Thursday, December 28, 2006

Day #2 of no sugar, and other ramblings

Ok - I actually made it 24 hours with no sugar and I'm still going strong. I know that may not sound like anything special, but for me its a very significant achievement. I have a serious sugar addicition. I actually feel really good this morning. I ate well yesterday, but didn't exercise. I even had time around 8pm after the girls were in bed, but by then I was exhausted. I was in bed by 9:30, which was much needed.

I'm a bit worried about Gracelin. Yesterday was her first day off of the antibiotics after her UTI, and when she peed last night she said it was "spicy" again. Then this morning, it was a fight to get her to pee. I don't know how she holds it in - she wakes up dry and then won't pee in the morning. Excellent bladder control for a 2 year old. Anyway, I realized last night that I had never gotten the results from her urine culture. The day we originally went to the doctor (and she had such a difficult time leaving the sample) they did a quick "urine dip", which was positive and then a full culture that was supposed to take a few days. I totally spaced calling to get the results until last night. Although it was after 8pm, I called and someone was there. She looked up the results and said that there was staph in the culture. She then put me on hold to consult with the doctor as to what to do. When she got back on the phone, she told me that it was technically a negative culture because staph is naturally present in our bodies, and they couldn't prove it was an infection. She told me that maybe I need to change G's bath soap. WTF? That day I took her into the doctor with a fever of 104 and classic UTI symptoms. After 24 hours on the antibiotic she started feeling better. It kind of pissed me off a bit for her to tell me that it was caused by her soap.

I think I'm going to try and take her into her regular doctor in a couple of days. I do want to wait a bit and see if she can feel better on her own. I don't want to subject her to needless tests if I don't have to. But, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried. She's always had problems with infections. Even from birth. One of the reasons she had to say in the NICU (other than being preterm of course) was that she had a mystery infection, and had to be on IV antibiotics. Then, she's had countless ear infections that only clear up with her tubes in, and her "grossly" infected adnoids. It just seems like she's been on antibiotics more than she's been off of them. It can't be good for her.

My MIL wants me to take her to the herbologist and get her on probiotics. I wish I could get her to eat yogurt, because that might just do the trick. I'm hesisitant to give her anything from that crazy herb guy. I went with my DH once, and he gave me the creeps. He's seriously PSYCHO. And I don't feel comfortable giving my kids stuff from him. I feel better taking her to the chiropractor first - that actually isn't such a bad idea.
Hmmmm . . . I'm just rambling now. Is it obvious how bored I am at work? I think I'm going to take an early lunch soon, to return something to Old Navy, check the sales there, and go look for a pair of new shoes. I love shoes. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


There is no other word to describe how I'm feeling today, other than BLAH. I'm not sure why - Christmas is over, and we survived. I should be very happy about that. Both of my kids are healthy right now, which is something that hasn't happened in months. And Ben and I are even getting along (mainly due to the fact that I allowed him to convince me that what he read in Yahoo is true - that couples who have sex at least 3 times a week are more healthy). But for some reason I'm just, well, for lack of a better word . . . BLAH.

For one thing, I'm working this week. I suppose someone has to be in the office, and since I still have no vacation (a result of being used up for maternity leave and sick kids) I had no choice other than to be in the office. But is so damned slow that I'm dying. Have you ever heard the term "bored to tears". Well - its a fact. One can truly be bored to tears. I'm just about at that point now.

But, I think my feelings are more than that. I'm very unhappy with my appearance lately. I think it would be safe to say that I hate how I look. I'm the epitome of the frumpy, ugly mom. I've never been a super "glam" type girl anway. I'm more earthy. I haven't had my hair cut or colored since Gracelin was 11 months old, which is almost 2 years ago. So, I've got long scraggly hair with really bad roots. On top of that, I ran out of my makeup sometime in the summer and haven't bothered to buy more. So, my skin looks sallow and quite old - partially from the winter weather, but moreso from my extreme sleep deprivation. My eyes are constantly baggy and heavy. I'm quite the sight.

Then, there is the issue of my weight. For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog (I think there may be a couple of you out there) you'll know this is a constant source of stress in my life. I used to be quite thin, but now I really struggle with my weight. This December has been really bad for me. I gained 7 pounds this month because I just cannot stop myself from gorging on all of the holiday goodies.

