What’s New?

I’ve lost 60 pounds! Holy smokes, y’all. My clothes are too big, my bra’s are too big, even my underwear is too big. Yet, I haven’t gone shopping for new clothes because I hate spending money on myself; my psychiatrist thinks that’s unusual (me not spending money on clothes, etc.). Honestly, I don’t even know what size I am because I continue to wear my old clothes, and plan to do so until they’re literally falling off of me (in which case, they’re starting to do… I wore one of Greg’s belts yesterday for the first time). This whole weight-loss surgery has been a ‘hurry up and wait’ thing for me. I’m excited to see where it will take me, and I want to get there as soon as possible, but I know it’s going to take time.

Greg starts his new job in a couple of weeks. It’ll be an adjustment to him going back to work after nearly 5 years (since being laid off), but we’re both excited. His training is going to be 4 weeks long! Then, afterwards, we hope he gets the schedule he’s selected which he’ll be working a night shift (until midnight).

With Greg working, Sofia will be going to daycare full-time for the first time in her 3.5 years of life. Also, since the training is 4 weeks long, Amelia will be going to my Mom’s for a month.

My job has been going well. We’re going to be moving offices towards the end of the year. It’ll be weird with a new commute; I’ve been doing the current one for nearly 10 years! But, I’m excited about the new office. It’ll be in downtown Baltimore, right on the water, with amazing views and a lot of new amenities.

Amelia is graduating from the 3rd grade next week. Good grief time is flying by. I can’t believe she’s nearly 10 years old, and nearing the end of her years in elementary school. I soo don’t feel old enough to have a soon-to-be middle school-er. Not at all. Also, Amelia made honor roll this entire school year. So proud of her! She’s doing really well in math (probably better than me), and reading (she’s above grade level).

Sofia has finally graduated to big-girl status by being 100% in underwear. No more pull-ups and diapers for this gal! I’m so proud of her as well. Even at bedtime. And, we haven’t had a single accident in the past 3-4 weeks that she’s been wearing undies.

Greg has completed his final ‘step’ in terms of medical clearance for his turn at the surgery. We’re just waiting for his next appointment with the surgeon to schedule his date.

This summer is going to fly by. A lot of new changes and routines, and I can’t wait!

Gettin’ Old

It’s my birthday!

I’ve been celebrating my birthday since last Friday. My Mom took the girls for an overnight stay, so Greg and I got to go out on a date (I had a gift card to a restaurant) and it was so nice to just get out and not have to stress about the girls.

On Saturday, I left Greg behind and went to hang out with my Mom and girls. My Mom picked up one of my favorite steaks, a T-bone!, and made her best meatballs and sauce (for me to take home for lunches), and I got to cook dinner on the grill. Then, the girls made me a pistachio pudding pie!

On Sunday, my girlfriend, Michele, drove down and took me out to lunch and drinks at Cheesecake Factory. Then, we wondered (Read: Walked off the drinks and cheesecake) around the mall. After walking off our meal, we went to get our eyebrows waxed, and wondered around Target. We did a lot of wondering. She kept me busy for nearly 6 hours. It was a good visit, though. We always have a great time catching up.

Today, I took the day off from work. I had scheduled an appointment for Amelia (and us, really) with a child psychiatrist. Greg and I feel we need help with some things. It was a good visit, and we have a plan in action and I think we’ll do some family therapy. After the appointment, we took Amelia to school and came home. I took an epic nap with Sofia (it was awesome), then once Amelia was home and all of her homework was done (and checked), we went out to dinner to… Chuck E Cheese! This was a surprise for the girls, since we were planning on doing this for Amelia on her birthday, but that’s when Greg injured his ankle.

The girls had a great time, and that’s all that I wanted for my birthday.

“That’s not how it works”

We’ve all seen that auto insurance commercial where the old(er) lady states “That’s not how it works”, right? Well, that’s pretty much how today went.

The day started off well. Amelia woke up excited that, as of 7:59am, she is officially a 9 year old girl. Her final year in a single digit age.

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I went off to work, made it on time, and left at 11:30am. Greg went to the gym, stopped at the store to pick up cupcakes for me to take to Amelia’s school. I took the cupcakes to the school, had lunch with Amelia’s class (everyone was excited to see cupcakes; one classmate even gave me a hug). After Amelia’s lunch, I came home, ran the dishwasher, and took a small nap. Well, I started to take a nap. Greg was on his way out the door to get some balloons for Amelia while Sofia was napping, but Sofia ended up waking up earlier than expected.

