Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Of love and loss

I had a friend back in high school who wrote this. I must've liked it since I wrote it down and found it in my journal.

He watches from across the hall,
     so light headed he is about to fall.
He walks over to her, rose clutched within his hands
     his knees are shaking as he stands.
In a cracking voice, he asked her out,
     as she replies yes, he knows what love's all about.
Their love blossoms and blooms, much like that rose,
     God, he loves the way her smile grows.
Years later they wed,
     so many happy tears are shed.
They raise many happy children within their home,
     neither can stand to be alone.
On this dark and desolate night,
     something has shut out the light.
The two cars collide with an impact of fire,
     the stomach turning sound of the crash is dire.
He has lost his one true love,
     he curses the selfish skies above.
He slowly walks toward the casket trying to hide his fear,
     down his cheek shimmers one silent tear.
As the empty space within his heart grows,
     he places in her casket, one, single, perfect rose.

Crystal Burkhart

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am perhaps starting my grieving prematurely, but I can't help it.

After the hospital stay with Linus, we got an appointment to see the allergist to discuss his allergies, asthma, and our options.

Dr. Walker is pretty alright. I like her. She is very knowledgeable, is pretty good with kids, and is very on the ball. I was not expecting to do the scratch test that day, but lo and behold, we did. For those of you who don't know anything about allergy scratch testing, they have these little blue toothpick looking things with a prong tip. They lay in solutions of whatever the allergen is and the nurse makes a little scratch with the prongs. It looks like little tiny papercuts after the welts go down. The first two are the controls. One is saline and the other is straight histamine. No one is allergic to water and the other lets the doctor see what his welts look like with straight histamine so they can measure the other hives better.

Linus sat sitting on my lap, tummy to tummy, and screamed the whole time. Not that I blame him. The first welt had to itch like a mother and the other ones that welted up due to his allergy had to itch pretty bad too.

Can I just interject with my little story about how Linus's bowel timing and my lack of super-duper preparedness is an occasional panic inducing, giggle later extravaganza? We were at the doctor and I only took my purse thinking that we'd be there an hour at the most, and I'd at the most only need one diaper. Linus seemed to be pretty wet, so I changed his diaper. The doctor comes in and I look over and he's squatting in the corner, performing is daily morning evacuation. Sigh. And it stinks. Bad.

So, The doctor left, I grabbed his old diaper that I just took off of him, cleaned him off the best I could, picked out as much of the solids as I could and reattached the diaper. I figured that if I got most of it out, it wouldn't stink as bad and it was still dry, so it wouldn't be too uncomfortable. Better than a wet one. I happened to have a ziplock baggie I could put the now stinky diaper in and we continued on with our appointment. And of course, Matt just laughs at me.

So, when all is said and done:
Medical Plan:                                                                From the desk of:
For:                                                                                 Kay B. Walker, M.D.
Linus M Bailey 3/24/10

Allergy to dog, deer (ya, I don't know why we tested for that, but there it is. Kind of like Matt's uncle who was tested for and was allergic to elephant sweat.), gerbil, mouse, rabbit, rats, egg, grass/pollen (May to July.).

His big one was rat and egg was big, but she said that the egg allergy was normal to see what with his excema and that we'd just keep an eye on it every year with the flu vaccine since it is made in eggs. I can give him eggs in baked goods but no raw ones (as in batter) and not to push eggs on him scrambled, fried, boiled etc. She recommended this year we have plastic eggs for Easter. Luckily he has no allergies to nuts, milk, or wheat. But her plan of attack is to keep him on the meds he's on now and keep benedryl, zyrtec, and claritin around and to give them when we go to a place with known allergens.

And avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. Here comes my premature grieving. We have 3 dogs. She said the allergies will not get better, but will only get worse. I used to love going to my Granny's house where she had a ton of Persian cats. I developed an allergy to them that only got worse and worse until I could no longer go over without severe discomfort. Or meds that knocked me out. I can now be in a house with cats, but the kitty litter sets me off and if I forget to wash my hands after petting a cat, my eyes swell shut and it is the most uncomfortable thing I've ever experienced. Ever have the white of your eye swell around your iris? I wait for my eye to explode in that situation. It's not pretty.

