Monday, December 31, 2007


My baby girl is 15 years old. I really can't believe that 15 years ago, I had a new baby girl in my arms. I reguarly brag about her and all of her accomplishments. So I won't go into all of the ways I think she's wonderful...too much...I really can't believe that I have a 15 year old. I really can't possibly be old enough to have a 15 year old.

The years have flown. I really can't believe that I thought she would be a baby forever and that I would never sleep again. She was a horrible sleeper. I was exhausted, sick and overwhelmed when I brought her home from the hospital on January 3, 1992. I didn't really know what I was going to do with her. I had babysat before, but, to be ultimately responsible for her! Wow.

Let me tell you her story...

I was 21 years old. I lived with my parents and worked for my parents, and I felt trapped and like I would live at home forever. Enter Erich. He rescued me. But, my parents hated him. I got pregnant. I hid my pregnancy for as long as I could. I was in denial. Erich and I decided to get married. We planned our wedding in 10 or 12 days. We got married, I was 7 months pregnant (and just starting to show...). I had not gone to the doctor throughout my pregnancy, because I was denying to myself even that I was pregnant. I went to my first appointment, and was promptly put on bedrest. I was dilated to 1 and 80% effaced. We made it through all of that.

December 28, 1992, I went to the doctor for my regular appointment, I was due January 11, and had a little bit longer to go. The dr. checked me and seemed rather concerned. Fourtunately Erich was with me at this particular appointment. The dr. told me that the baby was in a transverse breech position and due to the fact that I was small and didn't seem to have a whole lot of amniotic fluid, he was not willing to try to turn "him". I was dilated to 3 cm, and having relatively regular (though unfelt) contractions. I needed to schedule a C section ASAP, and go home, go to bed and not do anything until I could get into the hospital. If I had any felt contractions, or if my water broke, I was to go directly to the hospital. The C section was scheduled for December 30. We went home in shock. I did everything I was told.

December 30 I went to the hospital and started getting prepped for surgery. This included a sonogram. The sonogram gave us some very bad news. The sonogram showed that the baby was about 4 pounds. That it was probably a boy. It also indicated that my dates were wrong and I was not actually 38 weeks pregnant, I was about 28-32 weeks pregnant. I was dilated to 5 by now, and having very regular (though still unfelt) contractions, so there was no choice but to deliver the baby, fly him to Sacramento, and hope for the best.

We were terrified. We were young and overwhelmed.

At 12:34 pm, December 30, 1992, our "premature boy" was pulled from my belly, screaming HER head off and 6 lbs. 11 oz. She was absolutely beautiful. Her APGARs were outstanding, and she didn't need to be flown anywhere or have any treatments whatsoever due to being early. She had jaundice but that isn't uncommon. Erich named her (on his own, I might add) after his great grandmother and my mom. I didn't know what her name was or that she even had a name, until I was brought into recovery. Honestly, I didn't like it at first, but after a few days, I realized her name fit her perfectly.

We ended up in the hospital for a total of 5 days due to her jaundice and I got a strep B infection.

She was unplanned. But, oh, my she definitely was the highlight of my life. I never knew I could love anyone like I love her. She is amazing, and has been from the day she was born.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all,

