Friday, December 31, 2010

the thin line between crazy and resourceful

i love couponing. i'm a huge fan of putting together an organized shopping trip and executing it. paying full price for things like cereal, deodorant, and toothbrushes hurts my feelings. seeing a total bill of $100 come down to $5 rocks.
and then there are the crazy folks - the ones that have enough toilet paper to last them 30 years. do i have a lot of toilet paper in my basement - yes. enough to last 30 years - no way. actually, right now i'm low on toilet paper, but it's only a matter of time before there's another good deal. which is why i would never buy 30 years worth. 6 months? yes. a year? maybe. depends on how good the deal is. if it's free, i would definitely do a year - toilet paper is tough to find a good deal on. for example, last year target had the bounty basics paper towels for $0.99. some areas (not our area, so i had to order some coupons off the internet) had a $1 off any bounty paper towel target coupon. and then there's the $0.25 off bounty paper towels manufactuer coupon. net cost for a roll of paper towels - ($0.24). yes, that's right, they paid me $0.24 to carry each roll of paper towels out of the store. even after purchasing my coupons online, i still ended up ahead. and we use paper towels like nobody's business.
i just finished watching the new TLC show "Extreme Couponing." those folks are a bit crazy. one of the women acutally keeps a blog that i follow - the krazy coupon lady. anyways, some of these folks ended up checking out with 9 or so carts of stuff. that's a bit silly. there's NO need for 1,000 toothbrushes. seriously, leave some stuff on the shelves for the rest of us! even if you're going to donate some (which i do from time to time), that's still an awful lot of toothbrushes!
couponing is addicting - it's a game. and there's a thin line between going overboard and being resourceful. especially for OCD folks like myself that are already prone to going a bit overboard. :) thank goodness i have michael to keep me in check and remind me that we probably don't need anymore toothpaste for awhile.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NICU day

every december 29th, we celebrate the day ryan came home from the hospital. last year we went to lunch at the mall and ate some pizza and then went to build a bear. we have plans tonight, so we celebrated last night. we got some dinner at outback and ryan enjoyed their delicious mac n cheese. he even got his own sprite (don't tell anyone!). then we went off to toys r us to let ryan pick out a toy. any toy. we wandered around for about an hour. we looked at trains - nope, "put back!" we looked at books - nope, same response. we looked at pillow pets and snuggled them a bit, but nope. we looked at DVDs - nope. we looked at music - nope. we even looked at dance star mickey (which i have been not so secretly wanting to get him) - nope.

here's what we left with:

of all the toys at toys r us, we ended up with the $12 corn popper. he loves the thing! i guess the guy knows what he likes!

and, for comparisons sake, here's a picture of ryan the day we brought him home. he weighed just under 6lbs at the time, as compared to 34lbs, 10oz 2 years later.

this is my favorite picture of all time - i look like crap, you can see the tears coming down my face, but it's the most honest, emotionally raw picture i've ever seen. this exact moment is the best moment of my life - the moment i realized that all of my dreams had come true. i love you monkey!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

21 weeks

Pregnancy: 21 weeks

Weight Gain: due to some delicious chocolate chip cookies, i'm expecting last week's weight loss has diminished.

Sleep: i love to sleep, although the hips are starting to hurt again. i was thinking of a pregnancy body pillow, but there's no room in our bed!

Gender: Girl!!! ahh!

Name: she has a name, which everyone will learn on may 2nd. :) we tried to get ryan to say the name and he has a very cute nickname for her already.

Feeling: i caught ryan's cold and that's no fun!

Cravings: there's a new vietnamese restaurant nearby and i'm loving their chicken bun.

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: apparently my bladder/cervix is a trampoline and she's dancing it up in there! ouch!

Belly: getting bigger by the day - balancing the laptop on my lap is getting harder

Next Appointment: oh crap, i need to make our 24 week appointment!

