Monday, August 31, 2009

What Happens When I Run Out of Time To Blog

Wow, it has been a whole week since I last posted. Life is just plain busy. That's all there is to it. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. I have been thinking about my blog, and wanting to get to you all to post, but just haven't been able to swing it. So I am going to do a random updating post since I can't seem to find the time to do a proper one.
  • August was a re-grouping month for me. As I posted about previously I have been financially stressed (to say the least) and I needed to spend a month and work my little arse off and see if it was enough to allow me to stay in my house. The good news is that it seems to be feasible. The bad news is that I literally have to bill 9 hours every work day and not spend a cent on anything that isn't in my budget. Not the most exciting way to live, but for now, if it keeps me in my house, I'll take it. But working over 9 hours a day (I don't bill for driving time) doesn't allow much "fun" time to update the ole blog. So here I am at 9:30 at night trying to throw this together before I go to bed for the night.
  • I am getting pudgy. I'm not happy about it. There is no doubt why this is happening as I have been using the breast feeding excuse as a reason to eat like a little piggy. I have been indulging in carmel delight ice cream with semi sweet chocolate chips on top several nights a week. I have been enjoying See's Candies on the other nights. And in between those, I have been eating the dark chocolate mints and peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. Add that to the Cheetos that I made part of my daily lunch routine and it all seems to make sense... SO! No more. I am now on a very healthy daily diet (I actually eat really healthy, but when I throw in the above sweets it negates my healthy diet) and have cut out the sweets. I am also "working out" again. I put that in quotes because what I really mean is that I am doing about 60 crunches, about 30 leg lifts, and several different arm exercises with 8 pound weights on a nightly basis. I have no time for a gym, or even a brisk walk around the block on a daily basis. Maybe in the future, but for right now, it is all I can handle. I only need to lose like 5 pounds so hopefully I can knock it out soon.
  • I never posted about The Girl's 4 month well baby check. That is mostly because we spent almost the entire appointment talking about The Boy and his thumb issue and his speech issues, but we did actually have an appointment. Here are her stats: 14.7 pounds, 75th percentile, 23 1/4 inches tall, 50th percentile and her head was 42 cm and that is also the 50th percentile. The doctor joked that I have never experienced having a child that is right down the middle of those charts before. He's right. I haven't. And I am afraid to jinx it. But basically she is doing great. Keep on keeping on with her. Don't change a thing at this point.
  • Speaking of The Boy, he does indeed need to have surgery. Of course, right? We met with a fabulous pediatric orthopedist on Friday and that is really our only option. He is starting to write and right now he switches back and forth between his two hands, but it is clear that he wants to use his right hand more. But I think he isn't because his poor little thumb doesn't work correctly. So surgery is scheduled for Monday September 14th. The surgery itself only takes about 10 minutes but he does need to be knocked out for it. He will also have to have a cast for about a week afterwards basically to make sure that the incision heals properly. Looking forward to that (insert eye roll and sarcasm here).
  • Finally, an update on potty training. We seem to have mastered the pee thing. He is a rock star where that is concerned. However we aren't so fabulous on the poop. He has done it in the toilet about 3 times but the rest of the time he either does it in his diaper in the morning before he tells me he is awake, in his pull up during nap time, or (my personal favorite) in his big boy pants. And yes, unlike my mother, I blatantly throw those suckers away when that happens. There is just no cleaning them out. Plus they are only like $3.00 for a pack of three at Tar.get. Simply not worth it.
  • And if you stuck around reading this boring and long post I will reward you with some pictures of The Boy. We have had many pics of The Girl lately but not to many of older brother. So here he is, in all his weirdness...Behold the goggle boy!
And just because it happens to be my very favorite perk of potty training, here is a shot of a cute little boy butt in big boy undies. These happen to be his Spider Man undies, which are among his very faves... cute is that flat little butt?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Day, Another Specialist

I think we are up to 8 now...

That is 8 different specialists we have been to for The Boy.


This one isn't particularly scary, although it has the potential to equal surgery, which is SUPER scary but still... I should mention that I am left handed. Not that any of you care, but I am. And the reason that I am left handed is because when I was about three years old I had to have surgery on my right hand. My right thumb to be exact. I had what is called "trigger finger," which for me meant that I could not completely straighten out my thumb. It stayed bent at the knuckle. Forever. My parents found this out when I went to do a "Fonzie" and stuck out my thumb with the accompanying "Hey..." and they realized that my thumb was all crooked. It wouldn't straighten out. So I had to have surgery and I think that was around when I was learning how to write so I ended up using my left hand...and you see how it all ended.

