Doom & Gloom

The doctor I saw at the pain clinic was very, very nice. But he didn’t have a lot of encouraging words for me.

Basically he said there isn’t really a fix for me except surgery, although even that isn’t a fix per say, but more of a more permanent correction for the pain.

As far as what the pain clinic can do, he offered a cervical epidural but my insurance requires I try physical therapy first before they will pay for injections. Although an epidural isn’t a fix either, just a fix for the pain. I’m not sure what PT does for this, I guess I will find out. I’m a little nervous though, as PT’s around here are full with months of waiting lists, so who knows when I’d even be able to start treatment.

OT Feels Pointless

Occupational therapy feels so pointless. This morning the OT rolled Nadia in a large tube back and forth across the room for awhile. Apparently it’s supposed to help with her sensory issues. And then they played a memory game. I feel like these are things we do at home… But of course I don’t really want to quit therapy as I don’t want to feel like I’m not doing everything possible to help Nadia. I think Nadia could benefit more from physical therapy as she is still tripping over one foot that turns in. All her doctors keep telling me that she will grow out of this and her foot will straighten, but when??

I collected Nora’s pee this morning for her organic acid and mold/mycotoxins test. I think it takes a few weeks for results, I’m seriously curious…

Please pray that Nadia bounces back after stopping the Singular…

Vaccinated!

Well, I’m sort of vaccinated. I received the first of my two Pfizer COVID shots last week. A sore arm for a few days, and maybe a little tired the second day, but really no big deal.

It’s another Monday, and Nadia is still home with me. We are still struggling with her not wanting to wear pants or underwear. I had her try a pair of underwear on this morning… Nope she took them off, said it makes her feel ‘wet’ with them on. We did have our first physical therapy appointment last week. The therapist put some sort of electrodes on her upper legs, hips, and bottom. She said it appears that Nadia is tensing almost all the time, meaning when she was just sitting on the exam table, appearing relaxed, she was tense as if she was pushing to pee or poop. I have no idea how that is possible… We were given a list of a few exercises to do several times a day and told to try to make her go to the bathroom every few hours. Nadia lately hates going to the bathroom, so that’s going as well as you can expect! We have another PT appointment this Friday.

I have another follow-up with our naturopath tonight at 11:15pm my time, as she is in Australia. We’ve been slowly increasing some doses, so now we are up to one Candex tablet three times a week to kill yeast. And Nadia is tolerating the first of three bottles of herbs the provider sent us which we can do twice a week as prescribed. Yesterday I gave Nadia a small dose of the second bottle of herbs, and I didn’t notice any reaction, so maybe we can increase that to the maintenance level soon as well. The herbs are for a variety of Nadia’s problems, one being to remove mold from her body. I will say that Nadia seems a lot better lately (sleeping awesome too) except for this lingering wet feeling. It’s odd to me that this still remains, as in January we were able to get her over that… but now it’s back. So frustrating.

Tonight I also plan to chat with the naturopath about Nora. I’m not sure if Nora technically has any issues we can work on, but I want to ask. Nora is so so so picky, only has a few foods she likes, and none of them are healthy. Often she just looks sick to me with very dark circles under eyes. It’s tough to get Nora into school, like I have to almost push her in, the teachers sometimes escorting her in the building. I mean she goes, unlike Nadia, but it’s not easy to get her there. She also cries/whines a lot, somedays on and off most of the day. She doesn’t sleep well, clings to me often like Nadia… I don’t know. Just makes me wonder. I am sending in a urine sample of Nora’s for the organic acid and mold mycotoxins tests. Just starting with those two to see if they show anything before we investigate any further. I figure it can’t hurt to see what is all going on in Nora’s body too as I assume both the girls have been exposed to similar things over the years.

Ah, somehow it’s afternoon already and I still haven’t showered!

Laundry and Catch Up

I’m playing catch up this week, lots of laundry, emptied out my voicemail, returned a ton of calls, rescheduled some doctors appointments for the girls, you get the idea.

Nadia had her 18 month (15 ½ month adjusted) check-up Wednesday. She is now only three pounds behind Nora!

