My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

Please pray

10:10:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 7 Comments »
There are many things going on right now in our lives. Things I don't really feel comfortable blogging about at this time. Maybe another time. Until then please pray for us. We need all the prayers you can spare on our behalf. Please.

Elliott Richard

7:34:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
videoI don't know if this will work. On the off chance it does, here's a video of Elliott Richard saying his newest words (with translations supplied by me) I took this morning.

Possible New Van...

2:06:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 3 Comments »
So we are van shopping out of necessity. Since Emmett was born we are driving places in shifts. Also with Gavin's current condition deteriorating we need more room. Anyway, we have been looking for a little while and realized vans are pretty expensive. We found one that we really like and it's about $1500 less then the blue book value. We need a van with captain seat in the middle so we can get to Gavin if we need to. Also with the bench seats we would have to undo the car seats each time he got in and out.... So here's a clip of the one we are looking at.....
video

Exhaustion

4:54:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
It's 11:25pm as I begin to write this. We are all just getting to bed. Gavin spending the night at Grandma W's. Rob is finishing some work with Elliott Richard's "help" before they head off to bed. I just climbed into bed with a very fussy Emmett John a few minutes ago.

Our day has consisted of 2 different doctors appointments, 3 different medical tests, and 8 hours total for it all.

Gavin had an appointment at 1:00pm with Dr. R, his psychiatrist. That appointment lasted 2 1/2 hours. It included 1 major meltdown, a few manipulations, a lot of conversation and planning. In the end, it was once again determined that Gavin is an especially difficult case and no one truly knows what to do to help him. Or us. However, rather than do nothing (except to slowly go insane) we are going to cut his dose of Abilify (again) by more than half and add a new medication on a temporary basis to try and "reset" his anxiety level. I pray to God it works. We can't keep living in a war zone.

By the time we got out of Dr. R's office it was 3:00pm. Emmett John's 1 month/jaundice follow-up appointment was at 4:00pm, which meant we didn't have time to get home and drop Rob and Gavin off and then for Emmett John and I to get back in time. So we grabbed a bite to eat to kill some time.

Emmett's appointment was at 4:00pm. We didn't get back to the exam room until about 4:30pm. The nurse measured Emmett and then we weighed him. He grew another 1/4 inch in two weeks. He's now 21.5 inches long. His weight gain is what kills me! Mr. Emmett John now weighs 8lb 13.5oz. Meaning he gained a pound and a half in 2 weeks!!!!! Not bad for an exclusively breastfed baby. (This is the point where my cousin Sam would tell me I don't make milk. I make butter. lol)

When Dr. H came in to chat and examine Emmett we mentioned Emmett's fussiness and clingy behavior since Saturday/Sunday. I honestly didn't think too much of it but we figured it was worth mentioning. He asked a few dozen questions and said it's most likely colic. Possibly some minor reflux but probably colic. Then while we was examining Emmett he noticed that he had pooped so to be sure he did a fecal hemioccult test (testing for blood in his stool). The test was ever so slightly positive. This led to two more of the same test. One inconclusive. One negative. So Dr. H sent Emmett for a CBC blood draw to be sure. The CBC was normal except his red bloodcell count was low. We sat and talked over everything with Dr. H for a while and in the end we decided that he would send Emmett John for an abdominal x-ray just to be sure that there wasn't something we were missing. By this time it was 6:00pm and we'd been in doctors appointments for 5 hours. So we left Dr. H's office and made a quick stop at Rob's parents' house so I could nurse Emmett. Then it was off to the hospital for the x-ray.

The x-ray went really quick and easy. Then we waited while the radiologist read it and paged Dr. H. Who then called us back at the hospital. Everything was perfect! He said it's most likely colic but he wants us to give him 1/4 teaspoon of Maalox or Mylanta every 6-8 hours when he's fussy to see if it helps. If that helps, then it's likely some mild reflux and we can get him a prescription to help. He said that it could also be a milk sensitivity and just to cover all of our bases, he wants me cut all of the main milk products out of my diet. No more milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc. If the no milk thing helps but doesn't fix it, I'll have to decide if I want to cut all milk and soy products out or switch to formula. (Sound familiar, Sammers?) But for now at least we have a game plan.

All told, we spent 8 hours either at doctors' appointments or in the hospital. By the time I started this blog at 11:25pm, I was absolutely exhausted. In fact, I'm only finishing it now because Emmett decided it would be fun to hang out and check out the night time scenery in between bouts of fussing and screaming in my ear.

I love being a mom. ;)

4 weeks old...almost 1 month

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Emmett John is 4 weeks old today. He will officially be 1 month old on Saturday, July 26th. Here are the things I've noticed over the past week...

  • He is awake for about a half hour 2-3 times a day.
  • He's been very fussy and clingy over the past few days. Only wanting Mommy most of the time.
  • We discovered the joys of the Boppy pillow (pictures coming soon). He will chill in it for maybe 10 mintues each time he is awake just checking out the scenery and enjoying the view.
  • He gets a super concerned look on his face whenever he gets the hiccups.
  • He isn't quite sure about this thing called "Brotherly Love" from Elliott Richard. (see picture in previous post)
  • He has officially graduated to Size 1 diapers and is quickly out-growing his Newborn sized clothes!
  • He has the softest little hands and feet. I am just in love with them.
  • He had his first official bath (completely submerged and everything)!
  • Big noises don't seem to bother him very much (i.e. Gavin's fits) for the most part but tiny little noises make him jump out of his skin.

Week 3 in pictures

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Big yawn!

(I don't know why but I just love this picture. lol)

My chunky monkey sporting his Size 1 diaper!

(Woo whoo!)

More Brotherly Love

(I love this one because Emmett just does not look too sure about this "brotherly love" thing. lol)

My Permanent Attachment

(This is where Emmett John has been located for the past 2-4 days.)

"Who me?! I didn't do it!"

Another Due Date Come and Gone

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Yesterday was my due date. I didn't even realize it until my Mom said something while we were gabbing on the phone. That's three due dates I've had come and go in life. (Four due dates if you count the miscarriage in 2005.)

I know things are figured differently for preemies (even "late term preemies" like Emmett) but I've never really understood the whole adjusted age thing. But basically that means that Emmett John is now officially full term. :)

I can't believe that yesterday was the "Goal" but he's already been here for 4 weeks. Life is just crazy sometimes.

Where my girls at? And other interesting questions.

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*Where my girls at?*
I've been blessed enough recently to see "Sex and the City" the movie. I love it. But I find myself wondering the same thing I wonder while watching the television show. I find myself wondering if having a group of girls to go through life with is the norm. Are they normal? Thereby making me abnormal in the fact that my best friends are women I've never met. Or am I normal in the fact that I lost touch with my high school friends and never really became super duper close with another group of females since then?

Don't get me wrong here, I have girlfriends. I have Debbie, whom I love to bits. I have Gavin's teachers, whom I talk to about nearly everything when school is in session. I have my mom, my aunts and my cousins; as well as Rob's mom and sisters. But it just seems different. It feels different than what I imagine it must feel like to be Carrie and the girls.

So which is it blogland? Am I normal for not having a posse of girlfriends with standing dinner dates etc? Or am I a freak of nature who is missing out?

