Engineer Plus Baby


Awhile ago I went out somewhere and came home to this:


Not sure what was going on here…but this is what you get when you leave an engineer home alone with a baby. (Note, the baby was perfectly happy until he saw me, then was crying.)


Cowboy is 10 months old!


Holy cow, my baby is 10 months old! He is SUCH a fun lovely little baby. He absolutely loves people and hates to be alone. He always has a huge smile for the kids as they get off the bus from school, and really loves to see everyone in the morning. He is the happiest when we are all together.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing him discover a lot of things this month. He really started noticing Soot (the dog) this month and crawls off towards her all the time. Yes he crawls! He still has the army crawl because I think it’s easier to do on our wood floors than crawl on all fours. He holds his right foot up in the air as he pulls himself around the house. On the carpet, he’s starting to really creep around in a halting all fours crawl. He falls on his face a lot and gets a lot of bruises on his forehead.

He has also started pulling up on everything but no cruising around the furniture yet. One thing he does that I find adorable is he crawls through the kitchen chairs like it’s a jungle gym. He is amazingly strong rolling over while you are trying to change his diaper. It’s actually very annoying and hard to pin him down to change him! He’s the one child that I wish I had a changing table to use. Or maybe I don’t?

He does a lot of talking through the day. He says “huh!” and “da!” and “ada da da”. He also has the cutest little wheeze that he does when he is extra happy to see someone. I get that wheeze a lot. Makes me feel good!

He has been the easiest kid to keep away from the dog food. When you say, “No no baby!” he actually turns around and stops what he’s doing. He loves to shred paper which the kids have found out. Not happily, I might add.

The other day, I was holding him and he grinned up at me and put his foot in my hand. Just for fun, I tickled it. He giggled and squirmed away. Then he looked up at me again and slowly put his foot back in my hand. It got tickled and he giggled and squirmed away. We must have spent about 10 minutes doing that because he was having so much fun!

He is also a major flirt and will smile at anyone. He then ducks his head into me and shyly looks up at you with his big blue eyes. It melts everyone’s heart every single time. But heaven forbid if you should take him from his mommy! He is a serious mama’s boy and has to be with me most of the time. He’s just fine as long as he knows I’m there.

He is a TERRIBLE sleeper. Oh sure, he naps great if I hold him and don’t move. But during the day if I put him down, he’s up in less than 2 minutes and he screams and screams and screams. I seriously am at my wits end with him. I’ve never had a kid that sleeps so badly. And since he sleeps bad during the day, I can’t get anything else done. Well, I feel like I don’t get things done. He does nap in the car but doesn’t transfer well. Ugh, it makes me frustrated just to even type it out. On the other hand, he is an awesome night sleeper and goes to bed around 6:30 and wakes up around 7am. He wakes up maybe once to eat either at 11pm or 5am, and then goes right back down.

Cowboy eats just about anything. Anything I’m eating, he thinks he should eat. Anything anyone else is eating, he thinks he should have. Strangers included. He will start by being all cute and shy, then start opening his mouth when they eat and crying when the bite goes into their mouths and not his. He loves his food. He’s had so many things, I don’t even keep track anymore. All kinds of veggies, noodles, bread, fruit, meats…am I missing anything? Seriously, the boy can eat.

I’m loving having a little buddy to hang around with all the time. He’s just so fun!


Nablopomo: It’s a tradition


So I’ve been thinking about my blog a lot the past little while. I feel bad that I’ve kind of neglected it. I’ve been trying to learn a little bit more about web design and word press so I can fix the look of the blog. It makes me feel sad that my blog is all shabby and has lots of bad code. But, it is what it is and so here I am. At November 1st. And a month of blogging is hopefully going to start! My mom rejoices!

Here’s the overview of the last few months. Cowboy is almost 10 months old. He’s about 18 lbs now. He is army crawling. He keeps his right foot up in the air when he does it, and so he pushes himself around with just one leg. It’s adorable. He really is quiet the cutie. He also does not nap well during the day. It’s a huge bummer. No naps makes me not able to do as much during the day that I’d like to. I thought I’d have all this time to do more during the day. But I don’t.

Professor is excelling at school and kindergarten. He has beautiful handwriting. He was the Tin Man for Halloween. He remains a sweet and helpful boy, unless things aren’t going his way. He does really well on the monkey bars and for about 2 weeks, he had big blisters on his hands all the time because of them. Now he doesn’t and he LOVES recess!

