Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Break

Christmas Eve is tomorrow. I cannot wait! This Christmas will be much much much different as a parent. He won't even know what to do, he doesn't know what it means, but I do, and that's why it will be so special. More than the upcoming events, I am looking forward to some time off. Not that my job is all that hard, but I want the time to spend with my little boy. I have a half day today, off tomorrow and off Monday as well. Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday have events planned, but that's ok... especially since I just realized my office is closed on Monday. Extra day, woo hoo! It's been a very trying year for me so I hope we can have a memorable holiday and start fresh in the new year. I really need to start fresh or my head may just pop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Support Groups

I really don't understand why it's so hard for me to find other cleft Moms in my area. I have online support, but no one I have really been able to bond with, except Bethany, she's in Germany. Her husband is in the military. They are moving back to the states in January, but they will be in Texas, still very far, so she will remain an online friend. But there's GOT to be someone in my area. Like the other patients of my plastic surgeon. I asked the nurse about a support group and she had nothing. Maybe I;ll start my own group and hope the others find me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the 8th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A shovel! It snowed last night. I had to drive home in it and I was scared, because Jesse was in the car and I need new tires, desprately. Once I got home the snow was beautiful. Then, in the morning, I hated it again! It had started to drizzle and developed this nice "crust" on top. Not so fun. Usually I don't mind shoveling, when it's the light fluffy stuff. This wasn't. It was back breakingly heavy.

4 days til Christmas, am I ready? YES! I am happy to say. I have a few odds and ends to take care of, but for the most part I am ready! Yay! I am really looking forward to it this year. Hopefully I don't let it pass me by like Thanksgiving just about did. Need to take pictures at the family functions again. Another self reminder.

Oh yeah. I do have one minor setback. Yesterday Jesse woke up sick. He has a cough. Chest congestion, I believe. Awesome. His first cold 5 days before Christmas?!? Really? Hopefully he beats it fast and doesn't pass it along to me. So far so good. I should take a vitamin, like right now. Ok, done. Stopping to get a big jug of OJ on my way home. Last time I felt a cold coming on, I drank like half a jug of OJ and somehow it actually worked. The cold disappeared! Too bad Jesse doesn't drink OJ, but I did leave some apple juice for him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blackbird, Fly

The Holidays

10 days til Christmas. Well, til Christmas Eve, which is when it begins for me. I have not gotten as much accomplished as I hoped I would by now, but I am getting there. I could have gotten more done had I not been frightened by the parking lot at WalMart on my lunch today. Maybe I will pay the extra couple bucks and get what I need to get from Target.

I have about 50% of my gifts purchased, which isn't a lot because we scaled back considerably this year. I have 3 kids to buy for and a grab bag. I also have some home made gifts I haven't even started on yet. At least I bought the wrapping paper and baked some Christmas cookies. Oh and I got pictures with Santa and the cards are ready for pick up.


Santa and I are tight, so he stopped by.




Cousins

The holidays will be a litle crazy this year. But it's the kind of crazy I am signing up for because I will get to see more people. The plan: Christmas Eve at my parents house. Dinner, gifts for the kids only and spending quality time together. Those two little blondes pictured above, they will be spoiled. Hopefully their Grandpa will read a Christmas story for them too. Christmas Day has changed. In previous years Paul and I have tried going to all family functions and driving ourselves bonkers. The past few years we spent Christmas Day with his family at his sisters in Schaumburg so I didn't get to see any of my extended family at my uncle's house in Plainfield. This year... well, my uncle's starts at 2pm and we are doing Paul's family at Paul's parents house in Woodridge this year at 4pm, so maybe, just maybe I can pull this off. I will need to strategicly plan the nap times too!

So last year at this time I was expecting. I was not sure what to expect, except a baby. That I indeed have. What came with, I was not expecting. I was not expecting the challenges we have faced since a year ago. I was not expecting to have my outlook on life to change as it has. I was not expecting to have this little boys smile melt my heart so much even though it's not perfect. Not being perfect is what probably makes my heart melt just a little bit more.

Speaking of this child. He's HUGE! The first 4 months of his life he was this fragile little thing, now he's a baby in a toddler's body. He's not crawling yet, I think he wants to go directly to walking. His clothes don't even fit over his head! Thanks Dad.... for passing down your unusually large head to my child.

I will end this with a picture of him in a diaper box. It's like his little race car, and when it breaks, there will be another one waiting or available really soon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gifts

I am in a Yahoo Group for Mom's in my area. Every Friday someone posts a question for the group. Todays question was "What is the most memorable Christmas gift you received as a child and why?"

I have been thinking about this question on and off all day and you know, I can't come up with anything! Not a single gift! Then I got to thinking, maybe this is a good thing. This question helped me realize that the holidays growing up were not as much about gifts but about the time we spent with family. My parents always hosted Christmas Day with all my aunts, uncles and cousins and it was a day filled with laughter, yummy food, Christmas stories (told by my Uncle John), songs on the piano and Santa even showed up (he was the neighbor accross the street). Those memories are my gift! Yes, this is sappy, but I really don't care. Like I have said before, being a mother changes your perspective on things, on life. Your priorities change and this is one pure example of that.

And here we are, 15 days until Christmas and I have bought a total of 2 gifts thus far (and one was purchased online about 10 minutes ago). And I can't seem to come up with a single gift for my husband to buy me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MUST Do

This is a reminder to myself that I absolutely MUST bust out the camera this weekend. Especially to Thanksgiving. I have been so wrapped up in making sure Jesse has everything he needs for an outing and making sure I have everything in the diaper bag, that I completely forget a CAMERA! And not the cheap little pocket camera, I need to remember to bring the good camera. It's Jesse's first Thanksgiving. It must be documented. I'd also like to capture the day as well. The food, the family, the love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Short Work Week

It's gonna be a good week, I hope!
Full day of work today. Tomorrow we are volunteering the the soup kitchen from 10-2, then back to work. Wednesday, half day (and I get a much needed haircut). Thursday is Thanksgiving, yipee! No work Friday then the official weekend. I have lots of things I want to do, hopefully I can get a few of them done. Some are more fun than others, hopefully I can get a good mix in. A few fun things and a few needed things. One of the need to do's is cleaning the carpets. I borrowed a friends Bissell in hopes it will do a good job so we don't have to pay professionals to come in and do it. There are some crafty projects I have in my head, one is the hoodie I am making for myself. I was going to do it yesterday, but it just never happened. There's a little project I'd like to do with Jesse, but I am not revealing yet because it will end up being a Christmas gift. I want to make 2, one for me and one for a gift.
My Mom was always a crafty lady. I hope Jesse and I can make stuff too, although it might be more limited with a boy. It's not like we can make jars of fairy dust or anything, lol. Speaking of jars, I'd like to find something fun to do with baby food jars. They have been accumulating. Paul and I are thinking of putting spices in them and velcroing them to the spice cabinet door. We need to put more thought into this so it has functionality.
Back to work now... well, it's almost lunch time, I have some shopping to do at Target.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reflection

It's that time of year where people think about what they are thankful for. So I am dedicating this blog to that. Since I became a mother, my perspecives have changed, my priorities have changed.

I am thankful for my family. Not my extended family, but the family I got 7 and a half months ago. Before Jesse I never called Paul and I a family, we were a couple, with a dog, snake and a fish. Now we are our own family. Just the word in itself means more to me. Paul and I have a new love between each other and that new love is named Jesse. The bond between us has changed. We have this little person that we made.

I am thankful that Jesse is doing extremely well. In the past few months he's finally been putting on good weight, in fact, he's been exceeding expectations. His development is in the 75th percentile. Before his surgery he was in the 25th percentile. I guess he was having a hard time sucking. At 4 months he started cereal and fruit, which also made a world of difference in his development. He's my little angel, the love of my life. His smile is priceless to me, even if it is a little crooked. Despite our challenges, he's the best thing that's ever happened to me. And to think, a few years back I wasn't even 100% that I wanted to become a mother, but now I know this was meant to be.

I am thankful that Paul's recovering from surgery. It's a long road, but at least it's a road we are walking down. Literally walking. I never appreciated the ability to walk until now.

