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Failure To Thrive


*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

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I’m So Relaxed By The End Of Yoga Class. Then I Have To Go Home. Damn It.


Since I’m so shy in public situations, I never would have believed I would have joined an exercise class. But, I have tried so many different things to try and keep my anxiety in check with some improvements here and there but nothing that made a big enough difference.

Since my husband got stationed here a few years ago, I’ve had my eye on taking a yoga class but always felt too self-conscious. I finally said fuck it, who cares, and signed up for a beginning yoga class that lasted several weeks, If you don’t have much experience with anxiety and panic attacks, it may not seem like a big thing to do something as simple as that but it’s huge for me. I was so nervous and worried about being in a class full of people.

It took some time but I found that surprisingly, I really like the group exercise class better than using dvd’s at home and I felt more inspired to keep up with it.

I found by the end of my second class, it did wonders for my anxiety and I felt like a dumb ass for not embracing yoga much sooner. I haven’t been practicing it much since the beginner class ended but really need to push myself to add yoga into my life more often.

My yoga classes were 90 minutes and truth be told, it took a good half hour before I could finally quiet my mind and actually focus on the now, of being mindful… and it felt good not having so much worry stuck in my head.

But there was some evil that came with my 12 week yoga course. The class was at 6 pm and despite having a light snack beforehand, it took all the focus in the world at times because there was a Chinese restaurant below the yoga studio so all of us would be smelling the deliciousness rising up to our 3rd floor studio. Egg rolls, fried rice, garlic chicken, oh my.

The most amazing part of the yoga class was towards the end of each session when we would spend time relaxing. By then, over an hour had already gone by and I was pretty much in the awesome yoga zone where no matter what life threw at me, it would all still be good. That’s just damn crazy because I don’t ever think that way. Me, optimistic? What?

The class would end but all I wanted to do was stay lying on my mat and spend the night since I was in such a relaxed state. That should be a thing if it isn’t already. Yoga class slumber parties. You wouldn’t have to deal with all the crazy shit awaiting your arrival at home.

After every class, I would take my sweet time walking to my car and driving home since I loved the feeling of my yoga high. I’d pull into the driveway and slide out of the seat of my car, then slowly walk up to the front door of my house, still in a very relaxed state.

My mistake was opening the front door and expecting to let myself settle for a bit while I changed my clothes and ate a late dinner. Instead, I had my daughter run up to me saying “Mom? Mom?? Mommy?? I hurt my toe earlier. I didn’t like what dad made for dinner. Will you please read to me? Am I having hot lunch or cold lunch tomorrow? What are you making me for a snack? Can I have a playdate with Kiki tomorrow?”


And my husband would bombard me with a play by-play of the 1 1/2 hours that I was gone for class. I was glad they missed me but holy fucking fuck. Give a mom a damn minute. I just wanted to pee and change clothes and heat up dinner when I first got home.

Finally, with food in my stomach, I could handle the “mom? mom? mom?” from my daughter and “Elle? Hey, Pookie?” questions from my husband but unfortunately, my relaxed and groovy namaste would vanish a few minutes after walking into my house.

And this is why there needs to be yoga class slumber parties. Someone get on that!

In case you’re wondering because I know you’re not but I’ll tell you anyway, I only succumbed to the Chinese restaurant once. That was surprising since there were plenty of times when I would be in warrior pose or downward facing dog with my stomach growling over the amazing smells from the restaurant, and would seriously consider ditching the rest of the class to stuff my face.

The food ended up being just as delicious as it smelled. Now, if they decide to put a donut shop next to the gym I started going to over the summer, I’m fucked. I can just see myself in spinning class, holding a box of a dozen donuts, getting Boston cream all over the handlebars.

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Who Is That Frantic, Disheveled, Crazy Mom Dropping Her Kid Off At School? Oh, It’s Just Me.

When we moved over the summer, we ended up being only a few blocks away from the hummingbird’s school. I had these images in my head of walking her to school in the morning, hand in hand, with all the time in the world. Easy breezy.

In reality, I think that has only happened once.

No matter how much time we have in the morning before she has to go to school, time escapes us and chaos ensues. Every damn morning.

