Friday, May 29, 2009

A Prayer Request - and updates thereto

My grandmother, Sandra Davis, is in ICU after having had a stroke. My parents were called at 11:30 last night and called me at 6 this morning, and it took until now for us to know anything but "in the hospital, had a stroke".
She is in ICU, sedated and on a breathing machine, with blood on the brain. I don't know exactly what that means, but it doesn't sound good*. On the up side, she rested well and her blood pressure is under control.
Unfortunately, the Springfield she's in is five hours from ours. MO, not IL. Five hours, not TOO bad... I did almost tell my husband to call off and we were going for a road trip, but I thought we should wait to hear whether she could even have visitors before driving five hours one way. We don't even know what hospital. I know NICU is very strict about visitors, I'm sure ICU is the same way.
Please pray. I will update as I know more.
* Okay, so I talked to Daddy and apparently blood on the brain is not necessarily a devastating fact, it depends on how much there is and where. There could be only temporary damage - there could be permanent damage (we pray not) - there could still be no damage. We won't know for a while.
UPDATE: As of about half an hour ago (4 p.m. Central), we have official word - "prognosis is poor". The ventilator is not back-up, it is her breathing. She has no reflexive breathing. She has three centimeters of blood on her brain, and prognosis is poor. We will be driving to Missouri tomorrow, God willing, assuming we have the gas money and Husband can wrangle the day off (by begging, borrowing, or stealing, so to speak). I would not drive myself and Kittyboy, no matter how I might want to, because I am a wreck and that is simply not safe. God have mercy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another New Restaurant

Well, we have a favorite place to go for Japanese (Kiku), now we have a favorite for "crowded noisy steakhouse with line-dancing waitresses" - Texas Roadhouse.
I am not a steakhouse person. I'm not really a steak person. And why there's another steakhouse right around the block from Lonestar (another Texas-themed one, at that!), I don't know. What I did know is that some union has been giving Texas Roadhouse free advertising in the form of "Don't eat at Texas Roadhouse!" protests. From what we've gathered, whatever union it is has their knickers in a knot because they didn't get the job of building it. Personally, as fast as that place went up? I wouldn't be advertising that my union DIDN'T build it, you know what I mean? It went up at speeds I didn't know a building could. Whoever they did hire was GOOD. And this one union is having a whole big temper tantrum. I mean, billboards and everything. To the amusement of those of us on whom reverse psychology works very, very well. "Hmm, Texas Roadhouse - so they're open now? Wonder how the food is!"
Well, as of this morning, despite our Illustrious Leader's best efforts, we still have a fairly free-market economy. So we decided to take our economic power out for a drive and see how Texas Roadhouse is as a restaurant.
Oh. My. Gosh. More expensive than we normally eat, but worth every single penny. I can say nothing negative. They opened at 4, we got there at half past, and the wait was already 40-50 minutes. And people were waiting with nary a complaint. It's been open a week now - obviously word has gotten around that it's worth the wait. The girl who took our names down was on the phone for some time when we first came in. When she hung up, she said, "Oh my gosh, I just took a call from a party of 23! I've never done that before!" Extremely cool touch - a huge barrel of peanuts at the counter, just there free for everyone who was waiting for a table. And little paper bags you could fill to take outside, as half the line was indeed outside.
And we did get to our table not much at all over our estimated wait time. We'd already settled on what we were getting, and it came to our table fast. We had a WONDERFUL waitress, Melinda. She was fast, friendly, and while spinning between tables, she stopped to ask KITTYBOY how his meal was going. "Everything good, little man?" His mouth was full of fresh-baked bread ("baked every five minutes") - he was on cloud nine. A kid's meal is under five bucks, and definitely not toddler-size - most of it came home. Macaroni and cheese with fries. Kittyboy was too busy looking at everything to eat - playing peekaboo with the people in the next booth, signing "Go-go-go!" at the baseball players on the television, dancing on the bench to country music (a vision I will purge from my retinas somehow, lest I go insane), and flirting like mad with the waitresses. All of whom gushed and gooed over him. One caveat - this is a totally goat-roping, boot-scooting, line-dancing, yeehaw COUNTRY restaurant. I heard Garth Brooks at least once. Ewww. But the food makes up for it. And as rabidly as I am NOT a Garth Brooks fan - that says a lot. We're already planning and budgeting when we're going back.
The nuts and bolts, for those in the Springfield area who might try it:
Appetizers - $4-10 ($3 for a cup of chili, everything else $4 and up, but a decent amount of them are in the $4-6 range)
Sides, a la carte - $2.29, all of them. Big long list. Oh, and they have sweet potatoes on the menu. You can get it with marshmallows and caramel (disgusting, if you're me), butter and brown sugar, or just butter. I don't know when or where I last saw yams, as such, on a restaurant menu. I got a salad with HOMEMADE bleu cheese dressing, which is quite a different thing than jarred, and "fresh vegetables", which that night was steamed broccoli. My palate is not a trained one, but I can tell you that broccoli had never seen a freezer. It was fresh, steamed until barely done. I should have ordered some to go.
Entrees, ALL of which come with two sides - you can spend $9, you can spend $20. I got "Road Kill", which is a big chopped steak burger, basically, with cheese, mushrooms and onions. Heavenly. Nine bucks. AND, if you order a steak, you can order it rare, and they WILL cook it rare. They have a little warning on the menu that eating undercooked meat has its risks, blah blah blah, and they will cook your steak absolutely to order, any way you like it. As someone who prefers my meat "seared and not mooing, but not cooked any further than that," that impresses me, because so many places won't cook it any more rare than medium well. They also have chicken, ribs, and seafood. And a vegetable plate! We could go during Lent! Though we wouldn't, that would be painful. We would order it to go.
They also have burgers and sandwiches, all of which come with fries, $7-8.
Seriously, if you're in central IL? Go to Texas Roadhouse. I can't say enough good about it. You just have to go there. I went to tick off a ticked-off union - and found a steakhouse I love. Swine are winging their merry way over the ice skaters on the frozen lakes of Perdition.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Infomercial over.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This Daredevil Child, Pt. 2

