Monthly Archives: March 2010

Not Me Monday–Total Randomness

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Life was pretty random this last week, so my not me Monday will likely be ’round the mulberry bush too…just to warn you.

I did not completely freak out this week at work when the littlest family member slowed down his/her kicking and end up in tears at my desk.  I did not start to cry because I was confused about whether or not to call the midwife or chalk it up to normal pregnancy stuff.  I did not end up e-mailing my midwife and going in the next day for a quick check up. No, not me.  I am on my third pregnancy and know babies have busy days and slow days of kicking.  (By the way, I do not regret contacting my midwife and going in…)  I was not then thrilled when the braxton hicks contractions kicked in (at 21 weeks and 3 days) because it was reassuring.  Nope, I know better than to hope for those.  I know they will get bothersome and nerve racking on their own.  So I would never hope they would start this early.  (Again, by the way, this is the same time they started with my 2nd child, so it was reassuring to have it be so normal…)

I am not rewarding myself for drinking the 80 ounces of fluid daily that my midwife recommends by letting myself have a diet coke (or 2). Oh no, I know caffeine will make the littlest family member hyper, so I would never do that.

I did not let my kids jump on my bed so I could work on my sewing longer.  No, I would never let my kids engage in a potentially unsafe game so I could work on their Easter present.  (Another by the way, my sewing machine is in my room so I was actually supervising them while they did this.)  I did not have to look up satin stitching on three blogs in order to figure out what the pattern instructions were telling me. Oh no, I can read a set of instructions and understand them.  I did not let my 3 year old watch a marathon of cartoons on Disney Channel so I could continue sewing.  Oh no, I would never let the TV be a babysitter.

I did not go to bed early on Friday due to an earache and forget to call my mom to tell her we would not be able to make the trip to visit this weekend.  No, I am much more considerate than that.  I did not also forget to call my aunt and tell her we were not coming.  I would never get too distracted by my earache and sewing to be polite.

I did not let my hubby finish making dinner and then clean up after dinner while I stood here doing this blog post, oh no, I would never be so obsessed with doing a “Not Me post” as to let it cause more work for a family member!  Never.

Mamas and midwifes

I was awake several extra hours last night.  And that’s okay.  With the colds we have been fighing around here, I finally succumbed to an earache. I have always been a little prone to them due to how my ear tubes grew, or actually didn’t grow, and sometimes when a cold gets a mind to, I end up with an earache.  So hubby sent me to bed with a movie and heating pad to put my ear on. 

I slept great until about 1:30 this morning.  Then I drifted in and out for awhile.  I realized at some point that hubby was not upstairs, so I went looking for him.  He had crashed on the couch after putting Caitlyn to bed.  I told him to go to bed (poor guy had to get up at 4:30 to go to work today).  Only problem was, he fell asleep before I did and I was awake enough that his snoring kept me up.  I ended up on the couch.  Then the littlest family member decided to practice his/her kickboxing. 

It, by itself, while very distinct and noticable, is not enough to keep me awake, but enjoying it, is.

This baby is the most active of any I have carried.  My Sue was a good kicker, but this one makes her look lazy.  And a baby that kicks good is a great reassurance to me.  So Thursday, the little one decided to have a rest day.  So not fair to mama.  I freaked.  I had woken up with a headache, and since I have a history of blood pressure issues in pregnancy, I checked my BP right away. It was great!  So I chalked the headache up to the weather.  But I just could not shake my unease of the day.  Things just didn’t seem right with the babys’ activity.

I e-mailed a friend that I knew would understand more than anyone should have to.  She encouraged me to contact my midwife. I waited a while, but I just could not settle down.  So I finally e-mailed my midwife (everyone should have a midwife with a blackberry!).  She was her normal wonderful self.  She e-mailed me right back and reassured me that many of her mamas that have children contact her with the same concerns “I hear this often from women who have children. [You] just want everything to be fine.  You really understand and are thankful for what you have.”  And told me to come see her the next day.  That by itself calmed me as I knew in less than 24 hours I would have concrete reassurance (hearing the heartbeat) that things were progressing.

