Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Top 5 blog posts

I love looking at the stats on my blog.  It’s really interesting to me to know what people view on my blog, how they get there, how they leave, where they’re from, etc.  I love it.

I decided to review the top 5 blog posts of the year, according to my stats.  I got this idea from my friend Jessica’s blog, except she did the top 11.  My stats don’t show me the top 10 of the year, it goes from monthly to all time, so some of the top 10 are from other years.  Oh well.  Five is enough anyway.

So here are my top 5, most reviewed, blogs for 2011.


5.  To my sweet daughter – My letter to Abbie for her 2nd birthday.  It’ll be fun one day to look back and have a whole bunch of these letters to remember the years gone by.  I’m glad we started this tradition.  Which reminds me, I need to do one for Ben’s birth.


4.  Girls weekend in Vegas -  Seems like this trip was a LONG time ago.  I find it funny that this is in the top 5.  I think people just search for “girls weekend in Vegas” and then decide to look at my blog when it pops up in the search results.


3.  I hate my haircut – This one REALLY cracks me up that it’s in my top 5.  Again, I think random people just google phrases so they can get a good laugh, otherwise why on earth would this one be in the top 5?  Out of all the things I wrote about this year… Really?  By the way, I still hate that haircut.  Thank God my friend Rachel fixed it while I was at home.  I like my haircut MUCH more now!


2.  Postage stamp quilt-along – This one also surprises me, but it’s fun to look back on this.  I really, really miss quilting and I wish I had more time to devote to playing with all the fabric that I have sitting downstairs on the shelf waiting for me.  I really love everything about quilting and I feel so productive when I finish a quilt.  Too bad it takes me MONTHS to finish one quilt.  Someday my kids will be grown up and I’ll have tons of time to devote to quilting, and then I’ll be wishing my kids were still the ages they are now.


1.  This summer’s bucket list – Apparently people like bucket lists.  I, personally, like any kind of list.  I did manage to do most of the things I wanted to do this summer.  There were a few things I didn’t do, and some things I wish had been on the list but weren’t, but overall, I was pretty successful with this.  And if this was a top 10 list, This summer’s bucket list (REVISED) would have been #7 on the list!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011



I’m still trying to decide if it was harder going from no kids to one kid, or from one kid to two kids.  The verdict isn’t out on that one yet.


Ben seems to be an easier baby than Abbie was.  Abbie was an exceedingly high-strung, high maintenance baby.  That paired with the facts that I had no clue what I was doing and that Mark was so busy with training he was very little to no help at all made for a pretty rough transition.  I definitely feel like I’m more in control this time around.  I know what I’m doing and I don’t freak out over everything.  I’m not worried about my milk supply or him nursing or peeing or pooping enough.  I feel like I have a pretty good handle on that side of things.  However, I never do well with sleep deprivation.  I LOVE my sleep and you just don’t get much sleep with a newborn and a 2.5 year old around so that’s hard for me.  Ben will sleep one 4-5 hour stretch at night, on a good night, but then he’s up every 30 mins to hour after that, unless I bring him to bed with me, and then he’ll sleep for another couple hours.  I usually last about 1-2 times of getting up with him every hour before I just bring him to bed with me.


Abbie has had a really rough time adjusting, which is to be expected when she’s used to being our one and only for 2.5 years and all of a sudden there’s this other little thing taking up all of my time.  The weird thing is, she’s perfectly fine with Ben.  She loves him and loves to help with him and give him kisses and hold him.  Occasionally she’ll get a little jealous when he’s nursing all the time, but other than that, she doesn’t show much resentment towards him.  She has, however, turned in to our little Jekyll and Hyde.  Normally she’s very sweet and listens as well as you can expect a 2.5 year old to listen, but then there are moments where I seriously wonder what the hell I got myself into.  Abbie wants to be in control of everything, particularly who does what for her.  And 10 times out of 10, she wants the other parent than the one that’s currently helping her.  She won’t let you change her clothes or diaper if she wants the other parent.  She won’t stay in bed, she won’t let you brush her teeth or hair or give her a bath.  It’s a full on battle, with kicking, screaming, slapping, crying, etc.  To say it’s exhausting would be a vast understatement.  Getting her to go down for a nap or to go to bed at night is a challenge.  At night, she asks Mark and I both to come in at LEAST 4 separate times to tuck her in or give her a kiss or any other excuse she can think of at the time.  If we let her keep calling, it progresses to a full on screaming fit eventually, and she doesn’t stay in her bed anymore so she’ll try to leave her room.  I know this is because she knows Ben is still out with us and she’s jealous and doesn’t want to miss anything, but I don’t know how to “fix” it.  The other day Mark tried to change her diaper to put her down for a nap, and it was World War III.  She was putting up a HUGE fight to the point where it took both of us just to get her diaper back on her.  We ended up leaving her in her room with the door shut (while watching her on the monitor) for a good 15 minutes while she threw her tantrum.  Finally she calmed down enough so we could go in, and she apologized without us prompting her too and then went right to sleep.  …???  All I can say is I’m very thankful that Mark was home for a while to help me through this phase with her.  However, he’s leaving for a few weeks in a couple weeks and I’m going to be doing this by myself for a while, and I’m honestly scared about that.  Hopefully Abbie will be mostly adjusted and Ben will be sleeping a little more than he is now (at night).  My fingers are crossed.


Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to discipline a 2 year old?  How to you respond when your child flat out tells you "no, I’m not going to do that” when you ask her to do something (or not to do something)?  Mark and I have a game plan for the full on tantrums, but just for general disciplining, what do you do?  And especially, what do you do when you’re tied down nursing a little one the majority of the day?  Any suggestions are appreciated!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Abbie’s visit with Santa

During Mark’s 10 days off for paternity leave, he was able to take Abbie to the base library for story time and a visit with Santa.  This was the first time Abbie’s really seen Santa, but she wasn’t afraid at all!  Mark said that she was completely in awe of him and that she LOVED story time.  I was bummed that I wasn’t there to witness it, but I’m so glad Mark was able to take her.  He loves doing that stuff with her and never gets the chance to because of his work hours.



Mark said that she had no hesitation going up to him and was really excited to talk to him.  She asked Santa if he was going to come to her house, although I don’t think she quite gets the theory behind that yet.  (That he brings presents.)  I think she just wanted him to come to her house.


Hopefully next year I won’t feel like I just got run over by a truck and all four of us will be able to go visit Santa together!

PS:  I’ve talked to Abbie babysitter and asked if we could switch days so I could start taking Abbie to story time on a weekly basis.  I know she loves being around the other kids and she loves going to the library, so hopefully we can work that out where I can start taking her there regularly.  Plus they have dogs at the story time that the kids can pet and Abbie loves anything to do with animals also!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First week home


Our first week as a family of 4 has been a little rocky.  Between me getting sick, Mark getting sick, Abbie going through an “adjustment phase” and Sadie (our Dachshund) losing function of her back legs again, it’s been a trying time.


I felt great on Friday and Saturday and even Sunday morning.  Friday we stopped by the commissary on our way home from the hospital and I ran into the flight doc there.  He was shocked to see me out and about, but I felt pretty good, considering I’d just pushed out an almost 9lb kid 26 hrs before.  Luckily he was there because I had a question for him about what to use on Ben, so I chased him down and he was kind enough to go to the medicine aisle with me and telling me exactly what to get.  Our first night at home, Ben slept from 2:30am to 8:30am.  What a tease…


Saturday we just hung out at the house all day, mainly trying to deal with Abbie.  She seemed to be fine with Ben – she loves to give him kisses and wants to hold him constantly – but she was having melt downs left and right.  Pretty much any time she was told no, it was a HUGE ordeal and she’d cry and throw a huge fit.  I was wondering what the heck I’d gotten myself in to.  She was very abstinent about EVERYTHING and she was more exhausting than Ben was.  Thank GOD Mark actually got paternity leave this time around and he was home to help me deal with her.  He’s been playing with her a lot and I’m a little lot worried about how she’ll deal with him going back to work, because I can’t play with her for 8 hours a day like he has been.


Sunday we got up and went to church and actually got there on time!  We dropped Abbie off in the nursery (which she LOVES) and took Ben to church with us.  We held him and he slept through it all and then the chaplain introduced him to the church, which was fun.  We sang “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, and I cried through the whole thing.  I just can’t believe how lucky we are to have two beautiful, healthy kids.


