Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She's sick, sick, sick

Well, Baby Girl is sick for the first time... she's been increasingly congested over the last few days and running a very low grade fever - always under 100, so no terrible ocncern - we keep her on infant Tylenol every 8-12 hrs...

Anyway, Monday night was rough, rough, rough; she was SO congested and really having trouble breathing! I was actually worried enough to consider taking her to the ER, but we got her to sleep and her breathing seemed to ease - though I COULD feel vibrations in her chest that I hoped were just referred from her upper airways... she's also coughing up some mucous, which is disconcerting for her!

We made it through the night and I called the pediatrician first thing yesterday morning and they had me bring her in. Much to my relief, the doc said her lungs were clear!! They did a blood count - had to stick her little finger and get a tube full of blood - and said it looked like a viral infection. Could be RSV, but that usually comes with a runny nose, which she definitely hasn't had. We decided to treat symptomatically and monitor her, then if her symptoms increase, we'll have to go to the hospital for an RSV test. I'm supposed to monitor her breathing rate and effort and call if she gets worse - or go into the ER if it's the middle of the night. Hopefully it won't come to that!!

All of our scheduling efforts have gone to pot as she is "requiring" additional attention; we're back to refusing to sleep unless being held, but with her being so sick, we don't feel that we can really put her down and let her cry - that really increases her mucous also!! Guess we'll have to start completely over once this illness passes!! Oh, joy...

Of course, there's so little you can treat an infant with - infant Tylenol for the fever, saline nose drops and bulb suction for the mucous; luckily she's kept her appetite so that's been no trouble! Little heifer has gained nearly 2 lbs in the last 2 weeks!!

Hopefully this will pass soon, before it kills US!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ugh! I feel awful!

Well, I am officially sick - whether I have what B has been fighting or something totally different, I feel awful. I'd been getting more and more congested over the last few days and then it seemed to hit me yesterday morning full force - severe congestion, sinus headache, cough, aches, chills.... I spent pretty much all day in bed.

Last night I was hardlly able to care for Baby Girl and B had to get up and help me every time she woke up... this morning he's a little out of sorts because he didn't get his requisite 6 hrs of uninterrupted sleep. For some strange reason, I feel a little bad about that, though I know that I shouldn't because I haven't had more than 3 hrs of continuous sleep in over 5 weeks now!!

She's been doing pretty well with the scheduling so far - she still wants to go right to sleep after eating, so we have to work to keep her awake, and she still cries when we put her down for a nap, but the duration and intensity are decreasing, so that's good. I guess she's going to be on the long end of the "average time it takes to retrain a baby"! Today is day 3 and we still have a ways to go...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wish I had gotten this book months ago!!

So, I went for an acupuncture appointment last Friday and was telling S how I'm totally worn down and how my milk supply is waning.... and she recommended that I get a book called Baby Wise and follow the suggestions to "schedule" Baby Girl so that she will be more predictable and maybe I can get some rest. I couldn't find it locally, had to order it from Amazon, but it finally arrived... it was easy to read and it felt as though they were talking about ME when they were describing the pitfalls of baby-directed feeding schedules, which we are definitely on!! Given that we were going to my mother's for Christmas Eve, we decided to wait until today to do anything about scheduling her - being realistic that this isn't going to be easy...

We started this morning - she is on a 2-1/2 hr schedule, the time being measured from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next; the routine is feeding - playtime/awake time - nap time. She refused to nap much at all today - spent a good part of the nap time crying, though we never let her get hysterical. If she cried for more than 10 minutes, one of us would pick her up, and love on her until she was nice and calm, then lay her back down. She would then nap, but only for a short time. I knew she had to be getting exhausted...

After her 5pm feeding, we had our "awake time" and then went for naptime about 6pm; after 10 minutes of crying, I comforted her and decided to swaddle her - something that we quit doing when she was about 1 wk old - wouldn't you know it, she went straight to sleep when I put her back in her crib and slept for 3 hours!! I had to wake her up to feed her at 9pm!! And even then, she never opened her eyes - she nursed and went right back to sleep. She's stirring now and squeaking, so she may get back up - we'll see... Hopefully today was the worst and tomorrow will only get easier!!

Guess I should comment on Christmas... we did the family Christmas Eve gift exchange at Mom and Dad's house. The boys got some toys and money, First Born mostly got clothes for his upcoming job, which was fine with him. He got his iPhone and that's the only thing he really wanted anyway - he's SO low maintenance, it's crazy... I got the last wise man for my Lladro nativity (!!) and a few other small things; M made us a dinner in a basket - shrimp cocktail, filet, twice-baked red potatoes, asparagus and chocolate cake - we had that tonight and it was wonderful!! Gama gave us $10,000!! I was NOT expecting that! (As a side note, we discussed it this morning and decided to put it into a "house fund" - we're going to look for some land and go ahead and purchase it, with the plan of building that house we've been contemplating within the next year or so. It all depends on the market, of course, because we still do have to sell this house.)

Last night was rough, and I slept precious little, so B took Baby Girl out of the room shortly before 7am so I could take a nap; he woke me at 9 -- the kids were chomping at the bit to get the gifts open. Actually, I think they were pretty patient, all things considered!

We opened the gifts, emptied the stockings and the boys took off to play video games! I had to force them to shut down at 11:45 so they could go to their dad's house! Guess it was a success. I'm just glad it's over!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Biltmore

We went up to Asheville this morning to go to the Biltmore House; we did the daytime tour and then returned at 10pm to do the Candlelight tour - honestly I didn't realize it was the exact same tour but with the Christmas lights turned on... don't know what I expected, but... anyway, the kids seemed to enjoy it. I took my boys and T - only Middle Child and I had ever been there before!!

Because it's such a long drive, we stayed the night in Asheville and will head back home tomorrow morning. The boys have been a bit out of control lately - guess it's that pre-Christmas crap that mom always complained about. There are days I could just twist their little heads off! But, I love 'em anyway!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our baby girl is getting SO big!!

We had a check-up today; Dr. R didn't tell me to bring her in, but I wanted the PDA evaluated and wanted to see how she was growing. She's up to 9 lbs 8.8 oz and has grown 2 inches (measuring 21.5" today)!!

Baby Girl (aka Squeaker) made a huge mess there in the doctor's office today - she had a BM in the waiting room, accompanied as usual by a lot of gas. I knew we'd be called back soon and that I would have to undress her, so I didn't bother changing her right then. When we got into the room, I set about to undressing her (she was pretty princess, super cute in a pink dress and little tennies) and my hand slid into something warm and gooshy... yep, that BM had blown up her back, almost all the way to her neck!!

So, I strip her down and she coats the paper on the exam table with poop - and I pull out the baby wipes and start giving her a mini bath (and of course she had had a REAL bath this moring as well!!); I get her all cleaned up and move her onto a clean section of paper while I pull the "emergency clothes" out of the diaper bag - and she PEES!! Just like when we were at M's for her first pics... must have been at least a half cup of urine!! It runs all over the table and down onto the floor - and I just started laughing... what else was there to do??

I finally get her diapered and the nurse returns to clean up the mess. I was just mortified!! Now I know how my clients feel when their dogs pee and poop on my clinic floors!!

Everything checked out fine though - her heart sounded good, she has a tiny bit of sebhorrhea (cradle cap) in her eyebrows and a light sprinkling of baby acne, but otherwise looks perfect - she ended up getting her first hepatitis shot today as well. She was lying on the exam table and the nurse stuck her - her eyes got huge and then she screwed up her face and SCREAMED! Just once... I picked her up and it was over... I hope she does that well for her next set of shots!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time for some "tough love"

Well, sad to say, that the "trend" of good sleeping did NOT last. In fact, I think it lasted just that one day! LOL

We have had a series of rather rough days -- there has been a lot of gas involved, my poor baby! I've started giving Baby Girl a dose of Mylicon every time I feed her and she hasn't had an episode of colic since, for which I am SO thankful!! (thanks much, K, for the advice!!)

However... she is still sleeping in our bed, which means that I'm only half asleep at any given time; add to that the fact that she wakes up every 90-120 minutes, and you can understand why I'm so beat. I found out yesterday that even holding a coherent conversation is a real challenge!!

Ah, well... this too shall pass....

ETA - I totally forgot to explain the title of this post - if THAT doesn't speak to my state of mind, nothing does!!

I've finally decided that Baby Girl will just HAVE to take her naps in her own bed, as opposed to on my chest or in my arms - I have to be able to get things done while she's sleeping!! And, if that means that she has to cry, then so be it. I'll be monitoring her, and can step in if it gets out of hand, but hopefully she'll just cry herself back to sleep without getting hysterical!! I figured that I'll just set time limits for her naps and she will NOT be getting up before that time has been reached.

Now, if I can just get B to stop ruining my efforts!! He was gone all day yesterday and came home after dinner time; I put Baby Girl down and she was quiet for a while, then started to fuss - SO HE FREAKIN' PICKED HER RIGHT UP!! Which wouldn't have been as aggravating if he hadn't lectured me yesterday morning about how I need to just LET HER CRY so I can get things done!! So, I worked all day at this, and he walks in and confirms that crying DOES get you picked right up. Way to go, Daddy! I may kill him yet...

Friday, December 5, 2008

We had a good night!!

Please, God, let this be the beginning of a trend!!

Baby Girl actually SLEPT for more than 15 minutes last night!! In fact, I woke up (or perhaps it would be a bit more accurate for me to say that my boobs woke me up) last night and realized that she'd been sleeping for over 3 hrs; I tried to wake her to eat and had quite a time of it!! She nursed for a couple of minutes and immediately went back to sleep for another 2 hrs!! I got up at 5:30 this morning to get ready to leave for the drill meet in Myrtle Beach and I WAS NOT EXHAUSTED!! Oh, this could be the start of something be-u-ti-ful!!

On a sad note... I did have to go over to K's house and put Dutchess to sleep last night :( Poor kitty... K took it with her usual mix of tears and laughter! And, thankfully, her friend J was there to help lend support (and to dig the grave one-handedly, as she'd just recently had shoulder surgery - let me say, THAT was impressive!!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does exhaustion eventually become a way of life??

