Posted in ADD, ADHD, and EFD, Anxiety and Depression, Blogging, Children, Life, Mommyhood, Organization, Pediatric Feeding Disorder

January 2017

Oh, look, it’s January! Time to make resolutions I probably won’t keep! Time to renew my commitment to a mental facility to do more writing, especially in my long-neglected blog!

This time, I have incentivized myself. I’ve purchased the domain “coffeeandlollipops.blog” AND made calling cards with that info, and the forwarding email “deltasierra47@coffeeandlollipops.blog”. (It’s clunky, but it’ll serve for now. Especially since I’ve already printed cards. But if you want to contact me, use that address!)

This is in anticipation of launching a big plan to, among other things, document my struggles, failures, and successes in helping my kids learn to eat. I’ve mentioned before that they have feeding issues, but it’s kind of long past “issues” now into “disorders”. As in, I feel safe diagnosing them both as having “SED” (Severe Eating Disorder), without the need of a medical professional to do it for me. Granted, SED is an umbrella term, but one that is becoming more widely known and accepted, as “SPD” (Sensory Processing Disorder) and “Autism Spectrum” have been.

Before anyone worries that I’m one of those WebMD parents who thinks they know better than doctors, I want to remind or inform you that my kids are not toddlers or speshul sneauxflaykes. They’re eight- and six-year-old boys who have been eating five foods or less since introducing solid foods, have been to a few years of OT and feeding therapy (with small progress), and who would rather starve themselves past the point of feeling hunger rather than try to learn to chew anything, including treats like Jell-O, ice-cream, or cookies.

If that doesn’t convince someone of the severity of this situation, nothing will.

They do love lollipops, though. I daresay it’s the only solid food my six-year-old eats. So there’s hope!

In addition to blogging here, I hope to start vlogging, as well, and might set up a separate blog the boys can contribute to in the far future, which will feature their own videos. I bought them an inexpensive action-camera set-up for Christmas so we can create cooking videos. I homeschool them, and realized that cooking classes would be a great way to learn all kinds of concepts, and my eight-year-old mentioned that it would be fun to put some of our cooking exploits up on a YouTube channel. (He’s been angling for a YouTube channel for months; this is one way I can cave to his request while also making it educational and limited in scope. If it were up to him, he would post videos of himself rambling on about everything and nothing, pacing back and forth in our cluttered living room, and I just can’t let him do that. I’m a mean mom for promoting meaningful web content. 😉 ) So watch this space for kitchen antics!

Before that can happen, though, I have to address another extremely severe issue in our house: Ridiculous Overabundance of Clutter (and dog hair). It has gotten so out of hand, I could ALMOST make it on the TLC “Hoarders” program. Yes, really. I am not exaggerating.

I’ve always been a messy person. I know now that it can likely be attributed to a level of ADD (and OCD, but not the clean kind) I’ve always had, but got out of hand after I had kids and lost my ability to keep up with it. Now, I fight fatigue and motivation every day, and can just manage to stay on top of most of my outside commitments, making the kids’ food (for home and travel), doing the dishes, and emptying the trash. This is compounded by the fact that my husband is on a nine-month deployment (Army, someplace that rhymes with “Little Beast”), and it’s winter, so depression and anxiety are at their highest, too. I admit I haven’t really done much school with the boys this year, even though it’s the first year I’ve had to declare to the school district that the eight-year-old is homeschooled.

I’m a hot mess, y’all.

Which is why I need to blog — or, rather, “document” — my journey back up the downward spiral I’ve been on for awhile. In about a week I’ll be leaving for the Feeding Matters Pediatric Feeding Conference, which I managed to talk myself into going to this year. I’m really looking forward to it, not only because it’s in Phoenix, AZ, in the middle of January. 😉 I’m hoping I’ll be able to network as well as learn some new things and gain more advocacy for our situation. I wasn’t happy with what I’ve had available to us in the past, but I’ll address that in a later post. For now, I need to go make lunch.

Here’s to a successful 2017! 🙂 Feel free to post your own resolutions, struggles, recommitments, etc., in the comments. Please refrain from advice at this point, however, though well-wishing is welcome. Soon I’m going to write a more comprehensive post about feeding disorders and the issues we’ve had to deal with, and why conventional advice for “picky” children just cannot work for us.

Thank you! See you again SOON!

Posted in Children, Diet and Nutrition, McDonald's, Mommyhood

Confessions

My kids don’t eat “food”. My oldest son has eaten oatmeal, with few variations, for every meal (for, not with) since he was a year old. He’s eight now. My youngest doesn’t chew; he drinks a nutrition shake for every meal. This presents all sorts of issues I will get into eventually, but that’s not what I’m actually going to post about this time, ’cause that’s just gonna get depressing.

