Friday, April 28, 2006

A Fun Evening

I went to the monthly gal's night out that the spouses association does every month. It was great because while there a met a new person who had just transferred in. What was especially remarkable about her was that her son has a heart defect. It was my first time meeting a heart mother that was in the same branch of the military as we are. Heck it was only my second time meeting a heart mom, so I was pretty excited. Another funny thing was that she has the same name as me so I have no excuse for forgetting it.

Her son ended up needing a transplant to help with his issues, so I am very lucky on that front. She mentioned that it was very refreshing to be able to talk with someone that knows what it is like to have a child go through the things that our kids have gone through. Her son is getting his treatment at a different hospital that Evan goes too so we can't discuss different doctors. I had toyed with the idea of moving his care to that hospital simply for convince (Evan's GI doctor is there) but I just could not. The doctors and nurses at Evan's hospital are like family to me. They care about him so much.

Something that she mentioned that really resonated with me was that going through all of this really ages you mentally. You have to grow up so fast when you have a child with health issues. Looking back on how I was pre Evan and seeing how I am now there is a huge difference. Some of this is just being a parent in general but a lot of it is making life or death decisions for your child. I am really looking forward to getting to knowing her better.

Harry giving Evan a taste of what is to come: Dogpile on Evan!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Home again

Well we are home from the hospital and Evan is doing quite well. It was a very early morning for Evan and I, we had to leave the house at 5 am. A good thing about leaving so early that there was very little traffic, we also made better time than when my husband drives because he loves to stick in the slow lane.

The procedure did not start on time because there was an emergency adult case that bumped us back for a bit. While we were waiting the cardiologist showed us the pictures from the last cath. It was pretty neat seeing Evan's heart working and getting to really understand what they were doing. I think Evan has seen much more of his own heart than a lot of people.

He went under at about 8 am and did not get out until about 3 pm. It was a very long cath because they had so much to do. I was bored out of my mind. I saw Dante's Peak and a Law and Order movie neither of which was terribly exciting. A weird old guy sat next to me in the lounge for a bit and chatted with me and didn't remember any answers that I had given him because he kept asking the same types of questions over and over. The food at the hospital was horrible but I really could not leave so I made do.

Evan was pretty cranky coming out of the anethesia but some Baby Einstein soothed him right down. All the nurses in the PICU were ones that we already knew so it was very nice to chat with them. While we were going down to the cath in the morning we saw my all time favorite nurse and he even came out especially to say hi to us. I have a secret crush on him as he is very nice and very much not a gay male nurse. I had not expected to see him since he mentioned that he had been planning to move when we were in the hospital for Evan's stroke.

The recovery was hindered somewhat by Evan throwing up every time we tried to give him something to drink. This drug on into the night and was making him miserable and unable to sleep so I got the nurse to give him some anti nausea drugs. After that and some chocolate milk he settled down to sleep. Of course he still wiggled a lot during his sleep and set off the alarms pretty often so my sleep was not nearly as good as his. The night nurse was very good and had set the alarms so they would be minimally noisy but they still got to me because I am such a light sleeper.

The morning was filled with waiting. We had to wait for the cardiologist to come and free us. We had to wait for Evan's breakfast (french toast with no syrup). The waiting went pretty fast despite Evan's impatience. I got to see more pictures of Evan's heart. The cardiologist took me down to see the pictures that the had done the day before. I think that once he realized that I was interested in seeing those kinds of things he was more than happy to show them off.

A funny thing that occurred right after Evan got into the PICU. They had a student nurse working in the unit. One of the nurses was telling her about Evan's defect and I was adding my bit in since the nurse did not have all of the particulars right (Evan has a very complex heart). Later on the student nurse came up to me and asked me if I had been going to school to become a nurse because I had been so knowledgeable in explaining Evan's defect. I had to laugh and tell her that I was a student of the nursing school of hard knocks. I have self educated myself in all this. Nursing students are so cute! I just want to pinch their cheeks sometimes.
Evan getting his temperature taken before the cath.

A picture taken by Evan. As you can tell I was desperate to entertain him.

Thank heavens for technology and Baby Einstein!

