Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

Hey, I remembered this week! I've just had my PMS tea, and I feel ready to write this. Let's go! I'm thankful for:

1) the aforementioned PMS tea. It rocks. And it keeps me from wanting to hurt someone, which is always a plus.

2) our mortgage payment going down. This means....and I can hardly type it, because my eyes are tearing up with joy...we can afford for Merry Maids to come once a month. Hallelujah, praise God. You might be thinking, You're a SAHM and you're going to have maids come in? You got that right, sister. I have FMS, so I can't do most cleaning, per my doctor.  If you don't like it, bite me:)

3) Audrey's photo shoot going so well yesterday. We got some AWESOME shots, and she's just beautiful. Look at her:

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4) Matt's biopsy being benign. He had a tumor removed from his leg a week and a half ago, and we got the test results yesterday.

5) the Baby Einstein San Diego Zoo DVD, which keeps Audrey occupied while I have my breakfast.

So tell me, what are you thankful for today?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day one of sleep training (or Sleep training bites)

Matt and I have come to the conclusion that Audrey needs sleep training. She's basically been STTN since she was 6 weeks old (don't hate me), with an approximately one-month interruption due to the hateful 4-month wakeful (hey, that rhymed).

So, we didn't think we had a problem. That is, until we started noticing that other people's babies, at Audrey's age, were definitely getting naps that were longer than 30 minutes. And that it wasn't normal for her to be awake for a 4-hour time period when she was five months old. Not to mention the Tuesday debacle, when she was awake for 7 straight hours. And our little angel had become extremely cranky during the day, and was fighting both Matt and me when we were trying to get her to sleep. The key word there is "trying".

I heard some Bumpies talking about the Sleep Sense program, so we decided to try it. Our first night was Wednesday night. And let's just say this: I felt like beating my head against the wall. IT WAS HORRIBLE.

The idea is that your baby shouldn't be depending on any "props" to go to sleep, such as:

1) parents rocking her (Matt initially balked at this one), and

2) soothers (whaaaaat??? no pacifier???).

However, we can rock her, and she can have soothers, but not when she's trying to go to sleep. So here's what went down on Day One; she cried for 1 hour and 45 minutes. We were in the room with her the whole time, soothing her, touching her, saying we loved her, telling her it was night-night time. We could pick her up, but we couldn't rock her to sleep or allow her to fall asleep in our arms, according to the program.

I can't even begin to describe how hard it was. Horrible, devastating, mentally scarring. Seriously. When your child is pushing up in her crib, sobbing, staring at you like, Why aren't you doing anything to help me?, it crushes your heart.

I had a panic attack (imagine that), so I broke out my herbal remedy given to me by my holistic massage therapist:

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I take it every 15 minutes "during times of challenge", according to the bottle. The wording of the directions makes me feel like some 19th century woman, swooning in her corset as she receives bad news. Since I was feeling very challenged that night, I was practically swigging the stuff, even though you're supposed to take 2-3 drops at a time. Ooops. Did I mention it's 27% alcohol? It's inactive, though, I'm sure. Right?

So, Audrey slept for 9 hours and 45 minutes that night. Since the book (Sleep Sense by Dana Obleman) says babies of Audrey's age should be sleeping at least 12 hours a night, I thought...BIG FAT FAIL.

to be continued...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shocked beyond belief--Audrey has WHAT?????

And I thought things couldn't get any worse. Please.

I wrote here about how I screwed up my appointment for my liver ultrasound this past Friday. Well, I actually managed to pull it off yesterday. I was a good little patient and didn't drink any coffee in the morning.  ::takes a bow::

Since we happened to be near Mom's house after the ultrasound, we decided to meet her for lunch. My phone rang, and it was a number I didn't recognize. My first thought, of course, was Oh no. They've found something really wrong with my liver and are contacting me right away.

I'm thankful that it wasn't that, but I was NOT happy to hear a nurse tell me that Audrey's so-called "stomach virus", which I wrote about here and here, was actually salmonella. Excuse me? I must have heard you incorrectly. In fact, what she actually said was, "I'm afraid Audrey has a little case of salmonella." Little? Are you freaking kidding me? Okay, I know she was trying to be nice and delicate in order not to upset me, but oh. my. word.

