Tuesday, September 28, 2010


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.