Greg took his time getting balloons ’cause he ended up going to Target to get Amelia an additional gift. See, we bought Amelia her first laptop. Costco had a good price, and since my MacBook isn’t working at the moment (it’s actually the keyboard that isn’t working), we decided it was time. Additionally, Amelia has been asking to play Minecraft for months, so we figured, again, it was time. Well, we got the laptop this past Saturday and she played with it on Sunday and loves it. So, Greg went to buy some Minecraft books for her today.

We had a surprise planned. Amelia didn’t know I took the afternoon off, so we were going to surprise her at the bus stop, and then take her to Chuck E Cheese for dinner. Well, that didn’t happen. Greg, Sofia, and I were heading to the car to meet Amelia at the bus stop when Greg fell and hurt his ankle/foot. I was afraid he broke it. Greg was in so much pain he was shaking. So, I help Greg up and into the car. We pick up Amelia from the bus stop and head to the E.R. at North Arundel Hospital Baltimore-Washington Medical Center (still not the best hospital, but better than urgent care). Nearly four hours later we leave with Greg in a support boot and crutches. Greg was advised that he cannot drive for a few days, to try an not walk too much on the foot, and to follow-up with an orthopedic doctor.

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Greg is bummed. Amelia was a bit upset that the rest of her birthday was spent at the hospital; she understood it was an accident and all, but still… it’s you’re birthday! I get it, kid. I do.

So, when we finally made it home. I helped get Greg comfy, get the girls bathed and dressed for bed, and let Amelia play Minecraft. Then, I ran out to Walgreens to fill Greg’s pain medicine. I also informed my boss that I won’t be in tomorrow due to Greg’s accident, and allow him to at least get on day of rest. Plus, since it’s Greg’s right foot and he can’t drive with the boot on, I will probably be taking Amelia to the bus stop all week.

For now, Greg is playing Minecraft while passing the time until his next pain pill. I keep telling him that he doesn’t want to feel pain, so he has to stay on schedule with the medicine.

 

2016 Already?

Geez, time is flying by too fast. This year marks 20 years since Greg graduated from high school! 20 freaking years! I don’t feel old enough to say 20 years has passed for any milestone.

Yet, 9 years ago tonight I was in labor. My water broke at 6pm and my Mom drove me to the hospital. When I was checked, and confirmed my water did indeed break, I was already 2cm dilated. Within 13 hours I was going to meet my baby girl.

Amelia is turning 9 years old. And, every year (just about) I write how I can’t believe how old she’s turning. And, every year it’s true. I don’t feel old enough to have a nearly 10 year old kid. In my heart (and mind), I’m still 27. And, it seems I’ll forever feel that way (all the while thinking it’s only 1997). 27 was a big age. I had a kid. I got the man of my dreams. Moved three times with a baby. Bought my first financed car. A lot of big things happened when I was 27.

When Greg and I were engaged and planning our wedding, I befriend a lot of other ladies doing the same. Recently, I noticed that a lot of those friends have divorced. It made me look at my relationship with Greg and how ours differs from others; even my first marriage. And, I am thankful that Greg and I have each other and that we can be who we are without judgement. Granted, our marriage hasn’t been easy and we’ve had a lot of challenges – many that I knew about before we became parents and then husband and wife – but, the one constant that has been in our relationship is support and love. Greg supports me and the events going on in my life; whether they’re positive or negative. And, while sometimes I may not agree with how Greg is handling something, I support him. I also tell him what I think could be improved upon, and he’ll listen, but it’s the open communication we have that allows us to support each other.

2016 is going to have a lot of changes. Not sure on all of the changes, but things have already been set into motion. First, I’ve been taking an anti-depressant for about a month and I finally feel better (somewhat). I definitely don’t feel as ‘broken’ as I did before, and I am able to handle stressful moments a lot better. There’s still some work in progress, as a family, to be more balanced. But, that’s all to come as well. I’ve made an appointment for Amelia to see a child psychologist for some things. Amelia can be a bit much, and it’s more than just ‘normal’ stuff. I mentioned this to the psychologist and he suggested she come in and I agreed. I told Greg and he agreed as well. We’ve talked, off an on, about seeing a family therapist, but wasn’t sure how that would work with two difference insurances. I’m glad, though, that we finally have something scheduled. And, I suggested, to Greg, that it couldn’t hurt if we met as a couple with a psychiatrist. The doc felt so, as well, since Greg is on an anti-depressant, too.