Then the braxton hicks contractions set in.  Yes, I know they are on the early side, at 21 weeks 3 days, but they are right on time for when I got them with Sue.  That was wonderfully reassuring, though it reminded me how long the next trimester plus is going to be.  Those contractions may not hurt at this point, but man, they are distracting.  It is hard to think about anything else when being reminded that the much more important work of baking a baby is happening.  “Oh, and littlest Cole, this better mean you are going to be a quick delivery like Sue.  I am more than willing to pay my dues for the rest of the pregnancy if you do your part and make it quick in the end!”

Friday morning I got some good activity from the baby and that had me feeling much better, and knowing now I was just hours from hearing my little one was added comfort.  And I was excited about Caitlyn and Sue getting to hear him/her as they were going with me to the midwife.

My midwife found the heartbeat right away, so clear and strong.  I got Caitlyn’s attention and she heard it to.  When it sped up a couple beats, Caitlyn said, “I hear it kicking.”  And she might have.  Regardless, this mama heard what she needed to, the music of a heartbeat. 

I asked my questions, which for once I had remembered to write down, she gave me some tips, like drinking cranberry juice to help drain fluid stuffing up my ear, and much reassurance.  It was so nice.  It was exactly what I needed.  Just thinking about it as I type brings me to tears.  She didn’t ignore me or dismiss my concerns, she cared, reassured me and was more than a midwife, she was a friend.

And my kids, were themselves, their funny, funny selves.  Sue sang her ABCs for everyone.  Both of them quizzed me on why I was peeing in a cup. Ummm, ever tried to explain that to a 2 year old and 3 year old? 

Sue said, “are you going to drink it?”  No, they are going to test it to make sure everything is okay with the baby.  “Is the baby gonna drink it?”  No, they are just going to check it.  “Are they going to pour it on the baby?”  Nope, just check it.  “Are they gonna pour it on their heads?”  Nope.  “On their feet?”  Nope.  “All over their body?”  Nope, just check it honey.  Mama doesn’t quite know how to explain it.

Catilyn insisted to the midwife the baby is a boy.  As you might remember, we chose not to find out at the ultrasound.  But Caitlyn is adamant it is a boy.  She asks me over and over what the name is if it is a boy.  She couldn’t care less what the girl name is.  When the midwife said, “whether it is a girl or boy you will love it.”  Caitlyn responded, “it’s a boy.”  Several times.  My midwife said, “well you could use a boy in your family.”

We may have some disappointment to deal with if Caitlyn gets another sister, but a good friend of mine, who has twin boys, offered some playdates so Caitlyn can get a dose of boys if she needs it.  Whew, we might need to have that plan in place.

Then when I was asking my midwife several questions, I asked Caitlyn if she had any, and she did.  She wanted to know why the baby kicks and moves in mama’s belly.  So we explained the baby is exercising to get stronger and likes to dance, just like she does.  Caitlyn did not ask anymore, but the child has some concerns about that, which we have talked about many times. 

Every time she asks me why the baby is still in my belly, I tell her it needs to grow and get strong.  She says, “no, I don’t want it to get big and strong. I want it to be little.”  Sue loves to torment her sister, maybe Caitlyn is afraid this baby will ‘get big and strong’ and join Sue in torturing her…

After the appointment, Caitlyn saw this big poster near the reception desk that had views of women carrying their babies differently.  She pointed to one and said, “that lady’s belly is REALLY big!”  To the next, “that lady’s belly is smaller big. And that one’s belly is little big.”  I thought the lady at the desk was going to fall off her chair laughing.

It, all in all, was probably the best midwife appointment I have ever had.  It was reassuring, informative and, thanks to my kidlets, hysterical!

And then about 12 hours later, the littlest family member decided to add it’s 2 cents worth, by kicking up a storm. I think it was baby morse code for, “see I’m in here and okay. Be careful what you wish for, I might decide to reassure you when you would rather be sleeping.”  Oh trust me little one, that is okay by this mama!

