Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The past year in review

Around a year ago, we got one of the biggest surprises of our lives. Surprise, Pregnant! We were due mid-October with our first little girl. It has been a bit of a roller coaster since then.

Baby Girl arrived late October at two weeks late. She had to be induced because she was quite comfortable right where she was. DH and I drove through a hurricane to get to the hospital when the doctor’s nurse called and said how soon can you get to the hospital to induce because we need to do this before the storm gets any worse. Then on the way, we got a couple more calls because they didn’t realize we live at least 45 min from the hospital in good traffic. Add heavy rains and wind and branches in the road and it takes a bit longer. Thankfully my parents had driven all the way out to our house two days before so they were able to stay with Handsome and Junior and we didn’t have to worry about finding a babysitter during the storm.

The induction didn’t take long and I got the fabulous epidural so I didn’t have to suffer the labor pains that I did with Junior. She was born about six or seven hours after the induction began. She was 7 pounds 14 oz, so right in the middle of the sizes of the boys and she was tall with long fingers and long toes. She has DH’s eyes and Handsome’s cheeks.

She has been a fabulous newborn. She has consistently slept in the NapNanny so I didn’t have to hold her for the first few months to sleep like I did with the boys. She does not have reflux and is pretty content in general. She despises being on her belly and tummy time is a chore. She did roll from her belly to her back two times a few days ago, but she doesn’t look eager to repeat it anytime soon. She loves to just lay on her back, chew on her fists and talk to anyone who is nearby. She absolutely adores her brothers. She can be crying and suddenly break into a smile if one of her brothers starts talking to her. She is not a thumb sucker, but will stick as many fingers in her mouth at once as she can. She started sleeping in six hour stretches around one or two weeks old. She did end up with a trip to the ER at around 11 weeks old because of wheezing and got a breathing treatment and came home with an inhaler. They said it was the same virus Junior had that just hits infants harder.

DH is now working in an ER. He seems to truly enjoy what he is doing. He works nights which messes up his sleeping cycles and makes it a bit hard to get anything done in the house.

Cleaning the house with a five year old, two year old and infant is a challenge – if not impossible. Fair warning if you ever decide to show up at my house: it’s not pretty.

Junior started preschool in a two and a half year old class in January (since he is now potty trained). It’s two days a week for almost three hours each time at the same school Handsome goes to. He loves it. He cried the first day but the teacher brought Handsome in to help calm him down and then he was fine for the rest of the day. Now he always asks when it is his day to go to school and gets very excited about the crafts they do each day. When I ask who he plays with he tells me it’s Sophia and Sam. He also tells me about the toys he gets to play with in great detail. Recently it’s a “bad guy cat with claws and a hat with a feather and a tail and ears and a sword!” I’m guessing it’s Puss and Boots. Junior is wearing size 4 clothes (only one size below Handsome) and is starting to outgrow them. His language seems to me to be way above his age and that combined with his size makes people assume he is older. I frequently get asked if Handsome and Junior are twins. Junior is extremely loving and extremely stubborn. He always wants to be with Handsome and loves to play with the older kids. His best friend appears to be CJ who is the little brother of a classmate of Handsome’s. CJ is about six months older than Handsome. Junior is a rough and tumble sort and I can almost guarantee he will end up being in some sport. I’m just going to hope it’s not football – I just can’t handle the head injuries there.

Handsome is just as loving and talkative and friendly as ever. As hyper as he can get at home, he seems to do great at school. His teachers always comment on how good a student he is and how he’s friends with everyone. He comes home with good grades and is learning way more than I ever did in Kindergarten. He can read basic books, add, subtract and even work with fractions. He still tells me “I don’t know,” when I ask him what he did at school, but then a few minutes later will start singing to himself whatever song they learned in school. He loves his little brother and his little sister and is a great help with both of them. We got a Wii around the time Baby Girl was born and now he always wants to play and loves anything to do with Mario. He was on his first soccer team this past fall and loved it. He managed to score at least one goal in every game he played and usually scored around 3 or 4. I still have no idea how he would manage to get into those big clumps of kids and end up with the ball running faster than everyone else and make it to the goal. His only problem was that he would get bored easily if he didn’t have the ball and end up watching the crowd instead and forget he was in a soccer game. Well, that, and he thought it was fun to fall, so he would get the ball, kick it hard, and then purposefully fall in the most theatrical manner he could think of. It was great entertainment for the crowd, but not so good soccer playing. Adding to the entertainment were the dances he would do after he scored a goal. I am looking forward to the next season with great excitement. Never a dull moment with that child. One night after his bath, I accidentally turned the water off before all the soap was off him, so instead of turn the whole shower back on, I just grabbed a cup and some water from the sink. I threw it at him and he started screaming because it was too cold. I couldn’t help but laugh and then he said, “Don’t ever do that again! It was too cold! Well, you can do it again because it makes you smile and I like when you smile.” And that is exactly his personality. He will do whatever he can to make those around him happy.

