Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The wonders of a little boy

Son has discovered a slew of new tricks to add to his cuteness quotient. God knows, after the toddler screaming/tantrum demerits, he needs the help.

Regardless, this kid never fails to surprise us. A couple of nights ago we were putting Son to bed. Pajamas (the "cahr" ones), Bobo the bear was in hand, and it was time to try to cajole a kiss or two out of him. He has this routine where I pull up his pajama bottoms where he is standing on the changing table. I tell him "all done" and then he just falls into me. I don't know when we started it, but routine it is. Husband was doing the dressing for some reason (oh yea, tired, pregnant mommy hadn't eaten since lunch and it was 8PM), and Son did the fall thing with Husband. He then....drumrolll....wrapped his little arms around Husband's neck and hugged. He hugged! He's never done that before. He would pat your back or shoulder while someone was holding him, but that was it. This was a bona fide hug!

Last night, Husband was conked out on a muscle relaxant (his neck is still bugging him a little), and I was going through the routine. Son fell, I caught, he hugged. He then demanded that we do it again. I moved away from the changing table and was moving towards his crib. He then would open his arms wide, let out a happy little scream and then wrap his arms and squeeze. Heaven!

He's also started to blow kisses. Again, not something that he had ever done before. However, his aim on his hand is still a little goofy-sometimes I think that he's signing thank you, and others a kiss. Regardless, he does it with such glee that I'll take either version. He's also using "pease", but not voluntarily yet. I gotta say, he can take his time with some of those vowel sounds.

I can say, that he's way more entertainment than I ever thought he could be. I was singing "Twinkle Twinkle" last night, and he actually chimed in for a couple of lines-melody and everything! The words, well, they were ad-libbed, but still, what a sweet little voice. He's been singing for a while, but it just sounded like random tests of the noises he could make. Now it's becoming more organized. Damn, now I'll actually have to start reading the newsletters and figure out what they are focusing on. It's fun to see how his face registers that he knows what comes next, and gee, Mom, you can do it too!

OK, so I guess that we'll keep him.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why can't time just stand still for a little while?

Just one of those days...again. God, I hate hormones, I hate lurking depression,

It was one of those days where it took all that I had to leave Son at daycare and walk out the door. He had been in a horrible mood this morning, and everything was sending him into tears. (I guess that we that in common). He's been fighting a cold for over two weeks now, he's tired, his nose is literally raw from all of the wiping, to the point that it bled last night. The only thing that seemed to make him feel better was when I picked him up, wrapped him up in a blanket, gave him his bear, and we stood and looked out the window. I so didn't want to let him go-I feel like time is this relentless force, and that our chance moments of quiet like that are slipping through my fingers, never to be recaptured.

My little boy needed me, and I had to walk out the door.

It felt like the first day when I had to leave him. Will he get the cuddles that he needs, the hugs? Will they know that he just needs/wants to crawl into their lap and look at a book, or just lean back into them while holding his blanket? Will they know? Will they care?

I'm probably being overly dramatic about all of this. I carried him in this morning, and by the time we got his blanket put away, and his coat off, he was looking with great interest at the play area. All of his friends were there. I gave him another hug, and set him down on the other side of the wall. His friend M, who is like a sister (they are six weeks apart and have been together since he started at the center) offered him a toy, and he didn't look back for me. To see the two of them together is actually comforting. They are a pair of contrasts; for as big and blond as he is, she is dark and petite. They seek each other out for comfort, and he is her protector.

I know that he's in a good place, but I still have those days where I hate the fact that I can't be with him more. There's no way that I can ever stay home. I'm the primary income for us. Working in the corporate area, the likelihood of me every swinging part-time is so low that I don't even consider it. There are times that I resent it so much. Today is one of those days.

In the end, I don't know if I could do it as a stay at home. I'm not that social, and Son would be stuck with me all day. All the enrichment activities in the world are no substitute for being around other kids. He's social, and he is learning new things every day. I just hate that other people get so much of him. Before I know it, he won't want to be held with a blanket and a bear. Then what? I won't get that time back. I think that's what is hitting me the most. I want to burn that picture of my beautiful blond boy running to me with the biggest smile in my mind so I never lose it. I'm just so terrified of missing something.