Finally last night I decided that I am giving up the junk once and for all. I don't even enjoy eating it most of the time, yet I cannot stop myself. So, today so far I've eaten:

a bowl of 6 grain cereal (whole oats, wheat, barley, sunflower seeds) with skim milk
an apple
taco salad (with whole wheat flour tortilla)
an orange
diet dr pepper

I just talked to Ben on the phone, and he picked up a pizza for dinner. I'll probably be alright if I just eat a piece or 2. I'll make some steamed veggies to eat with it, and maybe top the night off with a warm cup of sugar free cocoa. I am still breastfeeding afterall.

I know that I need to do something to change myself. I've never really been "pretty", but my "style" worked for me since I was thin and athletic. Now that I'm carrying around 30 extra pounds, I just look like a lazy and frumpy mom.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas started early for us this year. Because my parents went to Cincinnati to be with my brother and his family, we had "Christmas Morning" with them on Dec 23. We went over to their house in the morning to open presents and have our traditional Christmas brunch. It was a really good day there. Of course, my mom and sister went way overboard and totally spoiled my kids, but they loved it. Gracelin got a Barbie house, Barbie car, and lots of Barbies to go with it all. She was in heaven. Bryn mostly enjoyed eating the presents and wrapping paper, but she had a really good day as well. After brunch though, my dad started a fire in the wood-burning stove, and I must have been allergic to something he burned. Everyone left to go sledding, except for Bryn and I, and I had the worst asthma attack I've had in years while I was home alone. I actually started getting scared because my inhaler wasn't working. In fact, we ended up leaving early so I didn't die.

We weren't able to go home though. The 23rd is my MIL's birthday, so we headed over to her house for her party. I cooked my contribution - broccoli-cheese soup - while I struggled for breath. I'd let myself get so bad with my asthma, that I couldn't even get a breath. We finally just left her house early to go home, where I took 2 breathing treatments, my steriod inhaler, 2 Benedryl, and 4 Motrin (for the inflamation). Luckily that calmed things down enough that I didn't die, but it was scary.

Sunday (Christmas Eve) was a fairly quiet day. We dressed the girls in their pretty Christmas dresses and went to church. Afterwards, I made some corn chowder and we had my sister and her hubby over for dinner. It was a nice quiet nite. The girls got new PJs to wear to bed. We read the Christmas Story and put them to bed. Poor Gracelin was so excited for Santa that she had a difficult time falling asleep. My sister and brother-in-law stayed to watch a movie. Then, we put out presents and went to bed.

On Christmas Day, Gracelin woke up at 4:45 and couldn't go back to sleep. She told me that it was time to wake up because Santa came. Since it was still very dark outside, I tried telling her that she needed to go back to sleep because Santa hadn't already come. But she was too smart for that. Ben let me go back to sleep for about an hour while he and Gracelin watched a movie. Finally, we woke Bryn up so we could open presents. It was a fun to have a nice, quiet morning with just our little family. Bryn again was just content to eat her presents. Gracelin got more Barbies. We got Daddy a golf travel bag and a new watch. Mommy got Shopping Barbie, complete with over $300 in gift certificates to her favorite places. I was so excited to get online yesterday to American Eagle and find a Christmas Day only sale - complete with 15% off my entire order (after the almost 50% off most items) and free shipping. After presents, we had buckwheat pancakes with fresh blueberries, and then let the girls play for awhile. Then, everyone expect mommy got a long nap. I spent my time in the kitchen preparing my famous corn pudding for our Christmas Dinner feast.

After naps, we left for Ben's parents' house for Christmas Dinner and more presents. Grace and Bryn got a tent, which they are very excited to set up today, and Ben's Dad got us 10 shares of Disney stock! I'm very excited for that. We don't own any stock (other than the mutual funds I invest in through work) and I'm really excited to learn how to buy and sell stocks. Dinner was fantastic, and once again I ate way too much (another common theme).

Finally, we headed home for some much-neeeded sleep. Both girls slept all night, which means I'm actually somewhat rested. Which is a really good thing considering the fact that I'm back at work today. :( I guess someone has to be here. Its a shame too, because its so slow here. I wish I was back in bed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

10 months old

Bryn is 10 months old today. I can't believe she's almost a year old already. Time has definitely gone faster with her than it did with G. Here's a quick update of what she's doing:

She has strawberry blonde hair, blue green eyes, and an infectious smile. Bryn is almost walking - in fact, I'm quite surprised that she doesn't walk yet. Her new favorite toy is a walking toy - she uses is to move around the house wherever she wants to go. Its given her a newfound freedom that she loves. Bryn is so very coordinated and physical - we can already tell she’s athletic. She has mastered crawling and is into everything.

