That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

happy anniversary

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 4.04.21 PMWow.  Two years.  Where was I 2 years ago?  I think I was on the verge of, “omgomgomgomg” and “is this really happening?!”  Could it be possible?  Three years of disappointment.  One more missed period.  I peed on the thing and then, “omgomgomgomgomgomg.”  This time it was real.

I had no idea how awesome Bruce would be, or even that he would be Bruce.  Crazy.  Amazing.

Today, Bruce went downstairs around 1 for lunch.  I gave him a slice of bread.  Not interested.  I opened a banana.  He ate about half.  (I finished it, although I hate bananas.)  I baked him a frozen pizza.  No dice.  I made myself a microwave Evol All-Natural Vegetarian Truffle Parmesan Mac n’ Cheese and a spinach/pineapple/berry smoothie.  THAT’S what he wanted.  It makes me swell with pride to see him make those choices.  He’s not averse to chicken nuggets, but he’d rather eat the fruit cup in his Chickfila kids’ meal.  Tom and I are leaning away from animal products.  (We’re not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I can’t unlearn the things I’ve learned about how bad all that stuff is for you in the long run.)  It’s neat to see our sweet, healthy boy get excited about a spinach Nutriblast.

Bruce is getting so big!  And he’s so funny!  I wish he was talking, but I feel like he does understand most of what I say.  He has a huge bruise on his forehead.  When I went in his room to wake him up (about a week ago), I pointed to my own forehead and said, “what’s this? What happened to my baby?”  He put his hands on the railing of his crib and smashed his head into the bar.  Funny fella’.  Today, I put the sleep sack on him (because he cannot be trusted to stay in his crib at naptime) and put him in the crib and he fussed.  Then, I put a pillow (I know, Mother of the Year Award) in the crib and laid his head on the pillow.  He put his middle and ring fingers in his mouth, grabbed his blankie and DID NOT BLINK.  But shortly after I left the room (No crying! Woo hoo!) I imagine he did close his eyes.

Still closed now, just checked.

Such a good boy.

Big boy sleeping on a pillow.

Big boy sleeping on a pillow.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

DIDNEY WERL!

We just got back from Disney this morning at 3:02 am.  We were shooting for 2:30, and were making perfect time but had to stop to give Bruce a banana.  Would you believe that added a half hour to our trip?

I drove about half way, which was, like, a miracle because I never drive anymore.  It was nice, though.  I think Tom and I both managed to come home more rested than last time.

Bruce was fussing a while ago, and I couldn’t figure out what his beef was.  He didn’t want the cheesy grits that I was force-feeding him, and he had just woken up and was wearing a fresh diaper.  I put him in bed out of sheer frustration.  He cried.  I brought him a bottle.  He was calm, and now he’s out.  So, I guess we’re all pretty tired after our long trip.  Dude’s only been out of bed for like an hour and a half today.

On Friday, Tom, Bruce and I went to Hollywood Studios.  It wasn’t crowded, but boy was I cranky.  I don’t know what the problem was.  I even told myself not to ruin my own day.  It didn’t work.  I found every little thing, every individual that crossed my path, to be irritating.  We went to Playhouse Disney.  Walked up at 4:12.  Show started at 4:10, doors were shut.  We had to wait until 5.  Usually there’s a line outside all day.  So, I was surprised that they weren’t at capacity with a line for the next show.  We came back a few minutes before 5 and got in line.  We found a spot on the carpet in what would be considered the second row.  I told Tom he was leaving too much space between him and the people in front of him, but he wanted Bruce to be able to jump around without hitting anyone.  Admirable, but he left too much space.  One minute to showtime, two snot-nosed brats got all up in our space, blowin’ up our spot.  No parents.  Just a 6 and 8 year old.  An obnoxious 6 and 8 year old.  P.S. Playhouse Disney is for preschoolers.  It’s my fault.  No.  It’s Tom’s fault.  I told Tom.  I was SO MAD.  In Voyage of the Little Mermaid, the people behind us wanted to talk, in Spanish, through the whole show.  Uhm… we went to eat at 5:35 and the place we wanted to go (because they had veggie sandwiches) closed at 5:30.  Tom bought me a drink, which did nothing to bring me back to earth.  We went on the Backlot Tour.  That was actually really nice.  After the pre-show, they have a restroom so we stopped and changed Bruce.  The changing table is situated in such a way that, although there’s not really any privacy to keep the general public from seeing Bruce’s man-parts, Tom could attend him from the mens’ room, while I helped from the ladies’ side.  It was pretty fun.  It put us in the back of the line.  (Ugh, the line.  Everyone was looking at us like we were criminals because we brought the stroller through the line because THEY’RE stupid and don’t know that you CAN bring a stroller on the Backlot Tour.)  When we got to the vehicles, the cast member directed us to a lane, and then said I’ll do ya’ one better.  He put us alone in the back row so we could prop the stroller up in front of us.  #WINNING!  I felt like I was sticking it to all the dumb f*cks who were eyeballing me in line.  They all had to wait for us to get on.  They all had to sit there next to each other all stinky and sweaty and wait while we mounted the back, our own private car.

We went to Fantasmic and got there about an hour early.  I never do that, but we’d done everything that we could with Bruce, so I figured why not at least go where we can sit down.  There was a huge line, and an even longer line for Fastpass+ and the Dinner Package.  It was insane.  We were all the way on the far side of the amphitheater.  It was very discouraging, although Lindsay said when she was there with the Gonsalveses last week, it was practically empty at the second show.  That made me feel better.  There was only one show Friday night.  It was a good day, that was the only place that we encountered any kind of line or crowd.  The family of four in front of us each had their own camera and decided to all take flash pictures of the entire show.  I don’t know why they kept trying.  Their pictures were sh*t.  I know.  I saw them light up on the review screen every single time.  Just a railing hit with the flash, and a foggy white blur of fountains or fireworks in the background.  I just watched the show.  Didn’t take a single picture.  It was nice.

