Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pictures

I am way, way too tired to come up with something witty to write here. So... just enjoy the pictures and let me go to sleep.

Check out the size of that pumpkin!

Mattias in his Halloween shirt (a present from Megann)

My lil pumpkin

One day he's going to be so mad at me for doing this to him

The princess and the pumpkin

Go Rangers (yeah, I know...)

Ready to trick or treat!

This guy tricked out the walkway to his front door... the sign says "Welcome to the Insane Asylum. Wait, I thought that was MY house

Waiting for the candy

Elise, Mattias and I... you don't want to know how many people ask me if I'm STILL pregnant while wearing this wrap. People, that's a FREAKING 7 week old baby in there. Come on!

All this snuggling wears me out

Happy Halloween... and GOOD NIGHT!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is she three... or thirteen?

The person who coined the term "terrible twos" was on crack. Or not very bright. Or just didn't know the age of their own child. For us, the twos were really quite terrific. Elise was a wonderful child; all sweetness and light. I figured if this is as terrible as the twos get, I have it made!

And then as we inched ever closer to her third birthday, we noticed a change. She started talking back. Saying "NO!" when we asked her to do something. She would roll her eyes, and stomp her feet at us. She was sassy, and not in a good way. What happened to my sweet little girl?

Then last night, I snapped. Fred was reading her a bedtime story, but was so tired he kept falling asleep as he was reading. Finally he told Elise that he would finish the story (which was quite long) tomorrow. This did not sit well with Elise and she started yelling "NO!" and whining. I went in and explained that Poppa was so tired and she needed to be understanding. Fred even offered to read her a shorter one, to which she yelled, "NO!" again.

So we gave her a choice... no story, or the shorter story. First she wouldn't choose, then she said, "no story." So when we said good night to her, she started crying. I told her that she had made her choice, and if she didn't settle down, all her toys, books, and stuffed animals were coming out of her room. Her reply? "Take my toys."

I told her to think carefully, because if she continued with this attitude, I would take ALL her toys away, and she would have nothing left to play with. Her response again was, "I want to you take my toys!" Followed by more screaming. She should know better than to dare me.

So I took a laundry basket and took everything out of her room, all the while she was shrieking (think tornado siren loud). Then I went downstairs to take care of the rest of her stuff. Because it was 10:30 at night (and I'm a bit crazy), instead of carting all her toys out to the garage, I took packing tape, and taped off the area where all her toys were. Sort of like a crime scene. Greatness.

Her behavior last night isn't the worst example of how she can be, but it was the final straw. Fred and I are not the strictest parents in the world, but we do demand a certain level of respect, politeness, and obedience from our offspring. We have talked to her about acceptable behavior, and when everything is going her way, she is very agreeable. It's when things do not go her way that she turns into a whirling dervish of toddler angst.

So we have taken away what she holds dear... her "stuff". She understands that the only way to get it back it to earn it back with good behavior. So far it's going pretty well today. Except for one set-back where she lost the toy that she had earned back AND went to sit in time out.

It's cool... Rome wasn't built in a day. We'll do this one stuffed animal and puzzle at a time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Look who's smiling!

He's seven weeks old today and has been giving us the sweetest toothless grins for about a week now. It's been hard to capture one with the camera, but I finally got it! How cute is he?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's time!

What a great day to be a Texas Ranger Fan! World series, here we come! And what a sweet way to end the game; A-Rod striking out looking.

The Rangers are really the only Dallas-area sports team I can stand. I don't like the Cowboys for the exact same reason I don't like the Yankees. The ego. The entitlement. The "we're-awesome-just-because-we're-the-Cowboys-and-it-doesn't-matter-that-we-suck" attitude. Plus I'm not really a fan of the game anyway. The only thing football is good for is putting me to sleep fast on a Sunday afternoon.

The Mavs don't do it for me either, mostly because their owner is a dink. It's like watching a 13-year old trapped in an adult's body. Seriously, he reminds me of Tom Hanks in Big, only not cute or lovable at all. Disliking the owner is another reason the Cowboys bug me. Need I expand on that?

