Monday, March 31, 2008

More health news...

I'm really starting to get my health affairs in order, and have officially made appointments with the Dermatologist, Ear Nose and Throat guy, and Allergist. 2 out of 3 are now done, and 2 out of 2 had me experiencing a whole lot more than I expected at an initial visit.

The dermatologist scooped a couple moles off of me - on my belly and on my ear. The one on my ear was pretty darn painful. Not the actual cutting out of the mole, but the injection of the anesthetic. OWIE ZOWIE! I didn't pass out though - the medical assistant was a pretty cool guy and kept me talking through the whole thing.

And, well, you can read about my ENT debacle in the previous post.

So, I'm assuming there won't be any surprises at the Allergist - I've done the testing before, so it will be lots of poking and prodding....but nothing that should make me pass out.

Its good to have it all out of the way. Individually, they aren't big health issues, but it certainly does add up and take a toll.


I'm not a wuss. I swear. Its not my fault......Its the Vagal Response - basically stimulating certain nerves or blood vessels causes my blood pressure to plummet and me to pass out. Not too fun - but after my first episode (I was donating blood in high school) I learned out to read how my body reacts as to avoid passing out cold and donkin' my head on something. So at least I know its coming and I can sit or lay down :) It also happened when I got a shot for my teeth surgery (I thought the anesthetic was just working quickly), when I got the wisdom teeth stitches out, various times giving blood samples, get IV's......and apparently when exposed to large implements of torture.

Items such as this.......

You can't see the scale, but the long, evil, pokey thing is about 12 inches long. HUGE. It looks like a needle, but its actually a fiber optic telescope. I had an appointment with the ENT specialist today, and he squirted some lidocane/ephedrine mix up my nose. Tasted HEINOUS. And he's like "Oh, this won't hurt at all". Then proceeded to shove 8 out of the 12 inches up INTO MY BRAIN. It didn't hurt, really, but the whole tickling my brain thing was weird. It might have just been my throat, but I swear it was my brain.

After he took the Torturous Tool of Doom out of the 2nd nostril - I started feeling a little woozy. I let him know, and he promptly laid me back in the chair, and then doused my head, neck, chest and arms with a cold, sopping wet cloth. Made my shirt pretty wet, but definitely brought be back pretty quick. He thought I was out for a couple seconds, and I may have been...I felt all the blood rush out of my head - and I couldn't respond to him when he was talking "Stay with me, stay with me!" but I still could see and hear everything.

He also made me feel better by saying it wasn't an uncommon response :) And, while he rarely talks surgery during the initial visit of a patient, my case was pretty severe......

So, the good news is that I'm recovered just fine, the bad news is he confirmed I could really, really benefit from surgery. The doctor in Mexico told me the same thing, I just didn't want to do it down there (although it probably would have been cheaper). I also brought the doc my CT scans that I had done in Mexico (check them out at an older post HERE) - I've got a severely deviated septum, and enlarged turbinates. So, I'll get the septum straightened and the turbinates reduced, and maybe, just maybe I'll be able to breathe like a normal person again. Its been so long since I've been able to breathe well, I really can't remember life being any other way.

What a year

Happy Anniversary to us!!! Its hard to believe a year has passed, and what an amazing year it has been. We celebrated early with a trip to Fogo de Chao, and had a lovely lunch with a nice bottle of wine and yummy special anniversary cake. That restaurant is significant because A) we had our wedding dinner there, and B) because its the place he first told me "Everything is better with you". Awwww - how romantic was that?!?! Its kind of nice to have "our restaurant" :)

Thank you Patrick, for the most amazing year of my life - here's to many more amazing years, full of laughter, happiness and perseverance through the times that aren't so rosy. I love you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Liam update

I haven't had an official Liam update in a while, so I suppose its about time.

