Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big doin's

Yesterday Raph had an appointment with our allergist. Not just any appointment. THE appointment. He had a milk challenge. For those of you not versed in the world of food allergies a milk challenge is when you think a person has outgrown an allergy so you feed said person small amounts of the allergen and wait for a reaction...or no reaction. We've done this before and each time we though "this will be the day". Yesterday we really really though this would be it but you never can be sure with food allergies.

Well, it was The Day. Raph choked down a total of about 8 oz of milk and he swears he's never going to drink it again. BUT he had no reaction at all. Far cry from a few years ago when a 1/2 of a cc of milk caused a reaction. When we started the appointment the nurse took his vitals. He was practically hypertensive! Poor kid was so nervous but as we continued with the process his blood pressure started dropping to the normal range. He was so excited and we were going to get ice cream. Real ice cream, not sorbet.

Raph also had an inadvertent egg challenge back in December. We went to a restaurant and had homemade s'mores. I brought chocolate and graham crackers for Heidi so she could enjoy the fun. Homemade marshmallows, it seems, are made out of egg whites and sugar. Sumbitch. Heidi needed an epi pen and Raph was just fine. I was nervous he would throw up all over the backseat of my mom's car on the ride home (his typical first response to egg) but his stomach ache was nerves and the fact that Heidi was screaming like a banshee next to him in the car seat. As soon as he was out of the car he was fine.

This means that he has officially outgrown 2 of his three food allergies. Peanut will probably be a life long allergy but we can manage that easily enough. He's got a whole world of new foods to try. He's excited but also hates trying new foods so this should be interesting. I assured him that milk products do not actually taste like milk. He seems skeptical but he can at least not worry so much about food. He has plans for a lemon meringue pie and cheese for his next new foods. First though, was ice cream.

We went to an ice cream shop and he looked at all the different flavors and he and Colin yelled, "I want the blue one!" Cotton candy ice cream it is. Well, turns out he doesn't like cotton candy ice cream. He learned a valuable lesson, try a sample first, then buy a whole bowl of it. Since it was his first ever ice cream I didn't want him to be stuck with a flavor he didn't like. Just this once he gets a do over and a new flavor. He went in with a 5 dollar bill and handled the whole transaction himself. (When did he get so big?!) He asked for a sample, tasted and ordered strawberry ice cream with sprinkle mix ins. MUCH better and he enjoyed his second first ice cream ever.

Little Heidi? Well, she got raspberry sorbet and was covered from head to toe in red sticky drips. It was a big day in our house. The only thing that can top that is a negative peanut challenge or that Heidi starts DROPPING allergies instead of adding allergies. Its bad enough when you can't eat anything normal but add a sunscreen allergy and its just soul crushing. But, until then we will bask in the glow of two less allergies in the house. That is indeed big doin's.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exhaustion. When you can'ts takes no more!

I would go back and see how many posts I have about how tired I am but that would require some effort. Its a recurring theme for the mom of young children. Its not so much that my *job* of staying home with the kids is particularly difficult, its more that its mind numbing and tiresome at times. Almost always frustrating. Now that its summer and the kids are home all day, everyday its even more exhausting.

On top of the never ending tasks like dishes and laundry and grocery shopping I now also have to keep the boys from killing each other and potty train Heidi. I've also started exercising regularly. This is a good thing and something "I've been meaning to do" for quite some time. I actually seem to have a regular schedule down and have been doing so for almost 3 weeks now. Its a nice break for me now that its summer and something to mix up the day a bit. I go as soon as the child watch is open and let the kids play or do whatever they do while I exercise.

I was hoping for new found energy but it seems to be having the opposite effect. Now I have tired muscles (a good thing) and extreme fatigue by mid day. Yesterday I didn't sit down once until about 3pm. And when I did sit down, I laid down and drooled on myself and got sheet marks. I crashed and burned for a full 45 minutes or so until Colin screamed from the bathroom, "RAPH! Flush the toilet!". Then I was up and running again and didn't sit down again until after the kids were in bed.

I'm hoping that eventually this new exercise regimen will help my sleeping as well. I've never been a particularly good sleeper but I'm in a rough patch right now. I'm so freakin' tired during the day and get my second wind in the evening. I go to bed and stay awake for hours sometimes. Or if I do fall asleep within an hour of going to bed I wake up 42 times over the course of the night and sometimes it takes a good long while to fall BACK to sleep again. I seem to hit my good sleeping stride right around 5 am. Mike's alarm will go off around 5:45 and the kids start getting up around 6:00 or 6:30. Of course Mike is in and out of our room getting ready for work and pitter patter of little feet keep me from fulling back to sleep for very long. Or, like yesterday, Heidi will wake up at 5:05am and never go back to sleep again.

