Saturday, October 30, 2010

Past Halloweens . . .

I will have pics tomorrow of the kids in their costumes, but for now you can enjoy looking at pics from Halloweens past . . .

2007, Andrew's first Halloween. He was two months here, and still in his colicky, unhappy phase. Needless to say, the monster costume didn't make him any happier! This pic still makes me giggle:
Mommy & her crying monster on Halloween!

Halloween, 2008:
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Halloween, 2009 (yes, we reused the same costume because it still fit):
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween costume decided.

DISCLAIMER: I, Sarah from Wisconsin, am a huge dork. Big time. I will understand if I lose blog followers after this escapade . . .

I was sitting at my desk at work today, thinking of what I could dress up as, when around 1:00, the idea hit me. Why not dress up as Julia Child? After all, I can't cook to save my life. It takes me a long time to process a recipe. I enjoy watching cooking shows, if only to admire the cooks themselves. Anyway, I stopped by Goodwill after work and found a navy blue dress for next to nothing, along with those kickin' granny shoes. I got the apron at Walmart. Those bad boy cooking tools, which I have never used (I'm scared of mixers, blenders, and any other cooking tool that steams, fries, or sizzles -- I also refuse to "cook" anything that requires measuring, cutting, or prepping), were available in my kitchen.

The best thing is, the residents will know who Julia Child is! She is of their generation. So there you have it, a ghetto Wisconsin version of JC herself. ;)

(And because Julia liked "the sauce", I had to get a pic with the good stuff . . .)
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P.S., I hope Julia isn't rolling in her grave over this -- may she rest in peace.

My mom is the BEST!

Seriously. She whipped together a Halloween costume for Andrew. She picked up some fleece fabric and sewed it (sew awesome! Hah!). She put boning in the bottom so that it flares out a little. It has a hood to go over his head. She just swung by my work and dropped it off. I love my mom so much!

I will have pictures soon of my ghost and my little calf. We have a Halloween costume party at work tomorrow (which I am not dressing up for, because I don't have anything besides the slutty bunny costume I have from four years ago and it's totally not appropriate for a nursing home let alone a non-drunk environment) and the kids are going to come visit me at work tomorrow to show off their costumes. Then, we will go to my mom's on Halloween and go trick-or-treating with the kids (mine plus the 4-year-old niece).

What costume can I whip together for myself without having the supplies to do so? Any ideas? LOL . . . I've always said I am boring like a librarian, so I could just be that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy 8 months, Baby Girl . . .

It's been so bittersweet. I still remember her birth like it was yesterday. I had that little baby in my arms and I looked at her with wonder and awe, and although I had already been a mom, it was still so amazing. I remember laughing to myself, saying, "I don't really know you yet!"

Well, it was so much fun getting to know her. I remember that night, she would not sleep in her basinette in the hospital and she kept grunting, despite being fed and changed and warm. I picked her up and snuggled her in with me in the bed and she slept five hours straight. I remember waking up the next morning and gazing into her beautiful blue eyes and thinking that she was just so perfect. I studied her, taking in all her features and commiting them to memory, telling myself that I would never forget this moment. The way she tucked up her little legs into a "frog sit" was just so cute! I thought her legs were never going to unfurl. I nicknamed her "Squeaker" because of the little noises she made when she was so small.

Over the months, she changed very quickly, and I welcomed all the milestones. Her first smile melted my heart. The cooing came shortly thereafter and it was such a beautiful sound. I loved when she became more aware and started interacting with her older brother. She so much just wants to copy what he does.

In eight months, she went from a tiny, precious, quiet bundle to a crawling, cruising, giggling, squealing girl who kicks her legs in excitement when she is happy -- but she is still my precious "Squeaker" and I can still gaze into her beautiful blue eyes and feel the love that is mutual.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blah.

That's how I feel today. This weather doesn't help.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comforts . . .

Now that our "Indian Summer" days are faded and fall is officially upon us, I tend to think of the comforts that make me happy -- the little things in life. In no particular order, I love the following comforts . . .

Long, hot baths in the morning -- mainly because when I get out of bed, it's cold, and if I lie in the tub, I don't have to fully awaken before beginning my work day . . .