At Nadia’s appointment we talked a bit about her development, revisiting the idea of speech and physical therapy. Nadia is obviously not at the level of an 18 month-old, but we don’t expect her to be at this point. Our doctor was a little concerned though, so she asked we work with her at home and re-evaluate in a few months. Problem is, I have no idea what to work on! The doctor gave us a few suggestions, but beyond that, I’m a bit at a loss… Our pediatrician said Nadia should have 15 words, with meaning at this age. Hum… she definitely has way more than 15 words, as she will repeat most words I say, but I’m not sure 15 of them have meaning to her. Our doctor said she should be walking up stairs, with help, at this point, throwing a ball with a forward hand motion, rather than just dropping it, and now I forget what else. Ugh. Sometimes I think maybe getting her back into speech and PT would be easier. I mean, I know it’s two appointments a week, but at least then I’d know what to focus on each week.

Also, Nadia still isn’t sleeping through the night consistently. It seems she wakes maybe every-other night, and whines/cries in her bed until I take her a bottle. She’ll suck down 7 oz and then go right back to sleep. Our doctor suggested trying just water instead of the toddler formula I’ve been giving her, but I assume because she is worried about the sugar from the formula sitting on her teeth all night. Honestly, maybe that should be my concern, but I’m just happy she is growing well, and I contribute that to her nighttime bottles. She does eat well during the day, but she is obviously hungry at night, or wouldn’t want the bottle, right? I know we need to ditch bottles soon though… Maybe one day I just throw them away and not look back!

I should go… I planned a playdate at my home tomorrow morning. Do I frantically clean the entire house? Or let them see how we really live? And Eric left this morning for another week on-call, so it’s just me and the girls for the next seven days. I guess I should do some kid-friendly meal planning!

Motivation

I’m finding it harder and harder to write these days. It’s not that I don’t want to, or need to. I have the thoughts in the head. I just seem to find myself filling my time with other activities… Maybe once we get back into a routine I’ll find more time. Below is what’s going on in our lives!

  • Thanksgiving was fun! Eric and I hosted at our new home. He smoked a turkey, I made some sides and my mother brought a bunch of food as well, and my sister too. It was a small gathering, just 6 adults and 4 kids, but it was nice, and fun. But in true form, the day went way too quickly. And I was so busy I didn’t take a single picture the entire day. Ugh. As you know how much I love pictures. On to Christmas I guess! I better start shopping!
  • Speaking of our new home… I’m still in the process of unpacking and decorating. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Why does it feel like work?? Our Christmas tree has been up almost a week, and yet still stands with only lights… Maybe today?
  • I went yesterday to get some ideas for window treatments. What are your thoughts on shutters? We have white trim, so probably something similar to this picture. Would you do the entire house in these? Bedrooms too?fullsizeoutput_17b9
  • Nadia had her 15 month (12 month adjusted) checkup this past Monday. I’m totally mom of the year, she has an ear infection and I had no idea. She’s been teething and cranky lately, but I guess I just figured it was her teeth and nothing more. I did ask her pediatrician about continuing physical and speech therapy. Her thoughts were… lets hold off for now. Nadia is babbling more, and says a few words. Also, she is close to walking, as she currently walks around furniture quite a bit. Her recommendation was to see how well she walks once she does. Our PT in Cedar Falls thought she felt some tightness in one leg, but our pediatrician wasn’t able to find that. So for now, I guess we’ll see. I trust our pediatrician, as she has lots of preemie experience but I also recognize she is not specifically trained in physical or speech therapy.RX99vTMmVzPUA1jdGrQ
  • At Nadia’s checkup we also discussed the cyst on her foot again. It started on the bottom of her heel shortly after birth, but now as her foot is growing it seems to be positioned more on the back edge of her heel. Our ped and Eric both agree it was caused by so many heel sticks in the NICU for blood tests. My understanding is its dead skin cells stuck under the skin. It seems to be getting larger so needs to be removed, otherwise the fear is it will bother her when walking with shoes. Problem is… with children, they like to put them out, as it will involve cutting and stitches. Ugh. Eric wants to do it at home. I said no way!
  • Girls are healthier this week and back to ‘school’ as we call it. Nora seems pretty excited to go each day, although is still a little weary of me leaving. Nadia on the other hand, screams as soon as we walk into her room. Yesterday her teacher did send me a few cute pictures of her playing. So she must not cry the entire day! Neither of the girls are napping well there, in fact, Nora hasn’t napped at all this week. So bedtime is fun. And she isn’t doing as well sleeping through the night either lately like she used to. I hope we all adjust soon.
  • Eric has been gone since last Friday, and even with daycare help, parenting alone is hard. Really hard. A part of me hates all this responsibility. I have so much anxiety toward the girls eating, especially Nora. We are still relying on some bottles of Pediasure. Nadia is still taking a few bottles too of toddler formula, but she loves eating much more than Nora ever did!
  • I’m struggling with figuring out my purpose… This probably needs a post all its own… My original intention with daycare was to get the girls some socialization with other kids a few days a week. Everyone tells me though, that the girls will adjust much better if they have a consistent routine, meaning they should go everyday. Do you all agree? And if so, what the hell do I do all day? I can only decorate this house and consider working out so many hours a day. A job is the obvious answer. But I’m scared that would take me away from the girls too much, as I still normally get them from daycare late afternoon. And with Eric off every third week, I don’t want to be working during that time, as then I would never see him. I need a really flexible job. But no clue what that would be!

