Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No such luck breastfeeding on my own tonight

Troy's mom and I arrived at NICU around 9 pm, so I could nurse Isabella. No luck. Tried for more than an hour and a half. She cried lots. She was frustrated. I was frustrated. She latched on at some point . . . She slept. I was very discouraged when I finally decided to quit for the night (it was 11 pm!).

Thankfully, my other birthday present was waiting for me at home, to lift my spirits.

Will try breastfeeding again in the morning, hopefully with Martha's help. I'm not giving up. We're teaming up to get breastfeeding under way!!


I got to breastfeed baby Isabella today, for the first time!

Troy's mom and I arrived at the hospital just after noon today. Unfortunately, the nurse had already fed her. After the nurse came back from lunch, I asked whether I could try and breastfeed her. Sure!

So, Troy's mom and I stayed close to the hospital, had lunch, and returned to the hospital at a quarter to three. The hospital is on a three-hour feeding schedule - 9 AM, 12 noon, 3 PM, 6 PM, etc. I called Martha, the wonderfully fabulous lactation consultant at Rio Grande Regional Hospital for help in getting this breastfeeding going. Ofcourse, she showed up, eager and excited to help.

To make what could be a fantastically long story short, baby Isabella and I had quite a bonding experience. We started on the left breast, and she fed for 20 (count them folks!) minutes. Ofcourse, she took little cat naps every now and again, and she was a bit frustrated in locating my breast (even though we put it right into her mouth). Goodness gracious, a person would not ever know that she was once super sick. She was great a sucking REALLY hard. Good thing I've pumped breast milk, and I know what pumping or sucking is supposed to feel like. Though she was quite strong and gifted once she got going, my toes were not curdling with pain.

WAIT! She wasn't done. She smacked her lips repeatedly and let Mommy (that's me!) know that she wanted more. 15 minutes she was on my right breast. I nursed for 35 minutes. Not bad for a first time, huh?

Guess what happened after that?! Well, duh. . . Mommy and baby passed out. I was still in the rocking chair (in the NICU), holding her and dozing. She was sleeping so soundly, she was almost snoring. Poor Grandma (Nunley) was sitting nearby, doing puzzles and not complaining about the lack of opportunity to hold her granddaughter.

That's the happy news of Isabella, Lily, Troy, and Karen (Grandma) for today. Karen and I are headed back to the hospital shortly, in attempt for a 9 PM nursing. I'm a bit anxious about being able to do this, without Martha to guide me, assist me, and direct me!

Bottle feeding Isabella for the first time

Yesterday, Tues., September 26th, I got to bottle feed Isabella my breast milk for the first time. Beautiful moments those were. Okay bye.

The events of Mon., September 25th

My parents left early this morning. Boo! My dad has been cooking up a storm for her little girl (that's me; I'm the youngest of two). They headed back to Tennessee, awaiting to hear news of the impending arrival of their other grandchild. Yup, my (older) sister's expecting, too. Our due dates are approximately 9 days apart.

I got to hold baby Isabella for the first time since she was born.

Baby Isabella was taken off the second (and last) ventilator. She still has oxygen support, but minimal. It's provided using two little external tubes, one going through each nostril, with a main clear tube going across her face (underneath her nose).

Isabella gets real food for the first time

Sunday, September 24, Isabella was fed real food for the first time. Up until then, she was fed nutrients via an IV. Guess what food she was fed?! My colostrum, my milk - hooray!!! She was fed via tube, but that's better than nothing, I say.

Pumping Milk

Though my heart was so broken for poor Isabella, our daughter - who was hooked up to loads of machines, who was being sedated, and who could not be held by anyone - I was determined to do something for her. I had formed a relationship with the hospital's lactation consultant - Martha - since attending the breastfeeding class, and she came by to see me the day after Isabella was born. She showed me how to use the Medela Symphony, which is what Rio Grande Regional Hospital provides for new mommies to use; and, she brought by a Medela kit for me.

I didn't have the strength to pump the day after she was born.

