Thursday, December 31, 2009

See Ya, 2009

I'm behind on my posts. Still need to post photos from Halloween, Ty's birthday and Christmas. But I thought I'd write a small post for 2009.

2009 began with the promise of a sibling for Tyler. By February that promise was squashed like an ugly cockroach you smash with a tennis shoe. I can honestly say that I endured the most difficult period of my life, which lasted eight weeks. Every single hour of every day I felt an astonishing amount of emotional pain. I was basically waiting for my unborn baby to die. Truth be told, I was praying he would die sooner than later. I educated myself well about Trisomy 13 and I DID NOT want my baby boy to have to suffer like that being born full term. God took Kevin at 23 weeks gestation (we think) and I sadly, painfully gave birth to him at week 24. It was the same as any other birth in the sense of physical pain but my heart broke as I left the hospital without my Kevin.

Physically, I felt much better yet anger set in. I was not mad at anyone but I was just mad. Conversely, the support I received was more overwhelming than the sadness. After only three months I got pregnant again! I was cautious as cautious could be. I would not allow myself to become attached. Now it's December 31st, I'm in my 26th week and I am quite optimistic that this baby is going to work out. Tyler will have a baby brother and I'm going to get to leave the hospital with a baby! We like the names Corey and Ryan.

Yes, this has been a year of opposites. Death and life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Potty vs. Party

Tyler has been in a party mode since he went to his friend's birthday party last Saturday. For about a week he kept asking for birthday cake and wanted to know if he was going to a party. This Saturday night we went to a Martini Christmas Party. The kiddos played upstairs while the adults were downstairs. Anyway, Tyler was excited that he was going to another party. Again, he keeps asking to go to parties. The first thing he said to me this morning was, "Mommy, we go to a party?" "Actually, we are going to a Cookie Decorating Party this morning." He said, "I'm ready to go."

I told he we needed to get ready first. A few moments later he said (or this is what I thought he said), "I go potty." I took his hand and said, "Okay, let's go potty." He got mad and said, "I go potty, I go potty!" "Yes, I know you have to go potty. Come on." But he didn't want to go potty; he wanted to go to a party. From my perspective it was cute. From his perspective it must have been frustrating. After all, a party is a heck of a lot more fun than a bathroom!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bad Jen, Bad!

Were you guilty of the when you were pregnant with your second, third, or fourth child......picking up your kids? I try to avoid picking up Tyler as much as possible but sometimes I can't avoid it. I had to lift him into and out of the grocery cart just now at Harris Teeter. I also have to help him in and out of the SUV. (I probably should have kept my little Honda a few months longer.) I need to either not take him grocery shopping or have him walk along side the cart. I like to have him in the cart so he can't take off, which he's been known to do. It scares me.

I know I overdid it today with the lifting as I can feel it. I better stop because I don't want to send myself into premature labor. My friend Kat said she went into labor a few weeks early because she lifted up her son.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Full Circle

I'm at about 23 1/2 weeks gestation with my pregnancy. Thus far everything is going really well with the health of the baby. Right about at this same time gestational wise is when baby Kevin passed away and I delivered him at exactly week 24. It's an eerie feeling. Kevin would be five months old but here I am pregnant with another child and Kevin is already in Heaven. This whole experience is both sad but wonderful. It seems like just a few months ago that I gave birth to Kevin when it's actually been nine months!

This baby is ACTIVE. Tyler wasn't as active and I never felt Kevin move. I got some good 4D ultrasound views of him today and some pictures. Dr. Phillips took some sort of sample (like a swab sample) of my cervix. Holy cow, it hurt. Anyway, I'll get those results back next week. The test is to see if I'm leaking any amniotic fluid. If so, that will not be good. I suspect I'll wind up in the hospital if that's the case. However, I'm confident that the test will come back with good results. I also had a separate ultrasound of just my cervix and the tech said that it looked healthy. That ultrasound and the swab test are to help determine the likelihood of prematurity.

I feel like I've been pregnant for months and months and months too long....24 weeks with Kevin, then a three month break of not being pregnant and now this pregnancy. I'm not one of those women who love being pregnant. In fact, I dislike it to the point of almost hating it. This is not to say that I don't appreciate the fact that I am pregnant and have been able to get pregnant. It just takes a toll on my body in such a way that my life revolves around being tired and nauseous. The nausea has subsided for the most part but the being tired part has been in full swing since week six or seven. Women who have told me they love being pregnant I basically want to throw them across the room. hee hee

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tyler's Progress

I'm trying to figure what would be the best fit for Tyler next year. The two choices are Bright Beginnings through CMS or church preschool. Rick said I'm jumping the gun but I'm actually not when you consider you typically sign up for church preschool in January. As in most life situations there are pros and cons to each scenario. Your feedback is appreciated. This is how is I see it based on what I know thus far.

Bright Beginnings is for children with disabilities and/or from low incomes. It's an all-day pre-K. It's five days a week and is free. The idea is to prepare these children in such a way that they will be ready for Kindergarten. I just don't see Tyler as having any disabilities anymore. In fact, his teacher, Dr. Moore told me a few weeks ago that the only reason Tyler qualifies for BB is because of the fact that he's already in the 3 and 4 year old program. In other words, he's caught up a lot and has achieved most of what we've set out for him to achieve. That's good news.

Furthermore, when I met with Dr. Moore for Tyler's annual IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) last week she kept saying how well he's doing. A lot of the things she's not seeing Tyler do at school we're actually seeing him do at home. For example, one of the goals for his new IEP is for Tyler to be able to answer "wh" questions such as, "What is the cat doing?" or "Where are you going?" There were some other things that he's not doing at school that he'll do at home. So that leads me to believe that he can DO them but just doesn't sometimes. She also commented on how bright Tyler is.

His speech has improved considerably since the school year began. I'm more inclined to think that this is because of the socialization he's receiving at the church preschool. He's with mainstream kids there as opposed to with Dr. Moore he's with children with disabilities. Please understand that I do not mean that in an unkind way. It may help to state that Tyler goes to CMS twice a week for six hours each day and church preschool three days a week for four hours a day.

If we decide to put him in church preschool next year we'll need to find a different one. The only reason is that that their four year old program is only three days a week. I would want him in a four day program. As most of you know, it's hard to get into any preschool around here, especially the four year old programs.

Something I really like about church preschool are the God and Jesus teachings. He sure as heck won't get that at public school. Wherever his Bright Beginnings school would be, it certainly won't be close by. The CMS school he's at now is 12 miles away. Not a huge deal but that will be difficult next year taking him five days a week with a newborn. A bus is available but I'm not putting my four year old on a bus.

But what if he really DOES need Bright Beginnings and we jump the gun by not enrolling him in it? Do you see my quandary?

I think the best thing to do is to continue to pray about it and get my hands on the Bright Beginnings curriculum. Based on what I already know about it, Tyler has already mastered those skills. Heck, he's mastered a lot of Kindergarten curriculum. :-)

At least there are choices. I'm thankful for that. :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Tidbit

I still need to post the photos of Halloween and Tyler's 4th birthday but in the meantime I have a little tidbit that I don't want to forget to blog about....

If you know one thing about Tyler, it's that he LOVES all that is hockey. There is a little boy at his preschool named Brian who has a Philadelphia Flyers jacket. Tyler's teachers, Ms. Mary and Ms. Lisa, told me that Brian lets Tyler wear that jacket everyday. I picked Tyler up today as the class was just coming back from their Thanksgiving feast. All of the little boys had on Pilgrim hats and it was precious. Along with his hat, Tyler wore Brian's jacket. So darn sweet. Isn't Brian generous? :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anatomy Scan: 19 Weeks

Each step of this pregnancy yields good news. Still, I am guarded and don't want to become too attached. I was nervous last night and had a specific prayer that I prayer alone and then Rick and I prayed it together this morning, "Lord, let the ultrasound show that the baby is healthy." As the ultrasound tech began my scan, tears dribbled down my face. "Are you okay?" she asked. "I'm afraid something will be wrong. You know what happened to my last baby."

