July 30, 2007

Whoa, baby!

My baby weighs 14 lbs. My 8-week old baby. 14 lbs.

The doctor's appoinment went well . . . he probably has the same thing I had last week.

But seriously. 14lbs. Wow.

Not interested

I feel bad for the cashiers at Target, Old Navy and pratically every other retailer out there who have to go through this a bajillion times a day:

Cashier: Would you be interested in saving 10% today by applying for a Target Visa?
Me: No, thank you.
Cashier: Are you sure? You could save, um, $1.50 on this purchase and receive monthly coupons in the mail fo future 10% discounts.
Me: No, thank you. I'm not interested.

Total rejection. A bajillion times a day.

If I could talk to the people who make them say that (some of whom even evaluate their preformance based on how many people actually do apply for a credt card) I'd tell them they need to give their employees something better to offer. A 10% disvount on a credit card that boasts a 24.99% interest rate isn't really a great deal. Maybe if they're gonna charge 24.99% interest, they should offer a 24.99% discount. Or more. It's just a thought.

Jack's a little under the weather. I think maybe he's got the cold I had last week. But maybe not. He really only has congested sinuses. Other than that he's in really good spirits. I was really achy and I'd expect him to be crankier if he felt like I did. He is sleepier than usual though.

Last night was the first night of our 2nd double camp. That was back when Jack was little (2 weeks old). I expected it to be awful again, but everything went VERY smoothly. It was great. Jack slept through registration in the bjorn carrier and I was amazed at how much he has grown. His head didn't even come above the carrier at the first camp, but now it's way above!

Ok, I lied. He has a fever so I guess we'll call the doctor.

July 29, 2007

Sleep in heavenly peace . . .

I know that I've mentioned this in a previous post, but it warrants being mentioned again. Jack slept 8 1/2 hours two nights ago. Now, if you read the post from a day or two ago, you'll know that due to unfortunate circumstances, I didn't get that much sleep. Nonetheless, I was very excited. The last two nights it's been the typical 5 - 6 hours, but we're not complaining.

The other "sleep breakthrough" that we had this week was that both Tuesday and Wednesday night, I put Jack's pajamas on, rocked him for 5 minutes and put him in his crib while he was still awake and he drifted off to sleep on his own. No "crying-it-out" necessary (I knew I liked that Dr. Sears). The nights since then he's fallen asleep while rocking or in the car so we haven't had a chance to try it again, but I'm hoping that it wasn't just a fluke. I'm not naive enough to think that it will always be that easy, but I feel like we're getting somewhere.

I guess it's true that we've rarely had a really hard time putting him to bed. There have been a few cranky nights that have taken quite a bit of rocking (and bouncing on the exercise ball) but rarely does it take more than 1/2 hour (but of course the nights it does take longer are the nights when we have guests or other things we'd like to be able to do). If we start to get him ready when we start to see that he's tired, he does much better than when we let him get all the way to the fussy stage.

This week is a really crazy one. We have two simultaneous camps and ALL of our staff is counseling. We have a couple of people who are helping out, but less help always equals way crazy. Always. Hopefully, Jack will give us more sleep this week!

July 28, 2007

Buying deodorant

Kyle and I had a chance to go on a date last night. And when I say "date", I mean what all married couples with children mean when they say "date" . . . we ran errands and got dessert while Kyle's parents watched jack. I had a mini-breakdown while balancing the checkbook yesterday, so I needed this little bit of de-stress time. It was a nice time away and we got quite a bit done.

Anyway, when Kyle and I were making returns at Target we picked up a few things we needed: razor blades for him, some bug-killing spray for the plants out front . . . and deodorant for me. This was significant and let me tell you why.

For the five years we've been married, we've had a joke/argument going on about how much deodorant Kyle goes through in a year (side note: isn't it funny how many marital jokes have "/argument" after them?). Seriously, it seems like every other time we're out he has to pick up more because he ran out. On the other hand, I use deodorant every day (sometimes more than once in the summer) just like he does but I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had to buy it since we've been married. I don't think I smell worse than he does, but I guess everyone else is more of the judge of that than I am.

This week, I noticed I was getting low and I had to buy some. It was a special occasion. They don't make the "sparkling pear" scent that I usually wear anymore (shocker). So I got some tropical smelling kind that will make me smell like I'm wearing sunscreen all year long.

I realize as i type this that those of you reading it may not thing that this is as eventful as we do, and some of you may be wondering if my hygiene habits are what they should be. But it gave us something to laugh about.

