Awful Beautiful Life

I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life…

Wonder Baby February 19, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 3:46 pm

I’ve mentioned before how great Evie is.  She sleeps.  She’s mostly content (except with Terry, but that’s another story for another time).  But, seriously, we have a super hero for a baby.

Wonder Moment #1:

Evie during her EKG, almost 3 months old.

Evie during her EKG, almost 3 months old.

Evie has a small hole in her heart (a VSD for you medical types).  When she was 3 days old (1 day out of the hospital) we had to take her to a pediatric cardiologist for testing.  They stripped Evie down to her diaper and put a bunch of stickers all over her chest and abdomen and hooked up wires to them for an EKG.  It took a while to get the measurements to come out right since she was so little and feisty.  Then, the doctor came in and decided she also needed an ultrasound of Evie’s heart.  So we went to another room and a tech slathered her chest up with lube and took a million pictures of her chambers and whatnot.

Not only did Evie not cry once during the whole appointment, but she actually fell asleep during the ultrasound.  I can assure you that Nate would have screamed the entire time because he was cold and people were touching him and he’s starving because you haven’t fed him in the last 5 minutes you terrible, terrible parents.

We took Evie back to the cardiologist today for a check-up.  I was slightly worried she wouldn’t do as well this time since she is older.  Newborns sleep a lot more than 3 month olds.  We went through the whole routine again, EKG and ultrasound.  Evie was great again.  She didn’t go to sleep this time, but she hardly made a peep the entire appointment.  She was happy and smiling for all but a few minutes when she got hungry.

(Evie’s VSD is small and should heal on it’s own in the next few years, in case you were worried.)

    Wonder Moment #2:

A few weeks ago, Evie developed a cough.  Nate had a cold and ear infection the week before and, like good big brothers do, he shared with his sister.  We took her to the doctor on Tuesday and it was just a cold.  By Thursday,

Evie's sleeping with her oxygen tube thingy, 2 months old.

Evie sleeping with her oxygen tube thingy, 2 months old.

she sounded like she was wheezing and having trouble breathing.  We took her back to the doctor on Friday and were told her cold had developed into bronchiolitis, which is particularly bad for a tiny baby.  They tried a breathing treatment in the office to see if her lungs would clear.  I had to hold an oxygen mask over her face while a machine pumped albuterol into her lungs (it probably works way different than that, but that’s how I understood it).  The nurse warned me that most kids cry the whole time because of the loud noise, but not to worry because she’s not being hurt.  So we got the mask strap over her head and she fussed a little.  The nurse left and I held the mask.  It turns out Evie isn’t “most kids”.  She didn’t cry.  In fact, she fell asleep!  The breathing treatment didn’t help, so the pediatrician sent us to Dell Children’s Hospital to be admitted.

After sitting in the ER waiting room for an hour or so, we were triaged by a nurse and taken back to a room.  All of Evie’s vitals looked ok, includng her oxygen levels.  By the time another nurse checked on us in the room, she took another set of vitals and was concerned that her oxygen levels might be lower now.  She hooked up a monitor to Evie’s foot and her oxygen level was below 90.  The nurse hooked Evie up to one of those tubes they stick in your nose to give you oxygen (again, sorry I’m not all technical/medical and have no clue what it’s called).  The only time Evie fussed was when they had to take the tape off her face to reposition the tube in her nose and then re-tape it.  I think I would have cried, too.  That’s some sticky tape they use.

We ended up staying overnight in the hospital while they monitored Evie’s oxygen levels.  They couldn’t do much for her besides give her oxygen since bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, probably RSV. Evie went through two more breathing treatments, had her nose suctioned 4 or 5 times, and was constantly messed with/woken up to check her blood pressure, pulse, and whatever else is important when an infant is in the hospital.  They even made me wake her up in the middle of the night to feed her so they could check her weight.  (Is that really necessary at 4 am?  I tried to tell them she normally sleeps through the night, but they didn’t care.)

Because you can never have too many pictures of a happy baby.

Because you can never have too many pictures of a happy baby.

