Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year gone.

As I sit here on the couch, thinking about how I should really be cleaning up for our guests tonight, rather than playing on the computer, I can't help but think back on this last year.

Last year on New Year's Eve, Daddy Mac and I fell asleep on the couch at eleven! We were woken up right before midnight courtesy of our neighbors shooting off fireworks, so we did get to "ring in" the New Year together. Monster Boy had been in bed LONG before midnight, and was our only child.

This year, we have TWO kids! Family friends are coming over, and I am sure Monster Boy is going to give it his best effort to stay up until midnight. Hopefully Miss Sunshine will be fast asleep by the time midnight rolls around.

Looking back on this last year, it's amazing how much our lives have changed. First with the arrival of Miss Sunshine. Then with the surprise of her cleft, and all that has entailed. Then with Daddy Mac starting a new job and me getting laid off from mine and becoming a stay at home mom. So many changes. It's amazing how much a second child adds to your life. I knew having two children would be radically different from having just one, but I had no idea how MUCH of a difference it would make. And here we are, facing down another New Year, with many more unknowns. Miss Sunshine's surgery is of course the biggest thing we face. Monster Boy will be starting school, it looks like either Daddy Mac will be looking for a new job, or I will be going back to work, depending on the decisions we make... It all goes by so fast. I wish I could freeze frame all these special moments in time, to have the memories forever. Instead, I'll just have to make the most of the time we have and enjoy it all!

Happy New Year to you and yours! May this coming year bring as much happiness to you as I am sure it will bring to us!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We survived...

the Christmas insanity! I am not even kidding you, this was the most insane Christmas ever!

And here is some photographic evidence! (the pictures don't really do it justice - I should explain that the rug they are sitting on is a 5X7 rug - and that all of the bags are full of clothes (I do mean full) and the boxes and laundry basket were loaded with toys as full as they could go as well...




My online Mom's Group did a Secret Santa exchange and Miss Sunshine scored some super cute stuff! However, her interest in actually OPENING the gifts was minimal - although she did like trying to eat them!





She wasn't really sure what to make of Santa, but Monster Boy thought he was the greatest thing ever.

Her first view of Santa


After getting her "treat" - still looking pretty suspicious...


Mommy taking Miss Sunshine up to get her gift


Monster Boy after he got his gift - he jumped up SO FAST and so excited I didn't have a chance to take the picture until he was sitting back down!




The group pic:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bring it back!

Damn. Where is my rewind button for this last year?

Christmas is two days away! How did that happen? Where has all that time gone? I want it back!

Little Miss Sunshine spent all evening WALKING all over our living room. She was even bending down to pick things up off the floor, and then standing back up and continuing to walk. *Sniff* How did that happen? She's still a baby - she's not supposed to be walking yet!

Monster Boy is constantly astounding us with his intelligence. Yesterday he informs us - one more day until Tree is gone (Tree is our Elf on the Shelf). He'll be lost in the basement until next year when he will come out again. Hahahaha. Lost in the basement. This poor kid. His strong desire to BELIEVE is over-riding his natural skepticism. At least he still WANTS to believe. I know I don't have that many years left before he won't want to anymore.

His party was a HUGE success - he had SOOOOO much fun, and all the little boys in his class came. Five five year olds and children's interactive museum time is a bit of chaos. But at least it turned out well. I need to find the camera so I can upload some pics for you all. I have got to get better about that!

Well, I'd better get to bed. Chaos will reign for the next two days around here - and there is supposedly bad weather headed our way to add even more excitement. Wait, make that three days... Oh, no, FOUR. I would love Christmas if it was a nice, relaxing holiday for me, but it isn't. Maybe one year... in the meantime, I shall wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and some good quality time with your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I love giveaways!

Another giveaway for you guys to go check out! A friend of mine has started making wraps to sell, and as a promotion to kick off her new store, she is giving away a free wrap! It is SUPER cute - go check it out here: http://mercysmom.blogspot.com. Be sure to enter her giveaway - and follow her blog so you can see when her inventory goes on sale - in addition to the wraps, she will be selling sans pants and other great SAHM-made things! Woo Hoo!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Running out of Time...

Well, we had Monster Boy's Birthday party yesterday. It was a resounding success. But totally draining. Running around a children's museum after five five year old boys is draining. He had a blast, and scored a bunch of Transformers - so that is good! I just can't believe he is this big already! Where does the time go?

Miss Sunshine is slowly but surely starting to take more steps. We are just leaving it as it is for now. We did recently discover she LOVES Macaroni and Cheese. So we are hoping that will help fatten her up some. We are keeping our fingers crossed. I want her to gain as much weight as possible before her surgery - which is now only three weeks away! YIKES! I am so nervous for this. I just keep trying to forget that it is getting so close. If I can make it through the holidays, then all will be well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where does the time go?

As I sat at my dad's house tonight, watching Little Miss Sunshine stand (and stand, and stand...) I thought to myself, "Where does the time go?"

And then we got home and Monster Boy begged to watch "Home Alone" for the 27 Thousandth time in the last week, after much discussion about pizza and pudding and various other things. And he began negotiations - "Okay, Mom, if I do this, and we do this, then can we....?" I thought it again. OH. MY. GOD. My son will be FIVE in less than two weeks. And while I know that realistically five is SO young, it just doesn't seem possible that he can be FIVE! I mean, really. Where does the time go?

We had our first parent/teacher conference today. How is my son old enough for that? Things went well - he still needs to work on listening (big surprise there) and coping with frustration. But he has everything else mastered. His teacher even commented on how smart he is - how accelerated. Which does my heart good to hear. But at the same time - Where has the time gone? The school year is half over and soon it will be time for Kindergarten.

Has anyone figured out yet how to freeze-frame children? Because I want to. My daughter is nearly one. My son is five. I'm not ready for this yet!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

See the pretty lights?

So, even though I have come down with (hopefully) the cold to beat all colds, we ventured out into the crisp winter air to look at Christmas lights tonight. Monster Boy kept trying to point out the lights to Miss Sunshine - nevermind that she couldn't see them out of her carseat! Oh well, it was sweet that he did it.

We also paid a visit to Santa. Monster Boy of course took wonderful pictures, as always. I swear the kid is a professional model. Miss Sunshine thankfully waited until AFTER the photographer took her picture to freak out at Santa - which surprise me. She is so stranger-shy that I fully expected her to freak out as soon as we handed her over and figured we'd have to make do with a screaming baby Santa picture this year. But, while she isn't smiling, she is looking at the camera and not wigging out, so it's all good.

And since I am battling the cold to beat all colds, I haven't wandered my way downstairs to scan copies of said Santa pictures for public consumption yet. However, we will hopefully have them up and ready to go tomorrow and I'll add them on here for you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mom, did you know?

Well, yesterday I bragged on Miss Sunshine walking...

So TODAY is Monster Boy's turn!

My child. He is SOOOO smart. Sometimes TOO smart. The things this kid comes up with. He retains things like a sponge. It is just unbelievable to me.

I mean, really, how many 4 year olds use words like "supposedly" and "apparently" on a regular basis in the correct context? He is learning sight words like crazy. I can barely keep up with him. It took him less than a week to learn both our address AND our phone number, he knows his full name, my full name, Daddy Mac's full name, Averie's full name, can spell his first name, and many other things. Daily he just astounds me.

So Friday's are library day at his preschool. Last Friday he brought home a small book about earth - describing the core, crust, magma, etc. So on the way home from school, he tells me that he is going to "read" it to me. I'm half listening to what he says when I hear this - "Hey, Mom, did you know that some people used to think that the earth was flat? Why would they think that? I mean, if the earth was flat, all the places would be squished." He informed me that Daddy told him people used to think the earth was flat. Who knows how long ago that was. The "squished" part he came up with all by himself...