So, I suppose its not terribly surprising that I'm tired but I'm mentally exhausted as well. Just the sheer volume of work that is required on any given day to keep this house running is amazing. I seem to have things under control for about 5 and a half minutes out of any day. The rest of the time I feel like I'm treading water and barely getting by. I think that mentally drains me and wears on my soul.

Other big/small things have been majorly frustrating for me lately too. We had to buy a new washer. And a new fridge. It took THREE tries to get a fridge in our kitchen that both fit and worked at the same time. ::beats head on wall:: Then we found out that Heidi is allergic to sunscreen. Because her other allergies are not enough lets add sunscreen, a daily summer staple to the list as well. Fortunately we were able to find some that work for her. Its old school zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that leave that white film on the body. Its better than sunburned or covered in a rash right? And there's also the almost broken toe for Colin. He hurt his foot, cried and barely hobbled around for 2 days and it was miraculously cured while we were in the waiting room for the doctor's office. Hey, at least we didn't take him to the ER on Father's Day like we considered doing!

Potty training Heidi is a necessary thing. I loathe potty training but it must be done. She's been doing a great job, especially considering she's not yet 2. Its work though. And I don't have lots of free hands or time to assist her in her training.

Then I go and do something stupid like I did this morning. We were at the grocery store and the boys were using some of their own money to get candy. I let Heidi get a bag of candy corn to use as pee prizes. She's had candy corn before and really likes them. They are small and perfect for a prize. We get home from the store and she peed and I gave her 3 (the boys were eating their candy so she got a couple extra for her effort). Then I think, "Hmmm, let me see what's in these." Well shit. Its made with freakin' egg whites. Who knew? Every kind I've seen is spun honey and food coloring. I now have a baby girl begging for more toxic candy and I give her Benadryl and hope she doesn't bust out in hives. Sigh.

We get changed for the pool and the boys go for swim lessons. By the time we come home Heidi is a sobbing puddle. She is just having a rough time and eats a bit but just keeps crying. I think, for once, one of my kids actually gets drowsy from Benadryl like a normal human being. I pin her to my chest and sing to her while I rock her screaming and writhing body. Half way through my song she goes limp and is snoring. Bless her heart, she's exhausted. I know the feeling honey and I hope you have a good nap and I promise not to poison you again.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Open for business

I always seem to struggle to get things done. Doesn't matter what it is, I just struggle. I don't clean the showers regularly, my kitchen is usually a disaster, laundry stacks up, planning meals beats me down, etc. Now, its summer and I have all three kids home all day everyday.

So you know what that means right? Incessant fighting? Naturally. Boredom and whining? Of course. Starting a new home business? BRILLIANT! I don't know what I was thinking but I decided to start a business of making hair pretties (technical term: Fascinators). I have so much free time and organizational ability I might as well right? ::palm to forehead::

Last summer I started making feathered hair pieces for Heidi and I. Then I made them for my niece's Christmas presents. I've had numerous people ask me if I sell them. I would then say no and offer to make one for them for free. I decided to take the plunge and set up an Etsy account. I worked on a banner and business cards and of course the name of my shop. You Fascinate Me So was born and I've already sold a few!

My kids are learning something from this process. That is an added bonus to my new venture that I hadn't anticipated. Raph, the marketing genius that he is, keeps planning ways to get the word out. Friends with little sisters need one of my business cards to start. He's been talking about how one sale a day is good for now but once word gets out people will want more hair pretties and tell their friends. Word of mouth is genius. I think this kid is a born salesman because he's been thinking of ways to grow my business and I'm more worried about how I haven't grocery shopped in a week and I have no idea what's for dinner. Colin is learning about buying supplies then pricing items to make a profit (or in my case, cover the cost of my slight feather buying obsession). I have to print receipts and package my product to mail. I think its a little difficult to grasp for Colin sometimes. I put pictures on the internet with a price. Someone wants to buy it so I collect money from them (electronically) and then mail out the product. Weird to someone so small because I don't know these people at all.

We will see how this goes. I have a small problem with this type of business. I make a hair pretty and don't want to sell it. Heidi has a ton of them in her closet already but you know, they are like shoes, you can never have too many.

Speaking of Heidi, she's my model and spokesperson. She wears one almost daily and if people ask I can hand them one of the business cards I now keep in my diaper bag. I use her for my sales pictures as well. Who can resist a feather adorned gorgeous baby?!

So, if Raph hasn't already told you, tell your friends. I am open for business!