Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cry baby....

We visited some of our friends, who were camping, at their site yesterday.  Unfortunately, Sunshine was soooo not happy about the outing.  Perhaps it was me.  I believe it is me, that caused her to stress.  She is so in tune with my emotions and incredibly sensitive to how I might be feeling.  For some weird reason I feel ultra uncomfortable and inept when around my friends and their little ones.  It's like I get this huge insecurity like I don't know what I am doing and that the last 12 weeks with Sunshine has taught me nothing.  This is incredibly false, but I can't help but feel insecure about my mothering skills when I am around one person in particular.

Now, granted, this person has never consciously done anything to make me think I am unable to "mother" well, but I also know that her baby is so incredibly different from our Sunshine.  Sunshine is what you might call a "high maintenance" baby, just like her mother.  (haha).

In the book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Karp, there are different types of babies and Sunshine is a "high needs" baby. (Also good notes on the 5 "S's" totally help with soothing a new baby). I always thought that her being high needs was not a good thing, but in retrospect I see that she is incredibly in tune with her body, what feels right and what is wrong and she will let us know very quickly what that is.  I think that this is a good thing in the long run, but while she is a baby it is hard to find out exactly what her needs are.  In fact, it is odd how her cries have grown and changed. I know when she has a dirty diaper, her complaining cry when she doesn't want to do tummy time, and she has had a lot of pain from acid reflux and her UTI, so sometimes her cry for hunger has gotten mixed with a pain cry.  This just breaks my heart.

I used to be able to pinpoint issues, but not any longer. As she has grown, her cries have changed. Now, she cries when she wants to be held, cries when she isn't facing the right direction, cries when she can't see what is going on, cries when her tummy hurts, cries when her diaper is dirty, cries when she doesn't want to be on her tummy.... I have begun to think she just cries consistently to get what she wants which is exactly what she is supposed to do.  (And this is not colic as she cries like this 24/7). I want to hold her all the time, but my back is just not taking this well. Even strapped to me. I think Mike and I are doing fairly well managing together, but when I get around my friends and she is crying, well... they tend to not like it, aren't used to a baby crying often like this, and they tend to want to step in and try and "fix" her.  Thing is, what they may do could work for a moment, but she will get used to whatever method they tried and then start crying again. They get concerned looks on their faces, and I am looking at them thinking, "Wow, am I a bad mom?"  

I know I am not a bad mother, being this is my first time and we are learning as we go. However, that glance or worried look I see pass through their eyes makes me worry that others think I am missing something, or just not managing Sunshine well. To be truthful, Sunshine is managing us and tends to do a very good job of it.  I hold her as much as I can because I have read that babies that are swaddled and held close to their parents chest tend to cry less. (In this case, not true, but she does this great whimper/cry impression that is just so cute but I at least know that this is her talking to me about what she does or doesn't like. She is not in a "do or die" situation- Like her cry for FEED ME NOW.)  I have also discerned her "ow-I am hurting cry" and this she does a lot right now.

Between her UTI that doesn't want to clear up, and her acid reflux, she is just not a happy camper. In fact, she has to go in for an ultrasound to watch her "pee dye" out to see if she has reflux down in her urethra which could be causing her UTI's.  Poor dear.  The antibiotics they have her on may not be working, as she has had a constant temperature of 99.7 during the day for the past week, and it tends to creep up to 100.5 during the night.  We made an agreement that if she is really unhappy and her temperature is 100.5 then we take her back into the ER.  So far, she tends to be sleeping and in an okay temperament at night, so we have not needed to do this.

It's just so hard being a mommy and having no frickin' clue what I'm doing but knowing that something, is not right with my little one and I want her to be feeling better.  On top of that, feeling like a inept mother when around friends doesn't help my confidence either and my ability to trust myself to meet her needs.  We will be camping sometime soon and my friends and family have voiced their concern about the length of time and Sunshine's tenacity for being upset.

However, I do so much better when it is just Mike and I with her, and don't have people stepping in, stepping on, our toes to "fix" her. I have a feeling we will do fine when it is just us camping. She is just fine the way she is, whether she is complaining loudly her discontent, or happily giggling her glee. She is perfect just the way she is. Perhaps she can teach me something about being fine just the way I am, too, and I can stop being a cry baby about it all?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New-Old me...

