Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long Distance Lalou

Being a grandmother (or as my grandkids call me, “Lalou”) is probably the very best role of my life.

But it is also one of the most difficult. You see, I love my grandchildren and want to see them often, but I’m a Long Distance Lalou. My two oldest grandchildren (ages 7 and 11) live 365 miles away and my youngest (6 months) lives 810 miles away. So how does that work? You use up a lot of your skymiles! And you resort to receiving texts with phone pictures so you don’t miss all those wonderful events in their life:

Like when they see their first bubbles in their own back yard.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hero Mommy

Nikki and daughter
Recently, my six year-old daughter came home from school with an assignment: “What is a Hero?”

Her task was to take what she had been taught about a hero and identify every day heroes based on what she’d learned. We sat for an hour arranging various photos of police officers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc. into a collage.

When we’d come to the end she looked up at me with a disappointed look on her face and said, “Mom, we didn’t make room for your picture?”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breastfeeding benefits: is it all-or-nothing?

An article in today's news poses the question: can you still reap the benefits of breastfeeding if you're only doing it part of the time?

The article cites a study showing exclusively breastfed babies have fewer and less severe infections as infants and that partially breastfed babies may not enjoy these protective effects.

Many women approach breastfeeding thinking that it is a natural process and all should flow smoothly. But for many women it's not that simple. It's easy to get stuck in the mindset that breastfeeding must be an all-or-nothing process.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday with scissors

Amy and daughter
A few weeks ago, I came home from a typical Sunday afternoon trek to Target – my happy place – to find my husband finishing up putting our 3-year-old down for a nap.

“She go down okay?” I asked.

“Not really,” he said. “Did you see the present she left you in the living room?”

Now, it had not been long since she had decided to ditch the diapers, and we were pretty much right in the thick of potty training, so I was fully prepared to walk in and find a soppy, wet spot on the carpet, or maybe even a little pile of poop.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Surviving the first trimester

It wasn't long after getting those three positive home pregnancy tests (yes, three. I'm thorough.) that I found myself rushing to the bathroom and kneeling in what would become a very, very familiar pose, one I like to call, "First Trimester, in Repose."

Or, more accurately, "It's OK, I Didn't Want Those Crackers Anyway."

Yes, morning sickness. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 70 to 80 percent of pregnant women will suffer some morning sickness. For a lucky one percent of us, we'll experience something far more extensive - hyperemisis gravidarum, which is Latin for, "pregnant woman who barfs way too much."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mammogram debate rages on

Here we go again!

You may have seen a range of headlines this morning debating the effectiveness of mammography. “Mammograms offer ‘modest’ benefit, Study says” or “New Study Questions mammograms.” Or “Study: Mammograms safe lives – Just not as many as expected.”

Mary Lou Wilson
In the past year it seems like the debate on mammograms has continued raging despite so much overwhelming evidence to support the benefits of mammography. The news media seems focused on the article of the researchers from Norway where mammograms are done every two years for women between the ages of 50 and 69; additionally, the entire study is “observational,” which means there is some question as to validity of the data collection because the comparison groups are not really comparable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A room of his own

Like all new mommies, I wanted Sam’s room to be PERFECT – totally complete and move-in ready – well
Sam Daneman enjoys his room
before he made his appearance. And, thanks to the hard work of (ever-so-patient) Daddy, it was PERFECT before Sam arrived in late April.

Well, last Friday (yes, September 17) marked the – wait for it… 2 WEEK anniversary of Sam sleeping in his very own room! I knew that he would be sleeping in our room for the first two to three months of his life for both safety and convenience. What I didn’t count on was that I wouldn’t WANT him to be in his own room for even longer after that. Sam’s room is the furthest room in the house from ours, so I really wanted him sleeping through the night before we made the Big Move. While we don’t live here, going from my room to Sam’s room does require navigating a set of stairs, typically with our dog weaving cat-like between your feet. Now, I’m a klutz anyway, so the idea of trying to navigate those stairs, with said feet-circling dog, in a sleep-deprived state, in a dark house, in the middle of the night not only wasn’t appealing, it was downright dangerous.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Facebook Factor

Photo from
I was traveling in Chicago for business last week so I was doing a lot of business on my phone. Each time I had a break during the conference, I would emerge out into the fresh air and check emails, voicemails and text messages. One message I noticed was a friend request that to me looked like spam. The first and last name was the same as my oldest stepson-but there were two weird, random names in the middle. Well, of course I “ignored” that request and moved on to other messages.

