Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Batman & the Fairy Puppy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I think I've told this story before.

When I was in the 1st grade, a boy wrote me a note that he liked me.  I had a crush on him as well, so that was a good thing, but I apparently couldn't handle the pressure.  My mom says I was sick to my stomach and missed school over that note.

Tomorrow morning I will check in for the flights to CA online.  Then I will do laundry and pack our things.

James and I leave Thursday morning.

My husband was worried I was coming down with a bug due to the numerous trips to the bathroom today.

I told him about my 1st grade crush and that I'd be fine once I was on that first flight. 

I love flying, and can sleep through the worst turbulence.  That won't be as easy to do when traveling with James alone, but I still will be able to be comfortable in the air.

But right up until we begin to taxi down the runway I'll be watching what I eat and staying near a restroom.

Monday, October 29, 2012


We live in a corner of the Roanoke Valley, shielded by a mountain that is part of a national forest.  That mountain has saved us from brutal wind storms that knocked power out in other parts of the county.  I blame it for us not seeing more than 1 day of snow in the last year while my in-laws saw 3 days of it plus hail and other interesting forces of nature.

Both of our homes are on opposite ends of the county, with that mountain protecting our side.

Which is why I don't think Sandy will be so bad to us.  Those storms just might give us some snow for Halloween, but otherwise it's just so cold out.

But Sandy is doing me wrong in other ways.  Or might not.  This storm is so all over the place that for now I think I'm safe, but I'm still crossing fingers that it will be okay by Thursday morning.

You see, I need to fly out from one town in NC to another, and then I will be headed to CA for 5 days with my family and friends.

If she shifts her path and starts heading south, this could end badly.

Truthfully, I love flying, and this doesn't bother me at all.  My husband hates flying, and he is nervous about this whole thing.

And he isn't even going with us!

So, for all those in her path, stay safe and dry and keep your loved ones close.

I'll be here staring at the websites tracking her progress, and hoping Sandy decides to leave.  Soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today's Mammogram

I've heard the worst you can hear about mammograms in general.  How uncomfortable it is and how it hurts when you are squished like a pancake all in the name of screening.

This was not that bad.

Believe it or not, the worst part of the whole thing was that the "gown" they gave me was meant for someone at least 3 sizes smaller than me.  And at least 2 cup sizes smaller as well.  Luckily I am comfortable keeping my arms crossed in front of me for extended periods of time.

We arrived about 15 minutes early, signed papers, and then took a seat.  At exactly 9 they called me back, had me strip from my waist up, and then I put on the gown.  I had a locker for my clothes, and I kept the key on me.

I sat in the small waiting room watching something on HGTV for about 10 minutes.  And then the party started.

Since this was my first mammogram, the woman doing it went over what was to be expected.

During a normal screening, 4 pictures are taken, 2 of each breast, and then results are mailed.  Due to the fact that the doctor had felt something, I would be having a diagnostic exam.  On top of those 4 pictures, my right breast had another 3 taken, and then I would be having an ultrasound.  I'd have the results of everything before leaving them.

She was very careful to explain that thanks to modern equipment it would be quick, and I shouldn't be uncomfortable.  There was no longer a need to flatten thing in order to get a clear picture, all I had to do was keep still and that would do it.

And she was right.

There was no discomfort for me, it took about 10 minutes total for all the pictures, and we chatted the whole time.  Her granddaughter is the same age as James, and we were comparing notes.

The pictures were uploaded for the doctor to review, and as soon as he had done that she came in to let me know what was happening and let me know that the ultrasound tech would be in for me.

The ultrasound was a breeze, I met the doctor who was reviewing everything, and he completed 1 final exam manually and then with the ultrasound wand.

All told, I spent an hour there from the time I was taken back to the moment I walked back into the main waiting room to tell A we could leave.

They'd reviewed everything.

"Normal glandular tissue."

Isn't that the greatest thing you have ever heard/read????

Friday, October 19, 2012


The biggest struggle we've had besides the whole sippy cup thing is trying to get James to feed himself.

The joy of him not doing that is that we have never had to worry about him putting things in his mouth.  Nothing could force him to do it, and while that was great and all, I worried about his skills.

On Tuesday, we had dinner here, ran a couple of errands, and then decided to visit at his great grandparents house.  By the time we were nearing the end of our visit, he was ready for a snack.  His great grandma and I decided to experiment.

After he was shown some Honey Nut Cheerios, he did his normal thing of walking at you with his mouth open like a baby bird waiting to be fed.  But this time, instead of feeding him directly, we both made him put the one he had in his hand into his mouth.

There was a fight at first, but after rounds of applause from everyone there, he grinned and did it without fighting.  Still not on his own, but at least he let us bend his elbow for him.