My fear became less and less as she progressed through the scan, "The heart looks good, the neucal translucency looks good...." She kept saying that it all looked good and that she did not see any indications of anything being wrong. The fact that there wasn't anything wrong with the neucal translucency (neck fold) was major because babies with trisomies have issues with those. In fact, that was the first thing they looked for with the level 2 ultrasound I had with baby Kevin at week 16. That was before he had been diagnosed with Trisomy 13 although we had an idea something was wrong based on the quad screen results. I already know there is a 98.5 chance this baby does not have any trisomies yet I still wanted to see a healthy neck fold. But I digress....

Dr. Phillips was happy with the ultrasound results. In 4 weeks I'll have another scan to look at my cervix. That will help determine the likelihood if this baby will be premature. (Remember that Tyler was six weeks premature but only due to a fluke of premature rupture of membranes, not something that is likely to occur again.)That ultrasound at 23 weeks plus the progesterone shots I take should give me an advantage. I hope.

I've been feeling the baby move around quite a bit over the last few days. Coincidentally, I first felt Tyler move a lot at week 18 also. I think it's time to nest. I had put it off out of fear. What if I got everything ready only to lose the baby? THANK GOD I never did any sort of nesting ahead of time with baby Kevin. Statistically, however, the fact that I've made it this far with only good news means that I have a really good chance of actually delivering a baby who's alive and well. Time to get out Tyler's baby clothes, wash and organize them. Please, God, let this all work out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four Year Check-Up

Tyler had his four year check-up yesterday. He is well proportioned as he's in the 25th-30th percentile for both height (39 1/2 inches) and weight (34.6 lbs.). I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Smoak. He's a Godsend. He takes the time to listen to my concerns and theories and has such a positive manner about him.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Request for Tyler

There are several children that live right near us at the end our housing development. While there isn't a cul-de-sac those kids play in a safe area at the end of the street right by our house. They had not been interested in playing with Tyler because of the age difference. For example, the youngest of the group is in 1st grade and her name is Madison. Actually, Madison and Tyler have played together a few times. But I digress....

Rick and Tyler play hockey in the garage almost everyday. Yesterday, The other kids saw them playing and the next thing we knew Rick, Tyler, and the kids were playing hockey in the street. Rick brought out all the hockey sticks he had, which was four. "Why don't you have more," asked one of the boys. Rick also brought out the hockey puck and the goal net. They were out there for over an hour and a half. Rick said they all played really well together.

Today at 5:00pm the doorbell rang. "Can Tyler come out and play?" It was SO CUTE. This girl who had to be at least in 2nd or 3rd grade asked to play with Tyler. I think they all wanted to play hockey. I told her we'd come out in a few minutes because I was cooking dinner. Well, they all went inside within about 10 minutes as it was getting a bit dark and rather chilly. I'm glad all of the children have found a common activity that seems to stretch across all of their different ages. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Strider Dog

It was July 7, 1999. I happened to be off work on a Thursday and my roommate Christie called, "Hey, Jen? There's a Chocolate Lab hanging out outside my office. She has no collar and appears to be a stray. Do you want her?"

A few months prior I had bought my first house and decided I needed a dog to go with it. I already had a cat. :-) I research different dogs and decided I wanted a Lab but what color? Chocolate. I wanted a Chocolate Lab.

I drove to Christie's office looked at this dog, fell in love and said, "Hi girl, would you like to come live with me?" I justified not calling Animal Control or the Humane Society to see if she belonged to anyone because I felt that she had not been well taken care of. The insides of her ears had been neglected (you have to clean out floppy ears often) and the owners didn't bother to put a collar on her. I guess it didn't occur to me that maybe she did have a loving home and somehow she happened to not have the collar on that day. Nonetheless, she became mine. I named her Strider. Kind of a boyish name, I know, but it suited her. It was estimated by the vet that she was between three and five years old. That was ten years ago.

Fast forward to recently. She had been losing weight and was not active. "She's just getting old," Rick and I would say. But then she started throwing up a little each time she would eat or drink. We became quite worried when she started to lose control of her bowels. It became worse and worse over the past few days.

I took her to the vet at PetSmart this morning while Tyler was at school. Essentially, the choice was to spend a couple hundred dollars to run tests or to put her to sleep. The issue with running tests is that even if the vet could pin point what's wrong, it's not likely anything can be done anyway. The vet addressed my obvious pain and indecision. She said that if she didn't think Strider was an appropriate candidate to be put to sleep it wouldn't be an option. And second, the vet felt that Strider had a tumor in her intestines and nothing could be done about that. Still, I felt like a cheapskate if I didn't have the tests. But then the nurse brought up a good point, "If she can't control her bowels, that problem is only going to get worse." That was the point that had the most weight on my decision. "I think we need to go ahead and put her to sleep." Who wants to live like that? She's 14 and had a good life.

I decided to stay with Strider as they put her to sleep. I wailed. I knew it would hurt emotionally but I started to hyperventilate! Rick had to come get me which I was glad about that because he was able to say "goodbye" to her. My mind was playing tricks on me because I kept seeing her breathe. She looked like she was asleep and breathing. I told Rick, "I don't feel like I did the right thing." He said, "But you did," and he listed all of the reasons why. I'm not convinced. What if she had a couple more years of life in her and we could have fixed what was wrong, even if it cost a ton of money? I don't know. I'm sick to my stomach with wonder and guilt.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I wasn't thrilled about getting the 'regular' flu vaccine but I went ahead and did it anyway. When Tyler had a fever of 103.6 a few weeks ago I scared myself into thinking I ought to get the shot. I think I feel good about my decision.

But what about the H1N1 vaccine? I've done quite a bit of research on it and have prayed about it. I have a strong feeling that I should not get it. Now trust me, reader, I realize that I may end up regretting this later. Here are my reasons for not getting it:
1. There are too many adjuncts in the H1N1 vaccine. For example, there are 25,000 times the amount of mercury found in your average food or water source.
2. The media is blowing the severity of H1N1 out of proportion. Yes, it makes someone quite sick. I get that. But there is no guarantee I'll even get H1N1 but if I get the vaccine it is guaranteed that all that junk is going into my body and into the body of my unborn baby.

This decision is taxing on me because I truly feel darned if I do, darned if I don't. I've read all of the risks to pregnant women. We're the group highest at risk. We're the group most likely to end up in the hospital. Nonetheless, the key is to tell my doctor ASAP if I think I have H1N1 and we can start treatment (like Tamiflu). And besides, the regular flu is more likely to make me dangerously sick than H1B1.

You can tell I'm struggling with this because of the fact that I'm writing about it. I welcome your constructive feedback. Maybe you know something I don't. I've been reading the CDC website quite a bit although I'm not entirely sure how much I trust them.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Efficiency vs. Impersonal

I have mixed feelings about the new ways we communicate with each other and am wondering what you think? Here are a few questions:
Do you think that blogging and facebooking help us keep in touch more or less? I can make an argument for "yes" and "no". I lean toward "no" though. I find that I don't call people as much as I used to and visa versa. I do appreciate that through blogging we can share pictures and keep a virtual record of all the neat things our kids do. But we were all fine before blogging. Can't quite figure out how I feel.
Do you think we have anything important to say on Facebook anyway?
I know there are exceptions but we all typically say fairly unimportant things on our status updates. And for the really important things, don't we cheapen them by announcing them on FB? I felt like I did just that when I announced our baby is fine and that we found out he's a boy. I cheated myself out of calling people and telling them myself.
Is texting really necessary? I don't text and have not found a need to. However, I know some people can't live without it. Answer me this, though, why not just call the person you are texting?
Most importantly, doesn't all of this communication just keep us from spending time with the person or people we're with? Hey, I'm guilty of it, too. Tyler is watching Noggin (oh, wait, it's Nick Jr. now) while I'm blogging. Bad Jen, bad! That being said, I'm logging off.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grief Share

My dear friend, Hayley, told me about Grief Share a few months back. She thought it might help me through the grieving process with Baby Kevin. I put the idea on the back burner but she asked if I'd like to go yesterday. It's being held at Good Shepherd and despite the fact that I didn't feel like going, I dragged myself to it. After all she was willing to drive down Cornelieus to go with me. Let me tell was wonderful.

It's a Christian-based organization that meets once a week for several weeks in a group setting with a facilitator. We have a workbook and watch a video each week. People also get to talk about their feelings just listen. I highly recommend it to anyone who has lost someone they love, even if your beliefs are not Christian. I also went there to help me through the grieving process with losing my moms. Even though she died 3 1/2 years ago I still have a lot of work to do through that grieving process.