Sir Edmund Hillary, famous for climbing Mt. Everest, probably gave his mother at least one scare from atop some tall piece of furniture while he was yet in diapers. And WHY does one feel compelled to climb the dresser, bookcase, or changing table? "Because it's there, Mommy!" I mean, really, why else?
This afternoon, I entered the nursery in search of my son. I could hear rustly little noises, but could see no Kittyboy. I looked behind the rocking chair, behind the door, no child, and the nursery is NOT big. It's a very small office-space. Kind of the size of a really nice walk-in closet. I could hear him. I couldn't see him. Then I looked UP.
Twice, earlier today, he had brought me books which I would have sworn had been put out of his reach - books awaiting repair for a torn page or cover, or which were beyond his attention span or something. Last time this happened, this daredevil of a child had figured out how to tip his toy box over and use it as a stepping stool to fetch pretty breakables from the top of his bookcase, then got something from the top of his very tall dresser by use of a rocking animal and a couple drawers pulled out. (here's the blog post on that)
This time, he was seated quite comfortably on some folded blankets in a box, on top of another box, on top of the former changing table, next to a shelf at least four feet off the floor, reading a book. His head was above mine. After I caught my breath, I asked him, "How do you think you're getting down from there???" He looked up, grinned, and launched himself in my direction. Every toddler knows, a mommy will always catch.
When Husband came home, we said nonchalantly, "Hey buddy, why don't you go get a book?" and Husband recorded the process on his cell phone. My apologies for picture quality.

