Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I don't normally make New Years resolutions because I try to keep at improving all year long. This year, however, I have decided to make two. The first one is to buy my girls less. Q and I give ourselves a small weekly allowance that we can spend on anything we like. Q tends to spend his on taking us out to eat and the occasional electronic item or piece of software. I spend mine mostly on the girls (clothing, toys, craft items, etc.) Also, if anyone gives me a gift card, it pretty much goes to something for them also. I have a friend whose grown siblings (in their 30s) still live at home with no jobs. I worry that we give our children so much that they will expect life to just be handed to them. I resolve to do my best help my girls in some way earn the things they want.

The second resolution is to play more World of Warcraft with Q. Our relationship is strongly based on the quality time we spend together particularly as playmates. This includes games, watching movies and shows together, and dancing. I would love to return to going dancing once a week as we used to do what seems ages ago now, but as it is unrealistic for us to be able to do this with three babies (the nerdlet seeming so not a baby sometimes and still so much so), I resolve to play more with my husband.

I was looking at my last post of the 2010's main points and it seems like it was a bad year, but even though the number of high points doesn't seem to come close to the number of lows, it really seemed like a great year. The nerdlet has made so much progress and is turning out to be such a beautiful person. The bear cub is amazing and brings us so much joy. She has made so much progress, too, and seems to have completely blossomed since her heart surgery last December. We have Darth Baby now and she feels like such a perfect piece of our family that it is weird to think of us without her. Q and I are doing great and he still makes me feel so loved and desired. Our lives are incredible and although I could live without any medical worries, difficulties like a burst pipe seem like nothing compared to the blessings we have.

I wish everyone a happy new year and wish you tons of your own blessings.

2010 Review

January – The bear cub learned to sit by herself. She also started clapping and waving regularly and scribbling. The nerdlet’s speech really started to pick up.

February – The bear cub started crawling and holding her own bottle. She also gave her first kiss to her daddy. The nerdlet demonstrated that she knows how to make a cheese sandwich in the sandwich maker all by herself. The girls start really playing together interactively.

March – The nerdlet starts talking about the past. The bear cub turns 1. The bear cub adds the sign milk to her repertoire. We had our back porch completely redone. I begin a weird creative spurt making dresses for the girls, tops for them and my nieces, and painting a weird picture of Goofy. One of my dear uncles passed away.

April – The bear cub learns to self feed when the nerdlet hands her a cookie. The creative streak continues with more clothing for the girls, some embroidery, and a dragon onesie for the bear cub and started some clothing for myself and I may have gone a little overboard buying supplies.

May – Found out I was pregnant at 8 weeks. The nerdlet has progressed so much with her speech that she graduates from speech therapy. The bear cub starts to swallow more food than just milk and pediasure and makes it onto the Ds weight chart.

June – Little Miss becomes an official member of the family. The bear cub gets her front two bottom teeth and starts cruising and starts doing the bear crawl. We acquired a swagger wagon. My gestational Carpal’s Tunnel gets bad enough that I can no longer sew or drive much.

July – My sister is harassed by the AZ border patrol about trafficking humans (my born and bred USA cousin that has darker skin). Q goes in for his routine MRI for his pituitary adenoma and the doctor discovers that he has maxillary sinusitis and that Q will need surgery to clean the sinuses out. The bear cub starts climbing up stairs and consistently crawling with her belly off the floor.

August – My MIL and the nerdlet are in a car accident. The nerdlet was in a brand new car seat that was less than a week old and has some pain for about two weeks but seems to recover fine after that. The bear cub learns to throw a ball and shows she has good aim and power. The level two ultrasound shows that Darth Baby’s kidneys are dilated.

September – We lost the bear cub’s therapy coordinator, speech therapist, and physical therapist all at once. The nerdlet has major issues because of this and develops a lot of new fears. The bear cub finally starts showing real interest in food and starts climbing down stairs. Q and I decide on a name for Darth Baby.

October – The bear cub got her first haircut. Q has surgery for his sinusitis. I’m put on insulin for gestational diabetes. The girls go trick-or-treating for the first time.

November - The nerdlet turns 3. My sister and Little Miss move back to Georgia.

December – Darth Baby arrives! My BIL gets back from Iraq. I start taking pictures daily of each of the girls. The nerdlet got her first haircut. Two more of my uncles passed away. A pipe bursts in our upstairs bathroom and leaks into the wall and through the ceiling in the kitchen. The pipe and ceiling repairs are completed within a week and a half. Darth Baby’s kidneys are still dilated and she is scheduled for further tests and referred to a nephrologist.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Girls' Christmas Gift

Q and I got one gift for all three girls.








Does the bear cub like it?

We weren't sure at first, but she made it clear how she felt when we tried to take her off. She cried and struggled and crawled as fast as she could to try to usurp the nerdlet's turn. She isn't near as good at sharing and taking turns as her sister. Hopefully, this will help her learn. Right now we follow her all the way down. I told Q I wasn't going to let her go on her own until she showed me that she wouldn't let go or try to jump off in 50 rides. At ride 14 she tried to get off too soon, so it may be a while.

There's no question how the nerdlet felt though.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Pictures







Show us how you really feel, Nerdlet.




The best of the lot


You can see the blue on her teeth from the M&M we used to bribe the nerdlet.


Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas

I went to get a nice picture of my girls to post for Christmas, but to say the nerdlet was being uncooperative is a bit of an understatement. I'd post one of the pictures with her snarling in it, but apparently asking for unedited pictures of a photographer is a big faux pas. I'll post a belated one at some point.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It IS Easy

I had Darth Baby's two week appointment and heard for the third time, this time from the pediatrician, that I make having a baby and two toddlers look easy. Of course, I feel like I'm cheating a bit to hear this. I have a great support system.

My mom stayed with us for a week and she is extremely energetic. It is where the nerdlet gets it, I'm sure. My older sister visited her after her week here and told me that she had never before seen my mom exhausted like that. The nerdlet pretty much decided that she didn't need naps while Grandma was here and it took a a small toll on my mom, but having my mom here meant that I got some rest and neither of my older girls had any reason to resent the attention a new baby gets.

I am also married to the best father, who has been taking turns with me staying up with Darth Baby as she doesn't sleep more than 90 minutes at a time, so for a new mother, I am incredibly rested. There are a lot of disadvantages to pumping, but one of the few great advantages is that I can sleep for 3-4 hours at a time, when he is available to help.

Another thing that helps is that I have really behaved toddlers. The nerdlet came out throwing fits and with no patience, but we've had three years to work on her skills and on most days she is really good. The bear cub has her daddy's personality and goes with the flow on pretty much anything. These two can really make parenting in general look easy and fun when they want to.

