26 August 2008

I'll Take an Apple Juice, Heavy on the Liquor

Last Thursday was a one-hour test run for Preschool. I'm not sure if it was for the children or the parents, but either way it only lasted an hour.

While in the pick-up line, waiting anxiously for our children, one mom in front of me began a conversation with a mom behind me (might I excuse myself from your sandwich? thanks.)
"Are you ok?" she sniffled. "I was a mess. I looked for you earlier but I was really distracted. (Child's name) was so great. She went right on in without a tear!"

The other mom chuckled, switching her car keys from one hand-on-hip position to the other. "No...(chuckle)... I'm fine! I was sooo ready for this! I thought I wasn't last year but now I'm wondering why I waited so long!! I needed preschool!"

They laughed and began talking about some walking track and a car wash. I tuned out and veered my stroller out of their conversation.

And I thought to myself, I'm not either of those feelings. I'm not boo-hoo-ing uncontrollably at the classroom drop-off, rocking in the fetal position in a dark corner of the bathroom right next door but I'm also not throwing a thank-you-for-this-moment-of-freedom pass-me-a-margarita-and-some-menopause party either.

I'm sad that Conner is growing up. I'm happy he's getting quality peer time in a structured and loving environment. I miss him helping me with laundry and dishes most mornings. I'm a bit ellated that I don't find partially melted dinosaurs in my dryer and rocks in my dishwasher after he's "helped". I think I am going to actually enjoy and take advantage of getting stuff DONE so that my free time when he IS home the other 3 days a week is WITH HIM and not my to-do list.

Yes, I'm also upset that I don't know exactly what he's doing and if he's said something new and hilarious or whether he's picked apple or grape juice that day. But, I've got to suck it up and except my new reality. It's good for all of us.

And although I can't be there to hold his hand or make sure he doesn't pee on the floor, I know if I coax him just right, I'll be able to decipher what he's learned that day.

That he sang his ABC's.

That he colored with "brown and yellow".

That he picked "apple ju-juice".

Sigh. And I might just tear up writing this and try to prep myself for Chase's turn. After that, I guess you can sign me up for one of those menopause parties....

23 August 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

It's 10:12 pm on Saturday and boy, is it wet around here. My handy WeatherBug iPhone App tells me that just today (i.e. -since midnight this morning), Montgomery has received 3.5 inches of rain. It started raining before midnight, so I'll chalk that up to 4 inches. And to boot, it's still raining (hard)! (Could see 4.25 by the nights end)

Icing on the soggy cake - 33 mph sustained winds with 50 mph gusts so far. The handy Weatherbug tells me that the winds should get "gustier" as the night progresses.

I'm a little cabin feverish, so as you can imagine The Monkey and his trusty sidekick Bam Bam are uncontrollably loosing their minds. Since we should be seeing two WHOLE days of rain ahead, I forsee lots of coloring. Or timeouts. Whichever comes first.

19 August 2008

One Too Many

Me: I'm going to meet your teacher now. I love you and I'll be back in just a little while.

Con: I go wit you.

Me: I'm sorry sweetie. You can't go this time but you will get to see her and your new school on Thursday.

Con:....

Me: Do you know how many days away Thursday is?

Con: 2, 3, 5??!!

Me: Well, it's 2.

Con: Dats 1 too many!


WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? Hahaha!

16 August 2008

Picture Update

Fun with daddy! Then last night, Mommy fed me some blue coconut slushie from Sonic. Oh boy, was it good!




Conner also picked out the fire truck at Wal-Mart to ride with his two quarters.
And lastly, I leave you with the 15 frogs we caught. We do this nightly now, and our neighbors think we are freaks. They're right. I probably should have led with that, right?







15 August 2008

So Cal

I think I might actually watch the new 90210 (Sept 2 on the CW).

What do you think?

14 August 2008

Care for a smoke and a curse word?

Although I'm eternally grateful to good ole Walt for Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Daisy, tonight he's on my poop list.

After watching 101 Dalmations twice in the past 24 hours (which was all Conner's doing, btw), Conner has picked up the phrase "shut up!" from Ms. Cruella de Ville.

Arg!

I'm no saint, but I do try to avoid bad words and phrases in front of Con and have been doing really well, progressively getting better, over the past year.

It gets worse.

The two crooks in the movie smoke at one point, to which Conner asked, of course "What's that?". Sigh. Then, attempted to "fake smoke" and blow heavily.

So, Mr. Disney and your wonderful land of dreams... today you can shove it.

How's that for sweet?

Because after the last post, this blog seems sad...

Je deteste Wal-Mart.

Viva le Target!

13 August 2008

A Moment of Reflection

Have you ever been stripped to your core? You know... Past all the ( sometimes expensive) clothes you buy, the time you spend on your hair and makeup, even the simple pleasures of a quick breakfast or a nice bath? Completely raw and basic?

It took Chase's birth and NICU experience to shake off all that glitters and expose me at my most vulnerable and simple. At the very least, it was a humbuling time. An "open wound" experience.

