Friday, April 30, 2010

How Does HE Do It - 4/29

I got home from work yesterday with the boys and groceries. We all get up the front steps, I open the door. The Ipod is blasting, the kitchen is spotless, Scott is vacuuming. I put down the groceries and walk back to the bedroom to change out of my work clothes. I look to the right, the nursery is straightened, I look to my left the hall bathroom is tidy, I keep going, Joey's room is clean too! Have I died and gone to heaven? I turn left into our bedroom, why is the bathroom door off the hinges? Odd, I proceed with caution toward the master bathroom. Oh my god, Scott has taken all the trim down, and we are ready to start the project we have been talking about for years!

Some back story here – approximately 4 years ago, Scott was cleaning the shower, and somehow, he managed to shatter one of the shower doors. We decided at that point that the bathroom was outdated and would need to be remodeled, so we would wait to replace that door until we go to re-doing the whole bathroom. Then, two years ago, we updated our radiator heat to a furnace. We decided at the time that we would not put the heat vent into the bathroom until we remodeled, I mean we would certainly get to that project soon, right. So, for 4 years now, I have been showering in a shower with just one shower door, and for 2 years now I have been doing so in the freezing cold. But, alas, my time has come! We will have a finished Master Bath! With heat! And Shower doors! We may even fix the circuit that causes the lights to go all strobe lighty when the bathroom steams up. I am thrilled!

Seriously, how does he do it?

Here are some before pics! Can't wait to share the progress.

About Leah

At my 20 week ultrasound, the u/s tech found that Leah's brain ventricles were measuring slightly above what is considered the normal range. On average, the brain ventricles measure between 4-7 mm. But anything up to 10mm can be considered normal. Leah was measuring about 11mm. We were scheduled for a Level II Ultrasound where a doctor confirmed these finding and suggested that we come back in a month and measure again. At this point, we were told not to panic, that it was quite possible that the ventricles would decrease in size and that even if they didn't we were borderline, so there may be no medical impact. We scheduled the follow-up level two u/s one month later. At that appointment , we were told that there were no changes in the measurements and were told to have a fetal MRI to check for any other brain abnormalities.

One week later, on 12/21 we went in for the Fetal MRI, the doctor talked to us before hand and told us that there were no known risks to a Fetal MRI, but there were also no studies on the effects of radiation on a fetus. We had to sign a release. Scott and I were so convinced that all of this was for naught and that our baby was fine. We debated not getting the MRI. I said to Scott, what if the baby gets here and has problems or is developmentally behind, if we have concerns, I am sure no on is going to offer to do an MRI for us then. We decided to do it. We signed the release. Did the test, it was done. Two days later we got the call that would change everything.

Leah had been diagnosed with a rare birth defect called a partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is the band of fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain and facilitates communication between them. People who are missing this part of their brain have a wide variety of challenges. Some of these include social inaptitude, troubles with complex problem solving, poor coordination or muscle tone, seizures, spasms, learning disabilities. ACC can also be a symptom of a larger problem or syndrome. Many of which can not be diagnosed until the child is much older. Many of these syndromes are associated with mental retardation and other more serious problems.

When Leah was born, another MRI was done and we were told that the ACC was not partial, but rather complete and she was missing the entire band of fibers. She also was born with pre-axial thumb polydactyl (an extra thumb). We had x-rays done at the hospital and found that there were two bones leading up to the knuckle, the after the knuckle there was split and two formed thumbs.

We will be seeing a neurologist, a geneticist and a hand surgeon trying to sort through her medical problems and figure out how we can give our special child whatever she needs to live the most rewarding life possible. We also will start seeing a developmental pediatrician and get into as many Early Intervention programs that we qualify for.

Our journey with Leah has just begun, she is a sweet baby and so far she is developing right on pace. We do not know what the future holds for her, but we are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that it is a bright one.

For information on ACC you can visit these links:


Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Day in the Life 4/29

Well – This morning went much like yesterday, only I woke up later and got to work later. This is not a good habit to get into, and I will correct it starting tomorrow! I was up at 6:50, I started getting the kids ready. No clean socks on hand for either of them. Ugh. Time to sort the sad lonely sock drawer. This is a drawer in my bedside table that houses between 25-50 mismatched socks.