Note that the air purifier (thing from which he climbed into the box) is missing from the last two pictures - it fell as his feet left it. And according to Husband, after I left the room, Kittyboy rolled over and slid off backwards - given the length of his body versus the distance from box to floor, it was a free-fall drop of about a foot at least.
Ahh, carefree youth. Nothing surprises me anymore.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back to Aqua Therapy

A year ago, Kittyboy was in aqua therapy, aka pool playtime, because he refused to be bathed. I hadn't even TRIED to bathe him for months at that point, because I just wasn't going to wrestle the slippery infant who screamed as if traumatized whenever I set him in water. Not worth it. Baby wipes kept him clean "enough" anyhow, you know? Well, one session got him taking baths with no problem, so we never did it again... but this last winter, he decided that baths were once more WWIII. He got his first haircut not because his hair was all that long, but because it was matting into dreads in the back because I couldn't wash it. Rasta boy. Husband tried one day, after I cut off the dreads, to give him a bath - saying, "If he needs this, then we're doing it one way or another" is a daddy thing. I stood at the other end of the house listening to the truly terrified screams of "MOMMY!! MOMMY!! ALL DONE!! ALL DONE!!" in tears myself. And Husband did conclude that it really wasn't that I'm such a softy after all - Kittyboy had a real problem with either water, our tub, or both. And he's so strong, it's just not a good idea to wrestle him in the tub. BUT, he is no longer of the age where baby wipes are good enough. His hair, especially, smells quite like a lockerroom. He splashes in puddles, he splashes with his hands in buckets, he plays in the hose, but he will NOT go in the bathtub.
So we restarted pool time today. It'll probably be every other week. He was excited to see the pool - not excited at the idea of getting in. I'd been dreading that he would not show any problems at all with the pool (like taking the car to the mechanic and having it run just fine then), and that he had a problem with just bathtubs, and if that were the case, what would we do? My fears on that were unfounded. Ginny and Janelle, a new OT, got in the water, and asked him if he wanted to sit on the edge and splash - "Uh uh, all done." Waving his hands, backing up, not going near that water. The more they tried to coax him in, the more anxious he got. He was willing to stand near the edge and throw a ball through a basket floating in the water, but he wouldn't go in. Twenty minutes or so of every trick in the book, and an OT's book of tricks is pretty extensive, and any time they tried to put him in, he cried and ran away. He was happy being splashed - he would lay on his stomach on the side and splash with his hand - but when Ginny set him with his feet in it, he cried and scrambled out.
It was fascinating to watch while they troubleshot and bounced ideas off each other. Idea #1 - he doesn't like the 360 degrees of pressure from the water. But, he likes tight hugs, sleeps under 8 lbs of beans, etc. Rejected - but modified into Idea #2, which is he doesn't like that the water partially supports him while being fluid, he feels insecure in it. Okaaaay, so it's like the proprioceptive dysfunction which got him sleeping under weight in the first place. He needs the weight for truly sound sleep because it keeps him feeling grounded - in the water, he feels much less grounded even than normal. So we tried one-pound ankle weights.
Ankle weights, like chocolate, make everything better! He stomped about with them quite happily. They got him to dangle his feet in the water and kick, and once he figured out that something was different now, he was okay with going in. You could see he was still a little anxious with each new activity (working towards less and less support around him) but he was willing to give it a go, and by the end, he was having such fun he didn't want to leave!
So we have a shopping list - ankle weights, a wading pool (ours from last year cracked) and a round, colorful laundry basket. Get him to sit in the pool in the laundry basket, for sort of a boundary, and then once he's happy and fine with that, move the Happy Boundary-Providing Laundry Basket into the tub. I should add a swimsuit for me to the shopping list, because somehow I suspect this will become a communal affair, at least for a while!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Favorite Southern Recipe

This morning I read a lovely recipe for bacon gravy at Civilla's Cyber Cafe that just made me ever so hungry... not that I desperately need to eat things of which the main ingredient is grease, but it's not my fault those are most of the best foods! I'd heard of sausage gravy, but not bacon, and bacon gravy sounds to die for.
MY favorite artery-clogging luxury is Wilted Lettuce. Very easy. Fry a "whole bunch" of bacon (exactly how much is up to you, but you want plenty of fat left in the skillet), remove the bacon and leave the fat. Snack on the bacon while tearing up your lettuce to fill a big salad bowl - romaine, not iceburg. Iceburg is mostly water and will turn out really gross. Add to the hot grease 1/4 c vinegar, 3/4 c water, and 2T of sugar, stir and bring to a rolling boil, then QUICKLY pour over the lettuce and stir until it's all covered. The heat "wilts" the lettuce, and it's just heavenly. All bacony and sweet and sour all at the same time. And you want to eat it before it cools too much!
You might have to play with the recipe to determine how sour and how sweet you want it, and to match the amount of "dressing" to the amount of lettuce.

