Fun at the pediatrician's office..

Some 3 year olds are "adequately suspicious" when it comes to sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor to come in. Not our kid. He immediately scopes out the area for things to play with.. usually the cool lighted gadgets on the wall do the trick.. or the blood pressure cuff. This time, he opted for the latex-free gloves.

Listen carefully to this video.. he says "Don't touch me.. I'm sterile".. and "Fire Power" (reference from Night at the Museum 2.. pronounced "fi-ah po-wah")..

The doctor came in and chuckled and said "well.. he looks like he's feeling pretty good.." Damn.. $15 copay down the drain. He's got a bad cough which he did show off during our visit and he has a low fever.. so he does have a virus. More importantly.. his ears aren't infected and his lungs sound fine.. so that was worth the $15.. :)

Voices Rising and Benji's singing Momma...

I'm writing this from my cell phone while listening to Shiela's choir
warm up for tonight's concert. I saw the same program last week and
it was great.. But the sound is awesome in this church.

it's a lot of fun to watch her enjoy this so much. I wish Ben was older
and able to sit through a 2+ hour concert.. He's at home with Aunti
Beck. I wish i could sing... I mean.. I sing a wicked ABC song and
"Run baby run"... But that's the extent of it.

Shiela is so quiet.. Most people don't know that she is a wonderful
pianist. Almost no one knows that she can sing like an angel. to be
honest.. I had never heard her sing.. Not REALLY sing.. Until about two
weeks before the first show when she couldn't get the show out of her
head and was singing the vacuum song all the time.

All of this makes me want to pull my guitar out..

Update: The show was wonderful.. Shiela's small group piece (Swing Low) and her reading of "Housework" from Free to Be You and Me was just spectacular and got a roaring applause from the audience (which filled the church.. yay). I was so proud. I only wish that our moms could have visited from Texas and Kentucky to see it. Maybe next time.. the theme of the next show is Dance. Hehehe.. I'm picturing something out of Glee.. but they will probably just sing songs from Fame and Flashdance... or maybe some Steve Miller.. "Dance, dance, dance". Hmmm.. or "Baby's got Back?"

If you're local.. check out Voices Rising.. it's worth the time... if you're not local.. buy a plane ticket and/or send a donation to the group.. they are looking for a new rehearsal home (I'm tempted to offer our living room.. hell.. we have a piano..)

In other news.. Ben has a fever.. blah!


I need to watch more daytime TV...


My psychiatrist royally pissed me off. I knew he was going to. We really don't get along.. which doesn't bode well, generally speaking. I even "wasted" a whole hour with my psychologist on Tuesday worrying and strategizing how I was going to get through my appointment with Dr H. without letting make me feel helpless or hopeless.

For a little background.. I started seeing Dr. George. in December of 2008. I wanted a doctor closer to home (I had been driving a good 45 minutes each way for a 20 minute appointment). I selected a doctor in the same group as my psychologist, whom I've been seeing since getting out of McLean back in 2006.. so Dr. Ken knows me.

Dr. George welcomed me into his practice by turning my life upside down and changing my meds like 8 times within a two month period of time. Suddenly I was miserable.. panicking all the time, vaguely suicidal in an "i wouldn't act on it" kinda way and just feeling crappy in general. Then.. to top it off.. I had that seizure back in Feb of 2009. That capped it all off. I was right in the middle of a full blown argument with Dr. George over whether he was off his rocker for labeling me bipolar after seeing me 3 times and effing with my meds before getting to know me or my medical history. Dr. Ken agreed with me.. I suffer from depression.. sometimes worse than others.. I also suffer from generalized anxiety.. sometimes worse than others.. plus I'm agoraphobic and don't do well with social situation.. again.. sometimes worse than others. None of these things fit the bipolar label. Hell.. if I was bipolar.. McLean would have given me that label.. they are WAY into labels.

Ok.. so I called him on it.. I did research and I made an appointment to specifically challenge his diagnosis and I refused to take the new medications he was thinking of trying until I understood his rationale better.

It was at this moment that he totally wrote me off. I'd walk into his office and he'd say "how are you".. then he'd say "ok.. don't change anything and come back in 6 months". for a bit.. that was fine. i was going through the post-seizure testing and then the iron replacement and the last thing i felt like doing was messing around with psych meds.

Unfortunately.. time hasn't made this better. For the past few months I've noticed that my regular meds haven't been working as well on my anxiety. I brought this up to him. He said "I don't want to change your meds.. it's fine". I forced him into letting me try the Abilify. I figured that it couldn't hurt. He agreed and here we are..

