Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye-bye, 2008

I can't believe how quickly this year has passed. I spent the first half of it pregnant, and the rest of it feeling like crap. I'm hopeful that 2009 will bring nothing but good things to our family. We're starting to head in the right direction financially, which is a huge weight off. Progress, albeit slow, is starting to be made in terms of my mysterious health issue. I've been referred to a third - THIRD - neurologist after a VNG revealed that my chronic vertigo is most likely the result of a CNS issue. Fab-u-lous news, no? Good news is that things like tumors and aneurysms have been ruled out several times over. I think my PCP's still thinking that I may have MS. This new neurologist is (allegedly) an expert, and *the* doctor to go to for MS symptoms and treatment. So we'll see. Not that I want a diagnosis of that or anything in that spectrum, but an answer, if it ever comes, will be so nice. My PCP is also arranging for me to be seen at The Cleveland Clinic should this new neurologist not have any new insights. That also leaves me hopeful that an answer will be found.

2009 will be the first year out of the last few years that I won't be pregnant during some part of the year. Bittersweet realization.

2009 will bring our 7th wedding anniversary. Hubs turns 38. I'll turn 33. My babies will turn 3 and 1. It will also bring my 10-year college reunion. Yikes.

2009 will hopefully bring nothing but great change for this country. I look forward to 1/20 with both excitement and trepidation.

2009 better bring with it some pretty serious weight loss. Hashimoto's be damned - I vow to lose 50 pounds by the end of this year. That's baby weight from both babies and will bring me back down to my "ideal" weight. I have no idea how I'm going to do it. Finances and lack of any real time prevent me from joining a gym. Well...back up there. We could most likely do it financially. But I feel guilty taking out time for myself to go exercise. Weird, isn't it? It's not enough that I stay home all day with them, but I feel like I'm doing them a disservice by not being around all. the. time. They're going to grow up to resent me for that, aren't they?

2009 holds the promise of everlasting memories. I wish nothing but health and love and happiness for my little family of 4, and to all of you.

May you all have a very, very happy new year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


What would Annie Camden do?

Nat has become an incredibly picky eater. He rarely eats what I put in front of him. I'm not a horrible cook. Quite the opposite, actually. He just has set in his mind what he wants to eat, and it's usually not anything near what I've made for lunch or dinner. In his mind, the four basic food groups include bread/pretzels/rice, chocolate, cheese, and noodles. A kid after my own heart. Or stomach. But I can't go feeding him these foods over and over again.

Can I?

Not the chocolate, of course. Chocolate (and any other sweet) is a treat in this house. Not readily available, and not distributed even on a semi-regular basis. But the other stuff? Breads and cheese and noodles? He could eat those every day for every meal.

Perhaps I've been making a mistake in trying to get him to eat what the adults eat. My dinners consist of a protein, a veggie, and a starch. Nat has transformed from a child who would eat anything healthy to a child who takes one bite of everything on his plate and announces that he's done and would like to get down. Put a hot dog or buttered noodles in front of him, though, and he'll clean his plate and ask for more.

So what do you do with a picky toddler? I'm posing this question to the thousands of readers I have (ha), some of whom I know are veteran moms. Do I make two dinners, one for the adults consisting of "real" food and one of which I know he'll eat, or do I continue serving him the balanced choices? My dinner table rule is that he has to try everything once, and if he doesn't like it then he doesn't have to eat it - in that case I'll make him a PB & J or grilled cheese. But he often flat out refuses. So I'm at a loss. Hubs says that he'll eat when he's hungry and to not push him, but I'm the mom - it's my job to push and to make sure I give every effort to take care of him. He's such a little peanut and he needs to eat.

I wonder what Annie Camden would do?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Through the eyes of children

This will be Nat's third Christmas, but the first year he really has much of an understanding of anything related to the holiday. He gets Santa, though, and understands that Christmas is also Baby Jesus' much as a two year old can, I guess.
We took the kids to see Santa at a small country store in the area that has the best Santa I've ever seen. Santa comes down the chimney every night. Savannah, obviously, doesn't understand anything beyond the sparkly lights, but it was fun to see her enjoying the twinkling lights on the trees. Watching Nat's eyes light up as he spied Santa's boots dropping from the chimney was enough to melt my heart. His anticipation was very apparent as we waited in line. He was so excited to tell Santa that he has been a good boy and that he'd like some more Cars things for Christmas. He's been spoiled in that he's my taste-tester for every holiday cookie I'm baking, and he'll also get the occasional treat of staying up "late" to watch a Christmas special in his jammies, snuggled up with mama while eating some popcorn we've popped on the stove top. I wonder if any of these things will serve to become one of his first memories. I hope so. I can't recall many annual Christmas traditions from when I was little, so I hope to create many for these kiddos that will help make each holiday extra special. I know, though, that I'll remember enough for the both of them.

I made the decision to move Nat into Savannah's bedroom, which happens to be his old bedroom. He's been having an awful time sleeping lately, and I wondered if he missed his old room, or if he just wanted company. I was a little nervous about the two of them sharing a room, thinking that one would disrupt the other, but so far it seems to be a success. He loves to look across the room and see his baby sister.

