Friday, February 27, 2009


I wanna be sedated.

Ever feel that your efforts to keep the house clean are pointless? For me, the state of my house has a direct effect on the state of my mind. Our living room is the center of our family life. We share meals here. Sophie's therapies (except PT) are done here. We play together here. I blog, check Facebook, pay bills, chat on the phone, change diapers, play Wii and watch tv here.

The kids prefer the room be a mess. Alexander actually tells me so and gets upset when I put the toys away. Sophie follows behind me dumping out whatever I've just picked up and loves to chase the vacuum cleaner. There are days when I just can't bring myself to clean.

I did an experiment of time lapse photography in my living room, over 24 hours, from 2 angles. I started after lunch with my goal to snap a picture every 30 minutes until bedtime and begin again in the morning. The rules I imposed were, be honest, no staging, no cleaning that I wouldn't otherwise have done, don't make it worse than it actually is, whom ever is in the room is in the picture, no posing, no editing.

So what's the point of this experiment? I suppose I had to see for myself if my perceptions matched reality. I need to find humor in this and I need to work on letting go of my cluttered home shame. This video is for all the parents who can't help but feel as if they are spinning their wheels. Now you know how we roll 'round here. I promise to try very hard to not freak out if you want to stop over if only you'll agree not to run away screaming.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unusual Suspect

I try to stay away from politics. I really do. This was too good. Plus, it pays homage to one of the my favorite movies "The Usual Suspects."

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Interrupt Your Regular Programming

Breaking News

At PT yesterday, I was just starting to explain how last week Sophie took one cruise step to the right. This was during ST and we were so excited. I said, "Sophie took a step!" Then Sophie said "step."

The following is what happened when I hoped she'd take just one more...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week 30

The count down begins!

Belly Shot, Week 30

Today is day 1 of week 30. This pregnancy has been a peach with limited nausea at the beginning and typical back pain and heart burn. For this baby I'm seeing a team of 6 midwives. So far I've met 3 of them and you get whom ever is on call when you go into labor. Weight gain hasn't been bad either with grand total of 8.4 lbs. gained so far. I think it has mostly gone to my back side. I permanently have a bucket of ice cream and cookies attached to my mouth lately and my face is taking on a moon pie fullness.

The tests we've done are to check for anemia (negative) strep B (positive for each pregnancy), and blood glucose for gestational diabetes (negative). I've had an early US for dating purposes and a level II US with a perinatologist at the mid point. We have another scheduled for March. Other than that, I'm in and out of my prenatals fairly quickly. It's a blessing, to be sure, but quite different than my last experience and has taken some getting used to. At the end with Sophie, I was getting twice weekly Non Stress Tests (NSTs) and weekly USs.

Having back pain prior to pregnancy has limited what I can do now. Laying flat isn't possible, sitting on the floor to play and do therapy (ouch!) and apparently certain cleaning activities are a no no. I scrubbed the bathroom floor on Friday and ended up with Braxton Hicks contractions that wrapped around to my back for an hour that were strong enough to draw tears. The fix was a couple of cookies and water, lay on my left side, have Mark apply counter pressure (and encourage him to stop freaking out), plus Tylenol and a heating pad on my back. Guess I'm off floor cleaning duty for a while.

I truly love being pregnant, but month 7 is my favorite. Maybe is a nice basketball size and she makes big enough movements that others can see my clothes dance from across the room. She wallops a punch but is still small enough to move around quite a bit. Months 8 and 9 usually have less movement as they rapidly gain weight and have less room to do gymnastics. She's 2-3 lbs. depending on which source you use, and her eyes may be open.


Bare belly photo, complete with unbrushed out stretch marks and gall bladder surgery scars below. Can't handle it? X out now.

Belly Shot, Week 30

Saturday, February 21, 2009

1st Global Day to Eradicate the "R" Word, 3.31.09

Click the above picture of Soeren Palumbo to read about the first Global Ban the "R" Word Day which was announced at the Global Youth Rally, one of the non-competition highlights of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Mark your calendars, 31 March 2009 is tagged as the first “Global Day to Eradicate the R-word.” “It’s time to spread the word to end the word,” stated Tim Shriver, son of Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver. I missed celebrity spokesman, John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox from Scrubs) who was slated to talk about 3.31.09 on the TV Guide Network on February 16th. (darn) As I get more details, I'll pass them along. In the meantime, check out Team Larkin or Cathy's page to learn more about the Polar Bear Plunge on March 7th, a fundraiser for Special Olympics.