And for my Orthodox friends, here is Wilted Lettuce for the fast!!!! Actually, the recipe (from is designed to be vegan and kosher, but if you substitute canola for olive oil, it's also suitable for when you just have to have something fattening but it's a month yet until Pascha. I haven't tried it yet - you do the same thing as the above recipe, but brown the onions in place of the bacon.
2-3 heads leaf lettuce (Romaine, red leaf, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar (Kosher balsamic works best)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white or red onions
2 drops/splashes liquid smoke (optional)
This recipe is Kosher Pareve if made as instructed. Full, detailed instructions here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friendship, at the age of two

Kittyboy has a friend his age now! The little boy from two doors down, I'll call him Bobby, is almost exactly six months younger, and they've taken an interest in each other. Two-year-olds don't really have friends so much as... life-size living toys. It's quite funny that they don't seem to know what to do with each other - except chase and run and laugh at each other's antics!
It's very interesting to watch them and see the differences in development, Kittyboy at almost two and a half, and Bobby at almost two. Bobby is taller by an inch or so, and ten pounds heavier. Kittyboy learned to kick deliberately just last month, while Bobby's been kicking fairly competently this whole spring. But where Kittyboy will run up to something like a railroad tie and step up and over it with no assistance whatsoever, Bobby can't do that yet. He puts a foot on the railroad tie and reaches for someone to steady himself. If Kittyboy had been full-term, he'd only be three months older, and therapists put him at about Bobby's age anyhow when they rate his abilities, so it's fascinating to see what each one can and can't do. It's a pretty even comparison.
Communication is complicated by the fact that Kittyboy follows primarily English, and Bobby's first language is Spanish. So while they're waving their arms and babbling urgent-sounding proclamations at each other, they have NO idea what the other is trying to say, because they're not "speaking" the same language! Naturally, this means their communication is through gestures and demonstrating what they want, which works quite well.
We had a sad day yesterday, because Kittyboy took his Pooh ball outside. Ooooh, bad idea. It's a rubber ball with Pooh on one side and Tigger on the other, bright and colorful. And coveted, by any toddler who likes balls and Pooh. Kittyboy was actually eager to share, to my surprise, but then Bobby didn't want to give it back... So his mama and I were trying to explain this whole sharing concept, and the idea of possession (that someone else may own the thing you want, and so it can't be yours), and it didn't go well. Kittyboy in tears and holding his treasured ball very tightly, poor little Bobby inconsolable, mommies carrying sad little boys towards their respective front doors.
I did find out, while we were working on sharing, that Bobby LOVES BALLS, and loves Pooh, and does not, in fact, have a ball with Pooh on it. So I went to Menards, where I originally found the ball in question, and got another - exactly like it. Names on each with Sharpie. We are prepared. They're the only toddlers on our little road, and perhaps in the whole neighborhood - they HAVE to be able to play together, and if the ball is going to be a problem, that's an easy fix!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Toddler's First Hibachi Dinner