About a week ago The Boy called me when he was supposed to be sleeping and told me his thumb hurt. I looked at it and it seemed fine so I assumed he was trying to avoid sleeping and I told him to go to sleep. Great mother, right? Well a couple of days later he said it again. And this time it wasn't during nap time so I gave it more validity.

When he tried to bend it, it sort of clicked into place. It almost looked like someone who is double jointed. It would "click" straight," and then "click" again when he bent it. I asked him if it hurt and he said yes, but wasn't crying or anything so I figured I would keep an eye on it. Since then I have checked in with him and his thumb randomly and sometimes he can bend it (and if he can, it always does the "clicking") and sometimes it is "stuck" (his word). For the last couple of days it is stuck just like my thumb was when I was little. He can't straighten it.

So today was The Girl's 4 month well baby check. I decided to bring The Boy along and have their pediatrician take a look at it during the appointment. Of course as soon as he walked in the room The Boy shoved his thumb at the doctor and told him it was "stuck." He looked it over and told me we needed to see an orthopedist (is that right?). Then he smiled at me and said, "I know you are foreign to the concept of my referring you out to specialists so let me explain how this works..." He does amuse himself... I told him about my thumb when I was little and asked if this could be something that was hereditary and he said absolutely.

So now we get to go see a pediatric orthopedist...


Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

On August 23rd 2008 my life changed forever...
And on August 23rd 2009 my life could not be better...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy 4 Months Peanut!

Dear Peanut,

I can't believe you are four months old today. Time moves so fast... I have to say that I think 4 months may be my very favorite age of your babyhood so far. You are so much fun right now. You are such a happy little girl. You will smile at anyone who looks even the slightest bit fun, and the way you smile, with your eyes and your entire face, can literally light up a dark room. Here is evidence of that smile with your monthly photo in your bean bag chair:
Notice your feet in the above picture. You always seem to have your feet in that "praying" position. They were like that when you came out of the womb and haven't entirely changed yet. There is very little of you that is like you were when you first were born so I treasure getting to still see your little feet like that. As you can see by your pictures, you are quite...ummm...healthy. You have rolls within your rolls. And I LOVE IT! One day it will upset you to have rolls in your thighs, but right now it is a sign that things are fantastic.

You are starting to notice things around you more now. And your favorite thing to notice is your brother. You two are developing quite the little relationship. It makes my heart sing to see it happen. He LOVES that he can always make you smile, and you will pretty much light up at the mere sight of him. You especially love it when he joins you in your special places like your crib...
And it makes you even happier when he lets YOU join HIM in one of his special places:
But your very favorite thing in the world is when he gives you a hug. And he does this a lot. He is always hugging and kissing on you and I imagine someday that will irritate you, but for right now, you think it is wonderful! I love seeing you look up at him with wonder in your little eyes and can't wait for all the things he is going to teach you.
Your daily habits have changed a lot in the past month as well. The biggest change is that you are now going to daycare three days a week. Besides the first week when you weren't sure what happened to your Mommy, or those things she carries around with her that feed you, you have decided it is great. Of course your brother is there, so that makes it cool. You go to "school" Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and work from home with Mommy on Wednesday. I pump for you so that you can continue to have only Mommy's milk even when I am not there. I am told right now you drink about 8 to 10 ounces in an 8 hour period of time. The ladies who take care of you constantly tell me how "easy" you are and that you are just a joy to be around.

I couldn't agree more.

In addition to school, you have changed your sleeping pattern quite a bit this last month. You are finally acting like a normal little baby. You go to sleep every night around 8:30pm and you sleep straight through in your crib until around 5:00am. At that time you wake up and nurse with Mommy in Mommy's bed and then go right back to sleep next to me. I love when you wake up in the morning next to me because you don't make a peep. All of a sudden I will look over at you and your eyes will be open and bright and you will give me the biggest smile. It is such a wonderful way to start my day. You still haven't really mastered the long nap thing, but you are getting better. In fact yesterday when I had you home with me you took two proper naps. The first was for 2 hours! And the second was for about an hour and a half. You no longer sleep in your swing and have transitioned into your crib like the big girl you are. You also are still trying to refuse to take a pacifier and instead prefer to stick your pudgy thumb into your mouth. If you are tired I can sometimes convince you to take the pacifier instead, but for the most part you prefer your thumb, your fingers or your fist.