No pictures please!!!!

Enjoying a bit of breakfast and more Baby Einstein.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We are off!!

We are off for Evan's heart catheterization. He will have to stay at the hospital overnight and part of the next day so it will be a bit before I get back my sanity, if I ever do. Wish us luck!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Alas poor Larry

Well I just discovered a dead Larry in his cage just now. I should have figured something was up when he was so quiet last night but I was too tried to think. We are now hamsterless and not intending to change that just now. Evan did get a kick out of a furry little animal but I hated that he incessantly chewed the cage. I feel bad that he died so young, but then he did not come from the best breeding so a long life was not as likely.

I am glad that Evan is still young enough that this will not end up being a huge ordeal. I remember having guinea pig funerals when I was a kid. My sister E's was the first one to kick the bucket and we gathered all of his progeny and his "wife" (they had to be married to have kids duh!) together. My sister wrote out a eulogy and the other g pigs snacked on grapes. Poor Trixie (yes he was male and named Trixie. He was a she when s/he came home from the pet shop and by the time we found out the true sex the name was stuck) was interred in the back yard in a wooden coffin made by my father.

Other funerals were not nearly as elabotate, but a big deal was made every time one of our many animals snuffed it. I think my dad was glad once we got to be older and stopped getting so dramatic about the death of an animal. My personal animals did not die until I was in college so there were no funerals for mine. My rabbit Fleta had to be put down due to complications to old age. I held her as they gave her the shot and she was later cremated with a ton of other animals. One of my g pigs died when I was at school and I have no idea what my parents did with her. The mother of the family, my darling Squeaky was the last of them. She outlasted her whole family and died of cancer. My mother had her put down rather than see her suffer.

The saddest animal death for me was my cat Norbert. I got him right after we moved to San Diego. My husband was going to be gone for three months to pick up the boat that he had been assigned to. It was brand spanking new so the crew had to put her through her paces. The shipyard was in the south so they had to also get her to her home port. I didn't want to be alone in the apartment so we rescued a black kitten from the animal shelter. He became my buddy during a hard time in my life. He was truly a member of the family, sleeping with me in bed and having the run of the house. Shortly before me moved north he started throwing up a lot. He would eat his food and then throw it right back up. He has developed cancer in his stomach and it was preventing him from eating. It was a very sad day when we had to put him down.

Death is never an easy thing even if it is the death of a tiny annoying little rodent. Larry will be missed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tagged again

Well I have been tagged again. I am supposed to tell you six weird things about myself. Like everyone else that does this meme I am trying to find the balance between exposing myself as a total freak and having an entertaining post. Here is my effort:
  1. I have had my arm up the rectum of a cow. It was very warm and squishy. I was an animal science major in college and it was part of my introduction to animal science class. We were practicing artificially inseminating cattle. It was just fake so I can't add to the list that I got a cow pregnant... bummer
  2. My husband was my first kiss but we were not high school sweethearts or anything. We were just both awkward around the opposite sex and had not yet had the chance to kiss others before we met.
  3. I love to play Diablo II it is my favorite computer game. There is something pure about running around and killing evil demons. I totally got carded too when I bought it, I guess I look a lot younger than I feel.
  4. I don't like to run, I never have. I will really walk fast if something is important but there are very few things that I think are worth running for. Plus I get exercise induced athsma so running sets that off making it even less fun.
  5. I don't wear pjs to bed. I have a comfy set of clothing for wear around the house and I will change into clean clothing before bed time and hop into bed. It saves me time in the morning.
  6. I like to wash laundry and dry it, even removing stains is a fun challenge to me. Folding it? I hate. Often I will leave it for my husband to do. He can't fold the kid's clothing thowever. He has a tendency to mix up who is wearing what, so I do that myself.
  7. Bonus weird thing: I have Evan'sclothing hanging up and it is arranged in a specific way that would take too long to explain. Even my husband can't figure out my system but it is there. I also make sure that the items are evenly spaced apart, which is a leftover quirk from working at Target.

