Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just Call Me the Gimmick Queen

I like to think of myself as a smart person. I did well in school, did post-secondary, went to college, got pretty great grades, married a great man, (smartest thing I ever did! although I get none of the credit, God does, anyway) etc.

But I'm so prone to gimmicks!!! I don't get suckered in by cheap products or infomercials, but offer me a free reward, and I'm toast.

Take diapers for example. We've been using Pampers since Levi was born because that's what they used in the hospital and we had been able to get free ones for a while from the local Birthright since they had a pallet load of preemie diapers donated and definitely had excess. And Pampers is frankly one of the only diapers that makes preemie diapers. Which Levi was using up to about 3 weeks ago. Anyway, during Levi's most recent stay in the hospital, when we first got there the nurse brought in a pack of diapers for him and asked if I saved the codes. "Codes, what codes?" Apparently there's "gifts to grow" codes on the inside of each diaper pack. You can get some really cool free stuff such as Shutterfly prints/albums and other stuff that I don't remember because I got stuck on the albums. Yeah, I was pretty ticked since I had gone through like 30 packages of preemie diapers already and hadn't seen the codes or read the packages. And they were free diaper so the codes were free!!! UGH!! I was sooo frustrated with when we got home I investigated this a little further and discovered that not just diapers, oh no, my wipes and such had codes as well...including the 3 packs of refills we had already gone through and the cute little travel packs of wipes they gave us in the hospital...yep codes on the sticky piece you take off to get to the wipes, thrown away...
But, I did still have the codes for the few packages of diapers we still had and the tub of wipes and 2 refills...but many points could I have accumulated?!

So now my dilemma was this: Do you keep buying Pampers just to get the codes?! I of course wanted to do the math to compare the extra cost of "namebrand" diapers to the cost of the prizes.

Here's my conclusion: Cloth Diapers.
Okay kind of kidding, kind of not.
Really, when it comes to disposable diapers, I'm going to buy what works. And we've already found out some that don't work and I still love my Pampers Swaddlers. (I should be getting commission to be pushing their product so hard.) They're so soft and hold a lot while keeping Baby dry. There are some others I'm trying out. Luvs are doing pretty good. When Levi gets into size 1 we've got some of Target's Up&Up brand to try which have gotten good reviews from friends. But unless they are fabulous, I just might stick to my Pampers and keep collecting my codes.

But here's the other math equation for you. They make some pretty cool cloth diapers these days. FuzziBunz really catch my eye. So bigger initial investment, but cheaper overall. No, I did not factor in the cost of washing them, I can't do that kind of math.

So do I shell out $20 every 10 days or invest hundreds to start with? I figured to buy the amount of cloth diapers we need would only take about 162 days to spend that much in disposables....hmmm...we'll have to think about this one.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Baby is Sick

Levi has RSV and Viral Pneumonia.

I know I said I would keep this blog about my perspective on life, not just what is happening with Levi, but a new lesson for this Momma. Life revolves around my baby, and my baby's sick. Therefore, my world stops.

He's been transferred to St. Cloud and we're just hanging out with the oxygen and praying he does better. He's already better than he was this morning but for now it's just a wait and see.

So we pray and try not to cry.

I hate this hospital. I'm so thankful for it, but I hate that we're here again.

Friday, February 12, 2010

You Win Some, You Lose Some

This seems to be my life as a Momma.

I know this title will be so appropriate some day when I'm argueing with Levi over what clothes he can wear, what friends he can see, what movies he can watch, etc...
But right now, it seems so appropriate with my style of mothering.

The losing aspect:

I was determined when we left the NICU not to be a freak out Momma. Yes, Levi was more susceptible to germs, and we were going to be careful, but not recluses either.
And ever since his due date, I've been much less cautious with going out, having people watch him, letting people hold him without making sure they had the flu vaccine, etc...

Well that came back to bite me. Took Levi to the Doctor today, he's been coughing since yesterday and sneezing and generally looking miserable. Figured he had a cold but with preemies you can't be too careful. Did an RSV test, drew blood, chest x-ray, really doctor? All that necessary?! Oh yeah, especially since he has RSV. CRAP.
Seriously?! Where did he get a virus?!

Thankfully, it's not in his lungs, we're not in the hospital, and they sent us home with a nebulizer to help clear him up. We just have to watch him closely, well listen closely, to make sure his breathing/coughing don't get worse. If so, back to the doctor we go. Hopefully not to the hospital. I just pray he'll be okay.

Levi had made the transition a week ago to sleeping in his own crib in his own room. Now with this scare he's back in our room. I like to hear him coughing, breathing, etc...

The Winning aspect is this:

Up to now Levi's been gaining on average an ounce or so a day, which is what they want and really, really good. When we were at the Dr. last week he had gained a pound in 2 weeks. So 16 ounces in 14 days. GREAT! Well, I made the decision last week to stop giving him formula once a day. It was supposed to be extra calories to help with his weight gain. But we hated it and he was so gassy and uncomfortable. Well he's still gassy but that's another story. So at the Doctor's today he weight 18 ounces more than he did a week ago!! So pat on the back for Momma. I'm sure it's just a growth spurt but I like being right in this area. So my 9 pound baby is getting a little chunky finally. Yeah right, chunky he's not.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


For all of my emotions, negative attitude, and general frustration at having a baby prematurely, today, I feel on my way to being whole again.

