Sunday, August 29, 2010

Floppin' free after 3

So, yesterday we started my latest endeavor into potty training Dax. I'll be the first to admit that he is not ready, and it's extremely difficult to teach pee-pee awareness to a child who has an almost complete unawareness of discomfort (unless it's boogers, which he can now go after with great veracity, or eye crusties, which he treats in the same manner.) The kid has never let us know when he was wet or if he has pooped, despite his amazing ability to create poop by the bushel.

(Seriously, if we could get him pooping daily, I think we could sell fertilizer.)

Sooo, yesterday we started "Flopping free after 3." I'm hoping that by losing the diaper and having him pee in his undies, he'll figure out wet=pee=potty and dry=YAY. So far, we got nada. But, it's only day two...

I say Dax hasn't learned anything yet, but his mother sure has! I'm including a non-comprehensive list below.

Things I've learned during Flopping Free After 3:

1.) Dax could have a squishy, stinky micro-preemie in his underwear and not care.
2.) Poop is much easier to clean up when it lands in a diaper.
3.) Dax and Ty can have fun in any puddle, anywhere. Even in the kitchen.
4.) I love my new steam mop!
5.) Carpet is new on my list of things I despise, somewhere between wallpaper and pedophiles.
6.) Little boy weiners do not stay tucked away in tighy-whities (or tighty-blueys or tighty-reddys or tighty-stripies or tighty grayies or tighty-elmoies, or any of the other types of underwear he peed all over today) the way that I thought they would. At least 3 times today he came walking towards me with an unexpected turtle head sticking out of the elastic band. It would be disturbing were it not so funny.
7.) Dax will fall off his potty chair 100% of the time when he tries to take off his undies while perched on the seat.
8.) There will come a time in every mother's life that she will have to say "Don't eat your waffles off the toilet."
9.) The toilet bowl is a handy storage space for all your brother's toys.
10.) Tiny little boy butts are sooooooooooo cute in big boy underwear!

Here's hoping that he catches on quick, because I may not be brave enough to try this again until he's 10!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby Bella

I know I'm due for an update on my two big boys, but they're doing great and plugging along marvelously! It's busy, busy, busy at my house with two little walking (or, rather, falling) boys, but I wouldn't trade not one split second of it!

Tonight I'm going to pass along yet another prayer request for a very special, amazing little girl. Bella is a three-month-old 22-weeker and she extubated today! Please, please, please send up lots of prayers that she kicks her vent habit for good and can keep on making progress towards getting bigger, getting stronger, and getting out of the hospital and home where she belongs!

Click here to visit their blog and follow their amazing story!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A better life for Sweet Baby **UPDATE**

One day I was at work sharing stories with a preemie mama friend of mine and ooohing and ahhing over how amazing our kids are, when a cute blonde chick I’d seen around and about, but didn’t know, came into the office to ask my friend a question.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “we’re just bragging on our puny kids.”

“Oh,” she said. “I have a crack baby.”

You could have heard the crickets chirping.

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

I think I may have said something really profound, like, “Ooooh…. Huh. Wow.”

I thought, wow, she looks fantastic for a crackhead! And I hadn’t even noticed she’d been pregnant. She must not have put on weight, you know, from all that crack. I can’t believe she’s so open about it.

And then I think, wait, maybe she’s just got a kid with issues and the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, and this is her attempt at humor?


I was wrong on all counts.

So, I’d like to introduce you to my new friends, Team Baby.

Team Baby consists of Mom, Dad, Big Brother, and Sweet Baby. Mom and Dad experienced a lot of complications with their pregnancy with Big Brother, and have been serving as foster parents ever since.

A few months ago they get a call from their foster agency saying they’d be arriving at Team Baby’s house in two hours with an itty bitty, perfect, healthy baby boy… And all of a sudden, Sweet Baby became part of their family.

Except, Sweet Baby wasn’t actually all that healthy.

Team Baby was soon in Vanderbilt begging for answers to why the precious little baby was wheezing and refluxing and screaming and miserable, and they found out the ugly truth about Sweet Baby…

Sweet Baby didn’t get such a great start. Sweet Baby had a terrible introduction to life, actually.

