Thursday, August 30, 2007

good checkup & dental tantrum

Busy day today. I took the day off work because I had a doctor's appointment and my DS-8 had a dental appointment to have 2 cavities filled.

My appointment went well. The fundus measured 28cm, right on target since I am 27.5 weeks along. Baby is growing perfectly. I gained 5 pounds in 4 weeks, which is also right where I want to be. The heartbeat was 168bpm, and baby was flipping and kicking all over the place, so that was a waking heartbeat. My blood pressure was 111 over 60.

Then on my way home from the OB, I got a call from the dental office canceling DS's appointment AGAIN! He had an appointment on Monday that was already rescheduled to today. And I took the day off of work specially so I could "be there" for him for his fillings. I was LIVID. On Monday they told me the doctor had "personal problems" and today her daughter was sick. Now I'm not against her taking care of her daughter, but I was upset that she had nobody to cover for her and no way to compensate me for messing up my schedule, not once but TWICE. I told them that I needed to find a dentist who was responsible. The gal said she would call me back. As I waited for the phone call, I decided I needed to find another dentist, so I called around for referrals. I found a dentist who accepted the insurance in my area, and they could take us today. So I called back the first dentist and demanded last week's x-rays, which I then went and picked up. I REALLY wanted to get the work done *this week* before school starts.

So the new dentist disagrees that DS needs fillings in the first place. He showed me that there was a little darkening/pitting between the molars, but he felt that it warranted observation and not filling at this point. Then he showed me how much tarter there was on DS's lower front teeth, which should not have been there if he had had his teeth cleaned 10 days ago. I knew the first dentist didn't do a lot of scraping on the little ones, but I didn't realize she was completely ignoring the tarter buildup. And there was about 1/4 of a prior filling that had completely fallen out that the dentist showed me, and the first dentist never even bothered to mention. We went ahead did sealants. It was cute how the dentist showed DS about the sealants. He put DS's initial onto his thumbnail with the sealant and put the blue light on it. DS thought that was really great! It should fall off in a couple of days. And DS will come back during winter break. I agree with that plan. Lots of flossing and close observation. Good idea! And DS likes the new dentist a lot better. He was crying in fear when we walked in, not wanting to get a numbing shot, drilling and filling. He left with a smile on his face, and said he wanted to go back there *before* his December visit. :-D

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good mommy day

I feel like I have been a good mom today. Here's why.

The youngest, Joseph, has done well on his potty training. He has had a few accidents over the past few days, but this morning, he went both #1 and #2 in the potty, which is a big step. It took his older bro 2 months of going #1 before he felt confident to try #2. There is still the issue that if he is wearing any clothes below the waist he forgets to use the potty and wets, but today I had him go potty right before our walk, put the underwear and shorts on him, and he went potty right after we got back, and he was dry all morning. Yay! I really look forward to when he can wear the pants and take them up and down by himself. The kids and I get tired of seeing the nakey boy, but this is a tried-and-true method that works and is working.

And then there was our walk. Since I live in the hills, going for a "walk around the block" is an extreme undertaking. Now that I am in my 3rd trimester (as of tomorrow), I am not going for my long walks, so I have been taking only the 4-y-o. I didn't want to take Joseph, because I can't push the stroller up the big hill, and I was afraid he would ask to be carried. Today, I decided to take the chance since we could take our time, because the boys needed the exercise and so did I. So we went out and before we got down the second block it started raining lightly. The boys were SO excited. It NEVER rains here, and we have been in a very bad drought. They were so happy. And it was a warm rain (left over from hurricane Dean from Mexico). They were actually running up the back hill from excitement. And when we got home, they insisted on putting on their rain jackets and going back outside (poor little guys were sweating in their hoods because it was so warm). They were so cute and happy. Now they are napping, and that also makes me happy, so they can be awake tonight when their dad gets home from his seminar.

The 8-y-o is with his father this weekend, no doubt riding his new bike. He grew out of his old bike, and was given the youth bike that my dd grew out of a few years ago. He began riding it in the back yard for hours per day last week, and asked to take it to his father's house. I said that was fine. Especially since I'm not bike riding this year. Due to the pregnancy, and being on a blood thinner. Too risky if I fall.

