Monday, January 31, 2011

These are the Faces that I've Missed!

Oh, man.  It is good to see this again...

I mean, who wouldn't just want to eat that up?!?!  Not only is he cute...but he's in a good mood...because he FINALLY feels better!  No, I didn't actually catch any smiles with my camera, but trust me - they were there. This was the closest that I got to an actual smile...


Whew!  What a week last week was...wait, who am I kidding?  What a lousy last THREE weeks that we've been dealing with/fighting these blasted ear infections.  After 4 doctor's visits, two oral antibiotics and three shots of injectable antibiotics...we're finally feeling better.  His fever broke on Friday afternoon/evening and we haven't seen it since then.  We did NOT have to go and see an ENT...but that might be the first item of action the next time a little ear infection hits since we now know how "resistant" he (his body) is to them! 

I was just happy to have my little man back...drool and all!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Daughter, the Hypochondriac

Yes, I’ll freely admit that my daughter is a raging hypochondriac. She comes by it honestly, and for once I’m able to say that this is something that she did NOT get from me. Her father is the same way. One little dot/mark on his skin could be anything from malaria to skin cancer on any given day. Some people might find this odd behavior…but not those of us who grew up with a hypochondriac for a parent. Or a step-parent. Yes, my step-dad was/is the world’s worst hypochondriac. This man should not own the big book of medical diseases and symptoms…but he does. It’s very worn from all the times that he’s looked something up and then read all about it, I’m sorry to say. I wonder now in this day and age if he still uses that book or if he googles his symptoms...there are those of us who have been banned from googling medical symptoms.  Cough, cough.

But that’s not because I’m a hypochondriac, I promise!

Anyway, back to my story. So my daughter’s like this. It’s something that I just accept naturally and deal with as it comes up. “Mom, there’s a mark on my arm. Can I have some of the itch cream?” “Mom, I fell today at school and hit my knee and there’s a bruise. Can I have an ice pack?” You might be surprised at all the ailments that an ice pack can cure…I keep several on standby. Most days, this is just normal stuff for me that I listen to with one ear barely tuned in and treat as I see fit. Yes, I dispense Children’s Pepto like candy in extreme circumstances…don’t judge. One little pill can’t hurt her and it eases her mind enough for her to go to sleep. Which brings peace to my household…

But that’s most days. Then there are the REALLY good ones that she comes up with. She hit a doozy out of the park the other night, and I just have to share it with you. I wonder if she’ll ever read my blog one day and be SO mad that I share all of this non-sense with you? Oh well…it’s too funny not to share. Even me, with all of my jaded-ness towards her ailments really had to struggle not to laugh at this one!

So, we were giving Jax his bath the other night. Normally this is something that Brent does nightly and really looks forward to, but he was feeling a bit under the weather, so Jenna and I stepped up to the task. Now, for the back story information that you’ll need for this all to make sense: Jenna has really dry skin. Especially so during the winter months. Like so dry that the backs of her hands are actually roughened from being so chapped. I try and try to keep her hands doused in healing lotion while she’s at my house, but it’s a never-ending job. Trust me. So her hands are dry. Now you’re all caught up.

We get the water running and as I’m getting Jax undressed, I ask her to check the water temperature for me, which she does. Then as I’m finishing up taking his diaper off, I notice that Jenna is scratching her hands. Repeatedly. When I ask her what the problem is, she says that they really, really, really itch. Bad. Naturally thinking about the chapped state of her hands, I dismiss the problem and go about getting the little squirmy worm into the tub. She gets right beside me on the floor and proceeds to start to play with his bath toys, entertaining him while I soap him up and start the cleaning process. Before I know it, she’s no longer playing with him, but scratching her hands…and halfway up to her arms. I ask her again what the problem is and she again tells me that her arms and hands really, really, really itch. Bad.

Since this is the second complaint in under 5 minutes, I take a look. Sure enough, her hands are red and blotchy-looking (from the scratching) and there are scratch marks now on her forearms where she’s been scratching. I explain to her that she HAS to use the special lotion that I bought her for her hands more often to avoid this state that she’s in now. I explain that when you’re skin is really dry like hers is that water can irritate it and make your skin itch. That's all, nothing to worry about.

My daughter, being a normal eight year-old who knows WAY more than her Mom, begins to argue with me. (This is also normal behavior, just like her being a hypochondriac.) I listen with half an ear and again repeat what I think that it is. If she chooses not to listen or to disagree with me, then please do it silently.

Fast forward to the end of Jax’s bath. Now it’s Jenna’s turn. We let out his bath water and I start the shower for her to bathe in. As I’m getting Jax dried off, lotioned up, diapered and dressed in his pjs she gets in the shower. I’m intently blowing raspberries on his tummy, trying to cheer him up (read other posts about why he’s down in the dumps this week) when I hear a shriek and hollering going on from the other side of the shower curtain. I immediately panic and poke my head into her shower to see what the problem is. Where I’m immediately informed that the water is stinging/burning her hands and arms painfully and she can’t shower.

Some kids will try anything to get out of bathing, huh? :)

I tell her to finish her shower, that she’s not getting out of bathing and to deal with it. I think to myself that maybe this will be a good lesson for why you should listen to your mom and use the special lotion that she spent $7 on for you…

Ten minutes later, I’m sitting in my glider, giving Jax his bedtime bottle and then his breathing treatment when a clean and fresh Jenna comes in to tell me Good Night. I can tell that she’s troubled by something, and ask what the problem is. In a voice that is so serious it’s not funny, she tells me that she thinks she knows why she was having so much problems in the shower and it’s NOT because she wasn’t using her lotion on her hands like she’s supposed to.

I can do nothing more than sit back and wait to witness the stunning revelation, right? And then these words come out of her mouth…

“I’m allergic to water, Mom.”

