Friday, February 26, 2010

Layoff 2.0.

So, stupid me for thinking that things were going great...

Today, (Friday) Clint comes home around 11:30am. He looks upset. As soon as I see him I know there is only one reason he would be upset to be home at 11:30am on a Friday. He got laid off again. He was only back for five months.

This isn't fair.

He said he isn't going to wait around for his employer to hire him back like he did last time. He's going to start searching for a new job right away. He is also going to take this time to do some work on the apartment we have been wanting to do. The wall in the laundry room, finishing the wall in the hallway, painting, etc. Our goal is to get this place on the market by the end of March.

Around the same time we are losing our insurance. I'm going to pick up insurance for Owen, but we are going to risk it and not have insurance for ourselves.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All in a day's work.

So I'm worried about sleep. I guess it started last night, when Owen woke up around midnight, before I had gone to bed, but after I had taken two Tylenol PMs (they are necessary when switching a sleep schedule every week and weekend). Fortunately, this time wasn't as bad as the last time, and the Darling Downstairs Neighbors did not call.

I don't know how I retained my sanity with a newborn. Lack of sleep really does something to your noggin. He woke up earlier than he had been the past few days, so I felt sluggish all morning. Still, I did two loads of laundry, changed two diapers, made four kinds of muffins and prepared two meals before 1pm. After that, my motivation died down.

Owen was really funny today. It's amazing how fast he picks up on things. I was just saying how he learned to say, "all done!" when he is done getting changed. Well, I noticed that he has started saying "all done!" when he WANTS to be done with something. Getting changed, eating, sitting in the tub... The other day, I was in the kitchen making dinner, and Clint walks out and says, "Our kid is so smart." I had to agree. We are your typical proud parents.

He's also a creature of habit. He will inevitably go for the ONE THING in the room that I don't want him to mess with. Today, it was the lamp on the end table. I have removed basically everything from the living room except for furniture and toys. But the lamps have to stay, and they were the object of his interest today. He kept wedging himself between the table and the wall and trying to pull the lamp off. It was frustrating. I had to push the table against the wall so he couldn't get behind it and put the lamp at the far corner. Having a small child does not jive with my organizational anal retentiveness. The lamps are staying though. I will NOT resort to using overhead light, lol. I despise overhead light!!

Since we stopped giving him a bottle, our new bedtime routine consists of tickle-time, bath time, lotion and pajamas, a kiss from Daddy, and then reading and snuggle time with Mama. We have a little stack of books on a stool next to the rocking chair, including "Goodnight Moon," (Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Air, Goodnight Noises everywhere), "Guess How Much I Love You," (I love you as I high as I can reach), and a couple of other various bedtime books. Recently, I added this Baby Einstein's "Windows to Color" book into the mix. That was a mistake. We have had the book for a while, and he's always liked it, but now... geez... Ever since I gave him that option, he pushes all the other books away. He will only relax and let me read this color book. It's really neat though. It has a classic painting, with a little window looking through to the next page, displaying objects in the most dominant color for the painting. For example, on one page, there is a Georgia O'Keefe flower that is mostly red. On the opposite page, there is a heart cut-out and the words, "hot, rich, exciting." Then you turn the page, and it says, "RED!" and has a rose, a fire truck and some other red things. He adores this book. I always point out all the pictures and tell him what they are, and tell him the name of the painter and picture. I am pretty sure he understands "blueberries, Owey loves blueberries" better than "Edgar Degas, 'Dancers Coming Upstairs'." But tonight, when we were on the yellow page, I pointed out the ducklings, and said, "Owey look at the duckies! Do you see the duckies?" and he actually said, "Duckies!"

I think one of these nights I'm going to experiment and just show him a collection of Georgia O'Keefe paintings that I have.

While I was making muffins today, I wanted to keep Owen busy in the dining room, so I opened the lid of the piano and showed him that when you press the keys, a noise comes out. So I got to listen to music while making muffins. I'm going to try to get this on video.

I love being a mom.

AND. The Wellness Bridge is having a contest of sorts (I think to get everyone out of their winter weight loss funk). We renewed our gym memberships, and I paid for two months of the Wellness Bridge. I have to keep a record of what I eat, get my exercise in, and set a goal for the next eight weeks. I set a goal of 8lbs. I think I can lose 8lbs in 8 weeks. Good luck to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I will let you down, I will make you hurt.

Emily and Krista were in town a few months ago. We went out to dinner at Olive Garden, and Emily took this picture of Owey. I love it, he's so cute. He's got a dirty little face, but he was so tired he had to snuggle that puppy. Whenever he's tired, he puts his face down on something soft and sucks his thumb.

