Monday, August 30, 2010


My computer is growling. Miles is working on fixing it. Hopefully that will be soon so I can do more posts...

Some things to look for in the near future:
- Owen's blessing day
- Owen's 4 month check up
- Wright family reunion
- Van de Wetering family reunion
- Sewing goddesses

Until then, my computer and I will continue to growl at each other. Grrrrrrrr...

4 Months

Owen recently had his 4-month checkup at the doctor's office...where of course he had to get shots again...

Here are his stats:
Head circumference: 41 cm (25th percentile)
Length: 24 1/4 inches (25 percentile)
Weight: 11 lbs. (less than 1st percentile)

So as you can tell, Owen's a little, itty, bitty guy. Obviously the weight is concerning, but the doctor wasn't overly worried since he appears to be happy, healthy and developing appropriately. She said, "We just need to get his weight up." Which means I now have to supplement Owen's feedings with formula to add some bulk to his bony body.

Here are some of Owen's most recent accomplishments and activities that bring joy to his life:
  • Owen's sleep has been all over the place. He dropped down to four hour stretches, then back up to 6-8 hours, the again back down to 4 due to getting a cold toward the end of the month. Hopefully this is just a phase and he will get back up to a more regular (and extended) sleep schedule.
  • He still eats about the same (for a long time) but as I said above, we are going to be changing that up by adding some formula into his diet. Hopefully that will fatten him up a bit.
  • He loves to stand and with some assistance, he has gotten good at pushing himself up into the standing position.
  • He still loves to suck on his fists and fingers, and has improved his ability to suck on one finger (typically his pointer finger). Sometimes when he does this though, he gags himself...which makes me laugh. :)

  • He likes to be held facing outward so he can see and interact with the world around him. (This has been referred to as the "touring position" by his Great Uncle Steve)
  • He has started doing this silly cough/laugh/cry thing that is fairly amusing. I think it typically occurs when he's "on the edge" and needs sleep.
  • For some reason he gets mesmerized when I blow dry my hair in the morning and will just stare at me and the hair dryer.
  • He can follow me in a 180 degree arc from side to side and also looks up and back above his head.
  • He enjoys playing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and giggles when his hands go from knees to toes.

  • On August 16th, he turned over onto his side while he was trying to reach for a birdie dangling from above on his play mat.
These are some pictures of Owen demonstrating his skill at arching and pushing himself onto his side while on the changing table:

  • He loves grabbing at things and holding on tight. I have learned this the hard way, as he especially enjoys doing a double fisted grab of my hair when I lean in to kiss his tummy, neck or cheeks.
  • He is starting to explore with his mouth and gets great satisfaction from putting things in his mouth. He specifically likes to grab his burb cloths and suck on them.
  • And...much to my chagrin, Owen LOVES to balance on Daddy's hand. He always gets a huge smile when Daddy does "balance practice" when he comes home from work. Miles says he's going for a solid minute, but he's only lasted up to about 10 or 12 seconds at most. Lately, he has been surprising Miles by spontaneously sitting in the middle of the balancing act. Luckily, Miles is careful so I don't worry too much about him falling.

It's amazing all that he accomplishes in a month. I am excited to see how he will grow and develop in his fifth month!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Scalp Treatments

Owen got a case of the craddle craddle cap. Being a "picker" I was constantly scratching and picking at his flakey little head. Miles hated it and would tell me to stop. But I didn't. I talked to a number of people about how to get rid of it. My friend Bridget told me about these scalp treatments she used to give her daughter, Paige. So I decided to give it a try. I was discouraged for a while cause it didn't seem to be working, but after a few times of giving him his "treatments," he seems to be dandruff free! Here are some step-by-step pictures of his fabulous scalp treatments.

Step one: Rub Owen's scalp in baby oil gel about an hour before bath time and wrap his head up in a towel like a turban.

Step two: During bath time, scratch at his scalp to get as much of it up as I can, then scrub it with a brush before and after shampooing it.

Step three: Towel dry, moisturize and clothe the naked baby!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kyle...

