Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone

I am enjoying some quite time home with my family. Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and I will be back in 2008 to hopefully entertain you more.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

and then there were 8

R started the month of December with only 4 teeth. He now has 8. The top two made an appearance in concert the first week of December and the bottom two came in within two days of each other on the 14th and the 16th. Thank God the teething is done for a brief period of time.

However, anyone know how to stop the biting on EVERYTHING? He bites when he nurses, he bites the couch, he bites my toes, he bites my leg, he bites the coffee table... if it is within teething distance he bites.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh crap...

I have a new fear...

Anyone know if your child has to be RE-tested when you move if they already have a IEP? L has been picking up words left and right and I am now scared that he is going to lose services if/when we move....

Anyone know?????

Also, when do kids normally start talking? Making sounds? I swear L was saying Mama, Dada and Bella by the time he was 10 months old, but R isn't anywhere near that. Now I have the fear that he is going to have similar delays. Oh well, guess the second time around is easier, huh?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the Joys of Commuting

One of the more entertaining parts of my day usually comes first thing in the morning. I commute. However, my commute also involves interacting - face to face - with thousands of people. It might be the worst part of my day, but it also sometimes is the most humorous part of my day.

It starts with the great art of creative parking. I believe this is a northeast thing, but I am not quite sure. Creative parking is finding or making a parking spot out of anything you can think of. When I used to drive a 4 wheel drive car, my favorite parking space what the mound of snow plowed off to the side. I could get up the mound and down the mound without a problem and it is usually located quite close to the train station entrance. This morning, my parking space was at the end of the row and would more likely be called the ROAD then a parking space, but since I wasn't blocking any more traffic than the car I parked opposite of, it is just a form of creative parking.

Then comes to push and shove to get on the train. There is a protocol here too, but it is a weird protocol. All outside seats must be taken before you can ask for a middle seat. The person who is asleep or at least pretending to be asleep gets asked only when all ther other seats are taken and the seats that face each other shouldn't be fully filled unless the train is short a car or you know the people. There is lots of sighing to be done during this part, especially by the women that you ask to move bags. It is a MAJOR inconveince for them and I just love to do it especially when the woman is looking at you all surly.

Finally there is the cell phone ettiquette. My best advice -- just don't use your cell unless it is a dire emergency. And if you NEED to use it -- whisper. I rarely if ever pick up my phone when I am on the train. When I do, my conversations usually last under a minute. My family and most of my friends know better than to expect me to talk on the train. Those that do -- well they end up in a shoving match and getting removed from the train like the two 40 year old, professional men did this morning because ONE was talking too loudly on the phone for the other. This happened within a foot of me and it was rather amusing.

I will not at all miss my morning commute when I leave NY!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bah humbug

I have come to the realization that I am Scrooge. I don’t like Christmas anymore. It used to be my favorite holiday, but now it is just a pain in the ass.

When I was in college, Christmas was a few days that I would be able to come home and relax. I always had a job and I did not like staying the freezing cold Northeast for terribly long so, I would come home for about a week and then go back to Florida. Since my last two years in college also involved dating a football player (a mistake I hope no one repeats), it also involved attending New Years Day Bowl Games -- pretty much the ONLY highlight to dating that asshole. That is how I remember Christmas and New Years. At least when I want to fondly remember it.

Now what does it involved -- baking cookies for L’s therapists, me stupidly volunteering to do the toppers for our “special presents” (family tradition thing), trying to entertain kids during not one but TWO snow storms, realizing less than a week before you are to have Christmas with your family that you have nothing wrapped, also realizing that you need to still send a crap load of stuff to IL for your in-laws.

It also involves 8 nights away from home -- 4 in PA and 4 in IL. I don’t wanna be in a car for 4 hours each way (plus holiday traffic) and I don’t wanna fly during the busiest time of year.

I officially don’t like Christmas anymore. Bah humbug.

Friday, December 14, 2007

fluffy... part two AND a recipe

As I said some was in the wash, so here is the remainder of the stash arrival as of yesterday. B is even in love, which is a surprise!

Now if only I could get a few hours of quite uninterrupted time I could finish the pair of longies that I am currently knitting. Unlikely thought..

And some food for thought...

Slow Cooker Fiesta Tamale Pie

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup beef broth

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 (14 to 16 oz.) jar thick and chunky salsa

1 (16 oz.) can whole-kernel corn, drained

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

2 oz. reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)

In a large bowl, mix cornmeal and broth; let stand 5 min. Stir in beef, chili powder, cumin, salsa, corn and olives. Pour into a 3 1/2 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 7 h

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fluffy mail

I love days when the stars align and all your fluffy mail converges at your door on the same day...

Some is in the wash, but her is the vast majority....I also love that all but one of these was bought at a total steal!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lost that loving feeling...

I feel so uncreative these days. I try to remember cute things the boys did. Or things that drive me nuts and I come up with nothing. So, bullet points today!

  • R is now pulling up and letting go. It is damn cute, but he also has a gazillion bruises on his head from the constant falling.
  • L is still totally in love with the vacuum cleaner! As I type I can hear him up there cleaning the floor because The Wife brought it out
  • I have 3 Christmas parties to hit in the next week. I can't think of a single one that I actually want to attend -- although the "group" one is always fun. B's company one is in a week -- please wish me the patience to not slap his stupid, lazy boss!
  • R has cut 3 teeth in 8 days. It has been fun around here. One more to do.
  • L is getting super particular about how he lines up his cars. It is about the cutest thing in the world, but his OCD tendencies are starting to freak me out. Puppy HAS to be hanging on the back of his chair when he eats or he freaks out.
  • We are in the midsts of the introduction of some more fluff into my life. I am going to give prefolds/fitted and covers a shot again. Wish me luck -- esp on the prefold front because getting R to stay in one spot for 5 seconds is a chore.
  • I believe I may have a dentist appointment today. B tells me there was a call from the dentist office, but I can't seem to find their number. I have no time to go, so fingers crossed they fill the spot and I don't have to pay! Or better yet, I don't have an appointment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Falling into place

Things seem to be moving forward on the "get the hell outta dodge" front. I have various interviews scheduled for Jan. 3rd and 4th and after that we will see where things go.

There are a lot of things that need to fall into place for this move to work for us. We need to pay off the majority of our credit card debt in 2-3 months, we need to find a house, we need to get a mortgage -- which I hear is much more difficult these days! -- and we need to break the news to everyone involved in our lives.

That is a lot of disappointment to go around -- one set of parents is going to be pissed, one set of friends is going to be pissed, two bosses will be pissed and one sweet and loving Nanny will be heartbroken. We want the Wife to come with us, but B and I both recognize that is a lot to ask, so we will ask, and we will be told no probably and then we will leave.

This whole idea just stresses me out. It is so much worse then telling the daycare center that L wasn't coming back. At least there they had other kids that they loved, in our situation, L and R love the Wife as much as she loves them.

We are doing the right thing though right? I mean, uprooting the kids to live closer to family is a good thing in the long run, esp when they are this young. Right???

Monday, December 10, 2007

It is finally happening

B and I agreed this weekend we would like for L to just SHUT UP for 5 freaking minutes. Seriously, the kid is non-stop these days. Too bad much of it is Mommy Mommy Mommy until he gets my attention, but it is unreal the amount he just jabbers on now. Tells you long detailed stories of half words and his own little language, but you can usually get the idea -- ie. R fall down and hit his head HERE.

Although, and I think this is a normal thing, the kid says no to everything. Ask if he wants a cookie and if the answer is YES, then half the time he says cookie and half the time he says no. If he REALLY means no, then you get, no no no. We are working on teaching him yes.

I also don't get the triple repeat thing, but that is becoming a habit too.

Oh and R is now ReRe. B and I both have started calling him that. Amazing how quickly HE picked up his nickname from his brother.

Friday, December 7, 2007

No food

Sorry, especially T, I just don't have the energy to find a recipe today. Yeah, the document that contains them is about a click away, but I tried to pull it up and my computer apparently hates me today, so can we skip the feeding info for this week?

Been a busy day -- pediatrician appts, swimming lessons, vet appointments. I need a nap.

Have a good weekend and I promise to be more interesting on Monday

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Wife

Everyone knows how much I love The Wife. She is great. Boys just adore her, she adores the boys, etc.

However, I am starting to understand the nanny problems others have. The Wife does these little things that just make me bat shit crazy. In the grand scheme they are nothing and I know it, but OMG does it make me insane. B reminds me all the time that my requirements for a “good” nanny were -- flexible with her hours, patient, supportive of breast feeding and therefore feeding expressed milk and most of all, loves my kids! She has everything in spades and more. She cleans the house, does the kids laundry when she sees it needs done, has been totally flexible with the whole cloth diapering thing and is an awesome cook and loves to cook for B and I too.

