Saturday, June 8, 2013

Am I the Only One?

Who has a super hard time going to bed at night? Even if it has been a crazy long day--sometimes because it has been crazy--I just want to stay up an have some "me time" after the kids are in bed. Really, I know it's kinda bad for me on a health level and I know I pay for it the next day because I'm tired and cranky, but I just can't seem to get into bed early. Evan thinks I am crazy. What about y'all?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Further Adventures of Pinkeye

Ok y'all. I've got pinkeye. Ok, actually I went to my optometrist and he lectured me about how it's not actually pinkeye, it's some other unnamed eye infection--definitely not pinkeye. But y'all, my eye is pink! So imma gonna go ahead and call it pinkeye.










Anywho, I've already been applying the antibiotic drops for 3.5 days, and the eye is not getting much better. It's red (pink), it's itchy, the eyelid is swollen, and any time I sleep it's majorly goopy.

I feel like Quasimodo with one swollen eye and one open one. But Evan says it's not as pronounced as I think it is.



I also can't wear contacts or eye makeup until the infection is gone, plus a couple of days. I feel sooo homely. I've been pulling my hair up in buns or braids and wearing glasses, so I feel very homesteader/polygamist. It's not a great look, folks. Sigh.

I even have to go to the gym/run with my glasses on. I hate it! I've been wearing contacts since I was 11, and this is the longest I've worn glasses since. Yuck.

Not to hate on OTHER people wearing glasses. Other people look pretty, handsome, cute, smart, quirky in glasses. But me with no makeup and glasses = polygamist homeliness. Sigh!

Wish me fast healing. And hope that my kids don't get it!!

Oh, PS, my eye doctor also lectured me that 1) I should never diagnose myself or give myself my kids' leftover eydrops 2) Pediatricians shouldn't diagnose eye problems anyway 3) Gentamicin is an old antibiotic that all the bacteria are immune to (he game me Cipro instead). There was probably more. I can never go to him without coming away severely chastised. Buuuut, at least my prescriptions have always been good and he's covered by my insurance?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Since I've Been Gone...

I guess you could say a lot has happened in the past 6 months since I last posted. :)

Honestly, nothing huge. But some really good times with family and friends! And let's be honest, as the mother of two young kids, there have been both heavenly times and some super drab, boring, or infuriating times.

In November we went to a local fair held by a very conservative religious group. Ahem, NOT Davidians. And Jack got to ride his first horse. Probably a must for a Texan.
In December we travelled to lovely San Diego, where we got to enjoy the sunny, windy beach - and Danny got to see it for the first time (I think).

We also got to go to SeaWorld, which we all loved. I was honestly as excited as the kids, because it was a first time for all of us, except Evan, the San Diego native. Here's us taking advantage of the skinny mirror in the kiddie area.
Once we got back, we eased back into normalcy, which included preschool.  I really liked our little group. Here's Jack dancing with a couple of his preschool friends.



Later, I fulfilled one of Evan's dreams when I took a shooting course with a bunch of my girlfriends. Love you, honey!


Then in the springtime we took the obligatory (for Texans) kids-in-the-state-flower-bluebonnets picture. This is just one of MANY. 


In April/May we took our first semi-out-of-the-country trip to Puerto Rico. Traveling with two kids - at least our two kids at these ages - was a LOT of work. Definitely not the relaxing/romantic trip just Evan and I might have taken had we left the kids here. BUT, it ended up being a very fun and memorable trip. Especially in retrospect. :)



This was the view from one of the old forts in Old San Juan. So, so pretty in that whole area.

After a few days in OSJ, we took a day trip to "Puerto Rico's second city," Ponce. Here's a tip: Don't do it. Not worth it. On the bright side, there was this cool looking historic firehouse. :)

Next, we hiked to a waterfall in El Yunque, the only rainforest in U.S. territory. Very cool. And Jack did a great job keeping up with the adults.



We stayed the last half of our trip at a condo on the beach in Luquillo. It was so fun and relaxing that we wondered why we hadn't spent the whole time there! Obviously Danny enjoyed himself.

It's also good to be home!




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Case You Need Some Cheering Up

I know the post-election mood around our house is pretty glum. So here's some cute pics!


