Princess's Surgery

Thursday, July 31, 2008

She came through it great. She is a champ. She just had her first does of tylenol 4:45

But this showed me how much I need a faith center in my life and in my childrens' lives. I prayed for her safety and the skill of the doctor 'captain golf shirt'.

Brian stressed me out..he was he got obscenely sarcastic, which confuses people who do not know him- and me sometimes and I am married to him! (he got more than a few confused looks from the nurses)

I feel a connection with another mom whom I met through playgroup. It is wonderful, she has been through medical struggles of her own and her son has been through so much too. G-d sent her into my life to give us guidance and help me strengthen my faith. Maybe I am reading too much into it but how else could it have happened with the timing so great? I hope I can be a support to her when she needs it.

So thank you

I do not understand

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Princess is having surgery tomorrow. in 12 hour s to be exact. 12 hours from now she will be under anesthesia. Pardon me while I throw up a little, nerves.

My friends are amazing. I am always shocked and amazed at how wonderful they are. We are blessed. Everyone has been so generous with meals offers for babysitting.han.all of it. I am amazed. Thank you. Thank you. Just thank you.

Here is where I am confused: my friends and family have been amazing. However Brian and his family hardly even seem to notice this is happening. Granted his mother and father did not visit Princess in the NICU once or in the PICU. But their grandchild is having surgery, you would think the would want to be there. You would think they would want to visit.

I am annoyed at their lack of concern and annoyed that they are so well unconcerned. I acknowledge that we have not had the best relationship over the years and very possibly I have pre-judged them.

Is their behavior odd or is it me being over concerned?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Well the stress of life has again taken its toll. It is 1:30-and I just did the dishes. Dishes. at 1:30 am. By the way my husband snores.

I will say this: I had fun today. Brian annoyed the pants off me in parts of it but running through sprinklers with my kids and shrieking with delight is a heck of a lot of fun (how come kids get the corner on the market on fun things to do?) Our neighbors must think we (me) are/am looney.. with all of the shrieking. However, it is one time this week where I could put all of everything out of my head and just play. Skylar was sad that her friends did not come out and play..she kept asking for them to come and run through the hose with her.

Also I had a nice long walk. Zoe in a sling and Ali we walked a few miles on the prairie path. I brought my ipod but ended up just chatting with Zoe, listening to the quiet (and noise), praying, and drinking in every moment.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lately I have been insanely stressed. I mean to unusual proportions stressed. To be honest I am not handling so well. My usual copious milk supply is still there but I cannot let down leading to painful engorgement. Which of course leads to more stress.

Peas is teething. She is not a nice teether, she is a loud one, and her Velcro-ness has increased.
Princess is not doing anything wrong...she is just BOSSY; she wants to be in control of Stinky, and Stinky objects, strenuously, and she talks. constantly. Oh yeah, this small thing called surgery is coming up.

Ali continuously escapes.

I do not know why the need for the yard to get sodded and cleaned up is a source of stress for me but it is-maybe because the prospect of it is overwhelming.

Through this I am trying to find my way. Trying to revise the way I live my life, feed my children, and generally exist. Add that to my volunteer things (which I love, seeing babies and mommies connect and prosper is great)

Added to the pile is Brian's work. First the firefighting which scares me, his long hours, and his side job. I am frustrated.

To top it off I feel like 'my heart is floundering' to borrow a friends expression. A faith aspect of my life is missing and I need it. I want a 'center' that I can come back too when I am overwhelmed.

So what stresses you out? What Overwhelms you? What do you do about it?

Another article my sister wrote

Friday, July 25, 2008

The big kid

It’s a picture that will live in my mind forever: Frank walking down the road at Brookfield Zoo, his 4-year-cousin Skylar holding one hand and his 2-year-old cousin Billy holding the other.

Frank, who looks small in relation to Caroline, and is smaller than most boys his age, towers over his much-younger cousins, and he relished the role of being their leader and protector.

Due to a variety of circumstances, the planned zoo trip between our two families ended up including just Frank and me along with my sister and her three children, Skylar being the oldest.