You truly are an amazing little girl. I can't believe how lucky I am to have you. I call you my little ray of sunshine and you truly are. You bring nothing but smiles and joy to every part of our lives. You very rarely cry, and people are always saying to me, "Is she always this good?" "Is she always this happy?" And yes; yes you are. You are getting much stronger and LOVE to stand on my lap looking into my eyes. We spend a lot of time "talking" like that. I just looked over at you while I was typing this and noticed your entire shirt is wet. You have started that annoying baby drooling thing, but I highly doubt we are getting any teeth anytime soon.

Your brother was such an easy baby that I had prepared myself that you were going to be a little tyrant (one can't get so lucky as to have two easy babies, can they?) But you aren't. So far you have been a complete joy. I am sure you will torture me in later years (like your brother is doing now), but right now, you are nothing but pure sunshine. I love you more than words can possibly express. Thank you for the last four months my little Peanut. I love being your Mommy and I love you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why My Mother Deserves A Medal

The Boy didn't have such a good potty training day at school today. He had one pee pee accident and one poop accident. As a result when my child was delivered to me, so were many plastic bags. One plastic bag contained The Girl's clothes (the people at her daycare enjoy "playing dress up" with her and therefore change her clothes just for the hell of it at least once a day), one bag contained two pairs of shorts; one wet and one dry, and one wet pair of undies. Then there was a third bag.

I smelled it before I opened it. I glanced over at my mom..."They must have rinsed it out before they sent it home, right?" She just smirked. I knew the answer to that question before the bag was even full open. No. No they did not rinse anything out.

This might be a good place to point out that my son is still taking Miralax (a mild laxative) and therefore he doesn't have a very...ummm...shall we say "formed," poop. So his little Lightening McQueen big boy pants had an entire poop just mushed all around inside of them. It only took one glance to understand that there was no dropping the contents into the toilet and cleaning the pants. One would have to physically take their hands and actually scrape the poop out of these undies and then somehow rinse them while in the water...I don't even know.

I looked over at my mother in HORROR, "What the hell am I supposed to do with these?" I asked. She just started laughing. "I mean, I am not rinsing them out in the kitchen sink!!" For some reason she found the entire thing amusing. I, however, was mortified.

I answered my own question. "I'll tell you what the hell I am going to do with these. I am throwing them out! Goodbye undies! May you rest in peace..." I said as I headed towards the outside garbage can.

"Don't throw out my undies Mommy!!!" comes this little voice. Um, yeah dude. You lost your vote in that equation when you blatantly CRAPPED in your pants!!!

And this is where my mother deserves her medal. She took the underwear from me, put on a pair of rubber gloves and headed toward the bathroom. I followed mostly because I honestly had no friggin idea of how she was going to handle these toxic things. She squatted down in front of the toilet and plunged them in. Then she took her hands and manually squeezed all the poop off the undies themselves into the toilet. Then she lifted the undies out of the toilet and flushed. Once it was done she plunged and did the same thing again.

She cleaned out his underwear.

She is a better woman than I.

Bullet Point Updates

  • The Boy is still doing pretty good with the potty training. He had two accidents at school yesterday and three successes (he isn't home yet today). I think the accidents are more because they aren't checking with him often to see if he has to go and he isn't at the point of telling people yet.
  • We still seem to be boycotting the pooping in the potty. He didn't poop at all yesterday and I think if it happened today it probably happened in his pull up during nap time. Hopefully we can work on this and make it happen soon.
  • My clogged milk duct seems to FINALLY be healed. Thankfully it never turned into mastitis but it was horribly painful and a royal pain in the ass. I had to get up and pump every couple of hours for several days in a row and always heat the boob prior to feeding and pumping and also massage the hell out of it before and after each feeding. My boob is still really sore and I don't think the supply has returned to what it was before but the mass is gone and so is most of the pain.
  • When I went to the doctor for my clogged milk duct my blood pressure was really high again. Something about that office, I swear. It was so high that my doctor called me at home later and told me she was personally making me an appointment at a specialist and all I had to do was show up.
  • I showed up at said appointment with the specialist this morning to go in and have my blood pressure taken. It was 113/82. Ummm yeah...why are we here again?
  • Specialist proceeded to treat me anyway and wants me to take my pressure at home and make an average and also sent me to the lab for all sorts of blood tests. I have to go back in three weeks.
  • Specialist appointment and lab time totaled over three hours. Three hours where I really needed to be billing clients instead of "wasting time" at a doctors office. Now I have to find sometime to make that up. No clue when or where that's going to happen.
  • Baby girl is pretty consistently sleeping 8 to 8 1/2 hours at night. Usually from around 8:30pm until around 5:00am. When she wakes up at 5:00 she nurses and goes right back to sleep until at least 8:00. She is a rock star.
  • I am so unbelievably tired that I am not sure how I manage to stay upright all day long.
  • I am happy. Very, very happy. Life is good.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Adventures In Potty Training Day 3

I am simply exhausted so I am going to keep this short.

