Monday, August 31, 2009

Spirit Filled Weekend

This weekend we went to Griswold, IA for a Spirations retreat. I think it was our first overnight except the hospital. Link did great on the 4 hour drive. Only cried at the gas station when we changed him. We stayed the first night at Dustin's so we could travel leisurely and not rushed. He had a break at 6 pm so he let us in the house, went and got Diana (6 months old now) and then took off. It was strange having two kids to look after. When Diana cried, Link did and my head exploded. However it only happened once. We got Diana to sleep and it wasn't until Bryce left me alone for a quick errand that she woke up (or course). IT was a small challenge juggling a 14 pounder and a 24 pounder. We mostly watched the home and garden network and then went to bed.
On Friday-Sunday I partook in several sessions on modern shamanism, made a rattle, explored a cave, etc. ducking in and out to breastfeed. Bryce was awesome at taking care of Link almost all week. He even got him to drink a couple of bottles. For me the experience was a lot about breastfeeding. Link has just ended a growth spurt and was sleeping a lot so I was becoming engorged often. At one point in the night I woke up leaking so I just held a couple of bottles up to me and got over an ounce (free flowing). Another lesson learned, when meditating in a warm room do check your breast pads now and then. Fortunately everyone'e eyes were still closed when I slipped out for a change. I also got the sling hold down. I had to realize it doesn't make you handsfree, but it does make you able to walk.
Bryce and I rarely talk about sleep deprivation because we know so many parents with kids not sleeping 5+ hours, but we are feeling the effects, mostly while sleeping. I have to walk Bryce through the steps of turning on the light when I am trying to nurse and he handed me a hand grasping nothing but air when I asked for water, but I do the same. Link slept on the floor in the middle of our single beds at the retreat. I would just bring him in bed with me when nursing. At one point I told Bryce to get the blankets ready so I could put Link down. Bryce said he was already down there so I thought he was doing his sleeping thing, "No he is not, he is just finishing nursing," I argued back, then I looked down at my arm cradling nothing.
On our way home we stopped by the Hindu Temple and Cultural center in the middle of a cornfield. It seems to be still under some construction, but was very beautiful. We missed any celebrations because it was late Sunday night.
We also stopped in Cedar Falls to go to SoHo but it was closed so we tried the Mexican restaurant across the street. It was delicious but I am not sure if it was wise as today Link had been crying A LOT and looks very uncomfortable. However, he did figure out thumb sucking today, even tough he still prefers his whole hand.
Two awesome grandparent surprises came in the way hme when Grandpa Will called asking us to stop by because he missed his little one and when arriving home we got a big box of cloth diapers and accessories from Grandmother Durbin. I didn't realize I liked wool covers but this one kicks butt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i know a lot more than i think

it is amazing how much is revealed that you know about your child when you prepare a list for a caretaker.

here is my list

Eating- Maybe 2 oz every 2 hours or so from 5 am to 10 pm. Will indicate hunger with sucky mouth (also used sometimes while pooping) or crying (usually with the yelp "ma" in it)

Sleeping- Between feedings sometimes immediately, sometimes after play. Anywhere from 15 min to 3 hours. Usually light (will wake up if change positions except in afternoon). No need to wake up if think he is sleeping too much, he isn't.

Night time- Swaddle in blue swaddler with disposable diaper and no other clothing on. He gets very hot at night, puddle of head sweat in morning. Place in center of bed near heads, keep pillows far away. Likes to suck to go to sleep (finger or pacifier).

Play- Likes to go for walks in Moby and be carried in it when doing errands. Likes to lie down in bassinet after diaper change and look out window. Likes bouncy chair and swing with lots of movement (add some if necessary). Likes to stand and push up on legs while being held or over your shoulder. Likes to sit up in corner of couch. Sometimes likes being on belly with hands by head and head on one side. Sometimes like swaddle during the day.

