Barely Afloat

I am pretty sure there is little else I can put on my shoulders right now, on my metaphoric plate of life. Literally, one more thing may cause me to topple over and explode – turn to dust, ash, disintegrate. And at this point, maybe that would be better.

In the last few months, I have developed what my therapist is calling Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. If you don’t know what that means, it means I am reluctant to leave my house – which is affecting my work attendance. By not attending work, affects our finances, as the only person making steady income to support our bills. Which means, we are very very behind on every bill we owe, including rent. A contributor to the reluctance to go to work is Kim’s health has been on the fritz lately, and I know I have discussed it here before.

She was having trouble walking, stumbling around, losing function in both her legs and her arms. She was becoming clumsy, dropping everything, the grip in her hands were gone. She was finding it difficult to see, focus on anything in her vision. She couldn’t hold our kid. She couldn’t help take care of her and it made me nervous to leave the house and leave the two of them without proper support.

It was starting to scare the shit out of me. Every doctor we went to see sent us to a new doctor, racking up more and more debt that we don’t have money for. When we Googled it, which remind me again, not to do that, I know – I know – we found that all the symptoms really pointed to something neurological, Multiple Sclerosis to be exact.

However, what we found out instead was Kim had developed Lithium poisoning. And Lithium poisoning is no joke. It can mess up a ton of things in the body and affects the body much like other neurological disorders.

We found out that due to her bipolar medication, Lithium, in three months, her kidney function was cut in half. She was being poisoned by the medication that was supposed to help her. This contributed to the symptoms that we originally were concerned may have been multiple sclerosis. The neurologist had her Lithium levels checked and they were well beyond a safe range and the psychiatrist took her off the medication for a bit.

So, while, currently we are seeing some improvement since she has been taken off it, she is still experiencing some of the symptoms on a smaller scale – like her hands still shake, but she is at least able to sign her name somewhat legible now. And, we are happy to know that she doesn’t have MS, but instead she was being poisoned.

**Which I know sounds terrible, perhaps even the same kind of terrible, but at least it’s been caught and likely reversible! I am trying to look on the bright side here!**

After the last three months of craziness with Kim’s health and my concern for leaving her alone with Punky, I wasn’t going to work and was focusing on taking care of things at home. What does that mean? It means we are so far behind in our bills and finances that we have to move out of our apartment and go live with Kim’s mom in their basement. Yes. We will be basement dwellers with a two year old. I’m so very not pleased about this, mostly because I feel like such a damn failure as a person, a partner, and a mother.

I’m 30 years old and we are going to pack all our things and go live with her parents. It continues to sadden me. I am so grateful that we have this option and we aren’t instead on the street somewhere, but it’s really a very humbling experience to know you can’t support your family or your kid the way you want to. I am still very grateful to have the support of her family around us right now when things are so out of whack mentally and physically with both of us. We both decided to break at the same time!

I’m also disappointed in myself that I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity for so long that I broke our finances and was no longer able to be counted on to be a provider for our family. So while this is not the most ideal situation I would want us to be in, we will have more support from Kim’s parents while she is on the mend from her ordeal medically and I will be feeling more confident in leaving them alone – so that I can go back to work and start making money again.

Luckily for us, and one of the prouder moments of my last few months, Miss Punky isn’t the wiser of what’s going on. Its always my concern that she will never knew the struggles we go through – not like I did when I was growing up.

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Instead she doesn’t know what’s going on, but she’s still going to school, which we have had trouble paying the tuition on, but I just can’t let it go, yet. And she’s making friends and her teachers say she has really come out of her shell a lot! How in the world do I take that away from her!?

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She’s interacting, exploring and overall thriving in her toddler-age and that is something I am most excited about. So even though we have some troubles right now, the bright light of our life is always Punky, even when she’s driving me nuts – with whining and tantrums – a little hug or cuddle and my heart is unburdened a little and my spirit is uplifted just a bit more.

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We are in the process of packing up our belongings and finding a storage place to keep them for maybe 6 months or so, hopefully by then we will be back on our feet and house hunting. Rental houses, but house hunting nonetheless. I really don’t want to live in an apartment again. I would love to have Punky living in a house with a yard, where she can grow and thrive and play. And … maybe get that puppy she’s been asking for, thanks to her Mama’s suggestions!

So, while we are not really on the path I would like to be on for our future, it will only be for a small bit, a little while and in the end, the goal is to be better than we were to start with. Hopefully. Here’s to a big hope. So while this post may be full of what I feel like is overwhelming depression, we are wading in a pool of uncertainty, I’m not even sure where to begin – the future is in sight, the goal for better things is in our minds, but it sure does feel like a long way away!

Maybe Miss Punky will keep our spirits light by learning to play the piano! Or … just banging on the keys of the piano she discovered at Papaw’s house.

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22/52 – Father’s Day and Water Play

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This pretty girl has declared recently “I not a baby anymore!”

