Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week...err... four?

Weight: 211.2lb

This, obviously, is a big kick in the gonads.  I am extrememely irritated I didn't reach 210, which was my goal for this week.  I feel like eating a big slice of cake just to piss off my scale.

In other news, my weekend was a complete and utter disaster from start to finish.  I had a deadline due Monday morning for Crimson and because I am both excellent at working under pressure AND being a lazy bum until the last minute, I didn't start my work until last Thursday.  This is not normally an issue because I'm pretty quick at what I do, but I didn't expect BOTH our computers to pack in on Saturday morning.  I cannot describe with enough anger and frustration exactly what happened, but just know this:  Windows 7, Microsoft, Office and our internet can all take a scalding hot bath in some freshly laid cow shit.  I finally gave in on Sunday and took my poorly laptop in to Geek Squad, and after threatening to cut off various parts of their anatomies, those chaps fixed my machine that afternoon.  Our iMac is still down (still blaming the idiots at Best Buy who swore blind to us that just inserting a Windows 7 disc on a machine with Snow Leopard would work... oh how WRONG THEY WERE) and we're kind of afraid to turn it on again, because every time we do it reboots and reboots and reboots and reboots and reboots... and either the iMac is going out the window or one of us is...

Poor Mac.  We miss you.

Owen is doing well and still laughing at everything we wave in front of his face.  He's starting to look like a little boy rather than a baby, which is both incredibly exciting and yet leaves me a little bit sad.  I've already forgotten what he sounded like as a premature babba (a kitten, incidentally, but I can no longer bring it to memory), and while I love the way he interacts with us now, I do miss just lying back on our oh-so-American recliner chair and falling asleep with him on my shoulder.  Jey-sus, if I tried to do that now I'd either get an elbow in the eye or a kick in the stomach.

We've changed his feeding schedule (again) and we're trying out a new thing with our food pump.  Now he eats only three times a day, and the rest of his food is pumped continuously in to his tummy overnight.  We scoffed at first and were extremely reluctant to try it, but I'm so glad we overcame our intense dislike of the pump and got it working, because he is an absolute champion at using this method.  He didn't like it at first because ever since we brought him home from the NICU almost a year ago, he's fallen asleep in the living room in either his high chair or our arms while being fed.  Now he has to go to sleep by himself in his cot a whole half-hour before he used to (9.30pm instead of 10pm) and pretty much stay there until 7.30am.  Thankfully he takes after moi, because once we've settled him, he does stay asleep all night and is happy to remain in bed the next morning.  If he were more like Mike he'd be fast asleep at 7pm and wake my sorry arse up at 5am.  We did feel sorry for him when we first changed things around because he was so confused and cried and cried and cried, but four nights in and he's settling down after only five minutes.  Result!  He's sleeping so much better and of course, his food is staying in his tummy.  Our next challenge is to build up the amount he gets overnight and reduce his day time feeds, so that he's only eating enough during the day to satisfy his hunger, and not so much he's puking his guts out.  Watch this space.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things which confuse me...

1. The difference between "that" and "which".  I really ought to know this by now, seeing as I correct other people's grammatical errors for a living.
2. Why people iron baby clothes.  Or children's clothes, for that matter.  Actually... I don't know why people bother to iron on a regular basis at all.  I certainly don't and I'm still alive.
3. Gender stereotypes.
4. Why chocolate isn't good for me.
5. Manual gearboxes on cars.  Yes, I learnt to drive in a manual and I even passed my test in one, but now I've been solely driving an automatic for the last five years, a manual really baffles me.  Biting point... what?
6. Vegans.  Vegetarians, I get.  Vegans, I don't.
7. Bob.  He's just TOO Bob sometimes, as I said to Mike last night.  The cat needs Zoloft.
8. Wisconsin weather.
9. Illinois drivers.
10. Why people in this country don't want healthcare reform, and they use the "Socialist" UK as an example of it not working.  Firstly, the USA IS Socialist, and secondly, the NHS might have its flaws, but it seems to be trotting along just fine.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Fifteen / Week Three

Weight: 212.6

Not such a great loss this week, but still a loss.  It snowed over the weekend, unbelievably, which put paid to my walking trips with Owen, and I think that's what's done it.

