Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nothing but neti

So I was complaining about my horrible sinus infection on one of the online forums I visit (yes, I am as compelling over there as I am on my blog), and one of the other women suggested I try a neti pot. I made a mental note to google it, but as she lives in Hong Kong, I figured I wouldn't be able to find whatever it was in the States and didn't really think too much more about it. But when my good friend from college mentioned it as well, I decided to learn more. I read about the product and its reviews (very positive) on Amazon.com, and a quick search of Walgreen's awesome web site confirmed my local store had them in stock. I ran out and returned with this:


I wasn't really sure I could go though with it. The neti pot touches on a specific fear of dying that I have, which is accidentally drowning myself in my bathroom by pouring warm saltwater up my nose with a plastic teapot that has a phallic-shaped spout. (In case you are unenlightened like I was, this product was apparently featured on Oprah by Dr. Oz. You make a mixture of warm water and salt, lean your head over the sink, tilt to one side, make a seal on one nostril with the spout, tilt the pot up, and allow the water to flow up and out the other nostril. Result: clear sinuses. Great!) I purchased it last Wednesday, and as DH wouldn't return from his business trip until Friday, I wondered about Bean's chance of survival if my death was not discovered until he came home. I mean, I would hope DH would call the local police if he couldn't reach me on the phone before then, but I didn't want to get too caught up in those sorts of details.

When DH called that Wednesday to check in, I told him about how my sinus problems would soon be cured by my brand new neti pot. When I told him how it works, he responded, "What if you accidentally drown yourself? Bean would be in rough shape by the time I get home."

I laughed. "I had the same exact thought! Too funny."

He was silent for a minute. "I was actually kinda serious."

To spare DH the constant worry that his wife was taking her final breaths sprawled out on the bathroom rug (still suffering from stuffed sinuses, too, no doubt), I decided to use his time away to slowly work up the courage to use the neti pot.

Wednesday, I opened the box. I arranged the neti pot and the salt packets neatly on the counter in a pretty fan shape.

Thursday, I began to read the instruction pamphlet. It contained real pictures of sinuses, like from the INSIDE of someone's head! I threw up a little in my mouth and was glad DH was still gone so I could put off my experiment for another day. I mean, who wants to see that, really! Probably the same people who are watching open heart surgery on the medical channel. Sickos.

Also included in the pamphlet was an advertisement for another one of their products, which is a nose spray, that they claim works way better than the neti pot. Well, great, why did you sell me this crappy product then?!

On Friday it was time to step up to the plate and give it a shot. I boiled the water to sterilize it and cooled it to a comfortable temp. I mixed in the salt, stepped into the bathroom, and poured myself a nice cup of saline nose tea with that goofy pot. Much to my surprise and delight, I did not die! And even better, it actually worked. Pretty well, at least. It definitely helped clear me up, although by this time my sinuses weren't really that bad anymore, and I wondered if there would have been a bigger difference in the before and after had I started to use it 10 days ago. As I'm feeling good now, I will definitely be keeping the neti pot in my closet for next Attack of the Killer Sinuses.

Moving on to other topics, we've had a good weekend. My BFFs at Netflix sent me "Twilight," which DH and I watched last night. I did my best to overcome what I knew would be the three major hurdles to keep me from enjoying it: 1) I am not a 14-year-old girl; 2) It was filmed outside of Portland instead of outside of Seattle like it should have been; and 3) The actors were cast entirely wrong and they do not look like, act like, or talk like they should. Despite my best efforts, just as with the books, I had a love/hate relationship with the movie. I shook my head and sighed a lot, and I had to keep from barfing when they showed Carlisle (I thought he was supposed to be HANDSOME!). I also couldn't control the urge to constantly tell DH what was going to happen. Lucky he loves me and never got annoyed... either that or he really doesn't care about Bella and Edward. Which of course just can't be true.

We also took advantage of the sun and spent some time outside. Bean learned to write his name in chalk. One of the letters is backwards, but I thought it was a pretty good job anyway.