I'm sure I won't look like I have it as together after Christmas as Q returns to work on Monday. Also, I'm sure the same way I make it look easy when the three are all cooperating, I will look for the poster child for not getting serially pregnant if you catch me when the nerdlet is having a meltdown at the library (or any other public place, but she seems to really like to have meltdowns there), the bear cub is wet, and Darth Baby is hungry. I'm also fairly sure that the bear cub is just waiting for a moment like this to take off walking or running for the first time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Chunk

Breastfeeding is a great weight loss tool. I read that 1 ounce of milk has 70 calories for the first 21 days before it tapers off. I'm producing between 40-60 ounces a day so I'm running through a fair bit of Calories. I gained around 21 pounds during this pregnancy and I lost it by 10 days post birth. If I wasn't having to pump, I'd likely continue to breastfeed until all my extra weight was gone.

Darth Baby eats a lot - almost as much as the nerdlet did. At just under two weeks, she is eating around 24 ounces/day. Because the nerdlet has always been such a good eater and was always extremely underweight and the bear cub also had issues with weight gain until recently, I half suspected that there was something wrong with my milk. I know that Mother's Milk Bank, the service I donated my milk to the last two pregnancies, tested the milk for fat content in addition to other things, and they actually sent me a letter from one of the mothers that received milk commenting on how wonderful the milk was for weight gain in her child, I still always wondered about it. This baby has proved that there is nothing wrong with the milk. Darth Baby was 7 pounds 4 ounces at birth, 7 pounds upon leaving the hospital, and today at 12 days she is 8 pounds even. This is my first baby that actually has extra fat on her. She actually has creases on her legs from it, and they are beautiful to me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pic for my Mom

This entry is solely to allow my mom to have access to a picture she wants.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Awed by milestones

When you have a child with Down syndrome, one of the things you start doing is celebrating every little milestone. There is a line in the movie The Incredibles (great movie btw) about how having a graduation at each grade is celebrating mediocrity. While I agree that celebrating a graduation for each grade is ridiculous, I don't agree that it is celebrating mediocrity or that celebrating each goal achieved is a bad thing when every one is going to have a different amount of effort to achieve those goals. I like it when things come easy to my girls, but I love it when I see them working hard at something to do it. I think one of the reasons that parents of children with Ds celebrate every little thing is because our kids work so hard to accomplish each little thing that other children most often come to without a second thought.

Darth Baby is five days old now and I'm discovering that I am going to find joy at all her little milestones, too. For my previous pregnancies, my milk was there already when I gave birth. With the nerdlet, the first time I pumped I got 5 ounces. With this pregnancy, it took longer. I could express colostrum, but I would get practically nothing when I pumped. I was using the same technique of feeding Darth Baby and then pumping, but she was still always hungry and for the first two days we were giving some formula to supplement (because of the GD and the worry that her blood sugar would drop as it was borderline in the low 50s). When we took her in to her first doctor's appointment Saturday morning, she had her first non-meconium diaper and it was seedy and looked just like a breast milk diaper is supposed to. If you had ever told me that I would be so happy over a diaper, I would not have believed it.

Now at day five, I'm watching Darth Baby work so hard to lift her head and turn it back and forth and I can't tell you how it moves me. The bear cub is really warming up to her younger sister and was making happy noises and clapping while her sister was doing it. I took a bunch of pictures and only managed to get a few with her head actually off the ground.


The nerdlet is really enamored of her new sister and keeps telling anyone near her, including Daddy, Grandma, and me to be careful and gentle with her. She brings her blankets and tries to sneak her toys and food. The bear cub is getting much better. For months, I've been signing baby at her and telling her we were going to get one and trying to prepare her only to get blank eyes back. Today, she signed baby for the first time and started patting Darth Baby while saying, "Bah, bah, bah." It was so stinking cute.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Birth Story

Even though it was my longest labor, it was probably my easiest labor. I arrived at the hospital promptly at 6 am as instructed, but the orders from the doctor hadn't arrived. This didn't really surprise me as I have seen my OB's nurse enter blood work orders walked down to the lab and had them disappear somewhere into the void and Q has commented on every birth about the poor design of the hospital's computer system. They put me in a room anyway, did the calibrated finger test, and got me hooked up to the machine. I was 70% effaced and still only around 2 cm dilated, but the machine showed that I was having regular contractions. The nurse asked me didn't I feel the tightening and I had, but I had dismissed them as contractions as there was really no pain to them. My doctor arrived at 8:30 am and got the orders in the system. It took a little while from then to put in the IV and get the pitocin started, but I was finally started on pitocin at 9:45. The OB said he was going to let me progress a little before breaking my water and left. I asked for an epidural around noon. I have been through one labor with and one without and already knew that I had no pride regarding having the pain reduced for an induction, which I feel is at least 10 times more painful than natural labor. The anesthesiologist was great, but he ended up cutting off all feeling and I had to ask him to back off because I was worried about pushing. With the nerdlet, I had had an epidural, but it hadn't cut off the feeling or the pain, just the edge. The OB finally returned to break my water at 12:30 pm. The nurse proclaimed me close to fully dilated just before 3 pm and started to set up the room. By the time the room was set up, she said I was ready and called the OB and asked me to start pushing with the next contraction. After two contractions, she told me not to push so hard until the OB got there or I would deliver, and after the next push, she told me to stop pushing altogether. It seemed pretty funny to me that I was expected not to push and I started laughing. She then told me that I was going to laugh the baby out if I didn't stop and the OB walked in glanced at me and practically sprung into the chair, told me to push again, and caught Darth Baby as she came out at 3:39 pm. So four contractions was much nicer than the hours of pushing it took for the nerdlet's giant head, but not as nice as the single contraction for the bear cub.

They immediately handed her to me, which was really nice. They hadn't done that with my first two. Even though she was the largest of the three at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19 1/2 inches, she looks much smaller to me. She curls herself up more and her head is smaller than her sisters. She isn't anywhere near as alert as I am used to and she sleeps all the time as long as someone is holding her. It is so different for me to experience a baby that fits the descriptions you read in books.

I really dislike lactation consultants, but the one that I saw immediately after the birth took the cake. She started handling me and the baby right off without giving me time at all to get comfortable. Then she kept commenting on how heavy my breasts were and actually said that she didn't understand how I could even stand up. What??? Darth Baby had a great latch and took to feeding right off, but in the few days since the birth my breasts have gotten bigger and heavier and don't squish enough to feed after all. I was really looking forward to being able to breast feed directly with this one, but it looks like I'm going to have to exclusively pump again. She eats like a champ though and it likely going to be like the nerdlet when it comes to food. She is already eating close to 20 ounces/day and my milk is still mostly colostrum. I'm great with this though as I had a really hard time with the fact that the bear cub never seemed interested in eating. I also think that Darth Baby has already regained her birth weight as she is heavier weighed with diaper and onesie, but I haven't weighed her naked yet.