And the Stars? Well, I don't like any hockey team that isn't the Canucks. And what is a hockey team doing in Texas anyway? Somebody took a very wrong turn somewhere. I think Elise says it best... "Boo Stars!"

But the Rangers are a different story. Especially this year's team. They are extremely talented, yet seem humble. They seem to genuinely like each other and love what they do. I think the fact that they use Ginger Ale to spray during the celebrations so Josh Hamilton can take part is aweome. And the "
Claw and Antlers" thing tickles me to death.

So bring on the Giants/Phillies... because, It's Time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why we need a cure

If you are a parent, I'm sure you remember all too well standing over your baby's crib or bassinet, watching them breathe. I bet you even held a finger or put a mirror under their nose just to make sure. When Elise was born, I lived in fear that SIDS would steal her away from me as she slept.

And when she reached an age when SIDS was no longer a concern, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Little did I know that a few months later I would have a newer, bigger worry to deal with.

Diabetes comes with a laundry list of complications; heart disease, nerve, kidney and eye damage are some of them. But there is another complication. A more sinister, less talked about one. It's called Dead in Bed Syndrome. Basically, a person with diabetes can pass away during the night due to an untreated low blood sugar.

Today my heart is aching for the family that lost their 13 year old daughter to Dead in Bed Syndrome. And the part that hits hardest is that her parents, by all accounts, were diligent in their care of her diabetes

When I usually explain to the uninitiated all the work that goes into caring for Elise, the response is always surprise. Especially when I get to the part about how we get up at least twice a night to check her blood sugar.

I know it seems over the top to most people, but as Elise's Mom, I will do everything in my power to protect her from harm. And I know that I cannot be there 100% of the time. I know I cannot protect her from every evil in this world, but you can bet that I will bust my ass to try.

Let's look at it this way; when you get in your car, you either strap your kiddo into their car/booster seat, or make sure they put their seat belt on, right (let's disregard this is a matter of law for the moment)? Why do you do this? You're a safe driver. You obey all posted speed limits, you use caution, and pay attention to the road.

But what you can't control are other circumstances; drunk drivers, people who text and drive; and the ones who just plain suck at driving. You have no idea at what might happen next, so you do what you can to protect your child... it's just good ol' common sense, right?

Unfortunately, a parent is NOT a pancreas. No matter how hard I try, I cannot replace that precious organ in Elise's body. I was not created to control and maintain blood sugars. All I can do is use my common sense and do my absolute best.

And this is why we weigh every carb Elise eats.

This is why we check her blood sugar 10-12 times a day, and at least twice a night.

This is why we don't leave Elise with anyone.

It is why, every seven days, we inject a sensor into Elise, so we can monitor her blood sugar via a Continuous Glucose Monitor.

It's why I ALWAYS have a watchful eye on Elise.

It's why Elise comes with us on our date nights.

And why I carry a backpack full of strange gadgets and food. It may seem odd to you, but it might just save Elise's life one day.

It's why I am so tired, so distracted, so overprotective, so consumed and so frightened. Because stories like this happen. And they happen to people who do everything they can, just like we're doing.

And so, my heart is breaking. Not just for this family, but for all the other D-families out there who hear these stories. And the need to check their kiddos a little more often and hold them a little closer consumes them that much more.

Please God, let us find a cure soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First day of school

Today was Elise's first day of pre-school. Since she now wears a continuous glucose monitor, we finally felt comfortable enough to leave her in someone else's care. We were very impressed by this school, and Elise's teacher has Type 2 diabetes, so it seemed like a good fit. Elise was pretty excited...

Come on Mom... let's go!

My little pre-schooler

Does she look ready?

Now she's not so sure

In the end, she did great. Of course, some tears were shed, but none of them were hers. I am so proud of how she just jumped in with both feet and never looked back.

It looks like school is already working; when she heard Mattias crying when he woke up from his nap, she told me, "we need to go upstairs to see what is troubling him."

And then this afternoon, she asked to put on her jacket because she "wanted to be a doctor and take care of her sick baby."

