Sunday, October 30, 2011

A few things....

Will someone please tell me what "Pumped Up Kicks" mean?

= Gay, perhaps more than I'll ever be.

The above people aside, these past 2 weeks have been a mixture of good and not so good things. First of all, I've gotten my annual review from the all for profit defense contracting company, and let's just say that I've been made the fall guy for a really trying year. It was sort of what I had expected because so far my work management have been fairly consistent (at sucking). I tell you what, if I had my way, I don't really think I'd like to be working. I'd take my days to be with my family and take the time to maybe learn a thing or two, be it going back to school or cooking by watching Food Network.

Regarding the good things, Noah Maxx is now practically running after a week of walking! He is also using more expressions and sounds to get to his goals. For example, when he got hungry this morning, he went to Beth and said "mmmmm..." and that's the sound we've been making with him while he's eating! Noah has also sprouted more teeth on both sides of his lower jaw, and that probably has contributed to his midnight wake ups to which he'd wake up kind of upset looking. Although, with him, it could just be hunger. After not sprouting new teeth for several months, they're coming in with some kind of vengeance! However, he didn't really seem to be bothered by it during the day and so far, it hasn't affected his eating habit.

Not to brag, but Noah Maxx is funnier, smarter, and cuter than ever! He has started to charm the waiters when we're eating at restaurants. To date, he has gotten extra crayons, fruits, and even ice cream from waiters, all with his cuteness! I think it won't be long (if it is not here already) before he outsmarts me.

We're all here, all fairly healthy, and trying to live as best as we could, and that's more than we could ask for!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creative Bad Parenting

Today was a really good day for Noah and I, right up until it wasn't. He played, snacked, we went to the store, he played and snacked some more. And then it was getting to be what I thought was nap time. He's switching to mostly one nap a day, and sometimes that nap is later in the afternoon, sometimes earlier. It was getting close to 3 and we were both tired, so I put him in bed. There would be moments of quiet, and then moments of talking, making noises. I kept thinking any minute now sleep would take over.

Forty-five minutes later he's much louder, so I figure I'll go in, give him a bottle, rock him, and he'll fall asleep. I walk in to find his glow worm and blanket thrown out of the crib, AND his socks and pants thrown out of the crib. Ugh!

The bottle and rocking seem to work so I put him back in bed and he finally falls asleep a little after 4. Oh thank God. I head downstairs to relax and watch last night's sit-coms until Nerdstar gets home around 5-5:30. Imagine my dismay when I hear rather loud crying at 4:45. Sigh.

We call Nerdstar on the cell phone and he likes to talk to her until she gets home.

Once she's home I hand him over for a while and finally go downstairs to relax.

About 30 minutes later I come upstairs to this scene:

Creative bad parenting!! I laughed, and then of course took a picture! She had his list playing for him while she was cooking part of her dinner.

We keep talking about getting him a little tv that has wi-fi so he can watch his videos in his room or something - but he's only 1!! We don't even have a wi-fi tv in our bedroom! (or wi-fi tv at all)

But, I keep telling her - you can't do something once you don't want to do a thousand times. In a few weeks he'll be able to drag his high chair over by the desk - and that's not something we want to get started doing!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More about Noah Maxx, and stuff...

We took Little Man's leftover supplies (kitty litter, cat food, and his scratching board) to the county animal shelter, and while we were there, we took a look at the cats and the dogs which were waiting to be adopted. There were more cats than dogs there, and they were all very adorable. Of course, we spent a bit more time at the cat section than at the dog section. Noah was chuckling at this one cat that noticed him and they were playing paw paw with each other separated by the clear plastic door.

Funny because I never really considered myself a cat person, but you just can't have two cats live with you for more than 10 years and not become some kind of a fan. O.k, I'm not the "cat lady" sort of a fan, just to clarify.

I miss the cats terribly, sleeping was kind of strange for the first few days after Little Man had passed away because there was no cats to walk on either of us.

We don't think that we'll get another cat until after Ramen goes. It wouldn't be fair for him to have to get used to another pet. I know that he probably doesn't care, but sometimes, I wonder.

As Beth had stated before, Noah loves Ramen, and would love it if Ramen could play chase or something with him.

