Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Getting Back To Normal

So last night my mom went home. She'd been waiting for the go ahead since about the middle of last week. Things were pretty much done and she was hoping to get the phone call to move back in but as of today she still hadn't heard anything. She tried to get a hold of the fellow who is doing the work all day yesterday and finally got his wife on the phone who told her that he'd gone out of town with his brother. In any case she has friends in the building with keys (she'd given hers to the clean up people and the guy doing all the repairs) so she decided to go back.

She's been with us since the week before Christmas and although we all coped rather well with the circumstances I could tell she was beginning to lose her patience with the situation. That could have had something to do with the fact that my kids got sick, Miss A went nuts due to the cold medication I was giving her, and my mom caught the cold too. She has been hacking her guts out for two nights now and I know that she is exhausted. And um... napping around here just doesn't happen. I so wish it did, but it doesn't. Well, at least not for Miss A and consequently not for me. I offered her our bed to nap in but she refused. I inherited my stubbornness from her and have now passed it on to A and possibly B as well. Anyway, I don't think she could bear another night of trying to cough quietly (impossible) so as not to wake anyone up and another day of being so bloody tired and having a 3 year old try to boss you around. Not to mention that I'm back to work tomorrow night and that's always when our week becomes a little bonkers.

Despite her trying to insist that I not come over and help her get settled in again, I did. As I was driving over in my own car I suddenly was overcome with emotion that she was suddenly not going to be around so much and I started to cry. It all just happened so suddenly. I thought we'd find out a few days in advance that she could go back and we'd all have time to mentally prepare. Not this, "Okay, Bye! I'm leaving!" business. If my sadness over her moving back home is any indication of how badly I am going to take it when she is not around any longer, it's going to be pretty disastrous.

I did however, wipe away my tears, put fresh sheets on her bed and help her do a few things to feel at home again. I have to say her place looks fantastic. The fellow she has working on it (we call him Bob the Builder around these parts due to the fact that his name is Bob) has done a beautiful job and has updated some things which really make it look great. And I got him to install a detachable shower head while he was at it because I found out the poor woman has been bathing using a cup!! (Two knee replacements make it impossible to get down into the tub. Wish I could afford to buy her one of those fancy tub elevator thingies)

It will be nice to get back into the normal swing of things around here. My children are likely to be suffering withdrawal for the next several days. One extra person around to love you is pretty easy to take. Especially when that person is your Grandma.

I talked to Miss A about it at bedtime and she threw a curve ball my way. (big surprise) She was concerned that Grandma didn't have a 'Daddy' to go home to. That she'd be there all alone. She doesn't see my father often but I reminded her who he was and that he and Grandma were once married like Daddy and I but that they didn't live together anymore. Just when my brain was starting to swell from the stress and I started to explain that Grandma and I moved here when I was a little girl she asked me to "Please read her story." Yes. Okay. Let's read a story about something other than the fact that your Grandma doesn't have a 'Daddy' and is all alone, not to mention the implications of what that means in the grand scheme of life etc. Whew! Dodged that one for now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yet ANOTHER Cautionary Tale (come ON!)

So, last week was pretty bad. It was bad for so many reasons. Basically, Miss A got a cold. No big deal. But she starting coughing at night. So I ended up pulling out some Tylenol Cold and Runny Nose for ages 2-11. I administered this for three nights at bedtime. And her behavior disintegrated with each passing day. Oh, the anger. The rage. She was irrational. She was up. She was down. She was INSANE. And I blame sleep deprivation for the fact that it took me three days before I discovered that it was the bleeping Tylenol that was doing it. And it wasn't even ME that discovered it. My mom (who's still living here) was the one who said "Could it be that cold medication you've been giving her?" one night after we were all suffering aftershock from the temper tantrum thrown at bedtime. Oh. I consulted the internet (I'm too lazy and tired to look for the links) and found that they are repackaging that stuff and not recommending it for children under six. Not only that I found reports of it causing some children to be "irritable and hyperactive". That would be the biggest, fattest understatement. I also found reports of night terrors. Which had also been occurring during that time. Did I ever feel like a big fat loser. Her behavior was making us all crazy and I was the one causing it. And my poor girl, when I would try to talk to her about how the way she was acting was NOT OKAY she proclaimed with heartbreaking sincerity "But I can't help it!!" She wasn't kidding.

I lay in bed that night thinking about all the times when her behavior had resembled that level of insanity and I believe that all those times were directly related to that cold medication or medication that we were prescribed for mild allergies. I always attributed this behavior to the sickness and her being rundown and overtired. Now I'm certain it was a sensitivity to the medications.

