Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Alter Ego

Addy used to be such a great sleeper. She took two naps a day until she was two. She'd always comply with bedtime and then drop right off, to sleep- nary a peep from her room once the door was closed, even if people came over or I was vacuuming two rooms away. Sometimes she'd announce on her own when she was sleepy before it was even bedtime, grab her blankie and trot off to bed, leaving us shaking our heads and thinking how LUCKY we were. (It almost made up for the fact that three nights out of four, she was eating a pb and j for dinner after an hour of futile attempts to shovel vegetables and proteins down her throat.)

But lo, it is no longer so. She is not napping reliably whatsoever, not even with the bribes of the portable DVD player in her room to let Dora soothe her off to sleep. She won't even accept the idea of a quiet time, and if I lock the child gate on her door to force her to play in there, she just stands and yells for me until a, I am yelling right back or b, her brother has been woken from HIS nap, which... is the end of the world, essentially.

But the real horror isn't even naptime. I mean, she is close to four years old. I am resignedly aware of the fact that she just might not generally NEED a rest time anymore, even if her mama still does. No, the real horror is bedtime, when she is popping up out of bed about every ten minutes from eight thirty to ten thirty every night with various urgent problems requiring our help. The requests are creative, I gotta give her that. It's never the same one twice: she needs the potty, a drink of water, a drink of milk, a snack, a hug, an episode of Blue's Clues, another story, a Hello Kitty band-aid, to kiss Fonzie good night, to call Aunt Rachel, to go the playground, to go to WORK, to snuggle with Mama, etc.

I know it's a normal kid thing, inventing excuses to stay up if you don't feel tired the second your head hits the pillow. But by about the third time I've walked her back to bed, I can feel myself starting to Lose. It. I just want to go get something done without kid-interruptions for the first time all day, but no! The interruptions just keep coming, except that they're MORE frustrating because they involve retucking her into bed a kazillion times. I've said that I'm not doing the whole tucking and kissing routine after the second time, but I keep slipping up and doing it anyways because otherwise she stands there and wails with increasing urgency, "But MOM! But MOM! I need KISS! I need TUCK!" and not only does the guilt slay me, but also, if she wakes Eli up: end of the world, as aforementioned.

Tonight was really bad. I think she got up about ten times before I seriously lost it. I heard my voice mid-rant and it was really not pleasant. Thankfully, she didn't seem wounded by my fury or the low, snarly quality of my tone; alarmed perhaps, because she did at least STAY in bed that time (so far,) but not teary eyed and shocked by the sudden appearance of Mean Mommy.

I was wounded, though. I hate turning into that Mom, the one hissing at her kids in a voice just as mean and threatening as she can make it, trying to control their behavior by scaring or shocking them or hurting their feelings. I mean, a little shock value is ok. But I never want my kids to feel afraid of ME. Afraid of the consequences of bad behavior, sure (Losing Blue's Clue's for the day! Oh the horrors!) but not afraid of me, personally.

Also, it's a tricky situation to navigate, the bedtime misdemeanors, when your usual discipline is a time out. In this case, a time out would still be getting to stay UP longer, so I think it's slightly inappropriate. Is it just all about consistency, just sending her back, or taking her back, to bed over and over and OVER until eventually she gives up? Or is there some trick I'm missing?

Also, don't you just hate it when the last thing you've said (growled) to your kid for the night is, "Get BACK in bed and STAY there! I do not want to see you up again, young lady!" What a crappy feeling.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not Intended For Squeamish Readers

Currently on my brain and making me cringe:

-Eli keeps taking his diaper off and bringing it to me. Methinks it's maybe time to potty train? But he's only twenty one months! And stubborn! And squirmy and screamy! I can't even get his diaper changed without an epic battle. Is the diaper removal maybe more to do with the novelty of being able to do it himself and less about his disgust with wearing a dirty diaper? Because honestly the idea of toilet training this young freaks me out a little. There would be SO many accidents and SUCH urgency to make sure he got there on time. We'd have to watch him like a hawk and he's so hard to keep an eye on... Plus he's just now learning to communicate with us and still doesn't have words for needing a diaper change. On the other hand, boy would I love having no one in diapers for awhile before we add another kid. On the OTHER other hand, boy do I not miss emptying the potty chair and soaking gross underpants and setting the timer so I can remember to help a little one try to urinate every fifteen minutes. That was possibly the worst month of my life. Thoughts?

