Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Tonight's Episode...

So, we must be a fun couple to watch.

On his day of rest, God must sit back, pop open a tin of Divinity candy, whip up some supernatural popcorn, put his feet up, and turn on The Clarks.

There is always something entertaining to watch on The Clarks. Dogs throwing up Q-tips, baby's head spinning around at dinner and spraying food across the room, two grown adults trying to figure out a sippy cup, poop parties. Never a dull moment.

And I hope God had his feet propped up tonight because it was a good Lord's Day episode.

Our grill caught on fire.

Yes, our corn cobs and chicken breasts blackened and went up in smoke.

Apparently, there was grease in the grill tray left over from my son's birthday party. My brother-in-law grilled hamburgers at the shindig and we all forgot to clean the grease.

Until tonight.

When I saw the flames licking the side of the grill, I thought, Hmmmm...I don't remember seeing flames before, but what do I know? I've never used a grill. I was staring out the back door and my husband saw the confused, inquisitive look on my face. So, he bent down to look underneath.

When he saw the flames, he didn't stand there looking bewildered like I did. He pulled the grill away from the house and yelled for me to get the corn starch. After sorting through what seemed like hundreds of plastic bags from Wal-Mart and Target, I found the way-expired corn starch.

He opened the lid of the grill and threw the corn starch on the flames. Our corn and chicken, charcoaled in the fire, were no longer edible. Well, duh.

My husband pulled the tray out, which was still on fire, and took it to the gravel area of our backyard. By then, I had quit watching because I still have the mentality that if I don't look, it will all go away. And it did. He put out the fire somehow.

We think our grill might still be usable. We will have to wait and see. At least the expired corn starch didn't completely go to waste. And we saved it...just in case.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spit, Flying Poop, and Sippy Cup straws: the new phases of parenting

So lately my husband and I have been given big doses of parenthood.
One week ago today, our son started spitting his food out at us.

It now happens everytime we feed him. I think this is an "exerting his independence" kind of thing because if I give him something to occupy his hands, he will forget that he was fighting the food police and eat every bite.

However, if he is not entertained, not otherwise occupied, the food comes back out in a spray that covers the length of the living room. Like a powerful sprinkler. Or an out-of-control power washer.

Minutes before his birthday party began last Saturday, I had to change my clothes because he sprayed his baby food all across the front of my party dress.

I'm hoping this is something he grows out of, like the vomiting phase he went through or like when he used to pee on us when we changed his diaper. Thankfully, those times have passed...however...we have entered yet another phase as well...

the "take off the diaper" phase.

Yes, he has begun taking off his diaper, always at the worst possible times. Here is a post about the first time he did this, Diapers and Diabetes.

But that was nothing compared to two nights ago.

Max was in his pack n' play, looking at his books and talking and laughing, holding his stuffed monkey. My husband was making dinner and I was picking up the tiny messes all around the house.

My husband yells, "Dinner's ready!" and he takes our plates to the table. When I go into the den to get Max, I notice he has one hand between his legs and the other hand is freely and joyfully throwing little pieces of something into the air, like when Mary Tyler Moore throws her hat up in the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

He's so happy, having such an amazing time! He's laughing, smiling, grinning from ear to ear. What could be so fun?

As I get closer...the smell creeps into my nostrils...what the?...I see little brown balls of poop all over his pack n' play...his diaper, removed from his behind and thrown with reckless abandon to the side, is empty.

I'm not sure how long he had been sitting there tugging on his weiner and throwing poop balls around the room, but it was long enough to have poop under his fingernails, all over his legs, all over his books, his stuffed monkey and Tigger, and to have it smashed into the pad of half the pack n' play.

Well, forget about eating a hot dinner. Ah, a vanishing dream...

Instead, we rinsed the big pieces of poop off Max in one bathtub, then took him to the other bathtub to immerse and scrub. While I cleaned Pooperman, my husband picked up poop and cleaned the pad. Then, I threw his monkey and Tigger in the washing machine and disinfected his books.

By the time we were finished, our food was cold and nobody felt like eating, except Max, who was starving from his Olympic discus throwing and bathtub freestyle.

For Max's dinner, we decided to begin teaching him to use a sippy cup. Our pediatrician told us to get one with a straw because it will be easier for Max to use in the beginning.

But we couldn't get the dang thing to work! How is our one-yr old supposed to figure it out if his thirty-something parents can't do it?

We both sucked and sucked on that damn straw, not getting a single drop of milk out of it. I must have spent 10 minutes taking it apart and putting it back together. It might as well have been a carburetor.

I handed it over to my husband, who spent another 10 minutes trying to suck a freaking drop out of that thing. We both have college degrees. Hell, I have two college degrees. And yet neither one of us could figure out how to suck through the straw of a damn sippy cup.

