Saturday, December 31, 2005
I've got not butt, and so you see,
My diaper won't stay on me.
When I poop, it goes up my back.
What do you think about that?
That song is the reason 2005 will forever be known as the "Year of the Poop" in our household. As parents with babies know, once that little one enters the world, your life starts to revolve around three main issues: eating, sleeping, and bowel movements. It seems that one of those issues is always out of synch. In Camden's life thus far, we've dealt with all issues at one time or another. In becoming parents, much of our lives the past 8 months have revolved around poop, specifically the quest for The Perfect Diaper (you must say that in an announcer voice).
You see, my son has one small problem he inherited from his father. He has no butt. My side of the family produces nice padded derrieres. Mark's side produces flat buttocks. My husband defines the meaning of "plumbers crack" because of that lack of butt. There is nothing in back to hold his pants on. Camden inherited that from Mark, but there is nothing in back to hold his diaper on. Even though my tank of a son weighs close to 22 pounds, his butt stays as flat as can be. He sits forward and you see a cute lil plumbers crack multiple times a day. For that reason, the search for the Perfect Diaper has been an elusive search at best.
When Camden was first born, like many new babies, he had what we refer to as "Clean Diaper Syndrome." As soon as a clean diaper touched his skin, he had to poop. I remember being in the doctor office for his two month appointment and changing a poopy diaper three times in about an hour span. Yeah, we'd put a clean diaper on him and there he'd dirty it again in a matter of minutes. Even the nurse commented on his amazing ability to need to soil a fresh diaper. During this time of Camden's life, we changed countless outfits several times a day. Combining "Clean Diaper Syndrome" with the no butt issue resulted in many poopies shooting straight up the back of his diaper and all over his current outfit. We tried diaper after diaper to solve this problem. We tried the cheapest diapers and the most expensive. We tried generic store brands and the brand names. Finally, we found a diaper that did the best job in containing his poop. We rejoiced! The heavens opened and sang with us! Our washing machine thanked us. We were in diaper heaven and swore to never buy another brand.
But, as fate would have it, Camden grew and grew and grew - right into size three diapers. Unfortunately for us, the diaper we had so loved stopped at the size two. They didn't make them any larger! The size three by the same company, which was supposed to be similar to our favorite diaper, didn't make the grade. Luckily for us, around the same time, Camden started baby foods and poop became less frequent and more solid. So almost any diaper would work. We tried several diapers to see what fit we liked best and finally settled on a new favorite which we were sure would carry us through the rest of his diapering years. That is, until what shall hereafter forever be known as "The Great Prune Incident" (need your announcer voice again for that).
About three or four weeks ago, we bumped Camden up to three baby food feedings a day. With that added solid food, he started having some bowel troubles. We would see our boy grunt, make noises, and have his face turn red, only to produce a little lump in his diaper. We became worried about constipation. One evening, after such an incident, we decided to try some big guns the next day if this continued.
The following day, I was at work when Mark called me. He proceeded to tell me that Camden was having problems pooping again and so he had fed Cam prunes for breakfast. I said, "Great! Hopefully by the end of the day we'll see some results."
About two hours later, my phone rang again at work and I heard Mark say, "I am never feeding this boy prunes again." Mark then told me how they worked all too well. He was up in the office with Camden playing on the floor when he looked down and noticed a pile of something on the floor. He bent down to investigate and noticed it was poop. Camden sat there with the biggest smile on his face. The prunes had worked and with jet propulsion, Camden had shot that poop right up his back and into a neat little pile on the floor. Being at work, I laughed sadistically and told Mark to have fun cleaning up. Twice more that day, I received phone calls at work telling me Camden had shot through another diaper and outfit.
Since then, blowing through a diaper and outfit has become, once again, an almost daily occurrence. I am beginning to wonder if that one bout of prunes is having a permanent laxative effect on my son. No matter what we feed him, this boy now poops 2 to 6 times a day, often bursting through one outfit or another. So once again, our search for The Perfect Diaper resumes.
