Saturday, May 23, 2009

Connor, Please Stop Trying To Die On Me

At nine months the fear of SIDS had almost evaporated.  Connor can roll proficiently in both directions, he can crawl and stand.  I didn't really worry about him suffocating in his crib.  I still use breathable bumpers and a breathable blanket just in case, though, because I don't like to take chances...and the Angel Care BeBe Infant Monitor.   It detects the minute movements of his breathing through the crib mattress.  If there has been no movement for 20 seconds, the alarm sounds.

I purchased it after I had to turn back in the respiratory monitor the hospital gave me after those reflux events where he stopped breathing on me

In the 5 months that I have had the monitor the only alarm I have had was when I took Connor out of his crib and forgot to turn it off.  Until this morning.

I was already awake.  I woke up at 5am and my brain didn't want to leave me alone enough so that I could go back to sleep.  I was lying in bed trying to ignore my obnoxious thoughts when I heard a beep.  It was the 15 second warning beep.  I wasn't sure what I was hearing until the full alarm went off.

I leaped out of bed and ran into Connor's room.  I snapped on the light.  He was laying face down as usual.  In a moment I was at his bedside.  I could tell he wasn't breathing.  I picked him up, his body was completely limp.  As I turned him over he took in a deep, gasping breath.  

I discovered his pacifier lodged deep in the folds under his neck.  I had to pry it loose from his skin.  I can only imagine that when he was laying on top of it, the pressure of his body caused it to press against his windpipe, cutting off his air.

I held Connor to me for a long time and just felt him breathing.  I looked down at him to see if he was awake.  His dark, liquid eyes were staring up at me placidly.  When I met his gaze he smiled.

I don't know why Connor had slept so heavily that he didn't wake up when he stopped breathing...maybe it was because he had gotten his 9 month immunizations only hours earlier.  I do believe the Angel Care BeBe Infant Monitor saved my child's life.  I need to write them a thank you letter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Much Is Too Much?

My sister and I were discussing Kayleigh's story and she asked me:  "How much is too much?  How much money is too much to spend? How many surgeries are too many?  When do you say enough is enough?"

At the time I shrugged my shoulders.  I didn't have my answer until later, when I held my sleeping child, marvelling at how sweet and beautiful his sleeping face was to me.

The simple answer is that there is that too much does not exist when your child is concerned.  I would willingly drive myself into a debt I could not possibly recover from for Connor.  I would work as many jobs as I had to...and if that was not enough I would beg, lie, even steal if that was the only way that I could obtain the means to save his life.   

Even though I don't believe that prayer works, I am not ashamed to ask for prayers, or even animal sacrifice for his benefit just on the OFF chance that there could be some positive result.

As for what I would be willing to put him through physically and emotionally...I don't have an answer to that question and I desperately hope I never have to face it.  I would urge him to fight as much as he had the capacity to fight.  He is strong and stubborn and I know it would take a lot before I was willing to let him give up.

It is hard...and yet it is easy.  When your child is first put into your arms you know that the tiny person you're holding is bigger than you....and there is nothing you wouldn't do for them.  If you have someone in your life that you would die for, kill could it be possible that ANYTHING would be too much?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Connor's New Tricks

Connor has been a show-off this week, cruising around on the furniture like he owns the place.  The other night he got bold and let go of his toy box  with one hand, inched over and grabbed a table with the other hand, then took the few steps necessary to be full-body clinging to his latest conquest.

It's time to glue all the furniture to the walls apparently.

As strange as this may seem, more exciting to me than the cruising (which just fills me with dread of all the baby-proofing yet to be done) is clapping.  I know that may seem a little strange, but when Connor claps at me I'm overwhelmed with delight.  I can't help but clap along with him saying "Yayyyy!  Yayyyy!" in time with the beat.

Another thing Connor has been doing is a little...odd.  He has been rubbing his face on things.  Last night I found him "crawling" by dragging his face across the carpet.  I sat down next to him and he grabbed my foot and rubbed his face against it.  A little disturbed, I picked him up, only to have him grab MY face and rub his drooly, dirty cheek against mine.

...thanks Connor.

This morning as I was nursing him, he pulled my hand to his face and pressed it to his cheek.   I don't mind gently caressing my son's soft, perfect little face....but I have to admit, I think this new behaviour is a little weird.