Finally, after 20 minutes, my husband took the straw apart, put it back together, bit the straw and sucked at the same time, and the milk began to flow. Who the hell would think to bite and suck at the same time?

We gave it to my son and he figured it out in 20 seconds.

So much for college degrees.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


So, I think my nannying days are drawing to a close.

My son will no longer tolerate sleeping in a pack n' play at someone else's house.

He will no longer tolerate eating in a makeshift high chair at someone else's house.

He has his routine at home and he likes it that way.

For those who don't know, I babysit my 3-yr old nephew and another 3-yr old boy every Tuesday and Wednesday at my sister-in-law's house. I take my son with me who is now one-yr old. It has been a perfect arrangement for the last almost 2 years - I've been able to be with my son, my nephew, and make a little extra money. Perfect!

But alas, the other boy moved to Connecticut last week. And my son is refusing to take naps anywhere other than at home in his crib. This has been going on for the last few weeks, and since my husband lost his job, he has been able to help out with our son and pick him up when he is having a sleepytime meltdown. Sleepytime meltdowns include sweating, screaming, crying, wiping boogers in his hair, throwing pacifiers, shaking the pack n' play, throwing his blanket out of the pack n' play, throwing his monkey out, and essentially trying to flip the pack n' play over on its side so he can crawl to the door and out to safety.

Meanwhile, my nephew is asking me, "Why is baby Max crying? Is it because he is happy? Is he sad? I think he is crying because he wants to go to sleep. I think he just said he wants to go to bed. Where is the remote? Can I have a snack?"

It is torture for us all.

Therefore, for my son's sake and the sake of my mommyhood sanity, when my husband finds a job, I will no longer be Ms. Nannytastic.

As soon we came to this conclusion, I panicked and became very emotional. I was suddenly afraid of losing that small bit of income. Afraid of giving up one of my part-time jobs. My two part-time jobs pay for our groceries! But I really have no choice. I've got to take care of my son and that means staying at home and having faith that my husband will find a job where we don't need that income.

I came home from my sister-in-law's house crying to my husband. Worried. Scared. Afraid. Worried. Scared. Afraid. This is my new name. Ms. Worried Scared Afraid. Hello. Nice to meet you! Would you like some of my anxiety?

Over the last couple of months, I have become a crybaby. Very raw and fragile. I hate it. But, I am now quite the crybaby. I have an unending sense of dread about the future, always afraid now of what might happen next. I was never like that before my husband lost his job, before the miscarriage, before a million tiny things went wrong and started to add up.

Most people have it so much worse than I do. Why do I feel like I could lose everything?

Grrrr...I hate it. I don't like feeling like a victim because I despise that type of attitude in others. I don't like feeling afraid because then I am anxious and sick to my stomach and on edge all the time, ready to pounce.

My husband is a funny, funny guy. That is one of the things that attracted me to him. These days, on the rare occasion that he makes me laugh, it feels foreign and odd and the laughter reminds me that I don't do it much anymore.

Yuck! Whose life is this anyway? I have got to claw my way out of this quicksand. Throw me a stick! Or a branch, or a vine, or a long, tall bottle of tequila! (I just watched The Three Amigos so I've got tequila and Mexico on the brain. I don't really like tequila. Maybe a tall bottle of water. But then that's not instead...can someone just pull me out of the quicksand and give me a glass of champagne? And some chocolate ice cream. Wait...I digress. The point is to pull MYSELF out of it. Stop being a crybaby. Right. Got it.)

I'll get there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stupid Karma

It is such the bad housewife cliche, but I turned six or seven of my husband's white undershirts pink. And one of his t-shirts. And some socks, too.

My head still isn't in the game and I washed them with my pink, handmade, tie-dyed, "hippie" dress, as my husband calls it. Oopsie. Sorry (spoken like Gilly from Saturday Night Live).

I am consistently out of it. I think I might have "switched off" when our roller coaster began back in July and I haven't found the "on" switch yet. Where is that danged on switch? I think it rusted.

I feel a teensy bit more at peace than I have the past couple of months. I'm thinking that our bad karma streak might be over. Hoping, hoping, hoping with fingers crossed....Although, I read my destiny cards for the next 104 days and they said if I have been holding negative patterns in work and health, in this life or the last, this is the time they will bite me in my arse, so I must keep a positive attitude in order to deal. I hope the destiny cards were kidding.

After he lost his job and my miscarriage, my husband said he must have been a bastard in his former life. I must have been a money-hungry ho. Or maybe just a ho. Stupid karma.

I have had anxiety the last couple of days because my son had his one-yr well-chld check-up today and I knew he was getting a vaccine. We only allow him to have one vaccine at a time because 1) he had a bad reaction at 4 months to the DTaP shot and we ended up in the ER because he wouldn't stop screaming and then for the next 8 days he was a totally different baby, and 2) I tend to lean toward the group of people who don't completely trust the medical community and I believe some vaccines do more harm than good and some are unnecessary and just ways for pharmaceutical companies to make more money (like the chicken pox vaccine. Hello? We all had chicken pox in the 70's and 80's and we are fine. It was another reason to get to stay home from school!).