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million things I was going to mention, but I’ll leave you with a somewhat amusing story…

Yesterday morning I spent several hours remaking our bed. I had purchased a new memory foam mattress topper, a gel mattress pad, and new pillows. So I washed all the new stuff and put on a clean set of sheets as well. I was worn out, so I threw all the dirty stuff into a basket in our bedroom, vowing to do laundry soon. Yesterday afternoon the cleaners came. And put all the dirty stuff back on the bed and piled all the clean stuff in the laundry room. Only in my life, right??

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.

Another Friday

Lots of random updates…

  • Nora had her second feeding therapy session today. The three foods we took she won’t eat were scrambled eggs, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and strawberries. The therapist got her to lick the eggs, take a bite of strawberry and spit it out, and take a torn off piece of the sandwich, put it between her teeth, and drop it out onto the table. Apparently that was good. It doesn’t feel good to me, it doesn’t feel like progress. I don’t see how we will ever graduate from this program. When Nora will eat anything I put in front of her? When we aren’t still giving her bottles of Pediasure? Feels overwhelming to me. I think part of the problem might be that Eric is rarely to never home to share a meal with us. Even if he is home from work early, his idea of early is 7pm. I’ve certainly fed the girls dinner before 7pm, as that’s about Nora’s bedtime. The therapist keeps telling me that the foods I bring to work on in therapy should be foods that would make our home life meals easier, things I make a lot that I really want her to eat. Well, I don’t really have a lot of those types of things. Lately I make her the things I know she will eat, and I eat whatever, as Nadia has baby food. Any suggestions as to things your kids eat that are somewhat healthy that perhaps I could try with Nora? Sometimes I wonder if I’m causing her picky eating behavior by offering her the same things over and over.
  • Nadia seems to be babbling a bit more, kind of trying to spit and make sounds with her tongue. Not sure it’s due to anything I’ve done to help her though. I tried to teach her ‘more’ in sign language, but now she’s just clapping all the time. Our next speech therapy session is Monday, I’m anxious to see how that goes.
  • As for Nadia’s physical therapy, she’s still not crawling, but definitely moving around more, turning circles during tummy time and such, and rolling more. Slowly but surely perhaps.
  • I inquired a little bit through Early Access Iowa in regards to someone coming to our home to help with therapy. Apparently we make too much money, and neither of my girls have documented disabilities, therefore they don’t qualify. I wasn’t really looking for state offered help, but that’s all I’m finding so far. So, my next thought is maybe putting an ad on care.com and just seeing who responds, be it students or professionals with an interest in coming to my home.
  • Speaking of state offered help, Nadia’s Medicaid review is due in a few days. I doubt we qualify, as now that she’s a year old it’s based on income rather than her status as a premature infant who has spent 30+ days in the NICU. I want to just throw the form away and allow her Medicaid to lapse, but our insurance is forcing me to reapply, which means gathering tons of data regarding our assets, liabilities, income, etc.
  • Baptism is in the works. I guess. Still not excited about the day, which is sad for me. I assume Liz will be in attendance, as Eric isn’t giving me a choice on the matter, which hurts. The baptism will be at our Catholic Church, and then we’re hosting a luncheon at the country club here. Strangely enough, Eric’s family is not at all religious, but yet we’re inviting all of his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Fewer on my side are being invited. Who knows who will actually come though. Maybe Liz will decide she doesn’t want to drive herself here. God I pray. I still need to order a cake, and figure out what all of us are wearing. Where does one get baptism dresses? I assumed the girls would be in matching white dresses since Nadia is now in 12 months and Nora can still fit into some 24 month size clothing. What else am I forgetting to plan? The baptism prep class is the evening of August 2nd, maybe that will help me know what else I need to do to prepare.
  • Next I need to start working on plans for Nadia’s first birthday party. AHHH.
  • Today is the last day with our current nanny. Feels odd to just be like, okay, see ya later. I mean, I will call her if we need a sitter on a random evening or something. I feel like I should have gotten her a gift, but what? And it’s kind of late now! I scheduled an interview with a prospective nanny tomorrow morning.
  • I’m so tired I could fall asleep writing this. Nadia wakes up three or more times a night. Sometimes to eat, sometimes just because she has a burp or her binkie fell out. Eric claims he doesn’t hear the girls. Don’t even get me started on this. Remind me to post on this topic separately. Well, him getting up with the girls, and him going out after work, when he already works like 15+ hours a day.
  • If you’re looking for a good book to read, my book club just finished “The Weathering of Sea Glass.” Really good story, but I will say, the author really, really needs a new editor. Lots of errors throughout the book. Oh, and it’s part of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited Reading, if you’re familiar with that program, so another bonus.
  • I mentioned Eric’s new schedule right? How he will have every third week off starting in August. Well, next week is August, and he’s supposed to have the first week off. So far I know he scheduled a case on Thursday. So we’ll see how this all goes…

