Goodbye Crib, Hello Toddler Bed

We have had countless sleepless nights recently because Scarlett has been waking up and crying almost every night. When this happens I put Ava on the couch and close the door, going in every 10 minutes to check on her, lay her down, and say night night. She can cry for only 10 minutes to almost 2 hours. I cant begin to tell you how frustrating this is. I find the sleepless nights full of  crying and screaming to be the hardest part of being a mom.

A couple nights ago, after 45 minutes of crying, I got her out of her crib and not so gently plopped her on Ava's bed. She laid there and stopped crying. I asked he if she wanted to sleep in Ava's bed, and she said yes. So I covered her up, put a pillow on the edge and walked out. Not one more peep...

Today we took out the crib and put in the toddler bed. I am excited and afraid. When we did the switch with Ava it was easy. We told her she had to stay in her bed and she did. Ava is our rule abiding child, she never gets out of her bed. However Scarlett is our rule breaking child so I am guessing it will not go as smoothly. I expect her to get out of bed about 30 times and appear in our room hourly through out the night. I plan to stand firm and walk her back in each and every time.

I hope this is the answer to the sleepless nights. It could go either way.

Bye Bye Crib

Hello Big Girl Bed

Burn Update - 9 months post-op

Scarlett just had her 9 month post op appointment with Dr. Karanas, the head burn surgeon who did her skin graft on April 22nd. She said it looked very good. I assume to a trained eye it does, but to me it doesn't look so great.  She will have to wear her pressure bandage through this Summer at most, and keep sun off it for 2 years.

I learned two new pieces of information.
1) Scarlett will always have a scar
2) She may need further skin grafts if her graft impedes skin growth as she grows up and her arm lengthens.

She was very optimistic about the prognosis because her elbow and wrist joints have normal skin. Ideally this skin will compensate for the scarred graft skin. Only time will tell...

I cant help but feel really sad that my baby will forever have this incident physically imprinted on her body for the rest of her life. I know it is silly to point fingers, but it was my hot tea that burnt her, and my choice to have the chair next to the counter where I make the tea. I will stay optimistic about the future surgeries, but so far every time they said she may need a certain procedure, they have been correct.

Luckily Scarlett is rarely bothered by it and it could have been so much worse. I am so thankful it did not burn her face or her elbow joint. As far as 2nd degree burns go, it was a perfect burn, no serious complications. Hope to know more in three months at our next appointment.

Notice the healthy skin at her elbow joint and wrist

The Pressure Sleeve

Crap Everywhere!

I have a pet peve - I cant stand useless stuff around the house. I like my house to be neat and orderly. If I dont use it, I trash it. This can be a problem because Kevin is a keeper of things. He is very resourceful and knows it  might be useful some day. I have to give him credit, he has most anything to fix most anything. It drives me nuts.

We have a shelving unit in our bedroom with tools and RC plane parts. Shouldn't tools live in the garage? It has been in our room for 6 years and I ask myself, why is it still there? I cant stand it but I dont want to rock the boat. You see Kevin doesn't like it too much when I go on a purging spree with his junk.

We have had a pile of old monitors, keyboards, and other electronics on the floor in the corner of our room for over a year. Kevin had 2 orange trucks in the driveway for 2 years, one was broken. We have a junk pile in the driveway that makes my skin crawl.  Kevin has recently started chipping away at the mountain of crap, thanks hunny, keep it up!

I dont know why it bothers me so much? I wish I could take a deep breath an embrace the piles of annoying shit.  Why do some people have to keep things that you never use? Why does garbage have to stay put for years?

Tampon on the wall

Kevin is so lucky to be in a house full of girls. Last month my sister and her kids were visiting which made our house even more estrogen charged. Ava and Ethan were taking a tubby and I had to get a tampon. They were discussing where a tampon goes, in your butt or vagina.

I did a double take and realized this was a teachable moment. So I got a tampon out, dont freak out, I did NOT demonstrate. I showed them how it works and pushed the cotton pony out of the applicator, explaining the process as I went along. Then I threw it in the tubby and they went wild with laughter. Mission accomplished, now they know another important life lesson. Thats how I am, extremely honest and very up-front. I taught Ava about the birds and the bees when she was five. She is an animal lover and has watched hours of Discovery so it was not a big shock.

