I DO Like That!

So yesterday, I talked about things I don’t like. So to balance it out, here are some things (about today) that I DO like!

  • Today is my One Year Blogoversary! It is also one of my favorite blogger’s Two Year Blogoversary. I didn’t know that we shared the date until today. Very cool!

  • My dear friend Lisa had Baby #3 today! She decided this time not to find out the sex, so I was SO anxious to hear the news of his or her arrival. Lisa is definitely a Boy Mom- she was blessed with Baby Boy #3 at about 1:00. I can’t wait to meet sweet Landon tomorrow!

  • I got another painting order from Etsy today! Yay!

  • This picture. Oh my goodness, this little guy cracks me up! Look at that hair!


I Don’t Like That!

Thanks to Erin for the blog post idea today!

Things that make me go grrr, make me roll my eyes, make my eye twitch, etc.

  • Wasting a day. My friend and I took G Man to the hospital today to get his blood taken. 2 hours, many phone calls to the neurologist, and a very tired little boy later, the order was still not clarified by the lab and they didn’t take any blood (which I appreciated since they need a LOT of blood and I want it to be right). So I paid for daycare, only worked 3 hours, wasted 2 hours and gas going to the hospital, all for NOTHING. Grrr. I don’t like that.

  • G’s neurologist office staff. See above? This is all their fault. I don’t like that.

  • The dogs. This is the classic, “I love them but I don’t really like them” thing. I am just SO TIRED of cleaning up pee off the bathroom floor, keeping them quiet when G is asleep, trying to do something in the kitchen without 16 legs getting in the way, etc…But, they are family. And I love them. But I don’t like that.

  • Voicemail. A very weird thing about me- I get a lot of anxiety when I see I have a voicemail. I would much rather get a text or email. Especially annoying- really looong voicemails with a lot of information where I have to call the person back anyway. Just tell me all that when I call you back! I don’t like that.

  • Live music. I know this makes me sound old and frumpy (and my brothers are going to be appalled), but I can’t stand music where I can’t control the volume. And why would I want to listen to music with people who I can’t have a conversation with because the music is so loud? Boring. Maybe I should change this to Loud Live Music- I don’t like that.

  • Summer 2011 weather. This is Grayson’s first summer and really his only knowlege of the Great Outdoors is the distance from wherever we are to the car. I don’t like that.

  • Our electric and water bills for this month. They haven’t arrived yet, but I can only imagine. I don’t like that.

  • People telling me that Grayson is going to catch up and be “just fine” and/or pretending there’s nothing wrong with him. OF COURSE I hope, pray, would do anything for him to catch up and be “just fine” but what if he doesn’t? I’m not going to love him any less and he won’t be any less of a precious joy. The fact is I know people say these things because they don’t know what else to say or don’t really want to accept what’s going on. Well, I am dealing with this every.single.minute.of.the.day. and I’m telling you 1. He is making progress and we celebrate every milestone he meets, but 2. He has a lot of issues that are real and I HAVE to be realistic about where he is. I don’t like that.

  • Football Season. aka I’m A Single Mom Season. I don’t like that.

Enough venting for one day. Ahhh, I feel better!

Information Overload!

Grayson had an appointment with his neurologist this morning- I didn’t have anything specific to talk to him about except vaccinations (which I will talk about in a minute). I most certainly wasn’t expecting the amount of information and new concerns I walked away with. As I’ve said before, I really like this doctor. Dr. R is quirky, good with kids, and is obviously brilliant. Sometimes too brilliant. As in, whooooaaa, slow down, what the heck does what you just said mean? I really need to take someone with me when we go see him so I can take notes- something not really possible with a wiggly baby in my arms. Anyway, here’s what I learned, in bullet points (because I think this is just a bullet-point-y kind of post).

  • At our last visit, in June, Dr. R ordered more blood and urine tests. A few days later, the office called, and Ryan answered. They told him never mind, we don’t need these labs after all. Us: yay! No needles! Well, today he asked me if we’d done the labs. I told him they were cancelled. Apparently, that was a mistake. There were a few that they don’t need but the rest needed to be done. He wanted to know who called and when (I have no idea). I told him I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble- I’m sure it was an honest mistake. And it’s not that big of a deal since we don’t have our Genetic specialist appointment until November. But now we have to find a time to go get blood drawn and deal with needles. Before September 1 when our deductible starts over. Yuck.

