Thursday, June 26, 2008

Validation for 100 dollars, please. (three of three)

Part three of three...

Lately, I have noticed that Joaquin sticks his little tongue out a lot and wondered if it had anything to do with the tongue-tie. After doing a little bit of research I found that tongue thrust could definitely be caused by it and that it could also cause a number of other issues including speech problems. It was in the back of my mind for a while so I finally got a reference to a Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat Dr that is well known for his work with tongue-tie. He was also out of my insurance medical group so I had to pay out of pocket. But at this point I didn’t care; I wanted some real answers.

I drove up to Encinitas to his office early Friday morning. He was very nice, listened and spent a whole half an hour with us. He took a look in Joaquin’s mouth and said that he has what is called Category One Ankyloglossia, which is tongue-tie with the heart shaped tongue. When he found out we were still nursing he was shocked. He said he had never met a mother who endured breastfeeding with this type of tongue-tie without getting it clipped. He asked me if we dealt with the bleeding, the pain, the crying while nursing? Yes, I did. He told me he was impressed by me and my dedication to breast-feeding. It was amazing. To hear this from someone, anyone, let alone a medical professional? Finally someone who “got” what I had gone through! And it only took a $100 out of pocket Dr visit!

Because of the fact that we did make it through breastfeeding, it had stretched, just enough. But not enough that he no longer had it. Because of his age, there was no way he was going to be able to clip it in his office. Had I brought him when we had initially gone through all of this he would have been able to do it then. So, now at 18 months we would have to take him to Children’s Hospital where he would undergo general anesthesia for 10 to 15 minutes. He said it would be a pretty quick and easy procedure, but the idea of putting him under really freaks me out.

He suggested we wait a couple of years and see if it in fact interferes with his speech and if it does we can then go through with the procedure. That made sense. But after talking and thinking it over a bit I’m not so sure. I’m not sure I want Joaquin to go through speech difficulties; to deal with the frustration of not being able to communicate and then have to deal with relearning speech with is new free tongue. But at the same time, what if there won’t be a speech problem and we go through the whole procedure for nothing? Not that we’ll ever know.

So Dan and I have decided we’ll go with something in the middle. We’re going to see how his speech progresses over the next 6 months to a year and go from there. I’m just so glad I followed through with my gut and saw a specialist. While it has brought us to have to deal with some decisions, it has validated that I knew something was wrong all along.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Validation for 100 dollars, please. (two of three)

Part two of three

Joaquin’s pediatrician took a look and confirmed that he was in fact tongue tied, but he said it wasn’t too severe and that over time it would stretch. I was exasperated. Over time? I didn’t have time. I tried to explain how painful and difficult nursing was, but he kind of shrugged me off. It was quite disappointing as he has always listened and been respectful to me and my many opinions, both before and after this. He said that he could clip it but that he wouldn’t do it in office like some other pediatricians, but they would have to put Joaquin under general anesthesia. That wasn’t an option for me. I wasn’t putting my one-week-old baby under. No way.

I went back to my LC’s office and they referred me to another pediatrician that had worked with many mothers with the same issue and he generally clipped it in office. I called and made the appointment. Because they were out of my medical group, I was going to have to pay out of pocket. I didn’t care. I just wanted it fixed. But, as we got closer to the appointment date, things got better for Joaquin and I. I kept second-guessing my decision to getting it clipped. Maybe the ped was right, and it would stretch? Finally, a couple of days before the appointment I chickened out and cancelled it.

I don’t know how we did it, but we made it through nursing. We used the nipple shields and I kept him on the breast as much as possible to keep my supply up. Finally my nipples healed and we were able to stop with the shields. There was some discomfort for a while, but it never got back to how bad they were in the beginning. So I just assumed my pediatrician was right and it did stretch. It was over, or so I thought.

Part three is here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Validation for 100 dollars, please. (one of three)

Part one of three...

Joaquin nursed all night long, our first night together while still in the hospital. I asked the nurse a few times to see the Lactation Consultant, but she said she was only referred if it looked like there was a bad latch. She glanced down at us and said the latch looked fine. I told her it hurt, that it didn’t feel right and she reminded me that he was my first and that I’ve never had a baby sucking on my boobs for hours on end. Of course it was going to be uncomfortable. She also told me not to let him nurse all night long, that I was “just asking” for sore nipples.

