Thursday, March 7, 2013

15 months ... Mind. Blown. Seriously.

I love his expression here... "Yeah... you know I'm cute."
So. Fifteen Months. Yup, you read that right.  JJ is fifteen months old, has been for about two weeks.

And I am daily beset by that stunned feeling of "Wait... when did that happen????"

Because this kid is smart, y'all, I mean so smart it's just a little bit scary. And awesome. Watching as he explores and pokes and experiments, you can actually see him working stuff out, and it is the coolest damn thing I have ever experienced in my life.

Every single day he does something completely new.  Just lately he added the sign for "Diaper" to his working vocabulary, and is letting me know when he would like a change. He's decided that walking is awesome, and running looks even awesome-er... though he hasn't quite tried it yet! (YET being the operative word there.) He has (FINALLY) started to grasp that "JJ, no touch" or "No, sweetheart, not for JJ" isn't something to melt down over, it just means that whatever he's got his hand on isn't for him to play with. He even obeys and leaves it alone... most of the time.

He's SOOO big now... remember these pictures?

Yeah... 'bout that.

I would dearly love to get my hands on the sadistic excuse for a fairy godmother that decided now was a good time for JJ to start working on his 2-year molars.  Why?  Because after nearly two months of sleeping for almost 12 hours straight at night, we're back to this:


And by constantly, I mean there is no point wearing a top to bed, because if I waste the three seconds it takes to make the girls available, he wakes up, screams at me for being slow, and then refuses to go back to sleep. Much easier to simply leave the milk-bar ready and waiting.  During the day it's a bit easier, there's stuff to distract him with, but at night? Yeah, the no-limit wee-hours milk bar is back in play for the time being, because otherwise I would not be getting ANY sleep.

Oh, hey... remember this?

Well, now it's this:

And he has figured out that the dust pile is for sweeping, not sitting in... mostly.

This is one of his favorite games, you should hear the giggles.


We're just getting started on the whole "potty chair" concept... 
at least he's figured out that THIS is for sitting on!

The reward, though, for the sleep deprivation and endless trying of my patience is the smiliest, giggliest, most curious and determined little critter I've ever known.

Gotta love that face!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reboot: Day One

So, I'm home. I'm sore, but doing okay. JJ had a rough go of bedtime last night. I tried for almost two hours, John finally had to come in and take over, and that did not help my mommy-heart at all.  Naptime today was a slightly different story... he did go to sleep for me, even though he fussed and flipped over when I slid out of the bed.  Hopefully letting him nurse completely on demand for a while will reverse the damage done to my supply while I was in the hospital. I pumped, I swear. It was the first thing I asked for when they admitted me. I set alarms on my computer and dragged myself up out of the drug haze every three hours.  I still lost a lot of supply and JJ is less than pleased with the current availability. I'm hoping he'll be determined enough to suckle until my body figures out that the demand has returned.

I'm doing okay with food. Last night was really light fare, broth, toast, yogurt, hot tea. Today I'm venturing into salad, fruit, and pretzel rods. No problems so far, but it has been firmly impressed upon me that the concept of portion control is my new best friend. I've got some serious mental retraining to do... no longer can I eat until I'm full (because by that point we've been at the table about 20 minutes too long anyhow), but I need to learn to stop when I'm just "not hungry anymore".  So yeah... NO MORE EXCUSES. (Thaaaaaat would be JJ playing with Mommy's caps lock button... it has a green light which he finds utterly fascinating.)

The good news is, since my last actual doctor's appointment (almost a month ago), I've lost thirteen pounds.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

(Yes, I know that the vast majority of that is most likely due to having an organ removed and sitting on my butt in the hospital not eating for a week. Shush. Don't ruin my moment. :P)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Warning, Happy Drugs In Use


So this rapidly got too long for a FB status, but people wanted to know how I was doing.

For those who missed the memo: the constant excruciating back pain I've been whinging about for the last four to five months morphed into excruciating abdominal pain and vomiting on Saturday morning. It didn't let up, and after twelve hours of not keeping anything (ANYTHING) down, we came to the ER, and I've been in the hospital since Saturday night. Turns out? Gallstones, blockage of the bile duct. Surgical fix, but a relatively simple one now that they know what's actually the problem.

Emotionally, I'm a mess. I miss my baby. John brought JJ in to see me yesterday after his appointment (poor baby got a couple of shots), and all JJ wanted to do was sit on my lap and nurse. Which, thankfully, his doctor and mine both said was okay, because I was getting seriously baby-bonding deprived. John is being an awesome amazing rock star daddy about maintaining JJ's usual routine as much as possible, and JJ isn't giving him too much trouble about going to sleep and so forth. They brought me a decent quality breast pump, so I've been able to maintain my supply while I'm here, and while tired and kinda wrung out, emotionally there's nothing going on that a night in my own bed with my husband at my back and my son in my arms won't fix.

