Too Bad Money Doesn't Grow on Trees!

I've been looking forward to blogging about this for a long time now...and when I say "this," I mean the cost of having a child today. I won't write at lengths about the cost of diapers, wipes, clothes, etc. I just want to write about how much it cost to give birth to Noah. It still blows my mind! Remember, this birth was completely non-medicated. I mean, I didn't even have to get an IV or anything, so there was no cost for an epidural or the anesthesiologist. Also, Noah and I were both completely healthy...no complications. A birth doesn't get any simpler than this one, and it still costs an arm and a leg. Too bad money doesn't grow on trees!! I put the cost that the hospital/doctors were charging and then how much we paid after insurance. Here we go...

Amy’s Hospital Charges:
Room and Board 2 days: $2,062.50

Labor Room: $3,143.00
Delivery Room: $2,446.92
Laboratory Services: $405.11
Pharmacy Services: $176.60
Supplies: $84.25
TOTAL: $8,318.38 After Insurance: $1,060.84

Noah’s Hospital Charges:
Newborn care for 2 days at the hospital: $1,339.00
Operating Room: $331.52 (used for a short time for his circumcision)
Laboratory Services: $927.29
Pharmacy Services: $65.70
Therapy Services: $102.50
TOTAL: $2,766.01 After Insurance: $395.32

Newborn Exam at the hospital: $243.00 After Insurance: $38.58
Noah Circumcision: $400 After Insurance: $45.86
OB Care and Delivery: $2,300 After Insurance: $390.00

GRAND TOTAL: $14,028.39

SHORT TERM DISABILITY CHECK: $2,216.67 (Thank goodness we signed up for that policy!)

OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES: NONE (We actually pocketed $286.07).

Come to think of it, maybe I should get that money for...you know...pain and suffering. Yeah! That's a great idea! :) :) :)

Check out this picture, and you'll understand just why it has all been worth it...being pregnant, having gestational diabetes, giving birth, going through that difficult first month with a newborn. I have a better life than I could ever have imagined!!

At church two Sundays ago



Noah, looking like his mommy for once. :)

Over the weekend, we went on a trip to Brown County. We stayed at a cabin called Moonstraka and had the best time! Along for the ride were 6 adults, 3 toddlers, 1 baby, 1 dog, and 2 buns-in-the-oven. The other four adults included our friends Tim and Beckie and Ryan and Amanda, all of whom we met at church. Ryan and I just really wanted to have a weekend away from home with no major responsibilities and time with some great friends. We caravaned down to Brown County, and although we were using our GPS system, we had to turn around a couple times. The little girl who went on the trip claimed it took longer to get to the cabin than it did to fly from Indiana to Washington state....HILARIOUS! :) Each couple took turns making meals for everyone else, and we ate REALLY WELL all weekend long. Ryan and I were in charge of breakfast on Saturday morning, so we made biscuits and gravy, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. We also made some donuts Saturday night for a late snack. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE food??? Yeah...we pretty much ate like kings all weekend long.

On Saturday, Ryan, Tim, and Ryan Alvis took the kids down to the pond to go fishing. It was supposed to be stocked with fish to catch and release, but all they caught were two leeches and a tick...again...HILARIOUS! The pond also had a diving board, though Tim quickly learned that it didn't have much spring to it. The kids played on this mini-slide that went into the pond, too. Ryan tried the zip-line, though he only made it about half way across the pond before he was in the water. Tim got stung by a wasp, and then a hornet chased Ryan all the way to the cabin. I was feeding Noah inside when he flew in the front door. He was gasping for his breath and was halfway bent over. After taking a shower, Ryan...the poor guy...tossed his cookies! Of course, me being the paranoid, crazy person that I am, was convinced that the pond water made him sick and that everyone else was going to get sick, too. Needless to say, the rest of the clan was fine!

