Monday, January 31, 2011


I would really appreciate your prayers for a woman who may have a brain tumor. Please pray for good news for her and that the Lord may make her well.

It seems like there are a lot of people in need of prayers lately, for very serious things. I keep coming across them and I can't help but think it's not a coincidence that I'm reading/hearing about them. I'm pretty sure God's putting them in front of me so I can offer up for them the pain and anxiety associated with the infection near my eye.

That being said, I would appreciate prayers that my infection clears up, not for me, but because I am scared of passing it to my babies. I am anxiety-ridden by it and just praying that they're okay ( I'm taking antibiotics but I'm still nervous).

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One of those days

I'm having one of those days where I am just teetering on the edge of a breakdown. Not a huge breakdown, but there would be tears involved.

It's just that I can handle my daily stress just fine until two or three unexpected things get added on, and then I really approach my breaking point.

The first thing that is helping me get there quickly is a swollen eye. Actually it's more like a swollen eyebrow/eyelid. It's most likely from an ingrown eyebrow hair and it's so incredibly annoying. I know, not the end of the world, but it's just always there annoying me. And I'm hoping I don't have to go to the doctor. I don't want my husband to see me, let alone leave the house like this.

The second thing is Luke is spitting up more and more. He's been on Zantac for two weeks now and it hasn't helped at all. Last week I called his pediatrician to say it wasn't better and her plan was for me to try giving up butter. I'd given up basically all dairy except butter and she wanted to see if getting rid of it would be the answer. It wasn't. His spitting up has only increased and he still cries out in obvious pain right before I burp him. He only spits up when he's burped, and it's as if the spitting up relieves him. Poor little guy.

And while his feedings are spaced out during the day, mixed in with a few naps, he's basically eating constantly during the hours of 7 to midnight (I had read that cluster feeding like that in the evening hours could mean that he's just filling up for the long sleep ahead). Then, when Ryan gets home around 11:30, we walk on egg shells hoping and praying that he falls asleep and stays asleep. If he does, he's great, sleeping through sometimes till 7 a.m. If he wakes, it's usually around 4 or 5 a.m. and goes back to sleep until 7 or 8 a.m.

It's so stressful crossing our fingers every night that we don't hear his tell-tale cough, cough, cough sound which ALWAYS precedes him waking up and screaming. We have come to fear the three coughs.

And like I said, if he does fall asleep, he stays asleep. That's a blessing.

So today I put in a call to his doctor since it had been a week with no improvement. To my dismay, she said the word I was hoping not to hear - colic. Ugh. She doesn't know for sure if that's it, but that's the nature of colic I suppose. It's what you call it when you don't know for sure what it is.

She also suggested that perhaps I'm feeding him too much. I had wondered about that. I definitely feed him to stop his crying. What else can I do? No, I'm serious - what else can I do?

She wants me to let him go longer between feedings during those hours in which he eats constantly - 7 to midnight. And - and I know some of you disagree with this - she said I can let him cry. I am in the camp of not being opposed to that, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard to listen to. Plus, I really don't want my 14-month old to wake up either.

So I convinced her to let us try the medication that comes after Zantac (I can't remember what it's called). It worked for Clara so I'm hoping it does the trick with Luke too. I can have butter again (yay!) and I'll try to go longer between feedings at night.

The other thing that is weighing on me, though, is his sleeping pattern, or lack thereof. As I said, he sleeps well at night, but it's in a little vibrating seat (we usually don't vibrate it anymore, so he at least learns to sleep without that). We're probably overdue in transitioning him to the bassinet. I know we should have done this from the start but we were not sleeping at all and were desperate.

Another mistake I've made is feeding him until he falls asleep. I will go from side to side to side until he's out, and then I sit still and wait ten to fifteen minutes to make sure he's definitely asleep. I'll even burp him one last time and put him back on for a bit so that I don't have to burp him at the very end. I know this is bad! I'm ready to stop doing it, I just don't know how.

Well, I do know how, and that's to let him cry. And one thing I can't help but wonder is for those who don't believe in letting their babies cry, what do you do if they won't fall asleep on their own? Do you just not worry about it and embrace feeding or rocking them to sleep?

Sorry this is all over the place, but so is my brain lately. I just don't know how others do it. How they have everything under control, their babies sleep beautifully, they don't freak out when new stress enters their day like I do. Maybe it's an unreasonable goal to think everything can be neat and orderly and under control.