I also tried on some pants at Old Navy that actually fit. Yes, they were two sizes larger than what I was wearing last year at this time, but at least I could wear a pair of pants sans elastic waistband. No, I did not buy them. I'm thinking that I might need to buy new winter pants if my waistline doesn't reach it's original size by this fall so I'm saving my money for that. I am realizing, though, that I have four bridal/baby showers to go to in the next month and I'm going to have to invest at least a little money in some new clothes for that. I'm not sure that t-shirts and worn out khaki capris will cut it for those.

On our way home last night the Saturn was making some funky noises, vibrating horribly, braking badly and the back driver's side tire smelled really hot. Yikes. We only have one payment left on that car. I bought it 5 years ago on Kyle's birthday when we were engaged but still a few months away from being married. On August 26 it will be completely paid off. Just on time to put a lot of money into fixing it. Oh well, it's kind of a drop in the bucket at this point.

Speaking of 5 years ago, on July 17 it was the 5 year anniversary of when Kyle proposed to me. It's kind of hard to believe that it's already been 5 years. And in other ways, it's hard to believe that it's ONLY been 5 years. We were so young back then. A friend of ours proposed to his girlfriend on July 17 this year so it's fun for us to have the same "engagement anniversary date" as they do. We've been a part of a coupld of engagements now. SOmeone proposed to their girlfriend (now wife) in our old apartment. Someone proposed to their girlfriend (now wife) in our trailer that we stayed in out at camp one summer. Now, we just need to have someone propose at our house. If anyone's interested, they can just let us know. :)

July 27, 2007

Milk Duds

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I've been breastfeeding Jack. You'll also know that Jack likes it, but I have not always been a huge fan of it. It hurt, it was uncomfortable and I was miserable everytime I could tell he was getting hungry. Along with all of that, I felt like my breasts were the size of Rhode Island (which I realize is the smallest of all the states, but is still pretty big when you're comparing them to your breasts). My original goal was to breastfeed for a year, but I was beginning to feel like I wasn't sure that I could make it to two months.

Over the last week I realized that I had become pretty adjusted to it. I was kind of getting the hang of things and found myself looking forward to him getting hungry because in the midst of the busy day, I knew I'd have some one on one time with him. I had 1/2 an e-mail composed and saved in my "Drafts" folder on outlook to a friend of mine who had encouraged me to stick with it. It was just telling her how much better it had become . . . and that was just enough to tempt fate.

I developed a blocked milk duct and a blocked milk pore with a nice little blister over it. I've had numerous blisters before, but this one hurt a whole heck of a lot worse. I won't got into any more details than this other than to say it was (and still is) painful and uncomfortable. Breastfeeding once again has become miserable.

The real kicker is that Jack slept for 8 1/2 HOURS last night! That was a major event for us. It meant that we would have slept 8 1/2 hours last night too if it weren't for the fact that I was constantly rotating between heating packs, hot showers, pumping and warm baths. from about 4 AM on trying to get this blocked duct . . . well, unblocked.

On top of all of this, I've had a really bad cold involving congestion, coughing and a sore throat as well as a fairly painful canker sore. When it rains, it pours.

The funniest part of this whole story (if there can be a funny part) was when Debbie overheard me talking to the camp nurse about these issues. She couldn't figure out what it meant for me to have "blocked Milk Duds" rather than "ducts." At least there's something to laugh about.

July 25, 2007

Out on the town . . .

Jack and I ventured out today . . . just the two of us. We haven't done that since he was 2 1/2 weeks old and it's a lot different now. He slept a lot more soundly back then (or as I like to say, "when he was little").

He slept for most of the 25 minute drive into Jackson, but just as we were pulling into the parking lot of Target, our first stop, he started crying. By the time I parked the car he was into a full-out shriek. I don't know why he does this, but I had a feeling he would not go quietly into the stroller. So, I got out the baby sling and put him in that. I parked toward the back of the parking lot so that I'd have plenty of room to get him in and out of the car, etc. I went into the store and realized I had forgotten Kyle's prescription he needed filled . . . so, back out to the car I went.

By the second trip out to the car, he was asleep. Great, right? Well the pharmicist told me that it would take 30 - 40 minutes to fill the prescription. I only had 3 things I needed. Not normally a problem, becauseI am a Target conniseur and can usually find lots to look at (and buy) at Target. But I had a close to 12 lb. baby in the sling the whole time. My back and shoulder are feeling it. So, he was sound asleep and we walked around for a while and finally left.