So when she and Billy asked to get out of their stroller, we told Frank he would have to help us keep an eye on them. We piled bags into the stroller seats and pushed it, while my sister carried 5-month-old Zoe in a sling, and watched Frank take charge.

When we came a playground marked as most appropriate for children ages 2-5, Frank hung back and watched his cousins play. When we went into a building, he held the doors. When we went for food, he stood in line with me and helped me carry it back to the table.

Usually, when it’s just our family, Frank is the little guy, the one we try to make sure doesn’t get lost, the one who still holds our hands the parking lots, the one who can’t always see everything.

Caroline, with her 10-year-old sophistication, can be a great big sister, sparking Frank’s imagination with games involving their stuffed animals, or comforting him when he’s upset. But she likes to tell him how things are, or at least, how she perceives them to be. And she perceives herself to be the leader.

That’s good for her, but Frank needs chances to be the leader, too — and not just to lead his parents around, because he knows we’re humoring him.

His younger cousins aren’t humoring him when they take his hands so they won’t get lost. They’re just trusting him to know what he’s doing.

And when he has to, he does. He stayed close to us, asked which way to go when he didn’t know. He told Skylar when she climbed too high on the barriers, and told us when she didn’t climb down. He stopped running around and came to see what he could do when Billy fell and hurt his knee.

He didn’t whine or complain once. He liked the chance to be the big kid.

That’s not to say he always wants to be the big kid. He still likes to cuddle on our laps and to hug his stuffed animals.

Caroline sometimes says she’d like to be little again, with not so much pressure and responsibility. Her pressures — mostly selfimposed — are real to her, even if they’re not the kind that come with a mortgage and kids to feed.

But I don’t think she’d want to trade places with Frank permanently. Maybe just take a walk in his shoes every once in a while. Just like he got to.

Haven't said this in awhile

After talking with some friends about their husbands and the support they get I am again shocked at how blessed I am. Sure there are things that aggravate me, sure there are frustrations; but he is a great source of strength and support for me. Even when he is not there. He can calm me down and balance me out, and encourage me a ton. We do balance each other, he is laid back and I am hyper, he is social, and I am social, but only with people I know well.

The point of this is a response to so many husbands not being supportive of nursing/pumping. Brian is exceptionally supportive. If it were not for him I would not have even given it a try. He rubs my back, fetches snacks and water, brings me books, and is all in all great. He has taken me to the doctor for mastitis, he has bought nipple cream and gotten more than a few looks paying for it. When my pump broke he went out and bought a new one after trying to fix it. After my milk inexplicably dried up with Skylar he tracked down herbs and drugs and a pharmacy that compounds it to help me.

When Zoe is going through a growth spurt and eats ALL.THE.TIME he is the one who encourages me at three am when I want to sleep.

He washes the tubing and the parts, handles all of the storage, sets me up, and does everything except make the milk and nurse.

If more husbands were that supportive more moms would feel encouraged and nurse longer or at least try it.

So thank you hun. Thank you even though I am not good at expressing it all the time, thank you for all your support. I should appreciate you more.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Seeing that my wonderful husband is away much of the time a large portion of the household tasks fall to me. Sometimes so much so that I feel like a single mom who gets support every 2 weeks (I do not mean this in anyway to slight single moms. I realize you ladies work harder than I could even imagine).

That said, I have certain things I *don't* do, or if I have to do them, complain about them, and the buy myself a present for doing them.

I have very little problem cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (kitchen, bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting), laundry, walking dogs, general household stuff. That takes a lot of time.

Until last summer I had NEVER cut grass, ever. I did it once last year and thus far once this year, I have told Brian I am too cute to cut grass. This year I was going to to have to cut the grass again, Brian was at the firehouse so I asked the neighbor to look after my herd while I cut the grass. He said he'd rather cut it. So I made him cookies. Making cookies is infinitely better than cutting grass

I have never painted aside from art class, I have never ever painted, and I do not want to start.
Which is probably why the house needs painting.

I do not take out garbage. Yuck..enough said.

I do not pick up dog poop..see above..unless we are on a walk, then I pick it up.

I do not operate power tools. I am a klutz and would find a way to injure myself.

