Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back To Work I Go - And Baby Goes To Daycare

So bittersweet. Well, right now it feels more like bitter. I graduated, got a job as a Family Therapist, and I start tomorrow. I've been counting down the days til I started work, only now to feel so lost as the day approaches. Last week we had a trial run with daycare so that I could be around to run to the rescue if he really was having a tough time. Well, he had a tough time. He cried for 4 hours straight, only taking a nap for 1 hour, then waking up for more crying. I kept calling for updates, and the daycare lady told me that she feels that we spoil him. How she came to that conclusion in only a couple of hours on the first day of watching an 8 month old, I have no clue.

In any event, I told her that he just needed time to adjust and that he's the only baby in our family right now so he gets held a lot. We don't spoil him at our house, but far be it from me to tell his grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins not to hold him when they see or babysit him. Thankfully he started to adjust towards the second half of the day, but it was still a traumatic experience for the both of us.

On top of that, his stridor got worse from all the crying he did. Stridor is "a high pitched sound resulting from turbulent air flow in the upper airway, usually heard on inspiration". He has had this stridor on and off since birth, but his pedi kept saying that it was normal for him, that he was just overly excited, and that we shouldn't worry. So every time he would get upset or very excited, he'd do that gasping/whistling noise. When he calmed down, it would stop. At some point, we though it might be Croup, which is an upper airway infection that can cause the stridor sound. But that turned out to be false since he never seems to have any cold or flu like symptoms along with the noise.

So of course, at daycare (where he probably was the most anxious since he came out of the birth canal), his stridor got really bad. The daycare lady started talking about not wanting to get her business shut down if he stops breathing, and all kinds of malarkey. So, to appease her, we brought him to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. Turns out, I'm so glad we went because we now have a diagnosis for the noisy breathing. Thankfully it isn't severe, but our baby has mild Laryngomalacia. Laryngomalacia, also known as a "soft larynx", is "a very common condition of infancy, in which the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation." So when he gets excited and takes a deep breathe, the soft larynx fold together causing the whistling. The specialist said that it's genetic so somewhere along the line, myself or my hubby may have had family with the condition. And 95% of all cases correct themselves by 12-18 months of age. So though the daycare lady was a pain in my patoot, at least we now have a name for our little monster's squeaky breathing, and we're glad it's not asthma or anything life threatening.

But besides all of that, tomorrow I start work officially and I won't have the luxury of dropping everything and running to his aide if he is not adjusting well. And I'm a mess. I can't bare for him to be crying for hours again, exacerbating his condition, and just feeling lousy for the next week or two. This morning, I held him during his feeding, and just started bawling because I was picturing his little lip curled downward at daycare, looking around for mama and dadadadada (as he likes to call him). But at least he'll only be at daycare on Mondays and Tuesdays. We're very blessed to have family and friends who are willing to watch him for the rest of the week. So I guess The first two days of the week will be my nail-biting, stressy messy days, and then I'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief once we hit Wednesdays!

Looking back on my time as a stay at home mom, I wish I didn't complain about the lack of sleep, time, or money so much. I was blessed to be able to spend 8 full months with my baby, 24/7. And though it was tiring, I at least was the one who cared for and spent the most time with him. Now he'll be cared for by others more than by his own mother, and that is something I'm still trying to come to grips with. In the long run, I know that this will be the best thing for us since we'll be in a better financial situation and be able to move to a safer, quieter and more spacious apartment/neighborhood. So I guess I'll have to bite the bullet, and hope that things fall into place. For today, I'll just enjoy my pumpkin's first Halloween, and revel in my last day as a stay at home mom. Alas, time is my worst enemy! Pray for me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cut The Fluff - Week 5

I know, I know, last week I said I was ready to throw in the towel. But this week, I'm more hopeful! Call it more sleep (yes the bambino is sleeping better these days!) Or possibly last week was just some major PMS, but this week I'm feeling like I CAN DO IT. I went to my weight watchers meeting over the weekend, and while I didn't want to weigh in cuz I didn't feel I worked hard enough last week, I felt that I needed to know the truth so I could move on from there. Well to my surprise, I lost about half of a pound. While that may not seem like much to others, it's great for me since I was expecting to see myself gain!