Also mark your calendars for World Down syndrome Day on March 21, 2009.
Even if you've seen it before, its worth reposting the video of Soeren Palumbo delivering his essay to classmates honoring Olivia, his younger sister with an intellectual disability.
Now go and spread the word!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Future in Punk Rock?

I always knew he had it in his genes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Moan Ya

Just to recap;

Alexander had ear infections in both ears and from the sound of things likely bronchitis or pneumonia as of Tuesday. He finished his 5 day course of Azithromycin last night, but is still a little sick. Mark's visit to convenient care last Tuesday resulted in a flyer as to why you can't treat colds with antibiotics. He went back to CC yesterday. Based on his symptoms, he too came home with a pneumonia diagnosis and Azithromycin plus an inhaler. Last night was a peach for Sophie. I took her into CC this morning. There was no one else there (unlike yesterday when Mark waited a couple of hours) and they called us back so quickly that I hadn't got my coat off yet. Yadayadayada, likely ear infections, then we were sent off for an x ray where even I could tell her right lung looked weird. We were sent home with pneumonia diagnosis and Azithromycin. Actually, the radiologist has to give the official diagnosis of pneumonia, but we're starting treatment anyway as they might not get to it until tomorrow and the doc is pretty sure. I convinced the doc to give my ears a look and my sore ear has fluid, but no infection, which is good. i.e. I have a bad cold.

So, joy. We are the house of phlegm. Anyone care to join our club?

On a more fun note, I changed my blog background to a more Springy theme in hope of Winter passing quickly. I noticed that thecutestblogontheblock has made more blatant their terms of service requiring users to use all the coding, including the code that gives them credit and a link back to their site. I'm glad they did that and made their logo/button look cuter and blend in more with the background. I mean really, I claim to support women owned businesses (especially moms). The two creators offer a really cool service, much of which is free, and great tech assistance. I'm happy to link back to them. I'm just sayin.

Lastly, this video is dedicated to Sarah, Joyce, and TJ and is a result of the amazing story they have been sharing about angels among us. I looked for a decent quality version of the original music video, but this one is pretty good. I can't hear it without getting weepy and thinking of Alyssa, my cousin's daughter, that we lost to childhood cancer.

Anyways, I'm off to get a nap (hopefully) or at least curl up with my pink fuzzy slanket (a Christmas gift I'm finally busting out and love so far).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

To the two most wonderful children we could ever hope for,
Mommy and Daddy love you!
Happy Valentine's Day

Sweets for my Sweet

In exactly 5 months we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.

(printed on the back of our wedding programs)
~Sonnet 116~
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alterations finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever fixed mark,
That looks at tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken,
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
---If this be error, and upon me prov'd
---I never writ, nor man ever lov'd
William Shakespeare

My love alters not and is never shaken. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ears, 'Cept Different

Not to be left out, today we discovered that both of Alexander's ears have "bad" ear infections that "look like they've been bothering him for a while." Based on his other symptoms (like not eating much and sleeping in today till 11:40) and hearing his cough, doc says it could be bronchitis or pneumonia as well. Didn't need to officially diagnosis the last two as the azithromycin would help all of it. Poor guy has been miserable for nearly a week but I had no idea he had an ear infection (or 2 rather). He's never had one before. Rapid strep was negative and they're doing a full culture.

His daddy is really sick with a cold. Since he's prone to pneumonia and we were already in the building, I made him go to convenient care. While waiting I took both kids into the women's room. Alexander made an escape. Just as I was about to get security as he could not be found, a nice lady in the waiting room pointed out the table he was hiding under. (sigh) People actually giggled as I hauled the two of them outta there to the car to wait. Karma will get 'em.

