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Posts Tagged ‘mysterious maladies’

 2.27.8

So this month was a fun one! Ezra proved adorable, funny, sweet, smart and crazy-entertaining almost all the way through. That is, until he got the plague and spent a week and a half looking like he walked straight off The Walking Dead set. Only a few weeks after getting rid of a miserable double ear infection, the poor budders got another double ear infection and nasty eye infection, which caused both his eyes to get reddish/purplish rings around them while secreting neon green goo.

I’ll just leave you with that visual for a while…Can you see it? Nope, the eye boogers you’re imagining aren’t green enough. Think 1985 then amp it up by 1000. They were impressively green. Now imagine getting hit in the face with a 2×4, because that is what his eyes looked like. And don’t forget the two lines of perpetually seeping snot coming from his nose {directly into his mouth EEEEWWWWWAAAAHHHHHH} and the raspy breath with the gunky cough. Paired with an unsteady toddler walk, and a vocabulary that is dominated mainly by grunts and screeches, I was 90% convinced there was a tiny zombie lurking around here. Good thing toddlers are too picky to eat brains. They would have to be banana flavored brains or possibly strawberry-apple but only if it was Tuesday.

Anyway, after all that fantastic imagery which has hopefully frightened you from ever, ever procreating, he’s better finally so, yay!

2,27,9

Here is what Ez did this month:

Besides turning into the undead, he also turned into a ham. Seriously, such a ham sandwich. Everything he does, he does with a big cheese-ball grin, waiting to see your reaction and it better be good otherwise he’ll keep at it until it is.

Tantrums. We are having them, people. He goes all wet noodle and flops around on the floor until he sees that I’m doing the Official Parent Ignore Tactic, where I hold my head up high and away from him with a face that, while attempting to look stern and remain uninterested and unemotional, is really holding it together just enough not to let the smile crack through. This worked pretty well for a while. He would see he wasn’t getting any attention and give up. Unfortunately toddlers are always looking for new ways to be asshats, so now he has started to get up from ignored tantrums, come over to me and swat me on the leg to get my attention. Then he gingerly gets back down into tantrum position and resumes his floppy fish impression, only now he’s just landed his butt on the Stair of Shame and nobody wins.

2.27.4

Says “jump jump jump” happily as he jumps on the bed or the trampoline.

Climbs. The coffee table. The chairs. The toilet. The big table. The stools. The toy boxes. The play table. If I try to stop him he tries harder. He does not give up until he has hoisted his giant diapered butt onto an object, stood up, grinned at you and claimed it as his own. I mostly let him just do it to get it out of his system because once he’s conquered something he tends to leave it alone unless there’s something highly desirable at the top, like the cats’ water dishes that he can splash in, then dump onto all my prized literature books from college. I’m >FROWNY EMOTICONING< at you, baby.

2.27.5

Loves:

Shoes. We somehow lost his shoes sometime mid-December and his boots, I can only surmise, must have sharp needles lining the insides, because he refuses to put any pressure on his feet to stand when they are forcibly fitted on his person. This meant that he spent 2 straight months in Hanna Anderssen sock/slipper things which are lovely but not really Minnesota weather proof so I was finally shamed enough to head to Target where I was greeted with 9,768 styles of adorable girls’ shoe styles and 5 versions for boys that are either plastered in superheroes or are a boring brown/blue/black. THIS IS BULLSHIT. Boys like shoes too, assholes. {Well, at least their moms do.} I did end up finding a couple of okay pairs hidden on a clearance end-cap, one of which was the size up in the pair he lost, but still. I shouldn’t have to keep buying the same shoe because all the other options suck, Target. I love you, but I’m really mad at you right now which still won’t stop me from dropping another $150 on things I “need” next time I go in to get toilet paper.

Good Lord, What was I even talking about before I got mad at Target? OH! Shoes. SO now that Ezzer finally has shoes again he loves to walk on hard surfaces so he can hear his feet make cool noises. He carefully lifts his knee up high and then drops his foot with a big smile when he hears the tap. It’s all kinds of adorable to witness, trust me.

2.27.10

Dance, which means pumping his fists up and down and then throwing himself onto the floor and writhing around. He gets all his moves from Bill, BTW.

Books. We read a ton every day.

My phone. You and Suri are super tight these days. You babble at her incessantly and she directs you to the 5 closest restaurants in our area. I think it might be true love.

Turkey. Every time we give you a bite you say “turrrKEY!” and gobble it up; pun 100 percent intended.

Rowan. You and your sister have been super close this month. She adores playing with you and making you laugh. Every morning after nursing I say “let’s go get Rowan and Keaton up!” You haul ass up the stairs ahead of me and start banging on the door. {Thankfully doorknobs still mystify you, I’m sure you’ll have them figured out by 18 months though because my life is nothing if not HILARIOUS already}.  I open it up and after you run over to turn the fan off {whitenoise} you proceed to climb up on your sister’s bed and shove your sweet little face between her nose and the book she has it stuffed into. Rowan has never liked being interrupted, she will forever be my trouble-with-transitions kid, but you are the exception. She just laughs and puts her arms around you, pulling you in for a morning hug.

