Friday, November 30, 2007

Impatience at it's best
Both Bill & I are people who have a hard time being patient with the good things in life. It's just so hard to wait. Christmas & birthday presents? Always given early. Good news? It can't wait until after work, there's always a voicemail, text message or email to break the story. Engagement & marriage? 3 months of dating was all it took. I guess we just get really excited about these kinds of things & I suppose planning for baby #2 is the same way. So, I shouldn't be surprised that when we talked about waiting until January, we've pretty much already started.

I was thinking about how if things go as easily as they did with Logan, we could possibly have a summer baby on our hands. Since last month's cycle was so off, who knows what will happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had an announcement to make at Christmas. In light of this, I kind of got the "oh crap" feeling since I'm not feeling physically prepared yet. I drink enormous amounts of coffee everyday, a glass or two of wine at night a few times a week, skipping breakfast, not drinking enough water & not taking a prenatal vitamin. Yeah, it doesn't sound like I'm taking very good care of myself & there's nothing like preparing for pregnancy to motivate that change.

I had my last glass of wine last night (I will have a drink out with friends & at Bill's company Christmas party, though!) & my last sip of coffee this morning (my full mug is still staring me down while I sit at the computer). Logan & I also went out to run some errands this morning & picked up a bottle of vitamins, too. Not that I did any of these things in preparation for Logan & he turned out fine (I was taking creatine, caffeine & pyruvate among other things for crying out loud!) but you know, mother's guilt. I didn't have it then & there's no getting rid of it now.

I laughed when talking to Bill about this the other night. "Didn't we say that we were going to wait?" He just shrugged his shoulders. "What difference is a month going to make?" Good point. In all of this, Bill seems to have baby fever more than I do. This is not a bad thing at all & it's actually really sweet. He's gone from "we have along time to think about this" to "why wait?" ever since I was definitely not pregnant this month & I'm sure it all has to do with doing exceptionally well at work & the thought growing on him for that week of the unknown.

So, I guess we're not really waiting after all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A 5 minute interview with Logan
I've been meaning to post this for a while. I took this video somewhere during the beginning of the month & then forgot about it. This is mostly for friends & family who want to see Logan in action, to the rest of the world, it's probably 5 minutes of boring. Logan runs around playing his recorder for the cat, jibber-jabbering away & then I make the mistake of asking him to say the "c" word (cracker). Then it all goes to hell since I don't instantly give him one & he starts beating me up. And yes, he did hit me again, he did go on timeout & no, he did not get a cracker. He learned his lesson though, because he hasn't hit me since. And that's a very good thing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This has been bothering me ever since I saw the commercial. It makes me cringe every time I see it replayed. It's the Hooked on Phonics "Heart-swelling Pride" commercial. Talk about "my kid is better than you kid" propaganda. Just what moms need to watch - more parenting comparisons.

I'm all for kids learning new things, but this is just kind of crazy. In the commercial, a 4 year old boy is reading aloud. All of the surrounding moms watch him in amazement asking if he's in school & where he learned to read. "Oh, we just practice", the proud mom says. She seems to say it smugly & the haughty look just tops it off. Gah. What bothers me so much about it isn't that the 4 year old is reading at obviously, a very early age, it's the reaction of the mom. Yes, it is amazing that a 4 year old can read, but please - tone down the cavalier attitude. He's not a rocket scientist.

This commercial is really hurting mothering social circles rather than helping them. I think as first time mothers, the baby comparisons are natural & normal. After the baby hits major milestones (walking, talking, etc) the comparisons seem to relax a bit. Never in all of my time with playgroups has another mother boasted about what their little one accomplished. It was always more tactful & more as a part of the conversation. However, I know that "these" mothers exist in other circles & they are not very well received. If I had a mom like this in our playgroup, I'm sure I would just have to roll my eyes at her rather than be impressed with her superior child.

Rant over.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Party like it's 1999
The long weekend is over & now it's back to business. Even though we didn't have company or go on vacation, we still had a really fun time that went by way too fast. It was good though, since we haven't had this much fun in a long time.

After Thanksgiving (& the turkey leftovers to last the whole month of December) we skipped out on the Black Friday sales & hung out around the house. We caught up on sleep (with Bill letting me sleep in almost every morning) & I went to the hospital to visit a friend on bed rest. It was nice & relaxing. I guess we had a lot of pent up energy because once Logan went to bed, it was crazy time. We played "Horse" with Logan's basketball hoop, jumping on the couch & trying to make shots from the tub in the bathroom. If I hear Bill say "One arm, one leg" ever again, I just might lose it. Then we played poker & hung out by the fireplace. Good times, I tell ya.

The next day was spent recovering & sleeping again. Bill went to go check out some of the holiday sales since we're in the market for a laptop. We've missed out on some insane online deals he didn't want to miss anymore. However, he didn't come home with a laptop, but his early Christmas present. Guitar Hero. The next two days were spent playing video games while Logan napped or was down for the night.

It was weekend full of games, laughter, craziness & competition (for some reason, Bill & I always have more fun than we should competing against each other). It was even better since we spent so much time together as both a family & a couple. And to be honest, as simple as this weekend was, it was probably the best Thanksgiving we've had yet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Many Thanks
As we reflect on everything we are thankful for on this Thanksgiving day, it's the simple things in life that strike me as most significant. From the wonderful friendships we've made over the last year to Logan's fuzzy pajama's & new toothbrushes.

