Thursday, February 28

Noah's New Thing

"What my name?" (meaning you are supposed to ask him what his name is)

"What's your name?"

"My name Noah. Nice to meet you. High five."

He holds out his hand and when you give him five he says, in a gruff sing-song voice, "All right!"

He will sit and do this several times with anybody that will play along including me and Dave. I think that's part of the humor for me... He acts like we've never met - "what's my name?" :)

The kids are growing

Natalie had her 9 month check up on Monday. She weighs 20 lbs and is 28 inches long. Her 8th tooth has finally poked through. She has been teething that tooth for too long. She's been rolling pretty well for a few weeks but she has started crawling commando style on Monday and is moving pretty quick. She pulls herself up onto all 4s but hasn't quite figured out moving that way. She isn't pulling herself into a sitting position, yet. She's been so close a few times that I hold my breath and watch, so excited, and then she'll fall and keep moving on. Oh well - It'll come in time. I was putting her in her blue rocker to contain her when I shower but since she's more mobile, now, it's harder to contain her in the seat. I'm afraid I'll get out of the shower and she'll look like Noah did when he outgrew the seat.

I weighed Noah when we were at the doctor. He weighs 35lbs. I didn't check his height. I just needed a weight check. He's close the limit on his car seat and we'll have to rotate car seats for him, again.

He is no longer interested in watching a movie in the morning so I can get an extra 45-60 minutes of sleep. We realized this a week ago when Dave came upstairs to shower and found that Noah had gotten into my nail polish. I must say though - he did a very good job of painting his finger nails on his left hand. He only painted his the nail and surrounding skin. I was surprised... For being 2, he stayed in the "lines" pretty well. The problem was that when he finished his nails, he decided to unzip his pajamas and paint his chest. His poor sensitive skin did not take to the nail polish remover very well but I had to get the polish off. The polish he picked is blood red. I use it on my toes in the summer so leaving it on until it wears off was definitely not an option for him. I was surprised he got the lid off. I usually tighten it too tight for myself and end up using my teeth to open the bottle the next time I want to use the polish. When he was finished painting, he put the lid back on the put it back in the drawer where he found it. If I hadn't asked him where he put it, I would have never thought to look in the drawer and never would have suspected he'd get the lid on and tight but he did. Other than having it all over himself, you'd never know he got into it. He was very clean about it.

He came into our room at some point Tuesday night. I pulled into bed with me and fell asleep. I was awakened at 715 with him leaning over me, inches from my face, whispering, "Mom. Mom. Mom... I got dressed." I opened my eyes and smiled. He had gotten into the basket in our room that has all the clothes that are too small for the kids. He was wearing a size 3-6 month cotton pants that no longer fit Natalie and a long sleeve 2T green dinosaur shirt that no longer fits him. It looked like he was wearing shorts and choking himself with the shirt. He's wearing 3T pants and 4T shirts, now. He was so proud of himself for doing it all by himself. I'm just glad he didn't try to change his own diaper. :) It confirms that a movie is no longer an option and he's learned to be so quiet when he moves around our room that sometimes I don't even know he's up.

He's doing great at swim lessons. Week 4 will be Monday. I took him for week 1 because Dave and Natalie were still sick (reference post: The Funk) and he jumped off the edge into the water without any problems. Week 2 and 3, Dave took him while I worked out. Noah wouldn't jump off the edge unless Dave held him hand. Since I finish working out before his lesson is over, I stopped into watch the last few minutes. When I saw he still wouldn't jump without holding Dave's hand, I said, "Noah, jump like Adam." He didn't want to hold Dave's hand after that and jumped right in. He would swim back to the edge and climb out saying, "Again. Like Adam." It didn't matter that the swim lesson had moved onto other stuff, he was jumping like Adam - no hands! :) Now, if I could just get that to work with potty training but no such luck. He wants to wear underwear like Adam but doesn't want to go on the pot like Adam. He's still flat out refusing to try. When I ask him to go on the pot, he says, "No. I need a diaper." Well, okay then, a diaper it is.