2.27.7

Says:

Jump, turkey, please, thank you, cracker, cookie, hello, stop, drop, uh-oh, ouch, hot, da-bu {pretzel}, fish, duck, quack, moo, meow, kitty, book, baa, woof, choo-choo, sock, shoe, hat, juice, tub, ear, eye, nose and a bunch of others that I can’t think of right now. He really has had a language explosion, but 85% of these words are only discernible to Bill, the kids and I. He gets the inflection perfect but the annunciation is all off so it’s really near impossible to understand him if you’re not us. Still, this is huge. Such a massive improvement from where we were a month ago. His language skills have been so puzzling to us because he started out just like Rowan and Keaton. He was an early babbler, and was able to make all the consonant and vowel sounds he needed to form words. He had amazing receptive language skills and even started regularly mimicking a few words by 8 months like ‘drop’, ‘stop’ ‘meow’ and ‘dada’. Then he just stopped altogether and wouldn’t even try to say anything other than MEOW for 6 months so it made me really nervous. I’m so relieved he’s figured things out because communication has gotten much easier but really? He still does not say mama intentionally, so none of this counts. Nice try, baby.

2.27.2

The winter days are getting so long. The weather this year is trying to kill all of us what with the daily highs never even reaching the teens and the snowsnowsnow. That paired with the fact that you’ve been so sick a majority of the last 2 months means we’ve been stuck inside since December. I was really hoping spring would take pity on us and give us a pre-show by way of a thaw out but nope, here we are nearly to March and the windchill was almost 40 below this morning. I complain because wow, this is ridiculous, but really there is no one else I’d rather be stuck inside with for months on end. Yes, you can be a little dangerous {no more sneaking into the dishwasher and pulling out knives!!} and yes, you can be a little feisty, but oh boy are you sweet, and snuggly and there has not been a day that’s gone by where I haven’t said, “Oh, baby. I just love you.” Because I really, really do.

2.27.6

 

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Alright. I wanted to do a big holiday recap but for all but the first 2 days of our break, Ez was sick. We thought it was that his mouth was exploding with 4 molars and an eye tooth but after a week of sososo much green mucus, the fevers started in and then he quit sleeping, like, ever. I’m of the school of thought that When Thou Taketh Sick Children to thy Doctor, Thine Sick Children get Sicker, so I always do the wait and see method but this boy has been so miserable for so long, Bill and I packed him up and sat in urgent care for an hour before the doctor could see him. Of course he perked up when we got there, the Tylenol had knocked his fever down and all he wanted to do was run around and lick every germy surface he could get his mouth on so Bill and I just traded him back and forth, attempting to contain his toddleriness while exchanging knowing looks of GOD THIS IS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY POINTLESS. However! He had a big fat infection in both ears so we are now on day 4 of antibiotics which will hopefully clear up one problem, the other being his teeth which I’m pretty sure will plague us til the END OF DAYS.

Anyway! I wasn’t able to accomplish a ton because of a screamy baby and two very squirrely children but I did finally manage to compile my November and December Flickr sets. November was pretty great {as Novembers go… it is NOT my favorite month} so I did get out a few times. December was pathetic. I don’t think I picked up my 7d more than a handful of times, but I’m so grateful for my iphone to capture the little moments, especially because all the best stuff seems to happen in shitty light and I am not practiced enough to navigate through my settings to get the shots I want, so the phone was my lifesaver this season.

Here they are:

November 2013

One of my favorites:

1.8.1

December 2013

One of my favorites:

12.30.5

This leads me to my next project which I started January 1. I follow a few instagram accounts that do 365 projects and was inspired to attempt my own this year. I’m only 8 days in but it has motivated me to pick up my big camera and capture small stuff every day. I know there will be days when I’m gonna regret this but so far it’s been a great experience. Here are my favorites from the past week…

day2 day3a day4 day7

I tried to focus on Rowan because I knew once school and dance started up again, my opportunities for photographing her would be sparse, plus she is sort of temperamental about getting her photo taken so I have to snap her when I can because I never know when she’ll let me do it again.

I have a lot of stuff in the works right now, both personally and for our family. {This is where I confess I’m cheating on this blog with a new tumblr blog that will be used to work through the massive overhaul of everything I’m stupidly attempting.} We have a BIG 2014 coming at us. The words for this year are WORK HARD. It’s going to be nuts but I’m hoping that this  365 project and my monthly shoot compilations will be a good reminder of all the good parts of our lives together, it is pretty super kaduper after all.