And just so you don’t forget how cute my little comedians are:

Please, oh please, ignore my terribly messy kitchen.  Here is how it looks today:

Much better, wouldn’t you say?  Though not as fun as the girls had using an entire container of “stickies” to make their daddy a present last week.

I should be in bed, but you all need some cuteness in your evening, right?

Okay, I really should be in bed.  I am beat.  We’ve had a busy week and colds, that are now leaving, and I should be sleeping, but, here I am, writing just a quick little note…

Sue is a very funny 2 year old.  Very funny.  And today she had me laughing so hard while I was work….you know, where I am supposed to be serious…

The girls were riding home from daycare with daddy.  I was on the phone with daddy.  The weather was in the upper 50s so they had the windows down.  Caitlyn decided it would be fun to have her doll outside the window, so she held Barbie out in the breeze.  Daddy told her to be careful, not to let go because Barbie would be gone…

Sue had to join in.  She had a little stuffed car.  She held it out the window.  She let go.  The car was gone.  She started crying that her car was gone.  Caitlyn, being the helpful big sister she is said, “it’s gone now.  The policemans got it.”   Sue responded, ever so logically, by yelling at the top of her lungs, “GIVE IT BACK!!!!!”  “Give it back!!!”  Repeatedly. 

So, if later in life you hear me talking about issues Sue has with the police, please remind me it all started when she lost her little car out the window…

This picture is several months old, bu isn’t she beautiful????

Silly and serious–this mama’s sweet and sour

My girls are 3 1/2 and 2.  Parenting these ages can be a little intense at times.  With constant words and thoughts from them, constant requests for milk and stories and games and help in the potty, just to name a few.  This age can get to you.  I think at one point or another every mom with kids these ages has felt just a little done, a little too stretched.

Saturday was one of those days for me.  As you may have seen in other posts this week, we have been sick with colds and Caitlyn’s has required extra breathing treatments and all of us have had a little less sleep than normal. And, while he is rarely gone, my dear hubby was not here on Saturday.  Not only did I miss his help, I missed HIM.  We have been married 5 years and I still miss him when he is gone.  I still count the hours until he gets home.

Add to that all the times the girls wanted something and some pregnancy hormones (which this time are making me an emotional lunatic) and finding out hubby is not coming home as soon as I hoped, and this mama felt drained and started to cry and started to take it out on my kids…and then a look from Caitlyn stopped me short. 

She wanted something, who knows what, and I just wanted a minute without someone in my face.  I told her to just go play, just go play by herself.  As she started to walk away, I caught this heartbroken look on her face…and it absolutely stopped me. 

That look made me think of a blog by MckMama about how she stays calm when everything is crazy.  She talked about how even when the kids need a million things she reminds herself that when her kids are grown, she’s gonna miss this stage, the intense young child stage, and it rang so true with me. 

There is a country song along the same lines, I think it is called, “you’re gonna miss this.”  It starts with a teenager who is anxious to grow up and her mama tells her that some day she is going to miss this…and then the girl is young and married anxious for kids and a house and her daddy tells her, you’re gonna miss this, and then she is a mom with young kids, and the plumber reminds her someday, you’re gonna miss this.

I often need both of these reminders and decided they were so important, I wanted it in my brain all the time.  Toward that end, recently I typed the phrase, “you’re gonna miss this” on little pieces of paper and hung them all over my house.

So I have those reminders and then that look on Caitlyn’s face.  Right now the girls want mama and daddy all the time.  It will not always be this way.  They will, as they are supposed to, get more independent.  And need us, if not less, just differently than they do now.  And I will miss it.  So, while I might still want to have a pity party for myself or think I need a break, really I just need an attitude adjustment (isn’t that another country song??). 

So in the middle of thinking, why can’t I just get a minute of peace to do laundry, I stopped and listened to the funny thing that Caitlyn was doing.  She was so bummed that I had gone downstairs to do laundry, that she was opening the door to the basement to yell down a play-by-play of what was happening up here. 