I am thankful we still have a roof over our heads, heat to keep us warm and food in our bellies. This has been rough with the drastic decrease in income, but we still manage to make the ends meet financially. We've had moments that were quite scary, but somehow we were able to do what we needed to do... even if it was at the last possible second.

I am thankful for my family, the people I grew up around this time. My mother and father, sister, aunts, brother in law, etc. They have been an amazing support to us. Through the birth of Jesse, through Jesse's first surgery, through financial troubles, through Paul's pain and surgeries. They really stepped up when others didn't and I don't know how I can ever repay them. Not that they would even expect it. They are totally good like that. I hope I am able to help if any of them are ever in need.

I am thankful for my friends. Not just that I have them, but I am thankful that the negetive ones are disappearing, that old friends are blossoming and for the new friends I have made. Amazing how my life's changes have changed the people around who I have around me. Before Jesse was born I had my "regular" group of friends. After he was born there was an obvious shift. Obvious to me at least. A few friends made some steps back, it surprised me at first, because these were the people I was closest with. Some unexpected people came to light. Then there are the totally new friends that I am still developing relationships with, other Mom's. People I had nothing in common with until I gave birth. The changes aren't bad, in fact, I am pretty cool with it. The people who are currently a big part of my life are the ones that are good for me to have in my life right now.

I am sure there's more to be thankful for. I will probably make a part 2 before Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to the holiday this year. We will be spending time with the family members mentioned above and I can't wait. There's so much love there and these people are pretty special to me. Paul and I usually alternate Thanksgiving with my family and his. This year was supposed to be with his family, but he won't be able to make the trip to his aunt's. I am glad we are spending this holiday with my family because I need that recharge that only they can give me. The holiday with Paul's family wouldn't be bad, and I am sure Paul wants to spend time with them, but I need this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friendship

I guess this is a reminder for myself. I have been questioning a lot of friendships lately (with good reason). Not just since Paul's surgery, but since I had the baby too. You really see people's true colors in times like these. Some good, some bad. But I am thankful I am aware of this.

A true friend doesn't care when you're broke, what you weigh, if your house is a mess, about your past, or if your family is filled with crazies. They love you for who you are. A true friend can go long periods of time without speaking to you & never question the friendship. They understand your life & circumstances.

On another note... I read a blog today, a blog I read pretty regularly. She talked about gray days and what brings you color. I have had so many gray days lately.... but what brings me color is the smile from my sweet little boy. Spending as much time with him as possible, even if it means keeping him up a little later at night and waking him up in the morning. He'll make up that sleep when he naps during the day which I am sure his daycare provider will appreciate. Another thing that brings me color is realizing that these events in my life will make me a better, wiser person. A better wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter. I was meant to do this. This is sculpting me into my future me, the person I need to be to be able to handle my future challenges. When Jesse's next surgery comes around, it should be a piece of cake, right?

Just one more thing. I voted on Tuesday. I take pride in it and as inconvenient as it was, I still managed to take 15 minutes out of my life to go and just do it. Paul and I don't agree when it comes to politics. He was unable to vote (because he forgot to get a mail in ballot), so for once, our votes didn't cancel each other out. Ha!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Coping

As I've said before this is rough. I miss my best friend. He's just not the man I know. Which is understandable. He's not even able to do the things that make him Paul. I have to be patient. I have no other choice. The drugs mess with his head. The pain messes with his head and not being able to do anything, or leave the house or do the things that make him feel like a man messes with his head.

I do what I can. But there's really nothing I can do for him. I pretend that things don't bother me when I am in front of him. Or in front of Jesse. Or in front of my co-workers, friends, family, everyone really. I am only alone in my car and sometimes at work. And when I am alone it hits me hard. People say they understand, but most don't. I have one friend who does. But she also doesn't want to re-live her experience through me. But she listens. I feel very alone. The people who were an important part of my life before seem to be fading into the distance, while others are coming into the light.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

Friday, October 29, 2010

X-Rays

Paul is getting better. Baby steps. Hoping for a good Halloween weekend.
We went for the post-op appointment on Wednesday. Dr. K said Paul's doing good so far. He wants him to walk more. In a month he'd like him to be able to walk a mile and a half. Works for me. I am ready to get back to walking, I am sure Jesse and Coda are too. The doctor took x-rays, which look like he wanted them to. We are hoping they look just as expected when he goes back in a month. Here's what an x-ray of a double spine fusion looks like. The strange circles and square rings are the metal from his brace. In the middle there are the screws and rods that are holding his spine together. This hardware will be there forever. I am told they don't set off metal detectors, we shall see next time we fly.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

12 days post-op

I somewhat feel I have missed 12 days of my life, more or less. These past 12 days have been hard, yet kind of a blur. Hard for Paul, hard on me. I hope Jesse is not experiencing any effect from all of this. He seems to be doing well, his happy little self.

I need to admit I am bitter and resentful. I can't help it. It's been a rough 10 months. For me, for him, for US. We will get through this. There's no other option. I am not giving up. I try to stay positive, but it's hard without my soul mate. He's not himself right now. He isn't making me smile and laugh everyday which is what feeds my soul. The smile and laughter of my sweet little boy is the fuel that keeps me going.

I put on my happy face in the morning, even though it has some bags under the eyes. I try to play nice, be positive, do all the things I am supposed to do and run through this daily routine called life. But sometimes someone forgets to put on their verbal filter and I snap. I bite my tounge more often than not, but I will react eventually. It might be a full out melt down, or it could just be a nasty comment headed your way. I never know until it happens. I am sorry, but just a little. I don't want your pity, but just don't expect any pity from me. It's just not going to happen. You have not walked in my shoes these past 12 days, so you don't even know. Hell, most people in my life have not walked in my shoes for the past year and 3 months since this began. I know things could be worse, I realize that and I am thankful for what I DO have.

That they may have a little peace, even the best dogs are compelled to snarl occasionally.
- William Feather

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post-Op


It's been a long week. Surgery was last Thursday. What a long day that was. The surgery was a success, recovery needs to be as well. We got there at 5:30. My sister met us there to take Jesse for the day. We went in, got to a pre-op room. He was given a gown to change into. Nurses came in, asked questions, got his IV in, all that stuff. Then they sent us to this waiting room area where the anesthesiologist came in to talk, then Dr. K. They took him away about 7:30am. I met my Mom in the waiting room. We went to breakfast. A long breakfast. I knew the surgery would be at least 4 hours and I wouldn't be able to see him until he was out of the recovery room. Mom and I talked a lot at breakfast. I needed the distraction. I plurged and got the pumkin pancakes, eggs and bacon. I had gotten them last October when Paul had his first Myelogram at Edwards and I was pregnant. They are sinful. I felt I deserved them again. This would be the 4th surgery/procedure at Edward's Hospital within a year. There's more to come as well.


First Attempt at the IV

Waiting for the anesthesiologist
Dr. K met with us after he was done and informed us the surgery was a success. He mentioned that he didn't have to do the bone graft either, that he was able to use bone he shaved off and a small amount of cadaver bone. He stated we'd be able to see Paul in about an hour and a half when they moved him to his room. It was about 12:30, so my Mom offered to stay so I could run home, eat some lunch and take a break. So I did. I returned around 2pm and we still waited another hour and a half. I wish I had known, I would have taken a nap at home, lol. Between 3 & 3:30 they wheeled him out of recovery and we were headed to his room. Mom left to go home, I followed Paul upstairs to his room on the 3rd floor. I must say, the rooms look nice. I remember passing some rooms and wondering if they were the fancy rooms for rich people, thinking Paul would get a crappy room at the end of the hall that they save for WC insurance. Much to my surprise, Paul was put into one of these "fancy" rooms. There was a lot of wood, that's all, they really weren't as fancy as I had originally thought.

Paul got settled in and he was on a Morphine IV. I stayed for a few hours then I had to eat dinner with my family and get Jesse. Paul was not happy I left. In fact, the nurses had him move to a chair after I left and he got sick. He should have only been sitting for about 20 minutes and they left him there for over 1/2 hour holding the full puke bucket with the door open and no underwear on. He called me upset, so I called the nurse and complained.


