Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Need a Happy

Feels like it has been forever since I wrote. So much has happened in the last.. what. Nine? Ten days?

Since coming home from Easter the household has been in a state of uncontrolled chaos. In an attempt to control it I am going to see if I can put it into some semblance of order here.

Evie regressed with sleep issues. The trip seemed to put her back to the place where she was staying up as late as she could and getting up early. It has meant that our 6pm baby bedtime was now a 10pm baby bed time after 4 hours of crying and being tired on her part but refusing to sleep. We've decided to skip her naps and do some Doctor reccomended sleep restriction to get her back to going to bed at a normal time and not being up super late.

A few months ago we were all ragged from her sleep problems. She would go to bed and then wake up 20-25 times a night. No that isn't a typo. She was up that much most nights. We lived on 15 minute increments of sleep that were split up by 10 minute sessions of Evie waking up screaming, tossing, turning, thrashing, banging her body into her crib, or when put into bed with us, banging into us. We were bruised, bloody lipped from being slammed with her head in the face, tired, and so totally over it. We learned that no one believed she had a sleep problem.

We were told that WE were the problem for trying to help her sleep. We had tried cry it out (vomit. fountains of vomit. She gags when she cries for longer than a couple minutes, even when shes NOT trying to sleep.), we had tried so many methods of sleep training, we had tried each one for long enough to give it time to work before giving up, and finally we turned to a doctor only to find that it took over 8 months to see a pediatric sleep specialist because of wait lists.

I fought so hard to get her seen. I called every sleep place within 50 miles. I e-mailed, I wrote letters, I called our doctor once a week every week until she finally put in the damn referral to a specialist for us. We finally got in to see someone. He said that she did have a problem, but at her age it was not safe to medicate her. All we could do was to not let her sleep until she was sooooo tired she slept. Four days of hell where she only slept 6 hours a day, and finally she slept. She slept 11 hours a night, but no naps. Then she started adding in naps. Once she napped, she is now not sleeping at night. So in the interest of actually getting some sleep, we are dropping naps. I do not want to do another 9 months of hell.

Of course, her sleep issues mean she is cranky all day long. She bites, throws, hits people. She screams and whines non-stop for hours on end and nothing soothes her. She plays the pick me up so I can whine to be put down so I can whine to be picked up so I can slap you in the mouth game. She is a little terror in a tutu.

Liam is going through a phase where his emotional age is that of a two year old and he is throwing tantrums over doing things he once did with glee. He is disobeying us AS we are telling him not to do something. He is not listening to anything, throwing toys and food and anything that we ask him to give back to his sister after he grabs it out of her hands..... it is just something extra I am having a hard time dealing with right now.

With all of this going on, I got the news that on the 24th that my Grandma fell and broke her femur up near her hip. It took two days for them to do the surgery because of the blood thinner my grandma takes. They had to wait until it was at a lower level in her body.

THEN, the first facility she was in after being released (because of course Kaiser won't let anyone stay in the hospital until they are well enough to leave, they just kick them out as fast as possible no matter what.) was HORRIBLE! she was ignored while screaming and crying for help, she had dropped the call button and couldn't see to pick it up (she is losing her sight) and she was thirsty and had no water, can't get out of bed and is screaming for help and NO ONE CAME for HOURS. Her daughter came by after work to check on her and found her like this crying for help. Ten minutes later my mom came and had the job of ripping someone a new one for treating an 89 year old lady like that.

They got her transferred to a new, much better facility, yesterday night. She finally got a good nights sleep, though my mom still is not leaving her side. Hopefully she will be better soon. I wish I could be there to help. But Evie is sick right now and I don't want to bring anything bad to grandma, plus I know the kids would be just too much for her. Even in small doses... and then I wouldn't be ANY help because I would be trying to keep my little turkeys from being traffic hazards in the hallways.

My lovely Grandma
And then, to top it all off, my 14 year old kitty, Mister Kitty, who for the last 5 years has lived with my best friend because he (yes the kitty) brought home a stray kitty who got attached to him and they couldn't be apart and that was just too many cats for me to handle..... well.... Mister apparently had a very aggressive form of oral cancer. He broke a tooth and we were crowdfunding to raise the money for his surgery, but when they started the surgery they found that most of his tongue was taken up with a tumor that had not been there even two weeks ago during a check on his tooth. We made the choice to euthanize him. I held him as he left us.

Mr. Kitty

No. I am not ok. I have some weird sort of emotional hangover feeling. I am so angry and sad right now. I want to be in California with my grandma, but not only can I not afford that really, having the kids there would just stress her out. I lost a kitty. My daughter isn't sleeping, also has a cold and is the crankiest thing on two legs. My son is just not listening and picking the WORST time to test the boundaries.