Now for the older ones. DS-16 is finishing his last work day tonight. He works the 4:30 to 11:30pm shift at Knotts. I'm so proud of him for sticking out the summer there. It has been tough for him, working in the 95 degree heat. And that he managed to negotiate his way through working for a large institution, with all the bosses and coworkers and despite his rather severe case of ADHD, is really great. He signed up for his high school classes for fall, and he has 4 AP classes. He is going heavy on science, taking AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP American History. His other 2 classes are Spanish and American Literature. He and I were heartened to hear from some of his coworkers at Knotts that there was a kid who got into UC Riverside with a 3.3 gpa. I think DS will end up doing better than that, but it is good to know that he can get into a University of CA school and not have to settle for a State College, or a junior college. He knows already that he won't be qualified to get into UCLA or UC Berkeley, but if he pushes this year and does OK, he might get into UC Irvine or even better, UC San Diego. He'll just have to do his best, take his SAT in the spring, and make applications next fall, then see how things sort out. I told him this is his big year to show what he's got before his applications. He will either reap the rewards for himself or he won't, but either way, it sounds like he won't be stuck in too humiliating of a circumstance, in comparison to his big sister.

Speaking of big sister, she struggled this summer with her interpersonal relationships. She is still dating her marine boyfriend, who lives in Camp Pendleton in San Diego. It's not that. It was that she had problems at work with some coworkers and one of her bosses. The work environment (restaurant hostess at Knotts) ended up getting so stressful that she quit work about a week and a half ago. After which she has been sitting around the house relaxing and planning for her apartment, which she will move into around Sept. 5. I know that this is a lesson she needed to learn. She did admit to me that she shot her mouth off at work and went on a rant about how she was the hostess and that the others should not encroach on her territory. It was after that that things went south. I told her and John that the best workers keep to themselves, don't go on about their personal business at work, and put on a happy face while they do a diligent job. It is a hard thing to do, and hopefully, she will do better at hiding her volatile emotions on her next job. She hopes to get a waitress job near UCLA sometime this year or in early 2008.

The youngest unborn one seems to be doing well. He kicks and wiggles regularly. He has gotten ticklish, too. I noticed if I have an itch low on my belly and I scratch down there, he starts crawling vigorously, like he's trying to escape. :-D

And I'm cooking split pea soup from scratch. I had some leftover brisket from Friday night, and I remembered that split pea soup tastes good with brisket. I have had to make kosher modifications to my recipes since becoming Jewish 5.5 years ago. Also, the rest of the brisket has been chopped up for tacos. And DD is making fresh guacamole. We just got back from the store and dd already sliced the strawberries for dessert. I love fresh cooking!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New picture of the kids

See the bottom of the blog. I loaded in the underwater picture. Fun, huh? I asked them all to wear their "long" suits so I could share the picture around and not be showing their skin everywhere. I am really tickled about this picture. It was a challenge to do logistically, and that makes it rather unusual, I think.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Potty training

I didn't choose this time. Joseph did (I sound like his big brother, whatever goes wrong, Joseph did it!) We were coming out of the pool 3 days ago, and Joseph asked to go potty. I figured what harm would it do to sit him on there, and he actually tinkled. 80. I got so excited that the next morning I dressed him in only a shirt, and over the course of the day he went potty about 10 times. The next day he went 0 times. The day after that he went about 8 times. Today he has gone twice so far, but we have been running errands, and that makes it difficult, because clothes confuse him. He thinks he still has a diaper on and is totally surprised when his pants become wet. So progress. I can't believe my little baby boy is on his way to being potty trained. It will be good to get through this stage, which is the most labor-intensive part of potty training, before the baby comes. For the next month, I anticipate bringing the potty in the minivan with us when we go on errands, and reminding him to use it every half hour. I can't wait until he will get to the point where he will be wearing clothes and telling me when he needs to go. All in time, I guess. Patience. Patience. Keep repeating that....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

