Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No good deed...

A SUPER annoying guy tried line jumping in front of me this morning when I stopped for coffee. I call him SUPER annoying because I saw him get in "line" right next to me instead of behind me (hence, the whole line theory?) while looking right at me. "HMPH!" I thought, and I stepped forward one step...my silent protest to his advanced rudeness. I saw him glance at me out of the corner of my eye and thought "oh, good! Maybe he got the hint."...but then...he started talking to me.

Guy: They aren't going very fast today are they?

Me: No...heh. ("Ughhhhhhhh" I thought "Don't talk to me...just get in line!!" but he clearly wasn't gifted with the power of telepathy...so I looked up and gave him a courtesy smile while I tried to give him a non-chalant flash of my wedding ring. It didn't work...he continued...)

Guy: They need to have a separate line for people who want just regular coffee...those fancy coffee drinks take so much longer.

Me: (thinking "you're going to feel like a total ass when I order a latte Mr.") Yep. This is true.

Guy: ...but you're in front of me...

Me: No that's OK...I'm getting one of those fancy coffee drinks. (laughing)

Guy: Oh, I've offended you already.

Me: (giving another, more obvious flash of my wedding ring) No, it's fine...coffee is faster, you go ahead...(hoping that he would just leave me alone and step ahead)

Guy: Well, thank you!! I usually wouldn't care, but I showed up late and I have these people waiting for me...

Me: No, it's no problem...really. (and really, by this point, I didn't care...if I were just getting a 30 second cup of coffee and had to wait in line for 15 minutes for other people's lattes, I'd be annoyed too. The decent thing to do is to let him step ahead of me, so I motion for him to go ahead and make peace with my decision.)

Another register opens and he shoots right up to the front of that line and orders his coffee...

Guy: (to register guy) I'll have a medium coffee...and...*looks back and points to me* whatever she wants...

Me: ... (*blushing*)

I tried protesting, but he wouldn't hear of it...and at that point, super annoying coffee guy turned into super decent coffee guy. So I ordered and thanked him, and we went about our separate morning schedules, *la la la*, never shared another word. How random.

Not a monumental event in my life, for sure, but a nice little reminder that some people actually do appreciate a nice gesture now and again. Sad that it's so rare these days, in a world where road rage has become a regularly used term, but awesome when you actually stumble upon a gracious person. Maybe we each could try to be the gracious person a little more frequently, to breathe a little life back into that old cliche that no good deed goes unrewarded. I'm not saying that you have to buy something for someone who does something nice for you, but how about making a point to say thank you a bit more frequently, or give a nice wave of thanks to the driver behind you when they let you squeeze in in front of them...you know, small things. Certainly couldn't hurt...might make someone's day. It's worth a try, no?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Stuffed.

I'm stuffed. Can't even think of eating another bite. After eating all of the words that I wrote last Friday, I may never eat again. Seriously.

The trip was fabulous. Both girls were practically angels in the car. My in-laws were fun, and funny, and generous, and loving...just like they always are...and I just totally suck for ever not wanting to go up there in the first place. Don't get me wrong...packing and loading the car made Nightmare on Elm Street look like an episode of Barney and Friends...but within the first 15 minutes of our arrival, I knew that I would be writing this post. Taking the girls up to see my in-laws was worth every sweaty brow, cursing under my breath, trip preparation moment. We're going back for Thanksgiving. They rock.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Excuse Me While I Grumble

Psst...it's me. I have to whisper while I'm here today, because I have a bajillion other things that I'm supposed to be doing right now, and instead...I'm blogging. Don't tell, mmmkay? See, we're heading up to visit Hubby's family a few hours away today and neither of the girls nor I am packed yet. We're leaving in 4 hours. Heh. Hubby's at work until noon, so I have a little time to sit...but I really shouldn't. (You'll understand why by the time you get done reading this.) Anyway...can you keep a secret? I suppose I can tell you...I'm not really looking forward to this trip...umm...at all. Usually I'm pretty stoked, or at least neutral about heading up to see them, as I got really lucky in the in-laws department, but the pure complication of this trip, and oh the friggin effort involved in packing for it is enough to make me never want to leave our home again. Wanna know the short list of equipment that's required for us to take for Little, alone? Not really? Well I feel the need to list it anyways...

*Bumbo chair and tray-So she has somewhere to sit other than on the floor. Will there ever be a moment when someone doesn't want to hold her while we're there? I'm not sure, but I feel the need to bring it just in case they all have something to do at the same exact moment at some point. It could happen...

*Strap on booster seat-No, silly...not that kind of strap on. The kind that's a mini high chair that buckles to a chair, so she has somewhere to eat and can join us at the table when we eat.

*Double stroller - Or "The Pig" as hubby likes to call it because of its sheer weight and annoyance factor...but we both admit that we'd die without it. Anyway, if we dare take both kids somewhere at some point, it is a necessity.

*Collapsible Bassinet - This will be Little's bed while we're there. Nuff' said.

*Baby Bjorn - In case we get somewhere and just don't have the energy to deal with the Pig...or we go somewhere that Big can walk...it's just much easier to pop her in there and go...but oh my achin' back! Perfect for short trips...long trips leave me in traction.

*Play Mat and Assorted Toys - Self explanatory, no?

*Baby Bath Seat - Blow outs happen people...even hours from home. One must be prepared at all times that their little one may need a bath at the drop of a hat...or the drop of a spoonful of sweet potatoes...which is more common in our household.

*Breast Pump and Accessories - Technically this is for her, right? I mean, it's not like I do it for fun. Seriously, people.

Not to mention bassinet sheets, jammies, clothes, dipes, wipes, 5o jillion different snacks and foods (because we're at a really intense point in her speech therapy and she needs a bunch of different tastes each day), 7 bottles, insulated bottle bag, bibs, can o' formula (which totally needs to be redesigned for aerodynamic/packing ease purposes. I'm thinking about writing my Congressman.), and a partridge in a pear tree. And did I mention that we actually have two children to pack for? Hubby is actually contemplating busting out his roof top storage unit...just in case there isn't any room for the 4 of us to sit once we've loaded all of the above into the car. Ridiculous, I tell you. Call me rude, or mean, or ungrateful if you will...but I think that there are just some points in your life (a la now) that it's just easier and more convenient for the grandparents to come to you for a visit...sans the required 8 million pound load of kid stuff that we need to haul to go to them. *sigh* But I'm sure that when all is said and done, it will be Sunday and we'll have had a great time and I'll be forced to eat my words...but for now, excuse me if I grumble just a teensy bit while I get back to packing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's not you, it's Little...

Our visiting nurse is trying to break up with me. That is, she thinks that Little is so healthy and is doing so well that we don't need her to come anymore. I'm not sure how I feel about it all. On one hand...it is so, wonderful...so truly, truly exciting that Little seems to be doing so much better since her last surgery. This really is the kind of news that the parent of a child with health concerns dreams about getting, so I really am happy...but...on the other hand...I'm scared! I'm not sure I'm ready to go out on our own just yet, with months between cardiology visits and no one checking up on Little in between! Eek! I think I feel a panic attack coming on!!

Mostly it's Little's continued struggle with eating that worries me. I sometimes find myself living for that every two week home visit from our nurse, so that I can be reassured that I am, indeed, NOT starving my child and that she IS still gaining weight, though sometimes I wonder how. Ack! Maybe this is somewhat comparable to being addicted to crack (go with me here, people)...in that once I'm able to wean myself off of the home visits I'll be able to feel secure in going it alone for months at a time? But I'm thinking that the whole weaning part is the key! I mean, no one expects a crackhead to just stop cold turkey...well not without medical and psychological support anyway! If so Betty Ford would be long since out of business!! Even smokers have the patch to get them through the rough spots! ::wheeze:: But in the end, it just isn't my decision to make...so I guess we'll just wait and see what our cardiologist thinks. I suppose getting branded as too healthy to have at home medical care can't be all bad, right? I just pray that they're right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Walk in the Sun


Remember that fund raiser I was telling you about a few weeks ago? The walk for Children's Hospital? Well, it has officially come and gone, and my life is a little quieter now. Ahh. It was this past Saturday, the 20th, and, really, it turned out great! The weather was a bit warmer than expected...like, you know, 20 degrees hotter than the meteorologist said it would be the night before, but who's counting? **coughcough*me*coughcough** It's funny that I never really noticed how huge a difference there is between 62 and 82 degrees...until Saturday...when I had all of us dressed in long sleeves and long pants... and we arrived at the walk location and were already sweating from just getting the stroller out of the car...before even getting the kids out of the car...and long before the walk even started. It. was. awesome, the way that stepping on a piece of glass as your walking along the beach is awesome. Yep, loved it.

