Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays: Surviving Mommy-dom (without a man)

If you’re hear from ICLW, you might want to check out Monday’s post. You can click here or just scroll down.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program of me explaining how and why I rock sooooo incredibly hard.

Last week my man was out of town (Did I mention he was at a music festival with his friends? Because he was). I was home alone with Isa for five nights. I also came down with a brutal cold and Isa came down with a bad case of teeth-cutting. For me this involved a horrible sore throat, concrete-like sinuses and a hacking cough. For Isa this involved increased fussiness, random projectile vomiting, a horrible diaper rash and frequent poopsplosions. It was a rough, rough week. I couldn’t take any sick days because I used them all up during my family medical leave and Mi.Vida’s parents were in Mexico leaving me without back up. Thank goodness for my SIL who came every day at 6:30am on the dot and took amazing care (as always) of Isa for up to 10 hours a day.

During this (hell) week I got a ton of laundry done, washed the cloth diapers, made dinner for a friend and offered her a shoulder to cry on (as I was getting the hellacious sore throat), cooked dinner twice, made homemade baby food, kept our bedroom clean, fed the cat and changed her box and gave Isa a bath (three times in one day).

Luckily I was able to retreat to my parents’ house on Saturday for reinforcements. Thank god for family.

Mi.Vida came home Sunday but he’s had shit to do last night and again tonight. So I’ve been (and am) parenting solo again. In the past 9 nights I’ve had help a total of ONE time. No wonder I took advantage of that to get the hell out of dodge and visit my friends and their brand new baby (with a face mask on, don’t worry, I’m not infecting new borns with my horrible virus).

And that is why I rock mommy-dom today, because I can do it all by my lonesome. Something I know my guy couldn’t say. While I always knew I didn’t want to be a single mom, I also knew I would have made that choice if I didn’t find the right guy. I can honestly say now that I would have had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. I’m sure I still don’t. A week solo does not a single mother make. I have a new found respect for all single moms. Being a single mother has got to be the world’s hardest job and I applaud any woman who’s doing it. My hat is off to you; you are a stronger person than I.

But for one week I did it. And I’m pretty darn proud of that.

Useful Tuesdays: Nose Frida (The Snotsucker)

No one likes to talk about sucking, literally sucking, snot out of your infant or toddlers nose but when when they are sick and so stuffed up that they can’t eat and breath at the same time, you will be happy to have something that can do just that.

Now most moms are sent home from the hospital with a blue bulbous contraption that can suck out small amounts of snot in short, weak (in my opinion) bursts. That is find for the occasional buger but when your baby is sick, really sick and the stuff is just pouring from her nostrils like a leaky faucet, then you know that said blue-bulb just will not, I repeat, NOT do.

Enter the Nose Frida. What you might think it lacks in design and function, it makes up TEN FOLD in effectiveness. Because when it comes to sucking snot out of a miserable baby’s nose, nothing does the trick like this thing.

What makes the Nose Frida so effective is YOU control the speed and pressure at which the snot is assailed. What might gross you out is you control it with your mouth. That’s right, you, quite literally, suck the snot right out of your baby’s nasal cavity.

But don’t worry. There is a barrier. There are two long tubes, one hard and one soft protecting you from the slimy stuff. And since distance is probably not enough for most people, there is also a sponge.

I really can’t say how much I love this little tool. When my daughter had a cold a couple of weeks ago it was INVALUABLE. There were so many times that I tried to nurse her and found she couldn’t eat because she couldn’t breath. After just a minute with this baby she could eat happily (well maybe not happily, but she could eat).

Of course she didn’t love actually getting, well, the snot sucked out of her, but she always felt better in the end. And there were actually times when she felt so miserable that she welcomed the Nose Frida and all it could do for her.

And being someone who feels satisfied by seeing what I popped out of a zit (I know, I’m super gross), I just LOVED seeing all I cultivated from my pitifully sick bear’s sinuses. It made me feel so, productive.

