Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cards




We've become those people who put their kids on Christmas cards. I think we'll get a good ten years out of this. The above photos are some of the many out takes from the cards.

One of the things I enjoy most about Christmas is sending cards. It's a nice way to stay in touch with people you don't see often. Of course, our cards aren't lengthy novels, but more of a "I was thinking of you during the holidays' sort of thing. As I was flipping through the address book, I ran across the address of one of my old friends. I haven't seen or heard from her since college. The last time I saw her was the first time I'd seen her in many years. I've googled and looked for her on facebook, but it seems she's fallen off the face of the earth. The address I have for her is her parent's, and I'm not even sure they live there anymore. I've decided to send a Christmas card to her anyway, with a note because she obviously won't recognize my married name. I don't know if she'll reply or not, but I'd just like to let her know that I've been wondering what her life has become. It's so odd how easily we lose people in our lives.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Cheerio Tax

It started slowly. First when Doug was about two months old he would just enviously watch me eat. Then at about three months old he started actively lunging at my plate. At four months old we finally started him on solids and he took to solids like a house on fire. Finally at six months we were told to offer him table food. Then that was the end, there was no going back.

I have not had a meal all to myself since Doug has started eating. He seems to think that he is entitled to a portion of all food on my plate. It doesn't seem to matter if its eggs over easy, a roast beef sandwich or the last slice of cheesecake, he needs to get his share in. However, the very worst thing to eat in his proximity is cheerios. He believes that cheerios are his own personal food. Every time I have a bowl he comes over, opens his mouth and hits whatever part of me is accessible (in case I over looked him some how) and then starts shrieking for a spoonful of cheerios. I estimate he usually gets about a quarter or less of my daily bowl of cereal.

There is one person in this house who seems to be exempt from food sharing. The other night, Jeff and I were finishing off the cheesecake while watching tv in the living room. Doug could see that we were each eating, but who did he stand next to and open his mouth for? That's right, Mommy. Some how Daddy is impervious to this tax.

I think tonight, in protest, I might dump a box of cheerios into Doug's bath. However, knowing him, he's just eat them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Picture Palooza!

So, I finally got around to diggin up some pics to post from this fall:

This is the three of us in front of our townhouse.

The Boy Who Trick or Treated.



First homemade dinner in the new house, spaghetti and meatballs.



First bath in the new house. Also, the first and last bath in the sink. So much water everywhere...



And finally, when he turned eight months old.




Happy weekend!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Return to Normalacy

Finally three weeks after moving, we seem to be getting back into the swing of things. Last Friday we finally had our first home cooked meal, spaghetti and meatballs. Saturday we got to the grocery store and planned a week's worth of meals. Sunday we finally got back to church. All in all, I think we're getting back on track, just in time for it all to go crazy again for the holidays! Sigh.

I'm really not ready for it to be Christmas yet. I just can't seem to find the Christmas spirit this year. I would like to postpone Christmas at least 2 months. Usually all my shopping is done by Thanksgiving. I don't like to go to the mall and crowded stores after Thanksgiving, over heated stores and long lines aren't great for me. So I'm a little stressed out about that. We also haven't completely unpacked, so finding the Christmas decorations is a bit problematic. We'll be driving to Kansas City on the 18th, so we'll have even less time to shop. I'm really looking forward to going to Kansas City for Doug's first Christmas. The holiday with my in-laws tends to be a little more laid back. They also don't get to see Doug much, so I'm excited we'll be there for Christmas. My mom thinks Doug will be walking by then, but I think he'll need another month. It will be a busy December!

In other news, I'm obsessed with our new DVR. When we moved we just transferred our Verizon service to the new house, but we couldn't take any of the equipment, which seems stupid. We had to get an HD DVR even though we don't have HD tv. Well, because it's an HD DVR it's 80 gigs. It holds an absurd amount of tv. Right now, we have two work weeks (80 hours) worth of recordings, and we haven't even used 40% of the memory yet! I've been recording so many movies. I'm not sure we'll even watch them all. It's really nice to be able to record things and not worry about how much room we have.

Jeff just got our server back up, so when I get a chance to upload new pics, I will post some.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey there!

Howdy!

So I haven't posted in a while. It's been a rather busy month! My fibromyalgia symptoms began to improve just as we were starting to get ready to move. So, that worked out quite well. I had the energy to pack as well as the time, so that's what I was doing. And every time Doug went down for a nap, I took a break myself, so there were few opportunities to post. So, let me see if I can fill you in on what's been going on.

We moved. It wasn't a major move, we just moved across a major road into a single family community (we'd lived in a 2br townhouse). We bought a house with four bed rooms, one of which will be a guest room and another which is a computer room, for now at least. I have to say, I rather enjoy having a computer room/office. We also have a house with one main floor and a basement, which my fibro greatly appreciates. It's nice to not be going up and down the stairs all the time (the last house didn't have a bathroom on the main floor). There's a full bathroom downstairs with the guestroom, which will be great for my in laws. We also finally got a baby gate. We hadn't put one up in the old house because we wanted to wait until we moved and we thought it would be annoying to show a house with one. The gate is between the kitchen and the dining room, which cuts Doug off from the stairs and the kitchen.Consequently Doug will pull himself up on the gate and scream when we're in there. We have our own wailing wall!

So Doug. The milestones seem to be flying by for him. At about 6 months he was pulling himself up and about a week before we moved he had started really cruising around. Now he's unstoppable. He prefers to try and cruise around the living room rather than play with his toys. We had so many boxes and such that he was able to circumnavigate the living room on his feet. He loves to walk around the coffee table, around and around. I don't know how many laps in a day he does, but I'm considering getting him a pedometer. I swear he's going to wear a rut around the coffee table. The other day Jeff noticed that Doug always goes around the coffee table clockwise. We attribute that to the fact that he seems to be pretty dominantly right handed- when he goes around the corners, he can hang onto the table with his right hand. If he feeds himself, he usually uses his right hand. If you give him something in his left, he usually passes it to the right. I didn't think handedness showed up so early. I'm not terribly surprised he's a righty, I'm pretty dominate with my right hand too. This Friday Doug will be 8 months old. We've been eating out a lot (the kitchen hasn't been unpacked yet) and ordering for Doug off the kid's menu. The portions are of course too much, but he does a good job of it. I wish restaurants had a toddler's meal in addition to the kid's menu. I think its silly that they price and portion the same meals for toddlers as well as twelve year olds!

Anyway, that's all for now. I've got a horrible head cold and want to crawl back into bed (Doug is with my mom today). I'll try to post some pics later this week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trouble

Doug is now officially mobile. He prefers to use a commando style crawl instead of a more typical crawl. I'm not sure why, we don't regularly have barbed wire or missiles in the house. Better safe than sorry I suppose.


This was the scene about a week ago:

I'd put him in his crib so that I could take a shower. He's now outgrown the bouncer and the swing, so my options for baby containment while I shower are now more limited. Anyway, I left him sitting up in his crib while I went into our room to get a rattle for him. He was quite pleased with himself, to say the least. He was very smiley when he saw me from over his crib rail. Since he could not get himself sitting up on his own, I left him in there on his back. Later that night I had Jeff lower the mattress for the first time. Sadly, he was not done.

Later that week we tarped off an area of our living room: The Destruction Zone.



We had to do it. Now that Doug is mobile, and interested in every nook and cranny of our living room, we needed to protect the carpet from the roaming spit up machine. We need it to be clean until the buyer does her final walk through. This seemed like an elegant solution to our problem, that is of course until he gets bored with his toys and wanders off. Sunday night we were straightening out the tarp and decided (like the responsible parents we are) to put Doug in the middle of the tarp and swing him (gently) around in it. Of course he loved it and was laughing and giggling as he rolled to and fro. Then he sat up. All. By. Himself. So we put him on the floor and on his back. He did it again and again. So, now we have a mobile baby that can sit himself up and pull himself up on the furniture. Game over. He's no longer allowed to be left alone, anywhere!