  • Grayson still has his weird toe thing going on as well as something with his thumbs- they go inward to his palm, which indicate more misfiring from his brain (something about one side is too strong and one side too weak, I don’t know; again, this guy talks very fast and uses lots of big words). Possible treatment: Botox (to weaken one side and balance them out). Isn’t that interesting? Maybe Grayson and I can get 2 for 1 treatments! However, we had PT this afternoon and his therapist said she disagrees- she doesn’t think he has the thumb thing. Maybe he was just doing it at the doctor- who knows!

  • I knew Grayson was delayed in speech, although this has been the least of my concerns. He isn’t vocalizing consonants, mimicking, or saying Mama or Dada yet. Dr. R wants us to get his hearing tested. What? I’ve always thought his hearing is fine- he loves music, listens when you talk to him, etc. And he passed his newborn hearing screening. But Dr. R said hearing is connected to the brain, along with everything else, and there may be an issue of him missing subtle intonations of the human voice. Ok- well, a hearing test is easy enough to set up. But come on- another thing- can’t my little guy catch a break!?

  • We talked in general about his low tone, muscle weakness, and delays. I took a 12 month development survey- to Grayson’s credit, he just turned 11 months, but I was only able to answer yes, he’s doing this to 2 questions, and the survey was 3 pages long. Pretty discouraging. In my head, I often make myself think that I am exaggerating his issues and blowing them out of proportion, then I look at something like that and realize I’m not.

  • I asked about vaccinations and if in his opinion we should delay them. He said no- because of his low tone, if he does catch a disease, he’s going to have a harder time fighting it off (I don’t know why that is exactly; this is just what he said). I have been really struggling lately with the decision whether or not to delay Grayson’s next round of vaccinations. I know the risks, and I have two close friends who have vaccine injured children. Honestly, that scares me to death. I know vaccines are a complex, hot button issue- I just want to do the right thing for my child and his health. If anyone reading this has a child with neurological issues and/or developmental delays and could share their thoughts on vaccinations, I would love to hear from you!

  • In the same conversation about vaccines, Dr. R brought up seizures again and that Grayson is at a much higher risk for them (see why I’m freaking out about vaccines?) He said if he does have one and we go to the ER, for us not to let them tell us that it’s just a febrile seizure (the kind that kids with high fevers get) because Grayson fits into a different algorithm than that (see? he loves using big words!). To my knowledge, Grayson has never had a seizure- let’s hope it stays that way!

So, a lot of information today. I’m really doing ok though- I feel like Dr. R is trying to fit together pieces of this puzzle, and I have high hopes for our Genetics appointment in November. He did say that Genetics will look at Grayson in a totally different way than he does, that it’s a dance between neurology and genetics- and they will go back and forth with new and different ideas. We see him again in December, unless the blood work comes back with something that needs to be addressed sooner.

I hope I remembered everything- I really should have taken notes!

11 Months!

Dear Grayson,

Today, you are eleven months old. I cannot believe you are so close to being O-N-E. You are still so much a baby, but worlds apart from your 5 pound self a little less than a year ago.

This month, you’ve been continuing to work hard at eating and gaining weight, and I think it’s working. You are getting close to 17 pounds and most of your 6 month clothes are about to fill a storage tub. Your favorite food is still your “porridge”- oatmeal, almond butter or tahini, yogurt, and whatever fruit or vegetable I can mix in. You’re a sneaky one- you devoured mashed potatoes at a restaurant a few Sundays ago, so I excitedly made them at home, but you wanted nothing to do with them. You’ve absolutely refused avocado every time I’ve offered it to you at home, but happily gobbled up guacamole at our small group lunch after church. You are definitely teaching me that I can’t control everything about your life, and that you are capable of making your own choices (no matter how much they may frustrate your mommy!).