However, on Thurs., Sept. 21st, I asked Martha to come back and walk me through the process of pumping milk. She was quite prompt in showing up and she was ever helpful, sweet, and kind in guiding me. I was told not to be discouraged if I didn't see any results for the first few days. Martha recommended that I pump every two hours.

By my third attempt on Thursday, I pumped 2 ml of colostrum. I was delighted! Thanks in no small part to Martha's guidance, assistance, and encouragement, I have pumped enough colostrum and milk to not only provide Isabella breastmilk for her first real food but also to store milk for other feedings, too!

Getting discharged from the hospital

What I really appreciate about Dr. Garza-Montalvo was that she came everyday to check up on me, regardless of whether she was working or whether she was on-call. Thursday morning, when she came by to check on the healing of the incision, I asked her when I was supposed to be discharged. Usually, a C-section delivery would be discharged by the third day, which was Thursday. When asked whether I was ready to go home, I said a definite 'no.' Thankfully, she got me discharged a day later, on Friday, Sept. 22nd.

My first visit with baby Isabella

I didn't see baby Isabella the day after she was born. I knew that she was in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and that she was in critical condition. The neonatologist came by to see us in my postpartum room and told us that her lungs were filled with meconium. I knew she was in critical condition. Very bad news.

They said I could go see her as soon as I could walk a bit. They said I had to go to the bathroom on Wednesday (up to that point, they had a catheter in me, so I didn't have to physically go to the bathroom). So , I had to get out of bed and walk. Dreaded walking . . . Did it anyways, not to build pain tolerance, but so I could see my baby girl.

Thursday, September 21st, I saw baby Isabella, my beloved daughter, for the first time since she was born. I was utterly heartbroken. I was wheelchaired to the NICU, where she was residing. Had to go through a cleansing ritual - washing up to the elbows for three minutes and putting on a sterile gown - before anyone was allowed into the NICU.

She was hooked up to lots of machines, around five it seems. She was connected to two respirators, count them - two! One was a super powerful respirator called a jet respirator. The other one was a regular respirator. They had an IV going through her, what will be, belly-button. Tubes were in her mouth and nose. The room was dark. There was a huge sign that read "minimal stimulation." Her head was covered with a newborn t-shirt, to minimize stimulation. Wasn't allowed to touch her, even me, the mommy. I didn't cry then and there, for her sake. But, I was in a world of pain.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Introducing Isabella Anne Chang-Nunley

All the pictures on this posting were taken Sat., September 23rd, when she was 4 days old.

Here are the stats. -

Name: Isabella Anne Chang-Nunley.
Birthdate: Tues., September 19, 2006.
Time: 8:12 PM.
Weight: 7 pounds and 3 ounces.
Length: 19.5 inches long.
Place: Rio Grande Regional Hospital: McAllen, Texas.
Delivered by: Dr. Ayda Garza-Montalvo.

Fetal Distress and the Emergency C-section

At 5:45 PM on Tues., September 19th, Dr. Garza-Montalvo came to check on me. I was 90% effaced, dilated 4-5 cm, and at station 0. We were waiting for stronger contractions.

At 6:30 PM, I was dilated 6 cm.

Then at 7 pm, 6-7 cm.

At some point in there, baby's heartrate was fluctuating a lot, dropping and rising a lot. Troy and his mom noticed the change in heartrate, were alarmed, but tried to act calm to keep me from getting too excited. My nurse tried to get me to change positions to see whether baby would be happier. Then, she disappeared. Not much later, two nurses, who weren't my nurses, came in quite alarmed, from watching the monitors in another room. Yet, my nurse was not to be found.

At some point in time, my doctor was called. When Dr. Garza-Montalvo arrived, she didn't like what she saw at all. She told me we needed to do a C-section and FAST. Ofcourse, groggy-headed and delirious, I understood her seriousness and urgency, but I began to cry and asked her whether she'd perform the surgery in such a way that I could still try for a vaginal birth in the future. She assured me she'd do her best.

Within 5 minutes, I was whisked into the OR, and a whole team of persons was assembled. Because I had already had an epidural, all they had to do was shoot in some more medicine to anesthetize me for the operation. Within 10 minutes (I'm guessing), Dr. Garza-Montalvo had already began the operation. Time was critical in saving baby from further distress and possibly worse.