That's my girl!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The problem with pacifiers

I've always thought that we humans are a pretty inventive people. I am always amazed when I pick up a Skymall magazine and see all the crazy gadgets they have in there. It makes me want to yell, "yes, YES... I NEED THAT!"

And not just in the magazine either. There are so many great inventions or innovations that people have come up with. For example:

Your bum gets cold while driving? Built in seat warmers!

Public bathrooms are a dirty, nasty place? Self-flushing toilets!

You want to travel to far off places and not spend hundreds of days on a boat developing both scurvy and rickets? Air travel!

Are you cold and lack the ability/intelligence to use a blanket? The Snuggie!

You see? All these wonderful inventions because someone saw a need and decided to do something about it. So why, for the love of sleeping babies, can't someone invent something to keep a pacifier in a baby's mouth?

Because it is so completely craptastic when that baby is waking up crying every 10 minutes due to the fact that the pacifier has fallen out of his mouth. And short of lying on the edge of my bed, with one hand draped over the bassinet forcibly keeping the pacifier in his mouth, I have run out of ideas. Well, there is duct tape... but I haven't resorted to that. Mostly because I don't have any in the house.

Seriously though, we can blast people into outer space, land them on the moon, and bring them back to earth again, but we can't find a way to fix the pacifier problem?

NASA, are you listening? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs... anybody?

How about you, Snuggie guy?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Please sir, can I have some more?

Sleep is a very sacred commodity in our house. Between having a 3 year old (who is a total night owl and sometimes stays awake until 11:00 pm) with diabetes, and a newborn; sleep can be hard to come by these days.

That's why I have to give a shout out to my amazing son, who, just 1 day shy of being 5 weeks old, slept 8 hours last night (from 11:30 until 7:30). And a few days ago, he slept 7 hours. I'm loving it!

Now if only I could get 8 hours of sleep in a row, life would be grand! Heck, I'd settle for 5 hours of non-stop slumber.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy one month, Mattias!

So I totally flaked on posting about my baby boy's first month... blame it on the horrors of mastitis, which I delveloped on Thursday. But late is better than never, so here it is!

-He is now 9 pounds and 6 ounces... I can't remember exactly how long he is, but the doc said he's in the 95th percentile.

-He sleeps soooooo much better than Elise ever did. All the baby books I read said that newborns sleep an average of about 16 hours a day. Elise slept 11. It nearly killed me. Mattias sleeps about 15 - 18 hours. At night he goes 6 hours before I wake him up to feed. I'm sure he'd go longer, but I want to make sure he's eating enough.

-All he wants is to be snuggled and carried everywhere. Unfortunately, he's not a huge fan of carriers/wraps etc., but I'm going to keep trying to make him like them! I don't have enough arms and I don't think I'll be able to learn how to give Elise her shot with my feet!

-He LOVES bath time. If he's at all fussy, one of the best remedies is to put him in his bath chair and give him a good scrubbing. Again, totally the opposite of Elise who used to scream through her bath.

-He maintains eye contact very well and I swear he was about to smile at me today. He can also hold his head up for a good 5 - 10 seconds. I love it when I'm holding him on my shoulder (burping position), and he lifts his head up to look into my eyes. I melt every time!

-It's still hard to tell if his hair is going to be red. In some light, you'd swear it is, but he really doesn't have enough to tell.

Here are some uber-cute pics of my little guy:

Snuggled with Momma

Please, no pictures

Hanging with Elise

Baby burrito

Yeah, I'm cute!

Ahhhh, the life of a baby

Lounging and smirking

Hmm, shall I eat, sleep or poop now?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Houston, we have a package

Everyone has a price... and a currency. The hard part is figuring out what it is.

As I have written about before, Elise has an issue with dropping her kids off at the pool. She potty trained pretty much within a day, but absolutely refused to poop. We talked it over with her doc who told us it was going to become a power struggle, and that Elise would go when ready.

To speed up the process, we resorted to bribery. I was tired of changing giant-sized poopies and shelling out almost $10 for 20 diapers. First, we took her to Target and let her pick out any toy she wanted. We told her that it would be her reward for making poopie on the potty. She seemed excited. I was too.

