Mommy's Juice!: September 2012   

Friday, September 28, 2012

One Sip at a Time

It's been awhile since I continued the story of Trey's birth and gastroschisis surgery and recovery.   So today I'll pick up where I left off.  For the full story please visit On A Serious Note by clicking here.

After hearing the bad news on Christmas about Trey's setbacks, I had my mom and Jackson (then 2 and a half) in the car first thing the following morning for the three and half hour trek back to the hospital in Denver.  With not knowing how long Trey would be in the hospital we had decided it made more sense for Travis to stay at home and work.  If there were any emergencies I knew all I had to do was call and he'd be there as fast as possible.

We had also decided that for financial reasons we would be staying at the Ronald McDonald House, located just a short walk from the hospital.  I had visited the House earlier, knowing we would be spending time in Denver, and was floored by what an amazing facility it was.

But before going to check-in at RMH, my first priority was to get to the hospital and see my baby boy.  I left mom and Jackson in the lobby when we got there.  Jackson was below the age to visit in NICU and I wanted a moment alone with Trey before having mom come in.

As I mentioned earlier, when we had left on Christmas Eve, just two days prior, Trey was doing amazingly well.  All of the doctors commented on how fast he was recovering.  Seeing him two days later was like seeing an entirely different baby.  They had him set up with the lights for the jaundice and had put a tube down his throat to help collect the green and black substance that was coming from his stomach due to his rejection of the milk.  He looked TERRIBLE.

I just sat and held his little thumb and cried and cried.  The guilt from having left for less than two days was killing me. Although I knew spending Christmas morning with Jackson was the right thing to do and had I stayed at the hospital it would have made no difference in Trey's condition, I still felt terrible.  I kept explaining to the nurse that I was normally not this emotional.  I simply could not stop crying!

When I returned to the lobby my mom was jumping at her chance to go meet her new grandson, but I just couldn't let her.  What I had seen brought me to my knees, I couldn't let this be her first look.  As disappointed as she was, she understood, and we left to check-in at RMH.

As I've mentioned before, there simply aren't enough positive things I can say about the Ronald McDonald House.  From the moment we checked-in I felt so much support from both the staff and the other parents staying there.  The facility itself was amazing, with playgrounds both in and outside for Jackson, full kitchens stocked with all the necessities, comfortable rooms, free laundry, libraries, computer room, games, movies, you name it.  Then there are the volunteers.  So many people give so much time and they couldn't be more appreciated.  During my stay nearly every dinner (and some breakfast's and lunch's too) were provided by volunteers.  Families, businesses, community organizations, they truly made our stay feel like a home away from home.  My mom, having been skeptical about staying there, was completely blown away.  Upon leaving she bought some toys to leave at the House and continually sends donations.

While in NICU I had certain visiting times where I could change Trey's diaper and take his temperature.  I realize that doesn't sound like much, but I so cherished those moments as they were all I had.  They took place every four hours and I found myself creating a little schedule around them.  Get up, pump, go to hospital, eat breakfast with mom & Jackson, pump, play with Jackson, go to hospital, pump, eat lunch, nap with Jackson, pump, go to hospital... and so on.  I was trying so hard to show Jackson as much attention as I could.  We went to the zoo one day, another perk from RMH, all guests get free entrance into the Denver Zoo.  Another perk was the gift of four Club Seats for a Denver Broncos game, which someone had donated to the House for guests.  Travis came down and he, my mom and I, took Jackson to his first game.  It was a real blessing to have such a special day during such a stressful time.

I'll be forever grateful to my mom for her help during this time.  I couldn't have done it all without her.

As the week went on Trey began to improve and I was finally able to feed him.  Well I guess you could call it that.  We would take some of the milk I had pumped and put it in a syringe, we'd feed him the tiniest amount you can imagine, starting at 1cc, then sit and wait for four hours to see how it affected his stomach.  During the wait, if Trey wasn't sleeping, he was screaming his head off!  He was starving, but there was nothing we could do.  We had to make sure his stomach would accept the offerings.  If it did, then four hours later we'd add another 1-2 cc's.  If you don't know what a cc is, think of it as a sip of water.  That was literally about all he was getting at a time.

The goal was 16 cc's.  When he was finally able to take that amount down we would start trying to breastfeed.  This was a torturous process.  We'd get to 4 then have to go back to 1.  We'd get to 10 then have to go back to 5.  We'd get to 12 and have to go back to 7.  This poor baby was starving and I couldn't help him.

