Tag Archives: worrying

She Says… Travel Ban

Woo boy, last week was a doozy.

Another one of those busy work weeks for me (running a training for 40 people single-handedly, which meant early mornings and late nights and being on my feet constantly in between) coinciding with a long trip for Benjamin (all the way across the country in L.A.). Thankfully Owen did his part this time by not coming down with some awful illness in the middle of it and everything went very smoothly (despite my blood pressure skyrocketing during every commute because I was constantly rushing TO work after dropping Owen off and FROM work to pick him up before it was way past his normal dinner time).

Two things got me through it: 1. Owen was angelic almost the whole week. He slept well (yay for the new clock system!), did efficient drop-offs and pickups at school and was so much fun to hang out with for the time we spent together in the mornings and evenings. 2. It was the LAST time this will happen for a long time.

That’s right. I’ve instituted a travel ban for Benjamin until Baby #2 decides to come out and play.

This trip to L.A. was a big job for Benjamin, and one we didn’t want to turn down, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a TEENY bit nervous about him being across the country while I was nearly 36 weeks pregnant (2 weeks away from when Owen arrived). I didn’t THINK anything was going to happen, but, you know… you never know.

When Friday morning came and I got Benjamin’s text that he had landed in Boston, I let out an audible sigh of relief. We did it. I held the baby in, successfully completed a challenging week of work (times a million while super pregnant), and he completed his last trip.

We’re filling this weekend with mundane things like walking to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, mowing the lawn together and actually enjoying a night out to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary (which was actually last Monday when Benjamin left for his trip and we didn’t even exchange cards to celebrate). And it feels lovely.

Now I’m hoping for a few more weeks with this baby on the INSIDE so we can enjoy our last few weeks of a family of 3. Just not TOO many more weeks, mmmkay, little guy?

 

She Says… Skydiving By 5

Owen has always been a wild child when it comes to climbing and rough-and-tumbling and fearlessness. The past week or so, this has culminated in a new obsession with jumping off of tall things.

Like, things that are nearly as tall as I am.

It started with jumping off of the couch. Then he graduated to jumping off of a stair or two. And recently, with the addition of his big boy bed, jumping off of his bed to see how far he can get (dangerously close to a little bookshelf on the opposite side of the room, we have found). These days, no matter who is nearby or where we are, I hear his little voice shouting, “Hey! Watch this, guys!” and turn around to see him teetering on the edge of some precipice about to jump off.

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Yesterday at the playground it was the top of this little climber. One second he was on the ground next to me, and the next second he was literally on top of it, ready to stand without any hands there to steady him. At least he called my name because he wanted an audience!

Benjamin nearly killed me when I allowed him to jump.

But here’s what I’ve realized. He’s going to do it anyway. As with most things that us parents attempt to control, I guess. But especially on the playground. If I want him to “go play”, I can’t stand hovering and telling him what he can and can’t do. And, frankly, I’m a huge proponent of letting him get a few skinned knees (hopefully not very many broken bones) to let him learn his own lessons about what he’s capable of. I am constantly surprised by what he really CAN do if I let him try. So my answer when he looks at me with that expectant, “you’re so not going to let me do this” look is almost always, “Ok, show me!”.

Granted, the first time he tries a new stunt I’m usually there with a hand out or spotting him so he doesn’t go kersplat on the ground right in front of my face. But especially recognizing that come July I may not always be there to catch him when he falls, he’d better learn what he can do safely on his own and what is actually too high.

I’ll probably eat these words when I’m rushing him to the ER someday in the not-too-distant-future.

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But for now, we’ve been working on some sweet new tricks on our swingset at home (monkey bar trapeze! Transferring from ramp to slide mid-climb! Sliding down the slide head first!). Benjamin does not approve. Which is ironic, really, because I can guarantee you (and I’m sure his parents can attest) that Owen got this “watch this!” gene from his father. He definitely didn’t get it from me.

If he continues at this rate, the kid will be skydiving by the time he’s 5.

Or maybe not. Is there an age where all of a sudden better judgement kicks in and the fearless kid gets not-so-fearless? Did/do you have a wild child when it comes to stunts/climbing/jumping? Do you try to stop them from doing the really dangerous stuff? How?

