Monday, June 29, 2009

A Great time was had by all.

What a great weekend so far! We've been crashing at the grandparents in WI for some family fun. We've been to a baby shower (not our own but for our soon to be little friend Kena!) and baby goat got to meet a lot of mommy's friends. They were all quite impressed by his cuteness!

We also hung out with Grandma and Grandpa a lot too. We got a lot of fun naps being held and it helped spoil us rotten, but in a good way. Having for extra hands to deal with the baby made life a lot easier and I think all babies should have a 4:1 caregiver:baby ratio (at least for the caregiver's sake).

Also this weekend we got to meet another set of great -grandparents. Below are some photos from it. It is so wonderful to see my grandfather enamored with my son. It does a mom's heart good. And naturally he turned on the charm to win them over completely!

Four generations!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy 4 Months

Baby goat is 4 months old today (ok, technically yesterday but I'm not sleeping yet so it Bpppptt!) It is amazing to me that he is already 4 months old. He's getting so big and interested in everything. He's also recognizing people and just being cute and adorable as always.

We celebrated his four month birthday by finishing VBS, packing up what seemed like the entire apartment and driving 5 hours to the grandparents house in WI. We had to stop once for a feeding with some additonal upright time but we made the whole trip in about 6 hours and he slept most of the way. I hope he's going to sleep well tonight but so far so good.

His grandparents are of course thrilled to see him again and I am very excited for him to meet many of my friends tomorrow at a friend's baby shower. And his great-grandpa is coming down to visit him on Sunday so it will be a fun weekend of new people and places, starting today with his second state ever - Wisconsin - land of cheese, Packers and beer. Someday I hope he will grow to love all three as I do!

Happy Birthday Baby Goat! Keep up the good work.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unpleasant morning discoveries

The musical Cats has a song that discusses two mischievous cats who get away with all sorts of trouble because there are two of them and their owners don't know who to blame. Sometimes our cats like to channel this technique, like this morning.

I come into the kitchen this morning to discover the freezer door wide open and all of the food (and more importantly extra breast milk) thawed and dripping on the floor. Sadly this is not the first time they have done this but it definitely puts the pressure on. Now instead of a backlog of milk I'm at square one with a baby who is rapidly closing in on 6 oz a feeding. Eeep.

So far I think I'll be able to keep up and put a bit away again but we'll just have to see what the boobs want to do. Any tips for boosting milk supply ladies? I've never been low but I want to work efficiently right now. (I can do research on this myself of course once VBS is done but if you know help a girl save some time).

Still, as frustrated as the morning scene is and as annoying it will be to throw away all the milk I think I'll still keep my trouble maker cats. They keep life interesting.

*Sidebar - milk can be thawed and used within twenty four hours and should not be refrozen, hence the whole supply is kaput.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VBS Strikes again

It has been a mad week or so and I'm sorry that I haven't shared it yet. I want to so I'm going to share some of the stuff from the last week or two facebook-style because frankly that is about my attention span at the moment.

The Good:

* VBS is going very well. No major injuries, a lot of volunteers and just a few flubs throughout the week (like the Case of the Missing Frisbees for our craft tomorrow - which still isn't solved, and the Case of the Stolen Booster Seat - which has been).

* The set came together extremely well and I'm pleased with it again. It may have taken like 40 hours on my part and several volunteers it really works and the Fellowship Hall was successfully turned into a Bayou.

* Sister Goat is bunking with us on the couch. It takes a really awesome 18 yr old to give up a week with her boyfriend to come live on a couch, teach VBS and help Mr. Goat with the baby each day. She is amazing!

* After a horrible weekend for baby goat, we've upped his Zantac and now he's much happier again. I'm not a big drug person but this stuff helps him SO much and I hate it when he's in pain so I'm definitely glad that he's feeling better.

* And speaking of baby goat he was 12 lbs 13 oz last Thursday which is HUGE! He's more than tripled his lowest weight now and is getting the cutest Michelin Man rolls.

The Bad

* I've worked 11 days straight and still have to more to go. The end is in sight but it is hard on a normal year and definitely challenging with an infant even with Mr. Goat and Sister Goat's help.

* I've got a killer sinus infection. Luckily it was neither strep nor the flu and it looks to be bacterial so I have some antibiotics to try to stop its spread but I feel awful. I hope the meds kick in quickly and that I'm able to keep everyone else healthy. I was really worried about getting baby goat sick but I think I'll be able to pitch in still and keep him ok. That's the goal at least - any tips for caring for a baby while you are sick?