I was in shock. The nurse, Robin, said that Dr. J (not her regular pedi, the one she saw for the "virus") would be calling me after he saw all his patients for the day, that he wanted to discuss treatment options.

Okay, people, so you want to know how to freak out a mom? Tell her that her baby has salmonella, and then make her wait for HOURS for a phone call telling her how you're going to treat her precious baby.

I was in tears, and Mom didn't know what to say. Matt immediately got on the Internet, since I'm nuts when it comes to looking up symptoms for stuff. Like, I immediately jump to the worst possible scenario.

We didn't learn anything much, and before I knew it, it was 6:40. That's right, approximately 6 1/2 hours after receiving the initial phone call. I wanted to do this to that doctor:

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because I knew he was finished with patients for the day. The office was closed, for goodness' sakes. I decided to call the after-hours number, and what do you know? Dr. J was on call.

He apologized profusely for the confusion, saying he thought Robin told me about Audrey's treatment. He was so apologetic that I decided not to hurt him. Then he told me about the treatment. Guess what it was? Nothing. We do absolutely nothing.

Dr. J said that giving her an antibiotic would prolong the "carrier stage", the stage in which she would still be shedding salmonella cells. ::shudder:: The only reason I didn't argue was that he called a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist, and she agreed that she would not treat with antibiotics unless Audrey was 3 months old or younger. Who am I to argue with that? We're just supposed to monitor her, especially her temp, since a high temp would be the first sign that it's gotten into her bloodstream.

I asked him, where the heck did she get this? She has NONE of the risk factors, which basically are:

1. attending daycare with a child who has diarrhea (she doesn't go to daycare and hasn't played with any other small children),

2. having a reptile as a pet (I don't think so),

3. riding in a grocery cart next to raw poultry (NOT),

4. traveling outside the US over the age of 3 months (nope), and

5. drinking concentrated liquid infant formula (not powdered or regular).

Okay, she does have one of the risk factors now that I think about it, because she isn't breastfed. But still, who expects this diagnosis? Dr. J said he's only seen 3-4 cases of it, and there are only 50,000 cases in the US each year.

I just thank God, over and over again, that Audrey's feeling better. But I'm more worried than ever about her and the things that could happen to her. People are right; you don't really know worry until you have a child.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I can never remember to do "Thankful on Thursdays" posts, which has a great ring to it, you have to admit. I'm really, really going to try to remember this Thursday, but I need to do it today as well. Why? Well, because my SIL has officially crossed the line. She has allowed my nieces to be in danger, which I'll explain later when my anger has subsided somewhat.

Suffice it to say, my 7 and 9-year-old nieces now know about sex and rape. No, they weren't hurt, thank God. But their innocence and sense of safety has been lost, gone forever. So on this Sunday morning, I need to remember the things that are good in my life and not focus on what's happened. So here goes. I'm thankful for:

1. Audrey, my beautiful baby who I pray will not lose her innocence for a long, loooooong time.

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2. Matt. When I've been "unplugged" due to FMS, he takes care of my every need. Without complaint, without resentment.

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3. my parents, who've taken my brother into their home while he recovers. And my nieces, every other weekend (at least, usually more), even though they both work full-time.

4. good friends. I had lost touch with a couple of great people, and we're now planning to get our families together for lunch next weekend. It will be a blast!

5. my new book, which arrived in the mail yesterday:

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It's about FMS, and I can't wait to read it. Yes, I know it has a cheesy title, but who cares if it helps?

Have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Girl, you are crazy (SIL part 2)

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In this post, I started telling you about my insane SIL. I know you're all waiting with bated breath for the continuing saga, so here we go...

I was 38 weeks pregnant, and SIL had just left my brother. Fine, okay, I could deal with this. Except for the fact that, instead of getting a place to live near my family (where we could help her with babysitting, picking up the girls from school, etc.), she decided to move near her family. Very, very odd, considering they've done practically nothing for her over the years. They wouldn't even come visit their granddaughters because they said it was too far away (about 30 minutes...I know, that's a long way. Pack an overnight bag). Puh-leeze.

Chaos ensued. Since Noah was not happy with SIL's parents even babysitting my nieces (from now on, I'll just call her parents the Insane Ones because it's more fitting), you can imagine what kind of hell broke loose. Seriously, not only do these people smoke around Elizabeth and Nichole, they have always left their ashtrays with smoking cigarettes in reach of the girls, ever since they were babies. And did I mention that Nichole has asthma? Yeah.