What does she do that makes me nuts --

Can not for the life of her put the kids clothing in the proper drawer. Puts L’s clothing in R’s room and vice versa (I always keep them and wash them separately so there is no sorting to be done). If I go looking for a pair of pants I could find it anywhere from with the bibs or PJs to with the sweaters. L’s green sheets in R’s red and tan room, etc.

Feeds R desserts for breakfast. I understand she sees mango and thinks fruit, but it says MANGO DESSERT. I have solved this by HIDING the desserts. At least I think I have solved it.
Goes through an excessive amount of milk. Seriously -- sometimes as much as 30 oz when I am pumping 20! We end up dumping 2-3 oz each day. It is heartbreaking when you see your freezer stash waning as much as mine has (500 oz when I went back to work and is currently closer to 75-100 oz!). It would be one thing if we weren’t dumping any, but to see it go down the drain breaks my heart.

Vaccums our new ceramic tile kitchen floor with a regular vaccum cleaner! What the hell -- pull out a broom woman.

Doesn’t get -- change R before feeding. Therefore he falls asleep while getting his 930 bottle and doesn’t get changed until 11am -- 4 HOURS after a new diaper was put on. This IS a big deal since he is a heavy wetter and in cloth and results in a yeast infection every damn time she does it! Happens at least once a week. Never happens when I am home with R.

But as I said, she has accepted the change to cloth without hesitation because she saw it was best for R. Feels guilty about not washing them (I won’t let her touch that with a 10 foot poll because inevitably something will be lost in translation and I can’t afford for her to inadvertently destroy my stash).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What is a friend

I have varying levels of friends. I think we all do, right? I have friends that I barely keep in touch with -- mainly because I feel we don't have a lot in common -- some that I don't keep in touch with because I am an idiot but I do want to keep in touch with and then I have my good friends that I talk to pretty much every single day, even if it is usually over email.

Don't get me wrong -- there are other categories, like those that I adore, but live too far away from, those that I work with and see and bitch to every day, etc.

Then we have this weird, in between category called my internet friends. B says these aren't real friends because I don't know if they are 40 year old men playing the role of a 20 something or 30 something new mom. B is not a real believer in social networking on the computer. So here in lies the problem. Are they really friends?

One of these people I would consider a friend -- like a real friend that I honestly could see myself hanging out with and having my boys around (that is a big thing for me!). We have very similar parenting styles, although we also have very differing views on some issues. She has the same sense of humor I have and I can say with 99.9999% certainty that she is infact NOT an 50 year old man (if "she" isn't who she says she is, she has a full freaking time job in keeping up this alter-personality).

I think she is having a really rough time of it right now. Her tone is off -- even though it is through emails/posts/blog entries (I am purposefully being general here as to not "call out" the person). I found myself thinking of her while I was folding diapers this morning and I feel like I need to reach out -- but I don't want to overstep either. BTW -- if you know who you are and you need ANYTHING at all, please let me know! Seriously. Drop me an email or something.

This is when I HATE having "friends" I don't talk to in person. If it were W or N I would call them up and say - hey, I was thinking about you this morning and just wanted to make sure you are ok. For some reason I don't feel like I can do that. I am not her best friend, I probably am not even one of her close friends, I am someone she knows through pictures and through my words, but not someone she knows in person.

Does it matter though? If you thought one of your internet "friends" was in trouble what would you do?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The daily grind

I worked late last night, so I only had about 40 minutes last night with the boys. Dragging myself into the office was much harder this morning than usual. I hate when I don't get a nice chunk of time with everyone in the evening.

Then about 30 minutes into the train ride there was an announcement that there is ice on the tracks and the trains ahead of us were sliding. Oh joy!

I also seem to have developed a plugged duct (Alicia -- am I having sympathy pains for you or something?) when I didn't nurse for more then 15 hours on the one side -- yes, I am an idiot! So after I got the boys to bed last night, I stood in the shower for about 20 minutes massaging my boob. What a pain -- both literally and figuratively. It was apparently so bad yesterday that even one of my co-workers, who is usually nice, walked in my office and asked "what the hell is wrong with you." What a pick me up!

Oh and to add to that, L decided to fingerpaint with his poop last night before going to bed. B freaked -- he is a total nut when it comes to cleaning up poop or vomit -- so I got to peel off each layer of L's clothing and try not to make the situation worse. That was my quality time with L.

Last but not least, I am headed to a 2 hour plus meeting where I say all of 10 words and get oodles more work.

I need starbucks.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Update on L

As I said before L started occupational therapy on Wednesday afternoon. Not surprisingly, the therapist came to the house and played with L. To any outsider, it was a play date and nothing more, however, to his mommy is was a huge sigh of relief.

The therapist asked multiple times as to why she was there. Complimented his pincher grip, laughed at his antics and told me what a smart kid I had. It was all music to my ears.

L has a long way to go with things, but for the expert to come in and not take one look at L and say -- oh, I see what the problem is, it lifted a giant weight off my shoulders. One that I didn't even know was there. I guess since he was evaluated and put on this track I have been beating myself up for not realizing there was a problem. Yes, I knew his speech was delayed, but had no idea about the SPD stuff.

Now I am just thankful that it is even taking the therapist time to see the problem too.

black bean soup

This is for you T!

1/4 lb. chorizo
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 bay leaf
15 oz can black beans, undrained
15 oz can FF chicken broth
juice of 1 lime
2 tbs. minced cilantro
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

Discard chorizo skin. Crumble meat and brown in a non-stick skillet for 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and peppers. Sauté over medium high heat 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker. Add sherry, cumin, bay leaf, beans and broth. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours. Remove lid. Scoop out 1 cup beans and press with the back of a fork to mash. Return to pot. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered just to warm through, about 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Memo to my boobs.

Hi ladies.
While I appreciate your hard work the last 8.5 months we seem to be developing a problem. You seem to think that this is an all or nothing prospect and unfortunately that is not the case. While I treasure your over-active days and like to restock my freezer, pumping 27 ounces one day and 16 the next is not what I had in mind. I need a consistant flow of about 22-25oz a day. I know pumping is harder on you then if R ate from the tap, but I have to work and this is not new to you. You knew the rules going into this, so now is not the time to decide to slack off.

So ladies, suck it up. You have at least 3 more months of work ahead of you and then we will meet to discuss my future expectations and how long your vacation will last. You have already put in close to 16 months, so really 3 more is nothing.

Although, let it be known that while you are on vacation, I do expect you to maintain your current size, but your previous shape. None of this conversing with my knees.

Please file this as your 9 month review and we will meet again in 3 months.

Your owner.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The teething never ends

When you have 2 kids in your house 16 months apart, teething really doesn’t ever end. When R arrived, L had 8 teeth, since then we have gotten the canines and the first round of molars -- both of which are not fun.

Then it was R’s turn. I swear he started teething at 3 months and finally the first tooth popped through at 6 months. A month later -- 3 teeth come within 10 days. To say that was rough is the understatement of the century.

Now both R and L are teething. R is working on the remaining four front teeth -- the top two seem to be in the lead, but it is likely that all four will also make a similar race to the finish appearance in a short amount of time. L is working on his second set of molars.

So my house has two kids who like to shove various items into their mouths and chew.

Unfortunately that also means that R likes to chew when he nurses. Those teeth are SHARP!
I am looking forward to all teeth coming in and this teething nonsense to stop.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The next step

L starts Occupational Therapy tomorrow. To say I don’t know what to expect is the understatement of the world. I knew he needed speech therapy and I certainly wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis of SPD, but OT seems to be a little strange for a child that appears to have outstanding motor skills. Now that I know what the problem is though, I can see where he needs some work with his fine motor development.

Although I am supposed to come up with goals for his OT. My single goal is this -- have his stop putting every last item in his mouth! And stop sucking his fingers!

L has a new and annoying habit that I mentioned before of sucking on his fingers. I find it disgusting and want it to stop. I have been told that putting things in his mouth is how he explores the world, so I don’t know how likely it is for that to stop, but I fully intend to ask the therapist to work on it!

Of course, R has started to doing it too and I know it is developmental for him, but bleck -- can’t stand it for either of them at that moment.

Which reminds me -- I need to ask The Wife to sterilize all the toys… any ideas on how to say that in Spanish?

Monday, November 26, 2007

And then suddenly...

I was the mom of a 2 year old.