So much for Baby Girl sleeping in the Pack 'n Play - that's over and done with, at least for now. Last night was another rough one, though there was no colic involved. She was just restless and fussy, refusing to be laid down - though I did eventually get her off of my chest by lying on my side to nurse her. Of course, then I was stuck in that position which wreaked havoc with my hips and lower back! I know she can't help it - what an adjustment she's had to make from her life inside the womb to this one out here...

Her favorite sleeping position is the one she's in right now - she likes to nurse until she falls asleep then she'll pull back and lay her head on my breast, just above the nipple. She makes frequent noises (we call her "squeaker") and such varied facial expressions (scowls, smiles, pouts)... I just love to watch her. She's so totally beautiful that I hate to move her... but it's midnight and I need to get a little sleep before I have to get the boys up and ready for school.

This would be her 2nd favorite position --

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Case of the Disappearing Colic

I feel a little bit like Encyclopedia Brown (remember him from your juvenile reading days??)...

Anyway, we had our first go-round (dare I be naive enough to hope it was also our last?) with colic last night. Baby Girl was sleeping peacefully - in her Pack 'n Play might I add (we've been fairly successful with the transition thus far) - and became increasingly restless and fussy about 9:30pm. I gave her a while to settle down and when it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, I picked her up. She was bunching her legs up and rooting with a desperation that I hadn't seen before. Over the next 30 minutes or so, her actions became more frantic and she ended up with that tearless screaming that is unique to very young infants. I did everything I could think of... let her suckle, bicycled her legs, tried to massage her very tight belly (though this only seemed to cause her more pain); I rubbed her back, jiggled and patted her, but could only soothe her intermittently.

Fast-forward to midnight... we're still at it. I'm relatively certain that it's only colic, but the frantic cries of my sweet daughter are breaking my heart, and I'm contemplating either paging the pediatrician or making a quick run to the emergency room, just for reassurance - because my education has taught me that many things can cause colic... yes, it could have been the brussel sprouts that I ate at my grandmother's house Saturday night, but it could be something more, however unlikely - intestinal intussusception, hernia entrapment, appendicitis, intestinal blockage, etc., etc.

B slept through most of the episode, though I'm not sure how he managed to tune out the screams - but just before midight I woke him to watch her so I could go and get the Mylicon drops, as I was desperate to try anything that might work. B was so distressed by her state that he went online and paid $24 for a 20-page E-book full of mostly useless information about colic, what you can do to alleviate symptoms and suggestions to prevent recurrence. I guess he felt the need to do something to help his daughter...

So I am holding my writhing child, and I am contemplating the various scenarios, and their liklihood of occurrence, and... it just... stops. As suddenly as it began, it is gone - and my sweet baby girl is relaxed and comfortable again, though she is now exhausted. So I snuggle her up against me - no way am I putting her back in her bed tonight - and we finally go to sleep, and she doesn't wake again until nearly 4 hours later.

I cared for her the rest of the nght, as I usually do, and about 6:30 this morning, B took her out to the living room so that I could sleep a bit... I finally dragged myself out of bed at 10am. Baby Girl seems back to her usual sweet self this morning... thanks be to God!!

And, just in case it was the brussel sprouts (because I had them again last night), I pumped this morning and then poured 6 ounces of possibly tainted "liquid gold" down the drain. Baby Girl will have to make due with bottles for the next several hours, and I will be much more particular about what crosses my lips as long as I am still breastfeeding my baby girl.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ah.... so THIS is what exhaustion feels like!!

I'd almost forgotten! LOL

So... my baby girl is a GREAT sleeper, but she wants to sleep ON TOP OF YOU!! The moment she's put down, she wakes up and starts fussing. So the options are (1) let her sleep on my stomach/chest or (2) plan on being up most of the night. Of course, letting her sleep on me isn't a solution in and of itself because I'm paranoid that I'll accidentally hold her too tight or smush her face into my chest or the covers - so I end up being awake anyway.

In general, B falls asleep pretty early, leaving me to deal with Baby Girl; he gets up early, too and usually takes over with her about 5am - but that doesn't leave ME much time to sleep. He seems to nearly always get his requisite 6 hrs, but I'm lucky if I can get 2 or 3 that are continuous. We're going to have to have a discussion about this soon because I'm too tired to do anything except care for Baby Girl, and that's just not fair. Especially as he still expects me to clean the house, plan & cook meals and do the majority of the childcare.

Regardless of how tired I am, I sure am loving having her here!! She really IS a good baby - she just wants to be held all the time - I've got to find the solution to that...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Annelise is here!

I'm far too tired to write anything original - I've been up since 3am and it's now nearly 10pm; so I am going to reproduce my "canned" description of the day's events...

Suffice it to say that I am in love again, I am as happy as I can be, and am eternally grateful -

Well, she's finally here - we were wondering if she'd make it by lunch time, and she did, but just barely!! We got to the hospital about 6am, they checked M in, drew blood, hooked up her IV and started the pitocin drip at 6ml/hr; they upped the dose by 6ml/hr every 15-20 mins until the hard labor started (about 11am). It was several hours before M really even felt anything, and then she got out of bed and onto one of those big exercise balls, resting her arms/head on the bed for support.

About 11:30, the contractions were pretty serious and M told the nurse that she'd be delivering within a half hour, and that the doc needed to be warned to stick around. Apparently they didn't take her seriously... after all, she'd only done this 3 times previously - how well could she possibly know her own body??

The nurse checked M and she was 5-6 cm and 90% effaced; that was a little disappointing because we were hoping that she'd progressed farther. The contractions kept increasing in strength and coming faster and faster - M was lying on her side, wrapping her hands around the bed rails in a white-knuckled grip (it hurt my heart to see her in so much pain, but there was nothing that I could do - she was at the point that no one could comfort her and she didn't want to be touched) - the contractions were now only 60-90 secs apart... the nurse checked again about 15 mins later and she was 7-8cm and completely thinned out; 10 mins after that she was fully dilated and ready to go.

They told us the doc was on the way back (WTS?!? Didn't we TELL her not to go anywhere??). M was curled on her side and said, "this baby's coming out" - they rolled her onto her back and I could see the Doodle-bops head crowning; as the doc walked in the door, Baby Girl emerged to the level of her eyes; the nurse put her head on top of her head and gently pushed her back IN! WTS?? I was about to "go Jersey" on someone!!

The doc was finally ready and they told M to "give us a push" - Baby Girl shot out in a single contraction and cleared my sister by a good 6"!! Thank God they hadn't had time to disassemble the bed b/c she landed on the end that breaks away!! The doc clamped the cord and let me cut it, which was difficult b/c my hands were shaking so badly!

The placenta wouldn't come out, and the doctor tried to reach up in there (ouch!) and get it, with little luck - she pulled out part of it but it was pretty torn up and macerated - and then my sister's blood pressure dropped to 57/26, which is terribly low, even for her - she got pale and dizzy and started perspiring - next thing we know, they rushed her off to the OR, knocked her out and went in after the placenta.

She seems to be alright now, though she lost a lot of blood - her hematocrit is down from 40 to 27, and she feels dizzy when she stands, but she's alright otherwise; her color is still good and she doesn't look that anemic. Hopefully they'll still let her go home tomorrow

All the kids were here this afternoon - my sister's 3 and my younger 2; they're all in love with Annelise, except for B (my sister's 5yr old) who was more enamoured with the Edible Arrangements than the baby!

Hopefully they'll let us go home tomorrow. I am so in love She's an absolute doll!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The nursery is done!

At long last, it is finished!! B did order a rug and that hasn't arrived yet, but I'm not counting that! Here it is (starting at the door and going clockwise around the room) - I just love it!

The changing station/book case

Her wardrobe -- well, part of it anyway!!

Next to the closet, her dresser and the rocker... wish you could see the prints better - they came out pretty nice!!

The window - you can kind of see her chandelier in this one

Still hanging in there...

This week has been incredibly long and tiring - I've worked every day (starting immediately upon my return from a 4 day drill) and haven't been napping when I get home because I've had so much to do to get caught up on 2 weeks of missed chores and laundry, get the nursery finished, and get the house ready for the Doodle-bops arrival! I framed the 2 larger nursery rhyme prints today and B is supposed to have hung them while I'm at work today - that should be the end of it - now if M would just go into labor! LOL

I can't believe that we're just days away from meeting our daughter!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

One more week

of work, and then I go on maternity leave!! We had an OB appt today - M measured 38cm, which is amazing since just 7 days ago she measured 34cm!! The doc said everything looks great, and wants to see us back one more time, next Monday... the induction is scheduled for 6am on Wednesday the 19th, though we'd all prefer if the Doodle-bops makes her grand appearance on Sunday or Monday at the latest!! They didn't check M's cervix, but then it doesn't really matter... she'll either go into labor before Wednesday or she won't, and if she doesn't, then we'll induce, and it doesn't much matter what her cervix is doing!!

B started putting it the new wood floors in our bedroom while I was at drill and they look great!! K's friend has been helping him and they were both whipped after working on the floor!! They're supposed to finish it up this Wednesday.

Having been gone nearly 2 weeks, I am WAY behind on my cleaning (because you know B didn't do a damned thing while I was gone except for a few pieces of HIS laundry) and the laundry, but I suppose I'll get caught up in the next couple of weeks. I have a lot of other things to do this week - and B told me not to bother getting into the cleaning too heavy right now, until they finish the floors anyway, because they're making a dusty mess with that. I have a few things left to buy before the Doodle-bops arrives, and a little more to do in her room - but we're very nearly there!!

Truth be told, I can't wait for her to get here!! I can't believe that we're so close! I can't believe that all of this started just about 2 years ago!! Amazing... that's all I can say.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Catching up

I did end up going on the tour of the USS Midway after all - Wednesday afternoon; it was very interesting - not sure how G could stand living on board one of those things for 5 years!! But, very cool nonetheless... a veritable floating city to be sure.

I also got to hang out with Cheer a little more, and Sweetheart came along as well; we ended up sitting at Starbucks, just chatting; Cheer dropped me back at my hotel at about 7pm and I went to bed shortly thereafter - I was SO bushed!!

