Life as MommyMo

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I have lots of other photos of Sam to upload and edit... The best part of today so far has been that he actually ENJOYED Halloween for the first time. He usually cries and feels self-conscious. This year, he couldn't wait to wear his costume and go to parties.

The downside so far... He arrived home from trick-or-treating at 7ish. I asked why they were home so early and found out from Daddy that he literally laid down on the sidewalk, put his head down and said to Rob he was "too tired to stay out. I need to go home." I have a feeling he'll sleep well tonight! Well, once the sugar wears off.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My heart just did a little leap. I have stayed away from the Holt message boards far more during this wait than I did while we were in process for Sam. I came to realize that it was stressing me out to no end to obsess every single day over how long the process takes... It's a good thing I did make this decision for my sanity this time, seeing as the wait is taking FOREVER.

Well... I just peeked in and checked the very non-official list for referral and see that we are number 11 for a match with either/boy (meaning those people waiting who have not specified a gender preference for their referral.)

I think I might start dancing when we make it to the top 10. All of a sudden, I'm feeling much more hopeful that this will eventually happen! I have been feeling so frustrated and anxious. Maybe now I can start focusing on the fun stuff again. Like the kid needs a room! I don't want to start decorating for real until I know if we're matched with a boy or a girl, but part of getting started is getting Sam moved to his new "big boy" room, so I need to really get on that. Once my dad's visit it over, I guess I will get going!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Only in my house...

Yesterday was a perfect fall day. The air was crisp and cool and the sky was beautiful. We decided to finish the weekend by hanging out in our PJs and lighting a fire.

Well... We haven't ordered firewood for this year yet, so Rob ran into the store to grab a small bundle. A couple of hours later, he got a nice fire going. It didn't take long for my eyes to get all red, itchy and swollen and for me to start coughing. I left the living room to join him in the kitchen to get out of the room with the fire in case it was the smoke making me a little uncomfortable. I figured that once the fire settled in, I'd be fine.

When I got to the kitchen, Rob glanced over at the fire and said... "Wow. Birch wood really makes a nice fire, doesn't it?"

I replied, "You bought birch wood to burn inside our house?"

To most normal people this would seem like an insanely picky thing for me to care about, let alone mention to my dear husband.

EXCEPT, birch is the common element in all of the things, like peaches, etc., that I am ridiculously allergic to. If you don't know this very strange quirk about me, I'm so allergic that my friend Kim can't even use her usual apricot soap in the shower on a day she's going to see me or I can't sit next to hear without getting all clogged up. Weird.

I was certain my coughing after our conversation was psychosomatic at first, but I ended up without a voice and gasping for air shortly thereafter, and albuterol seemed to reverse the problem, so I realized it actually was the birch.

Seriously. If that doesn't define high maintenance, I don't know what does. This morning I feel like I swallowed glass from all of the coughing yesterday. I have a feeling Rob will be burning Duraflame logs for at least a couple of weeks now. The poor guy is traumatized.

On a lighter note, I'm lifting this from Kim's blog because it made me laugh out loud.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)Greta Sienna

2. YOUR ROCK STAR TOUR'S NAME: ("The"+Your favorite hobby/craft, fave weather element +tour) The scrapping thunder tour... this makes me sound like a wrestler, I think.

3. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave icecream flavor, favorite cookie) Moose Tracks Toll House...not so tough, really.

4. YOUR "FLY" GIRL NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)KBec... sadly, lots of people actually call me this.

5. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)Green Wolf

6. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Christine Lenexa...totally works.

7. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name , first 2 letters of your first)Becka ... almost a real name, so not so funny.

8. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The"+2nd favorite color, favorite drink) The Purple Gimlet...heehee

9. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) Francis Allen... Again. Funny.

10. NAME YOUR SPOUSE CALLS YOU: (the name of your favorite perfume, favorite candy)Gucci Baby Ruth... He'd better not try this one.

11. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names) Ann Allen... perfectly anonymous, really.

12. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (your 5th grade teacher's last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Mallin Miami... This is why I chose PRINT journalism.

13. SPY NAME:(your favorite season/holiday, flower) Autumn Hydrangea... kinda lame and not a very easy name to hide with.

14. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you're wearing right now+ "ie" or "y")Apple Hoodie... I can hear Sam calling me this now.

15. HIPPY NAME: (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Granola Cypress ... perfect for a hippie.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bittersweet Day

I struggle every year on October 17th to sift through all the emotions of this day. It was six years ago today that my life changed forever.

I've never been able to completely put into words what I went through on a day that, all at once, I discovered I was pregnant for the first time, but lost that baby and nearly my own life in the process.

To this day, it's strange to recall the sequence of events. I just glanced at the clock and realized that six years ago at this time, I was probably putting my make-up on when I had that first strangely intuitive notion that perhaps I was pregnant. Since we hadn't been trying I had no reason at all to think that was the case.

I left the house not long after that, drove the wrong way to work and decided to just take a test (all before going to the office) so that I could clear my mind and focus. I'm sure everyone realizes that their life has changed forever the moment they see those two lines on a test, but I had no idea just how surreal the day would be at that point. I assumed the passing feelings of nausea and dizziness I was experienced were all related to nerves over the unexpected news and the anticipation of telling Rob.