They released us both Friday evening and Q and I were so glad to be leaving. They call it cabin fever and I really felt like I had been trapped in a small cruise cabin for the time I was there. The hospital is really luxurious and the rooms are so nice and clean, but I definitely felt more trapped than I had in the past. I also missed my girls terribly. The nerdlet has taken really well to Darth Baby and she is constantly telling us to be careful and gentle with her, and whenever the baby is in her reach, she brings a blanket to put over her and gives her kisses and hugs. The bear cub has moments of excitement over her and moments of disdain, but for the most part, she seems indifferent. I think she mostly just wishes the baby would stay out of daddy's arms.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not even close to Wordless Wednesday

By this time tomorrow, I should be holding Darth Baby in my arms. I'm a little scared because although I know that at this point it is safer to have her than to let her continue on, I am not sure that my body is ready to give birth. I'm scared of a C-section. I haven't had surgery before and I am a little worried about the possibility. I'm also feeling a bit burdened because there is a lot of bad news with family and friends with death and sickness. I am hoping that I can keep my mind clear and focus on the task at hand tomorrow and my new baby.

I have my first piece by the bear cub that I plan to frame. It is almost completely her own work and I'm really pleased with how it came out.

Here is a picture of the girls working.


And a picture of the final masterpiece.


And a picture of the artist after a bath playing dress up.


The nerdlet named her picture dinosaur eggs. I found this interesting because I'm not really in the habit of asking her what she is painting or to tell me about it, but she volunteered the information.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Darth Baby Name Rejects

Q and I are still undecided on a middle name for Darth Baby. I thought I would share some of the rejected names.

1.Maleficent
Maleficent is the name of the coolest Disney Villain ever. She is the witch that cursed Sleeping Beauty. We have a number of overlaps of names in our family with characters in the movie, and it would be apt as we called the nerdlet Attila and the bear cub Genghis prior to choosing names for them.

2.Araceli
I love this name. I've liked it since I first heard it as the name of the first woman to climb Mount Everest. I wanted to name both the nerdlet and the bear cub Araceli, but Q feels that giving an ethic name to our very fair children wouldn't be right. Also, Q's family is not good with unfamiliar names in either remembering them or spelling them. If Q doesn't answer his phone when I go to deliver the baby I may use this one anyway.

3.Drop Table
This is a nerd joke. It is a command that would mess up any data tables that her name was entered into. Q thinks it's really funny.

4.Novela names
My mom loves and has suggested on multiple occasions that we name Darth Baby or the bear cub Mari-Chuy (short for Maria Jesus - pronounces Heh-Suess) after a favorite character of hers in one of the telenovelas. I think it's cute enough, but not really right for us even without the fact that my children are all pan crudo (doughy - a nickname my mom and grandma used to use for me).

5.Grandmother's names
I'm jealous of people that have grandmothers to name their daughters of. Between Q and I, we have the following choices from our grandmothers:
Phyllis
Wilhelmina
Elvira
Estefana
I actually like Estefana, especially the white version Stephanie, but it isn't an option because we have a close relative with that name and as Q's brother, father, and grandfather all share the same name, we are so not going down that path.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pictures


Little Miss helped the nerdlet and Grandma with the houses, but she of little attention span was gone by the time I got the camera out.


"It was totally worth sitting through the combing out of my awful tangles for the colors in my hair. Next time I want pink and yellow." The last sentence is an exact quote.


"Mom, I had to do something while you were busy and the nerdlet's paint box looked like so much fun."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Ours being a relatively young family, we don't have any Christmas traditions as of yet. Also, although I grew up in a Catholic household, we didn't really have any traditions outside of the advent cycle in church. I just read this and I think it is a great tradition to start. For the link phobic, you take 25 children's books and wrap them to put under the tree and open one to read each night. I'm going to start looking for Christmas and winter books to use.

I would love it if anyone has any Christmas traditions that they would like to share with me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leftovers

I'm grateful for leftovers, especially Thanksgiving leftovers. I love the turkey, oyster stuffing, sweet potatoes, and the rest. After today, though I'm only going to have turkey left, though I'm considering making more of the rest. I'm also glad that my family is okay with eating the same thing for more than one day in a row.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Needs

I am grateful that all of my family's and my needs are taken care of to the point that the only reason that I ever feel the lack of any extra income is when I want to help others. I do wish right now that we had the extra funds to help so many that I know in need, but it is a great blessing that I am worried about others and their children and not my own.

I am also grateful that Darth Baby seems to be doing well. We had a perinatologist and an OB appointment today and she is doing fine. I am only around 2 cm dilated and barely effaced so we think she is going to hang tight for a while. With my first two, I was completely effaced at this point and starting to dilate and I am only days away from how long I carried the bear cub. Darth baby has a strong heartbeat. She did well on the NST. My blood glucose numbers are really well controlled (average of 78). So everything is looking good right now. I have my next two appointments in a week where I'll get another ultrasound to estimate size and check on her again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Too young for knowledge?

I'm grateful that my parents did not restrict what I watched or read at any point in my life. I don't know if it is the right decision for every child, but it definitely was the one for me. I was not traumatized by watching some of the movies that I saw. I'm a little prone to nightmares anyway (as an adult I had nightmares for a week after seeing Titanic), but I think in my case the nightmares would have been sparked whether or not I had seen anything that others would consider inappropriate for a child. When it came to reading, I remember one of the ladies I babysat for used to regularly lend me books, and she was the first person I ever ran across that even thought to censor my reading material (Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear and I was 13) and she just made me ask my mom if it was alright for me to read it. My mother's response was to wonder why I would be asking. I'm also fairly sure that my parents never worried about what they discussed in front of us and my mom always answered questions when I asked them. Well, in one instance where I asked what masturbation was in church at around age eight after reading the word in a question in Catholic Digest, she did put it off until later. I really believe that never trying to dampen my curiosity or steer me away from what I wanted to know is the reason for my continuing to always strive for knowledge and my creativity. I hope that I remember this when it comes to my girls and do my best not to discourage their curiosity when I come across these situations when they are older.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mom and hubby

I'm so grateful that my husband appreciates my mom's help so much. I have been so incredibly tired and slept an awful lot especially yesterday and today. There are a lot of husbands that cannot even fathom having their mother-in-law at their house from a Wednesday night until Saturday afternoon, and I love that my husband realizes how much she was needed to allow us extra sleep right now.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving recovery

I am grateful that despite a number of issues with Thanksgiving that everyone in my family took each problem with even temper and did not feel the holiday was ruined.

It started in the morning, with my sister S calling me to let me know that she was running a few hours late. This wouldn't be a big deal, but it was just the first thing. She called a short while later to let me know that she was throwing up and she wasn't going to come. She thought she had eaten something bad. Normally, she would have been still encouraged to come, but because a similar assumption was made during my pregnancy with the bear cub where I almost lost her, we are all paranoid enough that we left it at that. Because of this I felt a little guilty and the the promise of making her plates of food doesn't exactly make up for it.

Next came the fact that my mom found she had left all sorts of things in Austin, including some of her medication, some of the ingredients, the recipe for oyster stuffing (something my other sister R and I consider a requirement for the Thanksgiving meal to feel complete), and other assorted items. Luckily R had not left Austin and was able to bring some of the items.

