Nora – 30 Months

This is a few days late, and she happens to be in PJs with bedhead, but I thought it was cute. She found a necklace she wore for her one year pictures and somehow it just happened to match her nightgown. Nora is truly a joy, (usually) happy, although very much whiny when I’m around. Somehow she forgets to whine with Eric or the sisters… Funny how that works. She can say about anything… repeats everything, including sh*t. Loves to build towers, but loves more to knock them over. Go figure. I want to say that things are getting a little easier lately with her and Nadia, as Nora seems to understand more, but it’s still a struggle for me. A few days recently they had sort of played together, but only for a few minutes. Hopefully this changes once Nadia is walking. We’re still struggling with eating, seems to be a theme with her. I keep thinking she will just wake up one day and want to eat everything in sight. No such luck. But show her candy… So perhaps it is a behavior thing, even though the feeding therapist doesn’t think so. I’ll trust her. Oh, and still in her crib, and hasn’t really attempted to climb out. Maybe Nadia will be in a toddler bed before Nora!

Our New Home?


I found a house I really like! Eric isn’t free until this weekend to see it, but considering he would live in a cardboard box, I’m guessing he’ll like it. Hopefully we can make an offer soon! The link below will take you to some pictures (well, screen shots from my phone). It’s new, the furniture in it is just for show, and since we are keeping our current home, hopefully we can close and move quickly! And so the next adventure begins!



House Hunting

Tomorrow I’m meeting my cousin who is a Realtor in the Cedar Rapids area to look at a few houses. I’m excited, but nervous too. I hate being in Cedar Falls, but the idea of being further from Eric the weeks he’s on call is a little terrifying too. Like tonight, he left to drive to Ft. Dodge a bit ago. If he was leaving from Cedar Rapids he might have wanted to get on the road sooner, and would be home later tomorrow evening. Ugh. I wish someone could tell me what to do, or I could see the future.

In preparation for tomorrow I’m trying to make a list of things I dislike about our current home… things I want to make sure are different in the next house we purchase.

  • I do like a somewhat open floor plan, but our current home is basically one huge room for our kitchen, dining, and living room. It’s very difficult to arrange furniture. And since Nora can always see the kitchen and eating area, she constantly wants to eat, then wants to get down and play. This repeats every ten minute the entire freaking day.
  • Our current kitchen pantry is basically a tall cabinet. It sucks. We need more space!
  • Same goes for our laundry room, which is really a hallway which is also our mud room. Way too cramped. 
  • It’s a pain in the butt walking through our entire house with groceries as the garage is on the opposite side as the kitchen. 
  • Currently the girl’s bedrooms share a wall with the kitchen. Horrible, as after they go to bed I tend to clean up and do dishes, and they can hear it all. And entertaining with the girls sleeping is out of the question.
  • We have a fairly good sized finished basement, but it’s not a walkout, which I really want in the next house, both to make letting Kona outside easier, and for playing outside with the girls. Our deck off the kitchen has a ton of stairs down to the yard, so it’s hard for Nora to walk down them alone.
  • I really need a neighborhood with sidewalks, a place for the girls to ride bikes, or even just take them for walks. There are empty lots on both sides of our current home, thus our sidewalk doesn’t connect to anything. It’s annoying as I don’t really want Nora playing in the street, even though it’s not busy. 

Am I asking for too much?

Oh, forgot to share… Last Wednesday at Nadia’s speech therapy appointment the therapist suggested stopping our sessions for the time being. Nadia does nothing but cry during the sessions, although I blame this on them wanting to take her back alone. And technically she is making a lot more sounds and says mama and dada, so they are thinking it would be okay to hold off on more therapy for now. They said to contact them in maybe four months and we can have another evaluation to see how she is doing at that point. I’m thrilled to knock off one therapy session a week. Hopefully she progresses well with us helping her at home over the next few months.

And then there is Nora. Eric is so hard on her sometimes. I feel like he expects so much out of her, considering she’s only 30 months. Should she be counting by now? Eric works with her constantly, and she knows a lot, but counting is something she gets stuck on. I have no idea why, but when she counts she says 1, 2, 6. She refuses to say 3. And it drives Eric up the wall. Like he actually gets mad at her. Maybe I’m too easy on her, but I let it go. I correct her, but I don’t hold it against her. I guess I feel like at some point it will click with her. Right?

Although, more another time, I’m exhausted and need to be up early to shower and get ready before the girls wake. Good night!

A party, cardiology, gestational carriers, and open houses

Our weekend was full! Saturday my mom watched the girls while Eric and I traveled back to Iowa City for an overnight. One of his partners hosted a party at his home Saturday evening. It was fun, nice to get away for a night! The party was primarily physicians, which always makes me feel a little out-of-place. Most of the couples are both physicians, most both surgeons. And yes, I know I had a great career before I quit to raise the girls, but no one else knows that… I have little to talk about when all of them are going on and on about their busy, prospering careers. Education is everything to these people, and while I do have an MBA, I think sometimes to them a masters is like a high school diploma.

