Thursday, July 19, 2012

CarsLand! #JustGotHappier

Wanna see some pictures of the cutest place ever?  A little place known as Radiator Springs?  Oh man, Disney.  You have outdone yourself with this one...  I'm kind of glad I chose to bring my camera instead of my kid.  (Mean mom alert!)

So my pal Heather and I had a cool opportunity.  As Annual Passholders - it sounds a little snooty, but AP's sometimes are - we got to go into the park before it opened to the public and see the newly renovated California Adventure!  And, more importantly, the all new Cars Land.  

Thanks Heather for being Koo-Koo with me!!
As you can see in the photos, it wasn't exactly a small crowd, but it was still kind of a special thing.  There was a palpable excitement in the air as about 1,000 fellow nerds waited outside the gates at 6:00 in the morning.  Heather and I were really close to the front of the line (that's what happens when you truly geek-out and wake up at 4am!) and we were making plans and eavesdropping on everyone else's.  The real draw of the whole park is Radiator Springs Racers.  Rumor has it that on opening day the line topped out at 8 hours.  EIGHT.  I did not type that wrong.  People actually waited in line 8 hours.  Holy crap. 

Now, if the ride hadn't broken down, we probably would have waited about 10 minutes (or less).  But you read that right, folks.  The ride was broken down before the park even opened.  We took our chances anyway and hopped in line.  90 minutes later, we were having the time of our lives on these fun new racers!  Absolutely loved it.  I'm not saying I'd wait 8 hours for it, but it is dang fun.

That was the only new ride we got around to, which is probably a good thing.  I have something to look forward to in September.  But little Radiator Springs itself was just fantastic.  Great thought and detail was put into everything.  We probably walked in circles 6 times just to make sure we didn't miss anything.

The new Red Line Trolley was great too.  Totes adorbz. (Did I say that right?)
It's true that The Happiest Place on Earth #JustGotHappier !!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kiddie Pool

I thought I had a genius idea when I found a kiddie pool at KMart.  Ten bucks and it was tiny enough to fit on the front porch.  With how much this kid loves the bath, and how much I hate going to the park when its really hot, I thought this would be our new summer thing.

The vision was clear: I would sit in a shady spot, soak my feet, & read a book while the boy would spend several happy hours a day splashing around.  We'd share an occasional smile, but he'd be too busy to really notice me.  Dave Matthews Band is playing in the background.  We are carefree and all the photos in my head are faded light and sunbursts.  Bubbles from somewhere float around our heads.  A toy would fall over the side, and I'd give Stevie a look.  Then we would laugh.  There would be butterflies too, I think.  Maybe a rainbow.

Granted, I never read, so it was a totally unrealistic dream...

This is his Pool Face 
Which has now been dashed.  We'll find something else to do I'm sure.  Or maybe he'll get used to it?  The first time, I knew it was too cold.  I had made the water warm, but not warm enough.  So after 2 minutes, he was wet and there was a breeze.  Not a good combo.  The next time, I made the water really warm so it would be like the bath.  I don't know why he doesn't like it.  I think it's because he knows the spit can't reach my face.

Any fun summer ideas you can share?  Please?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thanks Y'all!

As a kid, I was always pretty good about keeping a journal.  And that's exactly what this was meant to be when I started blogging back in 2007.  I never knew that it would eventually be something cathartic or a place where I would turn for support.  It's kind of a big deal to me, especially since I don't have many mommy friends.  And I don't have any friends whose children have had the same health issues - except for the lovely people I've met and talked to through the blog and other online resources.  It's weird, but now with over 400 posts, (and Blurb books to boot) its just part of life to me.

I woke up with a different attitude this morning knowing I would give the time-outs a rest.  The fact that I wouldn't have to fight with Stevie for hours on end took a huge weight off my shoulders.  I do often worry that he gets away with too much.  That he's going to wind up an out of control 5 year old that people can't stand to be around.  He already hits other babies and spits on people and is generally difficult to be around.  Oh, but when he's sweet?  Well, God, he's just the greatest.  But fear of failure as a parent can creep up pretty quickly.  