Remembering you today, Kyle, as it would have been your 33rd birthday...
Our sweet boy

Our yellow flower

Our goofball
Our tender heart

Your family loves and misses you...

Gratefully, Families Are Forever...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Things People Don't Talk About...

I've been thinking about doing this post for a long time. Lately I've noticed that there are a lot of important things that happen in life, that people just don't talk about. I thought it would be fitting to do this as my brother's birthday is approaching. He would have been 33 years old tomorrow. Which brings me to my first topic...
1) Addiction
My brother, Kyle, was an alcoholic. He drank for years...probably at least 10 years. We (the family) did not talk much about this with people outside of our family. I think that we didn't because it was embarrassing, sad, shameful, and maybe because we hoped that he would change one day and did not want him to be weighed down or remembered by his past choices and behaviors. Unfortunately, this continued to not only affect him, but it also affected us. The effects of alcoholism are not limited to the alcoholic. And so we all suffered. I think there was a period of time, that he was a functioning alcoholic. But it eventually got to the point that he could not perform functionally to meet his daily needs. It was awful worrying about Kyle...wondering if he was ok. However, I think it was easier for me being so far away from him and removed from the immediate situation. However, the time came that it could not be ignored as we were unsure if he was alive or dead. My parents decided to talk about it. They told family, friends and neighbors in hopes that the prayers, words of encouragement and love from more than just our immediate family would save Kyle. As a family we conducted an intervention. It was emotional and powerful. We were hopeful. But the addiction won. It was around this time that I saw a dance on So You Think You Can Dance that touched me immensely and continues to move me to tears each time I watch it. I think it is a terrifyingly perfect example of what addiction does to a person.
The male (Kupono) is the addiction and the female (Kayla) is the addict:

Addiction is an evil, cunning beast. It hurts and destroys lives. And sadly, it makes people go into hiding and avoid talking about or confronting the problem in the open. I think this only helps the addiction to grow and become worse. This is a problem that more people face than most are aware of.
2) Death
It was Kyle's addiction that lead to his death. He died on February 16, 2010. He was 32 years old. People don't talk about death...not much beyond the funeral. This is something I've noticed in others and in myself. When my brother died, I got a lot of support from many of my friends. But there were some that never said a word to me about it. This was very surprising to me and I felt as though they were ignoring a huge event in my life...the loss of my brother. I've tried not to be ashamed or afraid to talk about his death. I think a lot of people don't know what to say...especially when I say he died from alcoholism. And that's ok, but I think it's important to acknowledge the loss.
Sadly, it's not just other people who have avoided the topic. I think there is a piece of me that has avoided thinking about or talking about it too much. I've always been open when family members want to talk to me about it, but I think I've tried to remain stoic and calm and detached from my emotions regarding Kyle. Sometimes it's easier that way.'s harder. Because when thoughts or memories creep in, they come rushing through the flood gates and overwhelm my heart and make me sick to my stomach. It's as though all that time I've tried to push those feelings down has only caused them to come up with more force. So I try to acknowledge them and give them room to feel. This is something I am still working on.
3) Breastfeeding

Ok, so some people talk about this, but not enough. And unfortunately, there are a lot of problems that can come up with breastfeeding and everyone is so different. However, I still believe that people don't talk about it enough.
Breastfeeding wasn't the beautiful bonding experience it was supposed to be in the beginning. It was painful and agonizing and stressful. I thought things were going ok in the hospital (aside from the initial pain of breastfeeding). However, after a few days, I noticed that Owen wasn't having very many dirty diapers and his lips seemed dry. I was worried, so I called the doctor. The ridiculous nurse I talked to said, "Oh no! He could be dehydrated. You might need to take him to the Emergency Room!...hold on." Of course I'm panicking and freaking out that my precious newborn baby of just 5 days old is in serious danger. She came back to the phone and said, "Bring him in today to see the doctor and she'll decide whether or not he needs to go to the ER." Oh geez. Thanks for making me panic and now stress out until my appointment!
Anyway, I took him in and sure enough, he was mildly dehydrated and not getting enough to eat. Of course this caused an already emotional new Mom to break down in tears. My doctor hugged me and told me it would be ok. She told me to supplement his feedings with formula. Luckily I had my sister, Kim, on hand, and she had been through a very similar experience with her son, Austin. She told me to request a medication to increase milk production and to pump after each feeding to encourage my supply. So this was my life...breastfeed Owen every 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours for approximately 20 - 45 minutes; pump for 10 minutes and start over in about 30 minutes to an hour. It was exhausing. Not to mention disheartening as I would only pump drops at a time. It was only made worse by the fact that there were times Owen would not nurse and it made me feel as though he was rejecting me because I could not give him what he needed.
Owen drinking his formula mixed with the drops of breast milk I had pumped:

