posted on: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It all started Thursday night. Wes was on his way to bed after a long day when he stopped short at the bottom of the stairs and vomited all over the floor and down the front of his clothes. We had just gotten back from his superhero class and dinner. I'd gotten him an ice cream after dinner and knew something wasn't right when he barely touched it. Josh was at a work event and I was home alone with the boys. Thankfully, Oren was asleep in his carseat from the drive home so I could give all my attention to my poor (I can't believe this is actually happening again) sick boy.

It was gastroenteritis (you know, the stomach flu). And by the next night I had it and by the following morning Oren had it too. This in and of itself is no fun at all, but at least it's short lived. Only lasting about a day, it disappeared about as quickly as it came. My problem is what it lead to, which for me, was a panic attack.

I wanted to write about this because it's something I've been dealing with for about the last six or seven years. I know I'm not the only one to deal with anxiety issues, but it's so rarely talked about, sometimes I feel like I am.

I don't get them often, only about once a year on average, I'd say. My panic attacks are not frequent and are not something I have to deal with often, thank god. Usually they're triggered by an emotional event...having Wes for example. Right after he was born, on our first night home I had one. But also when I get really sick, usually the vomiting kind of sick, seems to now end in a panic attack. And with as sick as we have all been this winter, it's now happened twice this month alone.

If you've never experienced a panic attack, the best way I can describe them is to say that they are so totally bizarre and scary. What usually happens with me is they come out of nowhere in the middle of the night. It almost always wakes me up out of a dead sleep. Panicked, of course, I wake up shaking like a leaf, heart racing, sweating, blood pressure through the roof, teeth chattering, tingly arms and hands, lightheaded, with shortness of breath that I can't control (like hyperventilating), nauseous, and if I haven't been already, vomiting. It's like I wake up in the middle of a crisis that's not really happening. I have all the symptoms of panicking but without an actual reason to do so. (It's not like I'm being hunted down by a murderer --- it's completely uncalled for!) In my head I realize there is nothing actually wrong and no reason to be panicked but I can't shut down or control the physical symptoms despite knowing this. They completely take over my body and I just feel trapped inside of it. It's absolutely miserable and I've never been able to stop one without medical intervention.

Because I vomit so much when it happens, or as in the case this month I vomit so much it triggers one, I quickly become dehydrated. Earlier this month it happened in the middle of the night and Josh took me to the ER where they got it under control with just anti nausea medicine and two bags of IV fluid. Sometimes I need a dose of anti-anxiety medicine (like a xanax) to stop it. Sometimes all I need is re-hydrated...

They've checked my heart with an EKG to see if the underlying cause is a heart issue linked to dehydration since it always sends my heart rate through the roof, but nothing turned up there. Basically, they don't know why I get them or how to stop them from happening without medication. As I've said, they've been infrequent enough that I've resisted going on a daily anxiety medication to prevent them. But now, with two this month alone, I'm feeling like a daily medication might be the only answer. I certainly don't want to have any more (ever again, please!) and trips to the ER are not cheap or fun. This weekend when it happened it was during the day and I was able to just go to an urgent care down the street to be treated. But they usually happen at night when the emergency room is the only option.

I'm not sure yet just how this will all work out, or if this is something I will have to continue to deal with for the rest of my life. But I wanted to be honest about this thing I've been dealing with so much lately. And I wanted to talk openly about it so anyone else out there who might be reading this and might be facing something similar knows they are not the only one. It's scary and inconvenient and totally crappy when it happens, but I also know that I'm not crazy and it does happen to other other people and I will figure out some way to manage.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? I'd love to hear how you've dealt with it (and best of luck to you if you're like me and still figuring it out!)

Ice Skating

posted on: Thursday, February 23, 2012

I had promised Wes I'd take him ice skating a few weeks ago and finally made good on that promise over the weekend. We took him to the ice rink at Kent State (our old Alma Mater!) It was fun being back on campus again, though I was happy I didn't have to stay longer than an afternoon. (And that I wasn't carrying around an architectural model and 25 pounds of supplies through the freezing cold snow....ahhh, memories).

We had fun, although I think Wes is still a little young for the whole thing. He couldn't really control his feet at all with the skates on, so Josh and I took turns dragging him around the rink like a wet noodle while the other hung out with Oren. Wes had a good time but I think it's safe to say that he liked the zamboni and hot chocolate the best :)

This is the Face

posted on: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

of a mommy who just made appointments
to tour preschools on monday morning


***POST EDIT: Oren took his first steps tonight!
You can go ahead and double that face for the record.

10 Months Old

posted on: Monday, February 20, 2012

my mom's totally going to steal this picture and turn it into a refrigerator magnet. Calling it now.

