Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This and That

It's been a while since we've updated, there are lots of little things happening, but not many big ones so it's harder to find things to write about.  It's easier to do short little updates on FB.  

These are a couple of FB updates:

We went to Chick-fil-A for some dinner, after we'd eaten, Nerdstar got a strawberry shake - when Noah saw it he said, rather loudly, Wow... Wow... Wow... and then proceeded to drink at least half of it, looking rather concerned whenever Nerdstar would take a drink!

I've heard tales of toddlers who stop eating or get more picky. OMG our boy is a pig. He's even branching out a little. Funny thing, it's in a white trash direction. He insisted on a slice of bread with butter for a snack. Then the other day he had a slice of bologna - but no bread with it. At least he doesn't know about fried bologna yet. (and yes, I sing the oscar mayer song to know how to spell bologna.) Still no rice or tofu!

Now for more of an update.

We didn't do Christmas this year.  No tree or lights or presents or anything.  Partly because Noah still doesn't know what it's all about or get excited when he sees Christmas trees and such.  Last year we thought this would be the year, now we figure it'll be next year.  

We also decided to just meet up with my family in Vegas this week instead of flying down to Dallas.  None of us have been there in years and it sounded fun.  I think Noah is going to have a blast with his Granny and Pa and cousin Zach and uncle Jason!  Nerdstar and I are looking forward to some good food, some good naps and maybe a little gambling.  

Our boy is starting to have his routines.  He's learned how to say "tunes" so when he wakes up he tells me to turn on his tunes so he can dance either in his bed or out of it first thing in the morning.  Then he's getting to where he wants to go watch "T" - tv.  He's still just watching his three Japanese movies. He didn't even sit through all of Toy Story.  He also still watches Foster's Home while we eat dinner.  I know he should be watching less, but it's winter and a cold one at that.  He'll be more than ready to spend lot of time outside when it's warm enough.  He's ready to spend more time outside in the cold than we are.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


While there's still so much we don't know about our boy due to him still not speaking a lot of English (he often sounds German or just plain ole alien ) but we do know he has a sense of humor.  Having a sense of humor was one of the things I wondered about early on.  So far, Nerdstar is a lot more funny than I am.  And, naturally, most of his humor is slap-stick in nature.  If he can do something that makes Nerdstar say "oowww" or get her to make a funny face - that's hysterical.  Last night, he would look at her and whisper something, then when she's whisper something back, he'd totally crack up.  And even though we don't understand him, there are still many times he'll be jabbering away then stop jabbering and just laugh, like he just said the funniest thing ever.  Of course, that cracks us up, then he laughs some more.  He still laughs anytime he hears other people laughing.  So cute!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Viewing Habits

Noah has developed some pretty specific viewing habits.  I've mentioned on FB that he LOVES Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends.  (Don't worry, you're not the only one who's never heard of it.)  Seriously, check it out on  There were six or seven seasons, but only the first season is available on dvd.  I read they're all on, but we don't have that on the computer he uses to watch stuff.  Anyway...

He also likes to watch the videos we've taken of him.  He gets to watch those on my lap in the mid-mornings while I surf.  He gets to watch FHFIF in the evenings when we eat dinner.

Over thanksgiving, he started saying "T" to refer to the tv.  We took his FHFIF dvds and Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.  He will sit through both of those, usually 1/2 at a time.  They are absolutely beautiful and mostly calm.  We have no idea why he likes them, but he does and that's ok with us.  He's getting Howl's Moving Castle for Christmas.

Our tv is downstairs, he and I still spend all of our "home" time upstairs.  He's getting to where he'll ask for "T" time about once a day, or when we come in or out of the house.  So, we'll come down and snuggle on the sofa - he has already picked out "his" spot on the sofa - and watch one of his two movies.

I've put in Kung Fu Panda, Wall-E, Lion King, and Monster's Inc.  Can't say he liked any of them.  Ok.

He also doesn't like the cartoons on Sprout or Nick, Jr.  And for that, I thank God.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Piano

This is Noah playing the piano for the second time.  Naturally, we think prodigy! 

Long Week

It really has been a long week.

Last weekend, Noah was congested, but not really sick,  no fever or anything.  Then, Sunday night, he started breathing harder and faster.  We weren't sure what to do because there weren't any other symptoms.  He fell asleep and we decided that if he slept through the night but was still breathing weird in the morning, I'd take him to the doc.  But he woke up about 11:30 p.m. so we took him to the ER.  Poor boy, this is his third ER trip in a year.

There's a fairly new medical center close by, so we went there and it was basically empty, so we had fast, good care.  They did a RSV and flu test, both negative, and a chest x-ray, also negative.  That was good.  They did three nebulizer treatments and his breathing was better and his oxygenation was good, so we got to come home.  They sent us home with an inhailer and a prescription for a nebulizer, both for use as-needed.

He doesn't have any signs of asthma, which is good.  The combination of his prior eczema and his peanut allergy put him at risk.  My best guess is those sorts of things are part of a slightly weaker immune system, and for whatever reason, his trouble seems to come in the form of breathing.

So, that meant we got about five hours of sleep Sunday night.  Ugh.

Nerdstar's aunt and uncle and cousin live up in New Jersey and invited us up for Thanksgiving.  (Her uncle is actually out of town though.)  Her other uncle and aunt live in China these days, and those three cousins are scattered.  After the loss of her grandparents and father, she still wants to connect with family and they all love to know what's going on with Noah.  They're polite enough to me, but...  well, it is what it is.


We got up Wednesday and hit the road.  It's just about a four hour drive without traffic, so we had no idea how traffic would be on that busiest of traveling days.  It was mostly clear going, we hit one patch of traffic that added about an hour to the drive, but can't complain about that.

Her aunt has a really nice house.  I learned that heated floors and a big bathtub with jets are very, very good.  Hardwood floors, not so great in reality.  I have a hard time with noise, so hearing Ramen's nails on the floors all the time drove me nuts.

Noah was great!  He did fine in the car both coming and going.  He seemed to like hanging out with Ching's aunt and her cousin Jesse.  Jesse is a student at Rutgers.  We went to see his fancy-smancy dorm.  Oh my.  There was a big back yard at the house that Noah liked to run around.

We were smart and took his favorite dvds - Foster's Home, Spirited Away and My neighbor Totoro.  That helped.  But now he knows to ask for "T" - tv.  Heh.

The only problem was he didn't nap, so then he'd be this hyper zombie baby in the late evening and hard to get to sleep.  He just slept in the bed with us.  And at least this time he didn't end up all sideways.  Now we know we'll still need a crib when we go to Vegas next month, even if only for naps.

But he's just a sweet kid.  He's good with people.  He's mostly well-behaved.  And thankfully he travels well, since this was his 7th trip in just over two years!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What Noah's Up To

It can be a little difficult to sit down and write about what Noah's up to, being with him every day it's harder to notice the changes. 

He's doing well with his speech therapist, but so far he hasn't gotten to where he can talk to us so we can understand him.  He can say tons of words, but his extemporaneous speech we just don't get.  He's speaking more calmly and slowly to us, and I apologize to him all the time that I don't understand.  We know he'll get there.  He can repeat counting to ten though - except for "one" - even "seven" is easier than "one".  And he loves praise - he'll clap and say "yah!" even in anticipation of getting something right. 

He has finally managed to cleanly feed himself with a spoon.  He still loves his oatmeal with applesauce and raisins, and he loves cottage cheese.  I can give him a little bowl and 95% of it ends up in his mouth! 

He still isn't a big fan of putting shirts on.  I think it's because it's no fun pulling them over his head.  Or maybe he just knows he looks good!  Some days, even now that it's cold, it's noon before I get a shirt on him.  At least he's in pants and socks. 

We're very glad we get all of his clothes at consignment stores because most of the pants we bought him for winter won't last through December.  I don't think he ever stops growing taller.  At 2 1/2 in a couple of months, he'll be in 3T pants.

He's figured out how to hop.  For a long time he'd jump up and down in his crib holding on.  About a week ago he finally started hopping around on the regular floor.  So cute!  And he's improving his form on his forward rolls - he now keeps his legs straight as he comes forward.  Last night he was doing forward rolls off of the foot stool.  Ugh.  Thankfully he's still not a daredevil!

One of his most favorite things to do is run down the hallway from his bedroom into the living room and face plant into the luv sac bean bag chair.  He can do this for fifteen to twenty minutes until he's all out of breath and we make him chill.

He's a sweet, physical, handsome, smart boy.  Every day we're so amazing that we get to keep him!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

As of lately.....

    Evening!  It's Noah's other mom taking the helm of this blog for today.  I wanted to say, first of all, happy veteran's day to all who have served and are still, fortunately, around, and also to those who had served and gave literally all.  I'm happy to be here, with my army days behind me and very grateful!
    So, if you can, buy that someone who you see in uniform a beer or a dessert.  It's people like that who went out of their way so people like you and me can live our lives in freedom.
    Onto our little update....