-I have no idea how to delicately broach this subject, so I'll just do it fast like a band-aid. I'm desperate enough for advise to brave the awkwardness of the question. How do you handle it when your toddlers start, um, pleasuring themselves on various household items, like while they're watching TV or whatever? Or even (oh the weirdness!) when they're, say, enjoying a nice piggyback ride and then you realize that they're enjoying it maybe a little TOO much?

-Any advise for dealing with little ones who have seasonal allergies? Both the kids seem to have them pretty bad. Adelay was the only one officially diagnosed with them, but Eli seems to be exhibiting the same symptoms, so I'm just assuming with him. I have some children's Zyrtec the doctor gave me, but I feel really hesitant about drugging them up when they're not even SICK. However, I also feel really tired of wiping noses every two seconds and constantly wiping snot trails off the sofa pillows. And it makes it hard to take them to childcare situations like the gym or church because people think they're sick and that I'm being a jerk to bring them in public, and also I just feel bad about expecting someone else to be constantly monitoring my kids' runny noses.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Daddy's Girl

Oh, man. Last night was the first time since we've been back from Canada that neither one of the kids has gotten me up at three in the morning with some crisis or another. The seven nights previous, BOTH of them were up AT LEAST once with bloody noses, removed diapers, bad dreams, urgent bathroom needs, and of course Eli's usual light sleeping habits and inability to soothe himself back to sleep. I'm not sure if it was pure coincidence or some kind of conspiracy to punish us for leaving them, but WOW. Punishment is what it feels like. Even today, after seven hours straight of sleep, I feel like a zombie. I've had two cups of coffee and am still yawning and nodding off here. I'm sure I'll post a genuinely interesting and thought provoking post just any day now...

We did have a nice morning at a nearby nursery, however, and Addy was being such a little Daddy's girl it compelled me to pull out some pictures of her and Jim together.

Reading together.

The same wacky sense of humor.

Scaring each other silly.

Also, on an Addy-related note: she has taken to correcting people if they introduce her as "Addy" and saying, "No, I ADELAY." When I eventually asked her whether she preferred her full name, she confirmed that yes, she wanted to be called Adelay. Isn't she kind of young for that? And does that mean we can't call her Addy anymore? Because that's going to be kind of a hard habit to break.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Continental Breakfast of Blog Posts

I know it's bad form to publish a post of nothing but cutesy kid pictures when your blog is public; however, I figured maybe we could all use some lightness from my end of the internetz after all the "infertility specialist" this and "maybe taking even MORE drugs!" that. Boring, stressful, draining. But perhaps these photos will help you understand why I want yet more children badly enough to wade through it all. (Also, badly enough to wade through the ACTUAL HUMAN FECES thrown on the floor at three AM yesterday morning, when Eli finally discovered the removable magic of his diaper tabs.)

A proud showcasing of the Disney Princess dolls.

One of the few moments when they weren't trying to drown each other.

Why are his best smiles always covered in chocolate? Oh wait- answered my own question.

Sweet nothings? Or are they... forming an alliance against us?

Friday, May 22, 2009

To Make A Long Story... Er, Still Pretty Long

Jim and I drove to (undisclosed large city about an hour and a half away) yesterday to go to yet another specialist, this time the reproductive endocrinologist. We were a little nervous about what he might recommend, because we had pretty much decided that if he strongly felt that I needed the Lovenox injections, we were going to put babies on hold indefinitely, if not forever. Lovenox is very expensive, for one thing, and Jim's company recently made some fairly significant cutbacks. As Swistle has said, there is no perfect time to be pregnant, but there are certainly times that are not ideal, and an expensive pregnancy when money is tighter than ever certainly did not seem to be good planning.

However, there may be a baby or two in the cards for us yet, because the doctor seemed to think that the Lovenox recommendation was really jumping the gun for my particular situation, and that in this case the rewards would not outweigh the risks. He said that since my miscarriages were not consecutive, and both occurred very early on, they seemed to be indicative more of just bad luck than of a specific problem causing me to abort, like luteal phase defect or the blood clotting defect.

