Sunday, October 30, 2011

T'was The Night of Rambling Updates...

T'was the night before Ben's 8 week birthday when all through the house not a thing was in order not even a blouse... Okay its not that messy. Gosh where to start?

Well I think within the hour of finishing my last blog everything changed. EVERYTHING! Ben went from only crying right before poops to crying all evening long EVERY evening. I read and read and talked to everyone and though there is NO definition for "colic" there are some basic standards called "the 3 C's" 1. Cries for at least 3 hours. 2.) Cries for at least 3 days a week 3.) Cries for at least 3 weeks. Its MORE than safe to give Baby Ben a passing grade WITH honors for this achievement. In fact, for the first 3 weeks he cried from 4pm-11pm (and even past 12:30am once or twice) EVERRRRY single night. THEN sometime a week and a half ago he started crying both evenings and days. Thank God, and I DO, he hasn't been too difficult during the night. How HAVE the nights been? Well let me tell ya.... he'd maintain the schedule as described in the last blog with the exception that from 4am on he'd be sooo restless with bouts of frantic kicking, punching and short bursts of cries and finally after several hours of that he'd finally get relief of LARGE gas explosions around the early morning hours. I tried 2 different natural gas, colic, stomach relief drops to NO avail. I stopped eating dairy (cheddar cheese being one of three food items I have been eating next to extra chunky peanut butter and chocolate chips...I'm WAY too ashamed to admit how many bags I go through a week.) Believe me I go up and down the isles in the grocery store and NOTHING sounds appetizing, I just don't get it. I love vegetables, I love meat, I love lots of stuff but even the off-limit foods have no appeal but come on....pb and chocolate is NOT healthy!

Okay, so I called the Dr. earlier this week- he told me that statically dairy is usually not the reason for colic, gas, stomach issues (which is what I have read as appose to popular thinking that dairy will help or stop it) but nonetheless I was willing to cut off my limbs to have more than 10 mins of quiet here and there (that's how long his average naps have been seriously) so I've cut it out and haven't seen a significant difference, I'd say screw it but I can't afford cheese anyway so might as well stay off it for a little longer. lol THEN I was advised to try mycolin drops..I think I'm spelling that wrong, I DO know the correct spelling but at present I'm so immensely stretched to my limits I just can't think. I was told from several sources they have a 50/50 success rate...I went to the store and EVERY bottle of EVERY brand were sold out. I did have one day this last week, can't even remember which it was when Baby Ben was once again the baby I knew who slept for hours upon hours. He was so content and slept most of the day that I actually ended up not being able to stand it, I got his out of bed TWICE to give him hugs and kisses cause I missed him so much. The next day, back to Purgatory.

On top of everything my husband has been working long days between his two jobs, some times 12 hours+ involving 2 hrs of commuting. Thus, by the time he gets home he's obviously exhausted and needing rest and cave time but his cave woman is about to go made and burn down the dwelling so he's pushed to his limits from taking over and nursing me. There was one day this past week where I was so frustrated and tired and at my wits-end he had to just undress me and put me to bed (without a bottle ;)

On a good note it is rather the inevitable he will be offered full time with RV Kuhn's including benefits pretty soon! It will be like Christmas, let me tell ya, how awesome it will be to have that chunk of $$$ (paying for private insurance) freed up to go toward my student loans! AND Tom being Tom is still planning on maintaining his other job with Apple. they told him as long as he works 15 hours a week they will keep him on. It means he'll work Saturdays and probably 2 nights during the work week. UGH But he's doing it for us. It allows our  phone bills to be next to nothing and again, working ourselves crazy to get out of debt!

Speaking of working I start back up with Adidas this week. Can't stay I'm super excited about it even with Ben's all-day colic-ness. My mom, bless her heart, will be taking care of my bebe and though I will only be working 6 days a month I know from experience I will be asked if I can take on more cause..tis the season and special seasonal/annual projects I am usually always involved with are coming up. It makes me nervous. I know my boss is very understanding and has given me an out if I need to drop a store or even two but me being me I want to see I how much I can take before I drop anything. Oh and the reason I;m keeping my Adidas job is due to paying student loans. I know most of you have them too so I know I'm complaining to the choir here about how crappy it is to be paying 450+ a month and how it SUCKS. According to projected payback schedules they will get to over 700 a month in the next few years. Pretty insane.

