Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's almost the end of December, Christmas is over, and I haven't been depressed.  I think I may have finally moved past all the crap that has happened in December.

I've been too busy to be depressed.  I've been too busy to think about all those things that always got me depressed around the holidays.  Eight and six years after the fact I guess it's about time!

I didn't get all the decorations put up.  I didn't get half of them out.  My house is disaster.  My family is a mess.  But I'm not depressed.  It's rainy and dreary, but I'm not depressed.

Overwhelmed, yes.  Irritable, yes.  Frustrated, yes.  But not depressed.  And it's wonderful.  Truly wonderful.

And this was going to be more thoughtful but I'm being paged by a screaming 3 month old.  =)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thoughts on More Business of Being Born

Just a few quick thoughts on a mini-documentary that was made by the same people who made The Business of Being Born.  I found that first documentary interesting but biased.  My biggest complaint about the main film was they never showed the joyous bonding happening after a c-section or hospital epidural birth.  They showed the home birth and natural birth moms screaming in joy over their babies, but they never showed a happy mom after a hospital/c-sec birth.  And those births happen; perhaps we're not screaming over our child but there is still much joy in those scenes.

As for this first mini-film, about the Farm here in TN, the interviews with the midwife were thought-provoking, especially given the concerns I've had recently about Ladybug.  She didn't make any conclusions but she posed the question, is there a relation between all the drugs women are given in labor, multiple ultrasounds, and ADD/autism?  I developed a high risk pregnancy with Ladybug so there are multiple factors before you ever add in the genetic issue she has.  But watching the difference between her and Turkey just in these first two months has been very eye-opening as to how delayed she was from the start.  It'll be interesting to continue watching and comparing them as Turkey gets older.  Of course you're not supposed to compare your children, but I simply mean watching when they reach their milestones and how their development progresses.  It does make me wonder if the diabetes, 25+ ultrasounds, and high stress could be part of why she has difficulty.  Of course her poor little skull that is once again looking a little funky probably isn't helping her either.

My other thought is a bit more critical.  When they throw out numbers, it seems to be phrased to support their theory.  For example, it's "only 2%" of births in low risk women turn ugly, so it's okay for low risk women to give birth at home.  But it's "4-5%" of births are breech so it's important that OB's know how to handle those naturally.  Okay... there's not a lot of difference between 2% & 4%.  I'd say it's important to be prepared for the 2% as much as it is to be prepared for the 4%.

I did like the idea of the quilt memorializing mothers who died shortly after childbirth; they are right in that there needs to be follow up with new moms to make sure they're doing okay.  It's a breakdown in our culture that has led to the isolation that new moms end up in.  And I also agreed that it is a problem when that first birth is a c-section and that limits the number of children a woman can have.  I'm glad they pointed out that when you have 6 c-sections, your 6 kids need you and that 7th is dangerous!

Anyways... my loved despite born by c-sec baby is crying so I'm going to attend to her needs!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I held Turkey a little longer tonight while she slept, and spent more time memorizing her features instead of watching Netflix.  And I allowed myself to be in awe that I have been so richly blessed, to have not just one beautiful baby girl, but two.  I had impressed upon me that I am not worthy of my children.  Not that I'm holding them up as perfect; after the breakfast Ladybug and I had, complete with a side of the rod of correction, it is obvious they are not perfect.  But they are blessings, troublesome though they may be, and I am not worthy of even troublesome blessings.

Friends of mine were blessed with a beautiful baby girl yesterday.  A baby that has been prayed and longed for.  And today, that blessing was taken away.  They are left with empty arms.  Yet again.  I don't know which was harder, the loss of a baby growing inside or the loss of a baby that had never been inside you but that you'd held in your arms.  I can't imagine either one.  And for one family to have to experience both... 

I look around at my situation and ask, why?  We never had trouble with infertility; we joke about having the opposite problem!  We never even took a pregnancy test hoping for a (+) only to get a (-).  Financially, we're not well off.  Relationally, we weren't in the greatest of shape before we conceived Ladybug.  We don't even really have room for two babies; they'll eventually share a room but for now Turkey sleeps in the living room!  So why do we have two beautiful baby girls, and they have an empty nursery that is better than mine has ever been?  

I could never imagine giving up a child for adoption.  Carrying a child for months, feeling her move inside me, and then handing her over to someone else to raise?  I couldn't do it.  I don't understand how people do it.  But... I also question the wisdom of allowing a birth mother to change her mind for up to two weeks after the birth of her child.  I just had a child.  I just went through that roller coaster of hormones.  There is no way I'd make a life altering decision during the two weeks after giving birth.  It's all I could do to decide whether to lay Turkey down and let her scream or just give it up and let her sleep on my chest.  It's very probable that many birth mothers want to keep their children after giving birth.  It's hormones that kick in and make you want that baby more than anything.  But over the next few weeks and months, that's when you make the conscious decision to love that child.  It's when you get up for the fifth time of the night, or when you're exhausted and the baby just won't go to sleep, or when she's screamed for 3 hours straight, or when you just want to eat a meal without smelling farts.  

I don't know what the answer is to any of this.  Why I have my two girls, why they don't, whether or not a birth parent should be able to take a child they've already said they were going to give away...  But since my child is refusing to stay asleep in her cradle, I'll satisfy myself that I don't have to know all the answers.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm bouncing Turkey on my legs while she lays on her stomach; she's limp as can be, with her long legs and arms hanging down, but every time I try to lay her on her back in the cradle she cries.  Cry-it-out doesn't seem to work as well for her as it did with Ladybug; she only escalates.

Since I can't sew one-handed, which means I still can't mend the Mechanic's pants, I figured I'd take the chance to get some thoughts out, albeit one-handed.  

It's been a difficult 36 hours.  I gave Ladybug her first peanut butter sandwich yesterday. She liked it, but it didn't go over well with her immune system.  Thank you IgE.  Hives, swelling, itching... she was a miserable kid.  I feel like I handled things about as well as I could have.  Okay, so I called the wrong doctor's office and then wondered why everyone at our doctor's office seemed clueless as to why we were there.  Oops.  But hey, if that's the worst thing I did I think I did pretty good!  We'll see if I got tagged by any of the speed or red light cameras.  I'm thankful for my nursing experience in times like that; it takes over and keeps me from panicking and freezing up.  Yes, I was frightened, but I kept my emotions in check and put the fright to use in speed for getting everyone buckled up and bringing pacifiers.  I did forgot the diaper bag... Thankfully no one pooped.  I'd have even managed without waking the Mechanic up if Turkey hadn't been screaming for food right as Ladybug had her second reaction. 

It was after Ladybug went to bed last night and I had a chance to sit down that things started to sink in.  My mind started whirling... no ChickfilA, no fish fries or deep fried turkeys at the Mechanic's parents', no Reese's cups... (I've since found out ChickfilA and the deep fried stuff will probably be okay) I started reading the labels of things I had lying around and realized the animal crackers "might contain peanuts."  Church dinners... nursery... babysitters... school... All that thinking sent me into a migraine today.  Only the second migraine I've ever had.  Not fun trying to care for two children, both with very high pitched screams, running on 4 hours sleep with a migraine. 

I feel I've been promoted to being a "real mom."  I'm not saying that moms whose kids don't have food allergies aren't real moms.  But having a child with health problems of any sort takes motherhood to another level.  It's another thing to worry about.  It's something to research and educate others about.  It brings out another level of protectiveness, and yet also makes you realize how much of a blessing your child's life is.  Because, you can't protect them enough.  