I blame a lot of my frustration on lack of sleep, but  I also think I forget how small Stevie actually still is.  We've been through so much the last 18 months that its hard to believe it hasn't been longer.  But he's barely been on this earth for the blink of an eye. There are things he's going to grow out of.  And other challenges he will put in our way.  Sometimes I remember the things that frustrated me 5 months ago and I wish for those simpler days!  HA!  I guarantee I will get annoyed with him some more.  In fact, he's being a little obnoxious right now, if you must know.  Haha! But I will try with all my might to keep the home as peaceful and happy as possible.

One thing that I'm becoming more convinced of is that Stevie's spitting might be a sensory thing.  What?  Like, maybe he's not just doing it to be a douche?!  He has a lot of "sensory things" so I am beginning to understand more about that.  We will try some chewy tubes and possibly a vibrating toy - uh, they make those for babies, right?  Maybe something like that will help.  His therapists will also address it and give me advice.  Everyone is willing to offer guidance and assistance.

Stevie getting "THE LOOK"
I just wanted to quickly thank everyone for all the supportive comments over the last week +.  I am grateful for every single kind word, good vibe and happy prayer that has been sent our way.  Keep 'em coming.  :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Infant Stimulation Therapy!

The therapists goals for today were to 1) build a relationship 2) play back & forth 3) create anticipation.

I stayed and played with them and tried to learn as well.  We all sat on the floor and got to know each other while passing a ball around.  The therapist gives me an activity record at the end of each session.  Her notes said: First day working with Stevie.  He responded when he placed a toy in a small bucket and therapist would dump it out.  He was able to repeat this for a few turns, as well as look at therapist when she paused in the middle of the action.  He was also interested in a "bumpy" ball that therapist brought.  Throughout session, he would pass ball back & forth with mom and therapist.  He would then occasionally crawl to mom and hang on her/hug her.  {He really did hug me.  He NEVER does that and he sat in my lap for a minute too - very rare}  Stevie was also observed throughout the session "blowing raspberries" {duh, spitting}.  Mom reports that he does this quite often.  Parents have tried different ways to help him stop, but nothing seems to work.  The plan is to have therapist meet with OT or Speech Therapist to help stop the behavior.

So overall, I think we met the goals for the day.  He was well-behaved most of the time and played like we normally do.  I know we have to start slow.  I woke up anxious to start.  I want to learn all the therapists tricks and I want to be aggressive with his treatment and I keep hoping for miraculously quick results.  But truly, I think patience will be my best friend throughout this process.  Just like with everything else.  Baby steps for the baby!

P.S. On a side-note, after 6 consistent days of time outs (even a couple in public) as well as a round of hot sauce and even one spanking yesterday, the spitting is getting worse and worse.  I can't fight with the kid like this every day.  Its way too exhausting.  I know children push parents to the limit and want to test their boundaries, but this is ridiculous.  When hubby left for work this morning, I couldn't help but tear up, knowing that I was not ready to face this day.  The lack of sleep doesn't help, but I felt like if it was anything like the rest of the past week, I would be on my way to the nut house.  It probably seems like such a stupid, small thing in comparison to so many other issues.  Stevie's will is stronger than mine, apparently.  And in some ways, I don't think he understands this.  He is not at the level of an 18 month old developmentally.  So maybe he's just not ready for time out?  And the therapist said it could also be tied into his sensory issues.  I almost feel like I'm traumatizing him by acting/being angry so much.  Who wants to be around that?!  And its soooo not me.  I'm not happy feeling that way.  So I don't have an answer yet.  I don't know what to do.  But that's where we're at.  

Monday, July 9, 2012


Things seem to be in a real holding pattern lately.  I feel like I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for things to get better.  Not that things are bad, but I am feeling a strain. I know, I know.  I just posted a bunch of awesome photos from a fun weekend with my family and I'm complaining about feeling strained.  Oh, here we go.

But listen, I'm stressed.  There's just no other way to put it.