Notice the lock?

I returned to the hospital early the next day so I could see Dr. K and hear what more he had to say. He didn't really have much to say, but did check Paul out thoroughly. Dad came over in the morning and took Jesse over to Cheryl's for the day. I spent several more hours there. Dave came by the hospital and bought me lunch then visited Paul. I left after lunch to get Jesse and stop at home. Dave offered to come to the house later and spend the night with Coda. Mom came and picked up Jesse for the weekend so I was left with no responsibility but to take care of Paul for the night. I got back to the hospital and Paul's Morphine IV was running out. It was shift change and there was some confusion. Before I knew it Paul was in some major pain and started going into shock, he was shaking, seizing and praying for it to stop. A got a nurse in and she indicated that the morphione ran out. She put in the new bag and had Paul push the button for his dose. She then did an override and gave him 3 extra doses, gave him 2 oral norcos and a valium. They changed the ice pack too, which was warm because no one had changed it for a while. It took about an hour and a half and they got him back to normal. That was scary as hell. I spent the night. There's this bench that folded out into a bed.

Since I have already made this long I will try to be breif with the rest. Saturday wasn't too bad, his parents visited in the afternoon. I stayed as long as I could then went home to sleep in my own bed and spend some time with the dog. I went back up there about 9am Sunday morning and we learned he was going to be released between 11am and noon. I got him home, trying to avoid every bump in the road and he was finally able to relax. I got him settled and spent some time straightening up the house, then my parents arrived with my little boy whom I so dearly missed. It was great having my family home and together again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The time has come

Tomorrow's the big day. I can't really describe how I feel. I have been swamped at work all day and I don't even think I can get done what I need to before 5 o'clock, it's already past 3 and I am sure I will be here late. Then when I go home I have things to do to prepare for tomorrow and I expect I will be up around 4:30, if I get any sleep at all. I need to pack up Jesse for the day as my sister is meeting me at the hospital to take him. Later, my Mom will meet me at the hospital so I don't have to sit and wait alone. I don't know what to expect. Of course the world around me says everything will be fine, but how can you be so sure? I don't want to seem negetive, because that's not my intentions, but I am mentally preparing for the worst, then anything better is just gravy. Right? I have daydreams about this, well they are more like nightmares. I run through the day in my mind through various different scenarios. People probably think I shouldn't do that, that I am just torturing myself. But I know how my mind works and it's something I need to do.

I plan on documenting this. I have not decided if I am going to do videos or stills, but my camera will be there. Hopefully this time I actually use the damn thing, even if the nurses think I am crazy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Date Night

Well, tonight is our last chance to get out before surgery, so we are going to Evviva in Lisle. Paul's parents gave us a gift certificate for $25. We will also hit the bar, probably before. Tomorrow night Paul will be fasting for surgery. My friend is babysitting, I think Paul's a little nervous because she's never babysat for us before. I am sure she'll do just fine, I trust her.

Paul texted me this morning. He's in a lot of pain and he's pretty down. I am pretty sure he didn't get much sleep last night. He's worried that he isn't getting stuff done, but at this point, I really don't care.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Indian Summer

This is my absolute favorite time of year. The leaves are turning and the air is warm. The colors are stunning. Halloween is around the corner. The smell of leaves, cider, pumpkin. This past weekend was in the 70's and 80's. We went to the pumpkin patch, took pictures of Jesse in his Halloween costume and had a night beside a fire with coctails and friends. Perfect, aside from a teething baby.











Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jesse's Check Up

We had Jesse's 6 month check up last night. He's weighing in at 19lbs 1oz, 27inches long and 18" head. He's in the 75th percentile for height and weight and the 90th for his head size. Big difference from the 25th percentile he was a few months ago. He got his next round of vaccination boosters plus a Flu/H1N1 vaccination. He did ok, only cried for a little bit and was fine when we got home. He went to bed about 8:30 then was up at 12:30, then 4, then 5, then 6, then 6:30. I picked him up at 6:30 and he was hot, so I took his temp, 99.8. So I gave him some Tylenol, fed him a bottle, then he vomited half of it up. I wonder if this is from the flu vaccine. He didn't have this kind of reaction from his pervious shots.
Hopefully he's feeling better now, he's at Cheryl's house.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another one approaches

We had a good weekend, despite the chill of fall. Friday the weather was beautiful. Paul's brother took us to a Sox game. Jesse's first game and our first and only game of the season. We tailgated, had some cocktails and shared the experience with our son. It was a magical evening. We had good times and new experiences.








I love when he falls asleep in my arms.

My mind is now flooded with thoughts of what lied ahead of us. I've started to think of things I need to do to prepare for this next life changing experience. I have fears, not sure how realistic they really are. I figure if I think the worst will happen, I will be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't. There's also a side of me that thinks positively, but I am trying tnot to be naive and think nothing bad can happen because it can. I hope it doesn't, but it can.
I need to talk to Paul about his wishes if something bad does happen. I need to be prepared. I also need to prepare meals, it will be hard for me taking care of him and Jesse yet still keep the house in some kind of order. If the house is in dissaray, it will be hard for me to make the most effective use of my time. I only have 4 days I am planning on taking off. Obviously the day of surgery, then I will be returning to work the next day, Friday. Paul will be taken care of in the hospital, so I don't want to waste a day off when I know he's being taken care of. He will still be in the hospital on Saturday, so I can use that day to prepare the house for his coming home. He will be released on Sunday or Monday assuming everything goes as planned. I am taking Monday and Tuesday off as well, the rest of the week we have people coming over to help him. The second week I am taking the Wednesday off so I can go with him to the follow up appointment.
I really worry how well I will be able to take care of both Jesse and Paul. Haven't I had enough challenges so far this year? There's got to be more? A few more actually.




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Judging

So I had an emotional day yesterday. I think it was because of Sunday. We went to BBQ at Paul's aunt and uncles house. Paul's family was there and there were also people I had never met before. I bundled Jesse up because it was pretty cool outside and it was an outdoor party. I think I dressed him quite well. Anyway, at events like this I always feel like I am being judged. Judged as a mother. I ask myself these questions over and over. I wonder what other people think. Paul tells me he doesn't care, that I shouldn't care, that we are doing a good job as parents. I try not to react to some of Jesse's challenges, so he doesn't become the kid who freaks out everytime something happens. Like he gets "chokey". Because of his cleft palate he gets this chokey thing going on. He's kind of choking on his saliva. But he's not really choking, he's still breathing, it just goes down the wrong pipe per say. I don't want to freak out when it happens because then he will. I play it cool and tell him he's ok. This is one thing that I think I am judged on. I think people who see this are like, "omg, she didn't even pick up her own child when he was choking, what kind of mother does that".

I don't think people around us realize the challenges we face with his cleft. Yes, he had his lip repaired, but it's his palate that causes more problems. Eating is certainly a challenge. When he ate only formula he was having a hard time with the sucking. We cut the nipples but it still took a long time to get a bottle down. Things got better after the lip surgery and I switched nipples to the silicone ones and those are also cut. What really made the difference in his weight gain and development was the cereal and baby food. He eats really well. BUT that also brought on a new challenge. Since the cleft in his palate leads right to his nasal cavity, food will go up there. Sometimes it happens from a sneeze, sometimes from a cough or sometimes he'll be eating and it will just start oozing out his nose. Obviously this can't be all that comfortable, but again, I don't react. I just move forward with the feeding session. His cleft makes him sneeze more and cough more than your average kid. This doesn't mean he's sick. It's because more air goes through there and makes him sneeze or cough. It makes quite the mess when he sneezes while eating, but what can you do, it's going to happen.