Seriously? That’s the best you can come up with? Well, given that she’s only eight, I guess that I have to give her some props for creativity. I literally bite the inside of my lip to keep from smiling, laughing or anything else and calmly ask why she thinks she’s allergic to water.  I mean, I try to treat all of this stuff with a little bit of seriousness so that I don't scar her for life and end up paying for the therapy later. 

I’ll sum up the rest for you, because it was a pretty long, lengthy and drawn out explanation of sorts that fell back upon itself a time or three. Here it is in a nutshell: people itch when they’re allergic to something, and they break out in spots – she found 4 spots on her stomach and there’s a LOT more on her back. It only happens when she touches water.  Thus, she’s allergic to water.

Now…because I’m a good Mom, I asked to see the spots. Then I asked her to turn on a light. BECAUSE I COULDN’T SEE ANY SPOTS. Then I asked for a magnifying glass…apparently being a good Mom only gets you so far! Literally they were the smallest little spots you’ve ever seen in your life. I promise. But there were actually 4 little, bitty, teensy, weensy spots on her stomach. I never found the ones on her back…still looking for those.

Anyway, I had her turn out the light and then come back for an equally long and lengthy discussion about why a person can’t be allergic to water. Since she’s only in the 3rd grade, I’m pretty sure that a lot of my brilliant lecture on anatomy and physiology and cellular make-up was lost on her…but trust me, it was truly stunning. It was an open and honest discussion – she argued her points and I told her she was wrong. Like any good Mom would do.

I’m just kidding. I didn’t destroy her self-confidence by telling her she was wrong. I actually told her that her points were good, but I really felt like I was right on this one. And then we compromised by theorizing that she could be allergic to the soap. (Since it couldn’t possibly be the water.) She went to sleep happy…and I dissolved into gales of laughter.

Which is how Brent found me when he came up to ask what I needed him to do before he went to bed.  I quickly explained the scene to him and we both had a good laugh. She’s definitely come up with some good ailments/diseases in her time, I’ll give her that. But being allergic to water? That’s got to be the best one yet!

** Oh, and just on a side-note so that you don’t think that I’m the meanest Mom EVER for laughing about her theory…she’s been showering in the same water for over two years now with no problems what-so-ever. And she took a shower the next two nights without any of the itching either, so I think that I’m safe in poking a little fun of my favorite little girl!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Quick Update on Our Household

So...the double ear infection that cleared up a bit and left only one ear still slightly infected quickly escalated into another double ear infection on Wednesday.  Yep, you read that right.  We're right back where we started.  Except that now it's worse...they're both red, swollen and VERY infected. 

Since this is an ongoing ear infection that's on it's third week now, Jax had no other options but to take the antibiotic shots, Rocephin.  (Forgive the spelling, I sounded it out and it's probably all wrong!)  Poor little guy.  He "gets" to take a shot everyday for three days straight and then we meet with the doctor again on the last day to see how he's responding. 

So far he's not responding well.  His fever is still dangerously close to the 103 degree mark, and he sleeps alot during the day/evening.  In fact, he pretty much only wakes up to eat and whine for a bit (not really crying) before going back to sleep.  His favorite place to sleep?  On Mommy.  So he and I have spent a lot of quality time together in my rocking recliner the last day or so. 

They tell me that his fever should break for good today after his second shot...I'm hopeful, but not holding my breath at this point.  In fact, I've almost resigned myself to the probability that on Friday his ears won't be any better and we'll be making an appointment with an ENT as soon as we can to get some tubes put in his ears.  I hate to put him through more, but at this point, I want to get him some relief too and tubes in his ears is the quickest route to that end. 

I don't want to pick up my child that's burning up with fever.  I don't want him to sleep so much and not play and smile at us anymore (we're the mean people that keep taking him to that place where he gets the shots after all!).  I don't want him to hold onto my finger with his little hand that's hot like a coal.  I don't want to see that glassy, fever-eyed look on his face anymore.  And I don't want him screaming at night anymore because it hurts his ears to lay down. 

There's a lot of things that I don't want.  What I DO want?  For my child to be better.  Whatever it takes.  If that's tubes, or shots, or a trip to the ER, then that's what it is.  I just want him to be well again.

Oh, and I'd like to be able to keep my job.  I've missed a lot of work with this little guy so luck can only hold out so far, you know?  Here's to hoping! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1 + 2 + 5 = 1

Do you like my math skills?  I excelled in my math classes when I was younger, I promise...and I worked in accounting for a few years...shocking, huh?!?!  Let me break down my little equation above so that it makes sense to more people than just me...

1 Ear Infection (still...this is the third week!) + 2 (or possibly 3) Sleep Deprived People + 5 Medications
1 VERY CRANKY 6 mo old!!

Yep, you read that right.  If you remember we went to the doctor the week before last and found out that the poor little guy had not one full blown ear infection, but another just below danger territory.  So we went on antibiotics and treated it as best we could.  It seemed to go away and clear up, except for some strange almost flourescent green eye booger things coming out of BOTH of his eyes.  I was slightly worried about that, but since it looked like the goopey stuff that starts coming out right before you get pink eye, and we already had medicine for that from when we had it a few months ago, I just treated that too and went ahead about my business.

And then he turned 6 months old over the weekend, which means that we had our 6 month check-up yesterday.  Ironically, on Saturday night he was up screaming for a few hours, and I wondered if maybe it was his ear again.  But he wasn't running any fever and he seemed very happy the next morning, so we slept in and took it easy...especially knowing that I had a doctor's appt for the next day. 

The irony part comes in when we're at the doctor's office and the check-up is going well, until she grabs the little ear-looker-thingy.  Yes, that's an official medical term - look it up!  She looks in his right ear first, which was the one that wasn't quite as badly infected and made good noises.  Then she moved on to the left side...and the good noises stopped abruptly. 

Yep, we're still infected. 

