Friday, April 30, 2010

Oh The Horror

Today was Parker's 12 month check up. (Almost a month late, but better late than never.) I can't say that I ever look forward to a check up when I know there is going to be shots, but I handle it better than I used to. His first shots I cried harder than he did, and I didn't stop crying for a long time! But when Michael left I had to do it on my own several times, and while I still get teary now, I'm a tougher Mama. Still, it's a new set of shots at 12 months, and I am severely allergic to the MMR (which is one he was getting) so I was a little more nervous than usual.

My son is scared of stethoscopes. He was frightened of them when we had to go to the UCC last month and today he started screaming the moment he saw the doctor take it out. I felt terrible for him, but was also trying not to laugh. Really son? You'll jump head first off the couch, you'll climb up stairs as fast as physically possible with no care for if someone is there to catch you, but you are scared of stethoscopes? Ah well. Some people refer to planes as metal tubes of death. 

He's growing wonderfully, though it's slowed down quite a bit. He's lost 2lbs since last month and a half a pound since his birthday, but the doctor said that is normal since he is running now. It should even back out soon. He's 30 inches tall and his head, which had been of some concern at his 6 month check up, was fine.

Poor little man had to get 2 shots in each leg! I felt terrible. Your every instinct as a mother is to protect your children from what can hurt them. It goes against your gut to hold your child down while some stranger jabs them in the leg with sharp, painful objects! I'd rather those few moments of pain than years of pain or disfigurement or death from a disease he could have easily been immunized against I held him and then afterwords gave him lots of cuddles and kisses.

The minute the nurse left the room he grabbed his pants and jacket and thrust them at me saying "Go! Go! Go!" which made me laugh, though I was a little misty. We couldn't "Go! Go! Go!" though. I still had to take him down to the lab to get a blood draw. Not only were they doing the usual blood draw for 12 months but they had to do a draw to test for lead because our house was built in the 40s. Really? I live in housing so old that they need to test my child for lead content? That freaked me out more than a little, and I am thinking that we will talk with housing about moving to the newer houses when we get home from our vacation. I was going to wait until we had another one on the way to move, but I'm pretty freaked out.

Apparently they felt the need to have someone in training take my child's blood. I know that the only way to learn is by doing, but the afore mentioned instinct to protect your child from pain doesn't allow for error when someone is sticking your baby with needles. One guy is holding his arm down, I am holding him as tight as I can to keep him from jerking away, and this other guy is poking into his arm with a needle, wiggling it around, tapping on his arm and then pulling it out to try again! I was furious, which kept me from crying, and the man holding Parker's arm finally took over to get the blood they needed. Much snuggling, and a strawberry Dum Dum, followed. (Never leave home without them!) 

I'm glad it's over with! I am not looking forward to next time, but that is in the far future and not something I have to think about right now! Right now we have some more important Parker milestones to concentrate on...his first plane ride and trip to Ohio!!! 

God bless and thank you for reading!


Monday, April 26, 2010

U is For...


I don't blog enough! It's funny, because I find it so therapeutic. I can't tell you how many times in a day I find myself mentally writing blogs that I never end up actually putting down. I guess part of it could be that I am worried that no one wants to hear what I have to say. That in its self is odd, since I've never really cared before...

Of course, it could also be the lack of time I find myself with. Usually my "Mental Blogs" get written as I'm changing a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer or cleaning baby poop off of whatever surface it has managed to make its way onto or falling asleep after another long day. I wish that I could wear some hat that would transmit my thoughts directly into the blog. There would be a lot more to read.

A lot is going on right now, thought not much of much interest to anyone but us. We (and by we I mean I) have been doing a ton of laundry in preparation for our big trip next week! I can not believe that at this time next week we will be in Ohio! I am so excited to see our friends and family! I am petrified of the plane trip that will come first, but I am putting my prayers in with the Big Guy that we all make it through unharmed. I know already that we won't have enough time! No matter how much we plan and how much time we get to spend with everybody it won't be enough! The thought of going home already brings tears to my eyes...but I am going to try not to think about that too much, especially since our trip hasn't even started.