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1. I just ate a giant burrito and my brain has officially turned to mush as my whole body is focused on digesting it. The mushy brain was for a good cause though since today the local Chipotle gave half the proceeds of purchases to Rowan’s dance studio {which is moving in January to a new, non-creepy-70s-strip-mall location} and needs help raising funds for dance floors, which are ridiculously spendy. Starting in January when I go in to watch her I can rest easy knowing my stomach helped the studio.

2. Bill and I ditched the oldest at dance and the boys with grandma and grandpa so we could catch the 11:20am Catching Fire. Rowan has dance from 11-3:30 on Saturdays {I know. I KNOW.}. I usually sit at the studio for a good portion of that time in case we need to go in and record her dances, or just to give her a quick hug between classes but we skipped out for a day date and I felt really guilty for leaving her on her own. However I quickly recovered when I realized the theater had replaced it’s regular seats with barcalounger stadium seating. Umm… kid-free popcorn-fueled entertainment with roomy seats that recline and cushy armrests that I don’t have to share? Rowan, WHO.

3. The movie was really good. It followed the book exactly and I’m not normally one to even notice unless they are egregiously bad, but the special effects were impressive. My favorite part though, was the row of preteen girls in front of me who exclaimed to each other in the loudest whisper possible, “DO YOU SEE THAT?! THEY’RE KISSING?!”, every time J-Law made out with a co-star. It was annoyingly adorable.

4. Ezra came home from his day of being ditched with a fever and his wambulance cry in full swing wherein he actually sounds like a siren. It’s a combo of whine and cry with a cadence of EEEEEEEEoooooooEEEEEEEoooooooEEEEEEEEooooooo. It’s not loud but he drones on and on and onandonandonandon and it’s driving me B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

5. After the kids go down we will continue our current tv binge watch which happens to be Sons Of Anarchy. This show was a bad choice to follow Six Feet Under, which was basically devoid on action and all high emotional drama where nothing and everything seems to happen within each episode. And that ending… best thing I’ve ever watched as far as TV goes PERIOD. Because of this, SoA was really hard to get into, so much so, that as we were winding down on season one I told Bill I didn’t want to keep watching, but then HOLY HELL. Every episode became a trainwreck of a life or death situation and I started to care about the characters {which like SFU, are all incredibly flawed and fairly shitty human beings at times}. It has become so intense that I made Bill also download the first season of Friends to watch in tandem so I can restore balance and get a better TV equilibrium.

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We’ve had sort of an ongoing saga the last few months regarding Keaton’s “tummy issues”, which is the polite name for a variety of digestive problems in our second-born. Around three and a half Keaton started having a bad reaction to ice-cream. It was just too rich for his system and it went right through the little guy. At first it was just large amounts- like if he had a big cone at a shop, but then it got so bad he couldn’t even have a bite without reacting to it. Rowan went through something similar at three but grew out of it before she was five so I honestly didn’t give it much thought, other than to lay off the ice cream for a few months. Only then things spiraled and the list of foods he reacted to grew to include cream-based pasta, then cream-based anything, then milk, butter and finally WHYGODWHY cheese. The list of foods grew so fast and the symptoms became worse and worse so I headed to Dr. Google who quickly diagnosed him with lactose intolerance.

We went full on dairy-free for a month to see if his symptoms improved. It took a few weeks but eventually he seemed mostly better which was… incredibly disappointing. In the Gunter house, cheese makes up four out of the five food groups so eliminating it from dinners was not a fun task. And I don’t know about you but a world without butter is not one I really care to live in. After a few weeks we noticed some flare-ups where a couple of symptoms returned so we, instead of trying to figure out when he had most likely accidentally been fed dairy {WHAT? WISHFUL THINKING IS SUPPOSED TO WORK, DAMMIT} , decided that it must not be dairy so we slowly reintroduced it to absolutely horrifying effects. WHOOPS. So yes, from then on we knew Keaton was definitely lactose intolerant but over the course of this past spring and summer it got steadily worse.

Now if you’re in the biz { uh, the lactose intolerance biz whatitsathing}, a lactose intolerant person needs to stay away from milk and butter and soft cheeses because their bodies can’t process lactose which is the sugar found in milk protein. This is caused by a lack or deficiency of lactase, which is the enzyme that helps to process that sugar.  The good news is that most of the time hard cheeses, yogurt and “cheese-flavored” items are not an issue because they don’t contain high levels of lactose. Unfortunately we found, they were also becoming big problems with Keaton. By the end of the summer we couldn’t figure out why his symptoms were still getting bad and finally we realized the problem was the “Pirate’s Booty” snack bags we had been giving him, which contains “real aged white cheddar”. Again, this is a fully processed food made with a cheese that should not have even affected him so we became really concerned. Swapping cow’s milk for almond milk is one thing but not even being able to digest one damn goldfish cracker? Not right.

