Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1, 2, 3, 4, I declare it Bed Wars

Holy bed-war Batman, it's been hellish out here at night.

Between an unscheduled week off school from snow and me down for the count with a stomach bug, Little Man has had some serious backsliding with bedtime.  In all honesty, it isn't really even backsliding so much as a new way he's circumventing our attempts to keep his diaper on at night - but it is really awful.  Awful to the point where last night I was in tears, and that was just after one incident.  The night before we had 3, count 3 separate outfit changes and cleanups.  That means 3 attempts at scrubbing the carpet and checking for ick, 3 pajama sets in the washer, 6 new pieces of duct tape to try and keep his diaper on, and 1 big load of nasty laundry.  And poor Vegas was just being a normal baby and had a couple up-the-backs which meant a whopping 5 nasty diapers in less than 2 hours.  Sesame Street has nothing on how much counting I've been doing lately.

I'm just beyond frustrated because there doesn't seem to be light at the end of this tunnel. I am upset that I find this whole situation so overwhelming that sometimes I just snap or cry at Hubs because otherwise I would be fighting with a little boy who can't fight back.  There is no logic in being angry at Little Man, because even as you're sitting there using the mom-voice-of-disappointment, he is humming and laughing in his own little world.  Yelling at him doesn't work either.  He'll cry for a minute because he's startled by the noise, and then once the yelling is done he's back to himself.  And I just get even more upset at myself because yelling at him seems just mean and useless when it is so clear he has no idea why I'm yelling.  So most nights its just another tired "Buddy why did you do this again?"... then we tag-team cleaning up the mess and the kid.
I cannot wait for this stage to be past us.  I cannot wait for a solution to appear to this crazy problem.

Besides Little Man's bed issues, Baby Vegas is going through his own sleep problems.  Nothing major, he is just suddenly much more restless at night and wakes up searching for his pacifier every two hours or so.  It just means one of us has to walk in, give him the binky and a pat on the belly, and he's back to sleep.  This has only been the last 3 or 4 nights, so I'm thinking it's teeth or a growth spurt.  Again, it's not anything to complain about but combined with the fact that Little Man's diapers are making us insane it's been a little rough here at night.

So please forgive my yawns - this war is slow and seems neverending.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Average Birthday

I wasn't expecting much out of my birthday this year.  It fell on a Monday, and that just seemed gloomy already. Being an adult means doing stupid adult things on your birthday too, so I scheduled a well-visit for Little Man knowing full well I'd have to bring Vegas along for the ride. But I honestly wasn't expecting the day to be as chaotic as it was...
We wake up bright and early - Vegas had gone to bed an hour earlier so he is up and ready to play at 6:30 AM.  Little Man is also up and had a late night diaper so he gets tossed into the tub for a morning swim.  By the time he leaves for school at 8:30, he has managed to exhaust himself with a 20 minute tantrum while waiting for the bus.  I just keep wiping the tears and his nose with a towel and waving to the cars as they pass our driveway.  I toss him to the bus para with a cheery "Someone has a case of the Mondays!" and think that was that.

We are out of breakfast food so I scarf down a fruit cup and 1/4 cup of coffee while I give Vegas his bath.  Then it is time to call Medicaid to make sure Little Man is cleared for his visit.  56 minutes of beautiful elevator music later, I am told that I called the wrong number, and to try another.  Efffffff.  But hey, I manage to put together a pot roast for dinner that night while on hold!

Of course then I realize that I am going out to dinner with my mother that night. Pot roast is already cooking.  Oh well.  I guess Tuesday's dinner is done.

Then I finally reach the proper number for Little Man's health insurance.  I didn't need to call them. I throw the phone in disgust.  Thank you Otterbox for your brilliant phone-saving design.

I play some phone tag with mother and Hubs to set up birthday dinner.  Already so exhausted I don't feel like going out that evening. But it's my goddamn birthday.  Plans are made.

My turn for a shower.  Then I have just enough time to do the dishes before I gather up Vegas and a bag full of necessities to pick up Little Man from school.

Little Man is waiting for me in the office, half-asleep with dark circles under his eyes. He falls asleep the minute we get in the car.  Then I realize I've given us too much time to get from the school to the doctor.  I decide that dieting isn't as important as I thought.  I scarf down a 'lunch' of fries hoping that Little Man won't wake up and demand half of them.

I strap Vegas in his Ergo and Little Man in the too-small umbrella stroller.  The diaper bag of snacks and DVDs goes on my shoulder. I have to tilt the stroller so Little Man is lying flat and he won't drag his feet on the ground and tip out. I drop both the diaper bag and Little Man's shoes on the way in to the office. Twice.

I race into the doctor's office.  Little Man is transferring to Vegas' pediatrician for my sanity and to put less mileage on our cars.  His former pediatrician was in the city 2 1/2 hours away.  I could never get in touch with her, not to mention that "dropping in" for a quick visit was never possible.

