Friday, March 29, 2013


BT's paternal grandmother, his Noni, died on Button's first birthday, oddly enough while looking at pictures of my children. It was a shock to everyone, I think. If it had been my own grandmother I would have been less surprised but she is 92 and I think the inevitable is closing in on her. But Noni. I wasn't expecting that and when he told me I couldn't actually couldn't process what he was saying. I still, to be honest, have a hard time thinking that she is gone.

I lived far away from my own grandparents. My parents are both from Oklahoma but moved to Louisiana after they got married so my dad could work in the oil field. We went to visit every summer for two weeks but it's not the same as living close by. And there are 12 grandchild on each side. So I was just one of many. And that is not to say that my grandparents didn't love me or do things for/with me. It is just a fact. But BT and his family lived down the road, practically next door to his father's parents. He and his brother developed a close relationship with them, the kind of relationship I lacked with my own, the kind if I am being entirely honest I envy. Noni often referred to BT and his brother as her "special boys." They are the oldest by about 6 years and so they had her all to themselves for a long time.

I meet her about a year or so after I started dating BT. I guess I knew her about 13 years or so. She was a kind and sweet lady and very funny. I love grown men and their mothers. I love grown men and their grandmothers. When Noni was around the dynamic shifted and my father-in-law had less ground to grumble on then he usually did. When we went to church she didn't take communion and I am not Catholic so we often sat together while everyone else went ahead. Noni was very easy to talk to and we had some good conversations. She wasn't my grandmother by blood but she never treated me like an add-on. She treated me like she did the rest of her grandchildren. I was always grateful for that.

There are a million things I wish. I wish we hadn't been such lazy grandchildren and called her more or mailed her more cards. I wish we could have made it to Boston at least once to see her, to show her Button and for her to really get to see Bub. I am sad that she is gone. I am sad that Button's birthday will always be tinged with sorrow. I am sad for her family, for her children and her grandchildren and that so many of her great-grandchildren won't get to know her. She was a wonderful lady and she will be sorely missed.

"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." - Lemony Snicket

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Now we are complete

We were always going to have 2 kids. That was decided long ago and was one of the first things we discussed back when we were only dating and only 21. The deal was, for me, two kids or two pregnancies, however that worked out. We had our boy and it was lovely and he is lovely but then one day it was time to have another one. We decided on a date in 2010. But that day came and I wasn't ready. So we pushed it back a year. And after two months of trying I was pregnant with the baby girl.  And now, today, she is one year old and it has been an amazing year.

I had an unplanned c-section with Bub and I debated on a VBAC with Button. But in the end the idea of going through labor just to end up in surgery again did not appeal to me. It was possible that it could have gone right and I could have had the VBAC but I just couldn't deal with it if it had gone the other way. So really it was pretty undramatic, exactly what you want out of a birth.

I was originally scheduled to have Button on March 27th but the hospital said no because of my original due date. Based on my doctor's original calculations he put me on April 4th but later after her ultrasound he moved it up a day. But because of the original date I would have been 38 weeks and 6 days so it was no go with the hospital. So the surgery was moved back to March 28th much to my disappointment. One day really didn't matter but at the time I was in so much pain I was just done and ready to get her out.  The surgery was scheduled for noon but the hospital saw that my doctor had two short surgeries in the morning and thought he might be able to get to me earlier so they had me go in at 8 a.m. instead of 10. It was a long wait because when my doctor came in he said no, it wouldn't be til 12.

We got there at 8 and did the check-in and then went to pre-op. I waited in there for 4 hours which was a long time and it was cold. I also felt stupid because I had on my gown and these socks and pressure cuffs on my legs and I was hooked up to an IV. They gave me some anti-nausea medicine and started my saline. And then we waited and waited and waited so more. The anesthesiologist came and introduced himself but mostly we watched TV and nurses brought me warm blankets. Then it was time. They took me to the OR and BT stayed behind to get his gear on.

The anesthesiologist who had come in earlier wasn't the one who was with me. I had a nurse anesthetist who was very funny. When the anesthesiologist came to check on him, the nurse joked that he was getting better at these things. Later, BT said he saw the anesthesiologist wandering around drinking a Diet Coke so really I'm not sure what his function really was. The nurse anesthetist explained the spinal block to me and told me he was going to administer it and he calmed me down when I told him I was nervous. See I always said an epidural wasn't bad because by the time I got it I was in so much pain I barely noticed it. But to have a needle in my back stone cold sober, I just didn't know. It wasn't bad really. I hate that warmth that spreads and, just like last time, I panicked for a moment when I felt my body going numb. He said that I had to lay down quickly so the medicine would spread evenly, but I was 39 weeks pregnant. There was no "quickly" so the nursing staff helped me. My blood pressure dropped as is common with epidurals and spinals. They gave me more anti-nausea medicine and the nurse anesthetist put a cold compress on my forehead because I had cold sweats. He was really great. The nursing staff complimented me on my skin's ability to heal nicely because my first c-section scar was barely noticeable. Thanks?