My plane left at 9:45am Tuesday morning; the flights were booked which was unpleasant enough, but then I had 2 obnoxious kids and their apathetic mother sitting in the row in front of me on the flight from Dallas to RDU, which was damn near unbearable. I had to ask the woman to ask her daughter to stop slamming back in the seat as it was shaking my tray to hard I couldn't leave the drink on it!! Pathetic, really, what some parents will let kids get away with in public!

We got in about 8:20 and B picked me up, so we got home by about 9:30. He let me sleep in Wednesday morning and I didn't drag out until nearly 10am!! I only had a few hours to pack and pay bills before heading out for drill weekend... 4 more days and I'll be back home - again!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More adventures...

I got up early today and high-tailed it to the Convention Center as there was an 8am lecture that I wanted to attend. I've been going to the Critical Care series and have really learned some interesting things that I think will help me back at work!!

The lectures ended at mid day and there wasn't much else that caught my attention so I decided to skip out on the rest of the day there and find something more interesting to do - I debated between touring the USS Midway and going to the zoo - the zoo eventually won!!

For all they tout it as "The World Famous San Diego Zoo" it wasn't all THAT fabulous - but I guess, in the end, it's just another zoo - it just happens to be much larger than the NC Zoo, though I don't think it's any bigger than the zoo in Washington DC.

They did have quite the array of animals, though!! From zebras and tigers, to tree kangaroos and African hyraxes -

and I guess I have to say that they do have the Giant Pandas there... I guess you don't get to see them just anywhere...

Of course, there was a huge line waiting to see the pandas, but it moved pretty quickly and I was able to get in in a reasonable amount of time.

I did get through pretty much the entire zoo in the 3 hrs I was there, but I came back to the hotel with sore feet!! Thank God I wore tennis shoes today!!

I ate dinner downstairs in a restaurant in the hotel lobby, called Elephant and Castle. An English pub type of place - I had sweet potatoe fries and a beef stew that was pretty good. And while the price was inflated San Diego style, it was much more reasonable than last night's foray to the steakhouse!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The conference

I walked down to the cruise terminal/ferry landing today and caught a pedi-cab to the Convention Center. I wanted to get an idea of the route involved and see how far it was. It took about 15 mins to get there and it's pretty much a straight shot down Harbor Drive. But, it was worth the $10 this morning!!

I got checked in a little early and went to a bunch of lectures. I actually learned quite a bit in the critical care lectures today, which is cool; I'll be sticking to them primarily, I think. I mean, there are other things that interest me, but I'm trying to stick to what might be relevant at work right now - and while Iguana dermatology might be interesting, it's not something that I'll use in my present position!!

I did walk back from the Convention Center - took me about 35 minutes, but I wasn't hurrying along either. I pass the USS Midway - an aircraft carrier museum - between the hotel and the Convention Center; I stopped today, wanting to go onboard, but it was only an hour until closing and the gal there told me it would really take 2-3 hrs to do the entire tour, so I think I'll go by tomorrow. Might as well check it out since it's so convenient...

I'd like to go to the zoo also, so I need to check the days/hours on that. There are a lot of interesting lectures, but.... I hate to spend my entire trip tied up in lectures. Not that that's likely! LOL

I started to go to the little cafe right down the street and grab a sandwich for dinner, but somehow ended up at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse - never been to one of those - the food was good, but I didn't know that I could spend over $100 for dinner for one!! But, between the filet/lobster tail ($40, but ALL the entrees were over $30), the asparagus ($9, cause the steak comes with NOTHING, it's all a la carte), 2 glasses of wine ($26, well I AM on vacation...), and dessert ($10, see the aforementioned excuse), plus the tip ($20, she was an excellent waitress) I managed to do just that tonight! Yay, me!!

Cheer should be back from Sacramento tomorrow night, so we're planning to get together again before I leave on Tuesday morning. Geez, it's beautiful here - the weather is so mild... and it's that way year round from what I'm hearing. **sigh**

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Made it to San Diego

Of course, I didn't bother to pack Tuesday night; I went to bed about 10:30 or 11 pm and got up to pump at 3am, as usual, and just stayed up - I went up in the attic and got a suitcase, got my clothes out of the dryer and packed in the closet so I'd have some light. I put off my shower until the last minute because I knew I'd wake B.

We left about 5:40 am yesterday to go to the airport and got there just before 7am. My plane left at 7:50, but they let me check my bags at curbside. As usual, I used my military ID as my picture ID, and the guy asked me if I was on orders, which I am, though I didn't have a copy of them with me (B took the printer up to the guys in Durham, so I have no way to print right now). The baggage guy was fine with that and got me a waiver so I didn't have to pay the $15 for the first bag!

There was NO line at Security (note to self... fly American from here on out - they're terminal is MUCH better!!). They did question me briefly about the breast pump, but when I told the guy what it was, he waived me on through!

The flights were long and there was no time to pump between them - I got off the plane in DFW and walked the length of the terminal - actually had to take the skyline tram to get to the next gate - and immediately got back on another plane. As soon as the "Fasten Seat Belt" light went off, I took my pump and headed for the lavatory. I only pumped for 10 mins, just to relieve the discomfort, but there was a line of people waiting for the lav when I came out. Oh, well, sucks to be them!!

The hotel sent a shuttle to get me from the airport; the hotel is adequate, nothing spectacular but the view of the bay is nice.

They're doing a lot of construction on the front, which is annoying, but I guess it's a slow season around here right now, and they're taking advantage of that.

I walked down the sidewalk in front of the bay and decided to call Cheer Smurf. She told me to get on the ferry to Coronado and she would meet me at the dock. We hung out until about 9:30pm, having drinks, walking and talking - she's just like I thought she would be - straight forward and funny as hell!! We had a great time and she drove me back to my hotel where I crashed, since I'd been up for about 22 hrs at that point!!

I slept until nearly 9am this morning, and then Cheer called, wanting to go get breakfast. She picked me up here at the hotel and we went back to Coronado - we ate at a little cafe that served huge omelettes and then walked for a while. The island is SO expensive, but it's absolutely gorgeous - sucks to be her!! LOL

M called while we were hanging out - the OB appt was this afternoon and she is growing again - fundal height was 34cm and all looks great. They scheduled the induction for 6am on Tuesday the 18th, but we're both hoping that the Doodle-bops will choose to arrive on her own either Sunday or Monday. M is about 2cm dilated so far...

Cheer had to go upstate after lunch, and I took a shower here back at the hotel. Sweetheart Smurf came in from inland SD about 5pm and picked me up and we went to this really cool 6-level outdoor mall. We bought candy, I picked up a neat Christmas gift and some baby clothes from Gymboree - not for the Doodle-bops (surprisingly enough) but for Harmony Smurf's little ducky. Sweetheart dropped me back off about 7pm and I went across the street to Anthony's Fish Grotto for dinner.

The conference starts tomorrow at noon so I'll have to find my way to the convention center; I think it's supposed to be about a mile from here... hopefully I won't get lost!! Everyone that knows me knows that I'm directionally challenged!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another update on the Doodle-bops

It was really bothering B that the OBs seemed to be blowing off a possible problem with the Doodle-bops, so I called M on last Friday and asked her to go ahead and call Dr D's office to set up a 2nd opinion/consult. They wanted her to let the OB know what we're doing "just so no one feels that their toes are being stepped on" and then they actually asked M if she wanted to talk to the OB first, before scheduling an appointment, just in case the OB had a problem with us getting a 2nd opinion! Un-be-liev-able!! M told her to make the appointment, and that if the OB had an issue with it, as far as she was concerned, they would no longer be her OB!

So, the appointment was for Friday - but they called yesterday and told M that they'd had a cancellation for 5:30 this evening if she wanted to come on in. She took the appointment, probably more for me than anything else, since I leave for California tomorrow.

Of course I drove up - tried to get the thing on DVD but the machine messed up - BUT the important part is that Dr. D said everything looks fine. Her head circumference measured at 35wks, her abdomen was at 36 wks and her femoral length was 33w5d - girl has some short legs right now!! She measured in the 45th percentile (better than the 29th that the OB had us at) and he estimated her current weight at 5#15 with 21 days left to grow before the induction. Now, historically, she has measured right on target with her head and femur and her abdomen has actually been a bit ahead, which tells me that perhaps she is not growing quite as fast, but Dr. D says that everything looks fine, and I do trust his assessment - after all, high risk pregnancy is what he specializes in!!

So, that's a huge relief!! M has another OB appointment on Thursday, and it will be interesting to see if the fundal height has increased. I am so thankful that the time is drawing to a close - don't know how much more of this stress I can handle!! LOL

Of course, I'm not packed - still have laundry to wash before I can consider packing... I think I'm going to go to bed and when I get up for my 3am pumping session, I'll just stay up and get it done then.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And the frustration continues...

I met M at the OB clinic just after noon today - she was already hooked up to the monitor, but said that she'd only been there for a couple of minutes. The Doodle-bops was doing her usual - moving around a lot, had a killer case of the hiccups there for a while, but still had a heartrate steady in the 130s. The nurse practitioner came in and took a look at the print out - told us that the baby wasn't doing what they wanted.

Of course, I decided to question her about the supposed biophysical profile that was conducted on Friday - oh, yes, she assured me, they DID do a complete biophysical profile. So, I asked what it included - well, for one, they're supposed to watch the baby breathe. We know the tech did NOT do that - though the NP said that she could do that "in a nanosecond". Yeah, right... I'm not buying it. I argued for a while, then gave up. I think the tech took the easy way out and then "fudged" the report - but that's just my opinion.

The NP left for a while and went to check with the OB who saw M at the hospital on Friday night - said that the OB was happy with the ultrasound and said that there was nothing to worry about - that the baby had had 2 decent accelerations on Friday night that she was very happy with and now all is fine. M argued that she couldn't have been all that happy with the results, since she decided that M had to have an ultrasound on Friday - couldn't wait until Monday as she had suggested earlier. Overall, I got the feeling that they are just trying to BS their way out of this and don't want to be bothered further.