*Hypothetically, do you think...*
I was asked today if I felt (hypothetically) that having Gavin living some place else that was safe, with people I trusted would help our situation.

My answer?

I believe that once we all adjusted and "recovered" we would emotionally and mentally be in a better place.

This probably sounds mean and cruel but please allow me to explain. I feel this way because if Gavin were living some place else safe (i.e. with my parents), Rob and I would no longer have to keep Gavin separated from the boys. Our home would no longer a war zone. We wouldn't have to either reprimand Gavin or Elliott Richard for doing what comes naturally to them. (Being affectionate in Elliott Richard's case. Hating physical contact in Gavin's case.) We wouldn't have to worry about Elliott Richard or Emmett John getting caught in one of Gavin's rages. There are so many things that we wouldn't have to worry about.

Would we miss him? Absolutely.

Would we feel horrible having to separate our family like that? Without a doubt.

Would it help us all to survive in the end? Probably.

(Disclaimer: I am not asking for help, money or handouts. I am writing this blog to help you further understand exactly where we are and to get it all out of my head. So please do not take the portion below (or the portion above for that matter) as anything other than information.)

*Is it possible?*
Is it possible that the light at the end of our tunnel is a train? Or two? Or ten?

I mean there are so many things that we will work our entire lives to get out from under and still never see the light of day.

For example, we need a new home for various reasons. However, our options are limited by many things. We cannot live in an apartment, duplex, townhouse etc because of Gavin and his "something more". Which leaves buying a house, renting a house or a land contract.

There is a house we love. It belonged to a very dear friend of ours and Rob's parents/family. We are praying for a miracle to happen that will allow for us to get this house. Miracles of this type and magnitude do not happen to/for us.

We have been fighting for 7-8 years in order to live in a war zone. Every time it feels as though progress has been made and the end of the war (not just the end of a particular battle) is near, another motion is filed and we are thrown back into a life of turmoil. This battle has cost us more emotionally, mentally, psychologically and physically than anyone can imagine. Financially it has cost us $50,000 and that amount is still climbing. If we are ever able to end the war and cease paying in all ways not financial, we will still be buried under that financial debt.

We currently have a small family car. It is nowhere near large enough for our family. Especially not with Gavin and his "something more". We need a van. Desperately. My mother has offered to help us. Too bad we may have to choose between a new home and a "new" car.

Even the small things are making life more difficult. A few months ago my laptop died. It was nearly 10 years old so it was bound to happen. However, now it's gone. I'm without a laptop. And while this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, especially given everything else we have going on at the moment. For me, with Emmett John so fussy and clingy that I can't put him down I need that laptop to keep up with the Etsy store. I need it to keep listing cards. To keep bringing in a little bit of extra income. I need it for my sanity. It's gone. I don't know if/when we'll have the money to replace it.

At this point, I'm having a really difficult time trusting in God and having faith that those lights are not trains. Many, many trains.

Falling apart at the seams

3:00:00 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
So much of our lives for the past 8 years has been wrapped up in Gavin. Now he is coming unraveled and taking our family down with him. I have called everyone I know to call. I'm waiting to hear back. I'm at a complete loss. I don't know what to do. I, me personally, need to break-down. I need some help. I'm not likely to get any. I think Emmett's fussy period is because I'm so stressed out. I'm worried that if I can't get a break, get some help, or something then my milk supply is going to suffer. That may seem like a silly thing to worry about given everything else that we have going on but it's important to me. Breastfeeding is important to Emmett and important to me to be able to give him that advantage.

This blog does absolutely nothing to convey exactly how lost I feel. I'm sitting here watching everything fall apart and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I love being a wife and mother more than anything else and I know I'm completely useless in both regards lately. My patience is gone. I'm falling short on keeping up with stuff. My marriage is suffering. We are about to be faced with some very difficult decisions and I'm so worried that they will tear my marriage apart.

I honestly don't know what to do...I am completely and utterly lost.

Le Sigh

10:16:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
Rob and I met with Patty tonight. Things are gettinng messier with every passing hour.

Gavin had meltdowns all day long. He is rapid cycling. One minute he was hyper, talking really fast (more insane rambling than talking), very animated. The next minute he was flying off the handle, freaking out, melting down and completely falling apart.

If we told him "no", he would first say "okay" and seem totally fine with it. Then he would disolve into a rage 2 minutes later.

Round and round we went today.

We have an emergency appointment with Dr. R on Thursday. They are discussing switching Gavin's medications again. We are running out of options as far as medications for Gavin goes. Personally, I think it's going to take a "cocktail" of different medications to truly stabilize him. Not just the "perfect dose" of one, single medication.

Updated Challange List.....

11:57:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
We cut Gavin's meds by 50% about a week ago. Since then he has been slipping back into what appears to be a manic phase. We had to start taking away his TV remote at night because he has begun waking up again in the middle of the night again with compulsive urges to do things. Last night I woke up at 4am only to find Gavin in bed watching one of his shows. He said he "HAD" to watch them.

He has also begun trying to build these inventions again. He builds these things out of Kinex (sp?) and found this wire that was used to hold a toy in its package. He wrapped this wire around the "Antenna" he created for his invention and expects it to become alive. He has spent the last 2 days trying to make it come to life. He refuses to walk away from it. He keeps saying he has to do it. There is an urgancy in his voice when he speaks about it.

We see Patti tonight and will discuss other options we may have for the behavioural side of things. We will be going back to appointments every week again. Pray for Gavin that he can pull out of this one......



UPDATE:

His doctor just called and they are out of town at another office right now. They are going to discuss new medication(s) and call us back shortly. They were so nice and they definatly feel for us. We will update when we know more...

Very cool!

7:35:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 2 Comments »

I won an award for my blog. :)
And now, I get to pass it on...hhhhmmmm...
Nikky and April, come on down! :)


(And yes, I am that big a nerd that I posted it on my sidebar as well. lol)

Win This! :)

7:25:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Eat, Drink, Sleep, Preppy is having a Wacky Wednesday Giveaway!

If you go to this particular blog and leave a comment you could win a monogramed apron! If you win and tell them that Lizze sent you, I'll win one too! :)

At 4am...I knew...

10:05:00 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
I knew at 4am this morning that today was going to be one of "those" Mondays. Emmett woke up fussing his little head off. Nothing I did helped him. He wasn't hungry. He didn't need changed. He didn't want to cuddle. I nursed him. Nothing. I burped him. Nothing. Nothing worked. He finally fell back to sleep at 6am. I wasn't far behind. Unfortunately, he woke up again at about 7-7:30am, which brought my total sleep for the night to a whopping 3 hrs. I'm not used to this because he's normally such a good little sleeper.

FYI: when you've only had 3 hrs of sleep it's probably not a good idea to try and get some left over birthday cake for breakfast. And if you *just have to have* that piece of cake, make sure your plate is safely on the table. That was my mistake...the plate. The plate crashed to the floor. Shattered. And little bits flew up and nicked the top of my left foot. What fun.

Since then, my day has been a blur of fussy screaming/crying Emmett John. A nap - thank God. More fussing. More screaming. Nursing. Diaper changes. Trip to the grocery store. Still *more* fussing. And now I'm pinned to the bed by a sleeping but not fussing Emmett John.

