Thursday, August 25, 2016

Potty Training Advise

Our son first asked to go to the potty when he was just shy of his 2nd birthday. We were brushing our shoulders off like pimps in this parenting game. 

A year and a half later, we're feeling more like naive has-beens. If your kid is completely potty trained, congratulations and I secretly hate you. If not, grab some wine glasses, and I'll get the bottle. Let's talk. 

          Here are a few pointers to help along the way:

Because everyone's going to need a drink when this adventure begins...
Knowing that the bathroom is where you go to poop is a critical 1st step. The 2nd step is nailing where to poop in the bathroom.
Going to the bathroom with every single person every single time is the only way to watch and learn the technique.
Disposable diapers don't wash well. However, they do come out as versatile weapons afterwards.
Being naked all day means that they'll always go to the actual potty, and never in the floor, or on the rug, or the couch, or clean, folded clothes.

Underwear is a versatile fashion accessory.
Unsure of what size underwear your kid will need and don't want to drop their pants in the store to test the sizes? Just use their head! If it fits their unproportionately gigantic heads, it'll definitely fit their thunderous bums.

Awesome, expensive, organic cotton underwear is just enough to make you hose out those undies instead of throwing them away when disaster ensues. Saving our planet is what it's all about, people.

Wearing dad's boots, while naked, puts you that much closer to being a potty-trained man.
Make a game out of it! Try to pee between the rails!

Or just let the dog show them how it's done.

Buy lots of extra disposable diapers/pull-ups. Lots. Because no parent should feel bad for giving up and deciding their child can shit their pants forever. F the planet, too.

And always remember that protection is the key to prevention.
Happy potty training, my friends. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Grocery Game's All Changed

We all have to shop for groceries. Most people I know hate it, some don't mind, and even fewer actually enjoy it. I've been all three.

Pre-child era: I didn't mind it. I always had a list and a budget. I was so organized that it would have put adderall-induced housewives to shame. 

New mom mode: I enjoyed grocery shopping. Because I went alone. Back then, I had a day or two off of work during the weekdays. I would take my son to daycare, go to Starbucks and get all jacked up on caffeine, then hit the grocery store at 8 or 9am with all of the senior citizens. I would just take my time cruising the isles, sipping on my gin and juice (white chocolate mocha, actually). The store was never packed. It was blissful. It was honestly like a vacation for me. I love my son and my husband more than anything, but the grocery store isn't a place to spend "quality time" together. Making a small child (even an infant) sit still and be quiet isn't fun for mom, dad, or said child. So, being alone had a certain feel of accomplishment, actual productivity. I secretly wondered if that was how stay-at-home moms felt, too. 

And on to now: I HATE it. I absolutely despise grocery shopping. I now work all weekdays, and dinner has to be started almost as soon as Josh and I get home. That reserves most grocery trips for the weekends. So, the stores are always packed, and we have to plan the trip around Luke's nap and when he eats. Moms and dads know exactly what I'm saying here. 

Luke wants to explore so much in the store. I love (and, admittedly, sometimes loathe) that about him. He's inquisitive, theoretical, and untamed by his wild imagination and undeniable desire to test every single hypothesis he can conjure up. It fascinates me to step back from the society-imposed box and just intently watch him. I can see the wheels turning in everything he does. It makes me proud and happy. However, it can also make a grocery shopping experience take FOREVER. That is, until he is ready to go. And at that point, you've gotten 1/16th the amount of groceries on your list and a very strong-willed child who wants new scenery. Not easy. Not blissful. 

Inevitably, I always miss something on the list, too. So, it's another trip that day or the next to pick up said item. Then, they remodel the store, and you spend an hour trying to find four effing things. Four! I hate the grocery store. I do. I do. 

Our town is on the larger side for population in our area (100k+ in the city limits). We live in an unincorporated area in the county, though. And that's just how we like it. But as with any city, roadway infrastructure can never keep up. Like ever. And traffic, during peak hours, can be a nightmare. So, it takes forever to get to town, run errands, and get home. Grocery shopping usually takes up a good third to half of our day, between driving, shopping, loading, unloading, and putting away the groceries. 

We have 4 Super Walmarts, 3 Neighborhood Walmarts, 7 Krogers, 4 Publixes, and a handful of wholesale and discount places to buy groceries. No Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, though. Boo. And yes, I like organic food options. I don't care if you do or not, and I hope that you wouldn't care if I do or not. But I've seen the eye rolls and heard the arguments to my preference for certain organic choices. I mean, I eat horribly, too. More in moderation, but still. I never start fights or pick arguements with people over organic vs. non-organic. It's just not my style. To each their own, I say. So please, do not start it with me either. Ok, now that that is off of my chest, onto my actual point...

I usually shop at Kroger. They have the most organic choices, great coupons (which, honestly, I rarely use anyway), and offer fuel points. I like Publix for the meat, though. The Kroger that we shop at just underwent a renovation to compete with a new Kroger opening just down the road. And with that renovation came a new service that they started participating in called "ClickList".


ClickList is an online service where you can order groceries, then pick them up at the store the next day! In our area, it's a $5 charge. FIVE DOLLARS?! OMG! This service is easily worth $50! I sit at home on my laptop and create a grocery list from the choices (pictures and prices). And the search tool is very effective. The site shows all of my previous purchases and which ones are on sale, too. I love that I can walk over to my cabinets and refrigerator to see what I have, or don't have, and adjust my list as needed. Not every single item in the store is available on the online database, but I haven't found anything that I regularly buy that hasn't been listed. There's even options to substitute items you've chosen if they aren't available at pickup and a section to give the Kroger employee instructions on any item (like I've requested the furthest expiration date on yogurt before). My husband once ordered bananas without any instructions, and the ones we received looked great.

When I'm finished, I just choose my pickup time for the next day and submit my order. There's a few special lanes reserved for this service at my store. I pull up, call the number listed on the sign in my lane, they take my name and ask if I have any coupons, then bring my order out. One employee comes to my driver's side window and reviews my order and if there were any items that were unavailable, if they were substituted (if I chose that option), and what they were substituted with. They then take my credit/debit card payment with a card swipe on a tablet while a couple of other people load my groceries into my vehicle. Sometimes, I feel incredibly lazy, or even snobby, while other people are loading my groceries. I honestly wouldn't mind helping or even loading them myself. But by the time my payment is complete, they are finished loading my groceries anyway. It's never taken more than 5 minutes from the time I pull up to the time that I leave.