The next morning Kevin walks into the bathroom and quickly comes out and says Ava and Ethan, come here. He takes them into the bathroom and I hear them start cracking up. This is when my sister and I go in to see the demonstration tampon stuck up on the wall... Kids, they are sure good at making a serious topic a laughing matter.

Were Preggers!

The other day it was time, yet again to pee on the stick. When I did I got only one line... But it was a bit early so the next night, I did it again and to my surprise there was a very faint 2nd line. Does this count? The picture on the box had 2 dark pink lines. Being an optimist, I drank more than my fair share of wine, hoping this would be my last harah for a while.

The next morning, feeling fairly hungover,  I peed on another cheap dollar store test and got a second faint line. Yeah, this must mean I am preggers. Kevin was in denial and said, your not pregnant, those tests are cheap. So I went and bought an expensive test and yet again got 2 very pink lines.

Baby number 3 due September 28th. Yippie we get to do it again!

My New Tatas

Since having my babies, I have always entertained the wild idea of getting boobies, but thats all it was - an idea. Then my sister paved the way and bought herself an awesome rack. Her journey into plastic surgery demystified the process and I decided to meet with her plastic surgeon, who happened to be named Dr. Kearney. Meant to be?

Let me back up a bit with the story of my little boobies. I nursed both my girls, but had what I call a mega-boob. My right stopped producing milk when Ava was 6 months and stopped  when Scarlett was 4 months. I kept nursing both of them on my one mega-boob. I am not exaggerating, it was crazy big and the other one was back to pre-baby size. My midwife said in her experience she had never seen a case like this, yeah for me! After I was done nursing I had 2 different size breasts and my left was much lower than the right.

The doctor explained I would need a lift and he would cut around the nipple to insert the implant. I tried on a bunch of sizes from porn star big to more modest sizes as well as both saline and silicone. I was sold, and made the decision that I really did want to go through with this. I was fortunate enough to have my dad agree to pay for the surgery, thanks dad. I chose 339cc silicone. Why choose silicone or saline? If you are fairly thin like myself, silicone is a better option. They both feel the same but a saline implant may show the ripple lines on the bag if you have no other breast tissue. The surgery was set for August 9th. I would leave the kids with Kevin and stay with my sister for 5 days to recover.

When I told my friends my plan, they were shocked and many asked Why? I didn't have a great answer other than, because I want to. I understand why people were shocked. I am a bit of a hippie and probably Dr. Kearney's only patient ever who does not shave her legs. I was super nervous and hoped I was making the right decision, but it felt right.

The surgery went smoothly and I did a lot of sleeping and resting the next few days. I was so thankful to be  taken care of and not have to worry about my kids, they were having fun with daddy.  The 1st day was the worst, I could barely go pee by myself, thankfully my sister Kristi knew exactly how to care for me as she went though this months earlier.

The first couple weeks were crazy, my boobs were freaky looking! The left one was whacky ginormous and the right was super high. I thought -  What have I done? I spoke with the doctor many times and sent him a ton of pictures to be reassured that surgery takes time to heal and to relax. After a couple months, they normalized, if you call big perky breasts after 2 kids normal.  After 3 months, I fell in love with them. There was definitely a big adjustment period from my old mom boobs to my new perky, big breasts.

Five months later I am super happy with my decision and I love my new boobs. I still look down after the shower and think Woah, look at those!  I am happy to share my before and after pics if anyone is interested, just shoot me an e mail.

Making Babies

Making babies sounds fun right? In theory this is true, but when it comes to making babies on a schedule it can loose its luster. You see, I am a control freak and I want it to happen right away. Scarlett took a super long to conceive and Ava was a lovely surprise. We have no idea how long baby number 3 will take so I take all measures to make sure it happens on the first tries. I get out the calender and circle those ovulation days. I make sure to point this out to Kevin followed by  the warning - be ready or experience my wrath.

