Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going to Need a 2nd DOC Band

Because of all the time that CJ needed to spend out of the DOC band due to a rash it's looking like he's going to need a second one. I think we have the rash under control. It's not perfect, but it's not all scabby looking and over half of his head anymore. They have put some mole skin inside which really seems to have helped with the rash. There is improvement, but they think this current band is only going to fit him for another month. And because of all the time he spent out of it they think he'll need a second band. Now my concern of course is if the insurance will pay for a second band. This thing costs $3600 which I most definitely do not have. Honestly, I'm in no position to pay any portion of it. The insurance hasn't even completely paid for this band. They said they would work something out though. Not entirely sure what that means, but because of how rare it is for a child to have as severe of a rash as CJ has had in this they seem to think they can get us a second band. I suppose we will cross that bridge when we come to it though. I am frustrated at how long it took them to finally put some sort of covering on the band since I had asked for that from the moment the rash popped up and they told me they couldn't do it. Then suddenly they could. Now unfortunately it's looking like he'll still have the band on for his 1st birthday. I really was hoping to avoid the long trip during the winter months with slick icy roads, but that looks like it's not going to happen either. But at least there is improvement in the shape of his head. We are getting somewhere. I did ask today if we get a second band if they would put the mole skin on it right away and they told me no. I thought that was strange since so far this seems to be the only thing that is protecting his little head. They told me they would probably just monitor him closer in the beginning. So it looks like our weekly trips down there are going to continue. I have to say I don't know what I would do without my insurance paying for this treatment and reimbursing my gas to drive down there. I guess I am very fortunate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Season of Ups and Downs is Over

I am one bummed Mets fan. My baseball season is now officially over. No more nail biting, no more breathless moments, and no more near heart attacks. At least not until April. The Mets are not moving on to the post season again this year. And again this year they loose it on the last day of the regular season to the Florida Marlins of all teams. I suppose it's fitting since they put the final nail in the coffin of their historic collapse last year. There was a small glimmer of hope that they would move on today, but unfortunately as is the story of the Mets their bullpen could not hold on and sadly Chicago couldn't pull out one more win for the Mets today. So now I need to let all of this sink in and then in a few months start watching as they trade and pick up new players. I certainly hope that a closer and some more starting pitching is on the list of prospects for them. It's too bad Johan Santana can't pitch everyday. Perhaps if he did we would have had a chance this year. So this die hard Mets fan says so long to another season that could have been. Team tight rope, thanks again for dashing all of your fans dreams. Hopefully Citi Field next year is better luck for you than Shea Stadium has been the last few years!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's this Blog Rated?

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

This was based on the fact that the word kill appeared in my blog once. Ooops, now it's twice ;). I hope that didn't change my rating.

A DOC Band Saga

Over seven weeks ago CJ first received his DOC Band to help reshape his head. The first few weeks things seemed to be going really well, but then about 4 weeks into wearing it I noticed he was developing a rash on the back of his head. I called and they said it's a heat rash just put some hydrocortisone cream on it and it should be fine in a day. Well, no improvement one day later so I called back and they said okay take the band off let it heal and then put the band back on. So I did, but after it healed and the band went back on the rash came back. He has seemed to completely stump the employees at Cranial Tech with this rash. For weeks now we've been going in every week to try to control this. It has just been expanding more and more around his head.

So this last time when we drove down there I was a little better prepared with a second opinion. His doctor had seen the rash now and was sure that despite what Cranial Tech believed he is in deed allergic to the material in the band and is developing eczema. She had suggested some sort of barrier, which I have been told time and time again is not possible to do. So when I told them this week about what the doctor said I was told again that she doesn't believe that to be the problem because it's not all over his head and she has never seen this in the eight years of doing this. But if that's what his doctor thinks it is she's not saying that she's wrong, but she's never seen it and she still believes it's a heat rash. Now suddenly though she is able to line the helmet with something. So in the spots he's getting the rash she has put this felt feeling material in there. She told me to wait until his head heals from this current rash and then put it back on so we can be sure if this helps or not. She doesn't sound too optimistic that it will help though. I have had the helmet off since Thursday now. He still has a bit of rash on his head, but it's mostly healed so I'll probably put it back on today. We go back again on Wednesday to see if this has helped.