Overall I would call the weekend a big, fat success. My boy did great. He peed all day long on the potty today. The second half of the day I even put him in big boy undies (instead of letting him walk around naked from the waist down like the two previous days) and he only had one accident late in the day. He was playing with his new Spiderman and was so engrossed in his play that he had a little slip. But other than that we had no accidents all day long.

The highlight (seriously? Is this what my life has come to?) of the day was when he managed to squeeze out a poop the size of a small golf ball in the potty. I had been worrying all day long about "the poop" when it would come and how we would handle it. It is crazy the anxiety that goes along with potty training. The longer he goes without a success my anxiety level rises and rises and rises. Then once he peed successfully in the potty I relax...for about 45 minutes when I start worrying again.

I don't know if I can truly explain what it felt like to spend three long days not leaving the house ever, with a timer going off every single half an hour. And each time that godforsaken timer went off it meant it was time to address pee and poop. I have never been so sick of bodily fluids in my entire life. I am SO over it. Thank God tomorrow is Monday!

By the time 8:00pm came I was SO ready to be done. I got The Boy to bed and was seriously thrilled to not have to deal with potty training anymore (for the day). I nursed The Girl and was rocking her when The Boy started calling me over his monitor. Over and over again. Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY. MOMMY. MOMMY!!!! I swear he would not stop. I couldn't yell at him because The Girl was just on the verge of finally falling asleep and thus cementing my desired "no child awake" status that I had been craving all evening long. I got up and turned off his monitor and continued to rock her until she was close enough to sleep that I could put her down. I put her down and went into his room with an exasperated, "WHAT!!?!?!?!"

"I have poop poop."

The little shit waited until he had his diaper on and unleashed the largest poop you have ever seen. Of course his diapers are also in The Girl's room. So I tip toe in there and the diaper basket is empty. Of course it is. So I try and silently go under the bookshelf where spare diapers are kept and sneak out the new package, grab the wipes and go into his room to find that I actually grabbed the package of new pull ups and not the diapers. FUCK!! So I go back in and successfully wake The Girl up all the way, get the diapers and go into his room and start changing him. Needless to say it was EVERYWHERE. I asked him why he waited and went poop poop in his diaper when I had been begging him to go on the potty all day long and he said to me in a snotty baby voice, "because I a baby Mommy," and then grinned at me.

Straw that broke the camel's back.

I said, "Fine. Then you're a baby. And tomorrow you only get to play with things that baby's get to play with. No TV, no planets, no Spiderman, no big boy bed..."

"NO Mommy...I wanta my toys. I a big boy. I wanta my big boy tings!"

"Well then you are going to need to use the potty like a big boy!"

And I literally pulled up his pants, turned off the lights and walked out the door. And in case you think that I was too harsh on him, it really was the straw that broke the camel's back. I had spent all weekend long being proud and non threatening and when I put him to bed the first time I had told him how proud I was of him and how when he went to school tomorrow he was going to get to wear his big boy undies like all his friends and all that good stuff. I praised the shit out of him. And honestly I really just needed to get those kids to sleep and not deal with anything potty related anymore for the night. I needed that to happen. Keep in mind that I am a single mother and I have been home, alone, ALL WEEKEND LONG dealing with potty related stuff. I needed it to be over. And just when I thought I was done. Poop explosion. Dear God!

So overall the weekend was a fabulous success. I am truly proud of my little dude and can't believe how well it actually went. It isn't his fault that Mommy was done. And of course I am not going to punish him when he gets up tomorrow. Because it will be a new day. And more importantly? I get to send him to school!! Hooray!

I am taking my potty-ed out self and going to bed. Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adventures In Potty Training Day 2

I am so unbelievably proud of my little boy today. We went ALL. DAY. LONG. without one accident. He used the little potty all frickin' day long today. Like yesterday I kept him naked from the waste down and set the timer to go off every half an hour. Every time he hears it he jumps up and yells, "Pom on Mommy!" (He doesn't use the "c" sound for come...) Then he runs into the potty and tries. Most of the time he goes. Sometimes he tells me there is nothing left in there and we will try next time. The timer even went off while I was in the shower and he came running into my bathroom to tell me he went pee pee and I needed to go look at it after I got out of the shower. I assumed he did a few drops and told him good job. But when I went to look after the shower it was a full-on pee. He even went in there and did it without me.