I make her lunch the night before and have her lay out her clothes for school. I make sure her backpack and school folder are all set to go. Most of the time, I even remember to put her lunch in her bag before we leave the house. Yeah, I’ve gotten the call about my 6 year-old finding that I forgot it. Whoops.

I’ve found that I am happy as hell when she actually wants to eat school lunch since that’s one less thing to worry about getting done.

Despite ALL of the preparation, that easy breezy walk to school ends up being a mad dash to the car and a drive only a few minutes away instead.

Me: We have to leave in 10 minutes! Have you brushed your teeth and hair? No? Well, please do that now. Sweetie, we need to leave soon. You can watch Paw Patrol once you get home from school. Why aren’t you dressed yet? Did you brush your teeth? Okay, we need to leave in 5 minutes. No, you don’t need to change your clothes. Wear what you have on. It looks fine. Please, we really need to go in a few minutes.

Go put your shoes on. Wait, you didn’t brush your hair yet. Go brush your hair. Little Hummingbird?! What are you doing upstairs? I’m ready to walk out the door. Well, come on! Let’s go! Please! We’re going to be late! Why did you change your outfit? And where did your socks go? We need to hurry! Pleeeeease, let’s go!! I don’t know where that other shoe is. Just wear your purple shoes. No, you can’t wear your sandals. Because it’s too cold.

Sweetie, please, please, pleeeease just put on your shoes. We really need to go. Okay, well, I’m leaving. No, you don’t need to bring your My Little Pony stuffie to school. Leave it here. Pleeeeease, let’s go!!!!!! I’m walking out the door for real this time. I guess I’m going to school by myself. Then, come on and put your shoes on. Hurry! It’s time to go!!!

This happens almost every freaking morning. Oh my god.

We end up rushing to school in the car, I park since they don’t have a car drop off/pick up area in front of the school, and we zoom across the school grounds and go inside. As we do this, I see the easy breezy moms walking their kids into the school. Some are pushing strollers and may have a meandering toddler, along with their school age child. These moms don’t even seem to be breaking a sweat. They look so put together and are often chatting with other moms even though time is ticking away before the late bell.

There are a few moms I see with their hair and make up on point. Wearing skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a shirt that isn’t wrinkled. The nail in the drop off coffin is that these moms are almost always holding a Starbucks coffee. The two Starbucks we have in the entire area aren’t close by.

It would be one thing if they had a coffee from a nearby place but they have time to presumably shower in the morning, put on full make up and have perfectly coiffed hair, wear clothes that could go from day to a night out with the girls, get their children ready for school, AND on top of that they have plenty of time to drive 20 minutes to and from Starbucks before dropping their kid off at school.

I’m jealous!

And then there’s me. I’m so busy getting my one child ready for school that there are days I can’t even remember whether or not I even brushed my hair. I’m usually in my pajama pants and ugly but oh so comfy Uggs, wearing my husband’s comfy and oversized warm jacket. I’m also usually starving since I was only able to have a few bites of breakfast in between yelling for my daughter to HURRY UP, and I’m in desperate need of caffeine.

What’s worse is that I’m not much better when it comes to picking my daughter up from school. Except for getting a shower. I’ll get so caught up in doing things around the house and running errands. When I check the time, I’ll be happy to see that I have an hour or two before the hummingbird needs to be picked up.

I’m not sure what happens in that time… maybe I’m abducted by aliens and my sense of time gets screwed up from it but it never fails that the next time I check the clock, it’ll be 10-15 minutes before I need to pick her up. Wtf? So, instead of that easy breezy walk to her school in the afternoon, once again I’m making a mad dash to the car to get there on time. And of course, the couple of times I’ve been a few minutes late are the days she gets out of class early.

I know I’m just not cut out to be that chill mom bringing my kid to school with plenty of time to spare but maybe some day, I will actually have time to put on some real pants. Probably not but I can dream.

*Anna Nalick

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As Yoda Would Say… Soccer Mom, I Am Not


Okay, Yoda never said anything like that but if he had to use his car as a free taxi service and shuffle his kids around from activity to activity while they whined about being hungry, tired, mad about being rushed out of the door because they’re moving as slooow as slugs, etc., he’d be over that shit pretty quick.

