Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Just wanted those who haven't heard yet that we're in Primary Children's Hospital intensive care unit with Liam right now. I'll post details later-- I just found a computer while wandering around looking for a place to pump and thought I'd do a quick post. He's got HMPV (human meta-pneumo virus) that developed into a serious case of pneumonia. He's been fighting really hard and it looks like he'll recover, but we could definitely use all of your prayers. (I know many of you are already praying for him.) We flew in early Thursday morning and it looks like we'll be in the ICU for a few more days.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

I thought it was funny that we were scheduling our new baby's arrival and so wrote it on the calendar. Abraham, seeing this, added the above commentary about life after a new baby comes home.

And wow, has it ever been true. Until a few days ago, I hadn't had anything longer than a 2 1/2 hour stretch of sleep since Liam was born.

When I'm extremely sleep-deprived, a weird thing happens to my brain: it starts counting. Sometimes by ones, sometimes by fives, but also by weird things like eights, eighteens, and twenty eights. When Soren was a newborn I counted by elevens a lot. I think this is my brain's last-ditch attempt at staying awake when I need to function, which is good, I suppose, except that it makes it difficult for me to fall asleep when I do get the chance.

I finally purchased "On Becoming Baby Wise" in a fit of desperation, read the entire thing in one evening, and began implementing its principles Thursday night. And you know what? We've been sleeping better. I kind of want to find the authors and give them medals. For the past three nights, Liam has slept for three-four hour long stretches, affording me the chance to participate in a full sleep cycle. It's been nothing short of miraculous.

P.S. If you are one of those people whose newborn slept through the night at two weeks old, I don't like you and don't think we should be friends anymore.
P.P.S. If you are a Dr. Searsian, don't judge me. Dr. Sears is a horrible misogynist pig and I wish he had never been born.
Posted by Picasa

Me 'n' My Boyz

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 03, 2009

Soren: 27 Months

Dear Soren,


This has been quite a month for us. Quite a month. The introduction of a new baby into the family acted as a catalyst for your sudden burst into what some might term "The Terrible Twos," others might more optimistically call "The Terrific Twos," and which I think I will simply refer to as "Hell." Our family expansion has been a rough transition for the both of us: in bringing home a new baby I lost my first one, only to have him be replaced by a jumbo-sized two-year-old with a bad attitude and a lusty appetite for attention. I had always thought you were a gifted tantrum thrower, but during the first week or two that we had Liam at home you were able to aptly demonstrate that I had hithertofore known very little about tantrums. After you stopped throwing tantrums you became clingy, finding yourself incapable of playing independently and begging for "help" every time you got out your blocks. I cried every night for a week, heartbroken because this change in our lives had affected you so much and so negatively.
My little boy.

What has been amusing for me to watch, however, is your reaction to the baby. Shortly after we brought him home you launched a campaign to convince us that we didn't really want to keep him. You would point out various body parts on Liam and remark, "Ewww." "Ewww," look at this little hand. "Ewww," look at this tiny foot. "Ewwwwwwww," look-- it made poop. When Operation Yucky Baby proved ineffectual, you gave it up and moved on to Plan B, which has primarily consisted of crawling all over me while I try to nurse your new little brother.

You put on my white tank top one morning like it was a dress. I thought you looked smashing. It was difficult to take a picture, though, because you kept grabbing at the camera, asking to see pictures of "Soneen."

I think you really do love the little guy, though. When he cries, you become concerned and say, "Baby sad. Baby sad." You often help me change Liam's "boppers." And you give him lots of hugs and kisses. You also periodically give him hurts, but I suspect that has less to do with your feelings towards him and more to do with you desire to incite a lively reaction from Mom or Dad.

You went through a brief tie phase earlier this month. You wanted to wear a tie with everything. I love the way your hair looks in these pictures. So characteristically disheveled.

You have also learned two of the three major toddler words/phrases this month: "no" and "I do it." (The third is "mine," which I suspect you will begin to feverishly grasp when Liam gets old enough to get into your toys.) The answer to every question is "no" and you are allergic to the word "yes." We frequently have conversations that go like this:

Mom: Soren, would you like a banana?
Soren: No.
Mom: Okay.
Soren: Nana! Nana! Nana!
Mom: Oh. Did you want a banana?
Soren: No.
Mom: Okay.
Soren: (Crying and getting upset.) Nana! Nana! Nana!