My son is just so smart!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Milestones...

I nearly cried today.

Miss Sunshine walked. Like, real, full on walking. Seven or eight steps from Daddy to Mommy. By this evening we were pretty much able to get her to take four to five steps at any point before she'd give up and go back to crawling.

I can't believe my baby is getting so big. She's 10 months old now. Walking. Talking (well, as much as she can). She's not even really a baby anymore - she's a kid now. Personality out the wazoo.

How did this happen? Where did the time go? And who do I have to pay to rewind it?

I swear to you, it seems like just yesterday that we were heading to the hospital to have her. And now here we are, past most of her "first" holidays, and are on that rapid downhill slide to her turning one. This is one more milestone that is out of the way... or past. I don't want it to be time for her to be walking yet. *sniff*. Someone tell her to slow down, please?

Well, on the plus side, after her first tentative steps, I did manage to grab my phone and get the video feature going (I really need to get on buying some new tapes for my video camera so I can properly document these things...) so I have video of her first steps, which I am about to place here in internet posterity for you all...

So, without further adieu - I present to you : Little Miss Sunshine's very first steps... (and I apologize in advance for the shrill yelling that I do at the end of the video!)




video

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cindy Lou Who


So, I think I officially entered "Mean Mom" status the other day. I just couldn't resist. And there is photographic evidence to back me up...



Yes, those are pigtails on her head. Here is a good "rear" view:


We are also fans of BabyLegs here in the Mac household. When she was first born and I saw them, I thought they were just the most ridiculous things. But really, they are a WONDERFUL invention - keep baby's legs warm but don't have to mess with pulling down tights every time you go to do a diaper change! And they are just so freaking cute! She is rocking out the whale pattern in the above photos, and here she is in some stripey ones:



And here she is just looking darn adorable: (I know, I'm showing off tonight!)




And a few family pics for you all just because I figure you might be curious what Daddy Mac and I look like...

(Pardon the about 30 pounds I still need to lose and the fact that Daddy Mac JUST realized he is thinning out on top!)





Thursday, December 3, 2009

Would someone tell my kid...

That standing an inch away from the television screen does NOT allow him to see the show better? He has developed this horrible habit in the last few weeks. We don't watch a lot of TV in our home, but when it is on, I swear he stands there with his nose touching the screen. I spend more time yelling at him to back off than he spends actually WATCHING the television! It is so incredibly frustrating.

Oh, and while you are at it, if you could inform Little Miss Sunshine that everything on the floor does NOT belong in her mouth, that would be appreciated as well. She either ate a sunflower seed or an unpopped popcorn kernel tonight, I'm not sure which. This is such a fun age, really.

Ah, the joys of parenthood...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Time again...

Well, we survived Thanksgiving. Barely. Miss Sunshine decided that Thanksgiving Day would be a good time to have an ear infection! Thankfully I still had some ear drops from her tube surgery, so we were able to get through the day with those and call the doctor on Friday. They called in a prescription for her and I am happy to report she is well on the mend. We ate entirely too much food on Thanksgiving and still have one more meal, with Daddy Mac's family, to hit today! Guess the diet starts tomorrow first thing!

The Elf on the Shelf has also made it's appearance in our home - he showed up Thanksgiving morning. Our elf's name is "Tree" (Monster Boy likes simplicity, I guess. The fish's names were Fish and Shark, so this isn't horribly unusual). Monster Boy is fascinated by this. I think a part of him doesn't really believe the elf is real, but the rest of him wants to believe so badly that it's overriding any reservations he may have.

I braved the masses on Black Friday and was rewarded for it! Our WalMart still had all of the items we wanted, even though we didn't make it there until nearly 9:00 am. Target still had all of the items on our lists too, and we went there after WalMart. Of course, we didn't want any of the big ticket items at Target, which I think helped our cause. The only thing I wanted that I was unable to get was the Superyard XT that Babies 'R Us had on sale. They were sold out here in town. I wound up ordering it off the WalMart website instead - it was only $10 more than the BRU advertised sale price, and had free shipping, so it worked out okay. We want it to keep Miss Sunshine out of the Christmas tree. We have all of our non-breakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree already, and she's already pulled at least three of them off. It's going to be a fun holiday season here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving thanks...

Daddy Mac has Monster Boy out running errands with him, and Miss Sunshine is down for her afternoon nap, so I am sitting here and reflecting on all the many things I have to give thanks for this year. As many twists and turns as we have hit this year, I feel so blessed for everything we have been through. It has made us stronger as a couple, stronger as a family, and stronger as individuals.

This year, I am thankful for the blessing of my children. I am thankful every day when I look at their beautiful, precious faces.

I am thankful that my son is so very intelligent. Even on days that he is frustrating me, I have a great appreciation for how smart he can be.

I am thankful that my daughter is so loving. Even on days when all I want to do is be able to put her down without her screaming, having her hug and hold on to me makes me feel so good.

I am thankful that my children are healthy. Even with the other issues we face with Miss Sunshine's cleft and all that entails, my children are healthy, they are happy, and they are loved. What more can you ask for?

I am thankful for my husband. Most especially, I am thankful for how lucky I am to have found him. He is truly one in a million. He is so supportive, so loving. He is a wonderful husband and an even better father. He would give his life for all of us, and knowing that is a relief to me at night. When you are a single mother, you worry about the men you consider bringing in to your child's life, and whether or not they will treat your child the way they deserve to be treated. I never have to worry about that with him. I thank God daily for bringing him in to my life, and for letting him love me the way that I love him.

I am thankful for my wonderfully supportive extended family. They have been there for me through the good times and the very bad times, always with love and understanding.

I am thankful for all the trials and tribulations God has seen fit to give me in my life, because they have made me a better person. I wouldn't change a single thing, because these experiences have made me who I am today.

And mostly, I am thankful for the chance to BE thankful for all of this.

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nerves.

It hit me the other day that we have only a month and a half until Miss Sunshine's palate repair. She is not on a cup yet - she is totally attached to the bottle. I don't know what we are going to do about that. I'm going to really start pushing the sippy so I can maybe get to work on the regular cup they want her on before her surgery. They did tell us not to worry too much about it, we can always syringe feed her if necessary, but I would like to at least try. Especially since I like to have the kids off the bottle by 1 anyways. I guess we will see what happens. I am getting kind of nervous about the surgery now as well. I know it's necessary, and that everything will be fine, but there are still risks. And let's be honest - any time you have to think about your child going through something like this, it's bound to be upsetting. I just hope that I don't fall completely apart while I am alone at the hospital with her the night before. I already know I won't sleep - my mind will probably be racing non-stop, and Daddy Mac won't be there to keep me sane since only one parent can stay. I don't know how late they will let him be there, but he will certainly be there until the last possible second, I am sure. I wish I had a way to be better prepared for all of this. I can only hope that this will be the only surgery she needs and that she won't develop a fistula or any other complications.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I love giveaways!

Okay, again, with the cloth diapering! I have become a cloth diapering ADDICT! I need help!

I counted up my stash the other day, and holy crap, I have a lot of diapers. I have 21 gDiapers (I love my g's!) and 3 BumGenius All-in-Ones. I haven't actually gotten to try out the BumGenius yet - I just got them in the mail yesterday and am washing and prepping them as I type. We will try them out tomorrow. I am liking the look of them though - and they seem like they will be super easy, and a good candidate for my nighttime diapers!

Anyways, so I belong to many, many blogs about cloth diapering now - and some of them are doing some great giveaways.

