Friday, December 30, 2011

Just like that one asshole I used to date....

I've figured it out.

Babies are like the relationship that involved your first love.  The one where the guy was a complete asshole and you fell head over heals in love.  The one where you wished you could spend every waking moment with them and then when you were together it was pure torture cause he was a raving lunatic that didn't give two shits about you.

Yup, babies are just like that.

I miss Joey all day.  I talk about all the cute things he is doing, how much I miss his cute little face and how I can't wait to get home and play with him.

Then we come home.

And its hell.

From the moment I pick him up at daycare to the moment we finally get him to bed, and then the middle of the night, it is torturous.  I don't understand what is going on.  I will even walk in to daycare and witness him being completely normal and playing with toys and kids, but at home we aren't allowed to put him down and he screams and cries THE ENTIRE TIME we aren't holding him. 

Then there is our new middle of the night routine. 

Bed at 8, screaming crying at around 1 or 2 and demanding to be near us and out of his crib, then we sleep on the floor with him or bring him into bed and the other parent goes and sleeps on the couch.

This is the definition of insanity.

What the hell happened to Joey.  

We are doing the thing where we are trying to "figure out" what the hell is up, because this isn't normal.  Even for psycho Joey this isn't normal.  This is a new level of psychotic that I didn't even know was possible in a one year old.

Molars maybe?

Growing?

Just an asshole that doesn't give two shits about us?

Friday, December 23, 2011

I love....

I love how Joey has a "favorite band."

I love how he says "Hi" to us everytime he sees us.

I love how he brings us books for him to read.

I love how he discovered turning in circles and has been doing non-stop ever since.

I love how he will squirm and sqeeze his way in to sitting between my legs when I am sitting on the floor.

I love how Joey wants to know we are physically there while he sleeps.

I love how he says "mmwwwahhh" just like I do when we give kisses.

I love that I now have 2 art projects from him.

I love how Joey will rub any soft thing on his face or try and put it on his head like a hat.

I love how he prefers Italian food over anything else. (My boy!!)

I love how he is perfectly content sitting in his daddy's lap listening to music on the computer.

I love how he plays with Phoebe.

I love how he points to everything and says "ttsat?"

I love how he growls and hisses at us. 

I love how he laughs and squeals.


I spent last night on the floor with Joey because he needed my hand holding his hand to be able to get to sleep.  While I laid there with him I thought of the monster man and all the things I loved about him.  As he coughed and snorted and tossed and turned and felt around for reassurance that I was still there I fell in love with him 1000 times more.  He just wanted me there and I was more than happy to do that for him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dance maniac

Joey + Foster the People = Love.

This is the product of many many Rick and Sarah kitchen dance sessions.  We couldn't be more proud.

Note the big disgusting herpe looking this on his forehead.  He got "ran over" at daycare.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bah Humbug

This will be Joey's 2nd Christmas. 

The first Christmas didn't really count because he was only a month and a half old.  I don't even think anyone bothered to get him a present.  It was basically go to our families houses so they could all hold him and get their baby fix in. 

He is now one.  Which, in all reality, isn't much different from a year ago.  Besides the noise and destruction thing, he is basically the same.  He has no idea what is going on, can't really partake in Christmas treats and has no idea what a present is. 

So, I didn't anticipate this Christmas being any different from the last one.  I thought I had one more year left to be my usual scrooge self.  I thought we could avoid the whole Christmas tree and decorating the house thing.  He will NEVER know that we didn't decorate or make cookies or have a tree for his 2nd Christmas on planet Earth.  We will have to be all Christmasy for him for at least the next 10 years....couldn't I just have one more year!!?

Unfortunately, for me, I just so happen to procreate with the jolliest person ever who refuses to let us act like Christmas doesn't exist. 

There is a tree. 

There are lights. 

There were Christmas cookies baked AND Christmas music playing in my house this weekend, AND we attended a Christmas program at Joey's daycare. 

Christmas wins.

Bah Humbug!


Please also note the lit up mantle.  It's Santa's street. 


Ugliest decorations of all time.


Did you know there is such a thing as COLORED icicle lights?!  Rick demanded color.


These stayed on for 2.5 seconds. 



"Singing" Jingle Bells...more like chewing on the bell while someone sings for you.


I only got the tail end of the performance.  Joey was supposed to ring a bell.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hats off to you me dears

Joe Joe's new obsession.  Bowl hat, hat bowl.  Bowl. Hat.


We noticed his obsessive hat behavior as soon as he started feeling better.  It's this bowl and this bowl only that makes him coo-coo. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The path of destruction

Warning, this will be a bitching and moaning type post.

Not only has that god damn virus made me a complete basket case (note: prescription for Klonopin) but it has also completely screwed up our super freaking awesome schedule! 

It also made my baby a freak.  He cuddles now!  And not just a "oh this feels really sweet we can do this for a minute" cuddle.  No, he wants the "sleep with me and be the big spoon and hold me tight" cuddle.

So.tired.

I know, I'm a horrible bitch.  My son just went through this horrible ordeal and we overcame an amazing amount of stress and dysfunction; can't you just be happy he is well!?

Yes.  I'm am not that crappy of a person. 

I am completely overjoyed and blessed that he is better.  But, I am exhausted. 

I spend all day worrying he is going to die.  I then go home and worry he is going to die in front of my eyes.  Then we put him down to sleep and I worry he is going to have a seizure in his room and die and we will walk into a dead baby in the morning. 

Then I take my crazy pills and hope to get some rest. 

Then he wakes up at 3 and wants to cuddle and rub his face on blankets.  The very blankets that happen to be laying over you, who is laying on the floor of either his bedroom or the living room.  So at 3 in the morning you have a 27 pound baby rolling around all over you and poking you in the face to see if your eyes are open.

I want life pre-worst night of my life. 

Now.

Fuck you febrile seizures and everything you destroy in your path.

