Monday, July 31, 2006

A brief history

We received some good news about Colby's progress today. He has passed gas! In fact, he has also pooped! Only a mommy would get excited by either of these bodily functions. He has graduated to eating real foods (grilled cheese is real, right?), and they have discinnected his IV. That last bit is super good, because he HATED that thing. Of course, who really likes having a needle stuck in them, except drug addicts?

Anyway, This story really started about 3 years ago. I had stopped breastfeeding, as I had completely dried up. We switched him to formula, but he started becoming constipated. Our pediatrician tried everything she knew, then sent us to the local specialist. He felt Colby's belly, ran some blood tests, but could find nothing. Colby went on the first of 3 laxatives. We would go back to the specialist periodically, complain that the laxative wasn't working consistently, and they would tell us that we weren't feeding him the right foods. This happened for about 2 and a half years.

Finally, like any good mom, I was fed up! I asked our pediatrician to send us to another specialist. So, in January of this year, we were sent to Charleston for the first time. The new guy ordered the same blood tests, but also ordered a barium enema. That was something new and different, and completely unpleasant. I hope to never see one again! Either way, the results of the enema came back pretty conclusive: Colby has Hirschprung's Disease. A rectal biopsy later confirmed the diagnosis.

Hirschprung's Disease (HD) affects the nerve cells in the colon. Those cells are missing. So, he didn't know when he had to poop. Finally, the demon had a name. So, in April, we went in for a (first) colostomy. It was to help his intestines shrink back to normal size. Then, in June, we had the colostomy reversed and a pull-through surgery was performed. This removed the damaged part of his colon and reconnected the good part to his rectum. Yay! He was fixed!

Forward to now, there was an infection after the pull-though, which formed an abcess. Yuck. And of course, the best way to correct that? Another colostomy! So here we are. At least this time, we know what to expect. We've dealt with a colostomy before, and while unpleasant at times, we know what to do. I just hope everything heals quickly, and we can get him "normal" again. Healthy and happy. Healthy and happy. All I want for my little angel.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Unexpected Changes

So there it was, an ordinary day in the life of a mom. I took Colby to the doctor for a follow-up appointment. I told the doc how he'd been feeling bad and running a fever. So, the doc says, let's get a CT scan. Okay, no problem. We stayed in the hospital overnight. I expected that if they found something, it would be easy to remedy. Nope, nothing doing.

Instead, we're looking at another colostomy. For the next six months to a year. I thought we were done. I thought he would be "normal." That he would be able to go to school with the other kids. That he would potty train again. Nope.

All we ever want for our children is for them to be healthy and happy. Every parent says that: I don't care if it's a boy or a girl, as long as they're healthy. And here we are. He's my baby. All I want is for him to be healthy. Is that so much to ask?

Honestly, I'm a little angry, and sad, and hurt. I don't understand why God is allowing this to happen to Colby. I know, consiously, that God doesn't make people sick. And I know the He will use all things, good and bad, as part of His master plan. But I fail to see how this could possibly move toward a positive end result. If only there were some way to see into the future, to know how this is going to turn out.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I am Captain Caveman

“If I could be any superhero, I would be…” from the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels. I loved Cavey. I thought he was cool. Nevermind his bushy hair, that dude rocked. I loved that he would do really quirky things in order to stop the bad guys/catch the monster/solve the case, and it alwasys worked. In my life, sometimes things work out when I do something quirky that doesn't quite make sense. For instance, sometimes, I just don't have the energy to take the dropped fruit snack away from my kid. And he's fine, mostly.
Cavey could fly! Now there's a power I would like to have. Just up, up and away! Imagine the view! Like in an airplane, only better.
That club he had was amazing. It helped him fly, sometimes, and stuff would pop out of the end of it. Usually, it was this little bird, which was kind of his sidekick. I believe that Cavey also used the club to beat on people. I would LOVE to have some sort of device with which to beat on people. Like my students, some of them anyway. At the very least, it had the cool stuff coming out the top. None of our bats at home have anything cool come out of them.
Also, Cavey had a posse before having a posse was cool. The "Teen Angels" were three cute girls who drove Cavey around in their van. How cool was he!?! They also assisted in the solving mysteries department. I have a husband. As wonderful as he is, he's not much help solving mysteries. Finding an errant sandal stuck under a couch cushion, yes. Solving mysteries like why my hair won't hold a curl, no.
But the best thing about Cavey was that he could pull any damn thing he wanted to out of his hair. Anything. He could get a piano, a tennis racket, a giant chicken leg, whatever! out from under that hair. It seemed like, whatever he was looking for, it was there, waiting for him. Sometimes, it took him a few pulls to get whatever it was, but it was always there. It would be so awesome to have a secret compartment that contained things that I really need on a day to day basis. And no, my purse does not really do the job. It's hard to carry one while still shlupping around a diaper bag.
In short, I don't want to be Superman. Saving the entire world is just too much pressure for me. I just want to be able to control my own little home. Also, having the power to set things/people on fire just by staring at them intensely would be bad for me. I think that Captain Caveman is right up my alley. Plus, it doesn't matter if you're having a bad hair day, because everyone knows there is something cool underneath.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You Gotta Love 'Em