This is a current giveaway that is just TOO good to pass up - you should go check it out! http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/2009/11/bum-flipn-genius-super-fluff-friday-56.html

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cloth Diapering

Okay, so I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that I now Cloth Diaper Little Miss Sunshine. I use the gDiapers - and I must say, I love cloth diapering! I never thought it would be something that I would really like, but it was a good, economical way to go, so I went there.

There are a lot of essentials you need for cloth diapering - along with the diapers, that is. One thing I highly recommend is a wetbag to store those dirty diapers in, whether in your home or out and about. Wetbags help reduce smell from icky diapers, as well as keeping any other items they may come in contact with nice and clean.

To this end, I'd like to direct your attention to another blog I follow on a regular basis - because they are having a wetbag giveaway! http://bordersbohobaby.blogspot.com - go check it out!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stuffy noses and other such fun...

Phew. It's been a while. Seems like we make one step forward only to take two back. So in the last six weeks, we have spent four of them with at least one day of each week caring for one sick child or the other. I visited our doctors office every other week in that period of time. I would be happy to report that our last visit was for Miss Sunshine's nine month check up and that we are now illness free, except that Miss Sunshine decided to come down with a cold after our last doctor's visit! We are down to a stuffy, runny, icky nose at this point, but still...

Here is a run down of the last two months in our household:
Week One : Miss Sunshine runs a high fever. After a visit to the doctor, we determine, courtesy of the tell-tale rash, that she has roseola.
Week Two: Monster Boy runs a fever for one day. Then has a cough and hoarse voice for the rest of the week.
Week Three: Monster Boy runs a high fever for six days. On day three we visit the doctor, who votes for a sinus infection. I am more convinced it was flu, but probably not H1N1 as there was no respiratory involvement.
Week Four: We manage to amazingly stay illness free, unless you want to count the migraine with nausea that Mommy had on Thursday causing Daddy Mac to come home from work early.
Week Five: Miss Sunshine has her well-child check - weighs in at a whopping 13lbs 12 oz. 26 inches long. Weight has become a real concern now. After some discussion with the doctor, we decide to start adding formula to her breast milk bottles to try and increase her calorie intake. We also introduce Oatmeal to her diet - which is a HUGE hit. We discover that thicker foods seem to work better for her and she is much more likely to eat them. The doctor says not to overly worry about her weight as he feels it is cleft related, however we do need to do something to try to stop her backwards slide on the curve. Mommy stresses out over Miss Sunshine's weight and begins researching options, but refusing to stop pumping. We increase food intake, maintain bottle intake with the increased calories, and keep our fingers crossed it will make a difference soon!
Week Six: Miss Sunshine wakes up Monday morning with a low grade fever and stuffy, runny nose. Call the doctor just to make sure we don't need to be concerned, they say probably a cold and to keep an eye out - if fever still present after 24 hours, bring her in. Fever goes away, nose gets worse before getting better. Mommy sends Daddy Mac out to buy a new humidifier and vapor bath, since Monday and Tuesday night Mommy got roughly 4 hours of sleep total. Humidifier seems to make a difference, and Miss Sunshine is back to sleeping through the night. Still has a stuffy, snotty nose, but not nearly as bad as it was. Keeping our fingers crossed that everyone is now on the mend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teeny Tiny...

So Little Miss Sunshine had her 9 month check up today - a week late, but never the less, it is done. She weighed in at 13lbs 12 oz. I was not very happy about that. After some discussion, we have determined that the best option at this point is to increase the caloric intake she is getting from the bottles by adding formula to the breast milk to increase the number of calories. Hopefully this will help her gain. Up until now, she's been maintaining a curve - granted, she hasn't really been on a curve, but creating her own, but maintaining a curve. So the doctor hasn't been overly worried about her weight gain. However, this check, she actually dropped down instead of maintaining, so he has some concern. Not enough to make us bring her back in for a weight check - he feels that it is primarily related to her cleft and that until she has the palate repair we won't see a huge difference. Hopefully increasing the calories in her bottles will help until that point.

Monster Boy did good at the doctor's office today, right up until the point that he pushed Miss Sunshine while she was sitting on the exam room floor (the doctor wanted to see her sit unsupported, which she did, and then went for her bottle in the diaper bag and Monster Boy was trying to stop her) and caused her to hit her head on the hard floor. She was fine, but still. I don't know what his deal was. And he kept interrupting me while I was talking to the doctor, which was seriously starting to make me angry. Once we left, though, he was fine. I think from now on I will try to find someone to watch him during her doctor's appointments.

On a side note - I bought this foam 3D puzzle type thing for Monster Boy to put together - it's a farm. I thought it looked like fun and something he would enjoy doing with me. This thing SUCKS! Do NOT, I repeat, do not, purchase these. They are horrible to put together because they do not come with directions, the pieces don't actually fit together, and once you do manage to get them wedged together, they don't stay together. This thing has been a nightmare for the last two days in our household - especially since Monster Boy really wants to put it together and play with it, which in turn causes it to fall apart again. It is a vicious cycle... Anyways, that's my PSA for the month!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Whoops!

Ha. I just realized that I got distracted by a phone call from my sister, and didn't include the video of Miss Sunshine with the walking toy like I had intended! So here it is for you!


video

Tired

Okay, I am cracking up right now. I'm watching my college team play our rivalry game, and the announcer seriously just said "Shankopotamus". Hahahahaha.

Now on to the real updates. It has been a long week here in the Mac household. Monster Boy is fully recovered from whatever plague struck him down last week. However, his attitude is in need of some serious adjustments. He MAY have gotten a tad bit spoiled while he was sick.... which MAY be my fault, although I'm not actually admitting to anything!

Little Miss Sunshine has been Little Miss Adventure this week. She has learned how to crawl up the stairs! And very nearly took a header DOWN them the other day after Monster Boy failed to close the baby gate when he went down to the basement. Yikes. Luckily, I caught her before she made it to the steps, but she was in the process of going through the gate when I grabbed her. Phew. She is FAST now at the crawling, and just in to everything. I busted out Monster Boy's little Walk and Ride toy for her to hold on to. She will actually walk with it! She is growing up so fast. I know that as soon as she realizes that she really CAN stand on her own she will be off and running. We are going to have an early walker on our hands. Right now if you get her to stand up and then let go of her hands, she sits herself back down. She doesn't fall, she actually sits. It's a completely controlled movement. Once she figures out she doesn't have to do that, we are in trouble. I'm betting we will be seeing our first steps right around Thanksgiving time. And that she'll be fully walking by Christmas.

With all of this adventure coupled with the usual household maintenance, and taking care of sick children on and off for the last three weeks, I am extremely exhausted. I was hoping to maybe catch up on some sleep this weekend, but doesn't look like that will be happening. Maybe next week sometime...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Video Clips.

Okay, so I finally figured out how to move the video clips from my cell phone to my computer in a format that I can upload - aren't you proud of me? And rather than take the time to go back and find the appropriate blogs to attach the videos to, I decided I'd just stick them all in one for you - so that way you can watch them, because I know you want to!

So here they are in order:

Miss Sunshine's first time actually crawling!

video

Now proficient at crawling, she's decided to throw a straight leg in there from time to time:

video

Here is her "Mama" -

video

And finally, another video of her giving the Gloworm kisses...

video

Whew.

We finally made it through whatever the heck it was that Monster Boy had. I'm fairly confident that it was swine flu, even though we weren't able to confirm that diagnosis.