I made my first phone call of the new school year to Gavin's school today. School starts August 18th. I've got my first PTA meeting with the school director and my partner in crime a week before school starts. (Hi Debbie!) Then we've got Orientation a few days after that.

I'm torn though. I'm so excited for school to start again. But at the same time, I'm terrified. I don't know how to juggle everything. I have a school full of parents and I don't know how to get them excited to help out. I can't figure out how to get them involved. I'm an ADHD adult and I know I can keep this organized if only I could tap into that part of my brain. I have to be on the top of my game to make this work. Right now, I can't figure out how to get back there.

A Short Tribute to My Grandmother....

2:07:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
My grandmother is just the sweetest person in the world. She just recently got her first computer. It's a Mac and I don't even understand Macs but she has caught on really fast and we are very proud of her for that. My grandmother has entered the 21st century and is now emailing and surfing the web.

Lizze and I both regret that we cannot visit her more often. Our lives simply don't afford us the ability to go anywhere anymore. However, she faithfully reads this blog and keeps up to date of all happenings. We are very greatful that she takes the time to read this blog. She also manages to somehow know when we need to talk because she just happens to call at that moment. She is never a bother when she calls, even though she may feel like it. We don't get many calls asking us how we are so it's nice. It makes Gavin's day to get letters in the mail from Great Grandma because it makes him feel important. She never forgets birthdays even if she's a little late remembering :)...... Oh and she LOVES taking pictures...... :)

Well I have to get back to the challenges in my life but I will leave you with this picture.

















My Father on the far left (whom Emmett is named after), me, on my lap is Elliott Richard and the my grandmother is on the far right.....




Thanks Grandma. Keep the emails coming. We can't always replay but we do enjoy reading them.

We Love You...

Rob, Lizze, Gavin, Elliott and Emmett

Reality Check.....

1:11:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
If today is any indication of whats to come the rest of the week has in store, augggh.

The day began with a giant meltdown because he pushed the wrong button on the remote to his TV. Instead of asking for help he lost it and I mean lost it. It took me 30 minutes to get through to him, which is more like me talking and Gavin wondering when he is getting hi slego's back. His doctor has decided that Gavin may be over medicated and so we have cut his meds in half. This really doesn't make any sense because the problems are there with or without the meds. It was more manageable on the meds I guess. Anyway, now all hell is breaking lose and we have to wait a "couple weeks" to find out if the reduction in meds is going to work. Most of me is screaming bu**shit on this move because it doesn't make any sense. He wasn't getting worse on the meds, the meds were no longer helping... I know it sounds like the same thing but it is different.

Elliott is in the "TERRIBLE" two's right now. He is "SCREAMING" all the time. He doesn't listen very well right now. I know he is two but he is way advanced for his age. I know everyone says that about their kids but Gavins doctors are telling us this. Other then that Elliott is doing good.

Emmett is going through a really fussy phase right now. I don't think were are ready to look at colic yet but he crys "CONSTANTLY" right now. Even Lizze is struggling to be able to comfort him. But other then that he is physically healthy.

Lizze and I are really trying to figure out life. We just cannot seem to catch a break. All three of the kids are constantly screaming and we are getting pushed further and further past our limit. When I turn around I can't even see our limit anymore. We so despratly need a break. Lizze and I have gone out 2 or three times in past 3 or four years.
Lizze made a whole bunch of new cards but we can't get enough time to put them online. The computer is in limbo right now. I spoke last week about our hard drive failure and how we lost 500gb of our info (ranging from all past taxs, all of our company records and the past 8 years worth of pictures (totalling around 14,000 pictures). I was able to recover some of them but not all. Seagate sent me a new hdd but sent out the wrong one. So I called to talk to customer service and ask for the correct one. The guy I spoke with happened to here all the chaos in the background and took pity on me. He is going to find an exact match for my dead drive so I can swap out the logic board and hopefully recover all of our info. He is going to sift through over 600 of my model drives they have in stock to do so. Please cross your fingers because he is supposed to call me today with the results.

Lizze is supposed to be in court next week. Our attorney and Gavin's doc's are trying to make it go away. Which should be possible since the whole thing is based on misinformation, no scratch that, the whole thing is based on lies and we can easily prove everything but that's not the point. We shouldn't have to endure this abuse any longer. Our lives are hard enough as it is and we only get one try. No of this makes any sense why they would do thins, it won't benefit them in any way shape or form. There is NO WAY Lizze can be separated from Emmett for an entire day. Emmetts pediatrician won't let him go all the way down there. Which is good because we wouldn't take him anyways. As it stands I will stay home with Emmett and try to bottle feed him but I don't know how well that will go over. We just need to be left alone so we can pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild our family and hopefully move forward, with Gavin.

As it stands I just don't know how much longer we will last.....

Rediscovery

5:03:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm slowly rediscovering exactly who I am with a newborn/infant in our home. I am sleep deprived (duh). I have an overwhelming desire to be "super woman". (Overwhemling is the perfect word too because being super woman is just that...overwhelming.) I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister. (Not necessarily in that order.) I am tired, achey and always on the alert. I am happier than I've been in a long time.



My hormones have finally evened out. The only time I still get a surge of them with the need to cry is during those perfect, kismet moments with Emmett. The sight of him in my arms still has the power to bring me to tears. The sound of his wimpers/sighs as he tries to get comfy. The deep, body-shuttering sigh when he has a fully belly and sleep-heavy eyelids and is perfectly content.

Emmett John 3 weeks old...photo blog

9:08:00 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 4 Comments »

Chillin' with the Mommy

Ahhhh...a full belly, snuggling with the Mommy...life doesn't get much better than this.

Getting some brotherly love

Tiny little feet

3 weeks old and soooo long

I could not get a picture with those legs not moving a mile a minute. lol

Many Faces of Emmett John

8:24:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »

Sweet dreaming (Yeah, I know. It's a little blurry. But just look at that "grin"! lol)

The Drama King

The Thinker

So Content

More pictures from the Hospital

10:44:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
My view from my bed.
The rose picture in my room with my balloons.
(Each room has a different flower. I had a rose room every time I was in an ante-partum room and then my delivery room. I just thought that was pretty cool.)
Emmett John impersonating a garden gnome.
Look at all that chub! :)
All dressed up and ready to go! It's time to go home! :)

Labor and Delivery in Pictures

10:24:00 AM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Here I am texting with Nikky and Laura. They were God-sends!
(Thanks gals!)
Here I am hanging out with the girls. (Teri on the left and Kate in the green)
Kate was my second partner during the delivery. Teri was my angel, bringing me the things I had forgotten about and the "real food" my belly so desperately needed. I couldn't have gotten through it all without these two!

This was the isolet that Emmett John was taken to immediately after birth. It was the location of his evaluation by the Neonatologist. That was probably the longest evaluation of my life.
Here I am. Fully dilated. Fully effaced. Waiting on Dr. D to make his appearance so I could start pushing. (Poor Dr. D, I'm pretty sure that we woke him up.)
Welcome to the world, Emmett John!

Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 12:30 am

7lb 4oz

19.5 inches

To you From me

9:28:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 2 Comments »
Okay so tomorrow is my birthday. Historically, the week of my birthday (the 6 days before and the day of) sucks! This week has been par for the course. (See here.) I was hoping that if I was too busy/tired/stressed to recognize my impending birthday that maybe it wouldn't suck this year. So far that plan has backfired. Well it backfired until now. :)

So far this week lots of crazy crappy stuff has happened. (Again that's par for the course.) The high points of the week have been:

Nikky had Junior! (Yay!)
Cold Stone Creamery sent me a coupon for FREE ICE CREAM!!! (Yum!)
I may have "Girls Only" plans for lunch tomorrow. (Well, girls and Emmett. lol)
I get to finally get my hair cut today! (Woo who!)

This is where my birthday gift to myself and a child I'll never meet comes in. My hair is really long but the ends are all perm. I've been excited about my haircut but bummed at the same time because it seems like such a waste to throw all my hair away. I really, really, really wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love but I assumed I couldn't because of the perm.

I was wrong!!!! :)

I am so stinking excited I can't even tell you! I'll be happy to ditch my "Duggar-esq" hairstyle. I'll be sure to have Rob take plenty of before and after pictures. :)

3 weeks old

8:59:00 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I can't believe it's been three weeks since Emmett John made his grand entrance into the world. I suppose he's growing by leaps and bounds. I'm sure he's changing everyday right before my very eyes. But he still looks like my Tiny to me. I'm still amazed by all the new and different things I notice about him.

  • He's started a game of sorts when nursing. He "sneaks" up on it a few times but never really latches on. Then he waits before "attacking"! lol
  • At birth his eyes were such a dark blue that they looked almost black to me. Now they are slowly beginning to lighten into a deep blue.
  • He's getting much better at lifting his head up. Although he always "over does it" and begins to look more like a huge bobblehead doll than a 3 week old baby. lol
  • He loves his binkies. If we offer one and he isn't interested, he scowls and does this little gagging noise. Then he continues to scowl even after the bink is removed.
  • His favorite face is the "fish face".


He's just getting so big. I keep coming back to "I'm not ready. I don't want him to grow up." He's the last one. My last baby. There will be no more pregnancies. No more babies. No more tiny clothes and tinier diapers. *sob*

Should have skipped this week.....

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This has been the week from HELL.
This is what has happened so far:

1) Our stimulus check is now 2 months late. We were desperately waiting for that.
2) Lizzes laptop finally completely died.
3) My really nice Braun Self-Cleaning Razor died yesterday. I bought that a few years ago, so it's lasted I guess.
4) We are at our wits end with poor Gavin. Things are really, really getting bad.
5) Our house is continuing to fall apart. We are renting so we can move but are limited because of Gavin's behavior. We cannot get an apartment or townhouse or duplex because of Gavin's fits.
6) I scrapped Lizze's laptop for parts and got some hardware for our desktop to allow for easier backup of our pictures and company information. During the process of installing the external hardware, my new 500gig SATA drive died. The logic board shorted out. I have tried to track down the exact same model and revision but no luck. It died before I could back it up. I have lost 8 years of information. We lost the first 2 years worth of pictures of Elliott Richard. I am so angry with myself for not backing it up sooner. I also lost every movie (and the RAW files) I have created over the past 2 years. I lost ALL our business records. I have been so distracted that I became complacent in my backups. I don't know if we can recover any of the loss. Recovery ranges for $300 to $3000+. Segate will replace the drive no problem but not the memories. I don't care about the business stuff, but the pictures of my baby breaks my heart. I still have all the raw video of Elliott and Emmett but not pictures. We lost over 14,000 pictures last night. Everything else is replaceable. My backups that I did have were destroyed a few monthes ago when our house was struck by lightning for the 2nd or 3rd time in 5 years. And with Lizze on bed rest and Gavin struggling backing up wasn't a priority. BACKUP< BACKUP< BACKUP> Learn from my mistakes.
7) Since all the company data is gone I have to start over from scratch. I had to mail my invoices today to avoid the 70 mile round trip to the office on Thursday when they are due. I have to start completely over.

Come on Jr!

11:55:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 4 Comments »
My nearest and dearest Nikky is currently at the doctor's office. She will be 39 weeks pregnant with her first later this week. She is *very* uncomfortable and looking for an end to come soon. I know she's really anxious to meet Jr and see him. Not to mention be able to "sleep" without loads of pain. (Sssshhhh...we won't tell her about how sleep is a thing of the past once Jr is here. lol)

So if you're so inclined and you have a moment or two...please pray that Jr gets, understands and follows his eviction notice.

How are we suppossed to know what to do???

5:03:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Gavin came home this morning and we found out that Grandma W caught him sneaking Lego's when he knew he was not allowed. He keeps claiming that he "Forgets". This is so frustrating because it appears that Gavin has become a liar.

We have known for a while now that Gavin has major problems but how do we know when he is lying. How can you tell when your autistic/bipolar child is lying to you or honestly unable to remember. It's so hard for Lizze and I because with everything he has going on, memory loss isn't out of the question. We struggle because it seems like he can remember the things that are important to him (but that isn't always the case either).
It sometimes seems that some of the repeditivness is compulsive on his part (again which is VERY possible). For example, if we tell him "No Lego's" he will throw a fit and then ask again 5 minutes later, but it's like he's asking for the first time all over again. So we may have heard him ask 5 times but each time he asks he thinks he is asking for the first time. We have had this happen over and over again for days at a time. Does that make sense?
The other side of the coin is that he may be minipulating us (because he has become EXTREMELY minipulative). He will ask the same question 10 different ways to try to get what he wants and then freak out each time we tell him NO.

It gets to the point where we have to ignore him completely, which feels terrible. I know I can only take so much. The doctors don't seem to have anything to offer as far as what to do. All we are told is he has to held accountable for his actions. The problem is how can you punish a child for something they may have no control over and how do you tell the difference?

Update on Life

9:15:00 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Emmett John and I have been home for 2 weeks today.

I can't believe it. I'm still pretty sore if I don't take it easy. Or if I try and do too much. Apparently I'm going to have to relearn my limits or discover my new limits.

My hormones are still sorting themselves out. It's nowhere near the worst it's been since Emmett's birth. I'm actually starting to feel pretty normal. Mainly I've been tearing up at appropriate times and triggers. Sad parts in television shows. Sad songs on the radio. Stuff like that. And at least I'm no longer bursting into tears. Only tearing up.

Emmett John is turning out to be quite the laid back little baby. He was awake at 4:00am today. It didn't occur to me until later in the day that he's been working so hard to build up and increase my milk supply and last night it wasn't coming in fast enough for him. We've had this same problem all day today. He wants more but it just doesn't happen that quickly. Other than that, he's content to snuggle with me or relax in his swing or bouncy seat. He's awake more during the day now. And I just love watching him check out the world around him. He's just fascinated with Elliott Richard, which Elliott Richard *loves*.