Monday, May 11, 2009

MPSP V/S The Eater Of All Things

I keep writing about Connor's new abilities, but I have neglected to write about mine. I have a new super power. It's called MPSP. Mommy's Pacifier Sensory Perception. In short, I can sense an ejected pacifier with deadly accuracy from 20 paces.

I became aware of this ability one day when I was holding Connor, who was happily nomming his paci when my hand snapped out and caught the falling bit of plastic and silicone before I'd even realized anything had happened.

My reflexes unfortunately do not match my MPSP, so there are times when I don't always catch the paci, but I ALWAYS know when it is about to pop out.

Connor has made a game of this. He makes an effort to spit out the paci whenever it is MOST inconvenient or when we are in a place where, once it has hit the floor, I can't just suck it up and stick it back in his mouth. I have to wash it. Should I not IMMEDIATELY wash and return said paci, he starts up a wail for it in such woeful and piteous tones that I can't stand up under the scathing looks of passersby who don't understand why I am withholding such a simple form of comfort that the poor child so desperately wants.

"Why don't you just get one of those tethers you can attach to their clothes" you ask? Ahh, but where would the fun be in that? I enjoy matching wits with my son day after day, pitting his reflexes and sneakiness against my MPSP.....

either that, or he has learned to pull the tether off rendering it useless. You can pick which one sounds most viable.

Anyway, so I have come to depend on my MPSP to allow Connor to play with things I wouldn't normally let him touch. Small things, or things that shouldn't go in the mouth for whatever reason are safe with him as long as the pacifier stays firmly locked in place. Once it has slipped from the lips my MPSP kicks in and I can halt my son from devouring his prize. I can feel like I am not limiting his experiences and being over-protective without actually letting him do anything he shouldn't. It frustrates him, but works out well for me.

Until today, when the little devil learned to defeat MPSP.

I had him in the car with me. I was on my lunch break and I was getting ready to feed him. He was idly playing with the change in my door handle and I was busy examining a new scratch on his thigh. My only warning was the sound of metal clicking against plastic. I looked down and the pacifier was where it should be in his mouth...but he had it pushed up and UNDERNEATH it he was eating a quarter. I saw it just as it disappeared between his lips.


Didn't make a lot of sense? Me either...and my brain just kept going along those lines for at LEAST 30 seconds AFTER I made him spit out the quarter and it was sitting, covered with drool, in my change bowl. Seriously, I was very freaked out for quite a bit there, even though everything was fine.

I've lost track of how many points Connor has gotten now, but one thing is certain. Just when I think I am ahead, he goes and changes the game on me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Zombies Are Coming

There are three dreams that I dream several times a year. Flying, Giant Natural Disaster, and Zombies. I enjoy the first one. The last two, not so much. The events and dreams are always different, but the themes remain the same.

Last night it was Zombies.

I worked on a science base where zombies had been artificially created. There were 2 secure yards where the zombies were being held. As an extra piece of security, a part of every Zombie's jaw had been removed, rendering them incapable of biting. Basically they were muzzled dogs. Reasonably safe as long as the muzzles stay on.

Except, the story would be incredibly boring if everything were safe and no one got eaten, right?

One of my co-workers (not an actual, real life co-worker, just some random guy with a beard) decided it would be funny if they put the jaw parts back on 2 of the zombies and had them fight. I thought this was an INCREDIBLY bad idea. I asked another co-worker (a real one this time, Ron Kennedy) if the zombies would know enough to get their jaw parts on for themselves if they were to get ahold of them. He assured me that they were fully capable.

The idiot co-worker grabbed a HANDFUL of the jaw parts and headed out with a group of other make workers to "mess with the deadies" as they put it. Ron wasn't too worried but I was terrified. He disappeared into a closed storage room and I began to frantically search for the security gun I had seen earlier. I had seen it, but our office was incredibly disorganized and I couldn't find it. I was going to put a bullet in idiot co-workers head. He was going to kill us all with his stupidity. That's how it ALWAYS goes.  You don't mess around when zombies are involved, you just DON'T. 

Suddenly the sounds of screams and gunshots caught my attention. It was too late to stop The Idiot. He was already being overwhelmed and eaten, as were the group of men that went with him. In fact, some were already rising again as they Newly Dead. Of course, they had taken the gun with him so I was now defenseless.

