Friday, December 31, 2010

Still here

I am so wiped lately. I have wanted to post so about so many things... Christmas, crafts, Michael turning 11 months, and more, but I'm just wiped.

So very quickly:

Christmas went really well and no one got sick! A Christmas miracle!

After coming back from Christmas Michael finally started sleeping through the night again (well, a down at 7, a dream feeding at 10:30 and then up around 5 am... so I'm still only getting about 6 hours in a row, but that's better than waking up 7 times a night). Another Christmas miracle!

Michael cut another tooth and because of the ear tubes we didn't have to put up with an ear infection this time. A Christmas An ENT miracle! (Although he did bite a bunch of kids at daycare while it was coming in. Oh well, it keeps the daycare staff on their toes.)

I turned 28 the other day and I was amazed at how many people wished me happy birthday. I pretty much get forgotten and I'm ok with that, but it was nice to hear from so many people this year.

Michael turned 11 months and is doing so great. It was fun to see him interacting with his cousin at Christmas too. When they sit together you can't tell that one is 6 months older than the other... then the cousin gets up and walks and it's pretty obvious. But Michael is walking with the walker we got him for Christmas. I don't think he'll be walking on his own by his birthday, but soon enough. I'm not worried, once he's walking it will just be harder to keep him out of stuff anyways.

I need to send out birthday invites. I'm such a slacker. And I'm not really looking forward to the party either because my house is going to be so crowded and we already got so many toys for Christmas that we really don't need more for awhile.

I need to email and catch up with so many people that it's daunting. Can I keep hiding and pretend that I'm just so busy with the holidays for another 6 months?

Michael loves cheese! We have a CHEESE MONSTER!

The project that has been killing me at work is finally done. I have always felt that they were just keeping me around until that project was finished and then they would get rid of me. We shall see. At least I won't be bringing home work every night and pulling all nighters again for awhile. (Yes, when the baby wasn't keeping me up, work was... try pulling an all nighter without coffee, it's not so easy.)

I'm so sad for Jen. I cuddled Michael a little extra last night after reading that.

The 2 best things about 2011 that I'm looking forward to is (1) getting vacation and sick leave again!!! And (2) tax returns!!!

I'm totally wiped. I've been tired a lot all year but I'm just wiped right now. After I put Michael to bed I lay down on the couch and can't even wake up to eat dinner. I guess things are just catching up to me.

Some pictures!



Cruising at Christmas


Trying to get a picture of Michael and his betrothed. We are still negotiating how many goats her father must pay us.


The Cheese Monster!


The picture I'm using for the birthday invitations. I wanted it to look rustic. My printer prints kinda dark too, so it's not that washed out in person.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa's list

It's been a long week with a thousand things we needed to get checked off the list. But after all that work we made it to the inlaws and are ready for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hero

Have you ever been asked who your hero is? Probably as a kid you wrote an essay or something. I know that I had that assignment several times and I honestly never could think of a good answer.

I can think of a lot of good people. A lot of excellent role models. And there are plenty of undeniable heroes out there-people that have saved lives, soldiers serving to protect our freedoms, historical figures that did something great.

Despite a vast pool of acceptable candidates, I really have never had a personal hero.

The last year has been a lot for me. More than I ever thought it would. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I love being a mother. I get incredible happiness from taking care of my baby. And I thought my world was complete and I could be happy forever now that I had my long awaited baby. But that's not what happened.

Life got harder. I knew it would, I expected it to. But then it got even harder, and yet harder. This year has surely been the most challenging year of my life. Taking care of Michael was an endurance test for the first 6 months. Day care, 'nuff said. Work is crap right now and a daily task that I do not look forward to or enjoy. It's a paycheck. A paycheck that we kinda need. My parents and family are crazy, but that's not new.

And through all of this, my husband has done a better job supporting me than he ever has in our marriage. I felt he's fallen short at times throughout our marriage, he hasn't always been the rock. I wondered what would happen with a baby in tow, but he has risen to the occasion. I knew he would be a good father, but he's been a better husband this year than I anticipated.

He cooks dinner most nights. Not usually anything fancy but we've eaten homemade meals most nights because he cooked them.

He does the dishes too. Yes he cooks AND does the dishes. AND, he cleans my pumping supplies every night.

He makes the bed in the morning. I'm not a bed maker and don't care, but it is nice to have a bed made up to get into in the evenings.