My mom's homemade meals -- need I say more? Hot dishes are something that we like to make up here in the Midwest and they are the epitome of "homemade yumminess". I was an odd child who wouldn't eat bread from ages 4 - 18 -- and even now, I cannot eat a slice of bread plain, or God forbid, a bun (gag! Long story behind that but we won't get into it now). My mom would make a point to make my favorite meal for my birthday, porcupine meatballs (which is hamburger and rice made up into big meatballs and then you can have either mashed potatoes or dumplings -- the sauce over all of this is tomato sauce mixed with rice. It's a variation of stuffed green peppers, also delicious)!

That feeling when it's Friday afternoon and I know the whole weekend is ahead of me . . . which takes me to my next bullet . . .

Sleeping in on the weekends!

Warm pajamas (and yes, socks to bed -- there's no other way to do it)!

Watching a good romantic comedy (like the best movie ever, my favorite, Love Actually) and letting the troubles of the real world melt away for 2 hours and 15 minutes . . .

Driving in my car and singing along to all my favorite songs . . .

When my house is all the way clean (it gives me such a peace of mind) . . .

The holidays with my family, especially the 2-3 weeks leading up to Christmas -- we have so many awesome traditions, including blasting Manheim Steamroller while we decorate the tree, making light conversation and bringing up memories . . .

Warm fall days where I can still wear long sleeves, but the sun is shining so it warms me just enough so I'm not cold . . .

When both of my kids are by me on the couch so I can give them both kisses without moving much (that makes me sound really lazy, but it's really just nice to have both kids nearby) . . .

To counter that last one, when both kids are sleeping so I can have some "me" time before I go to bed . . .

And finally, big hugs. I love to hug and be hugged! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Worst boss story!

On one of my forums I'm on, we were talking about "worst bosses". I realized I have never shared this story here, so bear with me (if you need something to distract you today or you just plain want to know). Here goes!

I worked at this small company my first job out of college. It was really just until I found something in my field. Anyway, I was the Administrative Assistant and it was all men besides me.

The owner, my boss, was a jerk. He wasn't from here -- he was from India, and I am not stereotyping here, but he was SO rude to his wife. She was an anesthesiologist and very smart, but he would yell at her on the phone and talk down to her so bad. She was basically the one who kept the money in the business because she had such a good job and he treated her like dirt. In fact, I can't even remember some of the horrible things he said to her because I tend to block that stuff out of my mind (just the way I have survived all these years -- anything my dad would say would go to a "non-memory" part of my brain and eventually be washed away). He basically called her stupid. His daughter, his only child, was going to medical school and I remember him saying, "she'll never make it". Now you have an idea of what kind of asshole I worked for here.

One day, I was having a conversation with two of the techs who were sitting at their desk, doing their business on their computers. It was just happy, "Friday" conversation, and let's face it: I talk to anyone and am almost always in a good mood. My boss walked in (there was this main area, and we were all off to the right in this big room), slammed the door, and yelled, "LET'S GET BACK TO WORK!!!!!!!" I gave the guys a bewildered look (like, "WTF"?) and finished my shift -- I had 5 minutes left, so on my way out, I slammed the door as hard as I could (in my mind, I wanted the door to break the walls and fall down).

As I was walking home, he drove by (picture a pissed 22-year old me walking, with a sad man slowly driving next to me in his BMW) -- he rolled down his window and said, "let's talk about this", and I said, "no, really, it's okay! I just want to go home now." -- He thought I had quit, but I really was just pissed he talked to us that way and I was trying to prove a point by slamming the door (yay me!). He kept pestering me before finally going away, but it was a very awkward moment!

A few times, he got into loud arguments with the vice president. They'd shut the door (it was a flimsy household-type hollow wooden door, because this office was so ghetto), and yell at each other, like I couldn't hear right through the door. I thought I was going to have to call the police! Also, the VP tried to get me to give him back rubs because he had some surgery and his neck hurt (WTF?)!

I was only there 4 months when I found a job in my field (graphic art), so I put in a two-week notice. He begged me to stay three, and promised that he would pay me the full two weeks' vacation, even though I had only earned 4 days. The agreement was so that I could stay on to train the new girl and that 3 weeks was more than generous.

I trained the new girl on and stayed until she was comfortable in the role. I asked her if she wanted me to make out an enevelope with my new address (I had just moved) so that they would have it to send my last paycheck. She said, "oh no, that's fine -- I'll take care of it".

Payday comes and goes and I never received my check. I called and the owner put me on speakerphone and had the new girl in there too and they both denied that I said I tried to give them my new address! How unprofessional. They told me to wait another two weeks and if it didn't show up in the mail, to call back.