This brings us to yesterday. On Thursday, we changed Camden's pants no less than three times. Yesterday, we had already changed a few poopy diapers, but had no major blow outs. I left Camden with Mark and took a nice shower. As I got out of the shower, I heard some strange noises coming from Mark from downstairs. It was like noises of panic. No words made sense, but I noticed a touch of emergency in Mark's voice. I raced downstairs to be greeted by a smiling baby and a pile of poop on the floor. Once again Camden had demonstrated his remarkable talent of rocketing the poop straight up the diaper and onto the floor. We grabbed Cam, raced him to the tub, stripped him down, and rinsed him off. I rediapered and redressed him while Mark cleaned up our present downstairs.
So as we end 2005, and as I've changed Camden's pants already once today, I wonder what it will take to find The Perfect Diaper for my no butt baby. I am hoping against hope to find a diaper that will contain his poopy. Maybe we'll get super lucky and the boy will actually grow a butt. As I doubt that, 2005 will forever be known as The Year of the Poop. Hopefully 2006 will be known as something else. Maybe, if we're really blessed, it will be known as The Year of the Sleep.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
I'm feeling a bit blue tonight. The end of one year always finds me a bit down as I ponder the past year and look at what I accomplished and what I didn't accomplish. Spiritually, I started the year as a slacker and made some improvements. I'm still not where I want to be, but definitely making progress. Physically, I made great progress of losing weight after having Camden, but have since falling off the healthy wagon. Financially we stayed about the same. We paid off some debts but acquired a few new. So we're about in the same spot we were last year at this time. In other areas, Mark started school and is doing great! He earned a 4.0 this semester. Not bad for his first time back in college in 11 years. Yay Mark! And of course my biggest goal was to bring forth a healthy child and raise him well. I did the bring him forth part and am now working on the raising him well part.
My little boy turned 8 months old recently. I cannot believe how time has flown. Time is a tricky thing. It seems like the past 8 months have flown by in the wink of an eye. But at the same time it seems as if Camden has always been a part of my life. I cannot remember what life was like before him (except I remember it involved continuous sleep). He was born in 2005 and we are soon to enter 2006. That means he's getting closer and closer all the time to turning one year old. It is going by too fast! I want time to slow down. I want my little boy to stay my little boy forever. Of course I know that is impossible, but he is growing way too fast.
I think that is why I am sad tonight. My little boy is growing. Soon he will no longer be my little boy. Each day older is one more step in growth and each growth is one more step away from his mommy. He won't need me forever. My baby is changing from baby to toddler. His face is starting to lose a touch of its roundness and starting to look a touch older. I noticed today that his hair is filling in on top and on the sides by his ears. It's starting to fringe out around his ears a bit. When did that happen and how did I not notice it until today? My boy isn't so little anymore. He's 8 months old and weighs about 22 pounds. Yeah, roughly the size of small whale. I noticed in the past few weeks that all his 6 to 12 month clothing is getting short and tight on him. We've started to bust out the 12 to 18 month clothing. Where has time gone? How and when did he grow so fast? It seems like only yesterday I was holding my 7 pound 5 ounce baby in my arms and now he is a big chunk!
He's still a baby in so many ways. I find his development intriguing. In language skills, I think he is advanced for his age. He says mama, dada, yeah, hi, baba, and various other words all the time. People think I am lying when I say this and then he'll look at me and say mama. He's a super happy baby who will smile at anyone. He fusses rarely. But in other areas he's taking his time. The boy won't eat anything resembling a solid. He loves his momma milk and his baby foods, but take anything near his lips that is semi solid and watch him make a face of death. He acts like I am trying to poison him if a Cheerio, piece of bread, cooked veggie, or fruit touches his mouth. If I actually get it in his mouth, he pushes it out with his tongue. And if I can keep pushing it in his mouth long enough for him to swallow, he gags.
He sits up and has done so for a long time, but he won't try to crawl, won't pull himself to standing, or even get himself into a sitting position. I try tummy time, but as soon as his belly touches that floor, he rolls straight over. He hasn't yet accomplished rolling from his back to his front (with all that weight to move, who can blame him?). I sometimes wonder if he is behind, but I think more than anything, he is content with the status quo. He has Mom and Dad wrapped around his finger. He knows if he starts crying, we'll come running. So why move when Mom or Dad will move you where you want to go?