She is also babbling up a storm, and can even say a few words already - namely Dad (which is very clear) and DeeDee (for her sister Gracie). She has yet to say Mom, but we know that is only because she is saving the best for last. She also tries to repeat everything we say, and quite often she says something that sounds very close to being a real word. My favorite thing she says is "Hi Dad", which she does while waving. Its so cute, and she says it so clearly.

She has big, bright eyes, and is very aware of everything going on. My dad is amazed by how aware she seems. I'm pretty sure she understands everything that is going on around her.

Bryn is becoming quite finiky when it comes to food. I try and give her finger foods (because she's graduated pureed foods), but she prefers what is on my plate. She'll eye me while saying "MmmmmMmmmmMmmm" until I give her some. Then, she acts like a baby bird - grunting at me with her mouth open until I feed her what she wants. Just like her sister, she loves foods with taste - especially spicy Mexican foods. I worried at first that it would bother her stomach, but she seems just fine with it all. She still nurses quite a bit, and drinks bottles of EBM at work. Mommy is still pumping during the days, and she doens't need formula still.

She has been sleeping a little bit better, but she still has lots of night wakings. I think a big part of that may be that she seems to always be sick. Right now she's got a runny nose and barky cough, and I think she just wakes a lot from being sick. Hopefully she'll grow out of it soon, because mommy is dragging all of the time.

Bryn is such a blessing to our family. She loves to cuddle and hug, play with toys, read stories, take a bath, and EAT. If we could only get her to sleep through the night life would be good. But, she has a laid-back personality and is such a joy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Someone needs to quarantine my house

Here's the long saga of my weekend a few days late:

Thursday night was my work Christmas party and the daycare Christmas party. We opted for the DC one, since we felt it was more important to support our kids. It was really cute. The kids dressed in reindeer hats, and had a bunch of song and dance numbers. I was worried that G would be too shy to perform - she did actually go up there, but stood there stone-faced the entire time. She wouldn't move a muscle. After the program, Santa came. Again G surprised me by actually sitting on his lap. Afterwards I asked her what she said to him. Her response, "nothing mommy. I was too scared to talk."

Saturday night Ben and I had planned to go to a party, and the kids had planned a sleepover with Grandma. Well, Ben and I were just finishing up dinner when my mom called to say G was really sick. By the time we got there she was burning up and had thrown up. We took her home and missed the party. She was up most of the night. I dosed her with the Motrin/Tylenol alternating every couple of hours though the night, and her fever never went below 102. By morning she was up to 104. She kept saying that her tummy hurt, but she didn't feel like she was going to throw up. I asked her to show me where it hurt, and she pointed down low. Then she started telling me that her back hurt. I started suspecting UTI.

So, we were off to InstaCare Sunday morning. Dr there also suspected UTI, but wouldn't give her meds until we could confirm. But, G refused to pee in the "hat". She had a major meltdown in the office, until finally I agreed to let her try at home. But then she woulnd't go at home either. I figured she'd finally have to go so bad that she'd relent and go. But, she held it for 3 more hours. Finally, I decided to just make her do it. I bribed her - I told her that if she'd go I'd take her to the store and she could pick out anything she wanted. But she still wouldn’t' go. So, I ran a bath, and stuck her in (she always has to pee as soon as her feet hit the water). It worked, and we finally got our sample, but she cried the whole time and said that her tummy hurt and her pee was spicy.

We took the sample in, and they confirmed bacteria. The doctor said they're doing a full culture, and depending on that he will probably want her to see a specialist. Apparently, its rare for a child that young to get a UTI, and they want to rule out any underlying causes. My poor kids. Are they the sickest children ever?

Anyway - then I had to keep my promise, so we stopped by Target for her to pick something out. She chose a Barbie (surprise, surprise). After only 2 doses of the antibiotic, her fever was gone and her appetite back. She ate 2 grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch!