Today, at 21 months old, Trey eats more than any child I've ever seen.  He simply can't get enough.  And when you feed him, he stuffs as much in his mouth as he can at once.  I am convinced this is based on those early weeks, when he couldn't get what he wanted.  Maybe that's why I let him stuff his face today.  I'm just so damn happy to see the kid eat!

More to come.....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When Girls Out Became Girls Night In

For weeks I had been looking forward to this girls weekend.  One of my best friends Mallory, who moved to Florida last spring was coming to town, kid free!  Not only did I have a hall pass from the hubby, but somehow I also convinced him to watch my friend Shelly's daughter on Saturday night so she could come out with us.  I had all of my hangover cures lined-up and ready.  Look out nightlife, mom's are on the loose!

After multiple texts on Friday while I was at work it was determined that Mallory's plane had indeed landed and it was time to meet her at the bar.  Off to Happy Hour we go!  We spent a beautiful evening sitting outside, drinking cocktails and of course catching up on what our kids were up too.  How do they like the new schools in Florida?  What was the birthday party like?  Are they making new friends?  I don't think the conversation turned from our children for more than ten minutes and that time was spent bitching about our husbands, as true best friends always do.

As it got later and things started to kick into gear with some of our child-free friends that had arrived, I started to notice my yawns, my full tummy, my slurring of words.  Then I remembered my husband had a meeting at 9 the next morning and I was going to have to watch the kids for a few hours.  Suddenly, no hangover cure in the world sounded sufficient enough and I found myself on the 9:15pm bus home.  9:15!!!!  This people, is an embarrassment.

Knowing I had let myself down on Friday, I was determined to make up for it on Saturday night.  Although there was a little headache in the back of my head that was trying to tell me otherwise.  Our plan was to have dinner at my house then hop on the bus up to the bars.  Mallory arrived in way worse shape than I was as she had stayed out in the land of the kid-free and had herself a good ole time.  Shelly showed up next ready to go crazy with her free babysitter lined-up and a clear head going in.

We started with a bottle of wine and dinner, over which Mallory and I filled Shelly in on what she had missed Friday.  Upon hearing I had made a 9:15 exit Shelly proceeded to heckle me with lines like: "what happened to you!" and "when did you become such a lightweight?"  From here I fast forward two hours.  I fast forward to Shelly on my front porch, never having left the house, never hitting a single bar, never using her free babysitter, just falling asleep quietly in the corner hoping that no one is looking.

Yes, it is official, we are old!  We are old mothers who we can't stand spending a single moment hungover with.  We are old mothers who could care less about going out to a bar because a bar costs money and we spend all of ours on diapers and juice boxes.  We are old mothers who no longer talk about how cute the bartender is because we are too busy talking about how cute our kids are.  We are old mothers who are happier spending time together with our families instead of ourselves.  We are old mothers who can laugh just as hard at home with a glass of wine as we can on any dance floor on ladies night.  We are old mothers, best friends, and lovers of girls night in!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Like Racing?

As I've mentioned frequently in this blog, I often get a lot of grief from my husband on my Southern roots.  Having not grown up in the South, he doesn't understand or appreciate some of the idiosyncrasies' of the Southern people.  Particularly the Southern people with missing teeth.

So you can imagine my joy when we arrived at our beach house for vacation last week and were greeted on the sand by our neighbor, who just happened to be missing two front teeth!  Beer and cigarette in hand, he introduced himself to us as, "Kid."  Kid was out fishing with his buddy, who happened to have the biggest beer belly I've ever seen and absolutely no fear of showing it off, and his wife who was, shall I say, not small.  Kid also had a kid!  His son was four like our son Jackson and the two immediately started playing together, no introduction necessary, leaving Travis, Kid and I time to get to know each other.

Ten minutes into "fishing" talk I had pretty much had it and pulled Jackson away from the bucket of fish he was picking up to go inside.  An hour later I sat in the house wondering where in the hell Travis could be.  I was shocked when I looked out the window and saw him still out on the beach drinking a beer with Kid.  Was he warming up to Southern characters or was he just avoiding me and the kids after a horrific travel day?