The Beauty and the Beast float was missing from the Princess Medley.  And it broke my heart to hear some kid say, “who’re those people?” when the Indians came out in their canoes.

Friday night we stayed at the Maingate Lakeside Resort.  Our go-to off-property place.  We found a Winn-Dixie and bought a rotisserie chicken, crackers, and cheese, as well as cheap fruit and made spinach/kale/fruit smoothies in the room.  Bruce had a horrible night.  He woke up over and over and over until we put him in bed with us in the wee hours of the morning.  He was very, very tired on Saturday.

We managed to make it out of our room right at check out time, 11 am, I believe.  We headed over to Port Orleans to check-in.  Usually I sit in the car and let Tom do the leg work, but I wanted to see the lobby.  It was really nice.  We had requested a high room, but they were able to put us on the first floor immediately if we didn’t want to wait.  In hindsight, it worked out to our advantage.  It was a parking lot view, but easy, easy, EASY access to the truck.  We parked right in front of our room, 9608.

We’d stayed at French Quarter before, but this was our first time at P.O. Riverside.  If I was going to pick, I’d have probably gone with FQ again, but since it was only for one night, I thought I’d splurge on a Royal Room.  I’ve always wanted to stay in a Royal Room.  The idea is that this is the place where Tiana’s princess friends all stay when they visit, and the room is littered with personal touches from each princess.

OH MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING.

My whole cranky-pants mood turned completely around at the door to our Royal Guest Room.  It took my breath away.  There were little “hidden Mickeys” or “hidden princesses” everywhere.  The faucets looked like lamps from Aladdin, and Carpet was on the carpet.  There was a framed picture of Tiana that had been made by the Seven Dwarfs.  Under the picture, was the footstool from “Beauty and the Beast.”  There was a small shelf with hooks by the door decorated with the carriage from Cinderella.  Ariel single-handedly owned the bathroom.  The shower curtain was printed with dinglehoppers and snarfblats.  It was a Disney fan’s room.  Portraits of Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana and Rapunzel graced the wall.  The headboards held a super-awesome secret surprise.

I felt like I was staying in the Cinderella Castle Suite at the Magic Kingdom.

We had to leave.  We had things to do.  We had to get to Animal Kingdom — or so Tom thought.

As it turned out, there was a Martial Arts competition at the Wide World of Sports that same weekend.  So, for my birthday, I took Tom to the competition.  He totally geeked out.  It was outstanding.  I told him I wanted to get to AK the quickest way possible, so I’d do the GPS.  I (thought I) turned the volume all the way down on my phone only to hear Siri say, “STARTING ROUTE TO ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COMPLEX.”  Crap.  I just kept acting like I was directing Tom towards Animal Kingdom, and he obediently went straight when I told him to.  Despite the big entrance that says, “ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COMPLEX” he thought we were on the way to Animal Kingdom up until we turned into the parking lot.

Tom’s expression was priceless.  I think he said, “really? What? Really?”  I was geeking out, too.  It was nice to see him so happy.  It was awesome to be able to surprise him.  We took lots of pictures, and made it into the building where the competition was around 1, I think.  Bruce was restless, so we  went to the car and got his blanket.  He fell asleep on the walk there, so I sat outside with him while Tom went inside the arena.  It was a bummer to not be with him, but I know he likes to talk to coaches and stuff.  I’m confident in his ability to fly solo at these things and what could we do?  We had a tired kid.  I wanted Bruce to be in a good mood at our special dinner.

I texted Tom at 4 as a thunderstorm was rolling in.  I was like, “let’s get out of here so we don’t get stuck.”  We went to the room to get our ponchos and the rain stopped.  But honestly, I’d rather take the time to get the poncho and it not rain than try to make a run for it with just enough time to make it to our reservation with no poncho and get soaked — because in that case, it would absolutely have rained on us.

We got to Animal Kingdom at 5:10.  Lindsay called.  “Where are you guys?”  Tom confidently said, “we are walking up to Animal Kingdom right now!”  (Because we parked right at the entrance.)  I don’t know how that conversation went, but she was outside the restaurant at Downtown Disney.  I guess I never mentioned to her that we could only get reservations at the AK one.

She made it by about 5:35.

In honor of my 20th birthday dinner at Rainforest Cafe in Tyson’s Corner, at which Tom showed up and I fell in love, we took our little baby that we made and met Lindsay Kaye and had dinner celebrating my 30th.  It was pricey, and the food was just okay.  But holy crap, Bruce LOVED it.  He LOVED watching all the animals and was situated so that he could watch the gorillas whenever they became animated.  THAT was awesome.  Never would have thought that in 10 years I’d have been back at Rainforest, with my husband and our son.

After dinner, Tom went back to the competition for the grand finale and Lindsay and I took Bruce for a walk around the resort.  It was so awesome.  I felt bad about sending Tom alone, especially since we had a babysitter.  But he came back just grinning ear to ear, wearing Lindsay’s Disney CM name tag, and talking about how much fun he had hanging out with the security guards.  I had a lot more fun on my walk than I think I would’ve had at the competition.  Riverside is pretty sweet for a Moderate Resort.  It’ll be very tough to go back to a Value Resort after this.  From 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, they have horse-drawn carriage rides.  The grounds are perfectly manicured, and lush.  We walked along a path by the water as boats passed on their way to Downtown Disney.  We went by the pool, it was big and nice and on an island, so I assume you could swim at all hours and not disturb anyone.  (Although I hear that policy will be changing.)  In the main building off the lobby, they have a singer/pianist in a bar.  That place was packed!  He was hilarious.  It was just a really fun atmosphere.  I can’t wait to go back.

