Gas Drops for Newborn Miles for Comfort

Gas Drops Needed!

Apparently, the ability to poop and digest food is not known, when we are born.  In fact, after going through the same issues with our newborn, Miles that we went through with our older child Andrew, we are still surprised.

Elizabeth and I must have blocked out some of the heartache, emotion, sleep deprived coma state we were in when Andrew was born up through his 6 weeks of life.

Learning to Poop

It appears that we just need a few gas drops to keep everything running correctly.  The horrendous gas is pretty much gone.  The unbelievable noises from his tummy have calmed.  Finally, Miles is starting to spend time with us without crying or sleeping.

Learning the Same Lessons

It is unnerving that there isn’t a card that they give you when you leave the hospital that reads, “Your child doesn’t know how to eat, how to digest what he eats, and doesn’t know how to poop”.

At the very least you would feel a little better when he struggles, cries and causes distress when he isn’t doing what you think your baby is supposed to do naturally.

Worry & Helpless

Again, we find ourselves back where we were seven years ago.  Naïve.  Helpless.  Worried, Sleep-deprived and doing the best we can.   After six weeks, we finally have dialed a few small things in so that Miles is more comfortable.

We have a long way to go and we know it, but Miles is on his way to becoming a champ.  His feeding is improving every day, and with a few gas drops, his gassy, fussiness is slowly becoming less and less each day.

I know we will have some ups and downs, left and right turns down this winding road, but its okay.  It is what all babies have to do.  They have to learn how to eat, how to digest the food, and how to poop it out.  It’s okay.

We will be okay. Elizabeth is still a saint.  Most people just give good advice, which is time will improve things as our young ones learn.  But, paying a ton of attention to the small details and his sometimes limited cues, can help

Good luck!

Baby Miles: Formula With Breastmilk?

Miles eating FormulaIs Formula Okay?

With the delay in leaving the hospital and having small complications with regular new baby fun, breastfeeding was slightly delayed.

We were told by the hospital that supplementing would be needed and we agreed seeing Miles wasn’t getting any reasonable amounts of fluid/food.  It was a no-brainer.  However, it set us up for a more difficult transition to Miles’ new eating habits.

What we had was the normal every hour feeding process, but with pumping breastmilk and still trying to breastfeed.  In other words, an all the time, no time for breaks, feeding after feeding.

Always Eating

What no one tells you is that it takes a lot of time for a newborn to feed on the breast.  When the milk supply is coming in, there isn’t much to eat.  When you have a delay to get the milk supply going, the delay in full milk supply suffers.

So, while you have to take a long time to get a few milliliters of the remaining colostrum, it also takes a while to get the necessary fluid requirements from the formula.  From there Elizabeth has to pump breast milk to get the stimulation she lost and there goes the whole hour.  Back to feeding the baby.

When you couple this with just having given birth, the need for relaxing, sleep, and stress of a crying newborn, it feels like all you do is feed the baby.

Of course, with feeding comes, diapers, comes poops, and wiping, then cleaning, and dishes and laundering all the soiled items.

Always Pooping

What we end up with is the first week without no other memories except eating and pooping, repeating so many times that the days don’t matter and the night time is not any different than the day.

When we get to the two-week point, things start to slow down and the feeding spreads out.  Even the pooping seems to calm down.  But this welcomed relief comes with questions.

Is Miles getting enough food?  Miles isn’t pooping enough, too much?  Does the poop look right?  Is the formula to harsh on his tummy?

We then have a gassy, fussy, baby like all of the babies and his name is Miles.  He is beautiful but scary.  He is wonderful, but a handful.  Thus, with all of the newness of a new baby, I look at Elizabeth and I see a saint.

Normal is Important

As I run around trying to make up for all of the things that need to be done, while I can’t breastfeed or pump food for my Miles, I am in awe of another part of life not shared.

It is normal and important.  The same was and is done for all 7 billion people now living on Earth, but the truth is ignored.