I am not being promoted or paid in anyway to express my views on this service; I seriously just LOVE it! I hope it stays around forever. What a game-changer.

One happy working-mom

Sunday, July 31, 2016


If there's one thing to make you reflect on how you treat others, it has got to be when someone treats you poorly. Well, if you're self-aware and open-minded, that is.

We can blame the person that fought with us, spoke bad behind our back, betrayed our trust, wasn't there for us, or disappointed us in any other way. But does it really make us feel any better? Is it that somehow shifting the blame onto another frees us of being "the bad person"? Is it like having some epiphany to realize and dwell on someone else's flaws that comforts us in times of wrong-doing? Like since they're the wrong doers, and not ourselves, that a subliminal form of confidence in ourselves is formed from hurt? 

Yes and No. Yes that this is probably an unconscious coping mechanism. But no to truly making us feel better or helping us learn and grow from those types of situations. Blame isn't healing. There's a reason it hurts when someone does us wrong, especially when we dwell on it. We can't change others, and we can't control their thoughts or actions. But we can control our actions. No one is responsible for our happiness except ourselves. We choose our happiness. Initial emotions may be reactive and unconscious, but continued emotions are a choice that we make. I'm not getting into the neurological deficits in mental disorders, though. I'm just talking about disappointment in individual interactions. 

This is really just "outloud" self talk for myself. I often have to remind myself that I am in control of my own feelings when I think someone else hurts them. I have to stop and ask myself why. Not why they hurt me, but why I felt hurt. Was it because I expected something from someone (regardless of their offer or word)? Whether it's someone telling me they will do something (and don't) or me thinking a person is honest when all that they tell me are lies. Regardless, it all goes back to expectations. I think someone is honest, therefore I expect them to be. Someone tells me they are going to do something, therefore I expect them to.

Expectations are so incredibly poisonous. It takes some superior discipline to null expectations. It's a daily practice, and never seems to be 100% effective. 

This has been happening around me a lot over the past year. Friends, family, colleagues, even complete strangers seem to be instilling massive amounts of disappointment, anger, hurt, and disdain in me lately. However, it isn't them. It's me and my expectations that I place on them. I really just needed a reminder to myself to look within, expel grudges, and just be plain happy without expectations attached to that. 

Peace, love, and happiness, my friends. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Biopsy Day

Josh had his biopsy today.

Fine needle aspiration of a level 2 cervical lymph node to be exact. 

Simple enough. It's a relatively small needle. I figured we would be in and out of the hospital quickly. He was sent to Interventional Radiology at our hospital, because his ENT wasn't equipped to do the procedure in-office. I like the idea of the hospital over 'in-office', anyway. Radiologists, with more training and experience, working in a more controlled area with more sterility seemed like the best plan. 

I couldn't go back to the procedure area with him, though. As a nurse, waiting in a waiting room feels awkward, even offensive on some weird level. We're always behind the scenes with the VIP passes to the restricted areas and badges for all of the locked doors. Ugh. How rude. 

But, also as a nurse, most of us have a different level of respect for office and hospital policies. Probably because we know the stringency of the rules in place, and abide by them everyday, ourselves. 

I sat against a wall close to the locked door that led back to Interventional Radiology. I worked from my company laptop for almost an hour, I think. It didn't feel that long. I expected Josh to come through the door any minute. The procedure didn't require any anesthesia, so no 'recovery' time was really necessary. He was wearing khaki cargo shorts, so every person that came through that door would get a brief leg inspection from just above my laptop screen. But it was never him. 

Then, an employee came through the door and stopped in front of me. A nurse. I was a tad confused and still had a good majority of my brain engulfed in work. I looked up at her, and her words were sort of jumbled. Partly because, like I said, I was still in work-mode, but partly because of what she said. 

Anytime any medical professional starts out by saying "they're ok" or "they're fine" or "everything is ok" followed by a "but," lookout

After hearing he was ok and then a "but," I immediately went into this defense mode. Like "but what the Hell did you do to him?!" I don't know why. I'm definitely not a mean person. I'm pretty compassionate. But I'm not going to lie, I was pretty pissed in that moment.

I could feel my face flushing as the slightly seasoned nurse sat beside me in a chair explaining what had happened in a thick, southern accent: Sometimes, during moments of high stress, people will have something called a vasovagal reaction. And he vasovagaled. Meaning, essentially, he passed out. But he's ok now. I know exactly what vasovagal syncope is. I also know how close the vagus nerve is in the area they were obtaining a biopsy on his neck, and how close the carotid artery was, as well. So, in my defensive-educated-wife-mode, I asked if the Radiologist had punctured through his lymph node. The nurse said yes, that they got the samples. Nope. Nope, not even close to what I'm asking here. I didn't care about the samples. I wanted to know if the Radiologist had caused my husband's vasovagal response with his needle, or if it was fear/pain-induced. My questions just warranted repetition from her, though. And something about hearing a nurse say "we see this a lot" does not ease my mind in a situation like this. 

Defense mode may even be putting it lightly. I'll be honest, I was questioning her like a witness in a courtroom. My face was probably quite impressive, and definitely offensive. Like I said, this is not a norm for me. I like making friends and having small talk with other nurses. We're a cult out there; we know each others' hardships and stick together across all boards. But I just wasn't feeling it in that moment. I mean, my best friend, my partner in life, my everything had a reaction that I wasn't even aware could or did occur during such a 'simple' procedure. 

The nurse finally brought me through the locked doors, and we walked down the hallway together to another large area full of curtained rooms. Several oncology patients were in there, but I didn't see them. I only saw my patient, my husband, sitting directly in front of me in a patient chair. He seemed to be miles away when I first laid eyes on him. When I got to him, the first thing that I asked was if he was ok. He immediately replied that he was, now

I proceeded to ask him what had happened, while it was still fresh on his mind. He explained that the doctor first injected his neck with lidocaine to numb it. But he said the Radiologist didn't wait long enough for the medication to take effect before he began. However, the first biopsy went without incident or distress, according to Josh. The second one, though... not so much. 

He said the doctor was having difficulty puncturing the lymph node and was chasing it around in his neck with the needle. Josh said he felt the needle scraping something in his neck, then a pop and sudden burning sensation in his right ear. He confessed that he feared the pop was a puncture to his carotid artery. I wished, in that moment, that I could have been there for his reassurance. He said the pain was intense. 

