Catch Up Time… (Now with Baby Picture Spam!)

SylisGrayson Woo, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written anything here…

We had our baby and he is doing great! However, it was a bumpy road to that point… I think it was shortly after my last check-in that they told us he had an enlarged left ventricle in his brain. It pushed the upper limits (at first) and then a bit beyond what they consider to be “normal.” It was a lot of stress and uncertainty for those last few months. Then, two weeks before he was due, it just…went away. Our scans from that point on were fine and he has shown no signs of anything being wrong. Yay!

A week before he was due, I started retaining fluid like crazy. So much so that they quickly directed us to the nearest hospital for an induction. In the long run, it turned out to be “nothing,” but in those moments, it was stressful and we are definitely out of the baby having business!

In any case, in the early morning of May 11th, we ushered in an exactly-9-pound baby boy and have been smitten with him ever since!

watchingmulanHe’s the best little man!

I had a check-in with my rheumatologist in June. It…wasn’t the most fruitful meeting. She didn’t see anything compelling in my bloodwork except that I have elevated inflammation levels. Her next step is pretty much to just start prescribing me medications and…see what works! I’m…not sure how to feel about that. Due to nursing Little Boy though, I have another 8 months to think about it.

I have good days and bad days; nothing else has really changed on that front. My memory fails seem to be getting worse and more frequent. I’ve been stressed and anxious lately, but there’s not much that I can do about it that I’m not already. Basically, I’m just pushing through one day at a time.

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In late July, my oldest went to live with her dad in Florida for at least the next few years. Looking at everything that was going on, it was the best thing for her. She seems to be doing better there for the moment. I have some general reservations, but maybe that’s just…differing parenting styles and experiences. For the moment, it’s not my path to walk, so I’m trying to just sit quietly and not judge as much as possible. If I don’t speak much about her in the coming months, that’s why. I still very much love her and am in no way trying to pretend that she doesn’t exist. I just…don’t want to tread on them. I hope it all works out for the best and that’s all that I can do right now.

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In August, I decided that I was ready to adopt a cat. (My oldest cat had passed away in Novemeber and my other/second oldest passed away in January. We still had my husband’s [3] cats, but I found myself petless for the first time…ever? Save a parakeet that isn’t fond of us…I don’t think that counts.) So, we went to our local pound and I adopted Ragnvlad, Destroyer of Mice. He has been an absolutely perfect fit for our household. ❤

The last few weeks have seen some serious talks between the hubster and I about what we want to do for our future. More or less, do we want to stay in Michigan or naw? Right now, he wants to stick it out at his current job and make a go of it. Just…not in the city that we’re in now. My home is where ever he is and I will make the best of Michigan if he is content to stay here. So, that has at least left me feeling a bit more…settled. I like having a plan.

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Ragnvlad

Now we’re on to the next part of this journey; making home home and moving on with life with two little people and four cats in our household. Figuring out how to make funds stretch the furthest, what to make for dinner, and how to do the cutesy Pinterest stuff on occasion without losing my mind. Wanna come with? I have chocolate…

<3, April

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Baby/Health Update

sylis Last week, we went in on Valentine’s Day morning to do the 3-hour blood glucose test and then went back this past Monday to do an ultrasound to check fluid levels and baby size. All of it came back within normal ranges, save my iron levels; which were at a “10.9” and they want it to be 11+. So, I started on another supplement and that’s that.

It’s good news but…frustrating. With my last pregnancy, beginning around 5 or 6 months, I started having extreme dizzy spells. They would hit me out of nowhere, last for 20 minutes to an hour or a bit more, and then vanish as quickly as they came on and with seemingly no cause. This pregnancy is repeating that pattern again and they can’t tell me why. “Well, it’s really hard to know what that might be…” and the OB moved on.

I want to throw something. That doesn’t help me get through the next three months. That doesn’t help me when I can’t really drive anywhere or, if I have to, I’m afraid to get out of the car and walk around – last time, I nearly ended up stranded several times. I’d have the car and my husband would be at home, I would get dizzy and have to sit down (at least once in the middle of a grocery aisle in Target), and it would be a while before I could get up again and successfully make it to the car…then a bit longer before I felt okay enough sitting there to leave. It happens regularly enough that it’s a legit fear.