New Doc refuses to care for Little Man without approval from Old Doc.  I calmly explain that Old Doc is missing, presumed dead (or transferred to her specialty, going to a clinic meant they were just biding time til they left to make the big bucks).  Frazzled and confused secretary then suggests that maybe I can call them to transfer records?  Of course when I set up this appointment 2 months ago, I was told to "just bring an insurance card and the patient."  I don't have their number in my phone.  Maybe I can call the school for his records, since they have a copy too?  As I pull out my phone to look up the number, it dies. Phone revenge. Hubs has misplaced my car-charger so it is dead until I get home in several hours.  Little Man will not be seen today, sorry.

I decide this visit will not be in vain.  After some shuffling, Vegas can be seen today, and Little Man will take his appointment tomorrow.  Brilliant.  I just have to pick him up early from school again, and repeat this part of the day tomorrow. I am tired just thinking about it.

Our visit is pretty routine. Vegas has a horrible eczema patch on his face that has been bugging him for several days.  If by bugging him, I just have been avoiding taking photos of that side of his face, while he continues to be the world's happiest baby.  Doc wants that taken care of with steroid cream, which I inform him will not be happening. He seems displeased but I don't have the time to care. We breeze through immunizations and then an extra head measurement, because of my paranoia.  Each time he goes in for a well-visit both the doctor and the nurse measure his head, because of Little Man's medical history.  They think I'm neurotic, but I don't really care.  

Suddenly he informs me that Vegas' head is now "too big".  It used to be on the smaller side, then it was average, and now it is above-average on the growth charts.  Good ole' Doc is slightly absentminded, and he doesn't remember why I like the extra head measurements, so as he is saying this I am running through scenarios in my head.  He lists off a bunch of things that a big head might mean, from the mundane to the H-word, and what to look for in Vegas.  When I mention Little Man's history again, he whips out his tape measure and starts comparing my head to Vegas'.  He measures Vegas' head again too. My head is average sized, his head is still above-average.  Now I am instructed to take the tape measure home and hope that Hubs has a huge head.

I hold it together until we're home, and then I bawl.  Baby Vegas is practically perfect in every way.  He is alert, happy, reaching his milestones, and really freakin' cute.  I cannot imagine there is something wrong with him.  I know in my heart that whatever could be wrong, it isn't Little Man all over again.  It would be different.  Right?  I allow myself some time to freak out until Hubs gets home from work and I tell the story to him.  To him, I remain calm and slightly detached and try to think positive thoughts.  I don't know if it works so well, but there is no time to dwell on it, because we have 30 minutes to get the kids in the car to go to BIRTHDAY DINNER.

I have sangria.  I get a new kitchen appliance. Things start to look a little brighter.  I have a second sangria and some coconut cream pie and things are downright cheery.  Little Man is polite during dinner because there is a loaf of bread on the table.  Vegas sleeps through the entire meal because his shots wore him out. Then we cuddle him and coo over how adorable he is through dessert, and Little Man watches his portable DVD player with his eyes half-shut holding onto Hubs' arm like a pillow.

My birthday is over, and I couldn't be happier to crawl into bed that night.

In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't the worst birthday in the world.  The time my mother scheduled my wisdom tooth removal the morning after my 21st was definitely worse.  The year I was grounded and missed seeing 'Titanic' with the rest of my friends was emotionally devastating (until I was un-grounded and saw it the week after).  This year I guess it just didn't live up to the hype of being a special day 'just for me'.  Which is the moral of parent/adulthood I suppose - it's not all about you all the time, even when you think it's gonna be all about you.  

On the bright side, I did manage to celebrate the weekend before my birthday with some great friends, and the weekend of the 18th I will celebrate with my sorority sisters and family! My phone and Facebook were filled with amazing people wishing me well and keeping me positive! Things also fell into place the next day which made the day before seem less intense.  Instead of trying to do the doctor's appointment with both kids in tow, my brother-in-law watched the baby while I took care of Little Man.  Then Hubs took care of the house and kids while I went to play practice and had my "me-time".  We even had dinner already prepared because of the pot roast from the day before!

At Little Man's appointment (which was uneventful, for a nice change of pace) we found out that Hubs' head is also average and so if at Vegas' next monthly checkup things don't look more average, he will go see a specialist at Children's Hospital.  While the doctor didn't give me a resounding "things will be fine", he also assured me that Vegas doesn't seem to exhibit any symptoms of neurological problems and this is just a precaution.

So Happy Birthday to me!  The only present I want is a kid with an average sized head.  Send me your good karma, and I'll put it towards a good cause. I'm staying away from Google and WebMD for the next few weeks, and going to relax and enjoy my amazing little guy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Welcome to the New Year! Wrapping up the old one first...

Well it has definitely been a minute or two since I have had a chance to update the blog.  Life has certainly not been dull around here, so I will do my best to make this as concise and interesting as possible!  I'll try to start from where we left off...

