Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some pics

Ok, so for some, this is probably the 3rd or 4th place that I have these, LOL, but I need to AW them again :)


Ahhh.....what else is there to do at 3 in the morning besides blog???
For about the past week/2 weeks I've had such horrible insomnia. To the point that I am so mentally drained during the day I can't function anymore. I get up to be at the gym by 5am (yes that isn't a typo!) for about an hour, come home, shower, get ready for work, get the girls ready, and am at work until between 5-7pm depending on what's going on there. (and yes, I work at the bank....great 'bankers hours' there huh?!) Then during the week we have gymnastics, swimming, and another gym night before some relaxing. All of this and I'm usually in bed between 9:30 and 10pm....and up by 1am. Every.single.night. I know it's a sign that I have too much on my mind since that is usually what wakes me up.....and keeps me up. On a good night, I'll toss and turn until 4:30....on a bad night (*ahem* tonight) I get up because I just can't even lay there anymore. Ugh. It sucks.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thumb sucking...


We are a binky family. I don't like thumb sucking, and (thankfully!) Livi never had the interest...just give her the bink! And when people would state that their child sucked their thumb, because "they just wouldn't keep the binky in their mouth" I would do a silent eye roll and think, well yeah, it pops out....just put it back in for them!. But now it's all come back to bite me in the butt.....

V sucks her thumb. She takes a binky, no problem. But the moment we look away, the binky gets thrown across the room and thumb goes in the mouth. I think she does it to mess with us....

She'll even go as far as holding the binky with the one hand while sucking on the other. Then when we look at her she'll laugh. Like she's just too smart for us at 6 months old. Little booger.


I have a thumb sucker

::silent eye roll:: at me.


Friday, February 19, 2010

More tests...::sigh::

So I had to take Livi for (yet another) EEG this past week....this one was a 24 hour, ambulatory basically she had to be 'monitored' for a full continuous 24 hours. Sound like fun? Yeah, not really.

We got to Hamot for our appt at 11:45 and got right in to registration. A shocker, I know. Livi was beyond less then thrilled in being there, and honestly who can blamer her? ...last time we were at Hamot was for her MRI in the not-so-past, past....and IV's from hell. I wouldn't want to be there either poor girl.

Here are the fish....the "entertainment" while we were waiting to be called back. Livi proceeded to 'talk' to them in her best fish voice.....telling them how she used to have fish but they all died. I'm sure the fish were thrilled, lol.

So we get into the room and get 'scolded' by not having Livi wear a button down shirt. Well, ok, maybe it was a little bit of common sense I suppose, but I didn't think about it. Sue me. So she'll have to wear the shirt she had on overnight until the next day. I think she'll survive thank-you-very-much. The nurse/Dr/I-have-no-idea lady informed us of all the things that were going to go on....again, we brought on the common sense. No bathing. Uh, really? She's getting live wires attached to her head. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't think of submerging my child in water. ::eye roll:: Yet the sad thing is, I'm sure there's a reason for saying not to bathe your child while hooked up.......

After marking her head up with a red crayon, she starts attaching the wires. Not too bad, Livi is sitting still, being good....everything is going well. But then the tech lady starts talking about the glue. The wha?? Oh yes, they have to glue each of the wires to her scalp to make sure they stay on overnight. Yippee. And the glue? Well it smells like glue that you build model cars with. Oh yay I say. Let's just skip past the next TWO HOURS and just round it up by saying it didn't go too well. Livi was GREAT, don't get me wrong. She stayed still (we "glued" her back to the chair so she couldn't move, lol. It worked!), listened extremely well, everything. But the glue smell got to her. She was coughing and gagging, and the last half an hour was begging and crying to go home. Nothing breaks your heart more then when your child is sitting there, crying and looking at you to make it better. She begged to not have them do this anymore. And it took everything in me not to take her away from there. :( This is from halfway done.......

When she was finished attaching everything we had to unhook the wires from the one box, and attach them all to another, smaller box, that Livi had to carry around with her. Then we tested it. And tested it again. And once everything was correct, we were free to go. Fast forward to home.....

(The big giant teddy bear that Mike bought her that day!)

