Wednesday, December 29, 2010

little bits

Just wanted to jot down a few little bits of this and that before I forget them altogether.  Not too long ago, I posted that Theo got his top two teeth. It was about 6 weeks ago.  Well, about 3 or 4 weeks after that, he got two more!  So he's got 4 on the top now and still 2 on the bottom.  But I think I saw those faint white lines next to his two bottom teeth so it may not be much longer before he's got EIGHT.  Wow.  This is happening fast.  The 5th and 6th teeth were pretty much painless.  In fact, one of them was through the gums before I ever noticed that they were coming.  I guess I thought we'd have more of a break since it was 4 months between his bottoms and tops coming in. 

He's eating like a champ.  He eats more people food than baby food.  I had the odd (yet frequent) craving for Mexican food the other night and usually I want "authentic" (or as authentic as it gets around here) Mexican cuisine, but for some reason I had a hankering for Don Pablo's.  I hadn't been there in, I don't know, three years?  It was amaaaazing.  But anyway, Theo ate the cornmeal spoon bread, queso dip (no, I did NOT give him tortilla chips!), and refried beans.  He loved every bite.  On Christmas he ate green beans, homemade noodles, and mashed potatoes.  He also loves instant oatmeal out of the little packets.  Bananas and other small pieces of soft name it.  I love watching him try new things and enjoy them so much.  He says baby food is for sissies.  By the way, my major cravings so far have been Mexican food (different from last time) and ice cold 1% milk (same as last time).

As a side note, I LOVE that he is so good in restaurants.  I'm embarrassed to admit this but it is probably not an exaggeration - I bet we've gone out to eat with him 100 times since he arrived in March and have only had to take him out of the restaurant twice for crying.  When does that change?  When do we stop going out to eat altogether?  I'm guessing that happens when he starts walking and doesn't want to be confined to the high chair anymore.  Oh, speaking of high chairs, here's something I'd add to my mommy must-haves:

 We got this on the spur of the moment, because my husband a.) thought it looked cool and b.) liked the penguins on the top.  It was $40 (after a 20% coupon at Babies R Us) well spent.  We take this to restaurants and hook it on to the table every time we go out to eat.  It collapses completely flat and comes with a mesh bag to carry it in so it's perfectly portable to take to other people's houses.  This thing is the perfect solution to limited space.  I don't know if we would have even gotten a high chair if we'd known about this.  Okay, I take that back - I like our high chair at home because it reclines and that's good for when baby is first learning to eat solids.  Anyway, here's what I really love about it.  The younger/smaller baby is too little for regular high chairs at restaurants because their mouth/chin/neck is going to be level with the table.  Perfect for baby to suck on or lick that disgusting table and very inconvenient for self-feeding.  With the Chicco chair, baby is at the same level that you are and can easily pick up snacks, play with toys, etc. off of the table. 

Wow, I so did not mean to launch into a full-fledged review of that product (for free, mind you), but I just want moms out there to know what a lifesaver and wonderful product this thing really is.  To be fair, I will share a couple of gripes about it.  The part that you see underneath the table takes up so much room that, depending on the size of the booth, you are sometimes pinned in once you are seated.  I haven't figured out how to wash the cloth seat in the washer, so it can get pretty nasty.  I just scrub the heck out of it with Wet Ones Anti-bacterial wipes and hope for the best.  The only other thing is that it feels a little big and awkward when you are assembling/disassembling it at the restaurant and people sometimes stare, I'm sure wondering what in the world kind of contraption you are putting together/taking apart.  But I can't tell you how many compliments we have gotten from waitresses, other parents, etc. on our little chair.  It really is a wonderful product!  If you have this or buy this as a result of my post, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!  I don't know anyone else with the Chicco TravelSeat and I'd be interested to hear someone else's opinion.  I think the packaging says it's good for up to 30 or 35 pounds.  *I just noticed on Amazon that it says you can remove the machine washable cloth cover so maybe I haven't tried that hard.  Whatever.  

Well, back to my original idea for this blog...little updates. 

I'll be 19 weeks pregnant tomorrow and over the last 2 weeks or so, my stomach has really started popping out.  It's so weird and different this time around.  I was in maternity pants by 12 weeks with Theo.  I guess part of it was because I wanted to be in them and wanted to look pregnant SO bad.  This time, I've been in no rush to look the part and am still wearing a pair or two of my bigger sized jeans/cords.  I treated myself to a new pair of maternity jeans and two shirts last night.  Love them!  It's always fun to do something to make yourself feel cute when you are feeling particularly un-cute.  Now that I'm starting to show, I expect to get stares and comments from nosy strangers when they see me with my infant son and obviously pregnant belly.  One other thing I was going to mention about the belly is that I started showing around the same time with this baby as I did with Theo, but it seems like I have gotten much bigger much quicker than I did with him.  Perhaps it is because the timing coincided with Christmas this year.  No further comment needed there.  *Ahem.* 

What do I love about having a pregnant belly?  Not feeling the need to suck in anymore.  Sometimes it's just more comfortable to let your gut hang out.  And that is what I shall do for the next 5 months because you won't know the difference.  It's a little bit baby, a little bit Butterscotch'll never know which is which because it all looks the same...Hallelujah!

I'm feeling the baby move more and more and getting excited about seeing his or her little face in a few short months.  I go back to the doctor next week for the fetal anatomy ultrasound and 20 week check up. 

Not so excited about getting on the scale after all these delicious meals over the last few weeks...


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

whirlwind of a week

Sorry for my lack of posts lately - Christmas week was quite the whirlwind.