Yesterday I again put Doug in his crib while I took a shower. He was crying when he realized he'd been cruelly abandoned in his crib. Before I got in the shower, I noticed he has stopped crying. I poked my head out the door and heard happy and contented cooing. Which could only mean one thing: he was happy with himself because he was up to no good. So I looked in and saw this:


He probably can't climb over, and we can't lower the crib anymore. So for now, it'll have to do.

This is what I did today:

He very happily played there until he fell asleep. Standing up.

As he grows, I imagine I will have to come up with more and more creative ways for baby-tainment while I shower

Friday, October 1, 2010

And Life Keeps Moving

Life keeps moving on. We've been playing with my medication, trying to find a happy spot with it. The medication was taking nearly all of the pain away, but more than doubling my fatigue (which is why posts have been scarce). We've cut back my dose, which brings back some of the pain, but eases the fatigue a bit. So we'll see what happens.

In other health related news, I've started yoga. It's not typical yoga. It's yoga for chronic illness, so many things have been modified. I'm taking the class with a friend and there's a mix of women in the class. Every one seems very nice and most people have taken the class a few times before. My first class was last night and I ended up feeling very relaxed and energetic after class. I'm hopeful that after this class I'll be able to build up to something like swimming.

So onto house news. We are under contract! Our house is under contract and we should be under contract with the house we're buying by the end of this weekend! We didn't think it was going to happen, but all of the sudden a buyer came along and hopefully in the first week of November we'll be moved!

Douglas James is such a different baby now! He's sitting up now and is quite content to be left to himself to play on his play mat. Before this, after about 5 minutes on either his back or stomach he'd start screaming. He's also scooting. He moves, on his tummy, kind of like an inch worm. In fact, right now he's scooted off his mat and towards a chair leg, which he's gnawing on. He's also got two bottom teeth coming in and seems more determined than ever to chew on things. His eyes are still blue, and at this point, I'm thinking they're going to stay that way. I was so sure our baby would have Jeff's brown eyes, brown being a dominant color. We're also retiring the bumbo, the bouncer and the swing. He can nearly climb or twist out of them all. So now he's a free range baby!

Well, I think that pretty much bring this week up to speed!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whoosh!

Did you hear that? That was us throwing caution to the wind.

Doug had his 6th month appointment yesterday. A few weeks ago, we had Doug tested for allergies, which was so much fun. He has a patch of eczema on his face that hasn't gone away and the doctor wanted to see if it was caused by an allergy. It turns out that it's not. It also turns out that Doug is not allergic to anything! The doctor told us to just "go for it". So, as long as he won't choke on it, he can eat it. Last night Doug had some scrambled eggs. He was a bit put off by the texture, but once he got over it, he liked them.



Friday, September 17, 2010

The Rebel




This was the scene this morning in Doug's room. I have a feeling that this is why we've been woken up several times a night for the past few weeks, he's been trying to roll onto his stomach. I tried to tell him that this was verboten by the AAP, but he would not hear of it. As I write, he is gnawing on a corner of my laptop. I'm pretty sure this isn't covered under the warranty!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow & Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will write in my blog. Tomorrow I will wrap those gifts. Tomorrow I will address those cards and go to the post office to send packages. Tomorrow I will make food for Doug. Tomorrow I will register for yoga. Tomorrow I will go to the lab to get my blood tested. Tomorrow I will send emails. Tomorrow I will visit my grandfather. Tomorrow I will do the laundry. Tomorrow I will make dinner. Tomorrow I will get up at a decent hour. Tomorrow I will take Doug for a walk.

Right now my todays are full of tomorrow. I'm trying to find the balance between too much and too little. It's a fine edge. It's Wednesday and I'm finally starting to get a handle on this week. But, I did get to do some things yesterday, so a small victory there!

So here's to tomorrow!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still Here

I'm still around. The last week or so has been full of ups and downs. The good news is that the medication goes a long way to getting rid of the daily pain. The bad news is that the fatigue is still around and is at times worse than usual. I feel like I had more things to say, but here are some pictures of the cute.








Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest Posting

Check out my guest post over at The Life of Anne James

If you're into fashion on a budget her site's a great place to check out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disrupted?

This morning I was watching the news with Doug. They were discussing the hostage situation yesterday at the Discovery building. Evidently the police had been sweeping the building all night looking for explosive devices (apparently we don't call them bombs anymore). The police told reporters that they had found several packages and 'disrupted' them (evidently we don't 'detonate' things anymore either). I have to say, the whole thing kind of made me laugh. First the mental image of an officer 'disrupting' a package; did he shake it up? tear it open?. And then I realized it was probably some unfortunate employee's lunch, briefcase or backpack and I felt very sorry for that person. Their poor lunch was probably disrupted, but luckily not detonated. The officers were still combing the building at 6 this morning. I really hope all the employees got the day off, I think they deserve it after yesterday.

Enough incoherent ramblings, I'm going back to bed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Diagnosis Dressing Room

When I go shopping, I'll see something I like and try it on. If I like it I'll take it home and try it on with other things. Occasionally I'll find that something doesn't fit or look as well as I thought it did. Other times I'll find that I don't have anything that goes with it. When I'm really looking for a specific article of clothing, I'll do some serious research. I didn't just buy a wedding dress. I checked out many styles online and in magazines. I went to stores and tried on many gowns, even after I thought I found 'the one'. Eventually I made it back around to the dress that was 'the one' and bought it. I was satisfied with it because I had tried on so many, and this one was exactly right.

The same is true of any diagnosis. I've tried on many hastily-made diagnoses only to get home and find out they didn't cover half my symptoms. Sometimes I'd be so over joyed at the Dr.'s office that I would forget there were outlying symptoms that didn't fit into the criteria of a condition. Frustrated, I'd return to my doctor to try something else on.

I've been tested for many things over the years and recently. I was pretty sure I knew what I had, I just had to wait for the right Dr. to see it too. I liked my rheumatologist, hence forward to be known as the 'rheumy'. I did feel a twinge of regret for the man, he seemed slightly taken aback by my knowledge and experience. I should have introduced myself differently. Perhaps something like; "Hi, I'm Katie. I'm a professional patient.". But he took me seriously and listened to my vast medical history. He's running a few tests on things I've already been tested for, mainly because the testing protocol has changed on some of them. Due to a lack of outward signs, I doubt anything will come up for Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. The doctor agreed with me and said that I very most likely have fibromyalgia.

I don't like having it. I'd like to have had him say that there was a vitamin or mineral deficiency, but I am so relieved at receiving a diagnosis and medication to help it!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Table For One

Last week I got to spend some much needed time by myself. My parents had gone away on vacation and my in-laws were visiting. I needed to go to their house to feed the cats daily, and my in-laws stayed with Doug while I did this. I enjoyed nothing more than the drive to and from my parent's house. While I was driving I got to listen to whatever I wanted on my iPod. I got to crank up the music when 'Jump Around' came on and sing loudly and off key to my show tunes. Most of all, I was by myself. I was able to peel back the layers of daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother and illness for just a little while and reflect on who I was at the core.

Before my parents left my mom had promised me that the Monday after they came home, she'd come and take Doug for the day. All week I'd been looking forward to this, salivating over it as if it were a big juicy steak. Finally the day came. My mom promptly picked Doug up at 8am. I had no idea what I wanted to do! Part of me wanted to lay in bed all day, drink coke, eat popcorn and watch movies. The practical part of me (the one I kept telling to shut up) thought that running various errands without Doug would be a good way to spend the day. I decided that I would think about my options and go back to sleep for a while. Well, the realtor decided for me. She called me about 11, waking me up, to tell me that some one was coming by at 1:30 to see the house. I had no desire to be home while some one else was here, so I got my rear in gear and got up. I grabbed library books that needed to go back, Doug's birth certificate that needed changing, a skirt that needed mending, called in a refill to the pharmacy and grabbed my Nook.