*sigh* he's getting big! I just saw a 6 week old on Friday, and it just made him look so big comparatively. But I suppose that's what's supposed to happen. He's approaching his 6 month birthday on Easter Sunday, and will have his check up the Friday after - so we'll have stats and such then. For now, here's a little run down of how he's been doing:
  • Daycare is going very well. He's happy to see her on Monday, and Josefina absolutely adores him. It makes me feel good to be at work when he's in such good hands.
  • He's been sleeping pretty well lately - naps were always an issue, but he's been on *kind of* a schedule. He'll eat, play for a couple of hours, then take about an hour, hour 1/2 nap. I think he takes three or four per day? Ish? He's also had a couple of nights where he's slept pretty much all the way through - about 8:00pm til 5:00am or so - which is awesome! Nothing of any consistency yet, but its getting there.
  • His new thing is making raspberries with his little tongue. Its so cute! He slobbers everywhere :) He also loves being an indian (feather not dot) when Pat or I move our fingers in front of his mouth (hard to explain, do you know what I mean? I have a video - I'll upload it later.).....lots of new noises for this little guy!
  • No teeth yet, but definitely lots of chewing on fingers, and tons of drool (as mentioned before)
  • He's beginning to sit up OK - only a couple of seconds here and there, but we're practicing lots.
  • He doesn't hate being on his tummy nearly as much, probably because he can flip whenever he wants. Not from back to tummy quite yet, but almost. I'm sure it will happen soon.
  • Liam has become very observant of so many things - a very curious little boy! Which makes it nearly impossible for him to nap when we're out and about, but so cool to watch him just observe and soak it all in. He's been paying particular attention to the tags of his toys. Not sure why, but he loves to look at them and touch them.
  • One of his favorite subjects of attention is the kitties. He really seems to like them! Every time they come into a room and he sees them, he always gets a big smile and squeals. Its pretty hilarious. He also loves to grab them as they walk by, and he's got quite a grip (much to their dismay).
  • Definitely loving touching, feeling and discovering new textures - his favorite is crinkly soft fabric books (especially the one's by Priddy Books - we have four of them! Big Rex, Fluffy Chick, Squishy Turtle and Snowy Bear).
  • He can easily pick up toys, and pass them back and forth between his hands and of course, shove them in his mouth.
  • Ahhhh - tosies. His favorite toy is definitely his tosies! He found them about two months ago, but has just recently begun to put them in his mouth. Its pretty funny :) His tosies are so precious :)
  • Solid food is going well - Rice cereal of course. He tried, but didn't like peaches too much (he always made a sour face and tried to spit them out). He liked peas, but they made him pretty farty, so we discontinued those. Sweet potatoes seem to be a favorite. I also made butternut squash and apples to try, but we haven't tried those yet.
  • And last but certainly not least, he's developed a bit of stranger anxiety. Or "Mom & Dad are Gone" anxiety. We haven't had many babysitters, so he just doesn't have much exposure to being left with other people. I've been trying to take him once a week to a playgroup to get acquainted with other moms, and expose Liam to other babies....not sure if that's helping or not. Last week, I put him down in front of another baby, and he just started crying and crying!! But after about 20 minutes or so he was fine, and interacting a bit with others.
So, that's about it for now. He's a pretty happy, healthy growing boy. Lots of giggles and smiles, just how Daddy and I like it! I'll leave you with a photo from today - he's such an adorable little boy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Chicago River Photos...

Here's a few from today! It was also Liam's first subway / El ride :) See the whole set at FLICKR

River Green....

We had a fabulous morning, and my two boys are both beat so they are taking naps as we speak :)

We met our pals Ben and Keren at the train station, and headed downtown to see the Greening of the Chicago River. Yes, I've got lots of pics, but those will come later. After freezing our bunz off for a while, we started heading to Dick's Last Resort, and after a few zillion phone calls, met up with our other buddies Gina, Jason & Audrey.

Lunch with green beers was fab, and then we headed home. Pat, Liam and I took the train. Or at least started to. We got one stop up and then the train stopped. No one was sure why. So we got off, and apparently, some guy stole a purse, then jumped UNDER the train and started running!!!! I thought that crap only happened in movies! We figured it would be awhile before they started back up, so we just walked a bit north and then caught a cab.

So now, its nice and quiet, and I'll have time to edit some of our photos, and hopefully post a few tonight. Until then - CHEERS! And happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Quick shout out :)

Liam and I volunteered to be models for Gypsy Mama Wraps (for a local photographer), and we had the photo shoot Saturday, along with lots of other Mama's and kiddos. It was pretty fun! Got to meet some new people, and of course, getting out of the house is always cool. Oh yeah, did I mention we got a free wrap too?? :)

Please go to the photographer's blog for some sneak peaks: Stephenie Dame Photography Blog. There is a photo of Liam that just makes me melt......

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Liam is GROWING way too fast

Yes, he's been a pill whilst sleeping lately, but it doesn't change the fact that while he IS sleeping, he's ridiculously adorable. I always go in to check on him before I go to bed, and I caress his little soft cheek, tell him I love him and then blow a kiss. He's growing so quickly, pretty soon he won't want to be swaddled anymore, and I won't have my very own baby burrito. So here's a quick snap of him sleeping before I woke him up from a nap (with trusty Hugo the Hippo by his side).

