Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Panic Button

The decision to place Ethan in daycare wasn't exactly unexpected. I HAD to go back to work, for finances and sanity reasons, and we would much rather have him in a childcare facility like the one he's in now instead of a home nanny. One of the biggest downfalls of daycare though is that the kids get sick with all sorts of stuff and it's so easy to pass it on. And man, that hit us hard last week... BIG TIME. Ethan had been sick before... colds, fever... he even caught the croup about a month ago. But this time, this "hands foot and mouth" disease sent me in circles searching for a panic button.

Poor thing was miserable for a little over a week. Sunday, we noticed that he was a little fussier than normal. Monday, other than the fussiness, he didn't really show anything out of the ordinary so Mike and I assumed that he was "just teething". Tuesday, he had a fever so Ic ouldn't bring him to daycare. He had also started to refuse the bottle and would only take a few ounces at a time, but still, as rookie diagosticians, we blamed it on swollen gums. By Wednesday, he was shivering with cold sweat with high fever and a blister on his finger... so daycare basically booted him out and said he couldn't come back until his fever was gone.

The worst part of it all was not being able to console Ethan. NOTHING worked. Not a bottle, not Tylenol, not the toys, not even mommy-holding-him-close-and-rocking-trick... which I thought (up to that point) always worked. He cried profusely with what sounded like severe pain, not the whining kind, and I felt guilty that I couldn't do anything to help. I feel even more guilty now because at one point,a fter waking up every hour of the night with constant crying, I actually got annoyed and yelled for him to stop. I got mad at a poor, crying baby who couldn't help that he's sick! What kind of mother am I??

The fact that Mike is temporarily rendered slightly "inoperative" when it comes to any baby duties (other than making faces) didn't help any. But in his defense, he did wake up several times during the crying spells, which (oddly) made me feel just a tad bit better knowing that I wasn't the only one losing sleep. This was definitely one of those times I realized how badly I want to be back near my family, so they could help me from going insane.

But he's all better now. Back to his usual ol' self.. and back in daycare where he'll likely catch the next strand of virus to get around. The only consolation I have is optimism that by the time he starts preschool, he should be immune from most of these common viruses and diseases... at least that's what I hope anyway.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The world makes sense again!

I found it difficult last night to fall asleep. Different "what if" scenarios kept running through my head, and somehow I knew I just had to come up with an alternative to the alternative. I thought, if they tell me my request got denied, I would just re-appeal it. But what if the appeal gets denied too? If it took about two months for the initial request to be processed, and it takes 2 months to get the appeal processed, and it gets denied again... would that mean I would be gone by Christmas? Would it mean I would have to miss Ethan's first birthday? His first word? His first steps?

Mike let me cry for a while, but he just kept repeating, It'll all be okay, I promise. He meant well I'm sure... but I thought, how could anyone promise something they don't have any control over? I wish I could've tried harder to be more optimistic.

I must've called the headquarters about 10 times this morning before I finally got someone besides a voicemail. I was so nervous I thought I was gonna puke. I told the man who answered that I was returning a call about the decision on my packet, and he put me on hold for what seemed like forever while he rustled through some papers. Finally, he came back on, and told me the most beautiful sentence I've heard in a long time.

Your request has been approved.

APPROVED. That means I don't have to go anywhere. I won't have to leave Mike. I won't have to leave Ethan. I won't have to miss any goodnights or christmases or birthdays. I won't have to fight a war halfway across the world.

He also said my orders will be revoked and that I would be put on "standby" until they re-evaluate my case August 25th of NEXT year. I could care less about that, because by April 25, 2007, I'll be officially done with my 8 year contract and they can't touch me anymore. And I'm not sad to say, that I'll never be putting this uniform on ever again.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Call

So they finally called to "inform me about their decision". Only I missed it since they called on Friday and we were already up in Ohio for Mike's great grandma's funeral.

Which leaves me all freaked out until I can call them tomorrow morning to find out whether they decided to keep me here and send me out.

How does anyone get any sleep with that in their head anyway?

I put my baby down to sleep in his own bed tonight... and I cried. He had been sick so we've let him sleep on our bed for the past two weeks, so he needed to get used to his own bed again. Before he got sick, he had a routine. Lights off except for the light in the closet with the closet door only slightly cracked open... the mobile round up playing the Winnie the Pooh song... his lullaby cd playing in the background... goodnight kisses from mommy and daddy... and he knows it's time for bed.

