Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 2009

Well, Christmas has come and gone. Usually I am left with a feeling of disappointment that after all the hype and build up leading to Christmas, it is now over, and there isn't much to look forward to for a few months. This year, I must admit, I am looking forward to December being over. This has been one of the worst months, health-wise, that I've experienced.

I got bronchitis early in the month, and started on an antibiotic. After improving some, I started feeling horrible again, and went back to the doctor. He said I probably built up a resistance to the first antibiotic, since I've taken it so many times, (bronchitis and I are close friends), so it failed. He said since I am basically experiencing asthmatic symptoms at this point, that he would give me an inhaler to use and start me on a second antibiotic. But, that's not the worst part.

The worst part is that due to the incessant coughing, I've bruised a rib, or some such nonsense. I really cannot imagine the pain someone experiences when they break a rib, because this hurts like a... not nice word that if written in my blog would result in my parents getting a phone call from my relatives. Sneezing almost brings me to my knees. It hurts to cough, and even to breathe in deeply. I can only sleep in one position - on my back, half propped up on pillows, and I still spend part of the night coughing. Poor Jim has been sleeping on the couch for almost a month. BUT - last night he came back to our bed, and I am finally starting to feel better. It still hurts to sneeze or cough, but I'm coughing less, and breathing deeper. Breathing is always good. So, I was planning on writing a list of New Year's Resolutions, but really, I just resolve to be healthier in 2010. Health is something none of us should take for granted.

In spite of December being rough, many great memories were made. Dylan really wasn't all that excited about Santa, or even getting presents this year. Maybe because he just got tons of presents for his birthday? When we would ask him what he wanted, he would simply say, "Presents". He was mainly excited about the act of opening presents (he rips the paper off with sheer abandon and joy), and eating Christmas cookies! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Christmas day...

Laying in the huge pile of discarded paper...

Eating cookies with his grandma(Jim's mom)...

Laughing with Daddy...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comfort and Joy

I'm very particular about how I sleep. It needs to be quiet. Strange snoring/whining noises are not appreciated or tolerated, and result in a strong poke and disgusted huff. There cannot be any light in the room. Night lights are ridiculous. The obnoxious green glare from my husband's alarm clock continues to be an issue. I turn it around. He turns it back, and ...repeat. The blinds need to be shut in such a way that allows for the smallest possible amount of moonlight to filter through. The bathroom door must be shut, so that the light from those windows don't seep into the room. The room should be comfortable - not cold, not hot, certainly not the sauna-like conditions my husband likes to sleep in, which has me waking up a sweaty, soppy mess. Slightly cool would be optimum. I dress light. No sweatpants or sweatshirts. No layers or heavy socks. But every area must be covered. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and feel cold air up my shirt. I tuck my shirt into my pants. I also tuck my pants into my socks. That's right. It's quite sexy, as my husband will tell you.

Jim can sleep in almost any condition. He can sleep with the TV blaring (and does every.single.night). He can sleep with bright sunlight in the room. But, as I've mentioned before, he likes the room toasty. He is warm through the day, and I am freezing. Then, at night our metabolisms switch. Somehow, I manage to love him in spite of this bizarre nightly occurrence.

Recently, I bought Dylan new pajamas. I bought the ones with the feet for a very specific reason. If he wears ones without feet, he takes his socks off every.single.night. When we go in to get him in the morning, he is barefoot, and his feet are cold. I worried about him having cold feet, especially since he is still sick. When I showed him the new pajamas, he touched them, and remarked, "They're so soft!" I thought I had achieved success. This morning, Jim came in to tell me... "You have to see Dylan. He somehow took off just the bottom half of those pajamas". Sure enough, there he was with his arms and chest covered, but bare from the diaper down.

This afternoon, I put a new sheet on his bed before nap, and he rushed over to inspect my work. "That's not right!", he moaned. "WHAT?! What's the problem?", my not so patient self replied. "It's not blue! It's white!", I explained. (He won't sleep on blue sheets. He won't sleep on patterned sheets. He won't sleep on flannel sheets. White. They have to be plain white). "Those aren't COLD!", he whined. (Talking to myself..) "I'm going to need patience. A lot of patience. Breathe in. Breathe out).
"Dylan, these are the regular plain white sheets. Not the hot ones(flannel)". "No, they're not. They're not the cold ones or the hot ones. They're WARM". Apparently the new plain white sheets I bought are a different thread count or some such nonsense that just changes freakin' everything. (Breathe in. Breathe out).

