Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Practicing Medicine

It's times like these that I have to tell myself over and over again that I should be grateful for Tricare and all the benefits it provides, thankful that I don't have to pay for insurance or prescriptions or anything like that, and to just take it all in stride.

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I got a call from Martin Army Hospital. It was one of those automated reminder messages telling me not to forget about an appointment that was scheduled for Aiden on the 23rd. To my knowledge, Aiden had no appointment scheduled for that day, so the following week I called to find out what was going on. The nice lady in Central Appointments tells me that Aiden has been scheduled for an appt in ENT for Wednesday, the 23rd of January. She's telling me this on Tuesday, the 22nd. Huh? I didn't make an appointment for him in ENT! Apparently when I took Aiden to the the doctor for his well-child check-up, they scheduled him for a follow-up appointment in ENT, but neglected to actually tell ME about it.

So I tell the lady that Wednesday is not going to work (and had they actually consulted with me before making the appointment I could have spared us all a lot of trouble), and I would call ENT later on and reschedule. Fine, no problem.

I get home and get the mail. In the mail is a sheet of paper from the surgical department at Martin Army, telling me that my appointment (which should have been that morning), is a consultation for surgery to have tubes put in Aiden's ears. WHAT? He already has tubes! He doesn't need more tubes! What is going on?? So I figured it was a good thing I had cancelled that appointment, since I would have been really irritated to get all the way down there only to discover it was a complete waste of time. Case closed. Or so I thought.

Yesterday morning I get a call at work from the ENT department saying they want to reschedule the surgical consult for my daughter, Eden.

Deep breath. Deep breath. In....Out.....In.....Out. Okay, here we go.

That's nice, I say, but I don't have a daughter. I have a son, his name is Aiden, A I D E N, and he doesn't need a surgical consult because he's already had the surgery for which you want to reschedule him. Please put down in your records that Aiden Christopher Echevarria has already had tubes put in BOTH of his ears, and if I feel that there is a problem with them, I, HIS MOTHER will make an appointment for him, at a time when it is convenient for me to bring him in. Is there anything else?

There is a reason that they call it "practicing" medicine, and if you ask me, the nice folks in ENT need to practice a little bit more!!!

Happy Birthday Chris!

Today is Chris' birthday, he's 29!

That makes it his golden birthday, since he's 29 on the 29th. I told him yesterday that we are going to go out to dinner tonight in his honor, and maybe I'll have a virgin margarita for him. I also told him I think Aiden should start a paper-chain, as a countdown to his 30th birthday....he didn't like that idea so much.

I sent him season 6 of 24 on DVD for his birthday, since it looks like season 7 is going to be post-poned indefinitely. Is anyone else getting really tired of this writer's strike? There are only 2 current shows on TV that I try and watch on a regular basis - Prison Break and 24. While I realize we have been treated to 5 whole new episodes of Prison Break, it's been so long that I can hardly remember what's going on anymore, and who knows when they will actually finish the season? I'm not one to complain about something like television, but come on!! How many people are out of work because of this strike? It's not like everyone who works in the entertainment industry is a millionaire, I mean 90% of these people need to work, they have bills to pay and families to support. It's starting to get a little ridiculous if you ask me.

Anyway, the point of this post was to wish Chris a Happy Birthday, so I'll stop rambling now.....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

To The Office!

If you will, play the following scene in your head....

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm picking Aiden up from daycare to head home. I walk into the classroom to see the kids having a snack at the table.

Aiden: "Hi Mommy!!!"

Me: "Hi Sweetie, ready to go home?"

Aiden: "Yeah!!"

Amanda (Aiden's teacher): "Hi! Let me tell you what he did today..."

Me: Uh oh, this doesn't bode well...."What happened?"

Amanda: "Aiden got sent to the office today."

Me: "WHAT? What did he do??"

I look at Aiden and get a big, crumb-filled grin and a hug.

Amanda: "Well, he threw a fit--"

Aiden: (Interrupting) "Baby! Jack-Jack!" Rubbing my belly and smiling, "Baby Jack-Jack!"

Amanda: "--and was throwing things and kicking and hitting and biting--"

Aiden: "Wiggles!! Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!"