Noah did pretty well all weekend long...with the exception of getting some tummy aches a few times from me having a small amount of biscuits and gravy (sausage makes his belly hurt). Plus, after having some Cool Ranch Doritos today, I've also figured out that those make him sick, too. So, the list of foods I can't eat now includes milk, pepperoni, sausage, and Cool Ranch Doritos. Kya had a great time at the cabin, too! She was probably the happiest I've seen her in a long time. In a way, it makes me sad because I wonder if she misses Layla when we are at home because being away from the house, she just had this pep in her step. All day today, she's been moping around again. It breaks my heart, but we try to entertain her and love on her as much as we can. Last night, she was so tired at the end of the night that she went down into the basement where our bedroom was and just got into bed. It was so cute! I love that dog, and I would have loved to have taken Layla there, too. We miss her so much!

All in all, it was a great weekend. We played some games, my favorite pasttime, and Beckie holds the Bananagrams title. She also won Bohnanza, so we've really got to step it up next time around! It was just so nice to be together as a family, with our friends and their children, and have Kya there. I couldn't have asked for a better quick getaway. We really are so blessed!!!

My family...Aren't I the luckiest person in the world?


Oh no...not more shots!

Yes, today was the day for round two of Noah's shots. We scheduled to have him get the Polio, Hib, and pneumococcal vaccines, and I was dreading it from the day he had his last shots. I was a big airhead today, too, and forgot to give him Tylenol before we left, so I felt really bad. Noah was sleeping when we got to the doctor's office, so I had to wake him just before he got the first of three injections. I quickly stuck the sugar-dipped pacifier in his mouth before she poked him, he screamed for a second...and then just whimpered like a little pup. My heart just broke! Then, she quickly stuck him with the second shot...and he REALLY screamed! I scooped him up and shushed him...telling him he was ok. Then, he started to calm down...that is...until she stuck him the third time. This time he was REALLY mad! He screamed and pulled his little legs up to his chest. I scooped him up again and tried to calm him down. The nurse walked me to a different room where I could feed him, and as soon as he cuddled in, all was well again.

This afternoon was a pretty tough one for the little guy. He wasn't content sleeping, eating, or playing, which just isn't usual for him at all. I knew the shots would probably make him fussy, and you could tell that Noah just wasn't feeling well. Luckily, Ryan got home, and we gave Noah a bath. They always seem to calm him down and help him relax. Ryan rocked him for awhile, and finally, Noah drifted off to sleep. When he woke up, he was SCREAMING again, so I tried to feed him. For the next two hours or so, Noah just slept, snacked, cuddled, slept some more, ate some more...etc. Afterward, he's been the same ol' little guy for the most part, smiling and jabbering up a storm. I'm so glad that he's feeling better! It's hard to see your baby so sad and in pain.

We started video-taping Noah this morning. I'm sad to not have any video from when he was a newborn, but let's get real...we were surviving! :) We got the idea from some friends to video tape different parts of Noah's life...not just birthdays and big events, but rather record what he does on a typical day. I love it! So, Ryan grabbed the camera and we videotaped Noah waking up in his swaddle blanket. We love undoing the blanket and watching him stretch completely out! It's so cute! We want to capture him playing with his toys, jabbering with us, and smiling because those are our very favorite things. We're having his pictures taken at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months. After that, we'll start doing yearly pictures. Here is the website of the lady who will be taking his pictures:
http://www.detailsportraitart.com/. I can't wait to see how she captures Noah in this stage of life!