It is tough.  It hurts.  It is difficult and it is real.  And, what it comes down to is simplicity and love.  It turns what I do for work into something less significant, even though necessary.

Learning at 46

Miles, just as Andrew has taught me, shows me life.  A life I currently enjoy and stress out at the same time.  A life where sometimes just having Miles poop after 36 hours of worrying why he hasn’t, makes my life complete and worry-free for a moment.

I would like to know why we gloss over the very nature of how we come to be people.  The growth that comes from so much needed nurturing and giving from parents that don’t typically have the understanding or maturity to do things well.

I find raising a child one of the most difficult tasks in life.  It is also one of the most common and needed.  It eclipses anything society tries to keep us busy with and it can have benefits like nothing we could ever imagine.

Raising Kids: Older or Younger?

I am 46 years old and I work hard every day to make things better.  Like most of us, I strive to be helpful more and more each day.  I find many times that I look out in the world and cannot understand why we can’t be more honest about life.

I feel lucky to have found such a good person in Elizabeth.  She is a better person than I am in a lot of ways; full of love and always seeing good things in what is happening.

As I write this, I can see Elizabeth holding Miles.  Andrew is playing downstairs.  The dogs are quiet in their room and it is peaceful.   A lifetime of hard work and planning to make us worry less about money, but still needing to budget.

A lifetime of hard work to be stable and learn how to make it through the most difficult times and make them good.

I could never have imagined that I would be having children in my 40s.  I always thought I was going to have a family in my 20s.  Now, I can’t imagine it any other way.

Birth Proves We Need to Appreciate Women More

The Birth of MilesGiving Birth

After nearly 9 months and 30+ hours of labor, Miles is here!  It then took us a few extra days to get out of the hospital.  Elizabeth did great during the birth, even with the incredibly long time and the crazy amount of pain and pressure of giving birth.

They really don’t tell you anything about what happens during childbirth and it is a shame.  The amount of work, the crazy things it does to a woman’s body and the whole scene of giving birth, is, well, underappreciated.

I am without the necessary writing skills to lend a real hand in understanding the process, but I will try.  Unfortunately, video of the event is still not proper in our modern society.

Hiding from Birth

So, why can’t we discuss it?  I remember one of the nurses explaining that as the father, I could just hide in a room and wait and they would call me when the baby was here.  They also discourage this behavior but understand it.

The nurses explained that this is what was expected for decades where the fathers would just go in a room and distract themselves and never know what actually happened.  Then all of a sudden, they would see a clean and cozy baby through a window, told that the baby and mother did great, and then brought to a recovery room to be with the family.  Today they do encourage fathers to be a part of the birth.  It is odd that anyone would have to be encouraged as it seems essential.

I was there in support, the only thing I could give was love and encouragement, and I couldn’t imagine doing any less.  I was there from the first contraction through the difficult birth and it was hard.

It was hard to see someone I love doing something so challenging and painful.  I think there is a lot of growing up that father’s need to do.  After all, this is how we all are born and to ignore and keep it hidden, is dishonest.

Discussing Life and Birth

Why don’t we talk about giving birth and how difficult and traumatic it really is and always will be.  From the moment labor starts, it is a roller coaster of worry, pain, struggle, humility, wonder, and elation.  It is just my opinion, but if we want to really make a change in how we look at life, everyone should have to be part of the birth of a child early on in life.  We should have to understand the end result of having a sexual relationship.

We should have to look at the truth of what it means to be ready for this type of outcome. After all, we treat sexual relationships like they don’t lead to the inevitable child staring at you, after it grows for 9 months inside of a woman and then is pushed out to the world with nothing but two naive parents, looking at him or her for the first time.

Women and Life

The bottom line is that a life is being created.  We call them all babies when they are born.  A baby that has to be grown inside a woman. We wrap up the entire growing a baby process in one word; pregnancy.  Turns out that pregnancy is also underappreciated.  It is difficult, has stages of complication and is not by any stretch of the imagination free from discomfort and struggle. 