I may have mentioned it in a previous posting but in case I forgot - Noah will be starting 3 yr old preschool in the fall at one of the local churches. He will go Tue and Thurs from 9-1130. I'm so excited!!! He loves school and that's all he talks about since going with Stacy to pick Bella up from school one day a few months ago. He is always talking about riding the school bus. We're not there yet and won't be for a few years!! I'm excited now but I know that I will be an absolute wreck his first day. I just hope I can contain my tears so that I don't worry or scare him about it when I drop him off.

Now, if Natalie will just grow a little faster, we'll be set. I don't like the baby stage - give me a toddler and I'm happy :)

Monday, February 25

What's it really like to be a mom?

**I got this in an email. I don't know who the original author but I thought it was so true and I wanted to share it with you.**

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."

"We're taking a survey", she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle' or her best crystal without a moments hesitation. I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every decision will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into the most wonderful of callings.

Sunday, February 17

The Funk

**Sorry this post is so long. There was no way to really shorten it without taking away from my whole experience. I hope you enjoy reading it and you feel it was worth your time.**Names have been changed to protect the innocent :)

Preface - This "experience" started 2 weeks ago.

Our house has been blanketed with "the funk". I'm not sure who started it - Noah or Natalie.

Noah threw up last Monday on the way to Y. It wasn't that much and it was so random that I thought maybe he dribbled his drink. No, he assures me, he spit up like Natalie does. I figured maybe he got carsick. It would be the first time it's happened but what else could it be.

Tuesday night at 9, Natalie starts fussing for what I think is her 930 bottle. I make the bottle and head upstairs only to discover she doesn't want a bottle, she's covered in vomit. It has soaked through her fleece pajamas which normally are pretty good at repelling any liquid. Not this time - she's covered head to toe, literally. It's in her hair, up her nose and since it's soaked through, she's wet down to her feet.

I call for Dave in the monitor. He comes up and decides he'll do the bath and I'll change the bed sheets. After bath and sheet changing are complete, I go in our room to check on her and Dave. She has thrown up again after the bath and again as I walk into our room. This is bad!!! There's clearly more going on here than just a little spit up episode gone bad.

The scariest part of this whole bad episode is that after each vomiting incident, she nearly loses consciousness. Her eyes roll into the back of her head and she becomes a limp rag doll. Just as her eyes are about to close, she perks back up and is no longer rag doll like but definitely not feeling good. She does this 5 times in 45 minutes. I am amazed at the amount of liquid this girl is releasing. Where on earth did she store it all??

After 45 minutes and a call into the doctor, she begins to dry heave. Oh boy!!! The doctor calls back and tells us to take her the ER. We call in reinforcements and have Kate come stay with Noah who is sound asleep. She arrives and we blast out the door - vomiting child and all.

During our long stay in the ER waiting room, we get a message from Kate about all the strange noises our house makes. Paul is on his way over to protect Kate and Noah from strange noises. :) (I understand - I hate staying in the house without Dave.)

Apparently there's weather moving into the area. At some point - I think around midnight - the tornado sirens start going off. The sirens wake up Noah. The sirens are freaking Kate out - it's one thing to deal with it on your own but when you have toddler that you are in charge of, do you pay attention to the sirens and head to the basement or ignore them like you would if you didn't have a toddler? Dave guides her through and they survive the night. Noah is in heaven...curled up in our bed with Kate and Paul watching Buzz and Woody. I think Kate said he finally fell back asleep around 245. So - it's a late night for all involved.

Our lucky number is finally called and we go from the waiting room to an ER room - to wait! The student dr. comes in and we give her the low down on Natalie. She brings in the real dr. and gives him our low down on Natalie. After some discussion and sitting in our own episode of Grey's Anatomy (way cool!! but the dr. was NO mcdreamy or mcsteamy). There is some discussion about what could be causing her to be so sick other than just a stomach flu. (I am not sure I understand what he's talking about and I don't think I can pronounce what she might have so you'll need to talk to Dave for further info).

