Sunday, December 11, 2011

I hate...

Colic! Its evil. I never got it before... Someone would talk about their colicky baby and I would think yeah ok your kid cries... Babies cry. I never realized how draining it is... Emotionally and physically on everyone involved. It's not fair that whatever is going on steals my baby's happiness, comfort, and smiles. It's not fair that our entire life revolves around the witching hours which really can be all day... It's not fair that not only am I the only one that can give her some relief but it has to be in a rocking chair tightly wrapped to my chest in a sleepy wrap (I now own 2 just in case one gets spit up on an is in the wash) with my iPhone constantly playing an app that mimics water flowing loudly. Sorry to my friends I never call anymore... I also can't raise my voice above a whisper during this time plus if I use my phone the app stops playing and the screaming starts so you wouldn't hear what I was saying anyhow. I'm sorry to my oldest daughter that knows when the crying starts she has to go to daddy to have any of her needs met because I have to help Bees. For all my friends who have been through this I'm sorry i didn't get it and weren't there for you. For all my friends going through it now... I hope we all see the light at the end of the tunnel. Most of all though I hate that there is something bothering my sweet baby so badly that she screams so intensely so often and for so long. I'm sorry I can't do more to help you... Until this is over I will be here rocking, wrapping, and at times crying with you... I love you sweet baby... Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making hard decisions...

... and facing them... is one of the hardest parts of parenting. I have put off writing this post because I didn't want to face people's reactions. But the purpose of this blog is to be honest... I've said it before... and I'm sure there are others that have been or are in the same situation I was. I know there will be mixed reactions because I have friends that are crazy pro-breastfeeding, friends that think it's the only way, friends that have had difficulties and get it, and friends that never bothered.

I was convinced I was going to take another shot at breastfeeding with Bees that I didn't get with Bear. Bear was so small and not on the growth chart so we didn't get much time before we had to start supplementing when she wasn't getting enough from breastfeeding. Bear did well with formula, has been very healthy, and is a smart little girl so I didn't feel bad about our decision. That being said I always got embarrassed when asked "How long did you breastfeed?"

So for Bees I was certain I would breastfeed. I bought a nice pump, I stocked up on storage bags, medela bottles, and mother's milk tea. It seemed like it was going great. She latched on right away, gained appropriate weight, and seemed happy. I had mastered the blanket over the shoulder, breastfeed in public move. I love breastfeeding because how content and happy it makes me and my sweet babies. I love being able to feed them in the middle of the night with a simple unsnap of a nursing tank versus getting up and making a bottle. I love that no matter where I am I can feed my child and don't have to guess at how many bottles I need to have prepared for her prior to leaving the house.

At her 2 week check-up we talked to the doctor about how much she was screaming and how much pain she seemed to be in. Gone was the sweet baby from the hospital. From the time my milk came in she had been screaming pretty much every moment she was awake but even worse at night. The doctor told me all about colic and said to try the "5 S's" I tried swaddling, she screamed more... I tried sucking, she refused a pacifier... I tried swinging, she HATES the swing... Nothing was working. At this point she was having crazy spitting up after every meal, horrible gas, a bad rash... the list goes on and on.. I turned to facebook and got two suggestions of help from mom friends.... Dairy allergy or overactive let down resulting in foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (she wasnt getting to the good fatty milk). Despite everything I know about scientific methods and 1 control I both cut dairy out and started block feeding to help with the OALD at the same time and we started to see some changes. I went back to the doctor and she said it isn't dairy... she's gaining great weight and doesn't have bloody stools. At first I was angry and irritated at the doctor. Here I was drinking almond milk, cooking with soy butter, avoiding McDonald's fries (yea they have dairy) and downloading dairy free iphone apps... what does she know... But guess what... as soon as I stopped block feeding it got worse again. I stopped the dairy restrictions and focused on block feeding. While it seemed somewhat better she was still miserable. When I pumped I could tell how thin and watery the milk was... her poop was electric green... I finally broke down and gave her a bottle of formula mixed with pumped milk. And guess what... the screaming stopped.. not only that but she smiled at me...

I know all the benefits of breastfeeding. I really really wanted to do it... but to see my child so content (one of my favorite parts of breastfeeding in theory) and happy and out of pain was amazing. I decided I was going to pump and still mix it because then she will still get some benefit and breastfeed her at night... But you know what happens? Every morning and throughout the night she screams and spits up massive amounts of milk... I mean massive. After a couple of formula bottles she smiles, doesn't spit up, and is happy. Everyone in the house is happier. Daddy can help feed her, Bear can play with her and dance for her and make her smile, and I don't spend the whole day panicking about what is wrong with my baby.

So do I wish I was a super breastfeeding mom? Yes I wish I was... but am I still a Super Mom? yep I am... the proof is in that sweet baby's smile... so think what you want but I think I'm doing what is best for my family.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just a few thoughts today...

- Is there anything worse than dumping a 6 oz bottle of pumped milk that sat out all night???
- Some days I think I can conquer the world... I got up and made a quiche and banana bread this morning... Then I looked in the mirror... I don't think I'm going to conquer much more than my couch in my nursing jammies with leaky milk stains, hair going every which way, and gigantic bags under my eyes...
-But to end my thoughts on a positive note... With my first daughter we were blessed that my husband was able to stay home with her from 4 mo. when I went to work until 20 mo. when she started daycare. The downside was I had to ask him everything or do it wrong and he would say "No, she doesn't like that anymore." Or "actually this is how I get her down for a nap" Just now he was making her lunch and said "What do you dip your meatballs in?" And I was able to say "ketchup" and then show him how she likes her meatballs cut up... I am so blessed to have this maternity leave to not just bond with my youngest but get to know my oldest even better!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sleep and the newborn...

Everyone knows new parents are sleep deprived... I knew when baby 2 came I would be tired... But I forgot how crazy this time really is... The first time around Hubby didn't have to go to work until 11 am so he could help alot more at night.  This time he leaves for work by 6:30 am which is about when we fall back asleep just in time for my 2 year old to wake up and start making her morning requests (Jake and the Neverland Pirates, chocolate milk, candy, playdoh... she's already smart enough to know I will give her anything to be allowed to lay around for another 30 min). 
Here are some things I've learned...
1) If you are lucky enough to have the baby sleep through dinner so that you can eat with both hands and not just your left (Im convinced I will be ambidextrous by the time she is out of this stage)... then the baby will be up screaming all night... weigh the pros and cons carefully...
2) Your 2 year old that has never slept through the night can sleep right through a screaming baby... if she is sleeping in your bed
3) I was destined to have very attached kids that will never sleep anywhere but my arms
4) You will do anything to make a screaming baby stop including running the shower all night long because the sound of heavy running water is the only thing that calms her... I can't wait to see our water bill
5) What you find funny on Pinterest at 3 am is not necessarily something you would publicly "pin" when looking back at 10 am.
6) People say to sleep when the baby sleeps but somehow although you are incredibly exhausted the baby always passes out right when you get your second wind and wakes up right as it goes away...
7) You will pump purely to have a glass of wine, beer, or EXTRA large cup of coffee...I have yet to stock up one bottle of milk for when I return to work... priorities
8) Possibly the most important... NEVER take medication in a sleep deprived state without checking the bottle three times and asking someone not also living in your sleep deprived house what the bottle says... I don't care what my neighbor thinks of me I will not mix up the stool softeners and the iron tablets again... Anyone who is familiar with these two items know they do the opposite things so if you need one you don't want the other...  TMI... sorry.. Im a mom... I have no filter...

How not to have a baby...