I'll get better rest before I try to write again

....and I didn't even go into the hitting thing we have going on. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

What we learned

We are finally on the tail-end of this nightmare.  While we don't know exactly what caused the fever in Joey, we have a pretty good idea.

The fever was probably caused by a viral infection which caused a temporary suppression of his bone marrow and subsequently his white blood count.  This low white blood count was then unable to fight off any infection or bacteria in his body.  

At the same time, he had a minor ear infection which made his fever worse.  

Its not clear where the virus came from but the doctors say it was pretty severe. 

So, there we have it.  A bone marrow attacking super virus. 

My mom says crap like this only happens to people who are strong enough to handle it.  I would like to believe that we were strong and we got through this because we are super awesome at life.  In all actuality we got through this because people surrounded us with love and good thoughts.  We have such wonderful people in our life and we would have been lost without the support.  

Hopefully something like this never happens again and hopefully Joey makes it to adulthood without so much as a scrape on his finger.  Something tells me, though, that this is only the beginning of a wild ride with Joey.  .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worst night of my life.

Let me tell  you about the worst night of my life.....

I come home from work on Tuesday to learn that Joey had to be picked up from daycare.  He had a temp of 102, was grumpy, wanted to be held and was all around not feeling very well.  No big deal, we've been through fevers before.  Nothing this high,  but I was convinced we could handle it.

We gave him Tylenol at about 5:30 and took turns letting him lay on us.  I should have known then that something was weird.  Joey NEVER sits still.  Never just lays and needs to be held.  What was also a bit frightening was he was panting.  There were 2 or 3 extra breaths in his breathing cycle and they were semi rapid.

Then he started to randomly shake.  It was a lot like his try to poop shake, or the cold sweat shakes.  But then there was random twitches of his arms and legs.  This is when we called the consulting nurse.  She told us the breathing was normal and the shaking wasn't.  She wanted us to keep an eye on the shaking and if it continued for 20 more minutes to get in to the ER.

Ok.

Literally as we put the phone down I start to lift Joey up to take his temperature and he starts to have a seizure.  He got super stiff, eyes rolled back into his head and his jaw locked.

I shot up, put Joey on the floor, Rick got next to him and I dialed 911.

The 911 dispatcher instructed us to take all his clothes off and keep him from shaking violently and hurting himself.  We needed to cool him down and prevent him from choking on any saliva or vomit that was in his mouth.

I was doing the best I could to relay this information to Rick but I couldn't bring myself to get close to him and get in the action.  I couldn't see Joey like that.

So I'm shouting orders from the hallway and stealing glances when I had to tell the 911 lady what he was doing. Then she had me put the phone up to Joey so she could hear if he was making noises.  He wasn't.  Which meant he wasn't getting air.  She then instructed us to pick him up and get him on a hard surface so we could give him CPR.  As Rick was scooping out saliva from his mouth he pressed on his chest a little bit and Joey took a deep breath.  The 911 lady heard this and heard Joey cry and then instructed us to just wait until the paramedics got here.

At this point Joey is breathing but his eyes are locked in the back of his head.  All the color is drained from his body and he broke out in hives on one side of his face and neck.

I'm still on the phone with 911 and the paramedics shot through the door.  5 of my new favorite people.

They checked his vitals and temp, took a blood sugar test and put quick acting Tylenol up his bum.  Then he vomited.  A lot.  In my hoody.  Curdled milk from the baba he had about an hour before.  The temperature inside his body was so hot it literally curdled the milk.

His temp was 103 and his blood sugar was low and they took us to the ER.

At the ER we basically tried to rule out any sort of infection.  Ear infection, UTI, pneumonia, etc.  He had nothing.  And his temp was 104.4.  He got a quadruple dose of Tylenol and we waited for it to go down.  We left at about 1 in the morning and Joey still had a temp of 101.

We were sent home with instructions to dose him every four hours with Ibuprofen and Tylenol and told that this sort of thing just happens sometimes to babies.

I don't know how to accurately describe what it felt to watch my child go through that.  I have visions of him struggling to breath and in a locked position burned into my brain.  It was the most horrific and terrifying night of my life.

I'm proud of the way Rick and I handled this and I'm thankful to the 911 dispatcher who walked me through everything and the paramedics who were so so nice.  I'm thankful Joey is fine and will not suffer any permanent damage from this and won't remember it even happened.

I wish that was the same for me and Rick.

Waiting for the fever to break


Auntie Shanny showed up!!

Still waiting.

Finally get to go home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our house lately

Lately our house (and the noise and destruction occurring in it) has been a constant reminder to Rick and myself, that the grass is always greener on the other side. 

It started with little comments like, "I wish Joey could move around a little.  Be a little bit more than a squirmy blob"

Now its "JOEY!  Do not stand in the middle of the couch and start jumping." And, "Joey we don't climb the stairs when mommy isn't looking." "Joey we don't throw (insert any object you could possibly think of)"

Then it progressed to "I wish Joey could communicate with us."

Communication, as we found out, equals yelling.  All the time.  While standing in the middle of the couch trying to jump sometimes he throws his arms toward the ceiling and just yells.  Really loud.  Like he is orating a sermon of some sort and we are his faithful followers.

His latest......lets have a yelling contest so I can make noise AND crack up, at.the.same.time. 

And, lately, Joey has blessed us with not only verbal communication, but facial expression communication.  Basically, the Italian in him is shining through brilliantly.

We have the "I know I'm not supposed to be doing this, but I think its fun and I'm going to laugh and do it anyway," look.  Which mostly comes when he is staring right at me and throwing his food on the floor violently for Phoebe.  Or when he is throwing EVERY MOTHER LOVING THING in the garbage! 

What is that, why do kids love throwing things away?  Things you need and want and definitely don't want in the garbage......

So we wished for a few things and basically ended up with a noisy house that has food all over the place, and all sorts of random crap in the garbage.

I wonder what his next awesome thing will be. 

I predict he will successfully climb out of his crib and give walking down the stairs a go.