Yesterday, as he sat in his high chair after breakfast, I decided to see how well it stuck.

And wouldn't you know it?  All I had to do was tap the wrist that had the Cheerio in it and he automatically put it in his mouth and grinned.

Then he just started eating as he played in his chair.  Using both hands!

Mind you, when he is done with eating they end up on the floor.  But that's what he is supposed to do!

We brought home a container of his new cereal the other night, and I'll be getting more in different flavors to try next week.  This also will make snacking while traveling in 2 weeks so much easier for me!

As his great grandmother reminded me, he was going to do it when he was ready to.  And once again, he is doing just that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Was Actually Nervous About Reading This...

I have a confession to make:

When I first opened the email about this BlogHer Book Club selection, Diary of a Submissive by Sophie Morgan, I hesitated. 

I wasn't sure about the material, and couldn't decide if I would honestly be able to read the book and write about.

Now, I'm glad I did.

In Diary of a Submissive, Sophie Morgan very openly and honestly talks about her life.  More specifically, her sex life.  That openness is refreshing, though I admit at times in the beginning it made me a little uncomfortable.  But as I continued reading her story, I became interested in what she learned about herself and how this was a part of her that she became comfortable with.

Now, I haven't read any of the other books that have swept the nation in the last year.  I'm not a prude, but I couldn't understand the fascination.  Not until it was explained in a way that wasn't something fictional and instead felt like a conversation with someone.

I honestly would recommend the book, but do want to warn that there is some explicit details that may not sit well with everyone.  In the end, it's necessary to get the full feel of what is happening, and understanding the writer.

Still not too sure?  Please visit BlogHer's page here to get more information about the book and join the conversation!  I really don't think you'll regret this one.

This is a sponsored review for the BlogHer Book Club. While compensation will be forthcoming for taking the time to write about the book, the opinions stated are all mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Maybe It's All the Pink This Month

I am proud of the fact that when asked about family medical history I can normally say that other than some diabetes we are all pretty damn healthy.

It's kinda nice.

This month is best know for Halloween, but a close second is that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We are doing our little part here by saving all of the pink yogurt lids from James' daily snack to mail in.  It's not a whole lot, but it's something, and everybody can do a little something.

My favorite this month has been seeing football players, coaches, and referees with the pink on the field.  It's everywhere, and it's a sign that people are aware of breast cancer and that it's a very real problem.

Due to The Colonel being out on medical leave, my annual exam for all things womanly was pushed from August to September.  Then jury duty happened, and the next available appointment was for today. 

Side note: If it really is this nuts to get an appointment then I start to think that being an OB-GYN might be a great career choice.  It really is just nuts, people!

I have to share something that I think I wrote about before.  I'm not sure, and it may be TMI, but it made me laugh this morning.

At one of my first exams, back in my teens, the doctor said I should know that I have a long birth canal.  This is relevant because a normal speculum isn't that long.  In order to see my cervix, a normal speculum has to be inserted upside down, which means I get pinched by those handles.  I don't need to explain in detail how much it HURTS to have a hair in that area get stuck and pulled, right?

So, every since then, I have made it a point to tell my doctors that I need the large ones.  Did you know that they make them in large?  The duck bill part that is inserted is longer, and it makes life better for everyone involved.

Today's appointment was with another doctor who saw me while The Colonel was on vacation towards the end of my pregnancy.  She had literally just touched me with the cool metal when I jumped and yelled wait.

For the record, no good to scare the doctor and nurse at that moment.  I thought she'd dropped things when she shot her hands up in the air and looked at the nurse to make sure she saw that I wasn't being harmed.

Once I explained, a large speculum was warmed, the exam went on, I was allowed to get into my clothes, and then run out to pee because she had pressed a little hard at some point.

Before all that happened, there was the breast exam.

Which resulted in my having to schedule a mammogram for next Tuesday.

Due to a small lump she felt on the lower right quadrant of my right breast.

My husband says fatty tissue.  My best friend says probably a small cyst.  My mom is lighting a candle for me.

Am I worried?

Not really.  Not today.  Ask me again after next Tuesday and I may tell you that the tension headache went away as soon as the examine was done.

That's what I am focusing on.  That after the exam is done I'll come back here and write to you about the excruciating details of my first mammogram and then tell you there was nothing to report.

Just keep telling me that that's what will happen, okay?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just Something to Share

When we were at the hospital for James' surgery in May, he shared a room with a baby who was having physical therapy with a staff teacher.  The first day, James watched and listened to her playing with the baby, but with it only having been a day since surgery, he wasn't up to doing much.

That second day, she invited James to the play mat, and I sat with him on the floor.  She shared a truck (happened to be the same one he had at home) and a wooden puzzle.  James was ecstatic to be playing, and the baby she was working with looked excited to have someone else playing on the floor.