The thought of having to do this again with another child is really eating at me right now. I feel as though I lose a piece of me each day that I have to leave them. What I look forward to is having to do it again. Leaving a newborn. It's the hardest thing to do. And the kicker is, the U.S. wants to reduce our benefits even more. It's hard enough to have to take six of the twelve weeks unpaid. We don't live beyond our means, but to take any more time than that is not financially possible.

So, here I sit in my office crying, stifling the urge to leave with my keys, and take my son home. I just miss him so much. Why can't time just stand still for a little while?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thar she blows!

There are certain types of things that I think only happen in a house with a small child (or children). I used to think that the dogs, in all their glory, were two of the most destructive forces in the universe. Oh no. Two 75lb dogs have nothing on a 28 lb toddler. Nothing.

So, last night, I actually made a meal (with help from our friendly neighborhood SuperTarget, but never you mind), and I'm getting Son's plate ready. Husband is corralling said Son to get into his highchair, when Son notices that the 7Up fridge pack is on the dining room chair. Hooray! One of Son's favorite things is to take cans out and put them back in. Screw the meal, let me play.

Son then proceeds to start to pull out one can....and the thing erupts, spewing pop up and onto the ceiling, the wall, and just about every other surface within five feet. Son, meanwhile, is crying. He's scared, and soaked in the full-sugar version of pop. Husband grabs the offending container and throws it in the sink, and I guide the toddler down the hall to the bathroom to strip him off and clean him up. Good thing it was bath night. He walks into the bathroom stiff legged, since his pants are soaked from waistband down to his shoes. He's still crying. We strip off his shirt, and I wipe him off with a washcloth, give him a hug, and the tears stop. We were on our way to his room to get off his pants and get a new diaper when I look down the hall to see Husband watering the floor of the kitchen and dining room with the sprayer from the sink. I guess it worked, because the main areas affected are pretty stick free.

The rest of the two rooms...well, lets just say that me and my Floormate are going to be spending some time together this weekend. And that the dining room wall might need to get repainted too. The thing is, unlike the last time this happened (yes, there was a last time), Son had actually dropped the can of pop. This time, we can't figure out what happened. I looked at the can later, and the seam along the top of the can just seems to have split. Don't think that Son will be messing with those cans again.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

OK, so I made some smartass comment in my last post about "unforeseen calamity." Duh. When will I learn?

Unforeseen Calamity (Sort of) #1: Wednesday morning I wake up with one of those headaches. The ones that I wake up crying it hurts so much. I don't know if this qualifies as a migraine, or just an extremely painful headache. I wander downstairs (in the dark because I take on vampire qualities when these hit) and beg Husband to come up and help me. The headache is radiating from a severely screwed up neck and shoulders. Stress hasn't been absent from my life, and it builds up to equal trapezious muscles of stone. He works on me for about 30 minutes, and I start to feel human. Damn Tylenol doesn't work at all.

Husband calls my OB to see if there is anything else that I can take to try to deal with this. I then to proceed to exchange several calls with the triage nurse. I stupidly had mentioned that I had pain in my neck, and there is a freak out about meningitis. Ugh. No. I dutifully take my temperature (after having to tear about the house to try to find a thermometer that hasn't been used rectally) to find that I am normal. Sigh. I have a family history of migraine. I'm not sure if what I have are migraines, but I do usually manage to have some light sensitivity, and if I don't get to my A*vil in time, I do get a bit sick to my stomach. Regardless, all I wanted to know was whether I needed to suck it up, or if I could enjoy better living through chemistry.

In the end a chiropractic appointment and a good clunk and pop out of the right side of my neck later, the headache pretty much disappears. The day is shot anyway, so I took advantage of the child-free time to nap. I got up around 4:00, and we decided that we would go and fetch Son from daycare around 5:00, which leads to......

Unforeseen Calamity #2: As we pull ourselves together to go get Son, Husband sits down on the couch and lets out a scream. What the....? His neck is in excruciating pain, he can't turn it, and he wants me to hold it up to take the pressure off. Great, just great.

We know that we have to get to Son's daycare, which is about 20 minutes away from home. Due to the calamity, it is now 5:30ish, and daycare closes at 6:00. There really isn't time to drop Husband off at the nearest Urgent Care/Emergency room. What follows is the car ride from hell. We take the Caddie, since it rides somewhat smoothly. Husband cries, curses at me for taking curves too fast, and lets me have it in general. I refrain from making the reference to his total lack of empathy with my contractions on the way to the hospital. This takes a great deal of restraint, let me tell you.

