Mom Up or Go Home


Gumption! & Other Learned Traits.
April 14, 2011, 4:51 pm
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It’s simple. Why can’t I remember to do it. I know the signs. I know it will work to fix the problem. But I go months with out this.

I wouldn’t call myself a good singer but I do happen to know that I need to sing.  I know my secret to happiness is to sing.

The best two things I had in my childhood- tangible things, that is- were a walkman and a rocking chair. I would spend hours- LITERALLY- hours every single day rocking in the chair and singing at the top of my lungs. Now that I’m more self aware I can’t understand how my parents allowed me to do that in their home. They were more patient and loving than I thought (ie. intangible things I had, among countless others).

I remember having a great childhood. My dad taught me about psychology, building anything out of anything, and how to listen to an engine. Later I would come to know my mom taught me strength and logical thinking skills. What a combination. Together they taught me about marriage and God. These two stayed together through it all and drug me to church every single Sunday of my life. My dad openly talked about Jesus and His mercy.  Fast forward a bit: I have one beautiful, smart, growing, charming, son that teaches me more things than I can even imply. The thing this boy has taught me for the last year and a half, plus nine months is how much my mom (and dad) must have REALLY loved me. To see past the innate sin and to love me enough to do what I needed, not wanted. They must have spent a lot of time swallowing hard and biting their tongues.

I also remember going to work at the Feedstore for five years through high school and college and hearing “Do you always smile?” I didn’t understand. “Yea, I guess so. Why wouldn’t I? Doesn’t do a lick of good to frown.” I would reply. I’m not being impractical- I would have my fits of frustration and sadness mixed in with some anger but generally an exceptionally happy person.  It’s only been in the past few years I noticed a change.

Call it “growing up” or “wising up”. I call it “my-singing-stopped”.

I want a rocking chair and a walkman. Okay, my ipod and our nursery rocker will do just fine. What is it I’m missing?

Gumption? Maybe so. With a teaspoon of Gumption maybe I wouldn’t be fearful of being caught singing. It’s happened before you know. Neighbors above us in passing conversation saying “they noticed I liked so and so musician” for example.

… gumption is better caught than taught. As is true of most character traits, it is woven so subtly into the fabric of one’s life that few ever stop to identify it. It is hidden like thick steel bars in concrete columns supporting ten-lane freeways. Gumption may be hidden, but it’s an important tool for getting a job done.

This morning I looked at my bedroom wall where a calendar and three sticky notes were posted. “Drink 32 ounces or water a day”, “Drink 1 (and only 1) soda a day”, and then the third post-it. The one I had been ignoring while mostly faithfully abiding by the other two: “Sing for at least 20 minutes a day-everyday”. Today was my day!

Hello fully charged i-pod!

Hello 30 spare minutes of son-isn’t-sleeping!

Hello Jewel (only my most favorite musical artist)!

Hello “This Way” (my favorite of her albums)!

Just as I was about 5 tracks in and really feeling good…. I feel a vibration on the front door where I was preforming. I of course didn’t hear the knocking- because I am that loud.

“Uhhhh. Hello Mail Women”.

Hello shifting eyes and nervous instructions. “Hi, Uh…. you- I…I just need you to sign this….. err umm… here. Here’s the pen. Alright! Okay, well. That’s all. There-you can get back to…. ummm. Okay. Great! Bye. Thanks. Bye” She said in one very long exasperated breath.

There it is. I feel it now. Spunky. Courage. Confidence.

Gumption!

Most folks get a little gumption in their initial birth packet, but it’s a tool that rusts rather quickly. Here’s some sandpaper.

*the two above quotes were stumbled upon by yours truly via the world wide inter-web and evidently come from page 109 of a book entitled ‘Man to Man’ by: Charles Swindoll.



