Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Poof!

So I had this post written discussing a new tv show I started watching, how the Bug is now teething, and other things, and somehow it just disappeared! One minute it was there and then the next it was replaced by an earlier post. The title was the same, but other than that it was totally different.

Weird.

Anywho, to sum the previous post up:

  • I'm sorry I didn't post last week, but we did a soft launch of our new program so my team was up until 3am supporting that. I, however, couldn't hack it so I passed out at 1. 
  • The 100 on the CW is amazing. 
  • Teething sucks. 
  • And my in laws are out of town so we have the whole house to ourselves! YAY! I can watch my TV shows on Netflix without having to worry about whatever my in laws are doing with the internet interfering (the internet at their house really sucks, but hopefully in 6 more months we'll be on our own again)

In addition to that I rediscovered my word press blog yesterday. I prefer blogger because I have more control over the layout without having to pay some exorbitant fee, but I finally found a free layout that's not too horrible. Also it seems like everyone and their mother likes to use wordpress. I'm trying to decide if I want to move over there, or stay here, or maybe keep them both but have one be for updates about the Bug and have this one be for writing.

Decisions, decisions.

The other tough decision on my plate right now is trying to figure out what to do with The Descendants. Currently the book opens with Vivian going to a party where her boyfriend proposes and then flips out on her when she turns him down. It occurred to me the other day that the boyfriend is a pointless character. He really serves no purpose in the books other than to show that Vivian is ambivalent about love and relationships. She wants to be in one, but she's afraid of it at the same time because she's afraid of loosing the person (After seeing how her dad reacted to her mom's death, who could really blame her). However, after the first book we don't see him again until book four and he only shows up in one or two scenes that do nothing to further the plot - though they lead to some great fan service (Though, can a book have a fan service scene if it hasn't been written yet and therefore has no fans yet? I have a lot of faith in this series I guess).

A part of me is tempted to change the opening to where her dad is getting remarried. Vivian is, understandably, not thrilled about the idea - especially since she's pretty positive that the woman has ulterior motives. Sure enough the woman does and her actions are what send Vivian on her journey.

I'm also tempted to make Audra be this woman's daughter instead of being Vivian's friend.

And I'm debating about making Audra a florist, but I worry it might be too obvious.

What are your thoughts, my dear readers and fellow WIPpeteers?

Today is WIPpet Wednesday, so here is your weekly snippet. Since today is January 21st, here are four paragraphs from The Descendants (1+21=22, 2+2=4). We last checked in with Vivian in this post. She's no longer stuck in the temple of doom, but her new surroundings are still dangerous - she just doesn't know it yet.

Afraid of what fresh nightmare might await her, she opened her eyes just a smidge - and immediately closed them against the bright glare of the sun. It hung high in the sky above, it’s rays beating down on her body and warming the fabric of her clothing and the stone underneath her.  
Squinting, she opened her eyes a second time and discovered that she wasn’t in another nightmare - instead she was in the middle of a field. Tall grass surrounded her on either side, broken up here and there by red flowers. She bent down and plucked one, running her thumb over the soft petals and the dark whorl of stamens at its center - poppies.  
While poppies weren’t her favorite flower by far, it was still comforting to see them. 
Beyond the poppies and the grass, foothills covered in greenery led up to two mountains that towered on the horizon. One was sharp and short, while the other was wide with a jagged top like a tooth. Smoke seemed to be drifting from the top of that one, but it faded as she stared at it, making her wonder if she had just imagined it.  
To check out more WIPpet Wednesday posts, go here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Six Months Later...

Today my baby boy turned six months old.



SIX MONTHS OLD!!!!

Just yesterday he was this tiny little thing in an incubator, and now he's wearing size 9 month clothing and sleeping in a crib. We brought him home in an infant carrier carseat and now he's in a convertible carseat. He used to drink just 2 ounces of formula, and now he's up to 5 and he's going to be starting baby food soon! He's laughing and cooing all the time, can roll over, and is trying to figure out crawling. Where has the time gone?!?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Music Mondays Are Back!

I've been listening to this song on repeat all last week. The line 'I am the son of a lost country' reminds me a lot of one of my characters.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A New Year...

My resolutions this year are to:

  1. Write more - like every day if possible
  2. Finish my crochet projects before I start a new one
  3. Use up all my yarn stash.
So far I finished a harry potter scarf I started over a year and a half ago (though it's probably been longer than that). The sad thing is that it was pretty much finished last January - all I had to do was sew up either side and add fringe. I'm currently plugging away now at a baby blanket I started in October for a friend from Church - I think I have 20 more rows till I'm done. After that there's another baby blanket to finish for a cousin. However I lost the hook I was using for that one, and now I can't remember what size hook it was, so I may have to frog it and start from scratch.