It never came, so I called again, and when that paycheck finally came, he only paid me for four days of vacation pay. I called him up and he denied it. I told him, "well, I guess I just trusted you and should have gotten our verbal agreement in writing". So, I sent him a letter stating that it was very unprofessional what he did, and got a letter from a lawyer in response to that stating that they didn't owe me anything.

Jerk! Last I heard, he had sold the business and "retired". Thank God!

My boss now is amazing and has never treated me with disprespect! He would cry if I left -- LOL! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday randoms . . .

Last Saturday, Elise said "mama" for the first time. She only says it when she's crying and since she doesn't cry very often, I haven't heard it very often, but it is crystal-clear when she does say it. I remember Andrew doing this same thing with his first word, but of course, he was always crying. ;)

Today marks two weeks, and Andrew is 100% (I would say) healed from his surgery now. As of last Thursday night, he no longer needed pain medication and he didn't complain about his throat anymore. He is sleeping silently now and I have to check and make sure he's breathing because he's so quiet. The behaviors (hyperactivity) haven't really changed yet, but I would imagine that some of those are habit now. It's really the least of my concerns at this point in time -- we are both just glad he got through the surgery and recovery period okay.

We got a new home phone, and there are no monthly fees. It's called Ooma and you pay $230 upfront, so for those of you taking notes, that's about 6 - 7 months of home service. As long as the company continues to stay in business for 6 months, you're winning. We just bought a home phone to hook up to this little box that then hooks up to your modem (router? whatever -- the little thing with the flashing lights). We had done some research and Magic Jack got really bad reviews, but people seemed to like Ooma. The reception is crystal clear and we have used it to call and receive calls from both cell phones and land lines. I would highly suggest looking into it if you want something with unlimited minutes, long distance, caller ID, and voicemail. We got it because I just have a Tracfone and paying per minute, while cheaper than a plan, isn't realistic when my hubby wants to talk to his brothers for a half hour - 45 minutes at a time. So, we stepped back into time, back to the early 90s, when cordless phones were cool.

I celebrated 6 years at my job yesterday and it doesn't seem like it's been that long. I really like it there and hope to stay employed there for as long as I can. Everyone I work with is awesome, I love the hours (8-4, Monday through Friday), the pay is decent, and I feel rewarded with what I do. My tasks are varied so it keeps it from becoming mundane. With Human Resources, once you get about 5 years in, that's really good experience a person could look elsewhere to move up, but I really don't want to go anywhere so I'll stay right here, thank you (especially in this economy).

I guess that's about it. My life is so boring!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Deep thoughts for Monday...

Do you believe in soulmates? Do you think there is one person for everyone, or do you think that multiple possibilities exist? Share your thoughts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Uploads from today

We had fun outside with the camera today, and I did manage to get one shot where Andrew was smiling. He's not a fan of the camera these days, so it's a struggle!

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And, for the outtake. Look at Andrew's face. LOL, classic!
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Friday, October 15, 2010

My name is Sarah.

S-A-R-A-H. Yes, it has an "h" on the end. My mother named me. My sister-in-law, who has known me for over 13 years now, continues to spell it without the "h", even in replies to e-mails and on Facebook when it's right there in front of her. On our wedding card or other cards, etc., she always spells it "Sara" -- we even lived with her for 6 months back in the day.

It bothers me when people don't notice little details like that. I am very observant and heck, it bothers me when people spell other people's names wrong!

How should I approach this? Should I just let it go? How do I nicely approach this after all these years? I don't want to come off as a bitch, but it bothers me that she doesn't take the time to care.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elise can pull herself up to the couch!

This happened for the first time yesterday. This post is mainly for my records. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday randoms

I find that I much prefer staples over paper clips, because I like how secure they feel. I find myself stapling everything at work to keep it organized and together and I actually feel a sense of uneasiness if someone hands me something with a paperclip, or God forbid, just loose! I am so Type A it's not even funny . . .