Elliott Richard has been having a pretty good week. He's definitely entering the "terrible two's". He wants to pick everything out himself. Do it himself. As polite as he is, he still demanding while using his manners. It's a good thing he's so darn cute. ;) lol Other than the terrible two's, Elliott Richard is *all about Emmett*. When I change Emmett's diaper, Elliott is right there helping. When I nurse Emmett, Elliott is right there asking if the baby is hungry for nummies. He's quite the little helper when he's not trying to help by burying me in diapers, clothes, or blankets. lol

Gavin...well, he's Gavin. He's been claiming lately that he "doesn't hear" us, however, it's becoming more apparent that he's lying and not having a difficult time hearing us. I can say this because he hears us when it benefits him. When we call him for meals. When we tell him that we are going somewhere fun or doing something he wants to do. He only "doesn't hear" us when we ask him to do something (pick up your toys, bring down your dirty clothes etc).

It's also been asked where the pictures of the three boys together are. Long story short, they don't exist. Gavin is too volatile and unpredictable at the moment to have that kind of contact with Emmett. Never mind the fact that he is completely uninterested in Emmett. He doesn't ask about him. He doesn't look at him. He doesn't even react when Emmett cries. It's as if in Gavin's world, Emmett does not exist. For us to get pictures of that nature we would have to force Gavin to do something he is not comfortable with, which is just asking for trouble.

Overall, I'm starting to feel like I'm finding my footing as a stay-at-home mom again. I figure right about the time I have the home life down to a science again; I'll get to try and work in my duties as a President of the PTA at Gavin's school. lol It never stops does it?

Family update

4:51:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Well Gavin is at Grandma W's and I thought I would take a few moments to do a quick family update.

Emmett is doing great. I'll leave it at that because Lizze will post more later. Elliott has really taken to Emmett and is VERY good with him. Elliott loves to hold Emmett (as seen in the pictures Lizze posted earlier)and showers him with kisses and "nice touches"(Elliott is supervised of course).

Gavin is a whole different story. Gavin is really not doing very well at all. Everything is a struggle with him. Gavin doesn't hold or have physical contact with Emmett. The reason for that is the MAJOR safety concerns for Emmett. Gavin is far to unpredictable to allow him to hold Emmett no matter how much we would like him to. Emmett's health and safety HAVE to come first. Also Gavin has no interest in his little brother so it seems to be working out because we don't have to tell him he's not allowed.

Gavin only held Elliott one time when he was a baby and that was because Gavin was in a slightly better place and much smaller at the time and hadn't done the things he's done since then. We are NOT willing to take any chances with Elliott or Emmett. We live with Gavin every day and we know how "Dangerous" he can be to be around. Dangerous is not an exaggeration either. We don't believe he would ever deliberately hurt anyone but when he rages he has no control over himself.

As Emmett's and Elliott's PARENT'S we have made the decision(along with and supported by his specialists) not to allow Gavin much, if any, physical contact with Emmett and Elliott as it's the only way to ensure everyone's safety... We have to put the well being and safety of Emmett and Elliott first and foremost. We don't like the idea but we do it because we know it's the only thing to do.

I know that it seems cruel and unusual but we have witnessed many things that everyone else hasn't. We know how painfully difficult it is to accept that Gavin will never be "Normal" but that is the reality whether we like it or not. No amount of treating him like a typical child is going to help him. In fact it will only serve to make things worse. We are forced to face this reality and fall out every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Emmett and Elliott are forced to deal with this also.

And while this may seem cruel to everyone, we do know what we are doing. We are desperately fighting to keep this family together and we have managed to do this so far despite ALL the cards being stacked against us but it's getting more and more difficult. The past 2 or 3 weeks alone we have lived from one meltdown to the next. Emmett was home for less then a week and one of meltdowns almost knocked him out of his swing and onto the floor. Gavin was freaking out over Lego's again and started trying to smash and throw things in the living room. We were trying to get him upstairs and he decided to take out his frustration on a balloon that had floated directly above Emmett while he was swinging in his swing. Gavin lunged at the balloon trying to smash it completely oblivious to Emmett. If we hadn't stopped him Emmett would have gotten hurt. That is the reality we live in. That is why we do things the way we do things.

What everyone doesn't seem to understand is once Gavin hurts someone (accident or not) the fight is over. We will have no choice but to send him to residential treatment even though it would kill us to do so. If we didn't then we would be failing Emmett and Elliott because we wouldn't be keeping them safe.

While we are lost and completely overwhelmed, there is a rhyme and reason for all that we do. The sooner we all come to grips with the reality of the situation the easier life will become for us and Gavin. Gavin is NOT a typical child and NEVER will be. He HAS to be treated in a different way. We don't have to like it but its what's best for Gavin and everyone else involved. We have been doing this longer then anyone else and we are privy to information and experiences that most people aren't.

Gavin requires special rules and a strict schedule. If we deviate from that his world begins to crash around him. When that happens he lashes out at everyone and everything around him (including himself). It can take us weeks to bring him back down and under contol. Even routine doesn't seem to help much anymore.

Emmett and Elliott end up paying the price for all of this, as they will learn to fear their big brother. Lizze and I are already forever changed by this situation. Our health, both physical and emotional has been going down the drain. We will not let this happen to the kids. We are trying to keep things as stable as possible so we can live together as a family but with every passing day we are realizing that all of us living together may be impossible. Nevertheless we are trying because we love Gavin deeply.

Seriously?!

6:16:00 AM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
Okay, those of you who know me (or read this blog) know that I LOVE reality television. I've probably seen most reality shows. Usually I like what I see. Or I at least see some mildly entertaining, redeming quality *some where* in the show.

Have you guys seen the commercials for "Greatest American Dog"? This show is just painful to watch! The only redeming quality in the show are the dogs. (And I'm not even a dog person!) Although there is a 75 yr old great-grandfather with the dog that saved his wife's life. I just love him and I hope he wins.

But seriously? Are we so sad and out of ideas that we are reduced to watching people obsessed with their dogs compete against each other? (And when I say obsessed with their dogs, I mean *obsessed* with their dogs. Like making a different oufit for every day of the week. Or having a "bark" mitz va? I couldn't make this stuff up. lol)

This does not bode well for our Fall Season Premieres if the actors do strike. Imagine...another season of crap during another strike. Yippee.

Random Thoughts

7:23:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
In honor of Emmett's 2 week Birthday I want to jot down some new things I've noticed.

~ When Emmett is half-asleep and trying to wake up, he scrunches his forehead. It looks like he's trying to pull his eyelids up with his forehead. (I love this.)
~ So far Emmett has only peed on me and the couch. (I'm trying to not take it personally. lol)
~ When he sleeps, he strikes varying versions of "The Thinker" pose.
~ When he's nursing and I have to cover him up with a blanket, if I peek under the blanket I'll find him nursing and scowling at me.
~ He can't get his fist in his mouth when he wants but when he was having his billirubin blood draws done, his accuracy with his free foot was astounding!
~ He has a double cow-lick.
~ When he sneezes, it's always at least two sneezes in a row. (Just like his Aunt Kate. Could this be some crazy genetic thing?)

General Thoughts on Babies & Parenthood

~ Why is it when babies are asleep the poop flows right out. But when they are awake it takes work and screaming to work it out?
~ Why do babies smile in their sleep?
~ Elliott Richard seemed so small to me. Until Emmett John was born. Now he seems HUGE!

