24 February 2007

Snow Pictures Before Spring

Ollie and the snow man ElijahbeanBelieve it or not, he has know idea this is an army hat.

I really think he's eating the carrot nose!

This was from a week ago or so. Thought I'd post 'em before things got too warm. Oh, and yes, we where out of school for that much snow!!

21 February 2007


A couple of quick pics of 'lil 'lijah
When you no longer breastfeed there are inherent risks. #1 your boobs turn into these floppy, empty, flat things, whereas before they seemed so plump and useful, and #2 it is possible to gain weight. Like I am doing. So fat with flat boobs. Maybe I need a hair cut and a long walk in the sun to perk me up. No pun intended. Also, no comment necessary. A woman's body is ever changing I have found and so too is her self image. This I know.

19 February 2007

Confessions of a Slacker Mom and The Crazy Hat Party

I do not have time to be crafty. I haven't taken Eli to have his picture professionally taken in 8 months (until last week). My childrens' hair is more often than not a tangled mess. Their clothes rarely match, and sometimes I feed Ollie leftover peanut butter and jelly then put him to bed without a bath.

When I verbally invited my 6 year old nephew to Ollie's 3 year old birthday, Caleb asked very innocently, "what kind of party will it be?" I had no idea that usually moms pick a theme or some sort of activity. I googled for ideas and came up with things from spider man parties, to bounce factories, to entertainers for hire. I hadn't even sent out invitations by Wednesday for a Saturday party! So like a bolt of lighting I came up with crazy hat party! Ollie loves more than anything to wear different hats, and Shug coincidentally has a trunk full of crazy hats to lend. It was a success. The kids ran around acting like maniacs, and the adults sat amused with silly hats on for several hours. Somehow we had guests even though I never actually mailed invitations, and there was also cake (from a box, true to my slackerness) and ice-cream. (Pictures to come soon) (maybe :))
I really hit-the-ground-running everyday, and I have an ongoing list of things to do, but somehow I never accomplish as much as need. I think that deep down, my slacker nature tries to show it's ugly head in the middle of me wishing and trying to always have it all together. I see other moms doing it. Maybe they know a secret. I need a bumper sticker that says, "I slack."

15 February 2007

Speaking of music....

The artist line-up has been confirmed for Bonnaroo, and the line-up looks pretty good. We have been 3 years, and really had a blast. Last year, Eli was born on June 6, and the show was the 10th, so we missed the festivities. This year is a debate. Is Ollie old enough to go? Would he enjoy himself or be miserable? Would it be better to just to leave both with grandparents for the weekend? Should we spring for VIP tickets and take Ollie? Should we just not go at all and go see some single night concerts instead? Isn't it our responsibility to educate him musically? So many choices!
P.S. The house did not work out. Boo. We are back to square one!

12 February 2007

Rock N Roll Mix Vol. I

So, our little men are going to be rock stars (or maybe rocket scientists)! Their affinity for good music is evident in this compilation disc. All of the following songs have been hand picked by the O man himself, or advised by his parents. I'd be happy to burn you a copy, or make some good kid rock n roll recommendations. (Alvin and the Chipmunks need not apply). Some of these hits obviously have nothing to do with kids, but are ones he just happens to like.

Magazine Called Sunset-Wilco


This Old Man-Dylan

Octopus's Garden-Beatles

**P.D.G.V. = pretty damn good video

***R.D.G.V=real damn good video

09 February 2007

Mama tip #46

By all means, totally, definitely seek the support of others. My mama friends and I were talking tonight about becoming a mama. We briefly touched on the opportunities that motherhood affords you and doors that it closes. Becoming a mother has isolated me from some friends, but it has also opened me up to this private female world of friendships that I never would have had time for before. Being a mother helped me realize how much we really all have in common. What a great secret to share, and how lucky I am to share it.

05 February 2007

Mama tip #45

Do not attempt to make chocolate pudding with the help of a three year old, and then forget to serve it with dinner. Mayhem and chaos will surely soon follow. Case in point: Chocolate pudding was a made and then forgotten in the fridge. Every child well tucked, washed, milked, and fed. Parents were sipping wine, planning lives, and reveling in the peace and quiet. When from a bedroom we both hear the wails of a child. Sad, terrible, lonesome cries. As I stood at the door trying to decipher words between sobs, I realize that the child is not in pain, but moaning the words, "Chocolate pudding, chocolate pudding, wahhhhhh." I am afraid that in this case, there was nothing more to do than to get the child out of bed and have a "mid-night snack" (at 7:30). These kids, and their drama crack me up.
Snow pictures and maybe even of the house we are BUYING coming soon.