Which, neither of are really sure what that means, to Punky, but we know what it means to her mothers.

We aren’t supposed to sing songs for her, she will do it. We aren’t supposed to help her dance. She will do it. We can’t help her put her socks on, Punky will do it. Moms are allowed to take her shoes off for her, she’s got it.

We also can’t make presents for her Papa/Uncle Day without her assistance. So, she got to put the presents for her uncles and papa in their bags and stuff the paper in as well. This year they all got custom chocolate Hershey’s bars. Mommy made the wrong dimensions and we had to improvise, but it was still cute!

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For her Bubba (godfather) we made him a Moonpie Tower, because he loves Moonpies and of course was over the moon to have them! But of course, we had to try them before we made the tower!

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Papa got a T-Shirt with this ironed on it and it was a pretty awesome hit! Immediately worn when unwrapped, which is pretty much every year, since Papa gets a new shirt every year! Suppose it’s better than a tie!!

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Overall, Papa/Uncle Day was a pretty good success. After the festivities of presents and BBQ, it was time for the kids to get in the pool for some water play and swimming. Punky is really loving the water right now. Its great that her preschool has water play on Tuesdays as well, so they have her bring her swimsuit and they explore different water type activities, this week it was running through the sprinklers.

So, she loves her goggles and swimming at Grammy and Papa’s house, so they spent the afternoon browning in the sunlight – and swimming up and down the pool.

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And at the end of the day, Papa/Uncle Day wore out my kiddo and her Mama! This is by far one of my most favorite pictures ever!!

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Father’s Day In Preschool When There’s No Dad

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Father’s Day is Sunday. I read about how other people handled Father’s Day in their own lesbian homes and everyone is a little different. Some people are celebrating their day by giving Father’s Day to their partner, while they have Mother’s Day. Or others who don’t celebrate at all. Or some who explain what it is, but just that other people celebrate. And then there are some like our family.

We celebrate the men in Punky’s life. It’s lovingly referred to as “Papa/Uncle Day” and its a super special time. It really does keep in our minds how lucky Punky is. How loved she is and how many male role models she has in her life.

And then there are days like yesterday that squash the ideas and my happy little bubble.

I picked up Punky from school and she had painted a tie picture for Father’s Day. When her teacher handed it to me, I smiled and said thank you. It was super cute and when I picked Punky up in my arms and asked what she made she replied with:

“I made it for Daddy.”

Insert stomach drop here. Heart sinking feeling. Disappointment washed over me.

“Can we give it to Papa, sweetie? You don’t have a Daddy, but you do have a Papa!” I suggested an alternative and tried my best to curb my anger at the tone of my voice.

This whole thing had put me in an awkward position. I was having to vocally tell my two year old she doesn’t have a Daddy. And why? Because all day, or at least while they were painting, the teachers (who know she has two moms) were repeating over and over, what I am sure they thought was a simple and non-offensive phrase, “Let’s make a present for Daddy.” 

I am absolutely sure this shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is to me. I am extra sensitive right now – I have noticed, with all the stress of Kim’s health and how that has effected us in regards to childcare, finances and just daily life – I’m pretty snappy.

I didn’t bring it up to her teacher at the time and I probably won’t, because by the time she goes back to school, Father’s Day will be over and it won’t matter. It will be a whole year before we have to deal (wishful thinking here) with the whole Daddy thing again. The only reason we are dealing with it right now is because of the holiday that is coming up.

Kim tried to get me to logically see that this wasn’t an issue. It’s Father’s Day. They didn’t think about. Blah Blah Blah. But, its not just Punky who doesn’t have a father. I mean there are plenty of kids who don’t have dads in their lives. They have deadbeat dads, actual dead dads, or any number of other types of families. I just felt like they should have been more vigilant in their wording.

We have a specific way we refer to her donor, and it’s not Daddy. She’s only met her donor once, before she could actually remember meeting him. She doesn’t know what it means to have a donor, she’s fucking two. But, the last thing I want to have to do – is try and explain to a two year old what a Daddy is and why she doesn’t have one and other people do.

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Its probably just because I’m in a funk, and its effecting me more than I should let it. More than it really needs to. But, the last thing I ever want Punky to feel is “left out” – especially on a holiday that the freaking whole nation celebrates in some way. Which is why we came up with Papa/Uncle Day. It’s her way to giving presents still and celebrating the holiday without having to discuss “Father’s Day”.

So, I guess for now, its not as big a deal as I wanted to make it and I am not going to freak out on the teacher. But, it does remind me that our family is different and it also reminded me that people don’t really take into consideration that my child may need different things when it comes to holidays.

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There are a ton of Christian people who ask why atheists get so ‘uptight’ about their religion being taught in public schools or religion being brought up outside of the church. It’s the same concept as what I’m talking about in regards to Father’s Day.

