Thursday, November 26, 2009


This year, Thanksgiving has arrived with a renewed joy and gratefulness. In 2006 and 2007, Thanksgiving brought losses, sadness, and grief. In 2008, we were nervously expecting Alex but Thanksgiving brought new fear about his chances for survival and threats to my health. But this year is totally different.

Alex is a growing (and I mean really GROWING) boy with bright blue eyes and a smile that melts my heart. Charlotte is nearing 5 years old and has recently learned to read. I love her dark brown eyes and skinny, little legs. She's so silly and keeps our family laughing. And after a very close call and an extended stay at Dayton Children's, Sarah is returning to her normal self. While she is still down in weight and fatigues very easily, she is getting more energetic every day and her appetite is returning. Her giant brown eyes are bright once again and her infectious laugh is back to its full gusto. She has been drawing lots of turkey pictures and fretting about tornadoes again so we know she's back. Andy has been keeping busy with work and house projects. Today he is running the Turkey Trot and I'm so proud of his commitment to running. He turned to running last fall when it was too dark in the mornings to play basketball and somehow, the running has stuck. I admire his dedication.

This year, I'm thankful for so many things:

  • A wonderfully supportive husband who leads our family with careful thought and sets an amazing example for our children
  • A nervous 6-year-old who worries about the seemingly strangest of things but is creative, energetic, and full of curiosity
  • A silly 4-year-old who talks incessantly and enjoys playing alone, even if she does still suck her thumb
  • A bright-eyed, bouncing baby boy who loves to pound on his bee toy and giggles when I tickle his roly-poly thighs
  • Long-time friends with whom I don't need to be in constant contact but when we do see each other, it's like we've been talking all along
  • New friends who make me feel like a fun person again and who remind me of the things I cherish most in friendships
  • Supportive family who showers us with love and generous encouragement
  • An encouraging church family who provided so much more than just meals during our time of need
  • A warm home that shelters our family
  • A pantry full of food to nourish our bodies
  • Knowledgeable doctors who help us keep ourselves and our children healthy and strong
  • A strong, proud, BRAVE military devoted to keeping our nation safe.
  • And most importantly, I'm thankful for a loving God who guides my life and to whom I turn in good times and times of struggle for guidance and wisdom. Without Him in my life, I cannot imagine living.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shingles -- Not just for roofs

Last week, I noticed a couple of "bug bites" on my side. I showed DH and he was stumped--how could I get mosquito bites in that area? As the week wore on, I started to get pain in that area and the affected area started growing. For the next few days, I noticed that I couldn't sleep on that side of my body, lean on that side of my body, and I had a couple more "bites" more toward my back. So I sucked it up and went to the doctor on Monday. She immediately said, "You're not going to like what I have to say. It's shingles." BUMMER!!

So I'm taking an antiviral medication and she gave me some lidocaine patches to wear at night to help with the pain. She said I'm not contagious so I'm glad for that because Alex hasn't had his chicken pox vaccine yet. She told me to keep an eye on it and if anything got worse or didn't improve in 7 days, I should come back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a mild case because I've heard shingles can get pretty bad.

Shingles...they're not just for the elderly. Anyone can join in the fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Alex got his first tooth last night! I checked his mouth in the morning and there was a little bump but no tooth so I figured it would be another day or two before anything concrete made an appearance. We went out to dinner last night and when we got home, I checked again and VOILA!! There was a teeny tooth sticking out!

We have tried getting a good look at his newest gem but he guards it pretty well with his tongue. I can tell that he recognizes that something is new because he keeps running his tongue over that part of his mouth and making funny faces.

Once it gets big enough to see, I'll post a pic of his new pearl.

Congrats on your first tooth little man!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Locks of Love

When Sarah turned five last year, she donated 13" of her hair to Locks of Love. She was excited to do it and we were proud of her for giving a gift on her birthday.

Now as we're getting ready to start school again, it was time for hair cuts. Charlotte has been waiting for her hair to be long enough to donate but her hair just doesn't grow as quickly as Sarah's. However, we measured her hair and she had just enough to donate but it would leave her hair pretty short. For a while she's been telling us that she wants short hair so we figured that if she was confident in that decision, who were we to stand in her way?