Troy was by my side through the entire operation. He even watched everything Dr. Garza-Montalvo did to me in the operation, from opening me up to pulling our baby out to the end process. They flashed our baby by me, so I could see her out of the corner of my eyes on my left-hand side. But, I couldn't look long; I was to nauseated from the anesthetics.

The next thing I remember was waking up in some recovery area, that was empty of any persons except for a nurse. She said I had to stay for a total of an hour, I guess for close monitoring, after which I was transferred to my post-partum room.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Epidural

At Rio Grande Regional Hospital, for labor and delivery, an anesthesiologist doesn't administer epidurals, but rather, certain qualified nurses do. At 3 pm, Chris administered my epidural.

Troy and his mom weren't allowed to stay in the room. I was told that contractions would continued, but that I was, under no circumstances to move while the epidural was being administered. I had to be in a sitting position, slightly slouched over.

Boy did I practice those breathing techniques as I continued to experience contractions and I waited for him to give me my epidural. Seriously, the application of the anesthetics hurt less than putting any of those IVs into me! The epidural itself was nothing! Cake walk.

Once the medicine kicked in, the contractions felt more and more tolerable.

Somewhere in the process of giving me an epidural, they saw that baby was in a bit of distress, drop in heartrate.

Not long after the epidural, Dr. Garza-Montalvo came and saw me. The cervix was softer and my station was at -2.

The Contractions from Hades

It's Tuesday, September 19, after Dr. Garza-Montalvo has broken my water sack (she broke it at 2:30 PM), and now I am REALLY feeling the contractions. You know how they have pain scales at hospitals, ranging from 0 to 10. At 0, you see a smiley face. At 5, you see a somewhat sad, partially teary-eyed face. At 10, you see a crying face. Well, I was definitely at 10! I was crying so hard. The contractions were so hard and so frequent. I WANTED AN EPIDURAL. My doctor checked me not long after breaking my water sack, and she said I was dilated 3 cm.

Given that I was dilated 3 cm, she gave permission for me to get an epidural.

The induction process

Hello everyone. I am finally feeling up to slowly updating on the happenings in the Changley household. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers! They helped more than you'll ever know.

Let me provide brief summaries starting from the beginning. . .

Troy, Troy's mom (Karen), and I arrived at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, in McAllen, Texas, around 5:15 AM, after being told that a bed was in fact available for me. I weighed in at 146 pounds. They did an enema . . . not a fun process at all. But, at the end of that all, my bowels were all clear of stool. And, I told the nurse she couldn't put in an IV until Troy and his mom were allowed into my room. I can't stand needles.

Well, took three pokes, all in different places to get the IV in successfully. The first attempt failed because the catheter bent in the process; I have really strong veins. She apologized, but I didn't much appreciate the digging around that vein. My biggest bruise is from that one poke. On the second attempt, still on my right arm, she still couldn't get the sucker into me. She said that I not only had strong veins, but I had rolling veins. So, she recruited help for the third attempt. Another nurse was able to put it into my left arm. They say that putting the anesthetic in for an epidural hurts the same amount or less than putting an IV in. I was definitely believing in that possibility and keeping that in mind.

Dr. Garza-Montalvo and I made a plan for a vaginal birth. She wanted to use the easiest method possible, easiest induction method on my body, that is. At 8:30 AM, the nurse put in a cervidel, that could be left in me for up to 12 hours. At 8:30 PM, my doctor checked for any progress. There was very little progress. My uterine lining was still quite thick, and I hadn't really dilated much further.

So, Dr. Garza-Montalvo decided to give me a 3-hour break, so I could eat and walk around. You see, since the induction started, I couldn't have anything except clear liquids (such as water, Sprite, Jell0). I could eat a small meal.

At 11 PM, another cervidel was inserted. Karen went home, and Troy spent the night with me, even though I encouraged him to go home and sleep. They gave me an Ambien pill to help me sleep; praise the Lord for the sleeping aid! The cervidel fell out when I went to the bathroom in the morning, before the 12 hours were up. Thank goodness my doctor happened to drop by soon after the cervidel fell out.