No, what I’m confessing this time is my unabashed love of McDonald’s cheeseburgers and French fries. Apparently, I was a little picky as a toddler and went through a “crackers and French fries” phase, and I am still a very big fan of both. McDonald’s fries aren’t really all that special when compared to the flavor and cut of several other competing chains, but they’re always hot, extra-salty, and crispy — not to mention nostalgic and probably laced with crack, or something. The same goes for their cheeseburgers. They taste like childhood. And if that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Seriously, my kids don’t know what they’re missing.

So, you’d think that having two children who do not eat McDonald’s fare and cannot be bribed with food would keep me from falling into the temptation of using the Golden Arches as a reward or incentive — but you’d be wrong. 🙂 When I bribe my children with McDonald’s, it’s not because I’m going to fill them with junk food and let them act like monkeys in the Playland while I play on my phone and ignore them for half an hour. It’s because I’m going to fill me with junk food and let them act like monkeys in the Playland while I play on my phone and ignore them for half an hour.

I will have paid less per person to have access to a covered, air-conditioned play environment, compared to the age-limited, expensive indoor playgrounds we have around here. And I’ll get food I didn’t have to cook for myself. What’s not to love?

More importantly, I’m not having to buy them each a Happy Meal or something else they are not going to eat, that I would only end up eating in addition to my own meal — because one does not simply waste delicious McDonald’s food. I watch the other moms and dads in the Playland, coercing their child into eating just one more chicken McNugget, or take another bite of their cheeseburger before they can go play. (For the record, I was that kid, too. Mom would tell me I had to eat my whole burger and at least half my fries before I could go outside — there were no covered play areas when I was a kid — but I liked to eat all my fries first. And then I had no room for my whole burger.)

Now that I’m an adult with aliens for children, I’ve realized there’s not much point in begging them to just tryyyy a French fry. I simply feed them at home, then buy the Happy Meal for me. I get to satisfy my junk-food craving with very small portions of the yummy food I love there. I mean, have you seen those cute little fry boxes? It’s, like, half a small fries off the adult menu. It’s probably less than they served in Happy Meals when I was a kid. Instead of a small soda, though, I get a juice box and apple slices with it. Boy 2 gets the juice box, Boy 1 gets an order of small orange juice, and I order a medium drink for me. If the Happy Meal contains a kind of toy I might want (like My Little Pony) the toy is MINE (what? I’m a fan; don’t judge). But if it’s something they like, I’ll just buy an extra toy. I have, in the past, ordered two Happy Meals to avoid questions from the cashier, but eating two Happy Meals while my kids play seems a little too indulgent, even for me. An extra toy costs less (in money and calories) than another Happy Meal, so it just makes more sense, overall.

After that, they go play in a covered, air-conditioned (albeit ridiculously loud and germ-ridden) Playland while I eat and don’t do the things I brought with me to do…because phone.

Win-win, right? 🙂 Tell me you’re not jealous. And if you’re not, turn your thermostat up until it’s 85°F in your house and tell me how much you look forward to cooking for yourself, and how much you don’t wish you could get into your air-conditioned car and go to an air-conditioned place where your crazy children can get their energy out and you can sip iced-tea and not sweat. Because that is what summer is like in our house, and it is miserable.

Honestly — why suffer? McDonald’s has more seating than any of the playgrounds in our area, and it’s fully covered so I don’t have to bake in 85° sunshine because the postage stamp-sized covered area is packed with a bunch of moms who want to socialize. I do not go to the playground to socialize (with the exception of the few times I’m meeting a friend so our kids can play together, but none of my friends down here homeschool). Often, I’m taking my energy vampires to the playground for a break (from them — so they can feed off someone else for an hour or so). But if it’s 85° in my house and 85° outside, the playground is not a break — it is torture. I wrote an entire post that didn’t end up getting posted (I don’t know why, and it was stupid-long and I’m kind of glad it’s too out-of-date to post now) about adventures at a playground, including no seating anywhere and having to wait for the porta-potties to be washed out before Boy 2 could go pee (with help, because I have nightmares about my tiny boy falling into one of those) — and sometimes that hassle is just not worth it.

Besides, I don’t feel like I can be as readily judged by other McDonald’s parents. We all know we’re there for the junk food and leisure time. High-five, McDonald’s Moms! Now leave me alone.

BONUS:

I’ve been itching to blog more. (Yes, again. I know, I say it every time. I really do mean it this time! Probably.) I have more content that isn’t stupid day-to-day stuff, and a lot of crap to work through, especially where it concerns my children’s eating habits. We’re also staring Real Homeschool in the face this year, and as much as I’ve been looking forward to it, I’m terrified. McD’s might very well become my office and the boys’ recess some days.

Therefore, I’m embracing my new tagline in the banner: “I am the very model of a major modern-mother fail.” Not that I think I’m a failure, but I’m a failure at modern mothering. I love my kids and they’re great, but sometimes I love them more when I don’t have to pay attention to them. Anyone who thinks that’s bad parenting doesn’t have kids. Search your heart; you know this to be true.

Meanwhile, I’ll be at McDonald’s, ignoring my kids. 🙂

Posted in Children, Identity, Mommyhood

My “Hero” Name . . . if Heroes Worked for the TSA

Fair warning: This contains humor a fourth-grader might enjoy. I will not take the blame for snort-laughter at work. And make sure you’re not drinking anything, mmkay?