Or maybe not all the way infected, but according to the doctor "it should look better than it does."  Which doesn't really tell me anything.  So we're on antibiotics again...along with a few other things.  This is where the 5 in the equation comes in...

We're taking Cefadrin for the ear infection.  We're dosing his eyes twice a day with Vigamox to stave off a pink eye infection because his secondary tear ducts aren't fully developed yet and that's what keeps leaking the freaky-looking mucus stuff.  That's also a technical medical term.  Because the Cefadrin gives him really bad diarrhea/upset stomach we're also taking Florastor to offset that symptom.  And just to make the party more fun, the doctor wants us to keep up the steroid treatment for his cough/rattle for the next 30 days.  The good news is that we can drop down to just doing the breathing treatments once a day of the steroid Budesidine. 

Yes, if any of my readers are actual medical people, I will apologize for butchering the spelling of any/all medicines.  You know what I'm talking about, it's close enough.  Remember...I'm sleep deprived.  I won't apologize for the vast amount of medical technical terms that I used...LOL!

Oh, and just to make the party MORE fun...he got 5 shots yesterday.  And he's been running a fever since midnight of at least 102 degrees.  So we're at home today...bunkered down and trying to weather the worst of the storm.  The good news is that he's sleeping alot...two hours and counting right now.  So the laundry's getting done, the kitchen got cleaned and the living room floor got vaccummed.  At least something productive has come out of this sick day!  I hope that your day is better than mine...mine can only get better from here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Difference Between a “First Time” Parent and Someone Who’s Been There Already…

Something funny happened this weekend. T had a basketball tournament out of town, so we ventured off to watch some ball games with the other two kids in tow. PePa and Grandma also ended up going, which is somewhat relevant to the story. After T’s first game, there was a 3 hour wait before the second game was to start, so we all took off to kill some time. Jenna went with the grandparents and they went driving around, while T and Jax stayed with us and we went to Home Depot and looked for a Target. I needed some supplies for this and Brent needed some stuff to fix our fence where the dogs got out three weeks ago…more on that later…maybe.

Anyway, we all decided to meet up at the Wendy’s in town (one of the only eating places in this little town) for lunch before heading back for T’s second game. While there, I tried to feed Jax and eat my own lunch at the same time – a feat that should be noted was met with limited success. He did manage to gnaw on some Wendy’s fries though (his first!).

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with this idea of killing time at Wendy’s. While we were eating there, there was another family at a table off in the corner. It was a Mom all alone, with an older-teenage-ish age kid, another child somewhere around the tween years…and a toddler. She was managing fine on her own, with the help of the older kids – I can attest that they DO come in handy when corralling youngsters! We all observed this family as the little toddler (girl) ran away from the table and around the open area in the restaurant in a “Catch Me!” type of game with the middle child.

Corralling the toddler once successfully, they sat back down to resume eating when the toddler “snuck” off again. This time, the Mom went in pursuit and when she “caught” the toddler and picked her up to carry her back to their table, it happened. The girl apparently lost all bones in her body, just went limp and sort of yelled out. I wouldn’t call it screaming, but it was loud just for a moment.

Now…there were two reactions to this scene at our table. You could group us into two distinct groups – those that have been there and done that…and the one that doesn’t know any better. I’ll try not to name any names…to protect privacy and all…let’s just see if you can figure it out.

There were two people at the table that watched the scene and laughed. Then looked at each other with a “that’s typical” look passing between them, thinking nothing of what had just happened. You could tell that they had raised a child (or two) and knew that the scene before them was pretty minor for that age and well-handled by the Mom.

Then there was the other person. The one that looked horrified by what had just happened and proceeded to scoff at the two others who had laughed about the scene. The words “My child will never do that!” were heard coming from this person’s mouth.

It was at this point that the other two people again exchanged looks…or smirks, at this point…as if saying to each other “Just you wait and see, Buddy!” for they knew that these things happen. They knew that children don’t like to sit still for long. That they tend to get antsy and impatient once they’re done eating and think that “escaping” from Mom/Dad is a fun game to play. And once caught and told “No more!” they can sometimes react loudly and vociferously, showing anyone and everyone their displeasure at the end of the game.

And compared to some scenes that I’ve witnessed (or experienced first hand a time or two) the reaction of this toddler was very mild and what you might even call well-mannered. I’ve seen kids be drug from the store kicking and screaming at the tops of their lungs the whole way…while the Mom copes as best she can. This scene was nothing like that.

So two people left the table that day with a laugh and a smile for the Mom, eagerly anticipating the day that the other one’s child attempts such a feat. Because as sure as the sun shines in Texas, the wind blows across the flat plains, and the snow falls in the mountains…there will come a time when that one’s child WILL act out in public. I just hope that I’m along for the ride that day. Not to say “I told you this would happen”. I would never do that. I might think it…but will bite my tongue to avoid saying the words, I promise. I just want to witness the scene when it’s my kid. That’s all. LOL!

Friday, January 21, 2011

#78 – Craft Hope – Project 11

On my 101 in 1001 list, I wrote out a goal to do a project with a particular group three times. Now I’m thinking that three times just isn’t enough. But the list is written and who says that I can’t overshoot my own goal? That’s not against the rules as far as I know!

Craft Hope is an organization that I found through a friend at work. M sent me their link, thinking about how crafty I was and just had the feeling that something like what Craft Hope does would click with me…and boy was she right! I really didn’t have time last year (what with being pregnant and then having a newborn around) to participate in any of their projects, so that’s why it ended up on my 101 in 1001 list. I wanted to be sure and do it!

What I like even better is that the founder of Craft Hope is right here in Austin! We could be neighbors! We’re not, and that sounded totally craft-nerdy to say it that way, but I just think that it’s really cool that a mom of three little ones started something this cool. I wish that I had ideas like this!

