The W Family Chronicles

Archive for November 2007

C is *way* into kissing now.  He kisses everyone and everything constantly.  He kisses his bubba (big brother) while he’s asleep, kisses his toys, kisses his mommy and daddy…SO adorable!  And the little kissy noise he makes when he’s trying to get you to kiss him back is too much.  Cutest baby *ever* and he just keeps getting cuter.

If you know us well, you know  about J’s “Ernie.”  It’s a blue stuffed elephant he’s had since infancy.  He actually has 4 of them, but one holds a special place in his heart as “Dirty Ernie.”  It’s the oldest and really shows it’s wear.  He likes to “scratch” it when he’s trying to sleep or just relaxing.  Last week he walked up to D and said “Would you like to scratch my Dirty Ernie?”  Yeah, let’s not even discuss where our minds went.  It was hilarious.

J also told my mom that she was nice, unlike his mommy and daddy who are mean, mean, mean.  Hah!  She was mean to me when I was his age, I’m quite sure of it.

I passed 2 more very large fragments while we were in Tennessee for the holidays.  One was 5 mm and the other was 7 mm.  Yeah, it was an unpleasant trip.

I’ve become addicted to Facebook.  If you want to add me and happen to know my first and last (either married or maiden) names, look me up.   I am having all kinds of fun with it!


I remember looking for kidney stone pictures years ago when I had my first bout with them. I had a hard time finding any good ones…apparently it’s pretty common to google kidney stone pictures because I get a lot of hits here from people who are looking for them. So as a public service, you can see a picture here. You have to click to see…I know a lot of people are a little weirded out by it so I’m trying to be sensitive to that. 😉

To keep things in perspective, I had 2 that were roughly 9mmx9mm each. These are significantly smaller, and were actually passed as one piece. I accidentally broke it apart trying to get the picture set up. These are each about 2mmx3mm, so that may give you some idea what I was dealing with earlier. For additional reference, the diameter of the ureter is around 3-4mm. I’ve passed stones as big as 5mm without help, but that seems to be about my limit. In my research, it seems like it’s fairly rare to pass stones that are larger than 5mm.

I am feeling better, though still not at 100%. I am trying to avoid the pain meds as much as possible, so that doesn’t really help matters. Right now I’m trying to get in touch with D to see if he can come home a bit early so I can get him to take J to his occupational therapy this afternoon. I just don’t feel up to it.

As far as I know, anyway.  They said the stones fragmented well and I’ve been passing lots of gravel.  In significant pain…they blew my vein while trying to get the IV in and that left me with an achy arm, plus my back (where the shockwaves were directed) hurts pretty bad.  Not to mention the pain involved with passing all of the little bits.  But I’ll take this pain now for what will hopefully become a lack of pain later.  I spent much of yesterday hopping from a hot bath to bed (with the heating pad) to the couch so I was definitely taking it easy.  Today my activities consisted mainly of sleeping as late as I possibly could, whining, and stealing cookie batter when D and J were making cookies.  So obviously I’m on the mend and getting back to my usual activities. (HA!)  I have avoided the drugs today because they seemed to affect C negatively yesterday.

D has been a great house husband through this…he’s totally cleaned up the kitchen and living room which have been really neglected by me.  I just hope I start feeling better so I can keep up with them now that they’re in better shape!

I’ve been having a lot of stone pain and finally went to the doctor today so I could get a refill on my percocet.  They did an x-ray to see what we were dealing with and the 2 large stones that have been sitting in my left kidney have both fallen into the ureter.  Oops.  The good news is that my kidneys now appear clear, so once these are gone I may have a respite from the damn things.  They asked if I wanted to do litho this weekend or wait until after Thanksgiving.  No brainer…I don’t want to be dealing with this during the holiday!  So I guess Saturday I’ll be having my 3rd lithotripsy.  Seriously, how many 32 year olds out there have already had this many kidney stones?  It’s so depressing.