So, what are we going to do?? M has another OB appointment next Thursday - if she is not measuring much better (we were at 31-32 cm last week, she needs to be at least 33 or 34 next week, even though we'll be 36 wks), then M is going to call the peri and schedule an appointment with him. I remember my friend saying that her surro's OB wouldn't take the IUGR seriously and she had to switch to a peri to get the care that baby B needed... seems to be a trend. Hopefully that won't be necessary, but we'll do what we have to do. All I really want right now is more frequent monitoring, so that we can stay on top of this and make sure that she doesn't fall any farther behind. The excuse of "girls just measure smaller" doesn't work with us, because M has a daughter and she measured right on target the entire pregnancy. Problem is, they haven't figured out yet that they're not dealing with their average clients here - we're not intimidated by medical degrees, we have medical degrees and just a bit of knowledge between us. But, we'll see what happens next week, I guess... 4 more weeks, 4 more weeks....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time to cut the bullshit!

I guess that the OBs think M and I are just plain stupid... M called the OB's office on Monday; the nurse told her that the u/s was fine, so the baby is fine - nothing at all to worry about, apparently. So M asked "what about the fact that she failed the NSTs?" Well, whoever answered the phone didn't now, so she went to ask someone else, and the NP got on the phone... fine, I like her well enough - we've seen her in the office a couple of times.

Well, SHE told M that the Doodle-bops scored 8 of 8 on the biophysical profile. BUT, in our uneducated opinion (supported by my Fiesty Smurf's very educated information), they didn't do a biophysical profile on the baby on Friday. All they did was measurements on her and the fluid levels - they didn't assess her movement, didn't look for fine motor movements, didn't watch her breathe, didn't doppler her cord, didn't do ANY of that. The entire thing took less than 10 minutes. Fiesty, who happens to be an OB nurse working in a fertility clinic, says that a biophysical profile takes a minimum of 30 minutes. So, there's no way that the tech did one!

Anyway, when M persisted, as she is apt to do, they agreed to repeat the NST tomorrow when M gets off work. M is supposed to call me when it's over, but I think that I'm going to drive up and meet her, 'cause I can, and because I'm going to freakin' go ballistic if the Doodle-bops fails AGAIN and they blow it off!

We only have 4 weeks left - THANK GOD - because I don't think I can take much more of this! I know it's a royal P.I.T.A., but if she needs weekly monitoring, then by damn she's going to get it! I do NOT want my daughter born at 5-1/2# because the OB doesn't want to be bothered...

Monday, October 20, 2008

So, I'm a little frustrated

with my sister's OBs... she hasn't heard word one since the u/s on Friday, and while I know that the Doodle-bops was measuring normally, I still think we need to address the fact that she failed the NSTs on Thursday! An u/s will not assess the functionality of the placenta! No one ever told us when they want to see us back - we made an appointment for 2 wks, but seems to ME that we should be checked before then just to make sure that everything seems ok; I think they should repeat the NST this week, but what do I know??

I talked to M this morning about it. My concern was only escalated by my friend who told me that they started out just like this with her daughter and each week, the baby was farther and farther behind, until they ended up delivering her at 35 weeks!! Great... just great!! Of course, we are inducing in just 4wks & 2 days, so hopefully that's not enough time to develop any serious growth deficiencies... I just want her checked more often; I think, with a concern that the placenta may have aged faster than the Doodle-bops, and thus may be failing, that more frequent monitoring is definitely called for!!

Anyway, M is going to call the doctor's office tomorrow and see what they say... Oh, we're so very close... so very, very close!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

**Update on the Doodle-bops**

I got up at 6:30am to pump, as has become the "norm" for me - I was dying... so very tired!! But, I managed to drag out finally - no sense in going back to sleep so I was working on the birth announcements while waiting for the patients to leave. I got a text from B just after 7am - "don't leave your work until I get there - on my way".

He got here shortly after 8 and we headed to Cary (after a stop at Krispy Kreme to get him donuts and coffee). I called M about 8:15; she hadn't heard from the OB's office, and was going to give them a little more time before she called them. She called me back just before 9am - she had called the office at 8:30 or so, and they told her to come on it, they'd work her in before lunch. Uh... no. That went over about as well as you might expect. M persisted and won, as usual, with a 10am appointment time. That fit perfectly with our expected arrival.

We got to the OB's office about 10min before 10am, so I had time to make a quit pit stop; they called us back relatively quickly and we met the ultrasound tech. She didn't seem to understand the relationship between the 3 of us (M, the Doodle-bops and myself), and I was too freaked out to care about enlightening her. I wanted to get right down to business...

The u/s went well; she pointed out what she was looking at for us, did a bunch of measurements and printed a lot of pics for the doctor to review. She measured the Doodle-bops' head and abdominal circumferences as well as the length of her femur - everything measured between 33w5d and 34w2d, so that was a relief - she's growing just fine. She "weighed" in at 4#13oz and the tech said that right now she falls into the 29th percentile, so she's smaller than whatever is considered "normal", but still well above the 10th percentile that is considered indicative of IUGR. She also measured the amniotic fluid and said that the level was normal - apparently IUGR babies tend to have low fluid levels. The placenta is located on the caudal uterine wall, so there's no previa to worry about, and the cord was visible floating in the fluid. Overall, the u/s was "normal".

The tech told us that Dr. M would be reviewing the results today, and would call if there was any cause for concern. I haven't heard anything from M since we left the office, so I assume that she hasn't heard from the doctor. So, I guess that's it...

I fell asleep in the car on the ride home. The combination of stress over a potential problem and a lack of sleep really took a toll on me. I had to pump when we got home, but then crawled right into bed. I had to force myself to get up at 3pm so I could take a shower - B had to drive me back to Fayetteville because we had left my car at AUC.

I came in early and met First Born and T for dinner; I haven't seen the boy in nearly a month, and have really missed him. Both the kids are out on fall break - T's friend brought her to Raleigh on Wednesday and she stayed with First Born through the end of his classes Thursday; they came to F'ville today to hang out with her parents and are heading back to Raleigh tomorrow to go to the fair; then I suppose First Born will be taking T back to Virginia on Sunday. **sigh** It's so hard to let them grow up! **sniff**

Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight - that little nap today helped but I'm still exhausted! And I have so much to do at home!! B seems to think it's silly how I worry about staying on my cleaning schedule - but then, he does nothing but take out the trash twice a week, so he wouldn't understand. Get behind and it just snowballs... But, I'll have a little extra time to get caught up tomorrow because I don't have to be back in until 8pm. Time to sleep and time to clean - that's just about perfect. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today has totally sucked

It started out alright, despite the fact that I got less than 3 hrs of sleep last night - finally got rid of my last patient at 3am, pumped and went to bed; back up at 6:30 to pump again... I went by Lowe's on th way home - had to pick up more paint for the nursery and early morning is definitely the best time to go there!! I got home about 9:30, so I could pump yet again (beginning to see a pattern here??)

We had an OB appointment this afternoon and I had to work again tonight, so I had to choose between taking a nap and cleaning - soooo.... I cleaned the dining room, swept the floors, finished painting the nursery and replaced all of the plug ins in the house - not the wisest of choices as it is now 1am and I am STILL up and getting stupid-tired. Anyway, that's not why today has sucked...

We went to the OB appointment - saw Dr. A again... he measured M's fundus at 31cm. Uh, that can't be right... she measured at 32cm last visit, 2 wks ago. I know that measuring fundal height has a certain element of subjectivity to it, but it was Dr. A who measured her the last time as well. Anyway, he measures her, says the measurement is 31cm. Frowns. Consults the chart - measures again - confirms, yep, 31-32cm. Now this is a problem. At a time when the baby should be growing quickly, she shouldn't be measuring the same (or smaller) after 2 weeks. He's sure that it's nothing... probably positional on the part of the Doodle-bops; maybe she's really curled into a ball today. But, he needs to be thorough, needs to reassure all of us that everything is fine. He orders a non-stress test right then and there, tells us he wants an ultrasound tomorrow morning to insure that she's measuring appropriately. All I know is - I want to vomit.

They hook M up to the monitors and we sit and chat. I begin by listening obsessively to the heartbeats, my own heart jumping up into my throat each time the sound is muffled by her movements. As time goes by, I start to relax a little, she *sounds* fine - surely the measurement was a fluke. But, when Dr. A comes in to check the tracing, he doesn't like what he sees.... says that she isn't having sustained accelerations with her movements like she should. He's concerned about the placenta, about whether my daughter is getting adequate oxygen and nutrients. He wants M to drink some juice, see if this makes the baby more responsive. But, M has appointments waiting and has to go back to work - so Dr. A says he'll want her to go to the hospital tonight after work, check in with Dr. S and see what she says - he says that he'll brief her about it beforehand. Of course, M agrees.

She finishes up work and finally talks to Dr. S just after 7pm, calling me once she's off the phone with the doc. Dr. S wants to repeat the NST tonight, see if some sugar in M's bloodstream will normalize the Doodle-bops heartrate - promises to call me when they're done with the testing. I had to go ahead and come into work, so I wait and I wait and I wait for M to call me. Finally at 9:30p, I am totally freaked out and call her cell phone. She's all done, just waiting for her discharge papers so she can leave. Apparently tonight's NST was no better than the one this afternoon - they're still concerned and we're going to have an ultrasound tomorrow morning to have a look around and measure her - see if she is sized appropriately for her gestational age.

Now, I do believe that the Doodle-bops is not in any imminent danger. I did some research on IUGR when I got into work tonight because I know so little about it, and it seems to be primarily a cause for close monitoring, though it can certainly become a reason for early induction. I am praying that neither is necessary, that my daughter was just exceptionally lazy today and that tomorrow she will be measuring at 34wks so we can put the fears to rest.

