Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We decided to name this one right away. I want Ezra to start getting used to the idea of his brother. He already can point to my belly when I ask where Baby Snap is. It's weirding him out to now start hearing the baby's name, so I think that's evidence in support of our decision. Better get him used to it now.
His name is Ivo Wright. That's the first and middle. We are actually in flux about how we will settle on the pronunciation... we may pronounce the first name EE-vo, although I do like saying EYE-vo. I flip on it A LOT. The middle name is our attempt at giving all our natural children a "Wr" start to their middle names. It's a shout-out to the Meador side as Ezra is named after his Poppy and Great-Grandaddy, Wray.
Here's the WHY on "Ivo:"
1. I like it
2. I read a book with a character by that name, so I got used to it
3. It sounds so cute with Ezra... "Ezzie and Ivo, time to eat!"
4. I sold Brendan on it :)
5. *The Real Reason* it's a keeper:
"Ivo" (pronounced either way) comes from Yew, a kind of tree. Apparantly arrows were made from the wood of the Yew tree, so many sources interpret "Ivo" as a trade-name (like Baker, Miller, etc.) for archers. That makes it a botanical name, which I love, and provides a lovely Biblical connection to Psalm 127:3-5
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend
with their enemies in the gate.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Anyway, I've seriously been to exhausted to do anything but sleep when Ezra is sleeping, and the kid is just WAY too rock-n-roll for me to get anything done but drum shows, coloring, water-play, YouTube watching, etc. Every now and then I can squeeze in an indulgence for myself like a trip to the grocery store or cleaning something. Today I managed to have some of Ez's and my friends over AND clean the bathroom. I'm so pumped off of FINALLY cleaning the bathroom that I have just enough energy to bang out this post before going to my nap.
I'm so tired these days. Ezra has been sleeping great for the most part, and I'm just managing to get over my hyper-alert phase of worry that he's going to fall out of his new big boy bed. Of course, he just fell out at 4am this morning for the first time. He handled it like a champ, but after all the excitement it took him over an hour to get back to sleep. Naturally, he still felt ready to wake up at the regular time of 6:30am. Sadly, that's when we discovered the dried blood on his face and pillow. Source of blood could not be pinpointed, so it must not have hurt that bad - he barely cried! ANYWAY, I'm tired, though, because of this other sweet little human I'm incubating. S/he is a kicker and apparently it is also a iron-rich blood sucking vampire. Just kidding, but my iron levels have sucked, and, BOY, do I feel it. Dancing my whole first trimester probably didn't help either. Oh, and, I just learned at my appt. yesterday that, despite being about halfway done with this pregnancy (crazy!), I've gained a whopping... wait for it... ONE POUND! Yeah, so Snap is sucking my life force, and I'm not replacing it quickly enough. I have a prescription for one bowl of ice cream a day :)... except that I don't really like ice cream... but, cheesecake is another story.
To recap the last 3 months, here are some quotes:
"Happy Anniversary! I'm pregnant!"
*** I'm drawing a complete blank on anything that happened in September... except for our friends buying a house :) ***
"Hi Carla!"- when Carla and Ben came to visit from Austin
"Wow- so that was Pt. Townsend... huh"- also when Ben and Carla came
"Can you watch Ezra while he throws his plockie at you? I have to use the bathroom again."- when I had stomach flu for a week in Texas with my family w/out Brendan but w/ a eye-teething child doing his best audition antics for "Supernanny"
"I'll never do that again" after flying with Ezra*
"He was great on the plane" after flying with Ezra*
"I'm on my way to Ikea to buy Ezra a toddler bed. This wasn't supposed to happen this soon, right?" -to my mother
"Oh Hi... AGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" when my best friend showed up on my doorstep to see my dance show and stay with us for a week
"I never thought this would happen again" - in happy tears after my show
"I like St. Louis"
"Sorry Ez threw-up in your papasan chair" in Louisville with my sister for Thanksgiving
Nurse:"well we're not picking up any contractions." Me: "yep- neither am I!"- in L&D at some hospital in Louisville after going to the ER for severe abdominal pain... I had to CONVINCE them that I was not in labor... of course, they didn't believe me. I'm thankful they checked on Snap, but they sent me home with a diagnosis (made over the phone by a doctor who had never seen, touched, or spoken to me) of round ligament pain. BS. We're now pretty sure that I had some kind of ovarian cyst that finally burst. Maybe doc wouldv'e thought of that if he'd taken any sort of history on me.
"I'm never doing that again"- after flying with Ezra*
"Do we HAVE to get a Christmas tree"-me
"I LOVE our Christmas tree!!!"-me
This is the quote of the month so far, and I'm pretty sure it's top of my list of "Things I Never Thought I'd Say," right up there with "don't use your chopstick on the laptop"
"No, that's not a tail; that's your penis" to Ezra in the bathtub after a long discussion of who has tails and who doesn't
*Ezra is typically a gem on the plane. BUT, I cannot apparently handle the 30 minutes when he's not. I actually was throwing stuff on the floor and crying. Huh, pregnant much?
Friday, August 21, 2009
It's been a fascinating process, and I think the guys are looking forward to a site with oogles of users, and their wheels are turning with ideas for how to make MySpace even better. MySpace Music and iLike combined should be a really cool, powerful force for artists and fans alike. The two together hold the largest volume of users. Thankfully, they aren't a Wal-Mart - high volume/low quality. Anyone who has spent time on ilike.com knows that.
I remember when I first heard about MySpace- I thought, "wow, that sounds distracting and uneccessary." Of course, I eventually joined the masses ;). Who knew that one day I'd be eating thanks to a MySpace paycheck!
