their babies. Max doesn't like to be changed, Braden tends to spit up, Rhylan pulls out her feeding tube......Even after leaving with my healthy baby I still think about these other little ones and Tristan was nowhere near the really sick little ones. I wonder how they are, how there parents are, have they gone home? In the grand NICU scheme, our experience wasn't any big deal. Tristan was full term and only stayed 6 days. He wasn't a micro-preemie who stayed months or a baby who fought a massive infection and had tons of complications. I know that I am blessed it wasn't a lot more serious and I have a baby who is fine and with no long term effects. But when it is YOUR baby, 'it could've been worse' doesn't really matter as much.

Tristan may have been #8 but I learned more about life and myself with his pregnancy and birth then with any of the others before him.

OM update

Their long term was yesterday and went well. There was a snag with the judging before performing (complicated OM stuff I won't even try to explain) but it really upset the kids. They worked it out and pulled it together and had a great performance according to the team and those who watched. My mom and uncle were able to make it down along with another team members extended family from PA. It was very nice for the kids to have a bit of an audience besides the judges. Their buddy team from Singapore was also there cheering (literally) them on.
Pictures of the team, their performance, Katie talking toa judge and the traditional destruction of their 'stuff'.
Quick, some pics. Tristan isn't happy, let's hope blogger cooperates this morning.