Know what else was awesome? Organizers of the walk had shuttles set up to get everyone from the finish line (where you would, of course, park your car) to the start line of the race, for our general convenience. Totally awesome...that is if there had been enough of them to get everyone there before the start of the race...so everyone didn't have to stand out in the blazing sun, holding our hot, whiny children for an hour...getting hotter and stinkier by the moment...in order to eventually pack (and I do mean pack) ourselves into school buses for the 3 mile ride. Friggin. Awesome. Favorite moment? Standing in line for the 50th bus that pulled up in front of the crowd while everyone tried to push their way to the front of the line to get on (did I mention that this was a charity walk? To benefit a children's organization? I did. Ok. Just checking.) when a volunteer who had obviously never been given the power position of holding the megaphone before, loudly bellowed at all of us "Not everyone is going to get on this bus." Really? Cuz I thought we'd all just pile in and do lapsies! No? Someone take the megaphone awayyy from the woman, before she hurts herself...or someone (who is really hot and crowded, and holding a wiggly baby in the sweltering sun) does it for her. Ugg.

Anyway, bitching aside, it really was awesome to see thousands of people storm the streets of downtown Milwaukee in order to raise some well deserved cha-ching for an amazing organization. Little wore her red "Champion" shirt, setting her apart from the masses as a child who has received care at Children's, and napped most of the way. Big ate popcorn, drank lemonade and enjoyed pointing out the various canines in attendance for the day. Local cheer leading teams and bands alternated lining the streets in order to keep walkers motivated and entertained as we made our way along the path to the finish line. Surrounded by thousands of other families, friends and champions alike, it was truly a sight to behold. Worth every. drop. of sweat. Truly.

We ended up with 17 people walking with our team, and almost $700 in additional donations from our friends and family who couldn't make it to town for the event. With great pride, I must say that we really have the most wonderful and supportive friends and family!! A big thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to make this event possible. I can't think of a more worthy cause.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Questions Unanswered

We make friends in the strangest places. For instance, the friends that we recently made in the shared hotel, I mean hospital room that we inhabited during Little's last hospital stay. (It's the little bottles of shampoo and free packs of diapers that they pass out, it gets me every time...just like a Hilton I tell you! A little pricier though.) A shared room?!?! you say? Yes, that's right. Our children's hospital still has shared rooms for patients who don't require ICU level services. I won't beat around the bush, in most cases it sucks. Hearing that you're being upgraded from the ICU should be a great thing. Instead, upon being notified of your "upgrade" a feeling of dread washes over you as you begin to wonder such things as I wonder if our roommate will be loud (leading to the inevitable) I wonder if my baby will be able to sleep if our roommate is loud? Or I wonder if our roommate is contagious (its happened to us twice people...I am not just being paranoid), and I wonder if the parents of our roommate plan to have a veritable fiesta of some sort on their side of the room while we're trying to get some rest. You know, happy thoughts. Anyway, the last time we shared a room, we were pleasantly surprised to meet our roommates, the Grills, who not only made our 4 day stay that much more pleasant by being considerate, caring, responsible human beings (this is a bit much to ask for sometimes I've discovered) but also introduced us to caringbridge.org. They had set up a support site in order to keep their friends and family informed about their daughter's condition and had gotten much joy out of the experience. The day that we were both discharged from the hospital, Mrs. Grill gave me the web address to her daughter's site, and asked me to set one up for Little, so that we could both follow the other child's health and progress in the months to come. Eventually, I did. (here comes a big leap people...get ready for a big subject change...aaaaand...leap! Excellent.)

A few weeks ago, I logged on to the Grills' caring bridge page to read their latest journal entry and see how their precious little girl was doing. Instead of news on their daughter, I discovered an entry that pleaded with followers of their page to go to another child's page, in order to offer encouragement and strength to the parents of a little boy (who they had met during another one of their hospital stays) who "wasn't doing so well". So along I went, to this other child's site, in order to do what I could for these people who were, I assumed, facing some tough times with their child as he was recovering from an illness or medical condition...something that I felt I was fairly familiar with. Instead, I was found myself completely unprepared for what I found. It seems that just days earlier, the parents of a beautiful baby boy, whose handsome face adorned the welcome page of his care site, had been told that their little guy was most likely not going to make it. My heart about stopped upon reading just the first journal entry. Because I felt like I needed more information on what affliction he was facing and how this could possibly be, I decided that I needed to do a little more digging into past journal entries. I then quickly wished that I hadn't. Reading the loving, heartbroken, fearful words of this mother was nearly more than I could handle. I offered my love and encouragement to them, and then promptly called in to work and took a vacation day so that I could spend the rest of the day hugging and loving my daughters. I found myself a bit sheepish, unable to explain just why the struggle of complete strangers would turn my world upside down so easily, until that evening when I was discussing things with Hubby. "I can't explain it," I told him, "I feel strange about how much this is bothering me. I don't even know these people and I hurt so much for them." His reply? "Or maybe we know them all too well." Indeed. Because this is the exact situation that we work valiantly against everyday, watching Little like a hawk, calling her doctors and nurses at every slight sign of negative heart function, to make sure that this is somewhere that we never find ourselves, on the writing end of journal entries such as these. It all began to make sense.

No matter how hard I tried, or how much I was encouraged not to do so, I found myself unable to not check up on this family over the next few weeks. Hoping for a miraculous recovery, I would log on to their site, first being met with the handsome picture of the sleeping baby boy, so sweet and innocent...and then, inevitably, a disturbing, heart breaking journal update. Slowly, day by day, the little guy was passing away. I remember reading one particular journal entry in which the boy's mother wrote the doctors had told them that they believed that he would be passing soon, and that she and the boys father were as ready as ever for him to go, and hoped that it would be soon. I sobbed. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of emotional torture one must be subjected to in order to be ready for your child to pass away. Was it possible to know this kind of pain without going absolutely mad? I then quickly prayed that I would never find out the answer to that question.

Within a day of the previous entry, came another journal entry...one that I had been praying that I would never see...saying that the little guy had, indeed, passed away. Again, I felt a bit sheepish about how deeply affected I was by this news, but found myself completely unable to check my heart at the door, and I wept for them. I wept for the handsome baby whose face I had only seen in pictures. I wept for the parents who had gotten the kind of news that I don't even allow myself to contemplate as a mother. I wept for the grandparents and aunts and uncles who had seen this precious gift enter the world with so much hope, only to have to let him go so soon. I wept for all of them and, to be honest, more than two weeks later I am still unable to shake the heartache that began the day that I first wandered over to their web page. I wonder if I will ever stop thinking about them, and seeing that little guy's picture in my mind. I wonder if I will ever forget.

How does one go through something like that and survive? How does a parent get up everyday and face the sunrise after losing a child? Is it possible to ever be truly happy, to experience joy again after living through something like that? I don't even know them, and even I feel as if my world has been rocked by what they've been through. I wish I had some insight to offer on this, but must also admit that I am ever so thankful that I have absolutely none, and that I desperately hope that I never do. More than anything on this planet, and beyond...I hope that I never have the answers to these questions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy 8 Months!