We really liked his demeanor- he seemed much less eager to jump to conclusions and say, "Oh, you had low progesterone? THAT is why you miscarried!" or "Wait, you also have this somewhat unusual blood clotting factor? THAT's making you miscarry!" Which is what the OB and the hematologist seemed to want to do. I think some doctors believe that the more definite and sure of themselves they sound, the more reassured the patient will feel. Honestly though, I feel more inclined to trust a doctor who doesn't act so confident about everything and who is willing to shrug and say, "Yes, we believe that x may be linked to y, but there's no definite proof that it's affected you at all yet, or that it ever will."

He pointed out that in certain people groups, this supposed blood disorder is actually found in up to a third of the population, but only one to five percent of them will actually present with any related symptoms. Given that information, plus the fact that I have had two healthy babies, I have never had a blood clot myself, nor has anyone in my family, it seems wisest to go with the least aggressive treatment method- i.e., go ahead and take the baby aspirin and extra folic acid, but nothing else at this point.

We ARE doing a few more blood tests, which I guess will indicate whether I am one of those few who are actually at risk for developing symptoms based on the blood disorder. If those come back positive he said he would recommend Lovenox after all, but that he really doubts they will based on my healthy history (the fact that I've actually been on bedrest on three different occasions, all while pregnant, which would put me at pretty significant risk for clots if I was in fact predisposed to them, yet I never have had one.)

What else? Oh yes, I'm supposed to take an antibiotic the first week of my cycle to possibly help with the preterm labor thing. I didn't really grasp everything he was saying about that- my mind was stuck on, "Oh thank GOD I don't have to give myself injections!"- but I think the gist of it was that there has been a link seen in women who have this latent infection and women who tend to go into labor too early. The infection never presents symptomatically in the mothers themselves, just seems to trigger contractions and dilation. So they've been treating women prone to preterm labor with this antibiotic for ten days before they ovulate to see if it might prevent early delivery. He admitted there isn't much data on its effectiveness yet, but said it's kind of like progesterone treatment, in that it can't hurt anything and it might help, so why not?

That's kind of our theory regarding Clomid, too, and the doctor concurred: no, I don't necessarily need the help ovulating, but I did carry my last healthy baby while using it, it does seem to boost hormone production, and it doesn't seem to affect me TOO negatively, so... why not? I'm on the lowest possible dosage, so the risk of multiples is still fairly low, and one we're willing to take.

To sum up, the new game plan is as follows: Still take Clomid, probably; take some antibiotic before I ovulate; take Prometrium as soon as I ovulate and then double the dose if I were pregnant; continue to take baby aspirin and folic supplement. BUT. No Lovenox. Whew.

Also, if you made it through this whole post without taking a break or clicking away in exhaustion, pat yourself on the back for being a very patient and noble person.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Glendale Beach

Well hi! Forgot to mention I was going to be gone for three days, huh? Our anniversary was Friday, and while we did not go to Jamaica as planned, we did manage to get ourselves to Canada for a long weekend at the family cottage.

There was another pose with Jim lecherously peering down my shirt, but I thought this one was just slightly cuter.

Jim, enjoying an afternoon beverage. Twelve fifteen is afternoon, right?

The temperature stayed pretty low most of the time, so it wasn't really a bathing suit wearing/swimming in the lake sort of trip (though I did attempt partial sunbathing one afternoon as seen above,) but there were movies and games, drinking, and football on the beach. I actually thought it was just as much fun as if the weather had been warm. The beach is the beach; to me it's always interesting and beautiful, no matter the weather. Also interesting: the fact that after a few sessions of football tossing and running plays, I am sore in muscles I didn't even know existed. This after being (semi) religious on the Nautilus machines for over six months. Clearly there are some muscle groups still not being fully exercised.

The boys playing poker. I played too, so now I can add "knows how to play Texas Hold 'Em" to my resume.

Brett protecting his head from those harsh Canadian rays.

Jim's uncle and brother had gone up a few days ahead of us to open the cottage for the season (i.e. turn on water, clean just about every surface, wash every dish and of course vacuum up a zillion mouse droppings and then spray rodent poison all over) and Brett stayed and went home with us, stopping off at Aunt Nancy's on the way. It was really good to see her. She had to have double hip replacement several weeks ago, so I'd been wanting to stop by and see if she was doing all right. Which, of course, she is. The women of Jim's family are nothing if not resilient.