So this sent me back to Dr. Google because not only should lactose intolerant people not have reactions to a number of the foods Keaton was having but the symptoms normally take much longer to manifest. And that’s how it was when this all started a few years ago. It would take a ton of milk or ice cream or a full diet of mac and cheese everyday for a week to get a reaction but now one bite of butter noodles or a small square of cheese had immediate effects. So on top of lactose intolerance he has a dairy allergy which is a separate thing {these can go hand-in-hand but not all of the time}. Milk allergy is an immune reaction, LI is an enzyme issue. Keaton was meeting the criteria for both so I decided it was time to retire Dr. Google and head to the other kind of doctor, you know, the one with arms and legs and a degree.

So this September we began the process of getting Keaton properly diagnosed with the secret hope of getting him “fixed” {in our house “fixed” means he can eat pizza again, which is all the sweet little thing cares about}. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that I held off taking Keaton is for so long because in my experience, and in the experience of many friends and family members, our hometown clinic isn’t known for its competence in figuring out anything more than a broken bone or strep. I didn’t want them to shrug at us or treat me like one of those moms that is looking for some nice big label to slap on her Special Little Snowflake. Eventually though, Keaton was miserable and I needed to know I was doing everything I could for him.

Surprisingly the doctor was really concerned at the severity of his symptoms and instead of giving me the “eh, he’ll grow out of it” line, she ordered a number of blood tests to rule out protein abnormalities and we were sent home with 8 {EIGHT} containers to collect… specimens… to check for unusual bacteria and/or disease. That was a really fun few days, let me just tell you. Everything came back normal, but she still wasn’t satisfied so she sent us to a pediatric gastroenterologist out in the city. This guy didn’t want to give me the time of day and barely listened as I ticked off Keaton’s symptoms knowing full well he thought I was one of those moms {and yeah, we all know at least one}. But then Keaton got up on the table for the exam…

Now, if you’ve met Keaton, you’ve probably also met his butt-crack. {I’m sorry I tried to figure out how to put that nicely, and, well, that’s pretty much it.} Since he turned three-ish, no matter what we did, we could NOT keep this boy’s pants up. I always assumed it was a genetic thing because neither Bill nor my dad have any discernible buttcheeks to speak of; their chicken-legs just morph right into their back and Keaton has the same body structure so I didn’t think about it until I noticed his tummy one day. Every morning before breakfast I’d help him dress and I’d cinch his adjustable waist pants as tight as they’d go because there is seriously nothing to this boy, he is all spindly in the limbs and his tummy is so flat it’s practically concave. But then immediately after breakfast, which would be something like, a banana and Cheerios or strawberries and waffles, his stomach would be huge. No, really, HUGE. Pregnant looking. His shirt would rise up and he would inch his pants down because they were pushing on his middle and causing discomfort. But then they’d ride low and become too loose, hence: Butt-Crack Magoo, which is what he’s known as around these parts. {I should say, he thinks his own butt is highly hilarious and doesn’t mind the nick-name, should you think we’re giving him some sort of butt related complex.}

All this to say, once that boy puts any food at all in his system, his stomach gets hugely distended, ridiculously bloated. This is the one symptom that does not clear up when we go lactose/dairy free. No matter what we put in him, his tummy puffs out. And upon seeing this, the doctor’s eyes got huge and he made eye contact with me for the first time since entering the room ten minutes before. “Whoa. This isn’t normal. That is just FULL of air. Listen!” He said of the echoing sound as he tapped on Keaton’s belly. “Uh, yeah, I know. I just told you about that. ” He then asked me to repeat everything I had just said from the beginning and after some thought we agreed to schedule an upper scope and a sigmoidoscopy to see what’s going on in there and to biopsy the tissue in his esophagus, stomach and intestines.

The procedure went really well, though I will say it is so strange and surreal to watch as your child is put under. Keaton is such an easy-going kid though, so there was no fear, no nervous build-up, only excitement over getting to watch Spiderman in his hospital room and getting to pick out which smell to give the mask as he breathed in the anesthesia. It took him longer than I thought it would for him to succumb and close his eyes and I have a feeling they didn’t give him the right dose because they told us it would take him a half hour to an hour for him to come to afterward and a very shocked looking nurse rushed to our room when it was over to let us know that “Um, so, he’s already awake and trying to sit up!” I asked Keaton if he woke up during the process or if he could feel anything and thankfully he said no, but it was cutting it pretty close.

The results of that showed he has an ulcer that is trying to heal itself but otherwise everything looked good, including normal results on all the biopsies. The two major things it confirmed was that yes, he has a severe dairy allergy and lactose intolerance and no, he does not have Celiac, which pretty much floored the doc. He said if you brought Keaton into a room of 100 docs ALL of them would immediately diagnose him with it as he “presents textbook Celiac”. I asked if I should try to remove gluten from his diet anyway just to test it {this is not something I want to do, I LOVE gluten, or rather I love food and gluten seems to be in 90% of it} which he didn’t seem too excited about and told me to hold off until we do a barium study to see if there’s anything wrong anatomically.