We all slept a lot later than I had planned.  I had hoped to get to breakfast at some ungodly hour, because Tom kept talking about breakfast buffets.  We all woke up around 10.  We showered and decided to eat in Epcot.

I had a creme brule (sp?) in France and a glass of Bordeaux.  Tom and I split the Lucky Combo in China, which comes with a pork bun, curry chicken pastry thing, egg roll, strawberry red-bean ice cream and a Coke.  $10.  I think it’s the best deal at World Showcase.  We walked all of World Showcase, all the countries, which was all I really wanted to do.  As a bonus, we hit Journey into Imagination, and Living with the Land.  Actually, the whole reason that I started writing this post was to tell you about Living with the Land.  When we passed the farm house, you know, there’s that dog on the porch barking.  Bruce barked back.  It was SO COOL!  He’s so smart.  I love that little boy.  Bruce was so cute the whole trip.  He really looked around and watched stuff.  We planned to leave at 4.  We actually left Epcot around 4, but didn’t leave Disney until 7:24, according to Tom.  It’s his own fault.  Tom said that we should eat and then go.  So, we went to Port Orleans.  We’ve never had the Food Court there before, so that’d be something new and different.  We walked by Boatwright’s, the table service restaurant at PO Riverside.  They opened at 5, and it was about 4:50.  We went to the food court, but Tom just kept talking about the other place.  So, even though leaving sooner rather than later was for his benefit, he opted for Boatwright’s.

It was GREAT!  Bruce had cheesy-grits, one of his favorites.  Lindsay had a chicken caesar salad.  For a couple of dollars more, she could’ve had an amazing catfish instead of an alright salad.  Next time.  I had the catfish, Tom had crawfish.  His was kind of like a stew over rice, Etouffe.  Mine was crusted with something that was a tad spicy, but I weathered it.  Considering the theme of the resort, everything was a bit on the spicy side.  It came with that Disney corn bread that we all love.  Tom and I both thought it was among the best food that we’ve had on property and just furthered the case for another stay in a Royal Room in the not too distant future.

Leave a comment »

walk it out

We found the trick to getting Bruce to stop screaming his head off after one late night lap around the block.  My cousin Amy bought him a fleece poncho a long time ago.  I thought it was too big for him, but oh my gosh he’s so stinkin’ cute in it.  He wears it when we “wog” at night.  It keeps Bruce warm, he can snuggle it, and best of all he can’t kick it off.  Speaking of kicks, he’s wearing shoes routinely now.  (Socks on the walks.)  The jogging stroller has a plug for my iPod so that we can jog to music, and I think Bruce likes that, too.

Bruce’s 1st Birthday invitations are all printed out.  Lookin’ pretty sweet.  The theme of the party is going to be Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom.  Kind of silly, I guess, because we could just take him to the actual Storybook Circus.  I’m having a hard time finding THE BEST First Birthday Circus tableware.  I bought a bunch of cheap prizes last night.  I’m pretty excited about awarding tickets for prizes.  Is that too carnival and not circus enough?  The idea is to use that in lieu of goodie bags.

This is another reason I second-guessed my whole circus idea: http://www.birthdaydirect.com/monsters-inc-1st-birthday-express-party-package-for-p-40622.html

Yesterday I had the aforementioned Simple and Fit Veggie Omelet, and homemade pizza, and actually I had a Snickers, too.  However, I also had a spinach salad, and one and a half kale smoothies.  Walked about 5 miles last night and woke up weighing 234.4.  That’s a whole pound in one day!  Aw yeeeeah.

And we’re going to Disney World in a matter of hours.  Aw yeeeeah!

It’s a good day to be a La!

Leave a comment »

idiot

Hey, if you sell your 6 year old car seat, which is expired and does not conform to safety standards, to two innocent brand-spanking new parents who barely know which end the diaper goes on, YOU SUUUUUUUCK.

Likewise, if you decide you’re not going to pay retail anymore and you’re going to do this baby thing on the cheap and you think, “Wow, what a bargain! Those fools! How dumb of all the other noobs out there to be buying all new stuff!” YOU SUUUUUUUCK!

Yeah. Did you know car seats have expiration dates? Apparently, they do! So, special note to any moms to-be who may be reading this and wondering if they can save money by buying used: just buy a new stroller, for heaven’s sake.

We registered for this: http://www.target.com/p/chicco-cortina-keyfit-travel-system-vega/-/A-13206365#prodSlot=medium_1_24&term=chicco

Image

I remember seeing it in a store display once when I thought I was pregnant but just had a huge cyst. Love at first sight. It was so pretty. So cool. But you know what, it’s not sold in stores. I didn’t see it in a store after that. It’s expensive. We didn’t get it. So, we got this:

picture-25

 

It’s not bad, and it was $75 on craigslist. What a bargain! I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It gets the job done. (I know what you’re thinking, and I couldn’t locate the expiration date on it, but it was manufactured in 2011. So worst case scenario, it shouldn’t expire until 2017. We actually bought it in 2012, so I still think we got a good deal.)

I continued the search for a used Chicco KeyFit in Vega because I love it. Found a Chicco KeyFit that was black and green. Not as cool as the Vega, but still pretty cool. AND it matches the diaper bag that Great Aunt Dee Dee gave us (which I LOVE). So, it looked like a win all around. They asked $100 for the stroller, car seat and two bases.