Yes, this is what my life has been reduced to this weekend.

But damn am I sure proud of that little boy. We never left the house, and we never put on big boy pants and we didn't conquer the pooping, but I would say it was a pretty banner day for day 2 of potty training. Fortunately for me he pooped this morning in his diaper before I took him out of it for the day. Because that is going to be a challenge. But one step at a time.

I also have a picture of him from today wearing his fireman boots, his fireman rain jacket, and his fireman hat and nothing else. He is sitting on the potty going pee dressed like that. CLASSIC. I would post it all for you but his little manhood shows up briefly in the picture and even I can't do that to him...

What a fabulous day for him. I am so proud I could burst. I bought what will hopefully be my last package of diapers for him today at Tar.get. He will get one diaper a day at night time and then during naps he will have a pull up. Hopefully tomorrow will go well. Monday we go to school for the first time in big boy pants. And I will be sending lots of clothing changes...

I still can't believe it. A whole entire day without changing his diaper once. Definitely a milestone for us. Yes it took us 3 1/2 years but we finally got here...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Adventures In Potty Training

Yes, I know. The Boy is WAY too old to not be potty trained yet. I get it. That's why I haven't talked about it here before. Truth be told, I am a little embarrassed by this fact. It was one of the three goals I had before the baby was born. The other two being getting rid of his Binky (check) and moving him into a big boy bed (check again). Two out of three ain't bad.

But then he started stuttering. And all his doctors told me that I should not put any pressure on him at all. Then I went on bed rest. Then the stuttering got worse. Then I gave birth and brought a new sibling into the house. Excuses, excuses, I know. But seriously. The kid is three and a half. It is time.

So even though I have only been back working for two weeks, and even though I don't think it is possible for me to be more tired than I am right now...I decided it was time. This was the weekend. It needed to happen...

Okay if I am being totally honest, my ass got a kick start because last weekend all 6 grandkids got together at my Dad and stepmother's house and every single kid there was potty trained. Except for my kids. My daughter? She gets a pass; she's not even four months old. But when my niece and nephew both showed up in "big girl/boy pants" I knew I needed to make this happen. They are both a full year younger than my son. Ouch. Call it peer pressure, whatever, but it is time...

So I decided that we were going to stay home all weekend long and give it a shot. Today was the first day. The method I am using is to have the boy run around the house naked from the waist down (if he has any pants on at all, he just goes. He doesn't get the concept yet that some things are different from a diaper) and set the timer to go off every thirty minutes. Every time the timer goes off we sit on the potty and give it a shot. Sometimes we had no success at all. Sometimes we had a couple of drops, and twice we had full-on, real pee in the potty. Overall I think it was a pretty good day.

Here's the bad part.

I had just come from the doctor (damned clogged milk duct!!) and The Boy was just waking up from his nap. I took off his pull-up, set the timer and we went to try and use the potty. I don't think anything happened that time. I went and got him a big glass of water in his favorite cup to encourage drinking and therefore successful peeing. I was out in the kitchen on the phone when he came out and said, "Mommy, I spill my water."

"You spilled your cup honey? All of it?"

"No Mommy...just little bit. You clean it up?"

Now I know you are all thinking that it wasn't really water and that he had peed all over his room. You would be WAS water...

And it was just a little bit of water. He pointed it out to me and it looked like the cup had fallen over for a minute and spilled a little but he had picked it up before much damage was done. So I was wiping up the water off the floor when he said...

"Mommy, while you cleaning dat, you clean da poop poop off my foot?"


So yes, my son was kind enough to point out to me the small puddle of water on the floor, but he neglected to tell me about THE SHIT on the floor. Great. Looked like he had attempted a toot but got a little more than he bargained for. Of course I don't want to make him feel bad or freak out or anything so I tell him no big deal and to go and sit on the potty and see if he can finish. Meanwhile I get the wipes out and clean off his foot, the toilet seat, the bean bag chair, the floor, the step stool to get to the get the idea. It was at this time that I hear my precious little daughter in the living room just BLOW ONE. Like a huge poop. And I just knew...

So I left The Boy with a book on the potty and went out to the living room to find The Girl laying in shit. It had gone all the way up her back, all over her outfit and all over the blanket she was laying on. But she was smiling about it. Of course she was. So I pick her nastiness up and take her to her room to clean her up but of course the wipes are in the bathroom with The Boy so I am holding her again to go and fetch the wipes and in the process get shit all over my shirt and my arms. I Fetch the wipes and take her back to her room, clean her up, get a new outfit and while I am standing there stripping my own shirt off I set her down in her crib and go into my room to find a new shirt.