So we did it. We allowed her to cut 10" of her hair to donate to Locks of Love. She was very excited and when Grandma asked her tonight what she was going to do with her ponytail, she responded, "Sell it to the sick children!" (We're still working on explaining the difference between sell and give.)

Here are some photos of Char's new 'do!!




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dough Baby is 6 months old

Alex turned 6 months old last week and had his well baby check on Monday. He weighed 18 pounds, 11 ounces and was 27.5" long. At their 6-month checks, Sarah was 16 pounds and Charlotte was 13 pounds; Charlotte didn't hit 18 pounds until her 12-month check! So he's definitely the biggest of our babies. He's getting so big and learning new things each day.

Recently, he's started rolling onto his belly in his sleep and I think this is what has helped him to FINALLY sleep 5-6 hours at a time. This is a major improvement over the 3-4 hours he'd previously been sleeping. And just this week, he has started sucking his thumb. While I think it's adorably cute and it does help him soothe himself, I am not looking forward to breaking that habit, as we haven't been able to get Charlotte to stop sucking her thumb--and she's 4 years old. He's blowing raspberries now, too, and putting everything in his mouth. He's growing up fast!

We are scheduled with two specialists to help us determine if some issues he's having are in need of further examination. Those appointments aren't until the fall so we have some time before those.

All in all, these last 6 months have flown by. It's hard to believe he's halfway to his first birthday already!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On two wheels

Sarah is a very cautious girl and when it comes to taking risks, she's typically very apprehensive. So that explains why, at age 6, she's just now learning to ride a bike without training wheels. We live in a former parsonage and the church (and its parking lot) is in our backyard. Just this past week, we've been taking Sarah to the parking lot in the evenings to give her some practice riding her bike. She was doing well without training wheels in the driveway but we could tell she needed a longer path to find success.

Over the course of only a few days, she has become quite proficient at balancing and riding. She's even learning how to start and stop without a great deal of unsteadiness. She still has moments of nervousness and anxiety but overall, we're proud of how far she's come in such a short time. This is a task that would usually take her months to accomplish so to nearly master it in just a few days is a record breaker!

We're so proud of you, Sarah! Keep working hard and you'll be great in no time!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

End of the innocence

Sarah has never been a big fruit eater and I can't blame her because I'm not a fan of most fruits either. I try to choose fruits that I know she'll eat...bananas, half-cut grapes, apple slices, canned peaches, etc. to serve with lunch. Today I split a banana between the two girls and of course, Charlotte ate hers straight away. That girl would subsist on fruits alone if permitted!! Sarah ate her sandwich and yogurt and as usual, left her fruit for last.

Tonight is the annual pig roast event at our church. This means, in addition to waiting in long lines for food, eating more than an average dessert serving. After Charlotte was finished with her entire lunch and had cleared her plate, Sarah was still sitting at the table whining about having so many banana slices to eat. By this time, she'd been sitting there long enough for them to start oxidizing so they were turning brown, making them even less appealing to her sensitive palate.

I gave her a final 10-minute warning and if she hadn't finished her bananas (a whopping 8 tiny slices), she would get no dessert at church tonight. If there's one thing that can motivate her, it's the opportunity for dessert!! At the end of the 10 minutes, she had chosen the acceptable bananas and consumed those few, leaving 4 on the plate. I told her that for her effort, she could choose one thing off of the dessert table tonight but no more. (We usually allow them to choose a few things from the overwhelming sampling of desserts.) She was not pleased with that and told me that she was going to finish the other bananas.

I had my back turned toward the kitchen when I heard the cabinet under the sink close. Inside that cabinet resides the, you guessed, garbage can. She was proudly clearing her plate to the counter and I said, "Where are your bananas?" and she replied with a near-grin, "I ate them." But I could tell by the immediate change in countenance that she knew she was about to get busted. I walked over to the cabinet and opened it. Sure enough, there on top of the banana peel lay 4 little slices of banana. She had lied. Blatantly lied. Intentionally lied. My heart just broke because she seemed so remorseful and I sent her to her room. I thought that she must be really feeling bad for lying to me as she walked away sobbing so sadly.

But then she turned around and asked through her tears, "But how many desserts will I get?"

Remorse? Maybe not.

