Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Two Year Difference

I'm trying to focus on the positive today with so much other hate and hurt happening in this country.  Two years ago we were spending our son's first Christmas in the NICU, no signs of the happy holiday it should be except for his red and green knit hat and a light-up snowman my mother had sent.  No cute Christmas outfit, no visit to Santa.

Two years later and we're celebrating this wonderful holiday with our two-year-old who is a walking, talking, goofy, happy little man who loves to shoot hoops, chase his kitties and do absolutely anything outside.  We went for a walk in the snow which he adored as evidenced by his constant squealing and kicking feet.

He opened presents with gusto, actually pausing to see what was under the paper and in the box.  He chowed down on Christmas dinner and watched "Toy Story 3" while eating popcorn.

I'm the mother to an amazing little man and every Christmas, every day, I witness a miracle and give thanks to God  he's blessed us with this little man.





Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

Life of a Mom:

Go to get something out of the freezer for dinner, find several freezer bags I've sectioned bulk meats into.  Take one out.  Can't tell whether it's chicken or fish......defrost anyway.

Anyone up for Dinner Surprise??

Monday, December 17, 2012

Broken hearted

My heart is broken.  My eyes can't handle the emotion and feeling that needs to leave my body to make me feel better.  There is no way to make this feeling go away.  It makes me afraid for my son, afraid for the future of this country.  It makes me afraid that when, not if, this happens again more loved ones will be lost.  Will it be yours?  Will it be mine?

There is no simple answer to where to go from here.  Better gun control?  Better mental health screenings?  Both?  Neither?  I don't know what the answer is but I do know something needs to change.  This country is having more and more mass shootings with far too many people dying for us to ignore what's going on and ask what we can do to make people safer from rifle-wielding lunatics.  Something needs to change.

All I know is 20 sets of parents showed up at a volunteer fire house praying to God their child was the next one to be safely walked through the door, that they would be on the happy end of a bittersweet reunion with their child and they could go home and have a good cry.  Those 20 sets of parents were still left there when no more children were walking through the door.  And seven other families were waiting to see if their loved one died protecting those children.

No one should have to go through that.  No gun law should protect those who own the guns over those who are killed with those same guns.  You have a right to bear arms, I agree, but those 27 people also had a right to be safe in their school and continue on with their glorious lives.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Super Cute Stuff!!

I love Etsy.  You can find anything and everything...and sometimes stuff you didn't want to see.  But I found the cutest kid clothes and already ordered a few as gifts for friends (and their new babies, yay!).  I love these because it's stuff you can't really find anywhere else.  Not all girls' clothes have to be pink and not all boys stuff has to be sports, that's what I love about this shop.  Adorable!!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/HelgasHaberdashery?ref=ss_profile


Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Catastrophe

The fam and I put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving (no earlier, people.  no earlier.).  We broke 10 ornaments, two of us were bleeding and Santa got decapitated.

A box broke open and 8 balls fell out and broke on the floor.  G-man picked up two more balls and bashed them together (like he does with his wooden toys) and the ornaments shattered, cutting his hand slightly.  So 10 balls shattered, one person bleeding.  I rushed over to make sure he didn't step on the shattered ornaments and I ended up stepping on the shattered ornaments.  So 10 balls shattered, two of us bleeding.  I put him in the living room to sift through a box of not-ornaments and he picked out a foam and velvet Santa.

G-man ends up leaving Santa in the kitchen where Hubs promptly steps on him and his head pops off.  Santa's head, not Hubs's.

So that's 10 broken ornaments, two of us bleeding and one beheaded Santa and we hadn't even made it to the living room yet!!

'Tis the Season.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Behind a Badge

My father is a sergeant on the police force outside of Denver and has been a cop almost my whole life.  I grew up knowing my dad went to work with a gun and a bulletproof vest because his job was dangerous.  We had breakfast once a week at a bagel shop near my high school and drew stares and questions from classmates wanting to know why I was dining with a cop.  "What did he need?"  "Are you in trouble?"  "No, that's my dad," I'd say with a questioning tone.  It was odd to them to see a uniformed police officer with his kid, a kid they knew.

