Health · Parenting · Uncategorized

When my seven year old came home from the NICU

She was 8 months old, development of a newborn and was still tiny. She was on oxygen, feeding tube and heart monitor.

I tried taking her out of the crib a few times but we had to switch at first from the major oxygen machine (plugged in to the wall) and switch to a small portable tank- that only lasted a few hours. There were a few times the cannula came out and she turned blue so fast it had us terrified. There was also a time we had an emergency situation and had to take her to the hospital- and all the tanks that were newly delivered to us read empty, except one that had one hour left. Luckily, they were able to switch her to a tank when she went into the room in the ER and kept her on it when they admitted her to the PICU (she got a cold and her lungs were too weak to handle it.)

For months, we were so afraid of her blue spells or something happening to her oxygen, we kept her in the crib for most of the day. I finally figured out where to put her big tank in the upstairs hallway that would allow the tube to stretch downstairs and to her bed- as soon as we figured that out, she was only in the crib when she was sleeping.

To this day, she has some strange attachment issues and I feel like her long stay in the NICU followed by our paranoia has something to do with it. I still feel somewhat guilty.

I’ve been thinking back to her babyhood. Aside from the oxygen, she and her sister looked almost identical- to the point my older daughter has gotten their baby pictures mixed up a few times. I still wonder if I had gotten her out of her crib more, would she still be so far behind? She’s playing catch up a lot more now since she has a very talkative sister. Her sister talking is improving her speech (she said the sentence “mommy has to go to work tomorrow” earlier today and she usually says shorter sentences- every sentence she says that has more than 2 or 3 words feels like progress since the condition she has typically comes with only being able to say 1 or 2 words period). She has the genetic disorder on top of being preemie, so I doubt that us keeping her in the crib for the first few weeks(if we weren’t cuddling her in the bedroom) had any affect on her.

I also remember the string of home health care nurses that came and went the first few months and the help my mom gave us because we were 20 and 22 and having a special needs child was overwhelming.

I remember her first cold- the night that landed her in the PICU and the first time she ended up with impacted bowels (she’s now on Miralax and has been hospitalized another time and had to be flushed 2 other times in the ER)

I remember struggling in the NICU to pump, the nicknames they gave me (they called me Bessie because at one point I had the deep freezer, 2 normal sized freezers, their fridge space and my fridge space filled totally to overflowing with pumped milk). I remember the frusteration near the end at pumping- getting a grand total of 2ozs over 30 minutes- then spilling it. I remember the day I finished pumping and dried up, the nurse went out and bought me an energy drink to “celebrate” having my body back.

I remember the nights going to bed alone after chatting with my husband online because I was staying in a Ronald McDonald House out of state while he was home working.

I remember meeting parents who would come in for a few weeks, then leave when their babies got released and it felt like our time would never come.

I remember the day- December 1, 2011- the day we strapped our daughter in her car seat and drove the 3 hours to finally take her home for the first time.

I remember cuddling with her when we finally got her oxygen cannula taken and could see her beautiful face

Now, she’s healthy but still has to see quite a few specialists. She’s reading on her own- even will grab cereal boxes and read those. She loves shopping, shopkins, pink and pretty much all things girly- just like her little sister. When I buy stuff for them- I get the pink for her sister and purple or blue for her. She has different favorite colors on a regular basis and she loves Pete the Cat books, she won a giant Maisey Mouse from a library program/contest last year and the giant mouse is sitting in her bedroom at grandma and grandpa’s house.

 

Her birth and early life has given me a totally different perspective on raising kids and motherhood in general. She and I both almost died, so even when I’m mad or annoyed- when she is screaming or throwing a fit or in my face not letting me breathe on my own, I still am beyond thankful I have her in my life- that her condition has no actual affect on her lifespan and she’ll likely live the same amount of time a healthy person would.