    Noah has been growing in leaps and bounds, not just physically (as I am writing this, based on the amount of food that he had consumed in the last few days, I'd say that he has hit another growth spurt.), but also cognitively in terms of saying more words, understanding more, and making progress with his speech therapy.  While technically, he is still somewhat behind in a few areas, you cannot find a better-tempered child and I would not trade him for 100 gifted and talented children!
    In the daytime life, my current job is going alright so far, and I am still really happy about the shorter commute.  As with all jobs as a contractor, I have no idea how long I'll be at this one, but as long as I am working and each place is better than the former one, I'm a happy camper!
    I hope the Mrs. feels the same way when I say that with Noah, I am not in a hurry to have him all grown up, rather, I am enjoying every stage of his young life so far, and that just about everyday, there are neat things coming from him.   On the other side of the coin, this has also been one of the most physically trying times ever in my life. For a person who likes her 8 hours a night, that doesn't always happen anymore.
    Still, I'm grateful in my "always trying to keep up-ness"!  Grateful that so far, we are fairly healthy, are able to pay our bills, that Noah is the neatest kid ever, and the Mrs. and I both get to play a part of his growing! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A call for help

Please help out our fellow moms (and baby girl) in need by donating some of your baby clothing (that your baby has outgrown), some supplies to which moms could find helpful for post natural disaster recovery (hurricane Sandy), or send some money.  This is for the sister in law of my friend Gina DeConti, along with her sister in law's wife and two months old baby girl, details below:
For those of you who weren't around yesterday, I wanted to repost:

My sister in law, her wife, and her two month old daughter lost their house, their car, and all of their possessions due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy. They lived in one of the hardest hit areas of Long Island where over 75% of the homes have been destroyed. If you have it in your heart, please help them rebuild their lives. Or if you are unable to donate, please share this so others can see this and possibly donate a little something to help out. No amount is too small.

Thank you so much for your support. Our family thanks you :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post Sandy and Post Katrina

So far I've put all of my thoughts about Hurricane Sandy on facebook.  Sitting here this evening, watching coverage on several different news casts makes me so sad.  I have so many different emotions.  Oddly, I think I have some small amount of guilt - we were hit by the same storm, and suffered nothing from it.  I can only imagine the devastation so many are going through.

I'm sure I'm not the only one remembering back to Katrina.  We lived in Kansas City when it hit, but being a Texan, my heart went out to the Gulf Coast.  Also, not long after Nerdstar and I got together, we started our first long road trip in New Orleans and Biloxi.

Back when Katrina hit I wasn't working and decided to go stay with my family down in Dallas so I could volunteer and help some of the people coming into the Dallas area after the storm.  This evening I decided to go back and see what I'd written about that.

Volunteering After Katrina  scroll down to the first of the month and read up.

If we didn't have Noah, I'd probably be very tempted this time as well to try to find a way to go help.

I will say, back then, and now, I've never been a big fan of the Red Cross.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This and That

We think Noah is starting to have nightmares.  And it really, really sucks that as much as he tries to tell us what's wrong when he wakes up all upset - we don't understand him.  He woke up once in the night crying and talking up a storm even before Nerdstar got up there to him.  Then today, during his nap, he woke up in the middle of it again crying and talking.  I wanted to cry I felt so bad for him.  It didn't take long for him to calm down, but still.

Totally different topic.

These days, the leaves are so beautiful in all their colors, but they are also the bane of our existence.  We have a nifty black n decker leaf blower/mulcher.  But it takes so very long to get leaves up.  And we keep having rainy days.  Plus one of us has to keep an eye on Noah.  I finally bought some fertilizer   and a dispenser in hopes of getting the leaves off the front lawn before the rain started on Sunday or Monday.  Ugh.  Now it could rain some on Friday.  Directions say to not put the fertilizer on wet grass, but to water after application.  We'll see how it goes.  DIY is not for wimps.  Oh yeah, and this is just the front yard - all those tall, tall trees in the back yard haven't really started yet.

Other than that... well, I'm still in love with a baby boy.  He really is a good, sweet kid.  He minds pretty well for a two year old. (well, he minds me...)  He takes every bit of patience I have and then some, but it's fun having him to run errands with and go to the park and all that.  I've spent more time outside in the past year than I did the past ten years combined.

Oh, and one more thing about dreams - Noah is now in every single one of mine.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just a Little Entry

We keep meaning to update around here, but just don't seem to get around to it.

I realized the other day that Noah is already a teenage boy when it comes to some of his sleep habits.  He's definitely a night owl.  (Ok, maybe he gets that from us.)  His bedtime is still around 10-10:30 p.m.  He gets up most mornings between 8:15 and 9 a.m.  Yes, we know those two things are related.  But as a life-long late sleeper, it's so, so hard to get me and him up earlier.

The part that might be most teenage like is that once he wakes up, and yells for us until we get up to his room, he doesn't want out of his crib immediately.  Nope, he wants to lounge around in there for another fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes until I finally convince him to get. out. of. bed.

Also, pants and socks are ok.  Shirts not so much.  Even now that it's getting colder.  And he thinks those cold little baby boy nipples are fun to touch.  Heh.

Friday, October 12, 2012

After Bath Fun Time!

This is pretty typical of Noah's after bath time...

First we have his new ability - the forward roll!  He pretty much figured this out on his own over time.  Then we have a dance section - you can't really hear it, but "Jive Talkin'" is playing on his iPod.  There's a short new Flashdance move he's picked up lately.  And we end with some general cuteness. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Singing Along

For well over a year now, Adele's album has been Noah's favorite music.  When he was still tiny, he'd stop and just stare into space and listen to her sing.  He likes his kids music cds well enough, and will pick out a word from a couple of them to repeat or let us know to play that song.  But he doesn't sing along.

The other day in the car, Remember Me came on, and when she got to the long, drawn out "me", from the back seat I heard a long, drawn out "beeeeeee" from Noah.  It was so cute.  He still uses B for M.  (Which means I get called "bay bee" instead of "mommy".)  He's sang along with that part of Adele a few more times and it cracks me up. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Noah's Speech Update

Hmmm. where to start?  The list of words he can say is increasing slowly but steadily.  But that's about it. 

Back in May he was still seeing the speech therapist from the county.  She was ok, but it ended up she helped us see the physical problems - the mouth breathing, the eating on one side of the mouth - and led us to seeing the ENT and getting his adenoids removed.  Because of the problems with the first try at removing his adenoids, it seems like it's been a lot longer process that we first anticipated.  Hopefully we're all done.  He has another follow up with the ENT next week. 

In the meantime, back when we started the program with the county, which ended up costing us $120 a session, we were told that he would be eligible for a program through our school district that would be free.  (When we started with the county we didn't know if insurance would cover any of it, and were at least six weeks into it when we found out they wouldn't and what we'd have to pay - thankfully we didn't pile on sessions to start with.) 

It worked out that about the time we were ready to resume therapy after his surgery, the school year was starting and he got a new therapist.

I really like the new therapist - he seems to as well.  Nerdstar hasn't met her yet.  She's done two sessions with him, getting to know him and how he does and doesn't do things.  It's funny to me to see him be as stubborn with her as he is with me!  She's setting up a routine of four activities each time and helping us with some ideas.  We took pictures of almost all the things he likes to eat to sort of make him a menu.  And we took pics of some of his toys and things around the house.  The idea is using pictures to bridge to words. 

So, it's slow going.  As he gets older and it feels like he's not keeping pace with his physical growth, I get a little sad.  I know him so well, but because he can't really talk to us yet, there's so much we don't know about what he's thinking and feeling. 

We know he's still young.  And he's a boy.  And one day he'll talk our ears off.  We just wish the progress was a little faster. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not The Best 24 Hours

This time yesterday we had no idea what was coming. (Nothing horrible, just not fun.)

Last night, after his nightly bath, Noah started breathing a little weird, labored. We thought at first he was congested or had nasal drainage or something like that. Gave him his allergy meds and waited. Those didn't help. Then he would cry a lot, which he only does when something is really wrong. Our next guess was that maybe he'd eaten too much cheese and dairy and was having tummy troubles. We gave him some gas meds and he had a couple of decent burps, and we waited for things to get better.

And waited. Around 11 p.m. he finally went to sleep and we thought we were in the clear. He woke up crying again maybe an hour later. Ugh. We were up until about 2:30. Again, we hoped he'd sleep until 8 or 9 and wake up his normal self.

Nope. He woke up about 5, crying.

We had debated taking him to the ER in the middle of the night, but things weren't that bad. We decided we'd take him to our family doc in the morning. We just didn't know if it was a tummy problem or a breathing problem. We kinda figured with the breathing issue she'd have us go to the ER anyway. The ENT office didn't open until 9, and we just didn't want to wait that much long.