I'm excited.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reason #57643 I want to be a millionaire

Two words, Waldorf School.

Swooooooon.

True to my psychotic/virgo fashion, I spent most the day yesterday trying to figure out how to get Joey into a Waldorf School.  As it would turn out, we're screwed; unless Rick hits it big on a scratch ticket and I am a stay at home mom - or we win a kabillion dollars and hire a nanny. 

So what is Waldorf?  While our traditional education system stiffles individuality and lacks the resources to really tap into how each individual child learns, Waldorf is the exact opposite.  They cater to individual personalities and work within the child's imagination and creative side to teach them the core subjects.  They don't just read out of a textbook and get tested, they create, feel, experience things and are able to put that into context to develop their intellect.  Its basically really expensive hippy school with AMAZING results.  

Shouldn't this be available to all children, regardless of money?

My answer, yes.
Waldorf answer, no.

A preschool education at the Waldorf School of Seattle will run you about $4000-$6000 a year.  This is 2-3 times a week for 4 hours at a time.  Not kidding.  This school is no joke.  And if they didn't have the most amazing curriculum and produce the most amazing children, I would think they were a bunch of assholes.  But, they're not, and I love them.

So if any of you out there know a millionaire with a ton of extra money on their hands, please send them my way.  I will prepare a presentation on why they should sponsor Joey's education at a Waldorf School.

Thanks in advance. 

Oh, and yes, I understand my son literally just turned one and it is kinda weird to be thinking about preschool.  I'm weird and plan things very far in advance.  Always.

Check out the awesomeness WALDORF

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gross





This is what we got to deal with this weekend!  Yay for us!

After a thorough review of the situation I don't think this was pink eye.  It sure as hell looked like it, but most likely was just his cold going into his eyes. 

I called the consulting nurse's office at about 7 a.m..  I must have sounded a little panicked because she asked me "ohhh is this your first one."  Apparently I'm that obvious and psychotic.  She went through all the possibilities of what it could be, everything we could do for it and then hit the jackpot with her "you probably need to get him into daycare on Monday, huh!?"  Ummm, yes!

So with that predicament we were only left with 2 options; medicate or take the week off while it passes on its own. 

Dah!  Always held hostage in one way or another!

So he has been on eye drops for the last couple days.  He doesn't give a crap and really, I don't give a crap.  I want his eyes back to normal, back to the way I made them, and I don't want to deal with this anymore. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm an idiot

Ever since Joey was born there has been this super secret hush hush competition between Rick and I for who is the favored parent.  Every parent does this because every parent wants to win and be totally awesome at life and be loved the most.  Or maybe that's just us because we are psycho.

Anywho....

I have been chosen.  I am the favorite parent.  He loves me MOST. 

And it sucks.

Being loved most is the WORST.  Every time I enter a room Joey starts whining and crying at my feet.  He wants to be picked up.  He will literally fling himself from other peoples arms and reach out for me.  He wants to be close and be held by me 24/7.  To the extent that he won't stop crying hysterically until I do it. 

I have won the shit lottery.  The lottery where you think you won but you just get a bunch of shit.  The shit lottery.

What the hell do I do?  I don't like to hear the cry noise.  I do love him and want to cuddle/hold and kiss his little face, but not all the time to the sound of whiny baby face. 

Rick says this is a product of me being super sensitive and always picking him up if he whines.  I think he calls it "helicopter parenting."  Clearly he didn't get the memo that he is doing this because he loves me best and this is most definitely NOT the product of helicopter parenting, whatever the hell that is. 

At this point I feel I have 2 options, let him cry or pick him up.  There needs to be a 3rd option, this can't continue....help!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jesus...in me?! What!?

So, Joey's new daycare is a Christian daycare.  I think I told you that....anyway, I don't think we really knew what that meant.  I mean, honestly, I kinda knew but Rick...most definitely didn't know. 

Last week when we got Joey's first daily sheet a few things immediately popped out at us.  So much in fact that I almost didn't want Rick to see the sheet.  The sheet lists what songs they sing and books they read and what kind of games they played.  Now, you can imagine what kinds of songs and books and games a Christian daycare sings, reads and plays....I think the book was Jesus is in me. (Not effing kidding...who the hell chooses that title).

Rick immediately flew off the handle.  Which unleashed intense rage on my behalf because I was very upfront and honest with him about the Christian part of this daycare, ADDITIONALLY, I scheduled a tour for him to go out without me present.  If he had any indication that this was something he could not live with, he had ample time to A; say something, and B; find us a new daycare.

So here we are. 

I am struggling because its not my intention to fill Joey's head with things that we don't necessarily practice at home.  But at the same time, religious songs and beliefs about good deeds and all that is not the same as organized religion go to church type stuff.  I mean they aren't holding a sermon every day for crying out loud, they are singing songs about Jesus being in them (so weird, everytime).  And, he's 1, he has no idea what is going on.

So I am left with what's the worse that could come of this....honestly, I don't see anything wrong with them trying to teach him Christian values.  Because what that means is they are teaching him to be a "good" person, do good things, love your neighbor type stuff!?  I think.  I don't know.  I'm torn. 

I think where this is really going to start getting interesting is when he does actually understand what they are saying and when he starts asking us a lot of questions. 

Parenting is getting interesting.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Video day!

Here are some videos that showcase what's been going down in our house.  Included is drunk walking, drums, sharing and a ton of expletives during a Thursday night football game.  Rick apologizes and promises to never say the F word again...or reference shoving anything up anyone's bum.

Enjoy.

Drunk walking AND clapping....





Best friends forever....



The mother effing drum set.  Thanks dad!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daycare adventure

The long awaited day arrived!  We finally started our new daycare on Monday!!

It's only been 2 days, and I can already tell this place is a great fit for us.

We got there on Monday morning and were instantly met by the head toddler teacher who said "yay Joey is here!"  I swear, I saw more emotion out of the teacher in that first 2.5 seconds then we did for almost a year with our previous provider. 