Physically, that's a different story. Two days in a row the same nurse blew off my requests for pain control for nearly an hour. And no, I wasn't early... it had been over 18 hours since I'd even asked for any, I was largely pain free most of yesterday, but started to hurt in the evening and called for meds at about 8:30. By the time she finally brought the morphine last night, it was 9:15, I was curled up in a ball and crying, and it didn't work. I told her half an hour later it wasn't working. I told her an hour after the dose that it wasn't working, and asked her to call the doctor. She blew me off again, even though I was back to shivering and fighting tears at that point.

Then shift change hit, and last night it was extra crazy and the new nurse (who was lovely, btw) didn't get to me until after 12:30a. So of course that dose of morphine didn't do much either, knocked it back some but not nearly enough to let me sleep. This nurse, however, paid attention when I told her it wasn't working. She called the doctor, got me switched to something stronger, and stayed right on top of things. She stuck her head in every time she passed my room to let me know where things stood, even when she was busy, and as soon as the order came through from the pharmacy at 2 she brought it so I could get some sleep. She also stood there and held my hand and listened while I bawled for a few minutes and got the upset out of my system as the drugs kicked in, so that helped a lot too.

So now I'm back on whichever drug it was they gave me in the ER. It makes me dizzy as hell, and I'm typing lying down because I get sick if I'm upright. I'm out of it enough to tell random orderlies that they're "cute", babble endlessly at whomever stands still long enough to catch my attention, and my skin ITCHES, but it *is* a damn near total pain-kill. My daytime nurse is wonderful, and she's in charge of assignments for this evening, so she's promised I'll get somebody else tonight.

In other news: there's a procedure this morning that I understand, but I'm too fuzzy to explain, and then either tonight or tomorrow morning they're going to remove my gallbladder. Barring complications, I should be home tomorrow night or Thursday, up and around Friday/Saturday, and done being sore by the middle of next week.

Then I get to have the awesome fun of figuring out how to accommodate the change in how my body digests food. Fun times, right?  *shrug* I need to lose weight anyway. I have decided consider this my body refusing to let me have any more excuses.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ah, the bliss...

The day we left the hospital with JJ, I was wheeled out with that tiny, perfect little creature sleeping in my arms, and a total stranger took it upon herself to shatter my moment with a snarked "You'll sleep again... someday." Hyuck hyuck.  

JJ slept wonderfully last night. Went to bed after his bath, was out cold by quarter past 7, and barely stirred when Daddy and I came to bed at 10:30. We did a dream-feed, and he didn't wake me up again until 6!  GO, my little man, GO!!!

And today? He has, at this moment, been asleep for 110 minutes straight and still going. Not a peep. After two weeks of having to be nursed back down mid-nap, this is bliss.  Utter bliss.

Of course, it probably just means he's done cutting this particular tooth and the next one will start being a problem by Monday at the latest. LOL

But in the meanwhile, I am enjoying the energy level that comes with a full night's sleep, and the ability to get stuff done during a solid nap.

Do y'all know what I got done in the last 110 minutes? Laundry. Dishes. Tidied up the living room. Solo potty break. Paid the bills (that's right, ALL of the bills for February are p.a.i.d. PAID.) Ate a hot meal in peace.  Oh, right... and posted here!

That's what my son did for me today. And he's only 14 months old. He has never been left to cry alone, he's never been scheduled, he just is who he is and sleeps well when he's comfortable, fed, clean, and happy, just like us grown folks. Take THAT, snarky hospital stranger lady. :P Put that in your experiential cynicism and smoke it. HAH!!

In other news, we got our taxes filed, and discovered that we'll be getting enough in our refund to buy JJ his mattress and make up for John's lost hours through March, longer if he can find a different job that is willing to accommodate his class schedule.  One huge sigh of relief, lemme tell ya.  Soon as that refund hits, we are hitting the mattress store and getting one wiggly 25 pound toddler-boy his own dang bed.  It's going right in alongside ours for now, but the point is that everybody will have plenty of room to sleep comfortably again.  (Though I somehow suspect that I'm still going to wake up with JJ's head buried in my armpit!)

One of these days... I'm going to figure out how to get our with-holdings set up just right so Uncle Sam gets exactly what he's entitled to and no more, and funnel what would normally have been taken into a savings account so it makes money for US throughout the year. Don't laugh, it can be done, my momma did it, and I am GOING to figure it out.

*sigh* Maybe I'll take that H&R Block class after all...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Epic Cuteness Brought to You by Naptime

After chasing this little monster out of the bedroom (he snuck in while I was grabbing pictures), I bring you...

Epic Cuteness

 After falling asleep HARD come nap time, little mister stirred and cried less than an hour in. *shudder*  Trust me, this child needs 90 minutes at a bare bones minimum, 2 hours is a lot better, so you'd best bet I scrambled right in there!

(Oh, the pack&play in the background? Yeah, that's no longer his bed, as of about a week ago. I couldn't handle lifting twenty-five pounds of toddler in and out of that thing anymore!)

Apparently scrambling has its advantages. He was looking directly at me when I opened the door, smiled, and immediately lidded his eyes and waited for me to lay down with him.  Got him nursing, and he was asleep again in under 5 minutes.  SCORE, right?  Wait for it, it gets better.

