Reincarnated As A Mother

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home Life

Nurse Nancy just left and Kean has gained weight again. After a poor showing last week-- he's back to star status. He's now up to 8 pounds 11 ounces. She wants me to keep him on the monitors another week (sigh) because even though last night was un-eventful, the two nights before had several alarms. That may not sound like a big deal-- but when the alarms go off -- loud enough to wake the dead-- and you combine that with Reese getting up because she is 'cared... and Kean needing to eat a few times a night and me needing to pump a few times a night-- it makes for a couple of nights without any sleep. Which equals one foggy-brained, grouchy mom.
Since we are on quarantine until this crazy flu season settles down-- I thought you might like to see what a typical day is like in the Barker house. Reese always wakes up first. She gets sooo excited when Kean wakes for the day-- she always greets him with "Good Morning Son"... Wonder where she gets that one?

Kean always wakes up STARVING to DEATH. He sounds like a snuffaluffagus snorting down his bottle.
He's not the easiest baby to get a burp out of... but when he does grace us with a burp... it's usually a pretty darn good one. (Hey, you try and take photos with one hand)!
Bath time is always a highlight. Notice the strategically placed washcloth-- gotta keep the pictures decent and mom dry... if you know what I mean-- wink, wink.
Here's a bonus bath picture... just because he's so darn cute.
Then it's a race to get his diaper on before, well, you know.
After getting dressed, if he's awake enough, it's therapy time and tummy time. Here he is on his mat.
After much grunting and panting, he pushes himself up! Yeah!
And believe it or not, he rolls over! Where was my video camera?
Of course, there has to be time during the day just looking adorable. Don't you wanna just gobble up those cheeks?
Kean is a big 2 1/2 months old and going strong. He's living up to his Mister Miracle moniker. How's that for alliteration?
Cat nap time... before eating again.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reese's Turn

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Since I'm an equal opportunity mother... here's Reese's turn at the mic. We do a lot of singing around Girl World. In fact, if you ever visit, I'm certain Reese will subject you-- strike that-- treat you to at least 2 or 3 numbers. Here's a preview of what to expect.

You Are My Sunshine...

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Greer sings this song non-stop around our house... hope it makes you smile.

Holland's Talk

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Holland was asked to give a talk as part of our ward's (church) annual children's program. She was asked to talk about the blessings that helped her mom and baby brother. Byron had her practice a couple of times on the computer's camera on Sunday morning. It's about a minute long. This is mostly for the grandparents. Try to ignore Greer acting like a whack-o at the begining and the bubbles floating across the screen. Gotta make it fun...

Just so you know-- she did great. Even brought several people (including her still emotionally raw mother) to tears. A huge thank you to Danielle Bingham for coming over Sunday morning and sitting with Kean so I could go to church and hear Holland. Danielle came to do us a favor and then left us a roast for dinner. Can you believe all the love that continues to pour our way?

Friday, October 23, 2009

So Loved...

What in the world would we do without our favorite neighbor, Grandpa Bodily? He's been pretty busy of late-- so it's always a treat when he can spend time with us...The other night, we got a knock on our door. On our doorstep, stood our dear friends, Susan and Foad Roghanni. They came bearing gifts-- about 60 bottles of homemade Concord grape juice. Susan knows our little family loves homemade bottled grape juice. We have a tradition of each Sunday after church drinking the juice with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. And she knows, since I was in the hospital and have a new baby, I would not be getting around to bottling my stash of juice for this year. So she did it. And did it up.
Check out the pic of her holding Kean, while the girls hold their bottle babies.

She dressed up each bottle with little purple or lavender colored "aprons". Aren't they cute? Too bad this isn't taste-ternet. The juice is heavenly.
And what is truly amazing about all this-- is that Susan is one of the busiest women I know. She is Susan Camille Beckman Roghanni. She is Camille Beckman-- yes, the Camille Beckman -- many of you know and love her lotions, cream and yummy products. If you don't know her, you should. She is truly amazing and a true Renaissance woman. I love and adore her.

Finally, check out this onion. It's from my Uncle Wendell's farm in Weiser. He grows them and sells them to places like Outback for their bloomin onions. It was the most beautiful onion I've ever seen-- if onions can be beautiful. I hated to cut it up. But I did.
Don't you all wish you lived in Idaho?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life

Don't know if I mentioned it or not, but Kean is officially off his caffeine medication and so far so good. Meaning, no middle of the night alarms going off. He's to stay on his monitors for another two weeks to make sure he keeps up that breathing--- and I can't wait to turn that blasted thing back into Norco. Kean is sure loving his play time. I got this mat when Greer was a baby, gave it away after Reese-- and somehow it made its way back to me. Crazy stuff.
Reese is a bit obsessed with the play mat. She loves to get under it with Kean. Just today he was batting at a toy and licking one with his tongue. That may not sound like a big deal-- but for him-- that's great progress and a good sign of his developing skills.

