Monday, April 30, 2007

A Little Mommy Talk #3

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Describe your pregnancy...cravings, sickness, etc...

Sam -
It's hard to describe how I felt at the time I was pregnant with Sam because now I know how much worse it was with Julia's pregnancy, but I'll do my best. Morning sickness started around 7 weeks and because we didn't have insurance coverage I opted not to go to the hospital for IV hydration even though I probably needed it from throwing up so much. Instead we forked over $37 a pill for a wonder drug called Zofran. It was designed for people on chemotherapy, but it can also help nausea in pregnancy. I quickly learned that I could cut the pills in half and only have to spend $15 to be able to function at my job.
I still saved them for my very worst days. I was a nannying 50 hours a week for my cousins (one and four years old). I also took unisom and vitamin B6 every night. I was well into my third trimester before I didn't need medication anymore to not be sick. During the months of months of feeling puky I only missed one day of work - I'd thrown up 5 times that morning already so I felt too weak to drive. I never went anywhere without a "puke bag". I lost track of the number of times I threw up while driving. You get the idea - I was really sick....
I remember wishing for twins so I never had to be pregnant again.
My cravings? First and foremost - I always considered how it would feel to throw it up before I ate anything. Gross, I know, but that was my reality. If I never again ate the things I threw up during my pregnancies there wouldn't be any food left for me to eat. Once, I actually felt like eating so we went out for dinner. What a waste that was! My $15 meal ended up all over the parking lot. During once stretch I survived on Starburst for a week. Fried food sounded good for a while and during the second half of my pregnancy I couldn't get enough salads. (McDonald's bacon ranch was my favorite). Around 32 weeks I was at work one da
y when I realized I couldn't read the words in my book. Everything was fuzzy and my speech started to slur. I quickly checked for symptoms of pre-eclamsia and it sounded like I needed to go to the doctor. I called the midwife and she told me to go to the ER right away. This happened to be Brian's first day at his new job so I didn't have anyway to get a hold of him at a moments notice. We tracked him down and off to the ER he and I went. I had a CAT scan and the baby was monitored for a while. I'd had a couple of fainting spells a few years prior so they wanted to make sure they weren't missing anything. It turns out slurred speech and vision are my symptoms of a migraine. Too bad it cost us $1200.00 to learn that all I needed was to take two Tylenol! During a camping trip at 38 weeks I got another migraine and all I had to do was pop two Tylenol and I was good as new. What was I doing camping you say? It's a tradition I look forward with as much anticipation as Christmas. There was no way I was going to miss it! I slept on a cot, had my luggable loo, and had a great time. It was also reassuring to know that Kitty was there since she's a nurse and used to work in labor and delivery.

Julia - I was so excited to be pregnant again and so hopeful that this time I wouldn't be as sick.
No such luck. I took a pregnancy test on January 19th and I was in the hospital on Feb. 6th for IV hydration (Thank goodness for better insurance this time around!) We spent Valentine's Day in the hospital getting more fluids and didn't get back home until almost midnight. I never should have gone home (needing a wheelchair to get to the van should have been a major clue). I went in to see a midwife the next morning and she sent me straight to the hospital to be admitted. I was able to have an ultrasound done - something I'd not had done that early before. They wanted to rule out twins and make sure everything looked good. We'd gone straight to the the hospital from the clinic so I barely said goodbye to Sam that morning. Little did I know that I wouldn't see him for five whole days. It's sad to say this, but I was so miserable I didn't have the energy to feel bad about it. They pumped a bunch of drugs into me that didn't do much good. At one point my blood sugar dropped to 45 and I got really hot. The wonderful nurses on the maternity ward took very good care of me. I was sad to be moved to the medical ward after two days when they didn't have room for me anymore. At 1 a.m. a diabetic, elderly woman moved in to be my roommate. The next two days were torture! She was either snoring or a loud nurse was coming in to check her blood sugar (often in the 200's). The nurses had to be loud in order for the poor lady to hear them, but there I was puking my guts out in front of complete strangers and wanting to be put out of my misery. After 4 nights I begged to go home. I was wheeled out again and went straight home to bed. I was now in my seventh week - where I was when I first got sick with Sam. Again, I shouldn't have gone home, but I couldn't stand another night in that place! It was wonderful to see my baby boy again even though all I could do was say good morning and good night. I only got worse at home and was back in the maternity ward on Feb. 21st. They didn't have room for me again, but knew how bad my last stay went so they were kind enough to send me to the pediatric ward. You wouldn't think that would be quiet, but it was. The nurses were just as sweet as the maternity ones and I had a private room. My veins are small to begin with, but after two weeks of not being able to eat a meal they were non-existent. During one of my visits it took 7 jabs to get the IV in. OUCH!
After the very last attempt at finding the correct combo of drugs before they sent me home with a pic line I was able to keep food down and be put on oral medication. I had to alternate between Reglan and Tigan and take a whole zofran twice a day. That's way more than I needed with Sam. The sheet from the pharmacy that tells the retail cost of the prescriptions read $2,500.00 just for one month of zofran! It cost our insurance company more during the first half of my pregnancy with Julia than it did for my entire pregnancy and delivery for Sam.
At 37 weeks we were back at the ER because of another migraine. This time my left arm was numb and so was my tongue. My vision and speech was goofy too. It also was really hard for me to think of the words I wanted to use. SCARY!
I only threw up once after I reached the 8 month mark. Praise the Lord!! (Until the deliver room - for some reason I throw up during
Cravings? FRENCH FRIES - specifically McDonald's. I ate them all the time!!!!!!!!!!!! That's probably why I gained way more weight with Julia than with my salad craving pregnancy with Sam. I did promise to stop eating McDonald's fries the day the baby was born and I've stuck by that for almost 7 months now. I ate lots and lots of cereal and slim-jims, but I couldn't stand my favorite combo of chocolate and peanut butter anything. With all those french fries you can imagine how much weight I gained - but I guess that's for next week.......