I mentioned that I loved the puzzles, and she told me she had ordered them online.  She went on to tell me that she orders a lot of the things online for the hospital, and is always looking to get a good deal to save them money.  Her favorite thing?  She had signed up on eBates and was taking the money they refunded to buy more for the kids.

Fast forward to September, and I had to start looking for shoes for James.  I remembered her mentioning eBates, so I went to look at the site.

Since then, I've earned a $10 gift card to Target just for signing up, and so far 1 check for $5 thanks to a referral I made to someone else.  So, that's $15 back, and $35 spent on shoes, and I have another $5 pending plus the percentage back from the cost of the shoes that will be sent to me in November.

At this rate, his shoes will be paid for.

So, I'm just writing this all out so you know that it's for real, and that I have actually received payment from them.

And if you are like me and wanting to save money this Holiday season, you may want to try it.  Just click HERE and start by signing up.  All you have to remember to do is go to their site to find the store first, use their link to the store to shop, and then wait for the refund check.

Yes, it really is that simple.

I am not receiving any compensation for this post and I really do use eBates for all our online shopping now.  If you do sign up using my link above then I will get a referral credited towards my account, but even if you don't want to do that, you should at least give them a try by visiting them directly.  Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holiday Cards!

So, as usual, I am ordering holiday cards to share with family and friends.  And I've been perusing the Shutterfly site, and also was asked to share something with you.

Curious?  Go HERE and see some of my new favorites.  Leave a comment and you may even win a special something from Shutterfly!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Is It Starve A Fever, Feed A Cold?

Can you even say you are starving your child these days without someone calling some authority to take them from you?

Technically, you aren't doing the starving.  It's just that when there's a fever involved, sleep and laziness take over all primary functions.

Last week, I thought A was going to have a nervous breakdown about James' lack of appetite.  We'd finally got him to drink using straws, he's eating less baby food daily, and suddenly he just stopped everything.

We did make sure to attempt some baby fruits and yogurts.  Those he would swallow while curled up on one of our laps as the other circled with a spoon.  He never ate a whole container at once, so we had a shelf of half eaten things that we rotated around, and nothing went to waste in the end.

You could tell when the food had hit his system as he suddenly would have energy and demand to play. 

Have you ever seen someone with a fever spin in circles and then collapse into a giggling mess?  He'd do it two or three times and then be too tired to do it again.  I wish I hadn't been laughing so hard that I'd thought to record it.

As he started feeling better, he had more of an appetite.  He still didn't want food though, just yogurt and fruit, and so we just let him lead and didn't fight.

By Sunday, he was showing no signs of anything being wrong.  Well, if you didn't catch a look at him after he ran around for a bit or sneezed.  If you saw him at those moments you'd wonder why no one had invented something to catch the snot that runs out of a toddler's nose.

For the record, my husband used to hunt deer.  He's dealt with cleaning it and everything.  He isn't squeamish.  But one look at the amount of stuff running out of James' nose and he lost his appetite and gagged.

I admit to giggling at him over this.  Until James sneezed on my hand.


So Sunday, after playing for 2 hours at his great grandparents' house, James didn't want to nap, and by dinner time appeared to be as energetic as he had been that morning.  I knew I wanted to give him something that he would swallow easily, but with some protein so that he felt full, and warm to help melt his sinuses.

The only thing we had was chicken flavored ramen soup.

So I made egg drop soup.

All I did was beat 1 egg in a small cup, and as soon as the timer went off because the noodles were done, I slowly poured it into the pot as I stirred.  As soon as it was all in, and I confirmed that everything was cooked, I cut the heat and then added the seasoning.

James ate almost all of it, including the broth, without any hesitation.  There were only a few spoonfuls of noodles at the bottom of the bowl.

And since then has not stopped eating.


Dinner last night consisted of a tub of peas, a tub of a baby dinner, the last 1/2 jar of fruit, the last 1/2 container of yogurt, and several ounces of water.  Then when we sat to eat, James came and ate about a serving worth of noodles in alfredo sauce.  And then about half a slice if Italian cream cake that was on my plate for dessert.

He didn't ask for anything else, but woke of this morning demanding breakfast.

Do girls eat like this?  Cause I don't remember my nieces eating like this.

I fear for his teenage years.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Counting Down

Normally at this time of the year I am muddled down with work.  My job always gets busier at this time, and it has since I was 18.

Wow.  20 years.  That's a long time.

This time around, my workload isn't as bad.  There's just enough work to keep me busy, and at the same time there is no rush and I have time for James.

He is learning daily, spinning in circles until he falls on his butt and giggles, playing with his wooden puzzles and actually trying to get the pieces in the right places, and following and mimicking us more and more.