When Ladybug was diagnosed with craniostenosis, I cried.  But then we picked up and moved on.  We went to the doctors, got the scans, and made follow-up appointments.  And life went on.  Cranio doesn't affect me on a daily basis now.  I think about it when I give Ladybug a bath and see the huge dip she's developed in her skull.  I keep thinking late at night that I need to make her eye doctor appointment.  But, in general, it's not a worry that is in the front of my mind every day.  This peanut allergy is.  Every meal I'm thinking about it, checking labels, wondering if there might still be peanut butter on the high chair straps that she'll react to.  In between meals I keep thinking of foods she won't be able to eat, places that might cause exposure, wondering how long it would take us to get to the hospital from the Mechanic's parents' house.  I'm searching for ways of reminding other caretakers of the allergy, and worried that a simple "no peanut" bracelet or shirt might not prevent them from giving her a cookie or something else that you don't immediately think "this could have peanuts."  I'm wondering how long I should wait before seeing if she reacts to an open jar of peanut butter on the table while she eats.  I worry about what the next reaction is going to be like.  I wonder if there are other things she's allergic to, other nuts.  What if she crawls over and tries to eat a pistachio shell that's dropped from her Grandpa's chair?  What if she plays with a child who had a peanut butter cracker before coming to the park and they touch her or hold her hand, which she then puts in her mouth?  

You get my gist.  I'm in overdrive. See why I had a migraine today?  

I hope that this will be like the cranio, but I know it really can't be.  It's not like you have to change the way you function daily just because your child has cranio.  I guess I can just hope that this becomes routine, our normal... packing her own snacks and meals, reading labels, asking restaurants about cross-contamination... And I can hope and pray she never has a stronger reaction than hives and swollen ears. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Once a month seems to have become routine on this blog... wish I could say I'll write more often but given current circumstances I know better.

I'm currently typing one-handed while cradling the newest addition to our family.  Her name henceforth will be Turkey.  I've been calling her that since day 2; the name just seems to fit.  Eventually she'll fatten up but for now she's definitely a little bird.  Whereas Ladybug came out pudgy and round, Turkey came out skinny and long.  She's cute in her own way, and she shows a sweet side occasionally, but so far she seems to be a more serious child than Ladybug.  She frequently wrinkles her brow and furrows her eyebrows, and I can't help but wonder if she's regretting her decision to arrive early.  I'll write her birth story eventually; hers is a bit more exciting than Ladybug's!

A few thoughts on life as it stands right now.  I was asked by the ladies in the county clerk's office how I did it; my reply was "I don't know, all we do is eat and change diapers, and Mom doesn't sleep much.  I hope to figure it out soon!"  If I get one sink full of dishes done or one load of laundry put away, it's a big deal.  It's rough.  We've reached the point of monotony, where every day blends into the next, with moments of pure chaos helping me stay awake.  Don't get me wrong; I love both my girls dearly and wouldn't trade either of them for anything, but being the mom of two under one who aren't twins is dadgum hard!  I know my hormones have played a part in my reactions, but it has been very hard to not get snippy with those who have said "just be glad it's not..."  Twins would have their easier side; at least I wouldn't have one trying to dive off the couch or eat paper while I try to nurse the other.  Three age three and under is possible, if not likely, for us.  If I had one walking at least it'd be easier to get to the car and store & I wouldn't be carrying both of them.  Every situation has its difficulties; playing the "it could be worse" card really doesn't help.

On a positive note, Be Still and Know just played on Pandora, and one verse really stood out.  Turkey won't sleep at night unless I'm holding her.  Even the swing doesn't work.  But I pick her up and lay her on my chest, and her world is suddenly made right.  Really gives a meaningful picture to the following verse.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know He is our Father.
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come be still. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

One month from today I'll be welcoming my second baby girl into the bright world.  For now, though, she's content to hiccup inside of me.  This also means in a month and a half my first baby girl will be turning one.  Wow.  It's hard for me to believe... seems like just yesterday she was a newborn bundled up in blankets, blinking while I tried my best to get her to look at me.  Now I walk in her room and she stands up and beams at me.

Anyway, enough teary-eyed mother talk, and on to the subject I've been wanting to write about.  Humility.  It's come up several times recently, in the sermon Sunday as well as in C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity which I recently read for the first time.  What worries me is that Lewis pointed out that the more prideful we are, the more it bothers us in others.  So the fact that this particular problem rubs me the wrong way makes me think that there's probably something that I'm being too prideful about.  Maybe I'm prideful that I've rejected the "homeschooling is the greatest" idea.

And I just leaked it: homeschooling and pride is my subject of the day.  I've noticed it repeatedly, especially since Ladybug was born.    People that I have thought of as good Christians, as people that were worthy of being admired, have this huge "we're better than others" sign plastered on their heads concerning their choice of schooling.  They seem to think that home schooled people are better than anyone else.  They are less likely to brag about their status as home schooling parents; after all, that would obviously be too prideful.  But they seem to see nothing wrong with making comments like "if they employed home schoolers those kind of mistakes wouldn't be made."

I wouldn't mind these comments nearly as much, I suppose, if they were made in private, at a home school group meeting, or between friends who were both home schooled or home school their own children.  But if you're in a situation where you don't know the full background of everyone in the room, or if you're on a Facebook wall, you are risking offending people.  And while saying "homosexuality is wrong" will offend people, that is a pretty clear Biblical mandate.  Home schooling, on the other hand, is (newsflash here!) not exactly commanded in Scripture.  So unless you know every single person on my friend list, and know that every one of them is linked to homeschooling somehow (which is most certainly not true), you shouldn't be making those kind of comments on my public wall.

When the particular comment that brought this tirade to mind was made, I was torn between ignoring it and deleting it from my wall. My fear was that deleting it would offend the person who made it. But, it became a matter of sheer numbers.  By leaving it up, I was risking offending multiple people who do not home school.  By deleting it, I might offend one person.  I chose the lesser number.  But folks, don't put me in that position.  Don't make me choose to offend someone.  Think about what you're saying.  Walk the talk, as some modern churches would put it.  

(And btw, I've noticed the same problem with some stay-at-home moms, especially those that home school.  The last time someone made a comment about that I wrote a note explaining why I was staying at home and tried to make sure that everyone realized I was not better than anyone else because I had chosen to stay at home.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cheapening honor?

My very long break from blogging has been caused by our dear refurbished computer finally biting the dust.  I hope that the month break from easily accessed Internet has broken my daily Facebook and BabyCenter habit.  You'd think my house would be spotless now... not so much!  I did manage to read a lot, and given that I'm about to welcome child #2 in less than 7 weeks, I doubt that will be the case for quite a while!

This topic is one that I'm somewhat hesitant to publicly write about.  I don't want to offend, nor do I want to land on a list somewhere.  But I feel I owe it to others to at least voice my opinion. 

I don't think the flag should be flying at half mast right now.

*ducks head to avoid flying rotten tomatoes*

Is it safe to come out now? 

Okay, here are my thoughts behind that shocking statement. 

The point of half-mast, or half-staff, is to symbolize a nation in mourning, or to show respect.  For example, flags are to be flown half mast on Memorial day.  That is to show respect, and in a way, mourning, for the soldiers that have died fighting for our country.  They are to be flown half mast for a long period of time after the President or Vice-President has died, and for shorter periods of time after a member of Congress, state governor, or Supreme Court Justice dies.