First off, that box she had to carry around was pretty heavy. It held the mechanism that attached the wires, and a big battery pack thing. And it was on a shoulder strap that just wouldn't stay up for her. So her night was spent on the couch. Which was easier for us making sure the wires didn't move. And we had to journal everything. Every single thing down to a burp or hiccups we had to write down the precise time and how long each thing lasted. That way they could compare it to her brain activities at that time. We had her sleep with us that night, although I use "sleep" extremely loosely. There was no sleeping at the Kraus house that night. Well, except for Violet that is. :) But we made it through, and into the next day. We had to be at the hospital at 2 to have them removed. And OMG the amount of glue that was in her hair was ridiculous! Livi was beyond ecstatic to go and get the wires off and never complained once while they were pulling and tugging on her hair to get the stuff out. I think the girl just wanted it done with, no matter what pain she had to get through to end it. And by the time they took the wires out, boy oh boy was that head of hair a sight to be seen! Unfortunately I never took a picture of immediately after....but trust was bad. Worse then bad. Horribly bad. So we slapped on a black hat, and off we went to try to maneuver it back to normal. Ha! Were we wrong! We spent the next 1.5 hours working on it....and not much progress. Well, I'll take that back. We did manage to get most of the glue out....but here it is 2 days later and there's still glue throughout her hair. It's going to take a good long while before it's all out. We tried everything they said too....acetone, hot oil, conditioner, baby oil, olive oil......nothing. Poor girl looks like she has a skin disorder where her skin is all flaking looks pretty bad.

So we survived another test....and hopefully this one will tell us something about her seizures. We won't find anything out for about 2 weeks though....and I'm fairly certain all they are going to tell us is that they didn't find anything conclusive to why it's going on, and to start her on medications. And our answer will remain the same....absolutely not. If you can't tell us why this is happening or anything of the nature, then why am I going to medicate her? And I truly in my heart of hearts believe it is over. That she has outgrown them, and it's all in the past. Or so I pray.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What to do....what to do....

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This week's topic:

Here in Cleveland (Erie!) we are snowed in but everywhere has days where cabin fever can creep in. What are your favorite indoor activities to do with your kids?

We're big into imagination here. Barbies, babies, school, shopping, super heroes, etc....really anything will do. Now don't get me wrong, Livi loves sitting down to a board game, or a puzzle, and I'm not going to lie and say we don't watch a fair amount of tv.....we do. But it's the imaginary games that arouse the most fun at our house. :)

Mike and Livi love to watch Powerpuff girls, Teen Titans, Batman, they've developed their own 'super powers'. Livi has ice, Mike has fire, I have air, and V (yes she's included as well) has water. Now for those who are wondering...everyone is on the same playing field....not one power is more powerful then the next. How to win? You have to outsmart your opponents. :) We'll make tents in the living room, have a safe spot on the bed, her bed tent is used as a hospital, etc. Whatever we feel like for the day. Then it's each for their own! (and usually poor "water", aka Violet, gets drug all over the place with either "fire" or "air" lol) We aren't concerned with being 'proper'....and couches become perfect for diving off of and hiding behind. Arms crossed in front of you? You block. Eyes shut? Concentrated power. It's become a very unique system that we all seem to understand quite well. And Livi? Well she has a ball and a half! :)

~Sincerely, Air

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Parenting Kraus style

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This week's topic: What aspects of your parents' parenting do you want to continue in parenting your own kid(s)?

Well it seems almost like a loaded question to me....given that I am one of the most relaxed parents that I know! I feel like I parent differently in so many aspects of parenthood then my parents....but a lot I have carried over as well......

....and I don't mean to offend anyone....everyone has different ways that work.... :)