Um...I'm sure there is more but I don't want to babble because dinner is nearly ready and I need my rest. HOpefully my infection won't mess with our weekend plans which include our first trip with baby goat to WI. Wish us luck.

Friday, June 19, 2009

VBS squared

Ministry can be hard. Long hours. Weird hours. The difficulty leaving your work at work. Struggling with having your church and your work be the same place. For my particular flavor of ministry the preparations for Vacation Bible School and the week itself are even longer.

Life with a new baby can be hard too. Long hours. Weird hours.

You combine the two and it is just crazy. For the first time it is not only me tired and cranky from VBS prep. Poor Mr. Goat is on baby duty longer than ever these days. We need to do laundry. We need to go to the store. Neither is a top priority now.

There are two days left until VBS. I think we'll make it. Really, we are in pretty good shape, but we could both use a break.

Luckily Sister Goat is coming to stay with us next week to volunteer for VBS and help take a bit of the baby care too. I would have a meltdown figuring out how to do it without her.

Two days until she comes. A week before it is all over and another year is in the books. Then the real summer starts. I can't wait. The whole Goat family can't wait.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why can't all things be this simple?

I went to the car dealer this morning. I made an appointment because my check engine light had come on. It seemed to be running fine so I wasn't too worried but still I wanted to get checked out in case there was something that desperately needed fixing. After all, my car was only two years old. It was an aggravation to an already stressful week, but if it didn't checked out now it was going to be another week plus before I had time to do it again.

And so I showed up (late - a baby-related concept I'm still not comfortable with) to my appointment expecting aggravation. Instead I spent a leisurely 45 minutes reading my book (the first real break I've had in weeks) only to be called back to discover:

1. It wasn't the gas cap so I didn't have foolish user-error embarrassment
2. It was an easy fix (in fact they had already finished it)
3. It was under warranty so there was no cost
4. By checking it out right away I was a better eco-citizen. (It was some valve that controlled emission levels or something - not dangerous broken just less environmentally friendly)
5. My car had been washed and was all set to go and would I have a nice day. (Thank you I would).

It was by far the easiest experience I've had at a car repair shop, but more than that it was by far the easiest solution to a problem in my life in the last several months.

There has been so much going on with pre-eclampsia and the NICU, with balancing the new baby and work, with VBS, with Mr. Goat's job search, and finances, and medical bills, and EVERYTHING. It was overwhelming and nothing seemed to have an easy solution.

In fact it took me a while to realize today why this morning's experience seemed so foreign and it dawned on me that everything about our lives right now has seemed drawn out, complicated, frustrating or some combination of all three.

One of the readings in the lectionary this week is the disciples/Jesus in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples are freaking out in the storm (something I excel at) and Jesus is just SLEEPING! Eventually the disciples wake him up full of accusations about how they were going to drown and why couldn't he DO SOMETHING already. And of course, Jesus does.

I've thought about that a lot today. I keep looking around the storms clouds swirling and fighting back my own panic a lot. Life is great and happy but there are lots of real life worries out there, and pretty much everyone has something similar going on in this economy. There are days that I just scream (silently) for God to "DO SOMETHING." Answers, especially good ones but even ones that you don't really want to hear, seem better than waiting in anxiety. Like the disciples, what ifs and the storm clouds can be scary and it is made worse to think that GOd might be sleeping on the job.

But he's not really. He may be taking his time, but answers are coming, they may just not come until we freak out completely. But is it really a divine intervention if we haven't reached out wits end?

When I was young I was TERRIFIED of tornados. A storm or even a windy day left me cowering in the basement. My father would tease me about it, singing the tornado theme from the Wizard of Oz when the storms would threaten. But at the same time, he would get me out of bed every single time there was a warning in the middle of the night and carry me to the safety of the basement, and most of the time I wouldn't even wake up. I've outgrown my fear these days (mostly) but the memories of being carried to safety remain.

Perhaps I'm not yet aware of how we are being carried safely away from the storms now? Already we've been whisked free from the traumatic end to my pregnancy, and from the day to day life of a NICU baby. Maybe tomorrow sun will burst through another storm at a simple word? Stop. Enough. Be Still. And it will be. Afterall, even the disciples in their doubt and anxiety were saved. My own worries aren't any different.