I'm thankful for the life experiences we've gone through this year, as difficult as they may have been, for each event has taught me an important lesson & helped me to grow as an individual & develop into a better wife & mother. These are the events that have made me grateful for the littlest things since I've realized how quickly it can all be taken away. I'm thankful for both the good & bad, the tears of joy & the sleepless nights. I'm thankful for the uncomfortable times that make us change our perspective.

I'm thankful that Bill & I have been able to work as a team, adapting to whatever gets thrown at us & our family. I'm especially thankful that we can make due with what we have, or the little we have, & it always ends up being enough. Our home, our car, our health & happiness but most importantly, each other. I'm thankful for my loving husband, my adorable son & the special love we share. I'm very thankful that we've made so many happy, simple memories together from our morning cartoon cuddle time to our gentle nighttime rituals & everything else in between.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I have many things to be thankful for & especially - my family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I know I am, but what are you?
I. Am. Weird. At least I know I am & I'm not in denial about it. Lizzy was awesome in tagging me today to share my weirdness with the world. It's perfect timing because for one, it beats me booing about how much I hate snow & being cold (as we got our first snow last night) & hooing about how our Stuffing Throwdown is being postponed (the silver lining is we are having two Thanksgivings now!)


1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven random/weird things about me:

  1. I have frequent nightmares that wake me up in the middle of the night. They are usually gory & involve zombies, bloody body parts or are similar to a stereotypical horror movie. I wake up with the hair on my neck standing up, my spine/back feeling "exposed" & my stomach dropping & in knots. This all started during pregnancy & has never stopped. This is why I never watch scary movies & it makes me feel like a kid worrying about monsters under my bed.
  2. I don't read the same book twice or watch a movie more than once. I hate knowing what happens next.
  3. I am an Aries & the personality trait descriptions are eerily spot on. Bill is an Aries too & is the complete opposite.
  4. I am afraid of international travel & Bill wants to go to Japan, check out parts of Europe & hang out in London for a while.
  5. I've been an insomniac for about two years & it's directly related to stress (I bet you can't figure out what kind of stress).
  6. I take the longest showers in the world. About 30 minutes (if there's enough hot water). It's because they are the most relaxing part of my day & it's where I do my thinking/contemplating. Everyone in my family knows that if they want hot water for their shower, they need to get in before I do.
  7. I secretly wish I could be the female version of Hugh Hefner & wear pajama's & robes everywhere I go.
Kayce, Erin, Jake, Debra are up next!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, you learn something new everyday
Having a kid with food allergies can be challenging. It seems like I play a lot of guessing games & we learn about "hidden ingredients" the hard way. Like we did last night; I thought our dinner was safe for Logan to eat & it turns out he had his worst reaction yet.

Bill made cheeseburgers with fries & ketchup for dinner last night. It's been a meal that we've had before since Logan's allergy diagnosis & he's never had a reaction. I've made sure to read labels on everything to make sure there isn't egg or garlic in anything we eat. In being diligent about this, I've discovered that garlic is in a whole lot of foods we eat, like chicken bullion. I made sure to read the ketchup label & garlic was not listed as an ingredient. This is why I was shocked when Logan, (being great at dinner & finishing all of his food with very little of it going on the floor) began to breakout in hives & rashes an hour later.

He was playing around in the living room shirtless (because he smeared ketchup all over himself), racing cars & running around like a wild banshee. I began to notice hives popping up all over his stomach, chest & back. Then he started breaking out in rashes on his stomach, cheeks & chin. When it was time to get him ready for bed, his face was bright red & he was itchy all over, scratching mostly on his face & stomach. We gave him some Benadryl & I lathered him up with a cooling anti-itch lotion. He went to bed just fine & I made sure to check on him often (unintentionally waking him up every time). This is one of the first times I was really worried because it was the most serious food reaction he's had to date.

Bill swore up & down that it was probably a reaction to the cat because Logan was playing without a shirt & wrestling on the couch where Kitty tends to hang out. While I don't doubt that he may be allergic to the cat (& we're waiting for another referral to get him tested for it), I didn't think this was due to our pets. I had no idea what would cause him to have such an intense reaction like this.

After Logan & Bill went to bed, I was up late again (hello insomnia!) & decided to use my hours of time researching ketchup & garlic allergies. I found some pretty interesting stuff. First of all, garlic is an ingredient in Heinz ketchup. I found this little tidbit of information from

Tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, ("garlic powder" has now been omitted from the ingredient list here), natural flavoring.

Heinz purposely leaves out ingredients on their labels, using only "natural flavoring" to protect their secret recipe. That's great & all, but what if someone is allergic to their secret ingredients?! In order to find out this specific nutritional information (that can be life threatening to some very allergic people) you have to obtain a Doctors note stating the specific allergy & then the company can tell you if it's in the product or not.

Through the wonders of the internet & being able to connect with other moms who have children with garlic allergies, I found out that there are specific labeling laws regarding garlic! Garlic CANNOT be listed a "spice" on ingredient labels, however, garlic oil or garlic extract can be hidden under "natural flavorings". A general rule is, if it's a savory-type food & lists "natural flavorings" on the ingredeints list, avoid it. So, the rule is "spices" are fine, "natural flavorings" are not. Other products that have hidden garlic are chili powders (had no idea) & taco seasoning (we eat this frequently).