Everything was going fine. We even test-drove the new (OLD) Chicco stroller at Disney World. I loved it. Downside: it has one cup-holder. My old (newer!) Graco stroller had two. But it’s so pretty and in essence is the travel system that was on our registry. Then, for some reason this morning I woke up with a wild hair up my butt to check out what the dealio is with this whole expiration thing.

It makes me mad. The sellers told us that the people who looked at the car seat before us didn’t take it because the base was expired. If the previous people knew to check the base, surely they knew to also check the bottom of the seat. (Although, we didn’t. But, I mean, CLEARLY we are idiots because we knew the base was going to expire and bought it anyway. It expires in October, so I figured at that point he’d be a year old and we’d upgrade to a bigger seat.) So, the sellers had to be lying to our faces. Dangit. They seemed so nice. They said it was all a scam by the car seat companies to sell more car seats. And, “oh, back in my day we just rolled around in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts…”

Well, it’s not a scam by car seat manufacturers. It’s a plastic-becomes-dry-and-brittle-after-sitting-in-the-sun-in-you-car-for-6-years legit thing! I’m sure it’s a conservative estimate, but how can I put Bruce in it now that I’ve seen the label that says, “DO NOT USE AFTER 02 FEB 2013?”

expiration date

Other than this, I’ve had such positive experiences on craigslist! I hate that my constant quest for the best quality at the best price has cost me more money. Our family has spent $315 on strollers and car seats! I could have bought a brand new travel system for $300! To top it off, a new one might have lasted through several kids without expiring! Dangit!

I forget that you are not in my head, so as I write and re-read and re-write this, I am wondering what backstory I need to add or clarify. I love the Liteway. Maybe I shouldn’t count it in my tally of money wasted on strollers because that one is a keeper either way.

I also have a new liteway stroller, so maybe I should just buy a convertible car seat, new, like, from a store, and be done with it. Contrary to what Tom thinks, Bruce is getting too big and too heavy to be toted around in the car seat as a carrier. He’s starting to sit up on his own. (Oh yeah, that happened! Brand new this week!) Maybe he can sit up in shopping carts and high chairs from now on, and if he needs pushing, we do it in the Liteway.

So. I’m new at this. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Love to. I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Can I get by with just using the Liteway, which is a very glorified umbrella stroller? I guess it all depends on my lifestyle? My only issue with the Liteway is that it doesn’t have a huge basket underneath for the diaper bag. It has a cup holder for mom, but no tray or cup holder for Bruce. I don’t want to buy a new travel system if we’re on the cusp of not using it as a system anymore. How long did you use your big stroller? Did you have both a regular stroller and an umbrella stroller? Bruce is almost 8 months old. How long to babies ride backwards in car seats? When do we need to get a bigger seat? The car seat, it seems, goes to 22 lbs. I forget what he was at the last check-up. I want to say it was around 17. Okay, yeah I just checked. He was 17 lbs. at his 6 month check-up. So, he’s 5 lbs. away from growing out of the car seat anyway, which I am guesstimating will happen at about the one year mark?

I am thinking we switch back to ol’ reliable, the old newer one. Well, I mean, definitely we do that first because this new OLD one isn’t safe. But, I mean as a long-term plan, do I just go back to what I have or should I just buy a new Chicco car seat and continue to use the prettier Chicco stroller? Or should I buy a convertible seat and use the big Chicco travel system’s stroller and the Liteway depending on the situation? Or do I just sell the new OLD stroller to recoup my loss because I’m mad at it? Or do I sell the used crap for what I paid for it, buy the Chicco KeyFit in Vega, because that’s what I wanted all along, use that car seat for a couple of months, hoping I’ll have another kid in the next 5 years that can use it for real?

Sad thing is I have $100 in giftcards. Plus the $175 I spent on craigslist… Yeah. Absolutely could’ve had exactly what I wanted from day one with about the amount I’ve spent so far. In my defense, though, I had every intention of selling the $75 Graco when we bought the new OLDER $100 Chicco.

I feel bad, because when I bought the shiny new OLDER one, Tom said, “I like the one he has, but if you like this better…” *facepalm*

We were good! Why did I have to — whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s really just a $100 mistake. $100 Stupid Tax. I keep thinking that it was a $315 minstake, but it wasn’t. If we can get rid of the new OLD stroller for $100, then it’s a $0 mistake. Even if I unload the new OLD stroller for $50 and throw away the car seat, I’ve only paid a $50 stupid tax.

AND it smelled funny! I should have known. The new OLD car seat that we bought always smelled weird. I immediately missed the smell of my old newer one.

Wish Ikea sold car seats.

***UPDATE 6/29/13***
We sold the stroller a week or two ago. The guy said “what can you do to help out a Mexican guy?”
To which Tom replied, “Make me an offer.”
“$80?”
“Sounds good.”
“Aw, man. You see, I should’ve said $50.” It worked out, because before the dude showed up we talked about going as low as $75.

We also bought a convertible car seat, brand-spanking-new, for about $90 and I have fallen back in love with the original Graco travel system that we bought. I have a new respect for the thing. The sellers were wonderful people and we got a great deal.

1 Comment »

a day that sucked

We walked away from that whole thing looking like the idiots… but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Maybe this should be a “you suuuck” post.

I didn’t sleep at all last night.  Thirty minutes, maybe.  Bruce literally kept me up all night.

