26 September 2008

sweet baby j

I have to tell you that my sweet Baby J is as delicious as ever. I could gobble the grins right up. He loves me. I'm telling you that little man loves his mama. Smart kid, that one!

He's got tummy troubles, though. He has been a great sport trying to eat solids. They just seem to give us some really, really bad nights. No matter what the food (except Cheerios!). Not EVERYthing is supposed to be "gassy", but nobody told him that. His reflux-spitting decreased when he learned to sit up, but it didn't go away. Now it's just food colored in the evenings. Between upset tummies that wake him far too often for me to remember any more and the rounds of teething that follow a distinct 2-hour-wake-up pattern, it's been pretty bad around here recently.

I would spend several nights giving him various solids at dinner--avoiding anything complex or that included dairy, eggs or bananas (he's allergic to bananas!!--what is it with my allergic children?!). After 5 nights or so of difficulty, we'd take a solids hiatus and go to just mommy's "milks" as we call it. And his tummy would begin to settle down, nights would become more routine and the painful cries would ease. Then, I'd hesitantly try again and the cycle would start over once more.

Last week, I finally took him to the doctor because I started to worry when the king of all bad nights hit; he was up way more than usual and for a long stretch once. Each of these wake-ups was not play time for him, but a cry of hurt and even a difficulty nursing--our normal night routine includes just nursing if he wakes up and then he'll sack back out for a while again.

They could find nothing wrong. Even the ear he keeps grabbing is completely fine. It must be his tummy. So, they upped his Zantac dose and added Maalox to the evening routine that already included Zantac, gas drops, teething tablets...you name it (I even tried Tylenol the other night, but that just makes him feel good and playful). They even talked about Reglan, but I've head "controversy" that kept me from making that switch. I am thinking I need to research it a bit more, perhaps, since that is the only drug that can help the stomach empty properly which might be the issue. In the meantime, he responds well to the increased meds.

And, I personally decided to ease way back on the food for him. I fully believe he is nutritionally fine with breast milk until a year old, so I'm going to go much more slowly with this. After several days of no solids, I gave him rice cereal and pears for breakfast instead of trying dinner. It didn't go any better -- making for a bad day versus a bad night -- and I've decided that aside from Cheerios, solids are out for now. For some reason, they are not working for him yet. Perhaps I'll try again in a few weeks, but other than that, I'm out of ideas.

25 September 2008


After taking Little B to school the other day, I needed to get gas. I was very low and so many stations have been completely out recently, so I stopped where the stream of cars seems to ebb and flow all day (and they're either the lowest price in town or the highest...no in between for these guys). I was so excited to see the price was still below $4 (a few weeks back, it dropped so low it actually reached $3.54!!). I stepped out of my van in to the chilly air and realized I was still in pj's. Oops.

I'm so glad I filled up that day, pj's and all.
I also think I'll keep topping it off throughout the week.
The closer you get to my husband's office, the more you see empty stations or stations that are now rationing gas anywhere from $10 to $30 maximums (and still running out, no doubt because they just come back in a bit). And I assure you at the current prices my van won't get half full on thirty bucks of gas. So am I creating a panic by filling up often and beginning to worry? Or am I being reasonable? And now my husband, who must fill up three times a week because of his long commute, needs to remember to get gas closer to home and make sure he doesn't get too low just in case.

As if there isn't enough other stuff to worry about. C'mon...we have plenty of oil right here in the USA...argh.

(**this post is not intended to invite contraversy, so please don't start any . . . thanks!**)


I cannot believe how mild and beautiful the days have been recently. Probably, I can thank Ike for some of it. In our part of the country, the weather is typically warmer than this even in September/October. But we barely crack 80 degrees a few days of the week now and the crisp, cool, breezy sunshine is perfect. These are perfect weather days to me. Jeans almost every day (no socks and sneakers yet--I tried once but truly loathe them, so my sandals are full-functioning). I even wore a sweatshirt to take my son to school this morning since the sun is rising later and the chill was still sitting in the 50's.

These are the days that make me feel most invigorated. At last, I want to throw open doors and windows and sit on the patio with my daughter while she uses sidewalk chalk and "water paint" -- water and a paintbrush to paint on the driveway or patio. I'd read about this but always forgot to try it until last week. She likes that better than anything else, and so do I.

Aside from the gorgeous days, I've had asthma trouble this week, but it's getting better now. Maybe due to the extra door and window opening? Hard to say. The crud just settled right into my chest and got painful and tight in one day. I love my inhaler. It has taken me several years of not needing it before finally start understanding the value of it when I get congested. A new turn, to be sure. This was not a cold and in less than three days it's starting to diminish rapidly. Whew...!

