Sunday, January 24, 2010


Maya's hair has been getting longer...(yay!)....but also a little kinkier (is that a word?). And while kinky is cute, it's also a little dry, tangled, and frizzy. So I asked my brother's girlfriend (whose a hair dresser) if she has any products that work for Maya's type of hair. She brought me this.

It's awesome!

Now check out my girl's cutie curls. I love 'em!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Does it Ever End?

So Maya is out of the hospital and feeling much better....but now Mateo is sick with fever and a bad cough. Anytime Mateo gets sick it goes to his lungs. It's because of his asthma. So we started his sick plan with the nebulizer every few hours. I guess that's just how it goes. One gets better, the other gets sick. I'll bet right when Mateo is feeling better, Maya will catch whatever he has. Does it ever end?

Anyway, back to our hospital stay. I guess it wasn't too bad. But I have a few complaints. Maya was very scared and confused and cranky. She's 10 months so she understands something weird is going on, but doesn't understand what. She was also very overtired. The day we were admitted, I brought her to the pediatrician in the morning because I was concerned her leg wasn't really improving that much since starting the anti-biotics a week ago. I was worried about it forming an abscess, which would require surgery to fix. When the doctor saw her, he couldn't tell if there was an abscess but he suspected it. So he called the surgical clinic at our local children's hospital to get her seen that day. They said they could see us if we made it there before noon. It was 11:30 and it takes 40 minutes to get there. The pediatrician told me to try to get there in time but don't get a speeding ticket. So I rushed, baby in tow, on the phone getting the right papers from DCF to have her treated and arranging pick-up for Mateo at preschool. I told Dave to get his butt to the hospital because if they had to drain the leg, I would freak out.

So we saw the surgeon (at, like 1pm, not before noon mind you) and he said he wanted to open it up to drain it then have her admitted for anti-biotics through an IV. Thankfully Dave was there by then dealt with the draining part. He didn't put her under anesthesia for that. Just used a numbing cream and made a small incision. It drained very well but Maya wasn't happy. I don't think it hurt, I think she was just scared and didn't like being held down.

We got her into a room in impatient. It's a very nice hospital and very child friendly, but she was on quarantine because she technically had an infectious disease. So that meant she couldn't leave the room. She was also tethered to an IV post which was plugged into the wall so she had about a 3 foot radius around her crib to move. Try telling a 10 month old in the peak exploratory stage not to move around too much. It was very difficult for her. She wasn't actively sick. She had her normal energy and personality (maybe a little more cranky from her schedule being messed up) so she just wanted to play. I felt so bad for her to be stuck in the one room for 3 whole days. It was making me crazy and I had breaks. But she's a trooper and did a great job!

Because her schedule was off and she was in a scary unfamiliar environment, it was very hard to get her to sleep. But when we did, every single time, that was when the nurse just HAD to do something to her. Check her blood pressure, do a lab test, look at the leg, whatever. They HAD to do it every time she had just fallen asleep. I could have killed them! I asked them to come back in a hour, or half hour at least, but every time it was a very urgent matter that had to be done right that second. Really? Blood pressure? It was extremely annoying.

But most of the nurses were very nice and caring people. There was one who was maybe not so nice but maybe she was just having a bad day. But I'm thankful we're out of there, as was Maya. She was so happy to be untethered to the wall. When I brought her out of the room she had the biggest smile on her face. And she was just as happy to be outside in the fresh air. And she's right back to normal now, crawling around, learning some words and signs, pulling to stand, and she'll be walking any week now.