But tonight I cried because I started thinking about all the goodnights I'm going to miss if they decide to send me away. I hid by the door and just watched Ethan toss and turn and look for his mommy until he fell asleep... and I quietly prayed the time wouldn't have to come when I couldn't even do that.

I don't know if I could live on if I were to be stripped away from my baby...

Sunday, August 20, 2006


So Ethan is almost 8 months old, but not ONCE have I ever taken him anywhere to be photographed "professionally". Why should I pay someone when I could do a much better job.... without their hundred dollar backdrops and props and ridiculous tendencies to over-charge for prints.

But tonight, as we entered Walmart to do a much-needed grocery shopping.. an ad caught my attention. Their regular photo package was on sale for 88 cents. 88 cents! With it came an 8x10, a 5x7, 30-some wallet sizes and others I can't recall. I normally wouldn't eve give those store studios a second look, but I figured for 88 cents.. why the hell not.

Little did I know what we were getting ourselves into. The "studio" needed a serious makeover. Their camera equipment looked like it was made in the early 80's. Their backdrops were probably just as old, and the table Ethan was to sit on looked like a cut out from a 20-year old carpet. Still, I just kept thinking... it's only 88 cents.

It was almost half an hour worth of screaming and taunting to get Ethan to crack a smile. Smile Ethan!! Look here Ethan!! Smile!! We might as well have waved our hands in the air like monkeys in heat, and that barely got him to giggle. I haven't had to work so hard to to get Ethan to take a picture, and frankly I didn't feel too bad for the woman trying to take them. After each shot, we were to view it on a 15" screen, which probably should've given me a better indication of what these shots are going to look like. Let's just say I've seen camera phones take better shots. And after a few poses, Ethan realized it was dinner time and got extremely cranky so that abruptly finished that photoshoot.

Altogether, Ethan had 5 poses, and I only meant to buy the 88 cent package with 1 pose. But Mike got suckered into buying the rest of the poses on a disc for an additional 10 bucks. The catch was.... it was on a FLOPPY. Who the hell still uses floppy disks? I told the lady if all the pictures were to be put in ONE FLOPPY DISK, the resolution can't be any good, and she insisted that if we were unsatisfied, that we could return the disk for a refund.

Uhh.. yah. I'm definitely going back to get our 10 bucks tomorrow.

The prints, we won't even get for another 3 weeks... but I certainly hope they're at least worth the 88 cents, or believe me I'll be bitching about that too.

Thing is, just hours before, Ethan already had a private shoot in our living room. My shots are so much better, don't you think? Better yet, they were free!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Exciting News

We're going on a cruise! After months and months of indecisive hours on the computer researching for THE perfect trip.. we have made up our minds. And albeit my concerns about possibly getting interrupted by a hurricane, we decided to take our long awaited vacation and venture to the Caribbean. Mike and I are super psyched! Sure, I'll be sad because it's a week away from my baby Ethan and I love him to death... but we desperately NEED this vacation.

Every once in a while, I'd catch myself trying to justify the trip by reminding everyone that we didn't go on a honeymoon last year. And it's true, but it's not the sole reason we're in DIRE need to get away just by ourselves.

I don't want to say that we're in a 'funk', because I don't think we are. I do think, however, that moving across country, having a baby, trying to maintain our work responsibilities, plus with Mike going to school... the mood hasn't exactly been "let's-get-crazy-cause we're-newlyweds" around here. But with a lot of patience, we manage. And finally... 7 days of cocktails on the sundeck, sunrises and sunsets, and well-deserved alone time.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I just realized something very important this morning: I'm a bit behind on something... perplexed, could be a better word to describe how I felt. I have a weekly calendar that tells me how old Ethan is at any given day and gives me tips of where his physical, mental and social development should be at his age (perks of working for an infant development program). And I looked at today's date and it fell under "Week 30", which got me a little confused.

I thought, that would mean he's 7 1/2 months already.. NOT the 6 1/2 months I've been that I'd proudly been telling everyone. Who wha huh? I'm usually to the tee with this, but somehow I missed a month in my son's life? After a couple of deep breaths and a couple of sips from my 3rd mocha frappucino (I needed a little boost this morning), I feel just a tad bit better. I sure didn't miss anything, I think I was just subconciously trying to keep him from growing too fast. But I can't help that he's a growing boy.