Secondly, I have my weight loss surgery scheduled in March. It’s tentative, at the moment, since my ‘case’ hasn’t been submitted to the insurance company just yet. But, the doc’s office doesn’t see any reason why there wouldn’t been a rejection. I’m excited and a bit freaked out about this surgery. The exciting part is the changes that will occur; I’ll loose weight, finally, and keep it off. The ‘freaked out’ part is that I am permanently altering my stomach; there’s no going back once this is done. My Mom is excited that I’m made this decision. Greg, while supportive of my choice, was initially against it for himself. However, the idea has warmed up to him (which, I believe is in part to his anti-depressants), and depending on how it goes with me, he’s even willing to consider it for himself. In the meantime, Greg has been going to the gym three days a week and has changed his eating habits, including a drastic reduction in soda consumption. Granted, Greg and I drink diet soda only, soda was our ‘addition’. Since Greg has been on his anti-depressants, his soda consumption has decreased; he just doesn’t desire it anymore. The same is starting to affect me. I used to drink about 4-5 cans of soda a day (along with about 50-60 ounces of water), now I may have 1-2 cans of soda. I just don’t desire them like I used to.

Third, the office is moving. This won’t occur until the end of the year, but it’s still a big change. Additionally, we’re moving into a brand new building in downtown Baltimore (it’s still under construction)! I see this move as an opportunity for networking, and hopefully, advancement. The new environment will require me to dress professionally, which I am somewhat excited about since I’ll have a new body to dress.

It’s getting late. I’ll finish up another time.

 

What’s Happening?

How was your summer?

Ours was busy. And, to my dismay, we didn’t make it to the beach (even for a day trip).

I took 2 classes over the summer; Algebra and Human Biology. Greg had to help with the Algebra; math just isn’t my thing (well, math that requires x’s and y’s and plotting graph’s, etc).

Amelia attended our county’s summer camp program and loved it! Such a huge difference in willingness to participate this year than last year. We picked a somewhat different program that had field trips every week and we also picked a different school (one by my office) and I think that made the difference. We’ll probably do the same next summer.

We bought a new (to us) car! Greg and I would daydream about our next car purchase. What did we want in the car, such as the size (sedan vs. SUV. vs minivan), features and options, and manufacturer. So many factors to consider! And, after this experience I’ve learned that I hate car shopping. Hate it! But, in the end of our adventure (that’s a whole other post to share), we got the car that fits our family’s needs and that we enjoy driving as well.

Sofia. My goodness is this girl getting big! I wouldn’t be surprised is she’s already 25lbs and 30 inches tall. I keep telling Greg that we need to move her into a bigger carseat, but he doesn’t want to give up the carrier (even though its ridiculously heavy with her in it). That, and it would admit that she’s no longer a ‘baby’ and she’s in her way to be a toddler. Sofia does have 2 teethe in and just last week, or the week. For, she’s begun crawling!

Well, this is all the time I have for an update. I have several drafts written…one day ill get to them.

My Graduate

My baby girl, though no longer a baby, has graduated to the first grade.

Amelia had a fantastic year in kindergarten. She’s made some friends and her teacher loves her.

And, I can’t help but brag as a proud parent, we learned that Amelia is advanced in reading, math, comprehension, and in maturity. We know this doesn’t necessarily mean Amelia is going to be taking AP courses when she’s in high school, but it’s nice to know that, so far, Greg and I are doing this parenting thing right.

She’s Here!

**this post was started on January 12, 2013. So, some things my be a little ‘old’**

 

Sofia arrived on December 20, 2012 at 12:49pm weighing in at a healthy 8lbs and 9 ounces and 20.5 inches long. I wasn’t expecting such a big baby! Especially since Amelia only weighed 6lbs and 14 ounces and 18 inches. Nor, was I expecting a blonde/reddish-haired baby.

My anxiety and fears made me so freaked out about my csection, but in reality it wasn’t all that bad. The only ‘issues’ I’ve had have been with the JP Drain and the incision site (three weeks later and it still hurts).

Here’s the story of Sofia’s birthday:

The morning started out as normal; we got up and got Amelia off to school. Greg and I did a quick run to Target.

We arrived at the hospital a little after 9:30am and the staff was ready for us. I was taken to the recovery room and got hooked up to the IV and monitoring belt. I hate those baby monitoring belts more than anything else in the world (while pregnant). Fortunately, since baby girl was doing so well, they unhooked me after an hour or so.