If Logan's Allergist told me any of this, we could have been saved a whole lot of hassle. Also, now that I have this very important information, this narrows down the food options by a ton. He's pretty much going to be able to eat what I can cook from scratch. Not that bad of a situation, but wow. Who knew it would get to this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Eye of the tiger
Oh, the holidays are upon us & you know what that means. Food. And lots of it, too. We've been looking forward to Thanksgiving for quite some time, planning one of the biggest feasts we've ever cooked. It's only going to be the three of us & we will have food to last us the rest of the winter. I'm sure we'll be sick of turkey after eating it everyday for weeks. Other than the regular Thanksgiving pig-out, the big event that we are excitedly anticipating is the Stuffing Throwdown.

Yes, we are having our very own cooking competition right here in our own home. It will just be the two of us competing, but it's still a serious competition. Bill brought up the idea a few weeks ago & of course, I was game. We are two very competitive people, neither one of us being gracious losers (thus why Monopoly is a banned board game in our house). The funny things about this competition is that we don't have any judges since it's just us eating it.

We still have to get our menu put together & decide on our final stuffing recipes, but I think I'm going with a classic savory sage dish while Bill will probably go with a sausage (or bacon) maybe even a cornbread stuffing. Who knows. All I know is that it will have meat in it. For the rest of the menu we'll have sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows!) possibly a green bean casserole (maybe not), mashed potatoes with gravy, maybe a homemade cranberry sauce & the best of all, pumpkin pie with real pumpkin made from scratch - crust & all. Yum.

It's going to take a couple of days to cook all of this up considering we only have one oven. I might make the stuffing & the cranberry sauce a day early & I'm definitely going to get the pumpkin pie together on Wednesday. It will be a miracle if it lasts until Thursday's dinner. It will also be a miracle if Bill wins. Ha, ha! It's on & he's going down.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Now we know
While Bill was out with his friends last night & Logan was tucked into bed, I was up watching TV & just...waiting. Then, in the 11th hour I felt that "gross" feeling I had 'before combined with some serious cramps. We no longer have to wait. I got my answer & I didn't even have to take the test. Not pregnant, definitely.

I went to bed very disappointed. Although being scared to death about the possibility of being sick again, I was really starting to get excited about the idea of being pregnant. I was almost positive that I was pregnant considering this is the latest I have ever been & I'm almost always 28 days - exactly. The end result was more disappointing than I thought it would be.

Bill got in late last night while I was still asleep, so I only had the chance to send him a text message before going to bed. Won't have to take the test in the morning. I woke up this morning & rather than waking him up to take the test together, I woke up to Logan pounding on his door to get out. We went downstairs into the living room to cuddle & watch cartoons. Bill slept in a bit & joined us while I was making Logan's breakfast. After talking about his night out he mentioned the message. "I got your text last night. How do you feel about it?" he asked. "It kind of sucks, " I said as I started to cry while buttering Logan's toast. After talking about the insurance situation, Bill said the magic words. "After everything is all set, I'm up for trying in January."

I've mentioned many times before that I had been going back & forth with the thought of having another baby & how Bill & I weren't really on the same time table. The topic even came up last weekend with me saying that if we were to have another baby, I would want to do it before I'm 30. "We have plenty of time," was his response. We are people who tend to wait for the prefect moment to do everything, planning our lives to the very last detail. We couldn't make a decision on where to go & it took some unpredictability to get us on track.

I firmly believe that things happen for a reason & that there are lessons to be learned in every experience. This last week has taught me (& us) that if we keep waiting, we may wait too long. Things are never going to be "perfect" but we can make sure the most important things are in place (like Bill's new job & health insurance). And with that, we are both finally sure that we do want another baby and we have a definite time that we would like to start trying.

Friday, November 16, 2007

And waiting...
No cycle, no definitive answer. This is a true test of patience. It's hard to not over-analyze my physical feeling or recognize that anxiety may be the result of some symptoms. Last night while at dinner, I was starving. I ate my chicken & rice burrito faster than the speed of light. The restaurant we went to was less than stellar & the burrito tasted like a dog food burrito. That didn't stop me from inhaling it. And I was the only one who passed up the two free margaritas that came with dinner.

When I got home, I was feeling kind of gross. I had been tired all day long but after dinner I was starting to feel "off". It was the same familiar feeling of the beginning stages of HG. I wasn't yet sick enough to be in the bathroom, but I had a clammy kind of feeling. It felt like my blood was running ice cold & my skin was hot. The contrast in temperature that makes you feel like you're getting the flu, but not just yet. The feeling lessened in the morning when I woke up, but returned this afternoon. It has a waxing & waning pattern. Deja vu.

This seriously makes me wonder if I had a false negative. After Logan & I left our friends at playtime this morning, I went to the store to get a couple more tests. Bill works late tonight, so I'll take it tomorrow morning. In the mean time, I've looked at my insurance (that doesn't have maternity coverage) to see what I need to do to get it. If I am pregnant, the minute I get a positive test, I'll be on the phone getting that set up & in ASAP to get a prescription for zofran so I don't end up suffering for weeks like the last pregnancy.