I sound like my tongue got cut off. I even went to far as to figure out an internet/telephone relay system to use at work for days when my speech is really wacked. I went back to Dr George on Wednesday and he lived up to my expectations. He said "well.. i don't know what to tell you.. there is nothing i can give you.. what do you want me to do". At this point, I burst into tears and told him off.

SOOooooooooo... I took a mental health day yesterday and took the time to talk with my neurologist who is one of those cool doctors who actually knows me and spends the time to talk on the phone and really discuss things with me. While Dr. George was adament that it wasn't the Abilify (I quote.. "you can't prove that it's the Abilify.. it could be anything").. Dr Marie (neurologist) said "ugh.. you shouldn't have been on that in the first place since you have a pre-existing condition with the movement disorder. Dr. George told me that it would probably stop in a day or two or else it definitely wasn't related to the Abilify. Dr. Marie said that it could last for 2 to 3 weeks depending on how long it takes my brain to relax from the extra stimulus. If it's still bothering me then, then I'll go in to see her and we'll look into starting me on some other meds to help put it back into remission.

I tend to have a general feeling that people who file lawsuits against random doctors or random people who cause a fender bender are.. well.. trashy. I'm fairly sure that I'm going to file a claim against this guy though. I really don't care if I get any kind of a settlement.. I just want his medical malpractice insurance to show a hit on it. He's mucking with my life. I'm exhausted from trying to talk and in pain from the constant muscle spasms. He can bite me and my lawyer.

Now I just need to watch some daytime TV to find a "good" medical malpractice lawyer. Just kidding.. I have a strict rule against hiring legal help that feels the need to ambulance chase.


Suzy sell sea shells by the sea shore...

Trust me... that's not what it sounds like when I try to read that phrase.. it's more like "shuzzi shehs she shehs by da she shoah"..

I went to my shrink about two weeks ago and told him that I wanted to get off of my anxiety meds (again).. and that I needed to change my regular anti-depressants because they weren't doing 100% and i was relying too heavily on the anxiety meds that should have been PRN (as needed) versus needing them daily. I'm not on the best terms with my shrink since we had a bit of a disagreement over his random ill-informed crapshoot of a diagnosis that he pulled out of his ass a year or so ago.

Anyway.. I told him that I wanted to try the Abilify, which was a med we had talked about before but hadn't tried it. So why not.. right? So here I am.. about two weeks into it. My speech started getting wacked at about the one week mark and so we dropped my dosage to 1/4 of a tablet.. the speech thing just got worse. I've been off of the new med since Saturday now and I think my speech is slowly getting better. It could be all in my mind.. but I'm going to assume that it's getting better.

In the meantime.. i'm ROYALLY pissed off. As it turns out.. I felt AMAZING on this new med. I felt calm.. relaxed... thoughtful.. interested.. interesting.. I was waking up before the alarm and getting up and ready for the day. I've had energy. I've laughed a lot. It pisses me off that I finally find a med that might be onto something and I have to stop taking it because i have that rare potential side effect.

In other news.. my cat is hacking up a hairball. I need a vacation to someplace warm...


Ghosts with loud car stereos...

A few of the guys that I work with are being featured tonight on the National Geographic Channels special "American Paranormal". Watch for the guy with the red checked shirt.. that's Bob. This is very cool.. very proud of these guys for a good job done!



I went on a business trip to DC a few months back. While waiting in the airport on my way home, I picked up an Air Force One playset from one of the shops. It had a bunch of vehicles.. Air Force One plane, a helicopter, the limo, a SUV.. just cool stuff to get when Mommy gets back from a work trip.

It was a huge hit. His favorite ended up being the Presidential Limo. He called it his "Obama Car" ("bama-cah"). Unfortunately, we misplaced it around Christmas time. I have no idea where it ended up. He asks for it from time to time and gets all excited when he sees a real black stretch limo..

I'm home sick today and, on a whim, decided to try to find the diecast car to purchase. I wasn't going to buy the full set again because it wasn't cheap.. but I wanted him to have his Obama Car back. I was psyched to find that the Whitehouse Giftshop sells the Obama Car for just $6 (plus $7 shipping and handling).. it should arrive in a few days. YAY!!!!


Speech, language and a 3 year old

It's 8:30p on a Friday night. I'm in my jams with a cold Diet Coke and a granola bar. Benji is in the bedroom reading a Thomas and Friends book with his Mamom and I've got American Idol on. The first two shows have been waiting for me to find time to sit down in front of the television. This is the first time all week that I've watched something besides Blue's Clues or Tom and Jerry. I feel good.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to update you all on how things are going with Ben and his words. Let me take a moment first to say that yes.. I'm going to vote next week in the Massachusetts Senate special election to fill the seat left open by the late Teddy Kennedy. But I am going to rip my telephone out of the wall and crush it into a thousands pieces and then put those pieces into the microwave until they explode in a wheezing flurry. The reason? The phone has been ringing off the hook for days with election polls and "last minute" attempts to swing my vote. Between that and the fact that both Bill Clinton and President Obama are making trips to Massachusetts to support this race while there are other things that could use their attention (Haiti?).. bothers me. greatly.