Amanda: "--so we had to send him to the office--"

Aiden: "Shhh! 'Nanda, SHHHH!!"

Amanda: "--to separate him from the other kids."

I look at Aiden who once again hugs me and gives me a big grin. Like that's going to make it all better.

Me: "Quit changing the subject! You were naughty today, were you?"

Aiden: "No."

Me: "Did he take a nap today?"

Amanda: "No,that probably had something to do with it. During naptime he was calling the other kids by name and then when they would look at him, he would make funny faces and giggle."

I roll my eyes, you have got to be kidding me....

So, at 2 years old, Aiden has had his first experience with being sent to the office. 2 YEARS OLD! Not only that, but he did his darndest to change the subject when I was being told about it, and was using all of his considerable cute charm to make me not be so mad. He's a little manipulater. AND, he's instigating things with the other kids! Making funny faces during naptime....give me a break! I just know that when he's in school, I'm going to get calls about him. He's the kid who's going to convince all the other kids that it would be fun to jump off the roof. Or stick gum in the vending machine slots, or egg the math club or something. He is so much like his father.... And just think, now he's going to have a little brother to bring over to the dark side!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Okay, okay, so I finally signed up on Facebook. I don't think I'll be updating that like I do my blog, I really just wanted to play Scrabble and Oregon Trail with my friends, but if you are on Facebook too, then give me a buzz!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Free P.R.

If anyone is ever looking for a unique baby gift for friends or family, I've got the hook-up. My Mom crochets baby socks (not booties), that aren't like anything you'll find in a store. They are all handmade with different types of specialty yarns, some are bamboo, some wool, some cotton, or a combination. She has all different kinds, and can also do custom orders. She's recently put them up for sale on Etsy, so make sure to check out her store:

I wanted to give her some PR, so pass the word along to anyone who needs a baby gift!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

12 Steps

I never thought I would be saying this, but my son has a problem. He's addicted to....cheese. You're laughing, but I'm serious! I think he needs to join Cheesaholic's Anonymous and get started on a 12 step program. I have never in my life seen a child who likes cheese as much as he does.

He would eat cheese all day long and for every meal if I would let him. And although he has a preference for Colby-Jack, he'll eat any type of cheese you wave in front of him. Need a bribe? Cheese. Need a distraction? Cheese. Need a treat? Cheese. He honestly would turn down cake or cookies or candy in favor of cheese. Do you know any other child who would voluntarily turn down sugar?

Sometimes he'll get himself in a cranky mood and be all whiny and difficult. But if you offer him cheese, 9 times out of 10 his mood will improve dramatically and he'll be hopping around the room, saying "yay! cheese!", and happily munch away. Once he gets his fix, it's all good.

I wonder if you can be pre-disposed to cheese addiction? Is it a gene thing? If so, then he must have gotten it from me, because Chris doesn't like cheese. I wonder if I ate a lot of cheese when I was pregnant with him? I honestly don't remember. I do remember eating a lot of peanut butter, although he doesn't seem to show a particular preference for that.

This cheese addiction has invaded other areas of his life as well. He's a very photogenic child (not that I'm biased or anything), and loves to ham it up for the camera. And what do you suppose he says when the camera points his way? You got it - CHEESE!!!

I guess it's a good thing he's not lactose intolerant....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Girl's Night

I actually had a girl's night last night, for the first time in I don't know how long!! My friend Amber and I went to dinner, mini-golf and a movie. Her husband is deployed with Chris, so we've been trying to get together and hang out sometimes. It was really nice!! I didn't have to worry about Aiden, since he was with my parents, and I didn't get home until midnight, which let me tell you is late for me these days! I guess I'm getting old....

Also making me feel kind of old is the fact that Amber is 19. She's a newly married Army wife, this is her first deployment since marrying the military. She's very sweet and we had a good time, but it was quite a reality check to realize she wasn't old enough to get a margarita at the mexican place we went to, and she's actually younger than some of the kids I used to babysit for...wow....! Does that make me the old, experienced army wife? How did that happen? I used to be the young wife that could stay out all night and do whatever I wanted, now I'm the one with kids who's done this a bunch times and has all the "knowledge" (whatever!). Times change...