The monkey seems to be developing his mind rather quickly these days. I think his size is pretty similar to where he was a month ago, but he's doing things that surprise me every day.
  • He gives me five.
  • He says "all done!" when he is done being changed.
  • The other day I caught him swiping his hands together like he was cleaning them off after touching something dirty.
  • If he doesn't want to eat something on his highchair tray, he will hide it under his sippy cup, or grab it and stick down in the seat beside him.
  • If he wants me to hold something, he grabs my hand and turns it over and puts whatever it is in my hand.
  • He stacks blocks like a champion.
  • He treats everything like a telephone when he sees me talking on my cell. He holds remotes up to his ears and says, "hi daddy." The video below is from when he first started doing this - his phone skills are much more sophisticated now.

Having a baby is the hardest work I've ever done, but it is also the most rewarding and adventurous experience in the world. Thumbs up for having kids.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Your Ex Lover is Dead

I freaking love this song.

God that was strange to see you again
Introduced by a friend of a friend
Smiled and said 'yes I think we've met before'
In that instant it started to pour,
Captured a taxi despite all the rain
We drove in silence across Pont Champlain
And all of the time you thought I was sad
I was trying to remember your name...

This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn't get in
Now you're outside me
You see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

It's nothing but time and a face that you lose
I chose to feel it and you couldn't choose
I'll write you a postcard
I'll send you the news
From a house down the road from real love...

Live through this, and you won't look back...
Live through this, and you won't look back...
Live through this, and you won't look back...

There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save...

Friday, February 12, 2010


I saw a movie montage yesterday with a clip of a Heath Ledger movie. I heart Heath Ledger. So sad he is gone.

Last night, I had a crazy dream, where I witnessed someone get killed rather brutally (yikes) and then I was walking around all suspicious like, and didn't tell anyone what I saw. Today I sort of have a guilty conscience for no reason.

Then later in the dream, I was getting very intimate with Heath Ledger, who showed up out of nowhere. It was dreamy and sad all at the same time. I kept telling him all the movies I love that he made, making sure not to mention the obvious ones. I said "Monster's Ball" and "The Four Feathers" (which isn't a great movie, but Heath Ledger was good.)

I always think about what would happen if I met someone famous that I really liked. For example, if I met Kristen Stewart, I would tell her that I loved her in "Into the Wild" and "The Safety of Objects." I wouldn't say, "I love 'Twilight'" because while I am one of those, I will not openly admit to strangers that I am one of those.

Speaking of movies... I accidentally saw "Nine Lives" because it was on TV while I was flipping through channels. I highly recommend it. I especially loved the part with Robin Wright Penn and the part with Holly Hunter. Fortunately, it can be viewed on YouTube. The part with Robin Wright Penn is clips 4, 5, and 6. It's a series of vignettes that each last about 10-15 minutes. Awesome.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good and Bad

So, a lot has been going on around here. I need to sort my brain out, I feel kind of scrambled.

First off, we got a new pediatrician. We got the pediatrician I tried to get before the kid was even born. He wasn't taking patients but when I called last week, desperate to switch, they let me. The lady on the phone was really nice, and got him an appointment the next day. From the minute I met the new ped, I instantly felt better. He was more professional, he was more talkative, he explained things better, he presented new ideas and treatment ideas, it was awesome. Everything about it, the doctor, the nurses, the receptionists, the offices, the PAs and NPs, everyone and everything was better. I'm so glad we switched.

So, the new doc, Dr. M., suggested Owen get a blood test to rule out a couple of rare diseases that might be contributing to his weird poop problem. Those were clear. However, Dr. M. also tested his lead levels, which are elevated. The first thing he asked when he called (personally, not a nurse, extra points for doc) was if we lived in an old house or a new house. So, the kid is inhaling lead dust from the building. He said he doesn't even have to be eating paint or anything to elevate his levels. He also said that the lead levels are NOT high enough to be causing any symptoms or contributing to his poop problem, but he wants to keep an eye on it.

This leads to the other thing. We need to move, pronto. We have been throwing the idea around for a few months anyway. Living in this building with a baby is hard, and everyone can say "I told you so." It's hard. It's especially hard now that he's walking and attempting to open doors and stuff like that. It completely sucks to live on the third floor and cart a baby up and down the stairs. We really like living here, it's so convenient and the place has SO much character and history. It's so spacious and huge and I love how I have it decorated, but if there is a chance that living here may affect my child's health, we are going to have to bounce.

Clint's job is to finish the wall and fix a little thing in the laundry room, and then I'm going to hire a cleaning company to come in and clean this place better than I ever could. Then we are going to get a realtor in here and start getting serious. Then, when we finally sell, we are going to go back to renting (a whole house, with a yard and three bedrooms in case #2 shows up while there), and the goal is to be completely debt free (except for car payments and student loans) before we buy "the house."

