Sunday, January 31, 2010

Now we're talkin'!

So the week has been pretty darn good, I must say.  BBZ has bounced back amazingly and I can hardly believe how much he is talking!  He's always been a little chatter box, but I swear he hasn't stopped talking since we got home on Tuesday!  I'm not sure if this is because he can hear better with the tubes or because he is just feeling better overall, but whatever it is, it sure is fun!  Here are a few new words...

Delilah - he used to have a way he said this that let us know what he meant but didn't really sound like her name, but now it is clear as day.
Appy - Happy, his new favorite video that has "when you're happy and you know it" on it.
Na-na - Banana
Meme - for my mama.  She LOVES it!
Pees - Please, but he only said it once just a few hours ago
tchit-in - Chicken
tchur-ky - Turkey
Die-ter - Diaper
Rash - Trash, we still use disposable diapers at night, so when I change him downstairs in the morning he likes to throw away the diaper.  I changed one of his cloth diapers today and he held it up and said "rash!" and I had to show him where the cloth ones go.  I sure hope my cloth diapers don't end up in the trash!
Weeeee, when we talk about swinging
Fwower - Flower, when he sees one on his DVD

These are the ones he says over and over, and he is also really repeating anything we say to him.  He will go on and on about who knows what and every now and then I will recognize a word and think I know what he is talking about, then he loses me again.  He is just such a sweet boy!

He woke up this morning with a runny nose, but he seems to be feeling ok otherwise.  They are just little germ magnets!  He picks up every single little thing around.  I guess that's just a part of it.  I just hope these tubes really help him avoid those ear infections.

He also hit me in the face, hard.  I don't remember what I said, but he was sitting on my lap and I apparently said something that he didn't like and he hit me.  I guess he knew as soon as he saw my face that he had done something wrong because I think he made the sad face before I even had time to react!  I sat him on the floor and said "we do not hit" and walked into the other room.  He sat there for a little while doing the cry, hiccup, cry, catch his breath, and cry some more thing.  After about a minute I went in and picked him up.  He laid his head on my shoulder and we talked about why we don't hit.  I guess it worked, he hasn't hit again!


He did bite a child at his school.  Ahhh, well.  He is still as cute as can be, and he knows it!  When he does something naughty and N or I get after him, he gets this super-cute look on his face and waves at us saying "hi, hi, hi!"  Little stinker.

In other news, I got to see my friend, Laura, twice in one week!  This is huge for us because we just don't get to see each other that much anymore.  Her little girl is almost exactly a year younger than BBZ and we are all busy with our new little families.  She is now off on Wednesdays (like me) so we spent some of the day together.  BBZ was so cute with her little girl!  He kept leaning down in her face saying "hi baby, hi baby" was so cute!  Plus he was really gentle and sweet with her.  Makes me want another one!  Ok, not really.  Not quite yet anyway.  Here are some pics of the two of them...I took them with my new phone so they aren't the greatest, but they'll work!

I thought he was interested in her, but as soon as Laura picked her up, he did this...

I guess he was just waiting his turn!

For those of you who have known me a while, can you believe I have a child and am thinking about another!?!  I have been thinking lately about my journey to parenthood and think it deserves a blog post.  That should be coming soon.  Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Updated: Surgery went great!

The morning couldn't have gone any better.  BBZ was allowed to nurse until 4am, so I set an alarm for 3:30am and planned to go in and feed him in hopes that we could put off his hunger until after the surgery.  I woke him up at 6:15 and by 6:30 we were on our way to the hospital.  We got there around 7am and got checked in.  N took a few pictures with our good camera, but the batteries died while we were still in the waiting room.  We got some with our camera phones that I'll post below.  They called us into the pediatric pre-op and explained what would happen.  Nurses and doctors came in one by one and explained what their part of the procedure would be.  Each one asked if there was anything they needed to know about his health history so I told the story of his intussusception many times today.  The short story, of course.  There were rooms up and down the hallway filled with little boys getting ready to have this procedure done.  A little boy just a bit younger than BBZ was in the room across the hall and he ended up going in right before BBZ.  It felt almost like an assembly line of surgeries.  I knew this surgery was common, but this was unreal.

Check this out:

This is the new way they track patients and surgeries.  I guess it replaced the old dry erase boards like we see on Grey's.  In the waiting room this one is all numbers and shows what stage of the pre-op the patient is in.  Technology is pretty cool.  We hung out in the room for a while and heard the other babies go to and come back from surgery.  The gave BBZ a really cool yellow outfit that we appropriately named "banana pajamas".

He found a wonderful place to hide and play with his cars while we waited...

And a bit before he went in he gave me a big ol' wet, slobbery kiss.  It was actually quite nice.

The hallways of the hospital had the same TV screen as the picture above except that the numbers become partial names and you can track where each person is in the sequence and how long they have been in that certain stage.  So we were able to see after BBZ left my arms that he was then in the operation stage.  Then we saw when the surgery was completed and when he was in post-op.  A few minutes later he was brought back into our room.  It was really pretty cool to see where we and the other kiddos were in the whole sequence.  That was when we realized how many of these surgeries were going on.  Just our doctor alone had at least 10 kids in different stages.  It was crazy.

So they had given BBZ a "cocktail" of tylenol and a really crappy tasting medication that was intended to make him sleepy and loopy enough to be willing to leave my arms and go with the doctor.  That is exactly what happened.  And when he left I couldn't help but cry.  I just hate that we have to deal with this.  I hate that he has to be one of the babies who has to have this extremely popular surgery.  I feel as though I am being swindled while also being confident that he needs this done.  I don't cry long, just long enough to get it all out and feel better.