Dr. Garza-Montalvo checked me. STILL not much change. Still pretty snug down there. She decided to start pitocin, which is administered via IV. By around 2:30, some six hours later, she checked on me again. Seriously, not much change. I was now dilated 2 cm (compared with 1 cm earlier in the morning). Options: 1. go home and come back Friday (when she's on call again), 2. continue with more pitocin; or 3. break my water sack.

I didn't want to wait until Friday. So, she decided to break my water sack. Two important things happened immediately following the breaking of my water sack:
1. I became dilated 3 cm; and,
2. Dr. Garza-Montalvo spotted meconium in the water, which means that at some point, baby was in distress and pooped.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Troy gave me an awesome surprise birthday gift today!

My birthday is not over. yet. But, I've had such a pleasant beginning to the day. My friend Richard Bourlet called this morning to wish me a happy birthday. My fourth grade best friend, Abirami Kannappan, left a voice mail on my cell phone, wishing me a happy birthday. We've also heard from Aaron (Troy's brother).

Troy's given me two birthday presents so far. One wasn't so much of a surprise. Many of you know that I absolutely love musicals. Well, I love the Dream Cast recording of Les Miserables. I have a copy on VHS, but that has its inconveniences - wearing out and difficulties finding specific scenes quickly. So, I asked for that on DVD. Troy ordered it via, and much to my surprise, he ordered it far enough in advance to get here before my birthday!

Yay, will be putting this in and watching it VERY soon!

Then, Troy told me he wanted to show me a picture of another birthday present for me. The only other gift I knew of that he's going to give me is a song he's composing. He's been working on this for four years! Well, he's been promising me a song from the time of our wedding. I was thinking he was going to somehow show me a picture of a C.D.; I don't have any clue.

You can imagine my surprise that he had something else planned. This gift is so new that it's not yet available for sale. But, as soon as it's on the market, Troy's purchasing it for me!

Most of you guys know that I pretty much have a camera attached to me; it's almost an appendage to my body! Thank goodness I have a digital camera now. Otherwise we would be screwed not only on printing costs, but also, we'd be paying through the nose for film. Well, Troy figured with a little one arriving very soon, I'd want to take pictures of her . . . like document her life! And, with this little gift, I could show off pictures of her without carting around actual pictures on paper! Ofcourse you folks know that I'm still going to order pictures of her . . . probably as many as I take!

Check this fancy-schmancy digital picture keychain!
that's an LCD screen!
it's a 1.4" viewing screen.

Troy's a genius. He's definitely shot straight to my heart, in a fabulous way ofcourse, with this gift. I didn't give him any ideas on this. Neither did I expect any other gifts from him. Thank you SO VERY MUCH!!!

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention some other perks about this digital picture keychain. I can download 56 pictures from our PC to the keychain. And, I can recharge its internal battery by plugging it into the computer, using a USB port. How awesome is that!

Friday, September 15, 2006

grandparents (nunley) gone happy-go-lucky for their granddaughter!

Troy's parents, Karen & John, went happy-go-lucky in shopping for their granddaughter!!! We received two sizeable boxes of goodies, via UPS, from them today. The following were the goodies in the boxes. Thank you Momma and Popp!!

cute hat!

booties for 0-3 mos.

Baby by bon bebe - shirt, bib, & bloomer for 6-9 mos.

Baby by bon bebe Romper & matching socks for 6-9 mos.

Baby by bon bebe bib, top, skirt with bloomers attached, & matching socks for 6-9 mos.

Baby by bon bebe top & bottom for 6-9 mos.

baby okie-dokie top, bottom, & matching headband for 6-9 mos.

little bitty dress, bloomers, and matching hat for 6-9 mos.

first moments layette - onesie, sweater, & matching socks for 6-9 mos.

first moments layette sleeper for 3-6 mos.

Carter's sunsuit for 6 mos.

Little Bitty dress, bloomers, and matching hat for 3-6 mos.