and to all an augmentin, amoxcycillin, hydromet cocktail. These are the drugs of choice in my household this Holly Jolly Season. My Christmas holiday began on Friday, December 21. I ran out to do the food shopping, which went surprisingly well. When I got home, the plan was to clean and make cookies, and spend an enjoyable afternoon home with my four lovely children. At around 2 pm, M started screaming hysterically, running around the room, holding his head and crying uncontrollably. After trying to calm him somewhat, I discovered that he had an earache. Which meant he probably had an ear infection, because he had been sick all week with "the cough" and a bit of a fever. I rushed him over to Prompt Care for some help. Really all I wanted was the magic ear drops that take away the pain. A prescription for amoxcycillin, albuterol, a breathing treatment, and two hours later, we were on our way home. He had a double ear infection and bronchitis. We were due to leave for my parents house the next day. They live in the mountains at about 4,000 feet elevation. So, that looked like it was out. I picked up C from his friend's house, and he appeared to have "the cough". He wasn't running a temperature or anything, yet, just had "the cough". Saturday, he woke up with a fever and "the cough" which caused him to throw up three times before 10 am. So, back to Prompt Care. This time we left with a prescription for Prednisone (C has asthma), no antibiotics, and a pat on the back. We spent the next afternoon, and the following day in misery. C was so incredibly sick. He wasn't eating anything. He was coughing constantly, and throwing up from the coughing. The inhaler wasn't working, the prednisone wasn't helping. So, Christmas Eve day, I called Prompt Care and asked if I should bring him back in, his fever was higher, and he was not getting any better. They told me to wait three more days! I decided to visit Immediate Care with him. Get a second opinion. I knew my boy was very sick. There, we got a prescription for Augmentin, another albuterol inhaler, and hydromet which is a vicodin based cough syrup (as my little brood are all allergic to codeine). The doctor we saw actually listened to me and looked at C for more than 2 seconds, and told me that I was right, I had a very sick little boy, who definitely had bronchitis and was not getting any better.

Christmas Eve was spent at my in laws home with my sick boys. I had to bring along the drugs. C has to take his with food, and M has to take his three times a day. C and I left immediately after opening gifts to come home to some peace and quiet, and he needed to take the cough syrup so that hopefully, the poor guy could get a little bit of rest.

Fortunately, due to prevailing illness, the kids didn't get up at the crack of dawn. They slept in until 7 am. Actually, C and M would have slept longer but T couldn't contain his excitement, and woke us all.

Santa was good to all. R said she didn't expect to get everything she wanted and she did. I'm so very happy. I have the most amazing daughter. She collected pictures of her and her brothers, and she made a DVD for me with music and a photo montage. She is so wonderful. I cried those happy/sad tears. Happy, because I felt so loved, sad, because the years have so flown.

My boys all put thought into their gifts for me. I was touched beyond words. I am a lucky woman to have children who love me so.

Well, another dose of amoxcycillin is due. So, I have to go bribe M into taking it yet again. I think we promised him a dollar for each time he swallowed the nasty stuff, and he's up to $11 now. (I know bribery is bad, but he needed to take the medicine and I was willing to offer him just about anything if he'd just take it without a fight).

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Tru Family Gift Giving Profile

My mother in law emailed me a couple of weeks ago with a suggestion that we should each (her, my father in law, 2 brothers in law and my sister in law) fill out a gift giving profile which includes the following items, Name, age, shirt size, pants size, shoe size, color preference, interests, and wish list.

OK. Our family isn't so large that it's easy to forget everyone. There are only three sons, 2 daughters in law, and 4 grandchildren. It isn't like we are incredible spread out either. My brother and sister in law live in LA. But, their interests don't really change. We know them.

My in laws live literally 2/3 of a mile away from us. Before Thanksgiving, they hadn't seen my younger boys since the beginning of the school year. Not, because I have denied them their grandchildren either. They don't ask. I could begin a rampage about these grandparents that would last pages and pages. I choose not to do that right now. Suffice it to say that they are less than desirable in the grandparent arena. Which, I am fine with, generally. I get irritated when stupid things like gift giving profiles are entered into my life. I got no less than 5 emails (that is how my Mother in law communicates with me) reminding me to fill out the damn profile. I finally did. But as sparingly as possible. My feeling is if they don't know Erich after 36 years, and me after 15 years, and our children well enough to creatively purchase presents, I would rather them not.

Let me tell you, my brothers in law and sister in law's profiles were filled out much the same as ours. Sparingly. But, my mother and father in laws profiles were very precisely filled out. Too bad I already got my mother in law a gift, and it's not on her damn profile.

Can you tell I'm a bit bitter about this? I just feel as though it takes away from the joy of choosing and purchasing gifts for your family. It seriously annoys me, and on some level, I believe, offends me.