Pirate is struggling with school and kindergarten. First, it was that he couldn’t finish his work in class because he got too distracted. Next, he started being sloppy and rushing through things to be able to finish his work in class. Now, he is not doing well with his handwriting. It’s stressing me out a bit to see him struggle so much. I worry that he will hate school. He loves gym and recess and I wish that they had more time in those subjects for his sake. He has lost 3 teeth and it makes him so adorable!

The twin thing in school is interesting. I insisted that they be in the same classroom together and that is working out well. They sit across the room from each other and rarely play with each other during their free play. Or even at recess. They don’t gravitate to sit with each other on the carpet. It’s like they are not even with each other!

Butterfly is doing well in school. I’ve just gone through the gifted and talented try outs for her, and we should see soon if she made it or not. She and I are learning cursive at home, although her teacher made time to teach them at school too. A change from other schools in the area, I’ve heard. She has gotten so tall and so grown up!

Our biggest stress is Juice’s job. It is ending in 2 months. We don’t have anything lined up. We do have 5 very probable options, but we are waiting for offers from them. He’s been interviewing around the country. We will be moving in 2 months. Where to? I’m really not sure! Hopefully next week we will know more.

Until we know, I’ve been kind of tearing my hair out with stress and research. Where do we go? Where will we live? What kind of school should we do? Country or town? And I’ll probably only have 4-6 weeks to pack our entire house to move.

And then the whole house thing. We can’t sell our house. Oh I’m not saying that we CAN’T, I’m saying that we won’t because we owe more on it than we can sell it. We want to rent it out. And that opens it’s own can of worms. Stress stress stress!

I’m honestly not going to be a great blogger in the next few months. My life is one big messy ball of stress and sleepless nights, and kids and no fun. Honestly, I’m not liking what goes on in my head and what comes out on paper. It’s messy. And harsh. And jumpy. That could be because I’m out of practice. But frankly, I have NO interesting content. Unless you count on my stress freak out being content. I am.

So yeah, welcome to NaBloPoMo 2013.


Cowboy at 3 Months Old


It’s hard to believe that Cowboy is now three months old. I seriously thought at the end of my pregnancy I would be pregnant forever. But look! Here we are, 3 months after.

Cowboy 3 months

Cowboy is one portable baby. He goes everywhere and anywhere. And boy do we go a lot of places! I know I am ruining his sleep by carting him to every event. But there is nothing to do about it. So far he’s been to 5 (!) states (Maryland, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, and Washington DC) and to sisters school, church, stores, barn, etc. As long as I am around, he is very content. And he LOVES his wrap and being held. He had his very first stroller ride this Monday.

He is a terrible sleeper. I mean terrible horrible. As long as he is on top of me or next to me, he sleeps great. But any time I try to put him down, he wakes up 10 minutes later screaming. And not just fussing, all out high pitched screaming.

It makes me very, very tired. And I know I’ve done it to myself. I would hold him all day every day if I could. But sometimes mommy needs to have a break! I just pray that things are going to even out. He has slept the odd few nights in a row but then goes back to his horrible up every hour and a half schedule. That one he keeps with ease!

Cowboy bw Elvis 3 months

He is 13.9 lbs, and 24 inches long. His head is about 16 inches around. Comparing that to Professor and Pirate, he is exactly their same length but a little over half a pound heavier. Cowboy is not rolling over in any way shape or form. He’s also not doing much tummy time. He’s just so portable right now that I don’t often spend time on the ground. He will push his face into the floor and stand up on his toes and scream though. That part of tummy time is always fun.

Cowboy 3 months old

He is the talkiest baby. He sighs, coos, chats, and ahhs almost all the time. We call it singing. He just chats and chats and chats! Here’s a sampling of what we get almost 90% of the time he’s awake:

He is a thumb sucker. Since I have pictures of him sucking his thumb while in my belly, it’s no surprise. Although he does forget it’s there if I am hanging around. He does fine with it if Juice is holding him.

Cowboy thumb 3 months

And I think his eyes are going to stay blue. What do you think?


Cowboy is 2 Months Old!


Cowboy turned 2 months old across the country in Utah.  About a week before Cowboy turned 2 months old, my grandpa died.  My Nana wanted everyone to be at his funeral so when he was 7 weeks old, we boarded a plane and flew across the country!  He now has 3 states to his name (Maryland, Illinois [lay over] and Utah) which is pretty good for being 7 weeks old.

I have a post coming about my grandpa and the funeral in a bit, but right now I’d like to focus on Cowboy at 2 months old.  He is 23 and 3/8ths inches long, which is about in the 70th percentile for height.  He is 11 lbs, 14.5 oz (50%) and he’s gained just over 2 lbs in a month.  He is now all rolly-polly and has those adorable dimples in his hands and around his knees.  His head is 15 3/4 inches which puts him solidly in the 75th percentile.  ALL of the kids have ALWAYS been in the 75th percentile for their head.  It’s seriously weird and cool at the same time.