Plus the pizza I ate on Saturday.  Heh heh.  :)

Owen's healing nicely still and I've discovered new ways to make him laugh, so I spend most of my days attempting to do just that.  He doesn't laugh like other babies, but instead of that making me sad, it makes me proud of him.  He probably doesn't have the same understanding and intelligence as other children (although that's just a theory at this point), so for him to understand that a soft toy Eeyore kissing him on the nose is funny... well... that's pretty mega.  I don't know whether he recognises that the toy has a face and characteristics, or if it's just the sensation of the fur tickling his nose, but he gets a kick out of it nonetheless.  I do think it's the former though, because I started just approaching his nose and he'd start giggling.  He was also facing away from me, so I know it wasn't me he was laughing at.  Either way, it's a wonderful thing to hear his little laugh and to know he's interacting with his world.

His PT thinks he may skip crawling altogether, which doesn't surprise me.  She reckons he'll figure out walking "soon" (in Owen terms that could mean another six to twelve months), so I'm trying to not feel heartbroken that he's not going to crawl.  Little heartbreaks.  Every day.

Things were pretty bad over the weekend, being trapped inside by the snow and getting frustrated that we'd eaten all the healthy food we had in the house and there was nothing left but pre-diet crap.  Mike and I had several rows and finally started talking about Big Issues on Sunday.  I won't air my dirty laundry here, but we got to a place I never thought we'd see.  It made me realise that I'm not over my depression, and how it's manifesting itself is affecting Mike far more than I thought.  He asked me what I needed to be happy, and after a long, long think, I decided that I need him to be the strong one for a change.  I can take care of Owen if he takes care of me.  In addition, I made an appointment to see a doctor for the first time since the birth to try and get to the bottom of several complaints, including this unshakable black cloud.  It irritated me the way the receptionist wanted to know why I needed to see the doctor (to enter into their "system"), so I told her it was because I'm concerned about my iron levels.  I am, but that's not the reason I'm going in, and quite frankly the truth is none of her goddam business.

He'll probably tell me I'm overweight.  Sigh.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Day Eight and Surgery Stuff

Weight: 214.1 lb

Well, I dropped over 5 lb, which is pretty cool!  Diet went really, really well last week until Friday, when I abandoned all pretenses at the hospital and shared a Galaxy bar my fantastic friend J had imported from the UK.  I think we all deserved it, given the situation.  And I'm back on track now.

Owen's surgery went very well, although his left eye isn't nearly as open as his right and this is causing both me and his surgeon a bit of concern.  If it's just some extra swelling squeezing it shut then given enough time, it will look the same as the right.  However, if the stitches have come open or Owen has rubbed his eye somehow, then he'll have to go back to the hospital for an adjustment.  Other than that though, things have been going well.  We have to apply an ointment to the corneas and incisions four times a day to help things heal and stop his eyes drying out, which is utterly exhausting and Owen absolutely loathes it.  In addition, as he also had tubes put in his ears to relieve the excess fluid build-up that was preventing his eardrums from vibrating properly, we have to put drops in his ear canals twice daily.  He doesn't like that much either.  AND we have to give him antibiotics by mouth (read: tube) four times a day AND cover his eyes in these strange metal shields at night to help keep things moist.  He likes none of these activities and I'm so pleased the surgeon said we can start cutting back on everything from today.

You know, I'm really really tired.  I feel as though I can never sleep enough, although I get around seven hours a night usually, and catch up on naps at the weekend.  I think the burden of caring for Owen is just wearing me down, although I don't resent doing it.  I just wish I were able to trust someone, anyone else to do it for a few days to give me a rest.  I want a week off.  It occurred to me today (sitting on the loo, of course), that I haven't had a real day off since before Owen was born.  Such is the life of a mother who stays at home, I guess.  Mike gets days off from work but even when that happens, I'm still working.  It may be my fault, but I can't even relinquish control to him when he is home, because he often forgets the most basic of Owen's needs.  Take Owen's nighttime routine, for example: every night we have the same routine of medications, changing into pyjamas and a bedtime feed.  Every other night we bathe Owen as well.  With all the extra gumph post-surgery, this routine is currently taking us a good 45 minutes, which we start at 9.00pm in order to start his bedtime feed at 10.00pm.  SO... I always have one eye on the clock, making sure we get things started on time, and when 9pm rolls around I turn to Mike and tell him it's time.  His usual response?  "What needs doing?"