Thanks for all your prayers, thoughts, and concerns. I was worried there for a while but we're okay now. I just hope we don't have to do it again any time soon. Oh wait! Scratch that. I already know we have to do it again soon. Mateo is going in for surgery in a few weeks. Crap! He's getting his tonsils out, ear tubes in, and possibly adenoids out again. Because of his cleft it makes things more complicated and he may need to stay overnight. We stayed over with his last surgery. It was easier in some ways because he could leave the room but harder in some ways because he could leave the room. You know what I mean right? Anyway, I should probably attend to my son now who is screaming in the other room.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We're Home

Quick update so no one worries. We're home from the hospital. We got home last night. I'll write a post later about our crazy hospital stay. Does anyone else really hate hospitals?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Pray for Maya

Please pray or send positive vibes, or whatever it is you do, for Maya. We're in the hospital because Maya's MRSA infection got worse. It isn't life threatening but she does need anti-biotics through an IV. We don't know how long we'll be here yet but at least over night, possibly a few days or more. I really really don't want to stay the weekend. So please pray if you can. Thank you. I'll update when we make it home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Maya's first birthday is coming up very quickly. So here are some of my early plans for the party. We did a big adoption/birthday party for Mateo so I feel it's only fair to do one for Maya. As you can see, we're going with a ladybug theme (or lovebug as I like to call it).

The Decorations:

The Outfit:

Come on...say it with me adorable is this?

The Cake:
Something like this but probably without the giant ladybug on top. Professional cakes are expensive! But I don't want to have to make one.

The Favors:

These cookies might be green and pink instead to match everything else. I'll put them in a bag with a ribbon and our guests can take them home. I think I can handle making these.

And last, but not least....

most importantly....

The shoes!:

See? Told you I had some cute stuff!

Oh, by the way....just wait till you see her adoption video!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Yikes! The dreaded MRSA infection. Yes, Maya had (or has I guess) MRSA. I know it makes everyone shudder, but she's going to be just fine. At least that's what the doctor assured me. Actually, she's doing much much better already. I have no idea how or where she got it from. It started out last week as a little pimple on the back of her thigh. We applied neosporin for a couple days then, all of the sudden, it ballooned and got really red and hot. This was on Thursday. I picked her up from daycare and she felt really warm and feverish, even though she was acting okay. That night she was very tired and clearly didn't feel well, and she was running a fever of about 101.4. Not too bad, but combined with the leg inflammation, I was a little concerned. The next morning she was throwing up, her leg was really bad, she could barely move it and was in a lot of pain. She still had a fever despite all the tylenol and ibuprofen. That's when I freaked out.

Thank God Dave is so good in a crisis. He stayed calm and we called the doctor to see if we could get in right away. We considered the ER but figured we would get in quicker at our own pediatrician. I was in tears as Maya screamed in pain while we changed her diaper and attempted to hold her without putting pressure on her leg. Mateo was so upset by all of this. He would beat up Dave every time Maya cried because he thought he was hurting her. It was kind of cute although a little annoying. He's very protective.

I knew I couldn't handle being at the doctor so Dave took her. The pediatrician took a culture and gave us two anti-biotics with clear instructions. He wasn't sure which one would work or if it would work. He said that if she couldn't keep the anti-biotics down we had to admit her to the hospital. Also if her fever got worse or if we saw any streaking towards the lymph nodes. We kept a close eye but luckily, none of those things happened and she kept the anti-biotics down. She was very sick all day Friday and most of Saturday. Poor baby couldn't sit down, we had to hold her carefully all day. My arm is still sore.

By Saturday night she was much more comfortable. This is gross but the spot on her leg drained some during the day. That helped her feel better. Her fever was down and she was more herself. She still had a lot of swelling and redness in her leg but it seemed like the medicine was working.

This morning we went to get it checked at the pediatrican again. I was a little worried because it's still very red and hot. She's been throwing up formula but keeping down the pedialite. The swelling in her leg is still pretty big, but getting smaller. I thought the doctor would have to drain it but he didn't. He said the culture came back as MRSA, but one of the anti-biotics she's been taking usually works for that. He's satisfied with her progress and thinks she'll be fine. We're watching for an abscess, which could happen, but the doctor thinks most likely it won't.