I do not do anything that requires a ladder- see above.

I do not empty kitty litter-see comment about dog poop.

If anything MAJOR happens without fail Brian is at the firehouse, the furnace died? Brian was at the firehouse, the A/C breaks- Brian is at the firehouse. Basement floods-firehouse. Skylar flushes her underpants and floods upstairs-firehouse.

So I have a lot of companies phone numbers on speed dial. Need a plumber? see entry 4. Need an HVAC person see #5.

Milk donor

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I am a breastmilk donor. I am proud of it. It is an honor to help another woman feed her child. Before people get all 'eww ick, it is a bodily fluid' well so is cows milk...except this is made for people.

I firmly believe that breast milk is best for babies. Also, we have been on the other side, when it is less than easy to produce the amount needed. Thankfully I have been blessed with enough milk for a small country this time.

Part of it is, I wish that birth and mothering was a more supportive thing. There is so much judgment. I wish it were the way that I have read about with women supporting women helping each other through something that only another woman can understand.

Man v. Beast

A few topics here as per usual.

the other night we had a lot of flies in the house. Our front door is continually open flies come in and out. No big deal right? Well meet my husband. Man of the house...MAN hear me ROAR...Which translates too I need to kill the flies. He tried with a towel, a can of hairspray, a was killed, when he stepped on it.

Man v. Ali

We have a Siberian Husky. Her name is Alaska...Ali for short. She is a Houdini. We have spent countless amounts of money on keeping her here. We built a dog run, got a new fence, electric fence, concrete, and she still gets out.

30 Years

This weekend was my in-laws 30th anniversary. Those of you who know me know that we have had an adversarial relationship, that has recently been peaceful due to an undeclared cease-fire. As long as politics are avoided, we can for the most part get along.

Brian was supposed to be at the firehouse that day. Therefore I expected to have the challenge of finding the restaurant in an unfamiliar area and wrangling three children all while not beating my in laws. Thankfully Brian took pity on me. He knew that it would very hard for me to do all of that. Especially because I do not like to drive, I avoid it whenever possible, I have a fear of getting lost, and there is not enough xanax in the world to help me find my way to Melrose Park (why Melrose Park???Why?) and the restaurant and maintain decorum with my in laws.

The party started at 11:00 am...a brunch thing...(I have said my in-laws are interesting people) A brunch party, in Melrose Park, at an Italian Place (My in laws live in Niles, hence the confusion over location, and they are NOT Italian...I do not get the brunch choice at all though)

It was a buffet creative food choices. I always eat before I allergies...strange-ness.
So whatever, we get there and his mother is decked out in an off-white cocktail dress with rhinstone stillettos. Okay..odd...but sure its your party. (If she wanted to wear a cocktail dress have a cocktail party!)

We chat and make nice then get ready to sit. Finally...Brian gets a boutinerre for being his parents son...again okay, whatever. Then Mother in Law, who insists I call her mom, wants a pciture with 'her family' No wives, but she does want her grandchildren. Brian's brothers wife and I give each other a look and get on with it.

We eat. EVERYTHING has strawberries! EVERYTHING! Gah! Again I am thankful I ate before I came. She comes over to our table and wants to show off her ring. "do you want to see my ring?" (I am thinking not really, I really want a diet coke) sure show me the damn ring.

Next drama. Billy Burns himself. The kids experienced their cake multisensory style. Brian wiped them off due to the afore mentioned strawberries. I was nursing Zoe..Billy went behind my chair and reached down and touched a can light on the floor. Amazingly he did not shriek. He very calmly walked around to me and simply said, "hot", and showed me his hand. I was confused. Brian said it was because he wiped too hard on his hand. I did not want to explain friction to a 2 year old so we left it at that and he climbed on to my lap. This time I noticed his had was red and blistered. "huh? this is not from daddy wiping is it?" I asked. He answered "hot". I called brian over and showed him the burn, we looked around and saw the light on the floor and asked him if he touched it. He said he had. We let him play with ice for a while...Soon enough it was time to go home...and home we went.