My next stop was Walmart. I'm not a huge fan of Walmart for anything other than really good stories that I always come home with about the interesting people I see there. But I needed a pinata and I knew Walmart had them. Jack was sleeping so I was able to just take the carrier and put it in the stroller. About half way into the store, however, he started shrieking again. Yikes. I'm amazed at the contrast between the "Aww, he's precious" looks I got when he was asleep at Target and the annoyed, "Shut that kid up" looks that I got when he was . . . well . . . awake at Walmart. Did they think that I was enjoying listening to him cry? Did they think that I was making him cry on purpose? Have a little compassion, people! I wanted to yell, "LOOK AT ME NICELY OR DON'T LOOK AT ME AT ALL!"

About half way home he fell asleep again. Going into town used to be so easy.

Jeanette is coming to camp tonight and she, Debbie, Joy and I are going out to dinner . . . though Jeanette does not yet know that I'm coming. Kyle's going to try and keep Jack with him here at camp during the beach party and vespers. I might be wrong, but this scenario could lead to some good blogging later.

My little boy is growing up!

After Jack's 5:30 feeding, I couldn't go back to sleep, so I put him in the bed next to Kyle and tried to get some stuff around the house done. There were a lot of his clothes that needed to be put away, so I went to work at that. As I was doing that, I was pulling out clothes that no longer fit him and putting them in storage. Wow. He's 7 weeks old and he has two grocery bags full of clothes that are too short on his long legs or too tight around his tummy. He's way out of the newborn stuff. Most 3M clothes fit him pretty well, as long as there aren't legs. 6M stuff on him looks the way the 3M stuff looked on him when he was just born . . . a little baggy.

We have tons of clothes for him all the way up to 12 mos, but I'm just now realizing they're all summer clothes. So here's what I decided: I'm going to look for 9M winter clothing sold in lots on ebay. I'm also going to purchase one winter clothing item in size 9M or 12M per week in order to lessen the blow of having to buy all of those clothes at once. I think it sounds like a pretty good plan. :)

After I finished putting stuff away, I went into the bedroom and just watched him and his dad sleep next to each other for a little while. I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with gratefulness to God for giving me an amazing husband and a healthy, growing son . . . neither of which I would trade for anything.

Thoughts on cleaning the refrigerator . . .

I cleaned out the refrigerator tonight. This project was inspired by an incident on Monday that involved JJ trying to make a quesadilla and pulling out way moldy cheese . . . mildly embarrassing. Now that everything that is too old to eat has been cleaned out, we have a jar of the best pickles ever, a few random condiments, some good cheese, and stuff for campfire pizzas (which will probably go bad before we get a chance to eat it . . . I have not been to a single campfire this summer - tragic).

The most interesting thing I found in the back of the fridge was a few boxes of the gonal-f injections that we used to help us get pregnant. They expire next week. I was having trouble throwing them out because it is more than $1200 worth of medicine that will just end up wasted. I won't throw them out a day before they expire. I don't know why. That's just a lot of money I wish I could get back. I just remember feeling so hopeless.

It's weird that we were going through all of the infertility stuff last year because it seems like forever ago. It feels good that I have my baby in my arms as I type this. It makes the fact that I'll be throwing out $1200 worth of meds next week seem worth it.

I realized last night that as I've been thinking about our financial situation, I'm not worried about having enough for today. I'm worried about never having enough money to retire (ever). While I still have nagging fears about that, I think I need to worry about today and trust that God will take care of 30 years from now. I guess that's easy to say now, but I have a feeling that in the morning I'll still be stressed. God help me.

July 24, 2007

Loud bass guy

I love good music. I espcially love listening to music in the car. Ok, let's be honest . . . I love singing at the top of my lungs to music in my car. I don't sing in front of people too often, but if you spend enough time driving with me, you'll enevitably hear it. All of that to say . . . I understand the enjoyment that comes from listening ot music in the car.

What I don't understand are the guys (and I guess maybe girls too . . . but mostly guys) who turn their music up so loud that you can hear it from two blocks away. Please don't get me wrong here . . . I really do understand loud music. I drove my car the other day and it was one of the first times I've driven without Jack in the back seat in weeks. Let's just say that the radio was back to the pre-baby volume. Kyle used to always be able tell when I pulled in the driveway because he could hear the music from my car. But why play it so loud that it's no longer enjoyable, and turn the bass so far up that it hurts anyone within 10 yards of your car? Turning the dial that increases the bass does absolutely nothing to make you cool. It doesn't take talent. It doesn't take nerve. Anyone can do it.