My boy is the light of my life. I know he is the light of Mark's too. Last year at this time we had just found out we were having a boy and I cried about it. I was really upset I was having a boy. We had been sure it was a girl! I had felt strongly for years that my first child would be a girl. Mark has two boys from his previous marriage, so I wanted to give him a girl. And to be honest, having a boy scared me. My oldest stepson is great, but is raised differently than I want to raise my children (he is allowed as much tv and video games as he wants and I don't want that for my children). And Mark's other son, Tyler, had died in 1999 at the age of 4. So having a boy was scary for me. I look back and laugh about that now. I am thrilled to have a boy! Camden is more fun and more joy than I ever thought possible. I live for his smiles, his laughs, his cuddling. He is such a cuddle bug and I love it! I thank the Lord daily for the miracle of my boy. He was worth the 3.5 years of ttc and the 10 rounds of fertility medications. I would do that again if it meant another baby as wonderful as him.
Thinking about all this leads me into my New Year's Resolutions. Because Camden inspires much of what I want to be in my life.
Spiritually, I need to read my scriptures more, go to the temple more often, and make my home a place where the spirit always dwells. Camden needs to feel the spirit inside the walls of this home and I need to make sure it is always here. I also need to make sure I set an example for my son in spiritual matters. I have the awesome responsibility to teach him of the gospel and his Savior in the coming years.
Physically, I need to lose weight for many reasons. One, we want to start trying for another baby sometime in 2006. Being healthy helps my body respond to fertility medications more. So that motivates me to lose weight and eat healthy. I am restarting Weight Watchers at the first of the year. Second, I need to be healthy for my son. Again, I need to set an example of healthy eating habits. Camden also deserves a mom who can keep up with him.
Financially, we need to buckle down and stick to a budget. We need to put aside wants for needs. We need to build our savings and reduce our debts.
In other areas, I need to see what I have to do to become highly qualified in English. According to the awful No Child Left Behind, because I have only a minor in English (12 credit hours difference), I am not highly qualified to teach what I have been teaching for the past 8 years. I want to take some college classes to get highly qualified. I also want to continue to do all I can to support Mark in his education. He's doing awesome and I want it to continue. I also want to work on becoming more patient and more positive this year. I often look at the negative and have little patience. Those are some weaknesses I want to improve.
Well, if you made it through this thing, you deserve a medal. It sure is nice to have an outlet for my ramblings. Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Random 2 - I am 30, scared of the dark, and being home alone. As I was typing the above random, I heard a strange noise and then my dog started barking. The computer room is upstairs (where I am). I need to be cleaning the basement which is obviously downstairs and dark (and which I was fully planning on doing until the strange noise). I'm now a little freaked out about going into the basement by myself without Mark home (he's at work). There may be some deranged maniac down there with a chain saw. How did he get in? Who knows. Considering we locked ourselves out of our house Saturday morning and it took an hour (and a professional) to break back in (that's a story for another post), he'd have to be a pretty clever deranged chainsaw killer. If I don't post tomorrow, you will know what happened. Please send a search party to the basement.
Oh, and if I made any errors in the above, I'll try to fix them from beyond the grave.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Sudoku - You are my latest drug. You take me away from other pressing responsibilities. Papers go ungraded, rooms go uncleaned, presents go unwrapped. You challenge my mind and cause me to think in different ways. Sometimes you are easy; sometimes you are my nemesis. I search for times to play you. Curse you sudoku for being so addicting!
Friday, December 16, 2005
Each Christmas Eve, we would take our stocking and place it where we wanted Santa to leave our gifts in the family room. I was always on one end of the couch with my older brother on the other end. My two younger brothers were the two arm chairs and my sister was in the middle of the chairs. Mom and Dad were on the floor near the tree. The way Christmas morning works in our house, we could open our stocking stuffers before the rest of the family joined us, but presents had to wait until the whole family was awake. The stocking gave us that little taste of Christmas present fun while we waited for the rest of the family to get up.