I’m also left to wonder, if we knew what was causing this, would it help diagnose what’s going on with my body in the bigger picture? Maybe it’s not related at all, but it still feels…sucky that nobody really seems to care enough to even consider the possibility of looking into it further. *sigh* I should probably just be happy that our little boy is healthy and thriving…and I am. (He’s on the track to be roughly the same size that Baby Girl was at birth; 8 pounds, 10 ounces. He also moved into the head-down position that he needs to be in during these last few months. Yay!) I just…wish I had some better answers from my doctors.

Cluster F*** Friday!

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I’m not quite sure how else to sum up the last two weeks and a few days, so…there’s that.

I did finish one project: labeling the bins in Sage’s room with photos so that maaaaybe she can start helping to pick up her things. I didn’t imagine that it would take so long, but taking photos, having them printed (I used WalMart so uploading them was another step), laminating them so that they wouldn’t be ripped off and thrown on the floor in 2 seconds flat, finding the hole punch, getting out the zip ties, breaking a pair of scissors…it was a process! (There’s a fourth bin off to the left too with misc. toys.)

Aside from that…the last few weeks have just been a bunch of pushing through. My body hurts and I feel drained of all energy. A YouTuber [link] that I follow recently shared her story of her struggle with EDS and the depression that came with it, along with a beautiful analogy about “building a ladder.” It’s really good in a lot of respects and how I used to do a lot of things. But over the years it’s gotten harder and harder to get out and do the things I want to in the first place and then recovery takes two or three times as long as it used to.  I’m hoping that a lot of this is just worse because of pregnancy and winter hitting me for a “double-whammy,” right now, but I won’t really know that until into the summer, which seems such a long, long time away right now. I’m trying not to get sucked down, but I feel the quicksand at my ankles.

Today has been a long day of running hubby to work and my oldest daughter to her doctor’s appointment for an overdramatized rash (it’s Eczema; run of the mill dry skin…and there’s no way that her classmate “caught it from her” as she claimed. *eye roll*), subsequent tantrum in the drug store, and just feeling extra icky all after with a toddler that’s trying to cut in her last four teeth/incisors. 😦 And now it’s time to make dinner… Frozen pizzas? Yes, please.

Working on it Wednesday: Basement.

basementbeforeToday just started out as one of those days that I knew wasn’t going to be a great one. I couldn’t sleep last night. My back has been killing me. I felt so out of sorts when I did wake up today that I just wanted to go right back to bed.

Instead, I opted to get myself together relatively quickly and make a fast trip to the Dollar Tree for some inexpensive bins and try to sort out the basement. I took a load of laundry down with me and spent almost three hours sorting out all of the tools, cleaning supplies, holiday decor, and miscellaneous things that ended up dumped down there when nowhere else seemed appropriate.

basementafterI took a massive box of trash out to the curb for garbage day tomorrow and the pictures don’t convey how much roomier the space feels now without things stacked in front of the shelves, but…it is a lot better. It is now one less thing on the never ending to-do list! I have a couple of small tweaks that I want to make yet, but…overall…I’m thrilled to have the bulk of it done.

Traditions.

straberries Today was a long day. I woke up too early, stayed up to drive to Troy with Hubby; he’s had training there all week and wanted to show me a couple of things out there and eat lunch out there, wandered through a Meijer for almost three hours, and ended up feeling…just…off. The best way that I can put it is that my body seems really unhappy about the lack of structure this week has provided.

Anyway, putting all other things aside for the moment, a big focus of my bullet journal this year has been charting and adding to our holiday traditions. Last year, Megan wanted to get chocolate covered strawberries. (I have a hunch that they’d made an appearance on one of her TV shows.) It isn’t really a request that I wanted to deny and it lined up pretty close to Valentines Day so…this happened.

Buying them online probably isn’t cost effective. (Definitely isn’t, actually.) I could probably make them for 1/8th of the cost at home. But…they’re HUGE berries. They’re better looking than anything that I could make. And there’s just something fancy about getting food in the mail! So, once again this year, I went online and placed my order tonight to be delivered the Friday before Valentines (the closest I could get without going over or paying more for special day shipping/delivery…when shipping is already $10 for a regular day!).

This year, I’m also planning on decorating the dining room a bit. I read ‘Happier at Home‘ a while ago and that’s one of the things that stuck; celebrating even the smaller holidays. Going for the whole house being decorated would be a bit much, but the dining room is manageable, a common area, and one that most of us gather in daily. (Though Hubby’s schedule presently has his away for dinner most nights.) While there is comfort and safety in traditions, I feel like this might also help to break up the boring aspects of everyday life too.

Working on it Wednesday; Three Wednesdays Late.