Turns out there was a lion in my living room (also known as Sue, but trust me, she can be mistaken as a lion sometimes).  And the lion was sitting on my chair. And the lion said RRRRRRRoarrrrrr to her.  Oh, the lion said RRRRRoarrrrrr again.  Hey mama, the lion said RRRRRRoarrrrr to me again.

How many times in life am I going to have a lion in my house?   Probably not too many, so I decided to laugh at this one (and hope this lion decided not to be destructive). 

And Caitlyn has been in her Belle dress most of the day. I am not fond of them being in dress up clothes all the time, but again decided, how many times is Belle going to be in my house?  So I watched her spin and twirl through my house.  And didn’t insist she take it off for dinner. I just handed her a napkin to get the applesauce off it when it dropped off the spoon.  And took pictures.

Oh and during dinner I learned something very important, dragons are not nice.  Personally, I don’t have much experience with dragons, so it is probably a good thing my 3 1/2 year old is here to educate me on the social skills of a dragon.

I had also been looking around my house thinking, oh man, so many toys to clean up, laundry to fold and put away, aggghhh.  But again, some day, my house will not be full of kidlet clutter, and while it will be nice, I am gonna miss it.  So, I took some pictures of that too. 

Because someday, I’m gonna miss this!

Please indulge me—one of my personal causes

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I have Multiple Sclerosis. It used to consume my life. Every time I turned around, I was sick again. For a lot of the years, there was no treatment involved, just me, being sick.

Then when I was in college new medications, self injectable medications, came on the scene. They had some crummy side effects, imagine giving yourself the flu every other day, but it was something proactive, it was something that was supposed to help with the progression of the disease or at least the intensity of bad spells. So I did it. For many years.

They stopped being enough. I spent from 2000-2003 going in and out of the hospital for doses of IV steroids. That wasn’t fun either. 15 stays in 3 years puts a crimp in your life, but they worked. I was able to keep functioning, with some interruptions and complications, but functioning.

Then I found a great doctor. He believed in treating MS more in an outpatient setting and a bit more proactively. We didn’t wait for me to get sick, instead we did planned steroid doses every 3 weeks. Now if you have ever been on mass doses of steroids, it is not ideal, but I had my freedom from the hospital.

So, I went every three weeks for a couple years for mass IV doses. I got round, I gained a lot of weight, I got grouchy, but I was able to walk again, got married, and settled into this new rhythm of life.

Then in 2005 things got really stable. I went off the IV steroids and my hubby and I decided to start a family…and we haven’t looked back. Like I said in another post, pregnancy and breastfeeding have been good for me, really good. I have not required ANY treatment for the MS since July of 2005.

But MS is still there, whether it is big in my life or very, very small. I need the researchers to keep working toward better treatments and a cure. I need it for me. And need it to be available for my children, though I pray they will never deal with MS in their life.

Due to these needs, my family and I continue to participate in the MS walk each year. This year will be my third to be pregnant while walking. I think that is amazing and very, very cool!

So I prepare by fundraising for the MS walk and set aside May 2nd for my family to participate and raise awareness.

Will you join me? Will you check out my personal page and consider getting involved? 

I have my page linked not only here, but also permanently on the bottom of my blog page and a link on my facebook profile.  You can not only donate, but find links for how you can participate and get more information for yourself or others who may live with the reality of MS.

And please, if you or someone you know, needs to talk to someone who has been there, contact me.   Also, be watching my blog as I will do a mini-series of MS blogs leading up to the walk on May 2nd.  19 years has given me lots of info and experience that might be useful for others!

5 Question Friday

Mama M does this blog hop, 5 Question Friday on, well you guessed it, Fridays.  So here is my attempt to join in.  I found it on my friend Lori’s blog.

1. Have you ever had a celeb sighting?

Why yes, I have. I was headed out to California with my then 15 month old to visit my cousin when I saw Bob, the trainer from Biggest Loser, in the airport. He ended up being on our flight.  He chatted with several people and seemed friendly.  He was probably relieved to see all the babies on that flight headed back to economy while he was safely in first class!  And btw, he is even skinnier in person then on TV!

