call it a whim

Friday, August 26, 2005


I am seriously the poster child for new anxious moms. Grady sleeps in our room right now, hopefully that will change soon, but for now, I feel I need him close. Every single noise he makes wakes me up. He has acid reflux and sometimes it causes him to choke and wheeze in his sleep. It doesn't really bother him much, he just makes funny noises and sleeps blissfully away. But not me. I jump with every cough, sure my baby is going to stop breathing. Now, I have talked to other people and I know this is a common fear. But even on nights when I could be sleeping for hours, it is restless. Like last night. Grady ate at 7:30 and was fast asleep by 8:24. Of course, Chris and I were close behind...we have learned not to waste a precious minute of sleep. We all did pretty well until about 1 am (which was a really long stretch by the way, we are used to no more than 4 hours). Then Grady got gas. He was grunting and straining, and sleeping through it all. I was feeling my heartrate rise. He slept like that until almost 2, and then woke up to eat. Which was a small miracle. Chris was happy with the 5 and a half hours, knowing we still had time to sleep. I was still a little worried about the gas. I am learning that this may become a constant for the rest of my life. I am just praying I can learn to deal so I don't become one of those moms who is calling their son's college dorm room at 2 am to make sure he's in bed.

Above are a few pics of bathtime!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Things that make you go hmmm...

Okay, so I realize this may sound a little harsh, but why do many parents of special needs children feel the urge to "dress their child for the part", so to speak? I was at Target today, and walking down the aisle toward me came a mother and her daughter, who seemed to have several developmental, physical and emotional difficulties. She was dressed in, I kid you not, pink biker shorts and a tie dyed t-shirt that looked like it was from 1993. Now, I don't know the extent of this teenager's disability, or whether or not she was able to help choose her own clothes, but this stuff was clearly either very old or from Goodwill. Meanwhile, the mother was dressed very nicely in khakis and a polo shirt. It almost seemed like, since the child probably had no idea what she was wearing, the mother just put her in some old stuff lying around the house. My question is...why??? Why not splurge on your child and at least buy her some things that look normal, regardless of whether she knows what she looks like or not.
Thinking back on high school, I am reminded of some of the special needs kids. Many of them looked normal in every way, the only thing that differentiated them was the way they were dressed, usually like the girl in Target. Had their parents bought them some normal clothes, they probably would have fit in a lot better. Now, I know teenagers can be really really cruel, but knowing that, what better reason to help them in any way possible, and if all it takes is shopping at, say Target instead of Goodwill, why not??? Just a thought.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Having a baby changes everything

You know those Johnson and Johnson commercials...they're the ones that make most pre-menstrual and ALL pregnant women break down into tears. Well they're totally right. Having a baby does change everything. Of course, I expected it, I have done too much caring for other people's children not to know what a big deal it is. Yet, I had really thought that due to the fact that I have spent over half my life watching little ones, it would come easier for me. Not so much. It's really different when it's your baby that is screaming and you don't know why. Grady's Aunt Katie came over last week and held our screamer while Chris and I cleaned. We kept offering to take him back, because we know how tiring it gets to try and calm a baby that won't be calmed (it's really just because of his acid reflux). She kept on holding him, all the while saying it was fine. I remember those days. Nannying in TN, when baby Sarah would cry and I would just laugh and say "It's no big deal". Well, it does get frustrating when it's your baby and you have no way to fix him. It's so hard for me to see him crying. I just want to be able to explain to him that we are trying to make the burning in his tummy stop, but there's only so much we can do. I know he's hurting and it kills me that I can't take his pain for him so he can just relax and concentrate on the very big job of being a baby.
On a lighter note, there are a few definitions that have changed since having a baby as well...
1. All nighter: Sitting in the rocking chair until who knows when singing any song that comes to mind without too much profanity in it....Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back Girl" included.
2. Going to the club: Stocking up on diapers at Sam's
3. Eating dinner: hurriedly shoving lukewarm hamburger helper in our mouths during the 5 minute interlude between wails.
4. Dressing up: taking a shower and wearing anything other than a t-shirt and a pair of Chris' boxers.
5. Cleaning: Hiding the laundry, mail and dirty dishes anywhere they will go before the Grandparents arrive.