A few posts in one

Friday, July 18, 2008

Okay here goes:

Another faith thing to touch on: my sister is staunchly Catholic. I am envious of her faith. I *know* Catholicism is not for me but I wish I had her commitment to a church/temple etc.

I had a crappy day yesterday. My toe hurts, wallet was stolen...all in all a crappy day. But at the very very end of it I had some great news. A friend of mine is FINALLY bringing home their daughter from Korea. So excited for them, and I get to buy baby (or nearly one year old presents).

In the midst of re-reading Obama's The Audacity of Hope (how do I underline stuff), and have more than once been moved to tears by his commitment and his thoughts. I truly pray that he is our next president. We NEED him. Some of his beliefs are contrary to mine but his willingness for dialogue and compromise is unique and genuine. I love his statement on the Constitution that our republic is not a house to be built but a conversation to be had. He respects strict contructionalists and recognizes that in areas the Constitution is clear ie: how old a president is, but in other areas, we must use it as guidence not as an instruction manuel.

I need to go buy another copy today....I may or may not have accidentally given mine a bath

An Article My Sister Wrote About Skylar

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, to be four years old again.

Free of the complications that come from dealing with the outside world.

Open to all the experiences to come.

On top of the world.

Or maybe that’s just the way my niece Skylar looks at her life.

At a recent birthday party for her and her soon-to-be 2-year-old brother (with one may birthday and one July birthday, my sister split the difference and had a joint party in June), my brother — her uncle — greeted her by asking how she was.

She giggled and said, “Good,” with a tone in her voice that plainly questioned why anyone would even have to ask.

Indeed, with people arriving every few minutes bearing gifts for her and her brother, dressed in a flower girl dress she wore to a wedding a few months ago, in red-trimmed socks and pink Crocs shoes, what was there to be unhappy about?

I know she’s not always quite so sunny. I’ve seen and heard about her temper and her strong will. But most of the time, she’s a remarkably happy child.

Born prematurely, Skylar spent the first weeks of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit. But she grew and thrived.

She went to day care as an infant and toddler, until her younger brother was born, and has been cared for by a variety of occasional babysitters, mostly family and friends. She never seemed to mind; each new person was an opportunity to play.

That sense of adventure doesn’t make her an easy child to raise, of course. If there’s a way to climb up on something, she’ll do it. Leaping before she looks has happened more than once, as has trying to “clean” her baby brother by pouring a bottle of shampoo over his head.

My brother said he does remember her going through a shy phase, for about a day.

Now, the oldest of three children in her family, she thinks she’s in charge of the world. When her cousins — my kids — come to visit, she assumes they are there to see her. Truth be told, as much as they enjoy their aunt, uncle and younger cousins, she’s mostly right. She’s the perfect age: old enough to play with them, and young enough to look up to them. But sometimes, her energy wears even them down.

“Caroline, you’re not playing anymore?” she’ll ask in a confused tone.

She came up to my mother and asked, “Why aren’t you smiling?” I imagine in a similar tone.

The rest of us probably can never be as carefree as a 4-year-old with a winsome personality. We have too many calls on our attention, too many things to do, too many things to worry about.

But Jesus told us that it’s okay to not worry so much.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Mt 6:26-27)

So maybe Skylar can teach us all a lesson.

Skylar Needs Sugery

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So we went to the pediatrician yesterday....the pediatrician who looks like a pre-ER George Clooney... (I sincerely hope is not reading this)....I love going to see him, he is pretty.....

Anyway, I had to take three kids to the doctor...William at two days before his second birthday, finally is 20 Lbs. Finally. Skylar at age 4 is 32 Lbs. My kids are tiny! Zoe weighs, at 5 months what William weighed at a year. A YEAR!

Regardless. Skylar need surgery. I have the referral for the doc, I have to schedule the appt ASAP. It is not a good feeling when the pedi says, get it done ASAP. So I am waiting for 6 minutes for the office to open so I can call.

Brian is like "she'll be fine"...I am slightly more panicked.. panicked does not seem to do it justice.

Crisislet of Faith

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I feel like an anomaly, aside from the fact that for the life of me I cannot sleep right now. So many of my friends have a religious identity and I am searching for mine, I mean I know what religion I basically am, but the more I learn about it the less I feel like I know...make sense? Didn't think so. Everyone here belongs to a church... we don't.