"What ALWAYS needs doing, Mike?"

Sigh.  Then he'll act surprised at my tone and ask what he should start doing.  Oh, I don't know!  How about you just START doing SOMETHING?  I feel I need to double-check everything he's up to, just to make sure he doesn't miss a dose of a medication, puts a new gauze around Owen's mic-key button, or even just gets the right volume of formula ready.  If I don't, something always goes amiss and I'm really tired of being the safety net.

Don't get me wrong: Mike is a fantastic father and I do think that if I left him and Owen alone for a weekend that Owen would eventually get everything he needs, but to me that's not good enough.  I need a partner who is on the same wavelength and is already thinking about what step comes next before I have to turn to him at 9pm and tell him so.  I need a 24-hour father, just like I'm a 24-hour mother.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Tomorrow is Owen's surgery date.  Not a lot to add to that, other than to please keep him in your thoughts and wish him a speedy recovery afterwards.  He's a trooper, is our little lad.

I'll add more post-surgery, but as I've been telling my family and friends: no news is good news.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day Two

Not too bad today, although I had to eat sushi for the first time ever and thought it was absolutely revolting.  Who on earth thinks something that cold and slimy is delicious?  Eugh.  I have to eat it again on Thursday but I reckon a substitution might be in order.


I also had to eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich (not nearly as exciting or fatty as you'd imagine), and while the thought of peanut butter on its own is enough to make me retch, eating it on soft wholemeal bread with some blackberry jam wasn't too bad.  One demon conquered, anyway.

Don't know what my weight is today because I'm only weighing myself once a week, but my walk with Owen was much nicer than yesterday because it wasn't as cold.  He didn't fall asleep though, which was a shame.

I have lots of other thoughts going around my head but this isn't the time to write them down.  Soon.  Soon.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Day One

I have debated and debated over whether or not to put my real weight on here for all and sundry to read and gasp at.  I have come to the conclusion that, unless I face the truth and my eating demons, I will continue to be overweight, unhealthy and a bad influence on my son as he grows up.  Therefore, here is the first of hopefully many entries about how the new lifestyle is going.

Weight: 219.4 lb 

I CANNOT believe that figure and I am absolutely horrified.  Admittedly my clothes don't fit me very well any more, and I don't do any exercise at all, but STILL.  That is completely and utterly disgusting.  I was 194 lb when I had my first weigh-in at the doctors when I initially got pregnant in September 2008, so that is my first major milestone.  Before that though, I have a few minor milestones to reach, starting with the first five pounds.  I would like to eventually be 150 lb, but I'm planning on taking this slowly and changing my eating habits for good, so that particular goal may take some time.  And that's okay.

The new eating plan is more time-consuming than I anticipated, but I'm going from heating up chilli and topping it with cheese in the microwave, so let's face it: anything else will of course be time consuming.  I like the hummus and hard-boiled eggs combo though, even if it required over an hour's preparation time.  Yum.

I also got out for a walk today with Owen today.  That was fun and put him to sleep, so double win.

I promise not to get too dull and weight-focused, but I do need to write these things down so I'm accountable for myself, my eating and my exercise habits.  If you think it's boring, move on!  This blog is a way for me to write down things for ME, so that is what I intend to do.