Zombies began to shamble towards the door. I closed and barricaded it at quickly as I could, but I knew it wouldn't last long under the pressure of their onslaught. The glass of the window broke. The door began to splinter. I turned to run...

And ran right into Ron. He was already a zombie. HOW!??! I asked myself in a panic. He had been in a closed storage room. The zombies were still outside! How had they gotten to him? ...they must have though because he was staring at me with dead eyes and peeling skin and a gaping wound on his chest.

He grabbed me and bit me. Hard.  

He barely broke the skin, but I knew my fate now.  I was going to be a zombie.  I sighed and headed outside.  

The outside of the "lab" was the outside of my mom's house.  (Hey, it's a dream.  It doesn't have to be logical)  I started walking down the driveway.  The zombies were pouring into the streets by now and began attacking neighbors who wandered out of their house.  I decided that since I was a zombie now I should start acting like one.  I didn't have any particular hunger for human flesh, but, you know, when in Rome.  I walked up to one of my neighbors who was transfixed by watching someone else being ripped to shreds, grabbed his hand and bit him.  I didn't break the skin, but I figured it was enough.  "Looks like you're a zombie too now" I told him. 

We decided to go off and do zombie things together.

We got in his car and drove to the mall.  At first it was calm but it didn't take long for the place to dissolve into chaos.  We went to the food court because I was hungry (but still not particularly for human flesh).   I ordered a sandwich and took it from the attendant just as he was over-whelmed by a rabid zombie eating his face.

I sat down with my companion at a table.  There were screams and blood all around us, but since it really didn't have anything to do with me I started in on my food.  My companion was strangely silent, staring around us in horror.  I assumed he wasn't adjusting as well to being a zombie as I was.  He abruptly stood up and fled.  I watched him run and idly wondered to myself when my skin would start flaking and peeling off.

The attendant who gave me my sandwich rose, then, from behind the counter and started moaning at me.  He was staring at me fixedly and trying to walk through the counter to get to me.  I was a little confused...why was he interested in ME? I noticed then that HIS skin was already sloughing off and he a corpse.  But I didn't.  Not even a little bit.

Realization dawning I looked around me.  I was surrounded by other zombies, all who were staring at me as though I was the most fascinating thing on the planet.  I stood slowly.  A few thoughts suddenly became clear to me.

That closet that Ron had been in WAS closed off completely. 

Since I had been standing in front of the entrance, a zombie COULDN'T have gotten in there without me noticing.

Ron thinks it is INCREDIBLY FUNNY to sneak up behind me and scare me in my cubicle.  It wouldn't be entirely out of character to don a zombie costume to frighten me.

....I am not a zombie, but I am surrounded by several that want to eat me.

Oh.  Shiii....

At that moment my child's cries woke me up.  I was relieved.  I don't think that dream would have ended well for me.

I blearily looked at the clock.  4am.  I dragged myself out of bed.  As I was changing Connor's diaper, it occurred to me that all of my plans to survive if zombies attacked would be impossible to implement with an infant.

Yes. I have plans to survive the zombie hordes.  I'm not insane, I am a recovering insomniac.  Let me just say that being objective and logical at 4am after days of no sleep isn't exactly one of my strengths.  It was during one of these sleep deprived fevers that I devised my initial survival plan.  It has been revised often over the years as lack of sleep or reoccurring zombie nightmares respectively bring those thoughts to the forefront of my mind.

I gazed down at my fragile son and felt a deep, chilling fear at the thought that I couldn't protect us if I had to in that situation.  His inevitable cries would attract them making stealth impossible.  It would also be impossible to carry him and all the supplies I would need for the both of us and be capable of any real speed.  Plus, my dexterity in avoiding attacks would be significantly reduced having a baby strapped to my back. Basically, if the zombies come tomorrow, we'd be toast. 

The logical step to take to survive would be to leave him behind.  I could never do that though, so the best I could hope for is that we'd die together.  It might be different if he were older but as it is...

So yeah, remember what I said about not being in the clearest state of mind at 4am? I had a very hard time falling back to sleep after that, worrying about zombies.