During all of this, Bryn's really sick again and needing breathing treatments. Then, Ben let her fall on her head off of the couch. It literally made me sick. She fell of backwards and landed right on top. Her neck snapped back, and she actually bounced back onto her face. For a few seconds she just laid there - I was sure she was dead. Then she screamed, and cried, and wailed. I was physically sick. It took me a few seconds to react, but then I was able to comfort her. Luckily she calmed after only a minute. Then my EMT training kicked in, and I assessed her for a head injury. Turns out she was just fine, but it was so scary.

Oh, and we got the most amazing snow storm during all of this. We got well over a foot, and its perfectly wet and heavy - not the typical Utah power. Its perfect snowman snow. And poor G didn't get to enjoy any of it.
Overall G’s doing better. Her fever is gone and her appetite has returned, but I cannot get her to empty her bladder. Anyone have suggestions on how to get G to pee? Its been the biggest fight the past few days because it hurts her to go. So, she'll hold it forever, but then only go enough to make her comfortable again. I will say that she's got amazing bladder control for a 2 year old. But, if she won't empty her bladder she'll never get the infection out.

Poor Bryn woke up with puss draining from her ears this mornng. I don't know what is up with my kids being sick all of the time. Except that I was a very sickly child. I missed so much school. One year, I had mono the entire month of December, got better just in time for Christmas, and then got strep throat the first week back of school. In all, I think I missed 5 straight weeks of school. I am a fairly healthy adult now though, and *rarely* even catch colds {knock on wood}.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What my kids are up to

We had a fun weekend. I just love my girls. I haven't updated much about them lately. Here's what they're doing:

Bryn loves people lately, and will go to anyone. She even hugs my dad, and he's pretty big and scary to most kids. Speaking of, poor Bryn is sick again. SHe was up most of the night coughing, and when she finally fell asleep G woke up (I don't even drink cofee, but this is appropriate ) . I've even been giving her breathing treatments. She's the funniest kid - most kids cry throughout the treatments, but she loves it. In fact, she cried this morning when I turned the machine off. LOL She is always sick though. I don't know what I'm going to do.

I've actually been considering getting a nanny. They're pretty cheap here. I could get a young mother, that maybe has a child of her own, to come 4 days a week for around $1200. My SIL has a Mexican nanny that she only pays $1000 month for. She does light housework, laundry, and cooking too. And, she only speaks spanish to the kids. Her twins that are G's age are completely bilingual.

Bryn had a language explosion this weekend. She says "dad, dad, dad" whenever she sees Ben. She also loves the tree, and yesterday kept calling it a "tee" - with heavy ennunciation on the "t". Then, we went to my parents' house for dinner. I took her over to see the cat, and she called her "key". Whenever she wants food now, she says "MmmmmMmmmm" And, of couse she still calls G "DeeDee". If only I could get her to say mommy. Why is that one so difficult?

Bryn also loves to eat. A LOT! The mere sight of her highchair will elicit squeals of delight. She especially loves macaroni and cheese, although she has liked everthing I've fed her, except tomatoes. I thought I'd try, but no one in our family likes tomatoes, so I wasn't expecting much.

G is so smart, and I think she is starting to understand Christmas too. This morning we were singing "Here comes Santa Clause". She told me that she would have to pull the covers over her head so she won't see Santa when he comes. Then she told me that I'll have to help Bryn, because she can't pull the covers up herself. She said that Santa is bringing her all the Barbies and that Bryn is just getting some baby toys.

She really understands a lot lately. Last night in the car, we had the radio on. From the back, we realized she was singing along:

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh, oh, JUICY.

And then this morning, she asked:

G: Mommy, did that man just say "everything is going to be alright, rock-a-bye?"
Me: Yes Gracelin, he did
G: Why did he say that?
Me: He is telling a girl who is sad that it will all be ok
G: Why is she sad?
Me: I don't know. Maybe her friend hurt her feelings.
G: Was it her big boy friend? The one who is singing?

Last night we were at my parents house for dinner. After dinner, my mom told G that she had a suprise for her, and left to get it. While she was gone, G said to my sister:

G: Aunt Jen, do you know what the suprise is?
Jen: Yep!
G: Oh, can you tell me what is it?
Jen: Nope. If I tell you, then it wouldn't be a suprise anymore.
G: Oh. But you know?
Jen: Yep, I do know.
G: Oh, well then can you tell me what it is?