So for this coming week, I will work on tracking my food better, more water, and exercise 3 times this week... for an hour each time!! ::gasp:: I was gonna stick to my 30 minute rule (brought on by laziness) but 3Carrigans had a great post that shed some new light on why it's important to work out for an hour, not just 30 minutes or else you'll just maintain the weight you have on. So I will try doing an hour 3 times this week.

I also met a great woman on twitter, howtoloseit, and she's a Team Beachbody Coach who is motivating me to get these last 25lbs off. Check out her website HERE. Plus, of course my #CutTheFluff girls! So I have a lot of support and will continue on my Quest for a healthier me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cut The Fluff - Week 4

So I skipped a Cut The Fluff post last week because I had nooooo motivation to eat well or exercise. I just have so much on my plate. I still only get about 4 hours of sleep a night due to the baby's night wakings, and I'm so tired during the day that I can't even focus on remembering to comb my hair half the time, let alone losing all the weight that I want to. And I'm going back to work full time in 2 weeks, so that's an added stress also.

I really am contemplating whether I should take a break from all the weight loss aspirations like @Mommyboots did, as explained in her blog post HERE. I think I'll give it another few weeks though. I'm hoping that once I start working, I'll get into a good routine that will help me stay on track with eating since I'll be busy. A lot of times, I find that my poor eating is a result of being too close to the fridge at home while taking care of my little one LOL. One spoon of food for him, two fork fulls for me! I'm looking forward to not having tons of food readily available to me 24/7. Here's to getting back on track this week. *fingers crossed*

So what are this week's goals?

Goal 1: Stay within daily weight watchers points allowance
Goal 2: Take two walks (no pressure to add a specific amount of time)
Goal 3: Lose 2 lbs

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We. Need. Friends.

No, no, no, I'm not saying that my husband and I don't have ANY friends and that we're social outcasts. Not at all. But my husband and I have been discussing how becoming parents has made us quite the lonely bunch. Why, you ask? Well most of our friends are not married, and don't have children yet. And the ones that do (in)conveniently live out of state.

So our Saturday nights consist of playing with the baby all day, taking naps when the baby does, eating, watching TV, then playing with the baby some more until he falls asleep. We then of course fall asleep 10 minutes after he does because we're so exhausted from our day (of doing basically nothing at all.) And now that the munchkin is almost 8 months old, he's pretty much past the "newness" phase where everyone wants to come over just to see him. Now we're at a point where people call to hang out, and if we can't find a sitter, the answer is a resounding NO. Aw, maybe next time, they say. Ya, right.

We just haven't been able to find a niche group of young married parents like ourselves to relate to. How much easier (and more fun) it would be to have dinner with another couple with a peanut like ours. The kiddos could play together and the rest of us could have adult conversation. We could feel like "us" again. I wonder if it ever gets better. I guess once our friends start having kids, it will be a little easier. Except now we'll have a toddler running around with no interest in a tiny newborn. :::sigh::: For now I'll stick close to my twitter/babycenter friends and hope that we find some actual bodies to hang out with sometime soon. My twitter name is joonluv630 by the way. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't label me with that number, please!

Today has been a rough day. I looked up my credit score and was NOT pleased, to say the least. My score has shot down 200 points in the past 10 months. Why you ask? Well, it all started in 2008 BEFORE the economic collapse. My husband was in Real Estate full time and I was a full time case worker. I was in grad school part time and knew that if I didn't go full time at some point, I'd be in school for the next 5 years despite being in school already for 2 years thus far. So, not knowing what the future had in store for us, we decided that perhaps we could survive on the one income since my husband was doing extremely well and I also had student loans to cover extra expenses. So I quit. Please know that we didn't make this decision lightly. I sought wise counsel (like the bible teaches) and each person I turned to said that it seemed like a good idea, seeing my husband's income was abundantly flowing, plus we had money saved up, etc.