Making the Call; God Bless EMTs
February 22, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Boomba and I were celebrating at an Anti-Super Bowl Super Bowl party when I asked a little boy “Where is your milk?” That’s when little E turned and pointed to a shiny blue sippy, bottoms up against my son’s thirsting tongue. This has happened before. It’s easy to get lost in the sippies of a playdate. Toddlers don’t care whose cup is whose when all they want is a drink. I tried to calmly state “That’s not your cup, it’s E’s.” What I was thinking was “AHHHHHH!!!!!”

Boomba is severely allergic to casein, the protein found in milk. If he has food that has been processed in the same factory as something containing milk he has a reaction. We went to my mother in law’s house for Christmas this year and he reacted because the table must have touched something with milk earlier in the day. When he was a baby he would ride in those infant cart seats and react because at some point a milk-consuming-baby spit up or chewed on the strap that was snugly across his body.

After I removed the blue cup from my son’s death grip-pun intended, I checked him for signs of anaphylactic shock. I was confused to see he looked surprisingly fine. A little red around the mouth- but with milk in everything that’s a daily occurrence.  I darted to the diaper bag and administered benedryl to head off a possible flare. He seemed fine. Was he really growing out of this allergy? The Dr.’s said Casein is the #1 allergy grown out of by children. A swelling relief buzzed inside. I let Boomba play as he willed, watching him closely.  Just when I relaxed I heard a series of tight coughs. I didn’t know what else I could do so I grabbed him and stood in a hot shower room. How do you know when to call 911? He still looked relativity okay as far as a rash goes but I knew this reaction was different.  A few minutes later my friend asked if he needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t know. I didn’t want to over react, or go for no reason. My husband received a call at work moments later. I explained everything as quickly as I could and ended the story with “Should I take him in?”. Dear husband wasn’t there. He couldn’t assess the situation. Silence. The words of my friend “Go. Momma.” meant a lot.  “I’m gunna go, I’ve gotta go.” I said, hanging up the phone.

As I grabbed my diaper bag I saw my son who is normally happy and full of life exhibit half closed eyes and a shallow breath. I have never seen him like this and that was reason enough for me to make the jump. I remembered what I had been told about severe allergic reactions. They depend on EpiPens because there isn’t enough time to get an ambulance on site or to drive. “We need to call 911.” I said. “I think we need to call them”. My friend grabbed a phone and made the call. They were there so quickly I was shocked. We heard the sirens and my friend’s two sons E and C were watching out the window. “The important thing about emergencies is to stay calm and stay out of the way to let them do what needs to get done.” I said as if I were in a classroom presenting. The situation wouldn’t hit me for a while.

“Cover him with a blanket and take him into the ambulance.” a man said to me after asking for the specifics of the situation. The three technicians kept looking at charts and running numbers to decide what to do next. They settled on an additional dose of Benadryl. It was a faster acting, more potent version in a small syringe. Boomba was given two breathing treatments. I was relieved to hear him screaming. He can obviously breath if he’s screaming!

My husband found a replacement at work and called me on his way to the hospital to find out we were still in the ambulance on the street. He turned around and soon came walking into the little mobile medical room. We were sooner or later taken to the ER. When they wheeled that small boy out on the gurney I noticed he was red. Red from head to toe and back again. When I mentioned it, the EMT connected it to all of his crying. We stayed in the ER for over three hours.  Monitoring the reaction, shooting him up with a steroid and Epinephrine. The Dr. said it was a good thing we  called.  I asked the ER Dr about his redness and he said it was part of the reaction.

We hadn’t eaten well all day and in order to take care of ourselves we decided husband would go out in search of food. We didn’t know how long we would be staying and Boomba was stable. Ironically the only food they had available to us was Cheez-its “Enjoy the Real Casein Taste in Every Bite”. We were released to go home late that night.

Walking into our home stepping across all the the toys our dear son strewn across the floor earlier that day was bittersweet. All I could think is, if this had gone the other way we’d be walking home to these toys with out a sweet blessing of a child in our arms. A constant reminder of the tragedy that could have happened. I couldn’t imagine coming into a home to see only the remnants of a playing, lively child- our son. Now I understood why my Mom had warned against buying the clearanced baby snow suit when I was only a few weeks pregnant.

