Thursday, October 28, 2010

McGee Farm's Pumkin Patch

For years and years Lyssa has gone to the pumpkin patch with first her preschool and then with Kindergarten - 2nd grade.  I never got to go with preschool because I was always working and once she got in school, only limited number of parents could go.  This year we found out that 2nd grade is the last year that you have this little fun adventure, so we decided to go as a family, since Lyssa is the only one who has ever been.  It was a drive out there and it was chilly, but it was fun.
on the hay ride 
The barn
a little pumpkin growing on the vine 
a ton of pumpkins ahead
corn field 
Baby Alex picked out his first pumpkin with Mommy 
Lyssa was so proud she picked one small enough for Alex 
Baby goat 
Papa Goat 
Mums
Daddy trying to keep Alex warm 
McGee Farm's new kitchen
The tractor that pulled us on our hay ride
Lyssa milking a fake cow
yes it squirted "milk" 
the family 
Daddy and Company
Alex not so sure he was ready to leave

Friday, October 22, 2010

Excitement with Ellyssa - Homecoming Parade

This is Lyssa's 5th year to be a cheerleader and 5th year to be in the Muscle Shoals Homecoming Parade.  This year has been a bit rough for her because I'm not coaching and she had a broken leg at the beginning of the season.  But of course nothing is better than wearing your uniform to school and then seeing all of your friends on the side of the street, while you are throwing them candy.  Here are some pictures from the parade.
Baby Alex was excited and ready to go, but then slept through the whole parade
The beginning of the parade
Muscle Shoals Color Guard
Muscle Shoals High School Band
Girl Scout Troop #1062 (Lyssa could have been on this float)
Lyssa peeking through trying to find me
Muscle Shoals White Pee Wee Cheerleaders
She found me and waved
Throwing candy
Another Girls Scout Troop #1062 (float Lyssa could have been on)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jack of all Trades (My Husband)

OK, so most people know my husband works at Wal-mart, and almost everybody knows he builds computer from scratch and pretty much anything else that you can do with computers.  He's a wonderful husband and father to our two children, but I bet no one knew he was a closet hair dresser! 

Last night, he decided he was going to die my hair... He only did the top half, leaving the bottom the almost black that it is naturally.  I must admit it turned out pretty good, the top is a lighter brown with a red tint.  So, then he decided to be more adventurous and trim it for me.  Now, I'm not sure if I let him out of confidence in him or out of my stupidity, but I let him.

I have to admit it is the best free cut and color that I have ever had.  We both love the results, although subtle to most, it's a little on the dramatic side to us, as we had gotten use to my black hair with my grey highlights.
it's looks better, but this is after sleeping on it
I'm so proud of him, I think it looks very good


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Breastfeeding is best...

As most people that know me know, I am for breastfeeding 100%.  I have always thought of all the people that say, they "couldn't" breastfeed just didn't try hard enough.  I was breastfeed for 18 months and I know it made a big difference in my childhood, no ear infections or anything.  I made a commitment to breastfeed Ellyssa.

My mom of course backed me, but inside she didn't think I would really do it since I was 20.  In the hospital, I tried to breastfeed, but had difficulties.  I had the nurse get me and lactation consultant.  My daughter wasn't latching on and there was a fix for it, a nipple shield.  Now, did I want to see this EVERY single time I went to feed her, no of course not.  Each time I tried to nurse her I tried it without it at first and then had to resort to using it.  After about 2 weeks, I no longer had to use it, she was successfully nursing with out it.  Then I faced not making enough milk.  I tried Brewer's Yeast, which proved unsuccessful, and my doctor, Dr. Richmond, gave me a prescription for Reglan.  It worked wonderfully, and I exclusively breastfed Lyssa until she was 9 months.  I made my mom proud, myself proud, and most importantly my daughter healthy.

Going into this pregnancy with my son, I knew I would breastfeed him as well.  In my mind it's the ONLY thing to do.  My mom spent a lot of money on Boppies and nursing clothes to make sure I had everything I needed.  Well, things this time didn't go as smoothly.  Although I had my bumps in the road with feeding Lyssa, there was nothing that would prepare me for the difficulties that I would face this time around.

In the hospital things were going smoothly, actually compared to my troubles with Lyssa things were going great.  Alex got Jaundice and had to be kept under the lights for 24 hours, which meant they only brought him to me to feed, which at ECM is every 3 hours.  I was beginning to give out due to one particular nurse, who has no business being a nurse, and his umbilical cord getting infected so he had to be put on antibiotics for 24 hours and now the Jaundice.  I asked for a pump, so I could get some rest.  I, very easily, pumped 2 ounces from each side.  I was very proud of myself as was the nursery where I sent it so I could get some rest.

I thought things were looking up so I was happy and confident when it was time to finally go home.  That's when trouble started... He began spitting up, which in the hospital he had only done a few times, but I paid no attention to it because it only started when he had to be kept under the lights so I thought he might have gotten too hot.  He was born weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces, and came home from the hospital weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces, which is normal.  When we went to the 1 week check up, which was only 24 hours after leaving the hospital, he was up to 7 pounds and 6 ounces, again leaving me feeling good.