Almost three hours after we started the turkey, we started wondering why we weren't beginning to smell it. My mom checked the roaster and learned that it had never turned on. The outlet that we had plugged the roaster into is a GFCI outlet and it had somehow been switched off, so we turned it back on and continued with the meal. This actually resulted in more time to make the other items on the menu and for R to show up with the missing ingredients, but it resulted in our eating hamburgers and sweet potato fries for our normal 1 pm Thanksgiving meal. BTW, my husband is great at making burgers and I am grateful for the fact that he stepped in to make sure we all chose to eat instead of waiting the extra three hours for the turkey.

There were various other issues, such as the pregnant woman forgetting to cook the raw sweet potatoes in advance and resorting to nuking them in the microwave and the bread not being placed in the oven until the rest of the meal was actually on the table, but it was a wonderful holiday despite certain missing items and the obstacles we faced. We ended up having a wonderful turkey, oyster stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and sweet potatoes. We also had rolls and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert a bit afterward.

I think in a lot of families all the things that came up would have resulted in a miserable day and horrible moods, especially with the hormonal pregnant woman snapping a few times over trivial things, but the holiday turned out wonderful, even if it was far from perfect.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grateful for this holiday, which is my favorite. I love a celebration that includes food* and family and thanks for all we have, with no trappings that come along with some of the other holidays. I wish you all the best this day.

*Food in our house is still an idea in limbo because my beloved mother wants to wing it and this is not exactly her forte.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cleaning Supplies

I am really grateful for some great cleaning supplies!

I love my Euro-Pro Hydra Canister Steamer (metal core). It heats the water like a pressure cooker. I think it wasn't produced for very long. My mom and aunt have a plastic version by different companies, but none seem to compare to mine. It heats about a quart of water and blows out the boiling steam for cleaning. I use it to clean my appliances like the dishwasher, the washing machine, the oven, and the microwave, in addition to bathtubs, tile, and grout. I will admit though that I think the use of this very cool machine may have contributed to the early demise of a microwave.

Another steam cleaner that I'm particularly fond of is my Bissell Little Green Machine. I'm on my second one of these after almost a decade. This machine got red wine out of a white carpet. I use this one for spot cleaning of any porous surfaces, like the couch, carpets, and rugs. I've even used this machine to suck up extra water that has spilled in areas that are just hard to get other wise. It is really great because the bear cub still spills a lot when drinking so I'm constantly cleaning up spots.

Another great cleaning supply is the steam mop. I will admit that I'm not as in love with my Shark model as I am with the first two machines I mentioned. It requires quite a bit of elbow grease and the water doesn't get as hot as I would like. However, if this thing were to break down, I would definitely replace it with another steam mop right away. I hate carpet and we removed all the carpet from the downstairs and replaced it with tile and laminate. I fill the tank with a vinegar and water mixture and make the downstairs smell like I spilled a big box of pickles, but it is a great deterrent to bugs, particularly roaches and ants.

I try to be extremely environmentally conscious, but there is one area that I will admit to being wasteful. I use a lot of sanitizing wipes (Clorox or Lysol usually as long as it is bleach free as I'm allergic to bleach). For most things that would require a paper towel, I use pieces of old towels and we go through very few paper towels, but after cleaning up almost anything, I wipe it with a sanitizing wipe.

The last thing I'm going to mention today on my cleaning supply list that I'm grateful for is an industrial black light. I have a few cheap ones from the pet store or Wal-mart, but they seem pretty useless in comparison to the ones I used as a drug and device investigator, so we use an industrial. They are great for making sure that areas are really clean and I sometimes use it to try to identify where a smell might be coming from or what it might be. It is also the reason that I'm satisfied cleaning with vinegar and steam instead of feeling the need for chemicals for things to be really clean.

Also, I love that cleaners come in lemon and orange scents. I love the smell of clean with a touch of the scent of citrus.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

waning OCD

I am thankful that I am not OCD anymore as OCD as I used to be. I am so glad that I do not feel the need to finish reading the book in the previous post. A few years ago, I actually slogged through Ulysses by James Joyce, and that is a book that I'm fairly sure no one reads anymore unless they have OCD helping them finish it. I'm grateful that during this third pregnancy my hands are not covered in scabs from over-washing. I am thankful that even though I may have the occasional breakdown from the state of our house that I can mostly let it go and spend the quality time with my girls and husband that they deserve. I'm especially grateful that I am not modeling all those behaviors I used to exhibit to the nerdlet, who I'm sure would pick them up willingly and quickly.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Self Help Books

Today I had an perinatalogist appointment for a glucose download and an NST (non-stress test). I never know how long they are going to last for a number of reasons. My doctor sees people from not just San Antonio, but I know as far as drives 3 or 4 hours away and in a lot of cases my appointment gets pushed back. Also, Darth Baby isn't as reliably a mover for the NST as the nerdlet and the bear cub (the nerdlet always moved non-stop and the NSTs were always quick and the bear cub never moved much so I was always there forever). As I was leaving the car, I realized I had neglected to bring a book and I almost started crying thinking about having a long boring appointment with nothing to occupy myself with so I borrowed one from Q's car called Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.

My appointment lasted a little less than an hour so I only had to plow through 83 pages of this garbage. The idea behind the book is pretty much in the title. I don't have a problem with the overall premise, but the actual writing and examples he gives just really pissed me off. He seemed to miss the fact that men and women should treat their wives and husbands with both love and respect. He also seems to think that respect for your husband means treating his precious, delicate ego with white kid gloves and that love for your wife means putting her on a pedestal and treat her like a princess. For Q and I, this would pretty much end our good relationship very quickly. He also seems think that acting like you love your wife and acting like you respect your husband regardless of whether or not you actually do is the most important thing and will fix all the ills, including your husband's philandering, which is obviously the woman's fault for not catering to his ego and pride. It also irritates me to no end that he really harps on the fact the bible verses say that wives should respect their husbands and men should love their wives (I don't disagree with the verses, but I do disagree with how he interprets it and then tries to use it to justify a woman never getting upset with her husband or letting him know of any faults he has). I think he is giving Christians and the Bible a bad name. I can only imagine one type of marriage that would really benefit from his advice and my imagination doesn't really lead to a very flattering image of the husband in that particular marriage.

So I when I got home I asked my husband about the book. He had been lent the book from a coworker and said he tried to read it but had gotten pretty irritated himself and stopped reading it on page 18. He says his major thing against the book is that he is afraid that people having issues with their marriage will take his advice and screw their marriage up even further.

So today I am thankful for my husband and actually helpful and good self help books. I am thankful to be in a relationship that thrives on both genuine love and respect and not the type of sexist relationship that is described as ideal in the passage of books like this. I am grateful for my husband's big, non-delicate ego. I am thankful for books like The Five Love Languages that are well written, have something insightful to say, and don't portray Christians and Christianity in such a bad light.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby Doe

I am so very thankful that Baby Doe's DNR has been lifted. Thank you again to everyone that helped and prayed for him.

Air conditioning

I am thankful for air conditioning. I can't imagine a place that I would really be comfortable without having it. Right now while I'm experience the extra heat that carrying a baby brings, I think that I would never want to be pregnant after the first one if there were no air conditioning to cool off with.