I keep getting asked how I like being a Mom. I always answer the same, "I enjoy being a Mommy but not so much being a Mom. The difference being a Mommy means experiencing all the sweet moments and a Mom means all the the responsibility." Baby Ben doesn't know anything about debt or responsibilities or mom needing to get the grocery shopping done as fast as she can while he sleeps, needing to run into the Post Office or ANYWHERE without planning on what it will mean to take the simple trip with him, all he knows is when he's hungry, when something hurts and when his mom is and isn't there. So while I feel like I already learned my lesson about getting into debt, I feel like its now 100% solidified how I would ever go there again cause it means I am giving up being there for him 100%. I'm also grateful for a husband who has been working so hard free us from the student loans, none of which were his, sacrificing his own time away from college to do so in the hope and effort once we are debt free we will get him through school PAYING AS WE GO! Is it slow and tedious, you bet. Are we aware of the loss of gain that could be ours if we just bit the bullet and put him through school so he could be making more sooner? Of course. We know how MOST people do things but we are trying a different route.
Okay well that's the news from the Clark home, "where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average! "

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mommy & Baby 1st Month Update

First: An update on our Lil Ben! Baby Ben is just so dang sweet. He turned 1 month on Wednesday- AHHH. He smiled for the first time awake last week and since I’ve only got one other smile. I just can’t wait till he starts smiling all the time cause its so interesting how his face just totally changes in the sweetest way when he’s smiling!

He has spit-up a total of 3 times. We are ridiculously so spoiled by how easy going he is, seriously; I completely recognize how blessed we are to have such good a baby. He honestly cries for one reason- 9 out of 10 cries are from him working on some gas/poopies. And even then the crying fits don’t last very long and once he’s pooped he’s good. And the 1 of out 10 cries are him fussing out he doesn’t like to fall asleep without being in my arms. It’s soooo sweet but anyone with arms or things to do knows how it can be trying. Oh and he’s moved up into Stage 1 diapers from NB- I finally put my foot down about not using up the last package of NB diapers when he pee-pee’d threw them 2 nights and 2 days in a row. Ahhh its getting SO big! He popped out a double chin last week, it seemed just over night. It’s so cute.

He’s not yet sleeping through the night but I’m hoping it’s coming soon. He is up at the same times every night that I have grown use to it and wake up just minutes or even seconds before he does. He wakes and is up from 11:45pm-12:15am, 1:45AM-2:45AM, (and sometimes 1:45am-3:30am) 4:00am-4:15am, 5:30-5:45 or 6am for a few minutes, 7:20am for a few minutes, 8:30am and is up or I’ll try to sleep another hour if he allows! lol 

Overall, I am so excited to have a baby during the holidays! I really love having a calm, special, little baby boy, WAY MORE than I ever expected. He is just so dang adorable- I can’t express how proud I am to have a lil Tom. I wouldn’t change a THING! (well maybe change that I hope his gas and poopies are painful- its tough to not be able to do much but comfort him). I remember Bek knowing a woman in her old ward who’s newborn had kidney stones! I remember how horrible that sounded then and NOW it worries me more than you know. I mean, kidney stones are still the most painful ailment I know and to imagine a baby having them, and going through that pain when HONESTLY NO amount of painkiller does crap!!!!! Its just so heartbreaking. I just hope it doesn’t happen with Baby Ben or ANY baby for that matter!! Ah

Secondly: How I’m doing. Well..hmm. My incision is doing fine- I’d take a pic but…you’d all see my pubes and I’m sure you DON’T want to see that! Lol The incision is fine- it itches like mad. I think my only post-op complaint is really such a small one. I still have pain when I sit-up from bed (any kind of sitting-up exercise for that matter). But really I feel fine. And I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I am thankful for how everything went- YES nothing happened when and how I wanted (except that my husband and my mom were 10000% perfect in support throughout the labor) BUTTTT now I honestly hope I always have c-sections! Haha Yet, another complete 180 degree opinion change I’ve made through the course of being pregnant/delivery. I guess my big concern with IT I were to continue to have c-sections is that I know each one following is rougher on your uterus. I could be totally wrong but I know personally three women whom 1 couldn’t have anymore children after the 2nd because the surgery destroyed hers and another while CAN have more children has been “strongly advised” not to for the same reason. I think 3 kids is plenty though so we’ll see.