She did compare his head to the mold of the pretreatment shape and there is improvement. So it is working. We just need to get it to stay on his head long enough to be effective. We are halfway through what they told us would be the treatment time. I'm still optimistic that we'll have it off for his birthday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm pulling my hair out, or rather the girls

I HATE lice! It is the worse most annoying little bug ever. A week and a half ago I had to pick the girls up from school early because they both had lice. So we did the lice drill. Cleaned their heads with the special shampoo, combed their hair, vacuumed the carpets and furniture, sprayed the furniture with lice spray, bagged all the stuffed animals, and cleaned all the linens in hot water. We brought the girls back to school the next day and she checked them and said we were good to go no more live lice. She has been combing Kaitlyn's hair daily to help get rid of the nits and yesterday her hair was completely nit free. She was great. Then today she was itching so went down to the nurses office and again she was covered with live bugs. They checked Natalie too and I guess again she just has the nits, but they still said she has to go. I asked the nurse what am I supposed to do? Every time we get rid of this they get them right back. She said other nurses in the area have also been dealing with a lice problem and I guess they are worried that these lice are resistant to the shampoos. So they aren't sure what they are going to do. She gave me some more shampoo though and told me she would get them some plastic mattress covers and pillow covers to try to help us get rid of them. So they are missing another day of school and I'm frantically trying to do all the cleaning and comb out their hair all on my own today because Joe is at work and I have to work tonight. I am so ready to just shave their heads and get it over with. This is so crazy. I can't believe they have it again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My First Day

Well, my first night of work was pretty uneventful. It was just filling out paperwork and signing my name a million times and watching a video and touring the store. I go back tonight to do some computer stuff and then Friday night as well. Next week I start actual training on the register and then in my departments which will be mens, Misses, and Juniors. Things at home I guess went well, but Joe didn't have much to say to me when I came home. I talked to the girls this morning (they were in bed when I came home last night) and it sounds like they weren't on their best behavior. They argued about going to bed. CJ was cranky from the sounds of it too and Joe didn't like that I asked him to give the girls a bath. So I guess that explained the lack of talking he did when I came home. I talked to the girls this morning about being more help to Daddy with CJ and doing what he tells them to do with out argument so maybe tonight will be a better night for Joe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wish me Luck

I am leaving shortly for my new job. First job I have had in over 9 years. I'm a little nervous. It's just Orientation so it shouldn't be too bad. Actually, probably very boring watching videos and stuff. I can't believe I'm no longer a SAHM.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 911

So today on the way to bringing the girls to school I realized it's the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. So I asked the girls if they had learned anything about that at school. They hadn't and Natalie was curious. So I told her a little on our drive to school about what happened that day. And the innocence of a child she couldn't understand why someone would do something like that. Gosh, I wonder why they don't talk about it in school. Although, I guess they are a bit young to grasp the whole concept.

I remember that day so clearly too. I was just a few months pregnant with Kaitlyn. We were living in Ansonia at the time. Joe was at work. Natalie was just 2. When I turned on the TV that morning it had already happened. So I was just watching in horror never expecting the towers to fall. For weeks and months that was all that was talked about. To hear the stories of the people it's just all so surreal.

I think this was the first big event in my life that's a part of history that I will be able to clearly tell people what I was doing on September 11th. I mean I remember when Challenger blew up. We actually had a snow day, but I was pretty young and I didn't get the gravity of the situation much like Natalie doesn't understand that there are people out there who can hate so deeply. I guess this is the moment in my life like my parents used to always talk about when the anniversary of JFK came around. Every year they used to tell us what they were doing that day. I couldn't understand how someone who they didn't even know personally could have such an impact on their lives that they could remember exactly what they were doing when they heard about JFK. Not until 9/11 happened.