Hopefully, some of this fresh vigor feeling will rub off onto the cleaning tasks I have ahead of me. Feeling bad this week has led to an extra pile-up beyond the usual dishes and clothes. (I got more done yesterday than I was really up for since we had an evening appointment with the roofing man, but the clean clothes are definitely not folded and put away yet, among other things.)

I hope you are all having a lovely week!

23 September 2008

the roof story i promised months ago

In mid-march, we had some tornadoes in the area that brought a great deal of hail while we waited in the stairwell. Hail, I'm fine with. Tornadoes, notsomuch.

Since late spring, FIVE roofs on our street have been replaced in a three-house radius of ours. That's a lot. But, what we believed should have been a simple, "Contact your insurance, we'll meet them and you'll get an estimate if they agree" became a really big fat hairy mess. That initial look-over took place the night my hubby had his ER visit. Yup, it's been a long wait.

The first (older) insurance adjuster came to my door and said we had a steep roof and he'd need a steep-roof team to check it out later, but he'd do a preliminary look. Greeaat. When he was done and the contractor had gone, the adjuster came back to my door and said we didn't have roof damage, he'd gone ahead and climbed up there himself, and here was a (paltry) check for the dings and dents in the vents and screens. Huh??

A few phone calls later my husband said the adjuster claimed the contractor told him we didn't have any damage. Yeah, that didn't make any sense at all. Especially since the contractor's version of the story was still that we had damage and hey -- that's how he'd get paid! Weird. I seriously wonder if the adjuster had poor hearing. No joke. That, and if he went up on a roof partway -- since he was unable to go all the way -- he might have missed seeing a lot of things up there called DAMAGE.

Next step: get a completely new contractor and have a completely new adjuster assigned to our case. Uncool, people. The first contractor was no longer allowed to get the job and he'd been NICE and COMPETENT to boot.

I saw an ad, I called a roofing company and I got an estimate. The guy agreed there was damage and (theoretically) sent an estimate to the insurance company. Then he had to come back because the insurance company said they never got it and the new contractor had "misplaced" some measurements.

And so it went, all summer long. My favorite way this would play out is when the two separate appointments for the new contractor and adjuster had to meet up would not happen because the contractor failed to show. ARGH. There was a third time they couldn't meet because it was raining.

Meanwhile, roofs all around us were being replaced, one after the other. And here we sat feeling our lives spin out of control (for reasons other than the roof; that was just icing on top) all summer long. My husband actually had a very long chit-chat with the general manager of the roofing company a week after his surgery. It was already a day of too much talking, so he paid dearly for it. Poor man.

Today, they finally met up at the same time and yes, we need a new roof. That is the best news we've had for months and months. No kidding. One extra reason it is great is that the week we moved in our back porch got a major leak that has only gotten worse for the past two years--it leaks down through the ceiling fan out there (I had to remove the glass light cover since it used to fill up with water, and yet the light bulb continued to work -- so weird).

Anyhow, that's my roof story and I'm stickin' to it. Who knows how long it will take to get the thing done from here, BUT it's finally approved and that, my friends is a major relief.

22 September 2008


Anyone who knows me at all knows I love love love to read. Books are much better than a movie for they last longer, have much greater detail and can take you to another world so easily. I absorb books by osmosis, and while I'm a tad picky and have favorite authors and genres, I really do love to curl up and not be interrupted for hours on end (unless it's to replenish the snacks).

Not far from where we live, there is a new and used bookstore that recently expanded into a bigger, brand new location. We know the owners via mutual friends, which is how we discovered this gem of a bookshop to start with. And WOW. We've always gotten simply amazing deals. Discounts on new books and ordered books as well as great deals on used books. And, I can turn in used books for store credit.

Which is why I am so excited today.
It's been a long, long time since I did that, but Friday night I dropped off a large, heavy box as well as a paper bag full of books. Essentially, I get 30% of the list price as credit, and I can apply any store credit towards 50% of a used book purchase (hey, I'm no snob--bring on the used books, man!). And a used book is priced at no more than 60% of the list price (which means I pay half of that. "Read" my lips: 30% of the cost of a book!)

Today they called to tell me they'd entered my books into the system and my store credit balance is (drumroll please!)...over $207!

I still have more books to get rid of. I'm SO thinking this is the way to do it. Just think of the great reads ahead of me and my kids.

11 September 2008

returning to normal

So my husband is doing so much better--he started driving himself to work yesterday, and while he's 12 pounds lighter and tired in the evening, he's doing quite well. (Quick weight loss plan: surgery that prevents eating!)