I thought it'd be a quick trip to the ER. Nope.

We were at the ER from 8:30 this morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. They did belly, chest and neck x-rays - thankfully all were clear. They gave him an IV steroid for the swelling and a breathing treatment. Shortly after those things he was back to his old self and ready to walk around the ER and see what was what.

The ER had been in touch with his ENT, and that was good. So we went from the ER to the ENT office for a follow up.

Hard to say what exactly started the problem. He's fine for now. Just a really long day.

Next time we know to pack snacks - for us - before heading to the ER!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Amusement Park

Yesterday, Nerdstar's company rented out King's Dominion and so we got to go for free and even got a free lunch! Fun!

Noah woke up a little early again yesterday, 7ish, so we went ahead and got out the door and got to the park around 11. It's an hour drive. We're so glad the weather changed overnight and we had clear skies, no humidity, and a cool breeze.

When you first come into the park there's a big water fountain - he loved watching it. Then after walking a little ways, there was one of the big roller coasters - he sat and watched it for at least 15 minutes and would have stayed all day if we'd let him.

There were two car rides for kids his size and he actually rode both of them! He's an independent kid, but not a brave one, so we weren't sure if he'd get on a ride.

It's kind of alarming that by the time he can ride roller coasters with me, I'll be 50 or older! Ugh!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Done!

Noah's surgery went really well this morning.

We got up at 4:30, out the door a little after 5. No traffic and a stop for snacks got us to the hospital right around 6. There was a nice, big waiting area and Noah ran laps for about thirty minutes before we were taken back to the children's surgery area. Then there was a nice play room to hang out in. He absolutely did not want to change into the hospital pajamas and so he went through the whole time without the shirt.

They had a nice young woman who helps the kid get ready and is sort of a go-to person for the family. She brought out a mask they use for the gas to get him acclimated to it, but he was fine with it.

We then went back to a little pre-surgery room and talked with the anesthesiologist and doctor before the procedure. He was getting a little restless and loves to run around any area he's in, so the helper lady brought him a big wheel to ride on and he got to ride it to the surgery room! Nerdstar said she wants all of her future procedures done at a children's hospital!

We thought it would take about 30 minutes, but it took probably 45 and an hour after it started the doc came out and said everything went just fine. I was starting to get a little worried they'd found something doing the scope down his throat. His trachea (or something in that area) is smaller than normal and a little calcified, but the doc said he should outgrow it. And his adenoids are now gone.

They thought it'd take a couple of hours in recovery, but it only took him about 45 minutes. He layed on Nerdstar until he woke up well and then had some orange sherbert and apple juice and was good to go.

Thankfully, he took a four hour nap this afternoon and we got a chance to nap as well! The only affect would be a sore throat or maybe a little fever. We have him some children's tylenol and he's been fine. They're out in the backyard blowing bubbles and we'll see how late he keeps us up tonight!

The doc said in a couple of weeks he should start to mouth breath less and his muscles and such will correct themselves.

I was a little surprised at the amount of pure relief I felt as we were leaving the hospital.

And we're so grateful for the staff at the children's hospital - it's a tough job and they do it really well!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Surgery Take Two

Tomorrow morning we go back to the same hospital where we had the CT scan done for the second attempt at removing his adenoids. Because of the troubles with the intubation last time, the doc is also going to put a scope down his throat and look all the way down to his lungs. We didn't know until yesterday when talking with the lady asking the pre-surgery questions that he'd be going all the way to the lungs. We're glad the doc is being thorough, but it was a little un-nerving. Once the doc starts the procedures, it should take fifteen to twenty minutes.

We were happy it was scheduled for 8 a.m. until they told us they want us there two hours early. Ugh. So, we're getting up about 4:30 in the morning to be out the door about 5:15. Then it's a lot of waiting. No fun.

I wouldn't say this gets easier, but I'm a little less worried.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Noah's First Pee in the Potty

Let me first say we are not yet potty training Noah.

After his bath, we let him drain the water, say "bye-bye" to it and then get him out of the tub. A couple of weeks, he started peeing in the tub sometimes. Fun. So, this weekend we went and got a potty chair for him.

Saturday night, after his bath, we finally got him to sit on the chair. Cool. Last night we had him sit on the chair before his bath - hoping to avoid pee in the bath altogether, nothing. Then after his bath, nothing. But he seemed to have fun sitting there for a minute.

Tonight, we once again put him on the chair before his bath - and he peed!! Now, we're not sure just how aware he is about this. But he does love when we clap and cheer for him.

I know kids have to be much more aware of the sensation of wetness in diapers and the urge to pee than Noah currently is. This just seemed a logical thing to do to even begin to give him the vocabulary and motions.

We'll see where it leads!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Oh the many joys of home ownership. I much prefer it to renting, but...

We've been in our house for just over three years now. I think we bought at the right time and the right price for us, and in general. The thing I like most about the house is the layout. Lots of big rooms that are easy to navigate, the tree in the front yard and the trees lining the backyard, my desk in front of the window. I like that Noah and I can spend all day upstairs and we don't have to Noah-proof downstairs.

Things I don't like about the house, the small downstairs - therefore master - bathroom, the cheap flooring beneath the carpeting, the very bad drywall/paint job throughout the house, and the unfinished room that is our laundry/storage room.

The house cost us $50,000 less than we had budgeted. And then, because of the appraisal, we paid $20,000 less than we offered. So using government math, we've got a $20,000 to $50,000 surplus! If only.

I'd say we've put about $10,000 into the house so far. We made some improvements to the kitchen, the backyard, insulation, curtains, things like that.

This week I've got people coming to give me an estimate on cleaning the carpets, fixing our refrigerator, and trimming some trees. If we can get all three done for under $1500 I'll be happy - well, not happy, but... (When people talk about the cost of living, I'm not sure they understand that because people like plumbers and electricians and such also pay that high cost of living, they charge more for services - it's a vicious cycle.)

About a year ago, the motor that pushes the ice out of the ice maker into your glass stopped. Fine, at least it was still making ice. Then the flap that lets the ice come down into your glass warped and so frost kept building up inside the freezer (solution - a rag pushed up in there to keep that flap closed). Yesterday, we were changing out the water filter on the refrigerator and it all went wrong. So, we've lost our ice maker and our filtered drinking water. We actually priced new refrigerators today. We decided that as long as the repairs are 1/3 the cost of a new fridge or less, we'll just get this one fixed. Or, if we're feeling cheap, we'll stick with our temporary solution of a britta water thingy and ice trays.

We also know that in the spring we have to replace our deck - there are one or two rotted boards already and if we get the cold/wet winter I think we will, it'll be a replace not repair job.

So, we've talked a lot this weekend about the house, about all the things we'd love to fix, about how we're probably never going to know just how much longer we're going to live here, and how do we decide where to live next, and if it's better to sort of "duct tape" things until we're ready to move, or invest in improvements. (We'd invest more for our own comfort than for any theoretical ROI.

I keep day dreaming about a custom built house near a lake, maybe in Tennessee, maybe back in Texas. One story, huge kitchen, huge master bath, huge master bedroom, huge living room with fireplace, and two good sized other bedrooms - Noah's and guest, and bathrooms, a two-car garage and a shed. What I really hate about most houses is all the wasted space of small rooms you don't have a real use for.

Sigh. Until then...

I asked Nerdstar what one thing we could do that would make her really like the house more. She said a true master bath - with the tub and the separate enclosed stand up shower, the two sink vanity, heck, maybe even heated floors! Now, the current unfinished laundry/storage room is adjacent to our current bedroom and small bathroom. I think it would be fairly easy to take out the current tub/sink and put the washer and dryer in the bathroom, then convert the laundry to a really nice master bath/walk-in closet.

One expense built into just about any improvement to this house is having to replace the electric box - about $2,000. (I got an estimate a year or so ago.)

I'll probably get a couple of estimates in a few weeks for that project - just so we'll know.

As for money, we've been really good about building up a savings account, partly because her job is never that secure, and partly because we know we'll need money to move one day. We could do some of this stuff and then just rebuild our savings. This house wouldn't be worth taking out a HELOC for, and I'd hate to make payments and interest and stuff for these projects.

Anyway, today we didn't buy a sleep number bed or a new refrigerator. Too bad we can't use government math and be happy about spending that money elsewhere.

We know we're lucky to have a house we like, and that we're not underwater on, we just want it a little bit better.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Odds and Ends

I put part of this on FB earlier, but on FB isn't as easy to access old things as it is on here.

Noah insists on having music playing in whatever room we're in. In his room it's his kids and dance music, in the living room it's country playlist. And that's fine. Except when he wants us to play DJ and skip songs he's not in the mood for.