And that’s my synopsis of the past year. I’m exhausted and in desperate need of a bigger house, but I love my family and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My failure

Handsome had his surgery today. It's been a really long day. I'd love to go into the nitty gritty details, but I can hardly think straight because of lack of sleep and I have two needy boys asking for me. I do want to write some down, so I'll give an overview.

The surgery was at 8am and we had to be at the hospital at 6am. This meant we left the house just after 5am which means my alarm went off at 4:30am. And of course Handsome woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare and came to sleep with us. Plus I was worrying about it so I couldn't sleep anyway. So it was an early morning.

Before the surgery was great. They had toys and Handsome was laughing and playing. Then he picked me to be the parent that went with him to get the anesthesia. I don't do well with hospitals and doctors and the potential of my baby boy having problems during his first surgery. He breathed into the mask like he was supposed to and was calm for 10 counted deep breaths. Then he freaked out. We had to force him to keep breathing it and I kept feeling like I was suffocating him. Very quickly his eyes went back in his head and he went limp. Worst. Feeling. Ever. It meant that the medicine was working properly and they let me kiss his cheek and then I walked out of the room. It took all of the small amount of composure that I have to keep from bursting into tears.

I walked back with one of the nurses to find DH and had to stand there while he talked shop with one of the other nurses. All the while fighting back tears, exhaustion, cramps and knowing dear aunt flow had just arrived to find me unprepared. Perfect storm.

We went to the waiting room to find caffeine and wait the hour and a half for the doctor to come and tell us that Handsome did great and tell us all the potential side effects we could find. At least he finished the conversation by giving us his personal cell phone and home phone numbers in case we needed to talk to him.

And when the called us back to see Handsome? That's the point where I failed as a mother. Handsome had woken up before we got there. He was crying, swaying as if he was drunk, calling for me and reaching out his hands to me. I dropped all the toys I was carrying and went to sit next to him and hold him. He calmed down immediately and even started to doze off. At that point I was ok. But when they started moving all the wires attached to him, it woke him up. I started crying again and trying to rub his eyes and yelling that it hurt. I did what I could, but then I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't stand watching my little boy in so much pain. I was getting dizzy and nauseated. I told DH to sit next to Handsome and I left. I walked to the nearest bathroom and almost fainted on the way there. One of the nurses actually followed me out to see if I needed anything and I'm sure to make sure that I didn't fall down and faint in the middle of the hallway.

I managed to compose myself and walked back after a few minutes of deep calming breaths. When I came back, I sat on the chair next to the bed and let DH sit with Handsome. Handsome had fallen back asleep by the time I came back.

Back when Handsome was two and fell and busted his lip, I had a similar problem. I don't understand why I can't suck it up and be there for my son. Before I had children, I had no problem with this sort of thing. But now, I just can't handle it.

We drove home and Handsome has been resting on the couch. He has had nausea, but overall he's doing well.

A friend had stayed with Junior while we were at the hospital and I couldn't be more thankful. Junior did well.

So that's my today. I need a few days to recover from this and I didn't even have the surgery.

Handsome has bloody eyes, but he's coping very well. He's had three cupcakes because apparently that makes his belly feel better.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Stress in life never really goes away. I get that. I also get that I need to have ways to effectively deal with that stress. Right now, my way is going to be writing it down to get it out.

We’ll start with Handsome. Handsome has strabismus. We first noticed it right before he turned three years old. It was occasional and not very severe. His right eye would turn in when he would watch TV, ride in the car, or when he was overly tired. The doctor begrudgingly gave us glasses, said we could patch when it was bothering him, and said to come back regularly to make sure it didn’t get any worse.

Around October of 2011, it got worse. Handsome started to cry saying he saw “two mommies” and hitting his eye to try to make it work. We took him to the doctor and they declared that he needed surgery. Also the doctor noticed that now it was not only his right eye turning in, but sometimes his left eye would do the same. So his surgery has been scheduled for two weeks from now. They will detach the inner eye muscles from both eyes and then reattach them. It should take about an hour and then he will be in recovery. I’m still unclear how both eyes are supposed to work immediately after he wakes up and unclear on how I’m supposed to keep my four year old from rubbing his eyes.

