Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thumbs Up!

Do you ever have those moments when you feel you are the worst mother in the world? You know, like when you are trying to help your three year old squish the play-doh out of the play-doh extractor thinging. As you are using all your strength to push on the lever, you are thinking, "How do they expect kids to use this stupid toy?" Then your son screams and you realize that you've been using all your strength to squish his finger? Yeah, that's the kind of mom I am.

Monday morning I was sitting in my easy chair, with both my boys on my lap. We were watching "Super Why", and Alpha Pig was giving a "Big Thumbs Up". I asked my boys if they could give a big thumbs up, and Moose immediately gave me two big thumbs up.

I asked Monkey if he could give me a thumbs up, and he excitedly pointed his index finger. I helped him form his right hand into a thumbs up, and then he tried his left hand. We formed a thumbs up with his left hand, and I noticed that his thumb was bent, not straight and extended. Then I noticed that he couldn't straighten it. I couldn't straighten it, it was locked into posistion.

"There is something wrong with Monkey's thumb." I say to my husband. "It won't straighten. Did he hurt it?" I asked, as my mind raced through all the bumps and bruises and falls and scrapes and squashing. I couldn't think of anything!

"How long has it been this way?" I wonder out loud.

"How could I not notice that his thumb won't straighten?" I say to myself, accusingly.

A quick Google search, and I had diagnosed my son with Pediatric Trigger Thumb.

I began to feel more guilty as I read more webpages. "Mean onset is 24 months." I read. "Two years old?" I thought, "Has it been this way for a YEAR?"

My husband tried to reassure me, but my mom guilt just continued to grow. "It has four stages!" I told him. "When it progress to the "locked" or final stage, it requires SURGERY!" I told him.

And he tried to reassure me, "It doesn't seem to bother him -- why would you notice it?"

We made an appointment with the pediatrician for later that afternoon. Knowing that the first thing she would ask was, "How long has it been this way?" (and trying to ease my guilt) I set out to search through 50 gigabytes of pictures, looking for evidence of a straight thumb. I started to regret all those times I said, "Put your hands down, I can't see your face!"

Unfortunately, I never found solid photographic evidence of a straight thumb, but I did find this picture from Easter 2010 (a YEAR ago!). Notice his left thumb, how it's bent? And how his right thumb is all extended?

And this one, from November -- see how he is holding the cup with the tip of his left thumb? Pretty sure I won't be winning the mother of the year award any time soon.

We visited with the pediatrician about Monkey's thumb. (Moose was sure we were there because he had a scratch on his elbow -- "This is my elbow, NOT my thumb!" he told the doctor.) Right away she confirmed my suspicions, she said, "I think this is trigger thumb, I'm going to refer you to a hand specialist -- while he could live his whole life with a bent thumb, it will probably need surgery to correct it." We talked about different specialists, and she referred us to one that she had worked with before.

"I see about one of these a year," she said. "and the parents always say, 'I have no idea how long it's been this way.'" At least she eased some of my mom guilt.

Since then, I'm paying more attention to Monkey's little hands. He still uses his left hand, but he often keeps his thumb tucked, protected in a closed fist. Last night, for the first time ever, he told me that it hurt.

While I don't feel guilty anymore that I hadn't noticed it before, my heart is still breaking at the thought that he has been in pain all this time. And that he is in pain now, and that he probably has to go through surgery.

We have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Monday, and I'm anxious to see what he says.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

My dear husband's birthday is coming up. He puts up with a lot. He has been a stay at home dad all winter, and is so excited for Spring. He is returning to work, and couldn't be more thrilled. He has been so wonderful with the boys, even though I know I complain that they watch to much TV and don't spend enough time outside. (It has been a very wet and cold winter.) He has done art projects, cooks dinner, and does most of the laundry and all of the dishes. He is amazing. And as hard as it was for me, to have him stay at home and not me, I know it was just as hard on him, to be living my dream.

In honor of his birthday, and all upcoming birthdays in our family, I created this "Happy Birthday Wreath".