2. What temperature do you keep your house?

We keep it about 72.  My hubby would probably prefer it a little lower and me to wear more sweatshirts, but we have a 3 1/2 year old and a 2 year old who insist in running around in dresses all the time. I dress them more appropriately, but one way or another they manage to find dresses and strip down.

3. Do you notice dust at other peoples homes?

Hmmm, never thought about it so I guess not.

4. What’s the worst job you ever had?

Housekeeping at a ski resort. Walking in on that guy totally naked spread eagle was not my idea of a good day at work.

5. What is your most sentimental possession?

Hmmm…I would  have to say at this point it is my wedding dress.  As a mama, it probably should be something from my girls, but right now I can’t think of any one thing.

MckLinky Blog Hop

I’m the mama

In case you didn’t know, I’m the mama in this house.  And sometimes I am not sure I want to be.  Today was one of those days.

Caitlyn has some breathing issues.  Okay, so some people would call it asthma, but for now, I don’t want to.  I am just not ready for that label.  I don’t want her to have that label.

I have a history of Multiple Sclerosis.  I say a history of it because after years of massive doses of steroids, in and out of the hospital, use of a wheelchair and hand controls on my car, I have been in really good shape for almost 5 years.  Pregnancy and breastfeeding has been very good for me.  My Neurologist has even started to talk about my MS being a mild form.  He says we know hormones play a role in causing MS, and we know they can play a role in changing it. 

But before things got good, things were rough more often than not. And even when they were “good” I lived with a label, I had MS.  Everything I wanted to do was tempered by the thought it may not be a viable choice because I might get sick.  Even if I did something, I might not be able to continue because things might get bad.  It stunk.

But the Lord is gracious.  In my case, He used the steroids to do even more good than the doctors expected.  It sometimes took a long time, but I always returned to a strong baseline.  And he brought me to amazing doctors who believed their job is/was to allow me to live a normal life while they worried about how to take care of issues that may develop.  He also brought me a husband that loved me enough to walk through whatever my health may bring.

But regardless of where the MS is and may go, it is still a label.  And I would rather not have it.  And I would like to keep my daughter from a label as long as possible.

Until February we had a great winter with very little illness.  Then a cold got us.  And that is what gets Caitlyn.  For a couple weeks we thought it was just a cough wanting to hang on.  Finally one day hubby and I both realized this was likely her breathing issues again.  So we started the breathing treatments.  Took her to the doctor, who upped the number of treatments and gave us a script for prednisone.  For a couple days I thought were going to need the steroids.  Then she started to improve. 

Enter a new virus, and whammo, she got sicker quick.  Today she started the day by throwing up all over the kitchen.  It was gross and her being sick freaked me out.  So I called the doctor and got an appointment.  Turns out we now need to add antibiotics and more breathing treatments.  And if things get worse, we add the steroids. 

I hate to see her sick, I hate to be watching her cough.  I hate wondering if we will need more meds.  I hate wondering if this is developing into asthma.  I hate wondering how long we will deal with the breathing issues. 

I am the mama and right now, I am not entirely thrilled…


I love pictures of my kids when they are sleeping.  No, not because that is the only time they are quiet or good.  I just love those pictures.  Maybe it is just when the look the most like my babies…  Here is a collage:

Caitlyn from back when all she did was sleep

And to the right, Sue from her sleep only days…

Here is Caitlyn sleeping behind the couch and yes, she has her hand down her pants.  What’s a mama to do???
When they want to sleep they can sleep anywhere.  When they don’t want to sleep, they can’t sleep anywhere!
But my kids are decent sleepers, particularly Sue.
But Caitlyn can sleep too (though not quite so willingly)…
awww, what a sweet face!
Caitlyn thinks naps, at home, are stupid.  I hear at daycare she still does great, but here with mama, not so much.  Sue still likes her nap.  Today, about 15 minutes before nap, she looked at Caitlyn and said, “don’t eat my [peanut] butter [sandwhich].  I’m going to take a nap.”  And she started walking to her room.  So, mama got her a binky and put her in the crib.  That was the end of that!!!! 