It never seemed odd to me, that's just my dad.

It's a different way to grow up and as I got older I realized how different being a cop's kid was, and still is.  Every time a cop is hurt or killed in the line of duty it hurts, even if you didn't know them, even if it was no where near home.  Someone, somewhere just lost their someone.  This is a reality every single day for those of us that love a cop.

People tend to forget cops are people too.  They're brothers, sisters, moms, dads, daughters and sons.  Friends, family.  When you call the cops, that's my father or brother showing up to protect you.

A long time ago we decided that anytime a cop was injured or killed anywhere near his jurisdiction, he'd let us know so we didn't worry when it hit the news.

Today I got a call from my dad around 6am his time (we're two time zones apart).  I was getting my son up and my phone was in another room.  I immediately checked his message as this is a very odd time for him to be calling me.  I could immediately hear pain in his voice.

My dad told me this morning a cop from his department had been killed, but that he was not involved and had been called in to help with the ensuing chaos.

I burst into tears; it was a mixture of relief and grief.  I was grateful I wasn't the one getting "the call" all cop families fear.  I was heartbroken for the family who wasn't so lucky.  All cop families are in this together and I am devastated for this family I don't even know.

My prayers, thoughts and heart go out to the family of this cop and the members of his department

Next time you see a cop or need help, just remember these officers have families and they are someone's something behind that badge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Just Lucky I Guess

There are all sorts of scary things that go along with people who have had HELLP Syndrome.  Clotting disorders, autoimmune problems, heart disease, and inexplicable high blood pressure are all lovely side affects that can come along with the syndrome.

I've had some testing done in the spirit of having all the facts before The Hubs and I decide to have another baby or not.  Do I have these clotting disorders or autoimmune disorders that may have led to Munchkin's early delivery?  Do I have some underlying condition that makes me predisposed to HELLP Syndrome?

Blood test after blood test, doctors visits, sticks, pokes, and a chat with the OB later reveals......

Nothing.

Nothing at all.

They didn't find anything that lends itself to HELLP Syndrome or Pre-Eclampsia, at least what they know of those syndromes.  I'm a perfectly healthy woman of child bearing age that, for all intents and purposes, had no reason to develop these life threatening diseases.

I'm just lucky I guess.


Thursday, November 01, 2012

It Doesn't Go Completely Away

When Munchkin was born, I envisioned myself thinking about his dramatic arrival every day.  I thought I would thank God every second of every day for this little miracle and kissing the ground he walks on.

Don't get me wrong, I'm completely obsessed with my son and he amazes me every single day.  But I get burned out just like any normal parent does.  I get frustrated when he just throws his food on the ground over and over and refuses to eat or irritated when he just will..not...go...to....sleep.  I don't think about the trauma of the his birth all day every day, but I do recognize things every day that make me even more proud of how far he's come.

The fact that he can stand up in the middle of the living room and walk to get a popsicle.  The fact that he can even ask for a popsicle.  When I ask him what he does when he's happy and he gives me the cheesiest smile ever.

But we go on with our lives too.  In many ways we're just like any normal family of three.

Every once in awhile it hits me hard just how lucky we are and how hard Munchkin has worked to be "normal".  A few nights ago I was editing a video I made of Munchkin's NICU stay and somehow I had forgotten just how little and helpless he looked and just how hard he fought.

When I checked on him before I headed to bed he was peacefully sleeping with his hands above his head like he normally does.  It hit me like a ton of bricks; I could've lost him.  He woke up when he heard the floorboards creek and I picked him up to rock him back to sleep.

The smell of him, the heat of his body and the weight of him on my chest choked me up.  It brought back the memories of Kangaroo Care and just how small he felt. The first time I held him he was barely a foot long, less when he was curled up, tucked up under my chin.  Holding him that night, so warm and peaceful, he lays on my chest but he reaches all the way down my torso, almost to my knees at 35 inches long.  I lost it.  I spent 45 minutes rocking my sleeping toddler, tears streaming down my face.