Bruce had a follow-up appointment scheduled today about his butt.  You know, that whole thing at Levine?  They made an appointment to make sure everything healed up alright.  We didn’t schedule the appointment, they made it for us at the hospital.  We just did what we were told.  (And in hindsight, this whole Obamacare thing scares me even more.)  We already had an appointment scheduled for his 2 month check-up, happens to be tomorrow, at Providence Pediatrics, Bruce’s regular doctors.  They made this appointment in addition.  Okay, we thought, the doctor wants to follow-up.  Makes sense.  Dr. Wolanski was the same way with my c-section.  Bruce’s very first pediatrician in Virginia wanted to see him a couple of days after we left the hospital to check his weight and jaundice.  ANYWAY… we did what we were told, and what we assumed was the right thing, the best thing, for Bruce.

So, we get there and parking is ri-goll-darned-diculous.  There’s a garage, but not a lot of spaces and it’s just complicated.  Our appointment note said to arrive 20 minutes early, but we got there right on time.  As soon as we walked in I felt weird.  Why do so many people in here speak spanish?  ::Shrug::  Didn’t think much of it.  Tom went to registration, I took Bruce in his car seat and sat down with my back to the majority of the huge waiting room.  They asked for his parking pass and insurance card.

Tom came and sat down and the lady at the desk called him back after a minute or so.  Tom came back and had me lean in so he could whisper.  I forget his exact words, but he said that the lady said Bruce was kind of a special case, and most of the people there didn’t have healthcare.

GEE.  YA’ DON’T SAY.

Tom was like, “how did you know?”  I said, “well, look around.”  I’m not saying anything about anybody – just that it was just a rough crowd.  We sat in the waiting room for about an hour and a half, then in a patient room for another 30 minutes or so.  They asked if we had a recent height and weight.  Uh… you’re the nurse.  Aren’t you supposed to get that?

We saw the doctors and they were asking lots of leading questions.  Kind of coming at us with a, “so, what are you doing here?” attitude.  To which we responded with a kind of, “you asked us to come,” attitude.  It was kind of awkward.  At some point Tom said that we were just following up after the surgery, and they said that everything looks great.  Something like 10-30% of these things reoccur.  It was 30 seconds, “Hi, how are you? Let’s get a look.  Looks fine. Any questions?  You’re free to go.”  The doctor didn’t even shut the door behind him when he left.  Typically they let us know when we should come back and tell us to take our time if we need to feed or change Bruce.  There was none of that.  Just, “we’re done. Get out.”  Really awkward, really weird.

It’s stupid.  We were already scheduled to see his regular doctor the next day.  We thought we were seeing the surgeon, not just some random guy.  Bruce’s regular M.D. could have looked at his butt crack and said, “Everything looks fine.”  And we wouldn’t have had to wait 2 hours – on top of having to visit another doctor the very next day.

It’s all coming together.  We had to twist some arms to get them to send a hospital billing rep to our room when we were trying to check out of the hospital.  I guess they just assumed we had no insurance when they made the appointment because we hadn’t filed it yet.

We just looked so dumb.  And it was dumb.  We were taking valuable time away from poor people when we have a perfectly good doctor that we are scheduled to see in our fancy-schmancy Ballantyne area tomorrow anyway.  We trekked all the way to Uptown, struggled with parking, waited 2 hours, and then got WTF looks from everyone JUST for a lesson on sociology and economics.

Stupid.

They called Tom this afternoon, reiterated that CSC was a clinic, and didn’t know how to process his insurance.  LISTEN.  YOU GUYS told US to come there.  WORK IT OUT.

What was the point in asking us to get there early?  We really should have gotten there at 7:15 for our 8:45 appointment.  Who makes that big of a mistake?  How do you book someone an appointment at a free clinic without even asking them?  Why the heck wouldn’t we do a post-surgery follow-up with THE SURGEON?  I guess that’s a tough question to ask.  I guess they don’t want to call it the clinic because of the associated stigma.  Guess what, we didn’t have time to spend TWO HOURS in a free-clinic waiting room because Tom’s insurance-paying-self had A JOB to get to!  Got to get to work so he can pay those premiums, so we can sit in our South Charlotte waiting room for 15 minutes instead.

Ridiculous.

They had nothing to do with the surgery.  It’s just a regular pediatrics office.  What we did there we could have done anywhere!  We could have done that TOMORROW at our nice, cushy, local, regular pediatric office!  We are going there anyway!

http://www.snogglenews.com/shows/sunny/s01e02 Go to 05:10 and watch until about 06:30.

Leave a comment »

who, me? oh, i’m just one bad mofo.

Thanks to my ability to finally do something relatively sit-up-esque on my own and all the steri-strips from my c-section falling off in the middle of the night last night (all of them, every single one – on their own, I didn’t rip them off – but it was time, they were due off today), I finally got my first look at my scar.  I panicked a little bit before I saw it.  What am I doing to my body, slicing and dicing it left and right?  What would God say about me butchering this body that he made for me?

Well, my anxiety was ridiculous.  This scar is ridiculous… ly tiny.  I’m serious, it looks like a little red hair across my pelvis, just a thin red horizontal line.  I’m amazed by how short it is, too.  It’s maybe 7? 8 inches long?  (That’s what she said.)  I can’t believe Dr. Wolanski pulled a person out of there.  The scar from Mr. Nasty is maybe 10 inches or a foot long, and zig zags vertically down my stomach and around my belly button down to my pelvic area.  It’s no wonder that when any doctor sees the Mr. Nasty scar his eyes bug out of his head.  I’ve told doctors before about having a big cyst, then lifted up my shirt later, during the exam, and they’re all like, “and what was THIS from?” implying that I didn’t reveal my entire medical history.  I paused, like, are you serious, and said, “Um… the CYST.”  It’s really unbelievable.  It is.  People see it, and they do not believe it.  Tom’s friends said things like, “my wife had 3 kids, none of them were that big,” and “you are officially the baddest mofo I know.”  Yeah.  Well…  He’s right, and I AM.