That brought us to this week, in which we trekked back to the hospital and had the poor kid drink quarts of that chalky crap as they x-rayed him over four hours. And again, I cannot emphasize how well Keaton took this, just happy to play his new Star wars game on the iPad as he sucked down the orange flavored barium, proclaiming it super tasty, which, GROSS. Think of McDonald’s old “Orange Drink” only thick and chunky. It might’ve had more to do with the fact that he had nothing to eat or drink since the night before. We haven’t gotten the results back yet, but the radiologist said everything appeared normal which will come as a relief to my mother who likes to remind me that her great uncle or grandpa or some such was born with an upside-down stomach and didn’t find out until he was an old man.

The dairy/LI issue will just be a part of life for him. When it’s this severe this young, it most likely means he will not grow out of it which isn’t the end of the world but it is a pretty big lifestyle change. There is no magic pill he can take to help him digest it better. Although they exist for adults, the pediatrician tells me they are all but useless and not recommended for kids. Cheese and butter are staples of Midwesterners diets so dinners are hard. Cheese and milk are huge snack items and staples of hot and cold lunches. And ohmygod don’t even get me started on pizza. Birthday party? PIZZA. Family gathering? PIZZA. School party? PIZZA. Crazy-busy run-around night? FROZEN PIZZA. Book-It reward? PIZZA. Friday night? PIZZA. You know what’s NOT fun for a five year old? Replacing all those PIZZAs with SALAMI SANDWICHes. And he loooooves pizza. I know in the kid-allergy department this is far from the worst thing to have to deal with. I can’t imagine what parent’s of kids with severe nut allergies must go through when sending their kids to school cafeterias which are packed full of peanut butter sandwiches that could seriously put their child in the hospital. I get that that is so much worse of a boat to be in than my inconvenient no cheese, milk or butter boat, but still.

The other problem you run into with kids that can’t have any dairy is that you tend to over feed them fruits and veggies, which then results in many of the same undesirable side effects that started this whole thing. For awhile the poor kid lived off of apples, oranges, grapes, peanut butter toast and hot dogs and… that’s it. What makes this suck even more is that he is my GOOD eater. He will try anything and not really complain even if it’s not his favorite. He almost never refuses food and eats good-sized portions. I feel so bad when he asks for more and all I have to give him is his 4th damn apple of the day.

I will consider my little guy very fortunate if the tests comes back normal. I don’t want something to be wrong, although if that something wrong could be fixed and this whole problem could just go away… well, that might have been more desirable that what we’re looking at now which is, pretty much no different from where we were three months ago. All the “normal” results leave us in pretty much the exact same place that we started in and I know Keaton just really wanted us to find him a way to have yogurt and pizza and cheese sticks like all the other kids in his class and nope, that’s not happening. The biggest mystery seems to be the stomach distention and while it’s not painful for him it does cause a fair amount of discomfort and once his modesty starts kicking in, a fair amount of embarrassment when he can’t keep his pants up. I’m sure I’ll find solutions for him. I guess I wasn’t too hopeful for any kind of resolve from his issues but I need to know, and more importantly, I need him to know that we did everything we could to figure this out for him. And while we wait for the answer, whether it be in the coming months or years from now, we’ll be there with him, our special little Butt-Crack Magoo.

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I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I’m again doing NaBloPoMo since my postings went from roughly one a month to everyday. To be honest, I’m really not feeling it, but when I realized it would be my fifth year posting 30 times in 30 days, I felt guilty about not at least making an attempt. The first few years I loved November posting because I had found a mini-internet-tribe of blogging moms/friends who played along with me and we could cheer each other on as the month wore on, even as we became desperate for ideas and started taking inventory of everything in our kitchen cupboards and/or closets just to make it through another post and cross that finish line together on November 30th.

It was fun! But life has pulled all of us in different directions and none of us, including myself, blogs with any sort of regularity anymore while some have quit altogether. I can’t tell you how important those people were to me when I was just getting over the Year of the Screams and found commiseration, humor and acceptance when there wasn’t much of that going on with the people I knew in my “real” life. It’s sad, but sort of how these things tend to work, I guess. Blogging was such a huge source of happiness for me a few years ago, but It’s amazing how life takes over and the hobbies and relationships that you build peel away and the new normal takes shape.

For the last couple of years, even though regular posting has been lite, I’ve still continued NaBloPoMo to serve as a slice of Us. A sampling of our busy lives throughout the year. A block of time that I can say, here, this is what we were up to, this is what our lives looked like every November for the last x years. In theory I think this is pretty cool and really want to keep up the tradition. In practice? I have an exhausted baby that’s oozing snot/goo from every facial orifice he has and because he has used me as a giant human Kleenex for the last 5 days, I woke up this morning with a ballooning head, swollen glands and the will to do nothing but sit on my couch, watch cat gifs  and eat my children’s copious amounts of Halloween candy.