Happy 8 months Little girl!! You are simply amazing, beautiful girl!! You blow me away every day with your strength and joy! You are an inspiration to me and everyone who has the fortune to meet you. What a blessing you are.


Love,
Mommy

Friday, September 12, 2008

*****BREAKING NEWS*****

I just got a call on my cell phone from Big...she's at Grandma's house while I'm working. The conversation went like this:

Big: Mama!! I go'd pee pee on da potty!!!!!

Me: WOW, Big!!! Good job!! You're so big!!

Big: *silence*

Me: You're getting to be such a big girl! I'm proud of you!!

Big: Mama! I go'd two pee pees and one poo poo!

Me: *giggling* Wow!

Then she promptly lost interest in talking to me and hung up on me. *shrug* So, yes...it's official. All of the grousing I've done over the last...umm, what's it been? A year now? Yes, the last year, seems to finally be tapering off. We are officially potty training, ladies and gentlemen...and with some significant success. Praise the LORD! This girl is a tough nut to crack!! Talk about stubborn! We tried stickers. We tried candy. We tried potty training books.* We tried praise, and singing, and special treats...in fact, you name it, we tried it. It's been a year people.** I was starting to wonder if she might be wearing diapers under her wedding gown someday!! Wanna know what bribe finally hit the jackpot? Princess underpants. I put them on her under a pull-up, so she gets to wear her fancy underpants (that I let her pick out) but we also don't have the huge wet carpet, pee pee on the leather couch mess that you get from going without the pull-up too soon...not that I'm speaking from experience or anything *ahem*. Genius, I tell you...pure genius.

*She did show some interest in the book "Time to PEE!" by Mo Willems. It has lots of funny little mice in it and mouse stickers at the end of the book for use on a potty chart or the like. I won't totally discount this book from playing just the teeniest part in her motivation.

**Please note that I did not pressure my daughter to potty train everyday, all day for an entire year. Even I, a first time potty trainer (Is that at all like a personal trainer? Wait, then where did these thighs come from? *sigh* Nevermind.) know that all that pressure does no good. We started at age 2...then, after no success in a week tried again at 2-1/2 for another week and took a break, and have periodically been trying since then when periods of interest seemed to spark within her. I have very little explanation as to why this time is the time...but I'm taking it, and I'm running, baby...faster than I've ever run before.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Check Her OUT!


This past Monday afternoon, our OT stopped by for our weekly session...or is it bi-weekly, or every three weeks? She needs exercise, people!! Oh, right, *ahem*...it was Little's first OT exercise session since she had her surgery on July 29th...that's right...I said July...I mean, could our OT have a personal emergency some other time...when my little girl hasn't gone 7 weeks without OT? URG! Aaaaaanyway, we were sitting there on my living room floor, discussing what kind of activity and development Little has been showing in ohhhhhh, the last month and a half (*deep breaths*) when I just decided to sit Little down on her play mat to show the OT that she (Little, not the OT) was doing pretty well sitting with my assistance, but not yet ready to sit on her own. Clearly, we had more work to do. So, I sat her in an upright position, legs in the "V" position out in front of her, and moved my hands off of her sides and about an inch away from her body so that I could catch her when she started doing her best "timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" impression (as she is apt to do) and I waited...and waited...and waited some more (probably 60 seconds, but it felt like 60 minutes)...until finally Little started to teeter to the side a bit and I put my hands out to catch her...but then, she did something that she's never done before. She put her chubby little arms out to the side and she balanced herself...and sat back up on her OWN!! The next thing I remember, the OT was slapping my cheeks, waving smelling salts under my nose, telling me to wake up and get my lazy butt of off the floor. OK, not really...but, I don't think I could have possibly been more shocked. My little baby...with two heart surgeries under her belt...and a pacemaker...who is still having trouble rolling over because it hurts to be on her tummy...who hasn't had OT since JULY (oh, did I say that already? *grumble*)...who has nary sat up on her own evah evah evah...was sitting up all. on. her. own. I sat and stared. I glanced at the OT, who looked back at me with approval. I looked back at Little, who turned and looked at me all "la dee dah, I've been doing this for ages, where have you been Mom?," like it was just another day in uprightness for her...and then she smiled, a big proud smile...and my heart melted. *swoon* And she hasn't looked back yet. Suddenly, she's a "sitter".

Every day, I am so filled with pride, and glee, and wonder that my daughter, who has faced more challenges in her short 8 months on this Earth than I can even fathom in my 30 years, continues to be so incredibly strong and show us what she's made of. She is the most wonderful blessing a mother could ever hope to receive. Amazing, I tell you. Every day with her is a lesson in strength and perseverance. How lucky we are.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Aww, pshaw...


Becca at Life with Boys has given me a blogging award...and I feel all sorts of unworthy. Isn't it pretty?!? *swoon* Thanks Becca!!
The award comes with these rules:

The winner can put the logo on their blog. Link to the person you received your award from. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. Put links of those blogs on yours. Leave a message on the blogs you've nominated. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking everybody’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!

Whew! OK, so here goes...

I have to go ahead and give this award right back to Becca @ Life with Boys. Her blog is always funny, honest and well written!! Plus her boys are so dang cute!

Next I give it to Sue @ My Party of 6. Her blog is fun, smart, and often includes current event topics that I don't dare to blog about. It's awesome. Plus, again...cute kids! Can't lose.

My third recipient is Fuzz @ fuzzmartin.com. A local friend of mine, he's got the blogging thing down. I like his mixture of personal stories, politics, local news stuff, music, etc. Plus I like his sense of humor. Sweeeeeeeet.

Fourth, I nominate Andrea @ Southernville. I HEART Andrea and her wisecrackin', say it like it is attitude. She's also a wonderful Mom and an awesome lady. And she also has the cute kids factor going on. Rock on Andrea.

Fifth, I have to nominate Tootsie Farklepants @ Vintage Thirty. I literally laugh out loud every time I read her blog. I seriously look forward to each new post. The picture in her blog header alone is worth the trip over to her blog. Hysterical!! She's sarcastic, the posts are well written, and she's so damn honest about her life. And...cute kids. Love it!

Sixth, I nominate Ann @ Journey from There to Here. Having dealt with anxiety issues myself, I know how tough the battle is to reclaim your freedom and your life. The fact that she blogs so honestly about it leaves me in awe. Plus she's a damn funny chick (who has cute kids). Way to go Ann!

And lastly, I nominate Chris @ Notes from the Trenches. Her blog is smart, funny, and all around entertaining and informative. Excellent. P.S. more cute kids.

I'm not very good at getting on here to blog lately and I really need to make an effort to do so more often. This is my resolve...I shall return here tomorrow with a new post. Lord knows I have enough things to write about...crazy...*mumblemumble*...exhausted...*mumblemumble*...motherhood. Hee! Thanks again Becca!
P.S. Through receiving this award, I finally learned how to link to things in my posts. Sweet.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I should join the circus!

Really, I should. No, not because I can grow a beard like nobody's business (heh, OK - I'm actually still facial hair free...whew!) and not because I think I'd be a great lion tamer (based on my ability to diffuse 2 and 3 year-old tantrums) no, not for those reasons...but actually because I have recently become a self-taught master juggler. OK, maybe not the kind of juggling you're thinking of, with flaming batons and bowling pins flying through the air while the crowd watches, mouths gaping...just waiting for that one.small.wrong.move. No, no. The kind of juggling I'm talking about is that of the "I have so many things to do/think about right now...its a miracle that my brain isn't blowing right out of my ears as I type this" variety. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to breathe.

Our schedule has gotten ca-razy busy lately. We have PT, OT, Speech Therapy (and all of the daily exercises that we need to do in order to continue working on all of the above listed therapies), a visiting nurse, my 3 day a week job, Hubby's full time job, doctor appointments, birthday parties, potty training (oyyyy!), *pant*, and my newest obsession, I mean scheduled event...a Children's hospital fundraiser.