Pictures Pictures Pictures

6:39:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

Welcome to the world, Emmett John!

Daddy and his boys (well, two out of three anyway)

Emmett John snuggling with Mommy

Emmett John asleep in his bassinet

The cuteness (and temper) that is Emmett John in the hospital.:) Not that I'm biased or anything. lol

Mommy's Chunky Monkey

1:04:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 2 Comments »

Emmett John is 2 weeks old today! Yay!

He slept and nursed really well last night. (Thank God.) So I managed to get some sleep. (Yay!)

Then Emmett had his 2 week appointment with Dr. H at 10:30am this morning. Dr. H wanted to follow-up on Emmett's weight, jaundice, and eye infection. (I don't remember if I posted about his eye infection or not but it's nothing major. When he was born his tear ducts were clogged. Despite my attempts to keep his eyes/tear ducts clear, he developed an infection. Dr. H called in a prescription for an ointment to help clear it up.)

The jaundice is getting much better (no more bloodwork for now). Dr. H said that it can take preemies with jaundice up to a month for their livers to really get the hang of things. If he's still a little yellow in 2 weeks Dr. H will get another billirubin level and a complete liver panel just to make sure that we aren't missing something. He doesn't believe that there is anything we're missing. He just likes to be thorough, which I like.

His eye infection is almost gone and we've gotten the okay to stop the ointment after today. (Yay!)

As for Emmett's weight, they like to see infant/newbornsat least back to their birth weight at 2 weeks old. After being plateaued at 6lb 13oz since our discharge almost 2 weeks ago, we were kind of concerned. There was apparently no need to worry because he's turning into quite the Chunky Monkey!

The Stats
Weight: 7lb 5.5oz
(That's an 8.5oz gain in 5 days!! And 1.5oz heavier than his birth weight.)
Length: 21.25 inches
(He's grown 1.75 inches in 2 weeks!)
Head circ: 34.5 cm

***He's really not that off color. It's just easier to take and send pictures from my phone right now. And well, my camera on my phone STINKS!***

20 Things about me

8:42:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Basic

What is your favorite color(s)? Cerulean blue
"Shabby chic" vs. "straight, clean lines" - shabby chic
Where's your favorite vacation destination? Texas
Pick ONE: shoes, clothes, purses. Shoes
Describe yourself in three (3) words. Creative, independent, loyal

Music:

Favorite song of all time? Amazing Grace
What is one song you secretly really like that no one would believe you if you told them? My collection of religious songs
What would you consider the "theme song" of your life? Either "Bring On the Rain" Jo Dee Messina or "untitled" Simple Plan
If you could see any concert - what would it be? Rascal Flatts
Name the radio station most commonly playing in your car. What's the genre? 94.9 country

Holiday

What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
What food item is your holiday not complete without? Sweet potatoes w/the big marshmallows
What's your favorite holiday memory? Going to my Granny's every Thanksgiving.
Is there a holiday tradition that you cherish? If so, what is it? I don't know.
Lights: colored or white? I prefer white.

Deep Thoughts

If you could get advice from any woman (dead or alive), who would it be? my mom
Name three (3) "simple pleasures" in your life. Writing, journaling, eating
What is your dream job - be honest! author
If you could play any character on TV or in the movies, which one would you pick? I have no clue
What car would you most like to be the "spokes model" for? Saturn. Haha (Hey, I really want a Relay!)

12 days old

11:35:00 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
So Emmett John is now officially 12 days old. Soon to be 13 days old in one hour and 9 minutes.

His cord stump fell off today. *sob*

I've been waiting for this to happen because as my sleep deprivation comes and goes I keep catching it on clothes, diapers, my fingers etc. I didn't want it to happen because this is one tiny step (ha ha I made a funny.) closer to my last baby growing up. *sob*

It just dawned on me that his circumcision is healed. Now his belly button is healed, which means I can give him his first tubby. *sob*

I'm going to snuggle my Tiny Doodlebug now.

My response...

8:54:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Honey,

Look, I know things are bad.
The irony is I feel the exact same way. If I hadn't blown out my back I would have been hired full time at the fire department and that would have afforded us better insurance and financial stability and more money means we can deal with these things better.
I know most or all of our troubles are Gavin related (and I am having one of those moments right now because he wants his Lego's back) and out of our control but I feel like I should be able to do more.
Please don't apologize for things you aren't responsible for.. Gavin is the way he is, we KNOW that isn't your fault and it certainly isn't his fault. (He just came down again asking for his Lego's and it's only been about 3 minutes since the last time)
We will figure this out some how. I don't know what we will do or how we will survive but as long as we stay together and keep talking we will make it. I honestly don't think this "tunnel" has an end but we can try to make the best of it. If not for ourselves then for Elliott and Emmett.

I want you to know that you have already given me the world twice and below is the proof.

But please keep talking to me. I know it's not easy but really does make a difference and you are better at it then you think.
Now when get up may try to take a short nap :)

I love you honey. Thanks to telling me how you feel....

Hormones with a side of Cool Whip

4:25:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
Well, here we are. Day 11 post partum. Just when I think my hormones are starting to even out, they take another hairpin turn. I'm thrown into another crying jag over a crazy look from Emmett. Or the most recent episode of "Army Wives".

Last night (Saturday night) was my first truly sleepless night. I mean those first few hours were sleepless but that's because I was riding an adrenaline rush. Emmett woke up at 3:00am hungry and fussy. I nursed him but he was still pretty fussy so we went downstairs. By the time he fell asleep, I couldn't. Then when I could, he was making funny noises that terrify me. So I gave up.

Tonight has been...you guessed it...anther sleepless night. Elliott Richard woke up at like 1:30am and no matter how exhausted he was refused/fought sleep. Finally at around 4am Rob took him downstairs so Emmett John and I could sleep. Yeah. I look like I'm sleeping, huh?

Bright side? Emmett John is sleeping at this very moment.

Not so bright side? He and I are co-sleeping. Something Dr. H is dead set against. Something Rob was okay with until Dr. H stated that it's taking a risk and made his case against it.

Problem? Emmett hates the bassinet. (I know. I know. Why would he want to sleep there when he could sleep next to me.) and I need to sleep. Plus, with me, Rob, Elliott Richard, *and* Emmett John all in the same bed room...well, it's far more difficult. If it were just the three of us with Elliott Richard in his room, we could let Emmett fuss a bit. But that wakes up Elliott Richard and we end up with disasters like tonight.

Oy.

Oh and just to clarify my last post to Rob. Nothing has happened. We are as good as can be expected. I just wanted him to know how I feel and I suck at saying it out loud. So I write it.

To my darling husband

3:55:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for everything. Everything that I brought into this. Everything that I've done to make matters worse. Just...everything.

I'm sorry that I can't be more. I'm sorry that I can't find a way out of this. I'm sorry we're stuck. I'm so sorry.

I wish I had the words to say. The answer. The magic key or golden ticket to make it all better. I don't.

I'm sorry.

You deserve so much more than this. More than this drama. More than the stress and heartache. You deserve the world. I only wish I had it to give to you.

I love you. And I'm sorry.

Just a quicky.....