I know I should probably just make my own rules up {it’s not like I even sign up for this through the official NaBloPoMo site anymore}, such as posting every weekday and skipping weekends, or allowing for days off when I feel like death {hello, today!}, or only posting pictures {which, let’s face it, is probably going to be the case anyway}. But I can’t, because RULES. Imaginary rules! That live only in my head.

So! Here we go! And we’ll just see how long before I completely forget to post until 11:53 pm and ah shit, come here, Kitty! Kitty? KITTYKITTYKITTY!!! Sit still so I can post a camera phone picture of you to my blog and where are you going? No! Don’t hide under the couch! Kitty! Kitty? Fine. Here’s a picture of my mostly empty wine glass instead. I DO promise to use a hipster filter though, to make it look like I worked harder for you, Internet. Uh, yup, I’m thinking that will happen by Thursday. At the latest.

NaBloPopMoFo’s Past

2009

2010

2011

2012

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And why not? It’s not like I have a very expensive, super awesome Canon 7D to record my family’s precious memories with. Oh wait! I do! It’s just currently being pulled apart by some camera surgeon, or more than likely, sitting on a shelf until a time when said camera surgeon deems it acceptable to actually take a look at the thing. I don’t really know anything other than last Sunday at the pumpkin patch it would not turn on, as if the battery had died, only I had just charged it two days before and that battery is a total rock star, going weeks before having to be plugged in. I couldn’t even freak the eff out, which is what I wanted to do, because it was Bill’s birthday and I didn’t want to stress him out or ruin his day so I just said, “Let’s not talk about it, we’ll figure it out tomorrow”. Then, all of a sudden it popped on. Huh. And YAY. Annnnnd it’s off again. Um. Shit. By the time I tested it the next day {when it was officially safe to freak out as much as I wanted to} it wouldn’t turn on at all.

So! After asking around we realized there was only one Canon specialist anywhere near the Twin Cities so Bill dropped it off on his lunch break and there it still sits. I’m more than a little distraught as the technician’s best guess {after checking the battery, which was just fine} was a faulty wiring communication thingy {technical term!} that will be pretty spendy to repair and is fairly common in these cameras. Turns out, after a quick google search, I found that the 7D is lovingly referred to as Canon’s Lemon. I really wanted the 5D mark III, with the 6D being more probable, but both were a liiiiiitle out of our budget and Bill’s co-worker had only owned this 7D for 2 years, it was way cheap comparatively and in great condition so I went for it, figuring I couldn’t be picky. Now I’m really, really thinking I should have been picky. I am normally a giant snob about items like this being completely new, but situation as it was, I just really wanted a new camera and getting a used one made that possible. I just hope it comes back as an easy fix and soon, as I sort of feel like I’m missing an actual appendage.

The good news is that these are the very best cell phone pictures money can buy! I know this because the very next day after the camera broke, my cell phone drowned in an unfortunate toilet incident here-by to be referred to as “Bill drops and shatters his phone Monday morning, Christy chastises him {from her very tall, some might even say high, horse}, Christy drops her phone in toilet that very same evening and this foot is never ever going to come out of my mouth”. Or just “Christy’s a Big Fat Idiot” {CaBFI}, for acronym brevity’s sake. After following all the instructions the internet had to offer it was sadly determined that all the rice in the free world would not save this phone. Luckily my contract was up for renewal so the new phone came at the best possible rate it could, which is to say, it’s a freaking iPhone so still ridiculously expensive.

{Okay it’s taking a little too long to get to these damn photos.}

Here you go, Internet!!

Halloween started off right with some gore.

That’s a real live Jack-O-Lantern, folks!

Halloween started off right with some gore. While I was up feeding the baby, Rowan awoke and under the supervision of her father proceeded to yank out the 2 front teeth that have been loose for over one full year {I know it’s me so it’s hard to tell, but this is not hyperbole. She’s been tormenting me with wiggling these suckers since mid-October 2012}. I guess it was an extremely bloody extraction, one I’m thankful Bill had to deal with, not me. Teeth are gross.

Rowan was excited to dress up for school as Galadriel. Bill was excited he has thoroughly nerdicised our offspring.

Rowan was excited to dress up for school as Galadriel, the Queen of the Woodland Elves, from LotR. Bill was excited he has thoroughly nerdicised our offspring.

Keaton, or PJ Frodo, missed got sick on Tuesday morning with a crappy virus that gave him a fever and a sore tummy.

Keaton, or PJ Frodo, got sick on Tuesday morning with a crappy virus that gave him a fever and a sore tummy. He stayed home again on Halloween and studied up on his character by watching The Return of the King.

