Monday, August 31, 2009

The Last Supper

As of one week ago, I relinqished my title of the milk cow, and am still a little sad about it. When I began the nursing process I wasn't sure how it would go, but I knew I had a goal of making it to the one year mark, and beyond if possible. Fortunately for me, breastfeeding was a positive experience, and I had virtually no trouble with it. We began the weaning process around 11 months, and now at 14 months Bradley is officially weaned.

On the night I decided it was time to try to cut out the last nighttime feeding, I read Bradley his stories as usual and turned out the light. Instead of singing to him as I nursed however, I rocked him in my arms and then put him down in his crib. He didn't appear frustrated at the lack of his usual night-cap, so it became apparent to me that Bradley was fine with this transition. I however was experiencing all kinds of emotions! I was sad that my little boy was growing up, and mourning the loss of what had been a big part of motherhood for me. No longer was I soley responsible for feeding him, and he would never be dependent on me in the same way.

As I was thinking about all these things, while stroking Bradley's head wistfully, my sweet little man looked up at me from his crib and farted! It was just what I needed to lighten the mood! Immediately I started to laugh, and so did he, pacifier in mouth. Yes, I decided, things were changing, but I would make it through this transition just fine. Still smiling, I closed the door to Bradley's room, and also to a chapter in our lives.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Good news

Thanks to all the prayers that were said for me, Bradley, and everything surrounding our doctor's appointment this week. The hematologist called me yesterday with the outstanding news that Bradley's labwork came back totally normal. After hearing this news and emailing my pediatrician, Bradley is in the clear. No more doctor's appointments, and no more iron drops! I must have breathed the biggest sigh of relief ever yesterday after hearing that news. Thank you Jesus for protecting my little boy and keeping him healthy. And thank you to everyone who prayed with the faith that I could not muster.

I honestly thought the doctor would tell me Bradley had a mild condition, so that was the focus of my best-case-prayer scenario. But luckily God is bigger than my limited faith and he gave us a great diagnosis. As Lisa Thompson's mom would text, PTL!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

cautiously optimistic

We just got back from the hospital a little while ago, and right now I'm cautiously optimistic. The hematologist seems to think Bradley does Not have the blood condition thalassemia, but went ahead and did more blood work to check his prognosis. We should hear by Friday the lab results and then go from there. Without going into all the specific details, the doctor has good reason to believe Bradley's numbers are just on the low side of what's considered normal. Thank you for all the prayers lifted up. To have a diagnosis overturned that his pediatrician was certain of is nothing short of a miracle. I told God that's obviously what I would want to hear, but that we would trust Him with whatever the outcome. Honestly I prepared myself to hear that Bradley had a mild for of thalassemia, and had done so much research on the disease, that when the doctor told me his thoughts, I was rendered speechless! My list of questions I had prepared was now moot, and all I can say is that God is good.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Prayer Request

As the new week begins, I have something weighing very heavily on me, and could really use some prayers. Wednesday afternoon I have to take Bradley to see a pediatric hematologist (a blood specialist) to confirm his pediatrician's diagnosis of a genetic blood disorder called thalassemia. I had never even heard of this disease before a few weeks ago, but after Bradley tested positive for anemia, both before and after we'd had him on iron drops daily for 6 weeks, the doctor called with this diagnosis and referred him to a specialist. Hopefully this all sounds worse than it actually is, because Bradley's pediatrician had reason to believe this was a mild case that would likely never affect his life, and would require no further treatment, except that he will be anemic his whole life. Of course I have been doing my research online, and when you read about worst-case scenarios including blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants it's scary.

I realize that as a mom there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent Bradley from getting this, it's just the way the genes ended up, and so now I am focused on getting educated and learning what I need to do to keep Bradley as healthy and normal as possible. Our appointment is on Wednesday at 1:30pm so if you could lift us up at that time, that would be wonderful. Pray not only for a good diagnosis, but pray that I would stay calm (I tend to majorly stress out and get flustered in these types of situations), and that I would be able to comprehend all that the doctor has to tell us. Ann is going with us too, to give us an extra set of ears, and to help with Bradley so that is already a huge blessing. The other cool thing is that I researched both hematologists we could have been sent to, and the one we are seeing did his med school at the University of Kentucky. I made the appointment with him to give us a common bond right off the bat, and it helped ease my fears just going into the appointment with that knowledge.

