Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hi from Rachel

Hi from Rachel
Originally uploaded by Carol H.
My mommy has been busy taking care of and playing with me, so I thought I'd let you know she'll post something soon when she can.

Monday, September 26, 2005


For some reason I couldn't get on here from my in-laws, so I came to my sisters and thought I'd post this. Thanks for all of your comments and well wishes!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know we made it out, and our house had no damage. The power was out for about 23 hours, but that's all. It was good for us that we were on the west side, not that I wish it on anyone else. Thank God Rita was no Katrina.

It took us a freakin' 12 hours to go 165 miles, though. That's an average of 14 mph! It was CRAZY. Rachel did well the first 10. The last 2 hours she screamed her head off. :) I would, too, if I was stuck in that seat for so long.

It seemed everyone was leaving Houston. We would go only about 6 miles in 3 hours at some spots. And of course a lot of the time there are no bathrooms for several miles, so people were having to go to the bathroom on the side of the road trying to shield themselves with their car door. They were also running out of gas and there was NO GAS ANYWHERE. All the stations were out, and a lot of gas stations were running out of food. Grocery stores were running out, too. It was crazy.

I'm still glad we left, because we're having record heat here. 108 degrees today! Hottest day in 5 years. So, if I was in a house with no air conditioning it would have been very uncomfortable. And Rachel I'm sure would have been uncomfortable.

Anyway, I'm waiting until Wednesday to go back. Hopefully I'll make it back in the normal 2.5 hours instead of 12 again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oh, the fun.

Being in Houston, and being Hurricane Rita is headed this way, we're bugging out. Oh the fun!

We're on the North side of Houston, so it isn't like we're on the coast, but we are at risk of losing electricity, extremely high winds, and possibly no water. And of course lots of rain. Being I have a newborn I didn't want to get stuck for who knows how long and not have necessities. So, we're headed to the in-laws in Waco, which is about 200 miles or so.

I'll check in when we come back!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dogs and Babies

My little mutt Casey was my only "baby" before Rachel was born, so it is safe to say we were a little concerned how this spoiled 15 pound mutt would react to a new "sister". At first she wouldn't come within 10 feet of her. Then after a few weeks she would come and sniff her briefly but would quickly leave. Then she would come up, sniff, and stay a while.

I was sitting on the sofa the other day, Rachel's head in my lap and her butt on the sofa. Casey, my little mutt, usually sits to the right of me on the sofa, where Rachels legs were. Casey jumped on the sofa, sniffs Rachel's legs and starts to take her nose and flick her blanket on her legs. She must have spent a full 5 minutes trying to cover her, and actually successfully did. It was rather interesting to watch. Since I took Animal Behavior in college and never really used it, I figured I'd humor myself by saying I'm using it here and she's now becoming "motherly".

So I figure (I'm into multiple choice these days):
A) My animal behavior class was worth the money and I accurately protrayed Casey as mothering Rachel because in the wild the Alpha dog has all the puppies and the other members of the pack help her raise them.
B) Her diaper was dirty and Casey didn't want to smell it anymore so she was trying to bury it.
C) She is actually in a jealous rage and was trying to smother her.

I prefer to think "A".

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What would you do...

If you accidentally used your husband's brand new $15 toothbrush because you were so sleep deprived and your contacts were dry so you didn't see the "blue for boy" color on the toothbrush and mistook it as the "white for girl" one which is yours? Would you:

A) Tell him so he can decide if he wants a new one
B) Not tell him figuring you've shared a lot worse that THAT and he won't miss anything if he is none the wiser
c) Write it on your blog in the off chance that he might actually read it, which he rarely does, but by then it will have been too late because he will have brushed his teeth with it. So that will probably make him keep it.

Oh, decisions, decisions.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Learning Curve

My husband is a smart man. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters degree. Generally if he plays a trivia game with someone he wins. If I want to know who wrote some obscure 70's music or who the leader of Luxemburg is I generally don't bother to go to the internet. I ask my hubby.