I first saw it on my favorite food blog, Our Best Bites. There are several other blogs featuring this or similar wreaths, and I thought it ws too cute to not duplicate. One of the blogs (I forget which - sorry was kind enough to point out that, at least in the Boise area, the cheapest place to buy ballons is Honks. And she was right. I found that I could get 25 balloons for $2 at most local stores, but Honks carries a wide variety of colors, at only $1 for a bag of 25. And apparently, if you go on Tuesdays, they are only 88 cents.

Happy Birthday, B! I love you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maternity Skirt

Finding myself 5 1/2 months pregnant, with absolutely nothing to wear to church on Sundays, causes me to throw clothing and scream at my husband. It's not his fault I don't like the one maternity dress that I own, or that I don't shave my legs so I have to wear black tights, or that my belly is getting to large for said black tights.

It's also not this fault that not eating makes me extremely crabby. And I shouldn't get mad at him when (in the middle of my tantrum in the master closet) he suggests that perhaps I would feel better if I ate something.

So, in an attempt to save my husband from injury from flying clothing, I've been attempting to make myself a maternity skirt (and keep granola bars in the bedroom.)

I started with a wonderful tutorial from homemade by jill. However, when Jill suggested that I use wide leg pants, I promptly ignored her. I started with a pair of capris that never quite fit right, and had long been destined for the DI pile, but still sat on the shelf in my closet. The legs tapered at the kneees.

Please don't make my mistake. You end up with a skirt that you will be incapable of walking in. I tried to remedy this by sewing some extra fabric in the "slit", but couldn't manage to do it without causing a big pucker that made me look like my tail bone pointed the wrong direction.

So, I decided to start with a thrift store skirt. I found this nice jean skirt at the DI for $3.
I removed the waist band and zipper, and sewed up the front, where the zipper had been. Some of tutorials I read left the zipper intact, and just sewed up the front, but I didn't want the bulk of the zipper. I cut a "scoop" out of the front for my belly. I also shortened the slit -- it's really hard to sit modestly with two three-year-olds climbing all over you.
Using Jill's tutorial, I created the stretch band out of a stained stretchy t-shirt. (Why is it that ALL of my shirts have grease stains on them?)

I should have followed the instructions here, and cut a matching scoop out of the waist band, but I didn't. I ended up with a little bit of an awkward waist. It is much higher in the back, and the front seam is really awkward around the scoop. But I think the skirt turned out really cute. It is very comfy, and I even shaved my legs so I could wear it to church last Sunday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shamrock Shirts

I made these shirts for my boys a couple of years ago, and originally posted this on my old blog, but thought I would share it again here. These shirts have long been tucked away in one of the many boxes of too little clothes I'm storing in the garage.

The boys are going to daycare on Tuesday -- which also happens to be St. Patrick's Day. I really wanted them to have something festive to wear, seeing how they missed every single Boise State Friday during the football season. So I made them each a Shamrock T-Shirt.I had hoped to find white t-shirts for them at a thrift store. After not having any luck, I figured that not many little boys' white t-shirts end up at thrift stores. At least not if they look anything like my boys' white shirts by time they outgrow them (which is why I think we don't have any that fit right now.) I ended up going to Walmart, and buying a 5 pack of 18 month onsies. We need more onsies any ways -- our biggest right now are 9 monthers.

What you need:
  • White T-Shirt
  • Green Fabric Paint
  • Old Sponge
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Card stock
  • Big Safety Pin

First, using your heavy duty scissors, cut your sponge into the shape of a heart. Optional: Put the safety pin on the back of your heart, this provides a handle for your stamp, and helps keep fingers clean.Practice using your heart stamp to make a shamrock on a piece of paper. I used a piece of the remnant sponge for the stem. This is a good time to check that the shamrock created with your heart will fit on your t-shirt. This was a recommendation from my very smart husband -- my first shamrock was too big for my little boys' shirts.

Next, place the card stock into the shirt. This will prevent the paint from soaking through to the backside of the shirt.
Finally, stamp a shamrock onto the shirt and let dry.