Sunday, January 28, 2007


About 6 months ago, the Tot started saying real words. You know, words other than 'mama' and 'dada'. It was great, but then the realization hit that my son would soon be talking, and we all know that that is when the trouble truly begins.

The Tot has not said more than a few words since that time. He was even saying 'thank you', and now for months it has been zip. Zlich. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Having had a son already to compare his progress to, I suddenly realized that the Tot was lagging way behind his brother. Now his brother said his first word at 7 months, which I know is early, and never stopped talking since that point, so I must admit that the Tot learning to talk has not been on my list of 'I can't wait until he....' lists. However, as we near his second birthday, I know he is getting further and further behind. His pediatrician told me that he needs to be saying sentences by that time, and, well, he hasn't been saying much more than mama and dada lately. No, make that simply 'ma' and 'da'. It seems my son is regressing a bit.

The thing is I KNOW he can say other words, he just doesn't want to. Wait, before you label me as one of those moms who simply doesn't want to admit her son's limitations, let me explain. Whenever we tell the Tot to say 'thank you' or 'excuse me' or any number of words that he has said before, he looks at us with a smile on his face and promptly stops making any noises. Sometimes he even goes as far as laughing at us. Even S. has been trying to get him to talk to him! The funny thing is that S. gets the same response as we do.

I go back and forth between thinking 'I am a bad mother because I am actually happy the kid rarely says anything' to'What if there is something wrong with him?'. Mainly I think that he'll talk when he wants to talk. He can communicate with us just fine by shaking his head up and down, so he obviously understands what we're saying. Plus, he's the second born. Everyone seems to talk for him. And apparently, I myself was a late talker. My mother swore that I didn't talk until I was three years old, whereupon I have never stopped!

So, what do you think? Is Tot a late talker who is content to let everyone do the talking for him, or is his speech really delayed? I want to do what is best for him, but I also don't want to overreact. Any opinions?

Friday, January 26, 2007

It Always Comes in Threes

Well, now S. has the cold that Tot has been sporting for what seems like forever. Poor thing missed preschool for the first time yesterday. Then the cleaning lady called to cancel again. Originally, she had to move my day because she was on vacation. I was okay with that. I'm nothing if flexible; Hubby laughs when I say that. Anyway, apparently she wanted to extend her vacation and only called to tell me that at 9:20 at night. By that time I had already straightened up the boys' toys and all of the incidentals so she could actually clean. I was especially looking forward to her cleaning because of all the sickness in this house. Now guess who gets to clean the whole house this weekend? Yep, yours truly. Then today I weighed myself at the gym, which I was a stupid to do in the first place, and I found that I have gained all the weight back and then some! Geez! What a long ass week this has been!

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Should Know

A fellow mom from my MOPS group, Mothers Of Preschoolers, just lost her dad last night in tragic accident involving bad weather and a truck. I just saw her on this past Friday, and we were joking about how un-crafty we were when it came to the craft portion of our meeting. We are so not crafty that we were moved to the dipping the chocolate pretzels FOR the craft project. I digress. It's weird how we were JUST laughing together and talking about how everything was going well in our lives.

When I received the news, I felt numb. I didn't know what to do. What could I do for her? What could I say? What should I say? Then I began to get angry with myself. I mean I should know the right thing to say to someone who just lost a parent. Why am I sitting here dumbfounded and struggling for the right words?

When I lost my mom there were people who came to the wake, offered to help in any way we needed, and then we never heard from them again. I knew their offers were hollow then, but it still hurt. It still does. I now know it's most likely because they didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to help, so instead of possibly doing the wrong thing, they chose to do nothing at all. They are human, and I have let go of much of my anger over their lack of support. What helped and touched me the most was when people would call out of the blue and ask how I was doing. When people would send a card or invite me over for lunch or just for some company. I was very lonely and gratefully accepted most of these offers. I remind myself of this, and believe that it's better to say or do the wrong thing than to do nothing at all. That's just my personal feelings.

Just this afternoon my uncle, my mom's brother, called and we talked for over an hour. (Both boys were good, can you believe that?!) He spoke of this white cake plate with little ruffles over the top made out of the old milk-glass style. He said that my grandmother used this plate whenever she made a doll cake for my mom or another family member. I told him I thought it sounded familiar. I then went downstairs and found that plate. Another memory. It feels good to have them, but at the same time it makes me feel so sad. I miss my mom like she died yesterday. After remembering our discussion, I decided to make a meal for my fellow MOPS mom's family and to also send a card. Her parents live a couple of hours away, otherwise I would attend the wake. I will 'suck it up', and know that I may say or do the wrong thing, but that I will do it from a good place. Because it is better to say something than nothing at all. It is better to help honor the memory of someone who was very important in a friend's life even if you never met him. It is better to do something than nothing at all. She will have these 'cake-plate' memories that will smack her in the gut when she least expects them, and I for one, would like to help her get through them. Would like to help her know that it's normal to feel a certain way. Losing a parent sucks, but she is not alone. She will go on, but she will never forget her father for a second. Her grief will lessen, but his memory will live on through her. Some days she will feel like she is dying inside because the pain of losing him is so intense, but she will live through it. One day she'll find herself not so sad anymore. She'll laugh and feel joy when she remembers a certain time spent with him. She will go on even though right now it doesn't feel like she can. She will because she's a mom, and that's what we do.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