Parker is learning something new every day it seems. Tonight he turned the light in his bedroom on and off all by himself when it was bed time. If I say "Let's go potty!" he will walk right into the bathroom and lift up is potty seat lid! He knows where to go when we say it's bed time or bath time. He is just so smart and such an amazing little blessing! He makes my cry daily, but not in a bad way. Every time he learns something new or does something sweet (like his out-of-the-blue Mommy kisses!) my eyes tear up. I thought my hormones were supposed to be back to normal by now...or at least, normal for me.

We have successfully weaned. I remember wondering a little over a year ago how breast feeding was going to go. It seemed like such an odd thing to me. From those first minutes together though I had loved it, and weaning him has broken my heart. Michael spent the first few nights holding me and convincing me I wasn't a terrible mother and that Parker would still want to snuggle with me even when I wasn't breastfeeding him. There was a lot of will power used not to have him nurse just one more time...but I got through it. Parker took the transition wonderfully and doesn't seem to miss it at all. I miss it, but it was necessary, and being able to breast feed for a year when I didn't know if I would be able to make is 6 weeks was amazing

I would have probably done it longer...but in order for them to test my prolactin levels to see what my normal base line is (which is much higher than most people) I have to be done feeding even though I will still lactate until they have me back on my medication. Once back on my meds my cycles will start going back to normal and my levels will inch down which will enable us to start thinking about doing it all over again! (Not saying that we haven't thought about it already, but it's not possible until I'm back on my medications.) I am not looking forward to it. I am not looking forward to the blood work (there is a lot of it) or the MRI (they make me claustrophobic) or the medication. (which makes me sick as a dog when I take it...worse than any morning sickness, flu, stomach virus...) But, it is what we need to do for our family...not just for future babies, but so I can be as healthy as I can for my son and I'll do it and somehow get through it!

All that will have to wait until we are home from our vacation though, and then the battle will start with trying to get a referral to a competent endocrinologist...which I am not sure exists in Idaho. We shall see, and I will be sure to keep the updates coming.

Parker's one year check up is on Friday, which means shots again. (yuck!) Michael will be working and unable to be there, but I got pretty good at doing it alone while he was gone. I'm a little worried about the MMR, which I had a severe allergic reaction to, but I am going to talk to the doctor about that and see what he thinks. We shall see.

God bless and thank you for reading! 


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bubba's Birthday Parties: A Visual Journey

Bubba Bear's birthday was on April, 13th! I can't believe that our baby is one! It all happened so fast! 

Bubba is getting three parties for his big O-N-E! We had a get together on Tuesday, his actual birthday, at our house. We had "framily" there to share the special day with us. Mommy made a cake and cupcakes and we did presents from Mommy and Daddy. (Which ended up being an all day thing...We probably had about 4 or 5 gift sessions because he kept getting bored.)

He had a big party on Saturday the 17th with a bunch of friends and "framily". We did an Eric Carle theme, which was so much fun! There were kids everywhere, toys, bar-b-q...It was fun, but I am so glad that I don't have to worry about that for another year! I made another cake for that party, and I hope I never have to ice another cupcake! 

He will get a third party when we go home to Ohio next month with our friends and family there. It will be a jungle theme, but I don't have to worry as much about that. My Mother and Grandmother are doing a lot of that party stuff, and Grandmama is making the cake, which makes me so happy! I am thrilled that Parker gets a Grandmama Cake! (They are the thing of legend in our family.)

Of course, I took a billion pictures. (I'm not exaggerating either.) Here are just a few for your enjoyment!
This was the cake for his Tuesday party. It was devil's food with home made chocolate and butter cream icing. The nose and foot pads were made out of chocolate chips. I loved his blue eyes! I figure with as beautiful as his eyes are, Bubba's cake had to have blue eyes too.

These were the cupcakes I made for everyone else at his first party. The bears are silicone cupcake holders that I found at Michael's. I love them!