Over time, more special than the gifts became the stocking itself to me. As I became more of an adult and moved away from home, I still came home for Christmas (because I was a Mormon old maid until the ripe age of 24). And I knew that stocking would be waiting for me. It made me feel like a kid again, to place that stocking in its old familiar place. It shows some wear now, but it also shows so much love. It holds special memories for me and I treasure it to this day. It doesn't come out at Christmas anymore now that I am married and have a family of my own. In fact, I think my mom still has it at her house. But I treasure that stocking.
Now I have a family of my own. During the infertility years, Christmas had little meaning and cheer for me. So we just bought quick stockings at Walmart. Now that we have Cam, I want to make some. But I am not quite sure what I want in a stocking yet. I did some looking this year, but haven't decided on anything. I hope that next year finds me creating special stockings for my family. I want them to have some of the cherished memories I have of Christmas and our stockings.
I'm personally liking this day. One of my students brought me big chocolate covered pretzel sticks today. Homemade even. She's celebrating the holiday without even realizing it. (I forgot to tell her what today is).
So celebrate this holiday right. Go eat something chocolate covered. Homemade? Store bought? Doesn't matter. Just do it. Hurry quick, before the guilt sets in.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Today a student in my homebase (a class like homeroom) overwhelmed me with his family's generosity and humility. He brought me a check for $1000.00 for this family. That doubles what the school has raised so far. It comes from his parents business. As he gave me the check, he told me to not tell anybody in the class the amount or where it came from. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at the amount, as they fill my eyes now when I think about this. I took the check to the office and told them of his request to remain anonymous. I am so proud of my students! So proud of the help this school and community are giving to this family in need. I know this money will be appreciated. I know they can desperately use it. And I know this one student, along with the money given from the rest of the school, has shown me once again the true meaning of Christmas.
How grateful I am again for that reminder at this most commercial time of year. That's what it is all about - giving and helping others. I hope I can give and help more through the remainder of this holiday season.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Used to define those who make rude little comments and think they are funny. Also to define those who love to make snide comments and then pretend they weren't meant to be rude. It seems like holidays bring out a big of snarky in a lot of people. And of course, there are those who are snarky all the time. Hopefully I am not one of them.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Gingerbread men - Why are they all men? I go to Smith's and they have boxes of gingerbread men. Where are all the gingerbread women? Aren't they important too? And what about snow-women? I want somebody to bring me a plate of gingerbread women (yum) and build me a snow-woman in my yard.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Actually, I'm hoping that if I am a really good girl this year, I'll get some balance in my Christmas stocking.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
First of all, I teach 8th grade. We're talking junior high students here between the ages of 13 and 15. Junior high students are just hormones walking around disguises as adolescents. My college professor used to tell us all the time that junior high kids were brain dead and only ran on hormones for two years. I didn't believe her at first. After teaching in the junior high for 8 years now, I'm a believer.
Second of all, I teach 8th grade ENGLISH. That means lots of writing to grade on a daily basis. I sometimes feel I must be talking to a brick wall. I teach students about good introductions - how an introduction should grab the reader's attention. I teach about ways to write a better introduction - what to do and what not to do. We look at many examples. We write some as a class. They write some individually. Then comes the great moment when I ask them to apply what we have been learning about to their essays. And what do I get? 100 papers starting "My name is . . ." or "My paper is about . . ." ARGH!!! Does nothing sink in? Did they not catch any of what we have been working on for the past week? Were they sleeping?
That is why I am a teacher going slowly mad. Every day, I go a bit crazier. Every day, it's a step closer to the looney bin.
Don't get me wrong. I do love what I do. It brings me much satisfaction and joy. But there are days, like today, when I feel that beating my head against a brick wall would be more productive than the 6 hours I just spent trying to teach these junior high students.
Socks are great, socks are fun.
Give me socks, I want some.
Thank you, thank you, thank you socks.
Thank you, thank you lots and lots.
Last night I kept you on my feet.
Toasy warm was my sleep.
Thank you, thank you, thank you socks.