I buy those ovulation predictor tests from the dollar store. You have to pee in a cup and then dropper it on to the stick. Scarlett watched me with a look of horror on her face as I peed in her toy boat. She said "Mommy no pee in my boat!" Sorry hunny, I could not find a cup. Once you get 2 lines, get ready to rumble.

Then comes the act of actually doing it. A bit scheduled, but  fun, except when your 2 year old keeps waking up crying, talk about a mood killer. I solved this by giving her some milk, 4 ounces to be exact. Seems to be just enough time to get the job done.

Then a few weeks goes by and I pee on yet another stick to see only 1 line. Yippie we get to do it all over again!

New Baby Amnesia

There must be some sort of biological process that happens to all new moms, causing them to forget those first 12 months. People decide to have more kids despite all the hardships that come with a new baby. I have to dig deep into my subconscious to remember how hard it really was. Its like all the hard times are are now covered in puffy clouds and rainbows. I remember it being was pretty easy, piece of cake. This amnesia seems to only affect moms.  Kevin brings me back to reality reminding me that it was not all a walk in the park.  After much thought, it does start to come back to me.

** Sleepless nights, I am just now sleeping 4 hours in a row (on a good night)

** Having a cling-on attached to my hip, oh wait, she is still there

** Why wont she stop crying? Why cant I stop crying?

** Family bed is really not that cool

** Jacked up right shoulder from sleeping with her in my armpit

** Squishy after baby body, so hot

** Blown out vagina &  hemorrhoids, so awesome

** No nookie for 6 weeks months, free birth control

** The bickering and irritation with my husband brought on by lack of sleep, so good for the marriage

** Waking up at 4am, love that sunrise

 Some how we forget how hard it really was and entertain the idea of doing it again...

Can I please poo alone??

What is up with toddlers needing to go in the bathroom when moms have to poo?! Scarlett thinks this our morning ritual and she freaks out if I dont let her. I basically have 2 choices. 1 - Let her scream and cry outside the door, which sucks and induces stage fright. 2 - Let her come in with me, which is what I do. It is very annoying and she often has to  grab her favorite toys, like a play-date or something. What gives? Is this a normal mother daughter bonding thing or just plain weird?

Parenting Styles

My parenting style  - I try to diffuse the situation, find a middle ground and make both kids happy, which usually takes a while and involves lots of talking.

Kevin's parenting style - Time out in your crib or room, throw it away, break it or burn it, a little yelling, end of story.

For example, Ava and I walk into the house from karate class to see  Scarlett holding Ava's little home made paper toy which took her a very long time to make.When Ava saw this she went ape-shit and ripped it out of Scarlett's grasp. The  screaming and crying began and I hid in the kitchen and nursed my wine. By the end of the day I am often  too tired to deal with it.  To everyones astonishment, Kevin grabbed the toy and threw it in the fire. This caused the screams to take a higher note and in seconds both girls were on the floor having a fit.

I thought it was extreme but eventually they both calmed down and it seems to have had a lasting impression. Dont freak out over a toy when Daddy is around.  I use his strict, old school style to my advantage as I can threaten with "Do you want me to get your dad?!"

Shit Happens

Ava had a major melt down tonight. According to her it was the worst thing that has ever happened to her in her entire life, I mean earth shattering.

We got a Wii from Santa for Christmas and  this cool zoo game where you make your own zoo and care for the animals. She has almost mastered it filling it full of critters. She was so close to being an animal whisperer, which is a huge accomplishment. I am afraid to count the number of hours she has invested in this game. You can see where this is going...

Right before we sat down for dinner she asks me to get her game back. I said "Where did it go?" and that is when she began to freak out. Kevin attempted to find this game, but it was GONE. Ava said she clicked a button that looked like a trash can. Ava completely lost it and did a tail spin and screamed and cried all through dinner. Dinner was lovely with the sounds of Ava's cries setting the mood. I felt terrible for her as I know the feeling when your mid term is just about finished and the power goes out, and you were stupid enough to not save it. Or when our hard drive crashed and we lost 2 years of photos and video.