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Three Cheers for Julia!

A round of applause please - Julia has started clapping

She also has a new tooth (two on top, and now three on the bottom)

And her very first time on antibiotics cleared up the eye infection she woke up with on Thursday.

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Tis' the Season

Since I was too busy getting ready (and shopping) for the big garage sales over the weekend, I missed Thursday Thirteen this past week.

In honor of garage sale season - My Sunday Seventeen:

Seventeen reasons I love garage sales:

1. Buying Gap khakis for only 50 cents
2. Buying Ralph Lauren shirts and sweaters for 50 cents each
3. Buying Gymboree sweaters for 75 cents
4. Buying a Radio Flyer tricycle for $4
5. Buying a Columbia winter jacket and matching snow pants for $7
6. Bringing home "new" dump trucks for Sam to play with
7. Seeing what other people are getting rid of
8. See what other people think their stuff is worth
9. Selling our papasan chair - (a huge space waister)
10. Only posting one garage sale sign, but still having almost constant customers for 6 hours
11. Having second thoughts about selling a stereo (so I raised the price) and made even more $
12. Eating the brownies I made to sell
13. Spending the day outside when it's 70 and sunny
14. Buying ice cream from the ice cream truck when he drove by
15. Making more room in the kids rooms, the basement, and the garage
16. Making $276
17. Making enough money to be able to attend a family wedding in Denver (We had given up on being able to afford the trip until our successful sale)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Walk softly and carry a big stick"

Theodore Roosevelt said that once, but I can't remember why. Sam got the stick part right, but as for walking softly......That's not going to happen anytime soon. I took this picture three weeks ago and haven't had a reason to post it until I saw this on Jennifer's blog. It seems the boys have more in common than their love of trucks.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Sorry everyone - I'm going to have to make this a Friday Fourteen because I'm busy prepping for a garage sale on Saturday. I heard there are going to be over 100 other garage sales going on that day in this area so I want to be ready for the crowds. Hopefully I'll make lots of dough, but more importantly I hope to make more room.
Stay tuned - it might end up being a Saturday Sixteen or even a Sunday Seventeen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Music to Mommy's Ears

I was sitting on the floor with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders when my sweet firstborn came in the room and said:

Sammy nuggle with Mommy?

It's moments like these, between diaper changes and dishes, that make my heart melt.