Wednesday morning, I made the quick trip home - I don't mean 20 minutes home from work, I mean 5+ hours home - for my best friend's grandfather's funeral.  It was sad to say goodbye but endearing to hear so many wonderful stories about him and see those stories through old photographs.  I love old photographs.  I hope it made a difference to my BFF that I was there...that's all I wanted, just to make her feel loved. 

I got back early Thursday afternoon and there was a laundry list of chores (including laundry) to get done before we could go to my in-laws' for the holiday weekend.  We rushed around and got there in time for dinner.  Friday was relaxing and then Saturday - Christmas day - came.  Whew.

Can I just tell you how excited I was to get my shiny new iPod touch!? 

I've been using my Original iPod from 2005 all this time and swore that I wouldn't replace it until it crapped out on me. 

The thing won't die.  After playing with a friend's touch over the summer, I was in lust all over again.  I thought it was a bit of a stretch but secretly hoped that I would get the touch.  Santa Baby delivered, alright.  I could hardly wait to get through the rest of my presents to go get my iTunes transferred and Angry Birds downloaded (oh.muh.gah. SO ADDICTIVE!) when I opened the biggest surprise present of my life...
Behold, my newest and most prized (material) possession:

I've complained here about hating my current point-and-shoot digital camera and ooohed and aaahed about my freinds' wonderful professional quality cameras.  Well, I'm part of the club, folks.  I have a lot of learning to do.  I'm pretty sure you could have knocked me over with a feather when I unwrapped this gift.  I started having hot flashes and got light-headed and said ridiculous things like "you have to take this back!" and "what were you thinking?" all while clutching that beautiful red and black box to  my chest.  I have already taken 100 or so pictures and the difference is stunning. 

I can't wait to take loads of pictures of my babies with this fine piece of equipment over the next several years.  I'm a happy camper.

Theo had a good Christmas, and got more stuff than he can ever play with, but he didn't "get" it.  He didn't open presents without hand-over-hand assistance.  I found that pretty ironic considering the fact that we couldn't even hang out in the living room w/the tree because he was constantly crawling over there, trying to grab a present and threatening to destroy my pretty ribbon bows.  Don't you love packages with satin or cloth ribbon bows?  So pretty.

Anyway, overall it was good with the exception of the funeral.  Sadly, I also found out that the friend with breast cancer that I mentioned a couple of days ago is going to have quite the battery of treatments.  I don't know what she (or I) expected, but I was disappointed to find out that it sounds quite invasive.  She's such an upbeat lady and so much fun to be around.  I hope she doesn't lose that wonderful spirit to such an ugly battle.  I'm sure she will come out stronger and more endearing than ever in the end.

I just wanted to post something in my recent bloglessness, but I will soon post pictures from Christmas and a few post-present shots from the new camera.  Seriously, I can't remember the last time I was that surprised or thrilled about any(material)thing.

Hope your holiday was just as exciting.


Monday, December 20, 2010

the good, the bad, the big, and the little

My weekend:

Friday I got my biopsy results tumor was indeed benign and pathology was able to confirm that it was a fibroadenoma.  I don't know yet what that means as far as likelihood of it coming back or not.  I go to the doctor for my post-op follow up today and I've got a list of questions.  I didn't expect the tumor to be cancerous, but without a biopsy, you never know.  It seems like a little piece of good news, but it could have easily been a big piece of bad news.

My friend, who had a biopsy a couple of days before me, wasn't so lucky.  She has to wait a whoooole weeeeek between finding out that her tumor is cancerous and meeting with the doctor to find out what stage the cancer is in and what her treatment options are.  I texted her Friday to share my good news, hoping she had the same kind to share with me.  I tried to imagine her fear but I can't begin to.  Breast cancer is a big, bad deal.  I hope the early detection lends itself to a great prognosis. 

Sunday morning, one of my best friends (who happens to be a nurse) was telling me the story of an out of control patient (who happened to be homeless) that literally lunged at her in an attempt to attack her.  She'd declined the assistance of the security guards because she wanted to spare her patient's feelings when she confronted him about smoking in his hospital room.  While being so brave and compassionate, she put herself at risk.  I think she was truly scared and maybe she will reconsider the next time she puts a patient's comfort before her own safety...but knowing her, probably not.  It's one of the things I love about her the most.  That could have turned out really badly for her, and unfortunately it ended badly for her patient.  He signed out of the hospital against medical advice and was discharged to the streets in the freezing cold, with no shirt on his back and nowhere to go. 

While she was recounting everything that had happened, I felt this little baby move around in my belly for the very first time.  I counted four kicks and 2 swirly motions - I know, isn't that a great description?  Although I was captivated and saddened by her story, I couldn't help but smile at the little ways my sweet baby was saying "good morning, mommy."  And that was really good.  It seems like a little thing, but it's not.  Every day that I feel my baby move is a day that I don't have to worry if he or she is okay in there.  Losing this baby would be a big, bad thing.  I'm so lucky to have made it this far into my pregnancy and I am trying not to take that for granted.

A few hours later, I learned that another one of my best friends' grandfather had died.  This is not your average granddaughter-grandfather relationship.  We all expect our loved ones to grow old and pass away and be sad about it.  This friend's grandparents have shaped her life in so many ways.  They have more or less been her parents.  The passing of this dear man isn't just bad, it's devastating.  What a beautiful life he lived though... he was married to his sweetheart for over 60 years.  In this day and age, who can say that?  It would be beyond good to spend that much time with anyone you loved.  They were the picture perfect grandparents, too.  Holding hands and bickering all the while.  And would have done anything in the world for anyone, not just each other.  Good, honest people  You don't run into that every day.  Now we will see what happens to my friend's grandmother, who's Alzheimer's has been getting worse and worse over recent months. 