To switch gears for just a bit...

Noah Maxx's sleeping and eating schedule has been on the shifting side this past week or so. He is now down to one nap a day, and I'm sure that if he could, he would just write off naps altogether. It has been hard to really know what time during the day is the best for him to nap. I think he's the type of kid who runs on an extra tank of reserved fuel when tiredness hits him! This has to be payback, I don't remember being a huge fan of napping during my early years, and now I don't even really have that opportunity anymore!

Thankfully, he is still sleeping through the night, at an almost 12 hour stretch!

About his diet, he has decided that he no longer likes the peas in the peas and carrot that we'd feed to him. He's still a big fan of string cheeses, cottage cheese, grapes, apples, blueberries, some sweet potatoes, yogurt, oranges, whole milk, apple juice, and oatmeal. (I just described his overall diet.) Still tells us no when it comes to meat, eggs, or anything else. I hope that changes, because I do still harbors the fantasy that he would become my partner in eating!

One of the biggest development would be the fact that he's walking unassisted. See the previous video post for an idea of how he is walking right now, with ever increasing improvement. Soon, we'll have to get a kiddie leash because we know that he'll simply take off and run when he gets a chance!

Man, it seems just like it was only yesterday when he was laying in his bassinet and we were taking turns to feed and change him overnight, and now he's "talking" and understanding more of what we're saying to him, not to mention his strong opinion of what he wants and does not wants!

I hope that one day Noah will know just how great and fascinating he has been and is still to us!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Noah Update

While other things in life haven't been so great, life with Noah is still pretty darn amazing.

He's still not walking on his own, but he loves to walk with us holding his hands. We took him to the State Fair Sunday evening to get out of the house and into some great weather. He didn't want to spend any of the time in his stroller, he wanted to walk, and walk, and walk. We're sure it won't be long until his most used phrase is "come ON." By the time we were headed home we were really amazed at just how much walking he'd done.

His favorite pastime is still throwing and chasing balls. He's finally figured out how to throw them forward instead of to his side. I'm impressed with that. He's also getting good at playing catch. I told Nerdstar we have every man's dream son - he just wants to run around and play catch all the time.

He's always loved watching Ramen. Lately he's tried a couple of times to get Ramen to chase him or play with him. It's just so sad. Ramen is not, has never been, a dog who plays. He doesn't play fetch, he doesn't play with other dogs, he doesn't play. He just wants to have his belly rubbed and to take walks. Those two things are a ways off for Noah.

Last night he cracked us up. We were eating dinner and he wasn't all that hungry. We had him in his high chair trying to feed him some grapes. He needs a bib for grapes, and he kept looking right at Nerdstar and pulling his bib off. So, we got him out of his high chair and told him to go play. He would play for a minute then come and whine at Nerdstar. Then, she got up to get something and he came and moved her chair from the table about three feet over towards the living area.

He's a great kid. He's cute and smart and fun and goofy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

RIP Little Man

We got to the vet's office about 3 p.m. yesterday to check in on Little Man and talk with the vet. We were leaning toward going ahead with the surgery to remove the mass because that seemed his best chance at getting better.

As we talked with the vet it really became clear that the surgery was very risky and really wouldn't buy him much time, even if the mass wasn't cancer. We also decided that although we could take him home for a few days to spend more time with him, he just wasn't well enough, or strong enough, and it seemed selfish.

We decided to go ahead and have him put to sleep. Nerdstar took some time and said her goodbyes and then I stayed with him during the process.

What makes this more sad for us is that it was so unexpected. He's apparently been sick for a while, with the mass growing, but up until Thursday evening, there was no sign of it. And, we just lost our cat Silly six months ago, also rather unexpectedly.

Little Man was our big, special (short bus special) kitty. I was working at Whole Foods in Austin and a lady came through my cashier line holding him. I asked if it was a boy cat and she said, "yes, do you want him?" Of course I did! I had been wanting to get Nerdstar a cat for several months. She went out to the car and brought in a box with a little litter box, a blanket and a little teddy bear in it. I surprised Nerdstar with him when I got off of work.

He was a tiny little flea bag with huge paws. We took him home and washed him up and named him Little Man because we knew he was going to be huge! And he was.