Update on Baby Doe in Arkansas: As of Sunday afternoon, the DNR is still on the baby and was placed there by the adoptive parents that left him in the hospital. They have no interest in the baby but will take him if he dies. I don't even have the words.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful for people that care

Click here for a link to plea for saving Baby Doe.

The agency that has control has put a DNR on this baby in Arkansas. The Down Syndrome Community wants so much to save him and is looking for an advocate to represent him until paperwork can be processed for him to be adopted. Please, please help anyway you can, including prayers, helping finding out the name of the agency, and contacting the governor of Arkansas (http://governor.arkansas.gov/contact/index.php). There is no reason for this baby to die. I have included a portion of a letter to the governor if you have a hard time finding to words to include in a letter of your own.


I am requesting intervention from you in regards to Baby Doe, an infant that was supposed to be adopted but was left behind at Arkansas Children’s Hospital by the prospective parents. The agency that is in control has a DNR on this baby that was born with Down syndrome and because of this the baby is not receiving the care that he needs so that he lives long enough for paperwork to be processed for adoption. There are multiple families willing to adopt this child. In the interim while adoption issues are worked out, this child needs a guardian ad litem appointed to protect him. Please do what you can in order for the agency to remove the DNR and the child can receive the life saving efforts that any newborn deserves.


In your letter, please include that this baby boy is in Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Also include that fact there is a DNR that was placed by the adoption agency and that a DS adoption network has already identified multiple families that are willing to adopt this child. In the interim while adoption issues are worked out, this child needs a guardian ad litem appointed to protect him.

I would love to bring this baby home to our family, but the adoptive family needs to be homestudy ready and in Arkansas. There are multiple families willing to adopt this child working through their DSAs and the courts, but the paperwork still takes time and that DNR is an evil obstacle in the way.

I am grateful to the many that I know that have already written letters and said prayers for this boy and I am grateful for those that upon reading my plea will add their voices. Thank you so much!

*edit 11/22/2010 Official update on behalf of the Arkansas Down Syndrome Association:

Dana McClain, esq. a representative of the the protection and advocacy system for the state of Arkansas has looked into this matter, and based upon the information has been able to confirm as true and factual, at this time, is confidant that ACH is providing medically appropriate care, there is no DNR, and there is a competent guardian in place for the child.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sleep

I'm grateful that I have a husband that understands that sometimes I just need to crash when he gets home and is willing to watch the girls even though both decided to skip napping today. Good night, all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chocolate

I am grateful for chocolate! I prefer my chocolate nice and dark. My favorite candy bar when I was little was Special Dark. During certain times of the month when I am not pregnant you will find that I have receipts that list two items: a feminine product and chocolate filled Oreos. I especially love my coffee when it has chocolate in it. I hear that the price of chocolate is about to go up a lot and I dread even the idea of that.

Chocolate is good for the environment. It is a rainforest product and is mostly grown my small farms and is sustainable. It is good for your mood. It's high in antioxidants and nutrients and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Also, in case you didn't know, it tastes good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

San Antonio, TX

I'm grateful that I ended up in San Antonio. I love it. I love Texas. Initially, when I got a got in SA, I was really disappointed to leave Austin. There are a lot of really good things about Austin that I thought I was going to miss, but the longer I live in San Antonio, the happier I am here. When I'm not pregnant, I visit Austin at least once a month and instead of regretting leaving, I'm finding that Austin is no longer as good a fit for me as it used to be.

I love that San Antonio is big on recycling. We can recycle just about anything. We even recycle styrofoam. SA was the first city to commit to harvest methane gas from human waste on a commercial scale and turn it into clean-burning fuel and that biogas facility is now up and running. SA also has one of the lowest energy costs in the country. Austin talks about environmentalism, but San Antonio actually does it a lot more. Also, Texas has installed more wind power than any other state and if it was its own country it would be fifth in the world.

I really like that we have no state income tax. Our sales tax differs by county and city, but the maximum allowed in the state is 8.25% (which is what it is in more areas). I like that SA has a low unemployment rate. I love that Texas has HEB! I like that housing is affordable to almost anyone.


I also love that even with the mix of cultures that we have that racism isn't like it is in the rest of the country. We are considered part of the south, but I don't get the looks I get in Alabama or Georgia when I smile at random people. You don't see some of the overt bigotry that I have witnessed in Little Rock and New Orleans (except maybe in very East Texas near the Arkansas and Northern Louisiana border). You don't see the supressed quiet racism of the North. Additionally, there isn't a lot of bigotry towards the intellectually disabled. I see acceptance everywhere of my bear cub and we have a great Down Syndrome Association. Also, I see people with intellectual disabilities working and with family constantly. San Antonio has a very conservative culture, but it is filled with incredibly friendly people and is still open-minded especially about people's differences.

Before you consider moving here, let me note that we are high on the list of most uncomfortable cities due to the combination of high heat and humidity. We also have an extremely high allergen rate year round and people that move here find that even if they never had allergies before they get them here. Also, our average pay is probably a lot lower than average.

Q and I like to daydream about what it would be like for Texas to secede. I love being American and know how much better we have it than other countries first hand. I am like a lot of people though that are extremely dissatisfied with where our country is and where it is going, but I'm still proud to be a Texan and an American.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Authors

I'm grateful for finding new authors that I enjoy reading. I'm currently reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I only started reading him because he picked up The Wheel of Time series when Robert Jordan died. I am enjoying his writing style quite a bit. Two other authors that I have been enjoying that are new to me are Julie Kenner and Moira J. Moore. All three authors listed here are fantasy, but normally I read everything.

When I was pregnant with the nerdlet and afterward, I read every book in the library system on pregnancy and parenting. One of the things that stuck with me that was in a lot of the books was how new mothers become resentful of some of the things new fathers said about things that they missed that new mothers hadn't even had time to thing about, like a new father might say he missed going out for drinks with the guys or a game of golf while a new mother missed having five minutes for a shower. What do I find that I miss most? The ability to find time to read. Somehow I'm managing to still find some time to read, but I used to average about 200 books a year and now it is closer to 50, and I imagine with 3 it will go down even further.