Sunday we slept in, well, sort of, since I was awake most of the night listening to Eric snore… Something has to give with him disrupting my sleep! After brunch at his partner’s home we stopped at Costco to pick up a few household necessities and then toured two open houses in Cedar Rapids. I liked them both, but was certainly more drawn to the home on Wexford Way. Either are huge steps up from anything currently available in Cedar Falls. In fact, I’d move into either of these tomorrow if I could! Eric liked the one on Diamondback Road better, but mostly because it’s an easier, quicker drive to the hospital, as it’s closer to the interstate. Being so though means it’s also not as nicely situated in an established neighborhood, which is on my list if must-haves in a home.

Diamondback Road

Wexford Way

Obviously looking at these houses both excites and terrifies me. I’m so unhappy in Cedar Falls and have been since we moved here over two years ago now, but moving again, and being alone a lot more with the girls with Eric commuting feels a bit overwhelming. There is obviously no perfect solution, short of Eric working in a city that offers more for me and the girls. But since he loves his partners and the practice they have built, I don’t see him wanting to move anytime soon. I wish I knew the answer to all this…

This week Eric is on vacation again, part of his every third week off. He took Nadia to her cardiology appointment in Iowa City today so I could stay home and review everything with the new/old nanny who started today.

Nadia’s appointment went well, we can finally stop her heart medication and see how she does. And follow-up not for a few months! Closer to crossing another specialty group off our list!

The new/old sitter is a girl who watched Nora two years ago when we first moved here. I actually didn’t realize she was still in town, as she is now working on her masters in speech pathology. How perfect given Nadia’s issues. I think she’ll be good. And who knows how long we’ll even have her if we’re getting more serious about moving. But you know how I like to make plans and then not follow through.

Speaking of plans… Eric and I have been talking more and more about our frozen embryo. I think we’re both of the opinion that if we’re having a third child, we need to do it sooner rather than later. We’d prefer to have all the mess of littles now, and be done with diapers. I also know Eric really wants to travel more, and that’s so difficult with little ones. One of the physicians at the party is a reproductive endocrinologist in Davenport, her husband a Urologist there. I spoke to her quite a bit at the party about the process of using a gestational carrier. She made it sound so easy, but I know it isn’t. I guess I just need to seek out an agency to help us, or somehow find someone I know who would allow me to use their uterus for a bit! My other option is going back to my high risk OB at the University and discussing whether me carrying our embryo is an option. So much fear and risk. We’ll see, more on this topic to come.

Happy Friday!

So much to say, so little time… Maybe that should be the name of this blog… Should this be a random update post? I kind of hate those, they don’t get to the heart of anything, do they?

Nora has been a monster lately. Perhaps we’re just now hitting the terrible twos. She whines non-stop. No seriously. From the minute she is out of her crib in the morning. It’s driving me crazy. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear, “I want my mommy” when I’m already holding her or she’s standing right next to me. Maybe I cater too much to her wants, and now she has learned to whine her way to everything? I don’t know… There must be some parenting book I can read… if I had time.

Speaking of reading… My book club picked “Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone” for September. It’s something… I’m not even sure what to think of it! Placenta eating and Godzilla all before page 20…

And then there is Nadia, who often refuses to sleep at night or nap during the day. I think she’s smarter than I know… She screams as soon as I walk into her bedroom, and will stop if I take her out into the kitchen. My fault for taking her out of her room every time she cries. But… with her bedroom right next to Nora’s, I take Nadia out so she doesn’t wake Nora. Last night I let her cry, and she was asleep in ten minutes. Maybe I need to let her cry more, but it breaks my heart. I’m weak. A friend suggested I read “On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep“. There should be a cliff notes version. Has anyone read this? Fill me in!


I’m super frustrated and stressed about picking a nanny…  So to get my mind onto other things, I thought I’d tell you about my really awesome toothbrush.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 9.20.23 PM

No seriously… I’ve searched for years for a great toothbrush, and finally, I found it! I like electric, but hated a lot about the ones I’ve used in the past. And yes, I’ve tried a lot. Remember that Amazon habit I have? Anyway, the list of things I hated about my old ones is long, but to summarize…

  • Hated having a charger sitting on my counter, near a plug, taking up a plug!
  • Cleaning the charger was always gross. Maybe because we have hard-water, but still. There was always this gross buildup of something on it.
  • Oh, yeah, same buildup on the toothbrush itself, in all those tiny spaces… yuck!
  • Um, I have to take the charger when I travel? Who has space for that??
  • Have you ever turned on an electric toothbrush, before it’s in your mouth? Yeah, toothpaste flies everywhere!

Okay, say goodbye to all that. No seriously. It’s sleek, it’s smooth, no place for buildup and gross stuff and while it does vibrate, it’s gentle. No charger! No brush heads to find at the store. No brush heads to store in your bathroom. Every three months they automatically ship you a new brush head and battery. My teeth have never felt so clean. Honest to God. Check it out. Oh, and use my referral link, I seem to think we both get some money off!

Referral Link

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Anyone familiar with dermatitis herpetiformis? I don’t know a lot about, just some I’ve read and bits of pieces of things Eric has told me… My understanding is it’s a very itchy skin rash caused by a gluten sensitivity.