26 week belly

Here is my picture taken today at 26 weeks and 1 day. I'm feeling well, and the baby is active. I have gained about 14 pounds so far. I was barely able to squeeze into my size 6 jeans for this picture. :-D Just winding things down at the end of summer with all the kids.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feeling accomplished

I certainly did a lot this week. The athletes left on Thursday morning and that went well. They continued to be polite and were a pleasure to have around. DS-8 had horseback riding camp this week and he fell in love with horses. He learned how to groom, saddle and ride them. He said that when he gets a house, he wants to build a stall in the backyard. :-D Today DD and I went shopping and got her some kitchen utensils, a computer desk and swivel chair, and other sundries for her apartment. She is excited to move in after Labor Day. UCLA doesn't start until later in September, but she is anxious to be back on her own. She loves Westwood. DS-16 is still working at Knotts, which is great. He kept his job all summer, which is no small feat for a boy with ADHD. He will stop working after next weekend and school starts for him on Sept. 4, as with his younger brother. I can't wait to get onto the September schedule. The teenagers will be visiting on weekends, DS 8 will be in 3rd grade, DS4 will be in preschool 3 mornings a week, and DS2 will be with me. I envision lots of peace and quiet. Today DS 8 and I worked on a fun project. We checked all of the sprinkler stations. I had heard a geyser going off at 3am last week, so I knew something was out of whack. I found 2 geysers. One I could fix, and the other one is halfway down the back hillside. No way I'm doing down there. I'll ask the gardener to fix it when he comes back. No wonder so many of the plants look dry and tired. Some of them haven't been watered for months. One sprinkler station had so many bad sprinklers that we replaced about 10 of them and put many of those on taller risers so they were not blocked by the ivy. I showed DS all about putting on plumbers tape so water would not leak around the threads. It was a fun project and one that kept us cool. :-D

The rest of the summer should have a fairly slow pace. No more swim classes, except a few private lessons for the little ones. No more camps. No preschool. No mommy and me. And no more jobs for the teenagers after next week. And I am caught up on my bills and even thank-you notes since last week.

I accomplished taking the photo I wanted of the kids. My ambition was to take an underwater picture of all 5 of them, since the 2-y-o and 4-y-o were both able to go under water without sputtering. I got an underwater disposable camera, took about 10 group shots and a bunch of other cute pics and got a decent one. I will enclose that with our Rosh Hashana cards this year. I almost never do Rosh Hashana cards (so I feel guilty when I receive them), but this year I'm so organized I think I'll do them before the end of August.

I plan to do fewer physical projects starting at the end of August, anyway. I tend to get problems with too many Braxton Hicks contractions after the 30th week of pg, and I don't want to cause a problem with the baby that would require hospitalization or medication. I still wonder if the Terbutaline I took with my DS-16's pg caused his ADHD. Terbutaline is a stimulant, and he needs stimulants now to act normally. :-( I have cut back on my workouts too. Shorter walks, but still uphill. I like to keep up my stamina.

Monday, August 13, 2007

computer problems

I have abandoned my computer. I think I caught a viru$, and I don't want to risk emailing from there and infecting my friends.

I'm now on the downstairs computer (much nicer and faster) without all my links and pictures. I need to load my pictures off the old computer onto a device that has a lot of memory. I don't want to lose them. There is about 6gigs worth of pictures on there. And some other financial data. Once that is done, the entire computer can be erased. We'll probably reload the startup software and then put it into the kids' room. Their computer is an old dinosaur, and needs to be updated anyway.

So that in addition to the fact that there are 3 teenagers staying here for these 4 nights mean that I am a very busy lady. The teens turned out to be 3 very polite boys from New York. They are tennis players. I hope they do well. Listen to me. I barely know these kids, and already I'm feeling competitive on their behalf. ;-)

Last night was the opening ceremonies for the Maccabi games. It was nice. There was a famous violinist, Miri Ben Ari, who I enjoyed. And also the Laker Girls. And there was a nice presentation about the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered by arab terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympic games. There was a very touching photograph of one of the athletes holding his infant daughter before he left home. And then the lady who was talking says "I am that baby." It brought tears to my eyes. I found a tiny picture on the web that is the same as the one they showed at the slideshow. The father's name was Andre Spitzer.