I decided that my first stop was lunch. In the fall I'd discovered a brunch place called 'Eggspectation' in Columbia, not far from where I had to take the birth certificate. During my pregnancy I had a horrible craving for poached eggs, but I'd never had them before and couldn't because of the undercooked egg. I've since discovered that I love them, so lunch at Eggspectation was a real treat for me.

Before I was married, I would have been horrified at the thought of eating alone. I'd see people doing it and wonder how on earth they managed to. I've even found that eating lunch out with Doug is awkward. People give me odd looks while I have a conversations with him. Anyway, Monday I decided I was totally over the weirdness of eating alone. I brought my Nook to read and had a lovely time eating all by myself. I didn't have to worry about the next bottle or crankiness. I didn't have to eat while some one tried to throw himself into my plate. It was just me enjoying a nice meal with my Nook. The only not amazing part was how quickly the food and check came. The waitress sensed my unwillingness to leave and told me I could sit there for a while, which I did. Eventually I decided it was time to go and attack my various and assundry errands.

Even though it was a very busy day, it was nice to just be by myself, for a little bit. I'd found a certain kind of zen factor in being by myself and doing things. I didn't have to be anything else to anyone else. I never have regretted my relationships with other people. In many ways, they define who I am, give me my place in this vast universe. However, sometimes its nice to shed a few layers, if only for a few hours.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rock the Boat Baby!

Wednesday morning I woke up fatigued and in pain to the point I was crying. Not a great way to begin the day, especially when your son is hungry. Luckily my in-laws were here and they took over so I could sleep. Sleep was unfortunately difficult due to the amount of pain I was in. As I laid there in bed, I got madder and madder about the situation with my doctor's office. I decided it was time for some action.

The first thing I did was to call the physical therapy office (2 days after the receptionist swore to fax the referral over there) to see if they had yet to get the referral. They had not. Color me surprised. From there I decided it was high time to launch a complaint against my doctor and the office staff. The office is associated with a larger network, with a university and some hospitals in the area. I wrote and sent the email really more for me. I doubted anyone would read it. The email was not angry, just curt and very factual about the many failings I had experienced at the hands of this office. Later that morning I checked my email and had a response. They'd received it and were forwarding it to some one else. That afternoon I'd gotten another response saying that it has been forwarded yet again. This was a lot more than I ever expected from my little email!

Thursday I actually got a phone call from some one in my doctor's office. I think it was the person in charge of quality care. I had evidently managed to ruffle quite a few feathers. She informed me that the fax had indeed been sent on Monday AND the receptionist who did it got a fax confirmation. I told her that this was not the case, as I talked to the physical therapy office and they had yet to receive anything as of Wednesday. She then went on to inquire about the infamous radiology referral. I told her that I was declining it. What I really wanted to tell her was that she could take it and shove it where the sun don't shine, but she was being very nice on the phone, so I stove to be as well. Next customer service lady told me that another doctor was reviewing my file. Here I had to stifle a laugh. I only have negative test results (and TONS of them) so this should be interesting. I don't really care what the other doctor says. I'm not wasting $25, an hour of my time and my energy to find out. After all, I'm going to the promised land of doctor visits on Friday, the rheumatologist.

This past Friday I decided to call the physical therapy office again, just for kicks. It seems they indeed got the hotly debated fax! (insert choir of angles singing). So I made an appointment for the following day, Saturday.

The appointment deserves it's own paragraph, or maybe even two, so here we go. The appointment was everything I'd wanted and more. I know, again, I am odd. The pt guy, as he shall hence forth be known, was very nice and very skilled. We quickly went through my history. When I finished giving all my negative tests results, I noticed a furrowed brow. The "Oh, my God, I can't be the one to tell her what I think she has" kind of look. I eased the tension by telling him what I thought it was based on the non-existent positive results.* And you know what, my dear internet peoples? HE AGREED WITH ME! After having my doctor shoot down my researched self diagnosis, it was so so sooo lovely to have some one agree with me. Made my week. Certainly makes me feel more relaxed about the rheumatologist appointment Friday.

So the treatment. The physical therapy I get is a little unusual. In fact, I think only two clinics in the D.C. metro area practice it. Its called 'Trigger Point Dry Needling'. Google it, its a real thing, honest. I've had it done twice before to great effect. Anyway, muscles can have these things called trigger points in them, little knots if you will. These knots remain tense creating tension in the muscle. The tension restricts blood and waste removal in the cells that are tensed. So, the pt guy finds the trigger points and uses an acupuncture needle to release the tension. They stick it in (doesn't hurt) and move it around. Basically your body senses injury and sends all kind of good things to the muscles to release the tension. When I left the office I felt kind of high for a few hours because my body was working so hard to stop the 'injury'. It's not unlike the high you get after a workout at the gym, or maybe like a runner's high, though I know nothing about that. The therapy itself doesn't hurt per se, it just feels odd. Kind of like having your muscles flossed. Hours afterward there is soreness, but the actual treatment doesn't hurt so much.

And that is how I spent my weekend.


*I'm not quite ready to release my self diagnosis the the general public. If it's confirmed on Friday, I'll let y'all know. What I think I have is not life threatening nor is it degenerative. It's just annoying. Really annoying.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You're Fired!

Monday was the last straw for this camel. When I saw my primary doctor a few weeks ago she gave me two referrals, one for a more extensive gout work up and another for radiology.

The radiology referral was to get my legs checked for clots. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I have pain in my legs (as well as everywhere else) but my doctor heard pain in my calves and jumped to clots. It's kind of become a running joke between Jeff and I lately. If I have pain in my arms or shoulders we declare that the clot has moved. If Jeff has pain in his ankle that he broke, then the clot has become contagious. You get the idea. There is no clot. If there was I'm fairly sure I would have had a stroke by now. Anyway, I had actually requested a referral for physical therapy. Imagine, getting actual relief for my pain! Is that done? Unfortunately my doctor had an "oh no, but if it's a clot I could get sued if I don't look for it" moment. Again, she declined to notice that I said it hurts everywhere and that there was never any swelling, redness or warmth in the area. Seriously, my nose and eyes are just about the only thing that doesn't hurt. So, I did the stupid gout test and found out that I don't have gout. Duh. I didn't say my joints hurt, just my muscles. She really has issues listening. But I refuse to do the blood clot test, because well, that's SO not the problem. When you're sick, tired and sore you don't want to go lugging the baby to an appointment in which you will have to wait an hour anyway to just have it come back with nothing. Negative test results are the only kind I get.

Anyway, last week I was really hitting a wall with the pain and decided to call in to get the physical therapy referral. I left the information and shortly after some one called me back form the office to get more information. This was about Wednesday. So I made an appointment for physical therapy for this past Tuesday. So a few days go by and no referral in the mail. Monday comes, so I call about it. Not only did they not have a record of the referral, but they didn't even have one of my request! So, after spending 30 minutes of the phone with some one, I thought we'd gotten it straightened out. She swore that she would fax one to the physical therapy office so I could keep my appointment for the next day. I knew better and I canceled my appointment. Yesterday Jeff went to get the mail, he comes inside and opens it. He reads a letter and then looks up at me. "What?" "You won't like this..." Sigh from me. "Just let me see it.." It was the radiology referral again. I'm not sure if my doctor is super adamant about the non-existent clot, or if the office just really can't follow directions. I just tore it up and trashed it. I did call the office that was supposed to receive this mythical referral by fax this morning. No fax. I am not surprised.