Really, it's just a walk...a one day event. All I need to do is sign up, show up, and walk...no big deal. But could I really leave well enough alone and keep it simple like that? Would I be writing this post if I could? I think not. No, instead I decided to form a team for the walk,in honor of our Little's strength and bravery in being a patient at said hospital. But in forming a team, I then added to my plate the need to contact everyone I've ever known in my whole 30 years of life to try to get them to sign up and walk with us...oh, and Hubby's whole 33 years worth of friends, family, and acquaintances also. Yep, I sent an email yesterday to pretty much the entire free world. (It was actually quite impressive in that "I wonder how far around the planet this email will travel" kind of way.) So, why, you ask, would I purposely add something else to my already overloaded schedule when I already feel justified in whining about how maxed out we are? Well, either A. because I'm a nut, or B. because this fundraiser just that important to me. I'd like to think that the sole answer is B. but I'll go ahead and admit that it's actually probably a little bit of both A. and B.

In all seriousness, where would we be right now if all of this specialized care wasn't available to our children at a place like Children's hospital, or even if it was around, but wasn't as spectacular as it is today? Would Little be as incredible as she is today, pretty much doing anything and everything a perfectly healthy baby her age can do? Would we have received the awe-inspiring type of care for her that we have at our hospital at some other facility, or even at this facility if the funds weren't available to make it such an amazing place? Would our doctor have the resources to be in contact with doctors around the world in an attempt to continuously advocate for the best outcome for our precious girl? Would there otherwise be any chance that our little girl might possibly live a normal life some day? And really, most importantly, would we even still have Little in our lives right now if we hadn't been so fortunate to receive care there? I think about these things all the time, how fortunate we are. And to be honest, if I had to shave off an eyebrow and post my picture on a billboard in Time Square to get my point across, I would. Children's hospital saved our daughter's life...not once, not twice, but likely three times in the last 8 months. How could I not get out my address book, send a few emails, set-up a few websites, make a few calls to advocate for them in return...juggling as I type? It just wouldn't be right.

So, if you've recently received and email from me about the walk, or if I've called you or talked your ear off about joining our team, or donating anything you can to Little's team...and you now feel "bugged" I realllllly do apologize. I just can't not do everything in my power to make this event as successful as possible. I have them to thank for every kiss and every snuggle I'm able to enjoy with my precious Little everyday...something I'll never be able to repay them for.

If you're at all interested in walking with us or making a pledge to Little's team...please contact me at jenny_in_wi_07@yahoo.com and I'll steer you in the right direction. *wink* Thanks for putting up with me. I'll get off my soap box now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Um, hi. Remember me? No, huh? Well, I admit, it's been a long time...and I apologize for that, but I really wasn't sure that I would be able to come back to you all after all we've been through and offer you anything worth reading, so I just abstained. But I've changed my mind. See, what I've worried about is ending up with one of those disastrously melancholy, depressing, oh woe is me kind of blogs. The kind that you end up on after following the link off someone's blog you really like, only to find yourself immediately wishing that you could scrub your eyes and brain with Comet in order to permanently remove the drab content from your now damaged psyche. Sort of the "MAKE IT GO AWAYYYYY!!" syndrome. You know what I mean, we've all been there.

I originally started this blog to try to offer some lighthearted, fun stories about my life and my kids...a way to laugh at myself a bit and connect with my friends...maybe even vent a little when the days got tough...and I think I did OK at delivering that before, but to be honest...I really think that all of that is going to change. So, this will sort of be a Desperately Seeking Balance: Chapter II beginning. My focus now will be to just be real. I'm going to write about what the day had to offer, and to be honest people...some days here are harrrrrrd. Some days I do nothing but worry about my baby. Some days, I wonder where on Earth my 3 year old came from, because I certainly didn't have as much attitude at 13 as she does now, and I want to screeeeeeaaaaaaammmmm, and some days are wonderful, and fun, and *almost* carefree. And instead of trying to be fun, and pleasant and pleasing all of the time, something I've been tortured to do my whole life, I'm just going to write about it all as it comes. Even the messy parts. Somedays I feel like I'm holding on to my sanity by one small thread. My life, right now, is like the craziest roller coaster I've ever (or never) been on. Don't feel pressured to continue to read my blog if this doesn't end up being for you...there will be no quizzes handed out to my friends at week's end. But if you decide to stick around, it will be nice having you along with me for the ride with me, especially if you agree to hold my hand. *mwah!*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Running on Empty

I seriously feel like I'm at my limit right now...and I need a rest. My heart aches so deeply just thinking about my poor Little girl and her health and surgery. My mind is continuously preoccupied with visions of our past and upcoming trips to the hospital. No words can pass my lips...and I feel as if I'm sometimes unable to catch my breath. I close my eyes and see the all too familiar walk over the foot bridge into the hospital, the IV cords streaming from her tiny little hand, the white metal crib sitting in a sterile room, with my baby inside. Feeling desperately compelled to watch her heart rate on the overhead monitor, searching for reassurance in the numbers as they flash across the screen, ready to run into the hallway for help every. single. moment. of the day and night. Sitting quietly in her hospital room, watching her sleep, waking at all hours to comfort her in my arms, holding her tight to me and rocking her...feeling the connection between us without so much as a sound. Feeling so much hurt for my child, my beautiful newborn creation...and so much hope for tomorrow. Struggling with so much desperation to hear an encouraging word slip form the tongues of her doctors...dealing with the disappointment of imperfection and reality. Remembering to breathe when I feel as if I've long since slipped beneath the water.

I just want to be able to take my child into my arms and hold her tight to me and know that she is going to be alright. I want to look into her face and see her beautiful smile and for once not have the joy that I feel over her be so closely followed by such tremendous worry. Ughhh, God... I'm not sure I can handle all of this sometimes. I am not that strong. I am begging you, please make her better.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Bit of a Slump

Yeah, so I haven't been blogging much lately. I know. I'm in a bit of a slump. Not that I don't have a million things going on this summer that are totally blog worthy...we had a fabulous Fourth of July, I'm planning Big's 3rd birthday partay extravaganza, I got to go on a shopping spree with Grandma the other day and now have non-maternity clothing that has no elastic in the waist and actually closes over my new "I've had 2 children and I'm nevah, evahhhh going back into those old jeans, so get over it already woman" body, my in-laws and some friends will be visiting us for like, the next 8 bajillion weekends in a row (one of which Hubby will be out of town for...heh), Big is now transitioning into her "I don't care what you say, I'm going to do it anyway as soon as you turn your back Threes"...which are similar to the Terrible Twos, but with far less crying and far more disdain for authority...really, life is still bustling!! See my smile? (she says through clenched teeth). It's more that every stinkin' time I sit down to write something and tell my brain to go ahead and start warming up...my train of thought goes ahead and derails itself faster than...well, faster than Brett Favre's public opinion nose-dived when he said that he wanted to come back and play for another year. And that's fast people. A sample of said derailing is as follows:

Oh, I have to write about that thing that Big did the other day...that was so funny, man she cracks me up!! OK, so how should I start? Ummm...*brain silence*...gosh...I hope Little does OK with her surgery. UGH! Focus woman! Back to the blog. So...I'll say that she...*more brain silence*...huh...I wonder how many days she'll have to stay in the hospital. It was 3 the first time...I hope its not more than that. I hope we don't get a loud roommate this time...I hope she can sleep OK while we're there. Grr! Concentrate! OK...so I'll write about the other day when Hubby was re-doing the bricks on the porch...poor guy, that was a crappy job...but I wonder if I should be staying the night with her this time...she may need me now that she's older. Yeah I think I will. I hope Big does OK at Grandma and Grandpa's house while we're in the hospital...what am I gonna tell her about Little's absence? I really hate all of this... Oh, the blog...is that still open? Eh, forget it.