So, here is what I know about myself:  (And being that I can talk about myself in 3rd person fairly better than in first, I will state that 'No, I do not have multiple personalities, but think it would be rather interesting if I did.' Therefore, I have done my best first person rendition.
  • I have an awesome husband who tolerates my musings, laughs at my mistakes with vocabulary (ALL the time), corrects me often (which I detest), has the driest sense of humor ever (I often can't tell if he is serious or not), and who loves me for me. He also kicks major zombie a$$ on L4D2. Well, when he is not a zombie himself with the lack of sleep we have been getting. Enough said.   
  • I am a lover of art: Be it music, theater, or actual art that you look at in a museum and sometimes think 'I could do a better side walk chalk drawing while drunk."
  • I love to dance. I love to dance with my little Sunshine as well. Much to the chagrin of my loving husband, who loathes hip hop, declares the musicians not really musicians but electronic crap.  Sometimes I agree with him, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to dance to it.  ;)
  • I have the sweetest, cutest, most brilliant little 12 week old girl (who has saved me from a speeding ticket by becoming a not so sweet, not so cute, and still incredibly brilliant its scary, mutant screamer).
  • We have a cat and dog.  The cat totally kicks the dogs butt, and definitely is the alpha here.  We are just her slaves to do her bidding.
  • I have a serious mental illness and am not currently on medications due to breast feeding. Am doing surprisingly well with the aide of a HUGE support group. Never enough said about that.
  • I love to sing, and hope that I will still make the choir I am in this year. (Classical Choral music is sooo good for the soul!)
  • I have an amazing group of friends from my undergraduate university (PLU). They are our chosen family.
  • I believe in the saying, "Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.  ~Author Unknown and also the saying: "Friends are God's apology for relations."  ~Hugh Kingsmill
  • My favorite words are: Rhododendron, curmudgeon, copacetic, embiggen, cromulent, and titillating. (Don't ask). 
  • I'm turning into my mom, and and in some ways, this frightens me. My husband says I am turning into his mom, and that scares the $#!* out of me.
  • I've been trying to write a biography about my life, and so far I can't stay focused enough to finish 3 pages. 
  • I would love to write children's stories, but have way to many ideas to narrow them down and am afraid people have covered my ideas already.
  • I have a fear of heights, but love getting into high places. (Just can't manage to get down easily). 
  • My greatest fear is abandonment. (Be it by death, choice, or whatever crap life drums up).
  • I secretly am ashamed of my collections of artifacts from my favorite movies, and that I actually spent money on them.
  • I am proud of my book collection (My fancy "really old" collectibles that are only meaningful to me. Not to be mistaken with the number of romance and paranormal romance novels that I believe my in-laws are not-so-secretly ashamed of. My husband, however, is not complaining though. Hehe).
  • I am seriously a little kid in a big body. 
  • I would love to get rid of my thunder thighs. (Sigh).
  • Am afraid that my little girl has already inherited my thunder thighs (big sigh).
  • Enjoying using the words: "Sweet" and "Feck" when I can. 
  • While I rarely swear, I surprisingly use an exorbitant number of swear words while playing video games/LOTR online with my husband. (Do not allow children to be around me at that time).
  • I tend to write what is going on in my head, as I write. I often miss words, streaming thoughts from one subject to another (but the reader has no clue I've done that). I too often use "..." and elongated words like "soooo." I also have terrible grammar but love learning new words. My husband also notes I make use of "hyperbole" way to much. Like "ALL THE TIME!"
Although this is just a trifle number of odd things about myself, it made me smile writing them down for the moment. Perhaps you are not as odd as you thought you were?  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Word (for New Parents and the Cops that Pull them over)...

Yup, that is the word for the day... or for the next several months that you get no sleep with your little newborn, and often feel like you have had too many turns on the Teacup ride at Disneyland.

Driving when "distracted" is not ideal, obviously. When you have no choice, defensive driving is the key. (I mean there are soooo many a$$hat people out there that are ridiculous in their attempts to drive either a) the speed limit, be it too fast or too slow or b) in the correct lane as they have their cell phones glued to their ears (also illegal in this state)). However, this incident was neither one of those lame situations.  I know I have difficulties concentrating with just the person next to me talking, especially when said person is my husband and he wants to have a serious conversation. Yeah, right. How likely will I really hear what he has to say if I am trying to maneuver around a$$hats? So, I really have to focus and know my limits now.  Being a new mother, with a screaming, really upset newborn in the back seat, makes it nearly impossible for me to focus.

As I was driving to a doctors appointment, with said Sunshine in the backseat, I was passing along a road that I am quite familiar with.  The posted speed has been 35mph in the past, and I had been coasting about 38mph at the time.  About the point we started going downhill, is when Sunshine got a) a dirty diaper and b) pacifier fell out.  She was whimpering/crying for about 3 miles before, but now she went into full gear (as she perceives I did not get her 0.02 second snippet of her discontent).  Wow!  She was so upset. From my lack of sleep, postpartum hormones and the like, I also had tears in my eyes. I just kept thinking, 'We are almost to the doctor's office at the bottom of the hill.'

This is when I saw the motorcycle cop, sitting on the road to my right. He was putting away his "speed gun" and starting up his ride.  Yup, I knew it.  I had been going a bit too fast.  I sighed and pulled into the right lane and as his little lights started up behind me, I pulled off onto a side street.