When she was 15 months, off all the tubes and getting more and mroe stable, we decided to finish our family (only wanted two). I got pregnant fast but sadly, she had a different condition and it took her life at 3 hours. We gave up and decided she would be an only child. She started school and I stayed home for another year- then we decided that if I found a job, we were done and there would be no more kids. If I got pregnant, I’d continue staying home for a few more years. They happened almost at exactly the same time. I finally got my first job after staying home for four years and I got pregnant- found out about 2 weeks into the new job. This one was a happy, healthy baby- and our last. After she was born, I had my tubes tied.

I’ve been through it all- loss, complications and healthy and I am so grateful to have both my living girls in my life.

 

Health · Parenting · Uncategorized

These are a few of my favorite things

I’m wanting to step up my diet a bit more.

I have been strict gluten free for a year now, I’m almost fully dairy free but soy is my problem.

I think I’m going to fully take dairy out at home and out of home then work on soy.

Already- those homemade lattes I posted- just as good and cheaper than Starbucks doubleshots

Earth Balance instead of butter

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Silk Almond milk for baking and for my kids (and me occasionally)

I use the nonflavored and unsweetened for cooking

Enjoy Life as a snack

 

It’s delicious and dairy, soy and gluten free- full winner

and you have to have salad dressings when you eat as much salad as I do

They aren’t perfect, they do have soy but I’ll phase soy out like I did dairy. I do use replacements for sour cream and cream cheese as well and I’m really liking Daiya cheese on sandwiches.

Other than that, I bake deserts from scratch- that way I can control what is in the cookies and cake and I try to always cook my lunch for work before I go. I’ll possibly do that for my younger daughter when she starts school since she’s restricted.

I’ll be posting more of my favorite gluten/dairy and/or soy free products as well as more recipe conversions and recipes as I make them.

Parenting

Not sure if this is a fail or success

My girls and I decided to attempt bath bombs this afternoon. They had fun mixing and making a mess, they loved using one in the bath but they turned out nothing like they were supposed to. They crumble in my hand and I’m having to keep them in the mold until used. I think I know what I did wrong and we still have stuff for more, but would it be a success since they had fun or a fail since it didnt work right?

Parenting · Uncategorized

“Mommy likes coffee”

“Mommy likes coffee, Michelle likes coffee”

“You sneezed, mommy”

“I didn’t sneeze, mommy”

 

I love watching and listening to my daughter. She amazes me daily with some of the things she says. Our seven year old is growing her vocabulary as well- she’s starting to speak in small sentences and says anything. Learning (teaching herself) how to read has been a huge plus- now she reads and she’s getting faster and faster.

The two year old also has a great imagination- which is growing the seven year old’s as well. They play pretend and Diana takes on the characters Michelle gives her. lol

They’re always Annie and Quincy from Baby Einsteins.

My two year old also says some of the funniest things and (bad thing) seems to know no stranger. We’re working on that one..

What are some of your kids’ most used or funniest phrases? My daughter will announce to people that mommy likes coffee (guess that’s my fault for drinking it all the time)

Parenting · Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking a bit and I’m going to start doing craft tutorials

of some of the Pinterest type crafts I have done over the years- the good ones, not the fails.

I have found a lot of really cute ideas over the years.

I will do a tutorial for the ghost kit I sell (https://www.etsy.com/listing/466162627/halloween-ghost-kits-for-kids-halloween) to show step by step how to put a hanging ghost together closer to Halloween and I will find some of the other simple, easy for kids crafts we have done. I’m also going to continue posting recipe conversions (dairy/soy/gluten free) Note that most of the recipes are not mine, they are normal recipes I have gotten from magazines, websites and cookbooks that I have made altercations to for my daughter and I to eat.

If there are any types of crafts you’d like to see (either video or pictures, I’m going to do both here and on Youtube), let me know in the comments.

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I’m going to do a short series to show how to loom knit- I will show a hat first, a bag, then a scarf.

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Parenting · Uncategorized

I can’t believe the difference a year makes

We just got home from the beach yesterday. We went last year during the same week.

I found our old beach pictures from last year and was amazed by how different the two year old looks.She looks so much older now, is now the size of a 3 year old and is talking, running, jumping and was so much more active. She was even trying to teach herself how to swim in the baby pool (partially dragging herself and partially starting to dog paddle- following the lead of some of the other kids she was watching and playing with)

It had me thinking about last year (she was 1 1/2 and now she’s 2 1/2) and also wonerding what the next year will bring us.