Last night, we went to my mom's house to have dinner and celebrate my birthday. I knew it was going to be fun when Colby was whining and not wanting to pee before we left. And I was right! It really wasn't totally horrible. We had pizza (fun!) and cookies and ice cream. I guess now that I'm out of the house permanently and no longer a little kid, I shouldn't expect cake anymore. Or a dinner that requires utensils. Silly me! I guess I also shouldn't expect thoughtful gifts. I don't mind gift cards. Especially ones to places I frequent. Thanks, Sis. But just straight cash, because you don't know your daughter well enough to buy her a present. At least Dad and GiGi got me a bracelet to go along with the new haircut. Of course, cash and a card is still better than the NOTHING that my dear hubby got me. I'm still a little peeved about that. And, I must say, he has not made any motions like he's even going to get me anything at this point. I may as well just hang it up. How would he like it if I didn't get him something for HIS birthday?! Maybe we should do that! Of course I'd never do it. I love shopping too much, and I couldn't be that mean.

The evening did not end well, though. Colby kept on with the whining. He was laying in the back bedroom watching TV with my niece Madison and Nana. I go in to collect him, change his pullup, get him ready to go. He has peed through the pullup (at least he went), and is now soaked and feverish again. Great. And of course, my mom has to come in and start up with the "doesn't he need to see a doctor?" and "you should really talk to somebody about this". Well, duh! And of course she prefaced it all by saying "I'm not trying to tell you how to parent, but..." Yes you are! You always are! Every day, you have something to say about the way I raise my kids, because it's not exactly how you did it. Earlier in the evening, she got irritated because I wouldn't let her give Bennett pretzels after dinner. He had already eaten. He wasn't hungry. But she got all huffy anyway. "Why not? It won't hurt him." No, but it will teach him to eat all the time! Ugh! Why does she always have to question what I do? Why can't I just make a decision, as a mom, and have her support it? It's been almost 4 years of this.

Do our mothers ever really let us grow up?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Highlights

I bet that you think this is going to be about my fabulous hair. And it would be, if I could figure out how to add a picture to this post. Or if I even had a pic of the new, improved cut. But I don't, on either count. Instead, I'm going to talk about that thing that all mom's secretly love to do: changing diapers. I know, I've complained before, but I've just finished another round, and frankly I'm over it. It was the highlight of my day.

Colby had surgery to reverse a colostomy just over a month ago. His poops are erratic, explosive, and really gross. He's been such a little trooper. His butt is all red, sometimes bloody, from the frequent wiping. We have to wipe him with a washcloth, because wipes just irritate his skin. We have to apply anti-bacterial ointment plus a special cream. He has to wear a pullup all the time, because he really just never knows when the urge will strike. Sometimes, he thinks it's just gas, but there's something behind it. (Aren't you glad I shared?) Anyway, I'm so over this! I wish he could just go in the potty and have done with it. The kicker? If he's not potty-trained by Aug. 8, he will not be allowed to go to the fancy school child development center. We've already paid the deposit. We do NOT have a backup plan. I don't know how it would work, what we would do. I'm really stressing about this. It's the last thing I think about before falling asleep. Hell, it keeps me awake! I don't even know that this is registering on my husband's radar. He just thinks that everything will work itself out. Argh!

And we still haven't heard from the other daycare about Bennett's spot for this fall either. Wouldn't that just be a kick in the butt, if neither kid had a place to go when school starts. What would we do then? Would Weston take the semester off from school? I can't stay home, I'm the money-maker. Now my head hurts.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Home at last

Back sleeping in my own bed, which has never seemed so comfy. I wish I could say that it was a restful night's sleep, but it wasn't. Colby decided to come in twice. I don't know why the first time, I sent Weston after him. But the second time, he had peed through his pullups, all over his sheets. Fun. So, since Weston had a quiz in class today, I went and changed everything. It was exciting.

