Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blessed Summer Solstice!

Had a wonderful solstice.  First, we started the day off with a nummy breakfast of chocolate chip banana pancakes, a cup of milk, and a glass of orange juice.  For Lycan, I cut his pancakes into fun summery shapes with cookie cutters.


After a much needed nap, I made a lunch of egg, cheese, mayo, and spinach sandwiches; salad, mixed fruit, and peach-mango juice.  I gave offerings of sunflower seed bread and faerie milk.  Then it was off to the park!  We haven't been since before Vin was born!  Lycan had a blast!  He got to cruise around in his new "bebe cart", walk the trail, 'dance' with a flirtatious butterfly, escort frogs and tiny toads across the path, find a flower, and overall have so much fun that he fell asleep in the stroller on the way back to the car.  

Daddy and Lycan

Vin Contemplating the First Day of Summer

When we got home, Lycan carried that flower around the house, saying, "Fower."  I showed him how to sniff and enjoy the fragrance of the flower.  He kept putting it to my face--sometimes practically up my nose!--so I could sniff and "mmmm!".  Then he'd shriek with laughter and do it again.  Later in the evening, he took his first sniff, without trying to eat it, and did his TOUCHDOWN pose in approval.  I currently have the flower pressing for his baby book.


After Lycan said, "Nigh nigh" and went to bed, hubby made his awesome nachos.  We were going to have a summer treat classic--smores--but hubby made us milk shakes instead.  

So far, this has been the best family sabbat, yet!

How was your sabbat?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Food Allergies and Ignorance

Okay, so there's an article going around Facebook, that I'm unable to find right now, about a 13-year-old girl who ate a food that had been around peanuts or had them in it, I'm not sure.  Either way, she ate the food.  Was fine.  Then out of nowhere, she went down and no amount of training or medication could help her and she died.  It's terrible and I really feel for the family's lost.  My husband had food allergies growing up and is allergic to shellfish, so I find myself worrying about him and about my kids developing food allergies.

However, in the article, the family are advocating that the rest of the world change and actually think about those with food allergies.  Pretty much, no peanuts anywhere.  Like, that extreme, or so I understood.

...

Well, if we have to think about those with peanut allergies, then we have to also ban foods with diary, soy, wheat, gluten, shellfish, and so on to accommodate others with food allergies.  Right?  That's not feesable.  I understand that you're upset about what happened, but your logic doesn't make any sense right now.  Not too mention that you're being rather selfish in only thinking about peanut allergies; there are other allergies out there.  And in assuming that all of the world is ignorant about food allergies because they world doesn't have kids with food allergies (although I was surprised to read that there are many people who think that food allergies [especially in children] is bull).  Look at many restaurants and fast food joints.  Often you'll see stickers on the windows with warnings of what their food may contain or may have been prepared around.

The comments in this one particular article I read were....varied.  But there was a lot of "If you don't understand, then you must not have children/are extremely stupid and ignorant."  Like, really?  Come on.  Grow up.  I hate that school of thought, of "if you disagree then you're a dumbass" or "you just don't get it because you don't have children."  How about, "you don't know what it's like to have food allergies that can kill you".  Honey, I may not have food allergies, but I do have other allergies that can be fatal to me, and I have very close loved ones and friends with potential fatal allergies.  Calm that shit down.  Special Snowflake Syndrome, man.  I will admit that some of the other comments were trollish, but a lot of them were true.  We shouldn't have to not eat foods that you're allergic to because you're allergic to them.  We're not.  So...

As a parent/guardian, it's your job to do the research and make sure that your child doesn't eat this stuff.  Tell friends, family, the school, camp, whatever about these allergies, if you're able to.  LET THEM KNOW!  How else are they going to know that someone has a specific food allergy?  They're just supposed to know?  Come on!  And to be sure that the EPI pens are nearby.  As a parent/guardian, it's also your job to make sure that you've educated your child to the best of your ability about the whys, instead of playing this victim card, as I saw on many comments of those with these kids.  There were a lot of woe-is-me and victims on that thread.  It was pathetic and did not make me respect those parents and guardians for their "plight".

Like listen yall, my youngest son almost died two weeks ago because he caught the common cold.  The strain he caught didn't affect adults or other children after a certain age.  And it travels through skin contact and on clothing.  The people who held my son that day were careful, yet my child still nearly died.  So should I go around saying, "If you want to hold or be near my kids, you need to completely sterilize yourself" or "you need to live in a bubble"?  No.  That's not realistic!  That's ignorant.  I'm not going to be afraid of the world, or of exposing my children to it, because of this incident.  Nor am I going to make them fearful.  I am smarter and am more cautious, yes, but as their parent, as their mother, it's my job to keep them safe, to be observant, to educate others, and if I don't like a situation or a person, it's my job to keep my children away from that.  It's not the rest of the world's job to do so.  Yes, I'll educate them to the best of my ability and to their ability to comprehend.  Your job, not the worlds.