I'm looking forward to being healthier and having more energy for Owen.  :)


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Twenty things to be thankful for

1. Owen is alive.
2. Spring has finally arrived and I don't have to wear umpteen layers to leave the house anymore.
3. Now the weather's warmer I am able to take Owen out for walks again.
4. Our kitchen is nearly finished.
5. There are many, many people out there in the world who love me and my son, and think about us every single day.
6. One of those people is my mother-in-law, who sent us about one hundred home-baked cookies the other day, just because she thought we'd like them.
7. Owen has begun some pre-crawling movements, which gives me hope.
8. I am able to make a small living doing something I absolutely love, while staying at home with my son.
9. I am starting my new diet on Monday and the food sounds both delicious and cheaper than our normal processed stuff.
10. Owen's surgery is on Friday... finally.
11. I have several fantastic friends who have already booked themselves in to come to Owen's first birthday party in May, as well as Mike's entire family.
12. One of these fantastic friends is accompanying me to Owen's surgery so I don't go to pieces.
13. Two other fantastic friends are preparing some dishes for me and Mike so we don't have to cook when Owen comes home from the hospital.
14. I am learning something new everyday, and putting most of it to good use.
15. Owen will qualify for Katie Beckett Medicaid, which will eliminate most, if not all, of our remaining medical expenses for him this year.
16. A remarkable family donated nine cans of Owen's expensive formula to us, which is about half a month's supply.
17. I have some new music to jive along to.
18. I have a wonderful, supportive husband who works incredibly hard.
19. My PPD now only rears its ugly head every so often, and I know what it is now so I'm better at dealing with it.
20. My son is both beautiful and hilarious and I love him more than he'll ever fully realise.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Radical Parenting

Watched a very, very cool documentary on Discovery Health last night called Radical Parenting.  Check out The Feminist Breeder's blog (see sticker on the right) for more info.

Can't write much more right now as Owen has the stinkiest nappy you've every smelt, but I'll try and update more about why this show was so cool later.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Some days you just have to throw in the towel

Today did NOT start off well, I'll be honest with you.

First off, Mike's car is on the blink and he's not the most organised of people so it's still at the mechanics, a mere three days after he took it in.  I wouldn't mind so much if they were actually working on the thing, but seeing as they can't identify the problem yet and Mike hasn't given them permission to do any unauthorised work, it's been there since Friday in the same blinkin' state it started in.  Sigh.  So today he has my car, which means I can't leave the house.  I got all excited for about ten minutes planning a walk with Owen, but then I remembered the buggy's in the boot and Mike won't have thought to take it out before he left at 5.30am.  Double sigh.

The next thing to go wrong was Owen waking up at 6am.  This isn't SO bad, but seeing as I don't usually feed him until 7am, it was kind of irritating to have to go in to his room and shush him, then not be able to go back to sleep for the extra hour because my body assumed getting out of bed meant getting out of bed.

Well, Owen's feed was, as usual, a spectacular fountain of puke.  We are down to the barest essentials now with his clothes as he's growing at an alarming rate (he's nine months old and yesterday we noticed he'd grown out of his 12-month babygrows.  Awesome), and all the burp cloths are filthy from the weekend.  I know it's not much, but not having anything clean and/or fitting for him just really, really gets to me.  I mean, if he HAS to throw up constantly, the very least I can do for him as a parent is keep him clean and wearing clothes.  I dunno... it just seemed relentless this morning.

So, after all this nonsense, I settled down on the laptop to load the internet... and the thing doesn't work.  Argh.  After FOUR attempts to get to my desktop in an hour it finally calmed down... and the internet doesn't work!  Apparently there's an issue with my wireless card and I'm so far past caring about the waste of my life I just invested in it that I can't even bring myself to discuss it.  Needless to say, the laptop is now lying abandoned on the floor and I'm on the big Mac.  Mac = much better.  I think my next machine will be a Notebook Air, or whatever they're called.  They just never seem to fail!

Well... after FINALLY getting online here, I check my e-mails and what do I find?  An innocent e-mail from my publishers.  After waiting a whole week, sleeping badly and chewing my nails down to the quick... they are not picking up my proposal.


I sulked for a good hour after reading that, then sent them a cursory e-mail thanking them for their time and informing them I'll be finding another publisher.  It WILL get published, mark my words.

Anyway, after all this mayhem and foolishness this morning, I decided to treat myself to some new music on iTunes.  I finally found that bitchin' song I love from Abby and Luka's wedding on Season 13 of ER and have been jamming away to it ever since.  Because sometimes when things go wrong, you just have to throw in the towel and jam out to this:

"Can't Stop" by Ozomatli