Oh, well, at least my neck will be warm while I do so. 

(Ravenclaw  Forever)

I am beginning to plug away at my stories more. I updated both of my fanfics for the first time since April. I finally just deleted the chapter that was annoying me on The Undying Ones. It turns out that I didn't really need it after all. I still have no idea if I should change the first couple of chapters of the Descendants, or leave it as is.

Anywho, today is WIPpet Wednesday. Since there isn't anything I can really share in TUO or The Descendants at this point, and there's nothing new in Mary's story, I'm going to share a little bit from one of the aformentioned fanfics I updated last week - Renegade Weyr. Just like Between Two Worlds, it's a Dragonriders of Pern Fanfic, but unlike Between Two Worlds, this actually takes place on Pern and the two main characters are both dragonriders.

There are five different dragon colors on Pern - Golds are female dragons and are the largest, and are often called Queens. Bronzes are male and the second largest dragons. Browns are also male, and are the next in line on the size scale. They're followed by Blues, who are male too. Last but not least are Greens, who are the smallest and are female.

When dragons hatch, they 'impress' upon a human, and then they and that human are bonded for life. Queen's impress on women. Bronzes, Browns, and Blues impress on men. Greens either impress girls, or men. They can communicate with their rider and each other telepathically, but it's very rare that a dragon will talk to another dragon's rider.

When men impress they shorten their name - so Jason, becomes J'son. Women who impress don't change their name. Dragon's names always end in a 'th'.

Dragons and their riders all live together in a Weyr, but occasionally they'll leave to go and visit a hold, craft hall, or a Gather - which is kinda like a county fair.

N'kar, the character in this chapter, is the rider of brown Elanth. He grew up in a Weyr surrounded by dragons and eventually impressed. His family, however, moved out of the Weyr and into a Hold after his oldest sister got married. He's gone to a Gather near their home to spend some time with them when his dragon encounters another dragon that isn't what it seems to be.

Since today is the seventh of January, here are seven lines from the first chapter.

I thought you were going to sleep? N’kar asked the brown.
I was, but then more dragons arrived and I had to move. There are two very pretty greens here now but they won't talk to me. There's a small bronze and a blue that keep watch on them constantly. The dragon sounded annoyed, They're very nervous.
Maybe they're coming into heat? The brownrider suggested in an attempt to soothe the dragon.
No, I would know. And no one else has seen them before. The large green isn't right, she's nearly as big as me, but she isn't a green.
How can a green not be a green?
I don't know, I don't understand. She's
green, but she isn't a green.
I give up. N'kar's brain hurt from trying to understand Elanth's logic. Try to ignore them and go to sleep.
To read more of the fanfic (there's 31 chapters) you can go here.
To read more WIPpet Wednesday updates - go here

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Back Into the Swing of Things...

Three weeks ago my doctor decided that I had fully recovered from the trials of the summer and my surgery to remove the fibroid that caused so many problems. Two weeks ago I returned to work. After spending five months away, it's been really rough. I miss my son and the traffic sucks, but on the upside I can eat without having to rush (or worry about getting crumbs in my son's hair), and, most importantly, I have time to write again!

Unfortunately it's been hard to pick up right where I left off.

I have one story that every time I look at it, I wonder where the heck I was going with this particular chapter I was working on. On another story, I've decided that how I started it was too distracting, and that this one particular character was pointless. And it turns out a third story I thought needed more work is actually done and just needs to be edited. Why didn't I do that ages ago?

Anywho, today is Wednesday, and on Wednesday's I used to participate in this thing called WIPpet Wednesdays where authors would share snippets of what they were working on. Since I was able to get a little writing done this week, here's a WIPpet snippet. Today is 12/17, so here are five paragraphs (12-17=5) from the story involving Mary (whom we last saw in this post)

Mary froze. The earl was another one of her regulars, often visiting once or twice a week if she allowed him. While she enjoyed all of her clients, she had to admit that he was probably her favorite. He was only a few years older than herself, handsome, and extremely fit underneath his tailored suits. While she didn’t love him - after all courtesans could not risk falling in love - there was a definite attraction between them. She did not have to fake it with him like she had to do with others, and his more traditional tastes were a welcome relief after all the other fantasies she had to fulfill.  
However, it had been well over a month since he had last visited. Mary had assumed that he had retired to his estate for the summer, or that maybe he had finally taken a wife and was trying to have an heir. She stepped forward, peaking around the corner, to spy into the room.  
Hannah was correct, the Earl was occupying one of the parlor chairs.  He appeared as if he had lost weight since she had last seen him, his hair had started to go gray at the temples, and he sported a new mustache that curled at the ends. She was not fond of the fad, but she had to admit that he carried it well.   
Another courtesan sat on his lap. She played with his cravat, running her finger tip over the diamond pin in the middle of it as she whispered in his ear. He smiled at whatever she said, but he seemed distracted, absently spinning the glass in his hands so that the whisky swirled inside.  
Mary stepped into the room, holding her hands in front of her and cleared her throat. He glanced up and a slow smile spread over his lips as he recognized her. He stood, sending the other courtesan sprawling to the floor.
 To see more WIPpet Wednesday posts, go here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Steps Forward...