I told her that this is a life lesson. Occasionally bad shit happens and there is northing you can do about it. She had two choices. 1- Cry and freak out  2- Move on and make the best of it, make a new cooler zoo. After a harrowing dinner, she calmed down and turned off the water works.

Guess what I spent the last hour doing?  I played the Zoo game and got her enough tokens to have a head start on her new and improved zoo.  The things we do for our children...

Ava's Awesome Imagination

Ava never ceases to surprise me with her clever and deep  imagination. We put all the sweeties (stuffed animals), into 2 huge black trash bags. They will stay in the shed for 4 weeks due to the lice problem. I was pleasantly surprised to see Ava create a new special toy as she could not sleep with her favorite sweety, Dragony. She drew a face on a Clementine orange and made it a family and  now its her new favorite toy. She took Orangy to school and made Scarlett one too.

This is probably the one positive thing that came from the damn lice. Cheap, easy, home-made toys!

Lice Busters

War has taken place at the Carney house. Yesterday morning, Ava complained of itchy head, and sure enough she had little buggies, so gross. We got the Rid and did the treatment and spent the next 3 hours combing her hair to get all the dead lice out. We spent the rest of the day picking nits followed by 12 loads of laundry. Our house has never been cleaner. We treated Scarlett too even though we could not find anything on her head. Telling a 2 year old to sit still with stinky stuff on her head is almost impossible, she hated it.

Kevin checked me a bunch yesterday, no lice. But I wasn't convinced, see Ava and I share brushes and cuddle all the time, seems very likely I would get it. Sure enough, Kevin found one! One more trip to the store to buy the super duper Nix chemical that kills both the eggs and the lice. I treated Ava again and myself. I have to say this is one of the more challenging kid things to deal with. There is nothing grosser than bugs living off your head, burrowing, laying eggs, and reproducing.  Can I puke now?

We have 2 weeks of picking nits, more toxic chemicals and hiding out. Anyone want to come over and cuddle?

Never Shake a Keiki

I would say I am a very patient mom. However, in the middle of the night I am a freaky explosion waiting to happen. Last night I went to be at 11pm and at 11:30 as I was falling asleep, Scarlett starts because our cat, Apollo was sleeping on her. Do you think Kevin would be upset if Apollo mysteriously disappeared? I was so pissed I threw him and he did a flying summer-salt out the door. This is when Scarlett kept crying her mantra "I want milk"  I tried to stay calm for about a minute and then I blew my lid.

I grabbed her and squeezed her real tight and said in my meanest mommy growl "GO TO BED, MOMMY IS TIRED"  Then I placed threw her back in the crib, which pissed her off even more. She then began the banshi scream for milk, which I then decided to push her down and yell "BE QUIET" gave her a little shake and threw her blanket over her face. All this time, Ava is laying there watching me be a great role model. I know, so mean right? I felt terrible after I did it and thought what the hell is happening to me? I tried to fix it by using my nice mommy voice but she was now in a tail spin of tears eventually settling for her water sippy.

I felt like shit and stomped back to bed telling Kevin I wanted to skin Apollo, I had to blame someone. I laid in bed,  unable to sleep replaying my freak out over and over thinking how awful it was. And to be completely honest this was not the first time. My inner hulk seems to come out more when my kids are infants I should be over this by now. Maybe all mommys have an inner beast that only comes out at night, or maybe its just me...

Playboy Playdate

A funny thing happened today. Ava had a new friend from school over today for their first play date. I had a meeting to run to but Kevin would be here, so I set then up with a bunch of magazines and things to make a collage. When I returned I saw a big stack of Playboy magazines on the table. Awww shit, did Ava and her friend make a booby collage?! When I spoke with Ava she didn't even realize this was a weird thing.  I had to explain to her how our carefree attitude about nudity is not how the rest of the world is and in the future to not get out the titty mags when she has friend over. Luckily, they did not use any naked pics and I hope her new friend was not too weirded out. I guess I will find out if her mom lets her come over again.  Note to self, kids are getting older - must put away the playboys during play-dates...