Diapers- Cloth all day. Disposable at night. All cloth diapers need plastic cover. All cloth diapers go in laundry bin. Use flannel wipes wet with warm water. Change diaper every two hours or so.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some more on our 1 month old

We weighed Link on or scale and he is 14 lbs!!!! We did it a few times because we couldn't believe it, but it is the truth. I guess a pound a week is right. He is going to be a chubmeister.
Links favorite thing is lint. I find it everyday in his hands, not sure where he gets it. He won't let it go without a fight either and he hides it in the folds of his fingers. ;)
We started to make horse lips at Link and he is utterly amused. He can not figure out where the sounds is coming from even when we do it directly in front of his face, he looks around us is a startled gaze.
Today Link and I went on a couple of walks in the kangaroo hold. It is not recommended until 3-4 months, but we have 3-4 month size baby so what the hay. He LOVED it. He has great neck support and loved looking around the street as we walked. He also slept very well on each return. He meet Christy and David (the cool earthy-crunchy ministers who just got back from a dig in Israel). Everyone comments on Links red hair which is coming in pretty strong now. If we cut off his birth hair he would be a full red head. His hair is so cute. It is very full on the top of his head and and in the back in mohawk fashion. He also has a great duck tail in the back which covers his stork bite.
My mom and Linda came on Saturday for Linda to meet Link. We went to Schera's for dinner and sat on the patio. Link slept the whole time in his moby. When Linda saw Link's stork bite she remembered that my mom had one. I told her that Bryce still had his and we checked to see if mom did too. She does!!! I can't believe I have known my mother for 28 years and I don't ever remember seeing the back of her neck.
I tried pumping in the morning (having been given excellent advice from Teresa) and it worked well. For lunch Bryce tried to cup feed Link, which did not go very well. Then he switched to the bottle which went better. Bryce was sad to put him on the bottle because he wants him to be all breast fed (even if it was breast milk), but he was really enjoying the smiles and coos I get, which made me happy. We will not have to pump much as I will be working at home for as long as I know, but we of course want to go out without Link sometimes and so we figure it is time to try to get him warmed up to the idea of feeding without me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dig In Decorah

This weekend we took a little excursion and went to Decorah for their tour of off the grid homes and organic gardens (we didn't get to half of them). We also went to the green expo where we collected information on green living, went to seminars and chatted with friends. Lisa and Scott and their baby Van was there. Melissa, Peter, and Windsor were there with baby due anytime. We talked for a very long time about all sorts of things. Lisa and I both had our babies in mobys. One old lady came by and pointed at Lisa and said "Girl" and walked on. Lisa was like "You couldn't be more wrong." It made us all laugh. Because Van was all covered up with the Moby Melissa said she could have thought she was guessing the gender of an unborn baby because sometimes people get confused when you wear your child. Brenda was also there. It was great to sit down and talk to her. She is thinking of employing Bryce and I for a website and some packet redesign. Carolyn came over with Osha to say hi and to see the baby, but they originally thought (from a distance) I was Jenna with Lucy so they were all perplexed in talking to me, trying to realign who I was in their world. They did get to see Link however. Karin and Claire also attended with their kids and Aryn and Benji were there at their booth for inspired. They are always fun to talk to.
Link was amazing both days. We ate at McCaffery's which had locally grown wood-fired pizza and Link slept the whole time. The one thing we did learn is if we want to go to something scheduled it usually does not work. We missed all the guided tours even though we were early arriving to all of them. Nursing cries or diaper changes always made us about 15-30 minutes late. This photo is of Bryce and Link in what the people of Decorah call "When money is no object" off the grid house. This tour we barely made any off.
Lincoln is doing great. He has a little cradle cap on his forehead that I think has mostly gone away and we are trying to see if me eliminating cows milk will help with his gas. He has decided he wants to do elimination communication, but his parents are not having it. The last three times his diaper has been removed he has decided it was time to pee. Ahh, the joys of having a boy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

the kids are back in town

School started this week. I must be pretty tired or they are being well behaved because they are not waking me up in the morning, like usual. It has been rainy the past few days. I have been able to get in a walk to run errands, but I don't think Link would like the cold sprinkles.