So, pediatricians think I'm a pain. But that's okay. I don't mind. If pediatricians wishing I had never stepped into their office is the price I pay for a non-injured son, then that is fine by me. Step away with that needle.

The point is that my son didn't cry when he got his one vaccine today. He usually cries. But today, not one little tear. It was like he didn't even notice, distracted by the Elmo CD case I let him hold. I felt pretty lucky about that one. He is napping for now and I hope when he wakes up, he is still feeling fantastic. Maybe our karma is if my husband could just find a J-O-B! Perhaps it is just around the corner...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Everyone knows the party's for the parents anyway

I have important business to discuss.

First, I would like to inform everyone of a 50% off apparel sale at Michelle's Waddlers and Toddlers Ebay store. The sale is for two days only, August 24th and 25th, and you must be her blog follower to qualify for the sale prices. I've already got my eye on several things for my son! So, hop on over to her site and join! Here is her link about the sale, as well.

And now on to other very important business.

Like my son's first birthday party on Saturday.

It was a two-day event. None of which he will remember or that he cared about. But, we all know that the first birthday party is for the parents anyway, right? I mean, really, who are we kidding? He didn't need any of it. He was content the entire day with a small, stuffed baseball bat and a giraffe figurine.

The party prep began Thursday night when my sister arrived in town from St. Louis to save the day. Since my miscarriage, my head has not been in the party-planning game, so having my sister come home to help was the biggest blessing I could have received. My sister is like a super-planner and organizer. She really should wear a cape with a picture of a file folder or cleaning products on her chest. She is super-hero good.

Thursday evening and Friday morning and afternoon we baked cupcakes, ran errands, made lists, bought groceries, cleaned my house, and managed to have a great time doing it. Friday night, Max's birthday festivities began with a small get together of just my mom, sister and aunt.

The big man on campus:

We gave him a cupcake and he had no idea what to do with it. He just stuck his finger in it and rubbed it in his hair.

Doesn't he look like he's having fun (sarcasm intended)? After the cupcake poking, we gave him a bath and opened his presents. He almost hemorrhaged with excitement over his new Elmo doll. He loves him some Elmo.

The following day, Saturday (in case you couldn't follow the schedule of events), we had the big blow-out, the one that started with 10 people invited and ended up being around 35. I was super-stressed, even with my super-hero sister there, but I think it was pretty successful.

Here are some of the highlights:

This water slide, which we borrowed from my husband's sister, was a huge hit with the kids in the neighborhood. The little girls across the street would scream, "This is awesome!" every time they went down the slide. The babies, like my bebe, hung out in the pool at the bottom.

After swimming, eating dogs, burgers, and cake and ice cream, we opened Max's presents. Or, I, opened Max's presents and it was just like my birthday all over again! He sat on my husband's lap and played with the baseball bat and the giraffe figurine. That was all he needed. He barely paid any attention to the toys I was unwrapping.

All in all, it was a successful birthday party, full of parental stress, exhaustion and lack of sleep. A big thank you to my sister, mom, aunt, husband, brother-in-law, Jason, and everyone else who made this way too big party one to remember (atleast for my husband and I to remember, and my son to look at in pictures when he is older). At the end of the night, my son was hugging his best buds, Elmo and Ernie, before bed. Aaaahhh...until next year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updates and more updates

I had an appt with my OBGYN yesterday. She said my miscarriage was probably caused by a chromosomal defect and not by my endometriosis. So, that's good news. She also said we could start trying to conceive again in about 6 to 8 weeks.

I am feeling better today about the miscarriage. It's time to find the humor again. I haven't cried at all today and I even got motivated and took my son to a toy store. I couldn't get him to let go of a giant, stuffed lion that he pulled off the shelf, so I distracted him with a stuffed ray gun and put the lion back. But then he wouldn't let go of the ray gun, so I just bought it for him. He deserved a treat after hanging with stone-faced, zombie mom for the last three days.

My husband hasn't found a job yet, but we are hopeful.

My son's sinus infection is finally gone (thanks to vitamins and probiotics, NOT antibiotics) and his first birthday is on Friday! We are having a party for him on Saturday afternoon. Somehow it has turned into a much bigger to-do than I had originally planned. Does this always happen with children's parties? This is my first experience. Should I just expect this to happen from now on? Plan to invite 5 and actually invite 50?

We were only going to invite our families to his birthday party. My son gets freaked out when groups of people stare at him. He sticks out his bottom lip and cries until we remove him from their vision. Also, with my husband being unemployed, we are trying to save money.