Let me just start by saying, my 6 year-old hummingbird has a natural athletic ability that leaves me so proud and in absolute awe. Like I tell others, she may be small but my girl has spunk.

And yes, while I can say no to her doing an extracurricular activity, it can sneak up on me and before I know it, she’s involved in a buttload of things.

I’m all for the other activities she does… except soccer. For some reason, it makes me irrationally stabby. I’m fine with her gymnastics class, especially after being rid of the Type A mom master, and I love her ice skating classes. It doesn’t hurt that her dad usually takes her to ice skating while I’m snoozing in my warm and cozy bed. But, just like last year, I dread being a “soccer mom”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing my little girl kick some ass on the field. I just find it much more pleasant watching her play soccer in our backyard. She’s more confident about being on a soccer team this year which is awesome and helps soothe my nerves since I don’t have to drag her kicking and screaming to her soccer games. I just find myself being the one who gets whiny when it comes to going to soccer practice and games this time around.

I don’t want to sit my ass out in the hot sun… soon to be the freezing cold and rain and snow… for an hour. I don’t want to be outside when I can be lounging on my couch on a Saturday morning, reading my mindless and very welcome US Weekly without pants and a bra. I don’t want to sign up for snack duty and feed 10 kids instead of just my own.

What’s up with that anyway? When I participated in sports as a kid, I felt like I won the snack lottery from saving my allowance and scoring a hot dog at the snack shack at the little league baseball field. Even a cup of cold water from a thermos that my coach brought along made me feel like I struck gold.

So, in other words, BAH-FUCKING-HUMBUG, soccer!

Who knows, maybe the little hummingbird won’t want to bother with soccer next year. One can hope. In the meantime, I will start pinning plenty of varieties of spiked hot chocolate to possibly take along with me to upcoming soccer games.

That’s what I call getting into the spirit of the game. Yeah, such a bad pun. Ahem, I’ll see myself out.


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Long time, no see. I took an unexpected break since I went into an awful funk back in March. Depression pretty much body slammed me and put me in a headlock for a bit. It was being such a dick but I’m slowly climbing out of the hole I was in.

With my 6 year-old being on summer break and the chaos of moving last month and endless unpacking, I haven’t had much time… to pull my ass away from marathons of The Walking Dead and the delicious show, UnReal.

I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things once the hummingbird goes back to school in a few weeks. When she started kindergarten last year, I was freaking the hell out because Oh my god, my baby is growing up!!! But now, I’m counting down the days until she starts 1st grade.

I want to break out the hard liquor, get some glow sticks, and have myself a dance party on that glorious day.

Who am I kidding? I’m going to cry like a fucking baby because Oh my god, my baby is growing up!!!

I came across this video with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it is glorious. “I’m sorry I ruffled your duvet but I had to work on that bootay”.


What were you up to this summer? Has your sanity been hanging by a thread from summer vacation?

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Since I had hyperemesis gravidarum with my first pregnancy, with the little hummingbird, I’ve called it “that Harry Potter sounding spell”. I’ve since had it with each pregnancy and let me say this.

It is NOT “bad morning sickness”.

HG isn’t anywhere in the same category. One of the ways that I’ve tried to describe it to my husband is that it’s like comparing a paper cut on your finger to breaking your hand.

I much rather refer to hyperemesis gravidarum as extreme pregnancy sickness. Not that morning sickness is a walk in the park but HG is horrible and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

While I was thankfully never hospitalized for it, last year when I was pregnant, it was agony for many months. The only thing that I could really keep down was iced tea lemonade and I remember how my ob/gyn became really concerned when I lost over 10 pounds in just a few weeks.

As far as my experience with it, something as simple as water is completely and utterly repulsive when you have HG. Even smelling water was horrible. Yes, water had a smell to me.

Sounds and movement even aggravate HG. Like when I would lay on the couch and my daughter would hop around by me. I would be in agony. Or I would still be in bed and my husband would be talking to the hummingbird and his deep voice would seem amplified and actually make me sick.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is like when you drink too much and get the spins and say “I’m never drinking again”. But instead, you have this awful motion sickness feeling 24/7 for several months.

