Sunday, January 31, 2010

State of my Union

Last week after the President gave his speech, Joe and I had a chat in bed about wishes and goals for our family in the future. It's no secret that Joe has wanted to add to our family, he was ready to start when Charlie was six months old. And everyday we're finding out more and more of our friends are pregnant with their second and third little ones. I think I stopped counting after 12!

But here we are, quickly approaching Charlie's second birthday and I still do not feel in any way ready to have another baby.

I think there are multiple reasons for my hesitation.

The first is that my son is an extremely demanding child when it is just him and myself. I know every toddler is high energy, prone to meltdowns etc. But Charlie wakes up every morning, and consequently from each nap, screaming and shrieking as though someone is trying to murder him. This is how we start every day. I have many friends who say their babies can quietly and happily play in their crib. Honestly, it takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes for my son to calm down from once he has woken up.

It wasn't until recently that we started getting good quality sleep in our house despite my efforts at sleep training with several methods.

The severity of his reflux/colic and allergies in his infancy (up to about 14 months) have worn off but the emotional scars are still very present for me. The screaming for hours, constant projectile vomiting, hunger strikes and refusal to eat really wore me down. I felt completely lost and incompetent as a mother.

Our breastfeeding failure (and my complete desperation to make it work) left me feeling extremely depressed and like less of a mother.

When Charlie gets ill it takes him twice as long as the normal toddler to recover. I've seen this time and time again with all of our baby-friends. Today was the first good day we had since he came down with the stomach bug on Monday. His gastroenterologist termed him a "easy vomiter" so certain textures of foods or even coughing too hard can cause him to completely empty his stomach.

For a long time when we were trying to work on our sleep schedule he would vomit one or more times at bedtime (and sometimes at naps too) and we would have to change the sheets, him, clean the floors. It has been so emotionally exhausting to try and fill him with healthy well balanced foods to see everything come right back up again.

He does not have much of a threshold for pain (I think this comes back to the reflux) so whenever he was teething we just could not sleep.

I'm not going to drag through all the other reasons and details but I think the crux of the matter is that with all our trials I have ended up doubting myself and at times I still do not feel confident about my abilities.

I am fearful that then next child will end up having one or more of the problems Charlie had. I don't know where I would find the time to give enough attention, enough of myself, to both children. Would there be anything left after that?

I know many other mothers have suffered far worse than I have. I'm not trying to complain, really just state what is going on inside of my head and heart. I pray each night and morning and ask God to make me a better mother to my son. Charlie is such a source of complete joy and love for me.

Joe and I came out of our discussion feeling better for having communicated and hopefully, come the spring, God will have worked on my heart some more and I will be ready to take that next step. I think when the time comes I may have to just close my eyes and leap with blind faith.

To close on a happy note, I'm ending this post with a funny picture :o)

Friday, January 29, 2010

21 months

When did my baby become a little man?

Charlie your vocabulary is exploding; today you must have said ten new words.
You know a couple letters and your favorite number is 2.
You love to have your blankie flipped over your face and sometimes you will still play peek-a-boo with it.
You adore animals and like to make animal noises. Favorites are frog, snake, lion & cat
You'd love to hug and kiss every animal you come across. Owen seems to love your affection:o)
You try to make everyone (even strangers) laugh with silly faces and noises.
You're a dancing machine and ask to dance every day in the living room.
You still have that gentle, loving, helpful little spirit.
Right now you are not aggressive or confrontational when playing with others (although that may change).
If you see something you think is neat you say "hi" to it (i.e. trucks)
You're deeply in love with diggers trucks anything with lots of horsepower!
You think your Papa drives every truck and digger in CT.
You know where every digger/crane/bulldozer is located in town.
You lace your tiny little fingers together to pray with us every night and can say Jesus and Amen.
You like to read your bible nightly and try to manipulate Mama into spending morning time by asking to read more of the bible. It's working.

You are going through a Mama phase since you had the tummy bug (and are still recovering from it).

Every day is better than the last. You are the greatest gift God could ever have given me.
Love, Mama

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Under the weather

We are just getting over a nasty tummy bug at the house but I wanted to share a couple updates.
Owen is doing great adjusting to our house and family. I caught him and Joe napping on the couch the other night. He is very gentle and so sweet.
And we had the marble deck installed for our tub on Monday. Joe and I primed the walls in both bathrooms and today the floors in the master will hopefully be laid down :o)

And Charlie is doing great since his surgery (with the exception of the stomach bug). His surgery was over in about 15 minutes and I think I suffered more than he did. I just realized that I never posted about that big day.