So much smiling, so much crying.  Life is an interesting thing, isn't it?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

don't tell me my baby be dumb

The other day I vented about the pediatrician saying Theo is behind or slow or whatever because he wasn't pulling up yet (2 days after he started crawling).

Here's to you, d-bag.

Sure, I suppose it's possible that one of the cats hopped into his bed and helped him stand up.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a sad start to life

There's a homeless man that usually sleeps in the alley behind the parking garage at work.  I don't know where he's gone, but hopefully he found somewhere warmer to sleep.  It's been in the single digits overnight here lately and the wind chills have been well below zero.  I get an ache in my heart and a chill in my bones every time I see him (or don't see him and wonder if he's okay).  I always wonder what life path led him to the alley behind a downtown parking garage.  There are shelters less than 2 blocks away, so I assume it's his choice to sleep on the street.  Does he have mental health problems?  Is he an addict?  A veteran?  He doesn't ask for food or money when I see him.  I want to help him but I don't know what to offer.  In a way, I hope to see him again when the weather turns warmer and in another way, I hope I don't.  I hope he's found somewhere better to be. 

As much as I have felt for this homeless man over the past year, nothing has shaken me to the core like the true story I heard about bit by bit on Tuesday.  At about 7am, a co-worker came into the office and told myself and a couple of others that she didn't want to ruin our morning by grossing us out, but we should avoid the stairs in the parking garage because she walked upon a scary scene.  Intrigued, we all begged for more.  We were hungry for the gory details. She said that when she was coming down the stairs to the 2nd level landing, she spotted a large amount of a thick, red liquid all over the place and as she worked her way around it, she saw that it was literally dripping from one step to the next.  She swore someone was murdered.  In case that wasn't bothersome enough, she said that there were bare feet footprints all through the "red liquid."  No one wanted to call it blood.

The comedian in our group said "the security guy last night had a jug of red kool-aid, maybe he spilled it."  "No," she said, "it was chunky."  The comedian comes back with "well, maybe he drank too much kool-aid and threw up."  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  We kind of left it at that and went our separate ways, careful to avoid using the stairwell in the parking garage as we headed home, our thoughts focused on how fast we could get our cars warmed up so we could get to our respective homes and snuggle into our respective cozy covers. 

Some time later, another friend I work with texted me asking if I saw anything scary in the parking garage.  I quickly responded that I didn't see it but I heard about it and asked if she knew what happened.  She wrote back that a homeless woman had given birth in the stairwell.  I'm not sure what I had been expecting to learn, but my heart instantly dropped to my feet and a million thoughts and questions filled my mind.

Are they okay?
Is the baby even alive?
It was 7* F outside.  7!
Was she alone?
She didn't even have shoes.
Did she yell out for help?
I was working 100 feet away while this was going on.
Did someone find her in the middle of giving birth?

I found out a few moments later that the building security guy reported that this was what had happened and that mother and baby were sent to the hospital and both were doing fine.  Initially, I felt immense relief.  But moments later, the same thoughts in my head were playing over and over, like a broken record. 

Was she alone? 
It was 7 degrees. 
She didn't even have shoes. 

I wondered if our building security guy, who gets to work around 5:30am walked up on her during or after?  Or did he hear this from someone else?  What if it had been me?  What could I have done to help her?  I'd like to think that I'd call 911 - duh - then sit there with her and ... well, then what?  Tell her to push?  I have given birth, but I don't know if I could direct someone through it. 

When I got to work last night, a girl who works the afternoon shift said that there was a sign posted on the elevator doors saying the 2nd level stairwell landing was closed due to being professionally cleaned after someone had given birth there earlier in the day.  I'm sure that made a few people do a double-take. 

I finally had the chance to talk to our building security guy this morning.  He said he arrived at 5:37 yesterday morning and walked right through the area where all this birth-giving allegedly took place.  He saw nothing.  Then, at 6:01 someone else who works in my building came in and asked him what all the ambulances were doing there.  So sometime between 5:37 and 6:01 in the morning, this woman, this mother, in a moment of urgency decided that giving birth in our parking garage stairwell was her best option.  And she birthed a precious, innocent newborn baby.  Then she apparently called 911 or the parking garage attendant from the help box in the stairwell lobby.  Barefoot, while holding her baby. 

At that time, the building security guy didn't know what had happened other than there was a bloody, gory scene on the second flight landing of the parking garage.  It wasn't until 2 hours later that there were detectives and forensic evidence photographers swarming the area, roping it off with their yellow homicide tape.  He said that he asked one of the photographers what had happened and eventually he learned that a homeless woman had given birth just moments after he walked through her labor and delivery area. 

He said that his initial reaction, which I'm guessing would be the same as many of us, was to think Ew, gross...what if I'd been 10 minutes late...what would I have done?  I would have gotten blood all over my clothes.  I would have had to go home and change.  I would have helped her, but ... Ew.  He said that he was shocked by the number of people that came through the door and didn't even mention what had happened.  His initial reaction of Ew turned into one of empathy.  He said lots of people who did ask what happened laughed, made jokes, or made other rude and insensitive comments. 

What led her to give birth in the stairwell?  Did she not realize what was happening to her body until it was too late to get to a hospital?  Was she afraid that, because she is homeless, CPS would automatically take her baby away?  Is that why she didn't go to the hospital to begin with?  I wonder if she has issues with her own mental health.  Or addiction.  How could a pregnant woman so close to going into labor not have a place to stay?  What if that was you?  What if that was me?  And my precious baby Theodore...