Maya should be healed within a few more days. And hopefully she'll start keeping down her formula too. But she's acting more herself today. She's crawling around and playing. She's starting to stand up again and can sit more comfortably. I'm happy this infection didn't go the other way, with her in the hospital and an IV and risk for more infection. We were lucky we caught it in enough time to keep her home.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Staph Infection

Maya has a staph infection. It was really bad but it's getting better. I'm taking a short hiatus until she's all the way better. I'll be back soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


What is Unschooling:

Unschooling is a type of homeschooling but without the curriculum and formal teaching schedule. It's very radical but I think it will work for our family. I'll explain why below. So what is Unschooling? It's completely child-led, parent-guided, and focused on what the child is interested in. It's all day, everyday, life-long learning adventures in the community, at home, and outside in nature. It involves running around outside, exploring nature, observing bugs, cooking meals, playing computer games, taking interesting classes in the community, jumping on trampolines, spending entire days at the beach, and learning as we live and explore. The philosophy is based on the fact that children are naturally curious about the world and want to learn. And that by following their interests and their lead, we, as a family, will learn far more than in school where it's forced and unnatural.

It's different from traditional homeschooling because there's no curriculum, no worksheets, no scheduled "school" time, and no tests. It's life. It's making the most of every moment, every interest, every curiosity, and learning more about the world together as a family. We've done some of this type of teaching and noticed Mateo responds really really well to it. Here's why.

***We're using the unschooling method of educating our children, not parenting. Most unschoolers extend this style into their parenting allowing their child to go to bed when they want and eat when and what they want as well. They believe children know what's best for themselves and parents don't. This is where I draw the line. Mateo needs to go to bed at a reasonable time if nothing more than for my sanity :)

Why we're doing it:

Basically, it comes down to the fact that I think I can teach my kids better than an over-worked, under-paid teacher of 20 other students can. I'm not anti-school and I probably wouldn't do this if I had any other child than I do. Actually, I've never been a fan of homeschooling. My experience of homeschooling has always been religious fanatics that are scared their children will be infiltrated by demons in the public school system. Their children are socially stunted because they've only ever been around other people like them, while the real world isn't like that, and kids need to know how to socialize with lots of types of people. So it's almost laughable that I would ever even consider homeschooling. Actually, even saying the word makes me throw up a little in my mouth. So I never in a million years thought I would actually homeschool my kids. But, since having Mateo in our lives, every single aspect of parenting, kids, and life has been challenged and redefined. So it really should be no surprise to me that my educational choices would be unconventional too. It goes right along with the rest of my parenting!

The idea started when I began thinking about future-Mateo. Future Mateo in school. School as an institution, public, private, good town, bad town, is about sitting relatively still for hours at a time at a desk with at least 15 other kids in the classroom listening to the teacher or doing worksheets. I just can not foresee Mateo being able to learn that way. I was barely able to learn that way and I don't have nearly as many learning problems as Mateo does. I know we're still a couple years off. And I don't know how kindergarten works nowadays, but I do know my son. A year and a half ago I knew there was something "off" in his brain chemistry. And I was right. Now I know that he will not succeed in a traditional school setting. He may survive, he may get by, but will he learn? Or will he slip through the cracks? Or maybe he'll be so disruptive he won't be able to stay in regular school. And there's no way I'll agree to send him to a therapeutic school. I've worked in two of them and I know there's a time and a place for this type of setting, but not for my kid! And I'll just leave it at that.

So, knowing Mateo as I do, and knowing that he's spent his whole time with us developing at HIS own pace, not able to be force-fed knowledge or skills at any time, has helped solidify my decision. Walking, talking, potty training (still waiting for that one!) has all been in his own timing. Actually, when we've tried to teach him something against his will, or pushed a skill when he wasn't ready, he bucked the system and resisted more! And his timeline does not match up with most kids in the school system. And you know what? I'm finally okay with that. If I pull him out of school, it doesn't really matter if he knows his colors right now or not. Maybe one day we'll pick up a prism at the science store and he'll be interested enough to learn about colors. Maybe not. Maybe he doesn't really care about colors for the next two years. Doesn't matter. He'll learn them eventually, and it won't be forced so it will probably happen faster and he'll retain the information longer. At least that's the theory.