I will say that my heart broke as I listened to the group members reflect on their loved-ones who died. However, it was also beautiful to hear about all of the love. That's the thing...we wouldn't grieve if we didn't love.

Monday, September 28, 2009

CVS Update

The past several weeks have been tough at the Burns' household. However, it looks like we may actually be having that second baby we've been hoping for! Granted, there are no guarantees but we've successfully gone over one major hurdle. The CVS results came back today and the baby I'm carrying has no trisomy issues. No Trisomy 13, 18 or 21. This is huge! And it's a boy! :-) I'll be 13 weeks pregnant tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week 12

I already updated my pregnancy status in FB but I'll elaborate a little more here. Let me just get this off my chest first....if I counted the hours I've spent waiting at the OB's office in 2009 with Kevin's pregnancy and this pregnancy I hate to see what they'd add up to. You're probably going to see me on the news on day with the title of the story "Woman goes Bonkers at Doctor's Office". Okay, that felt good to say. Anyway, a bit of panic set in when the tech was trying to find the heartbeat. She said, "It's still really early, sweetheart." I said, "We heard it at 10 weeks with Tyler." Tears were leaking down both sides of my face as I was lying there. She kept trying and we heard it. Yeah.

Dr. Phillips wants me to come back in 3 weeks provided the CVS doesn't yield any bad results. (The CVS results should be back within one week MAX, maybe a few days sooner.)At that visit, Rick will need to come to learn how to give me the progesterone shots like he had to with baby Kevin. Uggg, a shot in the butt cheek (pardon my familiarity) once a week until I give birth. That stuff is expensive, too. That's okay. If the CVS results are good, we'll finally tell our families that I'm pregnant. Just don't think it's right to tell them unless we have some good news. It's a catch 22 situation. Why hurt them if we don't have to? Although, it's entirely possible Rick's family knows in the even my SIL still reads my blog. Not sure. The wild thing is that we'll be able to tell them the sex! Can you imagine?! Trying not to get too excited.......

I will say that this whole pregnancy stuff has been hard on my marriage. The Kevin pregnancy was taxing for obvious reasons. This one has been hard because I basically go upstairs to rest or sleep the second Rick gets home from work most days. Rick also pretty much plays the role of 'single dad' on the weekends. Again, because I don't feel well or because I need time to catch up on all the things I am behind on from the week. So huge kudos to Rick.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home is where the heart is

But where is that?

I would like to preface this post by stating that I have many blessings in my life and that blogging about my feeling helps me make more sense out of the world. I'm trying to figure some things out. So bear with my as I lay some things out on the table.

I don't know where my family is supposed to live, where we're supposed to establish deep and long lasting roots. I pray about it frequently. This all started when I was 9 years old when my mom and I left Ohio to move to Arizona. Perhaps I should give you a little background.

I was born in Ohio and grew up as an only child to a young, divorced mom. I didn't have any contact with my dad (a story for another time) but I spent lots of enjoyable time with my extensive family on my mom's side. Everything was good in my little world.

My mom had a boyfriend for a few years who ended up moving to Arizona. Mom visited him, came back to Ohio and announced that we'd be moving to Arizona. As a 9 year old, this 100% turned my life upside down. That marriage didn't work out and we moved back to Ohio within a year. I was happy but could tell my mom wasn't as this was the recession of the early 1980's. Mom couldn't find a job and we were actually on food stamps and unemployment funds! It didn't affect me much but I'm sure it was horrible for my mom.

One place in the United States that was booming was Arizona. Mom knew she could get a job there. I stayed with my Grandma while mom moved to Phoenix to find work, get an apartment, and save money to fly me to Phoenix. I was not happy about this. But in hindsight it must have been a lot harder for my mom than me.

Over the years I became more and more comfortable with Phoenix. Holidays usually sucked because it was just me and my mom, no one else, unless we went a friend's house. Once I became an adult and moved out there were plenty of holidays in which even my mom and I were not together because we were not on speaking terms (again, a story for another time). I adopted my first fiancee's (there have been three of them: Rich, Jeff and Rick) family as my own and had everything I needed. I was totally at home in Phoenix.

When I was 25, I met fiancee' #2 and I moved to Northern California with him so he could become a winemaker (he still is to this day). I also worked for a winery and actually became rather knowledgable about wine and how it's make. Yes, I was MISERABLE despite the fact that is was BEAUTIFUL there. I think that Napa looks a lot like Switzerland. I missed Phoenix so much that it put a huge wedge between us. We broke up and I moved back. Ahhh, home to Phoenix. I was happy. I established myself as a single woman with a pretty good job and I bought my first house. Totally at home now.

I met Rick in 1998 when we both worked at Charles Schwab. While we were in the middle of getting a relationship started he transferred to Southern California. That was his dream, to move there. I soon followed as I was able to transfer, too. I rented out my house in Phoenix. Again, however, I was miserable and wanted to move back to Arizona! At the time it seemed like a good decision because Rick and I were trying to buy a house in So Cal and we were disenchanted by how expensive homes were! "Hey Rick, I already have a house in Phoenix!"

He changed companies and got a better job. I was able to transfer back with Schwab. Sure, we missed living 8 miles from the ocean and the cool weather but we would have also been poor! Sure, Phoenix has it's shortcomings but I was happy to be back home.

In 2005 when I was pregnant with Tyler we decided that we ought to get a bigger house. By then, housing prices were totally on the rise in Phoenix. What to do? Rick suggested we check out Charlotte because he could transfer with his company. Hmmm, interesting, I'll try that. We visited when I was seven months pregnant and both decided that it was nice but that we should stay in Phoenix. We didn't want to move our baby away from my mom. She had waited an awfully long time to become a grandma. :-)I also didn't want to leave my friends who were like family to me.

My poor mom was only a grandma for a few months because she passed away when Ty was 11 weeks old. (You know the drill, a story for another time) For a variety of reasons we ended up moving to Charlotte exactly a year later. I think I adjusted pretty well at first, actually.

I've had mixed experiences living here. I suppose that's the case no matter where you live. But I feel like no one here actually knows me. They know me as Tyler's mom. My friends in Phoenix know me as 'Jenny' who used to drive a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle.

But I'm not going to just look at Phoenix through rose-colored glasses. It's not perfect. It's hot as hell there for about 7 months out of the year. I didn't see my beloved friends nearly as much as I would have liked (they got busy and I got busy). Phoenix is a concrete jungle. Sure, the desert is beautiful but Phoenix itself, not so much. But is it still home, especially since my mom died, I don't know?

Even if I were hell bent on going back to Phoenix, it's not my decision. It's a decision Rick and I need to make together. And Rick will yell ya, he didn't like Phoenix much at all. You know what is ironic in this whole thing? One of the main reasons we moved here was so that we could be closer to family: Rick's in New York and mine in Ohio. Fat lot of good that's done! (A story for another time) I remember when we were thinking about moving to Charlotte I was talking to my best friend Kris. I said, "If we're going to move away from Arizona, we ought to move to Ohio or New York....not a totally new place." But that's exactly what we did.

The big question remains, even if we do move back would I feel at home in Phoenix? Rick probably would have more job opportunities with his company there as the Charlotte office is a lot smaller than in Scottsdale. What if Rick resents me if we go back? Who says we'll even be able to sell our house here without losing money? What the heck is wrong with me? Why can't I just feel 'at home' where ever I live? Why can't I be like Bodhi in that movie Point Break and go where the best waves are and still feel 'at home'?

Well, reader, I'm sure that's more info about me than you ever hoped to get! If you're even still's a long post! But it felt good to write about it. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do I or Don't I?

I think I'm going to have to give in and get the flu shots (Swine and regular). Different people have different experiences with flu shots and the two times in my life I've had them I got the flu the next day. Logic told me that it didn't make sense to get the shots anymore for two reasons: the shots are preventative against something I might get yet getting the shots make me sick. Tyler also got the flu the day after getting the shot one year. Plus, I'm just not a fan of getting shots unless I have to. I don't like putting stuff into my body like that.

I didn't buy into the frenzy of the Swine flu. But alas, pregnant women are highly advised to get that shot plus the regular shot. I feel like I'm darned if I do, darned if I don't.