Carter's dress and bloomers for 3 mos.

baby okie-dokie onesie with matching bib for 3-6 mos.

first months layette onesie with matching pants for 0-3 mos.

Carter's Newborn sleeper

more places to store pictures of our adorable baby girl!

baby girl's first doll!

awwwwwwww, tigger-lily!

check this motherload out!
This is a bright future for baby 8 piece gift set -
complete with 7 cotton creepers (which i've been calling onesies) and a wrist rattle.

Can you count the number of items we got in these two boxes of goodies today? NOPE! There are too many to count. Thank you again, Momma and Poppa.

Thanks to you, our child will be the best dressed little baby girl ever!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Guest/Baby bedroom ready to go

As of last night, the guest/baby bedroom is ready to go. Comforter and bed sheets are washed. Clutter has been removed. Room is beautified and ready to be occupied. All we need now is for Momma Nunley to make her way here on my birthday - Saturday, September 16th. Come on down Momma; can't wait to see you! Looks like you may be able to see me preggers, in person!

I'm 40 weeks today!!!

Alright folks, we have reached baby's due date today - September 14, 2006, and she's happy as a clam inside my uterus.

These are probably the last pregnancy pictures that will be taken this pregnancy. Count 'em - 40 weeks!

Alright, to save the heart ache of any of you telling me I look gi-nourmous (huge),
I have a huge belly!
There, I said it.

Bet ya can't tell I've lost 3 pounds in a week,

or six pounds over two weeks.

Seriously, I don't have this obsession of being slim-jim, like some crazy people do. I've been more concerned about the health of the little one. I haven't purposely lost weight.

Dr. Garza-Montalvo didn't seem at all phased or concerned about the weight loss. Could just be losing some water retention, she said. I asked whether this weight loss is affecting the baby. She said the size of the baby is good! So there it is folks.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

a baby gift from the chuangs

Some long time friends of my parents, my mom in particular, who still live in Taiwan gave us this adorable onesie. I'm sure there's a better name for the article of clothing, but I'm too exhausted to think of one. I'm not sure for what size baby this is intended, but it's really cute. this gift is from the chuangs.

there are 2 bears on this outfit.

in case you can't see the detail from the first photo, here are some close ups.

what do you think, cute, right?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The degree most recently awarded to me, a PhD in Philosophy, is on my transcript!

Picked up the mail, and one piece was an official copy of my University of Missouri - Columbia transcript. Under Degrees Awarded is:

University of Missouri - Columbia
PHD - Philosophy 08-04-2006
Whoo hoo! It is not only official, but it's in print! Some time in October, I am suppose to receive my PhD diploma in the mail.

Still so hard to believe sometimes . . . I'm Dr. Lily Chang!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

$40 from the wills

Got a check in the mail for $40 from Janet (a childhood friend), Scott (Janet's husband), and baby Heather, to get something for our baby girl. Thank you! We shall definitely put that to good use.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

4 adorable sunsuits from the westcotts

Got a package in the mail from Rhonda, John, and baby Maverick yesterday. Rhonda picked out 4 adorable Carter's sunsuits (onesies with skirts attached to them) for our little one. They were different colors: one sunsuit is yellow, another is white, a third one is pink, and the fourth one is blue. They are also in different sizes, so we can always think of the Westcotts :) - we've got one 3 months, one 6 months, one 9 months, and one 12 months. Thank you very much!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

a $150 toys 'r us baby giftcard from abirami

my best friend from the fourth grade - abirami - went a little crazy wild. got a toys 'r us baby gift card from her in the mail for $150. very considerate, sweet, and kind, i must say. not deserving of such a gift, i must add. she already got the baby 8 outfits, a receiving blanket, and wash cloths. the receiving blanket and wash cloths are the thickest and best quality of any that i have so far. thank you for the huge gift abirami!