However, if know you're sick or perhaps have been around sick people, that's your job to be educated and hopefully know to not go around babies, kids, and hell even those that you know have auto-immune disease!  If you don't know, hopefully others with certain concerns (aka guardians [and those with auto-immune disease] hopefully, they'll speak up and/or ask questions).  But....people don't always do this.  Kids/adults get sick.  Babies die.  Sometimes there's not a whole lot that you can do about it.  Shit happens, and often without reason or control.

Shit, my brother is deathly allergic to fire ants.  Does that mean that states with those varmints should eradicate the species to accommodate those like him???  No!  However it means that he needs to be educated about areas with fire ants, and know what they look like.  Maybe even ask friends if they have a problem with them at their homes, or whatever, I don't know what he does.  Probably nothing that detailed.  And to always keep his EPI pens on him just in case.  It's his allergy and his duty to keep himself alive.  It's not everyone else's problem!

I'm seriously allergic to wood and wolf spiders!  I'm also very much allergic to poison ivy!  And one person in my family, it's fatal to them!  Do we expect others to make sure these creatures and plants aren't anywhere in their homes or around their properties?  No.  Because it's our job to know what these things look like and to take charge of the situation.  That our job, not the worlds.

Back to food allergies, as someone who prepares/cooks food, whether you're a restaurant or a it's a family pot luck, it's your job to ask questions.  For example, anytime someone comes over who I don't know that well or whatever, I usually ask if they don't say anything.  Or I let them know ahead of time that this has whatever in it.  Another example, I have an uncle who's allergic to peanuts, a SIL who's allergic to some ingredient in peanut butter, and a friend who's allergic to diary.  When I make food for family gatherings, I keep them in mind.  Either I'll make them something separate and clearly mark the food (and often keep them away from each other) or I'll just tell them/mark the dish.  They can partake of the food if they want.  If they have concerns, they can make the choice to not eat it.  They have the ability to ask questions and make a decision themselves.

If you make food, especially for large events, it's your job to think about those with food allergies, and be smart when preparing food in your kitchen.  Or at least label the food with ingredients or warnings.
I do agree that there needs to be more education on food allergies, especially when preparing or cooking food in any environment.  Obviously some places, like the home, are going to be more tricky than others (although I've seen many recipe books that mention or give warnings about food allergies; bravo).  You can't force knowledge or the ability to care on others.  But you can spread the word, and not turn into a childish prick when someone disagrees.

Those with allergies or care for those with them, they need to also be educated.  To take charge, and to not expect people to understand, to already know, and to accommodate.  For the most part, you're in control.  It's your job to keep your child, grandchild, niece/nephew, and yourself alive.  Don't rely on others.  Speak up and be heard.  Take charge and be confident about it.  No one likes a victim.   You need to take and be responsible for yourself.

(also posted on The Wren's Nest and on my Facebook)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

:-D

Monday, Vin was released from the hospital!  We're in the process of weaning him off of morphine and ativan, and he seems to be doing okay with that.  Early this morning, he had problems, but apparently it was due to me making the bottle too cold.  He was awake for HOURS yesterday and last night.  I was hoping it was a sign that he was getting his days and nights back in order, but he's asleep right now.  So yeah, turd.  Last night wasn't easy.  It wasn't terribly hard and I didn't have any freak outs, but it was trying.  Vin threw up on my so much within two minutes that I needed a shower.  It was chunky, and heavy as it thudded against me, the chair, and the floor.


"Once again, we'd like to thank the Gods, Spirits, and Ancestors, who lent their blessings and energies to Vin and our family; as well as friends, family, and strangers who sent good vibes, prayers, thoughts, magiks; and helped out with watching Lycan; and, of course, to the emergency transport team, the doctors, RN's, Nursing Assistants, tech's, and modern medicine! 

It's been a tough and crazy week; we weren't expecting the out pour of compassion and love. So thanks again!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sometimes You Just Need a Stronger Representation

Over the last couple days (seems like forever already and yet it's only Wednesday!) I've been praying to Kuan Yin.  I drew a picture of Her in a small sketchbook and have been using that for a visual representation.

Prayer Drawing

Then came the prospect of staying the night with my little warrior.  And I didn't know if I would be strong enough to stay in the hospital without family.  So my BFF and I returned to Yellow Springs and I bought a couple spell candles, a Green Tara statue, and a Kuan Yin figurine. 

