Thursday, August 31, 2006

Return of Snot Monster and Mr Pissy

For the last month or so we've had 100 degree weather everyday (give or take a few degrees). However, last weekend it started to cool down into the 80's which was heaven......until, Tyler started to have green snot running out his nose on Tuesday night. Of course that night he slept like shit and was up 5 or 6 times.....I lost count after a while. Last night was okay, up only twice but the second time was at 5am and he decided he was up for the day. Great - not only did I not get to work on time my ass is draggin even more.

However, it was nice this morning to introduce Tyler to the classic cartoons of Tom & Jerry while we grabed handfulls of Yogurt Cheerio's out of the box to munch on. He loved both, and after a while refused to let me get his Cheerio's out - he had to do that himself.

Oh well - Left Snot Monster doped up on PediaCare and Ibuprofen with Daddy this morning. Hope he gets a nap in before Mr Pissy makes an appearance - otherwise Daddy will be Mr Pissy tonight when I get home.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hey Y'all we got o'selves Hitched

Well, we finally took the plunge. Keith and I did the courthouse weddin' yesterday afternoon (August 29, 2006) followed by a cheap honeymoon at Buffalo Bob's BBQ and then to our house. Took S and T with us, unfortunately we couldn't find a day during the week that we'd have R. Believe it or not the ceremony just didn't feel complete without him there.

Haven't told my parental units yet. Not that I'm ashamed, just curious how long it'll take for someone at the courthouse who knows my dad to get the word out to them. I know I'm horrible and will probably spill the beans here shortly, but in all honesty the offical marriage was just a formality.

On a side note I'd like to do something a little more fancy in about 5 yrs or so - that way all 3 boys will be old enough to understand and take part.

Oh, and if anyone cares I'll be keeping my last name. It's just toooooo much of a hassel to change it all and all of Stephen's teachers, doctor's etc already think Keith and I are married and know we have different last names.

Per my 5 yo I'm a DumbAss

Yup - walking out of Price Chopper (grocery store) I asked Stephen some innocent looking question, and his response was "Mom, don't be such a dumbass". I went through shock, then anger, then denial, then amusment, and finaly guilt. Guilt - yes, I'm famous for calling people a dumbass while in the car and of course I forget that the little sponges are in the back. The ironic thing is that the boy knows his mother pretty well 'cause she is a dumbass for saying that word in front of him.

At least he hasn't dropped the F-Bomb.....however, he'll probably do that around his father. :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Accidental Exposure - Incident #1

Well - now that Stephen is on a Tree Nut free diet I've made sure that everyone knows about his allergy, has tried the practice EpiPen at least once, has read the instructions on what to do, knows how to read a label, and know where his meds are.

Apparently that wasn't enough. Stephen was over at Gma Sue's today playing with his cousin Hailey. Poppie (my dad) was doing the good Gpa thing and took the kids with him when he went to go get coffee. Of course S and H just had to have a snack. And of course they picked out a brownie. And of course mom reads the package after he had ingested it once back at the farm. And of course the damn brownie not only had Tree Nuts - but WALNUTS in them.

Mom calls me in a slight panic. Told her 4 tsp of Zyrtec immediately and to watch for vomitting or breathing issues. She called an hour later and told me no reaction so far, but I did warn her that he may end up with diarreha. Good thing I sent an extra set of clothes.

Well - we all seemed to survive accidental exposure incident #1, but I really don't want to go through that again. However, it is nice to know that I can remain calm under pressure.

Oh, and Poppie got another quick lesson on learning to read labels, and Stephen was reminded that he needs to always ask if something has nuts in them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Moo Moo & Woof Woof

Tyler - the cutest toddler currently on the face of Earth has entered into what I like to call the Parot stage of development. Within the last two weeks Tyler has picked-up on the following:
1. Woof Woof
2. Moo Moo
3. How to bang his head up and down - to music even
4. How to furrow his brow
5. How to take his shirt off (if at least one arm is already out)
6. Car noises - while driving them around

Never mind the fact that we've been working with him for over 4 mos to say the ellusive "Mama" and/or "Dada". Guess we should be grateful that he hasn't decided to just blurt out "Oh SHIT!"

Doctors, Medicines, and Test - Oh My!!

Well after countless sessions with the therapist, and everyone completing the "Connors Assesment" Stephen has been diagnoised with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and ADHD. He's now on Metadate. We started Wed, Aug 23rd at 10mg and began to see slight but noticeable changes in his ability to focus. Today, Tues Aug 29th we increased the dosage to 20mg. He's more somber and just looked sad overall before getting on the bus for school. I really think that 10mg wasn't strong enough, but that 20mg is too strong.