His fever went away Friday morning and so far has not returned, thank goodness. He was so miserable all week. He's pretty much back to himself, just with an added nap :) He's still tiring rather easily, so he's been taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoons. And he's still a little more emotional than normal - due mostly to the tiredness I believe. Tomorrow is going to be long, what with him going back to school. I will attempt to get him to take a nap when he comes home, but I don't know if that will happen. We may just have to make bedtime early for the week to help get his strength back.

So far the rest of us seem to have dodged whatever it is he had - which I credit to my obsessive hand-washing, Clorox-wiping, Lysol-spraying ways over the last week! I even made Daddy Mac go buy a new mattress pad for Monster Boy's bed, along with new pillows for his bed and ours and new pillow covers for his pillows. I wanted to make sure that bug was LONG gone. I washed all his bedding in hot water to make sure it was good and killed off too.

Monster Boy made a very cute Spiderman for Halloween, even though we didn't go trick or treating. We let him dress up and took him to my grandmother's so he could get his present from her and a little bit of candy, but I didn't want to risk exposing him to anything with his immune system a bit down. Little Miss Sunshine was ADORABLE in her Halloween costume - I've GOT to figure out how the heck to get those pictures up on here LOL. I'm working on it, I promise. In the meantime, here is some video for you of her giving her new gloworm kisses!
video

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working on it...

The past few days have moved SO slowly. Monster Boy is STILL battling whatever the heck it is that he has. The doctor's office was out of flu tests when we went in on Monday, so we have no idea if he has the swine flu or not. However, the doctor did say that their primary concern with swine flu is secondary infections - like bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. And Monster Boy was showing signs of a sinus infection, so they prescribed him an antibiotic to take care of that. It has been going slowly. My child who has NEVER fought taking a single medication in his life, has suddenly decided now, while he is so sick, that medicine is yucky. I am at a loss. He literally made himself throw up tonight while taking his antibiotic because "It tastes like soap, Mom." and then he promptly made himself gag so hard he threw up. Lovely. Last night it was the same thing with the Tylenol. I can't win. I went and got the chewable tablets, and those are going over SLIGHTLY better than the liquid I was using previously. It's still a fight, and he chants "Yuck, yuck, yucky" while taking them, but at least he takes them.

We are keeping our fingers crossed tightly, but so far, knock on wood, Miss Sunshine is not showing any signs of whatever the heck it is that Monster Boy has. In fact, the rest of the household is not showing any signs of anything. This may be due in large part to the fact that we are religiously washing our hands, using antibacterial gel, wiping down anything that can be wiped with Clorox wipes, and anything that can't be wiped is getting sprayed down with Lysol. Hopefully this is successfully killing off the bad germs. I changed his sheets and pulled his comforter off of his bed tonight to wash too since his room was starting to smell like sickness. I will wash those in HOT water, like I have all of our sheets and blankets that he has come into contact with. I sprayed down his pillows and mattress pad with Lysol before putting the new sheets on too, so hopefully that kills off any germs that might be hanging out in his bedding. His fever broke twice today, and each time it came back lower than before, so I am hoping that maybe this crud is on it's way out the door... because I just feel terrible for my poor little boy and want him to get better soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oink...

I so hope that Monster Boy does not have the swine flu. I have a sneaking suspicion that is what we are battling here though. Yuck. I have him quarantined to our bedroom (where the TV is so he can be occupied during his banishment) to keep him away from the baby, and we are spraying down every surface with Lysol at night before we settle down in there. I'm not really sure what else to do except make him continually wash his hands and stay away from the rest of us as much as possible. How do you do that with a four year old, anyways? He's been battling SOMETHING on and off for about a week now - but this afternoon his fever shot up to 104 WITH Tylenol. That freaked me out a bit, so I called the doctor's office. The on-call doc called me back and said it could be flu, but if it is, he's out of the time-frame for Tamiflu to be effective, so unless his fever got totally out of control, to just treat the symptoms until we can get him in tomorrow, rather than taking him to the ER and risking exposing him to the flu if that isn't what he has. I am sincerely hoping that it isn't what he has. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an upper respiratory infection or something like that, that we can put him on antibiotics for and send him back to school on Wednesday in time for his class Halloween party. Poor guy.

Miss Sunshine seems to *knock on wood* have escaped whatever it is that he has. And Daddy Mac and I, while battling headaches, seem to so far be illness free as well. I certainly expect that to change, at least for me, in the next day or two, as I have been the one providing all his care at this point so I've been exposed to him a lot more. If I come down with something, I'll be calling in reinforcements to take over Miss Sunshine to avoid giving it to her if at all possible.

On the plus side, I gave Miss Sunshine chunks of pumpkin bread today, and she wolfed it down. Apparently my weird little kid likes Hummus, pumpkin bread, and guacamole. Who knows. At least she is eating some solids. I'd like to get her on a more regular solid schedule but every time I try that, she tends to start a boycott, so we'll just keep up with what we have been doing, which is rice cereal in the bottles and solids a few times a week. I really would like to see her gain quite a bit of weight before her surgery though. When we took her in to the doctor two weeks ago for the Roseola, she was 13lbs 14 oz, but that was fully clothed, so who knows what she ACTUALLY weighs at this point. I was really hoping to get her up around 15 lbs by her nine month appointment, but since that is in two weeks, I'm not holding my breath that will happen. HOPEFULLY we can get her close to 18 before her surgery though, I would feel much better about that. We shall see, I suppose.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chaos...

So, Miss Sunshine recovered from her illness after a few days. She did indeed have Roseola - high fever for about 3 days and then BOOM! No fever and rash all over her tummy and back. She is completely back to normal.

Monster Boy, on the other hand, decided HE needed to then come down with something. So last Saturday was his school carnival - we went, he had a blast, all was good. Sunday was just a nice quiet day of chilling out and getting some stuff done around the house - made a run to WalMart for a new rug and various other necessities, and home again for a relaxed dinner. Monday morning, Monster Boy wakes up with a low-grade fever - very low-grade, like 99.1. Monday also happened to be Pumpkin Patch day. After much begging and rechecking of said temperature, which went back down to normal, I made the decision to go ahead and take him - they went straight to the pumpkin patch - no time in the classroom or anything. He had a blast at the pumpkin patch - playing and running around and all sorts of fun. Started coughing late in the afternoon, low grade fever showed back up around dinner time. Sent him to bed early with some Tylenol for the fever. I checked on him before I went to bed and his fever was up to 101.8! I gave him some Motrin, and he slept the night through, and woke up fever free the next morning. Hasn't had a fever since then. Still has the cough, some very light nasal congestion, and is losing his voice. But he says everything feels fine, and he is acting more than normal.

I was very disappointed today. We looked at costumes for Miss Sunshine last week after deciding that the costume we were going to make will be too cold for the weather. Found a super cute Strawberry costume, but I waited to buy it because I wanted Shane to see them first and make sure he liked it too. Well, I took him back two days later and he agreed on the Strawberry, but they didn't have her size, so I said I'd go look at a few other places for it. None of the other stores around town even had the costumes at all, so we went back tonight, and they had only 0-3 months. I was thinking I could probably make a 3-6 month one work since she's so tiny. But nope, they didn't have it at all. So she's going to be a Ladybug instead. I'll still keep an eye out to see if I spot that strawberry somewhere else, because I really liked it, but at least i know I have a costume for her if all else fails... I'm still going to pout over it though!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Second Blog...

I have started a second blog. It's a rather long story as to why - mainly involving the format change I implemented here, but I decided that since I was going to be using up a url, I should at least attempt to actually USE it.