I have given birth in a comfortable, controlled environment with pain medication.  It was the scariest and most exhilarating experience of my life.  I wanted the people who love me the most surrounding me.  I can't imagine have such a drastically different experience and the thought of it breaks my heart for this woman.  I have something in common with her because we are mothers.  We know what it's like to grow a baby in our bellies.  We know what it's like to wait with anticipation to see that tiny face and kiss those tiny fingers.  I ache for her, not knowing what path life will take her and her baby on.  With such a sad and scary start, we can only hope for the best.  I hope this mama has a chance to raise her baby.  I hope she's able to meet her baby's most basic needs and provide the little one with lifelong unconditional love.  In the end, everything else is extra.

So, if it were you...if you were the one that walked up on this woman giving birth in a freezing concrete stairwell, what would you do?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

surgery update

The surgery was last Friday and it went off without a hitch. 

I had to be at the doctor's office at 8:30am so they could insert the wire to direct the surgeon to the rolly little tumor ball.  I was a wee bit nervous about that, but it was a breeze.  We were to the hospital shortly after 9:30am. 

The hospital, or "surgery center" was really nice.  There was a waiting area, like at a doctor's office, but there was a big long row of complimentary fountain drinks and snack machines (not that I could enjoy anything from them, but R definitely appreciated it).  I was worried that he'd be bored out of his mind, having to sit there for 3 or 4 hours but he was allowed to come right back with me.  It was a decent sized room with a television.  I was glad to have the company of my Boo, because let's face it, I was getting really nervous.  At the same time, I was really sleepy after not being able to sleep the night before so I snoozed off and on for the couple of hours between checking in and the actual procedure.  No complaints so far.

One thing I didn't consider, for whatever reason, was that I would have an IV.  (Duh).  I knew I'd be under anesthesia, but having never had surgery before, I assumed that they'd administer it via one of those gas masky thingies.  I didn't even think about the fact that I'd have antibiotics via IV as well.  So I'm lying in the hospital bed in our holding cell, er, room, and in comes the nurse saying she's going to put my IV in. 

My whutdidyoujustsay?

I had an IV when I had Theo and I was super scared about it.  I remembered that it was no big deal and that my L&D nurse put the IV in so smoothly that I barely felt it.  I took a deep breath and reassured myself that this experience would be just the same.  No.  It hurt going in.  Bad.  And the crazy thing was that while the one nurse was putting in the IV, another nurse or patient liaison or whatever she was was standing on the other side of me, telling me about my after-care and about all these consents I was going to sign as soon as my IV was in.  I'm sure the point was to distract me, but what do they think I am? Some kind of idiot? 

I only halfway paid attention to her and it was really hard to look at the dumb papers she was holding in front of me while my eyes were full of tears because my arm hurt so bad.  But honestly, that was the most painful part of the whole thing.  Shortly after 11:30, they wheeled me back to the OR and much to my surprise, it looked a lot like the ones you see on television.  It was all white and very bright and there were lots of people running around all scrubbed up.  I also noticed that it was approximately 22 degrees in there. 

While I was lying there, the anesthesiologist I had just met about 10 minutes earlier said he was starting my anesthesia.  I remember that I was awake and then I wasn't.  There was no inbetween.  I woke up and there was a blue paper over my face.  At first I thought "OH GOD! I'm not supposed to be awake!"  I was too out of it to move my arms so I just moved my head back and forth a couple of times and someone eventually moved the blue thingy off my face and said that everything went perfectly.  What? You're done already? Sweet.

A minute or two later I was back in my room with my hubby and I could not stay awake.  We were there in recovery for another hour and a half.  Most of that time we were waiting for L&D to come down and check the fetal heart tones, which were perfect.  We left the hospital, picked up my pain meds, and went home. 

My wonderful, sweet husband took good care of me and our baby boy.  I slept a LOT over the weekend.  Ridiculous amounts.  It felt so good.  Hey, maybe it had something to do with the surgery, maybe it didn't.  Either way, I had a good reason to sleep. 

I'm sure it did have something to do with the surgery...I slept from 3-8pm on Saturday, then went to bed at 2am, slept til 8am Sunday.  Then napped from 9-11am and again from 2-3pm.  I might have also "napped" from 3:30-7:30 Sunday.  I could not shake the exhaustion.  I was sad to miss an annual Christmas party on Saturday night that we always go to, but I was in no position to be socializing, baking goodies, carrying Theo around, etc.

The good, no, GREAT! news is that I barely needed my pain meds.  I took them Friday and Saturday and that was it.  The incision site has been sore and sure looks ugly but it hasn't been terribly miserable.  It's far better than an oral surgery I had a couple of years ago.  THAT was the worst.  Shew.  They are supposed to call me in "3 to 4 business days" with the pathology results and I will schedule my follow-up then.

And that is the very boring story of my first surgery. 

Healing well,

Monday, December 13, 2010

enough to make a mama cry, apparently

Maybe it's because I was scared to death of the surgery I was scheduled to have the next day.  Maybe it's because I'm 16 weeks pregnant and hormonal as can be.  Maybe it's because I was going on 24 hours with no sleep.  Maybe it's a combination of the three, but my baby's doctor's appointment made me cry Thursday.  All.  Day.  Thursday. 

The more likely scenario is that I'm a mama bear and more defensive and protective of my baby than I ever knew was possible.  It was the first time that anyone had the nerve to tell me to my face that my baby was anything but perfect.  Already, he's being judged.  At NINE months old!

