Thursday, September 29, 2011

Praise God! Emily's Spine is Perfect!

This is Little Bit's first passport photo.  Isn't she adorable?  Turns out, we had to take a new one at the passport place because of the wrinkles on the background sheet, but this will forever be her first "passport photo" in my mind.

Go on and take another second to ooo and ahhh.  I can wait.  I understand.  There.  Feel better? 

Alright, now for an update on our Little Miss.

Last week, we went in for her four month appointment and immunizations, and while examining her adorable toosh, the doctor glanced at the chart and said, "did we get an ultrasound on that?"

I'm sorry.  WHAT?  An ultrasound on her sweet little rump?  Whatever for?

"We didn't get an ultrasound?" (rising panic in his voice)  "How did I miss it?"

What did you miss?  What's wrong?

"These dimples"

(Alright, enough dialogue.)

Turns out, she has sacral cleft dimples.  She has a little forked "Y" coming up her lower back just above her tiny little glute-crack.  There are dimples on the top Y parts as well as on the stem of the Y.  They're perfectly normal in a lot of children, but sometimes, they can indicate spinal issues.  25 years ago, no one paid them any mind.  Then, doctors began seeing correlations, so now they double check just to be sure.

Our sweet doctor had just read an article the night before on the exact measurement to determine "cute-baby-dimples" vs. "look-into-the-cute-baby-dimples", and Emily definitely measured for an extra looksie.

Potential issues: spinal bifida, an attached spinal cord (it should be floating around.  If it's attached at the base, then it won't grow when she does.), etc.  The doctor explained that later on, she could have problems walking or going to the bathroom.

So...we do an ultrasound to check things out and go on from there.  No biggie.  Just a tad scary.


Except for the fact that she's big enough now, her bones will make it difficult for an ultrasound to see the spinal cord.  We'll probably need an MRI, which could mean infant sedation (which sometimes has side effects.

He was hesitant to recommend an MRI on an infant (the sedation thing), and an X-Ray is too much radiation at her age, so he recommended a second opinion from a NEUROSURGEON.  Ahhh!  (Btw...yes, they do brain surgery stuff, but they also work with nerves, and since the spine is a very nerv-y place, they do that, too.)

Matt and I decided that while the situation could be quite a dramatic, scary change in our lives, we'd wait to start alerting all of our prayer-warrior friends (and freaking out ourselves) until we knew for sure we even needed an MRI and when it would be.  We told only a few people.  We just didn't have enough information to get everyone all up in arms and on their knees until we saw our second-opinion doc.

Well, that appointment was today at 8:30am.  The neurologist (who kind of reminded us of Matt's uncle, in a way) came in and said we definitely needed to look into the dimples, but Emily was small enough that an ultrasound might work.  He called over to the children's hospital and asked for an ultrasound STAT*.  They worked us in immediately, and baby girl slept beautifully just in time for us to do the ultrasound.  I had to take pictures, because it was her first ultrasound, and she just looked so incredibly cute sleeping there with goop all over her back.

It was cool to watch!  Her spine reminded me of dinosaur bones.
 She woke up and was a little disoriented (after all, her last ultrasound was from inside of me).  She quickly realized that there was a TV playing cartoons behind her, and she did the best tummy-time workout stretch EVER trying to see them.  I finally flipped her over so she could watch.  Here is her sleepy little face watching contentedly.

"Should I just watch cartoons? cartoons AND suck on my toes?  Hmm..."
The appointment was at 8:30am, and at 11:50am, the neurologist called to tell me Emily is totally fine.  Her spine is fine and normal and unattached, and we don't need to come back or have surgery. 

So, we are totally praising God right now.  Unfortunately, since we only told like 5 people and our Sunday School class, no one knows that Emily almost had spine issues, and they're all shocked when we share the happy news.  Whoops!  Either way, God is really good, and we want to share.  Now you know.

P.S.  I had a marvelous time coming up with euphemistic reference to her nether-regions. 

P.P.S.  *STAT - I had to look it up to see what it meant.  Why don't docs just say "ASAP" - I mean besides the fact that it takes much longer to say?  It comes from statim which means immediately in Latin.  Or, some people in English have adopted it to mean "Sooner Than Already There".  As a languages person, I'm going with the Latin explanation.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friendship - When Someone Forces You to Save $2


For those of you who don't know me very well, this post may be a bit enlightening.

It all started with a book club I'm in along with some girls at church.  This month we read The Help.  Well, as it turns out, some friends were going to see it Saturday night.  So, I went, too.  I rode with Ellen. (This is important in a moment.)

(Note - Thanks to Jon, Andrew, and George for babysitting while their wives and I went to the movie WITHOUT the baby.  And thanks to the baby for sleeping most of the night.  Phew!)

Anyway, I had two coupons for $2 off at the particular theater.  I didn't mention this ahead of time to the two girls Ellen and I were meeting up with.  The coupons could be used twice, thus making it possible for all 4 of us to save $2 each.  Woohoo!