Soooooo... without further ado, I give you the EXCITING life of the Stay-at-home-mom! Visit it at www.theexcitinglifeofthesahm.blogspot.com. I'm not as active on it as I am here - this is more my day-to-day updates. My other blog is arts and crafts, activity ideas, and fun recipes for mom's with young kids. I'm still working on getting pictures for BOTH blogs as Daddy Mac has the camera at his office for work purposes (but a new camera for Mommy is in the works, I promise...) but I do give directions and I will be adding photos to go with said directions at some point along the line!

So I just wanted to let you all know to stop by and visit me over there, and maybe even start following me if you feel so inclined!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our first "official" illness...

Well, Miss Sunshine is "officially" sick. Officially it's being called a "virus", which, anyone who is a parent knows, is doctor speak for "Well, they are obviously ill, but I have no idea why...". Our doctor is great, all joking aside, and even ran a flu test although she has no symptoms of the flu. Better safe than sorry. Luckily it came back negative, so no flu for her. At this point it's just the fever and some loose stools - I wouldn't even really call it diarrhea - it's basically the consistency of the poop of a breastfed baby - which is what she is. Although her poop had started to solidify a bit with us introducing solids, so it is loose for her. But she is eating normally, possibly even more than she normally does. No runny nose, no cough, no ear pulling, nothing other than the fever. Our doctor did advise us to go ahead and administer the ear drops that the ENT gave us after he placed her tubes (we have a standing prescription for them for the next year as needed). She has very small ear canals, and the tubes take up most of her eardrum, so between that and the fact that infants do NOT hold their heads still when someone is looking in their ears, it's very hard to determine if there is any inflammation in her ear drum. So the doctor feels that it either could be an ear infection, or if it's a bacterial infection of some kind, then it will become and ear infection. So we are to start using her drops for a few days along with treating the fever to see how it goes. Hopefully something will work because I don't like seeing her miserable.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sickies...

So Miss Sunshine started running a low-grade fever yesterday. She was very fussy. But no ear pulling, runny nose, throwing up or anything of the kind. I think (or rather, HOPE) it's just teething. Today she's still running the fever (in between doses of Tylenol) but seems to be in a much better mood, which makes me hope that it really is just her teeth. It's very low, but still there. We wound up not going to church this morning because between the cold and her fever, I didn't want to take her out in case it was something more than just her teeth.

I'm a little bit frustrated with Daddy Mac today. Thursday was supposed to be my day "off". When he got home from work, I was going to go out shopping with a friend while he stayed home with the kids. Well, that didn't happen. It was cold and rainy and my friend didn't feel like going, so I wound up staying home. Then today, some of my friends were meeting at a sports bar to watch the football games. He was gone yesterday morning for a church deal, and last night for a work deal. So I was thinking that maybe I'd get some time to go out with my friends today since I didn't on Thursday. No such luck. I was only gone for two hours because he apparently has no patience to deal with the kids today since Sunshine is fussy and Monster Boy really wants Daddy to play with him. I am pretty annoyed right now. It's not like I ask for a whole lot. He plays volleyball every Tuesday night, so every Tuesday I am home with the kids alone from the time they get up until the time they go to bed. Plus, being at home with them all day long every day. And then on Saturday he was basically gone the ENTIRE day, and yet I can't get more than two hours of time to do something by myself? Seriously? Don't get me wrong, he is a great dad, and a great husband and I know I am extremely lucky to have him. But sometimes, I just want to smack him upside the head and make him realize how much I NEED time to myself! I have to leave the house to get it, because even if I'm supposed to be having me time and I'm in the house, he'll ignore Monster Boy or Miss Sunshine and I'll wind up taking care of one of them instead of taking care of me. So I really need that time away so I don't go insane, and lately I am not getting it. So frustrating. Anyways, that's my little vent for the day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Winter is on the way...

It is COLD here in the Heartland today. I am not ready for cold yet. Miss Sunshine is not big enough for her winter coat yet so the weather needs to hold off for a while!

We took Monster Boy to get his new coat yesterday. He outgrew last years coat, so this year we decided to go a size bigger than what he wears so he can use it next year too. He tried on a gazillion coats and informed us that he liked every one of them. I had to explain numerous times that he was only getting one coat. He finally settled on a green one because "Green is my favorite color, Mom." He sure looks cute in it. Now I just have to find some mittens, since the coat he picked came with a stocking cap and hood. Usually I buy crazy funky hats for him in the wintertime, but I don't think he is going to go for that this year. *Sniff*. So I'll have to move my funky hat obsession over to Little Miss Sunshine instead.

She is getting so big. Well, okay, it's relative. She's still teeny tiny for her age. But she is completely on track developmentally, which makes me feel good. She really started babbling this week - as much as she'll be able to until after her palate repair. It's pretty much "mamamama" non-stop now when she talks - unless she is yelling at you about something. And she does yell! It's pretty cute though so we'll let her keep doing it - haha. I'm going to try sippy cups again this week. I need to modify one for her and see how that works. She seems to like chewing on them okay, now we just need to get her to drink from them. One of the problems is that she is rather independent - she doesn't like letting us hold her bottles anymore. But the cups are too big for her to hold herself. I need to see if the spout will fit any of the cups with handles. Hopefully I will be able to find one that works. Just another thing to worry about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My kid is weird...

Okay, so we have struggled mightily to get Miss Sunshine to eat solids. She is a very picky eater. Things go up her nose and she gets mad and you can kiss any opportunity of feeding her anything else goodbye. She doesn't seem to like fruits. About the only fruit I can get her to eat is applesauce, and even that she doesn't eat very well. She does seem to like squash, but even at that I usually can only get about a half a jar of phase 1 down her - which isn't very much. It's been a major source of frustration to me. I'm tired of having a child who can't do things other kids can do. Even if it is something as simple as being able to eat. I know I should be grateful that the only thing we have to deal with is her cleft. But some days, well, it's just not there, you know? Today is just one of them.

As I sit here typing this, my husband is feeding my daughter Hummus. And she is wolfing it down. He asked before he gave it to her. I told him it would probably give her a bellyache (it's garlic hummus) and she probably wouldn't like it, but if he wanted to give her a taste, okay. Yeah, well, so much for the "probably not liking it" portion of my statement. She is eating it like crazy. This kid is weird.

I am SO not ready for winter...

The cold is slowly creeping in here in Kansas. I woke up this morning cuddled nice and warm under our down-alternative comforter (yes, I am allergic to down). I got up to go to the bathroom and HOLY COW! It was COLD in my house. The problem is that it's still staying warm enough during the day that there is not a need to run the heater as yet. So we are just bundling up the kids (well, okay, Miss Sunshine anyways - Monster Boy is a very hot, sweaty sleeper, so I've just moved him to his winter pj's) at night and going with that. The problem I am facing now is that in all of Miss Sunshine's EXTENSIVE wardrobe, there is not a lot of "in between" clothes! So her stuff is either too warm or too cold for the day. Looks like she'll be spending the next couple of weeks hanging out in her sleepers during the day - which I HATE. I am one of those crazy moms who likes their kids to be dressed in outfits during the day. But, you do what you have to do.

I threw my back out yesterday taking Miss Sunshine out of her bath. I'm still trying to figure out how the heck I managed to do that with a baby who barely weighs 13 pounds. I know I must have picked her up wrong. I have back problems anyways, and I think what happened is that my back stiffened up while I was leaning over washing her, and then I picked her up while still leaning over, and when I tried to stand, my muscle just wasn't ready for it. I was in a lot of pain last night. I'm still really sore today, but it's not as bad as it was. I'll just load up on ibuprofen and hope that it goes away soon.

Tonight we are going over to Aunt Krystal's to make Halloween cupcakes. Monster Boy is extraordinarily excited about this. He loves cooking. Hopefully he will have a good day so that he can get to go do this. He's had a good few weeks so that helps.