However, somehow, it has turned from 10 invited people to about 35.

We decided to invite the neighbors because we really enjoy their company, they have four kids, and they invited us to their son' s party. Then we thought, if we invite one neighbor with kids, we need to invite all the neighbors with kids so no child is left out. After all, the party will be in the front yard. And we really like all of our neighbors. We live in a fantastic, middle-income, older neighborhood where everyone is down-to-earth and non-fancy. I like non-fancy. Fancy is exhausting.

So, during one of the most difficult times in my life, I have to organize a birthday party for 35 people and my brain is no where near organized enough right now to do it. This is why it is time to find the humor in life again. Times have been tough, but we're makin' it.

I just realized I never found chairs for the party. Better find some chairs. Fast.

And tables. Crap.

Monday, August 17, 2009

...and then some bad news

I've had some bad birthdays in my life, but this one yesterday takes the cake.

I had a miscarriage last night. On my birthday.

The day was in shambles already because my husband, son and I were so tired and none of us were feeling well. My son had congestion, my husband had an ear infection and I was having just a general discomfort in my lower abdomen, a dull ache.

When we returned home from my birthday dinner at my mother's house, I started bleeding. My mom rushed over to watch my son and Steve and I went to the ER, where after HOURS of waiting on test results, we found out my hormone level had dropped to a 17 and I was indeed having a miscarriage.

We were in triage for almost five hours. The room was freezing and violently silent and uncomfortable. I was put in a room with another woman on the other side of the curtain. She never spoke and my husband and I spoke only in whispers. We were tired and hungry, I was scared and nervous.

I kept thinking that this wasn't really happening. It was so surreal. What was I doing there? Surely I wasn't having a miscarriage. A thousand thoughts were dashing in and out of my head and I was having trouble taking a deep breath. I thought this is all a misunderstanding. The bleeding is normal. It is fine. At one point, I actually had convinced myself that I had just cut myself shaving "down there" and we were all going to laugh when my blood test results came back and my hormone levels were high and through the roof.

My husband left for a while to buy a newspaper down the street and I started bleeding again while he was gone. Then, I knew. I knew, but I didn't believe.

Around 1:30 am, the nurse came in and told us the bad news. She was sympathetic, she closed the door when she left and I lost it. My husband came to the side of the bed and held me while I cried. He said something to me, but I don't remember what it was.

Then, the doctor came in and told me what to expect: bleeding for one to two weeks, cramping that ranges from light to heavy for one to two weeks, take meds for pain, come back if soaking pads every hour or have a high fever, make an appointment with your OBGYN within the week.

We got home around 2 am, I took a pain pill and tried to sleep.

Today I have felt empty, as if every action has nothing behind it, just involuntary movement and going through the motions. I feel like I have missed an entire day with my son, even though I have been by his side all day. I'm absent.

My emotions have gone haywire. I will feel stable for two hours and then out of nowhere, I will be still and break down. Then, almost as quickly, I feel stable again and start walking around the house.

All kinds of "what if's" have tortured me throughout the day. What if I hadn't cleaned the bathtub with bleach? What if I hadn't had my hair dyed? What if I hadn't taken that ibuprofen? All things I did a few weeks ago before I knew I was pregnant. What if I had known I was pregnant? Then I never would have done any of those things. Should I have even tried to get pregnant, knowing there is a chance of miscarriage with endometriosis? Should I have waited to have surgery first? All evil, torturous questions that can never be answered anyway, so why am I allowing them to enter?

We are going to be fine. I know. Peace will return someday.

My sweet, baby soul just wasn't ready. And that's okay. We still love you, baby. I understand. Most of the time I feel like I'm not ready, either. We've just gotta take it one day at a time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A little bit of news...

I have so much inside that needs to be released. Because there is so much of "it," this post might turn into a jumbled mess, but that's okay. I need to get it out.

I am not a private person. I have never cared much about who knows what about me and what goes on in my world. I'll tell you my age, weight, size. I'll tell you about the mistakes I have made and the things I wish I could take back. I may keep my mouth shut to protect someone else, but besides that, I am an open book.

I prominently wear my emotions on my sleeve. My face says everything anyone needs to know about me. This is frustrating when I WANT to hide an emotion and not fall apart in front of others.

And to the friends and family hearing the news through this blog post: believe that I wanted to tell you in person, but I just can't speak the words out loud yet or talk about it without becoming overwhelmed with those emotions I can't hide. I feel that speaking the words out loud would expose this sweet soul and I need to protect her.

Here we go...I am pregnant with our second child (hence the "her" above because I think it is a girl)! For those of you who read my post, "Walking the Plank," you would think I might not be that thrilled. But, I am! I am absolutely ecstatic!! The moment I read the pregnancy test (around 10 pm on Monday), I shocked myself with how happy I was. I thought I would be scared because my husband is unemployed. I thought I would be overwhelmed with thoughts of "What are we going to do for money and insurance?" But I didn't even think about those things. Instead, I wanted to jump up and down and dance around the room! I wanted to tell everyone I know! I wanted to celebrate and yell and scream and call my mom, my sister, my dad, my friends.

