Friday, January 29, 2010


In Phillipians 4:6, we are told to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
The last time I received treatment for my arthritis was 2 days before I ran the New York City Marathon in 2007. By the way, it IS okay to have arthritis and run! We were ready to have a child (or so we thought we were) and I didn't want to be on any meds. So, I gave myself that last injection, prayed for my health and patience and ran a marathon 2 days later. Troy was born in September 2009. As I've documented since I was pregnant and since his birth, I went through a wonderful, fantastic remission. About 6 weeks after he was born, it was back. Not the devil but the little thing that lives inside me and causes pain and inflammation. Dealing with it has been okay but a week ago today I went back to my rheumatologist. I told him that the steroid shot I had 2 weeks prior wore off after 3 days. Proof was in my knee - the fluid was back and the pain was in my back/hip again. I had not exercised and this in and of itself makes me a crabby person. We all need our exercise, right?

So, I came in with my new droid where my browser was opened to the latest studies about Enbrel (the medicine I took). My doctor is so funny to me. He's a bit harsh, isn't a softie AT ALL. He has a very interesting sense of humor. If you don't listen intently to his (Persian) accent, you'll miss whether he's joking or not. But, I love him. He tells me what I need to hear. Previously, he would ask me if I could stand the pain and although I didn't want to, I'd tell him that I could; he would withdraw some fluid (sorry, very yucky) and inject a steroid. I'd feel like a new woman! In fact, the day after the last shot, I payed for my plane ticket to go to Big Sur and run a 10 miler.
When I went to see him last week, I knew I'd need to be ready. Honestly I was throwing up the white flag. I checked with my lactation consultant who told me about the molecular weight of the medicine (150KDa). And I THOUGHT you'd never use chemistry again! I made sure I knew about the maximum size of a molecule which could be released into breastmilk, read all about Dr. Thomas Hale. His information was given to me by my lactation consultant. Learned about how a baby's digestive system enzymes dissolve certain medications. So, I walked in there with guns a blazing! While I thought he would ask me a bunch of questions, he simply asked, "What do you want to do?" I contemplated a moment and said, "Well, I don't want to stop nursing but I can't do this anymore. I want to take the Enbrel again." He said there aren't any studies showing it's safe. I asked if I can make the decision and he said I could. He consulted with the other rheumatologist in the clinic (mind you I've been going here since I was 19 except for the 3 1/2 years we lived in LA). So he tells the other doctor that I'm a documented AS patient for the past 12 years, have educated myself on the medicine (insert pat on the back here) and want to take Enbrel again. The other doctor said there aren't any studies (I mean were they TOLD to say this?). I said I understand but I feel comfortable enough to take it again. They both said OKAY.
Here I am, one week later, knee painfully swollen, back/hip throbbing and SO excited because the medicine is coming today.

Before I made my appointment, I asked God for guidance. He led me to the lacation consultant, then to many websites where I read others' stories. I'm not the only one, of course. I have prayed faithfully about this decision and I still feel confident about getting back on the medicine. I have faith that Troy is going to be fine. I'll be a better mother because I'll be able to care for him better (picking him up and carrying him around has been a hassle).

For your entertainment, here is my knee. Probably doesn't look so bad but I am SO excited about it going down and being able to exercise soon. I haven't been able to do ANYTHING in 13 days. Ugh.

So I'm wondering when the UPS man will come today. I'm not anxious but very excited.... AS It'll take a while to kick in but there's hope, right?!?!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Four Month Checkup for Troy

Little...or should I say quickly growing Troy went to the doctor today. He had 4 shots, one viral, cried until his face was red, quit crying and started smiling.
Weight: 18 pounds, 4 oz (95%)
(the peds office and support group scales are a little different but does it make a difference - NO)
Height: 26.2 inches (90%)
Head: 16.6 inches (50%)

Well, everything is higher than normal except for the head. Hmmm. What does that mean? Maybe my head isn't large enough to understand :o) But, the doctor said he's perfect. Don't you just love that?!?!?
The lady at the checkup counter looked at his chart and said, "My, you're very happy to have just gotten four shots!" My, he was! He seems to still be okay. We prayed together (well, he did his baby talking) about him being strong, happy and healthy. God really made it easy for him...