We had a flu scare with Tyler yesterday that I posted on Facebook. I called the nurse at Dr. Smoak's office and they didn't want him to come in (they want as many children to stay home as possible unless it's really necessary for them to come in) until I happened to mention I'm pregnant. He had to go in for a mucus test to see if he has strep or the flu. He doesn't, thank goodness.

The poor kid had a fever of 103.6! Because of all that I'm more inclined to get the shots. I don't have a PCP so I don't know where I'd get a Swine flu shot. I know I can get a regular flu shot at Walgreens. Guess I better call the OB. Perhaps they offer the Swine shot?

Update: Called OB's office and I can get the shot there. Will get it next week and my appointment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CVS Today

This posting is kind of graphic but for humor purposes only. If that makes sense...

I can sum up today's CVS test with the following statement, "Just how many things can you put into my vagina? It's not a suitcase that you can stuff a bunch of clothes into."

No, I didn't say that to the doctor but I was thinking it. Probably everyone who reads this post has given birth. We're used to things coming out of us, babies, in particular. But in this case I felt like a turkey being stuffed with dressing 'down there'. Oh reader, I wish I could tell you more but out of fear of grossing you out, I'll stop. Rick watched the whole thing on the ultrasound screen but I took the easier route and got visually acquainted with the speckle pattern on the ceiling.

The doctor said he got a really good sample (which is from the placenta) and wouldn't have to repeat the procedure which they have to do sometimes. Thanks goodness for that. The sample will grow and then they'll test it. We'll get the results in 10-14 days. We'll also find out the sex although as long as it's healthy it can be a purple panda for all I care.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Opposite Experience

Thanks for the feedback I received about yesterday's post. I decided a few things:
1. I need to tell his preschool that Tyler has (had) some developmental delays and will they please cut him some slack with this issue?
2. Rick and I feel that Tyler needs to be encouraged to sit down to urinate so that he's not confused when it's time to poo-poo. If we're having problems getting to poo-poo in the potty then why the heck are we going to have him stand to urinate?
3. The worse thing that can happen is that they tell us Tyler can't go to school there until he can potty the way they want him to. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

I took him to the CMS preschool today. As a sidebar, some of you may not know this but Tyler goes to the church preschool T,W,TH and the CMS preschool (public school system) on M, F. His developmental disabilities are not severe so he only goes twice a week to CMS. Rick and I felt that it would help Tyler to enroll him in a traditional preschool for the other days of the week. Anyway, when we arrived at school today I explained that he's in the process of potty training and I started to over-explain myself ( a thing I do often out of being insecure). His teacher, Dr. Moore, said, "We're happy he's potty training and we'll do whatever we can to help him. We've had plenty of students have poo-poo accidents and we just clean them up."

I think I may have had tears in my eyes (remember, I'm pregnant) and said, "Thank you so much. You just don't know what that means to me." There is an assistant teacher but she was ill today. There was a nice male substitute teacher and he said, "I used to run a daycare and I've had to change plenty of poopy pants. It really is okay, We'll help in any way we can." I left and a large weight was lifted from my shoulders. I wasn't in fear of Tyler having a poo-poo mess. It's nice not to be in fear.

I'm going to leave in a few minutes to pick Tyler up and I'm going to talk to the principal to let her know what a sweet, kind, and understanding response I received from Dr. Moore and the substitute teacher.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Need to Stand?

I got the dreaded call about a half hour before preschool was finished today, "Tyler messed in his pants." I went right down there to clean him up and change him. He had a pee-pee accident yesterday but they just changed him themselves, which is something I appreciate. Today was poo-poo. All of the other kiddos were outside playing so it was just Tyler and his teacher in the classroom. I took one look at her and got teary eyed. She said, "Why are you upset?" I said, "I'm pregnant and I cry about everything." Nice, Jen, nice. Could I be anymore of a baby?

I took Tyler into the restroom and kindly but assertively said, "Tyler, you need to go pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty." I cleaned him up and went back to the classroom. I said that I'd just take him home since the school day was almost over anyway. This is when my feelings started to get hurt.

His teacher told me that I needed to do this, that and the other. I felt like saying, "Duh, like I don't know that." But I remembered she doesn't know what I know or don't know. Then she said that Tyler needs to pee standing up. What? I was thinking, "Lady, I'm just glad he is going potty. We'll work on the standing up part later." I guess I need to learn exactly what their expectations are because if he has to be able to stand up and go potty totally unassisted, I don't think we'll be able to do that right away.

This is where I need and welcome your feedback. Is is reasonable for someone who is new to potty training to be able to stand up to pee? What's wrong with helping him sit down in such a way that the pee goes into the potty and not all over the place? I know that there are rules they have to follow regarding touching the children but I'm just asking them to help him sit down back enough to help the aim. They don't need to touch his penis or anything. Am I totally off base? Is it reasonable to expect a 3 or 4 year old to hold his penis while standing up to go pee-pee? Won't the pee go all over the place? I know he'll have to learn at some point but now?

Why am I upset about this?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Potty, Preschool, and Pregnancy

Here are a couple of quick updates:
Met with Tyler's teachers at his T,W,Th preschool at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church. They were so nice. Danelle, a former MOMS Club member's son Jacob, is in his class. :-) I told his teachers the status of potty training, that he isn't fully trained. He is pretty good about going in the potty but he's not at the point he probably ought to be. I was kind of afraid of what they might say but figured it would be prudent to be upfront. They were so kind and supportive.
I was surprised because I've heard at some preschools kids will get kicked out of they have more that a few accidents once they are 3 or 4 years old. Tyler is having a hard time with #2 in the potty but is pretty darn good with #1. I think this is probably normal but honestly I will feel badly for his teachers if they are having to clean up his #2 messes. I told them they can call me and I'll come down and do it. Seriously, I will. Rick will probably chuckle when he reads this because he's the one who has been cleaning the messy underpants. I just can't with being pregnant....I gag and gag.
Speaking of being pregnant, I'm at week 10 now. We still have not told our families yet. We're going to wait and see what the results of the CVS are first. Although if my SIL still reads my blog, the cat is probably out of the bag like it was last time. No one's said anything to us to indicate they know. I was hoping that the CVS results would come within about 3 days, like the amneo with Kevin did, but it will take 10-14 days. I'm surprised by that but what to do....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CVS Update

My CVS test is on Sept. 15th at the Women's Institute in Ballantyne. This is where I went for my genetic counseling and amneo when I was pregnant with baby Kevin. I've been reading up on CVS and I can't say I understand it 100%. I'm sure if I were Amber, I'd be able to explain it really well. :-) I try to read a lot about it but then I have to stop myself because I get a little upset. It brings back memories of the day I had the level II ultrasound and amneo. Not a good experience just because of the emotional aspect and what I found out. The physical aspect of the amneo was actually easy.

This CVS is different because we don't know that there is anything wrong. It's strictly an informational process at this point where as with the amneo I knew before even going to the appointment that something was wrong. Although CVS will confirm some things within a week of having it done. The main thing CVS confirms or rules out (with a margin of a percentage point) the three trisomys: 13 (what Kevin had), 18, and 21 (Down's Syndrome).

One of the reasons I resigned as MOMS Club President is because I'm experiencing some grief of losing Kevin while I'm pregnant with my new baby. It's almost as if I feel like I'm disrespecting Kevin by getting pregnant so quickly after he passed away. But since time is not on my side by being 37 years old I had to power through to try to get pregnant quickly. The grief is coming out in some ways that are not conducive to leading a Club. I understand if you don't understand. I barely understand myself.

If you don't mind my asking, will you say a prayer that the CVS test goes well and that the results are favorable? Thanks.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Week 9 Update

Had my week 9 ultrasound and everything is good. I thought that I was going to have a First Trimester Screening in two weeks and if it showed any issues I'd have CVS. But as it turns out I'm allowed to go straight to CVS and skip the screening. I'm supposed to have it in about a week and a half. I was just reading about it and it makes my stomach turn. Well, If I got through an amneo with no problem I should do just fine with CVS. I think I even get to find out the sex of the baby! Can you imagine knowing that before the end of my first trimester?!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


One of the places we're researching as a possible place to move to is Burnsville, MN. Isn't that funny...Burnsville? We spent about an hour online studying various aspects about it. What a nice little suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We looked at about 25 houses online and they were more expensive than we were expecting but I've been thinking about it and you get what you pay for. We can't expect to live in a really nice town without paying for it. Besides, Minnesota has GREAT public education so we're taking that into account. I need to see what the current statistics are but it's been #1 or #2 in the country for several years. Note to self: It probably wasn't very smart for us to move to NC/SC where public education is not any better than in Arizona! On the flip side, I do believe that no matter how good or bad a school is, it's really the teacher your child gets that makes the most difference either way. You can live in a terrible school district but have a great teacher and visa versa. Besides, I'm not counting in anyone to educate Tyler more than myself. It's my responsibility to be his primary teacher.