How does one acquire such a collection of socks you ask? Well, it is really quite simple. As I do laundry, any sock that does not have a match in the load gets put in a pile, as I put away the clothes the pile of socks gets thrown into the drawer. About once a month I take the all the socks and try to match them up. If a sock goes 3 months with out a match, it is tossed. The lowest I have ever gotten my sock drawer to is about 10 socks. This ongoing battle haunts me daily. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get both socks from a pair into the same load of laundry on a consistent basis. These along with folding fitted sheets are some of the world's most profound mysteries in my mind. Anyway, I manage to find two pairs of socks and make a mental promise that this weekend I will tackle the sock drawer. The kids are dressed, Leah is in her seat, Scott is ready to go, we go to load the car and I ask myself at what point did I stop caring if my neighbors saw me in my stretched out tank top with no bra, sweat pants and killer bed head. I head back in to get ready for work.

Work – I NEED to find my focus here. I've officially been back for one solid week and I admit, I have probably been at about 50%. Granted I am still on short sleep and a little bitter about the crappy raise I got at my year-end review, but I need to turn it around. Tomorrow, I will make a list of things to do and commit to finishing at least 4 of them. Why not today you ask, well, because that is how I work. It generally takes me 24 hours minimum to psyche myself up to do something that I don't want to do. I will stay until 4:00 tonight, it's the least I can do after leaving early the past two days. Sigh.

Tonight my Mom is coming for dinner. I am making Turkey Burgers, Corn on the Cob and Carrots. No, potato/rice dish. This is a major leap for me. In my family, you always serve a main meat based dish, a starch and a vegetable. But, I am on a diet, and the carbs are out. Some may argue that I am serving corn, so that is my starch and there will be the bun (Arnolds Sandwich Flats – only 100 calories and tons of fiber). So, I guess I am making my transition slowly. My goal for dinner is lean and green: one piece of lean meat or fish and a large vegetable serving. Three days until my weigh in and I am way ahead of my 2 lb goal already, but the more I lose the better. I need to fit into some of my work clothes or I'm gonna have to shop and I'm not interested in adding anymore size 16 clothes to my wardrobe – tyvm.

While I prep and cook - Grandma played outside with the boys.

Dinner turned out great. Jalepenos and low fat swiss, tomato, avacado - yum!

Still need to address those Birth Announcements – Any volunteers?

How does HE do it??

Last night I went over to a friend's house for a visit. A came home to a clean house and clean happy kids. Now I get asked all the time how I manage, but seriously, what I want to know is how does HE do it??

I left last night around 6:30. Dinner was made and ready to go. Scott was sitting outside with our neighbor Brian having a cocktail. Brian has a lovely daughter who is 4 years old and Joey adores her. So, they were playing in the yard, Tyler was in his swing, everyone had juice and things were great.

At some point after that, Scott got the kids in, fed them their dinner, then proceeded to give them baths, put them in their PJ's, and rinse all the dishes from dinner. The man is a domestic diva in disguise. And I am the luckiest woman in the world. What would I do without him??

A Day in the Life 4/28

I woke up to feed Leah at 3:30, we were up until 4:15. She ate 5 oz and went back to sleep, as did I. At 6:30 the alarm went off. Scott got in the shower. I was tired and stayed in bed. Today, Leah is going to my Mom's house. At 6:40 Scott says – if all the kids are ready to go by 7, I'll take them all. DEAL! I wake Ty and start getting him dressed. 6:45, one down. Scott is getting Joey ready. I get Leah into her carseat and pack some clothes up for my Mom. 6:55 – every one is dressed and ready. We pack them into the car and off they go.

I am alone.

Alone – this is not something that happens often, but when it does, it is magical. I found some clothes to wear – not an easy feat at 6 weeks post partum, I am still rocking quite a bump and have yet to lose all the baby weight. By baby weight, we are talking three pregnancies worth. Dieting is something that is very big in our house right now. We just decided to book a vacation for the second week in September. This is 19 weeks away and Scott and I are on a mission to lose 2 lbs a week between now and then. This is a aggressive goal, and we know that, so we are watching what we eat and trying to figure out how to squeeze some exercise in. Hopefully, you'll see this as you follow along and we can keep you posted on our weight loss journey. Anyway, our first weigh in was this past Monday and we are just half way through week one.