This weekend, the hubby and I watched Julie and Julia and we both really enjoyed it! I do not like to cook, while my husband does; therefore, he does most of (okay, all of) the cooking around the house. Plus, he's home and has the time to do it and really has a passion for mixing ingredients whereas I am all about the sandwich and making things that don't require measuring cups, mixers, sauteeing, stirring, or more than one bowl or pan. I really liked the dialogue of the movie and the characters were interesting. It was neat how it went back and forth between the 1940s and the present. I can't imagine living back then, and furthermore, in Paris. She was an interesting character, Julia Child -- definitely what I would call flamboyant. The present scenes took place in New York and it made me realize how it really is a different world there than here. I find it to be incredibly romantic and exciting, although I do like that here where I live, I am just a jump on the Interstate way from my work and any other store I want to go to. It's 5 minutes to basically anywhere -- maybe 10 if I go downtown. I think my life would be different if I lived somewhere else, especially if I had grown up there. My family would be different than it is now because we would be impacted by our settings. I can't imagine us anywhere but here. Do you ever think about that? Picture your mom living anywhere else and it just seems wrong? I have such a Wisconsin pride, it's not even funny. It is fun to visit other places, though. I had the same feelings about Florida when we were there in January of 2009 -- what a different world. The population is much more diverse than here, and the whole culture is just different. And they all seem oblivious to the fact that there are palm trees everywhere and they are wearing shorts in January. They are so lucky to be able to do that! I think that if a lot of them visited us during our coldest month (January), they would probably think that we are all frigging nuts -- which, I won't argue.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Time for an Andrew update.

Well, it wasn't easy taking him in on Wednesday morning for his surgery. He was happily playing with the toys they provided him in the room, especially the ball popper. He was laughing hysterically and putting things in there that weren't even balls.

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That was fun. The balls were going all over the room. My mom also showed up to be there for Andrew, and for us, and it was great (because afterward, she really helped by grabbing things that we needed as I was lying in the little bed with Andrew).

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My mom, left, Elise, and me:
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When they gave Andrew the Versed, that was a little strange because he started acting a little silly, woozy -- drunk, basically. It was strange to see my little 3-year-old under the influence of a narcotic.

About a half hour later, they had me gown up and we took him back for the surgery. They laid him on a bed and strapped him in and as they put the mask over his face, I just held his hand. Surprisingly, I kept my composure. I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him and he was out within a minute. I walked out and we waited.

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The procedure took a half hour. The surgeon/ENT came back and told me it went well and he had minimal bleeding. His tonsils and adenoids were both a 3, so pretty big (this is on a 1-4 scale).

A little while later, the nurse came back and said she was wondering who would be able to help when Andrew is restless. "You mean, thrashing?", I asked. "Yes", she replied.

I went back there and I could hear someone crying/screaming, but it didn't even sounds like Andrew. It sounded gargled and different (because of his throat being numb). I got into the bed with him and held him but he was basically delirious. They said kids wake up from the procedure very confused and that this was normal. I just held him close to me and kissed his head and pet his hair while the two nurses helped keep his arms and legs still (very tough to do when he's so strong). He was very scared and asking if he could get down. They told me that he couldn't because he would just fall as a result of the medicine. Eventually after about 15-20 minutes, they gave him some morphine down his I.V. and he fell asleep in my arms. We were wheeled back to the original room where I continued to hold him.

He eventually woke back up and would not take a popsicle or any fluids. They eventually gave him some through his I.V.

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He was just so miserable. They said we'd be there for 1-4 hours, and we were there for the maximum time, mainly because he wouldn't take anything in. Just before we left, he threw up all over the place.

Andrew is getting his I.V. out here. I just loved his little hospital outfit -- it had tigers on it and was a little too big for him:
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It's been a rough 3 days for us. Andrew will not take the oral antibiotics or the pain medication (Tylenol + codeine) so I've been giving him Tylenol suppositories (I called the nurse advisor and that's what she suggested). He threw up two more times on Wednesday so I pretty much said "enough is enough" with those stupid prescriptions.

The meds wear off about an hour before I can give them again and Andrew cries and says, "I need you, Mom" during that time and it's especially bad at night because he's been spiking a fever.

We got him to eat some ice chips on Thursday morning, a day after the procedure, and that was really the first time he took anything. Then, he ate some soup for lunch (yay!) and some homemade mashed potatoes and gravy for supper.

Surprisingly, this kid has not wanted popsicles! He normally loves them in the summer but I have not had much luck now. He did take most of one yesterday. He will not willingly take ice chips, but if I set a cup of them next to him on the couch, eventually he'll snack on them.

Thursday evening, he actually ran down the hall a few times and picked on his sister.

At night, he makes all these sounds because he has so much fluid back there -- he had the end of a cold when the procedure was done. For the first couple of days, he wouldn't even swallow his own saliva.

I have a feeling he'll be back to his old self in no time. It's just rough to think of how bad his throat must hurt right now and I pray that this surgery does fix his sleep issues. Most of his time now is spent on the couch watching his Penguins of Madagascar DVD.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts. We really appreciate them!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm back!