To add to it, there was the pain. OH THE PAIN of breastfeeding. Owen was doing very well and according to lactation specialists, he was latching on the best of any newborn they had seen the past month. Even with this, I was still cracked and bleeding. There were times I would cry because it hurt so bad. All of this made me wonder if it was worth it, and I wanted to give up. I thought, sure, I can just pump and give him what I get so he still has the benefit of my breast milk. But tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father, and positive encourgement from friends and family helped me through. Also, because I was willing to talk about it with others, I got great information about a medication (Newman's Ointment) that helped to heal my cracked and bleeding nipples. I am so glad I didn't give up, because I can now breastfeed Owen pain free (most of the time) and my supply is enough that I don't have to supplement his feedings. And if this is too much detail for some of you...sorry...cause people need to talk/hear about it!
4) Post-Partum Depression
This was a big one for me. I did a lot of reading while I was pregnant about what to expect during pregnancy, delivery and post partum. My books talked about post partum depression, and of course I've heard of it before. But most of what I have heard is the crazy stuff on the news about Moms hurting their babies or people being totally psychotic. Also, I guess there was a part of me that just didn't think it would be a problem for me. And maybe the people I know, don't talk about it because they never experienced it. But I have a hard time believing that out of ALL the women I know that have born children, that NONE of them have struggled with any form of post partum depression. So I was quite shocked when I started feeling really depressed and cried every day when Miles would come home from work. It was especially surprising to me because having a baby was something I had wanted for so long. I didn't understand why I was feeling so sad and miserable when it should have felt happy and blissful.
I think it was helpful that I had my Mom and sister around to keep my mind off of my sadness. However, each day when Miles would come home from work, I would collapse in his arms and start bawling. I felt depressed and overwhelmed. My body was in pain from recovering and I felt unattractive from having just had a baby. I loved being pregnant, and while it was wonderful to actually have my baby to hold, I felt like there was something that was missing since Owen was no longer inside of me and a part of me. And of course, I felt like a terrible Mom because I was starving my baby since my milk supply was not up and he had lost too much weight in the beginning. Not to mention I was just plain exhausted. I had no idea how tiring feedings around the clock could be. And while all of this sounds reasonable and my body was adjusting to the hormonal changes of going from pregnancy to post partum, I felt like a crazy person with completely irrational thoughts. It just didn't make sense to me. I didn't understand why I was so, SO sad and felt like crying at any given moment throughout the day.
Luckily I had a very supportive husband. I'm sure I would have had more support from family, but I was too embarrassed. I didn't want to seem ungrateful for the beautiful blessing that had entered my life. So Miles had to bare the brunt of it. And he was amazing. Each day he came home and would just hold me. He would spend time with me and get rid of all the distractions. He constantly asked what he could do to make it better, but of course I didn't know. Eventually we went to the doctor to see about getting medication. I tried one anti-depressant that caused horrible side effects and made me feel like I had the flu. The doctor told me to try another, but I didn't want to take the chance of having more negative side effects. This was especially worrisome to me because he said it would take up to two weeks to see if the medication worked and that it would also take two weeks for the side effects to subside. So I decided to take a chance that it would go away on its own. Luckily for me, it did. It only lasted about four or five weeks and wasn't as extreme at the end. I feel like I now know what to expect, and I try to inform others as well.