In case you missed it, this is the second time this kid has gotten sick on this holiday. Thankfully there was 100% less puking this time. He was feeling moderately better on Halloween but since he had to miss his school party I set up trick-or-treating in the living room which he thought was pretty cool. He seemed to be doing well that evening but he only lasted for about 25 minutes of ToTing so Bill brought him back and he laid on the couch and watched a movie with his candy bag close by. He was MUCH better today.

11.1.6

Getting Frodo ready. WHAT?! Hobbit’s have curly hair ERGO this was completely necessary! {Maybe I should have edited out that wine glass?} {NAH.}

You have to admit it was worth it.

You have to admit it was worth it. Big thanks to my friend Annie, who suggested it.

This guy was super good about keeping that lion head on for approximately 4 seconds.

This guy was super good about keeping that lion head on for approximately 4 seconds.

But it was an awfully cute four seconds.

But it was an awfully cute four seconds.

ready for Trick-or-Treating! Everyone thought Rowan was an angel and honestly who can blame them. Much to Bill's chagrin, most people didn't open the door and say, "Look it's Galadriel! The Lady of Light!". Weird, i know. It did happen to coordinate well with Ellie's costume since they looked like Devil and Angel.

Ready for Trick-or-Treating! Everyone thought Rowan was an angel and honestly who can blame them. Much to Bill’s chagrin, most people didn’t open the door and say, “Look it’s Galadriel! The Lady of Light!”. Weird, I know. It did happen to coordinate well with Ellie’s costume since they looked like Devil and Angel.

And there's my husband, who for whatever reason chose to dress up like a hotdog. Surprising that he didn't tell me about this beforehand, huh? Whatever. The DCFI was Frankenstein so Jen took to calling them Frank and Weenie all night which helped some. Also wine. The wine helped.

And there’s my husband, who for whatever reason chose to dress up like a hotdog. Surprising that he didn’t tell me about this beforehand, huh? Whatever. The DCFI was Frankenstein so Jen took to calling them Frank and Weenie all night which helped some. Also wine. The wine helped.

Til next year, Internet! Hope everyone had a happy, safe Halloween!

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9.30.12

So 10 months? Ten months was… not a picnic. There were some definite highs but with an awful cold that lasted two weeks and what seemed to be a very painful case of ghost molars, everyone in this house is ready for a fresh start with our youngest budders as we round out infant-hood over the next month.

Here are the goods…

Crawling continues to provide seemingly endless entertainment. We thought you’d eventually move away from the bear crawl to the more accepted version of hands and knees but no such thing has happened and for that I am grateful. Seeing your little body haul ass around corners up on hands and feet just never gets old. The best is when your feet get ahead of your hands and you totally wipe out on your face, or better still, tuck into a stunt-man roll and go ass over tea kettle. Either way you pop right back up with a determined smirk, undoubtedly aiming to break some sort of crawling record, or your face, we’ll see what comes first.

9.30.14

You are WHOLLY uninterested in walking. You have cruised furniture since you could crawl but you don’t even really like it when I try to get you to hold my hands and walk. You can stand alone fairly steadily but no amount of coaxing can get you to take a step. As far as you are concerned walking is an unacceptably inefficient means of getting around.

9.30.2

You said mamamama for the first time this month! For 3 days at the beginning of the month you repeated the m-a combination over and over and over and my heart burst as you looked at me with a smile and sometimes a hug as you said it. Then… you just stopped. Completely. Everyday I would try to coax it out of you and everyday you stared at me in utter confusion which quickly melted into disinterest. As if you had no idea that we had just spent the previous three days lovingly using each others names like civilized humans. Is this some sort of trick? Or test? Are you just messing with me? Because it realllly feels like you’re messing with me.

9.30.4

Sleep training was the biggest hurdle we faced this month. After brushing up on my Pantly/Weissbluth/Sears/Ferber and searching the great wide internet for personal stories of sleep-training ten month olds, Bill and I decided on a modified approach that was much less cut and dry than the tactic we used with Keaton. We went this route because unlike Keaton, we knew Ezra could self sooth. He wakes up several times a night and puts himself back to sleep just fine, never needing more than the occasional re-nuking. In fact the night-time bed routine wasn’t the issue at all, it was naps; for which I was still having to vigorously rock him while he fought sleep every step of the way.

The first thing Bill and I did was compare notes so that we could do the exact same thing at nap-time {which I do} and bedtime {which we do together}. We landed on this:

1. Nurse on one side

2. Change diaper, get in PJs

3. Nurse on the other side.*

4. snuggle him in a blanket, with a nuk and his stuffed puppy.