Link is being adorable. Today I noticed him tracking his Babo and he smiled back at me a multitude of times. Although his smiles have been real from the start they seemed rather random. Now they are reactionary.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 week update

Lincoln went to his first funeral today. He was amazing. He was awake the whole time and barely made a peep. He has been up a lot these past two days, which has been a lot of fun. He has been doing a lot of smiles and coos. I have been playing some games with him. Mostly sticking my tongue out at him and watching him imitate. I also give him all kinds of kisses. FYI- when giving a butterfly kiss remember if you are wearing glasses or not. We also are jumping a lot with his legs. Last night he was s wide awake we didn't know what to do. He finally settled when we put his on his tummy. Don't yell at me baby police.

There has been some downsides to having him up all the time too. This week has been the largest work week I have had since giving birth. Fortunately almost everything can be done from the comfort of my home. I have three regular clients with freelance designing and all of them had projects this week. I also did senior photos and I really want to get in the kitchen and start some other projects I had in mind. However, laundry, dishes, all those basic things seem never ending now that there are three of us.

I finally tried the pump. I was given three hand held and one electric (or so I thought). What the electric ended up being was the accessory set to an electric pump you rent from the hospital. So I tried the hand held which was a task. I tried while breast feeding and there was just not enough hands or space. I even had Bryce pump a little bit for me but in the end I still ended up with just the tiniest amount. So I bought an electric online yesterday. I wanted to wait for insurance to cover the cost but I don't think our hospital bill is coming anytime to soon and with Spirations weekend coming up I need to have milk available for Bryce when I am in session, no matter how expensive. I also bought some night time bras because I am wearing my underwires to bed, which is not very comfortable, but if I go braless I am like Old Faithful. Maybe I could just fill the bottle I try to pump in by ringing out my shirts in the morning. Breastfeeding is a whole new change in wardrobe as well. I went through all my clothes and tucked away shirts that could not easily pull down over my boobs or pull up if I really need to. I also got to put all my pants back into my drawer. It is great to be back in my pre-pregnancy clothes. And the best part is I am 10 lbs lighter so nothing is tight even. Although the stretch marked flabbiness is rather unappealing.

All in all I am staying pretty happy. Babies do that to you. At least Link does. His crabbiness lasts only seconds. I think we know how to nurture him well (thank you Dr. Sears and the Happiest Baby weirdo). And he is pretty well mannered anyway. Mylicon drops are like a miracle drug whenever we can't take it (usually when he has gas so bad his stomach is like a stone). One drop of those drops and they flow through his body so fast he stops crying immediately.

We are doing pretty well on the cloth diapering now that we have a few more. (We could still use more, pretty much the only NEED we have at the moment.) Phil and Teresa pampered us with diaper stuff and some great gifts. We got the Vaccine Book which I was really happy because I had checked it out on inter library loan and that is not long enough when you need it as a resource book. They also sent us "The Happiest Baby on the Block" book. We watched the video at the hospital, but the book is even funnier. We love the techniques, they really do work, but the doctor is a total tool (to use my friends favorite word this month). Here are some funny passages Bryce and I have enjoyed laughing at:

"Actually, these experiences trigger a profound neurological response never before recognized or reported- until today." (He thinks he is a profound genius)

Actually, that is all I am going to report today. There are other funny lines that make us say "You don't have to sell us the book is already in our hands" but it is a good read none the less.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Phil and Teresa


Are you getting much sleep?

I think it is the only question people know how to ask new parents.
Yes we are.
Link sleeps all the time.
However he is developing his parents habits.
Sleep all morning, be hungry like a wolf all evening.

Monday, August 17, 2009

too late for goodbye

Our dear friend Ed died this week. We had contemplated naming Link, Lincoln Edward after Ed but decided against it. We called Wednesday to see if Ed could meet Link and say our last goodbyes, but his wife said Ed was not able to take any visitors. That night they brought him back to the hospital. Just a smidgen too late. I'm sad Link will have never met Ed, he was so awesome. We will miss him very much. I rarely cry when older people die because I know it is the cycle of life, but I will miss Ed tremendously.

Photo Orders

Trisha Finely took Link's photos the other day. He was a cry baby most of the time, but a few settings turned out ok. Especially after he fell asleep. If you want to order any please let me know by the end of the week. They are $10 8x10, $5 5x7, $4 4x6 and $.75 wallet.