And one step back...

Or maybe to the left...

It's just a slight detour.

A couple of days ago I wrote about how we had started reducing the amount of rice cereal in Bug's formula. Well, Bug is a smart boy and figured out that the bottles we were giving him had less rice cereal in it than his other bottles. I don't know if it was the texture, or maybe the fact that it made the nipple of his bottles feel different, or what exactly happened - all I know is that he somehow figured it out and started flat out refusing those bottles.

First it started out with him just chewing on the nipples, or holding it in his mouth but not actually sucking. By the time we went back in for his next occupational therapy appointment, he had progressed to protesting the bottles rather loudly. He wasn't crying... just making disgruntled sounds in a very annoyed tone of voice, and the expressions on that little face of his! Any time we tried to give him a bottle, his eyebrows would draw together and his eyes would narrow - it was like he didn't trust us!

After witnessing all this first hand, his therapist suggested we give him one bottle with one ounce of formula mixed with two teaspoons of cereal, then another bottle with an ounce mixed with one and a half teaspoons of cereal, and then the remainder of his formula mixed with two teaspoons per ounce.

Expect Bug wanted nothing to do with that nonsense either - and frankly I don't blame him.

So my husband and I sat down and talked things over and we decided to go back to giving him just one bottle with four ounces of formula in it mixed with seven and a half teaspoons of cereal. It was the exact same thing as what he was getting before - just all in one bottle instead of spread out over three bottles over the course of a feeding.

Bug is happy again and is no longer fighting us over feedings. We're happy that we aren't having to make as many bottles, or clean up as many bottles at the end of the day.

Everything is golden.

And then we went in for baby boy's ultrasound to check on his hernia.

Now, of course the ultrasound tech couldn't tell us anything about if he had a hernia or not - we have to wait on the doctor for that - but it was pretty obvious that one of Bug's testicles hasn't dropped down. That explains why one side of his scrotum is larger than the other, and is probably why his doctor thought he had a hernia (though why his doctor didn't figure out what was really going on earlier is beyond me... but then we've been talking about switching doctors for awhile now)

It should resolve itself within the next couple of months. If it doesn't, then he will need surgery to fix it, but thankfully from what I've read that surgery is very very minor.

On other fronts Bug got to meet Santa for the first time this week.

The city we live in right now has a float that comes around and stops in different neighborhoods every night. On Tuesday they stopped about a block away from our house, so my husband and I dressed the boy up and carried him over to meet Santa. He was very entertained by the lights on the float, and he did very well for his first photo. By the second photo, when we hopped in, he realized someone new was holding him, so you can see him turning to look, and then by the third picture, he was staring up at him waving his arms and smiling. Sadly the camera was too far away to catch said smile.

So, Bug likes Santa. Can't wait till he meets the Easter bunny ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Progress...

When I first started taking Bug to his occupational therapy appointments, his therapist asked what our goal for him was. I remember blinking at her in surprise - goal? Weren't they the ones who were supposed to be setting the goals for him?

"Um, how about getting to the point where we don't have to put as much rice cereal in his formula?" At the time baby boy had some pretty severe constipation due to the rice cereal. We're talking having to give him lactulose and a suppository twice a day because he had developed an umbilical hernia and was developing an inguinal hernia from straining bad. If we could lower the amount we added to his bottles, maybe it would help. Also, letting him decide when he was hungry instead of feeding him every three hours would be nice too.

I didn't think it would ever happen, but Bug has gained so much weight that we're allowed to feed him when he wants - within reason of course. For the most part he's still sticking to a bottle every three hours, but there's been times when he's gone four hours in between bottles.

Then, about a month ago, his occupational therapist decided that we could start feeding him with him sitting upright or cradled in our arms instead of with him on his side. Bug loved it. He really enjoyed looking up at us, looking around at the room, at the TV, the cats. He even started trying to hold his bottle more.

At his last OT appointment, his therapist decided that he was doing so well that she wanted to see how he would handle less rice cereal in his formula. Instead of adding two teaspoons per ounce to his bottle, she added one and a half. He actually handled it very well - so well that she told us we could give him one ounce of formula with one and a half twice a day. This week we're up to one ounce with one and a half teaspoons four times a day, and if he continues doing well, we'll graduate to eight* times a day next week.