At 10 months old, our little Oren Henry has become such a big boy! He's way past the army crawling stage and now crawls around on all fours like he's been doing it his whole life. He's cruising around all the furniture and will even stand alone without holding on as long as you don't point it out to him (then he gets all excited and flustered and plops down immediately). He's even tried taking a few wobbly steps here and there and I think we're only a few weeks away from walking. Which means...gates. Also known as the worst thing to ever happen to him. EVER.

He has since discovered he can hang on them like the little monkey he is. And Wes loves taunting him from the other side. These two are going to be a handful.

He's still breastfeeding a lot and still about twice a night as well, but he loooooves table food. He has to have a bite of everything I'm eating. As soon as he sees someone eating around him he starts grunting maniacally and bopping up and down, slapping his hands on the table until you give him a taste. He refuses to eat baby food altogether now, but he sure loves guacamole. Definitely my kid.

Between the learning to walk (see falling down and bumping his head 38473845 times per day) and the table food he insists upon feeding himself, he has become the living, breathing epitome of a rug rat.  Constantly banged up and dirty. He typically has a look about him that just kind of says...homeless. Especially with the constantly runny nose of late. And when he eats table food, he uses his hair as a napkin. Of course, why wouldn't he? This makes his (already questionable looking) hair all crusty and stick straight out on the sides. He kind of gets a Christopher Lloyd look going. You know, lovable for sure, but you don't really want to get too close.

we've decided it's best to just forgo clothing and the high chair pad altogether now during meal time

Other Special Talents

He says mama, dada and hi (sounds more like haaaaaaa!) 

The latter is often accompanied by waving and mommy's melting heart.

He's mastered the pincer grasp and can now pick up his peas and smash them into his hair and/or eyebrows with great precision.

He weighs a whopping 20lbs 8oz (is this a talent?) and I know this exactly because he's been to the doctor and therefore weighed, twice this month alone. How fun!

He's really, really, really good at producing copious amounts of snot. Like, really good. All-star level.

Loves drinking water from a real cup. He needs help holding it, but otherwise has this skill down.

Clearly has learned what the word "no" means. Loves to ignore us when we say it while grinning ear to ear and frantically doing whatever it is we've told him to not do until we come stop him and he erupts into a fit of giggles. 
Ornery Oren, we named him well.

Has five whole teeth now and excels in biting his brother when he least expects it.

Being my BFF.

So that's my little O'Henry at 10 months old. I can hardly believe we're already here. I've started planning his birthday party already (circus themed!) because I'm anal and also overly excited. It's my kid's first birthday for crying out loud, can you blame me?! I expect he'll be running around the house by then and doing all sorts of new things which I'll be sure to describe to you in great detail and at great length (you're welcome). In the mean time I'm just trying to savor these last few weeks before his age can be measured in years. 

On to the next month!

Bathtub Sessions (The Pirate Addition)

posted on: Sunday, February 19, 2012

Since Oren's been so sick the past few days I've found one of the only things that really helps cheer him up is a good old fashioned bath. He loves bath time and has been getting two a day all week long just to help him through this sad time. As you can see, bath time at our house requires any number of toys and other random non-bath paraphernalia. But hey, whatever keeps them happy, right? 

On Friday when I was home from work with my sick little guy, we sent Wes to his regular babysitter's so he could play with his friends and get out some energy since he'd been stuck inside with us all week long. Oren was having a particularly rough day and didn't want to be put down for even a minute. I was on day number two without a shower and desperate for one, so I decided to take him in with me, for better or for worse. I figured all the steam from the shower would probably help clear up his stuffy sinuses and I'd be cleaner than when I got in if nothing else. 

At first he wasn't sure about the whole thing, he was interested but nervous. I held him close and eased him into the falling water. Whispering reassurances in his ear and rubbing his back. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and held on so tight. After a few minutes he got brave enough to let go of me with one of his arms and reached out for the water with his little hand. He watched in wonder as he tried to hold onto the streaming water but it slipped right though his fingers. Smiling and giggling he reached out with both hands, clapping and splashing in the water, finally happy.

It was one of the sweetest moments I've ever shared with him. His tiny warm body wrapped around mine, his head on my shoulder. Feeling his nervousness and total trust in me to keep him safe. And then, slowly watching him get up the courage in himself to let go and discover something new. I watched the little drops of water collect on the ends of his long eyelashes as he babbled and smiled, holding my face in his chubby little hands and twirling the wet strands of my hair in his fingers. It was one of those times I knew I would remember forever. An extraordinary moment in the most ordinary of settings. I know it was just a shower, but it felt like so much more. 