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


One of the few things I miss about my life before kids is the opportunity for Brian and I to play tennis. I'm not very good, but we always had fun and got a good workout. Once when Sam was a baby, we put the pack-n-play upside down over Sam so he wouldn't get hit by stray balls (read: my bad shots). We've upgraded to this cool sun tent (lower right-hand picture) to keep Julia safe. Not much we can do for Sam anymore. He wanders around the court making it impossible for us to do anymore than hit high arcing shots over the net. Oh well. It felt good to stretch my legs and see Sammy take a few swings.
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A Morning Stroll

As some of you know, on Tuesdays I watch two other kids besides my own. Now that the weather is nice we are able to get out and enjoy the neighborhood trails. It really helps make my day go faster and Sam absolutely loves playing with his friend Brianna (He calls her Bea and the name stuck). Bea's Daddy, Scott, went to high school with Brian so I've been friends with Bea's Mommy for a long time. It's nice to know that someday when they don't need daycare anymore Sam will still get to see his friend, Bea.
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Sam: Look! Look Mom!
Me: What Sam?
Sam: Look! Look! Geen Not!
Me: What's not green Sam?
Sam: Geen not on Sam's finga
Me: Oh, yes Sam that is green snot on your finger.
Let me get that for you.
Sam: Thanks mom.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mommy Talk

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How did you tell your spouse/sig. other you were pregnant?
Was he happy, surprised, upset, worried, etc?
How did you feel?

February 5th, 2004 - Sam's story
My period wasn't even late yet when I took a pregnancy test at work and got a positive result. My reaction includes an explative - that's how shocked I was. I waited three days to tell Brian because I knew I wanted to videotape his reaction when I told him. I was working very long hours and couldn't get to the store to buy a video camera right away. I hid the camera in a mound of laundry and had him come upstairs to get his Valentine's Day present. I modified the front of the card so it wouldn't give the surprise away right away. It used to read "Happy Valentine's Day Dad".

He opened the card that on the front read:
Once upon a time,
there was a very lucky kid
who loved a special dad
and all the fun things
that they did....

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This is the inside of the card where I signed it "Love, Your Baby."

His present was the book, "Time for Bed", by Mem Fox. It is a sweet, sweet story about animal parents telling their babies it's time for bed. If I were more on the ball I'd have the video footage uploaded and you could see the shocked look on his face when he read the card. He asked if I were sure and I said "three tests sure". You'd also see him sniff his armpits because he wasn't sure if it were him perspiring or me. Obviously it was me because I was so anxious to tell him. I mean come on! I'd been keeping a huge secret for three whole days!!!!
The secret keeping continued because we didn't tell our families until we heard the heartbeat at 10 weeks. (I was about 4-5weeks when I took the test.) As far as "was he happy, surprised, upset, worried"..... We were both happy, very surprised and worried. We didn't have good health insurance at the time and weren't sure how we were going to afford the bills. God worked everything out though. Brian got a wonderful new job 6 months later and they graciously added us to their insurance program just in time. After only one month of paying our premiums we were covered for Sam's birth and prenatal care - all except for 16 cents. Funny how I never got a bill from the hospital.

Fast forward to January 19th, 2006 for Julia's story: This is now the second month of trying so I'd already had some negative tests (The worst was getting my period on Christmas Eve morning - no need for any more tests that month). I got the tests that you can take a few days before you expect your period so they aren't as accurate but I allowed myself to take one each morning, starting on the earliest possible day. On the 19th I took one in the morning - got a positive result and went to work orchestrating the video camera hiding again. This time it was hidden in Sam's closet so it would capture Brian reading a bedtime story to Sam. We had been ending story time with "Time for Bed" since Sam was born so it wasn't a big deal for Brian to pick it up and start reading: "It's time for bed little mouse, little mouse. Darkness is falling all over the house. It's time for bed little goose, little goose. The stars are out and on the loose. It's time for bed little foal little foal. I'll whisper a secret, but don't tell a soul. It's time for bed little sheep little sheep. The whole wide world is going to sleep. Then he read this new page I'd created:
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Brian paused, smiled at me and said, "Is that why you had to go to Target?" Not exactly the reaction I was expecting. I replied, "No, we needed food." I had already had this new page hiding in my underwear drawer for a month.
I'd played out how I'd tell him over and over in my head and even with the silly Target comment I thought it went perfectly - Sam was involved, Brian was surprised, and I managed to capture both special moments on video for the kids to watch when they are older. Imagine seeing your dad's reaction when he found out he was going to be a daddy! I think that will be very cool for Sam and Julia to see.