And really, this just runs a constant loop in my brain. It's a small miracle if I'm able to sit for more than 15 seconds without thinking about Little's health...and *surprisingly* not in that OMG, won't this surgery be fun!! kind of way. I'm nervous about the procedure, I'm dreading the hospital stay, and I'm hopeful, yet terrified about the outcome. I'm a big, forgetful, stumble-y, unable to complete a thought, super crabby, mess of a person lately...and really, it's not my best moment. So, if you're wondering why I'm not blogging much lately, its because every. single. entry. I'd write between now and the day of Little's surgery would start out as something original and fun, and end up nothing more than nonsensical ramblings about baby hearts and pacemakers and surgeries, and even I don't want to read about that crap. So there you have it.

I do *hope* to be able to return to my normal IQ rather soon after the surgery, however...only time will tell. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Twelve days and counting...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Little Miracle


Happy 6-Month Birthday Little. You're the most wonderful blessing that ever wandered into my life. So unexpected, but so welcome. So much worry over you, but so much love in my heart at just the mere mention of you. My hear melts with each one of your abundant smiles. I can't imagine what my life would be like if you hadn't made your appearance 6 months ago, not that it's been easy...because it really has been so difficult...but you always come through so strong and resilient. So much pride and hope surrounding you, little fish. My perfect sweet baby. My blessing. My little miracle. I adore each day with you as it passes. Thank you for choosing me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Turning 30

Well, it's official, a new decade of my life has begun. I turn 30 today.

I have to admit, that there is a moderate amount of panic that comes along with this transition, but overall I really have to say that I'm feeling fine with turning 30. I'm a mom now and a full fledged adult, who makes adult decisions and has adult responsibilities intricately woven into my daily routine. I can acknowledge that without even the slightest hint of palm sweat. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that I embrace the rigors of my daily life, and take a lot of pride in the life that I've made for myself thus far. I like where I am today...the wife of a wonderful, one of a kind man, the mother of two wonderful, sweet, smart, beautiful girls...and overall, a satisfied, happy woman. So in the grand scheme of things, I simply feel that, starting today, I'm making the transition into a happier, more mature period of my life, and really...what doesn't sound great about that?! Where my 20's can best be described as an irresponsible, selfish, confusing decade, my 30's will instead be a responsible, more fulfilling, family oriented decade. I'm looking forward to seeing where the next 10 years takes Hubby and I together, and am terribly excited to watch my girls grow and develop throughout the next decade, so I'd have to say that I'm pretty OK with it...potential wrinkles, gray hair and all.

So, tonight, as Hubby and Big sing happy birthday to me (while Little looks on) and I blow out the candle on my birthday cake, I'll bid my farewell to my 20's and embrace the beginning of the next chapter of my life, reserving hope that this will be the best one yet. Rock on 30.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy (In)Dependants Day!!!


Yes, I know, I spelled it wrong...but I meant to. See, the 4th of July has been my favorite holiday (even more than Christmas!!) as long as I can remember. There was always just something about getting up early and going to the parade, then heading home for some sprinkler play and popsicles, and finally staying up late and eating snacks on a blanket while we watched the fireworks that made me giddy. It's my favorite day of the year. Seriously.

So what could possibly make this day better, you ask? Easy. Sharing it with my children...hence the misspelling above. The last two years that I've gotten to take Big to the 4th of July festivities have been some of the best days of my life. Granted, she cried through most of the parade last year because she didn't like the clowns...or the people dressed up in character suits (dammit Elmo, she's scared! Beat your feet!)...umm, or the motorcycles or firetrucks...or, well...anything really...but things went sharply uphill from there I swear!! Watching her teeny little bikini covered baby butt prancing around, splashing in the streams of water...practically erased the whole clinging to me for dear life incident from my mind. Then later having her snuggle up on my lap while we munched on popcorn and watched the fireworks...just priceless. And this year, I get to share it with two! Rock. On.

So tomorrow morning we will be getting up early (dressing the girls in their red, white and blue uniforms that Grandma purchased for them months ago) and heading out to meet my family at the parade. Then we're all (yes, all 13 of us) heading to a family friend's house for a little barbecue...complete with the traditional slip n' slide, burgers and brats, and cold drinks, yum! And we will finish the day by heading out to watch the local fireworks spectacular, after the girlies have had ample chance to nap and recharge their batteries, of course. I'm not that crazy. I have been looking forward to this day for weeks now...as has Big. She can't wait to see the fireworks this year. After we happened to catch a stray firework in the sky on our way home from Grandma's house last week, she's been all about the fireworks. I'm talking, following me around for days now whining and begging me to "take her to the 4th of July" to see the fireworks, as if it is a destination instead of a date. Hee! No explanation of space and time satisfies her. I'm at a loss. ::shrugs:: It just makes the anticipation of the actual even even I greater, I suppose.

So, this 4th of July, I hope that you all have a wonderful time with your families, and enjoy spending the day sharing your traditions and summer celebrations with your little dependants. I know we will!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Woot!!

Well, it's official! Little is a roller!! Of course I was on my way to work when it happened-grr...the plight of the working mother!-but from what Grandma tells me, Little rolled from her back to her tummy all by herself, three times in a row this morning! She was, understandably, extremely pleased with herself...for a minute or two...and then she was just angry that she was stuck on her tummy. Huh. Next item on the agenda: Figure out how to roll from tummy to back.

Sadly, when I got the call, the first person I wanted to call was our Occupational Therapist, who has spent numerous hours working with Little on the whole "roll over" trick. (Hmm...sounds kinda canine.) Anyhow, the OT will be proud...but instead I called Hubby, so we could gush over our Little girl together. And gush we did...or, well...we do...often. He always looks at her sleeping at night and then says to me (while practically beating his chest with manliness) "We made that you know?!"...and I do. And it still amazes me.

Way to go Little One!! You're such a blessing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes...

Big has a fantastic vocabulary, really she always has. She started talking at a little over a year and has kept right on truckin' with new words each and every day. She says things like "Mommy, I actually want to wear those shoes, because they match my dress." and "This one is for me, you're going to get one for yourself? Grandpa has one for himself?" Or maybe that doesn't seem all that amazing to anyone but Hubby and I, but her vocabulary and the way in which she uses expressions just floors us...especially all of the new ones that she comes up with every day. Here are some recent ones...

*I was washing bottles (which I now spend a good 40% of my life doing these days) when Big walked into the kitchen and greeted me with "Hey there good lookin'" Umm, what? It's a wonder she didn't walk up behind me and pinch my rear! I must find out who taught her that one...

*We were eating dinner in the kitchen together (a rarity in our house) when Big, thoroughly enjoying her first ear of corn on the cob for the season, announced "Mmmmmm...This is awesome!". I've always loved the word awesome...but I love it even more coming out of my two year-old's mouth. Hee!

*We were riding in the car together the other day, having our regular dance party to the music on the radio - people driving around us must think we're a bunch of nuts - when she suddenly announced "Rock on Mommy" I have no idea where that one came from, but I love it. Gotta love enthusiasm!

*Big was sitting on her little potty after having a totally unavoidable accident. I was less than pleased, but not angry, yet I was still grumbling a bit as I cleaned the pee up with a towel. As I left her room with the tainted towel, I caught her eye and she blurted out "I'm sorry your highness!" Now who can be upset with that?! Hee!

*A while back I was performing the dreaded task of washing Big's hair during her bath. She hates to get the water in her face, but what can you do? I have her hold a washcloth over her eyes, but the reduction in screaming is minimal. As I was finishing up with the rinsing of her hair, the screaming came to a halt and she said to me, in her most distraught voice, "Mommy, you broke my wink!!" Heh. So I wiped the water from her eyes and fixed it...and had a good chuckle once she was in bed.

With all of the terrible surrounding the two's...its lovely to actually enjoy an aspect of this age. I'm soaking up every last laugh she gives me with gusto.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

21 More...Motherhood Lessons Part 2

*Sleep is most definitely not overrated. It is necessary, delicious, and never to be taken for granted.