Now, I thought Sunshine's cries couldn't get any worse. I was sooo wrong! She was majorly ticked that we had stopped the car moving, that her diapers were still wet, and that she still didn't have that damn pacifier in her mouth. I swear, her head was going to start turning around and that some demon had possessed her. I had tears rolling down my face at this point.  The cop came over and asked to see my license and registration. I had to ask him to speak up, as I could not hear him over Sunshine. Funny, he had to ask me to repeat what I said as well, as he couldn't hear me either.  He asked if I knew what the posted speed was, and I said "It's 35mph."  He then asked me if I knew how fast I was going?  I then shrugged, looked back in the rear view mirror at supersonic Sunshine and then said, "Ummm.  40mph?"  He then smiled at me and had to speak even louder and stated, "The speed limit has been changed recently to 30 mph, and you were going 44mph".

The next thought in my head, ("Oh S#!*").  He went back and checked my info on his bike, which I have never gotten a ticket before (knock on wood), then came back and shouted "I am going to let you go this time, but you need to keep an eye out for any changed speeds and pull over sooner if you are distracted."

Uh, yeah. No kidding!!! So for all of those new parents out there.... if you have to drive by yourself, and your kid goes into supersonic mode.... do yourself a favor. Pull over, attend said mutant baby, and avoid any repercussions with the law or, heaven forbid, avoid any accidents. Now if only we could get those a$$hat cell phone drivers to do the same!  

Whirlwind week...

Here we are, already half way through the week and I am pooped out!

Granted, I had two days were I had a few hours to myself for respite.... I went and watched some movies by myself.  I should be feeling rejuvenated, right? I had lots of energy when I went to pick up Sunshine after the movies, and I really missed her those few hours... but where the feck did that energy go??

Have to admit, the new Captain America movie rocked!!! It has action, humor, and just a slight bit of romance. But it was totally 1940's love, not 2010 rated R love.  Plus, just a note, you've got to stay and watch til the very end where it has 2 clips from the upcoming Avengers movie in May 2012.  It was so cool!  I wish my husband loved movies as much as I do... it would be fun to go see these things with him.  But, as he does not enjoy watching these movies on the big screen... I go by myself during my own time.  Problem is, I don't have much "me" time.  I was ever so lucky that two of my good friends said they would watch Sunshine on Monday and Tuesday for a few hours, while I ran some errands and went to the movies.  This was much needed!  I enjoy going to the movies by myself.  (Is that odd??) But I can laugh at the things, maybe only I would find funny, and cry like a baby at the sad parts.  Funny thing is, I can retreat and go into my own little world and just enjoy the creativity and action on the big screen.  It is fun... but the time goes by way to quickly.

There are 4 independent films coming out based off of some books we have read in our book club group.  It looks like I will have to wait for those.  (Snowflower and the Secret Fan, The Help, One Day, and the book we are reading now- Molokai).  Some of these should be really interesting.  I am off to feed Sunshine and write down the other movies for 2011 I would like to see. Or at least write down the ones I will be willing to wait until they come out on DVD. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Induction into Parenthood...

Holy Crap!  I am one tired mommy.  Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions, fear, and at some moments, comedy.

Sunshine has some worn out parents this morning. I had noticed the past few days that Sunshine was becoming more and more fussy, and she felt warm. But, hey.... our house is a tad bit warm so I thought perhaps she is just warm from that? The past few nights she either was irregularly fussy (as she is always opinionated but this was WAY different), or she was wanting to cluster feed in the wee hours of the morning.  So, I had not gotten much sleep the past two days.  However, yesterday was a different story in fussiness. Deep down, I knew something wasn't quite right. I think I reached that conclusion when at 11:00am, she stopped wanting to really eat, and just chewed or sucked on "the orb" for comfort, not for food.  She would cry and cry, and did NOT want to be put down. In fact she dictated how she wanted to be held and that I was NOT allowed to sit down either.

The only thing that would calm her, not put her to sleep but just calm her, was my walking her around holding her in an upright vertical position against my chest.  I love this position normally, but I am going to have to tell you my back was killing me last night and seems to be out of order this morning. Ten hours of walking and holding her has got my back seriously hurting. I texted Mike, my husband, asking him when he was going to come home and that I needed him to hurry because I was just so tired and beginning to get worried. This was at 6:00pm, and Sunshine hadn't eaten since 11:00am. Now if any of you know Sunshine, she is a particularly good eater; as shown by her big size for an 11 week old, and her tenacity for making it REALLY known in 0.02 seconds that she is upset you did not catch her "I'm Hungry" signal. When she really hadn't been eating, and the few times I tried to latch her on during the afternoon, she wouldn't suck or the milk that naturally came out from having engorged bosoms would be spit right back out at me.  Yep, I was really beginning to worry and I was just plain exhausted.  I didn't know what I was supposed to do, but fear for her little body that kept shaking with the wracked sobs pouring out of her, and the fact she kept hyperventilating from not being able to get enough air in while crying.... Guess what mommy was doing right along with her?!