I texted Mom about my scar comparison and she just responded [Mr. Nasty] “Seriously was serious!”  I told her that might be my favorite text of all time.

I took pictures, but no one needs to see all that.  Yes, the scar is small… my gut is not.  (Although it’s nice to be instantly skinnier again – very much like after having a certain 15 lb. cyst removed.  I can see my feet!)

So, I’m proud and excited.  I feel a lot like I did after Mr. Nasty was removed: I CAN TAKE ON THE WORLD and I WANT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD.  It’s nice to be sitting up unassisted.  Weening off pain medicine.  I feel good.

In other news: Breastfeeding is tough!  I should have been tipped off when the nurses and lactation specialists at Martha Jefferson said, “don’t give up” and stuff like that.  Bruce is a good little sucker, but my supply is pretty measly.  It got up to about 2 ounces at one point the week that Mom was here, but it has declined ever since.  I’m lucky to get an ounce every 3 hours.  That’s not enough for this growing boy, so we’ve been supplementing with formula.  I am blaming it on lack of nutrition (I generally just eat dinner, maybe a snack or two in the afternoon… I know, right?  Awful.) and lack of my mommy here taking care of me and things around the house.  Gosh, that was nice.  I haven’t talked enough about how wonderful it was to have Mom here.  I keep meaning to devote a blog post to recapping our week together.  It was just nice to have someone make me a peanut butter sandwich and walk the dog.  Everyone in the house was content, and we never got back into the groove after she left.

Anyway, as far as the breastfeeding… I’ve got a plan.  Eat more.  Drink more.  We’ll see how that does.  I had a good sized lunch, fed Bruce, pumped a tiny bit, then had a bowl of oatmeal (gross!) and orange juice and a whole lot of water so we’ll see how we do.  Bruce lost a whole lot of weight because I have no clue what a growing boy needs… so, we’re working on beefing him up.  At two and a half weeks old, he’s a little over his birth weight today.  Yikes.  But… he is gaining at a steady rate.  Mommy and Daddy are new at this, but we’re figuring it out.

Just hope the little guy doesn’t starve to death in the process.

2 Comments »

enter the dragon

I feel bad.  I should be posting daily about each cute and perfect thing my new son, Bruce, does each day.  I’ve just had this daunting task of recounting his birth story looming over me, and I know it’s a long story and a lot to sit down and write, so I’ve been procrastinating.  It’s also really, really important so I feel guilty for not typing it up right away.  I did try in the hospital, I just could never get Tom to hand me the laptop.

I don’t know where to start.  Where did I leave off?  Oh, right… a terrified, anxious, scared little girl.  How can I have a kid?  I AM a kid.  I want my husband to myself… mehhhh.

On Sunday night, our last night of freedom, Tom and I went to see Finding Nemo in 3D.  It was really good.  I mean, it was well-done in 3D and it’s just a good movie, period.  It’s almost like we were supposed to see that movie that night.  It’s almost like it was destiny.  We spent 80 minutes watching a father love his son, you know?  It might be the most important movie I’ll ever see in my life.  I walked out of the theater and told Tom, “I think I can do this.”

I didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night.  We went to bed at around 12, and I woke up at about 3:30 tossing and turning.  Our plan was to be up at 5 and at the hospital by 6.  I kept trying to slide back into sleep mode and claim those precious few minutes, but I never did.

We got to the hospital around 6:05, or 6:10 or something.  They showed us to our room, 3048.  I changed into my hospital gown.  Someone came in and took blood samples and someone else hooked me up to an IV.  Mom, Dad and Lindsay came around 8 I think.

Surgery was supposed to be at 7:45, but I got pushed back because of an emergency that someone else was having.  I don’t remember waiting very long.  The wait time flew by.  I want to say they took me back around 8:45.

You know I was a wreck during the pregnancy.  That all culminated on Monday morning, right before surgery, with me not being very nice to Grandma.  No joke, it was so awful that she was about to leave 5 minutes before they took me into the operating room.  Leave.  Like, that’s it… and she’d go and I’d just go back into surgery and she wouldn’t be there.  Okay, honestly, I ruined it.  I took this beautiful moment, you know, all the excitement of getting ready to have a baby and basically made everyone in the room upset.  I’m, like, the best at being the WORST.  Everyone was worked up.

Then they came to collect me for surgery.

It was a complete disaster.

The doctors were fantastic.  It’s the patient that was a train wreck – all worked up.  Everything went by so fast.  I just kept crying and wishing I could take it all back.  I wasn’t at all focused on the fact that I was having a baby.  I was just thinking of that f-bomb that I dropped.  I was totally and completely out of it.  Depressed.  It was almost an out-of-body experience.  I kept looking at myself, and telling myself to get my head in the game.  It was like the halls and rooms were whizzing by and I couldn’t keep up.  Everyone was talking.  Everyone was telling me to do something.

I walked down to the OR with the nurse.  Tom was close behind us trying to put on his moon suit and walk at the same time, but they made him wait outside for the spinal block anyway.