So I of course assumed she knew what she was talking about. We went home the next day and I kept on trying to nurse. I had Joaquin on a Tuesday. By Friday my nipples were cracked and bloody. I went to a nursing support group where one of the Lactation Consultants took a look and asked me why I waited so long to come in. “He was only born Tuesday,” I mumbled as I stared down at him. She gave me some tips, but not a lot of information and told me to come back on Monday to see if it was any better.

That weekend was hell. I walked in on Monday and begged to see a Lactation Consultant, one on one. I didn’t care how much it was or if one was available, I needed help. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Why did it hurt so much? Why was I bleeding? Each time he latched on I cried out loud and shuddered in pain. When the LC took a closer look she was shocked I was still nursing. “I’m not quitting,” I told her. She took one quick look at Joaquin and had all the answers. “He’s tongue tied.” I had already suspected it from reading my many books over the weekend and his very obvious heart shaped tongue, but she confirmed it. Now what? She had me use nipple shields and told me what to do to help my nipples heal up and suggested I take Joaquin to his pediatrician to possibly get it clipped.

When I called to make the appointment, I explained to the nurse what was going on. I remember her saying that they wanted to get me in as soon as possible so I don’t give up. I vividly remember telling her “I’m not going to give up, that is why I need your help.”

To be continued...

Part two is here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hung over.

Last night Dan and I went on our June date night. Our friend's band was playing at a nearby bar and my mom so kindly offered to take Joaquin for the night. It was only his second time overnight with her but we were ready to give it another shot and willingly handed him over. He was so excited and all over the place when we got there, he didn't even have the time to say good bye.

When we got home I attempted a nap so we didn't end up eating before we went out. Big mistake. While at the bar I proceeded to have four Pear Ciders. Four. I can't even remember the last time I had one, so four was another big mistake. When it was time to go home neither of us really felt like stopping for food, my final mistake.

This morning when I woke up I felt like I had been run over by a very big truck containing lots and lots of Pear Cider. When I get this hung over, I can't keep anything down. So I threw up any liquids I tried to ingest. My head was pounding and my body was trembling. Nope, not a good thing.

I talked to my mom at about 9am and she said Joaquin was sleeping because he had woken up at 4:45 and didn't go back down until 8:30. My poor mom. So she said not to worry about picking him up until later. Thank goodness. I slept as much as my body would allow me, but by 11 there was no way I was going to get up and get Joaquin, so off Dan went.

He called me about an hour later to tell me he stopped at his parents to give me a bit more recovery time, thank you dear husband. By the time they got home, Joaquin was back asleep for his afternoon nap and I am now feeling much better. I can now keep liquids down and I'm seriously craving some greasy food. Another sign that my body is getting better!

So, note to future before you go out, don't drink 4 drinks ever again, and if you don't eat before you drink, please eat afterwards.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Losing Sleep in da 'Hood

At the ass crack of dawn this morning I was jarred awake by screams of bloody murder coming from our neighboring alley. I immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed my robe and ran to the side door while quickly glancing back to make sure Joaquin was still asleep. I ran to the door and looked out to see a girl on her hands and knees screaming at the top of her lungs. I went out and opened our side gate. Just as I was doing this, a guy called out to her and she got up and stumbled to a house while still screaming "WHY WHY WHY, Johnny, WHY??"

I was so confused. I called out to her, but she didn't hear me and then she disappeared along with her screams. I looked around stunned. My neighbors from across the street yelled out to me asking if she was OK. I told them that from what I could see she was. Then Dan and Joaquin appeared at the door. Joaquin had woken up and it was only 5:45. He stayed awake.

After the initial shock I was fucking pissed. What the hell was she doing screaming like that at 5:45 in the freaking morning? She woke us all up for what? Drama? She obviously wasn't physically hurt. Her screams were disturbing, they sounded so painful. I get her pain if her guy screwed her over, but don't do that in the middle of a bunch of houses at FIVE FORTY FIVE in the damn morning!!!

This little story reminded me of some drama from a couple of weeks ago that I also meant to blog.

At about 11:30pm, I heard Dan get up and Bella barking like a dog outta hell. I waited a couple of minutes in bed hoping they would all come back and shut the hell up. They didn't. I got up to find Dan on the phone with the police and then I looked out our side door to find this.