We're just counting our blessings out here on our upper-left corner, as usual.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Just as I suspected, it's more of an indicator rather than a cause for all the terrors attributed to television and excessive gaming. Although, it does only take one-two hours of screen time before the positive correlations with negative things (obesity, etc.) begin to appear. Of course, we didn't need the Mayo Clinic to spend money to tell us "everything in moderation."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
- $4 coral skirt from Gap that's the most comfortable thing EVER
- Birthday bracelet from my husband :)
- A mom I met when handing out flyers for VBS at Green Lake showed up with her son today
- Ezra walking up to the rocking chair in his room, rocking it, and singing softly
- Ezra really starting to use his "please" sign
- Ezra back in G Diapers now that they have a reusable insert
- Stella telling me that she has "hear ears"and will listen to me
- Whitney arrives next Saturday!
- My BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW
- Ezra's birthday is Monday
- I'm back in ballet classes... a really long story that I will have to post about when I'm ready
- Ezra's 8th ear infection in 7months. We're going to Children's next month to do a surgical consultation. (that last part is good; maybe we can see an end to these ear infections...)
- Ezra screaming for an hour at home with Dad while I tried to go out to get my VBS room set up
- Less than 12 kids showing up for VBS. I have hope for Monday, but right now this fact feels sad
- Yo' Mama (just kidding, but I had to have *something* in the "ugly" category)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'll start with the fact that I got stung by a flippin' yellow jacket this morning. I have been absolutely terrified since childhood of being stung by a wasp (in Texas, wasps are Yellow Jackets). Today, I found that my fears were COMPLETELY justified! It hurt a whole stinkin' lot!!! Those guys are mean. He wanted to hurt me. He was a centurion posted to guard the nest, I think, and boy did he do his job! I'm not going out my side door until that nest is dead and completely obliterated. They've built a nest inside some little opening into the outside wall of the house behind the electricity meter. SCARY. I listened to the wall on the inside, and I can hear them scittering around in there. I'm seriously paralyzed with the fear that they are going to chew through the wall and come in here. Brendan said that happened to his uncle's house once. So, yeah, I'm calling an exterminator later. I'm not messing around with these little pricks (pun intended).
A yellow jacket sting is about the last thing I can think of that Ezra needs right now. Kid just got over a double ear infection, and his eye teeth and some bottom molars are beginning to grow. I feel so sad for him. However, I've been praising God for his mercies and goodness to us in placing us in a time and city where any medicine he needs is at our fingertips. Ezra has 8 ear infections this year with his left ear taking most of the hits. As far as we can tell, his hearing has not been damaged. Ezra is so genial that the slightest crabbiness of mood has, thus far in his life, indicated that he is in pain. I've caught them all very early, so he's not had to deal with any ruptures. Thank, God! In my prayers for Ezra's health, I've really been also praying for the many children in the world who may be ear-infection-prone like him. This many childhood infections could lead to so many very serious problems if left unchecked and untreated. We here are so obsessed with our children's perfect health (as well we should be), but we so often forget to be thankful and to try to help those who don't have what we have. Lord willing, Ezra won't suffer any hearing loss, but so many do!
Alright, that's what I have for today... earaches and yellow jackets. blech.
Hopefully next post will be good footage of ezra walking :)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Brendan summed it up best when we gave him his Father's Day gift (a hand painted mug complete with Ezra fingerprints and a scrawly message from me): "I feel like I just was making these for my Dad!"
Yeah, For REAL! How did this happen? Life is flying by-- and I hear that it starts going even faster! It's funny, though, even though I now see that, chances are, my parents felt as clueless as I do now (at times...) about being a parent, I still deep down believe that they always knew exactly what they were doing. Even when my mom let's me in on the secrets that they didn't, I still think, "nice of you to condescend, but I'm pretty sure you had your ducks in a row." Hopefully, my kids will think the same of me!!! Unfortunately, I'm a spazzy over-sharer, so my chances are SLIM...
See blog-of-the-future in 25 years to find out.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
As convinced as I am that the Gospel is powerful and God's greatest gift to man, I am still so hesitant to share the news with my friends and contacts. Pray for my faith and for boldness to speak of Him to others- especially as I have been charged with reaching out for perfect strangers to come to our VBS. Why am I more afraid of 30 awkward seconds with someone as I hand over a flyer than I am of her or her children losing an opportunity to hear of eternal life!?! Such selfishness. What's that song? "Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine." Huh, probably learned that at a VBS...
Friday, June 5, 2009
2 Cups Goat Milk
1/4 Cup Whole-Fat Organic Yogurt
1/4 tsp MaxiBabydophilus- acidophilus powder for infants
1/4 tsp Acerola Powder (we use a multi-whole-food-source vitamin C supp. powder)
1 tsp Cod-Liver Oil (we use Carlsen's Lemon Flavored Oil)
1 tsp Expeller-Pressed Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Coconut Oil (which I now use all the time in my cooking also)
2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes (Whole Foods makes a good one)
2 tsp Gelatin
1 7/8 Cups Hot Water (umm... usually just comes out to be 2 cups)
Dissolve gelatin and coconut oil in hot water. Dump it and everything else in the blender. WHIR, WHIR, WHIR. Divide among number of bottles needed for a day- for us that's 6. Usually we do 2 ~7 oz bottles and 4 4-5 oz bottles. Repeat every morning.
I recommend these additional steps:
- Have a wonderful accommodating husband who does it every day
- Use a LITTLE BIT of simple syrup (or alternate sweetener) when switching to this from the crap in a can they call baby formula. It is SOOO much sweeter than this homemade stuff. I gave Ezra maybe 2 sweetened bottles in a row to help him adjust, and then he was good to go on the regular stuff.
-By all means, if you have time, make the whey from Kefir and use that. It is not difficult- just difficult to find Kefir that will seperate. Lifeway works. We just went to using straight kefir or yogurt because we didn't see the need to separate the fat out, and he still gets the good enzymes. He eats yogurt every day also to make up for whatever difference there may be in enzyme content between whey and whole kefir.