He got 2 shots and one oral vaccine at the doctor’s office yesterday.  They combine a bunch of vaccines into a few shots but still, it’s a lot for such a little guy!  DTaP, IPV, HIB, Prevnar and Rotateq.  I had a lot of reading to do at the office.  And he had a lot of sleeping to do when we got home!

He is a sweet, cute little guy.  When he’s happy, he talks and talks and talks in the most adorable coos and sighs and babbles.  He has a very charming smile and gives it out sparingly.  He still stares at you all big eyed but I see the day coming when he will be completely smiles for everyone he meets.

He is a champ at holding his head up and likes to hold onto your arm if you have him up on your shoulder.  He can follow things around if he’s feeling up to it.  Most tummy time ends up in a huge crying mess but only because he bangs his face on the floor and then cries.  And oh, if he’s sad, it’s the most adorable little cry and pouty lip thing.

He has that happy panting that I remember from the others, and he’s not sleeping well.  Unless he sleeps with me, then he sleeps great! I think we have found a system that works, though.  He likes to sleep swaddled, in his rock and play, and his feet covered with another blanket.  He doesn’t fuss much in the night, but goes from sleeping to screaming in 1 short second.  Boy does that wake me up!

The other kids really adore him.  In fact, they adore him so much sometimes he turns away crying.  I think they overwhelm him.  But sometimes, they don’t even remember that he is around.  Butterfly really loves to hold him and see him in the morning.  She helps soothe him when I just can’t get to him right away.  Pirate says, “Oh Cowboy!  Hi Cowboy! Hi Cowboy!” over and over and wants to sit next to him at dinner and in the car.  And I keep having to stop Professor from picking the kid up.  I know he wants to drag Cowboy all over the place.  He also tries to hug him and it’s a little rough.  Cowboy doesn’t seem to mind too much though.

We are so lucky to have this little guy in our house.  It’s amazing how the Lord knows what we need and when we need it.


The Quiet One


It seems that the days are flying by faster and faster. Every time I sit down to type up a post, I end up being called away on an important “mission” for one of the kids. At least, that’s what I tell myself to make serving them constantly seem more exciting. Current missions?

The big kids call him Quiet Cowboy.  And he is really quiet as long as he is with his Mommy.  Daddy is okay.  Maybe.  But Mommy is the end all to beat all.  He takes most of his naps in the baby wrap.  I’d say he spends about half of his time in the wrap.  He’s there when I cook, when I clean, when I walk Butterfly to the bus in the mornings.

He’s a pretty good companion.  I like him.


Cowboy is 1 month Old!


Our little Cowboy is already a month old. It’s hard to believe that he is changing and growing so fast! He is 9 lbs, 13 oz and 22 inches long. He’s just starting to smile a little bit and can track you with his eyes (and a little with his head.)

He’s starting to grow out of the newborn clothes. This is my only baby to grow out of those clothes in a timely fashion! Butterfly never wore them, and the boys were in them for several months. He does not sleep well unless he is sleeping next to me or in my arms. He almost always calms down the minute I pick him up, which is soothing for me (and him!)

We still wonder what color his eyes are going to be. Sometimes I think he’s going to stay blue eyed, sometimes I think they will go hazel like the others. He looks SO much like Professor that it would be nice if he stayed blue eyed like Professor is.

I love how portable he is at this age. Honestly I can put him in the wrap and he sleeps. I can do pretty much anything but sit down with him! He’s been only a few places like the grocery store and Butterfly’s school once or twice. I’m trying to limit his exposure to germs as much as I possibly can because he’s so little.

I’m working on his birth announcements and this is what I’ve done:

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I think it’s probably my nicest one! If you are lucky enough to get one from me in the mail, I hope you enjoy the picture on the back too!


Cowboy Birth Story


It all started about 4:30 in the morning on January 7th. I sat bolt upright in bed because of a pain or heart burn or something. Maybe a little of both. It was pretty common for me to be up half the night with some kind of pain but in the back of my mind I thought this was different. I laid back down and dozed until 5am, when I was up feeling very uncomfortable.

I hoped this was it. See, my parents were in town and I really wanted to have him while I had lots and lots of help. I had an induction scheduled on January 11th, and I hoped that I wouldn’t make it to that day.