Many tears ensued, mostly on the part of my mom. You see, SIL had promised Mom many times that, if she and Noah were to separate, she would never, ever move near her parents because of the influences of The Insane Ones and the rest of their family.

I was caught in the middle, with my due date looming. I am prone to panic attacks, which is not good when you're trying to reach your due date. Let's just say I did lots and lots of yoga breathing.

So we dealt with it as best we could, but Thanksgiving was a sober occasion, as you can well imagine. SIL's empty chair seemed twice as big as it actually was. Total suckfest.

Meanwhile, SIL never called me, not even to check on my pregnancy. This was strange, since we'd talked at least once a day (sometimes half a dozen times) for the last nine months. To be fair, I didn't call her either, since I was in complete shock.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks to December 4, when we received news that my grandpa was dying. He was 91, so it wasn't a complete surprise, but still extremely upsetting. I dragged my 40 weeks' pregnant butt to his assisted living facility, knowing that this was the end. Did SIL show up? Nope, even though the rest of the family did. And even though she was pretty close to my grandpa.

After we got home, at about 10:00 that night, Matt's phone rang. I picked up, since he was already in bed. It was Michael, my step-dad. He told me that Grandpa had just passed away.

I immediately went to the nursery and sat in the glider. I'm not sure why, but Audrey's room has always been a comfort and place of peace for me. I cried and cried, but I didn't wake up Matt, as it had been a long, trying day, and I knew he needed his sleep.

Two hours later, guess what happened? I went into labor. Yes, you read that correctly.

to be continued...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big fat FAIL

This morning, I was supposed to go in for an ultrasound of my liver. Apparently, my liver enzymes are high. And my doctor wouldn't even venture a guess as to why, which grinds my gears.

I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight. I totally remembered about the eating thing; in fact, I made sure I had a really filling dinner so I wouldn't be hungry.

So I got up this morning, while Matt and Audrey were lying in bed, and what did I do? I started brewing a cup of this:

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...mmmmm...minus the fancy newspaper, yummy-looking scones, and glasses, of course.

Yep, I started reading my devotional and enjoying my morning cup of joe. When I'd finished about 3/4 of it, I remembered. Oh my word. What a flippin' dingbat I am! I even wrote it on my calendar, "No food or drink past midnight".

I immediately called the hospital and asked if it would make a difference. The lady said the creamer in the coffee made the ultrasound a no-go. Not sure why, but now I'm curious. Note to self: google that later.

Oh well. It turned out for the best, since I don't feel like going today anyway. And I got an appointment for Monday, so it's not like I have to wait for long. Matt said we have to put a post-it on the coffeemaker Sunday night so I won't do it again.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

The search for the Holy Grail

Well, we had to take Audrey back to the doctor again yesterday. That makes THREE visits in 8 days, including the first one where she caught the damn thing.

When Matt was changing her yesterday, he noticed blood in her diarrhea. Great. Like that can ever be a good thing.

He called me in there to check it out, just to make sure he wasn't seeing things. Nope, it was definitely blood. After a mini panic attack on my part, during which Matt called the doctor, we got an appointment at 1:30. TWO HOURS AWAY.

I did some deep breathing, took lots of Rescue Remedy (tell you about that later), and messed around on the Bump to distract myself. I also posted about it, and a couple of very nice Bumpies assured me that it was probably nothing serious, maybe an anal fissure from all the diarrhea (I know, disgusting...but not life-threatening).

So we got there, and the doctor basically told us nothing. We couldn't see our regular doctor again, haven't seen her since before the virus since we've been work-ins. I guess I can't say she didn't tell us anything, but that's how I felt when I was sitting there.

We had to bring in stool samples (fun for all, especially the nurses), and Dr. A said she'd send them off to be tested for E. coli (what the....?), salmonella, and all kinds of other similarly scary stuff. Then she said we wouldn't get the results for 4-5 days, and when we did get them, it wouldn't really matter what it was, since they couldn't do anything about it. Well, that's just great. I tell you, I'm getting EXTREMELY fed up with some parts of modern medicine, but that's a rant for another time.

The only helpful thing she said was to suggest that we use a new kind of Similac formula, made especially for babies with diarrhea. I immediately perked up. Finally, something I could do! I mean, just look at her.