Baby-Blues. I feel for the most part I have been feeling the opposite of baby-blues. Meaning, I haven’t been having any kind of not wanting to leave the house but instead I can’t seem to get out enough! I try to get out at least once a day and for at least an hour if not longer. I do my best to time Ben’s naps so doesn’t have his fussy-poops while in the stores, etc. Also, I feel blessed I haven’t had any issues with not connecting with my baby. I do however have been having one sign of post-pardon and that is I absolutely hate having those freaky worries about Ben getting hurt, getting stolen, dropping him on accident, or Heaven forbid he gets SIDS. Bek said while they are TOTALLY normal and part of being a mom, to try to get those icky thoughts out as fast as they can come in and also use prayer to help subdue them. It works.

As far as any depression feelings. While I am still weepy at times (though the weepiness has gone away a TON) I’m feeling depressed about the loneliness that has come from the sudden change of working full time to now having very little human interaction.

I miss Bek living just 20 minutes away. I’m sure if she still lived here I’d be driving her NUTS with regular visits! I miss so many friends that are gone now. I miss my good friend Sara Fitzsimmons

Weight. Well I dropped 35 lbs without an ounce of effort the first 2 weeks and then it totally stopped. While I haven’t checked the scales in over a week due to not wanting to obsess AND I haven’t felt any changes either. I know it’s only been a month but I’m still worried. Worried cause I have an up-hill battle from here especially since my appetite has come back, not WAY hungry but normal hungry. Also, and this might sound SO weird to those of you who don’t know this yet about me but since ….2005? I go on weird food kick(?) I guess you would call it.

Basically, I get one food in my head and it’s the ONLY thing I want to eat for 2-3 meals a day for 6 weeks to 4 months at a time. I’ve gone on all kinds of kicks. Nally’s Chili, Turkey sandwiches, then when I changed my diet in ’08 the cravings changed to Costco sausages & kraut, deviled eggs (my poor roommate put up with that smell for MANY moths!) I literally would go through 3 dozen eggs in 6 days and a large jar of Best Foods in a week! NOT EXAGGERATING! I’ve gone on salad kicks- LOVE salads, scramble eggs with an absurd amount of cheese and salsa, and then back to earlier craving. I’ve asked two doctors about why I eat this way and if its some kind of issue but both doctors weren’t worried and said as long as I wasn’t eating 3 dozen eggs a day for weeks then I should be fine! Anyway, the reason I’m even bringing this up is while I’m on a food kick life is fine its when I stop wanting something but don’t have another that sounds good that life SUCKS! I call it my limbo stage. It doesn’t happen between every change but when it does it lasts for anywhere from a week to a few months- I’ve been on it since Ben was born and the only thing that sounds even remotely good is Peanut Butter (another food kick item) and Ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate chips. EVEN if there weren’t any foods off the table in my diet, I’m telling you nothing sounds good. I’ve done things in the past to hurry along the process- even gagging down deviled eggs in the attempt to crave them again- it has worked and not worked. Sooo for now its PB and C.chips and I WONDER WHY my weight isn’t shedding! Haha There IS a blessing in all this too! I have gone on egg kicks and I think they saved me during the most poorest of times (eggs are so cheap) I just wish I would hit that one again! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baby Shower I & II