I feel like each new year is the same; everyone thinks that the new year and new start will be a shoo-in. I get pulled into this way of thinking along with my friends and family and then, more often than not, it’s a bit disappointing.

After two weeks of stalking my rheumatologist’s office, I finally heard back that there were no answers in my blood tests. It’s hard to keep going like this, with no end in sight. It has felt, for some time now, that I spend my entire life just waiting for the next thing – a move, a baby, a diagnosis. Something. Always something. I’ve heard great things about mindfulness and read a bit about it, but…I’m not sure that I want to be ‘in the moment’ when the moment is painful and one big suck sammich. At least “looking forward” to something feels like a form of hope, but right now I don’t even have that. *sigh* So…in the moment and keeping busy it is!

So this is what I’ve been up to the last month or so…

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My individual, mostly ColourPop, eye shadows have homes! …except for that one off to the side…don’t mind him… *whislting* Momma might have gone a little ham on their sales before Christmas… I ended up with an odd container (far right) without realizing it. (Behold! The joys of shopping with a toddler, right?) It holds more without the additional dividers in it, but they also move around more…hmm. At least they’re not flying around the drawer every time I open it!

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The pot & pan cabinet has been organized! I’d had the white wire rack for a while, but ordered the black one and another set off of Amazon a few weeks ago. We’ve been using it for a few weeks now and, overall, it functions well for us.

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The other baking pan cabinet has also been reordered and a new holder added to the collection. I think I’m going to get rid of one of the four cookie sheets as part of my 21 item purge goal… I have four and one is a different shape than the others and makes life difficult. Otherwise…this also has been functioning well for us!

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And then I picked up a tea container too. I had a ton of teas and the boxes were in various stages of use and Sage had been pulling them out of the drawer that they were in previously and gnawing on the boxes or pulling the tea bags apart. It was easier for me to condense them down and move them out of reach than to keep doing battle with her on the matter.

Underneath it is the new recipe binder I’ve been using for dinners. I just filled a 1″ binder with sheet protectors and have been adding the recipes that we try each week to it. So far, I don’t feel like we’ve had any real fails or home-run hits. I’m hoping that we find some that we want to return to again and again as time progresses. I’ll also be forced to cull the herd every now and again due to limited space in it.

I still have a ton of stuff that I’m working on, including purging things that we don’t use or need and getting on a better cleaning schedule. Staying as busy as possible has kinda helped too. Yay!

Transparency Tuesday: The Camel’s Broken Back

Yup, “tomorrow” apparently means “next week” in my world, but the weather has changed and my joints and body, in general, do not approve. All progress has been slow, but I do hope to have a post for tomorrow… For today though, onward with Transparency Tuesday!

15942473_1823202294587629_1223588917_n At this point, my oldest is 8 years old. She is an endless attention seeker, but she is competent in the usual ways. The problem becomes that she’ll seek attention any way that she can get it. I was recently reading an article about kids who do this and the article gave to different examples: a child that sought negative attention and a child that sought attention via acting “helpless.” Both of these examples had their example parents stressed and at the end of their ropes. The article did not address what to do if your child does both of these…and then some.

Helpless: “Can eat this?”
“Yes.”
10 seconds later: “Can I eat this?”
“OMG! Is it food? Is it in our house? Then yes! Eat it! That’s what it’s there for!!”

Negative attention seeking: See photo on right. After it’s been made well known that both she needs to clean up after herself and that the common areas are not her dumping grounds. To the point where I no longer warn her; when she leaves stuff laying around and I go through and clean? It goes in the trash. I’m too tired, life is too short, and she has too much stuff anyway! This picture was taken about 30 minutes after I cleaned the table (and threw things away) though, which adds a new level of annoyance to it.

I left it sit for hours because…what do you do? Pull her out of her room and make her clean it up, giving her that negative attention? Or clean it up myself and let her dodge the responsibility…again? Wait for her to decide to clean it up? It could be days. She isn’t bothered by messes in the least. It makes me rashy and I don’t understand it. Her dad called and told her she needed to clean it up or there would be consequences from him tomorrow. She cleaned it up and apologized then. Hopefully, it means something if the negative attention isn’t coming from me…?

It has reached the point in the last year or so that we’ve all started to wonder if maybe something wouldn’t fit better if she were living with her dad. It…comes with its own set of challenges and I guess nothing is ever written in stone, but it’s on the table right now. I’m just…at a point where it feels like there’s no “winning” and no “right” answer. Just different versions of losing and different “punishments” for each choice made along the way. Straw by straw, it beats you down after a while.