We get to daycare, I grab Son, who is in one of the best moods he has been in for a while. To see his face crumple when he sees Da-Da in pain breaks my heart. He was so concerned, and scared. Husband decides that he can't tolerate the return trip to the ER closest to our house (which was prudent in that he called the Urgent Care attached to the same ER and the wait was over 1 1/2 hours), so we go to the ER in the same town as daycare. My GP is out of this hospital, and I know that it is pretty good.

Fortunately, when we get there, the waiting room is empty, and Husband is put in a neck brace and taken back to an ER room immediately. This hospital is different in that the triage nurse decides how gets urgent care and who gets the ER. Anyway, they take his history (for the third freakin' time), and after a quick chat with the doc (who was in with Husband less than 10 minutes after he got a bed), he gets an IV of morphine and is able to breathe again. His blood pressure was really high too.

In the end, after an MRI, two doses of M*rphine, it is determined that things aren't dire, but he's got a way to go before he feels better. He had been doing a lot work using his right side. One day he spent the entire morning chipping ice off of the sidewalk, and a couple of days later, pumping over six inches of water off of the flat roof of the hotel, since the center drains don't work. All of that overuse, plus the chiropractic appointment, caused a pretty severe muscle spasm, which they are considering a muscle injury. The MRI also showed that he has a slightly bulging disc a little higher in his neck, but they were pretty certain that the disc isn't causing the problem. We were discharged with prescriptions for V*alium, Pe*coset, and high dosage Advil.

Through all of this, Son did pretty well. We did leave for a while to get him some supper. He ate probably the best he has all week. I was so upset that I fought throwing up the entire time I was feeding him his chicken strips and fruit. My morning sickness turns on a dime when I get tired and/or stressed, but I managed to choke down half a shake just so my stomach wouldn't be empty. I was stressed because I didn't know what they were going to find with Husband, I knew that Son was going to get to bed late and thus be one fun toddler the next morning. and mad (not pretty) at Husband for yet again not doing what he should and having to spend time in an emergency room. This always happens immediately, if not soon after, something happens to me. Example. I'm in labor, he breaks a tooth. I'm recovering from having a baby, and he's more concerned about getting to the dentist than taking care of me. He brings a lot of this on himself. He DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF AT ALL. However, he has the guts to give me grief about what I do. It makes me so damn mad, because he really does have time to work out, eat decently. I mean, he really is only responsible for himself. He has a fitness club that is free for him (through the hotel) right across the street. He usually leaves work between 3 and 4; even with a 30 minute commute, Son and I are lucky to cross the threshold before 6 each night. He has the time. Something that I have fight tooth and nail for.

I guess what scared me, and continues to scare me, is that I see Husband going down the same path medically as his father. His father's last 15 years were hell, both on him and everyone around him. From a selfish point of view, I don't want to have to live that life. He had strokes, Alzheimer's, and struggled with thyroid problems. He had two fused vertebrae in his neck, his shoulders had been rebuilt twice. He was senile the last few years, irritable, angry, controlling, violent, and just awful. Due to a previous CAT scan, we know that Husband has calcification in his brain, which are a pretty solid marker for Alzheimer's. We haven't talked about it much, but in the back of my mind, I don't think that it is a question of if he develops it, but when. And how badly. The thought of him not knowing me or our children terrifies me. I know that he thinks about it, but still lives in this fantasy that he is in his 20s and he's bulletproof. When is he going to figure out that he can't live that way anymore? When?

Needless to say, it wasn't a fun day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Insurance Workout

The past week or so has truly given my insurance a workout. Let's see, Husband refilled four prescriptions, my OB appointment, and Son's 18 month checkup. If we were one of the many that didn't have coverage, our financial life would really stink right now. As it is, five copays later, it's not so bad. Now I just have to remember to submit everything to our FSA.

My 12 week OB appointment with Dr. Wonderful was on Friday. Husband couldn't come, which was OK, since he can't stand to wait (for anything) and just generally annoys me. He's worse than Son when it comes to sitting still. All of the normal stuff, was, well, normal. I even have a fundal height! Trust me, it was a tough one to get too-I'm still not big enough to easily find the top of the uterus, and all of my extra padding doesn't help. I love that Dr. Wonderful doesn't get on my case about this since, really, there's not much I can do about it now.