12:16:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
We have been really struggling and Emmett has only been home a week. Gavin is exhausting and Elliott Richard has hit the terrible 2's. We have our hands full and haven't had time to update. I am so stressed out that I don't feel much of anything anymore. I have developed nervous ticks and they are driving me crazy....Lizze and I have been trying to figure out how we are going to survive but can't seem to find the time to talk much about it. Part of me thinks we are really just avoioding the subject because neither one of us likes the topic..... But I am going to try to sleep. We will try to post more ofter because it is an outlet for us...

Good Night

We have picture and I will try to post them in the morning....

Home for One Week

5:32:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Emmett John and I have been home for one week. We're doing pretty well so far. Emmett John had another appointment with Dr. H this morning.

Dr. D had said I couldn't drive for "two weeks or pain-free", whichever came first. I'm pain-free so I got to drive. Yay! So I was actually able to take him all by myself, which was kinda scary. I'm not going to lie. I mean today was the first time I've been behind the wheel of a car in nearly 6 months! Rob had me run to the store for milk and doughnuts this morning so I could get used to driving again. I was great getting doughnuts. Driving Emmett John to Dr. H's office, I was nervous.

The office building where Dr. H is located has a bunch of different offices in it. Like internal med, allergist, a lab etc. The pediatricians' offices were the only offices open today. Plus one phlebotomist. It was spooky parking in the nearly empty parking lot and walking in the darkened building. Yes, I was just a bundle of nerves today. (lol)

So today was just a jaundice follow-up. The nurse weighed him. Then Dr. H came in. We chatted. He checked out Emmett. Emmett's bell-ring thing for his circumcision fell off yesterday so I asked if everything looked okay with that. He said it looked really good. He said that it appears that he hasn't gained any weight but he hasn't lost, however, there's no way to know what happened between Monday and today. He very easily could have lost weight and put it back on between then and now. He wasn't thrilled with Emmett's coloring though so he asked if I was opposed to having another blood draw done. (Like I was going to say no?!) I said while I hate to see him hurt, I obviously want what's best for him. So the phlebotomist came up and did the blood draw. (She was much faster and better than the chick from Thursday. Thank God.) So he wants to see him again on Thursday for a weight and color check.

The Stats
Weight: 6lb 13oz (same as Monday's appointment)
Bili Level: 11.2 (down from 11.6 on Thursday)

So far Emmett John and I seem to be rebounding pretty quick. :)

Happy (belated) 4th of July!

10:50:00 AM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Happy belated 4th of July!

Yesterday was Emmett John's first 4th of July. We spent most of the day at home. After a rather bumpy start.

I was sitting on the couch sorting and folding laundry. Gavin was sitting on the steps (not as a punishment - it just happened to be where he was sitting). Emmett John was chilling in his swing.

Gavin and I were discussing his fit the other day and how when he flails and flops around (think screaming fish out of water) he's dangerous to himself and others. He denied it. I tried to explain that when things happen and he's *that* upset, he isn't hurting people on purpose. He's just completely out-of-control and things happen when he's like that. He denied it some more. Then he lost it (surprise surprise).

Up to that point, he had been playing with one of Emmett John's mylar balloons. When he lost it, he jumped up and tried to throw the balloon using the string, which is completely ineffective (the balloon just goes all of three inches - if you're lucky). That just served to tick him off more. Cue the flailing to begin. Unfortunately, his attempt to throw the balloon had brought him very close to Emmett John in the swing. When the flailing began he nearly took out the swing and Emmett. Not cool. And very unacceptable.

In that moment, my "momma bear" instincts kicked in. I jumped up to protect Emmett John and sent Gavin to throw his fit in his room all in one movement.

I don't believe that Gavin would ever intentionally hurt his brothers. At least that's what I would like to believe. I think if ayone was ever seriously hurt by Gavin it would be more of an "Of Mice and Men" type of moment. Gavin wouldn't realize his own strength and bad things would happen as a result.

I don't think he was going after Emmett John. I think it was more Emmett John was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not to absolve Gavin of his responsibility for the incident but I'm trying to put it into perspective.

After he calmed down things were pretty quiet. Granted he was only home until like 11:00am because that's when my Mom came and picked him up. But still at least we didn't have any "fall-out" fits during that time.

Gavin spent the day with my parents at the 4th of July picnic/family reunion on my Dad's side of the family. Mom said he had a few rough spots but overall he had a pretty good day. Then he got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa W's house.

Rob, Elliott Richard, Emmett John and I hung out at home until Papa G came and picked up Elliott Richard and took him to their house. Then Rob and I got ready. Packed up Emmett John and headed over to Grandma and Papa G's house for a cook-out.

Everyone had a good time. Even Emmett John who slept through the whole day; which is a feat in and of itself with 3 barking dogs, 2 teenagers, 7 adults, 1 toddler and a Wii. (lol)

Overall, it was a pretty good day.

One Week Old

11:30:00 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Yesterday marked Emmett John's One Week Birthday.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Emmett John and I started it off by riding with Grandma G to Dr. H's office (Emmett John & Elliott Richard's pediatrician) for his follow-up bilirubin blood work.

(On Monday, his levels were down to 15 from 15.4. On Tuesday, his levels had dropped below 13 (we don't know the exact number) and we were given permission to stop using the Wallaby blanket at 12noon on Wednesday and told to have a repeat draw done by 12noon on Thursday to make sure his levels weren't rebounding.)

The lab was packed. Then the first phlebotomist screwed up. She almost had enough blood (It's insane how much they need!) and then she spilt half of it on the table! I was ticked off! She took what she was able to get to see if it was enough. Trying to avoid having to repeat it. No such luck.

Her boss came in to redo it. When she saw the table she said that she could see it was clear that she had "lost too much of the sample". So another heel stick. More sobbing (both me and Emmett John). Luckily, she was able to get it pretty quick.

On the bright side, Dr. H's office called a few hours later with the fantastic news that his levels had continued to drop! They were now around 11! No rebound. No more Wallaby blanket! :)

Other than that, the one week milestone was pretty quiet.

He tried his swing out for the first time. And absolutely loves it! He continues to get better and better at nursing. The horrible diaper rash he developed when he began to get over the jaundice (and began pooping every 20 minutes) has finally started to get better.

I've been noticing more little things that I love about Emmett John. I love how his hair at the nape of his neck feels softer than the hair on top of his head. I love how when he tries to focus his eyes, his eyebrows knit together. I love how when we snuggle, he reaches out with each hand and grasps fist-fulls of my shirt like a little spider monkey. I love how he can't get his fist to his mouth but when the phlebotomist had a hold of his heel/foot, he was able to kick her with surprising accuracy. (lol) And I love how as a mother I really do seem too have no boundaries on my love and everyday I love him a little bit more than the day before without loving anyone else any less.

I'm still completely amazed that my body created this tiny, perfect person.

Happy One Week Birthday, Emmett John!

Just an FYI

8:05:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I just wanted all of my friends (real-life and blogger alike) to know that while I cannot comment on your blogs/posts from my phone. I am reading. I have a nifty little program Rob found called Viigo that allows me to keep up with your blogs but not comment. I haven't stopped reading. ;)

Just to clarify.....