Anyway, Jade over at Craft Hope just posted their first project for the year, and it’s totally something that I can do! Double score! You can read more about the project here if you’re interested, but I’ll sum it up for you. This project is working with Konbit Sante, a group that is dedicated to helping provide safe (safer) deliveries to babies in Haiti. We all know that the situation in Haiti was bad before it got worse last year, and that goes double for babies. My heart just about broke all to pieces reading the statistics about the children trying to grow up there…and the conditions in which mothers find themselves giving birth. Having just safely delivered my own bundle of joy…well, it’s easy to see why this one hit home with me.

So what Konbit Sante does is to provide the “midwives” with a birthing bag for each new birth (if I’m understanding things correctly) and Craft Hope is teaming up to make a sizeable contribution through its readers of these bags. It’s a simple homemade bag filled with some small, inexpensive medical necessities and also a receiving blanket and stuffed “lovey” for the new baby. That’s where the crafty part comes in. It just amazes me that the list of medical necessities that Haiti doesn’t have access to is a clean razor blade, string, plastic sheeting, gloves and alcohol wipes/hand sanitizer. When I think about all that went into my birth at my clean, sterile hospital with 34 nurses/doctors attending to my every need and whim…it’s just humbling that births in third world, poverty stricken countries happen with a lot less. You can read the specifics here, if you’re interested.

So I’m committed to this project. I’m going to aim for making 5 bags, if the supplies that I need to procure will get me 5. I’m using this simple pattern for the bags, just serging the ends of some baby flannel into receiving blankets, and plan on trying my hand at this tutorial of a “lovey”. I have all the material needed (except for the flannel) already at my house, so the cost should be low on the homemade end of things. Now I just need to round up the medical supplies…and find out about shipping razor blades and Purell across international borders. I’m sure there’s something to declare at the Post Office…

So here goes the start of another goal! I may not actually be able to do much right now other than gather the needed supplies, since Jenna’s got a BIG school project that I’ll be working with her on that’s due the second week of February…but the deadline for sending in the Craft Hope project isn’t until March 1st, so hopefully I’m good to go on timing. Wish me luck!

If this is something that you’re interested in working on too, please click here to read more about it! Even just making up one bag makes a difference to someone…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do you "Arm Dance"?

Jax is on the move. No, not crawling and such, but we're getting closer with every day that passes. Right now, he’s starting to exercise what one day might possibly turn into his “smooth operator” moves…you know, dance moves. Or the beginnings of dance moves. When a baby starts to get mobile, it seems that the first thing that they figure out how to move all around is their arms…thus the arm dance is born.

Whether he’s sitting or laying down, when Jax gets super-excited about something these days, he starts flailing his arms up and down, up and down. And with some force – in fact, if he’s laying on his back when it happens, his arms actually hit his own stomach, making a loud, thud noise. Whack! Whack! Whack! When he’s sitting or “standing” these sudden motions can throw him off balance, making him topple over or sway around crazily in our arms.

Oh, and the facial expressions that go along with the arm dance…priceless! Don’t believe me? I enter the following photographs into evidence for your consideration…

Notice that I'm moving my own head back out of the line of fire???

This is about where he lost his balance on my lap and sat down with a thud...

The grins come out in full force and he starts "arm dancing" while sitting...

Yeah…it’s pretty funny to watch. But didn’t you just love that toothy grin that he gave somewhere in the middle of all of that?!?! Melts my heart everytime!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BIG Changes Are Here!

It’s probably not much to most of you out there reading this little blog of mine, but this was a BIG change for me:

I got a hair cut yesterday.

Remember my 101 in 1001 list? Well, #24 on that list was to get a “good” haircut and maintain it with quarterly visits for a year. Now let me explain why this was a big deal for me.

I don’t mess with my hair. I was born blessed with beautiful, wonderful naturally curly locks of hair. Actually, I was born bald…and stayed that way for almost three years! But I more than made up for it – once the hair decided to come in, it really came in! It’s thick and wonderful. There was a time during my younger years that I stupidly cursed my curly locks and pined for the pin-straight hair that my sister had…but then I embraced my curls and have never looked back since.

There are several advantages to curly hair like mine. It’s typically low maintenance – shower, shampoo, condition, add mousse/gel and blow dry with a diffuser. Simple and easy, and even easier if you follow the no poo method. I can also just let it air dry. It works either way. Sure, like most other curly hair, it frizzes on occasion when the humidity gets too high…and when it gets really long, it becomes sort of less curly as the weight of my hair “pulls out” the curls. But it’s easy to care for. And I don’t have to have regular cuts. I don’t even have to have good cuts – Super Cuts works great for me…”trim the ends off, put in long layers and thin it a little bit” has been my go-to hair cut for years now.

And if I’m being honest, I can admit to going 9-12 months between visits to Super Cuts. I’ve even had someone at my house trim it with regular scissors – oh the horrors! You see, curly hair people can do that…mistakes are easily covered with the curls. It’s literally hair that you can’t really mess up with a quick trim at home. (Unless we’re talking about trimming up your bangs…let’s not get my Mom started on that story!) LOL, Mom!!!

Anyway, back to my story. So I wanted a good hair cut – someone who knows how to cut hair and can match hair styles to a person’s face – and I want to maintain that style for a year. Then if I don’t like it, I can go back to my “bohemian” ways of hair care…

Yesterday was my first appt. I didn’t take a before picture…it was a rough night for me and I thought that I’d spare you. But if you need a before picture, look at my profile picture…I’m sporting a ponytail 95% of the time, so that’s a good one.