Do I always have to title these posts…? This one is random….

Sitter is back today, so finally a minute alone after a week. Ah… So nice! My book club I started meets later today, but for now I’m catching up on emails at a coffee shop. I need to schedule nanny interviews as our current is finished this Friday, fill out some paperwork for Nadia’s insurance, and possibly order baptism invites. Well, if I knew where the party was being held. And who was being invited. Don’t even get me started. It’s still not settled. Drama, I tell ya. And my blood boils every time I even think about it. I originally thought maybe I would combine the baptism and Nadia’s first birthday party, but now I’m thinking maybe it would be better to focus on each separately.


Way back when, when Nadia first started physical and speech therapy, Eric asked me if I wanted to hire someone to come to our home to work with her. At the time I was like, oh heck no, we don’t need that. Now, weeks later, and with the addition of Nora’s feeding therapy, I’m wondering if maybe that was a good idea. I’m not sure how that works though. I assume we just pay for it outside of insurance, which isn’t a problem. But how does one find such qualified people? We would still go to the official appointments too, right? Anyone know a lot about all this? I certainly don’t!

But there is a caveat to this… I would feel incredibly guilty hiring someone to help the girls. I guess I have in my head that’s it’s my job as their mom to do everything I can to support and help them, including working on our therapy ‘homework’. But honestly, this is so far from my natural talents. I have no training in this area, and let’s face it, I’m not one of those SAHM who is down on the floor with their kids every minute, dreaming up new ways to entertain and grow their children’s young minds. It’s just not me.

 

A week

I’m gonna say something that I know you’re all gonna laugh at… but hear me out…

I don’t have a sitter for the next seven days. A week! And Eric is on-call.

I know, I know. I’m a SAHM. I shouldn’t need a sitter. But seriously people, I suck at staying home. I love it and hate it, all at the same time. So I apologize ahead of time if I complain and bitch and moan during the next week.

Nadia had another PT appointment today. She SCREAMED the entire 45 minutes. Like screamed, tears, the whole bit. I assume the whole stranger danger thing, as she was fine once I cuddled her.