My not so bad day

Since I am up bright and early because of my wonderful son Harry (#$!@$#@! kid I need some
#@!$ing sleep right now and he is $#@!$#@ing awake) I thought I would share some thought I had from my day yesterday. Evan and I went down to the city for the pre cath tests so it was a long day for the both of us.
My thoughts:
  • The city sure is a lot less depressing when the sun is shining and the weather is warm.
  • It is rather nice to be recognized and treated well. All of the staff at the front desk know us by sight and they love to oo and ah over Evan's cuteness.
  • It is nice now that Evan is two, I don't have to strip him to get him weighed. We also do not have to use the large baby scale so there is less freak out on that front.
  • I am going to miss the doctors and other staff when we eventually have to move (possibly in the next few years). His cardiologist held Evan on her lap and gave him a big hug. It is nice to find doctors that so obviously care about their patients. With some you have to wonder why they are even working with kids in the first place.
  • I am so glad that they are finally letting him stand for his chest x-rays. Things go much smoother with a nice lady holding your kid vs. that horrible contraption they used last time that totally freaked him out.
  • Evan really really loves pushing buttons. The nice lady that helped with the x-ray let him play with the machinery which was heavenly for Evan.
  • La Salsa may be super busy during the lunch hour but the wait is totally worth it.
The whole trip was less traumatic that I had anticipated. Evan even let them listen to him with a stesescope. I had been working on desensitizing him to that and it seems to have worked. All I did was get two super cheap stesescopes off of eBay. I added them to his toy box and when he showed an interest in them I would listen to him with them. Eventually he would try to listen to me as well. Best money I have ever spent. Now all I need to do is get an examination table with paper on it. That one I think is going to have to stay.

Later on in the evening I got to again leave the house, this time without kids. It was my monthly scrapbooking night. I had a fun time and got most of the pictures that I took on our trip to the zoo in the scrapbook. I am pretty minimalist so it does not take me too long to do a page. Everyone else in the group puts all the do dads on the pages so they end up spending hours and only doing a few pages. I take so many pictures that taking all that time would mean that I would have piles and piles of pictures that never make it into the scrapbook. I can get all of my stuff into three small bags but there in one gal that it takes several trips for all of her stuff. I tell my husband about her every time he complains about my scrapbooking habit. That shuts him up pretty quick.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I have had an interaction with a fellow heart mom that has really left me bewildered. We met on an unrelated email group where she happened to mention that her daughter had a heart condition. She said that she was worried about her daughter being over a year old and not walking yet but that her pediatrician kept telling her that this was no big deal.

I of course asked her about her daughter's heart condition because I am always excited to connect with another heart mom. She replied that she was not too sure what the diagnosis meant and that it was some big old word that she did not understand or even remember. That totally blew me away big time. I was overwhelmed by my son's diagnosis but when I got a word for it I made sure to get a good explanation from his doctors. I also did my own independent research on the web and through books. I could not stand knowing. Here is this mother that was willfully choosing not to understand her daughter's diagnosis. O gave her links so some very good websites and did I even receive an acknowledgment? Nope!!

I know that this problem is deeper than just this one mother because I get comments all the time from the specialists that have taken part in Evan's care about how knowledgeable I am and how glad they are that I am so involved in his care. To me it is only natural that I do these things for him. He is my son. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that some parents won't life a finger to be more involved in the care of their child. I don't like that I have to prick my son's big toe twice a month to run a blood test on him at home. He doesn't like it either but it is much faster to do it myself than to have to go somewhere else so that someone else can be the bad guy. I didn't like that I had to put a tube down the back of his throat through his nose so that he could get the nutrition that he needed but I did it. I don't like having to give him shots twice a day in preparation for his upcoming heart catheterization but I do it because he needs it.

Talking to my sister who is a pediactric nurse in an oncology unit has only deepened my disgust with some parents. She has told me stories of parents that don't keep the central lines used for chemotherapy clean when the kids are at home, allowing them to become dangerously infected. There are other parents that treat the hospital as a daycare, leaving the poor kids alone the entire time they are admitted.

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they bring a child into this world. I know that before I got pregnant I thought through the consequences of my actions. I was fully committed to doing whatever it took to nurture the child that I was bringing into this world. I really wish that there was some way to license the ability to have kids so that parents that are truly awful would not have the ability to abuse the innocent children that they were bringing into the world.

