Friday, April 29, 2011

That Elusive "New Baby" Smell

     After having baby #3, I have found myself curious as to this "new baby smell" that people (mainly women) keep talking about.  Since this is my third child, you would think that I would have picked up on something like this by now.
    I have tried to imagine what this scent is like, because the only "new baby" fragrances I've had the novelty of experiencing are "poop-in-my-diaper", "puke-on-my-bib", "formula-stained-shirt", and "gassier-than-yesterday".  I understand that some of these scents are necessary to notify adults of diaper changes and what-nots, but I would definitely not classify them as a desirable essence to coo over...
    I think the real "new baby smell" is what my friend Christina experienced after I left her house in an ambulance last week.  She says her bathroom "smelled like a baby was born in there" for the rest of the day.  I'm pretty sure this is not what the eluding scent is like, either.
    Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to experience this fragrance that supposedly exists.  Until then, I am relegated to the not-so-pleasant essences that emanate from our newest papoose.

  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 3 As a Family of 5

   A few days ago, little Malachi popped into the world, adding one more to our family of four.  As I sit on the couch typing this, he's nestled in a blanket cocoon on a Boppy pillow right next to me.  Sleep consumes most of his time, but this will soon change. 
    We know it will take time for Josiah and Amber (especially her) to adjust to our newest member, but so far things have been going rather well.  On Malachi's first night home, Josiah pointed to the extra bed in his room and asked if baby Malachi could sleep there.  Amber keeps asking to hold him, and somehow, both of them sleep through the baby's night-time cries (I think they learned this skill from their father). 
   Right now the majority of Josiah & Amber's attention is focused on each other (taking toys, fighting, screaming...), but every so often they do come and give their little brother gentle pats and make "aw" sounds.
   It's funny how even children think that babies need to be quiet, and every time out little one cries, they feel the need to alert Mommy.  Josiah does his best to shush him verbally, and this morning when Malachi cried, his older brother told me it was because his diaper needed to be changed.
   One day little Malachi will be able to join them in their play-time fun & not-so-fun (hitting, fighting, yelling), but for now they seem to enjoy him as he is- quiet and sleeping.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Links to Articles and Pics


   Pretty exciting story about childbirth, huh? Well, the local paper thought so too... check out http://www.themountainmail.com/ & search for "Handyman Delivers Baby".
    Somehow a news station in CO Springs got wind of the story & requested an interview.  Here's a link to the pics our friend Dee took:
          and here's a link to the actual tv interview: http://www.krdo.com/video/27633548/index.html
     Blogger isn't allowing me to upload pics right now, so here's a link to pics of baby Malachi (including EMT's & Mike)

Malachi's Story, Part 2

    I would like to thank everyone who has prayed for me & the baby throughout these past 10 months (40 weeks=10 months).  God had a reason for leading you to pray when you did.
    After the EMT's arrived and clamped off the umbilical cord, they loaded the baby & I onto a stretcher, then into their ambulance.  Right before they closed the doors, JR finally arrived.  He left our kids with our friends & followed us to the hospital.  When we arrived at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Malachi & I were brought straight up to the Family Birthing Center. 
   The Dr. and nurses assessed our situation and decided that Malachi needed to be put on oxygen.  Since he didn't have enough when he was born, he wasn't filling his lungs up as much as he should.  He remained under a special "bubble" for the first 9 hours of his life.  His bubble kept the oxygen humidified (I cannot remember why this was important). It was hard not being able to hold him during that time period, so I was really grateful when they placed him back into my arms. 
    His next hurdle was eating.  Due to his circumstances (the nurse also suctioned alot of fluid out of his stomach twice), he wasn't encouraged to eat/suck right away, so when he was finally free of his oxygen entrapment he had a hard time adjusting to eating.  We gave him a pacifier to encourage the sucking reflex, and a few hours later he took a bottle, but he wasn't eating as consistently as he should have been.  Eventually he picked up on the idea of eating every 3 hours and stayed consistent throughout the day and evening.
    Finally, they released us Thursday morning and we made our way home, which is from where I am typing this ;)