By the time hubby got home, I was like "Here, please take her. I will make something for dinner." Oh, she was SOOO not having that.  Usually at night, she sits on daddy's lap and they do this 'practice sitting up, talky communication' thing between each other.  It's rather cute.  Sadly, last night she was not having that and wouldn't look at dad but watched me and just cry and cry. I spend the majority of time with her, so I guess she felt I would figure this out the fastest. I felt bad for Mike, but then this is what I get all day long and he had only had a taste of it for 30-60 minutes! When she started hiccuping again, I took her from him and went to try and change her diapers.  Her head felt warm again, so while I was doing that I took her temperature. 100.2 degrees!  ACK!!!

So, we called her pediatrician's office and I spoke with the doctor on-call.  The doctor heard Sunshine crying in the back ground.  I gave her the information about what I had noticed throughout the past few days, and mostly today.  She then asked, "How long has she been crying like that?"  I said she has brief moments of calm that last about 5-10 minutes, but otherwise she has been crying like that since about 1:00pm.  That is when the doctor said that is a concern and you need to take her into Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.
First thought that went into my head, "Holy S#!^!"  Second thought, "How quick can we get there?"
Mike got her in her carrier, and then changed, while I changed, turned off the stove, packed her diaper bag, got some water for me and put her in the car.  (Anyone ever noticed how hard it is to drive with a screaming baby??? Ever got pulled over for speeding while this is occurring??  Yeah, that is another story for another time).

We've never really been to Mary Bridge, so finding where we were to go in was difficult, especially when we are scattered and worried. At 10:00pm, we got in there, and Sunshine still was calm enough at different points to flash a cute grin and smile to the security guards.  (I swear, people just fall in love with her wherever we go!  What a flirt!! I know where she got that ability from ;) Also, you ever notice that when you take your little one into the doctor and they have been crying non-stop but once in the patient room they are all sunshine and smiles.  Way to help the doctor pinpoint what is wrong, kiddo!  This time however, she made it known she was not happy.

Once we got her in the emergency room and took her out of her carrier, she let out her cry in full force. Her temperature had gone down a bit since we gave her tylenol after we discovered the fever. But she was obviously showing her displeasure at her discomfort.  So, they did a urinary sample and discovered she is fighting an infection but we caught it just in the beginning and have to wait a few days to completely identify what it is.  They feel it is a urinary tract infection.  (something that is common in infants, male and female, below 6 months of age, and then predominantly females after 6 months). Still, I felt like crap.... thinking what on earth could I have done differently? I feel like a stupid mother, how could I have not known?!! Is it something I have eaten? Did I not clean her enough (though I had asked her pediatrician if I was doing a good job on that and she said Sunshine was beautiful and very well cleaned-  this was a relief again but has to go back to my personal issues that is, again, a whole other post)?

I guess, there is nothing I really could do. I am glad I paid attention to her signals. As a very wise woman (my mother) told me this morning: "You know if she stops eating something she really loves, that she is not feeling well." We have a very aware little baby who already knows her body, what should be working right or not right, and let's us know very quickly when something is wrong.  This is wonderful that she is so bright and smart already, but hard on the heart and stresses of her parents, who are new at parenting and may not figure her cries out right away. We have to be good to ourselves, and know that she will let us know when something is not right, which she does so superbly.

After two shots of antibiotics, a prescription, and a promise that the doctor will call us Sunday to let us know the results from the urinary analysis, we headed home around 12:30am. Sigh.  Can't stress how exhausted we are, and Mike brought up this was the first of possible several trips to the ER as parents.  Heaven forbid there is ever anything seriously wrong.  I don't know how I could take that.  Guess I will just take it as it comes.

So, last night was our true induction into parenthood.  Extremely scary, and worrisome, but I think Mike and I handled it fairly well. We are assured by our happily sleeping baby, however, that she is doing better.  Fever is gone, she dream fed beautifully 3 times last night, and is due for another feeding.  I am off to feed the precious girl and have her tell me what she thought about our adventure last night.  She loves to talk and is supremely opinionated!  Love this child!

Many blessings to you all, and don't forget to giggle!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Comic Relief Moment

Yeah, I know.  Weird, random, topic for a funny.... but that's me. Weird and random, and sometimes certifiable. Plus, when you have nothing to really write about except the odd musings that pass through your head, these musings can prove to be oddly hysterical when later pondering them.

I was told once, by Sunshine's pediatrician, and her lactation consultant, that babies can often be scared of their "large breasted" mommies.  Odd, I know.  But I suddenly felt a "large" sense of pride today in seeing that my little Sunshine's head is *finally* larger than my breasts.  When beginning this part of the journey, I felt unsure, intimidated by friends who had been so successful, and fearful that I may not have success.  Then again, seeing this large orb zooming in towards my little girl's face was slightly daunting (and this was from my perspective, not hers).

I mean, I have always been rather satisfied with my voluptuous curves, knowing that second to my eyes, they are a pleasing part of my form. However, when my milk came in I was overly self-conscious about their size and *gasp* weight. (I thought I had lower back problems before, but this was ridiculous.) I also was so worried that Sunshine would fall into that number of babies who truly HAD something to be afraid of by these orbs.  Suffocation due to ORB. This was not a pleasing thought. Surprisingly, Sunshine latched on with a fierce voraciousness. In fact, she was like a little tiger cub, ravenously growling at said boob, and tugging and pulling as she does. (God help me if I am still breast feeding when her teeth come in).