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How can I let her down?

So we began the search for the Holy Grail, or this: Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yeah, I know it's small and you can't even see it, but I did promise you the Holy Grail. And that's what I felt like we were searching for yesterday, the one magical formula that could possibly make my child feel better. Because when your baby has had diarrhea for 8 days, sometimes 8-10 times a day, you are desperate, my friend.

Of course the doctor was out of samples. I called every specialized pharmacy Matt and I could think of on the way home, and no one had it. In the midst of all this, Audrey had another diarrhea diaper blow-out in the car and we had to pull over.

I went into Rite-Aid while Matt dealt with the diaper, mainly because I had on jeans and it felt like it was over 100 degrees yesterday. Me, high temperatures, high humidity, and fibromyalgia = feel like crap/possible panic attack.

There was an extremely helpful pharmacist there who called all over creation trying to find this elusive formula, including the NICU at our hospital, where they'd never even heard about it. By the time I left the store, I was DONE. I'd been up since 6:30, only eaten a granola bar and toast, and it was now almost 3:00.

The rest of the afternoon was just a blur, but I did call the pedi's office again, in total and complete desperation, to see if they knew of any place where I could get it. A very kind soul there spent hours trying to locate it, and discovered Publix could order it and have it by noon tomorrow (today). Thank God.

Then last night, Matt was looking around on the Internet and found it. Guess where? At a Walgreen's right down the road from us. Holy Mother of Everything.

I swear, I'm going to lose my mind if this doesn't end soon. But the important thing is, Audrey has a bottle of this fabulous formula under her belt (or onesie), and we'll be using it for the next several days. I just pray to God that it works.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The last few days have been hell

Audrey has been so, so sick. We've never experienced anything like this stomach virus before, and it's horrible. Before now, she's only had thrush and an ear infection, and those were nothing compared to this.

Our niece, Nichole, spent the night with us on Thursday, and we all went to the pool that evening. Here's Nichole:

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Isn't she cute? (And yes, she IS holding duplicate cut-out copies of the Jonas Brothers on either side of her head. And her favorite brother is the oldest one...kind of strange).

Well, Audrey seemed fine at the pool; she floated around in her little duck float, and this time (unlike at the beach), she was able to hold herself up in it. Last time we swam, one of us would have to hold her little tushie so she wouldn't sink into the water. Like this:

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Anyway, she seemed fine at the pool. She was kicking her legs around, as if she was actually swimming. So when she was a little lethargic on Friday, I just thought she was worn out from the pool. It always tires out my nieces, that's for sure. Which is why we take them swimming when they spend the night;)

But no. It was (and is) a big, nasty stomach virus. She's had so much diarrhea since Friday that I don't even know how many diapers we've changed. A LOT.  Matt called the doctor once on Friday, and they told us to give her .8 ml of Tylenol and some Pedialyte. We were going to take her in on Saturday morning, but her temperature was only 97.7. I was hoping it was just some kind of 24-hour thing.

It was not. Matt ended up phoning and talking to the on-call nurse twice on Saturday, which was the day her temp went up to 102.6 and she projectile-vomited all over the floor. It even splashed up onto the end table. Nice. I have to give Matt credit, though, because he actually held his hand out to catch the vomit. Ugh.

Saturday was absolute torture. Audrey cried in pain all day long, and it's horrible to hear your child in pain. This is the first time I've had to do that, and let me tell you, I would've taken that pain on myself in a second to spare her.

The nurse said, the second time Matt talked to her, that if she threw up again we'd have to go to the children's ER. I was NOT down with that. I would have gone if she needed it, but I really didn't want to spend hours in the ER with Audrey in so much pain, when she was at least getting some sleep here at home.

My mom came and spent the night on the air mattress in Audrey's room Saturday night, thank goodness. Matt and I still had the monitors on in our room, of course (we love you, AngelCare!), but it was nice to have a third pair of hands.

On Sunday night, just when Mom was about to leave, I was giving Audrey another dose of Tylenol when she vomited up everything in her stomach. I was practically in tears, thinking this was going to mean a trip to the ER and another dose of these:

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which are Klonopin, by the way, a really kick-butt anti-anxiety and insomnia pill. But thankfully, another call to the nurse revealed that we just needed to keep doing what we were doing.