In addition to that, his cat scan for his lungs came back normal. There is some evidence of chronic lung disease, so we have to continue with his breathing treatments - but his lungs are no longer enlarged, and his tachypnea has disappeared. Pulmonary wants to keep him on the apnea monitor for now, but they're letting us take it off during the day time now.

Baby boy had developed an umblical hernia shortly after his last hospital stay. The doctors all told us that it should resolve itself eventually, however our pediatrician advised us to tape a coin over his belly button to help things along. It seemed a bit strange (and really old school) but to our complete surprise, it worked! His belly button is back to normal now! However, we still have to go in for an ultrasound to make sure he doesn't have an inguinal hernia this week. I have a feeling that he doesn't have an inquinal hernia at all, as his pediatrician said one of his testes hadn't descended yet, but better safe than sorry.

Bug is also starting to sit up and even stands if we support him. We're thinking of getting him a floor seat for Christmas, and a friend has a jumper she's going to give us.

However, he still hasn't rolled over on his own yet. We probably need to do more tummy time instead of chest to chest time, but it's hard since he's really not a big fan of tummy time. He'll do okay for a few minutes, but eventually he starts getting tired, or frustrated, and crying. Considering how much he likes sitting and standing, but hates tummy time, I have a sneaking suspicion he may skip crawling. According to his occupational therapist, a lot of preemie babies do that, so we'll see what happens!

Monday, November 17, 2014

World Prematurity Awareness Day

1 in 10 births world wide is a premature birth. I never thought my son would be one of those one in ten... but life is full of surprises. Even though it's been a tough road, I wouldn't have it any other way.


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It Takes a Village...

On the second day after surgery I was discharged from the hospital.

The car ride home was a special kind of hell. The 605 is a very bumpy freeway in certain areas, and even though my husband tried to avoid them or take them as slowly as possible, each one hurt like blue blazes. Also, the nausea that every nurse had asked me about while I was in the hospital kicked in the moment we exited the freeway.

Instead of choking down on normal food like I had planned (Orange Coast Memorial doesn't have the menu that Long Beach Memorial does) I spent the first day home praying I wouldn't be sick. Thankfully I wasn't.

Since I couldn't lift my son, my husband took the week of my surgery off. Having him at home to help out was a God send. He washed the bottles, made the formula, and fed Bug during those late night feelings when I couldn't keep my eyes open because of the Percocet. He took him to the doctors for his check ups, and he finally got to sit in on one of our son's occupational therapy appointments and meet his wonderful therapist.

Unfortunately, since my husband works for the city, he doesn't qualify for paid family leave, so he had to go back to work the following week.

Originally the plan had been that my mother in law would watch over me while my husband went to work - but that plan fell through before I even went under the knife. My mother in law had had a lumpectomy in mid September, but around the beginning of October the incision had become infected. She had to go through a second surgery to clean the wound, and was going to see a specialist every other day to have the wound treated. She's shown me it a couple of times and swears it doesn't hurt. I think she's lying.

My father in law usually went with her to her appointments, so relying on him was out of the question.

Thankfully my family only lives about 20 minutes away and they were more then willing to help. 

The first day my mom came over and fed the baby and changes his diapers while I sat in my recliner and dozed the morning and afternoon away on Percocet. Then the next day my aunt came over. Another day my oldest cousin stopped by.

When I wasn't sleeping off the pain killers, we chatted about stuff. My mom gave birth to me via c-section, and my aunt had three OBGYN surgeries within the space of a year, so they knew the pain I was going through. In addition to that my other aunt and my grandmother had had fibroids when I was young, and had surgeries to remove them.

Plus, it turned out that when I was a baby I suffered from severe constipation issues like what my baby boy is dealing with right now. So my mom and aunt were full of tips on how to handle that.

When the baby was sleeping, and we weren't chatting about stuff, I crocheted a lot. In quick succession I finished Bug's baby blanket (which is long enough to last him till he's six or seven), then I started and finished an owl hat, and, because Halloween was so close, I also made him a pumpkin hat.

Baby boy was less than impressed...

Eventually the pain from the surgery faded enough that I was able to stop taking Percocet, and I didn't even need to take prescription ibuprofen. However, I was still easily tired: I went out for lunch with friends the Sunday before Halloween, and I managed to make it through lunch, but I had to sit out on the wine tasting they went to afterwards (though, honestly, I am not a big fan of wine so I probably would've sat that out anyways). Then the following day I pushed myself way too much by walking down Seal Beach pier and around downtown. 

I was scolded by my doctor for that and since then I've been a lot more careful.

Two weeks after the surgery I was cleared to pick up my son again. As much as I enjoyed having my family come over to visit and help out, it was nice to be able to take care of my baby boy on my own once more.