(DH pointed out that my basketball reference in the title was just in time for the Final Four. Go Spartans!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Double the pleasure, double the fun

So I finally did it.

I've been struggling for a long time with whether or not to write about the more personal aspects of infertility. The topic just doesn't seem to fit neatly into this blog -- it's unpleasant, awkward, and messy. (Yes, even worse than changing a diaper after a poop explosion. I know, right?) But I haven't been feeling authentic, leaving out a piece of me that plays such a pivotal role in my world.

I have taken a deep breath and launched a second blog, called Secrets of an Infertile Mom. I'll still be posting cute pictures and amusing stories of life in the motherhood here on Sunny in Seattle, this is my primary site. The second blog will be sort of an aside... I'll be blurbing about parenting as an infertile and where we go from here. I'll keep it going as long as it keeps doing its job for me: allowing me to vent and process my walk down the IF path, freeing up the rest of me to appreciate every moment with my precious Bean.

If you want to join me over there, you are welcome to, but I have no expectations either way. It will be very different than here -- it's more serious and, well, basically a bummer. But I'm giving you the opportunity, in case you want to know more about that part of my life. Be warned, there will be talk about my uterus. Not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting better... maybe?

It's still a mixed bag at our house, but I would say things are improving overall. Bean has gotten over his cold/croup/whateverthatwas. Although now he's been acting very grumpy the past couple of days, I'm wondering if he's teething again? (I hope so, because I am at a total loss as to what else could be bothering him, and something definitely is.) My sinuses are still plugged, but only about 85% instead of 105% like before. My forehead no longer hurts when I touch it. Poor DH is probably doing the worst of all of us. He caught the bug too, but instead of getting cared for by yours truly, he's off Being Important in another state. Poor guy!

The mailman has been good to me, too. He brought me the free bag I won from Zinny Lou Totes:

It's sooo cute, I love it. I use it as a combo diaper bag & purse now that Bean is a little older. So I no longer scream I! HAVE! A! BABY! WITH! ME! as I lug around huge, bulging bags full of supplies everywhere we go. I am so cool. Although I will probably regret that the time we are out and I really need a fourth change of clothes, duct tape, spaghetti strainer, and a handmade llama-hair blanket for him. The mailman also brought me the cutest sweatshirt I ordered from MamaBargains.com. I went with the 18 month size so he can wear it in the fall, it's a gray hoodie (no strings!) with a stegosaurus on it and it glows in the dark. It sells at Nordstrom for $35 and I got it for $10.50. I am so thrifty. I am also so humble, apparently. Anyway, next the mailman is going to bring me a cookbook called "Toddler Cafe: Fast, Healthy, and Fun Ways to Feed Even the Pickiest Eater" (hey, I had a gift card to use up!). The word in the title that had me sold was "Fast," because I really don't like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. No, it's not because I'm a Busy Mom on the Go. It's because I'm a Lazy Mom Who Hates Cooking. I find the preparation of meals to be a huge waste of time. Eating the meals, however... now that's something worth doing. Unfortunately, you can't have one without the other (unless you have a personal chef like Oprah), so I thought I would invest in some inspiration. As proof that my purchase was timely, here is Bean eating dinner last night. Avocado, corn, and beans. Thrown onto his tray in three piles. He was thrilled, actually. Keep their expectations low and they are always happy.

And because you've waited long enough, here are some more pictures of my little man.

At our brunch a week and a half ago (still thinking about that omelet), we let Bean have some grapefruit when he reached for it, ready to snicker at his sour faced response. Which never came. The kid likes grapefruit! He's weird.



One of the highlights of Bean's week is when he sneaks past mommy and gets into Evey's food and water bowls. How can I complain when he feeds the dog?



He loves playing with his new birthday toys.


He loves climbing the stairs. He's quick, but not as quick as Evey, as she likes to taunt remind him as he goes up.