Malachi's Story, Part 1

     So, is it weird that I want a picture of my friend's toilet?  I guess I should preface this story with the fact that my husband & I have known Mike & Christina for about 4 & 1/2 years now.  We started off as neighbors, and have grown as close as family members.  We've shared many memories since we first met and God has intertwined our lives over the years so we stay connected.
     This story started on Tuesday morning, April 19th, of 2011.  I woke up around 7a.m. and noticed some contractions.  Due to my previous encounters with them during this pregnancy, I tried my best to ignore them.  Later in the morning I went over to Mike & Christina's house.  I was still experiencing these annoying pains, but they weren't consistent with the "5 minutes or less" standard that Dr's and hospitals want. 
    Since it was a nice morning, we spent some time outside, allowing the kids to play in their backyard.  About quarter till noon, Christina suggested that we start timing the contractions again, for about 20 minutes.  This seemed reasonable (remember, I was dreading going to the hospital only to be sent home again) so I concurred.  However, at 11:49 I experienced a contraction so intense that I knew it was time to head for the hospital.  The duration of it was about 2 minutes & I remember yelling for someone to call my husband (he was with some other friends at the time) & that I needed to go to the hospital NOW! (I kept screaming and shouting through the pain).
   After the pain subsided, I told my friend that I couldn't wait for JR to arrive & that her husband would have to take me...but first, I needed to go pee.  I also asked if it was ok if I screamed in her bathroom.  Thankfully, she said "yes". 
     As I sat down to pee, all of a sudden, I didn't have to go anymore-instead, I could feel the baby coming!  So, I shouted for my friend & her husband, shouted that the baby was coming, shouted to call 911, shouted that the cord was wrapped, shouted "save the baby!", and I just kept shouting... Christina dialed 911 & Mike entered the bathroom with towels just in time to catch the baby as he popped out!  We sat there stunned at the situation.  Christina and I had joked earlier in my pregnancy about how if I happened to have the baby at home, we would get Mike to deliver (she's not good with blood & things of that nature)...We didn't think it would actually happen...but God does have a sense of humor ;)
    Thankfully, Malachi arrived without the cord around his neck and he cried right away.  The paramedics arrived shortly afterwards to sever the cord (which was super-gross, by the way) and transport the baby & I to the hospital.  Christina clocked the baby's cry at 11:56, which means there was only a 5 minute window from the intense backyard scene to when Malachi cried for the first time.  By the way, his name means "angel".

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Monday Morning

    Well, it's Monday...Its been a busy weekend, with 3 Noteables performances (its me 2nd season with this all-female community choir), 2 birthday parties and a church service. 
    I took the kids yard-saling with me for the first time Saturday morning.  There were only two in town, so alot of people showed up to both.  This was good exposure for Josiah with his crowd issues, and he behaved really well-instead of screaming, he started asking if he could go back to the vehicle.  (I do admit that I bribed the children with donut holes....)
   Now I'm sitting on the couch, finishing up my morning java and updating my blog ;)  I'm also organizing my coupons from the Sunday paper and swagbucks.com while writing my grocery list.  Josiah is at preschool and Amber's been entertaining herself (and me) in the living room.  Apparently her volume control button is stuck on extra-loud this morning and I've had to endure about ten minutes of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" at the highest possible volume.  I never knew nursery songs could actually grate on the nervous system. 
    Now that I can upload videos from my phone to youtube, I created my own channel: www.youtube.com/BlondieChell .  This will be filled with random videos of the kids, my activities (i.e. Noteables performances) and anything else I decide to upload.  Have a great week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Josiah Screams (Or Used To)