Also, about a month ago he started insisting on getting up into his car seat on his own. Fantastic! My back is very happy about that. The only problem is when he decides upon getting in or out of the seat to take a detour either past his seat and onto the rest of the back seat, or even more fun, up to the driver's seat. He already loves to sit in the driver's seat and pretend to drive. Didn't know that started this early. He's pretty good with me about just getting into and out of his seat, with Nerdstar, not so much.

Somehow - we certainly can't imagine how - we're raising a complete night owl. Who also likes to eat lots of snacks before going to bed. This wouldn't be so bad, but seriously, Nerdstar and I are so damn tired and it's affecting too many other things. It doesn't seem to matter what time he gets up in the morning, how hard he plays, or how long or short his naps is. It's gonna be sad if all we do on our Vegas trip for Christmas is hand him off to Granny and Pa while we sleep all day! (I don't really want to think about dealing with the time difference.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Fun

A couple of weeks ago, I saw something about our County Fair and decided to check out the website. Then I saw that there's a cute baby contest broken into two age groups and the second group is 19 - 36 months. That seems fair.

So of course we sent in the form to enter our handsome boy!! Hehehehe. It's at 2:30 - 3:00 on Saturday.

Nerdstar keeps picturing Little Miss Sunshine.

Mostly we'll be going for the snacks!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Processing A Long Day

Most importantly, Noah is still fine. We all got a decent nap in. Hopefully he'll get in bed a little earlier tonight.

So, last night we got to bed around midnight. Noah fell asleep about 10:30 (close to his normal these days) and I knew I'd have a hard time falling asleep, so I went ahead and watched Breaking Bad. (Nerdstar is not a fan.)

Our alarms went off at 5 this morning, we woke Noah up about 5:20 and were all out the door at 5:40. The procedure was at a nice little outpatient surgery place in the same building my old phlebotomy job was in. Noah woke up in a decent mood and was happy and fine. I'm sure that changed once they got him back to the procedure room and tried to put an IV in him. Apparently it took 3 tries. I am sure he was hard to do because he's so strong and hard to hold still.

We were just settling in to wait, it was only supposed to take maybe 20 minutes total. Then the ENT comes out and tells us they were unable to intubate Noah and that Noah was waking up just fine and we'd see him in a few minutes.

Back in the room with Noah, the ENT gave us a prescription to get a CT scan of Noah's trachea and upper chest. He recommended this place in the next county over. After four phone, calls I finally get the right lady on the phone and she explains the prescription needs to be re-written and faxed to her before we can make the appointment. So, we had to call the ENT office knowing he wouldn't be able to get to it because he's doing surgeries today. They finally called at 6 pm and said they'd fax it first thing in the morning.

So. It was a very long day. I won't go into the worry I had all last week and the dark thoughts. I know every parent goes through them. But I was (and Nerdstar as much) really looking forward to being done with this problem and him starting to heal and start the process of breathing more normally. We know that even when this problem is solved, we then have to move on to more aggressively address his allergy problems.

Now, instead of being on that path, we have a whole new problem that has to be solved.

We're always aware and talk about how lucky we are that Noah doesn't have the type of problems Linus or any other number of children have. But we never expected his chronic maladies - the eczema year one, the allergies/adenoid stuff this past year, and now whatever else is coming up.

Today just didn't bring the feeling of relief we were hoping for.

Surgery Update

Noah's fine. He got an IV, but when they tried to put the tube down his throat, it wouldn't go. So they had to stop before they got started. We now have to schedule a CT of his trachea (4 phone calls so far and still not done). Ugh. It could be something very simple where all they have to do is use a little balloon type thing to intubate him, or it could be something with his airway that will need correcting like his adenoids do.

Not fun. He has to be sedated for the x-ray. Then we do the follow up with the ENT doc again, then schedule whatever surgery will be necessary. So several more weeks before we're done. At least we know he does ok with anesthesia.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeding/Eating With Noah

This post was inspired by one of my FB friends lamenting how hard it is to get her daughter to eat dinner.

I guess the changes have happened slowly, but they've happened. Noah still eats basically all the same things he's always eaten. His current favorite thing to eat any time we'll let him are the crunchy Nature Valley granola bars. So, that's what he starts his day with, apple juice diluted with water and one of the two granola bars in a pack. I still make his oatmeal with apple sauce and there's usually blueberries to go with it. That's slowly morphed into an early lunch. Which means most days he doesn't eat much lunch and therefore wants an early dinner.

I guess about three months ago he gave up his high chair and insists on sitting in a regular chair which we put a booster seat in for him. I make him sit in that chair to make sure he's really hungry enough to sit down and eat. If he won't get in the chair, he's not that hungry. And when he's done, he's done. There is no "one more/one last bite." When he's done with something, when you try to feed it to him he just turns his head away. If it's something he's feeding himself, he'll throw that bite.

Poor Ramen, Noah loves to feed him, and of course, he loves Noah's snacks, so I often end up putting him outside when Noah's eating.

So, his early dinner is still usually fruit, string cheese, cottage cheese, and/or yogurt. Him and Nerdstar love the Fage yogurts that have the fruit stuff you mix in. He also loves crunchy/salty stuff - even pork rinds Nerdstar shared with him on our road trip!

Unfortunately, his early dinner means he doesn't sit and eat with us anymore. He's also too wound up from Nerdstar getting home to want to sit still. The only way we can get through eating our dinner, when we cook at home, is to put on Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends dvd and hope he sits and watches it - sometimes while eating cheerios or fortune cookies.

Later in the evening, after playing with Nerdstar and watching "annoying orange" videos on, he finally wants more snacks. This is when he eats whatever of those few items he didn't eat earlier in the day. And when she doesn't make him sit in his chair to eat them. (ahem.) And this is when he still drinks some milk, which he doesn't like to drink in the mornings.

Now, this brings us to those nights we don't want to cook or do dishes and just want to go grab some dinner. I won't lament, once again, the total lack of restaurant/fast food choices in our neck of the woods.

Noah still loves people watching and restaurants. But, being a two year old boy full of energy, it's getting harder for him to sit in a high chair at a restaurant long enough for us to get through the meal. It takes just the right conditions - he has to have literally run around somewhere enough to be able to sit still, and he has to be hungry, really hungry. You'd be surprised how hard that can be to achieve. The one place we can take him where he'll eat the food there is Hometown Buffet. They have all his favorite things, apple sauce, cottage cheese, some carrots, red jello, peach slices and ice cream. We were there the other night with one of Nerdstar's co-workers, and Noah was done before we were. He would NOT sit in his chair and wanted to run back and forth in the isle. I never thought I'd let my kid "run around" a restaurant, but yep, I did. Any other place we go to eat, we still have to pack his snacks. We might have the only two year old who absolutely won't eat french fries, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, or other "kid" foods. We wouldn't mind if he did, he just won't put them in his mouth.

Do we wish he'd eat more different things? Yes. But we're happy he eats healthy stuff and is growing just fine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kind of ironic

Took a while but I've realized that most of the fellow gay people that I know have struck me as even more closed off and prejudiced than a lot of my straight friends. Some of my straight friends, in turn, are even more gay than I could ever hope to be, in terms of their past experiences and how supportive they are of gay rights.

By closed off, I mean for those fellow gay people often claim that they are open minded and liberal, until they meet people who just happen to not share their opinions or are more conservative than they happen to be. It must be nice to be in a world where all your friends and acquaintances share the same opinions and values as you, plus agree with every damn thing that you say, but I, unfortunately, don't live in that sort of world.

I wish that when Noah grows up, he will have friends from all walks of life who don't necessarily share his political or religious views, and instead of block them off of his gmail accounts or facebook friends list (assuming that gmail, facebook, and whatnot are still around when he grows up) That he will be able to calmly discuss and learn from the differences between himself and other people without thinking that the world is out to destroy him. Yes, there will be people who are hostile and just cannot stand to see you happily live your life, but that is where some maturity, a strong dose of sense of humor, and a black belt in karate will come into play.

Oh, and about the Chick fil-a fiasco? Two of my straight friends have actually stopped going to Chick fil-a, and what did I do? I went to Chick fil-a drive through, got my #8 extra spicy chicken sandwich from the gay attendant and ate it right in front of my friends. I must really, really hate myself. C'mon people!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I'm still mulling over this whole gay/christian thing. You get to mull along with me.

On FB I said that the hardest thing is that it's practically impossible to find a church to attend. Yes, there are congregations of various sorts that are gay friendly. I'm not so hot on their theology. And churches whose theology I share, have a view of gays that isn't helpful. (Keep reading - this isn't about westboro types!)

I'm pretty sure the average Christian sees gays as people in the "lost needing to be saved" category. They think if gays are introduced to Christ and start attending church then becoming straight is a part of that process. So, if someone like me, a lifelong Christian who is also gay shows up at their church, not looking to not be gay, but to be closer to God, well, that poses a dilemma.