The next day I went to Walgreens and while waiting for the Rx of steroids that was to help with his extreme casein sensitivity in the next three days, I picked up a pink Ty Beanie Babies Valentine’s Day Hippo named Big Kiss. The silly little poem inside the tag said everything I was thinking.

I’m a hippo that’s red and pink

I look this way because  I think

Of only you each and every day

I love you more than words can say!

Silly. Irrational. Juvenile. Yes. Yes. Yes. But Boomba smiled and hugged that pink hippo of fluff. We didn’t necessarily have to money to “waste” but because I had a child I could still buy for, I DID.

The next few days were full of Dr.’s visits, nebulizer treatments every 4 hours, oral steroids, calls to the insurance company and searching for an allergist to prescribe an EpiPen. The first allergist we were referred to didn’t have an opening for over 2 months.  I could hardly stand the thought of  going another minute without an EpiPen or some sort of plan, let alone 2 months! The allergist we were next referred to is a sweet, compassionate woman who is very knowledgeable and practical. She was surprised we didn’t already have an EpiPen and gave us a Rx for TWO! She also found a restaurant that would be safe to take Boomba to! We can’t wait to eat in public with this little man!

Thank God for EMTs. Thank God for 911-calling friends. Thank God for my son’s life. Thank God.

“What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me.” -Psalm 116 v.12

Thank God.



PCOS and a little thing called trust
January 17, 2011, 10:25 pm
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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5

I went to the Dr.’s office expecting a blood glucose test. I walked out with racing thoughts and a heart heavy with sadness and fear. I was about to be married in less than a month. I had planned on finished school soon after and then without further adieu, multiply our family. This was my dream. Not a big house. Not a fancy car. A family. A loving, supportive, Christian family who is contented in daily vocations. The Dr’s voice was sharp and quick. I nodded trying to go over the words- put meaning to her phrases. She walked out of the room. I was composed. It hadn’t hit me.

“If you were any older I’d schedule you for a hysterectomy now.” She said as if she were telling me the sky was blue.

In the cold medical white room I was left to think “PCOS? What did she say that stood for? Ahh, yes. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Doesn’t sound that bad…. Really? A hysterectomy? But. Wait. I want kids. I’m only 21 years old. I want to be a mom. This isn’t right. I’m just getting ready to start my family. This….sounds…….

She came back in long enough to tell me she wrote me a script that will help with both PCOS and Pre-Diabetes and sent me on my merry little way.

At this moment I was far from being a mom. Ha, at this moment I was left to think I would never be a mom. But, all the same this is what a mom-up moment is comprised of. Heart break and determination, that and a little trust. I asked for a pamphlet on PCOS and she told me to “Google it, we can’t just keep pamphlets on everything.” I swallowed deep and called my fiance.

We had a wedding planned. Invitations were out and RSVP’s were in. “Do you… do you still wanna marry me?” I asked later knowing the plans for our future together had assuredly included becoming pregnant. silence. It was a lot to take in. It was a big question. It deserve consideration. “Of course I want to marry you” his voice calmly, quietly stated.

Cue water works.

I was put immediately on a birth control pill to encourage regular cycles. The Metformin  made me so sick I could hardly work. I was nauseous, dizzy when upright and achy everywhere. To say the least I was not my happy, get’ R done ole self.  After a while my body got used to the pills and I actually found that I was happier on them. My blood sugar kept level and I didn’t need to eat every couple of hours. I remember before being on Metformin how hard even going out with my friends was. I needed to know when we would be eating and how often. I felt awkward about asking about the food schedule but my friends knew it was just part of me. Now I feel 180 degree better! I’m so glad I kept taking the medication.

We were married about a year when I had a miscarriage. We didn’t even know we were pregnant. i had been on an antibiotic which cause the birth control to weaken in efficiency. I felt like I had killed our child. WEe decided to get off of the birth control pill. I was about to graduate in a few months and I hated being on the pill now more than ever.

