Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring is here...finally...

I'm so glad that we are getting some better weather. Our spring, here in Western Washington State, has been cold, cold, cold. We even had snow a about three weeks ago!! The leaf buds on the trees are swelling and some trees are even getting a nice amount of foliage. I love it!! I don't love the allergies that come with it though... *sniff, cough*.

I'm so excited to say that I've made a training appointment for Foenix next week. I cannot wait to get back to training him. Lately we've been working on his retrieve and his heeling work, both of which are very good. Heeling needs some work with more constant eye contact but he's really very good for the amount of time I've had the past few months. I am really looking forward to showing my Training Director how Foenix has matured and how well we are doing. I really am curious to see how his bitework will be...with his more mature age and drive level I think he's gonna hit harder than ever. I'll post some pics of our training session when I get them next week!!! :D

This week we had a run in with the naked neighbor's kid. Foenix and I were playing Chuck-It! outside and the kid came down the road a bit. He's about 4 years old and was completely nude except for some cowboy boots!! *rolling eyes* Why exactly is he allowed to go around like this? Anyway Foenix was oblivious of him because he's so focused on chasing the ball, but when I stopped for a second and didn't throw it he became too aware of this little kid suddenly and barked aggressively at him. It scared me and I corrected him for it, but at the same time this little boy should not have been allowed to follow us around!! Anyway it turned out fine, but it really bothers me that some people allow their kids around strange dogs like this!! It could have been a very bad situation for both the boy and Foenix. I'll have to keep a very close eye out for this in the future since it seems the kids parents are not going to step up and do it. I did talk with the boy's Mom and she didn't seem at all worried or concerned. I don't want to make my dog sound dangerous so I didn't get into the lecture I wanted to give her. I will have to come up with a very tactful way of educating them about it, since they are our neighbors I can't burn a bridge.

Eric is looking into different work. He's applied at the Shipyard and for another job (can't say what it is yet....I'll post more later about it). I'm hoping the Shipyard comes available soon so Eric can get out of Sears. His job has been good for us, allowed us to buy a home and property, but it's not what Eric would like to be doing. Eric wants a job where his daily job description involves helping people and really making a difference. If he gets in with the shipyard he'll be taking a second job because initially it will be a pay cut. So that means less time to spend and home with Hannah and I. I am sad for this possibility but as the old saying goes: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!"......

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here's my Girl

Hannah Lee at at 11 weeks old today. How time does fly Oh my does it ever!!! Look at my precious girl, she is the light of my life. She has made me a different person. I'm a Mom and that means I can no longer roll my eyes at my own Mother's motherly-ness, because I am just like her. I cannot tell you how many times lately I've thought or said things that I never used to understand and now I can't help but think that someday Hannah will think I'm just being a "Mom" and won't understand me. It truly does take a walk in a parents shoes to understand.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More ramblings

I was really hoping to be able to log in and finish my last post...but I figrured it had been too long to tack more stuff onto it and my thoghts now are different so I'm posting anew.

Like I was saying Hannah is doing great. I love her poo because it means her system is working properly. She has at least one 'number two' a day and plenty of soggy wet diapers to change as well. I was against the Diaper Genie at first but I see the two I have unopened in their boxes and they call to me ever so softy to use one, or maybe both. The thing is, that I just don't see the point in them. I have a perfectly good garbage can in my kitchen, why to I need yet another usless item taking up space in Hannah's room? But, alas, I'm coming to see why it might be nice to have it there--It's just so darn hard to wrangle a screaming, kicking, hungry baby and remember to throw each diaper away after each change. So what happens is (and I'm not the only one who does this..) that the diapers get set on the changing table until I have several to throw away. Yucky. So either I demand that everyone throws them away in a more timely manner or I use the Diaper Genie. I'll let you know what wins out.

The dogs are doing fine with the changes in the household. Foenix does get on my nerves with his constant needing something to do...I knew it was going to be like this but sometimes it gets to me. I've taken to putting him on the treadmill and he now will walk nicely on it. He does not paticularly enjoy it but he puts up with it and it gives him some good exercise and me some time to do some training with him after.

Foenix needs a grooming really bad. I got around to grooming Zeke the other day and found that he had twice the undercoat that he normally does. I raked so much hair off of him that if filled my bathroom garbage can nearly half full and he's only a ten pound dog too!! I use the best grooming tool ~The Furminator~ hands down the very best grooming tool I've ever come across, in fact I think it's one of the very best pet products on the market in the last 15 years. It's awsome!! I can get a dog stripped of dead undercoat in about 20 minutes without much fuss. It's more comfortable for the dogs than a slicker brush. There are two cons I can think of 1) the price!! 2) you need to clean it every stroke or you can't get more undercoat out so it can be a PITA at times.

Well I thought that I would have more time to write but Hannah is telling me she's no longer interested in her swing, or her bouncy chair. She's fussing up a storm, I have no idea why. Sometimes I just don't know why she fusses or does anything. Other times it's really obvious. Right now she should be content to swing, she's fed, she's changed....hmmm back to Mommy Time. See ya later.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I love baby poop and some other Motherly things

Nearly two weeks ago we switched Hannah over to a hypoallergenic formula to ease her allergies. It's made such a positive difference in her and therefore in both Eric and I. She's a much happier and easier to deal with baby. In fact, she smiles so much I think sometime her face will crack in half with one of her huge grins, LOL. She's just too cute. Anyway, with her diet change came some trouble pooping. I thought at first the diet change was not working and got really upset about it, but then I realized her straining to poo is different than her fussing used to be. Sure enough she would take a couple days to go 'number 2', but afterwards she was more content. For the past four days she's been going everyday. I can't tell you how much I rejoice at seeing (or smelling) her diaper full!! No joke!! I'm finding that I am so relieved for her when she has an easier time pooping because she's all round more pleasant and comfortable and that makes me happy and more relaxed as well.

