Monday, March 31, 2008

Surgery Day

Let me preface this post with, yes, I know Jacob will probably one day question why I would tell the world about his "procedure" but isn't that what mothers are supposed to do? Also, any of you that don't want to hear any references to the male bits and pieces - stop reading now. You have been warned!

One more thing to note - I NEED to get Mike a new camera! The resolution and graininess is driving me nuts and there is only so much repair that can be done in Photoshop!

OK - on to the official post! We headed out of our glorious desert abode around 5:20AM today after our most wonderful, special, devoted, gracious, thoughtful (how am I doing?) friend Sally arrived to get the other two up, fed, dressed and off to school. (I do have to add that Sally still made it over even after her sweet baby girl didn't go to sleep until 4:20AM! What a good friend!) I do also have to throw in a huge amount of gratitude to Elizabeth's future mother-in-law, Amanda for taking my hoodlums to school. If it weren't for the support of all of my wonderful friends here, I'm not sure we would have made it through the day so unscathed. I have to stop or I am going to get mushy in talking about these girls being we are all leaving each other in June to go to different bases. Uuugghh! That was a tangent!

Anyway, like I said, we left the house o'dark early with a little confused boy strapped in the car seat in the back wondering what on earth Mommy and Daddy were up to now.

We arrived at UCLA around 7:45AM after sitting in A LOT of traffic. (A word of advice - stay away from LA during rush hour traffic!) We were off to the surgery suite with little man in tow and still slightly confused as to what we were up to. We got checked in and pre-oped in a very short amount of time. Jacob was given a drug called Versed to relax him before they took him back. Both AJ and Elizabeth have had this in the past and I know it makes them act stoned but I think we are going to have to watch out with Jacob - he was loving life!!! I felt bad laughing at his antics but it was just too funny. He thought the camera was the funniest thing!


video

Once he was sufficiently doped up, the surgeon came and got him and it was off to the OR for him and to the waiting room for Mike and I. The surgery lasted about 75 VERY LONG minutes.

Oh - for those of you that don't know, Jacob went in for a circumcision revision. Mike and I chose to have him circumcised when he was born and had the procedure done at 2 days old. All said and done, the doctor that did the procedure back then did not do a very good job and made my poor little man look goofy as well as caused a few other problems that no mother should every have to go into or think about when it comes to her son. That being said, we decided while he was still young and we had the resources available to us to have good doctors take care of him, we would have it revised. He went in to have it pee-pee made pretty again. I will spare you any more details than that.

Recovery was a little difficult as he was very confused and irritated when he came out of anaesthesia. He cried, screamed and thrashed a bit for about 30-40 minutes without any of us being able to provide him with any comfort or consolation. Finally, while Mike was at the pharmacy getting his discharge meds, I covered his face with his blankie and the crying stopped immediately. We finally figured out that he just didn't want to see anyone - not even Mike with the camera.

video

Once he settled down, we were discharged and it was back home for us. He fell asleep in the car on the ride home and pretty much slept the entire way. When we got home, he vegged on the couch with me for a little bit, ate a banana, and then asked to go "ni-ni" in his crib. (That's code for sleep or "night-night".) He then slept until 4PM when the other two arrived home from school with all of their exuberant energy in tow. Jacob played a little, ate a good dinner (THANK YOU SO MUCH EMILY!) and then it was into pj's for him. He was in bed by 7:30PM and I am hoping that we have a good night.

I must say, this all had my nerves in a bunch for a while but I am so glad it is over with. The guilt I was carrying around about having to redo an elective procedure with another elective procedure was getting to be too much. It is terribly heart breaking to see your children go through any type of surgery or procedure. I am just thankful that my children are healthy and that we are lucky enough not to have to deal with anything major.

Love you Jacob - and here is to a pretty pee-pee!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

WIND! WIND! WIND! WIND!

I'm sure some of you are familiar with How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess. There is a section in there where the Grinch states:

... And then! Oh, the noise, Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! ...