When Nothing We Do Seems To Help

You know when things appear to be going well, so well, that you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, it's dropped. Poor Tot, our child with cold-induced asthma, has been having a trying time in teh past day. The poor thing got a hell of a cold, that of course, settled in his lungs. So it's back to the nebulizer, with Albuterol, and Donatussin syrup. Although the asthma seems to be getting better, the cough is only getting worse. Plus, he had a 103 degree fever, that luckily responded to Motrin. But the cough...the cough! Hubby and I feel so bad every time we hear it. I didn't know what to do this afternoon. Tot couldn't sleep because he kept coughing. I decided not to take him to the ER because it was likely that we would have to wait hours, which would probably just expose him to something worse. According the the Academy of Pedatrics book, I should take him to the ER if parts of him turn blue. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but doesn't blue indicate that oxygen isn't getting where it needs to be? The hell with taking him to the ER, I'd be calling an ambulance! I have also learned that by coming in by ambulance, you get bumped ahead of the other people who merely walked in. Learned that one the hard way!

Last night as Hubby and I took turns getting up to rock Tot back to sleep, I remarked on how much it felt like we had an infant again. And not in the good way. I tell you, I have gotten used ot sleeping through the night again. I am selfish when it comes to my sleep! I did enjoy rocking Tot. I have missed the cuddly parts of babyhood. However, I don't want it like this. If it means I have to have a sick baby boy just so I can rock him, I'll pass. We feel so helpless when the boys are sick. Hubby and I want to make it better. Don't most parents want to do that? Not being able to help him is very hard on us. I just want to make him more comfortable. Right now I am struggling with hearing him cry. He's so overtired, and the coughing is bothering him. I finally decided it wasn't unreasonable to call the doctor, and Hubby is picking up some Delsym cough suppressant for the little man. The doctor said there isn't anything else we can do to make it better. I desperately want to make it better. Don't our kids expect that mommy can make it all better?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finally, It Is Happening Around Here Too

When the Tot first arrived, S. wanted to hold him all the time. After about a week of him being around, S. was done with this baby. 'It was time to send him back and get life back to normal around here', he seemed to think.

After a few months, it was worse. One moment S. was kissing the Tot, the next he was hitting him. S. never seemed to think that he was getting enough attention, and would 'act out'. I was doing my best to keep from losing it on him. I didn't want to only give him negative attention, but that seemed like the only attention I could give him. I mean how can you praise a child when he's just smacked your youngest? It was a catch 22.

Things finally got better, meaning less hitting, but no real interaction between the boys. I got the sense that S. didn't mind the Tot being around so much anymore, but he certainly wasn't ready to say 'Gee, thanks mom for giving me a brother.' I continued to have to be on the look-out for any 'drive-by hitting', which is our term for hitting your brother when you think no one is looking. S. would walk by and check his brother in the face, arm, or anywhere he could get to. It was not fun.
That has all changed. In the last two weeks S. and the Tot have wanted to play together. They've gone down the slide about a hundred times together, as well as gone in the bouncer, played with their cars or played with their kitchen. They have hugged each other, and I swear I think I just heard the Tot tell S. that he loved him. S. tells Tot that all the time now. It is cute beyond words!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just Like the Poop Mural

Remember this??? Ah, the infamous poop mural. Notice the date? Now look below at the date on yesterday's Valentine crafts pictures. Yah. Proof I need to be watching S. closely this time next year.For the last two weeks, S. has been a dream. I have enjoyed spending time with him so much. He is at the point where he wants to learn, and being a former teacher, I am only too eager to oblige! He loves his velcro calendar, even does it himself now, loves to do crafts, help me out in any way, and loves to complete pages in his new 'preschool big book of skills'. So far he has totally mastered the meaning of 'same' and 'different', 'big' and 'small' and a host of others that I won't bore you with. He has been so smiley and so agreeable, which is why I never saw what happened yesterday coming.
Yesterday, he went to preschool. It was 'show and tell' day, and I even let him bring his special colored pencils with his preschool big book to share with the class. He was beyond excited! Even when he came home he was wonderful. He ate all of his lunch, cleared his plate and put it in the sink without me even reminding him. My brother brought his cousin over for a bit to play with him. Then we put up our Valentine's Day things. I even let him put the clings on the back door by himself. (Being an anal, control-orientated person, this was harder for me than you'd think.) Here are the photos. He loved doing the paper chain almost more than putting the clings up!