I can't spend much time thinking about this right now and I can NOT talk about it because each time I do, I start to cry, and I still have to work - still have clients/patients in the clinic now, at 1:30am. So tomorrow morning I will leave out of here and head back to Cary where I will hang out with M until the ultrasound; she didn't get a definite time tonight - the doctor said that she'd get a call in the morning, and since the notice might be short, I see no logic in going back to P'hurst and possibly missing the ultrasound. I just hope I'll have time to go home, take a shower and change before coming back to work tomorrow night. And a nap would be nice...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thanks to the Mobile Computer Doctors

it seems I have my photos back! Yay!! For the measley sum of $88 (I'd have paid much, much more than that to recover First Born's graduation pics), I have gotten all of my photos back on my computer - some I didn't even realize that I was missing!! That's the thing about losing 1000+ pictures - how in the hell can you possibly know what's gone?? I am just SO thankful to have located my pics in the pile of mess then had recovered - it has been a royal PITA to sort through all that crap - so much of it was duplicated and a lot of it was junk downloaded off the internet (who knew that your computer pulls down and "saves" every picture on every site you view??), but it was well worth it in the end. **sigh** I feel SO much better now!!

On another front, we have painted the nursery - at least the first coat - the pink sure looks different than the silver! It needs a 2nd coat, but I think it's going to be perfect :) Now I just need to find the stuff to do the closet so that I can sort the baby's clothes and put them up!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Uh... Moo??

So... I've been following this protocol to induce lactation - which is why I've gained 12 freakin' pounds since the first of June; I have to say that I am way less than pleased with that part of the whole process, because now I have exactly ONE pair of jeans that I can squeeze my newly fattened ass into!! But, I have finally been able to stop the BCPs - that's the good news - so hopefully this hormonally-induced weight gain will soon resolve itself. I have begun to gross myself out with all of the puffiness, so I have put myself on a strict diet to aid in the loss. There are MANY reasons that I hate BCPs!! I avoided most of the moodiness this time around (at least I think I did...) but the weight gain hit me full force.

ANYway... I took my last BCP last Saturday and starting using the breast pump on Sunday afternoon/evening. The first day or so produced just drops - not enough to get out of the cones... now, just 4 short days later... I'm getting half an ounce at each session, and since I'm pumping every 3 hours (don't get me started on that as I am becoming more and more sleep deprived and less and less amused by the idea of inducing lactation) that means that I'm getting about 4 oz/day after only 4 days! I am totaly amazed at what my body has been able to do!! To even think that I would be able to breastfeed the Doodle-bops when I didn't carry her and give birth to her - well, I'm just stunned - and amazed - by my boobs! LOL

M called today to tell me that the appointment time for our OB visit next Thursday was changed and I discovered that seeing her name on the caller ID still makes me want to puke; here we are, just 5-1/2 short weeks from delivery, and I am still terrified that each call brings bad news! I guess it's not going to stop until she delivers Annelise into my hands... of course, that brings a whole new set of worries with it, right??

I've been reading/hearing about SIDs lately and now that has me totally freaked out!! B and I were discussing the best position for a baby to sleep in... when First Born was little, you put them on their tummies; that gradually shifted to sleeping on their sides. Now, the infamous "they" say that you should always put the baby to sleep on his/her back to reduce the risk of SIDs, but that increases the risk of a flat-headed baby... so many things to worry about!!

On a positive note, I finally have all of the boys stuff back in their rooms - at least, the stuff they still want is in there - the rest is still in my living room. But, hopefully a major trip to GoodWill will solve that little problem. I have to work a day shift tomorrow, and I'm hoping that I can talk B into taking the stuff for me tomorrow... of course, he has misplaced the keys to the truck, so maybe not...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apparently I've become a 'trauma magnet'

Oh, Lord, it has been CRAZY at work! No more lazy weekday nights where I can "do my own thing." LOL Last night it was non-stop until nearly 4am - on a WEDNESDAY!! What's up with that?? I realize that it was the 3hr unexpected surgery that was responsible for most of the delays - dachshund attacked by a pit bull - little bastard is a land shark (we struggled to get a basket muzzle on him and he kept it on the rest of the night!) and had not 1, but 6 sucking chest wounds. The left lung collapsed at least 3 times, but we somehow managed to close him up and pull him through. Of course, the irony in it is that he WALKED into the clinic but now can hardly sit up... some of that is due to the drugs, but a lot of it is that he is in much more pain now, after the surgical repair, than he was from the attack. And then, after everyone left and I was finally able to lay down, the techs kept waking me up every 30 minute for what were stupid questions... it's THEIR job to answer the phone and field calls; they're not supposed to wak me up every time someone calls! But, both of them are relatively new to this, and this was the first time they were left alone without someone more experienced - and I guess that it was ME that had to pay for that!

End result was I got no sleep and had to sleep most of the day after I got home. Tonight is just steady, but no true crises - yet. I'm still hopeful that I can turn in shortly after midnight so tomorrow won't be as big a waste as today was. The new carpet is in, but the house is still a wreck - there's a lot to do to get it back in order and I just found out today, the baby's crib has shipped, so I've got a ticking clock now as well!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Right now, I HATE Lowe's

This whole thing with getting new carpet has been a cluster-fuck from the very beginning!! After much debate, B and I picked out carpet and brought it to the employee - he was supposed to set us up a file in the computer to get the process started. I paid my $35 fee for the measuring and they told me that I would be called within 2 business days to schedule the appointment; after 5 business days, I called Lowe's to inquire about it, because no one had called. So, Lowe's called their installers who called me back relatively quickly just to tell me that he was going out of town for the weekend but had an appointment open on the following Tuesday evening. Alright, that's a little longer than I expected to wait, but fine... well, Tuesday evening's appointment time came and went and the man didn't show up. A bit later, the man's wife called to tell me that he couldn't make it (uh, duh!) and they wanted to reschedule for the following day, when (of course) I had to work and couldn't be there - but I got B to agree to be at home and the rooms were measured.

Fast forward a couple of days - I get a call from Lowe's... they have my measurements in and I just need to come pick out the carpet so they can get me a quote. WTF?!? I already did that... but, apparently, the employee didn't bother to record our carpet choice, so I had to go back up there and find the sample again to get it registered. So, I did this, and we got the quote, agreed to carpet the 3 secondary bedrooms, and ordered/paid for the carpet and install.

About 10 days later, I got a call from the installers to tell me that the carpet was in and they wanted to schedule the install. They had an available crew, the guy told me, on Tuesday the 30th, and they would arrive between 9 and 11am. I verified both the day and the date and checked to be sure that I would be available to be home. I wasn't working, and had no appointments that couldn't be put off, so we were set.

The boys and I started on Saturday with sorting their rooms, boxing their belongings and removing them from the bedrooms, filling up the living room with all sorts of stuff until you couldn't see the TV or sofa any longer! Middle Child was home Monday and Tuesday with the rash, so he was dumped on to help with the final movements and vacuuming. So, 9am came and went, then 10am, then 11am. At 11:30am, I called Lowe's and asked if they were planning on coming; the guy verified my phone number and said that he would contact the installers. At 12:15, I've still heard nothing, so I call Lowe's again... Oh, I'm on the installers schedule for tomorrow, I'm told; they were supposed to call me about it, so the Lowe's guy didn't bother. I threw a FIT! No way did I agree to tomorrow!! I can't be here! So, he says he'll have the installers call immediately - which they did - and I tore that guy a new a$$ also, but in the end, what do you do?? I need/want my carpet and they can't come until tomorrow... I tell the guy that I expect the installers to show up at 9am, not to be dragging in at 11. He says he'll make a notation. Yeah, right...

So, Wednesday morning comes and I'm up early again... 9am comes and goes. At 10:15, I had to leave to go to meet M's accountant (about the sale of the clinic) and to go to the OB appointment. On my way out of town, I call the installers to verify that they are still coming - first the guy says, "oh, yeah, they're still coming" and when I ask when to expect them, he asks my last name. "How can you tell me they're coming to my house when you don't know who I am??" I give him my name, he gets my file and confirms that the installers took my carpet with them when they left that morning.

I get to Cary at 11am and B texts me - "they're still not here". So, I call the installers and get their answering machine; that pisses me off, so I call Lowe's and ream their installation guy and chew his a$$. He says that he'll call the installers, and I call them again as well, this time someone answers. He tells me that the install team should be in SP by now, but he has been unable to reach them. After a few more tense phone calls, they finally show up at 12:15pm.

Now, I'm glad that we have new carpet and can't wait to see it, but I hate Lowe's!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The mystery rash and a HUGE computer blunder...

So, Middle Child has developed this rather funky rash...

it started around last Sunday or Monday, with a quarter-sized spot on his left wrist. He thought that it was a bug bite or something... then I noticed the marks on the left side of his neck - he told me they were scratches - which I believed until they developed papules/blisters. On Tuesday he was complaining about an itchy spot right above his pubic bone - he had scratched it raw and couldn't seem to leave it alone - so we put some Neosporin on it and covered it with gauze for 2 days. The bumps and itching just kept spreading until it has moved across the left side of his torso, and a little onto the right (really nothing much in the middle...), in his groin and on his upper legs (especially the left), down his left arm and up onto the left side of his face. They are strange little papules, possible with tiny blisters - hard to determine - that seem to be in linear-like clusters. I've talked to M, I've talked to Middle Child, I've looked online and I have no idea what is going on!! Maybe chicken pox, maybe poison ivy, maybe something else... but he has NO other signs - no fever, no inappetance, no malaise, no sore throat, etc. Just the itch and the rash.

It was extremely important to him to be allowed to go to the Drill Meet on Saturday as he made the freshman color guard (that's my baby... right rifle)

and this was going to be 1 of only 2 performances all school year - and really, up to that point, I thought that he'd just gotten into something playing in the woods around M's house on Sunday. A few doses of Benedryl and a couple of Aveeno baths had actually made him look and feel a bit better... So, we went on to Florence, SC early on Saturday morning and spent the better part of the day out in the sun at the meet.

They put on a pretty good performance, though their captain gave an incorrect call or 2 and ran them out of bounds - but they still took 3rd place, so they were all thrilled!! BUT, when we came home, and Middle Child took off his shirt... the rash had intensified and was twice as widespread and irritated as it had been that morning.