The conversation went on like that for a long time, until finally Grandma appeared with 2 new Christmas books and a special blanket for reading stories underneath.. She was in heaven! G and Grandma read Christmas stories for a long time beneath the Christmas tree.

Graceln loves Barbies so much too - its almost an addiction. She can take the clothes off, but needs help putting them back on. Her babies have elaborate escapades. The other day they went to Chilis and then went to the pumpkin patch. They also like to table dance to "I'm a Barbie Girl" by Aqua. Thats G's new favorite song. We're probably horrible parents for letting her play with barbies in the first place, and then for letting her listen to that terrible song.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The passing of the torch

One of the things I was most excited about when I found out G was a girl, was passing down all the things about growing up that I loved to my own little girl. Of all my toys growing up, my absolute favorite thing to play with were my Barbies. And I was oh-so anal about them as well. I kept them in their original boxes with all their original clothes and accessories. Their hair was taken care of, and they were loved. (and dare I admit this publicly . . .) I also still have a Barbie collection. I have about 2 dozen Barbies in my basement in boxes that have never even been opened. Most of them are Christie dolls, Barbie's African-American friend. I am so whitey-white, but my name is Christie. So, when I found a Christie, I would buy her. But of course, there are also regular Barbies down there, as well as some of her other friends.

When Gracelin came home from daycare a couple of weeks ago talking about the Barbies she played with there, I was excited to share mine with her. I'll admit that its difficult to watch her not brush their hair, and to constantly lose their accessories, but I'm letting her play her way. I even opened a brand-new one (Ok - she's really and old Barbie) to play with.

She's estatic. Gracelin has a very active imagination. Last night her Barbies went to Chili's for dinner. They had chips and salsa with Diet Coke to drink. One of them ordered a salad and the other had chicken nuggets. She loves to change their clothes and comb their hair. For a two-year old, she really takes care of them well. Last night she had to tuck them into bed (they've replaced Soft Dora in the doll-bed) before she herself could sleep.

Rotavirus (aka Roto-Rooter virus)

Last Monday went just about like any other Monday. I picked the girls up at daycare and they seemed just fine; however, on the way home, Gracelin puked everywhere. Now, since she pukes in the car quite frequently, I wasn't overly concerned. Especially since we got home and she eagerly ate her black beans and quesadilla from Cafe Rio. But, when she woke in the night and puked all over her bed, I knew she had a tummy virus. In the morning she seemed fine, other than the fact that she wasn't hungry (very abnormal for her) and she had diarrhea once. So, Bryn and I stayed home with her on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, she still had a fever, so daddy stayed with her. I went to work and took Bryn to daycare. Unfortunately, she didn't last there very long. They called to tell me she was throwing up. When I picked her up, she was happy and seemed ok, so I took her back to work to finish some reports. Bad idea - she puked all over me and my office. Yucky. So, home we went. Poor girl went from bad to worse. At one point, my sweet baby was puking and pooping at exactly the same time. She felt miserable, and spent most of Wednesday exploding from both ends. Daddy had basketball tickets, so I had my parents come over to help out. (bad idea for them - 48 hours after coming to our house, they both got sick)

I woke up in the middle of Wednesday night throwing up, and with a fever of 101. UGH. Not a good thing when I had a sick baby, and a very not-sick, bored from being home all week, 2 year old to take care of. I spent most of Thursday lying on the couch and/or running to the bathroom. Thanksfully, Bryn was feeling pretty much herself, other than some really rank diapers. She was very sleepy though, and took 3 long naps.

I felt so horrible - I don't think I'd felt that sick in years. And I lost 7 pounds in 24 hours. I was so achey that it hurt to be touched. And I was so cold. I just couldn't seem to get warm. It was only about 14 degrees outside, and I didn't realize that our heater wasn't working. I just thought I was cold from being sick. When Ben got home from work, he noticed that although the thermostat was set to 70, it was barely 60 in our house. He decided to take the kids to his parents house to get warm (bad idea for them, as they also got sick 48 hours after coming into contact with us) while I waited for the repairman.

Friday came, and we were all feeling somewhat better. There was only one yucky diaper to change, and no puke. Yay. Although it was a yucky virus, at least it was over quickly. I still don't have my appetite back yet (maybe because the memory of being so sick is still so fresh in my mind), but I'm not complianing. I am down a pants size. Maybe having the Rotavirus was just the kick-start my metabolism needed.