Oh… and I had my appointment this morning with the long-awaited therapist. Too early to tell if her and I will hit it off. She was nice, but didn’t say much, although I understand the first visit is all fact gathering and such. An hour goes so fast! (Unless you’re home with a whining toddler. Then an hour takes freaking forever.)

In other news, I posted an ad on care.com for a new nanny/sitter to start in August. I’ve received a few good applicants so far, but I haven’t investigated any of them yet. The task of such feels overwhelming. And when I think of hiring new sitters, I always consider ‘spying’ on them. So far I never have, as I don’t have a way, nor do I feel I really need to. Awhile back I posted about baby monitors and just today I purchased a new one to try for 15 days before I either return it or am stuck with it. The Arlo Baby camera has tons of nice features… and it’s internet based! I have them pointed at the cribs, so technically if I ‘check in’ during the day when a sitter is here I’m just spying on my kids, not the sitter. I mean, unless she’s in their cribs… I’ll update after I’ve used it a few days. This is my view…Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 8.46.05 PM

Alright, Nadia slept pretty much not at all last night, so I’m exhausted. More tomorrow! I have a few ideas for blog posts coming, so stay tuned 🙂 I mean, I know you’re all on the edge of your seats right now. Hopefully not on the edge of your toilet. No one reads my blog from there, right??

Another Sunday

Do you ever just sit and wonder what everyone else in the world is doing right now?

Studies show those who browse Facebook often are actually more unhappy with their lives than those who don’t. Well, according to my betterhelp.com therapist… Apparently Facebook allows us to compare our lives with others, thus making us feel inadequate. I’m fairly certain I don’t need Facebook to tell me my life is a little dull!

Saturday (yesterday) we ventured out into the steamy weather to check out a BBQ festival. It wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t awful either. Food was good. It was just soooo humid. Nora had fun with her perper (purple) dog balloon and Nadia managed to sleep through the very loud blues band.

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Today (Sunday) was even more exciting! Just kidding… We walked through an open house, which was very, very pretty. It didn’t wow me though. It had a lot of neat features, is in a good neighborhood, etc. But… I don’t know, I couldn’t picture us living there. It felt like a house for a family with older kids, or no kids at all. The entry was terribly cramped and the master bedroom was odd-shaped. Maybe I’ll find fault with every house we see, I don’t know.

After the open house we stopped at Old Chicago for lunch. Thank goodness it was rather late in the afternoon, the place was fairly empty, therefore no one for Nora and Nadia to annoy 🙂 Most of the meal was spent watching Nora give Nadia kisses. So sweet!

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So that was our weekend… Please tell me yours was more exciting!!! Tomorrow afternoon is Nadia’s speech therapy evaluation. I’m nervous… Her physical therapy is going well, I guess. The therapist always says she’s doing so well, but often I feel like the encouragement is just to keep me from feeling bad. Nadia still isn’t crawling, although she is pivoting quite a bit during tummy time, so it’s a start I guess. I’ll let you all know how tomorrow’s appointment goes. Wish us luck!

Other random updates:

  • Remember the Rodan + Fields Reverse Brightening system I was using on my face? I recently went to see my dermatologist for my every six-month skin cancer check. While there I asked him about the product. He said it’s amazing, if you have dark spots and uneven skin tone. He confirmed my skin is beautiful (his words, not mine) and therefore the reason I’m not seeing any results is because I have nothing for it to correct. So there you have it folks… I’m not sure I completely agree with him, but I’m going with it for now!
  • Still in the research phase of opening a Goddard educational childcare franchise. Can you believe though, that Eric is actually quite interested in the idea? I was totally shocked myself, especially since I already broke the scary news to him, the total expected investment. We need to finish filling out the franchise application, review the investment profile and contracts, and we obviously need a lot more information from the franchise team… but so far, it’s not a no from Eric.
  • Eric saw a patient in clinic, who just happened to have a horrible case of bed bugs. Don’t even get me started on how terrified I currently am regarding the possibility of Eric bringing these home. He made sure to limit contact, dispose of his scrubs, and they even called in a specialized team to fumigate the office, but still! Talk about occupational hazards!