We became pregnant that month! Thanks be to God!

Now that Our lovely son is a year old we have been anticipating another pregnancy. Our friends are pregnant, our son sleeps through the night, and hey, we’re moving again- timing seems perfect! hahaha. I’m writing you now one week after another doctors appointment. Only this time the doctor is a beloved and trusted man whom backed his gentle words with explanation and compassion. The PCOS is the reason we’re having a “difficult time”. I was afraid to up my Metformin doses because of how sick it had made me to start it. A week later I’m feeling fine physically, my body is already used to the drug so it’s not hitting my as hard as it did at first. Dear doctor didn’t give me a reproductive death sentence. He’s determined to work closely with my husband and I to get me healthy. He in fact never mentioned the possibility of not having more children.

I know it is the Lord who gave us our son and it will be the Lord who decides to bless us with children in the future, through pregnancy, adoption, or fostering. I also know that there are women and families that have it hard than this. Really, in the spectrum of health problems PCOS is not the worst case scenario type of syndrome. For someone who’s goal it was and is to have children it’s a bit discouraging. Then again. It was the Lord to healed the sick and made the blind to see. As it turns out I do have a loving, supportive, Christian family who is contented in daily vocations. We will see what unfolds before us. We never expected to be here, now and we probably cannot expect too much that will actually happen. Besides the fact that we are and will always be in the loving and protective hands of our Lord, Jesus Christ.



Stay at Home Mom Goes to Work…and Likes it
January 5, 2011, 1:43 am
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My husband and I have always agreed that I would be a stay at home mom. We stacked the list of supporting reasons to include (but not limited to)

-making the few years you get to teach your children to, well, teach our child(ren).

-most likely any job I would score would not bring enough income to pay for childcare let alone gas to get there.

-I would be able to spend the time and energy on creating healthy meals for the family

-housework can get done so evenings can be more family oriented

…so on and so on…

I’ve always liked the saying “Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans”. We always think and plan but the future is always at least a little different from we imagine.

We were seven months pregnant when we moved so my husband could attend grad school. Crazy. I know. I still don’t know how it all worked out-but it did! Then the opportunity arose for me to work part-time for an after school program at a local school. My husband is going to school full-time and also works diligently at three jobs (it was four but the paper route proved a bit too much). Not only is he a hard worker, but he’s an incredible husband and father. Thank God for this man. When this opportunity to take some weight off of my husband’s broad, strong shoulders presented itself we couldn’t say “no” because -get this- our son is welcome to come to work with me! PERFECT!

I have always been the type of person who was smiling and singing and exceptionally happy no matter what was happening. “The worst thing that could happen is death, but then again that would be the best as it would be the moment I would meet my Lord” was my mantra. The past year or so has been the worst of my life, but at the same time has been the sweetest, most humbling, grace-filled year I’ve ever lived. God’s people have been too kind to us. Blessings have flown freely and flooded my family. God truly is good. This job has been rough on me, though. I have had jobs I’ve disliked more and that’s for certain. There is something over whelming about this vocation that I’ve been entrusted with. This is the reason I was shocked to feel what I felt the first day back after Christmas break. JOY. I was overcome with joy. I smiled and strangely felt a familiarity I hadn’t expected to feel- not here, not now. Although we pulled into town from our excursion to see the family over Christmas days ago, it was this moment I finally knew I was home. Ha, who knew?

Well… funny question. God knew.



How I Became a Cloth Diapering Momma, and What I Learned Along the Way.
November 21, 2010, 8:57 pm
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“I am in no way a professional. Many’a mom has come before me and they are more knowledgeable than I. But, everyone has a story, and this is mine.”

I remember riding in my sister-in-law’s car and hearing about how her sister was committed to cloth diapering (until she tried it). My response, a loud, resounding “EWWWWWW!” “Ewwwww” is the same response I received from a close friend when they discovered I had was standing in the unknown territory of Cloth Diaper Land.

