Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby D!

Okay, he may not be a baby anymore but he'll always be my baby. Happy Birthday to my rough, tough, loveable, little guy. 

To check out Daniel through the months in photos, click here. To read about his birth story, click here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Birth of a Trouble Maker

In honor of Daniel’s second birthday tomorrow, I thought I would share the story of his pregnancy and arrival. He was a trouble maker from the very beginning. I woke up one morning early in the pregnancy to a puddle of blood. It was way too much blood to be normal. I was heartbroken to think that I had lost the baby.  My doctor’s office was able to see me in the morning and I was SHOCKED to see that there was still a baby with a heartbeat. The ultrasound showed that I had a subchorionic hematoma which is basically a blood clot between the placenta and the uterus. The ultrasound also showed a second, empty sac – a twin that did not make it. Although, I was excited to hear that I still had one viable baby growing, I was also told that I had a 50% chance of losing the baby due to the hematoma. I was told to take it easy on modified bed rest which is basically a joke with a one and two year old at home. I must have had ten ultrasounds alone in the first trimester and after the dramatic start, it ended up being a completely normal pregnancy.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010 and I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one (we never find out the sex ahead of time). With my first pregnancy, I was 5 days early. With my second pregnancy I was 13 days early. So by the time it was mid-July I was READY to have the baby. It was hot. So friggin hot. I was having light, on and off contractions for weeks before he came. I was 4cm dilated for a good three weeks before he even arrived. I remember the day before he was born I was 5cm dilated and had a “rough” exam at the doctor’s. I went home and was having light contractions all day and thought for sure it was the day. But then it wasn’t. I went to bed that night knowing I would be up during the night to go to the hospital. But then I wasn’t. The next morning the kids were calling from their room and I remember saying to Tim, “I guess I’ll go get the kids up since I AM NEVER HAVING THIS F’ING BABY!!” Sure enough, I got up and was getting breakfast ready for the kids when it happened – the pain you feel when you know. This.is.it. I got Tim out of bed and called my cousin who was on babysitting duty. I felt the all-knowing, real contraction around 8:15am and we arrived at the hospital around 9am. My water broke shortly after arrival and I was told to push. I remember thinking, “PUSH???” since I didn’t have to do that last time around. A couple of pushes later and our Daniel entered the world at 9:36am. He had an adorable head of yellow hair and was 7 pounds, 10 ounce and 20 inches long. I can't believe it's already been two years. Time really does fly by.

Daniel about to head home from the hospital

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oeey, Gooey Pus and Why I Love It

Daniel had ear tubes put in the first week of February and I was hoping it would solve most (if not all) of the ear problems for our little guy. Unfortunately, he has still come down with a couple of ear infections post-surgery and had managed to clog up one of his tubes. Yup, he’s that gross that he manages to gunk up the piece of equipment that is supposed to be providing him with relief! So we were back at the ENT about a month ago to try to find a solution to the blockage since he was retaining fluid in the ear and it would inevitably cause infection after infection. The doctor said to apply ear drops in his ears twice a day for a month. Luckily, he LOVED getting the drops so 10 drops a day was a piece of cake. Not so much cake was getting him to sit still long enough for them to actually get down deep and do their job.  However, last week (week 4 of the drops) to my pure delight pus started coming out of his ear. I have never been so excited to see pus since I knew it meant the clog was clear. We were on vacation and I was seriously cheers-ing to pus. I have now been happily (ecstatically even) wiping pus and all kinds of disgustingness from his ear for the last week.  We followed up with the ENT today who confirmed the clog was cleared and said to just use the drops for 10 more days (since it’s still draining) and we should be good to go. So join me in a drink, raise your glass, and cheers to pus – magical, outstanding pus!

Gross (but cute) Daniel

Monday, July 23, 2012

It’s A Major Award

We came home from vacation to some big news in the mail. Both Isabelle and Henry won a drawing contest put on by our local septic tank pumping company.  Yup, nothing but glamorous contests here in the Dollops household! The contest asked the kids to draw a picture of either the owner of the company, his truck, the pump procedure, etc.  Henry drew a picture of the owner which probably could have also been mistaken as a picture of a blobby monster. Isabelle chose the owner (named Buddy), truck, and pumping route. My hubs is an environmental engineer who spends most of his days designing sewer and water pumps (or something like that) so he was quite proud of her drawing.  I snapped this picture of her drawing before I sent it off so that he could treasure it always.