Everyone around me knows it.  It's directly related to how tired I am.  And when I'm stressed, I eat.  And I shop. I have noticed a pattern in my life since I was about 19 years old, that when I'm lacking something, I make up for it with stuff.  And its a quality in myself that I don't like.   And I know that I'm doing it, but I can't seem to stop.  I'm so tired that I can't be motivated to do a damn thing.  Cooking?  I feel like a champ if I do it once a week.  Cleaning?  I feel like a champ if I do it once a month.  Running?  HAHAHAHA.  Good one.  Projects?  Well I got my patio done and I am in love.  (Pictures later) But that was easy because all I had to do was BUY a lot of stuff.  Took care of the stress shopping bit.

Literally thinking this right now as I quickly try and finish this post while Stevie clings to my leg screaming at me. 

I keep telling myself When THIS happens, then THAT will be better... 

When Stevie starts sleeping through the night, then my energy levels will be better.  I will start running and I will get more done around the house!  I will be a more patient mom and wife and person!
When my new blog website is done, then my personal work will be better.  I will set up a schedule so I have time to actually work from home and I will organize to make my desk a productive area!
When Stevie starts therapy, then he will be better.  He will be an easier baby who can walk and talk and play.  A lot of things will change.  He will run around the park and be able to stand up if I need to pee at the market!  I will be a fun mom who takes him to the zoo and kids museums and play places.
When Paul starts working closer to home, then life in general will be better.  We will start exercising again and eating healthier and going to bed earlier!
When Stevie is more independent, then our home will be better.  I will have more time to cook and clean and give my relationship with my husband more attention.  We will leave the kid with a sitter and freakin' GO SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY.

Now if I was an inspirational speaker, I would say Well, why wait?!  How long is it going to be before you wake up and say "Today is the day!
Today I'm going to get shit done!"?

Well I'm not an inspirational speaker.  And I can tell you today is not the day.  I'm too tired.

How do you handle stress?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family Weekend

Last weekend, my family came to visit!  Here's some of the stuff we did: 







I don't know if the exclamation points made it clear that we were having a good time...?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Time-Out Or Not To Time-Out?

Hey Moms and Dads!  Another question for you from the Mother of the Year over here!

As you've probably seen from a couple photos, we are still having trouble with Stevie spitting.  *Sigh*

I'm happy to say that with food it has actually improved!  We use toys that are too big to fit in his mouth as a distraction.  And a little song and dance with each bite.  Its not perfect, and you guys would want to punch me if you saw my song and dance, but the spitting has decreased significantly.  Unfortunately, now he's spitting more frequently throughout the rest of the day.  And he's spitting on everyone. Friends, family, people stopping to say hi at the grocery store, and complete strangers at a Dodger Game.  It would be kind of cute if it was still just raspberries.  Well, no, not really.  But its way beyond that anyway.  He's going for the soak.  The doctor has said its normal for his age group, but I think its just too much.

I, again, feel like we've tried everything to get him to stop.  We ignored it for months.  Obviously that didn't work.  We have put vinegar in his mouth.  He liked it.  We recently starting being more direct and sternly telling him 'No-no!'  He didn't respond to that.  Then we'd give him a light flick or smack near the mouth.  He thought it was funny.  Plus we don't like doing that.  And I feel like the more I say no-no, it just gets worse.  We end up fighting about it for way longer than necessary.

We have had a couple people suggest time-out.  So my question to you is...drumroll what age do you think its appropriate to start doing time-out?  Or if you don't believe in time-out, what other methods do you use?  Or do I have to wait until he outgrows this?!  He's 18 months now, and I don't know how effective time-out will be, because I don't even truly think he understands No-No yet.

But at this point, it's either that or he's getting squirted with a spray bottle.

Just kidding.

Yes, I have totally thought about it.

On a lighter note, doesn't his hair look awesome here?!  This was literally when he spit on a stranger at the Dodger Game who had turned around to say hi.  You can't make this stuff up!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Isn't it sort of unbelievable that we are more than half-way through 2012?  I mean, it will be Christmas in like 5 months...

Feels like summer is just getting started!