Ezra's digestive health (read: pooping) has been pretty much great ever since he went on this stuff. I think the acidophilus helps a lot. We added it all up, and a day's worth of our formula has more calories than the canned junk. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's just all-around been very good for Ezra and for my peace of mind.
Now, here's the deal: I am not a nutrition specialist or doctor! This is just what we do for our child, and I think it works well. Any support I have for it is strictly anecdotal. I ran all this by our pediatrician before we started it.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
First of all, Ezzie is quite the handful (armful, crook of knee-ful, lapful, etc.) these days. He's so much fun to know. My friend recently made the nicest comment I think I've ever heard any one make about Ez: "I want to know THAT guy." Yeah, me too! He's fascinating. He murmurs and mutters little comments all the time, and I swear that half the time I know just what he's thinking by the intonation and eyebrow usage alone. He's going to walk any second now. He can walk along with me or his "car," but he's not quite brave enough to do it on his own just yet. He has exhibited shocking disobedience and bad attitude and equally stunning tenderness and compliance all in the same hour- let alone day! He continues to scare other children with his completely overbearing personality (which I secretly sort of like... maybe b/c that means he like me. don't worry. people always wind up appreciating that about me in the end... I think...). The times that he reminds me of his father (earthly or heavenly, come to think of it) are the times that I love him the best. I am continually thankful for him.
Speaking of thankful, I must write, given some of my more sorrowful posts about it, that the 2 year anniversary of little Speck's death was yesterday; well, it was this whole past weekend actually. I did some crying especially because I've recently been reminded of the sad sisterhood of those of us who've lost babies (souls that are inexorably tied to our own that we will not know until, God-willing, Glory) and how it is forever growing. However, the sadness of that day stood out in stark contrast compared to the sunnyness of my current day-to-day life. Ezra is a joy and so are all the crazy goings-on around here. Speck's little death definitely was a dramatic opener to a truly lovely new chapter in my sanctification. A love for communing with my God in prayer was developed then and, by his great grace, it has continued to grow- goaded along in many ways by my SLEEPLESS nights with my firstBORN son.
Speaking of sleepless, I also want to write of some great thoughts I've had about the sunny-side of Night-Waking Street (and Inability-to-Continue-Breastfeeding Street too!). First, being up in the middle of the night EVERY night for the last 314 days in a row really has made for great opportunities to pray. It's been fascinating to see how God has changed my prayers (and my heart) over this time. They've gone from desperate cries of "HELP! I'm tired!" to prayers for patience, kindness, love, tender-heartedness in me and in Ezra. I know that the change is by God's mercy alone. Forming the habit of praying all night is finally beginning to transfer to the daytime too! I'm most thankful for that. I find myself thinking to ask God for help and guidance in the smallest things each day. Of course, I can also see my great deficits in prayer and trust in the Lord; good to know I won't be running out of things to work on any time soon.
The flipside of not being able to breastfeed has been a little trickier to appreciate, but I'm really starting to see it. When Ez was only 4 months old my milk started to run dry because of my thyroid malfunctioning. Despite my very valiant efforts, it just continued to dry up. And, Ezra, being the smart kid that he is quickly did learn that fast, easy food comes from a bottle. I was extremely depressed by the whole think and felt deficient in every way, but God calmed me over several months and helped me to just be thankful that at least Ezra was ok and had food to eat. I like to think that if Ezra had been breastfed exclusively as long as I wanted him to be he would just have turned out to be a much too exceptional human being, and God, in his mercy, decided to sanctify Ezra by removing that possible temptation to be arrogant :). Anyway, after all my fears during my pregnancy and wanting to do every last thing as carefully as possible, I think it has been good to have Ezra's food somewhat out of my control. God did graciously give me the idea (thanks to Cindie) to make our own formula, and that has been wonderfully healthy for Ez. I saw his vitality (and chub) change practically overnight when I got him off that CRAP they call "soy formula" (E's allergic to cow's milk).
So, here is the biggest benefit I've seen so far: I CAN GO OUT!!! I'm as extroverted as they come, and it has been so rejuvenating for me to be able to go out with friends while Brendan stays with Ezra. For the longest time, I have not wanted to be happy about that and have definitely not wanted to announce that I'm happy because it seemed selfish to me. The last thing I ever want is to be one of those mothers who is always desperate for a break from her children. I'm sorry, but that has always seemed so sad to me. In my case, I don't want the break from Ezra; I love Ezra, and I really would bring him everywhere with me if I could do that AND pay attention to whatever my friend/doctor/partner/etc is trying to say to me. After a real hermit-esque period following my miscarriage and then the tired haze of pregnancy and shock of bringing a baby (and stitches!) home with me, I have finally been able to re-access the part of me that LOVES to know, help, and even feed off of my girlfriends. The other aspect of that is that my two best girlfriends (aside from my mom and sister who don't live here) moved right when my hermit phase began. God has given me such an abundant answer to my prayers in enriching my relationships that were just beginning back then and giving me the freedom (thanks to goat milk formula and a wonderful husband) to actually have some "adult" time to spend on those relationships.
In the last month, I've had WAY too much fun (no, not in a drunk way...)! I got to out for a night on the town with a lovely batch of ladies- gosh, maybe even once every 10 days or so! I got to go to a whiskey cocktail tasting at Serafina with a couple of ladies, and I now have become a blossoming whiskey snob who just loves to mix up a Blood and Sand and can give you the whole history of the drink and tell you which kinds of vermouth NOT to use. I got to do wedding flowers for a new friend. I get to go to VBS planning meetings AND pay attention. I can make plans!!! It has been wonderful for my soul. I love to care for Ezra, and that is still, bar none, my favorite thing to do. But I also love to care for and be with adults; I thought that might be over, but it isn't! And by "care for," I mean: be friends with and drink fancy cocktails with :) I'm SO not a tea-partier (that's a soapbox for another time...). Brendan has been very kind in allowing and even encouraging me to take the opportunity to rediscover myself in this way. He definitely has a pile of "night-out" coupons in his back pocket. Although, I think he'd prefer that they be "night-at-the-computer-with-no-nagging" coupons. We'll make an arrangement.