Back to the judging. I guess because I was uneducated about clefts before I had a child with one, I assume other people are also uneducated. I constantly feel like people think I did something wrong to cause his birth defect. Like that I didn't take my vitamins, like I took meds I wasn't supposed to. Or that they think I smoke and drank a lot during my pregnancy or something. The truth is that I have no idea why it happened. I didn't do anything wrong. I ate good food, took my vitamins, wasn't at all negligent in my pregnancy. No one knows why clefts happen unless it's genetic. In our case there's no family history, so it's probably not genetic. Paul was telling me last night that WE know there's no reason why he was born with a birth defect and WE are the only ones that matter. I should stop caring what other people think. I should stop explaining and spewing out statistics to everyone that he encounters. He's probably right. I should stop caring what other people think. The only people that matter are Paul, Jesse and myself. Paul doesn't blame me, I shouldn't blame myself and when Jesse is old enough we will explain it to him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More talking about myself

Things that I don't like:
  • I don't like it when people tell me how to be a mother. If I do something different than what you did, doesn't mean I am doing it wrong. I also want to have learning experiences in this new, wonderful adventure.
  • I don't like liars, cheaters or thieves.
  • I don't like it when people don't respect me.
  • I don't like it when people don't stick to their word.
  • I don't like people who can't be honest with themselves.
  • I don't like cleaning the toilet, especially when I didn't make it gross.
  • I don't like deciding what to eat.
  • I don't like arrogance.
  • I don't like when people don't have common courtesy.
  • I don't like it when people try and play head games.
  • I don't like parents that play favorites.
  • I don't like feeling helpless.
  • I don't like it when my friends or family are sad or scared.
  • I don't like it when bad things happen to good people.
  • I don't like people that drive like idiots.
  • I don't like it when people talk behind my back.
  • I don't like my post-baby body.
  • I don't like watching my loved ones in pain, especially my son.
  • I don't like it when people ask if Jesse is a boy or a girl's name.
  • I don't like when people use liquor or being drunk as an excuse.
  • I don't like eggplant.
  • I don't like mouth sounds. Like when I can hear you eating or your saliva.
  • I don't like that I have to work when I'd rather be home with my son.
  • I don't like water that isn't cold.
  • I don't like waiting.
  • I don't like certain textures of food.
  • I don't like when people gloat.
  • I don't like when people treat their children as an inconvenience.
  • I don't like when people complain about things that they have some kind of control over.

Ok, that's all for now. I think I feel better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I guess I feel like talking about myself

Things I like:
  • I like being a Mom. Sure sometimes it's hard, but it's so worth it.
  • I like cheese. It's almost an addiction. Any kind, literally.
  • Speaking off food addictions, I like crunchy things. Like Guy Fiery says, I like things that are crunchified.
  • I like music, it inspires me.
  • I like to read, but only things that are real. I don't want to hear some made up story when I can find one better that actually happened.
  • I like being outside, despite my allergies. I like things that stimulate the senses.
  • I like photography, looking at what other people see through their lens and making art through my own. I take mental pictures more than the ones with a camera.
  • I like playing sports, but I hate exercising. If I am going to be physical, I want to have some kind of instant gratification or success, a goal that I can meet instantly or a destination. Like why ride a stationary bike in a gym when you can ride one that actually goes somewhere? Why hop on a stair climber when you can hike up the rocks in the woods? Why do an aerobics class when you can play basketball or tennis or softball.
  • I like to do research. Not for my job, that's boring, I like researching things and educating myself. Like medical stuff, for Jesse, Paul's back, things I may have going on or for creative ideas.
  • I like listening to children giggle.
  • I like the smell of fabric softener, especially Bounce and Gain.
  • I love "crispy" new clean sheets that are cold when you climb in.
  • I like artichokes the way Mom makes them. Steamed with melted butter to dip the leaves in. Paul calls them pinecones.
  • Which brings me to another point, I like my Mom's cooking, even if she burns the bread.
  • I like Aunt Carrie. She's such a special woman. I don't even know where she came from, send from the fairies or something. She's so normal, yet amazing. I really admire her.
  • I like movies that make you think, especially the ones that are "based on a true story".
  • I like wasabi peas.
  • I like wearing sunglasses.
  • I like boating with my Dad.
  • I like my family's sarcasm.
  • I like pesto, a lot!
  • I like being crafty, but I don't do it enough.
  • I like saving money by buying things on sale or using coupons.
  • I like listening to gossip.
  • I like being true to myself. I wasn't when I was younger and it really messed me up in the head.
  • I like watching hummingbirds.
  • I like visiting new places to see new things.
  • I like fall camping in the woods. The smells, the cool crisp air, the campfire, roughin' it.
  • I like being friends with my family.
  • I like going to baseball games and Nascar races.
  • I like watching my son discover new things.
  • I like tradition.
  • I like a rot rod with loud exhaust, a shiney paint job and a loud radio.
  • I like to help people.

Success, I think

So we had the Christening/Baptism/Dedication.... all went well. The rain held off for us. It was cool and gloomy, but at least I didn't have to have everyone in the house at once. People took turns holding and feeding Jesse. That was a nice break for me. My Mom used my camera to take pictures of the ceremony but once again I was so wrapped up in the moment that I didn't take pictures of anything else. Some photographer I am. I think others took pictures so I will just compile them all if they send them to me. I am glad we kept it small, although I heard some people were upset that others weren't invited. I guess they will have to get over it, this was all we could afford and accomodate. Yes, my original plan was to have this mid-summer and do it at the Forest Preserve, but when everything went downhill with Paul and WC it kept getting post poned and I just put this together a couple weeks ago. I did what I could do. If someone wanted it to be bigger, well then I guess those people should have planned it. Here are a few pictures.






Friday, September 17, 2010

Surgery Scheduled / Baptism

We got the call yesterday and scheduled surgery. October 14th, a month away. They offered a sooner appointment, but Paul needs time to get a physical, blood work done, a blood donation and get fitted for a back brace that needs to be made. Plus I will need to put in for my time off and arrange for people to help Paul and take care of Jesse.

This weekend we are getting Jesse Christened/Baptized or whatever you call it. Blessed? Paul and I are not very religious people, but I felt we should have this done. Paul was raised Baptist and I was raised Methodist. We do this ceremony as babies, the Baptists do it when they are older, like 12 or 13. I don't even know. We chose my sister and her husband for his Godparents. There were other people that were candidates, but I felt my sister and her husband were really the best people for the job, they have been a huge part of his life so far, so I felt it was fitting. Plus if Jesse has any special needs in his future, my sister is someone who can accomodate that. We are having the ceremony at the house. My friend Deborah's father is a Pastor and he did this for my friend Shari's kids. It's perfect since we aren't members of a church. Then food and drinks after the ceremony. Everyone is bringing food, so there is no financial burdon on Paul and I to do this. I didn't want money to prevent this from happening. What kinda sucks at the moment is there's rain in the forecast! We don't have the room for everyone inside. We have 14 adults and 3 kids coming and that's just immediate family, the Pastor and his wife. If we are lucky the forecast will change!


Does anyone even read this thing anyway? It's my own personal therapy, so I guess it doesn't even matter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fear... Again

Now I am scared again. Paul's having surgery. I try to stay positive, but sometimes that's hard. I can't be naive and ignore the "what if's". They exist and I have to be prepared if a "what if" actually happens. Aside from all that, I realized I will have to do everything myself while Paul is recovering. He's really stepped up since we got married. I didn't have to do everything for myself anymore. But after surgery, I will be taking care of him, Jesse and the house all by myself. The cooking, the cleaning, the yard work, the shopping, errands. The baby and all that comes with that PLUS assisting Paul get around. Oh yes, lets not for get I have to work 43 hours a week. My parents both work, his parents work. My sister is back in school, his sister has her 2 children and her own problems to deal with. I don't even want to rely on anyone. I want to conquer, but I have a feeling that's unrealistic. But what other choice do I have?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) - Wheels (acoustic)

Another song that moved me when I was pregnant.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Win!