As all this goes on, I keep looking at the calendar.  Time is flying, almost too fast in some ways, not fast enough in others.

He grows every day, and that I wish I could slow.

But my brother will be here this weekend.  I've not seen him since leaving CA, and I cannot wait for some time with him.  To introduce him to his nephew and watch them play.

His girlfriend is coming, and after the 24 hours we spent with her in August, I'm actually just as anxious to see her as well.  She fits so perfectly in our family, almost as if she's been missing all along, and getting time to talk and laugh again is making me bounce in my seat.

Three weeks after they arrive, James and I will be headed back to CA for a short visit.  I'll be at my 20th high school reunion.  He'll be meeting people that I can honestly say I've known longer than half my life.

Oh, October.  I knew I loved you for a reason.  Now let's get to the good parts, okay?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who Knew Snuggling Could Be Hazardous to Your Health?

James is in the middle of his first cold.

For the most part he has been pretty good.  His appetite is not really there, but we do make sure he is eating yogurt and fruit and drinking water.  Tonight he even had some vanilla shake.

He's been wanting to snuggle, laying on us while on the couch, and sleeping on his daddy.  Which is something he hasn't done in at least 6 months.

While I've been enjoying this snugly period from the little toddler who won't stop, I feel that I've become a victim.

Last night my throat was sore.  This morning, the runny nose and fever.

Needless to say that when James decided he wanted nothing more than to sleep on me during his nap today that I didn't have the strength to say no. 

And slept with him off and on.

It looks like A will be next in line with this, and hopefully we will all be clear of it by next weekend when my brother arrives.

Have I learned my lesson?


Because no matter what happens, no matter how busy I may be, when that little boy comes to me with a snotty nose and feverish face, saying "mama" and indicating he wants to be picked up....

Well, he wins.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The One Where He Is Forced To Wear Shoes

Well, we did it.

I found the perfect pair of shoes at Stride Rite's website, on sale for $35, and in his size.  I measured his feet twice, checked for width, and then jumped for joy after I received the confirmation that the order was received.

They arrived yesterday during his nap, so I opened them and prepped them for later.

Once he was awake, he had something to eat, drank some water, and then was changed for an outing to run errands.

And the shoes went on.

He stood in the middle of his room, staring down at them, and looking at us as if we'd gone insane.  He bent over and tugged on them.

I had to take his hands and lead him out of his room and into ours so I could get a fresh shirt and tennis shoes on.  He just stood there in the doorway, looking at the shoes, then at me, then back down.

Daddy prepped his bag with snacks and diapers.  I finished and walked down the hallway, opened the front door, and then called to him to come down and walk out with us.

He didn't budge.  Not even when we stepped out.  Not even when the neighbors dog came to the open door and barked at him.

I had to go back down the hallway, take both of his hands, and slowly lead him to the door.  He walked carefully, still unsure as to what we'd done to him.

20 minutes later, we were at his grandparents' house, and he was set down to play.  It took another 30 minutes before he was his normal self, playing in their living room and kitchen, taking magnets from the fridge.  Walking in his shoes.

He did it.  He wore shoes.  He even kept them on after coming home until it was bedtime.

Today we are at home, so they aren't on.  Tomorrow, we'll put them on again and wear them inside to continue to get him adjusted.

Baby steps.  Just taking baby steps as my baby shows me more and more that he really is a toddler now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A First For Us

We are spoiled.  We know this and are so grateful.

James has great grandparents who adore his every move, and they regularly show up with clothes and toys and snacks for him.  He has always had enough clothes for everything, some times too much of it, and often things that he maybe only wore once or twice.

The seasons have definitely shifted in the last 2 weeks, to the point where he actually needs socks to wear inside and out, as well as shoes.  His pajamas, which he's worn since April, are all short sleeved, and so not practical for someone who still doesn't stay under the covers when he sleeps.

So we bit the bullet.

You know how people say that having a child is expensive?

They weren't kidding!

In the last 5 days we have spent roughly $100 on things he needs.  And we aren't done.

He now has 6 sets of pajamas with long legs and sleeves, 6 pairs of white crew socks to wear with the 1 pair of new tennis shoes we ordered, and 4 pairs of socks with rubber grips on the bottom for wearing inside so he doesn't slip.

He still needs at least a hoodie and then a warm coat, a hat to keep his ears and head warm, and a couple more long pants and long sleeved shirts.  Not to mention at least 3 blanket sleepers for when it gets REALLY cold this Winter.

While standing at the checkout on Saturday night, I looked at A and said this was the first time in 16 months that we had to spend money on James for clothes.  Between hand-me-downs and gifts from my mom and sister and nieces and brother and then A's family, James has been clothed and comfortable for almost the first year and a half of his life.

Yup.  Spoiled.  All of us.