Some other things that I think people don't talk enough about are sex, pregnancy and delivery. But some of that can be fairly gruesome or too personal and therefore not fitting for a public blog. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to ask me, cause guess what?...I'm not afraid to talk about it!

Sewing Goddesses

I am blessed to have two sewing goddesses in my life. I was raised by one, and married into the other. My Mom was a seamstress for many, many years and did bridal alterations for a bridal store. Besides that, she has made numerous dresses, bedding items, purses, and pretty much anything else you can think of for me throughout my life. So it was no big surprise that she wanted to make a blessing gown for Owen. Had I known what it would take for her to make it, I might have told her NO WAY! But I am so grateful for her hours of hard work and the labor of love she gave to Owen's special day. Here are some pictures of his blessing gown. Unfortunately they do not do it justice.
My Mom made a slip to go beneath the gown:

The full gown:

The lace had to be sewn on and the material cut out from behind so you could see through it. I can only imagine how many hours it took to place and sew the lace just right so that it would have those perfect lines and angles.

Close up of the bottom of the gown. The hem was hand stiched, as were the sleeves.

While my Mom was out here for the blessing, she also made Owen's bedding for his nursery. She's still working on the curtains for the room, but I will post pictures when the room is complete.

The other sewing goddess in my life is my mother-in-law, Margaret. Little did I know that she also has a wonderful talent for creating amazing things. For Christmas she told us she would make us a new cover for our cuddle bag since our old one ripped and we have been making due with the under cover. She worked her little tooshie off and got it done for us. I imagine had she known the work it would take, she might have opted to buy one for a fraction more than the cost of the materials. But that's the thing with handmade items, they are worth far more than you could ever sell them for. Luckily I appreciate both my mothers for their hard work and service to us. Especially since I don't have a crafty sewing bone in my body!

Here are some blurry action shots of me jumping into the cuddle bag:

Monday, August 16, 2010

This Time Last Year...

This time last year Miles was graduating from BYU with his Bachelor's in Computer Engineering, and he was searching for a job. We had also just completed the implantation of our embryos in our IVF cycle and were anxiously waiting to see if the pregnancy had taken.

This year, we are enjoying the fruits of Miles's hard work at his job, as he recently got a well deserved raise. And I am delighting in each precious moment with my three and a half month old son.

It's amazing what can happen in one year. I saw this quote on a friend's page and I thought it was perfect...

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
- Epicurus

I don't think I would have appreciated this quote so much a year ago seeing as how I desperately wanted what I did not have. But I certainly will not spoil what I have now and instead, I stand in awe that we have been so blessed this past year.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Blessing Day

We blessed Owen on August 8th. We waited a while so we could make sure our families could be there. Matt, Kerry and girls were in Scotland until the end of June and Marci was in the Dominican Republic through July. We ended up doing a brunch before church since our church is so late (2:30 PM) and that way we could stay for the rest of our meetings (which didn't end up happening due to a fussy baby Owen. Oh well, we tried.) We held the brunch at our condo's clubhouse. We served fresh fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew, strawberries, and grapes) with danishes, and homemade banana bread and quiche. Everything was delicious.

We ended up having a lot of people over between our families and good friends. Elder Lance B. Wickman (Kerry's father-in-law) was able to attend with his wife, Pat, and daughter, Courtney. I thought that was very special as well since he sealed Miles and me in the Salt Lake Temple.

Grandma and Grandpa Van de Wetering:
Auntie Kimmie and cousin Austin came from California:Braden, Haley and Sophia Molyneux:
Ben, Bridget and Claire Reed:
Chase and Christy Gunnell:

After the brunch, we went to the church and Miles performed the blessing. He did a great job and I was so happy to have so many wonderful priesthood members of our family in attendance. My Mom made an amazing blessing gown for Owen to wear. I got a lot of flack from some of the men in the family for putting Owen in a "dress" but I thought he looked awesome and the gown was beautiful.

Owen wasn't too happy with all the picture taking...

Four generations:
Grammy wanted a picture of her with Owen in his blessing gown that she made. He didn't want to cooperate. I think he was hot and tired by this point and just wanted to get out of his gown and go to sleep!