I didn’t have very regular contractions. Mostly I felt horrible cramps. Like menstrual cramps. No matter what way I switched positions, I still felt them. I got up and walked around. I took some pain killers. I kind of puttered in the bathroom. I started noticing a pattern to the cramps and started timing them. They were around 2 min apart and lasting about a minute or so. I had about 20 minutes of that and Juice woke up.

By this time, I knew this was different. The pain killers did nothing to touch the cramps. I felt awful. My doctor at my last appointment told me not to wait to call. If I had contractions for more than half an hour, to call them.

I told Juice that I thought he should stay home. I decided to take a shower and see if the contractions and the pain went away. It didn’t. I got dressed and put all of my stuff into the hospital bag while Juice got ready. Still not very painful contractions, but these horrible cramps. I started noticing that the tops of my thighs were started to ache. I called my doctor. He said to come on into the hospital and get checked out. It never hurts to be looked at.

I was 38 weeks and 3 days. I had Butterfly at 38 weeks and 4 days. And the boys, I had at 36 weeks and 6 days.

I had breakfast and said goodbye to the kids. I was going to stay and make sure that Butterfly got off to school around 9am but I really just wasn’t feeling well. Juice said we should go sooner rather than later so we left.

We got to the hospital (time unknown, I really wasn’t thinking about the time) and headed up to Labor and Delivery. They were expecting us. I signed a bunch of forms. I got my ID bracelets and they asked us to wait in the empty waiting room.

About 5 minutes later, a triage nurse came and took us to triage. I got undressed and they hooked me up to the monitors. One showed that the baby’s heart beat was good. And the other showed my contractions. Or my lack there of. I was sure they were going to send me home. I still felt pretty horrible, lots of cramping but nothing really showing up on the monitors as a real contraction.

I answered a bunch of questions, including how dilated I was at my last appointment. Which was Wednesday the 2nd. I was 2 centimeters. They checked me again and this time I was 4 centimeters! They said they were going to keep me and moved me into room number 2.

In Labor Jan 7 2013

There, I had all my monitors hooked up again, and answered a bunch more questions. Mostly about the baby and what my plan was. They asked me about 3 times if I wanted the epidural and I said I would think about it. I got a few more bracelets and an IV. (I HATED this IV. They put it in the side of my wrist and it ached every time I moved my hand. Which was a lot.) They left me to labor a bit. The nurse came back in and adjusted my monitors so I would get credit for the contractions that I was having. Since they weren’t showing up on the monitor and I was feeling them. The cramping was getting worse but nothing I couldn’t handle.

Cowboy Contractions

My doctor came in (same one I saw on Wednesday! Yay!) and we discussed my plan for labor. My contractions were still very, very mild. And not terribly regular. I wanted the doctor to break my water and see what happens from there. I didn’t want pitocin. I wasn’t sure about the epidural still. She said she was fine with that and got out her stuff. It was about 10:40am by then. She broke my water (which hurt, not the water part but the getting the hook in there part) and frowned. Both her and the nurse looked at me and the doctor said she knows she broke it. No water was coming out. (Honestly, I had been wondering if I’d been leaking fluid for a few days…no conformation on that though.) She had to break it again and pushed on my belly after. A small gush came out. Followed by regular little gushes as I had contractions.

It’s game time. When I had Butterfly, the doctor broke my water and I had her only a few contractions later. They did the same with the boys. I was expecting things to start moving. So was everyone else. So when nothing really happened, the doctor left and the nurse too. I tried to relax. Juice took a nap (a tiny short one, lucky) and I turned the music on my phone so I could think of something. About 10, maybe 15 minutes into it I started hurting. The contractions were finally starting to get regular and hurt! I just kept telling myself “down, out, down, out, down, out” with each contraction. Pretty soon my breathing and shifting woke Juice up.

Juice sleeping/waiting for baby

I made him come over to my right side and hold the baby heartbeat monitor onto my side. I wanted to be sitting up. It was the only comfortable position. Sadly, they don’t want you sitting up because it’s hard to monitor the contractions and the baby. So Juice’s job was to hold the monitor on my belly and make sure that they can still monitor the baby while I sat up and tried to manage the pain.

I remember feeling like I couldn’t do this. I remember thinking that this was normal and that I was probably in transition. (Yay for reading and watching a ton of labor stuff before!) I started to shake. I KNEW I was in transition. The nurse came in and tried to talk me into an epidural but I knew it was close and I couldn’t wait for the epidural to kick in. I started to have contractions back to back to back and the nurse asked if I wanted to be checked.