We were about due for another bath picture. Yes, he's still in the inflatable ducky. He likes it and I think it's funny, so I don't see a problem with it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

In which my sinuses explode from my head

Yup, still sick. I can't remember the last time I felt this crappy. Bean is feeling much better, fortunately. And DH has returned from his business trip (did I mention he's been out of town?) and has taken time off work to help me recover. He made two batches of my grandpa's famous garlic soup and went to the library to pick up this book for me:

I don't know what I'd do without him.

I'm determined to feel better by Sunday, as Jen has invited us to a housewarming brunch that I am really excited about. And then a former coworker of mine from St. Louis who actually lives in California but she telecommutes so I never actually saw her at work but we talked on the phone and that still techincally counts as being coworkers is visiting Seattle with her hubby and son and we have plans to go to the aquarium on Monday. Besides, I am so sick of watching toddler television all day, desperately trying to keep Bean entertained while I lay on the couch and blow through an entire 64-pack of Costco tissue boxes. Although I really like that Oswald show on Noggin. Fred Savage does a really convincing octopus.

So because I have nothing else to share, and I am not above fishing for compliments, I decided to borrow this "assignment" from Deb. I turned to DH, who was sitting on the couch watching "Rules of Engagement" and fuming that the Michigan State game was not on TV, and asked him to name the top 10 things he finds cute about me, off the top of his head. These are his words:

"1. You -- in whole
2. Your laugh
3. How you tap dance while you wait for something
4. How your leg bounces when you have them crossed
5. Can I say your offspring?
6. Your silliness, your sense of humor
7. How you love the dog more when she's clean
8. How you want to blow away other cars when you drive
9. How you rock out in the car
10. How you are protective of your family -- your mama-bearness
That's kind of a weak list off the top of my head, honey. Oh, how you get mad at me if I fall asleep before you do without saying goodnight first. And I think it's also cute how you like specially shaped p-diggities."

(P-diggities is my nickname for pancakes.) (I know, my cuteness knows no bounds.)

Now I'm off to google the biological purpose of sinuses. I'm wondering if I will suffer any major disruption of functioning if I have them removed. The vet said we can have the dog's anal glands surgically removed if she keeps dragging her butt on the carpet. That got me thinking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sickos

Well, just as I was celebrating Bean's immune system of steel, it was being overtaken. By croup.

I have never in my life seen so much snot coming out of one person. Constantly.

Gross.

And to make matters worse, I am sick too. My throat is really sore, and in the blessed hours between Bean's frequent nighttime wakings, I am kept up by my own persistent cough.

Cruel.

So it hasn't been the best of times at our house lately.

It will pass eventually, and hopefully I'll have something more interesting to post about soon. Stand by.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thanks for your prayers

My aunt passed away last night. She was 56. She was such a beautiful person with an endlessly kind, empathetic heart. She will be missed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The winner takes it all

The past two days have brought lots of fun, good news, but some sad, stinky news as well. Let's start with the good, shall we? I'll go chronologically.

Bean had his one-year well baby visit yesterday. The doc was really happy with the changes since his nine-month check up, which wasn't so fabulous if you remember (due to low weight and borderline iron deficiency). His current stats are 30 1/4 inches tall and 20 lbs 4 oz, which put him in the 65th and 15-20th percentiles, respectively. On the tall and thin side, just like his mom used to be 10 years ago. His iron is also back up in the normal range. Hooray! I'm sure it's because he's such a good eater these days. The doc told me I could stop giving him the iron supplements now, which was good because he hasn't had them in at least three weeks. Oh, and Bean also got two more vaccines. A few tears during the pokes, nothing a good hug from mommy couldn't fix, and then afterward you'd never know he'd gotten them. Now hopefully we won't be back until his 15-month visit, if his immune system keeps kicking butt and taking names like it has been.

I have to take the opportunity to brag about DH (again). Yesterday he had an awesome review at work, and a raise to match! I am so proud of my man. And glad that I didn't have to go break anyone's knees. I mean, the guy was working 14 hour days. What more could they want?