Here's another gem from my doctor's office. This, again, is one of those "this only happens to Katie" sort of thing. I have chronic pain (have I mentioned that enough yet?). Tylenol and rx strength Advil don't do anything and neither does regular Aleve. When I saw my doctor a few weeks ago she gave me a prescription for Aleve. It works out that rx strength Aleve is a little over two of the regular tablets (and also pretty worthless to me). She wrote a script for ten Aleve. Ten. Five days worth. Boy, was I relieved to know that I was going to be better in 5 days! Ahahaha. Not hardly. I don't know what she thought I was going to do with more Aleve. Grind them up and snort them? Sell them on the black market to stupid people? I know you shouldn't take some OTCs for more than a week, but chronic pain kind of gets a free pass there. She also didn't set up a contingency for when the Aleve ran out, you know, for something like physical therapy.

Other than a few good (or bad, really) stories, I haven't gotten much out of this practice. Needless to say, Monday I called around and made an appointment for a new practice for a few weeks away. I'm seeing the rheumatologist next week, and I'm sure, if nothing else, he'll give me a referral for physical therapy. Until then I guess I just got to deal.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Doug's First Word Document

Doug was banging on my laptop this morning and this is a copy of his first Word document:

"J ,,,,,,,,,,,i.;1\sazddddddddddddddddzsssssssssssssssswa\zeeeeeeerfc \ Uytghgv"



We're so proud.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sick 101

I've decided to give everyone a crash course in sickness. I thought I'd explain to everyone what's basically going on and what approximately to expect from me for the next little while.

If you've seen me recently, you've probably noticed that I do not look sick. If I looked like I felt, I'm sure some one would have ushered me to the ER by now :) I generally try to keep some semblance of 'togetherness' about my person. You know, hair washed, matching shoes, etc. So, you're probably wondering what's wrong. Its nothing exciting, just chronic fatigue (not chronic fatigue syndrome, I'm just flippin' tired ALL the time) and wide spread muscle pain. I have several suspects in mind, but all I ask is that I not end up on that show 'Mystery Diagnosis' or 'I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant'. It's the small things in life that matter.

Now, for those of you who've never experienced fatigue, let me paint you a picture. When you're sick and need to do something you think about each and every little step that is involved. A non-sick person who has to go to the store with an infant makes sure she has everything for the infant, straps the baby in and heads to the car. I see an endless amount of things that need to be done first. A shower, getting dressed, changing and dressing Doug, getting all his stuff and then strapping him into the infant carrier of doooooom.* By the time I've gotten Doug in his carrier in the car along with my purse and diaper bag, I'm ready to be done. But I haven't even left yet!

It's not all so bad. I have good days and I have bad days. Unfortunately, on good days I tend to do too much which ensures that my butt isn't leaving the couch for much the next day. So, my current plan is to budget my time and energy. Things I've already committed to I will try to uphold. However, I probably won't and shouldn't make new commitments now. I hate breaking commits more than anything, so I'll avoid new ones for a while. So if you ask me to do something I'll be honest with you and tell you if I can or not. It's not that I'm flakey or that I don't want to, its just that I may be stretching it too far.

So that's what's going on.

Here's a good link to check out: The Spoon Theory



* The infant carrier is all fantastic for saving Doug's life and what not, but it's heavy. Doug plus the infant carries weighs approximately 28 lbs. When you can carry your 15lb son only four houses down to the mail box and back, 28lbs is a big fat hairy deal. I think normal moms would build up some serious biceps, but no, I just have an arm like a noodle afterward.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Soap Box

I know that this is a controversial topic, I've decided that I just don't care. I also know that both sides are so entrenched in their opinion that there's really not going to be a winner. But I do think that people need to remember to be respectful.

The other night I was watching the news while putting Doug to sleep. They had two people on debating the over turn of California's gay marriage ban. The pro side was saying that it was a civil rights issue and the con side was basically arguing that it would lead to the destruction on families and ultimately to the destruction of our society. I had to turn off the tv, place Doug in his crib, and go downstairs to rant about it lest I woke Doug up.

I understand that not everyone agrees with gay marriage. I can respect that. I don't agree with it, but I can respect our differences. However, my biggest problem with the anti-gay marriage crowd is that many of them don't have a good solid reason to be against it. I think in some cases the reason may be fear; its different, people have no prior experience with it. Fear leads to hate and we all know where hate leads to.

So basically, if you don't agree with it, be nice. No one is making you have a gay marriage. I don't see why two people who love each other can't be protected under the law like Jeff and I can. I want everyone to be able to experience the same joy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I've Gotta

I cannot count how many conversations are begun with strangers by that phrase. I'm out with Doug, and some one comes over to gush over him. They then announce that they have a child or children and then, lately, they proceed to tell me the various medical issues that their child has.

I just don't know how to respond to this. While they're listing their child's issues, I'm silently thanking God that Doug is healthy. And nodding and trying to keep a concerned and interested look on my face. The truth is not that I'm indifferent, it's that it's incredibly awkward when strangers over share. I'm also very tired. This level of social interaction at the grocery store wasn't budgeted for in my energy plan. While I'm sorry and empathetic that their family has been through this (I can't even begin to imagine an ill child), its a draining experience for me. I just want to get in and out of the store so I can go home and rest!

I try to humor them. They obviously feel a need to share whatever horror story that they have. I hope that sharing fulfills some sort of need in their lives. Last week I was having blood drawn and this woman came over to tell me about her two year old who was very very tall. She talked endlessly, way more than was socially normal or appropriate about it. I remember at the time that all I wanted to do was sit there quietly with Doug and wait my turn. Looking back, I think it was pretty obvious that she was lonely. I can't imagine the stress and isolation that may happen while you're dealing with a child who has difficulties.

Still, sometimes I wish strangers would keep their stories to themselves.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Classy Baby

Yesterday while we were out with Doug we happened upon a Little Gym. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, it's a gym for children (shocking, I know). I went in with Doug and they were having their class for babies four to ten months old. Their parents and teachers were helping them roll, flip and do other various gross motor sorts of things. One little girl was crawling around on the floor as Doug watched her intently. If he could have talked I'm sure he would have said "DUDE! No one told me that my people were mobile!".

So, we (mainly me) are thinking of enrolling Doug in some sort of class some where. The Little Gym we visited was about 30 minutes from our house, if traffic is good. There doesn't seem to be another one closer. It's also a hell of a commitment for a 4 month old. The semester runs 20 weeks, which is definitely longer than a college semester. The price is...ok. They have two opportunities a week to attend class, with the second one being 'free'. It works out to be about $10 a class if you go to all twenty classes. I'd like to be able to go some where that we could pay per the class, at least for a while. I'm not sure how Doug will like it, how I'll feel and how the timing of the class will be. I don't want to take Doug to class if he's going to be hungry.

When I pitched the idea of a class to Jeff, he was not exactly on board. I believe he told me that I could take Doug to the free class and then do whatever it was they did at home. Which is true, I could. I've done enough with the infant/toddler set to be able to make up my own activities for us to do. But the activities are just part of the point of this. I'd like our weeks to have a little more structure. I'm not used to spending this much time with a child unstructured! Also, Doug and I need to get out more. Thirdly, I'd like to start to socialize the little beast!

So I'll do some research and some shopping around and see what I come up with. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Phone Phail

Friday night we each got a new cell phone, sort of on a whim. We'd had dinner at the Rio in Gaithersburg and had about 2 hours until our movie. We each picked out different phones that we liked. We went home after the movie and tinkered with them for the rest of the weekend. Yesterday, we began to notice some rather irritating things about our new phones.

