Friday, December 31, 2010

My word

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the idea (here, which pointed me here) of choosing just one word to strive for over the upcoming year, instead of making a list of resolutions I'm doomed to neglect (not that I ever actually make resolutions...because I kinda think they're a crock...mostly because I never keep them...and failing isn't something I do gracefully...but I digress...). The idea resonated with me, and one word popped into my head almost immediately. I'm taking the fact that I spent less than half a second and no actual, conscious effort coming up with a word as a sign that I need to run with this concept for 2011.

My life has felt like one giant ball of upheaval hiding under a facade of relative calm for months now, and I need to do something about it. Rather than crippling myself with a list of all the things I need to do to "fix" my life - because to-do lists seem to cripple me more than empower me to use the full force of my natural Type A personality traits like they used to - I'm going to concentrate on one word throughout the year and use it center, focus, and ground myself. Hopefully this approach does more for me than my make-resolutions-but-not-really approach.

My word? It's "peace." I want it. I need it. I think I can get at least some semblance of it in the year to come.

What do you think? Good idea or hokey? If you're playing along, what's your word? What do you think of the idea of getting some sort of physical reminder of your word? (Personally, I'm kinda leaning toward getting a ring something like this one with "peace" stamped on it).

Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for sticking with me (or joining me) in 2010. I hope you'll stay around to see where my crazy train goes in the next year.

Here's to 2011. And here's to a year of peace.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's going on

It's been a busy, sick week around these parts. The stomach bug I had right before Christmas made its way through my immediate and extended family, and took everyone in its path down hard. All three boys and I have also developed a nasty cold (luckily not until AFTER we were all done with the stomach nastiness). Among all the puking, pooping, and snotting, we still managed to have a highly enjoyable Christmas.

Christmas Eve was spent at my in-laws' house where W and my older nephew (who is 13 months older, and is also a W) got to spend some quality time playing. None of the (four) baby boys took a good nap, and the crankies set in hard right around dinnertime. Naturally, dinner was a bit of a bust. My sisters-in-law made the executive decision that we were skipping the children's service at church so we could get the festivities done earlier and get the boys to bed before midnight (our usual Christmas conclusion time). I was ok with this because the adult-to-small-screaming-child ratio was going to be skewed in the small screaming children's favor due to illness. What's the point of going to church when 80% of the group will likely be chasing kids around the narthex the entire time (particularly when the only person left in the sanctuary would likely be the Jewish boyfriend...)?

The boys both got WAY too much from the grandparents. W got a balance bike, a crane that is far too large for our house (seriously, Tonka's toy crane is huge), some clothes, and some random toys, books, and candies. R mostly got clothes (yay!) and a couple of toys. Grandpa also gave me some money so I can pick up some more clothes for the little pork chop. Mommy gets a shopping trip soon! My father-in-law gave all the adults money this year, I picked up a bunch of scratch off lottery tickets in our sibling exchange (that only ended up winning $5. Boo.), and got some random stocking stuffer things from my mother-in-law. We all had a great time visiting, even though no one was feeling great.

Christmas day was spent with my family. Both boys decided that 5:00 was a good time to wake up (R for food, W because of an unfortunate diaper incident that occurred in my mom's bed), so we went ahead and did presents. My mom got W a kid's digital camera, some puzzles that make extremely loud and obnoxious noises when you put the pieces in, some flashcard puzzle sorts of things, some books, an outfit, and some other stuff I can't recall at the moment. R got more clothes, some books, a super-cute stacking snowman thing, and...other stuff, I'm sure. W also got a toy shopping cart from my sister that was a big hit. My brother brought my nieces over a little later, and the babies were not having a good sharing day. W wanted to play with all the girls' toys (that hadn't been opened yet), the girls wanted to play with W's toys, and everyone got mad at everyone else when their toys got touched. So much screaming. Fa la la la la.