Monday, August 6, 2007

24 weeks -- Viability

Today I am 24 weeks pregnant. It is a milestone, because now, if the baby is born, there is a chance that he may survive. Yay!

big relief

This may sound like small potatoes, but I am so relieved to have successfully registered my 4-y-o in a particular preschool program this morning. Registration started at 8:30am. I lined up at 7am and was dismayed to see about 25 people in lawn chairs were ahead of me in line. Then I got even more nervous to hear that there were only 5 spots still available in the class that I wanted (folks who were enrolled in spring had preferential pre-enrollment). I wanted him in the 8:30 to 11:20 class, not the afternoon class. Afternoon is nap time. If he was in class during nap time, and his bro gets off school at 2:30, then the afternoon would be set up all wrong. The good news was, most of the folks in line were there to enroll their 3-y-o kids. The bad news is that I will have to do this again next year for my youngest. He is turning 3 in December. Too late to sneak him into the class in the spring, even if he is potty trained by then, because he would have needed to be 3 by mid November. So he will have to make due with mommy and me classes this year, and I will have to get up at 5am next year to line up. I simply *must* have him in the am class in this program. It is a very high quality program with wonderful teachers and extremely inexpensive. Only $450 for 16 weeks, 3 days a week. We used to pay more than that amount per month at the Montessori school.

Today is the first class of the last session of swimming through the parks and rec. I canceled the private lessons for today, which I will have the boys make up in the end of August. I have my 8-y-o signed up too, but he will not be able to go until next week, because he is still with his dad for one more week. I asked his dad to take him to the class, but he doesn't want to drive {eyeroll}. He also made me cancel the dental appt, which fell on his dates. {another eyeroll}. I know he and I will end up back in court again when he asks for more custody. So though his attitude is bad for my son, it will give me more leverage in court. I will ask the swim teacher today if it is OK if my son shows up next week for the last week of class only. He is a very strong swimmer, and even if he starts late, I bet he will still be one of the best swimmers in the class.

Friday, August 3, 2007

More thoughts

I asked my doc at the visit what was coming up after the blood tests were completed. Since I had just faxed him the list of my fasting blood sugars for the past 2 months, he was pleased, and agreed that I could skip the glucose sugar/water testing. So the next thing will be the Beta-Strep culture at 35 weeks. He said, "you're cruising". That made me smile. I have waited for SO long to get to the point in my pregnancy where I could feel like I was cruising and not stressing.

I got the information packet today on the athletes that will be staying here the week after next. There is a thing happening in Orange County, CA this year called the Maccabi Games, which is in essence a type of Jewish Olympics for high school kids. We will be hosting 3 athletes, boys, in our home. They are 13/14-y-o tennis players from New York. It will only be for 4 nights, so hopefully I'll survive the extra driving/cooking/dishes. And they will be gone all day long, so I will drop them off at their venue in the morning and get them at night around 9pm. Host Family Night is the one night we will have the opportunity to entertain them, and the other host families in my town have already invited us to a block party/pool party, so that is all arranged. DD is a bit put out by having to give up her room to the boys (she has a huge double-sized bedroom all to herself). But hopefully this will be a character-building experience for her. ;-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Really good doctor's appt

I went to my 4-week doctor's appointment this morning. Everything is going great. My blood pressure was 92/57, the baby's heartbeat was 151bpm, and the fundus measured 23cm, which is exactly on target. Doc also told me that I only gained 1 pound in the past month, and said that was great. I know better, though. I think on my last appt I was a little, er, well, retaining weight, if you know what I mean. I also know I have only gained 10 pounds this pg so far, so I *am* doing well, and gaining weight steadily.

I asked him to order some bloodwork to check that all is well with the medication I'm taking. So he ordered a PT and PTT and threw in a cbc and liver enzymes as long as I was going to the lab. It needs to be fasting, and I will need to make arrangements to leave super early one of these mornings to do that. But he doesn't expect anything to be amiss, and neither do I.

I know little buddy is growing strong. He has reached the bladder-trampoline stage. I'm not complaining. I'm glad he is strong enough to cause me to take notice. :-D