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.


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.


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. 


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.


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!!!