Needless to say, we took Audrey to the doctor on Monday morning. The pedi said there was a bad stomach virus going around. And then I thought, that's where she probably got it! We went in last week for a re-check on her ear infection. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh.

So, there's really nothing we can do but encourage her to keep eating and change her ASAP after her bouts with diarrhea. There's nothing worse than seeing spasms of pain cross your daughter's face as the stomach cramps take over.

Now I understand what Mom meant, all those times she'd tell me she'd take my pain from me if she could. I get it now. And that's one of the hardest parts of being a mom.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I've never had this kind of physical therapy before

If you're a guy, I don't think you'll want to read this. Especially if you're a guy who's related to me in some way. It's about "women stuff". ::shudder:: In fact, if you know me at all, you probably don't want to read this.

So, I've had lots of physical therapy. For my foot, for fibromyalgia, for muscles in general before I even knew I had FMS. So I know the drill.

But I had some physical therapy yesterday that would blow. your. mind. If you'll remember, I wrote here about an extremely disturbing gynecology visit. You'll also remember, I said there's no way IN HELL that I'm getting a hysterectomy. I think one of the Bumpies said it best when she wrote "Yeah, sure, just rip out your uterus and throw you into menopause," or something to that effect. Amen, sister.

I had no idea they had physical therapy for women's health. Strange, because I usually know a lot about medical stuff, since I have so many problems of my own. And because I love to read about that stuff.

So I had absolutely no idea what to expect yesterday. None. And I was nervous. I mean, would I be up on a table, with my feet in stirrups, doing some kind of uterine exercises while other people lifted weights and worked out on the elliptical? You can imagine my horror at that scenario.

By the time Ambreen took me back, I was ready, though. I had done some yoga breathing on the way there and sung my lungs out to the radio, so I was good. She took me back into a private room and talked to me about private stuff. Yep, like my urine control, bowel control, and sex. Fun.

She made me feel totally comfortable, though. She was definitely not like any therapist I've had before; she's in her forties, Indian, with a nose ring. There's no way I could pull that off, but she does.

She told me she had four (!) kids. So I'm thinking, maybe she can help me after all. Because this is about sex, you know. How it's impossibly painful, and how I'd rather have a tooth filled. I immediately knew I was going to like Ambreen because, after I told her what Dr. C had suggested (hysterectomy), she said she was going to choke him, and used the hand motions to prove it. Nice. Because although I love Dr. C, I think he was really irresponsible to suggest a hysterectomy to me, after one exam and one complaint of painful sex.

It went really well, but I won't go into detail here because it would gross you out. But if your doctor ever tells you that you need a hysterectomy, PLEASE get a second opinion or at least ask if he/she knows of a place where people work with women's health problems. Because there is no reason for such a radical surgery in the majority of cases. In fact, Ambreen told me that, in all probability, I'd be better after 4-6 weeks of therapy. And that is a MAJOR load off my mind.

The point is, don't just trust your doctors blindly, because sometimes they have no clue what they're talking about. Trust me:)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Girl, you are crazy (SIL, part 1)

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I never planned on blogging about this because it's too personal, too rough and too raw. Yes, I want my blog to be about my feelings, but I'm not going to use it to bash anyone. So I will try not to do that, but I'm not promising anything.

My brother, Noah, and my SIL have been married for about 10 years. I've known her for maybe 13 or more, since they dated and lived together for a while before that. SIL (I'm referring to her not by name, but by Bumpie logo because it's impersonal and removed, and that's how I feel about her) and I have had a rocky relationship over the years. Kind of a love/hate thing. She's really bossy, stubborn, and opinionated, and I'm really stubborn and opinionated, so you can see where we would clash.

But for the last few years, she's been my best friend. SIL has frequently driven me crazy due to her intense negativity, but she's gotten me through a divorce and tons of other stuff. I felt I could talk to her and not put on a "front", like she was a real sister.

Back in October of last year, SIL started acting strangely. She wasn't spending much time at home, hardly any at all. But both her grandmother and her mother were very ill at the time, so it made sense. Neither of them could drive, so SIL claimed she was doing lots of errands for them, taking her mom to doctor's appointments, etc.

Then she called me, out of the blue, in November. She told me she was planning to leave Noah. I'm not going into the details here, but let's just say I didn't blame her, and I didn't blame Noah, either. Their relationship had been going downhill for a long, long time, and everyone could see it coming. She was clearly asking how I would feel about it, and I told her I would support both her and Noah during a divorce.