I don't want that to me Linus. So, do we do all we can to limit his exposure to the dogs by getting rid of them? I don't want to get rid of Moxie or Pali. I have already had to get rid of my George because an ultimatum was presented. Either George or my husband. I don't want to have to deal with another ultimatum.

So, I am grieving for my lost dogs that we still have but will most likely inevitably happen. And I'm crushed.

The things we do for our kids.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

I am a quitter. I start things. I get excited about things.

Then I realize that there is effort involved. That it is hard. And I quit. And then I feel like a failure. And then I feel bad about myself because I've quit and couldn't finish. And then I hesitate to try anything new because I'll probably just quit cause it's hard.

That is the mindset of my pre- Matthew Bailey's wife. If I have learned nothing else from my crazy, smart, awesome husband is that everyone achieves mediocrity. It's easy.

Not many people do things that are hard. Cause it's...well...hard. 

My husband has managed to do many things BECAUSE they are hard. 

He lost his job. He decided to go back to college. He moved home, which is hard. After you've been on your own, to move back home is like saying "I've failed. I am not the adult I was trying to be." He sold all of his stuff and quit doing anything so he could focus on school and graduate. He chose a degree that is hard. It is hard and therefore, not many people choose it, and therefore, there is more money to be made in the field. He decided to go into Computer Science and graduated with a bachelor's degree. While going to school, he was poor and had no money. He couldn't continue with a habit that is very hard to quit. He quit smoking. Any of you out there ever try to do that? Apparently, IT IS HARD! He gained a lot of weight because he chose to eat instead of smoke. Then, he decided not to use food as an emotional crutch and worked hard to lose it. He has changed his lifestyle many times. BECAUSE it's hard. 

He is an amazing inspiration, teacher, and guide. He makes me try hard to be a better person. At least to me, I'm a better person.

Since being married, I have finished one whole semester of college. That, my friends, is a big deal! It is exciting and makes me see that if I keep finishing one whole semester, it eventually becomes a degree. Or two. Or three. Just kidding about the two or three. Kind of. 

I have continued to be married. It's hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. Especially because we have been friends for so long that the expectations that come with marriage make things difficult. But because we have been friends for so long, it's also easier, too. It's easy to quit when you are mad and things aren't working and the love you have for your spouse starts to hover on that fine line of hate. Hate and love are very strong emotions and I think they on occasion blur lines. 

I have continued to be a mom. THAT IS HARD!!! Of course I am not going to quit doing that. The only way you can quit being a mom are options that are so ridiculous I can't even mention them. Being able to get my kids up every day, remember to give Linus his medications, feed them, clothe them. change diapers, play with them, keep them alive AND happy is a success every day. There are so many bad parents out there because it is hard to interact and take time for them. Let go of your selfishness and be selfless. 

I am able to maintain a decent BMI. My Body Mass Index remains between 25 and 21. Even after two babies. And it's hard. It's hard not to just drink my weight in coke every day. It's hard not to make a batch of brownies every day and eat the whole pan. It'd be easier to get some cheetos and cheese bread and live off that. Instead, I drink coffee in the morning with Splenda. I have cut myself to 1 coke a day. I eat fruit instead of candy. I drink water instead of soda. When I get a jonesing for carbonation, I will drink a Perrier. I go up and down my stairs mroe often than necessary. I try to do that while carrying Linus. I try to wear my baby as much as possible so that I am carrying more weight. I walk my dogs in my neighborhood. In fact, we run. I walk a block and then think, "we can go one more." I continue to do that until we have walked the neighborhood for an hour. My hilly, ridiculous neighborhood is tough to walk. AND IT'S HARD! It is so hard to get the gumption to wash my face and brush my teeth at night let alone do pushups, ab excercises, and yoga. I have just decided it is harder to have to buy bigger pants. It's harder to look at myself in the dressing room mirror while changing and finding disgust at what I'm seeing. I am happy when I feel good about myself and so I push myself to work at it. But if it was easy, there wouldn't be reality shows about weightloss. There wouldn't be an obesity epidemic in our country. 