So, should I be surprised that with her rapacious appetite her little head has exceeded the size of her orb-like food vessel?  No, not really.  But just seeing the actual visual of her growth and learning has just got me dumbfounded and in aw.  She really is a precious gift.

So, the feeding goes on, the growth continues. Now, if only I can get rid of this butt that has gotten exponentially larger with all this sitting and feeding, and *yawn* trying to sleep any spare moment I can catch up.  THAT would also be something worth writing about. The loss of the butt that is, not the sitting/feeding/and *yawn*, sleeping.

Until next time, may your days be blessed and filled with giggles!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Purpose Driven Life

For years I was determined to be a "Career Mom."  This is no longer the case.  In the past I wanted to work and not just be a mother.  This is not completely true either.

Since Sunshine arrived, I have been built up, torn down, teared up, cried out, and well.... just emotionally challenged in so many ways.  I have seen this little life, growing exponentially in front of me each day, and know that I am to be a larger part of her learning than just a mom who sees her in the morning or at night.  I want to see all the little things she learns: Her first steps, her first words. I need to be a part of these experiences. Just this week, she reached for the first time and grabbed onto her blanket and brought it to her mouth!  It was amazing.  On top of that, this week she was able to sit up on her own, by holding on to my fingers. At the beginning of this week, she was still having a difficult time keeping her head up looking to the right or straight ahead.  Now she is turning back and forth and watching all sorts of things going on around her.  I would not wish to miss this for the world.

With all this beauty and wonderous exploration going on, I still feel that there is more for me. There is a purpose to my life, my experiences, my knowledge. Is it to only share this knowledge with my daughter?  Or will I be able to still share my resources and information with others? Still touch others lives?  I love to learn, I love to teach, and I still wish to grow in my experiences and knowledge by working with others in the community.  Is there a way to still work, but only part time, in which I could make enough to pay for the babysitters and still have anything left to help our little family, and also be able to still see her growing? That is why this is so difficult. Working full time seems to be the only method in which I could financially contribute, but I would miss out on so much with Sunshine.

So what is my purpose in life? What does God have planned for me? I am still trying to figure this out and have a feeling I may never know. When do you discover your purpose in life? I have believed for so long it was helping individuals with disabilities. Now, I no longer know.

Sigh. On top of these musings going on in my mind, my back tooth hurts. What does that mean? Dentist, most likely. For those of you who don't know. I detest the dentist. Have been scared stiff of going to the dentist since childhood, and usually have to drug myself up to go. (Now I have a medication management problem in which the drug would pass to Sunshine in her milk, and we wouldn't want that). But, I am feeling the pain and I really do not wish to go. On top of that, I would have to get a sitter while going to the dentist, and that is not easy to do.  Hmmm.... I will have to figure this all out and brave the dangerous dentist, in which I cry after stepping foot in an office.  Oh well. Little Sunshine is asleep and we must get her ready for bed.
I am off to send her to la-la land and read for a bit.  Perhaps I can dream for awhile and find that "purpose" I've been searching for.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Connecticut Early Learning Center to Ensure Equal Opportunity for Children with Autism

I didn't get a chance to share this, but it is incredibly important to the families of children with autism.  Equal education rights began in 1975, but yet we are still fighting the insufferable intolerance of individuals who are steeped in ignorance.  Need I say more?  This is one more win for the good guys!

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Connecticut Early Learning Center to Ensure Equal Opportunity for Children with Autism



I had to include this section. Lu is an awesome lady that teaches and practices the concepts of Conscious parenting.
I have to remind myself that I am not perfect and that in order to let Sunshine grow, I have to allow her to make mistakes, to voice her dissension, to let her make choices (that I may not agree with) but she will never learn consequences unless she does.

I need to remain open and "present" for her when she does fall- that I will listen and truly "HEAR" her when she talks, even when it is something I do not wish to hear. I will be engaged in conversation with her, even when it is only babbles and coos... so that she knows when she speaks to me, I think what she has to say is important and will reflect back to her what I hear to confirm I understood her right.

That I need to take advantage of holding her close now, because in a few months Sunshine will sprout wings and wish to run, jump, explore and rely on mommy when she needs me. I appreciate this blog that Lu has, and her website "LET THE BABY DRIVE."

It helps teach me to be a better parent, and that I am not alone in my imperfections.

She's like Sunshine on a cloudy day!!

Even on the dreariest of mornings, when I can't seem to pull myself out of bed or peel open the layer of sleep from my eyes, Sunshine is there with her giggles and smiles (yes, even at 4:00am) and I can't help but smile.

