Washing Machines, Lip-ties, And Other Reasons I’ll Never Be A Millionaire

The washing machine broke today. It was inevitable really, but it still sucks. After we moved into our house last year it started to sound a bit funky during the spin cycle. That little bit of noise turned into what can only be described as a jet engine taking off in our laundry room and making everyone in the house talk like they were on a flightline. 

WHAAT?!?! I COULDN’T HEAR WHAT YOU WERE SAYING EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE TWO FEET AWAY!

I SAID DON’T WAKE UP THE BABY!!

OH OKAY YEAH WE SHOULD BE QUIET SO WE DON’T WAKE UP THE BABY! (Cue baby crying because his parents were screaming)

Right now Adam’s diapers, which were in the middle of being cleaned when the washer went kaput, are soaking in the bath tub so I can get the last of the soap out before I dry them. Mike is doing washing machine recon so we can go make a decision on a new one tomorrow. We will most definitely not be getting the uber expensive front loader that we currently have. Give this girl a good old fashioned, cheap top loader! It cleans cloth diapers better anyway and it’ll probably last until Adam goes to college. 

On a normal day I might be able to deal with the washing machine breaking pretty well, but a couple of things are bringing the stress factor to maximum level. Adam’s first birthday is in a week and two days (!!!) so I’ve been busy planning an extensive birthday/spring cleaning of the house. Plus I have to actually, you know, throw a party! I invited lots of people in hopes that some of them would come, and just about everybody said they could make it! While this makes me feel amazing, it’s also like wait! oh my gosh! I have 25 people coming to my house please don’t rain!!

I really can’t wait for that day to come. My sweet little peanut is going to be one. If the last couple of days are any indication, he’ll be running in the backyard with the rest of the kids and I’ll be the happiest mom you’ve ever seen in your life. 

Four days after Adam’s birthday, we have an appointment with a dentist in Charlotte. I’ve talked about the troubles Adam and I had in the past with breastfeeding. While we did manage to do it for eight months, it was a hard road. Adam had gas and colic issues, he never stayed latched for more than a few minutes, and he rarely drained me completely. This means that he probably wasn’t getting all of the nutrition he needed from me. I blamed my letdown for the problems, and while that probably added to the situation, I stumbled on a different reason for our troubles. Enter: the lip-tie.

A couple months ago I was browsing my local natural parenting forum on Facebook (which is full of amazing people that I love and never want to let go of). One of the mothers posted a picture of her child’s top lip and asked if it was a lip-tie. I had no idea what that was, but it turns out a lip-tie or tongue-tie happens when there is too much tissue connecting it to the mouth. Observe:

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The mothers agreed unanimously that her child did have a lip-tie and they should get it looked at. I didn’t think much of it until a couple of days later when Adam was biting down on a toy and lifted his top lip. I almost fell over. It looked exactly like the picture I had seen on the forum! I have a picture of Adam’s, but it’s blurry and he’s crying so I don’t like to look at it. Just picture the stock photo above, but the skin comes down further to between his top teeth. A got a quick second opinion with those beautiful mothers on the forum who agreed that Adam had the same thing, and I was off to research land. 

I was referred to the dentist in Charlotte and found a list of problems that might indicate your child has the lip-tie: 

Unable to breastfeed
No effective latch-on
Unable to sustain a latch
Unable to hold pacifier
Slides off nipple
Prolonged feeding times
Poor weight gain or failure to thrive
Unsatisfied hunger after feeding
Gumming or chewing on nipple
Falling asleep on the breast too soon
Gas, Colic and /or reflux, including vomiting
Dental decay

Check, check, double check, etc. 

Even though we’re not breastfeeding anymore, I’m worried about dental decay and speech issues down the line. It breaks my heart that we’re going to be lasering off a piece of skin from Adam’s mouth, but I know the five minutes of awfulness will make a big difference in eating, speaking, and dental health. 

It also turns out I probably passed this along to my little one. Signs in adults include chronic headaches, a high palate, needing a palate expander, not enough room in your mouth for all of your teeth and many more symptoms that I experienced. Sorry baby. 