You’ve been going to daycare twice a week for a month now, and it’s been a good thing for both of us. Your teachers are so sweet and you are usually happily playing on the floor with them when I come to pick you up. They say the other babies are fascinated by you- well, who wouldn’t be? I wish you would learn that it’s ok to nap at “school”, because you are always Mr. Grumpy when we get home, you are so wiped out. Your bedtime is still between 5:30 and 6:00 pm and you consistently sleep 12-13 hours. Thank you, little dude.

You have started playing with toys a lot more this month- you love anything that makes noise, and your favorites are your wobbly penguin, interactive zoo, and all the bells and whistles on your excersaucer. You are getting better at reaching for toys and have even starting picking them up off the floor while sitting in your Bumbo. I am so proud of you. You love music, and both of us are currently obsessed with the Laurie Berkner Band and all her goofy songs. When I play the album and you hear the opening notes, you always giggle a little. So cute.

You have 6 teeth- 4 up top and 2 on the bottom. You love to gnaw on things- your toys, my arm, whatever. You love to pull my hair- and why exactly am I growing it out again? You have your first bad diaper rash right now and have had some sort of heat rash on the back of your legs and arms. It makes me so sad to see you uncomfortable.

You continue to work really hard at therapy, and we are doing a good job at fitting all 5 of your teachers into our busy schedule. Mommy now has a calendar hung on the refrigerator, because there is no way I could keep your schedule straight in my head! We’ve had a nice break of a month with no doctors appointments. This month we have a few, but we’ll survive.

It’s going to be a busy 11th month for you, as the beginning of a new school year always is hectic. We say goodbye for a year to Aunt Robin in a few days as she and your cousins head back to Saudi Arabia. Aunt Rebecca, Aunt Hannah and Uncle David are all coming for a visit in September, and we are so excited that David and Hannah will be here for your birthday! I can’t believe that in exactly a month I’ll be writing to my ONE YEAR OLD. Let’s make 11 months last as long as we can, ok?


I Had Almost Forgotten About This

This afternoon, I was looking through old pictures of stuff I’d painted to put examples on my etsy page. I came across this picture that I painted in 2005. It’s a picture of the “client” (the one in the middle, with the tiara) and all her girlfriends.

I worked HOURS and HOURS on this picture, and I was pretty proud of it. The craziest thing about painting this was I had no actual photograph to go on, just a very detailed email describing all these girls’ personalities, style preferences, habits, lipstick shades, etc.

This said email is one of my favorite possessions- I will never, ever throw it away. It’s just too funny. It’s way too long to share the whole thing (2.5 pages single spaced) but here are some of my favorite snippets…

…I want to be holding a cosmopolitan martini in one hand and my doggie in the other- she is a teacup, 2.5 pound yorkie. I want a tiara on my head. I want to wear something leopard print…Beigy lipstick. Ok, if not the doggie, then definitely a shoe- a cool stiletto. That might be better than the doggie. Let’s scratch the doggie.

S- long blonde hair- just like mine…wears a lot of Versache. She should be holding a champagne glass in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other that says Crystal…she should have something on her that says Barbie- that’s what she looks like….she ONLY wears closed toe stiletto pumps- no toes showing (it was a fetish of her ex-boyfriend’s- don’t ask)

M- This is my black girlfriend….She is very divaish- maybe a boa around her neck…For her clothes, a cute printed shirt- not showing much cleavage, although she has a size 36F chest!!!!

P- She has very short, spiky hair (it is seriously sticking up every which way- sort of like Rod Stewart)…She should have huge diamond necklace, bracelet and ring, and be holding a purse that says Fendi (she owns a zillion, and named her daughter this!)…

M- ….She is the most independent of all of us…the mom of the group. I think her shirt needs to say “Mamma M___” She likes sleeveless tops from Cache- they are ribbed knit and zip up the front…

AM- …her hair is very southern…think Texas hair. Has huge boobs- drinks red wine always. Wears conservative jewelry- all David Yurman. Likes to wear suits, but sexy ones.

Nope, I cannot make this stuff up!!!! Anyway, if you’d like a giant painting of you and all your girlfriends to hang above your mantel, I’m your girl! I’m thinking if I painted one of me and my close girlfriends, it wouldn’t look much like this. We’d each have a baby on our hip (some 2!), hair in a ponytail, dried babyfood and spitup on our NOT designer shirts…jewelry? lipstick? what are those again? I would add a bottle of wine to our (free) hand though! Wait, scratch that, we’d probably be sitting around the table at Chick-Fil-A, with no placecards, boas, or glassware in sight.