The Saint and her girls arrived on Wednesday morning and in the ensuing whirlwind, Thanksgiving came and went and all of a sudden it was Sunday and L’s birthday. On Friday, I began with the -- L, about this time 2 years ago I realized I was in labor -- and continued to mark milestones in my labor over the next 42 hours(along with the snide remarks of -- yep Mama was STILL in labor with you at this point -- no sleeping for Mama!!) . B and I were in the car, L pitching a fit in his car seat, when 1:16 pm rolled around and marked the minute that our lives were forever changed by one squirming, 8lb, 4oz bundle of joy.

If my pregnancy and labor were any indication of the child I was going to get, it should come as no surprise that the last 2 years have been filled with a number of challenges, but each one has resulted in a happy outcome. L is our daredevil, early to crawl, early to walk, early to hit the “terrible twos,” good sleeping, energy draining, emotional little one. He makes my heart stop with his antics on a regular basis, but then melts me with a giant hug and a kiss.

Shortly before R arrived, B and I started a night time routine of L giving the other parent a kiss before going to bed -- meaning if B puts L to bed, L runs to me to gives me a kiss. No matter how mad L is about going to bed, no matter how upset he is about putting toys away, no matter what, when B says give Mama (and now R) a kiss, he comes running. He demonstrates his love for B, me, R and The Wife with the same fierceness that he uses when he scales B and my bed, his dresser, R’s crib or any number of things that he shouldn’t be climbing but does the instant you turn your back.

L is a handful -- that is for sure. He is a little McGuyver who can take anything apart and who seems to be un-childproofable. He is still learning that using his words leads to a much happier household and whining and crying don’t get him far, but his word explosion has been coming for some time and he is starting to mimic everything we say. Although, I have already found that that isn’t always a good thing either.

I can’t believe my baby is two. The little baby who changed us from a couple to a family. The little boy who makes me shed tears of sadness, frustration and utter joy. The little baby who took his sweet time coming into this world and taught me that he will do what he wants on HIS schedule and no one else’s. The little boy with the gorgeous blue eyes, enormous heart, and the single-minded determination that will serve him well down the lines. The little baby who made me realize what all encompassing love is. The little boy who made me understand what everyone meant when they said “you will understand when you are a mother.” The little baby and little boy that I grow to love more every day.

I love you L. Happy 2nd Birthday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What kind of parent are you?

Are you the type that lets your kids get hurt to learn a lesson or do you do your best to protect them from any injury? Now, the kicker, do you have a boy or a girl?

I have two boys. My one best friend, W, has 2 girls. We parent so differently that it is hilarious.

I am of the mind set that if L tries to climb out of his crib and falls, then he will learn not to do that again. Yes, he has carpet in his room, but I never have even though of that. L has fallen off a kitchen chair onto the ceramic tile, the couch onto the hardwood floor and off a hotel bed onto pretty much cement (because we all know the quality of hotel carpet). Actually his first fall was in our basement, on ceramic tile and he bit substantially into his lip. He bled, I cried and then he never tried going down the step in our basement again unless he was holding a hand or doing it backwards.

W's oldest, who is just 6 weeks younger than L, tried to crawl out of her crib last night. W and her hubby saw it on the video monitor and ran to stop her. Luckily they did and she is safe and sound without a bruise. W told me about this this morning and my reaction was similar to what I would do with L -- let her fall, she will learn. W would never even consider that. She does everything in her power to protect her and won't let her get hurt if she can at all prevent it.

I am in no way saying my way is right. I am in no way saying that W is wrong. I am just wondering if my nonchalance is related to the fact that I have rough and tumble boys (who I have resigned myself to knowing they will be dirty and bruised) and she has sweet adorable little girls.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who stole my kids?

Seriously, my kids were so well behaved and angelic this weekend that I am now certain that someone snuck in my house and replaced my children with sweet adorable clones.

Don't believe me.

L walked around the mall with B and I for 2 hours, holding someones hand, not pitching a fit every time we went by a ride and even walked nicely through Williams Sonoma (I know, I was tempting fate with that one, wasn't I). Then he sat nicely at dinner, ate his China Buffet food in great big mouthfuls and didn't even wear half of it even though Mommy totally spaced on bringing a bib. And not one, not two but THREE families complimented B and I on how well behaved BOTH boys were!

Then on Sunday L preceeded to actually HELP B and some co-worker friends clean flower beds, turn over the garden, prune back the roses and clean up our yard and all the accompanying crap that has been stored under our porch. Yes, it mainly consisted of running around pushing his play lawn mower, but he didn't throw a fit and B was actually able to get work done, so that is cooperation in my book.

On Sunday night he spent a good hour to hour and half playing on the floor with his new HUGE BOX of trucks and cars that P (the neighbor) had in her attic and that her son insisted on giving to L.

I know -- who is this kid!

R, well R was a bit crankier than usual this weekend. He wasn't so complacent to just be put on the floor to fend for himself. However, other than wanting to eat more or rather nurse more because he is getting 4 teeth, he was his normal happy self. He is 100% self feeding now and B and I are racking our brains to remember all the good self-feeding foods. But, self-feeding also means that he will sit in his high chair for a good 30minutes to an hour just shoving food into his mouth.

It is unreal.

Who ever left this angels at my house -- HA, your loss. I am keeping them!!! Have fun with the temper tantruming L that you took.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Italian Pot Roast

1 (2 1/2-pond) boneless beef round roast
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (0.7-ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix

Slice roast in half and place in a 3 1/2 quart electric slow cooker. Add onion and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on high setting 5 hours or until roast is tender. Or, cover and cook on high setting 1 hour; reduce to low setting and cook 7 hours. Slice meat to serve.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Desperately seeking advice...

I know, I am actually asking for advice from everyone I can find, so here is the problem...

L has gotten into the habit of sucking his fingers. First it was his thumb, now it is his right index finger. Yes, he has a bit of an oral fixation and this started after we took the pacifier away, but now that it is gone there isn't a chance in hell that I am giving it back. Now, beyond the whole -- plays in the dirt one second, sucking on his dirty finger the next I have a bigger problem.

A cut.

At some point last week L got a small cut on his finger. Well, with the finger constantly in his mouth -- trust me, we correct him EVERY time we see it, but I can only imagine he sleeps with it in his mouth and I am not on top of him 24 hours a day -- it seems to maybe be getting infected. I put Bacitracin on it yesterday because I know that is ok to ingest (it is part of the all purpose nipple cream for those of you who are wondering how I came across the ok to ingest conclusion). But I can't put a band aid on it -- he rips it off instantly -- and I don't know how to keep it out of his mouth.

I am keeping a close eye on it and I am guessing we will be making a trip to the pedi about this before Thanksgiving, but how to I keep this from being a constant problem?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Anniversary -- Again

It is 4 years today that B proposed. I knew it was coming up, and I am sure he doesn't remember at all, but when I was trying to figure out how many years it has been I thought for SURE that I was getting the math wrong. But no... 4 years. That is it.

B and I met in June 2001, didn't start dating until June 2002, he moved to NY in March 2003, we started planning out wedding in Sept 2003, got engaged November 2003 (yeah, I know cart first there, huh), married August 2004, found out we were pregnant March 2005, first house July 2005, first kid November 2005, second kid March 2007. To say it has been a busy last few years is an mild understatement.

I can't believe it has ONLY been 4 years, seems like so much more.

While B drives me up and down walls on a regular basis, he is also my grounding force and I do love him more and more with each passing year.

Happy Anniversary B, even if you have no idea it is today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Am I my mom?

We got a new writing prompt from my Cafe Mom group and I HAD to take them up on this one...

Are you becoming your mom? your dad? Are you the complete opposite?Are there things you say that remind you of things you used to hear?

To say that B and I are like my parents is the understatement of the world. B couldn't be more like my father -- although I do think B has a bit more of a temper than my dad did when we were little or I just push his buttons more than my mom did to my dad. It is weird things too, B has started this, get in the car and wait thing that my dad always did to my mom. Drove my mom batty because HELLO -- a little help in here would allow us to leave that much sooner. I never got why it made her mad. Now I do.

B also can fall asleep on the couch at the drop of a hat the instant both boys are napping. Me, I look around and see the clutter and need to pick up. That is so my mom too. Now, I don't come anywhere close to the neat freak that she is, but I hate tripping over the boys toys in the living room, so I pick them up at lunch/naptime and first thing when the boys go to bed. B things we should 1) not pick them up at all or 2) do it after he has had a chance to relax. Ummm.. NO.