The doctor walked in at that moment and said that she would check me. It took me about 4 contractions to be able to roll over onto my back to be checked. I was complete and ready to push. Then it took me about 4 MORE contractions to respond to that. I remember saying that I didn’t want to do this. A lot.

I had a small break in the contractions and they convinced me it was time to push. I asked if I could lay on my side. Really, I wanted to sit up but being on my back hurt way worse than being on my side. They said sure. It was awkward, laying on my back. They kept trying to push my legs out farther than I was comfortable. And I lost control. Lots of pain, lots of screaming (yes, screaming) and lots of crying. I think I only pushed on my side for a few contractions. They kept counting to 10 to help me and I totally ignored it. I pushed when I was ready, and for how long I could. The doctor told me if I rolled over on my back we would have the baby.

I remember having to steel myself to roll over. It hurt. A lot. And when I did, they kept trying to push my legs back. And I kept wanting to arch my back away from the pain. It HURT to be on my back. Finally, I decided, “Let’s get this over with!” and pushed as hard as I could.

Then, the contractions stopped. I had been having stair step contractions back to back, where I didn’t get a break in between to re-center myself. The pain just kept coming and coming and coming and building and building. I could feel his head crowning but it wasn’t painful. I suddenly could take a breath and realized what was happening. Then I felt the contractions come back and I pushed as hard as I could. His head was out. Then the next contraction the rest of him came out with a whoosh and a HUGE gush of water came out with him. It was 12:27pm.

They put the baby right onto my chest and I looked down at him. Boy did he look like Professor! I got to hold him for a few minutes and they took him to the warmer to get him wiped up and weighed. (8lbs, 3 oz which is what I weighed when I was born, and 20 inches long)

Cowboy Weight

Juice took his picture.

Baby Cowboy is here!

The placenta came out in one big whoosh and I felt so much better. It really is amazing that once that is gone, you feel great. I guess it was a big placenta too because the doctor said so. She said she had to give me one stitch. She asked if I would rather have some local to numb the area, but it would be two sticks. One stitch, also sticks. I chose just to do the stitch and have it over with.

I started shaking really bad again at that point and they brought the baby back to me. They brought me a few more blankets and covered me up. They gave me a very cool bracelet that would play Braham’s Lullaby when the baby got close to me. They gave Juice his bracelets and I started shaking again. We did some skin to skin and they piled the blankets on. I think every house should have a blanket or towel warmer. A totally frivolous thing I would like to put on my Christmas list.

Mommy and Cowboy Jan 2013

Juice and I looked him over, and he started sucking his thumb! So adorable.

Cowboy sucking his thumb Jan 2013

I let Juice hold him for a few minutes and then they wrapped him up to be moved over into the other rooms. He got to push the bassinet and I got a wheel chair ride.

Daddy and Cowboy Jan 2013

This was my longest delivery yet. Butterfly: 2 hours. The boys: 4 hours. And him, they count it from the time of my first contractions (I say about 5am) till he was born. So 7 and a half hours. But really, from the time they broke my water at 10:40 till his birth at 12:30 was only about 2 hours. This has been the only birth I’ve actually gone in to labor on my own. The other 2 were inductions. So I think it’s okay if it’s a little longer than the others! Plus, I had no pitocin, no interventions (other than breaking my water) and I seriously felt great after. Shaky, and a little light headed, but I like that I could get up to go to the bathroom if I wanted and I could walk only a few minutes after birth.

We decided on his name (email me if you want to know, I won’t mention it here) and Juice decided he disliked Buckaroo for his blog name. So we switched it to Cowboy and it fits him much better. Welcome to the work baby Cowboy!

Happy Mommy and Baby Jan 2013


PS- More about the hospital stay later. I have A LOT to say on that subject.

Due Date and Baby!


Today is my due date for the baby. Whew, I made it! And guess what? I had the baby almost 2 weeks ago. Yup. Blogging in real time people.

No honestly, 4 is harder than 3. I think because I had SO MUCH HELP when the boys were born that I was able to adjust slowly to having 3. This time, not as much help. My parents were here for a few days, and Juice has taken a few days off. It’s an adjustment for us all, and we’re all coping. Some better than most.

PLUS, our first floor is still in the messy throws of being of being re-floored. Which we’ve had our friends help with, and our family. But still, it’s all torn up and that is what Juice is taking time off to do. Oh sure, he helps some with the kids. He’s actually been very helpful. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like he’s ignoring me and our three (!!) boys completely. But the floor does take up a lot of our time.

PLUS, we found mold in our downstairs wall.

Seriously, the fun never stops here!

Here are a few pictures of the babe, and then the birth story will follow in a few days.


You can see our new floor in this picture.