04 February 2007

Only a few more

Tribute the sequel

Ollie: A tribute

In honor of his 3rd birthday (holly cow, how'd that happen?) I have gathered a few, well okay, alot of photos.
And, the following is the detailed story of his birth.
Short version: Ollie Isaiah Rayburn. February 10, 2004. 7:39 AM. 5 hours of labor. No drugs. Trouble first day of birth, but now everyone is healthy and happy. Read on if you want to know the details. Most of you already know a lot of this story, in bits and pieces, and I thought I would write it here to put everything together. I also want to commit it to memory just as it occurred, and writing it now will help me do that. For about a week before Tuesday, February 10, I had been feeling extreme pressure in my pelvis. Now I know that this was contractions, but at the time, I thought it was just normal aches and pains of the baby. I expected that labor would feel completely differently. On Monday night, Evan and I went to bed at around 11:00. He usually stays up until around 3, and we rarely go to bed at the same time. But, Monday night we did. At around 2:30, I woke up in horrible pain. Pressure. Enough that I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced the floor. Evan awoke and asked if “it was time,” something he had been doing with every moan and groan for the past two weeks. I replied, “I don’t know.” I decided to jump in the shower thinking that if I was in labor, I wanted to be clean at the hospital, and I had heard that the water would relieve some of the pain. While in the shower, the pain continued. It would briefly subside for a couple of moments, certainly not vanish, and then return in a wave. This happened several times. I jumped out of the shower, and grabbed the phone having decided to call the Mid-Wives and just check see. (Evan awoke again briefly to chastise me for taking the phone into the shower. I ignored him.) I couldn’t understand how they would know if it was really labor or not, and I felt like I would DIE if she told me to stay at home for a long time. Liz finally returned my phone call, and calmly told me that I was in labor, and to call her back when we felt like it was time. She gave some suggestions to cope with the pain, and sounded sleepy and in no hurry to get things moving. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart and it was only 3:00. When I went to the bathroom, there was blood in my urine, and I called Liz back. I made Evan get out of bed, and he began to prepare. We hadn’t gotten everything completely ready, and he was a little frantic. He took a shower, tried to eat something, gather our bags (3 back packs, plus the birthing ball), and take care of the dogs. The whole time I was chomping at the bit trying to hurry him along. He wanted to stop for gas, and I was sooo relieved that none of the places on our route were open. We arrive at the Emergency room of Vanderbilt at 4:00, and I had a contraction right when I walked into the lobby. I could barely get the words out, and I kneeled backwards on a chair while answering questions. The nurse that wheeled me to the 4th floor reported that my contractions were 3 minutes apart. At around 6:00 I began to push. The time flew by, and the pain seemed like all one contraction. At some point I was offered a mirror so that I could see the head coming out, and I accepted. What a cool thing to watch. My mom, Evan, Liz, and a couple of wonderful nurses kept telling me what a good job I was doing. They told me how and when to push, and held my legs back for me. At some point Liz informed me that we should do an episiotomy. She said that she recommends maybe one a year, but that he was having a little trouble coming out. I agreed, of course. At 7:39 on Tuesday morning, Ollie Isaiah Rayburn was finally born. He was a little blue when he came out, and I didn’t even know to be worried. Liz kept the whole situation very calm. My mom grabbed my hand and started praying, and so I started praying, too. I hadn’t heard him cry, and he wasn’t on my chest, where I had planned on him being right after he was born. Thankfully, this only lasted a couple of seconds, and he began to breathe, and I was able to welcome him in my arms. Soon after the birth a surgeon came to stitch me up. I had a fourth degree tear that was in an L shape (down and through). He asked me if I wanted a little morphine and lyticain for the surgery, which I greatly accepted. I was able to breast feed after the surgery. It was beautiful and powerful, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. After I was moved to the post-partum room, a pediatrician came to tell me that the baby had some problems. (A mother’s worst nightmare!) She said that he had a heart murmur, that he had turned blue while sucking, and that his oxygen distribution was irregular. We could visit, but he could not leave the nursery. I had to relate this to my husband as he had gone home to get clothes and tidy up for the arrival of his family from Indiana. Ollie was moved to the NICU later that day and many tests where done on him from an Echogram (?) to x-rays. The cardiologists, the next day gave him a clean bill of health, and he was returned to my room a healthy baby boy. The prayer chain had been started when we first found out about any problems, and I firmly believe that this is what helped the problems just go away. During the night, as I was about to go to the NICU to feed him, I lost several huge blood clots, and the nurse was nervous. Elaine was summoned and she decided that I needed a D&C which would clean me out, as some of the placenta was still inside of me and my uterus had not moved back into place. They administered pitocin and suggested an epidural (how ironic that I made it until after birth for both). Actually they gave me an anesthetic, and I was knocked out for the surgery. Evan was really worried, and I was more worried about him worrying than I was worried about myself. The next day after the surgery, I was very anemic, and was given a blood transfusion of 2 pints. I was very swollen, and attached to the bed with tubes and wires of all sorts. A friend stopped by to visit, and while I was talking to her, I realized that half my face wasn’t working properly. I told a nurse, and Margaret came to inform me that I had Bell’s palsy due to the swelling. I couldn’t use the right side of my face. I was huge. I hadn’t been permitted to take a shower after 2 days. But, my baby was healthy and I was able to breast feed, and I was ecstatic. (I had been unable to the first night of his life because I was in surgery. I spent all night feeling lonely for him, and my arms felt so empty). On Friday morning, we were permitted to leave. We were very excited, and glad to be leaving. Ollie had a little jaundice, and we had to return the next day just to have him checked, and thank goodness it had lessened. I was sentenced to yet more bed rest to allow my bottom to heal and my blood to return to normal. Now, three long weeks later, I have lost tons of weight and swelling, my palsy has all but disappeared, and Ollie is gaining weight and has a beautiful color like babies are supposed to. We both feel great, and are adjusting to each others sleeping and eating patterns. The doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt were AWESOME. I cannot sing their praises enough. They were professional and caring. They were on the ball. My labor nurse even called a couple of days after we had been home to check up on us. They really impressed me with their care, and I would recommend them to everyone. I am thankful that I had such a wonderful team to help with the birth of our child.