We're going to try to take a trip to MN soon so we can check it out. :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Rick and I are toying with the idea of moving. We like the Carolinas but we don't necessarily think we want to plant roots here. Here are some places we're thinking about and we'll do extensive research on: Minnesota, Maine, California (I've already lived there twice and Rick once) or we may even jump ship and leave the US altogether to go to Canada.

Minnesota has always interested me because it is ranked #1 or #2 in education over the past several years. Tyler would be able to have his backyard hockey rink there.

Several things would have to fall in line in order for us to back to California. I really don't see it happening but I'm open to it.

Maine is just plain interesting! Perhaps we should visit first! I remember Rick and I were totally convinced that we wanted to move to New Zealand. Then we went there for a vacation. As the old saying goes, "It's a nice place to live but I wouldn't want to live there!" What culture shock.

Canada...I should pick Nicola's brain about that one. Again, Tyler would be able to have an backyard hockey rink. I think America has lost most of it's appeal.

It's all fun to think about because there's no hurry. We have a stable life here and things are good. Just wondering where we're meant to settle down.

Notice I didn't write that we want to move back to Phoenix? I know, I'm surprised, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ty Ty

Last night at dinner Tyler belched.
In unintended unison Rick and I asked, "What do you say?"
Tyler said, "Thank you."
We couldn't help but laugh.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Week 7 Update

I had an ultrasound yesterday. I was not expecting to see the little heartbeat but it was beating like a champ. For the first time, I allowed myself to be happy about this pregnancy. I'm sure you can appreciate that. The tech was even able to tell me which ovary the egg came from which I though was interesting. I didn't know they could see that! I rarely feel anything from my left ovary but frequently feel mild pain from the right ovary. Based solely on that information I concluded that my left ovary didn't work properly. Ha, not the case because this fetus' egg came from the left. Go figure.

I told Dr. Phillips I had stop taking the progesterone gel because it was making me so sick. He wasn't thrilled about that and wants me to back on it. I said, "Can't we check my levels first and if I need to back on it I will?" He agreed to that. That gel makes my pregnancy symptoms worse although I don't think he believed me when I told him that. He said that the fact that the fetus is measuring exactly as it should be and that there is a heartbeat are good signs.

I have another ultrasound in two weeks at week nine. Two weeks after that I'll have the first trimester screening which entails a Level II Ultrasound and blood work. If that screening shows anything alarming I'll have CVS at week 12 or 13. If I can get past week 13 with not indicators of any 'issues', I think I'll be able to believe the pregnancy is viable.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Dear Hormones,
While I know that I need you in order to be a human being, too much of you is simply horrible. You just gave me a crying spell in which I felt an overwhelming sadness. Don't you know I have a preschooler to care for? Thank goodness he was upstairs playing and didn't see his mommy break down. You become worse when I'm pregnant. It's like there is this wild hormonal party in my body. I ask you to take the party down a few notches to a dull roar.

I am bound and determined not to let you win! I've been learning many things about how our brains work and I feel that I can tame you! In fact, I was just able to talk myself out of feeling miserable during the crying spell I just had, so there! I wanted to roll up in a ball on the floor but instead I told myself, "You're not really sad about anything. Something must spiking with your hormones and your brain is just playing tricks on you." (I can tell the difference between being genuinely sad vs. hormonal sadness based on how quickly a spell comes on.)

Excess hormones, I loathe you. I think you're evil. But you will not beat me or win try as you may.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is it Just Me?

I think there's something wrong with me because I'm not a huge fan of the beach. We just got back from Jekyll Island and I couldn't wait to go home. (We went to Tybee Island and Jekyll Island back in May and I liked it better then.) Even when Rick and I lived eight minutes from the beach in Southern California, I remember that we would go look at the ocean a lot but didn't go to the beach much. A side note: Rick would live on a beach if he could.

I'd rather walk along the ocean or sit on a huge rock or bluff to gaze. I don't like baking in the sun, getting sand all over me and my stuff, or swimming in something so vast. I don't like not being able to see what I'm swimming in. Also, I'm not into just sitting there. I can do that inside in the comfort of my A/C.

And I did not know this but the Atlantic is more salty than the Pacific. Did you know that? I was in the water the other day and was SURPRISED by how salty it was. Gross. I think I've also become a beach elitist because I'm used to California beaches and I have to say they're prettier. I totally miss Laguna Beach.

Tyler had a grand time and so I'll keep going back. But seriously, people, what is wrong with me? Everyone I know practically worships the beach.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blood Test Results

Blood test results from Wednesday:
HcG levels are good but progesterone levels are a bit low. Have started taking progesterone gel. Had more blood tests today and will get those results on Monday or Tuesday.

Leaving for Jekyll Island tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

OB Visit at Week 5

Saw Dr. Phillips today and pregnancy was confirmed (as if there was any question about it....15 positive pregnancy tests can't be wrong). I had blood drawn and will have more drawn in two days. I go back in two weeks for my first scan. Trying hard not to be excited, it's just too soon. Been praying lots....

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Quirky Tyler

As most of you know, Tyler loves hockey. It's getting to the point that Rick and I are thinking we may need to move to Minnesota or Canada so Ty can have his own hockey rink in the back yard. Hey, that's how most famous NHL players get started, playing on their own rinks. Don't worry because we're not pushing Tyler to be some pro player or anything like that. :-) Here are some funny hockey quirks the kid has:

He has these reference points he creates while he plays. Sometimes the reference points are to signify where the nets would go but sometimes not. The best Rick and I can figure is that he's creating playing boundaries. As I sit and type this I can see a Cheerios box neatly placed as a reference point on the floor next to the TV. Other times he uses books, video game cases, or alphabet cards as reference points.

He combines different types of sports equipment to play hockey: a toddler baseball bat for the hockey stick and a football, soccer ball, or basketball for the puck. (Although he does have a couple different hockey sticks and several pucks but I guess he likes to be creative.)

He likes to shout out different hockey team names (he knows all 32 NHL teams) and hockey players (not all of them, of course). He calls Alex Ovechkin "Oh chicken" which cracks me up. When we play on the chalk board he'll tell me different hockey teams which means he wants me to write them out.

If he's trying to play hockey in the family room and the dog isn't laying on her blanket he'll say "doggy in the corner" which translates into "The dog is in my way of playing hockey and she needs to go lay on her blanket in the corner."

He wears Rick's hockey jerseys and this is funny because the jerseys are so big on him. It looks likes he's wearing a dress. Tyler has his own toddler-sized jersey but it cannot compare to Daddy's.

Today we went to Monkey Joe's and Tyler spotted a man with a hockey shirt on. Tyler kept following him around shouting out teams: "Bruins, Ducks, Devils, Red Wings...."
The guy had a sense of humor about it, thank goodness, but Tyler would not leave him alone. So eventually we had to leave!

Man, that kid is funny.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Who Knows......

I've taken about a million pregnancy tests in the past four days. Okay, I exaggerate, it's really been about eight and the results are confusing. Any feedback you have will be appreciated. I figured that the positive indicator lines would continue to darken each day or they'd get lighter. No matter what time of day I test, the lines are exactly the same as the first day I tested which was on Wednesday. I'm inclined to think that I'm pregnant but I could also make the assumption that I'm not. I still don't have any symptoms except for some minor menstrual-like cramps. I don't think that means anything either way.

However, reader, you'd be proud of me because I'm actually not obsessing about this. From past experience I know that just when you think you have your body figured out it'll do something off beat! Plus, I think my brain is protecting me from getting excited hence no obsessing. I go to the OB on Wednesday. Until then I've stocked up on my beloved dollar store pregnancy tests.

