Saturday, August 27, 2011

More potty frustrations...

I hate potty training.  Honestly, I despise it with every fiber of my being.  It is hands down my least favorite part of parenthood.

I have been blessed (or cursed, depending on how you want to look at it) with EXTREMELY stubborn children.  They are both very much the "dig in your heels and refuse to budge" type of kids.  Monster Boy took nearly a year to fully potty train.  Not because he didn't "get it", but because he simply didn't want to be bothered to stop whatever it was he was doing to actually GO to the bathroom.

I'm quickly discovering that Miss Sunshine is stubborn in a whole new way.  She is excited about going to the bathroom, and does very well in underwear when we are out and about.  However, this child will NOT poop on the toilet.  Why?  I have no earthly idea.  She doesn't hold her poop like many kids will, she's not afraid of the toilet or pooping on it that we can tell.  She just won't do it.  She will stand there right in front of me and poop in her pants thirty seconds after I have taken her off the toilet and telling me she didn't need to poop.  I simply don't know what to do at this point.  I don't want to put her back in diapers because I'm afraid we will lose all progress we have made with pottying (little as it is - out and about in public she stays dry perfectly find.  At home is another story) and I don't want to have to completely start over.

I really wish there was an Easy Button for this...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Potty Time!

We are potting training here in these parts... Miss Sunshine is somewhat motivated - she likes her big girl panties and wants to wear them often.  However, she still does not tell us when she NEEDS to go.  She will go if we tell her to.  And sometimes, but pretty rarely, she'll come running up and tell me "I needa go potty!".   But often, if I'm not right there telling her to go, she'll just go in her underwear.  And I have yet to successfully get her to poop on the potty.  SIGH.  Have I mentioned that potty training is my least favorite part of parenthood?

Monster Boy is doing great at school.  His class was mixed up a bit, and he's sad that a few of his friends from last year aren't in his class.  But, some of his friends from before school are in his class this year, so that helps.  He LOVES his new teacher.  He has to give her a hug every day at the end of school - it's so adorable.  The little girls are already fighting over who gets to sit by him at lunch and who he is going to play with at recess (at least, according to him they are...).  I'm going to be in trouble when he gets to high school, I can already feel it.

I've made it through my first two days of classes - so I have been to all my classes once.  I plan to sit down this weekend and figure out an action plan for studying and such - I expect I will be spending quite a bit of time hanging out at the Starbucks by our house so that I can have uninterrupted study time.  But I wanted to get through the first week of classes and see how things panned out there first.  I'm still pretty nervous - I have to take Chemistry this semester, and honestly, science has never been one of my strong areas.  It's feeling pretty daunting - although I do like my professor and hopefully that will help.  My other classes I feel pretty confident about - they are right up my alley and I know I can do well.  I think if I can get through the first round of tests with high scores, I will feel much more confident about this semester.

Daddy Mac has been wonderfully supportive through all of this and I cannot thank him enough for how awesome he is.  His volleyball should be starting up again soon, and I know he is looking forward to that.  It will be good for him to get out of the house one night a week, especially since I have night classes two nights a week and he's going to be on his own with the kids until after bedtime those nights.

That's life in our house for now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Final Countdown.

T-Minus one week and counting until I am officially a student again.  I'm wondering why in the world I am so nervous about this.  I'm not sure if it's the thought of being so much older than the other students in my classes, or what.  I'm going to be a wreck the first day, I am sure.

Monster Boy starts school the day after tomorrow - I discovered last night that he is nervous as well, and I'm beginning to be more nervous for him.  He seems to be feeling a lot of pressure to do good in school this year.  I'm not certain where this feeling is coming from, because we have worked hard to reassure him that as long as he tries his best, we will be happy no matter what.  I think it's likely because of all the people telling him how smart he is that he is feeling this pressure.  The reality is, my child is extremely intelligent.  At the end of Kindergarten he was testing close to second grade level in reading skills and comprehension.  He can complete some second grade level math, can calculate monetary amounts, tell time, and do all kinds of skills that are well above a child who is just now entering first grade.  I have no worries about his grades.  Rather, I worry about whether or not he will find school stimulating enough, leading to behavioral issues.  Add to that the fact that we still don't know who his teacher will be, and which students will be in his class (there are two K's and First Grades at his school - I am guessing that they will mix the students up a bit this year, and I worry about how he will handle this, even though he does know all the kids in his grade).  Monster Boy has never done well with change, and I fear this is an issue we will face each year at the start of school.  He will start counseling up again once school starts - in fact, I emailed his counselor today to ensure that he will be added to the list.  I know that she will help him with coping skills for change and such.  I hope that things will get better as the year progresses, much as they did last year.  Only time will tell.

