Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Alex naps very little if at all during the day so he nurses a lot. This in itself is not a problem, but towards the end of the day he is doing a lot of comfort nursing and his latch gets progressively worse. His reflux symptoms also seem worse towards the end of the day as well, so there is a lot of pulling off and arching - pulling off by turning his head away from me with my nipple still in his mouth. The icing on the cake is his new comfort thing - he kneads my breast with his fist, sometimes pulling my nipple out and most painful of all he'll grab a small handful of breast and just dig his fingers in and then pull my nipple out of his mouth. The nursing necklaces I have don't seem to cut it - they aren't quite long enough and he doesn't like holding on to them the same way. He'll sometimes take my finger, but my oh so lovely G cup breasts still require support while nursing and there are many times when I just don't have a free hand to give him a finger to grab on to. Swaddling isn't working either - he gets very upset if he doesn't have access to his hands. Needless to say, my breasts are killing me right now.

I'm hoping the Prilosec that is being compounded for me at the pharmacy will provide him some relief, but other than that I don't know what to do. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time Line

  • Last Week
    Dragging feet about making appointment for next two vaxes, realize that Zantac Rx is coming up for renewal so most likely need an appt for weight check as well.

  • Over the Weekend
    Decided that I'm still on fence about vaccines and the fact that Alex is coming down with a cold is reason enough to hold off on them. Do the math and don't think the increase in meds based on his weight increase from last time and the very small change we saw in symptoms is worth coming in for a weight check, especially since we'll be seeing the GI on the 6th and I've already decided that it's time to try something stronger.

  • Monday Morning
    John calls the ped's office for a refill on Zantac - leaves a voice mail on their prescription refill line.

  • Monday Afternoon
    Realize that it's 4 pm and haven't heard anything from office. Call the pharmacy and nothing is there yet. Call the ped's office and there isn't a damned prompt for "Speak to a person about a non appointment issue" so I just stay on the line until someone picks up. Talk to person and they have no record of John's call, although someone may have already taken the information from the voicemail line. She takes my info to be safe, noting that we only have two doses left and it's "not pretty" when he misses a dose.

  • Monday Afternoon, 15 minutes later
    Triage nurse calls me back and double checks all of the info. Says she'll take care of the refill right away. Get kids fed and start bed time. Have horrendous evening with Alex so picking up his meds is the last thing on my mind.

  • Tuesday Afternoon
    At 4.45, gather up the kids to walk down to pharmacy to pick up rx. Two techs search the place from top to bottom and can't find the rx. The double check the computer and nothing was called in. I ignore the "Please do not use your cell phone" signs all over the place to call the ped's office, trying to keep Alex happy in the stroller since I wore him in a bad position for a good mile in town and my back really isn't happy. Get the damned after hours line. After hours representative tells me that they put a hold on the refill pending review by the doctor because he hasn't had an adjustment in his dose in a month. I tell her that no one told me this, she responds by telling me that it's an office issue and the office is closed. I respond by asking her what I'm supposed to do with my screaming child in the morning, then thank her for her time and hang up on her. Storm out of pharmacy.

  • Tuesday, Early Evening
    Flirt with idea of going up to peds office since I'm almost positive they are in fact open and seeing patients, but decide not to since I will lay into whatever poor soul is working there and do not relish the thought of combining cranky, hungry kids and righteously indignant mom. Get a hold of John on his cell and share the story with him and anyone who happened to be standing on my block at the time - remarkably without swearing. Get kids in the house, try to nurse Alex but Michael is understandably bouncing off the walls and hungry - have to unlatch Alex a few too many times so then starts the hour long scream-a-thon that is interrupted feeding and GERD.

    John gets home and we decide against showing up at the ped's office at 8am demanding someone's head - he'll call them since I've had enough and if I come up against anyone lacking in customer service skills, heads will roll. John makes the call to after hours to find out what they can do and while he's on hold there our specific ped calls my cell phone first and then our home phone to say that she will calculate Alex's new dosage based on his curve and call it right in.

We are still going to call the office in the morning to speak with the office manager and will be sending a letter outlining our experience to the office manager and a few higher-ups since they have been bungling calls for several months now. One of the things that pisses me off the most is that I worked as an answering service operator for six years (and was a damned good one) - at 5.15 on a weeknight in a multi-doctor practice, there are still people there. If someone called me that distraught you better bet after I told her that the office had put a note on her call at the very least I'd take her information and see what I could do, in fact I'd probably put her on hold and try to patch her through to the back line of the office seeing as the office screwed up and believe you me the service always knows what offices have a habit of doing these things. I would not stupidly repeat the line about the office being closed and it being an office matter.