In all, a fun and relaxing anniversary weekend, if not exactly the repeat honeymoon we had hoped for. But you know, uncertain financial times, tightening of employer purse strings, blah blah blah... Not the best time for a tropical vacation. Jamaica's not going anywhere, I suppose, so we'll get back eventually. Until then, there's always Canada. Which is really not too shabby.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reproductively Challenged

You all remember the hematologist I saw last week, the one who endeared himself to me by suggesting that I ought to abort any further children who might inherit my clotting disorder? Well, after some thought we asked for a follow up appointment with another hematologist from that practice, wondering if perhaps the first guy just overreacts as a general rule, and maybe we should get a second opinion about the whole Lovenox thing before we dive back into baby making.

The other hematologist had been out of town, but his nurse called back yesterday and said that according to him, I should first be seen by an obstetrical hematologist, someone who works specifically with blood disorders in the framework of pregnancy, and not just blood disorders as a general diagnosis. They referred me to a practice at a university hospital about an hour from here, and I have an appointment to see them the week after next.

The woman on the phone at the Reproductive Specialists office (ah, that name and all it implies!) said the appointment will take at least an hour, that the doctor would be going over all my obstetric history: miscarriages, preterm labor, low progesterone, my possible luteal phase defect and/or delayed ovulation process, all of it, and that there would be an exam and all that, as well. Which... Blech. Another stranger to whom we must recite all the clinical details of some of the most stressful, painful parts of our lives.

But on the other hand, I think I will find it quite refreshing to have someone actually taking into account ALL parts of my medical history and giving us advise accordingly, rather than someone taking into account the one AREA of my medical history which concerns them and giving advise accordingly. You know?

I'd be interested to hear from any of you out there who have had occasion to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist or even an obstetrical hematologist. Did the experience leave you with information and a game plan, or just a lot of percentages and odds and a further feeling of confusion?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not Scared

I keep a pretty clean house. I want to begin by saying this, so that the following story does not lead you to imagine piles of unwashed clothing in dusty heaps all over my kids' bedrooms, or cobwebs strung in every corner like some kind of haunted house. This is not the case. There might be the stray toy or water cup rolling around, there might be a shirt here and there that didn't quite make it to the laundry hamper, but I sweep and vacuum and dust and all that, I DO, and so it makes the following all the more wrong:

Today, when I went to get Eli up from his nap, a SPIDER crawled out of a fold in his blanket. The blanket that was covering his tiny, innocent, sleeping body. Not a small spider, either. Not a huge, Arachnophobia spider, but one large enough that before it darted away, right out from under the shoe I was wildly flailing at it, I got a good look at its color and little pincers and beady, frightened little eyes. I'm sure they were less frightened than MY eyes, though.

After that initial gasp of horror and attempt at murder, I breathed deeply, removed my son quickly from his crib, and then as calmly as possible hurried the kids out of the room so that I could do what I must without terrifying them for life. Then, it was time to hunt that effer down. No spider preys on my sleeping baby and lives to tell the tale.

BUT. I could not find it again. I shook out the blankets, pulled off the top sheet and the mattress protector, looked under the mattress itself, pulled the crib completely out from both walls, and moved the storage tubs that were under the crib. Nothing. It took quite a long time to find this nothing, too, as I was completely terrified of coming upon the spider and having it dart up my own arm and, say, into my sleeve. So I was moving kind of slowly and gingerly.

I'd take a deep breath, give myself a little pep talk along the lines of, "Sarah, you wuss, you've given BIRTH. I think you can handle hunting down a medium sized spider without hyperventilating. Pull yourself together." And then I would, for a minute: I'd muster just enough strength to yank back a sheet or shove out an edge of the crib, and then visions of the spider skittering suddenly out of its hiding place and up my body would reappear, and I'd yelp a little and jump back in terror. (See why I didn't want the kids to witness this?) It was kind of a two steps forward, one step back process.

So, no spider. But I did find some sizable gaps between the floorboards and the baseboards behind Eli's crib, so I'm guessing that's where our eight legged friend is lurking. I did my best to dissuade him from returning: stripped the sheets, Lysol-ed down the mattress, cleaned the dust off the tops of the storage tubs, cleaned the baseboards and the floor itself, removed all the stray little toys that had been dropped behind the bed... I even began folding up baby wipes and shoving them in the cracks between the floor and the trim before I realized that my little choo choo was beginning to veer from the tracks a little. I also considered caulking, but realized that would be a disaster if we ever wanted to replace the trim in there.