ANYWAY - we saw 27 Dresses, has anyone seen that yet? It was pretty cute, I recommend it. And by the way, I would just like to point out that I have now seen 3 movies at the theater so far this year, and it's only January! Compared to the whopping 1 movie that I saw at the theater all of last year, I'm on quite a roll!

And just to let everyone know - Chris and I have chosen a name for this impending bundle of kickboxing joy - Jack Michael, or Jack-Jack, as his big brother has christened him....I think we've seen The Incredibles one too many times.... :-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mama's Boy

I dropped Aiden off at daycare this morning as usual. He doesn't mind when I leave, in fact, most mornings he just goes off and plays and pays no attention to the fact that I'm leaving. He's pretty secure, I guess. So this morning, I wave bye-bye to him and he actually waves back and says, "bye-bye Mommy". I smiled, it was so sweet. There was a little boy standing next to him who was also waving at me. You know little kids, they learn how to wave and so have to wave at everybody. I smiled at the other little boy and said bye to him too. Aiden looks over at him, looks at his hand waving at me, and proceeds to smack the little boy's hand down, and yells, "MY MOMMY!!" Whoa. Somebody's a little possessive. I had to choke down a laugh and tell Aiden to be nice. Why is it that even when they are misbehaving, they're still just so darn cute?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

See...I Was Right!!

I would just like to state for the record that I have always disliked clowns and thought they were evil. Now, I would like to offer proof that I am right. Yahoo did a story today on how clowns are universally disliked by children. You can read it here. So for everyone who always thought I was crazy for not liking clowns and refusing to take my kid to the circus, I would just like to say, HA!


I took Aiden in for his 2 year check-up yesterday. That was fun. I've never really had a bad experience with the Army doctors, for the most part I've been happy with them. But the doctor yesterday must have thought I was an idiot. To be fair, the doctor we saw was not Aiden's regular doctor, they were very behind in the clinic and were pushing some patients over to the overflow doctor to speed things up. Since Aiden was only having a check-up, I didn't think it was a big deal. He was very nice to Aiden and treated him well, but he spoke to me like I was born yesterday. Yes, I brush Aiden's teeth; yes, I wash his hands; yes, he drinks milk....what kind of questions are these?

Most of you know that Aiden has tubes in his ears from all of his ear infections. He doesn't get sick anymore from them, but he does still get infections when he has a cold, like right now. The tubes allow the infection to drain out of his ear (which is gross), but he doesn't get sick, so I'll take that any day. He has some drainage out of his left ear right now, so I told the doctor that I wanted a prescription for some Ciprodex, which is an antibiotic drop that you put in the ear twice a day to clear up the infection. I usually just call Aiden's ENT when he gets an infection, and they put in a prescription for him over the phone - it's not a big deal at all. This time I figured that since I was already taking him to the doctor anyway, I'd just get a prescription then. Of course I had to listen to this doctor tell me that he needed to have oral antibiotics for this infection, that drops weren't going to work, and that it's not normal for him to have drainage. I told him that according to my ENT, it's perfectly normal, it means the tubes are working, and the drops have always cleared it up before in just a few days, so can I please just have the drops?? It's not like I haven't done this before! Then he tried to talk me into another kind of drop, one that I know from experience does not work for Aiden. CAN I PLEASE JUST HAVE THE CIPRODEX???? I realize that I am by no means a medical professional or anything, but this is MY kid we are talking about, and I have been through this for over a year now with him. I know what works and what doesn't!! So finally I got the prescription, along with instructions to take him to get his blood drawn and get a urine sample for "routine once a year anemia screening". Sure, I'll get right on that. Like I am going to subject my 2 year old to getting his blood drawn and having a catheter inserted for a urine sample unless I HAVE to for some reason. It would take 10 people to hold him down, and scare him to death. I can tell you right now the kid is not anemic.