I know that I need to continue writing this story, and particularly the experiences I went through when I was near-death, but I just can't yet. I've tried at the urging of so many people, but I always feel like I just need to keep those details stored only in my mind for some reason.

I did go listen to an amazing man from our church talk about all he went through on the road to a heart transplant. I asked him, since he's an author, about finally deciding to write about his journey. He told me that he thinks I'll feel better about everything once I start writing and that I'll probably recall details that I don't remember. I think he may be right, so I really am going to push myself to do it. Soon.

Ironically, this week's DigiDare (a scrapping challenge site I visit weekly) is about scrapping the story of a journey. I instantly thought that perhaps someone is trying to tell me that I need to get started!

Anyway, I wade through the thoughts of that day in 2002 repeatedly every year on Oct. 17. I always end up feeling sad at the thought of all the loss that started that day, incredibly grateful that I made it through, and at peace that -- despite all the pain of those years -- it was all to bring us to the family we have today. I wouldn't trade how things turned out for anything, but it doesn't keep me from feeling a sense of permanent loss on some level.

I'll spend today doing utterly mundane things and being especially careful to remember how blessed I actually am.

In the spirit of doing the regular stuff of my life that makes me happy, I will note that I'll be hosting my first scrapping challenge this weekend as part of Kelley Mickus' party at All Things Visual. Kelley graciously invited me to work with her designs at least a year and a half ago at this point. Not only is she a great designer, we've really been able to get to know each other and every email I get from her brings a smile to my face! Join us at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Catching Up

The more people I hear about that read my blog, the more I realize that it's not just me talking to myself (I'm quick that way, huh?!) It also means that I catch myself sometimes wondering just how ready I really am to spill my guts. I started blogging as a journal, but I find that there are things that I struggle to put into words. It's as if committing them to paper (or a screen) makes them a real part of my life and our family's history. Sometimes I'm just not ready to admit things right away.

One of those realizations has come to pass since I last blogged. I have probably talked before about the possibility of Sam having ADHD. We've always known he was more than a bit exuberant, but the older he gets, the more we realize he just can't control it. He's not being disobedient or stubborn as much as he's just unable to contain his energy and emotions. His pediatrician, his teachers, his Sunday School teachers all admit that he's beginning to fall outside what's typical for any other child his age.

A quick example that for some reason really got to me: When it was the week to practice writing the letter "c" in school, I saw the papers of the other kids in Sam's class. Each one wrote (somewhat wobbly) letters in a pretty decent row. Sam, however, only seems to get the overall shape of the letter and wrote little arcs in all directions all over a page. Similar things have happened with other lessons and his teacher says that she's already learned that there are times when Sam simply cannot learn if she forces him to sit still at a time when he's not ready. That means he doesn't end up practicing things nearly as much as other kids might.

I have cried off and on about all of this for weeks now. I don't want Sam to face any more hardship than he needs to. No one wants that for their child. I want him to be able to make great use of the obviously brilliant brain he was blessed with (I'm not biased, of course.) I wonder how he'll be affected when the new baby arrives. I don't want to jump to conclusions about what might really be wrong. I want to believe that his struggles are a phase. I get totally confused about what might be attachment related, what's nothing, and what might actually be a real issue for him.

And to be perfectly honest with myself, I am completely Type A and have a really hard time dealing with things that are outside my control. I pray every single day that I'll figure out the right way to cope with everything without worrying about what anyone else says or thinks. That last part is -- by far -- the hardest part for me. The few people that I've had real conversations with about all of this usually immediately ask about medication and finding any other way to deal with what may turn out to be a lifelong issue for Sam.

I swing wildly back and forth about all of this. My gut instinct is to say that I need to find ANY way other than real drugs to deal with this once/if he's formally diagnosed soon (and I fully admit I'm totally dragging my feet. I need to pull myself together, but I am not feeling quite ready to get the formal diagnosis.. That makes all that I've written before sound like I've already made a diagnosis that I'm not qualified to make. In some ways I suppose I have. I don't like to admit that for real, but he's got more than enough signs and I'll explain in a minute what brought it all together for me.) I don't like the idea of psychotropic drugs in a 33-lb. body. I also know that ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the brain. I would not deny him real treatment if he had another disorder.

My stopgap measure comes in the form of morning coffee. Caffeine in general, really. I have been doing a lot of research (big shock, I know) and have found numerous studies that say caffeine can have the same effect on dopamine levels in the brain as low doses of Ritalin without the other side effects. It's counterintuitive to give caffeine to a hyper child, but it's like magic when you see how it works. It completely levels him out and helps him focus. Once I told his teacher, she said that he had been remarkably better during lessons and was managing to sit still with the other kids to practice, and his writing already shows dramatic improvement. We've also been accustomed to NEEDING two adults to manage Sam in a place like Costco. Well, since the addition of caffeine to his diet (low doses, I assure you... I did that research, too) he sits in a cart and has a nice chat with us while we shop. It's a completely different experience than what we used to face, which was a whiny, climbing, screaming, bouncy child for the duration of any given shopping trip.

Now that all of this is off my chest for the moment, I'm off to take him to school. I have to admit that I'm far less anxious since we started testing this theory. It's so nice not to dread the feedback at the end of the day. Most days, we know that they're going to tell us now that he's a happy, active kid who's making great progress in school.