Little Miss Sunshine is still getting in to everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. I have to "cage" her up if I am going to be more than 10 feet away because she has this amazing ability to find whatever item in the room should not go in her mouth, pick it up and attempt to put it there. And I think we have a tomboy on our hands - she has become fascinated with Monster Boy's cars. I actually had to pull out some of the cars he played with as a baby for her to play with because she kept trying to steal his Hot Wheels. I think it's time to get her a baby doll!

***Coming Soon*** I am going to be selling items on etsy.com that are baby related - wetbags for cloth diapers, baby wraps, possibly baby clothes and cloth diaper covers. I'll update more once I get my inventory built and my store up and running. I am hoping that eventually I will get it going enough to bring in enough income to allow me to continue to stay home with the kids rather than having to go back to work. We shall have to see what happens.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Time for a little 3D action!

Monster Boy has had an astonishingly good week of behavior and as a reward, we have decided to take him to Toy Story 3D. He doesn't know we are going yet - I can't wait. He has always done really well in theaters. Hopefully Miss Sunshine does as well for Mema as he has done this week. I'm not holding my breath LOL. No, really, I am sure she will be fine.

She is pulling up on EVERYTHING now and is in general a total terror. I'm glad that she is meeting all her developmental milestones, but at the same time, babies are so much easier when they are little and can't move around. We've been trying sippy cups but she's not that in to them, and I know they are harder to use for her. We'll keep trying. I finally found the Nuby soft cups with the old style of spout that I can modify to require less suction - I was super happy when I came across those, because I was really to the point of thinking I wouldn't be able to find a cup that would work for her.

Well, my battery is about to die on my laptop. Guess I'll update more later...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A beautiful Saturday afternoon...

It's sunny and 70 degrees (give or take a few) here in the heartland. The screen door is open, Monster Boy spent the morning playing outside (and getting completely covered in dirt), we had a delicious brunch, Miss Sunshine actually took a nap, Monster Boy is now playing Tennis with Daddy Mac and I am sitting on the couch, pumping, folding laundry (because my daughter owns entirely too many clothes, as it turns out) and watching some goofy Lifetime Movie.

Miss Sunshine is now sitting on my living room floor drinking a bottle (she is now Miss Independent and doesn't like to be held to be fed unless it's bedtime). Well, okay, she's more playing than drinking... but it's still cute. She periodically looks up at me and grins. She is SO ornery. The dog is outside where she is not disturbing anyone (a miracle in and of itself), the cat is asleep on my bed. Life in general is pretty much perfect (except for that whole pumping thing!). And now, I must finish up my pumping and laundry folding. Wonder what we will do for the rest of the day....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I need a break...

Before I have a breakdown! Well, it maybe too late for that. I had a complete meltdown today. Little Miss Sunshine is perpetuating the nap boycott, and has now decided that being in the same room with me is no longer enough - I need to be HOLDING her. Monster Boy was pretty difficult this morning so I was plenty stressed out - doing all sorts of stuff he wasn't supposed to be doing, throwing fits about crazy things like brushing his teeth... just in general pushing as many buttons as he could find. Daddy Mac came home in the middle of all of it, and is generous enough to inform me not to worry about getting stuff done around the house when the kids are being like this. Gee, thanks. But then he complains incessantly about how messy the house is when I don't. He swore today that he'd stop doing that. We'll see - I'm not quite ready to believe him yet.

So I was hopeful that this afternoon would be better - Monster Boy and I had a talk and by the time it was time to make lunch he was a new kid. I figured I'd drop him off at school and Miss Sunshine would fall asleep in the car as usual on the way home. I even planned to leave her in the car seat so I could get at least a little bit of peace to reset myself as well. Well, that didn't happen. I get home, open the van door and there is Little Miss Sunshine grinning away at me. So I take her inside and spend the next hour trying to get her to take a nap before finally giving up and putting her in the pack 'n play and letting her cry so that I could at least pump. Then it was time to go get Monster Boy, had to go by Walgreen's to pick up a prescription, home again, where Sunshine continues to throw a fit. By the time Daddy Mac made it home two hours later (and nearly an hour later than I expected him to be home) Monster Boy is in the backyard playing with the dog and Miss Sunshine and I are on the living room floor both in tears. It was a very long day. I think it's something that has been a long time coming and needed to happen, but at the same time, I certainly hope that it's something that doesn't make a repeat appearance. And hopefully I can get Miss Sunshine past the nap boycott AND the constant need to be held...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Writing...

Monster Boy is learning how to write at school. It is SO cute. His handwriting is really pretty legible considering the fact that he is 4. I'm very impressed with him. He's learning to read now too... at this point I think it is more recognition than anything, but since he knows and recognizes all his letters, he is starting to learn how to put sounds together in short words. He is so amazingly smart.

It's been a busy few days around our house. Monster Boy's grandmother (his father's mom) had a mild stroke on Wednesday while at work. She is doing well, but the stroke has affected the speech center of her brain and as of right now she is unable to speak. They are doing speech therapy and hope that this is something that can be corrected with time and work. I am going up to visit her this afternoon. So I'll be better able to have an idea of what is going on once I do that. She is a strong woman, so I know she will come through this well. We haven't told Monster Boy anything other than she is sick, and he'll have to wait until she is feeling better to go see her. They don't allow children in the Critical Care Unit where she is currently at, so he can't go up there, and I don't really think that now is a good time for him to be seeing her anyways. I think we will wait until she is speaking a little bit more before we take him to see her. Otherwise I think it will just scare him, and upset her. And that isn't good for anyone.

We got to go to our Alma Mater's football game yesterday, which was quite fun. We are both big college football fans, even though our team pretty well sucks this year. But yesterday was a fun game. We were in the end zone on the second row, so RIGHT on the field. It was a good time. And Daddy Mac's mother kept the kids for us Friday AND Saturday night - so it was a weekend off all the way around.

Little Miss Sunshine is off and running - well, crawling. And she is pulling up on EVERYTHING. She's also getting brave and starting to let go with one hand. I'm thinking that within a week or so she will be standing on her own - she's pretty stable already for how recently she started pulling up. I think we are going to have an early walker on our hands. We had to move the coffee table into the basement - she is really rather short for it and whacks her head on it every time she tries to pull up there. Two weeks ago she really hit it hard and we wound up taking her to the minor emergency center because of the gigantic goose egg that she got. Everything was fine, and we decided that having the coffee table in a room she doesn't really go in was a better option. So now our living room looks nice and big. And I've put up the "baby cage" as my sister calls it, so that I can put Miss Sunshine in it while I clean, do laundry, cook, etc. Since she is mobile and is into everything, and the first place everything goes is her mouth, I don't like having her "loose" unless I am down on the floor with her, so this is a big help as far as allowing me to get stuff done.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Still Disappointed...

Well, I STILL have not heard back from a single one of our local news resources that I contacted last month regarding Craniofacial Acceptance Month. At least send me a "heck, no" response, you know? It's not like this is a town of 5 million people and you have no time to respond. But boy, let my grandmother write you a letter telling you she won't be watching your network any more and you'll respond to her. It's such a huge let down.

I'll be sending a letter to the editor of our local paper, we'll see if they publish that. Bet they do it in like the Tuesday edition, watch and see. Heaven forbid that something like this should recieve ANY recognition at all. I even emailed the person in charge of "human interest" stories at the newspaper DIRECTLY. Not so much as a freaking PEEP. I am disgusted, to say the least.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Picture Day.