So anyway, that was our fun trip to the doctor. The end result is: Aiden is 31 pounds, and 35 inches tall. He's in the 80th percentile for his weight and 70th for his height. And he's doing all the things a two-year old boy should be doing. So I guess I'm doing something right!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Trip to the Movies

I took Aiden to the movies yesterday for the first time, we saw the Veggie-Tales movie, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything". It was really cute, and Aiden had a good time. He was totally enthralled with it for the first 20-30 minutes or so, and then his restless nature kicked in. We only had to go out once, and I have to say that for a 2 year-old at the movies, he did pretty well! And he was by no means the only toddler in the place, so at least we didn't stand out! We need to work on inside voices though, Aiden thinks he has to express his appreciation for the great special effects of Veggie-Tales by yelling, "YAY!!!!!" and "WOW!!!!" at the top of his lungs. It was neat to go to a movie with someone who had no idea what was coming, and hasn't yet been jaded by the whole experience. He looked so cute sitting in the chair with his own little bag of popcorn, eyes wide, his mouth open in amazement.

It used to be that going to the movies was a cheap way to spend the afternoon. Maybe I haven't been in a while, but I was amazed at how much the food costs!! I bought a small popcorn, a large popcorn and 2 waters and it cost me $18!!! What's up with that? I'm getting cheap in my old age....

The funniest part of the whole experience was when the other parents were hauling out their misbehaving children during the movie, Aiden would wave at them and yell, "bye-bye!" as they walked past. Such a sociable little boy....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Snow in the Desert?

I talked to Chris today, and he told me something interesting. It snowed today in Baghdad. Yes, you read that right, it SNOWED in BAGHDAD. This is a place in the middle of the desert that can reach temperatures of 140 degrees in the Summer, and it snowed. I guess it snowed for almost 3 hours, and it actually stuck until the sun came out and melted all of it. I can just imagine all of the Iraqis wandering around wondering what the heck was going on! What's the world coming to when it snows in the desert?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Aiden's Birthday

Here are the photos from Aiden's birthday, I'm still working on editing the videos....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Gratitude Campaign

Check out this video: http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/fullmovie.php


I know I haven't posted in a few days, I'm back to being tired a lot! I'm about to hit my 3rd trimester, and the uncomfortableness has started. The baby kicks and moves around almost constantly now, and every day I wake up feeling bigger! I'd better get used to it, it's only going to get worse from here! On Saturday I woke up and none of my clothes fit me. I saved all of my maternity clothes from my first pregnancy of course, but I think I'm carrying differently this time. I'm completely out in front, as opposed to across the middle like I was with Aiden. As a result, all of my pants were suddenly too tight across the middle, my shirts were too short, and everything was uncomfortable. Since I absolutely refuse to be anymore uncomfortable than I have to be, I headed to the maternity store to buy some new clothes. Which leads me to my next story....

Saturday was Aiden's birthday. Yes, I have lots of pics and some videos, and I PROMISE to have them up in the next few days. Anyway, as I mentioned before, I went shopping at the maternity store. Aiden was doing just fine the whole time I was looking around, trying on clothes, deciding how much I could get away with spending, and THEN....I went to pay for everything when he decided he wanted a granola bar type thing they have on display at the register. I knew he wouldn't eat it, so I said no. Oh...my...gosh. You would think that I had just told him that somebody fried up Nemo. He threw himself down on the floor in a screaming, kicking tantrum the likes of which I have never seen. He was flailing about like he was having a seizure or something, screaming, "NO! NO! NO!!!!!!". I just stood there in shock and looked at the cashier. She looked at Aiden and said, "gee, he must be two!" I said, "Yes, actually, he's two TODAY!" She just shook her head and smiled nervously (did I mention she was pregnant? Must be her first child...), while I tried to calm the monster down. At that moment my cell-phone rang. Great. It was Chris, wanting to wish his son a happy birthday. "Ummm....now is really not a great time," I tell him, "can you call back later? Cause I am a LITTLE STRESSED OUT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!" Needless to say, I somehow managed to hold on to a screaming, kicking, 30 pound toddler with one arm, while pushing a stroller, carrying a large bag of clothes and my purse with the other arm, and get them all in the car without somebody dying. Who says being a mom isn't a full-time job?

He calmed down enough later to enjoy presents and turn up his nose at his birthday cake. Seriously, do you know any other 2 year-old who doesn't like cake? I should have gone with the double fudge cake instead of yellow, seeing as how I'm the one eating it....

