Thursday, March 25, 2010

In which we take the mall by storm

I don't frequent the mall. Most of my shopping is done online for now. Of course, most of my shopping is for two small boys. My clothes, at least the ones that aren't maternity clothes, are all three years old if not much older.

Yesterday, I had a shirt from Gymboree that I needed to return because the sleeve fell apart the first time I washed it. I figured it would be easier to just pop by and swap it out at the store rather than mailing it and all. I also wanted to get Bird some Crocs for the summer, so I had two reasons to go. I always have to have at least two reasons to go to the mall.

I dropped Bird off at preschool. Squeak and I headed to Crabtree. On the way there, I realized that we didn't have any money in the account. Kevin was in a meeting and couldn't make the transfer. I didn't want to go home because I was almost there and dang it - I had worked out my day so carefully. So I called Momma and walked her through (she has the patience of a saint, I tell you) transferring money online for me. Crisis averted. Ha.

Squeak and I returned the shirt and wandered over to the Crocs store. Did you know there was a whole store of Crocs? Do we really need that many different kinds of Crocs? And are there really enough adults still wearing them to warrant an entire store? Apparently so. Who knew?

Anyway, I found some navy blue Crocs for Bird and went to check out only to find that I had no debit card. No way to pay. I wasn't sure what I was more upset about - losing my debit card or having my shopping day ruined.

By the time I got home, I remembered that Kevin had taken my debit card to use at the ATM. It wasn't lost, so I was free to just be annoyed that my shopping trip was ruined.

All of this to SAY, we went back to the mall last evening as a family. We left the mall with more questions than purchases.

  1. When did the mall become the place for strippers to shop?
  2. Okay, so that was harsh. How about this: When did the mall become the place for 14 year old girls who want to look like strippers to shop?
  3. How come I can't find anything between Ann Taylor and Target that I might possibly want to wear?
  4. Why does our Food Court have two Greek restaurants, but yet there doesn't seem to be one decent one outside the mall?
  5. When did stores stop taking checks? Like at all?
  6. Is it ever possible to get past the hair straightening kiosk without one of those women chasing you down with a blazing hot iron? As in, I'm wearing my infant child, so no, I don't want you to sample your burn maker on me.
  7. When did everything get so expensive?
  8. When did I get so old?
By the time we were done eating dinner and shopping, we had come to some clear realities about ourselves. We are old. We are cheap, but with expensive tastes. We are more crunchy than 99% of the people at the mall. We probably shouldn't go back anytime soon.

It's true. We really should avoid it for awhile. Considering that some of the highlights included Bird's gDiaper leaking a river, causing us to let him go pantless for the rest of the trip AND Squeak needing to nurse in the middle of Ann Taylor, but Bird needing to go to bed, so I compromised and got Squeak latched on in Ann Taylor and then just walked through the mall to the car while nursing Squeak and trying to get Bird to quit screaming . . . well, let's just say we created a bit of a scene.

Bird: no pants and very loud.
Squeak: latched on and grunting.
Me: half a boob hanging out and mei tei dragging along behind me.
Kevin: stroller, diaper bag, and all purchases hanging from each arm.

Crabtree will never be the same.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Common sense

It's amazing how very little time I have at the computer where I have two free hands. If I'm sitting down, I'm either nursing or holding a sleeping baby. If neither of those things are going on, then I'm on the run. And I cannot type with one hand. If my fingers can't keep up with my brain, I get very bored.

There has been plenty going on. Both boys have been to the emergency room, and Squeak was admitted and spent 3 days in the hospital. Both boys are fine now, and I've learned a great deal about being a parent in a worst case scenario driven health care system.

First, Bird was sent to the ER in the middle of the night by the call service nurse for our pediatrician. After days of fever from a fever virus that had finally climbed to 104.9 that morning, we found him crying in his crib with a temperature of 95 that night. Weird. So I called, and we were sent packing to the ER.

The short version, which is just as interesting but far less painful than the long version, is that Bird was just fine. In fact, by the time the doctor saw him, he was dancing around the exam room like Mick Jagger in his footie pajamas. We felt ridiculous for being there when what we should have done was gotten him up at home and observed him there for a little while before calling or going in. Lesson #1 learned.

Being the generous big brother that he is, Bird shared his virus with Squeak. Even though I know fever is serious in itty bitties, I wasn't that worried. His fever was 100.8 though, and I felt more comfortable taking him to the pediatrician. He looked good. He was eating, peeing, and pooping normally. So she ordered a blood culture and a urine sample and sent us home after consulting with some of her colleagues because of his age. I admit, I was nudging her along to the "go home" decision. I did not want to end up in the hospital with Squeak.

Beverly, our pediatrician, wanted to see him the next morning, just to be on the safe side, so we went back in and she declared him fever free and looking good. Big sighs were issued on a dodged bullet on this one, and we said our good byes.