And maybe they're right. I started attending church when I was five. I "came out" when I was 17. And in all the time since I was 17, I've tried to find the answer to being both gay and a Christian. I spent many years going to church thinking being straight would work out for me eventually. Who knows, maybe it would have. But I fell absolutely in love with a young woman and that started me on my current path. So, then I tried for many years to give up being a Christian. That hasn't worked either.

The church I used to go to in Austin taught a lot about "being in the wilderness." I feel like I've been on a deserted island.

Is my current life the perfect plan God had for me? Maybe not. I'm not sure anyone I knew all those years ago achieved that perfect plan. Maybe they have. I know some who are still missionaries and many who have lovely marriages and families.

But that's not even the right question anymore. Because this is my life. This is my family. And I'm not giving it up or leaving it. Does that put space between God and I? Maybe. But does it mean I can't have a relationship with him at all? I can't imagine that to be true.

But it's hard out here alone.

The flip side of this is how my gay friends feel about the church. I'd say hostile and hurt.

I don't know the answers. But I know God's love and grace abound.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Fun and Easy

Shopping isn't my favorite thing to do. But, I love and free shipping. Noah's pretty good when we go grocery shopping (unless Nerdstar is with us) but shopping for other things, or things where I need to take my time and check out different products, that's more tricky. So, it's just easier and more fun to order things online.

In the next few days, here's a list of things that will be arriving by mail: diapers - overnight and daytime, bubbles - gymboree bubbles are really good, Rudy's bbq sauce, bras, and prints of pictures. Fun!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, Noah Maxx!

Just to note, that the reason why I've only selected a picture of Noah's birthday cake to post was because the other pictures that we've taken were really not all that good. He was so tired by the time that we've got the cake and Ritz crackers got more of his attention than the cake itself. If we get the pictures which were taken of him by a much more competent photographer while we were at C-Ville, we'll post them!

Noah is finally 2! Lot of things are happening with him, not only is he growing taller and heavier, he is also developing a taste for the types of music that he likes, experimenting with more ways to annoy us just enough so we'll do what he wants (think about a human siren that rings nonstop), and goofier than ever before! We caught him checking himself in the mirror this evening, not only was he smiling at himself, he was also posing!! We just about laughed both of our asses off!

I really look forward to going home after work everyday to hear him laugh and cheer at my arrival, his "updates" on what has happened during the day, and me chasing him around so I can try and catch him after his baths (he can now get out of the tub himself and if you don't get his just right, he'll take off running.) so he doesn't pee on the floor, which has happened before.

He has brought such joy into our lives, that pretty much nothing can compare to it. I just hope that we will continue to do our best to keep him happy, goofy, and healthy!

And yet another new thing, our little man has developed a serious baby look!

2 Whole Years

We made it! I feel like this is a bigger achievement for Nerdstar and I than for Noah.

I can't believe this time last year he wasn't walking, or dancing. He didn't have a preference for music or when to play it and in what order. His diet hasn't really changed. He's added in some crunchy/salty stuff, but he's still a fruit and dairy dude. Actually, he insists on eating the crunchy nature valley granola bars every day.

His speech is slowly improving. There's still a lot of "more" and "this" and "outside" and "up". Yesterday he said "have this" which is his first two word phrase, which is a good sign. He talks our ears off sometimes and we wish so much we knew what he was telling us. But he's also quiet a lot of the time. I've gotten him to where he'll play outside or in his room by himself for about fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. Some days that saves his life and my sanity.

More than anything, he's a sweet, calm, good-natured kid who I know is eventually going to rub off on me and make me a better person.

This weekend for his birthday, we headed back down to Charlottesville to get his pictures taken again. We've become hotel snobs, so we did it right and stayed at the Omni in the old downtown area and it was great. Our boy loves hotels! He loves all the drawers and the big bed! He was so tired that night that it was hard to get him to go to sleep in the crib. So, we put him up on our bed and he fell asleep in a few minutes. We put him in the crib, but then he woke up. He ended up sleeping in the big bed with us for the first time. Of course, he slept mostly perpendicular to us and Nerdstar got the feet end of him!

Noah's totally into buses these days and we saw that there was a free bus that makes a circle around downtown and the university area. He was a little hesitant to get on board because up close it's big and loud. But he was SO happy to ride around on it.

Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast and then headed to the pool. He loves bath time, but he does not like pools! He did ok with Nerdstar holding him and walking around with him in the water. I joked that he's so skinny he'd just sink right to the bottom and not float like we do. About fifteen minutes later he and I are on the steps and he takes a step in the wrong direction and ends up face down in the water - and sinks like a rock. I was right there and got him out in two seconds and he was fine and not very scared. It was kinda funny - in a scary way for us.

It was a quick trip and the driving times interfered with his nap times. Thankfully he's the kind of kid who gets klutzy instead of fussy when he's tired.

We went to Diary Queen to get him just a little ice cream cake (I didn't know there's are all ice cream with frosting, no cake - which is fine) so we could put a couple of candles in it and take his picture and let him eat some ice cream. Poor baby was just too tired. (Nerdstar will post a pic or two later.)

I still wish you could all just come hang out with him for a day or two. He's goofy and happy and a good kid. When people comment on how cute he is, I always tell them that even better, he's a good kid.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not from Beth....

     Just in case either of us have forgotten to add a fairly recent picture of Noah Maxx, here it is!  He's about a week away from turning 2, and thank God that he's still happy and growing!  Yes, there is the adenoid surgery coming up, but we are hopeful that it'll alleviate a lot of his speech and breathing issues.
     I (not the SAHM)  am at a much better place now for work than before, now it takes me about 20 some odd minutes to get there, versus the one hour and a half that it used to take me.  So that means more quality time in the evening with Noah, I might not always be the person who gets him in the morning but I'll just about always be the person that he'll see at night before he goes to sleep.  Speaking of sleep, at times, it feels like a crap shoot.  At times, he'll wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, and he never seem to sleep more than 8 or 9 hours (sometimes less) at times. 
    Both Beth and myself are, I think, going through lots of physical changes in terms of not feeling our younger selves as much.  We are both just about always tired and keeping up with Noah Maxx's energy levels makes us wonder if we should just be on meth or heavily infuse ourselves with caffeine.  Times like these makes me miss my grandparents even more, they practically raised kids all of their lives and did not seem to be tired at all.  It seemed like they just shouldered the burdens of everyday life and then some without the help of drugs, psychotherapy, or any of these child-rearing bullshit advice that is running rampant today.  I hope that one day, no matter what happens, Noah Maxx will know that we've tried to the best of our abilities to raise him.
   I am so glad that, on a lighter note, that our boy has a sense of humor!  He'd frequently find things, videos, people, and his own physical movements amusing without being prompted.  I mean, how do you explain humor to an almost 2 year old?  I so am hoping that he'll be easily amused throughout his life, it's a great coping mechanism, and it sure beats being so worried that you give yourself an ulcer!
   We are going to get out of town, to that oh so conservative college town two hours south of us next weekend on Noah's birthday. We will try to get another set of pictures taken by my army friend's wife, so here's hoping that the weather and other circumstances to which we cannot control smiles down on us!  He had already gotten most of his gifts early, stuff ranging from new clothes to new toy cars, plus a new tricycle made by Radio Flyer that he seems to like a lot!
  So glad that Noah Maxx is in our lives, and that he's such a good kid!  Praying for success for his surgery and we love him very, very much!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ENT Update

We finally had our follow up appointment with the ENT yesterday. He had a very basic hearing test as well. His hearing is fine, his ears just have a lot of pressure which might muffle things a little bit, but not enough to be affecting his speech or anything. The x-rays show that his adenoids are moderately enlarged, but everything else is fine. So, August 13th we'll take him to get his adenoids removed. The doc said it's about a 5 minute procedure where he goes through the back of the mouth up into the nasal area. The only scary part is he has to be under anesthesia.

He also had his speech therapy this morning. He's trying so hard to be understood. And he talks to us a lot. She thinks once his adenoids and ear pressure are better, he'll be more confident in the sounds he's making and will make big strides in talking.

We're optimistic and trying not to worry.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bust A Move!

Our boy might have come to dancing later than most, but now he really likes to bust a move!

Over the hot weekend, we were at a local mall where he insists on running around instead of playing in the play area. We passed by A&F and he ran in there and started dancing to the music! This young guy working there folding shirts just laughed. Some young girls walking by noticed and laughed and said how cute he is.

At home, he'll insist on us turning on the music. We've long had an iPod in his room with two playlists. One is music to sleep to - solo piano stuff, old light jazz, stuff like that. The other playlists is his three kids cds and a couple of other tunes.

The other day he decided that the kids tunes were mostly too slow to dance to.

Last night I made him a new dance playlist. It has stuff like Blame It On The Boogie, You Should Be Dancin', Dancin' With Myself, a lot of KC & The Sunshine Band. This seems to have made him happy.