Bryce is a knitting machine

At knitting group Bryce brought his Link photo (patternless) and had Leslie show him how to make some stuff. She shifted through some patterns and started him on the pants. My husband not only is learning knitting right handed (he is left) he also learned to knit and pearl in one sitting. I have almost finished my sweater and still did not know how to pearl until I watched Bryce. If anyone has a good bootie pattern and would like to knit the shoes we can send you the brown yarn.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flesh Wounds

It was a busy day of work for Bryce and I today. We both have big design projects going. Link slept most of the day. When we were finally done with stuff and I felt like I had a break, Link and I went for a walk. Within 3 min we were attacked by a dog. A little domestic one named Lacey, but she ran at us and I realized my instincts now are to just drape myself over my child when I am in danger. The owner yelled for her to come back and said "Don't worry she won't hurt you" just as I felt her claw enter the back of my leg. It looks pretty bad, but I of course not wanting to offend them, I pretended that nothing happened.
Link also finally got his fingernails clipped. He was born with long fingernails but I was too afraid to cut them so I said whenever he scratches himself I will. Well, he tried to take his nose off today with three very large slashes across his baby skin. So off went the nails.
My parents came over and took us out for ice cream.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

3 weeks Link

Lincoln at three weeks has long curly lashes, baby acne that disappears in his sleep, and nursing chub cheeks. He has started to coo but he also started to scream. He is starting to show great signs of strength in his neck and legs and he can see pretty far for his age. He doesn't like the stroller but he does like the moby. He has no schedule and is pretty unpredictable. He loves to be swaddled (even in his pink swaddling blanket). This is the only pink he has worn. Although he has only worn blue just as much as any other color. Link is a fabulous night sleeper and loves our bed. His head sweats so much at night it leaves puddles on our sheets. We are a lot more mobile but I am starting to realize life is never going be the same. There is a lot more scheduling and figuring out how long things take now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Link meets the Durbins

Lovable Link and Aunt Kate, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Grandmother and Grandpa Durbin came from Ohio on Sunday evening. Aunt Kate, not having anything planned also came along as an added bonus. They were a joy to have. Jim and Betsy stayed at my parents the first night and Kate with us. They were full of updates and lots of positive supportive about breastfeeding and cloth diapers. The only lack of support (which also revealed itself in my own parents too) is choosing to only have one child. If Bryce and I do decide that Link in all we need we are going to have to cop some sort of physical excuse like "Bryce went in for a colonoscopy and they accidentally gave him a vasectomy." We also got loads of great gifts from them and friends and family who sent them with.
On Monday we went to Treats for lunch followed by a visit to the Buttery and Fennely's for dinner. That morning Trisha Finely took some pictures of Link, but he was really in a bad mood so after a few hours we took what we could get. In the evening we went to Grandma and Grandpa Dallenbach's for the first time with Link. Lots of conversation and some sad goodbyes. Bryce and I were really impressed with Jim's holding techniques which seemed to mesmerize Lincoln.
Betsy brought the photo album of Bryce's year of birth. It was great to see his baby pictures. There are definitely similarities but not exact replicas between the two. Betsy also reminded me that at Bryce's birth, even though it was a home birth, she did go to the hospital right away after he was delivered, which made me feel a little better about my own transfer. I also found out during that time Jean was like a wet nurse to Bryce, which is super cool. I never realized the length Betsy nursed nor thought about the fact that she used cloth diapers and had a diaper service. Man, I am so jealous of diaper services. We are struggling to keep going with cloth, basically because of a lack of supplies. Oddly enough every time we tell people we are using cloth diapers, the next time they visit they usually show up with a bag of disposables. I am not sure what these well meaning people are trying to say but it sounds a little like "give up." I just look at the package trying to transform it into the two nice all in one cloth diapers it could buy or the couple dozen prefolds. We have, however, had tremendous success with the flannel baby wipes and are no longer seeking out packages of throw aways. The flannel is so much better than the disposable in cleaning up. Even if we did go off cloth I don't think I will give up the wipes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sleepy Boy

Knock on wood I won't be up for the rest of the night, but Link slept from 11:00 to 6:00 last night and didn't even cry when he woke up. I just heard him lip smacking. Then we fell asleep again and he didn't wake up until 9:30. It was fabulous. He was such a good boy today. We did a meeting with Jackie O about making me an employee of Bryce's design business which would make our health insurance tax deductible. We also went to Cedar Falls to get yarn for the Halloween costume Bryce is determined to knit for Link's first Halloween. We may be farming out pieces though so if you are interested in contributing please let us know.

