Friday, September 30, 2011

Football and pedicures

I am a typical guy.

I grew up playing football, baseball, and soccer.  I used to change from one uniform into another while my Mom drove me from one sporting event to another.  I grew up watching all sporting events.  All I wanted to know was which team belonged to the city closer to us and that’s who I would root for with all my might.  As I grew up, I became a die-hard Cowboys fan.  I would hang my Emmitt Smith shirt up every night before game day… and this was while I was in high school, college, and medical school.  I now hang a Cowboys flag in front of my house.  My family believes that the Cowboys will provide me with my exit from this world via stroke or heart attack over some ridiculous and unimportant play.  My mom says, “they don’t pay you, so why do you care so much?”  I don’t know why, but I do.  She also says, “You have children now, so tone it down a little.”  These are all very valid points, but the Mavericks in the playoffs… what sweet victory and revenge over the Miami Heat… The Rangers in the World Series… and on and on.

Yes, I am a very typical guy.  But I have learned that things change and so did I after becoming the father of twin girls.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Staying Connected to Friends with no Children

As a woman without children sometimes it’s hard not to feel alone, even though statistics show that I’m part of a growing number of women who are choosing not to have children. In June, 2010, Reuters reported that according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, more American women are choosing not to have children than women three decades ago. Even though I do not have children, I enjoy keeping up with my friends who are Moms. But I admit sometimes it feels a bit like we come from different planets.    

For example, not all of us without children understand the concept of the “sippy” cup until it is too late.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fish Sticks. It’s What’s for Dinner.

I have tried more times than I can count to get my little guys to eat their veggies. I’ve hid carrots in macaroni and cheese, challenged them to veggie eating contests where the winner takes a prize, poured ranch dressing and/or ketchup on anything green and even tried to convince them that Special Agent Oso always eats his vegetables. But, I have failed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don’t Be Fooled by Common Nutrition Myths

As a registered dietitian, I find I spend a fair amount of time with clients debunking myths they’ve accumulated over the years. With so many “quick-fix” diet options out there many times people don’t know where to start and what information is correct. I’ve compiled some of the most common myths here:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mashing Buttons

My grandmothers were Southern women from Alabama (Mobile and Sylacauga). Naturally, they had some wonderful "Southern-isms"—like "fixin' to" or "might could" or (my favorite) "God doesn't like ugly.” And of course, neither Grandma nor Nana ever "pushed" buttons. They Mashed them. Now, Mashing a button is much more purposeful than just pushing a button. You MEAN it when you Mash a button.

Well, let me tell you something. My boys have learned how to Mash my buttons. And I'm not talking about remote control buttons. I'm talking about my parenting buttons. Lately I've had less patience than usual with their Mashing—maybe it's the extreme heat we've had; maybe I'm just tired and cranky; maybe I've just turned into the grumpy old lady who screams at kids to "get off my lawn!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Defying the odds: Ashleigh's story

From left: Ashleigh, Ramona, Jerrod, Abrianna, Jerrod Jr.
At 2:00 a.m. one May morning, 23 weeks pregnant Ramona Antillon started to feel sick. Really sick. And in unbearable pain.

It’s too soon to be in labor, I’m only five months along,
she thought.

Two hours later, she called an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

“I told the paramedic to take me to the hospital my doctor was at, and he refused,” Ramona said. “I insisted that there was no way I was ready to have this baby; after all, I was only 23 weeks along. He then looked at me and very firmly said ‘Ma’am, if you have this baby now, this baby will not make it!’”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A cat’s forgiveness

Before Ava was born, Coco was our baby. Sweet, furry, affectionate Coco.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, she would try to climb up on my balloon-esque tummy at night. I guess it looked like a comfortable spot to doze. Inevitably, she would end up curled up in a ball right by my pillow for the night. As far as she was concerned, our bed was hers and our only purpose in being there was to pet her. Imagine the rude awakening she faced when Nick and I brought home a baby.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mother knows best…or does she?