Surgery, here we come.

Then there is DH. He graduated from nursing school last May and has been searching for a job ever since. He finally found a job that he is really looking forward to and he starts in March. This is wonderful for so many reasons which I’m sure you can figure out, but then there’s the scheduling. Both of us working full time with no childcare for two kids. Yay time management! Yeah. He will have three 12 hour working days and I’ll likely have four 10 hour working days. I may be able to work before he goes in on a couple days in order to stretch my four days to five, but that’s unlikely. So, that means I’ll get three days that I can spend exclusively with my kids. So, when exactly will I see DH? That is unclear.

New job, here we come.

Then there is my job. There is always something. This time I’m on my last promotion cycle – if I pass. If I don’t pass, then this could potentially go on forever. It’s a lot of extra stress and work and it ends a week after DH starts work. Fabulous.

New promotion, here we come – hopefully.

Dear Junior. He’s a handful. He is a smart, stubborn, strong willed, logical child. That translates into A LOT of work for the rest of us. He can NOT be distracted. If he wants that glass of water, then darn-it-all, he wants that glass of water. Favorite stuffed animal means nothing, cars mean nothing, alarm going off means nothing, removal to the next room means nothing, “no” means nothing, and I’m sure even losing a limb would mean nothing. He is on a mission for that glass of water and nothing will get in his way. It’s that way for everything. We just got back from visiting my parents and that was a whole new batch of things that he could get into. While he was there he managed to accidentally throw a rock into Handsome’s head, leaving Handsome with a huge knot in his head and us having to put ice on it to get the swelling to come down. Junior is very good at screaming as loud as he possibly can and flailing his arms and legs around.

I must say though that Junior is amazing. He sings every song he can remember. His favorite is Barbara Ann (Beach Boys) and he is absolutely adorable when he sings it. He knows all the hand motions for the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Bunny Fufu. His language is growing by the day. He gives the best hugs and kisses and has the cutest scrunchy face when he smiles and laughs.

Growing patience, here we come.

Potty Time

Hi. Didn't realize it had been quite so long. Should have, though.

Anywho, water under the bridge, right?

Our nightly ritual includes Handsome using the potty right before bath time so that he doesn't get snuggled into bed only to scream down the stairs that he needs to use the potty. Ideally, it works. In actuality, sometimes he just likes to scream down the stairs.

With that being said, Junior watches Handsome do his nightly routine. DH has been putting Junior on the potty each night just to see if he would do anything. He does nothing, but he sits there just like his big brother does because he does everything his big brother does. Everything.

Junior has figured out how to force himself to pee. After his diaper comes off. On the carpet. Because he thinks it's funny. It's not. Well, except for the proud look on his face as he laughs delightedly, jumps as much as a 20 month old can, points to the floor to show off the wet spot and looks at you for your must-be-proud reaction.

He has never managed to pee in the potty though. Until two nights ago. He forced a few drops out and thought he was the best thing since sliced bread (which he doesn't like, but that's a different story). Then last night? He peed in the potty!!! Go Junior, go Junior, go, go, go Junior. (<== must dance along with this part).

So at 20 months old, Junior is starting to potty train himself. Am I going to start actual potty training soon since he has shown such potential? Absolutely not. Nope. No way. Not any time soon. Potty training is stressful, and I don’t need stress right now. I’ll add a post or two about that stress momentarily. Plus, I know Junior. Junior will pee in the potty when he darn well feels like it, and then just to be funny, he’ll save a bit to pee on the ground in front of you. I don’t want to deal with that just yet. I love Junior, but he is stubborn to the nth degree.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Five Minutes

Um. Hi.

Remember me?

Yeah, it's taking me a while to remember too. But I think I might be getting there. Finally. It may be shaky for a while, but at least I'm headed in the right direction.

I've basically been out of commision for a while, but I have a few minutes to breathe today.

So updates...

DH graduated! Yay!!! He takes his exam for his license in one month. Hopefully he passes the first time and can then get a job this fall. Fingers crossed.

Handsome finished his first year of preschool. We got an evaluation of how he did in school and where his strengths were. He got good marks for all the physical development stuff and most of the academic stuff. He was only lacking in understanding of time concepts. His weaknesses were in following directions and sharing. Yeah. Not entirely a surprise. She said he could share if you gave him a timer and when you told him not to do something he reponds with, "But I want to!" Well, I suppose it's good to know he's the same person at school that he is at home? I'm looking for the positive here. Overall I think he did very well in preschool and I think it has helped him grow by leaps and bounds.