Well, after living in the Antelope Valley during March, I have replaced the word noise with wind. The wind here is ridiculous this time of year.


Today, embracing the wind and all, we headed out to the California Poppy Reserve where the poppy's have started blooming. They don't hit full bloom until late April, but with Mike leaving on TDY next weekend and then his international trip right after that, we are out of weekends to do things as a family. I thought the poppy fields would be great to take family pictures.



If we ignored the wind and my blatant disregard for dressing the kids appropriately for the temperatures, it was beautifully wonderful!

Can you tell that Mike was having a little too much fun with the remote to my camera? I'm not sure how many family photos we ended up with, but let me tell you, if you want some one that can shoot a lot of pictures in a short amount of time with a tiny remote, Mike is your man!

And last but not least - I present the mediocre family pictures to you. I'm not in love with either one but they are the best we could get with the wind and three monkies. I need your opinion. Which picture do you like better of the family? This picture is going to go into the graduation program for Mike's TPS graduation. #1 or #2?

#1
#2

Thursday, March 27, 2008

splish splash

There is nothing more fun to watch than a baby in a bathtub having the time of his life splashing. Enough said.


insert sound of high pitched whistle here

The "Easter Bunny" thought it would be really cool to give the kids these whistles that blow bubbles at the same time. Well, we all know where this is going, right? Anyway, of course the kids LOVE them and the parents, well let's just say the "Easter Bunny" should have invested in some ear plugs too. Hey - at least they are having fun and not fighting, right?

a new method of play

To my befuddlement (is that a word?) I found Jacob getting right into the thick of it to play today. Instead of throwing all of the toys out of the toy box and then playing he decided it was much easier to just jump right in and join the toys in their space. I must say this method of play was very nice when it came to clean up!




Saturday, March 22, 2008

soliciting suggestions

Help me!!! What am I doing wrong? Seriously, I think my child is trying to starve himself just to spite me. Is it torture to make your child sit at the table to eat? And I am not talking cleaning the plate, making a "happy" plate, or even eating half of what is there. All I am asking for is some type of consumption.

An example of how this process plays out:

"AJ, breakfast is ready. Come sit at the table."
"No Mommy. No eat."
"AJ, you need to come to the table now."
"I'm busy." (That is his new phrase of choice.)
"AJ, I mean it. It is time to sit at the table and eat. If you don't come over here right now you are going to get a time out."
"Whaaaaaaa!" (Place the sounds of a toddler scream crying here.)
"OK, that's it! Time out right now!" (I now have placed him on the time out mat that is by the front door.)
" I need you Mommy! Mommy, I need you! I NEEEEEED you Mommy. . . " (This continues until his time is up.)

Once time out is up, I go over to him, explain that he needs to come to the kitchen and sit down and eat. At this point, I think I might have a glimmer of hope as he mopes his way over to his chair and plops down. Keep in mind, I am also trying to satisfy the needs of two other hungry vultures. Anyway, AJ is now at least where I want him, but to no avail - he is not going to eat. And then it starts again...



"AJ, it is time for you to take a bite now."
"NO!"
"AJ, you need to take a bite now or you are going back in time out."
"Hmmpphhh!" (Picture this - arms are crossed so tightly across his chest that he is giving himself cleavage and the furrow in his eyebrows would make a plastic surgeon giddy with the thought of the amount of Botox it will take to repair the damage!)
"This is your last chance. Take a bite, now." (I know the lack of patience is certainly apparent in my voice at this point.)

Surprise - He takes a bite. Most would think that the battle is over and the parent is victorious but this is just his check mate. This bite is taken and then it is back to pouting like a pro. I am serious about that! If he could get paid for pouting, we would be rolling in it - but that is a subject for another post.

He finishes his bite and then starts to slink out of his chair or poke his sister or tell me he has to go find something. At this point, I am done! I am done having the patience for this. I am done being the good, calm, cool and collected Mommy. I am putting my resignation in for the day! I AM DONE!!!!