This doesn't help me to always wake up, but it definitely makes me smile.  Right now she is kicking my arm as I type and cooing up a storm. She is telling me all about how she does not like my attention diverted from her and that I should put this damn thing down and keep tickling her feet and tummy. So as we are about to go for our walk and come back and do our baby aerobics, I will do just that.  Perhaps she will let me write a bit later in the day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ADA's 21st Anniversary: The Impact of Reasonable Accommodations

ADA's 21st Anniversary: The Impact of Reasonable Accommodations

I had the benefit of attending the 20th ADA Anniversary Celebration last year in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing time, and I have seen, first hand, the benefits that this legislation has rendered. I can only hope that more employers gain an understanding of what individuals with disabilities go through, and to see past the disability and look at what that person can offer their work environment. There are plenty of ways to accommodate an individual, and many people bring so much to a workplace that they are so worth the benefits and outweigh any risks or costs.
Please pass this on to any employers you may work with or come in contact with... break down the walls, and encourage diversity!

Live. Laugh.Love. Sing.

That past few days, I have been an emotional wreck... mostly just really hormonal.  I have been watching the Harry Potter movies, getting all caught up before tomorrow's finale.  Bawling like a baby when poor Doby dies.  Sigh...
Speaking of baby.  Sunshine has really been chatting quite a bit.  We went for our daily walk yesterday, in the rain, and she was just cooing away.  What is funny, however, is when we got to rough patches of gravel in her stroller, her voice would bounce around with her.  She actually scared herself because she didn't know what that noise was... and it was her!! She was so surprised.  It took her about 10 minutes to realize this, and then she was just cooing along and making a few babble noises as well. She had a lot to say, and it was quite hilarious.

I have found that the best part of my day is waking Sunshine up in the morning, sing "You are my Sunshine" and the end of the day when I sing to her "Baby Mine."  In fact, I love singing "I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud" to her as well. We cuddle and she coos, and even hums along with me at times. So, though I am an emotional wreck at times, I continue to thrive off of life's little experiences and rays of Sunshine that grace my day!

My best wishes to all!  Have a glorious day, and weekend (if I don't get a chance to write another post before the weekend. It seems I am a week day poster. Not on the weekends).

Monday, July 11, 2011

A dream...

Talk about weird!!  I had the craziest dream last night, and while I can only relate to you the last part because that is all I remember, well it's still weird.

Anyone know about Dead Gentleman Productions. A number of friends of mine from college, many who I lived in Hinderlie Hall with, are incredibly funny on their own but put them together and they are frickin' hilarious. They started a production company and they create some wickedly funny movies. First it was improv then moved to film (which I was an extra in the first Demon Hunters, but was so terrible at that I think I was edited out- haha).
These guys love to play D&D and role play. They are creative and spirited.  I have been amazed by their talent and creativity all these many years. So, last night was a bit odd, but here goes the dream.

Scene: a University Commons dining area (thought to be PLU, Pacific Lutheran University where we went to school, but wasn't sure as it didn't look anything like the old or new commons that now exists).

Whats happening:  Nathan, Ben, Steve W., Brie, Camille, and Matt and I are walking in a single file line, trying to make our way through the crowd of people who are, oddly enough dancing.  Dancing to what, an old little jig of some kind requiring partners where ever they are standing. It's funny, but it looks like the dance Merry and Pippin do in The Return of the King on the tables in Edoras celebrating the victory at the Battle at Helm's Deep.   (Anyone know this one??)  Here is a youtube version of it... Green Dragon Song.

So, in my dream I am walking behind Brie and Camille and in front of Steve and Nate. Not sure where we were trying to go but it was important we exit the building as fast as possible.  But we were all looking at each other, going "Wow!! All these people loved our movies so much, they made a dance to commemorate our movies! That is so amazing!"  They were calling it "The Hobbit" dance. Which, in the DG movies, I don't remember any hobbits, so I think this was my weird dream injecting other stuff I love- namely Tolkien and LOTR.
As we were making our way through the room, I looked in a mirror and saw that I wasn't really me. I was Emily, another gal from college who also stared in a lot of the DG movies. I was surprised but didn't have time to focus on that, but kept walking after the others.
End Scene. I woke up to Sunshine wanting breakfast.  So, I think it is weird that I was someone else in my dream. Someone that I know even. In psychoanalyzing this aspect, perhaps I am envious of Emily's ability to act, and my apparant lack of ability? Which is funny, because I can lie my way out of anything and be really convincing when it matters. Hmmm... Or perhaps, I am reliving the college days in which I had so much fun and wished I had done more acting? Not sure. There are lots of things it could be, but I know one thing for was an oddly fun dream to have. I don't mind looking like Emily, as she is beautiful, and it was fun hanging out with these guys in my dream.  Makes me want to see them all again. I only hang out with Brie regularly and see Camille once in a while.  Note to self: Must make point of getting out more.