So, on the cusp of this big decision, something happened last night that is making the transition SO much easier. Everyone is fully aware of my distaste for Darling Downstairs Neighbor. This woman has been a thorn in my side since we moved in here two plus years ago. I have always been nice to her, I've never done anything that can be considered mean or rude to her. Still, every conversation I have ever had, she manages to say something rude or inconsiderate to me, whether it's telling me that Clint walks too loud, or we shouldn't get Owen up so early on Sunday mornings (for church!) because they can hear us getting him up. The woman has absolutely no tact, or consideration or sympathy, WHATSOEVER.

So last night, because Owen is still going through his poop problem, he is having major trouble sleeping. And, unlike every other night of his life, he is not sleeping through the night as regularly. When he wakes up, we either need to change a poopy diaper, give him some water, or something little like that - but mainly, he just wants cuddled. And, Clint and I are both happy to oblige. However, he will not fall asleep on us. As soon as he's drowsy enough, we go to put him in his crib and he starts screaming again.

Now, there are a lot of different schools of thought on parenting in this situation. Generally, we are not a fan of the "cry it out method," but there comes a point sometimes where you have to let them cry. All of his needs were met, his diaper was clean, he wasn't thirsty, he didn't have a fever, he just wanted held. We held him for 30 minutes and tried to put him back. He cried for a solid 15 minutes after that. If we didn't live in an apartment, I would have let him cry, because the ONLY reason he was crying was because he didn't want in his crib. However, after the 15 minutes, I went in and got him again. I know this was a mistake, but I was trying to have a little consideration for our neighbors. Of course, now he assumes that anytime he cries, we are going to come in and get him, so he may as well scream until we do. I rocked him for another 30 minutes (and by now it's 2:30 am and he has been awake for two hours almost. He's very drowsy, and I go to put him in his bed. He starts crying again, obviously. And after FIVE minutes, Darling Downstairs Neighbor calls me. She asks to make sure everything is OK with Owen because they can hear him crying. I explained that he has been sick and he's having trouble sleeping. She said, "Well, I just wanted to let you know that both of your downstairs neighbors are awake now." WTF? I said, I'm sorry you're awake, but I can't keep going in there and getting him out, I have to let him cry or else he won't stop crying. I'm sure if we would have given him a few more minutes he would have gone to sleep, because whenever he is up, he's never up for more than 2 hours. She reiterated that they are both awake. ??? I said, "I'm sorry, but you don't know what it's like to have a sick child," (they have no kids). She got defensive and I got defensive right back. Honestly, what was the point of her calling? I know it wasn't because she was concerned for Owen. I apologized for them being awake, but I'm not going to make excuses because he is sick and sometimes babies cry!!! AND SOMETIMES THEY CRY AT 2AM!!!!!

The final straw was when she REITERATED AGAIN they were both awake. I said goodnight and hung up. I was so upset that I started crying. Clint went in and got Owen and we are trying to figure out what to do. We decide to bring the pack and play into our bedroom (to let Darling Downstairs Neighbors get back to sleep of course) and put him in there. Of course he starts screaming more. So, we decided to break the Cardinal Rule. We brought him into bed with us. We NEVER do this. And we don't plan to ever do it again. But Owen calmed down, finally. He snuggled up to me for about ten minutes, and then draped himself over Clint for about ten minutes, and was nice and relaxed, so we put him in the pack and play, he cried for about two minutes and passed out.

I fell asleep shortly after, but Clint laid awake fuming about the neighbors until 4am. He wanted to call them back and have words. If you know my husband, you know that's awfully out of character for him. He hardly ever raises his voice or gets mad enough to want to hash stuff out. But he didn't call them back. And sure enough, the kid woke up with Clint's alarm at 7:00 and stood in the pack and play staring at Mommy and Daddy. I pray he takes decent naps today. And of course I'm more motivated than ever to move.

When you live in an apartment, you give up certain freedoms. Most people also have some level of decency and tact. I'm fuming mad, still.

Ok, good stuff. We KILLED on our tax return this year, having a baby is awesome! :) We are paying off some more stuff (the debt just keeps dwindling!!), Clint's having some work done on his car, and we are STILL going to save a big chunk of change. We did have one frivolous purchase, which we have been dying to make for about a year - a new TV! 32inch, flat screen HD LCD, hot damn! It's awesome! And, I don't even feel guilty, because we got it on a super sale at Sam's Club (I heart Sam's).

And Miss Chicken is finally getting declawed on Tuesday. She has scratched her last wall and swatted at Owen for the last time.

AND, I bought 12 tubes of Burts Bees on EBay for $20 (a total steal).