I am looking for meaning in my faith, in my relationship with G-d, in my life..and coming up sorely empty.

Wack A Mole.....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Is a really fun game. is rather annoying when the kids use each other as the 'moles'...

Today was a 'character builder'. Dominick's was an adventure--hence the wack a mole.

Since when does a grocery store sell Riedel crystal? Who's idea was it to put that at toddler height? Not wise.

Old Skylar Story

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Skylar Goes Fishing...

Poor Uncle Joe. The Immortal Fish lives on. He has endured more than his share of hardship though.

One day last year Skylar was at Papa Wisconsin's house and they were discussing what they did for fun. I on more than one occasion was called to be the interpreter between Skylar-ese and English. So I was privy to a lot of the convorsation. In essence it was my dad, Papa, telling Skylar about taking the boat and Fred fishing. Skylar responded that she would LOVE to go fishing, but she was afraid fish were slippery (at which point the concept of fishing poles was explained). Somehow she got my dad to buy her a Dora fishing pole... Before they could use it we had to return to Chicago.

A few days later Skylar was playing in her room (a clue that something bad was going to happen) then came sprinting out of her room very pleased shrieking, "I fish like Papa". My thoughts turned to the integrity of the tank, was it broken? Was the water still in it?? She had caught Uncle Joe in a shoe. We returned Uncle Joe to his tank, where he cowered behind the barbie toys and bubbler.

And yet the fish LIVES

a little sad

Monday, July 7, 2008

Umm..I got my period today. Logically I should be ecstatic. I am a little sad. I kind of a little bit may have been hoping that I might be pregnant. Of course it would help if I actually had sex with my husband to get pregnant...Birth control kills any interest for me though.

Worst Nightmare

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Now that I have had time to reflect on the events of yesterday. I have come to realize that I lived through part of my worst nightmare ever: Brian getting injured at the Firehouse. Now that I know he is okay, I can sigh in relief. But frankly, the idea of losing Brian is something I think about every day before he leaves for the firehouse and the entire time he is there. Usually while he is gone I try and stay busy so I don't have time to worry. If too much time goes by from when I hear from him I worry, when the news comes on with a story of a suburban fire or and injured fireman I have to listen to make sure it is not him. When I know he is at a fire, I worry until he calls me and tells me the fire is out and all is well.

I am incredibly proud of him. I am incredibly proud of his willingness to give of himself for the betterment of everyone else. I get teary when I think of all he does, of what he is willing to give up. That is my version of patriotism, supporting my husband while he gives of himself to protect our communities and keep them safe. More people should appreciate all that firemen do and give up to keep us safe.

Ever since 9/11 the potential of losing him has been a little more real. Something I cannot imagine, yet have to live with. When we married we went over the 'in the line of duty death packet'. Yes there is a whole packet devoted to this. In it the fireman plans his funeral, specifies who will tell your family, who should stay with your family while the fireman is injured, and all sorts of things that no one ever ever wants to think of. In a way it is nice to know that all of that is taken care of. That if something terrible were to happen I wouldn't have to worry about the little things.

If Brian reads this he will laugh it off as over-emotional wife stuff that what he does is a job. He goes to work and comes home same as everyone else.

But I need to say thank you to him. Thank you for giving so much.

Seriously though, Brian is a crucial part of me. We as a family depend on him. We depend on him for so much so much that I seem to forget about when he annoys me. I say that to be married to a fireman you have to be independent. Well, kind of, I have to be able to handle day to day stuff, I have to be willing to drive myself to the hospital when I am in labor, but I know that when it counts, when I really need him, he is there, always. I also know that I could not function without him. Yes I could live with out him, but I do not want too. I need him.

billy vs. hot sauce

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tonight in light of Brian's injury we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Brian and I ordered our usual and the kids got grilled chicken and fries. Billy was insisting on trying Brian's Hot wings. He was not going to give up. So we were like, 'ok, so he learns that this is too spicy'. I underestimated the man. He was terribly surprised. He truly did not like the Hot Sauce. He did not give up though. he kept asking for more...then guzzling water....then more...repeat. he was wiping his tongue off on Brian's shirt, panting, and tearing up, but he would not give up. Billy was going to beat the hot sauce.