Monday, September 04, 2006

look out! i was on a roll tonight

in a space of a few hours tonight (i guess since the time is past midnight, it's technically last night), i got a lot done:
  • IMed my sister-in-law.
  • spoke with my mother-in-law in their new home.
  • washed 4 loads of laundry.
  • cleaned both bathrooms.
  • watered the plants.
  • changed the water filters.
  • cleaned out the fish tank.
  • played 3 games of rummikub with hubby.
not bad for a extremely preggers gal, eh?

good times at barnes and noble

troy and i spent a total of two hours at barnes & noble, which is great for a very obviously pregnant person. treated ourselves to a drink, sat at a table at the cafe, and we read different material of choice. i caught up on a bunch of celebrity gossip, useless information, but wanted the read anyways. found our time there relaxing. good date time, i say.

i'm glad we didn't go to the beach afterall. i was incredibly hot when we left home. and frankly, i probably wouldn't have lasted an hour at the beach.

the important thing was having time together, and spend time together we did. hooray.

a great labor day holiday so far

we woke up at a reasonable time, around 8:30 AM. had breakfast. troy had his sausage and eggs on bread, while i had a bowl of cheerios. troy also made a couple large cups of smoothies; yay!

then, troy did housekeeping and he cleared out cabinets while i made a run to toys 'r us. toys 'r us is having a baby sale, which started yesterday. last night, i made a list of things to pick up: a baby bathtub, a play mat, an umbrella stroller (which is free with a coupon and a $75 purchase), a set of baby clothing, some batteries for baby stuff, a set of pack 'n play sheets, and perhaps a few toys. troy was going to come with me, but we were extremely tight on time, given that felipe was coming at 11 AM to spray for pests, including those horrible ants. troy played the role of supportive husband and daddy-to-be very, very well. he did house chores (vacuuming and mopping) and cleared kitchen cabinets where we had spotted ants roaming.

i went to toys 'r us with a $100 gift card and a catalogue of sales information for toys 'r us in hand. i was at toys 'r us for no more than 20 minutes, and i stuck strictly to the list. i left toys 'r us with the following purchases:
  • carters' package of 5 onesies - 6 months.
  • 24 pieces of lively links (i figure it would be a great diversion and chew-toy for the little one; i saw baby elijah go to town on some links at church yesterday).
  • a hippopotamus on a boogie board, which indicates whether the baby's bath water is too hot.
  • a 4-pack of duracell, c batteries.
  • baby einstein discover play activity gym.
  • 4-in-1 bath station.
  • umbrella stroller.
  • a set of graco pack 'n play light blue sheets.
i had a coupon that allowed me to get the umbrella stroller for free with a $75 purchase of baby stuff. i used a $3 coupon on the bathtub. and, i used a 20% off coupon on the baby clothing. altogether, i paid only $16.73 out of pocket. whoo hoo! preggers gal did pretty well. the most expensive item was the pay activity gym, $59.99, but i heard that's a must have. given that docs and the american board of pediatrics recommends babies sleep on their backs, they have to have practice being on their bellies. and tummy time on a fun play mat is one way to get such practice.

when i got home, felipe had just started spraying our home. i was so elated to see him! he was getting rid of our most unwelcomed guests.

not much later, my friend junko brought over deliciously scrumptuous food - pressed sushi. salmon was sitting on beds of rice. she also brought over some food from last night. i haven't taken a super close look at the food, but it has beef and potatoes in it. she totally made my day by bringing over yummy food. i love eating good food, especially when it's not my cooking. she made happier than she realizes.

troy and i were deciding whether to go to the beach (south padre island) or barnes and noble. quite honestly, being as preggers as i am, i don't last long anywhere. have to go home and rest. so, if we were to go to the beach, wouldn't be able to stay for long. wasn't sure the trip was worth it, given that the drive, one-way, is an hour. another option was and is to go to barnes & noble, treat ourselves to drinks, and read books and magazines (and in troy's case, sample the music). he opted for the latter option. soon, then, we're off to barnes & noble. yay!!!! a good way to spend the labor day holiday.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

shucking corn at heb in south texas

heb, a grocery chain in texas, is selling ears of corn now. when i was at the store this afternoon, i picked up several ears of corn, since they are only 4 for $1. before moving to south texas, i've never seen people shuck corn before buying it. here though, there are trash bins set up next to the ears of corn, providing people with the opprotunity to shuck their corn before taking them home.