There's a plan of action in place, just in case...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Still waiting
Nothing has changed, nothing has happened. I talked to Bill on his lunch break & we laughed about when I was unknowingly pregnant with Logan (because I hadn't "missed" anything yet), drinking beer & riding roller coasters. Everyone but me was convinced that I was pregnant. "You're going to scramble that baby if you ride the roller coaster!" a co-worked yelled to me while waiting in line at the amusement park. Although Logan turned out fine, I'm continuing to skip out on coffee & cocktails until I have a definite answer. I'm going out with friends tonight for dinner, half of them in a different playgroup so they haven't yet heard about the "group test". I'm sure when I drink my lemon water rather than a beer, someone will notice & say something. However, I will not be peeing on a stick in a Mexican restaurant.

Since nothing has happened to give a definite "not pregnant" answer, there's still the constant thinking about it. The more I think about it, the more I want a positive test. I'm still not keen on the idea of being sick forever, but I have a great group of friends that would totally help me out. One of our playgroup members went into pre-term labor & her water broke at 26 weeks. She's now in the hospital on bed rest for at least 4 weeks. The Club is pulling together to get her magazines & other things to keep her busy. Phone calls & visits are made regularly & I'm organizing lunch visits without the kids so 3 or 4 moms can go & play board games with her. I know if I needed help, they would be more than happy to do so.

If I am pregnant, life isn't going to shift as much as it did with Logan. Back then, we just bought a house & then all of a sudden went to being a one-income family. We have a lot of the things we would need (car seat, crib, bassinet) & we wouldn't have the same decrease of income. Minus any health complications, this transition would be relatively easy. In talking about this with Bill this afternoon, he said that he wasn't stressed about it (coming from the guy who stresses about EVERYTHING) & he actually sounded excited.

If my cycle starts & it's obviously clear that we aren't expecting, I think it's time that Bill & I sit down & talk about trying in January.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Testing with an audience
Last night while I was sitting with Logan as he was finishing his dinner, Bill was on the computer & I asked him a question. "Not to freak you out or anything, but if I were late, how many days would you want to wait until we got a test?" "How late are you? I would wait five or six days," he replied. "I'm only two, but I'm not usually late. I don't feel pregnant, but we'll see what happens in the next few days". Then we went about our business like we usually do.

I couldn't sleep last night, constantly wondering "what if". I got up this morning, took Bill to work & then headed off to playgroup. When we got there, one of the moms asked if anyone wanted a drink. "Coffee, tea, juice?" she asked me. "Oh, I know you want some coffee." "Um, I'll have to pass today. Thanks, though," I said. "Wait. Are you pregnant?! You never skip out on coffee!" she gasped. "I don't know. I'm three days late. I'm trying to keep it on the down low until I know for sure," I told her. She then screamed across the room. "Hey! [another moms name]! Do you have a test at home?" Everyone stopped their conversations & turned to us. "No," she said. "Why? Is somebody pregnant?" "Kristin might be!" she smiled excitedly. Then, my massage friend said that she had one & would go get it as she only lived a short distance from playgroup.

The whole time she was gone I was literally shaking. I was so, so nervous. I told everyone that I might just burst out into tears during the test because I was so nervous. They were all very supportive & told me to cry away. It was OK. My massage friend came back with the test & I went straight into the bathroom. The minute I closed the door, my heart was racing & my eyes were filled with tears. I took a deep breath to get rid of the lump in my throat & ended up crying on the counter. While the thought of having another baby has been going through my mind for what seems like forever, I am scared to death of being pregnant again. I am terrified of being sick with HG.

I did the test & watched the results show up. One pink line. Not pregnant.

I was filled with a mix of emotions from relief to disappointment. Relief because I get to live like a normal person & not in the bathroom starving to death, but disappointment because this is the age I would want Logan & his sibling to be spaced. While Bill has a much better job, I'll be able to get on his insurance plan in January (& I'm sure I'll have to wait 3 months before filing any claims). I also don't want to be pregnant in this house or move while pregnant (did that once before. It sucked). There's just a lot we have to do before we're "ready".

I came out of the bathroom with the negative test, but OK with it. My massage friend said that I could still be pregnant & wait to test again in a few more days if my cycle hasn't started yet. We all watched the test on the kitchen counter for a while & decided that it was clearly negative. Then we all went about our business like we usually did.

And I keep waiting to see what happens....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

As time stands still
This has got to be one of the strangest feelings I've ever felt. It's a feeling that is only akin to adulthood & the responsibilities that come with the gig. It's even more strange to me that I've never felt like this before since I've been an "adult" for years now. Not only have I been an adult, but I've lived though many other stressful times that were much more challenging than what life is like now. Life has been hard, but it could have been worse, we've been through worse & really, we're in the home stretch to living a lot more comfortably & whole lot more relaxed. We're not in the thick of it anymore (at least I don't think so), so why do I feel like this now?

I've been overwhelmed & consumed with everything that is going on. I actually have a mental picture associated with this feeling of "too much". I can see myself in my mind juggling for the circus. Seriously. I'm juggling so many balls - more than I could count. Then all of a sudden, time is standing still. The balls are suspended in the air, the crowd is motionless & quiet. I'm the only one moving. Everything else just stops.