The problem comes when we fly flags half-mast because of a presidential proclamation.  I'm not saying the President shouldn't have this right, not at all.  But it then becomes more personal as to what we honor and mourn.  Here is my question:  how do we decide what is worthy of national mourning?  And by default, what is not worthy?

My concern is this: we are showing that we are mourning the death of a number of people in a movie theater.  BUT:  How many active military have died in the last year?  I don't know the answer.  But we haven't mourned them, except by lumping them together on Memorial Day.   Where do we draw the line?  So a shooting is worthy of mourning, according to the current President.  All right... but how many have to die before it becomes worthy of national attention?  5?  10?  So if 3 people are killed before a concealed carry permit holder pulls his/her gun and shoots the shooter, that's not worthy of being mourned, but if 19 people are killed because concealed carry is banned in that place of business, we mourn those people?  (I'm not saying there's been 3 people killed and then the shooter stopped, I'm just throwing out random examples of what could be.)  Is it not the number of people dead but what they're doing?

I feel we are cheapening the half-mast symbol.  Yes, it is sad that all those people were killed.  But there are people shot every day!  The city of Chicago alone could cause us to fly half-mast the entire year!  I don't believe that people participating in a recreational activity have more right to be mourned than the soldiers killed in a training flight, training so that they can protect our country.   We should be sad, we should learn from this (private businesses that ban concealed carry are leaving the door wide open for mass shootings), but we should not cheapen the deaths of others who are worthy of national mourning.     

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I guess I've been busy, although you can't tell it by my house.  I swear, by the time I do some basic maintenance it's after 5 and I'm exhausted.  I've come to realize if I get the dishes washed, a load or two of laundry done, and one other tiny project accomplished like cleaning off the coffee table, I've had a productive day.  Where does the time go?

Well, mostly to a very cute, very chubby baby.  She just eats time... maybe that's why she's so fat!  She's around 20 pounds now; I'm sure she's going to seem like a giant compared to the Lump (gotta come up with something better than that!) when she gets here.  I can't even imagine what life's going to be like with two.  Someone today asked, and I get this question a lot, how are you going to do it?  My answer these days is pretty standardized: I don't know, I'll just do it.  I'm certainly not the only one with children less than a year apart; there's quite a few of us baby bunchers out there. I guess because they're not in the situation, they expect it to be totally overwhelming.  And I'm sure I'll have those days, but I'm blessed with being pretty oblivious to the difficulties right now.  I'll figure out a way.  What choice do I have; give one away?

That brings to mind a book I just finished, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  I really enjoyed it, which was surprising since I read it on the recommendation of a pregnancy birth board book club.  They typically suggest trash (50 Shades of Gray anyone?), but this was certainly not trash; fluff, maybe, but good fluff.  A woman in the story gives away her baby, basically acting as a surrogate mother.  A young friend, who had recently lost her baby by miscarriage, told her, you can't just give it away.  You can't just stop being a mother.  It changes you.  And it did.  She was described as acting as if she had lost some part of herself afterwards, although no one knew why because no one realized she'd been a surrogate.

Before Ladybug was born, I wouldn't have fully understood that.  But now, I wonder how true that is.  I know it'd be true in my case.  Obviously people give up babies for adoption, and act as surrogates, but that kind of idea does explain why mothers who had been planning on giving up their child give birth and suddenly change their mind.  I can't imagine giving up a child whom I had cared for in the womb.  While I don't feel as attached to the Lump as I did to Ladybug before she was born, I also have 13 more weeks to become more attached, especially since I can now watch her kicks and rolls in addition to feeling them.  I'm not as attached simply because I don't talk and sing exclusively to her like I did her sister, because I spend my time talking to and playing with her sister.  I did pick up a library book and think, this is way too many words for Ladybug to sit through but I'll read it to the Lump.

I also told the Mechanic while talking about friends who don't have children, they don't really realize what they're missing.  Oh, they may express regret about not having kids, or maybe they don't.  But you can't explain to someone what being a mom is like.  I told him, I can't even explain to you what it's like.  It's beyond words.  It's incredible.  Yes, overwhelming when I think of the grand scheme of things.  But overwhelming in a good way when I kiss chubby toes and fat cheeks, and tickle her and make her laugh, and walk in the room and her say "mamama" when she sees me (yes, I'm special; I'm more than a "mama," I'm a "mamama!"), and realize she's mine.  There's a bond there unlike any other relationship, and I of all people know what it's like for that relationship to be lacking.  That's part of why my relationship with Ladybug, and her sister, is so special to me; I want to love them in a way that they'll understand the allusions to a mother's love in the Bible.  And I'll have shortcomings; I'm already doing things like giving Ladybug popcicles that I said I wouldn't do!  I'm sure there will be far greater mistakes made.  I just hope that when their heart is breaking and tears start spilling down their cheeks, that they'll know they can reach and cry "mamama" and I'll be there to love them.

Friday, May 11, 2012

18 weeks to go...

Over half-way there... it's hard to believe!  This pregnancy seems to have gone by so much faster than with Ladybug.  Not having the 24/7 nausea helped, I think, plus being distracted by Ladybug instead of dragging myself to work every day.

So far things are stable.  Still have the low lying placenta, still have the subchorionic hemorrhage, sugars are slowly starting to creep up.  But, I feel her move every evening while I'm still and reading in bed, which is reassuring.  We'll see how she does tonight; I sort of overdid it on our walk today.  Well not sort of... definitely.  I got ambitious and decided to not just go to the library, but another block to the bakery.  No biggie.  Then I spotted a yard sale, so we went to check that out... found a couple cute Christmas things.  Then I made my mistake.  I knew that street was blocked off from cars at the top of the hill, but I thought sure I could get by.  Just thought I might need to go into a yard for a couple yards.

Yeah... right.  They felt the need to put the guard rail across the entire road.  No room for even a pedestrian to squeeze by.  And the "yard" next to it was an extremely steep hill.  I thought I might be able to climb over the guard rail and collapse the stroller and push it under the rail.  Nope.  Not only was my basket full of library books and donut holes so the stroller wouldn't collapse fully, Ladybug had fallen asleep.  And that guard rail was higher than my waist; there was no way I could climb over it while holding Ladybug.  If she'd been awake I would have just sat her down while I got the stroller across but I was not going to lay her on concrete.  So I finally gave up and walked back down the hill.  I didn't want to cut through the parking lots again in the bright sun, so I thought I'd cut through the neighborhood streets.  Next bad decision.  Part of this town's name is "Hill" for a reason.  Holy cow.  Steep hill.  Long hill.  No shade.  And that's one heavy stroller!

Next time, I'll just walk back through the parking lots.  At least until I'm by myself and don't have another life depending on my heart beating!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Children's books

It's amazing what doesn't occur to you until you're a parent.  And what occurs to one family but not another.  And then I'm left sort of in the middle trying to figure out what's right for our family.

I've been going to the library every few weeks to get books for Ladybug.  Those first few months I felt like I memorized the few books we had, and I knew the repetition would kick in when Ladybug got old enough to pick her own night night books.  So, I tend to just pick a small section, the "N's" for example, and get most of my books for the week from there.  And then I pick up a few that are familiar, like Go Dog Go or Curious George.

This means I get a wide variety of books.  Some of them are simply stupid.  Some are boring.  Some have awesome illustrations and a great plot.  Some of good stories with good morals.  Some... nneh.