We were then lead into the toddler room where she showed me where Joey's cubby was.  At the mere mention of the word cubby I began to get teary eyed.  My baby, my sweet burrito, has a cubby now!!

We then went over the daily routine and menu.  She was on the floor with Joey at this point and she said I could stay as long as I needed and invited me to sit with her.  I took notice of how comfortable Joey was and how he wasn't paying much attention to me and told her I would need to go pretty soon because I was about to cry.  So I kissed the burrito boy goodbye and went to the car where I proceeded to ugly cry, alone.

I think I was most scared about him not having a familiar face around and feeling a sense of aloneness or being frightened by the amount of kids around.  I was basically just being a psycho mom and was nervous about stuff that only existed in my head.

He did great.  His daily sheet said he was a happy baby and did amazing for his first day.  He ate tons of good food, played outside and even had his first attempt at "nap time."  Although, she said he spent nap time crawling around to all the other kids trying to get them to play with him. 

All in all, we are extremely happy.  It feels so good to know you are doing the best thing for your child.  He is going to benefit a lot from the routine, attention and socialization this place can offer him and we love the interaction and attention we get from the teachers. 

Couldn't be happier!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

1 whole year

My Joe Joe,
A year ago today you changed mine and your dads lives forever.  Your perfect little self was born and mommy and daddy became parents.  Just like that. 

From the moment we knew you existed, we wanted you.  From the moment you took your first breath, we loved you.  Your first cries, your first poo (ask your dad about that some day!), your first smile, your first laugh, your first words; all your firsts this year have only deepened the love we've had for you since that very second we learned of you.  It's amazing how such a little person can do that. 

This past year you have been a constant joy and continual challenge (Scorpio!).  You are so much like your daddy and even more like your momma.  You feel with such fire and intensity.  And then you love so easily and freely.  You make it known what you want, how you want it and where you want it and then you demand to be hugged and make it known you love us. 

To say you have changed mine and your daddy's lives would be an understatement.  Beyond the hours of sleep deprivation and constant exhaustion, you have made us better people.  You, from the very beginning, changed the very center of our universe.  We put you first, we love you first, we spend every waking moment worrying, planning, cooking, cleaning and loving you.   

Thank you for choosing us as your parents.  Thank you for showing us what love is.  And, thank you for reaffirming the love I have for your daddy.  You and I are very lucky to have him and we are both very lucky to have you.
Happy first birthday little one, I love you.

- Mom

Friday, November 4, 2011

What a difference a year makes

On this night one year ago, I was convincing my mom and Rick that I wasn't in labor.  I was refusing to time my contractions and avoiding acknowledging their looks to one another from across the room that said "she's in labor." 

Tonight, one year later, I will be cleaning my house and preparing for my son's first birthday party. 

What a difference a year makes.

I can honestly say I can't believe we made it.  There were some times where I thought we were done for.  I thought I wouldn't be able to stand one more poopy diaper, one more restless night or one more feeding.  I think we were so sleep deprived the first 6 months that we barely spoke 2 words to one another after getting home from work.  We were exhausted and truthfully found it hard to "enjoy" being parents.

What a difference a year makes.

On Sunday Joey turns one.  Our tiny blob has magically turned into a tiny person.  He is less and less dependent on us for every need and is developing his independent and stubborn streak quite nicely.  I love this part.  I love one year old Joey, admittedly a lot more then super fresh Joey.  I love seeing him develop.  I love his personality.  I love how he has changed me as a person and I love the effect he has had on our family.  One year old Joey is responsible for so much good in my life and I will be forever grateful.

What a difference a year makes.




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I suppose it's time....

I've been avoiding writing this blog update because quite frankly I'm pissed off about it and I'm a bit ashamed of my inability to just listen to myself and my mother's intuition.  But I suppose it's time...

We went to Children's.  For the second time. 

End result = you're an asshole mother, he's fine.

Camera up the nose, down the throat, past the adenoids and to the vocal chords.  Joey loved it. 

What we saw was nothing.  Yes, his adenoid is a tad larger than normal, not too large though and definitely not the cause of his squeak.  No, his vocal chords were not inflammed this time, but there was more mucus and phlegm around them.  Also not the cause of his squeak.  And maybe, just maybe, his larynx was a little floppier than it should but definitely not too floppy and most likely not the cause of his squeak.   

He's fine.  Just freaking fine. 

Cool. Parent of the year award.

The obvious thing to deduce from this, and the MILLION other things we have put Joey through on our quest to locate the cause of the squeak, is that it is most likely a combination of factors that are contributing to the noise.  There is nothing serious and his insides all check out fine.  The doctor said "look at your son, is he healthy?  Is he growing?  Is he developing?  He's fine.  Don't come back."

Done and done.

Rick and I got in the parking lot and just looked at each other like we were a bunch of assholes.  Joey was waving at something and trying to share a cheerio with whoever was walking by, and we looked like we just got the crap kicked out of us.  He is normal.  Clearly of normal height and weight and clearly developing as he should.  But we had just put him through round 7 of doctor exams and semi invasive procedures when we knew the whole time he was fine.

Its hard to look back on this situation and not feel shitty.  We let the concerns and comments of other people (though very well intentioned) place this little seed of doubt in our brains.  We trusted our intuition until we didn't and that's what started this downhill spiral of pointless exams. 

Luckily Joey probably won't be too traumatized and hopefully will not know that any of this ever happened.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for Rick and myself. 

We've learned our lesson.


Clearly Joey is growing great.  This
sock is for 3 - 5 year olds.

Goals

The leaves are falling, the air is cold, Halloween is right around the corner. 

This time last year I was very pregnant and very grumpy.  I was sleeping very little, cleaning, folding, packing, organizing and eating tons of cheeseburgers. 

This year all those things are the same minus the pregnant part.  And way less cheeseburgers. 