Christmas - Parts I, II, and III

christmas has been a bit bittersweet the last 2 years. in 2008, ryan was still in the NICU. in 2009, we took a christmas eve trip to the ER because he was wheezing. this year we were determined to have a hospital-free holiday!

our first christmas was with michael's mom on november 21st. we enjoyed our time together and ryan got some new choo choos, which are always a big hit.

next up was oshkosh christmas on december 18th. ryan had the flu right beforehand and i had come down with it midweek, so things were looking a little iffy as we neared saturday, but everyone was healthy and happy (until the next day when michael came down with the flu as well). ryan enjoyed dinner and went crazy over the beef tenderloin. he even shared some with the nutcracker at our table. we got some great stuff - too much to even mention! ryan loves playing with his new fish tank light and can't get enough of the mr. potato head playdoh. i can't wait to use my new boba carrier with baby OP and michael is loving having a new sweater to wear every day.

this year we had our first actual christmas day at our house. we went to all you can eat sushi with carrie and joe on christmas eve and ryan was difficult to say the least! he had started with a runny nose and some coughing, so we gave him some benadryl before bed. apparently he is the exception to the rule and benadryl makes him hyper - he was up partying like a rockstar from 1:30-3:30am! he got up for good at 7 and we came downstairs to see what santa had brought. ryan was thrilled with his new cardboard blocks and was super excited to open his presents. it took all of about 15 minutes to unwrap everything. we've been playing with his new tag jr books, chuck the truck, and moon lamp ever since. michael got me some pretty candle holders that i've wanted and a potato ricer and i got him a donald driver throwback jersey, which apparently brought good luck to the pack this weekend!

unfortunately, as the holiday went on, ryan's cold progressed and got passed to me (michael started the whole deal). he did have a bit of wheezing on christmas day, but we took care of it with his inhaler. finally we avoided the hospital! :) as of our doctors appointment yesterday, he has 1 full blown ear infection, 1 on the way, and pink eye. you wouldn't know it by watching him - he's in a great mood!

we have iowa christmas the weekend of january 8th and can't wait!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ryan - 2 years old

to say i'm proud of how far ryan has come is the understatement of the year. 2 years ago i was holding him in the hospital, willing him to eat. i offered him puppies, ponies, money, everything i could think of. and nothing worked. today, i had to tell him that he had done enough snacking and that perhaps it was time for a break.

a few weeks ago, we had his 2 year appointment. he weighed in at 34lbs, 2oz and was 38 inches tall. that puts him on track to be 6'4" (they say your adult height is double your height at 2). he is in the 98th percentile for height and the 90th for weight. he has met or exceeded every milestone he should have at this point.

he was in the mood to end all moods today - smiling and laughing from the minute he woke up.
we played with his new puppy, "treats" (a kids meal toy from burger king), offering the new member of the family bites of our food, throwing him for the real puppies, and giving him lots of snuggles.
we colored.
we played with his new mr potato head, laughing about how funny it is to put the ear on the top of his head. we ate cheese and crackers for a snack. or should i say, i ate cheese and crackers and ryan just ate the cheese.
we played choo-choos and made sure to tell each train to be careful going down the hill.
we "argued" about who is funnier - ryan or mommy.
ryan hung a tag he found on the floor on the christmas tree, certain it was an ornament.
we moved the candy cane on our advent calendar to the next pocket.
ryan figured out how to use the boxes that daddy's pots came in as stairs.
during his bedtime story, he was sure to tell the very, very bad fish (from one fish, two fish) that he needed a time out.

it was a good day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

20 weeks

we had our anatomy scan yesterday! while we had covered most of the stuff during our scan at 17 weeks, it was still nice to see our babe again. all of the important stuff was there and looking perfect - kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, spine, feet, nose, all the good stuff!
the only thing that was missing was a penis - we're having a GIRL! this will be the first girl after 8 boys in our family. we're excited, but a bit apprehensive as we have no experience with little girls! i *may* have gone to gymboree between the ultrasound and our doctor appointment and done a little shopping. :)

Pregnancy: 20 weeks

Weight Gain: down 7lbs total. i expect this to change very soon

Sleep: i love to sleep. :)

Gender: Girl!!! ahh!