I sat on the table and was surrounded by happy, friendly people, but I just cried like a little baby.  I was losing it.  I sat on the operating table leaning forward, hunched over so the anesthesiologist could get the needle in my spine.  I didn’t realize how distracted I was until the nurse said, “calm down, just take a deep breath and relax.”  I did.  I laid down on the table.  I couldn’t feel my legs.  Am I having a baby?  Is this happening?  I was crying like I couldn’t catch my breath.  I can’t do this.  I felt so bad… like… knives in my eyes.  What had I done?

They brought Tom in.  Oh, sweet, wonderful, familiar Tom.

He was cute as hell in his cap, space suit, mask and booties.  He sat on my right side, held my hand and stroked my hair.

I just remember that it hurt.  Not like, “you’ll feel some pressure,” but like, cutting.  It hurt.  I was wincing.  Honestly, it was like i could feel them pulling the baby down from under my ribs.  I was numb to a certain height, but above that I still felt feelings… and it didn’t feel good at all.

Someone said, “Dad, you can take pictures.”  It was all happening really fast, like an oncoming train that I couldn’t escape.  Take pictures?  Pictures of what?  Baby?  Already?!  I am not ready to be a mom…  We thought we could only take pictures on the non-surgery side of the sheet.  Tom asked if he was allowed to take pictures of the surgery side, and the doctors said they didn’t mind 1 or 2.

 

I heard, “Alright, 9:06.”  Before I knew it, they were saying, “There he is!  That’s your son!”  I saw him sitting on a table past Tom.  He looked like an old Chinese man.  Great.  An ugly baby.  I told Tom to take his picture.

 

I felt sick.

Tom told Dr. Mathis, who was monitoring things by my head.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My stomach was in knots.  I asked Dr. Mathis what to do – he said if I was going to do it, turn to the left.  I did, and I did.  He put a pink bowl by my face.  I was crying, wincing and hurting as they moved higher up my body pulling and tugging at stuff.  Dr. Mathis said, “I’m going to ask you to stop for a second,” to Dr. Wolanski.  Oh my gosh I was so sick…  Crying and nervous and just physically ill… violently ill.

He gave me something for the nausea and some morphine and we waited a minute.  I thought it was a quick second, Tom said it was about 5 minutes.  They kept asking if it was better, and when I finally said okay, they let Dr. Wolanski continue.

Someone said, “look to your left.”  I looked to my right first, at Tom, then to my left.

 

I saw the most beautiful little pink face… teeny-tiny, sweet, soft, perfect little face.  It was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

 

NOT AN UGLY BABY!

Everything else melted away.  They took him away to go take care of all the stuff they do to newborns.  They told Tom to come with them, but he asked if it would be okay if he stayed with me.  No one minded.  I was so relieved.  He continued holding my hand and rubbing his hand on my head.  Everything was going to be okay.

They lifted me onto another bed and carted me down to recovery and brought the baby in.  We tried nursing, but mostly we just held our little boy and spent the first two hours or so of his life getting to know each other a little bit.

 

 

When we made it back to our room, all that tension had melted away, too.

Everything feels so perfect.  It’s been two weeks and it still feels perfect… like this is how it was supposed to be all along.

Leave a comment »

head down

Hook Hand Thug: Head down.
Flynn Rider: HEAD DOWN!
Hook Hand Thug: Arms In.
Flynn Rider: ARMS IN!
Hook Hand Thug: Knees apart.
Flynn Rider: KNEES APA – Knees Apart?

Little Happy’s head is down… “That boy has assumed the position!”  I don’t know how anyone can tell that by looking at my stomach, but apparently Dr. Wolanski can.  Feeling kind of crampy, but now that I think about it, it’s not as bad as regular period cramps, but it is a sign that my body’s getting ready to get this wagon train a-rollin’.  Everyone says when it’s labor you will definitely know – so I’m not worried about that.  Dr. Wolanski said he’s 95% sure this week will be uneventful and it’s safe to go back to Charlotte, so that’s what we did.  Doc also said that if the worst should happen, you know, if my water does break – we have plenty of time.  Just call him, tell him what’s happening and he’ll tell us what to do.

So, this week will be spent packing and cleaning and packing some more.  I need to buy a car seat, probably from Craigslist for the time-being.  I also need a solid name.

I want a really good name, like Thomas Andrew La or Wendy Michelle Johnson.  I had so many excellent girl names.  Oh boy, what am I going to do.

I think I also need to print and fill out one of those birth plans.  How does that work?  Does anyone in the hospital actually read/honor those?  I spent a lot of time telling Tom my demands last night on the way home.  It’s nice to have that dude in my corner 24/7.  An example is, okay, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos taken of this kid throughout his lifetime… I want Daddy to take the very first one.  I can’t think of other things on the birth plan.  Drugs, yes.  Water birth, no… although I really would like an excuse to get in the Jacuzzi in my MJH birth room.  Keep the placenta, HELLLLLLLL NO.

I get updates from different baby websites in my inbox, today: “Especially for you this week on thebump.com: CRAZY Labor and Delivery Stories!”  Really, thebump.com?  Why the HELL would you think I want to read that right now?

Uncle Haley turned 22 on the 22nd.  Dee Dee came and it was like, “Birthdays all around!”  She brought me a birthday present and Mom a birthday present and Haley a birthday present and Baby a birthday present!  She had some things off the registry including the first thing I registered for (back when I thought we were pregnant in Sept. 2011):

 

It makes me SO happy, and is going to look great in his room next to his orange lamp.  It reminds me how devastated I was when my period came that time, and how elated we were to finally get that positive test a few months later.  She bought a Finding Nemo sleeper that features Bruce and the other sharks, it really makes me want to name him Bruce.  That thing is SO much cuter in person than online!  It’s no longer in stock, and I feel like I want to find it in every size now.