There's a little checklist that you have to go through while you're in the waiting room about what your baby is or isn't doing.  Crawling was nowhere to be found on the list.  What was on the list though, was "pulling up to a standing position," saying "mama" or "dada" on a regular basis, and "walking around furniture using one hand for balance."  I didn't check any of those because I'm not going to lie and he wasn't doing any of those things.  There were only 2 or 3 things that I did check. 

Doc asks how things are going and I blurt out that everything is fabulous! He's sleeping through the night routinely!  He's eating a wonderful variety of table foods!  He almost never spits up!  He's crawling!  He's great at socializing with other babies and even strangers!

The doctor takes one look at the stupid checklist and says that there are a lot of things that I didn't check off.  Duh.  Then immediately tells me that even dumb people eventually learn to walk and kick a ball so it's a good thing that there aren't signs of social and/or brain development delays.  That his delays are primarily physical/muscular and that we should have him EVALUATED to see if he needs physical therapy or perhaps if they can just provide us with some suggestions for things to work on at home.  I was utterly dumbfounded.  Completely speechless.  I felt my eyes stinging with tears and a knot building up in my throat.

He paused and asked me what I thought about getting him tested.  I said I didn't know what to think, because it never occurred to me that there was a problem.  He says to me, "well, then, I guess it doesn't feel very good to hear that there really might be some issues, does it?"  Excuse my language, but WHATTADICK.   

Like I said, I was in complete shock so I agreed to have him tested for a couple of reasons.  Not at all because I believe that my baby is stooooopid, but because I don't want the doctor, who probably already thinks I'm a lazy mother, to think I don't care.  (Why do I care what he thinks again?)  And partly because the tiniest part of me wonders if there is something wrong with my kid?  Is he really supposed to be doing all of this by now?  Does it make sense that it's okay for him to start crawling at 9 months but it's not okay that he hasn't started doing all that other stuff?  Doesn't it make sense that a baby would crawl over to a couch or coffee table before he pulled himself up on a couch or coffee table?  And doesn't it make sense that a baby would pull himself up on the furniture before he started walking around it?

I was seriously confused, deflated, and offended.  I left the doctor's office with the referral to have him tested in my hand and I think I started crying before we pulled out of the parking lot.  Every time anyone asked me how his appointment went, I burst into tears again.  I called my friend, who has a baby just 8 days younger than Theo and asked her what he was doing.  She told me that he's doing every single thing that Theo's not doing.  Every single thing that Theo's supposed to be doing.  To me, it felt like every single thing Theo's too dumb to be doing.  And J- if you're reading this, don't worry, I wasn't upset with you or D for a second!

Everyone I talked to that afternoon tried to be uplifting and reassuring that Theo was right where he was supposed to be and that he was not "slow," dumb, or delayed.  It didn't take away the senselessly hearbroken feelings that I had.

Later in the afternoon, I sat down to look at the brochure from the place that the dumb doc referred us to.  Can I please read this to you?  No, because this is a blog.  Crap.  Well, you'll have to read this for yourself.

6-9 months Milestones/Activities:
- creeps or crawls on hands/knees (check)
- moves toys from hand to hand (check)
- plays peek-a-boo (check)
- balances self while sitting (check)

6-9 months Possible Concerns (all of these are old news):
 - not accepting spoon feeding
 - not reaching or grabbing for objects
 - not turning head to locate sounds
 - not babbling and laughing out loud

9-12 months Milestones/Activities
- Pulls to a stand (working on this)
- Picks up small objects/finger feeds (has done this for MONTHS)
- Walks with one hand held (nope, not even close yet)
- Waves bye-bye (not yet)

9-12 months Possible Concerns:
 - not imitating simple sounds (he does this)
 - not playing with parents/siblings (he does this)
 - not able to sit on own (has done this for months)
 - not crawling or creeping on ground (he's doing this)

WTF?  So the doctor knows more about the milestones than the place that is supposed to evaluate him to see why he's not reaching his milestones?  Because according to this place, he is exactly where he is supposed to be.  Maybe not a rocket scientist in baby terms, but at least average, for Pete's sake. 

This weekend, just so you know, he pulled himself up and was found standing in his bed.  Pppfffffttttttt.  So I am still entertaining the idea of getting him tested just for the pleasure and satisfaction of making the doctor look stoooopid.  Then, maybe it's time for a new doctor.  Am I crazy and being totally irrational? 

On a lighter note, he weighed 18.05 lbs and was 28 inches long.  He gained 2 pounds since his 6 month check up.  At this rate, I'm wondering if he's going to make it to the typical one-year weight, which is 3 times a baby's birthweight (he weighed 7lbs 1.5 oz at birth so if that theory's correct, he should weigh approx. 21 lbs 4.5oz at 12 months).  Something else we've screwed up on, no doubt.

Still mad,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

16 week check-up check in

It was uneventful, just as I predicted.  Not that I'm complaining.  We actually got in and out quite fast, but the doctor simply listened to the heart beat, which was a little tough to find at first.  It gave me a bit of a panic because I've known too many people who have lost babies recently.  Every time I go to the doctor, part of me is expecting to receive bad news.  I think it gets better as I get further into the pregnancy.  The little tiny heart was beating 140ish times per minute, which is perfectly lovely. 

She asked if we would find out what we are having and we said we plan to maintain the suprise element throughout the entire pregnancy, meaning that this little one's gender won't be revealed until delivery day.  She was excited and happy for us, saying that she didn't find out with either of her children and that it's one of life's greatest mysteries and surprises.  She likes that her daughter (4 weeks older than Theo and 20 months younger than her big brother) wears her older brother's blue shirts and bibs with tools on them all the time.  Blue is flattering on girls, right?  Who cares if people sometimes think she's a's no worse than people constantly telling us that Theo should have been a girl with those big eyes and all that hair.  And if she's a he, then we're all set.
Anyway, she said we could come back in 2 weeks to do the fetal anatomy ultrasound, but I'd have to come back 2 weeks later anyway to see her, so we decided to do it all at the same time.  No rush since we aren't finding out the gender this time.  We go back the first week of January.