She Says… F is for Fail

… but it’s also for Fine.

I failed my 1 hour glucose screening. And not just by a little bit.

Surprisingly, the logistics of having Owen there with me were nothing at all to worry about. Instead of sending the sugary drink home ahead of the appointment time (as some people mentioned in the comments yesterday), my doctor’s office does the test on a day when you already have an appointment scheduled. So Owen and I checked in, I downed my drink (not that bad at all, for those who haven’t had it… just like a really sweet, flat orange soda) in the allotted 5 minutes, and then we headed upstairs to see my midwife for our regularly scheduled appointment.

Owen was totally entertained by tagging along, watching me get weighed and have my blood pressure taken and asking all kinds of questions about the room (“why is there paper on the bed?” “what does this button do?” “what’s that?” “and that?” “and that?” “Is she gonna use this ear thing on you?”). He goes to the doctor so much that he is really comfortable and loves asking about all of the tools. My midwife was so sweet and even let him help put the gel on the heartrate monitor and hold it up to my belly so we could listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I strung Owen along with snacks and a few minutes of playing on my phone at a time until the appointment was over, and then it was the perfect time to go get my blood drawn.

All in all, very easy.

You know, until I got my results this morning. Normal glucose screening range is 65-139 mg/dl, and mine was 181 mg/dl. Ouch.

Owen is back at school this morning (his breathing treatments and good sleep yesterday helped immensely) and I desperately need to spend my day getting productive work done, since yesterday was kind of a bust. So I’m forcing myself not to Google this all day long. The bottom line, as the nurse assured me this morning, is that 1) we will go ahead and do the 3 hour test to confirm, since many women fail the first screening and go on to have normal results at the full, 3 hour test after 8+ hours of fasting and 2) that even if I do have gestational diabetes, there is NOTHING I could have done to change it. It is not a result of my own diet or exercise, and “gaming” the test (eating/not eating) doesn’t really change the final results. And, of course, if I do have it, it’s better to know ahead of time so we can manage it.

So, while the 1st F word of the day is “Fail”, the 2nd is “Fine”. It’s all going to be fine.

Right? Right.

Thank you for all of your supportive comments and stories yesterday — I appreciate them so much!

She Says… Pile Up

I got “the call” from daycare yesterday afternoon. Owen had a fever over 102 after his nap.

In pure Owen fashion he was all smiles and acting fine, but when I picked him up I could see the puffy/red eyes and low energy level that always tells me when he’s not feeling well. The first thing he said was, “I get to watch tv? And drink warm water with honey and lemon?”. Ha!

(The answer was yes to both.).

Due to the high fever yesterday, he couldn’t go to school today. Fortunately I can work from home today and get almost all of my work done during naptime and after Owen goes to bed. Phew.

He’s been battling some serious congestion for the last week or so (as have I… mine is still lingering from my flu/sinus infection so many weeks ago), so I wasn’t actually surprised that it finally caught up with him and turned into something. It seems like a run-of-the-mill cold, but any parent of a kid with asthma will tell you that asthma can turn even the most minor cold into something very serious very quickly. At this point I’ve been through enough respiratory infections to know what to listen for, and although his breathing sounded a little thin, there was no wheezing or retractions. I also know better than to consider us “in the clear”, though, so I watched him really carefully.

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After a strict regimen of inhalers, nebulizers, humidifiers and lots of warm water with honey and lemon (a new favorite “treat” since I’ve been drinking a lot of tea to get rid of my own post-nasal drip), he seems to be doing a bit better. Lots of congestion, but his fever is down and his asthma seems under control, so I don’t feel the need to take him to the doctor.

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Well, except to MY doctor. My gestational diabetes test is this afternoon. You know, the one I’ve been stressing over. You know, the one where you have to wait for over an hour just to get blood drawn after drinking the sugary drink. You know, like, the hardest appointment ever to have to bring an under-the-weather 2 year old to. Where he’ll be forced to sit in a doctor’s waiting room for an excruciatingly long time, undoubtedly gathering more germs than he’s bringing in, while we wait.