Our good friend Carel took us all out to dinner last night at a new restaurant, the first Japanese restaurant on our side of town. "Kiku" is awesome, the food is great, the staff are wonderful, and you have the option of sitting either at the sushi bar or around one of several big hibachi grills. We're just starting to enjoy going out to Asian restaurants with Kittyboy, who although he likes tofu and vegetables, used to not be able to have rice. If he got anything by accident containing rice, he would be rolling on the floor screaming in pain 1-3 hours later (time dependent on how high rice was in the ingredient list). No Crispix, rice cereal, rice krispie treats (I had to intercept those on a regular basis during coffee hour), and do you know how many things contain rice flour? I went through our Asian grocery one day reading labels, and decided we just had to wait until he grew out of his rice intolerance, because ordering for him in any Asian restaurant would just be too much of a pain for everyone involved - us asking questions, staff asking, "who on earth could be allergic to rice??" and Kittyboy's little tummy later if we ordered wrong. Well, he can have rice now. We found that out by accident a few months ago - did you know every burrito at Taco Bell comes with rice in it? He was halfway through his burrito when I saw white grains. We figured, well, we'd been planning on testing that again someday, and that was the day! And he was fine. So we've been enjoying being able to go to our favorite restaurants again!
And Kiku is a new favorite now. We've learned that Kittyboy will eat salad with ginger dressing, and he liked miso soup, to my surprise - it's basically a broth with some garnish floating in it, it tastes wonderful but I didn't think he'd be interested in something so watery looking. He liked it a lot, though! I'll have to make it sometime! And he was watching intently as chefs were lighting things on fire at other tables, and we know he likes candles. We thought he was going to LOVE the clanging and fire and everything!
"Love" doesn't usually mean wailing, "All done! All done! All done! Mommy, ALL DONE!" while scrambling from the booster seat over to Mommy's lap and then trying to climb her to escape. My poor precious. The big FWOOSH and probably just as much the blast of heat did NOT go over well. He didn't cry, though - he was just All Done. I got him calmed down sitting on my lap, but he was looking very suspiciously at that grill - it might spontaneously erupt again, you never know! The chef got him to laugh finally when he was trying to get us to catch pieces of egg from the fried rice in our mouths - one man at our grill actually could catch it, but none of the rest of us could, and Kittyboy was quite amused at bits of egg bouncing off our faces. Then when the chef was done cooking, he lit a pyramid of onion rings on fire, like a little volcano (MUCH smaller than the first fire) and when Kittyboy started "All done! All done!" and scrambling again, he [the chef] tossed something on the onion, I think it was salt, that burned sparkly and in different colors. THAT was cool enough to distract him from his wish to escape.
We got great compliments on Kittyboy, though! The other diners had never seen a two-year-old who ate vegetables, shrimp and rice! (have they ever seen, I don't know, a Japanese two-year-old?) And Kittyboy ate his fried rice with great gusto. And with his fingers, but also with the spoon from his miso soup. We're going to the Asian market sometime for some of those spoons with the really deep bowls. And when the waiter brought us chopsticks, he also brought over a pair that someone had MacGuyvered into toddler chopsticks - a rubberband around the ends, a folded piece of paper in between, and a rubber band after that, so they were attached and springy. THAT was fun, trying to teach him how to use the Magical Picker-Upper Sticks. He would pick up a single grain with his fingers, and then try to make the chopsticks hold it. I think I'll get some "rookie sticks" and start handing them to him with silverware, just to let him figure them out on his own. I can remember learning, but can't remember not knowing how - I must have been three or four when I learned. With regular wooden chopsticks, that is - I don't think they made rookie sticks back then. They'll be a good start for Kittyboy, though.
We'll have to go back sometime! Maybe after we have some more words, at least enough to discuss "fire" and the fact that it's not going to spontaneously attack him!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So... I'm not.