I didn't know anyone who died, but my heart sank for all those families who lost loved ones. I was so relieved that it wasn't my husband in one of those towers. And at the same time I was scared of what would happen next. I was terrified to bring this new baby into the world not knowing what kind of world it would be for her. And exactly 7 months to the day Kaitlyn was born. My fears have subsided for the most part now. And I guess I do feel like Natalie in not understanding a person's hatred of people they don't even know. I don't really understand how anyone can go on a suicide mission like that either. I love my country, but I wouldn't purposely go out and kill myself for it. I am grateful to the men and women who do serve our country and put their lives on the line to protect us though. I hope that someday my children can live in a world where there isn't this kind of blind hate though.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Whole Bunch of Stuff

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated on things here. Things are getting crazy. First of all let me tell you about CJ. His helmet is still causing him to have a rash. Here are some pictures of it.

So last Thursday when we went to Cranial Tech for his appointment they didn't really know what to make of it. Because it's not all over his head they don't think he's allergic. They were thinking it was just because of the heat and he sweats too much in it. So they decided to hold onto his band for a few days, let his head heal, and then return Monday to have it checked again and see if the rash will come back when they put the band back on.

So yesterday we went back down. His head had mostly healed up. They put the band back on and almost instantly the redness came back. So now they think I'm just not getting the band clean enough. So I am to scrub it every few hours with a dry cloth and dry his head really well before I put the band back on. We can't keep leaving him out of it because it's not going to do it's job and eventually he'll grow out of it. There's no sort of barrier we can put in there either apparently. Now we have to go back in a week to see how he's doing. The rash is still there with my cleaning though. I'm not sure what their next step will be if we can't clear up his head.

We went for his 9 month check up today. I know it's a month late, but they were booked in August. So we went today. I waited forever to see the doctor too. Not fun. But anyways, everything is good. He weighs 18 pounds 5.6 ounces and is 28 inches long. This is all wonderful news. His %tiles are all above 10 now. So the doctor was very pleased. She has upped his reflux meds as he has been spitting up more lately. She looked at his head and first of all I have to say she notices a difference already in the shape of his head. I've thought I've noticed it too, but it's so hard to tell when you see him everyday. So hearing it from someone else is good too. As far as his rash goes she does believe that he is allergic to the material in it even though it's not all over his head. She says it's where it's touching his head. She thinks he's developing eczema. However, she thinks the benefits of the band outweigh the rash problems. So as long as he's tolerating it she says to just keep letting him wear it and take it off if it's getting too bad or looking infected and let it heal. She says once he's out of the band we can deal with the eczema. So we'll try to last a little longer with this if we can. Hopefully it doesn't get too bad. Maybe the cooler weather and less sweating will help matters.

That's pretty much what's been going on with CJ. Now about the girls. They are both doing great in school so far. I did have to go pick them both up from school early today. They have lice AGAIN. I cannot get rid of this stuff. The school nurse says to get the nits out we just need to keep combing and she'd help. When I bring them back tomorrow if we come a little early we can comb through their hair and hopefully get rid of this once and for all. I am getting so tired of the lice drill. And it's just them who gets it. Never me and Joe. I don't get it. So other than that they are doing great. Getting into the swing of things at school.

Now changes for me! I am going back to work. Just part time a few evenings a week when Joe is home from work so he can watch the kids. I got a job at Kohl's. They just called today to set up my Orientation. I go next Tuesday for that and then hopefully can get on the schedule for a few days of training next week too. Funny thing about this. The person who interviewed me called me up today to offer me the job and then he tells me it was funny seeing you at the PTA meeting last night. Ummm, what you were there? You have a child in the same school as mine? You live near me? Crazy, I feel a little embarrassed that I didn't notice him. He was sitting behind me though with his children. His wife was sitting in front of me and seemed very helpful. They are new to the school this year. What a small world this is though. This should help me though when I need nights off for school events. Since he'll be my boss I'm sure he'd like to see these events go off well for his child. I think this is going to work out well. I get a discount too which will be very handy for the upcoming holidays. So I'm excited and nervous. I haven't worked in over 9 years since Natalie was just a baby. So this is kind of hard for me. At least I don't have to pay for childcare though.