It is easier to stay in bed with the kids and lounge around the house. To never do my hair, to never get dressed, to never shower. I hate myself like this. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I hate when my husband comes home and I don't want him to even look at me because I feel gross. I hate looking around my house and realizing there is so much I could have done that day, but it was hard to get motivated to do it. So, every day. I shower. I do my hair and my makeup. I get the kids dressed. I brush our teeth. I am teaching my kids to be active, successful adults if this becomes my habit, it will also become theirs. I feel better during the day. I can go out to run errands if I need to and not be embarrassed. I can see a friend who is in need or is in want of company. I am ready, so I am not lazing around. I actually get stuff done around my house. My house is getting clean. My house is getting uncluttered. More importantly, I love myself. 

Matt has taught me, and I am so very guilty of this myself, that people complain about situations, but don't do anything to fix it. There have been so many times during the course of our short marriage that I'll complain about something and he'll get so fed up with me complaining, he'll fix it. Duh. It isn't that hard to pick stuff up out of the way so that Linus doesn't get into it. Or just shut the door to Linus's room so the dogs don't get to the stuffed animals. Or just do one load of laundry every day to keep the mess down and it makes putting it away so much easier. Or to just pick up dog poop every day so that the they don't step in it and track it all over. But that would take effort. Now that I am trying to be more proactive in fixing things that bug me, I can't even believe how little effort it takes, but how hard it is to take that first step! 

So, I am done complaining about not having any money. I am done listening to Matt complain about our finances. I am done feeling helpless while I listen to him. I have decided to do something that is scary to me. It is going to be hard. And I am excited. I have decided to sell makeup. I have gone pink. I am now an independent beauty consultant. Every time I sell even one item, I feel successful. I don't look at what I have that I need to sell. I don't think that I need to earn that car. I am taking it by babysteps right now so I don't feel overwhelmed and then quit. Quitting isn't an option.

I figure if selling makeup was easy, everyone would be doing it. Everyone would have a pink Cadillac. 

I am going to earn a car.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I'll do for love

As a parent, I have done things, touched things, experienced things, I would NEVER have done before. Warning before you go on, if you have never dealt with disgusting child things, go no further. If you too have done something you never imagined, continue and you can empathize. :)

I will start off with our Linus adventure. About a week ago, the kids and I went to visit Nana and Papa so I could help my dad out a little. My mom mentioned that he was wheezing and asked if he did that all of the time. He does a little bit, but not like that.

The rest of the week, he coughed at night, and had his regular runny nose that has been there for a year. Our pediatrician never seemed too concerned when I'd bring it up, so I wasn't too concerned with it either. Tuesday though, the runny nose started. By Wednesday, the runny nose was so bad, I'd wipe it, throw the tissue away, come back and it would be gushing down his face again. It was so gross. He was really wheezing by then and it was bad enough, I felt I needed to take him to the doctor in the morning. I didn't want to be the mom who runs to the ER just because it gets worse at night. Everything always gets worse at night, but that doesn't mean it needs an emergency room visit. He was wheezing enough that I didn't feel comfortable letting him sleep by himself, so I set up the twin bed next to his bed and slept by him. I actually would like to say "sleep". What really happened, is he was coughing so much, he wouldn't stay asleep. He didn't sleep much the night before, so by Wednesday night, he was SO exhausted and SO uncomfortable that he just laid in bed and whined. I was mostly there to comfort him and keep an ear on him. He finally cuddled up next to me and fell asleep. I wandered upstairs to check on Bea and fell asleep around 2am.

Linus woke me up crying around 4am. I had the baby monitor on so I could be sure to hear him. When I went down to him, I was alarmed by his breathing. He was struggling so hard. He had to lean forward and he was struggling so hard he would hitch on the exhalation. Just listening to him gave me a slight panic attack remembering a night when I had an asthma attack so bad I thought I was going to die. Luckily my friend was sleeping over and was able to find my inhaler and get it to me. It was terrifying. I can only imagine how he must've felt!

I woke up Matt to tell him I was taking Linus to the ER just so he wasn't worried when he woke up and we were gone. He helped me with Linus while I got dressed.