Thank you, thank you lots and lots.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
There are a few couples in my ward who have gorgeous boys. These couples are average and ordinary, kind of like Mark and I. They are not ugly, but not really anything spectacular to look at. You probably wouldn't look at them twice. So they have these first born sons that are stunning. And then they have a girl next. And this girl is troll daughter. You know what I'm talking about. You look at them and think, poor child. They look just like their father and that is a face that should not be on a girl. A boy could carry that face; a girl needs plastic surgery. Ok, not really, but you know what I mean. You think the girl will grow out of it eventually, but so far, nope, still troll daughter a few years later. So since Camden is so cute, I am afraid I will have troll daughter next. It's really my secret fear. I know I will think my child is cute no matter what. But what if everybody else sees that child and inwardly shudders? Can I get lucky twice and make another beautiful child? I don't know, but I sure hope it's at least not troll daughter.
I sometimes wonder how I managed to give birth to the most beautiful boy. Seriously, he is so gorgeous and I don't know how. His dad and I are just average - nothing super special - so how did he turn out so freaking beautiful? It sometimes hurts me to look at him because I am stunned by his looks. And on top of his looks, he's got the sweetest personality. I know every mother says this, but my son is truly beautiful, inside and out.
My husband and I married in July of 2000. By that first Christmas together, we felt strongly it was time to have a child, so we started trying. That first Christmas was full of hope and the promise of things to come. The following Christmas, 2001, we were almost a year into our trying to conceive a child and had suffered a miscarriage at Thanksgiving time. The doctor told me it was just a chemical pregnancy, but to me it was more. To top it off, we had found out we had fertility problems and who knew if we would get lucky again. That Christmas was sad, but I was sure that by next Christmas we would either be holding a new baby or at least be pregnant.
Christmas 2002 found me in the darkest place I have ever been. There was only blackness, hopelessness, and despair. We were now almost 2 years into our journey of trying to get pregnant. We had done seven, yes seven, unsuccessful rounds of fertility medications. We had been told our chances were slim that we would ever get pregnant on our own. Anguish overwhelmed me. All I wanted was a child, somebody to wake us early and then run down the stairs in excitement. Instead, we could sleep in as long as we wanted. There were no real surprises under the tree. And I was Scrooge. Not a speck of holiday cheer could be found in my soul. I teetered on the brink of losing my testimony, feeling lost, alone, and abandoned by my Heavenly Father. I understood the true meaning of Christmas, but it was lost on me as I wallowed in despair.
Changes occurred by Christmas 2003. We were still not pregnant, but I had found hope. We’d taken some time off from trying to get pregnant, started seeing a different specialist, and were feeling optimistic all around. It was still not an easy season, but I had hope, and after the previous year, that was a good thing.
Finally, Christmas 2004, I was 23 weeks pregnant and we had just found out it was a little boy. Mark would ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I would tell him nothing – I had already been given the greatest gift and he was growing safely inside me. And now we come this year, Christmas 2005.
My son, my miracle Camden, sits playing among the lights as Mark and I decorate the tree. In the background, we have Christmas music playing. We’ve put on the lights and our themed decorations and are now pulling out our special ones. We started a tradition that each year we buy an ornament or two which reflects the events of the past year. We unpack them and begin hanging them on the tree. The Vernal temple representing the year we got married. A dog representing the adoption of our puppy. A teacher ornament a student gave me. The meaningless balls of 2001 and 2002 that we bought quickly to carry on the tradition. And this year’s special ornament reading “Baby’s First Christmas 2005.”
As we hang these on the tree, Camden starts to fuss. He’s had a cold and I’m amazed he’s been good this long. I pick him up and begin to dance around the room, holding him tight. As I do, tears roll down my face. I remember the pain of Christmases past. And I see the hope of Christmases to come. No longer will our house be silent on Christmas morning. Camden won’t know what it means this year to get presents. He won’t really care. But in a few years, he’ll run eagerly down the stairs to see what Santa brought him. There will be no more sleeping in on Christmas morning and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think of the pain of the past and then the hope this little boy represents. And I send a prayer of thanks heavenward. He’s my miracle, my evidence of Heavenly Father’s love for me. I hope I can teach him the true meaning of Christmas. I hope I can raise him right. I hope I can be a good mom. Most of all, I hope Camden never doubts how much he is loved and how much he was wanted.