Monday, July 2, 2012


By the time a baby is actually home with the parents, it's a big adjustment in some ways, but they're usually pretty ready for it. They've had nine months to plan, prepare, get advice (wanted and unwanted) stock up, and so on.

Then, you get a couple of years into this parenting gig and realize you've become part of a threesome. (Assuming you've still only got one kid.) And it's weird being part of a threesome. No one really prepares you for it.

Now, you've got this other person living in your house, wandering all over the place, making demands, getting into your stuff. You have to plan meals with and for and around them. Sometimes you have to cook things you have never and will never eat. You have to find things to do with them, things you might or might not even enjoy. I mean, parks are great and all, but every day? Even when it's 90+ degrees outside, or under 50 degrees with a cold wind? Not to mention playing all the silly games and singing all the silly songs until you're ready to shove something in your ears to make it stop.

All of this has to be worked into whatever groove you and your spouse already had going. Or, if you haven't been together all that long, the groove you hoped to have.

It's crazy. And cool. Or at least, we think it's cool. Because now we know just how boring our groove was until Noah came along.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


In the past week, there were a couple of times I put Noah in his room to play, walked out, and closed the door. I needed a few moments to catch my breath, calm down, regroup. He didn't mind at all! I am SO happy about this.

This morning, I failed to shower before he woke up. So, we were in his room playing, I told him to have fun and I'd be back. That was over 15 minutes ago. He's still playing happily in his room alone. And I'm not worrying that he'll die while doing it!

I do think it'll be cool when we can trade the baby monitor for walkie-talkies, so when he wakes up we can tell him to chill, we'll be there shortly!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Speech Update

Noah had another visit from the speech therapist this morning. After her recommendation that we see an ENT - and being right about that - and some of her observations today, I'm impressed with her knowledge. I'll come back to that in a minute.

Saturday, we took Noah to get an x-ray of his neck so the ENT can check and see if his adenoids cause too much obstruction. There's a new medical facility that opened up a few months ago and we could take Noah any time for the x-ray. I figured a new place on a Saturday morning wouldn't be crowded. There was almost no one else there at all. Nice. I was a little worried about him having to be still long enough to take an x-ray, but having seen his quiet resignation and tears at a couple of doctor visits, I wasn't too worried. He did amazingly well, I'd say not only for a kid his age, but for any age. It took two tries, and the second one seems good. (We'll find out when we have the follow up appointment on July 5th.)

Noah is definitely talking to us more, and strangers. There seems to be "phrases" he repeats and he sometimes sounds German. I was glad he talked a lot to the therapist this morning so she could hear him. She said he's doing "S" sounds which usually come much later along with sounds more from the back of the throat, and while he does make the normal up front consonant sounds, they're not as common. I'm sure this has to do with his mouth breathing issues. We're still doing allergy meds and he's getting better, but there's a congestion/cough we just can't get to go away 100%.

He had his breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries while she was here and she noticed that he only chews on the right side of his mouth. That's not really a good thing. I also mentioned he's also very right handed and she said most kids don't show a hand dominance for another year or so. So apparently there are exercises we need to do with him to get him to chew on the left side of his mouth more.

One thing that fascinates me about all of this is that if he were talking, we'd never have noticed any of this. (Of course, maybe if he was talking he wouldn't have any of these issues.) They just seem small - not something we would have noticed, much less would have thought needed attention or correction. Would they have "self corrected" if we'd never pursued speech therapy and waited it out, I don't know.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In The World, Not Of It

On FB today, I brought up that I really don't understand why, as a society, we seem to have decided that it's less harmful for kids to be exposed to violence instead of nudity/sex. This brought up some other issues, like girls and self esteem and body image issues, and the influence of the broader world on our kids.

Something Nerdstar and I have talked about a few times is this idea of raising a child to be "in the world and not of it". I know this is a Christian idea, (I am after all a Christian) but I think it applies to any conscientious parent. How do you raise a kid self-confident enough, smart enough, independent enough and so on to not be so influenced by not only stupid commercials and various propaganda at school, but also friends and family and anyone else? I can't think of anything harder - or more important.

We all know of families like the Duggars who have chosen to pretty much isolate their kids to a large extent from the broader world. And trust me, I am often tempted to try the same approach. Move to the middle of no where, home school, have little access to popular culture.

But, I also think that can be the easy way out.

Trust me, I have no idea how this all works in the long run. I don't even know that I know how to not be the one that's a bad influence on Noah. But my biggest goal in life is to raise a strong, good man. It's our responsibility to monitor what he watches, where he goes, who he hangs out with. It's our responsibility to instill our values and priorities in him. And to make sure he knows that there are other views, and the big, dreaded "evil" in the world, and how to navigate his way through it all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Speech and Allergies

Noah had his second visit from the speech therapist yesterday. She's really nice. She's been concerned about his mouth breathing, adenoids, and ears, so we scheduled an appointment with an ENT for this morning. Other than that, she's had some practical suggestions on getting him to say words. His babbling has really increased in the last couple of weeks.

Three days ago his allergies went totally haywire. He was an absolute snot fountain. Seriously. We're trying Zyrtec, Benedryl, a little Mucinex for a cough sometimes, and even a little bit of saline rinse for his nose. These things make a dent, but don't really do enough. I think his sinuses have been congested for almost the entire last year. We got him an appointment with his pediatrician yesterday who also added a Singulair powder to the list. Unfortunately, he threw up the Singulair dose. We'll try again today and hope it stays down. Oh, and some eye drops.

It took us a long time to find the right doc to finally get his skin all cleared up. Hopefully today, we found the right ENT to clear up all this allergy stuff. It's a lot of stuff to give him for the next 30 days - the Zyrtec once a day, the Singulair once a day, a saline rinse twice a day, Nasonex once a day, eye drops once a day, and if still needed, benedryl at night. (The different meds all work different ways, and are in small doses appropriate for his size and age.) But, if we can get all this congestion cleared out, help alleviate his mouth breathing, and heal his adenoids - then we can avoid having to have his adenoids removed. Ugh. Apparently, long-term adenoid problems and mouth breathing can affect the shape of his face and his tooth growth. Weird.

We're far from this being a serious problem. I think if we do all of this aggressively for a month and get it cleared up, he can then be on just one daily allergy med.

As for talking. Like everything else he does - I'm pretty sure this is just on his time frame.

Oh, and he was so good at the doctors. He didn't like being messed with, but he just sat in my lap and had little tears down his face while they listened to his heart and chest and checked his ears and nose. I felt so bad because he was being so good and so sad. Thankfully, he recovers quickly from it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Go White Boy

As with almost everything, our boy is a little behind in getting his groove on. But, he's finally shaking his tail feathers!

I thought about putting in the music for Telephone in the last little section, but it was more work than I wanted this evening.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This and That

Noah has slept until after 8 both days this weekend. Fantastic. But, he didn't get a nap yesterday. Last week he was mostly up around 5 a.m. We'll see how things go this week.

Today, him and Nerdstar and out and about - getting Vietnamese food (for her) and going to the Korean bakery and grocery store. I've got the house to myself! I'm cleaning the kitchen floor, paying bills, mowing the yard - and then doing some good sofa time!

Yesterday, Noah and I were out in the front yard and a couple of the neighborhood boys were out there. He went right over to them to "hang out". After a while, he hugged on them a few times. One of the boys asked why he did that. I said "Well, because he's sweet and he hasn't learned not to yet."

Last weekend, my 11 year old nephew came to visit. Noah was so happy to have him around. He watched him, sometimes imitated him, and hugged and sat on him. It really is crazy how he should have had a big brother. We often joke that whoever hands out babies didn't quite get him right - but we're so, so happy he's ours!

This weekend has also had more examples of how different he behaves for me and for Nerdstar. She just has a soft, gooey center and pets and kids know this! Yesterday he was determined to go somewhere in the car, when she tried to get him out of the car he cried and cried and threw himself on the ground. I was inside wondering what in the world. Then Nerdstar came in - he was still in the car. We needed to go to Costco, so we figured might as well go. She went to fix him some snacks so we could go eat afterwards and I finally went out to the car. He was just sitting there all happy, waiting to go. I told him he was a crazy baby!

The weather is amazing. Getting good sleep is also amazing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vacation #6

Before it all fades from memory. Last weekend we traveled to Atlantic City for a 3 day weekend. It's about a 4 hour drive and Noah was great going and coming home. He slept maybe an hour of each drive and just sorta chilled the rest of the time.

We were hoping he'd enjoy some beach time. That didn't really happen. Dude does not like to walk in the sand. And the last two days the weather wasn't so great for beach going anyway.

What he did really enjoy was sitting on the benches along the boardwalk and people and bird watching. One of his current favorite things to do is climb up on a bench and sit there and climb down. (whatever works for him.) At home he loves to point up to and watch every plane that flies over head - which is a lot because we're in the flight path for Dulles. On the boardwalk, the birds were even cooler than airplanes.