So that's what's been going on in the Barnes Bunch. I need to go now. Time to comb out the girls hair and vacuum the entire apartment. Loads of fun.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: NY Mets MVP

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

Hey, why not talk about our labor and deliveries on Labor day? Sounds like fun. So when I read that Rocks in My Dryer was hosting this little game I figured why not? So here are the stats on my Labor and Deliveries for my three kids.

How long were your labors?
Natalie: 2 hours from the time my water was broken. I'm really not sure beyond that. I was contracting for some time, but apparently didn't know it.

Kaitlyn: Again 2 hours from the time they broke my water. I did feel some contractions with her before then, but really I could have gone about my normal activities. So I count from the time I actually truly felt the contractions.

CJ: Well, I was having contractions for weeks. Not terrible, but I was in and out of the hospital a couple of times because of them. It was more of a precautionary thing though to make sure I didn't get into full blown labor with him being breech. I had a planned c-section and really didn't have a labor with him.

How did you know you were in labor?
Natalie: The doctor told me, hahahahaha. I went in for my 40 week check up with her and my bp was up so they sent me to the hospital. By the time I got there my bp was down, but they had put me on the monitors and I was contracting every 5 minutes. Who knew? I know you all hate me, hahahaha. So they checked me and I was five almost 6 centimeters. So I wasn't going anywhere. I walked the halls and watched women doubled over in pain stopping every few minutes, but I felt nothing. I was playing cards with Joe and my mom when the midwife came in and decided to break my water. Then woe baby that hurt. I felt it instantly and there was no break.

Kaitlyn: Joe told me I was in labor. Okay, I know that sounds weird. The day I went into the hospital with her we had been shopping all day. So that night we were just relaxing playing a game on the computer and Joe noticed every five minutes or so my face would change. He kept asking if I was okay. I said I was fine. So he started timing my face changes. Sure enough it was a steady every five minutes. So giving how quickly I had Natalie and the hospital we needed to go to was half an hour away we figured we best give the doctor a call. He told us to go in. We got there and I was put on monitors and my contractions were every three minutes and again I was 5 centimeters dilated. However, they actually told me I still might not stay. I guess I wasn't in enough pain for them. Again I walked the halls with no pain while other women were in pain. Finally they broke my water at midnight and Kaitlyn was born at 2:10 a.m.

CJ: He was a scheduled c-section. I was having contractions the entire time they were prepping me though. They were pretty good contractions, but again I wasn't feeling much pain.

Where did you deliver?
Natalie: St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport, CT

Kaitlyn: Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT

CJ: New Britain General in New Britain, CT

Natalie: None, it all happened too quick

Kaitlyn: None, I was determined not to after having an 8 pound 12 ounce baby naturally I thought for sure I could handle this one naturally and I did and she was bigger ;).

CJ: I had no choice but to get a spinal since I had to have that c-section. I wouldn't have wanted to try that without pain meds.

Just CJ and only because he was breech. I could have tried to turn him, but thankfully we didn't. Otherwise he would have been born at 36 weeks instead of 39 weeks because he had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. So thankfully I didn't have to have an emergency c-section and it was a planned c-section. Still very nerve wracking and I do still have pain if I hit the incision just right 10 months later.

Who delivered?
Natalie: A midwife that I can't remember the name of. She was on call and I had never met her before.

Kaitlyn: Again I ended up with the on call doctor. I think his name was Dr. Allen. I had never met him before either. Hey, those doctors aren't present too much anyways, right? There was a point when I felt something cold and I said to him what are you doing, hahahaha? He was giving me a local so he could do an episiotomy. That ticked me off. My doctor at the time was Dr. Riskin and I wish he were there he was so great. He came in later that day and was like oh I guess I forgot to give you my private number. Apparently he gave that out to his patients when they got close so he could be the one to deliver them. Oh well, what can you do?

CJ: Dr. Kerrigan. She was probably my best. I really wish I could have experienced a vaginal birth with her. Oh and she was very pregnant herself when CJ was born. Another doctor joked that he'd have to roll her into the operating room.

So those were the stories of my labors. I know you all hate me for not feeling my contractions till I was halfway through. I never would have guessed that I had such a high threshold for pain, believe me.