Not everyone celebrates the same. Not everyone believes the same. And while, I have no problem with my daughter being exposed to other things and I’m not asking that Father’s Day be banned from school – I am asking that we take into consideration that one phrase or one belief is not depicted as the only way or the RIGHT way to say the phrase or believe the belief.

When I heard her say “I made for Daddy.” it was a definitive phrase, like there was no one else that tie painting could be for. Like she wasn’t given any other choices. But she has other choices. So, instead of narrowing the field and bringing on just one word in regards to the holiday, expose kids to differences, let them explore and learn different ways to celebrate, include everyone’s beliefs and everyone’s version of the holiday.

So, just like religion being introduced to my kid. I am not upset that she was exposed to “Daddy”. I am upset she wasn’t given another option to consider. Just the same for church. I don’t care if you talk to my kid about Jesus or God. I don’t care if she’s exposed to it, I want her to be able to explore on her own – but I also want her to be given the choice to explore more than just the one choice and be told it’s the only choice there is.

Because in the end, there’s just not one right way in any subject, its all perception and circumstances. She needs to be able to make up her own mind. And, yes, she’s only 2 so this is a little deep and a little heavy for me to be thinking about – but damnit, it really bothered me.

Now, I need to figure out a better way to head this off before it becomes an issue when she’s older, when it may actually effect her in a real negative way.

Off to the Potty Races!

Punky has been vocally more interested in telling us that she is “poopy” or “I hafta pee” in the last few months. I have been hesitant on the potty training front before because we don’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment and it is just going to be a mess. I’m sure of it.

However, everything I keep reading says when your child is ready, things will fall in place. And just like when we used to think “we need to wait until we are ready to have a baby”, I thought, “I need to wait until we are ready to potty train.”

Except … when is any first time parent really READY to potty train. I mean seriously? There’s never going to be a ‘perfect time’ to potty train.

With Kim’s health right now, still uncertain and very much up in the air, I have been increasingly more hesitant to potty train Miss Punky – but as kids around her age are starting to potty train and little girls in the family are starting to have potty charts and such, I figure, now is as good a time as any to get started.

Tomorrow morning, we wear panties. Big girl panties. I bought some when she started school a few months ago, and she has worn them over her pull-ups, but she’s never actually worn them alone.

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She’s been able to communicate so much better lately, she’s speaking in full (semi-coherent when she’s not whining) sentences and singing up a storm. Just this afternoon, I caught her singing a choppy version of her ABCs and it was pretty much, give or take a few letters, on tune and in order. Miss Punky can also count to 10! Its just awesome how much she has blossomed in just a few months from her second birthday.

I’m hearing more and more “I do it!” when it comes to get dressed and undressed. So, Kim has to keep reminding me to let her do it and she will come to me when she wants help. Even when she tries to put her head in the head hole of her shirt instead of the bottom of the shirt first. It’s just nuts to watch the trial and error and the extreme frustration that comes with learning basic skills we adults take for granted.

In other news, Kim has a neurologist appointment on the 20th. Fingers crossed that her ailments aren’t something severe. for a 31 year old woman, she’s falling apart, my love is breaking down and we could all use a few positive vibes (and if you are my mama, prayers in lieu of positive thoughts) sent our way for healthy results to the next few weeks and less stress on me!

In even more news, state by state is knocking down their bans on gay marriage, congratulations to Wisconsin. I sure can’t wait until Missouri makes it that far, but of course, I won’t hold my breath. I am sure we will be the last belle to arrive at the ball! Instead, I have been putting my creativity to use, making super cute bridal shower invitations for lesbian weddings. I’m so excited about the new line int he shop.

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I’ve just been super busy in the shop coming up with new ideas and of course, I am always looking for new themes and ideas!

In the meantime, I’m all ears for tips and tricks on potty training a toddler, a two year old girl to be more specific!! Give me a shout, I could use a little words of encouragement to keep my sanity in check this coming week, for more reasons than just the potty training!

Think Before You Speak – Questions That Erk Me

In honor of Mombian’s 9th annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families, I am writing up a post I have been meaning to write for some time now. As always, my goal of this blog is not only to document our lives and the growing up of our Punky Monster, but also to get the point across that we are just like everyone else.

Yes. We are atheists.

Yes. We are lesbians.

And Yes. Our daughter is still healthy, loved, and nurtured.

So, I wanted to pick apart the questions I get asked pretty regularly. I’m an open book. I have always been an open book.

**See Unconventional Conception if you don’t believe me! I tell that story – in person, without hesitation to anyone who might be curious enough to get into the gritty details of our conception story. (You’d be surprised how many people want to know the details and then regret it when they learn them!)**

Which means that I answer cordially pretty much any question about our family, our parenting styles, our religion, or our lives in general without much hesitation. That doesn’t mean I don’t get annoyed by the frequent questions that are bordering on over the line, I may not voice it, but perhaps, there might be some tact that people could exercise before asking these types of questions.