So, it's off to the doctor's tomorrow morning to find out what we're dealing with. So far, it is unresponsive to Benedryl (oral or topical), Triamcinolone cream, Aveeno baths and Neosporin - it just keeps spreading and getting worse despite what I've tried. Of course, there may be nothing to do about it - we may just have to let it run its course, but I'd like to know if it's contagious or not...

As for the other topic - the huge computer blunder... well, I was looking for something in my Pictures file - and found something that I wanted to delete - and SOMEHOW I deleted ALL of my pictures! I realized my blunder mid-delete and cancelled it, but still lost something like 2000 photos, many of which I didn't have backed up yet because I had run out of CDs. I went to the recycle bin and chose to "restore all files" but that didn't "fix" it; I don't know if there's a way to restore the system to the way it was a few days ago, but I'm going to call the computer guy who fixed First Born's laptop tomorrow morning and find out if he can do anything to recover what I've lost. I've been in a shitty mood all afternoon because of it - most of the pics were of the boys, our vacations, etc. I'm just praying that they can recover them...

Oh, yeah... M and I are moving ahead with the sale of her clinic; she forwarded the financial details to me because we have to negotiate a selling price before we meet with the accountant on Wednesday. Whew! There's a lot to this business stuff!! LOL

Monday, September 22, 2008

Holy crap! Where did all these clothes come from?!?

After our foray to the flea market Saturday, where B had the Doodle-bops pink Eagles onesie custom embroidered, I decided to go through her clothes and pull out stuff that I can have embroidered for her. So, I spent something like 2 FREAKIN' HOURS going through all of the clothing that I've accumulated these last few months... OMG!! I had NO idea that I'd bought so much!! I pulled out a few things that I saw stains on today - ick!! - and then some more boy stuff that was in the bottom of the containers, and all of the stuff that I'm not just crazy, mad in love with - and I still have 3 large Rubbermaid containers FULL and a chair full of stuff that I now need to try to sell or give away!! And, wouldn't you know it, I just bought 3 more outfits today! LOL As one of the girls said to me at work Friday night, when she caught me looking at baby clothes listed on SMO - "Doc, you need a 12 step program!"

But, I did get the baby's stuff more compacted so that it will be eaiser to move into the living room when the new carpet comes in (hopefully this week). I also found a dozen or so pieces that I'm going to take to have embroidered, most likely just with her first initial, though I have a couple that I'll either do "Doodle-bops" or her name on.

M and D drove down last night, after I left for work (and B is out of town this week) to pick up the bunks for D's boys. She called me just before I ran through the shower to let me know they were going to come down - so I disassembled the bunk bed and dragged everything out into the living room to make it a little easier for them. When the boys and I got home from school today, I didn't bother to give Little Man a head's up - just let him meander into his room and of course he yells out "where's my bed?!" And I played it up... "huh?? What do you mean? Silly.... etc" So he starts freaking out and I finally go down the hall to his room and when I walk in I hollered "Holy crap! Where's your bed?" Then I started laughing; but it was fun while it lasted!! He thought, just for a minute, that someone had broken in and stolen his beds!!

I'm off for another 8 days - until the 1st - and I have SO much to do!! I need to disassemble and dispose of both of the big computer desks and then the boys and I need to go through their rooms and sort the stuff... especially Little Man, as he has lost his hiding place under the bed! The room looks a bit like a hurricane tore through it right now...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Doodle-bops 3D!

Yep, today was the big day... our 3D/4D ultrasound - the last time we'll "see" the Doodle-bops before her official arrival!! Everyone (except B - don't get me started on that!) came - I picked up Middle Child and Little Man from school, First Born drove down from State, Mom and M picked up Gama - we had a room full!!

So, all along, B has been telling me that the Doodle-bops is going to have my nose. Yeah, whatever, I blew him off... well, they started off the u/s in 2D and then "framed" her face and switched to 3D - the first words out of my mother's mouth... "oh, she has YOUR nose!" I just about fell out of my seat! Thank God B wasn't in the room for that! (though I admit, I did go home and tell him what she said and I got that "and you doubted me?" look that he's famous for).

Little Man hoped and prayed for the discovery of a penis, but it was not to be - the Doodle-bops is, and shall remain, a little girl, much to his dismay! We got a fairly good shot (the clearest I've seen so far) of her little hoohah! (I won't post that picture as B doesn't want his daughter's private parts broadcast over the internet! LOL)

She kept her face smooshed up against the wall of M's uterus, so she was often distorted (reminded me of kids who smash their lips and noses up against the inside of a window to make faces at someone outside!), and she wanted to keep her arm/fist over her face, like she was trying to ward us off!!! She was very active with her tongue as well... stretching it out and then swallowing, time and again. It really looked like she was trying to suck her thumb as she would throw her arm up over her face and then arch her neck, open her mouth and extend her tongue as if trying to capture her thumb. Let's just say she's not terribly coordinated at this point!!

It's a little sad for me to think that this was the last time I'll get to "see" her before I get to SEE her, you know?? But, it was pretty neat to get a 3D view of her today... well worth what I paid :)

Totally different topic, but we finally ordered the carpet yesterday; in the end, we decided to go with wood in our bedroom, so just the boys' rooms will be carpeted. The carpet we chose only comes in a 12' width and because of the size of our bedroom (15'x16'), they had to order an extra 12'x16' piece to finish it, meaning we'd have oodles left over. It was going to cost $3k to do all 4 rooms and was just under $2k to do the 3; we calculated that it will cost between $800-1000 to do our bedroom in wood, so it really was a wash anyway, and B much prefers the wood, so... Hey, I figure he's got to install it... so it's no skin off my nose, so to speak. I left the decision completely up to him, but once we figured out the cost differential, it was already decided.

They told me that it will take anywhere from 5-14 days for them to get the carpet in, then they'll call me to schedule the installation. I'm going to go ahead and remove the items that are leaving - like the 2 computer desks and Little Man's bunk beds - just less to move/store when they bring the carpet in. Once we get the carpet down, I can move the boys and then I'll have a nursery to work on!! Woo hoo!!

I had B take a whole car load of stuff away today, and he's going to be cleaning out the storage units over the next few weeks as well. We went over there on Tuesday and looked through everything; I pointed out what was "trash" (nearly 1/2 of the larger unit) and he's going to haul it all away, then see if we can scale down to just 1 unit. I'm tired of paying nearly $150/month for storage when so much of it is just crap. Hopefully we'll be down to the 1 unit by the time the Doodle-bops gets here!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Is there a full moon tonight??

I felt like I'd walked straight into hell when I came into work tonight - there were people EVERYWHERE, dogs all around - Dr. S was freaking out when I got here and yelled at me "we've got 2 c-sections and a bloat... which one do YOU want?" I volunteered to cut the c-section and his response was "fine... you can have 'em both!" So, he went into surgery with the bloat - a 6yr old great dane - and I started trying to catch up with the rooms. Turns out that the first potential c-section (an English bull) wasn't really in active labor, and (most importantly) the owner didn't want to spend the $1500 it would take for me to cut her, so she opted to monitor her overnight and take her to their regular vet first thing in the morning. The 2nd potential c-section let me do 3 shots of oxytocin on her chihuahua, hoping that she'd be able to have the remaining 3 pups with a little chemical assistance... alas, this was not to be - after the 2nd injection, momma quit contracting, quit pushing, curled up and went to sleep!! Not gonna birth those pups THAT way! Her owner couldn't afford a c-section and will have to take the dog to her regular vet tomorrow morning also - momma will be fine; the pups might not fare so well.

Let's see... what else did we have here tonight?? An aggressive, "junk yard dog" with liver issues - oh, yeah, he's also limping - but the owner was super nice and signed off on everything I recommended (what a nice change!); plenty of vomiting, with and without accompanying (sometimes bloody) diarrhea - amazingly enough, none of it was parvo... one stress colitis, one coccidiosis, one pancreatitis. A big dog-little dog with a nasty laceration on it's ventral neck and a probable jaw fracture - the owner wanted only a pain shot. I made HER sign an AMA because the dog was gurgling and starting to have trouble breathing - terrible decision to just leave... that poor dog!! But I can't force people to let me treat their animals... yeah, this is why K could never do what I do - she'd have killed half my waiting room tonight!!

There was a dog who chewed a stick and had been gagging since - didn't find anything wrong with the dog, but his owner was hot (though not as hot as the guy who was in here last night with the redbone hound - good God almighty he was some eye candy!!) ;) I also had another Sergeant's toxicity come in - that crap really should be taken off the market!! Of course, if the owner's used some common sense... this was a 5# chihuahua and the product they used is labeled for 21-40#. That's almost the same thing, right?? We've seen a rash of Sergeant's issues this week - I've got two in-house right now, had one last night and one earlier in the week. Maybe Walmart had a sale??

I did have a "killing streak" tonight - we had a puppy that had been hit by a car and it's back was broken - oh, the rads were horrible... T11 was just crushed and his entire back was "tented". So, they opted to euthanize. Right as I finished that up, our other HBC (a little chihuahua with severe head trauma) started seizing and vocalizing, and his owner's opted to euthanize. As I finished up with him, the electric shock dog from Friday started seizing and her owner opted to euthanize! In less than 5 minutes, I permanently dispatched 3 dogs!! Now, in each and every case, the decision was the best for the pet, but still... a bit of a depressing run there!

In other areas - Mom had sent me an email on Friday to let me know that Dad had pneumonia but was doing well at home on meds. Today I got an "update" to let me know that he was having trouble breathing yesterday so they ended up in the ER last night. They did rads and then the pulmonologist ordered a CT scan to look for evidence of masses - luckily they found none!! He has some areas of scarring/emphysema - after 50 years of smoking, you don't say?? A couple of areas of pneumonia and some pulmonary effusion. Thankfully M was able to go to the hospital this morning with Mom and got to talk to the pulmonologist. They still had Dad down in Emergency Holding but the pulmonologist said that he was definitely staying overnight, so they were going to officially admit him and move him to a real room this afternoon. I think I'm going to go to Cary when I get out of work tomorrow morning and see how he's doing. My Dad has a really bad habit of underplaying his illnesses until they become critical, which is most aggravating because he is a very intelligent man!! I guess I do it also to some extent - but having a medical degree, I tend to self-medicate and know when it's beyond my capabilities!!