That's what I've been up to. I'm exhausted, and every so often I cry because I'm just so tired and feel stupid for trying to have fun and get to know people while I have a 10 month old who doesn't sleep, but those moments pass. Ezra and my friends are worth me feeling a little spread thin sometimes. My newest friend is Anna, our student from Germany who moved in on Sunday. Short story: I love her, and I wish she could just stay forever.
More to come... someday
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
*We were out of town*
The trip was good if not a little long and tiring. I LOVED meeting Brendan's family- especially his cousins and grandparents I hadn't met before. Ezra has some great people in his lineage.
*I lost my camera*
At Carkeek Park, I left it on a log. When I went back, it was gone... of course. So, I've got NOTHING to show for any of my stories, and so far I've discovered that just isn't what the fans want. Facebook friends of mine are still getting a good slough of pictures of Ezra, though, thanks to Brendan's iPhone and my family.
*I packed and moved*
Umm...do I even need to present an explanation for this excuse??? We moved from Eastlake which I loved to Bryant which I really like for a HUGE (from our perspective) house in exchange for our small apartment. I can have like 8 kids now if I wanted and still not have to move... well, maybe we'd need another bathroom. NO, I do not want to have 8 kids.
Ezra has done very well with the move and has figured out the new house. He has his own playroom now and likes it as much as I hoped. Blackberry, his new best guinea pig friend, lives next door to the playroom, and they have enjoyed many cheerful hours staring at each other. Black lets Ezzie pet him, feed him, and yell at him :)
*We applied to become a host family for international students*
I'm very excited about this. The process was simple and went great. Our first student is scheduled to arrive from Germany next Saturday and the next from Japan a month later. I'm excited to share my home, have someone to eat the giant meals I tend to make (never did learn to cook for 2), expose Ezra to new languages, and make a little money. This will be like me working from home... we shall see. I'm envisioning a whole new category of post for Blark Notes.
*My parents were in town for a week*
It was wonderful. Facebook has the evidence. I miss my family more than ever, and it is nothing short of tragic that the two wonderful Meador grandparents must live so far from us. They say it's my fault for leaving them. I guess it is. There is just NOTHING like your own mom being around... when you're me, and your mom is your best friend, and you actually like the way you were parented. Same goes for my Dad. Thankfully, Aunt Whitney will be here in July!
So, there you have it. My life in a nutshell. One little tidbit to add- My favorite comical moment of the week:
At Ikea with my parents, I bought a hanging shoe organizer for the closet called "Skubb." Brendan saw it and said, "What's this?"
Me: "Oh, that's a hanging sho..."
Brendan: "Wait, wait,wait. I don't want no Skubb..."
I can't get it out of my head. Yes, I'm still sleep deprived (but it's getting much better, and I have all kinds of opinions about it. But, that's another post!)
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
1) Poor, wretched Judas. "Satan entered into him." Jesus said so many times that day that those who love him are known by following his commands and that those who are in him are safe in the Father. I'm thanking Jesus today for sending the Comforter so that no one else may enter into me and praying that He would give me strength to love him by following his law and remind me of my safety. My life is hidden with Christ.
2) Jesus WENT somewhere. He's physically there. I never really thought about that until recent sermons and Sunday school classes brought out that fact. He's a real corporeal hero. I'm not with him yet. What a thing to anticipate! I forget in my life here to hope for his return, to hope for my union with him in Heaven. We have the Spirit- and what a blessing He is, but we don't have full communion with Jesus until we are there. Hard to understand, this "already but not yet." This is where the reality of the trinity truly matters.
3) He wants me to be with him, with his real body and person in Heaven. John 17:24-
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." Jesus' desiring this makes certain that it will come true! I've got to remember these promises more often.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Waiting. I walked in with a bloody kitchen towel. They at least gauzed me for the wait. Poor Ezra (and the two of us!) had to whirl out of the house without eating our nice family dinner that was laid out and ready to be eaten. I was just putting the finishing touch, a quick zjzjjjjhh on the broccoli with the hand blender for Ezra. I put my finger in to scoop out what was stuck in the bell when my evil right hand ever so briefly apparently squeezed the trigger! I went to the sink to run water over it and saw that, given the amount of blood, this was probably pretty bad!
The lidocaine shots hurt a lot. Thank goodness for breathing techniques and great pain management abilities, another perk of natural childbirth that you can carry with you forever! I also got a tetanus- that didn't hurt then, but it hurts a lot now.
the lacerations. there were 4 separate gashes. The worst two got stitches. (by the way, by that point, Grandma and Grandpa Ribera had long since come to rescue Ezra and put him to bed.)
after the stitches- 8
all stitched and swollen with lidocaine. As of right now, the numbness still hasn't worn off. I'm worried about how this thing will feel when it does!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Initially, feeding a baby solids is challenging and can be discouraging because they are just so amazed by the new, weird experience. However, Ezra took to it after about a week and a half. I know that every baby is different, though, so I don't think people whose babies are slow to accept solids have done anything wrong! Here's what works well for Ezra: warmth, flavor, and power. Ezzie does MUCH better if his food isn't cold. As for flavor, I have used garlic, olive oil, spices, and even (gasp! I know...) a few tiny grains of salt in all of Ezzie's little mixes. I was very surprised to discover that he prefers savory or even sour (like the plain, full fat yogurt) tastes over sweet ones sometimes. Power means that Ezra is in charge of the amount that he eats. I've never tricked or wrestled bites into his mouth, and I can really see day to day that he is just eating the amount that he needs. Our pediatrician's intern said that studies are now showing that the skill of portion control, developed as an infant, is carried on into life and heleps prevent obesity! So, yay for that! I also always give Ezra a few bites on his tray that he can smear, pinch, suck, eat (maybe) on his own. At first, when spoon feeding, I always had to give him a spoon of his own too, but now he's totally over that and can handle just me giving him bites.