I brought home some Bernstein Bears books one day.  The Mechanic mentioned that he wasn't allowed to read those growing up because they portrayed the dad as a bumbling idiot.  I'd never thought about it... but the beginning reader books do.  The more advanced books don't seem to do that as much, but The Bike Lesson and The Picnic, for example, two I well remember from my childhood, do show a very dumb father whose son has to continually get him out of scrapes.  At this early age I don't figure it matters all that much (and some would disagree with me I'm sure), but when Ladybug gets a little older and understands spoken words, is that something I really want her reading?

So now I find myself evaluating every book I pick up.  I brought home Purplicious last week.  And I thought, oh it'd be cute to have Pinkalicious for Ladybug and Purplicious for ... well, the Lump doesn't seem quite applicable now.  I'll have to come up with another nickname for the next daughter.  But when I was adding books to their Amazon list, I noticed the Goldilicious book in the same series.  And it says something about defending against the evil magic of her little brother.  And I raised my eyebrows... that doesn't sound like something I want my daughters reading.  I have nothing against magic in children's stories, but evil magic performed by their brother?  Hm.  And even Purplicious... (I've not read the original Pinkalicious book) I sort of wondered if I want them reading and quoting it.  It has the other girls telling her liking pink is for babies, pink is out and black is in... and I couldn't help but think, I'm going to hear this kind of talk from my girls soon enough.  I hate the whole "in" and "out" slang anyway, and while it shows you can make friends even if what you like isn't popular... I kind of wonder if I want my girls exposed to the idea of "popular" at such a young age.

So many books also portray siblings in a negative light.  Oh, they eventually show them liking their younger sibling, but they always start out with "Sister was not happy about the new baby, Honey."  Or something along those lines.  I wish I could find a book that talks about how great sisters are.  How much fun you can have with them.  What good friends they can be.  Something that emphasizes the positive.  Because I figure they'll come up with negative stuff in their lives on their own... if they haven't already thought of "I don't like this" why do I want to put the idea in their head?

Who knew simple children's stories could be so complicated!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Learning to Trust

So I checked my bank account for the 15th time today.  Since 2.  Why?  Well, the rent was due, so I had mailed the check... and I was trusting that my refunds from my flexible spending account would arrive in my bank account before the cashed check did.  I have been living with less than $20 in my primary bank account for over a week now.  I had almost been ready to breathe a sigh of relief when my flex account said I'd been paid; that money today, payday Friday, we'd be just fine!  

And yet, as of right now, that money seems to be in no man's land.  It's out of one account, but it's not in the other.  Unfortunately, the rent check is at my bank.  I don't fully understand how bounced checks work, but from the couple of experiences I've had, if that money doesn't appear in my account early tomorrow that check's going to become a rubber ball.  It may still become a rubber ball even if that money does show up since it wasn't there today.  I don't understand why not.  I mean, everything electronic and supposedly instantaneous, so how the money can be absolutely nowhere I don't understand. 

This is on top of finding out yesterday that we're out nearly $500 thanks to IRS regulations that we were not aware of which mean we pretty much spent double on day care for the month of January.  No wonder we're broke; the government is allowing companies to steal from us, legally. 

But I've finally thought, why am I checking my account so often?  Why am I so worried?  Can I do anything to make the money appear faster?  Nope.  Can I keep that check from bouncing?  At this point, no.  It's totally out of my hands and in the hands of ... well... some computer processor somewhere I guess.

In the meantime, my child is currently sleeping on her stomach on the couch.  She's had a rough afternoon, getting woken up from her nap by a dog I'm currently furious with for waking her up.  She would not go back to sleep, but was completely exhausted, so I finally got her to sleep on my chest.  After a few hours I just couldn't lay there anymore so I wiggled out from under her.  Now, I know they say "back to sleep."  But sometimes you do what you have to to keep the baby asleep.  They also say not to let them sleep on the couch.  And not to let them sleep with a blanket.  I'm breaking all the rules today.  But I keep going over and scooting her away from the back of the couch that she loves to smoosh her face in.  And I keep removing the blanket from her face, because she keeps covering it up. 

And I realized trust is a factor in both situations.  I'm paranoid of SIDS.  Ladybug is still at high risk because she can't roll over, and she has also proven herself her mother's child by panicking when something covers her face rather than just removing it.  One of the goals I set with the TEIS is airway protection, that she would learn to remove a blanket or toy from her face instead of panicking.  

Back to the trust.  I can remove dangerous objects from her. I can position her with a clear airway.  But I can't make her keep breathing.  I can balance my checkbook and plan ahead, but sometimes things are going to happen.  Too many expenses in one pay period and we're in a hole.  And another case: my unborn daughter.  I can do everything in my power to keep her healthy, but I have very little control over what happens in my body.  At any moment her heart could stop for unknown reasons, and no one besides me would have ever felt her existence.  So I just have to trust.  That God will keep my one daughter breathing.  That a few bounced checks isn't the end of the world.  And that He will keep my other daughter's heart beating.  

And while I stress about the bank account, in reality, when I look at the baby girl now wiggling in my arms, trying to reach the keyboard, when I feel a tiny kick from inside, I realize that a negative balance really isn't that important, especially since I know it won't last more that a day. 

Monday, April 23, 2012


“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.
In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.
Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. Miller

I found this quote on another blog recommended by my sister-in-law, Encouraging Beautiful Motherhood.  Recently I've been convicted that I complain far too much.  Here I am, living the life I always dreamed of, staying at home with a dog on my heels and a baby on my hip, and I complain about it.  I don't complain about being a mother; I confirmed with the Mechanic that in general, I act like I enjoy motherhood.  But, I don't act like I enjoy "housewifehood."  I don't like cleaning, I don't like cooking, and therefore I tend to not do either.  And I complain about what little I actually do.  
As an incentive, I posted pictures of how horrible my house currently is on Facebook.  I figure if I put it up there for all to see just how messy, cluttered, and unorganized my life is, I'd have a bit more motivation to fix things.  My hope is eventually to post pictures of a clean, organized home.  I don't want perfection; I'm fine with a stray sippy cup or toy, or some dust bunnies in the corner.  But this "hope the house doesn't catch on fire because we'll never make it out alive" living has got to stop.  
So today, I cleaned my kitchen counters.  Big whoop you say.  Um, yeah... those poor counters hadn't been cleaned in who knows how long.  It's a good thing I cleaned when I did because another month or so and I wouldn't have been able to reach that one corner because of a belly!  It looks so much better in there!  And I feel better... I feel like something got accomplished, and I even have dinner ready for the Mechanic whenever he makes it home.  So there's a few dirty dishes next to the sink again... but overall, it's clean, so I'm okay with that.  They'll get done tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ladybug's CT

I made it... 450+ miles alone, with a 6 month old and unborn baby. The trip went as well as it possibly could have; no traffic problems, no car problems, excellent weather. Definitely answers to prayers! Even Ladybug did awesome; she never cried in the car, and only whined a little bit the last 5 minutes both directions. We were able to have a nice stop to visit both directions, with my college friend on the way down and my mother-in-law on the way back.

We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house; I was very grateful for being able to stay there and will encourage everyone to donate to them. Ladybug didn't sleep the greatest since she was in a strange place, but thankfully she didn't cry too much so our poor neighbors were able to sleep. 0430 she was wide awake... 0500 I gave up and just got up. We walked to the McD's next door for some breakfast and coffee, then started the cold uphill trek to the hospital. Just what I wanted to be doing... wandering downtown Chattanooga, in the dark, alone with a baby and no gun. Took awhile but I finally found the ER entrance and actually got to our appointment on time. Ladybug had it easy; she took a nap in the stroller!