I must confess that as much work as it was to have him just sitting in a chair needing pain killers around the clock, I liked seeing him so much! It's back to the grind, now, though. He worked this week on a theoretically limited basis, and I was truly a taxi cab for a day or two, but now -- well, his long class on Saturday AND Sunday will take up his weekends this month and his extended driving time to and from work will eat up the morning and evening once more. I'll be missing him until October is over, I'm afraid--once the class ends, he'll need every spare moment to study for the exam at the end of that month.

On other fronts:
Baby J is a hair from crawling--he's got army-crawling down pat and scooching his little self into all kinds of trouble to boot! His reflux still causes issues, but in spite of it he's the happiest creature alive. And cute enough to gobble up!

Little B is having a great year in school so far. It has been *gasp* easy to get him up and out the door each morning (even though one day he mentioned wishing we could fast forward to summer). That has never, ever, ever been the case and I am delighted with the change. NOW to get him to fall asleep before 10:15pm....argh. I have him in bed before 9 each night, so I am just not sure what else to do. His mind simply won't "turn off"--he's planning strategies for the games he and his buddies play at recess! haha!

Then there's Miss C. The booger! She gets a sly look when she calls me "Mom" instead of "Mommy" or (a personal favorite) "Mama". Harumph. Who does she think she is?? Even Little B at 7 1/2 years old refuses to stoop to "Mom" yet! Bravo Little B.

But I won't ramble on--because I'm suspicious that many of you haven't been by in a while and I think I'll just direct your attention to your scroll bar on the right of your screen...you've missed some good posts recently--I did several in a row last week! Go read up and click to visit both Bluehose and our new crochet blog if you haven't already.

04 September 2008

click and laugh

I won't try to retell the hysterical story of a child crawling over seats in a huge van to unlock a door for his mom.

Instead, I'll let you read it yourself to see what is so...highly unusual...about how he managed this.

After you click over to Under the Laundry Pile, scroll down to the post entitled Car Seats. Life Savers, Most of the Time.

It's one of those stories you'll remember for years, and years...


So I've been talking about my new passion for crocheting for, what, about three months now, right? And it's still a passion, I assure you. I love it love it love it. Indeed, it's contagious, I find. I want to introduce you to a new crochet-buddy I have.

Little B.

Yes, my 7 year old son has developed a bit of crochet talent himself!

He spent several weeks trying to get past his foundation chain, but since he's a lefty, I think he was turning something around, and once I figured out that he was doing his single crochet somehwhat inside out (I won't even try to explain that), I corrected it and suddenly he was doing it. I was so proud. He did several little swatches of various sizes, usually a half dozen rows (with a varying number of stitches--hey, nobody's perfect!).

Then, I handed him a section I'd begun, about three or four rows with 11 stitches each. And he decided to make Baby J a security blanket. So, I showed him how to change colors when he was ready and he just kept going.

Now, I present to you his finished blankie (approximately 4"x6" in size):

03 September 2008

got me in stitches

Since I have talked incessently about my crochet stuff (and you might still hear more, like tomorrow, so watch carefully...you won't want to miss this special post), I decided to take (most of) it elsewhere.

For anyone who has any interest in crocheting, or knows someone who does, I'd like to introduce you to a new something-else-to-take-up-my-time: got me in stitches.

Bluehose and I, well, we love a good joint project and since we also both love this crochet thing, we decided to give a crochet blog a whirl. It's still a work in progress, but since I introduced her to you yesterday, and she already has our link up, I figured I'd best make it public! (Knitters are welcome, by the way).

My hope for this new blog is that there will be a decent handful of readers who join in as we find a new charity to crochet (or knit) for many months, a place to learn, ask questions, dig for answers, and share our work. I intend to put a flickr account of my finished work on this blog, and so does Bluehose...but, like I say, it's still under construction, so pardon the mess -- but do drop by!

02 September 2008

finding herself --

Kim. What do I say?
In a nutshell, she's my New York buddy. Need I say more about this wonderful friend?? (Give me a day or two and I actually will be saying more since we have something up our collaborative sleeves...)

Well, hereafter, we shall all know her has "bluehose" or "bluehose98" (let's see if anyone out there knows what that is...?) because after years of prodding and pleading and begging--someone else finally convinced to her put her world on a blog for all to read. Yay! I believe she has wonderful things to share amidst the random thoughts of her life--just like the rest of us. I have known her since High School and consider it an honor to still be such close friends this many years later. How does that song go?

Make new friends,
but keep the old,
one is silver
but the other gold...

I assure you, she is one of the golden friends in my life.

Let's give it up for bluehose {wild ceering in the audience}.

You will find her humble cyber-abode at Finding Myself in the Midst of It All. Please, go check it out and say hi!

(Yeah, all three or four of you who read this--just be a good neighbor, alrighty? Thank you then.)

Now go have yourself a lovely week...I'll be back, probably often over the course of the next few days. Keep a weather eye out. (Or however that expression goes!)