If I am pregnant at my OB visit on Wednesday, that will be one step of several. We shall see. :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prognosis Postive

Be forwarned that this may be TMI. I've been trying to get pregnant and I was 99% sure that it didn't happen this month. I'll spare you the details as to why I thought this. Yesterday I looked at my calendar and realized it was day 31 of my cycle and I'm typically a 28 day cycle kind of gal. Just to confirm what I already knew, that I was not pregnant, I took a test. I stared at the test and it quickly came back positive. I said aloud, "Okay, who's playing a joke on me?"

I took another one and it came back positive. I called my husband to tell him and he was happy. He said, "You don't sound happy." I told him that I just didn't think I was pregnant and that it would be smart for me not to get excited. I'm wondering if it's a chemical pregnancy AKA a really early miscarriage. I don't have any pregnancy symptoms and that's unusual for me. Anyway, I took another test today and it as also positive and the line was not fainter from yesterday, which is a good sign. I made an OB appointment for next Wednesday.

My plan is to keep taking tests each morning for the next few days to see if the line gets fainter or darker. I just don't feel pregnant......

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Evening with a Friend

Yesterday evening I was on Facebook and saw on of my friends was on at the same time. I IM'd her to ask her if she'd like to get together for a quick cup of coffee sometime this weekend. Well, she happened to be available that evening and I asked Rick if he minded if I go out. For the record, Rick is generous in this aspect. He encourages me to get out with friends or by myself at least once a week.

Amy and I met at 8:15pm and sat outside at Starbucks. If you can believe this, I didn't order a drink! We talked and talked. We took notice when Starbucks turned all the lights of. It was MIDNIGHT but it seemed like we were not even there that long!

A bit of side entertainment were cars and motorcycles making all kinds of noises in the parking lots. Remember that kind of thing from high school? I felt OLD because I had not been around that sort of thing in YEARS! Amy and I got a kick out of it. Can you imagine me peeling out of the parking lot in my Honda Civic tricked out with a toddler car seat?

It was a lovely time. I learned a lot of things about my friend. :-) While I try to plan as much of my life as reasonably possible I am also a huge fan of spur of the moment things. Amy, thanks again. I'm glad you were on FB the same time I was and we could meet up.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pineville Ice House

Rick has taken Tyler to the Pineville Ice House for the last two weekends in a row. Now we just need to get Ty to skate so Rick doesn't have to keep maneuvering him.

Friday, July 10, 2009

From 3 1/2 to 18

Just a few moments ago while eating dinner:
Tyler-"I go in the car?"
Rick-"Where would you like to go?"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PetSmart and "The Pigs"

I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me to tap into this free source of educational entertainment (AKA PetSmart) before but better late than never. I dropped of the cat for his $67 hair cut early yesterday morning. Tyler and I went to pick him up later in the day and I showed Tyler the animals: birds, rats, cats for adoption, and guinea pigs. He LOVED this. I told him things about each type of animal and he got a kick out of it when I was scratching one very friendly bird's belly and head. We was giggling with delight as he watched the guinea pigs. He kept calling them baby kittens. I told him, "guinea pigs, Ty, they're called guinea pigs," and he said with excitement, "Hi, the pigs!" It cracked me up.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Tomorrow would have been baby Kevin's due date. It's not getting any easier for me. In some ways it's become a lot harder. Indeed, I was heartbroken when he passed away and I gave birth to him but I was also relieved that the hell I had been living was over. Physically, I was feeling a lot better because that pregnancy and I simply did not agree! I took comfort in knowing he went to God and that he was not suffering. (The doctors told me that he was never suffering because babies ((fetuses, whatever you choose to call them)) do not feel any sort of pain at that young gestation. Nonetheless, the irrational side of me was concerned that he was in some sort of pain.)

I was receiving TONS AND TONS of support from people which helped more than I can express in writing. The flip side of that, however, is that the support stops. People go on with their lives but my life kind of got stuck in a time warp. Please understand that I understand people can't coddle me forever. I totally get that. It's just that I got so used to it and then it disappeared. Again, I do not mean to sound self-consumed or selfish. It's just that there are so many days in which I want to start crying and I want to say, "I'm not okay." I guess I feel silly doing that because....I don't even know why.....I just do.

As the weeks have gone by I've become angry. It must be a delayed reaction because I wasn't angry when he first passed away. I've let that anger seep into many aspects of my life. Rick has bared the brunt of my grumpiness. I don't want to be angry. It takes enormous amounts of mental, spiritual and physical energy to be angry. I suppose this, too, shall pass. But when?

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th and Tears

Rick took Thursday off and Friday was a holiday for him. We had a long, low-key weekend. We drove over the Buster Boyd Bridge and parked around 8:30pm on the 4th so we could see the fireworks. He just hung out while we were waiting for them to start and right when some of the firecrackers started to go off, Tyler started to scream. There was a nice policeman right by us and he was being all sweet to Tyler trying to get him to calm down. The screaming got worse and we decided to leave. It was horrible. He was so scared. I sat in the backseat with him so I could soothe him but it didn't help. His hands were over his eyes and he was screaming: "I go home. Tyler go home. Tyler go to bed. I go to the gym. I go school."

We kept telling him we were going home but we must have looked like liars because we were stuck in gridlock! He worked himself up so much that his hair was totally sweaty. My heart was breaking because I knew he was genuinely scared. We got him home but it didn't help much because people were letting off firecrackers in our neighborhood. He kept coming downstairs and telling us, "I'm scared." He finally fell asleep around midnight!

I understand that Tyler will experience scary things in his life but that was the first time he told me he was scared. Where did he even learn the words scary and scared?

By Sunday morning he was fine. He didn't mention anything about being scared. Rick took him ice skating in hopes of replacing Tyler's bad memories of July 4th with good memories of July 5th. It must have worked because he had a ball!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hair: The New Napkin

Before you read this post, be sure to read the one from July 2nd. Tyler has been especially tactile over the past few weeks. What little kid isn't? True, but he is all about putting stuff in his hair lately. He was painting last night and is what happened when I turned my back for less than five minutes. When I saw him, I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt. You should have seen the wall, too. Thank goodness for washable paint!

Kind of looks like a mug shot of a punk rocker toddler, doesn't it?

Looks like war paint on his chest.

Swirly-colored hair.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

That Minty Fresh Smell

I didn't fall asleep until after 3am last night because I couldn't turn my brain off. Knowing that Rick took today off I wasn't too worried about my lack of sleep. Rick is naturally an early riser so I figured that Tyler and Rick could hang out until 9:00am or so. At 7:50am I heard Tyler wake up and I sleepily waited a moment to see if Rick was going to get Tyler. No such luck. Tyler and I came downstairs and there was a note from Rick saying he left early to have new tires put on his car. "Oh, but I'm so tired," I thought.

I gave Tyler his morning juice and put on PBS. I absolutely had to lay down for a little while. I must have fallen asleep, which was a big no-no, only to wake up with a startle a few moments later. I had a feeling that Tyler was up to mischief. I heard his little giggle and knew he was sitting on the staircase. I knew I would find that something was amiss but I was NOT expecting this.....he had two new tubes of toothpaste (now half gone) and a hat of toothpaste! His hair was 85% covered with a tons of it! He also got it all over his body, the walls and the stairs.

I so badly wanted to take a picture of him but I didn't dare because I thought that would encourage him. Off into a bath he went immediately. The bath water was so full of toothpaste that I let the water drain and I filled up the tub again.

Note to self: lock up all toothpaste. hee hee.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Church Home

I am pleased to say that I've found a church home at Good Shepherd. Not just a church. A church home. A place that I feel like I can go each week and take Tyler so he can learn about God and Christ. I tried out Christ the King and liked it but it didn't feel like a church home. I attended Life Point many times but the music and singing didn't capture my heart. I've been going to Bible Study at Church at Charlotte for quite a while and the only reason I have not considered it a place for my church home is because it's kind of far away located Caramel and Colony Roads. (But thank you Megan for introducing me to that church.)Seeing that there are several churches just within a few minutes of my house I figured that I'd try all of them out before expanding the geographic radius. Well, Good Shepherd is wonderful. I feel like it's a church that I can get involved in and Tyler can thrive. I am very happy about this. :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Something's Gotta Give

Having an obsessive personality and dealing constructively with stress don't go well together. That's all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fifty five minutes later

I thought I found a way to circumvent the system of having to wait forever in the doctor's office. Tyler needed to go to the Pediatric Eye Doctor today. We went three months ago and we waited forever. Actually, we have to wait a long time every time we go. That day, I was not happy and I talked to the office manager. Dr. Daugherty said that he had an emergency. Okay, fine. So I made today's appointment for 8:20am thinking I was cleaver. I mean, how behind can a doctor be first thing in the morning? Just to be on the safe side, I brought snacks (a good way to buy time with Tyler) and my laptop so Tyler could watch Blues Clues. After we waited in the examination room for 20 minutes it occurred to me how quiet everything was. I thought to myself, "He's not even here yet, is he?" I asked the tech that question and she got a look on her face as if to say "Oh, crap, she's on to us." Nope, we wasn't in the office yet.