Healing Altar & Shrine
Green Tara, Kuan Yin, blue candle, white candle, offering bowl of willow bark,
jade (calm, security, and harmony), rose quartz (love, compassion, healing),
angelite (compassion, understanding, protection), a pink and gold book of prayers,
and a blue banana fiber scarf.  The altar/shrine is overlooking Vin's bassinet.

Before going to the hospital, I dressed the candle in rose oil (would've used eucalyptus for its healing properties, but was unable to reach it), carved in my son's name, Kuan Yin's name, and some healing terms; asked for blessings from Kuan Yin, my Ancestors, and the Spirits, then laid the candle on the altar and went to the hospital.  

My baby's doing a lot better.  Had some setbacks over night, but after they changed his breathing tube, he's been making leaps and strides.  I left the Kuan Yin figurine in his room, after charging it and asking Her to watch over him.

An RN is attending to Vin in the background.

I'm going to keep this figurine with him until he returns home.  Now with the Her there, in a physical representation, I feel no fear in staying the night tonight.  

Burning now, along with a eucalyptus oil infused candle (eucalyptus is a powerful healer).

~)O(~

(also posted on Book of Mirrors)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 2, Prayers, and Magik


The EEG from yesterday was inconclusive, so they're running a 24 hour test.  The EKG was negative for any heart problems.  Nothing much has changed from yesterday, other than them changing his formula to Sensitive, and you can tell that he's more comfortable today than yesterday.  
I'm just so drained and numb; focusing all of my energy on helping him heal and praying to Kuan Yin. 


I sleep but can't rest.  I wake up unchanged.  More exhausted than ever.  I think I've become immune to coffee.  

I realized that what I miss most of all is him looking at me.  Really looking at me.  I miss it so much and hope to see those blue eyes knowing me again.  


This evening my SD asked if I would mind if a Priest prayed for him.  Of course I don't mind.  The more prayers, well wishes, good vibes, and healing magiks, the better.  I'm drained and haven't the energy to continuously heal him; I need all of the energy I can get.  HE needs all of the healing energy he can get, too!  Energy from others is greatly appreciated.  I don't care what faith you are, because I know that it's coming from a place of love and compassion.  Goddess, Priest, Family, Friend, Stranger--I don't care if you pray, perform healing magiks, or send good vibes, as long as it's coming from a good untainted place is all that matters.  It's all the same magik, to be honest.  Prayer, spellwork, same thing to me.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Hardest Part Is Not Being Able to Hold Him

Vin is being treated at Children's Hospital PICU for Rhino Virus and the Coronavirus.
He's was also hooked up to an EEG machine to see if he was having seizures.  The bloating and puffiness is from the IV fluids they pumped into him last night to combat his dehydration.
We're far from being out of the woods, but at least, they know what's wrong and how to combat it.  My little warrior is going to keep on fighting, and we're going to be there with him, every step of the way.
Taking things one day at a time.

There's a strange unity inside of hospital's like Childrens. You know those families are more than likely going through the same emotional range that you are. You can sympathize with these strangers. With a single, exhausted, sad look, you connect instantly. Both understand. Both feel what the other is going through. You both share the experience. Both are suffering similar pains and it's...comforting. It's powerful, despite the unfortunate circumstances. You connect on an unspoken, primal level.
Children's is great. Despite the sadness and fears, it's pleasant because of the expertise of the staff, and their kindness. Because of the architecture. The colors. The space. The sounds. Distracting. Peaceful. Beautiful. Gives you a much needed mental break. Allows you to disconnect from the trauma and recollect yourself. Reboot. Re-energize. Refocus. Strengthen yourself. Strengthen your family. All of that allows for healing.

I Just...

I don't understand how the universer works sometimes.

Oh, you're getting your shit together and getting back on task?  Here have some bullshit to fuck up all your progress!

Oh, hey, how's your pregnancy going?  Well?  You're eating okay?  Keeping up with exercising? Doing everything you're suppose to be doing?  Cool, well HAVE A PREEMIE with RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME!  

Oh, it's 6 weeks later and your baby is heathy and strong?  HAVE SOME APNEA LITTLE BABY!  HOPEFULLY YOUR PARENTS ARE PAYING ATTENTION OTHERWISE YOU"RE GOING TO DIE!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FUCK YOU, WITCHFIRE!  

This shit here is why I don't believe in fluffy fucking karma.  Overall, we're good people.  Why the fuck does this shit keep happeneing?  And most of all, why's the universe choosing to piling some shit onto a baby?  It's one thing if it were happening to me; it's quite another that it's happening to an infant that's barely 6 weeks old.