1. Who’s Mom?

Look, I try real hard not to make this awkward. It always ends up poorly. The very definition of ‘lesbian mom’ means the kid has TWO moms. I also attempt to really think about the fact that its probably really intended to be “Who carried your daughter?” which may be a valid question, it’s still presumptuous that the mom who carried Punky is her “real mother”, which is not the case.

No matter the law, no matter the tradition or the ideals of the world around us, we are always both her mothers.

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2. Does She Look Like Her Dad?

Well, again, I will define “lesbian mom”. Two moms. No dad. I mean, I know there are plenty of lesbian moms and families with two moms that do have contact with their donors. The donors are called all sorts of things, including Dad or Father in some family dynamics.

But, we really shouldn’t assume that. For my own family, we have contact with our daughter’s donor. He is and always will be a very special man in our life. We aren’t super close, in that we visit or hang out regularly, we don’t even talk on the phone or text message in regular intervals, but he will always have given us a gift we can’t ever thank him enough for.

He is still … not her dad. To most people it seems harmless, it seems like its no biggie, a slip up, not offensive. But … it is offensive. To my partner, to my daughter. It overshadows the very definition of my daughter’s family dynamic. The family she knows.

He’s wasn’t there holding my legs as I was pushing her out of a small hole. He wasn’t up with her at 3AM singing a made up lullaby in those first few weeks, so I could get a little sleep. He’s not catching her as she jumps without warning towards his arms. That’s Kim. And much more.

Basically, while it may seem harmless, it confuses my kid and I anticipate it will confuse her more as she starts to understand that some kids have dads and she doesn’t. When she really notices that she her family is different from others. Do me a favor. Its already going to be a weird conversation for me to have with my kid, don’t confuse her more.

(And if you ask anyone, she really does look just like me. I got myself pregnant is the joke around our family and friends!)

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3. Aren’t You Worried About Her Not Having A Father Around?

You know, I had a dad around. I still have a dad around. I love him to pieces, but he hasn’t always been the stand up dad that traditional June Cleavers are married to. Frankly, my dad has helped mess me up and I’m still in therapy working through the issues I have because of actions, a result of emotional distress in my childhood from having a father.

Do I think having a father is a bad thing? No.

But, do I think Punky absolutely has to have a father? Absolutely not.

We have discussed it before – Punky has more role models than a little girl could possibly had! She has one hell of a godfather in her life, who loves her to bits, like his own kid I would surmise. He is already planning on taking her hunting (which I will probably fight when the time comes), fishing, and teaching her how to do things with cars.

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I have no doubt my brothers will teach her all about comic books, video games, badass underground, never discovered local bands, and how to take the perfect picture of her poop (yes, that’s a thing).

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Kim’s brother is sure to bring a culture of motorcycles, tattoos and fast cars.

I know her grandpas have a wealth of knowledge in work ethic, humor and silliness, and overall doting and caring for her.

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And all the men in her life are sure to teach her how a man is supposed to treat a lady and she will be able to raise any man she dates to the standards they set in her eyes for her future mate. And should she, (personally, I hope not) be a lesbian, she will learn how to treat a lady right as well.

4.  Isn’t Punky Confused About What To Call You?

Okay, so this is a valid question. However, there is a much tactful way to ask it. Perhaps something like, “What does she call you? What does she call her other mother?” I have been asked, “Who’s Mama, Who’s Mommy?” That’s also acceptable. Some lesbian families have all sorts of different ways we help our kids distinguish between two moms.

We decided to sort of guide her in the process of picking a name, but not choosing the name for either of us. She just settled into Mommy for me and Mama for Kim. Both of which we are thrilled with. She’s not confused, because she doesn’t know anything other than having two moms and calling us what she calls us.

Its normal to her, no confusion – thanks for asking!

5. Isn’t It A Concern That She Will Be Teased Growing Up?

This is a very good thing to be concerned about. I don’t know if all lesbian or gay parents are worried about this. I know I was. I still am. I have been concerned – sometimes that we actively thought to have a child, in a world where having gay parents, being gay in general isn’t completely accepted (check out the states still banning gay marriage, HELLO MISSOURI.)

And then I remember that there are several states striking down the bans on gay marriage and it means that acceptance and tolerance is coming around. I put into perspective that Punky is only 2, she’s in preschool, where kids don’t care if she has two moms, her teachers are incredibly supportive and all my mommy friends want to meet Kim and if she wasn’t agoraphobic, they would with no issues.

So in the end, by the time she is school, real school, my hope is that kids will be taught about love and acceptance. That their kids will taught by parents the different ways to make a family, the different kinds of parents and family dynamics out there.