*Wonder bras are ingenious. They are also worth every. single. penny. those swindling bastards at Victoria's Secret charge us.

*Epidurals are directly from God.

*Food tastes better if it flies into your mouth like an airplane.

*Sweat pants and no make-up days increase in correlation with the number of children you have.

*Baby smiles are contagious.

*It is time to end the bath, hastily, when the baby starts tooting in the water.

*Maternity clothes can be worn long after the baby has been born. They are a long term wardrobe investment, spend accordingly.

*Poo goes through some sort of sensory metamorphosis (and not the kind that leaves it a beautiful butterfly in the end) when it's in a potty chair as opposed to being in a diaper.

*Diapers should never be opened if the baby is still grunting.

*Cups and bubbles are the best bath toys ever.

*Some dance parties start at 7AM.

*Baby breath is never stinky, in fact having it blown in your face is actually one of the sweetest, warmest sensations on the planet.

*If an electronic toy doesn't have a volume control button and/or an off switch, do not buy it.

*It does not matter what you wear to a party, as long as your children are dressed adorably.

*Nothing says I love you like cleaning diarrhea out of a potty chair.

*There is nothing more satisfying in life than having your baby smile and coo when you enter the room...except maybe having your toddler say "This is fun, Mom" when you're simply sitting together on the couch.

*Popcorn is a grain and carrot cake is a vegetable.

*Repeatedly pumping breast milk does actually result in a strange urge to moo.

*When it comes to choosing between being a mother and having an "a baby never stomped all over this body" body, there is absolutely no choice to be made. (motherhood wins, by the way...in case that wasn't clear)

*Parenthood is the hardest job on the planet, but also the best part of life...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

21 things that motherhood has taught me...

*Kisses and glittery shoes make any boo boo all better...for girls anyway.

*Disciplining your child in order to teach them a lesson is harrrrrrrd, but worth every excruciating minute when your child finally learns the lesson and becomes a better, happier person in the end.

*Hand sanitizer must be carried at all times, even when you think you'll only be gone for a few minutes and don't plan to leave the car. If there is something gross to be found, children will not only find it, they will rub it all over themselves.

*Time flies.

*Watching your child accomplish a goal is so much more rewarding than accomplishing something yourself...like, say...folding a load of laundry.

*Because I said so is a totally legitimate reason to be told to do something.

*Love for your spouse grows exponentially while watching them care for your children.

*Keeping a sense of humor makes sleep deprivation and...well...just about anything bearable.

*Every parent deserves and needs time alone. Said time should be guiltless, as it actually benefits the whole family.

*When your parents told you "This hurts me more than it hurts you," they were telling the truth, even though it seemed as though they had to be full of crap.

*Clothes hangers, princess magic wands, and bead necklaces are easily converted to weapons.

*Having a sick child in the hospital is one of the most difficult things a parent will ever experience.

*Sometimes alcohol consumption is necessary after children have been put to bed.

*Dirty dishes will wait until nap or bed time. Snuggles and kisses and silly comments from your children won't.

*Food half eaten by your child does not contain calories.

*It is possible to love more than one child with your whole heart.

*The following body liquids do not contain germs if they come out of your child: drool, snot, spit up, pee, eye goo, sweat, and tears.

*Poo and puke will never fall into the germ-free category, no matter whose kids they come out of.

*Naps are necessary, even for grown-ups sometimes.

*Half eaten granola bars on the ground may suddenly appear appetizing to a toddler.

*Snuggling under the covers with your children is by far the best Saturday morning activity on the planet. Previous childless trips to breakfast or for coffee were wayyy overrated.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What would I do...


...without all of my great friends? Really, I don't think I'd make it...at least not with any sanity in the end.

I walked into work this morning and found an envelope on my desk...and a card with the above picture on it was inside. The inside of the card said "Take comfort in knowing somebody's having a worse day than you." Hee! A totally welcome laugh erupted from within. Sweet.

Just one of my friends letting me know that she's here...and that I can be a complete asshole around her while I'm crabby and down in the dumps, and she won't care.

How is it that I am surrounded by so many amazing people? I love my friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Or not...

Why do I bother?

Well, we went today for Little's echo and we didn't get good news. Her heart appears to have gotten a bit larger...showing a worsening in the function...and they're talking surgery now.

The good news is that the surgery they will do is to put another wire onto her heart from her pacemaker (to the right side of her heart, whereas just the left side is paced right now...it's called bi-ventricular pacing) and they think that it will really help increase the function of her heart...possibly even make it all better...but let's not get our hopes up now. (We've all seen what happens when we do that ::insert eye roll here::) But we do have hope, because...you know...we have to.

I'm not sure when exactly the surgery will be, as the cardiologist has a few surgeons that she wants to talk to before scheduling it (because Little is the youngest patient she's ever seen be a candidate for this kind of pacing) but she said definitely in the next 6 months. We told her that if they make the decision to go ahead, we want the surgery ASAP, like in July. She thinks that the sooner we have it, the more likely it is that the damage to her heart will be reversible and/or give her a lesser chance for needing a transplant down the line. (Umm, can we have it tomorrow in that case?!) We should get a for sure yea or nay next week.

I think someone up there needs a hearing aid.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear God, it's me again...

Tomorrow is a big day for us. We're taking Little to Children's Hospital to see her cardiologist for the first time in 2 months. It's the first time we've gone longer than a month without a check-up, and while I thought that I would have panicked and called our cardiology nurse 50 times by now, I really haven't. Little has been growing and developing and doing so well with her OT and PT exercises...we've had little reason to contact them with concerns...so, thank you for that. In fact, she's been doing so well that I've gone and done something I really shouldn't have. I've allowed myself to have just the tiniest bit of hope that her heart is getting better. And, really, I know better than that.

The last time we had her in to see her cardiologist, I was giddy. Little seemed to be growing and doing so well, that I just knew that her heart had to be functioning better...I couldn't wait for her doctor to tell me how much better she was, except...the information downloaded from her pacemaker showed that she actually wasn't doing any better after all. And while she wasn't doing worse, either, I left the appointment devastated. Silly, really...because stable is good...but in all honesty, it just isn't good enough. And, really God, I don't mean to be greedy...she's doing so well, and growing so well, and she's such a happy and beautiful baby...we are truly blessed...and I am sooo thankful for that...but every once in a while, when I allow my mind to go there, I wonder what life might be like for her if her heart doesn't ever start to function better. Her dysfunction is mild, and the pacemaker has corrected her arrhythmia, which really should help her live a good life...but I worry about things like; will she be able to run and play with the other kids at recess? Will she be able to participate in gym class, or will she be the only child in her class who has to sit out? Will she need to take medications her whole life? Will she be able to carry and give birth to babies? Will we have to watch her this closely for the rest of her life, as terrified as we are now that her heart function might be declining? Because I am absolutely fall to my knees grateful that she is stable and that she's doing so well right now but, God, I am terrified at the thought of being this afraid for her for the rest of my life. I really could use your help with this one.

So tomorrow morning, we'll head to Children's for the sedative and the echo...then the reading of the echo with our Doctor. I have sweaty palms already just thinking about the test results. Please, God, make my Little girl better...and give her Mommy the strength to get through this with some sanity and a shred of stability...because Big needs a strong Mommy too, and sometimes I feel like I really could fall apart.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Ode to My Chai Latte


Oh, chai latte
How I love every last sip of you
Even on the days that Big refuses to sit on her pottay
You help me feel a little less blue

I like you with soy
No water please
Because having you skim and watered down
Feels merely like a chai latte tease

I've had to give you up a time or two
And I was an unhappy girl
Partially due to the caffeine within you
But also because when I was newly pregnant, you made me want to hurl

And though you're pricey
And I can't have you every day
That occasional taste of sweet and spicy
Is sometimes more satisfying than a roll in the hay

And so, chai latte
I beg you to stay yummy as you I reheat
Because I only like to drink you hottay
And spoiling before I get to finish you, really isn't neat.