My test results don’t indicate anything specific that may be causing them which is maddening.  My fluid intake is a little low, and they said sodium read a little high but beyond that my calcium, citrate, and other levels looked fine.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Frustrating beyond words!

So good thoughts and prayers that everything goes well Saturday and they fragment easily and are passed as painlessly as possible!

Yep, I’m paranoid about the toys out there right now.  Absolutely terrified that my kids will end up with a toy that makes them sick or kills them.  Not just lead poisoning, but the danger of magnets, toys that contain a substance that turns into a date rape drug, and other things.  As a mom it’s super scary and I feel like I now need to scrutinize everything that comes into our house.

Which leads me to Christmas.  If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for my boys or any other children, please consider buying fewer gifts that are of higher (and safer!) quality.  Many manufacturers and stores out there are promising that their toys are independently tested and we’ll be going out of our way to purchase from them.  Lots of toy companies don’t make toys in China at all.  You can get great, safe toys from many places now…you just have to do a little research.

For example, One Step Ahead is testing all of their toys.  Some of the Little Tikes toys are made in the US — just click on the large banner on the right side of their homepage for a list of US made toys.  I’ve liked Oompa Toys for quite a while now.  (The link goes to a page with a list of where their toys are made.)  There are many others, but those are just a few that I like.

I also stumbled across a blog called Not Made in China.  It has some excellent information.  I particularly liked the listings on the right side of the page, including the list of toys for different age groups and the list of brands you can trust.  That makes things a lot easier!

I have spoken to Santa Claus to get an idea of what he’ll be bringing us this year and it looks like art supplies are going to be good for J this year, as he’ll be receiving an easel.  It’s also likely that he would love to have some accessories and games for his system.  (You may want to check and see what he already has, though!)  In clothes, he wears a 5 slim in pants, a medium (5/6) shirt, and a size 10 shoe.  He’s outgrown his Crocs and I know he’d love to have some more.

C is harder.  He will be receiving a new “grow with me” style highchair that will allow him to sit at the table with us and will last a long time.   It’s a big gift and Santa hasn’t yet decided what else he’ll get.  It is really important to be careful with his gifts as he still puts things in his mouth frequently.  (In fact, I just found him with a battery that he dug out of my office trash!)  He’s currently wearing 12-18m clothing, but will probably soon be needing 18-24m.  He’s set for winter clothes but can definitely use some stuff for spring and summer.  He’s wearing a size 5 shoe right now and hasn’t yet gotten any Crocs…He loves his big brother’s so I know he’ll be wanting his own pair when it starts to get warm again!

They both love playing outside and we don’t have many outdoors toys, so anything like a playhouse or slide would be loved by both of them.  With such a big age difference between them, it can be hard to come up with something that works for both, though!  Though if J likes it, C will probably like it simply because he idolizes his big brother.  DVDs, books, board games, and clothes are usually good, safe choices.  Or even money for their college funds or piggy banks!

This is hard for me to do…I’ve alway been one of those people who thinks you should be grateful for any gift you receive.  And while I still feel the same way, I am also acutely aware that so much has changed since last Christmas.  My entire view of the toy industry is tainted and I just want to be sure that any toys we bring into our home are safe.  As it is, I’m planning to start going through their toys and tossing (I’m afraid to give them away in case any might be unsafe.) a lot of things that I am concerned about.  They have so many toys that I think they won’t be affected, but I truly hate to toss some of these things because they were initially picked out with such care.  Who knew that their safety would come into question a year or two later?  It’s maddening.

And lastly, by choosing things that we know to be safe, we’re voting with our wallets and that will hit the toy companies harder than anything else.  Maybe they’ll get the message and maybe not…but at least we’ll know that our kids are not being put at risk by toys that are not manufactured safely.

If you know of any other stores/brands with safe toys, post them in the comments.  Santa is still making his list… 😉

For those who aren’t quite sure what this is all about, I found this video at Watch With Kristin and thought it was worth sharing.