No matter how long it's been, I'm still completely grateful for this little miracle man and am constantly in awe of how far he's come.  My son is my hero.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NICU Twist to Sandy

New York University Hospital Langone Medical Center relied on generators to keep the power going to sustain the 200+ patients they were caring for during Hurricane Sandy.  When these generators started to fail, the staff needed to get the patients out to hospitals unaffected by the power outtage.

These patients included 20 NICU babies, several on machine-run respirators.

The valiant NICU nurses unplugged the babies, grabbed manual breathing masks and physically breathed for the babies while they evacuated.  The nurses jumped on a stretcher and cradled the babies while pumping oxygen into their undeveloped lungs while being wheeled to safety.

The very thought of that brings tears to my eyes.  Then I saw this picture.











And the tears were no longer in my eyes.  This may be one of the most moving pictures I've ever seen.  There are no words. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wanna Be My BFF?

How do you meet friends when you're new in a city, stay at home with your young child and don't really know anyone but your neighbors?  I've been to some meetup.com groups and didn't meet anyone worth the effort of extroverting myself for (yes, I verbed extrovert).  I met a few people on BabyCenter and one was absolutely fabulous (!!) but then her husband just HAD to take a better job in Ohio.

There are women in my neighborhood I see taking walks with their children roughly Munchkin's age but unless we all show up to a neighborhood event, how do I invite someone to a playdate without seeming like a completely creepy stalker-mom?

For example, Munchkin and I are sitting in the living room playing with stickers and I see a mom stroll by with her little one.  How do I approach her?  I think tearing out my front door chasing after them yelling "do you want to hang out?!?!" is probably out of the question.

And when I pass one on a walk when we're on a walk?  How do I just stop her cold in her tracks and ask them over without her thinking "wow, this woman is desperate"?

Le sigh.

Do you want to be my friend? :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

It Is NOT The Same

There are posts on message boards all over the internet touting applesauce used in place of oil when baking doesn't change consistency or taste in said baked goods.

I'm here to tell you that's a freakin' lie.  I used applesauce in brownies instead of oil and.....dear god, the brownies turned out disgusting.  Mealy with almost a gelatin consistency after you start to eat it.

I'll take my brownies full of fat, like God intended, thankyouverymuch.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Fall Wreath

I've been feeling craftier lately.  I love to craft but haven't been able to really undertake any projects in the last two years.  I've been a tad, ahem, busy.

However, I would like to change this so Hubs watches Munchkin so I can have some time to do some things I love.  And we really needed a Fall Season wreath for our front door to spruce things up a little, so I did some research and came up with this. (Keep in mind this is my first attempt and I think it's a work in progress.  I'll post an update if I change it.)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FYI

Press and Seal is NOT equivalent to a gallon size bag.


Yes, that's worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, red wine vinegar and olive oil on the counter, down the cabinet and pooling on the floor.


Mom Problems

It was a long night the night before.  Every hour on the hour Munchkin would wake up absolutely inconsolable, crying, running nose, blubbering.  He'd had a bad dream and needed snuggles and a book.  The next hour he woke up blubbering and wanted his Dada...except Dada is out of town.  We call Dada on speakerphone and he helps sing Munchkin to sleep.

When I get out of Munchkin's room for the third time in 3 hours, the light in the living room was off.  Thinking it was a burned out bulb I go to the linen closet for a new bulb and the light in the hall won't turn on.  No problem, just a blown fuse somewhere.  I go flip the breaker; nothing.  I try a few other things; nothing.

I call my dad.  He tells me to turn off all switches one by one, maybe the switches are mislabeled.  One by one I turn things off and turn them back on.  Still nothing.  Then I smell burning.  My heart starts to race and I mention it to my dad.  Turns out my neighbors were having some random late night bonfire which, strangely enough, isn't that unusual.  Crisis averted, my house isn't on fire.