Jeff's phone had a small slide out key pad, a non-flip phone. So, obviously the phone had a key guard. Unfortunately, the key guard was one key. Which was easily pressed. Sunday night we heard a voice coming from Jeff's pants. Evidently he'd unlocked the phone and activated the voice command function. The phone was trying to text Jeff's boss, which was needless to say, not cool. My phone was kinda cool. It had a slide out qwerty key board and a touch screen. However, the touch screen wasn't sensitive enough, and it called everyone when I tried to set up my contact list. I have this reoccurring nightmare in which I need to dial 911, and for whatever reason, I keep mis-dialing over and over again. The other day I tried to call my doctor's office and I couldn't. Trying to call a contact not on the speed dial was not intuitive and took me nearly ten minutes to figure it out. It was my nightmare come true! The contacts list was also buried in several menus and not easy to access. Its a good phone, as long as you don't want to use it to call some one. It kind of fails in its primary objective.

So today we went to a local Sprint store in Laurel. We were told that we had 30 days to exchange the phones if we didn't like them. It turned out that we hadn't actually purchased our phones from a Sprint store, despite that the store was called 'Sprint' and had 'Sprint' printed on the receipt. After an emergency diaper change (what is it with the timing on that? always so inconvenient) we were back at the alleged Sprint store in Gaithersburg. We each got the same phone, one with a dial pad on front and a qwerty slide out key board. We each had the same phone before this too, it just didn't feel right having different phones, plus we both really liked this one. The phone is 'green', as in its environmentally friendly. I don't think it's due to recyclable materials or more efficient power but because it has some stupid apps you can get to tell you how to be green. Very silly. But we like the phones and hopefully we'll keep them.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Material Girl

I have to say, one of the things I like least about myself is my infatuation and need for things. As an adult, I've realized that I have this flaw and I do try very hard to over come it.

When I was in college, I was always hungry for purses, gadgets, shoes, whatever. I would inevitability succumb to this need and buy whatever it was that I wanted. Sure, I'd be interested in it for a little while, play with it, wear it out, whatever, and then I'd get interested in something else, and whatever the new thing was consumed me. Then I met Jeff. Suddenly, I wasn't so invested in my computer or a new cell phone. As time went on and I started working, I became even less prone to buying stuff. I grew as a person and realized that I didn't need things to fill my life so much.

Every now and again it gets a little hard to resist the urge. I'm out shopping with a girl friend, or some one shows off a new gadget and and this little monster inside of me rears its ugly green head and screams, "I WANT THAT!". Usually, I can over come this. I ask myself "Do I really need that?" "Is it going to make me happy?" (usually the answer is no, of course not). "Can I afford it?" and "Will I still want it in a few weeks/months?" Generally, I can leave whatever it is in the store and by that evening or the next day I've forgotten about it. Once in a while I'm prone to some retail therapy. Last week I bought a new purse (less than $25) that I didn't exactly need. But I liked it, and so did Doug and I'd had a very stressful day dealing with the doctor. Overall, I think I'm doing much better, especially as I realize we're running out of room to keep things!

Friday we dropped Doug off to spend the night with my parents, and decided that we were going to go to Thai and a movie. We finished dinner and had almost two hours until the movie started. The movie complex is in a little outdoor shopping mall. We decided to take a stroll and do some window shopping. The first store we came across was a Sprint store. I said, some what jokingly, that we should look at new phones, as ours were three years old. Well, more accurately, I believe that I said, "The Smithsonian called and they were interested in my phone." Jeff said we could look, "just look", so we went inside. The store was mostly empty at the time. I saw some phones with qwerty key boards, which I've been lusting after for some time. The salesmen came over and asked us some questions, and I asked him if we were eligible for an upgrade, it being three years since we got new phones. I have to tell you, I've never gone so long without purchasing a new phone! Anyway, it turned out that we were both eligible, and had been for quite some time, for new phones. To make a long story short, we each got a new phone.

Initially I felt a little guilty about getting a new phone. I don't need one, and it won't make me happy (well it will, but not that kind of happy). But it does fulfill one of my axioms. It was affordable, as it was free! So I've decided that this was a guilt free pleasure. Sort of like fat free frozen yogurt, but you know, good.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Crush

A year ago tomorrow we heard a sound that has changed our lives forever. I'll never forget that day. Jeff stayed home from work. I woke up and took a shower and chugged 32 ounces of water while showering and getting dressed. I'd never felt so sick in my life! I remember sitting in the waiting room, forever, and desperately having to go to the bathroom and trying not to be sick. Finally we got called back. I was berated by the technician for not drinking enough water (as if!). Then she seemed to have found something. I thought to myself "that must be my heart beat." I looked at Jeff, who could see the monitor, and I knew by the look on his face that it wasn't mine, that it was the baby's. I think that was probably one of the most profound moments in my pregnancy, when we heard Doug's heart beat at 5 weeks.

I think that was the moment that I really let myself fall in love with Doug. Previously I had been in a state of disbelief about the whole thing. We were in love with Doug when he was born, of course. I feel like our love grows and grows every day. It's not necessairly that we loved Doug less when he was born, its just that I think he gives us more opportunities to love now. You know, now that he doesn't just eat, poop and sleep anymore.

Jeff and I sound like a couple of middle school girls at night, lying in bed discussing the day with Doug. "OMG! Did you hear him when he was laughing?!?" "Wasn't it so cute when he was splashing in the tub?" "I couldn't believe he had peas in his EARS!". It's really not too far from "OMG, he brushed up against me in the lunch line!" "Did you see his new shirt?" and "He sits near me in home room!". We're just a couple of people who are giddily in love with our son.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Give Peas a Chance




We've decided to make our own baby food. I believe our pediatrician said I was 'industrious'. But really, I think that its the best choice for us and Doug. Tonight it took about 10, maybe 15 minutes to steam and puree some peas for him, and it made four meals worth from about a third of a bag of frozen peas. The bag of peas cost about $1.80, and each jar of baby food is about a dollar apiece. So for less than 2 dollars, we'll get approximately a dozen jars of food. I'm very excited about making his food. In addition to it being way more cost effective, it can also be healthier. Canned baby food is pasteurized at such a high temperature that it kills some of the vitamins in it. We can also make it to whatever consistency Doug likes. It allows us to make him a variety of foods he might not otherwise get in a can. I have to say that I love the vivid green of the peas!




Face Palm

So I thought I had an appointment on Thursday. It's in my calendar as Thursday and on our dry erase board calendar as Thursday. I wrote that appointment down two months ago when I left the doctor's office. Evidently, the appointment was today. I don't know what happened. I even remember thinking that the 29th was almost the end of July when I made that appointment with the receptionist. I've never missed an appointment before, ever. It really annoys me too because this one counted and now I have to do the back and forth with this office to get the information for my blood work. Perhaps I should have told them I that I feel like I've spent the night falling down the stairs. But this isn't the first time this office has driven me nuts. The doctor is wonderful. The staff sucks. They're always days getting back to me about a question. I have an appointment set with a rheumatologist for August and I have to get this office to send all my records to them, which I'm sure will be an adventure. That is unless I want to get tested for Lyme Disease again. Which I don't.

What sucks most of all about this is that I was having a nice day. My mom came and took Doug so I could lie down and nap. And now I'm all frazzled and thinking I've lost my mind. Oh well. I shall take it all out on some peas. I'm going to make Doug some pea puree for dinner and and food processing the heck out of them might be just the thing.

***Edit***

The doctor's office called me back, which is kind of shocking. Evidently my thyroid is quite fine, which is what I didn't want to hear (Remember I said chronic illness is funny? This is one of those times). Oh well. Jeff has taken pity on me and decided to come home from work early. There's always a silver lining :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Medical Mayhem

Let me just start by saying that I hope you are blessed with good health. Once you start walking down this unpaved but well traveled road of chronic illness, you never seem to stop.

