Friday, December 30, 2005

A wanna be crafter.

My mother is great but she is no Martha Stewart. There is a reason that it is a cruel irony that she gave birth to four girls. She is craft impaired, which is a name she calls her self. As kids we never had our hair neatly arranged and were never dressed in matching dresses for church. So imagine my surprise when I opened my Christmas present and potpourri came scattering out all over the carpet. My mother had tried to make her own gift basket filled with nice smelling bath things and with the potpourri as a filling. The funny thing is that it never occurred to her that the filling would come out because it would be tossed around in the mail.

It is a good thing that her daughters did not inherit her lack of craftiness. Each of us has our specialty with me, as the eldest, being more of a generalist. My youngest sister is a great sewer and loves to make costumes for things like Halloween and the premiers of Harry Potter movies. The next one up is a great crocheter, she loves to make afghans and things like that. The one up from that is a bit of a crocheter too but she really excels at knitting. She loves to make hats for my kids and makes sure that they match the coats that they are wearing for the winter.

I am a scrapbooker, cross stitcher, knitter, and like to do the general crafts. I actually took an art class in Jr High called arts and crafts where we made things with random things. It was fun and challenging which is where I think I get my general love of crafts from. I like being able to take something and make something decrotative from it. Scrapbooking speaks to me because it is a fun way to organize my pictures. I make them tell a story instead of them being a random collection of pictures.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where did the day go?

How is it that I only managed to do a few things today and yet I was crazy busy all day? This seems to be how my life is now that I have kids. I wake up manage to get breakfast done and a little play time for Evan. Then it is time for snack and errands. Once we get back from the errands it is lunch and nap time. After nap time it is time for a snack and more play time. Daddy comes home and then it is time to start dinner. After dinner is bath time and and a little more play time if Evan is not too cranky then it is time for bed. This is a quiet day for us.

Today I had an appointment for a weight check for Harry. The pediatrician was worried that he was not gaining fast enough. I think Harry heard that and decided to get on it because he had gained eight ounces five days where before he was gaining about an ounce a day. My husband had the day off so I did not have to drag Evan with me thank heavens.

It was pouring down rain all day. I have a feeling that I should start building an ark or something. This is supposed to be going on all week too so the flooding is going to be getting worse.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I hate it when I fall asleep early in the evening and then wake up to go up to bed but can't fall back asleep. I conked out around 9:30ish and woke to the faint sound of Evan's feed pump going off which is what I was trying to stay up for in the first place. It had been going off for a good 45 min by the time I heard it. Luckily it did not wake Evan. Just as I was drifting off in my comfy bed Harry woke up for a bottle. He has not been eating as well as I would have liked because his nose is stuffy but after giving him some saline up the nose he ate a good four ounces. These last few days he has been falling asleep pretty deeply the second the bottle touches his mouth. I manage to keep him up enough to eat but it takes some patience. Which of course means that I am the one that has to feed him all the time because my husband is not nearly as patient as I am.

Christmas was pretty fun and busy. Church was nice. Evan was actually pretty good and only had to be take out once. He had bonked his head on the pew ahead of us and was crying really loudly. We kept him pretty busy by stuffing him with fruit snacks and playing with his beloved cars. Present opening was interesting too. Once Evan got one present open he was more interested in playing with that than opening other presents. He was also not really into the whole tearing of the wrapping paper thing either. Harry was doing his whole sleep eating thing in the middle of the present opening so I ended up opening mine one handed for the most part. My husband got a butt load of DVD's so we spent the afternoon glutting ourselves on them.

We are both huge fans of TV shows on DVD. I love the no commercial thing and it is great to watch them when I want and being able to go back and watch a part that I may miss due to a loud child. I also like that we will be able to share these shows with our kids when they get older and the shows are long off the air. I think that eventually if things keep going the way they are we may just give up TV all together and just watch the things we have on DVD.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I love the evenings after everyone (including my husband) is in bed. I tend to stay up way too late just because I enjoy not having someone demanding something of me. I get to relax and do what pleases me with out fear of being interrupted by a shrieking child. Here I sit typing this message on a quiet Christmas Eve. Evan went to bed early despite having opened an interesting toy. Harry stayed up later probably due to his cold. My husband stayed up the latest of all because of his bloody nose which was started by roughhousing with Evan but continued because my husband the Eagle Scout forgot that when trying to stop bleeding you must keep the pressure on the spot for an extended period of time. He is also taking sudafed for a cold which I am sure did not help one bit.