Ok so my baby is over 3 weeks old... and Im just now blogging... but I have found that adding another child doesn't double your work load it quadruples it! Now you are not only dealing with an infant which in itself is double the work of a 2 year old but you are also trying to make up to the 2 year old that you just brought another person into their perfect world that takes double the time from them. 
So I wanted to start by telling you how NOT to have a baby...
As I hit 38 weeks I was astounded at how uncomfortable I was!  I don't know how people go past 40 weeks.  I seriously asked my mom (I was too scared to google it) if any pregnant woman's skin ever actually split open at this stage of pregnancy... That being said I didn't really want to go into full blown labor I just wanted to have my baby on the 14th or that weekend at least... The doctor I wanted was on call that weekend and I really wanted her to deliver but she was booked all the next week when I was officially 39 weeks and allowed to have a c-section.  So I began soliciting suggestions from people on how to safely induce labor... It's amazing what you will hear and from whom... The sweetest older woman will tell you in detail how to stimulate your nipples and exactly what position you should engage in intercourse to induce labor.  Here are the things that did NOT work... at least not for me...
1) Spicy food- The theory behind this is that it makes your stomach so upset that it stimulates contractions in your uterus.  I didn't stop to consider what this would feel like to have to get so sick that it stimulates contractions... It is NOT fun at all.  My work every year does a Hispanic Heritage Breakfast where all of my co-workers who are Hispanic bring in ethnic dishes. I believe it is like 14 people.  I requested half jokingly that they make it extra spicy for me.  So even though I started maternity leave that day, I came in for the breakfast. Although it was super hot and I was sweating (and sick) there were no hints of a single contraction... I teased my co-workers that they must not really be hispanic :o).  So spicy food did not work!
2) MSG- I read that MSG can cause contractions.  My husband was ready to leave me in the grocery store as I examined all the Chicken Noodle Soups for the one with the most MSG.  I found out what restaurant had the most MSG (surprise it's not Chinese though I ate that too) and lucky for us they had just built this restaurant and it was one of our favorites! Nope MSG didn't do it for me!
3) Eating straight Horseradish... I guess this is an old Jewish remedy... I couldn't bring myself to do it... so it might work...
4)Nipple Stimulation- If you are curious how the sweet older lady suggested I do this... She said use one of those shower scrubbie pouf things while showering.. NOTHING

What does work...
Get in your car... drive an hour and a half + away from the only hospital your insurance takes into the country where they may not even have a hospital... Walk around an apple orchard.. reach up a lot and pick apples (there is another old wives tale that scrubbing your ceilings will cause labor to start because of the reaching)...I'm convinced that it was just purely losing my common sense and driving that far from the hospital that did it... Someone said "Look at this idiot... lets see how much we can freak out her mom and husband as they try to drive back almost 2 hours while her contractions grow closer and closer together... This will be great fun!" 

Long story short... we made it to the hospital on October 14th (see above for my ideal date) at 3 pm and my contractions were 3 min. apart though I couldn't tell in the car when they were starting and stopping anymore... The doctor we wanted was on call... she arrived around 7 and our beautiful 8 lb 3 oz baby was born at 7:56 pm.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pictures with a 2 year old...

never go quite as expected. Thank goodness I had a good friend doing my maternity pictures. With friends you can just be yourself which is really nice when you have a 2 year old to corral. It started off as I expected... Bear refusing to do anything asked of her, (she's two her motto is "Do the opposite"). I was prepared for that. We brought out the reinforcers, her favorite M&M's (didn't work), bubbles (she's two they always work), and balloons. She began to warm up and we started to have some fun. No she still wouldn't kiss the baby or give mommy hugs but we got some adorable shots. Then I asked her to do a costume change... What was I thinking? I took her shirt off and she decided she ABSOLUTELY was NOT putting on the beautiful blue shirt I just spent all morning running around looking for so that we could get awesome pics of her eyes... I gave up fighting her and decided to change my own outfit. I figured she could play and I would do some just mommy belly shots. So here I am in pre-maternity jeans that of course don't zip (I in fact broke the zipper attempting to zip them a little), and a cheesecloth wrapped around my top part so that I wasn't completely exposed while showing off my belly. Disclaimer... I know a few people who are offended by bare belly maternity poses but here's how I feel about it... My body is forever changed... you will never see me taking pics in a bikini (my thighs are hideous), there are entire styles of shirts and bathing suits I will never be able to wear again, but my stomach right now is GORGEOUS... aside from some barely visible gallbladder scars I am one of the very lucky ones that do not (yet) have stretch marks. I know that for the rest of my life I will be self-conscious of my stomach so for this moment I want to document how awesome it was!
OK disclaimer over...
So here I am in the park of one of the richest suburbs in America, completely exposed and I turn around and see my child in a tutu, blue fairy wings, and no shirt jumping off a picnic table, happy as can be. See this is why I am glad that the photographer is a friend... instead of being irritated that my child wouldn't get dressed, Jennifer from embraced her 2-ness and documented this moment of abandon that she will hate when she is 16 and the 20x24 print is still above our mantel.

Then it just turned crazy... apparently children in rich suburbs do not need to go to the bathroom while frolicking in the park, or else the bathrooms are very discretely hidden because that was the moment my 2 year old decided she HAD TO PEE. What am I supposed to do? She is half naked... I am half naked and there is no bathroom in site? I consulted my sister and somehow we decided to let her pee in the grass. I totally thought she would say no way! She is a strict rule following for the most part and likes to tell us "doggies pee in the grass, Bear pees in the potty" but nope... she jumped at the chance, so here she is naked and giggling that she is peeing like the dogs as I try to keep the mess to a minimum with my pre-preg jeans hardly over my own butt and nothing more than a cheesecloth wrap around my boobs tied back with a hair tie... did I mention we were in one of the nicest suburbs in the country? Yet again... I don't think I will ever do pictures again when the photographer isn't a dear dear friend... you can take this family out of North Florida... but I guess there is still a little North Florida in us :o) (no offense to all my friends in North Florida but be real some of you are probably wondering why I care that my kid was peeing on million dollar grass in the middle of a public park wearing nothing but fairy wings...)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vacation with a 2 year old...

...sure is different than we used to plan get-aways! But there is no reason it can't be just as much fun! We just got back from an awesome vacation. It wasn't anything exotic. In fact we just drove a few hours to Wisconsin but man did we pack in a ton of fun! I was a little worried that I would end up going into labor but at least Madison has a good hospital... doesn't it??? I didn't have to worry about that though, my sweet hubby constantly asked "Are you drinking your water?" "Do you need to sit?" and I even heard, "I am so hot I can't imagine how you feel." That was more refreshing than a cold bucket of water over my head... ok maybe close!
So here was our trip if anyone with little ones wants to try to duplicate all or part of it.
We started Friday afternoon and drove up to Milwaukee (it's about 1 hr. 45 min. north of our house).