Feel free to recommend any authors in any genre you read.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ultrasounds

I'm grateful to live in a time of ultrasounds. I love that I know the gender months in advance of the birth. I even sort of like the diagnosis of gestational diabetes because I have gotten the extra views of my girls. It has been especially helpful this pregnancy because they gave me a beautiful view of Darth Baby's face which has helped me bond with her, which I had no problem with with my first two, but for some reason was not occurring as much during this pregnancy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful for my family

I was going to post how thankful I am that my husband is not self-conscious, but instead I am reminded again of how wonderful my husband and my in-laws are. I'm am so thankful that I have great in-laws, understanding and not quick to judge. I was pretty worried about this holiday season because we always spend one of the big ones (Thanksgiving and Christmas) with one side of the family and one with the other. This year, because of Darth Baby and my unwillingness to be too far from the hospital, we are staying put at home. I'm thankful that both sides of my family are taking it in stride and not blaming either me or Q for this decision but understanding the reasoning behind it. I'm so glad that family decisions aren't made into big deals outside our immediate family. I'm also grateful how wonderful of in-laws my family and my mom's family make.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beautiful Weather

I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having. Today started out a bit chilly, but it very quickly warmed up to still being cool, but warm enough to being enjoyable. It is mostly clear and bright, and unless you had specific weather related plans I think most people would describe it as practically perfect. I love that we've had so many of these beautiful days this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tolerance

I'm so grateful that family and friends put up with me. I know I am a lot of work and not easy to deal with. Here is my thank you to all of you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Growing up in the military

I'm a grateful for being a military brat. I have moved over 20 times in my life and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the places that I have had. I have vivid memories of seeing the castles in Germany even though we left Germany when I was six. I enjoyed seeing the ruins and the rainforest in Panama. I am so glad that I got to see so much of America that I would not have otherwise. I also enjoyed being exposed to different cultures and languages. I like that I have had an opportunity to meet so many different people and am continually surprised at how so many people's lives from my past intersect with my own at various times. There are definitely down sides to growing up in the military (we were there during Noriega's coup), but overall it was a wonderful experience for me and I'm thankful that I had it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dining out with GD

I'm grateful for the places that I can eat out while having Gestational Diabetes. Diabetes is different for everyone and my dinner meals are 28 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates, a serving of fruit (not considered part of my carbs), a dairy serving (also not part of my carbs), and two servings of vegetables. As long as I stay under the carbohydrate limit, I can expect to have a glucose blood reading of between 90 and 115. I'm currently on insulin, but these meals were working for me for months before without the insulin.

Jason's Deli
I get the manager's special. It's a half sandwich, a bowl of soup, and strawberries and cantaloupe. I almost always get the tomato basil soup, which I count as my vegetable and which the bear cub loves. The sandwich varies, but my favorite is the Philly chick wrap. I also absolutely love the Black Currant Tea which is a Jason's Deli exclusive (if anyone knows where I can get this tea elsewhere, please let me know). Once this baby is born, I'm going to eat a lot of deli meat sandwiches which I'm currently avoiding due to the listeria risk.

Olive Garden
As I said before, everyone that has diabetes has a different diet. I'm lucky enough to not have pasta as a trigger food. I used to skip the bread, croutons, and pasta and get the chicken marsala with the side substituted with the squash medley. This would allow me to get the no sugar added chocolate volcano cake with strawberries that they used to offer. Sadly, they no longer offer this dessert and Darth Baby isn't fond of squash. Now, I like to get the braised beef and tortelloni and it is two meals for me. I also like to get a side of asparagus. Our local Olive Garden is generous with the asparagus, but I've learned that other locations are sometimes pretty stingy with the amount of asparagus. This sounds so good right now to me that I may drag my hubby for dinner.

Outback
I get the Alice Springs Chicken with the vegetable medley and a side salad, and if I skip the bread and croutons, I can have cheesecake for dessert with no topping, though truthfully I usually go for a little of the bread because I love it. The chicken is enough for 3 meals and the vegetables enough for two. I used to get their citrus chicken, but it isn't carried here anymore.

Taco Cabana
The only thing on the menu that works for me is the fajitas with no beans or rice. The beans and rice usually go to the girls and they love it. The fajita meat is enough for multiple meals (two for me with left over tortillas), but for the second meal, I need to use the veggies and other toppings from home.

Chick-Fil-A
I can eat almost anything on the menu that isn't fried. I LOVE the Southwest Chargrilled Salad and I joked with my first two that they were made up of 1/7 of these salads. Darth baby hasn't gotten them once a week or more, but I still love these salads. I eat the whole thing, but it probably could be split into two if I added more protein for the second day.

McDonalds
That's right, the evil fast food empire. I get the Cheeseburger Happy Meal or the Double Cheeseburger Big Kids Meal with apples and I order a side salad for $1. The nerdlet gets the milk from my meal and a few bites of my burger and usually snatches apple pieces. Occasionally, I will order her her own cheeseburger meal (she won't eat chicken nuggets unless they are from Chick-Fil-A) if she tells me she is hungry enough ahead of time.

I cannot tell you how much I am thankful that I have McDonalds available to us. The nerdlet is 3 and scrapes 23 pounds. When she chooses she can eat a whole happy meal and I'm grateful for the possibility of it putting weight on her (so far no luck with that). I like that she gets a chance to work on her social phobia. I like that my bear cub finally was willing to try self feeding with their french fries (and I tried every other suggestion given to me before resorting to that one). The nerdlet will almost always choose the apples over the fries. So, yes, I am grateful for McDonald's. Suck on that, San Francisco!

Just a note for the judging out there. We are not eating out all the time, but we do eat out a bit. However, I gained 18 pounds with my pregnancy with the nerdlet, 12 with the bear cub, and am sitting around 12 so far with Darth Baby. I don't think that eating out is contributing to a lack of nutrition or to an excess of weight in our family. It is about choices.../end rant.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My bear cub benefits

I am thankful of all the things that are available to my bear cub. I'm grateful for ECI. I'm especially grateful for her old therapy team, who I feel did so much for her. I'm glad that I live in a time period where no one has tried to get me to give her up to an institution. I'm so happy to have 'Signing Times' because there is no doubt in my mind that she would not be using 30+ signs (I stopped counting) at 19 months if we did not have that. I'm glad that there are laws protecting my daughter's rights to inclusion in school and other places. There are, of course, a lot of places with vast room for improvement, but I am aware of all sorts of things that benefit her (and the people that love her) to be thankful for.

I'm also really glad to be in San Antonio. There are so many people here that are having children with Down syndrome and there are many, many more that have grown up knowing someone with it. I have seen very little prejudice against her in real life (except for the 'R' word). I'm so happy to live in a place where life is valued so much more than it seems it is in the rest of the US and world. I've read hundreds of birth stories and none were as good as mine. I did not encounter anyone in the hospital that showed anything less accepting of the bear cub than they did of the nerdlet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Costco Rules!

I am thankful for Costco. It sounds very superficial, I know. My nerdlet loves Costco. She has argued with my MIL that she wanted to go to Costco instead of the toy store. The other day she asked to go to Six Flags and when I told her that Six Flags was not open right now, she immediately asked, "Is Costco open?" We use it as a bribe, "If you take a nap, we'll go to Costco when you get up" and it works. We don't even have to buy anything. She goes to see the seasonal items (right now the Christmas lights and ornaments) and the flowers. She goes for the samples. I'm pretty sure she will eat anything given to her in a little paper cup. She likes to run through the cold room seeing what fruit and veggies they have. Today she was a little disappointed because they didn't have strawberries or broccoli.

I'm rather fond of Costco myself. When I'm not pregnant, I go on Tuesdays because that is when new books are released and they are discounted much higher at Costco than the bookstore. Q and I are rather fond of Adele's chicken sausages and they are much cheaper than at HEB. I probably wouldn't go as often if it wasn't so close (2 miles, if that), but I'm really glad they are.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Feminine Wiles

Yeah, I don't actually have any feminine wiles, but today I am thankful for being female. I'm not very traditionally feminine. I like computers and science and I am more than proficient with them. I can be very aggressive and intimidating. I walk quickly and not with a lot of grace. I'm more analytical than sensitive and less socially perceptive than most women. Yet, there are definite ways that I enjoy being a woman.

