inane musings

outlet of id

The 2nd birthday party- 2nd time around

My son is 2 days younger than me… and let’s just say a handful of years. What that means is big ole birthday parties for me. I like to pass mine away quietly. Today I turned 35. 35 was always the age my mom was… and well she was my mom… which means in kid years that’s old. So I’m officially old accordingly. But this isn’t a post about how I’m starting to find grey hairs, and actually care about moisturizing my face at night. Nope, this is a post about the little guy who’s probably caused a few of those hairs. My youngest.

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

He’s an avid snowman fan, and to that extent loves Frozen. So he is one of the few boys I would imagine that wanted a Frozen party this year. And as mom’s tend to do, I delivered.

Let me set down a few of my ground rules.
1) We went big for the brother as was the custom in Brazil, so I felt it only fair that I do the same for the 2nd birthday for my 2nd son

2) Unlike prior birthday, I wanted to find a balance between crazy fussy, and well “hey I didn’t screw you out of a great party.”

3) I wasn’t going to slave away in the kitchen.

So that being said, I think I did pretty good. I did hand make a number of pom poms.  But that gave my hands something to do as I listened to conference, and I always need something to keep my hands busy, so it was win-win.   And the kid’s loved having a snowball fight.


The stringing of the cotton balls, and then gluing (the gluing part was the part I had the least patience for) onto the fishing line was a bit more annoying, but my nanny helped out.  And the kid’s ABSOLUTELY loved them, and kept yelling yay, it’s snowing!! It was more meaningful than a banner that said Happy Birthday.

The food was all of his favorites– Popcorn, Tangerines (stacked into snowman), mini Oreos and marshmallows, carrots and pretzels as snowman parts.  Frozen grapes, rice pilaf and meatballs (his brother totally loved eating the “trolls”), and PB&J to go with the “we complete each other’s sandwiches” line… it all worked in the theme… and it was low prep!

Totally fess up the table card’s being unnecessary, but when I stumbled upon a cute blog with meatballs (um hello frozen Costco meatballs in a crock pot, thank you very much) with table cards, I figured why not add a little fuss if all I have to do is print out a few cards…I’m not afraid to admitting to a bit of overzealous, mommy Pinterestness.

In the end, the lesson I learned last time  is they are kids.  They create their own fun.  And boy did they have fun! It was loud, and it was raucous, and when  he woke up from his afternoon nap he asked where “are all the peoples? I want to play.”

As for me, well today is my birthday. .. and hearing the giggles on Saturday was more than enough party for me.  Funny how priorities change after kids.

What’s the story with the vomiting

just joking around with dad

Tell me what’s wrong with you?!

This is a photo from a few weeks ago of my little Bart and Homer. My son is obviously having a grand old time, not quite sure how he thought dad’s hands around his neck was a fun little game.  However, this is about 10 minutes before he was fully sedated with two tubes down his throat for an MRI of his kidney’s– oh yeah and a catheter that we just won’t tell him about. This is the first I’ve blogged (I’d obviously been on a hiatus) about this.

My son, since he’s been a year-and-a-half old has thrown up monthly. He had hydronephrosis in the womb, but came out just fine according to the ultrasounds. I’ve since read, it’s recommended to do the ultrasounds a week after birth not just the next day (FYI for you moms out there). Anyway, point being is he’s thrown up for a bit now. It was almost clockwork, since he’s been 2.5 years-old. Every month. Vomiting. He turns 4 next month. The first 2 years we wrote it off. It’s the flu; he ate something bad; (you chalk it up to food more often in Brazil); he’s sick from all the traveling. But once we were back in the US, and every few months turned into monthly 12 hour barf fests, I began to worry.

I went to a gastroenterologist. Blood tests showed nothing, but there was some blood in the urine, so off we went to the urologist. We did a VCUg and ultrasound- all was normal; the urologist couldn’t see anything either- maybe it was in my son’s head.

I kept taking him to the ER each time; hoping a test would see something. ER docs told me he had cyclical vomiting; he’d grow out of it. That it was probably stomach migraines…or he had childhood epilepsy… “go see a neurologist.” Don’t worry, during one episode, when he had a full seizure, and I’m calling 911 as he’s blue (slight overreaction on my part), we finally did go see a Neurologist.  All came back normal, despite keeping our son up all night for an EEG. My husband all but gave up… the ER bills were piling up, and nothing was coming of anything.

Finally, one Sunday, when it wasn’t the best day for this of course. The youngest was sick, I had to teach Sunday School, and my son is lying on the floor saying his stomach hurts again. When I came home from church and hour later, he’s throwing up and moaning.  At that moment, I knew I wasn’t going to leave the ER without some real answers…. well we didn’t get real answers. The ER was the worst it’d ever been.  Despite this, we did get an ultrasound that showed both my poor boy’s kidneys really were swollen. FINALLY, something concrete I could take to the urologist.

The photo above is from the MRI we got a few weeks ago. It was the least invasive thing done to my son to date–in his mind at least. The Lucile Packard Children’s hospital nurses were so wonderful. He cried for a good 30 minutes coming out of the anesthesia, and complained his throat hurt for a day.  I’m hoping the $1000 bill and discomfort he’s gone through is all worth it. We hope to finally know why our son is throwing up come April 11. The specialist we’re seeing at Stanford is (I guess) the guy to see. For this reason, we won’t be able to meet with him until this Friday.

If people ask me about it, or I talk about it, I’m really nonchalant about the whole thing. We’ve learned to be that way for my son’s sake. There’s no point imagining the worst when it could be a million different things, with a million different outcomes. So right now, we’re just kind of enjoying the ride. I am blogging about this now, because when this first happened I went to the internet and read so many different things trying to figure out what to ask for, what to look for, WHAT was wrong. So if someone does find this, hopefully this does help.

Childhood beliefs

It was raining, hard torrential down pours, with grey skies for several days last week out here.  It’s been nice, to hear the rain, see the droplets of water along the power wires running through our backyard, and just generally know the earth and air are getting the much-needed water and cleaning. It was also really nice to have asunny weekend, even if it was conference weekend.

The rain, made me remember driving down the street with my husband while we were dating, when he oh so casually says:

Well rain’s relaxing, because it has Melatonin.

Not to publicly shame my husband, but we had a nice conversation around how that was impossible.  He had remembered hearing something once in a class about rain and Melatonin, and well there we have it.

In all fairness, the following had also been said by me in some course of conversation:

Snails carry Polio, so you don’t want to touch one or you’ll get it!

See we’re even now.  Mine was a deep-rooted belief, ingrained by my mother who very much didn’t want her 4-year-old daughter touching snails.  What better way to tie it to the fear of never being able to walk again (yep, didn’t bother to mention any polio vaccine or anything like that).

The point of this public shaming is that we all have beliefs, that we know for a certainty are truths.  We’ve known them our whole lives, we don’t even have to question them.  Some of those beliefs are very well founded, they shape who we are to this day, they bring positivity into our lives and others. Conference was a reminder of those very positive parts.  Others, well they’re like Melatonin in the rain, and Polio carrying snails.  They’re misinterpretations of solid truth or other people’s fears inserted into our lives.

Just like the earth needs rain to wash away and build up, sometimes we need to take stock of the beliefs and fears we have in our lives and assess if they’re helping us grow.


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