Also? How cruel is it to schedule a gestational diabetes test late in the afternoon? When I was pregnant with Owen I did it first thing in the morning and had just protein for breakfast. No chance to screw up the test with carbs/sugar. Now I’ve had to eat all day (some people even fast to make sure they don’t screw up the results… but I would be crazy to fast all day, especially while pregnant!) and I’m about a million times more worried about the test than I even was before. Oh joy.

So, off to get 8 hours of work done in a 2.5 hour naptime. The clock starts… now.

Send me happy, low blood sugar thoughts for this afternoon!

She Says… Worries

This pregnancy (aside from the whole “getting” and “staying” pregnant, at least) has been so easy that a part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, I was exhausted in the first trimester. Yes, I had some food aversions and preferred bagels to salads for a few weeks. Yes, I’ve struggled (and am still struggling) with staying well while pregnancy seems to have zapped my immune system entirely. But in the grand scheme of pregnancy issues… these are tiny. I’ve had it easy so far, and every time I say it, I feel like I’m jinxing myself.

It can’t be this easy the whole time, can it?

Who knows.

I was very cautious and nervous in the first trimester, since it was only a few months after my miscarriage. I was scared of a million things, all with the same outcome: that this baby wouldn’t grow to be the healthy baby I dreamed of. But in a way this worry was easy to put aside, because the reality was that the worst had already happened, and I survived. If the baby wasn’t healthy, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. We would be ok. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and this baby has grown beautifully so far.

So now I’m past the point of worrying about the pregnancy being viable, and I’ve moved on to worry about other things. Believe me, I know something could still go wrong while he’s growing in my belly, but the odds are in my favor at this point.

So what am I worrying about now?

  • I don’t think I ever blogged about this before, but it was something I feared when I was pregnant with Owen as well. Benjamin was born with strabismus, which in his case meant that his eyes were crossed. I know a lot of babies look cross-eyed in the beginning, but his situation was more permanent and extreme and had to be corrected with multiple surgeries. Apparently 4% of kids are born with this, so it’s not crazy rare, and chances are there are even better treatments available for it now as compared to when Benjamin was born. Even though I know he turned out ok (kidding! he turned out more than ok!), it still scares me to imagine my beautiful newborn being born with crossed eyes and eventually needing surgeries to correct it.
  • Gestational diabetes. I don’t have any family history of diabetes and didn’t show any signs of it with my first pregnancy, but having polycystic ovarian syndrome puts you at higher risk for gestational diabetes, so my doctor is testing me earlier than is normal in my pregnancy (probably later this week). I exercise and eat pretty well (ahem, with a healthy dose of Girl Scout cookies and other treats!), but I’m still nervous about having the condition and having to closely monitor myself for the rest of my pregnancy. Not to mention the possible issues for the baby once he is born.
  • Breastfeeding. Those of you who were reading when Owen was a wee babe will remember that breastfeeding and the challenges we faced quite literally consumed me from the time he was born until I made the excruciating decision to stop when he was 3 months old, and then continued to exclusively pump for 2 more months. B-R-U-T-A-L, I tell you. I have pretty much blocked a lot of that time out of my memory, but recently I was reminded of it when I came across my tattered spiral notebook where I kept notes about every feeding and how it went, how long it took, how Owen acted, how much he weighed, etc. The pages are tear-stained and worn, and just holding the book in my hand brought back memories I would rather forget. I have heard so many uplifting stories about mothers who had similar struggles with Baby #1 and went on to nurse Baby #2 or other children successfully. I know it’s possible. I also know that I will NOT obsess and lose myself in the process this time around — I will do my best to make it work, and if it doesn’t, I will have the perspective to see that it’s ok (read: BEST!) to stop if that’s what works for my family. Still, I’m scared. I’m scared to try it again. I’m scared to fail again.

Oh, and I still have a weird phobia of having a child born with a full set of teeth (it happens!). Strange and unfounded, that one.

What did you fear while you were pregnant?

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 4

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

June 29th, 2012

After facing the news head on and putting on a brave face for Benjamin (over the phone, since he was still traveling), I wallowed. I went and got a pedicure in the middle of the afternoon. I ate an entire bag of cheese flavored Pirate Booty. I called my mom and cried and cried. Then I called my sister (a doctor who has experienced 2 miscarriages followed by 2 beautiful daughters) and cried and cried some more. The next night my brother called me because he had been thinking about me so much, and although I told myself I was done with crying, I cried some more. Despite not being “a crier”, I just couldn’t stop the waterworks. It was cathartic. It was exactly what I needed to do. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. This sucks, no matter how this story turns out, or how strong of a person I am.