So I've been ill. We're not sure what's going on yet. I've been fatigued, sore and have weird skin sensitivity. I've been going to my primary care doctor to see if she can help me. My thyroid seems to be fine, so I have to deal with my primary. Who is very little help. She's come up with bizarre and unlikely things, like blood clots in my legs. I can assure you that is very unlikely. The pain in my calves is from muscle tension, I can feel it. She's also come up with a slightly elevated uric acid level. Which can be totally normal, particularly in hypothyroid patients. She also doesn't want to deal with my thyroid at all. It gets placed in a box when I see her and she won't discuss it and the implications it has on my over all health. Your endocrine system is kind of a big deal, but evidently it's another person's problem when I see her. Needless to say, doctor shopping is probably in my future.

I've been struggling with whether or not I'm actually sick, which is kind of amusing. I don't think well people lay in bed and do this at night. When I realized that I was being kept awake from the pain in my muscles, I decided that I was. Chronic illness is a weird place! Some times funny too. Today for instance I saw my OBGYN for my annual appointment. I love this woman, she's a fantastic doctor, she delivered Doug. Anyway, she asked me what I did for exercise. I replied that I run errands and go to the store. I believe she said "That's not exercise!". Which made me laugh, because of course it's not, not to a well person. Non-sick people take showers without getting worn out. It was just funny, but made me realize that I am indeed not well.

As, I said, I adore this doctor. I went into the appointment hopeful that she could point me in a direction. Jeff has been insisting that I see a specialist, but the problem is, what kind of a specialist? She not only told me to see a rheumatologist, but gave me the name of a doctor right off the top of her head. I love when doctors can name some one immediately, it means they've delt with them and didn't just look them up in your provider directory.

So that's where I am right now. I see my endocrinologist on Thursday to see if my thyroid is behaving. I want to bounce some of this nonsense from my primary off of her and see what she thinks. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Kind of a Big Deal



In case you haven't noticed, my son is kind of cute. Unfortunately for us, he's noticed people noticing him. Doug has become accustomed to people, mainly family and friends, gushing and fawning all over him, all the time. He evidently even expects some degree of notice from strangers, which brings us to today's lesson.

Today Doug may have started to realize that the entire world does not revolve around him. My world does, but not every one's. This morning he and I were waiting in a room to have my blood drawn (for my thyroid). This twenty something woman sat down about 2 seats away from us. I had Doug out of the stroller and he was standing on my lap looking around. Eventually he noticed this lady. And she wasn't looking at him. Doug then stared at her very intensely for a few minutes. I've seen him do this to Jeff when he's not looking at Doug. As soon as Jeff looks at Doug, he's fine, he smiles and the world is alright again. But this woman simply would not look at Doug much to his great frustration. He even started to get cranky about it. Eventually another lady came over and made a fuss, but no one else.

After that we went to the Amish Market, which Doug loves. He loves to people watch. He goes there to see and be seen, and oh my, is he seen. Everyone within a 10 foot radius comes over to make a fuss over him every single week. Doug just sits there and basks in their praise and admiration and bestows the occasional smile on his fawning public.

I think we're going to have a big ego on our hands here...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Four Months Old!

Today Doug is four months old. He's starting to outgrow his 0-3 month onesies and his size 2 diapers. For the past two weeks he's been sleeping through the night, which is absolutely beautiful. He's been rolling over from stomach to back for quite a while now, although I think he does it intentionally now. He's working on rolling from his back to his stomach which results in him sleeping on his side a lot. Doug is never in the same place in the crib as he is when I put him down at night anymore. In the past month he's even seen three movies. He usually sits very nicely in my lap and watches the whole movie except for about a fifteen minute nap. Last week I took him to see 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' and he wouldn't eat during the Harry Potter preview because he was so engrossed in it (I can't really blame him there). Bath time has also become more interesting with him, he's discovered splashing. In the past month he's also been swimming! He's gone from a small chuckle to an out right laugh. It's rare, but it's totally there.

Here are some pics of the month:




Here are some risque pictures; I promised Doug they'd be tasteful.




And a few out takes:


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Quest

Odysseus had the Odyssey, Monty Python had the Holy Grail, and I had my very own quest. For a pregnancy test.

About a week or so ago, I started not feeling well. I was feeling tired, nauseated and dizzy. These symptoms are sometimes associated with my thyroid being under-active, however I'd just had blood work done, and my thyroid was fine. I began to think about it. The last time my blood work came back fine and I felt unwell was last summer, when I was....pregnant. I shoved the idea to the back of my mind and went on with life. That weekend I started having to go to the bathroom all the time. I'd look at a glass of water, and have to go to the bathroom. Again, I decided to ignore it. I was probably just drinking more water. It was hot out after all.

That Monday Jeff and I went out shopping. I swear, I went to the bathroom in every store. I'd gone to Target earlier that day, and I'd meant to get a pregnancy test, but I'd gotten distracted by something or another and failed to get one. Later than afternoon we were out shopping some where else when I remembered that I'd wanted to buy pregnancy tests. We happened to be near a Costco and at some point pre-pregnancy I'd noted that they'd sold pregnancy tests. I ended up going in by myself to get some. I couldn't stand the thought of going into Costco to buy a gross of pregnancy tests with a three month old. So I go to the aisle where they should be. I couldn't find them. I circled the whole section twice. I could have asked the person at the pharmacy, but I couldn't come up with a reason why I'd need a life time's supply of pregnancy tests. Tired and defeated, I left Costco.

Jeff suggested that we head to the Weis that was on our way home. I got out, alone again, and went into Weis to obtain a pregnancy test. I looked in the usual aisle and...not there. I looked in another likely aisle and, not there. They were remodeling the store and some weird things were stuck in the produce section temporarily. Alas, no pregnancy tests among the broccoli. Panicked and tired, I flagged down an employee. She told me that some things had been moved to the meat section. We looked there. No tests. She then guided me to the pharmacy, nope. After twenty minutes of circumnavigating the store, I left before I had a screaming and kicking tantrum in the aisle.

Jeff could now see that my sanity was hanging by a thread. So we went to CVS, it had to be a sure thing. This time Jeff went in, I was going to lose it if I went in, no matter what. After about ten minutes Jeff finally comes out with a pack of tests. Success!

I have to add that this whole time I was dying to go to the bathroom. I got home and raced up the stairs and ripped open the package and... only one line! Phew! I'm not opposed to another child, but uh, not this year. I knew it was a very long shot, but I was paranoid anyway.

I felt I needed to share this because it's just one of those funny things that only would happen to me. Who else would have SO much trouble obtaining a simple pregnancy test?!?!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Least Favorite Things

1. Hunting and gathering at the grocery store
There's this one SafeWay in Greenway that I went to when I lived with my grandma. It was either that one or the Giant where I always got hit on. Anyway, Jeff and I would go there in the evening sometimes so I could pick up a few things. Every single time we went there was this one person (a different one each time) who would gather a few items in their arms and drop them at the back of the conveyor belt, then leave and retrieve a few more items. These people were either oblivious of the carts and hand baskets or maybe they never evolved beyond hunting and gathering. Who knows?

2. They're, Their and There
I can't stand it when adults can't tell the difference between 'there', 'their' and 'they're'. This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves of all time.

3.Diet Soda

Diet sodas taste absolutely awful. The fake sugar used in them leaves a horrible after taste and studies have shown that it's not too good for you. I don't understand why companies can't cut the sugar by a quarter or even a third. I doubt most people would notice.

4.People who can't follow traffic laws

Particularly pedestrians and bike riders who wear dark clothing and cross the road illegally in the dark. I understand that not everyone has a car and that access to public transit sucks around here, but please, value your life!

5. Parallel parking

When I did this in the driver's test, I did it in about 38 seconds, the tester was way impressed with my time. I've never done it that well since. It makes me wonder about the validity of the tests.

6. Lisa Baden of WTOP

I don't have to hear her as I don't commute in the mornings anymore. But there's just something about her voice that makes me want to drive a pencil through my ears. She's just always so chipper when she's telling you a tanker blew up on the beltway and that traffic will suck for hours. You can practically HEAR her smile.