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It seems the older my boys get, the less mature I become. Not younger, mind you — they have the ability to age me severely some days. I mean, I will laugh at immature jokes and phrases and subject matter I might have just given a courtesy chuckle to or just outright rolled my eyes at in the past.

But my kids say some hilarious things. What makes it even funnier is that they often don’t even understand WHY Mama is suddenly snorting, gasping for breath, and running to her phone to text someone or post to Twitter/Facebook (if they even know that’s what I’m doing. I’m sure they’ll be onto me someday). Sometimes, the only person I can tell is my husband, because I generally consider Facebook to be “mixed company”, where not everyone is going to fully appreciate the fact that I have suddenly reverted to the fourth grade.

It took me a long time to figure out where my oldest son could have gotten the imagery for this gem, uttered last year sometime:

“I smell a green floppy thing. It’s just my butt. It does that sometimes.”

See? SEE? How can you possibly read that and not feel the urge to titter, even a little?

I discovered later, while actually paying a modicum of attention to one of the movies they were watching, that “a green floppy thing” that smells bad most likely came from a description of Sid the Sloth from “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”. Aha! The imagery is something to avoid thinking too hard about, but it’s still funny!

I fight the urge to chuckle every time my kids talk about Beanie throwing up, even when I’m telling them not to. It’s a big mess to clean up (and he’s talented at hitting as many targets as possible), Mama gets a little excited over the fact that it always happens at the most inopportune times . . . It’s become kind of a household event. We’re brushing teeth? Get ready to clean the bathroom and change everyone’s clothes. Touching food? Watch carefully for the signs and be ready to clean everything again. Often ten minutes before we have to get in the car, or at times when I don’t have extra clothes for him.

His most impressive display occurred one afternoon when he managed to get almost every square inch of the kitchen walking space. I was almost proud — except that I had to clean it all up. Pie’s still talking about it (but because he has no concept of time, he keeps saying “last night”, so I have to correct him for the sake of the concerned adults with whom he has chosen to share this tidbit).

One time, Beanie threw up on the rug in the bathroom, and when he was done, he told me in a matter-of-fact tone of voice, while looking at me very seriously with his huge, sky-blue eyes: “I frow up on da rug.” *Giggle, despite frustration* Yes, son, yes you did.

I also lose maturity points every time Beanie says poop. It’s so freakin’ cute, I can’t stand it! You’d think I was five instead of thirty-five. And I taught him to say, “I’m a stinky boy!” which is also painfully adorable.

But, then, TODAY. Today was a doozy. Today was the funny to top all funnies thus far. And it’s SO inappropriate and immature, I’m not necessarily proud that I totally went there. But I did, and I’ve been laughing to the point of tears ever since.

Pie’s been watching the cheesy Batman cartoon on Netflix and playing super heroes all day. I was changing Beanie’s diaper in their room, when Pie came in and said:

“Mom, your hero name is Ball Searcher!”

*Blink*

“You search for balls!”

Total loss of control in three . . . two . . . one . . .

Oh. My. Gourd. It was all I could do, seriously. I wanted to post to Facebook right then and there, but in my barely contained mirth, I managed to retain my last shred of dignity and just texted my husband. And Joy. And I almost called a few other friends, but was afraid I’d be incoherent.

I’m not kidding. My vision was obscured. I hadn’t laughed so hard since having a Tim Hawkins marathon on YouTube a few months back.

What made it better was when he called me in on a ball-searching mission (*snort*). “Ball Searcher! You need to find four balls!” (Oh MAN, the jokes write themselves!!) There’s this plastic dinosaur thingie we have that sings and bounces. You put these colored balls in one end, and they bounce and come out the mouth. It’s a baby toy, but we haven’t gotten rid of it. He gave me a hint to look in the dinosaur, then led me into the room and I pointed at them (trying not to snicker the whole time, lest he ask me why I’m laughing. Or crying. Or fainting from asphyxiation). He counted them and celebrated our success. I just barely managed to say, “Oh good. I’m glad my super powers have not gone to waste.”

Then, redoubling my fits of laughter, I came up with my catchphrase:

“It takes balls to be a super hero!”

Oh dear . . . *wiping tears away*

This is the fine, quality content you get here at Chez Mom. Don’t you just feel so lucky? 😉

Posted in Children, Mommyhood

Can’t we just trade him in?

Beanie clocked Pie over the head with a toy car earlier today. As often as you tell kids not to hit their siblings, nothing you can do or say will curb all their impulses. This is especially true if the target audience is two.

Anyway, Pie whined, I reprimanded and started to get up, then Beanie ran into his room. It was almost like a self-imposed timeout, but not as effective a brother-striking deterrent as one might hope for. Pie began to cry and carry on, probably because I was giving him attention (and maybe because it hurt, so I gave him hugs and kisses — and permission to smack his brother back if he gets hit again). (What? He probably won’t even do it. He’s bossy, not violent.)