I am excited for tomorrow. We will be going to church in the morning with the boys all dressed up in their matching outfits. Then comes the present opening. After all that we will be starting the nice Christmas dinner with a small ham. For our Christmas Eve celebration we had the traditional junk food dinner. Then we started the "gingerbread" house and Evan ate way more candy than was good for him. After bath time and all that we opened a present each. I cheated a bit and let Evan open another one just because he opened a sippy cup instead of a toy. All in all it was a nice evening and it goes to show that now that we have kids we do not need to travel somewhere to have a decent Christmas. We are just fine with out own which is good because a career in the military means that we may not have the chance to travel some years.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


I am a woman that is obsessed with eating. Having given birth to a child that has medical issues which include eating issues I have become very conscious of how much he eats and when. This obsession spilling over to my perfectly healthy baby. He is not growing as fast as the pediatrician thinks he should be so now I am starting to obsess over his eating too.

I have a private theory that my kids are just slow growers like my husband and I were as kids. Of course neither of us were giant at birth but who says that giant babies have to grow into giant toddlers?

My husband's current obsession is this smell that he says is in our fridge. I think it is funny that a man that claims to have no sense of smell and will not smell poopy diapers even if the child is sitting on his face is being so bothered by an odor. I really can't smell anything outside of normal fridge smells. This has caused him to clean the fridge out so there is a big upside to this obsession. We now do not have any funky food in the fridge and it is sparkling clean with new boxes of baking soda in it.

Evan's current obsession is with his leap pad alphabet ball. It plays songs and will say the sounds of letters along with saying the name of the letter depending on the mode it is set with. He loves pushing buttons and the fact that it lights up when playing a song it an added bonus. He laughs hysterically when he hears some of the letter sounds, X especially cracks him up.

Harry is obsessed with his stomach and making sure it is full which is why I am trying not to worry too much about his eating. The kid is like a clock, wanting food every two hours. His appetite is a bit off because he does have a stuffy nose but if I suck it out he will breath much better and suck down a four ounce bottle in no time flat. Pretty good for a one month old.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I am very much a person that is pro breastfeeding yet my son is formula fed. I know all the wonderful and magical things that come when you nurse your child and yet I mix bottles of formula for my son.

Nursing for us was pretty much a doomed prospect. When Harry was hours old the nurses were giving him formula because his blood sugar was low (Ha! So much for their assumption that because he was a giant child at birth that I must have had gestational diabetes). He was also tongue tied and having rapid breathing issues (which sent him to the NICU) so nursing was really hard.

Once he got clipped and got rid of the excess fluid in his lungs which was causing the rapid breathing he was very much into the instant gratification of the bottle. I could have pumped for him. I could have even tried using a nipple shield but I just did not have it in me. I pumped for 14 months for Evan but then he was my only child and more medically frail than Harry in the first place so it was more imperative that I get him the breastmilk.

After dealing with a child that has eating issues where every feeding was a struggle I was quite frankly happy that he was eating. If I was a better mother I may have decided to fight harder to keep the nursing going but the reality is that Harry is my second child. I have to feed Evan and him every two hours and adding pumping into the mix would have just meant that I would never be able to leave the house. I was going nuts doing it and I had my mother and husband at home to help with the kids. I felt like that all I was doing was feeding and pumping.

Selfishly I also wanted my body back. I have been pregnant and nursing for over two years. That takes a lot out of a person especially when you have large babies and also have to deal with the health issues of one of the kids. It is so nice that I can leave the house and not have to rush back to be in time for the next feeding. I can go to a girl's night out and not have to bring the baby.

So while I know all the wonders of breast milk I am not crying over not nursing (well not too hard any way). I know that my Harry will survive this decision and that it is very likely that he will grow up to be just as bright as his elder brother.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It is over!