The other thing that makes me keep thinking -- oh crap I am becoming my mom is that I can't buy myself stuff. If I spend money on myself, I feel guilty. The boys both have dresser and closets stuffed to the gills and more clothing then they will probably ever wear. R really never needs me to buy him a single item of clothing for at least another year, yet for him and L, I will spend spend spend. Me -- if the jeans cost more than $30 I have a panic attack. My freshman year in college, I spent hours going through my mom's closets laughing and the old stuff and throwing stuff out without her imput -- I mean she was standing there, but it would be a lot of - "I don't care, it is 20 years old mom, get a new white turtleneck." My mom is now one of the best dressed women out there and I am starting to hit the blah zone.

Ways that my mom and I are not alike -- I have much much more expensive tastes then she does (I know, hard to believe minutes after I said I won't spend more than $30 on jeans). B and I have a pencent for eating out too -- and at nice restuarants to boot. I think nothing of spending hundreds of dollars on toys and playsets for the boys and my parents were never that financially solvent when we were little. Also, my mom was a SAHM and there is just no freaking way -- beyond the whole role as a breadwinner part. I don't have the patience for it and when I am home on maternity leave I tend to shop (see above about all the boys clothing).

So, am I becoming my mom. Yes, but I am version 2000 while she was version 1970.

Monday, November 12, 2007


How ya'll like my new header/layout? I wish I could take credit for it, but alas, I am not a lick creative. Nicole - frequent commenter and one of my best friends - is responsible and I have to say she did a FABULOUS job. The extent of my imput were -- no, make her look more FRAZZLED (then gave her some options of clip art) and to tell her to use purple to which she responded - yeah, I figured. (I am a purple nut -- love it!!).

So this was done late in the day Friday and then she proceeded to tell me how her 2 year old could have done it. Me -- I still haven't a clue how to do it. Gotta love those smarty pants toddlers.

So, I pre-emptively made the change because L's birthday is in a short 13 days from now and then I will no longer be a mom of 2 under 2. Also, MomSmoo seems to be the one thing that I will be able to carry forward where ever I go and my log in for most message boards and such. Trying to consolidate as my brain can't handle multiple personalities.

Let me know what you think and what I should change. I know I need to work on getting a blogroll going, but that will be something that I need to do. I think I am favored out for a while with Nicole!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Because there is just nothing

more interesting than bitching about the weather....

Seriously though, here on the east coast we by passed crisp mornings and nice afternoons and went straight to holy crap is it cold. Saying that, it is time for a recipe for some more soup because I need to warm the heck up!

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup!

16 Ounces Chicken Breast Halves Without Skin – cubed

30 Ounces Black Beans, Canned – undrained

30 Ounces Mexican-style Stewed Tomatoes – canned

1 Cup Salsa

4 Ounces Chopped Green Chiles

14 1/2 Ounces Tomato Sauce

2 Cups Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese

Tortilla Chips

Combine all ingredients except cheese and tortilla chips into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. To serve, put a handful of chips into each individual bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with 1/4 cup cheese.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How often is enough...

Mom -- you can go ahead and skip this one, ok? Ok.

So how often is enough sex? I know it varies from person to person -- some want more, some want less -- but what is enough for both you and your husband to have a happy medium?

For B, he definitively thinks then there is NEVER enough. Morning, noon and night would be great in his book and still not enough.

For me, once a week is plenty thank you very much. I think I am doing very well with the once a week thing too seeing as I have 2 kids still under 2, I have a career, resposibilities at home and would like to have a life with some time for just me too.

So what do you think -- once a day, once a week, once a month, once a year even or is there just never "enough"?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Selfish, maybe?

After my post yesterday, I got into a conversation with a co-worker about how different female attorney's in our office deal with having a kid. Some leave, some stay, some cut back and some act like they don't even have children. I am part of the cut back crew. I used to put in 70-80 hour work weeks, working every weekend without even blinking an eye. I HAD to cut back when I was pregnant with L, as I was on and off bedrest. But even the week that I was on strict at home bedrest, I was given the ok to work as long as I was always sitting down and relaxing. That week -- I logged in 55 hours.

Now I am down to 45-50 hours on average. Some weeks I still hit 80 and some are as low as 40, but my "average" is 47.

Now the question, spun off from yesterday. Why would I want to have more kids when the 2 that I already have spend over half their time in the care of The Wife? Is it selfish of me to want more kids because... well hell, I can't even say I want more kids because. I know I want to go through labor again (yes, I know, nutty, nutty, nutso here, but I really did enjoy R's labor -- L's, not so much), but that is only part of it. It that were the only thing, then I would start working on B agreeing to let me be a gestational surrogate. But that isn't the only thing. I can't believe that R will be the last baby I nurse, the last baby I rock, the last baby I fuss over when he gets his first cold or the last baby I curse under my breath when he just WILL NOT SLEEP! I keep trying to go back and look at the first 6 weeks of R's life in this blog, like here, here and here, and remember how much they SUCKED, but in the well rested light of the end of the infant tunnel, I just can't imagine that my baby days are over.

Although, then I realize that I couldn't have it much better with the two I already have. Good sleepers, both boys (I am a boys kinda mom!), one Daddy's boy and one Mama's boy and really the two cutest beings I have ever seen - although I think almost any mom can claim the last one.

So, I guess the answer is... who knows, right. I may be selfish for wanting more kids when I don't have the time for them, but that is still what I want. I guess I do justify it to myself that I have given them one consistant person who loves them almost as much as I do in The Wife, so at least if I can't be here I have found them the best alternative. Although, she does work for us and one day she will not be here... that day inevitably will come.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I am nuts...

Just how insane am I. Well at 2am this morning I was CONVINCED that I was pregnant.

Instead it turns out that something I ate just didn't agree with my tummy.

B has made it perfectly clear that 2 kids is plenty during which time I have come to the conclusion that I am not done having kids yet... whether I have another one of my own or I am a surrogate.

In the mean time I need psychiatric help to deal with this -- how in the world can I want another kid so soon? I mean seriously, haven't I been pregnant for like the last 3 years?

Monday, November 5, 2007

And the winner is

Eileen over at a Life of Triggers!

I have been avoiding my blog like the plague this weekend in order to recover from my 31 days of blogging. Who knew that would be exausting. I ALMOST signed up for an event for the month of November but I am so happy I decided to skip that one.

So, here is a question for mom's out there -- did your kid(s) take a major drop in breastmilk intake or even formula intake when they started on solids? L never did -- solids were always in addition to BM (and then formula when I got knocked up.) I know I am supposed to keep R about 30oz and he is fine with that, but he was close to 50-55 oz a day and now he is eating 4 jars of food BUT not nursing or drinking as much BM. I mean he is down to only 20oz when I am gone during the day and only 3 nursing sessions when I am home (morning and twice at night). My supply has decidedly tanked (I just pumped less than 8oz right now, when I WAS pumping 14 at this time of day...).

So am I off to fight my supply or just let it go. I still have a good 300 oz in the freezer, but since that is 200 less than I had about 2 months ago, I am concerned about it holding out for the next 4 months!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Because it is that time of day

and a Friday...

32 oz frozen hash browns
1 lb cooked ham cubed ( lean )
1 onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 1/2 c shredded cheese ( Regular Cheese )
12 eggs
1 c skim milk
1 t salt
1 t black pepper

Divide potatoes, ham, veggies and cheese so you can create several layers of each in the crock pot. Start with the hash browns, then ham, onions peppers and last cheese. Repeat until you have several layers. Beat eggs, milk salt & pepper pour over layers in the crockpot cover and turn on low. Cook for 10-12 hours overnight.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween hangover...

Tons of candy left over...
But the two cutest Trick or Treaters you ever saw (and goodness did we get a lot of compliments on L's golf outfit!!!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricky tricky!

Yeah -- finally Halloween! I can't honestly remember the last time I was this excited for it. L will have so much fun, so here is fingers crossed that the weather clears and it is nice and warm for him.

Oh and there was a little email floating around about putting vicks on your babies feet if they have a cough... Yeah, well it works and works WELL!! R sick as a dog and has STTN for the last two nights. I have NO IDEA what that is about. The first night of the cold he was up like 3-4 times, so I can only say THIS is an improvement.

Enjoy Halloween and link me to pics of your little ones in their costumes... I love costume pics!

DS tidbit: There are no more tidbits for you. I hope that along this journey you were able to learn something about Down Syndrome. The one constant that I have been able to glean from my best friend and her daughter are this. A child with DS is a child first and foremost. That child needs love, comfort and understanding and the most important thing one can do is give any child unconditional love and support. I love you W and I love you O.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bloggy giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Why YES ... I am a follower! I saw this on Alicia's blog and had to check it out myself. After entering about a dozen of the giveaways, I thought that I needed to give something away myself, so what am I going to give away.