Sophie and I have the cold crud and when momma's grumpy, everybody's grumpy. Blasted winter! Now back to American Idol. Ya, I admit it. I really like the guy singing now who recently lost his wife. Nice guy. Good pipes. Hope he goes far. Same goes for the piano player who happens to be blind.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Eyes and Ears

Sophie's 11:30 appointment with ENT/audiology finally got under way today at St. Louis Children's Hospital around 12:45. The nurse held her down with a vice grip so that the ENT could get a look and clean out her waxy ears. She screamed so much that there were snot bubbles coming out of her nose and mouth and capillaries broke all over her little face (see red spots in pic above). He got a good look in her right ear and saw fluid and no movement of the ear drum. The left ear was even more waxy and Sophie had had enough so I asked for a break. He didn't get as clear of a look, but decided to stop as he had made his decision. (The left ear also had "some white" in it.) So, she's getting tubes in both ears at SLCH in 3 weeks. Audiology was cancelled for the day as it would be pointless now and they check hearing 4-6 weeks post surgery anyway.

Then, the eyes. Sophie's Strabismus surgery last May on her left eye was related to superior oblique muscle palsy. To 'fix' it, the surgeon cut and moved the opposite muscle to weakened it so that they would be even (layman's terms). This muscle effects more of the up and down movement of the eye. What Sophie has now is also Strabismus, but of the (bi)medial rectus muscle, or those that effect the left to right movement. As this Momologist suspected and insisted they check (though I'm sure they would have anyway), this time BOTH eyes are affected. Her eyes are not turning in severely at this point and her vision is good and pretty much equal in both eyes, which means her brain is not favoring one over the other. They're calling it intermittent esotropia. We were instructed to come back in 3-4 months or earlier if it gets worse. Hmm. I wonder what we might be doing around May 10th (Maybe's due date), and June (a possible move depending on the job situation)? So we haven't scheduled yet as I've got to figure that out.

We didn't see our regular opthomologist today as she was in surgery. Instead we had a resident. Nice guy, but I've got more questions than answers and will be calling to talk to the doc tomorrow. The resident said that this is not something that eye exercises or patching will help and that 'possible' bimedial rectus recession would be needed. However, once you start moving more than one muscle, you can end up with 'weird' things happening.

I know it could be much worse news. I will adjust to this new information and move forward. In the meantime I had a hot fudge sundae on the drive home.

Also, our dentist had the misfortune of calling to reschedule Alexander's appointment for Friday. This would be the 4th appointment in a row that they've rescheduled just days prior so that the dentist could attend a meeting or training. Guess what? I fired them and politely but firmly explained that they clearly do not value their patients' time. So now we need a new dentist.

On a wonderful note, it was 66 degrees in St. Louis and Kinlee was born today! I won't steal her momma's glory, so I'll hold back from revealing the details. We had planned to get a peek, but with our sickies, we opted to drop off some goodies with RK's sister instead. We'll see them in 3 weeks when we go back and I won't have to fight off the crowd! Congratulations to the family!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cookie Tragedy

I just burned a dozen cookies because:

a.) Although I thought I set the timer, it didn't work
b.) I'm watching the DVD The Saint and Val Kilmer always has my full attention
c.) Pregnancy brain
d.) The grips of Facebook have me
e.) All of the above

My reaction to the burnt cookies was:

a.) Oh well. Its just 1 dozen. I've got housework to do and need to prepare for our trip to St. Louis Children's Hospital tomorrow anyway (for Sophie's appts. ENT/audiology & opthomology)
b.) Got mad, chucked them off of the back porch where at least the cats can enjoy watching the squirrels get them.
c.) Dig out a half bag of chocolate chips left over from another baking project and immediately whip up another half batch.
d.) All of the above except 'a'

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Name That Movie

Anyone can play, but this is dedicated to all ya'll over in Facebook. I joined 2 weeks ago and have found it to be an amazing and strange new land. Since you're not 'allowed' to post video clips that aren't yours in the FB, I'm placing it here. Come on now. Name that movie! (bonus points for naming the woman who does her voice)

Beautiful Mind

Conversations with our 4 year old son.

A few days ago at bed time.

(Mark) I'm exhausted.
(Alexander) What's eggasted?
(me) V e r y, very tired.