At any rate... when something does happen, M and I are notified in a most casual manner (IF we're notified at all) - as in "When you order the chenille, you'd better get 1-1/2 yards; I finished staining the rocking chair also. By the way, your father is in the hospital with pneumonia. Did you ever order the chandelier that you liked?" Okay, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Doodle-bops update!!

We had our last diagnostic ultrasound today and everything looked just fabulous!! Dr. D said that she "still looks like a girl" and I promptly informed him that if he's been wrong all this time, he needs to consider a career change! While we were looking at her hoohah, she actually peed and I could see it! It was the weirdest thing, but there is it on the DVD - so I got to see it again when B and I watched it tonight when I got home, so of course I pointed it out to him. He said, "they PEE in there?" Uh, yeah, of course they do - when their little kidneys start working, and they're swallowing amniotic fluid - they pee. "Oh, gross." What-eva! I thought it was cool as heck to SEE on the u/s!! If I could figure out how to dissect it out, I'd post that part -but B says I can't - I don't have his permission to post his daughter's girly parts on the internet!!

During the u/s, M and I were discussing various things, including baby size at birth - and Dr. D piped in telling us that she will be average sized "at best" and maybe even a little smaller - he estimates 7-8#!! Woo hoo!! Sounds GREAT to me! B has been insisting that the Doodle-bops "told" him that she was going to be between 7 and 8#! LOL Anyway, Dr D put her measurements into his fancy-schmancy computer and came up with 2# 8oz for her current weight estimation :) which is just average size for 28 weeks.

Anyway, he gave me a few more profile shots, which were just like the others, and then this one...waving to her daddy, who wasn't at the u/s!!

So, M says that she's ready for this to be over... she says that the Doodle-bops has a kick-boxing lesson at 3am every day and she's more than ready to hand her off to us so she can wake US up at night!! I'm ready for that, too!! Bring it on!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What a week this has been!

The boys have been with us this week, not that I've been home! I had to work both Monday and Tuesday nights, then Wednesday I was in Cary for our OB appt (the Doodle-bops is doing GREAT and M STILL barely has a belly!); the Design Consign Show occupied the rest of Wednesday and most of Thursday, but I got some killer designer clothes for a great price!! My baby girl is going to be a well-dressed child!! I did get home in time to pick the boys up from school on Thursday and I was also home on Friday, but that was so little of the week, really, with the boys in school :(

My mother had called earlier in the week and wanted the boys to come visit her (and M's kids) which worked out well because I'm working all weekend - day shift - Saturday through Monday. Thank GOD this is the last week that my schedule sucks like this. Starting in September, I should be home almost all of the time that the boys are with us. I am SO looking forward to being a pseudo-stay-at-home-mom!

Middle Child joined the JROTC at Union Pines and is just so excited! I took him to get a haircut on Thursday, thinking he'd get a fade, but he chose to have his whole head buzzed. He got his garrison cap on Friday and they gave him a uniform as well, but he couldn't bring that home because they have to alter the pants and sew the insignia on the shirt and jacket. He also got his shoes - looks like he'll be learning to shine them! I'll post a picture of him in uniform once he has it. They wear their uniforms to school on Wednesdays and that's part of their grade. He's been uber helpful since he joined and I never have to prompt him for a "yes, Ma'am" anymore... if he gets nothing else out of JROTC, that's worth it!

Friday after school I went and talked to his Commander - he's a retired O6, Navy - very nice man. I wanted to see if there were events that I could volunteer at since my commander will let me RST with them! He said that they always need female chaparones on field trips since they have female cadets and very few female volunteers; I told him that he could definitely count me in! I think Middle Child told me that they'll be going to Arlington some time this year.

Little Man got his flute finally and is totally enamoured of it, at least so far! He's also excited about the prospect of the band trips they make to play - Carowinds, Busch Gardens, Disney... Not to be one-upped by Middle Child, he wants me to chaparone those trips with him!! Looks like I might get the better stuff this year - no more waste water treatment plants! I'm moving up in the food chain! LOL

Only other thing I can think of... my dumb ass ex-BIL has now told the psychologist doing the custody re-evaluation (yes, the same woman that he felt the need to enlighten about how many times I've been married and that whole load of BS about the court taking my boys away from me!) that he believes that M is NOT carrying my baby after all - that my sister has merely gotten herself knocked up out of wedlock and has contrived this elaborate story as a cover up. Seriously, where in the hell does he get this shit?? I decided to keep this tidbit to myself - if B found out, he might actually go looking for the dumbass!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ahhh...... insomnia.....

Or maybe it's just "busy brain"... All I know is I wake up in the middle of the night and even though I'm tired, there's no going back to sleep.

This morning, I woke up at 3am, tossed and turned for an hour, then sat up and dragged out the laptop - might as well amuse myself if I'm not going to get any sleep. I can't even really sleep in tomorrow because I have the guy coming to measure for the new floors at 10am!!

First Born has gone back to school and I miss him :( He went back a few days early because his friends were already moving into the dorms and he wanted to spend time with them. Then he posted an apology on my Facebook page because he was afraid that he upset me by leaving 2 days earlier than he absolutely HAD to!! He's such a sweet child! I'm having trouble letting him grow up, but that's MY burden, not his, and that's what I told him! I never gave a second thought as to how my parents felt when I moved away from home, because I was too caught up in what I wanted to do...

As much as I didn't want him to go, I'm looking foward to all that I have to do now - well, not ALL of it!! I am dreading having to disassemble all the furniture and move it out of the bedrooms so we can replace the floors, but I'm very much looking foward to having the floors replaced! It's going to be a LOT of work to get this done, and I don't have all that long to do it - maybe 10 weeks - but at the same time, I can't wait to get started on the nursery! I've picked the main wall color (a pink that matches the bedding), now I need to get a chocolate to paint the inside of the closet (can't leave it ORANGE!!) and I'm debating whether to leave the trim the antique white that it is currently, or go with a more ivory color... A good portion of the woodwork will need to be repainted regardless - either the same color or something different; so it's just a matter of deciding what I prefer. I found some shears at the Habitat store that I might go back and get tomorrow... they're ivory, so maybe I'll just try to match them - right now, the woodwork is a little more white... then I can get the ivory chandelier and it won't look dingy! Oh, so many decisions!! LOL

We have another OB appointment next Wednesday (the glucose tolerance test - ick!), then I have the preview for the trunk sale that night (the Divine Consign show in north Raleigh); I think I'm going to stay with my grandmother Wednesday night because (1) I haven't seen her in a while and it would make her happy and (2) I'm volunteering at the show for an 8am shift on Thursday (that's how I get to go to the preview Wednesday night) and it makes no sense to drive all the way back home Wednesday night!! The boys are here next week and they'll be in school, so Bill will have to deal with that, but it will be alright. I hope they have some nice stuff at the sale! Not that I really need to buy any more clothes at this point, BUT... maybe if I can find some slightly larger sizes?? We'll see...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This weekend really has worn me down!

The last few days have really kicked my ass for some reason; ok, so I got NO sleep Saturday night, but I did sleep most of the day on Sunday before I went back to work - and I did get a few hours sleep on Sunday night, then took my usual nap Monday morning... but I just can't seem to really wake up! It's very aggravating! I have NO energy right now!! I'm trying so hard to get back to the gym, but I don't want to do much of anything!

Of course, the majority of the weight I've gained is hormone induced, and primarily in the form of edema - nothing to be done about that until I stop the BCPs. And believe me, while I'm supposed to stay on them until the end of September, I'm seriously considering stopping much sooner. God, how did I ever take these things for years on end?? No wonder I was a bigger back before I got pregnant with First born than I am now! Not like it's really all that much weight - but I can still tell I've gained 5 or 6 lbs, and it all seems to be between my waist and my knees!! My clothes still fit, but they fit a little bit differently... more annoying than anything!!

The boys went to work with me last night; WHY they want to ever go is beyond my comprehension, but they were both insistent, so I took them along. They really don't cause me any problems, though there were a few tough moments last night. They are very inquisitive, which I generally encourage, BUT they were having trouble last night with understanding that I can't evaluate a patient and make quick decisions about it's emergent care AND simultaneously answer their never ending questions about what's going on and sometimes totally unrelated stuff. There was one time that a dog was semi-crashing and I had to yell at them to just shut up and then later with that same dog, they were between me and the equipment that I needed to care for the dog and I had to snap at them to get out of the surgery room. I hate being short-tempered like that with them, and I tried to explain it to them on the way home this morning... this is my JOB and the animals that I'm treating come FIRST; their questions are a distraction and can be answered LATER and they have to STAY OUT OF MY WAY!!

Anyway, we went to bed around midnight - the 3 of us in the slightly oversized twin bed... yeah, right. I dozed off for about an hour and woke up squished between the boys - so I flipped over upside-down and ended up with Middle Child's feet in my face. Nice... So I made a palette on the floor, just about the time some idiot brought her freakin' chihuahua in... now, I know the definition of an emergency is "anything that the client deems is an emergency" BUT this dog has had bloody diarrhea for 3 days, or maybe longer - the owner wasn't really sure; she's 8 yrs old, unspayed and the owner has never taken her to the vet. Now, suddenly at 2am, this diarrhea is an emergency?? Well, fine... but it turned out to be a $600 emergency by the time I was through with her.

The client left about 4am (I made her leave the dog for overnight treatment) and I went back to bed, on the concrete floor, on top of a pile of shoes and who knows what else... needless to say I really didn't sleep. Little Man woke me up at 9am because once again, my favorite overnight tech left me sleeping. I've asked her several times NOT to do this!! I really want to go HOME when the shift is over!! So, we trudged home and I tried to take a nap - but Middle Child was washing the chinchilla's rugs right outside my bedroom door, and then the boys decided that they wanted milkshakes (and the blender is terribly LOUD), and First Born came in to get my laptop and then my car keys... so I didn't really get any sleep this morning. That's alright - I don't expect it to be too busy tonight either; I can probably be in bed by midnight or 1am. In bed, BY MYSELF! LOL And then I'm actually off work tomorrow, which will be nice :) if I'm not too tired to function!