For Noah's 3 month birthday, he got a little more than shots. Ryan and I were FINALLY able to buy him some new toys. I say finally because there just aren't that many toys for kids prior to 3 months old...mostly because they don't do a whole lot other than eat, sleep, and randomly move their arms and legs. Ryan's parents sent us some money to buy Noah some new toys, and we also had a Walmart gift card from some of their friends, so we went on a shopping spree! Check out Noah with his new toys:

At this very moment, I have him sitting in his Bumbo chair on the couch with two of his spinning toys. He has a hand on each of the spinners and is watching the Olympics...hilarious! Bumbos are great for just this reason...babies get to see a whole new view of the world. Rather than always staring up at the ceiling...they can now look around in all directions. He is adorable...I just love that kid! One of the newest things Noah is doing is jabbering with me. He will imitate my sounds, so if I say "Hi," he'll go "Haa" (like the "a" in "cat). We just go back and forth...I talk...then he talks...then it's my turn...then his. It's really cute! Maybe Ryan and I will capture some video of it, and we can post it online. Another thing is sort of funny to notice, but Noah is opening his little hands so much more! For so long, they have been in these little fists all the time. He is just exploring everything with his fingers and open hands...grabbing onto us and holding our fingers. He likes to suck on his first two fingers a lot, too. It's amazing how these little things bring me so much joy! For all of you mothers out there, I know you understand. As for you who have yet to have children, you will see what I mean one of these days, and I'll just smile as you tell me all about it. :)

Noah playing in his Bumbo chair on the kitchen table


a BIG first!

Two Fridays ago, our church was putting on a Volunteer Appreciation night. Since Ryan and I both volunteer regularly at our church, we were invited to attend. Everyone gets dressed up, and we all have dinner at this banquet hall in Greenwood. Ryan and I wanted to attend, so we asked my mom and her husband to watch Noah that evening. My mom came back with the idea to pick Noah up from our house after work...and then keep him OVERNIGHT! I know, the opportunity had to come along sooner or later, so Ryan and I talked about it. We hadn't gone out on a date for a few weeks, and this would give us the chance to have dinner, spend time with friends, and then go see a movie afterward. So, we took them up on their offer!

I thought for sure that I would be really, really sad to be away from Noah, but I knew that Ryan and I needed some time for just the two of us. A family can only be strong if the marriage between the mom and dad is really strong, too. As much as Noah is a huge priority in my life, I know in many ways I need to put Ryan first in order to have a healthy and happy marriage...and to give Noah the best life, as well. So, after work on Friday, I picked up Noah...snuggled with him a bunch, and got ready for our night out. Mom came to pick him up, and I gave her the run down about when he should be eating, etc. It's funny, my biggest concern whenever anyone watches him is when Noah needs to eat. I don't know if it's because I'm breastfeeding him or what...but it's constantly something I think about when I'm away from him. After letting Mom know about the times that Noah would be eating, we rushed out the door and left for dinner.

We had a great time at the Volunteer Appreciation Night. They did a James Bond theme..."Mission Impossible". It was fun! The food was SO great...and the church must have given away more than 60 prizes. They were as simple as $10 gift certificates to a Flat Screen TV. Very cool! Although Ryan and I didn't win anything, it didn't matter at all. We had fun hearing about all of the volunteers within our church. That in and of itself is so inspiring! :) After the event ended, Ryan and I jumped in the car and drove to the movie theatre. I pumped in the car before we went inside the theatre. I actually forgot the ice pack for my cooler, so I had to take in the milk and ask a teenager to put ice in the cooler...hilarious! I've never done that on a date before! :) Ryan agreed to see Mamma Mia because he knew I was really wanting to see it; plus, there weren't really any other movies we wanted to see. It was really cute because we saw the 10:20 movie or something...and were the only ones in the theatre! So, we sat down and made ourselves comfy. Oh, did I mention that we changed out of our dress clothes in the car and wore our pj's out? Yes, that is our kind of date!!! I got to sing the songs as loud as I wanted, and Ryan was a good sport about the whole thing.