I am now a much lighter person as I have recently given birth to a giant child. I was having a bit of euphoria because of the birth. Harry was sleeping well and so was I. This had changed recently, the little stinker decided that he did not want to sleep at night. Now I am in the hell of sleep deprivation. I swear that this kid would be great for torture. Maybe I could sell him to the Department of Defense for use in interrogation of terrorists.

Harry for the last few nights has started fussing every time that I put him in his bassinet. He does not cry right away. He waits until you are back in bed and just about to drift off into a blissfull sleep. That is when the grumbling starts. If you ignore it, he will then start with the howls of protest loud enough to wake the dead. This process went on all last night with out stop. He would sleep just fine downstairs, but the instant you wanted to go to a soft bed and sleep he would have his little beady eyes wide open.

I am so going to take a nice long nap today(thanks to my mother in law who will watch the kids for me). I feel bad for my poor husband who does not have that luxury. Hopefully this will be a short term thing because I really need my sleep or I go psychotic.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


I am awake at a time when I should be asleep. The itchies are getting me again and benedryl is not doing a thing for me, it is not even knocking me out like it should.

I did not get to spend much time playing with Evan today. We went to Costco for our big monthly stock up session which was much bigger due to the holidays that are upcoming. Evan got his lunch thanks to the free samples that were being passed out. His first word was fish and it is also his favorite food. This kid will chow down and eat a ton of the stuff. Too bad that he can't be consistent with that eating and get off of his feeding tube.

Nap time was nice. I got a pretty good rest although when my darling husband started tromping in and out of the house while messing with our tiny garden making it hard to get back to sleep. I was napping downstairs because I did not want to oversleep and miss my ultrasound appointment.

They make you come in a half hour before your actual appointment. I think it is for torture purposes because they also want you to have a full bladder for the procedure. I can drink a thimble full of water and get a full bladder but they insist on three eight ounce glasses. I blew that one off because I did not want to end up peeing my pants on the way there.

Then I ended up waiting for a long time because there was no waiting at admitting and the ultrasound person was running behind. If I had been prepared I would have brought a book but instead I read a three year old edition of Good Housekeeping and listened to two kids going through a catalog saying "I want that and that and that."

Luckily everything is fine. I have a large baby inside that has plenty of amniotic fluid to squirm around in. I fell asleep in front of the TV after dinner which is why I am awake right now. I hate it when I do that but I can't help it. I am a huge whale and laying down is about the only position that feels good long term. Ooo I just yawned, maybe I am boring myself into sleep. Better take advantage of the situation.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I am in pregnancy hell

Ok maybe I am exaggerating a bit but I will be so glad when this one is over. Right now I am in the throes of a symptom that is new to me, itching. I had thought I was having a bout of exceptionally dry skin or something but after talking to other women that have been there done that I know that it is yet another fun thing that pregnancy can spring on you. It is always the worst at night so sleeping can be fun, I find myself scratching in my sleep.

I keep meaning to ask my OB what to do about it but he keeps distracting me with other worries so I forget. This time it was when I was going to have my c-section. I had everything set up for the 28th but as I am measuring huge and all that fun stuff he decided to go earlier and the big day will be the 22nd. I had hoped to have a decent and very quiet meal with family for Thanksgiving but that is in question because that is the day theoretically I will be released from the hospital. Fun huh?

I guess no pregnancy for me can end the way it is supposed to. Hopefully this will be the extent of the suprises. I want to have a normal child that will come home from the hospital at a normal time. The big question that has no real answer is what is a normal child? I don't think I will ever know and it is time for me to go to bed any way.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Being bummed out

The fact that I am a mother of a heart child has once again smacked me in the face. Normally I can pretty much pretend that I have a fairly normal child because Evan is so active and a heart defect is not something that you can see. Recently after a long marathon of specialist doctor visits when I was looking forward to things with him quieting down I got some news I had hoped not to hear.

Evan had two tiny flaps instead of an actual wall between the two bottom chambers of his heart. The top flap is causing a bit of an interruption in the blood that is flowing out of his heart. This is something that we knew could happen going into his last surgery but the surgeon looked for it and it was not appearing. About a week later after Evan had his stroke the partial interruption was showing up in his echo. This was not seen as too big of a deal as long as the interruption was not getting worse.