Life Lately, with Pictures and Video

posted on: Friday, February 17, 2012

So, Oren's sick again. It's kind of unbelievable, actually. I'm almost to the point where I feel like this is just my life from now on. Like this is just how it goes now, someone (or everyone) in this house will just always be sick and miserable. We can't make plans or leave the house anymore and I'm missing my third day of work this week to be home with the poor guy. I took him to the doctor (again) and he said it's just another virus (again), along with croup and a minor ear infection. He also puked in my hair and has had no less than three diaper blowouts in the last 48 hours alone. (So, is it really too late to reconsider this whole "parenting" thing?...yeah, I thought you were going to say that). But I guess that's just February for you. (Quickly becoming my least favorite month of them all). Next year I'm telling you, I am going to find a way to skip it altogether and go straight to March.

It hasn't been all bad though, Valentine's Day turned out pretty good, actually. Oren was just starting to feel under the weather but the $80 worth of presents I got the boys (yes, I have a problem and it's name is Target) and mountains of godiva filled chocolate chunk cookies seemed to be enough to smooth things over for at least one evening.

And then, then we found out about the greatest thing ever! The one, solitary bright spot in this wretched week, and that would be the fact that there is a superhero tumbling/dance class for 3-5 year old boys offered right down the road from us. Yeah, you heard me. A freaking superhero class. You know, where a bunch of little boys dress up as superheroes every Thursday night and learn a bunch of sweet superhero moves that they practice on each other. Needless to say we signed Wes up immediately just for the opportunity to witness the most adorable thing ever seen by man. Oh wait, no, that will be the first weekend in June when they put on a choreographed show. Holy. Cuteness. Batman.

 already practicing his sweet moves after class

Also, while I was there, I met my soulmate parents. Seriously. We were all talking about our kids and their fondness for superheroes when the following conversation occurred. 

Other Mom: "Yeah, Conner's been watching the old 1967 Spider-man cartoons on Netflix constantly"

Me: "No way, Wes too! And he makes us act it all out, I have to pretend to be Firestar every single day and poor Oren has to be Iceman."

Other Dad: "Oh, you must have moved on to the 1980s and episodes of Spider-man and His Amazing Friends. Yeah, my kid watches that all the time. It's terrible."

Me: "YES, that's the show! It's really awful, right?!"

Other Mom: "Yes! Oh my god, we need to set up a play date immediately."

It was amazing. I had no idea any other person was subjected to the daily debauchery that is Spider-man and His Amazing Friends. There was no doubt about it, these were my people. 

And then totally unrelated...but in keeping with the my-kid-is-too-cute-for-his-own-good theme...behold. Wes, break dancing (unprompted) in pajamas to a rap cover of a Drake song done by my brother (as an inside joke/valentine's day gift for Marisa). I freaking love this kid. Makes the snot and diaper changes and all the other treachery of parenthood so worth it for moments like this. Guess I'll keep them after all.

(sorry for the crappy portrait style video. I might learn how to use technology properly one day.
But probably not.)

Happy Valentine's Day, 2012.

posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You know, valentine's day gets a bad rap, I think. Lots of people complain that it's a fake holiday and a waste of time and money. But I say any holiday that gives me an excuse for a fancy dinner out (ALONE) with my husband is alright by me. And that's precisely what we did when we went out to dinner in Ohio City saturday night for a little early celebration.

Two things you should know:
#1 I apparently have a thing for shrimp and grits because I ordered it again at Soho after just having had it at Take the Cake when we were in Cincinnati. I saw it as my responsibilty, duty even, to see who did it better, ya know? And report back to you fine people with my findings. Well, the jury is in and hands down, Soho wins. And that's saying something because I thought my meal at TTC was mighty tasty.

#2 My sister has been outdone. We all know she's the pie baking champion of the world. She makes a better pie than anyone I know...that is until Saturday night when a certain slice of pecan pie with bourbon-brown butter ice cream found its way to our table. It was like, Whoa. Life changing, really. Josh and I talked about finding a way to sneak a piece out of there and take it home to Abby so she could reverse engineer it and then we could have it whenever we wanted. But we all know that slice would have never made it home.

Wes has been keeping busy grinding glitter and confetti into my funiture making a slew of valentines and helping me make these. We're having our normal Thursday night people over tonight this week and wanted to surprise them with a little valentine's day treat. We had to make the dough yesterday, because apparently you have to age chocolate chip cookie dough now? So yeah, Wes was eating the chocolate as fast as I could chop it. And I was in the fridge eating the raw dough straight from the bowl all night. By my calculations, we should have enough left for say, four and a half cookies tonight.

I hope everyone likes sharing!

Anyways, before I go and bid you all a very happy valentine's day I thought I'd share this post from a fantastic blog that I read, written last year. I may have shared it before, but it's one of my all time favorite things I've ever read (after the introduction). In the spirit of the day, it's super duper romantic and every time I read it, it still gives me goosebumps. I wish that kind of love for each and everyone of us, always. That is the stuff right there. THAT is what it's all about.

Happy Valentine's

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