Who knew that the economy would crash the way it did for the first time in decades? Certainly not us. In any event, we survived for a couple of months, then the housing market slowed down terribly. Let's face it, it didn't slow down, it stopped. Real Estate was NOT the business to be in. And now we had barely 2 nickels to rub together, literally. My husband had to search for a regular 9-5 and I came up preggers. Wow.

I don't even know how we survived, but we managed to keep our basic needs met. (Actually I do know how - God - and God working through our family.) And then my husband found a Customer Service job. Hurray! Things were looking up, and soon our beautiful baby boy was born. Happy happy joy joy! Wait, hold off on the streamers. Six weeks after I gave birth, my husband got laid off. This was even tougher than the first time because we didn't have ANY savings since we were living paycheck to paycheck. Again, we managed. Thankfully, 2 months after that fiasco, he found a great sales job. But by the time he found this job, it had been 2 months of having to forego making payments on certain bills and loans, in order to pay for rent, electricity, the car note, and other basic needs. We did the best we could to survive. Finally I got my degree over the summer and recently found a job as a Family Therapist that starts next month. So there's a light at the end of the tunnel, right? What's the problem?

Unfortunately, though we weathered the storm(s), we are still dealing with the after-shock which is my damaged credit. When we got married, we put most things under my name because my credit was perfect. It was in the mid 700s. But after 10 months of difficult times, my credit is pretty much in the high risk range. Sadly, some accounts are now in collections because of being 60 days or more past due. So the creditors keep calling...and calling...and calling. No matter how hard we try to work with them, we can never seem to catch up for the lost 2 months. And of course they don't care about how perfect my credit was prior to 2009. They all paint me with the same brush - as if everyone who has bad credit MUST be irresponsible. No, it couldn't be due to a rough patch. Of course not.

I feel like screaming to each one of them over the phone, "No I am not bad with money. No I am not a shop-a-holic. No I am not a gambler. No I am not lazy. NO I AM NOT A LOSER, DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY THINK MR. CREDITOR!" But that won't help. I'm sure they've heard it all. I've tried to tell them that we've just come out of the hardest year of our lives and are trying to rebuild. Some are nice about it and some are jerks. But all want their money. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand this because the bible says to owe no man anything but love. I know debt is wrong. We just have had extenuating circumstances that have put us in this situation. Yes, things will get better, and God-willing, 2011 will bring amazing things. BUT today is today. And today is tough. Today it seems like the 6 weeks it'll take to get my first paycheck will be the longest 6 weeks of my life.

Try rocking an overtired baby to sleep while the phone keeps ringing every 30 minutes. Which of course leads to me putting the phone off the hook to get some peace. No, I'm not trying to run away from our debt but I don't know how many different ways I can say that we won't have the extra money to pay everything off until I start working. Period. I guess I can rest on that saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... hmm.. but that doesn't make me feel any better. I tell ya, it'll be a difficult road trying to put together what has been destroyed, but we can only go up from here. So thankfully, I can at least feel good about that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Healthy Eating, God's Way

I usually don't put any of the devotionals that I write on this blog, since this blog is geared more towards motherhood, dieting, etc. However, the devotional that I wrote for next week is about healthy eating! So I figured, it would find a place here, at least for the week. :) And since I'm a Christian first above all else, oh well for those who don't agree! ::cheesy grin::

Healthy Eating, God’s Way - October 12, 2010

Key Verse: Daniel 1:16 – So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Healthy eating has been a life-long struggle for me. I’ve been up and down when it comes to weight. To show you what I mean – I was a chubby baby, thinned out around age 5, back to chunky at 8, thinned out again around 13, porked out during college, thinned out right after college, back to chubby after getting married and having a baby. What a rollercoaster ride! But thankfully, as I get older, I’m starting to lean more towards just being healthy instead of trying to be a size 8.