I was very pleased with the staff at TC Thompson Children's Hospital. They were courteous, professional, and organized. I felt very comfortable with them caring for my child. The hospital itself was clean and beautifully decorated. I guess it's a children's hospital thing, but I loved the murals on the walls! We were in a jungle in one hallway, and her CT felt like it was in a stable! Would have been awesome if she'd been old enough to enjoy it... but I enjoyed it for her!

There was a team of three from anesthesia, in addition to the radiology staff, and the MD was very involved which was reassuring. They allowed me to go back with her all the way to the room next to the CT machine; I wasn't with her while they put her to sleep but I was next door and could hear her. I about cried when she started screaming about the mask, but I knew she'd be screaming just as hard even if I was holding her so I held myself together. It didn't take 15 minutes to do the CT, and then they let me in the room while they took the anesthesia mask off her and transferred her to the stretcher. That was the second time I about cried... she was so limp and unresponsive. But, it was good to see how many monitors they had her on and how careful they were.

She was asleep for what seemed like ages in the recovery room, but the nurse said she preferred to not try to wake them up because they tended to wake up a little happier. She assured me that when she woke up most of her unhappiness would be because she hadn't eaten in well over 12 hours. As soon as she stirred she pulled the artificial airway out and let me pick her up. Sure enough, once she realized that weird nipple I stuck in her mouth was Pedialyte she gobbled it down. Then they let me feed her the normal formula and after she held down 8oz of that we were free to go.

We found our way back to the McD house, this time taking a much shorter route after asking for directions! Ladybug was still sleepy so she and I took a nap before checking out of our room and heading back to the hospital for our visit with the surgeon. He had looked at the CT and said all her sutures were wide open; there was no indication at all of closure, not even any fibers. I presume fibers precede closing. So, that means no need for surgery at this point.

I'm comfortable in going with his opinion on this since it sounds like the CT was pretty conclusive. I don't quite understand how the genetic test correlates with everything; I'm probably going to be going to a local med school library to do some research on this condition. From what I understand, she has the gene mutation, and therefore has a 50/50 chance of passing it on each time she has a child. I also know some family members have shown no symptoms until 4 years of age, so we'll keep an eye on her. But, I wonder if it's possible to have the mutation and just have minor effects, like tiny ear canals. I also wonder if some people have the gene and the effects are so minor that they don't even realize they have them.

The biggest thing that worries me is that even the specialists don't understand the genetic part of this. I don't know if it's simply that no one has done research on the genetic forms of this condition, or if it's that most cases are spontaneous and don't get passed on. I also wonder if those with spontaneous mutations choose not to have children for fear of passing it on. Our family baffles doctors; we've had specialists say that this condition has to manifest itself by one year, but obviously that's not the case in our family. I feel like as a mother with some medical training, I need to learn everything there is to know about this condition, since it can affect both my children and my grandchildren. I also think it's important to learn what I can since it seems like very few medical personal know much about this condition. I've had to educate several people involved in Ladybug's care already.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our church has been looking for a new pastor as our current pastor is retiring. The pastoral search committee has chosen a pastor with 7 children who is big into discipling families. Now, I have my own opinions on only being presented with one choice. But, that aside, I'm still looking very critically at this person, as he may be a big influence on my children. Perhaps I'm being too critical... I'm sort of nitpicking at his answers and statements.

But, one good thing about this is that it's causing me to think about what I consider important, especially in regards to my children. Some of it may be a matter of semantics, but I think the way we word things often shows the underlying thought behind the statement. For example, the statement: Our children need to understand theology and the Reformed faith as soon as possible. Okay. Sort of. Personally, I have a problem with that statement. I would rather say something along the lines of "Our children need to understand the gospel as soon as possible."

See, Presbyterians tend to be very theology-centered. And that's good, to a point. It's good to know why you believe what you believe, and digging deep is appropriate at times. However, sometimes we focus so much on the -ology that we forget about the simplicity of our faith. We forget that it's all about "Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bible tells me so." However, this particular person seems to also have balanced his theology with some actions, which I can respect.

Another thing that has been brought up in reading through the information we've been given about this person is what we want our children to learn. Now, this particular person brags (and that's not a bad thing) that 30 kids from his church stand up in front of the church and recite 25 catechism questions and answers. Awesome. Good for them. Again, sort of. Me, well... I would MUCH rather my child stand up and recite 25 Bible verses. The catechism was written by men. It is fallible. It is not ordained. And I do not base my life on what men have written. However, the Bible, now that's different. It's infallible. It's ordained by God. It is worthy of basing my life on it.

I'm not just criticizing this particular pastor. I'm criticizing Presbyterians in general for our fixation on the words of men. Calvin was a great guy. So was Luther. But they were just men!!! I know several people who don't want to raise their children in a PCA church because they want their kids to learn Bible stories, not just the catechism. And I'm beginning to agree with them.

There's got to be a middle ground. A balance between teaching theology and the pure gospel. Unfortunately the person I know who best did that let his family fall apart. There's got to be a church that teaches the catechism as a help to understanding the Bible, but concentrates more on the Bible itself, especially for kids.

As it is, I feel sort of lost. I don't want to be solely responsible for my child's spiritual education. But I don't really trust anyone else's way of doing it either. (Yes, I have help from the Mechanic. But he would agree we would like the help of a church... and haven't really found one that we think will really help us like we want.)

Ah... parenting. So confusing. =)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


We're approaching another holiday. Tomorrow is Good Friday. Sunday is Easter.

And I don't care.

This sounds horrible. These are the days we use to celebrate the day our Savior died and rose again.

But holidays don't mean anything to me anymore. They're just another day. Perhaps a more inconvenient day because more places are closed or there's more traffic.

I've said this before, many times. I've questioned the meaning of holidays. And here's the only answer I've received: Holidays to me means being with family. I can't wait to have everyone home for Christmas with all of our traditions. I think I get more excited than any of the kids. I'm always the first one up and turning on the Christmas music trying to wake every one else up. I think back about all of my memories of shared holidays and it makes my day.

Here's my reply: But you're missing my point. You can't always be with family, especially when you're in healthcare; there's illness and deployment that keep people apart too. The view that "holidays are all about family" is what drives people to the hospital this time of year; they don't want to be alone. It's also what drives people to commit suicide this time of year, especially when they've lost loved ones.

I was writing about Christmas/New Years, but the same holds true for other holidays. I guess I have the idea that holidays are all about traditions... and if you don't follow those traditions than it's meaningless.

So I question myself, what does Easter mean to me? When I think "Easter" what do I think of? Ham. Deviled eggs. New dress. Little girls wearing hats. Easter baskets. Hiding and finding Easter eggs. Chocolate. Maundy Thursday service. Singing "Up From the Grave He Arose" and "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." Packed pews with people I've never seen before and children who clearly don't spend much time in the pew.

What am I doing this year for Easter? Well... Ladybug has a new dress from her Grandma. I haven't gotten the songs for this Sunday in my e-mail yet but I'm interested to see what we sing. And then I'm driving to Chattanooga alone (well, with Ladybug in the back seat) and spending the night at the Ronald McDonald house. And Easter Monday will be spent in the hospital and doctor's offices and on the interstate.

I'm tempted to go back to the store tomorrow and get stuff to dye eggs. Just to start a tradition of some sort. I guess I could find the story of the crucifixion/resurrection in the Bible story books I've gotten for Ladybug and read those to her.