Today was picture day at Monster Boy's school. He looked so cute in his crazy Hawaiian shirt that I could not, despite all my attempts otherwise, talk him out of. Of course, his hair still really hasn't grown back in, so these pictures will not look like him at all, I don't think. But he'll still be adorable, I am sure.

The fact that today was picture day made me realize that we have not had Miss Sunshine's pictures done in quite a while. Maybe we will try to get in to get them done on Sunday, when we get back from Manhappiness and the FOOTBALL GAME! Can you tell I am psyched? Even though our poor team sucks, I am still excited to go watch some football. It should be a good time. And the kids are spending Friday AND Saturday at Grandma's. I won't know what to do with myself! It's going to be nice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am in trouble...

Little Miss Sunshine is pulling up. She's crawling EVERYWHERE and is pretty fast at it now. But in the last few days, she's started pulling up on everything as well. She's not really "cruising" just yet, but she is already letting go with one hand... which means it's only a matter of time before she is letting go with both hands. AAAAAHHHH! I'm not ready for this! She's supposed to still be a tiny, cuddly little baby. How did this happen?

She is totally becoming a Mommy's girl. My mom came over for dinner on Sunday. She was holding Sunshine while I read Monster Boy his bedtime stories and said prayers with him. Sunshine was crying the whole time, even though she'd been perfectly fine with my mom holding her the entire rest of the night. We finally realized she was jealous of the fact that I was cuddled up with Monster Boy reading those stories - because she quit crying as soon as he was in bed. Hmmmmm.... just what I need!

I am so tired these days. I've been making myself get up about a half hour before the kids so that I can get pumped before they are up. But I need to go to bed earlier. There has been a lot of drama lately in my "online friends" lives, and I have let myself get sucked in. I'm going to take a break from it all because it's just not conducive to me. Maybe in a few days things will have died down and go back to normal. I haven't been helping things either, I know, because I have a hard time holding my tongue when I get irritated. I wish I was a big enough person to just rise above it and ignore it, but it reaches a certain point where I just can't, and the last two days, it has definitely reached that point. I know adding to the fire was a mistake, but it's too late to take it back now. Oh well, I didn't say anything that I didn't honestly feel, and if people don't like it, well it's their issue, not mine. I'm over it now.

Well, Monster Boy is awake, and Miss Sunshine is still sleeping, so I think I am going to go spend some quality time with my son.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Attempted...

Well, we tried puffs with Little Miss Sunshine this week. They did NOT go over well. The faces she made... We literally laughed at her.

Daddy Mac did figure out a method to feed her baby food though. One of our issues with her is that she is constantly grabbing for the spoon. So he took two spoons and would scoop up food on one, let her take it, scoop up food on the other, and switch them out when she finished off the first one. It made for quite a mess but she ate almost the entire jar of food, which was a first. I guess I will be handing baby food duties off to him!

Monster Boy has had a couple of really good days lately - which makes me VERY happy, because last week was extremely rough. He had his first playdate yesterday, and had such a wonderful time - he talked about it non-stop all night. Hopefully he will continue to have playdates, because I can tell that he is missing being around other kids during the day...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hey all...

Well, we have been sick around our house the last few days. I think we are finally on the downhill slide of the illness, so hopefully things will start getting back to normal soon.

So last night I had Daddy Mac feed Little Miss Sunshine while I was getting dinner ready. We are really trying to encourage the solids more - she is just barely eating them and we really need her to get the spoon feeding down. Well, he came up with a method! She is so independent, one of the biggest issues we have had with feeding her is her grabbing for the spoon and getting mad when we wouldn't give it to her. So last night, Daddy Mac used two spoons. He'd get food on one and hand it to her - she'd put it straight in her mouth, and while she was eating off of it, he'd get the other one ready to go and then trade them out. He got almost the entire jar of food in her that way - it's the most she's ever eaten at one sitting!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Look!

As you may have noticed, I have been playing around with my layouts a bit. I hope you all like the new layout - it is much fancier than the old one. I've been working pretty hard on it to get it where I like it, considering that I am barely computer literate anymore. Let me know what you think - should I add/remove things? Move things around? Leave it like it is? I tried to keep it fairly user friendly - and will be adding more detailed profiles of myself, Daddy Mac, and the kids eventually, but this is what I've got for now! Enjoy!

Surgery Time!

Well, we got our surgery date today! The Shriner's hospital called this afternoon to tell us they could either do her surgery on December 2nd or we could wait until January 14th. After much discussion, we made the decision to wait until January. While both of us would like to get her surgery over with and move on to the next stage, we are also concerned that if we do the surgery TOO early it will lead to unnecessary complications. And Miss Sunshine is still so tiny for her age - that concerns me too. This gives us a little more time to get her transitioned from bottle to cup (which reminds me that I need to go buy some cups for her this week) and hopefully get her to gain some more weight. So we will be headed back to Chicago on January 13th and her surgery will be done on the 14th and we anticipate coming home on the 16th.

In other news, we will be getting a new roof on our house. I noticed during the deluge we had last week that we had a wet spot appearing on our ceiling. So I had Daddy Mac call the insurance company to have them come out and take a look, and sure enough, we need a new roof. Now, where we are going to come up with the money for our deductible I haven't figured out yet, but I'll find it somewhere.

Monster Boy has been just that - a monster - for the last few days. I am practically at my wits end, trying to figure out what I am going to do with him. None of the discipline techniques we have used work, and I am at a loss. I know a lot of this is due to all the changes he has dealt with (Miss Sunshine being born, starting school, me staying home with the kids, leaving daycare, etc...) and is a normal reaction. But he's started raising his hand to me again, which is unacceptable. And he has developed a bad habit of lying to try and get himself out of even worse trouble (which of course just makes it worse). I just don't know what to do. I'm flat out of ideas...

And we are all sick right now. Some kind of virus. Stuffy noses and sore throats. Daddy Mac does not make a good patient. Monster Boy seems to have escaped the worst of it, and is driving us slowly insane with his energy. Miss Sunshine has the stuffy nose, but otherwise seems to be fine (and she started this plague last week!) and I have gotten the worst of it apparently. So that's tons of fun, really. Oh well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Disappointed...

So as many of you who have read my earlier posts are aware, September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month. In an effort to bring awareness in our area, (because the lack of support for families of children with these problems is deplorable in my opinion) the last week of August, I sent letters (well, okay emails really) to all our local news stations and our local newspaper. I have not had one single response. I am very disappointed by this. My letter simply requested for them to run a short story, ad or PSA, and they can't even send me a "No thank you"? I mean, I have had NOTHING. It's been three weeks - don't I at least deserve the courtesy of a "We won't be able to accommodate your request" from them?

Here is what I sent (edited to remove our names and other identifying info...)

Hello,

My name is Mommy Mac. My daughter, Little Miss Sunshine, was born in February with a cleft soft palate, a craniofacial anomaly. While Sunshine's condition does not affect the appearance of her face, as many other craniofacial conditions do, it does lead to other concerns, such as potential hearing loss, speech delays, and it does require surgery to repair. The reason that I am writing to you about this is that our family belongs to the Children's Craniofacial Association, a non-profit group that provides assistance to families of children with all types of craniofacial defects. CCA has designated September as Craniofacial Acceptace Month. In an effort to create recognition of children with craniofacial conditions in the Wichita area (for which there are currently very limited resources), I would like to ask you to run a story or public service announcement, or place an advertisement for us. If you are able to do any of these things, please contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX, or via email at XXXXXX
@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Mommy Mac


I am finding that I am VERY disappointed by the lack of response...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If it weren't for bad luck...

I'd have no luck at all...