This is where you think I am making this up because it seems just a little too much...but I assure you. I am not making this up. I wish I were.

And as I cross the threshold into my room I stepped in a nice, warm, chunky pile of cat barf.


And that about wraps my day up. Hope yours was better.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh Yeah...THIS!!

I have a clogged milk duct.


I had forgotten about this lovely part of breast feeding. I assumed I was good this time because my baby is actually eating off the breast (as opposed to last time when I exclusively pumped and got clogged milk ducts constantly) and so far I had been good. No longer...

I am not sure if it is the fact that my baby went 8 1/2 hours last night, or that I am unbelievably stressed, or what. But I need to get this thing resolved before it turns into the dreaded mastitis.

So I am doing all the tricks that I read about on the internet last night at 3:45 during one of my many pumping sessions. I am:
  • Nursing, nursing, and nursing some more
  • Always starting The Girl out on the side with the clogged duct and then moving her to the other side to hopefully fulfill her (does this mess with the supply of the "good" boob?)
  • Pumping after each time she eats on the evil side
  • Massaging the hell out of the hard lump that used to be my soft breast
  • Warm compresses
  • Trying different positions including the one where my baby's chin faces toward the clogged area (she looked at me in the middle of the night like I was nuts when I was crouched over her on all fours and then when I turned her upside down and she was facing my stomach and kicking my face...)
  • Hot, hot shower followed by immediate pumping and massaging of the area while doing this
  • Obviously not going more than 2 or 3 hours without her nursing or pumping on this side
So tell me great there anything that I am missing? Do you have anything else that worked for you? I am also only sending her to daycare today for the couple of hours that I am actually meeting with clients. I am picking her up around lunchtime and keeping her with me for the rest of the day so she can actually nurse as opposed to pumping like I normally would on a Thursday. So with all of that...anything else? Can you help me?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Current State of Affairs

I've been a bag blogger lately. I am still trying to figure out my new world. Who knew it could be this hard to work over 8 hours a day, take care of two kids, and never sleep more than 4 hours at a time? Each day I am shocked at the fact that I am simply exhausted. I spend about 10 minutes thinking, why the hell am I so tired? And then I remember.

Overall things really are going well. I am somewhat glad to be getting back to work and catching up with my clients. The baby is doing great in daycare. Pumping/breast feeding is still going well. The Boy is fine, although he is being a typical 3 1/2 year old and testing me on EVERYTHING. That is another post in and of itself. But overall things are okay; I am just trying to get into the swing of my new life post baby. Remember back 5 months ago when I got put on bed rest and I lamented here on this very blog that I hated change? Yeah, well I do. And getting back to my "old life" post baby has proven to be just as hard and giving it up way back when.

Random thought. How much does it suck when your baby sleeps 8 1/2 hours in her crib for the very first time and you don't get to enjoy it? I put the baby down at 8:30 last night. I slept blissfully from about 10:00 until around 2:30 when I mentally did the hour count in my head (5 1/2 hours...pretty good...should be up any minute now for a feeding) and then tried to go back to sleep. Except from 2:30 until 5:00am (when she finally woke up!!) I barely slept and had weird dreams and in each dream I kept telling people, "Oh my God, the baby slept X amount of hours last night!" All the while she actually is still asleep and I am tossing and turning and basically NOT enjoying it because I am laying there expecting her to wake up at any given second. Then as I roll over onto one side I realize that my boobs also are aware of the fact that she has been asleep so long. So I mentally lay there and think about how much it sucks that after she gets up and eats that I am going to have to go pump. And oh please oh please let me be able to fall back asleep after pumping, and please don't let The Boy wake up when I have to go into the kitchen to pump...I need at least another hour and a half out of him before I am ready to start the day...

Do you see what a waste of perfectly good sleep that is?

These are my thoughts at 5:24am when I sit here at my desk pumping. I really need to get my shit together and give you all a proper blog post. But for right now? This is as good as it's going to get. Hope all is well with all of you. Normal blogging will resume shortly. (I hope).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

You You You Like Bugs?

This is a sentence that you are asked within 5 minutes of meeting my son. It is usually followed up by wondering if you have a particular hankering for spiders or...if you want to make him jump out of his pants with joy...spider webs (the end all, be all of excitement as far as he is concerned).