Half an hour later he rolls in and I wait for the insults to start rolling off his tongue.  What I got shocked me!  Not only had he enjoyed his time talking with Kid, he actually found Kid to be very intelligent and was looking forward to going out shark fishing with him later that night.  I couldn't believe my ears.  Was he really befriending a Southern Redneck.  "Yeah, I really liked him," he says, "I think it's my camouflage hat, it helps me fit in anywhere."  At this point I had to know what they were out there talking about all that time and as I should have guessed: fishing and NASCAR.  Travis, not being a big NASCAR fan said he was a bit taken aback when in the middle of discussing the difference in fly fishing and ocean fishing Kid pops up with the question, "You like racing?"  But I explained it to him, "that's when he realized he liked you honey, but before taking the friendship any further he needed to know what team you were with."  Welcome to the South Baby!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To Ruin Your Sister's Vacation

I'm happy to report that I haven't posted lately because I have been on VACATION!!  My job is at its busiest during the summer months, wrapping up with a huge event over Labor Day weekend.  As soon as that is in the record books I hightail it out of town for a bit, this year to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week vacation on the beach with the kids, hubby, my parents and my sister and her husband.

Did I mention my sister doesn't have kids nor does she want any???   I've never really understood this, but also haven't pried, as the decision to have children is certainly a personal one.  But I do wonder, with a husband who is a teacher and a Cuban Catholic, you'd think they would have an entire tribe of youngins', but again, not my business.

This was her first time meeting our youngest son Trey and only the second time she has met Jackson.  Living on opposite sides of the country can cause issues like this!  Leading into the trip I really did try my best to warn her.  I sent casual emails and texts with lines like: "Hope you are resting up!" and "Enjoy the quiet while you have it!"  Each of these she would respond to along the lines of: "I don't know what you are talking about, I'm about to go on vacation."

For people without children apparently a week at the beach means "relaxation."  That is when those people without children aren't going with their sister and her two demon boys.  My sister realized this on morning #1 when she was awoken with a full-on orchestra of screams from Trey demanding an additional waffle.  This of course was followed by more screaming as the two toddlers chased my mother's chihuahua around the house yelling his name over and over, "Cuervo, Cuervo, Cuervo!"

Awake and angry she immediately hits the beach for reading and napping.  Or at least that's what she thinks! My monsters had another idea in mind.  Right on her toes they follow to the sand which they then begin digging and throwing in her direction.

Her nights of enjoying a cocktail while watching the sunset were interrupted by the constant screams of "AUNT HEA--THER" demanding she play a game.  Her dreams of spending quality time with her husband were destroyed as he was in high-demand for hide and seek and castle building.

By the time our week had ended Aunt Heather was more than happy to pack her bags and head back to her peaceful child-free home, thousands and thousands of miles from her precious nephews.  Her last words before we left: "next year we're getting separate condos!"

We love you Aunt Heather!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Burly Husband: The Household Bitch

My loving husband Travis is definitely a "man."  He's worked in construction, he drinks Budweiser on a daily basis and usually by 7pm at night he smells so bad you don't want to be near him. And yet somehow he still manages to be the "woman" of the household.  Stereotypes which normally are saved for the woman of a household seem to fit this man perfectly, and I thoroughly enjoy pointing this out to him as frequently as possible.  Here I give just a few examples of why my husband is a "bitch" and my response to his bitchy behavior:

Example #1:
All men seem to complain about how long it takes their "women" to get ready to go anywhere. At our house the kids and I are in the car, buckled in, and waiting for Daddy every single time we go out.  When His Highness finally appears I am more than happy to greet him with:

"Forget your tampons?"
"Did you need to apply a fresh layer of lipstick before leaving?"
"Really, you're wearing that?  I think your pink mini-skirt would look much better."

Example #2:
The annoyance normally reserved for women when men do stupid things like leaving the toilet seat up, in our house falls upon my husband when I overlook things as simple as pushing the trash down as far in the can as I can to avoid having to empty it, or spit out my toothpaste and not rinse out the entire sink.  And here are a sample of responses he receives when pointing these annoyances out to me:

"Don't get your panties in such a bunch!"
"Somebody must have their period."
"Thanks for the reminder Betty Crocker."

Example #3:
This man can talk on the phone to his fishing buddies for HOURS at a time.  Just yapping away like a teenage girl with her besties.  For these instances I use the following:

"Can you please tell your girlfriend you'll call her back?"
"Should I leave the room for this?"
"Are you guys planning your next fishing trip to Brokeback Mountain?"