The WI State Fair was going on which is always a good time. The night we went was an added bonus because it was discounted admission for Illinois residents! For a pregnant woman it's even better because it is miles of delicious food! For Bear the best part is the animals. Barns upon Barns full of cows, pigs, horses, sheep... anything 4H.
A lot of the kids from the different farms will let the kids go up and touch the animals and teach them all about the animals and farming.
They also have a barn full of educational and hands on activities to interact with the animals. Bear absolutely loved it and it was free so we loved it (more money for the food)
After the animals is the midway with all the rides. I like this area at this fair a lot for 2 reasons. #1) It is all the way down at the far end so if you don't want to go down there your kids have no idea it even exists. #2) The kiddie rides are completely seperate from the adult rides so it really is a calmer safer environment for the kids. I am not a huge fan of some of the rides. They were a little old but hey we survived and she had a blast.
For 20 bucks she got to ride just about everything. They also have an option for an all you can ride band but I like the finality of a set number of tickets when dealing with 2 year olds and limits.
After eating our body weight (and Im 7 mo. pregnant... thats alot of body weight!) in food we did spend a good bit of money but had a great time. I discovered that WI really does know how to make 2 things... Brats and Cheese! If you go you MUST have a Brat and cheese curds. I've avoided cheese curds for years because it sounded gross but OMG they were heaven!
Next we drove over to Madison where we booked a hotel room at an indoor water park. It was a nice little drive and gave us all a chance to digest our food and cool down. I can't say enough about this hotel. We had a room on the 3rd floor with a private balcony overlooking the indoor water park.
Our room was perfect. We had two queen beds and a living room that was separated by a hallway with a mini fridge, coffee pot, microwave etc. Each room had a nice flat screen tv and were far enough apart that the kids could sleep in one room and we could watch tv in the other but still have an ear out for them. The pool balcony was off of the living room so there were no noises in the bedroom area. The living room also had another pull out queen bed. The only down side to the room was that it did not have a shower which makes it difficult to bathe small children. The also have an option to get a room with bunk beds which might be nice if you also have older children.
The hotel has a restaurant on site which serves a buffet breakfast. It seemed a little steep to us at $10 a person when it really was just a continental breakfast with a few more hot items added. Kids under 12 do eat free though so if you have alot of kids it might be worth it. There is a grocery store and Target right down the road so we picked up a bunch of things for the room as well.
The pool was perfect for young kids. There is a huge ship with two slides and the water in that pool is just a few inches. There are also two smaller slides. Bear didn't like the fountains spraying water but it was easy to avoid them.
They also had a larger deeper pool with a basket ball hoop and a larger slide. We discovered if you went down it sitting up with the toddler in your lap it really didn't go very fast and was a lot of fun.
Bear played in the pool for HOURS which is much longer than usual. We liked it better than our hotel at the Wisconsin Dells that had an indoor waterpark.
The next morning we headed to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison. I can't speak highly enough about this zoo. First of all it's FREE! SCORE! It is a small zoo but they have tons of animals. All of the animals are close together so there is not alot of time for kiddos to get bored. I know mine likes to move from animal to animal. The animals are also nice and close so they can really see them. The best part for Bear was the map.
As you can see it was color coded and had a silhouette of each animals so she could check what was coming next. It was so adorable as soon as we would see one animals she would say "Let me check my map" and see what the next one was even though it was 30 feet away. They had some really cool animals like the red panda which is hubby's favorite. The outdoor play area was really nice too. I thought it was too big for her but it was very parent friendly as well so with a little help from daddy she had a great time.
Another great feature of this zoo is the carousel. First of all its indoors which was a very nice respite from the heat. It is very nicely maintained with beautiful animals. This was one of the few things that required payment but when you have a 2 year old you know it's not optional. I think it was only $2 though. They also had a train and camel rides that you could pay for. The last thing that really impressed me about this zoo was the concession prices. Being a free zoo I thought that was where they would get us but they didn't! It was very reasonable for zoo food and they even had snacks like goldfish and animal crackers for the kids for just over $1!
Next we headed to the Madison Children's Museum. I would love to review it for you but it was closed for a special event. We were very disappointed but at least we got to catch the tail end of a WONDERFUL farmers market.
Everyone was walking around with beautiful flowers so we had to get some too! It runs until November, every Saturday until 2. There were so many yummy produce stands but of course Bear wanted cookies. She had her pick of baked goods!
It is right around the capital building and was such a beautiful area. Madison is very artsy and had tons of wonderful independent coffee shops and places to eat in this area. In fact I never saw one dunkin donuts or starbucks the whole time we were there.
We figured if Madison does dairy well we just had to have some ice cream! I heard about this place
where you just have to try the Fat Elvis ice cream. It is banana ice cream with huge clumps of peanut butter and chocolate swirls. It was DIVINE! They also happened to have fruit loops ice cream which made my two year old sooo happy. She wanted blue ice cream and loves fruit loops. They had a little kids area to play filled with Melissa and Doug toys which was awesome since there was quite a line at this place!

Sunday morning we went swimming again and then headed back to Milwaukee. We hit up the Milwaukee Co. Zoo. It was a HUGE zoo especially compared to the zoo in Madison. They had a train that ran through the woods and around the zoo that was beautiful. They also had pony rides and camel rides but make sure you have cash on hand because they don't take cards. Many of the animals came up very very close which was really exciting for Bear. After a busy busy weekend we were definitely worn out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Am I asking too much?

We have the worst luck with OB's... we were really unhappy throughout my pregnancy with my first child with both OB practices we used and looked forward to living near a big city where we could get good medical care. I may seem difficult to please but I really am not. My husband and I were discussing prior to todays visit that we were really getting frustrated. He goes to EVERY OB appt with me and yet he had only met the doctor 1 x. I am almost 28 weeks along. There is only one OB, a nurse, and a midwife in the practice. With my HMO I only have the choice of about 3 practices, and 1 of the other had a huge malpractice case against in and the other had horrible reviews... so we went with this practice. On top of NEVER seeing the OB, my glucose test has been rescheduled 3 times and now I had an appt today and another one in 2 days because it was rescheduled by the doctors office so many times. They gave me the delicious sugary drink to drink on my way in. They said to drink it at 9:30 and then they would take my blood when I got there for my appt at 10:15. So I get there and we wait in the lobby for 1/2 an hour. Finally I can't hold my bladder any longer so I go use the restroom and while Im in there they call me. I ask if I can put my stuff down but she insists we do the blood pressure and weight check first (ok fine but I have my 2 year old with me and am carrying her doll stroller with not 1 but 3 dolls, a diaper bag, a sweatshirt, and a doll blanket). We go in a room and she shuts the door. I google how long they have before the test is invalid... it says it needs to be done at one hour. At this point it is 1 1/2 hours since I drank it. I go out to the nurse and ask her and she says "Well why didn't you remind me? I dont have time to look at everyone's charts..." um... isnt that your job??? She takes my blood anyhow even though she says the test is probably invalid... blows the vein and calls someone else over to try the other arm. Finally after my blood is drawn I go back to the room... and wait another hour... and nobody comes in. At some point my 2 year old melts down, slams her head on the metal exam tables, screams for 20 minutes, and my mother takes her to find chocolate milk. Eventually the doctor comes in, by the way my husband that comes to EVERY OB appt. could not come because they rescheduled this appt. 3 times, and now the actual doctor finally comes in... So she says, "urine is clear, blood pressure good, everything is perfect!" and turns around to leave... No, "How are you?" "No are you having acid reflux so bad you feel like your stomach is a pit of lava and nobody will sit near you because they are pretty sure you are breathing fire?" Hello this appt is almost a month late, I haven't seen you in 3 months, my complications with my first daughter started at this point in my pregnancy... she turns to leave. So I say, "Wait! I havent felt the baby in over 2 days" So she does a quick U/S and says "Baby is just lazy! You're fine" and starts to leave again. At this point I have to chase her down with my list of 10 questions in hand... I came prepared but I did not come prepared to be blown off and was totally flustered. So I tell her about the breathing fire, vomiting acid all night thing... she says "suck on the Tums..." Ok I don't know anyone that sucks on Tums and NO SHIT lady I have been eating Tums like I own a majority stock in the company... I have also been drinking every version of coconut water that exists, avoiding certain foods, sleeping upright etc... Sucking on "the Tums" is not gonna cut it. She says "Fine I send in prescription." Does not tell me what it is, when to take it, where she is sending it... but its been sent (I hope). Then she attempts to leave again! I do a quick mental scan of my now disreguarded list and ask all in one breath... "CanIFly?IWasSubpeonedForaTrialInFloridaNextWeekAndDon'tKnowIfICanFly?" She looks at me and says, "What are you thinking you can't fly you are 28 weeks pregnant." The way she said it was so rude like HELLO don't you know anything? Well no I don't because I haven't seen you in months, you rush out of appointments before I can even say a word, and I don't have a medical degree.
So I just spent the afternoon looking to see what my options were for a new OB. Unfortunately my HMO still only covers the serious malpractice case, the OB with scathingly terrible reviews, and this OB. So I see about changing medical groups. This is apparently incredibly complicated when you are almost 28 weeks pregnant. It involves sending medical records to medical review boards for consideration... and this isn't even my preferred OB this is just the one with the least bad reviews... Why oh Why can't I be one of those women that can just pop a baby out in the bathtub, cut my own umbilical cord, and go bake a pie? The likelihood that this medical board is going to look at my pregnancy history and say "sure lets take this one on" is slim to none... Grrr... am I asking too much that a doctor take the time to find out if I am OK before declaring everything perfect and walking out?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We did it! We did it! We really really did!!!