Ahhh. I feel better now. Clara is passed out in her play pen (I could hear her playing in her crib during her afternoon nap, so I'm not surprised she's still tired) and Luke's sleeping in his swing. Maybe it's not ideal, but oh well. I'm going to work on it. I'm just not sure where to start.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two months

It's hard to believe it's been two months...

November 26, 7 lbs. 4 oz

January 26, 11 lbs. 2.5 oz

Clara loves her bay-beeee

Going in for the kiss

Not too sure about that

Best buds

Happy 2 months, Lukie! We love you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's always good when...

* don't leave your baby in the cart at the register to run and get an item you forgot.

Is it wrong that I was actually proud of myself for thinking clearly enough to not do this?

* get a wonderful opportunity to practice humility when you realize everyone in line just watched you almost forget you have a baby with you.

* have so much energy you wonder who took over your body and what did they do with the real you. I haven't felt this good since this time last year, when we first got Clara and before I got pregnant. Is it possible that somehow caring for newborns fixes adrenals?

* get a free couch!

A friend of ours was moving and couldn't take along her expensive, plush and comfy couch. It now replaces our old one which was a safety hazard since our cats had scratched it to the point of exposing the interior framework. And there were staples.

It's probably too big for our little house, bit did I mention it was free? And comfy? And matches our other furnishing? I could have stopped at free.

* notice your daughter's chewing on her crib before she gnaws all the way through.

Sorry, Clara. You might have gotten this past your old foggy-brained mommy, but the new-and-improved me is all over this. It only took me probably about a week of her going all Shawshank during every nap before I noticed. Small victories!

Monday, January 17, 2011

God is good

Another opportunity to sit at my computer must mean that things are still improving. Both babies asleep, my husband at the gym, I'm showered, and we've even had breakfast. The house is quiet.

With the craziness dying down, and sleep coming much more frequently, I've had more of a chance to really savor my moments with my babies. My two babies. I have even found I look forward to my time alone with them when Ryan's at work (shhh! Don't tell him. I'd still like him to think it's really hard).

It's just that in the rush of that newborn stage, time for reflection is at a minimum. It all happens so fast. Baby cries constantly pierce the air. You're a zombie. For a while, Ryan and I didn't even see each other. Both of us awake meant one should be asleep.

But now, with Luke giving us the blessing of several hours of sleep all at once, my mind is clear. I actually feel better than I have in many, many months.

And I can look at my babies and really thank God for his wondrous gifts.

That is, when I can take it all in. Sometimes it's incomprehensible.

But, just like I used to have moments of clarity where the reality of infertility would hit me and I'd think, I'm childless and barren. I'm really infertile, now I have moments where it all suddenly hits me and I think, I'm a mother of two. These are my babies. When did this happen? How?

Motherhood is as wonderful as infertility was terrible.

And it's remarkable how quickly I've forgotten the back pain, the heartburn, the contractions, the inconsolable baby with a dairy allergy. Give me one good night's sleep and I'd sign up to do this ten more times!

We can't even guess what the future holds for our family, but how could I not want more of these faces?

God is so good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Much better

So I've posted lately about events and anniversaries, but I've kind of left everyone in the lurch about the state of things over here. At this very moment (subject to change any second), both babies are sleeping so I'll try to write as much as I can in the time that I have.

I should start out by saying things have gotten a lot better. So much better. Luke is a different baby since I've given up dairy and I'm so thankful. But.. he's still fussy. How do you know if your baby is fussier than a normal baby? That's a good question since all babies cry and hardly sleep, right? Well, when the lactation consultant and pediatrician politely listen to your complaints, give you generic advice, and then witness said fussiness and suddenly a light bulb goes off - oh, that's what you're talking about! - well, that's when you know your baby's fussiness is a little worse than normal.

Now that most of the issues have been resolved by giving up dairy (blood in his stool was the main symptom, which is not fun to see in your newborn's diaper), we're moving on to treating what is most likely reflux. We have a lot of experience with reflux thanks to Clara, so we're pretty confident Lukie has it too. He's starting Zantac tomorrow, and I don't have a problem with using a medication since it worked wonders with her (well, not Zantac. She actually needed something stronger) and relieves the pain you can so clearly see they're in.

