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.

TV Without Cable- Hello Amazon Fire

Amazon Fire

Over the last 7 years, Elizabeth and I have tried to figure out how to keep the television without the clutter that isn’t good for children.  Amazon Fire TV was the best decision.  After all, Andrew doesn’t deserve to watch any commercials.  He doesn’t have the tools to fight the deceptive psychological games that television uses to make people spend yet.  We just didn’t want it anymore.  So, we went cold turkey and stopped all program television.  No satellite.  No cable companies.  We would start with Netflix.

Netflix on its own is not the best.  After a few months, we ran through everything and starting watching things over and over.  We then added Prime (Amazon TV).  This was great because it kept updating and creating new programs.  However, we wanted a little more for Andrew as he got older and we launched Hulu.  We now have all three and it costs us under $400.00 a year for unlimited usage.

I love it.  Television after all is just a diversion and I already like enough shows to see my friends.  That’s right, friends.  I love Frasier, Stargate Atlantis, Top Gear, Cheers, Star Trek Voyager and Z Nation.  These are the friends I come and see an hour or two a day.

We have all found that without the advertisements all of the time, we are more comfortable.  The manipulative nature of trying to get someone to buy something all of the time is creepy.  Cut the cord!  The best one to start with in our opinion is the easiest because it comes with a lot of perks.  Amazon TV.  You can get prime by ordering something you already were going to buy and you get free shipping and a year of Amazon Prime.  Even if you don’t get the free throw in, you can just pay the modest year payment and sit back and be free from the monthly kick in the butt cable bill.

I wonder what will happen in the future of television.  They need the advertising to make it work and online television on demand programming has little, if any.  I don’t miss it and you won’t either.  Plus, with the Fire TV for such a small price that allows Wi-Fi no cord broadcasting, you can’t go wrong.  We bought a Fire TV device nearly 4 years ago and it still works great.  The picture is great.  It is awesome.  Plus it has the other apps so you don’t miss anything.  You get Netflix and Hulu with Prime.

Whether you want the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV, with greater picture detail, you can’t make a mistake.  Andrew is downstairs watching cartoons, while I am upstairs watching James May on Top Gear (the older the Top Gear the better).  I like being frugal.  I enjoy less bills. It was a no-brainer.  Just plug it in and use the broadband you already have in your home to watch tv.  We broke down and bought a wifi router about 7 years ago and it still keeps up with all of our televisions.  What you don’t want is a poor quality router.  You will need the power and the bandwidth if you want to run multiple televisions at once.

For now, I am looking at things like PlayStation TV and it just doesn’t make sense.  Otherwise, just get Dish Network and stick with the more than a $1000.00 a year for a few hour diversion per day.

Good luck in switching.  It can be difficult because we are all used to spending an hour a day flipping through programs we never want to watch.  It becomes a part of our lives.  Kicking this bad habit can take time.  You can do it.

Cracker Barrel Breakfast

Sunday Morning!

Elizabeth, Andrew and I decided to start out with a fun stop off at Cracker Barrel for some breakfast.  Some great pancakes and bacon for Andrew.  A little of everything for me and a lot of French toast for Elizabeth. It is a new day and a good day.  I’m trying to get more time out of each day and I’m trying to get in front of everything.  This requires getting up a little earlier these days.

Andrew was probably surprised that we were at a restaurant for breakfast on a Sunday, which I am trying to change.  I have to admit, staying in bed a few hours later on the weekends has been the way I usually spend my breakfast time. This morning, Andrew and Elizabeth were already awake and enjoying the morning, like they do everyday and they mentioned Cracker Barrel and I decided to start making some big changes in my life and turning them into great habits.  I want to spend more time with my family, and there is only one way to do that.  I need a new routine.

Cracker Barrel vs. Sleep

Watching Andrew and Elizabeth enjoying the morning at Cracker Barrel is much better and more important than a few hours of sleep.  Andrew playing the golf tee triangle game and Elizabeth taking a few pictures and catching up with me on the latest news felt good.



So, what are we going to do with all of these delicious breakfast foods. Eat them!  And, I’m craving some milk to wash it down.   Unfortunately, for the grits, they didn’t get much of a chance. They are very tasty, but the consistency gets rough as soon as they start to cool.  The bacon on the table had no chance as did most of the eggs.


Elizabeth polished off most of the French toast sharing a whole piece with Andrew who thinks he may like it.  We will see, in a few weeks if he weather he really likes it when we give him the option of choosing it over pancakes or waffles.  It was a good start for an overcast Sunday.  We are going to need this good start to get all of our chores done.  The dogs need a bath.  The dog room needs a scrubbing and  the garage needs organizing and the laundry needs to be completed for the start of a new week.  It isn’t fun, but it feels good when everything gets done.

Happy Sunday!

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.

Beach or Beer

Beer For My Friends

It is the end of the work day and it was a long day. I can’t sit on the beach so I think I’ll have a beer. Trying to make right things that were wrong all day can be exhausting. Going through paperwork and documenting as much as I can makes the day fly by though. The overall atmosphere in the office was good today. We just don’t have fun and we probably shouldn’t. But, I finally made it home and I see my family doing well and it feels good.

Andrew is listening to music. And, if you guess what type you will get the prize. Christmas music in the middle of February is the winner. He can really show you what life is supposed to be like. “I just wanted to listen to Christmas music, dad”, he answered when I asked. It is fun and most of the time I forget that life can be fun. Not that a beer makes life fun, but why not. The last time I had a beer right after work was ages ago.

As Feliz Navidad plays in the background, Elizabeth was kind enough to make dinner. I suggested I would make some lemon and pepper chicken wraps, but she wanted pasta. Both are quick and tasty. I will make the wraps tomorrow. Or maybe they will be pita pockets. I’ll try to take a few pictures.

It is a lot more relaxing without the TV and Andrew is right. Christmas music is fun, even if it is February.

Elizabeth is Still Full of Mucus

Sickly Mucus Filled Lady

So here we are on day three of a mucus nightmare and we are getting it under control.  Elizabeth can breath through her nose, but the damage has been done.  Her sense of taste comes and goes and her right side sinuses are still sensitive.  However, based on where we were two days ago, times are good.

Oh, yes, looking back to Thursday and the ear pain and constant pain of blowing her nose have passed.  Her nose may still be full of junk, but not like the train of mucus it once was.

We decided to take it easy for a few days and use some old time methods of relaxation.  Just watching some television and eating out.  For now, Elizabeth is getting through the crud as both Andrew and I have.  

Soon, we may get a week since Christmas where one of us isn’t throwing up, stuck in bed with a fever or blowing our noses.  It appears this happens each year about December and sticks around until Spring.  Could it be the school year? Yes!  Can we do anything about it at this point?  No.  But, this two may have a solution.

Locking up a bunch of children all together every year through the winter, in a mucus filled school,  is certainly a recipe for getting the whole country sick every year. And, who am I to suggest that we can’t change this awful practice of bad hygiene institutional stupidity.  Does anyone really think this is a good idea?  If you do think it is a good idea, is it because you have to work? or is it because, placing all of the 5 year olds in the county in the same buildings sounds like a good way to keep them all less sick for three months of hell.  Oh, well, I am getting down off my box and moving on.  Hoping and knowing that this season of joy shall soon pass.