After about 20 minutes nothing has worked.  Oh well, guess a call to the electrician will go out tomorrow.  During this time, Munchkin has heard me puttering around and is awake again.  Wonderful.

My mom calls during this time; I'm frustrated, sitting in the dark in the living room with an extension cord to the other side of the room so I can keep my computer plugged in.  Could I go upstairs? Yes. But my DVR is in the living room and I was watching something.  I explain the situation for her, she asks if I have something plugged in tot he bathroom outlet and if that little button tripped.....uh, never thought of that. Sure enough, SUCCESS!!  In the meantime, Munchkin has passed out.

He was up and fussing every few hours all night so neither of us got much sleep.  When I finally get him to nap in the afternoon he goes down pretty easily.  An hour into his nap I'm wrapping a package for my sister and need scissors.  I then realize the scissors are in Munchkin's room; I'll just creep in real quiet and get the scissors, they're just right on the changing table.

I creeeeeep in making sure I don't step on the places that creak loudly.  I grab the scissors, start to back out and WHACK!  Right into the door which makes the loudest noise possible.  F*^@!  Munchkin immediately wakes up and bolts right up.  I freeze.  It's 130 in the afternoon and my first reaction is to freeze like I'll blend in with the surroundings and he won't see me.  No such luck!  Oh well, guess it's time to get up.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What I Learned From "Sex and the City"

There's an episode of "Sex and the City" in which Miranda realizes people wear masks when it comes to things you think others may judge you for or you're insecure about.  You're married but don't want kids? When someone asks for the 1000th time when you're having kids, make a joke about wanting nice furniture without chocolate stains.  Pushing 40 and not married?  Make a joke about being the ultimate single gal.

My mask?  Having a second baby.

I was told by my OBGYN that I shouldn't think about having a second baby until G-man is 2.  I kept thinking that was forever away and to not think about it until the time came.  Well, believe it or not, G-man is 20 months old (pause for gasps!).  I know, I'm not sure how it happened either but the fact is he's pushing two years old.  At my last blood pressure check (passed with flying colors, thank you very much!) my doctor mentioned we may want to start some blood panels and tests to possibly get ready for our next.  "Our next what?"  "Your next baby."  I almost fell off the table.

It hit me like a ton of bricks that it's been almost two years since our mini bundle of joy burst into this world and, between you and me, I'm fricken' scared to death to even think about possibly just entertaining the idea of another pregnancy.

I volunteer at the NICU G-man was born into so it's not like I've completely forgotten what it's like to be there, but somewhere between his first smile and his first steps I blocked out just how incredibly terrifying and awful it was.

If you know me, you know that I generally have a sarcastic or witty comeback for just about anything.  My "second baby mask" is no different.  When someone asks me if we'll have another, I make a joke about how G-man is more than enough for us, sometimes too much, hahaha (see the mask?).

Truth is, I want another baby.  I want G-man to have a sibling and I always saw myself the mom of two.  However the reality of it is we were extraordinarily lucky to both come out alive the first time.  We have an absolutely amazing son I wouldn't trade for anything and I'm terrified to my core of having another preemie or worse.  Maybe one will just have to be enough.

Plus, G-man is the light of my life and when you hit a hole-in-one, you stop swinging.  (see what I did there? mask!)

Monday, July 09, 2012

MWF Seeks BFF

So I've started reading a book called "MWF Seeks BFF" (or Married White Female seeking Best Friend Forever for those of you not hip to my lingo).  It really hits home with me because it's about a married woman who relocates to a different part of the country to be with her husband.  She has a few acquaintances but nobody to really call a close or good friend; no one to call on a Friday night to get last minute drinks or catch the midnight showing of "Magic Mike", no one to zing you with a sarcastic, incredibly not politically correct comment that knocks your socks off.

This book is hilarious but also makes me feel like I'm not alone in feeling alone.  Many families, young and old, have packed up and moved from wherever they call home to where the jobs are.  Hubs and I did the exact same thing; he has a great job, they said we need you in Detroit and we went.  It's exciting and scary all at the same time.