And I had a date with Laura Jackson Roberts last night for crab legs and Reisling (for me, none for her, she's got a bun in the oven). It was so wonderful going out and chatting for hours while the men took care of the boys, and I'm very sorry to hear about the massive leaking in your dining room today. Good luck with that.

Ugh, I want to fast forward to whenever we live in another place, and the summer, where all this snow has disappeared.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I heart apples

Owen loves apples so much, he even ate the stem when Mama wasn't looking.

Thumb Suckers

If you spend any time with my kid, you know that he is a big fan of the thumb. He sucks his left thumb. Mama sucked the right thumb. And this picture also features the ribbon, which was rubbed against the nose. Very integral part of the thumb sucking.

I think he looks like me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

An apple a day DOES NOT keep the doctor away, apparently.

So things are pretty crappy around here. And I mean that literally.

It all started last weekend, when Clint took Owen to MedExpress because he had a high fever. 102.5 to be exact. That's not SO high, but too high for us to be comfortable. They said he had an ear infection in his left ear. They gave him a three-day antibiotic. On the third day of the antibiotic he started developing cold symptoms, coughing, sneezing and some congestion. We thought, well, the antibiotic is still in his system, let's give it a couple of days to work it's way out.

Stop reading here if you don't want to hear about poop.

Come Friday, most of his cold symptoms are gone, but now we have new awesome symptoms. Poop. Poop.... all day. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind changing a poopy diaper once or twice a day. It reminds me that everything is working right. But the little one started going six and seven times a day, which is SO unlike him it's not funny. And you mothers know, when a baby is pooping that much, that little caboose gets IRRITATED. His little butt got so red that we were scared to clean him up. Also, every time he goes, he strains so hard that his little face gets red, and he grunts, and then he cries. Something was not right.

So, we took him to the emergency room Sunday morning. They did a chest and abdominal X-ray to make sure he didn't have pneumonia or any obstruction in his bowels. They said his intestines were full of stool. They prescribed a cream for his irritated bum and said to push fluids.

FYI, this kid HATES all medical personnel. The whole day kind of took it out of him. He fell asleep Sunday night in his high chair halfway through his sweet potato.

Owen and Daddy in the emergency room.

So, today, Monday, he's still pooping nonstop. I call his regular pediatrician, and she says to give him a laxative and check back with her NEXT WEDNESDAY. I might be getting a new pediatrician soon... All day long he wanted to be held. He didn't play. He didn't walk around and break stuff. He pooped, cried and wanted held.

So, keep my little monkey in your prayers. His little red bum needs to feel better.

AND! On top of all of this, I am probably sicker than I have been in years. I started feeling sick on Wednesday. I figured I picked up whatever bug my little bug had. I still went to my wellness meeting (and for the record, I have lost 25lbs... thank you very much) and then the gym, which I regretted. My lungs were burning. Thursday I felt a little worse. Friday, I felt like I was going to die. My chest was congested, and I was blowing my nose every 10 minutes. I said, I can't stay up all night and work while feeling this way. I called off of work and went to MedExpress the minute Clint got home from work that afternoon. They said it's probably the beginning of bronchitis. They gave me an antibiotic, these little pearl things to swallow that are supposed to relieve coughing, and an inhaler!!! I have never used an inhaler in my life. Saturday, I went to the grocery store even though I was still feeling crappy. After the grocery store, I felt like I was going to die again. I can hear the congestion in my chest when I breath. So, I didn't go to work again. (I'm pretty sure this is the first time in my life that I have called off two days in a row.) By Sunday, I'm thinking, why am I not feeling better? Is the antibiotic not working? And then we spent a big chunk of time in the emergency room for Owen. So I called off AGAIN. Fortunately, I work with very understanding people, so I appreciate all of your help. So today, the day of poop and crying, I'm still sick as a dog, having trouble breathing, and through an entire box of tissues. I called the doctors back and they have given me a stronger antibiotic. Pray that this one works. I NEED to feel better soon. This has been the most miserable weekend of my life.

When Owen fell and busted his lip this morning, I looked towards the heavens and said, "You're joking, right?"

The ONLY good side of all of this was that I got to spend a little extra time with the husband, and we got through the previous season of Lost. So excited for the premiere TOMORROW!!


Clint tells me he is getting a tattoo. Maybe in the spring. He's not sure what he wants to get, something to do with Owen, he says.

Although I'm quite certain I would never get a tattoo, I still like to think about what I would get. Maybe something by Kurt Halsey, who I love SO much. Maybe the little bug in the bottom right square.
I have this print. I LOVE this one. Maybe these birds.

I have this print too. It doesn't bother me that they don't have noses.

This one below is new. Maybe these birds. If not a bird, then maybe a ladybug. You know how I am about ladybugs.

In case you don't get it, check out He's pretty much awesome.