I need to finish the changing table.  It’s almost all sanded… and I need to paint it.  I was always planning dark blue and lime green, even back when I was sure my baby was a girl.  I never bought newborn cloth diapers.  I think I’ll just have to use the disposables while we’re in VA and work out the cloth when we get back home.

I’m slowly, and I mean slowly getting excited about seeing his face.  This surprise has been building for months and months… and is finally about to be revealed.  You know that I’m crazy and have only been cautiously optimistic all this time.  I start thinking about how “all this time” goes back to the Super Bowl.  Tom and I were both in the bathroom and just cried and cried.  Happy crying!  Really, I thought something might be up when Dad, Lindsay, Haley and I went to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

We went over to WDW and took this picture at Animal Kingdom the day before the race.  Look at my face.  I’m thinking, “they don’t even KNOW!”

Yeah. Right now it’s a cartoon lion baby. Give it 9 months.

I’m not sure why Dad’s yawning.

Leave a comment »

phew! glad that’s over! (almost)

  • Chocolate Milkshake from Baskin Robbins
  • M & M Minis
  • M & M or Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen
  • McDonald’s Fries
  • Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie
  • Mei Wah Roll
  • Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries
  • A big, soft, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie
  • Serious Dark Chocolate from Lindt or Ghirardelli
  • Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s
  • Bread from Topeka’s Steakhouse

The MJH Diabetes Nurse Educator suggested I make a list of things from Tom to bring me in the hospital after the baby is born.  That is what I’ve got so far.  I’ve been writing it down in the back of the log book that came with my meter.  I should also put granola cereal and lots and lots of fruit on there, because that has also raised my blood sugar so I haven’t been able to have it.

I’m just too damn sweet.

I’ve gotten in the habit now of eating meat and vegetables and not much else.  I can’t imagine that it’s very good for me to have so much red meat.  (Before you say anything, I have had enough chicken!)  I wonder how hard it will be to revert back to cereal and applesauce for breakfast.  A sub would be nice.  I miss sandwiches.

BUT!

My numbers this week have been declining.  I’m thrilled.  I’ve gone from 135 – 170 on 9/4-9/6 to 87 – 127 so far this week.  I guess, that doesn’t mean anything to you unless you are diabetic, but I’m supposed to keep it under 120.  The MJH DNE said the placental hormone production peaks at 36 weeks, which was 9/9.

So although we’re not done pricking and bleeding and metering and logging yet… we’re getting there.  Won’t be long now and Tom can bring me all the things on that list!  I was so frustrated with the whole thing, I’m glad to have a handle on it.

Leave a comment »

your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding

Who writes like that?  Honestly.  Amazing.  X. Atencio, Disney Imagineer… he’s “the M.F.S.” as we say in my family.  It’s just so well-done.  I wish that I could write like that.  Side note: at Disneyland, the floor in the stretching room goes down, at Walt Disney World, the ceiling goes up.

To tie it in to the blog… I’m anxious.  I bet you can see it on my face.  But, today’s a much better day than yesterday.  I’m puttin’ my behind in my past and moving on.  Reopened a lot of baby gifts from Courtney Ryalls… just feeling really blessed.  I bought giraffe thank you notes and sat them on the kitchen counter at the old house.  After 2 weeks of searching and not finding them, I broke down and bought some lesser thank you notes.  I didn’t want to do it, but I mean, c’mon… it’s been almost 2 freakin’ weeks.

I’m listening to a Disney Theme Park Audio radio station right now that happens to be playing the entire Haunted Mansion ride from Disneyland.  I think I sat down at the computer right as he said the bit about the disquieting metamorphosis.  I love that ride.  I am so homesick for Disney World.

The Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise is happening this week.  Dad wanted to go, but we opted not to because of the baby.  What if he came early, you know?  Of course now, sitting here, I can see we’re no where close.  He’s still up way high and everything.  The doc checked my cervix and isn’t worried.  We would have been fine.

Then again… we need to save Tom’s days off for the weeks after the baby and our anniversary in December.  So, I guess we really couldn’t afford it.

Now the music from El Rio del Tiempo in Mexico at Epcot is on.  Takes me back.  I can smell it.  If you’re not in my family, that probably makes no sense.  I think our new anniversary tradition is trying something new every year.  Last year, Tom and I ate at San Angel Inn for the first time and had priority seating for the Candlelight Processional.  It was so romantic.  Everything is romantic with Tommy, but it was just really neat.  I’ve ridden past our table countless times while I was on the ride and always wondered what it would be like.  Last year we got to find out.

Mexico at twilight… always at twilight.

Temple with Donald’s Gran Fiesta Tour boats passing. Tom’s ear.

Dessert! Natilla de Cajeta: Caramelized “cajeta” custard cream served
with seasonal berries and sugar powder.

One of these years I think we’ll do Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Maybe when the baby is 5 or so.  One of these years I want to do a private fireworks cruise.  One of these years I want to celebrate Christmas with a sleigh ride at Fort Wilderness.  I guess the new thing this year is that we’re taking another person with us.  I think I will wait in line for as long as it takes to get baby’s picture with Mickey Mouse.

While I’ve got you… WHAT THE HECK SHOULD I NAME MY KID?!  You may think that we’re being aloof.  We’re not.  I still don’t have a boy’s name that I love.  We’re dangerously close to Mickey if we don’t come up with something.

I just read a blog post that I wrote a while back hoping baby would be born on 10/11/12.  I had totally forgotten about that!  I’ve just been so excited to see what he looks like, I was hoping he’d come asap.  Now I’m thinkin’ it’d be cool to hold off.  Oh well.

3 Comments »