Changing subjects.... M says that the Doodle-bops does a lot of rolling and kicking, and while it can be annoying at 3am, it keeps her from ever having to worry if she's doing alright! She told me that a few days ago, the baby was doing something that felt like she was being tickled from the inside out! Strange! *sigh* That's what I'm missing most about this pregnancy - I loved feeling my babies move inside me!

I'm looking foward to the next OB visit; we do the Glucon challenge then. M says that the baby is very active any time she eats so that I should get to feel her moving after they spike her blood sugar!! I haven't felt her move yet :( though M says she's felt it enough for all of us!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another OB visit -

This was our third - we saw Tricia, the NP again... it was quick and easy - she measured M's uterus (which I think came in at 22cm) and checked the Doodle-bops heartbeat with the Doppler (144-146 bpm); so far, so good!! I should just be thankful for an uneventful pregnancy, right?? She did tell us that next visit is the Glucon (?? not sure if that's right) test - you know, where you drink the super-sweet, nasty, sugary crap and then have blood drawn an hour later... anyway, of course I'll be there - we're seeing a different doctor that day also. Gotta meet 'em all, I guess; if we're lucky, M will go into labor on Sunday the 16th and who knows who will deliver the Doodle-bops!! Anyway, I figured that I should come and keep her company - I know that she still has that persistent, low grade nausea and the Glucon solution isn't going to help that any! Blech!! Makes me glad that I'm not the pregnant one!! LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just when I finally convinced B

that he can't whoop M's ex's ass just because the man "deserves a good ass whooping," my dumbass, self-righteous ex-BIL does something to piss B off... I got this email from my sister earlier this week - (I've edited out the contact information, though I don't know why... I should have left the asshole's email addy and phone number on here - LOL

Thought you might get a chuckle out of this.....apparently you have joined me in being the root of all evil. You'd think by now I'd be over being surprised at what a horses ass my ex can be, but the fun just keeps coming. Of course then I had to Email Dr. N***** (she's doing our custody reevaluation) and apprise her of the actual situation. It's just amazing the crap he can concoct.....frighteningly enough I'm sure he actually believes this. I think my divorce once again tops your's for nastiness (LOL).

Talk to you soon,


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: B H
To: Linda N
Cc: mh
Sent: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:33:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: appointment

Dr. N*****,

I also feel that I need to add a situation today to the notes to be discussed.
Today when I picked up the children and they came home we went swimming.
L made a comment about her mother being pregnant and then T was very upset with her saying out loud that mom told us not to say anything and keep it a secret. Turns out that the baby is apparently a surrogate for her sister (who has 3 children from the first 2 of her 4 marriages). She also doesnt have custody because a court decided that custody should go to the father. Her older sister wanted another baby with the 4th husband but couldnt so M said she would carry it. I am very concerned that the children would be asked and have the added pressure to keep secrets (especially from their father) and that is completely inappropriate. Thanks

Blair H

My reply was basically - "Well, I guess I'm just a skank ho' who's had 19 children by 16 different men... and I didn't even friggin' realize that I don't have custody of my boys - obviously B knows better and M and I have been doing it wrong all these years. I guess I'd better go tell them they have to go back to their father's house now, since they're not allowed to be here."

I don't know what planet B is living on or in what universe he operates, but he's just not here (in the land of the sane and reasonable) with the rest of us!I had to ask M what this was all about and apparently they are currently going through a custody re-evaluation, which was built into the original agreement (review and adjustments as needed at the 1 yr anniversary) - pretty smart since I know first hand how difficult (if not impossible) it is to change custody orders once they are finalized...

Now, if B truly thought that my sister was encouraging her children to lie to him, I can see that being a concern... but he could have mentioned that to the counselor without divulging any personal details about ME. My life, my history, the number of times I've been married, MY custody situation - even if I HAD been declared an unfit mother - really have NO bearing whatsoever on THEIR custody agreement/arrangement!! It's not like my sister and I are living together or watching each other's children, even occasionally!! Of course, his intent wasn't simply to pass on information that concerned him; his true intent was to present M as a woman who would agree to carry and bear a child for a sister who is obviously unfit, since she has had several children by multiple men, all of which she has lost through the court system. M said that she sent the counselor an email expressing her opinion that the information B provided had absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand and that, just "for the record," I do have joint custody of my sons and always have.

The other pertinent fact being that she didn't ask the children to lie to B in the first damn place!! When she told them about the baby, L (bless her sweet little heart) jumped up and asked if she could call her daddy to tell him; M told her that, no, she could not - that B would find out about it, and while it was not a secret, right now it really wasn't any of his concern so L didn't need to make an immediate phone call. M says that L's the "informer" - I know how that is!! I have one, too!

Anyway, I read the email outloud to B who asked me to read it a second time, then let out a long breath and mumbled, "He shoulda just left me, left us, out of it..." Now we're all thinking it would be a BAD idea for my B to ever meet M's B. Let's just say that, if the two DO ever meet, B is planning on handling it "South Philly style" and there's not going to be a damn thing I can do about it!The BEST part is, the Asshole forwarded his email to M and then when he saw her in person, he congratulated us and told her that it was a wonderful, selfless thing that she's doing. WTF?!? Talk about bipolar - maybe his manic self doesn't know what his depressive self does...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Whoever said chinchillas aren't "prolific breeders"??

Twinkle had baby number 3 early this afternoon. I had had First Born checking them daily while B and I were gone - just to make sure that, if it were to be born, the baby was in the bottom half of the cage where the hardware cloth would keep it from escaping... he told me this afternoon that there was no baby, but then he also said that he couldn't see inside the little Igloo thingy and God forbid that he reach INTO the cage to check...

So anyway, when I got home this evening, I went to see for myself and I moved the Igloo - what I found looked like a dried up piece of placenta, and I kinda freaked out until I saw the little legs and tail poking out from under Twinkle. This new baby appears (so far) to be a girl and she's the same silver grey color as Slippers. Her umbilical cord was still wet looking and she was moving very slowly, so I think she was only a few hours old when I 'discovered' her! I checked her again later this evening and her gait has definitely picked up!! She'll be jumping in just a few days time! Thank goodness I got that hardware cloth installed last week! Little Man will be SO thrilled to hear that his baby chin has arrived!!

Speaking of Little Man, I got the cutest note from him at camp... he's having fun except for the spiders and snakes, and the food's not too good, so he asked for a care package that included Goldfish crackers and chocolate! LOL I'm going to go out tomorrow and buy him stuff and ship it Priority so he'll have it by Wednesday; of course, I'll send Middle Child something too... I didn't have an address for them, so I didn't know if we could write or send stuff. Apparently their dad gave them stamped and addressed envelopes so they could write US if they chose to do so! Or maybe, like when I was at camp, the counselor's make the kids write home!! Whatever the case, I'm SO glad he did!! It's the cutest note! Oh, I'm glad to be back home. I didn't sleep well at ALL in that hotel!! B is still up in Philly/DC and will be coming home some time tomorrow. I hope he is able to leave in the morning 'cause I'd really like to see him before I have to go to work!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

We're half-way there!!

Amazing... I can't believe that we are HALF WAY THERE!! It seems unreal - I remember, so very clearly, sitting on that concrete wall outside the "Medico" in El Salvador, on that crazy cell phone, talking to my sister and asking her a million questions about the transfer... I remember lying on my back with my legs dangling over the edge of the wall and staring up at the stars, swatting away mosquitoes that I hoped weren't carrying malaria!! I didn't think we'd ever get here, but now it seems that it all happened in just the blink of an eye!

Our 2nd ultrasound was today - done by Dr. D, the peri who did the nuchal scan. B opted to stay home today - he said he'd just "watch the movie." The very idea that he might see any portion of my sister's body just makes him so uncomfortable he can barely sit still. I don't think he'll be able to stay in the room for the delivery! If he gives it a shot, he'll end up sneaking out before the good part - part of it is his age, I'm sure. He says it's because he has to see my sister again, and if he accidentally caught a shot of her hoo-ha... well, that's the image that would pop into his mind every time he looked at her, and he's not willing to risk that! LOL That's ok... I'll catch our baby girl and he can meet her after we get her cleaned up!

Anyway, back to the u/s - The Doodle-bops was very active today and looked just great per Dr. D. We got some lovely shots of her face - though it looked a little freaky as she moved in and out of the plane of the u/s - at times it looked like her eyeballs were popping out of her skull!! Everything is developing perfectly, though - her femur, humerus, head circumference all measure 19w and 2-6d (we're 19w6d today) - her abdominal circumference came in at a whopping 20w2d!! So she's a chubby little girl already! LOL Oh, and the bleed is entirely gone!! Woo hoo!! What GREAT news!

And her profile, mouth open -

M is hoping that she will be closer to the size of HER children at birth than to MINE, since mine were at least a pound larger and that's a big percentage when you're only talking about 7-8#.

Baby Girl's crib bedding arrived this morning and I took the throw pillow to mom (she came for the u/s) so that she would have a sample of each of the 3 fabrics in it. We're going to put the rocker that my grandmother got when I was born into the Doodle-bops' room; mom is going to make coordinated pads for the seat and back for me, and now she has some fabric to go off of. The bedding is nice - not as luxurious or "rich" as it looked online (imagine that...), and it will all desperately need to be ironed before we can use it, but it will do - I think it will make a pretty nursery once it's assembled. Mom is on the hunt for picture frames to use for the 4 generation pics like she did for my niece - a pic of my grandmother at about age 4, my mother at about age 2, we'll find an appropriate pic of me as a toddler and then the 4th will be for the Doodle-bops and we'll update the pic periodically until she is 2-3 yrs old and then leave it at that

Mom is already planning out her first "formal portrait" in January!! She wants to go back to M who did the family portraits last March - she has my christening gown or, if that's too large, a pretty gauzy handmade dress that came from Barbados. She said we need to repeat the pic of "all the girls" because "we did that last year, but you didn't have your little girl, so we'll have to do it again." She is really getting into the idea of this baby, which is wonderful, and she is thrilled that it's a girl - as we all are!