I also wanted to get more of the red I was using for the sweater I have been making Link since before he was born but the shop I got it from was completely closed, done. I didn't have the project with me to match yarn at the new store.

Bryce and I had a meeting with and then we came home where I have been doing work for a agriculture newsletter. The project is quarterly and I hope it continues because it is well financed. Link has been asleep since 9 and it is now 11:30. Wait for tomorrows post when I write about my horrible night, right?

So, I also figured out how to nurse while Link is in his car seat. Is this terribly illegal. I can keep both of our seat belts on, just takes a little bit of contorsion on my part, but I'm big enough that it works and it is awesome, because I don't have to find anywhere to go and sit or hide. I don't have to take an extra 1/2 hour out of our routine, etc. The only thing I can think of is in the worst of cases I could lose a nipple and Link could choke on it and die, but seriously I need to know if this is legal or not. The only thing is I can't take him out to burp him, but he doesn't seem to mind.

Also I will be posting tomorrow about our great weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Durbin and Auntie Kate. I haven't had much time to write lately or upload pics, but I will back post as soon and I am able.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mac and Cheese

When Link doesn't smell like baby poo I think he smells like mac and cheese. Bryce says it is because he is making cheese curds in his mouth.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

i sentence you to the chair

in the chair, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

link loves the chair liz and jazz bought him. the only thing is it takes a ginormus battery that we have yet to purchase so thus far my foot has been doing all the work. i will be an excellent base drum player by the end of the week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My favorite line from the doctor's visit yesterday: "He could grow up to be president. Or a mass murderer. Or both, as the case may be."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fat lip at the Doctors

We did a family trip to Link's two week appointment. Everything with Link is good, even the newborn rash and the spitting up milk through the nose. Link is over his birth weight and in the high 90% for everything. He is already wearing some 3-6 month clothing. We did have the liquid from his head hemotobin syringed out though. It was hard to see but I think Link feels a lot better. I am doing good too. Swelling way down. At least in one area, not in the face however. As we were leaving the doctor I totally banged the car seat handle against my lip and gave myself my own glamour lip. This photo does not involve me sticking my lip out at all, it is all puffiness.
Dr. Schwartz apologized to me about my labor. He said if he went back he would have not have let me push for 11 hours at the hospital (not to mention what I did at home) but would have excused the midwives and talked to me earlier about suction and I might have been done in an hour. The thing is though, had he done that I probably would have said no anyway. I loved the fact that he let my midwives still guide my process naturally, even if we did end up doing the suction. I hated going to the hospital and that was the one part that kept things real.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Don't want to miss a thing