When talking with my husband that evening he asked “Why didn’t you accept Josh’s friend request for Facebook?” Oops. That was Josh? The crafty 13-year-old had thrown in a couple of names of star basketball players (ones that I obviously didn’t recognize) when he created his profile. Guess that’s what 13-year-olds do when they are on Facebook? I suppose I felt lucky that he “friended” me and found it pretty humorous that I had rejected the request.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My son, the equalizer

Laura and Cole
I recently had one of those "equalizing" kind of days. Let me explain.

I had a meeting Monday morning with a co-worker I’d never met before.

Well, we began discussing kids, and she says I look way too young to have an 11-year-old. I dare to say "Well, I'm 42." She says I really don't look 42. Apologies to any of my good friends who are reading this blog, but I now have a new BEST FRIEND. I have decided that I love her.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Through a child's eyes

I came across this "Moment of Reflection" radio recording we did with Texas Health Resources a few years ago. It still makes me smile. How can it be that seven years has already flown by? The 4-year old mentioned here is now 11 and in junior high. Life's little milestones! I'll forever treasure this story. I have it in her baby book and on my blog. Enjoy!

I was busy planning the perfect family vacation this summer, looking at brochures for resorts, condos on the beach, a cabin in Colorado and even anticipating a trip to see family on the west coast.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't think of pink elephants

Ever have someone say don't think about the pink elephant and then of course all you can do is think of the darn pink elephant?

When our most recent friend announced they were expecting a baby that's the exact thought that popped into my mind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breastfeeding tied to community support

Laura Burnett, RN, BSN
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

My goodness! You would think breastfeeding were the newest thing in town or something.

So today in the news, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports breastfeeding rates are up. Okay, that’s great! So, duly noted, the information is three years old. In 2007, over 75% of newborns were breastfed at least briefly. This is definitely going the right direction. Healthy People 2010 goals were 75% breastfeeding at birth and 50% still breastfeeding at 6 months, with 25% breastfeeding at one year.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A thief in the night

So I'm trying to shut down the house for the night last night, and I open my house door into the garage. Right there at my feet is the biggest ARMADILLO I've ever seen! In my garage.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Telling my daughter I have breast cancer

Title: "The Butterfly Bra"
Artist: Deetria S. Horne of 3dee Design
Telling your only child you have breast cancer is very difficult.

My daughter and I had always been very close and I knew she would be devastated. Of course, I wanted to protect her as long as I could.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding Nanny Right

Deena, Kendall, and Cole
Life as a working mother comes with challenges that never fail to make for a good story to share over lunch (preferably in a restaurant that doesn’t serve chicken nuggets – it’s a working mom perk). It’s a balancing act that never ceases to amaze and exhaust me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maybe baby

Part Four: A New Beginning

(Also see "Maybe baby" Part One, Part Two and Part Three.)

I left off last time with a need to control something. Needing something within my reach.

I was being dealt a lesson that everything is not in my control.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Did I Just Say That?!

Preston, Julie, and Josh Swink
My filter is shot.

You know that internal censor that says, “Don’t say that out loud?” Yeah…it’s gone. It comes with pregnancy. Like funky cravings, it’s just a part of it. I guess if you’re pregnant or old, you can pretty much get away with saying anything.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor of love

Tonnell and Shanele Wilson, of Little Elm, smile with their baby daughter Madison — the first baby born on Labor Day at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

Madison Wilson, weighing 8 pounds and 13 ounces, was born at 8:14 a.m. this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. Madison’s mom, Shanele Wilson, said she was scheduled to deliver on Friday, but Madison was working hard to make sure this holiday would be a labor of love.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 20-something stepmom

Brendan and I at my brother's wedding
There are few things in life you can be certain about: death, taxes, and the charming candor of small children.

I’ll never forget picking up Brendan, my 10-year-old stepson who lives with my husband and me, from after school care one evening last year.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Alpha Boy

I went to the vet yesterday to have my itchy dog Red checked out. Keep in mind that I always feel like a scolded schoolgirl when I go to the vet. This time was no different.

I said I thought my dog had an ear infection and maybe some allergies of some sort. After a brief examination, the vet pointed out a long list of medical issues – from an eye infection to a strange skin rash.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maybe baby

Part Three: Clomid + Advice + No Positive Pregnancy tests = Raving Lunatic

(Also see Maybe Baby Part One and Part Two.)

I left off last time with the option of in vitro being given to us after some testing and rounds of Clomid had failed. As I mentioned before, that was really not the path we wanted to take in this quest and entering year two I was getting a bit frazzled with the whole thing.