So I ask once again: What's a holiday? For the soldier overseas, what's the point? For the nurse working night shift in ICU, is it any different than any other day? For the mom doing the same exact thing day in and day out, does it even matter?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I sometimes wonder about people...

I go to a high risk OB once a month for management of my diabetes. It's in the nearest big city, about 45 minutes away, and because of the limited appointments for high risk patients it's always while the Mechanic is at work. So, I take Ladybug with me.

Since I had my little bed-rest incident, I've had several offers from people to keep Ladybug during my appointments. But, because she had her shots yesterday I knew she'd be extra cranky so I decided not to inflict her upon anyone today. It worked out fine since she had an eye doctor appointment shortly before my OB appointment anyway.

But the comments I receive do make me wonder about people. What kind of women come into these offices pregnant? They are astonished every time I go in there at my ability to balance everything, and the fact that I have my sugar log with me. Every other appointment I've gone in with a purse, diaper bag, baby, and drink. And I carried everything myself. They're floored by this. After being put on restriction, I ditched the purse and just put my wallet in the diaper bag, and I brought the umbrella stroller for Ladybug and balanced the diaper bag on the back, and they're still impressed. They were amazed (and actually used that word) when I managed to let them find baby #2's heartbeat while I was feeding Ladybug her bottle. Seriously? I had a pelvic exam done while holding her barely 3 weeks ago.

You're going in because of your diabetes... would it not make sense that you'd bring your log with you? And if you have a child and get pregnant with another one... unless there are medical reasons you can't care for your child, I don't see any reason why one woman cannot handle one small baby in a medical office. It's not like she's old enough to climb or run around. But from the reactions of the staff... I'm under the impression that they don't see this often. And when I look around the office... most people bring someone else with them. If not multiple someone's.

Now I sure don't blame the people who might get bad news. I brought my hubby to the appointment with the surgeon (plus the fact that it's a 4 hour drive one way). And I don't blame the people with multiples, or who have two or more children. An extra hand is nice. But a non-mobile baby? That's not impressive folks. That's called being a mother.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Ladybug's CT is scheduled, and we see the surgeon again later that same day. I'm assuming this means we get the results the same day. Unexpected, but certainly welcome. I don't know if this is the norm for this office or if they're just doing it because we are traveling so far.

I'm anxious to see the results. I hate to hope for something to show up... but I can't help it. She keeps doing strange things with her eyes that worry me. I'm probably going to get her an appointment with an eye doctor no matter what the results. Someone on a support board was telling me about the infantsee program and supposedly they offer free exams for babies under one year. Looks interesting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

6 months

It's hard to believe I've had a little girl for half a year. It doesn't seem like it's been but a few weeks.

I haven't kept up with my monthly essentials lists. Every month is so similar that it seemed somewhat pointless. We use the same things now that we did then, for the most part.

Sometimes she doesn't even seem like the same baby we brought home from the hospital. She's bright eyed and alert, and watches everything that goes on around her. She loves going outside, and she likes seeing different people for the most part. She's very verbal, making all sorts of noises to announce her presence. She holds her head up really well and can sit up on soft surfaces. She hates being on her belly and won't push up or roll over. But she'll stand with balance help. She reaches and grabs for everything; she was holding onto the handle of my hot tea mug this morning and I had to pry her fingers off it so I could take a drink. Anything she can grab hold of and put in her mouth, she does. Right now everything she touches is covered with drool and snot. Lovely RSV.

We're on formula all the time and she loves it unless she's sick. Because she seemed extra hungry I started her on cereal at 4 1/2 months and she's up to rice, oatmeal, prunes, and peas now. She's gotten the whole "open mouth insert spoon" thing down, and we keep most of what we put in our mouth inside. She's big enough for the swing in the tree outside as well as the baby swings in the park. She sleeps through the night most of the time, although she does not like bedtime. She enjoys trying to grab pages while I read to her although sometimes she knows bedtime is coming and wales because of it.

So that's our life for now...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surgeon Appt

We had Ladybug's appointment with the craniofacial surgeon yesterday in Chattanooga. It wasn't exactly what we were honestly hoping for, but I don't think we were surprised.

The doctor said her head shape, while very lumpy and bumpy, did not fit any specific syndrome or suture closure. The soft spot is still open, which we knew given that I feel it just about every day. Her hands, feet, and eyes do not show the common characteristics of either Pfeiffer or Crouzon's. Basically, he can't tell anything from the exam, other than she has a lumpy head. He has ordered a CT scan to see if there is a suture closed that he couldn't feel. They have a new machine that does the scan much faster than normal, so they are going to try to do it without anesthesia. This hopefully means no needles so that is a definite plus. Unfortunately, even if we did need anesthesia he doesn't want us to do it locally because he doesn't get the exact picture he needs, so I'll be heading back down to Chattanooga at some point.

We did get signed up with TEIS which I think will be helpful. They can even do hearing and vision exams which is awesome.

My current thoughts are, we're in this for the long haul. Surgery, while traumatic and expensive, is simple. I'd like a reason for why her head has all these lumps and bumps, because I don't think it's normal. I'm also seeing her eyes cross at times, which isn't normal. And I don't think her hearing is completely normal either, all of which can be explained by the cranio which the genetic tests clearly shows she has. I'd also like a simple reason for why she's 6 months old and not doing what a 3-4 month old can do.

But, I'm just the mom. Of course I want answers and simple fixes. And I may be seeing problems where there aren't any... But hey, what else are mom's for?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Yet another offensive post...

I'm going to step on toes.

No, more than that. I'm going to stomp on them.

I'm a member of a birth board. I do it for amusement, mainly; when I really truly need advice my internet is down and I prefer to look in my nursing textbooks. I do enjoy being able to answer some people's questions, assure them something's normal, encourage them to see a doctor about a problem, or just encourage them. A popular topic is vaccinations.

Now, I've just hands-down refused to post on those threads. I have too strong of an opinion to get into it. I don't feel like getting tarred and feathered either.

But by golly, this is my blog and I'm going to post my opinion.

If you do not vaccinate, you are risking the life of your child, and the life of other children who are not fortunate enough to have good immune systems.

I was just in the ER with Ladybug, who has RSV. The kid's had MRSA. She's had campylobacter. The kid's got a screwed up skull. She was a full term healthy infant who has already had 3 different antibiotics. She just doesn't have the greatest of luck. If there was a vaccination for RSV, you'd better believe I'd have gotten it. I'm thinking someone out there has got to be working on that, right?

So here's my advice to those of you who don't vaccinate. Go walk through an old graveyard. "We don't get the flu vaccine." Go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ask a park ranger where some cemeteries are. Hike your non-vaccinated butts to them. And look at those tombstones. Notice the dates. Notice that there are a lot of them in 1918. Know why? Flu. Guess what else you notice. Lots of babies. Lots of little angles craved into tombstones. Lots of kids under 5.

Guess what folks? Measles kills. Rubella kills. Mumps kills. Guess what else? There's a shot for that. Smallpox kills. Read John Adams or 1776. There were epidemics. Lots of people died. Know why we don't have that problem now? Vaccines. Remember polio? Those of us who are young, nope. Know why? Vaccines. Hospitalizations from diarrhea caused by Rotavirus? Preventable with a simple two dose oral vaccine. Hepatitis B, extremely contagious, extremely bad for the liver. Preventable with a vaccine. Hepatitis A, same thing. Let's see, what else... Oh, diphtheria? Another nasty diarrhea bug, potentially fatal for children. There's a vaccine for that. Whooping cough? Lots of problems with that in California... where people decided to stop vaccinating for it. Tetanus... ever seen someone dying of that? It's bad. There's a prevention for that... it's called a vaccine. H. influenza type B... nasty little critter. Preventable.