I feel like my life is standing still. Which is strange because it isn't. Things are progressing positively & we're moving forward with future plans. We're not stagnant or stuck, where I could see the validity in this feeling. I can clearly understand why I would have felt like this if were last year. But this year? And now? I don't get it.

Anyhow, it's confusing because I got text message from Bill this morning with wonderful news about his commission earning on his paycheck. We'll have a great Christmas this year & won't feel so crushed by the financial burden of the holidays. We're sitting down tonight to prioritize the list of all of the things we need to take care of (some car repairs & the like). We'll be able to move out of this house-of-someone-else's-choosing after the holidays (most likely in the spring). Things are progressing with the nutrition book & I'm beginning to organize a results study to start in early 2008 (this whole study makes me feel like a scientist!)

So, see? Progress! Good things! Less stress! Yea! Maybe all I need is a vacation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea...
I think I've had enough of one cartoon for the day. Logan & I had our usual cuddle/cartoon time on the couch after we got home from driving Bill to work. Then, we spent the later half of the morning watching SpongeBob SquarePants & cleaning the living room (like moving furniture kind of cleaning). There happened to be a cartoon marathon going on today, so this was the only thing he wanted to watch.

This afternoon Logan had an appointment to get his DT (diphtheria/tetanus) vaccination at the allergists office. We ran an errand or two before going to the appointment & it was nice to get out of the house (& away from SpongeBob) for a while. We got to the office & found the "kids corner". Somehow I missed this part of the waiting room the two other times we had been there. Logan had fun playing with the wood-carved animals, making animal noises & playing with a 3 year old boy that showed up shortly after us for his appointment too.

We were called back to an exam room & waited for an hour. Honestly, it was the fastest hour I've ever experienced. Logan & I were reading books, counting cars & tires in car magazines, playing with his cars & coloring (his SpongeBob coloring book, of course). The next thing I know, a nurse is apologizing for the Doctor being so backed up.

After the Doctor came in & we talked for a minute, a nurse came in to give Logan his shot. He was so cute in his long sleeved t-shirt, socks & diaper just running around & having conversations in "baby speak" with anyone who walked in the room. He was super brave & wanted to watch the needle go into his left leg. He literally only cried for 5 seconds. After he got his shot, we had to wait for 30 minutes to make sure he didn't have any reactions. While we waited, the nurse put on a video for Logan to watch. SpongeBob SquarePants.

We watched this the whole time & continued to color in his coloring book, reading books & playing with cars. He seemed fine & his usual self. He kept pointing to the band-aid on his leg because it was sore. But, he just pointed to it, nothing else.

After we were cleared to go, I got Logan dressed & noticed that he had a redish-purple mark behind his left ear. It was almost like a bruise, but he didn't get hurt there today (or yesterday). The Allergist took a look at it & just said to keep an eye on it & give Logan Benadryl if we need to. Logan got a SpongeBob sticker on the way out.

We got home & ate dinner. Pasta with ground beef meat sauce & cheese, peas, carrots & milk. Logan was stripped down to his diaper because he's still super messy with the pasta sauce. As he was eating, I noticed a few more hives pop up. One on his left forearm & another on his chest. After dinner, Bill gave him a bath then we did our usual tag team switch off where I do the rest of Logan's bedtime routine. As I was brushing his teeth, I checked his left ear again & it was looking OK. I checked his right ear to find a hive on his ear lobe (of all places). He had a few more on his left leg & hip.

I got him massaged with lotion & in his jammies for the night. I also gave him some Benadryl before hitting the sack. The hives weren't huge, but there were enough of them that I didn't want him to have any other kinds of reactions in his sleep. I don't think I'll sleep well tonight because of it, going in to check on him every time I wake up.

So, this will be an interesting conversation with the Allergist. Logan had a skin test that included the DT vaccination & it came back negative. Yet, here we are with him breaking out into hives - a delayed reaction, 45 minutes to 2 hours after the shot. He didn't even have any reactions to this vaccination the last time he got it. I'm sure I'll just get the Benadryl advice since there's nothing else they can do about it. We still have to go back to do some more skin testing, one test specifically for gelatin & the Allergist thinks there may be gelatin the the DT shot (the MMR for sure) & it would make sense if it was this component that was making Logan break out after his shots.

Update Tuesday 11/13
Logan woke up fine this morning with the spot behind his ear gone. He still had a big hive that at first glance, looked like a goose egg on the left side of his forehead on his hair line. He had a small cluster rash on his stomach, on the sides of his legs & behind his knees. He didn't eat anything out of the ordinary for breakfast today (banana, whole wheat toast, butter, cinnamon, Carnation Instant Breakfast with whole milk). He was in good spirits despite the seemingly uncomfortable skin irritations.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Do I need a W2 for this?
At the beginning of May this year, came out with an update for the valuation of a Stay At Home Mom's job. It was determined that Stay At Home Moms perform 1o typical jobs (house keeper, day care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, etc) that would equate to an annual salary of $138, 095.