I am getting less worried and more optimistic. This question is a well meaning question, but it can be seen as presumptuous. It could be interpreted by some that you think I’m selfish for ‘daring to bring a child into an intolerant world, just to get bullied.’ I’m sure that’s not the intent, but it sure can be misconstrued.

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These are my five pet peeve questions. I will always answer them, and they aren’t altogether offensive. But when I answer them everyone is then made to feel awkward. I’m uncomfortable, the person asking is uncomfortable because they made some ill-conceived, usually well intentioned faux pas.

So in the end, I’m more annoyed by the uncomfortable air around the question and the answers and the awkwardness that ensues around the whole thing.

Think before you speak, think about how your words may be interpreted. I won’t ever say out loud that your questions are offensive, stupid, or hurtful – but rest assured, I’m probably thinking it.

Mother’s Day Weekend

All I wanted for Mother’s Day was a new family picture and a clean bra. Let’s just say I got both.

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I also got to get up early … 7AM early, change a poopy butt, listen to some whine, shriek and crying. I got to make a cute custom shirt, just for our girl. I got to help her paint a card for her Mama. I got to make a special something for my mother-in-law.

I’ll take the good with the bad. Even though, with what I suspect to be 2-year molars and constipation, the bad is sorely outweighing the good.

In most cases, Mother’s Day is just like any other day for us. It may be because Kim and I have been together for 11 years and we are set in our ways. It could be because our kid is too young to really ‘get it’. It may also be because with two moms in the house – whose day is it? Really..?

Traditionally, Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day where the Mom gets a break, a pass, a free day. One day out of  the year, where she’s supposed to take some sort of vacation from parenting. But, well, in a house with nothing but moms, who changes the diapers? Feeds the kid? Who cooks the dinner? And who cleans the dishes?

I think Mother’s Day may be more a symbolic thing in our house. I have yet another holiday to dress up our Punky.

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I also get to revel in the fact that I made this tiny toddler terrorist. And while I really wish she’d stop with the incessant whining, I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world, and most certainly not anyone in the world.

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We may not have made her with traditional methods, but we made her with love and determination. I like to think we shape her to be a beautiful person, both inside and outside. Both moms are doing that.

We also get to her whining and when she gets mad, yelling for “Daddy” and then tell her three times in a span of an hour, she doesn’t have a Daddy. I’m not really sure how this conversation will go later in life, but so far, that’s the closest we have come to really broaching the subject.

We went swimming yesterday, my goodness, we have put Punky in a pool every year since she’s been born and her hair just gets longer and thicker each year! Not to mention the uber cute swimsuits she has sported each year!

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So, is motherhood perfect? No. Is it messy? Yes. Are there days, like right this moment, when I can totally understand why some animals eat their young?  You bet!

But, I love her to pieces and I will always be thankful for the sweet and sour moments of our darling Punky girl.

Happy Mothers Day to you all! Whether you are still trying to be mothers, lost a mother, lost a child, wrangling terrorists, adopted, foster, or surrogate. You are all mothers. You are all beautiful. We are strong, human making, sanity drained, courageous women! Have a great day and revel in the idea that you are woman.

And, if you get a minute, check this out. It’s pretty awesome.

18/52 – Bonds That Are UnBreakable

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No words can ever express what this picture means to me. She’s so precious to me. And, I am absolutely in love with everything about her.

This last couple days have been trying. Miss Punky has what the doctors are calling “Chronic Cough” which for the record, infuriates me to no end.

Get ready, this is a long ass story….

In December, I took her to the doctor for some coughing issues that were pretty persistent. They said she likely had something viral, gave her a breathing treatment and that’s when we adopted Sammy the Seal.

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In the beginning, as I have talked about before, Sammy was not the most well received new member of our family. In fact, Miss Punky decided, he needed to go! She was having none of it. Which put her Mommy on edge.

We finally got her to really like Sammy. So much so that she pets him while she gets her breathing treatments and tells him thank you when we are done.

We went back to the doctor’s office, at the beginning of April, and was told she had a double ear infection and that her lungs sounded good, but the cough – until she vomited – was likely because she had sinus drainage and she didn’t know how to cough it up, so she choked on it.

I went with it.

Well, Monday night, I went to sleep, ready to go to work in the morning. We had been pumping our kid full of Benadryl and Mucinex, just thinking she had a cold or the remnants of her ear infection.

Except, Monday night, she didn’t stop coughing. Kim had to come get me around 1:30 and ask if she could sleep in our bed. We aren’t much for co-sleeping, but the last time we did it, it really helped her not cough, because she laid on me – at an angle – and cuddled in.

She wasn’t in our room for more than 10 minutes before she coughed so hard, she puked on me. I got her out of bed, and we tried to get her drink something. We all know toddlers are notorious for not doing what you need them to do. So we thought, cold on her throat, from several hours of persistent coughing, maybe a Popsicle?

She enjoyed it until she coughed so hard to throw that up too.