I enjoy Christmas, with my children. I don't enjoy all of the hooplah around it. Including visiting the in laws and pretending that we are one big happy healthy family. That family is sick sick sick. I don't particularly enjoy even going to my parents home for the holidays, because it's really kind of boring and the pressure is amazing, but it's much more enjoyable by far than the in laws.

This year, I am trying to not let myself dread the upcoming festivities. I am trying to keep a positive attitude.

On another note...Last night, the family and I went to the Stansbury House Christmas. It was so fun. I am a huge lover of history. I have wanted to visit the Stansbury House since I moved to Chico, I just have been unable to make it to visit during their unpredictable hours. We heard the ad for the annual Christmas tour and jumped on it. I am ready to volunteer there. If you live in the Chico area, you HAVE to make it a point to visit this home at some time. It was donated to the city when the last living child of Dr. Stansbury died. She left all of the original furnishings, carpet and wallpaper. It is really amazing! She was born in the house in 1883 and died there in 1974. after living in the house her entire life. She graduated from Chico High, and was an art teacher there as her career. I can't wait to go back someday and hear more stories, and ask more questions. I was truly amazed and thoroughly enjoyed it. And, the kids had their picture taken with Ol' St. Nick. What a fun evening.

Well, tonight it Erich's work holiday party. I have a little shopping to do, to find some accessories to wear with my dress. It's totally windy and freezing today, of course, so I will probably freeze my tootsies off tonight. Oh, well, free dinner...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Don't Have Time!

This is what I mumble, yell, say at least 300 times a day. It has become distressing to me that the thing I say most frequently is that I don't have time. I don't have time to come into the house after school and sit down with my kids and watch TV or read them a book or help with homework. Because, after working at a job all day, I have to go grocery shopping, run errands, go to DMV...and I just don't have time.

I really don't enjoy that aspect of myself. I begin my morning knowing that I don't have time. I don't have time to lovingly wake my boys and make them breakfast. I rush in and turn on the light and tell them to get up...NOW! Then I run out, then as I dash by their bedroom 15 times in 20 minutes, I holler in the door, "Get up now! I don't have time!" How sad is that?

Over the last week I have noticed how often I say that. Too many times. I am feeling a bit guilty. I feel so rushed and overwhelmed. I know that I should enlist the older kids to help out, but, then I am flooded with guilt for making them pick up the loose ends because I work...I know that is completely irrational. But, I have been a stay at home mom for the last 12 years. I only came into the workforce part time(20 hrs. a week)last year, before that, I only worked about 10 hours a week. Which was great when I had a little one at home, and in Kindergarten.

I'm not complaining, I am not lamenting my job. I love it. I love that I am at the school, and C can pop in and tell me "Hi" off and on. I love that when I forget to put a bandaid on that nasty staph infected bump on his arm, all I have to do is call his teacher and have him sent to ME. I love that I get paid for what I do. I love that I have benefits. I guess what is bothering me is that I have spoiled my family having been a stay at home mom for so long, and they don't know how to take care of themselves or help me out. Thus, the house is a disaster, I am overwhelmed, and contemplating the benefits of too much alcohol.

I don't know how to voice my needs. I don't know how to accept help from anyone. I am a caretaker. I am a MOM. I have learned so much about myself and my weaknesses through having children. They kind of bring you to a point of self realization. But, one of the things I haven't learned is how not to spoil them rotten. I run myself ragged for them. I love them desperately. I can't even put it into words. But, I can't help but think that I do them a disservice by not teaching them to step up and help out. To recognize someone in need and just help, not because of the pay, not because there is anything in it for them, just because it's the right thing to do. I know that they are great kids and would help out a perfect stranger, or friends, but when they watch me running from one end of the house to the other, doing at least 3 things at once, it would be nice to hear one of them take the initiative to take one of the things off of my to do list. I think I have fallen into whining, so I will stop...

There are only 18 more shopping days until Christmas, no, I am not nearly done. Not even close. There is alot to do next pay day. I'm trying to keep a good attitude as I fight the Christmas crowds. We have all but one of the BIG presents, it's all of the piddly stuff that's left.

Next experience with my Mother in Law's Gift Giving Profile....