Josh told me that he thought the Radiologist was getting chunks from his lymph node. Chunks?? As in a core biopsy?! That is NOT the procedure we were told would be performed. Even the educational paperwork that the hospital gave us just prior to his procedure was about FNA-fine needle aspiration. I mean, I'm not certain they performed a core biopsy, but that's what he was describing to me. 

After the second sample was finally obtained and the needle was out, he said he was feeling pretty bad and still in pain. They decided to draw up more lidocaine to attempt to ease the discomfort level for round #3. This also gave him a needed break between punctures. But he was still getting worse, seconds (maybe barely minutes) after that second sampling. He said he had to referee the team before the lidocaine administration. He told them he was feeling light-headed and unwell. The next thing he remembered was his legs jerking uncontrollably, then people patting his leg and shoulder as he woke up. 

He recalled several nurses standing around him and the Radiologist telling him he was ok. He heard someone say to another staff member that they thought he was having a seizure. He said one nurse had cold cloths on his head and face. Exactly how long was he out, I wondered. I told him we were definitely getting his records. I need to know what happened. Or, at least, what was documented. 

After he was awake and alert, he said they continued with the procedure. The MD seriously made the choice to continue, even after his patient had JUST lost consciousness. More lidocaine was administered, and a third biopsy was obtained. He said the doctor took a smaller needle and repetitively poked in one area of his neck. From my previous research, it sounded like that was the FNA biopsy that the MD was finally obtaining. 

He said the whole side of his face was numb, which we both figured was from the lidocaine. He also told me that, when he woke up, all that he wanted was me. My heart sank. So deeply. The thought of him being alone (per se) and nervous and wanting me was crippling. He's a tough, independent guy. So, the best way I can describe that feeling is like knowing your child was crying out for you when you weren't there to hold and comfort them. It was soul-crushing to hear him say that. 

They had him stay for half of an hour to an hour extra after the biopsies, for observation. I watched his vitals closely. His BP was 138/91 (definitely elevated for him) and his pulse was ranging from 54-68. He isn't a runner or cardio fanatic, so that pulse was very concerning to me. I mentioned it in front of the nurse when I first encountered him; she responded that it was just compensation or a recovery phase. I was slightly distraught on the inside. 

I'll be interested to see if/how well this episode was documented. 

*** Update (7/31/16)

Josh's right jaw remains numb. His pain and swelling at the biopsy site continues, and bruising is now apparent. That pain, swelling, and bruising extends all the way to his right clavicle:

And the pathology report? Don't even get me started. The diagnosis was "skeletal muscle and fibroconnective tissue."

Are you kidding me?! The Radiologist didn't even get any lymphoid tissue! No wonder the poor guy had a vasovagal reaction! The damn doctor cut little chunks of his neck muscle out! WTF?! This has utterly blown my mind and upset me beyond belief. He still doesn't have a diagnosis and will need yet another biopsy, possibly an even more invasive one. I feel so helpless for him and ashamed of the medical community for letting my husband down like this. 

And the documentation was definitely not a correct reflection of the events that occured:

I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm not sure what Josh feels like doing at this point. The follow-up appointment with the ENT that ordered the biopsy is 8/2/16. I guess we'll discuss more options then. In the meantime, I'm leaving it up to my husband to decide whether to file a complaint through the hospital or not. I did suggest that he not file one through the Board of Medicine, though. Everyone makes mistakes, and I'm not saying the guy's license deserves to be investigated or suspended. However, this was an extremely botched procedure that will still be billed to our health insurance and ourselves. Thus, filing a complaint through the hospital doesn't seem irrational to me at this point.

*** Update (8/2/16)

Shock and an apology was about all that Josh's ENT could offer. In his 14 years of practice, he says he's never seen this happen before. Josh's jaw is still numb, and his neck is still pretty swollen and sore from the trauma. His ENT wants him to wait 3 weeks to allow healing before discussing the next step.

*** Update (8/22/16)

I found a local, general surgeon that has extensive experience with breast cancer patients. I know this sounds hella weird, but hear me out first. He regularly performs mastectomies and lymph node biopsies and removals. My patients (that have been to him for various procedures) adore him, and I had a colleague directly recommend him, as well. I also looked up his Medicare billing reports to see what procedures he regularly performs. Cervical lymph node biopsies were included in that reporting. So, I called his office to double check that this was a procedure that he was still performing and if he was taking new patients. And since he was, Josh requested a referral from his ENT. Josh said his ENT was less than thrilled about this, though. The ENT informed Josh that if he went to the general surgeon that he (the ENT) would no longer be able to follow Josh. He wanted to send my husband to another hospital for the biopsy. Another hospital, with another Radiologist that Josh would, again, not meet or build a rapport with prior to this procedure. Neither Josh nor I were comfortable with that plan of care, which is why I opted to find someone that Josh could meet and speak with prior to having any further procedures.

I understand where his ENT is coming from: that a general surgeon typically deals with the abdomen and not the head and neck. Yeah, and look what happened when he saw an Interventional Radiologist that was supposed to be trained and skillful in this area.

This general surgeon has been in practice for 30+ years, and has been successfully managing breast cancer patients and associated metastasis in the lymphatic system with Oncologists. And while this differs from lymphoma, he's familiar with the lymphatic system. Besides, he isn't the one that will be reviewing the slides of biopsied cells. He's the specialist that will be guiding the needle into my husband's neck and obtaining a viable sample for the Pathologist. Skill, care, experience, and reputation are huge factors at this point. While Josh's ENT is a great guy, he has lost some considerable points in the referral area (and that's not really even his fault). If he wants to keep patients though, I would think he would be performing the biopsies himself.

The next appointment is next month with the general surgeon to discuss obtaining a biopsy from this troublesome, evasive, little lymph node.

My real fear is that my husband could have cancer that requires an invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. I just can't imagine seeing him go through all of that. The thought of explaining to our 3-year-old son why dad can't play because he's weak or has been vomiting is heart-breaking to me. Luke puts his daddy on a pedestal so high that I couldn't reach it with the tallest of ladders. And the thought of future follow-ups and a forever fear of the return of cancer after remission, just nauseates me. I deeply hope that it's just some benign process.

Right now, I'm just trying to support my husband and be there to listen to his fears and concerns. He doesn't need an optimist saying "Oh it's probably nothing. Don't worry about it." And he doesn't need a pessimist haunting his mind with what-ifs. He just needs someone concerned enough to ask how he is doing and feeling about the situation. I am trying to be that person, right in the middle, by preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, and just being there when he needs to talk about it all.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Why I Broke Up with Facebook

Hold on tight, and buckle those laps bars. We're going way back...