Later that day, we trekked to my aunt's for our annual Christmas dinner. It was great to see everyone, and it was a good time. My white elephant gift was a silpat and some olive oil, which was exciting for me. I've wanted a silpat for awhile now.

My mom got sick early Sunday morning, so I stayed at my aunt's with her until she was feeling well enough for the drive home, while B took the boys back to our house. I got home early evening, unpacked my stuff and the boys' stuff, threw in a couple of loads of laundry, then immediately started repacking. I was home for less than 24 hours before leaving for a CLE Monday afternoon.

Monday was B's 28th birthday (happy belated birthday, honey!). I was on the road to my CLE shortly after he got home from work, so we didn't do anything fun. My mom kept the boys overnight so she didn't have to be at our house before 6:00 on Tuesday morning to watch them, so he was home alone. I got him a gift card so he could at least take himself out for dinner. I still think this ranks as a better birthday than his 18th - he was woken up that morning by his dad telling him he needed to help dig up the septic tank. I imagine it went something like this: "Wake up, B. You're a man now, son. Happy birthday. Grab a shovel."

The hotel I stayed at Monday night was awesome. It's a swanky chain and was totally worth the government rate I paid to stay there (and then some). Tuesday's CLE was actually really interesting and useful. I think I'm going to be able to apply a lot of what I learned in my daily work life.

I went back to work yesterday, did my eight hours, and came home. I'm kinda run down, and was exhausted by the time I got home, so B let me take a nap. I slept for three hours (and would have gone longer if B hadn't woken me up to feed R). Which is why I'm awake and blogging at 1:00 in the morning.

Aaaaaand I think that covers the minutia of the past week in my life. Everyone got sick. Everyone survived. The kids got way too much for Christmas. We got to see a bunch of relatives. All the young children got along famously until the new toys came out. I pretty much missed my husband's birthday. I shockingly enjoyed a continuing education class. I know you're jealous of my wild and crazy lifestyle.

When I get around to finding my camera and uploading Christmas pictures, I'll share some. I hope you all had a great Christmas (if you celebrate). I'm hoping we'll get back to normal blogging soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas sickies

Christmas starts tomorrow, and guess what? I'm sick! Like pounding headache, almost puking, excessive pooping, chills and aches sick. It sucks. What sucked even more was having to stay home with the boys by myself today. Yesterday afternoon at daycare, W puked and R was running a fever, so I said I would keep them home today (even though they were both pretty much fine all day, but whatever).

Both boys decided 5:00 AM was an excellent wake-up time today, so our day started nice and early. I somehow managed to keep it together until I got them down for an early nap, then woke up from my nap feeling like I was about to die. We were supposed to go to the in laws' house tonight to start the Christmas celebrations, but there was no way I was leaving my couch. Thankfully, B decided to take both boys and go anyway, so I'm home alone now, trying not to barf.

I'm really hoping I feel better tomorrow because there's no more getting out of family stuff. I'm also really hoping that R isn't getting sick. He was really fussy today, hardly nursed, didn't eat any real food, and didn't nap very well. He's working on a couple of teeth, so I'm hoping that's all his problem was.

Anyway, I'm just being whiny. I need to go pump before my under-nursed boobs explode. If I don't make it back here before I have to go join the family fray, Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Health update

Ok, I've put this off long enough. Here's an update on everyone's health. We'll start with the easy one...

B: He has no health issues (that we know of anyway). Yay for him.

R: We had his first appointment with the ENT last week, and with five ear infections under his belt in the past five or six months, Dr. Duck decided that we should just go ahead and get him tubes. So he's getting tubes on Wednesday. If this were my first kid, I probably would have been slightly more hesitant about the procedure, but I already know how simple it is and how much it helped W, so we're doing it. I actually think he's got another ear infection, so it's a good time for it. We also took him to the ophthalmologist only to discover that he's a little cross-eyed, a little farsighted, and has a little astigmatism, but nothing the doc was concerned about. So he's good on that front for another year.