Also, more growing boy news: He scooted a bit yesterday. It was kind of a half army crawl....nothing huge, but the first time he's propelled himself nonetheless. *sigh* we really need to baby proof. We also (and by we, I mean Pat) put together his high chair that we've had in storage. We got it as a gift right when he was born. Its so pretty :) But still a bit big for him, especially since he can't really sit up yet. He really is enjoying eating though!!!! Almost as much as I have enjoyed making his baby food. Yes, I actually made our own baby food! Its been kind of fun, and pretty easy to do! So far, sweet potatoes, apples and squash (the squash smelled like POO!). He's also tried peas and peaches, but I bought those from Gerber :) Peas make him really farty. I have a class I'm taking right before easter to learn a bit more.....its definitely cheaper than buying commercial, that's for sure - but really, its just fun and makes me feel like I'm providing something good for him :)

OK - a few photos of my boy in his too big, big boy high chair :)

Sleep, Countertops and Pot pies

:::::::::::: SLEEP OR LACK THEREOF ::::::::::::

I don't know what Liam's deal is. He tricked us into sleepy bliss by sleeping all the way through the night for like, four nights in a row, and then decided to make up for it by waking up every two hours each night for the past week. I am *exhausted* especially now since Pat is in Madison for a few days, so I get night duty all to myself. I have no idea why he's waking up and so cranky. Hopefully its just a phase and he goes back to either only once a night or nonce a night. I've been living on coffee to keep me awake during the day.....and I'd rather not get addicted, know what I mean???

:::::::::::: COUNTERTOPS ::::::::::::

After calling Costco's countertop program three times, we finally got a contractor to not only call back, but come over and do a quote for us. WHOO HOOO!!! I have a feeling we're going to go with Granite (over Corian or Zodiaq - both Dupont manufactured surfaces). It was certainly fun picking out colors and such :) Now, if we can just get our bonuses sometime soon, we'll be able to actually buy them!

Here's a couple of pics I took of the samples. The 1st row is Corian, 2nd row is Zodiaq and the wheel is Granite. Lots of great options!

:::::::::::: YUMMY ::::::::::::

And now, a random word about Pot Pies. I love them. Always have - especially the super cheap banquet ones you can get for $0.49. But they are oh so bad for you. Anyway, I bought a Marie Callender's chicken pot pie this week, just because I had a craving for one, and I made it in the microwave. I know, it seems weird right? Half the deliciousness of a pot pie comes from the tender flaky crust.......but the 11 minutes in the microwave vs. 65 minutes in the oven won out. Dude - seriously - Microwave food cooking technology has greatly improved in recent years. The pot pie was AWESOME!!! You cook it right in the box, and it has some super futuristic cooking doohicky inside that makes the crust all perfect and yummy and fabulous and delicious. It was SOOO good - and totally hit the spot! If they didn't have like 100 grams of fat in them, I would probably buy more and eat one every week.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Social Peeps!

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind as far as our social life goes. Really, the past year we haven't made any inroads as to making new friends and such. We would occasionally go out or have people over, but for the most part we just kept to ourselves. Which isn't a bad thing, really. I think part of us wanted it that way, since we spent so much time apart....we just used the opportunity to "soak each other up", if you will.

That's definitely all changed recently.

I think my depressive state was partly caused by not having really any good friends in this area, and I kept lamenting and longing for my family and my BFF's far far away. By the suggestion of an online buddy, I checked out to see if I could find any groups to join. (Have I mentioned this before?? Not sure....but I'll keep going anyway). Anyway, I've meet some really cool peeps from that group, and actually we had a playdate last week for us and Liam with some really great people - Gina, Jason & their daughter Audrey (who Liam thinks is super cute :) ). Gina and I really clicked, so it was really cool to spend some more time with her.

OK Ok - let me just break down our social calender for the past couple of weeks:
Tuesday 2/19: Girls night at cute little bar from
Friday 2/22: Amber and Will came over for dinner, and played scrabble (my new favorite pastime, in person and on Facebook). Amber kicked all our butts to high heaven.
Saturday 2/23: Baby proofing class through - We met a cool couple from Muskegon (thanks to Liam's U of M bunting!). Pat also met up with his old college roomate Ben, who lives just about a mile away from us!! They got in touch through Facebook. Who knew how resourceful that silly website would be!
Sunday 2/24: Jason, Gina & Audrey come over for a play date that lasted a few hours! It was very cool!
Thursday 2/28: Gina and I head out for dinner at Fronterra Grill and a girls night downtown at a little boutique bar called NV Penthouse.
Friday 2/29: day at the Museum of Science & Industry (we actually didn't meet anyone there, because we were late, but it was fun trapsing around the museum with Pat and Liam anyway)
Saturday 3/1: Not a particularly social day with other peeps, but we did take ourselves to have Lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Liam's first trip there! I tell ya, the smoking ban in Illinois has made it possible to take our little man everywhere!
Sunday 3/2: It was STINKIN' beautiful outside, so we took the opportunity to take Liam for a walk and met up with Ben and his wife (who's name is Keren....but pronounced cool is that??!) for lunch/dinner at The Little Mexican Cafe.

*whew* We've been busy! And, let me say, it has made a world of difference in my attitude. Am I still tired - yes. Still a bit depressed - yes. But it almost feels like Chicago is my home now. I'm building a network of friends, getting into a groove with work, and generally enjoying myself more.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

For your viewing pleasure :)

My little boy is getting so big!!!! Here's a summary of his February activities :)