I apologize, not that anyone reads my blog anymore these days -- LOL -- I think I lost a lot of my readers after my pregnancy, but that's okay. I have always stated that this is a place for me to record my events so I can refer back to them in one place since I'm not good at jotting stuff down at home.

Life got a little busy and crazy and I didn't have time to blog -- all good and exciting, but nothing I'm going to blog about today. :)

One of my last posts mentioned Andrew's surgery, or potential surgery. I just wanted to update that we had his appointments with the pediatric neurologist as well as the pre-op with the surgeon. They both feel this is the best thing for Andrew.

His behaviors (what would be described by most, conservatively, as "high energy", I have described it myself as "out of control"). Most kids should wake up, full of energy, but there are times that Andrew just lies down on the bathroom floor before/after I put him on the toilet. Sometimes, he will wake up after a nap and fall right back asleep.

His snoring has been going on since about 18 months, not that that in itself is a problem, as it's not continuous, but I have been reminded by Andrew's pediatrician that snoring is not normal under any circumstances (I suppose if one had a cold, that would be an acceptable time to snore). The other issue is the fact that my my mother, my husband, and I have all observed Andrew stopping breathing in his sleep. I watched him cough once and didn't see his chest move again for 22-24 seconds -- during which time he did not struggle or anything. The neuro believes that Andrew could have a mix of obstructive sleep apnea (his big tonsils) and central sleep apnea, which would put his diagnosis as a mixed apnea with possible OSA. The best route of action is to take the tonsils and the adenoids and see if he sleeps better. Should he continue to have problems, we would do a sleep lab study, but the neuro said that it would be crazy to attempt to do one on Andrew if we didn't have to -- they actually glue the sensors on the scalp and all that and Andrew (whose behaviors were observed by the neuro -- and I do think that he was the wildest child he had ever seen) would try and rip them off and it'd be too crazy.

In about 90% of kids, the surgery alone fixes the snoring. The best potential outcome is, Andrew will get better quality sleep and not be so probelmatic during the day.

He also talked to us about redirecting Andrew when he wakes -- take him back to his room and put him to bed in there. I have been caving and letting him come lay by me because I am already waking with the baby when she needs to eat -- combine that with the fact that I have to get up early and go to work = I have always just done what's easiest so that I can function during the day too.

So, we're set. The surgery is Wednesday morning -- 2 days from now. It will take approximately 30 minutes. They will gas him to sleep (this part makes me so nervous), and then put in his IV and tube. He will be in recovery for 1-4 hours during which time they will watch for bleeding (a risk of 4%, pretty rare) and make sure he gets enough fluids. I have off work Wednesday through Friday and then we will also have the weekend. Andrew will be on a popsicle/liquid/soft foods diet.

I pray I am making the right decision. Ultimately, it's an elective surgery with no guaranteed results. I described his sleep behaviors as best I could, but I hope that I painted the right picture so that the doctors could agree. The neurologist did say that this surgeon does a great job and that he doesn't "willy-nilly schedule surgeries". Apparently, this used to be a lot more common of a procedure than it is now, but Andrew appears to be a good candidate.

Oh yeah, and Andrew pretty much got kicked out of the room because he was that disruptive during the appointment. The neurologist was trying to talk to me to go over Andrew's history and Andrew was throwing toys, screaming, throwing tantrums, and trying to get out of the room. Thank goodness my husband was with and could take him out of there. Let's say that while this is a pediatric neurologist, it didn't appear he had many patients that were that out of control because I could tell his patience was being tried. He is a smart doctor, though, so I liked that he was able to give me a lot of information and make me feel comfortable about my decision.

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In other news, Miss Elise has been crawling all over the house for over 2 weeks now. She is pretty fast, and knows her favorite spots to seek out. She is very playful. I love to play peek-a-boo with her when she's in her crib. I hide down and she will peek over her crib bumpers and kick her legs and squeal when she sees me. She's very different from her brother at this age, who was just more needy of me and less playful. He never liked toys, whatsoever, until he was able to enjoy books.

She turned 7 months on September 27th -- we did start solids just the other day -- avocados first (we skipped the cereal -- I don't feel it has a lot of value and the iron tends to bind kids up).

Other than that, no new news. I am enjoying the change of seasons -- I love the brief time of year when it is cool but not too cold -- still beautiful outside and enough to enjoy the weather until it's time that we up here enter the dreaded winter.