I give up. We all have our night time quirks. The things that make perfect sense to us, but absolutely none to others. The things that make us happy and comfortable. The person who does this...

really can't say too much about anyone else's method.

Here's wishing you and your family whatever brings you Comfort and Joy this holiday season.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Way He Wasn't Getting His Hands On Some

What do you do when there is 4 inches of snow outside, your entire family is getting over being sick, and you have a kid who is VERY ANXIOUS AND EXCITED to play with some snow?

You improvise...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Proud Wife

No one knew what kind of father Jim would be. Growing up, Jim never talked about wanting children. When I met bachelor Jim, he said it "was something he would consider if he met the right person". In the two years that we dated, I didn't get many opportunities to see him around children.

I have always been impressed with how creative Jim is. I knew how creative he was at work (as a graphic designer), and how creative he was at home with his home-made cards for me and woodworking projects. What I didn't realize until Dylan was born, was what a great father Jim would be, and how he would use that same creativity in his most important role - as Dylan's dad.

Monday, December 14, 2009


*I need to catch up. What can I say about Dylan's first ever school performance? Um...thank God for video cameras comes to mind. Geniuses that we are, even though we got there early and had a nice choice of seats, we picked the EXACT row in which it was impossible to see him. I saw the music teacher's head and the music stand. Luckily, when Jim realized the situation he got up and took the video camera over to another area.

When Dylan put on his "shows" for us at home, there was a lot of jumping, running off the "stage", and the sudden and urgent need to grab a drum, guitar, etc. We knew he knew the songs, because he was singing them constantly, but to be honest I did NOT have high hopes. I might have remarked to Jim at some point beforehand, "I'm going to pray they don't have him next to X". "X" is a very tiny, fragile little girl who is always dressed like an ad out of a magazine. I had the image of Dylan jumping around and knocking poor X off the steps, her perfect little pigtails coming loose and her dress flying up over her head as her parents fainted.

Instead, he.stood.still. No really, this is big. If you've ever met my kid you understand. He was very serious. I don't think he smiled once, but he stood still and sang the songs. I'm pretty sure the teachers bribed him with the cookies the kids were getting after the show. Whatever works.

*If you are wondering if I'm still sick, the answer is yes. Yesterday was the worst day. You know the "I want my mommy" kind of bad? Like that. I tried to take a nap, since I hadn't slept at all that night, but could not stop coughing for even five minutes. The more I coughed, the angrier I got. I was like a snarly old bear, who couldn't hibernate, and Jim and Dylan tried to stay out of my grizzly path for the most part. By the evening, I was so miserable, I got out the computer and googled, "HOW DO YOU STOP COUGHING?!?!" I love the internet. It had all kinds of natural methods for me to try, and I would have tried them all, but I didn't have most of the ingredients I needed. Heck, if it said sucking on a rattlesnakes tail would stop coughing I would have tried that. The funny thing is that what I ended up doing, (hot water, with honey and lemon), was what my mom used to give me when I was sick. Told you I wanted my mommy.

Today I feel like I've turned a corner, and I'm starting to feel better. I slept last night finally, so that helped. I had to sleep partially sitting up, so I wouldn't cough, but still, I slept!!

*I asked my employer if I could switch days with her mom, who watches the kids on Thursdays and Fridays, but she said to just stay home this week. I don't exactly get paid sick days, so that pretty much sucks, but I'm determined to make the best of it. So, since I got to stay home today, here is today's cuteness...

-When he woke up from his nap, he immediately told me, "Mommy! I need a new room! I need a new bed, and I need a new closet, and I need a new door, and I need new toys, and I need new books, and I need a new rug!" Did you ever have one of those days when you look around your house, and you're just not happy with your old stuff? My 3 year old boy understands.

-We were sitting at the table, having a snack. I remarked, "Dylan, I love your eyes. They are such a pretty green color". Then, I took off my glasses and moved my face close to his, saying, "What color are my eyes?" After a few seconds of staring sweetly into each other's eyes, he remarked with a serious expression, "Your eyes look like... English muffins". Then, he cracked up.