When they brought him back to us he was a little out of it.  They had warned us about 3,264 times that he would be very upset and inconsolable, which he then became.  It actually wasn't that bad though.  It only lasted about 10 minutes or so until he finally agreed to nurse and fell asleep in my arms.  Some of his crying was just cries and some involved tears too.  The tears sucked because I knew he was hurting, but as N said, we shouldn't resist temporary pain if it's going to make things better in the long run.  Here is one with him in my arms...

Which reminds me a little bit of this one...

BBZ felt great after his little nap.  We packed things up and went home.  N ran to McDonald's for some comfort food and we watched videos and played all afternoon.  Around 1pm he went down for a nice nap.  He woke up feeling even better and even felt up to going with us on some errands.  I ended up buying a new cell phone!  Overall, it was a day that went fast and I am thrilled to have over and behind us.  We'll see how he sleeps tonight, which to me will be the real indicator of how he feels.  I've got my fingers crossed!

Original Post
So I'm not the quick post type, really.  I like to write long thought out posts that are detailed and edited, so today with all that has gone on I haven't had time to post!  But, Gina reminded me that I need to give an update on how things long story short, it went well and it is over!  BBZ seems to feel well and is back to his old happy self.  I'll send a thorough update once he is bed fast asleep (for the whole night we hope!)

Thanks for all of your prayers and positive thoughts.  It was an *easy* surgery, if there is a such thing for a toddler, but neverthless I was a bit of a mess about the whole thing.  We appreciate all of the love and support!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me! Monday, Avoidance as a Defense Mechanism

I have NOT done everything to avoid even thinking about what will happen with BBZ's surgery tomorrow.  When the lady from the office called  a few weeks ago and said we had to pay $330 for the doctor fee (based on what our insurance would cover) I did NOT just pay it and refrain from asking the many questions I had in an attempt to avoid the whole situation.  When I called the insurance company today to confirm our coverage, the extremely friendly woman did NOT tell me that the procedue should be 100% covered and I shouldn't have had to pay anything.  We will NOT have to now wait for the insurance to pay the doctor before getting our refund.  I do NOT wish that I had dealt with this a while ago.  Grrr.

I am NOT doing everything I can think of to avoid freaking out about this surgery tomorrow. I never freak out and am always even keeled especially when dealing with my son.  I am definitely NOT taken back to the feelings of when the doctor took him out of my arms last time for surgery.  I am not afraid of how I will feel when that time comes tomorrow.  I am NOT trying harder than I should to hold it all together.

I am also NOT worried about having to deny my son his one comfort when he is in pain (nursing) until after the surgery.  Knowing he has woken up at 5:30am the last few mornings does NOT have me convinced that he will be yelling at me from then until his surgery at 8:30am.  I am NOT convinced that I will cry with him tomorrow when I have to tell him no for 3 hours straight.  Boo.

This post is NOT the biggest pity party ever that I wouldn't have even written if MckMama wasn't having some fun giveaway for posting today.  Maybe I'll win, who knows!?  You can't win if you don't play, so head on over to her blog and see what she and the other moms have not been doing this week.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rod Blagojevich's hair twin.

Rod Blagojevich's hair twin spent Friday evening in our kitchen.

A few months ago, our family went to a Living Green fair here in our city.  It was quite interesting and I got a lot of good information about living green and working toward saving our environment.  At least my little corner of the environment anyway.  At the fair I filled out lots of cards for free stuff, and one of those was for Tri-state Water.  They told me that someone would come out to our house and test our water to let us know what was in it and the impact it has on our family and on the environment.  That sounded nice, so I signed up!  Shortly after, Tri-state called and we scheduled an appointment.  The night of the appointment the man called and said he had to cancel.  They said they would call me to reschedule.  They tried to call a few times and I just kept missing the call.  Then they started to call at bad times, then over and over in one night as late as 9pm.  And they didn't leave a message.  Not once.  It turned into a laughing game to me because if they didn't leave a message I shouldn't give them the time of day.  Call that a pet peeve of mine.  If I don't know your phone number and you don't leave a message, I will dodge your call.  Even if it goes on for weeks, or months!  And this certainly did.  Finally, after nearly a year, they called last week and I didn't recognize the number so I answered it.  We scheduled an appointment for this past Friday.

So the man showed up and asked what kind of trouble we were having with our water.  I explained that we weren't having trouble and we were just interested in seeing what is in our water.  He seemed surprised and said he thought we called 1-800 Home Depot, which I explained we didn't.  The beginning of the presentation was actually interesting.  He did a few tests, which reminded me of my high school days on the Stream Team.  Don't laugh, it was actually pretty cool!  We even found a sewage leak and even got in the local paper!  Ok, I think I just solidified myself as a big dork.

So the tests were cool, but then it happened.  There was definitely a significant moment when I realized the conversation turned from a friendly exchange of information about our water to a complete and total sales pitch.  I suddenly realized that our water was terribly tainted with chlorine and other toxins that required the probably expensive water cleaning system that he was about to tell me all about.  At that moment I kind of threw up in my mouth.