Bubba's Tod Rod...the coolest present EVER! It's a Power Wheel for younger children.

Bubba got lots of books! We love books!

We do our own "professional" photos for all the big events and milestones. 

We had the Eric Carle theme for his Idaho Party. I found this cake idea at Coco Cake Cupcakes and thought it was just adorable! I didn't use fondant for the head. I don't really like it and I felt icing gave off more of an Eric Carle feel anyways...but I thought it was an amazing idea and was happy to get to do it. 

I used sprinkles for the little "hairs".

We used the Eric Carle theme throughout the entire party.


It was a great couple of days! I can't believe he's one! It's been an amazing ride so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest of it!

God bless and thank you for reading. (And looking.)


Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Been A Long Time Coming...


I am so excited to finally be typing this!!!

Two and a half years ago, exhausted both emotionally and physically, Michael and I packed the car up with the "kids" (which, at that time, consisted of only our three furry children) and left Ohio! We were on our way to adventure and excitement in Idaho...OK, not so much. But "Home is Where the Air Force Sends You", and they sent us to Idaho. So, you make the best of it. (And pray for orders!)

We haven't been home since that cold December morning. I haven't even left the state in the last 2 and a half years, and while Michael has left, neither trip was exactly a vacation. (Once was for his grandfather's funeral and the other was for his deployment.) Members of my family have come out twice, but there is still much of my family that has never met Parker. None of Michael's family has. We haven't seen our oldest niece in over 2 years, and we've never even met our youngest niece yet. It's hard, but it is also the military life, and we have to take the good with the bad. (And there is good, believe it or not.)

But now I can finally say it!!! WE'RE GOING HOME!!! Not for good or anything, but for almost 3 weeks in May! Michael got his leave approved today and I booked the tickets right away! he specifically didn't take leave after coming home from his deployment so that he would be able to ask for longer leave this Spring. We've wanted to go home for so long, and didn't know if we'd be able to make it this year. Michael is testing for Rank and there is a lot going on in the shop this Summer...we just weren't sure it was going to happen. The tickets are bought now though, so short of some emergency, we're going!!!

Before moving, I had never gone for more than a month without seeing my grandparents, now it has been 2 and a half years. I never imagined a time when I would go a year without going to the movies with my sister or that I wouldn't be the one taking my brother out when he turned 21 last winter. It's just so different. Like I said, it is the life, and we take the good with the bad, but I can hope for a day when we are stationed closer to home. I want to see the world and experience other countries and cultures, but while the children are little I would love for them to be closer to their family.

I can always dream, right?

Right now I'll take what I can get, and what I can get is a vacation home with my two favorite guys to see our amazing family and friends and framily!!! I am so excited!!!

God bless and thank you for reading!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today...


One year ago today I met the second man to steal my heart. The second love of my life. One year ago today my son, Michael Parker-Maxwin (Parker) was born!

Happy birthday my sweetest boy! I am such a blessed Mommy!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Up On My Soapbox: RSVPs


Yay, my first Soapbox Blog!!! And Lord knows, I need this chance to vent.

No one ever told me how stressful it is to plan your child's birthday party. As a parent, you want it to be perfect, even more so when it is the first time you've ever done this!!! You have to plan games and music and location! You have to plan for tables and chairs, food, and goodie bags for the kids...and all those things cost money!!! You don't want to spend more than you need to, but you certainly want to make sure that you have enough seating, food and chairs for everyone attending.

RSVP means "Répondez s'il vous plaît", which is a French term meaning "Please Answer". Apparently, it is also too polite for most people. Next year I am putting "Tell me if you're coming or you're shit out of luck!" on all Parker's invitations and will let people get offended if they wish. It takes all of five seconds to type out an e-mail saying that you'll be there or not. Put it in a Facebook message for all I care, but let me know! Now here I am, 9 days until Parker's party and I still have a bunch of people who haven't bothered to tell me either way. All together there are nine children who I don't know if they will be at my son's party or not.

