Thursday, July 31, 2008

I have one of those children

.... that only poop in the diaper! I fully intended of doing EC (elimination communication) with Gabrielle part time, but then she got sick shortly after birth, and stayed sick for many months. She was one by the time I felt I had our life put back together, so EC never happened. This winter I started letting her run around bare butted, she hated it, she hates peeing on herself, she just stands there and cries in her puddle, she gets really upset if she poops on the floor. Complete opposite of Madeline who rarely had a diaper on at home and was always naked, (Gabrielle also hates to be naked) she would always pee on the floor and just kept on going. She potty learned herself when she was 2.5y old, she literally woke up one day and that was that, never had accident, nothing. It was quite pleasant! I still secretly wished that maybe Gabrielle would like to use the potty sooner then later so this spring I bought little potties and set them out. She likes to sit on them but has never done anything on them. She is getting her last molars in and is nursing all*night*long, so much last night, that she soaked through her dipe and peed all over me at 5am. I just took off her dipe and I laid there a while pretending I wasn't really awake and she nursed. Eventually we got up, I didn't put a dipe on her, and she was throughly upset over it. Patting her butt, and crying until I finally put one on, and she promptly pooped in it 30 seconds later. 2 hours later she did the exact thing, I was trying to let her run around naked, nope had to have a dipe to poop in. Sigh, I think I need to let go of my wish that she might like to use the potty sometime this year. 

A conversation between the girls this morning:

Madeline: You're a meanie Gabrielle!

Gabrielle: nee nee! (our word for nursing that she just mastered this week)

Madeline: meanie!

Gabrielle: nee nee!

And you can see where this is going, they stood there yelling at each other for a good 2 minutes. It was quite amusing, though Madeline did not think so.

more on evaluations

We moved up Madeline's evaluation to the very beginning of September. Ryan is freaking out about the cost of everything, I don't blame him, but she needs OT and insurance won't pay so what else are you doing to do. The cost of the evaluation is 1K, and the therapy  works out to about 5200.00 so far. Housing comes in at 3K for 33 days. We are renting a townhouse 2 miles from the center, it was only slightly cheaper then staying in an extended stay hotel with a medical discount. We'll have to stay in a hotel for the evaluation so that's another 4-5 nights up there. I have no idea how I'm going to get up there and back with two children twice by myself. Flying Ryan up and back to help with the drives isn't cost feasible. He might end up renting a car 4 times just for a day for the drives back and forth. It would be so much easier if my children traveled well by car but they don't, any drive longer then an hour is not pleasant. Heck, I haven't driven farther then 30 minutes by myself in 5.5 years just because of this! He will come with us for the evaluation. We have it scheduled for right when the Democratic convention ends so that we can find a hotel room and Ryan doesn't miss that much work, 3 days. 

Even though moving the dates for the eval is costing is more since it's another trip up to Denver, I think it's worth it. Otherwise we have no idea what to expect until we arrive at the end of Oct. At least this way we get to see the center, meet the therapists, get more of an idea of what is going to happen, and maybe get some answers almost 2 months before the start of therapy. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

what's for dinner

Dinner is something I have struggled with since becoming pregnant with Gabrielle. I didn't have severe morning sickness, but nothing sounded good and I knew if I even smelled anything that I would be sick.  So I didn't cook! Then we remodeled a house, Gabrielle was born, and was ill.... For a few weeks here and there I have been on top of things, planned ahead, and made dinner most nights but it has never lasted long. I really want to change that!

For several months now I've been working on buying mostly what's on sale at the grocery store. Every week I sit down with the sales page and create my grocery list. I'm starting to learn the rotation of the store I shop at, I knew that every so many weeks certain things come on sale. I'm getting decent at buying enough of that item until it comes on sale again. What I'm not good at is creating meals off of those items for the week. I end up with all sorts of food but no idea what to do with it, so I end up piecing meals together, when I bother to cook at all that is. 