I'm sad that she resorted to lying. I don't like punishing her for something that could have been so easily avoided. I don't like that we're going to have a rough time at the pig roast tonight because she's going to throw a huge fit about the desserts. And I don't like that her innocence is waning. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Murphy's Got Talent

The girls recently started liking America's Got Talent so tonight we were talking about what talents they'd do on stage.

Sarah: Mom, maybe since I'm so good at hula hooping, we can go to Miami (the show we watched was taped in Miami) and I can hula hoop. Or I can read since I do both of those things really well.

Me: That's a good idea, Sarah! Maybe we can find a "Finding Contest" for Charlotte since she's good at finding lost things (we always call on Char to find something we can't find--she has a knack for locating lost items).

Char: Yeah, I could do that. But I couldn't find hard things because what if I took too long and I couldn't get off of the stage in time? That would be bad and I wouldn't make it to Vegas.

Me: Good point, Charlotte. You're good at finding things, though, so I'm sure you'd do well.

Char: Well, if we take me there and I don't know what talent to do, I wouldn't be able to get on stage. That would be bad, wouldn't it?

Me: I suppose it would.

I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of "talents" around here. I hope they settle on something safe.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinner Discussion

Last night while we were eating dinner, Charlotte said, "My teacher told me that God is in our bodies." I asked what she meant and she said it again. I replied that Jesus is alive in our hearts. The conversation went as follows:

Sarah: How does Jesus lives in everyone's hearts? Does God make other Gods so everyone can have one? (This is a reference to the "helper Santas" at Christmastime.)

Char: Yeah, we each have God in our heart and when you drink milk, it goes through your heart to God.

Me: It's the spirit of God in your heart. You know how when you're in bed, afraid of a storm, and you pray for calm--then the calm comes? That's Jesus' peace in your heart.

Sarah: So that's The Holy Spirit? It's Holy and it's God's Spirit, right?

Charlotte (before I could respond): Yeah, and God lives in Alex's heart so we can't punch Alex in the heart or we'll be punching God and that will hurt God.

Me: You can't punch Alex in the heart because that will hurt Alex.

And with that, the conversation ended. How a conversation about the Trinity ended up about punching Alex is still a little confusing. Maybe next time we'll make better, less violent, spiritual headway

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He's on a roll!

Alex rolled over last night. Andy put him on the floor in the office and came out to get a drink of water. When he returned to the office, he called me in to see that Alex was almost all the way over. We watched from afar as he worked and worked and after some serious diligence, made it all the way over onto his belly.

I was thrilled for Andy because he missed it when the girls rolled over because they did it while he was at work. So it was exciting that Andy got to see it happen. :)

Way to roll, little man! Mommy's so proud of you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I always knew you'd make a great father. That's one thing that I admired most about you, long before we were married and had children. But what I thought I knew is only the tip of the iceberg. You're a wonderful father. Our children are so blessed to call you Dad. You're so funny and they love laughing with you. Hearing all of you laugh together makes my heart smile. You're gentle with them when they need you to be and stern when the situation demands it. You encourage our children to dream big, set high expectations for themselves, be creative, and love each other purely. You are setting a good example of what it means to treat others with kindness, be a good friend, and reach out to those in need. You are modeling for our daughters what they should look for in a faithful and loving husband and for our son, you are setting an example of the kind of husband I hope he'll someday become. You've made our family your priority and your willingness accordingly is inspiring. Our children's hearts are being groomed for selflessness because they see this example in you.

I always knew you'd make a great father. What I didn't expect was for you to make me want to be a better mother. Thank you for loving all of our children and for loving me the way you do. We stand in awe of your leadership, generosity, and love.

I love you, And. Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Charlotte has a nickname for Alex that I finally asked about today.

We were driving home from picking up Sarah from kindergarten when both girls started with their singy chant, "Doe BA-by, Doe BA-by, Doe BA-by." I've heard them sing this before but I couldn't figure out what they were saying so I asked.

Me: What are you saying, ladies?

Char: Doe BA-by

Me: I can hear what you're saying but what does it mean?

Char: I call him Doe Baby because his skin is pushy, like dough. And he's a baby so I call him baby. He's a Dough Baby.

Both girls: Dough BA-by, Dough BA-by, Dough BA-by.