Also today, at Luke's six-week appointment, we got some great news - he weighs 9 lbs. 14 oz.! He was 7 lbs. 3 oz. at his three-week check, which was one ounce below his birth weight. At the time, our very kind pediatrician didn't freak out and never even mentioned supplementing, which I was very grateful for. She trusted that he'd soon start gaining, and even wondered if perhaps he'd just be "petite" (ha! Not exactly what every father, at least ones already planning their sons' football careers, wants to hear). Well, fast forward three weeks and not only has he gained, but he's up 2 lbs. 11 oz.!

He has changed so much in the past couple weeks. Not only has he gotten bigger and longer, but he's so incredibly alert. He performed right on cue for the doctor today, all happy and alert (not to mention holding his head way up while on his tummy and even coming very close to rolling over). And just two days ago he started giggling at me! He did it every time I took his hands and clapped them together and said, "yay!". I was actually having him do "Patty Cake" for Clara. It was the first time I really felt like there was something behind his eyes. He's a little boy now!

Clara is doing great too. We all had the stomach bug New Years' weekend and her bout (we think it was that, or possibly teething?) lasted a bit longer (let's just say we had to leave her clothes in a McDonald's bathroom in Pennsylvania). She's back to normal now and is back to constantly surprising us, like, for instance, by biting down to the wood on her crib. Nice!

She's also almost exclusively walking (especially since hanging out with baby E the other day) and has quite the vocabulary (we're slowly realizing she is listening to everything we're saying!). I absolutely love when she says, "hi, Lukie!" She, all on her own, has decided to sing/yell his name - Lukieeeeeeeee!!!!! She's also very into her dolls lately and loves feeding them her bottle. One time I swear it looked like she was trying to nurse her doll, but I might have imagined it!

Well our dog just woke up both babies (she isn't exactly my favorite member of the family lately) so I have to get going. But I do want to quickly add that I am doing a lot better emotionally and feel like I have a much better handle on things. While Luke has gotten a little less fussy, he's still up all through the night (Our Lady has heard from me a LOT lately - please let him fall asleep...please let him fall asleep) and sometimes I think I really should be more tired than I am. But, thanks to the grace of God, I think I am just finding my way and getting used to it. I know what to do when one or both are crying and when I have to nurse (thank the Lord above for Clara's pen! And that she loves being in it!). I hesitate to say we have a routine because nothing is routine about our days lately, but it works. That's not to say that I haven't been stressed (I think I texted "I'm losing my mind!" to Ryan a couple nights ago), but those moments/days are to be expected.

And I think things will only get better. I've already made dinner every night this week (okay, no four-course meals but chicken patties and homemade soup still count!) and even found time to make banana muffins one day. And after the shape I was in just a few weeks ago, I think banana muffins speak volumes about the current state of things over here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A year

A year ago today we were here...

And we met her...

And fell in love. They even let us take the little five pound peanut home...

She's gotten bigger (15 lbs. bigger)...

And has filled our home with more joy than we could have ever imagined.

We celebrated her special day today with cupcakes...

I might have forgotten a bib, or to take off her new clothes (here I am, trying a little too late)...

And we learned that she's pretty adept at applying frosting lipstick...

When it was all said and done (or when I decided she was done), she was pretty happy with herself.

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. Yet, at the same time, it feels like she's always been part of our lives. We love you, Clara Therese!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Luke's baptism

Luke Kolbe is officially a member of the Church! We were so blessed to have him receive the Sacrament of Baptism today.

He was so good, probably the best he's ever been in Mass. Clara on the other hand... The poor baby is getting a tooth at the moment and is having a rather rough time. The priest even made a remark to the entire congregation about someone needing an excorcism. Ouch!

Luke and Clara's cousin Caleigh was also baptized today. Ryan and I are Caleigh's Godparents, and Caleigh's parents (my sister and brother-in-law) are Luke's.

My parents threw a big party for Luke and Caleigh and everyone got to meet them both. We had a wonderful time and I was just so happy I could even be there - I had the stomach bug on Saturday and was just praying I'd be well enough to attend. Thank God I was!

I'm also blessed to share Luke's baptism day with my birthday. And it happens to be St. Therese's birthday, as well as the day we called to say we would be Clara's parents one year ago, and the day we chose her name. What a special day!