See, I HATE sales people.  I understand they have to work too, but I have literally had to ask at least 2 sales people to leave my house because they started to try and "sell" me.  Did I mention that I HATE sales people?  I apparently always say the key phrases that they have a comeback to, so I know they aren't listening to me and it becomes a battle.  They push harder, and I push right back.  There is nothing the person is going to do to get me to buy their product, but even when I tell them this fact to try and save everyone some time, they insist on trying to convince me that they know better than me what I should spend my money on.  I have no love for the salesman.  At least not the ones who don't listen to me.

After he told us that this water cleaning system would be at the low price of $6,700 (or $156 for 60 months...that's 5 years!!!) he went on to say that if we bought it right then and there, we will also get $4,000 worth or 400 pounds of cleaning products for free!  This did sound kind of cool, until he said that they deliver all of the products at the same time!  He opened a suitcase with about 25 little bottles and he started to explain them one at a time.  I interrupted him and said that there was no way that 1) I'm going to spend $6,000 on a random Friday night and 2) tht I have room for 400 pounds of cleaning products.  Apparently he has never had anyone say they couldn't find room for $4,000 worth of free cleaning products.  Well, that night he did, because I have no room for that crap AND I have no idea if it even works!  In my experience if a deal is too good to be true it usually is.

It got me all hot and bothered, and eventually he left my house.  As soon as he did N and I both said to each other that he looked exactly like Rod Blagojevich!  His hair did anyway.  I'll tell you what, if I had that great hair, I certainly wouldn't be wasting it selling water cleaners, I'd go the shampoo/conditioner route for sure!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2 surgeries in 16 months. Boo.

You know how you write a whole blog but you aren't quite ready to post it so you save it as a draft to go back and edit but you never do and by the time you get around to it is kind of old news but you want to share it anyway?  No?  Mmmm, maybe it's just me.

I wrote the following a few days before BBZ was going to the ENT to talk about ear tubes (about 3 weeks ago).  I have to put it here because I never did post it and the details are important to get us all up to speed...

BBZ has been sick for 57 days. He was stuffed up and snotty and coughing for 10 days before I took him to the doctor the Wednesday (11/18) before we flew to the far north to visit my family. He didn't have an ear infection and we went on our way. He didn't get any better that week, and finally on 12/1 I took him to the doctor and he had an ear infection. This is the one when they said if he has one more we have to talk about tubes. He was on amoxicillin from 12/1-12/10 and while his ear pain seemed to get better, his snottyness was just as bad as always. I started to think it was teeth, but the yellow/greenish color screamed infection. I took him back to the doctor again on 12/18 because he had a few bouts of diarrhea, and sure enough, another ear infection. His 6th one since this time last year. They gave him a stronger antibiotic that gave him a horrible diaper rash, but did wipe out the infection. He had his well baby appointment on 12/28 and the doctor saw fluid in his ears, but no infection. She suggested I continue the antibiotic until it was gone even though it had been 10 days. I gave it to him for another day, but his diaper rash came back, so I stopped.

We see the doctor on Wednesday and Wednesday can't come soon enough!

Yesterday he woke up and his eyes were stuck shut with nasty booger-like eye stuff. I had to use a warm washcloth to wipe them clean. In the tub I noticed that they had puffs under them and were swollen. My poor baby. His teacher called today about his eyes (I didn't tell her when I dropped him off because they have strict rules about pink eye and I know he doesn't have pink eye and he wanted to play with his friends so badly today. I know that's not an excuse to send him to school if he might be sick, but I knew he really wanted to go and felt ok otherwise!) When I asked if I had to come and get him becasue of his eyes, she said no but did need to know that it wasn't pink eye. I called the doctor again. She said that it is likely an eye infection and agreed with me that he was probably running out of room to hold all of the green and yellow snot so it has begun leaking out of his pores. I had some leftover eye drops from the last time he had a little eye infection, so I snuck them in the corner of his eyes when he was nursing. Just another reason I am so glad to still be nursing! That and the fact that he hardly has any appetite and my milk is one way I know he is getting at least some nutrients. I can't help but wonder how bad all of this would be if I didn't breastfeed! I guess it's not a cure-all, but hopefully this is better than it would have least that is what I am telling myself.

I've been thinking back to last July when he had his surgery. I've felt sad, and frustrated and helpless to provide anything to my sick little boy for almost 2 full months now. It's not as severe as his illness in July by any means, but this is just getting old! The doctor asked me today how he is doing other than the eye trouble and at first I said fine, but then stopped myself and told her that I am so used to him not feeling well that it doesn't seem out of the ordinary anymore. I then explained my concern for his ongoing sickness and she said I will hopefully get somewhere with the ENT on Wednesday. He wakes up at least once, usually twice every single night. That is just not like him! I tried letting him cry a few nights ago, but I can tell the difference between his not being willing and his not being able to settle himself down. He feels rotten and wants me to help him feel better in the middle of the night. I have honestly been ok with it the last few nights in hopes that they will end soon if the ENT has some suggestions. I'm willing to do anything at this point as long as he would just get better.

So that was what I wrote.  The ENT was weird.  He prefaced our whole appointment by saying that he does not tell parents that their child needs tubes, he's just there to present it as an option and it's up to us to make the decision.  I at first really liked this, so we listened to him and went ahead and made the appointment for the surgery, which would be about 3 weeks later.  We felt ok with the decision at first, but as we thought more about his approach N and I both felt that if this is just one of the options, what are the other ones?  We thought we were at our last resort by going to the ENT, but he didn't tell us BBZ needed the surgery, so we felt like we wer doing this even though we didn't need to.  I called our pediatrician and explained the situation, what the doctor said and asked her what she thought.  She forst said that the ENT must have been criticized for pushing someone into the surgery or something because he is apparently usually more upfront abotu a child needing the surgery.  She then said that we can wait if we want to, but he is just going to keep getting ear infections at least until April (the end of cold and flu season) so she said we shoudl just do it now.  That was really all I needed to hear.  I love our pediatrician mostly because she is a straight shooter.  She doesn't beat around the bush and she tells us what we need to know, whether we want to hear it or not.