That is my rant for the day. Now for a cute picture of Evan at the park.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My brain seems to be missing

For the past two weeks I have been trying to hold our weekly play group at my house. Crazy I know, but what is even more insane is that I keep scheduling things to compete with it. Last week I had to get my driver's license renewed and that day was the only one that I could get an appointment before my birthday. This week Evan is starting up physical therapy again (more on that later) and I scheduled a session at the very same time as play group. I think my friends must think I am loopy or something. At least I am able to babysit tomorrow for my friend who is now pregnant with her second little bambino. She watched Evan a lot when I was pregnant with Harry so I am thrilled to be able to return the favor.

Now onto the main event. Evan's resumption of physical therapy.

For almost a year Evan has been in PT hiatus. The company that was providing his therapy was not cutting it for us. They kept messing around with the authorizations so that there would be gaps in his treatment. I have a feeling that our insurance did not pay out enough for them so they drug their feet hoping that we would move on. Well we did move on. The therapist we were working with also had a private practice and was willing to become a provider for our insurance company.

This process has taken many many months. It took her six months to get the approval letter but because she apparently filled out part of the application wrong they had to make her start all over again. There are all sorts of awful things that I could say right now about the stupidity of this but I have to say that for the most part we have been getting our money's worth out of the company so I really can't complain too loudly.

I got a call from her last week about a lady she knew that was being trained in the
Feldenkrais method. The physical therapist had been using this method with Evan and it had been giving good results which is why I was so eager to continue with her. It is a very nonconfrontational method which I really liked. The physical therapist's friend was completing her training and specializing in special needs children and wanted to work for us for free so she could get some experience.

I jumped at the chance because I had been toying with the idea of just going with a more traditional PT just so Evan would have something going on. I was not that thrilled about having to do that but the time away from PT was just dragging on too long. The reason I was not thrilled was an experience with a friend's therapist.

We had happened to be in the city and visiting her when it was time for her son's therapy session. While my friend J. was getting her son up from his nap the therapist was observing Evan playing. We chatted a bit about his stroke and she started touching him and evaluating him. She told me that he was getting very tight and that he was not standing correctly. She told me that every time I see him standing I should position his body correctly. Then she went on to extol the virtures of electro stimulation for him. I left the house feeling very inadequate and upset.

The thing is, that at the time I was pregnant and hormonal. Following Evan around making him stand correctly would not have worked for either of us. I could barely move let alone be crawling on the floor after Evan. I felt she was criticizing my choice to follow the other therapy. I also knew that me messing with Evan like that would only make him mad and would not enhance his recovery any, because he would be so busy resisting me. The reason he was so tense was that she was messing with him, not because he was standing incorrectly. Evan later had an evaluation by an occupational therapist and she was worried about the leg too, until she observed him from a different angle and saw that he was using it correctly.

With the Feldenkrais method there is no forcing of the child. They are not made to stand in a way that is uncomfortable for them. What is done is that their brain is trained to recognize that there is an arm there and that it can be used for things. If you watch a session all you see is the practicioner touching the child (often along the spine) and gently positioning the child in different ways. It is just more natural and gentle than the traditional physical therapy.

I am glad that we are starting this up again but it also means that I am going to be insanely busy for the next few weeks. We will have PT sessions three times a week. Evan also has a heart catheterization next Monday so we will be busy getting ready for that. Plus I have all the usual junk that fills up my week. Oh, and we are getting a new fridge delivered on Saturday. I love my landlady, she is willing to spend the $$ on nice stuff for the apartment. Now all I need to do is break our junky stove and we will have a nice new kitchen.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Our Exciting Easter

Evan posin' in his hip new Easter duds

Happenin Harry in his sweet Easter clothing

Evan sampling the funeral potatoes before they get put in the oven

As you can see we had a pretty fun holiday. We had a pretty nice time at church even though we had to leave a bit early because Evan was super tired. Church is always right when he would normally nap so we often have to leave early with a cranky child. He will just not fall asleep anywhere but his bed. Dinner was nice and simple. We bucked tradition and got a roasted chicken from Costco since we still had ham left over from Christmas. The only thing that I had to make was the funeral potatoes, a nice and super rich dish that we only have for Easter. My mom sent us chocolate Easter bunnies so combined with the ones I got we were in chocolate heaven.