So, we decided several months back that I would get the Mirena after Miss Sunshine was born. We aren't sure that we want any more kids, but we don't want to do anything permanent about it at this point. I am deplorable at remembering to take the pill, and since I pump, the patch and the ring are not an option because they will cause your milk supply to dry up. Well, I went in two weeks ago to get it placed, and my doctor was unable to get it in. His exact words to me were "Your uterus won't let me in." So he sent me for a sono-histogram. They inflate your uterus with a saline solution and do a sonogram to check for scarring, etc. His theory was that I had adhesions from my c-section. Well, I don't. However, my uterus "turns". Basically, when you aren't pregnant, your uterus lays flat, right? Well, mine apparently folds over on top of itself or something like that, resulting in a very sharp "turn" or "corner" as the tech put it today. Which means that likely they won't be able to place a Mirena because they won't be able to move the "thingy" to insert it past the turn in my uterus. Ugh. So now we have to figure out what we are going to do for birth control.

And we dropped Miss Sunshine's crib tonight - which was a lesson in frustration. It was so easy when I did it for Monster Boy. It's a lot more difficult when you have a four year old crunching ice in your ear while asking 37 million questions about what you are doing, and your 7-month old is screaming bloody murder because her father is doing God knows what except for calming her down. But it's done. It had to be done - I walked in this morning to get her up and she was standing at the rail - and it only came up to her tummy... Thank goodness she didn't do a header out of the crib. Of course, now it will be much harder for me to put her to bed, since I am so short and the mattress is now lower... I can't believe she is growing up this fast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Naps...

So the kids both slept in this morning. Well, okay, slept in relative to what time they normally get up - meaning I got up at 7:30 instead of 6:00... but still, it was nice.

Unfortunately, that apparently meant that Miss Sunshine was going to boycott her naps today. I sure wish I could get her back on her nap schedule, it would make my life infinitely easier, that is for sure. There is so much stuff that I need to be getting done in the afternoons that I can't when she is awake, especially now that she is mobile. Because she has full on figured out how to crawl and is moving all over the place. She is also a grabby baby, and the first place anything she grabs is headed is her mouth. Monster Boy was not like that, so this is a new experience for me. But you can't turn your head away from her for even a second, she is that fast. And never mind that I vacuum daily, there still always manages to be SOMETHING on the floor for her to put in her mouth. So I really need that two hour afternoon stretch back so I can get stuff done around here! Poor Monster Boy's clean clothes have been in the laundry basket since Monday waiting to be folded, and they still aren't done... One of these years I will get her back on schedule. I have faith...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ugh

Miss Sunshine decided that 6 am was a good time to get up this morning.... Someone want to tell her it wasn't?

She is currently passed out in Daddy Mac's arms on the couch. Daddy Mac is passed out on the couch too. As soon as I finish pumping I'm going to attempt to put her back to bed... Hahahaha, I just noticed that she's got her bottle in her mouth with her arm laying over the top of it, sound asleep. She looks like a wino! I wish I could take a picture of it for you all, but Daddy Mac has the camera at his office now... we need to get a new one. Maybe if his first commission check is big enough I'll be paying a visit to eBay... anyone have any recommendations on a good quality digital camera? I'd like to start playing around with photography a little bit more and see what I can come up with...

Uh Oh, it's storming and the dog is barking and that just roused Miss Sunshine again... Monster Boy is still passed out asleep. Daddy Mac is passing her off on me to go back to bed... guess that means Mommy Mac isn't getting any sleep this morning.... Keep your fingers crossed that she takes a nap this afternoon so I can get some sleep again...

Monday, September 7, 2009

4 year olds....

are a pain in the neck! Anyone who tells you that it's the "terrible twos" has not had a child who made it to four yet! Monster Boy has become exactly that - a MONSTER! I swear, he used to be this wonderfully well-behaved, polite, great little boy. I don't know where the heck that kid went, but that is NOT what I have anymore. It's getting to the point that sometimes I dread taking him out in public because he's going to be "that kid" in the store - and it used to be that I would have people comment on how wonderfully well-behaved he was. I miss those days like nothing you would believe.

And Miss Sunshine is now in to EVERYTHING since she is crawling (okay, well, sort of crawling. She's mobile, we'll leave it at that!). Her new favorite thing is to head right for any cord she sees and try to get it in her mouth. She's hearing "NO!" a LOT lately - she should have that down in about a month. She's already started ignoring us, or turning and grinning at us when we say it to her. I can tell she's going to be a handful. Monster Boy was so obedient at this age - he didn't get in to stuff or touch things, he didn't put much in his mouth, he was just easy. She is grabby, into everything, and the first place it all heads is - you guessed it - right for the mouth. I hope this means that she will be easier once she gets to the four year old stage, but I have a sneaking suspicion it means she will be even worse...

I really need to get her back on her nap schedule. It got shot all to hell a few weeks ago when we had doctor appointments and errands and such, and I haven't been able to get it back on track since then - lately it's a battle to get her to take a single nap at all during the day, much less sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time. But she is EXHAUSTED all of the time and super cranky as a result. And dammit, I need that hour or so to myself during the day. I want to start working out again, and the only feasible time for me to do that would be while Monster Boy is at school and she would be down for a nap.... So I'm going to spend this week trying to get her back on her schedule with the hopes of being able to start exercising next week... wish me luck!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

She crawled!

Little Miss Sunshine CRAWLED last night! Like, REAL crawling, not that crazy head on the floor scooting thing she's been doing. She crawled for probably about ten minutes (one or two little crawls at a time) and then reverted back to the scoot! But she did actually crawl for a few minutes! SO exciting! I just had to share.

It's Labor Day weekend. Normally tomorrow would be a "day off" for me from work. I don't get "days off" anymore! Oh well. It's going to be a busy couple of days for us. My grandparents are having a barbecue this afternoon, so the "chillens" and I will be heading out there. I don't know if Daddy Mac will be joining us or not - the van STILL is not running and he may be spending his day working on that if our friend can help us out. Luckily we have a LARGE extended family that will be more than happy to take over Miss Sunshine for us, and there are lots of other kids (mostly older, but it still works) for Monster Boy to play with, so hopefully it won't be too stressful of a day. Tomorrow it's over to my other grandmother's (I know, how lucky am I that I have three of my grandparents still living and that my kids get to know them?) for Labor Day festivities and also Birthday celebrations - there are five of us with birthdays in a three week period of time (which is a large number considering that there are only 9 family members on that side!) so we always celebrate all of them on Labor Day. This year, I turned 30 on the 30th, so it was kind of a special birthday for me, and I am looking forward to spending some time with family and getting to eat some cake!

On a side note, Miss Sunshine has FINALLY figured out how to bounce herself in her bouncy seat - now that she's practically too big for it! I have to put her in it while I pump, otherwise she is in to everything, but I keep a close eye on her since she can sit on her own now and you really aren't supposed to put them in there after they can sit on their own. Mostly she just kicks her legs around like crazy, though.

I had to start supplementing this week. It was rather a let down (although Miss Sunshine took right to the formula so that helped) but it happens. It's only a random bottle here or there of no more than 4 oz - usually just to tide her over while I am pumping her next feeding, but still, I was kind of sad. If I reach a point where she is getting more formula than breastmilk, I'll probably stop pumping. For now the balance is more in my favor so we keep going! (Although I must admit that secretly I am ready to pitch this stupid pump out the window. I have yet another friction blister which is radically painful. Don't tell anyone...)

***So sorry if there are any misspellings in here. I've just discovered that my spellcheck button has disappeared! I'll be searching to find out where it went, LOL, but in the meantime, I'll just have to hope I catch any typos on my way through....