So are there ever things you wished you had done and experienced that you haven't?? I am thinking about those things now.  Wondering, as my life has changed drastically with Sunshine's arrival, what my future holds?  How else will things change?  I know that for my mental and emotional sanity, I NEED to get out more and that I don't want to be ONLY a stay at home mom. I want to continue working, but now I realize how much I love seeing Sunshine grow and don't wish to miss seeing this, so my plan is to work from home, or do part time. There is a job I applied for with a community college, and I got an interview and it is actually "THE JOB" I would love to have. A career really.  But if I am ever offered the job, would they be willing to let me do it part time, instead of full time?  It is also 45 minutes from our home, and that is in good traffic.  There are a lot of factors to consider, but I enjoy helping people with disabilities, and I really enjoy teaching and advocating for them as well. This job would be my dream job!! But we shall see.  I am not sure what doors will open, where I will go next, and what God has in store for me.  I can keep dreaming though.

What can I do now?  I guess (pauses to see sleeping baby) take advantage of the moment and nap with Sunshine. Perhaps I can learn the steps to that jig and teach it to others, haha!  What an interesting dream.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gen X...

I had to post about the cool new radio station, GEN X, as it is playing all those cool 80/90's mixes that Mike and I grew up with.  He is not so thrilled with some of the rap groups and hip hop that I listened to, but we both appreciate some of the Green Day, old school Poison, Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith... well, it just takes us back. 
Seriously, though... what is Sunshine going to think when she hears her parents rocking out to "Dude looks like a Lady" ? That generation gap is going to widen greatly.  So what generation is she considered then?  
On another note, what do you pack for camping with an infant??  This would be good to I tend to over pack for everything!  
I need simplicity in all things at this point of my life...
On top of that, looking for part time work in this state of the economy pretty much sucks.  So I am coming up with work from home ideas, as working part time also only pays the child care bills for only working part time.  Not much more.  For my own mental health and sanity, I need to be out giving to others and not just staying home.  Even if this was volunteering at a place that allowed me to take Sunshine with me, would be better than nothing.  Plus, the added bonus, the more I am out, the more awake Sunshine is and the better she sleeps at night!  So, if you know anything out there for stay at home moms, let me know. Would love the ideas.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I believe our group of friends has been inordinately blessed this year.  So many of us have been given the blessing of a child, and after 4 years of trying Mike and I received this gift too.  I know there are still some friends of ours that are trying or have not even thought about kids yet, but this has been an exciting year.  To know that our Lil Sunshine has so many friends that are going to be roughly the same age as her... well, that is super exciting to think of all the gatherings and watching them all grow up together.

It has been such a journey to get to this point.  When we finally learned we were pregnant, Mike had found out 2 days before that his cancer had returned.  Talk about some serious talks we had at the point. We were talking about adoption and what our options were. I did not wish to give up the hope we might conceive, but I had come to the conclusion that perhaps it was not in our cards to have that happen. With my mental health issues, and Mike's cancer.... well, we figured at that point to just let things happen as they may but consider adopting.
I have to thank, however, the Seattle Reproductive Clinic.  We had previously gone to the Gyft Clinic (which I would NEVER suggest anyone to do). The Gyft Clinic performed all these tests on me, which our insurance covered because of my thyroid problems, except one key test (never mentioned to me). They also did a study on Mike.  One evaluation. That was it.  Based on this information they stated we would have to do IVF. This is the most expensive procedure there is for fertility.  Oh my gawd!!! They also did not consider my mental health issues at all and said I would need to take progesterone until I became pregnant.  (Enter the sound of money being flushed down the toilet). Progesterone does all kinds of funky things with my emotions. Add that on top of mental illness, equals a lot of extra emotions floating around. This was all in June 2009. For several months I went round-a-bout with the nurses there, and was not treated very respectfully. It was not looking hopeful.

I saw my midwife/obgyn in Feb. 2010, and I discussed with her what had occurred. She asked if the Gyft clinic had done an HSG?  (Where they squirt ink into the fallopian tubes to see if there are any blockages). I said no, they hadn't. Didn't even know what it was. That was when she suggested my going to the Seattle Reproductive clinic, because she knew that the Gyft clinic would proceed to the most expensive procedure before trying to solve things or try little things first. She also knew that I would be treated with more respect and that SRM would really take into consideration how any procedures might impact my mental health.

I saw Dr. Lynn Ryan in Tacoma at SRM in May of last year.  She said that often, there may be a blockage but that the procedure of an HSG often unblocks them and women become pregnant 3-6 months later. Otherwise, I looked good to go. Mike saw Dr. Tom Walsh in Seattle at SRM in June, and found out that his radiation could have impacted some issues. He started Mike off on some supplements. Two months later, we discovered we were pregnant.  Talk about a blessing!! Without the use of any major medical procedures, too.  I believe that Seattle Reproductive clinic treated us with much more respect and gave us hope, even if we considered adopting. (As there are so many kids out there that deserve good parents, this is still an option for us.)

So, here we are 11 months later and we have the most beautiful little girl! We truly could not imagine a more special gift and how blessed we are.  So this is my shout out to Seattle Reproductive Medicine.  You guys rock, and we have a beautiful girl to show for it!!