The Nose Frida is about $15 and that include three re-fill sponges. You can buy extra sponges in sets of 20 for $3. Cleaning the contraption is quite easy, you just wash the hard tube (where the snot actually goes) with warm soapy water and let a few drops of rubbing alcohol makes it way down the soft tube (which get’s wet from your breath and the moisture of the mucus) to disinfect it and help it dry. I’ve been changing out sponges with every cold.

Of course I hope you’ll never need something that is literally called Nose Frieda, The Snotsucker (I swear, you can check their website),┬ábut since we live in reality and every kid gets a cold at some point, I’m glad I can tell you how good this does what it’s meant to do (as gross as that job is).

As if all that weren’t enough, I’m going to leave you with a picture of a happy mommy, lovingly sucking the snot out of her baby’s nose (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

Yep, it’s as fun as it looks folks!

Disclaimer: I was not requested to write this nor was I reimbursed by Nose Frida in any way. I just really love this product and wanted to pass it on.

And we’re off

Friday finally came and went. I’m now officially on Winter Vacation. No more work for me in 2010.

Tomorrow we leave for St. Louis. We are visiting my extended family there. My mother has 11 brothers and sisters and all of them have children, most have many children. And most of their children have children. Even some of their children have children (two of my uncles are great grand fathers). Needless to say, when we’re all together (as we are on Christmas Eve) there are well over 200 of us and the fireman’s hall we rent out doesn’t come close to accommodating us anymore (the adults have to eat dinner in shifts). It’s a crazy time and I’m looking forward to it, though I wish we were required to wear name tags.

My father’s family is much smaller. My two aunts and their families will all be in town, including my cousin who’s daughter is only 2 months younger than Isa. We’ve been talking a lot this past year and I’m very much looking forward to meeting her little girl and catching up with her face to face.

All in all I’m super excited to see my family. The six hours of air travel standing between them and us? Not so much.

We flew with Isa when she was three months old. It was only a 2.5 hour flight to Colorado and it still felt like it took forever. I felt so trapped with Isa stuck on my lap, even though I had my partner, mother and sister ready to take her off my hands. It was hard to feed her in such a cramped space and it was even hard to get her comfortable enough to sleep.

Tomorrow we have two flights. A quick one to LA and then a much longer one (four hours) to St. Louis. I am NOT looking forward to that flight AT ALL.

But there is nothing I can do about it. I’ve packed formula and rice cereal, bottles and a baby spoon and bib. I have enough diapers for about two days and an extra set of clothes (maybe I should back one more of those). I have some toys and a couple of board books, plus her back up blankie packed up tight. I think her checked bag is ready to go.

Her new “big girl” car seat is going to be so much harder to lug around and install in family member’s cars that the infant one was. Because we’re there for so much longer and it’s quite cold there right now, we have considerably more clothes than during our last trip. It’s going to be a challenge to get us and all our stuff there for sure.

Oh, and did I mention Isa has a cold. Her first real, honest to god, cold. Her nose is like a faucet and she’s constantly rubbing snot all over her face and hair. It’s awesome. She also does this cute little cough that constantly reminds of me of the scene from Zoolander when he comes out after a day of working in the mines. “Uh, Uh, Uh. It’s not very well ventilated down there Pop. I think I have the black lung.” I NEVER get tired of saying that when Isa coughs.

So anyway, tomorrow should be insane. The rest of the week will be awesome but tomorrow, not so much.

Wish me luck getting through the next 24 hours.

And I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season, with drama-free traveling (if you’re venturing far from home).

I’ll be posting from the other side!

So much to say…

… and none of it seems worth saying. Curious.

Well tomorrow is Friday and I have no work the next week so I’m very eager for it to get here already. I can’t wait, actually.

I’m having a rough day. I’m very tired and I’m pretty sure a bad cold is just around the corner. My throat is killing me, and for a teacher that can be a dreadful proposition. I have easy-ish days today and tomorrow but still, it’s tough to be at work.