Name: she has a name, which everyone will learn on may 2nd. :) we tried to get ryan to say the name and he has a very cute nickname for her already.

Feeling: feeling good!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: definitely feeling more movement. she moves very differently than ryan did. he was very subtle, she is very muchso not subtle!

Belly: getting bigger by the day - balancing the laptop on my lap is getting harder

Next Appointment: i forgot to make it yesterday in all the excitement, but it will be in 4 weeks.

Friday, December 17, 2010

damsel in distress

i spent the better part of my life pretending that i didn't "need" anyone. i have an amazingly supportive family and amazing friends, but i wanted to take care of myself. and then i met michael. while the above remains mostly the same, he has shown me that depending on another person isn't a weakness.
this last week has been really, really difficult for me. the combination of ryan's flu (which drags on and on and on and on), pregnancy hormones, pregnancy yuckiness, the fact that i think i caught the bug from ryan, and the fact that i can't take my emergency medicine has added up to a big 'ol disaster more than once. i have completely freaked out almost daily. the sobbing, need to be held freaked out. i'm not proud of it, but it is what it is.
michael has held me and comforted me and not made me feel at all bad about the fact that i am seemingly crazy. he has cleaned the house for our showing tomorrow and fed ryan when i couldn't bring myself to do it. he has stepped in to cuddle when it all got to be too much.
to say that i couldn't do this without him is the understatement of the century. i need this guy. good thing i life having him around. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

19 weeks

Pregnancy: 19 weeks

Weight Gain: probably down a bit more than the previous 4 lbs, thanks to ryan's flu.

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: we think we know, but we'll find out for sure on december 20th.

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: mostly good. the anxiety when ryan was sick sucked, especially without being able to use my "emergency pill." but we got through it!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: still no more bleeding! hooray!!!! fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th - eek! it's finally only a week away!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

in the trenches

OCD is a tricky thing. 99% of the time, i wander around completely fine. no problems or anxiety at all. and then there are weeks and weekends like the past few.

a couple of weeks ago, i was bleeding. some people would probably just freak out and meet with their dr and then relax when the dr said everything was fine. not this person. i continue to obsess long after the original episode, playing through every scenario, no matter how unlikely, in my head. i'm not a reliable source for what my symptoms are because i can trick my body into thinking it's feeling anything. am i cramping? well, let me think about it a minute...oh yeah, there was a slight twinge in my mid-section...but was that me making it happen or is there really a problem. additionally, the first thing to go when i start obsessing is my appetite. i don't eat. and then i don't feel well because i haven't eaten. so i don't want to eat. and so on and so forth.

the past 24 hours have been the most challenging OCD hours thus far. yesterday morning, ryan threw up. and then he threw up again. at that point, it was safe to say he had the flu. well, i've heard about this flu before and i am petrified. i know people don't like to get the flu and don't like to have their little ones sick, but this is different. this is full on fear. my heartrate as been above 100 for the better part of a day. i cannot, no matter how hard i try, relax. i am looking for any sign that ryan might be ready to be sick again, for any indication that michael may have caught it, and wondering constantly if i don't feel well because i'm freaking out or if i have a stomach flu in my future. i'm scared to be left alone with him tomorrow. i am scared of my kid.

i have completely lost it twice - full on sobbing. i think it's just the stress building up and then needing to be released. i think it's also the fact that it breaks my heart that i look at ryan with fear. i stay by him, i comfort him when he's throwing up, i cuddle him and take care of him, but i'm scared doing it. and that kills me. i'm scared of being alone with him tomorrow.