The real excitement came when he pulled out the doppler. As with Son, radio silence. This happened after he had to leave the room to take a call after I was already gooped up. Ah, the dignity of holding one's pants down to be left on the table goopy and under the air vent. He dug around for a while, and still couldn't find anything.

I was somewhat impressed that I didn't freak out about it, at least initially. Son had done this at this same appointment. Just active. Right? The longer he dug around, the more I could feel the anxiety lapping up around my ankles. He finally gave up after a couple of minutes, told me that he was pretty sure that there were heart tones, but that he was going to go check with the sonographer to see what her schedule looked like. (Insert anxiety up to my shins.) I mention that this is probably just an active baby, and that my padding didn't help. He agreed that it didn't help, but that it wasn't a barrier either. Out to the waiting room I go to wait for Wendy the sonographer.

About 15 minutes of waiting (all the while trying to distract myself reading an article about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James) and I was in with the sonographer. As suspected, all is well. Heartbeat at 161. The funny thing was that the baby looked like it had its hands behind its head, and was doing the bicycle with its legs against the uterine wall. Son was active, but he never really hurt with the kicking once I could feel it. I'm a little afraid that this one might not be so gentle. However, it was good to see all of that activity, and I'm beginning to look forward to our Level II in April.

It was Son's turn at the doctor on Monday for his 18 month appointment. We went over basic things like where he was developmentally, and he was even kind enough to point out a car to doctor that was on one of the books that he was trying to destroy. Everything checked out fine, and he still is in the upper percentiles for everything. I keep waiting for everything to slow down, but so far, not happening. He's now 34.5" tall (95th percentile), and 27.6 pounds (75th percentile), which follows where he has been since birth. He just needed one shot, and we were done. He didn't cry for the shot, but was waaaay more interested in the Spiderman band aid. One interesting thing was that the doctor brought up that the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending a Hepatitis A shot as well. I guess that they have given them routinely in the southern border states for years. Hep A is prevalent in developing countries that suffer from less than ideal sanitation. We didn't get it this time, and I need to do some more research on it. I know that at least child in his daycare room routinely visits India each year, so it may not be a bad idea. I just want to be sure that there isn't any negatives that I'm not aware of.

Barring any unforeseen calamity, we are now officially out of any doctor's offices for a good month. However, that leave me with no excuse why I've been cruising into work a bit later than normal. Sigh. Time to respect the alarm again....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

OK, so maybe I'm not THAT old

On Monday the fetal center got around to calling me with my bloodwork results from the first trimester scan. Apparently, at least according to my blood, I'm not that old. The Downs risk was 1:3900, and the other two were in the neighborhood of 1:8500. In the end, the probability of us having a genetically abnormal child is that of a 20 year old, at least statistically. Ha! Old my eye.....

I have to say that I'm happy that we got the results back, that there isn't anything lurking, and off we go. I understand how lucky we really are-we haven't had to deal with a loss, and other than my spotting freak out a month or so ago, no real issues to speak of. I'm beginning to feel better on a regular basis. I still feel sick if I get too tired or stressed out, but I expect that will continue on for a while. Son is adapting well to his new daycare room, and the screaming fits as we leave, usually because I required him to surrender a daycare-owned toy, are ending as soon as we roll out the driveway. He's talking so much more, and it seems as though he is adding words daily. He's not stringing anything together yet that is decipherable-I still get a lot of very serious stories in his own little language. I bet that they would be entertaining and informative if I just knew what he was saying.

The worry still lurks in the back of my mind as to how Son is going to handle all of the changes that are headed his way in the next months. He is going to get a new room, whether in a new house or in the downstairs, and will probably be moving into a toddler bed then. He's nearing 36 inches tall, and for safety's sake, he might have to leave his crib. He never tries to climb out, but I think that it is a matter of time before the thought moves him to try. How will I be able to give him the same hugs and kisses and attention? Will he resent me or his new sibling for changing his world? How am I going to be able to do it all, especially in the mornings when I am on my own? I'm going to be old, darn it!

I know that none of these worries are unique to a second time parent. It's just new to me. I look at that little man and don't think that I can love him any more than I do now. I want to give him everything, make sure that he is safe, makes good decisions, doesn't become a news story someday. How can I do that when I have to have the same responsibility for another child? Argh. It can be overwhelming if I think about it too much.

OK, so maybe I'm getting old.