Recognize that sound?? "THWACK!"  That would be the sound of little baby hands colliding with a perfect little face, often followed by a perfect little wail of discontent.  Poor Sunshine is learning to use her arms and hands, and this often leads to collisions with her face.  Sigh. Breaks my heart when she starts to cry.  Last week, she started crying and for the first time she produced tears. Real tears!!! On top of that, she started cry talking. I can definitely tell the difference because she is frustrated (insert WHAA here), she wants her diapers changed (another WHAA), or wants to eat (umm, you get the point). Then there is the cry where she hurts, startled herself, of is really pissed off I didn't catch her 0.02second comment where she said she was hungry! This is when she has tears and it just tugs at my heart strings.

However, she now has a stuffed toy in which she becomes animated by, and dad and mom can take a breather from all of our practice facial expressions for a few moments before she realizes her moose is not smiling back.  Yesterday, in the company of Aunt Lori, her little boy, and Aunt Jenny and her little girl, we traversed the wilds of the great NW TREK.  We had such a lovely time, as it was an amazingly beautiful day out, and when in the company of great friends one must seize the moment.  For a donation of $5 or more, you get to pick out a little stuffed moose.  So, being that I love to help the cause and they were very cute moose, I got 3.  One for each of the little ones. Jenny and Lori's kids are 5 weeks and 3-4 months older than Sunshine, so their concept of a stuffed animal was much more animated and, well... oral. The moose promptly went into their mouths.  Sunshine didn't really pay attention as much, but what else is a 9 week old to do?  When we got home, though, it was a total different story.  Sunshine already has a fair share of stuffed toys that she does not know about yet, nor does she care.  This little moose has become a hit. She will watch it go from side to side, and she will try and grab for it.  This is so much fun!!  Yay!!! Plus, she becomes super animated when I try to explain to her that "1 mouse, 2 mice" does not coincide with "1 moose, 2 mooses or mices." (pronounced "mee-ces"). She actually giggles at this, but I am sure it is from mom's animated face, which I am sure is ridiculous.  The things we do for our kids.

On top of that, I got her to bed at 8:30pm, and she woke up twice to eat throughout the night, but promptly went back to sleep until 7:00am.  In fact, I can't seem to keep her up today at all.  She eats, then goes to sleep. Wondering if this is another growth spurt?? But hey, I can finally do some laundry!
So to all of you today, may it be peaceful, beautiful and may you not be plagued by any "THWACKS" in the head.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Woot for full nights of sleep!

Last night, Sunshine slept her first full night.... well, if you consider 6.5 hours full, that was it!! We had a fun time with friends for the 4th of July (though Mike and I found ourselves huddling with Sunshine inside to protect her little ears) we arrived home at around 10:30pm. We cleaned her up, put her in a sleeping outfit, I fed her, dad burped her and read her a story, and then all three of us hit the sack around 11:00pm.
Amazingly- the sun was peeking through the windows this morning when Mike woke up while I was feeding her. He looks at me and her, then asks "How many times did she wake up last night?"
I looked at him and said, "This is it.  She never made a peep."  That was 5:45am!!! Woot!
So now why is it I am so much more tired than I am on the days where I only get three hours of sleep??  Any one want to tell me that one??? Oh!! I know! Its like a drug except it works the opposite. So when you get too much sleep, your body realizes what its been missing and craves it MORE!! I swear I am like a zombie here, which is funny because Mike loves anything zombie related and thus appreciates me more (right? RIIIGGGHHHTTT).

So, here I am with Sunshine... who went to the chiropractor again. (Again, I also think that chiropractic care is like a drug... go in once, they keep telling you to come back again and again).  However, she had her neck stuck in this odd position always looking left.  Hopefully now she will be able to practice lifting her head up straight or to the right without making it known to everyone on the planet how displeased she is with her inability to do just that.

I have been thinking of writing again. Books.  I have had some children's book ideas for a long time, but it is about some sensitive issues and how do you create a book that tactfully explains in a language that is understandable to children, about speaking to strangers or about sexual abuse??? Yeah, I chose a tough subject... but I want my daughter to know about the difference between good touches and bad touches and who she can go to for help. I figured that this could benefit not just her, but all the other little children out there who may not have the benefit of knowing what to do, or who to talk to, or that what is occurring to them at home is NOT OKAY.  So... while I sit and ponder again about writing, I start thinking about the other books I want to write.  Maybe when we go camping I will get inspired there?  I really do come up with great ideas while on Orcas Island.  Perhaps that is the place for my muse, my inspiration? One can only hope, but so far, every year I have written a chapter while we are out there.  Perhaps I will get more done this time?  Oh wait, we are post-Sunshine now... she is here and she is very particular of what she wants and when she wants it.  Should be interesting, camping 10 days with a then 3 month old.  Holy Moly!! How to pack for such a trip? Anyone have ideas?

Okay, I am teetering on my stream of consciousness writing and I KNOW that is not interesting.  (Ahhh to have the ability of Virginia Woolf and her effective competence at rambling in a cohesive manner). Will have to add more, once I snatch a nap with Sunshine, in the sun ;)