-When Jim got home and wanted to play with Dylan, Dylan said, "You're not Daddy! You're not Daddy until you have on your jammy shirt and your jammy pants!" (He was still in his work clothes).

Friday, December 11, 2009


This has been some week. Monday I had the chills all day at work, and realized I was getting sick. Tuesday I had a horrible sore throat and only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before.

Wednesday morning I got up to get a shower, felt like my head was on fire, went downstairs to get some Tylenol, and had to slump down into a chair because I thought I might pass out. I made a doctor appointment for 7:15 that evening. Somehow I got Dylan to school, and went to Borders to buy his teachers Christmas gifts.

That afternoon, even though all I wanted to do was crawl into bed myself while Dylan napped, I knew I had to do laundry. I also needed to call the pediatrician and find out the results of Dylan's allergy test. They were never sent. Surprise, surprise! (Is incompetency rampant lately or is it just me?) When the nurse finally called me back after searching them down, I was told Dylan is allergic to cats (our "outdoor" cat is now in our basement for the winter), and that he has a moderate allergy to peanuts. I was told to make an appointment with an allergist as soon as possible.

After the phone call, I went down to the basement to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer. (Oh, I probably should have mentioned that a wind storm was passing through). The power went out, leaving me in a pitch black laundry room. I felt my way to the door, and into Jim's work space, praying I wouldn't step on a nail, a saw, or the cat. That was about 3pm. Around 3:30 or so, Dylan woke up. I tried to explain to him that a storm made the lights go out. "There's no light?!", he exclaimed. "But there is", he remarked, looking around the room. "Well, there's light in the room now, because the sun is still out, but we can't turn any lights on, Dylan". That prompted him to run wildly to each and every room, flicking switches, shouting updates, "THERE'S NO LIGHT IN THE KITCHEN!...THERE'S NO LIGHT IN THE LIVING ROOM!!...THERE'S NO LIGHT IN..."

After he got over the initial shock of the "no light" thing, he decided to just not worry about it and started playing. I started thinking, "Okay it is almost 4:00. The sun goes down around 5:00. That means it is going to get very cold and dark very quickly. I need to act fast!". I called my dad to tell him we were going to come there. Then, I quickly packed up some stuff, in case we ended up needing to stay over. I told Dylan I was going to pack stuff in the car, went down to the garage, and stopped. Then, I came back up and called my dad again. "Uh, I can't leave because I can't use the garage opener". He said he would come get us. Then, he called back to say, "Uh, I don't have a car seat in my car". Then, I called Jim to say, "Help?!" He told me there's a manual override on the garage door, but didn't know where or how to do it. While Dylan continued playing in near darkness (love that kid!), I stumbled my way around the garage with a flashlight until I finally figured out how to open the door. We went to my parents for the evening. Luckily the power was back on by 8pm (Jim stopped at home after work to check), so we could sleep in our own beds. Right. Except that I haven't slept since Sunday, because I am up coughing.

Thursday, after Dylan's first ever school performance, (which I'll post about later), I went to the doctor's. I have a sinus infection and bronchitis - AGAIN!! I just got over that in October. WTH?!?! I hate being sick. I become very, very cranky. Today, I had no patience or energy to deal with Dylan, and I think he might be getting sick also. We weren't getting along. He has been doing so well on the potty, but today, fought me each time. At one point he was doing the dance and I asked, "Do you need to go potty?" "No! NO! NO!" He made such a fuss, I gave up. No lie, five minutes later, he pooped and peed in his pants, and I went nuts.

A while later, we were in his bedroom, and he asked to listen to some music. I said, "which one do you want?". He pointed to his potty cd, saying "I think I need that one". Then, he sat there seriously poring over the book while those lunatics sang the potty songs, as if he were studying. It's hard to be mad, when there's that much cute in a room.

* (If you're wondering what potty music sounds like, go HERE).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Random, Simply Random

*First off, I have to explain why I deleted my Tiger Woods post. I found out last night that SNL did a skit about Elin beating up Tiger that got many people upset. Why? Because Rhianna was the musical guest that night. People didn't feel it was appropriate to be poking fun at domestic violence when she was on the show. The more I thought about it, the more guilty I felt.