This was taken just a few minutes ago (about 2 hours post shots):
I mean, can you tell I'm a proud ma-ma?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Four Months

It's so cliche but he's growing very fast. I still cannot put my hands around the fact that I have a baby. Well, I can put my hands around him but you know what I mean. Every little stage is more and more fun. He found his feet a week before he was 4 months old. Now, when he's put on his back, his feet go straight up. Doesn't seem fun for me to do it but he enjoys it thoroughly!

Let's see, I've put in some of my favorite photos of him. While I was taking pictures of him in his new rocking chair (Cracker Barrel Kids Chair $44 at Angel's Antiques), he grabbed his feet for the first time. Not sure if I'll always see his few "firsts" but I'm content to see some of them now.
Weight: 18 pounds, 5 inches.
We'll find out the height and head circumference when he goes to the doctor next week.

He enjoys his jumperoo, the swing and bouncy seat for now. He's not too far away from the weight limit on the swing and bouncy seat so I'm thinking those will go soon. Troy is drooling like a fool and his gums seem to bother him. He puts everything in his mouth. Diapers: Pampers size 3 (just got into threes) or gdiapers size Medium.

We've made the leap into cloth diapers. Call me crazy but it's going pretty good so far. In fact, they will pay for themselves in just a few months (yes, including washing!). Goli doesn't work with cloth diapers so he'll still have the disposables when he goes to her. So if you go on the gdiapers site, you'll see that Julia Roberts recommends them. Hmmm, does she change diapers? :o) They're so darn cute, too!

Troy is super ticklish, loves to smile at people. He gets fussy when he's tired, hungry or needs to be change. Oh yeah, and when he's tired of whatever position he's in. He loves taking a bath. He has decided he doesn't like his baby bathtub so we now put him in the tub on his back with a washcloth behind his head. With 2 inches of water in the tub, he kicks and talks. Oh, and he loves to "talk". While at church, he seems to like to talk during the sermon...and we excuse ourselves.

He's still exclusively nursing. On the day he turned four months, we gave him cereal and he ate it up. But, I don't think I'm ready for him to have cereal. He's still sleeping good (minus last week) as long as he's swaddled and he weighs a lot! We'll start him on it next month or the next. We believe the main reason for the cereal is so that he'll get accustomed to regular food and to avoid food allergies. Plus, the AAP says they don't need to start foods until they're 6 months old.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year 2010

So I find myself backtacking...again. As we are now 11 days into 2010, it is past time for an update. Our New Year's Eve celebration was relaxing but fun. We joined the Angleas and Petteys for dinner and a New Year's toast at Ariccia. It was delicious and included a four (or 5) course meal. I (being the good eater that I am) enjoyed each dish more than the prior. Our pallate cleanser was a frozen cucumber and ginger combination in a small glass. I was the only one who loved it (probably because it was so salty). We all danced once and felt "old" because we weren't on the dancefloor much. I'm such a horrible dancer anyway! What was fun was watching the older folks dance the night away. Some may have had a little much to drink.

KK and Papa were so sweet to come, spend the night and watch Troy. I think he went to sleep only an hour after they arrived but I think DHR would have been after us had we allowed the cat to be the babysitter.

Anyway, we had a great time. We talked about the last DECADE and how each of us graduated, got married, had jobs and children. Brian and I were married in 2000, moved 7 times, lived in 2 states, traveled a lot, had a baby and had a great time! The things that stick out in my head for me is that I have run 2 marathons, had 3 jobs, both grandfathers passed away and had a baby.

I'm happy to say that I've lost more than my pre-baby weight. This isn't necessarily a good thing - I'm not where I'd like to be. I'm not feeling quite up to par with exercising. The elasticity in my mid-section is still strange! Unfortunately the arthritis is still there, in my knees, back and now my upper right hip. Had to get another steroid injection the week of New Year's. While it makes me feel better, it's only temporary. The issue at hand is nursing Troy. Honestly I was hoping I'd be able to do so until he weaned himself. A huge reason is the cost, then right next to that is the nutritional value. I can control the nutrients he receives by what I eat. While I'm hoping he'll be as healthy of an eater I am, it will not be as easy to control. Nonetheless, my days of nursing are numbered based upon the way I feel. Caring for Troy is more important now. The risk of taking the medicine I need is unknown as to whether it will be given to Troy through the milk. So, for now, I'm not exercising like I'd like to be. Nursing has come so easy and I do have a good bit of milk stored so it will be okay to stop.