I did say, however, that it would be nuts for her to move over near her family. They are a special brand of crazy, one that I can't even fully describe here. Suffice it to say, Noah wouldn't even let SIL's parents babysit my nieces because of the influences over there.

I said, "You know they're crazy", and then I waited for her to laugh. Like she normally did. Because how do I know her family is insane? Well, most of my information came from her, of course. She didn't respond at all. She only said that she was going to leave Noah after she got a job.

I figured, in this economy, that would take a while. SIL only has a high school degree, and she was a SAHM for years, with not much experience doing anything but relying on my brother for support. Bazinga.

I think she called me on a Thursday. Guess when she left him? The following Saturday. That's right. The girls went to their regular school that Monday, and by Tuesday, they were enrolled in their brand-new one. They were told about the move on Sunday, after being led to believe that they were just staying over at their grandmother's on Saturday night.

Hmmmm...wth? She told us all that she didn't plan this. Who the heck does she think she's kidding? She had a place to live (duplex), a brand-new cell phone unattached to Noah's plan, and she'd already arranged for furniture and appliances for her new place.

Oh, and did I mention I was about 38 weeks pregnant at the time?

to be continued...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update on "to bang or not to bang"

In this post, I wrote about whether or not I should get bangs. And what a huge, life-changing decision it is (if you can't sense the irony here, you're probably reading the wrong blog).

And then I realized that I never updated you guys. I told you I'd let you know what I did, how it turned out, etc., but then I left you hanging. Like soap operas do on Fridays, when you have the whole weekend to go before the next episode.

So, my sincerest apologies, and...drum roll please...I got bangs. Yep, ballsy, huh? Here we are (me and my bangs, that is):

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It's not the greatest picture of them, but it's an adorable pic of Audrey, and that's all that matters.

And I really love them. It's nice to have a change from time to time. I'm not sure how some people keep the same hairstyle all the time. Maybe they find something that looks good and then they stick to it, which makes sense. It drives me nuts, though, with myself. But who knows? Maybe I'll be 80, walking around with my cane (full-time, not just when my FMS kicks me hard), a little old lady with gray hair and bangs.

See the positive side in me coming out? I could've said in a wheelchair, right? I'm making progress.

Monday, July 5, 2010

7 months today

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Dear Audrey,

I'm not going to say how fast time is going, but I'm thinking it. You are 7 months old today! What an accomplishment. At your last doctor's visit (for your 6-month check-up and an ear infection:(, you weighed 15.4 lb. and was 26.75 in. long. Daddy and I thought you'd be much heavier than that, but we were wrong. I guess you're going to be a skinny little girl. You were in the 30th percentile for weight and 78th for length. 

You're sleeping in your crib now, full-time. It wasn't as painful as I'd thought it would be, thanks to our trip to the beach. You slept in the co-sleeper in our room while we were there, and when we came home, you went right to your crib (Daddy's idea). It was great, since it was like a new start. Daddy never even set up the co-sleeper in our room when we got back.

For 5 or 6 nights, Daddy slept on the air mattress in your room while you were getting used to the crib. Dr. W, your pediatrician, said it would probably take at least 2 weeks, but you're a pro. When you wake up in the morning, you look around and just take in your surroundings for a while. I'm glad you no longer wake up're very peaceful. Of course, if we don't come get you soon enough, you'll let us know about it! 

You've tried your first vegetable...peas. You were fairly disgusted the first time you tried them, but now you're eating them up. We're so proud of you. We'll probably start with some carrots today, and we hope your skin doesn't turn orange. That's what happened to your cousin when she ate too many carrots as a baby!

So, we'll take your 7-month picture today and just enjoy being together as a family. Since Daddy's off work for the summer, we get to spend lots and lots of time together.

We love you so much, Bug. Happy 7-month birthday.

With all my love,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Re-homing our dog

This is our dog, T:

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This picture was taken on the day Matt and I got engaged, in February of 2006. As you can probably tell, I love T. I really do. I complain about him constantly, get mad at him daily, and sometimes want to physically harm him (relax, I don't).

But we're going to have to re-home him. I've been dealing with T's shedding for about 4 years now, and it is BAD. Let's just say that, even if we vacuumed every day, his hair would be EVERYWHERE. When my nieces, Elizabeth and Nichole, come over and play on the floor, as kids do, they are covered with dog hair. From head to toe.