I realize as I type this that I'm showing my age and that I may as well be walking around shaking a cane at people with loud music, but this past week, I had a headache. I had a sleeping baby. I was lying in bed praying that it will go away so that I could get something done while Jack slept when I heard it . . . thump, thump, thump. There was a kid having a party down the street. My first clue should have been when I came home and saw the car parked almost in the middle of the road because the rest of the road parking spots were taken.

I'm used to loud music on my street. My neighbors three doors down (who were recently evicted) used to have their car in their driveway with the music (vulgar music, may I add) on so loud that I could hear it loud and clear . . . even in the basement. It's probably the most inconsiderate thing ever. It happened a lot more than once. I'm thinking that they didn't have a radio or CD player in their house so they just used the one in the car and turned it up loud enough to hear in their house. I thought about dropping off a 1996 portable cd player at their house as a remedy to the situation.

In conclusion, loud bass guy, please turn the music down. The residents (or at least this resident) of Hillary Drive are getting sick of it . . . and we don't think you're cool.

To Own a Dragon

I read a great book last summer. It's called To Own a Dragon. It just kind of fell into my lap. My only gripe about the book is that the author (Donald Miller) puts a disclaimer in the forward that this book is mainly for guys who grew up without fathers (the subtitle of the book is "Reflections on growing up without a father"). I genuinely hope that that disclaimer doesn't scare anyone away. I want to share with you an excerpt (a long one) :

"I know submitting to authority isnt the most popular thing to do these days, but the thing about fathers, at least in John MacMurrays case, is they always have their kids interest at heart. That concept alone changed everything for me. If God was fathering me, and He knew exactly what I needed, then when I didnt get something I wanted, I could trust God didnt give it to me because it was not something I needed. I think that is part of what Jesus meant when He said, 'Thy will be done.'

Here is how this idea played out in the MacMurray house. Every evening around six, Terri would set dinner on the table, and the family would sit down to eat. And every night, almost without fail, the kids would start to whine. Unless it was chicken nuggets and French fries, there were going to be problems at dinner. One evening, Cassy, who was quite good at lobbying the family for what she wanted, lay down on the kitchen floor and rolled over in frustration about having to eat whatever it was Terri had prepared. John stood at the corner of the island in the kitchen and watched her, trying not to laugh. She twisted and turned and moaned and complained, but John stood silently, not letting her manipulate him. Finally, Cassy belted out the now famous line, 'Dad, how could you do this to me?' John and I covered our mouths and looked away in hysterics.

But here is what is so interesting about that scene. Cassy actually believed what she was saying had merit. The pain and frustration she felt about dinner that night was the same pain and frustration you and I probably feel about not getting the job we want, the car we want, or whatever. Looking back, it struck me how often I have wondered, sometimes out loud to God, "How could you do this to me?"

In the situation with Cassy, John had some choices as a father. One thing he could have done was to throw the dinner out and cook up some chicken nuggets and fries. But lets be honest, kids whose parents do this for them end up as evil dictators in small countries. Giving Cassy what she wanted rather than what she needed should not be confused with good parenting. If God was withholding something I wanted, it meant I could trust Him rather than cry out, How could you do this to me?
. . .
One of the most tender and beautiful scenes that would occasionally unfold in the MacMurray house was the calm, quiet peace that would come over one of the children when they were done trying to get their way. Cassy would get up off the floor and walk over to where her dad was and hold out her arms, her face still pouting. Then John would sit down on the couch and hold her and rock her in his arms . . . "

I saw this posted in an old blog and it spoke to me again today. May you today experience the calm, quiet peace that comes only from surrendering and cesasing any effort to get your way.

Wishing I could start over . . .

I just want to get through with this summer and start over next summer. I know that's such a bad attitude to have (and I'm working on it), but I feel a little like we've failed miserably. We've offered our staff very little accountibility and it shows. They're great people, but they have lousy bosses. I'm just super bummed that we haven't been able to invest more time than we have. I guess this summer is just feeling a little too familiar . . . like one from 5 years ago.

I think none of this is made better by the fact that I'm tired and feeling like I'm coming down with some sort of illness that involves a sore throat. Jack has been giving us 5 & 6 hour stretches, which is nice. But I'm finding that I'm so stressed over camp stuff and financial stuff that it takes me over an hour to fall asleep.

3 more weeks. Well of camp, at least. I wish that all if my distressing issues could be gone in three weeks.

July 22, 2007

Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura & Carrie

Who are the main characters in Little House on the Prairie? (This is me answering my subject line as if it were a question on Jeopardy)

So, I really love watching Little House on the Prairie. I had about a 10 year hiatus from watching it, but rediscovered my affection for the Ingalls Family over the last couple year . . . spurred by a marathon the Hallmark station had last fall.

