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.


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, 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!