I guess we all come up with nicknames for people and things. Her term of endearment makes total sense now that I know that she's saying "Dough Baby". She's a tactile learner/person so she defines things by how they feel. And I have to admit that his "pushy" skin IS kind of like dough so I get it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Alex is 4 months old

Today was Alex's 4-month well check. I stress about whether I have enough milk to satisfy his needs and to maintain adequate growth. He weighed in at 14 lbs, 8 oz. today so he's right at the 50th percentile for weight so I can calm down now. :) He outweighs what his sisters weighed at this age and I am reassured. And at 25.75", he's in the 75 percentile for height so that's in line with typical Murphy kiddos. :)

He's really growing and starting to pay attention to the world around him. He's cooing and making lots of singing noises. His laugh is hysterical and warms my heart every time I hear it. I'm still waiting for him to start reaching for things but he has mastered the art of shoving his entire hand in his mouth so I'm sure he's not far from grabbing other things.

He loves to watch his sisters play and he's still in love with the ceiling fan (ANY ceiling fan, really) and the big clock above our mantel. He's a very good baby and we have been very blessed.

Keep growing, my sweet son.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Charlotte's big fall

Today during mass, after we returned from Communion, Sarah and I were singing and I heard this LOUD thump sound. I turned to my left to see Charlotte on the floor and realized instantly that she'd fallen backward off of the pew and hit the back of her head on the VERY HARD wooden pew seat in front of us. On instinct, I scooped her up (Andy was holding Alex) and ran out the door into a small vestibule area. I didn't think about it--it was pure Mama Instinct. I had put my hand on the back of her head and it turns out it was a good thing I did...she was gushing blood all over my hand and down her back. I got one of Alex's diapers out of the diaper bag and put it on her head to absorb the blood--there was so much!

Andy came out expecting it to be no big deal so he was very surprised to see me panicked. I knew we weren't going to be able to drive her to the Urgent Care or ER ourselves because I could tell that her head needed some constant pressure to control the bleeding. Someone alerted our associate pastor who called 9-1-1 and we waited for the ambulance. Charlotte was kind of out of it, not unconscious but not really responding so I started to worry. She was aloof and quiet on the way to the hospital but kept repeating that she wanted to go home in the van. (Fortunately our friends offered to take Sarah home with them until we could pick her up. Andy and Alex met us at the hospital.)

Once we got to the hospital, she slowly started returning to her normal self. We read books, played Chutes & Ladders, and tried to keep her spirits up. The doctors applied some kind of numbing paste to her head for 30 minutes and then strapped her to a backboard-type thing to get the stitches in. She did need a few injections of lidocaine to make sure it was good and numb. But once she was numb, she didn't feel the 5 stitches it took to close her wound.

So we have had our first run in with stitches and I'm glad it was Charlotte. She's our more daring daughter and handles this type of thing easier than Sarah. So now if Sarah ever needs stitches, at least we know what to expect and Charlotte can help calm her fears.

The stitches will be in until next weekend when we can see our regular pediatrician to have them removed.

I'm so proud of my little Charlotte. She was a real trooper. Here she is showing off her hospital bracelet. She kept pretending it was a watch. I love that little lass.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I'm tired. That's why I haven't posted in a while. I just can't seem to catch up on sleep. I know this is the period of my life when sleep is a luxury and someday I'll look back and wish that I was sleepless again. But I'm having trouble cherishing these moments of pure exhaustion.

Alex is still nuring very frequently--during the day he's still nursing about every 2-3 hours and for some reason, that seems to be really frequent at almost 4 months old. I feel like I remember the girls nursing less frequently by this age. Maybe I'm wrong and it's that ability of a mom to forget things like labor, delivery, episiotomies, etc. kicking into gear. But it seems like he should be able to go a bit longer.

We've started all of our kiddos on solid foods at 4 months so maybe if we get him started next week, he'll start to space out his feedings...maybe.

The weather has been beautiful so that helps but it makes me feel like even more of a dud when I'm too exhausted to go out and enjoy it. Today, Charlotte said when I woke her from her nap, "Mama, you can lie down with me." I told her it was time for her to get up and I had to make dinner anyway. Her reply was, "Well, after you make us dinner, maybe you can just go to bed." Ah, wouldn't that be dreamy? But alas, I have other jobs to do after dinner and after the girls are in bed.