Then, around 4:00 that afternoon, another doctor in the practice called and told us we had to get Squeak to the hospital NOW. As in, I was nursing him at the time and was supposed to stop and go to the ER. Weird, since he hadn't had a fever all day and seemed fine.

Again, the short version is far more interesting. He's fine. Not for a lack of invasive testing though. Bacteria in the blood is serious - if it's making you sick. However, there are instances where it's not making you sick, and there are even more instances of blood cultures being wrong due to contamination.

After three blood cultures (one out of each arm and the last out of his ankle), two catheters for urine cultures, one spinal tap, and a weekend of IV antibiotics, they decided that Squeak had a virus that he had kicked on his own.


While I think we all did the right thing at the beginning, there was definitely a point when I should have stood up and argued more. Demanded that they start using common sense and stop following the doctor rule book. I understand that rules are there for a reason, but Squeak was so obviously NOT sick anymore - it was just ridiculous to keep torturing him with that IV and more blood culture draws.

I should have stood up for my baby and said no to the last round of tests. I know now.

The nurses we had were wonderful though. It was refreshing to be around nurses who assumed that as Squeak's mama, I had it under control. They treated us with common sense actually. I stayed with him, and he co-slept with me the whole time. They never questioned whether I was feeding him enough and never suggested that I didn't know what was best for him. Since he showed every sign of a healthy baby with faulty test results, they treated him that way. Instead of following the clock, they followed his cues and took his temp when he happened to be awake. They made the stay quite bearable, and I am very grateful.

It's hard to argue with a doctor though. One of them asked me at one point if I actually had a scientific background. I guess I wasn't supposed to question so much? I told her that I did not, but that the definition of stupid was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Okay, so I didn't really say that, but I wanted to, and said some extremely nice version of it that went something like, "doing the same test over and over again until you get the result you want seems very unscientific to me."

It's hard to argue with a doctor when they have the scare card in their deck. "IF" is a very powerful word when it comes to your child's health.

There has to be a balance when it comes to listening to the parent and following the doctor rule book.

I wonder if they wrote common sense into the fancy new health care bill? The health care system could use a huge dose of common sense for sure.

Home again and happy about it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dumb rules I made before I had children

I will never buy my children clothes with licensed characters on them . . .

I've added a new category to the blog. It's called "Dumb rules I made before I had children."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Certain, I think.

Today was my last appointment for this pregnancy and birth. The six week check up. I'm officially released into the wild again.

I am sad.

The thing is, I loved going to the Birth Center. I looked forward to my appointments and now they are over. I loved this journey of learning to trust my body and my baby. I loved the whole experience. And now with the help of Zoloft, I'm loving the postpartum period too.

I'm so happy with the way everything went and how everything is, I could be pooping rainbows.

Only now it's over.

I know what people will say. Nice people will reassure me that there might be another one. You never know what the future holds. Maybe you'll have one more. They will be trying to make me feel better.

The problem is, I know in my heart that we're done. It's not that we only wanted three children; truth be told, we would enjoy one or two more. There are so many things to consider though, the biggest of which is time.

Kevin and I didn't get married just so we could have kids. We got married because we love each other and because neither of us can think of another person we would rather spend time with. We got married because we love to walk together, cook together, travel together, make music together, go to concerts together, and 100 other things together. Selfishly, we would like to get back to some of those things as a couple before we turn 60. If that's going to happen (and we remain the kind of parents we want to be), we have to stop having kids.

Another issue with time is that Lovely is entering high school this year. That means in just four more years, she'll be heading to college. We want to be able to spend time with her. We want to go to the football games if she's in the marching band. We want to support her in whatever she chooses to do. A lot of what she'll be doing will take place at night, and right now, I would have to stay home with the boys. And taking a 3 year old to a piano recital? Not a good idea.

And still another time limitation is that I truly believe each child deserves some valuable one on one time with each parent during the week. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, Kevin works his hiney off. Between the amount of work he has to do and the commute, he is easily gone 50-60 hours a week and then still might have work to do from home. Add to that the never ending home addition, and you have a daddy whose time is stretched pretty thin as it is. Another child would likely mean someone's going to end up shortchanged.

I probably don't even have to mention our age. Neither of us are spring chickens, and by the time we would be ready to add another bambino to our clan, I would be 39 and Kevin would be 48. He wants to be able to keep up with his boys and be a fun, active dad. As do I (inserting "mom," of course). Watching him doing flips in the inflatable bounce house on Sunday, I marveled at his youth and called BS on his claim of being an old man. However, I respect the fact that he doesn't want to be 66 when his last kid graduates from high school. I get that.