I just feel like such a schmuck. But I post this in hopes that some of you might avoid the same disaster. Or perhaps have experienced a similar thing and want to console me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It Has A Name

A few months back I posted this. Baby B was only just over one month at the time. There was another motivating factor for my writing that post, one that I never mentioned. Something that has worried me since she was born both for vain reasons as well as valid ones.

When Baby B was born we quickly noticed that she really couldn't open her left eye at all. It pretty much stayed closed all the time and she'd peek out of her right eye at us. We affectionately called her Popeye during that phase. We were told not to worry about it. That it could have happened for many reasons - position in the womb, during birth, or something like that. We were told that it would likely get better or possibly go away, by the time she was six months. It hasn't. It has gotten better, which is good. But when I'm editing our photos and I'm removing red eye it's painfully noticeable how bad it still is. What had me the most worried was that I noticed her eyelid is often partially covering her pupil which makes me wonder how much her other eye is overcompensating.

The part of it that plays into the post I linked earlier is that people are starting to notice it. One girl pointed out to me "There's something wrong with her eye." other comments have been like "Oh, she's got a lazy eye." and that sort of thing. It's as though it's the only thing they see. Meanwhile Miss A is getting the "OMG! Her eyes are SO BIG and SO GORGEOUS!!" It's only a matter of time before both of them aren't too young to be oblivious to the comments, the meaning behind them and suffer hurt feelings.

On Monday we had an appointment with our Optometrist. He did as many tests as he could and told me that although her left eye seemed a bit weaker it was still considered normal - vision wise. But he did tell me that her 'condition' has a name - Ptosis. He also referred us to a specialist in a nearby city. He will be able to investigate further and determine whether or not he thinks surgery is necessary now, or perhaps later.

I'm glad to finally have a definitive answer about what is up with her eye, and plans to look into it further. I often feel guilty for being concerned about it when I know that there are kids out there with much more serious issues and parents with HUGE worries regarding their children's health.

Yet, I still find my heart sinks when I look at her sweet face and see how her poor little eye looks so tired. And it sinks even further when I get those comments that one day soon she'll be able to understand.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Success! (I think.)

So on Monday Miss A had her first dance class. I was so glad she was in school during the afternoon so I didn't have to constantly answer "No, it's not time to go to dance class yet." repeatedly. When we were leaving she was all "BYE DAD!!! I'M GOING TO DANCE CLASS!!!" which amused us both greatly. When we arrived 'Angelina Ballerina' was playing on a television in the lobby.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that two little girls from her preschool class are in her dance class. Thrilled would be a better word to describe Miss A's feelings. The class was pretty small which I was pleased about. I watched through one way class as the three young instructors led the 'warm up' and the rest of the class. Miss A did amazingly well listening and following instructions. Unfortunately she tended to like to follow when some of the other girls flaked out and just ran around. I'm not sure the young instructors have been equipped with the skills to handle these situations very well. When things get out of hand class comes to a halt while all three girls try to rein them in. I think it would be better if one of the girls continued to teach while the other two get everybody back in line.

I had to listen to this very intense woman complain about this fact. Her granddaughter was one of the older girls (5) in the class and she was very perturbed about how she was missing out because of the ones fooling around. While I could see her point I had a difficult time not laughing in her face because she spoke with such intensity as though the girls who were goofing off were destroying her granddaughter's chances of becoming a professional dancer. She went on and on about it, talking about how it's too expensive to be fooling around etc. I wanted to say to her "Lady, look at what they are doing! It's not rocket science." Sheesh! I kept my lip buttoned for the most part but I did point out that the instructors were young and should be told what to do in those situations and reminded her that they were just kids after all.

I think I made a mistake in telling Miss A that dance class was like school in that she had to listen to what her teacher's said and so on. A mistake because after only a half hour when the class was finished she was devastated. Perhaps because she thought it was going to last as long as school does? And also all the students have a card which they get a sticker on at the end of class. They didn't have a card prepared for A and she was heartbroken despite all their assurances that she'd get one next class.

It was a bad scene when we left and in all the insanity I left my camera behind. I only discovered this yesterday morning and then spent the remainder of the day worried sick about it until I could call and see if it was actually left behind. I clearly have no faith whatsoever in the goodness of people because I was certain that someone would have taken it home. Thankfully, that was not the case, which gave me even more good feelings about this place. I'm thinking next week can only be better. All I have to do is avoid the grumpy lady and I should be good to go.

(Warm up. Crappy picture because it's taken in the reflection of the mirror)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Let's Try This Again, Shall We?