We left her in her diaper throughout the visit because it was easier for the nurses and doctors to check her that way.  She absolutely LOVED being a naked baby (as long as it wasn’t cold, of course).  In the morning, they were able to turn the oxygen off to see how she was breathing on her own.  After 7 hours of acceptable oxygen levels, they decided it was safe to let us go home.  Evie was a trooper the whole time.  During the last doctor’s examination, she was cooing and smiling at him.  I think I heard from 12 different people how they wanted to take her home because she was such a sweet baby.  They were probably just sweet talking me to get me to buy them presents, but they were right.  She is a sweet baby.  A wonder baby.

Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx myself by saying this out loud (sort of).  We moved our wonder baby into her own room a week ago.  I can’t believe she’s almost 3 months old.  I can’t believe how much she’s gone through in her short little life.  I can’t believe how undeniably amazing and resilient she is for coming out of it all grinning.


My Bloody Valentine February 15, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,Miscellaneous — Sara @ 3:46 pm

Terry and I tried to go out for Valentine’s in college, waited 2.5 hours at Cagle’s, and vowed to never go out on V-Day again without a reservation. Since then, we usually just don’t go out, especially since having kids. We try to go out for a fancy dinner to celebrate my birthday and Valentine’s in the week between the two (Although that still hasn’t happened yet this year. It seems like this having kids thing changes a lot of things).

Ahh, VD.  Not the gross kind.

Ahh, VD. Not the gross kind.

Terry has been bugging me to donate blood with him, because, you know, we’re good people and it saves lives and stuff.  I had planned for us to go on Thursday afternoon, after picking him up from the car dealer and dropping off the bottles, but it turns out they are closed Thursdays and Fridays.  That was a great day…  So we decided to go on Saturday- Valentine’s Day.  I know, it’s super romantic!!

I’ve never given blood before and Terry had only given once during college.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  I mostly wanted to go to see if I was still anemic post-pregnancy.  (It turns out I’m not, so I have nothing to blame my constant exhaustion on other than our two crazy kids.)  We packed up the kids and headed to our local blood bank.  After Terry was done, he took the kids and it was my turn.  This lady took me into a room and asked about 40 questions about my experiences with prostitutes, HIV, and homosexuality. I guess I passed the test, because they still let me give blood. (I was worried about it for a second there…)

I gave up my pint of blood and the nurse (are they nurses?) started rambling off instructions of what to do and what not to do for the next several hours/days: “Eat a well-balanced, hearty meal; No physical activity (I was soooo disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to work out); No caffeine or alcohol the rest of the day; Don’t take off the arm wrap for at least 4 hours.”  Wait, What?!? Go back a second there.  Did you say NO caffeine?  If you know me, and I assume you do since you are reading this and strangers probably don’t care what I did on Valentine’s, you know that I LOVE and NEED Dr. Pepper.  And I hadn’t had one yet that day because I was planning to have one with lunch. Oh well, surely I can go ONE DAY without one.  I did make it a whopping 10 days while pregnant.

So we go home to eat lunch and put Nate down for his nap.  I’m feeling weak, dizzy, headachey, you know, overall AWESOME.  I took some advil and lay down for a nap.  I woke up with an even worse headache and took some more advil.  Terry convinced me to drink caffeine.  He had already done it and hadn’t died yet, so I figured it would probably be ok.  I finally started feeling better in time to help make dinner- delicious bacon-wrapped shrimp (even Nate liked them!) and homemade chicken fettucine alfredo.  That’s what I call a hearty meal!  It turns out you burn 650 calories donating a pint of blood so we could pretty much eat anything we wanted yesterday. This is especially great since we weren’t allowed any physical activity (again, I was completely bummed about the no-working-out thing) and are both trying to lose weight (some of us are trying harder than others).

In celebration of eat-whatever-we-want day, I mean, Valentine’s Day, Terry decided we should all go out for ice cream after dinner.  After some arm-twisting, we went to Marble Slab.  Nate was adorable taking alternating bites from each of our massive ice cream bowls (insert picture we should have taken to show you how cute he is ).  This will definitely become a new Valentine’s tradition for us (going to get ice cream, not donating blood and feeling crappy), at least until the kids are older and we remember to get reservations more than a day in advance.