Months ago, I think early spring, Eric started to show signs of severe allergies. Being spring we blamed it on pollen and such and he started to try different over the counter allergy medications. Nothing worked. After a few months he saw an allergist who did some testing and decided he was allergic to carba mix, which is actually an allergy to three really long words I won’t bore you with here. Those three things though are in almost everything, especially rubber. Naturally we thought maybe it was rubber gloves or gowns Eric wears during surgery… But as the months passed his condition worsened. He’s now using topical steroids on his entire body, including in his eyes. The itching and sores are just getting out of control. His hands are so sore he’s having a hard time keeping them from bleeding. Even his nails have sores and blisters.

So, Eric being a doctor and really enjoying research and science in general, began investigating… and decided he has Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Last week was FINALLY his appointment with a local dermatologist. And what… they think it’s contact dermatitis, probably from a soap, lotion, or something he’s constantly getting on his body, most likely something at home since it’s all over his body. They wouldn’t even do a biopsy of one of his sores, just to rule out issues from gluten, be it just a sensitivity to gluten, or true celiac disease.

I’m so annoyed. Eric is out of his mind itching. He can’t sleep because of it. He’s afraid it’s ruining his nails permanently. And who knows if his itching is leaving scars all over his body. I wish I could help him… My best attempt was to purchase all ‘free and clear’ products for our home for Eric to try until he returns to the dermatologist in a few weeks.

The saga that is my life

I feel like the shit that goes on in my life doesn’t happen to others… but it must, right??

I emailed the crappy nanny around noon on Saturday, and at 5pm today (Sunday) I still hadn’t heard from her. So I sent a text asking if she read my email. She said she didn’t get it, and listed an email address different from the one we’d previously been communicating through. So I forwarded the original email to her new email address. And now I haven’t heard another word since. I’m going to assume she read it. But oh God, what if she shows up tomorrow morning??

I did interview three girls today, and I have a favorite from today, but I’m trying not to decide too much until I’ve met them all. I have two more interviews tomorrow and one on Tuesday yet as well.

Therapy Update

I haven’t written about the girl’s therapy sessions lately, so thought I would update.

First, Nadia’s physical therapy (PT). I think it’s going really well. When we started Nadia was barely sitting and now she is sitting very well, army crawling all over the house, and getting close to getting herself out of a sitting position to army crawl on her own. Well, I guess I should say without face-planting. Oh, and just in the past few days she has been reaching up, like toward the couch, or even my legs.

Nadia’s PT sessions are once a week for 45 minutes, although usually she is worn out after 35 or 40 minutes. And the past few times the therapist has been taking her back without me, and for the most part that is going well, even though Nadia is very much in the ‘clinging to mommy stage’ and ‘crying when I walk away stage’. When the therapist brings her back out to me she usually tells me what to work on until we see her again. This week she wanted us to get some type of one foot high step so we could work with Nadia on pulling herself up to it, and supporting her while she kneels next to it. I very much see the value in PT, but maybe it’s because I see progress. I’m not sure I can say the same for speech and feeding.

Speech with Nadia is once a week but only for 30 minutes. And of course it’s never scheduled next to another appointment of ours, so it’s a pain to drive all the way there for an appointment that seems to go really quick. For the speech sessions the therapist usually takes Nadia back alone for the first 20 minutes and then gets me for the last 10 minutes.

So…. I’m probably gonna sound like a really bad mom for saying this, but I really want to quit these sessions, at least for the time being. Three sessions ago the therapist blew bubbles and said ‘ba ba ba bubbles’ to Nadia for 30 minutes. Two sessions ago she got out this toy and turned it on and off while saying ‘stop’ and ‘go’ for 30 minutes. This past week Nadia was kind of upset and didn’t really want to be near the therapist, so she played peek-a-boo with her for 30 minutes. Now I realize I’m not trained in this area, but I can certainly do these things with Nadia on my own without paying for each of these sessions. I did ask the speech therapist if we could come every other week, and she didn’t think that was a good idea as Nadia already doesn’t know her, so she thought the more she sees her, the better.

Nadia’s one year check-up was Friday, which is another post in itself, but I did ask our pediatrician about the speech therapy… And she was fine with us stopping for now. She said since Nadia has two words, mama and dada, at about 10 months adjusted, she wouldn’t necessarily consider her behind at this point. So, we’ll see. I haven’t cancelled any appointments yet. Mommy guilt.

And finally, Nora’s feeding therapy which is once a week for 45 minutes. I kind of want to cancel these as well… Each session is very much the same. We bring three foods she will eat and three foods she won’t eat. They alternate back and forth, the foods she likes being a reward if she tries or makes some interaction with a food she won’t eat at home for us. The therapist is very very very happy and outgoing. (I want some of whatever she is on!) They basically play with the food, like asking her to ‘clean your spoon’ when she was trying applesauce, ‘lick it like a puppy’ when I took some yogurt she won’t eat, and ‘make a moon’ in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again, none of this is rocket science, and now that I know what the therapist does, I can easily replicate this at home.

Maybe I’m being too hard on these therapist, I don’t know. Or maybe we just need to find different therapists. And if we move back to Cedar Rapids, we’d be forced to anyway.