Blunt. Offensive. That's me while pregnant and tired (wait... pregnancy = tired. Never mind) You like seeing your kid sick? You like watching them suffer? You like having your ears pierced by their screams of distress? Fine. Don't vaccinate. But don't take them to Walmart. Don't send them to school. Don't bring them to the neighborhood playground. Don't risk them catching something that's completely preventable and exposing someone else who can't fight off germs. You have the right to not vaccinate. Great. Exercise that right and stay in your commune away from my kid.

Wow... I can be horrible. Glad not many people read this!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What a weekend

It's been a whirlwind... I only hope the next few weeks leave the cows out of the trees.

Does that make any sense? It makes sense in my head... but that doesn't mean much anymore.

Where do I even start? Well, we went without internet for a week; you have no idea how dependent you are on something till you don't have it anymore. It was a mix-up between two companies, frustrating, but absolutely nothing I could do about it. Not that I had time to try anyway...

Friday the Mechanic was off. And I was quite upset over the internet situation. So he went to Walmart to get stuff for spaghetti and to fix our DVD player so we at least had something to watch. (We have no TV) I was in the nursery, where I'd been all day, organizing baby clothes, when he called my cell and said I needed to come get him, he was about to pass out and there was lots of blood. I immediately thought car wreck, but he was in the Walmart parking lot. So I grabbed Ladybug, who was asleep, shoved the dogs outside, and ran out the door. I actually thought to grab the first aid kit too.

When I got to Walmart, as I suspected, he'd passed out, seized, and someone'd called 911. There was an ambulance, a fire truck, and two cop cars. He was on his feet by this point, already bandaged up by the off-duty EMT that happened to be in the parking lot at the time. Somehow he sliced his finger quite deeply on a pocket knife that came open without his knowledge, so that could have been a lot worse. I ran the beef and frozen texas toast back inside and took him to urgent care for three stitches.

Saturday, I was bleeding. Now with Ladybug I bled for 4 straight months, but I've got a low lying placenta with this baby and have not bled daily so it was a bit more concerning. I rested most of the day and then decided to head to the ER that evening on the Mechanic's suggestion. The nurses were so helpful; it was slow so they took Ladybug to the nurses's desk to feed her and kept her while I had an ultrasound. Turns out that low-lying placenta is causing some problems. It has partially detached and is bleeding underneath. Baby was fine, so they told me complete bed rest, flat on my back with my feet up, until I saw my OB on Monday.

Do you have any idea how limited you are when you can't even roll over or sit up? Oh. My. Gosh. I have never been so miserable. I'll go through the 9th month of pregnancy 10 times before I'll spend 36 hours on my back again. Plus there was the fact I could do almost nothing for Ladybug; she likes to sit up now too, and I couldn't put her on my belly so I really couldn't hold her. The Mechanic had to do everything, and while he did his best, he's just not mommy.

So Monday we went to the OB and had another ultrasound. Baby was still good, placenta had the small area of detachment and bleeding. The OB said I'd probably be bleeding off and on till the placenta moved away from the cervix, so we're hoping that happens soon. Until the placenta moves, I'm on restricted activity. Limited lifting, squatting, exercise, and orders to take it easy. At least I can do most of what I need to for Ladybug. I was so relieved to be off complete bed rest, especially with Ladybug's appointment with the surgeon coming up. I did not want to miss that.

And that brings us to Ladybug. This is what comes from being toted to the ER by Mommy and held by all sorts of nurses. She had a runny nose on Sunday, but I figured she was getting allergies. By Monday, she had a horrible sounding cough. I did too, and I was assuming mine was from allergies. Nasty drainage. By Tuesday, she had a rash. And that's when I called her doctor, who told me to bring her in. So I loaded her up and off we went to yet another doctor (4th in 5 days). Now, you would think as a nurse I would have thought to listen to her lungs. I'd listened to my lungs the day before. But I neglected to listen to hers. Apparently they were not pretty sounding... when I listened later that night, there were all sorts of rhonchi and wheezes. So we have her on antibiotics and nebulizer treatments. We think she may have walking pneumonia, although in her case I guess you'd call it sitting pneumonia. Yes, this baby girl still can't push herself up or roll over, but she can sit up unsupported for close to a minute. Strange.

In the midst of all this, we have scheduled appointments with our surgeon, Dr. Sargent in Chattanooga, and with the TEIS (Tennessee Early Intervention Services) for evaluation. I'm anxious to hear what the surgeon has to say... that will give us a lot better idea of what we are facing in the next few months.

Tummy time... looking outside buys us a few minutes. But other times we just decide to nap instead of working on our pushing up.

My hand is several inches away; she's balancing by herself! Cannot believe this... I was so afraid she was going to get further and further behind, but it looks like she's just decided to skip pushing up and rolling altogether.

Neb treatments... she's not a big fan, especially since they make her congestion worse temporarily as it loosens and she coughs it up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

1 in 100,000

My Facebook status read: 1 in 100,000. Wow, we're special. Some days, I'd rather just be normal.

We got the results back on Ladybug's genetic tests. She has craniostenosis/craniosynostosis, but not the Crouzon's we are told runs in the family. She has Pfeiffer syndrome. Now, the Mechanic never had a genetic test run, and the other family member's tests weren't as specific, so maybe they had Pfeiffer. Maybe the human reading the DNA misread it and she actually has Crouzon's. Or maybe she was just that lucky kid who mutated the mutated gene.

At this point, I can't figure out the difference in Crouzon's and Pfeiffer. What I do know and understand, is that her head is getting too hard, too quickly. If not corrected, this will lead to more developmental delays, neurological problems, pain, and potentially, death.

Yeah, we're going to treat this. I believe in God as a Great Healer. I also think He does a whole lot of His healing in operating rooms.

I'm not handling this as well as I thought I would. Maybe I didn't take into account pregnancy hormones. I didn't think I'd cry. The Mechanic said I would. Well... he's right. As usual. (See honey, I admit it)

When I typed "Pfeiffer" in the Google search bar and those pictures popped up, my immediate action was to cover my mouth and say "oh my gosh!" (That is actually what I said, no better, no worse.) I teared up a little bit but blinked them back and started my research. I scanned the John Hopkins article and then started trying to find a neurologist to treat this. I only made two phone calls before I gave up. One I had to leave a message with. The other said they would see patient's for cranio, but only if they were over 2 years old. I told her that did me absolutely no good. Definitely not waiting till my child is 2 to get this treated just so insurance will pay better.

I then realized I had absolutely no idea exactly which specialist needed to see her. Then I got to talk to her doctor. She is definitely in favor of us going to a craniofacial center, but the ones that came up when they had searched for this particular type of cranio were all thousands of miles away. I told them about the craniofacial center in Chattanooga that had done our nephew's surgery, so they are going to send us there. We'll keep Vanderbilt in mind as a second opinion if we think we need one.

I downloaded and was reading over the craniofacial parent's handbook that was on Erlanger's website. Unfortunately, it has lots of pictures. Including intrasurgical pictures. Of pieces of children's skulls sitting on sterile fields to be worked on. That's when I lost it. Normally, I find surgery fascinating. But all I could think of was, oh my gosh that's going to be my baby girl's skull sitting there!

Now, we have no idea exactly how this will be treated. They may wait. They may do medications. They may do a helmet. Or, they may do surgery. We won't know till we see the craniofacial specialist and probably do a CT.