no amount of rationalization can help. i know that the stomach flu is normal, it sucks, but he's going to be fine. i know that he's going to puke on stuff, and i know how to do laundry. for crying out loud, he puked on everything for the first 9 months of his life and that didn't bother me. i know that michael and i might get sick, and as much as that would suck, we'd get over it. i know nothing bad is going to happen, but that doesn't stop the fear. the racing heart. the sweaty palms. the shaking hands. the upset stomach. and that's what makes it hard - if i had a specific rational fear, i could rationally explain it away. but it's really hard to convince the crazy part of your brain that it's being crazy.

so, here i am on day 2 of puke-fest (which has really been a pretty mild 4-incident experience), freaking out. ryan is sleeping in butler's dog bed, hopefully completely unaware of the craziness going through his mom's head. i sit in his room while michael stays with him, angry and upset that i can't control these feelings.

i suppose all i can do is to remember that this too shall pass...

Monday, December 06, 2010

18 weeks

Pregnancy: 18 weeks

Weight Gain: down 4 lbs, but i'm betting a good bit of that is from anxiety (see below)

Sleep: still sleeping, still have sore hips

Gender: we think we know, but we'll find out for sure on december 20th.

Name: we have a boy name and a girl name now, but we're not sharing. :)

Feeling: i've been having quite a bit more anxiety, but other than that, i'm feeling better more often than not. haven't needed a zofran for almost a week!

Cravings: nothing too strong right now

Health: well, the boring pregnancy was nice while it lasted. i had a small bleeding episode at 15 weeks, but the doctor didn't think it was a problem and gave me a few restrictions to be safe. then, on wednesday last week (at 17w2d), i woke up bleeding (not a lot, but enough). given i was sleeping beforehand and not doing anything that should cause bleeding, it was scary. we saw the doctor and he thought i had an irritable cervix. he put some silver nitrate on the cervix (which causes some serious cramping - ouch!), gave me even more restrictions, and off we went. that night i had some bright red bleeding and called the office again. the on-call doctor thought it might be the scab from the silver nitrate coming off and not to worry. dr bear called on thursday and wanted to see us again on friday - after an ultrasound - to make sure there wasn't an abruption issue.
we had our ultrasound and it was great. the baby looks perfect and was moving around a lot. there were no obvious issues. the tech couldn't say for sure whether it is a boy or girl, so i guess we'll have to wait until the 20th! dr bear thinks there is 1 of 2 things going on. the first, which he thinks is 70% likely, is that my cervix is just being stupid and bleeding. that would be the good option. the other, 30% option is that the bag of membranes is partially separating from the uterine wall. while it's likely that the separation will heal within 2-6 weeks like any other wound, it can also cause a lot of problems like premature rupture of membranes and premature labor - both of which have a pretty grim outlook. so, there's a small possibility that the small possibility could cause a serious problem. while that might seem like pretty good odds, i'm usually the outlier and tend to fall into the exception group pretty consistently, so we're treating this as the worst case scenario. cue even more restrictions.
so now we wait. and hopefully nothing will happen. as of this morning, there was no more bleeding. hopefully it will stay that way and this will be the last issue we see. until then, any thoughts and prayers would be welcome.

Movement: still feeling blurps

Belly: getting bigger by the day!

Next Appointment: December 20th (god willing)

Friday, December 03, 2010

2 year ago today....

two years ago today, i didn't know you.

two years ago today, i didn't know the sound of your laugh, your smile, your cry.

two years ago today, i didn't know how much a smile could really mean.

two years ago today, i didn't know that my favorite thing to do would be to hold you.

two years ago today, i didn't know what true love meant.

two years ago today, i didn't know all the words to the mickey mouse clubhouse theme song.

two years ago today, i didn't know what true fear was.

two years ago today, i didn't know how beautiful you would be.

two years ago today, everything changed. two years ago today, i was just kate. two years ago today, you were born.

happy birthday baby boy, i love you more than anything.