Here's an example of how we work it.
This week's menu:
Monday: Adults - sloppy joes, sauteed spinach; Ezra - ground beef (taken out of the pan before saucing up the sloppy joe mix) and sauteed spinach (chopped of course)
Tuesday: Adults - Broccoli Cheese Soup and Bread; Ezra - broccoli stew (pureed veggies and broth taken out of pot before milk was added) with shredded cheese and bread bits on his tray
Wednesday: Adults - Mango Chicken with Black Beans and Rice; Ezra - a chunky puree of that whole dinner with avacado
Thursday (Tonight): Adults - Soup and Salad Bar for parish group; Ezra - leftover ground beef with peas and bites of mommy's soup and bread
Friday: Adults - Roasted Sausage and Root Veggies; Ezra - a few veggie chunks presed through the garlic press... I might let him try sausage (it's preservative/nitrate free)
For breakfast, I just give him leftovers from the night before, oatmeal, blueberries or other small bites of fruit, yogurt, or egg yolk if we're having eggs.
Lunches consist of leftovers or various small bites when lunch happens. I'm just now moving him toward three meals a day.
Anyway, there's some info for those who've been interested. I should note, too, that the American Academy of Pediatrics did a study on allergies and their connection to food introduction schedules and determined that there is no evidence to suggest waiting to introduce ANY particular foods until any particular time. Though, most professionals are still wary of peanuts and honey. Personally, I give Ezra something new, wait a day or two, and then give him the next thing. I've become VERY lax about it at this point. I will wait until he's 1 or older to do honey and peanuts.
Here's a video of some of our dinner time silliness :)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
the big chunk
the first day
and, yes, Ezra likes it!
with oatmeal fangs. this happened accidentally, and I think it's the funniest thing I've seen all year
doing chores again
Back home with Daddy. We missed him so much, and it was really hard to be apart!
Denver Airport. Ezra was GREAT on all the flights
Sad to leave each other before going to the airport
Ezra bug hunting while we waited out in front of the Big 5 store because...
the keys were locked in the car. It was pretty funny.
Sorry for the sideways-ness. In an outfit from Grandma Laura with Grandma Debbie
One of many stroller naps in cousin Micah's old ride
the beginnings of the crawling (I'll try to get video up soon! I'm just inept, and Brendan and I have to do it together)
The GIANT Chuckanucka at the Fireworks at SeaTac. Ezzie, as you can see, was too tired to care much
"They let ME through security?" Oh, yeah, dumb story: they made me take Ezra's shoes off of him at the amarillo security line. Yeah, gotta watch out for those crazy babies and their shoe bombs...
Oatmeal from matching zebra bowls... and putting oatmeal in mommy's eye while she tries to take a picture!
before the sorting project began
OK- there you go! When I deliver, I deliver!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
As I was a-goin'
On down the road
With a tired team
And a heavy load
I cracked my whip
And the leader sprung
I says day-day
To the wagon tongue
Turkey in the straw
Turkey in the straw
Roll 'em up and twist 'em up
A high tuck a-haw
And hit 'em up a tune called
Turkey in the Straw
Went out to milk
And I didn't know how
I milked the goat
Instead of the cow
A monkey sittin'
On a pile of straw
A winkin' at
Turkey in the straw
Turkey in the straw
Roll 'em up and twist 'em up
A high tuck a-haw
And hit 'em up a tune called
Turkey in the Straw
I came to the river
And I couldn't get across
So I paid five dollars
For a big bay hoss
Well, he wouldn't go ahead
And he wouldn't stand still
So he went up and down
Like an old saw mill
Turkey in the straw
Turkey in the straw
Roll 'em up and twist 'em up
A high tuck a-haw
And hit 'em up a tune called
Turkey in the Straw
Did you ever go fishin'
On a warm summer day
When all the fish
Were swimmin' in the bay
With their hands in their pockets
And their pockets in their pants
Did you ever see a fishie
Do the Hootchy-Kootchy Dance?
Turkey in the straw
Roll 'em up and twist 'em up
A high tuck a-haw
And hit 'em up a tune called
Turkey in the Straw
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I could drive myself crazy wondering what she would have been like.
I get so afraid that my son won't know the Truth.
I question all the injustice. The wicked seem to prosper! The righteous are wrongfully imprisoned!
I wonder why I have a brain that is healthy- a sound mind that can care for itself and its body while others are trapped in these shells- and for what?
I cringe and can't escape the thought of children being used- of babies being wasted.
If I didn't believe God, I'd be extremely bitter and such an ugly person. As it is, he has given me eyes to see; and even when life doesn't make any sense at all, even when it is hard for me and worse for others, I can trust that there is a plan. What a gracious God we have. I'm an ugly person saved from bitterness who will be beautiful in the end. Amazingly, actually, we don't even have to wait until the end- that's when things will be whole, completely right- but we are, even here, blessed with glimpses of our own metamorphoses. How I love to hear what he does for my brothers and sisters! I want to be quicker to give him glory where glory is due - and unashamedly so. Well... the blog is definitely out there...
Oh, to love others as I have been loved!
(Emo post of the month!)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My little Spudkin has morphed into such a big boy lately. I know that he's still just a baby in many ways, but truly- he's a different baby! He'll be crawling any day now. He can go backwards, but he can only sometimes figure out how to do this funny little leapfrog move forward. He stimeys himself by wanting to have at least one foot on the floor like he's going to stand. Today after his afternoon nap, I came in to find him sitting up! The result: Brendan lowered the mattress to the lowest setting this evening... from sitting he can pull himself to standing, and I can see him thinking about climbing out!