Drumroll please... I WON THE SUPER CUTE TOTE!! You remember, the one from Holly's blog giveaway. I am so beyond thrilled, I could totally barf right now. Does it mean that I'm a bad mom if I'm more excited about winning a new bag than I was about good results from Bean's doctor appointment? Probably. But there you have it.

Today, a close friend of mine from college became a MOMMY! After a final ultrasound that was eerily like mine almost exactly a year before, she was nervous that she too would be giving birth to a freakishly large baby, again as I did almost exactly a year before. And besides her concerns about the growth that would take place during prolonged gestation, she was also so excited to meet her babe that she could hardly survive the anticipation. Lucky girl, she didn't have to wait long! Sweet Elliott was born at 37 1/2 weeks, weighing a completely reasonable 7 lbs. Congrats to the new parents.

My buddies at The 'Flix sent me "Role Models" today. I'm glad because I've been having random dreams about Paul Rudd, and I'm hoping that watching the movie cures me of that. I have nothing against Paul Rudd, he was genius in "Clueless," but you know how when you have a song stuck in your head and nothing will make it go away but listening to that song? I'm hoping it's like that.

Now on a serious and unfortunate note, the sad news. My aunt (my Mom's sister) has been battling cancer for a long time. She has suffered a lot, and now it seems to be almost her time to join my grandparents in Heaven. She is being cared for by hospice and my cousin and his family down in Florida. My Mom has wonderful, fantastic friends who are helping her through this time, but she -- and my aunt, of course -- could use your prayers right now. Thanks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ain't no party like a West Coast party

What a whirlwind of a weekend! I am exhausted, and the time change certainly hasn't helped. But the past three days have been so much fun, finally a break from feeling overwhelmed and scattered. DH took Friday off to spend with me and Bean and help us get ready for the party. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle! We went out to lunch at a nearby diner claiming to have world famous garlic burgers. (You had me at "garlic.") While I still think that The Friendly Stop in Glendale, Ohio has the world's greatest garlic burgers, I suppose these were good enough to qualify for a top mention in the rankings. At home, DH was an invaluable help in cleaning and preparing for the party, I couldn't have done it without him.

Then on Saturday was the Big Day. The weather did a 180 from the beautiful skies the day before, it actually snowed! As an expected consequence of throwing a party during cold and flu season, we got a few calls in the morning from people canceling. We missed them -- poor Jen! -- but it did make for a more reasonably sized gathering. We had 22 people, 7 of them one year olds. It went by in a flash, but I think people had a good time. At least, they were polite enough to say so, and I'm willing enough to believe them.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of good pictures to share. Partly due to the fact that I was otherwise occupied and unable to man (woman?) the camera, so I had to rely on random guests to snap a few. And partly due to the fact that I don't have permission from the guests to post pictures of them, and I think photos of a bunch of people with giant yellow smiley faces pasted over their heads would just be creepy.

So here are a few shots of the decorations that I took to send to my Mom, whose presence was felt even if she wasn't there in person. If she had not mailed me all the fixins with fool-proof instructions, there's no way I would have hung personalized banners, decked out the high chair, rubber stamped blue swirls on the disposable plates, or wrapped plastic silverware in pretty napkins and tied tiny bows on each set.




Bean wore the cute shirt that Grandma M. got for him.



After a slow start with his very own giant cupcake cake -- I think he was more interested in why 20 people were standing around his high chair, gazing at him in anticipation -- Bean dug in and decimated it. He ended up with mittens of cake and icing on both of his hands, and he was kind enough to offer those to his mama to share.


Bean just loves his new toys. The school bus is a top favorite. The driver must be especially tasty, as Bean chews on him a lot. (At least, I think it's a him. It has a mustache. But DH says it has woman hips.)