He loved running from one bench to another. He also would see older men sitting on a bench and would go over, climb up on the bench, and "talk" to them. Thankfully they were nice enough to talk with him.

Maybe even better than the boardwalk though - all the decor of the casinos. Our boy is already kinda obsessed with lights and big, gaudy light fixtures in public spaces. Add in all the flash and color and over-the-top aspect of casinos and he was in heaven. Then, there was the wild carpets and design in the tile floors. Heaven for him.

And he certainly didn't sleep any worse in the hotel room/crib.

It was rainy our last morning and we thought it'd be fun to take him to the local aquarium. Nope. It was even more scary than the zoo. All those big fish - and oh my a snake. He had his head buried in Nerdstar's shoulder. The funny part is, there were three 3rd grade classes that showed up shortly after we did. A nice young man gave a talk to one of the classes in front of the big fish tank - and Noah sat on a bench with Nerdstar and listened to all ten minutes of it.

This was our 6th road trip/vacation with him. And while we certainly are mindful of his likes and limits, so far he's a great travel companion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Inherent Boy Stuff

Until about two weeks ago, Noah could not have cared less about cars - other than to take rides in ours and go somewhere. He was all about throwing around balls. We had a couple of different sized cars in his room, and a couple of matchbook cars. He finally started playing with them. It's interesting to see that inherent boy programming kick in.

He also loves to point out school buses and big trucks when we're driving. I tried to find him a little school bus at wally world yesterday, but no luck. I got him a couple of little construction type trucks instead.

Now if he'd just stop throwing all the cars and balls down the stairs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Problem

I think we know what Noah's problem is every night between 2:30 and 3:30.

When he was a baby (sigh, he's still our baby, he isn't even 2 yet) we would simply put him in his bed, walk out of the room, and he'd go to sleep. Then, sometime after he turned 1 or so, at night he started wanting Nerdstar to sit in there with him a while. Of course, then I had to start sitting with him while he fell asleep for his naps. Now, all of this was fine, until it snow-balled.

It started taking him longer to go to sleep at night. But even then, when he'd wake up in the middle of the night - like we all do - he'd hit his glow worm and go back to sleep.

Until about two weeks ago. Then he decided that when he wakes up in the middle of the night he wants someone sitting there in the room while he goes back to sleep. This can take 30 - 45 minutes. And if you try to leave the room too soon, he cries and it all starts over.

Poor Nerdstar broke out the extra pillow and blankets and just slept in his room from about 4 a.m. on last night.

This is not going to be an easy thing to fix.

We're headed to Atlantic City this weekend, where he will get to have his crib in the same room with us. (The only good thing there is maybe we'll get to sleep!) So, we can't take this weekend and do lots of staying up the second half of the night and letting him scream until he's hoarse.

The following Friday my 11 year old nephew is coming for the four day weekend. The good side might be that Noah is too worn out to wake up, or hell, we'll let my nephew sleep on the floor in there.

So I don't know when this will get resolved.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


If you've been following along on fb, you know of Noah's complete sleep bullshit - hence, this post.

I am so tired of being tired, sleep deprived, brain dead, overly emotional.

I am tired of all of Noah's books, and the way he just flips through the pages instead of letting us read it.

I am tired of the "ah ah ah" sounds he makes instead of saying words.

I am tired of feeling like an asshole for yelling at him because I'm too tired to deal with anything.

I am tired of not having anyone to reach out to when my brain goes black and I feel like I can't take another minute.

I am tired of not having anything left at anytime to do more for Nerdstar.

I am tired of telling the damn dog to "move" all day every day.

I am tired of feeling like I suck at the one thing I really wanted to be good at.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

He's Still On Meth

We can only assume Noah is in another growth spurt. It's that or he's just evil. The kid won't go to sleep. He just wants to play and play and play. He wakes up around 8 - 8:30 in the morning. He takes maybe a two hour nap starting between 1:30 - 2:30 or 3:00. Then he stays up until 10 or 11.

Now, I know that sounds like he's sleeping. But it's wearing us out. He's a very busy boy.

He's also eating (the same 10 things) every three or four hours. Plus diluted apple juice and 3 or 4 bottles of milk - 4 oz at a time.

Part of what's so bad about his not sleeping is that I've been trying to do a work from home job and have to do 3 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was supposed to last for seven weeks, but it looks like it'll end a week or so from today. It's just impossible to work when the boy is awake. So, now instead of getting some down time or cleaning up a little while he naps, I have to work.

All of this means I'm more tired and grumpy than I'd like to be. This morning I almost told him "I don't want to beat you today, but I will if I have to". What sucks about that is, it's not really him - he's the same happy, busy, into everything boy every day. It's me.

None of this will last forever. It might not even last a year. But I tell you what, this being a SAHM is for much younger women!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Boy

Noah has apparently made an executive decision that he now wants to sit in one of our regular dining chair and not his high chair anymore.  It's fascinating how he just decides these sorts of things.  We went and got him a little booster seat for it, but I have a feeling he won't want/need that for too long.  Now if we can just work on getting him to feed himself better!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Haircut



It's such a shame we can't donate his hair - there is so much of it and it's so soft. So, yeah, this is his fifth head shave in under two years.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Of course, you know how cute Noah is. (Probably a couple of new pics on Sunday before and after we shave his head again.) This post will be about how sweet he is and how that does and doesn't work out in public.

At home, he used to not like it when I'd hug on Nerdstar. Then, we got him to come and do group hugs with us. When we're in different rooms, he'll run from one to the other and give us hugs. He also hugs on his Pooh bears and says "eeeeee" - his version of "sweet" which we say when he hugs us or Pooh. So sweet!!

When things get interesting is when we're either out in the neighborhood walking around or at a playground or other place with kids. If there is a boy from ages, say, 5-11, he'll start off watching them, and then get closer and closer and either reach out and touch them or hug them or lean up against them. There's a sweet boy across the street who's been very patient and let Noah hug on him a couple of times. Today, we were in a little shop and there was a boy and Noah went right up and give him a light hug. Yesterday, there were two brothers at a play area, I'd say 8 and 10 years old he took an immediate liking to. They weren't so big on the idea of being hugged by Noah. When they went to sit on a bench, he climbed right up and sat between them like he was a big kid, too. It was so cute.

Now, what's interesting to me is seeing the different reactions of the different kids, usually boys. (He's hugged a girl once or twice at play areas.) Some are really sweet, and Nerdstar or I are fairly close by and we tell them he's just saying Hi and he can't talk yet. No one has been anything near mean to him, but some looked a little disturbed. I wonder how much of that is the "stranger danger" that's drilled into kids. I wonder how much of it is a little boy hugging boys. (I have no idea of girls would react different to girls hugging them - probably not.)

But, I'm also interested that the parents are usually aloof or sort of ignoring the whole thing. I'd like to think when Noah is older and if some little boy comes up and hugs on him we'd at least say, "Oh, be nice to the sweet boy."

Anyway. I hope it's a long time before our boy learns too much about personal space and boundaries.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grow and Change

Noah is a great kid 90% of the time. He's a great kid more of the time than I'm a great mom. He's smart, and sweet, but he's also incredibly strong-willed. He doesn't care how many times you tell him NO. He doesn't care how many times you pick him up and move him away from something, or smack his hand, or anything else you try to do to get him to not do something. So, we've set things up as much as possible to keep him out of trouble, but we can't put him in a padded room forever. Lately, he loves to get the mouse off the desk and click it. It's not like I want to have to remember to turn it off or take it with me all the time.

We just don't know what's going to be effective in disciplining him. I'm not even sure it's a problem of him not talking yet. He absolutely understands when he's doing something he's not supposed to. He just looks at us and does it again. When he's done the same thing several times, I'm starting to go put him in his crib and tell him it's time out. I think that's more for my sanity than his discipline though.

And my sanity seems to be the bigger problem some days. The times that are so frustrating are when I want "just one damn minute" to get "one damn thing" done. Like when it's almost 2 in the afternoon and I haven't had lunch and I just want to make a sandwich or something and he isn't taking his nap yet and won't stay out of trouble for three consecutive minutes. This is when I just don't have the patience to deal.

Now, it's not Noah's fault he has a mother with a short temper and lack of patience. And trust me, I apologize to him often.

Then there are the whole days, or half days, where I'm just too tired, not feeling well enough, or frustrated with Nerdstar, and it's a struggle to get through. I hate those days.

I know that Noah will grow and change. He'll learn to talk and get into different things. It won't always be the same struggles. But what I hope is that I'll grow and change. And that we'll figure out how to handle this very strong-willed boy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday!

To Nerdstar! She might finally be a grown up now that she's 40. (She was about 80 when I met her, then she spent many, many years at 12, then went back to about 80.)

