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Monday, May 30, 2011

the proof is in the poopie

I'm taking the plunge and writing about my child's poop. I'm sorry, but I have to.

As a new mom, I had done a fair amount of reading about all things "newborn". Before becoming a parent, I had spent quite a bit of time with other people's babies so that meant I knew about sleeping, burping, diaper changing, etc. But what I really didn't know much about was nursing. In one of the chapters it talked about how breastfed babies really shouldn't struggle with constipation issues because breastmilk is so easily used and digested. Great! Fast-forward to somewhere around Henry's two-month birthday.
Henry had been a little cranky one night, which was unusual for him. He had also vomited twice. Not spit-up...vomit. We decided I should call the pediatrician and make sure there wasn't a problem. In the morning I took him in and they did the usual rundown. Temp, listening to his heart and lungs, and lightly pressing on his abdomen. Then the doc told me she'd like to take an x-ray of his bowels to make sure there wasn't something blocking the way. The sound of that immediately made me nervous because I wasn't sure that would be safe and/or necessary. She assured me that one x-ray would be only minimal amounts of radiation. Looking back, I wish I would have put the pieces together that he was pooping normally so a blockage was likely not that problem. But...hindsight is 20/20 and I didn't think of that at the time. We did the x-ray and she came back to tell me he had a lot of gas built up in his belly. She then suggested that I pump a little bit, mix in some prune juice, and give him a bottle. Now, again, being the nervous first-timer that I am, I went to Fareway and bought the prune juice...still not really putting the pieces together. But then once I really started to think about it, that didn't make much sense. First of all, I really wasn't sure what the prune juice would do. Secondly, he had never had anything like that before and the sugar content alone would probably be enough to cause more stomach problems than we started with.
I called up my chiropractor cousin and she recommended bringing him in for an adjustment. Henry was adjusted right after birth and several other times prior to this phone call, so I didn't hesitate to take him in. (And someday I'll post about how chiropractic literally saved me during pregnancy and allowed me to continue being mobile and working when the pain would have otherwise left me bed-ridden and miserable.) After being adjusted that day, there was no more vomiting and even his spitting-up nearly ceased.
In more recent weeks, he has been experiencing long spurts where he doesn't poop at all. Like he'll go 7 or 8 days! Twice now I've taken him for an adjustment during one of those periods and he has pooped within 48 hours following the adjustment! Amazing! And it makes me feel so good to achieve these results without x-rays or prune juice.

Now, I am in no way trying to imply that pediatricians are bad or wrong or that they don't have the best interest of my child in mind. Not at all! I actually really like our pediatrician and would recommend her to anyone who is searching. I just think that there are a variety of options out there that parents aren't always aware of or don't always consider when looking at their child's overall health. I'm not an expert and I'm not a doctor. Just a mom who has seen great results come from getting regular chiropractor care for my family.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

henry laughs

Been meaning to post this for awhile now.

five months

**This post is way overdue!**

Here's the newest info about our growing boy...
  • He is well over 16 pounds by now and loves to be held. Yes, I'm going to have awesome biceps one of these days.
  • We have started being able to carry him on our hip. That makes him seem like such a big boy.
  • We have discovered that he is very ticklish under his arms, around his knees, and on his feet!
  • He had his first taste of rice cereal, which he did not enjoy. He spit it all out and looked at us like we were crazy.
  • His hair seems to be filling in a little bit more now and it looks like he might just be a blondie.
  • He likes to have one or two fingers hooked in his mouth at all times.
  • He rolls over from his back to his tummy all the time now. But he doesn't like to be on his tummy, so he grunts and hollers until someone flips him onto his back again. And then he immediately rolls to his belly again. It's quite the fun little game. :)
  • He is wearing size 6 - 12 month clothes
  • He gets mistaken for a girl more than ever now...but I'm still not gonna cut his hair.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the things today makes me think about

As I mentioned before, I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on "a year ago right now" thoughts and remembering the early days of pregnancy. Today was one of those days.

**Here's my disclaimer: the following post could probably fall under the category of TMI for some people. Read at your own risk :)