So that was about 3 weeks ago, and BBZ is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.  Someone will call us on Monday to tell us what time to be there.  BBZ had yet another ear infection at the ENT appointment.  So that meant more antibiotics (this time augmenten aka the worst diaper-rash causing medicine he has been on yet) and yes, more diarrhea.  He was at least able to go to school until he got a stomach virus that hit us both, remember?

So surgery it is, again.  Doesn't it just seem wrong that my 16 month old babe is having his second surgery?  I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that we don't have to worry about his having a reaction to the anesthesia since we have been down that road before.  He has slept well the last few nights, which is nice for us.  3 weeks ago I was worried about how we would make it through those 3 weeks and now we are almost there!  Just a few more days to go.  I knw it is the right decision, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier.  I am putting a lot of faith in that this will solve a lot of problems, so I hope I'm not being unrealistic.  From what mt friends have said whose kiddos have tubes, they are like little miracles.  That is what I am hoping for!

So friends, please think of us on Tuesday and send some positive vibes our way.  We'll be anxious to get it done and probably dealing with a cranky little one who won't be allowed to nurse until after the procedure.  Hopefully we will get the earliest appointment!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I won an award!


Dondi over at Confessions of a Housewife gave me an award!  I just started reading Dondi...she cracks me up and gives me (as a workin' mama) a taste of what it would be like as a stay-at-home mama.  Plus, she has her hands full with 3 beautiful little kiddos, who are fun to hear about.  One of her little boys is a Special Olympics athlete, and as a former coach, there is a special place in my heart for the athletes.

So anyway, by winning this award I must blog about 5 random or weird things about me.  Here it goes!

1. I get sort of obsessed with my current pen.  It doesn't have to be a special pen, it is sometimes even a plain old black bic, but when I am using a certain pen it is the only pen I use and I use it until it either no longer works or I lose it, which is generally weeks.  This is only true at work though, at home I use whatever pen is around.

2. I love doing laundry.  I have absolutely no idea why.  Maybe it's the fact that there is a beginning and an end, or maybe it's because I like clean clothes, or maybe it's the smell of the dryer running that I like.  Whatever it is, I have found an amazing amount of joy in cloth diapering and I think it is related to my love of laundry.  I do hate putting the laundry away though.  My clothes are sitting clean in the laundry basket from this weekend as we speak.

3. I never wear jewelry, even though I have a lot of very pretty pieces.  I didn't make any new years resolutions, but I did tell myself that I really wanted to try and wear at least one piece of jewelry besides my watch and wedding ring every day.  Yeah, that hasn't happened.

4. I love flying.  In airplanes, that is.  There is something about that moment when the plane takes off and I am surrounded by air and moving farther and farther away from Earth that I look down and see how small I really am.  When the house that seems so big on ground looks like one tiny ant on an ant farm, I realize that I am just one of millions of people who roam this Earth, and it is humbling.  There is no other place to get that perspective besides a plane, and I always look forward to it.

5. N and I keep our money completely separate.  He has his bills and I have mine.  We have access to each other's bank accounts and a joint savings account, but we do the complete opposite of putting it all in one pot.  Neither of us can imagine it any other way.  He doesn't write anything down and I obsess about every last penny, so to try and combine these 2 opposite approaches to money-management was not something either of us wanted to do.  He doesn't have to explain to me why he spent his money on something, and same for me.  This is just one of the many ways we show how we are 2 incredibly independent people!

That was fun!  I am tagging the following blogs because neither of them have updated their blogs lately and I'm wondering what they are up to!  Let's hear it ladies!

Wringing out my sponge

Yes I'm on my way

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday!

I took this a few days ago and just had to share!  He played with this toy for about 25 minutes yesterday, which I swear is an all-time record for his attention!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Truthful Tuesdays - Letting Go

It's Tuesday again, and time to get truthful!  Elizabeth over at Confessions from a Working Mom asks us this week:

How has motherhood taught you to let go?

Now that I have made it through the first year of motherhood, I already notice differences between this year and last, as far as my mothering goes.  I think I have let my expectations go.  My expectations of myself, of BBZ, of my husband, and just let things be as they are, because they are just fine!  I know BBZ wakes up at night when he doesn't feel well, so I go and nurse him back to sleep.  I've let go of my worry that this will be a habit and I just do it.  I have let go of the expectation that BBZ will always behave when we are out.  I am prepared to leave if we have to because he, like the rest of us, has bad days too.  I am trying to let go of the fact that N just doesn't hear the monitor.  If I want him to get up with BBZ, I have to wake him up and ask him to get up.  That's just the way it is.  I understand now that BBZ is going to get sick...a lot.  I am going to have to miss work and pay copays and it's going to be expensive.  It sucks, but that's life.  I have accepted that I cannot cook 100% healthy fresh foods for my family all the time.  Gerber foods are not poison and having some in the cabinet are helpful when N and I eat leftovers or order something BBZ won't eat.  It's ok...he's not going to go into some sort of food hypnosis.  Mostly healthy food is better than no healthy food.