A Meditation pack -- includes instruction book, music CD, 2 candles, 10 incense cones and a holder. Why did I pick meditation pack, well for lots of reasons....

1) most people who read this are moms and in need of relaxation methods that take little to no time
2) I find this kind of thing facinating
3) after my experience with Hypbirth and how well my labor went, I am sold on the use of mediation and hypnosis in your every day life.

So, you know the rules. Leave a comment -- if it doesn't link me to a way to contact you, leave contact information. I will randomly draw one person from my comments on Nov. 3 at 9 pm Eastern time.

If you want to participate and give something away look here. Now have fun and good luck!

Silver lining

I am going to try an upbeat post today... So here were my "problems" of yesterday and the silver lining..

1) 5 pairs of pants and not a single one that fits -- 12 are too big and my normal size - 10 - are still just a bit too small. Half of these pants were bought in the last 6 months and now nothing freaking fits. SILVER LINING -- baby weight finally coming off.

2) Car would not start. Just nothing when I tried. Called B, he came home and fixed it (battery was disconnected from when he jumped his own car that morning) and I headed off to work. SILVER LINING -- nothing was really wrong with the car and B answered his phone on the first call (rare) and was home within 10-15 minutes (unheard of!).

3) Work meeting that lasted 2 hours and resulted in more work for everyone but the co-irker who will of course take all the credit. SILVER LINING -- yeah, I have work to do and I can do most of it independent of the co-irker!

4) Work computer keeps changing my time to daylights savings time. SILVER LINING -- having no idea what time it really is at work and getting to jump ahead an hour makes the day go by fast!

5) R has a horrid cold and is pouring snot. Screams when laid down (having his ear checked today), but did sleep from 8 until 4am. SILVER LINING -- sickie kid means Mommy works from home today, so I am in sweats and can run up and see the kids at any time!

DS tidbit: Life tables published in 1989 showed that more than 50 percent of infants with Down syndrome could be expected to live more than 50 years. As mortality rates for the operative repair of congenital heart defects continue to decrease, survival may increase considerably. Since the trend toward deinstitutionalization began in the 1970s, it has become apparent that the maintenance of optimal health is a major factor in the lifelong functioning of persons with Down syndrome. Primary health care has become essential to helping these persons have longer, more productive lives.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Revising history

Ok, so maybe L wasn't all that bad this weekend. Yes, B and I were fed up with all the whining, but looking back at all the pictures we took, it was a busy weekend and there wasn't all that much napping done. Gotta love the holidays, right?!

L looking at all the pumpkins

Finding the perfect one

L had a blast carving his pumpkin with B and I painted one with R. R really couldn't have cared less, but there are now two pumpkins sitting in front of our house.

R thoughts on all of this -- FEED ME.

DS tidbit: When the parents return to work, they may need assistance in finding appropriate day care. Most large day care centers accept children with Down syndrome. However, in these large centers, the infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of infection and resultant congestive heart failure. Alternatives include in-home care or a home day care setting with a smaller number of children. A smaller day care facility can often maintain stricter infection control measures.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Driving me mad

What do you do with almost 12 straight hours of WHINING?? I do not know what has gotten into L today, but he has been the whine monster extraordinaire today. Right now he is creating havoc in my office, but who cares -- he isn't whining for a change.

Consider my last button pushed.

AND I had 2 hours of ME time when L and R were napping, so how can I possibly be at my breaking point?

DS Tidbit: Cognitive function varies tremendously and cannot be predicted at birth. No relationship has been shown between the number of Down syndrome features present in a newborn and later cognitive function. IQs that have been reported for persons with Down syndrome range from low normal to profoundly retarded. However, there are anecdotal reports of children with Down syndrome who have IQs of 135 to 140. Early intervention programs can improve the academic prognosis for children with Down syndrome.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cabbage Roll Soup!

As promised....

1 pound ground round

3 1/2 cups water

2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 cans beef consommé -- undiluted--10.5 ounces per can

2 cans diced tomatoes -- undrained--14.5 ounces per can

1/2 cup uncooked converted rice

Brown meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; drain well. Place meat in a 4-quart electric slow cooker; stir in water and next 10 ingredients. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8 hours. Increase heat setting to high; stir in rice. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes or until rice is


DS tidbit: Ideally, therapists should be pediatric specialists who have particular knowledge about Down syndrome. Since most infant therapy is play-based and not strenuous, even infants with medical problems can benefit. Consequently, except in extreme circumstances, referral for early intervention should not be delayed until after surgical correction of a heart defect. Indeed, unrepaired ventricular and atrial septal defects without pulmonary vascular occlusive disease are classified as category I (no restrictions) by the American Heart Association. However, a therapy session should be curtailed if an infant shows signs of fatigue.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No recipe

I know it is Friday and that should mean a recipe, but would you mind terribly if I waited until tomorrow to do that??

B has a cold. And a ho hum cold at that -- no fountain of snot, no hacking cough, no low grade temp -- just a sore throat and a "dry" nose (what that means - I haven't a clue????). But you would think the man was DYING. I don't get it. How can a manly man like B be such a WUSS when it comes to a little cold.

Anyway, why is this important to me -- because I don't sleep when B is sick. He snores on his best days. Chainsaw, window rattling snores... and with the insomnia that I have developed... oh back when I was pregnant with L, I have a hard time sleeping through it as it. With a cold... I can't believe the neighbors weren't calling to complain.

Add to that the one dog seems to also have a cold and was snoring up a storm last night, the other dog decided to drink her body weight in water and was slurping along, R was up 3 times last night and you have one TIRED mama.

The upside of my day and being up all freaking night -- I am half way done knitting wool soakers for R and I have already prewashed the diapers twice (three more times to go) and R's little tushy may be cover in cloth by tonight!

Have a good one and if you are looking for ideas for dinner -- I promise I will post something good tomorrow!

DS tidbit: With appropriate therapy, developmental delay may be minimized, and the child's social quotient may be improved. Such training can provide a foundation for mainstreaming the child with Down syndrome in schools and the community.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weekly round-up

  • R's 3rd tooth FINALLY popped through the gum yesterday. It wasn't there at noon when I nursed him and it was there when B got home from work at 4ish. Funny how that happens. Now I just need to remember to put it in his book.
  • And surprisingly enough, I am doing a good job in keeping his book semi-up to date. His milestones are more likely April 07 then April 17, 2007 at 1:13pm like I would do with L, but close!
  • The speech therapist is very impressed with the progress L has made so far.
  • I am fuming mad at the NYS Early intervention program. 3 weeks after L's evaluation, 10 days after I got the news from the OT that he qualified and NADDA from my coordinator. I may have to request a change because this woman is not doing her job.
  • Did I ever mention L's hearing test??? No... well that might be because it was in scary-ville, in a nasty building and L kept ripping the headphones off. Afterwards, I told B it is his job from now on! L needs a follow up in 6 months. Yuck.
  • Halloween candy is in the house!!! B already ripped into one bag, so now it is hidden in the basement! Well, not so much hidden then just far enough away that B won't walk his behind down to the guest bedroom to get a few pieces!
  • I made the lacation cookies with L today. Yummy! A great excuse to eat cookies.
  • The remainder of the diapers should arrive today. Is it bad that I checked outside about 20 times yesterday in the hopes that they might just arrive early???
DS tidbit: Preschool programs for children with special needs include physical, occupational, speech and educational therapies. In these programs, each child receives individualized multisource stimulation. Often included is the total communication concept, which combines signing and oral language.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When fertility friend sucks...

I am in a funk today. I have been playing around with a post complaining about the FF message board again, but can hear it in my head and shoot --- I wouldn't even want to read it. I just don't understand some people. One mom spent the entire 19 months between having her children bemoaning the fact that she wasn't "ABLE" to breast feed because the hospital took her little one to the nursery and fed him a bottle because she was so exhausted after her labor (it was almost the exact same length of time as my first labor -- granted, very tiring, but I still made an effort to nurse and was so jacked up after having L that I couldn't have slept if I wanted to, so I also just do not understand). Anyways, she has her second, in a fast labor, he nurses well from day one and a week later she quits because.... "SHE IS TOO TIRED" he is getting up every two hours and she can't do this with a toddler (um, NORMAL anyone?? This by the way is a nurse too -- so that made it interesting). WTH!!!! Not for nothing, this was when her hubby was STILL home with her? When she ultimately decided to quit, her post was "Hubby is not able to bond with the baby as well as he did with the first."

