Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two steps forward...

Sam had been having a stellar week. He was down to 2L of high flow oxygen and finally got to eat by mouth! He did great. Until 3AM this morning. He barely took anything from his bottle and had a Bradicardia/desaturation episode that was hard for him to get out of. He also lost 2 ounces. Crap, son. You can't go backward! We're here for you -- you can do it! Let's face it, prematurity sucks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top 2 Tuesday

All the cool kids are doing it, so I am too now! Linking up with The Undomestic Momma this week to share with you the top two songs on my iPod. iTunes tells me that I have an odd taste in music.

1. John Lennon - Beautiful Boy

This one is self explanatory. I've been singing it to Samuel and I love it.

2. Britney Spears - Till the World Ends

What's funny about this is... this was JUST released, a week or two ago. I've had it on nonstop while I clean, cook, do laundry, dance around the house... etc. It's perfect dance it up, feeling good music. Who doesn't love some Britney Spears?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Never has $8.00 in CVS Extra Care bucks made me so happy. My husband and I have decided to live frugally now that I am unemployed and off maternity leave. That means finding every way to save every penny we can and giving up our everyday luxuries. My buddy, Mrs. C, over on The Other Side of the Story is amazing at finding a deal, or two, or three. She's inspired me to give it a bigger effort. My husband and I were brainstorming tonight on how we can save money easily. Here's some things we came up with.

1. DIY oil changes. My husband could easily change our oil and filters instead of going to the local shop. Savings - $12 every three months.

2. Eat a cheap meal, twice a week. Dinner of spaghetti with sauce and some garlic bread would cost me $2.00 to make a night. Some nights, my hubs and I spend over $20.00 just on take out. Savings - $36.00 a week.

3. Coupon everything. We aren't the healthiest eaters. I am comfortable saying we eat processed foods and lots of sugary cereal. If I use my coupons better, and follow some fliers, I can get many things cheap. Lots of things free! Savings - endless.

4. Cut out the gym membership. We have an elliptical, bike and treadmill in our basement. My husband has a full weight bench/rack thing. I can do 30 minutes of step aerobics on Wii Fit plus. I can use my cable's OnDemand option to "Sweat it to the Oldies" with Richard Simmons. We can go for afternoon walks. We can work out without spending $39.98 a month at a gym that sees us once a week, at most. Savings - $39.98.

5. Cut back on giving. I spend way too much moolah on gifts. Instead of shelling out $100 for a little cousin's birthday this month, I am going to step back and give a more responsible gift. Let's be honest. This cousin's mom will never do that for Samuel, so why am I going to break my back over it? I hit up today, and with some codes from Retail Me Not, I got her three outfits for $28.00. Yeah. THAT was awesome. Savings - $72.00 a month, if not more some months!

6. No weekly blow outs. I have impossible hair. Thick, kinky, crazy, curly, Portuguese frizzy hair. My long time stylist has been blowing it out for me every Saturday morning at 8AM since I was 18. A small expense weekly that feels entirely worth it, since it takes me up to 2.5 hours to do my hair BUT not necessary. Mike agreed to let me keep going once a month (on a weekend we have plans) to get it blown out. Savings - $60 a month.

7. Once a week golf, no more. If I have to cut out my blow outs, Mike can't be golfing on every Saturday morning. Instead, he'll join my brother for golf once a month and they will go to a public course. Long gone is the country club membership from last year. Savings - huge $$$ I am embarrassed to admit.

If you look at that, it's $5000 savings a year. It's small things we're talking about here. The impact is not that great of a change to our quality of life. That much money is enough to buy me a new Macbook and iPad and... to put in the bank. I hope I can keep myself accountable. I'll check in often on my progress.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pumping woes

For once, I thought something was going well for me. I had been steadily pumping from 600-700mL's a day of breast milk for my little guy. Then I got an infection from a medical procedure which required antibiotics and boom. My supply dipped. It happened seemingly overnight! Yesterday, I didn't even break 500mL. Lovely.