When he was sufficiently mollified, he began to chatter, as he is won’t to do. Then, the following gems fell out of his mouth: “I don’t think [Beanie] likes to live here anymore. We should get a different baby . . . that’s smaller. And nice.” [Chatter chatter while I’m trying not to explode with laughter.] “Maybe I need a sister!”

HAHAHA. Dream on, kid! 🙂

(A few minutes after this, Beanie comes out of their room with a toy piano, and invites Pie to come play with him. Pie agrees, after lecturing Beanie on the fact that they can’t fight over it, ’cause Mama said no fighting over it. (Sometimes he listens — that lecture was a month ago.) They played and danced for a whole FIVE MINUTES before the next fight broke out. Oh well! At least they’re cute. 🙂 )

Posted in Children, Diet and Nutrition, Mommyhood

My Son’s Oatmeal

image

(Created using Sketchbook Pro on my Google Nexus 7)

I do love that this ended up sort of in the style of The Oatmeal, and is also about oatmeal. Kinda proud of that. 🙂

I’ve mentioned before that my five-year-old is what might be called . . . particular (a.k.a. “picky”, but about a jillion on a scale from one to infinity). He likes his oatmeal a certain way: With peanut butter, honey, flax meal, and HOOOOOT. He can tell with one sniff that it is missing some element (or that’s what he’d like us to believe), especially heat.

I make it with boiling water. Like, “the kettle must be at peak whistle” boiling. It mustn’t sit cooking for more than a minute, or it will drop below 285°F, thereby becoming unfit for consumption (who knew?!). For this reason, I am continually baffled about how he could possibly not like the taste of other foods, because surely he has burned off all his taste buds by now.

Kids are weird . . .

Posted in Children, Mommyhood

Our Midnight Adventure

FUN TIMES last night!

Poor Beanie is on round two of this nasty flu bug going around — probably a different strain — and I thought he wouldn’t have as hard a time with it as he did before. He coughed a lot last time, but had no fever. This time around, he’s not coughing (yet), but after relatively few symptoms, he spiked a 104.6°F fever last night that, admittedly, freaked me the heck out.

I’d tried to give him medicine twice yesterday to bring down the fever he had (which was reaching 101-2°), but each time, he gagged up everything he’d eaten or drank in the last couple of hours. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he only “eats” formula mixed with a little baby cereal in a bottle, so the volume was great, but the consistency was not really that gross. I doubt the reason he threw it up then was because of his fever, but because it was thick and hit his gag reflex wrong, like solid food does.

However, after I put him to bed, around 9pm, or so, I went to bed and stayed up till about 11pm, maybe 11:30, before going to sleep, myself. I woke up at midnight to him crying, and when I went into his room to check on him, he was off his bed — and radiating heat. Yikes! That time, he did throw up, and I’m sure it was from the fever.

I got him onto the changing table, got his clothes off, and checked his temperature. The thermometer I have, which is designed to go “where the sun don’t shine”, so to speak, usually seemed to read a few degrees too low when I’d used it before (like, in the 95s and 96s, when the temperal thermometer — which also reads low — read in the 97s or 98s). So when it read 104.6° in ten seconds, I had to seriously rein in my panic mode.

When he was an infant, just a few months old, we had a bad flu that is similar to the one we got this year. He was coughing and vomiting (because of the coughing) and carrying a temp of 100-ish. I was able to cool him down by nursing him and putting a cool cloth on his head. I couldn’t give him medicine at that age, and unless he was showing signs of lethargy, I wasn’t going to drive him 30 minutes to the ER just to have them tell me to nurse him and bathe him in cool water.

Now that he’s a toddler, and his temp was in the “danger zone”, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to shock him with a cold bath, and I didn’t have the time (I felt) to look up tips on the internet. Also, I had just (like, Monday) transfered our TriCare insurance to US (Uniformed Services) Family Health Plan, a TriCare option using the civilian Franciscan network local to us. I had never been to St. Anthony’s, a brand-new hospital just five minutes from home, and had no idea what to expect. But I knew this wasn’t something we could deal with at home.

SO, I threw on a sweatshirt and boots, gathered my stuff, got Beanie all secured in the Subaru — and realized the dome light was not coming on when I opened the car door. Neither were the door-open indicator lights on the dash. I got in the car and turned the key — nothing. Not even a click. I tried to put the car into neutral so Sweetie could help me jump it with his car, and I couldn’t get it out of park. The brake was super-stiff, and the gear would not release.

ARGH.

Fortunately, my husband was right there, so he put Beanie’s car seat in his car for me and got his keys (I tried to find them, but got the wrong ring. Did I mention I’d had about an hour of sleep, and am getting over this flu, myself? I was alert, but only running with emergency faculties). I had to rein in panic mode a little further, because I was going to be driving Sweetie’s 40-year-old Mercury Capri, by myself, in the middle of the night, to a destination I was vaguely sure of (I knew where the hospital was, but not how their Emergency parking area worked). No fear, right?