Oh, she also reminded me that last time we talked about how the c-section is an option and that if I didn't choose to go with a c-section, I would be induced early.  Like I could forget, duh. I didn't really respond.  Nothing can be decided until I get further along into the pregnancy anyway.

Oh, and total weight gain so far: 1.6 lbs.  And that, my friends, is the 16 week check-up check in.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

nine months

Dear Theo,

You are 9 months old today.  And do you know what you did last night, on the eve of your 9 month birthday?  You crawled!  It's funny, before I had you I always thought there were definite moments when babies did things.  Like I thought you would start smiling one day and then smile every day.  I thought the same thing would happen with your laugh, saying "da da," rolling over, clapping on command, sitting up, et cetera.  But you have this way of teasing us and making us wait.  When you first smiled (not a gassy smile, but an I'm-laughing-because-my-mommy-is-working-her-butt-off-to-make-me-smile smile), it was the most exciting milestone we'd met up to that point.  I was SO excited!  Then you didn't do it again for about 2 weeks.  Then not again for another week.  Now we just make eye contact and you smile.  I love it.  The same things happened with all of your other milestones.

You've been up on your knees for a month or so now, rocking forward or moving your knees (but not your hands), then falling on your belly.  It works, because you make forward progress that way and when you get close enough to something, you just start rolling to it until it is in your grip.  Well, last night, Peezy Brown, you moved the knees AND hands at the same time about 3 or 4 times and you really made some progress!  We are so proud of you!  Now, to say that you're crawling isn't to say that we're chasing you down the hallway just yet, but you are definitely making progess and getting there.

Your love, love, love those crazy animals.  If only they would love you back.  They will one day, but right now they don't like how you grab and pull their fur.  Ouch!  I wish I could lock up the look on your face when they walk by and put it in my pocket to pull out for a rainy day, because it never fails to make ME smile.  When will you stop finding the greatest joy in the smallest things?  I love how you love our pets.

Peezus, you love your food.  You are starting to think baby food is for babies, and that's probably our fault.  Last night you ate turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner.  Not pureed and out of a jar, either.  You love to eat whatever you see us eating and you sure know the difference if we try to slip in some baby food.  You love macaroni and cheese, green beans, applesauce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, any kind of meat, beans, and oatmeal.  That's not all though, you love anything we give you off of our plate, but especially if we let you feed yourself.  You're getting pretty good at using your pincer grasp to pick up small items.  Sometimes, when you're getting full, you just take the food and get it deep in  your fist and smoosh it up because you like the way it feels.  That works out wonderfully when you're sleepy, because that food all over your palm inevitably ends up on your ears, eyes, and in your hair. 

You are kind of funny about sleep.  You go through a lot of stages.  Sometimes you are easy to put down for a nap.  Sometimes you like to sleep in my arms and other times you are too restless until I lay you in your crib.  A lot of times we can kiss you good night and lay you down and you never make a peep.  Other times you cry and cry for me and it breaks my heart but I know you're okay when I go pick you up and you start lauging right away, as if to say "Gotcha!"  Sometimes we get you up and bring you back out into the living room again so we can steal some more kisses and time with you, but we usually try to stick to your bedtime routine so you don't get too confused.  Lately you've been crying for a few minutes when we lay you down and it  makes us both really sad.  We sit in the living room with the monitor, making sad faces and asking each other "don't you think I should go talk to him/check on him/see if he's okay?"  One thing I can say for sure is that you have slept through the nights far more nights than you haven't and for that, we are soooo grateful.  I hope your little brother or sister takes after you!

Every day with you is so much fun and I don't know if anything or anyone has made me feel as happy as you do at least a hundred times a day.  I love you more than anything, sweet baby, and I always will.  Promise.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

too many doctors

This week is full of doctor-y stuff.  Wednesday I have my 16 week check up (already?), Thursday is Theo's 9 month check up (does he get shots for this one? I'm a bad mom and can't remember), and Friday I'm having surgery.  Boo.

I'm expecting my 16 week check up to go like this:
1. Sign in
2. Wait
3. Pee in a cup
4. Wait
5. Get weighed and have my blood pressure checked
6. Wait
7. See the doctor so she can listen for the baby's heartbeat and tell me to come back in 2 weeks (if I want to) to find out the baby's gender (or wait until I'm 20 weeks when my next doctor's appointment will be scheduled
8. Leave after spending a total of 5-10 minutes with the doctor, but an hour at the doctor's office

I don't know what to expect at Theo's appointment Thursday.  I am excited to see how much he's grown.  It's been 3 whole months since he was weighed or measured!  But about the shots?  Does he get them this time?  I really don't know.  I guess I'll give him some Tylenol beforehand, just in case.

Surgery? you askYes.  When Theo was 3 or 4 weeks old I noticed a small, hard spot in my breast and asked about it at my 6 week check up.  Doc didn't like it so he sent me to a specialist.  They say it's either a lactating adenoma or a fibroadenoma.  Either way, it has to come out.  They've been monitoring it via ultrasound every 2 months and it hadn't changed much at all.  Until I got pregnant, anyway.  It was 2.0cm and now it's grown to 2.5cm in 3 short months. 

It's rare.  When I win the lottery, I win big. 