Two nights ago just before bedtime.

(Alexander, stated in a long, drawn out fashion) I'm exhausted! (pronounced correctly)
(me) You are?
(Alexander) Ya. I want go bed now.
Alexander has a bad cold and has been fighting a shake inducing fever for 24 hours. We took his temp and felt his skin just before bed time last night.

(me) Oh boy. I think your fever broke!
(Alexander) It didn't break. It's fixed!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You're Fired

When was the last time that such a thing was wonderful news? I'll tell you when. When we were told not to ever come back, when we crossed an 'ologist off of Sophie's list. When Sophie was born there were 3 findings regarding her heart including a small muscular VSD, PFO and small PDA. None of the findings required any action beyond monitoring. Last February, Sophie had a repeat echo cardiogram that revealed that she only had a small PDA. Yesterday she had another echo and I am overjoyed to announce that the small PDA has closed on its own and we no longer have need of a cardiologist! That's right. Dr. Heart fired us and we couldn't be happier.

Other health updates are that Sophie is working on tooth number 8, a lower left molar. Next week we travel back to St. Louis Children's Hospital for an appointment with her ENT and audiology. This time they plan to isolate her ears to find out how each one is hearing. We have also been worked into the schedule with opthomology. After Sophie's last check up, we were told to come back in a year. However, the eye that she had Strabismus surgery on has begun turning inward and upward slightly, once again. I already knew that it is not uncommon to need repeat Strabismus surgeries, but am hoping that won't be the case.

In archiving my videos recently, it struck me how much she has changed in her 19 months on Earth. She's no longer my little baby. She's getting bigger and doing more every day. This update is not meant to be a comparison or brag and it is not my wish to upset any other extra special moms who I know love her. I'm proud of Sophie's accomplishments and I know you are too, just as I am proud of the little ones I've come to know and love.

Sophie has added the word 'boo' to 'peek.' Her favorite words are Daddy, baby, and Bubba (Mom/Mama comes in much further down the list). She waves and says 'bye bye' consistently and in the right setting. She even shouts it if the person she's greeting is far away. She's a millisecond away from cruising and pulls to stand like a champ. She could set world records in speed crawling. She kisses with puckered lips and sound vs. her original open mouth slobbers. She makes car and train noises when playing with Alexander's toys. She's developed a giggle and sense of humor that's contagious. Sophie nurses once at night and I expect to wean her by the end of the month. Straw drinking was a long and wholly worthwhile learning experience and without her ST, I'd be tandem nursing! She's great at putting toys 'in' (even when its other things like Daddy's slipper 'in' the bathtub or a ball 'in' the toilet). She has a great attention span, even with new toys, and gets very focused and intense. She seems to understand questions, like "where's Daddy?" because she often points with her index finger (though not every time). She often complies to requests like, 'hand me the toy.' She loves books and anything her big brother likes. In fact, she thinks her brother is the coolest guy around. She's such a social butterfly and she draws people to her where ever she goes. She also has developed a little princess attitude when she doesn't get her way, though it's so cute, its hard to get mad when she's being a stinker. In a word, we think she's pretty great.

(blog note: in the new menu bar, the VIDEO and CONTACT sections have been updated)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tech Joy

It's been a techy day and I even managed to get some house cleaning done. I took on a personal challenge of messing with html coding and such to build a navigation/menu bar for the blog after learning how to add audio files earlier in the day. Thanks to this site, the menu bar wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. What's been more time consuming has been filling it (adding photos, building a blogroll, etc.).

I have received an error message a few times saying that there has been a problem with add ons in internet explorer and it has shut down. grr. It restarts right away with no problem. I don't know if it is an issue with the audio files or the menu bar or what. That aside, I'm quite pleased with the results of my journey into tech land today. This is definitely not my area of expertise, but it was fun to see if I could do it.

That brings me to a request about the blogroll. Please leave me a comment if you would like to be added, want your listing/name altered, or find a misspelling or broken link. Let me know too if you see the site crash.

I'll be continuing to mess with the menu items in an attempt to clean up my cluttered sidebar. As for now, its off to bed.