I appreciate your prayers so much. Lord willing, this will be something minor, and nothing to worry about. I know other parents are not always so lucky, having children with severe illnesses, and so I already feel blessed right off the bat.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

shade, and poo, and the ocean blue

Bradley and I were in uncharted territory today. We went to the beach by ourselves. Some friends of ours were supposed to meet us there, but at the last minute they backed out on us. I was already in my swimsuit, and lathering up Bradley with sunscreen when I found out. To heck with this, I thought. I'm not going to let my beach plans get spoiled. We can go by ourselves. So away we went.

I'm used to hauling Bradley, the umbrella, and the beach bag down to the beach by myself, but it's no picnic, let me tell you. It's a Looong way from the parking lot to the ocean! Nevertheless, I was not to be deterred from my Saturday at the beach. I wisely selected a spot in front of the lifeguard stand, lest I get attacked by a shark in the water with Bradley in my arms. I wanted eyewitness, and a chance at being saved. So I spread out Clifford the big red blanket, and commenced to set up the beach umbrella. I've decided after today that Satan's minions are in control of that umbrella. I literally lost count of how many times the umbrella uprooted itself from the sand, no matter how deep I twisted it into the ground, or which direction I pointed the shade. What really burned me up was that not one person offered to help me, when I was obviously alone with a baby, and obviously struggling to keep the thing standing so my little boy could have shade. Not even the friendly lifeguards would even look my way. As I looked around at all the other umbrellas dotting the beach, they mocked me in their upright position. Why was this so difficult? Brian never has trouble with it, so it's my own ineptitude to blame, but I'd rather put the fault on Satan's minions.

The last straw with the umbrella was the final time it decided to blow out of the ground and turn inside out, barely missing impaling my son. I jumped up and caught hold of the thing, flipped it back right side out, threw it on the ground and buried it in the sand so it wouldn't fly away and hurt some poor beach goer who refused to help me. Maybe I should have let karma take over on that one.

There was one other event that made this beach trip so memorable. Right after we got there, Bradley was sitting on Clifford in the shade of the still-standing umbrella, and I had just given him some goldfish to munch on. All of a sudden I am smacked in the face by the distinct aroma of poo. I wince in horror, praying it's not what I think it is. But I'm fairly perceptive when it comes to the scent of poo, so I was unfortunately right on the mark. Now mind you, Bradley has never once had a poopy diaper at the beach, but of course it would happen today, the one time I'm by myself to deal with it. I weigh my options. Go all the way back to the car and change his diaper, or two, remove the offensive cloth and wipe Bradley clean with the 2 measly wipes that I found in my beach bag, and then scrub him down in the ocean. I opted for door number 2, pun intended.

I figure, it's not a swimming pool right? The ocean is big enough to handle a little feces every now and then. So off came the diaper, back on went the swim trunks, and into the ocean we went. All in all it was not nearly as dramatic as it could have been, and the only immediate negative side effect from this decision was the smell of poo from the nearby diaper lying in the sand, wafting in my general direction every so often while I was soaking up the rays.

Between the dirty diaper episode and me chasing the umbrella every 10 minutes we somehow managed to stick it out for about 2 hours. Finally we gave up, packed up and headed home to shower. Along the way back to the car, I deposited one busted umbrella and one stinky diaper in the trash receptacle, glad to have both off my hands.

Today I To-Did

Yes, it is I, your faithful DIVA, up late working for you, the reader. I'm working to make your reading experience of this blog a more pleasant one. I've tweaked, and shuffled, and added new features. Thanks to Rachel, I've discovered a new site with super cute backgrounds, and wanted to use them all, but finally settled on this one, aptly called "your highness." I thought it was suitable for a DIVA's page.