Like most mothers I try my hardest to do the best for my children. Their happiness is my number one priority. I’m the first to admit that there are days when I question how well I’m doing as a mother. Unlike school where I’d take a test to check my progress or work where I’m audited by a performance review, motherhood is in its own league.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maybe baby: positive pregnancy test!

This is the final installment of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Well, I am happy to report the blood pregnancy test was positive! What a glorious day! My hormone level was 194 which is a great first number. How blessed we are. I have another test this Friday, the same day Brett has surgery, to check and make sure the levels are rising.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I can feel your pain

Well, it finally happened. It took almost 6 months, but our son Elliot finally got sick. Nothing bad, just some congestion and a fever, but for first-time parents it was a novel experience.

The first thing that struck me was just how fast it hit. When I get sick, I usually start getting “signs” about 24 hours before. A little scratch in my throat, a headache, maybe a weird ache or chill. Not so much with Elliot. We had just put him down after a great evening that had consisted of my wife, Lauren, dancing around the house with him and him laughing hysterically every time she would pretend to “drop” him.

A few hours later we heard him on the monitor. This definitely qualifies as an anomaly, as he is a world-class sleeper. I went in and rocked him slightly, and he drifted off. I did notice while rocking him that he seemed a little “stuffy.” He woke up again about an hour later, and this time it got our attention. It was a panicked cry that we hadn’t heard from him since I had gotten soap in his eyes during a failed bath attempt.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maybe baby: life's surprises and detours

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here.

Monday, June 27, 2011
Wow, a lot has happened since my last entry. The very next day on June 15th my husband was involved in a motorcycle accident on his way to work. Our life is nothing if not full of surprises and detours.

His left leg suffered a really bad break and he has a broken sternum. He spent five days in the hospital at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and had surgery on his leg. He will have another surgery later this week. And, oh yeah, in the middle of all that we were supposed to be preparing for embryo transfer, remember?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gift from the new baby

Trying to decide how to help my 18-month-old granddaughter, Allie, accept her new brother is total guesswork. 

However, my daughter and I have decided that maybe a baby doll for her to change diapers, feed a bottle, and generally all around take care of while Mommy is taking care of baby brother would be great. To really make the impact we are hoping for, this baby doll is going to be a gift from her new baby brother.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Financial futility

With all the talk of the debt ceiling, the deficit and heart-stopping  days on the stock market, I thought I’d share with you the startling realization I have come to regarding myself as a mom trying to teach her son about money.

I am fiscally conservative. I am not in debt. I believe in only spending money that you have (radical – I know). I believe in buying a house that you can afford. I believe in working hard, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, taking responsibility for your actions and capitalism.

When I espouse these beliefs to my son, he nods dutifully in agreement. He understands trickle down economics, why we don’t like taxes and why his single mommy has to work - hard. I have always felt that I have done a good job infusing him with my conservative views regarding money and spending.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maybe baby: the embryo transfer

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Well, we have had some time to catch our breath and are about to jump back into a cycle again. The last one was a disappointment having to stop in the middle, but hopefully this time we will see better results. I get my new calendar today so hopefully in about a month I will have some happy news to report. I must say my mom was concerned that we were going through another cycle and asked: “what if this doesn’t work? Are you going to be okay?” My reply was “no.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

A costly lesson…

I just about passed out a couple of months ago when I opened our cell phone bill. $1,125.

Yes, you read that right. One thousand one-hundred twenty-five dollars.

Let’s just say that our bill should be SIGNIFICANTLY less than that. While talking a very patient representative from our provider (who also gasped at the amount), we discovered that the main culprit was a three-day binge on gems for a game. Seriously. GEMS. FOR A GAME! GRRRRRRR……..

Friday, September 9, 2011

Maybe baby: remedial ovaries

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here
Thursday, March 31, 2011

I would just like all of you to know that the hormone injections have caused no homicidal tendencies thus far and my husband is very thankful for that.