It all began when his mother, strung out on crack, gave birth to him. At home. In the toilet. Where she LEFT HIM.

Thankfully his father, also strung out on crack, had enough sense to fish him out when he realized there was a child in the toilet. (Someone give him a Father of the Year award.)

Miracle of miracles, an ambulance ends up being called, and the child is taken to the hospital. The parents are subsequently brought up on charges of child abuse, and are later kicked out of the hospital while they were visiting due to stealing syringes.

After seven weeks in the hospital Sweet Baby was finally weaned off the opiates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and marijuana he was born on and then dropped off on the door step of Team Baby.

Lucky for him. And lucky for them.

So, fast forward to today… Sweet Baby is now nine months old and is doing great! He is in therapy four days a week and routinely sees a number of specialists to help sort out all his medical issues. He has right side hemiparesis, severe reflux, and modified eating protocols. He has sensory issues and failure to thrive.

And according to Team Baby, he’s absolutely perfect.

But here’s the thing…

Team Baby is a foster family. They knew when they accepted Sweet Baby into their home that one day he may go back to his biological family. There are goals in Sweet Baby's permanency plan for Team Baby to adopt him if his biological family uses up all their chances...

You know, his biological family… The same family that almost never, ever shows up for their supervised visits with Sweet Baby. They’ve been scheduled for one two-hour visit each week for the past seven months (which would be approximately 60 hrs, give or take a few.) They (and by “they,” I mean “the father”) have been there for a meager 12 of those hours. When they do bother to come they show up late and leave early.

His biological family... The same family that recieved NO prenatal care for their child.

His biological family... The same family that attempted to steal syringes for drugs from the hospital while their son lie there struggling to live.

His biological family… The same family that, when told about all of Sweet Baby’s doctors and therapies, said “We don’t have time to take him to all those appointments.”

His biological family... The same family that, when the mother was told her son may never be able to use his right side said, "I need pictures of him, I have to get his baby book finished before he is a year old."

His biological family… The same family that will not provide Sweet Baby with the environment he will need to thrive and do all the amazing things he is destined to do…

His biological family… The same family who already had three other children in foster care when Sweet Baby was born. IN A TOILET. WHERE SHE LEFT HIM.

His biological family… The same family that will be in court today, fighting child abuse charges and hoping to get their children, including Sweet Baby, back.

I’m asking you all to please say prayers for Sweet Baby and his foster family over the next few days and weeks. His future is in God’s and the courts’ hands, and it’s impossible to predict how a case like this will play out. Sweet Baby deserves to be in a home where he will be loved and taken care of, and his foster parents have proven they can, and will, do everything in their power to do just that. They want nothing more than to adopt Sweet Baby into their family and give him the brightest future a child could ask for.

So please, please, please PRAY!

I wanted to post a picture, but DHS laws protect the identity of children in foster care… So here’s a picture of the back of his sweet little baby head (on a CLEAN floor in a child-proofed home), so you can get even the slightest idea of the cute little man you’re praying for!

Thanks again!


Team baby has passed along the following information regarding the hearing today and what it means... And what it means is continued prayers over the next few weeks and months that all goes as it should, and Sweet Baby stays put! (And notice that he'll be going to Disney World in a couple of weeks. That just makes me happy ;)

From Team Baby:
So, the update on court today is that there was an agreement made. The reason that DCS made an agreement is because they could not get expert testimony to state that his "issues" are the result of drug exposure and could be the result of meconium aspiration. So, they settled for dependent neglect. What does this mean for SWEET BABY??? Here is the answer. SINCE THEY [the biological parents] DIDN'T SHOW UP TODAY, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY WERE INFORMED THAT THEY HAD TO, the attorneys asked for a continuance on the disposition. THAT WAS DENIED!!!! They judge ruled that Sweet Baby's case, which had been looked at separately than his 3 sisters would be INCLUDED in the termination of parental rights petition that will be filed on September 16th (yes, while we are in Disney Word) In Tennessee, it is state law that if a child's parents have not made sufficient progress toward their perm plan in 15 months the packet to terminate rights will be started and filed. Don't get your hopes up just yet, these people still have LOTS of chances, and it can take up to 6 months to get a court date.