s0mething doesn't seem quite right about shucking corn at the grocery story, but yet, i find myself following the convenience of doing such. when shucking corn at the grocery store, i don't have to squat down to the garbage can. neither do i have to worry about making a mess on the kitchen floor. shucking the corn at the grocery story is quite a convenience.

i must confess that i am surprised and shocked that people feel comfortable making a mess of the place. i saw more than one person shuck the corn they intended to purchase and leave the leaves on top of the unshucked corn, instead of properly disposing the leaves in the trash can. how lazy and inconsiderate can people be?! perhaps these are the same sort of people who leave empty shopping carts behind other people's vehicles, despite the fact that there's a proper place for leaving the carts just a few feet away.

a package with a load of very cute clothing from Christine Poston

My best friend, Christine Poston, sent me a package full of clothing, which I received today. I mean, there was a huge load of clothes in the box! Kind of like a Mary Poppins carpet bag full of clothing. Though she's toting around a very energetic nine month old boy, she's been going to various stores to shop for my little one! What a great friend. I'm not going to post pictures of the clothing, because they would interest only me. Her mom, in California, even got the little one a Chinese outfit; it's so cute. Thanks Christine!

ant annihilation

ant annihilation is coming to our home soon! these pesky creatures have me running out of patience. first they invade my kitchen floor, including my cat's food. then they invade my counter tops. thursday, i found they rummaging my cabinets; that was the last straw!

i had been setting out ant bait on the floor in numerous different spots and on the countertops. then, the management of our duplex recommended spreading cream of wheat whereever they're entering and exiting. the point is that they'll take the stuff back to their nest. and, when they eat it, the moisture in their bodies will cause the cream of wheat to expand, thus killing them (or making them explode). i found confirmation of this remedy, amongst many other recommended remedies, on a website my wonderful mother-in-law forwarded me:
The Frugal Life: Living Well With What You Have - Getting Rid of Ants
anyways, i decided that we needed a new approach to these ants. . . a more effective approach. with a baby coming soon, especially, i wasn't and am not keen on sharing our home with colonies of ants.

talked with management and considered bombing our home. wasn't convinced that was altogether safe for us and thought that to be a tremendous inconvenience, especially for our poor cat, who only recently recovered from being sick. to make a long story short, i ended up talking with my friend, junko, who gets her place sprayed once a month for different pests. she's been doing business with felipe for quite a while now, and she said that he's a really honest and good worker.

felipe came over yesterday afternoon. turns out our ant traps are effective for killing sugar ants but not other types of ants. great, spent all this money on packages and packages of ant bait, only to kill a minimal number of ants. why doesn't the package specify which sort of ants the baits kill?! to make more money, i assume. anyways, he took a look at the ants crawling on the countertops and the floor, and he said they are fire ants . . . ants that bite!

solution? we're having felipe come back on monday to spray inside and outside our home. i checked with dr. garza-montalvo, and spraying seems like it will be okay for the baby (so long as he doesn't spray me!). plus, felipe uses high quality stuff that is odorless. the management of this place can spray for us, too, but the stuff stinks badly. they've sprayed the outside of our home, and i smelled it yesterday. felipe, who has been doing pest control for 25 years, also said the stuff is safe for children, babies, pets, and ofcourse adults.

monday, i'll remove all the ant bait and dispose of it, which makes me really happy. a friend, sari, and her 9 0r 10 month old came over thursday. elijah was crawling all over the place. and quickly, i discovered that having poison - ant bait - on the floor was a very bad thing. i'll be glad to be taking a step towards making our home more baby friendly.

okay, i've babbled on for awhile now. i'm off to buy groceries. bye.

gift from kim turck and her mom

My mother-in-law's co-worker was so sweet. The day before yesterday (Thursday), we got a package from Kim Turck. Kim's mom turned two cotton diapers into adorable burp cloths by surrounding the edges with a beautiful pink lace. Her mom also made a cute white bib. Kim also got us a hilarious pink onesie that sayson it, "does this diaper make my butt look big?" Thanks Kim. You're thoughtful.