For the life of me, I don't care either way. I would like for our friends to all be there, but if they can't come I'm not going to be offended. What does offend me is that there are nine children and their parents that I have no answer for. That's a whole lot of people that I don't know if I need tables, chairs, food and goodie bags for! What am I supposed to do? Spend the money on food and goodies for the goodie bags on the off hope that people will bother to show up? And if I don't account for all those extra bodies and they end up showing up and have no where to sit, nothing to eat and no goodie bags for their children I'll be the "bitch". They won't tell their kids "It's Mommy and Daddy's fault that you don't have toys like the other kids." because no one takes responsibility for their own actions (or lack there of) anymore. Instead they will tell their kids "That Ms. Holly is so mean! We won't go to Parker's party next year."

Well...screw you. If you can't have the decency of an adult (which is what I thought I was dealing with) to RSVP yes or no by the date I gave, (which was more than enough time) then it is in fact your fault if your child doesn't have a goodie bag at a party. It is your fault if there isn't enough cake or food for your child. It is your fault because you didn't do what you were supposed to do.

I have no intention of spending a bunch of extra money for people who aren't coming. I even have a friend who told me she might be able to come, but isn't sure yet. That is acceptable, because at least I know! The general rudeness of people these days astounds me. I have never seen what is so hard about sending out thank you cards, returning phone calls, or responding to RSVPs...but I could go off on another two or three rants about such things as thank you cards...I just can't believe that this is so hard for people!

It's not just for Parker's party either. Apparently this is a problem that most mothers have when planning their children's parties. Well, it is not going to become a theme with my children. People can RSVP or they can just not bother coming for all I care, but I'm not going to waste my money on people who are to inconsiderate to send off a one liner in an e-mail.

Thank you for reading.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mommy Diet


I heard somewhere, and I can't for the life of me remember where now, of a mother doing a unique diet. Her rule was very simple...if she wouldn't let her children eat it, she didn't eat it either.

It sounds simple. After all, that is common sense, right? But really think about it. Think about all the things that we might snack on during the day that if our children asked we'd tell them no. Surely if your 3 year old asked for a handful of M&Ms an hour before dinner, we'd say no...but we might snack on that same handful while preparing a simple, healthy dinner. How many times have you ordered them the kids meal with apple slices and milk while you still munch on the fries and pop that comes with your value meal? As grown ups, there are a lot of things we eat and drink throughout the day that we would nix immediately if our children asked for the same thing.

On the reverse of that, how many times have you been so worried about making sure that they get three healthy, square meals a day and then skipped lunch or dinner yourself? 

Now, obviously there are exceptions. A mother with an infant can't be expected to live off of breast milk or formula! A grown adult isn't going to find much satisfaction in a jar of baby food. Still, common sense can be used to say to yourself, "You know, when Junior is 5 if he wanted 3 Oreos and a bowl of Frosted Flakes for lunch, I'd say no." 

I've decided that I'm going to do this as my new Mommy Diet. I have enough working against me to keep healthy with my thyroid and my tumor, I don't need to be adding to it with anything, even something as simple as an extra handful of M&Ms. I've made the commitment to work out every day and only eat things I would say yes to if Parker was asking. (The exception to this will probably be's like crack to me! But I limit myself to one when I have one.) I also have to get back to the doctor and on my tumor medication...which will make me sick as a dog, but I need it to be as healthy a me as I can be! That and my thyroid are in the hands of God though. What I choose to put into my body are in mine. 

God bless, and thank you for reading!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

T-Minus Seven Days...


In seven days, my baby will turn one!

I can not begin to express how quickly this year has gone by for us. It has been a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, ups and downs, the best and hardest times of my life. Even with the evil deployment though, most of it was good. After all, without the bad times you never can truly appreciate how good the good times are. Besides, now I know that I am strong enough to make it through that, and strong enough to continue being a Mommy even when I want to curl up in my bed and just cry for days. (BTW: Never could have got through those months without my dear friends here in Idaho! With my family so far away, and not believing that it is healthy to just run home every deployment, it was so nice to have my framily here to help me get through the hard times! Icy, Justin, Shanisha, Lynn, Ivy...Never could have done it without you guys!)