If you are keeping count, that’s three times in a few hours. Once in her bed, once in my bed, and once on our couch. She had thrown up and it didn’t look like there was any stopping of her cough in sight.

We made the decision to take her to the ER around 2AM. I had to be at work at 7AM, let me tell you how thrilled I was about this idea. But, it just broke my heart to see her coughing til she turned red and her little body shaking, gagging to the point of vomiting. On the way to the hospital, she coughed and coughed and puked again all over her jacket.

That was number four.

We got admitted, hung out in the waiting room and then they got us in the room. She was pretty well-behaved for a two year old, no sleep, and a sickness. She actually didn’t cough as much either. We would told when they put us in the room, there was one doctor and 4-5 people ahead of you. I just envisioned our good natured kid suddenly becoming a pain in the ass, the longer we had to be there.

But she didn’t. Not really.

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Kim taught her a new song and sent her out in the hallway to sing it! “Doctor, Doctor – Gimme the news!” So she danced around the room, singing pretty darn loudly that one phrase over and over around 2 hours in.

By 5AM, we finally saw the doctor. He said what everyone has been saying. Her lungs sound good, she’s not got a fever and while her throat was red and raw (DUH), she seemed fine. It was likely just a viral thing or nasal drainage.

For crying out loud, it took everything in me not to punch that man in the throat.

However, during the examination, she coughed so hard she puked on the doctor, all over the sheet on their bed, and all down my leg. Kim proceeded to pick her up to comfort and she puked on Kim’s arm.

That’s number 5 and 6.

He saved himself by saying they would do a chest x-ray, a breathing treatment and a round of steroids. Ok. So, we haven’t done 2 out of 3. No punching in the throat.

He left for another round of whatever, a half hour later an x-ray tech came in with a portable x-ray machine, sent one of us out of the room (me) while the other held our kid to get her picture taken, which by the way was not a fun thing to listen to outside in the hallway.

Chest x-ray done, in came the nurse with steroids, who by the way, decided she didn’t think I was telling the truth when I said Punky would take the medicine in a syringe no problem. Instead, she tried to rush it and force her to swallow, which made her spit it everywhere.

After steroids, Punky started to get a little cranky and temperamental. I couldn’t blame her, by that time is was nearly 6AM and my alarm for work had even gone off on my phone.

The respiratory guy came in to give her a breath treatment and he went to put the mask on her face and said, “Where Sammy?”

You know, I never thought I would lie to my kid as much as I do to make her do things that are good for her. We told her that the Respiratory guy name Dave, that’s what we will call him, I don’t know his real name, was sent by Sammy to give her the medicine, because he was at home sleeping, but Dave was a real good friend of Sammy’s.

Dave was pretty impressed when she let him put that mask on and didn’t move at all to take it off through the entire treatment. I’m thinking he doesn’t see it that much with toddlers, and it took a lot of work for us to condition her to them, so not having the seal there, I was sure would cause a tantrum.

Breathing treatment done, doctor came in and said, “It’s probably viral. Nasal drainage and everything looks good. We can’t take the cough away, but here’s some steroids, if it doesn’t get better, call her pediatrician.”

Cue eye-roll here.

So, we headed home, with a cranky and very tired toddler and of course, overly exhausted mamas. By the time we got home it was 7:30AM. I had to call in to work, just so Kim could sleep and maybe I could get some sleep when we situated Punky.

Except, Punky falling asleep didn’t go as smoothly as we thought it would. I had imagined the steroids would be a miracle cure and we could give her Benadryl on the recommendation of the ER doc and lay her down. She laid down no problem.

Less than 10 minutes into it, we heard her coughing, then gagging, crying from frustration because she just wanted to sleep, and then finally, number 7 vomit came all over her bed.

Being that we don’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment, and we were just too tired to do the laundry, I pulled Punky onto the couch with me, turned the fan on, because we were both pretty warm and tried to get her comfortable.

At one point, she was so frustrated with the cough that wouldn’t go away that she would cry and scream and cough harder and then puked again, number 8.

In case you were curious, all the vomit, was more liquid than anything of substance, but every time she puked, she got more upset, and in turn made herself puke more. At this point, Kim had fallen asleep in the bedroom, and I was sitting on our living room floor with a toddler in only her diaper and we were crying at each other.

She puked on me again, while we sat there. Number 9 of the evening.

I just felt so helpless. This kid was coughing so hard, she was so tired, and there wasn’t a thing I could do to fix it. No doctors were telling me anything new. No doctors were HELPING my kid. I couldn’t HELP my kid. I could just sit there and hold her, listen to her body rattle as she coughed and feel her tiny body shake.

It was one of my most scary nights/mornings ever. Of course, it didn’t help that I hadn’t had any sleep.

We did this until around 9AM, and then we finally fell asleep on the couch, but really, Punky slept uninterrupted for maybe 10 minutes and then she would cough for another 10 minutes. Until about 11AM, when she found the energy to get up and play, which meant Mommy was getting up too.