Baba Confession

I have a confession, I still give my 2 year old a bottle. I know, I know crazy right! I have kept this little secret from most everyone. When asked by the doctor if Scarlett is still taking a bottle, I lied. It started innocent enough, she loved bottles as Kevin gave them to her when I was gone in school. Then we had it down to just one before nap and bed and kaboom, she got her burn and sleeping became a nightmare, she woke up all night long. We gave in and gave her bottles when ever she woke up crying, it did help, for a bit.

It worked great then, but now it sucks  - for real, I'm talking major suckyness -and its all our fault. She wakes up 2 to 3 times each night demanding a bottle, and when I give it to her cold, she demands warm. I mean come on, she is 2 and way too old for this but I cant blame anyone but myself. It saved me sleep  last year but now I am paying for it. And surprise, surprise she freaks out even more when Kevin tries to calm her, which means I get the awesome job of getting up with her all night long, boy am I lucky.  I should have know better, its not like I am new to this baby business.  I know when you give in now it just sucks later and here we are stewing in later.
Babas Be Gone!!!

Last night in between fetching babas I made a resolution, the baba has to go. We took Scarlett to the store to let her pick out  new milk sippies and we loaded up all the fricken babas and threw them away.  New rules - milk sippy before sleeping, and then NO MORE MILK, water only...

 She cried for 23 minutes before falling asleep, and I most likely have a crappy night ahead of me. My experience tells me that after a few sleepless nights with lots of crying (sorry Ava) the babas will be a  distant memory and I will sleep more than 2 hours in a row, wish us luck!!

New Milk Sippys

The Story of Scarlett's Burn

Sunday, April 11th at 1pm Scarlett climbed up on the chair in the kitchen while Kevin and I were looking at something on the computer. I had poured hot tea into my travel cup as I was about to go study for Phisiology. She reached as far as she could and managed and grabbed the edge of the cup, spilling the tea down her arm. We heard the sound of the spill followed by a blood curdling scream. She flung herself off the chair as Kevin leap under her landing on his back catching her moments before her head hit the floor.  It was like the touchdown of a big game as she was hurling head first toward the floor.

He handed her to me and I shoved her body under the cold water and began to strip off her fleece long sleeve PJs to assess how bad it was. The skin was completely gone, hanging off her arm  like candle wax, which is when I said "we need to go now". We piled into the car, dragging Ava along as she happened to be super sick with stomach pains. Kevin only ran 1 red light and we made it to urgent care in 3 minutes. They whisked us in and asked us How do you felt about Tylenol with Codeine? We said please give her all the pain meds she can safely handle. I guess some parents choose to not give the codeine, not that surprising as we are in Santa Cruz.  Within 20 minutes she fell asleep and they bandaged up her arm and showed us how to do bandage changes until they see her next week.

Scarlett had a 2nd degree burn on her forearm and was seen by the doctors from the burn unit and plastcis at Valley Medical. The moment I heard she may need surgery, my ears got all fuzzy and then I could not really hear anything else after that. Thanks goodness Kevin was there to help me hold it together. I tried to convince myself this wasn't really needed and they did not know what they were talking about, but this did not work and surgery was scheduled for the following week, 3 weeks since the actual burn. They would take skin from her bottom using a tool that resembles a cheese slicer and sew this skin on her arm.

We left Santa Cruz before sunrise arriving at the hospital super early as Scarlett could not eat or drink anything. The doctors admitted her and gave her medicine to make her loopy and it worked like magic. It is an odd sight to see your baby so high and doped up. The anesthesiologist came in and I handed her over and he carried her away.  I thought this is when I would break down and cry as this was the moment I dreaded. But it was ok, I felt she was safe and she was so doped up she did not really notice being taken away. I sat in the waiting room and tried to study for the 40 minutes she was in surgery and was soon told it was finished and went smoothly. I was able to see her when she woke up.