He's now starting to hastily kick his legs and wiggle around trying to get into a crawling position. He usually just ends up rolling all over the floor, though he is gaining some ground and just wants to explore the room. The other day, he rolled under his high chair and got stuck inbetween the legs of the chair. By the time he realized he was stuck, he started to scream. And I could've just as easily went over and scooped him out, but instead, I found myself cheering him on to get out without help. At first, he looked at me kinda funny, and then he started wiggling around and eventually got himself unstuck (no thanks to mommy). And after a consoling "Good job sweetheart"... I actually felt proud formy baby. Ethan's also developed a great sense of humor. Everyone's a regular comedian, even strangers at the airport were playing picaboo with him. He's always in the mood to play, and squeals like a little girl when he thinks something is really funny. You don't even have to do anything.. you can just look him straight in the eye and give him your biggest smile, and he will give you his biggest smile back, and then some. If you're lucky, you could get a sneak peak of the two-fers making their way out of his lower gums. Thank God they seem to have temporarily eased from damping his happy moods.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Green-eyed monsters

"How dare he?", joked my boss.

Jealous. They're alllllllll jealous.....

You would be too if your co-worker suddenly gets called by security in the middle of the day to pick up a dozen red roses sent by her husband... "just because".

Not my fault for having married one of the sweet ones :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Best Friend's Wedding

Unfortunately, I'm not Julia Roberts and this blog isn't about me trying to break up a friend's wedding so I could win the guy over. I've already got my guy. And this weekend, Leah got hers... officially, anyway.

It's the perfect love story. They're high school sweethearts and have been together since my boyband phase. I remember Leah shaking every time Daniel passed her by in the hallways.. I remember conspiring to break Daniel and his then-girlfriend up so that Leah could make the move... I remember when she told me they were officially dating... and I remember Leah admitting that he's "the one". I asked her how she knew for sure. After all, she hadn't really gone out with anyone else, so how did she know she wasn't missing out? But she knew. She just did. And on Saturday, it all came together like a dream.

Being in the wedding was a blast. I actually felt "pretty" in my dress... despite me bitching about not getting down to my ideal size (the oreos had a hand in that). Leah was stunning. I couldn't have picked to see anyone else in my original dress than her.

I felt bad when she got stressed, and it reminded me of how crazy my wedding day was.. but I had hoped I was able to calm her down a bit. But when she asked for some marriage advice (I was the only married one in the wedding party), I felt like I wasn't certified to give any. I kept thinking, "I'm just a rookie too!"

But the highlight of the day was when I got my first ever mother-son dance. I felt proud.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

He needs a bigger bandaid

So almost 2 years ago, in the midst of our deployment in Bosnia, Mike thought it would be a fabulous idea to spend his two week vacation back home in Ohio. Any kind of vacation away from the Army bs can be promising, and his time off actually started out great, I'd say. Only on the second day, a skiing snafu sends him (sadly predictably) to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Diagnosis: Torn rotator cuff. He spent the rest of his vacation in a sling and drugged up with vicodin and everything else to keep the pain down. And I think after having gone back to Bosnia, he tried his best to stay in the sling for a while.. but didn't really do much about it after that.

Fast forward to yesterday, when he finally went under the knife for his shoulder. As an innocent bystander, it all seemed complicated to me. And I have to admit, I was a little nervous... even after Mike tried tore assure me over and over that it's an outpatient surgery and he shouldbe out of there in a couple of hours. I generally hate hospital waiting rooms, but yesterday, I hated Surgery waiting rooms even more. Those who waited ranged from supporters for the smallest outpatient surgery to major heart surgeries (picked up from converstations here and there), so everyone there just exasperatingly waited at the edge of their seats. Not to mention the numerous posters on the wall that screamed "Keep at least one family member in the waiting room AT ALL TIMES", which made me a bit uncomfortable and frankly scared to even go to the bathroom in case something happened to Mike on the table. Ethan must've known I was a little anxious, because he behaved most of the day unless he got hungry and kept himself preoccupied by cooing at everyone else around. 2 hours later, the doctor came out to talk to me and confessed that it was slightly worse than they had anticipated. They ended up having to put several permanent anchors to attach the torn tendons in his shoulder back to the bone.

As always, Mike was a trooper. Still half-sedated, dehydrated lips trembling and all.. he was wheeled into the recovery area not too long after and he was already asking for food and watching ESPN. The doctor wants to see him after 14 days, and until then, he's supposed to keep his sling on religiously (with specific instructions to take it out only for a couple of minutes a day so that it doesn't "freeze up"). They have a local anesthetic attached to his shoulder through a catheter, and with the pain meds, I'm hoping he'll be okay.


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