Saint Dee (Grammy) is still working her magic long distance. These little beauts came in the mail today for Reese. She had a pair (given to her by Aunt Dana) that she had plum worn out...
So just in time for Halloween, Reese will have new "sparkle heels" to wear for her big night as a beeyootiful princess. Stay tuned for photos... we'll have the camera ready to go.
And guess who stayed home from school today and yesterday sick. Poor Greer. And poor me. I'm trying not to go mental keeping the kids away from the baby. Can I just tell you how gagging sick I am of the smell of Lysol?
So much for the flu shots we got on Saturday. I hear they take about 4 to 5 days to kick in. Sigh.... maybe the rest of us will be spared.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carrot Cake Link

So I sent you to my sister-in-law's cooking blog... and then come to find out the carrot cake recipe is very well hidden in the depths of her blog. So here is the link.
If you're not into carrot cake with yummy cream cheese frosting-- I promise you, there is something for everyone on her site. She has followers from as far away as Australia. Rachel is pretty picky and only puts recipes on her site that she has tried out and LOVES.
I use it all the time. Enjoy!

http://morethanjustnoodles.blogspot.com/2008/04/triple-layer-carrot-cake.html

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Family Bliss

Nancy, the nurse came yesterday to check on Baby Kean. Are you sitting down? He now weighs a whopping 8 pounds 1 ounce. He broke the barrier. The kid is growing gangbusters! Plus, his tone for a Down's baby is fabulous. He's impressing everyone. Especially, his nurse. Sally watched Kean for me yesterday, while Reese was at Preschool. So I crammed in a bunch of errands. Reese and I had made this carrot cake (it's the best tasting in the world-- my big brother's recipe which can be found on my sister-in-law Rachel's blog site: www.morethanjustnoodles.blogspot.com). We made it as a thank you for Dr. Lovelace and his staff. It looked better in real life, I promise. So I dropped that off and swung by my old stomping grounds at the hospital to say hi to my nurses. Get this, half the staff is out with the flu or with their kids who have the flu. Can we say crazy? A good reminder why Kean is on quarantine. When I picked Reese up from preschool, I asked her what she had learned. Listen to what she said: "Hmm, I know I learned something but I can't remember what."
Me: "Did you make any friends today?"
Reese: "Yes, my friend is a pink girl."
We're really getting our money's worth out of preschool, don't you agree?
Finally, did I tell you the girls finally, got their pet rabbit, Roxie?
She was owned by our neighbors (Holland's teacher when she was in 2nd grade-- Mrs. Kwid). They got Roxie something like 9 years ago and were told she'd only live a couple of years!!!
So we have her now. Holland wrote up a proposal outlining how she and her sisters would feed, clean and exercise Roxie. We said yes, once we got this hospital thing behind us. So the time has come.

Byron even bought a harness and leash for Roxie. (Don't laugh-- it's actually to keep her alive. We have huge owls, hawks, a fox, coyotes and a dog named Zoe-- that all live on our property). So the girls took her for her first walk today. It was hilarious. She seemed to love it.

Then they loaded up Roxie and Reese in our old wagon and pulled her down to visit her old home and say hi. Ahhh, life in the country. What hillbillies we all are!




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Showing Off

Kean had his 2 month check-up today. I can't believe he's already that old-- even though the doctor said with his "adjusted" age from being a premie-- he's not even a month old. And boy, oh boy, did he show off for Dr. Sandstrom. First off, he's gaining weight like he's training for a heavyweight fight. Kean is 7 pounds 13 ounces. Whoa! Then, she put him on his tummy and he pushed himself up and looked around, then pushed his legs up and back like he was trying to crawl. And finally, he rolled over. Dr. Sandstorm was absolutely tickled and said a "typical" baby (non Down Syndrome) shouldn't be able to do these things for another month or so! The blessing our Bishop gave us the night we found out Kean had Down's-- promised us that he would be able to do and accomplish things in his life that the doctors would say he would not be able to do. Guess this is a little foreshadowing of that.
He also got a couple of shots. Ug. Poor little guy.
I've been told the greatest threat to an infant is a toddler. That is so true. I have to watch Reese like a hawk. She thinks SHE is his MOTHER not ME. I ran upstairs to gather up the laundry and look what I found when I got downstairs. She just wants to spend all day snuggling with him, smothering him with kisses and changing his diaper whether he needs it or not.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sisterly Love

Reese asked her dad to "take a picture of baby Kean holding me"... so here ya go!


I have huge news to report. My parents finally heard on the house they put an offer on 5 months and 3 days ago-- they got it!!! Yipee, kai, yay! So much for the "short" in "short sale". They still have their home to sell in Vegas-- so if anyone knows of any good Realtors in my ol' hometown, shoot me a note. Perfect timing for the approval on the house up here. My mom is heading home on Monday. Hopefully she and my dad will be heading up to their new "home" soon. Cool stuff.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We Love Our Friends!

Elly, Ron and their son Mark brought dinner in tonight and stayed to eat. They are some of our very, very dearest friends. Poor Mark-- the girls treat him like their big brother-- never leaving him alone for a second. Thankfully, he's a good sport. Trusty ol' Blue, their dog couldn't get home fast enough. Whenever they go on vacation, he comes to stay at 'Barker Park'-- and I think he was worried he was going to get left.