Eating at Schera's, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Link has that cry now where he really needs something to happen and I am not sure what it is. Mostly overtired I think. I don't like it at all. However, I know it won't be there forever. I don't want to wish things away. Sometimes I think, man, people breastfeed for years, how? I don't want to do this forever. But then, I also can't resist the little smiles Link makes in his sleep after he is done nursing. It is probably my favorite part of the day.
We went to WIC today and everyone loved Link. He is so good with people and on outings, but saved all the screaming for mom and dad. He did have a growth spurt like I expected and is almost 11 lbs now. He went down 1/2 an inch, but probably because his cone head is shrinking. My hemoglobin is still really low. They made me test twice they were so surprised at the number. I am taking vitamins and such, but I guess I must have lost a lot of blood. I don't even remember any blood, except what was on Link when I first met him. Seemed like a pretty dry labor. I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant. 10 lbs less. I don't know how that worked. I feel like a deflated balloon though. I miss that tight belly, the one I have now I could wrap him up in like a blanket. I also never noticed the neck. It is like an extra muff. Was that there during the pregnancy or did it deflate as well?
Tonight we went to Schera's for dinner. It was a nice get out. Link nursed for over an hour as soon as our food came. I used the boob hider that Lorri gave me and I really liked it. It has a stiff area so you can look down at babe while they are eating. It was pretty busy so we didn't get a lot of time with the boys. We left when Link got so cranky he turned the volume up to 11.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I feel great today. I want to get so much done I may be overdoing it. I moved a couch, helped move the bed back upstairs, etc. At one point my stomach started cramping or contracting again which was a little scary. Link has been a great boy today. He is really developing his lungs though. He no longer squeeks but some of his crying is more intense. I don't like it when he cries that hard. Sometimes it is followed by him spitting up nearly everything he just ate out his mouth and nose. This scares me a little bit. I am going to bring it up with our doctor at his two week appointment on Thursday. We were both so excited for the day we even dressed up. No single onsie for him and old t-shirt and sweatpants for me. The funny thing is, it is the only day we didn't have a single guest. Most guests have come unannounced so I thought someone would show up, but no. We still had a great day anyway.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Poem/Riddle of the Day

My husband is the canyon and I am the river
My son is the one who connects us together

My baby love

I was telling my breast feeding specialist that Link went from a half hour to 2 hour feedings. She said he probably is using the last hour just to be close to me and not really nursing. I never thought of that before. When babies are little you don't realize they love you, but they do and that is so powerful.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Adventures

I really feel like I am learning how to do everything again. Including going for a walk and taking a trip to the store. We needed to get some things at Walmart today so Bryce decided we should take a walk first so Link's first outing was not corporate America. We went to Mascara Park. Link did not like something, be it the sun, wind or stroller. The short walk consisted of strolling to our mailbox, me pushing the stroller while Bryce carried LInk to the park, going to the library to drop off a book, nursing on a park bench, sleeping in the stroller on the way home. All in only 2 blocks. It took us another 1-2 hours to get ready to go to the store. When we finally got it done Link went to sleep pretty quickly in the car seat. One thing I was unaware of, teenagers base thumping cars are excellent white noise for babies.
In addition to our outing Michelle Gifford (who took our pregnancy photos) came over with a gift of a book of baby photography. I love it!
My body is changing in many ways. The first way, cracked nipples. That sucks. The second, I feel so skinny. I know that I probably look similar to before I was pregnant but I feel so much smaller. Today I called Bryce to the bedroom to show him how east it was for me to rool over in the bed now. I am excited about that, but I do miss having LInk inside me. He was such a great baby and still is.

Calder, Calcium, Cloth, and Cousins

cousins diana and lincoln, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

So Link missed sharing a birthday with Cat Stevens but he does share a birthday with Alexander Calder. Perfect for any little boy. Also Rufus Wainwright.

Link is on a nursing kick, two hours at a time and sometimes just minutes between them. My nips are starting to hurt a little. I am using lanolin and others have given me some great tips. How long does this last?!?!

Larry noticed I was lacking calcium in my muscles and I feel the same with my teeth becoming very sensitive now. So I started taking the calcium that Bryce bought at the beginning of my labor.

We are trying cloth diapers this weekend. The first G-diaper with cloth insert did not work. He peed in it while sleeping and his onsie was soaked. A prefold with a snappi and thristy cover worked great, but we need more small prefolds. We also used both of the velour all inone diapers and they worked fine. It is weird to think they are just on him for a few hours before they have to be taken off though. G-diaper with disposable insert did work, but got a little bit outside the insert.

Vahida came over with Diana and stuff from their neighbors garage sale. Giuntas (minus Monet who is in the Smoky Mountains) came over with 4 bags of Justin's old clothing. Bryce says people are just giving us clothes now to torture us. We have more outfits for Lincoln than he will need all year long. I think it is time to start being picky. There are also a lot of socks, hats, shoes, and receiving blankets. I love swaddling blankets, but I don't really understand the size of receiving blankets. What are they for? You can't wrap the kid n them and Link always gets his off if he is asleep and we put one on top of him. What are your receiving in them?