We had a court hearing this morning to determine what medical path should be taken with Paul. We arrived bright and early to the courthouse (8:30am), our attorney was already there waiting for us. We went over a few things with him, went over some key facts for the hearing, then waited for the WC attorney to arrive. She finally arrived at 9:20am dressed down. I wouldn't mention how she was dressed except for the fact that Paul and I made a point to look respectable and she obviously did not take the time to do that. I dress up more to go to work and I have a very loose dress code. She had her hair in a pony tail. Anyway, our attorney went into the hearing room very shortly after her arrival. He mentioned before he went in that Paul wouldn't only need to testify if there was an issue. A short 10 minutes later our attorney returned. I was expecting the worst because it was so fast, thinking Paul would have to testify and we'd be there all day. Nope! We WON! The arbitrator instantly sided with us without question. Now that battle is won we can concentrate on Paul's recovery. A few hours after we returned home our attorney called and stated that surgery is approved and our benefit pay will resume. We are waiting to find out if they are awarding us back pay as well, which we desperately need.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Growing and Developing

So I take part in this program offered by the Will County Health Department. It's called APORS (Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Reporting System). It's where a nurse comes to my home and checks out Jesse's growth and development for the county's records and for me. She also shares a boat load of information with me. She gives me flyers about feeding, nutrition, discipline, sleeping, napping, etc. Basically information on anything that relates to a child at Jesse's age. The first time she came over he was 5 weeks old. She spent 2 hours at our house that time. Luckily this time was only an hour, lol. She takes the time to sit down and listen. Listen to my praises or concerns, answer questions, anything. A pediatrician doesn't give you this kind of time and attention. I am grateful we have her, Lynn is her name.

So Lynn came yesterday, she went over all the flyers and info with me as she did the last time. She gave me some usefull info about veggies he can eat and share with us when we eat dinner. She also mentioned introducing him to a sippy cup! She weighed him.... 17lbs 4oz! I couldn't believe it! When we were at the plastic surgeon's office he was 14lbs 4oz. That was August 10th, exactly one month ago. 3lbs in a month, oh my! I guess he's caught up! He's now in the 65th percentile for height/weight/length and she said so far he's a bit on the tall side. She also checked out his development. We need to make sure he's reaching all the right milestones. He met most of them and the ones he wasn't on target, he exceeded! Woo hoo! I am proud of my little/big guy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

'i am not afraid. i was born to do this.'

My title is a quote I saw on a website. Seems fitting and has a lot of meanings. I was born to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a fighter, a lover. Take things as they come and do my best. Some things are scary, very scary, but what doesn't kill me will make me stronger, right? There's no other option.

Next week we have a court hearing. Trying to decide if I should go. Paul needs to be there, I should probably be there too. A judge will decide Paul's treatment. He saw his doctor yesterday and he's standing firm on the fusion surgery. He said he refuses to let a less competent doctor decide what should be done about HIS patient. He told Paul to stay active and increase the pain medications in order to do so. He doesn't want Paul giving up and laying in bed all day. Last time I spoke with our attorney, he was very confident the judge will side with Paul and Dr. K. I hope so. If we don't "win" we will get our own second opinion.

Jesse is doing great. I see him grow and grow more and more every day. Not only physically, but mentally. Yesterday he didn't really like me much. No matter what I did he fussed, so I put him down and let him be and he was fine... a friend called so I spent some time catching up with her. This morning he seemed to be over whatever was bothering him yesterday (possibly teething). I almost didn't want to drop him off at daycare. Come 5 o'clock, he will be mine again, hopefully not crabby.

"do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Magical Day

It was a day, just like any other day, but was a special day in my eyes and one that I cannot forget. The Friday before Labor Day. My office closes early on the Friday before a holiday. Jesse spent the morning at daycare with Cheryl and I met Paul there after my office closed at 1pm. We hopped in the car and took I-55 north to 1st Avenue. The zoo! One of my favorite places. I have a membership. We went when I was still on maternity leave, once with Cheryl and Jesse and once with Paul and Jesse. Both times the little guy just napped. Not this time. We got there and unloaded the car into the stroller. It was a beautiful day too, mid-70's, sunny and breezy. We got in taking the usual path. You can't take the stroller in most of the buildings so you have to park it outside. Last time Jesse was only a few weeks old so Paul and I left him snuggled in his carrier and took turns going in the buildings. Not this time. We took him out to see the wonders on the inside. The first one was pretty dark, so I am sure he didn't see that bats crawling up the mesh and hanging in the trees. We found a picnic area and sat to eat the lunch Paul packed. Sammies, chips and 2 beers. :) We love that you can bring your own cooler in. We ate lunch and gave Jesse a bottle and continued on our way. The next stop, The Living Coast. One of the coolest newer attractions at the zoo. We went in, Jesse was mesmerized by the iridescent fish stickers on the walls. We got to the big tanks and his eyes glared in at the large fish and penguins swimming about. Then we get to the simulated wave, which honestly scared him. Then the free flight room with penguins and sea gulls. The sea gulls were flying all over the place and I just watched him make his own new discovery. Paul was holding him and they just took my breath away. We came out and there was a fountain thing. I am sure there's a name for it but that name escapes me. It's where water shoots out of the ground and the kids play in it. But there were no kids playing in it because it was just too cool and windy. Paul was still holding Jesse and they got a mist and the two of them just laughed at another new discovery. We continued on hitting the other buildings with free flight areas. We got to see the Macaw's up close, with their magnificant colors and Jesse just stared at them. It was a pretty special day for me. Spending a beautiful sunny afternoon with the two biggest loves of my life, watching one seeing things he's never seen before and watching the other experience what fatherhood is all about.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fly me away

I got hooked on this song when I was pregnant with Jesse from the Amazon Kindle commercial. I used to sing it to him every time the commercial came on. Now it reminds me of him.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At least I have this little man...


.... who brings a smile to my face every day.



Today is his 5 month birthday.



Friday, August 27, 2010

Going downhill

Our bad situations have gotten worse. Paul's no longer getting work comp benefits, which means he's not getting a paycheck. Theoretically he could go back to work... but both his doctor and lawyer don't recommend it. He's physically not able, plus it can be used against him in the case making his employer think he's able to work, even though he would be in mass amounts of pain. We have no money. None. We are down to our last dollars. The mortgage is paid, most of the bills are paid, but there's also no money coming in except for my measly income, which just doesn't cut it, not even close. I am looking for another job, but I don't think it will make much difference. Nothing I can do part time will make enough to cover Paul's income. We don't even have anything to sell, not even our house. We owe more than it's worth due to the economy.

There's a hearing on September 7th. That's a week from Tuesday. If it goes in our favor, we may be able to recover. That's over a week away. We have groceries, the mortgage is paid and I have food and diapers for Jesse. Those are the most important things.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I see a laughing child

So I wanted to talk about this amazing woman in my life, my Aunt Carrie. Not until recently did I really bond with her. Not that anything was wrong with our relationship before, but something changed when I became a mother. She was one of the first people in my extended family to come over and meet Jesse. I will never forget what she said to me that day. She told me God gave us Jesse because he knew we could handle it. She went on a little about how Paul and I as older parents could handle Jesse having a cleft, that younger parents would probably have a really hard time. I am not as religious as her, but I have the utmost respect for her and her beliefs. She's probably right, I do believe that everything happens for a reason and we were given Jesse for a reason.... the gift


So here's the scoop on Aunt Carrie. She's the youngest of 7 kids, my Dad's baby sister. My Dad has her beat by 15 years. She's only 13 years older than me. My Dad's younger siblings are almost like older siblings to me. My Grandmother (her Mother) passed away when she was only 15 or 16. I was Aunt Carrie's flower girl in her wedding. She married young, maybe 20 years old? She's married to a Downers Grove cop and she's a Florist at heart, not currently a Florist for a living, I am sure she wishes she was. She did all the flower arrangements for almost every family wedding and major function including my wedding reception, aside from being gifted in other ways, she's a very gifted Florist. She had twin boys when she was 24. Kyle and Jacob, also 2 very amazing people, I must say. 5 years later she had a baby girl, Hallie, who is growing up to be another amazing person in this family.


I call her SuperMom. She must have been born with this gift or something. I don't know. Since I became a mother (and even a few times before Jesse was born) and I feel like I can ask her anything and talk to her for hours. She gives me her advise and opinions but lets me make my own decisions. My sister is on her way to becoming a SuperMom too....


She has babysat for us a few times. She loves having a baby to take care of. She came over yesterday to give Paul a break. The two of them ended up talking half the afternoon and she stayed another hour and a half after I got home too. She's just so easy to talk to.