"God never gives you more than you can handle."

Well, that's great for your God, who's a apparently a fucking asshole.  My God's don't deal in that shit.  My God's aren't going to punish me by fucking with another life.  If they have an issues with me, they'll deal with me.  Not bother an innocent child.  IF they are like that, well, they can go fuck themselves too, and fuck off out of my life.

What a stupid fucking thing to say.  Keep stuff about your God to yourself.  Doesn't apply to me because I don't follow Him.  If He is meddling in my life, well, then He needs to get a new fucking hobby and realize my ass ain't Christian, and most likely will never be.  He needs to leave me and my family alone.

When things are going fine, the universe decides to take a massive shit on us.  Why?  The fuck!

"What goes around, comes around."

Yeah, what the fuck ever; if that saying was true, then we would not be dealing with this.  Fuckin rose colored glasses.  I'm goin to get some much needed sleep and hopefully wake up in a better mood with better news.

He was doing so good; had 0 problems.  Then out of nowhere, he has apnea.  I know it's a common aliment among preemies, but I can't help but feel that it's my fault somehow.  Like maybe we should've just stayed home today.  Maybe I shouldn't have changed his formula to save space in the diaper bag (only because he was throwing up so much this evening).  Just another piece of bullshit to add to my pile of depression.

I keep thinking about future scenarios and I need to stop that.  I just need to do what I did when he was in the NICU, take it one hour at a time.  Right now, I need to get more sleep.  Hubby is at the hospital with him.  If anything changes, he'll call.  I just wish I could be there with my little warrior.