I put myself on self-imposed “bedrest when possible”. Sometimes that meant running around after Owen and tossing him into the air a million times just to see him grin and squeal (hey, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do), and other times it meant laying on the couch in our living room for as many hours a day as I could stand. I napped when Owen napped. I stopped working out and even walking very far in the heat. First trimester exhaustion + bedrest + fear of moving = a match made in heaven. Ha.

Today we drove up to New Hampshire for the first half of our vacation week (Owen’s daycare is closed for the week of 4th of July, so we decided to get out of town over those days we weren’t paying for school). On the drive up I tried my best to put my nausea behind me and be at peace with the situation, whatever happens.

All of the clichés are 100% true. This is out of my control. There is no substitute for time. The best thing I can do is be good to my body. This helplessness blows.

I am not nearly as Zen inside my head as I seem on the outside.

July 5th, 2012

Ultrasound day. (You know, for what feels like the millionth time). To be honest, this 8-day wait couldn’t have come at a better time. The last few days were chock full of fun, activity, good food and in-laws who couldn’t wait to take Owen off my hands for a few hours. I napped. We took walks. We went whizzing down a mountain on a zipline. We went to an amusement park. Then we drove to a friend’s beach house for a few days. We walked down to the beach and waded in the ocean. We grilled delicious burgers. We laughed at all of the silly things our 2 year olds said. In short, it was the perfect way to pass the days. They practically flew by.

And yet, still, in the back of my mind during all of these activities, was the dread. The dread of what we would see in today’s ultrasound. The scenarios I played in my head over and over again of the various outcomes. The questions of “Am I still pregnant?” every minute of every day. It was exhausting.

We drove home from the beach a little earlier than we planned so we could make it in time for my ultrasound appointment. Though Benjamin was home this time, we didn’t have time to find a babysitter for Owen, and frankly there had been enough disruption in his schedule with staying in different rooms and late bedtimes, etc., that we decided Benjamin should stay home with Owen when I went to get my results. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully concentrate if Owen was there, and frankly I didn’t want to have to temper my emotional response knowing that he’d probably be freaked out to see me crying. So, reluctantly, I headed to the appointment alone. Again.

When I went in, I told the ultrasound tech (the same woman I had seen for the other two ultrasounds) that although of course I was hoping for a positive change, I was as prepared as possible for bad news. I know it isn’t her job to deliver that news, and I hoped that my candidness and composure would help her feel less awful having to tell me that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

As she started the procedure, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. After what seemed like an eternity, I asked her if she could tell me what she was seeing. She said, “I see a flickering heartbeat. You are measuring 6 weeks and 1 day.”

6 weeks and 1 day. Ouch. I had measured 6 weeks at the last ultrasound (a week ago) and by the calendar I was nearly 11 weeks along. I knew what she was saying without her having to say it.

“What is the heart rate?” I asked her. I summoned every ounce of strength to keep it from wavering. I guess there was still a tiny part of me that thought, maybe this can work? Maybe my dates are still just off? “67” she said quietly. She had said enough. I knew what the nurse was going to say. I had done my research.

Surprisingly, I was ok. I think having the information that something was wrong for so long helped me to come to peace with the outcome. I had prepared myself for “Oh my goodness! What a wonderful surprise! You are measuring 7.5 weeks and everything looks great!” and also the opposite, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was a continuation of this nebulous wait-and-see period. That was harder to receive than I expected.

When the nurse/midwife came in, she discussed what happens next. In short, nothing. Even though it is clear that this pregnancy is not viable, they/we cannot “do” anything until the heartbeat stops on its own. Once the heartbeat stops, I will have three options. 1) Wait and see if my body expels the tissue on its own, 2) take a medicine to induce a miscarriage at home or 3) schedule a procedure (D&E) to physically remove the tissue from my body.

But until the heartbeat stops? Nothing. I literally sit around and wait for the tiny beating heart inside my body to stop.