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone.  In the blink of an eye I went from pregnant to the proud momma of an almost one year old.  Owner of a tiny little man that surprises me almost daily with his development and physical growth (monster baby). 

In light of this tremendous occasion I thought it only fitting to make some goals for the year ahead.  Yes, we are at the point now where we make actual goals for parenting besides survive and don't shake your baby.  Woo hoo!!

We have arrived to the promised land my friends.

Goals:

1.  As soon as possible begin a night time routine.  This will include bath, book, bottle, bed.  Bed time now consists of diaper change, bottle, lay in bed and walk away.  At whatever time, but usually 8:30 or 9 o'clock.  As Joey gets older I would like to be more consistent in the actions we take before bed so he can understand steps to a process and have a good idea of what he is to do during each step.  We also need to make more of an effort to read to him.  We read to him sporadically, but I want him to have at least a book a day from here on out.

2.  Potty training begins NOW.  I know, "your a crazy psycho lady for even thinking a one year old is capable of that."  Not true friends, not true.  This kind of goes along with the bed time routine thing.  If you get them used to the actions involved in a process, over a period of time, they will begin to put the steps together in their head.  Understandably they aren't capable of communicating their need to potty but if they understand what we do and where we do it and the process involved in it, hopefully the connections in the brain will be made sooner rather than later.  I have a lot of faith in this effort and I know it will take a lot of time, but I am ready for it.  We are even going to a potty "learning" class for 12-18 month olds on November 19th.  Should be fun!

3.  Practice words.  Over the last 2 weeks we have seen a dramatic increase in Joe Joe frustration.  It looks like he is needing to communicate something with us, but doesn't have the tools to relay the message.  So instead he rages out and bites his hands.  Yes, this is where our shitty parenting of not teaching him baby sign shines through.  We know, thank you.  So, to hopefully avoid this dramatic and tearful inability to communicate, we are going to make a huge effort to get him to speak words.  We have already begun, admittedly not 100%, to try and teach him words for things we use all the time.  Baba (we also sign the sign for milk when we say this word), food, yum, hi, bye, etc.  I hope the sooner the connection is made between word and object, we can eliminated the finger biting rage session.

So, those are the main things I want to focus on.  I know if I make that list too long I will just feel like a crap tastic mom for not accomplishing anything.  And, lets be real, the potty training one is a big feat.  So these three things will be the main focus of our parenting for the next couple months. 

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finances and baby makin

Very recently the Callahan/Armon family made a very brutal decision.  One entirely based on the all mighty dollar, American ideals and long term security via financial independence.  I know, it sounds barfy and pretentious and all around gross to us too.

We have decided to put off having another baby, indefinitely.  We have an idea of when that time will be, but it is not any time soon.  And this sucks.  A lot.  As early as two months ago I was ready to start trying again.  I was ready to just say screw it and throw faith into the wind and hope everything turned out ok. 

Then I started thinking.... 

We want to buy a house.  We want to be married (well, I do, Rick maybe not so much).  We want to not struggle paycheck to paycheck.  We don't ever want to rely on state programs or our families to get us through.  (Not a knock to those who do, its just not for us).  Basically, we want to afford our life.  And, we are just barely affording the life we have now.  So, $800 a month daycare bill times 2 will just not work.

Its really shitty to think your family and essentially your future is dictated by crap like this.  I envy those women/families who don't care about the same kind of materialistic b.s. I do (owning a home, marriage, savings accounts, etc) and are able to have as many kids as they desire and make it work.  Searching to the very core of my being, I know I can never do that, and that sucks.  I fret and fright and get anxious about finances and even now I worry about paying for Joey's college.  I equate financial security with safety.  And adding another kid to our mix right now just doesn't seem safe. 

So now our plan is paying off our cars, student loans and credit cards.  Once that is complete we will have more than enough money to put a down payment on a house and revisit the baby chat.  And hopefully at that time Rick and I will both be making more money and the transition will be a lot less frightening. 

And hey, maybe Rick will shock the hell out of us all and we'll be married by then!!! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hoooray....sort of

Well, this weekend we reached a milestone.  By we, I mean me.  I stepped on that horrible horrible monster (the scale) and saw a number I haven't seen since before Joey. 

I am back to pre pregnancy weight.  Woo. Hooo.

So what does this mean?  Not much actually.  I thought I would be much much more celebratory and excited about it, but ehh, not really.  I still ask Rick everyday, most times multiple times a day, if I look fat, if my ass looks rounder, if my face is chubby, if this, if that, fat fat fat.  Its exhausting.  So exhausting that I didn't have enough energy to do my "I am 125 pounds, in your face pregnancy weight" dance.  The very dance I have been practicing and hoping for for almost a year. 

So what gives?!

What the hell is the point in obessing about this for so long and then STILL thinking I am fat when I've reached the very number that I have been holding above my head for a year. 

WOMEN. ARE. EFFING. CRAZY.

That's it.  That has to be it. 

What a rip off.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A baby lives here....can you tell?

I remember having so many conversations with Rick about how our life would be with a baby.  We would go over every thing that annoyed us about other parents we knew and vowed to do nothing of the sort.  We would never let our house smell like baby.  We would never let him have his toys all over the place.  We would never be "those" parents. 

We remained certain that our house would remain ours and we would still be cool.

We aren't cool anymore.  Our house has a baby living in it and there are signs of it everywhere.....

There is always a random pot or block on our kitchen floor, and
always a little boy eager to help empty the dishwasher.

You can always count on finding a random thing here or there. 

Joey vs. DVD's

Things on this, in-between things and under things

This is very American of us....

These no longer fit him, but now double as a chew toy

Bath time friends

Everything in our house is pushed to the far edge so long
arms can't reach them.

Sink AND drainage for Joey's bathtub butt pad

Still no "success" on this bad boy, but we try.

Doctor round 5

If I wrote this post yesterday, it would have been a completely different post.  I think I've calmed down a little and hopefully the tone of this will be a little less hysterical...