It seems some asshole tried to haul ass while taking a left turn up our alley and ended up through our neighbors fence, up an embankment, through another neighbors fence and hanging by three wheels. Dan heard it and got up and saw the guy running away. He called the cops but they didn't find anybody and figured the car was stolen. We all ended up awake until about 1 am while they tried to get the car down off of the embankment and took reports etc. Needles to say I was not a happy camper the next day at work.

All if this action in my 'hood is getting old. I just want a nice quiet place with no drama, is that too much to ask?

Oops. I did it again.

Yep. I tried cutting Joaquin's hair again.

His bangs were getting way too long and the poor little man hasn't figured out how to brush them aside, so he's been getting frustrated and rubbing at his eyes a lot lately. I came to the conclusion that the cost of gas and a haircut combined just wasn't worth it for an 18 month old, so we would just have to learn how to do this haircut thing ourselves.

not so bad this time

I set up is high chair in the bathroom and attempted to distract him with an organic juice box that I had stashed away for such the occasion. He didn't last long. Luckily I only had to do the sides and the front since I took care of the back last month. Learning from my previous mistakes, I didn't cut straight across, but grabbed hair in between my fingers and cut down so it has a more textured look to it. But after a few minutes in the bathroom he flipped out and I set us up again in the living room in front of the tv. I'm such a good mom.

not so bad this time

Here is the final product. Other than the sides being a bit off due to him shaking his head every time I tried to go there, I think it turned out OK this time. Hopefully our next attempt will be even better!

not so bad this time

Oh, and by the way...Yes, I do often quote Britney Spears, she's a quotable person like that. Thank you very much.

....aaaand we're done.

Whew! Yesterday was my last day. It consisted of a department breakfast carb fest to see off the people that are abandoning us. Next was a whole staff breakfast meeting to say good by to retirees and discuss final procedures and then we were set free by 9am. I used the extra time to raid some vacant classrooms of their bookshelves and other goodies to bring to my new room. There I squared away as much as possible until about 11 when I said..."Screw it! It can wait a month or so!" So, I went and got Mexican food to bring home to Dan.

I have been still feeling anxious and in work mode though. I keep thinking of things I need or want to do and it's annoying. So, I've resolved to write these things down, but to not attend to anything for at least a month. I deserve a month of no work, don't I? Then I'll do what I can, when I can, come late July.

But for now, it's summer vacation, baby.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two more days.

I have been completely and totally swamped this past week. I've had to bring work home and work for a couple of hours after Joaquin went to bed every night. So that meant no time for blogging, sorry 'bout that.

But here I am, finally finishing up my last IEP and only two more days left and then....FREEEDOM! Well, not totally, but pretty close.

Looks like I will have to work here and there over summer. I am taking a new position and will actually be teaching in my very own classroom again. This job I had was getting boring and if I had to work full time, I want it to be interesting. So I'll be teaching "Applied English" which means English for kids who are not earning a diploma, but a Letter of Recognition. It's hard to explain, but basically these kid's skills are too low to cut it in General Ed, so we teach them real life skills. We'll be doing things like filling out job applications, voting, figuring out public transportation etc while trying to bring up their skill level.

On top of that I also took on the challenge of Co-Chair for my department. My department is so Special Ed and in so not a good way so it should be interesting. I never knew how much people bitched and moaned until I became the person they are supposed to bitch and moan to. Seriously people, get a grip and deal!

The next two days should be pretty easy, just printing and filing paper work and moving to my new classroom!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dinner experimentation

I'm on a message board with lots of moms and recently one asked what we do about dinner when our little person just isn't interested. Do they just have to deal because we ain't no short order cook? Or do we make them want they want and just deal? Or a combination? Or what?

I had never really thought about it much because I try to just go with the flow. But once I thought about it I realized my cooking was pretty intentional. I always made sure there was something in there that Joaquin would want, so even if he didn't like it all, he had something. And if it all failed there was always broccoli in the freezer!

So because of this little discussion, I decided to do some experimenting.

I made an avocado and black bean salad and fish for dinner. I had brown rice as back up. I know Joaquin loves beans and avocados, but wasn't sure how we would like them in this salad, and I had never cooked fish like this for him yet.

Here is his lovely dinner...
avo salas and fish

First bite, doesn't look all that into it..
Not so into it

Spitting it out...
Spitting it out

aaaaand panic...
...and panic.

I swooped it all away and mixed some brown rice into it, made it look like a whole new dinner and he seemed to buy it...
Considering it

And we have a winner!
...and it's a winner!