Look at what I can do!!!
While completely worth it for adults and even Stella, my 7 month old was wondering why we had to be in the car for almost 4 hours total just to have a picnic on Daddy's President's Day off. Deception Pass was beautiful as always but especially on the sparkling, sunny day we had. It was quite chilly... sort of forgot that it's FEBRUARY! We had a fun time with the Hays, but poor Ezra's crying in the car made for a rather harrying day for his mother.
our picnic site
Daddy and Ezra in a rare moment of smiling in the van for Ez. To his credit, Ezzie did have a cold, and he was also potentially still dealing with a strong gastroenterologic response to spinach :(. I would have cried too!
smiling in the chilly beauty
Daddys and kiddos explore the beach
Until recently, Ezra has been happy to lounge about while mommy does her housework...
but from about the time he got his first goose-egg on his head from trying to do everything grownups do (like stand!)...
he's been more and more interested in taking over the chores!
sweeping (he also helped me swiffer the bedrooms, but I failed to photograph it)
and, his favorite, folding laundry
Folding laundry with Ezra in my sunny afternoon bedroom has been quite the stay-at-home mom pleasure of late
New Living Room Design
Ezra seems to really love the new furniture. He can easily stand up to the back of the couch and watch the cars go by. He also loves if one of hides on the floor while he plays "Where's Ezra?" (peek-a-bo) over the side of the couch like this...
I'm loving the new furniture too! And my "mood lighting," as Blythe called it :)
Ezzie loves the sippy cup. I wish I could capture the Napoleon Dynamite style with which he throws his head back to get a drink from the cup. He really could be in one of those old Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercials where she tosses a can of pepsi back. In my attempts to capture it once, he tossed himself over backwards so hard that I caught his surprise in this photo (check out those eyebrows!)...
Monday, February 9, 2009
For a look back at that day with a few picks, visit Brendan's post.
HERE WE GO...
While I was pregnant, I spent HOURS reading the stories in Ina May Gaskin's books of women and their natural births. The stories were encouraging and indoctrinated me with the belief that birth is a natural process. It's supposed to happen. It is not emergency. It does not mean there is something wrong with you. Therefore, it should not require a barrage of medical interventions. Being pregnant does not equal being sick. Of course, being pregnant and giving birth are cursed because of the sin in the world; the Bible tells me so. I expected labor and delivery to be painful, but I also expected that I would enjoy exhilarating moments like the women who told their stories in Ina May's books. I also expected that I would absolutely kick ass. What follows is my story in which I suffer the worst pain of my life, experience the ONE exhilarating moment of clutching my brand new slimy baby, and I absolutely kick ass.
During my pregnancy, I made it my mission to prepare for Ezra's arrival in every way. I nested and made him a beautiful bedroom. I bought little clothes and folded them all up. Brendan and I laid around together discussing our baby boy's bright future. I also spent a lot of time preparing my body to give birth. I did yoga and Pilates and stretched like crazy. I spent at least 15 minutes a day squatting, yep, squatting. I ate very well and took handfuls of vitamin supplements every day. I already mentioned the ways I tried to mentally prepare by reading books and stories. We also went to a class to learn the stages of labor and early infant care. I am so grateful for every last shred of prep that I did. After becoming convinced that I wanted to have a natural labor, one with no medication, I approached the impending by unknown birthday with the excitement of a dancer preparing for opening night. I imagined myself to be rehearsing for the biggest performance of my life. Of course, I was also careful to remind myself that it would not be a performance for any audience but me and the baby, my little Spud. No one should have the pressure of performing in her mind while being bludgeoned from the inside.
I think that my labor began about a month before Spudkin was due. False labor plagued me once or twice a weak. And these were no Braxton-Hicks; the contractions often hurt and were regular. By the time Spuddie's due date passed, I was pretty fed up with being teased, but I was still doing ok. I never felt desperate to be unpregnant. On July 12th, my birthday, my mom was in town to be at the birth and help us out after it. I woke her up around 6 am. "Mom, I'm having regular contractions; let's take a walk." I had long since dubbed myself "The Pregnant Ghost of Eastlake" because I'd walk the blocks almost every night as fast as I could with my swollen feet and extremely swollen belly to attempt to stimulate labor. After our walk, I was still contracting but things didn't seem to be escalating. We went to the U-District Farmers' Market where I continued to hurt a bit. Then, we went to pick up my birthday cake. On the wall was a sign that read, "The only thing more overrated than natural childbirth is owning your own business." Foreboding. By that afternoon, the yet again false labor had fizzled. We went up the block to Serafina for a birthday dinner. That night I went to bed feeling pretty disappointed but still hopeful.
Around 4am, I woke up with a pretty serious "pee-traction." You know, the little contractions you get when you really have to pee just because there's so much going on in there. I was really out of it, so I didn't think much of it. As I laid down, I felt a little leak. I used a tissue to see what was up, and it was pink! A good sign! (I should pause for a moment to discuss the crazy way that expecting affects you. I had a miscarriage before I got pregnant with Spud. Blood was a very bad sign for 8 months. However, towards the end, you want to see some. It means that your cervix is dilating and could indicate loss of the mucus plug. Once, I blotted my lipstick and threw the tissue in the toilet, then I peed. As I looked at the swirling flush, I saw pink! For a second I was all excited; then, I realized it was just my lipstick- a huge letdown!) So, anyway, it was pink! I got up all excited and Brendan turned the lamp on. As I got out of bed to do I don't know what, I leaked some more, and we gleefully concluded that my water was broken. Yes!