He was also a simple minded cat. We've always joked that the people who had him as a kitten must have blown pot smoke into his face. It took him a year to learn his name. And he didn't become a snuggle kitty until Nerdstar was away in Iraq.

As simple as he was, he was a fantastic hunter. When we lived in Austin, he would catch geckos and every morning we'd have to dump them out of his food bowl. Everything he caught ended up in his food bowl, and if there weren't critters to hunt, he'd hunt down all the cotton balls and q-tips in the house.

He also hated when he could see the bottom of his food bowl.

When we lived in Kansas City, the food bowl was up on the counter so Ramen couldn't get to it. One morning I saw Little Man get up on the counter, look down the hallway to where Nerdstar was, wait a minute, then push the food bowl off of the counter in protest that it was empty.

I'm going to miss being sandwiched between him and Nerdstar this winter to stay warm.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

Thursday afternoon, we took Noah to a new dermatologist who was recommended by someone Nerdstar knows. I was hesitant because Noah's already seen five people for his eczema, would this new doc really have anything new to say. It seems he did. He talked more than we would have liked (we're different that way), but he had some new info on how eczema works and a new steroid cream to try for it, plus a couple of over the counter things. So far they seem to be working well.

We were in different cars, so Noah and I got home before Nerdstar. I happened to go into the bedroom before bringing Noah upstairs. I saw a small-ish pool of blood on the floor and assumed our cat Little Man had chewed up some small critter. I went to see if I could find said critter and found a much larger pool of blood in the laundry room (thankfully there's tile there and not carpet like the bedroom). I was still thinking it was a critter's blood and not Little Man's. (Peroxide does a decent job of getting blood out of carpets, fabrics.)

When Noah and I came upstairs, I found Little Man lying under the desk, awake, but it was still a weird place for him to be, and he didn't run away or anything.

Nerdstar came home a few minutes later and I showed the blood spots to her. She thought it was Little Man's blood. We really didn't know what to do at that point. Having gone though taking Silly to an emergency vet, knowing how expensive it is, and that it didn't really seem to help in the end, all made us hesitant to head to the emergency vet on a Thursday evening.

We decided to put Little Man in a crate and keep an eye on him, hoping we could at least wait until morning to take him to our regular vet. We later set him up with food and water in the bathroom. About 10:30, before going to bed, I went and checked on him and realized he really wasn't doing well. We'd just gotten Noah to sleep, so Nerdstar took Little Man to the emergency vet.

There were several times the vet and Nerdstar didn't think Little Man would make it. He definitely wouldn't have if we hadn't taken him to the vet. They got fluids in him, got him stabilized, he seemed to perk up some when Nerdstar went back to see him. His blood work was normal, but the loss of all that blood had his pulse and blood pressure weak.

She came home about 4 a.m. We were glad he made it through the night. But we still had no answers about what in the world was wrong with him and what to do next. It seems the vets always want to do everything under the sun and see what works. That would be fine if it wasn't all so damn expensive.

Yesterday he was stable and an ultrasound showed a mass in his abdomen. But, there was no way to know what kind of mass, or how much it was blocking. They recommended an endoscope to take a look and a biopsy. We really hoped that doing one would give us a better idea of what he needed.

I was really frustrated with the mounting bill and lack of answers. Nerdstar's much better at saying cost be damned, take care of the pets.

They did the endoscope around 3 yesterday. He made it through that fine. Unfortunately, we don't know much more than we did before. And the biopsy results will take 3 - 5 days.

Last night, we were hoping to bring him home today and take care of him while waiting to find out the biopsy results. If it's cancer then there's not much to be done and we'll skip the surgery. If it's not cancer, and surgery will remove this mass and he'll be fine - then we'll probably do the surgery in spite of the cost.

As of this morning, he's still stable, but not eating. The vet really doesn't know the best thing to do. We don't either. We're gonna go meet with her later this afternoon.

On top of all this mess, financially, this is the month we have to pay for the plane tickets home for Christmas I purchased last month, I just had to have all new tires and front brakes on my car, and yesterday we found out Nerdstar had to have new tires - hers were in worse condition than mine.

Thank God we've had a rainy day fund for several years - but boy is it raining.