Wow. I thought I was as prepared as I could be for today’s appointment. But I really hadn’t considered the possibility that the outcome would be to just… wait. And do nothing. Even knowing that the life growing inside of me is not going to be growing for very much longer.

So we scheduled an appointment for next week. It feels strange and uncomfortable to be wishing that we don’t see a heartbeat at that point, but at least we will be able to move forward and try again after that. Until then, we wait.

I’m scared. I’m scared of what a miscarriage will feel like. I’m scared that it will happen when I’m at work or commuting on the train. I’m scared that it will hurt. I’m scared that it will take us a long time to get pregnant again, and now we’ve “wasted” so much time from when I wanted to have a sibling for Owen. I’m scared that my fertility struggles aren’t just a part of my past, as I thought they were. I’m scared that it will happen again. I’m scared I won’t be able to relax and enjoy future pregnancies out of fear. I’m the most scared there won’t be any future pregnancies.

I know how common early miscarriages are. I know that most women wouldn’t even have had 1 ultrasound at this point in their pregnancy while I’ve had 3, so perhaps I should consider myself lucky. I know that one miscarriage (and even 2 or 3) does not have an impact on future fertility. But it still doesn’t change the fact that this is so, so hard.

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 1

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

June 6th, 2012

I’m confused. Confused, but excited. At the end of April, Benjamin and I decided to pull the goalie and begin “trying” for a 2nd baby. It was the perfect timing I had planned all along (despite the fact that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE I know with a kid Owen’s age is ready to pop with their second baby already). A 2 1/2 year age gap. Avoiding a Christmas baby. Winter pregnancy. Getting pregnant right away would have been totally ideal, but I was not putting pressure on us just yet. I was doing my best to “enjoy the trying” and put the troubles I had getting pregnant with Owen out of my mind. I was aware of when I would likely ovulate, but I wasn’t tracking myself closely or obsessing in any way. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it was only our first month trying.

Around the end of May I took several pregnancy tests (starting far too early to actually get a positive… a bad habit leftover from my “will I ever get pregnant?” days!), and every time, I was a little disappointed when they were negative. After several negatives and a few days after my expected period, I put on a happy face and was ready to start again next month. It was only our first month “trying”, anyway. No rush.

A week went by. Still no period. I didn’t feel quite right. My boobs hurt and I got a spontaneous bloody nose (which happened a lot when I was pregnant with Owen). I felt a nagging feeling that I was pregnant, but was emotionally tired of taking pregnancy tests and feeling down about it. They had been negative even after my expected period date anyway. I convinced myself I didn’t ovulate this month and was frustrated that I didn’t know when to “try” again. Then, on a whim, I tested again on a Saturday afternoon before we had a party, just to check if there was ANY reason I shouldn’t have a drink.

And there it was. Or, it wasn’t. But it was. The faintest line I’ve ever seen on a pregnancy test. With Owen, the pregnancy test turned positive immediately and practically jumped off the stick screaming, “YOU’RE SO PREGNANT, OMG”. One second I wasn’t pregnant, and then one second I was. It hit us like a ton of bricks. With this pregnancy, the test whispered. So quietly I thought I was going crazy. So quietly I had to shove it in Benjamin’s face and say, “Do you see a line? Or am I making it up?”. He saw it, but it certainly didn’t feel like a cause for celebration. Weeks late, and only a barely-there line? That couldn’t be right.

It was the middle of the afternoon when I took it, so I chalked the light line up to the fact that I was well-hydrated. So I took another one the next morning. SLIGHTLY darker, but still very, very faint. Immediately I began to worry that something was wrong or it was ectopic or a chemical pregnancy or blah blah blah. My Google PhD in Fertility Issues was NOT helpful at this point. I knew just enough to scare the crap out of myself.

I scheduled a blood test for the next day. The hcg quant test came back pretty low. 108. Especially low if you consider that, counting from the first day of my last period, I was technically 5 weeks and 2 days along. Even lower if you consider that at only 14 days past ovulation my quant with Owen was in the 300’s. Instead of celebrating a positive pregnancy test, I was biting my nails over numbers and holding my breath for the second beta test (where the numbers should double… and if they don’t, it’s not a good sign). An agonizing 2 days later I got the second blood test, hoping against hope that it would be at least 216. The nurse said 350 (or something like that, I couldn’t hear her after the “3”) and I was relieved. Relieved, but I still wasn’t giddy. Why weren’t they higher? The second quant from Owen’s pregnancy was in the 1,000’s.