I just had a moment of "is this real?"  We were having a great day.  Went to my niece's 4th birthday party.  Saw my ex-SIL and her parents (I do adore them, too bad it didn't work out). Spent the rest of the day at a family cook out.  Hung out with my brother, bonded more with my future SIL, and watched Lycan enjoy life.  Watched family enjoy Vin.  Then boom, this shit.  WTF?

~~~~~~~~

Around 11 pm, June 7: Pretty much, we spent the day with family and he was okay.  He was throwing up and having tummy aches due to us having switched up his formula, but it seemed like the ordeal had passed.  He wasn't interested in eating before we left, but I thought that was due to him having stomach problems.  Before we left, he was fine.  Good color, breathing normally.  

When we got home, I noticed that he was really pale and had no color.  It had sounded like he was trying to wake up.  I made him a bottle.  Try to give it to him.  He was making a weird groaning and his eyes were all over the place.  He was unresponsive.  My husband tried waking him up and giving him the bottle.  Nothing.  Except that he noticed he was having problems breathing.  So I said, to take him to the ER.  

Hubby did.  He said that he was glad, too, because within 20 minutes, Vin had gotten worse and had actually stopped breathing while the doctor's were looking at him.  The doctor's got him going again on his own.  They sedated him so he wouldn't feel the pokes and the prods.  

Hubby said that before the transport team showed up to take Vin to Children's Hospital, his color had returned and he was looking around.  

Sometime between him being alert and arriving at the hospital, he become unresponsive again.

* 3:50 am:  Hubby called and said that they're running a CT scan and will perform some spinal test to see why he's lethargic and unresponsive.

** 11:50 am: Vin picked up two virus' yesterday. Either from kids or from anyone person who handled him. Dave didn't remember what the virus' are called. Due to being a preemie, the virus' really attacked him. He's on antibiotics and is alert, looking around, color's back, he's responsive, and breathin normal; he's on an IV and a feeding tube. We still don't know how long he's going to be at Children's. Mom's taking Lycan for the night and I'm going to see my little warrior in a couple of hours.

I love/d DMH NICU, I just wish tehy would've given us more guidelines. Cause I thought, "6 weeks, he's good to go" without taking into consideration that he was 6 weeks early, and that we should've waited 6 weeks from his original due date. Concerning the virus, the doctors said that he could've picked it up from clothing, too.

Hubby just said that he has the ability to breathe on his own, but he can't; so a machine is doing it for him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ugh...

Why does it seem like all colic bottles have leaking problems?  Doesn't make it an easy choice for me, but I'm leaning towards NUK.  My mom had bought a couple when Lycan was young and he didn't seem to have a problem while at her house using them.  I don't want something that has a million parts or that you can't mix the formula in the same container.  I don't want something that has a million different "solutions" that don't always work.  I just want something simple, that consistently works.  Apparently that's too much to ask for these days.

Last night, I gave Avent another try.  I tried wetting the bottle and putting it all together.  It worked.  No leaks.

Next feeding, I repeated everything.  It leaked so freaking much.  I started out with 3 oz and by the time I gave up, I was down to 1.5 oz!  I tried rewashing, resoaking, hot ass water, cool water, lining up the inner ring with the outter ring valves, and a ton of other "solutions"!  Nothing worked!  It was very frustrating.  I was tempted to call on some ancient demons, sacrificing a goat, and selling my soul after it was all said and done!  Ridiculous.  Instead I ranted on Facebook:

"Avent Bottles are pieces of shit! Why over complicate a fucking bottle? You need to wet the nipple, line up the valves, two clicks to the left, five to the right, screw it on, screw it off, give it anti-pre-ejaculation pills, do a fucking rain dance for Idaho, summon ancient Sumatran Gods, jump three times while spinning in a fucking circle and listening to the Macrena, and sacrifice a female virgin goat that was born on the fourth Sunday of August during a Leap Year! Like, this shit is stupid. It's a fucking jigsaw. I'm so fucking done with these shitty bottles. I don't even know if I should donate them. They're a huge waste of money and formula! I'm just pissed off about formula, I'd be more furious if it was breast milk! Why pass this frustration off to someone else? Refuckingdiculous!

This design literally makes no sense. And that's so smart to piss off a mom who's hormones still ain't right, who's fucking exhausted, grumpy all to hell--yeah, makes so much sense to over complicate a fucking bottle. Fuck you, Avent, you stupid fucking company.
Lots of people are having leakage problems. Instead of coming up with a million worthless "solutions", get off of your asses and fix the fucking problem. I will not be recommending their bottles to anyone. Pieces of worthless, over priced garbage."

Yes, it's my official review of Avent Clear Bottles.

According to my tactless husband, he had no problems with it last night (course he was putting it together wrong, defeating the purpose of a colic preventing valve system).  As I was telling him about my problem, he continuously bragged.  Which pissed me off; he made it seem like I was lying to him or was too tired and pissed off to work them properly.  Didn't listen, just retorted, so of course I snapped at him that apparently we don't need different bottles, because he can get the Avent's to work.  He also claims to not remember them leaking so much when we used them with Lycan.  Oh, they leaked.  We dealt with it because we didn't have a choice and I was still high on the Avent Bottle Hype.

These damn bottles are gonna cause a freaking divorce.

No one should have to do this much research on a bottle.

This video is zero help.

Check, check, check, and still leakage--more than just a little.

I must just be a fucking idiot, then.  This is ridiculous, but due to having spent the money and having the nipple stages, I'm going to keep on trying until I throw one of these POS bottles through a window.

And FYI, our kit did not come with tongs.

Clear Avent Bottles Yay or Nay?

Fucking nay.  They suck!  I forgot how bad they leak!  It's awful, messy, and wasteful!  I hate them.  Apparently I'm not the only person with this problem.  One person said that they called Avent about the problem and they were told to wet the inside of the nipple for better suction.  Now I can't remember, but I don't believe that this step is mentioned in the bottle's how to section.  But apparently it is mentioned in the instructions to put the bottle together while it's wet.

One, bottles shouldn't need to be "put together".  There's the outer ring.  The nipple.  An inner ring.  Apparently, if you tightened the bottle too much, it leaks.  What?  I guess the inner rings are supposed to prevent leakage.

With us, it leaks no matter what method we try.  We've tried with the inner ring, without the inner ring, super tight, normal tight; it's ridiculous.  No bottle should require that much effort!

Avent bottles are NOT worth the hype!

Crunchy: Solution to Avent Bottle Leakage

I'm sorry but if that much effort has to be put into a freaking feeding, it's just not worth it.  IF that many people are having issues, Avent needs to work to remedy the problem, not come up with an 8 step program for the user.  Shit, when you're exhausted you don't want to fight with a freakin bottle.  You just want it to work properly and without tricks and shit.  Just mix, shake, and go.

Get your shit together Avent.  Your other products are great, but your clear bottles are pieces of ill thought out crap.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Communication is Key for a Successful Relationship

Talked to hubby last night about my lack of sleep and how I need help and all that (after I went to the store and treated myself to some sushi, organic mint n honey tea, babybel cheese, and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cheesecake), and last night, I actually got some much needed sleep!  I still woke up every time he cried, but still, I got to sleep!  It was nice.  No crying baby in the bed with us.  No bitching, whining, or name calling.  Just sleep.

Hubby does put the Duh in Dave, which is why some things are clear to me, freaking obvious even!  But I do need to voice and explain things to him.  It's frustrating, but needs to be done before problems get out of hand.