On May 17, 2010, I woke up around 3:00 a.m. with a strangely sharp cramp in my belly. In a rather groggy state, I made my way to the bathroom, assuming that I just needed to go really bad. Even in the dark bathroom, the blood was unmistakable. So was the terrible fear and dread that swelled in my heart. I had read that a little bleeding is normal, but this just didn't seem right. I didn't even want to wake Dameon because I had to get my head around it first. I went back to the bedroom and laid very still for the next hour. I knew I shouldn't jump to conclusions, but it was impossible not to fear the worst. And to fear what the following days might bring. Finally I couldn't be alone with it any longer. I woke Dameon and told him I was bleeding. He went to the toilet to look because I knew I couldn't. He agreed that it seemed bad. I didn't expect him to say that, and it was then that I cried. We laid in bed trying to figure out what to do. It was too early to call a doctor, and I didn't even have an OB yet. I was only seven weeks pregnant. We talked about how bad we felt for telling our families. We talked about how the next time it wouldn't be as exciting because everyone would be worried about this.
Finally around 7:00, I called the local clinic. The nurse on call answered and listened as I told her my symptoms. She told me that it could be totally normal, but that I should call back in an hour when the clinic was open to make an appointment. Then I called my parents. At 8, I called and was scheduled to come in at 11:00 for an early ultrasound. Dameon stayed home from work with me and we both sat very quietly in the waiting room for a long time. Having never had an ultrasound of any sort before, I didn't know what I should expect to see. And I didn't know if I would be able to tell right away if things were bad or not.
I thought about this baby. The baby I had barely even known I had yet. The baby I had hardly had morning sickness over. The baby my belly hadn't even grown with yet. The baby I hadn't yet felt kick or hiccup. But even thought I couldn't feel this baby...I already felt this loss.
We went into the ultrasound room and I changed into a gown. I positioned myself on the table and Dameon positioned himself right beside me on a small couch. He held my hand and we stared at a blank screen, waiting for the nurse to get started.
She flipped on the screen and immediately, immediately, we knew exactly what we were looking at. There he was. A tiny little peanut-shaped baby with a head, a tail, and a heartbeat. We could actually see his heart...beating. I heard Dameon gulp back a sob and I sighed a kind of relief I've never felt before. There was life.
The doctor met with us and explained that this kind of thing is completely normal and that we shouldn't continue to worry about it unless we noticed major changes. I was so worried that I would live in fear for the rest of the nine months, but the Lord just completely took that away from us. After the appointment, we went to get some lunch at Panera. I remember sitting down with our salads and just staring at each other, knowing we were the only ones in that restaurant who knew what we had just experienced. And we both started to cry.

Later that day, my mom told me that she had been in an Omaha hospital that day with my grandpa because he was getting some tests done. I was keeping her posted via text message throughout the morning. Immediately after the appointment, I called her to tell her the good news. When she got off the phone, she shared the news with my grandpa. He then exclaimed to his doctor, "There's a heartbeat!"

Thank you, Lord, for our healthy (rolling over, now!) Baby Henry. Thank you for allowing me to carry him. I am not entitled to a baby. I am not deserving of a baby. It is not my right as a woman. It is a gift. And our praise to You will never cease.

Monday, May 16, 2011


If you ask me, this kid is just pure cuteness.

Monday, May 9, 2011

breaking the news

Mother's Day is always a weekend that I look forward to. First, because it's a great time to show appreciation to our moms and grandmas. Second, because it's always fun to help my students make something special to give their mommies. Last year, Mother's Day weekend was especially memorable because we chose to tell our families about our little bun in the oven! We wanted to be able to tell each of them in person and we didn't want anyone to find out way before or way after anyone else. So....that made for some interesting travel plans! Here's a general idea of our itinerary:

Right after school was out, we headed to Cedar Falls. We had decided to tell my parents by giving them a cookie bouquet, which we ordered from a very talented friend who lived in Cedar Falls. After picking up the bouquet, we headed for Boone. We were giddy with excitement and spent the drive talking about all things "baby". We also had to plan out exactly how we would deliver the bouquet. We decided that after we had gone inside and greeted everyone, I would tell Mom that her Mother's Day gift was in the car. Then Dameon would go outside, bring in the bouquet, and set it on the table. Then we would reveal it to her. The cookies were so cutely decorated with things like "Baby Place" "Boy or Girl?" "Baby Makes Three..." etc. Both of my brothers and my dad were also there, so they would all get in on the fun. Well, actually, Brad and his girlfriend already knew because they had come to our place for dinner earlier in the week and we couldn't hold it in :) We gave them an invitation to a birthday party and inside it said Where: Iowa Methodist Hospital; When: Early January; What: The Birth Day of your niece or nephew.
Anyway, back to the story. So, Dameon went out to the car and got the bouquet. When Mom came into the dining room to look at it she "ooohed" and "ahhhed" but didn't really react much more than that. Then I said, "Do you see what it says?" Then she bent down to look closer and after a long pause she yelled, "WHAT?!?!" Then she looked at me and said, "Is it TRUE??" Yes! I said. Then she just let out a wail and we all started crying and hugging! After having supper together, we had to head right back to Waterloo because Dameon had large group contest the next day and our second reveal was going to happen in the morning.