I'm most especially grateful that I get to be the mother. I'm thankful that I get to be the one that feels the babies moving inside. I like being able to wear skirts and dresses and soft satiny things and still be able to wear more masculine clothes without there being a stigma. I don't often wear make-up, high heels, or jewelry, but I love that I have the option. I like having soft skin despite not using products to help (though Q and I have a theory about that maybe being from the crazy and not from the being female). I like being able to multitask well (I know a lot of men are good at this, but on average women are better). I like that I can smile at almost anyone and be met with another smile and not fear or anxiety.

Also, it is particularly nice to be a woman in this time period, when we are not powerless and can make choices to be all or none of these things.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful for my Mom

I'm so very thankful for my mom. I'm especially thankful that at her age she is so youthful, energetic, and healthy. She's been coming down a lot to help me clean and get ready for the new baby and does so much more than just keeping my girls occupied. Today, my sciatic nerve has been giving me an abnormally hard time (thank you Nerdlet for struggling so much when having your hair brushed) and I've been fairly useless most of the afternoon. I'm also grateful that she is on a like mind of what I find acceptable for cleaning (not just organizing and doing a thorough job of what is being addressed). I've been so frustrated lately about trying to get it altogether and I'd likely be in tears today from not being able to finish. We're having a birthday party for the Nerdlet tomorrow and although it isn't spotless, it is certainly much more presentable than it would have been had Q and I been the only ones working on it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crafts and sewing

I'm so thankful that I live in a day and age where I so many arts and crafts are available to me. I love my sewing machine and my serger and my quilting machine. I love that I can play with fabric. I love that I can play with glass and paints and wood in so many ways.

I think of my grandmother who was very intelligent and creative, but she was born the eleventh of twelve children to a poor Mexican copper miner in Morenci, AZ, before it even became a state. She married young and had her first of fifteen children at age 16. Despite having to be a mother so young and to so many children, she still found a way to be creative with sewing by hand and crocheting. She would have loved to be able to play with half of the tools for creativity that I have stashed all over the house. She would have been amazed to see me toss a piece of my daughter's clothing in my sewing machine and embroider a flower on it in less than 10 minutes. My grandmother is the one that finally taught me to crochet after everyone else turned me down (attention span of a bumblebee, little social ability, and no sense doesn't really make for the ideal student, especially one that is still a child). I'm so grateful for her and the path that she led me down for it was the first of many crafts that have brought me joy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Facebook

One of the things that I'm really grateful for is the Down syndrome community and how wonderfully supportive they are in general. I'm really glad that I finally decided while looking for something to do while pumping milk for the bear cub was to join Facebook. The large majority of my facebook friends are parents of children with Ds. I also have a few friends that actually have Ds and they are an inspiration to me in regards to my bear cub. I learn so much about what is available in new research, what problems to prepare for when she starts school, what new toys or existing toys help are kids, and what books people have found most helpful. I also love that some of my friends are advocates like you couldn't believe. One particular individual posts links in regards to people with Ds daily, flies around the world as an advocate, and even dyed her hair pink to bring awareness to more people. I get the pleasure of seeing photos and videos of people enjoying life as they should and it brings such joy to me to view them.

Q was telling me that while listening to NPR he learned that a lot of people are blaming facebook and text messaging on breakups of their relationship. It is a tool that can be used for good or ill, and the Ds community certainly uses it for good. I think it should be obvious that if your significant other cheats on you and is using facebook or texting assist them, that the media isn't the cause. People tend to show their negative side more when they aren't face to face. Even within the Ds community you occasionally see negativity, but it is rare and not a lot of people I know get caught up in it. In general, in my life, the facebook Ds community has been a wonderful thing for me and the people that have welcomed me to view the pieces of their lives and share in the ups and downs of raising a child with Ds has immeasurable value. I can only hope that I give others reason to be grateful for this community, also.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The past

I'm grateful for my past and what it has made me. I've touched on this before, but even the bad things that have happened in my life have shaped me and help make me into a better person. It's particularly strong a feeling today because today is my dad's birthday and so I've been thinking a lot about him. I really think he is the reason that I am such a strong person. I know I would never condone his methods for child raising, which are more in tune with what would be used internment camps, but I do know that because of his influence I am a better, stronger person. I'm grateful for my first husband (short marriage that the Catholic church didn't even think was a real marriage) because Q and I would not have the wonderful marriage we do without my having the experience and growth from the former relationship. I'm grateful for my mom's family and their examples of acceptance and love through everything because they have shown me so much. I'm grateful for every little thing that has happened in my life and I wouldn't change a bit of it because I would never risk losing all the wonderful things in my life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankfulness Day 2

Today I'm especially grateful for my superb in-laws. Seriously, my in-laws are wonderful. They are helpful and patient. They are understanding of the nerdlet and my temperaments and that we are slightly different from the rest of the group. They have accepted me from the beginning (maybe too much so in some cases).

They have never given me or the bear cub any negativity towards the fact that she has an extra chromosome and have given lots of positivity. The most I have to complain about in regards to the trisomy is that maybe they aren't as big of advocates as they could be.

They understand that my girls and their cousins are the most important thing in our lives. They would never do anything actively to endanger them and they wouldn't allow anything to happen through their inaction. I also LOVE that they are willing to include Little Miss, my sister, R's daughter in this group.

I'm so lucky to have them and I only wish that my other family members, like my mom and sister could have been as lucky.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy for Good Pregnancies

I have a lot probably I could update on, but I'm just going to make a thankful post. I am thankful that my pregnancies have gone as well as they have. I know that a lot of Q's and my own family would think I'm nuts for thinking this, but it's true. My big fears for a bad pregnancy have been preeclampsia, months of forced bed rest, or a really early delivery of some sort, and I've had none of that or any horrible surprise issues. I've had people tell me that they have had the worst pregnancy for whatever reason, and both my husband and my MIL will disagree with them and list all my issues (some more personal than I would likely share), but I've really felt like the pregnancies haven't been that bad and I'm grateful for the superb doctors I have involved in my care.

That being said, I am not going to miss being pregnant at all and have a kind of wonder at people that have experienced pregnancies that allow them to feel this way.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Updates

I had my first 3rd trimester (29 weeks) appointment this week. Darth Baby is measuring at just over 3 pounds. Her kidneys are still mildly dilated, but everything else is still looking good. The technician said that she was too developed to see the three lines to show that she was a girl, but that she most definitely was.

I had a particularly good hand day recently (gestational Carpal Tunnel sucks) and decided to give the bear cub a hair cut.

Here are some before pictures:



And the after:


It's not perfect, but I think it is an improvement, and Q's comment was that it enhanced her cuteness.