Then we heard the Tot wake up from his nap. S. wanted to get him, which I usually let him do. I get him out of the crib and change his diaper, but S. likes to be the first one in the room. Well, I made a snack for them both. When they finished, we went downstairs in their playroom area. Then my friend called, and all hell broke loose.
S. ran up behind Tater Tot and pushed him hard. Tot fell down and cried, I got off the phone and immediately put him in his room. He knows this is the consequence of hurting his brother. Now you are probably thinking that was the end of it. Silly me, I thought so too! When I went up to his room to fetch him, I noticed something on his baseball throw rug. (See below.)I asked him if he had peed on it. He replied that he had, and even told me how it all went down. Apparently my angel pulled his pants down and deliberately peed on his own rug because he was mad that I was on the phone. Lovely, ain't it? His punishment??? I got a rag and put soap and water on it. I told him he was to clean his rug. When hubby got home an hour later, S. was still cleaning that rug. I can tell you this. He will not do that again any time soon. He said he was so tired from cleaning. Tell me about it! My dad's dog threw up three times yesterday. I can tell you this though. Our rugs are very clean now, and S. was a much better boy today. Thank you Lord!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Not Too Bright

For the past, oh half hour or so, I've been listening to one of the boy's toys go off. Repeatedly. It was getting pretty annoying to continually hear the music to said toy until I realized that one of our dogs was setting it off. Maddy is scared of anything that makes weird noises, so imagine little 8 pound Maddy going over by that toy again and again to try to figure out what that noise is. I think even she is getting a little irritated! Ah...Maddy was never the brightest animal on the block, but I love her!

*** So, what strange things has one of your pets done???

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wasn't This No-Sleep Crap Supposed to be Over Already!

At 3:00 in the morning, I woke up to horrible hacking. The kind of cough that you know isn't going to end any time soon. And. It's. Right. Next. To. You......Now I felt bad for my husband, I really did. But it was three o'clock in the morning! When he finally decided he better get up and see if he could find something to help him, I thought,'For the love of God stop coughing! I am SO tired!' When he came back to bed only to start coughing again, I only felt slightly bad when he picked up his pillow and blanket to head downstairs.

Today began with a cup of coffee and was followed by a Double Big Gulp chaser. Even that amount of caffeine wasn't a match for the fatique that I felt. I felt like I had a newborn who wasnt sleeping. Yet another reason why there will be no more children at our house.

***The only bright spot came when I stepped on the scale after working out. I had lost a pound during the holiday season! How did this happen you ask. Well, it's the one gift that depression gives to me. If only I could find a better way to lose weight!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Clarification on Depression

In my last post, it seemed like I was telling everyone that you could simply DO something to get yourself out of a true depression. That is not the case. I am on medication, attend therapy and exercise all in an attempt to keep my clinical depression at bay. Real depression, clinical depression is not something one can 'snap out of'. If I was not on my meds., in addition to everything else, there is no way I could have felt better so soon. There is no way I could have even made it out of bed. I did not want to trivialize true depression. Feeling down, really down, isn't even the same thing. When I feel down, I can attempt to do something that I know would make me feel better. When my depression was untreated, there was no way in hell I could have made it to the gym. There is no way I would have even wanted to.

Yesterday, I felt even worse than I had the day before. I was hours late in taking my meds., no caffeine, and I slept late. Like until 1PM late. Yah. Not like me. When I fear that the black cloud, the hole, is coming I need to DO something. I get so scared that I may have to battle the depression again. Whenever I am feeling that level of anxiety, I clean. Not like a normal cleaning. I spend HOURS at it even though the cleaning lady was just here. I vacuumed, dusted and washed the playroom's colorful foam floor. I vacuumed every carpeted surface in this house. Sheets were changed on everyone's bed. I applied so many layers of Quick Shine to the wood floors, that I am surprised that no one slipped and fell today.

Today, Hubby came home to find all of the Christmas stuff gone. The tree, stockings, incidentals--all gone. As my older son said, "It took a long time. It was hard." I also made a trip to Target with the boys. See, I keep myself so busy that I can't even think about anything. And guess what? Today was better. I don't know how tomorrow will be, but I am going to try to be positive. That, and have a list handy of things that need to be cleaned. Who knows, maybe I"ll dust behind the bed and under the dressers. Oh, the fun I'll have!