So, I'm simply praying for God to provide. There's a long list of things we need. Everything from wise skilled doctors and anesthesiologists, to lower gas prices.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reading to a 5 month old

I try to read 3-4 books to Ladybug every night before bed. I've gone through all our kids books 2-4 times, bought a bunch of books at consignment sales, and am taking advantage of the local library's kids' section. I started reading to her before she was ever born, reading my big Beatrix Potter treasury. One thing has happened that I hadn't anticipated.

My child reads with me.


Quite loudly.

She's taken to jabbering in the last month, mostly vowel sounds by themselves, although she did say "mama" Sunday. (I asked the Mechanic and he confirmed that yes, she did say "mama." Although I won't pretend she has any idea what she said.) She can get pretty vocal at times, which is why she now stays in the church nursery on Sunday mornings. But she is never more vocal than when I am reading to her.

At first I thought she was just jabbering for the sake of jabbering. But then I realized that she got quiet when I put the book down. And would start again when I started the next one. Yet another reason to keep her in the nursery... she thinks when you open a book, you start reading aloud. Even if you can't talk yet.

I couldn't help but laugh at her today... she'll occasionally turn her head and look at me while I'm reading instead of looking at the pictures. And of course, she talks to me while she does this. I finally looked at her and said "shhhhh." She stopped... and giggled. Pure, complete, giggle. I obviously got nowhere with teaching her that "shh" means "be quiet." What could I do but laugh? It was completely, utterly adorable!

So I'll continue reading, over top of my 5 month old. I think it'll be a long time before we can go to story hour at the library...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why moms with kids old enough to be on Facebook, shouldn't be on Facebook.

This will be a work in progress, as I see things that remind me of just why moms over 40 should not be on Facebook.

  • Confirming your daughter's pregnancy before she does.
Really? I mean, come on! I've seen this happen more than once now. Daughter posts a vague status update. People start guessing, eyebrows get raised. Good grief, I did it when I wasn't even pregnant yet! When you've been married for a while, mention kids, life changes, surprises, or sleepless nights, and everyone assumes you're pregnant. If you're not pregnant, you get on there and clarify that you are NOT pregnant. If you are, or are trying, or are just plain mean you don't say anything. You post about the weather or your dog the next day, and leave everyone hanging.

But, to all the parents out there, you don't (let me repeat, YOU DO NOT) clarify for them if the answer is yes! No no no no no no... in NO circumstance is this appropriate. It may be your grandchild, but it's her child. Let her announce it however, whenever she sees fit.

Some people have a major problem with the first pictures being posted by someone other than the parents. Now, I have no issue with this. My sister-in-law was the first to post pics of Ladybug, and that was fine by me. Honestly, it took the pressure off me to get on there. I think she was a week old before I even did a status update. I'm sure it's different if you have a smart phone and can update from your hospital bed. But, if I had a smart phone, I'm not going to take my eyes off my child to post! I had some family get ticked over this... get over it. My world does not revolve around Facebook. Believe it or not.

So, there you go. Number one reason of many why your mom should not be on Facebook. =)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Political Rant

I'm going to rant for a moment.

Republican party: you stink.

Grassrotes efforts in east TN: you stink.

I live in a small town, literally on a main street. I live next to a stinkin' post office. And I had NO CLUE that the election was today.

Granted, I'm a tad isolated. I don't have a TV. I don't subscribe to a newspaper. I don't work. But I do go to church. No one mentioned it. NO ONE.

I then decided to criticize myself; after all, if I really wanted to vote, it's my responsibility to find out when the election is and where I'm supposed to vote. So I pulled up the Kingsport Times website to find out poll times. Let me list the headlines for you.

Main Headline

  • Gov. Haslam defends his actions for businesses

Top Stories

  • Defendent whose drugs were stolen from HCSO evidence locker pleads guilty
  • Report: Colts, Manning to go separate ways
  • Police: Woman on 'bath salts' breaks into neighbor's home, sets fire
  • Hackers busted after one becomes FBI informant

Local Headlines:

  • Police car clips man in wheelchair on Center Street
  • Gingrich pitches plan to lower gas prices to $2.50 during Kingsport visit
  • Search for UVa-Wise chancellor set to begin
  • NWS: Seven tornadoes hit NET, SW Va.
  • Sullivan BOE approves $400,000 in renovations for North


  • Report: Colts, Manning to go separate ways
  • Britain says handshakes OK for its Olympians
  • Nine more allege abuse at hands of late Red Sox clubhouse chief
  • Lenny Dykstra gets 3 years in Calif. prison
  • Judge: NY Mets owe up to $83M to Madoff trustee


  • Streak in gas price hikes ends at 27 days
  • Chrysler to sell natural gas-powered truck
  • Dow falls more than 200, interrupting 2012 rally
  • BMW in cooperation talks with General-Motors
  • Financier Stanford convicted in $7 billion fraud

Sunday Stories

  • Signature Properties partnership gives back
  • Folks You Should Know: Audey Ratliff
  • Kingsport Public Library offers wide range of programs, services


  • Brooks leads 2012 Country Music Hall of Fame class
  • Sci-fi drama 'Terra Nova' axed after first season
  • National Geographic Museum to open Titanic exhibit
  • 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' composer dies
  • Skies still blue for Crystal Gayle


  • One killed, several injured in meth lab fire at nursing home
  • GOP hopefuls clash with Obama on Iranian response
  • Special Forces soldier dies trying to save his kids in house fire
  • Court rejects suit by Tennessee dad in international custody case
  • Report: Minority students face harsher punishments

Community News

  • Nancy Ross Hugo lecture 'Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Lives of Everyday Trees'
  • Annie Moses Band coming to FBC March 18
  • Children to benefit from 1,500 free books
  • Tickets on Sale for "A Tisket, A Tasket, A Literary Basket"
  • Scrabble Social aids literacy efforts

Seriously? There is not a SINGLE headline even remotely hinting that the primary is today. NOT ONE. The only thing that even comes close is talking about Gingrich lowering gas prices when he comes to visit. Apparently he was in town yesterday, presumably because the primary is today. I read that article. It concentrates on his comments on gas prices. It doesn't list poll times. And truly, it doesn't even say that TN's election is today. It says he visited the day before Super Tuesday; I suppose you can make a logical conclusion that he wouldn't waste time the day before a major election in a state whose election is later. But they didn't come out and say that. And they sure didn't give specifics as to "Sullivan County polls will be open from 9-5" or whatever.

Apparently, we care more about what Peyton Manning and the Colts are up to than the fact we're deciding who will run against Obama for president.

And just to be clear, I went on to try to find the poll times. The majority of the links I found for my county (not Sullivan) had to do with 2010 election. The link was about 3/4ths the way down the Google search page, and then it took about 4 links from there to find a general "most polls will be open from 8-8." This stuff should be frontline, headline stuff. I should not have to search to find it. TN has not held its primary on Super Tuesday very often; it's not like the national election which is automatically the 1st Tuesday in November. ( I correct myself: apparently TN did use to be part of the Super Tuesday bunch. In 2003 they decided to move it back to February in an effort to get more politicians to pay attention to us, essentially. Please keep in mind I was not even old enough to vote until Dec 2002. So, out of three presidential primaries I've been eligible to vote in, two have them have not been on Super Tuesday. So, it is understandable that I do not immediately associate Super Tuesday with TN's primary.)

Well, whomever me and Ethan may have voted for: you lost two votes today. Surely we're not the only TV-less family in the area.