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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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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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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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Fun With Words

After becoming a mom, I found that there’s a lot of multi-tasking and juggling to the point where your brain gets so overloaded with all of the things you need to do, places you have to go, and that damn Elsa crown you’re being begged to find in a sea of toys.

I’ll get to sorting all of this stuff out in my brain, then I’ll see something shiny and get distracted. After a few minutes, okay… longer, I often find myself thinking “Wait. What the fuck was I supposed to be doing??!” It won’t be until 10 minutes go by that the hummingbird yells “MOM? Did you find Elsa’s crown? MOM? I still haven’t gotten the glass of water you were getting me after lunch.”

Then I think “Oh, shit! Yeah. She asked me for a glass of water an hours ago. Ooops.”

Do I have a point to this? No. No, I don’t.


When you have a kid, your privacy and dignity go out the window. Forever gone. Thankfully, there are those times when your child gives you a good laugh and helps even things out. The hummingbird is now 6 and since Kindergarten, it’s amazing how she’s grown mentally and emotionally.

You think they grow fast when they’re babies but damn, when they start school, it’s at lightening speed. Which is great. Yep, it’s wonderful. Fabulous.

Excuse me while I go cry in the corner and bang my hands and feet on the floor, screaming “Why, sweet baby jeebus? WHY?!”

My baby girl is becoming a young lady. Fuuck.

The hummingbird may seem so grown up at times and her speech has greatly improved (while those aspects of myself seem to be deteriorating), she can still act like a silly, wild little hummingbird.

She always seems to ask why things are the way they are and may need help about what some words and sayings mean and that’s when the funny ensues.

Here are some examples of words and sayings she can mispronounce or might not be clear on.

Apple Dumplings = Apple Ducklings

Heartbeat = Heartbeep

Breakfast = Breksfust

And my favorite… chocolate = cocklate. Yes, cocklate (cock-let). It’s get me every time.

*At the check out in the store*

“Mom? Can I have some COCKLATE? Please?! That can be my only treat today. Pretty please? I’d really like some COCKLATE.

Inside, I’m laughing my ass off. When I can contain myself, I’ll say it back correctly. “Are you sure you want some chocolate for your treat?”

“Yes! Please? I really, really, really, really, really would like some COCKLATE.”

So, yeah. It’s funny and endearing to see that she is still little and won’t be learning to drive or moving into her own apartment next week, which is what it can feel like to me sometimes.

Recently, for an after school snack, she asked for a lightly toasted bagel with cream cheese.

But my 6 year-old asked for a “Politely toasted bagel with cream cheese.”

In the past several months, I would think she would soon grow out of her love of talking about poop, farts, and burps. Thankfully, I was wrong… for now.

Last night while cuddling, this went down and it’s actually a more frequent conversation that can last a few minutes.

Hummingbird: I farted while I was burping. Did you hear it?

Me: No.

Hummingbird: Do you smell it now?

Me: Nope.

Hummingbird: How about now? ……

It never crossed my mind that with all the things that motherhood entails, “fart smeller” would be one of them.

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Being Baby: Zombies Are More Rested Than You’ll Be

The little hummingbird will be turning 6 next month. 6!! So, recently I’ve been thinking more about my past experiences with her and each stage she’s gone through up until now.

Did I mention she’ll be 6 soon? 6! What the hell?! The time really does go by way too fast. Although, at the same time, it can feel like it’s going by way. too. slow.

Then BAM! Your kid seems to grow overnight.

Babyhood – Looking back, I wish I paid much more attention. Or maybe it’s the exhaustion that makes this age a blur. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself and the fact that I always compared myself to other moms.

The new mothers that would say motherhood is “the best thing ever” while I would have plenty of moments where I would cry or feel depressed and overwhelmed.

The new mothers that seemed to make it look so easy and effortless while I was frazzled.

No matter how much I tried to prepare myself when it came to being a parent, in reality it was learning as I go. It’s still like that and probably always will be.

Once you feel like you have this shit down, the fruit of your loins won’t get the memo and will change things up no matter how old they are.

Your baby is sleeping through the night? Maybe not in a few weeks.

Your baby loves a specific food? Ha! That may be all they want but out of nowhere, they’ll be like nope, no way, not gonna eat it.

Sleep – Zombies are more alert than parents who have a newborn.

Sanity – You’re running on adrenaline and have every single emotion there is. Sanity is unlikely at this age.

Lows – Being sleep-deprived, not sleeping, lack of sleep, crazy hormones.

Highs – Having it sink in that you created a little human, the love that develops, the first smile, the first everything.

Unwanted advice that made me want to stab everyone that would tell me this – “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Much easier said than done. When my child would actually sleep, I had shit to do. Things like endless laundry, trying to finally eat at the end of the day as fast as possible and discovering that I can shove half an El Monterey bean and cheese burrito in my mouth. Taking a fast shower. Staring at my newborn while she slept, despite having shit to do. Being able to have 5 seconds to pee.

This age was a lot harder for me than I thought it would be. Being in charge of a tiny, helpless baby can be stressful and you may feel like it won’t get easier. Okay, so it may never be easy but they grow and as cliché as this is, you learn to expect the unexpected.

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10 More Signs That You Have A Little Girl


Little girls seem to have a superpower. They can turn you into a puddle with their sweet, little voice which can cause the inability for you to say no. Your house may look like a stuffed animal, princess dress, and Hello Kitty factory blew up. Check out part one here.

10. Glitter – I banned glitter from the house while my 5 year-old was still in utero. Yet, glitter seems to appear out of nowhere.

9. Band-aids and stickers – You will see things tagged around the house with these items. Whether it’s her stuffed animals to my hair shine spray. There is currently a snowman sticker staring at me on the wall by the office door.

8. Tutus – Your little girl may acquire a crazy amount of tutus like mine. They take up two of her dresser drawers and that’s still not enough room.

7. Princess clothing – Before motherhood, I wasn’t going to let my kid be a walking billboard for Disney princesses or any other cartoon character. Ha! Little girls just like little boys I’m sure, will somehow sucker you into buying some hot at the moment cartoon character clothing item. It can include t-shirts, dresses, shoes, socks, etc.

6. You usually have missing couch cushions because hello, pillow forts – Once your child reaches a certain age, you will probably have a few, if not all, couch cushions missing most of the time for their fort.

5. Dad’s a boy… yuck – Your daughter may have her dad wrapped around her finger but soon she’ll understand that he’s a stinky, loud, gross boy like the ones in her kindergarten class. Ewww.

4. Princess dress up – Despite having a princess dress for every day of the week, it still won’t be enough for your little girl. You or your husband are also bound to accidentally step on and break a tiara and will have to endure the drama of the incident that only little girls can bring.

3. Tea parties – I don’t care who you are, you have to stop everything and drink your daughter’s pretend strawberry surprise tea and fake chocolate chip cookies with rainbow sprinkles.

2. You need the same color cups and dishware on hand – When your little girl has play dates at your house, save the trouble and your sanity by having the same color or design. If not, you may have an intense stand-off over who gets the “Elsa blue” cup or the polka-dot plate. Trust.

1. She’s your sweet girl one minute and a kid with major attitude the next minute – No matter how well-mannered and sweet your child is, they can turn into whiny, foot stomping, door slamming little monsters in the blink of an eye and you’ll wonder what happened to your adorable child while also thinking you may need to have an exorcism for them.

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