I successfully backed the car out of the garage and didn’t kill it or spin out throttling into first gear. Yay! Success! There’s no radio in that car, and I wasn’t going to fiddle with one, anyway, so I started singing the first song that came to my head: “Be with me Lord, I cannot live without Thee, I dare not try to take one step alone . . . ” There were a lot of “la-la-la”s and humming, because I don’t remember all the verses. I made up some, though: “Be with me Lord, I don’t know where I’m going . . . ”

I got to St. Anthony’s and found the Emergency room, and parked in the first spot I found. Beanie immediately threw up all the juice he drank on the way there before I could get him unbuckled. Argh. Didn’t think to bring a change of clothes in case that happened. I also bonked his poor head on the door frame getting him out of the car (the car is two-door, so I had to pull him out of the back seat through a door much lower than my car). Sweetie’s sweatshirt was in there, so I wrapped him in that and carried him, my 200 lb purse (containing Beanie’s juice cup and my water bottle, among other things — but no diapers, I realized later), and his coat approximately two inches, before the juice cup fell out of my purse and I had to stoop down to pick that up and carry it in by hand, too. Not sure how I sprouted those extra hands, but hey. I’m a mom. It must be a mutant power.

I will say right now that, despite the circumstances, I have never had a more pleasant, friendly, dare I say it, enjoyable trip to the ER in my life. I’ve never personally been seen to in a civilian ER, though I’ve been to civilian ERs with other people. Most of my experience has been with the Naval Hospital here, which I’ve been going to for a large portion of my life (also doubles as the military Urgent Care for the region, so it’s usually busy). I’m used to all-business, no smiles, and a vaguely exasperated staff, even during the day. This was 1am, and the ER staff was all smiles and intently helpful. The place was deserted, too. I didn’t even have time to sit down to regather all the stuff I had in my hands before there was someone coming through the door, offering to help me carry stuff, joking with me — I really could have cried, it was SO different than what I was used to.

We were in and out in two hours. Beanie got nausea medicine and a Tylenol suppository (can’t gag that up!) and chest X-rays to rule out pneumonia (that was fun! No, really! Another smiling, sweet tech just rolled the bed out of our room and down the hall into an X-ray room, with us and all our stuff! And Beanie cooperated just well enough that X-rays took no time at all). The doctor didn’t even get that judgey look on his face when I told him we opted out of vaccinations. The nurse hung out with Beanie while I went to clean Beanie’s car seat — she even gave me a towel to use.

The last time Beanie and I went to the ER, it was at Naval, and I’d sprained my ankle in a wet parking lot and thought I’d bounced Beanie’s head off the pavement when I fell, because I was carrying him. He wasn’t quite two years old at the time. It was the middle of the day, the ER was deserted, and though our trip was quick, I felt on edge the whole time, because no one was smiling. I felt like we were intruding on them. They determined Beanie was fine, but they were going to X-ray my ankle. I got to ride in a wheelchair to X-ray, but the guy didn’t even put the foot rests down. I suppose I could have asked, but wouldn’t that be, like, automatic if you’re wheeling someone somewhere? I waited in the X-ray lobby for over five minutes, alone, with nothing to do but read the walls and learn how to roll my chair around. I suppose I could have gotten up and put the foot rests down, but I didn’t think about it. X-ray took no time at all, and they rolled me back to the ER, where I picked up Beanie before they got us in a room. Where they offered me no ice for my ankle, or for Beanie’s head, and an unsmiling, mildly patronizing doctor came in after a long, quiet wait to tell me my X-ray looked all right and offer sidelong criticism for carrying my child through the wet parking lot when he is perfectly capable of walking by himself. They gave me the standard paperwork on caring for a sprain, then left me alone to walk out of the room, through the ER floor (they all kind of watched me go; it was actually creepy) to the lobby, and into the parking lot. No wheelchair, no painkillers, no ice, not even an Ace bandage. I had a half-hour drive home before I could ice and wrap it, myself. At least that doctor called later to tell me he thought he saw what could be an old fracture on the X-ray and to follow up with my primary care physician (who I can’t even remember the name of, because I have never seen him or her, just other doctors on the “team”) that Monday. I had a good experience with a medical practitioner of some level on the Family Practice floor, who may or may not have been on my “team”, and he hooked me up with a brace. I never saw him again after that. I don’t even remember his name.

We were almost never alone at St. Anthony’s, and we got extremely detailed paperwork when they released us, including some with conclusions from the X-rays with technical terms basically stating he had a virus rather than something they could treat with antibiotics. Wow! I was impressed! Also, though USFHP, we are assigned to ONE doctor, who is immediately notified when we have to visit the ER, and is required to follow up with us ASAP (I don’t remember who contacts whom, but if I don’t get a call early Monday, I’ll call her). I haven’t met our doctor yet, but at least I know who we’re seeing, and that we should be pretty much guaranteed to see her tomorrow.