Now in all honesty, they were not the grand prize winner and I can only imagine the number of entries was quite low but they are WINNERS all the same. So we promptly took their $10 Am Ex gift cards and headed off to buy new toys. Winning feels damn good.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vacation House From Hell

Things have been quiet here on the Dollops front recently because I was away on vacation. Overall, the trip was great. We had good weather, lots of laughs with family, and the kids had a blast. The only downfall? The vacation house. In the past, this crew of people (10 adults and 10 small children) has rented houses in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We LOVE it there. The houses are huge, on the beach, and reasonably priced. The only problem with the OBX is that none of us live anywhere near it. With our baby army growing exponentially we needed to find a more local spot this year so we decided on Cape Cod. We knew from the beginning that we would be paying more money for a smaller house that included a drive to the beach and we were okay with that. Well we thought we were okay with it at least.

Upon first glance (and online) the house on the Cape seemed like it would be just fine but in the end it turned out to feel more like the house from the movie The Money Pit. To start the house had no air conditioning and it was during a heat wave. Now the no AC was not a surprise and since we don’t have AC in our own house it normally wouldn’t be an issue. However, none of the windows or sliding doors had screens in them (or if they did they had HUGE rips in them). So in order to get any fresh air in the house you also had to invite in all the bugs and other wildlife that wanted to venture in. I nearly died when I saw a chipmunk running through the house as if he owned it. “Chip” was later spotted again in the house and truth be told I’m beginning to think he may have lived IN the house.

Now in the home owner’s defense he did supply us with a window air conditioner that he had plugged in to an extension cord. Now I know very little about electrical work but I do know that you don’t plug an AC in to an extension cord. Sure enough a few hours after our arrival my brother in law noticed that the cord was melting and we were most likely a few hours away from a fire. Imagine the kind of blog post I could have written if the house burned down!

So beyond the heat, critters, and potential fire, the house was dirty – just dirty. The owner said that he has cleaning people come in each week but I have no idea how that could be true. Unless of course, the cleaning crew is blind. There was dust an inch thick on shelves, tvs, etc. There were colonies of spider webs by the ceilings. I found pretzels under the bed that the kids were in -we never ate pretzels on our trip. The counters were covered with ants.

On top of that, the hot water (or lack thereof) in the house was ridiculous. Now I understand it’s a big house with lots of people so it’s understandable that some showers might be cold or we would need to plan around running the dishwasher, etc. Nope, the water was just total hit or miss. At one time we were the only ones home, no other water was running, and poor Henry ended up having the coldest shower of his life because one minute in the hot water simply stopped. But somewhere that we never seemed to have an issue with hot water was in the washing machine which only ran super-hot even when you had it on cold. I ended up having a load of laundry ruined with a towel that bled even though it has been washed numerous times and never had an issue.

Another highlight was when me and another sis in law were helping a third sis in law down the stairs since she had hurt her ankle (and later ended up in the ER) and while hobbling down the stairwell the light goes out. It was basically anything that could go wrong would go wrong with the house. So really the list of things just goes on and on and on. Oh, and did I mention the house had no internet?

So yeahhhhhhh…worst house ever. Luckily, we went with the glass half full outlook and had an amazingly, fabulous vacation regardless!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kids and Motion Sickness

We are heading on vacation shortly and a few family members are talking about going on a Whale Watch. I would love to go and think it would be a blast. Well that is if we didn’t have a puker among the bunch. Poor Isabelle has been cursed with motion sickness since she was a mere 14 months old. I can remember vividly the first time she got car sick. It was Christmas Eve and we were on our way to my aunt and uncle’s house. She was our first, still a baby, and had never even thrown up before and all of a sudden out of nowhere got sick. We were totally unprepared for it but cleaned things up the best we could after stopping at a McDonald’s to get napkins. She then spent that Christmas Eve in mismatched pajamas instead of the adorable outfit I had picked out for her.

Then shortly afterwards it happened again, and again, and again, and again. From the time she was 14 months old until she was about 2 and a half she threw up on ANY trip over 45 minutes.  Add in to that a trip with any type of stop and go traffic and that time was cut in half. Now we can easily get to a lot of places around us in less than that time but we have lots of family and friends that live in surrounding states that we visit frequently. It became a known joke that if we were coming to make sure you had your washing machine empty so that we could wash the car seat cover upon arrival. We bought all kinds of covers, pads, and floor mats to help the cause but it was still a lot of vomit. She was so young in the beginning that she couldn’t tell us that she felt sick so it was a nightmare. By the time we knew she was ill, she was actively throwing up and one of us was trying to catch the remainder in a nearby bucket. Driving alone with her? Forget about it.

Oh, and her motion sickness didn’t stop with just car sickness. She got sick over any kind of motion. I remember one night after a long day when she was having a hard time getting to sleep I decided to sit with her in the rocking chair. I don’t know what I was thinking on that one because sure enough a few minutes later she threw up all over me. She also used to get sick while swinging on swings. This summer at 4 years old is the first time that she can actually swing and truly love it without having any side effects. Last year we went to Story Land and she wasn’t able to go on any of the rides because the first one we went on (which was slow and had no turns) made her feel sick. Poor kid.