I have to be honest here. When I got home, it was kind of not as exciting as I'd hoped. Colby had whined the entire last half hour in the car, for no reason that he was willing to give. Bennett had woken up from a long nap, so he was jabbering about whatever. You can't really understand most of what he says yet. Either way, I guess I had strange expectations. Like a big hug for me, in addition to ones for the kids. Like maybe a present, wrapped, sitting on the table, since I WAS gone on my birthday. Instead, the kids totally hogged the hugs. I got a hug about 5 minutes after we actually got home. And there was a present, a lovely book, from the "kids". It was hidden under a stack of mail on the kitchen table, not wrapped. (He did manage to write a little note from the "kids" in it though. That was cute.) There was my new blender, already out of the box, sitting on the counter. It was from his parents. I knew it was coming, because they'd told him to go and pick it out for me. There was no present from my hubby. Nothing. When asked, he said that he hadn't had a chance to go get one. Um, hello! I've been gone for 13 days! An entire WEEK after my birthday. I'd even told him straight up what I wanted, and he couldn't even do that! To say I was disappointed is a major understatement. Of course, I haven't said anything. I know that he's been busy with class. But he managed to go to Holy Grounds, church, Salkehatchie twice! Guess those things are priorities for him, whereas I'm not. Do I sound like a totally bitchy wife? I'm kind of feeling that a bit today.

The kids and I went out and ran errands this morning. I took my broken charm bracelet (which I had asked Weston to fix for my bday) to get it fixed. I picked out a new charm for myself (which I had also asked him to do). We also went to the grocery store. I ordered pictures from our trip. And, finally, I got the boys' picture made! Portraits at last! The most recent picture we have of them together is from last Christmas. My parents will be thrilled! Anyway, now the kids are down for naps. I'd take one myself, except now I have to get ready to go back to work. School starts in about 3 weeks. I'm going in this week to meet with Rebecca to talk about reworking the currciulum for the 6th grade. How exciting. I hope that I can hold out 3 more years until Weston is done with seminary.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I've Learned

Okay, I learned some things last night. I decided to go out to a bar with my cousin Kat, her boyfriend and another friend. There are a few things I learned:
  1. I cannot keep up with 24-year-olds in drinking. I had 2 beers. That's it. I felt like such an old lady. I guess that being a mother of 2, and having a full-time job, I've just gotten out of practice. I used to be able to down 5 or 6 in a night! That was long ago, alas.
  2. I cannot stay up till midnight unless there is a sick child involved. I started fading about 30 minutes after we got there. I stuck it out like a pro though, and tried not to yawn too much. All I wanted was to go back to Grandma's and sleep.
  3. I still don't like smoke. Ugh! The place was full of it. I just cannot understand why you would want to smell like that all the time. It's disgusting! And that's not even mention the horrible death that is coming down the road due to cancer.
  4. I am good at darts. I don't know, maybe it was beginner's luck. I partnered up with Kat's boyfriend against her and her friend. He and I kicked butt! We beat them twice! I actually hit the dartboard and scored a lot of points. Too bad that most of the time, in order to play, you have to actually be at a bar. See points 2 and 3 above. Oh well.

It was a fun time though. It was nice to hang out with my "annoying, little cousin" who is neither annoying nor little anymore. She even hooked me up with a friend of hers for a haircut and color. I look really good now, if I do say so myself. And, as a side note, Kat's boyfriend thought I was their age -- 24!!! And I'm 31!! Yippee!

We're going back to AL today. Dad wants to get about halfway, then drive the other half tomorrow. I'm excited about watching the same 7 movies on the DVD that we watched on the way up here. Mental note: next time, make sure you bring more movies than you think you will need. It adds variety!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Here I am

The past two days have been such fun. Spending 8 hours in a van with my parents and my two children ON MY BIRTHDAY was not the best time. I mean, they were all fine, but it just isn't a typical celebration. Then Colby had a fit because we couldn't find a pizza place for dinner. Then Bennett had a fit because we didn't order him mac'n'cheese. Ugh! And I didn't even get a slice of cake or anything for dessert! Geez! The best part was that night. We stayed at a Hampton Inn, and the bed was just luxurious! AND I had 3 super soft, yet firm, pillows all to myself. It was nice. And even the shower was nice in the morning. Can't complain, especially since it was all free for me.

The next day, we were on the road for another 7 hours. I spent the time cross-stitching mostly. I know, what an old lady thing to do. But it doesn't require much thinking, and I'm all into that. We stopped at McD's for lunch, and neither of the children ate. We finally got to Greatgrandma's midafternoon. The kids immediately made friends with a couple of little kids from next door. It was nice to just sit outside and visit in the shade. Later in the evening, a couple of my aunts and uncles came over and we had some ice cream cake FOR ME! YAY! Finally, a birthday celebration! I even made some money, which was totally unexpected. It was nice to feel loved.