I need a win. I need a happy. I need something GOOD to happen beyond the good of making it through another day without running screaming into the street. Or maybe a kindly family of wolves to come raise my children for me for a week.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Easter Bunny Lays Fish Eggs

We drove down to Grants Pass, Oregon for Easter this year. It seemed like a good idea to spend it with my dad and my step mom at their house there.

The kiddos did pretty well on the car ride out there. We left at 7am and made it there around noon. We had to stop twice at stores to get food once and then get a new cord to charge my phone with after the one I had decided it didn't want to work any longer.

The first day was nice, we made hamburgers at home after a quick trip to the store. Liam got a big lego plane and Evie got some megablocks to help keep them amused. I even got my dad to watch Frozen with us in the evening.

The next day we tried to go to an egg hunt at a local winery. This was a bad idea. The web site promised pony rides and an egg hunt and a bounce house.

There was an egg hunt that consisted of maaaybe 100 eggs for over 75 children. And they had the big kids in the garden at the same time as the little kids! The big kids took all the eggs that were easy to see and left nothing for the little ones. The parents were bad too, one lady saw Liam reaching for an egg and she snatched it away right out from under his hand. I was so angry! To top it all off, there was no sign of ponies or bounce houses anywhere. We left quickly. Our ten dollar admission fee paid for two mini plastic eggs with a single Hershey Kiss in each, one lollipop, and a five minute walk in a small flower garden overrun by kids crying that they hadn't gotten an egg while the 12+ crowd whined that they only had ten eggs.

You can be sure that I will not be making THAT mistake again!

But after deciding NOT to say something at the time and let my temper cool before writing them a nasty-gram for poor planning and not delivering promised things and overcharging for what they did provide, we went home and I stuffed some plastic eggs with candy and "hid" them in the yard. Liam had a fun time finding them and Evie got help from her Grandma Kathy. They stuffed themselves with chocolate and then rampaged around the house all afternoon with their little toys from Grandma

We had dinner, tried to go out for ice cream and discovered that the melting point for Liam was discovering that his Spiderman ice cream from Baskin Robbins didn't taste any different than normal vanilla ice cream and that he didn't like it. He had a full on tantrum in the store and I took him to go sit in the car while Evie stayed with Grandma and Grandpa to finish her non-allergen filled frozen treat. She still can't have milk!

In the morning we got dressed up all fancy and took some pictures and put out the last of the eggs. Since both kiddos love fish and all things from the ocean I bought some ocean creature themes plastic eggs. Liam found the first one and exclaimed loudly, "The Easter Bunny came and laid FISH EGGS!"

I made the mistake of doing pictures AFTER they found eggs, so all I got were pictures of them looking at their eggs!

Evie learned a new word, bucket, which she says as "buckie".

The drive home was ok for the first 4 hours, but the last hour was a nightmare! It was too close to home to want to stop and let them run, but far enough that they were super mad. They just wanted to be home and I knew that stopping somewhere would be too hard on them when it came time to get back into the car.

Finally we made it home and got everything unpacked and washed the cherry juice off of the blankets Liam spilled it on in the car, ordered a pizza and watched MythBusters until it was bed time.

This morning Liam asked for chocolate for breakfast. It would have been funny if not for the tantrum that happened when I said no!

Monday, April 14, 2014

10 Stitches of Patience

I have now started three blankets for a baby my friend is having. She lives far away and has a baby due in.... gosh, six more weeks now. And I wanted to make her a blanket for this one.

I started one but ended up not loving the yarn or the pattern so I put it aside. Then I started another one, but the color changes were a bit above my skill level at the moment and I was being crazy and making it up on my own, so I had no pattern to fall back on.

That blanket now lives in a Duplo box, half finished and destined to be pulled apart and turned into something else. Maybe a cute hat.....

A couple weeks ago at knitting one of the more advanced knitters, who has a Knitting Super Power of somehow remembering EVERYTHING she has ever learned about knitting and always being willing to stop and help anyone, was making a 10 stitch blanket.

It starts off as 10 stitches knitting each row, then turning a corner with short rows and continuing on going around and around.

I had some DK yarn I had bought with the intent of making slippers for my son, but decided that I didn't like the colors on it for slippers. It lived in my stash for a few months until I needed something with changing colors to make this blanket.

The blanket started out easily, going fast and corners were turned rapidly, it grew in size and then it slowed down. Each side feels like it takes forever now. But so far that is my only complaint about this blanket! I am even daring to learn to knit backwards sometimes, though my confidence in this is shaky.

The blue line is where it started.
I might have to knit some toy cars with this,
it reminds me of a little race track or game board.

I am not sure how much bigger this will get, though I did buy two more balls of yarn for it! I am hoping to finish it in time, but I have had a few things interfere.