Then there's the behavior modification therapy. Basically we're to use timeout more.......okay, I don't get this. I know I (and I do mean I) need help in dealing with him as he's got it in his little mind that Mommy's a push over. I know it's us as the parental units that need the behavior modification rather than Stephen. Once our behavior is more appropriate in dealing with him then he should fall in line. Really the boy is only reacting to his environment and all the crap that he's gone through since birth.

Let's see:
  1. 15mo old - new daycare
  2. 18mo old - overnight stay in hospital
  3. 18mo - 3yo - sick and home with mom 2 dys every 2-3 weeks
  4. 20mo old - beginning of daily zyrtec
  5. 25mo old - speech therapy and we move
  6. 28mo old - start on flovent daily
  7. 2.5yo - mom and dad seperate, mom moves in with her parents
  8. 2.75yo - mom moves into apartment with another man, dad starts dating woman with own child
  9. 3yo - mom moves again & starts dating
  10. 3.25yo - dealing with step-sibling at mom's house
  11. 3.5yo - arrival of new baby brother
  12. 3.75yo - leave daycare and move again (mom), start new "school"
  13. 4yo - dad moves into another house with previously mentioned girlfriend
  14. 4.25yo - stop all asthma related meds.
  15. 4yo-4.5yo - at 3 different daycares due to his behavior issues
  16. 4.5yo - dad remarries, dad moves again

With all of that no wonder the boys has issues and problems. I honestly believe that once we get his ODD under control that there will really be no need for the ADHD medication. I think it's a by product of him being unhappy and ODD.

Oh well - overall I'm in a weird place in my life. Glad that Stephen's getting help, but I don't think it's enough help.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Living with Snot Monster & Mr Pissy

The Snot Monster has arrived at our little abode. At first we thought he was just teething, but nope it's a full blown summer cold with an extra pinch of yellow/green snot thrown in. When he's not the Snot Monster he transforms into Mr Pissy. Mr Pissy is much worse than the Snot Monster - at least with the Snot Monster you can take care of him with a kleenex or two or three or a bulb syrenge or drugs (Tylenol Cold & Cough is our drug of choice at the moment). Unless you're too slow and then your shirt becomes the next best thing......should I mention that my shirt has dried snot all over it??? Anyhoo - Mr Pissy doesn't know what he wants. At first he wants to be held, then 3 seconds later that isn't good enough so he wants down, but on second thought I want to be nausem, etc, yada goes on like this with everything.

I forgot to mention with Mr Pissy we get the added bonus of objects being flung across the room - either for his enjoyment or because well - he's pissed off about something. This usually isn't too bad, except when the missile being flung is a full 8oz bottle and it's headed for you and no matter what you do your foot is going to hurt. Guess I should mention that Mr Pissy can't decide on what toy to play with so of course he gets out everything. So rather than having your foot pelted with an 8oz bottle you'll usually end up steping on something - either way you as the Caring Loving Parent lose.

However, I think between the drugs, humidifier, warm baths before bed, a ton of cuddle time and of course love - Snot Monster is on his way out.......however, I think Mr Pissy might be around a little longer as he seems to be working on tooth #8. I'm hoping that's drool - either that or snot has found a new way out of his little body. Might explain my shirt though.....hmmm.......

Ahhhh.....the joys of parenthood.

Friday, August 04, 2006

EpiPen and life with a food allergy

A few weeks ago Stephen was at Grandma Sue's (my mother) playing for the day. As any good grandmother would - she had fresh chocolate cookies for the boy. However, this time she put in the fateful ingredient: English Walnuts.

Apparently Stephen had a few cookies and within a few minutes he vomitted. My mother just thought it was because he was jumping up and down as he was excited they were going to go get my niece. She told me about the incident and I agreed.

However, later that night at his dad's apparently he had more of the said cookies and vomitted again. (The good grandmother that she is made him a goody bag to take to Daddy's.) Leigh Ann called to tell me what had happened so I in turn called my mom.

After a few minutes of talking and confirming that everyone else ate the cookies with no ill affects my mom remembered that this time she put nuts in them. After talking some more I realized that Stephen has never had anything with tree nuts in them. Not that we avoided them on purpose - we just didn't think he'd eat anything with nuts in them.

So, on Wednesday (last day of my vacation) I took Stephen to the asthma/allergy doc. Yup - the boy tested positive for English & Black Walnuts as well as Pecans. All other tree nuts were negative and so was peanut butter. Basically he has a severe allergy to Black Walnuts and a mild allergy to English Walnuts and Pecans. I add this because if my mom had used Black Walnuts in those cookies Stephen's reaction could've been sooo much worse.