Why in the world did my mind change? Was it a strike of sudden consciousness to hug trees? No. I recycle, mostly because it saves me money on buying trash bags. I also figure if I have to pay monthly for those recycle bins whether I use them or not, so I’d better make it worth my money! Did you get it yet? It’s right there.

I am a Class A Tightwad.

That’s all there is to it. I get “free” diapers at my husband’s grad school’s co-op. The sad thing is we don’t receive enough diapers to keep us in supply. I bought my first package of disposable diapers and one by one threw them away. Two hours of use and -BAM- trash. “This can’t go on!” I thought to myself.

Like most decisions in life it isn’t just one thing that changes a mind, it’s a compilation of circumstances. So in addition to my money pinching desires there was a “situation” that got me thinking. My son’s circumcision started bleeding a little too much. After a frantic-first-time-mom-call to the pediatrician I had my Mom Up assignment. “Wait. You mean I’m supposed to put a washcloth INSIDE his diaper?!” All I could think was “What happens when he poos?!”. Turns out Drs orders did the trick. The washcloth kept pressure on the circumcision and the bleeding eased up. But there were still dirty wash cloths. I guess it’s true, you do a lot of things you never expect you can when you’re put in the situation. Washing out the wash cloths was not a big deal at all, when it came down to it!

The third factor that made me into a Cloth Diapering Momma is a dear friend who was excited to tell me that her cloth diaper order would be coming in the mail “any day now!”. This is when I scoffed- SCOFFED- and rolled my eyes asking “Why would you do that?!” between “ewwws!” and “blechs!”. I never knew anyone who cloth diapered. I really didn’t know people did that anymore. Well any -normal- person anyway. So I clicked my way through google and educated myself on this new, usual world. Then, before I knew it, I put a bid in on ebay for my first Kawaii diaper covers! I was going to try this out!

In addition to the Kawaii diaper covers I purchased a Kawaii pocket diaper, a Bummis Swimmi diaper, a Bum Genius 3.0 AIO, a Bum Genius Flip insert, and I was given a TON of old prefolds by a VERY generous lady.

What I’ve Learned about Covers & Prefolds/ Flats, AIO, and Pocket Dipes

Covers & Prefolds (and Flats too)

As mentioned above, I have 6 Kawaii diaper covers. They are made of PUL which is a waterproof material that feels more like fabric, less like plastic- very nice! The covers are also OS (One Size) too. This means there are a series of snaps that allow the rise of the cover to be adjustable in size! Covers are also sold in specific sizes, I didn’t go this route because I didn’t want to buy a full stock of covers in each size- the OS covers will be able to be used for much longer! I was the covers with regular laundry (on cold) and hang them to dry.The cool thing about using diaper covers is if they are just peed in you can rinse them off really quickly and hang dry them and reuse them without having to wash them every time. I’m getting along pretty well with only 6 covers. It would be nice to have more, but certainly doable.

The prefolds I have are diaper service quality. This is important because they are nice and thick and absorbent. Gerber brand prefolds are thin and light weight. I think they work best as burp rags, not as diapers because of their lack in absorbency. Flats are big pieces of fabric that need to be folded into a diaper to use. I once saw a youtube video about how to use those little flannel receiving blankets and fold them into the “origami” style to use them as a flat. They were not very absorbent at all, but I do like the idea of using a flat. I spent a lot of time on youtube watching demos, learning how to fold diapers in different ways. I would recommend this activity if you are interested in using flats, or even prefolds. The great thing about flats is there is very little dry time! they come unfolded to wash and dry so more surface area is being dried at a time.

All in Ones (AIO)

All in Ones or “AIO” are a disposable diaper in style, only made of fabric. They are portable, compact, and some are even One Size (OS) like mentioned above. They are so handy and *CUTE*. The bummer is they dry much more slowly than the prefolds and the flats. Because all of those lovely absorbent layers are sewn together in one handy package,  all of those layers make a thick, slow drying diaper. AIO are not always OS and so you would need to buy a whole stock of them in each size.  -not my style! But I can most certainly see why moms and dads choose this route!