It was also ten years ago we got Ramen dog. Nerdstar had told me every day (really, every day) for about six months that she wanted a dog. She almost got a Palm Pilot for her birthday that year, but nope, we went and got Ramen. I talked her into naming him Ramen as a pre-emptive strike so that our first born human wouldn't be named Ramen!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Noah's food (this is all that he eats)

*Not shown are items such as yogurt, string cheeses, cottage cheese, apple juice, milk, sweet potatoes, fritos, bacon, nila wafers, ritz crackers, and blueberries.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sigh. Our Food Desert

Ok, this one isn't about Noah. It's about the topic we talk about only second to Noah - food.

There's all this talk of food deserts and the idea that in urban areas a mile is too far to go to a grocery store. Whatever.

We live in Northern Virginia, home to several of the richest counties in the country. We live in the working class part. Our neighbors in the ten houses in our cul-de-sac alone are from several different countries. There are lots of people who work with their hands in a part of the country not known for that. You would think there would be tons of mom and pop, hole in the wall, ethnic restaurants around here. There aren't.

You know why there aren't? Because our dear leaders would rather have PF Changs come to our neighborhood instead - because they're better for the tax base. So, they make zoning laws and tax structures and rents impossible for "the little guy" in the name of "improving our community".

It sucks. And I'm not even talking about the idiocy of DC in regards to something as simple as food trucks. I'm talking about our little suburbia fifteen miles south. I'd say there are enough people from at least fifty different countries that we should have some of the most diverse food choices anywhere. And there are none. When I talk to people who've moved here from anywhere, food comes up and it's always the same - there's no good Mexican food, or Chinese food, or soul food, or Southern food, or anything. The exception is Korean food. The Koreans got it going on. But for us to even go eat some Korean food is a thirty minute drive in traffic. The Asian grocery stores are a forty-five minute drive. And those are all in other counties. We're in the minority, most people won't drive as far as we will for food. So they're stuck with chain restaurants or fast food.

It doesn't have to be that way, but our local leaders aspire to being even more like the rich county next door than to serve the people who actually live in this area.

So, every night when we talk about what we want to eat, we list off ten or twelve places we used to go to in Austin and wish we were there. When people ask if we like living here, I say I love the weather, and I do, but the food situation, along with the traffic and cost of living, will lead to us moving eventually.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm not a big fan of Ramen dog (he annoys me with his constant in-the-way-ness), but I am so grateful he's good with Noah. Ramen hates hugs, but every once in a while Noah will stand by him and lean on him and give him a hug.

Twice we've gone to a store and Noah saw a stuff animal and wanted it. Thankfully, he let us put it back before leaving the store, but he hugged on it while we were shopping. So cute! He's has two Pooh bears he'll hug and kiss on.

Noah used to shake his head NO when strangers would get too close. For a while now, he does this thing when we annoy him of batting at his ear/s. Twice this last week, he's batted at his ear when strangers have talked to him at the store or mall. We're not sure why this annoys him.

On the flip side, he actually hugged a little girl his size at a play area in the mall yesterday. It was funny watching them try to figure out how to disengage and back up.

Last but not least, his "yeah" has started to sound just like Lumbergh.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Over this past weekend....

All three of us had a nano-vacation, that means that it's a vacation that lasted less than 24 hours, in Charlottesville, Va. We were supposed to meet up with an old army friend of mine and I guess, for old time's sake, run a local race. Well, things didn't turn out exactly that way, my friend had to cancel since urgent business beckoned, and with a hotel room and race fee already paid for, we might as well make the trip! Noah Maxx only took a 20 minute nap on the way and it was a sort of a precursor for the trip, that neither he or his moms would be getting much sleep.

One of the upside was that another one of our friends called the day prior to the trip and we decided that dinner on Friday will be a good way to catch up and see his growing family of 4. Yes, that friend of mine was also from my army days. We've also arranged to meet up with Ruby Reed and her moms (we'll call her RR) the following day.

For some reasons, I think I've sort of stopped making friends after I left the army, while most of them and myself stay in touch through the cyberspace, in this present life, I guess people are just that much harder to figure out. Perhaps the same goes to us. For me personally, I really miss relating to people (and vice versa) without so many layers of censors and filters. Maybe it's the mentality that I've got when it comes to dealing with people, I think I've gotten that from growing up in New Jersey in the 80's.

Anyway, I think I've probably spoken too much about that, but back to the trip we go.

We drove down to C-Ville in the rain, that same storm front also caused the death of 30+ people in the Midwest, but thankfully, it wasn't as severe in Virginia. We checked in the hotel (Holiday Inn, y'all!) and after they delivered the pack and play for Noah to sleep in, we set out to meet up with my friend at a local restaurant. Our Garmin lead to this empty lot next to this put-put course and with spotty cell phone signals, I was then playing phone tag with my friend. It turned out, that the actual restaurant was at the mall across the street from the empty lot. I think our Garmin has Alzheimer's, I really am beginning to think so.

Dinner was spent trying to chat, feed the kids (there were a 3 year old, 6 months old, and our Noah, at 19 months old.), and by the end of dinner we went into the mall so the kids can burn off some energy. I think I must have ran more than the actual race distance chasing after Noah in the mall. We all had to go back when one of the kids had a diaper blowout that needed to be tended to. I wish my friend well, he's also in the defense contracting industry and things are a bit (to put it mildly) shaky right now, not a good time to have things be shaky when you're trying to buy a house and not be broke.

Back at the hotel, Noah did not want to go to sleep. Maybe it's the different environment, or maybe the pack and play just felt weird. B and I were really tired but when we did finally get to bed, none of us really slept. Maybe it was the caffeine, or maybe it was us not used to the bed. You can imagine how tired I was when I woke up at 6:30 to get ready for the race.

About the race? Well, I was 30 minutes late for it because I got lost. I'm kind of surprised that they still let me in. It was a beautiful but hilly trail that the race was set in. No, I didn't win the race, wasn't even close to it, but that was ok, and it was neat simply to watch other people farting and grunting along the way while I was probably doing the same.

After the race was over, I headed back to the hotel and took a really quick shower while feeding Noah a banana and trying not to trip over anything. We took off for RR's house. It didn't take us but 5 minutes to get there. We played in their basement with a bunch of RR's toys, which Noah really liked and chatted about things ranging from (from what I could remember) toddler care 101 to the people in the rock band that one of RR's moms is in.

We felt kinda bad because by us showing up at that particular time of the day, we had interrupted RR's nap schedule. (For those who are who are wondering, RR is a month older than Noah.) We headed back to the mall and ate at the Chick Fil A there, and then Noah busted his upper lip after a post lunch run in the mall. Thankfully, he didn't bust more than his lip and the bleeding stopped really soon afterward. More importantly, Noah's pain tolerance is high enough that after maybe 5 minutes, he went about business as usual. He even gave RR a kiss on the forehead before we said goodbye! (It was his first kiss to a girl! All of you go ahead and say "awwww..." now!) Thanks to RR's moms for their hospitality and conversations to remind us that we are not alone in this child rearing adventure as we feel at times.

For such a quick trip, I'd say that it wasn't that bad. Noah was a trooper, as usual!

Will probably post a photo or two later, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Today a lady came to our house for just over an hour to do an initial observation of Noah and his speech and overall development. She was nice and seems to be good at what she does.

The assessment form was the same as the one we filled out for his 18 month pediatrician appointment, so we knew how it would go. He's off the charts good at gross and fine motor skills. He's on track for problem solving and social skills. He has zero verbal communication.

Now, he actually communicates with us very well. It's rare we don't know what he means or what he wants. But, he isn't say any actual words, and he doesn't point to things in books or know how to point to his nose, mouth, etc. The biggest reason he can't do those things is that, honestly, we don't work on those with him. He knows his feet and helps us when we say it's time to put his socks or shoes on. He knows his hands and helps put his arms through when we're putting his clothes on. But he can't be bothered with "where is your nose" silliness. And anytime we say a word for him to repeat back to us, he says "yeah" - like yeah I know that's an apple, I'm glad you know that's an apple, now hand it over. So, we end up not going over and over words with him.

In the past week he's started "talking" at us even more. And what we've noticed is that he seems to have so much to say that it gets stuck in his mouth. The lady said it seems like his brain is faster than his mouth. That's a good description.

He understands at least 60-70% of what we say to him.

Also, socially, he's made progress in the past month or so. He used to shake his head "no" at anybody who came to close to him. He doesn't do that anymore. Now, he hugs boys he likes at a friend's house and even hugged a friend of Nerdstar's who was visiting last night. (He hugs us a lot, too!)

We've scheduled a more in-depth diagnosis session for April 5th. There will be a speech pathologist and educator and someone else there to evaluate him. We'll probably go ahead and do that. But really, he's going to talk when he's ready. He's a stay-at-home boy with very little need/motivation to use words so far.

We are a little jealous of all the parents of little girls who talk early and often!