Right now she's sleeping!! It's 6:32am and I'm blogging and the sun has just come up behind me out the window and it's so peaceful and beautiful. Foenix, Zeke and Buddy are all out and relaxing in the dim morning light. As I look out the window Foenix sees me and he gets excited thinking I'm going to run over and let him in.

-----Ok Hannah just woke up so I'll post more later, hopefully soon...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just some updates..

Oh gosh it's been too long again since I signed in and updated my blog. It's been 10 long (and short) weeks since Hannah was born and I've learned so much. Having a baby and raising a baby is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. This is not a compliant, just a fact. It's also the best and most fun I've had as well. It’s truly a roller coaster of emotions. Elation, self-doubt, fear, guilt, anxiety, love, love, love, happiness, contentedness, exhaustion, and at times anger, did I mention love? cheerfulness, and finally some confidence too. :)

In the first three weeks after having her I had some major anxiety. The cause? Lack of sleep coupled with too many people and not enough privacy. At first I felt scared that I was going to have bad postpartum depression. But as the days ticked by I started feeling 'normal' in the evenings and slowly that feeling grew longer and longer until I had a full day of feeling like myself. I did a lot of crying during this time. It was hard on Eric to watch me go through this without knowing how to help me.

I've learned so much about myself through this time as well. I learned that I needed to be allowed to do things on my own without too much intervention from others. The first two weeks after Hannah was born I had a lot of 'help'. I appreciated it all...I really did and I feel bad even for writing this because everyone had the best intentions. But the truth is everyone coming over to help with the baby and house made me a little nuts-O. At the time I could not put a finger on it. When I would try and take a nap I could not sleep because every time I heard Hannah make a noise my adrenaline would flow and I could not relax-- it did not matter who was handling her or how competent they are. My sense of responsibility kept me from relaxing and I didn't even know it. As the help from everyone started to trickle off I got even better. Being faced with Hannah by myself was the very best therapy!! I started to gain confidence and started to feel like her Mom and not just "the booby person". Now I am fine with family watching her and can relax and I am so appreciative for all they do and all they did because I could not do it alone...but being allowed to learn how to take care of her by myself was the very best thing.

Eric is amazing with her and she gets so excited when he comes home from work!! As soon as she hears his voice she looks for him and when they see each other Hannah starts kicking and flailing her arms and panting and smiling at him. They've had a strong bond from the moment she was born. I am so grateful for Eric that he is such an amazing father. I, myself, did not have the greatest father figure so I really appreciate how blessed Hannah is to have him. I hope to teach her that she should be grateful and appreciative to God that she can have a real Dad in her life to fulfill his obligations and teach her what a man is supposed to be. Two parents is a great gift that I wish more children had. It makes me sad to think of all the little one's without both parents to balance out the childhood and life lessons along the way.

A question: Why am I so blessed to have a family like Eric and Hannah?

The answer: God's Grace!! Because I don't deserve them, but He saw fit for me to have these blessings. And God always has a plan.

When Hannah was about 2 1/2 week old I started to suspect she was colicky. I was a very colicky baby and was nervous from day one of my pregnancy that I would get a baby just like me. Well guess what? I did. LOL. Hannah's digestive problems started with her being very hard to burp, she would get very gassy and uncomfortable. I knew we were in for it and immediately started on the internet to see what I might be able to do to keep the colic at bay. Colic is diagnosed from the symptoms of hours of crying and obvious cramping, and gassiness. One of her most dramatic symptoms was she’d get really hungry but when she’d start eating she would literally fight eating. She would thrash around kicking and scratching me and could not keep a latch. It was so awful; she seemed in so much pain as soon as the breast milk would hit her system. Hannah has only a few nights of the crying but her abdominal cramping, constant diarrhea, restlessness and gas were terrible and kept her from sleeping. And kept Eric and I from sleeping too. I took her to the Doctor several times, finally her Dr. prescribed Zantac to help with stomach acid (or rather reflux). I don't know if it really helps or not. I also started giving her a homeopathic “Gripe water” that is supposed to soothe the tummy. I stopped giving it after about 5 weeks cause it did not seem to help at all—but it did get rid of hiccups nicely so it does have a purpose.

Hannah’s problems started to get really, really bad and her Doc told me that her problems might be allergies to some foods I eat. So I went on an ‘elimination diet’ and stop eating soy or dairy. So I did and it did seem to lessen the problems a very small amount, but it was hard to find food without those things in them!! I did the diet the very best I could and she had some good days but mostly bad. I had some very bad days as well, because when your baby is sick, it affects you as well. I cried a lot, got very frustrated and angry at the circumstances at times. I felt like I could not take much longer, the nights without sleep and a baby that seemed to be in almost constant pain was very, very hard to deal with. I did a lot of internet research still and found out that there are some hypoallergenic formulas for babies that have allergies. I took Hannah in yet again and without me even suggesting it her Doctor told me that I might try them. I refused for a week more that then one day I just could not put her and I through it anymore and went out and bought some Alimentum formula.

What a difference it made!!! She’s been on it for a week now and she’s only had two bad days and is so much happier and is sleeping well. I can’t tell you how happy I am that she is no longer fighting eating like she used to, the poor thing.

This is long enough, I’ll write more soon.