Someday I'll sleep, right? And I'm sure I WILL look back on these times and long for them. I'm sure. I think.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cake and spa

Andy came home yesterday with a cake for my birthday. He ordered it and everything!! That's pretty impressive that he remembered far enough in advance to order a cake!! And after dinner, he gave me a beautiful card with another little card inside. It was a spa gift certificate!!! I've wanted a pedicure for forever and I need a massage in the worst way! So now I get to make a choice and enjoy something just for me!

Anyone wanna come along????

Friday, April 10, 2009

First road trip

Today we're in Cleveland visiting Andy's family for Easter weekend. That means that yesterday was Alex's first road trip. When Sarah was a baby, she'd cry the entire 4 hours to Cleveland. She did NOT like riding in the car. Char always did better than Sarah but Charlotte never, never, never slept in the car. So we were nervous about how Alex would fare.

God smiled down on us again with this little guy. I fed him before we left and he slept until more than halfway. He woke up and yelled for food so we stopped at a rest stop and let the girls play in the grass while I nursed him in the van. He ate quickly and we were back on the road again sooner than we expected. He slept the rest of way to Grandma's and it was a smooth ride.

Now that we're here (with 7 adults and 6 other children in the house), there's no shortage of available arms to hold him. He's been charming everyone with his smile and we're going to see a lot more family later this morning. It's official----he's a hit! :)

We're keeping our fingers crossed for a repeat performance in the car on the way home on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

12 years

I was going to post about this yesterday but I didn't have time with Alex being cranky from his shots, so it gets here today.

Twelve years ago yesterday, Andy and I officially became a couple. We had had an undefined relationship up to that point, though we both felt a strong connection from the time we met 17 months prior. My friend, Rebecca, and I had ridden to Cleveland with Andy to visit with his friends for the weekend. It was a Sunday and shortly before leaving to come back to Dayton, I approached Andy about his earlier suggestions that we declare ourselves a couple. We had talked about it many times and I was always the one to hesitate. But something about spending time with him that weekend reassured me that what I was feeling was real and I was excited to make this commitment. The ride back to college was thrilling and awkward but I was hopeful for the future.

Just two months later, it was decided that Andy would not return to WSU the following year. Despite the 230 miles between us, we maintained a strong connection and grew closer with time. For more than 3 years, we had a long-distance relationship, seeing each other only about every 8-10 weeks for a weekend. It was very difficult to watch him drive away after only 48 hours of time together and on the weekends I visited Cleveland, the 3 1/2 hour home was not pretty. But we were determined to stay together and look toward the future.

The "future" finally arrived when, in May 2000, Andy moved to Dayton so we could continue our relationship in the same city. It didn't take long after his relocation for us to become engaged in November and married the following August.

On April 6, 1997, I could not have predicted all of the things we'd experience together, both beautiful and tragic. I could not have predicted what a supportive and amazing husband he'd become. I could not have predicted how wonderful he'd be with our children. I could not have imagined how happy and loved he'd make me feel. At the time, what seemed like a somewhat insignificant decision became one of the most significant choices in my life.

And I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Monday, April 6, 2009

2-month well check

I took Alex for his 2-month well check today. Doc thinks he looks good and is growing well. He weighed 10lbs, 11oz. (25th %ile) and measured 23.5 inches (75th %ile). He has been doing a good job eating and sleeping. He's always been a great nighttime sleeper, getting up only once/night. He could use some help in the napping department--but who COULD nap with two rowdy sisters galavanting around the house? :)

I can't believe he's already two months old! Where has the time gone? Before I know it, I'll be planning his first birthday party.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A few photos

I keep promising to post a few pics of Alex and keep finding excuses not to do it. Andy is bathing the girls and watching Alex upstairs so I'm all alone and can't find an excuse to avoid it any further.

Alex smiling at Sarah, his favorite smiling target

Sleepy baby

I guess he didn't want me taking is picture!
**Note his BLUE eyes--they'll likely turn brown so I like early blue-eyed photos.

His "What choo talkin' about, Willis?" face

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Remembering the day

To those of you for whom today holds significant meaning: know that Andy and I remember that day and how it changed so many lives, ours included.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good food

Tonight during dinner, Sarah called out, "These peas are soooo good!"