Recently, I've been thinking about what my "paycheck" would be if I got paid to stay at home. I honestly think I would be on the highest end of the earning scale based on all of the insurance & lawsuit situations that I've been working on. My house is certainly not the cleanest with Logan throwing food on the floor at every meal, Buddha & Kitty shedding hair all over in the computer room & Bill never picking up after himself, but I do a whole lot more than just cleaning. I've decided to make a list of all of the jobs that I do (daily or not) for those who "wonder what I do all day long".

  • Nutritionist - Developing balanced meal plans for Logan, regardless is he eats it or not. Reading nutrition labels making sure meals are allergen-free.
  • Cook - Making said meal plans.
  • Personal Trainer - Not only training clients (one-on-one or through cyber-training) but making sure Logan gets some physical activity every day as well.
  • Board Member of Non-Profit Organization - Planning meetings, organizing functions, overseeing co-ops.
  • Health & Fitness Writer - Keeping my mind sharp & up to date on the latest fitness trends.
  • Computer Operator - Maintaining both blogs & taking care of emails.
  • House Keeper - Doing 98% of the house work.
  • Family Cab Driver - Driving Bill to & from work, taking Logan out for playgroups & other activities.
  • Insurance Billing Accountant - Continually keeping our insurance coverage situation straightened out.
  • Paralegal/Attorney - Researching information & filing multiple lawsuits.
  • Nurse/Health Care Specialist - Researching information on vaccinations & food allergies, removing foreign objects from Logan's nose & taking care of his personal care needs.
  • Day Care Teacher - Playing games with Logan, reading to him, coloring & making sure he gets social interaction with other kids.
  • Psychologist - Teaching Logan good behavioral techniques to reduce temper tantrums & dealing with Bill's family.
  • Financial Planner/Family CFO - Paying all of the bills & maintaining the budget, finding cost-cutting spending solutions.
  • Photographer - Being diligent on taking Logan's pictures.
  • Hair Stylist- Cutting Logan's hair as Bill is now banned from even touching the boys head.
This is what I came up with on the spot, off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm missing a few odd jobs here & there. Clearly, if I got paid for "what I do all day long", we would be rich. Not just rich, but filthy rich.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We interrupt this program
Health care issues are taken care of & in-law drama will continue, picking up tomorrow evening (I'm sure). In the meantime, after taking a few weeks off of writing on The Other Blog, I was finally able to sit down & pump out an article last night. I woke up this morning to find that it had been published by Fox News & Reuters - again, also Omaha News Channel 7 & USA Today!!!!!

I'm revamping my cover letter & contacting our local paper, even though they already have a fitness writer. My friends are threatening to do it for me if I don't do it myself. It couldn't hurt considering health & fitness writing gigs are slim to none right now. I'm pretty sure things will pick back up in the middle of the holiday season when we get closer to New Year's Resolutions.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The end of the vaccination debacle
After Logan's allergy testing came back negative for vaccination allergies, I made an appointment to speak with his pediatrician about what we should do next. Since our move to our small town, we've always met with Nurses & Physician's Assistants at the clinic we take Logan to. We had yet to sit down with a pediatrician, even though the Nurses & PA's work with the Doctors as a team. It never bothered me & I was never concerned about how this clinic functioned, but after all we had been through with reactions & testing, I thought it was time to get a second opinion & speak one-on-one with a pediatrician.

I am so happy I did.

We met with Dr. B (oddly, this is the 3rd Dr. B we've seen since Logan's birth). She went over Logan's history with me & we talked about his vaccination reactions. She took the time to explain what diseases would be the most dangerous if Logan were to contract them & which diseases he had virtually no risk of ever coming in contact with. She also explained that if he were to contract some diseases, like Pertussis, he would be fine but if we had another baby it could be fatal for him/her. She never used any scare tactics or tried to push vaccination propaganda at me. She was honest, telling me that many of the vaccinations that Logan was "scheduled" for were unnecessary for his health, but important for the health of others.

After weighing the risks, we made the decision that Logan only needs two more shots; DT (Diphtheria/Tetanus - he never reacted to this, so I'm fine with it) & Hib (H. influenza type B). Hep A is a possibility. These diseases pose the greatest risk of serious complications or fatality if he were to contract them at his age. He will get them separately & spaced a few weeks apart. He won't get Polio, Pertussis (as this is the main vaccination that caused his reaction), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Prevnar (pneumococcus) or flu shots (due to his egg allergy). Chicken pox (varicella), Hep B & flu shots were not very high on the list of serious illnesses.

This was the first time I felt understood & listened to since our move to our small town. I was so disappointed to leave our pediatrician when we moved because after having met with two other Doctors, we finally found a one that was best for our family. Now I had to find another one to fill her shoes. Well a year later, I found her. Dr. B was very caring, understanding & compassionate about my concerns & anxieties with Logan's reactions. We came to a compromise that balanced medical responsibility & mothering responsibility that I felt comfortable with. I didn't feel pressured & I certainly didn't feel like she ignored the risk of more adverse reactions like I had felt from previous appointments - even though her professional opinion was that another reaction was unlikely. She still took the time to listen to me & helped me develop a health care plan that would be best for Logan. It was an awesome consultation & it's such a HUGE relief that we have some solid decisions that I feel good about.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cry me a river
Just when I thought the issues with Grandma L were behind us, the upcoming holidays have already brought out some drama. On Halloween she emailed me asking if I had taken pictures of Logan in his costume & if I had, she would like to have some. Bill usually takes care of this, but trying to be nice, I sent her a few along with a detailed update of how we celebrated & how much fun Logan had. She thanked me & then dropped a bomb.