All in all, I think I managed to conceal MOST of the crazy from my kids, but I'm sure Addy wasn't completely oblivious to my panic at the idea of a spider in a bed. She keeps saying, "You got that spider, Mommy? You got him? He in time out?" And I say, "Yes, honey, of course I did. He was a naughty spider who came in the house where he doesn't belong, so he's in time out."

What. I'm hardly going to tell her that monster is still roaming free. No need for both of us to be wide eyed and awake tonight, flinching at every rustle of the sheet against our skin.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Typhoid Mary

So I've been a little quiet- sorry about that. Jim's birthday party was Saturday, and was a lot of fun, germs aside. But the day after, my hoarse, raspy voice turned into a full blown cold/hacking cough, the kind with sinus pressure so intense it makes your eyes water and burn all day. A cold of the variety where all you want in the world is just to sneeze but you can't so you walk around pinching the bridge of your nose and moaning and speaking in the exact voice of Joey's chain-smoking, eighty year old talent agent from Friends and you're basically putting on a hilarious parody of the show called, "Don't You Want Me, Baby?"

(Extreme points go to my sister for telling me my low, raspy voice was a "sexy voice" and to my mom and MIL for telling me I looked "so thin!" This makes me almost want to stay sick. Almost.)

(Uh, also, my apologies to everyone at church in my near vicinity on Sunday. I know, I should have skipped. Am really really sorry about that almost comically loud coughing fit during the singing, which necessitated my fleeing the sanctuary and doubling over in the lobby, half-retching, for a good five minutes afterwards while my eyes watered uncontrollably. And a big thank you is due the elderly greeter who graciously, wordlessly offered me a cough drop. What you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto Christ, my friend.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Segue? What Segue?

Yesterday at the Y, the lady who swipes the membership cards was helping all the kids make Mother's Day decorations with their names and their favorite things about their moms. When asked, Addy replied, with wide eyes and a tiny voice, that her favorite thing about me was "When we snuggle snuggle." There it was: my first genuine Mother's Day sentiment from one of my kids. Later that evening, in what I hope was not any sort of Mother's Day sentiment but simply a natural moment of urgency, Eli pooped in the bath. The yin and yang of parenthood.

We're having Jim's birthday party tomorrow and right on schedule, I appear to be coming down with swine flu. Or, you know, maybe just have a sore throat and fatigue due to stress, poor appetite and not getting great rest the last few days. But I don't like to let an opportunity for panic slip by, so I dutifully called the doctor to see if I ought to cancel the party and be tested for deadly strains of flu. He said no. The tone of the "no" was such that if I had asked in person, I imagine it would have been accompanied by a comforting pat on the head. Ah well.

While Nyquil is very useful when you have a cough that would otherwise keep you up all night, I must note that it sure is a b*tch to get woken from a drug induced sleep by a frantic three year old who crawls into bed with you, then thrashes from side to side for the next half hour while reassuring you in whispers that she IS holding still and getting sleepy, and no she WOULDN'T be happier in her own bed. I also hate that feeling when you're officially awake for the day but the medicine hasn't quite leeched itself from your bones yet, and for a few hours longer you still feel that undertow of sleep threatening to drag you under.

Fonzie got his summer haircut yesterday and for some reason they didn't trim his tail at all. He now looks like an enormous poodle with a jaunty bandanna tied around his neck. A sheepish and remorseful poodle, who ran away from me this morning and returned covered in filth as per usual. I hosed him down and dried him off outside, a process considerably less difficult without all that hair, but still not the way I generally prefer to start my day. He has been sulking in the closet ever since.

I need to find out who I can bribe/force into making Rice Krispie treats and cutting up a fruit salad for me for the party tomorrow, as I imagine our guests would prefer that I not come within five feet of the communal bowls. Although, I think we still have some masks left from when the guys were doing drywall... Maybe that would work. That and a healthy dose of Purell.

I cannot type to save my life today. Example: I just spelled "life" as "lief." Even my fingers are tired.