So today I send a picture out to a few friends and family. Jesse was laughing last night and I snapped a picture where you can see his cleft palate. I said in the email that this is what a cleft soft palate looks like.





Her reply, "Funny, I see a laughing child. Thanks for letting me be with Jesse yesterday, it was fun."


THAT is what makes her special and I love her for that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just One

I took this picture the other day and fell in love with it. I just grabbed the camera and got this shot, the only shot, before the camera battery died. I usually taken dozens and pick one or two that I really like... this time, just one.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspiration

I was directed to a birth story this week. I had actually already read it. The first time it made me cry. The second time it made me cry. I can relate to this woman's feelings in the delivery room when things don't end up as you expected. But after all is said and done, you love the result... the child that is born to us. Quite possibly even love them that much more. Realize they are a special gift to you. The child was given to you for a reason. Her blog is called "Enjoying the Small Things" and it inspires me to do just that. Not that I didn't already. Every time my little boy looks at me and smiles it warms my heart, but I want to enjoy him even more. I want to pick up the camera and create beautifaul images with him and of him, document it for myself, for him, for his Daddy and for whoever else that cares to see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

music...


I think Jesse needs a theme song, something acoustic and inspiring.
I will need to go through my library.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And the shit hits the fan once again

This one is a Paul update. Monday afternoon Paul gets a call from our attorney. He got the IME Report (Independent Medical Evaluation). This doctor, who only saw Paul for a few minutes, decided Paul needs a more extensive decompression surgery (the microdiscectomy that Paul had back in January) and is able to go back to work. So of course work comp is siding with this doctor and Paul has been cut off from WC benefits (meaning his paycheck) as of Monday. He will only get paid if he goes to work, then benefits will resume once he has the decompression surgery. Lovely. Paul's has been in more pain than ever in these past 2 weeks.

So the attorney advises him to call his employer to confirm they have a light duty position available for him where he can stand up every 30-40 minutes. They do. He can come in and be the receptionist in Carol Stream. Mind you Carol Stream is over 25 miles away. In rush hour traffic it will take him at least an hour to get there. That in itself is against doctors orders. Then he's on pain medication (Norco 750mg, 2 every 4 hours). So if he drives on this medication, that's driving under the influence of a narcotic. Then he has to work. One of the warnings of Norco is not to do any activities that require him to be awake and alert. I do believe that driving and being a receptionist both require him to be awake and alert. He's not supposed to bend either, I do believe that when he passes out on the desk from the 2 Norco pills that violates doctors orders too, bending and sitting. I have explained all this to the attorney, I guess it doesn't matter to WC. Theoretically he can stop on his commute, take a taxi or not take the medications. As if that is reasonable.

So Paul saw his surgeon today. He recommends a double bone fusion for Paul and is very confident it will make Paul pain free and resolve the problem. Dr. K REFUSES to do the decompression surgery again, because to him it is pointless and it will actually make Paul's back unstable. Then Paul will just need the fusion anyway. Dr. K is sending a letter to WC explaining all this and gave Paul a Work Status Report stating he should not be working at all. So one would think WC would rather pay for 1 surgery rather than 2. But I think we know now they do not think logically. They just look at the immediate cost.

So then aside from what Dr. K thinks, the IME Report has so many inconsistancies. First of all, it states 2 MRI's done in 5/2001. Paul did not have any MRI's in 2001. He's never had any MRI's prior to this injury. Then he states that Paul denies any back pain. That's bullshit. Paul has contant back pain in addition to the nerve pain down his leg and sure as hell didn't"deny" it. Later in the report this doctor stated that Paul had mild back pain. Wait, is it no pain or mild pain? NEITHER! It's a lot of pain! Then the doctor states Paul rated his pain 6/10. Paul recalls telling this doctor he was an 8-9/10. Oh and after waiting over 3 hours in the waiting room to see this doctor he gave Paul about an 8 minute exam. Of course he was in severe pain, he had been sitting in a waiting room for 3+ hours. And this doctor must know what's right for Paul from his 8 minutes and Dr. K must know nothing after treating him every 3 weeks for the past year. So now we fight. Awesome.

Jesse Update

So yesterday we went for a follow up appointment with Jesse's plastic surgeon. First the weigh in: 14lbs 14oz. When we went to the Pediatrician 2 weeks ago he was 13lbs 8oz, so basically a pound and a half in 2 weeks! And the PS weighs w/out a diaper and the Pedi does it with a clean diaper. Crazy. I guess the cereal is helping with his weight gain!

The PS said he is healing nicely and we can start massaging the scar tissue. This will make the scar tissue softer so it won't be as noticable.

I asked about the palate surgery and she said after the new year but before his birthday. I can't imagine she would do it RIGHT before his birthday so I imagine that will happen in January or February, which is good for me since I will get my vacation days with the new year.

The cereal went good for the first 3 days, then didn't go so well. Part of the reason was because Paul's parents watched him on Friday night and Saturday, so his eating pattern got disrupted. So I tried getting back on track Sunday and Monday but he wasn't taking it. Monday I think he was just too hungry and wanted instant gratification, which cereal off a spoon wasn't giving him. He wouldn't take it so I ended up just throwing it in the bottle. My doc doesn't recommend it, but hell, people have been doing it for years and it beats feeding him 12oz.

So yesterday he took a couple bites of cereal with no trouble then all of a sudden wasn't interested. So I grabbed the Gerber bananas and mixed them in. Low and behold, he liked the cereal again. I was told I could introduce applesauce and bananas after a couple days of plain cereal. So be it.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cereal

So I made cereal again last night, but this time I made it thicker. Jesse loved it and ate like a champ! I made 1tbsp with some formula, he ate it all so I had to make another batch and he ate that too and chased it with 5oz of formula. He had another 4oz bottle before bed, went down about 9:30 without a fight and slept through the night until about 6:30. Perfect!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Maybe I need more sleep

I've had an emotional day. Things around me sometimes make me think too much. It happened today. I have been teary almost all day. Someone I know had a baby. I am happy for them, but it also makes me remember that day in my life. A day that's supposed to be full of happiness and bliss wasn't for me. I was happy the day my son was born (after all the labor of course), but there were also a ton of other emotions going on that day. So much was going on in my head that I don't even know what I was feeling, I cried whenever I had some privacy, I didn't want anyone to know I was crying. When I started feeling this today, I reached out, to my friends and soon realized no one really understands.
So I contacted Bethany. Bethany is a mother I met on BabyCenter.com. She was in the April Birth Club with me, then in the Cleft group. Her little girl was born a few days after Jesse. Bethany was also unaware she would have a child born with a cleft. Ava's lip was more severe than Jesse's but she doesn't have a cleft palate like Jesse does. Jesse and Ava also had their lip surgeries the same day. So I talked to Bethany about my feelings and she told me she goes through the same thing. Thank God I am not alone. I was starting to feel selfish. I was told I need to get over it. I am happy that Jesse's lip and palate can be repaired, but there's more to it than that. He will most likely be effected by this most of his life, which breaks my heart. The fact that he has to have 2 surgeries in the first year of his life, also breaks my heart. Yes, it could have been worse, he could have been born with a more severe birth defect, a disease or some kind of syndrome, so I am thankful it's something that is somewhat minor. It also messes up my feelings about another child. I wonder if I got lucky the first time and I am just pressing my luck having another. Well, it's not like another child is something that would happen anytime soon anyway.

The name Jesse means Gift, and that's exactly what he is, my gift that I was lucky to get.

If at first you don't succeed

Well, I failed yesterday. I ate fast food. Not much of it, but indeed I had it for lunch. I needed something fast and cheap. All I can do is climb back on the horse and try again.