Stranger: Do you like your new little brother?
Soren: No.
Stranger: Are you your mommy's big helper?
Soren: No.
Mom: Soren, are you the sweetest little boy in all the world?
Soren: No.

You will occasionally empty your dresser drawers and attempt to don as many of your clothing at once as is possible. I view this as good self-dressing practice.

One Sunday afternoon your father spent a considerable amount of time attempting to get you to use the word "yes."

Dad: Soren, do you want a cookie?
Soren: Cookie!
Dad: Uh huh. Do you want it?
Soren: Cookie!
Dad: Do you want to eat a cookie?
Soren: Cookie!
Dad: Is that a cookie?
Soren: Cookie!

(The closest we can ever get from you for an affirmative reply is "Uhkay.")

"Do it" is a result of your transition into Erikson's "Autonomy vs Self-doubt" phase of development. You've been making a wild grab at power, which means that we have daily battles about diaper changes, getting dressed, getting undressed, going places, leaving places, taking baths, going to bed, etc, etc. I've found that a good conflict-free way to get you to do things is to ask, "Do you want to pick out your outfit for today/throw away your diaper/get in your carseat/brush your teeth or do you want Mommy to do it?" You'll then pipe up with "Do it!" and (often) run off to perform the task. Earlier this month I was reorganizing the pantry in such a way that would allow me to allow you unsupervised access to it. You saw what I was doing and pitched right in: picking up gallon-sized containers of water and walking several feet with them to put them where they belonged, on the floor in a corner. You then proceeded to put away every single canned item on the bottom shelf. You enjoyed this so much I had to take some cans out so you could put them away again. You're even into punishing yourself: one day you bit Grandma, ran away to your bedroom, and came out in a few minutes, saying, "Don't bite!"
You're very gifted with the legos. This creation was made with a few blocks from a very very old lego-imitation set that I played with as a kid. We keep meaning to buy you a nice set of duplos. Maybe for your half-birthday this summer.

Another new development in your world has been your introduction to a toddler bed. This was a shockingly smooth transition. I took you to WalMart one afternoon-- just Mommy and Soren--and let you pick out your own bedding for your new bed. It came down to a choice between a Sponge Bob Square Pants comforter set and an Elmo comforter set. You would hold the Sponge Bob package in your hand and contemplate out loud: "Bob? Bob? Bob?," then hand it to me and pick up the other one, pondering: "Elmo? Elmo? Elmo?" You ultimately decided on Elmo and held it close to you all the way home. You spent that night in your Elmo bed and haven't spent a night away since. (The baby still sleeps in his Moses Basket in Mom and Dad's room, but we wanted to get you accustomed to sleeping in a Big Boy Bed before he took over the crib.)
We came in to wake you up after a nap one afternoon and here you were, sound asleep with your eyes wide open.

One of your life's greatest joys is spending time with your older cousins, the Smith kids. Nothing makes you happier than waking up in the morning and hearing, "Guess what Soren? We get to go to Tessa's house today!" You run around getting ready, repeating, "Tessa's? Tessa's? Tessa's?" It's fun to watch you play with the big kids, who treat you like a little prince. Right now, for example, I'm sitting on the Smith's computer while you play outside. Little Marty (whom you call "Mommer"), 8, and Calysta ("Kista"), 10, helped you put on your coat, shoes, hat, and mittens. They're pushing you in the swing and you're laughing and laughing. When we arrived here this morning, Tessa, 6, was ready and waiting for you. The two of you immediately started racing around the front room, spinning circles and giggling. When we see other older children in public places you approach them as though you expect the same adulation you're used to receiving from your cousins. I'm very gratfeul for their kindness and generosity with you. They're good kids.

Pondering what sort of creation might be made next with your wooden blocks.

You and I also spend a goodly amount of time on YouTube every day, watching children's music videos. I limit this activity to five or so songs a day (for my own sanity's sake, in all honesty) but you spend a lot of time begging for more. The children's music section on YouTube seems to have been colonized by Great Britain, so I spend a lot of time afterwards singing things like, "If yo' 'appy and you know it, clap yo-'ands!", "'ead, shouldas, knees an' toes-- knees an' toes!", and "The baby on th' bus goes 'Wah wah wah'...awwl day looong."

Roughhousing with Uncle Sue.