I requested that she send the Office Manager, Courtney, to our examination room. She walked in, smiled and said, "Hi. I remember you. Is he keeping you waiting again?" I gave her the same spiel I did last time, "I understand that things happen and doctors get detained but the way to rectify the situation is for Dr. D. to call the office and for the office to call me. That way, I can come in a bit later and not wait so long." (But that would make too much sense, wouldn't it?)She was empathetic and asked me if I've ever said anything to him about it. I said "No, by the time he finally walks in I'm so mad that I'm afraid I'll be rude to him." She said she's talked to him about his tardiness several times but he's her boss so she has to tread lightly. I can appreciate that. She said it would be a really good idea for me to talk to him.

Well, walk in he did and open my mouth I did not. I saw his face and just couldn't tell him how rude I felt he was being. He's such a good doctor and is so kind to me and Tyler. But you see, now I'm a part of the problem for not saying anything. I decided to write him a letter to let him know how inconvenienced I've been. I'll be polite about it but I just can't go on like this without saying something. We go to him like three times a year. I don't want to switch doctors because he has been seeing Tyler for two years. He's familiar with Tyler. Besides, it not like there is an abundance of pediatric eye doctors in the greater Charlotte area.

The excuse for today's tardiness....there was an emergency. Whatever. I am an empathetic person but is it too much to ask for a stinkin' phone call from a staff member? Our appointment was at 8:20am and he saw us at 9:15am! When people have an issue with being late what they are saying is that they don't respect other people's time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just Stab Me in the Heart Why Don't Ya

Rick is working OT today and me and Ty have been hanging out at home. I happen to walk past my front door, which has an etched window in it, and I saw my neighbor (directly across the street) sitting outside with her newborn baby. I think he was born two years ago. (Side note: she frequently sunbathes in the driveway or sits on a chair. The husband does it also. They've done this ever since we moved in. Indeed, it's an eccetric thing to do but it was harmless until today.)

Are you freaking kidding me? I have to see them outside all the time now? Stab me in the heart why don't ya? Why can't they hang out in their back yard like most people do? Does it need to be shoved in my face that she had a baby four or five weeks before my baby was supposed to be due?

I have done well at not blaming God or getting mad at him for what happened. But even Job became angry with God. Well, people, I got mad today. The line of a Depeche Mode song came to mind, "I don't want to start any blaspemous rumors but I think that God's got a sick sense of humor..." I also told God aloud, "I am really mad at you right now."

Do I truly think God's playing some sort of sick joke on me? No. Am I mad? Yes. But that, too, shall pass.

My Day Out

Rick took Tyler to school yesterday so I could drive down to Columbia. I went to see the Turner to Cezanne exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art. The exhibit is a collection of 53 works of art that are normally on display at the National Museum of Wales that were collected by two wealthy sisters (now deceased). Can you imagine once owning three Monets, two Renoirs, a Van Gogh, a Cezanne, a Whistler and so on?

Downtown Columbia is darling and there was a small summer festival. We've been to Columbia before but not the epicenter. I enjoyed walking around the museum looking at the exhibit. On my way back to Charlotte I stopped at Big Lots, one of my favorite places, and then picked Tyler up from school. It was nice being at the museum by myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Window Treatments

I'm excited because I'm dropping off fabric at Lucia's today. She's going to make window treatments for my dining room. The fabric matches the dining room chairs that we had made. I'm so behind; we got the dining room set well over a year ago and I'm just getting around to the window treatments. We've lived in the house for almost 2 1/2 years and I still have a lot of decorating to do. You know what will happen, don't you? Just when I get it all decorated we will move! We think we want to move to Fort Mill but are not sure yet. Can't wait to post the pictures of the window treatments.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Across the Street

Uggg, my neighbor directly across the street is due with a baby boy in a week. From a totally selfish perspective, I am not looking forward to catching glimpses of her carrying him around or hearing his little newborn cry. She and I are not friends or anything but I'm still bound to see them around like I do now. It's not that I don't want other people to have babies but I think you can appreciate where I'm coming from.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I would be at week 34 in my pregnancy with baby Kevin. There was a hugely pregnant woman in line in front of me at the grocery store yesterday. I could feel my heart sink. The woman in the house directly across the street from us is also hugely pregnant. (Don't even get me started about that. They don't even watch the kid they already have as she plays outside.)I'm supposed to organize meals for a gal in MOMS Club who's due at the end of June.

I should be waddling around, washing newborn baby clothes, looking gleefully into Kevin's nursery and feeling anxious about a forthcoming labor and delivery. Indeed, it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself. I don't think I am. It's just that a lot of time I simply don't allow myself to feel my loss.

Overall, I think I've been coping very well after baby Kevin passed away. I just have these small relapses once in a while and of course, they totally catch me off guard.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tyler's Speaking Skills

Rick and I are enjoying how much more Tyler is speaking. School has helped with this quite a bit. He's finally starting to use more than two words at a time. He'll say a few sentences here and there which is great. He's more responsive and interactive. His latest mini-obsession is Blue's Clues. I like to observe him as he watches because he really gets into it. He pretends that a lot of things are clues around the house.

He's able to repeat almost any word that we say to him (better be extra careful with what we say...hee hee) and he's reading more and more. I was working with him by writing words on the chalk board and I simply don't know how he knows some of the words he knows. Now I'm working with him on reading simply sentences.

I was concerned that he will not be mentally stimulated enough when school lets out for the summer. (When will schools go to year round? It makes more sense than being off for almost three months.)Even though I work with him and will continue to work with him over the summer he gets more out of school. Anyway, we enrolled him in camp for two weeks. It's called Imagination Station and is for kids with special needs of varying degrees. It's Monday through Friday, from 9-4 and is only $85 per week! I think he's going to learn quite a bit and will have many positive experiences.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Photos from GA Trip Part II

The view from our hotel room patio on Jekyll Island.

Rick heard about this place on CNN. Rick and I love turtles and tortoises.

Tyler looking at a small sea turtle at the educational center.

A recovering sea turtle named Griffin.

Jen's horseback ride on the beach. The horse is named Dixie.

Photos from GA Trip

For a description of our trip please see the posting before this one.

Tyler having fun on Tybee Island.

Rick and Tyler on Tybee Island.

Jen and Tyler on Tybee Island.

Neat trees in a town square in Savannah, GA

Waving Lady statue in Savannah, Ga

Friday, May 15, 2009

Georgia Trip

We just got back from Georgia yesterday. :-) We arrived on Tybee Island on Sunday afternoon and went to the beach. We were concerned that Tyler might not like it because last May when we went to the beach in Charleston he screamed and cried. A year can make a big difference because he had a ball! He had his own ocean baby pool with the way some water created a shallow pool surrounded by a bunch of sand.

We went into Savannah on Monday and thought it was charming. We like Charleston better but certainly enjoyed Savannah. We tried to go to the beach in the later part of the afternoon but it POURED buckets of rain. We managed to go for a little while after we ate dinner. Tyler was happy playing in the sand and was mad when we had to literally pull him away from it because it was almost completely dark.

On Tuesday we stopped at Fort Pulaski as we departed Tybee Island. What an interesting place! I highly recommend it for anyone who likes historical sites. We arrived on Jekyll Island that afternoon. Good job, Rick, on our hotel! It was a resort on the water and we had an ocean view with a balcony. It wasn't expensive, either. Rick and Tyler went to the beach while I unpacked and organized. It was kind of cold and rather windy so the beach jaunt was short. One thing about Jekyll Island is that it has very limited conveniences. That is both good and bad. It's good because it is not a touristy place and is not commercialized. The bad thing is that there are only a handful of restaurants and they're expensive. There was only one grocery store and it was small and expensive. Our room didn't have a refrigerator (which lead me to believe that's the resort's way of 'encouraging' people to eat there).