After timing the contractions (9 minutes apart), we decided to wait awhile before calling Cindie. I wanted her to have as much rest as possible! We tried to sleep, but we were just too excited. I think we just laid around timing contractions as I practiced my breathing and relaxation techniques in preparation for what was to come. Once we talked to her, Cindie was encouraging and excited and told me to eat something. It was a Sunday morning, so we figured none of us would be at church that day. I remember thinking how everyone would be so suspicious and excited for us. By midmorning, my mom, Brendan and I were sitting on my sunny front porch getting fresh air and timing contractions as I ate partially thawed frozen strawberries with honey. They were delicious. The contractions were still really manageable. We'd read over and over again that you should stay home as long as you can, so Brendan wasn't going to let me go the hospital until I really seemed like I was in pain and getting serious.
At around 11 am, Cindie called, and I started to cry. I felt flooded with hormones and overwhelmed by what was soon to happen. My contractions were getting more painful, and that was a little bit scary. I knew that the worst was yet to come. She suggested that Brenna come over. Brenna is a labor and delivery nurse in St. Louis and my very good friend. Brenna was excited to get the call to come join us, and I was encouraged to have someone around who'd seen this all before. It reminded my how normal it all was. She watched me do a few contractions and encouraged me (and Cindie) that I was handling everything well. My concept of time started to disappear at that point. All I knew was whether or not I was contracting. I had to focus more. Everytime I went to pee, I'd have a really painful contraction on the toilet. Then, I'd stand at the kitchen sink to wash my hands, and I'd have another contraction. That's when my desire to be on the floor kicked in. During each contraction I wanted to and did kneel down on the floor and rock back and forth. I started asking if I could go to the hospital. Brenna and Cindie agreed that it was a good time. Around this time I started making noise. I'd read that my noise could be loud as I needed but that it needed to stay low. Relaxing and opening the mouth and throat are connected to relaxation of the birth canal.
Everyone started getting things ready to go- including a barf bucket because I started feeling nauseated. In between contractions I hobbled to the car. I'm sure was a sight to behold. I had on a short cotton skirt, and I had my tank top pulled up over my belly. My hair was in little looped pigtails, and I had a bucket. In the car, I had a contraction, and I just had to focus and say "Rah, rah, rah" in a deep, breathy voice. Thankfully, the ride was very short. Then we arrived at Group Health on Capitol Hill. My love affair with the ground continued. My entrance to the hospital went like this: kneel down and have a contraction outside the car. Hobble to the doorway. Have a contraction on my knees in the entryway. Crawl into the elevator. Have a contraction. Crawl out. Hobble to the nurses station. Try to smile and be pleasant. Have a contraction. Hobble to my birthing room. Sink to my knees. Contract. Rest. Contract. Rest. Contract. Rest... you get the idea.
I was relieved to be at the hospital because things were feeling very intense. I couldn't wait for Cindie to arrive and check to see how much progress my cervix had made. I was sure that I'd be really far along because I was already one centimeter dilated and almost completely effaced before my labor even started. After I started feeling like I needed to change positions, I laid on the bed for Cindie to check me. Dang it. Only 3 centimeters. Brendan and I were really discouraged. The hospital doesn't really want people to show up until they're about 5 centimeters. Cindie quickly attempted to assuage our disappointment by saying that I was working really hard and that it probably wouldn't take as long to get to ten as it had taken to get to 3. She said we might have to find a pleasant way to pass some long time so that I wouldn't get to burnt out. "Maybe we can sit around and tell funny stories," she suggested. "Fat Chance," I thought. I was hurting to badly to think about anything by my contractions.
I got into the tub and the warm water was a welcome change. However, my contractions quickly became extremely painful. I had to yell and make all kinds of sound. I said blar, blar, blar. I sort of mooed. I said rah, rah, rah. I screamed a few times, but I tried my best to not scream in a high pitch because I knew that would mean that I'd lost control. I had to stay in control. Stay on top. I cried out to Jesus for help. I said "this sucks... but I love you Spud!!!!!!!!!" I even said, "Oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh, SNAP!" Which brought some comic relief to us all. Nothing helped my pain. We tried aromatherapy. God has blessed the woman who can be calmed from that sort of torturous pain just by smelling some freaking lavender. I wouldn't let them clean my blood out of the tub because it was encouraging to me. I knew that it meant cervical progress. At another point, Cindie prayed for me to be able to empty my bladder because that was hurting. Her prayer was answered, and that was a relief. At some point in the tub, I puked. At that point I really started to have an internal panic. "They're going to make me do this naturally even if I say I can't," I thought. I'd read the books. You're supposed to encourage a woman begging for drugs to just go, "a little bit more." I was afraid that I was handling my pain to well and that they wouldn't be able to see how badly I was hurting. I still didn't want drugs, but I knew I couldn't endure that pain for more than maybe another hour or two. Although, still, time was a bit fuzzy for me. Cindie came in and I expressed my concern. She said that they wouldn't make me do anything. I knew that my behavior could be an indication of transition- the opening of the final 2 or 3 centimeters, but I knew it hadn't been very long and couldn't believe that I'd already made that much progress. Cindie suggested that she should check me, so that we could have a better idea of what I was facing. I was 9 centimeters. That was the most thrilling news. "Awesome," I thought. "I can do it!"