We used the book to tell the rest of our families as well. They never suspected a thing when Brian suggested to his mom that she read Sam a story when he started getting restless after dinner one evening. My mom and one of my sisters were at our house one night at bedtime so we asked her to read Sam his stories.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's Tradition

Today is my Grandma's birthday.
She is 87, but I think she's just as beautiful as she was in this next picture taken when I was a baby. That's her in the yellow. My mom is holding me and my great grandma is on the far left.

Right after Julia was born we took another 4 generation photo to keep up the tradition.

Another tradition our family has is to wear this gown when a baby is baptized. (This is Sammy's - can you believe that hair?)
It has been in my family for over 100 years. My grandma's dad was baptized in it as a baby. Assuming that he was at least 20 when my grandma was born - and she's 87 now - that makes the gown 107 years old. My kids are the 5th generation to wear it.

Samuel's baptism in 2004
Julia's baptism in 2006

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My baptism in 1977.
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Someday, God willing, I want to witness my grandchildren being baptized in the very same gown. Let's hope it doesn't disintegrate before then!

It's up for debate

Most people think of Minnesota as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". At least that's what our license plates say.
Depending on how you define "lake", we have as few as 13, 000 or as many as 15, 287.
Either way, on this 37th Earth Day I encourage you to do your part to be good stewards of our beautiful world God has given us.
It can be as simple as swithing to vegetable based dish soap! I recently found Seventh Generation dish soap at Target. They have a little blurb on the back that reads: If every household in the U.S replaced just one bottle of 25 oz. petroleum based dishwashing liquid with our 25 oz. vegetabel based product, we could save 81,000 barrles of oil, enough to heat and cool 4,600 U.S. homes for a year!

Happy Earth Day!
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Friday, April 20, 2007

So Sweet

Don't you just want to squeeze those chubby cheeks?
Be careful though! She'll yank on any hair she can get her hands on! I haven't been able to wear my hair down for weeks. (At least that's the excuse I've been using for not doing my hair.)
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Out of Curiosity

I noticed today that I've reached the 2000 mark on my stat counter at the bottom of my blog. At least half of the hits are from me, but I'm curious to know who else is reading what I write.
I know I'm a lurker on many blogs where I'd feel silly commenting since they don't have a clue who I am. Who knows! Maybe we are reading each other's blogs and don't know it! I promise to de-lurk if you will. Come on be brave! Leave me a comment and I'll return the favor.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

TT #3

Thirteen Things about Carrie

We are constantly documenting "firsts" in our house as the kids
learn and experience new things.

Here are 13 of my firsts:

1. house: 920 square feet of coziness and fond memories of
our newlywed years
2. kiss: Amy Olson's 14th birthday party (with Jay Johnson)
3. job: Babysitting for $100 a week
4. plane ride: Flew to Montana by myself for a 5 week
Student Conservation Association gig
5. car: 1986 baby blue, Chevy Celebrity
6. stitches: May 2003 when I had my wisdom teeth removed
7. surgery: February 2, 1998 when a front tooth got knocked out
8. passport stamp: August 1997, Costa Rica
9. horse: A Welsh pony named Banner that I had for 20 years
10. boyfriend: Zachary Carr in first grade
11. grade teacher: Miss Anderson - we had class in the balcony
of our church
12. computer: Apple IIe - you know the one with the green screen
13. time I met my husband: June 1st, 1998 at orientation for
park rangers at Voyageurs National Park

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Truck'n to the Park

Sam and Kieran pushed their dump trucks to the park today. After some typical 2 1/2 year old behavior from both of them and a yummy lunch (Thanks Jennifer!), they happily ran off to explore. I had to zoom in with my telephoto to get this shot of the boys - that's how far away they were. They were completely safe since it was a huge open area, but it sure felt strange to not have Sam close by. I think he enjoyed the taste of freedom.

Look - Cullen and Julia are playing footsie. Aaaawwh!
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Wordless Wednesday - Florence, Italy

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Blood

We're getting closer to shorts weather and I'm dreading the
skinned knees that are sure to be a constant this summer.
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Taking a walk with Sammy

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We saw our shadows a lot today thanks to the beautiful sunny weather we are having.

What would Walt think?

For most kids Bambi is the deer's name in the Disney movie, but not for Sam. In our (Disney free) house bambi is a band-aid.

Best Buds

Sam played with his best friend, Kieran, today at the community center.
They were inseperable. The only way I could get Sam to leave was to remind him that he gets to play at Kieran's house tomorrow.

Boys being boys:

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Thanks for playing today Kieran!

Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders...