Thursday, December 24, 2015

Split Holidays

Being in a split family, means my children have a split holiday.  It means compromise as to have the most normal childhood possible for them.  The kids father and I decided that Christmas would be spend on the 23rd at Stephen's and my house with my parents, and that he would pick them up that night to spend Christmas in Florida with his family.

I don't mind this practice one bit.  The kids get to spend time with everyone, and actually get two Christmas' and there's less fuss for me on the actual date in question.

I didn't take many pictures this year.

I'm lazy.

I take that back: Cleaning non stop and fighting kids and pregnancy makes me worn out quicker.

For Christmas the kids got bikes from Santa, and Ethan got xbox 360 games and a lego set. MiMi got a lego set and some crafty things and a doll bed. - I opted for the journey girls loft bed she requested, because, I'm sorry American Girl, but I'm not spending 3x as much on your product.

I'm frugal.

My parents came and brought the kids a basketball goal and money. After everything was said and done we enjoyed time together and my parents were on their way back to avoid the incoming storm.  Since their father wasn't coming until midnight, I told them we'd take them to toys r us to spend their Christmas money from the grandparents.  Ethan got more xbox 360 games, and MiMi got a journey girls double set with outfits that was on a great discount along with a basketball for the new goal.

I spent a little on some half off carters sets for baby boy. It made me happy.

The day went on quickly and before I knew it they were on their way.  Today I sad feeling emotional, missing the fighting missing the sibling rivalry and wondering what I would do with myself now that I had everything done.  Blogging sounded like a great escape.

Tomorrow, Stephen and I celebrate our Christmas at a local Chinese restaurant and have made that our tradition when the kids are having Christmas day with their dad.  Maybe I liked "A Christmas Story" too much growing up.  Maybe I just have a love for Chinese food.  Or maybe I just want to be a gluten for punishment with all the salt knowing my blood pressure isn't ideal at the moment.

It's okay, I'm drinking so much water today that it should prepare me for it.

I hope you all enjoy Jesus' birthday (CHRISTmas) tomorrow. Bless you all in the coming year.

Pregnancy updates..

This pregnancy has had it's ups and downs. As of today I stand 23 weeks & some change.  Since my last post, my baby was diagnosed with mild fetal tachycardia. Instead of having the fetal echo done at 29 weeks, they bumped it earlier. I had it done at 22 weeks. They found NO heart defects that were detectable via ultrasound. (GOD is SO GOOD). Everything else looked healthy.

I was mostly excited that our friendly ultrasound tech gave us nice pictures of baby boy & of course confirmed for us, that he was still in fact, a little boy.

Now for some of the downs. Some of my readers may remember I've had a history with pre eclampsia in my first two pregnancies.  My normal 110/70 blood pressure jumped up to 144/96 the day of my echo.  The fetal medicine doctor didn't say anything about it, and since my follow up with my resident obgyn would take place the following day, I thought it was no big deal.

My follow up came and my blood pressure still lingered at a higher than usual number for me.  Apparently this isn't a thing to worry about anymore..  I felt a little un nerved by this.  In the past anytime my numbers shot up so soon they'd investigate.  I was prescribed a blood pressure cuff *which I chose not to get because.let's be honest who wants to spend an extra 80 bucks on one?*.

A few days later I developed a headache. It wouldn't go away. The next day, the headache  lingered with a stronger presence. I thought, I'll sleep it off, it will be fine.  The third day came and the headache was nearly debilitating. Anytime I stood up my head pounded like it would explode. Anytime I coughed, I felt as if I was going through the most intense pain ever.

I waited until Stephen got home and he used a generic blood pressure cuff he had on hand. My blood pressure was 170/100. We are fortunate to have an EMS station outside of our neighborhood, and so we headed there to have a paramedic take it. We wanted to rule out a false reading.

The paramedic took it twice and both times it was 170/100. We were advised to head to labor and delivery to monitor.

At labor and delivery it remained high. They had me give a urine sample and set me up with an annoying hand IV. I wasn't feeling well at all.  They could not find butter beans heart rate on the NST macine and brought in a portable ultrasound where they picked it up.  I was told to lay on my side where for the next hour they monitored my blood pressure while the lab sent off for tests.

Laying on my side made my blood pressure come down to the point the Resident Doctor told us the initial readings were inaccurate. WHAT?! I'm no doctor, I didn't spend years in school, but I know damn well when my blood pressure is high because I get the worst headaches. To test this theory I told her I would take my next reading sitting up as you are supposed to, not laying on your side. As I did the blood pressure was still high - though not at high as our initial entrance takes.

I was given a fioricet which knocked that hellacious headache right out of the water.

I was told my labs were normal and sent home.

They don't treat hypertension unless it remains over 160 / 100 there . This is a little unnerving to me.

It almost makes me question who watches the resident doctors  and gives them the okay on that?!

Another issue is this persistent itchy abdominal rash. One resident says, "I see the bumps" another chimes in, "it's dry skin". (insert what the what face here)... I put lotion on daily, and last time I checked dry skin doesn't create a mini hive like bubble protrusion in multiple places all over my abdomen.  HELP?! lol

I've also developed the ever so annoying pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome. That is NO FUN.

Two days later I get an email from my Resident OB clinic and hospital telling me to log into my chart for a new diagnosis. What?? What diagnosis? No one informed me in person.. I log in to see I was diagnosed with gestational thrombocytopenia.  Which is characterized by continual low and dropping platlet counts in pregnancy.  Only, if they had asked me, they'd know my platlets have been in the low normal range for several years. The fact they are dropping even more is the only thing related to pregnancy, but it's nothing new to me.

No calls from the resident MD, nothing. So I wait until the 14th to see what the actual game plan is for this.  It explains a lot of why I feel tired all the time.

Now, I have a little mistrust in the actual obgyn with the lack of communication. And then finding out a resident will perform my third c section, my tubal removal (yes they remove them now) and whatever else they see fit, I am slightly, well, anxious.

I'm no stranger to working with resident obgyns. In the past, however, the actual OB performed the c section with the residents viewing. i almost want to just deny this and request the attending do it, but then I feel guilty that I am robbing someone who busted their tail in school for the last 4+ years their educational experience.  I know they are smart, they pick the best to complete the residency.

...BUT...I feel nervous. I worry. What if they cut too deep? What if my scar tissue presents a problem?  What if the fact I carry extra skin that semi hangs over my previous c section scar is an issue?  What year is the resident who will perform the surgery? Do they have prior incident on record? How many have the done?

Then I tell myself, TRUST GOD. God has this. And so with that being said, I have almost come to the conclusion I will let them. I will suck up my fears and let them. What's the worst thing that can happen? - On second thought, don't answer that. haha.

I only have one request, NO RESIDENT SHALL ADMINISTER the spinal or general anesthesia. TOO MUCH RISK there. If that makes me mean, I guess I am mean. I have to give a little to withdraw a little, and I don't think my nerves can handle all of that. If you happen to be a resident doctor and stumble upon my blog, I truthfully mean no disrespect. I am just a worry wart and perhaps don't know enough about how this whole thing works.  Everyone has to start some where.

 Unfortunately, I'm one of "those patients".

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's a

December is always such a busy month for me. Between haggling to find deals for "Santa" to scrambling to get a decent photo of the kids, add my complicated OB appointments to the mix and I'm just juggling priorities.  Okay, in all seriousness, it's not that chaotic. My kids are now older and therefor, not too terribly needy.

On December 1st, I had my much awaited anatomy (gender) scan. first of all, I was delighted to see that all four heart chambers were finally present. I still have an echo cardiogram for baby in a little under a months time. (Pray for us).

The ultrasound wasn't too clear, I am going to imagine for a moment that my extra skin from my first two perhaps, plays a role in that.

Once all was said and done, we found out we were welcoming another baby BOY!! EXCITED! (I'd be excited either way).  As far as I was concerned, in April of 2009, Ethan was my last, and since I had to have him early on and my papers for a tubal ligation weren't signed - the surgeon performing my c section denied me the sterilization.

I'm glad God had other plans for me.  As my children have grown older, I have missed holding them in my arms. I have missed the smell of baby powder on their skin, or the feel of their soft baby hair.  I absolutely adored my babies.  I turned 33 in November and and like most older moms, I did the math in my head. I'd be 51 when this new baby graduates high school, My other kids would be 20 and 16 when this new baby is 10.  I'll be the OLD mom when this baby goes to pre k. *GASP*

Matters not, I am over joyed right now.

As a few of you know, my son was born with a congenital defect at birth.  I worried s much with a new boy he may carry the same defect, but I will pray, and if he does - again - matters not, it is correctable - there are worse things in the world. As a parent with a child with a congenital birth defect (no matter the severity), it still pains us as parents to know our babies have to go through some degree of suffering.

Currently, my anatomy scan looked great, my blood work was great, and my follow up blood work and fetal echo may be the deciding factors in all of this. I'll cross my fingers, say a prayer, but in the end, I feel blessed no matter what.

I've gained 30 pounds. I like to tell people I packed on a small toddler. What? I have to find humor in the fact at 20 weeks my fetus weights 13 ounces (per scan) and here I am rocking a big 30 extra and only half way there. OH GEEZ!

I should start a baby registry, but let's be real, I have never had a baby shower in my life.

I'm excited to buy little baby clothes for bean and search all over again. Granted I have two children already, because they are spaced out in age, I always feel like I'm re learning everything from scratch.

I can't wait to meet you bean, April will be here before I know it. When you're older and have kids already, time flies by fast. This pregnancy has been no exception to the rule.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My BIG Move and BIGGER News..

I haven't had access to a computer in a while, and I didn't feel I had the patience to update from my phone. (You know, the whole fat fingers typo syndrome - and let's face it, I'm not the best writer to begin with). :)

July 28th was my last day at my former job, and as soon as I got off work, we loaded the U Haul to move closer to Wilmington.  It's been a wonderful transition. Of course, I miss my old house and my old city that I lived in for close to 20 year, but this new move was inevitable, and I love it.

The kids enjoy school much more here. It seems the teachers put a lot more effort into the children and enjoy (or pretend to) enjoy their jobs. THANK YOU for that!

But onto our big news! I can literally say this was a move in conception baby! uhm, happy new house/baby?! haha.  I literally knew 6 days after I moved in, but knew that if I took a test it would be negative at that point - and it was.

August 13th, I took a test and SURPRISE!  The baby we both wanted was in the making.  We both decided that with our past we would wait to annuonce to anyone until the first trimester...

I had my first ultrasound in September at 10 weeks:

At that point I felt it was okay to let a few people know.  A few days later I started bleeding. BAD. I was sure I was miscarrying. Only, I wasn't, at the ER they found a subchorionic hematoma. It was small though, and within a few days the bleeding subsided and by my 14 week appointment, the hematoma had resolved.

Speaking of 14 week appointment, here are a couple of photos from that:


My NT scan number wasn't so great (3.5) but the tech said the baby wouldn't move into a good position to get a good reading. We did the basic blood test and that came back with less than 1 in 1000 chance for down syndrome and trisomy 18, so I haven't much worried. - After all - every child is a blessing, right?
That week I took a few photos of the kids to announce the fact butter bean was on the way:

So, there ya have it - another April baby - and due on it's daddies birthday at that! (April 19th). Of course, those of us who have had multiple c sections know the drill - the baby will be scheduled a week earlier (which should put us at the 12th). And the nerd in me can't help but smile. I have 3 kids whose birthdays will be the 10th, 11th and 12th. I don't know why that fascinates me so much, but it does. TRULY.

I haven't been in a mega need to know the gender, but my anatomy scan is the 1st of December, and God willing we'll know then.  It hasn't been a hard pregnancy. No morning sickness (I take that back, just a few times).  And this pregnancy has made me develop a new found allergy to my eyeshadow (so my eyes puff up and itch and get gross). So I'll be skipping it until it goes back to normal.

Besides all the lovely bun in the oven news....

Here are a few pictures from the kids' first day of school (5th and 1st grade):

I've also made over the kids bathroom:




I'll add more eventually, I've had my hands a slight bit full here recently. Hopefully everyone in blog land has been well. God Bless.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just a few visuals

Since I've hardly updated during our transition (and working), here are a few photo to sum up what we've been up to:

(My parents begged for a new photo of the kids, so one night I just snapped this one - they're growing so much!)

Moving along...

For a while, I've chose not to post the things and goings on of our "humble" abode, and mostly out of privacy or respect for my family.  But like most things in our generation, they don't last and crumble apart.  Eventually, you find some glue along the way to pick back up the broken pieces and repair the cracks.

That being said, my children and I are moving from what has been my home for the last 11 years.  I could fight to keep the 65 rancher, but in all honesty, despite the sweat equity I put into it, I chose to just let my children's father have it.  I only hope he will refinance in just his name within the year.

I know many people have told me to fight for it, since we both own it, surely I am due equity in a sale. But to be honest, my (our) home needs a lot of work, the roof will need replacing, the siding needs to be redone, and the hardwoods need refinishing (something I could easily do myself).

I harbor no ill feelings towards my children's father, and vice versa. We are going to be as adult about this transition as possible.  He will keep and reside in the 65 rancher and my children and I are moving on with my fiancee.

While I love all things old - in homes of course.  We will be moving to the Wilmington area in a newer home.  Over the last few months we have painted it and prepared to move myself and the children. It was several months in the making - I had to make sure the decision was in my children's best interest. After weighing all options, we know this is the best for us all.

My children will be starting a new school year at a new school - which can be intimidating, but they will make it with our help.

And the next time I blog, I will be adding new DIY projects from a newer home, but non the less it will be exciting to make it our home again.

It's amazing how a person can pick up your pieces and mend them back together and have so much in common with over the last year and a half.  I'm ecstatic and nervous to start out new journey, but to be honest I haven't been this happy in a very long time.

I can't remember prior to, the last time I smiled and it was genuine, or that someone gave me the time of day and actually cared about not only mine, but my children's well being.

I am thankful.

I know God puts people in your path for a reason, and today I thank God for placing me at the right place at the right time.  The last several years of hurt have prepared me for this moment to learn to appreciate the good in other humans.  It was hard to see then how any of this would amount to anything, but I trusted God's plan and God in turn blessed me.

So, I will always love and miss Fayetteville, but I will be back here and there every other weekend for shared custody.  I'm just glad in the end we will both be able to some what get along.  And when the day comes to meet the other woman in my children's lives, I just pray she is like my sister is to her step children and I will have to put my jealousy aside and love her like family as well.

Until next time, happy blogging :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rooms to GO? Rooms to...not sure how to feel or review..

As part of trying to push a little money back into the local business' (Yes, even the large corporate entities), I decided my children NEEDED new beds.  And before I go on a "hate" spree of my experience with Rooms To Go (Fayetteville, NC) location.  I will let you know I am half and half - although not a very satisfied customer.

Let's start with my initial visit to the local show room.  On February 16, 2015 I decided I was going to take my kids to pick out the bedroom sets they wanted.  Being in customer service myself, I was a little put off by the fact that not a single employee greeted us. No, "hello", no, "welcome". Nothing.  I walked to the children's (teens) section wandering around with my kids for a good 40 minutes.  Sales reps passed us, but not a one greeted us.  Eventually I had picked out what we were going to purchase.  Now, I just sauntered around hoping to be "discovered".

Surely, someone would like a commission?  No one seemed interested.  I guess they forget during tax time some of us simple looking folks have a good chunk to spend. Eventually a VERY lovely and kind woman did approach us. I had to compliment her on her service, she was amazing, she was friendly and she was very helpful. I told her I was glad she came to us since no one else had.

So I opened a line of credit (I had every intention to pay it off once my purchases arrived).  And $2,401 and $300 separate in delivery and tax fees later, I was the holding papers for the children's bed sets.

Ethan's was a super nice Bunk bed loft. (Excuse the cell phone photos; I took these in the show room). It's a twin loft with a storage stair case, the other side has a drawer and cabinet system, with an attached desk and a full bed and headboard/footboard underneath. It's seriously so beautiful! For $1500 I was in love.

  MiMi's, was a full sleigh bed with a trundle. I even liked the hanging canopy so much that I decided to purchase that as well.  After all was said and done, I was promised a delivery and set up date of 27 February 2015.

I was told delivery time was 7 am - 10 pm.  So, I scheduled the day off work.  Only due to the snow, they called a day before to let me know that they would reschedule delivery for 9 March 2015.  So another 10 days? *shrugs* Okay, no big deal, stuff happens. At this point I was a little annoyed for missing a day of pay, but at the same time, the weather is NOT anyone's fault. So I understood.  March 9th came.  The delivery truck showed up at 6:45 am.  The men were friendly, They put together my daughter's bed and it was perfect. No complaints.