Now that I've spent the past thirty minutes spewing this vitriol - I have dinner to make and then manga to read. besides, I have a strong suspicion that I hear Alex cooing from our bedroom so a repeat of last night may be in order.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I wasn't ready for him to learn this yet

Alex had his three month growth spurt last week which meant I was not the best of moms to either of my kids - getting your sleep in 1 hour intervals will do that to a person. Between the hell that is extreme sleep deprivation and my poor little man's reflux issues, Michael has definitely been getting the short end of the stick and I've been trying desperately to break the cycle of any attention equals good attention. We went out on Saturday morning to one of the local playgrounds so we could get out of the house and Michael could play for a bit. They were having a flea market to benefit the playground, so I took a quick look around to see if maybe I could find a truck or car for Michael. I lucked out with finding this past year's Hess truck - a monster truck with a pair of motorcycles in the back. It makes some awful noises which was my objection to it back at Christmas time, but they let me have it for $5 so I got it for him (and thankfully the batteries have just died).

We then went into the playground. It was an older group of kids - my guess is that most of them had parents involved in the flea market. One of the boys zoomed in on Michael and his flashy toy. They seemed to be playing well enough together (i.e. the older kid wasn't being too manipulative), so I sat down with Alex to have some of my coffee. Then I saw this kid rev the monster truck up and launch it at Michael's face. I ran to get Michael (only a small split in his lip, thank God), and this kid told me a few times how it was an accident. I was comforting Michael and trying to explain to this child that even if it was an accident, you don't throw things at someone else's face and the Michael was hurt. He protested once more about it being an accident and then ran off. The part that bothers me the most is that even with my agreement that it was an accident and the fact that I could have been screaming bloody murder at him with some choice swear words and I wasn't - there was never an "I'm sorry" to Michael. Michael was really hurt and told me so after the boy ran off. It was the first time I saw a crack develop in his innocence and it was all I could do to not sit down and cry with him too.

Michael calmed down after a bit and resumed playing. I had to step in once again when an older child's version of playing was rollerblading away with one of the motorcycles. After that intervention, the first child came back and Michael started whimpering, "He hurt me," every time he saw him which just broke my heart. At that point I just gave up and packed us up to head for McDonald's for lunch - a day for it if there ever was one.

I think we'll be sticking with weekday park visits for a while. The worst part is that we were just starting to break the negative attention cycle but this lovely trauma pushed us back into it again. Lots and lots of deep breathing and reminders that he still needs a lot of loving even if I'm tapped out from coping with Alex and his GERD. I'm counting down the days to May 6th when we see the GI at CHOP and praying that I can get Alex some more relief. The spitting and the no-naps thing I can cope with, it's the screaming fits that I want to get rid of because they are the hardest for both me and Michael to deal with, not to mention the pain Alex must be in to scream like that in the first place.

Off to have dinner - then it's Fullmetal Alchemist and to bed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In for a penny...

I just expressed my opinion that there is not a link between autism and vaccines, that a sudden regression is most likely a neurological or metabolic disorder, that autism is genetic, that the epidemic is due to the broadening of diagnostic criteria (and a rather flawed study in California where most of the epidemic numbers come from - forgot to include that tid bit). It's my first time expressing my opinion outside the safe haven which is my favorite sub forum on my message board - here's hoping I can become more articulate on the subject and do my part for neurodiversity (and not get flamed too much for what I believe to be true).

So, what's up Doc?

Here's a bit of an update on things - not a new read for som but considering it was written at 3am one handed it'll have to do...

I'm a bit touched out today - Alex needed to be worn most of the day and we had a scream fest tonight as I was putting him down to bed. Lost my cool a bit during the first bout of screaming and slammed a door which prompted Michael to ask my husband if mommy was ok :(. He's been spitting *a lot* today and I'm thinking I need to get his Zantac dosage increased since he's wanting to comfort nurse so much, which increases the spitting, which makes him want to nurse more ad infinitum. I don't think it's a growth spurt, just doesn't have that feel - the spitting doesn't usually increase that much and he keeps pulling off - turns his head and pulls my nipple with it - ouch.