7. SUV parking

People have ginormous SUVs and no idea how to park them. Really people, come on. If you're going to drive it, at least be able to park it!

8. Hovering in the lady's room
Ladies, you know what I'm talking about here. Despite portable antibacterials and seat covers, women still hover over toilets. They then create the mess that they were in fact trying to avoid by hovering! Just sit down already!

9. People who don't have children giving child rearing advice
I was getting my hair cut last week when my hair stylist asked me if I was breast feeding. I went into the whole long complicated ordeal we had with it. She then proceeded to tell me that breast feeding is best (duh). She then went off on a monologue about how wonderful cloth diapers are for the environment. I can't imagine that tons of laundry is better, but I can see it would be better for the baby, but to each their own. Please babyless people, don't tell me how to spend my time!

10. Stupid Names

I don't understand the names some parents give their kids. As always one of many Katies in a class, I can understand the want to give your child a less common name, but it really shouldn't be say, an object (Apple, anyone?) or a string of syllables you fancy. Some parents also need to consider the durability of a name. Some names are adorable when the child is little, but having a cutesy name as an adult doesn't always fly. Daisy is a cute name for a little girl, but is it a great name for a CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation? I kinda doubt it. One of my friends has a name test. If you can put the word 'President' before the name, then it is therefore a respectable name.

11. My husband
He reads over my shoulder when I blog. Drives me nuts!

Please post your own gripes!

I'm Not Unemployed!

Monday night we ended up taking Doug to an urgent care facility.* When we got there, we were handed an electronic patient registration system. Jeff was filling out all the into and came to 'Mother's Occupation'. The options were 'working full time', 'part time', 'unemployed' and 'other'. Jeff looked at me for guidance. I said, 'Well, I guess let's go with 'other'. We were hoping there was a selection to elaborate on 'other', but there was not.

I have to say, that even though I do not earn a pay check, I am not unemployed. I work all day, every day. It may not always be hard work or particularly labor intensive, but I'm not at leisure all the time either. Things need to get done around the house, Doug needs attention and Jeff needs help now too. I rarely get sick days or coffee breaks. I do get more bathroom breaks now than I used to though, thank goodness. Recently some one suggested that his wife list her title as "Executive Director of Child Development and Home Management Operations". I love that, I might have to use that in a few years when I look for a job.

I don't think that being a stay-at-home-mom works for everyone. I can respect each woman's choice to do what's right for her family. Some women want to work and some women need to work. I don't think moms who balance a career and a family get enough credit for it. Single moms deserve high salaries and MVP awards waaay more than athletes do.

I'm not griping about being a SAHM either. I love it! I feel like this was the job I was born to do. It's so rewarding to be with Doug, to nurture him and to watch him grow, change and learn. I would hate to be at work and miss all of this.



How could I leave this face?


*Doug's fine, it was just an issue with his circumcision healing, which was normal. I think Doug would appreciate it if I didn't go into too much detail :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Super Baby!






It's Super Baby!

His powers include explosive diapers, a spit up volcano and the ability to make you laugh in the wee hours of the morning!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's been a week, and then some...

Oh my dear internet peoples, it has been a very, very long week.

Last Saturday afternoon we were getting ready for the realtor to come over and look at houses. We decided that we didn't want to drag Doug around with us, so we were going to drop him off at my parent's house first. We were all ready to go. Jeff started taking a lot of Doug's things (all at once) out to the car. Unfortunately he tripped or misplaced his foot (probably couldn't see it due to the large amount of stuff he was carrying) and turned his ankle. I helped him into the house, got him some ice and some Advil and retrieved Doug's stuff from the porch. After a few minutes I called my parents to let them know that we were not coming over and that we (at least I was) considering a trip to the ER. Usually when you sprain your ankle it'll really hurt for a little bit and then be sore for a few days. Well, after nearly half an hour Jeff was still in severe pain. After I called my Mom and told her to head over (I'm not taking an infant to the ER) Jeff admitted to me that he'd heard a snap. I wonder how long he would have walked around on a broken ankle if I hadn't insisted on taking him to the ER. Anyway, the trip to the ER was pretty quick, all things considered. I suppose an ankle is rather easy to deal with, you only need an x-ray and then you have your diagnosis. So, they casted Jeff to almost his knee, gave him crutches and sent us home. And that was Saturday.

Sunday I met with some girls I went to Holy Cross with. We had a nice time in the play area of the mall. I'd like to try to get together with more people in the fall at a park. It was just waaay too hot. That was also the first AND last time I shall ever take Doug to church alone. He was a good baby as usual, but just so ACTIVE. He wanted to climb and bounce all over me. As I'm not feeling very well right now, it was a rather draining experience.

Monday was another day filled with adventures. As Jeff broke his ankle and I'm not feeling well and I now have to do all the chores, my mom came over Monday morning to relieve me of Doug for a while. Jeff was instructed to call the orthopedist asap Monday morning. I wanted him to be seen as soon as possible, but I really, REALLY wanted to sleep. So, of course when he called at 8:30, he got an appointment for 9:45. So, we got there and the Dr. looked at the x-rays and determined that Jeff has only taken a chip of the smaller leg bone off. Evidently when he rolled his ankle, the ligament pulled on the end of this bone and took a piece with it. We got a MUCH better prognosis, only 3-6 weeks as opposed to 6-8. They removed Jeff's cast and fitted him with an ankle brace, you can barely see it over his sock. He can wear a shoe and as long as he uses crutches, he can put a little weight on it. When we got back home it was nearly lunch time. We decided to take my mom and Doug out to eat to our favorite Thai place in Rockville in celebration. On the way home we could see very dark clouds following us home. If it hadn't been for a broken down semi stuck in the middle lanes of the beltway, we would have beaten the storm home. When we got home, my mom just ran in her car and left. We managed to get Doug into the house without him waking up or getting too wet. Then I flicked on the lights. "Huh, must be burnt out, let me try another." Then I noticed that the oven clock wasn't on. Our power NEVER goes out. The cables are all buried underground. It's never been out for more than 20 or 30 minutes. Since Doug was asleep and our power was out, we decided to take a nap. It ended up being very short lived because Doug of course woke up. I helped Jeff take a bath and decided to throw Doug in there too. My hair was all frizzy due to the rain, so after I took a shower. And then it started to get hot. Monday was well into the 90's and the electric company's hot-line stated that power should be back by 10. So, at 5, we had some time to kill. We couldn't really go to a mall with Jeff being on crutches, so we decided to go see a movie, any movie. I mean, they have coke and air conditioning, how much else can you want? I'd been wanting to take Doug to a movie to see how he fared, but I haven't wanted to go without Jeff. A late Monday afternoon showing seemed like the perfect opportunity. We got to the theater and bought tickets for the movie that was playing soonest, which ended up being Toy Story 3 in 3D IMAX. Doug was sleeping, but woke up during the previews. I held him in my lap and he watched the WHOLE movie. Well, not exactly, he fell asleep for the last ten minutes, but then woke up for the credits. He didn't have the benefit of 3D glasses, so I suppose it was a little blurry for him. He was really good, didn't cry or fuss at all. We went out to dinner after and I kept on thinking he'd pass out, but nope, still awake. When we got home the electricity was back, so we were very happy. Doug had been sort of laughing the last few weeks, but that night I got an actual chuckle out of him.

Tuesday. I don't remember Tuesday other than Jeff stayed home. Sorry Tuesday!

Wednesday I finally bit the bullet and decided to go to the doctor. My parents came over and collected Doug around 9:30. They bought a car seat for him that seats infants and children til they're 16 or something crazy like that. It was on rollback at WalMart.com, and they didn't realize that it was purple with pink flowers until after they ordered it. But it works fine and Doug seemed comfortable in it. They took him to watch trains, to a park for lunch and then to visit his great grandpa. Needless to say, we got back a tired baby!