Basically it's a solid, benign tumor (we hope).  I was hoping to wait until I was done nursing Theo to have it removed.  They told me to have it taken care of before I got pregnant again because hormones tend to feed them.  Apparently so.  Well, I wasn't done nursing when I got pregnant so obviously I didn't have a chance to get it taken care of.  I could have had it out while nursing but breast feeding with an incision on my boob didn't sound like a fun time so I was okay with waiting until Theo was done, provided that it wasn't growing.

Now I'm not so comfortable waiting.  Not only is it growing rapidly now, I still plan on breastfeeding baby #2 for as long as possible (up to a year).  I'm not okay with waiting until May of 2012 with this unknown mass in my breast.  The surgery can only be done during the 2nd trimester so it's now or never.  Well, May of 2012.  Long story, huh? 

The procedure: Friday morning I will go to the doctor's office and they will use a local anesthetic to numb the area where the incision will be.  Using an ultrasound, they will insert a wire to mark the spot where the mass is because they have a tendency to roll around during surgery and they want to make sure they get the entire thing out.  After the wire is in, I go to the hospital where the surgery will take place.  It should last no more than 1 hour and I will be under "twilight" anesthesia, where I won't be unconscious, but I won't remember anything either.  Fine by me.  There is a slight risk of miscarriage (less than 5%) due to the procedure or the anesthesia, I guess, but it is very unlikely.  They will monitor the fetal heart rate to ensure that the baby is fine.  The mass will go to pathology for a biopsy to make sure that it isn't malignant and I will go home and sleep a whole bunch.



Monday, December 6, 2010

19 days til Christmas!

What a wonderful weekend.  It was half busy and half lazy.  Often times, my favorite weekends are the ones where we never leave the house.  Or barely leave the house.  Never is a bit of a stretch to be honest, I'd get cabin fever.  But with that being said, I despise the cold weather we're having right now and even more, I despise the bottoms of my jeans getting wet from walking through snow and wet parking lots...blech.  I'd rather stay in my dry, warm, cozy home!  Anyway...

Friday I went with my m-i-l and met my mom and sister for the Judds concert in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was wonderful.  It was like no time had passed.  I couldn't believe clear and pure Wynonna's voice was.  I had so much fun.  I think we all did.  Saturday morning my m-i-l and I drove back home.  I dropped her off and hurried home to see my 2 favorite guys in the world, who I had missed tons.

They were both pretty happy to see me and as soon as Theo went down for a nap, we started scurrying to get all of the Christmas decorations out.  We knew we had about a 2 hour window to get as much done as possible.  Wrong.  He napped for about 30 minutes.  So I got him up, put on his cute Christmas shirt from Old Navy, and tried to snap a cute picture for our holiday cards.  Bust.  I hate my camera.  Hate hate hate hate it.  Low light pictures are awful.  No flash is not even an option.  Anyway, I have to try again.  Maybe we can get one of him outside in the snow or something.  He loved the lights and the ornaments but he didn't really speed things up or keep us on task.  We were able to get some stuff done...enough that we knew we needed to make a trip to Target for more lights.  We never replaced the ones that burned out last year.

So we took a break and got some quick and yummy dinner from Quizno's (I got the Chipotle Turkey Flatbread Sammy...mmm) then went to Target.  I couldn't resist buying Theo a little tree to sit on top of his dresser in his room.  It was too cute with the miniature ornaments I found.  It will be his night-light until after Christmas.  He likes it too. 

After Theo went to bed we finished decorating the tree and putting out other various and assorted decorations.

Sunday we had some pancakes for breakfast and Theo made up for Saturday's short nap by taking an extra long one.  Meanwhile, we laid on the couch enjoying our Christmas decorations and catching up on DVR'd shows for almost 3 hours.  Ahhh.  Those are the times I missed when Theo was a newborn.  I thought we'd never have any time to sit and do nothing again.

I could get used to weekends like that.  Too bad we've barely started Christmas shopping and the next 2 weekends will be jam-packed with scurrying around to get everyone's gifts (including Theo's...haven't bought him the first thing yet!) 


Friday, December 3, 2010

his first Santa picture was a bust

I was totally hoping that he'd be crying his eyes out or laughing hysterically...something more interesting than a blank stare.  Oh is forever captured.  Behold, Theo's first Santa picture.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

first boo boo

We were in Theo's room last night after wrangling him into his pajamas (an all new adventure where he insists on flipping over on his changing table the instant we lay him down) and I sat him on the floor so he could practice his crawling.  He was playing with a book and decided to go belly to the floor, which he has gotten pretty good at.  You can tell that it's a calculated effort, not just him clumsily falling backwards or to the side.  I was sitting in the rocker and his dad was sitting on the floor.  We were just talking away and casually watching Theo squirm around in an attempt to be mobile (which he definitely is, but I wouldn't quite call it crawling...yet). 

Next thing I know he's up on his hands and knees, and then he's not...he's falling forward towards the floor and I could not move fast enough to save him.  I watched from behind as he went face first onto the hardwood floor.  He lifted his head up and the three of us shared a moment of silence...that moment where we all wait to see if he cries or goes on about his business.  Not seeing from the front or the side, I wasn't sure exactly what hit the floor first.  He started wailing that "I'm hurt" wail.  It's so much sadder than the "I'm hungry" or the "I'm tired" wail because "I'm hurt" makes you feel like an instant winner of the "World's Worst Parent" award.  You feel like your baby should never have to experience pain under your watch.  I'm always telling the dada that things are going to happen, he's going to get bumps and bruises, scratches and cuts.  But when it happens, I'm the one who is more traumatized than anyone.  The dada picked him up and held him up to his shoulder so I ran around to see if there was any blood.  He was crying with a big open mouth so I could see in there and yep, there was definitely blood.