(Disclaimer: Okay, so it's not that far back. But speaking technology and social media-wise, it was ages ago.)

Circa: 2005. I was freshly married to my high school sweetheart, living independently, working full time, and just discovering MySpace. Ahhh, the good ole days. >insert some 50 cent or TI you were bumping to in your fast and furious-inspired ride< Or don't. Whatever you were into at that time is just as good. 

For my generation, MySpace was the ultimate place to be an emerging adult in the world on the Internet (and yet how we all hope that any trace of the documentation of our former selves from MySpace is completely destroyed now). You could customize your page with a banner, profile pic, background, layout, and even play your favorite songs for people visiting your page. I credit MySpace for my useless self-taught knowledge of html coding, actually. 

It was all about self expression. And it was really the beginning of the popularization of self-taken photos, coined "selfies". Y'all remember.... that in-the-mirror-with-a-flip-phone-or-camera selfie. Oh, and that flash. So dope.  

However, it was also the beginning of a new era of competition. To be the most attractive, have the most friends, be the happiest, or most successful. It often felt like an online extension of high school, only with way more smoke and mirrors. The passive-aggressive competition that began to unfold seemed unsurpassed by any sport in existence. I'm not saying 100% of social media users fell into this category. But the vast majority did (and still do on Facebook). 

Facebook became about networking and connection to long-distance friends and relatives (not initially, but eventually). It also, eventually, became a truly beautiful way to share the highlights of life with those you care about. Personally, I've always enjoyed sharing pictures, humor, and nostalgia with my like-minded counterparts, much like I do with blogging. The main difference for me is that I blog detailed emotions, realizations, and nostalgia in a very personal, self-reflective manner. Whereas Facebook is more diverse with reactiveness to pop culture and news, as well as others' personal lives in a somewhat less detailed manner. Well, less detailed for some. There are always those that seem to share every minute detail down to what their having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and their problems with life, family, and health, as well as political and religious viewpoints. You're thinking of that very person right now, aren't you? 

I've long enjoyed the type of interaction that Facebook has to offer. However, things have changed a bit, on Facebook and within myself. Hate and ignorance have crept into my newsfeed, overshadowing a lot of the beauty and good that I long for in social interactions.

My Facebook account consists only of people that I know personally. I have no "friends" that are strangers on Facebook. Some of them post only the occasional views or links that I find hateful or even ignorant, so unfollowing every person that posts something that I find ridiculous would be, well, ridiculous. I am very open-minded and can listen to a majority of oppositions and civilly participate in any debate, but public two-way text can be incredibly impersonal and difficult to interpret actual emotions from either party. Therefore, I loathe that degree.

A new onset of worries surrounding my husband's health have also made a lot of things on Facebook suddenly seem uniteresting, ungrateful, and significantly less important to me.

And oh the hypocrisy. The amount of conflicting things and viewpoints that one single person can, and will, post annoys me to the degree of judgment. And I do NOT want to be judgmental toward the people I like or care about, or anyone for that matter. In person, people seem to be much more consistent and confident in their viewpoints and emotions (at least, in my experiences). Also, I am better able to decipher true emotions from tone and body language in person, and I find this incredibly valuable in relationships with others. I've also discovered that I like people much better in person than I do on Facebook these days. Ha. Imagine that. 

The mindless scrolling through products, video after video, comments, pictures, it took so much more time than I ever realized. I adore photography, and I can get downright immersed in professional photos for hours! I completely lose all track of time. Facebook is full of that, and awesome new gadgets, hilarious videos, insightful articles... so many things that I love to look at or read. But it's such a time-sucker. It sucketh time that cannot be giveth back. It's honestly enjoyable time-sucking, too. But when that extra time is suddenly available to you, it really puts in perspective just how much was being wasted. For me, it's like Wow, look at all that I have in front of me. It's a beatiful day. I need to finish the dishes. I wonder if I'd like this room better this other color? Luke's vocabulary is amazing. I should go build train tracks with him. Maybe this will sound absolutely ridiculous to me in another few months or years, but for now, I'm really enjoying this rediscovery of gratitude. 

I already miss the connection with the people that I am friends with, though. And especially the humor. That was my favorite thing about FB: my funny friends and the hilarious memes, pictures, comments, posts, and videos! They were utterly addictive (in the best way). I don't really hate Facebook or anything. I think I'm just proud of myself for being able to split from an enjoyable time-suck and have it not suck. Ha. I've revisited Facebook once or twice from my laptop to check in on friends or for new messages, but honestly, I'm enjoying my time away from Facebook so much that I feel no desire to put the app back on my phone any time soon. 

I have been able to redirect the time that I spent scrolling through my newsfeed towards spending time with my family, taking videos of my son, blogging, cleaning, cooking, working, and even pinning things on Pinterest like recipes for dinner, vacation spots, home improvement ideas, and articles that educate me on topics that I am interested in (such as parenting, positivity, photography, health, etc.). Life is what you make it. Life is good. Life is better. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

10 months

We've now mastered pulling-to-stand. It's like second nature to Luke. I'm pretty sure he's experimented on every single thing in our house that he can pull himself up on. He's cruising now, too. He's walking sideways, or just awkwardly, while one-handing-it along furniture. Yes, we're one-handing-it now, as well. That bravery is certainly shining bright.

He's pulling up to stand with one hand while he has a toy in the other hand. Then, he's all waving his toy around like look who needs only one hand to hold on now, mom! Ok, son. One step at a time, buddy. And to add to his bravery and macho-ness, he's been letting go recently. He'll stand independently, for a moment, as if to test himself. 

Speaking of testing himself, he's discovered the stairs. This fun obstacle must have been built just for him, or so he thinks. Stair-climbing has become his new hobby, while mom and dad frantically follow close behind with open arms. 

He's also walking really well while I hold his hands. It feels like he's just going to let go and take off. It's so surreal how quickly time has passed since he was born, how much he's grown and learned. It's amazing in every way amazing can be amazing.

My Pitter is still growling and talking up a storm. Dada is still his favorite word. He has pronounced every sound in the alphabet except z. He's going to be the kid that gets in trouble for talking in class. That's ok; he comes by it honestly.