I want to interject right here and give a big shout out to a program I have started. I was pointed in the direction of flylady. It is a program to teach people who not only are stay at home moms, but working moms, and busy women everywhere how to clean your house. It seems that some women have it down naturally. I swear my mominlaw has it down. Her house is guest ready all of the time. The flylady teaches you about babysteps and routines and practical hints and tips to keep your house up and running and tidy as easily as possible. The first tip is to keep your sink shiny. The second tip is to get up and get ready every day like you are going to work. That is what made this emergency situation less of a nightmare. I had gotten up and gotten ready that day, so my hair wasn't a disaster, my face was fresh, I didn't stink, my teeth had been brushed not too long ago, I was able to get clothes on quick. I felt good going to the ER. I was able to interact with the medical staff there better because I did feel good. If I was stinky with greasy hair out the there and in my ratty jammies I'd been wearing for 3 days, I'd have turned into a turtle and wouldn't have wanted to talk to them. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I was just going out the door when Linus started coughing so hard, he threwup. I quickly got him a new shirt to wear in case we were there for a long time. I can't imagine it is comfortable to wear your own throwup on your clothes. I got him down to the ER at LDS hospital and the triage man checking us in could see how bad Linus was doing that he got us signed in and a nurse called to us in 2 minutes. The nurse took us back and we got him going on an Albuterol breathing treatment. The poor baby!! He was so so tired, all of these people, all of these weird things, breathing masks, tubes, and he just wasn't doing ok. He seems to have a touch of social anxiety anyway, so this didn't help and he freaked out most of the time we were there. I don't blame him. The poor nurse who tried to put a nasal cannula on him learned that 19 month old toddlers grow 8 arms that are very much like octopus arms when you try to put it on his face. I've never seen anything like it. He took his prednisone steroid syringe orally like a champ though. He is awesome at taking his medicine. We took him in to get an xray to check for pneumonia and they suctioned some nose mucous to check for RSV or any other viral bugs. The Doctor on call let me know that he needed to be admitted, but because they don't have any facilities for small children and Primary Children's was close by, we were going to go there via ambulance.

We got to Primary's and the whole hospital was full! There was one room in the ER that they put us until an actual patient room came available. They were so full due to RSV and pneumonia that they were double bunking rooms. They couldn't do that with us until they knew for sure if Linus had either. He had another dose of albuterol and finally was able to sleep a little. I was DYING for a coke or a coffee, but I couldn't leave. Linus was in a very tall bed and I was afraid he'd wake up and get scared and fall out of bed. Just what we needed was a broken arm or head to go along with the breathing issues.  The nurse was awesome and was able to find me a coke. Then I had to pee so bad I finally left him for a second to go to the bathroom. I left and he was zonked. I came back and he was screaming. Figures he's wake up.

They moved us to another room in the ER but I didn't have any phone service. So I've got Matt getting irritated with me because he's at McDonald's waiting for my text of what I want. Then he can't get ahold of me to get directions to where we are. Meh. All I could think was... just get whatever the heck you want for me, I'll freaking eat it and you have a flipping iphone. Use it to get directions!! GRRR! But that was because I was at my limit for lack of sleep. He found us and we hung out for a bit. Luckily I didn't need to be there when they suctioned him again. For the 4th time. It was AWFUL!!!! A long skinny tube stuck all the way up his nose down his throat. The poor little guy would just scream and scream and cry and I don't blame him. But it did help him breathe and they'd give him his albuterol treatment afterwards.

We finally were moved to our own room with a real hospital bed and a bathroom and began our long 2 day/one night stint in the hospital. He stopped progressing with the Albuterol every 2 hours, so he had to be suctioned and get a breathing treatment every hour or so for I don't know how long then we were able to get back to two hours and then to 4 hours.

I never thought I'd stay up all night, even in my exhausted state to listen to my child's breathing. I never thought I'd lay on my child so that medical professionals could "torture" him with a tube in his nose. I never thought I'd be calm and ok while my baby was in the hospital.

I finally went home to sleep since I'd been up all day and all night and all day the day before. I was past the point of exhaustion. My mom had come and taken over Bea sitting for Jeri. (Have I mentioned I have the best moms ever?) And my mom mentioned that Bea seemed constipated. I stopped off at Smith's to get some glycerin suppositories to aid her. When I got home I gave her the glycerin and then the final fun for the evening happened.