Benji is laughing.. one of those classic baby belly laughs. :)

Ok.. back to Monday.

Benji had his initial consultation with a speech and language pathologist at Boston Children's Hospital. It went really well. Ben's hearing has fluctuated over the past few years with his ear infections and tubes. We know he can hear.. and hear quite well.. he can hear airplanes in the sky that I have to struggle to hear. He can also tell.. just by the sound.. whether the flying vehicle is a jet plane or a helicopter.

Anywho.. we've watched his speech forever. We've always been on the line.. is his speech delayed.. is it a normal "boy" thing.. is it a bilingual thing.. is it his personality. The little dude is me all over again.. when faced with the option of interacting socially with your peers or playing with legos/cars/trucks by yourself.. the legos win every time.

We learned a lot. The speech therapist's suggestion is to start Ben in speech therapy for 1 hour a week and reassess in 6 months. His language and speech was solidly in the 24-27 month old development stage, but could be more advanced. There's only so much one can get the little man to talk in a 3 hour period of time. He very clearly told her that he didn't want to read her books.

Since his appointment.. he's gone through a communication boom. I don't know if it's that she performed some magic during the games she played with him.. or if we learned ways of communicating with him better.. or if he was just ready for another jump in skills. All of a sudden he is talking with us.. we still have a lot of screaming and hitting.. but he's talking.

Some new Benji quotes:

"Mommy, that scare me."

"Mommy, don't touch my head."

"Mommy, why?"

"That's not an airplane, it's a helicopter.. Mommy funny!"

"I want Grampa. I want watch TV with Grampa."

...and tonight when we were trying to buckle him into his carseat he says:

"Ouch.. that hurt my pen.is"

It's official.. I cancelled the old blog..

Today is the day. Twomomsandababy.com no longer belongs to me. Woo hoo! I'm sure you have noticed that I haven't fixed the formating issues with the site. I may just leave it this way. The most popular blogger I know never messes with her blog layouts and she has a bazillion readers..

I have three categories of readers:

1) family and friends.. this group is great.. they are loyal.. you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your family's nose.. or something like that.

2) my ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend.. they are more than loyal.. in fact, i have restraining orders against them. I'm kidding of course. ..of course..

3) people who found me through "the most popular blogger i know"..

For this reason.. I have come to the conclusion that "my readers" are more interested in hearing about our crazy life than they are concerned about my font size. (although post date and time WOULD be nice.. "undefined" has a cool mysterious quality about it.


Code expert needed...

Ok.. so why are the dates/times not showing up right? The site has all the info correct.. but says the dates are "undefined" and it changed my sidebar images.


In other news.. Benji had his consultation with a speech and language pathologist yesterday at Children's Hospital. It went well.. we're waiting for the report, but in short his language and speech is about a year behind developmentally which could be a major cause for his frustrations and behavioral.. um.. challenges.. (like when he grabs my glasses off my face, throws them across the room, and then tries to gouge my eyes out with his little grubby fingers)..

He will be starting a program for speech therapy soon and we'll go from there. I'm sure I'll elaborate at some point.. but at the moment, I'm too irritated by the formatting issues of this site.


Other things that piss me off...

How am I supposed to write when I finally switch back to Blogger.com and something immediately gets screwed up and all the dates and times on my posts are Eff'd.

Seriously. Irritating. Plus.. I still have a headache.


Things that cause irritation...

I've had a headache since Monday. It has been a migraine since Wednesday. This makes me very angry.


Benjamin has grown a bit..

Benji turned 3 years old on December 19, 2009. It's hard to believe. Here are a few pictures from his birthday through yesterday... more to come!

Doctor's.. pah.. I'll take Ruth..

I haven't blogged much over the past year. If I had.. you would have read a lot of cranky posts about having migraines and the side effects of migraine medications and so forth. I'm still having migraines, but they seem to be fewer and further between.

That said.. it's not because any doctor came up with a magical fix. The closest we got was my ENT realizing that my migraines were aggravating a salivary gland and causing additional pain in my neck.. so a med has helped with that.. but that doesn't change the migraines. I've had a CT scan, an MRI, an EEG, bloogwork, a colonoscopy (they were stretching there) and aside from picking up on a partially unrelated issue of iron deficient anemia.. they all came up with nothing.. nada.. no clue.