I put him in his booster seat, which conveniently has straps to contain his skinny little self. I tell him, that he is not getting down until he eats. The water works begin and it is all chaos from this point on. I know, I know! I mean, I really know - this is not the most effective way to deal with this at this point.

Today he found solace in giving his sister a hug after the whole ordeal was over.

My ultimate goal in this post is to ask, beg, solicit help! How do I avoid this scenario every meal? How do I get nutrition in him? HEEELLP!!!! (Do you hear me begging yet?)

On a side note: Just to let you know, I do not let him have snacks at all times and I have limited his milk intake in an attempt to make sure he is hungry at mealtimes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

drills, chizzles and other ways to find peace

...or that is at least what I told myself on Saturday when I sat in the dentist's chair so numb that I couldn't feel anything below my eyes. As most of you know, I have had A LOT of dental work done lately (thanks pregnancy!) and I am sure have paid for my next dentist's trip to Hawaii in the process. However, this past Saturday, my most wonderful, caring and devoted husband relinquished his weekend to spend with the three little rug-rats and live in my life for two days as I headed down to Orange County for my most recent dental torture. I suppose I do have to go through some pain to get to the end of the rainbow, right? No pain, no gain? Enough innuendos! Anyway, I stayed with my mom and dad for the weekend with no other obligations than taking care of myself - what a dream!!! Thank you Mike for giving me a weekend of peace (even if I had to go through some dental torture to get it)! I love you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love You Forever

There are many moments I enjoy as a mother (as there are some I don't) but nothing is better than having the opportunity to hold your baby uninterrupted and as long as he will let you. I was able to soak up all of the love and snuggles that my little guy had to offer after he got up from his nap on Saturday. I'm not too sure why I was privileged with these snuggles but I certainly won't give them up!

As I was sitting there rocking in the chair that I had once held this little 8 pound helpless being, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the feeling of loss. I realized I am loosing my little baby and gaining a little boy. As much as I feel I am complete with the family that I have, I am also saddened by the thought of never having another baby to hold and cuddle. Where will my little toes have gone? Will they have grown into the adult feet that I so despise? Will the sweet smell of innocence be replaced with the smell of a dirty little child fresh from some sort of sporting practice? And what about the cuddles?

I am sure I can give up all of the other wonders that come with babies but all I can hope for is that I will never have to relinquish the right to mommy love and snuggles.

All of this makes me think of the book "Love You Forever". I had read this book before I had children and I have even read it to my kids in recent times but for some reason, something clicked and I realized how true it is, "I love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

I know that I will have to let go of my kids and let them grow up, but in my heart I know they will always be the little helpless beings that I will be able to smother with my love and affection any time they need it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yeehah and Yippee to Ya'll!

Well, we made it! At least to the 100 day mark... Our TPS class had our 100 Day Party this weekend (actually 91 days until graduation) and we had a rip roaring good time. The theme was country western and my three little cowpoke had a blast with the horse rides and of course the stick horses. The music, food and friends all made for a wonderful evening.

Elizabeth on her first horse ride. She thought she was a pro when she was done. I think I might have to get her into horseback riding lessons as much as she has been talking about it.

Farmer AJ - the little dude is in LOVE with his cowboy boots! I only wish I had gotten a picture of them.

AJ on his first horseback ride - what fun!

Farmer Jacob - he lived up the party in all of his Jacob glory dancing and stomping his little boots.
The whole gang of 07B cowpoke. Amazingly enough we were only missing 3.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

sibling rivalry

It always amazes me the different types of relationships that siblings can have with each other. I think all parents hope and wish that their kids will all get a long, be best buddies and always love each other. But the fact of life is that there will always be some sort of sibling rivalry. I mean, honestly, can anyone always be affectionate towards another person at all times especially if you live with them 24 hours a day? Don't get me wrong, my kids really do love each other but they sure do have their share of spats too. Anyway, the other night as we were sitting down to watch a little Oswald to unwind before bedtime, I heard a faint little voice come from the other room that said, "issy, i wuv you", followed by an "I love you too AJ." When I peaked around the corner, this is what I was witness to. Oh melt my heart!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

mama monday

This post is a piggy-back on Erin's Mama Monday's. For future reference, I will try and piggyback on hers, if I have anything to say on the subject.