    Ever since he was little, Josiah screamed.  I'm not talking about normal baby screams or if he was scared.  I'm talking about him screaming for what seemed like no apparent reason.  Screaming when people would come near, at parades, at the Dr.'s office...Screaming when you attempted to touch his hair, ears, or even wash his hands. 
    I would refer to his behavior as "screaming issues".  My husband and I didn't understand it- had we somehow encouraged this unwanted behavior?  Is it due to his lack of verbal communication?  Is there something wrong with him?  Is it a lack of discipline?  And, finally, Is it autism?
    Unfortunately, some family members alienated themselves from Josiah (and us) because of the screaming his, not ours).  We understand that screaming is very unpleasant to the auditory system, but we did not know what we were doing wrong, or how to handle it.
    Last year (after some comments from well-meaning friends) we investigated the autism lead.  This journey eventually led us to a website: http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html that explained Josiah's symptoms and gave us a sense of relief that we were not going insane.
    When Josiah turned 3 in October 2009, he could no longer receive his speech therapy at home, so he attended the local Head Start program 2 afternoons a week.  In January our county received special funding for an Early Head Start program, and Josiah was able to attend "school" 4 afternoons a week in an environment tailored more to his needs.  His teachers recognized some of his sensory issues and through consistent exposure, were able to help him adjust and complete tasks that he used to scream through.
     Now that we are more aware of the certain things that bother Josiah, we are working to help him overcome his sensitivities by exposing him to the things that bother him.  This, combined with the recent discovery that Daddy is his comfort zone (that was a complete shock-Mommy's are supposed to be the one a child wants when he's hurt or scared) has helped us plan activities and appointments better.
     Josiah's increased verbal activity has also helped him identify some of his feelings and wants/needs when it comes to doing activities that he is still sensitive to.  When I think about his progress over the past year, I'm so happy, I want to cry: he now wears gloves, hats (soft ones, tho-thanks Mom for figuring that out), masks (and is ok with people wearing masks/face paint), he washes his hands by himself, he behaves well in restaurants and other crowded places if Daddy is there, he no longer screams over loud noises, he lets the Dr. check his ears, and he doesn't scream while getting his hair cut.  His most recent achievement happened Tuesday when he had to get his finger poked because his iron level was low 2 months ago.  Last time he got poked, Daddy had to hold him tightly and calm him down.  This time, he bravely sat on Daddy's lap, and as the nurse was about to poke his finger, he asked if he could sing a song.  As he sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" loud and clear, his finger was poked and squeezed (to get blood on the glass slide) and Josiah barely winced.  He didn't fight the band aid that was applied to his wound, and he didn't even ask for it to be taken off that day.  We are so proud of our "little guy" and the amount of "issues" he has overcome!
    

Josiah's Speech Update

   Since Amber seems to have been the star of several recent posts, I feel the need to give an update on our 4-year old, Josiah.  He is attending preschool 3 days a week, and we plan on sending him 4 days next semester.  Since September (aside from his preschool regimen) he's been seeing a wonderful speech therapist weekly (diagnosed w/a speech delay at 2yrs). 
   Even though we've noticed an improvement in his words since fall, he seemed to have another major "explosion" about 2 months ago when his therapist suggested holding his weekly sessions at the swimming pool (insurance covers it).  Josiah loves to swim and has been a "water baby" from the get-go.  He's very daring and loves just jumping in the pool.  He is not able to swim unassisted yet, but he tries.  I'm not sure what the link is between the activity and his verbal activity, but it seems to be working.
    He loves talking to family members on the phone (even though they may not always understand him because he gets so excited) and he actively engages in conversations with Amber.  Once of his recently favorite activities has been pretending that his family members are characters from a movie or tv show.  My husband and I only indulge him occasionally in this type of play since it encourages his language (but after the second time becomes annoying), whereas Amber is a better sport about it.
    Josiah's verbal activity is not up to par with his age group, but it's getting there.  The telephone interaction he has with family members has definitely contributed (as well as cementing relationships and memories) along with his encounters of children his own age.

Potty-Training Update

    It has come to my attention that I have not been keeping you all informed with the progress of Amber's potty-training.  We started right when she turned two (the end of August 2010) and six months later, I feel it is safe to say she is fully potty-trained!
    When we first started the process, she seemed to get the hang of peeing on the potty right away-the problem for the last half of a year has been the pooping.  At first it seemed like she understood, then relapsed, then it clicked, then the switch was turned off again...but now that she's been pooping solely on the potty for about a month now, I think it is safe to say she is fully potty trained!
     Now, some might not agree with my declaration because she still seems to have problems peeing at night.  In the evenings we let her wear Pull-ups to bed (we call them "princesses" because of the princess design) since she has a difficult time waking up dry.
     During one of her "off again" pooping phases, she would hold her bowel movements all day, then poop at night in her "princesses"...The only problem we had with this was that she wouldn't tell us when she pooped, so in the morning everything would have to be washed because of the stench.
    To help Amber with her night-time accidents (we're not sure if she doesn't wake up in time, or what), we plan on waking her when we wake up in the middle of the night to feed the baby....The only flaw right now is having to wait for baby.  But until then, we are satisfied with having a short break from changing poop ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Still Not Here Yet