Well, first off Bek threw me a fantastic, over-the-top, out of this world Baby Shower on Saturday.
This was the second baby shower thrown for me. The first one was given by my visiting teachers and it was planned and given on September 8th and b/c Baby Ben was early it happened without me! lol I was relieved to be honest. I LOVE being center of attention when I WANT to be center of attention but I have issues with receiving gifts- I do, I admit it. I simply feel GUILTY! I just know how hard times are and I just feel so overwhelmed with people's desire and sacrifice to give.
So, its not surprising I was dreading this second shower either. And to top it off I was SO exhausted I just didn't know I was gonna be able to get through it without having a major melt-down (which happened the night before) and/or collapsing! Seriously, I heard myself slurring words a ton and at one moment as I was reading out loud to the quests the title of a book I received and I had to trice look at the word: "Shapes" before I could remember if the word WAS "shapes" "sharp" or "sharks" haha I WAS going to take my "Thursday Nap" but..instead I took Baby Ben on a stroller walk to Ashley's and back (over 3.5 miles and 4 hours).
Bek, my sister-in-law AND Bek's mom together made a really fun party. My mom took pictures and I will add them as soon as she gets a new computer and can send them to me. Aleece (my s-i-l) made a nursery rhyme cake that I just can't describe well enough you just have to see it. She's become QUITE the cake maker!
Then Bek's mom made four different spice levels of chili and gave them witty nursery rhyme names! Again I have pictures coming!!!
We had a wonderful turn out ESPECIALLY with it being Conference Weekend AND Tom and I were SO overwhelmed ONCE again with everyone's generosity! It make us both pretty emotional how loved and well taken care of we have been from family, friends, and most of all The Lord!
Okay highlights- Bek made a book of Ben's birth for us! I LOVE IT SO MUCHHHH!!! Like, She used our pictures and included the birth story in it too! I was SOOO planning on asking her HOW to do that some time soon (since she is SO good at making them for her kids) I just think its SO special!
Also, as you all know my mom was super convinced we were having a girl and she made HANDS down the most beautifully crafted quilt with like a hundred hrs? Probably more of hand-stitching, also included a blanket, pillow, wall hanging, toy,....and maybe something else I'm forgetting so when Baby Ben was born she was obviously super bummed BUT she then started on a boy quilt, blanket, etc immediately so for the shower she had everything but the quilt made and YES again, I need to add pictures because they are just SO sweet and made with CARE and LOVE! Ashley got me a year subscription to Food Network's mag and again I was just soooo happy! lol I had just earlier that day been trying to figure out how to hint to my mom how that's what I wanted for my birthday! Emily made the fantastic quilt that we've used just about everyday- so soft, so cute, so sturdy- its gonna hold up! And Emily's mom made one of those kid towels with a hood- I have to say I LOVE it WAY more than the store cute ducky one! PLUS the color is a perfect green- a rich, saturated deep green! Such great taste!
Babe Ben received all kinds of cute items like a bib for every holiday, an University of Oregon hoody, lots and lots of MUCH needed diapers (seriously we were actually out of ours and were NEEDING to got down to Salem to use the one's at my parents house!) We were just so dang spoiled!
Thank you to EVERYONE! Amanda and Danelle have sent like...5 packages throughout the pregnancy and after of wonderful items! Bek also had diapers and wipes shipped to our apartment when Ben was born when all we had was the one package we got from Amanda- (that's how unprepared we were!) I had friends come totally out of their way too! Like Michele who had here baby..wait I can to do the math. She was exactly 5 weeks ahead of me, Morgan was exactly 2 weeks ahead of me. Michele had her baby 2 weeks early, so her baby is 2 months old! okay that was almost painful! lol Anyway she came to the party THO I would have loved to have met her bay-bay! My aunts and cousin's wife came up from Eugene, and friends from my old ward growing up where there- old ward meaning from when I was born thru 8 yrs old!
Thank you Tigard 2nd Ward. Thank you Brush Hills Ward, Thank you Jan Rae Ward, Thank you Amanda, Danelle, Rebecca, Emily, Ashley, Mom, Emily's Mom, Family, neighbors, co-workers, State of Oregon, Michele, and especially everyone who was emotionally supportive throughout the pregnancy! I love you ALL!