They take an xray as a preliminary test for this possible problem. The xray comes back with some cause for concern. She has to have an ultrasound to know for sure.

Sweet Natalie does so good. She only fusses a little bit and not for very long. Poor thing is starving and exhausted. She does very good - no fussing or crying - for the xray or ultrasound.

After the ultrasound it is decided that she has nothing more than stomach flu. I'm relieved!! She is discharged at 530am.

We head home with no idea what to expect. How much sleep has Noah, Kate and Paul gotten?

We stumble in the door and up to bed. Dave puts Noah back in his bed. We know that Noah will be up in about an hour and we want Kate and Paul to sleep so we send them to the guest room. It is 615 when my head hits the pillow. Natalie starts fussing at 7 but finds her thumb and falls back to sleep. The battery starts to die on the monitor at 715 so it's making the "I'm gonna die noise". I am so tired that I roll over and fall back to sleep anyway. Noah comes in at 735. So much for sleeping! I've agreed to get up with Noah so Dave can sleep. I'll go back to bed when Dave gets up.

I stumble downstairs with Noah. I hand him a cup of cereal, a drink of milk, turn on Backyardigans and pass out on the couch. Well, as close to pass out as I can get with an active toddler loose in the house with nearly no supervision. He's great!!! He watches Pablo and plays toys by himself. Kate and Paul leave at 1030. Dave surfaces at 1130. I've dozed in and out since 730 so I get up with the intention of pumping myself full of caffeine and making it until Noah goes to bed for the night. I'll go to bed when he goes to bed so I don't my days and night mixed up. That plan works until 1. I can barely keep my eyes open after 2 cups of coffee. I head off to bed. All seems under control. Natalie is happy as a lark and keeping her formula down. It must have been a 24 hour bug. She's fine. Noah is down for his nap so things are pretty quiet for Dave.

Noah and Dave wake me at 415. I crawl out of my bed and into Noah's toddler bed. He's playing in his room with Dave and Natalie. I'll just lay down and watch - I can barely keep my eyes open!!

We all survive the day - sleepless and all!! Natalie goes to bed at 7 - Noah goes to bed at 8. Natalie wakes up for her 930 bottle... covered in vomit - AGAIN!! I do the bath and Dave does the sheets. We hold our breath hoping this is not a repeat of the night before. We just don't have it in us to be up all night again. Luckily – there was only instance of being sick.

Dave heads off to work on Thursday. Natalie and Noah do fine all day but again, after she goes to bed – she gets sick but only once. One does the bath – one does the sheets. I am washing her sheets everyday because I only have 2. Under normal circumstances, two is plenty.

Dave came home feeling sick so I’m in this for the long haul it seems.

I hear Dave up several times Thursday night and he doesn’t go to work on Friday. Oh boy!! When Noah comes in at 630, we do our usual routine- turn on the TV and I get an extra 45-60 minutes. On a week like this has been, every second counts. Because Natalie has been up all night every night since Tuesday, I have yet to get any decent amount of sleep to get caught up from our overnight in the ER.

When I finally roll out of bed, I pull on my sweat pants and ball cap. We make our way to the living room and he is so patient with me being SOOO tired. He doesn’t seem extra needy and seems to really be doing well at understanding this week is really different than usual. I am surprised at my patience with Noah. Being so tired, I would have expected a very short fuse. I am so tired that just thinking about not being able to go to sleep almost brings me to tears. I have to fight back my urge to sit on the couch and cry several times. Since Natalie is up several times a night from not feeling well and being extra hungry from her VERY limited diet, she is all whacked out on her schedule. She and Noah are not napping at the same time which is only making things harder on me.

It’s getting late in the day and I’m getting hungry. Because Noah doesn’t understand why he can’t see daddy (who is sleeping upstairs) – his favorite person in the world, I am having a VERY LONG day. There is only so much food in the house to scrounge up something to eat, I’m tired and don’t really care about cooking so I decide to order Chinese.