9:42:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
I just read Lizze's post and think I should clarify what she meant and build on it. I believe what she meant was that even our parents are beginning to feel the overwhelming exhaustion that is Gavin anymore.

We realize that this is our responsiblility. It wasn't until recently that we even let people in enough to see just how bad things are because we believe so strongly that this is our responsibility and we knew just how overwhelming/unbelievable it was to hear about. What's frustrating for me and I am sure Lizze also is that the only one's willing to help are the one's that don't have to (ie my family and Lizze's parents) and the one's that are obligated to take responsibility don't and actually try to make things worse for us and Gavin out of spite (ie Gavin's "father").

More recently we are feeling like it is unfair of us to "share" this "burden" (we love Gavin but burden is pretty accurate) on anyone else. I believe that is what she meant because we were discussing this last night. Please know we are extremely grateful for all the help we get, it's just getting harder to accept because we know what we are asking of people when they take him for even a little while. The guilt we feel for having to send him is immeasurable. We are wrestling with some VERY difficult decisions right now. We are just cannot win no matter what we do. Someone will always pay a price. Right now we have to ensure that it isn't Elliott and Emmett.

As I am writing this I had Gavin come down and ask for his Lego's back. They were taken away a day or two ago because of a massive melt down. He was trying to kick Lizze (he denies that's what he was doing but I just think he was so angry he doesn't remember) all because a few pieces of his Lego ship fell off. When I got home and checked on him he had completely destroyed his Lego's and cut the palms of his hands smashing his Lego's as hard as he could.

Anyways he came down a minute ago and asked for them again. I told him no and reminded him that the more he asks the longer he will wait. He then made some smart remark to me and I responded by reminding him why his Lego's were gone and he should consider himself lucky that he has a chance to get them back at all. Of course that didn't go over well and he completely lost it and I sent him to his room but on his way Elliott comes up to him and tries to tell Gavin "don't worry, it's okay, don't be sad" then attempts to give Gavin a kiss to make it better and Gavin screamed at him. Then Gavin went upstairs to finish his meltdown. He apparently heard Elliott say his name from the living room so Gavin started screaming at Elliott to leave him alone. This is happening more and more often.

We need help and no one knows what to do. He has the best doctors but everyone is at a loss. Don't get me wrong, we love his doctors and are very grateful for all they continue to do for him but they are supposed to know what to do and they don't. So we are left to our own devices. We are told we are doing everything right but it doesn't feel like it because nothing is getting better.

Oddly enough the only comfort we get is that everyone else is seeing the same things we are. I know it sounds crazy but it was comforting when Lizze's mom had to bring him home because he was so out of control. I say this because it shows me that it isn't just us. Which then means maybe this isn't our fault after all.
So I ask anyone who helps us with Gavin to always be honest with us about what went on. We need to know this stuff for many reasons but right now the comfort of knowing it isn't just us.....

Where to begin

9:04:00 PM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 8 Comments »
Apparently everyone is worried about me having baby blues and/or post-partum depression. While I appreciate the concern, until yesterday I was doing really well. At least mentally and emotionally, physically I look like crap and still feel *really* sore. My body is currently declaring mutiny against me for having put it through that Hell again. (lol) My mom tells me this normal and in a few days I should begin to physically rebound. We'll see. ;) As for emotionally and mentally, I'll be fine. Really. Baby blues are perfectly normal and they don't qualify as post-partum depression until I've had them for 2-3 weeks. So let's just give me a chance to recover first before we start worrying about what might happen.

Yesterday was an...interesting if not completely hellish day. It started off innocently enough. Although I am quickly learning how difficult it is going to be taking care of the boys needs while caring for Emmett John and protecting him and Elliott Richard from Gavin.

Emmett John needed to be taken to the pediatrician's office for another heel stick. Rob was too exhausted to drive so we tried to find someone to take Emmett John and I. No luck. In the end Rob had to take him because it had to be done. He didn't like it. I didn't like it. But what other options did we have?

They left. I sobbed. Elliott Richard told me, "Don't worry. It'll be okay." Then I washed Emmett John's clothes, which we are flying through because we only have so many newborn sized outfits. (Even the newborn size is too big. But 0-3 months is insane.) I even managed to get Emmett John's binkies boiled. While that's not a lot at least it's something.

Shortly after I completed my two whole chores Gavin threw a fit of colossal proportions. It started with screaming that I thought meant he was severely injured. Nope. He was angry. I was now injured from running up the stairs two-at-a-time (apparently a no-no at 5 days post-partum). There was screaming, kicking, flailing, wall-bouncing. Fun was had by all.

Rob and Emmett John got home about half way through the fit. They found me sobbing in the "man cave". I took Emmett John. Rob went to try and get through to Gavin. He came down like a half-hour later. I was no longer sobbing but still crying. (I cried off and on for the rest of the day.) At that point Rob called and made arrangements for Grandma W to watch Gavin and Grandma G to watch Elliott Richard while Rob, Emmett John and I met with Pattie.

We met with her. I cried some more. I spilled my guts on all things Gavin. She said that she's never seen parents do more for a child. That we have jumped through every hoop and something should have worked by now. Nothing has. No one knows what we can or should do. Before we left, my mom called saying Gavin would spend the night and she would drop him off on the way to work in the morning.

After the appointment, Emmett John was *starving* so we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa G's so I could nurse. While we were there my mom called. She needed to bring Gavin home because he kept having massive meltdowns over not being allowed on the internet. They couldn't get him to stop. For the time being, we've lost our biggest source of help with him. I'm not angry or upset with my parents. They gave their all. Unfortunately, "their all" isn't enough from anyone for Gavin.

So that was my Tuesday.

I'm so stressed. I'm grateful for everything God has granted us lately. (Emmett John's complication free labor & delivery. His health and avoidance of the NICU. Etc) At the same time, there's so much more we need help with. I feel guilty asking God for more. As if to ask for more would be selfish and greedy.

What I've Learned as a "New" Mother

5:30:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
(I remember what I wanted to blog about.) These are thoughts I want to be sure to get down for Emmett John and whomever else would care to read them.

Since 12:30am Thursday, June 26, 2008 I have learned...
* that Emmett John's arms fall to his sides when he is awake and pooping or passing gas. Then he pulls up his legs and does his business. When he's finished he gets this look on his face that says, "Holy hey! Did you *hear* that?!"
* that while I love my sleep, I love sitting up with Emmett John more.
* even after two sons, which amounts to more shots and fingersticks than I can count or remember, I still sob everytime Emmett John has his bili-level heel sticks.
* that my favorite time of day with Emmett John are his 3 and 6am feedings because I have him all to myself.
* after changing diapers for nearly 6 years, I'm still clumsy, uncoordinated, and slow-as-molasses when it comes to changing Emmett's diaper. (which has gotten me peed on quite a few times already - lol)
* I had Gavin and became convinced that I could not love anyone as I love him. I was wrong. Then I had Elliott Richard and became convinced I culd love anyone as I love them. Then I had Emmett John and I learned that everything I've ever "known" about love was wrong.
* no sunrise is as beautiful as the two I watched at the window of my hospital room with Emmett John.
* everything I've learened to this point as a mother, will only serve to further educate me and remind me of how little I actually know.

Ah...true love...

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