Dinner was delish (as always-- Elly is a fabulous cook). We sure love the Moomey's!
Kean-nut (as Sally and Byron now call him) is doing great. I met today for two hours with the gal from the Infant and Toddler's program. This is the state-run, federally funded program that will have therapists coming to work with him in our home until he is 3. Can we say lots of paperwork? Guess that was redundant-- I did say it was federally funded.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Growing Like A Weed...

It's official-- Kean is better off at home. He's thriving. Nancy, the nurse visited today and was so pleased with his coloring and his weight. Drum roll please... he's hit the 7 pound mark! He's still considered only about 3 weeks old with his adjusted date (they count from his due date). But he's doing what he's supposed to do-- sleep, eat, poop and gain weight. We're also noticing his eyes are focusing more and more on objects such as his mom's face etc. In other words he's doing really well. Oh, he has to be weighed sans clothes-- I added the diaper to keep him modest. Since he's now up to 7 pounds-- we were able to try out his new monitoring band. So far, so good. It hasn't gone off yet. Don't you think it makes him look buff?

I'm so glad to get rid of the other leads. They leave such a mark on his sensitive skin. My camera doesn't do it justice. But they were also pretty darn cheesy-- going off all the time. I had even started referring to them as my own personal water boarding torture device. Nothing like depriving a sleep deprived mother of the little bit of sleep she was getting.
Finally, here's a pic of Kean's personal assistant-- Reese helping me give him a bath and remove those pesky leads. She's very good at "bathing" him with kisses... but we did end up using the real thing-- soap and water.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Family Night

Our friend Brittany, who used to work for Byron sent home some gifts for Kean tonight. She dared Byron to wear the monkey bib. So here it is. Brittany also bought Kean his first Boy Scout "Pine Wood Derby" car-- which is hilarious because Byron is to be understated here-- not the biggest fan of Scouting.

Greer just wanted me to take a picture of her holding her little brother. Who can resist that request?
My mom took Reese to Weiser today to take my Grandmother home from her trip. So Kean and I had a very quiet house-- I even got two cat naps. Heaven!
The nurse comes tomorrow to weigh him-- I'm hoping he'll have hit the 7 pounder mark.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Quiet Weekend

We had a somewhat quiet, rainy weekend. Byron and the girls just got home from Montana-- seeing his folks. So the noise level is back to normal-- which would be ear splitting for many of you. Byron can't believe how much Kean has grown in just a few days. Lookie here-- he's holding his Binky-- what a talented boy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home, home on the range...

Byron, Craig and the girls made it to Montana safe and sound. Greer did toss her cookies twice in the truck from the windy roads. But they all survived. They even stopped halfway, hiked into some hot springs and went swimming.
Back at the ranch, my mom, St. Dee took Reese and my brother's children to lunch and a movie. That meant a nice, quiet house for me-- and a nap when Kean took a nap. Big sigh of contentment from me... I'm actually feeling slightly human today.
Oh, Kean is almost 7 pounds. Yup, you read that right. He's thriving at home-- exactly where he's supposed to be! Now if I can just keep Reese from smothering him to death with attention.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Super Mom

I think I've told you in previous posts that when I grow up, I want to be my mom. She can do anything and everything. Case in point: we have tomatoes coming out of our proverbial ears. So (thanks to the cool recipe tip from Angie S.) my mom picked all of our tomatoes and half of Grandpa Bodily's. She cored them, quartered them and then we smothered them in olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. We then roasted them in the oven for about 4 hours at 350 degrees. My mom took out the juice and bottled that for soup stock.

Then we took the roasted tomato concoction and pureed it in my Cuisinart. Voila'--- the most incredible tasting pesto. We bagged it and froze it and will use it all winter long for Spaghetti sauces, pizza sauces, bruschetta etc. And the best part? My house smells like an Italian restaurant. Yummy!
Byron and the girls left this morning at around 4:30am for "Hannah Montana". Since I was already up (Kean decided to have his awake time from about 1:30 am on....) I got the girls ready and off. Wow, what a difference it makes to take a few kids out of the mix.
Libby, Kean's occupational therapist came today and showed me a whole new set of exercises to do with him. She did say he's doing great with his neck muscles and overall tone. So sweet, sweet progress!
I also had my check up with Dr. Lovelace today. It was so nice to see my hospital buddy again. Poor guy was in an accident and severely gashed his shin. He's on crutches and his leg is in a cast. He went through my (very sizable) chart with me-- back over all the many, many ultrasounds we had -- and there wasn't a single red flag to signal or prepare us for Downs. He said in his 15 years of being an OB/GYN, he's only had 4 or 5 of these cases slip through. Meaning, the parents had no indication that their baby would be a Trisomy 21 baby. My reaction is-- what hasn't been unusual about my pregnancy or this case.
I also stopped by Norco (a medical supply store) and picked up a band with sensors that will go over Kean's chest. Since I just taped on his last set of leads this morning for the heart/oxygen/apnea monitor-- we'll leave those on for a few days. But I am very hopeful, the new band will severely cut down on the middle of the night alarms.