Not that I would have fit in at this cartoon table in 2005 either.

SO! This post keeps going. I just found some more stuff I painted for this same person! Oh, memory lane…

Yes, you are reading correctly. But who doesn’t love Hot-Tubbing!?

And my personal favorite…

I’m running a special on Gold Digger frames this weekend. Email me for details!

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

This kid of mine. Oh my goodness. I am overwhelmed by his sweetness, his precious personality, and well, his cuteness. But I am also overwhelmed that he’s on his own growth curve and timetable, and his body does not play by the rules.

Most days, I feel good. Competent. On top of things and doing what needs to be done for his specific needs. Today is just one of those days where I think, I’m screwing him up. I have no idea what I’m doing.

A lot of this still has to do with food. I screwed him up in his first days with our horrible breastfeeding fiasco, and thinking about it still gives me anxiety. I hate that when we have another child, if I am able to  breastfeed, it won’t be without fear. And now I feel like I’m screwing him up because he’s not eating the right solid foods.

Yesterday I “shared” some turkey with him- he loved it. Kept opening his mouth for more. I was so excited, thinking we’d reached a new milestone (bites) but then he leaned back, and I saw the entire hunk of turkey- on the roof of his mouth. He didn’t swallow a bit of it. He could have choked. Anxiety.

This morning I tried to feed him a Stage 3 Sprout meal, with chunks. He’s been receptive to new foods if he’s on my lap, so I got out the bib and burp cloth and we got to work. One bite, and he gagged, cried and vomited EVERYWHERE. Sigh. So into the booster seat we go and he polished off a bowl of porridge (the only thing he will consistently eat, complete with Mmmmms).

I let him play with his food at lunch, which was hilarious (and I got some precious pictures, but I know you’ve seen more than enough pictures of my child covered in food)- but how much did he actually ingest? He ate porridge for dinner, but I did manage to hide half a pouch of vegetables in it.

Then there’s his motor skills- he’s still not sitting on his own. I’m trying to stop wondering when that’s going to happen, because I’ve been wondering that for a long time now. And then, once he is sitting, it’s going to be something else.

I’m trying to get him to say “Mama” or “Dada”. But every time I say one of those words, he laughs. Hmmm…

I have page after page of therapy write ups, with instructions, suggestions, and goals. And yet, I feel clueless. I don’t know how long to let him fuss while we’re working, and how much I’m supposed to do for him versus letting him figure it out on his own. I’m still not satisfied with the nutrition advice we’re getting, and yet, a lot of what I’m trying on my own isn’t working.

Grayson is so special, and I’m so honored to be his mom. And yes, I know I am doing my best and I’m doing a good job. I just want to do the best job. And I want him to swallow his food and not throw up when he doesn’t like something. Is that too much to ask?

Make a MESS Monday

I am constantly frustrated and embarrassed with the state of my house. It’s a mess. I could run the vacuum all day long and there would still be dog hair everywhere. And the baby stuff- where in the world did all this stuff come from? I try, I really do. I feel like I am constantly cleaning, vacuuming, swiffering, taking out trash, doing laundry. And yet, my house still looks like a tornado blew through, leaving Babies ‘R Us in its wake.

Then there’s the people that live in this house. Ryan with his stinky coaching clothes, me sporting the latest in baby vomit and desperately needing a haircut and a pedicure. And Grayson- well, I think he gets a pass because 1. he’s a baby and 2. he’s so cute.

Well, today I am officially declaring Mondays Make a MESS Monday and embracing the mess in my life! And for the kickoff…Mashed Potato/Lasagna puree + baby who decided to feed himself  tonight= perfect inaugural Make a MESS Monday! Enjoy!

Make a MESS Monday! I can’t stand the excitement!

Eatin’? Let me show you how it’s done!

This is so fun! Can we do this every day?!

Mom may or may not have given me this awesome GLOP mustache and goatee

The best part about MESSY baby food? It doubles as hair gel!
Cleanup Crew (the only reason we keep her around!)