Yes I say we because it has consumed my life for the last week. The it I am talking about it potty training. No she's not completely potty trained yet... But she finally peed on the potty! This may sound minor but believe me it was a rough week. Let me start by saying I had NO motivation to potty train Bear.. none! I figure we are so busy during the summer it would be tough, the baby is coming and she may regress, insert other lame excuse here... I just had no desire. So it shocked me when Bear woke up Monday morning insisting that she wear big girl panties. Not only did she want big girl panties but she wanted Nemo, Cars, or Diego panties... Do they even make panties with these characters for girls??? Of course I went straight to facebook to inquire and started searching the internet. I discovered that Target does indeed sell a Pixar girls panty pack. See here So I sent grandma out to get them and we got started. At first I thought my child couldn't tell when she needed to go. I didn't understand this at all.. she's a smart kiddo... how does she not know? Nope found out that was not the case at all. Although she really wanted to use the potty she was scared. She is able to hold it for CRAZY amounts of time.
So she would sit on the potty, go a little, freak out, and hold it for several more hours before having an accident. This morning she again insisted on wearing panties... I sighed but through myself into it all over again. I was thinking it would be easy since her diaper had been dry from 5 pm last night through to this morning. Not my kiddo... After 18 hours... she still had not peed!!! And she had already had a cup of apple juice, a capri sun, and some chocolate milk this morning! I could tell she really needed to go so after books, stickers, bubbles all failed to distract her... I decided we were going to make Magic Pee Pee juice! She had never had Kool-aid before so I thought maybe that would be cool. I brought the blender down to her potty, she poured in the koolaid, sugar, and water... I pulled her potty over to the kitchen, set up the blender and turned it on... Guess what? It was so exciting to see the blue color float up and spin she finally peed! and peed... and peed! After I wiped my eyes (yes I cried, we celebrated with happy cheers of blue magic pee pee juice like we had just won the world cup of potty training! She immediately wanted to take a picture and send it to daddy (do you think I take too many pictures?) I had to draw the line somewhere so we settled for calling daddy. Now I need to run to the store and buy more Kool-Aid... If you see us with a Kool-aid stand set up in the neighborhood please stop and buy a cup... I promise it was made with love (and clean hands)...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Being a stay at home mom...

is tough work! I really am loving being home with Bear this summer but I am learning a lot about what stay at home moms go through. I had grand plans for keeping the house clean, delicious dinners on the table every night, and lots of stimulating and educational activities to fill Bear's day. What I actually have is a trashed house (every time I clean one thing she destroys another), I have yet to cook a dinner that involves more than 3 steps, and most days are dictated by Bear's mood.
I never thought of my child as particularly moody but I have realized that how she wakes up in the morning completely dictates how our day will go and nothing I have planned will change that. When I was working if she had a bad morning I just had to get through the first 45 min and get her off to school. I never realized what I might be dropping off for them to deal with all day. Here are the 3 sides of my pookie Bear:

Wide Awake:
Literally she pops straight up from sound asleep, bounds into the living room with a giant smile and proceeds to do gymnastics OFF the couch. These days she is like the energizer bunny and are best filled with trips to the playground, pool, or hours of running in an empty field.

Every day Bear starts whining and cranking as soon as the sun starts coming up. The difference is usually she finally accepts it and goes back to sleep. On cranky days she never gets back to sleep. She wakes with growls and grunts. The best course of action on these days is to as quickly as possible get her to the living room and immediately put on favorite show of the moment (Dora, Diego, Looney Toons, or Super Why) and pray you picked the right one. Then begin surrounding her with her favorite stuffed animals and blankies, set up a table of all her favorite snackie breakfasts, and fill cups with every kind of juice possible. This usually still makes her mad but at least its one fit versus dealing with the grunts to figure out what she wants. These are the best days for cleaning because she usually wants to be LEFT ALONE. I get it kid I have those days too.

Last we have Snuggly:
This is the very best. This is when she wakes up smiley but snuggly. She usually calls out to go to Mommy's bed (Daddy gets to sleep in it WAY more than Mommy but for some reason it's Mommy's bed. She wants to lay around and snuggle and laugh and tell jokes. These days are the best. They are great for going to the movies, reading books at the library, and playing low key fun games that are easy on a pregnant mommy.

Does anyone else's kid wake up these ways. Does it control how your day is going to go? Any suggestions for navigating any of my mornings?

Monday, June 27, 2011

You clearly don't have kids...

*Disclaimer*- As this blog post is titled "You clearly don't have kids" if you do not have kids you may want to avoid this post while eating, if you have a weak stomach, if you do not like to hear about the more disgusting parts of parenting... etc... I am not responsible for any food left unfinished as a result of reading this post during a meal...

I LOVE the fact that I can literally just grab and go these days. No more 20 lb. diaper bag that weighs more than the baby. All I really need to get through a shopping trip is a diaper, wipes, and maybe some fruit snacks or M&M's. Sometimes I actually don't even bring those things if we are just running out. It is amazing. I better enjoy it while it lasts since I am at the most 17 weeks from pulling that monster diaper bag back out of the closet... That's one part I am NOT looking forward to.
My mom and sister came over and we grabbed Bear, the very small adorable kitty cat satchel that serves as our diaper bag now and left for the mall. I didn't even think to check it because we were just running out for a little while. After walking around for a few minutes my sister goes "WHAT IS THAT SMELL??" My child who usually informs anyone and everyone (at a very loud volume usually in the food court) about all bodily functions she makes, had not informed us this time. I did the classic mom/butt sniff... yeah classy I know... and confirmed yes it was definitely her. We can't go to the beautiful family changing room that has a vending machine for anything you might ever need (diapers, wipes, fruit snacks, pacifiers, match box cars, you name it, it's in there!) because they so kindly put it next to the kid play area. Now I know that seems to make sense, kids play there so we will make it convenient to have the changing rooms there. To a mom this was the worst engineering possible. I do not come to the mall to spend 3 hours in kiddie play land. I do everything I can to avoid this wing of the mall and no longer shop at some of my favorite stores just in case she sees it and wants to play for 3 hours. Terrible I know. I actually have a game plan for navigating around this area. So I am NOT going to go use those changing tables. I end up going into the closest department store which of course has the bathrooms the furthest from the downstairs door as possible. When I get in there I realize this is not your average poopy diaper. This is a complete blowout! Since I have not had to deal with blowouts in at least a year I start to panic... I start talking to myself a little reminding myself how to navigate with the least mess possible. I open the diaper bag and see ONE wipe. Yes there is ONE wipe left... Lovely.... I try to use it as efficiently as possible but lets be honest ONE wipe is no match for this diaper. (Feel free to check out now if you are more than grossed out). So I begin wetting paper towels and using those as wipes. but I didn't wring them out enough and lets just say it wasn't clear water that dripped all over her clothes. So I get her naked. Attempt to give my 2 year old a sink bath, get a diaper on her, breathe, and head out to find her clothes. So hear I am walking around the children's department with a naked 2 year old (ok she had on a diaper and shoes, my coat in my arms (because I am not 100% sure I didn't get some on there), her dirty clothes in my hand because I can't risk putting them in her bag and contaminating her fruit snacks in case there is another meltdown (besides mine) and I need them for reinforcements, and my keys, wallet, (but no cell phone so I couldn't call for back up)... I am a frazzled hot mess! In the baby department I frantically search and search for SOMETHING in my daughters size. I asked the sales clerk where 24 month clothes are and she looks at me like Im crazy. At the time I thought maybe they were right in front of my face and I just missed them but I realized no I probably really looked crazy. Finally I found ONE little jumper thing and went to check out. I immediately started pulling off tags and dressing my poor child. Then I asked her for a bag for the old clothes (that are nicely bundled up and not visibly disgusting). She says "bags are for purchases" I kindly reminded her that I had just paid more than I would like for an outfit I don't even like because it was the ONLY ONE in my child's size in her entire department so I believe I have purchased enough to qualify for a small plastic shopping bag. She huffed at me and literally gave me the smallest bag they had. Maybe she thought I had said I needed 2 mo. size clothes and thats why she was confused earlier. As I'm walking out, trying to hold my head high... I hear her mutter Oh MY God.. under her breath. Go ahead cute 24 year old girl. I was where you are 6 years ago... thinking I will never be that mom... well guess what... I am almost past my blowout diaper days (well at least for this child) you have many more in your future (unless you don't have children which right now I don't think is a bad idea)... So I toast to you... may your blowouts always be at home, may you always have enough diapers, wipes, and spare clothes, and may you never be judged for things you can't control! Cheers!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

4 years doesn't feel long enough...

