Saturday, June 30, 2012

Swim/Survival Lessons

I have been looking into starting swim lessons with Madeline. I want her to start learning as soon as possible. The more she knows, the safer she will be around water. And I know it's a little crazy but I don't want her using floaties or other swim aides that are worn because they would teach her to rely on an unnatural position in the water not conducive to swimming and they are a false sense of security.

So, when a friend mentioned ISR lessons and what they do, it was a little hard for me to believe. They go beyond just getting babies and toddlers comfortable with water. They teach babies 6 to 12 months how to turn over and float independently on their backs until help arrives. Over 12 months, they also teach them to swim to the side and wait for help. My skepticism vanished and my eyes began to mist while I watched the amazing videos of these tiny little creatures using survival skills all on their own.

The lessons entail going for 10 minute lessons, 5 days a week for 7 weeks or so. At the end of her lessons she will have to demonstrate her skills fully clothed in both summer and winter clothes.

But there's the cost. It's really expensive. I understand why the cost is high due to the training, insurance and medical assessments. And there is only one instructor in a 20 mile radius of where we live. So she charges more than the instructors I found in the suburbs. And we might have to wait for availability. But can I really put a price on Madeline's safety?

We live in a city that has a high incidence of child drownings. We also live in an apartment complex that has open streams and ponds as well as a gated pool. Madeline is already able to open our front door if it isn't locked, though we always keep it locked she is very close to being able to unlock the deadbolt. She is nearly always supervised while in our living room but it could only take a moment of me putting the laundry away or going to the bathroom.

So I guess in the meantime of saving for the ISR lessons and waiting for availability I need to continue looking into some actual swim lessons for her. I don't want to do the Mommy and Me type class that just gets her into the water for fun, she already does that with us, we don't need to pay for the privilege. I want her comfortable with the water but also have the ability to save herself should she ever be in a situation that would require it.

Friday, June 22, 2012


It's been a long week, but it is now over!! (well, almost)

This week was Sky VBS. I was crew leader for 5, 3rd graders and let me say, I think it's easier to wrangle cats! They were pretty good kids for the most part, but keeping an eye on them, keeping them on task was exhausting! But I energetically participated with everything to keep those kids motivated. I did all the singing and dancing, made crafts with them, helped them with theirs and played the games with them.

Because of VBS, Miss M's usual wake up and nap time was messed up. She is used to waking up on her own around 9am every day. On Monday we had to be there at 8am so that meant we had to wake her before 7, the other days it was 8:30 which was a little easier. Not a happy girl that first day. Because of her early wake up, she cat-napped in the car on the 30 minute drive home each day. Which in turn meant that she didn't want her usual nap in the afternoon. Which then caused a serious case of crabby pants in the evenings. But Mommy is struggling hard with fatigue so yesterday I gave into it, turned off her monitor, put her in the crib where she quietly (relatively) played for a while while I took a long nap. I was awakened out of sound sleep by a pointless phone call at 4:30 (grrrrr) and couldn't go back to sleep. During my nap she had fallen asleep and I finally had to go in and get her at 6:30 so she would be able to sleep last night. We are 2 very tired girls!!

She has a birthday pool party to go to tomorrow but I've already decided Brandon can take her while I rest. I woke up this morning with a sore throat which makes me angry! I get sick every....single....year I work at VBS. (that would be 5 years in a row) I was extremely careful. I washed and sanitized me hands whenever I could, didn't touch my face with my hands at all while there, and I still managed to catch something. And because of my last liver test I have to repeat it in a week or so I don't want to take any OTC cold meds that will effect my test.

We survived the week and some change with 3 cats. Tig improved, came out of hiding, began to roam around and even played. And "Bad, Bad, Bad Kitty" (as Madeline calls her) stopped going after him. Still, it will be nice to take him home tomorrow. I've had enough of his unearthly howling, just because, in the middle of the night. 

Well, I'm off for another short nap and then time to brainstorm what to get an 8 year old for her birthday. I'm so out of touch with what kids are into these days. Which means I'm old. Sad, yes!

But that's another story for another day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

This and That

Ugh! Have to get that last post off of the top. Every time I open my browser it pops up with that. And I'm not about to go down the road of feeling sorry for myself.

Good news on the job front, Brandon has a year long contract! So yea for steady work. I am struggling with his decision a bit. He had a couple of choices to choose from and the other seemed a safer bet. This one raises some concerns. But I voiced my concerns, all of which he has considered, and I felt he needed to make the decision. I need to learn to trust him again when it comes to work. I have a lot of anger still with how he handled things at his last job, choices he made there. I'm still not sure what to do with it, it's not as if I want to sit here and be angry. But there it is.