What is my fascination with this show? Acting . . . bad. Storylines . . . mostly bad. Character development . . . awful and very choppy. Morals of the episodes . . . usually pretty good, but horribly cheesy and predicatble. So, I was thinking back to when I first started watching and I don't really remember a beginning, but I do remember specific times that we watched it.
Background information: My sister and I pretty much spent the majority of a couple of summers with my cousins (Trevor and Noelle). Trevor and Noelle would come to our house on Tuesday and Thursday when my aunt worked, and we'd go to their house on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when my mom worked. We usually had a GREAT time together and I could tell story after story about those summers. But there were times we didn't get along as well as others. . . one of those times being the 9 AM television spot.

At 9 AM, each weekday morning, one station aired G.I. Joe and another aired Little House on the Prairie. Karina, Noelle and I always wanted to watch Little House and Trevor always wanted G.I. Joe.

Now, at some point in time, Trevor watched an episode of Little House in which Carrie fell into a well and the town of Walnut Grove spent the whole night trying to get her out (similar to baby Jessica, if any of you remember that fiasco). Trevor liked that episode. I'd dare say Trevor loved that episode. And that was the only episode Trevor would watch. So, when 8:58 AM rolled around each morning, Noelle, Karina and I would get ourselves so worked up trying to convince Trevor that this might be the "Carrie falling in the well" episode and he wouldn't want to miss it. It was a genius plan because by the time we figured out that it wasn't the Carrie in the well episode, G.I. Joe was half way over (it was only a 30 minute show) and we got to watch Little House. This went on all summer. In retrospect, for as smart as he is, I'm kind of surprised that he fell for it that long.

Now, all of that to say, one morning . . . we were watching . . . lo and behold it was the episode where Carrie fell in the well. We went into every episode each morning knowing that it was not going to be what we were telling Trevor it might be. But on that day when we were right, we were delerious with joy. I remember cheering and celebrating like we had just won the lottery. It was a good day. So good, that when people ask you to think of a time in your life when you were the happiest . . . that moment ranks right up there with the big ones. It was the kind happiness like only a child can have about seeing their favorite episode of a really lackluster show.

Maybe that moment is what makes me like the show. Maybe it's just that I like dull tv. In any case, I'm going to keep watching.

So, may you have a "I just saw the episode of Little House on the Prairie where Carrie fell in the well" kind of day.

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What's in a name?

So, Kyle and I truly love the name "Jackson William." We thought about several names while I was pregnant but kept coming back to that one. Jack is named after a long line of great Jacks . . . Jack Bristow, Jack Shepherd, Jack Bauer . . . the list could go on and on. We thought about initials, potential nicknames and many other things in order to be sure that we were giving our child a respectable name. Here's something we didn't think of . . .

People already get our last name confused as Kyle's first name. Some of my family still calls Kyle, "Luke." So what could make having a first name for a last name worse? Maybe giving our son a first name that is much more common as a last name. Maybe.

When I called to make Jack's appointment for this week, the lady found him in the computer (or so she thought) and said, "Now, he'll be 18 in October, right?" Well, he is advanced for his age, but that's just not possible. "No," I said, "He's only 6 weeks old." Come to find out she confused him with a 17 1/2 year old patient at U of M named Luke Jackson. We've set him up for a lifetime of confusion. WHen the nurse came to call us back for our ultrasound, she came out and said, "Luke Jackson." Kyle and I didn't even bother trying to correct her.

Oh well. We still love the name. And we love the kid to whom it is attached even more.

Pediatric nuclear medicine?

Jack and I both had appointments at our doctors offices yesterday. Mine was my 6-week post-partum check-up and Jack’s was for an bilateral ultrasound of his hip to rule out DDH . . . which both my sister and I were born with. His appointment went fine. He slept through all of the turning and moving that the ultrasound required. In fact, he slept pretty much all day (but more on that later).

As we were walking to pediatric radiology we passed an area of the children’s hospital called the “Pediatric Nuclear Medicine” department. What on earth goes on there? I’m just glad that we didn’t have to go there.

My appointment . . . well, didn’t go as well. It seems that I haven’t been healing well . . . and by that I mean I’ve healed into raw open sores. What do they do about that? They burn the sores with silver nitrate to make them heal. Ouch. I get to go back in two weeks so they can do it again. It just keeps getting better and better.