Mama Monday I: Potty-Training the Marlin Way
(don't try this at home)

First, let me preface this blog with I think I am a horrible
potty trainer and I'm not sure that I would use any of my techniques on your own kids! I also understand that all kids are different - but really, are they all so stubborn?

Elizabeth - age 4years 11 months
We began potty training Elizabeth when she was 2 1/2. She did not show any signs of readiness
before then and I was extremely pregnant with a complicated pregnancy so I didn't have the energy to tackle it anyway. We decided to try potty training at 2 1/2 because I knew she had to be potty trained to go to preschool and that was a motivating factor for me - not so much for her at that time. Anyway, I started with the naked technique. We went out and bought a "little potty" and I let her run around naked from the waist down. This worked in the beginning. It only took her a couple times of having accidents before she figured out what the sensation was and then she would run to the "little potty" and do her business. We did the sticker chart at this point. I let her pick out the sticker she wanted to put on the chart and this seemed to be a great motivator. This lasted for about a week and then she needed "more." We then went to jelly beans as potty treats and moved to a seat on the big potty at this point. She did good with this but after about 2 weeks of success we had a big back slide. She had accidents every day, several times a day. And the poop - don't get me started on that. Why do they have to have poopy accidents when they are wearing underwear? Once she slid back it was a long road from there. All said and done we spent the next six months potty training. As far as night time training went, she was a very heavy wetter and was in pull-ups at night and naps for quite a while. When she was a little over 4 she finally started staying dryer at night so I attempted the panties at night but that turned into many interrupted nights for everyone and a lot of laundry, so it was back to pull-ups for her. When she was 4 years and 5 months someone mentioned cloth diapers to me and how the kids felt it more. I absorbed this information and tried using cloth training pants at night. Sure enough within a couple of weeks she was staying completely dry at night. Once she had stayed dry in her "nighttime panties" for a while, we made the switch to panties and now we are good day and night!

AJ - age 2 years 11 months
Now let me preface this with he is my stubborn o
ne. He has shown me for a while that he is ready for the potty by telling when he is wet or poopy. We have tried several times to potty training with glimmers of hope followed by complete failure (on my part, I think.) I have basically done the same thing that I did with Elizabeth and we will have a couple of really good days but then the bad days aren't followed by accidents. They are followed by screaming and crying and throwing himself on the floor at the mere suggestion of going to use the potty - so it is back in diapers. As I mentioned a little earlier, there has been some research done to show that kids that are cloth diapered tend to potty train earlier and easier. So this is now my newest tactic in the fight against diapers. With the help of Thirsties and Bummis, I have switched the boys to cloth with the exception of when AJ is at school. I am hoping that this will provoke AJ into the desire to not feel wet. We shall see with a little more time.

Jacob - age 1 year 3months
Looking cute in his fluffy bottom these days!!!!


And of course, some flash back pictures because what would a post be without pictures. (For some reason I couldn't find pictures of Elizabeth on the potty but these are potty training related.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

role call Mommy style

For those of you in the pilot realm of the Air Force, you understand the meaning of roll call. For you others, I will give you my perspective on it. Please keep in mind, this is my view of the whole thing. Occasionally, the guys from the squadron gather in a place that has some sort of feel good beverages and they supposedly discuss what has gone on at work and how they can make it better. What really happens is they get drunker than a skunk and decide to do, shall we say testoserone induced activities, such as roof stomps (that is another thing only us lucky military wives are privilaged to know about) and play crud, otherwise known as combat pool.

Luckily I am part of a close-knit group of wives and on Friday when our brave Airmen were out having their hoo-rah, we decided to have our own. Sari - bless that woman, offered up her house to some 15+ children and their mommies. The kids had dinner and played while the mommies were able to vent about their week. I am starting to think that this roll call thing is a good idea - well maybe!