We attempted spoon feeding Jesse cereal last night. Not a total success, but not a failure either. I think I made it too runny, but I did what the package said. When he got frustrated I ended up just putting the remaining in the bottle. I will try again tonight, a little thicker. Paul took pictures but have not uploaded them yet.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some changes need to be made

Well, I know I need to lose this baby weight. I just don't have the inspiration to do it. I don't think my pregnancy cravings have subsided yet. It's been 4 months, you'd think I could get back to normal by now. No, of course I am craving a ton of crap. I try to resist but sometimes I give in. This morning for breakfast I got a Diet Dr. Pepper fountain drink and a donut. How horrible. Honestly I have not done that since I gave birth, so it's not like I am eating donuts every day or anything. You'd think looking at myself in the mirror would be enough in itself to do it. When I was pregnant, I gained 30lbs, I lost 20 right away, granted probably 12lbs of that was baby and fluid and all the other gross stuff that comes out when you have a baby. But before I got pregnant I was pushing it....

The goal, to lose 20-30lbs. Ouch, that sounds like so much! I want to try the South Beach again. Last time I did it I lost 30lbs, 11lbs gone in the first 2 weeks. It was easy then because Paul was a road driver and NEVER home. I also had my friend Deborah doing it with me, she kept her weight off, but she lives in Minneapolis now. Back then she was dating my neighbor so we'd be there in each others faces making sure we behaved.

I made one good first step, drinking more water. My Mom got me this water bottle, I call it the "bad ass water bottle". It's made by Thermos and it keeps cold water cold for 12 hours! The label told me, but I have tested it, and it really does keep water cold that long. While everyone elses water gets warm in the car or at softball, mine stays cold. I don't think I'd drink it if it wasn't cold, unless I was super thirsty. I think Thermos should make the "SUPER bad ass water bottle" and make one that makes your water cold! Speaking of, I drank all my water... better go for a refill.... ok back. At least I have made that step, one step in the right direction. Now to cut out the carbs. I am pretty good at eating good carbs... but I do eat the bad ones here and there. I lost the most weight doing SB when I was off the carbs and only had good carbs twice a week or so. Then once or twice a month I'd have a "pooey day" where I'd eat Mexican, pizza or something, but even then I didn't go all out.

I looked good then, I lost all the weight right before my wedding, which was a perfect time too. That was 5 years ago. Right after we got married, Paul stopped running the road and it got harder and harder to eat healthy, since the man loves his carbs, and his desserts. he needs to lose it now too, he's gained like 30lbs because of his back injury. He used to be so active and he can't be anymore. The extra weight on him is not good for his back either.

We went to the pediatrician on Wednesday. Jesse is doing good. Still a little on the small side, but nothing too bad. He's in the 25th percentile. He gained 2 1/2lbs since the last appointment 6 weeks ago. So now he's 13lbs 8 1/2oz. Sitting up good (while supported) and holding his head and upper body up well when he's on his tummy. Oh, and rolling over from his tummy to his back. He's reaching all the normal milestones. He got his second round of shots. The first round went much better. This time he screamed all night. He had me up until almost 2am. I let him sleep in bed with me. The doctor said he's good to go if we want to try cereal, so we will try sometime this weekend. Lets hope it doesn't go up his nose.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Over Analyzing

So, since I never get any comments on my blogs.... does that mean no one reads it or just that no one has anything to say?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is it Illegal?

So there's a Mexican family that lives across the street from me. They have a young child. I'd guess he's 4 or 5. I don't think he was in school last Winter or Spring. Of course the family could be illegal.... but I think I am ok at guessing kids ages these days. So this kid mows his lawn, very regularly. Assuming he's 5, is this legal? What is the proper age that a kid can start mowing lawns? I'd think it's older than 5. He's also not supervised. Like if the Dad was standing right there, ok. But this kid mows the lawn while his Dad is at work (assuming) and Mom is inside. So last week, he mows the lawn then when he's finished he starts shooting off firecrackers. Paul witnesses this and texts me, "So the kid across the street finished mowing the lawn, now he's shooting off firecrackers... should I go over there and offer him a beer and a cigarette?"
Funny or scary? Do I call the cops before something tragic happens? I want to get a picture one day.

*UPDATE*
So when I finished writing this I felt the need to google proper lawn mowing safety. I found this, I am only posting the first 4, the rest are irrelevant to my blog.

The ASRM, ASPS, AAP and AAOS offer the following tips to help prevent lawn mower-related injuries:

• Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.

• Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.

• Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing -- not sandals.

• Young children should be a safe distance from the area you are mowing.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making the Next Step

I can't believe my little boy is 4 months old already! Tomorrow we have a pediatrician appointment. Jesse will be getting the second round of shots. Fun fun. I will make sure he gets his Tylenol. I also plan on asking about cereal. My sister gave her son cereal around this time and it seems Jesse may be ready. He's been eating multiple bottles at one sitting. All the books say 4-6 months when your baby has doubled his birth weight. I don't think Jesse's weight is quite there, but he seems hungry, which is also a sign. He needs to be able to sit up, supported. He can sit up on the couch. I guess I need to get that high chair pad so we can use the high chair. Paul's sister is giving me her Bumbo chair this weekend. That will be ideal until he gets a little bigger. It's purple, because Jill has 2 girls. At least it's not pink. They are like $35, so Jesse will have to deal with purple. What an exciting milestone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Paul's Surgery Post Poned

So we have not heard back from work comp after the IME (2nd opinion). His WC case worker is out of the office until July 27th, 2 days before surgery was scheduled. Unless we know that WC is paying, we will proceed when timing is right for us and make sure Blue Cross Blue Shield will cover it. So we wait to hear from work comp. We are at the point where the brace won't be done in time for the surgery and we weren't going to order it unless we knew WC would pay for it. Plus the pre-op testing is only good for 2 weeks so if WC delays surgery, we'd want to make sure he doesn't have to do everything twice. So we wait. Which is fine by me, the later the better for daycare purposes only, plus it's summer, who wants to be laid up in the summer? Paul is in a lot of pain, but he's been in pain over a year, what's another couple weeks?
I hope the IME concurs with surgery, then they will approve it for sure. If not, well then we will probably have a battle on our hands.

Recovering Nicely



Here are some photos 3 weeks post-op.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kick me when I am down

So to add to everything else we have going on, Monday I got some terrible news.
I went to my softball game as any other normal Monday night. It was almost game time and Chris wasn't there yet. Which was strange but sometimes he's runs late for the early games. I keep saying, Chris will be here. I think Brian heard me and goes, "you didn't hear?", "No, hear what?".... Brian goes, "The baby died this morning. She wasn't breathing, they tried CPR in the car on their way to the hospital. Chris texted me at 6:45 that she died." WHAT?!? We cancelled the game.

Katy and Chris had their baby about 2 months after me, Taylor Nicole. She was about 3 weeks old and in good health (to the best of my knowledge). Katy and I really really got to know each other during our pregnancies. I even went to a prenatal swim class with her and we had a great time. I have been playing softball with Chris for about 8 years. Chris and I have also gotten closer in the past few years. They too live in Bolingbrook so we talked about play dates and how our kids would be in school together. I was looking forward to spending more time with them. This really breaks my heart. I am so sad for them, this is the worst thing that could have ever happened. Katy also had a miscarriage in her first pregnancy. I pray that they can get past this eventually and be able to be parents again in the future.

The wake is tonight. I have been crying on and off since I heard the news.

"Taylor Nicole Thomas of Bolingbrook passed away Monday July 12, 2010. Taylor was the beloved daughter of Christopher and Kathryn Thomas of Bolingbrook. Visitation will be on Thursday, July 15, 2010 from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. Funeral service will be at the funeral home on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM. Interment to follow"

The stress continues

Paul scheduled his surgery for July 29th. He was sent back to work on light duty starting July 5th, but because he got on the surgical schedule, the doctor took him back off work. We get a call the day after Jesse's surgery from our WC attorney, the surgery has been denied by WC due to "suspicious activity". Basically because he was sent back to work then taken right back off, they consider that suspicious. His work and the workman's comp company both congradulated him on his recovery when the work status report said "worsening pain... awaiting surgery". How can they possible think he's recovered? Then deny surgery because you didn't read the paperwork? Isn't this special. So they sent him for an Independent Medical Evaluation (2nd opinion) at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush hospital. The appointment was this morning. They told him he could not be late or his appointment would be cancelled. He left early, since Rush is downtown. He left at 6:35 for his 9:45 appointment. It's now 10:50 and he's still sitting in the waiting room. He said the place is a zoo.