But when it came to go-time, she refused. She even told us she didn't need any toys. After that we tried money. Yes, my (at the time) two year old was motivated by cold, hard cash. But not, apparently, enough to do the doodie.

Food was not really something we wanted to use, but since we do give her an M&M for behaving during her shots, we tried that. Nope. Finally, I just gave up.

One day I just sort of snapped. There was no reason that my daughter, who knew well enough that she had to poop because she would bring me a diaper and tell me so, should not be able to sit on the potty to do her business. So I told her no more diapers. Then I tried one, final bribe; television.

Elise doesn't really watch TV, not for a lack of effort on her part. I'm just not a fan, especially when I see how she zones out in front of it. But I told her that if she pooped on the potty, she could watch a nuvie (her word for cartoon). She seemed excited. But I didn't get my hopes up.

Then on Tuesday, she announced that she had to make poo-poo, so I told her that there would be no diapers, and she could watch her nuvie when she was done. To my utter surprise, she hopped right on up and went to work. Within 10 minutes, we had a package.

To say there was much rejoicing is an understatement. I laughed. I clapped. I danced. At one point I think I almost started to cry. She seemed rather pleased with herself too.

And then I let her watch two nuvies. You gotta celebrate the first deuce in the toilet in style, you know.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm Four! Four weeks old...

Is it just me, or does he look ready to do some kung fu fighting?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly of my hosplital stay

The Good

Food - My rule of thumb is that any food that I personally didn't have any hand in making is good food. Even better, the hospital I stayed at actually does a wonderful job at preparing food. Plus, every morning you get a menu with a whole plethora of choices for each meal. I spent a lot of time agonizing on whether I should choose cheesecake or angel food cake for dessert.

Nurses - I love the women and men (although I have yet to meet a murse... I think they are mythical creatures, like unicorns or a helpful government worker) who work in this profession. In another lifetime, I think I would like to have gone to school for nursing. They showed me mercy when necessary, and kicked my butt when it needed kicking. Yay nurses!

Drugs - Not that I am a big proponent of drug use, but having your belly/uterus sliced open really, really hurts. Unfortunately I am allergic to almost all of the "good stuff", but found the right mix of Darvocet and Motrin worked quite nicely.

TV - We don't have cable at home... the hospital does. And I can watch it in bed. Does life get any better?

Calling someone to magically take the baby away - For the most part, Mattias hung out in my room. But at night, I would call for him to be whisked off to the nursery and brought back in a few hours for a feeding. It was all sorts of lovely. Mostly because it led to...

Sleep - Can you believe I got more sleep in the hospital with a newborn, than I usually do at home (if you're a parent of a diabetic, you can). Because we have to check Elise's blood sugar at least twice a night, I usually get about 4 hours of sleep a night. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was getting about 2 hours. So the hospital was heaven for me. Sleep heaven. And the naps! Sweet, wonderful naps.

The Bad

Lactation Consultant - Usually I have no issues with these (mostly) women whose job it is to look at and touch women's breasts on a daily basis. But I was matched up with the Lactation Nazi this go-around. Seriously woman, I nursed my first for 2 1/2 years. I just stopped 8 months ago. I can handle this! Mattias dropped a lot of weight in the hospital... almost 10% of his birth weight. And I guess that's a no-no. This lady basically wanted me to nurse him every hour, threatening me with formula if he didn't gain any weight. The problem was that Mattias was a very sleepy baby and would rather snooze than eat. The funny thing is, the pediatrician didn't think his weight was a big issue. Sorry Lactation Nazi, the doc wins this one.

Asking about my poop - I love starting the day with a bright and cheery, "so, have you had a bowel movement today?" The only thing better is being threatened with an enema when your answer is no.

Loneliness - With Elise, Fred was at the hospital with me the entire stay. This time, he had to go back and forth between the house and the hospital; sleeping at home so he could care for Elise. I spent a lot of time by myself and it was very lonely. Especially during the overnight. Thank goodness for nurses and cable TV!

The Ugly

The bill - I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure it will make me cry.