Any of you who have been reading for a while would remember Miss A's month long attempt at dance classes which began like this and ended like this. The whole experience was really quite depressing and I was sure that I'd be waiting for at least another year before trying this again, but... there was this whole matter of Miss A saying on several occasions "Mama, remember when I went to dance class? Maybe, I could go to dance class again." I was talking to a client of mine about it and she gave me the name of the studio that her daughter dances at. She started at the same age, the classes are much smaller than the studio we tried last time. Her daughter is loving it and doing very well. I figured since I'm back at work I could put some of my tips towards her classes and give it another try.

Not unlike last time she was thrilled to get her dance gear. Here she is practicing her moves in both her ballet and tap shoes. I'm surprised that all of the photos aren't blurry because she really didn't stop moving from the moment she put her shoes on.

This one looks posed but was totally by accident. (A good sign?)

I am trying not to get my hopes up to high this time but I think it will go a lot better. She's been in preschool for several months now so I think she'll find settling down and following instructions much easier. Monday is her first class, feel free to keep your fingers crossed.

As you can see the hairstylist in me couldn't resist giving her some 'ballet hair'.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Another theme from Total Mom Haircut.

I don't think it gets much simpler than this.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Life at Our House

It has been crazy. We were only away from home for two nights over the holidays but it seemed to take Miss A two WEEKS to recover and be rested again. Baby B must have been having a growth spurt because she was consistently getting up at around 3 am, 6 am and 8 am. It was... tiring. She seems to be getting through most of the night right now on a fairly regular basis. I don't find the getting up so frequently too difficult except on the Saturday mornings when I work at 9 am. But the time Saturday night rolls around I am exhausted and it feels like it takes me days to recover.

My Mom is still living with us. I'm not sure for how much longer but I know that they have begun the painting so that should be a good sign. It has been an interesting time. I hadn't realized how precious that hour or so Peter and I spend together curled up on the couch watching one of our favorite shows is. Somehow it's just not the same watching the Game Show Network with my mom before bed. She is wonderful to our girls but I know I'll be in for it when she moves back home because they have both become used to much extra attention. Miss A always has a playmate and Baby B always has a lap to sit on. I expect there to be much crying once we are on our own again.

I can tell that the whole situation is getting a little tiring for her as well. The novelty is wearing off and she's needing some space. Thankfully her bowling and cards have started up again this week so she has gotten out to do her own thing in addition to getting out to play Bingo. (In case any of you didn't know, my mom is 72.)

During the night when the baby gets up I never know what to do. I usually come out to the living room to feed her so that I don't totally mess up Peter's sleep (he tells me not to bother but it becomes very obvious very quickly toll interrupted sleep takes on him) but my mom is sleeping on a hide a bed just off the living room and I know it disturbs her if I come out there. (She also tells me not to worry) Depending on how often she gets up I switch between staying in our room and coming out to the living room. It's just a frustrating situation.

And then there is the cold. It has been like, ridiculously cold here. And I live in Manitoba so I'm not just being wimpy about it. It's the kind of weather where you inevitably end up cooped up inside most of the time except when you HAVE to go out. Miss A is getting major cabin fever. Now that the craziness of the holidays are over we'll be getting to the YMCA on a regular basis again, cold or no cold. As a humorous kick in the pants by mother nature the cold lets up long enough just so we can have another big dump of snow on top of the already obscene amount we've already had. But to show you that despite my complaining we still try to make the most of it when the weather is at least warm enough that you can go outside without your face freezing off in like, two seconds... here are some photos.

I think Miss A's red face is a good indication of just how cold it is here lately.

I've started my second month back to work. Generally it's been a much smoother transition this time than it was last time, going back. However during the last week before Christmas my boss was rather cranky and for some reason he seemed to be directing it at me. I know I'm not imagining it because several of my coworkers have brought it up to me and expressed their surprise and displeasure about it. I'm hoping he has gotten whatever it was out of his system and we can start the new year off on a better note.

And to end this whiny post here is a funny story and an interesting observation from Audrey.

Yesterday, when we had arrived home and were just walking into the house our neighbor was just leaving. We waved to each other and then he specifically greeted Miss A. She turned to say hello and promptly walked right into the snowbank. My neighbor and I both found this highly entertaining, and as I was pulling her up out of the deep snow and brushing her off he proceeded to say "It's been a long time since I've had that effect on a woman!" And this had me in stitches because our neighbors are two married men.

And the observation was:

"Mom, my hair is brown, like poop."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Just Some Awesome Pictures

Rockstar with cookie on her face.

Two Cuties

Almost Crawling (what the heck!??!)

Adorable Chef