Yesterday.. when I was picking Ben up from daycare.. Ruth takes one look at me and says "do you have another migraine?". I didn't. She smiled and shook her head and moved on with getting the little man ready. Later in the evening... migraine. This afternoon.. migraine.

When I picked up Ben today I put my hands on my hips and said "Ruth! you asked me out of the blue if i had a migraine and I said no.. but then 3 hours later i had a migraine.. first in over a month.. how did you know?" She smiled sweetly and said "do you know when you're getting a migraine?" I do.. I get auras that last for 10-15 minutes before a major migraine hits, so i know it's coming. She just nodded and smiled and then moved on to talk about some of the things Ben did today.

That woman just knows.. I'm telling you.. she's like psychic, but in a medical sort of way.. she just knows what's ailing you. Too bad she can't write prescriptions.

In other news.. Josephina (other daycare helper) laughs and says to me.. "I was changing Ben's diaper and he said "Mommy hit me". I almost fell over. I'll admit.. he's gotten the occasional swat.. on the thigh then he ran out in the road laughing after i told him not to.. and on the hand a few times after hitting me until i quickly learned that it didn't help and it just made him hit back harder.

After fumbling over myself trying to figure out why he told daycare that I was hitting him.. I remembered that this morning he had thrown a tantrum while I was changing his diaper and I said "stop kicking me.. mommy doesn't hit you.. why are you hurting mommy". He obviously only took part of that message with him for the day.


The Obama 'Copter

the setup: All three of us leaving for daycare/work. Benjamin had already thrown a few tantrums over not wanting to get dressed, eat breakfast, put his jacket on.. you get the picture. I talked him into heading out to the car by saying "hey.. bring your helicopter outside and you can fly it to the car".. so we bring his "obama copter" outside and he carefully sets it down on the sidewalk and steps back.. then looks at me... and says (with big blue puppy dog eyes).. "mommy.. push button".

He wanted me to make it fly like the one at the mall. total fail. I explained that this was a special helicopter (aside from being obama's) and that we had to use our imagination to make it fly.

He proceeded to pick it up and throw it..

..into a snow bank.


Two thousand and ten.. or twenty ten..?

These are the questions that keep me up most nights.

Actually. Benjamin is what keeps me up most nights.

I'll start by apologizing for my lackluster blog activity over the past year. Trust me.. 2009 was just one of "those years". I turned 35. Nothing good can come of that.

I'll continue by withdrawing my apology. To be honest.. I didn't feel like blogging. For me, blogging is a way of working out ideas. I had no ideas in 2009. Trust me.

There were a lot of ups and downs last year. I won't bore you with the details.. it would take me days (probably months) to summarize all of the stories that I would have shared if I had felt like sharing. Those stories will probably find their way into new blog posts in one form or another. I have lots of photos that will also find their way here in one form or another.. contrary to popular belief.. a teacher has a life outside of school.. and a blogger's life goes on with or without the blog.

That said.. I miss writing. I miss making myself laugh.. yes.. I make myself laugh. I miss writing about seemingly boring and mundane aspects of my life and then looking back a year or two later and marveling at how crazy and random life can be. I will look back on 2009 and see very little.. Trust me.. it's better to run around with your eyes closed tight and your fingers jammed in your ears while singing the Alphabet Song than it is to document every second of your life.

I'm thinking positively. 2010 is a work in progress. I have lots of big things planned. Absolutely everything in my life is under construction at the moment. This blog is one of those things.. I'm not sure whether I'll post daily or monthly.. or maybe I'll change the font color of the blog daily but not actually write anything.. so many options..

It's 9:47 on a Monday night. Benjamin may be asleep. If he is asleep.. it will be a victory for Shiela.. she has taken care of bedtime duty tonight. I spent the first hour in silence watching the Food Network with the volume on the TV turned down. Then, I thought.. "hey.. I should write."

So here I am.

Last night... I had bedtime duty. I failed. Ben won. After being knocked in the head twice with a half-full sippy cup (it sounded like a cast-iron frying pan hitting my noggin).. and a few yelling and thrashing sessions (on my part).. Shiela stepped in. Both Benjamin and I had to have a time out and Ben finally dozed off while I seethed in the other room.

Of course.. the peace only lasted until about 2am.. when Ben came into our room.. climbing in between us.. very sweet.. right? That was GREAT until about 20 minutes later when Shiela had a dream about a big bug and woke up swatting at Benji.. waking him up.

It's now 9:55pm. I hear snoring. It is either Nanook... or Ben. *cross fingers* Wish us luck.. we REALLY need more sleep!