Miss Sunshine will be starting Mom's Day Out the first of September.  I am also nervous about how she will do.  She needs this - she is literally attached to my hip, and she needs to be exposed more to being away from me.  I do think this is going to be very difficult for her, however.  That is why we chose the Mom's Day Out program rather than a daycare setting.  It is a teacher she already knows from going to work with me, an environment she is used to, and smaller class size.  Plus, it's only five hours two days a week, so it is not overwhelming for her.  I hope to be able to work my schedule next semester around this as well, so that I can continue to utilize the program (They do not offer classes Monday and Wednesday, so if I have to take classes those days we will have to put her in daycare.).

The next few weeks are going to be big changes all over the place in our household.  I hope we can deal with them all well!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Being grateful.

I have a tendency to approach life negatively.  I have never been a glass half full kind of person, although I have often wished I were.

Some days, it's like a black cloud hanging over me.  I have battled depression for many years now.  I went un-diagnosed for many years, was finally diagnosed after Monster Boy was born, felt I was on the road to recovery, was at a GOOD place for the first time in I can't remember how long.  And then Miss Sunshine was born.  And we found out about her cleft.  And I spiraled nearly out of control with grief and depression.  I blamed myself.  Let's all be honest here - any mother of a child who has any kind of medical issues, be they visible or not, blames themselves in some way.  Whether it's a "What did I do to cause this" or a "What didn't I do enough of to prevent it?", those thoughts creep their way in.  I had a very hard time dealing with Miss Sunshine's cleft, for a long time.  I latched on to the inability to breastfeed her and manifested all of my grief, my pain, my anger, everything, in to that.  I cried myself to sleep so many nights I can't even begin to count them for you.  I didn't even FEED my own child for nearly three months.  Honest truth here - I couldn't.  I was not strong enough to do it.  Well, and for the first three months, every time she ate, I was hooked up to that stupid breast pump and literally couldn't feed her myself.  And I cried, bawled, so hard the first time I gave her that bottle.  I lost what little sleep I could have had over her weight, the way she ate, her hearing, her ears, her surgeries, everything.  I hate, despise, that aspect of her cleft.  See, with Monster Boy, I went through a rather intense emotional journey during my pregnancy with him, and I never really got to enjoy my pregnancy.  I still feel robbed of that.  But his infancy.  Oh, how I reveled in being a mother, in holding him, nursing him, everything.  He was a joy and in some small way that helped make up for the strain of my pregnancy.  With Miss Sunshine, I was able to share in my pregnancy with Daddy Mac.  We were both able to be excited, and enjoy, my time being pregnant with her.  But her infancy.  I still feel robbed of the excitement of that.  And then, I feel guilty for feeling robbed.  But, I'm being honest here.  Nobody wants to watch their child struggle, to deal with surgeries at such a young age, to know they hurt and that you had no choice but to willingly put them through pain.  It's heart wrenching.

But today.  Oh, today.  Today, I found joy in my child.  It was nothing spectacular, or exciting, or even new.  But today, after work, after nap, Miss Sunshine was running around in all her totally-excited-crazy-two-year-old glory.  Talking up a storm, laughing, playing with the dog, with me, with anything and everything she could get her hands on.  And I looked at my little girl, and I realized, she's not my baby anymore.  She's growing up.  She's beautiful, smart, funny, and only TWO!  And oh, how much I feel I have missed out on, being depressed, and stressed, and sad, and unhappy.  I don't want to waste another minute being that way.  Logically, I know, I will.  But for now.  Oh, for now, I'm going to be grateful for this journey.  It is one I never would have imagined I would have taken, but I am all the better for it.  And so, today, I sat Miss Sunshine down on my lap, and I played with her hair (it is amazing how I can't get this child to sit still for a simple pony tail, but an intricate design involving a dozen teeny tiny hairbands and ponytails and she sits like a statue) and I painted her nails (Thank you, Piggy Paint, for an all natural, non toxic nail polish safe for small children!) and her toes, and I laughed and I giggled, and I hugged her, and I held her, and I loved her.  And tomorrow, it will be Monster Boy's turn.  Well, not the pony tails or the fingernails, but you get what I mean.  I'm going to strive to be grateful for what I have, instead of worried over what I don't.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

These last days of summer

I can't believe summer is nearly gone.  Monster Boy goes back to school next week, and I follow the week after.  Miss Sunshine will start attending the Mom's Day Out program at the gym I work at on my school days, rather than full fledged daycare.  This is a good option for us financially, as well as being a good transition for her to me being gone.  Next year, she will start preschool at the same school Monster Boy attends (I was pleasantly surprised to discover they have 3 year old preschool!) and the second semester will go to preschool and daycare afterward, as, if all goes as planned, I will be starting my clinicals and she will need full time child care.