Yesterday I was a hot mess. Today, I am superwoman. Here are all the things I accomplished today:

Friday's To-Do List
  1. watered my hanging baskets (twice)
  2. emptied the trash cans and took out the garbage
  3. washed a sink full of dishes
  4. loaded/ran the dishwasher and put those away
  5. 2 loads of laundry; washed, dried, and put away
  6. put the finishing touches on Brian's care package and mailed it at the post office
  7. went to walmart (what day is complete without this?!)
  8. shopped at the commissary on base for non-perishable groceries
  9. called insurance to make sure everything was set for Bradley's dr. apt.
  10. cooked and ate a fabulous Mexican meal for dinner
  11. talked to a former coworker for 25 minutes today
  12. talked to Conley for 2 hours tonight
  13. picked up Bradley's refill prescription of iron drops
  14. updated the blog
  15. watched the Titans lose their preseason game

WHEW!!! This was one productive day (and this doesn't even count all the time spent on email and Facebook and playing with Bradley!), and I am darn proud of all that I accomplished. Bring on the Beach tomorrow, baby!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dubs Down

I am still learning all the protocol for what is acceptable and not acceptable to talk about and write about concerning Brian's deployment, but last week we hit the 20 day mark of him being gone. In the long run, 20 is still a small number, but I feel like it was a good milestone to achieve. In my OCD-ness, it is a nice, neatly packaged set of 10, so that makes me feel like we've accomplished something. 20 days in reality feels like a lot longer though. It's hard to believe it's only been a few weeks, and can get discouraging when I think of how many days are still ahead of us, so that's why I count down to the next set of 10 days, so I can put another check mark in the box.

Thankfully, I've had 2 sets of visitors, first Ari, and then my parents and sister, so that has helped fill up my time. I'm still running 3 times a week with Jess and Kim, and I have still met my personal goal to get out of the house at least once a day. Brian has easy access to a phone, so he has been able to call me almost daily, and usually more than once a day. He's doing fine where he is, except that he has mentioned killing a lot of mice, and the food there being terrible.

Bradley is walking a ton now, so he is keeping me busy. More than once today he has appeared behind me out of nowhere seemingly, and silently, so I've started to refer to him as "my little ninja." I leave him in his room to play, and then BAM! out of nowhere, he's behind me as I'm folding laundry or at my feet as I open the refrigerator.

If you're keeping up with the tropics (and you know I am!), tropical storm Claudette dumped a lot of rain on us here, but nothing else to report, and it looks like we don't have much to worry about with Hurricane Bill in the coming days either. As always though, you can count on me, "Hurricane Bradley" to stay abreast of the latest tropical disturbance.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let them eat diaper cake

I am just so darn proud of this diaper cake that I had to post a picture to share! I made this (with some help from Mama B while she was here this weekend) for my friend Felicia who, in case you couldn't tell by the cake, is having a little girl. I got so excited to buy pink stuff, and this gift was really easy and fun to put together. I think total I spent just under $30, but I figured I know plenty of fabulous ladies who may need a diaper cake in the future, so I jumped at the chance to get in some practice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the 2/3 DIVA convention

Ari, one of my best friends in the whole world, and fellow DIVA, came to visit me and Little B last weekend. We didn't do much, but the kind of friends where you can just sit around and talk are the best kinds of friends I think.

Saturday night, the day aunt Ari arrived, we went over to Wes & Jess' next door to hang out with a bunch of people after Bradley had gone to bed. Ari got to meet all the people we usually run around with, and confused everyone there when she announced that Bradley (meaning me) had cooked the most amazing dinner that night!
DIVAS reunited!! (it had been way too long)
The next day we went to church, watched Pineapple Express (my current favorite movie, available any time for me on Demand) and laughed a ton. After B got up from his nap we ventured into Pensacola and found this store in the mall:
As Ari commented on Facebook, the store was a little ghetto-fab, but still blog-worthy nonetheless. Our mission that day was to find Bradley some Big Boy shoes now that he's walking. That was our mission, and we chose to accept it. And the mission was accomplished. I posted a hilarious video on my YouTube channel with B trying to figure out what the heck is on his feet (his new sandals). He isn't too sure about them at this point!
Monday, Ari babysat for me while I went to my yearly doctor's appointment, and then when I got home we discovered this amazing Mexican restaurant in Navvare called the Cactus Flower Cafe. I for sure had a food-gasm that day. We tried to take B to the butterfly house and/or water park after lunch but they were both closed that day, so we headed back to the house to chill for a while, while B took his nap. I made us some sangria slushies and we sat out back on the patio and sipped on those. They were quite refreshing!
Later that day, Ari, my non-beach-loving friend decided that we could drive to the beach a take a walk as it was later in the day, and hopefully the sun wouldn't be as brutal. Wrong! It was miserably hot, and the delightfully warm water was just a tease to me as I could only dip my toes in. I pulled out my 6-way infant carrier that I haven't used with Bradley in forever, and we attempted to hook it up so I could carry Bradley on my back. This was a picture of us laughing hysterically while trying to adjust it, and Bradley was looking at us bewildered of what was so funny, which only made us laugh harder.