4 years ago... I married you... I thought I knew what marriage meant...I thought I would rock at it and it would be a piece of cake...
It really has been a piece of cake... decadent carrot cake with rich cream cheese frosting and an adorable icing carrot on top (that really is a necessity to the experience). All of this isn't because of me though... it's because of you. When I married you I knew we were opposites in all the ways that attract and the same in all the ways that were important. I knew you were a calming force to my panicked hurricane winds... I knew you were a saver where I am a spender... I knew you were a "see where it takes us" kinda person versus my plan every moment discuss every scenario. What I didn't know was how much these traits would mean to our marriage. In 4 years we have faced some scary stuff with my health, a tough pregnancy, graduate school, and a move across the country. Your calming force got me through those scary times. Although I know you were just as worried about many of these things, you knew how important it was to keep it together for me. I can't thank you enough for that (it helps that we lived close enough to the hospital that you didn't have to hold it together too long (: ). When my spending has gotten me in trouble... your saving has never failed to well... save us/me. If it weren't for you we couldn't have moved across the country with no job and a 4 month old, so that I could follow my dream and we could have our dream life. Your "see where it takes us" attitude has taken us to some pretty great places... Everything always works out for you and I am glad I get to be your co-pilot on those adventures.
When we got married we wrote each other letters. We both wrote about our love of travel and exploring as well as just sitting on the porch sharing margaritas, good music, and a fun game. Our travels have changed from caribbean islands to Disney World,our margaritas to chocolate milk, and our music is more often sung by Barney but our joy in doing these things has not diminished at all. It is just as much fun to break it down to "The Potty Dance" in our living room as it was to 80's music at Yiannis.
I've told you before and I hope to spend the rest of my life telling you... I couldn't think of a better partner to have in a marriage or in parenting. You are far and beyond my better half. Happy Anniversary honey. I love you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If you picked pink...

Girl or Boy?
Pink or Blue?
Take a cookie...
Read your clue.
The P's are excited to share with you!

So you picked pink...

Crack it open... Smell the delicious raspberry scent??? But what does it say???

"Good Guessing! We are all about sugar and spice and everything nice!"
"You knew it! Sisters are forever friends and Bear will have one in the fall!"
"You guessed right! The P's make beautiful little girls!"
"You are very wise! We see more princesses in our future!"

Good Job! You're right! We can't wait to meet our baby girl in the fall!!!

If you picked blue...

Girl or Boy?
Pink or Blue?
Take a Cookie...
Read your clue.
The P's are excited to share with you!

So you think it's a boy?

Crack it open... Mmm smell the blueberry scent! Looks delicious! But what does it say???

"My Oh My! The P's Lack the Y!"
"No Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails for Us!"
"If you prefer bugs over hugs, this is not the baby for you!"
"Why might be Bear's favorite question, but it's not our favored chromosome!"

And the baby is...

still a baby... We have been waiting weeks to announce what we are having using these adorable pink and blue fortune cookies. First of all they took forever to come in. Then it took forever for them to get to my in-laws. Now being that this is grandchild 17 for my father-in-law and that although this is priority #1 for me he still has a job and responsibilities that have kept him from distributing the packages to everyone. Hopefully they will get them today and you can read what is inside the cookies! So start thinking? Pink or Blue? Maybe this will help you decide

Friday, May 13, 2011

What's in a name?

For my husband and I, when naming our children, we put in more effort and thought than almost anything we’ve ever done in our lives. So much goes into what your child will be labeled for the rest of their lives. For us, in naming our first child, there are already so many females in our family that most names were taken or sounded like a name that was taken… 6 sisters between us with 10 nieces, add on the few cousins and best friends that had children before me and half the names I grew up loving had been crossed off the list. Then when you add in the practicality that Natasha Raquel sounds exotic to a 7 year old girl it didn’t really seem like a good fit for our family. I apologize if anyone has or is naming their daughter that… I really do think it is lovely.
I think there are 2 times in a marriage that you really find out a bulk of information you didn’t know about your spouse. The first time is when you first move in together. Then you really learn who they are. The second time is when you are naming your children. All of a sudden past memories started coming up for both of us… No way we can’t name her that… there was this girl in college… “hmmm I’ve never heard that story before and no I didn’t know that “M------“ is a slutty name…”… interesting. Another issue my husband and I came up against was our heritage. Coming from different origins to we give the baby an Irish name, a Bohemian name? What sounds good with our last name? And is it OK if you are not Hispanic or Italian can you name your daughter Isabella? For the record to our good friends who have a beautiful daughter named Isabella.. I fought that yes you most certainly can but lost that battle… good thing it would have been weird for our girls to have the same name and it suits yours better. And how far removed do you have to be from someone to name your child the same thing as their child? Will they be offended? Do you need to ask permission? Then you get into name meanings. I have always been intrigued by name meanings. Mine means “one of grace” although I am the clumsiest person on earth I like to think I go through life somewhat gracefully… or at least give off that appearance. Bear’s name means “dream” or “dreamer” in the translation we like. I think that is perfect for her. She is our dream come true. I’ll give all of you dying a hint… part of the new baby’s name means “fighter” and we think that’s perfect too… We weren’t supposed to be able to get pregnant when we did but our baby fought to be here… We went through a few scares in the beginning but one of things I said to Erik as soon as we saw that heartbeat was “our baby is a fighter!” so there ya go! Hope that holds you over until I can “spill the beans” on gender and names and you can all run out and start shopping! :o)
So now that all of that is said… Why do people think it is their right to criticize the name someone is giving their child? This is a decision between us the parents. No matter how close you feel you are to us it is a right that is truly only ours. We will listen to your advice about bottle brands, ways to burp or bathe or feed the baby but naming our child is something we’ve put time, effort, and love into. So many people felt they were “helping” us by sharing their opinion the first time around about names we were choosing. It is so so so very hurtful. If you have an opinion keep it to yourself or share it with your own partner but please don’t share it with an emotional hormonal pregnant woman. I have friends that kept their children’s names a secret until they were born. This is a great idea because nobody will make fun of a name once the baby is there. At that point you are criticizing the baby not the name. For us we will share our name because we know we have picked the right one for our child and family… that and if you don’t like it try to convince my 2 year old that her sibling will be named something different because she is pretty set on the name.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My most disgusting parenting moment to date...