Rounding out the weekend, today we had brunch with a friend of mine from way back in school -- if memory serves me (although it rarely does anymore, the wench), we became friends in kindergarten. We haven't seen each other since high school graduation more than 10 years ago. She is in town for a conference, and her hubby joined her so they could explore the city. DH and Bean and I enjoyed such a wonderful meal with them, getting caught up and remembering the past. We also had the most amazing meal, the best omelet I've had in my entire life. There's a reason why this restaurant was voted best brunch in Seattle. DH and I were surprised to fall in love with the sweet potato fries we ordered to occupy Bean, and my friend has promised to send her recipe for them. (Don't forget, K!) They are a fun couple, and we made our case for them to put Seattle on the list of cities they consider next year when her husband shops for jobs with his soon-to-be MBA. In fact, we think all of you should move here. Don't buy the it-rains-all-the-time story, this place is awesome. Did I mention the omelets?
Of course what I wasn't doing this weekend was hearing myself as a caller on the Suze Orman show. *sigh* At the last minute, they moved this week's show to next week in order to talk about the mortgage relief plan. At first I was super annoyed by this, because here I am looking foolish yet again, but I'm starting to think it's for the best. By the time my episode airs, I'll have cried wolf so many times that only my DH and parents will still be watching, thus reducing the severity and extent of my embarrassment. (Because although I think it's funny that I'll be on, it's really not one of my most shining moments.)
And last but not least, here's a 5-second clip of Bean "dancing" to the musical birthday card that his Great Grandma sent to him.

video

Friday, March 6, 2009

Give and Take

So I have this friend Holly. Although I have never met her in person, we've been chatting since summer 2006 and I think she's super duper fabulous and awesome and hilarious. Anyway, instead of vacuuming and dusting for the party tomorrow *ahem* I was reading about a giveaway on her blog and I fell in love with THIS:



And really, I need a new bag. Really. Need one.

So instead of Windexing the sliding glass door and baking four ginormous cupcake cakes, I am posting on my blog for a chance -- nay, make that TWO chances -- to win it.

To read about the contest, go to Holly's blog. To see more super cute totes, go to the Zinny Lou Totes web site.

Okay, back to work.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sneak peek

On Sunday, we took Bean to the same photographer who did his six-month pictures for his one-year shots. He did very well, even after missing his morning nap and teething that front tooth (STILL!). I really like the photographer, she's very friendly and artistic with her photos. She put up a "sneak peek" on her blog, click here to check Bean out. My favorite is the one where it looks like he's strangling the baby chick.

In other news (drumroll please)... my call with Suze Orman should finally be airing this weekend! For a refresher, here is how the call went down and here is my subsequent discovery about my credit score. The producer told me it would air the first week of March, so that would be this Saturday. It's on CNBC at 6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, 8 pm Central, and 9 pm Eastern. If it's not on this week or next -- well, then I give up.

Tomorrow is Bean's first birthday. Our preschool teacher asked me this morning how I was feeling about it. Honestly, pretty good, pretty excited. Not only has he changed so much in 12 months, but DH and I have as well, and it's fun to celebrate the day our family grew. Bean is my little buddy, and I think the milestone is much less traumatic for me because he still loves to snuggle with his mommy so much. (He slept in my arms for more than half of the entire two-hour preschool class today. I totally had to pee the whole time, but I was in Heaven kissing his sweet hair.)

This week is keeping me busy with party preparations. I got the final RSVP today. Including the three of us, we are expecting up to 24 adults, a five year old, a four year old, and 12 kids under the age of two. A couple of those are "maybe" responses, but it promises to be a sizable gathering. It really warms my heart that so many people are willing to spend their Saturday with us celebrating Bean's birthday. (Even if I am bribing them with rolled sandwiches and giant cupcake cakes.) This is probably the most difficult occasion so far to be away from our families, I don't want Bean to suffer for decisions that his Dad and I have made. Oh, and please pray for nice weather so the crowd can spill out into the yard. Unless all the crap in our loft spontaneously combusts in the next two days, we are limited to the main floor for entertaining.