Me: My only real complaint at this point relates to my ass. My tailbone has hurt - a lot - ever since I had R. When the pain hadn't gone away after six months, I figured it was time to get it looked at. My family doctor sent me for x-rays, and then sent me to an orthopedist, who couldn't see me for a month. During that month, I pretty much convinced myself that I was going to have to have surgery. Luckily, the ortho doesn't think that's necessary. He also nixed the theory that I broke my tailbone while birthing R. He thinks I've got some congenital issue with my tailbone that was exacerbated by something (maybe have a baby? But could have been a random fall or hard sit, for all I know). I got a cortisone shot in my rear (um, OUCH. I wouldn't recommend cortisone shots, if you can avoid them...thankfully, I never saw the needle, or I probably would have run out of there screaming), and have to go back for a check up in a month. If the shot is working, I'll get another one and hopefully be all better. If not, then we'll talk surgery. So, for at least the next month, you can find me by looking for the woman walking around with the butt donut. Awesome.

And finally, W: Oh, W. So many issues to discuss. This is probably going to be highly unsatisfying because I'm still learning about what he's got going on and processing the implications for him. One thing is no more glasses. Another is a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder. His major issues are with his proprioceptive and vestibular systems. He's got some tactile issues, too. The SPD stuff is complicated, so I'm not going to try to explain it (hell, I barely understand most of it myself). If you really want to know more about it, you'll have to do some reading. We've been going to occupational therapy for this stuff for the past month. I'm not really seeing results yet, which frustrates me, but we keep plugging along.

I need to give a big "thank you" to Erin at Mama Said No! I'm sure she has no idea who I am, or that I ever read her blog, but she's talked about her son, who was recently diagnosed with SPD, and I recognized a lot of W's behavior in her posts. When she got the preliminary SPD diagnosis, I looked into it, too, and then brought it up at W's two-year check-up. The ped saw some of what I saw, which started this whole process rolling. If I hadn't randomly found Erin's blog, I never would have figured out what was going on with W this soon. I'm fortunate that I haven't had to spend years trying to get W help (particularly since this is one of those "the earlier, the better" sorts of things). So, thank you, Erin, for talking about your son's struggles. You may never see this, but if you do, I want you to know that I appreciate your candor on your blog more than words can express.

There's more, but I'm going to end it there for now. I'll keep you apprised of the latest happenings as I figure them out.

Next year, he's staying home

Last night we went to my favorite Christmas party of the season. It's thrown by my friend's parents, and it's been a highlight of my December for the past six years. Well, except for the part last year when I spent the whole night fielding comments about W's bowed legs. And the part this year when one of the therapists (physical, maybe? I'm not exactly sure what she does) pulled me aside to tell me that W really needs to get into our local early intervention program because he's "not in the normal range" for a two-year-old in several areas.

Talk about a punch in the gut. Even though I sort of knew most of the things she was telling me, no one wants to hear that their kid has special needs - especially from someone who is essentially a stranger you see once a year at a Christmas party.

There's so much more to this I want to flesh out, but I just don't have it in me tonight. For now, suffice it to say that W in not attending this Christmas party next year; I don't want the other guests to find anything else wrong with my poor baby.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I will never learn

We're getting family pictures tomorrow morning. Generally, I like to look presentable when I know there's going to be a camera in my face for a solid hour. Today, that meant getting a brow wax. Normally, I go to a nice salon and my regular girl for a wax. My regular girl is on maternity leave, though, and no one else was available to get me in after work (which wouldn't be an issue if I, you know, planned ahead and remembered I needed to get this done more than 24 hours pre-pictures). So I figured I would just go to a walk-in place near our house.

Bad idea.

I've only had two really awful brow waxes in my life. Both times, I was at a walk-in salon. Different salon, different cities, different chain, different stylists, same results - horribly thin, terribly uneven eyebrows. Both times, I swore I would never go back to a walk-in salon for a brow wax.

Man, I never learn.