See, I might be a bit of a feminist. I believe that women and men should be treated equally, and I hate double standards. Double standards like when men cheat, it is the women's fault and he can't help it, but when women cheat, they are sluts. My view on adultery is the same. I make no apologies for that. Cheating when anyone does it is wrong in my book. But, I feel I perpetuated a double standard of my own. Why is it horrible for a man to beat his wife, but funny when a woman does it? Maybe because we feel that women are defenseless, and that if a man gets beat up by his wife, he is a "sissy". That bothers me, and the fact that I must somewhat feel that way bothers me. A chilhood friend of mine had a mother who verbally abused her dad. There was no physical abuse, but the verbal abuse was consistent, and damaging to her dad's self esteem and self respect. Even though I didn't offend anyone, (that I know of), I would like to say I don't approve of domestic violence of any sort.

*I took Dylan to be tested for allergies on Friday. His pediatrician wrote me a script to have him tested a YEAR ago. (Hanging my head in shame) I had built it up in my head to be such a horrific experience that I put it off and put it off. After the scary experience on Wednesday I couldn't put it off any longer. Here's the thing... it was nothing. He didn't even cry. He did better than I do with needles. He did WAY better than Jim does with needles. He watched the nurse put the needle into his arm and draw the blood. But, tell the kid we are out of milk. Go ahead. Tell him. I dare you.

*He is obsessed with Christmas music this year. He can hear only the first few notes of a song, and he will shout out, "IT'S JINGLE BELLS!!" It's a bit freaky, and we have to get it on video. Is there a game show we can take him on?

*Lately when I tell him to do something he doesn't want to do, like "It's time to go upstairs for nap", or "It's time for bed", he replies ever so sweetly, "No thanks". At least he is polite in his insubordination.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Can He Inherit Some Good Stuff From Me?

When I was little (maybe 5?), I stayed in the hospital, and each morning a nurse I despised would come in and give me several allergy tests. My parents were called when my little roommate and I stole a gurney, and blocked the door, so the nurse couldn't come in. I believe we were ever so sweetly singing "Nyah, Nyah!" at her, while we jumped on the beds.

My parents were told I was allergic to milk, cats, down feathers, dust, mildew, certain types of perfume, and pine trees (no real Christmas trees from then on). There might have been more. I also can't be around hay, daffodils, hyacinths, and snobby people. Then, my mom started dragging me to the doctor's to get weekly allergy shots. I also hated that nurse. Her and my mom would start talking and I swear she would forget she had the needle in my arm. At least, that's how I remember it. I have no idea how long my mom had to do that, but it seemed like a long time.

When we had Dylan, I knew there was a 50/50 shot he would have allergies of some kind. Jim doesn't have any. He might need "selective memory" shots, though. Do they have those?

We knew that Dylan had allergies, because his nose runs pretty much constantly, and he often has sneezing fits. His allergies seemed largely environmental or seasonal. He did have a reaction when my mother in law gave him a bite of a peanut butter cookie, so we've avoided peanut butter since then, to be safe. I wasn't expecting what happened today, though.

This morning when I went in to get Dylan, he was fine. "You get to go to school today!", I said. We went downstairs, and I gave him his usual breakfast of an organic blueberry waffle and some milk. I can't remember the order after that, but at some point, he went to the potty, got some chips for doing so, gave Jim a hug goodbye, and played while I dried my hair in the bathroom. As I was drying my hair I heard him sneeze. Then again, and again, and again, and maybe 10 more times. I came out, and went over to blow his nose, and saw that his one eye was completely red and swollen. I thought maybe he hit it on something, so I asked him. "No!', he cried, then started rubbing his nose with such force I thought he would break it. Within about 1/2 hour, both his eyes were red, watering, and practically swollen shut. His nose was red and swollen, as were his ears. I gave him some Children's Zyrtec, and put in a video hoping to distract him from the itchiness. Suddenly he started screaming and crying, grabbing at his tongue, saying "My tongue hurts!" I grabbed the phone to call the doctor and he nearly broke my heart when he asked me "What's wrong with me, Mommy?"

By the time we made it to the doctor's he was 90% better, so I guess the Zyrtec had finally kicked in. The doctor thinks maybe he is allergic to wool. (When he hugged Jim goodbye he rubbed his face against his wool coat). He is 100% fine, but I've been having visions of him blocking a door with a gurney all day. That, and me dragging him kicking and screaming to get weekly allergy shots. By the way, mom? Did I ever tell you how much I appreciate that?