Eventually, we scrapped the carrier idea and just traded off carrying the chunky monkey on the beach walk. That evening we sat outside drinking and talking, and solving the universe as only good friends can. I was sad to see Ari leave the next morning, but so thankful we live within driving distance. And now we get to look forward to the end of September when we will have a 3/3 DIVA convention, the first time all 3 of us have been together since Bradley was born in June of 08. I can't count the days fast enough.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Fodder? I don't have to tell you the rest!

I knew that Ari's mom was coming to visit her today, so I had a brilliant idea for a funny while I was getting ready today. I called up Ari... ring ring ring
Hello, says Ari.
Hey, I say, I was just calling to see if Joe was there yet.
Joe?, she replies inquisitively. Joe who?
Joe MOMMA!!! I exclaim as I burst into laughter!
It was the perfect set-up. I couldn't believe she fell for it. Later in the conversation she was saying something about chameleons on her back porch. I interrupted her.
Are they Karma ones?
What? She asked.
Are they karma chameleons? I pursued.
You really need to get a hobby, she replied.
But I know deep down she really loves me and my horrible jokes.
I'm blogging about this, I say to her. This stuff will make for some great blog fodder, and I don't even know-er.
Yes, I add the punchline to my own joke. Ari is long since tired of that joke, which makes it all the more funny to me. I sincerely hope the rest of you are rolling your eyes too. And your ease, except after seize.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

a pin eons

First off, happy birthday to 2 very special ladies, and former SOGWEAW members- Ari is 28 today, and Emilio is 27 tomorrow! Love you, ladies!

Secondly, it appears that my son was born with an opinion, like everyone else, and he has just begun to make those opinions known. It's funny to watch this process unfold, as frustrating as it might be at times. Case in point. Bradley always has a banana for breakfast. He's been eating a banana for months now without fail, only recently it has come to my attention that if there is any other food on the breakfast table, the banana bits get thrown to the floor. So I have to compromise and give him half of a banana, and when that's all gone, then I can pull out the cereals, the muffins, the whole grain waffles, and give him that. But once the carbs have entered the scene, the uneaten fruit becomes a distant second, squashed on my hardwood floors.

Bradley also has opinions on books. We read every night before bed, first thing in the mornings most days, and occasionally at other points in the day. Most of the time he turns the pages willingly of whatever book I choose. But today we played a fun new game. I sat on the floor of his room, and Bradley crawled to his basket of books on the floor and chose a book for me to read. He crawled back to me, book in hand, and I sat him on my lap and read the book. When I was done, I sat the book aside, creating a stack of "read books" intending that he go and get a new one. But all of a sudden, he is obsessed with his ladybug book! I read it, and put it down, and he picked it back up. After reading it 3 times this afternoon, and 3 times tonight, and him getting pissed when I refused to read it once more (3 is my threshhold) I smiled when I realized my little boy has favorites, and he's showing me in the only way he knows how, what he likes and what he doesn't like. Luckily, I like the ladybug book too... for now!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

One week of deployment down...

Too many to count to go!

So far Brian and I have been able to talk on the phone almost every day. Our longest phone call to date has been 12 min 38 seconds; most average around 6 minutes. I'm so thankful for that time though. He usually sounds tired when I talk to him since he's just finished working and getting ready to go to bed, but no news is good news otherwise. I've been told that if I don't hear from him, it means everything's A-okay, and that if there were some kind of emergency, I'd be notified quickly. This has become our reality for the next 3 months. I'm grateful that the calendar now says "August" because it means November is just a little bit closer.

So far I've met my goal to leave the house at least once a day. I even went running Thursday night with my 2 friends/neighbors Jess and Kim. We ran for 30 minutes at a nearby park, with walking intervals in between. For someone who hasn't run in a long time, and to have to push a stroller while doing it, I was pretty pleased with myself. We're supposed to go again tonight, so wish me luck.

Not much else to report on the home front. Bradley is walking a little more at a time. He still would rather crawl, or have me pick him up so I need to encourage him to self-propel since my wrists are starting to act up again. Pray for that, and pray for Brian, Bart, and the rest of our troops.