This past weekend we stayed with Katy and Michael while my aunt and uncle were out of town. They are great kids but it's a little sad, they no longer want to hang out with us. I guess at 12 their friends are way more interesting then their "old" cousins. Imagine that! But they were sweet to Madeline and did play with her a bunch.

One funny thing I want to remember from the weekend, is when Michael went "missing." He had a tournament that weekend and friends took him back and forth to it. Sunday's game meant that he needed to get up at 5:30 am for his friends to pick him up at 6:20. He is generally responsible, his mom said he gets himself up no problem. So the night before we made sure he had his alarm set. Just in case, Brandon set his own alarm for 6:00.

At 6:20 or so I woke up to the sound of someone knocking on the door. Since Brandon was far more decent he got up to answer it. About 10 minutes later he came back to tell me that he couldn't find Michael. ?!?!?! Ok, the thought that he snuck out at some point was so beyond ludicrous, knowing him. He had to be somewhere. Brandon said he checked everywhere. While he went to tell his friend's dad that he couldn't find him, maybe he got a ride with someone else, (Yeah, right) I went up to check. He wasn't in his room. Ok, so maybe he's in the media room, they are known to sleep in there. I opened the door. Katy was on the floor pillow, I turned on the light and saw one foot sticking out of a dark blanket on the chair. So I shook him awake, told him it was really late and he needed to move. So we got him on his way.

Brandon told me he checked the media room twice, but he did it without his glasses on and didn't turn on the light. Katy later told me that Michael's alarm was going off and it annoyed her, the 2nd time it went off she told him to get up, that she was turning it off so she could sleep. He told her he was up. So next time we will be helping out instead.

This weekend and all next week we are watching Katherine's cat while she is on vacation. Yesterday was a little scary. I apparently have a very mean cat. Midna was screaming and trying to hit him, like all out alley cat, cat fight. It was really frightening, Madeline started screaming in terror. Between all that noise, nice!! I ended up having to fight Midna off with the broom and closed the bathroom door to give poor, scared Tigger a break. At least he's making progress, he spent all yesterday in hiding, now at least he's out in the open. Perhaps tomorrow he will actually allow me to pet him. And the screaming from Midna has simmered down a bit as well, though there is still hissing all around.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sick. Again.

My heart is heavy. I feel like my body is failing me yet again.

My routine liver test came back high again. I'm facing another possible relapse of autoimmune hepatitis. And this time pregnancy isn't the catalyst. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, my doctor is in wait and see mode. He doesn't want to step up treatment until he is sure it's a flare up and not some outside issue. I test again in a month.

I've been feeling poorly for a few weeks now. At first I thought I was just having a bad couple of days of just generally not feeling well, but those days turned into a week. Then my digestion started messing up, eating meat especially didn't agree with me. And then a few days ago I noticed my stomach would start hurting within 30 minutes to an hour of eating, last for a couple of hours and then go away only to repeat when I eat again. It seemed a little too familiar, like the pain when I was having all sorts of trouble 3 years ago leading up to my diagnosis.

All this throws thinking about another baby into question. Brandon and I agreed to wait a full 2 years after Madeline's birth to give my body time to rest, heal, and build back up. I finished increased treatments for her post-birth flare up just before she turned 1.

And of course this increases those old fears of whether I should be even trying to get pregnant period. Is it wrong considering my health issues? My pregnancy with Madeline was picture perfect and she is perfectly healthy so I know God is bigger than that. But the human in me can't help but question my broken body.

And then there are the thoughts that I'm a burden on my family. Any tests mean paying a deductible and we've cut way back on expenses because of Brandon being out of work. Reminders of my battle (and so far loss) to obtain private health insurance or life insurance. What happens in a year when COBRA runs out and I'm completely out of options?

And I've been trying to push myself to eat even better and exercise more. Since I have no control of certain aspects of my health, I know eating right and exercising are things I can do to stay healthy. A recent succession of various colds, allergies and sinus infections derailed my jogging program. I've been going for walks and jogs sporadically but with the heat kicking in I've been having trouble settling on a good time to go. Because of the heat I'm also suffering headaches and struggling to take in enough fluids beyond the norm.

So while I wait I'm going to increase rest, more fluids, not eat things my body is telling me to avoid, no OTC medications of any kind, (other than multi-vitamin and fish oil) and exercise when strength allows. I also need to really listen to my body and not push myself too hard. If I have a busy morning, nothing in the afternoon but rest. If I'm going to have a busy afternoon, no hard activities in the morning.

Besides that all I have left is to lean on God, ask Him to hold me up where I can't hold myself up. And that's a struggle. I want to yell at myself, "Stop getting down about this, it was nothing you did!! Your attitude can affect your health so pull yourself up!" And so it goes...