EVERYTHING feels different this time around.

Given that my dates are a bit funny, my doctor and I decided to do a dating ultrasound next week. If I am 6 weeks along, we should be able to hear a heartbeat. I think I’m still holding my breath for that moment.

She Says… Get Thee to a Climbing Gym

Remember a few weeks ago when Owen got to the top of the climbing wall at the playground and I wasn’t exactly, uhh, prepared? Well, since then he seemed to have been mastering other dangerous playground equipment (a full-sized ladder, cargo nets, the tire swing going “superfast, Mommy!”, etc.). But don’t let that fool you (ahem, me). His interest in rock climbing is still going strong. And he’s good. Damn good.

(iPhone video)

The kid is a natural. I imagine most toddlers would be — they are so bendy and their bodies are so small that they can pull themselves up on almost anything. But what Owen brings to the table in addition to bendiness is a complete lack of fear. He just… goes for it. Even if it means he falls off headfirst. Backwards. This is why he’s already a far better climber than I will ever be.

Over the weekend we discovered he’s already thinking like a climber too. We started coaching him: “Try reaching the red hold with this hand, and putting your foot up on the green one. Yes! Now stand up with this leg…” and he totally gets it. He even asked us “Red one?” a few times, checking if that was the right course while he was climbing.

Get this kid on a real rock. I think he’s ready.

As with so much of his daredevil, active personality, he comes by it honestly. And not from my side. When Benjamin’s parents hear about Owen’s running-head-first-into-walls antics, they just laugh. They’ve seen that little boy before. His name was Benjamin.

Benjamin was also a natural on the rock walls. He grew up scaling ledges and repelling down mountains that make me queasy just looking at them now.

Though I didn’t know Benjamin when he was 2 years old (and probably practicing climbing his windowsills and furniture, just like Owen does now), I can imagine the devilish, determined and adventure-seeking look in his eye as he did it. I see it in Owen’s baby blues every time I catch him about to jump off of something way too tall for a 2 year old to jump off.

Thankfully, since then, Benjamin has learned that some things really should be feared. I’m afraid we have many years of scraped knees and possibly a broken bone or two before Owen learns the same.

And until then, I’d better get used to holding my breath and letting him climb. And fall. And encouraging him to climb again.

She Says… Water Baby

We spent most of the weekend submerged in pools. Owen has always enjoyed the water, but this weekend I think he fell in love.

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The kid would easily be outside all day long if he had his way.

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Rain or shine, hot or cold.

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The boy is fearless. He splashes and jumps and launches himself into the water without a second thought. He rides on rafts and even tried putting his head underwater a few times (once or twice by accident and once or twice on purpose).

Even Schnitzel got in on the pool action (he would jump in anytime anyone was underwater, presumably to “save” them). He’s our lifeguard.

Of course with the introduction of pools came the introduction of LOTS of new rules for Owen to keep him safe. No running by the pool. You MUST hold an adult’s hand when you get in the water. Do not lean over to play in the water unless you are laying on your tummy (he almost fell in head first several times while I was RIGHT THERE next to him).

While I loved being with Owen in the water and I hope to encourage his love of swimming and get him in some swim classes whenever they will be useful to him, TODDLER + POOL = SCARY to me. Even with so many eyes on him.

We capped off the weekend with the quintessential summer treat. Ice cream cones! I have offered Owen ice cream a few times and he has turned it down and opted to just eat the cone instead. This time he finally tried a lick and was immediately smitten. “I LIKE IT!” he proclaimed, as he went back for lick after lick after lick.

Kara once told me that I was lucky my kid only ate the cone because I didn’t have to share with him. I’m afraid those days are over. Someone seems to like ice cream as much as his mommy.

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Do your kids use floaties/life vests in the pool/ocean? I have read that some people think they are detrimental to learning how to swim and they give kids a false sense of security. Sort of like training wheels on a bike. And become a hard habit to break. That theory makes sense to me, so I was thinking of not really relying on them. However, after playing in the pool for a weekend and seeing just how easy it is for him to go underwater even when he is holding onto me… I see the appeal of a safety vest or water wings. What are your thoughts/experiences? I’m totally new to the kid water safety arena.