Then at the end of that 9-month journey, a living breathing little boy or girl has to be moved out to the world in a stunning and slow-moving process that very few people see prior to having their own children if they see it at all.  The importance of a woman is without a doubt clearly established separately during pregnancy and then during the birth of a child. 

A Women’s World Without Credit

It is a woman’s world, but without the credit or appreciation.  A woman’s world that the world is unwilling to come to terms with.  In our modern time, I’m unsure why it isn’t headlined news when children are born, the process of getting there and the overall accomplishment that is life. 

Why the news dedicates none of its time to the birth of children is shameful and lacks honesty.  What is more important and impacts our lives more than the bringing about of a new life.  

This is our second child, and it is odd how each child is different, but the experience is the same.  It is difficult.  It is heartbreaking with the pain and ends in triumph and elation.  But, then the work continues.

It doesn’t ever stop.  Real life is nowhere on television and isn’t in enough stories.  It is a struggle, hard work, and worries with a reward for a good life.  It is love and compassion mixed with worry and accomplishment.

I find myself still looking back even though a month has passed.  A month has passed since Miles was born and it has been great, but difficult.  There is always a struggle, but this struggle is worth it.  It isn’t about getting a sale, making money, or entertaining ourselves.  It is about life.  A life that needs constant love and help.

Andrew and Miles

So with Miles being here, Andrew has a new brother.  Andrew is learning how a brother feels to have and how much time it takes to make it all work.  Andrew is taking on his new role as big brother in stride and is slowly learning that he has to be patient to as it will be some time before Miles is ready to play.

Travel Trailer Update

Small Bumper Pull Trailer

So, after all of the research I have done to come up with the best possible travel trailer with the cheapest outlay of cash, I am a little stumped.  We have a tow vehicle that can tow 5000 pounds max with 500 tongue weight.  The tongue weight is a problem.   Man is it a problem.

Part of my objective is to put a travel trailer together that could be lived in for a month at a time while we look around and enjoy the beautiful country we live in.  Unfortunately, with my current specs, we are looking at some of the smallest models and a max of 22 feet with some of the “ultra lites”.

I  have found a few Flagstaffs that can do it, but I want to be a lot closer to unloaded weight of about 3000 pounds.  I hate hybrids, so the choices are small.  For a family of three it will be tight.

Andrew has been excited about this project and we have gone to look at a few of them.  He wants them all, and price is not a consideration for him.  Just ask him!    Elizabeth is on board, but I do believe a few nice options will be best for both of us, as we want to be comfortable without spending too much.

I suspect over the next month I will find it.  After all, it is something new and a challenge we all want.   Living in a trailer, staying at great locations, sometimes with full hookups and sometimes boondocking, is exciting.

Boston Trip/Dream

Green Line – Boston

Looking into taking a trip back to Boston someday.  The whole area is wonderful, clean and full of great people from all over the world.  I think our next trip is going to be to Des Moines, but I can do two things at the same time.  We found a few good Travel Trailers in Iowa and we always wanted to check out the people and the scenery.

Boston is a place of great ideas, strong intelligent people and allows for enjoying everyday life, if you like to be alone surrounded by tons of people.  I do enjoy be a part of something bigger than me.  I think Elizabeth and Andrew will enjoy it as well.  Elizabeth and I have been to Boston, but this next trip will be different.  It is a chance to see if it might be a place to land some day.

For now, I enjoy what life brings, and the interesting and exciting times in the South.  Dreaming of the memories that make life wonderful. It is exciting to think about and I look forward to planning it as well.  Spending some time at a pub behind Fenway, getting off the Green Line at Park Street, or just walking through the farmers market would be fun, even in the rain.

Too Many Options for Blog

Blog SEO & WordPress

The options they have for blogs these days are endless.  Do I have SEO?  Should I attach it to YouTube?   Is there a way to automatically link my posts to Instagram?  The answers are difficult and complex.  What to do?  Well, I expect that I can get through the most important aspect of a blog, the content. 