Ok I think I am finally ready to admit what happened on Monday... I really debated posting this for all to see but #1) I swore I would share my good and bad mom moments on here... #2) Just google it... clearly it happens to alot of people... #3) It's just plain funny...
So back in college when I met my husband on the very first time I visited his apartment... I discovered that NEITHER bathroom had ANY toilet paper... ok first of all how gross... 4 men lived in that house... ok I don't want to get into that... so I went out to my car and got each of them a 4 pack of toilet paper out of the trunk. A week or so later he needed to write a thank-you note... so we went out to my car and I got him a handful of thank-you notes... never fail if you need something it's probably somewhere in my car... I'm not going to pretend that i have cute little organized baskets (ohhhh good idea!!! we know I love baskets) with all these goodies alphabetized... no they are just SOMEWHERE in my car. My husband later discovered that I am not Mary Poppins with a bottomless bag... I am just lazy... I have digressed... I can now say I've found something new in my car...
Anyone who has kids knows what their carseats look like once they hit the fruit snacks and goldfish stage... There is nothing like having to pull the carseat out to fit an extra passenger (and its always someone who doesn't have kids and is appalled)to find a months (or lets be real 6+ months) worth of goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and various other foods that you can't even remember the last time your child ate... under the seat.
So two weeks or so ago I noticed that where Bear's seatbelt goes into her car seat was a little frayed... I thought she must be pulling on it... it is an old car seat so it's seen better days... Then on Monday when I went out it was no longer a little frayed... it was a hole.. weird... I still didn't think much more of it... but as I was driving to work I felt a little sick.. I reached for one of my crackers (in a sealed zip lock bag) but there were no crackers and a hole in the side of the bag... OH MY GOD... As I almost flew past a school bus I began to put it all together... My child is sitting in a car seat... that a MOUSE IS LIVING IN!!! I almost wrecked and threw up all at once! I rushed her into school and drove to work watching the backseat the whole way sure he was going to come out to finish off her breakfast with me sitting right there! I moved a few things around and sure enough there were a couple of droppings... Ok just a few... thats good... He must not actually live in there but just comes in when its cold. On my lunch break I ran home to clean out all the papers and toys in my car... As I started moving things I found a few more droppings and I decided the car seat had to come out... I would leave it on the driveway and hope the mouse emerged during the day...
Of course this was the ONE time we were ever able to get the carseat in the car tight enough. I pulled and pushed and tugged but that car seat was way too tight... I also didn't really want to put my hand too close to the latch bars because I had already determined that was how the mouse got in (through the trunk, through the seat where it folds down by the seat belt) Totally fed up, frozen (this was the day we woke up to snow... in mid-April), and a little insane... I went inside and got the scissors and cut the carseat out of the car!!! I expected to find the usual mess under the carseat... I mean how could the mouse get under that thing??? But no... there were no crackers... not even crumbs... just a whole ton of mouse droppings... This was seriously the most ridiculous moment so far in my parenting life!!! I only had 20 min left of my lunch break... I had to make a decision... go buy a new car seat or go put my car in drive and let it roll into Lake Michigan.. As much as I wanted to roll it off a cliff... I ran out and bought a brand new carseat... stuffed every hole in my car with peppermint soaked cotton balls (mice hate peppermint)... and went back to work... I can safely say that now 3 days later with the car cleaned out I have seen no evidence that the mouse is still in the car... The cut out carseat is still in the driveway... maybe a whole family of mice has taken up residence in it now... At least I know all those snacks didn't go to waste and I kept a living creature alive throughout the brutal winter!!!
There you have it... officially my most disgusting parenting moment to date!

PS I can't even read back through this to check if it makes sense.. it makes me gag just thinking about it....
PSS To make the evening even worse after running out to find out the store I needed to go to had closed down... I got pulled over for an expired tag... Totally not my day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gender Part 2

I am one of the most impatient people in the world.. Every year my husband ends up getting his big Christmas present early for his birthday (Nov. 25th) and I am running back out to buy another better present before Christmas (which he usually gets no later than Christmas Eve)... So when it comes to finding out the gender of my children I am incredibly impatient... I can't do anything else until I find out... No shopping, no real naming... annoying!
With Bear, we were CONVINCED she was a boy. The Chinese Gender chart said boy, all the old wives tales said boy, we even spent 34.95 on an Intelligender test that of course said BOY!!! Of course when we went for our gender check it was clear as day... GIRL! And now we have a beautiful girly girly girl!
This time around many things are opposite. For example... They say that "Little girls steal your beauty" but when I was pregnant with Bear I felt radiant... My skin was awesome, my hair was thick, I just felt beautiful. This time around my hair is a mess, my skin is breaking out like I'm 15 years old and work at a fast food restaurant...I feel GROSS! So does that mean I'm having a boy or that I'm going to give birth to the most beautiful little girl in the world? I mean if I felt that beautiful pregnant with Bear and she is as beautiful as she is... this one would have to be gorgeous!
The Chinese Gender Chart says boy again... we know how that turned out last time...
Bear's heart rate was always around 135 which should be a boy... The baby's heart rate is usually around 160+ which should be a girl...
I craved pizza, chips, buffalo sauce, etc with Bear... Salty and Sour things mean boy...
This time around I crave chocolate and sweets... cupcakes, brownies, popsicles, but also lemonade... besides the lemonade (which makes me sick EVERY time I drink it) that all sounds like a girl...
Mayan legend says if you look at mom's age at conception and the year of conception if they are both even or odd its a girl if they are opposite its a boy... That would again make Bear a boy... and this baby... a girl...
Morning sickness... a lot for a long time indicates girl... very little or only for a short time.. boy... With Bear I was only sick in the evenings and it was only for maybe 3 weeks...meaning boy... This baby... sick all day long for at least 5 weeks so far... so does that mean girl again???
Chinese Gender Chart- Boy
Mayan Legend- Boy
Nausea- Boy
Cravings- Boy
Beauty- Boy
Heartbeat- Boy
Intelligender- Boy

Baby 2
Chinese Gender Chart- Boy
Mayan Legend- Girl
Nausea- Girl?
Cravings- Girl
Beauty- Girl
Heartbeat- Girl
Intelligender- Not wasting the money

So here's all the evidence folks.. What do you think... will we follow the same pattern of everything being opposite and we have a little boy on the way... or do we go with that being a fluke and we have another beautiful little girl coming??? Take your vote over on the right!!

P.S. Anyone else have any experience with these "gender predictors?" right or wrong for you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Here's how the typical conversation has gone since we've found out we're expecting...
Me: Guess what! Another baby is on the way!
Co-worker, Family Member, friend, landlord, random stranger (take your pick) Asks one of 3 questions.. It is ALWAYS one of these three questions:
1) What are you having?
2)Are you going to find out what your having?
3) When do you find out what your having?

This totally threw me. Even my in-laws didn't ask the question I always think is most important to ask first... "When are you due?" OR "How far along are you?" To me this is the most important first question because I can quickly determine lots of information to lead me to the next question. For example. If she says "7 weeks" I know she is puking several times a day (or wishing she could), I know that she has NO idea what she is having yet but I can quickly figure out about when she will know what gender the baby is, I know how soon I can start shopping for baby gifts and planning showers (my fav. part!).
The second question, "Are you going to find out?" always SUPER throws me. I have trouble imagining why anyone doesn't find out (unless you are my friend Rosemary who has 2 children under 3, 1 of each gender and doesn't need to shop or sell)...
Most people who are do not find out say its because they want to be surprised...
I feel that the day your child is born is a big enough surprise... How long is it going to take? Who are they going to look like? What is their personality (yes a newborn does have a personality of sorts)... There are so many surprises... and just the emotions you feel when you hold your baby for the first time are so surprising because they are so intense. I don't need a surprise that day...
When I need a surprise is 1/2 way through... when it is dragging on and if one more person asks "Do you know what your having?" you know you'll just snap. I am an impatient person so finding out what I'm having is truly the highlight of the pregnancy. The second reason I like to find out is that I think it really helps you bond with your baby. It makes it more real. I think this is especially true for the fathers. Whats nice is that right around this time is when the kicking and other bond-forming moments start. Its so much easier to bond with your child when you can really begin visualizing what your life will be like... will it be pink or blue... trucks or dolls? And once you've named your child... ahhhh... I love that!
Back to visualizing your life... Now you can SHOP!!! The second most fun thing! My husband and I had way more fun registering for our first baby than we did for our wedding!
The second time I need to know more than ever because our house really is covered in pink. It's so hard to go gender neutral. If this baby is a boy we have a lot to sell and alot to buy! If its a girl we get to relax and start unpacking all the adorable outfits that we were lucky if Ashlyn got to wear once!
So yes we will be finding out what the baby is... We should know by mid May if baby cooperates... and I have the cutest way I'm telling everyone! I can't wait!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