I never thought I'd be inserting things into my baby's bum. I NEVER thought I'd EVER EVER EVER touch poop with my bare hands on purpose. She was so constipated it was kind of like giving birth. She really had to work getting it out and it was way too big and way too hard for her poor little bum. For some reason, in a CNA class I took, the instructor taught us about impacted poop and how to take care of it. I didn't realize I had stored that little bit of knowledge away until this moment. So, I helped her take care of her poop issue. AND I DIDN'T HAVE GLOVES YUUUUUUUUUUUCK! Only for the love I have for this baby would I actually do that with no gloves on. And thank heavens she is now free and clear.

I'm sorry Matt, but I can't say I love you enough to do that for you. I'd hold you down for a tube in your nose, but I won't touch your feces.

We did finally get Linus home Friday night. He was off O2 since Thursday midmorning, they were only doing suctions every 8 hours and the treatments every 4-6 hours. They didn't want to let us go home, it's amazing how much the hospital is kind of like prison. We insisted that he needed sleep and wouldn't get it at the hospital and we were only 1 mile or so away, so we really needed to go home. And they let us go.

I do want to thank the family for helping us with Bea. It is hard having more than one kid when there is a medical emergency. You don't ever want to bring a healthy baby into the hospital. Especially when there is such a huge outbreak of RSV. I don't need another visit to Primary's. Thanks Darren and Rowan for coming and visiting and bringing Linus some more toys and thinking of Bea. Thanks for giving Linus a blessing. Thanks for all of our friends who were thoughtful enough to offer help. And thanks for an old friend I've known since elementary school for letting me visit with you at Primary's and reminding me that we really had it very good. I know your little Lizzie will get better and you will all be home soon!!

Update on Linus. He is doing great. We have him on singulair, flovent, and albuterol. Everyday. Once he's been off flovent for a month, we can take him to an allergist to find out what he's allergic to and hopefully prevent another attack of this magnitude. He will most likely be on the singulair and albuterol for a long time. On a positive note, his persistent runny nose he's had since 9 months of age IS FINALLY GONE!!!  No more cough, no more runny nose, he's finally sleeping through the night with hardly any wakings due to congestion, and he is finally hungry and wanting to eat all the time. This attack may have been the best thing to happen to us. :)

I do have pictures that once I figure how to send them to my blog via phone I'll post them. I don't want to do the email, to computer, to blog. I'm lazy like that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Strange and Fun

My brother has some pretty fun, strange, interesting ideas. 

One year, on my birthday, I was at work and I kept getting phone calls all day from area codes from places I didn't know from people I didn't know. I put my phone on silent and put it in my locker, and when I got done with work, I had 167 or so messages. All from people I didn't know all wishing me a happy birthday. Not many of them were just straight up "Happy Birthday", they were things like

"Hey, saw your name and number on the bathroom stall, just wanted to wish you a happy birthday."

"I saw a billboard that reminded me of you. Happy Birthday"

"I was just thinking of you, haven't seen you in a while, Happy Birthday"

A lot of really funny, silly messages. And I couldn't figure it out. Finally, my brother spilled the beans that he'd gotten his friends at school and others he saw on his campus to call me and wish me happy birthday. It was really fun and funny. That was a great idea. 

Yesterday a package came in the mail. It was just addressed to Amanda. No last name. I didn't recognize the return address. I was a little nervous opening it, it was a personal looking return address sticker, it was wrapped in brown paper and then in a box. I panicked a little... is this a bomb? Is this Anthrax? Then I remembered that not only did I NOT work for the government or military, I am not a very important person.

Inside was a Pez dispenser. 


Today, I got another package with a hand written return address. I didn't recognize it and, again, it was addressed just to my first name. Fragile was written all over it. I figured maybe it was something made of glass or I don't know. I had no idea what it could be. I opened it and inside were two pez dispensers. A Mickey Mouse and a Donald Duck. 


What the heck is going on here? Needless to say, I am a little confused. 

I called my brother to see if he was responsible for this and he seemed surprised and said that he wished he was, it was a good idea. So, I don't know if he is just a good liar, or if he really isn't responsible for this weird set of packages. I am certainly curious to see if there are more coming. 

I am even more excited to find out who, what , when, why, how.... 

It is giving me a good laugh though. I very much enjoy the random and quirky.