Spending my time trying to figure out all of the plugins and widgets is confusing and outside of my skill set.  This is from someone who spends a lot of time on computers and enjoys unlocking the secrets that computers have brought us.  But, not this time.  I have more important things to do.

So, join me in believing my content will tell the story and my blog will just have to live with it.  How many times can you try to set up a form, until you decide that the form isn’t as important as you thought it would be.

I feel that now is the time to let the words wag the blog.

Ruby Tuesday Takes the Win for Dinner

Food for Thought at Ruby Tuesday

I just don’t know why it is so difficult to cook dinner and lunch each day, but I have to make a better effort.  It seems that I get caught up in things and lose track of time too often.  Planning ahead is usually not that difficult, but when it comes to eating lunch and dinner, I would hope to do a little better.

So for dinner this evening, it will have to be Ruby Tuesday salad.  They make a pretty good salad as do many restaurants do these days.  However, the price is a little more than you would expect.   How could something so cheap cost so much.

Elizabeth figures that when you try to buy all of the items it costs a lot and you either eat salad for a week, or let the rest of it rot.  When it comes to salad that seems about right.  I will work more this week to get some good meals cooking.

I’m thinking crock pot chili for at least a few meals.  For now, I’ll keep you ‘posted’.

Laundry Blows and That’s the Truth

Just Do It Already

Doing laundry is tedious, boring and absolutely necessary.  I hate doing laundry like you do.  I should clarify.  I have folding laundry just like you.  I mean, putting the dirty clothes in a washer and then in a dryer is relatively easy and doesn’t take much time.  So, if you are complaining about this aspect of laundry, you obviously aren’t doing the real work.

The Folding!

Everything is always inside out and needs to be turned right side in.  I’m not sure how it is that this happens to every piece of clothing, especially pants, but it does.  And, did I forget to mention that as soon as your done, there is always more to do.  It is a never ending pain in the bottom.

Who cares?  We all do it, after all.  True and not so true.  What I have learned over my 30 years of doing laundry is easy, simple and true, but I can’t seem to use this information.  The more clothes you have, the more time you will spend doing laundry.  If you can’t wear anything more than once, you also make life much more difficult.  

It is all about what you need and not what you want. It seems to be this simple yet difficult mind set to follow.  The more clothes you have, the more laundry you will do.  The less clothes you have the more likely you will take better care of your clothes.  However, when we buy a ton of clothes, we can go weeks without doing any folding, washing or drying.  Sounds great.  Nope.  Sounds like a weekend of laundry.

Tired of Eating Out

Stay in or Eating Out

Stuck in a world of convenience?  What is convenient about food that someone else makes?  When eating out the food is always filled with fat and salt.  It is always washed by chemicals and prepared in bulk.  It costs a lot and takes longer to get than it would be to just make it ourselves.  But, staying in and making our own meals is too much work and all you have to do is look at all of the billions of dollars spent by people selling food to remind you of this one hundred or more times a day.

So, what do we do?  We eat it anyways.  We eat junk whether it is served through a drive thru window, brought home and eaten on the couch or when we sit down in the restaurant and pay another 20% to have someone bring it to us.  It is a  complete waste of time, money and energy.

At this point, I am working on how to stop the craziness of eating out.  I probably eat more fat and salt than appears possible, and I will never know.  Do you know what these restaurants are actually putting in the food?  How much butter and salt substitutes?  I can’t be the only one who thinks that there is a problem.

I want to eat well and enjoy the food I eat.  I am all for a little convenience, but restaurants are anything but when it comes to our overall health and well being.  Do you really think the places you eat at are worried that you might be eating too much sugar, fat, salt and empty calories?  Of course they don’t think about you.  

From this day forward, I am going to change it up a little.  I am going to move in the right direction and stop eating anywhere but at home.  I am going to start treating myself to good food at a good price.

Could it be true that buying all of the ingredients cost more when we go to the store than it would if we just buy it from the restaurant?  Is it true that we just waste more food trying to cook at home?  I will keep you ‘posted’.