Due to his new (although not too new at this point) interest, his lovely Gigi, whose entire purpose in life is to put a smile on the small child, went out and found a book all about bugs. And that book came with a lovely cylindrical plastic thing with several very real-looking plastic bugs inside of it. The Boy LOVES them. And one of his most favorite things in the world to do is to hide them all over the house and laugh maniacally when I scream because I have found said bugs. This morning while The Girl and I enjoyed lounging in bed for a while on Saturday morning, The Boy was busy at work. I knew I was in trouble when I finally got up to have him say to me, "Mommy der some bugs waiting for you." Great. What a wonderful way to start a morning. So I decided to take my camera with me and show you the treats that are left around my house on a regular basis.

Behold the keyboard. How ironic that I had already decided to make a blog post out of this and when I went to retrieve my camera out of my desk drawer this is the first bug that I was lucky enough to find:
He kept giving me hints that the spiders wanted to be in the leaves this morning (nice "hint" Boy) so I checked all of my house plants to find this one:
Then he proceeded to tell me that he KNOWS his sister really likes bugs. So I started checking her stuff out. Here is her bouncy seat. I believe that is a dragon fly...
And finally, his hairy spider (as he calls it) resting comfortably in her crib...
There were many more hidden but not all of them warranted photos. But just know that there are 20 bugs in that container and he "hid" about 15 of them this morning. At least he warned me this time. Most of the time I will be going around doing my normal stuff, minding my own business, and I run into one of these little suckers. And I have to admit that if I didn't know he put it there originally sometimes he succeeds in scaring the living shit out of me.

Happy Saturday everyone. May your weekend be bug free!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And So It Begins...

The Boy just called me into his room (he went to bed about a half an hour ago).

He looked at me when I went in and said, "Mommy, I found TWO boogies in my nose. One on each side!!"

"Great," I replied. "I will go and get you a tissue."

Boy: "No, don't worry. I put a dem in my mouf."

Mommy: "You put them in your mouth?!?!?!"

Boy: "Uh huh. Yes."

Mommy: "And you ate them?"

Boy: "Uh huh. Yes. Dey yummy. Dey almost as good as my licorice."

Oh dear God, he is eating his boogers. I officially have a nasty little boy. Sigh...

Getting Better

Sorry that my last post was such a downer. I considered taking it down several times but have decided to leave it up there because it is an accurate depiction of what is going on in my life right now. But man, it is hard to put your troubles up for the entire world to see. It is hard enough looking at them by yourself but allowing other people to see into the truth of the matter? Tough. But like I have always said, this blog is about my truth. And my truth isn't all about how damn cute my children are.

That being said...I am feeling a little bit better. The hardest day of the month for me is always the first of the month when I have to pay my mortgage. I freak out and realize that I am not going to make it, cry and scream and yell, and then (for the last few months) borrow money from my parents to make it for another month and then slowly collect myself. What I am doing different this month is that rather than taking their money and putting my head back in the sand for another month (because I am on bed rest and can't worry about it right now...or because I am home with my new baby and I have to focus on that damnit...or because it just isn't fair...blah, blah, blah) is that I am making a plan. I actually printed out my profit and loss for the past few months and made a spreadsheet of exactly what it would cost for me to stay in this house if I cut out all the fun extras (and by fun extras I mean my cleaning lady and my HBO and Showtime, oh and my son's speech therapy...). Then I divided that number by my hourly wage to see how many hours I would have to bill in order to come up with that number. It is doable. Not fun...but doable. So right now I am making sure that I am billing 8 hours a day and am also actively looking for new clients. If I can stay this course then I should be okay. So that is where I stand as of today.

In other news, my baby is in daycare!!! How sad am I? Poor little Peanut. Although she loves it. She is a hit. And apparently a very well behaved baby. The pump and I are getting along okay for the time being, but I am not thrilled with it. But the alternative is unacceptable. Right now she is eating about 8 ounces a day while she is at daycare and I am pumping about 10 ounces while she is gone. So we are still good on the supply. Of course this is just the first week so we will have to see how that goes. Plus, I am only sending her to daycare three days a week (she is home with me on Wednesdays and Fridays) so hopefully her actually eating from my breast on the other 4 days a week will help to keep the supply up.

I noticed how much I missed her this week so far. With an older one at home who is a lot more demanding it is easy to go most of the day without even interacting with her at all. This makes me horribly sad. In fact both Monday and Tuesday nights I found myself putting her to sleep in her crib during the night because I know it means she will be up every three hours. I missed her. I actually didn't want her to sleep for 8 hours (like she will if I put her in the swing). So since I can't nurse her during the day, or really spend any quality time with her during the day I am trying to make up for it at night. Really this just serves to make me exhausted since she doesn't even wake up in the middle of the night. She just screams until a boob is put into her mouth and she sucks until she feels full, then pulls off and resumes sleeping. But hey, it is "quality" time with mah baybee...