Alex isn't rolling yet, but he's trying so hard to pull himself into a sitting position - if you hold his hands and pull him up a bit, he'll pull himself the rest of the way like he's doing a sit-up. It's also really cool watching him try to engage people. He'll coo to get you to pay attention then smile and *talk* to you. Michael flirted, but never to this extent. He's definitely a more hands-on baby than Michael - wants to be in arms or worn all the time where Michael needed more space and hated being worn unless we were out and about. Thankfully the run of sleep I had allowed my back to do some healing so I can wear him without pain so yay to pain-free baby wearing! While I do love the closeness that this inspires I am getting touched out a lot more often, kind of inevitable with my introversion - have to work on ways to get some of my own needs met which is really hard with two kids who really need a lot from me.

On a side note, I'm approaching a personal breastfeeding milestone - it was about this time that I stopped trying to EBF Michael and stared dropping sessions and just comfort nursing. I'm so happy that we are still going strong - definitely up there with one of the best and hardest things I've done.

Monday, April 21, 2008

So Karma... 'bout you let me win this to make up for getting burned on my swap?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finding my limits

It always amazes me that they now just how far to push.

After not a few tears Wednesday night, things definitely started to get better. Thursday morning, John and I went into town for a big breakfast at the Marathon Grill and a quick stop at Borders (where I bought yet another volume of Fullmetal Alchemist - I won't say how many that makes in the past week and a half). We got home and had some nice time with Michael and the my sister M came over to watch the boys while John and I headed out for our first date since November. We went to University City for Truth, Justice, and the most American American there is - Stephen Colbert. It was really cool - I've never been to the taping of a TV show before and we got surprise after surprise - first was Hillary Clinton, then John Edwards, and to top it off - Barrack Obama. After the taping (which ran extra long due to the guests), we went over to Chili's and inhaled some drinks and appetisers and then came home.

Friday was an equally good day - Michael had his moments, but there are always going to be moments and he does try so hard. I made my 2-3 mile walk into town with the boys for the first time in at least six months - a good mile of that was while wearing baby too. Much thanks to K who has been showing me how to wear the sling so it doesn't kill my back and yay me that it finally sank in.

I'm off to whip some cream - angel food cake and strawberries beckon.

Oh and before I forget - Alex has taken to sleeping for 8 hour stretches the past two nights. Here's hoping it's not a complete fluke.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jenn and the no good, rotten, awful, "Please make it Stop!!" day

  • Hives (on me)

  • spit up which required two changes of clothes (mine) and got in my hair

  • found out the the person I spoke to when scheduling the baptism didn't know what she was talking about and confirmation is scheduled for that afternoon - this is the 27th

  • way too quick to yell and even scream at Michael

  • TOUCHED OUT! I thought I knew what this meant, but that was before I was breastfeeding exclusively. Michael dragging his fingers lightly on my arm or touching my hair is almost painful.

  • screaming baby - 3 times at home and twice in public

  • flipping hives

  • the can of formula that I bought to have for emergencies back-up and for when I can't pump enough; the can that I paid too much for as penance because it's *gulp* Nestle Good Start since I'm sure the constipation was due to the regular milk based formula he had the week before; the can that I found Michael playing with in the kitchen because it was left on the washing machine; the can that needs to be thrown out because Michael had his hands in it

  • the fact that I am beating myself up because my child has 4 oz of formula every-other week

  • problems with my package

  • found out there may be a very good reason why the Keen shoes I bought were on super discount and why the line was discontinued

The only reasons I don't have cigarettes right now are (1) I have no cash and (2) I'm too fucking tired to even think of putting on clothes to go get some.

I am going to have ice cream and junk food and then go to bed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spreading the love

Alex is asleep and Michael is playing happily in his room and I am sitting at the computer thinking about how blessed I am. K and S and H and Helen - all of you are such wonderful, generous, strong and loving women. I am honored to know you and to have been touched by you.

Thank you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Where's the crying emoticon when you need it?

I've been calling John every day at work for the past two weeks to ask him if my Magic Ball of Yarn swap package had arrived. I decided to use the library's address this time instead of my home address in an effort to avoid having to walk the mile and a half to pick up the package since the postal worker either doesn't knock or comes at the axact moment I have to run out. Of course this plan is dependant on having the correct address for John's work. It might not have been quite as bad if I included the name of his library, but of course I did not. Hopefully, the address doesn't even exist in the first place and my package is sitting at the post office and all it will require is that I walk the mile and a half to go pick it up.