Yesterday was a terrible day. It started out with finding out that J had an accident because he didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. I got him cleaned up and off to school, then came home and wrote my blog entry supporting the WGA between trying to distract C with some toys so I could do it without interrupting my stream of consciousness. (Didn’t work.) Showered while C stood outside the bathroom door, screaming and banging on it. (And D wonders why I frequently have unshaved strips on my legs or sometimes only do one.) Went to pick J up and we headed to McDonald’s (I know…it’s so gross!) to meet D for lunch. J was his typical over excited self and drove me bonkers the entire time we were there.

When we got home, he discovered that C had eaten something that J had left on the kitchen table and wanted to eat himself later. C’s climbing abilities are well documented in this house and he frequently hangs out on the kitchen table just because he can and because it apparently drives J nuts. (Which reminds me…when J gets upset he screams and waves his arms around which C finds hilarious and he now imitates him…so comical, but of course if I laughed I’d be the mean one!) So J knows it’s likely to get eaten if it’s left where C can get it. Cue the screaming fit which I simply did not feel like dealing with. I sent him to his room where he continued to scream and cry for quite a while. He finally fell asleep, so I took C down the hall and put him down for a nap. They both slept for quite a while and I (mercifully) had some time to myself. Got dinner thrown in the crock pot and had a little down time during which I caught up on some shows I’d saved on the DVR.

They both got back up and I was feeling *so* refreshed. That quickly went downhill, though. D had a financial planning seminar put on by work, so he was late getting home. I forgot, and I was also looking at a clock that hadn’t gotten changed so I thought he was WAY later than he was and I was going nuts. When he finally got home, I was just *so* thankful to have some help!  Especially when J had his second accident of the day because he couldn’t be torn away from playing long enough to pee in the toilet. *sigh*

Then came dinner. The new rule is that J has to at least *try* what we are eating. If he doesn’t, he goes to bed without dinner. (He usually gets a very late snack while we’re finishing cooking dinner so this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Plus it hasn’t happened yet.) If he tries it and doesn’t like it, he gets something of his own choosing. If he tries it and does like it, then he can eat that and it’s less work for us. Some nights this goes well. Some nights it doesn’t. Last night it didn’t. He whined, cried, and was threatened with bodily injury (not really) before he tried the ham. And then *surprise* he liked it. Though he had to drag out the drama and cry while he was chewing and saying “ew ew ew ew” until he realized it was actually good. It never ends.

So yesterday was not a good mommy day. I’d had it with him by the end of the day and I’m sure he figured it out. Not one of my better parenting moments. And yet I am *still* a way better mom than Britney Spears. Or so I tell myself. Why I am considering her a benchmark, I just do not know. Maybe it’s because she’s all over the media and her lack of anything resembling intelligence is just astounding. Regardless, at least I know I am not the *worst* mother ever to walk the earth.

Oh, and I knew there was a reason I kept refusing to buy Aqua Dots for J. Thank God I didn’t cave to the pressure…that’s super scary!

W Family Players

D is the dad, the husband, and the breadwinner. All around nice guy and good at pretty much everything he does. It's disgusting, really. But makes him worth keeping around.

M is the mom, the wife, and the hopeless housekeeper. At least the kids' heads haven't fallen off yet. Beyond that, she sucks at the "stay at home" thing. Oh, and she's the blogger.

J is the big boy. Born October 11 2002, he is in kindergarten and loves it. Now 6 years old, and too smart for his own good. Talks a lot but extremely entertaining.

C is the little boy. Born June 26, 2006, he went through a lot in his first year but is doing just fine now. The only blond in the family, so his paternity is routinely questioned by rude strangers.

V is our baby girl. She is brand new and arrived in January 2009. So far everything is going well. We're thrilled to have added the final piece to our family puzzle. And yes, she WILL be the final piece!