While I'm sure she'd prefer to be eating a cookie or chips, I was pleased that she was excited to be eating peas. She asked for seconds and then finished Charlotte's leftover peas, too.

Yay for good food!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hot baby?

I'm beginning to wonder if 100 degrees is Alex's normal temperature. Now that the cough is gone, he's left with this low-grade fever that is hovering right around the "danger zone" of 100.4. But he hasn't crested that point yet so we're still all good. He had some blood drawn yesterday and his CBC was normal. The blood culture won't be back for a while but so far it's clear.

I took him back to the pediatrician today because was still 100.2 today and having a little bit of diarrhea so she wanted to see him again. She still didn't find anything else wrong with him (except one of his blood test results showed a potential early allergy, possibly to milk--DRAT!) so I wonder if maybe Alex is just one of those kids who is always a little warm.

The good news: Alex weighed in at 9lbs 15.5 ounces today!! That's a 7.5oz gain in 4 days!! Grow, little man, grow!!

Pics are coming soon...I promise!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Week-long fever

Our little Alex has been running a fever for a week. He's been to the pediatrician twice but she think it's just a virus. He started with a nasty cough last week ("kindergarten cough" brought home by Sarah--big sisters like to share everything) but that's pretty much gone now. He's still running a temperature at about 100 which isn't outrageously high but a 7-week-old baby shouldn't be running a temperature at all.

I don't know how long his fever will last but I guess there's nothing to do in the meantime. We'll just keep waiting it out.

The good thing about going to the ped's office is that he gets to weigh in. He was up to 9 1/2 pounds on Monday so he's continuing to grow which is GREAT! We just need to keep our little buddy growing! I'll post a new pic soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chocolate Ritz

Andy gave the girls each one Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookie for dessert last night. When I got home from running an errand, I asked if they'd had dessert (Charlotte forfeited her dessert earlier in the day when she snuck some candy into the office so I was fishing for information), they responded, "Yes! We had one chocolate Rit!" I think it's hilarious that they think that a singular Ritz cracker is called a "Rit" anyway and to explain the taste of Thin Mints as chocolate Ritz just makes it even funnier.

The girls are about to nap so I think I might treat myself to a couple of chocloate Ritz while they're sleeping.

Long time, no post

Wow, it's been a whirlwind around here for the last 6 weeks. Alex's birth was amazing and beautiful. We are truly blessed to have a wonderful son and the girls are thrilled with their little brother.

Every time a mama brings home a baby, there are always learning curves. Each baby is special and unique and comes with his/her own challenges. For whatever reason, my milk supply has been questionable this time around and without cause. With Charlotte, because of a placental abruption during delivery that led to a large amount of blood loss and pituitary damage, I had some supply issues that were only complicated by her nipple confusion from being bottlefed in the nursery at the hospital. So we had a steep hill to climb with her but after some intense work, by about 7 weeks all was well. I never had any problems with nursing Sarah except for an occasional bout of thrush. So I was expecting everything to go smoothly with Alex since his delivery was DREAMY!

But alas, that was not in the cards. He lost a little weight in the hospital and continued losing weight after we brought him home, despite my nursing him every 2 hours around the clock. He also had to be hospitalized for jaundice and that definitely DIDN'T help. He was very sleepy and keeping him awake long enough to nurse effectively was a real feat. So it was no wonder he wasn't gaining weight.

By 9 days old, he was down to 6lbs, 15oz after weighing in at 8lbs 1.6oz at birth. That's a pretty significant drop, I know. So I rented a hospital grade pump and got a prescription for Reglan to increase my supply in the short-term. All of a sudden, he started gaining weight.

The ideal weight gain for a breastfed baby is 4-7 ounces/week. For the last couple of weeks, Alex has been gaining about an ounce/day. I weighed him yesterday while we were at the pediatrican for Charlotte's 4-year well check and he weighed 8lbs, 15oz which is 11 ounces in 12 days. So I'm okay with that. He's scheduled for his 2-month check in about 3 weeks so I'm hoping he'll be over 10 pounds then.