Danny roaring like a lion - one of my favorite recent pictures.


Now that the weather in Waco has cooled down somewhat, it's perfect weather for hiking, so we've been going to Cameron Park a few times. It's quite lovely. And after some initial complaining, Jack is learning to like hiking. 


Danny turned 1 a couple months ago!



Spiderman relaxing after a tough day of fighting villains. We got this costume a few weeks before Halloween, and it was worn many times before the big night.



He seems like such a big boy riding his bike! It seems so crazy that the two years that separate Jack and Danny take a kid from being a bumbling, preverbal toddler to an articulate capable preschooler!




Speaking of preschool, here is Jack dressed up for his first day of co-op preschool. He loves it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things Are Lookin' Up

For those of you who didn't live in California in 2007, you probably never saw this commercial. But I loved it! (It's extremely rare that I actually look forward to a commercial).

http://youtu.be/P7O693mzp6M

Anyway, the point of the commercial is that "things are looking' up." I can't say that I've really changed many of my habits or anything, but for some reason I've been feeling a lot cheerier.

I will say that I have certainly been aware lately that I have things very, very good. So many of our friends and/or family members are facing very real challenges, so I'm thankful to not be dealing with that right now.

I've also been going to the gym pretty much daily. And even though I'm not automatically super-thin, I have fun just going and being active.

It also helps that Jack is at such a fun age (almost 3) and that Danny is getting easier and more fun at almost 10 months. I won't say that these 10 months have flown by - they haven't - but on some level I can't believe he'll be 1 soon!

We also took a family mini-trip to Dallas a while ago in commemoration of my and Evan's five-year anniversary. That was fun. AND, AND we still have our trip to Seattle/Portland on the docket for end of June/July.

Plus, I'm pretty stoked for the Olympics. I've always loved them since I was a kid. Especially the Summer events. I can think back in four-year increments at different things I was doing each time. Last time I wasn't even pregnant with Jack. The time before that I lived in Utah and hadn't even moved to California yet. The time before that I was in college. Weird.

Oh, and P.S. thanks for all the comments on the last post. I really appreciated them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To All My Mommy Friends

Ladies, I have a question for you. Even if you only read this blog casually, please consider commenting in response. Here it is: How do you keep your mojo as a mom?

What I mean is, when you are giving so much time/effort/thought to your kids, home, and husband, how do you stay you? How do you stay interesting, vibrant and happy? I'm not in a depression or anything. There are absolutely exquisitely joyful moments with the kids - like Danny's sloppy kisses or Jack saying I'm his best friend. I just feel.....kind of meh sometimes. Like some of the color has washed out of my self-portrait.

Anyway, I'm not writing this as a plea for "poor Mary, I hope you're ok." I just want you to distill your best thoughts on the topic of being/staying your best "you," and add them here for me to think about. Pretty please?

Bored Enough To Blog

Well, I think social media really may have killed the blog. It's so hard to get myself to blog. Sigh. But tonight I'm pretty bored. I'm waiting for Evan to put Jack to sleep, so I can go veg in front of the TV. Yeah, I said it. This is what my life has become. :) Anyway, here's a couple of cute pics of the kids:

This first one is of the Dan Man standing. He pulls to stand on EVERYTHING these days. He's an unstoppable force of nature. It's super cute, but his determination and stubbornness about continuing to stand no matter what have me worried for the future.

The above is of Jack's shoe when we took the kids bowling for the first time. Jack liked it a lot. I'm not so sure it was worth the nearly $20 it cost, but those tiny toddler-sized bowling shoes are adorable!

Even though the picture quality on this one is terrible (two-generations-ago-iphone), I like this picture because it shows Jack asking me to "dance with me like a man," which is what he says when he unbuttons his pajama tops and wants to dance like he's seen on Dancing with the Stars (the few minutes he's seen of it).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Y'all

Ok, y'all. I have been blogging for 4.5ish years. Wow. I just went back to read some of my earlier posts, and they were a lot funnier! I need to go back to blogging more about topics and less about events. Who cares about my kids except me? :0) Well, who cares what I've been watching on TV either. Hmmm. Maybe I used to have other things to blog about (work, travel) and now I'm just all kids all the time? Something to think about.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Long time...