On a side note.

When we returned from Buffalo Wild Wings, I started to water my new plants. My youngest sister instincts took over and I sprayed Brian with the hose. He ran up, grabbed the hose, and sprayed me, chasing me back to the house with water. It was hysterical. He is truly, severely injured, no??

We have a lot of fun here...


so DH had to go to the firehouse today, no big deal, work happens right?

Well the kids and I do our saturday morning routine. go to the french market get fruit, veggies, and pastries...then watch choo-choo's by the fountain and head home. On the walk home my children exhibited their wonderful listening skills...more like wonderful selective listening skills..frustration...

Phone is DH...he asked what was going on, and well I told him. He said he had to go. Okay, so I assumed he had a call.

I get home listen to the voicemails and get one from the fire chief of Skokie telling me that dh has been injured in the line of duty, is on his way to the hospital, and could I please come up to Skokie, , The time stamp on this was before the brief discussion with dh on the prarie path so I was confused . and freaked and annoyed

called dh back and asked where he was...oh he is in the ER getting fixed up... could he not have led with that?? Did I have to get the message from the chief that freaked the heck out of me and made me way to snappy at the kids?

so he is on his way home. injured. but coming home.

4th of July

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth Everyone!

We had a good day. I hope everyone else had a good day as well.

Today started out easy...well kind of..early to say the least. We went to Skokie parade and walked with the Fire Department. The kids had a great time. Skylar wore a tiara and waived a flag basically was a princess. Billy was a little overwhelmed, but he waived and smiled. were totally impressed and totally in awe of his behavior, we were wondering where are crazy dog went; he was so well behaved! Walked nicely did not lose his mind.

All and all good day. Fun day..

We did skip the fireworks, too late, too tired...

Umm I hate to ask this but if you read this can you link to my blog please?? I want to write more about my work with the NICU group and I want to reach as many people as I can. Thanks

Tan Lines.

I got undressed and ready to take a shower the other day and in doing so I happened to see my undressed self in the mirror. . I normally avoid that like the plague. I have had three children in 4 years, nursed all of them, and somethings I doubt crunches and jogging will ever put back where they came from.

Anyway. I noticed some odd tan lines. This is not unusual for a few reasons. The kids and I are rarely in the house in the summer. It seems that we are at pools and parks daily. Tan likes would be a natural consequence of this. However, these were odd. Circles, about four inches in diameter, right below my right shoulder.

Babywearing mamas should know...they are the rings from my sling. I turned around and sure enough I have a diagonal line across my back where the fabric crosses it.

so why am I up?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Couldn't tell you. I dislike when this happens. Brian is happily snoozing away. And I am...not. Lately it has happened more and more. I get up about the same time and have a heck of a time getting back to sleep..and it is not for lack of being tired. I just can't seem to sleep. Why?

Stress? Could be. I keep thinking about the almost baby. I miss him. yes I think it was a him. I am almost sure it was a him (I also thought Zoe was a him, so shows what I know). If one more person tells me to get over it, I may scream though. How do I 'get over it'? Yes, we have lost pregnancies before, but each is another baby. So what happens.. just say oh well. maybe next time? Well what if I lose him or her next time? What then? God knows best? I get that but goodness God, can you clue me in here, just a bit, let me know at least somewhat where this journey is taking me? The worst is...'this is why you should not take birth control' ....

Zoe went on the big girl swings today...had a great time.
Last night Brian had Skylar and William sleep in the tent outside. Sleep being used loosely. William was frustrating him so he brought him inside, so he could frustrate me instead (thanks dear) Skylar went to sleep around 11:30...and William wanted to get up for the day at 3:00 our day was delightful.. I got to see the full range of temper tantrums. Who knew there were so many ways to have one?

hmmm what else...Ah yes. I keep praying for patience and I keep getting sent opportunities to practice it. Practice makes perfect? Maybe I should pray for something else.