::sip:: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

By 30...

In honor of my quickly approaching 30th birthday...19 days and counting...ack!...I'm pulling out an old favorite of mine, written by Pamela Redmond Satran...hope you enjoy.
___________________________________________________________________

By 30, every woman should have:

*One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

*A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

*Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

*A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

*A youth you’re content to move beyond.

*A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

*The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.

*An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.

*A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.

*One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

*A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.

*Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

*The belief that you deserve it.

*A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

*A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.
___________________________________________________________________


By 30, every woman should know:

*How to fall in love without losing yourself.

*How you feel about having kids.

*How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

*When to try harder and when to walk away.

*How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

*The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.

*How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

*How to take control of your own birthday.

*That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.

*That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

*What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

*That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.

*Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

*Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

*Why they say life begins at 30.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The In-Laws are coming! The In-Laws are coming!

Have I mentioned before that I adore my in-laws? I do. And I'm not just saying that because I feel the need to chap anyone's hiney with smooches or anything...they are oblivious to the existence of this blog. They really are great! They've never been anything but sweet and kind to me...even the first time I met them...when I was 2-1/2 months pregnant with their first grandchild. ::wheeeeeeze:: And you'd think that after going through a situation like that and coming out feeling welcome and all warm and fuzzy and stuff, that I would be over this "nervous in-law" thing...but I'm just not. Each time they come to visit (*ahem* tonight), it throws a fury of panic through me. I want to run and, with my 5 extra hands, clean the bathroom, and wash the dishes (even the clean ones in the cabinets), refold and put the laundry away, etc. I want to make the best illusion, I mean impression that I'm a good homemaker, and a proper wife and mother to this family. Must. make. believe. that. our home. is. in. order. It's only for 3 days...I can keep it up that long, right? ::panting:: Right?!?! ::sob::

I'll let you in on a little secret...our house is not in order. It is instead, overloaded with stuff. I bought my teeny tiny, two bedroom house when it was just Big and I looking for a place to call home. For us it was perfect. Small, but cute and cozy...nicely sized for two people. But then, just when I thought that Big and I would be alone for a while, lo and behold, along came Hubby with his sweet face and charming ways, and...umm...his household full of stuff. And so we made room...in our hearts and our home (and garage and attic) and we did OK with the space issue after all. But then, because of that sweet face, and charming personality...heh...along came Little (an even bigger surprise!). ::gasp!:: And making room for her in our hearts was truly without effort...but making room for another person in this house was a feat! We packed some things away and donated lots of others to charities...leaving small spaces in each room to put Little's cute little baby things. (And who can complain about adding cute little baby things? Am I right?) All in all, we're making it work...but now, our house is bursting at the seams and we are done. No additional people will be allowed to enter this family until we buy a bigger house. ::knocking on wood:: As long as God, and...ummm...my birth control cooperate.

So, back to the in-laws *ahem*. They'll be arriving late tonight, and will be here until Sunday afternoon. They haven't seen the girls (or us, but let's be honest, its not like they're coming to see us anyway) since early May, so I'm certain that a majority of their time will be spent wooing one child or another...which really just makes me love them more. And I'm sure that, even though I'm feeling a rush of panic right now, as they're heading out on Sunday it will feel as if their visit has been far too short. But in the meantime, I need to seize this quiet moment of opportunity and get started shoving things into closets and sweeping dirt piles under rugs organizing and whatnot. Please pray that I don't end up suffocated under a pile of laundry somewhere...I would appreciate it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The girls' new tricks...

Why do kids have to grow up so fast? I mean, there have been certain stages that I wish would have passed a little quicker...like...ohhhh...the terrible two's that actually started at 1-1/2 in our house, maybe? But now that the horror that was that stage finally seems to be clearing out of our house ::knock on wood::, well - for a year anyway...it seems that I've simply blinked and both of my babies have grown up! They both have added a few new tricks to their repertoire. They are as follows...


Big has one new trick this week. It's called peeing on the potty...and the floor from time to time...but ya know, she tries. Yep, it's official...she's in training. (And absolutely no thanks to my evil plan by the way. Just had to get that out there.) She has gone on the potty twice a day for the last two days now and has gone in her diaper fewer times than she went on the potty! (yes, I know that means she's only peeing 3-4 times a day...we try several more times a day than that...the girl is a camel) So, what did Mommy do? Well, besides singing every "proud" or "congratulations" potty song I could think of (or make up quickly) I went out and bought her a pack of Disney Princess Pull-ups. I know reviews on these things are really hot and cold, but Big looooooves the Princesses...so we thought we'd give them a try. Fortunately, Cinderella has only been peed on twice now...so we're clearly making some progress. I've now coined the phrase "You don't want to pee pee on your Princess, do you?" I mean, clearly princesses are too fancy to get peed on, right? This results in a contemplative look from Big, and then usually a hurried trip to her little potty to "try" to go. She really does love them...the Pull-ups that is. Last night I was putting her jammies on, and in the process, I grabbed a diaper to put on her, thinking that if she did wet her diaper overnight, we might need more absorbency than a simple Pull-up can offer. I can only say...what was I thinking? A mere peek at the diaper resulted in the loudest, girliest screech I've experienced to date, along with some full body "get that crap away from me" wiggles. I was then informed that she does NOT wear diapers anymore...she wears "big girl unddapants". Copy that Houston...no more diapers. This is a good sign right? Or is it just a sign that my diaper expense just doubled in size? (stupid Pull-ups and their fancy price tag...stupid Princesses...) We shall see...

Little has a few new tricks too. The first one is called waking Mommy and Daddy up twice in the middle of the night to eat. Well, OK, this isn't a new trick, but she hasn't done it for a month or so now, so it feels new all over again. Ughhhhh...which leads us to her second new trick: spitting out and not eating rice cereal. Yep, after the third night in a row of waking twice, Hubby and I decided that it was time to load her up with some cereal before bed in an effort to get her to sleep longer...that's the myth you know? "Feed the baby cereal before bed and they'll sleep longer." You've heard it, right? Well, it doesn't work here...mostly because our child has a finicky palate...this we already knew...and refuses to open her mouth for the cereal. I swear, her tiny lips are like Fort freakin' Knox! Last night I, reluctantly, found myself sneaking spoonfuls of the, apparently vile, stuff into her mouth each time she parted her lips to complain about it. (bad mommy moment...what can I say?) Yeah, I don't think she cared for me much at the time, heh. Next step...adding it to her bottle? You know, I hate to mess with her bottles, after the fiasco we went through to simply get the girl to drink them...but something has got to stop this getting up twice a night. She's 5 months old for goodness sakes...that's a long time to go without more than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep!! (Keep in mind that I can't even caffeinate myself in the morning to get through.) So that one is kind of a work in progress.

Little's third, and final, new trick is a bit more on the TMI side... It involves holding her poop for three days...as opposed to her previous habit of going each time she was fed...and then filling her diaper the likes of a new Guinness world record. It's the formula...it's gotta be the formula. Right? Anyway, this trick usually sends one (or both) of us (Hubby and I that is), running around the house like headless poultry in an often fruitless attempt to minimize the explosive damage. It also often results in the following...an impromptu bath, draining of the wipie box next to her bed, depletion of the stack of diapers on my dresser next to her bed, changing of her bedsheets, sanitizing of her hands and feet (she moves so quickly, its hard to keep them out of "it", you know?!?!)...and so on. And the stink! Good God! You think the stinky butt lullaby was true before?! Ugh. I find myself speechless sometimes, trying to explain how one itty bitty person can make so much mess and stink...but that's our girl. Hubby is secretly very proud...umm...when he doesn't have to change the diaper. Even he has limits, people.