Wound up with a migraine yesterday that has left me feeling icky all day and long into the night and now this morning all I have the brain power for is rambling on here. And all this beautiful sunshine (which may have been the cause of my headache!) has had my family rushing out into spring at top speed because WOW is it gorgeous out there. But, there is no way to knit outside with two kiddos who get into everything dangerous the moment I get out the yarn.

I did get a suggestion that I should crochet myself a sun hat, since I can not find one that fits me in the store. That project might have to take precedence to the blanket... I am sure that my friend will not mind if it is a little bit late!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Story of Liam

I figure its time to get a little personal here. I thought I would share the story of my son and how he came to be.

It starts with a little bit of my own back story.

I had moved from Salt Lake City to Portland a few months ago, ended a rather toxic relationship that never should have happened, and was single but wanting to STAY single for a while. I was all geeked about the idea of dating someone and not just jumping into a relationship.

I was living with an old friend who had once been more than a friend many years ago, though that had fizzled out long ago by now.

Back when I was seeing that person, K, he lived with a roommate named Dan. Dan had a girlfriend and was never even more than a "hey hows it going" type of friend. He bought me a drink when I graduated from college... that was about it.

Well, one afternoon K and I are out on the patio doing whatever the hell late 20's  to mid 30's adults who never really grew up do. Talking, drinking, being silly. Well, Dan showed up out of the blue and brought his laptop. We all decided that watching a movie on the back patio on a late spring evening was a GREAT idea. Dan bent over to plug in the power cord and I... I admired the view. Keep in mind, I have not seen Dan for 5 years at this point.

K gets all happy and in a rather odd way says "Oh my gosh, you are single, he is single, you should totally go out!" and its like someone just dropped a HUGE elephant in the room because now Dan and I are trying not to look at each other because obviously there is some sort of attraction there and both trying to think of a way to diffuse the situation without saying anything like "No way, I'd never do that" and putting an end to anything before it could even start.

So K cost me my sweet moments of dating, of getting to know someone, of moving slow. Because now there was nothing to do but admit that there was an attraction and without having seen each other in half a decade decide if this was something to pursue or not.

Thankfully, we decided that we should go out a few times and see if we had anything in common. A month later we were moving him into the house in an open room that needed a tenant. Two months later we took things to the next level. A month after that I felt kinda off for a couple weeks and realized I was Late.

I peed on a stick and it had two lines. But I didn't want to believe it just yet. I went to work. I stopped at a clinic after work and got a test. Yup. It was real. I was pregnant. I still love the way the lady confirmed it, sweet thing, maybe 60 or so. She comes back into the room with a basket of hand made baby booties and hats and says "Pick one out Honey!"

After getting everything straight and processing the new information in my head I needed to go tell Dan. We had been together for less than 5 months at this point. But we had found that we had a lot in common. We were a good match. He loved his family, he was devoted, funny, a good friend... he was kind and generous and gave good hugs.

I got home and sat him down and just told him. I also told him, while he was sitting there stunned that I was going to keep this baby no matter what and that he had a choice to make. One option was to run away right now. He could leave. He could give up all parental rights and obligations and leave and go about his life like these 5 months never happened. His second choice was to stay, as a friend or a boyfriend, but he could stay. The only thing though was that once he made this choice there would be no second chance to change. I was not going to have someone coming in and out of my child's life and my life and making things weird. It was all or nothing. We didn't have to get married or anything if he did stay.

He needed time to think. Of course. He left for a few hours and those were some hard hours for me. I called my mom and told her the news. She was thrilled to bits. She cried, I cried, we were happy. I took a nap and then woke up to my phone ringing. Dan had crashed his bicycle in the driveway and needed my help. I went outside, helped him to his feet. We went inside and he told me that he wanted to stay, that he wanted to be part of my life, of the babies life, but that he wanted to do it as my husband.

We got married two months later in a small quiet ceremony. We were married by Dan's mom, a wiccan priestess. We found out Liam was a boy a bit after that and spent weeks thinking about names. We moved out of the house we shared with others and into our own apartment. We decided on Liam J. finally. Liam because it was a good name that we both agreed on and J. for our grandpas. Dan had a Grandpa Jay who he loved, and I had a Grandpa J.T. who I loved. Both of our J's were gone, but they had both been good men who loved their families and lived life to the fullest. J. was a good name for a boy. Both of our families had an unofficial  tradition of naming children after grandparents, but giving them the name for a middle name. We were happy to continue this.

Liam was born at 10:06 pm on June 2nd 2010. He was delivered by Lisa Chickadonz, one of the midwives with the Providence Maternal Care Clinic in Portland Oregon. He was perfectly healthy and just wonderful to see. I will never forget seeing him for the first time.

 And that is the story of how Liam came to be. I am sure that eventually without the interference by K that Dan and I would have found our own way, but K sure sped it up and then it got put on the fast track again with a kiddo on the way. Sometimes I am still stunned to look at him and think about the time when he was nothing more than a friend and be amazed at where life has led us.