We got to bring Levi home, we get to snuggle him, kiss him, bathe him, love on him, and talk to him any time we want. A lot of parents don't get to do that. A lot of parents are still sitting by their baby's beside hoping and praying that they will just breathe and live, let alone come home. A lot of parents have buried their children and had to leave them permanently, not just at night. I thank God that isn't us. I ache and cry for them, but I'm so thankful it's not us.

God could choose to take Levi, or one of us, at any moment, but for now, He's shown His grace in letting us have and enjoy our little boy.

Levi had his carseat "retest" yesterday at the hospital...It was sooo hard for this Momma to be back in that hospital, back close to that NICU. I wanted to cry the whole time we were there, but I didn't. I'm crying today about it. Not tears of sadness, not really, but tears of rememberance and thankfullness to not be there anymore. It was such a hard time, so hard I didn't even realize how much so, because we were just trying to focus on getting Levi home and him being healthy that I didn't let myself feel the enormity of what was happening.
By the way,

Levi passed his test!

So no more monitor! I officially feel like I have my baby boy. We are free, free of monitors, restrictions, cords, time constraints trying to get him all hooked up...

But more importantly, Free to hope...

I realize today that even when I talked about the future with him, I didn't mean it in my heart. Part of me still held back because he wasn't completely finished with the scary experience. But today, we're done Lord Willing. We're done with the hospital, the NICU, the monitors, everything. He's still a preemie, still some catching up to do, but overall, he's fine, he's healthy and he's ours.

Our little miracle who isn't so tiny anymore. And I can now picture us going to see Great Grandpa & Grandma, visiting friends in other states, riding bike this summer, going on family trips, etc...

God really has given me a hope and a vision for our lives with Levi.
I feel as if I've been living with my breath held for these past 2 months, well not anymore. We have a life to live with our son, and we're going to do it!! There will still be hard days, nights without sleep, worry, concern, but overall, God has got us this far, He's not about to fail us now. No matter what happens in our lives, I have seen God's grace and mercy in our son's life and in our lives, and I can't explain my gratitude for that. The best way I know how is to raise Levi to love and glorify God. To teach him of God's great gift of salvation and to always glorify God no matter what he does. I don't dream of him being a doctor or teacher or tv man like his Daddy. I dream of him loving Christ and serving him.
What more could this Momma want?

Monday, February 01, 2010


It's February. I hate this month. I know that it's the shortest month of the year and all that jazz, but for me it usually drags on and on.

Somehow I think this year will be different.
1. I have a baby to keep me busy
2. I haven't been skiing all winter already and bored of it. I just went Cross-Country skiing for the first time this season on Saturday.
3. I'm not working full time so therefore, yeah not sure why that'll make the month go faster...

But I digress, it's February, which means January is over, which therefore means my due date has come and gone. January 30th was supposed to be the big anticipated day. Now I realize that most women do not actually give birth on their due dates but with Levi already being here that was my day to pinpoint when he "should have" been here.
Which I feel bad saying because really, God knew when he "should have" arrived, which was December 18th obviously.
Again, I digress. Instead of giving birth on Jan. 30 I went cross-country skiing with my husband and left Levi in Sarah's very capable hands. It was somewhat ironic...and painful...literally, my legs hurt a lot afterwards! I gotta work on getting back into shape!

I kind of expected to be really sad and tearful on my due date, and I did shed a few tears, but overall, I was just sort of okay. It didn't feel like the big deal I thought it would. I've kind of been giving myself a talking to about being sad about having Levi so early.

One of my best friends is due with her first baby in about 5 weeks, so she's officially in new territory that I haven't been in. It was fun when we were both pregnant to be a little ahead of her and fill her in on what to expect. Now she's the one who is telling me what it would have been like. At first this made me sad, and then I gave myself a little talking to.
There are soooo many things in life that I won't get to experience, why be upset about this little 6 week issue?! Seriously, I need to be sooo thankful that I had the privilege of being pregnant with and having Levi even if it wasn't a "typical" pregnancy/birth.
I am so blessed to have an amazing husband who loves me, a beautiful healthy baby, and salvation from our Great God, so I have nothing to complain about.

So that's it, no more sorrow, no more living in grief, I'm going to appreciate every moment I have with the bugaboo, and be thankful for the extra weeks I was given with him. They are a blessing, not a curse.
There will still be days where I'll be sad, or chagrined, like yesterday when someone said their baby slept 11 hours at night at 6 weeks and I have to remember Levi's adjusted age is 0 not 6 weeks, so I'll give him time. And laugh at how me who loves to sleep is now not getting any.
And I'll thank God for all my blessings.