My husband told me last night... "It doesn't feel like your really pregnant... not like last time at least..." Clearly he was able to button his pants this morning and did not spend the evening hugging the toilet bowl like it was his 21st birthday...
I totally get it though... Besides those moments that I feel awful (which is before and after every meal and many other times throughout the day) I don't feel like I did when I was pregnant the first time. I've been trying to figure out why that is... I think mostly its denial... not that we don't 100% want this baby. We do.. and have for a long time... We've always talked about wanting two kids and having them about 3 years apart. So far so good... it's all part of the plan. But I think we are in denial for a few reasons...
1) We are scared... We are scared to get excited because we did that and then we thought we lost the baby...
2) We know... the first baby you have these amazing ideals and dreams and you know it will cost money and you know you'll sleep less... but you don't really know... The 2nd one... YOU KNOW... We had just gotten to where we can skip the baby aisle (except diapers... but we're getting close)... there are entire sections of stores we no longer visit... I wandered down one of those aisles in the grocery store today... and realized I'm starting back over... I shouldn't have glanced at formula prices... or baby food.. or Gerber puffs...
3) We are scared... With Ashlyn we've gotten through the fear of SIDS, I can sleep at night without checking to see if she's breathing (well most nights), we've survived (most) of teething... we have to get through all that all over again...
4) and probably most of all... We have Ashlyn... When we were pregnant with her it was all consuming... there was nothing else to think about... now we have this vibrant two year old.. she keeps us busy, she makes us laugh, she amazes us, she is the best thing that's ever happened in our lives... but did I mention she keeps us busy???
and she is the reason WE KNOW... we can do this... as scary as it may be there is nothing better than the smell of a baby... watching them discover, learn, and grow... There is nothing better than family...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Time to share...

I've put off writing this blog for a while... Ever since my difficult pregnancy with Bear every OB I've seen (and I've seen a few) have said "Don't worry at all about your next pregnancy being anything like the first! We will make sure it is smooth and easy..." I always cracked back that "My first pregnancy was hard and my child is perfect... the next one is going to be easy and my 2nd child will be hell on wheels." I guess I am just destined for another sweet child.
I have a theory about OB's that started during my first pregnancy when it was an absolute nightmare. 90% of an OB's job is done for them. The hard part anyway. Nature pretty much takes its course and mom delivers a healthy baby... OB catches it... family writes a big check... life is good. When things go wrong however I think that many OB's just aren't ready for that! Fortunately this time around I think my OB is going to be very proactive. When I told her the details of my first pregnancy she said "Where did you deliver? Uganda? You never should have gone through that..." I hope that her confidence to handle anything that comes up continues.
We have already had our first scare... Probably why I have put off writing on here. Right when I was about to write about being pregnant the world began to crash around us and we felt very deja vu... The difference this time was that 1)We've been through it before... 2)With Bear it started at 29 weeks not 7 weeks 3) We had a 2 year old to worry about now as well.
Friday March 7 I wasn't feeling great but I got Bear to school and went to work. She had been up most of the night and was really cranky when I dropped her off. I headed to my first meeting and as I sat down felt a familiar gush and just knew deep down that it was blood. (Sorry for anyone who doesn't like TMI... As I am now pregnant again I expect there to be alot of it...)
I made it to the bathroom before completely breaking down and my fears were confirmed. I pulled myself together long enough to find a co-worker. Fortunately I had just told my work a couple of days before so everyone went immediately into action mode. They really were amazing. One of my co-workers rushed me to the hospital where Erik met me. Fortunately she was a social worker and knew just what to say so that by the time we got there I was almost laughing and had almost accepted what I was sure they were going to tell me.
As I handed over my insurance card at the ER and choked out that I was 7 weeks pregnant I began to cry again. Hubby put his arm around me but I could see his fear (or helplessness)... I can't imagine what all these scares are like for him. I am so physically invested in the moment... pain, sensations, hormones... he is detached and yet it is his wife and baby at risk... Must be scary though he never gets unraveled.
As we were wheeled back to a room the nurse told me... "Don't cry until you have to... Believe everything is OK until you know anything different!" That was very calming to me.
They got me in the room and began the fun of iv's, blood work, and a lovely pelvic exam. The male nurse who was doing my IV was kind enough to tell me I should be grateful I was having a miscarriage because I didn't want a baby with screwed up chromosomes... Thank you Mr. Sensitive! First off HELLO! Don't they do sensitivity training at this hospital??? Second You know nothing about me including the fact that I work in special education and have friends with amazing children who have chromosomal abnormalities... and Third What happened to the sweet positive thinking nurse that wheeled me back... I want her back in here! Of course I couldn't say any of these things because he was sticking a needle in my arm. They started filling me up with water for an ultrasound. There is nothing like chugging gallons of water to go find out if you've lost your baby. On one hand I wanted to do it IMMEDIATELY... but on the other I was clinging to what the nurse said... everything is OK until I know something different. Once I had the ultrasound I would know one way or the other and so I felt like I was "drinking my last meal" before execution. I got to the point that I was about to burst and ready for the ultrasound when you know what happened of course... The ultrasound tech got backed up... ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You just had me drink 3 gallons of water and now I have to wait indefinitely until they come get me??? Let They finally came to tell me I was next but at this point I was wiggling, crying, and in severe pain I needed to pee so bad! I convinced hubby that there was NO way I was waiting any longer however, I was completely hooked up to machines. I didn't want to alert them to the fact that I was going to use the bathroom so I couldn't take off any of the monitors. I made my poor husband stretch all the cords as far as possible so I could reach the very edge of the toilet. Man I've never wished I were a guy so badly before in my life! I quickly rushed back to bed, took one more swig of water and in they walked for the ultrasound. Let me take a minute here and say as we sat there for an hour or so waiting for the ultrasound and attempting to watch TV it was like a bad sitcom. Every channel we turned on had "A Baby Story," bank your baby's cord blood commercials, look at Christina Applegates new baby... everything was about babies... are you kidding me???
We went for the ultrasound holding our breath... I guess she looked at every other part of my reproductive system before my uterus. I kept looking and seeing emptiness and it became harder and harder to hold it together. Finally I saw something flicker on the screen. I whispered to hubby... "It's a heartbeat!!!" Ultrasound techs aren't supposed to tell you anything but I think she knew what we were going through and played it for us... She said "I hope 168 means something to you!" The flood gates opened... I couldn't stop crying... Not only was my baby still there but it had a strong heartbeat. It was a fighter!!! I am tearing up just relaying this information. It was such an emotional moment. After a few more pictures she helped me to the bathroom where I wasn't sure if I should do a dance or cry... I settled on peeing and doing more relieved crying... I figured we still didn't know why I was bleeding so a happy dance was probably not the best idea.
We went back to the room with goofy grins on our faces. Even though we didn't have answers yet and we didn't know if we were out of the woods... our baby was alive!!! Of course as we waited for the doctor and I wanted to hear about Christina Applegates new baby and cord blood banking all of the baby shows were over...
The doctor finally came in and told us she thought it was a subchorionic hemorrhage. Our discharge papers (that we finally got 2 hours later..hello people did you forget Im STILL pregnant and starving!!!) said that I was supposed to be on bedrest until I could see my doctor. Hubby and I both looked at each other and said "WE AREN'T HAVING ANY MORE KIDS!"
My doctor on Tuesday confirmed that not only was it probably a hemorrhage but that my placenta was completely covering the cervix. Since I had placenta previa with Bear I knew what that meant. She wasn't happy that we were leaving for a 9 day vacation to Florida but said I could go if I took it easy, drank lots of water, and DID NOT pick up Bear or anything heavy.
I'm pleased to tell you that I went in for my check up 2 weeks after that one and she lifted all restrictions!!! Not only is the SCH healed but unlike Bear my placenta is already moving. It is still very low and still covering the cervix but it is already better than it was the first time!!! Thank God for all of our blessings... for friends and family that were praying... for co-workers that will drop everything no questions asked in an emergency... for Bear who was such a big girl when I couldn't pick her up... for my husband who never once complained about all of his added responsibilities... and most of all for this precious gift we've been given... thank you for being a fighter!!! We love you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

When the masks come off...