Now, she still loves bubbles, she loves nail polish, hats, headbands, necklaces, bracelets and rings. She loves lollipops, Ciao brand vegan cheese, apple juice and soy vanilla yogurt. (or as she calls it, “ice cream.”)

Back then she ate everything but had chronic diarrhea but now we know she can’t have animal milk or animal milk products (including goats milk or cheese) so we have to give her vegan butter, sour cream, cream cheese, cheese and ice cream)

Back then she would eat nearly anything and had a very healthy appetite, but now she only snacks and eats cheese, fruits and some vegetables- she’ll eat sandwiches occasionally and loves apple juice.

 

My 7 year old is fully potty trained, but has been since she was 5. (she was potty trained during the day at 4 but still in overnight pull ups- now she’s almost fully accident free), she’s talking a lot more, starting to be able to jump off the ground and can do stairs and stoops/curbs alone. Her speech is improving and she’s now going into her bedroom to play. She still melts down with loud noises and has ear tubes again but she’s getting a tiny bit better with some noise. She’s the one in the family who can eat whatever she wants but still eats like a bird. We did finally get her stably up to 38lbs but next year her sister still is probably going to pass her up weight wise.

She has also come so far this year, but she looks about the same. She’s not at an age where looks drastically change. With the two year old, she moved out of being a baby to being a toddler and you can see it plain as day.

Health · Parenting · Uncategorized

Gluten and dairy free salmon pasta salad

I made this for dinner and it turned out great.
It’s a gluten and dairy free pasta salad.
I just threw it together, so I didnt measure things.

This will be an unprofessional recipe, but I made this tonight and only measure when it’s important

Gf/df pasta
2 tomatoes
1/2 package of celery
1/3 bunch of green onion
1-2 cups mayo
1 full sized shredded piece of cooked salmon (2 cans of tuna would go well as well)
Cook the salmon and boil the pasta
Shred salmon while cooking
Chop celery, tomato (chunks) and cut green onions and combine in a large bowl
Toss, add in salmon and drained noodles
Mix in mayo and serve

Cant tell you exactly how many servings it made either but it was fast and extremely easy- and my two year old had fun helping me mix.

Health · Parenting · Uncategorized

I never thought a bowel movement would excite me

I was always beyond disgusted about the whole concept. I still can’t say p**p without gagging but my 7 year old was born and we began a battle around a year with constipation. She’ll get so backed up at times, she has been hospitalized. There are times she’ll be so constipated, she’ll cry while doing it. Now, even though we do have medication help (Miralax), she is able to without the tears- and she’s now going on her own without prompting. That itself seems to be an accomplishment since I’ve seen quite a few kids with her condition who aren’t potty trained at all.

My youngest is the opposite, any animal cheese or milk and she’ll have diarrhea. We are finally getting the hang of her (more expensive) diet, and it’s paying off.  She’ is now having more solid and less runny blow outs.

 

If you had told me when I was 20 that in 10 years, I would be monitoring and discussing poop with anyone (doctors etc), I’d have said you were out of your mind. I guess having kids changes things. I still almost puke when I smell vomit, but I can clean it up and deal with (kids) puking on me. I also can change a diaper (lost a job because I couldn’t change diapers- well, wouldn’t) and my oldest was my first diaper changing experience (and how I learned that boys aren’t the only ones who can pee straight up in the air…)

 

Parenting · Uncategorized

Rules of my home

No matter how old you are or who you are, nobody is to lick the cat

There will be no throwing of chairs or any other objects at the cat

The cat is to be pet on demand and fed every time someone goes into the kitchen. The cat food is FOR the cat, it is not meant for human consumption.

No licking windows

No licking walls

No licking anything

These are the rules for all whom enter my home, no exceptions- even the tiny people who live here.

I never thought I would have those rules until I had kids… I never even thought I would have to say “dont lick the cat.”