Now that I'm over the fear of how my next pregnancy might or might not go - I'm not pregnant!! :(
But perhaps that's just as well for the moment, as I had an "adventure" with Kittyboy today. We went to my grandparents' house to plant a tree and do other yardwork, and myself plus three other adults were not enough to keep him in line. He was running about the yard as I was digging up lilies of the valley, my mom and grandparents went back in the house, and I didn't see him still out, so I assumed he had followed them back inside. I came in with an armful of plants, said, "He's in here, right?" and three heads slowly shook NO. Ran back outside, was scanning the empty yard when I saw his little red Bob The Tomato t-shirt happily trotting along a ditch two yards away. I ran, I yelled, I hugged, I scolded, and the neighbor catty-corner ACROSS the street said that Kittyboy had been inspecting a large and colorful cardboard box by the neighbor's trash can.
Aren't we glad I'm not growing another one right at this exact moment. I need to get GPS installed on this one first!
Oh, AND... driving in the Chicago suburbs. I don't mind driving in the city - the city makes sense. I avoid the expressways like the plague, but Foster, Pulaski, Cicero etc do not change their orientation and names depending on their mood and time-of-the-month as suburb roads do, at least not when I've driven on them. The system of roads which links the Chicago suburbs is afflicted with serious PMS. I have come to the conclusion that the punishment of Hades is comparable to being lost in the suburbs, on a cell phone with someone who says, "So if you're on 53 North, are you going east right now or west? Because you want to be going west..." It's fifty-blippin'-three NORTH - I darn well ought to be going NORTH, and if I'm not, it's NOT MY FAULT, because IT'S YOUR ROAD!! I don't think I have ever been so close to swearing in my life, short of the time when (in a total ditz moment) I turned the wrong way on I-55 - north back into the city, instead of south to Springfield - and actually did yell my first, and God willing, my LAST, obsenity at the top of my lungs when I realized what I'd done. And then thanked God that Kittyboy was only a year old and not yet a parrot (which he is now).

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hmmm.... thoughts....

So I took a test this morning, just because I DO NOT WAIT WELL. My appetite is somewhat less wolfish today, as well (which honestly is kinda nice because I was getting tired of eating so very much!). The test was negative... but it's still quite early. I really SHOULD wait until Saturday (although now I have to put pregnancy tests on the shopping list).
It did get me thinking, though, reproductive-wise.
Fact 1: I've been off the patch for just over six months now.
Fact 2: The hormones from the patch, pill, shot, and other chemical birth control can continue to mess with you for "up to six months" after going off of it.
Fact 3: Kittyboy was conceived maaaaybe two WEEKS after I went off of it last time (we weren't aware of Fact 2 at the time).
Fact 4: Kittyboy was born about a week after that six-month mark - so, shortly after the last of the hormones were done affecting my chemistry - and his birth was sudden, dramatic, and bizarre considering I was 25, totally healthy, first pregnancy, and had no risk factors for ANYTHING, let alone severe, early HELLP Syndrome.
Fact 5: No one has a clue what causes HELLP. No one. They barely have any idea what to do about it even, except deliver the baby as soon as safely possible.
Fact 6: Hormones affect EVERYTHING, no matter the reason you're taking them. The whole reason I quit the patch was that my moods had been getting weird (which I'd passed off as related to depression) and I felt desperately like I needed to pump (as in, breastmilk, as in I can tell you why dairy cows moo when the milking is late) which was definitely hormonal and not depression-related at all. The first month off the patch, EUPHORIA. Wow, oh wow, was I happy. And over the past few months, my moods have gotten back at least closer to what they were before the patch.
Fact 7: I was either on the patch or pregnant for the last almost six years - how do I know what my normal appetite is? Is it normal to forget to eat until mid-afternoon? Hmm, prob'ly not. Had just toast and coffee for breakfast this morning - as I would have in high school and all through college, before I got married and went on the patch. A "normal" breakfast for me, not just coffee but also not a plateful of food. (Kinda like my moods - not spitting nails, not euphoric, but just normal)
Fact 8: When last I was pregnant, my already small appetite diminished even further. I would eat maybe 3/4 of a cup of food at a sitting, and feel so full I wanted to throw up. "Your appetite will increase naturally," my left foot. That's not normal any more than forgetting breakfast and lunch.
So I'm thinking. Given all this - is my appetite just going back to NORMAL, playing catch-up first (as my moods did a few months ago)? If so - if my body is now TOTALLY back to what it should be, I'm eating like a real person and not a bird or supermodel - could it be that now I'm physically ready to carry a baby again? Which I wasn't before? Maybe I'm not pregnant right now, but ready and able to be? Maybe if I DID get pregnant now, it would turn out better than last time.
I've been torn between excitement and alarm all this week - because of Kittyboy's abrupt entrance to the world, and because regardless of how I "feel", any doctor who sees my records will call me a high-risk pregnancy. Gee, it'd be so nice - but oh my gosh, bed rest!! And the what ifs... what if the baby's born even earlier? What if I need to go to the hospital in the middle of the day and Husband's at work and I don't have anyone to watch Kittyboy? How do I do this??? But the more I think about the timeline of my last pregnancy, the more I think the next one should go a LOT more smoothly.
If I have a daughter, we'll be having Discussions when she's getting married and looking at birth controls. The patch was the safest we could find that actually prevented pregnancy and doesn't just abort one spontaneously if it happens, and the more I experience and learn, the more I find that that's serious stuff. It's not something you want to mess with if you can avoid it. I mean, I know women who are on hormones and NEED them, because their cycles are irregular and painful otherwise, but I think it should be treated like any other serious medication, not just "Oh, you need contraception? Here you go!" It's NOT without side effects, it's NOT harmless, and it CAN be dangerous. And it can mess with you in ways you don't even realize at the time. It definitely messed with me. Eating the equivelant of one or maybe two good-sized meals a day for six years? No wonder Kittyboy was so small...
Now I WANT to be pregnant!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Could I be....?