Luckily, the wax I got tonight isn't awful awful. It's just bad. My brows are sooooooo thin right now. But they're the same width and same length, for the most part, so that's something. I'm not sure what it is about me saying "I just need them cleaned up a little" that makes these stylists hear "Why don't you rip off half the thickness of my brows, and maybe about a quarter of the length, too, while you're at it?"

I mean, I have nice brows. They've got (well, had) a nice shape. I haven't gotten them done in awhile, but you could still tell what was brow and what was stray. I could, anyway. Apparently Ginger could not. Blah.

It's times like these that I wish that (1) I wasn't stupid enough to forget the perils of cheap waxing and (2) I owned an eyebrow pencil.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Plagued

I can't sleep. Again. I can't turn off my mind. I'm continually plagued by thoughts of all my failings. That problem my husband has is surely caused by me not being a better wife. I fight the thought that I'm somehow to blame for my toddler's cognitive and behavioral issues; they must be caused by something I do or don't do. The baby's cries serve to remind me of another failing - I can't get my infant to sleep through the night. I don't keep my house clean enough. I don't cook often enough (and when I do, the meals aren't healthy/organic/whatever enough). I'm lazy when I should be working. I have the feeling that, slowly but surely, I'm leading my family into certain ruin.

I want to take something to help me sleep - it's the only thing that quiets the failures screaming through my head - but it's too late. I have to be up and functioning in five hours. Instead, I put on my comfy robe and curl up with my computer and a cup of sleepytime tea. I write instead of scheduling the therapy appointment I so desperately need. I look at the baby now asleep on my breast and pity him because he certainly lost the mommy lottery.

I'm plagued. By all this and more. Instead of wishing away the fears and doubts, I wish away myself, knowing that I'll eventually fall into a fitful sleep before waking up in the morning still where I am. And still deeply, continuously plagued.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No more nerdlet

I told you a year ago that W needed glasses, and mentioned that we were having some serious issues getting him to wear them (which we've never resolved). A couple of days ago, I found out why.

I took him to a pediatric ophthalmologist instead of the optometrist we'd been going to because I wasn't super impressed with the optometrist's office. They weren't giving me any real suggestions to help get him to wear his glasses, and kept contradicting themselves, which was frustrating for me. So to a specialist we went.

After the eye exam, the doc told me that W's prescription is almost two points lower than the prescription in his glasses. Which totally explains why the kid doesn't want to wear them! I immediately felt bad for trying to force him into the glasses, but there's nothing I could have done about it. His eyes aren't quite bad enough for any glasses, so he's officially done with glasses! (For now, at least...). We have to watch to make sure he doesn't start crossing his eyes, and go back every six months for check ups, but I can live with that.

So I'm no longer going to have a nerdlet. Bye bye glasses...

And hello (again) to my sweet, lens-free boy.

Labels

There is a bunch of background for this post that I need to provide - and I will, eventually - but I just need to get this out there.

Labels make me squirmy, particularly when it comes to my kids. I found out today that W will be pasted with the label "special needs" to get some help with and services for some sensory issues he has. I do not like that. At all. Because W isn't "special needs" in the sense that probably pops into your mind as soon as you hear that term - he's not mentally retarded, he's not physically handicapped, he doesn't have severe behavioral issues. He's a bright, active two-year-old boy who has some sensory processing and speech issues. I do not want my kid labeled and dismissed as "special needs" before he's even in preschool. It makes me feel all icky for him. No toddler needs to be prejudged like that.

But my other option is to not get the services. Our insurance will only pay for so much, and the other services will be more intensive, I think. So what choice do I have? None, as far as I can see. If it's going to help my kid, I'll push my squirmy feelings down and do what needs to be done.

As an aside, my brief, surface dealings with the world of special needs children have already given me a whole new level of respect for parents whose kids truly do have special needs. Dealing with these issues is a LOT of work, and very stressful. So be nice to them. They're probably struggling a lot more than they let on.

Also, how the HELL did it get to be December already??? I can't believe how fast this year has gone.