Claudia, Dameon's mom, was set to arrive mid-morning. She has a talent for restoring old furniture, so we decided to tell her by giving her an old rocking chair to fix up. Dameon had given me a video camera at the start of the weekend for my first Mother's Day gift and by this point we had had a chance to charge it up. We secretly video-taped the whole reveal to Claudia! When she got to our house, we had the rocking chair in the living room with a gift bag setting in it. The gift bag had a couple children's books inside. I think she thought it was just a cool Mother's Day gift. We had her open the bag and she said something like, "Oh, this will be so fun to have when you have a baby someday." We both just kinda sat there not knowing what to say. Then Dameon said something about that day coming soon. After what seemed like a loooong wait, she finally caught on! :) It was fun to then get to spend the day with her and talk about baby stuff. I remember thinking that I already had a baby belly and showed it off to her!! (Little did I know what a baby belly really meant!)

We had already scheduled our home inspection for the house we thought we were going to move into in Winterset (that's a whole other post...for another time...or maybe never...ugh!) so we had to head south for the day. We stopped in Clive on our way there to break the news to Zach and Jess. We decided to use the birthday invitation idea again. Much to our surprise...they weren't surprised! Jess just had a sixth sense that we were expecting!! She had even written a letter to us that she ran upstairs to get. I must say, that was pretty cool :) After the inspection, we called up Rick and Joyce (Dameon's dad and step-mom) and asked if we could come to Pella to have dinner with them. I figured that would be a dead giveaway, since that was not on our way home by any means. I guess I never have asked them if they were suspicious. We met them at Dairy Queen and Dameon started giving a detailed description of the inspection report. Then he said something about how the inspector told us the second bedroom would be a great nursery. He paused.....but they didn't take the bait. Then he said, "Because we're going to be needing that. SOON." I'm not sure who caught on first, but I remember Joyce smacking the table really hard and saying, "Are you pregnant????" Then there was a swarm of hugs. And, by the way, I had my first real bout of pregnancy nausea on the way home and will never be able to eat a Dairy Queen chicken strip basket for as long as I live. But that's neither here nor there.

And on this Mother's first Mother's Day with husband went above and beyond to plan a special time for us. When we woke up, he presented me with an oh-so-special gift. He purchased a beautiful painting of a heart and printed Henry's hands and feet on it. All by himself!! (I wish I coulda been a fly on the wall for that part!) Then we headed to church. Afterward, we went and grabbed some coffee at Starbucks and then went to Johnny's Italian Steakhouse where he had made us a reservation for the Mother's Day buffet. It was definitely some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten and I think it should definitely become a Mother's Day tradition. Yum! Then last night my mom came over and we all walked to Frosty's for burgers and ice cream. No cooking for me yesterday!

Thank you, Dameon, for wonderful Mother's Day memories. And thank you for Henry, too!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

grandpa chris

Being a preschool and kindergarten teacher means that I work with a lot of kids. And I've worked with a lot of kids over the last five years who don't have a daddy in their life, don't even know who their daddy is, or only see their daddy when he decides to stop by and pick them up for a couple hours on a random weekend every few months. And you can tell a difference in those kids. They just plain need their dad. And I don't just mean they need to know who their dad is. I mean they need their daddy. Somebody who is going to invest in them, engage with them, and get down on the floor to play with them. As for me...I have the best dad. And I have taken that for granted for a long time. See, becoming a parent gives you a whole different vantage point. And if you're a parent, then you already know what I mean. I am so thankful that Henry will always have his daddy. A daddy that is so in love with and enamored with him. A daddy who has big plans for all the things they are going to do together.
Some of the best memories I have of times with my dad are times when he would play with me and my brothers. He always had time for that. When I was in elementary school, he was kinda the neighborhood dad. The dad who organized play for all the other kids who's dads were too busy, tired, or just plain uninterested. Several times my dad spray painted our entire backyard like a football field so everybody could come over and play. I think he was all-time quarterback. Or he would walk us up the block to the baseball diamond in the summertime and we'd play til dark. I remember sledding in the little green plastic sled, me in the front and dad in the back, down the little alley behind our house. That hill seemed so steep and so fast back then :) I remember Dad packing up our bikes in the van and driving to Ames for Daddy Lindsay days. We would ride around the Iowa State campus (me with my training wheels in second grade, of course) and stop at the hub for a juice box and laffy taffys. Then we'd go bowling or mini-golfing. I remember riding around on the golf cart while Dad played a round. He would let me steer the cart and eat Cheetos to my heart's content. I remember my Dad was really good at making up games, too. Like where he'd hold up his hand and we'd have to choose one finger and that finger triggered a certain response. Pointer finger was zurr-burrs and pinky was tickles. I remember me, Dad, and Brad playing wrestling match and pillow fights on my parents' bed. That's where I learned "CYMBALS!" (That's when you get hit with two pillows on both sides of your head.) And my mom would always demand we stop because "Somebody's gonna get hurt." And Brad always cried about losing the match :)
And of course there are things that my dad did for me in my more "grown up" years, too. Like when he came up to visit me on a Friday night during the fall of my freshman year of college and ended up brining me home with him for the weekend because I was painfully homesick. Or when he came up to UNI during my third year when I was going through a pretty rough time. He took me to a motel for a night just so I could get away and then helped me prepare all the food for a bridal shower I was hosting the next day. Or when he bailed me out of debt more than once because I thought a credit card with 18% interest meant only one thing: FREE SHOPPING SPREE!! Or when he sat at Panera for hours talking with Dameon and then gave his blessing for the proposal. Or when he walked me down the aisle and picked out a special song for us to dance to. Or when he gave up a perfectly good golfing day to come to Waterloo and meticulously scrape and paint the muttons of our windows so that our house could pass inspection.
Now that my dad is Henry's grandpa, I can't wait to have a new vantage point. Watching him play with my son.
The day before we went to the hospital to be induced, my dad gave me the following letter and a children's book by Billy Crystal called, "I Already Know I Love You." He had typed it in the weeks leading up to our due date when we thought our baby would be coming sometime around January 8. I asked him if I could re-type it here and he agreed. I wanted to share it because it is so very special.