Elizabeth, who's spent the night with us several times, is allergic to T. She has to take Benadryl every time she comes over, which zonks her out. That can be a good thing, if she's having one of her hyper days:) But seriously, there are times she can't even remember what we did when she spent the night, and that's not like her. Once, and I kid you not, we were standing in the Bi-lo parking lot waiting for Matt to load groceries in the car, and she fell asleep while standing. I've never, ever seen someone do that before.

But it's not because of Elizabeth that we need to re-home T, because unfortunately, she nor her sister get to come here as often as we would like. There are lots of reasons why we have to do this:

1) When I think of this beautiful little girl, Image and video hosting by TinyPic

crawling around our house covered in black hair, I cringe inside. Literally, I feel my insides shrinking up with disgust.

2. T's bark could raise the dead. He sounds like a Great Dane or Rottweiler when he barks, but he's actually quite small and wouldn't hurt a flea. Lick it to death, maybe. We've tried training him not to bark, yes, we've watched Cesar on TV show us how easy it is, but it only stops his barking maybe 3/4 of the time. And we have to be right there beside him in order to quiet him. And his bark scares the $hit out of Audrey.

3. I'm allergic to T. Before Audrey came, it really wasn't a problem, since the allergist told us to keep him out of our bedroom and I'd be okay. We've also trained him to stay out of the nursery, which shows he's a smart dog. But here's the deal; when Audrey starts crawling, she's going to be covered in the aforementioned dog hair. Then when I pick her up, I'm going to get it all over me. Which is going to be a serious problem.

We've thought of many different options, from putting him outside to taking him to training, but I won't go into detail here because this post is already too long. But I'd like to say, to all the people who keep trying to make me feel guilty about re-homing him, YOU ARE WELCOME TO TAKE HIM HOME WITH YOU. LIKE TODAY, RIGHT NOW. I'M SITTING HERE WAITING.

I am sick, sick, sick of having to defend our choice. Tired of it. I love that dog, and this is going to hurt me, and it's definitely going to hurt Matt, since he had him way before I knew him. It's easy to sit around and judge us for doing what we need to do, but not so easy when others (family or friends) could easily take him into their homes, as we've pleaded with them to do, and they won't, or can't. SO STOP JUDGING ME.

And if I hear one more person say, "A little dog hair won't hurt a baby", I will probably starting screaming and not stop for, like, hours. So if you'll help us out, take him. If not, shutty.

That is all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Peas, please...and Mama

July 1, 2010

I'm sitting at the table with Audrey, trying to feed her some peas. I say trying because they haven't been her favorite thing AT ALL. The first time she tried them, which was just a few days ago, she got the funniest expressions on her face. After one particularly gruesome bite, she squinted her eyes and shook her head vigorously, shuddering. She actually shuddered, and acted like she was trying to "shake it off" because the taste was so horrendous to her. Hilarious.

We should have gotten the whole thing on video, but I'm not sure if we did or not. Audrey tends to stop doing whatever cute thing she's doing when the camcorder comes out. And then no one believes that she did it, of course. Whatever, it's not like I'm bitter or anything. ::eye roll::

Anyway, she's grown to like the peas after the initial taste testing. I have to give her credit, since this is the only thing she's tasted besides formula, the occasional medicine, and rice cereal. She's doing pretty darn well, I think.

But this post isn't really about peas. It's about Audrey saying the words I've been wanting to hear for a long time..."ma ma ma ma ma". Like most babies, she started saying "da da da da" a while ago, and it's her favorite sound to make. "Ma ma", though, is a harder sound for the mouth to make. Try it for yourself, you'll see. And don't feel stupid, because everyone who's reading this is doing it with you.

As I was feeding her, I started saying "ma ma ma ma" absently, not even thinking about it. I frequently babble to her; guess that comes from being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) or something. Like I've forgotten how to have an adult conversation.

Audrey just stared at my mouth, like she was studying it. Then, wonder of all wonders, she said it. "Ma ma ma ma". I couldn't believe it! I thought it was going to take her a while to say it; I actually thought it would be among the last consonant sounds she made. Nope! She said it.