I know I'm going to have to be talked down from the baby bug again and again. Shoot, even though we've planned on a permanent contraceptive procedure, I still brought home information on an IUD today. Just in case.

But really, I know. And really, I'm okay with it.

It says a lot about a place and the people that work there though, to have them make me want to have another baby just because they helped make the experience so wonderful. Thank you, WBWC. I love y'all more than you know.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Parkinson's brothers

Disclaimer: My family can be weird. Shut up. So can yours. Yes, I'm about to tell you that I read important family news on my mother's blog. It's better than when I read it on her Facebook page.

This morning I was catching up on some blog reading, including my momma's blog. It's a good thing I did, because I learned some big news. My uncle has Parkinson's. My father's little brother has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Just like my father.

My first thought was how horrible that is for him. Just in general.

Then I jumped to how horrible it is that he has watched my father's plummeting decline for the past six years. He has a good idea of what is in store for himself, and it isn't pretty. I think this would be a case of ignorance being bliss.

Finally, I jumped to the selfish thoughts. About heredity and genetics. Two brothers hit with the same disease at almost the exact same time in their lives? My mind jumps to my twitching leg and my recently diagnosed depression. Is the anxiety I battle a precursor? Because I know my father battled it. I fight many of the same battles I watched him succumb to as I grew up. The temper, the nervousness, the paranoia. I see myself in him so very much.

I had been convinced that my dad's illness was tied up to his chemical exposure in Vietnam. That it was completely environment that made this happen to his body. I guess we know now that's not the case. The obvious answer would be genetics, but then again, it could be toxins from when they were children. They have never lived in the same place as adults though.

I want my husband, who works in genetics research, to figure this out. Ironically, he'll probably be the first to tell me that trying to find a genetic link will just give us more questions rather than answers. Or something like that. Stupid science. Dumb genetic research.

Is there prevention? I guess that's the question that I really should be seeking an answer. It's worth a shot at the very least, and more than likely, any prevention is tied up tight within a healthy lifestyle that I should be living anyway.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yes, I still blog here

Gratuitous picture of my beautiful boys. Bird always wants to hold Squeak. It's sweet and a little dangerous all at the same time. He's going to love his little brother to death if we don't watch out.


Remember that last post? The one with the bullets? With this bullet in particular?

  • I don't feel well. I've had a low grade fever all week, have some sort of weird rash on my legs and back, my skin aches to the touch and itches, and some of my joints hurt. How weird is that? I'm almost embarrassed to call for an appointment because those symptoms are just lame. But dude, I really don't feel well.
Yeah. The next day, I couldn't walk without help. We headed to the urgent care and found out that I had a nasty case of shingles.

Fair. Not. All that work to be back up and going right after Squeak's birth was hosed. I was down for the count for at least a week and have just now, almost 3 weeks later, gotten back to being able to handle a normal day of activity without my leg crying out in pain at the end of the day. The not very creative way to put it is that it completely sucked.

The salt in the proverbial wound is that my leg, which is currently one of two parts of my body that aren't pudgy (the other being my wrists), and is my husband's favorite part of me, is pretty scarred up now. I'm not sure if it's going to go away. I suppose only time will tell. I hope so, but I'll take the scars over the pain any day.


This morning, Squeak and I are headed to our La Leche League meeting. Poor Bird is sick again, so he's staying home with his daddy. Bird had to be picked up from preschool yesterday, and by 5:00 this morning, I had him in a lukewarm bath trying to get his fever of 104 to break. He's better this morning, but I'm grateful that Kevin stayed home to help. Yesterday was not easy.

Anyway, I've been thinking about La Leche League and wondering if I might want to become a leader. In theory, I would love to. I'm just not sure that I'm "LLL enough" to be a leader. I'm pretty moderate in my parenting philosophies if you were to average them out. As in, we vaccinate on schedule for the most part, but an artificial nipple will not touch Squeak's lips. As in, we co-sleep until the baby is ready to move, but eventually we are going to do some sleep training if we need to. Basically, we do what works for our family, and at the end of the day, I think that might be "LLL enough," but I'm not sure.

I really believe though, that moms need support and encouragement to breastfeed successfully. If that is something I could do, I think I would like to. I'm a little fearful of the commitment also. Sound wishy washy? Yeah. I know.


It's March, and I haven't written about Bird's second birthday. So many people just flat out ignored his birthday this year. I wasn't one of them, but I didn't do as much as I would have liked. But it hurt my feelings for him - being ignored for your birthday is rotten, even if you are only 2 and don't realize it yet. Hurts my mama heart.

That's all I'll say about that now. He deserves a full post for his big 2 year old day.


Amazingly, I got to type all of this in one sitting and didn't have to hold any children while doing so. If I don't stop now, that will no longer be true. So I end here, with way too much left to say, and a severe lack of editing in this wad of words. My apologies.