He cleans the cat mess and takes out the trash. And he's such a good cat dad too.

He folds and stuffs the diapers. Yes, the secret to my cloth diapering success is that DH does most of it. He stuffs the diapers at night. He makes the wipes every day.

He does the grocery shopping. Every weekend he goes and fights the Wal-Mart crowd so that we have food. I remember before we had a baby and how we went shopping together every weekend. I always really enjoyed having a partner to help me in that task and now he does it alone without complaint.

It probably sounds like I don't do anything around the house and, honestly, a lot of days I feel like that. Really, I'm feeding Michael and taking care of him, to give a little credit to myself, that's no small task. I was also the only one getting up at night to take care of him until very recently, so it's not that I'm just being lazy, but I think taking care of Michael is probably a more enjoyable task than grocery shopping most of the time.

But the most important thing that he does, other than being a good dad, is saving me from myself. I have been at the verge of just totally loosing it and breaking down several times this year and I know that I haven't because of him. Even when I'm just upset and having trouble dealing with things at the moment he can usually step in and make me feel better just by listening to me. He'll even let me throw a tantrum at him and not get upset with me. He's taken the challenges of this year in stride. And he's done it selflessly.

And because of that, I finally know who my hero is.

Happy Anniversary to my hero. I love you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Gifts

I've heard some things on the news about this being a better Christmas, economically speaking, for most and that spending was up and such. Maybe it's because I live in the midwest and we are always a couple of years behind but I have seen much more effort to lighten Christmas financially than previous years. I wonder if anyone else has some observations about that this year.

When it comes to budgeting, I don't do so well. Most of the adults in our families this year have decided not to exchange gifts. That does save us a lot of money but it's still expensive enough.

There are a bunch of kids in the family that we still get gifts for. This year instead of buying toys that will get played with for a few minutes before being lost in the giant toy piles that these kids already have we decided to get them books. Hopefully when they grow up they will have fond memories of the books they read in childhood rather than 'that toy that broke 5 minutes after playing with it'.

I'm also really hoping that Michael gets some books for Christmas. We definitely need a few more to mix things up around here.

I also made each of the kids little string backpacks and put their books in there. So I'm giving them a little something extra that I hope that they'll enjoy and I don't have to wrap their gifts now either!


I had a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old to make bags for. These are really simple to make and take about 15 mintues each (although I'm sure that a more seasoned crafter could do them more quickly). I made the size of bag in the tutorial for the 2 year old and made each bag after that 2" longer for every 2 years older and a little wider because the size in the tutorial is just about right for Michael (and the 2 year old that I made it for) to wear but way too small for the older kids.

I also saw this tutorial for a flat iron travel case and wish I had an excuse to make it right now because it looks so easy and fun, but I've got enough else to do. But if anyone is looking for a handmade idea....

I'm a little lost as to what to get Michael for Christmas. We ordered him this walker because he's definitely at that stage. I'm thinking about making him some felt blocks or balls or something. I know he'll get a mountain of gifts so I don't want to get him a bunch of stuff, but I feel like since it's his first Christmas we should get him some *special* gift and I'm at a total loss as to what that should be. We did order a personalized Baby's First Christmas ornament that I'm really hoping gets here by Christmas but other than that... eh.

Anyone else out there want to share what was on their holiday shopping lists?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Pageant

Michael's day care had their Christmas Pageant tonight.

There are a lot of things I could say about it and the events leading up to it, but let's stick with the positive: cute.

They got costumes for all the babies and basically had 'babies on parade' for the infants. The one year olds wore snowmen costumes and danced to Frosty the Snowman (I think they stole the show). The older class rooms sang songs. Lots of cute.


They put Michael in a gingerbread man costume. It was a little too big for him, but still cute.


This little girl is the big sister of one of the other infants and kept saying, "Michael, your mommy wants you to look at her," while I was trying to take pictures. It was so cute.

The video didn't upload. I may try again later, but it was basically just the teachers holding the babies walking around in a circle. Whatever, still cute.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Going poor...

...one copayment at a time.

Michael had his follow up with the urologist this morning and it doesn't look like we are going to need surgery but the uro wants to see him again in a year and check on his hydrocele then. It hasn't completely gone away, but it has greatly reduced in size.