Now I don't know whether that is a comment on how lame her hubby is or just an excuse, but OMG I wanted to bang my head into a wall.

So why do I still post there? Search me... I truly have no idea anymore. Some of the woman were fine for a bit, but now there is one who can't have anymore kids because she almost died during her 1st pregnancy (she has a heart condition) who is thinking "maybe" a surrogate -- but only if the surrogate eats what she thinks is important, doesn't drink COFFEE, gets what she thinks is adequate rest, etc. In otherwords, as long as MOM can micromanage the surrogates life for 9 months. As somone who has considered being a surrogate, let me tell you, how much that was such a turn off for me. You don't go in to the surogacy agreement with a women who assumes you are only going to harm the fetus that you are carrying to help them! I mean what is the point. I would treat a surrogate pregancy just like any of my other pregancies. Up my calcium, take prenates, make sure not to over due it, make my appointments and most of all drink my fucking coffee, thank you very much. That would be like me saying -- well I will only be a surrogate if you agree to breastfeed after the child is born, or to cloth diaper, or practice baby wearing, or attachment parenting, etc. If I can't decide how the child is parented, then you can't decide how the baby is grown in utero. You are renting my uterus, not my life.

Anyways, off to do some real work. I was out of the office for a class yesterday, so I am sure I have a mounting pile of "to dos".

DS tidbit: An infant with Down syndrome can be breast-fed. Breast milk is generally easier to digest than formulas of all types. Furthermore, breast-fed infants have fewer upper and lower respiratory infections, as well as a lower incidence of otitis media, atopic diseases and respiratory allergy. Breast feeding also enhances oral motor development, which is the foundation of speech. The psychologic benefit derived from the bonding of mother and infant can be extremely important at a time when, because of the infant's disability, the mother may be questioning her own adequacy. Even if the infant is unable to breast feed directly, expressed breast milk given another way may be beneficial for the child's health and the mother's emotional well-being.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

They arrived!!

The pocket diapers I ordered from Kelly's Closet arrived yesterday. Only 3 more orders to arrive -- I tried a few different places in order to know where to order from in the future -- and then we can make the official switch. Poor B has no idea what all is yet to come!

I have to say the Kelly's Closet has been fabulous. I have tons of stuffers for the pocket diapers. I thought I only got one for each diaper I ordered, but I ended up with a dozen stuffers or more. She did a great job in picking out colors for me. So I highly recommend her.

Cotton babies and the Stork Wearhouse are yet to arrive, but I ordered them after Kelly Closet. Don't worry -- R's cloth covered behind will be on here shortly!

DS tidbit: Because of the range of ability in children with Down syndrome it is important for families and all members of the school's education team to place few limitations on potential capabilities. It may be effective to emphasize concrete concepts rather than abstract ideas. Teaching tasks in a step-by-step manner with frequent reinforcement and consistent feedback has been proven successful. Improved public acceptance of persons with disabilities along with increased opportunities for adults with disabilities to live and work independently in the community, have expanded goals for individuals with Down syndrome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh, what should I write about today??

Should I write about how R decided that last night wasn't a good night for sleeping? How he got up hourly from 230 to 530 this morning? How he only slept from 530 until 700 this morning because he was sleeping in bed with me? How I have no idea if it was his teeth or because he is trying to crawl or because he was too cold or whatever it was that was waking his butt up? Nah... no one wants to hear about sleep problems. Pretty much everyone who reads this has their own.

Should I write about how L threw a temper tantrum for a good ten minutes yesterday for no apparent reason? I tried the Saints method of a tight hug and bouncing to see if he was just over stimulated... it didn't work. So off he went to a time out where he did sit, but continued to scream. How he just continued to do that and still attempted to scoot across the floor to take a toy away from R? How then after a while he just turned it OFF, so we have NO CLUE as to what started it or stopped it? Or how I HATE HATE HATE the temper tantrums, the whining, the TWOS?????????!!!!!!!!!! Nah -- because again, most people either have a terrible 2, had a terrible 2 or just have no freaking clue as to what I am talking about.

How about I write about how I never have a clue as to what to wear or even what fits on any given day? Pants that I wore last week, falling off of me today. Not to worry though because next week I won't even be able to get the same pants past my hips. Or how I have a mounting pile of ironing that needs to be done but no idea when in the hell I could even begin to try doing it? Nah... that isn't interesting either.

Or finally, maybe I should write about our trip to the farm this weekend. The trip that I have been looking forward to all month because L loves TRACTORS and TRUCKS and animals. How he loves to run through the field and touch all the pumpkins or how he likes the hay ride so much he had a perma-grin last year the whole time. About how this year it was HOT, and the hayride sucked and how the pumpkins have exploded in the field so you can't even get off the hay ride and pick a pumpkin. Or how we didn't time the trip to the farm right and L was hungry and had fallen asleep in the car on the way there, so all the pictures of him this year have a perma-scowl. Oh and how there isn't a single picture of me with the boys because any time we tried L threw a fit. Why it is the stuff I look forward to the most are usually the trips that turn out the worst?

Nah, not that either. Ok, so how about this rant is my post for today?

DS tidbit: Just as in the normal population, there is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior, and developmental progress in individuals with Down syndrome. Their level of retardation may range from mild to severe, with the majority functioning in the mild to moderate range. Due to these individual differences, it is impossible to predict future achievements of children with Down syndrome.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My missed calling.

Rima had this on her blog, so I had to take it...

NameThatDisease.com - Test your disease knowledge

Anyone who knows me in real life won't be surprised. I have a weird knack for knowing EXACTLY what is wrong with someone -- except my own kids for some reason. I especially know what the heck is going on with shoulder/knee/hip/etc problems. My dad was having a hard time breathing, no cough, flu like symptoms though and my sister and I correctly diagnosed him with pneumonia before the doctors did.

This is a family thing. My mom knew I had mono before the blood work came back (and it came back negative 3 times before it finally came back positive). No, we aren't a bunch of hypocondriacs, but we always have a 6th sense of this sort of thing.

Is that weird?

Anyways, I wish I hadn't wasted all that time in law school, because a lot of times, I feel like I missed my calling.

DS tidbit: Children with Down syndrome may have a tendency to become obese as they grow older. Besides having negative social implications, this weight gain threatens these individuals' health and longevity. A supervised diet and exercise program may help reduce this problem.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bad things come in threes...

Poor R.. he is having a bad time of it. Just cut one tooth last week and the two tops ones started poking through today. That little guys is a drooling fiend!

Not to mention he got 2 shots on Friday. So he is working on getting over that and working on getting 2 teeth in now.

I have a bad bad feeling we are in for a few nights of hell... Thanks for the 2 nights of decent sleep this past week R. I was finally remembering what it felt like to not be a zombie.

Although R did sleep thru the night last night... I mean like 12 hours straight! That is a first for him (now I am racking my brains trying to figure out if there was a trick to it!).

DS tidbit: Some people with Down syndrome also may have a condition known as Atlantoaxial Instability, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck. This condition makes these individuals more prone to injury if they participate in activities which overextend or flex the neck. Parents are urged to have their child examined by a physician to determine whether or not their child should be restricted from sports and activities which place stress on the neck. Although this misalignment is a potentially serious condition, proper diagnosis can help prevent serious injury.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Glow Pork Chops

Did you know cloth diapering is like its own culture? Seriously, I was warned it was addictive, but I had no idea. Wish me luck while I await my multiple orders of prefolds, all in ones and pocket diapers (no idea what I am talking about -- either did I three days ago!).

Now for food:

5 whole pork loin chops -- (5 to 6)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
8 ounces tomato sauce
29 ounces cling peach halves
1/4 cup vinegar
to taste Salt and pepper

Lightly brown pork chops on both sides. Pour off excess fat. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup syrup from peaches, and vinegar. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Arrange chops in crockpot. Place drained peach halves on top. Pour tomato mixture over all. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours.