It can't always be as easy as the car repair today. It can't always be clearcut from the getgo. It can't always happen when we want it to. It is hard to wait but our word is coming...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Glimmers in a Grouchy Day

Today has been awful so far. My head's not in the game. I'm tired and grouchy and just sick of almost everything. I have a headache and lots and lots and lots that needs doing. But my day improved when my sister posted some of her pictures from her shoot with baby goat over the weekend. I had a hard time picking just a few to share but it did help and cheer me up at least enough to face the piles again. Enjoy the combination of a cute baby and a photographer who knows what she's doing!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Musings

So you've noticed a distinct lack of words on the blog lately huh? I feel badly about it but life is ramped up a notch right now. Vacation Bible School is next week and that means I am smack dab in the middle of a storm of glitter and volunteers. Which isn't NEARLY as glamorous as it sounds. hehehe. Because I was on leave right up to a few weeks ago I didn't have as much input from the start as I normally would leading the process and that has met a bit of backtracking. However, I am grateful for the volunteers I did have on leave otherwise I would be more stressed than ever. And basically I am in good shape for the time I have left - which isn't to say I won't need every second still.

It is struggle right now because VBS is normally the time of year that I hole up at the office and work for about two weeks straight. Here I am at the beginning of the biggest two weeks of the year and I am mindful that I need to find ways to get my work done and be at home too. Mr. Goat needs a break and I need my baby time too. I am uncertain about how this will play out but I want to honor my right to NOT work all hours of the day and night. We'll just have to see and work efficiently.

But I do want to document a few things in the lives of the Goat family right now because it is important to me.

My sister was in town this weekend. It is so nice to see her and it doesn't happen often as she lives too states over. But she hitched a ride with a friend coming to a wedding, left the hubby for the weekend and came to suffer through her allergies to spend time with baby goat and us. It was fun too. She's a great photographer and is the first one to manage to catch a real baby goat grin on camera (I'll have pictures soon). She played games with us and was an extra set of hands for us too. I can't wait to see all of her pictures and it was a joy to see her with her nephew!

This weekend was special for Mr. Goat and I too as itwas also our anniversary (June 14). We'd planned a babysitter (MIL) but she ended up sick so we had a quiet night in. There was pizza and cake and good reminiscing. We watched our wedding video for the first time since the day. So many things struck me but the biggest ones are how lucky we are to have such wonderful people in our lives and how my love for Mr. Goat is as big as ever.

We hadn't watched our video because we both thought that we looked goofy on video - and we did - but it was great to watch anyway. It is amazing how many things have changed in 6 years. Heck, at this time LAST year I didn't imagine we'd be spending our 6 year anniversary cuddling with our baby on the couch.

And of course, a post couldn't be complete without a baby goat update. I've always loved kids and watched several grow up in church and elsewhere, but I've never been in a situation where I see a child everyday. Beyond my love for baby goat (which is overflowing) I am fascinated by him. I swear you can actually see nuerons connecting through those adorable eyes. Suddenly he seems inches away from rolling over. And he seems to recognize us, smiling more than ever. He is enamored with the whole world though too. His fascination with everything is obvious but he can gaze at Mr. Duck forever - flirting, reaching, wiggling, staring. You can almost see an inner dialogue (which I narrate frequently):

I must get that duck. But how? Maybe if I wiggle all my legs and arms I can get him. No? hmmm. Ok, let's stare at him. That will work, I'm sure of it. Darn, no luck. Maybe if I wiggle AND stare? Ooh, look, if I work really hard I can move this arm thing towards him. Almost, almost. Yes! Victory is mine!

So it has been a big love fest for me this weekend. With all the love in my life how can we not succeed?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Space/Time Loop of Anticipation

Seems like everything has me on edge lately wondering when we'll know the answers to some big questions. In the meantime I've entered the wonderful time of year known as VBS and while love this prep and the week itself it brings stress and long hours which is just what I don't want right now.

In other news the job front is frustrating for Mr. Goat. My grandfather's health is failing rapidly and there is fighting in the family about his care. Baby goat has been sleeping well but seems bored after his exciting weekend with the whole family and I feel bad that Mr. Goat is doing most of the work caring for a cranky baby. And I miss that little babe terribly cranky or no. I'm completely sick of pumping and want to give up but know that I should keep going. The laundry needs doing. We've needed to go to the store for days. And to top it off my c-section incision decided to start acting up again this week.