In medical news, my PCP has reached out to medical staff in Rochester to see if anything of my case rings any bells with them. Apparently some doctors at the large teaching hospital in Rochester are quite interested, so I'm wondering if I'll have to travel a bit in my continued effort to find out what's going on. Travel + WNY winters = fun.

I'm at an impasse with Christmas shopping. I would love to buy and buy and buy, giving the kids everything they want, but we also want to instill in them the notion that they don't need to be knee-deep in material possessions to be happy. After all, it's not the amount of things that we have that makes us truly happy. So I'm wondering how much is too much. I know some families who give one gift per age in years - so Nat would get 2 following that rule, and Savannah would get - what, half of a gift? I know some families who have their kids make a list, ranking the top 5 items on the list, and more families who save and save and save during the year and then go crazy at Christmas time. Hubs and I don't exchange gifts, so that leaves some extra wiggle room to spoil the kids, but I don't want to raise spoiled kids. It'll be fun to see what ends up happening.

Lastly, I have the Facebook virus, and nothing we do seems to get rid of it. We've tried a gajillion different antivirus programs, including that one we pay $80 a year for, and nothing works. Anyone have any insight?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pure, unadulterated HELL

That's what our house has been for the last 48 hours.

I decided on Tuesday, after a trip to the pediatric dentist, that the time had arrived to bid adieu to Nat's beloved pacifier, affectionately known around here as "suckah." The dentist revealed that his jaw was becoming slightly misaligned, rated it a 7 out of 10, and told me that if I took it away that day that his jaw would return to normal. If I didn't? His adult teeth would have white spots, his jaw would be unable to return to its original position, and...the worst part? He would shpeak like thish. Okay. 'nuff said. Her advice as to how to deal with it was simply suggesting that the sucker was lost, making a huge deal out of finding it, and telling him that it was gone but reinforce that it's okay to go to sleep without it. Sounded easy enough to me, and he only used it at night anyway, so I didn't figure it would be all that bad.

Oh, how wrong was I. Nat's bedtime is 8 p.m. He didn't fall asleep that night until right before midnight, and then was up again at 2:10, 3:12, 4:30, 5:17, 6:15, and up for the day at 7. He was in an ugly mood all day yesterday, and we figured that he'd pass out at bedtime last night. Not so. Last night? He was up ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

He's upstairs now attempting to nap, wailing for his sucker. I know if I cave in and give it to him he'll immediately fall asleep. It's killing me to hear him like that. I feel like an awful mother, because I took away his biggest source of comfort outside of myself, but it's time, right? The boy has been speaking in complete sentences for many months now. He can recite his ABCs and count to 10, draw a perfect circle - surely he doesn't need his sucker anymore. Right? He'll get over it. He won't hold a grudge against me. He'll still be my baby.

Thankfully Savannah loathes her sucker unless she happens to have a rough night, so it's easy to keep hers out of sight. I feel like I've been run over by a cement truck, though, and can't take another sleepless night. I'm hopeful that tonight will be a little easier, and by the weekend, all will be forgotten. If any of my hundreds (ha ha) of readers have any insight as to how to make this any easier, I would appreciate your feedback. He has his other beloved object, his blanket (Binky), and I thought that Binky would just take over, but I was wrong. I'm at a loss.

I've also realized that my studies and degrees in psychology and all of the knowledge I've acquired is 100% lost on my own child. He knows when I'm trying to psychologize him, and he'll give it right back to me in his own psycho-toddler way. Smart guy.

Savannah is babbling, and she has a sweet, adorable voice. She says dada, but we're not sure if it's intentional or not. She'll say it while looking at Hubs, so it's entirely possible. She also says gee-tee while looking at the cat. Cute.

We had a swell Thanksgiving. Spent it with my parents and younger sister. In a moment of insanity, I decided to go shopping on Black Friday. Both kids were up for most of the night, having been thrown off their schedules by the turkey day travel, so at 4:12 a.m. on Friday I decided to head out to see if it truly was a crazy day. After spending 2 1/2 hours on line at a certain store I've decided that I'll never do BF again. Ever. I had the fortune of witnessing a man punch a woman in the face over a vacuum cleaner. White trash at its finest.

I'm continuing to baffle doctors with the medical stuff. My PCP will now be contacting specialists in every area of medicine to see if something about my case rings a bell with them. He's thinking some kind of chronic autoimmune issue or the possibility of having contracted a virus during my c-section or while in the hospital. So now I have to sit back and wait. It's not fun, but at least I feel now like he's actually doing something more than just throwing random drugs my way. He gets it. Last week he prescribed the Medrol Dosepak to see if it would create a break in the symptoms. I felt 100% better on days 2 and 3 of the prescription, but immediately returned to how I was feeling once I stopped taking more than 1 pill at a time. To me this would indicate that these symptoms are being caused by some kind of inflammation, but I'm not the MD, and I've learned through all of this that most doctors don't appreciate having their knowledge questioned. All I want for Christmas is an answer.

As we're getting more into the holiday season, I can't help but be grateful for what I do have, though. I love seeing Nat getting excited over the prospect of Santa. I love that he gets it this year, and I'm proud that he also knows that Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus. For as much as I lament over what I don't have, I'm so incredibly grateful for my little family here. And really, that's all that matters.