01 February 2007

And a picture of the queen at her happiest

My mom's story

With all of my issues with nursing, my mom's story came to light. My how the times have changed. Thank goodness that birth and nursing is now so different. The following is a recap of her story.

I was born 30 years ago. At the time, my parents lived on a military base. My mom had high blood pressure, and as a result she was hospitalized for one week before my birth in a military hospital. She had to room with another person. She was not allowed any TV and she was forbidden to even walk around. Visitors, including my dad, were not allowed except for during regular visiting hours which equaled about 1 hour a day. (This compares so drastically to my birth story. I'll post them both in contrast tomorrow). My mom suffered through 14 hours of labor with mean, rude nurse that she remembers to this day. She had an epidural, so she had to remain on her back through the entire ordeal. After I was born, I was whisked away to the nursery as rooming in was not an option. Mom was able to nurse some, but there was no Lactation consultant or other forms of support. My grandmother did not come from a generation of nursers and therefore, wasn't supportive. My mother's neighbor gave us a year's worth of formula. My mom said that as an almost 10 pound baby, I was hungry all the time. She decided to stop nursing, and so had to bound herself with beach towels or sheets. I cannot imagine how painful it must have been with those rocks! The doctor of course was no help and refused to give her any help. It is no wonder that birth is given such a bad rap on TV and through generations. I survived, obviously, but geez, my poor 20 year old mom.

Soooo, then when I was 2ish, she gets pregnant with Aaron. Her water broke when she was only 6 months pregnant (the doctors told her because she had sex while pregnant!) She was again put on bed rest at home this time. When she hadn't felt any movement in 3 days or so, she got scared and went back to the doctor. No one could find a heart beat. She was sent directly to Memphis (more than an hour away). When she got there, she had an immediate, emergency C-section. My brother was born 3 lbs. 15ozs. She was able to nurse some this time, but she could only stay in the hospital for a week, and Aaron had to stay 18 days. They lived over an hour a day, and dad was in school. My mom wasn't allowed to drive, so they were unable to see my brother as often as a mother needs to see her child. Aaron was so little and too week to nurse. My mother had to use a hand-held pump, with which she made it 18 days

Whew. What a mess. I am lucky to have been able to nurse. I am lucky for the support that I have had. My mom, has been a blessing, a wonderful support and birth partner. I could not be the mom I am without her. I hope I got the stories right. Thanks for everything mom. I love you.