Anyway, back to being alone. I iron my clothes, take a long shower, dry my hair, put on make up all at a somewhat leisurely pace. 7:45 – time to go – I'm really late, but it was worth it.

Some things I need to get done today or this week, this month. I must schedule a hair appointment; my impending grayness is becoming quite apparent. I need to find a new dentist and schedule a cleaning. I must call and set up a payment plan for my remaining medical bills, send out Leah's birth announcements, and pick up her x-rays from the hospital.

Work – I get to work at 8:25. My boss is out again today and again I intend to take advantage of this situation. I will stay until 4, but that is it. I have a lot to do and will work diligently for at least 5 of the 8 hours. I am good enough at what I do, that working at this pace is usually good enough for me to out shine most of the people around me.

4:00 – I'm outta here! Pick up kids head home. Since I have plans tonight, I pre-make dinner for the boys, plate it out so that Scott can just serve and clean. Tonight – Ravioli and peas. This is the least I can do leaving him home alone with the knuckleheads.

I am going over to my friends Jordan and Erin's house. They just had their first baby boy. My friend Ked is also coming. I pick up a pizza on the way. I am bringing Leah; they will be meeting her for the first time too. We catch up, compare notes on our babies. On the way home, I swing by the hospital to pick up the X-Rays. One item crossed off my personal to do list.

I get home – All the lights are off. Joey is in the easy chair with a little bowl of popcorn and Tyler is sitting in Leah's bouncy seat. Finding Nemo is on. Joey says "Hi Mama". I love that little man. He is so grown up now. Another day is done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Day in the Life 4/27

Today, I got up a 4:18 to feed Leah. I went back to bed until 5:30, then she and I hung out on the couch and drank coffee until 6:15. I put her in the swing and got in the shower. Got out, dried my hair, applied makeup. Time to wake up Tyler (aka Mr. No). Tyler's first words were "no, no, no". Yes, this is a clearly a popular phrase in our house.

For example:

Joey: drawing on the kitchen floor with a sharpie
Mama: "No, no, no"

Tyler: Swimming in the Dog Bowl
Mama: No, no, no

Result of living with 3 kids under 2, "No, no, no" becomes your most common utterance and your second borns first words.

Anyway, I digress, back to how I do it. After Tyler is up and ready, we wake Joey, oh did I mention my husband, yeah he's showering while I blow dry. He usually dresses Joey, so while he's doing this, I finish getting Ty ready and put Leah in her carseat. Today, Leah is going to work with Daddy, so we pack a diaper bag, put coats on the kids and it's time to get out the door. It's 7:08. You heard me right, less than one hour from my shower to out the door. See this isn't so hard. Today, Scott drops off the kids, so we load them Hummer and off we go.

Work – I got in at 7:50. Not bad. Work, Meeting, Nest, Work. Chat with Scott, Chat with Mom. I know, I'm not a perfect employee, but I get my shit done and everyone seems happy, so whatever.

3:45 PM I'm outta here. Boss is out of the office and I am tired, time to cheat a little. Home by 4:15. Twenty five minutes at home without the boys. My husband, Leah and I chat, hang out.

Time to pick up the kids. This is usually an adventure. Joey has decided that he doesn't really like having two siblings and would just as soon stay at daycare than come home with Mama and Dada. Sooo, the wrestling match one begins. There have been days where it take three adults to get Joey into his car seat. He does this thing where he arches his back and flails about. Not fun. Today, not so bad. Just a few minutes of wiggles and down he went. We drive home. I read the daycare sheet.

Breakfast – Fried Egg Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese, Peach and Milk – I'm jealous
Lunch – Salami and Cheddar Sandwich on whole wheat, kidney beans, green beans, Milk, and Strawberries for dessert – Yum!
Snack – Banana and Graham Crackers
Naps – Ty took two, Joey one

Thanks Patty – you're the best! And I mean that!

It's 5:15, we need to kill some time, so we take the whole family over to grandma and grandpas for a quick visit. Great Grandma is there too. She loves to hold the baby, so that works. Scott heads outside to play with the kids. I'll have some vino please! Chat, catch up with Mom and Grandma. Dad heads out to talk deck building with Scott. Things are going great. At ten til 6 it's time to pack up and head home for dinner.