DS tidbit: Approximately one third of babies born with Down syndrome have heart defects, most of which are now successfully correctable. Some individuals are born with gastrointestinal tract problems that can be surgically corrected.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday bullet points

  • I have a meeting with my boss today to ask for a raise. I am shooting for the moon here (asking for a 33% raise), so I am nervous beyond belief. Any raise will be appreciated, but lets hope I get what I want (and deserve, I am not picking blindly here).
  • R slept through the night again! Actually had to semi-wake him at 7 this morning because of my poor engorged boobs!
  • Cloth diapers -- who knew there were a million different varieties!!
  • B has finally agreed to cloth diaper R -- R is apparently allergic to normal disposables.
  • R has all his catch up shots tomorrow -- that I delayed at 5 and 6 months because he had "something" at both of those.
  • I win bad mommy award - AGAIN - because I have been shoving L's feet into too small shoes. Finally gave in and got him some cheapie walmart ones because - hello, $60 for Geox shoes every 2 months!!
  • And finally -- OMG, when am I FINALLY going to get a post pardum period? Seriously... since March of 2005 I have had exactly ONE period. I am cramping like a mad fool, so come one already and lets get it over with!
DS tidbit: Individuals with Down syndrome are usually smaller than their non-disabled peers, and their physical as well as intellectual development is slower.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm King of the World

I guess that really should say Queen of the World, but it doesn't have the same ring to it, now does it.

R finally slept well last night. My previously sleep through the night from the age of 8 weeks, hasn't been sleeping well for the last 3 months. Last night, he woke up, whined a bit around 1, put himself back to sleep and then slept until 6 this morning. That is 9 hours of sleep!! I woke up this morning thinking I can do anything. I guess you need those times of crap sleep to remember how wonderful a full nights sleep can be.

And by blogging about this, yes, I realize I am completely jinxing myself and he will be back to his 3-4 wakings a night, esp since those top teeth are causing his little gums to bulge something awful.

R and I are off today to a breastfeeding support group to show new mommies that "big" babies can be breastfed. Guess at a whopping 21 lbs at 6 months R is officiall a "big" baby! Who woulda thunk it?

DS tidbit: There are over 50 clinical signs of Down syndrome, but it is rare to find all or even most of them in one person. Some common characteristics include: Poor muscle tone; Slanting eyes with folds of skin at the inner corners (called epicanthal folds); Hyperflexibility (excessive ability to extend the joints); Short, broad hands with a single crease across the palm on one or both hands; Broad feet with short toes; Flat bridge of the nose; Short, low-set ears; Short neck;
Small head; Small oral cavity; and/or Short, high-pitched cries in infancy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"I don't want to worry you"

Hello Houston, we have a rash!

As I was leaving the train station yesterday on my way to the house, I finally got ahold of B. He was acting weird and I finally got him to say what was up. It started like this.... "I don't want to worry you, so I will just tell you what is going on when you get home."

Yeah, nothing like those words to get your mind reeling.

In the end it turns out L just had a rash. B called The Saint and my mom to see what to do about it and a dose of benadryl seems to have done the trick, but this morning he STILL has a slight hivey rash. It runs across his shoulders, up the back of his neck, on his forehead and a bit on his belly. I am still holding out hope that it is an allergic reaction and not the start of a viral infection -- although his increased crying/whining seems to suggest that SOMETHING isn't right. Poor guy is constantly scratching though and I found out The Wife let him try duck sauce -- so that could be the source of the problem.

Anyone have any suggestions??? Rash kinda means anything, right? I hate this part of parenting.

DS tidbit: Diagnostic tests are about 99% accurate in detecting Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. However, because they are performed inside the uterus, they are associated with a risk of miscarriage and other complications. For this reason, they are generally recommended only for women age 35 or older, those with a family history of genetic defects, or those who've had an abnormal result on a screening test. If you're unsure about which test, if any, is right for you, your doctor or a genetic counselor can help you sort through the pros and cons of each.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Now back to our regular programming…

L had his occupational therapy consult about 10 days ago. I was told he had Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by the psychologist that evaluated him for the Early Intervention Program back in July, but only a Occupational Therapist (OT) can give me that “official” diagnosis.

I pretty much knew that L had SPD even before the evaluation, but getting the news was hard.

Well, this past Thursday it got worse.

The OT called with L’s official results -- he has Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), SPD and delays in fine motor and sensory modulation -- and yes, that was all Greek to me as of Thursday. I am still trying hard to figure it all out. And the difference between SPD and these diagnoses is anyone’s guess. I BELIEVE that he has SPD and these are his specific problems rather than SPD AND three other things. Anyone who can clear that up would be great!

B’s reaction is “no big deal,” my reaction is far from that. Especially the APD part of it because try as I might, I am just not “getting” that. Pretty much what I can grasp is that while L’s hearing is fine, he doesn’t process the sounds properly -- meaning if I say couch, he could hear couch or cow. Also makes sense why his signing is always consistent, but his use of words is not. It also means that he is going to be a visual/hands-on learner -- again something that makes no dang sense to me, but pretty much describes B. Maybe that is why B isn’t all that worried -- because each test that comes back pretty much reinforces that L is his little clone.

So, spinning that off, this is what I think I am going to have to look forward too -- someone who takes apart radios and VCRs (or I guess DVD players in L’s case) to see how they work and can some how put them all back together in good working order. Someone who can’t sit still in school and will get in trouble as hyper or the class clown. Someone who will never like to read, but will want to do physics experiments and chemistry projects. Someone who can sleep through calculus and it just makes sense to him and finally, someone who will probably never work a desk job because being inside and chained to a desk is a fate worse then death.

Mind you -- that is when I am thinking positively. When I am not I think I am going to have to deal with temper tantrums, bad grades, constant calls to school and whining -- incessant whining!

Lets hope he is more like B then the imaginary monster I have invisioned.
DS tidbit: Screening tests are noninvasive and generally painless. But because they can't give a definitive answer as to whether a baby has DS, mostly they're used to help parents decide whether to have more diagnostic tests.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Out numbered...

Explain this math to me...

For 3 days in September I had, L and R and my three nieces -- that would be 5 kids right? I took them to Chuck E. Cheese, I got the girls to school on time, I even managed to feed them well.

So why it is when there were 5 kids and SEVEN adults this weekend, I felt totally outnumbered and my kids had 3 meals from McDonalds?

The kids were younger, but I was responsible for fewer of them, no? Anyways, looking back at it, L and R were pretty good, but for L's 20 minute temper tantrum in the middle of a store My parents got to spend a fair amount of time with the boys and I think L was really well behaved for both of them (isn't that ALWAYS the case anyways -- your kid will push your very last button and then be a saint to grandma and grandpa!). I got some shopping done, didn't overspend, and even bought myself something!

It only took me 8+ months to see my friends daughter Emmi and K -- what a cutie you got there.

Oh and apparently K seeing what it was like with two kids, has decided that maybe one is plenty! Yet a second week in a row that my children served as birth control (I also get to spread the blame around because I think W's kids helped out in the birth control method too -- or maybe it was that W and I showed up 20 minutes late with 4 kids in tow that changed the dynamic K had going when it was just her, Emmi and 4 grandparents)!

DS tidbit: There are two types of prenatal tests available to detect Down syndrome in a fetus: screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests estimate the risk that a fetus has DS; diagnostic tests can tell whether the fetus actually has the condition.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

away again

Another weekend and another trip out of town. Heading to PA this weekend to go shopping with friends from high school and the grandma's. B and W's hubby, are going golfing and W and I will have 4 kids between the two of us. Lets home L and E (W's oldest daughter) play well together.

Oh and lets hope that 5 kids and 7 adults don't leave the adults feeling out numbered!

DS tidbit: Other medical conditions that may occur more frequently in children with DS include thyroid problems, intestinal abnormalities, seizure disorders, respiratory problems, obesity, an increased susceptibility to infection, and a higher risk of childhood leukemia. Fortunately, many of these conditions are treatable.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Coke and Pork

This is the easiest way to get tender pork out of your crockpot that I have found. I do have to caution you -- if you crockpot runs hot -- like mine does, you are going to have to make SERIOUS adjustments to the time that you cook some of these things. N tried the cheesy chicken recipe from 2 weeks ago and it got burnt and dry. My adjustments are usually as follows -- nothing in the crockpot for more than 5 hours, if the recipe says high for 4 hours, it is usually LOW for 4 hours in mine, extra fluid never hurts as it can always be cooked off and finally, use a food thermometer -- if the inside of the chicken reaches 165, your done! Anything more will just dry it. Good luck.

1 (10 oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 (12 oz.) can Diet Cola
4 (3 oz.) pork chops, trimmed well (or substitute a pork roast)

Mix the soup, soy sauce, and Diet Pepsi together in the bottom of the Crockpot. Place the chops in the mixture and cook on high med. or High for 4-6 hrs. Meat will be very tender.