So anyway, in the past week Paul got all the information about his surgery. He's not happy. We found out he will be in the hospital 4-6 days and he will be very restricted for 4-6 weeks. No driving for a month and a back brace for 3 months. He's having bone grafted from his hip and placed in his back. He has to stop smoking this week and he cannot smoke for 6 weeks minimum after the surgery. They would like him to quit totally to ensure proper fusion. What happens is they take out the bad diskc and replace them with the bone from his hip. During the 3 month recovery time, the vertibre and inserted bone should fuse together. They will also be supported with plates and screws.

The first 2 weeks will be a little rough because we don't have daycare yet. Cheryl is going to start watching Jesse daily starting August 16th. So between the surgery and the 16th I will have to rely heavily on my sister Kelly and family. I hate to make Kelly watch him every day, but she is willing to do it if need be.

Paul is very scared and depressed. At least we have Jesse's surgery behind us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010




It's been 2 weeks already. I can't believe it. The surgery was a success! It was not easy, but we pulled through and Jesse was quite the trooper. Our day started early and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I thought Jesse would be more crabby than he was because he didn't get to eat all morning. The pacifier sure helped. I had gotten him up about 1:15am for his last feeding before surgery. We get to the hospital and we were one of the first. Children's surgical procedures take priority. We get Jesse changed into his little hospital gown and they take us back to the pre-surgical room where Dr. Donzelli met with us first. He's the ear doctor. He explained that he would put ear tubes in if he can. It depends on if Jesse's ear drums are big enough for the tubes. Then Dr. Semba and the anesthesiologist met with us. They explained things and told us Jesse is in good hands. A nurse came and took him away and off to the waiting room. After a short time in the waiting room Dr. Donzelli came out. He said that Jesse already had infections in both ears and he was able to put the ear tubes in without a problem. He gave us some ear drops to use 2 times a day.





Paul and I stepped out after that, we knew it would be a few hours until they called us back to see Jesse. We got back to the waiting room and played golf on Paul's gameboy to stay distracted. Then Dr. Semba came out. She took us in the consultation room and told us the surgery was a success and that one of us could go back and see him. I went back and he was not happy. He was also pretty beat up. It was hard seeing him like that. I picked him up and offerd him some bottle, he didn't want it. I didn't blame him. I sat with him for a bit, then they told me we could go to the recovery room where Paul could join us. I didn't want to put him back into the crib, so I continued to hold him and they took me in a wheelchair.




Paul met us in the new room and he held Jesse most of the time there. Paul fed him about 1 oz and the nurse took all the monitors off him and the IV out. Soon enough they gave us our directions and sent us on our way. That first night was pretty hard on all of us. They gave us Tylenol 3 (codine) and it seemed to help Jesse a lot. The way he cried made me feel so bad, but I had to keep telling myself that he will thank us later in life. This is for the best.






We didn't get to do much over the holiday weekend, but that's ok. There's always next year. We did manage to get out of the house and over to Paul's parents on the 4th. We had dinner over there and watched the Woodridge-Darien fireworks. Paul's Mom walked around with Jesse in the stroller.






We had our follow up appointment eith Dr. Semba on Friday, July 9th. She said he's healing great!




Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Big Day

The big day is almost here. Well, tomorrow, but I doubt I will be blogging tomorrow. Maybe in a few days. I am really scared and nervous. Not that I think anything is going to go wrong, just the whole idea of my 13 week old baby going under the knife is just very unsettling. I spent some time with him this morning, just laughing and smiling together. It was nice. I am in a pissy mood. I hope people around me understand why. But most people don't know what it's like to go through this. So as much as they want to be understanding, you don't know unless you've been there. What I need to get off my chest right now is that I get so annoyed by people telling me it will be ok and he will be fine when I say I am nervous and scared. Well, it's not that I don't think he will be fine, and it doesn't make me feel any better when you tell me that, and really, how do you even know? No one knows. Don't get me wrong, I am trying to stay positive and I have faith that all will go well. We had Deborah's Dad over last night, he's a Pastor. He talked to us a bit then said a prayer for Jesse, his doctor and for us. Even though I am not a very religious person, I felt this was a good idea. If there is a God up there, I'd rather he be on our side.

His surgery is scheduled for 7:45am. We will get a call this evening from the hospital tonight to tell us what time to be there. I have a feeling tonight will be rough. He has to stop eating 6 hours before surgery, so I think I will wake him up around 1am to feed him then put him back down until we have to leave. I imagine we will have to be at the hospital between 6:15am and 6:45am. I will probably need to get up around 5:15-5:30. But that's ok, that's usually about the time Jesse gets up anyway. But I hope he will sleep until 6, the less time he's upset about being hungry the better. The procedure will be about 2-3 hours. He will be in recovery coming out of the anesthesia for 30-45 minutes then he will move to a recovery room for several hours.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1 Week from Today

So surgery is next Wednesday. I hope the weather is good so we can do some things this weekend before we are stuck at home with a crabby baby recovering from surgery. I hope tonight we can go to the Concert in the Park too. Paul went to his doctor today and that really threw us for a loop. Workman's comp is requiring Paul to be released back to work on light duty until he has surgery. The doctor said surgery in 6 weeks, which is the week of August 16th. That's not too bad. At least Jesse will be healed by then and Cheryl will be back to do daycare for Jesse full time. We are not happy about this being sent back to work thing. It's not that I expect them to let Paul be off work to take care of Jesse, but they won't even let him take time off after the surgery. Like for instance, if he was not injured and working, he would use vacation time and take a week or two off. But since he's been off since the beginning of the year, he has no vacation time (employees become ineligible for vacation time if you are not working for more than 30 days) and will have to go back to work after the holiday weekend. Thankfully we got them to change the release date to July 5th instead of tomorrow. This still really blows. I only have 7 vacation days to spread between this surgery, Paul's surgery and Jesse's 2nd surgery or I have to take unpaid time off. God forbid I get sick! I understand how workmans comp works though. We have a call in to the attorney, maybe he can shed some light on this situation.

Monday, June 21, 2010

10 days to go

We went to the pediatrician last week and Jesse weighs 11lbs 1.5oz and he's 23.5 inches long now. We were given medical clearance for surgery. So I am happy, but a little sad. I can't believe it's next Wednesday already. Paul and I are both really scared. Jesse has no idea what's coming. The fear we are both experiencing is taking a toll on us. We are both having a hard time coping and communicating. The today I realized that we can't go to Jamison's (Shari's son) first birthday party. We need to keep ourselves away from groups of people to avoid the risk of getting sick. If any of us get sick it can delay surgery or delay recovery, so it's not even worth the risk.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2 Weeks Away

I can't believe Jesse's surgery is in 2 weeks from tomorrow. Tomorrow we go to the pediatrician to get his wellness check to send to the plastic surgeons office and he will get his immunizations. Poor little guy. I hope the weather is good in the next 2 weeks so we can have some fun before surgery. Things will be rough for a little while after, especially depending on when Paul's scheduled for his surgery. I hope we can delay that a while. I think he's supposed to schedule it at his next doctors appointment next week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is all a lot to handle

The latest news.... Paul got approved by work comp to have surgery. Hopefully it won't be an issue putting it off until after Jesse's surgery and recovery. Paul needs a bone fusion in his lower back. It's major surgery that will have a long recovery. He will be in a back brace for 3 months, then 2 months of physical therapy, then 2 months of work hardening. Even after all this he still won't be able to go back to his job as a furniture mover. His doctor told him he will never be able to lift anything heavy again. I am really feeling the stress now. Surgery for my son, then a few weeks later surgery on my husband then 4 months later surgery on my son again! I hope I have the strength and patience to go through all this. I really have no choice. We will need to rely heavily on friends and family for help.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Words to Live By

I found this quote and felt it was quite fitting for this time in my life.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face.-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tattoos



Paul and I got Jesse's name tattooed on us. They look awesome.

Mine is on my left wrist.


Paul's is on his left forearm.