Now that I've qualified what I'm about to say (hi, honey!), I'll tell you about my husband and his beginner daddyness. He has never, ever been around a baby before ours. I've already mentioned the backward diaper. I actually managed not to laugh hysterically when I realized it was on backward. Oh, it's not that I didn't want to, but I could tell he felt a little stupid. I couldn't rub it in. Honestly, I can tell he feels really bad that he isn't more experienced at this. He admits the learning curve is great here.

The other day on a Saturday he was up just a bit before me. Rachel sleeps in her cradle beside our bed. He walked into the bedroom as we both were just waking. Her diaper needed to be changed because she just woke up, so I asked him to do it. After all, he needs the experience. He gladly said he would. He took her into her room, which is across the hall from ours. I laid in bed trying to wake up.

I heard: Rustle, Rustle, Rustle....Then I hear Bryan say: "Oh, crap!"....then more Rustling....

I think..."should I go in to see what's going on?" Then I think "No, he needs to learn. One of these days I'll be leaving her alone with him. He'll figure it out".

Then I hear "Oh, geez!"...rustle....drawers being pulled out.....rustle....

I start to put one foot on the floor then stop myself. "No, he is a capable man. He can figure it out" I think.

After what seems like eternity he comes into the bedroom smiling, with Rachel in a new outfit, and says to Rachel "Here's mommy Rachel!" and tells me she is ready to eat.

I take her and realize her head is wet. Her HEAD is wet? What the.....

I ask "Uh, dear? Why is her head wet?"

He Says "Well, she started to pee when I took her diaper off and I tried to keep her out of it, but it wasn't easy to move her as she was peeing, so she got a little on her. That's why I changed her outfit."

Uh, OK. I opened my mouth to ask how the pee managed to get on her HEAD, but thought better of it. I decided I didn't want to know. I got up and drew her bath water.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Prevacid sticks to boobs

The pediatritian knows I'm a new mom. She didn't have to ask if Rachel had a sibling at home. Maybe it was the question "Are all babies legs crooked like hers?", or perhaps "Is it normal for her to have that many folds on her neck?". Or perhaps the urgent statement "Please look at this rash on the back of her head, is she sick?" only to be told it's a birthmark. Or it could be the mere volume of questions I was asking. Or perhaps the fact that I called the nurse more than my fair share of times asking questions.

They probably think I'm bad, but they should see her father. When he changed her diaper the first time he put it on BACKWARDS. (I'm not kidding). I'm happy to say he is getting the hang of it now, though.

Rachel had acid reflux really bad. The pediatritian gave her Zantac in liquid form, which didn't work at all. Finally, after about 10 days I called the nurse (who knows my voice now, btw) because I couldn't stand to see her in pain anymore. They changed her medicine to Prevacid, which is working wonders. (Thank GOD!)

The only problem...Prevacid is not in liquid form, only capsule. So, I was faced with the task of getting a capsule down a 5 week old baby. This is not an easy task. And to make matters worse those pills are EXPENSIVE. So, if I lost some it would cost me.

She is supposed to get half a capsule, so I opened it and spilled the tiny beads from inside the capsule on aluminum foil. I thought I would put it on the foil and separate it into two separate but equal piles with a knife. You can tell I'm not a drug dealer/user simply by the fact I wasn't smart enough to realize that when aluminum foil has little beady things on it and you scrape a knife on it, it krinkles and the beads go shooting across the room. Ok, lost a few beads there.

Plan two. I've seen enough TV to know how the drug users do it. I needed a razorblade and something that doesn't krinkle and shoot things across the room. I opted for the cupboard instead of the foil, and I didn't have a razor so I went for a sharp knife. Getting the beads on the counter was fun. Beads roll. I think I probably should have learned that in Kindergarten. I must have been absent that day. I lost a few beads here, too.

Then once I lassoed them back in a pile and separated them into two piles I had to get them into a container. I didn't think about that before the counter idea. I held a little plastic cup at the end of the counter and brushed them in. One cup for each pile. I lost a few on the floor.