I also saw a new doctor to look into the possibility of a thyroid issue that could be causing this weird supply problem. Maybe something got messed up after Charlotte's birth that never really corrected itself? Maybe I lost more blood during Alex's birth than I thought? Maybe there's something I'm missing? I'm all set for blood work this upcoming Thursday to investigate these matters. In the meantime, today is my last day of my second Reglan prescription. According to the lactation consultant, Reglan can be used three times so I think I have only one more go-round with it before I won't be able to take it anymore. Apparently the side effects can be really bad but I've had none of those. I also go on Thursday for my 6-week postpartum followup. I plan to talk extensively about this supply issue and figure out what's going on. The problem is, most doctors think it's no big deal to get over it and bottle feed. But after I nursed Sarah for 13 months and Charlotte for 18 months, it's not easy (or really an option in my opinion) to give up on Alex. So I'm keeping at it in hopes of straightening everything out and enjoying a long breastfeeding relationship with my new boy.

Alex is a wonderful baby. He doesn't cry very much, he's been a great sleeper since his first night home, and he's very snuggly. He started smiling this past weekend but he's still pretty selective about to whom he flashes that toothless grin. I'm sure he'll be more generous with those as he gets older. He's spending much more time awake these days and is very observant. I am so looking forward to watching him grow and develop as the years pass.

I promise to update more often now that we have computer issues resolved. My computer bit the dust and Andy had to work some "computer guy" magic to retrieve my information for loading onto his machine.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's a ... to our family website! :)

Getting closer

Deanna is now 8cm now - it is 4:05pm. The girls just got here. Sarah was in the room about 2 minutes and then promptly said "I want to go back now [to the waiting room]". They were excited to see everyone waiting, including their friends Elliot and Emma. We are excited to meet the new little guy or girl. The Dr. is still here, been waiting all day. I guess she wasn't kidding when she said she wouldn't leave! We will update you soon!

Moving along

Okay, now we're 6cm and baby is coming down nicely. The nurse has heated up the baby warmer deal and we're in a holding pattern. Contractions are closer (3 min.) and we're hoping that Baby will be here before my prediction of 5:15.

A little bit later...

We're moving along. Because of the abruption last time, Dr. E wanted to make sure I had an epidural before my water broke in case we needed to do a c-section. So I got an epidural earlier than I'd planned and she broke my water.

Now we're passing the time chatting with my dad and grandma and awaiting the arrival of Andy's parents.

I'm super tired, probably because I didn't get much rest last night. I might have to nap a smidge...

Checked in!

We arrived this morning at about 6:30am. Yes--late but here. I'm already 3cm and 60% so we're on a roll. I am also contracting on my own and pretty regularly. But they're not strong enough to do a whole lot so they're going to start the pitocin soon. Per the doc's orders, I'm supposed to get my epidural before my water breaks in case something "happens" like it did with Charlotte.

Nurse is here for my IV--more later!

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's a go!

We had our last BPP today and an amniocentesis. My two previous experiences with amnios were mixed--the first one was simple and actually comical while the second one was awful and painfully uncomfortable. So I didn't know what to expect this time around. Baby had one pocket of fluid up near my ribs so that's where the doctor went. Fortunately, this time was quite easy and my body decided to wait until the needle was removed to have a contraction. Whew!!

Baby was measuring over 8 pounds today and we heard an interesting anecdotal while the doc was prepping my belly for the procedure. He said to the ultrasound tech, "Remember that one from Friday that measured 7lbs, 7oz.? She gave birth this weekend and the baby was 9lbs, 11oz." WHAT??!! I said, "Oh, that's a great story to tell me right now!"

We got a call from my OB at 1:45 saying that Baby's lungs showed maturity so we're a GO for Wednesday morning at 6am. We are as ready as we'll ever be. We got most things ready this weekend and all set up for Baby's arrival. I got the girls' clothes all set out for the week, some meals in the freezer, all the baby "equipment" in place, the car seat straps cleaned and starched, and my bag packed (almost). So now we just wait for another 36 or so hours and we'll get things started to meet our new guy or gal. :D

Next time I update, hopefully it'll include Baby Murphy pictures!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Disgruntled Baby

Our most recent ultrasound showed Baby continuing to grow well, but looking slightly disgruntled. Every couple of minutes, Baby would make the "crying face" and look really sad. If we could hear it, it would have been whimpering and starting to cry. :(