He's a social little stinker. We were walking him in his stroller in a busy shopping plaza one afternoon, and it was cold. People were hurrying to get from the stores to theirs cars and vice versa, including ourselves. And here this kid is yelling at everyone! He yelled "aaaaahhhhhhh" at every single person that hurried passed him. In the store, he was intently staring at people. If they didn't acknowledge and make faces at him, he'd yell at them, too. And people seem to find this hilarious, because as soon as they look at him, they're greeted with a big, warm baby smile. What feels better than that, right? Then, they happily oblige to his wishes. Babies are so smart. It just continues to baffle and amaze me at how they hypothesize about something, then create the opportunity to test their theories.
Daycare is only slightly better. I spend lots of time with him in the mornings in his classroom before I have to leave for work. It's still really hard. I'm so thankful for the camera system, though. 

Checking out the toys on the shelves (blue shirt)
Making new friends
What's in there?

10 months:
•Likes rolling toys. 
•Likes to spin things. 
•Grinds teeth. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Daycare Catastrophe

Luke had his first day in daycare this month, in the care of strangers in a strange place, with people who don't know or love him.

I knew it was going to be difficult for me, so I took that week off of work. And that was a very good idea. 

Because I had a meltdown 

The morning started out jacked up enough. He had a bottle at 5 am and went back to sleep with me until 7. We got up, and I fed him breakfast. He grunted a little like he was pooping. I figured I would finish feeding him, then a diaper change. 


I should have known when he leaned to the side in his highchair and grunted that cascades of thick, chocolate waterfalls were being created. Poop had seriously leaked out of the leg holes of his diaper and down both of his chubby, rolling baby legs. 

I decided to just take him to the bathroom and hold him under running water, clothes and all. I took his pants and diaper off in the tub and held him under temperament water in an attempt to carefully rinse him off without needing a full-on bath. That idea was precisely executed in my mind. Not so much in person...


He stepped in it, got his hand in it; chunks of baby poop were literally everywhere!

I gave up plan A and just shut the water off. I then carried him sideways into another bathroom where his 'baby tub' resided. I filled his little tub with water while still holding this squirmy poop-infested child sideways, careful not to contaminate everything. I sudsed the little dude up and bathed him as I should have to begin with. >defeated sigh<

Fast forward to actually arriving at the daycare facility: My stomach had butterflies. Read: poisonous butterflies. I just had a terrible feeling. Working-mom guilt? I don't know, but it was downright nauseating. 

We had a family friend nanny for us for a few months. I worked only 3 days a week during that time. Our sweet friend watched him 2 days a week, then my mom, or Josh's mom, watched him the other day. We managed to keep Luke out of public childcare until he was 9 months old. For that, I feel blessed. 

I researched every facility in our area. We toured and asked all of the questions you are supposed to ask. This place seemed like the best. Three cameras were in every classroom. Fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom... they did it all. And it was live feed that I could monitor directly from my phone. What a peace of mind! The classrooms were large and separated by floor-to-ceiling glass walls to make transitioning to the next room easier for the kids. That also made the classes feel safer for me, because anyone could see what was going on in any room. 

When I got to his classroom, there sat four babies in the middle of a cheap and thinly carpeted floor, crying. One was crying so hard she was doing the gasp-for-air-and-twitch thing between cries. She also had snot running out of both nostrils like heavy waterfalls (gag). They all looked so pitiful with bloodshot eyes and out-reached arms of desperation to be held. 

I clinched Luke a little tighter. 

The state law on ratio is 4:1, so the teacher was alone with these four screaming babies. She very dryly said to her babies, "Y'all are just going to have to wait. You'll be fine." Now, maybe I've said that a time or two to my son when he's screaming, and I haven't peed in 4 hrs, but something just didn't feel right about her saying that to someone else's baby. Someones pitiful, desperate, confused baby. And in front of me?! 

She called the front desk to ask for some help, because she was trying to give me a rundown on things. The director came in, wiped the snotty nose of gasping girl, and I don't even remember what else she did. I just stood there. I was in shock. I squeezed Luke so tight. I kissed his forehead and seriously considered turning around and walking out. Teachers from other classrooms were staring at me through the glass walls (or so it felt). They must have seen the pure panic on my face. You couldn't miss it, because I couldn't hide it. 

During the course of talking to this raspy-voiced, seasoned teacher, I felt myself get to the verge of tears several times. This was not how I envisioned daycare for my son. I imagined a loving environment with lots of happy babies. Not an uncomfortable room (for me) with screaming children and a teacher just a few years shy of being a walking, anti-smoking campaign slogan. Those butterflies were inflicting their poison into my gut the longer that I stood there. 

By now, another teacher had arrived, because the number of children had just surpassed four. I sat Luke down in front of the toys. It was almost his nap time. I stood and watched him for 45 minutes.
Forty-five minutes

I watched him crawl around and touch and explore this new land. He whined a few times, but resolved the issues himself. I told them that I rock/pat him to sleep for naps and that sometimes he's stubborn, and it takes a little effort. The latest teacher to arrive said that was no problem. She cuddled the other babies and really seemed to be genuinely caring. That made me feel a lot better. But I was still scared to leave him. 

I bit my lip to hold back the tears as I exited the room while he wasn't looking. He was engulfed in play, and I just hoped that he wouldn't even notice. As soon as I opened the front door and stepped one foot out into the frigid cold, tears began to pour down my cheeks. I bawled all the way to my vehicle. I put my sunglasses on during a grey, cloudy day to hide the mess on my face. I cried hard and loud. I called Josh, per his request. I could barely speak to him, because I was crying so much. I even turned on my GPS nav to get me home, because I just couldn't focus. 

I cried all of the way home. 

Once I got home, I tried to login to view him on the cameras, but my account hadn't been activated yet. The director told me she would activate it for me when I left. Apparently, she hadn't got to it yet. She obviously had no idea how badly I needed this! So, I sat at my pub table and cried harder than I've cried in a long time. I just imagined him crying like those other babies and not understanding why no one would pick him up. If those babies' parents could have seen them at that moment, I feel like a shitstorm would have erupted. It was heart-breaking. Like puppies in shelter cages crying out for love and affection. 

I cried some more. 

The thought of that being my baby tore me up. I feel like those babies should have taken priority over me. I would have had one on each hip or been in the floor with them telling the new parent that I would be right with them when my babies were calmer. They're all small babies (compared to my little giant baby). I just didn't understand why she was so cold about it. It was a clear first impression for me that she was probably in the wrong career. And I left my son with her. 

Bad, bad mom is all that rang in my ears. 