 And for the grandparents (because they will love this but no one else probably wants to sit through it)…

Random Updates

Happy Friday Everyone!

Just wanted to share a few random happenings from our week.

Last Saturday, Ryan, Grayson and I took a Goodbye-Summer-Hello-Football-Season family outing. We went to the Children’s Museum, had lunch in town, and stalked the Little Couple’s house. The Little Couple is our newest local Houston celebrity obsession interest, and my husband has a total man-crush on Bill. He totally wants to be BFFs with him. And every time we take Grayson to Texas Children’s, Ryan scans the halls for Dr. Jen. So it totally made his day when not only did he see the house, but empty boxes out by the curb AND their cars parked on the street, proving they have moved in.

Grayson loves these spinning flowers at the museum

Also last weekend, we transitioned Grayson to his Big Boy Carseat. This thing is ginormous- I feel like he’s really safe in it though!

At work this week, we had a birthday party for Wyatt, the sheriff of Waggin’ Tails. We got some fantastic (and hilarious) pictures which will be posted on Wyatt’s blog in the next few days. Here’s a few of my boys enjoying the festivites.

G about to give Wyatt one of his famous kisses

The Party Animal enjoying birthday cake

I am about to order this little piece of adorableness for my Little Monster for Halloween this year. Isn’t it the cutest?! Thanks Dear!

I have been painting up a storm this week! I am really excited to be getting orders again- I was burned out on painting for so long, but now I’m really enjoying it again. My friend and I are working on getting our business, Cupcakes ‘n Caterpillars, up and running. Here’s a link to our Etsy store. Stay tuned for another giveaway on here very soon!

And since this post really has no coherant point anyway, I’ll just wrap it up with a few more cute pictures. Happy Weekend!

Grayson with his bud Larkin- they just love each other

Grayson, Daddy and Izzy

No better place to take a nap than clean laundry!

My Support System

Before I became a mom, I read and heard everywhere that motherhood (especially for those who stay at home) can be isolating. How moms spend their days changing diapers, fixing bottles (or breastfeeding, whatever the case may be), cleaning up toys, and in general, totally separate from the outside adult world.

Yes, I spend my days- except Mondays and Fridays when I’m now working- doing these things, but I do not feel isolated. My support system is deep.

First, I have the most wonderful In Real Life friends in the world. I have an abundance of friends I know I can call (or really, in my case, email or text) at any time to share a funny story, catch up on life, or cry to. I know they genuinely care about and love my family and that I care about and love theirs. It’s hard with work and therapy, but I really make an effort to see friends at least once, if not more times a week. And I am doubly blessed that a lot of my friends are in the same stage as me- babies, babies, babies! As I mentioned in my last post, it’s hard watching their kids meet milestones that Grayson is not, but at the same time, the support and love I feel when I’m around them far outweighs my sadness.

I also have friends I have “met” through blogging. I love reading blogs and have a handful of girls who I am totally invested in their stories. I try to offer support to them as they have to me through commenting, and sometimes email. I consider them real friends even though we have never met (and may never meet- sad) face to face. There are also some blogs that I read that the writers have never commented back on my blog, yet I still feel connected to them through the stories and struggles they share. You can say what you want about the horrors of the internet, but my computer and my bloggy friends have made this year so rich and offered much needed support.

Then there’s family. Grayson has to be the luckiest little dude who ever lived to have so many relatives who just adore him. I am the oldest of five and Ryan the youngest of three. I have four sisters in law who I just love and consider them among my best friends (who can say that? not many people). My only complaint is 3 of them live too, too far away. Then I have my sister, three brothers, two brothers in law, my parents, Ryan’s mom and grandmother, and a whole slew of other relatives. Amazing.

So, I write all this down not to brag about all the wonderful people in my life, but as a reminder to myself that my life is good. I know I sometimes take for granted that I have good friends, because not everyone does. Not everyone has family they actually get along with and want to be around. It’s so easy for me to slip into feeling sorry for myself for silly things like the horror that is my current wardrobe, the fact that my house is never really clean, and that it is 13,897 degrees outside right now.

I need to make more of a habit of reminding myself that life is about people and relationships, not things.