Last night, Kyle stayed home with Jack while I went with Joy to see "License to Wed." It’s received some bad reviews but I LOVED IT! I think whoever made the movie asked, “How much of what Sara thinks is funny can we cram into this?" I thought it was hilarious. Even the parts that I didn't laugh out loud at were amusing to me. It won't win any cinematography (is that a word or did I just make that up) awards, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then again, maybe I was just enjoying getting out of the house!

So, back to Jack. Is it possible for a 7-week old to teethe? Well, I know it's possible, because I just googled it. But is it possible that my 7-week old could be teething? I seriously hope not. Here are the symptoms:
  • Major, uncontainable drooling
  • Long naps all morning and afternoon
  • Incessant crying all evening
  • Constantly sucking on his fist
  • Seems to "gum" his pacifier on the right side of his mouth
  • A little hard white spot appearing on the right side of his mouth
  • Tylenol helps

If you know of anything else that could be causing these symptoms, PLEASE let me know! I don't think I'm going to be able to handle my 7 week old having teeth. WHen I talk about the symptoms to other people, it seems that "teething" is the first thing they jump to, but I feel like it just can't be true. Would't that make breastfeeding that much more of a challenge! Where did this kid come from?

Times are changing

It pains me to swtch blogs after all of this time (and all of those posts), but this is just easier than livejournal. I'm hoping that there will soon be a tool that will allow me to import past posts. Until then, here are my archives from the last year:


Here are all of my links to Jack's pictures:






July 19, 2007

Summer cleaning

I just finished cleaning (I use that word loosely) my office. I really just picked it up. BUt I work in the back of a trailer that was probably built in the middle of the last century so it never really looks "clean." Oh well. Katie's watching Jack and I feel a little more caught up with things than I have all week. At camp at least. At home . . . it's a totally different story. CLothes waiting to be folded . . . unmade beds . . . unvaccuumed floors . . . a dirty kitchen & bathrooms . . . I'm going to try and stop thinking about it.

I noticed as I was "cleaning" that my calendar was still on May . . . my how time flies. I went through Jack's clothes this week (in all of my spare time) and put away the clothes that no longer fit him. Anything newborn or 3 months that has long legs with feet on the end doesn't even come close to fitting him anymore . . . he's so long! I don't think there's anything that he hasn't worn though. I was worried that we'd have to retire outfits before he even got a chance to wear them. He goes through many outfits a day (usually - there have been a few rare days and nights where he's in the same outfit/sleeper all day/night).

What I didn't anticipate is how many clothes I would go through. Between being spit up on, peed on and occasionally pooped on, I change almost as often as he does. This is not good considering I only have three pair of pants and 5 or 6 shirts that fit. Let's just say I do A LOT of laundry.

I'm tired. Jack's sleeping longer and the nights are a little bit easier, but I'm way more tired that I was two or three weeks ago. I can't figure it out. Maybe because it's Family Camp. Maybe it's just because it's the middle of the summer.

We have something at camp that we call "the summer slump." It's that time in the middle of the summer when everyone gets tired and kind of in a rut. It's the point at which things can start to get better or get A LOT worse. I've seen it go both ways. Family Camp is always a turning point. In light of that, with the help of family, I'm going to try and get a lot of rest this weekend so that I can make the most of the rest of the summer.

I've fallen back into the worry trap that I thought I had climbed out of this year. I'm finding myself worrying about finances a lot. I know that I need to have faith, but balancing the checkbook makes me feel a little like I'm looking at a hungry mob with only five loaves and two fish. Hmmm . . . I'm gonna go pray.

July 17, 2007

Sewer systems and singing bees

Have you seen the new show "The Singing Bee?" It's a fun premise for a show, but the people on it . . . are they real? They are the happiest (/fakest) people I've ever seen on television. Are they actors or are they really from the general public. Where do they find these people? THey'r not only happy, but someone turned their inhibitor switch to the off position. They dance flamboyantly (/horribly) and sing loudly (/way off key) and seem to love every minute of it. Maybe we should all be a little more like them? Maybe not. And then at the end of the episode I watched, one lady won and didn't even have to do anything. Ahhh . . . awful summer television.

I finally caught up to week 6 in my "your baby week-by-week" book and month two oh "what to expect the first year." I know that everyone around me has missed my random spurts of information about the development of Jack's cerebral cortex or the milestones for this month. I'm learning a lot (and so is he).