So I guess it's been a while. Maybe another picture post to update?

Christmas seemed to follow fast on the heels of Thanksgiving this year. This was maybe the first time this happened to me--does that make me an adult? I felt like I really had to be on my toes to get everything bought and decorated. But it turned out to be a really good time, so it was worth it.

Here's a pic of Jack at the children's museum being an elf.














My brother Tom and his family came to visit, which was super fun. This photo shows most of our crew at the local zoo. Seriously, people. For a town our size, our zoo freakin' rocks!




Evan's family has a cool tradition of opening these pull-and-pop-out-a-prize "crackers." You've probably heard of these, but I never had until I married into their family. I think they're a British thing, originally. Anywho, the person who wins gets to keep the prize, but everyone gets a crown. So here are a couple of crown pictures.







Jack had an absolute BLAST playing with his cousins. It would be so awesome to live near more family!





And then maybe the biggest changes over the past couple of months have been in Danny. He has gotten so very interactive. And he's managed to gain a little bit of weight--though he's still a long, thin guy. I don't have a picture of it, but in addition to rolling over, he loves "walking" around in this little wheeled car, and he's really good at it. :)





He's also getting his first two teeth on bottom right now (one has poked through) and I fed him his first rice cereal today. He's such a sweet little guy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cute Pictures

I've just spent way too much time uploading pictures and looking at them. It's so easy to do when I love looking at pics of my cute kiddos.

Anyway, here's some cool ones from the past couple of months. Not necessarily in order:


Jack sporting this awesome t-shirt and posing all magazine-ad style.









Jack and Danny holding hands and just generally being good buddies.








Danny sitting in a common pose that seems to say "my belly feel s weird!"




Jack wearing a cool hat on a trip with Dad to The Gap.








My best friend Monica showing what a hit she is with Danny.








And then here with Jack.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Settled In

I almost hesitate to use this title because with kids, it seems like as soon as I think I have stuff figured out, one of them does something that sends me scurrying back to Google to figure the new thing out. However, for the time being, things here are good!

Danny is a sweet, sweet baby. It seems like since day one he has been smiling in his sleep or as he was nursing to sleep. Very early on his smiles became obviously social; he would react to something we were doing. Now sometimes his smiles are so big we get to see top and bottom gums, plus a healthy portion of tongue. And he started laughing already. That just warms a mother's heart. :)

The thing that is weird to me is that he is so much skinnier than Jack was. At this age (two months), Jack was roughly the same height as Danny, but two pounds heavier. Two pounds is a lot when you are only two feet tall! The skinniness, plus some weird eating and pooping issues that I won't go into here, led me to be worried enough to go back to the lactation consultant today just to make sure she thought he was doing alright. She did. We weighed him before and after a feeding and she made sure he wasn't dehydrated or showing any other signs of underfeeding. So, I guess we just have a skinnier baby who's not a clone of chubby Jack the giant.

Anyway, Jack and Danny get along well - they both seem to really like each other and not resent the time I spend with the other one. We're all falling into new routines that seem to work for us. So far, we're less on-the-go than we were before Danny was born, but we're ramping back up to it.

Jack's newest thing is protesting naps and going to bed, even when it's obvious he's tired. I think we've maybe let him have too much leeway, and now he tries to drag the process out as looooong as possible. I need to resend the message that sleep time means no calling the parents back to the room over and over.

On the bright side, Jack is super fun, imaginative, and very talkative. It's so cute to hear the way he says things and his take on things.

That's all I can think of for now. So Cheers!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birth Story + First Few Weeks

Danny was born August 23 at 12:35pm. But the story wouldn't be complete if I started there. Sit back and relax, the novel starts now.

When I first got pregnant with Danny, I started thinking about what kind of birth I wanted for him/me. After quite a bit of consideration and research, I decided that I'd like to go for a VBAC. To make a long story short, even though I occasionally wondered if I really wanted a VBAC, I never changed my plans until I was two weeks past my due date and my doctor told me she couldn't support me in waiting any longer to go into labor, because the risks go up at that point and my water level was getting too low. (I couldn't be induced because I'd already had a C-Section and they were worried about uterine rupture). And trust me - I had done EVERYTHING that anyone has ever recommended to try going in to labor.