We got home after midnight...a first for us in a LONG time! I thought for sure I'd miss Noah when we got home...as we were headed for bed. But honestly, we were both SO TIRED that we hit the sack and fell asleep before we could even think about it. We had talked to Mom earlier that evening, and Noah had been doing just fine. We knew he was in good hands! When she dropped him off the next morning around 9:30 a.m., Mom was pretty sleepy! She had to stay up pretty late to give him his last bottle...and probably got to bed sometime after 11 p.m. When she put him down for the night, he jabbered to himself for about 20 minutes before falling asleep. How cute is that?? He slept all night for her, too, which is just awesome! :)

So, for our first night away from Noah, I'm not sure it could have gone better. I cuddled with him all day the next day because Ryan was gone for a bachelor party, and I had been away from him a lot since going back to work. In fact, Noah would SCREAM every time I put him down to sleep. So, I just let him sleep in my arms all day, letting him eat, play, etc. whenever he felt like it. The day was perfect! Thanks Mom and Kent for watching him!!! I know he had a great time with you!

Mom with Noah just after he was born


The Latest Happenings

All throughout the week, I experience different things and think to myself...I need to make sure I blog about that. Well, part of the problem is remebering what I wanted to write about, and the other problem is actually making the time to write! The days before I went back to work were mostly spent trying to get the house in order and attempting to get things organized for Noah to go to the babysitter. As I was flying all over the house, it hit me...and I thought...what am I doing? The "it" I'm talking about is the fact that I wasn't going to see Noah every day, morning until nighttime. So, I scooped him up, and we just sat on the couch ALL DAY cuddling, playing, eating, and sleeping. It was perfect, and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it! Who cares that the laundry wasn't put away (and still isn't) or that everything wasn't just so. I wanted to make sure that I made the most of my last day at home with Noah before heading back to work, and it was well worth it!
This is me sulking about going back to work the next day and Noah looking as cute as ever!

The morning before leaving for work, I was running around the house trying to organize everything to make sure that Ryan would have an easy time getting Noah off to the sitter's house. I am SO glad that Ryan will be taking him there because the goodbye part would just be harder than it is when I have to say goodbye at home. When I got to work, I was excited to see all of my coworkers, our packets of information about the beginning of the school year, etc. I got to show off some pictures, which is always fun, and visiting with everyone was great. The feeling of my milk "letting down" throughout the day was a constant reminder of Noah, which made me wonder how he was doing...if he was crying...if he was happy, etc. I had to pump three times at work that day, which took about 30 minutes total. Twice I had to stand in front of a mirror pumping because the only outlet was right by the sink, and once I was able to pump in my office. The funny thing about my office is that one wall is completely made of glass...the decorative kind that you can't really see through. Still, I think I will go buy some posters this weekend just to feel a little less "on display"...haha. :) I'm quickly realizing that the best things in life are the ones that require the most work. Relationships, for example, take a lot of time, energy, and effort. Having a baby is a lot of work (being pregnant for 9 months and then actually going through labor and delivery). Now I'm adding breastfeeding to the list. While I know that formula exists and that many babies thrive on it, I really wanted to breastfeed Noah, knowing that it was nutritionally the best I could give him. As you know, it was really difficult for me those first 5 weeks, but since then, it's been a piece of cake and continues to get easier and easier. Now that I'm pumping at work, breastfeeding is again taking a lot of effort. BUT, it's what I really want for Noah...there are just so many benefits for him, so I'm happy to make time for it!

Yes, he got his baby chunk! :)
I've had an ok time adjusting to being away from him while I'm at work. My heart and my head just don't seem to feel the same way about my going back to work...so I'm in constant battle with myself. My mind tells me that going back to work is going to be good for me in so many ways, as well as good for Ryan and Noah because I will feel happy about how I'm spending my time. I know that God gave me a skill set that I can use everyday to benefit children, their parents, and teachers. We're on this Earth to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I know that by serving as a school psychologist, I can be an extension of God's will. That feels good! Those are things my mind is telling me. On the other hand, my heart is telling me that Noah needs me, is scared when he wakes up in an unfamiliar place, and doesn't want to go to the babysitter. Then my mind quickly tries to quiet my heart with the fact that Noah is in REALLY good hands...Ryan's cousins are watching them, and they are GREAT women. Then my heart says, "But you're his mom," and then my mind says, "Yeah, but Noah needs to feel comfortable with other people...it will give him a chance to be loved by that many more people." So the battle rages on...and day by day (by day, by day...hehe), I can feel things getting easier. On the one hand, reality is setting in that Noah is not going to be home with me everyday. On the other hand, he's doing fine, Jessi and Alissa are taking good care of him, and he is a happy, healthy little guy!