Lessoned learned? Always have an alternate plan that can work off of the need to reinvent the wheel every darn night!

Living in the moment?

I realized the other day that I have no idea how to live in the present moment. For the past three months all I could focus on was the end of the school year. I have been thinking about classes we can take, playgroups we'll attend and I have even caught myself daydreaming about giving this house a good cleaning. I know, craziness, right?

But, now that the school year is near it's end, instead of being all giddy about my 7 days left, I'm starting to worry about the fall. What is up with that?? I mean, I'm still excited, but I'm also pretty consumed with panic.

Dan and I have decided that I will go back to work full time while he is pursuing the opportunity of self employment. Because of this Joaquin will have to go into a real childcare situation (as in with other children). I am super grateful that we have managed to go this long with only us and family or friends taking care of him, but now it's time for the next step. Last summer when we were considering childcare options, we visited a few places and nothing felt right for us, so we found a way to hold off for a year which is why I was working only three days a week for most of the year.

We will still be flexible with Dan's schedule so hopefully Joaquin won't have to attend five days a week. But we really need to nail something down as soon as possible, especially with waiting lists and all.

I set up a tour at a local preschool last week and we actually really liked it. During this tour, Joaquin dove right in and joined the groups of kids in each classroom. He "talked" to the teachers and to the other kids, had a snack and pretty much ran away from us first chance he got. He had a great time and didn't want to leave once our tour was over. This really settled my main concern. He really seemed like he would be ready and this made me a bit more ready. The bummer is that they can only take him once he turns two, and they have a waiting list. The chances of something opening up right when he turns two, which is in late November is slim to none. So we will have to find alternative childcare for at least the first few months of the school year and again, there is no guarantee that there will even be an opening once two rolls around.

I'm really getting myself all wound up about this. I just want to enjoy my summer with him. I don't want to think about it all the time, worrying and wondering who is going to take my child come fall. So now I find myself worrying about my worrying. Like I said, I'm not so concerned about shipping him off to day care. He seemed pretty into it at this tour, nothing like last summer, so I actually feel OK with it. And then feeling OK with it makes me feel guilty and I start to worry and wonder why I'm OK with it. Do you see where I'm going with this? Whackadoodle is where I'm going!

Back to my original point. I just want to enjoy our time together. I want to enjoy our time now, in the summer and in the fall. I need to learn not to be such a planner and have fun here and now. How does one figure that out? Any ideas?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gardening with Dr. No

Joaquin has a whole mess of words. He has always been able to communicate his needs and wants with with either signs or words. He had never learned the dreaded No word though, if he didn't want something he shook his head or found another way to make it clear he did not agree.

Until last week.

I came home the other day to find him trying to open the trash can while he sang to himself "no no no nooooo". Dan quickly followed while also singing "no no no noooo", and shaking his finger. So Joaquin started shaking his finger while singing "no no no noooo". While it was all very cute, my heart sank when I realized that he had finally learned THE word.

I also gave Dan the look of death because well, he obviously taught it to him. I try not to say no, but it still comes out, so honestly, Dan is not the only one to blame here. But I blame him. Later that evening the not so cute NO's ensued.

Since then I have learned that Joaquin really does not like anything. Nothing. Everything is NO now. I'm really really working hard at staying patient and this Sunday really worked it.

I had been meaning to plant some tomatoes and veggies in some containers for a few months now. We managed to get some great stuff last year, and had lots of yummy tomatoes. After a breakfast out we went and picked up some plants to plant. Joaquin took his nap and that afternoon we got down and dirty.

I pulled out our old containers filled with last year's dirt and tried to water them down. All Joaquin could say about this was NO. So I gave him the hose. No. He then attempted to soak me and it was my turn for Nooooooo!

watering mama!

Each time I tried to get him to point the hose down to the pots it was NO NO NO.


But he did manage a little watering in between the No's.

Oh, and when I went to turn the water off? Complete melt down.

Mad we had to turn off the water

We finally got the dirt all moistened up and mixed with new dirt. Planting the new plants were a whole new battle, but we got it done.


Each and every time I had to turn on the water, Dr. No was in effect. And each and every time I had to turn it off, it was the end of the world. This happened at least 3 times.



After all our plants were nice and snug in their new homes, I let Joaquin back at the hose while I sipped on a wine "spritzer".

Finally gets his hose

In all honestly, it really was a good time, it's just going to take getting some used to the new Dr. No. Thanks Dan.