Our wedding anniversary dinner in November had the tiniest little hiccup to it.  Ex had promised to pick up Little Man for an overnight visit.  I reminded him multiple times that he needed to be at pickup by 2:00 PM at the latest, so we could make sure we made our dinner reservations.  Somehow between 10:15 PM and the next morning, his car broke down, he lost his phone, and was unable to contact me in any fashion til 3:30 PM.  To say I was livid would probably be abusing the word livid.  In true Ex fashion, he wasn't able to form an apology - but he had plenty of excuses. He insisted that we wait for him to come get Little Man, which would have put pick up time at around 6:00 PM.  Yeah, that wasn't happening.  This was the straw that broke the camel's back for me (and Hubs wisely lets me deal with Ex solo).  We'd given him so many chances over the past year and he just kept letting us down over and over again.  I said some not-so-nice things on the phone to him and told him to get his life together and contact us again when that happened.

That was November 16th and we haven't heard from him since.  No Christmas wishes, no New Years greeting - he has just vanished.  We got a check for $100 he mailed a day after the phone call, but even with that check it puts him behind in child support by 4 digits.  At this point, Hubs and I are just so exhausted with the lies and the excuses that this is almost a relief. While the occasional babysitting was nice (5 times in 8 months), it wasn't worth the amount of work we had to put in to ensure Ex saw Little Man.  I'm not sure what his plans are and whether or not he wants to continue to be in Little Man's life, but at this point if he walks away we aren't planning on chasing him down.

Whew.  So that was a heavy first topic!  Moving on to more fun things - December was jam-packed with activity!  Hubs began his 2 1/2 week vacation by driving us all 16 hours up to my grandparents in Wisconsin!  My grandfather had a pacemaker put in days before we went out, so it was wonderful to get to see him and be assured that he was doing well.  He adores the boys (us grandkids are pretty much chopped liver when the new baby is in the room) and was tickled that we spent a few days with them.  My grandmother has pretty bad Alzheimers so while she enjoyed seeing us too, she was very confused a lot of the time. We spent two days there with my mother and sister and had some great family-bonding time.

The boys are adorable.  The afghans are older than all 3 of them.
Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without a plague of some sort - so Little Man brought some sort of snuffly/coughy/sinus thing from his kindergarten class and passed it around to everyone except Hubs.  That meant not only was everyone cranky and tired for the drive home, but I was utterly useless.  So the drive took much longer and was broken into two parts.  Little Man doesn't sleep in hotels very well, so that was a nightmare within the nightmare.  Lets just say we mostly used the hotel to stretch our legs, because no one was sleeping.
The calm before the storm.
Once we got back, it was almost Christmas!  My mother and sister came down and spent Christmas Eve here, where we did our annual beer tasting and dinner.  I was so excited because last year I had to miss out on all the fun (read; alcohol), and this year I was very ready to relax and have a great night after our hellish drive home.  My sister even cooked dinner, so it was really one of my favorite parts of Christmas. 
Now I'm craving lasagna again.

We got through 2/3 of these and then someone fell asleep feeding the baby so we called it a night.
Don't worry, we had the rest a few days later.

Christmas Day was spent with my Hubs family, which was extra awesome because they live so close to us. His mom cooked (I cannot believe I got out of cooking anything this year!) and then we just relaxed and enjoyed the holiday.  

[Well, Little Man had a bath midway through the evening, but luckily it was after dinner and presents, and it was just family around for that little disaster.  The diaper problem has since been solved, albeit very unconventionally.  Duct tape on the legs of a footie pajama put on backwards with the feet cut off.  It is the only thing working for us right now.  We have several brightly colored rolls of tape to match his pajamas, and we put the tape loosely around the ankle so it keeps him from being able to pull up the pajama leg any higher than his calf.  He still tugs at the diaper but now it can't really be released from the pajama itself, so even in the rare case that he gets it off most of the mess is contained within his pajamas.  Not an ideal solution, but a solution.]

So Christmas came and went, and we were all spoiled rotten.  Of course the boys got everything their little hearts desired, despite Mommy and Daddy only getting them one gift each.  Between grandparents, great-grandparents, and god-parents, these kids will never go naked, hungry, or be bored.  Hubs and I can't complain either - I was so touched at how much thought all our families put into our gifts.  We both said that after this year it will be hard to top the gift we found for our mothers - we made them photo blankets with a collage of the last few years of our family.  I couldn't wait to watch them open them on Christmas and was so close to spilling the beans about them early - luckily UPS made sure they didn't arrive too early and so I was spared having to keep them a secret for too long!

We spent the rest of Hubs vacation partying with friends, having our first New Years Eve as a family, and lazing around the house watching Redbox and Netflix.  Our resolution this new year is to eat more dinners at our table (instead of on the couches in front of the tv), and we've managed to do that... once!  We'll keep trying though.  I also auditioned for a local production of "The Wedding Singer" and received the role of Holly, so these next few months I plan to viciously attack the treadmill and get back on the clean-eating wagon.  One of her lines is about wearing "my skin tight bustier."  Yikes!

On that note, I leave you with Little Man's holiday photos.  I got some taken at Target too but haven't picked them up yet - whoops!  Even though he is such a happy baby, I seem to always catch him being so serious.  Most of our friends have nicknamed him "The Judge-y Baby"... and I'm thinking that might stick.  Happy New Year!
I actually took this because I was laughing at how many people do this pose because of Pinterest.
Then I fell in love with the photo.
Hypocrite.  I can't even apologize, because I like it so much.

This is my favorite Christmas photo ever. Feet.