On the language development front, you've taken to using multiple word-phrases and even sentences recently, your favorite being "I want mommy!" One day you picked up the phone and said "Hi. Daddy? This is Soneen. Bye!" Sometimes when Liam coos you'll smile and say, "A coot sound."

But anyway, I feel like I should apologize for the way things have been this month. Before this big transition in our lives, I took pride in the fact that I had never yelled at you. Let's just say that I have been shorn of this pride. This month-- especially at the beginning-- I haven't been as kind and as patient as I should have and I'm sorry. I've spent some time kneeling by your bedside while you sleep at night, looking at your smooth sweet face and hoping that I can be the mom that you deserve, praying that God will compensate for my weaknesses.

I love you, sweetie. You are still my little sunshine.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Liam: 1 Month

Dear Liam,

Your father and I used to amuse ourselves at BYU by examining people and picking out the animals we thought they resembled. We were acquainted with a badger who had married a Siamese cat and a groundhog wedded to a basset hound. One of my good friends looked like a koala. Another resembled a gazelle. I think that your dad looks like an eagle. Not everyone lends themselves readily to an animal familiar, but I've decided that you are most certainly a cat-- perhaps more in deed than in looks, but the image of you as a kitten comes to my mind again and again. Like all cats, you are a lover of creature comforts. You'll curl up on a big person's chest like a kitty in a sunbeam and assume a pose of perfect relaxation. At night you fuss if I put you in your moses basket, so you spend a lot of time snuggled up next to Mommy or Daddy, a warm little ball of sweet milkiness. And you're always willing to eat. Soren was an infant who ate for business- every three hours he would set to the task of eating and gulp down his meal as quickly as possible; you, on the other hand, feel that you must eat every two hours and would eat more often if I provided the opportunity. You linger over your meals. And after you've nursed you'll burp largely and spit up a lot, then lean back a little, your eyes half-open, arms hanging limp, and look absolutely satiated.
Sweet Repose. Liam napping on Grandma Hanson.

You are remarkably smiley for such a young little ducky. When we took you to the doctor for your 2 week check-up, you sat with us in the exam room and smiled and smiled. At that particular checkup we found that you had beefed up considerably: when born you weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces; at two weeks of age you weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces. And you've continued to gain. You were so skinny when we first met you I thought you looked like a refugee; now you resemble the chubby Buddha and even your fingers are plump. You are also remarkably strong. You started rolling over (from your belly to your back) at 10 days old.

Fat and happy.

Fat and...glum?

I can't believe it's already been a whole month. When I talk about you and look at you, one word repeatedly comes to mind: sweet. You are so very sweet. I keep telling your daddy: "there's something very special about this kid."

Daddy is attempting to soothe Liam by gently bouncing him on the yellow massage ball. It wasn't as effective as it looks here.

Trying out the new tongue device.
I love you!


Quiet alert.

I took this picture because it reminded me of Sam, a toddler in a delightful series of children's books that Grandma Skousen sent to Soren. Sam has very skinny legs and a round belly.

The Rest of Loriann's Rant

This is the entirety of Loriann's breastfeeding-in-public rant, published with her permission. It makes me laugh, so I thought I'd share. She did want me to note here that her work environment at the time was a bit stressful and that she doesn't swear so very much any more. :)

Sacred Boobies

an angry e-mail by Loriann

Okay, the breastfeeding articles got me a little riled up early in this morning. I would not, let me repeat, NOT fared well at BYU. I think I would have constantly been tasering people and breaking the honor code by flipping people off and having swearing fits due to the horrendoes nature of their ignorance. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE IDIOTS.

First up is the poor stupid man who is obviously in love with sacred boobs:

men are not permitted to look at or touch that exceptionally sacred part of a woman's body until we are married to her in the temple. That is why a woman should not expose that part of her even if it is just to feed her child unless absolutely necessary, unless there truly is no other option - Secret Addiction to Porn

ALSO... his BRILLIANT idea for these women with sacred boobs to go nurse in the freaking toilets of places like... burger king, the mall or the chevron. I don't know if the men's bathrooms are different than the ladies, but they are disgusting. I'm not going to squat over a nasty filthy toilet with my beautiful baby and attempt to nurse in a shit stained stink hole while some crazy person bangs on the door yelling, 'are you done yet?" My sacred boobs can sit wherever they would like to and FEED my child. You nasty nasty perv.