Dear Baby Place (#1),
This is a very special time for me as I await your arrival in several weeks!! You see, YOU will be my FIRST GRANDCHILD!!! There are so many people looking forward to meeting you, but none more than your mom and dad, I'm sure! You will be arriving in this world shortly after Christmas. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior...Jesus!! People like to give gifts at Christmas as a way to show they love one another, but there is no greater gift than God's love for us!! YOU are a special gift, too, as YOU were created by God! As you grow, your mommy and daddy will help you learn more about God and how important it is to follow his ways.
You're not going to believe this, but I've already seen a picture of you even though you aren't born yet! The doctor has a way of taking pictures of you while you are in your mommy's tummy and believe me....You are PERFECT!! (I don't look very good in pictures, but you sure do!) It's so much fun watching your mommy and daddy as they get ready for you!! They don't know if you are a boy or a girl, so they've been busy thinking of a special name for you and keeping that list a SECRET. No matter what name they give you, it will be special.
You are so blessed to be coming into the loving home that your mommy and daddy will provide. I know this because your mommy is a very special little girl in so many ways. You see...she was my first child. I can still remember holding her right after she was born and thinking about what a miracle she was!!! Only God could create something so perfect! She sucked her fingers backwards. (I wonder if you'll do that, too??) Your dad is pretty awesome, too! He loves your mommy A LOT and has TONS of LOVE to give you, too! I tease him about being a Hawkeye and he teases my about being a Cyclone. (I'll explain more as you get older.)
There are a couple of other special people waiting for you to arrive, too. Your Uncle Brad is a very talented musician who plays guitar and other musical instruments. He loves to write songs, too, so maybe he will one day write a song for you?? Uncle Blake is Brad's brother and can do lots of cool things, too. He is very creative and will probably be a famous inventor someday. One day he will probably teach you how to ride a unicycle or how to operate a Kool-Aid stand. :o)
I so look forward to watching you learn and grown in the world that awaits you! God has created so many beautiful things for us to enjoy together and I can't wait to watch your eyes marvel at His creations!!! One of God's special creations is your Grandma Paulette. (I'll bet you'll call her Grandma P.) She is one of the greatest treasures God has blessed me with, and I can't wait for you to meet her! I know she can't wait to hold you and cuddle with you, just as she did with your mommy when she was little. Probably no one has looked forward to the day of your birth more than Grandma P!!! She has been busy stitching you a quilt to keep you warm when she rocks you, but I know the warmth of her love for you will easily keep you warm!! :)
May God bless the times we will treasure together with you!
Grandpa Chris

Yep, I have the best dad. Well, besides Henry's dad, of course.

Monday, May 2, 2011

You can take the boy out of the netherlands but you can't take the netherlands out of the boy...or something like that.

This past weekend we traveled to Pella so Dameon could take part in a retirement celebration for a good friend of his. We won't be able to make it to Tulip Time next weekend, so we dolled Henry up in his Dutch costume (thanks, Aunt Jodi!) and had a photo shoot. We started out trying to prop him up with neck pillows. That didn't work at all (as you can see) and he ended up looking like a pile of Dutch costume that somebody left behind.

Then we got smart and set him on my lap while I leaned out of the way. These are a few of the favorites:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

one year ago today...

I stumbled into the bathroom, took a pregnancy test, and...our lives would be forever changed!

How grateful we are for our sweet baby Henry. It is fun to think back on those early days of pregnancy and reflect on how far we've come :)