When reading the Bible this morning, I came across the story of Daniel. To make a long story short, the king of Babylon took over Jerusalem and ordered that the strongest and most affluent Israelite men were to be brought to him to be trained for his service. Daniel was one of them. During that time, the king ordered that the men be fed the best meat and wine from his palace. Daniel, however, asked that he and his comrades Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, not eat what the others were eating. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” So the palace food that, in my opinion sounded pretty darn tasty, was considered defilement of the body to Daniel. Wow. That’s definitely not what I’ve been thinking of when the most exciting night of the week for me has been Pizza night.

So God gave Daniel favor with the guards, and they agreed to let Daniel and his boys eat their own food for 10 days. All they ate was vegetables and water. ::GASP:: But guess what happened at the end of the 10 day challenge? They looked healthier and better nourished than the others. That’s just in 10 days! To make things even better, verse 17 says, “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” So not only were they healthier physically from the change of diet, but emotionally and spiritually they were healthier as well. This sheds new light on why it’s important for all of us to take care of our bodies (and minds).

Later on we find that Daniel’s healthy eating led to wisdom and God giving him the gift of dream/vision interpretation. This in turn led him to become very close to the king. How might eating healthier change your life today? You may not need to lose weight, but eating healthier will make you feel much better inside and out. Isn't it amazing how even guidelines for healthy eating are in God's Word? Praise God!

Additional Verses:

Daniel 1:19-20: “The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are you apart of the 11:11 club?

For the past couple of years, I've noticed that I will look at the clock almost daily at exactly 11:11am or 11:11pm or 1:11pm. (Ooh, I'm looking at the clock at 1:11pm as I type!) And I did a quick Google search about it. Turns out there is a whole 11:11 club out there! Supposedly, there are guardian angels on Earth that use this digial recognition just to let you know that they're around. I don't know how much of that I believe, but it's still an interesting phenomena. People have even written books on this subject. There must be something to it since I had no clue that anyone else but me experienced it until I Googled.

Some other folks believe that it is nothing but our imagination. They believe that we notice other time combinations daily as well but since 9:42 doesn't stick out as much as 11:11, we don't remember it. I don't know if I believe that either. So I'm at the middle ground on the subject. I don't know if I believe that spirits are running around forcing you to look up at 11:11 but I don't believe that it's completely hogwash either. What do you think? Learn more about the 11:11 phenomena HERE!

Cut the Fluff - Week 2

I had a terrible week. blecchh.. I didn't do ANY exercise (what the!) and I didn't track my weight watchers points as closely as I should have. The result? I gained 0.4 lb. ::gasp:: I know it was my own darn fault. I just let life get in the way of my goals. I know it shouldn't be an excuse but the munchkin STILL doesn't sleep through the night so I STILL feel like the walking dead. I can barely keep the house clean and cook dinner, let alone find the energy to work out. But there is light at the end of the tunnel:

Over the weekend, my brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner. His girlfriend brought her world famous SLAMMIN cheesecake. She left the cheesecake here. I brought half to my mom but kept the other half. (naughty, naughty) It then began taunting me from my fridge. I had a slice late last night (more naughty naughty) This morning I woke up, took one look at it (drooling), and threw it out. !!! I can't believe I did that! I have to admit, I felt a bit panicky because I was thinking, What the heck am I doing? Sweet goodness going to waste?!?! But I knew that I'd have another HORRIBLE week if I allowed such a weakness to remain on my back. So that was my triumph, since I've never done that before. I threw away perfectly good cheesecake. (I'm still shaking and twitching from the after effects)

The goals for this week are pretty much the same as last:

1) More fruits and veggies
2) 2 hours of exercise (Lord help me!)
3) Lose 2 lbs
4) Drink 6 glasses of water per day (NEW)