::side note:: She also said "Mommy" about a week or two ago, but nobody really believes that, either. She only said it once, but I do have a witness in my friend, Taz (not her real name, but since she's constantly whirling around like the Tasmanian devil, it fits).

When those words, those sounds, came out of Audrey's mouth, my heart melted into a puddle on the floor. I knew it would be incredible when she said them, but I didn't know the exact effect it would have on me. It made me feel so proud, that Matt and I have kept this little baby alive for almost 7 months now, and we've actually taught her some things. A very different feeling than I had while in the hospital, when one thought kept coming to my mind, "How can they let us take her home? We don't know what to do with her."

So, even though Audrey probably has no idea who "ma ma ma ma" is, and it was just a bunch of babbling, I don't care. I still feel good, all warm and fuzzy. And when she said "Mom" the next day, it was just about as good. (I don't care if you believe me or not, but Matt was there, so ha).

I don't want her to grow up too fast, or wish her life away, but it's going to be so interesting watching her grow and learn. I don't want to miss any of it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've just about had it

Okay, if you look a couple of posts down, you'll see where my gyno told me that I may need a hysterectomy this week. Seriously.

Well yesterday, I went to my general doc to get the results of my recent blood tests, since I have hypothyroidism. Good news: my thyroid is perfect. Bad news: my liver enzymes are still elevated, and have been since giving birth to Audrey.

I love my doc, Dr. L. He's gotten me through a lot of stuff, but I got really ticked off at him yesterday. He did a physical exam, pressing on the part of the body where my liver is (didn't know that at the time). It REALLY hurt, and I told him so. He grabbed my test results, mumbled something about being able to see better in his office, and left. HE WAS GONE FOR 30 MINUTES. He knows I have problems with anxiety...what the heck?

When he came back, he told me about the liver enzymes. My rheumatologist had already told me about this a few months after Audrey was born, but she said sometimes that happens after the birth of a baby. So I worried a little for about a day, then let it go.

But still elevated? So, of course, my mind goes to the darkest places...liver cancer, in need of a liver transplant, etc.

p.s. Matt offered to give me his liver, and I said, "Honey, you kind of need that to live." So sweet of him. ::pats his little head::

I asked Dr. L what exactly this means. He said, "I don't know." Aaargh. Don't get me wrong, I guess I'm glad that he didn't venture an uneducated opinion, but that only made my fears worse, like he didn't want to tell me. I said, "See, Dr. L, this is why I don't like taking all this medication." He just looked at me.

So, I need an ultrasound of my liver, time and date to be determined. I was really upset, especially after the gyno appt. from earlier this week. I actually ran off the side of the road on the way to my mom's house, where Matt and Audrey were waiting for me. Ridiculous.

I cannot take any more of this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Movie review--Eclipse

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Eclipse spoiler ahead: If you're a Twi-hater or haven't seen Eclipse yet, don't read!

Matt and I went to see Eclipse last night to celebrate his birthday and our anniversary. It was the best movie so far. I've enjoyed all the movies, but that's probably because I'm so in love with the books. Twilight had a tiny budget, so people who criticize it need to keep that in mind. New Moon was vastly better, but Eclipse rocked my socks off.

At first, I questioned Summit's decision to have different directors for each movie in the saga. But now I see that it is essential, since every book is so different. And David Slade did a bang-up job on Eclipse.

The vampires looked great...despite what I read in a review about their contacts being fake-looking. Ridiculous, because they looked fabulous. And Jacob, well...let's just say that every time he came on-screen with his shirt off, the girls in the theater went NUTS. They were actually screaming.

The movie was very fast-paced; I remember when I read Eclipse, it seemed long and drawn-out, though still very good. It's just a long novel. But of course, they can't include everything from the books in the movies, or they'd be 10 hours long.

The CGI was incredible. When Bella was standing by Jacob (in wolf form), it looked real. VERY real. And Kristen Stewart's acting is only getting better and better. She was a bit awkward in Twilight, but now she looks quite comfortable onscreen. I guess she's getting used to all the attention she's gotten since the first movie.

The fight scenes were outstanding, and we got to see more of the Cullens in this movie, which I loved. We saw Esme's fierce side, whereas before, we've only seen her as caring and loving.

So I can't wait for Breaking Dawn. Not sure if it's going to be split into two movies or not, but it probably should be. I'm not even sure when they're starting filming.

But I'm running off right now to find out. Love the Internet!