She said that she bought Logan & Cousin B matching sweaters & wanted their picture taken for her Christmas Card. This did not sit well with me at all. We went through this exact same thing last year & it was what catapulted us into crisis. I asked Bill if she had talked to him about it already & he learned of this the weekend prior but failed to mention it to me. I told him that I felt the same way as last year, but I was willing to compromise with having a group family picture (Aunt Ju-Ju, Uncle J, Cousin B, Bill, Logan & me) to use for her card. I emailed her back on Friday afternoon replying that I wasn't comfortable with the picture, but Bill & I had talked about it & we had a compromise that would make everyone happy, we would call her later to talk about it. I never got a reply.

Saturday afternoon, I asked Bill if he had talked to his mom yet & he hadn't. I was going to get a massage from my friend & he said that he would call her then. On my drive over to her house, Bill called & asked if my photographer friend could take our group picture so his mom could have a professional picture of the family. I said sure & I would talk to her about it later. Bill was unable to get a hold of his mom on Saturday.

This morning I woke up & checked my email. Grandma L sent her response. "Just forget about it. I took the sweaters back." I turned to Bill to tell him about her response. "She didn't have to do something drastic like that", Bill said. "She's throwing a tantrum because she's not getting her way. If that's how she wants to behave, fine. We don't have to take any pictures for her", I told him.

He called her up to talk about it. After having a conversation like nothing was going on, Bill brought up the pictures. He told her about our compromise & said that she didn't have to take the sweaters back. We were even going to have professional pictures taken for her. She continued to cry, pout & play the victim. Bill called me over & put her on the speaker so all of us could talk. I told her that I got her email & wondered why she took the sweaters back without having heard about the compromise. She continued to cry & tried to blame it on me because I didn't write about what we were going to do in the email. This is where I held true to my commitment in our "resolution" conversation. I called her out on her behavior.

"I specifically wrote in the email that we were going to talk to you about it. This is something that we wanted to speak to you one on one with. I wasn't comfortable with the kids being the focus of your Christmas card & I think having a family portrait is more appropriate. We worked out a very nice & generous compromise that you didn't even want to hear about. It's disappointing to get such a response from you."

She continued to try & blame me for her drastic tantrum, crying saying it was too late for professional pictures, they weren't coming out until late in December. "No, we wanted to get pictures of the six of us for your card", Bill corrected her. "The six of you?", she asked. It was like a kick in the gut to her because Uncle J & I would be in the family picture. The two of us are left out of family pictures. It's always just the "blood" relatives. We tried to get an answer out of her. "Do you want the family picture or not?" we both asked many times. She continued to pout & getting an answer was almost impossible. We hung up the phone with me saying that I would talk to my friend to see what we could do. Of course, I don't get a thank you for trying to compromise with a solution that pretty darn fantastic.

I talked to my friend who is sympathetic to the crap that gets pulled by Bill's family & we have two dates we can work with this month. Now the trick is to see if we can get Aunt Ju-Ju to do it because she ultimately plays the part of the flying monkey & if Grandma L is upset, Aunt Ju-Ju will throw an even bigger tantrum of her own.

One part of this whole situation that really rubs me the wrong way is that Grandma L cries & whines about not getting things done her way so what happens? She gets something bigger & better. Like professional pictures. This is sending the wrong message. It's telling her that all she has to do is manipulate the situation, pull guilt trips, cry & pout & she will ultimately get what she wants. This is what happened when we moved to our little town & we caved into her crap. I put my foot down to this kind of behavior & I got cut out of the family (where she was really just shooting herself in the foot). Her tantrum resulted in missing out on our lives for seven months, by her choice. She missed all of Logan's first holidays & milestones. She's making the same kind of decisions again.

Ugh. Here we go again.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Special Moments
There are many special moments that I have the pleasure of sharing with Logan from day to day, but one of my favorite moments that will forever remain a memory etched in my mommy brain happens every night.

Everyone in our house has a different bedtime. Logan goes to sleep at about 8pm, Bill follows shortly after at around 10pm (if he even makes it that long) & I'm the last one, the night owl, finally crawling into bed somewhere between 12-2am. Before I go to bed, I make sure the doors are locked & tidy up the house just a bit (nothing that resembles cleaning). My last stop is checking in on Logan & tucking him back in.

Logan is a restless sleeper. He tosses & turns, doing baby gymnastics in his sleep. When I first put him down his head is at one end of the bed, then the hours later when I check on him he's completely turned around. The blankets are all askew & he's usually curled up in a little ball trying to keep himself warm. I go in & begin to straighten out the blankets. I make sure he has his two "special blankets" (the pink & blue striped receiving blankets that he came home from the hospital in) & then cover him with the big fleece blanket.

Just the act itself feels so special to me - making him comfortable & warm, ensuring a good night's sleep for my Little Man. He looks so sweet when he sleeps. So peaceful. Sometimes I'm given a heart warming smile while he's still in dreamland after he's been tucked back in. Sometimes it's even more special than that. Sometimes he wakes up just a little but still half asleep, conscious enough to smile & wave "night night" to me as I slowly close his bedroom door.