All kidding aside, the first shot I had to take was Lupron. This was supposed to just be for 14 days, however my levels were not where they wanted after two weeks so I got to do an additional seven days of those. The only side effect I had from that shot was hot flashes. Therefore, all of the sudden 65 degrees was the ideal temperature to sleep in at night. I would wake up and my poor husband would be buried under a pile of covers and blankets! He has been amazing though -- or maybe he has just been trying to dodge any hormonal flare ups?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daycare, children and germs -- oh my!

Well, the day finally came when I had to take my little one to daycare – and the day, of course came all too soon. I just never imagined she’d get sick being in daycare just two days!

It was a hot, sunny Thursday when my husband dropped off our daughter at daycare – I couldn’t bear leaving her on my first day back to work, but I looked forward to picking her up later that day. So, I went to work with mixed emotions; it was almost like the first day of school. I wondered if I would enjoy being back; I wondered if my baby would miss me; I wondered if I would break down and cry from missing her; and I wondered if she would get sick. Unfortunately, the latter happened to my baby.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Story Without Teeth - So Far

Poor John. As we creep up on 6 months, he's been working on cutting his bottom two teeth for about six weeks or more. It seems as if it goes in three-day cycles of cheek rashes, even more excessive drooling than usual, crankiness and swollen gums.

But then, just as quickly and without warning, those symptoms go away, and we have our happy, laughing baby back. And while I'm happy to get him back (and have a fighting chance of a dry shirt), I do wish that those teeth would finally make an appearance - for everyone's sake.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maybe Baby: we're officially on our way!

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here

Friday, February 4, 2011

As you can see from this series so far there are many, many steps to this process. If any of you readers are going through it, just try not to get overwhelmed. I had my follow-up with Dr. Nackley and everything looked great. The cyst she saw on my ovary was gone when she did the surgery so she didn’t have to remove that. The fibroid she removed was sent off for pathology and everything came back fine.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fear of childbirth

I’m feeling all third trimester-y these days – huge, achy, full-bladdered every 30 minutes, hungrier than the average teenager, scared to look in a mirror if I’m less than fully clothed, jolted yet heart-warmed by hourly kicking and prodding of my internal organs, etc.

And then there’s the ultimate indication that the end is near: I’m starting to panic about childbirth. For months I’ve let my mind skim over this inevitable part of the process. I'm both terrified and fascinated by the physics of how this actually happens. But reality is quickly setting in.

Lately I’ve been having nightmares about it. I have this fear that once the time comes I’ll be thinking um, okay, never mind, I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to do this anymore as if that’s somehow an option.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Maybe Baby: finally, some good news!

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hello, friends. When I left off last time I was nearing the end of all of the screening and testing in order to determine what my treatment options were. I went in for my appointment and they drew more blood, this time for an FSH test. The results of this test need to be below 10. If they came back over 20 in-vitro would be a no-go because this would mean that I would not respond to the follicle stimulating drugs. If you don’t respond to the drugs, you don’t produce eggs that they can retrieve for the IVF process. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs...and Manners

You may not be old enough to remember the 1945 song Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief by Charmichael and Webster. The piece aired way before my time, too. Yet somehow, the title popped up periodically throughout my childhood, and I’ve never forgotten it.

One line of the song states, “No one loves you like I do.” Of course, it’s referring to romantic love, but lovers hardly have a monopoly on the phrase. From the second my children were born, I’ve thought and said that exact same thing. What mother hasn’t?

Mothers possess the innate gift of nurture. Sometimes, however, that nurturing can warp into indulgence toward our children. Parents can excuse behaviors that should never be tolerated. Backtalk. Insolence. I remember many years ago when one mother brought her 4-year-old to my house. I said a happy hello to the kid, and she spit at me. Without offering an apology, the mother laughed. “Oh, kids will be kids.”