Needless to say, she was tired, but not coughing. She came to me at 1PM to tell me she wanted to get in her bed. I gladly put her in her bed.

She slept cough free through the nap, the rest of the evening, and the night, until this morning. Now, she’s only coughing if she’s crying or throwing a tantrum. Or if she gets too overly active – but her cough isn’t as dry, maybe the steroids are doing the trick.

If not, it’s off to the pediatrician to see if she needs to be treated for asthma or an allergy of some sort. I’m hoping that isn’t necessary.

So, we had one hell of a ride so far with this “Chronic Cough” and it’s so frustrating to hear the same thing over and over. It’s even more frustrating to be told the same thing and be charged thousands of dollars that we don’t have for treatments and doctor’s visits to hear the same thing over and over.

Hopefully, this is it. I am not very optimistic, seriously, I’m just not. But, hopefully. For my kiddo’s sake, because I know she was miserable and I hope I never have to cry with her on the floor again like that.

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The Year of 30

So, I have a few weeks until I am the big 3-0. I don’t think it has really hit me very much. I mean … not really. I joke about getting old and my knee is out of whack and I’m on a fair amount of meds. But in the end, 30 really isn’t much of anything. I guess we will see how I feel when I am actually 30. LOL.

What surprises me the most, is that my life has turned out the way it has. I thought, growing up, especially as a teenager, you were supposed to find your mate in high school, breed like rabbits, get divorced, and live forever unhappy.

And that just hasn’t happened.

Thank goodness for that!

Instead, I am spending my time with the little mini me that I have always dreamed of. I swear, our little chickadee is growing by leaps and bounds and if she doesn’t stop soon, I might just die of sadness.

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We have discovered that Miss Punky is obsessed with Batman. I have no idea how – because its not like we watch or read it. But she came home one day yelling out “Batman!” and “Fireball” that’s a new one.

She’s for real throwing fireballs at us. It pretty adorable, really.

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We had a pretty low-key weekend otherwise. I am working early every day this week, so it’s off to bed early for me. But, I just couldn’t go without sharing my most favorite pictures of this weekend.

Because let’s face it, a Batman tutu and pink converse is for sure the best fashion statement EVER.

I mean seriously. How can you not just die of absolute melting at this face? Maybe I’m biased?!

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She’s a singing fool. She knows all of “Ring Around the Rosie” and holds her own finger to turn around in circles for the song when her moms are just too tired to do it AGAIN. She does a generally interesting version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” though the hand movements are spot on.

We introduced her to American Tail this weekend. My goodness, what a spectacle she made of herself! She was just so concerned every time the mice were attacked by cats. It was both heart warming and migraine inducing at the same time – each time the cats attacked, she shrieked and covered her mouth. It was super serious!

Don't mind me, yes it's another Batman shirt, because we isn't allowed to wear the giant tutu every moment of her life, like she would like.

Don’t mind me, yes it’s another Batman shirt, because we isn’t allowed to wear the giant tutu every moment of her life, like she would like.

So, we had a nice time at the park this morning, ran into some interesting people and had some interestingly dare-devilish moves from my monkey of a daughter!

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In the end, the weekend was full of some much needed Mommy, Punky time and we had a blast. It was nice weather and like my young babygirl who is now attempting to sleep, I am also exhausted and headed to bed. Not thrilled to start the work week, but we are truckin’ along regardless!

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Psst. If you haven’t noticed, there may be a new page up top.

16/52 – Inside Our Home

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I’ve been really bad about keeping up with the Project 52 Challenge. This picture was earlier this week. I think it may have been Sunday. Basically, we are an electronic family and we love all things electronic.

Punky and I share the Nook, I actually took this picture from behind my laptop. So, as you can see, we all have something electronic in our possession and that’s just the way we spend family time.

Quiet. Small breeze from the patio door coming in. At the time, it was nice – not rainy in our neck of the woods. It’s since been a little of everything. The joys of living in the Midwest of the US.

One day it’s sunny and 70 and the next day is 30 and storming. Which is why I ended up with no voice and a sore throat for nearly two weeks. I missed upwards to 32 hours on one paycheck, with no pay. Let’s talk about how stressful that is!

Thank goodness, I work in a call center, so they had some overtime available. I have been able to make up all but 17 hours. It’s better than nearly a whole week.

I’m feeling much better, but now we are afraid there may be mold in Punky’s room and we may need to clean it out and get it looked at. I’m not looking forward to going through all her clothes and toys in that room. Not to mention dismantling her bed.

I feel like I haven’t seen Punky in ages, really. I know I have. But, I’ve been working so much this week to make up for the hours I missed while I was sick – and when I’m not out of the house working, I’m on my laptop working in the Etsy shop filling orders.