So the next couple of weeks will feature some highs and some lows. I’ve been wrapping Adam on my body a lot more this week. I think my stress might be rubbing off on him and he’s been extra fussy. At the very least, him laying his head on my shoulder calms me down a bit and I can work on getting things done instead of stress-procrastinating like I usually do.  Hopefully everything will go as planned, and even though our wallet is going to take a hit, I’m feeling confident that it will all be worth it in the end. I’ll update on his party and his procedure, and maybe the new washing machine if I’m feeling wild! Until then, I’m going to go do some yoga and breathe all the stress out while my sweet almost-one-year-old naps. 

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Ice Storm

Last week a storm came through North Carolina and dropped a giant sheet of ice onto the state. by the time it stopped raining there was 1/2 inch thick ice covering everything. So, naturally, all the trees everywhere fell and knocked out the power. Friday morning at 7am I woke up and Mike informed me that the power had gone out. I didn’t panic that day. I figured it was temporary and if I didn’t open the fridge or freezer too much we’d be alright for a few hours until it came back on (ha!).

It did not come back that day, or the day after, or the day after.

Friday: Mike went to work even though I objected loudly. The thought of him driving to work 30 minutes away with ice on the ground was not something that I was very happy about. But the ice turned to snow in Greensboro so he made it there okay (I know this because I made him text me the minute he got to work). Adam and I hung out all day inside listening to tree branches snap (I’m thinking maybe an Ent war broke out that day, but I could be mistaken) (Look it up). I’d look outside and see the ice flying as another branch succumbed to the heavy ice and broke off. We were a lot luckier than some people in our neighborhood. Only one huge limb fell off in our backyard, and the woods are far enough away from the house that we didn’t have to worry about anything falling on our house.

Later that night when Mike got home I was suffering from a severe case of cabin fever and the storm had passed, so we all got in the car and drove to a Mexican restaurant about 10 miles away. Driving through the neighborhood was like touring a disaster zone. More than one street was blocked by trees that had come out by the roots. One house had a tree fall right on the roof. As we went on we saw a huge section of power lines that were taken down by a tree. Looking at that it was clear that our power was not going to come on anytime soon.

So we enjoyed the electricity and the amazing tacos, Adam checked out Dory and Nemo, and we came home.

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Saturday: When we realized the power lines were down for the count, we decided to take up Mike’s dad on his offer to let us borrow his generator. It was a beautiful day, so we met him halfway at a pizza place to pick it up. After lunch (where Adam decided pizza crust is amazing and he ate two of them) we went to get frozen yogurt and hang out in the sun. Adam saw a fountain nearby and took off to see what it was all about.

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Don’t worry, Mike was right behind him.

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That pink spoon, by the way, is Adam’s new big boy spoon. He was refusing to eat off of the soft baby spoons, so I offered him some yogurt from that spoon and he ate a whole cup.

Sunday: Power was still down and it was another beautiful day, so we sprinted out of the house again. Mike got a new hiking carrier that he wanted to try out so we packed up and headed to Greensboro. We figured with all the rain that any dirt trails would be a mess, but we weren’t expecting to see the paved trails looking like this:

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Mike hiked with Adam on his back and I ran. Or, tried to run anyway. It felt more like an audition for American Gladiators than a run. There were down trees everywhere. Some were easy enough to get around, but some I had to jump over, then under, then go off road just to get around them. It was a great time though. Adam seemed to enjoy it anyway.

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Okay he looks a bit skeptical there but I swear he had a good time!

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Kronk I’m getting tired! Pull over! (Look it up)

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Monday: Our fourth day without power. We were still using the generator to power our fridge, but kept lights off and used the TV sparingly. We could not use our washer and dryer at all, however, and Adam’s cloth diapers were getting pretty scary. Friday had been laundry day, which was cancelled because Mother Nature is mean like that, so were were on day six of dirty diapers being in the pail. Bring on friends with power!! My friends Shelly and Dale let me come over with a load of clothes and diapers to wash at their house. It was pretty awesome actually. I got some clean clothes and we all hung out and had a play date. Their son, Joel, is eight weeks older than Adam and he is the sweetest little thing.

The boys played, the grownups talked and hung out, and we all had a really good afternoon. Especially Adam, who brought out this little trick:

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Oh yeah, the lid was ON when I put that container on the ground. He crawled over, ripped it off with his teeth and went to town. Later that day he did the same thing, except he wasn’t interested in eating. Instead he suddenly had the urge to chew on the BOTTOM of the container and dumped puffs in a giant heap on the floor. Love this kid.