So I guess my point is that I had certain expectations of the kind of perfect mother I would be.  I am letting some of those expectations go and rolling with the punches.  It is actually quite refreshing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I could be missing this.

A few days ago, MckMama wrote this post.  If you don't follow her, and even if you don't agree with things she says or does, go read this post.  It made tears roll down my face harder than anything has in a long time.  At first I thought it was just my being a mom that made me relate to her and her feelings about her babies.  As I think more about it, I think it runs even deeper than that for me.

I feel that I have been blessed with an incredible amount of patience that works for me both in my job and in my life as a wife and mother.  I have a great ability to look on the bright side and can almost always find a positive spin on any given situation.  I remember when I was pregnant and afraid of losing the baby (as I have learned all new moms are) I knew I would be forever grateful for the experience of having this baby grow inside me even if I never got to meet him or her.  Even though this positive outlook comes somewhat naturally for me, I do feel that there was a defining moment, much like for MckMama, that made me change the way I look at the things BBZ does.  It happened a little over 6 months ago in a hospital room when N snapped this picture.

When BBZ woke up on 7/10/09 after his surgery, I knew that things would be different for us.  I knew that each milestone would be that much sweeter.  That holidays would feel wholer.  That I would never take and minute, or any second for granted.  Sometimes when we are doing simple things, like playing in the living room or getting ready for a bath I am hit with this feeling that I could be missing this.  I could be without by precious baby who was so ill last summer.  It could have ended much differently, but instead my baby is here.  So when I feel my frustration getting thicker and my patience getting thinner, I remind myself that things could be much different, and I smile while taking a photo for my memory.

I mentioned a few posts ago that BBZ had been waking up in the night for weeks until last week.  I do get irritated about getting up sometimes, but I know there is always a reason and rarely resist going to help sooth him.  As most new moms do I sometimes worry about starting bad habits and making him rely on me to sooth rather than being able to sooth himself.  But he has never been a baby who cannot sooth himself.  Since he was new he has always been the exact opposite.  So when he does wake at night I remind myself of this and go in and nurse him back to sleep.  Occasionally when he wakes right after I have nursed him, N takes a shot at it, but it is almost always necessary for me to nurse him back to sleep.

When he was put on this strong antibiotic for his most recent ear infection, he went back to sleeping all night.  I have to admit, I missed going into his room during the quiet night and snuggling him back to sleep.  The sweet way he waves at me and says "hi" when he is half asleep and we are switching sides.  The way he hums in a sing-songy voice while he waits for the let down.  The feeling of his little body when it relaxes back to sleep after a long drink.  While it may seem a pain to get up with him at night, I have some of the sweetest memories of my baby in his room when the rest of the house is fast asleep, and for those few days I missed it.  *Lucky* for me it only lasted a few days since he has a bad cough again.  Despite my love of the late-night times together, I do know that it really only happens when he doesn't feel well, so for that reason each night I hope he sleeps until daylight.

That day in the hospital I promised never to take one day for granted.  I knew at that moment that I had no control over anything.  That all of the worrying I did about something bad happening wouldn't prevent it.  That every moment from here on out would be even more sweet.  That while I avoid medicine at any cost for me and for my son, he would have died without medical intervention.  That there are many families who take their child to a hospital and have to leave with an empty carseat.  I knew that I would never be the same.  And for that, I am truely grateful.

Catching up

Home with BBZ because we are always home on Wednesdays.  Our refridgerator stops working. We put everything in a big tub on the back porch since it is 30 degrees outside. Our freezer contents go into our new deep freeze.  BBZ had diarrhea all week from the antibiotics he was on from the most recent ear infection.  He wakes up with liquid poo pouring out of his diaper and goes directly into the bathtub.  He had terrible liquid poo all day, which was worse than it had been the days before.  I stop giving him the antibiotic and try to deal with the poo situation.  I call his school to see if other kids have symptoms and sure enough, 4-5 others do.  I am reminded how much I do NOT love daycare. (No, this is NOT Not Me! Monday) Around 11pm I get my first up close and person taste of what BBZ has been dealing with.  I am up every hour or so all night Wednesday night.

I am sick.  BBZ is sick.  I am thankful that I am not vomiting because I don't know how I would take care of him and deal with that at the same time.  The man comes and fixes the furnace.  I take a nap when BBZ does and feel even worse when I wake up.  BBZ is starting to feel better, but still spraying liquid poo.  I spike a fever around 2pm and text N begging him to come home.  N comes home around 3pm and I take another few naps while he entertains BBZ.  I wonder how BBZ has any energy at all if he feels at all as bad as I do.  I didn't eat anything all day besides a few spoonfuls of soup that N so sweetly made for me.

BBZ has his first solid poop in days in the morning.  Sure he is over the worst of it I send him to school and stay home.  I have to miss a seminar that I was really looking forward to that addresses how to use conflict as a creative tool.  I emailed the lady and asked her to mail me the materials.  I weigh myself and see I have lost 6 pounds since Wednesday.  I take my first shower since Wednesday.  I feel better as the day goes on and pick BBZ up around 4pm.  I'm sleepy and dehydrated, but my tummy is all better.  We watch The Hurt Locker, which is a fantastic military movie.  I was sure I wouldn't like it, but I was wrong.  I don't think I have mentioned that we watch a lot of movies around here.  N hates commercials, so we never watch shows that aren't on HBO or Showtime, but we have a Netflix subscription and watch lots and lots of movies.  If you are at all into military movies, or even if you aren't (like me) rent this movie.  You won't be disappointed.  The man came and diagnosed the refridgerator.  It will be fixed on Monday.