To enter the NICU you must take off all rings and watches in order to scrub with hot water for 3 full minutes. You aren't allowed to put these items back on and you must rewash after each time you have exited, even if for a second. And, in order to hold your baby, you must wear a disposable yellow smock.

So, By the second day of handwashing, Mike and I found that taking off our jewelry was a pain, so we put our wedding rings in my bag. Within a day, our watches joined them.

Our schedule for 8 days went like this:
6 am - wakeup, eat, get con and ourselves dressed.
8 am - out the door either with con for dropping off or w/o (alternating grandparents for babysitting)
9:30 - arrive at children's
10:45 - pump for relief in lactation and store milk
11:45 - nurse
12 - NICU closes till 3, leave and go to conner
4 - head back downtown to NICU
5 - pump
7 - nurse
9/9:30 - head home
10 - arrive at my mom's
10:30- pump and eat
11pm - pray that this is really just a bad nightmare while holding onto Con and apologizing nightly for what was going on. By this time, I hurt so bad physicaly I couldn't even walk. I hurt so much emotionally that I couldn't cry.

Some nights I slept, some I didn't. The physical exhaustion of doing this every day coupled with the stress and fatigue from having just given birth was unbearable. I still don't know how I survived.

But one thing I do know is that it taught me something about what is important in life. How when I'm stripped of my regular clothes, without a shower for a week, no makeup , bloated from giving birth (looking 5 months pregnant anyways), and only caring about my family, my little man and Chase... through all that Mike and I stood strong. We made life or death decisions for our baby. We fought together. We cried together. We broke together and then, we praised the Lord together. Not for any of the things sitting in my purse. Not for our beautiful house, or cars. Not even for ourselves, but for life.

For Chase.

For Conner.

For the strength to get through our own personal hell.

And it interests me so that when we finally did retrieve our wedding rings and watches I noticed one piece of jewelry that somehow missed the whole ordeal. Both of our cross neclaces, that we find great pride in wearing, were still there. It made me realize God was still there, He had been with us the whole time.

So at our core, we were still ourselves. We had been shaken of the material things and robbed of a healthy baby and "normal" Christmas with our family. And which mattered most, was of course the latter.

I still occasionally look at my watch and think about how silly it is that I even own the expensive thing. It's just a watch. Something replacable. It's not who I am, not even an accurate symbol of me...it's just a decoration. Who I am is a woman who loves her children dearly, who cherishes her family, who loves the Lord for his many blessings. A woman who fights for what she loves or believes in and will continue to do so - whether right or wrong - as a testimate to herself and her family because that is me ... at my core.

08 August 2008

Conner at 3 years and 1 month



I weigh around 28 lbs.

I’m potty training and rarely have an accident. I wear big boy undies during the daytime and only wear a pull-up at night.

My favorite foods are pizza, “cheesy triangles” (grilled cheese, sometimes with turkey), pancakes or biscuits in the mornings, okra, apples, graham crackers, grapes, bananas and anything sweet or fruity. I’m not a very good eater, but I try!

My favorite things to watch on tv are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Tom and Jerry (isn’t that neat?), Max & Ruby and of course Spongebob Squarepants! (Blue’s Clues still holds my attention too)

I am always outside… I practically live there!

While outside, I enjoy bubble mowing, catching frogs and toads, catching grasshoppers and crickets, and playing in the sand.

I know the difference between a toad and a frog.

I also know the difference between a grasshopper and cricket.

I had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday this year. Yay for being 3!






I like to play games with my little brother. I like to laugh at him because he laughs at me.

When I get in the car, I immediately ask for my “sun-in-face’s” which is obviously my sunglasses. I insist on buckling the middle part of my car seat by myself.

I’m quite the artist. I love to watercolor in the bathroom floor, draw with chalk outside, make sand sculptures with my moon sand, make “food” with my play dough and I love the traditional coloring book and my “draws” on a rainy day.

I dress myself sometimes and enjoy picking out my shoes.

I’m always surprising the pants off mommy and dada with my news words, phrases and ability to understand the things around me.

The heck with the Olympics...

Read all about Chase and Conner!



Chase at 7 months

I weigh around 17 lbs!

I can “talk” and babble much earlier than my big brother. Mommy is scared of the cell phone plan in her future…

I can’t stand to be on my tummy, which means I am probably not going to crawl but I LOVE to stand and hold onto things.

My new favorite toy is my Baby Einstein excersaucer.

I also love to play with random kitchen/trash items such as: cardboard, red plastic Solo cups and spoons.

Conner is the best person EVA. Everything he does is hilarious and I am constantly in awe of him and laughing till I hurt.

Conner likes to share my “boat” with me in the bathtub. He gets in the larger end, and I sit in the part with the baby seat and we splash (but only nicely like mommy asks). This is one of my favorite things to do with my big bro.

I eat like a hog! My favorite foods are Beechnut Garden Veggies w/ DHA, Sweet Peas, Apple Delight w/ DHA (it has cinnamon in it, yummm!), Mixed Berries and anything with bananas.

I eat 3 whole containers of baby food a day, some mixed in with a full cereal feeding. I am also eating 1 large and 2 small formula feedings and nursing at nap and once during the night. A growing boy needs lots of food!