Color and Scream When They are Not Supposed to? Not my Children

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So, I thought this post would be all about Sue and what she would not do over the last few weeks, but Caitlyn decided this morning she just had to get in on the action…

Let’s start with Sue (hey, just ’cause she is younger, doesn’t mean she always ever wants to follow after Sissy).

Sue is her own, very unique person. She does things her way, and not at all like her sister did at this age! Sue gets into trouble I don’t even think to suspect.


She would never use a permanent marker on the auquadoodle mat, not my Sue. She would never also get that permanent marker on the wall around the aquadoodle mat. No, never. She would never, in the same night, color on the counters with crayons because, “I want to!” And she would never start this evening off by trying to eat the blue stamp from the Happy Meal. Oh, no, no, no.

(and I would never purchase said meal for my 2 year old without asking for the under age 3 toy)

And she would never, at a time unknown to us, color with a crayon on the kitchen cabinets, oh no!

Caitlyn would never get into Not Me Monday action by throwing a HUGE, HUGE fit this morning.  Oh no.  She would never get mad when told she could not wear her sleeping beauty dress to daycare.  She would never scream and kick because she wanted to wear the dress.  This would never continue for more than 30 minutes.  Not my child.  And she would never get so worked up during her fit that she hit her head on her rocking horse and get a bump on her head.  Oh no.  Not my child, not this morning. 

(Here is said child in another one of her pretty dresses on a peaceful day)

Super Proud of Caitlyn—for peeing her pants!

Last Friday, daddy called me on his way home from work and asked if the girls were in a good mood.  Yup, pretty decent…why?  How about we take them to Rainforest Cafe?  He and I had gone there for our anniversary back in October and thought they would like it.  We have been avoiding “sit down” places with them because they don’t often deal well with it, but that place has lots of great animals, trees and fish to look at, everywhere you look is something fun to see, so we thought that might keep them interested.

And it did, we did laps around the place looking at butterflies, elephants dancing and monkeys (who took naps between the thunderstorms, in case you were wondering).  And the girls loved it.

And daddy loved the volcano lava cake and ice cream with the sparklers. 

And mama loved seeing the girls with their daddy.

And Caitlyn enjoying her cake and ice cream
Are you wondering about the peeing her pants yet…keep waiting…
So then we decided to walk around the mall.  This ended up being too much for Sue who had a complete meltdown, but Caitlyn was sooo good.
We got them back in the car, Sue screamed, Caitlyn covered her ears.  And after awhile, Caitlyn fell asleep.  When we arrived home, daddy carried Caitlyn in to her bed.  She woke up enough to say “I’m not tired.”  Then passed back out. 
Sue, on the other hand, had lots of energy, I guess chocolate cake and ice cream will do that to a two year old.  After a while we decided she should invest her energy in sleeping.  We are such meanies, we put the two year old to bed.
I asked daddy if we should risk waking Caitlyn up to put a pull up on.  I have not had the nerve to tackle night time potty training yet.  Maybe I will do that when the new baby comes and I am up any way…oh, I digress…
We decided to just risk having to change the sheets rather than wake up our peacefully sleeping child.  I did put a waterproof pad under her (thanks Lori). 
We went to bed.  We were sleeping.  It was nice.  Then Caitlyn let out a blood curdling scream.  We were no longer sleeping.  It was not nice.
We both ran downstairs to find Caitlyn in the hallway right in front of the bathroom, crying and saying, “I can’t get my pants off.”  She had peed her pants while trying to get her pants off, the belt she was wearing probably didn’t help the situation.
(Here is where I am proud of her). 
She had woken up to go potty.  She may not have made it, but she had woken up.  She knew to go to the bathroom in the potty even at night!  And we have never told her to do that. 
She ended up peeing her pants, her bed was not at all wet, and this mama couldn’t be prouder!