But's all worth it....I mean, look at the kid...he's gorgeous!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More pictures

A New Sense of Panic

Remember me? I'm the girl who does not like sharp objects coming at her. Well, I have an even bigger fear now. Sharp objects headed toward my son. This weekend we had to take Grady to the ER. He had projectile vomited up every meal, and had had no wet diapers all day, which is a sign of dehydration, which you don't mess around with in a 3 week old baby. For those of you who know me, you know I am quite the veteran ER go-er. Thankfully, the past 2 or 3 years have been better, but for much of my childhood and even college days, I spent more than an average amount of time in Emergency Rooms. They have never really fazed me or freaked me out (except the one time I went to the OLD Jefferson Memorial in TN....That was borderline unsafe). This time was different. We even went to All Children's Hospital, which is one of the leading pediatric centers in the country. Still, I was a nervous wreck. They were SWAMPED, and I was sitting there with my already ill newborn exposing him to the worst diseases imaginable (at least, as far as I was concerned.) The triage nurses didn't do much to quiet my anxiety. One spent most of the time obviously as stressed out as I was that no one seemed to be actually getting back to see the DR. The other, after taking a look at Grady said "sit over here, away from all the other people, we don't like the new babies in the main waiting area". Well, duh, but I had already sat in the main waiting area for 45 minutes because I didn't know I had an option. When we finally did get taken back to a room, the 14 year old resident took a medical history...which basically was "well, he was born 3 weeks ago" and decided that he definitely was dehydrated. She left, and 4.2 seconds later the freaking out triage nurse re-entered, announcing that Grady would need an x-ray. I was bewildered. The DR had not mentioned that at all. But, I followed. While I held my shrieking son down so he could have his belly radiated, the DR came back and explained the x-ray to Chris (the nurse probably saw the look on my face and told the DR to go explain her orders more thoroughly). They wanted to test for Pyloric Stenosis, a blockage of the intestine that is somewhat common in newborn males during the first month of life. They would also do an ultrasound, bloodwork, and an IV for fluids. When I returned from the x-ray, the nurse came in to do the bloodwork and start the IV. This is when I started to cry. Admittedly, I should not have been so concerned. The needle was designed for babies, and the medical assistant kept dipping Grady's pacifier in sugar water, so he hardly even cried. Six hours later, after IV fluids and managing to keep down an ounce of pedialyte and 2 feedings, we got to go home. Grady didn't have anything serious, probably just a stomach bug, but it definitely was indoctrination by fire to the worries of parenthood.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Here's to Alpha Psi Omega

In college, I was a part of a Dramatic Honor Society called Alpha Psi Omega. It was fraternity-like in nature, minus the token dilapidated frat house. We had pledging, activities and even our own theater productions. Also on campus was the sorority, the Callie's. Callie's were required to wear purple every Thursday and act in what seemed to me to be a stepford wife-ish manner. I remember being a shy freshman, still paying my theater dues, and hearing about both organizations. Alpha Psi immediately drew my attention. They were fun, and mysterious, as far as I could tell. During one of my first visits to the cafeteria, a veteran member had a new pledge up on a chair, miming something for a small crowd. I had no idea why, but it intrigued me. Later that same week, a bouncy, sparkling eyed Callie cornered me. "You're cute", she said " have you thought about pledging Callie?" I looked at her a little miffed. Was that the only prerequisite? To be cute? "Um, no thanks," I replied. " I think I am going to pledge with Alpha Psi next year." She gave me a very funny look and immediately walked away. Later, I found out that probably over half the campus regarded Alpha Psi as the black sheep. That intrigued me even more. They were like me. They did not really mind that people did not understand why Drama people do what they do. They just had fun. They dressed in black several times a semester during pledge week and paraded around campus at midnight, pulling pledges from their warm beds to take them all over town on fun (and sometimes a little scary) missions. At the beginning of my Sophomore year, I pledged. I was terrified the entire week, and stressed. But looking back. I had a whole lot of fun. Even during the hardest times of my college career, I rarely missed a meeting. Now some Alpha Psi alums may differ in their opinions, and that's ok. For me, it was my college family. Good times and bad. And when people looked at me like "oh, you're one of those weirdos that dresses in black and creeps around campus silently at midnight" I would think to myself....At least I don't act really weird and wear purple every Thursday.