We're back to the doc on Monday for an amniocentesis and we're still on schedule to induce on Wednesday. :)

Take a peek at Disgruntled Baby (and his or her cheeks!!):

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gigantaur strikes again

I had another ultrasound today to check baby's muscle tone, breathing movements, estimated size, placental function, and fluid level. Everything checked out well except the fluid level (it was about half of what it was last week) and the baby's size. As has been the case all along, Baby measured about 4 weeks too big again. Baby measured 6lbs, 4oz last week. Today, Baby measured 7lbs, 2oz. That's just about a pound since last Wednesday and about 2lbs bigger than an average 34w5d baby. YIKES!! We've jokingly been calling the baby Gigantaur and today when the tech covered the screen so I couldn't see the size, I knew that our not-so-little one was up to something.

The tech said she'd run the fluid level by the doctor because of the rapid decrease but that it should still be in the "safe level" zone.

Next ultrasound is Monday morning and I'll see my regular OB in the afternoon that day. We should know more then. But so far, the plan is still to do the amnio on February 2nd and induce on February 4th. The early induction is scheduled because of our significantly elevated risk of placental abruption because we had that complication during Charlotte's labor. I asked my OB about it yesterday and she said that we will be prepared in the event that it reoccurs because she is meeting us at the hospital and remaining there all day until Gigantaur is born. So that makes me feel better about that aspect. I'll be happy to report a safe, healthy delivery in two weeks!!

Here's the photo. Baby was sticking out its tongue...or its face is just so fat it had no other choice!! LOL!! Tilt your head to the right--Baby is lying sideways with its eyes in shadow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spin cycle politics

Tonight at dinner, we were talking about the new president and past presidents. We told the girls that the first president was George Washington and he's on the dollar bill. Andy showed them a $1 bill and his picture. We discussed what presidents are on other bills.

The girls knew George Bush's name and now we're working on learning the new president's name.

Charlotte asked, "Who was the firs president? Was it George Washing Machine?" We all enjoyed a good laugh.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bed Rest rears her ugly head

Last week, I started to swell. It's always my first symptom of preeclampsia and when I checked my blood pressures, they were higher. "Cankles" was given a whole new meaning on Thursday when I had rolls, yes rolls, of inflated skin on my ankles. My feet were flowing over the tops of my slippers (which aren't normally tight enough to leave indentations) and my legs looked like tree trunks. YUCK! I couldn't stop laughing at the sight of my own legs so Andy took a picture.

Friday morning, I called my OB, Dr. E, and her office suggested I page the on-call doc (my high-risk OB, Dr. B). because she had left for a delivery. I told him what what happening and he sent me to the hospital for overnight observation and tests. I had some elevated protein level in my urine but according to him, they weren't high enough to deem immediately delivery necessary. So now I'm on bed rest. Bed-to-bathroom, bathroom-to-couch, couch-to-bed. Bummer.

We only have two weeks until the amniocentesis and 16 days until the scheduled induction. I can definitely survive two weeks of bed rest. Andy has been great about making me lie down and helping with the girls, the meals, the laundry, etc. He's always been very astute in his role as Bed Rest Nazi.

I have an appointment with Dr. E tomorrow and another BPP on Wednesday so we'll get another look at our baby. At our last BPP, Baby measured almost 4 weeks too big. Since about 12 weeks, Baby has been consistently meauring large by about 3 weeks so it wasn't surprising to see Baby so large last week. Dr. E has said that if we weren't already planning an early induction, the size of the baby might have necessitated one anyway. HA!!

Additionally, I think we've decided on a girl name finally (the boy name has been decided for a long time). We've gone back and forth on the girl name and had narrowed the first name contenders to two possibilities. (We had decided on a middle name.) Andy came home from work last week and said he thought that he'd decided he liked on more than the other and since I was pretty neutral on both names (though I was leaning slightly more toward the other name), I thought we should go with his choice. He kind of caved on Charlotte's name when she was born; I think he preferred one of the others we had lined up. So it seemed pretty fair that we should go with the one he liked this time. He said that it doesn't matter anyway because he thinks it's a boy. I'm banking on girl since we seem to have a track record of XX babies.

I guess we'll find out in 16 days. In the meantime, here's a photo of Baby's face last week.