The real fun came when the power went out for an hour and a half. Evan had a blast playing with the flash light. He thought it was funny when I turned it on an off. He was also entranced by the candles. Luckily it did not last too long. I hope that everyone had a happy Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! It has been a pretty fun last two days. We didn't really do too much birthday wise for me on the actual day. I did go to a kickin bridal shower that had good food and the games were not too corny.

Tonight my friend and her husband watched the kids for us while my husband and I went out to dinner and a movie. For dinner we went to Outback stakes. Yummy! I like a bit of red meat now and then. My husband is not a big steak guy because growing up they raised their own steer and my MIL loves to make sure meat is very well done. She loves her shoe leather LOL

We bought Papa Murphy's pizza for the folks at home and when we got home we realized that my friend must have never made that kind of pizza before because the top was done but the crust was raw. My husband thinks she must have cooked them both in the oven at the same time. She is not from this country so I will have to give her a pass on that one. I don't think they have Papa Murphy in New Zealand.

The movie we saw was V for Vendetta. I am a big fan of Hugo Weaving, I think he really was the star of the Matrix series. Without him it would not have been as compelling. He was very excellent in this movie as well. He was wearing a smiling mask the whole time but his voice is expressive enough to make his emotions come through. I also liked the premise of the movie, that ideas live on after the person that stood for the idea is dead and that people should not fear the govenrment but the government should fear the people. It is a movie well worth seeing.

P.S. As I was looking up Hugo Weaving I noticed that he has a son named Harry. I like him even more for having great taste in naming his children.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Martha Stewart, Martha who?

I am so totally crafty sometimes I even amaze myself. Here is the pictures of the present I am giving at the bridal shower I am going to tonight. I wrapped the towels around some really nice massage oil and was trying to figure out how to wrap it. This is what I came up with.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today I turn 27 years old. That truly is not all that old but I am reflecting back a bit on my 20s since I am heading out of them shortly. I entered into my 20s with so much on my plate. I was in college to become a high school teacher but at the back of my mind I also had the possibility of mommy also being a career before long. I had not yet met my husband or anything but I was on the prowl looking to at the very least have a boyfriend. I was pretty lame in high school and my first serious boyfriend turned out to be my husband. I guess you could say that I got it right the first time, hee.

Being married has been nice but what has truly changed who I am and how I think has been becoming a mother. I suddenly had these demanding tiny little human beings in my life. Sleeping in, true vacations from work and time to myself have become very rare things indeed. My life is richer in so many ways. I have learned more about unconditional love than I ever thought I needed to know. I understand my mother in ways that I never had before. I am becoming more like my mother and suddenly that is not so bad any more.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Harry's First Taste of Solid Food

I took the plunge and gave Harry his first taste of baby cereal today. I had planned on waiting a bit longer but he has been getting very grabby. I had mentioned earlier that when he was two months old he was starting teething. Well that tooth decided to go back into hiding so I still have the joy of toothless grins at almost five months old. I had to replace all of the old cereal that we had barely used with Evan because bugs invaded it, ICK!!!! Enjoy the pictures.

What is this stuff you just put in my mouth?

Oops a little dribbled out of my mouth

Here I am helping mommy put the spoon in my mouth

Mommy let me have to spoon so I could try and feed myself

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It is all about the barf

Evan is a champion puker. I think that if it was an Olympic event he would win the gold medal. This all stems from his rough start in life. He was intubated for several days after his first surgery and also had a NG tube down the back of his throat for over a year. His reflux didn't help either.

I get home from a blissful trip to Target with out any kids. I hear screeching. I rush upstairs thinking that possible Harry awoke while I was away and was not going back down. Nope! It was Evan who should have been in bed but was not. I was also assaulted by a horrible stench. The smell of vomit.