OK, now how do I get them into the baby's mouth? A syringe with milk sounds logical. Except the beads didn't want to suck into the syringe very well. I managed to get them sucked in and milk, too. I went to squirt it in her mouth. The beads stuck to the bottom of the plunger. The milk went nicely into the baby's mouth. Sigh. I lost all of the beads.

OK, so that didn't work. On to another dose. How about I stick a few of the beads to my breast and shove it in her mouth for breastfeeding. Ingenious you say? Well, I thought so. Until I realized that Prevacid beads stick to boobs better than they stick to tounges. When she unlatched they were still there, firmly attached to my breast.

I scraped them off my breast and put them back into the container, which wasn't an easy task because, as we learned, wet Prevacid beads stick to everything. Babies chins, fingers, clothing, the chair.

Finally, a revelation. If it sticks to everything, it must stick to fingers! I pressed my finger in the pile of beads and, wallah! They stuck. I waited for her to open her mouth (She'll probably get smart and never yawn again), stuck my finger in there, wiped it on her tounge, and they stayed! Then, I put my breast in for her to drink. Obviously I'm not a fast learner. THey stuck to my breast. I scraped them off again.

We repeated the process, this time with a BOTTLE of breastmilk, and, luckily, Prevacid beads do not stick to plastic nipples, only real ones. She would drool a bit and I had to scrape them off her cheek, folds of her neck, her shirt, and put them back in, but I think I got most of them.

Lucky us, we get to do this every night.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My New Boss

Rachel Smiling
Originally uploaded by Carol H.

My new boss is only 10 pounds, yet she is full of demands. I came into this job with no training, not even a manual. She didn't bother to train me, yet she expects me to know everything. She has very demanding deadlines, and if I do not meet the deadline she screams at me. Loudly. And she doesn't care who she is around when she does it. I can only take bathroom breaks when it is convenient for HER schedule. Often there are days where I can't even take care of the simplest in personal hygene for myself because of her demands. She insists I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and won't allow me any time for anything else. Often there are days I'm working so hard I don't even stop to eat! And to think I signed a lifetime contract for this job!

Why do I do it? I'm addicted to the bonuses!

P.S. Thanks for all the votes on which was the better picture. I liked the smiley one above, but Bryan liked the one with her eyes open. Your votes allowed me to have the one I wanted on the announcements! :)

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I don't have much to add about Hurricane Katrina that hasn't already been said, but I feel I must comment. The devastation and the sadness is something that I think this country has not experienced in a very long time. Going days without eating, proper sewage, water, shelter is not something people generally have to worry about here. Yet, we are faced with it by the thousands now. If only we were somewhat prepared for this. We had no clue it would even be remotely this bad. They didn't the levys would break. Yea, "they" were wrong. Now we're faced with saving and moving hundreds of thousands of people.

Living in Houston we are seeing a lot of the evacuees. Among many other things, our church is providing shelter and food for some, and we are volunteering shifts to serve food to those in the Astrodome as well. Because of this we get to hear stories up close and personal. Each person has a story, and there are thousands of stories, and each story is gut wrenching.

I went for my followup doctors visit a couple of days ago and a woman was there who was about to give birth. She had just evacuated and was sure she didn't have a home to go to. I guess that particular story hit home with me, having a newborn myself. I can't imagine giving birth and dealing with those stresses, and also not knowing how you are going to provide a home for the little one.

I am sickened by the looters who are taking big screen TV's (saw one right on TV like he didn't care who saw him), GUNS, computers, and other non-essentials. People are STARVING and these idiots are trying to make out on this disaster. Disgusting.

Also, perhaps we should spend less time ranting about how things aren't being done fast enough, good enough, and more time actually doing things. If each person who has ranted spent that time instead putting together a health kit or flood bucket it would go a lot farther. We need positive energy here.

Please do what you can for these people. And please pray. I know you already are.