Once the kids went to bed, I got to hang out with my aunts and uncles. It's strange being here. When I walk into Greatgrandma's house, I immediately feel like I'm about 10. And hearing my dad being called "grandpa" in this house is really weird. All those years, MY grandpa was grandpa. He's been gone for 8 years now, almost, but I still can't get used to him not being here. It was also strange because I'm kind of in those middle years now. I'm an adult, technically, so I can have "meaningful conversation" with my aunts and uncles, but I'm not really the same generation as them. But the oldest of my cousins who was here, is only like 19. So I'm not really in the same generation as him either. In fact, my younger cousin is actually closer to Colby's age than he is to mine. That was a hard pill to swallow. So last night, I felt kind of in limbo. At least if Kat had been there, I would have had someone to hang out with. Maybe she'll come by today and make me feel more like I belong. I would also like someone cool to go shopping with. After all, that money is burning a hole in my pocket.

And I miss my hubby. I think he's lonely too, since he's been calling me about 6 times a day. I can't wait to go home on Sunday! I want to sleep through the night in my own bed.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My Birthday

Yippee! It's my birthday! I am now officially 31. And I'm spending the day on the road with my dad, stepmom, and two sons, driving from AL to IL. Happy birthday to me. Praying for sanity and safe driving. Wish me a happy birthday!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Crazy Hip Question

What movie/song best describes your life? Wow. The first movie that came to mind was that Drew Barrymore movie, where she goes back to high school. It's called "Never Been Kissed." She's the geeky girl newsreporter who's doing a story on high school, so she goes back. And then she becomes cool, and dates the hot guy, but ends up exposed and in love with her English teacher. But then I thought, it's not really me. I was (kind of) one of the cooler people. I had a lot of friends, was a cheerleader, had several boyfriends, made really good grades. Let's look at college. It definitely wasn't "Animal House." And it wasn't "Legally Blonde." I had a couple of really good girlfriends, and a lot of fun guy friends who lived downstairs. Then, after college, I met my future husband. (I have no movie reference for that, it just happened.) In fact, there's not a movie that describes my life. Maybe I should write one. Instead, I'd have to say that there's a book that I've loved for a long time. One character that I really identify with, and have for a long time. The book is Judy Blume's Summer Sisters. It's a "grown up" Judy Blume book, and I love it. My character is Victoria (Vix). I don't know why her. Her life and my life are nothing alike on the surface. I just really identify with her. The constant struggle to keep up with others. The emphasis on making things look right, even when they're not. Always feeling like you are in someone else's shadow. And no, there's been no one Caitlin in my life, just a shadow. Anyway, that's my book. I'll keep looking for a movie though. There's got to be one out there somewhere. And I'll drive my hubby crazy while looking for it. Ha!

This is vacation?

I can't believe that this is my vacation. I'm in southern AL, hanging out at my dad's, and I'M in charge of my kids. How is this a vacation? It's like being at home, only I can't go anywhere. My stepmom isn't even in town. And now, I'm looking forward to a two-day drive with my parents and my kids to IL. I must have lost my mind. I understand that people have a life, they have to work. But why invite someone to come visit, then not even be here. I'm not faulting her, apparently she already had bought the plane tickets, but she could have mentioned that. And Dad, well, a pastor's work is never done. Yippee, something to look forward to. We had fun at the zoo with the kids yesterday. It's always fun to take them to new places. And I played outside with them, something it's hard to do at home because of the heat. Colby always wants to play baseball. He loves to hit. And Bennett is content to do whatever. He's the most self-sufficient little guy ever! Just give him a car, truck, ball, empty cup, and he's happy for hours. Okay, I can't get the "enter" button to work, so I can't start new paragraphs. Strange. This is going to look really nice. Oh well. Guess I'll update when I get home. I almost wish we could just go home tomorrow, instead of going to IL. I miss my hubby. I know he misses us too. But I know I need to see Grandma, since she's starting to get really old. I'm not sure how many more times we'll be able to see her. I want the boys to be able to remember her with more than just pictures. So I guess I'll just suck it up and deal with being locked in a van with my parents and two little guys. Maybe I should find some drugs to knock me out. Oh, AND it's my birthday tomorrow. That should be a fun day! (Am I hiding the sarcasm?) And so help me God, if my mother calls again, and wants to talk to the boys, I am going to scream. I know that she loves her grandsons. I'm glad that she does. But they are NOT her children! They are mine! And they are on vacation. They are spending time with their grandfather, not her. She did this the last time they were away for more than two hours too. She can really drive me crazy. Oh well, Dora calls. I don't even think it's on, but what can you do. Maybe I'll take them back outside. That should at least keep them busy!