We went to the doctor yesterday...to those appointments I've been dreading since their suggestion.  It went as well as you can imagine. 

We get there at 9 and we find out that the dumb fucks radiology schedulers messed up and were supposed to back our two appointments right on top of each other.  So instead of an appointment at 9 and an appointment at 11, we were supposed to have one appointment with both physicians.  So what that meant was the speech pathologist wasn't available until 11...which meant we had to wait there....till 11.  This disaster is exacerbated by the fact that Joe has not eaten since 6 because he can't have anything to eat of drink for three hours before his appointment.  So we wait until 11, with nothing to eat.

Bless his little heart, Joe did wonderfully during that two hours.  He waved to every single patient that was there waiting with us, ripped every single tissue out of every tissue box and made me carry him (about 4 thousand times) down the hall so he could touch the braille on every door sign.  So proud of my boy during those hours.

Finally we meet with the speech pathologist who specializes in small children.  She was lovely.  Had a blue streak in her hair and immediately claimed Joey was her new boyfriend and that her husband wouldn't mind.  Loved her.  

She immediately took notice of Joe's breathing and asked when his last meal was (fucking forever ago!!!).  Then said it was weird that it had been so long since he ate and he was still this noisy.  Yes, lady, that is why we are here.

So then we go back for the fun stuff.  X-rays while drinking sitting up and laying down.  The one sitting up captured his upper throat the one lying down captured his upper GI tract through to his tum tum.  Sitting up = a breeze.  Laying down = pure torture. 

To get the correct picture he had to be laying on his side with his arms up and drinking this chalky substance all at the same time.  Four people holding him down and me shoving chalk down his throat led to a meltdown of epic proportion.  Me and the Joe in full meltdown.

When it was all said and done we came away with yet another "we don't know."  I wanted to punch someone.  

We did however learned some interesting facts about how Joe swallows.  Usually when liquid hits the back of your throat you stop breathing and swallow.  Joey, for some reason, lets fluid collect and enter halfway down his esophagus before he swallows.  This is weird, but not the cause of the squeak.  He also sometimes gets fluid in his windpipe.  Not too far though that it enters his lungs and possibly caused by the way he swallows.  We also learned that this swallowing weirdness could also have contributed to Joey not being a successful breastfeeder...who knows.

In the end we were referred back to Children's to visit the ear nose and throat specialist and have them take a look at his tonsils and adenoids.  These are the same assholes that said he had reflux (which we figured out through this latest episode, Joe does NOT have).  As expected, I'm not jumping for joy at the thought of going back to Children's.

As soon as I got to the car I lost it.  I called Rick and gave him the low down and basically broke down in to a pile of self loathing sobs.  Another doctor appointment with nothing.  Another episode of Joey being freaked out, strapped to something sobbing and holding his arms out to me for help.  To say I felt like the shittiest mom on earth, was an understatement.  After all this bullshit I can't help but wonder why we are putting ourselves, our son, through this.  So what happens when we do figure it out!?  They are going to tell us he'll just grow out of it, or there is nothing they can do....and so what, we go through all this to satisfy our curiosity, because we've already gone this far!?

Ugh.  I literally wanted to crawl in a hole and die.  Luckily Joe was very forgiving and let me hug him and cuddle with him for the rest of the afternoon.  Then, while laying on the floor with him I get a peak at his upper gums and notice 4 top teeth coming in at the same time.  My poor sweet bubbaroo was a perfect gentleman for 3 plus hours at the doctors office, all while working on 4 top teeth. 

I love him so much.  He is a much better person than me.


Rawr.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The low down

Our house is bustling with the ramblings of Mr. Joe Armon.  We have mama, dada, baba and what sounds super similar to doggie.  I don't think he knows that I am mama and Rick is dada, but I said to him "where's the doggie?"  And he looked right at Phoebe and said daaaahhhey.  So smart. 

Our house is also full of constant reminders to Joe about what we do and do not eat.  Joey we don't eat Phoebe;  Joey we don't eat envelopes;  Joey we don't eat dog food;  Joey we don't eat toilets, lint, socks, diapers...etc etc etc. 

This (along with his desire to rip all Phoebe's hair out and pull her tail) has led to our first task at discipline.  I never imagined I would try to discipline my 11 month old, but like I told Rick last night, its just like training a puppy.  You have to be consistent and you have to be firm.  Phoebe knows when I say "go potty," that she is to go potty.  And that came from me being consistent in my tone and voice and repeating the same phrase everytime, "Phoebe go potty."  So, little puppy Joe's phrase is "Joey, no!"  And you stare and you take his hand off of whatever his is trying to destroy or maim.  He will test us and try to do it again, but I am actually quite shocked at how effective it is.  He knows we are serious and sometimes it pisses him off, but I have a feeling laying this foundation will be the best thing we ever do. 

I can't believe how far we have come as a family and how far Joey has come in the last 11 months.  I can't even believe his birthday is a month away.  My tiny burrito man is slowly but surely becoming a real person.  Its so fun, these days are so so fun with him. 

Here is the latest and probably best development to date....Joey's endzone dance!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cosmos bitch slap

Do you ever do that thing where you drown out all the noise around you, look around, and wonder how in the world it is you got to be where you are?!  Or, rather, simply take notice of what is going on around you.  

I had such a moment the other day.  Two actually.

It was a random night after work.  Joey was probably licking something weird or torturing Phoebe, and Rick and I were sitting in the living room staring blankly at the tv.  And I stopped and took notice of everything around me and I honestly can't believe where I am.  I have a loving partner (not fiancé, and he doesn't like the word boyfriend, so we go with partner...its an issue) that I never thought I would have, or deserved, and an almost 1 year old who, as of yesterday can say mama, and who is so so close to walking.  How in the world did this happen!?  I have an almost 1 year old!!  This time last year I was very pregnant, we had just had Joey's baby shower and I was consuming 2 Big Mac meals at dinner time.  Sorry Joey, you are made of Diet Pepsi and Big Macs.  Now we are sitting together as a family watching Joey destroy, laugh, play, torture and baby babble.  It was one of those moments where you become so aware and thankful for what you have and it felt good.