And here’s what I’ve got now…
Here’s another shot of it, but you have to promise not to laugh at me. I don’t know what’s up with the face that I was making, other than to say that I was driving and taking my picture (or sitting at a red light trying to take my own picture with my phone while not looking like I was sitting there snapping away pictures of myself!). But it’s a good picture of the hair, so here you go…
I’m not sure about the Farrah side swept bang style that he dried it in. I can’t wait to shower/wash and dry on my own with my own products…but I think that I love it. It’s short…for me…which is what I wanted…but I always fear that I’ll miss the long hair right after I cut it big like this…but I usually end up loving it! What do you think?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best. Husband. Ever.

He understood that I was hurt.

He tried to help me out with the world’s best back massage.

He stayed up half of the night with the little one so that I could rest and try to get better.

When none of the above worked, he plied me with drugs and sent me back to bed.

No joke. Really, he did. And it was H-E-A-V-E-N! Literally the best thing since sliced bread. There are some disadvantages to living with a wounded veteran but the quality and quantity of free drugs is NOT one of them!

Let me start at the beginning. I don’t know how it happened, but at some point last week, I threw my back out of whack. I sat on a heating pad for three days at work, and really thought that things were getting better. But by Saturday I couldn’t sit up straight or stand and hold Jax for any length of time. Notice that I didn’t say for any long length of time…there was NO length of time that I could stand and hold him. Which just stinks when you have a little one.

Anyway, we did everything that we could think of on Saturday to give me some relief and try to fix my back. I even took half of a pain pill when I went to bed (not taking the first shift of the night – Sweet!) and attempted to lay “just so” to give my back and break and time to heal. Sunday morning I woke up and it was worse - even though Jax had a great night and I was able to sleep without holding him for the first time in almost a week.

After taking one look at my face and the lack of posture that I was sitting there with, Brent went off in search of his muscle relaxers. He hasn’t had to use them in several months, and it took him a little bit to find the bottle. It took longer to convince me to take one. I mean, what if they needed me? Did he truly understand that taking one of these would knock me on my ass? Seriously – Tylenol makes me sleepy…this was really going to send me to la-la land. Did he get that I wouldn’t be available to help if Jax got fussy? And did the term “I’d be out for a while” translate the same from my head (a while meaning at least 4 hours) to his head?

These are all questions that I asked out loud. Don’t laugh. Sometimes you just have to be crystal clear.

In the end, after getting laughed at and being told that he wanted me to go and sleep and rest, we compromised and I took ½ of a pill.

And I slept for FOUR HOURS.

During the middle of the day. Between the hours of 9am and 1pm.

If you don’t have an almost six month old at home, you can’t possibly get how rare and wonderful this really was. If you do have a little tyke at home, then you totally understand where I’m coming from and concur with my vote to name my husband Best Husband Ever.

It was bliss.

And it actually did help my back. When I woke up, my back was still stiff and knotted up a bit but it was much less than before and by that evening after another ho, soaking bath and a good night’s sleep…I’m almost all better in time to go to work on Monday morning. (I say almost because who really wants to go to work on Monday mornings? Not me!)

So do you agree with me that he did the most wonderful thing for me? Even if that wonderful thing involved giving me drugs, which normally would NOT be a good start to a story? I think so…what other things has your husband/fiancĂ©e done for you to show you how much he cared? I’d love to hear about it! That reminds me to tell you about the time that Brent made the sun go away for me…but that’s a story for another day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Too Much Cuteness!!

I just had to share this photo of Jax with you all...isn't he getting so big? It's basketball season now, and we went to big brother's game this past Thursday night...and although I dedicated most of the camera time to Tanner, I just couldn't resist getting some shots of Jax too! What a cutie pie! Then again, I'm somewhat biased... :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 2011 "Check In"

It seems appropriate to my way of thinking to check in on my 101 in 1001 list here at the middle of the month…so here’s a quick recap:

Projects started:
#24 – made the first appointment for NEXT WEEK! SO over-the-top excited about this!
#68 – I’m on day 11 of 30…doing good so far. Even though this goal might seem small to some of you out there, you must have NO idea of how deep my love for fried/sugared dough goes…it’s pretty deep, friends!
#38 – I’ve finished Disc 1 from the past season for both of my shows…just waiting for the next discs to arrive in my mailbox.
#13 – always, always working on this one – I’m over halfway to my goal!
#20 – one month down, eleven to go!

Projects planned:
#8 and #52 – I’ve compiled a list of “classic” novels that I would be interested in reading and have downloaded some of them to my Kindle reader on my iPhone…but haven’t started any of them yet. All that I downloaded were free, so they count towards that goal too!
#92 – I’ve read a bunch of articles online to see what the “experts” recommend, and I’m developing a system that suits me and our needs. But it’s not perfected yet, so this one’s still in the planning stages.
#44 – I might have an idea on “who” and “what” for the first one…
#21 – I’ve taken a bunch of pictures…now I just need to do the layouts and get these in the mail to complete month 1 of 12

Projects finished:
There’s nothing that I can totally cross off yet, but since it’s only been two weeks I’ll cut myself some slack. At least I’ve started some of them!

Also there are two things that I put on the list that are to be done each and every month of the next three and a half years, so maybe I should check in on those items too…

Monthly projects:
#55 – totally need to do this one…
#15 – I have picked the “who” part for this month, now I just need to do it!

And as always, you can click here at any point to see my 101 in 1001 list…How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions?

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Ma ma ma mama ma ma ma"

Calling all Moms! Calling all Moms! I need you to weigh in on something for me…you see, Brent and I cannot agree on something and I want to know where other Moms stand on the issue. Don’t worry, it’s not an argument or anything remotely life-threatening…I promise!

You see, Jax does a lot of baby babble right now. He’s learning how to use all of those facial/tongue muscles right now, and he definitely already has control of the volume on his vocal chords! He sits around blowing bubbles, making repetitive sounds and chewing on everything in sight all day long. And more often than not he’s “baby babbling” while he does all of this. If you’ve got kids you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have kids, just string together a bunch of noises and consonant sounds together and you’ve got baby babble…just meaningless noise, I say.