I wanted to get down on my knees and thank God for this one bright light in an otherwise dismal couple of months. I wanted to thank Him for sending us through such difficult times to come out on the other side with a beautiful soul growing in my belly. My spirits were so crushed when the doctor said I most likey would not be able to get pregnant again without a second surgery. I've never been so happy for a doctor to be wrong! And it happened so quickly! It took us 13 months and one surgery to get pregnant with Max because of my endometriosis. This time it took only one attempt. When my husband lost his job, we stopped trying and thought there was no way that one time worked. What a wonderful surprise!

I hoped that this baby is the angel sent to bring us back into the light.

However, the following day after my blood test, the nurse told me my hormone levels were low for how far along I am (my levels were at 62 at four weeks) and I needed to come back in two days for another test and my levels should double for a healthy pregnancy. I had the second blood test done Thursday. The average range is between 500-6000. My hormone level was 85. It didn't double and it is very low. Again, I was told to come back next Thursday for more blood work to check my levels again and then, the following Monday, return to see if there is a heartbeat. We will know something by Thursday if my hormone levels haven't significantly increased.

I asked the nurse if I was going to miscarry and she said that my progesterone level is good, therefore the answer is not necessarily. She said if my progesterone level was any lower (it is at 20), then she would give me no hope. But, we do have a little hope...

I am trying to have a positive, hopeful attitude and not spend every moment wallowing in worry and sadness. Which is naturally easier said than done. It is torture playing the waiting game. How many days do I have to wait to know for sure?

I already love this baby.

The way I feel about this pregnancy is different than my first. I'm not distracted by what to expect in pregnancy and how my body will change. Not distracted by toys and swings and pack n' plays. Not distracted by the fear of giving birth, fear of breastfeeding, fear of not being prepared. I was so naive and expectant with my son. I was rather detached from the reality of what was happening because the whole experience was so foreign and new. Now, I know what to expect. I already have all the baby gadgets. I know I will have a c-section. I've been through breastfeeding and lived to tell about it. I've been through post-partum depression and we all lived to tell about it.

I'm not distracted by anything this time.

I now know how impossible it is to explain how much you love your child. I can't explain what my son means to me. There are no words that can do it justice. No metaphors, no similes, no comparisons.

And I have loved this new baby from the moment I saw the plus sign on the test. And the word "pregnant" on the second test. And the third test. Always from the very first moment.

My husband asked me yesterday what I want for my birthday tomorrow. It's funny, my birthday used to be the highlight of my year, and this year I haven't even thought about it. My son's first birthday is five days after mine and with all the drama in our lives lately, I haven't remembered my birthday or thought about what I want.

But, I know now. All I want for my birthday this year is to be this baby's mommy.

Sweet baby soul,

I understand if you have changed your mind about coming to Earth. It's not always the easiest place to be. But, it can also be beautiful and inspiring, miraculous and hilarious. And I wish you would stay, sweet soul. I promise that your daddy and I will always do everything in our power to protect you and guide you and allow you to be whoever you are inside. We love you so much, baby, and will always love you no matter what you decide.

All my love,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I have a new blog design!! Yipp Skip! My new header and button are thanks to Michelle at Waddlers and Toddlers blog! Isn't she talented? This new design has truly been an act of kindness. Michelle, a woman I have never met, offered to help me when I wrote an entry a week or two ago asking for advice on a blog revamp. This new design has come at a time when I have really needed a change for the immediate and obvious better (not the kind of "better" that you realize months or years down the road was for the best. I needed something to be obviously better NOW - there goes that lack of patience thing again), even if it is a change to something some might perceive as lightweight and minor. Michelle's gracious design has made me smile and given me something to look forward to during a difficult time in my journey, and I thank her so much from the bottom of my heart!! It has meant so much to me. My husband said, "Oh no, you have a new toy." He knows I will be playing for a while. Thanks, Michelle for this generous gift!!

My son had a revamp today, as well! We took him to a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tara Hickman of NWA Natural Health. She explained to us that Max's constant sinus infection is most likely a result of an environmental allergy and a dairy allergy. This makes complete sense because Steve and I both have environmental allergies, plus I have a dairy and gluten intolerance. His immune system is constantly trying to fight these allergies, therefore there is nothing left over to fight the infection. She recommended that we first build up his immune system to defeat the infection, then revamp his diet to accomodate his allergies. She also explained to us that steroids and steroid creams (which were prescribed to us for Max's eczema, although we have never used them because there is no way I'm rubbing steriods on my son's skin) and antibiotics only deplete the immune system further, instead of building it back up. We are now giving him Vitamin A, Vitamin C, probiotics, and a homeopathic med.