I love to people watch, which is just like my daddy! But for the most part, people say I look like my mommy. What do you think?

07 August 2008

He can call me flower if he wants to

Conner: Momma, you a flower.

Me: Really? What color?

Conner: Green

Then he left the room

Do you think he thinks I'm a weed?

06 August 2008

Feedjit

About the feedjit thing to your right…
I found it on the Life of Suz’s website (see blog roll) (she’s a mom of quads, and I’ve been reading her blog since she was in her early stages of pregnancy. It’s really just fascinating how she does everything!).
I decided to give it a try not because I want to know who is looking at my blog, but more so how people got here and what they were looking for if they aren’t a regular reader. It’s like a demographic survey for myself. (Ha…)

Anyways, for the record, the feedjit thing tells me NOTHING other than what you see (Mary is paranoid about people knowing where she goes on the internet and what she’s looking at. Put down the porn sites Mary, geez). And, if you are against being registered when you come here, there is an option at the bottom for your visit to be ignored. But please, use it sparingly ;-)

04 August 2008

An Update You Deserve

Due to a lack of time and obvious family obligations, I feel that I’ve left a few family members, friends and the entire blogosphere (ok, that’s an exaggeration) out of the loop. Conner is easy to make quick posts about. He’s always into something new, saying something hilarious or posing for an insane photo-op. Chase is a whole different person, and although just as entertaining, rarely gets his rightly space on here.

I’m going to start with a few FAQs (frequently asked questions) ((don’t you hate it when people abbreviate and then spell out the abbreviation? Like how Rachel Ray always says “E.V.O.O.” but then turns right around and says “extra virgin olive oil”, I mean come on. Pick one! I digress)). Chase’s 6-month neurology follow-up was last Friday at Children’s in Birmingham. Here are the answers to most of your questions.

1. (The most common question) “So, what happened?”
A: We don’t know. Chase had the most severe bleed possible on his brain. He was full-term. That’s important to know because preemies are at risk for bleeds due to malformations or underdevelopment leading to excessive bleeding.
There was also no blunt trauma (a car accident, or Michael beating my stomach with a 2x4). Important to note because blunt trauma to my stomach while Chase was in utero could cause a bleed. One of this magnitude though? Not likely.

2, “Why was he in the NICU at Children’s and what did they do?”
Chase seized shortly after birth (see this post for the backstory). He was flown via medivac to Children’s in Birmingham. He needed an upper level NICU and Montgomery simply doesn’t have that.
While there, we were advised to have Chase’s ventricles (basically, his brains) looked at via angiogram. This would tell us the source of the bleed, if any. The only problems that could cause a full term baby to have a grade IV bleed are:
1) Malformations
2) Aneurism
3) Embolism
4) Clot
It was a very serious procedure causing him to be intubated, anesthetized and injected with dye.

Chase had none of the four causes.

3. “Then, why?”
It’s a freak thing. By the end of out stay in the NICU we had at least 4 doctors and 10 residents standing over Chase scratching their heads and wanting their paws in his medical file. He is truly 1 in several million. Go ahead… Google “full term baby with grade IV bleed on brain” and see what you get…. Nothing.
We were told he probably wouldn’t absorb the blood and would need a shunt to drain excess cerebral fluid (hydrocephalus) and we were to wait.

4. “He’s fine now though, right?”
Yes. And no. But mostly yes.
For the first 3 months, Chase always cried. Always. Always, always… yes, always.
He had a severe headache from the extra pressure. He stayed on Phenobarbital (seizure prevention) for a while too, which made him act strange and his tummy upset.
But now, after this last 6-month neurology check-up, Chase’s soft spot is as it is supposed to be which indicates that his body has thus far absorbed a great amount of blood. His neurologist is stunned. He kept telling us (we counted at least 4 times) “He’s really dogged a bullet.” And, he has.

5. “What about developmentally? Damage?”
As of now, Chase’s neurological and physical development is not only on track but also slightly ahead. He’s been “talking” for well over 2 months now. He can say “Mama”, “Dada”, “Bababababa…” can make several simple and complex sounds and other ramblings. He reacts to his name. He laughs all the time. He can grasp objects and exchange them in his hands. He can roll over back to front and front to back. He is starting to scoot a bit on his tummy. He can stand assisted.

We won’t know the full extent of any damage until he is well into his childhood years. But for now, he is perfect.

6. “So, you are basically out of the woods?”
Not quite, but we wish! Our neurology appointments are down to every 6 months. The risk of developing hydrocephalus is very small now, and get smaller as he progresses towards his 2nd birthday. After that, we will probably only visit a neurologist once a year until he is 4 or 5. We are not seeing a developmental specialist because Chase is doing (abnormally) well. (Thank you Lord.)

I hope this clears some things up. I hope to post a series the week of Chase’s first birthday as a “look back” day-by-day to help me document what we went through so I can both appreciate what I have now and be reminded of how far we’ve come.

Oh, and if you have anymore questions (whether you’re someone I know, or you just managed to stumble upon this blog looking for info about a similar experience), I’m an open book.

I Blog For...

BirminghamMommy