N's Birthday!  We have an amazing day!  We all woke up feeling well rested and healthy.  We go to N's favorite breakfast place.  I have pancakes and sausage.  BBZ eats half an orange, some strawberries and a banana before we leave the house.  At the restaurant he eats yogurt wth berries, bacon and sausage.  We get home and he naps.  When he wakes up he eats 2 pieces of turkey, more strawberries, some green beans and some apples.  We walk up to an ice carnival in our neighborhood and have a blast!  Here are some pics.
One of the many ice sculptures...I think this was my favorite one.

We're all bundled up!

Another sculpture

Getting ready to go down the ice slide!


Again, again, again!!!


This is what happens when it's too cold and mom amd dad say it's time to go.

Then with big, puffy crying eyes, we see the rest of the carnival.  A man on stilts, a mime, and lots and lots of people on our neighborhood streets.

We pick up subway and take it home for lunch.  BBZ eats all of the apple slices, all of my tomatoes and some of my cucumbers.  I begin to wonder if he lost weight over the last few days too and is making up for it.  He eats crackers and goldfish while watching a video.  We pack things up and head to Nikki's house to celebrate N's birthday with some friends.  BBZ stays up until 10pm and practically begs us to take him home.  He crashes in the car before we get out of Nikki's neighborhood.

BBZ wakes up around 5am with a barking cough that sounds like it hurts.  I nurse him back to sleep and he sleeps until 8:30am, as do the rest of us.  N wakes up last and gets us breakfast from Panera.  I go to Old Navy after I get an email that says everything on clearance is an additional 50% off.  I buy 2 shirts, a dress, a pair of pants and a sweater for $15 with my $10 bucks back.  I love great deals!  I go grocery shopping and buy canned food and some fruits and veggies that can stay out of the fridge until it gets fixed tomorrow.  I take advantage of an empty fridge and clean every nook and cranny.  I try to understand how dog hair can get into the fridge.  Gross.  I am finally able to start getting the house in order after being outforthecount for the last few days.  I am seriously grateful for this 3-day weekend we have.  I give BBZ a bath with vapor rub soap and his cough seems better.  I give him kisses goodnight and hope he sleeps well tonight.  N pops open a bottle of wine and we watch the Golden Globes.  We hope the people win who we bet on earlier today.

I hope we haven't missed too much by being under the weather this week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waaaay Back When-sday! Hair phases.

Most of my life I have had long hair.  My mom had it cut when I was about 6, but otherwise all of my school photos look the same.  Until my junior year in high school when my friend, Laura, cut my hair for me.  I cut it again in college and kept it short almost the whole time I was in college.  My college friends often comment on how long my hair is since they knew me during the only 4 years of my life that it was short.  I decided to grow it out again when I graduated and in 2003 got a TERRIBLE haircut when I went to one of those cheap places for a trim.  I swore off hair places and it grew like crazy.  I think I was very attached to my hair.  I thought the length said something about me and I had to have it long.  The longest it has ever been was at my wedding and honeymoon.  This was on our honeymoon...

My eyes look that tired because I got a terrible sinus infection the day we left for our 10-day road trip.  Luckily I managed to get a prescription called in before our flight left.

So anyway, I kept my hair long like this for a while, but knew I was getting close to chopping it all off.  I still felt a bit defined by my long hair and wanted to rid myself of this false security I had with it.  I was nervous about ending up with something I hated, so when I found a hair dresser that I loved it was worth the 30 minute drive to have her cut it.  (I still go to her and the drive is now 45 minutes!  She's worth every minute.)  I went to her for a while and finally in July of 2007, I came home from the haircut place like this...

12 inches off!  I was super excited for my new look and couldn't believe I actually went through with it.  Ever since then I have been torn between growing it out and chopping it off.  It's like I love the idea of long hair, but it's so fun to leave the salon looking totally different than you did when you walked in.  My hair is growing like crazy and digging up that first picture makes me lean more towards letting it keep growing.  Then again, life with a toddler makes it difficult to leave the house without my long hair in a pony tail!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Not Me! Monday...Shameless Bragging

I am not going to spend this entire post shamelessly bragging about all the great things that have been happening.  It is not going to give me a largely needed break from talking about ear infections and tubes and doctors and diaper rashes and all of the other nonsense that life has handed us lately.

I did not spend this morning advocating for a participant who was going to have his benefits reduced to the point that he wouldn't be able to live in his current situation.  After a victorious meeting with the SSA, his sister did not place her hand on my shoulder and offer me a blessing for everything I have done for her family.  I did not feel her gratefulness to my core.  It did not bring tears to my eyes then, and again now, to know that I have made that big of an impact on the lives of their family.

I did not then go and visit a man who 2 months ago was so full of anger and hatred that I took his case on after he was so rude and hateful so someone I supervise.  He did not tell me today that he has been happier than he has been in years since Thanksgiving (when we started working together).  While I know this is not all of my doing, I like to think I played a part in his new found happiness.  Challenges definitely do not bring the biggest successes.

While brushing BBZ's teeth last night, he did not point to the second "A" on my Obama shirt and start to sing the ABC song that his daddy taught him earlier that day.  I am not now convinced that he is the smartest, most intelligent little genious on the planet.  I am not at all biased!