You may say that it isn't a big deal. But, to me, it is. I can run, do yoga, Wii fit, swim, etc. But, not how I could before. When pregnant, I was in remission and felt so wonderful. I wish remission came without pregnancy. Things are just more difficult now, as in harder. But, God has a plan for me and I truly know that. However, my human selfishness sometimes comes into play and it causes me to dwell on things I shouldn't. I'm praying for contentment and strength for now.

On another note, cheers to a New Year and contentment!!
My motivation:

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chan Pie Gnon

This little fella deserves his own post. Our cousin said he would guess the name stands for "blue nipple". It actually means "blue mushroom". I guess they could be cousins. Nonetheless, it's hilariously weird looking, sounds like a dog toy (with the squeak it makes) and is very rubber-y. Apparently babies, including mine, loves the thing! Try it for your baby, not only will it receive strange comments from others, your child will love it!

Thanks for your comments and suggestions on my decor. I know the decor doesn't really matter but it's fun. So, I'm going to look for a nice nativity scene (we have a small one I didn't photo) and something fun (garland, lights, beads) for the mantle. I still could use any other suggestions, however!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Backtracking....Christmas Decor - HELP!

First of all, you must excuse me. I haven't been to design school, I don't proclaim to know how to decorate and don't feel confident in my skills. My Marketing degree doesn't have anything to do with decorating. But, I try. However, I need help. I'm posting this now so I can plan for next year.

Please, please, please give me your comments and HELP!

Below is our tree. It has a Madame Alexander angel. I'm not changing it because I love it; I love Madame Alexander dolls and was named after my mother's first MA doll she bought when she was 12. Okay, so our tree is a hodge podge of ornaments from my childhood, from 2000 and On...our tree isn't the problem.

Nor is this little thing in a large stocking:

Here's my problem...what to do with this mantle? Yes, the photo is crooked. The stockings will stay. They're hung by stocking holders with photos of Brian as a child, me as a child and Troy (respectively). The last is a paw with Abbie's stocking. On the mantle are two hurricanes that I've filled with ornaments. In the middle are three small trees. Last year I put lights and tiny ornaments on the tree. I don't like the way this looks. Any suggestions...please give me some suggestions and your thoughts!

Below is Troy's stocking. I should have made him one while I was pregnant but didn't. I forgot. But, I'm glad it turned out that way. I got the idea from pottery barn kids but revised it quite a bit to make it the way I wanted.

Not gonna change his stocking. If you check out PBK and like their stocking, you should buy one, they're all on sale now. I'd charge more than their regular price of $19.99 if I was making one for someone else...Brian wants me to make personalized ones for each of us. The jury's still out on that one...Wish I would have made a tutorial on this. It wasn't difficult but since it was the first time I've made one and I did it from scratch, I didn't include a tutorial. Should I made others for us (they won't be reindeer), I'll do a tutorial.

Here is our breakfast table with the buffet behind. I like Christmas trees and I think this is okay. We have several little stuffed Christmas characters (Beanie babies, singing Christmas cats, etc). Brian has bought at least 4 of the singing Christmas cats. Why? I don't know but he likes them so they're staying. I can use some help with the buffet...
The two books are filled with Christmas cards. I started putting them in scrapbooks last year. I gathered all of the announcements and cards I could find and put them in scrapbooks. If you send us a card, it goes in the book. It was a hit at our Christmas party....we ended up getting cards after the party from everyone who attended and had not sent a card prior to the party. Their cards are now in the book! I need to get a new book for next year. The ones are now full...Thanks to Tracey for me stealing her idea from last year.

So here's the dining room table. I'm semi-okay with it but could use some help here, too. We have a pretty large, heavy chandelier above it and maybe I should have hung ornaments from it? The runner is a long piece of fabric. I probably should hem the edges but I keep using it for other things. The arrangement is placed in my Tiffany platter I received after 5 years with SF and it holds sentimental value so I'd like to at least use it occasionally.

Please help me. Things are on sale right now so I could use some help.