Once I was off the machine, I got up and stretched a little and Greg took my last pregnant belly photo:

Belly

My csection was scheduled for 11am. Well, my OB was not on schedule (due to no fault of her own). As the time passed, my anxiety increased. Finally, at 12:02pm I was escorted into the OR room (there’s a clock on the back wall and I was watching it like a hawk). Then I went into overdrive. The nurses were amazing and tried their hardest to make me comfortable and calm… I was too far gone. My blood pressure, which the cuff was going off, like, every three minutes, steadily increased which made me panic even more (I was afraid I was going to literally have a heart attack because of my anxiety and panic). Plus, Greg wasn’t with me yet and that made me more scared.

The anesthesiologist was amazing. I hardly felt the needle going into my spine and the epidural and spinal block were 99% effective. Once the first part of my anxiety was over, I was more calm. However, the second part of my anxiety, the effectiveness of the medication, began.

Slowly I felt the medication working. It starts with a warming sensation in your legs. Mine started with the left side. It took a little longer than I would have liked for it to work on the right side. Slowly, but surly, I began to feel the numbness increase — which had the feeling of your legs falling asleep with the pins and needles sensation. I asked the nurses and who ever else was in there (still no Greg) if this feeling was normal and if I would constantly feel it. The answer given was yes. Well, this increased my anxiety again because I was afraid that I would feel the pins and needles with every cut.

By the way, once the spinal medicine was in my blood pressure dropped. A lot. I asked the room if this was normal as well and if how much it was dropping was normal (at times, I saw my blood pressure 94/7X when, prior, it was 18X/100). Again, the answer was yes.

The OB came in, did her prep stuff, and the next thing I hear is my skin being cut. I asked if she had begun and she said yes. Thank goodness I didn’t feel the cutting. And, as soon as this part began Greg was let in.

Once Greg was next to me everything calmed down. I was so happy to see him and have him holding my hand. Plus, he could give me the descriptions of what was going on (since I had a little curtain blocking my view).

Unfortunately, Greg got to see a lot more than he bargained for. He didn’t have a curtain to block his view. Unfortunately for me, Greg didn’t want to see what was going on and focused more on me. Greg did see when my water was broken; his comments were “it was like a geyser going off” and some did get on the doctor. Apparently, there was a lot of fluid.

Next thing I heard was Sofia’s feet were out and that she was pee’ing on the doc. There seemed to be a bit of a struggle to get Sofia completely out because she was in such an awkward position and so high up. Plus, she had the cord wrapped around her neck. Greg stated he was panicking a little because of how long she was head-in and was worried she wasn’t getting any oxygen. But, in reality, it took all of 30 seconds to get her out.

Once Sofia was out and in the warming station, Greg went to be with her. I kept asking what does she look like because I was expecting her to look just like Amelia. I was shocked when they said she was a strawberry blonde and that she weighed over eight pounds! It took days for me to wrap my head around this.

Sofia

Eventually, once Sofia was given the all-clear I got too see her for the first time:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They tested Sofia’s sugar and it was low (I was told they treat babies that are 45 or less and Sofia was 43), so they gave her a bottle and all was well.

Greg asked me if I wanted him to stay with me or to go with Sofia. I could tell by the excitement in his voice that he wanted to be with Sofia so I told him to go with her. While Greg was with Sofia, I was on the OR table getting stitched up. If you’re wondering, I did opt for a tubal so there will be no more babies for me (unless the tubal isn’t successful).

The rest of the stay was okay. We did learn, while trying to breastfeed Sofia, that she was ‘tongue tied‘ and it was causing some difficulties with her latching on. So, a specialist came and and examined her and decided she needed to have a minor cut done to allow her to stick her tongue more for a better latch. I was worried that it was going to be painful and Sofia wouldn’t be able to properly eat for days while it heals, etc. But, none of that was necessary. The had Sofia for less than a half hour and she didn’t even cry. Unfortunately, breastfeed wasn’t as successful as I hoped. Sofia needed formula to supplement because she was loosing too much weight. When we left the hospital, Sofia nearly lost a pound! By the time Sofia was 5 weeks old she was 100% formula fed. My milk never came in, or wasn’t enough to keep up with her demands.  And, we had to switch Sofia to a soy based formula due to her reflux (same with Amelia).

Other than the above, Sofia has been amazing! She’s very alert and aware of her surroundings. She LOVES Amelia and giver her big sister the biggest smile when Amelia enters her field of vision or when Amelia reads to her.

My recovery was uneventful. I occasionally feel pain where my incision is but those are becoming less frequent.

My maternity leave went by way too quick. Greg and I enjoyed our time together with Sofia. We were both sad that I had to go back to work.

Greg is doing an amazing job being a SAHD (stay at home dad). He loves that he gets to spend so much time with both girls. Plus, it’s saving us SO much money since we don’t need daycare.