Pocket Diapers

Pocket Diapers are the best of the two worlds- they are compact and easy to use like a disposable, and they come apart to wash and dry like covers and prefolds do. This means there is a bit more prep work to stuff the removable absorbent “insert” in place after drying, but I have to say these are my favorites! The drag is you can’t reuse the covers because it gets dirty during every use. But a special bonus is you can choose to use more than one insert to create a custom level of absorbency in your diaper.

_________________________________________________________________________

I had a really hard time at first. I wanted to see everything, feel it. Youtube videos were my bread and butter.  And my tactile drive is what ultimately pushed me to buy some overs on ebay. I needed to work with the diaper to really see how they worked and washed. I would recommend tons of research if you’re thinking about this. Get in touch with women (even if it’s online) who are CD Moms. They would LOVE to talk to you about it I’m sure of it. If you can find a retailer to talk to, that’d be great too. Look at an online company that is based in your area and see if the manager would be interested in meeting in person with you.

I could go on and on about Cloth Diapers (CD)  and the art of CDing, so I’ll sign off and give you time to wrap your head around this idea.




1st Mom Up Moment
August 25, 2010, 6:09 pm
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Every mom has it. The first time they have to swallow hard and go head first with a moment concerning their little pride and joy.

I didn’t expect mine to come so soon! After six hours of pushing and then hearing “It’s a Boy!” I only had a few hours until my Mom Up moment pounced on me unexpectedly. Now really, this is more of a Parent Up moment, because if my husband wouldn’t have been there I don’t know how I would have handled it. But like many other parents Little BoomBa was swept away into the NICU. See, he had hypothermic temperatures and an incubator in room 4 was calling his name. I know many parents endure more than this thriller everyday and my hats are seriously off to them and I keep those families in my evening prayers. God knew this incident was big enough for me, and so; God, my husband and I set off to “Mom Up” and visit that helpless baby in the NICU after hearing the news.

He had roomed-in with us that night and had not woken to eat. He refused to eat in the morning and I was too new and modest (stupid) to ask for breastfeeding help. The pediatrician came in and said “A perfect boy!” and it was moments later a nurse couldn’t get a read on her thermometer.

The news was a shocker. And we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. I broke down on the phone call home (the next day) as I was trying to tell my own mom what I hadn’t said out loud yet. This is technically my 1st Mom Up moment, but I deserve no credit for how I handled it. It was my husband and the very few others who knew what had happened who got us emotionally though this toughy.

I didn’t want to go and visit him. I didn’t want to cry anymore. Like a baby myself I just wanted to go home and as they say “pretend it was all a dream”. I always thought that saying was ridiculous. It’s not a dream- deal with it and get it over with. As it turns out, it is the best phrase to describe my feelings.

As time went on it was clear that this baby was mine. I was, am a mother- a Mom. My husband and I were given this little man and we were to do our best for him. Mom Up. We spent our days two floors up in the NICU as my recovery nurses came knocking upon a door to an empty room downstairs. We prayed. Suited up, and as we were able, we changed him, fed him, bathed him. His little “Paddle Hand” IV looked so tender as it pumped antibiotics into his little body.

They don’t know for sure what exactly happened to BoomBa. The pediatrician later told us he had never in his life heard of a child being that cold. The best the wonderful doctors can guess is that a cold I had when 36 weeks pregnant, crossed the placenta and infected our son.

Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow. He sustained not only that little new life, but that baby’s parents too.

This is a pretty heavy post. I promise in the future it will not be so gloomy. We all have our 1st Mom Up moments and this is mine! Boomba is now nearing 10 months old and there are plenty more Mom Up moments to share.



Hello world!
August 22, 2010, 7:28 pm
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Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!