Finally that night, as we were putting Adam to bed, Mike looked out the window and saw the street lights had come on! We kept our lights off though, and watched TV by candlelight one more time.

So thanks to Grandpa Rick’s generator, the whole ordeal wasn’t that bad. Our meat didn’t spoil and we got out of the house and had some family time. That doesn’t mean I want to go all Pioneer Woman or anything. Oh no, this whole thing proved to me that I am and always will be a city mouse.

Playdate(s)!!

During Adam’s epic 2 1/2 hour nap this afternoon I started looking through pictures and realized we’ve been so busy the last couple weeks! There were three (three!) playdates that we went to.

Chuck E. Cheese was the first. Don’t worry, it was 10am on a Friday so we were basically the only people and had the run of the joint.

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Then we went to the Greensboro Science Center. We had a good day there hanging out with a couple of friends and their kids. They’ve each got a baby about Adam’s age so it was great. First stop was an aquarium with sharks, penguins, and a tank where older kids can pet rays.

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Outside there are bigger animals. It was a big to-do when we got to the tiger cage and the two inhabitants were playing around. There’s something about seeing 400 pound cats acting like, well, cats. The only difference between them and my cat was the paralyzing roar the tigers use while they play. And yes I considered that the tigers can eat me, but I think Louie would too if given the chance.

Next stop was the barnyard. The kids had a lot of fun being up close to the animals. Adam wasn’t so much enthusiastic about petting them though. Especially the goat:

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They had an indoor play area for babies that Adam just went nuts over. He and my friends one year old were free to climb all over the equipment without fear of getting run over by older kids.

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Then. THEN! Last week we had yet another playdate with some friends I met at breast feeding support group. It was a low key event, just hanging out in the living room while the kids played. It was really cool to see how much the babies had grown, since we all started going to the group when our kids were only a couple weeks old. Adam was the oldest. The other mothers marveled at his skills and couldn’t believe theirs would be there in just a couple short months. The kicker was when he showed off his incredible heart and kissed one of the babies, ever so gently, on the head. Score one for Mom and Dad teaching him how to be gentle!

All of these outings are so great for Adam and me. He gets to interact with young kids and get really awesome skills. He saw a nine month old baby at Chuck E. Cheese crawl on her hands and knees and threw his signature army crawl out the window. Since that day, he’s crawled normally and hasn’t looked back. Trust me, the kids is FAST now.

We have another outing to the park tomorrow. If it’s warm enough I’ll let Adam play in the grass, but I think he’ll mostly just hang out on my back while I get some much-needed mommy socialization. If this is how busy we are at the end of winter, I can’t wait for spring and summer to come along. We might be out of the house more than Mike at this rate.

Wait! Did That Just Happen?

Seriously did this just happen? Adam went to bed last night at 7:30. Then he woke up at 6:30. AM. As in he slept the WHOLE TIME!!! Mike and I went to bed early expecting that we’d wake up at least once during the night, and were absolutely shocked when we woke up with the sun. Our agreement was that I’d get up with him during the night and Mike would wake up early with him while I slept in. I wanted to kick him out of bed and say something like “Haha sucker! He slept through my shift and I’m sleeping in anyway!” Instead I got out of bed in solidarity. We made cinnamon rolls and lit a fire and had a beautiful morning as a family. It was pretty perfect.

After almost eleven months of waking up during the night to feed Adam, I’m hesitant to call this the turning point. But I’ve decided to be optimistic about it. Maybe last night was the first of many where the whole family will get some sleep. Maybe tonight he’ll make up for lost time and be up every hour. Who knows? Either way it’ll be fine. Even if he doesn’t sleep all night tonight I at least know that it’s possible. And that it will happen again. I’ll admit that I’ve been despairing about it for a few months now. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.

I do know one thing though: the “sleep begets sleep” theory that I’ve read so many times is crap. At least in regards to Adam. We’ve been diligently making sure he gets plenty of sleep during the day and putting him to bed four hours after his last nap and blah blah blah. Last night he was awake for six hours before he went to bed. Apparently our sweet baby needs to be incredibly tired in order to sleep deeply enough that he doesn’t want to eat all night.

Adam just went down for his first nap of the day. I think I’ll sit down, watch some Sunday Morning, and bask in the glow of a full night’s sleep. Or maybe I’ll take a nap. Who knows?