I tried logging in every 5 min. After an hour and a half, I called to check on him. The director forwarded me to his room. The raspy teacher answered. I could hear Luke screaming in the background.


I felt my gut sink. She said he was fine, but really tired. She said he was "just going to have to wait," because she had three babies to feed before she could get to him. She said she put him in the swing. The swing? He hates swings now! At this point, he had been awake for 5 hrs without a nap. He usually naps in the morning after he has been awake for 2-3 hrs. I was mortified. I was pissed. I felt guilty. I cried, again. I had not cried that hard since Lexi died. It was bad.
I called Josh again and told him about hearing Luke crying and the way the teacher spoke to me. He told me to just go get him. That was all that I needed to hear to give me some validation that I should follow my gut-instinct. So, I cleaned up my face and left. 
When I got to the parking lot, I decided to try and log in one last time. Voila! It worked that time. I fast-forwarded through the last four hours of feed while he was there. He cried for two solid hours. Two hours!!! He was moved from crib to swing to floor to crib. Crying. The whole time. It appeared he had cried himself to sleep of pure exhaustion. How was this not child abuse in some way?! 

Bad, bad mom
I walked in to get him. The director greeted me at the front, where she buzzed me in. "Back already? That was a short first day," she said. I just smiled. I was so emotionally unstable, I'm surprised I didn't gouge her eyes out with a pen embossed with the school's logo. Whew. Good thing. For both of us.

When I walked in the room, Luke was sleeping in his assigned crib. I was told he crawled around, shortly after I left, looking for me. Then, he became upset. Break my heart a little more, won't ya?! He was picked up by a teacher and brought to me. He was sleepy, but happy to see me. And I him. I put his coat on and smothered him in kisses. The rest is a blur. I left. I cried all the way to my truck squeezing him. I apologized over and over again. I sat in the backseat and gave him a bottle before we headed home. 
I contemplated quitting my job all the way home, and would for several days to follow. I never imagined myself as a stay-at-home-mom, but I felt like it might be one of the only ways I could live with myself. What was I thinking?  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guilty with Love

I did something today that I have never done before. Something I'm ashamed to say that I've never done. 

I live in an area with more than 100,000 people cramming into one town. That's a 50% growth in 10 years. The place is booming, and hosts shoppers from a 50-mile-radius regularly. We're a haven for homeless curb-dwellers. I've always ignored them, ranting silently in my head about their tacky antics. My husband freely gives them food and bottles of water when the heat is beaming down on them in the summer. I would just shake my head at the stupidity of standing in the heat or cold. It doesn't make sense. Not that I'm opposing my husband's humanity. I'm all for helping them with meals, just not cash. My rule is always no cash. For obvious reasons that we all think. But seriously, couldn't they be applying for jobs? Working hard like the rest of us? After all, that's what it takes! It takes drive and willpower to get anywhere in life. Little did I know that what I have always been thinking was very true and right in front of me as I thought those very thoughts.

I did something today that I have never done before:

I gave a homeless man all of the cash that my wallet had to offer. It wasn't much. Five dollars. But it's all that I had. 

I notoriously do not carry cash on me. I like to see all of my transactions digitally. Thus, I know where I spend every dime and am better able to budget things this way. I never have change for a bottle of water in a vending machine when the heat is making my thirst scream and long for a cold beverage. I never have cash to give a co-worker to grab me some lunch on their way out when my belly is growling from the massive calories I just burned in the first half of a shift. I never have anything to tip the carhops at Sonic when they bring me my delicious milkshakes with a smile on their face in the unforgiving heat, or when their noses are beet red from the bitter cold. I always feel so incomplete, guilty, or mad at myself for loathing the physical presence of cash in my wallet at these times. 
Every now and again, my husband will give me some cash from a transaction he's made, an ATM withdrawal, or a scratch ticket winning. And I'll tuck it away in the dark confines of my wallet for a rainy day. Or perhaps, more realistically, a time when I need cash. Sometimes it will sit there for months. Forgotten. Like a piece of clothing, not worn in years, tucked away in the farthest corner of a closet. But sometimes, sometimes I'll remember I have it and put it to good use. Like giving it to a complete stranger that wasn't even asking for it. 
The flimsy, cardboard sign read 'Homeless Veteran.' 
The man had a beard that looked as though it were decorated with salt and pepper. His eyes were heavy, wrinkles accenting every corner. His brows bushy and protective of his sunken, aged eyes. His clothes were layered and heavy with holes and wear. They laid on his thin body like a clothesline. His hands, and the few parts of exposed skin on his face, were chapped from the cold. His companion was sitting along side him on a curb. Her brown hair was mangled under an old hat. Her face was exposed to the bitter cold and chapped, as well. Her eyes distant with despair and shame, it appeared.
I saw these people. Not in a physical sense, but an emotional one. Human to human. I remembered that I had a five dollar bill tucked away in my wallet. My memory is typically rather poor, and why I remembered in that moment is beyond me. But it was my stash, and all that I had on me. I had no second thoughts, though. I was glad I had something. I scrambled to retrieve it from my unorganized bag while the traffic passed at the stop sign we sat at. As I was frantically rummaging my wallet, the traffic slowed. I didn't tell my husband what I was doing. I simply said to him, "Don't go yet." I found the five dollar bill, wrinkled and folded awckwardly. I rolled down my window and motioned for the man to come to me. He struggled to get up from the curb. I immediately felt guilty for not jumping out of the car to help him or bring the crinkly, little bill to him instead. He slowly approached my window. He looked baffled as to say, "What could I possibly help you with?" I handed him the five dollars, still folded the way I found it in my wallet. He slowly accepted it and smiled at me. He said, "God bless you" in the most sincere tone I've heard in a long time. Tears began to stream down my warm cheeks. Though it wasn't much, I had just given this man all that I had, and I couldn't even speak. I managed to mumble a "God bless" in return and rolled my window back up. My husband turned to me and said, "That was really nice of you." His tone surprised, but sincere. I didn't look at him. I couldn't. I was crying and didn't want him to know. For a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I was confused. I wasn't sure why these emotions had come over me so strongly. A few seconds later, I realized I was ashamed. Not to be crying, but that my husband was surprised that I had done such a kind act in his mind.
Had I always been so cynical? Judging every person on a corner with a cardboard sign? Shamefully, I knew I had. What does it take to put every ounce of your dignity aside and stand on a street corner with a pathetic sign? I wouldn't know the answer to that. But had I different occurrences in my life, I might just be able to say. I'm hard-working and driven, but I'm also human. My hard work and drive are backed by a strong, supportive family. What if I had not had that family, that support? Where would I be? Who would I be? Who knows. The thing is, everyone is going through something difficult at any given moment. And to judge them based on our own experiences is just ludicrous. We have no idea what it's like to walk in some else's shoes. None. No matter how close we are to them either. We just can't experience someone else's experiences and emotions. What has been the hardest experience in someone's life, and therefore their worst pain, may pale in comparison to someone else's hardships. But that does not pale their pain or experience in any way. As Buddha said, "Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; Each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little." I always thought these people must have been lazy to be asking for handouts. But it must take drive and willpower for them to get up in the morning and face people like me asking for a chance at life today. A chance for a warm place to sleep, a meal, more clothes, maybe a fix-if they need that. Whatever it is, it's not my place to judge them. I'm not contributing to their 'habits.' Even addicts get to a point where they need their fix just to survive. I'm just being humane. I'm giving another human being a chance. At what is not of my concern; it's just a chance. Plain and simple. 
I helped someone less fortunate in a way that I will never know. That may have contributed to his funds for a hotel room for the night. A night where temperatures would not be above freezing. Maybe it went towards a hot meal for him and his companion. Or maybe he bought a bottle of liquor. Who knows. And who am I to judge? Even if he did buy liquor, he obviously needed it more than I did. Maybe it will keep him warm wherever he is camping out and temporarily drown away whatever sorrows he has for his situation. 
Who knows if he was even a Veteran. His sign claimed such, so I choose to believe such. If I could go back to the curb, I would drive to the Hilton hotel behind him and buy him and his companion a room for the night. I would make sure it included a meal and breakfast. He fought for my freedom, so it would have been the least I could have done. But as with all good ideas, they only come after-the-fact. So, I will just ask God to take care of him tonight and hope he has somewhere warm to stay. In the words of a stranger that probably helped me in more ways than he'll ever know, God bless you. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