So this blog isn't really about being a mom... unless you count that I am a working mom and therefore I have a whole lot of life outside the minutes I spend with my child... I take care of other people's children... I teach them, I nurture them, I listen to them, and hopefully I help them. This one is about me...
I started at a new school district this year. In my new district we get support from a co-op. About a week or two after I started there was a meeting for all new Speech Language Pathologist's (SLP's) in the co-op districts. When the head SLP for the co-op asked me how things were going... I asked her "When do the masks come off?" I explained that there was no way that everyone was this nice, this welcoming, and this supportive at my new school. Anytime you have that many women working that close together there is bound to be cattiness and backstabbing. She told me... "Oh just wait til February... When we are covered in snow and IEP meetings every one's true colors come out." I forgot her warning as the year continued. I became part of a team... I made friends... and I enjoyed going to work every day.
Guess what it's February... I am waist deep in referrals, meetings, reports, and paperwork... there is more snow than anyone knows what to do with... and guess what happened? The masks came off... but not in the way I expected... I hit my breaking point and snapped just a little. I completely didn't mean to but I took out some of my job stresses on my team... but instead of seeing them turn on me like I expected... I saw their true colors. They embraced my stress and took off running to solve my problems. Nobody criticized me for snapping... nobody blamed me... they just helped.
Am I still a little stressed? Of course! Its the nature of working in special education as the 2ND half of the year comes around... but do I now know that I have teammates and friends behind me every step of the way? I sure do... and it means all the difference in the world. I love what I do... but more than anything I love that I do it with these people. Thank you to the best mentor I could ever ask for (I mean seriously she has my back... and she brings me Starbucks)... and the best team I could ever be a part of!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

a totally 2 day...

argh!!! I think there is a reason that I have heard the second year referred to as both the Terrible Two's and the Terrific Two's. It is 2 as in 2 sides and 2 sides only... There is black and white... no gray... and it resembles bipolar disorder in many ways... The highs are Terrifically high and the lows well they can be downright Terrible! Bear has been bouncing back and forth from Terrific to Terrible all day. Earlier I caught her under the dining room table scribbling on the hardwood floors with a ballpoint pen. The ink can come up but there are lovely grooves in the floor now! As soon as I yelled "Bear!" She looked at me and said "I put myself in my cage mom." Now before you start calling the authorities because we cage our child, I promise you we don't. We have 2 dogs who get crated when we leave and when they need to go to "time out" for being bad. One of them will put herself in there when she knows she's been busted doing the wrong thing. I guess Bear is just following Ruby's example and putting herself in the cage before I do it for her :o). Later in the day when I held my own and did not let her have a third package of fruit snacks, Bear threw herself to the floor and said "I AM SO MAD moMMY!" Huge emphasis on the last syllable. I wasn't sure if I should be proud of her for expressing emotions in a perfectly formed sentence or be exasperated at yet ANOTHER fit.
She has also been completely adorable today. She told hubby "No go to work daddy!" Those kinds of things just melt your heart. So we will take our Terrible with our Terrific and hopefully daddy will be home from work soon :o).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

never take a 2 year old...

to the doctor with you... this was advice I got from a good friend a few years ago. Although she was referring to a horribly gone wrong OB appointment I stuck by this for a long time for all doctors appointments, thinking its germy, what are you going to do if they need you while the doctor is examining you, etc... But after the flu, strep throat, and a rapidly worsening case of bronchitis (in less than 9 days)I HAD to get to the doctor and Bear was with me. I grabbed the IPad and ran through McDonalds for a happy meal (they have My Little Pony toys now! Its like a drive thru toy store and I get a burger!) to keep her occupied. It was all going very well. She was impressing everyone with her good behavior and awesome IPad navigation skills. Then the doctor asks... "Are you using birth control?" Which of course leads to... "We are going to need you to take a pregnancy test before we give you this crazy antibiotic." First thought was black label antibiotics... thats a first... second thought... I have to take Bear with me...
It went well until of course we leave the bathroom and start making the trek ALL the WAY down a long hallway past every other exam room and every medical professional in the building. And because two year olds never ask questions/make comments when it is convenient... Bear starts a little monologue for the whole office... "Mommy pee pee cup... no drink!!! It PEE PEE!! pee pee cup? EWWW no drink the pee pee MOMMY!" emphasis on the Mommy, as if I had attempted to do this while we were in there and she saved me! While everyone was amazed at her little vocabulary.. I was completely embarrassed! You always hear about things kids say in public... well there was my experience with it this week! Kids say the darndest things... What have your kids said? What have you heard kids say?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm addicted to...

facebook... seriously I think it is the best thing to ever happen to moms, people that live far from friends and loved ones, grandparents... My husband has a problem with my facebook addiction... or at least my addiction to being on the computer and 90% of that time is on facebook. Where else can you post a question about dry baby skin and within minutes (sometimes seconds) have 10 answers of what lotion to use (7 of which were all the same... how come 7 of my friends knew to use Eucerin and I didn't?)... Just over a week ago I posed a question about pants with pull tabs for my skinny minnie. She has a 12 mo. waist but is growing out of her 18 mo. length jeans. By the end of the night I had 20 comments. Many suggested OshKosh at Target. I went last week (in between the flu and strep throat) and found them on clearance for 3.24 a pair! Jeans for 3.24!!! I bought 2 of her current size and one of every other size up through 5T! For 3.24 a pair I couldn't pass it up! Even though the pull tabs didn't start until 2T, the 18 mon. ones fit perfectly! Even in the waist!!! Score!!! If it hadn't been for Facebook I wouldn't have even thought to try there! Where else but facebook can you put out a request for prayers and end up with people all over the country praying for you, a friend, or a family member? It really is amazing.
I am able to watch my friends children grow up across the country... I am able to share Bear's newest accomplishments with family in Florida... See a friends new baby's pictures within minutes of being born (ok that was me posting pictures 10 min. after delivery).
Another nice development has been with people I was never close to but accepted or extended a friend request from/to just because we went to high school together. Some of these ladies have become some of my best "mom" friends... They pray for me, they give me advice on everything from rashes to potty training, they encourage me to meet my goals, and reassure me when I feel like a bad mom. I am so grateful for a second chance to be friends with these people that I passed in the halls so many years ago!
I can't imagine what being a mom before facebook was like. What would I have done all those sleepless nights I was on bedrest? What would I have done without the wonderful advice about formulas, diaper rash creams, recipes, skinny jeans, hair bow making instructions, etc...? Thank you all my friends... facebook or not... that make being a mom a little bit easier...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Official...

...I've become my mom! I remember when McDonalds had little beanie babies as their happy meal toy... my mom would go all over town searching for the ones my sister was missing. She would call me on my way home from high school "I heard the McDonalds downtown has the bear! You HAVE to get a happy meal on the way home!" She had everyone searching for those darn things... imagine my dad going out to lunch with work friends and having to order a happy meal! This also took place when they had the miniature barbies. My mom still has all those beanie babies in a bag in her closet... She says she's saving them for my sister... but I think she just has too much invested in them to get rid of them.
Right now McDonalds has the little Only Hearts Pets as the girl Happy Meal toy. Bear LOVES these! She carries the three she has around, she makes them "shake the booty", she has tea parties with them... I figure a meal and a toy she loves all for 4 bucks? Score!!! Today I found myself going through the McDonald's drive-thru on my way back to work at lunch. Bear was not with me... but here I was ordering a Happy Meal for lunch! I was so disappointed to get another panda bear... So instead of saying oh well... What do I do? I hold up the line of people rushing back to lunch to ask the lady if she has ANYTHING else?!? It's official... I've become my mother... but I have a very happy little girl.