Let's start with the fact that I'm not much of a carnivore. And not a breakfast person. Rarely eat before 11, or noon, or sometimes 1 p.m. Coffee is my breakfast. I'm just not hungry. And while I love fried chicken and fish, I'm not that big on steaks, pork chops, burgers, etc. I prefer meat IN something, as an ingredient, rather than just a big chunk on my plate. And I don't necessarily eat much of ANYTHING over the course of the day, because I just forget to unless there's something I want. Lunch in the middle of the afternoon, dinner late at night when Husband gets home. I really don't get HUNGRY-hungry very often.
I think it was Sunday last week I made corned beef for dinner. And because Husband doesn't eat all that much of rich or spicy foods, I ate all the leftovers. I think he might have made a corned beef sandwich later in the week, but other than that and what he ate Sunday, I ate the rest of the three-pound roast. Me, myself and I, because Kittyboy's a quasi-vegetarian. I just kept eating, almost any time I was hungry and Husband wasn't home. Then my mom and sister visited Saturday so I could do my sister's hair for prom, we got fried chicken for lunch, and by Sunday evening I'd eaten all of the leftovers of that. Sunday night we had steaks - and I ate that.
Yesterday I realized that for the last week, I'd been eating meat every time I turned around, and at every mealtime, I'd actually been hungry to eat. Hmmm...... this is profoundly weird for me. Then this morning, half an hour after I got up, I was trying to figure out why I didn't feel good - what was this weird feeling in my stomach? I finally realized it was hunger - not, "breakfast time!" hunger, this was RAVENOUS hunger. I was absolutely starving. I was going to be ill presently if I didn't eat. So at 8:30 this morning, I was eating a baked potato with cheese - a BIG baked potato with cheese. Starch and protein.
I may very well be pregnant again. That's GOT to be it. That, or my metabolism has gotten swapped out for that of someone twice my size. Can't take a test until at least this weekend - not and expect it to be accurate. So now I'm drumming my fingers. And eating. And drumming my fingers some more.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Toddler Chew Toys