9 months

My 'baby' can still fit in most of his 9 month onesies. Most of his clothes are 12 months with some 18 month stuff. He's still fitting in size 4 diapers comfortably, too.

He is drinking about 30 oz of milk a day. The Ped informed us he should be between 16-20 oz now and said we can increase his solid intake to compensate. 

We do purées and table food. I like the purées, because there are so many varieties and textures available in organic. We do organic puffs for little snacks here and there and organic wafers for teething. I take some comfort in the organics knowing massive amounts of FDA-allowed pesticides weren't used (hopefully). But I also give him table foods that aren't organic (stuff with thick skins like bananas). I'm more leary about nonorganic foods that grow in the ground, though (greens beans, carrots, etc).

I know. I know. Eventually, he will make his own decisions and eat as he pleases. And frankly, I'm ok with that. I'm just trying to start him off on the right foot. Hopefully, he will make good decisions regarding food choices one day, but I vow not to cringe when he has a burger at McDonalds or a shake from Sonic. I will probably be sitting next to him chowing on the same thing. I just hope that I am able to give him the tools to understand self-control and moderation. 

As for now, he is quite pleased with discovering foods of all colors, textures, and tastes. It's pretty exciting for all of us. It's also stressful, though. 
How much does he need to eat in a day? At once? How much fluid should he have? What fluids can he have? What foods can he not have? What if he chokes? How often should I feed him? How do I know if he's full? Can I over feed him? This has pretty much been buzzing in my head since the day the kid was born. 
And it's always a new feeding plan after we see the doctor and get new recommendations. 
The latest:
5am:    8 oz bottle
7-8am: breakfast
11am:   lunch
2pm:    8 oz bottle
4-5pm: dinner
7pm:    4 oz bottle before bed if needed. 
Looks good on paper. We'll see. I'm flexible. 


He's tried everything imaginable, in terms of food. Minus dairy. He is still on the Alimentum formula, and thriving. I chopped up some honeydew and cantelope for him one night recently. Big hit. 
The kid has four teeth, FOUR! And the doc informed us, at his 9 month check up, he has FOUR more about to cut! I cannot, for the life of me, fathom that this kid is going to have at least eight teeth by his first birthday!!! I didn't realize this happens so fast. Or maybe it's just him? And they're like puppy teeth. If you're a dog person, you just cringed. If you're a dog person with kids, you just laughed while nodding yes. Am I right?! Those things are sharp! And he likes to test the waters with them, too. He bites everything. And he grinds them together! *Shudders at the thought of the sound.* 

Rolling over has been his thing for a few months now, and he just can't get enough of it. In the words of Forrest Gump: If he was goin' somewhere, HE.WAS.ROLL-ING! This makes for some interesting diaper changes. Why oh why was I ever excited for this milestone? I'm convinced it would be easier to baptize a cat than change a mobile baby's diaper! The military teaches how to disassemble and reassemble a weapon in record timing. New parents should be taught diapering techniques that way, too! It's a time-critical combat against poop, people. Shew. But gosh he's cute.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

7 months

My little guy is still in 9-12 month clothing and size 4 diapers.

We've completely stopped breastfeeding now. I was down to only nursing him in the morning or before bed once a day or every other day last month. I deeply miss snuggling up with my baby in bed and nursing him to sleep, but I think it's truly easier for him to have more of a predictable amount of food now. He's noticeably less stressed.

He's still on the Alimentum formula and doing amazing. He was eating about five 6 oz bottles and one or two "meals" a day. But, just recently, we've changed that a bit and started more of a schedule with his eating & naps, because he starts daycare on December 16th (more on that later).