On Wednesday it was deja vu from last week. Day care called me at work. Michael was running a fever and feeling bad. I needed to work so DH drove in and picked him up and took him to the ped. I thought it might be strep but that was negative so we don't know what the problem was this week, probably just a random virus. It gave him a pretty good fever and really wiped him out. DH stayed home with him Thursday and he went back to day care after his urologist appointment today.

So two dr visits this week. Two last week. DH and I were talking about it and if it seems like we are constantly at the drs office, it's because we are. The week before last was Thanksgiving and he was in that week for a cold that he got from MIL's visit (yes, she came up for no good reason and brought a cold with her). The week before that was his ear tube surgery. The week before that was his 9 month well visit. The week before that was the urgent care visit for constipation and strep. The week before that was his ENT appointment (and my ER trip). The we actually had a week off the week before that. But the week before that we started with the thrush....

Ridiculous right? I think you see my point. And it's not like I'm one of those moms that runs to the dr every time the kid sniffles. Before we go in I've talked to a nurse or two and made sure that we absolutely need to go in. Trust me, I'm trying to stay away.

I never, ever would have guessed that we'd spend so much time a the drs office. Sure, I know lots of people that have kids that are sick all the time, but those people are kinda more sickly themselves. And their kids are tiny and frail-ish. Other than the occasional cold, we are healthy people here. And Michael is probably the biggest, healthiest looking baby most people have ever seen (28lbs y'all). And he's breastfed (ROFLMAO... if that was actually helping I'd hate to imagine what it would be like without it)!

So aside from all the missed work and the small fortune we've spent on copays the other really bad consequence from all this sickness is NIGHTWAKING. I had a baby that slept like an angel from 6 weeks to 9 months. Then everything went to hell. And every time he gets better and we think we're going to catch a break he gets sick again. He woke up 7 times the other night. Sorry to whine, but I HAVE GOT TO GET SOME FREAKING SLEEP. I have to work and pretend that I'm not affected by having an infant all day long, which I am failing at, badly.

I've thought about sleep training so many times lately. I've even left him to cry it out for an hour here or there, because, OMG people, I'm about to loose my freakin mind. The problem with doing that is that it ignores that something could be wrong with him, and for the last couple of months there have definitely been things wrong. And I don't want to go through all that work only to have him get sick, AGAIN, and throw all the progress out the window.

Please Little Buddy, give Mommy and Daddy a chance to rest.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I AM a lucky girl

I take back any complaining I did about the first part of the week because on Wednesday Michael got a stomach bug and started running a fever and got diarrhea (cha cha cha) and then the vomit started.

DH stayed home with him all Thursday and I came home after a only a few hours of work to help take care of him. I wanted to be home to nurse him since he's not much for bottles and we were risking dehydration with as much as was coming out of both ends of him. Friday DH stayed home alone with him.

The poor little guy just had a awful time day and night. I don't think anyone has gotten much more than 2 hours of sleep around here in the last couple of days.

And the puking. Yuck. Poor kid, it's just awful when it happens. And it's never just once. There's the initial puke, then the follow up, and the finish up, and sometimes the bonus round. Puking is just such and awful feeling and I know it scares him when it happens. And I have been the puke receptacle of choice around here. He's thrown up on me all but 2 times. Lots of showers and laundry around here lately.

I took him to the dr. on Wednesday after day care called me. Then things were still so bad on Friday that we took him back again and he hadn't lost too much weight and since he's such a healthy size they weren't too worried but there was about an entire day when everything that went in came back out the same end. And he completely rejected solids. We did get a prescription for zofran for him which is nice to have on hand. And I'll just note that he's had his flu shots, there is some kind of stomach bug circulating around these parts.

He seemed to be all better by Friday evening and then this morning I was celebrating that he hadn't puked in long time and boom, more puke and a slight fever again. Definitely premature celebration.

I was telling a co worker about all the vomit-coated, night-waking that we have been having and she commented, scarcastically, that I was a, "lucky girl.' And I said back to her, "But I AM a lucky girl!" My baby isn't such a lucky little boy right now, but I still feel like a pretty lucky girl, even when things get messy.

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Michael said "Mama" clear as day today! But I can't say that he totally understood that he was saying a word, so I'm not counting it but he does a lot of "ma-ma-ma" crying right now and I kid you not, the kid says "Iwantmama" when he can't see me and gets fussy, but again, I don't know that he really gets what he's saying.