That raised arm? As he was drifting back to sleep, JJ grabbed my free hand, moved it to his hair and held it there until I started finger-combing those gorgeous soft waves. Then he wrapped both of those little arms around mine and laid there and suckled until he slipped off again.

I might just have to melt into a little puddle of gooey sappy OMG-how-is-my-heart-not-exploding toddler-love.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What is it with the Mommy Warriors lately??

Geez-o-freakin' Pete. Did something happen on a national/global scale to set off moms and set us at each others' throats that I don't know about? Is it Global PMS Week and nobody told me? Because in the last week I've been verbally assaulted by no less than three separate Mommy Warriors, three distinct conversations on totally unrelated topics that swung into left field without warning, descending to the maturity level of a seventh grade cat-fight before I knew what was happening.  Venomous, hateful things have been said to me this week, assumptions from people who know me only by my internet presence and memories fifteen years into yesterday.

Moms who earn money outside the home. Moms who earn money from home. Moms who care for their children and keep a household running.  Dads in each of the above.  Parents who are blessed enough to have both jobs at home so they can raise their kids together.

We all work, people.

I am the first to admit that I can't do what a lot of earning parents do.  I cannot do your jobs. The challenges and difficulties of the wage-earning world you inhabit are beyond me. There are various reasons for this, but first among them is a physical disability that makes it impossible to be on my feet for more than an hour or so without prescription-level painkillers. That reality already taken me uncomfortably close to dependency issues that I never want to see again. Otherwise, trust me, we would be a two-income household before you could spit.

But my earning parent friends, acquaintances and so on? I'd be willing to bet a year's mortgage money that all y'all couldn't cope with my challenges and difficulties either.  And no, I'm not going to detail my day so that the small-minded may nit-pick and shame and criticize, because they will do so anyway. 

The point I am trying to make is that all parents work, and all parents work HARD.  Whether your job requires a uniform, a tie, a cash register, a desk, a gun, or sneakers and a willingness to play innumerable rounds of peekaboo and repeat "use your signs, not your teeth" on an endless loop, we all work our asses off to do the best we can by our families.

Shockingly, sometimes that includes turning to Uncle Sam for a little help, because in case y'all didn't notice, the bottom fell out of the economy. Not gonna get into those details either, for the same reason as before, but yes, we receive WIC, a small amount of food stamps, and Medicaid. This insures that we do not starve, and can get to a doctor instead of joining the uninsured masses clogging the ERs when someone gets sick.  That's it. No utility help, no housing vouchers, no plasma screens or new cars.  We pay our own bills, and what we have, we take care of and treat with respect, because we can't afford to replace things if they break or wear out prematurely, so our clothes fit well and our car is damage-free and clean.

We garden, fish, and hunt to supplement our budget, and spend precious dollars on a Sam's Club membership so that I can buy supplies twice a year and bake our own bread cheaper than buying it. I live on the computer because I spend my day writing articles and taking surveys to bring in enough to take a bill or two off John's shoulders, all while watching my active toddler in the living room that is set up as a giant playpen so he can roam in relative safety while I work. Once I manage to order a copy of my birth certificate (the fee has proven difficult to hold aside) and get my in-state driver's license, I'll be going to the blood bank twice a week to donate plasma, since it's not close enough to walk without jacking up my ability to move the next day. My evenings after JJ goes to sleep are spent searching for a job I can physically handle, that pays enough to actually make a difference after accounting for childcare. We have a plan, and we're making progress, but it has been about 15 months hard slog, and we're not out of the woods yet. And I defy anyone to step into our lives, with all the complexities and challenges intact, and do better.

The point, I guess, is that I am mortally sure I cannot handle your job, and I'm equally certain that you can't cope with mine. Your world would drive me quite noisily mad, and mine would doubtless send folks screaming into the night. That's why you are you and I am me. We are each where we belong, doing the jobs for which we are best suited, and if that's not always the case, it is up to each of us to change our own realities, not snipe and sneer and cut each other down for not being all the same.

When you catch yourself judging, take a breath, challenge your assumptions, grant that all may not be as it seems, and mind your own business.  And that goes for me too.

Okay, this wasn't at ALL the blogging re-entry I had planned, but... *shrug*

Because that was all kinda heavy and pointed, I close with a photo bomb... :) JJ's getting BIG these days, and cute as ever.  The feet are still huge, the smile still infectious (and now it contains teeth!), and the laughter still entrancing.  Enjoy!

He loves to spin...

This would be why the coffee table is now a toddler-sized window-seat.

The pack & play, otherwise affectionately known as "baby jail".  

He's still fascinated by his own image when I turn on the webcam... *grins wickedly* Oh, the wealth of photographic evidence of his baby cuteness I am accumulating to share with future romantic interests...

Mittens is the newest addition to our family, he was the runt of a litter that was abandoned in our yard last fall.  He and JJ play together constantly, and the giggles are abundant. :)

The Rock'nStack, which he figured out and promptly hid all but two of the rings in fifteen minutes flat. We often dig them out from under the couches, but can never find all 5 at once.

I put these overalls on him for the first time about two weeks ago, and they are OFFICIALLY the cutest darned thing he owns.

This is not a box.

And this one... well, seriously, look at that face!!