How it will work:

Well, I suppose we'll find that out as we go. Even though preschool is really all about playing, it's not super-structured like grade school, and he seems to have fun, I'm going to start when we move in April. Mostly because we need a trial time and doing it during preschool seems pretty low-risk. In our new house, we'll have a big room devoted just for playing and learning. I'm already plotting out what I want the room to be like, and what materials I want to have available. I think what we'll do is provide the materials for learning and exploring and encourage him when he's ready to do it. And we'll learn and grow together being keyed-in to his interests. For instance; trains. He is really into trains right now (what 3 year old little boy isn't?) So, here are all the things we can do having to do with trains. We can visit a train, read about trains, play with trains, take apart a toy electric train, ride a train, visit the train museum, walk along train tracks, pretend to be a conductor, write a story about trains, build a model train, study a map of where trains travel, and watch movies about trains. We'll be learning about schedules and time, about ticket pricing and money, about types of trains, how trains run, mechanics, engineering, geography, computer skills, and practicing reading and writing. If he's tired of trains before we finish, no big deal, we can learn the same skills in a variety of ways.

Now don't worry. I'm not going into this blindly. I've looked up the statistics on success rate of homeschoolers and unschoolers in college and work life, and for the most part they are either similar to public schooled kids or more successful. I still have to work part-time, so some of our learning will happen on the weekends, which will be awesome because Dave can be involved and teach him things that I can't. Mateo has learned how to screw and unscrew, hammer a nail, and he already knows the difference between a screw, a bolt, a nut, and a bit. We didn't even teach him that! So he doesn't know his colors, BUT he knows how change the batteries in all his toys.

I truly believe unschooling will work for our family. I can adapt to Mateo's needs at the time; whether he needs a sensory break, calming time reading a book, an mid-day nap, or some physical activity outside. I can give him what school can't. I think. We'll find out and I'll keep you posted as I go. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free as always!

Mateo screwing the bottom for our lazy-susan into our cabinet

Things to Look Forward to in 2010

Number one: Hello? Moving! We are squeezed in our shoe-box so tightly I just can't wait for all the extra space. I can't wait until I can tell Mateo when he's super hyper to get his push car and do laps through the house to burn off some energy. I think we're just all on top of each other here and we get so aggravated about it. We probably won't move until April because we bought a fixer-upper. We have lots of renovations before we can live there. BUT I CAN NOT WAIT TO MOVE TO OUR NEW HOUSE!!! Do you get the point?

Second, adopting our little one! We already know she's ours but it would be nice for it to be legal. We have TPR (termination of parental rights) and we're just waiting for the social worker to do the paper work, get it approved by DCF, then get a date in court. I'm crossing my fingers for it to happen before her 1st birthday, which is March 3rd, but....I'm prepared if it doesn't work out.

Either way, I'm also looking forward to Maya's 1st birthday, in a bittersweet way. I'm happy she's with us to reach this first milestone. We missed Mateo's first birthday. But I'm sad to lose the baby-ness. Most likely, we won't adopt any more kids. We may foster here and there, but we're not planning on any more babies. So she's it. And I'm planning a big celebration, birthday combined with adoption. I'll share the details on another post because I'm picking out some really cute stuff!

Another thing I'm looking forward to is something that will take it's own post to explain. We've decided to try a new technique of schooling for Mateo in place of traditional preschool. It's called "unschooling" (with some modifications). And I'll explain more in my next post, that I can hopefully write out later today because i know people will be curious.

For now, here's to 2010! May it bring joy and blessings to you and your families!

I leave you with some pictures from our New Years Eve Party with some friends and family.

Dave playing my brother's video games, which he never gets to do.

Nana playing with Maya.

Maya and her best buddy Tanner (my friend's baby). Notice how she is stealing his toy.

Matching Elmo slippers. Mateo thought this was just the coolest thing. For five minutes. Unfortunately, they don't stay on either of their feet very well.