Starting tomorrow, I'm breaking the chewing habit. Not the pacifier habit - never had one of those, not since leaving NICU almost. It's not a need to suck - it's a need to chew. When therapists ask about "excessive mouthing of inedible objects past the age of two" (phrase I frequently read in surveys), they're not asking about a pacifier. They mean gravel. The vintage Fisher Price people (the ones about the size and shape of a AA battery). Junk mail. Rubber bands. Batteries. They mean, does the kid walk around all day with a toothbrush in his mouth and occasionally bite YOU if he's bored enough? YES.
Kittyboy's had enough stuff taken swiftly from his hands and mouth and then lectured for it, that he now chews on his tongue. All - day - long. But Mom, it's my tongue, it's not a rock! It's not a small toy! It's not a poker chip!
But it annoys me, greatly. His right cheek actually is puffier than the left, because he tucks his tongue in it and chews away. It's that or the toothbrush. And the toothbrush is getting disgusting.
Poker chips from his play piggie bank used to be the chewie of choice, when they were the perfect size to sit between his teeth. I relaxed about those once I realized there was no way he could swallow them. He'd just keep two or three tucked between his jaws all day long. Then his mouth got big enough where they were no longer the perfect size, and darn it, we were on the prowl for something else again. Before we realized he could CLIMB, I was removing things like batteries from his mouth, things which were Put Up Out Of Reach, and demanding to know where on earth he'd gotten them, and he would widen his eyes and hold his hands out with an expression of absolute innocent cluelessness.
Tonight he ate rubber bands. I came into the living room and found him happily eating little clear rubberbands with which I'd done my sister's hair for prom. I flipped out. I yelled NO and NOT FOOD and NOT IN MOUTH, and told him to help me pick them all up and put them back in the bag. Then I had to keep intercepting them before they got to his mouth, because he was unfazed by my flipping out, and by golly he liked those.
I've tried chew toys before without success, because of course if you actually WANT him to chew on it, he's not interested. Well, I have a new tactic. I've been telling him all day to stop chewing his tongue. Stop chewing. Stop chewing. Stop chewing! STOP CHEWING! So I made new chew toys tonight, to offer every time his tongue's in his cheek. Aquarium tubing, I figure, has to be basically food-grade, because people who monitor their tank's pH and other chemistry, and read the nutritional labels on fish food would not put something in their tank that would break down over time or release anything harmful. And every tank everywhere has airline tubing. And airline tubing won't hurt him if he falls with it in his mouth.

Well, so this picture doesn't show it all THAT wonderfully, but I have four chew toys made. Airline tubing, and the bigger hose is from a gravel vacuum. We're going to be having Discussions tomorrow, every time he chews his tongue, about what we chew and what we don't. Here, have a chewie. Have two or three or four!

Friday, May 1, 2009

IFSP news

Developmental re-eval said basically, "Keep doing what you're doing!" Keep Speech, keep OT, keep doing what we're doing. It's aaallll good. He does still need both, but obviously they're making a difference. We knew this, no surprise here.
Speech, he may not qualify in another six months - only a 38% delay!!! It's so weird to see the biggest numbers on a report be "26-38% delay". Like I said, six months ago at the last meeting, the biggest number in the Speech report was 85%. Wow!!! Woohoo!! Wow!!! And our next SLT will have her EI approval in a few weeks.
OT, we are ordering stuff, like a real weighted blanket and an inflatable hugger thing (technical term - it's something we inflate that gives him a "hug", Ginny says he'll love it). The report says that "His sensory needs will need to be continually addressed in a variety of ways over the next few years. Although he has shown great improvements, he continues to need support as he develops." So, what I need to ask is, on what criteria WILL he eventually graduate from OT? I mean, it's great to have people to Tell Us What To Do and what our problems are, and all that, but I guess we ourselves don't have the knowledge or experience to say, "Here's what the problems will be when he's four, here's what the problems will be when he's ten," and so on and so forth. I'm curious now - will he be using a weighted blanket forever? Will he get even weirder than other kids when he hits puberty? I need to start asking specifics....
And I have close to a ream of paper from our coordinator Tammie, also known as a transition packet - transitioning from EI to school district services, which he will do this fall if the school district says he qualifies. Good news, he can go to school just for therapy and be home schooled, for as long as the school district believes his issues affect his ability to learn! And those services would be free from the district, too. IF he needs them.
Fortunately, the ream of paper is all information - we don't have to do anything until sometime in the fall, when Tammie tells us when the meeting withthe school district is. We do have reading material for several evenings, though!