I didn’t get much sleep last night because Mi.Vida tripped and messed up his toe pretty badly. We thought we were going to have to go to the hospital today and I called for a sub and everything. The “fall” was right at bedtime, which meant we weren’t in bed until 11:30 and then I couldn’t sleep for ages because Mi.Vida was snoring (on account of he was asleep on his back and couldn’t roll over because his foot was propped up). Anyway, I only got 5.5 hours of sleep last night and it’s not helping my definitely-getting-sick feeling. This morning Mi.Vida’s toe looked much better and we decided he didn’t need to go to the hospital after all. So I canceled my sub and came to work. I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t.

So that is where I am today.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of ways to save some money. I’m actually thinking about stopping therapy. I have to say, I feel so much better than I did. In a perfect world, I’d keep going to therapy, just in case things got more stressful. But right now, the thought of spending that much a month on something I don’t really need, stresses me out in and of itself. I would definitely not start going to therapy right now, which makes me wonder if I should keep doing it just because I have been. I don’t think I can go every other week, as it’s a sliding scale clinic which little flexibilty. I guess I’ll ask the next time I’m there. I hope I don’t make a mistake about this.

Next week I have vacation (from work). My big plans are to clean out the baby’s room, which is a small room under the stairs of the apartment above us. Right now it’s basically used for storage and it’s crammed with six years worth of my junk. There are also lots of things we use daily that we have nowhere else to store. So not only do I have to clean the whole room out, but I also have to find places for all the things we need to keep, like bath towels, extra bathroom supplies, quite a lot of clothes, tools, extra light bulbs and such. It’s going to be quite a challenge to find places for everything, especially the clothes. I’m not looking forward to that. Then, when it’s all cleaned out Mi.Vida needs to take apart the two pieces of furniture in there and carry them out. Man, it’s going to be really unpleasant.

My other priorities are getting my taxes filed (I need that refund badly) and finishing some grad school papers. Neither of which am I looking forward to. All in all it’s a pretty lame vacation. My girl friends are in Thailand soaking up the sun and I’m going to be trudging through my own muck, trying to make sense of it all. It’s me v. the room under the stairs, duking it out. May the best woman/room. Good lord is their an impressive accumulation of crap in that little room.

So that is my vacation. I’m not complaining, as I know I’m lucky to get it off. I also know I should be thankful that I have a vacation from work to get all this stuff done. And I am thankful for that. I’m also a little sulky about it too. I mean I am only human.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – I get to watch this week’s Lost tonight with my sister. That makes me happy. I LOVE Lost.

The Going Back To Work Tomorrow Blues

Well we’re back home. We drove 10 hours in the past two days to enjoy 24 hours up in the mountains with our friend and his parents. It was definitely worth it. We left early yesterday and enjoyed the trip up together. We were seduced by that I5 temptress, The Olive Pit, where we pulled over and spent well over $100 on olive oils, dipping oils and pickled vegetables. The whole drive up was fun and goofy, which I loved. Mi.Vida and I can be silly with the best of them, but lately we’ve had little energy or occasion for silliness. It was nice to have that time and that feeling again.

By the time we got up to Weaverville it was past noon. We went for a great four mile hike, dodging big piles of bear poop and taking in the color of the turning leaves (which we don’t get much of by us). The air was crisp and clean and the surroundings were incredible. It was just what I needed. Mi.Vida and our friend chatted away and I just walked a few steps behind, taking everything in.

Yesterday my cold took what will either be a turn for the worse or for the better. I have never blown my nose more, or to such ends, as I did yesterday. I hope it was my cold wearing itself out but I’m not sure that is the case. A lingering sore throat has me worried this sinus thing will become an infection. I truly hope that is not the case. If the sinus thing were not enough, I got another one of my “stress headaches” yesterday, and man was it brutal. I’m quote “stress headache” because I don’t know if they actually are caused by stress, but I assume so because they start at the base of my neck and seem to be the result of incredibly tight muscles in my neck and the back of my head. I can literally rub the spot that hurts, which is usually a muscle that has morphed into a super-tight cord of intense pain. I took Tylenol pretty early and had Mi.Vida rub out the spot. After a nap the headache was still there in full force. It only got worse as the night went on and finally at 2am I gave in and took another two Tylenol. This morning my headache was gone when I woke up, but it has threatened a painful return all day. I have another massage booked for Monday and thank goodness. I need this guy to work his magic on my head, neck, shoulders and back. I guess all my anxiety and worry is causing these tight muscles and stress headaches, making me all the more aware of the changes I need to make. I’m so happy to have therapy tomorrow. I hope it helps some too.