I am so relieved. I feel MUCH better about giving him vitamins and natural remedies than one pointless antibiotic after another.

I have been disappointed in the medical community since I became a mother. I know doctors are amazing and intelligent individuals. They are. I just wish more of them would incorporate nutrition and natural medicine into their practices. Antibiotics aren't a cure-all. Vaccines aren't always the answer. "Just rub a cream on it" isn't always the solution for a rash. Sometimes the answer is diet. Sometimes it's allergies. Sometimes it is food intolerance. Sometimes it is just a virus!

In Arkansas, naturopathic doctors are not licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals and are not covered by insurance. But in licensed states, such as Arizona and Kansas, they can be primary care physicians. Why is Arkansas always so far behind the times? We're not all hillbillies, ya know. Although most of us have at one point, whether in jest or because of true excitement, said, "Yeehaw!" I, too, am guilty of watching "Hee Haw" and secretly enjoying it.

I am hoping Max's symptoms will finally start to improve. I'm tired of finding smeared boogers in my son's hair and on my clothes, his toys, dried boogers on his cheeks, his highchair ... well, you get the slimy picture! I have hope! Yeehaw! (see, it happens)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to Basics

My son is STILL SICK WITH A SINUS INFECTION. It has been 4 1/2 weeks since this ordeal began. Runny nose, congestion. He is absolutely miserable and there are boogers all over his clothes, my clothes, his toys, his hair, they're everywhere! He has trouble sleeping and usually wakes up crying once or twice because he can't breathe. He has started snoring, poor baby. He has had TWO round of antibiotics and they are not helping.

So, we have decided to take him to a naturopathic doctor. We can't get him in until Wednesday morning. Until then, the naturo MD told us to give him plenty of Vitamin C and keep using the booger sucker, which Max absolutely, positively hates. He thrashes from side to side, pushes our hands away, slaps at us. It makes him cry even harder and then his nose gets worse. It's a cycle.

But, if modern medicine can't help him, then we are going back to basics. Let's see what vitamins and minerals and homeopathic medicines can do for him. Can't hurt and hopefully we will be able to build up his immune system. I will keep everyone posted as to what the MD has to say on Wednesday.

In other mommy news, since my husband lost his job, we have been cutting corners, clipping coupons, purchasing less expensive foods (not as much organic for a while, unless it is for Max!). And I have decided to start making things from scratch instead of buying them already made. Is it worth it? Let's see...

A couple of days ago I decided to make tuna salad. I usually buy it already made from our local co-op. So, I purchased some tuna, celery, pickles, mayonnise, I already had the eggs, and I went to work in my kitchen.

Now, I understand that tuna salad is one of the easier dishes to make. However, patience is not a virtue of mine. I have never had patience and I probably never will. I don't like tedious chores. I don't have the patience for them. For instance, I love scrapbooking and making my own greeting cards, but I don't like making whole scrapbooks because it takes too long. I don't have the patience. Do you get the picture yet? Hurry up, I don't have all day. I HAVE NO PATIENCE!

So, when it came time to chop the pickles into tiny pieces and peel the hard-boiled eggs, I thought I would lose my mind. The shells never came off in bigger pieces, only teensy tiny jagged squares that took FOREVER to take off.

I tell ya, I have a newfound respect for my Aunt Brenda who makes deviled eggs every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. From now on, I'm going to eat 5 or 6 of them just because I now know how freakin' long it takes to peel a damn egg! And, it took me an hour and a half to make the salad because I have an 11-month old who can only take hanging out in his walker for so long. I had to keep stopping to entertain him with one of my jazzy dance moves.

I'm not sure I will make tuna salad ever, ever again.

Today, I decided to make chocolate ice cream from scratch. My husband and I found an ice cream maker that we received for our wedding over three years ago that we have never used.

So, to the store I went to spend more on ingredients than just buying a gallon of ice cream would have cost. But, this way I know for sure it is gluten-free and I could control the fat content...which I made as high as possible by using whole milk and heavy whipping cream. If you're gonna make ice cream, might as well go all the way.

It was actually quite easy. The biggest pain was chopping up the chocolate. Besides that, it was quick and super duper thick and creamy.

This one I would do again. However, since we are trying to save money, it doesn't make much sense. But, when my husband finds a job, I'll be making 32 flavors at my house! Homemade egg nog ice cream! Can you imagine?!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Diapers and Diabetes

Yesterday was another rough day for our family. Some of it humorous, some not. But rough, just the same. Here are just two of the things that happened, in chronological order.

Disclaimer: this first story talks a lot about baby poop.