BBZ did not sleep ALL NIGHT LONG last night for the first time in weeks.  I did not panic just a little when I woke up at 5am and he hadn't woken me up.  I am not now completely convinced that he has been feeling really crappy the last few weeks.  This did not further solidify my reasoning for nursing him every time he wakes up and throwing my desire to control this out the window.  It's just funny how things just work themselves out.

I definitely did not introduce BBZ to TV via the Baby Einstein videos.  He is not now obsessed with watching "dvd"s.  I am not the mom who said my child would never watch tv only to succumb to the pressure of him saying "dvd" over and over and over.  He has not learned how to say what the cow, the owl, the dog and the duck say from watching these videos.  That has not now become my reasoning for allwoing him to watch them.  That and the fact that he makes the counting noises when he sees the parts where we count!  Little cutie pie!

Need to admit some imperfections?  Or, like me, want to shamelessly brag on yourself and your kiddos?  Jump on the Not Me! Monday caravan, you will not be disappointed!  Head on over to MckMama's blog and see what she and the other moms have not been up to this week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A bit of my family history

A few years ago, when visiting with my grandparents, my grandather told us the address of the home where he grew up.  It is less than a mile from our house so we took a nice walk to the house and took some photos.  This is the house...

We knocked on the door and hoped to go inside, but there was no one home and while there was a car in the garage, the home appeared to be either vacant or being renovated.  It was hard to tell.  We were so excited by the photos that we rushed them to my grandpa and showed them off.  He then told us that it was actually his father who built the house.  His father worked at a factory that used to be at the corner of our street, where our very favorite Mexican restaurant is now.  The house is huge, and very beautiful.

I think I have mentioned that we have been thinking of moving.  We love our neighborhood and when we do move will likely stay nearby.  The neighborhood where my grandpa grew up is the ideal place for us, but the homes are quite expensive.  Nevertheless, I often peruse in hopes that one or two houses will be in our price range.  We're still a while away from moving, but looking is fun too.  So when I saw that my grandpa's old house was for sale, I couldn't help but call to find out more!  The price is a bit over our range, but we knew we could take on some extra expense if it meant getting the house back into the family.  I called the selling realtor and learned that the house is in pretty bad shape and would need a complete remodel.  That definitely puts it out of our price range.  I told him about our history in the house and said that I was excited to know that the house was going to be redone, whether it was by us or not.  It was fun thinking about moving into this partcular house, although I kind of knew it was unrealistic.  I mostly just wanted to see the inside and take some pictures.  I really wanted one of BBZ near something that my grandpa would recognize.  Perhaps something that shows the originality of the house.  This is the one N took.

I can't wait for my grandpa to see it!  I know he is going to be thrilled!  I assume this is the original stair case...I hope so anyway.  The house really was a mess.  There is an elderly woman living there who has not taken care of it.  Her family has been trying to get her to move for some time.  The realtor did say that there were a couple of people looking at buying the house with the intention of redoing it.  He gave us his card and hopes to connect us with the buyers so that we can at least see the house when it is complete.  What a gift this has been to walk through the home where my great greandfather lived.  And how wonderful it is to have this photo, and for BBZ to know one day that his great, great grandfather built that staircase he holds.  Oh how I love this history!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Truthful Tuesdays: Both a Loser and a Winner

It's time again for Elizabeth's Tuesday tradition to tell it like it is.  Today she asks, Have You Ever Lost Something and Came Out a Winner?  This one is easy for me.

What I have lost:
The desire to get drunk.
The ability to sleep in.
The ability to wear a dress.
The ability to wear a bra that doesn't snap down.
The ability to leave the house with only my purse in my hand.
The ability to go to concerts on a week night.
The ability to work after hours.
My 40-hour work week
The ability to go to a restaurant without wondering if they have high chairs.
The desire and ability to keep my house clean.
At times, my patience.
Part of my identity.

What I have won:
The love of another man.
The knowledge of what it feels like to have a person growing inside me.
The satisfaction of sustaining a life with only my body for 9 months, then 6 months more.
Two big brown eyes to look at me every morning.
Two little arms that give me hugs.
Two lips that give sweet, slobbery kisses.
Another reason to love my husband and what he has given me.
The knowledge that my family will live on into the future.
Free family-friendly events on the weekends.
A day off in the middle of the week.
An endless positive outllook on the future.
A new identity.
This little boy loving me so much.

I have lost a lot of what my old life had.  I sometimes miss the way things used to be.  In ways I was much different, but I have always been me.  Life certainly has changed, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yeah, I definitely think I came out ahead.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Me! Monday.

I have not skipped Not Me! Monday for the last 2 weeks out of pure laziness. I realize how therapeutic it is and would never skip an opportunity to admit all of my imperfections. This post is not stock-full of stuff to make up for it either!

I did not decide to stay up until midnight NYE only to fall asleep at 11:45pm. I know myself way too well and know I would never make it until midnight, so I knew not to even try. BBZ did not keep me up from 1:45am-2:45am after my only 2 hours of sleep. N was not snoring so loudly from the wine and beer he drank without me that I had to kick him out of the bed...on NYE. That's just mean and I would never let him voluntarily leave the bedroom to go downstairs to sleep on the sofa. I always forgo my own comfort and ask him to stay in the comfy bed while I go to sleep on the couch.