Well, when we arrived, the other two already had their tickets.  I told them I was going to explain my lack of communication and ask nicely for a refund.  Ellen was positive they would say no.  I'm pretty sure the other two didn't think I was actually serious and/or agreed with Ellen.  So, when my turn in line came, I went to the window and asked Stephanie (the nice girl behind the plexiglass) if we could get a refund for the other two.  She listened carefully to my explanation and then went to get her manager.

Brace yourself for a random turn of events.  Are you braced?  Really?  'Cause if not, it's not my fault.  I warned you.

Ok, so the manager came in, and lo and behold, he could have been Mr. Darcy's brother!!!
He wasn't exactly the smiling type, and he had kind of sad eyes like both Darcy's pictured below.

It was weird. 

Here's the thing...I may watch Pride and Prejudice at least once a month.  So you see?  I KNOW Mr. Darcy.  I get him.  I've studied watched the movie in English and Spanish.  Therefore, when he came in and asked me to explain what was going on, I saw his poor sad eyes, and I nearly told him not to worry, that it was all a misunderstanding and Elizabeth really did like him and it would all work out in the end.

Oh.  That's right.  P&P isn't real. This guy isn't Mr. Darcy.  He's a manager at a movie theater, and I'm asking him to jump some annoying hoops.  *Sigh.  Oh well. 

By this point, Ellen has bought her ticket with the coupon at a different counter, so I had to explain to the manager that the other coupon is two windows down at Tracy's window, because Ellen didn't come to Stephanie's window, but she really was with us, and she really did want to share her coupon, she just thought it wouldn't work.

He didn't say a word.  He looked at me.  He looked at my three poor friends.  He looked at the coupons. 

Then, he asked if they'd paid with credit cards.  They had.  He took their credit cards and began to REFUND the tickets so they could RE-BUY the tickets. 

Dang it!  At this point, it was 7:09, and the movie was beginning at 7:10.  The plan had been for them to get cash back or a credit on their card, but not a full refund and re-buy.  We sent Ellen in to save seats, and my poor patient friends reassured me that they really were glad to save $2, and that they didn't want to see ANY previews anyway, and that they were thankful.  They also told me that he didn't look very much like Mr. Darcy, but they were lying about that, too.  (Seriously...I promise they would rather have lost out on $2 each than go through the silent-sad-eyed Darcy-bro-refund thing.)

Anyway, when all was said and done, all 4 of us saved $2 on our tickets, and we made it to the movie before it began. 

As a side note, there were three women in the row behind it who could have been characters from the book.  Their running commentary was priceless.

So were the movie tickets.  In a "price---less $2" sort of way.

I'm just thankful I still have friends.

Btw...Tracy may not have been the other window clerk's name.  I was at Stephanie's window.  Tracy's name was entirely made-up by myself.

Monday, September 5, 2011

10 out of 10 Ants Agree: Spit Happens

Baby girl woke up at 8:30am, right on time for her morning feeding.

(Well...technically mid-morning, as her morning started at 5:30, but since she went back to sleep until 8:30, we'll say this is her morning feeding.)

She needed a diaper change prior to eating.

*Note: ALWAYS change a baby's diaper before feeding them even if it only barely needs it.  The crying in the middle of the night for a few moments (as you change her and delay her meal) is MUCH better than the diaper becoming over-saturated during the nursing process at which point which baby, with abundantly overflowing diaper, is cuddled up next to you.  (I'm not saying I know from repeated experience.  Really.  I'm just saying it may be a good idea.  That's all.  Hypothetically.)

Ok, I promise I'm getting to the real reason for the post soon, but I need to explain something else first.

You see, some wonderful, kind, sweet, precious friends have given us LOTS of clothes (and bibs) for Little Bit.

This is fantastic, because she goes through a rather ghastly number of clothes and burp cloths on a daily basis due to her spit-up tendencies.  I mean, seriously, the child is like a bulimic volcano.  Whatever goes in just keeps pouring back out nice and slowly in a creamy, lava soup ALL DAY LONG.  As a result, I have to do laundry for her every two days at least, or we run out of the 20 burp cloths we have.  Please try not to be jealous.  Please.  Try.  And stop laughing, too.

Anyway, because I always have so much baby laundry to put away in the first place, I just got around to washing two HUGE loads of the new clothes last week (baby clothes are small, so a huge load is right around 250 items, give or take).  I still had not begun to sort or put them away, although my sweet, sweet mother in law tried to get me started.  Thanks Suegra!  (That's Spanish for most amazing M-I-L ever!)

Speaking of which, you may want to know:  Hubby's parents arrived last week!  We are super-glad they're here!  Although, actually, at the moment, no one other than myself or Em are currently at the house, since Matt is at Dragon-Con, and his parents are visiting friends for the weekend.  Everyone comes back tonight, so as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to be cleaning like crazy so they can't prove I only sat around and ate brownies and bon-bons all weekend.


I have three clean baskets of laundry and am currently keeping dirty laundry on the floor.  Ours is in our closet, and Em's is under her changing table.  Bad idea.

This morning, I was changing her diaper, and I looked down and saw ONE ant on the floor.