Then as they were putting together my son's bed, the main headboard for the top was split and broken all over.  The delivery guy told me that he would not put it together because it was broken but that he would make a note to have them exchange that particular piece and that when it came someone would be back out to assemble.  I was a little annoyed, more so that he kept pushing me to sign that I accepted the item as is with out any hard evidence that I would be receiving the piece. I will admit I was difficult and annoyed but ultimately signed so he could be on his way. (I mean it wasn't the poor delivery man's fault, and he shouldn't have to hear me being upset).  He told me rooms to go would call in thirty minutes to schedule a new delivery.  Only, I ended up calling myself.

The new date I was given was 21 March 2015.

That day came and the new delivery guys were SUPER nice SUPER professional and beyond friendly.  Only one problem:  The initial delivery folks didn't leave the hardware or instructions. So they apologized that they would NOT be able to put the bed together.  At this point, I was beyond frustrated with this company.

Really?  I mean my Rooms to Go credit card was already charged at this point and at this point over a month later and still no bed to show for it? Come on??  So I tell the guys thank you, that I know it's not THEIR fault and I call to ask to have the hardware and instructions shipped to me per the delivery drivers recommendation.  He offered to call for me, but I felt I wanted to handle it myself.

So the first person I call tells me she will 2 day air ship it and then hangs the phone up mid collecting my information. ::Annoying:: But, maybe a glitch?  I call again, and the woman was very friendly, and offered to have it two day air shipped to my house and that when I received said parts to call to schedule to have a tech come back out.. I was also "TOLD" I would receive a $60 credit for delivery for my troubles.

Again, being in customers service myself, I know to be polite as it is not their fault and told her I super appreciated her and that I was thankful for her help today.  - At least their customer service is on point - or at least the woman I spoke to was. :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015, the parts came after 5 pm.  I decided I did not want to wait another week, or two, or however many for a technician to come assemble again, and so the family put the bed together ourselves.  It's beautiful.

I still have yet to receive my $60 credit, who knows where that is.  So all in all my feelings on Rooms to Go?

Had it just been my daughters bed I'd say AMAZING.

Taking into consideration my first experience with the show room, the fact repeated reschedules were made and not satisfied in a timely manner and the fact we put the bed together ourselves, I'm semi bitter.

The product itself is great (my sons bed still has some scratches, but I'm not petty and don't want to return it, it's what I like to call "character" ). haha :)  If it weren't for the fact that the majority of the people I spoke with were friendly, I'd probably rate them poorly.  But, in all fairness, they did rectify the issues when I called with concern.  Not happy that I did end up taking 3 days off work in order for deliveries that never ended in the fully assembled product, and as a mom that's money :(

I just don't like to give a business a bad review for a few mishaps.  Maybe one day I'll see my delivery and set up fee refunded, especially since it had been a month later and we put it together ourselves.  I wonder what Rooms to Go would say about this situation.  A little more organization and attention to detail with delivery and better care of handling a customers product should be taken into consideration, in my opinion.  But that's just me, and I'm just one person.  I'll post more photos later.

Happy 10th Birthday, MiMi..

March 10th, 2015
Ten years ago, I was 22.  I was recovering from what I still say was the worst physical pain of my life.  I am ashamed to admit that after a failed 23 hour labor that ended in a c section, I was so out of it emotionally and physically that I couldn't be the mom I wanted to be.  I barely saw my first child that day.

   When I saw her for the first time (which would be hours later)  I was so in love, but so very tired.   The nurses kept her away  much of the night and I just wanted to go home.  The first few sleepless nights were unlike anything I had ever experienced.   How did I go from so much energy and working two full time jobs to suddenly being a stay at home mom with a newborn who was without a doubt the hardest new "job" to me?  When I told my family I was okay - I lied - I was in tears daily.  I was more in love than ever before and I would kill for my baby, but  I was just so alone and exhausted.  

 Things did eventually get easier.  Did I say that? They don't get easier, you just learn to let go a little and it's a new kind of challenge.  I sit here an can't believe it's been ten years and suddenly I yearn to hold that baby again.   I ache to tell the old me it will be okay - "Stop worrying mama.  It will be okay - you'll see".

   We get so worried as new parents that we miss the joy in things.  Is this perhaps me in the next ten years telling my current self, I'll be okay?  Maybe.  One things for certain - I am glad at 21, that I made the decision to keep the best thing that's ever happened to me.  And by that last line, you may take that as you're probably thinking, and maybe at a later date, when my children are older, I will elaborate more without fear of them stumbling upon my blog.  But just know this:  God is good. God was with me, and God made sure I made the right decision.  I love you MiMi, I am so blessed to be your mother!