My plan is to plan out all my meals when I write out my list so I know exactly what to get and what I'm going to cook for the week. Another major issue is that after 8 years of cooking many of the same recipes over and over again, I'm tired of them, so I need new ones, quick and easy ones at that. I'm hoping to use my crockpot a lot more, or find meals that I can prepare ahead and then quickly cook up. Once activities start in September, we have 3 nights a week where I don't get home until everyone is hungry and tired. Now off to find a recipe for chicken in the crockpot for tomorrow's dinner....

Monday, July 28, 2008

I have been incarcerated in a blueberry

This is my new favorite line. I love Psych, if you haven't watched it before, do. 

Some updates on Madeline. Through my neighbor who turns out to be retired from OT, I got in touch with a therapist in the area that works with SPD children. She will not take us as clients since she primary works in a neighboring school district but she will help me set up a home program for Madeline to do myself. We would still go to Denver this would just be something to do before we go. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

we are home

We survived the trip to Maine, barely. Madeline had a blast there, she swam and played to her heart's content. Me.... not so much. We ended up spending the last night in a hotel because we couldn't get a flight out that day. Which was quite a feat considering there was a large concert in Portland that night, we called 6 hotels before finding one that had a room. Course I had to pay big bucks to get it. I should offer a round of applause to the Regency in Portland. They not only allowed me to check in at 10:30 in the am, were extremely helpful in many different ways and took me to the airport the next day.

Thursday arrived. I should of known it was going to be a bad day, it's not like the last few days before that had been great either, but I had high hopes, after all we were going to be on our way home. The girls and I walked around downtown in search of breakfast, and got drenched by a rainstorm. It was insane, it was like the skies just opened up. It was raining so hard that I couldn't even see to walk, no umbrella of course. After it slowed to a drizzle, I had to search out a store to buy new sweaters and jackets at, we were that wet and the girls were crying they were freezing. Lucky for me there was a LL Bean outlet near by! I think that was my only good luck of the entire day. We raced back to the hotel to catch our ride to the airport. We arrived at the airport almost 2.5 hours before our flight, beggars can't be choosers and that is what time the shuttle was for.

An hour before our plan was to depart, I learned that the flight was delayed until 4pm. I waited in line for 1.5 hours with two very unhappy children before learning I would miss all connecting flights to Denver from Cincinnati that evening. And my brood increased from 2 children to 3. I gained responsibility of a 13 year old who was traveling alone from Portland to Denver. The airlines refused to allow her on the flight when it finally arrived because we knew we couldn't make it to Denver that night, and they couldn't/didn't want responsibility of her overnight. She actually turned out to be a huge help, I truly don't know how I would of done it without her. I also had to give up Gabrielle's seat that I had paid for because of overcrowding on the plane. Finally at 5pm we got to leave Portland, we arrived in Cincinnati at 7pm. Waited in line to see if I was going to be able to get my last flight home on Friday, the airlines were still unable to confirm that I could get any further then Denver. Home is another 400 miles and one more flight from Denver. Because I had 3 children, and the last hour of flight delay was due to a crew issue, I received meal and hotel vouchers. Next though came lost luggage.... We finally were able to leave the airport by 9:45pm, the girls didn't get to bed until 10:30pm. I had to wake them up at 6am to head back to the airport.

Friday. Still no word if I could get any farther then Denver. My last flight was to be through United, and Delta (who I was traveling the first two flights with) could not confirm it. They thought there were seats left on one flight, but didn't know for sure. We made it to Denver, said goodbye to the 13 year old, and headed across the airport to United were I finally got a confirmation. We had 2 seats on a flight 4.5 hours later! Once again having to give up Gabrielle's seat so that we could get on the plane, but I didn't care anymore as long as we got home.

We are still all recovering from the trip. And I think it will be a very long time before I even consider another vacation. Although, one good thing came out of this. Ryan swears that next time I want to go somewhere, he will come with!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


K, so I was mistaken. Those pics of Madeline would of been closer to 2.5, here is one at 18 months. 

old Madeline pics

The bottom two pics are of Madeline around 18 months to 2 years. The top one is off Gabrielle. They each have their own look, but I see a lot of Madeline in Gabrielle. You?