We got a letter in the mail today explaining the vote that our township will be taking on whether or not to put sewers in. If it passes, every resident will have to fork over $13,000. And that doesn't include the cost of getting rid of our septic system. Where do they think that we can come up with that kind of money? It has me a little panicked tonight, because I already feel overwhelmed with financial stuff. In our area, 1 out of 4 houses is in foreclosure, the unemployment rate is 8% and the economy in general sucks. THey claim that having sewers will increase our property value, but how is that possible if every house in our neighborhood has sewer? Mine won't be anymore valuable than the one next door. Also, our taxes will go up because of the alleged property value increase. Our lake association sent a letter encouraging people to vote yes. THey said it will keep them from having to spend $80,000 a year killing weeds in the lake. Will our lake association fees go down then? Not so much. This is the same lake association that DOUBLED our fees two years ago with no vote at all to approve it. I HATE SMALL TOWNS.

I've been watching "Flip that House" on TLC during my late night feedings. I wish I had enough money to flip a house (buy a run down house, fix it up and sell it for a quick profit). Honestly, I just wish I had enough money to pay all the bills. Wasn't Jack supposed to come out holding a bag of money?

July 15, 2007

Be careful out there . . .

Breastfeeding in a moving vehicle? I just learned today that it's legal in Michigan (and one other state) to remove a child from a car seat to nurse! The law reads "(1) . . . each driver transporting a child less than 4 years of age in a motor vehicle shall properly secure that child in a child restraint system that meets the standards prescribed in 49 C.F.R. 571.213. (2) This section does not apply to any child being nursed."

I have mixed feelings on that law . . . but it does need to be changed to keep MOTHERS FROM NURSING BEHIND THE WHEEL!! I just read an article about a mother who was nursing her son while driving. That seriously makes talking on your cell phone while driving seem harmless. I applaud her ability to do so because I still need about 7 strategically placed pillows to nurse Jackson, but I'm stunned by her total lack of concern for her child's safety. Did I mention that she was also driving with a suspended license? Sometimes I think people should have to get licenses before they can have children.

I had to nurse Jack in a bathroom stall at Macaroni Grill tonight. I haven't quite mastered the art of "discrete public nursing" so I still have to hide every time he gets hungry. I brought a bottle along, but it looked a little gross and smelled funny. I can't wait for the day when it's as common for most public places to have "nursing rooms" as it is for them to have restrooms.

July 12, 2007

Snaps and something else

You guys are really missing out. I have so many funny stories to tell each day and I find myself thinking "I should blog about that" all the time. But I forget by the time I get to a computer. I was able to remember two of the twenty bajillion things I wanted to blog about as I logged on just a minute ago, but now I can only remember one. Hence the title, "Snaps and something else."

If you've ever dressed a baby, you know about the horrible snaps used to hold the clothing on him. They're small, they're hard to snap and I'm shocked that I'm living in the year 2007 and no one has come up with a better alternative. I think I'm going to work on that . . . something magnetic perhaps.

I was looking over pictures from when I was pregnant today . . . and pictures from the vacation that Kyle and I took while we were waiting to find out if I was pregnant. Two observations: 1. I should have never had my hair cut right before I had Jack. Big mistake. 2. I can't believe I thought I was fat last year. I would give anything to go back to that now. I hope I'm not saying that again in a year. Losing the baby weight is going a lot more slowly than I had hoped.

Camp's so weird this year. It's obviously different because we have a baby, but I didn't realize how having a baby would affect our relationships with our staff. We used to have close friendships with some of our staff and pseudo-friendships with those we weren't close to. We used to know them all pretty well by the end of the summer. We used to get invited to things. They used to sit with us at meals. That's all changed. We don't know them well. We don't get invited (and I don't blame them . . . who invites their boss to something). And at meals we feel a little like lepers.

In a way, I'm glad because it was going to happen someday and we just needed to get that transition over with. But in another way, it's a little sad. Summers have been relatively the same for the last nine years and this year it all changes. We've graduated to the old people table. I guess that's not completely true because a few of our staff that we became friends with last summer are still here . . . but they won't be forever. We really need more friends our age I guess. I am going on 30 . . . you'd think I would have come to this realization a while ago. I guess I'm a little slow.

I have a really long meeting that starts in 26 minutes so I guess I should start getting myself mentally prepared for that. More later.

July 7, 2007

Network sweeps

I realized tonight that I haven't read out of a book (other than to look up quick reference information in our baby books) in five weeks. I haven't even been able to keep up with my "Your Baby's First Year, Week-by-Week" book. I need to start doing that again before my brain starts to rot from all of the television I'm watching . . . bad television.