I want this package so badly - please let this work out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Note to self

Use the wrap, Jenn! Standing for over an hour with 12lbs of baby being supported by one shoulder is not good for you. Your spine is not supposed to click when you move.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wooly Hugs

At a very appropriate time, I received a package from the ever lovely and always wonderful Helen of natural black BFL fingering weight yarn from the North of England and a double-decker bus for Michael which he has played with non-stop since I opened the package. The BFL is dreamy and so special to me right now - and I would never ever dream of giving it away, me thinks it needs to be something lacy. I've picked it up several times this afternoon and placed it against my cheek, feeling its softness and the hug it embodies.

Thank you, and here's a vastly inferior electronic hug back to you...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take a listen...

Some friends from my knitting circle turned me onto Gogol Bordello - a gypsy punk band from New York. They are so much fun to listen to and a great way to shake away the blahs that plague me right now.

Here's a link to an NPR story about them with some tracks thrown in. Enjoy!

What a difference

I went into town for my therapy appointment this evening and had to spend the whole session standing and rocking back and forth to keep Alex settled in the sling. Thankfully, he fell into a deep sleep right as my session was over so I was able to go to Starbucks for my coffee and then onto Borders for volumes 1 & 2 of Fullmetal Alchemist. I sat on a planter outside and read volume one, swaying back and forth, sipping coffee while Alex slept in the sling. He got really cranky when we got home but after a nice feed he's back to happy baby and thanks to that bit of mostly alone time I was able to fully enjoy it.

Thanks for the input on the yarn. I think I'm going to get a skein or two of number one to make a hat and scarf combo - I love the brightness of the colors but I think it would be a bit much on me as a sweater. For the sweater I am leaning more towards yarn number four - I've heard that the 3-ply holds up a bit better than the singles, but I am drawn to the colors in yarn number two. We shall see.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I should be making dinner

But instead I'm picking out yarn I have no business buying for a project that I will have no time to knit and requires seeming.

That said...

I want to make this:

Out of one of these yarns:

I have to be honest and say I'm leaning towards the first one - I'm thinking this is such a simple design it can handle a funky bright yarn.

Help me choose!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shhhh, quiet...

so as not to alert Murphy...

  • Trip to CHOP ER last night for Alex who was constipated and miserable - was only there for 3 hours! He was miserable all day but poured on the charm for the ER staff.

  • Alex fell asleep at 10.30 in the ER and didn't wake until just before 6 this morning. I slept from 1am until 5.30 when I asked John to touch him to make sure he was all right

  • Got Alex down for a morning nap at 8am and then went to bed myself until we both woke at 11am

  • Got Alex down for an afternoon nap at 1 and then left for Starbucks and Wholefoods at 2pm. Got home at 4.30

  • Made dinner and ate it hot

  • Both boys are currently asleep, about to have quality time with husband and knitting until Alex wakes up to eat

Of course, Michael now needs a bit of TLC since the past few days have been super hard on him with Alex being so fussy, but all in all a great day.

No - I meant awful day, how horrible it would be to have this day repeat itself, no we would never want that.... ;)

As Helen pointed out I definitely want another ER trip, one that lasts many hours...

Friday, April 04, 2008


I *think* these are about 2 weeks old. Enjoy!




insert Go Go's song here

I am almost giddy about this. S and our respective families are planning a 3 day/2 night trip to the shore this summer. We found a reasonable suite hotel that's only a few blocks from the beach and I cannot be more psyched. This will be the first time I've been to the ocean since the Mother's Day before Michael was born and my first vacation since my wedding anniversary in NYC again before Michael was born.

The thing I'm looking forward to the most? Waking up on Thursday morning (probably at the crack of dawn knowing Michael), packing the kids in the Phil & Teds, meeting S and her little one and walking down to the board walk for sea air, exercise, coffee, and best of all - fantastic conversation.


June cannot come soon enough.

Do I get a medal now?

We went to the Please Touch Museum this morning and Michael had a meltdown when I told him it was time to leave until we walked in the door at home complete with glass-breaking shrieks which I'm sure the other riders on the bus enjoyed just as much as I did. I have to remember to just answer his questions once - every time he asked why we had to go home I answered and thus prolonged the wailing that much longer.