Anywho, we scheduled the C/S for the next day, or 15 days after the due date. I ate my last full meal the night before (pizza and ice cream). Surprisingly, I slept pretty well that night, woke up in plenty of time to get all packed up, and checked into the hospital at 10am for a 12pm surgery. Evan and I had thought that we'd be waiting around a while before anything started happening, but things actually started happening pretty quickly.

First we checked in at the front office. Then they took us to a prep room, where I put on a hospital gown and chit-chatted with various nurses while I got an IV. I also answered a few questions about 9 times. What are my allergies? (Fun Fact: Codeine and Sulfa). Am I allergic to latex? (No). How tall am I? (5'6"). etc. They put on the 3 or 4 hospital bracelets that I'd wear for the next few days. Then I saw the my doctor for a few minutes and asked a few last-minute questions (I'm full of questions). And then the anesthesiologist came in, asked all the same questions and left. At that point, I do think we had about 15 or so minutes of waiting.

Then it was time to get the show on the road. I walked into the operating room (clutching my gown closed, and wearing those little booties on my feet). Evan had on scrubs and a shower-cap style hair covering, but he had to wait outside the OR. They helped me jump up on the table. It was really chilly in the room, so they brought me a few heated blankets. Then, we had to wait a few more minutes because there were a couple of unexpected emergency births and the delivery team was busy. Finally, the other nurses and pediatrician showed up, and the anesthesiologist got started.

Last time, I had had an epidural. This time, I had spinal anesthesia - which was a little different. I still had to curve my back out to make more room for the needle, but for some reason, when he inserted the needle, it felt like hot, stinging fluid was dripping down the outside of my skin onto my tailbone area. I asked about it. Apparently, that's normal. Awesome. :) Soon, I started to numb up, so they laid me down on the table. This is where it started to feel very surreal. Like I was living the experience of being a character on a show like ER. Strange.

Anyway, they put the blue fabric screen up just below my neck. Evan and my doctor came in. Evan sat by my head and held my hand. Then the team started working. I had thought the spinal would make me completely numb, but I could still feel a little bit of tugging, and my body moving and they worked on pulling the baby out and moving my organs around, etc.

If I had been in Evan's position, I would have peeked over the screen. But apparently he is a believer in keeping the mystery alive in our relationship. Like he wants it to be a mystery what my uterus looks like. Whatever works, I guess.

After a few minutes, Danny was out. They clamped and cut his cord before I saw him, but he started crying a little bit right away. It was a low throaty cry, like Jack's was in the beginning. I started crying too, even before I saw him. I also heard them mention that there was meconium in the water, so I was a little worried about that. (It turned out to not be a big deal in this case).

After a few moments, they brought Danny around the barrier and I got to see him and snuggle him a little bit. They had already rubbed him down and wrapped him up in a blanket. Just like with Jack, as soon as they put his warm little face next to mine, he got quiet and peaceful. I just kept telling him I loved him, and I cried some more.

Then, surprisingly to me, they kept him in the OR and weighed him and put him in the warming area while they kept working on me. After they finished working on me (it didn't seem to take very long), I was feeling chatty and happy. I asked to see the placenta (I had never seen one) and they showed it to me.

The best and most unexpected part was that they let me keep Danny with me the whole time after that. Last time, Evan and the baby went to the nursery, while I was solo in recovery with one nurse who sat far away filling out paper work while I shivered and felt lonely and delirious. This time, there were two friendly nurses, plus Evan, Danny, and my Mom, who I had arranged to be there in recovery because I was expecting Evan to be gone.

We got Danny to latch and breastfeed right away! That was very cool, because I had had quite a bit more trouble with Jack. After a while (an hour? Two?) They moved me to my regular room where I would be for the next couple of days. The worst part was moving from my rolling bed to the regular hospital bed. There were 4 nurses who moved me, but they were all tiny women, and it was a rough move. I think there should be a burly male or Eastern European woman there just for the purpose of moving post-surgical patients in a more gentle manner.