Oh...and Facebook didn't help.  The day after I had this dream I logged on to Facebook and took a random quiz "How Will You Die?"

My result?  Torn Apart by Zombies.

I knew it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Boy, The Future

I had to share this today because in my (somewhat limited) experience, this is pretty much the awesomest thing ever.  

Remember when I said that one of my pics of Connor had him looking all noble like the future president of the United States?

Well NOW I have further evidence!

10 Minute Baby Food Recipes

As a mother of a very active 8 month old, I don't have a lot of time to do...well, pretty much anything except chase after him and try to keep him out of stuff. I make his purees after he has gone to sleep and freeze them till they are ready to serve. I still like to make him fresh food from time to time...and some things just don't freeze well, so I had to come up with some recipes that can be executed in 10 minutes or less...which incidentally is the amount of time a busy infant can reasonably be entertained by a high-chair tray full of cheerios.

Here are a few of the recipes I've come up with. Feel free to use them if you're ever keeping Connor (yes, Mom, this means you) or for your own baby.

If you have any suggestions for other 10 minute recipes I would be THRILLED to hear them.

Fruit Yogurt

I know this hardly counts as a recipe, but I have a little trick that I use that seems to make Connor enjoy it more.

1/2 Organic Fruit (banana, apple, pear, grape, blue berries)
1/2 Cup Full Fat Plain Organic Yogurt
1 Steamer Bag
 Chopper/Grinder/Blender/Food Processor/Magic Bullet

Wash and peel Fruit and cut into quarters.
Toss into Steamer Bag and throw in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Pop steamed Fruit into Food Processor and blend till smooth.  
Mix 1/2 fruit with 1/2 cup yogurt while the fruit is still warm.


The rest of the fruit can be refrigerated or frozen into ice cube trays. If you are using Apples or Bananas, add a 1/2 tsp of apple or lemon juice to prevent browning.

Avocado & Cheese

Connor isn't a huge fan of avocado, but it is one of those foods that are highly recommended for babies so I have been trying to find a way to get Connor to eat it. I finally found a way! He loved it so much he ate an entire CUP of the stuff. (For an 8 month old, that is a LOT.)

1 Ripe Organic Avocado
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1/8 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
Powdered Garlic
Nature Seasons

**NOTE** When serving cheese to baby please make sure that it is pasteurized!!

Peel Avocado and cut away from the core.
Mash Avocado with a fork
Mix in Cottage Cheese and Mozzarella
Add a dash of Powered Garlic and Nature Seasons
Microwave for 15-20 seconds (until cheese is a little melty)
Stir well 


Warning: Baby may have some righteously bad breath after this...and beware the burps.  They can be lethal!

Scrambled Eggs & Cheese

1 Egg
1/4  Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Pat Unsalted Butter
Garlic Powder
1 Small Frying Pan

Set burner to medium and add frying pan
Add butter to pan
While butter is melting:
Crack and pour Egg into a bowl
Beat Egg
Add Cheese
Add a dash of Garlic Powder & Nature Seasons
Mix well
Pour Egg Mixture into pan
Scramble till well done.


Connor won't eat an entire egg on his own, and since eggs don't re-warm well I like to help him finish!

Chicken Casserole 

1/4 Cup Ground Chicken
1/4 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 TBS Ground Flax Seed
1 Pat Unsalted Butter
Garlic Powder
1 small frying pan
1 chopper/grinder/blender/food processor/magic bullet

Set burner to medium and add frying pan
Add Butter to pan
Add Chicken to pan
Add Garlic Powder and Nature Seasons to pan
Brown Chicken
If you have not already ground the flax seed you can do it while the chicken is cooking.  
Try to keep the chicken seperated.  You do not want it to clump.
Add Cottage Cheese to pan
Add Flax Seed to pan

The Cottage Cheese adds some necessary moisture to this recipe but you don't want it to be runny.  Cook until some of the moisture has evaporated.

Once cooked toss into food processor and blend roughly.  You don't want a soupy texture but the bits of chicken should be smooth enough to not pose a choking hazard.


To make this recipe I use my magic bullet.  I use the grinding blade to grind the flax seed then switch to the chopping blade for the cassarole.  

The flax seed adds a good dose of healthy fiber to this recipe without altering the texture or taste.

This is all I have come up with so far.  As I stated before, if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!