But it’s cute. Really cute. Because when they sit there babbling away, they get animated and excited and they smile SO big when you babble back to them…it’s just the cutest phase.  Most of what is said is just babbling nonsense. But occasionally, babies manage to string together a sound or two that actually makes a word. Here’s where the disagreement comes in…Jax’s latest noise is “Ma ma ma mama ma ma ma” and so on and so forth.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Brent gets ALL kinds of excited when he hears that specific babble because HE thinks that Jax is actually saying “mama.” He thinks this because once out of forty-five million repeats of the “ma” sound, two of them get jammed together to form that precious word “mama.” 

Sandy thinks that it’s just baby babble. Sure, he’s mastered the “ma” sound and can even manage to string them together fast enough for a “mama” sound every once in a blue moon. But it’s just meaningless baby babble.

Brent thinks that Jax has said his first word – “Mama”.

Sandy doesn’t count this as a word since he’s not calling something/someone that word, just randomly making the sounds.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I would love, love, LOVE for his first word to be “Mama” - there’s no Mom on the planet that could honestly say otherwise. And I’ll even admit to a little leap of my heart when he manages to string together the “mas” to form a “mama” every once in a while. It happens, and it does make me smile.

But he’s not looking at me, calling ME “Mama”. He’s just sitting there playing with the tag on his exersaucer and saying “ma ma ma mama ma ma” over and over to infinity.

I think that words only count if he means to say them, calling a particular item (doesn’t have to be the right item) by that word. Brent thinks that Jax is advanced in his language skills and has started to talk months before all of the baby books tell you to expect it. And when I question this, do you want to know what response I get? Something along the lines of other things that he’s done in advance of when he was “supposed” to do them…rolling over, cutting teeth, etc etc.

We’re at a stalemate here…not an official type of ugly fighting stalemate, but a stalemate none-the-less. So I want to know what you think, dear readers.

When do baby words count? Whenever they first say them, regardless if they even understand that they’re saying them. Or when they mean to say them and attach that word to a specific item/person. Those are your choices…let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Off the Wagon Already?

Yeah, that would be me. And the exercise wagon, so to speak. I did SO good the first week of January…and then I’m not really sure what happened. I meant to exercise, but I really wanted to sleep too. Then the double ear infections hit our house and the word exercise wasn’t even spoken or suggested. It was taboo to even think about working out.  Which also means that I didn’t weigh in or measure anything…I don’t really think that it went badly, but who really needs any confirmation? Not me.

Lucky for me, my workout buddy was also having a rough week…so we both got a “bye” on the workout schedule. Of course, that’s probably not how the buddy system should work…but that’s what happened for us!  Therefore, in light of recent events, I’m going to go easy on myself. No self-blame or torture for this chic…but I do need to climb back on that horse. Like now.

Except not tonight.

Hahahahaha…you thought I was serious about starting again…hahahahaha…I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing WITH you!

Just kidding. I am serious about starting over. But tonight we have to go to Tanner’s basketball game (which might be both his first and last game due to grade restrictions) and I know that we might get home too late and too tired to work out tonight.

So TOMORROW I will start the 30-Day Shred (again) and see how far behind taking a week off put me. I’ll weigh in tonight and re-measure to get my starting off point again. Sigh. Kids interrupt SO much, you know?

Just in case there’s anyone out there who actually thinks that I’m being serious with that last remark, it was totally made in a sarcastic way…I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything. Well, not most days, anyway!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sick...Again...le sigh...

Yeah, this is not so much fun.  Just in case you were wondering.  I'll have to tell this one to you short and sweet as I'm literally running on empty as I type...

The last time I slept really good?  Last Thursday...

Symptoms of said sick child?  Cough, mucus, rattle in the chest...and then today, fever

Number of trips to the doctor?  One

Number of calls to the nurse to make sure that I'm putting the right medicine in the nebulizer in the past week?  I really am too embarrassed to admit...see the answer to the first question though, that might shed some light on why there might have been more than one call...

Official diagnosis?  Full blown ear infection on the right side, and building up to a good one in the left ear.


So I'm tired.  He's tired.  He's cranky and fussy, which in turn makes me cranky and fussy.  I would really like to inject the antibiotic straight into his bloodstream or ear canal (whichever would be the most effective) to get him well and sleeping again.  And back in day care.  LOL! 

Then I hear how whiny I sound.  An ear infection?  That's nothing to be so upset over.  Yes, he's been sick a lot in the past three months, but we ARE in the cold/flu season and we've so far managed to avoid bigger, nastier diseases and ailments.  By that line of reasoning, I should be thankful that he's got an ear infection only and that it's not something worse. 

And then he starts fussing again and it's really hard to say "thank you"...hopefully he'll be better tomorrow or the next day and I'll be back soon!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Results of the "No Poo" Challenge

I posted here about trying the “no poo” method to deal with my naturally curly hair. Or attempt to deal with it. Maybe I should lower my expectations and just attempt to make friends, huh? It would probably be less expensive and totally less stressful for me! But I want the amazing looking hair that I used to have back on a regular basis. Like something more than friends, but less than lovers.

After a little more than two weeks of following these guidelines to the best of my abilities, here’s what I’ve noticed:

1. My hair is curlier…somewhat. Or maybe the curls are just more tame so that they appear to be more when they really aren’t. Like wearing body-shaping garments underneath your clothes and then “surprising” the guy that picked you up at the bar later at his place…

2. My scalp is healthier…less gunk comes off when/if my head itches. That sounds really gross, but it’s not as bad as that makes it sounds, I promise! You know when you scratch your head and a little white stuff comes off on your fingernail…please, somebody – tell me that your scalp does that too and I’m not a complete freak!