It isn't all bad. My sister is coming up this weekend and VBS is coming together but it is just go, go, go as far as work and stuff, but wait, wait, wait for the big answers about jobs, and plans and such. It seems like a toxic combination and it is so tiresome. And as happy as my life is right now, it be nice to have some of those answers we are looking for. Right now it is just hard to plan ahead of tomorrow and that is a difficult mental place for me. And I'm trying to be patient. I know these answers will appear, but I find myself living in anticipation of a phone to ring, or an email, or some sign that things are moving and not just on a time loop. Ugh. Thanks for listening.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Perfectly Suit-ed

Q: What is cuter than a baby goat?
A: A baby goat in a baby suit!

Weekend Update

I hope to do a long post soon but I'm entering the stressful church season of VBS (ok, it is just stressful for the Children's Ministry types out there but still) so I'm pulled in several dozen directions at once. And of course I'm still trying to balance not being at home with baby goat snuggling.

Still this weekend needs documenting! Mr. Goat and I successfully made a 4 day trip, with baby! We left on Thursday, after what seemed like packing up our whole apartment, and went an hour away to the ILs. Sister Goat graduated on Thursday night and then on Saturday she did a recital (piano, flute and voice) and had her graduation party. We helped, and cleaned and celebrated as a family.

Thursday I had to miss out on graduation being home with the baby since graduation was late, outside and in prime crabby time, but everything else baby goat witnessed with flying colors. He made a trip to a restaurant on Friday and slept the whole time. He didn't cry during the recital (though to be fair he did a fair amount of grunting/stretchign each time the clapping woke him up). And he was a (mostly) perfect angel during the party.

And he adored all the attention he got. My parents came on Wed and came down for the party too so he got lots of attention from both grandparents, a great grandma, great aunt, aunts, uncle, and several friends who met him for the first time. I was amazed by all the love for this little guy. And since I didn't grow up in a small town I was still blown away by everyone who came to see him at the party and tell us that they had been praying for us. It is a great little city and I'm glad that Mr. Goat and his family have such wonderful friends and neighbors. I hope we can find that when we find a house and really start getting settled.

As expected, with so many relatives, baby care was quite easy. I got most of the bottle prepared but he was changed, held and fed by his many adoring fans. In fact, when we got home last nightI think he was a little bored being with just his jailers (aka mom and dad). He even slept well, sleeping 7 hour stretches two of our three nights there! I hesitate to type it for fear of jinxing it but he seems to have figured out the concept of night just a bit. Last night was midnight - 6:30am. Very respectable all things considered.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. Sister Goat's work and efforts on her recital were amazing and she and her brother (Mr. Goat and Brother Goat) did a piece together that got me all teary. We are just so blessed to have wonderful families. My parents came to help my ILs get the party together and be with the family. We all worked hard to clean and prep and create a great party that even the freezing temps and rain couldn't hurt. And it was so beatiful to witness my Sister Goat start a new part of her life. I've known her since she was 9 - a full half of her life and I love her like a true sister. I couldn't be prouder of her or happier to have gained a great family along with my great hubby.

And now since I'm getting all sappy I should wrap up. It was an exhausting weekend, with lots to do, but so reviving just to be together all of us. And when we got home to a quite, calm routine last night it was just as sweet.

Pictures tonight I hope - you all need to see baby goat in his suit for the recital! :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Luuuuke, Come to the Dark Side...we have cookies!

Space...the Final Frontier...

...these are the voyages of the Starship Baby Goat. His continuing mission to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilization. To boldly go where no baby has gone before.

In the upcoming episode of Baby Goat Trek we are heading to the ILs for 4 whole days. Not only is this our first overnight with him not at home (or the NICU) but it could include other firsts as well, including a possible restaurant trip, attending a recital and a giant grad party.

I am more than a bit nervous about all of the first's coming up in the next few days. I worry whether he is old enough to have that much time in public (adjusted age of 7 weeks or so) and what we'll forget to bring. He's been doing so well and growing like a weed so we think we are ok, and besides we can't live in fear of germs forever. Afterall, he's starting to discover his hand to mouth movement which means nothing is safe from his gumming.

Still if my readers out there have any good tips for traveling with a baby, common items you might forget, going to a restaurant, or just general "it will be ok" sentiments please share them with us!

At least no matter what happens he will get love this weekend from both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a great grandmother to just name a few!

P.S. Wordless Wednesday coming later when I am home with the camera!