DS tidbit: Approximately half of all kids with DS also have problems with hearing and vision. Hearing loss can be related to fluid buildup in the inner ear or to structural problems of the ear itself. Vision problems commonly include amblyopia (lazy eye), near- or farsightedness, and an increased risk of cataracts. Regular evaluations by an audiologist and an ophthalmologist are necessary to detect and correct any problems before they affect a child's language and learning skills.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My super power

Jen provided us with yet another Writing challenge, so here it is... feel free to steal it if you would like:

If you had one superpower, what would it be?
I actually spent entirely too much time contemplating this. Really, I threw around a few -- ability to turn anything into money, ability to be invisible, ability to split myself 3,4 or 5 ways, etc, but then I finally decided...

I want to teleport -- and be able to bring those that I am touching with me. I think it makes sense, especially since both B and my families live so far away. It would also be handy for work -- I could visit the client any time any where at no cost, serve papers in the blink of an eye, and come and go from work in a flash. Meaning, I could pop home for dinner, baths and bedtime and still work from my desk for hours on end into the night. I could pop in and out to visit family and friends and drop the boys at my sisters house for night evenings out with B.

Also, my teleporting would cut down on emissions because I wouldn't need to drive anywhere. It would make B happy because without fail we fight when we travel (how can you not with 2 kids and all the CRAP that you need to bring in tow) and the kids would love not having to be strapped into the car for 4-5 hour drives to visit my family.

Not to mention -- hello, they could sleep every single night in their own rooms, own beds, etc and we could spend the rest of the time across the country visiting friends!

I could also be more helpful to my friends. Like I could have been with W in an instant when she was first dealing with O's diagnosis or with N when she was sick and needed help with the kids or The Saint when she needs an extra set of hands with the girls.

So, what would your superpower be?

DS tidbit: While some kids with DS have no other health problems, others may experience a host of medical issues that require extra care. For example, half of all children born with DS also have congenital heart defects and are prone to developing pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs). A pediatric cardiologist can monitor these types of problems, many of which can be treated with medication or surgery.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More about the potty

This week looks like it is going to be bathroom humor heavy. Sorry about that.

Here is what I don't get -- I work for a large law firm, however, the group I work with is small, tight-knit and totally in each others business. To the point where two of my co-workers knew I was pregnant before B (this is with R and I totally didn't believe it so I needed confirmation -- nothing like waving a stick with your own piss on around to bond you to others for life, right). Anyways, here is the deal.... there are like 20 women -- partners, associates, assistants and paralegals -- in our group. Guess what -- one of those woman, or multiple women, have to hover.

Ok, you know what I mean by hover -- where your ass floats over the top of the seat, God forbid it TOUCH the toilet seat because what.... there may be GERMS there??? Then, only to make matters worse, these ladies also PISS all over the damn seat. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with them?

1) it is a small group -- every single person that is pissing in this bathroom is WELL known to everyone else, so this isn't a "public" toilet like you would find in Grand Central Station or something. No one is BATHING in these bathrooms people.

2) People seem to think it is a-ok to steal OTHERS food out of the kitchen. Ya know -- half eaten stuff. Guess there are more germs on the effing toilet seat that your SKIN will touch then in a sandwich that you are willing to put in your mouth.

3) Each stall is well stocked with seat covers. Use them.

4) Why in hells name would you walk out of a stall when you have PISSED on the seat. If you find it so gross that you can't clean it up, why the hell should someone else have to.

and finally 5) These are probably the same women who don't understand why we have a lactation room and think that expressing milk should be done in the bathroom -- ya' know, among all the piss covered seats. I am supposed to express food for a baby in a room that you find so damn nasty that you can't even put your bare ASS -- where shit comes out -- on a toilet.

I know people have issues with public toilets, but I have never understood it and especially not in a office bathroom.

DS tidbit: Down syndrome affects kids' cognitive abilities in different ways, but most have mild to moderate mental retardation. Kids with DS can and do learn, and are capable of developing skills throughout their lives. They simply reach goals at a different pace - which is why it's important not to compare a child with DS with typically developing siblings or even other children with the condition. Kids with DS have a wide range of abilities, and there's no way to tell at birth what they will be capable of as they grow up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

L and the potty

L WAS doing great being potty trained. Most pees and poops were on the potty up until about a week ago. Now he absolutely refuses to even acknowlege that he may have to potty.

This is the standard evening refrain during dinner time (great timing he has, no?):

L do you need to go poo poo (said with a long o -- po po might be more accurate)
*Violently shaking head*
Are you sure, why don't we try
*More head shaking*
Ok, tell mommy or daddy when you have to go poo poo

3 minutes later

L do you need to go poo poo
*more grunting*
hurry up B get him out of his seat.... (race to the potty, attempt to rip off diaper only to see poop already in the diaper)
L you need to tell mommy when you need to go poo poo
"poo poo mama"

Gee thanks kid!

DS tidbit: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all pregnant women be offered a screening test for Down syndrome, regardless of the woman's age. Screening may consist of a maternal blood test done in the first trimester (at 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy), along with a special ultrasound examination of the back of the baby's neck (called nuchal translucency), or a maternal blood test done in the second trimester (at 15 to 20 weeks) (8). A screening test helps identify pregnancies that are at higher-than-average risk of Down syndrome. However, a screening test cannot diagnose Down syndrome or other birth defects. There is now talk of making this part of standard prenatal care, so mom's may not have a choice of whether to have the screen done like they do now.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Birth Control for CoCo

Here I thought I had it all set up to publish posts so I didn't have to log on over the weekend (hence the massive postings with pics and info from Friday). Guess I haven't figured out Blogger all that well though.

Anyways -- another weekend come and gone. We spent a great deal of time on Saturday in the car traveling to and from an Oktoberfest to meet friends. Ended up only staying at the O-fest for about 2.5 hours though because it was just too damn hot! Who would have thought that we would all be in shorts the first week in October??

On Sunday a friend from college came to visit. When she first got there we joked about how domestic she is -- likes to bake, cook, clean, loves kids -- and how she is just missing the husband. Well, I think we might have changed CoCo mind!

L threw one of his glorious temper tantrums that B and I are so used to that we just ignored it and CoCo looked like she was going to freak out. L hits pitches that human ears should not be subjected too, but since it happens so frequently (and I know a lot of it is because he can't TELL us what he wants) B and I just tend to ignore it. CoCo is not similarly familiar with toddlers though.

I will say that CoCo loved R (even though his obsession with her boobs was probably a bit disconcerting) and he acted like his normal angelic self. The neighbor P and B tried to convince CoCo that L was not normally like this, but I don't know who they think they are fooling. L is always like that when B is around (B gives into the whining and temper tantrum-ing a lot more than I do. I am mean mean Mommy -- B is the softy!).

Anyways, I think CoCo has decided that kids may be nice, but in the far distant future, or at least is trying to figure out how to keep a toddler acting like R acts right now. If she figures that out, I want the trick.

DS tidbit: Speech therapy is usually performed because of the enlarged tongue which many children with Down Syndrome have, which makes clear speech difficult. Speech therapy and immersion in social situations where conversation is common and extended can result in excellent language development. Unfortunately, relatively little is done in early intervention programs to foster cognitive development. A good Montessori school may be an excellent environment for fostering learning in individuals with Down Syndrome. Significant work on cognitive development has been done by Dr. Raymundo Veras of Brazil. Dr. Veras worked from the model of early childhood education established by Glenn Doman of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, in Philadelphia. As a result of his work, he wrote a book entitled Children of Dreams, Children of Hope, in which he recounts demonstrating to Mr. Doman a preschool age girl who was able to read in four languages and play the violin. Children with Down Syndrome often have an enhanced ability to memorize songs, stories, vocabulary, and other language material, which can be capitalized upon.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

All about L

Friday was a busy day for L. For the next 13 weeks (and maybe even more), he has swimming lessons on Friday mornings. Works out well -- R gets one on one attention and naps well (without screaming brother to wake him) with The Wife and L gets one on one attention from Mommy.

Anyways, L has always been a water baby and he just went ballistic on Friday (happy ballistic!). Was very very well behaved, went to the instructor, put his face in the water, blew bubbles and all. Pretty much was the angel child that we all know that he CAN be.

Then in the afternoon we had the long awaited and much dreaded Occupational Therapy consult and he officially has a SPD (now a second opinion confirmed it). I am waiting for the full report, but he appears to be sensory seeking (for those of you who know the lingo) and he qualifies for weekly OT appointments. So now he will have 3 therapy appointments a week as well as swimming lessons. I am starting to worry about over scheduling him! We will see how it goes though and how he reacts to the new schedule. I currently like that he spends a few hours at the park when it is nice, so I don’t want him to lose that on a regular basis.

In the end, L is impulsive, high-energy, frustrates easily and has crap fine motor skills (duh, duh, duh and DUH!!).

But he is one hell of a brother and just so sweet to R.

DS tidbit: Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.