Back to last night: Beanie drank all his juice and some Pedialite while we were there and kept it down, which was a good sign. We gave him a dose of children’s ibuprofen when we got home, per instructions, and his fever broke by 3:30am, well after he’d fallen asleep on the couch watching Blue’s Clues. I couldn’t sleep till after 4am. I woke up a couple times to Beanie shifting or making sounds in his sleep, but his fever stayed down all night and he didn’t fall off the couch. 🙂 Later, I woke to Pie moving around, and was surprised to see it was 8am. After a brief session of trying to relocate to the bedroom and failing (Pie wanted to stay in our bedroom and Beanie wanted to stay on the couch), Beanie and I went back to sleep on the couch and Pie and Sweetie watched Netflix in our room. Well, Beanie might not have gone back to sleep, but I slept another 45 minutes, or so, till 9am.

Beanie’s fever is staying down, mostly, but he’s really stuffed up. Sweetie skipped church in case we needed his car, and when we determined Beanie wouldn’t need to go back to the hospital, he went to the store and got a starter to jump my Subaru’s battery to try to get it running again. Fortunately, it appears it was just a dead battery, and it’s working now.

In addition to taking the baby to the doctor and the car to the shop, I might have to take the dog to the vet, too, because she’s off her feed and her stomach is making weird noises. Could be the coconut oil in her food, though, so I’m going to try a few tweaks to her diet first.

Crazy weekend! Fun times. Now I need a nap . . .

Posted in Anxiety and Depression, Children, Insomnia, Mommyhood

Growing Up

It was time to change the theme (and I was being picky, so I went with PLAAAAIN) and the title of this blog. My kids don’t really nap anymore. Well, Beanie does, when he passes out on the couch sometime in the late afternoon (though he’s actually been ASKING TO GO TO BED in the late MORNING, and staying there for half an hour, at least. Creepy). But, for the most part, my children are stalwart defenders of the NO NAP, MAMA! camp. Which means Mama never gets a nap, either. Sometimes I don’t notice. But there are days when I’m passing out, myself, and hoping they don’t burn the house down while I’m snoozing.

I have a lot going through my head most of the time. Sometimes it’s politics, sometimes it’s spiritual, sometimes it’s just stressed-out mindfreak and I need someplace to put it where someone might come out and say, “You know, you’re really not THAT crazy” or “How about you come down from that ledge? I have chocolate!”

Lately, I’ve just been working through STUFF. I need someplace to be funny, or snarky, or otherwise loquacious when I can’t be in “real life”. Unfortunately, this is still the Intarweb, so I have to leave most of the filters in place, but maybe I can write funny stories and no one will know what I’m talking about, but it might make me feel better to know someone else is reading and laughing (and thinking I’m not TOO crazy) (or giving me emergency chocolate).

See? Blathering. I woke up at 3:30 this morning with general anxiety. I couldn’t go back to sleep till almost 5. My alarm (radio program I tune into every morning) went off at 6. I dozed till 7. It’s been a crazy couple of days with bad attitudes, crankiness, hormones, and whining. But it wasn’t all me! I should probably get to sleep, because my kidlets will be up by the crack of dawn (“Rise and Shine” as Pie calls it. “Look, Mama! It’s time to get up! It’s Rise and Shine outside!!”)

Anyway. That’s me lately. 🙂 There are other things coming down the pipe, some of which are the cause for anxiety, but I’ll dwell on those later. ‘Night!

Posted in Children, Mommyhood, Pets

Meet Ladybug!

A long time ago, when we first bought this house, we had intended to adopt from some friends a sweet, well-behaved, loving, and calm Pembroke Corgi, who really needed to be an only dog in a home full of people who will pay oodles of attention to her all day long. My boys could be up to that challenge, boy howdy. We were getting ready to prepare to bring her home after our second child was born.

However, before that happened, we got a call from our friends to let us know that they just discovered this beautiful, sweet dog had lymphoma, and not long to live. 😦

She had to be put down a few months later. I wasn’t extremely heartbroken, because she hadn’t been ours yet. I hadn’t seen her (or our friends) much in months. Life just kind of got in the way. Perhaps providence. I don’t know. But I really wasn’t sure how we would ever find another perfect dog like her for us.

Fast forward a year or so: I left my boys with some friends from church one evening while I was at a choir practice, and when I went to pick them up, I met our friends’ newly adopted Golden Retriever. She was about a year old, a little timid, but sweet as could be and the perfect energy level for my boys (which meant too much for me!). My friends mentioned that another set of friends from church, who are getting ready for a big cross-country move, were trying to find a home for their older Golden, because they just didn’t think the move would be good for her.

I kind of wonder if God put a few of these Golden Retriever owners in my life at this time to get me ready for this new addition to our family, because Ladybug would be the fourth Golden Retriever (maybe fifth, if I count an older one who died a few months back, who belonged to the people who just adopted the one-year-old) I would encounter in a few months’ time. One of my friends owns two Goldens, that are her ninth and tenth in her adult life, and tells me there is no better breed, especially for raising boys. She said she couldn’t have raised her three boys without her Goldens.