She Says… Ooops

Oh, I wish I had a picture to show you the scene at our house from Saturday night. But I don’t. So I’ll have to do my best to paint a picture of my embarrassment with just words.

To set the scene: It was Saturday night and Benjamin and I were planning to head out to a friend’s birthday party. Our babysitter (a young girl whose parents live directly across the street from us) had just arrived. Since we had such a crazy week with me working late hours and staying in a hotel a few nights, etc., I wanted to put Owen to bed and sneak out after that so he wouldn’t even know we were gone. Bedtime went smoothly and I tiptoed out of his room, slipped on my heels and Benjamin and I headed for the door.

JUST as we were pulling on our coats and closing the door behind us, we heard a beeping. A loud, incessant beeping that we had never heard before. A constant, loud, incessant beeping. We followed the beeping sound to the carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside of Owen’s room. Instinctively Benjamin tore the beeping thing off the wall and ran down the stairs in an effort to keep Owen asleep. But taking it off the wall only made the beeping worse.

It seemed highly unlikely that all of a sudden our house was filled with carbon monoxide for no good reason, but the carbon monoxide detector has a warning that says in big, bold capital letters: YOU CANNOT SEE, SMELL OR TASTE CARBON MONOXIDE. IF THIS ALARM GOES OFF, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR EMERGENCY SERVICES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

There were two lights on the front of the detector. Power and Alarm. Alarm was the one that was blinking and beeping.

Shit.

Despite my normal inclination to say, “I’m sure it’s just a mistake. It’s fine. It’s not REALLY an emergency”, I couldn’t ignore the warning or the beeping. And, frankly, we couldn’t get it to stop. I couldn’t bring myself to call 911, since this situation felt far from an emergency, so I looked up the number for our local fire department. The fire chief answered the phone.

“Ok. Does your detector have a battery?”
“Hmmm. I don’t think so. It was plugged into the wall.”
“And is the alarm going off every few minutes, or pretty constantly?”
“Constantly. And the light that says Alarm is blinking.”
“We’ll be right over.”

I hung up the phone and Benjamin and I examined the (constant! loud! incessantly beeping!) detector. Guess what we found? A BATTERY. There is, apparently, a battery backup just in case the power goes out. Benjamin and I couldn’t help but laugh at our own stupidity while we changed the battery and plugged it back in.

Silence. (And, surprisingly, silence from Owen’s room too, even with all of the beeping and scrambling and yelling over the beeping).

I called the fire chief back to tell him we didn’t need anyone to come over. That we were idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. “They are already on their way”, he said.

Double shit.

I opened my front door to see a gigantic fire truck with lights blazing, and 2 big firefighters jumping out of the doors and putting on their fire gear. (Yes, for real.). I ran up to the truck and explained what happened. We are idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. The stupid thing must light up the alarm button when your battery dies. I’m sorry! They decided to come in and check it out just to be safe. So the big, burly firefighters in their heavy firefighting gear stomped through my house holding a meter in the air and looking for deadly gas. Surprise! They didn’t find any.

During this time our babysitter was just hanging out in the kitchen watching this unfold. And her PARENTS (who, remember, live right across the street) saw the fire truck pull up at our house and thought there was some emergency. So THEY come running over, barefoot, to see what happened. They were thankful that we were still there, and, to be honest, I was thankful that they ran right over. If there really had been an emergency I would have appreciated their concern. In this case, though, it just made us feel like even bigger idiots :)

After a few minutes of the firefighters checking the air in various parts of the house and me pleading with them that they should get back to the station in case of a real emergency, they left. I cursed myself for not waking Owen up to see them. He would have freaked out. A REAL, LIVE FIRETRUCK AT OUR HOUSE?!

Just as they left I heard him crying from his room. Apparently that was enough ruckus to wake him. I waited at the bottom of the stairs to see if I needed to go in, but he stopped after a minute or so and went back to sleep.

Ok. Babysitter was still there, alarm was off, baby was asleep. So we went out.

Just a normal Saturday night.