Evan's puke was not too bad when he was younger. Breastmilk does not smell all that bad until it has been sitting in the carpet for a few days. Baby food is also not too smelly because when he was yacking it up it had been barely in his tummy for more than a few seconds. When he was put on pedisure was when the smell started getting to me. I was barely pregnant with Harry and in the throes of morning sickness (that lasted all day by the way) when he was switched over. About that time his body had decided that it was tired of the NG tube night feeds we were giving him, so he was puking almost every night and sometimes more than that.

Once we had the g-tube put in the puking stopped for the most part but by then he has discovered that mom and dad freak out and give him what he wants if he threatens to puke. That was the start of what I call his temper tantrum pukes. We wised up and when he would do that we would put him in his playpen so he could puke away if he decided he wanted to go that way. Suddenly the instances of puking dropped again.

Now and then he will slip one past us which is what happened tonight. For some unknown toddler reason, he just lost it with my husband. Chunks of dinner mixed with the bottle of Carnation Instant Breakfast that he gets every night was spewen all over the bathroom floor. Thank goodness it was not the carpet, but the we are wise parents now and own a carpet cleaner. I hope that this puking thing will dissapear after awhile, sooner rather than later would be nice but I am not holding my breath on that one.

P.S. That picture is not him after puking, but it was funny and seemed oddly appropriate. He looks totally stoned because he was in the process of blinking when the picture was taken.

Monday, April 10, 2006

We're just crackers about cheese*

This family is filled with cheese enthusiasts. We eat a ton of it every week. The thing that gets me is that even my ultra picky tube fed child will happily consume cheese in any form. Saturday we went to Grocery Outlet, we go there now and ten to see what is there and sometimes get good deals on stuff we already use. We also often pick up a lot of fun stuff that we totally do not need.

While there I picked up a tube of goat cheese. I have been looking for different ways to keep fattening up Evan and I thought I would give some goat cheese on crackers a try since he was tired of cream cheese at the moment. The kid loved it!! The strong flavor did not phase him in the slightest. I can't believe that this kid will turn his nose up at so many things and then gobble down a food that most Americans would not touch with a ten foot pole.

*1,000 points to the person that guesses where I got the title for my post from.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

5 Easy Steps to Pissing Off Your Wife

This post is a guide for men that may stumble across this blog and not know the finer points of how to piss off you wife. Every step that I talk about was done in one day to me by my very accomplished husband. He is the master of pissing his wife off. He needs a medal for it or something.

  1. When your wife asks you to do the dishes because there are only three clean bottles giver her lip about it. Mention that you might like a day off now and then from doing chores. Never mind that doing the dishes is your only chore and the reason there are only three clean bottles is that you did not do the dishes YESTERDAY! Also ignore the fact that she never gets a break from her work.
  2. When she is busy making a new and complex dinner recipe allow the baby to work himself into a frenzy of crying. Then proceed to ignore all of her advice on how to calm the baby. Bring the screaming child into the kitchen and complain that nothing is working. When she suggests taking him on a walk outside, walk five feet from the front door then come back and complain that the walk didn't work. Put the baby in his crib and then take the toddler on a walk so YOU don't have to hear the baby crying because it is giving YOU a headache.
  3. Flick water onto your wife's face. After having such a stressful dinner she is sure to be in a fun and playful mood. Act surprised when she gets very mad at having to clean the water off of her glasses.
  4. Allow the bath water to get very deep so that some must be drained out so that the baby will not drown in the tub. Complain that you were so busy with bathing the toddler that you could not possible pay attention to something as trivial as the depth of the water. Ignore the fact that only days earlier you scolded for being unable to multi task because she burnt part of dinner.
  5. Throw a towel in her face because you are mad at her for being mad at you about the water. Then get all passive aggressive and state that since nothing you have done today meets with her approval then you will do nothing in future. Then tell her that she does nothing in the house and you do everything. Feel all superior because about once a month you clean the kitchen (ignoring the floor that has not been mopped in weeks) and you fold some of the laundry now and then. Ignore the fact that everything else that is needed to run the household is done by her.
I swear some days I want to run away and hide. I want him to be stuck at home with the kids all freaking day. I want him to know what it feels like to know that if you want to go anywhere you have to drag two children along. I want him to quit thinking that because he goes to work he is entitled to slack off when he gets home. I want him to stop acting like the kids keep him from his hobbies. He spends an awful lot of time on the computer for someone that "has to take care of the kids the second he gets home" I want him to listen to my suggestions about how to calm the baby. I swear the second that baby starts crying his brain shuts down.