When we took him back for his 2 week check-up, the spitting up had gotten worse and now the scale read 7 pounds and 4 ounces, at this point he should have been back to his birth weight.  We were sent to ECM for an Upper GI Scan, and it revealed reflux, to which he was given medicine to take 3 times a day.  Of course this also began our daily trip to the doctor's office.  I have to admit, I LOVE Dr. Melvin and his entire staff, I just wish I had found him back when Lyssa was born, but it's OK we have transferred her there.

When his weight was still not improving, I heard the words that I never wanted to hear, "you need to start supplementing", to me translated to "you failed at breastfeeding."  Of course, I could no longer talk to the doctor without crying, no matter how hard I tried to choke back my tears.  To which I was met with open arms, I have never seen a doctor's office do so much for me.  They realized at that moment, I wasn't a mom to say, "I give up," I was determined.  The doctor was on one phone with WIC to get them to pay for some Human Milk Fortifier(which adds calories to my milk), and a nurse was on another phone securing me a breast pump.  I was given a bottle of similac sensitive, due to his reflux and they wanted me to try this.  We went from there to Milner Rushing to get the breast pump, which was $3 a day to rent, but worth it for my child.  Benji took the prescription for the Human Milk Fortifier to WIC and they had to order it.  Apparently, people just don't try this hard now a days.  Oh and it's $180 a box and the box lasts 2 weeks.
Now, we had to wait for about a week before it even came in.  I began pumping and much to my shock and horror, I could only get 1/2 ounces from each side and not my 2 ounces.  So, I called my doctor, and they called me in a prescription for Raglan, to help me produce milk.  While I was pumping and weighting for my milk to come back, I was giving him the Similac that the doctor had given me.  Needless to say it was all coming back up, not just the couple of mouthfuls like with my milk.  So, they switched him to The Similac Soy, which confused me since he could take my milk obviously he can take milk.  Well, within seconds of taking it, I was wearing the entire bottle.  I couldn't do that to my child.

Next came time for WIC, the Fortifier was in and after them realizing I wasn't giving up without a fight, they loaned me a breast pump exactly like the one I was paying $3 a day for.  It's amazing to me the amount of help you get if you just ask.  However, the Fortifier wasn't staying down either.  Every one of the bottles that I gave him of my milk that had this in it, he spit right back up.  I was at a loss on what to do with baby boy.  So, I remembered from 9 months to 12 months, when Lyssa was on formula, I gave her Good Start and she had no problems at all.  It was worth a shot to me since nothing else was working.  He kept it down, one occasional mouthful of spit up was fine with me since he does have reflux and he is a baby.

When we reported back to the doctor for our 1 month check up Lil Man was almost 9 pounds and very happy.  I explained what happened with the Fortifier, and the doctor said apparently he has a sensitivity to the fillers that are put in similac to stay away from all similac products.  But that he was doing great.  In the meantime, regardless of pumping and taking medications for milk, the stress itself and me not eating because I was watching him and caring for him, I lost all of my milk.  At that point I was content though, as I realized I wasn't one of those women who said "I couldn't breastfeed," no matter how anyone thought about me saying I couldn't breastfeed and looking at me the way I look at some of them and in my head thinking "no, you could you just didn't want to," has no idea what all I went through to give my son the best start at life. 

As I cried many times blaming myself, there were many more times that I could fix him a bottle of Good Start and he would keep it down and smile at me.  I know in my heart that he got the Colostrum (vitamins before the milk comes in) that he needed.  I know he is doing well. 

Then last week right when he turned 8 weeks old he began spitting up large amounts again.  I did research on the Mayo Clinic, which I hold in high standards, and found his medication may need to be increased since he's almost 2 months, and I could thicken his bottle with cereal.  I thought there is no way I pouring a pound of cereal into his bottle like I have seen a lot of moms do.  I went with the guidelines from the Mayo Clinic, 2 Tbsp and 6 ounces of Good Start.  This barely made a difference when just looking at it, but turning the bottle up I could see a slight difference.  From bottle one, he keeps it down.  Success again!  We see the doctor Thursday and maybe they will increase his medicine, but until then, this is our combination.
As long as Lil Man is happy, we are all happy!  To those who truly want to breastfeed, it is the best option, but if you can't and you really tried, there is no shame in not being able to, it took time, but eventually I realized this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pretty Plus Sale - October

Ok, so it was that time of year again, time for my Mom's sale, the Pretty Plus Sale.  It's a seasonal consignment sale for women size 14 & up, xl & up.  The last sale was help in April, when I was about three months pregnant.  As a shock to a lot of people we had a new addition to our PPS family.  That's right, Lil Man Alex made his appearance every day and every hour that I was there.  He got to meet so many different people, people that he will get to know more and more with each passing sale, keeping in mind he was only 6 weeks old.  Here are only some of the wonderful people he got to meet.
this is how he spent a lot of his time, in the arms of Mrs. Kristie 
and then of course strapped to my chest
and Sissy was always there when she wasn't in school 
yes, I guess you can tell by the look on my face I really didn't want to be in these pictures considering I was still in maternity clothes and only 6 weeks since my c-section (3rd) 
Mrs. Kristie and Lyssa 
Mrs. Risner, I can't call her Karen like others do because she is a teacher at Central High School, and you just don't call teachers by their first name, she is one of our consignors and workers 
Of course Mrs. Sheila, one of our long time consignors and workers 
this is the other Ms. Christy, she's a consignor and does my hair 
And Mrs. Beth, so much to say about her... this was the first time she got to meet Lil Man and he just loved her 
Mrs. Kristie trying on one of our formals