The antibiotics my son has been taking for the last eleven days has given him terrible diarrhea. Even when he passes gas, poop comes out. The problem, besides the obvious constant clean-up, is we can't smell it. The antibiotics have killed all the bacteria in his intestines. So, he could honestly say, if he could talk, "My s**t don't stink" and he wouldn't be bragging. It's really true.

Therefore, we don't always clean the poop right away because we don't know it is there. A few days ago, I lifted him out of his high chair and his diaper was wet. Not with pee, but with poo. Wet with poo. This is disturbing when that happens.

Anyway, his poor little behind is getting terrible diaper rash from the acidity of the diarrhea. One day it was so bad that twice he cried when we changed his diaper. It broke our hearts and I couldn't help but cry too, seeing my son in such pain! We have been caking his bootie with Desitin and A&D and other butt pastes, which is helping somewhat. But, the A&D is like a moisture blocker, so if we put too much on, the pee and diarrhea won't absorb into his diaper and it will slide right out the side and down his leg, usually onto my lap (which also happened yesterday. Peed on my dress).

Apparently, the night before last, we put too much A&D on him because yesterday morning, when I went into his room to get him up, he was sitting in the middle of his crib, naked and covered in teeny tiny crystallized balls. At some point in the night, the A&D, the Desitin, the pee, all of it together, caused his diaper to rip open and so Max just decided to take it off. There were little crystal balls everywhere, I'm assuming a mixture of the A&D and the absorbent stuffing from his diaper.

Max had thrown those teensy balls all over his crib, they were all over his legs, his chest, he had thrown them around his room, and the floor in front of his crib was covered in them. The balls were clear, sticky and gooey. When I walked in, he was so happy and proud of himself, all smiles and giggles, naked, covered in God knows what. I couldn't help but admire his innovation and gusto, while I shook all the little balls into the bathtub, washed all his bedding, vaccummed his carpet and washed his body.

Second, we found out yesterday that my mother has diabetes. It was a blow. I don't know much about diabetes and neither does she. I do know it can be a dangerous disease if not kept under control. My mom is disheartened, having to learn new ways to eat and cutting out some of her favorite drinks and foods. She probably feels the way I did when I discovered I could no longer eat gluten. It is overwhelming, trying to enjoy a new diet that one must follow for life. And learning to prick your own finger every day probably isn't her ideal wake-up call, either.

I believe the pieces will fall into place for her, though. My mother is a smart lady and she knows this is a blessed opportunity to get healthy, exercise (okay, so exercising isn't really considered a blessing to most of us...more like torture), lose weight and generally feel better. I love you, Mom and I know you can do this!

And h-e-double toothpicks, I think it's time for some good news in this family! Can I get an Amen? Woot, woot!

My mom, Max, my sister, and I on Mother's Day 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Get that chicken away from me and step on that spider while you're at it!!

First of all, I want to say thank you to Michelle at Waddlers and Toddlers and Mama Grits at Thirtysomethingland/Land of Mama Grits (I think Mama is in the process of changing the name of her blog, hence the double title) for answering my questions from my last post. I appreciate it so much! Michelle at Waddlers and Toddlers even went so far as to make a button for my blog! Check out these two blogs when you get a chance! What wonderful women I have met blogging!

So, I've got some irrational fears.

Raw chicken and spiders.

I am terrified of them both and I have no idea why. I have never been poisoned by undercooked chicken, nor have I been bitten by any kind of venomous spider, like a brown recluse or black widow. Never. Although, a wolf spider jumped out of a closet onto my sister's chest once while I was standing next to her. And in our first home as a married couple, my husband and I had a brutal brown recluse problem and once counted 22 dead brown recluses on the Terminix sticky paper behind our couch. And I found two brown recluses crawling on me in my bed in that old house. Trauma!

Everytime my husband grills chicken, which is about every other night because he doesn't want us to heat up the house in the summers by using the oven (this is actually great because I never have to cook in the summer. I have somehow been able to avoid learning how to use the grill.), I have to thoroughly inspect the chicken before I will eat it and every time, without fail, I ask, "Are you sure it's cooked?"

This question sends him into a rage. He is so tired of hearing this question that sometimes he just looks at me before I do my ritual inspection and says, "Don't even say it, Amy."

But, I can' t help it and I say it anyway!!!

It is an urge that I have no control over. The question just comes out before I can stop it. What is wrong with me?

Me: "Does this chicken look pink to you?"
Husband: "No."
Me: "Are you sure it isn't pink? It kind of looks pink to me."
Husband: "No."
Me: "Are you really sure? I don't know if I can eat it."
Husband: enraged silence

I can't even stand to touch raw chicken. I use a hook to transfer raw chicks from the package to the skillet. And if any raw chick juice gets in the sink, I almost have a meltdown. I panic and my anxiety level goes through the roof. I know. Therapy.