I thought about it. At first, I didn’t want to promise anything. I wasn’t sure I could be a big-dog owner. I’d tried before, and I couldn’t handle it. I was sure I would need something with big-dog attitude, but of a controllable size (like a Corgi; I really wanted a Corgi). Well, in truth, the big dog I’d tried before was not a dog I had any business trying to own and train myself. He needed special keeping, and I was definitely not a good match for him. Bringing him back to the shelter was not, on the face of it, my proudest moment, but looking back, it was a very smart move on my part. He was aggressive and too energetic. At this point in my life, I KNOW I could not have handled him, especially since I found out five days after bringing him back to the shelter that I was pregnant with our first child.

Since then, I’ve researched Corgis. I’ve looked up adoptable older or senior female dogs who just need a loving family and a good home to spend the rest of their days. But I didn’t know if I could do it. We don’t really have a good yard set-up (yet) for a dog, nor a fence. We could adopt a sweet dog, but if she was a runner, we would be forced to stay outside with her the whole time she was going potty, rain or shine. And what if she wasn’t good with cats, or children? Most petfinder sites are good at screening those, but I found my first dog through them, and they did NOT have the full scoop on Maxie. I just wasn’t sure whether to trust them.

Enter my friends from church. Suddenly, they have to find a home for their dog in a matter of weeks, and here I am, wondering if I was going to make a big mistake by asking them about it. Was I setting myself up for heartbreak? Failure? Future bad behavior from my cat, who still resents the fact that we brought children into her territory? (She’s not aggressive, just irritable.)

I talked to my friend, then agreed to meet with her and Ladybug at a local park, so we can see how she handles the kids, the strangers (both men and women), strange dogs, etc. Fortunately, all those things were present! A family brought their dog, which was the same size as Ladybug, and sat not far from us. The dog was off-leash and came to say hi to Ladybug at one point, and Ladybug, though a bit stressed, did not react at all. She did not react to men coming to talk to her. She did not jump on my boys or lick their faces. She was pretty much perfect, and I couldn’t help but feel that she would do just fine with us.

She is six years old, has gorgeous curly hair on her chest and hindquarters, the sweetest brown eyes, and such an immensely loving disposition that transfer to our house was nearly seamless. I say “nearly”, because she does have an issue with submissive urination. After a couple days of cleaning up messes because she didn’t want to go do what I wanted her to do, and didn’t like it when I approached her to correct her, we’re starting from the beginning with some crate training (to get her comfortable with smells and sounds, and so she’ll realize that she mustn’t mess the crate, since that is where she will be spending a lot of time), then we’ll work up to “who’s the boss” (roped to me all day, following me around while I do daily stuff, learning sit-stays and down-stays), and hopefully we can get her more confident around us so that she won’t feel like she needs to wet herself, her bed, the floor, her crate, or anything else because she feels threatened or timid.

Tonight was great, because we all went for a walk, and it only took a quarter or a third of the walk to get her used to my walking rules (walk next to me, behind my husband (for today); don’t pull; sit when I tell you (she’s kind of hard-headed about that one sometimes); and stay till I tell you (that one, too)). By the end, she was barely pulling on the leash, and I could hold it loosely looped in one hand while she walked next to me and Sweetie. She even mostly ignored the boys when they turned around in the stroller to call her. Such a smart girl! 🙂

She is still getting used to a potty schedule, but as far as I know she has had no more accidents in the house after Friday morning, when I decided we’d go back to crate training for a while. She’s been a good listener, has let me clip her toenails without complaint (or peeing!), put in her ear medicine in (she’s fighting yeast infections, which should hopefully clear up soon), and has been happy to play ball in the yard with the kids. She hasn’t barked but once. She would rather be by my side or chasing a ball — and bringing it back — than running off into the sunset. And she’s a calm car-rider.

But the best thing about this dog? I’m not a total big-dog failure! And she’s so dependent on our love and companionship that I feel like I can actually be a good leader for her. She’s helping me be a bit calmer toward the boys, especially since loud noises freak her out a bit. 🙂 AND I’m getting the house cleaned. Slowly, but she’s good motivation. 🙂

I’m really glad we could help our friends out, because they were so worried about finding a family for her, especially if it would have to be strangers. And she is just about as perfect a dog for us as we could ever ask for!

Here she is, lookin’ for love:
Ladybug outside

Pie torturing her:
Ladybug inside

Posted in Children, Diet and Nutrition, Mommyhood

Dental Dilemma

Pie had to go in for a three-month “follow-up” for his teeth today, because last time we went to the dentist, he wouldn’t lay back in the chair or let them scrape his teeth — which really needed it. The doctor had us schedule a three-month “follow-up”, which ended up being a cleaning, too. I hadn’t expected it to cost anything, but I should have, because United Concordia pays for little more than six-month cleanings. It wasn’t going to be a lot, but they may have seen a questioning look in my eyes, because the lady asked me if it had been explained to me what the difference would be, or that it would cost at all. I told them I thought it was a follow-up, but figured a cleaning was in store, because his teeth were pretty gross. It made sense that the insurance wasn’t going to pay for it, though. She decided they weren’t going to charge me for it at all, because it hadn’t been explained to me when I originally made the appointment. I only had to pay $10 for the fluoride gel. Yay for no charge, but I still hadn’t expected to pay for a fluoride treatment.