Monday was also interesting. I gave notice at work that I'm quitting when the baby is born. I gave them 60 days notice (my last day will be March 7), so they should have plenty of time to get somebody in here and trained. Of course, knowing them, they'll hire someone the day before I leave and be in a total panic. Oh well, not my problem. My boss took it rather well, considering. Besides the fact that I miss being home with my kid(s), they just don't pay me enough to make it worthwhile to pay for 2 children in daycare. Plus, I'm tired of the drama-rama that is always going on here. The church where I work is full of mostly affluent people, and they are always having a fit about something or other. I have enough on my plate between a husband in Iraq, a toddler and being pregnant to care about spoiled rich people's hissy-fits. Can you tell I've developed a severe-case of short-timer's syndrome? :-)

So that's what has been going on with us. Anything interesting happen to you?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Brotherly Secrets

I really haven't been too sure about how much Aiden understands about the new baby. He likes to come up and rub my belly, and give the baby hugs and kisses when I ask him too, but whether or not he really understands that there is a person in there and he's going to come out soon, is anyone's guess. I guess I just assumed that he didn't understand, and was just going along with what we keep telling him. That is, until the other night.

Aiden woke up in the middle of the night, and wanted to come sleep with me. No big deal, I like to have a snuggle buddy, too. He fell back to sleep right away, and I soon followed. He woke up a little before 7, and was just laying in the bed, talking quietly to himself. I didn't open my eyes, and I just laid still, pretending to be asleep. After a few minutes he sat up, leaned over me and started rubbing my belly. "Hi, baby..." he whispered. Then he launched into a conversation that could only be fully understood by another little brain. I did make out something about puppies, juice, and his blankie. All of this was in a whisper, directly to my belly. I opened my eyes a little, and watched him for a few minutes. He was still rubbing my belly, and was apparently imparting some vital secrets to his baby brother, things he didn't want me to know about, I'm guessing. As soon as he realized I was awake, he started bouncing up and down as usual, wanting to get up. The secret confab was over.

I think he understands a lot more than I'm giving him credit for, and I hope that this is the start of a tight brotherly bond between the two of them. I can't think of anything sweeter than my two little boys sharing secrets with each other, and devising some grand plans together. I just hope they don't involve anything slimy coming into my house....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Uh Oh....

There is this scrapbooking store in town that I've never been to, so I decided to check them out today. Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea. There is of course no possible way for me to walk into a scrapbooking store and just look, so of course I had to buy some stuff. And I discovered that they have what they call "crop parties" every other Friday from 4pm to midnight. You just bring in whatever you want to work on, and you can use all of their machines and cool little doo-dads that they have, and just hang out with other crazy scrapbookers. They also have occasional "pajama nights", where you come in your jammies and scrapbook all night long to your heart's content. What could be better?? I signed up for the next crop party on the 18th of January, so we'll see how that goes. Just what I need, another way to feed my obsession.... :-)

I've also been thinking about trying to scrapbook professionally. There are people out there called Professional Scrapbook Artists who get paid a lot of money to create custom albums for people who don't have the time or inclination to do it themselves. I honestly cannot think of a better job than to get paid for scrapbooking. I mean, seriously?? I would get to work from home, doing something I love and getting paid out the nose for it. Plus, I would now have an excuse to buy all the cool scrapbooking stuff I wanted, and it would all be a tax write-off! So we'll see how that works out.... In the mean-time, if anyone knows of anybody who would be interested in having their photos professionally archived, let me know!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Day, A New Year

Can you believe it's 2008?? I can't...

Heidi J. posted about looking back on 2007, and it got me thinking about all the things that have happened in the past year. Chris deployed again, I was a full-time working Mom, my Mom was diagnosed with and BEAT cancer, my parents relocated out here to Alabama, we took a couple of trips - California and Florida, new babies were born, and I got pregnant.

And what's next for 2008? Aiden will be 2 (!), another baby boy will make an entrance, I'll quit my job and enjoy being a stay-at-home Mom once again, and hopefully Chris will come home toward the end of the year. I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do make goals. My goal for 2008? To GET OUT OF DEBT! I'm tired of debt, and we are going to do something about it this year! It feels good to get started....

What's next for you? What are your goals for this year?

January Belly Shot

Did she swallow a basketball?

And a little perspective...do I look pregnant from the back?