We are spending this week getting up bright and early to get back in to school routine.  Which is SORT OF working.  Monster Boy is getting up bright and early at any rate.  We have decided he is old enough to need to bathe daily now (he has eczema, dry skin, and overly sensitive skin all combined, so up to now we have been bathing him every other day to avoid drying his skin out too much), and gave him the option of showering at night before bed (apparently he is too big for baths now, or so I have been informed!) or in the morning before breakfast.  He chose morning, so he has to get up half an hour earlier than last year.  So, Daddy Mac wakes him up before he leaves for work, Monster Boy hops in the shower, eats his breakfast, brushes his teeth (which I now have to monitor as he has started trying to avoid actually brushing by simply running water in the sink for a minute or so to try and trick us in to thinking he actually BRUSHED) and get dressed, and then off to school we go.  Or, will, once school actually starts.  He has done well the last two days with getting out of bed without fighting.  Me, on the other hand, I have not done as well.  I'm trying to make myself get up before he does to exercise but have failed miserably.  Instead, I get up when he does, help with breakfast as needed (he prefers a small breakfast like yogurt or granola, which he can manage himself, but sometimes likes oatmeal or something that requires cooking) and get in to gym clothes so that we can head to the gym once Miss Sunshine awakes - or, starting next week, once we drop Monster Boy off.

I'm ready to get in to our new routine and see how everyone does with Mom going back to school - including Mom!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

She is done with surgery!

Everything went great. Right up until she woke up!

In reality, our morning started off bright (or dark, really) and early at 4:30. We headed up to the hospital, and the entire drive all she would say was "I hundry" or "I need my cuppy". I knew it was going to be a long morning. We got checked in, and she did not want to put on the hospital gown. So we had tears over that. Then we started and restated Tangled about ten times as she would stop it, say she was done, then five minutes later want to watch it again. They took her back at about 7:30. They had to carry her to the operating room since she refused to ride on the bed. They paged me about fifteen minutes later to tell me it was done. I met with her surgeon, who told me he went with a larger size tube in her ear to see if it will last longer. He did wind up replacing both tubes, but only the right one is the larger tube, as her left tubes have lasted much longer. He did say there was no fluid in her right ear when he went in, which was a surprise since she failed a tympanogram just over a month ago. He said sometimes they will get an air bubble from the anesthesia, and sometimes it means the muscles of the palate are beginning to function, so it is possible this will be her last set of tubes! That is by no means a guarantee, of course. And even if they are, there is a possibility of other procedures being necessary. We really just can't know until we get there.

Miss Sunshine was NOT a fan of the anesthesia. I could hear her screaming from about two hundred feet and two brick walls away, which was hard for me. She continued to scream, cry and throw fits of epic proportion for another hour until we got the all clear to eat and drink. A cup of milk and a donut later and she was good, and has been going nonstop ever since. We have another two hours here before we head to the airport, so it has been a LONG day, but the end is in sight!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Chicago

Well, Miss Sunshine and I are here. We survived a very long day, are in bed and ready to rest up for the even longer day we are facing tomorrow. We have to be at the hospital at 6 am, which means we have to leave the hotel by 5:15 am, which means we have to get up at about 4:30 am. Surgery will probably start around 8, if it is anything like last time. It shouldn't take long, and then we just wait for her to recover from the anesthesia. Last time she did run a fever afterwards, and we nearly missed our flight home as a result. So this time I had them schedule us for a late flight, just in case. Which of course means she will probably be fine, we will get released early, and I will be stuck for hours at the airport with a tired, cranky toddler. I am hoping that they will let us stay at the hospital long enough for her to get a bit of a nap in, since I know that will not happen at all once we hit the airport...

I will update after surgery tomorrow, but for now, I had better get some sleep myself...