 I was not prepared for what I saw when they brought me to her. There were so many wires and tubes and she had some bruising and scratches that happened when she woke up form the anesthesia. Which is why she was sleeping, they had to make her sedate her so she would not hurt herself. They wheeled her crib-bed to the burn unit where she would recover and spend the next 4 days. I was given a gown, gloves, and a hair net to wear the entire time I was there. She eventually woke up and they helped me hold her which was hard because of the wires and tubes. She was connected to this vaccume machine that applied a constant suction to the graft site which is the best way to heal a graft and has to be worn for the next 4 days.

The first day was super hard and monotonous. I tried to keep her busy while also keep her from walking around as she was tethered to this machine. I quickly realized that she would walk with or with out this machine, so a nurse helped me set it up on an IV stand. We then spent the next 3 days walking around the hospital, all day long. Kevin and Ava visited us which broke up the days, but overall it dragged on. That being said it was an amazing experience and brought Scarlett and I closer. I realized how lucky we were as I was told the majority of the kids that end up in the burn unit have more devastating burns, mostly on their faces and neck from pulling hot things down on themselves. The guy in the room next to us was covered head to toe in bandages. His burn was resulting from a propane explosion and it seemed as thought he was barely stable

Scarlett now wears a fitted nylon zip up arm band 24 hours a day with lots of lotion and her arm is healing well. We cant let her get sun on her arm for pretty much forever, and she will wear this arm band for at least another year, but with proper care, the scars should be barely noticeable by the time she is an adult. This experience was awful, but that being said, I feel it was a wake up call of how lucky we are and how we take it for granted having healthy children. I wanted to write this story as time seems to fade memories and this is one I dont want to forget.
45 minutes after burn

Few days after burn

2 weeks after burn
Right after surgery
Her cage - Uh I mean crib
Recovering with mama 

Daddy's visit
Walking the halls

The vacuum bandage
about 1 month after surgery

After the vacuum comes off

Reflection of 2010

A quick and hopefully not too boring review of 2010...

Summer - Huge year for accomplishment as I completed both Physiology and Microbiology, a high A in both. I was a TA for Anatomy, which I loved. The first half of the year was more challenging for me and the family, kinda stressfull with Scarlett's skin graft, my school , and Kevin trying to work and handle the house. We made it past and the 2nd half of the year was way better. I have been running regularly and joined the gym which I love! My favorite book this year is the Hunger Game trilogy, Go Katniss!Oh and I got boobies!

Kevin - Mr Mom award. Kevin took over mom duty as I was in school and studying ALL the time. An average day goes like this. Work in the morning, pick up Ava from school, come home, homework, snack, drop off at karate,  go pick up Scarlett from daycare, go pick Ava from karate, then go pick me up from school, get home in time to eat dinner... This year was also an amazing garden year for Kevin as he has perfected our garden to produce large quantities of veggies. He has it down like a science, completely surpassed my gardening skills. Fishing was the worse than it has ever been, maybe that means it is about to look up for 2011.

Ava - Learns to read, lost a bunch of teeth, got bangs, got a bearded dragon named Beasty, got mice, got rid of mice, went  from pre-karate to youth basic karate. Still a toe walker but much better than last year. Read the Legend of the Guardian books, and fell in love (obsessed) with owls. Still crazy about dragons. She has bloomed to an amazing artist and is always doing art projects. Ava is still and will most likely always be a perfectionist, becoming very frustrated when things dont turn out just right. Started her new school, Santa Cruz Garden and is loving it. Favorite Song - Teenage Dream by Katy Perry

Scarlett - Started walking, running, sprinting, climbing, doing wild and dangerous stunts. Started day care and loves it. Got a 2nd degree burn and skin graft on her arm, which we are still dealing with. Loves Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora, Diego, and anything that her sister loves.  Grew into a super funny toddler who manages to make us laugh all the time, especially when she is about to get in trouble (which is often) Perfected the art of growling, pushing, hitting, spitting and then running away super fast. Favorite Song - Teenage Dream by Katy Perry

January 2010
December 2010

December 2010
December 2010

Lost in the Woods!

Big Rock Hole Trail One sunny day we drove to Henry Cowell State Park to meet up with some friends who were camping there. They told us ...