   So I keep waiting to post something new until the baby pops out, but it seems like he doesn't want to cooperate...I have about a week before my actual due date, but last week I went to the hospital twice with labor pains.  The nurses in the OB ward monitored me & after a few hours my pains disappeared and I wasn't in "active labor".
   My last labor happened so fast that I was sure things would go quicker this time.  Unfortunately, that's not how this story goes.  When we left the hospital for the second time, I told hubby that I was not coming back.  I am going to have this baby at home.  Of course, he didn't see the logic in my thinking.  Part of my rationalization lay in the sanity provided by not thinking about coming back, thus not being disappointed yet again...the other parts are a mixture of desperation, insanity and the curiosity of giving birth outside a medical facility. 
   So now that I've faced the reality that this labor will not be like my previous two, I am forced to wait, wondering how and when the event will occur.  Even though I have lost all delusions that this time around will be quick, I have been spending my days keeping busy, walking long distances and attempting just about any of the "myths" that supposedly induce contractions.  
   I believe the insanity that has infected my thinking while waiting for the unknown has also infected my husband.  He announced over the weekend that he has decided he likes the name "Spartacus".  Add that to my dad's suggestion of "Erastus" and you have "Spartacus Erastus Christiansen'.  Say it out loud...has a nice ring, right???

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Too Much Caffeine? ...I Think Not...

    As I sit here writing this, I'm drinking a Starbucks mocha frapp...the kind you buy off the store shelves and refrigerate.  This is what my morning brew (formerly 24oz+ of a brewed dark roast, sweetener & creamer) has been reduced to-one 9.5 oz glass of shelf-stable java.  Yes, I am aware of the daily recommended caffeine intake for pregnant women, but it seems like the more children you have, the less important the recommendation becomes.
   During my first pregnancy, I respected this rule and cut out all caffeine (except the occasional Dr. Pepper).  When we were expecting child number two, I limited myself to 8 oz of cappachino every morning.  However, these past 9 months have seen everything from cappachino to actual coffee to shelf-stable frappachino...A few weeks after we discovered I was pregnant, I couldn't handle the smell or taste of coffee, so I made a half hot chocolate, half cappachino drink.  Eventually I dropped the hot chocolate from the mix, and introduced a small amount (8oz or so) of Mountain Dew in the evenings.
   Through the winter months I was able to handle the taste of regular, caffeinated java with my usual sweetener & creamer.  After my long bout with pneumonia's my tolerance for coffee dissipated, but an ice cold frapp has been easily tolerated. 
    The fragrance of a fresh brew stirs up a longing for a nice hot cup, but the taste holds no appeal for me.  Soon I will be able to embrace my abandoned friend and sip my favorite elixir once more.  For now,  I must be satisfied with my cold frapp and memories of what used to be....
    Check out my friend Steve's site dedicated to photos of coffee: www.cupofcoffee.us


   

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

    This is my first Ultimate Blog Party!  It seems super exciting!  5minutesformom.com hosts this party every year-its a chance for bloggers to connect, find new blogs & have fun!      For those who don't know me, my real name is Michelle. I also go by "Blondie", "Mommy" & "Hey, you!"  I am a mommy of a 4 year old, a 2 & a half year old & a baby that's due any time now... (seriously, he has permission to leave his comfortable cocoon any time....any time...).  We live in a small mountain town in CO and enjoy every minute of it.  My husband pastors Salida Bible Church (which just celebrated it's 2 year anniversary) and just started working at the new Rent-A-Center in town.  When I'm not controlling the chaos at home, I'm helping restrain it at my bff's house.      This blog chronicles our daily life concerning all the aforementioned and more.  I haven't done any product reviews or giveaway posts.  I enjoy finding humor when I can and many of my posts contain a sarcastic edge.  You can find me on twitter: @BlondieChell            Thanks for reading! If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate in the Ultimate Blog Party! You can post a link to your Facebook profile and/or Twitter link if you have one on one of the many linkies at 5M4M. There are tons of prizes to be won. Remember to follow @5minutesformom and watch hashtag #UBP11!