Now were the proud owners of 2 EpiPens as tree nut allergies are known to cause an anaphylatic reaction. Plus since he's has asthmatic issues in the past this will be the most likely reaction. Great - the boy is finally out growing his asthma and now I get to deal with this. The sad thing is that due to his age and severe lack of ingesting this food he will most likely never outgrow this allergy.

Off to inform everyone in Stephen's world about his allergy and what to do should he accidentally ingest them.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well - we survived (part 3)

Sunday S and T were up early so I took them to eat b-fast in the lobby while Keith and R slept. By the time we got back it was 7:30am. Keith got up, but we let R sleep until 10am. Once again we headed back out to the reunion, and once again we made a b-line for the pool. At this point I feel it's necessary to mention that the boys are fine, but Keith's head and shoulders are sunburnt and well, so was my shoulders and back. Yup - we're a couple of dumbasses.

This time everyone got lathered up in sunscreen - see Keith and I aren't complete dumbasses. This time the boys were in life vests (our hosts had found some in their attic and they were the perfect size for S and R). R of course headed straight for the diving board, but it took S a little longer - but hey he did go and kept going.

Basically we stayed for lunch (leftovers - even crabs), and by late afternoon we were back at the hotel for naps. That evening some of Keith's relatives had a brilliant idea - they invited us to their house to stay Monday night. This of course was perfect for the following reasons:
1. Their house was about 45 minutes away from the airport compared to 1.5hrs.
2. They had a pool.
3. It was free and would save us $70

So, after we all went out to dinner with the afore mentioned relatives I got us packed so we could be ready to leave at 9am. By Monday morning I was a pro at the b-fast thing, and we were indeed ready and in the car by 9am.

By 10:30am we made it took the relatives house in Seabrook. Helped unload cars only to discover that the a/c wasn't kicking on. Tried flipping the breakers - didn't work. Keith and his dad (who don't know the area at all) decided to go off by themselves to find a hardware store to get a breaker tester. Never mind that we hadn't unloaded our crap from the minivan, but I'm left in hot ass house with 3 boys with no diapers and no swimsuits. They finally fumble around and make their way back by 11:30am.

After going to get lunch we hit the pool to await the much anticipated arrival of the repair man. I need to mention that we were back to the arm floaties for S & R and this time it didn't matter - both were fearless. Mainly due to the slide. We didn't have anything for T, but he still got to get some relief from the heat.

Here's the fun part of my tale: the compressor on the a/c was dead. The repair guy said they don't carry them and they would need to order one. Luckily for said relative the a/c was still under warrenty - but that did little to ease my misery. Keith, DumbAss, decided we could tough it out in the basement with a few fans and no a/c. What DumbAss failed to realize is that in Maryland it doesn't cool off at night like it does here in the midwest - it stays f-ing hot.

SO - not only was it hot and humid the boys were cranky, R's asthma was acting up, and S kept waking up. Eventually DumbAss at 1am decided we could goto a hotel - yup we got to pay $$ for a hotel that we only used for 3.5 hours. You see - we had to be up and on the road by 4:30am to catch our 7:30am flight home.

Getting to the airport was a breeze - the boys slept on the way there. It was security that sucked ass. This time we decided to not check the stroller immediately. Then apparently everything - and I mean everything had to go through the x-ray machine: from the kids stuffed animals and sippy cups to the f-ing stroller. It was ridiculous.

Anyhoo - we got to the gate and S/R were having fun watching the airplanes take off and T of course was wondering around. The boys did have a little issue with their ears last time and with R's asthma we gave S/R 1/2 tablet of Dramimene and then a little bit of benedryl. The meds plus the lack of sleep overall turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Before we even took off Raymond was out, Tyler fell asleep during take off, and Stephen was alseep shortly after take off. All 3 slept the whole way home - 3 hours.

We got smart about getting our selves packed and home. Ken and I and the kids waited for our luggage while Keith caught the shuttle to pick-up our car. (See I'd prepaid via the internet.) By the time we got our luggage and were getting it outside Keith pulled up. We were home by 10:45am cst.

The rest of the day was pretty good - especially when the boys, all 3 of them, fell asleep at 1pm and didn't wake until around 5:30pm. I was a little worried they wouldn't go to bed on time - but never fear they were all alseep by 9:30. Not bad - only an hour past bedtime.

Overall it was a good trip - and an experience none of us will forget.