Pregnancy should be such a happy time. Being excited about seeing the beautiful life that you’ve created and hopeful when it comes to the future with your child.

Every single day, I felt like I wanted to die when it came to having HG. Sure, I thought I would die because of how sick I felt. But at times, I would think being dead would be much better than dealing with the day-to-day sickness that was completely overwhelming when it comes to having hyperemesis gravidarum.

The so-called “happy time” in my life was such a nightmare for me. I tried everything possible to help with this awful pregnancy sickness. I’m allergic to the more common anti-nausea medication but would take another kind and still, it did very little to ease the HG.

Nothing helped my issue with hyperemesis gravidarum.

I have given so much thought when it comes to having another child because of dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s truly the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Especially with having a 6 year-old to care for.

Despite wanting to have another child more than anything in the world, having HG with my last pregnancy was more brutal than the previous times and that concerns me.

Time is ticking away to try one last time. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it will be perfectly fine if I just have one child. It makes me feel ungrateful at times to want another, especially when so many people go through heartache and many years to try for a baby.

But honestly, I long to have another child… even if it means my head will be in the toilet for 9 months.

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Purrell Force Fields Would Really Come In Handy

Just when I felt like my writing mojo was finally coming back, time hasn’t been on my side. FYI, this post isn’t for sensitive stomachs.

The hummingbird has gotten sick countless times since she started Kindergarten. It’s one of the germiest places, apparently.

My 6 year-old has a few weeks left of school but has gotten two different ailments in the past two weeks. Last weekend, she had a stomach bug. I felt like I won the not very pukey child award prior to this since she hasn’t been much of a thrower upper. That’s a word.

Sure, she’s done it every now and then but nothing too bad.

Until last week.

After catching vomit in various ways… cupping hands, getting a giant bowl, grabbing her and sprinting to the bathroom, etc… I feel like I should get a barf badge to sew on my Brownie sash from when I was in the 4th grade.

Better yet, all new parents should be given a sash so we can receive badges for the milestones we go through with our children.

Pumping breast milk and accidentally spilling that precious liquid gold? There’s a badge for that.


Potty training your child? There’s a badge for that.


Surviving Toddler PMS without going through with your plans of running away from home? Get out the sewing kit… because there’s a badge for that.


My husband ran and got a bowl. A tiny, little bowl that would be more suitable for a kitten with a hairball. He must have noticed my death stare because he said “What?”

And then we had a conversation I never thought we’d have. The conversation about what bowl would be best for Little Miss Pukey.

My husband’s side of it was any bowl is suitable and he had grabbed a bowl which he uses to take his lunch to work sometimes. Gag. But my side was the bigger the bowl, the better to catch any and all kinds of puke. And it would need to be a bowl we would never, ever, ever use again. But, it would be put in the medicine and towel closet and forever be known as the puke bowl.

I can’t believe we discussed this either.

These are only stunt bowls but the size I grabbed is on the left. My husband’s is on the right.


So, I carried this bowl around wherever the hummingbird went for the next few days while she was home from school. At least it was better than using my hands or having vomit all over my shirt.

The bird was finally feeling better and finished out the school week. Yay!

And then she got sick again. Fuuuck. Of course it was on a weekend.

Her pediatrician has walk ins during the week for only half an hour at the ass crack of dawn. So, off we went. Things seemed to be looking up and then her doctor did a test.

A few minutes later, it came back positive for step throat. Fuckity fuck.

Poor kid.

After the pukefest and strep and all the school she’s missed this year, we can kiss that perfect attendance award goodbye. But really, how in the hell do some kids never miss one day of school from Kindergarten to their Senior year?

Are they surround by some protective barrier we can’t see? A Purrell force field perhaps.

I should start working on that before the hummingbird starts first grade. Wrap her in bubble wrap to prevent bumps, bruises, and scratches, put her in a hazmat suit with a built-in alarm system, and have a Purrell force field follow her everywhere she goes.

Then, I may not be so freaking anxious whenever she’s not in my care.

Who am I kidding? I’ll always be that way.

What kind of parenting badges would you like to receive?

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