At that point I panicked and swooped him away (I don't really know why, it was just my impulse) and carried him into the kitchen, while telling him how sorry I was over and over.  I stood at the freezer looking for a stupid teether or bag of peas or anything that I could hold up to his mouth to try to make him feel just a little bit better.  Dada found a teether and we went to the living room for a more thorough inspection of the wound.  There was blood around his brand new top teeth and I was scared to death that he knocked one loose.  Looks like he just bit his upper lip and maybe his tongue, but I didn't try to wiggle his tooth to find out. 

So my poor, sweet baby has a busted upper lip.  It started swelling immediately and now the right side is way out of proportion with the left.  We put some orajel on it, gave him a bottle, and he went to bed without a fuss.  He was ready to get back down on (his soft blanket thankyouverymuch on) the floor and play some more after we applied the orajel.  Hopefully he'll always be a tough little cookie.

I don't know if I've ever felt so sad for him.  Okay, I felt pretty awful about the 4 month shots.  I think he got 4 of them and that was terrible.  However, there was nothing I could have done to prevent that pain.  We should have been paying closer attention or had a rug down on the floor or a blanket or SOMETHING!  I know this is just the beginning of countless boo boos but man.  I didn't know it would be so tough.  That thing grown ups always say about "it hurts me more than it hurts you" might really be true.  I'm realizing that now. 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


If I someone took a snapshot of me at any given moment and handed it to me, I would probably gasp in horror.  Lately I have been avoiding mirrors like the plague.  The first word that comes to mind when I try to think of a way to describe myself is haggard.  Isn't that awful?  Doesn't it just sound atrocious?  But that's it...that's how I feel about myself right now. 

I'll be walking through the mall (pushing a stroller) or walking through Target (pushing my baby in the cart) and I will feel fine.  I'll see a cute, carefree mom who is wearing heeled boots, modern jeans, and a trendy top, which all look perfect with her make-up and freshly cut and styled hair.  She's got a baby about Theo's age so I'll be thinking to myself - oh, there's a lady just like me.  I'll give her that knowing mom smile and maybe she'll give me one back or maybe she'll just look at me and shake her head, thankful that she's still got it together.

Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or the reflection of a storefront window.  I'm the mom wearing tennis shoes and the same jeans I've had for the last 5 years.  I haven't worn make up in, I don't know, weeks or maybe even over a month.  Every week and a half or so I'll catch a glimpse of my eyebrows in the rearview mirror while the sun is streaming through the sunroof and realize that every single person who has seen me in the light of day has probably wondered if I have EVER seen a mirror.  Then I'll scramble to get my tweezers out of the side pocket in my purse and pluck out the really long, dark ones before I go run the next errand.  I think I've gotten my eyebrows threaded 2 times in 2010.  Neither of those times were recent.  Then there's the upper lip hair.  I don't even want to talk about that.  It's virtually invisible under our dim bathroom lights so I don't notice it until I'm out in public. 

The last time I straightened or styled my hair?  Again, weeks.  Maybe months.  Last haircut? July.  Last one before that?  At least another 5-8 months before that.  Last color/dye job...also July (and it shows).  So, in other words, I have worn my hair in a ponytail for MONTHS.  I'm so ashamed of that, but secretly glad that it's long enough to do it.  Last pedicure?  Hmm.  Maybe July, but there's a good chance that I just painted my toenails myself. 

Last time I bought a new outfit?  July (and that was one single solitary dress.  on sale at Target for $14).  Currently I have a rotation of about 4 pairs of pants and twice as many shirts (mostly hoodies) that I wear.  I hate every piece of clothing I own.  I hate getting dressed.  I hate checking my reflection in the mirror before I leave.  Will I ever be that cute mom that makes someone else think I've really got it together? 

Why did I do so well in July?  I didn't, really.  Everything was done on the same day for an exciting anniversary dinner to The Melting Pot.  The best part?  My husband didn't even notice.  Just a general "you look nice."  Nice?  Whatever.  So much for knocking his socks off.  Thank goodness he loves me for me and not for being h-o-t-t because I'm afraid I'd let him down on a daily basis.   

But forget his socks, I want to knock my own socks off sometimes.  When I see the bags under my eyes and the increasingly obvious wrinkles on my hands... I wonder is this the end?  Kids must officially think I'm old.  Now that I'm a mom, is this how it's always going to be?  I was never, ever a fashionista or a knockout but I used to have days where I felt cute.  Even pretty at times.  I couldn't tell you the last time I felt pretty.  Well, that one day July I guess.  Before that...hmm....

To add to all of the stuff that I could control, if I ever made time for it, there are the (not-so-)fun things that come with being pregnant that I have absolutely no control over.  MY ZITTY FOREHEAD for example.  I thought you were supposed to glow with raidance when you got into the second trimester.  I'm glowing with oily skin and big shiny red things that would make Rudolph green with envy.  Sometimes I only get around to brushing my teeth once a day.  That won't give you any extra confidence, I promise.  I've been known to wear my glasses for a week or more because I didn't make time or have the energy to put in my contacts. 

My weight hasn't sky-rocketed out of control so that's one thing I've got going for me.  Not that anyone would notice, on top of everything else.  I need to do something for me.  Something to make myself feel pretty.  Or just normal. 

Making the time to do all this stuff is hard.  Justifying spending money on material things for myself isn't easy for me.  I just feel that these things are low on the priority totem pole when there are so many other things to think about right now.

Good thing my baby is cute.  Otherwise, I don't think anyone would notice me at all.