Sunday, September 27, 2009


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


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


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...)


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 I look forward to hearing from you.

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


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


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....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

Now on to the fun stuff! It's college football season - WOOHOO! We are Kansas State University Wildcat fans in this household (both Daddy Mac and I went to school there) - even though this is probably going to be a rather rough year. Daddy Mac and I are in our jerseys and the kids are decked out in Wildcat gear as well - Monster Boy has his own little jersey (although he needs a new one - this one is on the verge of being too small - guess we'll be hitting up the stores sometime this week) and Miss Sunshine is in her cheerleader outfit - she is just too cute in it! Too bad the games won't be televised.


On a side note - I am working on figuring out the best way to post pics on here for you all! So you may want to go back through some of my previous posts here in a week or so, as I will be adding pictures that are relevant to the posts for you. I realize that the blog is rather boring right now, and I am going to try and spice things up a bit.... I'm not too horribly computer savvy, so it'll be a work in progress, but I think it will be well worth it in the end... hopefully I can get this thing kicked off and up and running a little bit better. My step mom is a web designer, so I'm hoping to get her to show me some tricks as well. I gotta pimp my site - haha....

Miss Sunshine has become mobile. She is not ACTUALLY crawling yet - still doing the scoot thing - but she moves pretty quickly with it at this point. And she is grabbing everything in sight these days. Her favorites right now are cords - uh-oh. Monster Boy wasn't much of a grabber - I never had to take stuff down or move things around with him, he really didn't mess with stuff. Sunshine, on the other hand, is in to EVERYTHING. I have a feeling we'll be doing some redecorating around our house once she reaches standing capabilities. She is learning NO at a young age, though! And completely ignores it. I know at this age that she really doesn't understand what that means, but she hears it enough she's going to figure it out quickly!

Well, Daddy Mac took Monster to the store and Sunshine is trying to eat the computer cord as we speak, so I'd better get her out of here... I'll try to catch up later on!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Such a relief!

We are home from Shriners. They are going to do her surgery! I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this. If ever we needed a boost, now was the time. They said they may do the surgery as early as 9 months because of how narrow her cleft is - now we are just waiting on a call from the nurse who handles the scheduling to find out when it will be. Honestly, part of me is hoping they will wait until she is closer to a year before they do it - she's still so tiny and I worry about them putting her under anesthesia - I'd like for her to be a bit bigger before doing something like that. But I guess we shall see what happens.

It was a pretty overwhelming 48 hours, I'll be honest. We had a three hour drive to the airport, which Miss Sunshine mainly slept through. The first plane ride went well - she was happy and played most of the way. When we got in, we waited about 40 minutes for the cab company to come pick us up (Shriner's was paying for the cab so we had to use a particular company) and then the driver didn't know where our hotel was so he had to GPS it - but we made it. Took a while to get there because we were going through at the tail end of rush hour, but oh well. Check in at the hotel was amazingly easy - and my cousin and his girlfriend came in from right outside Chicago to have dinner with us, which was really nice. We ate at Gino's East, which is like the ORIGINAL Chicago pizzeria - and it was FANTASTIC! We all ate way too much. Then it was back to the hotel to sleep - well, Shane slept anyways. Miss Sunshine tossed and turned all night - being in a strange bed, in a strange place she just didn't seem to get comfortable. I am sure Daddy's snoring didn't help matters either! So Miss Sunshine and Mommy were pretty tired come Wednesday morning. But we got up and got loaded up and over to Shriners and spent the day meeting with 8 different doctors. We met with a social worker, a psychologist, a speech pathologist, an orthodontist (he didn't really do much since she doesn't have any teeth yet, ha), a nurse practitioner, an ENT and two plastic surgeons. There is also a pediatric dentist that will monitor her as her teeth come in that we didn't actually meet with because we ran out of time. Then, after you meet with all those doctors individually, you go into a room with ALL of them (and there are two or three in each specialty except for the orthodontist and dentist) for a round table about the plan of care. But they are going to do her surgery and all her follow up care from now until she no longer needs it or is an adult. I am so exceedingly grateful that there just aren't words. With everything else that has been going on, knowing that I am not ever going to have to worry about anything with regards to her cleft not being covered by insurance is such a huge weight off of my shoulders, I can't even begin to describe it. I am rather nervous about having to travel so far to have the surgery done, and then traveling with an infant who just had surgery, but tons of Mommy's do it all the time, so I know I can do it too.

On another note, I got my bracelets from CCA today! Super exciting. AND a bunch of my friends have told me they want some too, so I am actually going to have to order more. I think it's great that I have such supportive friends. I wrote to the local news stations and newspaper wanting them to possibly run stories or an ad about it, but haven't heard anything back yet. My husband's cousin works at the newspaper so we may try to pull in his connections if we don't hear anything back by next week, because I think this is something that really needs to be recognized, and there isn't much of a basis for assistance in our area that I have been able to find. Maybe I'll have to start something up myself. Who knows. It would be nice to actually physically meet with other parents who have gone through what we are going through, though. Maybe someday...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We leave today for our appointment at Shriner's hospital in Chicago. I am finding myself extremely nervous about this. I HATE traveling with her. Not that I don't like taking her - but it's just so stressful traveling with an infant to begin with, and then you add in that whole special equipment (I know, it's just bottles, but still...) thing and it's just so much worse. My husband just doesn't understand. I told him it's not like traveling with us or Monster Boy, where if we forget something we can just run to the store and buy what we need. If I forget or lose her bottles, we can't just go out and buy a new one. Add to that the whole pumping thing, so I have be sure I have all my stuff for that too. There are just so many things to take care of. I hope that she does well on the plane too - it's not like I can give her a pacifier if she gets fussy. I know when I flew with Monster Boy when he was nine months old, that was the easiest plane trip I took. He fell asleep before we even took off and slept the entire flight. I can only hope we get so lucky with her too.

And I am also nervous about her getting approved for the surgery. It's going to be a full day of doctors tomorrow and I know I am probably going to be extremely overwhelmed by all of it. Thank God my husband is going with me so that he can take in what information I can't. And I don't know how long it will take for us to get a decision from them about whether or not they will do her surgery or what other assistance they might provide for us if they don't do it. So much to think about. I just hope that everything goes well.