My "baby" ,and I use that term loosely now, has gone from this little, 100% dependent, sweet, quiet little thing to a bigger, very independent, still sweet, vocal little boy!!! It really does feel like just yesterday I was bringing him home, worrying that I would somehow completely mess up the life of an innocent human being...and now I see that I haven't been doing such a very bad job. Far from the best mother in the world, I am still acceptable in the roll. After all, my baby can walk, play, sign, say more than a few completely intelligible words, doesn't bite or hit, has only had a few serious tumbles, and seems, for the most part, to be happy. 

It never fails to amaze me when he will walk across the room to give me a hug and kiss for no apparent reason, though I am sure he has one. What could I have possibly done to deserve the unconditional love he seems to bestow upon me? When he smiles at me, his eyes shining brighter than anything I have ever seen, it fills me with more joy than I can express. And, even when he is upset or sick, the fact that he comes to me to cuddle and be comforted makes me feel special. (Though I am never happy that he is upset or sick.)

Watching him with his Daddy is one of my favorite things, though I know that when they share their special grin or one on one time in the future it will probably have something to do with a great plan to bug Mommy. (Sometimes it does now.) Michael is the most amazing father! Of course, it is not hard for either of us to be parents to such an amazing son, but God really broke the Daddy mold when he made my husband! He looks at Parker like he is his whole world sometimes, and that just warms my heart from the inside out. More so when Parker returns the look. You'd think those months apart never happened.

And now here we are. A week until our "baby" turns one! It has been quite a ride! One that I would love to ride over and over again, but know that there are more wonderful rides at this amusement park called Parenthood. Fast or slow, scary or calm...I want to ride every one. 

God bless, and thank you for reading!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Last Of The "Firsts" or Hoppy Easter

Yesterday was Easter, which is also the last of Parker's "first" holidays. He just missed Easter last year (by 5 hours and 31 minutes) before making his entrance into the outside world. (I had the Easter basket in the car along with our hospital bag, just in case.)

Yesterday was also Parker's first time eating chocolate. I was originally going to wait until his birthday, but since Easter was so close to his big O-N-E, I decided that it would make sense for it to be the day of his first chocolate. (His birthday will be his first cake ever.) 

All his Easter loot didn't fit into his basket this year, despite the fact that it was a large basket. He had stuff, not only from Mommy and Daddy, but from Hootie and Grandpa back home in Ohio. It was a very good Easter haul, if I do say so myself, including 4 books, sunglasses, Easter Eggs, cars, bubbles, and a Easter Monkey names Socks. (Anyone can get a rabbit on Easter. Our son gets a monkey!)

He loved the chocolate. In fact, I think we might have created a monster! He didn't get much at all, but what he did have was quickly all over his face, hands and me. Poor Daddy was chasing him around with a wipe trying to clean him up as he was eating. Little tip for other parents, M&Ms really are the best type of chocolate candy to start with. Much less messy than the chocolate eggs we started with. 

Oh and BUBBLES!!! What an amazing thing! Parker was thrilled with them and didn't want Daddy to stop blowing. He clapped and giggled and tried over and over again to catch the bubbles in his hands! I have seen children with bubbles before, but there was something amazing about watching my son experience them for the first time. I believe strongly that it was the most amazing encounter a child has ever had with bubbles in their entire history...though I am biased...

Of course, this is me you are talking about, so I have hundreds of pictures! After all, each first only happens once, and I don't want to miss a moment if I can help it.

We even did an Easter egg hunt with our neighbors. Over 50 eggs were hidden between our two yards, and it went a lot better than I thought. Parker showed more interest than I had thought he would in finding eggs, pointing and happily announcing "Egg! Egg! Egg!" It was so neat, and made all the better by the fact that Michael was here to share the experience with us!

It was a wonderful day! We are so blessed in so many ways! Next is another great adventure...Parker's birthday and birthday party! 

I hope every one had as wonderful of an Easter as we did! 

God bless, and thank you for reading!