You should NOT expose your boobs unless absolutley necessary. Are we living in Afganistan and we should start wearing veils over ourselves. What other parts of ourselves should NEVER be exposed. This guy is insane. But I can give him a little bit of slack, because he is a man, and therefore he is stupid.

The following person however is a woman, and should have some sort of insight into women's rights, and the need to feed a hungry child. But she is however a stupid bitch. Here are my favorite exerpts from her word vomit.

The first of these questions really should be why do women want to breast-feed in public in the first place? - Yes, women love breast feeding in public. They prefer it actually. Instead of the comfort and privacy of their own homes when little junior pipes up with a hungry cry, they hop into the old minivan and drive to the busiest place in town rip their shirts off and let him suck away at their sacred boobies. Its just something that happens to a woman's brain after she has given birth... they become mad with indecency. You silly twit! A woman still has a life to tend to, she has to go grocery shopping, and clothes shopping for her other children that she might have... especially if she's a mormon since we seem to be fond of having 10 kids. When you have 10 bloody children you are busy taking them places like soccer practice and piano recitals, and tae freaking kwon doe. So in between all that junior needs to eat EVERY TWO HOURS. Chances are Mom is gonna have to feed him IN PUBLIC at some point.

(most pediatricians will back me up here) - I'm so glad that the whole of the medical community is on your side. Good job. Glad to know that pediatricians, doctors... really everyone agrees that breastfeeding is good for your baby. Welcome to the 21st century. Now why are you still living in the 18th century where you seem to be afraid of a titty?

What about having children is convenient? If you want convenience, get a cat. Geary stated that she didn't want to nurse in the restaurant bathroom because it was just "plain gross." Others consider nursing in public "plain gross." That viewpoint deserves the same level of sensitivity that publicly breast-feeding mothers ask for. - I have a question for you. When you go to the bathroom in a Burger King do you SIT on the toilet, or do you hover? Cause I've encountered a lot of hoverers who are afraid of actually letting their bare butt cheeks touching the seat of a public resrooms because they are "plain gross". And you know what happens then. You pee on the freaking seat! And that is "plain gross". Also why is it that in public restrooms EVERYTHING is WET. EVERYTHING. It looks like a DAMN hurricane just blew threw there. And very often there are DOORS MISSING FROM THE STALLS. Was someone in such a hurry to take a piss that they had to kick the door in? So even THERE you can't find PRIVACY. Even in the dirty, disgusting, soaking wet, door missing, "plain gross" bathroom, I'm sure someone would have found a way to pick on Catherine Geary and make her feel like a whorish monster.

Some things that I find others do in public as plain gross... picking their nose.... picking their butt. Chewing with their mouths open. Letting their children behave like monsters. Coughing a lung up and not covering their mouths. Making out with toungue rings. Snorgling their own snot. Sniffing your armpits. Smoking. Shitting in your own pants and then leaving your diaper in MY restroom for me to clean up. However I have NEVER been offended by a breastfeeding mother... strange.

Public breast-feeding used to be considered ill-mannered, gauche and even vulgar. - We also found it to be ill mannered to leave the house without long skirts and bonnets. It used to vulgar for women to vote or speak in public. It once was gauche for women to own land. My goodness, we have come along way you brainless twit!

Your breasts are still breasts. - My yes, our breasts are still breasts. By breastfeeding we are using them for their FUNCTIONAL purpose. I don't know what you use your breasts for, but if you haven't fed a child with them, they really are just decoration, or like party favors. Maybe you need to travel outside of america to learn the real value of FOOD.

Women used to go out of their way to plan their schedules in order to avoid the indignity of baring themselves in public, which seems like a wise solution. - The indignity? Wise solution? I am confused by these terms. Women used to not leave the house because they were housewives. They stayed with the house and cleaned for it and cooked for it. And then they realized, a house doesn't need a wife any more than a house needs a husband. I think I'll leave the bloody house and do some other things like take my child to the park, or have a part time job, OR a full time job. Or I'll be an activist for something, or I'll do anything I damn well please because once the seventies got here we all decided to be indignant and take off our bras and BURN THEM. Then we bared ourselves in public and danced around a the bra fire with glee. And that was a wise solution.... THE END.

Dearest Rachel... how did you survive with these ninnies for so long. They are absolutley horrible. I hate them so. The whole thing has got me in an uproar this morning.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...