My stash is large right now. I have about exactly 18930mL or 640 ounces in the deep freezer. That doesn't count the 30 ounces or so in the kitchen freezer. My son is taking in 44mL per feeding, 8 times a day for a total of 352mL or just about 12 ounces a day. This is half of a normal infant's daily intake. The goal is to get him to feed by mouth and take 18 ounces minimum before he goes home. If I can't keep up with him, my stash will quickly dwindle and I'll never have enough to last!

I am deathly afraid of not being able to provide breast milk for my mini-miracle. The antibodies in my milk provide him with strength and his stomach can easily digest and use what I provide to him. If I can't do that small thing, than I'll feel like I failed him completely. I couldn't provide him a strong home for 40 weeks, might as well feed him the best possible nutrition.

I need to get my supply up, and quick. I have a script for Reglan. I am going to give it another go. It temporarily boosted my supply before. Might as well give it another shot. After some research, I think I will try to do a few more things: drink more water, eat more food, pump around the clock and drink Mother's Milk tea. My supply had been established and I could get that total amount with just four pumping sessions a day. Today, I pumped six times and was lucky to get 500mL.

Wish me luck. My boobs will have some explaining to do if they can't keep up!

New mommy style

Since I gave birth to Samuel, I've been pretty bad about looking my best. My outfit of choice was usually a pair of maternity jeans and sweatshirts with either Ugg boots or mules. Classy, for sure. My mother was increasingly annoyed with my rapper's ass, as she called it. The crotch of my pants would sag, it looked like I had no butt at all. We set off on a classy yet inexpensive wardrobe to mix with my pre-pregnancy clothes.

Many places we visited didn't carry my size or have anything that flattered my belly. Keep in mind, this belly was not a product of my pregnancy. It was there long before I even met my husband; it's just floppy now. My pre-baby wardrobe includes lots of tanks, bermuda shorts and flip flops. With $160 and a LOT of coupons, I was able to add to my wardrobe substantially at NY & Company. Four pairs of crops, one pair of shorts, one pair of bermudas, three cardigans, four tops and a short trench, and I almost forgot, a pair of peep toe flats. Worth every cent.

Here are some of my best finds:

I love this simple v-neck cardigan. I purchased it in this stone color, and once I wore it and LOVED it, I went back and got it in black. Love.

I live in anything comfortable. These crops, in olive, tan and grey, can easily be dressed up or down. Let me tell you this: NY&Co should have a girl with curves pose in these pants. This stick does them no justice!

The shirt, pants and jacket are all a part of my new spring summer wardrobe. I love the softness of the top and the spunky, fun peach jacket. I wish I could tolerate a necklace because that looks so put together. Alas, I rip them off within minutes of putting one on.

Love. I can doll these up with heels or throw on flip flops to be comfy, and I'll still look more tailored than I have been. If only it would stop snowing. 

My splurge? Ann Taylor Loft. I got a dress and two tops there. Almost as much as I spent at NY&Co, but worth it for the quality. My favorite new addition:

Love the color, love the fit, love it all. I can't wait to wear this to one of the many events I have coming up in the next few months. Now I need to look for a new pair of shoes...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday...

I have to start a new tradition on here. I'll be hopping onto the bandwagon and joining other bloggers in sharing a few tidbits about me. So....

{one} if you won a trip to Disneyland/world, who would you take with you?
My husband, Mike, with our son wrapped in a Moby wrap. I can't pick just one!

{two} when was the last time you listened to a CD?
My wedding favor was a CD. I listen to that in the car once in a while.

{three} what spice/seasoning is your favorite?
Cinnamon. Especially on porridge.

{four} if you were in a band, what kind of music would you play?
Don't judge - Christian Rock.

{five} if you could have personally witnessed one historical event, which one would it be?
JFK's Inauguration. 

{six} if you could go back to school, what would you study?
Nursing, with a concentration in obstetrics and pediatrics (neonates.)

{seven} if you could go to one sporting event, all expenses paid, which one would you see?
The UEFA finals. 

{eight} do you drive an automatic or a manual?
Automatic. Ever since I tore my MCL and ACL, I can't handle a clutch.

{nine} are you comfortable speaking in front of people?
Yes. A little too much so, actually.

{ten} have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Yes. In the Azores when I was . It wasn't huge, but it was enough to keep me from going back the next summer. I got over it eventually, and went back at 13.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two months old!