My parents hung around with us for a few hours. I was kind of drugged up, but still in pain, especially because they pumped a whole bag of Pitocin through me to help my uterus clamp down. OUCH! Other than the pain, I was doing ok and chatting (I think).
I had my parents stay while Evan went home to put Jack to bed. Then Evan came back and my parents left, and we settled down for the night.

The next day involved the first time getting up from the bed (more OUCH!), waiting to pee and pass gas so I could get the all clear to drink and eat (I hate not eating and drinking!), and generally hanging out - with a new baby. Very strange. Actually, even a couple of weeks later, it's still taking some getting used to that Danny is really mine and is here to stay.

I had thought I might stay in the hospital as long as I could (5 days) but arranging child care was a pain (my mom can't really take care of Jack because she's recently had major surgery, too), and having hospital employees pop into my room every 20 minutes started to really annoy me. So 2.5 days after checking in, we left.

Being at home has been really pretty good, for the most part. My recovery started out really well (though I've had a couple of setbacks) and I was up and feeling much more active than I remember feeling last time. Having Evan home for almost 3 weeks has been an absolute blessing and, for me, a necessity. Danny has been pretty good at feeding, but that doesn't mean I haven't been frustrated that he'll be too sleepy to eat well, or pop on and off a hundred times, etc. He's also been a fantastic sleeper, as babies go, usually only waking up 2, or at the most, 3 times per night. We had to wake him for the first couple of weeks to make sure he was eating enough. But still, even with him being great, the lack of sleep on top of recovery has been rough. I'm still TIRED!

Another great thing has been Jack's reaction to the whole thing. He's been so sweet (so far) and hasn't tried to hurt Danny or tried to get us to send him away or anything like that (yet). That's probably partly because Evan has been home to help out so much. We'll see what happens Monday when I'm on my own.

The first couple of weeks, I felt like my emotions were really smooth. I hadn't gotten any Baby Blues feelings at all. Unfortunately, those feelings do seem to have hit this week, off and on. Part of it is that I'm not even close to 100% physically. I'm achy and I feel like my insides are tugging in the wrong places. Sometimes I'll unexpectedly start bleeding a lot. (Sorry for the TMI). Anyway, mostly I still feel fine, normal and happy. But sometimes I'll get triggered by Danny crying or not feeding well or something and I'll feel overwhelmed, sad or mad, exhausted and weepy. So far it hasn't taken me too long each time to feel better. Again, here's hoping I do ok once Evan goes back to work. At least my mom is nearby!

The other good news is that Danny just keeps getting cuter and cuter as he packs on a little weight and becomes a little less newbornish. I'm looking forward to a few weeks/months from now when we settle more in to patterns and our sleep normalizes and he starts getting even cuter and chubbier. And then, there's going to be that first real smile! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ho-Hum

Ok, folks. I'm going to do a big post on the birth story and how we're adjusting so far. So that's coming.

But just allow me to say: C-Sections suck. I know plenty of gals that think they're totally OK. And I'm not sure if they just heal faster/are less wimpy than I am. It doesn't really matter. The point is MY C-Sections kind of suck.

Disclaimer 1: Yes, I am happy that both my boys and I are healthy and that C-Sections exist for medically necessary reasons. Disclaimer 2: Having never had a vaginal birth, I'm sure they suck some ways, too. Especially if the mom has to have a major episiotomy or has major tearing or if the baby has a scary birth experience.
Disclaimer 3: This second C/S has been overall better than the first, and on a scale of "how bad things could be" - not that bad at all.

Blah, blah, blah. The point here is I want to complain.

I don't like being cut open and separated from the birth process because I'm numbed and can't even see the baby entering the world.

Last time they whisked Jack away and I didn't get to see him for an hour or two. At least this time I got to keep Danny with/near me the whole time.

Last time it was about midnight and I was left solo with a nurse who was across the room filling out paperwork while Evan went with Jack (per my request) and I shivered and felt out-of-sorts from the drugs. This time I had arranged for my mom to meet me in recovery, and since Danny (unexpectedly) was allowed to stay with me, it was a big group of me, Evan, Danny, my mom and two chatty nurses. Much better.