Finally the doctor came in and introduced me to the other doctor assisting. I felt the pressure and the tugging but that was about it. It seemed like it took forever. And then out she came screaming like she was the maddest girl. My doctor said "Look at those cheeks!" And I thought I can't! This sheet is in the way. And then he said "Look at the size of her chest!" And the nurse anesthetist then joked that I'd given birth to a toddler. She was still screaming mad and then finally finally they brought her to me. I looked at her and she had the chubbiest cheeks and was she ever angry at being pulled from her warm safe dark place into this bright and cold world. I said "Hey, hey little girl. I see you" and she stopped crying trying to hear and see me. And then I fell in love. She was practically perfect in every way.

BT took her to the nursery and they finished me up while I fell asleep. Later in post op I asked for her and one of the lactation staff brought her to me and kind of stuck her on me (at least that is what it felt like) to nurse. They said it was about 20 minutes but time was a little weird for me then. So I got to hold her and nurse her about an hour after her birth which was way better than the hours it took to get Bub back to me. Later they bought me to my room and then a few hours later brought her to us so she could meet her big brother and we could begin our life together as a family.

Monday, March 11, 2013

ADHD period

Yes, Bub is ADHD, no question mark. Or at least he is according to the American Academy of Pediatrics'  4 page form. And, yes, we medicated him. And he is doing really well. The first Friday of March we brought him to his pediatrician who prescribe him an ADHD medication, but recommended we also bring him to a child psychiatrist for further testing to rule out any other disorders. I haven't done that yet. I'm searching for one in my insurance network. But that is next on my list of things to do. In the meantime, we have starting him on the meds and they definitely work. They seem to be controlling his impulsive behavior. I've never seen him be able to sit for so long and he isn't running around and it only takes one (well maybe twice, he is still only 6) for me to say something to him for him to stop. It's pretty amazing. It's like the chaos in his brain is much more orderly now. He's doing much better at school though homework is still hard because the meds have worn off by the time I get home. But I have more hope for him to be able to get along at school and make it the rest of the year.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No oven, no problem

Much excitement around my house because we are finally getting our oven fixed on Monday! Look when you've been without for at least six months, it's pretty exciting. But you may be saying to yourself, How do you survive that long without an oven? Well, let me tell you how.

1. The Waffle Maker. Yes the waffle maker. Quickly I discovered that you can make a lot of things with a waffle makers. Muffins, cornbread, cookies, brownies, biscuits. Basically any bread type thing with a thick mix will work. I had a harder time with cookies, but muffin waffles are a new morning staple around my house and will remind so even after the oven is fixed.

2. The Toaster Oven. This is sort of a no brainer since oven is in the name. But there are many things that can be cooked in a toaster oven as many college kids can tell you. It's not an exact substitute for a full size oven because it is small and not everything is safe in a toaster oven. But if you want some cookies or biscuits, it's a good thing to have around.

3. The Griddler. Specifically the Cuisinart Griddler/Panini Maker. BT got one for Christmas and it is pretty awesome. Now I can make delicious sandwiches on it. I also made pancakes the other night and it is super easy to use and to clean up. BT is a little more creative with its use but I stick with the basics.

4. The Slow Cooker. I got a new Crock-Pot for Christmas and it has been great so far! BT puts the meals together for me before he leaves for work so when I get home the kids and I have a meal all ready to go. I just have to fix some veggies. We've had some hits and misses so far with our crock-pot meals but Pinterest, as always, is a great place to find new things to try. As long as it doesn't have cream cheese. So far that hasn't really worked out.

5. The Stovetop. This is actually something that we couldn't live without. The microwave is a great thing to have around but a large portion of food is cooked on the stove and if that had been the thing that broke we probably would have it fixed sooner. Maybe we could get away without having one, but probably not.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Faux family

The other day I was on a parenting website reading an article by a mom of one, soon to be a mom of two. She was basically talking about loving her job AND her family and making both work. It's a nice article by one of my favorite mommy bloggers. AND then I read the comments. Seriously, I have got to stop reading the comments. Because one commenter basically said that by putting your kid in daycare you are missing a chunk of their day and are therefore not a real family. Huh?

I guess in this person's world Moms stay home with kids and Dads go out and earn the money. And that is fine if you can make it work for you. I think most parents would ideally like to have one parent home with their child, Mom OR Dad. But if you can't and baby has to go to a daycare it doesn't make you less of a family. My mother worked on and off when I was growing up. I doubt it ever entered anyone's mind that we might not be a real family. Bub went to daycare when he was 10 months. He was watched my mom until then. So were we a real family then? He wasn't with a stranger. But he wasn't with a parent either. Where is the logical conclusion to this person's thinking. There isn't one. Because it's crazy.

The structure of the Family is something that is ever evolving. The Mom/Dad ratio is changing. Sometimes one of each, sometimes two of each, sometimes just one of either. And it's OK. It's OK for everyone's family to be different and to work differently. And sometimes someone can stay home with Baby and sometimes Baby goes to daycare. But Daycare is not raising baby. Parents raise babies, daycares watch them.

It's just like anything when raising a child. You seek out the best. You want the best. You do what you can for this person that you are responsible for. And if Baby has to go to daycare or mother's day out or grandma's house to be watched because both parents have to work then it doesn't make you less of a family. There is no less of a family. There is only family.