My next moment came at 3 in the morning and it didn't feel so good.

Joey's breathing decided it wanted to torture me at 3 a.m., by way of baby monitor.  The damn thing is voice activated and must have been going off for close to 2 hours with the sounds of him breathing and snoring.  I finally had to scream at Rick to turn it off.  Which he did, and then promptly fell back asleep, and I of course just laid there.  And, as I stared blankly at the dark ceiling and listened to the sound of both my boys breathing and snoring, and Phoebe of course was annoying the crap out of me too, I thought to myself "how in the hell did I get here."  Who's baby wakes them up with snoring and breathing and who the hell can sleep through this crap (Rick!). 

That moment did not leave me with the same feeling the first did.  So, with that, we have decided to go to the doctor to try and see what's wrong with Joey.  In a weird way I think that 3 a.m. moment was the cosmos way of slapping me right in the face and telling me what I needed to do. 

So we go, October 5th at 9 and 11 am.  2 appointments, 2 x-rays and no eating 3 hours before the first appointment.  Lord help me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thankful

We are starting to wind down. 

Our adventures are coming to a close and how about that weather already reminding us that summer is as good as over!?  I am interested to see what the fall will bring us.  Our tiny tot will be a year old soon (even as I typed that I got tears in my eyes) and that in and of itself opens us up to endless possibilities.  And, lets also take note of the unassisted standing that now takes place.  Walking will be a grand adventure.  I don't anticipate the road to running being that far away from walking. 

The fall should be fun...

This last week I am thankful for.....

1.  The support we have from family.  With their help, Rick and I were able to have a 2 day adventure to the coast.  Joey was well taken care of and Rick and I spent some time in nature with people we love.

2.  My cuddle bug.  Joe's cuddles have become longer and deeper and I like to think he loves cuddling me best.  I love the feeling of him rubbing his tiny face on my clothes and snuggling in for some love.

3.  Rick.  Always.  Sometimes not as much, but this week yes!

4.  Our recent journey of choosing a life for us and making decisions for us.  I instantly felt the shift and its been amazing.  The amount of stress you can put on yourself trying to please everyone around you is incredible.  We are choosing to put ourselves first, and so far, so good

5.  Future.  I know the future is always in front of us, but ours is starting to take shape.  And it is really exciting to think of endless possibilities that lie in our future. 

My Fall resolution is to start taking more photos.  It goes without saying that this probably means a new camera is in our horizon... So, be prepared for a lot more photo fun from this clan!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bye bye troll lady

I am getting more and more excited about starting our new daycare in November.  This is fueled not only by my daycare lady's constant obsurd comments like "I've never had one like him before," (in reference to Joey screaming when he doesn't get his way), but I can also see his immediate need and desire for structure and discipline. 

We've reached the age where, yes daycare lady all kids do this, Joey screams and cries when he doesn't get his way.  He will reach for something that could hurt him, I take it out of his reach, and he goes bananas.  He wants to be held and will sit at my feet crying because I'm making dinner and can't hold him and make him dinner at the same time. 

I know every kid does this, and Joey might be doing it a bit sooner and maybe a little louder than most kids, but this is the point in his life where we could go one of two ways.  We could cater to this kind of behavior and pick him up or try and coddle him and give him what he wants, or we can be stern and say "NO!" and let him scream. 

Our daycare lady picks him up and then complains about having to carry him around all day.  I tell her everytime not to do this and every day when I get there, there he is, in her arms.  I could seriously slap her.

I, obviously, prefer to not give in to this behavior.  He needs to learn that no means no and screaming and crying will not get a response out me.  I know his new daycare will be the same way.  They simply don't have the manpower to be carrying around every kid that is crying because he didn't get his way. 

Its hard leaving your kid with someone for a majority of the day and its a kabillion times harder when that person refuses to listen to our wishes and just tries to quiet our kid instead of motivating him to do other things. 

I swear, if that trollesque daycare lady says one more effed up comment about my kid's behavior, I just might slap her.  He wouldn't be screaming if you WOULD GET OFF THE PHONE AND PLAY WITH HIM!!!! 

Grrrr


I'm sure Phoebe would love to be Joey's new babysitter.
She would probably be better at it too.

Look! Joey's in a bag.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remember....

Remember when I said I was breaking up with our pediatrician?  Well, he has managed to creep his way back into our lives and officially freak me out.  Funny how they always manage to do that to you!?  They must teach some bullshit class in med school called "make parents feel like shit for thinking for themselves," or "how to make new parents shit their pants."

Whatever.

We get a call from Dr. Richter last night saying he has consulted a number of other pediatricians in the area about Joe's squeak.  I was actually kind of surprised because he told us he was going to do this at Joe's last well child appointment which was on August 4th and it's now mid September.  So I thought he had totally disregarded us.  Apparently not; Dr. Richter has a new theory. 

Esophageal Diverticulum.

What this is is basically an open pocket in your esophagus.  This pocket collects fluid and food and makes it difficult to breath or makes it irritated and swollen which in turn creates a squeaking noise in your throat.  This pocket can also cause regurgitation and choking issues. 

Hmmm...ok...fine.  But while googling the crap out of this I noticed a few red flags.  1.  This is VERY rare in infants and is usually found in middle aged and older people.  Its something that develops as opposed to being something you are born with.  2.  There are a kabillion other symptoms associated with this condition that have no relevance to Joe, like chronic coughing, weight loss, chest pain, halitosis (weird), pneumonia and a bunch of other things.  I get that Joe's diet isn't too advanced yet so this condition might not have had a proper chance of developing these symptoms, but still. 

To diagnose this Joey would have to drink a barium solution and have his throat x-rayed to see if there are any glowing pockets.  Right there there are 2 things I am sketched out about.  Some solution that makes your insides glow and an x-ray straight to his tiny baby throat. 