The chicken Scott took out of the freezer is still pretty frozen, so he is putting it in some water. The boys aren't going to be able to wait so I guess they are having grilled cheese. Joey is asking for the Bugs, which means that he wants to watch A Bug's Life, so I put it in and start cooking.

I always find it so funny when I read other mom blogs, and they post their gourmet recipes and pic of their masterpieces. So, here you go, this can be for all us regular moms, who are lucky enough just to manage putting a meal on the table and don’t have time for gourmet!

Boys are eating, I'm boiling water for pasta, the chicken is now thawed and the grill is warming up. All is well. Grilled chicken over whole-wheat farfalle (chilled with low fat ceaser dressing) for Scott and I.
Just as dinner is about ready, Leah is crying time for her to eat. I take a few bites of my meal standing up at the kitchen counter then head to the couch to feed her a bottle. The boys have lost interest in A Bugs Life and are now asking Scott for bites of his meal (Tyler) and drinks of his water (Joey)
Most nights clean up happens while the kids are still strapped into their respective seats, but since we didn't eat together, the dishes are sitting in the sink I suspect they will stay there until tomorrow.

It's totally a bath night and that is Dads specialty. But, despite my none to subtle hints about how stinky and dirty the kids are, he has not yet offered, so I guess it's my turn. Here is something quite amazing; I have never given my boys a bath in my own home. Scott has always done it. We have a very deep Jacuzzi tub and I have been pregnant and not able to bend into it. I have a portable baby tub that I put on the counter and used to bathe the kids, but they have recently out grown that, so I just haven't yet done the whole bath in the real tub thing, this should be good.

Scott usually does them together, but I am nervous about this so I take Joey first. Scott advises me that the best way to give the boys baths is to take off your pants and get in with them. Eh, okay, pants off, but Scott doesn't wear thong underwear. Uh, this is akward… Joey sits under the spout and won't stop turning the water on. He turns it on, I say no and turn it off, He turns it on, I say no and turn it off. He turns it on, I say no and turn it off this goes on for the entire time I am trying to wash his hair and body. So, here I am fighting with Joey in the bath tub, finally I lose it. Bath over. I scream for Scott to bring a towel. He comes in to find me standing in the tub holding a screaming crying Joey in my thong and a soaking wet shirt. This is not going well

Tyler's turn. I undress him, he gets in and immediately stands up. I tell him to sit and put him on his bottom. He stands up, I sit him down. He stands up, I sit him down. We are practically wrestling at this point. I am rubbing shampoo on his hair and body. Trying to rinse him off. I've had it, bath over for Tyler, but Joey is still screaming crying in his room with Scott. He is not happy about his bath being cut short and he is making sure we know about it. There is no one to bring me a towel. I grab a wiggly, wet Tyler and take him out of the bath, I get a towel from the linen closet. Tyler is now screaming crying, he is not happy about his short bath either. Both boys are screaming, tears are flowing no one is happy. The world is coming to an end, I am still wearing nothing but my shirt and a thong. This is not going well.

Somehow, Scott and I manage to get our respective children into pajamas, I manage to get some pants on and we meet back in the living room. It is 7:45. Almost bed time – thank you god. Joey is still a little mad about bath time. He is crying and whining. Ty is over it, I get down on the floor with him and start playing. Scott gets down too. We finally get Joey cheered up and laughing. Things are back to normal. Scott brings out puzzles, we play for a while, then Joey wants to read a few books.

It's time to put Ty down, but he's a bit wound up. I give him a bottle of milk. We snuggle on the couch and finally I put him to sleep. There are a couple ounces left of the milk, and Joey has had a rough night so I let him curl up with me and finish the bottle. Fifteen minutes later, we put him to bed.

The house is quiet. 5,4,3,2,1……….Whaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaa Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I have an infant. I grab Leah out of her bouncer chair and we snuggle on the couch for an hour. She falls asleep, I head to bed.

And this is how I did it today.

One thing that made my life easier today – American Cheese – special thanks to Kraft foods for inventing the most versatile food item in my kitchen.