3. Although I felt like my hair was clean the first day that I “washed” it, by the second day (with no washing) it felt pretty rank. Not dirty…not oily…just a tangled mess at the roots, for lack of a better way to describe it. I don’t know if that makes sense. Maybe I just didn’t like not even combing it out…if I put that step back in, I might feel better about it all.

Then two days ago, I cheated. I used my Aveeno Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner like normal…and it felt like heaven. Literally. My hair was super-duper soft afterwards. So much so that I was literally amazed at the difference.

I wouldn’t call the “no poo” method a fail for me…but I wouldn’t call it a total win either. What I have decided is that I need a good cut before making a final decision. My hair is like 4-6 inches too long at this point. I need to suck it up, put on my “big girl” panties and go somewhere where I pay more than $15-20 for a hair cut. You know, like to a real salon. Where they know how to do more than cut across the bottom and possibly add some long layers in. I think at that point my hair will be healthier and I can re-do the “no poo” challenge for two weeks and really see what my curls are capable of doing.

I have the name of a guy here in Austin that’s supposed to be amazing…one of those stylists that can tell you what sort of cut you need to wear to maximize how you look. I just need to pick up the phone and make that call.

Wish me luck! I’ll be sure and post some pics when I finally go and let you know how it goes!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Big, Expensive Bouncer...

Hey's me, Jax! I thought I'd break in to Mom's blog for a minute and say "Hey!" or "ba ba ma bbbblah!" (which means Hey in baby-speak).

Actually, I wanted to share with you all my cool bouncer.  It's got everything on it.  Music, lights, toys that rattle and shake, some of those ring things that hang down in my face, a spinning frog and a mirror.  A lilttle guy like me couldn't really ask for more.  Good thing that someone loves my parents enough to get this for them...because I've started spending a LOT of time in here...see how happy I am?

Yeah, I like it.  But I haven't shared with you the BEST part of this toy with you yet.  I'm going to, don't worry.  Ijust need to watch and see what Mickey and Goofy are up to on Playhouse Clubhouse for a second...pause for literally two seconds that the TV actually keeps his attention...and I'm back.  OK.  So we've talked about the cool stuff on the exersaucer/bouncer thing.  It's got tons of good stuff...but the best, the absolute BEST feature ever is...

What's that?  You can't see what I'm playing with?  Here...let's try this picture...

Now can you see?!?  Yep, you got it.  The best part of my expensive bouncer is THE TAG that hangs on one of the straps.  A lot of parents mess up and actually cut this awesome toy off of their bouncer before giving it to their little boys and girls...but not my Mom.  She's pretty smart.  She knew that this little hanging tag would give me endless entertainment (or at least an extra 5 minutes) so that I enjoy my bouncer even more. 

Isn't she great? 

And to top it all off, she spends that extra time doing great things for me like washing my bottles, mixing up more bottles, getting my food ready or folding all of my clothes.  Oh, and she takes out the trash that smells from my stinky diapers...she's really great. You should get one just like her! 

OK - I'm getting bored with this blogging it time for me eat yet?!?! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

101 in 1001

I'm SO excited to post this!  I saw this sort of thing for the first time this year (what rock have I been hiding under?!?!) and got more excited with every blogger's list that I read.  I was super excited to come up with my own list, which you can find here. 

I plan on trying to post about some of the items that I'm able to check off of my list as I complete them, so look forward to hearing more about this.  I'm joining in this with Emily - come on over and join with us!  Don't worry a bit about being a few days behind...more is merrier!!

It took me longer to come up with this list than I had thought that it would take.  There are some things on there that are easy things to "check off" and some that will be more of a challenge to accomplish.  I'm hoping that having a good mixture of easy/hard items is what will make this interesting and attainable...I'm making my list a seperate page on my blog, so feel free to click in and check on my progress at any time!  I can't wait to start making things bold as I complete them!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do you “No Poo”?

That’s a funny title, huh? Yeah, I thought so too…and the concept behind it is even weirder to me. Amazingly enough this has nothing to do with my 5 month-old who generates a LOT of “poo” around our house…and I know that you’re relieved to hear it!

The “no poo” method refers to a way to deal with naturally curly hair. Which I have. In abundance. Even though I thought that maybe I was losing all of my hair right after Jax was born. I’ve still got it, quite a lot of it, and still look for ways to “tame” and “manage” it.

Now, to be honest, there’s a lot less curl to my hair these days when compared to how it was when I was younger. It’s gone from a tight Shirley Temple-type of curl to a nice wave that frizzles only minimally when left un-moussed. The humidity is bad here in Texas (although not at this time of year) but it’s pretty good here in Austin for my curly hair…no, living somewhere like Houston has never been and will never be a viable option for someone with curls like mine!

Anyway, back to my point. So this theory comes from this book (which I haven’t read) and basically gives you some guidelines and reasons behind why people with naturally curly hair should treat their hair differently than the rest of the hair world. The gist of it is (and please forgive me if I get this a little wrong since I’ve already admitted that I have NOT read the book!) that shampoo contains harsh chemicals in it that strip hair of its natural oils – reacting even worse on curly hair. Left alone, without treatment of shampoo, the hair will balance itself (along with the scalp) out in terms of oil and moisture and your curls will become more manageable and just better all around.

The first time I heard of this theory, I was like – HUH? Go without shampoo…eeewww! Plus, the blog post was recommending substituting a baking soda paste for shampoo and apple cider vinegar in place of conditioner…and it mentioned going days between shampoos…and a detox period of super greasiness as your hair/scalp adjusted…yucky. All of that did NOT sound fun, but I happened to notice that over the past few months when having a newborn in the house does not tend to leave time each and every day to shower and wash hair that my hair responded favorably to not being washed each day. You’re lucky to shower most days with a newborn, right? Right! But I did see a change in my hair…and in my scalp. So I went back and researched a bit more on this “no poo” business right before the holidays started.