Evan was being fairly closely monitored to make sure that things were fine in this respect so I had kind of thought he was home free. I was deluding myself a bit I think. At his cardiology check up the doctor told me that surgery was going to have to be done since the interruption was not getting any better. It would have to be done either before the final corrective surgery or during the final corrective surgery. This is because he will have even less blood flow to his heart further changing it's shape and the interruption would get worse.

I know that the surgeon likes to only do the final corrective surgery when he does it because it is too hard on the kids to start adding other procedures. He is fundamentally altering their circulation system and that can be hard on the body to get used to causing many complications and even death. I am very much in agreement with this policy because I have "met" too many parents of kids through the internet that have lost children in this final stage.

We will be going down to the city for a big work up in January and we will learn more about the timing of this surgery. Part of the reason this is hitting me so hard is because I had tried to plan my pregnancy around Evan's surgery. I did not want to have a young infant nursing while I was trying to take care of my first born in the hospital. Evan has to have a parent there at all times, that is just how I am. I do not want to leave him alone in the hospital because I know that while they try and give him the best care that they can Evan needs an advocate that can fight for all the things that he needs and is not distracted by the needs of other patients.

Control freak that I am I had decided that this caretaker had to be me and I was starting to get very stressed out about trying to care for two children. I am the one that coordinates Evan's care because I am the one that goes to all the appointments and takes care of him for the majority of the day, that is my job. My husband is also not a hospital kind of guy. He is very much a doer and there is not much to do at a hospital, you are more of a watcher and asker. He is willing though to put aside his distase of hospitals and take over my task. That is what makes him a great husband and help meet. When I can't do something he will take over and fill in for my weaknesses.

I plan on being close by though because I just can't give up THAT much control. I need to be there with my special little guy and help him as much as I can while also caring for his brother. There is just no true replacement for mom even though dad will be there too.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Traffic sucks!!!!

While I am glad that I live near many specialized doctors (for my son's sake) I hate that we live near a large population center. Today on the way back from an evaluation to see if my son needs occupational therapy I was caught in almost constant traffic. I left the hospital at 2ish and did not get home until 4 in the afternoon. I have no idea how people who work in the city can stand to spend that much time in a car.

My brain kind of shut off while I was driving. It was so mind boggling boring to watch the car in front of me creeping forward and then stopping. During the drive I really wished that I was my sister and I had an iPod filled with songs. The radio sucked big time and the stations kept fuzzing out on me. I ended up listening to NPR for most of the way home.

Another thing that did not help my mood was that last night my "darling" son kept waking up crying for unknown reasons. That caused him to be super cranky all morning driving my tired self up the wall. I normally get a nap when he does but the timing of the appointment threw that thought out the window. I think he knows the days when this happens because it seems like his waking episodes happen when I will not be able to have a nap the next day.

Oh well tomorrow should be a fun day, at least I will get to sleep in. I have a wonderful husband that gets up with the child on weekends.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Angry pregnant woman has emerged.

Be afraid, be very afraid. I am in the last six weeks of my pregnancy and I am so ready to give birth. The last month or so of my pregnancy a new person emerges. I call her angry pregnant woman. The slightest hint of stupidity, any questioning of what I am doing or why sends me off in to a rage.

My husband is constantly questioning what I am doing and why so he often bears the brunt of my anger. Last night he had the gall to question something I was wearing, I about lost it right then and there. Luckily for him I was in a rush to get somewhere and there was not time to murder him properly. If I am gonna do it, I want to do it right so that I will get off. Hey CSI is one of my favorite shows after all.

Luckily all this rage is cured once I get the giant baby that is growing in my womb out. Then I get all doped up from drugs for the pain and all the world is right again.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The first post

I am not quite sure what to write. I guess that I will introduce a bit. I am a stay at home mother with one 19 month old son and another one on the way. I know I am nuts. It gets better, my son has a heart defect and has had a stroke. He is not walking yet and is a little developmentally delayed. He is not a great eater and had to have a tube surgically placed in his abdomen so that he can get the nutrition that he needs. I not only do I have a high needs child but I am adding to my family. I think I am a glutton for punishment or something.