You have to start from scratch.  I still have my girlfriends but only from afar.  As much as we talk and commiserate and laugh over Skype, text, FB, etc., I still feel alone on the ever increasing nights the Hubs is gone for work.  I want to be able to do a Deadliest Catch night where I make appetizers, have bbq's and not have to drink a bottle of wine on my own.  Okay, well maybe that last one isn't so bad.

However, I'm a classic introvert.  I have a hard time putting myself out there and walking into a room in which I know no one.  I like to socialize, I like to be out and about...to a point.  And putting myself (and G-Man) out of my comfort zone again and again and again is tiring.  Especially because there are many more hits than misses.  I've made a few friends, but I've also met a lot of weirdos.

Guess I'm another MWF Seeking a BFF in a new city.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Always Something

It always seems to be something with our family. HELLP Syndrome in an otherwise healthy pregnancy, NICU stay, RSV, stomach flu...the list goes on. It's always something.

This time: pink eye. Not for G-man, for me. HOW did I get pink eye, you ask? I have no freakin' clue. But I do and it sucks. It's gross, it's not the most comfortable thing in the world and I probably should just keep it to myself...but what fun would THAT be?

I'm trying like hell to ensure G-man doesn't get it but let's just cross our fingers. However, RSV didn't slow him down much. He just created a slime trail as he chased the cats down the hall.

But being typical me, I've turned a (hopefully) simple case of pink eye into a catastrophe. On our evening walk I simply ask Hubs "if I have to get a glass eye, will you still love me?" In true Hubs fashion he asks, "how many pirate jokes am I allowed to make?"

I've convinced myself I'm basically going to turn into Two-Face from Batman: pretty on one side, skeletal on the other where they had to remove my eye and face tissue because I've somehow contracted flesh eating bacteria of the eye.

We also had the WebMD conversation again.

That is all for tonight. I need to go hobble up to my bell tower now.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reduce, Reuse

Reduse, reuse, recycle!  Welcome to 1st grade. :)

I'm sick of having a bag of chocolate chips in my pantry with a clip on the bag.  It looks messy, the clips falls off and it becomes messy, it doesn't stack well, and I just don't like it.

Enter: empty parmesan cheese container.

Problem solved.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The List

Most people know what the "Top 5" list is. For those of you who don't know, this is a list a lot of people have which states the 5 celebrities you're allowed to sleep with without your spouse getting mad. Ridicuous? Maybe. Petty? Possibly. Necessary? Absolutely!

While I was in New York in March, I had a conversation with my sister about said list. I told my sister although I have the normal list of 5, I also have a list of celebrities I just want to punch in the face. Her reaction was, "wow, anger much?"

No, no. It's not about anger, it's just about those certain celebrities that bug you so much you just can't help but want to punch them right in the face! That's not anger, right? Totally normal.

My list consists of:
Kim Kardashian
Tom Cruise
Leo DiCaprio
The Entire Jersey Shore Cast
Justin Bieber
Willow Smith (Will Smith's daughter. Yes she's 11. I really think instead of thinking "wow, she wants to punch an 11-year-old" you should really be thinking "wow, you're right. She must be JUST THAT annoying in order for her to have an 11-year-old on her list!")

Well, feast your eyes on this little beauty:


Apparently I'm not the only one! You can buy them from 27thStreetPress on Etsy. Awesome.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Occupational Hazard

I love to cook and one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom now has given me the opportunity to try new recipes and play around with baking. I try to have new or interesting recipes for the Hubs when he gets home from work and to expand The Munchkin's culinary horizons. I hate, HATE!, when I get a recipe, thaw the meat, get ready to cook and...the meat is spoiled. WTF?! Groceries are expensive enough here but then the ground beef is somehow spoiled? Damn you, Trader Joes, damn you. Guess it's Noodles & Co. again tonight.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Nailed It