I did talk to her doctor about it and was advised to give her Benadryl on longer car trips (too young for Dramamine at the onset). Luckily, that worked very well.  Who knew that Benadryl worked to help with nausea? Of course, we didn’t want to be constantly drugging her so we only did it on out of state trips but it was still a huge lifesaver for us.

As she has gotten older her motion sickness has gotten much better. She is generally okay on long car trips (even without being drugged) unless the trip is really windy or there is lots of traffic. It took us a long time to get here though and a whale watch is definitely not in the cards for us anytime soon!

Road trip, anyone?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Terrible 4s?!

Isabelle is our oldest and has always been great. She was an easy baby, an ahead of the game toddler, a smart preschooler, and the list goes on and on. We’ve been lucky – until now. For the last few weeks, something has happened. She has turned into a little devil. She does not listen. I repeat, she does not listen. She argues with me over the tiniest things. She knows things are wrong and she does them anyway. I tell her to stop doing something and she turns and looks me in the eye to defiantly say “No, I will not stop.” She fights with her brothers over everything and freely hits or kicks them to get her way. I constantly hear her say, “Henry, I am NEVER playing with you again.” This is then followed by the sound of Henry crying. As if that isn’t enough she also is throwing elbows and pushing when they walk by for no reason. She is straight up just being mean to them! Luckily, she only chooses to demonstrate this “awesome” behavior at home to her brothers. If she’s going to be a nightmare I’d prefer for her to be a nightmare at home and not while out with friends. But is a nightmare really my only option? Can I get that picture perfect, amazing little girl back? Please, pretty please?

Since the Time Out chair was becoming her new vacation spot, today I decided to up the ante.  While we were out she was being ridiculously defiant so I told her she was not allowed to swing on the swing set for the rest of the day today or tomorrow. Swinging on the new swing set is her favorite thing to do so this hit hard. In hindsight, I should have told her this after she was in the car and not while we were still approaching it since she FLIPPED OUT when I told her. Oh well, two can play this game. Devil Mommy is coming out and I’m going to win even if I have to play dirty. Game on.

Gonna be a swing-less couple of days!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maybe 3 Kids Is Enough

I’ve wrote before how deep down I would really love to have another baby. When people ask if we “are done” I always say yes. Because we are done – or at least that’s what I’ve been trying to convince myself of. In the back of my mind though, I secretly thought that when Daniel turned two I could try to convince my husband to have another baby. Please note, this would take A LOT of convincing. I figured by the time he was two I would have had enough time to come up with a concrete plan (think power point presentation complete with colorful graphs) that I could present to the hubs about how it would be possible for us to have another child. The plan would include either an addition to the house or a baby sleeping in a dresser drawer – the details would need to be ironed out. 

But now as we are fast approaching Daniel’s second birthday (only a few weeks away) I don’t find myself feverishly working on my presentation. Instead, I find myself relishing the sweet spot that we are in. The spot where the kids are getting bigger (yes, they are still just 4, 3, and 1!). The spot where we can (somewhat) easily get out of the house. The spot where I can look into our future and think of fun family trips to take that would be enjoyable as opposed to a nightmare. The spot where I can go to BBQs and half-heartedly watch the kids in the yard while sipping on Sangria. The spot where I’m not  following crawling babies around making sure they don’t eat too much grass. The spot where my fingers are mine and not guides to help new walkers explore the yard. There are no panic moments when I realize that I haven’t seen the baby for a few minutes and he/she may be in the street, in a trash barrel, or touching the grill. I’m really enjoying where we are right now. I honestly can’t imagine getting pregnant and “starting over” again and I never dreamed I would feel this way at this point. Maybe, just maybe, three kids is enough and maybe I’m okay with that.

Maybe all I need is a crime fighting alien, a princess, and a diaper wearing tot trying to make a call on his fake phone

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who Remembers “The Brave Little Toaster”?

I was choosing a family friendly movie from Mommy Bear Media for us to enjoy and I stumbled across “The Brave Little Toaster”.  I LOVED that movie when I was a kid. I can remember going to the video store (remember when you had to go there to rent a VHS?!) and running to the aisle hoping the movie would be there. So as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to buy it. We watched it as a family since my husband also had fond memories of it.  A courageous toaster who heads out to the city to find his master with a group of mismatched appliances – what’s not to love?  And love we did – every one of us! It’s now the top requested movie in our house. So it just goes to show, I had amazing taste in movies as a child!
*Mommy Bear Media is a mom owned company providing good, clean movies and television shows at a great price with FREE shipping. Go check them out!*
 *As a Premiere Blogger for Mommy Bear Media, I received a coupon for a free movie. All opinions are my own*
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