Junior continues to grow. Seriously. He's tall. This is in stark contrast to Handsome who was/is always in the lower percentiles for height. A couple nights ago we put Handsome to bed in 3T and Junior to bed in 2T. One size difference and they are three years apart. Handsome is normally in 4T and Junior is in 18 month clothes, but those are on the tight side for Junior. Junior is still persistent and picks up on things very quickly. He babbles all the time, but I don't know if any of what he is saying is actually the meant to be what the word sounds like. He is pretty good at copying what you say as well. He pinches, hits, kicks, etc, and laughs like it's the funniest thing in the world. Poor Handsome is typically at the receiving end. He laughs easily and has the best hair ever. If you pull out his curls his hair is probably five inches long because I've never cut it, and I don't intend to until I have to. I can't cut his hair myself like I cut DH and Handsome's and he would likely scream if I tried to let someone else cut it, so it's really for the best that I let it grow for a while. At least that's how I'm justifying it.

Next month we are taking a vacation to Florida. I'm excited to have a real vacation and to be able to see family that I haven't seen in years. Some of the family we are meeting there has never even met DH.

Five minutes expired.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I lose

Ever get the feeling that you lose? That you've been fighting a battle for the life that you've always wanted but you just can't win?

I lose. I'm lost. I'm tired.

I want to sit down and rest. I want a few minutes to myself to regroup.

The Bible says not to worry. That tomorrow will worry about itself. I'm not good at listening to that particular lesson. Well, I'm good at listening, just not at incorporating that into my every day. There were two years where I lived from day to day and was happy for what I had. I didn't live in the past and I didn't wish I was in the future. Those were my two years in Ghana. You know what I loved? I had no expectations. I just took what came to me and people took what came to them. I got to sit on my porch and just write for hours with my dog and my cats and friends would stop by and greet me when the passed. I had limited obligations. I woke with the sun - and the occasional annoying livestock nearby. I was free. My faith was boundless.

I love my family. They are perfect.

I'm just tired.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Junior's Development

Junior figures things out very quickly. He literally studies things. And he never gives up. Never. There is a cabinet that he is not supposed to open. It has dvds inside. He will saunter on over there, open the cabinet and then turn around and smile at you like he knows that he has done exactly what you don't want him to do. As soon as you spot him, his smile grows even bigger because he knows he was right. If you tell him to close the cabinet, he will. And then he will open it again. Then you tell him to close it, and he will. And then he will open it again. The cycle will continue forever unless you physically remove him from the cabinet. If you don't tell him to close it, then he will reach in and take out as many dvds as he can until you move him.

He got a little kitchen for Christmas. It has a little oven that makes sounds when you open and close it. He will take play food, open the little oven, put the play food in, and wait for the toy to say that the food is ready. Then he will open the oven, laugh, take the play food out, and show you the food he has just prepared. He will do this over and over again.

He loves to climb the stairs. Of course he does. Do you know why? Because he isn't allowed to. He will climb about three steps and then look at you with the knowing smile, just waiting for you to tell him to get off of the stairs. When you tell him to get off the stairs he will laugh and slide down on his belly. Once at the bottom of the stairs, the whole process starts over. It's almost as fun as the cabinet. If you don't tell him to get off the stairs then he will continue climbing until he reaches the top of the stairs.

He is also mostly walking now. He can take over 20 steps in a row, balance himself, stop in the middle and start over again without falling over. Sometimes he chooses to crawl still, but it's either for efficiency or for a game. There is always a reason for what he does. He does things with purpose. When he crawls, he likes to tuck his head underneath him and go as fast as he can. It's his game just to see what he will run into. He laughs when he hits something.

Junior and Handsome are almost inseparable. When I took Handsome to play with friends and Junior didn't come, Handsome almost couldn't bear it. He didn't want me to put gas in the car because Junior wasn't there to sit in the car with him. When we got to his friends, he didn't want to go play because he said we had to go home and get Junior because Junior needed to be there with them. With Junior, I tried to give him a bath without Handsome (we usually bathe them together). It was when Junior had a fever and I wanted to get the fever to go down. Junior typically loves his bath. His favorite part is to splash the water, of course, to see the reaction that Handsome will give him. On the day Handsome wasn't in the tub with him, he was fine until he looked over to where Handsome was supposed to be and didn't see him and looked out the door and saw that Handsome wasn't coming. He started wailing and would not stop throughout the entire bath.

Junior has also almost completely given up nursing. The only time he will nurse is in the middle of the night. The past three nights he has slept through the night so he hasn't even gotten those feedings. It may be the end of his nursing very soon.