5. Read 2-3 stories

6. Gently cuddle/sway him as we hum 2-4 songs

7. Lay him down tired but awake, cover him up and out the door

{* Since he’s down to only one nursing session during the day, I start with the diaper change and move on to the snuggle and the stories. For whatever reason, nursing seems to energize him during the day so doing it around naps has been cut out.}

So we had our plan of a peaceful routine mapped out, we just had to agree on what level of crying/fussing/partying we would allow before intervening and trying to get him back down or giving up. Ezra is a very intense, very energy-filled small human. Naturally, we were terrified he would just scream for hours which was in no way an acceptable means to teach him to sooth himself to sleep. Thankfully, he went pretty easy on us. As far as nighttime went, there was only one night where he cried for more than a few minutes. For whatever reason, on the 5th night in, he just started screaming when Bill began the night-time process and he just could not calm himself down. I went up to him every 5 minutes or so to snuggle him back in and try to sooth him with shushing and pats but that only infuriated him. Finally after 40 minutes he cried himself out and it was awful and gut/heart wrenching but that was the worst of it. Every other night he has happily put himself to sleep without so much as a peep.

9.30.11

Naps continue to be hit or miss but at least I’m not having to jog-rock him while he tries to take swings at me. For his morning nap I follow our routine and he might babble or fuss for up to ten minutes but he then puts himself to sleep for 1.5 to 2.5 hours. The afternoon nap is my arch-nemesis. He will babble and fuss sometimes for up to 30 minutes, which is my limit. If he starts full-out crying at that point I give up and get him up, but roughly two to three times a week he’ll figure it out and fall asleep. I really wish he was ready to push back his morning nap a couple of hours so we could just have one nap but he is sooooo not there yet. Unfortunately he is a nightmare the 4-5 days he doesn’t take the second nap because 11:30-7 is WAY too long a stretch for him to go without sleeping. I have tried to talk this out rationally with him but so far he has been unresponsive to my pleas.

9.30.5

So! I guess sleep training was mostly successful. One of the best things we got out of it was the chance to introduce story time. Here is where I tell you that Rowan was born loving books and that {for once} is not hyperbole. From birth I would rock her in the chair while I read out of my childhood copy of A Wind in the Willows. Once she became mobile we didn’t need to set up baby jail as long as we set her in front of the bookcase. At Ezra’s age she would set up camp in front of the shelves and pull down and page through book after book, happy as a clam.

Foolishly, I thought this would be how all my kids were wired, so I was shocked when Keaton adamantly refused to be read to. Books were for throwing, chewing, hurling, and ripping. I am also not exaggerating when I say that child would not sit for a full story until he was 4 freaking years old. This sort of killed me dead, as one of my favorite parts of being a parent is reading and sharing stories with my kids. Now Ezra is WAAAAAYYYYYY {waywaywaywayway} more active than Keaton ever was so I held out exactly ZERO hope that he would sit for stories but we decided to try it as a part of our nighttime routine and whaddya know? He sat and was fairly engaged. He is really particular about the books he wants but as long as he likes them, he will sit and snuggle and help turn the pages. His favorites are: Little Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, I Love You Goodnight, Pajama Time and Ten Little Ladybugs. He will tolerate a few others at times but remains highly suspicious of Jamberry, for whatever reason.

9.30.3

Other awesome things:

His stuffed puppy. We’ve tried introducing several adorable woobies, all of which he has inexplicably refused. I got the three kids a small plush Snoopy when Ezra was born and that, along with the blanket my mom made him that stays in his crib, seem to be his chosen objects so far.

9.30.10

Playing light sabers. Now, under the careful tutelage of his big brother, when Ezra picks up one of Keaton’s swords or sabers {or anything even remotely resembling one} he makes a zzzzzzz buzzing/hum sound with a giant grin on his face. The force is super strong with this one, it’s pretty awesome.

9.30.7

Really plays now. He has gone from watching his siblings play to actively trying to insert himself. Keaton in particular loves to play “Roll around like a really loud ninja and hide from the baby” with him. They all love the game where the older two cover him up with a blanket and watch him flail and laugh as he tries to baby-ghost his way out of it.

9.30.1

Meows. The other two counted “kitty” as their first word. While Ezra prefers the more realistic “mroooooww” mimic to identify and/or communicate with the cats. It’s highly adorable and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get it on video many times over the last few weeks. He has also started “ruffing” when he sees Luna. All this fits in well with his wild-boy persona.

You know, baby, it’s fairly probable that you are our last little gunterling and I sort of feel cheated out of my full amount of baby time since you’ve really been an active toddler since you were about nine months old. You spent this month in a constant fury of pick me up/no put me down/no pick me up and you spent many hours perfecting your fake cry which begins with a grimace so exaggerated and slo-mo, that infuriating as it is, I can’t help but laugh. Much of 10 months was aggravating and exhausting and there were many nights I was very happy to see you snuggle in for the next 11 hours so I could enjoy life without being constantly yelled at. Things have already gotten better with the dissipation of the crappy cold we all had so I’m really looking forward to the amazing things eleven months will bring you. We love you, Pal.

9.30.9

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