Friday, July 11, 2008

from one extreme to the other

Gabrielle has always loved to make messes, look below. That happened in 5 minutes while on a LLL call. Now look at what she has been doing! Cleaning! And one cute pic of her in Dobbie's crate.

Cute Pic

This is Gabrielle's new fav thing to do. She runs into the laundry room where I keep the learning tower and stands there screaming until I drag it out. 

on being a volunteer

I just finished making signs for my LLL yard sale tomorrow, my second of the year. Being a LLL leader is not easy, especially in my area. I am a lone leader which means it is just me. In fact, I am the only LLL leader for at least 200 miles in any direction. I get calls from Utah, Arizona,  New Mexico, and from a large area in Colorado. Weeks might go by without a call, other times I had had several a day for a period, this week I have had 4. I hold one meeting a month. A couple years ago I was doing two a month because my meetings were so large 16-18 moms at each one! This last year I have struggled with low attendance but it might be picking up again. This last Monday I had 11 moms attend, 6 of which had never come before. 

I try to do one fundraiser a year, the last two years it has been garage sales. My first one this year only made $120.00, that is barely enough to cover my fees to LLL! Yes, I have to pay to volunteer. I pay to be a leader, the group pays fees to LLLI, and then I have to pay group fees to the state LLL. As I non-profit I have to file taxes yearly, keep records, etc... All of this I do all by myself. This type of volunteer work has proven to be very time consuming, between preparing for meeting, setting up, making snack, bringing the lending library, advertising the meeting, handling the phone calls, keeping records, community outreach, making flyers, faxing them to places in town, etc... It feels like a job at times! I've been a leader for 3.5 years now. I do enjoy it, it is rewarding, and I'm good at it. Eventually I will sit for the IBCLC exam. I keep my RN license current, and every year I am a LLL leader I get credit for 500 hours of doing breastfeeding support.  I need 3500 to sit for the exam so I still have a while to go!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Therapy dates

They suck. Really, really suck. The first day is October 29 so we'll be spending Halloween in Denver. It's one of my favorite holiday and Madeline loves trick or treating in our little subdivision and I enjoy handing out candy. That session goes to November 14th, with 4 parent only meetings sprinkles in there. We have a break, and then return December 8th through the 18th, with 2 parent only meetings in there. This is my favorite part, the therapy is a different time every single day, the times range from 9am to 4pm, on some days she will have therapy at 11 then I have a parent only meeting at 1pm. Of course all the Saturday sessions are late in the day so if Ryan comes up, it limits what we can do. 

This just blows our entire holiday season right out of the water. I always host Thanksgiving, I love to. I spent weeks preparing for the dinner, I *could* still do it, but I'll be rushed trying to find everything. The very last day December 18, I have a parent meeting at 4pm so we wouldn't even be able to drive home until the 19th. I love X-Mas, I go all out decorating, Ryan hangs lights, we have a huge Lionel train table now that we wanted to set up. 

I have no idea how I am going to handle to parent only meetings. Some are at the end of the week so Ryan could come up early, others are in the middle of the week, they are sprinkled close enough together during the first session that it's going to be hard (almost impossible) to pull off with just Ryan's help. I might have to ask my mom to come up to help a couple times, Ican't imagine that she will be overjoyed to do this....

Monday, July 7, 2008


Today feels like a typical Monday. It's not even 3:30 and I've been drained for hours. I had a intake call with the Star Center in Denver this am. It went well, they are going to do another evaluation, we'll talk more about it once we get there, which I'm pleased about. We are looking at about 4 weeks up there. Two and a half weeks, then a 3-4 week break, and then back for another 1.5 weeks. This is just therapy time so I'm sure we'll have more time up there since we don't want to travel across the state and then start OT the next day! There is a townhouse that a woman at the center rents to out of town families for $85.00 a night, I'm hoping we'll be able to get it or else it will living in a hotel for all that time. 

Did I mention we were replacing the floors in our house? Right now. Yeah, it's been fun. Ryan is actually doing a great job considering that he has no idea what he is doing!  I am also putting together a garage sale for my LLL group this weekend. I leave for Maine next Tuesday, a vacations sounds perfect right now!