Since I was going to be off of work for almost a week and a half, it seemed like the perfect time to try it out and see what happened. The comments that I gathered said that it sometimes takes the hair up to 2-4 weeks to balance out the oils and such…during which time I’m thinking that your hair can look a bit…not so good. Vacation time seems to be the perfect time to try something that might make you look not so good…especially vacation time spent at home, not actually out on vacation.

Here are some guidelines to follow that I gathered:
1. Wash your hair using only conditioner…only on the roots of your hair. (This is easiest if bent over at the waist – sort of upside down in the shower.)

2. When “scrubbing” your scalp with the conditioner, use only your fingertips…no nails.

3. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to all of hair…leaving it on to soak in for several minutes. Wash about 80% of it off in water that is as cold as you can stand it, leaving the remaining 20% in your hair as a leave-in conditioner.

4. When you get out of the shower, do not use your towel on your hair and scrub vigorously. Use a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to gently squeeze the excess water from your hair. Do NOT wring the excess water from your hair. “Scrunch” the hair up from ends to roots in microfiber towel or t-shirt.

5. Do NOT comb/brush your hair. Gently separate or “finger comb” your hair while in the shower – like after applying the conditioner.

6. Apply gel/mousse and scrunch hair again.

7. If possible do NOT dry your hair with a dryer. Let air dry as often as possible and DO NOT touch your hair while it’s drying. (This will help cut down the frizz factor.) If you must dry your hair with a dryer, use a diffuser and only dry hair until it’s about 80% dry then allow hair to air dry the rest of the way.

At least, those are the guidelines that I gathered and am trying to follow. I also bought a trial/travel size collection of some of the DevaCurl products that the author of the “no poo” theory developed. I bought: No Poo Shampoo, One Conditioner, Set it Free Mist (for frizz control), AnGEL hair gel and Mister Right (revitalizing spray for days of no shampooing at all). I generally liked the look/feel/smell of the products, but would be interested in a heavier gel for my hair…something like the ArcAnGEL gel. I didn’t see it in a trial size at my local Ulta store, so I went with what they had.

I’ve still got a few days left of the initial two-week trial period that I was attempting before I share my results. It’s gone good so far, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few things that I’ll share when I’m done.

Do you have naturally curly hair? How do you care for it? Ever tried the “no poo” method? Did you notice that your curls changed after having babies? (That last one’s just for my own curiosity…)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year...New Look...

That applies to both me and my blog!  Of course, changing the design of my blog was a LOT easier than changing the way that I look will be...but I'm going to bust out with a new look myself here pretty soon!  At least, that's what I'm hoping for here in a few weeks after I've spent some much needed time with Jillian.  She claims that she's TV's toughest trainer, and after a few days spent up close and personal with her, I'm not one to argue!  Wow - does that lady pack one hell of a workout in those 20 minutes or what?  And I'm only on Level ONE...times are looking tough ahead, that's for sure!

But, it's what I need to do to get rid of the last bit of baby weight.  Yeah, if you're a smart cookie, you might be scratching your head right about now.  You might remember a time when I boasted having lost more weight than my original starting pregnancy weight...yeah, that's what I get.  Weight took offense at those comments of mine, turned around, stuck it's fingers in it's ears, screwed up his face and went "na na na na boo boo!" right back at me...and graced me with the gift of weight gain instead of loss. 

So B (over at Our Journey) and I are on a work-out mission...we start officially today.  Here are my stats as taken by me two days ago:

Weight: 151
Waist: 35
Hips/Thighs: 39 / 22.5

Posting your measurements on the blog-o-sphere is always somewhat scary to me...but when I was a bride wanting to look smashing in my wedding dress, it really helped me to stay honest about my progress and kept me on track more often than not, knowing that I was going to have to post results in a few days.  Let's hope it works again for me.  We'll see, huh?

So that's one resolution.  Sort of.  I say sort of because I'm not normally a New Year's resolution type of gal.  It's just not my thing.  I have things that I want to work on or accomplish, but I tend to work on them all year long, not just at a particular time of year.  This year, I've got some specifics that I'll share with you all:

1. Healthy Body - this is two part.  It's not just weight loss, it's about how my clothes fit.  If it's my lot in life to stay the same weight, that's cool...I just want it to look a bit better on me.  So I'm trying to not be a slave to the number shown on the scale and to use how my clothes are fitting as a better tracker of my progress.  Right now, the pants...they are tight.  Guess that's telling me something, all right?!?! 

2. Healthy Mind - Having a sane mind goes hand in hand with the one before.  I need to work on taking time for myself.  I remember well what the first year of mommyhood was like from my first go-round on this ride...and I specifically remembering "waking up" about three years later wondering where the heck I went.  I had become Jenna's Mom (which was great and totally worthwhile!) and had lost Sandy somewhere along the way.  So I would like to avoid that all together this time.  I need to take time for me, and to learn to ask for help.  Yes, it might be easier to do it myself, the way that I want it done the first time around...but that doesn't lead to personal time.  It's ok if the bottles are washed "wrong" or if Jax cries for an extra minute or two waiting for Brent to wake up and get him instead of me doing the whole night shift.  It's not the end of the's really ok. 

3. Savings - have you taken the time to check out where I am on my financial savings goals so far?  (If you haven't, just click out of your reader onto my actual blog and look on the right for the Savings button that I update weekly.)  It really added up as I did Xmas shopping and caught a lot of great sales!  You know what?  I'm already halfway to my original goal right now...and I've got almost a full year left to finish the other half - that's SO awesome to me! 

Those are my top three goals for 2011 right now.  How about you?  Did you set actual goals/resolutions for yourself this year?  I think that mine are pretty standard and nothing spectacularly original...but there you have it.  I've got some smaller things rattling around in this head of mine that also might "gel" into more concrete goals, but nothing that I'm ready to share just yet...maybe another day.