Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mastitis is a Bitch!

I woke up yesterday at 6AM and knew I had mastitis again. I had it when our first baby was three weeks old, so I recongnized the symptoms. My right breast felt like an arrow was shooting through it right out to my back. I called the doctor and got started on antibiotics 4 times a day. As the day went on, my symptoms worsened. I developed a fever of 102 degrees, chills, aches all over and my breast has red streaks all over the upper left quadrant. It feels just like the flu, except with added breast pain. I was so sick I couldn't even sit up, and it was the last day of my father-in-law and uncle-in-law's visit. My poor husband walked around all day holding the baby, taking care of the other two kids, and trying to keep the house in order. I must say that he did a good job with that. But he kinda fell behind as a nurse because he had so much else to do. He felt like he had to entertain our company as best as he could. It's really days like that when I see how wonderful it is to live near my parents. They both came over yesterday to help take care of me a little. And if Guy were working (thank goodness he was off because of our company), my mom would have stayed the whole day.

The two times I've had mastitis (breast infection), it is the sickest I've been. Many women miss getting diagnosed and treated for it because they assume it's the flu. That can actually lead to pretty serious breat complications. Today is much better, but I still have a mild headache (almost gone now). My breast still has the red streaks and I can feel the hard, plugged duct. I dread it, but I'm gonna have to try to massage it out later. With Coocoo I constantly had plugged ducts, but I never got one with BooBoo. I hope this will be the last. Anyway, maybe someone googling mastitis will come across my post and seek treatment before things get out of hand.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Your house is perfect for them, but...

That is the third time I have heard that phrase from my agent. But...he has to bring his wife. But...he doesn't know it's for him, even though it's her favorite. But...they don't really need all that space in the finished terrace level. The last one was the news from today. It was a daughter looking for her 75ish year old parents. Our upstairs is a ranch, and that's perfect for them. But about 2600 square feet in the basement is finished, and they just don't need it. However, they are determined to not have stairs in their living space, so it still just may work. And they can close the door to the basement, turn off the heating and air, and simply forget it's there. Or keep it for future "live in" care. Our agent told theirs that we would leave the golf cart (he's a big golfer) and be flexable on the price. The house they are selling has a contract with a contingency, so they will have to buy a house if the couple buying theirs follows through. Then maybe they'll choose mine. And maybe not.

Friday, April 25, 2008

House Showing

After almost four weeks (one day shy of it), we finally showed our house today. It is so much work getting the whole thing ready to show. We have Guy's dad and uncle out from California, but they are really helpful. So, now we are waiting again to hear from our agent. Please god let this be it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Busted Head

It was bound to happen eventually. This is the first time I wondered if one of the kids would need stitches. When I picked CooCoo up from school, he was crawling to the back of the van where his seat is. He somehow fell back and hit his head on the floor. I think he hit one of the metal bars in the floor. Anyway, he cried, but he didn't act like it was THAT big of a deal. I pulled over and was shocked to see that it was bleeding down his shirt! He insists it doesn't hurt much, and the bleeding has stopped. Mostly, heads just bleed a lot. But I'm still interested to see what Guy will do about it when he gets home. It's not exactly a good spot for a band-aid, and I'm afraid of infection. That makes me think... we really need to keep some of that wound glue stuff around for times like these. I have a feeling this is just the first of many.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Birthday Party

Happy Earth Day!!

As an Earth Day post, I'll explain the changes we have made to our parties, specifically our birthday parties. When you have kids, you go to many, many birthday parties. I was always sickened to see how much trash is generated at those things. But we moms participate in what I call "competimommy", and I feel that's how many of these wasteful habits are formed. When I was a child, things were much more simple, and some of us are gonna have to break away from the typical kid party formula to get back to the simple.

So, here is a list of the things we cut out: paper plates, forks, cups and napkins; plastic tablecloths; and plastic bags of plastic party favors. Where does all that stuff go after a party? The trash. Imagine how many birthday parties are thrown every single weekend, and that is a ton of trash. And those cheap party favors are ridiculous! I always throw them away as soon as we get home anyway because they break and are chocking hazards. Really, we think children need to learn that the birthday boy gets gifts, and we don't all need a consolation prize. But that could lead to a whole separate topic.

So, I researched for a while before I finally found a lead on where to buy sturdy, washable plastic plates. Ends up my local restaurant supply store could order them for me for a good price. So I got 48 simple white plates. They also sold me good, 18/10 forks, and restaurant type plastic cups (think all-you-can-eat buffet). I got plastic kid's cups from Target and a big storage tub. Now, we bring our tub of dishes to a party, throw the dirty dishes back in the tub, and run them in the dishwasher when we get home. They will last through all our parties.