First let me start off by saying that my parents were strict. Very. Gosh I wasn't allowed to go to the mall with my friends until after high school! And some of this went over well growing up....I learned to absolutely love school, and *tooting my own horn* never saw anything less then an A my entire k-12 career. I had perfect attendance, and was on many academic activities...i.e honor society, debate team, model u.n., etc. LOVED school. Plus I had a job that I worked at every day after school, and on the weekends. But it never seemed to be a challenge to was just expected. Now don't get me wrong...I was never the 'head in the books-no fun-boring' girl. Yes I was pretty naive up until I started working....then wow did I learn a few things! But I regress.....high school was fantastic, loved every minute of it! But then I went off to college several hours away....and BOOM! My world was turned upside down. I drank. I smoked. I had sex. I would lie. I would skip class. Etc. My perfect 4.0 GPA went straight down the an astounding 0.86 GPA! Yes, I typed correctly. Here I was a Biology Pre-Med student with all the potential in the world, bringing a .86 GPA my first semester at college. (My parents still do not know to this day, oops!) Looking back on it, I can understand more of what it was that happened. (and not totally blaming my parents mind you, but these are the facts.....)
Things that we are going to change.....
1. My parents were uber strict. completely ridiculous. I had a 9:00 curfew up until I was a senior....then it went to 10. (With the exception of work that was, then my Dad would be there waiting for me once the restaurant closed.)

2. We never talked about sex. Ever. So it was a taboo thing for me to test out and see what it was all about. Is it sad that the first time I ever went to the obgyn was my 2nd year of college, with my best friend, and I just cried the entire time terrified my parents would find out?? I went on the pill for about 3 months.....then stopped because I would have had to go back and get a refill. Nope, not happening. The next time I went back was about 6 years later when I was pregnant with Livi. Nice huh?

3. Favoritism. My brother is the middle child out of the 3 of us, and it was completely apparent in everything that we did, that he was favored by my Dad. I could go on forever quoting examples and different stories, but I'll spare everyone. But lets just say it was pretty bad.

I think when I went to college and could do my own thing, I exploded into new territories. Being so tightly reined in growing up never taught me how to be on my own. I wanted to experience everything that I haven't yet, and took it to the extreme. It took a llllooonnnnngggg time to make that GPA up let me tell you.....

So back to the girls. I won't be like that. I'm so afraid of sheltering them I was that I think I take things too far the other way sometimes.

* Livi has never had a bedtime. She goes to bed when she wants. Of course this has always been by 10pm, so maybe that's why it hasn't been an issue. But I'm not going to be strict about it. Not now at least. If we do tell her to go to bed, she does. Not a huge deal. But I won't be the parent that makes my child go to bed by 8pm.

* We have an open relationship. I want my girls to be able to come to me with anything that's on their mind, and any questions that they might have. I'm not dumb, I know they'll probably be having sex, and drinking while they're young. But I want them informed. I want them to feel like they can come to Mike or I and talk about birth control.

* We give them opportunities. This is one thing that I'm partly taking from my parents....let them be in activities. I was in so many things growing up and I loved it! And so far Livi has been in dance (hated it), and now does soccer, gymnastics, and swimming. And I suppose you can count piano...but I'm teaching her that at home so it doesn't really feel like an outside activity I suppose.

* We're not medicators. There are so so so many people that rush to the Dr for every little thing. Then they get their prescriptions and drug up their child. No way here. And you can tell if you are one of 'these' people because right now your thinking, 'well they had :insert random diagnosis: ' Yes they did. Because that's what you wanted the Dr. to tell you. Your child probably has a cold. And yes, they can get better without medicine. Maybe it was growing up with a Mom that was a nurse....but come on people! People medicate WAY too often anymore. There are several other alternatives out there....

* My kids don't act up in public. I'm sure everyone can relate to being out, and there's a kid misbehaving/crying/etc....and the parents just sit there. Do you not hear your child?? Or you have those that just threaten....over and over and over again. You know what?? Until you follow through on that, they are never going to believe you, and they are going to just keep on acting out. For this reason alone we don't like going out with certain couples.....

* My kids had (and will continue to have) bumpers in their cribs, blankets to stay warm, and be forward facing in their car seat before they hit middle school. (haha) If bumpers were so freakin dangerous, they would quit making them. If blankets killed every child out there that used them, they would ban them. And for car seats....well, I could go on for awhile. But simply put, look back at yourself growing up...did you even have a car seat. I didn't. And you know what? I survived. And so did millions of others. (and yes we use car seats....but they are not stuck rear facing for years upon years....)

I want my girls to grow up and be ready for the world. I want them to have parents that they can go to, and know that they are loved unconditionally. I want them to be happy and successful, and know that they can do anything that they put their mind to.

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