With the pending involuntary parental rights looming, we have a few choices:1. We can wait the 6 months to a year and fight this out till the bitter end.2. We can attempt to offer an open adoption agreement with the biological parents under our terms if the will surrender rights and we can move forward.

NOW, if they have rights taken from them, WE never have to deal with them again, but it can be many, many more months of pure hell! So, Dad and I have decided that we will offer the open adoption agreement. My brothers are an open adoption from a similar circumstance, so I do know what we are getting into and exactly what terms that we want. We have already sent the terms to Sweet Baby's attorney. She will be discussing them with his biological parent's attorneys prior to the meeting where they will be discussing the future of the sisters. The sisters are all in family placements, so the parents will never lose contact with them if they surrender. Sweet Baby is honestly the only one that they have to lose. With this agreement he will not disappear from their life, but the contact will be appropriate and again, under our terms. The bio parent's attorneys, at this point, will be urging their clients to terminate rights. SO, I have no idea what is going to happen in the coming months. This is going to be wild ride. Hopefully, in the end, we will have a baby boy that we can call ours forever! Keep praying!!

PS. Bio Mom had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago and they both failed the last drug test. LOVELY!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A tale of two ERs

Well, on July 17th Daxton had his first ER visit. We all know what a craptastic experience that was.

On August 17th Daxton had his second ER visit.

This time, I'm "proud" to say, was over a 100% normal, typical, routine two-year-old-boy incident.

Dax fell and hit his eyebrow ridge on the side of the tub. I was worried about him hitting his head more so than the gash, but wanted to get the gash checked out, too.

Two months ago I would have taken him to the Vandy ER just to be sure... Just in case it was serious... Just to make myself feel better.

But not now. Not after last time.

I'm terrified now of taking my child, who, I can guarantee,will have stitches and broken bones his entire life due to his balance issues, back to Vanderbilt ER. Heaven forbid we get the same resident who we had before, or one just like her, or if his chart reads somewhere they suspected us of child abuse because my son with cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological issues tried to die.

Ugh, it makes me shudder.

So, we went to the local hospital ER instead. And you know what?

They were awesome.

We had a real-life doctor, one who has ER experience. One who has seen enough patients to know the difference. They treated us like normal people, they ooohhhed and aaahhhhed over how amazing Dax is, and they fixed him right up after only a short wait.

Come to find out, the doctor was not as concerned about the head hit, but more concerned with the gash. We ended up having it glued. Dax was such a trooper!

So, thank you Sumner Regional. We had a wonderful experience with you, and look forward to seeing you hope we don't have to see you anytime soon. But, next time we need an ER, we're heading your direction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One of my favorite poems...

Life in Five Short Chapters

I walk down the street.

There's a deep hole in the sidewalk.

And I fall in.

I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again.

I can't believe I am in the same place.

But it isn't my fault.

It takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street and there is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it there, and still I fall in.

It's a habit.

But my eyes are open and I know where I am.

It is my fault and I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


I walk down a different street.

By Portia Nelson

Friday, August 13, 2010

You Are Not Typical

This world we’re in
is continually focused
on striving so hard
to be Average
and Normal.

But there’s nothing Average or Normal about you.

Since the first day
I saw your precious face
Your pretty eyes
Your beautiful soul
I knew.

There’s nothing Average or Normal about you.

Please always remember
In this world of bell curves
You’re Extraordinary
and Amazing
and Perfect.

For my Dax and my TyTy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A little friendly competition between brothers...

Alternately titled, how I'm going to lose that last 5 pounds...

Time, slow down... You're moving too fast!!!

It never gets old...

Oh the sweet pitter patter of little (slightly drunken in appearance) feet...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My birthday present :)

So I didn't really think anything could top last year's birthday present (the vasectomy :P) but it's officially been topped. As of 10PM on August 6th, my Dax is a walker :) Video to come!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Fact

On a completely unrelated note, I now use Blogger in Draft which allows you to see, among other things, which posts are read most often, what time of the day I get the most hits, and how readers locate my blog in the first place. I find it absolutely hilarious that my blog, which primarily revolves around my premature son and his fat sidekick, is RARELY visited by people who googled the obvious topics. Noooo, I get, by far, more visits from people who have googled "How to neuter your husband."