My husband can be the most frustrating person alive. It seems to me that the days he does the sweetest things (like get me 1 gig of memory for my digital camera as a birthday gift) and then hours later he becomes the biggest ass ever.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fun for the kids

Every now and then I decide that we should actually pretend like we are a part of the military community. We get up and go to whatever activity is going on and put in an appearance. Today that activity was an Easter egg hunt put on for the kids. They also had free breakfast at the galley, woo hoo! (NOT) The food was standard cafeteria fare.

Apparently Seafood Friday is a grand spectacle but we have never made it out for that. We rarely do to anything on base because we don't live there and it is a half hour drive from where we do reside. The upside to not living on base is that we have shopping near by and don't have to live out in the sticks. Downside is that we hardly know any one, so the activity was pretty lame for me socializing wise. I need to get more involved with the spouse's association but after a long day with the kids I am often too tired to attend the meetings.

Evan had fun picking up the eggs and putting them in the bag. Sadly the eggs for the younger kids were all filled with animal crackers. I was secretly hoping that they would be filled with candy that I could steal. Evan seems to like the animal crackers because he is cramming them in his mouth as I type this. I guess I am going to have to buy my own dang candy.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another 6 Years

Today my husband just reenlisted in the military for another six years. This pretty much guarantees that he will be going career since you either invest 20 years in the military or you get no retirement. My husband was very much on the fence about this pre Evan. He had this thought that there was this perfect job out there where no one would annoy him and the working position would be perfect.

Reality, in the form of Evan's heart defect, convinced him that it is best for the family that he stay in. Evan's heart defect means that insurance will be a huge problem for us. He could make more money on the outside but then we would have to pay insane premiums for bad coverage which would eat up any gains we would make in salary. We would also most likely be making too much money to qualify for state aide, which I would not even want my son on unless we really had to. I don't want him to be treated like a charity case.

We also get a nice bonus which will be saved for the day when we move to a state without insane housing prices. My husband longs for a house of his own, he has since we got married. He was a real estate agent pre-military but he is such a nice guy that he only managed to sell one house and it was to his sister. The funny thing is that house was only a few houses away from my parents so they keep in better contact with them that we do. He had us looking at houses when all we could qualify for was a $60, 000 loan. Even in a place without the insane prices of California (we were in Utah at the time) that much does not buy you a lot.

I think that all in all the military is a good place for our family right now. We will have to be moving around a lot, but I kind of like the thrill of moving to a place I have never seen before and finding housing in 10 days. I have met a lot of neat people and with the internet I do not have to loose contact with them. I love that this job provides enough money for the family that I am able to stay at home with the kids. Here's to another six years!!! Cheers!

An addendum to my sling post

I also love my sling because I can go out with out a bra and in a messy shirt and the baby covers all of that bad stuff up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My favorite baby gadget

It has been raining for the longest time, I am so ready for it to stop so we can get on with spring. Because of the rain I have been going a bit stir crazy so I thought I would take the kids to the mall, something I rarely do. While I was there I had three different people ask me about my sling that I carry Harry around in. They were amazed at how handy it was and how comfortable it looked.

My sling was purchased when Evan was about five months old. He was too tall for his infant car seat so we no longer had the convience of having the carrier that would snap in and out of the car. I had to figure something out for shopping since he was not sitting up on his own. I tried all sorts of things to keep him upright in the shopping cart with no success. One day while out shopping at a consignment store/children's boutique I saw it, the perfect solution to my problem, my sling.

I had considered slings before but the ones I were seeing were padded and bulky looking. This one was made of simple fabric. It was a ring sling so it was fully adjustable. The biggest bonus was that it was much cheaper than the ones I had been looking at online. I took the plunge and bought it despite the fact that I could hear in my head my husband questioning the purchase of yet another baby gadget.