It was very difficult for me to see him on the operating table. He looked so scared and, though the anesthesiologist said he would be out in seconds, my little stubborn guy would not succumb to the anesthesia for what felt like minutes. The doctor exclaimed, "wow, he has quite a tolerance!"

After sitting in Charlie's little waiting room for twenty minutes I heard his cries and knew he was probably being wheeled to recovery. It took us about 45 minutes to get him to calm down but once he did he was back to his old self. To be honest the stomach bug he just had was far worse in comparison to the surgery. I was more exhausted from the emotional workout then anything else.

Well, that's it for my quick update, more to come!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Progress woohoo!

Today Charlie's bathroom tile was installed. I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me! These shots are not exactly color accurate because of the time of day and flash, but you get the idea. The floor tile is from Lowes and was super inexpensive ($1 a square foot). The bath tile is you basic subway 3x6 in glossy white.

Pretty soon the dark cherry stained cabinetry and the oil rubbed bronze fixtures will be in place and the beadboard will be up on the walls and then my vision will hopefully come together and look pretty.

Our wonderful plumber is coming tomorrow to complete a bunch of work and then Monday the Marble guy is coming to lay the marble slab for my tub in the master. Woohoo for progress!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New addition to the family

I have been awful with updating this past week. Between Charlie's surgery and picking up this handsome fellow at a local rescue organization, and then coordinating to dos for the bathroom renos its been busy. Oh and we also had a designer come to look at our 1950's kitchen.

More on all of that tomorrow but I wanted to introduce Owen first. He is a sweet and gentle guy, between 3 and 4 years old. He allows Charlie to hug and kiss him and give him treats and he sits right beside my feet everytime I work on the computer. Charlie asks to see him every morning and throughout the day.

Owen was marked to be euthanized on Christmas Eve because of overcrowding at a Greenville NC animal pound. A kind and loving woman rescued him just in time and then drove him and a car load of other cats up north to CT. We are thinking of finding a sister for Owen, but the jury is still out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning my baby is going to have surgery to put tubes in his ears. He has had 11 ear infections in 12 months. It's no wonder we've had so many sleep issues. I am praying for a safe and smooth surgery and being able to cuddle with my little man all afternoon.

I apologize for the radio silence as of late. I've been missing my sweet boy Malc.
We are also in the process of looking for a new furry addition (or two) to our home.
I've made a few stops at some shelters and am hoping that God will guide us to the right cat
or cats that will be a great addition to our family.

Finally, I've been also reflecting on the new year a bit and have some goals for 2010:

I'm hoping to be a more patient mother, more supportive wife (also daughter/sister/friend), and a better Christian.

I'd like to work on organizing the house better, planning our meals out more thoroughly,
and save more money by shopping sales and using coupons.

In 2010 we will definitely add to our family with one or two cats, maybe chickens (farm fresh eggs!) and God willing (hopefully when I start to feel a bit more ready) another baby.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


We are sort of snobs when it comes to meatloaf at our house. That is until today when I had a pound of meatloaf mix and didn't have the motivation to pan fry 20 some odd meatballs, and in effect, smell like oil and garlic all day.

I combined two recipes for meatloaf, one from Ina Garten and the other from Allrecipes. I served it with roasted potatoes and carrots and a baby green salad with sweet vidalia dressing.

Kelly's Brown Sugar Mini Meatloaves (something about individualized meatloaves elevated it for me)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 chopped onion
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 1/4- 1 1/2 lb meatloaf mix
1/2 cup whole milk
1 extra large egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ketchup
1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a sheet pan (or use a silpat). Sprinkle brown sugar into five ovals (where you will be setting the loaves) on the sheet pan and squirt ketchup on top.

Saute onion with olive oil for five minutes until translucent and then toss in the garlic for the last minute. Remove from heat. Gently combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl (including the onion and garlic). Try to not overmix because you will end up with more dense loaves. Place loaves on top of brown sugar/ketchup.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Snow man

Last week we had a few snowstorms and my two guys went out to play in the front yard.
Dirtiest snowman ever but not much to be done about that!
Hi mom!
It's caaullld!


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