“Ten minute – come pick up!”

I load the kids in the car and go a mile and a half down the road to the local Chinese joint. I walk in, pay the cashier and hear from behind me, “Selena?!”

OH NO!!!! (Remember – I rolled out bed, pulled on some sweats, through on a ball cap and zombied through my day. I didn’t brush my teeth, wash my face or change out of my sweats and t-shirt before I left the house. I debated for a very brief moment about at least brushing my teeth but that required energy I didn’t have. I’m only going a mile down the road, running in and running out. It’s 445- everybody I know in the area is still at work)

Again – OH NO!!!!

Trying to hide the horror on my face, I turn to see a guy Dave works with. He lives in the next subdivision down from us. We’ve been in the house a year and half and I’ve NEVER run into him. Why, God, Why – why now???!!!!

“Oh, hi, Joe.”

“Hey, how are you?”

(Really – you can’t tell from looking at me)… “Terrible!!” No sooner does the word come and I really regret it. I don’t really know this guy and I’m about to unload my life on him. Him – of all people!! I can’t just call my mom or one of my sisters to unload my life, I have to tell him??? What is wrong with me???

“Oh no! What’s wrong?”

“Oh, it’s nothing really. Natalie was at the hospital on Tuesday with the stomach flu. She still has and it now Dave is hiding out in our guest room with it.”

“Oh wow! Is there anything we can do?” We refers to his wife, 3 year old daughter and newborn daughter who was born the beginning of December. Like he’s not over loaded enough?!?!

“Oh, thanks, Joe. I’ll let you know.” Not really but it sounded nice :)

“How’s the baby?”

He proceeds to tell me that his new daughter has acid reflux and is on a prescription antacid. Okay, he wins. I'm dealing with this fiasco for a few days. He's been dealing with it for months. We talk for only a second longer and I get in the Jeep.

Now I’m really fighting back tears! I’m exhausted and humiliated!!!!!!!!! :`}

I get home, unload the kids, give Noah some Chinese and head upstairs with a bottle of Sprite I managed to remember to buy at the Chinese restaurant. I hand it to Dave and ask how he’s feeling. He says, “Oh, you already went to the store?”

“No. I picked up some Chinese.”

“I need Theraflu. I think I’m getting the flu. I ache all over and am freezing.”

“Do you want me to go back out to Kroger?” (Please say no – Please say no – Please say no)

“Yes. Just get me some Theraflu.”

“Can I eat first?”


I head downstairs. My feet are cement. I’m exhausted, humiliated, starving, and now I have to go back out to the store. I think if I eat, I’ll feel a little better – wrong!

I load the kids back in the car. I figure I’ve already humiliated myself, just go the way you are. At this point, what’s the point in even caring who you run into. It can’t get any worse than that.

I decide that Walgreens will be a lot less “attention grabbing” when I unload Noah in his pajamas and no shoes, me in my sweats, a t-shirt, sweatshirt, ball cap and Natalie still in pajamas. I’m clearly having a bad day because I get sympathetic smiles from people walking by the medicine aisle. I must look A LOT worse than I thought.

I’m looking for Theraflu and see that it’s similar to Nyquil. Why not just buy Nyquil? It’s cheaper and does the same thing. He asked for Theraflu specifically so I get the generic brand and make my way to the register. We safely make it out the door and back home again without incident. Thank God!!!

I go upstairs, give him the Theraflu and tell him it’s pretty much the same thing as Nyquil.

“Oh, really? That’s not the kind I wanted. You’re supposed to mix it in water to take it.”

Fight the tears – fight the tears – breathe – breathe

“That’s all they had at Walgreens. Do you want me to go back out to Kroger?” (Please say no – Please say no – Please say no)

“No. That’s okay. Maybe this will work.”

I head downstairs to put Natalie to bed. Then it’s Noah’s turn for bed. By the time it’s all said and done, I can barely stand up. I go upstairs to go to bed and when my head hits the pillow my body thinks it’s time to start the day. I toss and turn – toss and turn. I finally fall asleep at some terrible hour (under any other circumstance, I’m sure it wouldn’t be such a terrible hour).