After we got home from church, I was pretty tired, and I started getting the chills.  I didn’t really think anything of it, I just piled on the blankets and put a space heater on in front of the chair I was sitting in and pretty soon I was sweating and taking my sweatshirt off.  A while later I started to get chilled again (the kind of chills that make you shaky), so I took my temp and it was 100.2.  So that freaked me out because it said in my discharge paperwork that if I got a temp over 100.4 that I needed to go to the ER and I REALLY didn’t want to go to the Pordenone hospital ER.  I progressively got worse and my fever got up to almost 103 and I decided to call the base to see what they said.  They told me to take Tylenol and call first thing in the morning for an appointment.


So Monday morning I went to the clinic on base and they diagnosed me with mastitis, but all along, I didn’t think I had mastitis.  They put me on a high dose of antibiotics and gave me Percocet and told me things would get much worse before they got better, but that never happened.  And the next day Mark got a fever, so I’m about 110% sure that whatever I had wasn’t mastitis.  We both felt better within 24 hours, just still really sleep deprived since Ben pretty much doesn’t sleep from about 11pm – 3am, and he’s almost inconsolable during that time also.  It’s completely exhausting and frustrating, but I keep telling myself that this phase doesn’t last long and I need to enjoy him being tiny while he is tiny.


Ben sleeps great from like 9am until almost 2pm.  He’ll wake up to eat and then usually goes right back to sleep.  He doesn’t sleep very well in the bassinet we got him, but he sleeps great in the swing and in this travel sling thing that was given to us.  I think because he’s not flat in the swing and the sling, but he is flat in the bed.  I tried to prop up the head end of his bassinet last night though, and he still didn’t sleep very well in it, so I’m not sure what that’s about or how to get him to sleep better in his bassinet.  I’m sure it’ll come with time, I’m just not very patient when I’ve been asleep for 15 mins and he’s up screaming for the next 3 hours.


Overall, though, things are going alright.  I’d forgotten how tough the newborn stage is, although Ben is a relatively easy baby, compared to Abbie.  I’m very nervous about Mark going back to work and me having to deal with both kids by myself after having not slept most of the night, but I guess that’s part of the rite of passage.  Luckily Mark won’t be going TDY until Ben’s over a month old, so hopefully I’ll have the hang of things by then.  He sure is a cute little thing!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our hospital stay


The worst part of recovering was waiting for my epidural to fully wear off.  The nurse kept threatening to put the catheter in again if I didn’t get up and walk to the bathroom by myself, and I REALLY didn’t want that happening, especially since the epi had worn off everywhere except for my right leg.  My left leg was fine, but basically from just below my right knee to about 5-6 inches above it was still numb for a few hours afterwards.  I did get up to go to the bathroom, with the help of Mark and the nurse, but I don’t think I could have walked by myself that time without my knee giving out.  It was really weird sitting in the bed and having to ask Mark to move my leg when I wanted it moved.  It would start falling off the side of the bed and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

We were moved to another, much smaller, room during the night because they were inducing someone else in the morning and needed the room we were in.  The new room didn’t have a tv though.  Bummer.  The night nurse was kind enough to wait for my epi to fully wear off before she gave him a bath so I could help.  I had wanted to help give Abbie a bath, but they gave her one very shortly after I had her.  They waited almost 10 hours for me to be able to stand on my leg comfortably to help with his bath.  He wasn’t a big fan, but he did like his hair being washed.


I felt really good after having him.  I wasn’t very sore, and I was able to take a shower, which made me feel a ton better.  Mark spent the night in the hospital with us, which I was thankful for.  He slept most of the time, and got really mad when I woke him up to nurse him, so I gave up after a half hour and he just went back to sleep.


The next morning Mark went home and got Abbie to bring her to the hospital.  Brittney was up visiting on her lunch break so she took these pictures for us.  (Thanks Brittney!)  Abbie came in to see me and walked right by Ben without even seeing him in the bassinet.  I asked her if she wanted to see her baby brother and told her he was right behind her and she very slowly turned her head around to look at him.  It was really cute.  And she immediately wanted to hold him.




She was really in awe of him, and it was so cute to watch her just stare at him.  We were both released from the hospital less than 26 hrs after I had him, so we only spent one night in the hospital.  SO different than the 4 we spent there with Abbie.  I still cannot get over how easy this birth was.  I hope any future births go this well!