Still - I did manage to keep my cool the whole time. I can't wait until the weather gets better and I can take the stroller up - doesn't help much once they move to Fairmount Park, but it will make things easier until then and I can stop at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods on the way back (not to mention Starbucks).

Alex, bless him, slept through the whole thing. Thankfully he's saving his meltdowns for when we are at home.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ups and downs

I finally admitted that I am close to another crisis point yesterday. I really don't think it's chemical this time 'round, but sleep deprivation driven - if I could manage to get a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep a day, things would be a million times better. Problem is I have a breastfed 2 month-old with GERD and an almost 4 year-old with autism, situations not exactly conducive to sleep. I was talking to S yesterday and mentioning how sleep deprived I am and then in the next sentence started talking about this new quilt shop that just opened and how they have machines for use for $5/hour and I was planning on getting over there on Saturday so I could get some sewing done. She gently asked me about needing sleep and I just sat there for a moment and let some tears out. Hard as it is, she's completely right. Aside from taking care of my kids and my household I am spending ungodly amounts of energy keeping my perceptions based in reality (i.e. John wanting to listen to his I-pod and play his video game does not mean he finds me incredibly unattractive and is planning how to leave me as quickly as possible -- ah the joys of Borderline Personality Disorder).

That said, there will likely not be a hand knit sweater for Alex's baptism, I have no idea if I'll ever get any of the socks done for the 2008 Sock Knitters Pentathlon let alone the toe-up monkey sock I've been working on since Alex was born, and sewing Mei tai baby carriers is right out. Sleep has to be my top priority before I slip too far and it just sucks.

How's that for a ray of sunshine?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Mr Man is finally asleep after seveal hours of being alternately cute and screaming. At least the enchiladas reheated well.

Must work on removing expectations.

I told you so

It didn't go quite as bad as I thought it would, but it was still pretty bad none the less. We ended up going to John's branch for a visit then onto Starbucks and Wholefoods afterwards. Things started going a little sour when we were trying to get ready - Michael was excited and was stimming by alternately spinning around on the bed and running back and forth down the upstairs hallway. I finally got him to calm down enough to get dressed, but of course then Alex started up - nothing quite like trying to hurry your first child which is a study in frustration to begin with while your infant is screaming because the operations needed to get the first child dressed are not conducive to baby holding or wearing (maybe a back carry but I haven't practiced those yet). There were many small mini meltdowns and quite a few large ones over the rest of the trip. Oh and a note to the general public - would it really kill you to acknowledge the exuberant child saying, "Hi! How are you?". Having to distract him from those people who ignore him (because he will continue to ask it until he gets a response) is very frustrating and I'm not quite ready for my almost four year-old to learn that some people just don't care.

Not only do I have to learn to do these outings with two children, I am really out of practice for handling the meltdowns in public. I'm sure the chip on my shoulder was practically a flashing neon sign proclaiming, "Sure, go ahead and ask me why I can't control my child." I think we are going to have to go back to really using the stroller in these situations. Because I was so dependant on buses for most of my pregnancy, we stopped using it and he was doing great. Now he's taking to ripping his hand out of mine and dashing off in the other direction. I don't think a harness is going to work in this situation, but I could be wrong. There might be some initial crying when he gets in the stroller but he does truly seem happier in it, like he knows it's the best thing for both of us. Lots of things to think about.

Just one more thing before I nip off to see to Mr. Man - I think I deserve way mad props for making chicken enchiladas tonight for dinner from scratch, especially after my afternoon of being "that mom" in the grocery store/library/Starbucks. If I get the pumpkin bread done after the kids are in bed tonight, I think I'll have a June Cleaver trifecta.

Must dash - TTFN!

Now don't get cocky

Alex slept last night in 2.5-3 hour intervals.
Michael slept thru *and* woke at 7.15!
Alex is currently napping and has been for over an hour.
I made whole wheat buttermilk silverdollar pancakes from scratch.
The TV is OFF!
After Alex is up and fed we are going to take the bus to Trader Joes for some shopping.

That last bit is where things are probably going to go wrong, very wrong - but I'm just thrilled the morning has gone so well. Of course the weather means that H and her kids couldn't come down to play, but other than tha all is right in my world for now and I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Excellent Article

Just found this on my message board -

What's Wrong With This Picture, My Autistic Son Doesn't Need to be Fixed

Definitely a great read!