Noah comes in at some point. I don’t remember him coming in but when Natalie wakes up at 230, he is in our bed with his pillow off his bed. I know he wouldn’t have brought it in. I must have gotten it for him – how scary!?! I function for my kids and don’t even remember. Oh well… she’s up and I don’t want her waking him through the monitor.

I zombie my way to her room, reach to pick her up and she’s covered in vomit. Why me??? I can’t give her a bath. All her bath stuff is in the master bath and it will wake up Noah. If I leave to get it out of the master bath, she’ll freak out crying and wake up Noah and Dave. I must improvise!!

I strip her down to her diaper and give her a “wipes bath”. They are cold and I feel bad but it’s better than sleeping in your own vomit. She rolls around on the floor, happy as a lark, while I change the sheets. She won’t eat and finally settles down back to sleep. I crawl back into bed. What feels like 10 minutes later (but is actually 4 ½ hours) Noah rolls over asking to watch TV. I must some how manage my day, again. I didn’t hear Dave up all hours of the night but I’m not sure what his status is.

I function for my day. Natalie naps – Noah naps. Not at the same time…that would be too good for me at this point. Dave surfaces later that afternoon just long enough to make sure I’m still living and haven’t run off to the crazy house, yet. No, I assure him, I’m surviving.

Dave begins to feel better later that evening. Good thing – Natalie throws up again around 930. As we sit in our room with her trying to decide what to do, I mention just how tired I am. Dave decides that he’s feeling well enough to deal with her overnight. I head to bed.

Again with the not sleeping when my head hits the pillow. Why, God, Why??? I finally fall asleep and sleep absolutely terrible!! For some reason, I am just not meant to sleep – ever!!!

I wake up Sunday morning not feeling good. I figure it’s just sheer exhaustion. I have been going non-stop for nearly a week on the amount of sleep most people get in one night. I head down stairs and decide to take Noah to the 11:00 church service/Sunday school. As strange as it sounds – I really look forward to church because I think they have really good coffee. Oh – after the week I’ve had, I’m really looking forward to a good cup of coffee. I drop Noah at Sunday school and head towards the coffee machine. There’s no creamer - Why, God, Why??? – I’m at church, I might as well ask!! :) No coffee today so I settle for a cup of hot tea.

After church, we head home. I am still not feeling good and decide it’s time for a nap. It’s about 1. I am startle awake at 4 by the sudden onset of nausea – oh no!!!!! I’ve picked up the funk.

When I come out of the bathroom, I make my way halfway down the stairs and sit. Noah is at the bottom of the stairs and says, “Where’s daddy?” Good question!

“Noah, where daddy?”

I hear Natalie’s door open. Dave had heard me in the bathroom and asked if I felt better. I’m still not feeling good. I go back up the stairs to bed. I’m in bed the rest of the night.

It’s Tuesday before any of us feel okay and the house is functioning back to normal. Little Noah steered clear of the funk and I’m so thankful. Two babies with the funk seems impossible.

So, sorry it’s been so long for an update. We were all sick for a week and it’s taken me a week to write this blog.

Tuesday, February 12

A Winter Poem

This beautiful winter poem was emailed to me. It was a comfort to me and I thought it might be a comfort to you, too. It's very well written and I hope that you enjoy it.
by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

Shit It's Cold
The End

Monday, February 4

Do we have a politician on our hands?

I was sitting in the floor playing with Natalie yesterday and watching Fun Food Factories on the Travel Channel. Noah was playing in the closet and trying on every shoe we own. I went upstairs to talk to Dave about going to Sammie and Braden's for the Super Bowl. When I came back down, Natalie had the remote in her hand, turned around, looked at me and smiled. Apparently the Travel Channel bored her - she was watching the presidential candidates on CNN. She had turned the channel on her own and apparently found something that interested her. Dave is so proud!!