At that point, Cindie said that she would just sit with me and watch for me to begin pushing. After a while, I still didn't have any urge to push. Cindie said that if I got out and maybe got into a better pushing position, we probably could see the head. I honestly can barely remember getting from the tub to the labor bed. I'm sure I had lots of help! At this point, the strange, deep, searing pain that I had in my lower right quadrant got VERY intense, and I was trying desperately to find a position that would alleviate some of it. I laid on my left side with my right leg straight up to the side, by my ear, and totally turned out- ballerina style. That felt sort of good, but I couldn't find the strength to push. And, poor Brendan was trying to support my leg, and that was hard for him... and not working well. I wound up on my back. The head began to crown after just a few pushes. At this point, I did get one or two really long (maybe 5-10 minute) rests between contractions. I still had no urge to push, and I never got one. So, any time the pain started I would make myself push. That was disheartening because I had read that I would have some relief when the urge to push set in, and I thought that the more athletic effort would be nice because at least I'd have something I could do. Alas, it just kept hurting a lot! After about an hour and a half of seeing Spuddy's little top of his head crowing in the mirror and trying to coax my perineum to relax with warm compresses, Cindie said that she felt that my perineum was just too strong. She said that I could keep going and maybe not tear because it was so strong, but that an episiotomy (which she almost never does) would probably speed things along. I said I wanted to keep trying on my own. The crowning continued, and the right side pain got worse and worse. I remember looking up at the ceiling and thinking "I lift my eyes up; where does my help come from?.. From the LORD!" That was my only comfort. Meanwhile, my team was all around me helping as best as they could. Brendan and my mom each held a leg; Brenna was taking pictures and giving slurps of energy goo and water between pushes.
After another hour, Cindie checked in with me again about an episiotomy. At that point, I was ready for ANYTHING that would alleviate some pain and speed my process. I agreed, and she made a little cut. I could tell from her look that it probably wasn't enough, and she said, "How did that feel?" "Fine. Do what you gotta do," I said. So, she cut a little more, and that one hurt a bit more. Still, compared to my weird side pain, it was nothing.
In the next big push, out came his head! I just glanced down at the mirror to see, and everyone was excited. I think someone said, "he's looking around!" Indeed, he was; I saw it later on the video. Cindie said something along the lines of, "if you give one more push, I can get him on you." I was sort of wanting to rest, but I summoned all my strength to get him out. Cindie had to unwrap the cord from his neck (just one twist, I think; and it hadn't been affecting his heartbeat or anything. He was strong throughout my labor). When I pushed, his left hand shot out first like he was a little superman taking off for a flight! That, and his absolute lack of a cone-head, contributed, we think, to the long pushing session. His whole little body flopped out right after that. Even while I was still crying out from the push, he was up on my chest. They rubbed him and maybe sucked his nose out a little. His apgar scores were great, and he cried right away. I was amazed by him, and we said his name: Ezra Wray Ribera.
I have to say that I was so shocked by everything that had just happened and in so much pain from the aftermath that it was difficult to focus on Ezra. I was able to comfort and cuddle him at an instinctual level, but my mind was only able to think, "Oh MY GOSH! What just happened? Why did I do that naturally? Am I ripped everyway from Sunday?" I wasn't as torn up as I though I was, though. The nurses did forget to move the mirror right away, and I saw my body in a state that NO ONE should ever see! It was about as close to a horror movie scene as I can imagine. They whisked it away really quick when I yelped, "Can someone move the mirror!?!"
Ezra was born at 7:21 on July 13th, a Sunday; he weighed 8lbs 3oz and was 19.5 inches long. He had a pretty good night. My mom mostly looked after him b/c Brendan crashed, and I was in shock/pain/couldn't really walk. When the nurse came to get me to help me to the bathroom later that night, I almost fainted, and I couldn't believe how destroyed my body felt. She took me into the bathroom where the tub was and turned on the night light which was just one red bulb. It was awful! It was, again, like some horror movie flashback to the site of the heroine's ordeal! "Turn on the real light!" Yeah, I kind of freaked out about that. The night passed very uncomfortably, and my (up to now) 7 months of sleeplessness began.
The next day, I was very emotional, of course, and felt extremely traumatized by the pain and surprise difficulties of my labor. Still, I was thrilled that it was over and that it had been relatively fast. Ezra looked great. He was so sweet and responded well to both of our voices- especially Brendan's. He was a great nurser almost from the get-go. When Cindie came to check on us, I cried and asked her to remind me why I did it naturally. She did a good job of encouraging me and letting me know that it was ok to mourn over the pain and scariness of it all. Really, I was just glad that Ezra was alright. After losing Speck, I didn't mind what sort of hell my body had to go through as long as Ezra was ok, and he was just wonderful.
Since then, I've totally glossed over all the horrible parts of that birth in my mind, and I'm ready to go natural again next time. I know what my body can do, and I know what God can bring you through! That is the best thing about natural labor (in addition to the reduction in risk for the baby). Recovery was hard, but it didn't take too terribly long. I feel back to normal now, and considering what a crazy process it is, 6 months isn't very long!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Feeding Ezra at the end of our zoo-venture. I had a great time! I think that Ezra did too. Although, I'm pretty sure he didn't see most of the animals; but he did like seeing all the kids and riding in the new stroller.
Ezzie and I check out the gorillas.
In the Zoomazium, Ezra faced the same challenges he did at the Children's Museum. He wants to do everything the big kids are doing, but he can't even crawl yet! He's very tenacious though and has as much fun as possible.
Here he is posing in the giant nest. He's a little hatchling Ezrasaurus!
Everyone enjoys a snack...
Including Ezra! Ezzie LOVES chomping on frozen peas in his little chew-bags... as I call them.
I love the zoo!
Our zoo friends- Cole and Stella. Baby Mags was there too and slept the whole time :)
REAL hippos! I don't think I've ever seen one. These guys reminded me of our friends in Malawi. There, you do NOT want to meet a hippo!
Check out my new stroller! What we really need is a new car seat because Ezzie will soon be WAY too tall for his current seat, but picking out the new stroller was much more fun and easy :) I love our new Combi stroller which will take us all the way to 55lbs and isn't obnoxiously huge!
In other news... here's a shot from when Brendan exploded a bacon grease covered 13x9" pyrex dish. Yeah, that sucked.
Ezzie and I in matching hats getting ready for a walk :)
a shot of our feeding system. We fill one spoon, hand it to him, and he puts it in his mouth. Then, we switch. This is Ezra enjoying peas... or maybe it was the avacado with chicken