Well - we survived (part 2)

Well - Friday I woke and went and got everyone breakfast. (The hotel offered free Continetal breakfast.) Little did I know that once we were all fed, dressed and loaded in the car that that is where we'd be for the next 2.5hrs. Yes - we drove all over Maryland for two reasons:
1. To visit an old friend of the family - we only stayed 10-15 minutes
2. To visit Keith's great-grandparents grave

Yes - these were places of interest to Keith, his dad, and his grandparents - but seriously, what 4, 2, and 1 yo care?? It also doesn't help that by the end of this little excursion S and R were restless and being down right horrible. They all did get a decent nap, albeit short, and we were ready for the "Meet and Greet" at 7pm.

That went okay, except Keith was sooooo busy socializing that he left me to deal with the 3 boys and by 9pm I'd had it. Not only was it hot, it was humid and I was the main buffet for the 'skeeters. Of course the boys were awful on the way home - they were hot, tired, and hungry (as S & R refused to eat any of the snacks provided.)

Saturday was MUCH better. I did the b-fast thing again and we were on our way to the "official" reunion by 10am. After lathering all 3 boys in sunscreen (notice I say nothing about myself or Keith) we all headed for the pool. The boys had a blast - even T. R & S only had floaties on (those stupid things on your arms). S wasn't as confident as R, but he still had fun. I feel I should mention that R is fearless when it comes to trying new activities - within 30 minutes of being at the pool R was going off the diving board. S, however was more cautious and was holding on to 3 noodles for dear life. T actually wasn't too sure about the water at first, but they had one of those divices that he could sit in. The best part was that he feel asleep in the pool. It took 4 of us to get him out without waking him. Try as I might he just wouldn't let anyone else hold him or sleep in the stroller. So Keith was on S/R duty and I was T's mattress.

I think around 1:30pm we ate lunch and the boys were eager to get back in the pool. I think we finally left around 3:30 to go back to the hotel to get a little nap. Everyone, but T and myself, got a nap. I didn't mind - I got to goto the Perryville outlet mall. Got myself 2 shirts and a skirt for $30, and got 5 pieces of clothing for the boys for $30 (3 shirts, 1 pair shorts, and 1 pair of overalls.) Oh, and I even did a load of laundry. We headed back out to the reunion location around 6pm.

Once again S/R/T were in the pool. Keith and I took turns watching the boys. However, I did get screwed - the DumbAss left me with all 3 boys while he went and ate crabs for about an hour. I'm still waiting for him to make it up to me. As you can imagine the boys were exhausted when we got back to the hotel around 9pm. Only problem was that R's asthma was acting up and it took 'til about midnight before we could get him doped up enough to get comfortable to sleep.

Continued once again..........

Well - we survived (part 1)

Well, last Wednesday night we had everything packed and loaded in the car, had our clothes laid out for the next morning and the alarm clock set for 5am. Yup - we were all up at 5am, dressed and loaded in the car by 5:20am.......all 6 of us. (Keith's dad stayed the night so he could catch a ride up to the airport since he was on our flight.)

Parked the van at the Parking Spot ( and caught the shuttle to the airport terminal. Our driver was kind enough to drop us off right at curb side check-in. It was great. All 3 bags, 3 carseats, and stroller were checked and ready to go. That left us with about 40 minutes before our 8:00am flight to Baltimore. Should mention that the parking spot was curtiousy of my work having at 20% discount - so we paid $45 for 5 days of covered parking - cheaper than long-term.

We made it through security without any issues, and got seated to wait for the announcement that we could board. The boys did pretty good - being brilliant that I am I had 2 sticker books already for Stephen & Raymond. They were engrossed in those until we were ready to board. Tyler we just let him walk every where - knowing that he'd have to be contained for the 2.5 hr flight.

Boarding wasn't too bad - except we had to goto the back to get 5 seats together. Keith, Raymond, and Ken (Keith's dad) sat in the row in front of myself, Tyler and Stephen. Some teenage girl was brave enough to sit next to us. About every 20-30 minutes we had to pass Tyler back and forth, and with about 45 minutes left of the flight the older two started getting antsy. Other than that they were actually pretty good. Should mention that Keith thought I was nuts to bring all the stuff I did for S and R to play with - but it worked to keep them occupied. T had a few toys as well - but he was more interested in checking out everyone. Also - the bag of treats I packed for them worked as well. Thanks to all my PIMs for the great suggestions.

By the time we got all of our luggage, got the rental car and made it to the hotel in Perryville MD it was around 1:30pm (aka 12:30 cst). We all got naps and then headed to find some relatives that were already here. We had a crabcake feast and the boys goto play and burn off some energy.

Overall it wasn't a bad day and all the boys were in bed asleep by 9:30pm. Will admit though that they were all hyped-up and excited so they were a little unrulely - but other than that they were pretty good.

To be continued..........