Oh, and BBZ did not wake me up at 6:30am either. This was not the first NYE since middle school that I wasn't up at midnight. I am not old. At all.

While perusing eBay for cloth diapers, I did not buy different ones than the ones we use because they were a deal I couldn't pass up with only 3 minutes left! I would never use cloth diaper shopping as a hobby and spend more money on something that I already have plenty of, which is supposed to save money. I did not get 8 diapers for $33! That is not about $4.12 each. I do not love these new diapers so much that I bought more! I am not justifying this by saying that the new ones are one size that we will be able to use from day 1 with the next baby too! (as opposed to the g's which are sized) I never go out of my way to justify my purchases to myself and everyone else. Ever.

I am not a little, tiny, eensy, weensy bit ready to be back at work after 2 weeks off. I am also not now fully convinced that I could never be a stay at home mom. This was not a huge surprise. Actually it wasn't a surprise, but I'm not sure how to write that on NMM. I have read where others get confused sometimes and I know I certainly do!

Our downstairs toilet did not freeze like it always does in single-digit temperatures. N and I did not buy a fancy pipe warmer thingy that didn't even work. We never waste money on things when we have old faithful ways of dealing with issues (using my hairdryer has worked every year since we moved in, I'm sure it will work again this year). The water line to my diaper sprayer is also not frozen. I have not spent too much time wiping poop off of diapers with toilet paper than I'd care to admit. Can I just get a NMN post without referencing poop, please!?

Welcome back! This blog carnival was started by MckMama, head on over to her blog and read what she and the other moms have not been doing this week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Worry 'bout My Worries" -WSP

Happy New Year! I'm not one for new year's resolutions. Kind of like I'm not for diets. They don't make's like you are doing something life-changing because you think you have to, rather than just doing something because you want to change your life. I'm pretty satisfied with things the way they are, but I can't help but think about the upcoming year, reflect on things from the previous one, and do some forward thinking of how things can improve. There is always room for growth, right?

So I have been writing this blog in my head for weeks, apparently waiting for the right time to type it out. As many of you who know me know (and those who don't who read my "about me" section) I am a hopeless worrier. I borrowed the title of this post from my favorite band (ranked closely up there with The Allman Bros and GD) Widespread Panic, who wrote the song Worry. Check this out for the rest of the lyrics. I worry. A lot. I really wonder where it came from. I think it could be genetic...when I was visiting my family in the far north, I had a conversation with my nephew about skateboarding. We passed a skate shop in a local mall and I asked him if he ever skateboarded. He proceeded to tell me that he heard about this kid once who skateboarded and broke his neck and never walked again. I told him that falling and paralysis are certainly a risk of skateboarding, but there are many kids who skateboard everyday who probably fall and get right back up and keep going. I guess the risk is too much for him, because he is not interested. This got me thinking though, I think about things exactly like he does. I think of the absolute worst possible scenario and convince myself that it is exactly what will happen and proceed accordingly. This has helped me in some ways...perhaps this is the cross I bear. For example, this fear has kept me from trying certain drugs because I had convinced myself that I would OD on my first try. It keeps me at caution and may have saved me more than I even realize, but then again, it has crutched me too.

I worried about a lot before I had a baby. After he came into my life, worry was taken to a whole new level. If I could wrap him in bubble wrap and never let him out of my sight I would, but what I have learned is even that wouldn't necessarily prevent bad things from happening. I worried a lot about a lot, and then something very bad happened to him that I didn't even know I should be worrying about. I read something somewhere (which I think was someone's blog but I don't remember who and if I did I would give appropriate linkage. I promise.) about someone else's struggle with worrying. She stated that she felt she was somehow controlling the situation by worrying about it. Kind of like how I constantly worry about getting into a car accident might somehow allow me to control the fact that it will never happen. Well that's just silly. I know I can't control matter how hard I try. But this person hit the nail on the head for me, I really do think my controlling nature is driving this worry in me. On one hand it makes me pay extra attention when I am driving, but on the other hand leaves me with irrational fears that I have to reason with myself about. Some of the things I think might happen are just plain funny. Seriously. Sometimes I wish there was a camera in my head when I picture the linen closet set-up falling on top of BBZ or the knife somehow flying out of my hand between the counter and the sink and stabbing Delilah or BBZ fatally. That's just a couple of examples. my head is full of this nonsense. An I actually picture it happening! I have to remind myself of this when I think it might be intuition. My intuition is so clouded I don't know what to trust!

So I think my worrying cannot change. It is a part of me and of who I am and it's not going anywhere, besides...I think in some ways it is positive for me. I am, however, going to try and relax about things. I cannot control everything, nor do I want to. What a responsibility that would be! I want to enjoy my days and be able to let go of this need to shape everything. I guess maybe that's a new year's resolution. But I never set them, so who knows.

Another thing I am going to do is change my handle name to my real name. I never really meant to be anonymous...I just liked the way Anrazel sounded. But I love my name, it's the one my parents gave me that I share with my great grandmother, who I met only once when I was very little after my father snuck me in to visit her in a hospital or a nursing home. Wherever it was I was not allowed, and as my parents left the nurses came up to them and said something along the lines of..."just so you know, we know what you did". My parents are such rebels!

So on this new year, I am thinking ahead to things to come and reflecting on the first full year of my life as a mama. I am happy as can be, fabulously flawed, and ready to take on another year. Happy New Year! Or as BBZ would say "Aple-ba", which I realize sounds nothing like happy new year, but I know what he means :)