That sling was a life saver and it is even more indispensable with the second child. Double strollers are just too big and bulky for malls and other stores. Having a child in the seat of the shopping cart and a baby carrier in the basket mean that there is no room for the stuff you need to shop for. Harry is a very high needs baby and the ability to have him close while leaving my hands free has kept me from going nuts. So, if you are having another little one or know someone that is, the sling is a great gift.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Things on my mind

I just watched the TV show Miracle Workers for the first time and it really touched home for me because they showed a little boy going through the same surgery that Evan will be facing in the fall. It was amazing how the parents were feeling exactly the same way that I am. It was so heartbreaking to have to watch them give their precious little boy over to the surgery team, not knowing for sure if they would get him back or not. I was wonderful for them to see him for the first time after surgery and see him pink for the first time in his life.

I have been really noticing how out of breath Evan is getting when he does simple things like walk across the room. It is hard for me to see that because it really drives home the fact that he really needs the surgery soon. It is strange to see Harry and Evan in the bath together, because you really notice how blue Evan is and how pink Harry is.

A lot was glossed over in the show about the realities of having a child go through heart surgery. One big thing is when the surgeon said it was rare for kids to die from the surgery. It is not rare and even if they make it through the surgery you will be holding your breath for a long while after because of many complications that can happen.

I was a member of an email list for parents of children with CHD but had to leave it after five children passed away in a matter of months. All of them from complications due to surgery. My heart could just not take it any longer. I ached for the parents as I prayed that nothing like that would happen to my baby.

The only thing that has really kept me going has been my faith. It is something that I have not talked about in depth because it is such a personal thing. I do know that God has blessed me with one of his most special spirits to be my child. I know that Evan's heart defect is a thing of this world. Evan will be resurrected and will have a perfected body in the next life. I know that every day I have him on this earth with me is a blessing, even though some days seem like they are less of a blessing than others. I know that while I have been through the depths of despair, these trials have made me a stronger person with a deeper faith than I would have had if I had not had such a trial. I would not wish this on anyone but I am truly not sad that these things have happened to me. Evan is not sad, so why should I be?

Monday, April 03, 2006


I love my parents!!! They are totally awesome. My birthday is this month (on the 13th just in case you haven't bought my present yet) and today I got a package from Amazon. It is my present from my folks and it contains (yes I opened it already! I am an adult and don't have to wait unless I want to.) the first two volumes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, my favorite TV show. Only Lost has a chance of supplanting it in my list of favorite TV shows. I am going to pop one in as soon as I finish this. Hee!!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Good morning!!

I got to sleep in today thanks to daylight savings time. Harry did not wake up until 7am. The funny thing is that I somehow do not feel refreshed. Stupid daylight savings time!!!

I really hate how this time changes messses with the schedules of the children. They don't care what the clock says, they have not yet learned that it makes a differency. *sigh* Wish me well today. I hope I make it though.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dude I am sooo Tired

The big yard sale was not a huge success unless you ask Evan and then it was the best thing ever. It was way crowded and since we ended up getting there a little while after the doors opened all the really good stuff was gone. I saw a ton of people that were leaving with great toys. The clothing was overpriced for the quality. A lot of the stuff was extremely worn, like it had been through 20 kids. Evan found a wheeled Hot Wheels suitcase and insanity fell in love.

Both of the kids have been super cranky. As I am typing this Evan is wanting on and off my lap while I am bouncing Harry in his bouncy seat. The crankiness comes from the colds that the both of them have. Wednesday Harry woke up from his nap with a super snotty nose and Evan followed soon after. I have been giving Evan some cold medicine because his snot makes him gag and then throw up. Fun huh? The problem is that the medicine makes him twice as cranky so it is a trade off between the puke and the crankiness.

Me? I am exhausted. I have been up since 5:30 this morning with out a nap. My darling husband can't understand why I am being so crabby and I burned the biscuits for dinner. The bright spot of my day will be when I can get into my bed which is made with the 300 thread count pima cotton sheets that we got on clearance today. That will be heaven indeed.