And in all seriousness...Little has been making great progress with her Physical and Occupational Therapy lately. She allllmost rolls over all by herself now, and is practically sitting alone. Note: I said practically. She still does end up in a doubled over heap most of the time, or flopping over to the side like a "timbering" tree...but she's working on it. She's also so great at reaching for objects and grasping them and getting them to her mouth. Oooh! And holding her head up when she's laying on her tummy, that's a big one for us!! And dammit, she's still the happiest baby I've ever seen. Such strides they're making...we're so proud. ::sigh:: Kinda makes the rest of this motherhood gig worth it, you know? It just all goes so fast...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Owie!

Well, as it turned out, my Monday would only get worse from where I left off. The rest of the daylight hours weren't so bad, the usual 2 kid to one parent chaos...except for when the occupational therapist showed up at my door for a previously scheduled appointment and I answered the door in my pajamas...at 11:30. That was fun, and not embarrassing at all...heh...I need to start checking my calendar every morning dammit! Anyway, it was much later, after the sun had set, that I found myself in a new kind of hell. Bacterial boob-itis (AKA Mastitis) hit me...BAM!...just like a Mack truck...sometime between sunset and Tuesday morning sunrise. I went to bed whining about how sore I was (and not just my boob either...parts of my back and shoulders, and...well...my whole body were achey and just downright excruciating) and I woke up Tuesday morning in a very messy, twisted, horrified heap on my bed. Miseryyyyyyyyyyy. So I stayed home from work and Grandma watched the kids, and I heat packed, and I slept and I pumped my guts out and still...nothin'. No relief. Argh! So, 24 hours and two pitiful calls to my OB's office later, I'm finally on antibiotics and...ummm...wishing that I could say that I was feeling better. heh. Because I'm still not...but I'm confident that relief is on the way...and that if the yeast infection and other fun side effects of this anti-biotic don't kill me in the next 14 days, I should be a new woman, with a far less painful boob, right quick. ::glaring at the right boob only:: Bastard.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's SO Monday

I'm tired today...really, really tired. I've been staying up wayyyyy too late at night pumping and making bottles so that I don't have to pump in the middle of the night (and so my boobs don't explode sometime before the morning light from my not pumping in the middle of the night. You know, it's win-win.) I've been getting to bed at about 11:30 each night, and waking with Big at a little before 7, and this simply isn't enough sleep for me. Add one, sometimes two night time feedings with Little and one additional trip to the potty (my bladder doesn't know I'm not still pregnant, I wish that someone would tell it!) and you have one unfulfilling night of sleep. This brings us to this morning...where I was laying on my pillow, desperately grasping for one more moments rest, when Big walked into my room. (insert eye bulge here) How she managed to wake up, get out of bed, open her door and come into my room, all without waking me is a total mystery...I'm going to start calling her Houdini. So, anyway...I heard her walk into my room and, unfortunately so did Little...so now all 3 of us were awake...and far too early for my liking. Excellent. The day was off to a stellar start...but you know it's going to be a good day when the first words you hear for the day are "Mama, I pooped on my bwanket. You hafta change my sheets." Aaaaaaaaaand now we're talkin'. ::sigh::

Here's to a stellar day all around. Grr.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sprucing up around here...

Well, I decided that I needed to do a little sprucing up here...new background, new header...you know...and, umm...stuff.

BIG thanks to Tiffany at http://www.miragreetings.com/ for the header...she has mucho talent!! You MUST check out her invitations and announcements if you're in the market!!

Anyway...its still Father's Day, so I need to get my butt off the computer and go do the dishes (cuz Hubby's doing them instead and that just ain't right).

Hope everyone had a great weekend and wonderful Father's Day...or Fadder's Day, as it's called in our home. heh. Hasta le...something!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mommy's Evil Plan

I feel like we've been doing this forever, this potty training thing. Really, I have no right to complain. I'm not doing it full time, I'm taking the more laid back approach. I ask, offer and bribe...but I don't force and I don't punish. See, if you know Big, then you know that if I tried to force her to use the potty, she'd finally agree to be potty trained sometime around age 25, when she discovered that there was some obvious benefit to her to stop wearing diapers...she's about as stubborn as they come (I have no idea where she gets that from *ahem*). Anyway, we have a sticker chart, we have three different kinds of potty reward candy...and yet, each time I ask her if she'd like to use the potty, she tells me "no". We've been at a standstill for quite some time now...until this morning.

This morning, as usual, after she got out of her bed, I asked Big if she'd like to sit on her potty and try going pee pee like a big girl, to which she auto-responded "no". Fine, whatever...we moved on with our morning...la dee dah...nothing unusual. A few minutes later, however, she came up to me with a distraught look on her face, and announced that she'd gone poo poo (it was really pee pee...we have yet to master the distinction, btw)...and then she told me "You hafta change my diapew Mama." Hmm...OK. I consider myself a fairly attentive mother, so off we went to her bedroom to change her diaper...Big walking like a cowboy who had just come home from a loooong trip on her trusty steed, and me right behind her...and that's when it hit me. She's been asking me to change her diaper a lot lately...actually coming up to me and asking...and, so I've been changing her, she's my child that's what I do...but maybe, just maybe I've been a little too quick to get those uncomfy diapers off of her. The ideas are flying...an evil plan brewing in my head...I've got it! mwahahahahahahaha!

I believe we may be having a potty training breakthrough. Clearly Big doesn't like the way the wet diapers feel...either that or she's been moonlighting with the local rodeo while Hubby and I sleep at night. And while anything truly is possible when it comes to Big, I'm gonna go with the diaper theory for the sake of this post. So, my thinking is...what if I don't change her diapers immediately anymore to give her time to think about how much she doesn't like them?? I'm not talking an hour here, people, but maybe 2 minutes? Five minutes? Just long enough to maybe give her incentive to go on the potty more often. That's not too evil, is it? Is it? Well, I hope not, because starting tomorrow, I'm going to try it...cross your fingers that this doesn't blow up in my face...umm, please?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Look out Vera Wang!

This morning started like every other morning in our house. Hubby was running out the door to work, Little was soundly sleeping in her bassinet next to our bed, I was face down in my pillow, grasping for every last breath of sleep I could get, and Big was waking in her toddler bed in her room next door. I could hear her making little wake-up noises in the monitor, but was hopeful that she would bless me by contently playing in her bed for a bit so that I could relish just one more minute of my semi-conscious state. It was not to be. My hopes were quickly dashed when she began yelling "Maaaaaaaaama! I cawwin' youuuuuuuuu! You hewe me?!?! Mama! I cawwin you wiff my mouff!! You hewe me Mama?! Maaaaaaaaaaama!! I neeeeeeeeeeed youuuuuuuuuuuuu," and so my morning began.

As usual I dragged myself into her room and was met with an expression of complete joy and enthusiasm from my Big girl, she was ready to get up and go. So, bunny and blankie in hand, we headed into the living room, when it suddenly dawned on her that she needed to get dressed. Right that very minute. (And this child does not accept just any outfit...she is fancy. Dresses are her everyday uniform. Tights and headbands are her favorite accessories. And anything other than glittery dress shoes is a travesty.) So, we made a u-turn out of the living room and headed back into her bedroom to get her dressed. Not up for a fight over which dress would be weather appropriate for the day, I opened her closet door and stepped back, giving her complete freedom of choice. She stepped toward the closet, nothing less than ecstatic (she has 15 dresses in there people...there was a big decision to be made here!!). She looked over each one thoughtfully...touching each one...moving onto the next one, pausing for a second a few times, as if to contemplate that dress's worthiness of her...and then, after a few minutes, she chose one. She turned to me and said, "Hewe Mama, I weaw dis one today, because dis one matches my shoes and my puwse." I kid you not. And it did. The pink patterned dress she chose matched the pink glitter flats and pink satin purse that she was already sportin' for the day perfectly (keep in mind that she had been out of bed for exactly 3 minutes at this point). I was in awe. My 2 year-old is already fashion and accessory conscious, and damn good at it too. Can you imagine what 13 will bring us?!? I'm scared. Somebody hold me.

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