A picture of the nerdlet in yet another costume:


And Misty comfortable in the bear cub's chair:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Confessions of a Mama of a girl with OCD

My nerdlet has a few OCD tendencies. I think every toddler/preschooler has some, but my oldest has quite a few and some weird ones. For example, she won't go #2 and #1 in the same potty. She'll make you clean her potty before she goes again or she will sneak upstairs to use the other potty to finish. She did this even in diapers some and often would do the second function as soon as you changed her.

I've been told on a number of occasions by different professionals (therapists, doctors, teachers, etc.) to curb these because allowing them this young would only make them worse later on. I mostly try to do so. Some, like the potty issue, I don't know how to as I can't force her to go in the same potty and she can hold her need longer than I can. Others I'll admit are awfully convenient. She likes to clean the baseboards in the kitchen and will often beg me for a Lysol wipe to do so. I cannot pull out a wipe without her asking for one to clean something with.

I can actually tell how the day is going to go for the nerdlet in the morning by how much her compulsive tendencies show when she first gets up. The first thing she does on most mornings is collect all her ponies in a backpack to bring downstairs. She will also bring Mango, her flamingo. She always brings Mango and most mornings she will make sure she has at least her favorites of the ponies. This morning, she did not bring her ponies downstairs and I was sure that I was wrong about my theory because when I started listing the days activities, I got a lot of yelling 'no' and even an 'I need a break.'. Today, however, went extremely well despite the fact that we had a new therapist come to the house and a few activities out of the house. She actually did amazingly well and had her best Kindermusik day yet. On the one hand, my nerdlet's idiosyncrasies can be quite hard to deal with some days (especially if I'm having a bad day of my own), but on the other, I am glad that she gives me her own warning of the day that she is going to give me.

I sure do love this little girl and I hope that I don't end up turning her into a little version of the character Monk.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Terima kasih

'Terima kasih' is the Indonesian word for 'Thank you'. I have a good friend that I met in January of 1992 that taught me this and a few other words and phrases (only the polite forms, even for 'drop dead'). She is the nerdlet's godmother and one of a few friends that I have that I have been close to for almost two decades. I'm so grateful for her and the other long-term wonderful friends that I have in my life. I have also been lucky recently to have come back into contact with friends I knew from over two decades ago. I'm not someone that makes friends easily or that needs a lot of friends in my life, but the friends that I do have I cherish and I really cherish the quality of our friendships. Thanksgiving is and almost always has been my favorite holidays for a number of reasons and in the spirit of the upcoming event, I'm going to try to be more aware of specific things I'm appreciative of and not just the gratitude for how blessed I am in what I have in general.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month & Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The chances of a person with Down syndrome having breast cancer is up to 25 times less than the general population. The chances of a person that has been pregnant with a child that has Ds is up to 25 times greater. So it is especially important for mothers to get regular breast exams and mammograms!

A lot of people that I know are participating in 31 for 21, which is where they are blogging everyday in October about Down syndrome to bring awareness. I look forward to their posts, but I've decided that it's really not for me. I do plan on sharing a bit about Ds and also breast cancer as both causes are dear to my heart - Ds because of my beautiful, perfect bear cub and breast cancer because my mom is a breast cancer survivor and also because there have been a few in my life that have passed away from breast cancer.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freaky Friday

This actually happened last night and not today. We needed fresh food really badly because all day yesterday the nerdlet was requesting produce I didn't have: blueberries, carrots, celery, apples, strawberries, bell pepper, and bananas. On top of that I had run out of other staples for my gestational diabetes diet, such as bread with 8 grams of carb per slice, sliced cheeses, and eggs. Because Q (formally P, but he has been upgraded) has been working so much lately at home after long days at work, we didn't have time for either eating at home or a sit down meal. We stopped at Taco Cabana for dinner. As we were leaving this lady in her mid-20s pushed her way around me and then slowed down as she passed Q so that she could look into the stroller. She really stopped for a few seconds and examined our girls for a few seconds before continuing to her car. It was very bizarre because she never looked at Q or me and she didn't smile at the girls at all. Q joked that she was evaluating the price our kids would fetch on the black market.

On an unrelated note, Taco Cabana's fajitas were great for my blood sugar numbers. I didn't eat the rice or beans but had two tortillas packed with pico de gallo, peppers & onions, and the meat (one with beef, one with chicken) but was still expecting my numbers to be high because most tortillas are really bad when it comes to raising your numbers, but I had one of my lowest after dinner meals numbers this pregnancy. Also, even though the menu says there is enough for 1-2, there is enough to feed 3 of me and 4 of my MIL. Next time I will definitely add an order of guacamole to my order as I thought they came with it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Revelations

2 things about me:

I thought I would fight growing old and did not plan on doing it gracefully. I had every intention of keeping my hair dyed and looking young forever (based on the fact that my mom doesn't wrinkle and I don't seem to be aging at the same pace as everyone else. However, I'm super paranoid pregnant women that doesn't dye her hair and during these last two pregnancies because of this I have a bit of silver that has crept in to my very dark brown hair. Here's the weird part - I love it. Seriously, I'm really enjoying the twinkle of it in my hair. I'm also glad it is that luxurious silver that my mother has and not a dull gray. It is like tinsel for my head.

When I was young, my favorite show was 60 minutes. I had a huge crush on Andy Rooney. I remember in second grade when all the little girls were talking about either Bo Duke or Chachi, I barely knew who they were, but I could always tell you what Andy's latest rant was about. Just so you know, he started giving his spiels on 60 minutes when we was already 59.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm so very grateful that the nerdlet thinks that the bear cub is her best friend. She tells me and the bear cub this all the time. My mom's response was to ask if she knows what this means. Later I watched as she looked out the sliding glass doors at my mom's two cats loving on each other and saying that they were best friends. She knows that she loves her sister a lot. She misses her when she goes up to see my mom without her sister (when the bear cub is sick). The nerdlet misses her sister when the bear cub is napping or out of the room and anxiously asks about her if she doesn't know where she is. She makes sure to give the bear cub hugs and kisses good night before she goes to bed each night. There are definite times when she wants the bear cub out of her way, such as when Daddy is holding her or the bear cub climbs into a fort the nerdlet made for herself, but there doesn't seem to be any rivalry or jealousy about it. I hope these two loving girls have an easy time of making room for Darth Baby in their club.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The nursery

Here are two views of the girls' room now that it contains the three cribs. It's a good thing that it's such a big room.


Friday, September 10, 2010

What is it that I love about dressing my kids up?

I found lighter costumes at Sams today for $11.88, so I bought 4. The nerdlet was really scared of them in the store and kept trying to get me to put them back, but I figured I would just use them on the bear cub. When I got them out to put them on the bear cub, the nerdlet decided to try them out instead.






Warming up to the idea?



"Roar!" says the bear cub.

"Let me help you with your hat, Bear Cub."


"I'm all done now, Mom."


"Daddy, I fly now. Get up!"

After these pictures she made me and her daddy continue to undress and redress her in the various costumes. I'm making a dress up chest for them to play in.

I'm constantly amazed at how much my girls love each other.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010