I love freshly painted nails. I'm a stay-at-home mom right now and I do try to look nice most of the time...but let's face it, some days I just throw on track pants and a shirt that smells fine,throw my hair into a ponytail and call it good. Some days I put on makeup, other days I don't even bother. However, I always try to have my nails done. I feel like even when I may look like a schmuck, at least my nails are nice. There's just something nice about having nicely done nails that makes me feel put together and fancy. I'm always on the hunt for new nail polish and new colors. This week I tried Pure Ice brand in Kissy Kiss. It's only $1.50 a bottle but it does chip pretty easily. Last week I bought Essie No-Chip Top Coat and I was a little skeptical about how much it would actually work, or how much better than a normal top coat. The Pure Ice usually chips pretty fast, within a day or so. With normal top coat I get an extra day or so out of it, but I usually get no more than 4 days of unchipped nails. Here are my nails right after I did them with Kissy Kiss and Essie No-Chip.
Here's a full week after.
Keep in mind I did several rounds of dishes, bathed a toddler and scrubbed the kitchen. I'm impressed with the No-Chip and it's definitely worth the $8 it costs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back from Beyond

My first post in several months is going to be a gripe. I believe we have the laziest mail lady on the planet. Not only is she completely unfriendly, she talks on her phone the whole time she's delivering mail and instead of walking up and down our path to the door, she cuts across our grass. She's even failed to take my outgoing mail on several occasions. Awesome. And people wonder why the USPS is cutting jobs and closing post offices. Case in point: This is how she throws the mail in our doorway. We have a mail slot in our front door so when the door is open the mail carrier just opens the storm door and plops the mail in the entryway. Other mail carriers plop it in a nice pile...this woman apparently throws it in like she's throwing New Years confetti.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rough Day

Any time I have a rough day or feel down I will now play this video and laugh my butt off.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Skinny

People who say "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" have obviously never tasted my mint brownies. That is all.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Magazine Friday

I have a slight problem with hoarding magazines. I presently am the proud owner of 5 magazine subscriptions and I pick up at least two more at the store weekly. I have a vested interest (okay, an obsession) with celebrity gossip and food magazines. My obsession is so great The Hubs and I now have what we endearingly call "magazine Friday". Every Friday Hubs gets home from work and we load of Munchkin, head to Target Boutique and I peruse the weekly magazine rack. I get excited to see what selatious stories the tabloids have cooked up this week. You may think it's juvenile and crap but it's my weekly escape into a lifestyle none of us will know. Do I condone paps hounding celebrities and their families, no. But without a vested interest in their personal lives, half the celebrities wouldn't have a career (Kim Kardashian, anyone?) I do think many of them are silly. I frequently read an article about someone or read a quote they said and launch into a diatribe to The Hubs about why this particular celebrity is an idiot/egomaniac/not talented/shouldn't be famous. I hate the Kardashians (and I'm not one who hates them but still watches their ever-growing number of shows), think the divorce rate is disgusting, am annoyed by a vast majority of them, and have somewhat of an emotional attachment to celebrities I deem nice people despite being in showbiz. Not every magazine makes the cut either. In respect to the celebrity weeklies, I absolutely put my foot down if the cover story is something I know to be an all out fabrication (Brangelina weds! Jen Aniston says "leggo, I'm Preggo"! There was a secret Twilight Wedding!) Also, if the same story is on three covers I buy the "OK!" magazine. I deem "OK!" to be the most reputable of the more trashy celebrity magazines. The list goes as follows: "Us Weekly" (which I subscribe), "People Magazine" (which I SHOULD subscribe to but never got around to), "OK! Magazine", then "In Touch" and "Life and Style" are neck and neck, and "Star" brings up the bottom. I also subscribe to Cosmo, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Food Network Magazine. With The Munchkin I have very little time to read the magazines I love let alone the ones I subscribe to so there's a large stack of unread magazines in our guest room. I look at it as something for our guests to read in their room since we have yet to hook up the t.v. in that room. I get around to reading them once in awhile. More on that later. So there you have it; why Friday is just a little sweeter for me.