It’s like lesbian baby making season. Seriously. I’ve done at least 7 baby shower invitations for lesbian couples this month all having baby showers on May 31.

This design is by far the reigning favorite in the shop.

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I almost want to call it the lesbian baby boom and for all you TTC’ing, take it as there’s something in the air. I am crossing my fingers for all of you!

So, while I work overtime and over normal – I posted up a bunch of pictures of Punky around my desk. It makes the time go by a little faster and makes the time I am on this phone, tethered to this desk for several hours a day, a little more bearable.

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It doesn’t hurt that there are several people at work who are constantly asking to see current pictures of Punky. She really became quite a mascot of the team while I was working for a different supervisor. So, the team still comes by my desk periodically or stops me in the hallways and asks for new pictures.

It is super awesome to hear how cute she is and how smart she is and of course, how much she looks like me. It’s not one day that goes by that I don’t get that at least once a day. I’m ok with it.

So, our last two weeks have been full of sickness and working. Not much family time to be had, since Easter when my mom came to visit. I’m hoping tomorrow can be a nice day and maybe I can take Punky outside, perhaps to the park if I’m feeling adventurous and not lazy.

Otherwise, we can kick the ball around outside in the apartment complex, before she has another week at school. I freaking love this cute little picture of her leaving school with her nap mat and headed home with me.

CAM00399She insists on carrying it herself. It’s bigger than she is!

For Mother’s Day a local photographer is offering mini Mommy and Me sessions and I thought maybe I would take them up on it. We don’t have any ‘professional’ pictures because I generally take them myself and I think they are pretty ok, for an amateur, so I can’t really justify spending money on it.

But we don’t have a family picture since last Easter and I think I would like to have one. So, I may look into doing this, depending on our money situation in the next week or so.

So, maybe we will have professional pictures to post soon!

Cross your fingers for me to have a relaxing, none crazy Sunday tomorrow so I can de-stress and spend some quality time with my girls.

Easter Awesomeness

We had a great day yesterday, Easter was pretty darn great. We found out last week that my mom and my niece were coming to visit – so it was an extra treat for us to have them come for the day, stay the night and then go home this morning. I was able to take my niece to the great park we have here. She and Punky had a blast hanging out, even if they are like 5 years apart.

So Easter morning, I heard Miss Punky in her room babbling away, just singing and playing. I held out until around 9, when I finally woke up Kim and told her the festivities were about to start. I got Punky changed and gave her an oatmeal bar to keep her occupied while the Easter Bunny hid her eggs.

When the eggs were hidden, I came back in the room, and said, “GUESS WHAT. The Easter Bunny hid all your eggs and you have to go find them.” She was still tired and not exactly impressed by this. So, I used a different tactic to get her out of her bed. “AND, the Easter Bunny left you chocolate in the living room to eat for breakfast.”

This is the face she gave me in response!

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She made a mad dash to the living room and found her basket, grabbed a piece of chocolate, shoved it in her mouth and that was the start of our chocolate and sugar filled day.

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We did hunt for eggs, which was a pretty good time. We had a blast with the running around, bouncing on the couch and altogether burning all the sugar out by 11AM, just to be fueled by more, only this time she was all dressed up in her Easter best.

Now, as atheists we don’t have anywhere, like church, to attend, but we still like to get our girl all dressed up in a cute dress and white shoes. She looked adorable.

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The shoes were too big, but the smaller shoes were too tight. She has the chunkiest little feet ever, but they are also long! Go figure.

We got to Grammy’s house where she got more candy and more egg hunting done. First thing she tried were PEEPS and while Mommy doesn’t care for them, she sure they they were awesome.

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After going to Grammy’s – we took my mom and niece home to hang out and look at old pictures my mom brought for us to look through. I found a lot of me when I was Punky’s age, it was super fun to look and see how much we really do look alike.

After a nap and recharge, I took the three of them to the new park that was built a few months ago in town. It’s pretty darn awesome.

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Punky especially enjoys the sandbox and the slide, my niece had a blast climbing on everything. She got higher on the pyramid than this rock climbing wall – but she freaked out a bit and had to have help getting down. It was silly.

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I got a great picture of Punky with my mom – which doesn’t happen often, since she lives so far away – but it was super great and kind of accidental.

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And at the end of the evening, before we went home, I got another shot, perhaps my favorite so far of the two of us. If she was freaking looking at me!

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We ended our Easter night with the girls taking a bath, splashing and carrying on and then watching Frozen, since my mom had not seen it yet. Overall, we had a great day and I am so glad we were too super sick to enjoy it.

In the sick department, I missed work for four days last week and I’m definitely going to feel it in my paycheck, so I’m a little stressed out. My throat still hurts when I swallow and I’m starting to cough more up and out – instead of dry coughing – so I don’t feel as bad and I have my voice, so that’s better than last week!!

Hope everyone else had a fantastic Easter and I can’t wait to read all about it 🙂