Now, for those of you who have missed the privilege of experiencing ants, suffice it to say, they never travel alone.  Never.  I looked around and didn't see any others, so I killed the one guy and went back to the diaper change.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw about 20 or so on the floor at the corner of the changing table.  As I kept one hand on the baby -

**NEVER, EVER leave a baby unattended (or without a hand on her) on a surface higher than the floor.  I may be dumb enough to not change a diaper before I feed her (or I may not - I'll not confess a thing...) but I would NEVER let go of my baby for some ants!

Anyway, keeping one hand on baby, I bent down, and lo and behold, this is what I saw:

It's an ant smorgasbord! (that means buffet)  :-(

I was so shocked, I almost let go of the baby.  (I didn't, though, no worries).  I did, however, decide that she did not need to eat as badly as the situation needed to be addressed.  So, without even re-buttoning her onesie, I put the poor thing back into her crib.  I knew she was upset, but I told her that one day I would explain everything when she could understand, and she would agree with me.

This was the look I got:
She did NOT agree with me.  (Mom!  Don't leave me!  I'm HUNGRY!!!!)

Sigh.  Oh well.  She forgave me when I finally fed her 15 minutes later, and when I killed the ant that was somehow crawling on her head.

After putting her down, I transferred the ant-infested cloth to a plastic trash can.  The other clothes were immediately dumped into my plastic laundry basked (after I emptied the clean clothes that were in it onto the guest bed), and I put them into the laundry, ants and all.  I ran it on the hottest, longest wash for good measure.

I took the ant-infested cloth...
in case you'd forgotten what it looked like...

...outside and shook it in the yard.

FYI, for those of you who don't have the pleasure of living in sunny, sandy Florida, our ants are everywhere, and they're mean.  Grass is simply a covering for ant hills.  Don't send your kids in the backyard barefoot.  Trust me.

Anyway, I took it outside and shook it, and the mean little buggers went flying everywhere, but they were still chomping, so the ones that landed on me (around 10) went on and transferred to their second course---me.  I was getting a little squirmy, but I went on and shook one more time (ugh), and then dumped that one into the laundry, too.

I vacuumed up the floor, fed the baby, killed the stray ant that had made it to her head, scratched some ant bites, and then went to check on the wash.

The water had killed all of the ants, but they were still in my washing machine.  So, as I transferred clothes to the dryer, I shook each item out until all of the ants had fallen off.  Then, I took a paper towel and wiped up the ant carcasses so that my washing machine is no longer a graveyard.

And that, my friends, is why I entitled this post Spit Happens.  'Cause it most definitely does.  And now, the ants know it.  We'll see if actually putting dirty laundry in a laundry basket (not the floor) will make a difference.  If not, I promise to let you know.

Oh, and remember how I really appreciate my husband?  Well, last night, I especially appreciated him even more as I set out the trash and the recycling in the scary dark of night.

This morning, I looked out to see if recycling had been picked up yet.  It hadn't.  Neither had the trash.  Today is Labor Day.  I braved the dark of night for nothing.  Dang it!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Who am I?

My hubby is out of town this weekend.  

I'm thrilled for him, because he's at Dragon-Con - a slightly geeky festival of geekiness.

Someone asked me last night if I missed him, and I promptly responded, "nope".

You see, in the past, he's traveled for nearly a month on end to various other countries, so for him to be in the same time zone 6 hours away for a few days is not stressful at all.  In fact, we usually get along quite well after short breaks like this.

Well...that was my answer until this morning.  

As it turns out, I miss him quite a lot, and I was just in denial.  

Actually, I take him for granted in a huge way, and he is an extension of my life.  Without him, I'm not really sure who I am.  

Here are the times I missed him today so far:

 1.  Waking up.  Sunday-morning-cuddle fail. 

 1b.  Sunday-afternoon-nap-cuddle fail.

Baby girl totally gets the Sunday nap thing!

2.   Getting out the door today.  I woke up at 7:38, I never slowed down, and I still left the house at 9:05 (20 minutes late).  Let's just say there were several moments I wished I could do a hand-off.

 3.   Introducing ourselves myself in Sunday School.  We always say who we are, how long we've been married, and answer a question of the day.  Today I was solo.  It's weird to introduce someone who isn't there.

 4.   Carrying our child all over church by myself.  She's a growin' girl!  I needed man muscles!

Here she is for the first time in her Bumbo.  See?  Growin' girl!

5.   Hearing the pastor say, "reach over and take your spouse's hand as we talk today about the 7th Commandment." 

5b.  The love song sing-along before the sermon.  I sang to the baby.  No...*sniff...problem.

6.   Having someone to spend the day with.  

Example...flying a kite. 

Disclaimer - the picture looks much prettier than the actual evening.  A few mosquitoes, ant bites, and sudden moments of ZERO wind may have made me a tad grumpy, but I'm going to keep the picture anyway.  Sometimes life gets grumpy.  It's ok.  There can be a prettiness in that.

7.  Someone to kill bugs for me.  I have to *shiver* do it all by myself.  Sadness! 

This is a TERRIFYINGLY HUGE spider he killed for me last week.  My hero!

8.  Really, I just missed him because part of me was gone.  It's hard to have so many moments that you know he would like that you're enjoying without him.  I'm not myself when he's not around.  He's my other half.