Now, I know all these things are plastic, and it required water to wash them. But sometimes the most sustainable solution is what is gonna last long term and create less waste. And dishwashers have been found to use less energy and water than hand washing. Recycled paper products are available (as are biodegradable), but I believe the production and transportation of those items would create more impact than my long term solution.

So, those are our ideas. Yes, some kids may miss the party favors. Sometimes we still get something small, like balloons, for each kid. As for any trash, we bring our recycling bins with us. We end up with a very small bag of trash when the party is over. And the parents are always very interested in the idea.

Maybe it spreads.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Momma Time Out

I took all three kids to the grocery store today after school, which is something I haven't done much yet. I'm so immune to noise that I thought it was going okay. The older boys were riding in the car thing the store provides (hooked onto the cart). The baby was in the sling. They were getting a little amped up; they hadn't seen each other all day. Anyway, while checking out, a young man with "special needs" was bagging our groceries. Coo made BooBoo (2 year old) squeal really, really loud. The poor bagging man jumped and grabed his face! I couldn't believe it. I realized I was "that woman" with the loud, out of control kids. Since they don't fight and scream in the store, I didn't really see it that way. Suddenly, I was hyper-aware and irritated. CooCoo tried to hug me from behind and I said, "stop it!." When I got the kids loaded into the van, the baby screamed the whole way home! Screamed! By the time we got in and got the groceries unloaded, I was a mess. I barked at the kids to leave me alone and give me a minute. I took the baby into my room, stripped off my jeans and put on something cooler. Then I sat down to nurse. By the time he was done nursing, I was so sad that I lost my fuse. Both the boys had left me alone, and they were quietly watching tv. I hugged them both and told them thank you so much for giving mommy a break. I told them I was irritated by the noise and the baby crying, and I needed to be alone to calm down.

I think we can all learn a lesson from times like these. First, my kids weren't being bad at the store, and I shouldn't have let what I thought was someone else's opinion influence me. Second, and more importantly, my children learn from these situations that everyone gets crabby sometimes and needs a "time out." And when your time out is over, it's the right thing to do to apologize to the person you were mean to. To see your mother humble herself and say "I'm sorry" is a hell of a lot more effective than for her to always yell for you to do it. Nobody is perfect.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Birthday Party and Batman Cake

Yesterday was CooCoo's birthday party, and it was a blast! Here is the cake, which I made. I've been making the kids' cakes for the past few years. I will always remember a cookie monster cake I had as a child that I thought my mom made. Well, when I had children of my own, I mentioned it to her. Ends up, she bought it! I was so disappointed that I decided to always make my children's cakes. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out, and the crowd loved it!

We rented a big Batman moonwalk, and we had the party at the playground in the neighborhood where we bought our lot. We grilled hot dogs and had a nice, simple party. The other change I've made to our parties in the past year is that they are environmentally responsible, but I think I'll make that a post for another day.

We asked all the kids to dress up in superhero costumes, and our two oldest boys wore batman pajamas. Coo was so happy that some kids from his school came. Especially the girls. Does that start already? I'm sad I have no pictures to post. I let other people take pictures, so I'll post them when I get them.

I think the party was a big success, and I still can't believe it was his fifth!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday


Our little CooCoo is five years old today!! He is such a sweet, smart boy. I can't believe how handsome he is. All his teachers and friend's moms think he is so easy going and smart. He's sensitive and thoughtful. And, yes, sometimes he is wild and moody. The oldest has the unfortunate task of teaching you how to parent, and he's done his job well! We've learned more in the past five years than we ever expected! Like how to scrape poop off the door and carpet. How to hold a baby/ toddler all night long as he is vomiting. How fast your heart can stop when you think your child is in danger. How proud you can feel. And how frustrated you can be. And most of all, that you should never say "never" again.


We love you, Coo. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm still here

This is the first picture I have of Gray smiling!

We are so busy around here! I had no idea how little computer time I'd have when I started taking care of three kids under five. I forgot how seldom your hands are free with a newborn too. Partly it's my fault for not wanting to put him down.

The boys LOVE him! I'm so proud of them for not being jealous and for how much they care about him.

I'm working again, and that gives me just enough of a break to remember being an adult. It gives Guy nice time alone with the kids too. And I'm trying to do yoga every evening to keep my back from hurting. Holding him has my upper back so sore! The kid's a chunk already!

I'll try to post more often now. If only I could type with one hand.