We visited St. Simon's Island the next day which was Wednesday. It's bigger and much more commercialized. We liked Jekyll Island better but St. Simon's was still neat. We went up into the historical lighthouse. Rick carried Tyler up all those stairs. My situational fear of heights flared up! Rick said my bottom lip was quivering!

One hundred percent convinced that Tyler needed a nap, we went back to our hotel on Jekyll. I told Rick I'd stay with Tyler so he could go exploring. I was quite tired and was hoping to nap with Tyler. No such luck. Tyler just wanted to watch his hockey video and was captivated by the fact that he could look at himself playing hockey in the full length mirror. (We brought his mini hockey stick and some balls.)
Later that afternoon we went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehab Center. It was a terrific experience.

I got to enjoy my surprise Mother's Day gift the next day, a one hour horseback ride on the beach. Wow. I liked it quite a bit and would like to do it again. My horse's name was Dixie and she was sweet. We left for home after lunch. It was a good trip but we were glad to be home. You know how it is....traveling with a 3 year old can be hard. I do have to say that Tyler behaved really well for the most part. :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Photos from the Past Few Weeks Part II

This is Tyler watching his favorite hockey video this afternoon while he was coloring. He has his hockey jersey on all the time when we're at home unless he's sleeping, eating or bathing.

Photos from the Past Few Weeks Part I

We hosted play group and while everyone was outside Tyler went into the garage to play hockey. Eventually some of the other kiddos joined him. It was pretty cute.

"I'm playin' in my sand box!"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Step in the Right Direction

After hearing several good things about Peak Fitness I decided to join there and drop my membership at the Y. Peak is significantly cheaper than the Y, it's closer, and the facility is bigger. I was going to the Gold Hill Y and wasn't thrilled with it. I was so bad about going to the Y. I'm going to take advantage of the 2 free personal training sessions I was offered. I need to learn how to properly use the weight training machines. I just want to have more energy, feel better about myself and not be so pudgy.

I checked out the child watch facility and it seemed nice but there is one thing that's bothering me. There was a huge flat screen TV smack dab in the middle of the room with chairs facing it. It was as if the focus of the child watch facility was the TV. I asked the lady who was showing me around if it stays on all the time. She said that it's not always on. I guess the way I should handle that is to ask that it be turned off for at least part of the time while Tyler is there. I'm not anti-TV but if they have to have a one I feel that is should be small and in a corner of the room. I don't want Tyler going there to zone out and watch TV while I exercise. It's just a contradiction.

Geez, TV is almost everywhere these days: in the waiting room at the doctor's office, in the examination room at the dentist, at child watch and in cars. Whatever happened to reading, doing cross word puzzles, coloring or simply enjoying some quite time thinking?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Middle Name is 'Guilt'

I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I didn't have something to feel guilty about. An appropriate amount of guilt is good but I have yet to find my own level of appropriateness. Most of the things I feel guilty about have to do with being a mom. Here are the main things:
1. Tyler is not potty trained yet and he will turn 3 1/2 in a couple of days. He totally understands what a toilet is but he just doesn't want anything to do with it.
2. Tyler uses a binky while he sleeps.
3 Tyler still sleeps in his crib. We are, however, waiting for his big boy bed to arrive in a few days. We bought the mattress and bedding over the weekend.
4. That I don't do everything I want to do for him each day. I constantly critique what kind of mother I'm being toward him.

I feel guilty everyday because my house is not as clean as it should be. The laundry is hardly ever caught up, either.

I feel guilty that I hung up on a salesman the other night. I was talking to him for about 10 minutes and was interested in setting up a meeting with him. But then I felt he got too pushy and I kind of told him off and then hung up. I should have handled that differently.

I feel guilty that I'm getting a discount on my cell phone bill that I shouldn't be getting. (But, no, I won't do anything about that. I may feel guilty but I'm no fool.)

I feel guilty that I don't read my Bible enough because I watch TV instead.

The all time number one thing I feel guilty about is my WEIGHT. I've felt guilty about my weight since I was a kid and I wasn't even heavy back then! I know how to lose weight. I know that it takes exercise and food portion control but I don't do it. It makes no sense why I don't change! There is a theory I learned about in college called Cognitive Dissonance Theory "The more mental discomfort one feels, the more likely that person will change." Well, I feel TONS of discomfort and I still don't do anything about it except to feel guilty. It's so stupid to torture myself like that. Either lose the weight and shut up or stay fat and shut up! Losing the weight is obviously the preferable choice.

I cannot believe I'm blogging about all of this but I have to tell you that it feels liberating! Most of you know how neurotic I am but for those of you who didn' you know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Confessions of a Forger

My name is Jen Burns and I forge my child's reading log for school. But not for the reason one might think....but it is kind of funny....

I am a HUGE believer in reading to children. I started reading to Tyler when he was a newborn. I was trying to foster a love for books. Several months later he started to take the book out of my hands each time I'd try to read to him. He would babble 'read' the words and turn the pages. He wanted complete control of whatever book I tried to read.

That has been going on to this very day only now he can actually read a decent number of words. There have been some books in which he'll actually let me or Rick read to him but it's fairly rare. He has a daily reading log for school and we're supposed to write down all of the books we read to him.

The whole point of a reading log is to encourage parents to read to their kids each day and to be accountable for it. I try to read to him, honest. But what am I supposed to do when he doesn't let me? He just wants to 'read' to himself. I love to listen to him. His little voice is so darn cute.

So I forge his reading log because the reading log is a requirement. Don't worry, I won't be the parent who does his science projects or research papers for him.

Friday, April 17, 2009

One Month Ago Today

Today is the one month 'anniversary' in which I gave birth to baby Kevin. I can honestly say that I'm doing better than I would have expected. I think that I did a quite a bit of my grieving when I was pregnant with him. That was one of the most difficult periods of my life. It was about seven weeks.That may not seem like a long time but each moment of each day oozed sadness.

Of course, I still have times in which I get emotional all of a sudden. I have to be careful about what I watch on TV or read. I have been focusing on Tyler a lot and savoring each morsel of his personality (except when he screams or whines). That kid is so darn cute. School has helped his speaking immensely and he says new things each day.

Not dissuaded by Tyler's prematurity and 10 week NICU stay, three miscarriages, and Kevin's trisomy 13, I wholeheartedly want to try for another baby. Are you thinking I'm nuts? I did my homework and talked to the genetic counselor and I feel good about trying again. What does God have planned for me and my family, though? His plans may not coincide with my desire to have another baby. His plans will certainly override my own but I admit that I'm not keen on the idea of Tyler being an only child.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Little Speller

Rick got out his guitar to play Rock Band a little while ago. Tyler went over to it and sat down to look at it. "g-u-i-t-a-r" we heard him spell. Rick and I looked each other in surprise. I knew that the guitar did not have the word 'guitar' spelled on it but I looked to double check. Indeed, nothing near Tyler had that word on it.

He spells plenty of three or four letter words for us but 'guitar'? That was pretty cool! I've been working with him on sight words on his chalk board and so forth but we've never tackled guitar. I really need to get him on video because it's rather impressive. He can read about 30 words and can spell them also.

One of my favorite things to do when we go shopping is to spell things with him. A trip to ALDI, Wal-Mart, or Harris Teether can be fun. I get such a kick out of him.

For a kid who's in a free CMS preschool because he's "behind" is sure ahead in some areas!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Garage Hockey

Any kids that come over...Ty tries to get them to play hockey with him. It's so cute. Mason played hockey with him in the family room last week as did another little boy named Tyler M. I even played hockey with TyTy today. He kept looking at me as if to say,"What are you doing Mama? Daddy doesn't play that way!" Here are a few photos of Tyler playing hockey in our garage this morning with his buddy Will.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Special Blog Entry for Baby Kevin

My friend Sue made this special bracelet for me.

This is Kevin's precious little urn. (It's a bit hard to see his name inscribed in this photo.)

This is the angel the nice folks at the hospital gave us.

Rick holding baby Kevin.

Jen holding baby Kevin.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Beautiful Baby Boy Tyler

Here are some photos of TyTy. He's enjoying a banana in the first photo and is happily displaying his Anaheim Ducks hockey jersey in the other three. He loves hockey....loves to play and loves to watch.