Anyway, back to the doctor thing. I've been feeling fatigued and very, very sore for a few weeks. My thyroid checked out fine, so now we're back looking at the usual suspects. I'd been hesitant to go to the doctor because I'd been fearing the "Well, you have a 3 month old, of course you're tired" spiel. My doctor did bring that up and I tried not to roll my eyes. Yes, a three month old is tiring, but I shouldn't wake up feeling like I'd run a triathlon! So they did blood work for Lyme, anemia, magnesium, vitamin D, and uric acid. Over the past two years I've been tested for Lyme (they like that one a lot), Lupus, anemia, Celiac, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Mono (it checked positive, but was not an active infection. I don't really like where this is going. My doctor told me that she "hoped nothing turned up". Anyone who's dealt with chronic illness WANTS something to turn up. There's nothing more frustrating than being ill and having all your blood work come back fine. Ideally, something easily treatable and totally manageable will come back, but I hope to God that something comes back! I was like, what an awful thing to say!

Anyway, today, Thursday, Doug had a doctor's appointment to look at some irritated skin on his face. I think it's just dry skin, and it's treatable with lotion, but it just never goes away. Well, I was feeding him at 6 and I noticed that he seemed to need a diaper change. So, I picked him up and that was the most horrible CDF (catastrophic diaper failure) ever. Lets just say they comforter will very seriously need to be cleaned. After that I just lost it. I was SO tired and SO sore that I could not fathom another errand, much less going downstairs. Jeff ended up staying home with us today so I could rest and we rescheduled Doug's appointment for next week. I had a feeling the doctor would not want to deal with a cranky baby who wanted to be fed and a hysterically sobbing mother. We went to the Amish Market for dinner and then to Trader Joe's for some more gfcf waffles, so I am a happy mama now.

This weekend is looking better than the week has been. I'm going sandal shopping with a friend tomorrow. I've been looking forward to that for a while, especially as my two favorite pairs aren't faring so well these days. Sunday is my family's 4th of July crab feast, I'm very excited about that. Monday is Jeff's 30th birthday and the government has given him the day off to boot! We were planning on going to the Pocono's for his birthday, but we've postponed until September because of his broken ankle.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So my ring fell off...

Between my thyroid levels being correct for over a year, the pregnancy and the gfcf died, I've lost some 20 lbs since last summer. I don't know how a hypothyroid person comes out of a pregnancy with a net weight loss, but it happened. The other night I was making gfcf brownies (a bit ironic) and my engagement ring slipped off my finger! I noticed about a week or so ago that it was loose and sliding around on my finger a lot. However, when I went outside or did a lot of things around the house it fit well again. In fact, it's been so humid that sometimes when I'm outside for a while my rings start to feel really tight. I'm not really sure what to do about this at the present. I'm afraid if I get my ring sized down now that it'll be too tight when it gets to be warm. I'm also afraid that if I wait until the fall that I might actually lose my ring. I don't think there's so much of a difference that I could use one of those bridges on it. Currently I think my rings are sized at 7 and a quarter (weird size, I know) and I think they could be taken in to about 6.5. Sigh. I think I may end up waiting to see what happens :/

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Say "No!"

I really should stop watching the news, it just makes me yell at the tv. There is some sort of watch dog group, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, that is suing McDonald's over the toys in the Happy Meals. No, the toys aren't full of lead or cadmium and they don't pose a choking hazard. They're suing McDonald's because the toys are included in the Happy Meals.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest claims that the presence of toys in the Happy Meals entices children to eat them, to want them and demand them. There is probably a good deal of truth to that. They claim that since the toys lure children to the Happy Meals that children therefore are eating unhealthy meals. This also makes sense, McDonald's meals aren't the most nutritious things out there.

Here's the problem with their claims. What they are essentially telling Americans is that they are too stupid to parent, that they can't make good, smart and nutritious meal choices for their children. Yes, Happy Meals aren't fabulous for you, but if you avoid the soda and the fries, you've made some good steps in the right direction. Also, who is getting their kids Happy Meals on a daily or weekly basis? I know we only had them once in a while growing up and when we did they were a great treat. You can also by pass the meal entirely and just purchase the toy.

Here's the biggest part of the problem. People seem to forget that parents can just say "No" when a child asks for something. You don't have to, nor should you, give into a child every single time he or she makes a request. Granted, Doug isn't old enough to know what McDonald's is or to want it, but when I taught I used "No" frequently. Children don't know what's good for them all the time. It's our job as parents to teach them, and saying "No" to an unhealthy meal on occasion will help them learn.

That's my two cents.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Milk Was A Bad Choice

No, I didn't have any milk, I just enjoy that quote from Ron Burgundy; that one and the one about the origin of 'San Diego'. Anyway, it's time for an update on the gfcf diet.

Last Thursday I went to the local Amish Market to get some ribs for dinner. I'd had ribs the week before from Famous Dave's so I wasn't worried about it. Well, about fifteen minutes into dinner, I felt really sick. I was quite bewildered at the time. I wondered if there was some how butter on the ribs or in the sauce. Later that night Jeff pointed out that the ribs had been really fatty, which got me to thinking. The pizza we'd had the week before was very greasy. Pizza is typically greasy, but then you throw ham and pepperoni on it and it's insane. I don't have a gallbladder anymore; which if you don't know, stores bile from the liver to break down food, particularly fatty and greasy foods. The liver can do it on its own, but there's a period of adjustment after the gallbladder is removed. Afterward most people don't have any problems, but some people just don't readjust. I have a feeling that's the problem. I think dairy was causing issues because of the fat content.

So Saturday I felt daring about my new theory. My grandma had invited us over for dinner and had Ledo's pizza. It's spectacular pizza, especially if you get it form the original Ledo's, which she did. It can also be pretty greasy. So I took care to only eat a few slices of just the cheese pizza and get rid of as much of the grease as I could. And I didn't die! I wasn't in agony minutes or hours later. The next night we went out to dinner for Father's Day. The restaurant had a special menu for the occasion. I wasn't planning on that and I felt quite ambushed by it. I'd wanted to get a nice piece of grilled fish, nice and lean and no grease. Instead of their normal variety of grilled fish, they only had salmon. I like salmon, but its not my favorite. My brother ordered the same thing, and we were both surprised by how greasy it was when it came. But it ended up being ok, as long as I avoided the mushrooms(one of my fav foods!). I still felt daring so I ate a roll with real butter! Again, I didn't feel sick during or hours after the meal.

Although I didn't feel sick to my stomach, I did feel ill this weekend. Last week when I was entirely gfcf, I felt great. I had great energy, I slept well and my muscles and joints didn't ache. After Saturday night, I felt sore and achy and just generally unwell. I think it's still too early to point the finger at wheat and dairy, but I have heard of people feeling much better without it. So, I think I shall say good-bye to wheat and dairy. I felt so well last week, and really, I can live without them if it means I will feel that great.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Very Bad Idea

So this was the scene Saturday morning at approximately 1:30 am:



For the last week or so, Doug has been falling asleep some where between 9 and 10 pm, which is wonderful. He is then eligible for a bottle some where between 12 and 1 am. He typically sleeps through this bottle and then wakes up some time between 2 and 3, and some times as late as 4 am.

So, I like to problem solve, and believe me, waking up at 2 is a problem. I came up with the world's most brilliant plan: we wake Doug up some time between 12 and 1 for a bottle and then he'll sleep until 5 or 6, maybe 7 if we get lucky! However, as you can see from the picture, this didn't work out so well. You see, he was evidently asleep for a reason. He was freaking tired. Neither coaxing nor cajoling could keep him awake for more than a few sucks of the bottle. Finally, after an hour and 3 sad ounces, we called it quits.

I don't know why Jeff came up with such a stupid idea anyway...