Foiled! February 12, 2009

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sara @ 6:21 pm

We try to be good people. We donate money to good causes. We populate the world with baby geniuses. We recycle. At least we try to.

When we lived in Leander, the trash company picked up our recycling- cans, glass, plastic, you name it.  When I set up our utilities in Cedar Park, the kind lady at the city informed me that the trash company won’t recycle glass. I was all, “Really?” And the lady was all “Really. We can’t find a place to take mass amounts of glass for us so we don’t accept it.” Odd, since we only moved like 10 minutes from our previous house and it seems like both cities should be able to work with the same magical glass recycling plant or whatever. Then she says, “I don’t tell most people about this, because they don’t seem to care, but there is a place you can take your glass right down the road.” Great!

So we dutifully started separately collecting our glass bottles.  The bags filled up fast, since we also like to throw super-fun parties where glass bottles are often involved.  After we’d lived at the new house a month or two, I packed up a few bags of bottles and Nate and headed to the recycling center.  It takes me like 3 hours to find the place because in the middle of nowhere, down a dirt driveway, with the tiniest sign ever.  It turns out it’s just a tall chain link fenced-in area with a bunch of barrels.  Why are there a bunch of barrels you might ask?  Because you have to sort your glass by color.  You can’t just drop off your glass collection to a nice man that magically makes them disappear.  So I get out of my car and take my bags of bottles over to the barrels and painfully sort them for 10 minutes or so. Mind you I am about 6 months pregnant and have a 15 month old in the car.  And he’s crying because he thinks I am leaving him when I get the bags out of the trunk and walk away.

So it took me a few more months (like 4) before I decided it was time to take more bottles.  By this time, I was VERY pregnant and was going to make Terry go with me for backup.  Of course, we never went and the baby came.  So we’ve now accumulated 8 or so trash bags full of bottles.  I’ve tried to convince some of the people I know in Leander to let us slowly recycle our bottles on their trash days, but that didn’t really work out.  We finally loaded the bags into Terry’s trunk (they barely fit since he has the tiniest trunk in the world.  My car is so much better.)  We figured if they were loaded up, we would be more inclined to deliver them.  WRONG.  The place is only open on certain days/hours-  it’s in the middle of nowhere- and you have to sort your own bottles!  Why wouldn’t they want to make it ridiculously difficult to recycle? A few weeks pass and he gets tired of hearing glass clang every time he turns, so he takes them out and puts them back in the garage.  FAIL.

I had a little shindig for my birthday last weekend and one of my friends offered to take a bag to recycle in Leander for us.  Tiny WIN.  But, we still have at least 7 bags left.  Terry put one of the bags in the trash yesterday, leaving us with 6.  Tiny FAIL. He told me that he would put one bag a week in the trash until they were gone if I didn’t get rid of them. But, we are GOOD PEOPLE!  We can’t throw them away! So today, Terry was taking off early to take his car to the shop (it’s leaking oil- see! my car is BETTER).  I figured if I loaded the bottles into my trunk, we could stop by the recycling center together once we picked him up from the car place.  So I did and we picked him up.  And then I dropped him and Nate off at the house because Nate needed a nap (which he didn’t take, btw).

So, Evie and I headed on to the recycling center.  There is a clusterpuff of construction in the area which makes it even harder to get to the impossible-to-find, sort-your-own-glass, only-open-random-hours recycling center.  I turned around a thousand times and circled the dang place like a vulture before deciding it was just too difficult to get to without flirting with, I mean, talking to, the construction guys.  As I pass by one last time on my way home, I notice the fence is closed.  On a day when it’s supposed to be open. ODD.  So I came back home, feeling defeated, and looked at the website only to find this:

Starting Jan. 6, 2009
Due to lack of funding.

EPIC FAIL.  It turns out I am not a good person because I will be throwing away all of those glass bottles.  It should not be this difficult to save our planet!