And that, my friends, makes me happier than it should! :D

My Wal-Mart Epiphany

Ever have one of those random moments when reality smacks you in the back of the head? As I was walking through the grocery store the other day I sneezed, subsequently peed on myself, and had an epiphany. (It was a very busy moment in time.) I’m getting dangerously close to my VERY late, late, late, late, late, late, late, twenties, and it all of a sudden struck me that my life is nothing, absolutely nothing, like what I had planned ten years ago when I was in my VERY late, late, late, late, late, late, late teens.

In fact, I’m living a life I would have never chosen. Not in a million years.

If you’d asked me when I was in my VERY late teens where I’d be in ten years, I would have told you who I was going to marry, what I was going to be doing professionally, and there would be no children, not until later on. I’d have money to boot and the perfect car and house and vacations. Although I wouldn’t have thought to mention it then, I’m relatively sure my VERY late teenager self would have expected my VERY late twenties self to shave her legs and brush her teeth everyday with no possible foreseeable exceptions…

If, in my VERY late teens, you’d have offered me a life that revolved around poop, bottles, and doctors’ appointments, I’d have told you no.

If, in my VERY late teens, you’d have offered me a special needs child with a twin who didn’t make it, and a fat little whiny infant who hates play hamsters and kazoos and cries when you look at him cross-eyed… Well, I’d have passed.

If, in my VERY late teens, you’d have offered me a job that pays the bills with little extra, an 8-year-old gas guzzler, and a relationship more complicated than most… I’d have asked for what was behind Door Number 2.

If, in my VERY late teens, you’d have said one day, ten years from now, me and my hairy legs and grown-out-and-turning-gray roots would be pushing a diaper-laden buggy through Wal-Mart and I would sneeze, and then subsequently pee on myself… again… and that it wouldn’t strike me as unusual… I’d have laughed at the pure ridiculousness of it and politely declined…

In fact, I’d have pitied the person who did live that life. I’d have thought that a life less than enviable. Maybe even a second rate life. Most definitely not one I’d choose for myself. I’d have been thankful to know that nothing like that would ever in a million years happen to me…

As I walked on through getting groceries that consisted of generic easy-to-chew-and-swallow foods that adults and toddlers can share and nutrient-packed food items that I don’t really like but I eat whatever the kids have left over, I thought about my life, and who I am today.

You know, my very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY late twenty-ish self…

And I think I have a life that others SHOULD envy. My VERY late teenaged self would have been wrong.

Really, what’s not to love about my life?

It’s truly an amazing thing, the paths we end up taking in life… We see the future like it’s a first-class flight where we buckle in, kick back, and watch an in-flight movie while we cruise where we want to go, when, in fact, it’s a cross-country road trip in a lemon with a broken GPS and a lot of hitch hikers. It’s maddening and frightening and uncomfortable and smelly sometimes, but it’s also delightful and beautiful, and it’s the idiosyncrasies and the detours that make it memorable and fascinating.

But I never really realized that.

But it was my Wal-Mart epiphany.

I think realizing that… that I am living a life I would not change… that my definition of “perfect” is much longer and more detailed than it once was… that happiness is not a direct product of having fun… will help me bridge that transition from my VERY late, late, late, late, late, late, late, late, twenties, to my VERY, very, very, very, very, very early thirties on Saturday.

Here’s hoping that my next ten years are as full of joy and beautiful detours as my last ten have been… and maybe this time around I’ll choose to spend a little less time on the interstate and be able to avoid a few more potholes.

But if I don't, it'll be okay.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

TyTy's First Birthday!!!

A day in pictures :)

Wimpy white boys unite :)
Super cute Cookie Monster cake from Sweet and Sassy
Ty's wish? More cake.
I love his onesie :)
Ty giving his favorite Sesame Street character a little sugar
Hmmm, this isn't half bad...
Not only was his face covered, this is also what his next 8 poops looked like.

Dax and Kins and the coke bottle that entertained them for half an hour

Not a big fan of public nudity... Or of having 7 lbs of cookie monster icing removed from his chubby little body.
Such a sweet boy! I can't believe he's one!!!