Then what?

If he does in fact have this, the most sought after treatment is surgery.  Guess how I feel about that!

So what to do....I already feel like shit for questioning this man's 3rd attempt at a diagnosis, when I absolutely should not.  I don't really think this is what he has...wouldn't the Dr. at Childrens have been able to see a pocket in his FREAKING ESOPHAGUS when he shoved the camera down this throat?!  Is having glowy insides and radiation straight to your throat worth a diagnosis?  A diagnosis that might further make me feel like shit because I will absolutely NOT want him to have surgery....

I wish he could tell me what he wants to do...


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yay! We're so annoying!

Even while our casa is smack dab in the middle of "busy season," that hasn't stopped non stop development from the Joe.  Development that is really really annoying....like really really really annoying....










Doing the dishes and putting the tupperware away has become quite the task.  I think right now we're averaging at least 4 complete rip outs.  Every bowl, lid and container gets ripped out of the cupboard and thrown at least 4 times.  Doing dishes sucks.

Also...eating has now become a balancing act...or an act of perception and a detailed geometric equation as you try and place your meal somewhere in your arms/hands or somewhere on the couch, or if you're really tricky, you try placing it in the exact spot the tip of Joey's fingers don't reach.  You can imagine how hard that is. 


Probably the best thing he's learned how to do recently is drink out of a straw.  I mean, common, how smart is that.  A straw drinker outer at the ripe old age of 10 months....you can't even practice that, you either are a genius and know how to, or you don't.

Small Writing:  If your 10 month old also drinks out of a straw, I don't need to know about it.  Let me think my kid is a genius, please. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It was bound to happen

I've been absent, I know, I apologize.  To be quite honest we've been so incredibly busy and I've been so spread thin that blogging just hasn't seemed fun lately.  I'm hoping to change that, and a few other things, starting today!! 

Some big changes are headed to the Armon/Callahan household.  Changes that should have been made a long time ago, but needed something big to jump start the process.  That something big has happened and we are full steam ahead into the world of change. 

We are taking control, finally, and as a family. 

When I first met Rick I was completely shocked by the stories of his childhood and growing up for part of it on a sailboat.  I listened in complete and utter shock as him and his dad retold stories from the Mystic days.  How could his parents do that!?  And, wow they are a bunch of freaks.  

I was shocked because I was so used to my parents measurement of success.  Success to them equals a BMW in the driveway and trips to Mexico every other year.  Success to them is measurable by the amount of stuff you have, not the amount of love and support or experiences together as a family.  I've never met a family with so much love and to my parents they are not "successful."

I find myself now being completely envious of his childhood.  A childhood I would give everything to call my own, a childhood that Rick wouldn't give up for anything.

Having Joe has changed so much of me, probably every part of me is in one way or another different.  I think of him and I think of how I grew up and I want something better for him.  So, while I've been scared to let go of thoughts that have been ingrained in me since childhood, we are now on a new mission. 

Our family will not measure our success by the balance of our bank account.  Our family will not allow ourselves to be surrounded by people who are cruel and evil just because they are part of our extended family.  We will not give in to how other people measure success or happiness.  We will put ourselves first and we will do what we feel is best for us, regardless of what anyone else thinks.  We are eliminating the toxicity from our lives and we don't give a shit what anyone has to say about it.  

We may never have a BMW in our driveway, but our kid will have all the love in the world and will be surrounded by genuine people who love life.  Our son deserves better and as a parent its my job to give him that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hiiiiii!!!!!

We've become the super creepy parents that film every little milestone and speak in high pitched voices 24/7. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Part 2?

Part 2 of Whidbey adventure may never happen.  Apparently Rick and I are jack holes and cant figure out how to get the pictures from his phone to my email.  Technology really is grand isn't it?  We really need a good camera...sigh....

So part 2 will consist of something completely different...kind of. 

Island living. 

I always said to Rick that I would never in a million billion trillion years live on one.  When I first went to Friday Harbor with him I was in a state of culture shock.  To say my skin was crawling is an understatement.  How could these people be ok with being surrounded by water!?  Where are the skyscrapers and the people!?  Where's the traffic!? 

Rick would always tell me that I just didn't understand.  And I didn't.  But that was coming from the guy who spent a good chunk of his childhood sailing down to Mexico and then back up to San Juan Island...how could I understand!?

Then came the Joe.  And he has managed to totally transformed every single thought in my head.  My mom calls it "becoming a hippie," but I call it slowing down and breathing.  Taking a fresh look at life for what it actually is and evaluating it based on a whole new set of priorities.  For the first time in my entire life I want to escape the city and move to a tiny house with a lot of land, and have animals and a garden and live a slower kind of life.  I want to eat food that I grow myself, I want to be surrounded by nature and water and everything that comes along with that.  I want Joe to appreciate little things and love nature and adventure just like his daddy. 

After going to Whidbey for just 3 days, Rick and I were so full of life and excitement.  We got to sit on the couch and watch the bunnies hop across the field.  And there was this little brown mouse that kept popping its head up out of the bushes and eating the droppings from the bird feeder.  You could smell the sea and all the life living there. 

It was nothing short of amazing. 

I don't know what the future brings for me and my family.  But I can tell you a fire has been lit inside of me.  I am no good with blind leaps of faith, but that Rickster seems A-OK with them, so who knows what's in store for us. 



Monday, August 15, 2011

Whidbey Island Part 1

Joey's first hand picked apple 

 Fresh oysters!  These were SO good.



 Saturday morning Farmers Market.

Joey loves the Farmers Market!!




 Island life is tiring.



 Ty ty do do.

 This is the best salsa ever.  Super spicy, local and delicious.

 Always gotta have mimosas.






He carved R + S = Love






Nakie baby 



 Treasure!

Agates!!

Part 2 will have all the pictures from Rick's phone.