I make his bed the way I like it. I completely dismantled the nurses work and made him cozy and comfy.

Doesn't he look peaceful?

He was all set with taking pictures with his "I'm two months" onesie. As if putting the onesie over his head didn't piss him off enough, I made him pose for pictures. In this first one, he's smacking my arm out of the way. Feisty little boy!

It's been two months. How do you like me now?

I'm wiped out, Mommy. Let me sleep!
We had a good day. He's been sleeping comfortably, eating well and doing well with breathing. He hasn't had any changes within the passed few days, but he is going strong. Samuel now weighs 5 pounds 12 ounces. He's huge, comparatively.

Monday, March 28, 2011

We've moved

To a smaller hospital where they can address Samuel's less intensive needs. The Level III nursery he was at was at full capacity, with lots of little, more critical babies. Sam needs help with feeding, growing, breathing. Lots of help with breathing. For the past few weeks, there was talk of Sam stepping down a level so he could be closer to home (literally a five minute WALK away, compared to a thirty-plus minute drive.) We got word that he was healthy enough and a room was available on Saturday, March 26 around noon. That is the best 25th birthday present my husband could ever have! He was transported at 4PM and when the ambulance came by, it was bittersweet. We were happy to move forward but we loved each and every moment with Samuel's care staff. We'd rather not be in that position at all, but his primary nurses and staff were phenomenal. We're forever grateful to them and ever bonded to them for helping us all during this stressful yet happy time.

This is his "woe is me" look.

We took a  bunch of pictures before we left his home of 8 weeks.

Last "Portuguese Word of the Day: adeus."

My beloved Ameda Elite.
The room looks so desolate with all his decorations down.
His primary nurse getting ready to bring him on the ride to the new hospital.
All buckled up and ready to go!
Getting onto the ambulance.
There's our boy, just a hundred feet ahead of us!
Arriving at the new Hospital.
His Build-a-Bear, ready to take care of him.
Our last family kiss in room 3442.
And so our journey begins with a new environment and a new care team. Our neonatologist also works at the Level III a few weeks out of the year, so I do not doubt the quality of care at all. Our biggest adjustment will be from having a 180 square foot room to ourselves down to a 300 square foot room for 4-8 kids. When Sam got to the hospital, there were 7 babies! It sure was a tight fit. Today, two babies were discharged and the room is far more comfortable with just 5 babies. 

They first put him in a small plastic bassinet but they quickly realized that was too small for him. They laid him in a crib just like at his other room! The doctor is thrilled that Mike and I know Samuel so well, and was happy to see how big and strong he is for the hurdles he has jumped. We're proud of him, too. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Keeping it clean

I come from a family of clean freaks. They are more than just clean freaks, my mother has been diagnosed with OCD. She irons everything, washes her floors twice a day and if you move a vase just a few inches over, she notices. She's the female "Monk."

I didn't inherit the insanity, but I am also pretty into having a clean house. I cannot handle clutter or mess. I hate to see dishes in the sink waiting to be washed. When my husband showers, he knows the clothes has to go down to the basement to the hamper there. It's a huge change from his previous dwelling, but he's getting used to it.

Our cleaning routine is pretty easy. Everyday, we make the bed, wash all dishes, sweep floors and dry off the shower after we use it. My husband has also learned to dry off the bottles of body wash and put them back in our linen closet instead of letting them fill up the shower shelves. I wash the floors as needed, which is usually two to three times a week. I hate foot prints. Every Saturday morning, I dust every room, move furniture to sweep behind it, wash the bathroom and kitchen and change the bed sheets. Every few weeks, I'll dust the baseboards, wash windows (as needed) and wipe down the walls. What do I use to clean? Just a wet sheet of bounty and a dry one. It works better than anything else we could think of.

Despite always keeping up with my house, I feel like it is never complete. I guarantee so many people agree.

Coming home... ish.

Busy days lately. Yesterday was my husband's birthday and he got the best birthday present ever: our son was moved to the Level II nursery right up the street from us. I am heading over to the hospital now to take care of him during his care times... I'll have to post all about our day tonight.

Good news - he is 5 pounds 6.5 ounces, and in size 1 diapers. Wow.