I’m not a big fan of fluoride treatments, especially ingested. It’s kind of funny to me that a topical fluoride product would warn against swallowing, and even recommend one swabs out a child’s mouth if they can’t spit it all out, but on the same sheet of instructions it advocates fluoridated water and fluoride tablets if fluoridated water is not available. What kind of sense does THAT make? One could make the argument that the concentrations are different, but how much difference is there in a slight residue on a child’s teeth that needs to be swabbed out, versus a whole tablet that must be swallowed, or water run from the tap and used in everything the child ingests?

The reason I’ll try it, though, is because Pie’s already developing some little cavities behind his front teeth. The hope of the dentist is that this product will mitigate the need for major fillings in six months. She also recommends (much to Pie’s delight) that he chew Trident (the only gum with xylitol) three or four times a day, especially after meals. This is not a problem — Pie loves gum almost as much as he loves apple juice. Unfortunately, the apple juice has been verboten by the dentist at any time but meal time, and we aren’t allowed to water it down(!) at those times. This dentist is of the school of “volume vs. frequency”, and would rather a child drink a small cup a couple times a day than have it watered down and sipped all day. Apple juice is probably the worst juice, too, she said, because of the acidity. Even Coca-Cola has a pH buffer to keep the acids from eating your teeth (though it can degrease an engine and dissolve a nail in record time!).

*Sigh* Pie doesn’t drink water. He will not drink water! I suppose we’re just going to have to enforce apple juice only at meal time, and then get him used to the idea of water or nothing the rest of the day, but, dang it, we’re trying to potty train here! It’s frustrating enough that he doesn’t eat and that dairy does a number on his stomach. At least he likes almond milk, sort of.

I did have a bit of a brain blast, though: You can buy xylitol at a health foods store (or a health foods section, like in Fred Meyer), so it might be worth it to get some and add it to plain water or watered-down apple juice to create that buffer against the acidity, or give water a flavor. I don’t want to buy “water flavoring” (like Mio), because there are other chemical sugar alternatives in those, and he’ll be getting enough of those in gum.

I know this is doable, but . . . dang it. I can already see the meltdowns over no juice. And I have, like, five cans of frozen apple juice in the freezer.

Oh well. Poor Beanie is currently screaming his sad-baby head off, and has been for almost an hour, because he flat-out refuses to nap. I think we missed the nap window. :\ Too bad my nap window has been wide open for the past two hours, because the same child also did not sleep through the night last night . . .

Posted in Children, Diet and Nutrition, Mommyhood

It Feels SO GOOD!

I weighed myself this morning.

The first time I did so, I was at about 164 (and some change). I hadn’t eaten breakfast, but neither had Beanie, and I was still in PJs. Later, just before my shower (and still before breakfast, but after a cup of decaf coffee), I weighed myself again. 163!! To be fair, it was, like 163.6, but that’s close enough!

At my first pregnancy appointment with Pie in 2007, I weighed 169 (according to their scale, anyway). Granted, a lot of it was muscle and water, because I’d been working out pretty hard learning a kata in my Kempo classes up to then, and then bloating like crazy after conceiving. They still labeled me “obese”, but whatever. :p

I didn’t own a scale for a long time between having Pie and conceiving Beanie, so I don’t really know if my weight dipped below the 165 mark. After buying a scale, I know I had trouble getting below 170.

When I bought these jeans, they fit just fine, so I suspect that even if I didn’t weigh less than 170, I might have been in okay shape and probably had more muscle, at least in my legs. I was working out more then — or at least still taking martial arts lessons once a week.

However, I also have discovered that bras for which I needed expanders before now can be hooked at the tightest fit, and I think these jeans have shrunk since I bought them (if length is any indication). But I barely work out now! Unless I consider that I do a LOT more carrying, because Beanie (who is about 20 pounds) likes to be held more than Pie did, and I can dead-lift Pie (who is just over 30 pounds) with ease onto his changing table.

I think the biggest difference now is food choice and attempts at portion control. I barely consume dairy anymore (I used to have cheese almost every day with breakfast), and we’ve kind of cut back on red meat a bit. It might also help that I have no false hormones running through my system, and am not on anti-depressants. Beanie is still nursing, too, and more often than Pie did (Pie was weaned when he was 14 months, and Beanie just turned 16 months).

So, I’m thinking that if I add working out on a semi-regular basis to this hodge-podge of possible weight-loss stimulators, I could be below 160 before I know it! 🙂

In the meantime, I enjoy being able to zip AND snap my jeans the first time I put them on! 🙂 It’s the small victories. 😉