This Thursday is my 12 week appointment and I don’t know how I’ll make it to Thursday. I’m wish I could just fall asleep tonight and wake up Thursday morning, I feel like everything in between is just unnecessary filler. I’m so nervous to go my appointment on Thursday. I have many memories of other people’s stories of going in at 12 weeks and finding out they’d lost the baby. If that is what is going to happen to me I want to know about it sooner rather than later. I really thought I’d be less nervous at this point but I only seem to be getting worse.

It doesn’t help that it’s the Sunday of the first long weekend of the year. I have zero interest in heading back to work tomorrow morning. I have a hard day tomorrow of intense interaction with my students and although I keep trying to figure out ways I can change planning to avoid that, there doesn’t seem to be any responsible way for me pull that off. So I guess I’ll have to suck it up and get it done.

Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey. I can imagine it would seem frustrating to see someone who has what we all want squander it away feeling anxious and worried all the time. I promise I’m doing my best to combat that. I know I have a long way to go, but I intend to get to the other side some how. Thanks for being patient with me while I get there.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Coming home today was nice. I want to take a moment and appreciate how thankful I am to have a home that I enjoy returning to. I know that is something that a lot of people have lost in the last year and I don’t want to take it for granted.

Rough Day

Today has been a rough day. I did not sleep well at all last night, tossing and turning until I had to take the dogs out at 6:30am (they could tell I was awake and wouldn’t wait any longer). After that I sort of fell asleep again, but like the rest of the night it was fitful.

This morning I did not feel well. I was busy all morning getting the house we were babysitting at ready before we left. I was so busy, in fact, that I didn’t eat breakfast and by the time we got home I felt completely nauseous. Then, the scratch in my throat that I’ve assumed was allergies all week revealed itself to be a stubborn cough. I wish I had know that before I got TWO flu shots yesterday.

At the tailgate today I started feeling pretty bad; muscle aches all over and just generally not feeling well. One minute I was hot, the next minute I was shivering. I also started getting a pain in my left leg, which I’ve been getting a lot since my BFP. It’s a kind of achy pain at the top of my leg, right where my thigh connects to my torso. It feels like I can stretch it out, and that does make it feel better momentarily, but then when I stop stretching it starts aching again. It got worse and worse over today until it started to feel just like regular cramps. Bad cramps in fact. I was starting to get panicked, and I was so glad we had gone in for the ultrasound yesterday or I would have been totally freaking out.

Anyway, I made it through half of the football game but by then I felt totally miserable. I had a raging headache, my whole body hurt, my legs were both throbbing and the cramping had gotten worse. Plus, when I coughed, it racked my lungs and they hurt like hell. So we headed home, and on the way I got some Extra Strength Ty.lenol. By the time I woke up in San Francisco I felt much better. I’m sure everything today had a little to do with my two flu shots. I’ve never gotten them before, so I don’t know how I react, but the advice nurse at Kaiser seemed to think that they were the culprit for most of my woes today. I hope she is right.

I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening on the couch catching up on TV I missed this week. As the Ty.lenol wears off my headache and leg pain are back with a vengeance. I did look online and Dr. Google says you can have leg cramps during pregnancy because of your body metabolizing calcium differently, and your uterus expanding. I’m not sure if the latter is happening yet, but my chiropractor did recommend a calcium/magnesium supplement when I had weird twitches in my arm (a while ago), so I’m hoping the leg ache has something to do with calcium. I’m going to start taking supplements of calcium/magnesium/zinc tonight.

The truth is, I’m exhausted and although it’s barely 10pm I’m heading to bed.

But before I go, I’m posting pictures of Frijolito (our little bean) from the 2nd ultrasound.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Camping out on my couch while Mi.Vida took care of me was great today. Sometimes I need that as much for my mental health as my physical health.