We are slowly getting into the groove over here. We are finally trying to return to a sense of what normal used to look like. Both kids in daycare, Mommy working full time and being able to pay the bills. I will be thrilled when we finally find a routine that works for us. Right now we are still messing with it trying to come up with what works best. But at the end of the day I now have two beautiful children to come home to and that is more than I could have ever wished for. So even though things are stressful, they really couldn't get much better.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Jig Is Up

Today marks the first day of my returning to work full time and The Girl's first full week at daycare. It has been a long time coming. I went off of work on February 20th when I was just 29 weeks pregnant. That's over 5 months that life has been in chaos. In some ways it will be good to get back into a routine. But in other ways...well, it's not so good.

I can no longer bury my head in the sand about my future where finances are concerned. It is time to really figure out if I am able to make enough money on my own to stay in my house. And in all probability, I can't. And this makes me more sad than I could ever express on this page. When we bought this house it was, of course, when we were a two-income family. That is no longer the case. It is very unlikely that, as a single woman living alone with two kids, I will be able to afford to stay where I am.

I reside in one of the most expensive places to live in the entire United States. And I don't live here because I want to be able to carry that "prestigious" title. I have lived here my whole life. It is all I have ever known. I have a TON of extended family that all lives here. Except for one of my cousin's family, every single cousin, Aunt/Uncle, Grandparent, sister, brother...EVERYONE lives within a 20 minute drive from my house. And because of that, my kids are growing up with all of their cousins and both sets of grandparents and even two sets of great grandparents that are all a part of their everyday lives. So I don't fight to stay here because of the weather, or because it is a really great place to spend your life. I fight to stay here because I am so lucky to have everyone around me. And in my situation (single mom by choice) I think it is HUGELY important for my kids to have a large extended family that they can count on. And I am so lucky to actually own a home in this area. And to live in that home and host parties and have a big backyard for my kids to run and play in...well it is one of the greatest joys of my life. And also one of my greatest accomplishments. And I am not sure how to give it up.

The difficulties don't even end there. Even if I had made the decision that I was going to move. Even if I gave up my home knowing damn well that I will never be able to afford to get back into the housing market here. Even if with all of those hard decisions I had come to the conclusion that I needed to sell. I couldn't. The housing market has TANKED in my area and my house is now worth approximately $200,000 less than it was just a year ago. I probably could not sell the house for much more than I paid for it over 5 years ago. So even if I decided to go that route, it would not work. I could not sell it enough to pay back my initial mortgage. And lest you think that I have been one of the many consumers that has used their home value to rack up some serious debt...I haven't. I have absolutely no debt except for my mortgage. I have no credit cards. I own my car. So I do not and have not led a frivolous lifestyle that has ended me in this position. What has ended me in this position is that my marriage ended. And like thousands of other couples out there, I am living proof that sometimes people simply can't afford to split up. If we had been in this financial position over a year ago when we decided to call it quits for good...I doubt we would have been able to afford to do it.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't regret our decision to split up for one second. In fact I think it might have saved my sanity. But it all comes down to the bare truth of the matter. My life in this house is not feasible as a one-income household. Or at least I don't think it is. I spent the entire morning today trying to figure out if there is any way on earth I can swing this. And it might be possible. But it comes at high costs. Like my poor son who will not be able to continue getting his speech therapy. I simply cannot afford $70 a week. I will have to make cuts everywhere. And I will have to work. A LOT. And in doing that I will miss a great deal of my kids' lives. And that makes my heart hurt.

So today is bittersweet in many ways. First of all, my baby is old enough to go to daycare. And second, I have to open my eyes and get my ass in gear and do everything I can possibly do to see if I can possibly stay here in my house. And if I can't? Well it is time to inform my parents that we are moving in and try and rent out my house for a while. Let's all pray that doesn't happen, shall we?

I have hesitated for a long time in posting the realities of my finances here on my blog. But this is the truth. It is the ugly truth of divorce and the aftermath. And it is time for me to get my head out of my ass and face it. All I know is that I will fight to the death to keep this house for my kids and for myself. But the most important thing is the happiness and health of my kids. And truthfully, as long as I come home at the end of the day to their faces, I guess it really doesn't matter what or where that home is. I mean, really...look at that face!