I've decided that the best times of year to have a baby is right before network sweeps. I had no idea how much time I'd spend watching tv while I was nursing. For reasons most likely pertaining to my lack of coordination, I cannot read while nursing Jack, so the TV keeps me company while Kyle snores next to me. If this were sweeps time, I'd have a lot of great shows tivoed that I could watch during those long night feedings. E! specials, VH1 features, and re-runs of Law and Order & Full House just aren't cutting it anymore. I'm thinking about reinstating our subscription to netflix.

Speaking of nursing, I'm probably going to have to do that again pretty soon. I'm gonna try and get some sleep before Jack calls . . .

July 6, 2007

Jack the tank

The nurse called Jack a "tank" at his one month check up on Thursday. He weighed in at 11 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 23 inches long. No wonder my arms are so sore!

Our week off was fairly laid back, but I still feel tired. I wish I had another week! Kyle and I shopped on Monday and JJ, Debbie and Joy came to hang out later. On Tuesday night, we celebrated Katie's birthday. On Wednesday, we went to my Aunt Kathy's house for the Fourth of July. Thursday was Jack's appointment and we spent the rest of the day at my parents. Today we just hung out and tried to do some work to get ready for next week. Pretty boring.

It's hard to believe that my baby's already one month old! He is smiling and laughing like he's been doing it for months! Here is a link to his one month pictures that I took:


I'm so tired, but I'll write more (hopefully something more interesting) later.

July 5, 2007

Fourth of July

I love summer. I really love Independence Day. It's one of those days that is fun every year no matter what you do. This year , we spent the afternoon with my mom's side of the family for their annual get together. I say "their" get together and not "our" get together because the last time I was there was 5 years ago. Hopefully we can get there enough in the future that I can start referring to it as "our" get together.

We live on lake association property and about half of the homes here are vacation or summer homes and cottages . . . which means that for most of the year half of the homes are vacant. So, when I was walking Murphy this morning, I was amazed at how busy everything was and how many people were around. It was like walking through a campground on 4th of July weekend. There were tons of boats and other types of watercraft on the lake, kids were out on bikes and the beach area was packed.

Anyway, I have always LOVED fireworks. I think that they're the perfect balance of fun and beauty. This year, my love for fireworks has been tainted. Since the 4th was on Wednesday and there was no clear holiday weekend, the holiday has basically been celebrated from June 29 through tonight (July 7). And there have been fireworks set off every night, until late in the night. Besides the fact that they are illegal, they are very, very loud. I just can't believe how many were set off after midnight!

All of this to say, fireworks + infant + over-sensitive, psycho dog = really long nights all week. And it continues tonight. Getting Jack to go to sleep in what sounds like a war zone with a dog barking furiously out the back door is really annoying. I guess there's not point to this story other than to complain.

July 2, 2007

Family Christian Bookstore

So, my blog has changed in the last four weeks. Number one, they've become a lot more boring. "Jack cried again. Jack pooped again. Jack did something cute. Blah, blah, blah." And number two, I don't update it as often. It seems that I have nothing to write about than the things I listed in number one, so there's not much to report on daily. So, here's something completely different.

I went into Family Christian bookstore today. I don't do that very often because their merchandise is WAY overpriced. And I know some of you would tell me that I'm supporting a "Christian organization" when I shop there so it's worth paying the extra, but I'm not sure what makes them Christian other than having the term in the name of their store and the fact that they sell Christian merchandise. In fact, I kind of dislike supporting them because of all of the cheesy stuff they sell that make Christians look like morons.

Anyway, this blog is not about that. Well, kind of it is, but not really. I was looking for a specific book and found it and was waiting in line to pay. I noticed that on one side of the cash register was a rack with rows of pictures of World Vision children that you could sponsor for $22.00 a month. On the other side was a rack of applications for the Family Christian credit card. If you applied for the credit card you got a bag full of books and CDs. There are so many problems with this scenario with this that I don't even know where to begin. But it gets better.

The guy at the cash register was semi-creepy and was taking FOREVER to ring up the girl in front of me. Why? Because he stopped to check out every item she was purchasing and commented on it. EVERY ITEM. I wasn't in a rush or anything, but it was akward and I just wanted it to be over so we could all be put out of our misery. I tell you this part just so you're aware that he knew exactly which titles she was buying. I can't remember the exact title of one of the books, but it had something to do with overcoming debt in a world of consumerism. He proceeded to ask her if she'd like to apply for the Family Christian credit card. Really, buddy? Know your audience. WHen she said "no" he went through the entire bag of goodies she could receive if she applied. She politely denied his request again.

Maybe the FCB employees should start asking people if they want to sponsor a child instead.