Our current attempt:

6:00 am: 7 oz bottle

7:30 am: 2.5 oz prunes

8:00 am: Nap

10:00 am: 7 oz bottle

11:00 am: Nap

12:00 pm: 3.5 oz fruit

2:00 pm: 7 oz bottle

3:00 pm: Nap

4:00 pm: 3.5 oz veggies

6:00 pm: 7 oz bottle

6:30-7 pm: Bath & bedtime

Once he starts daycare, the times will have to be moved up a bit. I will have to get him up at 5 am to feed him and get him ready, because he will have to be at daycare by 6 am. The two things we are still having a bit of a hard time with are the afternoon nap and bedtime, though.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Bit the bullet. The cold lead seared my teeth, but I did it. I bit it. I'm finally weaning. It's bittersweet in so many ways. Ah, let me count the ways... one one thousand, two one thousand...
I feel good about my decision considering what I put myself through to get this far. It took me 2 months of hardcore commitment just to make enough milk for a newborn. It seems like I was always behind. I maxed out at making about one ounce per hour. That might have even been sufficient for some babies, but I have a big kid! I'm now at about half of an ounce an hour, and only nursing (or pumping at work) about twice a day. We'll see where it goes...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

6 months

Weight: 21 lbs 3 oz (98.2%)
Length: 26.75" (57.9%)
Head: 45.5 cm (96.4%)
My baby! My itty bitty baby, born a mere 6 months ago, is on his way! 6 months old. Wow! I always see/hear parents marvel at how their child is 8 years old, oh but "just yesterday" they were learning to crawl. Honesty out in the open here, I was always like "Really?! You didn't realize your kid grew up?! Ok..." But I get it now. I soooo get it now! I get so many parent things that I never understand. Even as badly as I wanted kids, there were just things that I didn't get. This was one of them. It happens fast. As in 1.21 gigawatts-fast.

We are now in size 4 diapers! The size 3s leaked a few times, and they were getting snug. So, we went up a size, and what a difference that made. No more leaks, and the tabs aren't being stretched to their limits. He is still wearing mostly 9 month clothes (minus pants). His pants have to be at least 12 months to fit comfortably.
Does this diaper make my butt look big?
We decided to try pureed peas again since he refused them last time. He took them without hesitation. We've been experimenting with letting Luke feed himself some things.
Mmmmm nanas
I made a huge mess with oatmeal
Daddy, more!!!

Luke had some bumps on his gums and a recessed, white spot on the top where a central incisor would be. We were sure he was finally teething. Gnawing on everything, drooling, crying. Seemed to fit the bill, no? No is right. Pediatrician confirmed it was gingival cysts. Poor kid. It's one thing after another for him. No teefies yet. 

He had some bouts of screaming out, but we discovered it was his reflux acting up again. He's back on ranitidine (Zantac) twice a day. WONDER DRUG!
We made the switch with his formula. We are finally on Similac Alimentum (hypoallergenic). OMG. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We have our baby back. I say back. I pretty much mean the baby we never had. He doesn't fuss the entire time he is awake, gas is completely gone, no more diarrhea, no more congestion. I almost want to cry at the very thought that he has been allergic to cow's milk protein this whole time. Bad mommy. Uneducated, uninformed mommy. Thank God, I'm self-sufficient and able to educate myself! If we ever have another baby, at least I will know early on! I'm still breastfeeding with zero dairy in my diet (I miss ice cream and cheese sooooo bad).
Drum roll, my friends........ Pitter ROLLED OVER! Ha! I seriously thought the kid was going to skip it. He was sitting unsupported before he even rolled over. He's so back-asswards. Two days before he turned 6 months (on my MIL's birthday-how special), he rolled from tummy to back. Then, a couple of days later, back to tummy. Good boy. Mommy and daddy were stupid proud. We cheered and clapped like it was his first steps or something. He is still attempting to crawl, but he can't get on his knees yet. He can pick his head and butt up high in the air, just not at the same time. In due time my little Pitter. In due time.
Luke is so ticklish. I love it. He laughs out loud and squeals when we tickle his legs or ribs. It's almost torturous how much we do it to him, but his laugh is the best sound in the whole World!
We bought a jumperoo. Pitter loves it! He goes crazy! We just laugh and laugh. I must say, this is the best age so far. Newborns are cute (most of them, anyway), but 6 month olds are just freaking awesome. His personality is really shining through. I can finally distinguish things, like cries. I know his "I'm hungry. Feed me NOW!" cry, his "I'm sleepy" cry, his "Hold me" and "I'm uncomfortable" cries. It's a different world for all of us. A better world. A happy, loving world. One we have all been dreaming of. Ensue cheesy music with a slow-mo montage.
I haven't discussed sleeping. What is that anyway?! Guess that's why I haven't discussed it. In part, because it's almost embarrassing to say Luke still isn't sleeping through the night. The other part is that I'm sleep-deprived and known to get moody when talking about it.
I live with 3 male dogs, a husband, and a son. Lot of balls going on in this house. Well, minus two of my dogs-whispers-had those puppies snipped long ago. It took a lot of balls to do what I did. So, I gathered all of what's left of the balls in my house, and laid Luke on his tummy to sleep one night. The exact date is unknown (sleep deprivation, remember?). All of the bells and whistles for SIDS went off in my head when I just imagined him sleeping on his tummy. SIDS is much like a fire-red, demonic dragon in the far corner of the room. A dragon about the size of a German Shepard breathing heavily with a rasping exhale. I could feel it's orange, glowing eyes on me as I laid Luke belly down. I could imagine the drool rolling from it's scaly lips, just waiting to gobble up my son. My heart pounded. I hovered over my baby with my stainless steel body armor and shield guarding him for the longest. Eventually, I felt like I could lay the shield beside him and ease into my own bed, close by. I got up several times to make sure that dragon was staying in his corner, where he belonged. Seriously, the kid slept 5 hours straight! FOR-THE-FIRST-TIME-EVER! I was in utter dismay. I've been trying the no-cry sleep solution, and it's been working poorly. My son heavily relies on one of us to soothe him back to sleep. Don't get me wrong, I love when that kid falls asleep in my arms. I love to snuggle and kiss him. It's like gold for Josh and I. What's NOT gold is getting up a million times to a screaming child. I feel like a helpless, little mouse hiding under my covers from a hungry cat at the sound of his first whimper. I cringe every time. I climb out of bed, reassure him that I'm there, and pat him until he falls back asleep. Sometimes it works quickly. Sometimes it takes half of an hour, and I'm passing out trying to bend over his pack-n-play and pat him. The kicker, after "sleeping" about 3 or 4 hours total, I'll pull a 13-hour-shift (it's been as long as 17 hrs), come home, and do it again. Luke isn't sleeping well, I'm not sleeping well, Josh is and isn't (I usually get up 8 out 10 times-for example). I'm contemplating the Ferber method. I've tried once or twice, but caved after 5 minutes crying my eyes out. It's not for the faint of heart. I keep telling myself that Luke needs the sleep more than I do. He's a growing boy, and he needs sleep to replenish and grow. As for now, he is sleeping on his tummy happily-and the dragon has left the room. He can roll over now, and adjust himself as needed. Anytime he buries his face, he moves quickly. He hates having his nose covered and uses his instincts like lightening. Good little boy, that Pitter.