I don't like being in what I consider "unnatural" kinds of pain. Being sliced open through several layers (skin, fat, two layers of peritoneum, fascia, and uterus), restitched and stapled, then pumped full of Pitocin to shrink my ute. And then healing from major abdominal surgery. It's fabulous that bodies heal. But they are meant to heal from childbirth. C-sections are different, and they result in more negative complications (on average). Like scar adhesions. Did you know abdominal surgeries are very likely to result in scar adhesions, "a fibrous band of scar tissue that binds together normally separate anatomical structures." In the worst cases, scars from the surgery can attack organs like the bowel or bladder. They can make future pregnancies dangerous because of placenta accreta or percreta in which the placenta grows through the uterus into other structures.

But for me the scar adhesions just make my lower abdomen have a big indentation in it that won't go away and an uncomfortable feeling of never being able to stretch it quite enough.

I'm lucky that I haven't dealt with horrible things like infections or hemorrhages, but my least favorite after-effect right now is the continuing pain. It's been over two weeks, and though I'm down to just a few Advil per day (and could probably get by without anything), it still hurts! Right now it's like a tightness or tugging, with occasional stinging/burning.

It still hurts to sit up from bed or roll over in bed, bend too far or too quickly, walk too fast, carry too much, sit down on the ground or get up from the ground, etc.

Two days ago, I pulled something (an interior stitch or something) and started bleeding a lot. It turned out to not be a big deal, but it was freaky.

And what compounds everything is that I'm an impatient person. It's just over two weeks, but I'm ready to be DONE with the pregnant/recent postpartum stage. I'm ready to stop being fat, but I can't exercise yet, and since I'm breastfeeding and recovering from major abdominal surgery, I can't diet yet (though there's nothing stopping me from eating better).

And I'd love to get out and jog again. I haven't jogged in months, and I miss it. But I can't even pretend to think about it right now. And after Jack, I couldn't jog without pain for MONTHS. Maybe up to 6 months.

Thank God and thank Evan that Evan has been home with me for three weeks straight. I'm quite nervous about Monday when he returns to work.

What keeps me going is the thought that I'll never have to be "two weeks after this particular C/S with this newborn" ever again. It's just going to get easier.

Whew. I'm glad I got that off my chest. And now you can expect a much sunnier post from me next time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

40 Weeks + 6 Days

Anyone who knows me at all knows that patience is not my forte. In fact, the lack of patience is one of my biggest challenges. So you can probably imagine how I'm feeling about being nearly a week overdue to give birth. Going crazy! Unfortunately, since I had a C-section last time, I can't be induced. I don't want another C-section either. Mostly because it was so painful and the recovery was so long past time. But also, I want to go into labor and go through the whole process and see what it's like. I want to tell Evan, "It's time!" and show up at the hospital in a fluster. I'd like to be able to see the birth process instead of being removed behind a curtain and hold my baby right away. And other things.

So the hardest part about all this waiting is that in the end, I may not get what I want anyway. Yes, what I really want the most is a healthy baby and healthy mom, but still. This is like waiting all season for the Super Bowl, but it may not ever come. And it's frustrating that if I'm gong to end up with a c/s, I could have gotten the whole thing done two weeks ago. Sigh!

I meet with my doc tomorrow to decide how to proceed. Please send your good vibes/prayers my way. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer

So I guess it was the official first day of summer recently. And for those of you in the north or northwest, that might ring true. For me here in blazin' hot Texas, it has been summerish for 2 months, and now it's pretty much hellish. It's been over 100 degrees for at least 2 weeks straight. For a giant prego woman, that's hot. Actually, I feel like I've been handling it well - for the most part. During the mornings it's not too bad. But every afternoon after Jack and I wake up from naps, I'm totally bummed out by the prospect of heading back out into the inferno.

Anyway, we've been having some good times in the kiddie pool, at the children's museum, gym pool, and I finally bought him some blocks to play with. I also bought some playdoh, but haven't used it with him yet. Today I tried to take him to Rio at the dollar theater, but we only lasted about 10 minutes before he started trying to run down the isles and/or eat popcorn off the disgusting floor....so I guess we're not there yet. :)

How does everyone keep themselves busy during the summer?

For your viewing enjoyment, here's a pic from our recent vacation to Galveston of Jack in a candy store.