This is by far my favorite moment & my favorite part of the day.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

21 months
Logan has been learning & growing so much this last month. He's a full fledged toddler & the last bits of his babyhood are transitioning away. He's independent, on the go & always moving to the next step. I'm so fortunate that I've been able to stay home with him & be a part of his fleeting life moments.

Since he's been transitioned into his toddler bed, he's been waking up a couple hours earlier than usual. He once woke up at 9am & now it's closer to 6 or 7. This probably has a lot to do with Bill's new work schedule & us waking up to take him there. The cute part about him waking up is that he doesn't cry, but gets out of bed & knocks on his door to let us know he's awake. I would much rather wake up to this than screaming. It's awesome. His nap times are gradually getting better, but it's still a 2 hour fiasco to get him down.

After we wake up & take Bill to work in our pajamas,we come back home & cuddle on the couch to watch morning cartoons. His favorite show by far is Yo Gabba Gabba. He shrieks in delight, dancing away. He jumps to all of the jumping songs & has learned to repeat all of the dance moves. He's got the Funky Penguin down pat.

Speaking of dancing, he loves, loves, loves to dance. The For Kids Only music has transitioned away much like the rest of his babyhood & he rocks out to ska, reggae & whatever is rockin' the car stereo. The minute I start the engine & the CD plays, he's bopping back & forth to the rhythm of the music. A couple of weeks ago, we were at a stop light. I was dancing & singing & Logan was getttin' down with his funky self back in his car seat. I turn to look at him & notice the lady in the car next to us laughing hysterically at us (or with us? Because we were all having fun).

He is still the pickiest of picky eaters & his egg allergy isn't making it any easier. He still throws 90% of his food on the floor & it still drives me nuts. This last week, we transitioned his high chair to the booster seat & he's now eating at his place at the table. It's so cute to have us all sitting together at dinner & Logan often tries to join in on the conversation. I love it!
He's showing me his teeth even though he has food in his mouth. I promise he's not screaming here

His speech development grew by leaps & bounds this month. He's now saying most of his words rather than signing them. While he says a few standard words, he gains new ones everyday. Like tonight he said "otter" (it's Bill's workplace mascot) while pointing to a picture of an otter. I was shocked. Tonight he also said his first word combination "eat meat" while waiting for dinner. He did not eat his meat, however. It's great to see this growth & my worries about having to consult with early intervention are gone. He's just as stubborn as I am (if not more) & just wants to do things on his own time.
This month he's also been increasingly kind & loving. He loves "the hug game" where he'll give Bill a hug, then turn around & gives me one & goes back & forth like this 20 or so times. He loves to give kisses (hugs & kisses to his friends too) & is great at sharing his toys, even his most beloved cars. I can see the pain in his eyes when he shares his cars & it impresses me even more that he actually lets anyone else touch them because of it.

I've noticed more recently how active Logan really is & how he never stops moving. Not even for more than a few seconds. It's impossible to get a good picture of him because of it. He learned how to do crunches (without my personal training instruction!) & we have a fun time counting his reps. He'll do a handful (5 or 7) stop his set & start clapping - holding onto cars, of course. Besides counting fingers & toes, this is his favorite way to count. Plus, this kid has some abs on him already (well, honestly he was practically born with a six pack).

He is very friendly & very social, charming everyone where ever we go. He has so much fun at playgroup, running amok with the rest of them. When we go shopping where there are other kids around (like a clothing store) without hesitation, he goes right up to them to make friends. He's quick to give high-fives & we're working on giving knuckles. We did teach him to raise his sippy cup to say "cheers" & he loves to do this when we all have cups to clink together.

When we're not mesmerized by cartoons or out with friends, Logan is racing his cars, pulling Buddha's tail & chasing Kitty around the house. The boy is All Boy. He likes getting dirty, picking up bugs (while exclaiming "UG! YUCK!") & wrestling. He hasn't grown all up & tough yet though, because he still comes to me when he's hurt so I can kiss his owie better (& keeps coming back for more, because one kiss is never enough).

After dinner, he takes his bath & demands that he brush his teeth in the tub. He is obsessed with brushing his teeth (there could be worse obsessions). We still have yet to see all of his cuspids come in - only the top two have erupted, the bottom two are on their way. Part of his after dinner routine is beginning to use the potty right before he jumps in the bath. He's peed three days in a row! We're taking it really slow & relaxed, making it more fun rather than giving him performance anxiety. I think we'll keep on keepin' on with this method all month & we'll see where we'll go from there. Considering how independent & hygiene-focused he is, I'm sure he'll be potty trained in no time.

Fortunately, the temper tantrums have started to decrease a bit & the two of us aren't nearly as frustrated as we once we're. For this, I am extremely thankful. I really can't remember the last time he had to go on time out. I'm not going to say anything more on this for fear of jinxing myself.

It's been a great month & I'm sure what lies ahead will be just as fun & exciting. I'm so proud of all of the new accomplishments Logan has achieved. I love watching him grow stronger & smarted by the minute. I haven't told him in a while, but: He is cute, he is sweet. He is smart, he is strong, he is silly! He is loved & he is special...