I also have keen spider senses. I can detect a spider anywhere in the room. I just feel their presence. I can see them out of the corner of my eye. I can see them hiding in the corners of the ceiling. I can see them even when they are camouflaged by tan carpeting or wood floors. I am a woman obsessed. I think I attract them because I have seen a tarantula (most people don't get this pleasure) and wolf spiders bigger than my hand. Freaky...

There is a song by the Indigo Girls called "Galileo" (here I go quoting the Indigo Girls again) that is about reincarnation and karma. "And then I think about my fear of motion / Which I never could explain / Some other fool across the ocean years ago / Must have crashed his little airplane." The song also says, "And now I'm serving time for mistakes / Made by another in another lifetime."

Perhaps this is from where my irrational fears come. Maybe in another lifetime I was poisoned by my husband with a piece of undercooked chicken. Or maybe I was a cook in another life and I poisoned someone else. Maybe I died from a black widow bite. Or I went into a jealous rage and put a black widow in my lover's bed.

Who knows?

All I know is I have to shield my eyes from even pictures of spiders and I would rather lick the ground than touch raw chicken.

My biggest fear, however, was that my husband would lose his job. Now, that this has happened, I can focus all of my panic and dysfunction on raw chicken and spiders.

Anyone else have any irrational fears?

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Need A Revamp!

So, my husband started out the day by playing "Vacation" by the Go-Go's on our computer stereo because he didn't have to go to work on a Monday morning for the first time in 5 1/2 years.

All he ever wanted.

Now, the job search begins. At the moment, he is snoring on the couch. I'm sure he is just trying to dream up some career ideas. Surely.

On another subject, our son still has a sinus infection. It has been almost a month and he isn't better. The doc said his infection must be an antibiotic resistant strain, so she gave him an even stronger antibiotic. So, another ten days of diarrhea and Max karate chopping the syringe out of our hands.

In order to maintain my sanity, I want to play with and improve my blog. To express my personality. But, to do so, I need YOUR help. As I have said before, I am about as good with a computer as I am doing a back handspring. In other words, I could really hurt myself doing both. I would take a mental beating and who knows what would happen to the computer if I became enraged enough.

So, these are my questions. Feel free to answer any or all or none. All advice is GREATLY appreciated, as long as it doesn't involve phrases like, "Take a computer course, whiz kid" or "Welcome to the 21st century, geekoid."

We begin:

How do bloggers create such creative colorful headers with cartoon pictures and phrases? (Do you like my techno terminology? Cartoon pictures.) Does it always require a program?
Can I take pictures from anywhere on the web to put in my blog posts? Or only certain sites?
Does anyone have any tips on how to boost my readership? (I'm not sure "readership" is a word, but I guess it is now because I wrote it. Oh, nevermind. It is a word. I looked it up)

Ummmm...I really thought I had more questions, but I guess that is about it. Thank you everyone for your input. I need to revamp!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's August 1st

Last night, about three hours before midnight, our dog, Meeko, peed on my husband's foot and filled his Birkenstock up with urine. Right before the end of July.

But, it's August 1st today.

Hoping our bad luck streak is over.

So far today I have spilled an 8 ounce bottle of baby formula all over my pajama pants, then I got tangled up in a gas station hose, held the gas lever on the handle down without realizing it, and sprayed gasoline all over the gas station parking lot, gas that didn't make it into my car but I still had to pay for.

And tonight, at a neighbor child's 3rd birthday party, a boy I have never met before, who looked about nine years old, ran up to me and kind of half-sat on my lap and rubbed his butt up against my legs. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I'm pooping on you." Then he ran off. True story.

However, that's small potatoes compared to everything else that has happened to us lately. I can handle spilled milk and potentially hazardous gasoline running out behind my car. I can even handle someone else's kid's poop.

I feel much better today about my husband losing his job. The better feelings started yesterday when I found gluten-free hot dogs at Wal-Mart. It may seem insignificant, but to me, it is HUGE. We are having hamburgers and hot dogs at my son's 1st birthday party at the end of this month and most hot dogs contain MSG, therefore, off-limits to me. But, I WANTED A HOT DOG! (said while whining and stomping my foot).

The Jenni-O turkey hot dogs are gluten free. It says so right on the package. Thank you!

So, things are looking up. My son took all his naps today without fussing. I think his sinus infection is finally getting better. There were less boogers in his hair today. My friend, Jody, came over to say hello. I got to watch a little 3-yr old boy open presents at his birthday party and freak out about red and green ice cream cones. I feel thin today. Meeko doesn't smell as bad as he usually does. Tomorrow is my day to sleep in and my husband is getting up with our son (this doesn't happen very often, so I'm pretty pumped). And my husband told me tonight that even if his company offered him his job back, he would turn it down because he feels like they did him a favor. It makes me happier to know that he is okay.

I think I am going to have some chocolate yogurt and go to bed a very grateful woman.

Goodnight all!