What more could I ask for? :)

SOOO happy!


Girl's Luncheon

Check out those chubby cheeks!

Last Saturday, Ryan, Noah, and I made another trip to Joseph Decuis (http://www.josephdecuis.com/home.php) for yet another great day! My stepmom wanted to host a girl's luncheon with some of her closest friends as a way for everyone to meet Noah. When we got there, everything was decorated so perfectly...a rubber ducky filled with flowers as a centerpiece, little foam hand soaps for favors, a menu created for the day with Noah's picture on it, and friends and family all around the table. :) It was so great! Ryan, my dad, and my brother were all in a different room hanging out, which really came in handy when Noah got hungry, and Ryan gave him a bottle. I ordered this amazing Tomato, Bacon, and Cheddar quiche that came with a little salad and some mixed fruit...delicious! Danette (my stepmom) had one game for us to play. There were several pictures of babies, and we all had to guess who was who. It was fun! Kristen, my sister-in-law, won the game. Below is a picture of her holding Noah. I just love this picture...that expression is priceless! Can you tell how much Aunt Kristen loves this little guy? :)

I opened some gifts after lunch, and boy did Noah get some great things! The outfits he got this weekend are just so cute, and Danette's friends were really wise to get him things for down the road. We really have so much 3-6 month stuff right now that I'm not sure he'll wear it all more than a couple times, if that. Something that I realized to is that the sizes don't necessary correlate with your baby's actual size at that month/range of months. I mean, I assumed it didn't work out for all babies since some grow at a faster rate than others. Noah is only 50%ile for weight, and he is almost completely grown out of 3 month clothes...and is getting a little closer on 3-6 month clothes. He'll actually be 3 months on August 15th...and not 6 months until November 15th. While I want to buy clothes ahead of time when they are on clearance...I really can't at this point because I have no idea what size he'll be wearing in each season. Hopefully that will get easier as he gets bigger! The outfit that he wore to the luncheon is just about too small for him...too bad too because I really like it! :)

I love this boy!

Danette and my dad also got Noah some new toys, which is really great! He's so much more alert now and is awake quite a bit during the day. We don't have too many toys...most of toys on the market begin at 3 months...so it was nice to get a few things like that! They also picked out some really neat picture frames, too, that look great in his room. A couple of Danette's friends got me gifts, too, which was fun! One got me some hand lotions and body wash, while another friend gave me these pretty flowers in a bright pink watering can. It looks great on our front porch! Let's just hope I remember to water them enough to keep them alive. :) All in all, it was a great afternoon spent with some really special women. Thanks, Danette!

Three generations :)

I go back to work on Thursday, and I really feel pretty good about it! I think this part time situation is exactly what I need to have a good balance in my life. Typically, I'll just work a half day on Wednesday and then full days on Thursday and Friday. Before I know it, it will be the weekend! Noah is sleeping 8-9 hours a night right now, for which we are SOOO thankful! I am hoping that he will transition well into being at a babysitter's house a couple days a week and will still be able to get some good naps in. It will be interesting to see if his nighttime sleep stays the same or changes when I go back to work. I'll have been home for exactly 12 weeks with Noah, and I have enjoyed it so much! Not that I'm looking to be pregnant or have a baby for awhile, but I really do hope to have a Spring baby again. It just works so well with my work schedule!!! Now that we've paid all of our bills related to my prenatal care and Noah's birth, soon I will write a blog to show you how much it all cost. Thank God for insurance!! You won't believe how much a completely uncomplicated...all natural birth costs today. It will blow your mind! Until then, take care and please say a prayer that my transition back to work goes well for Noah, Ryan, and me. :)
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