Monday, November 14, 2011


It is interesting how one single event can change so many things. When I went to bed last Monday night, I had no idea how things would change the next morning. I woke up around 7:30am to the sound of Eric opening the door after a morning trip to the gym. He sat on the bed and talked to me for a few minutes and before I knew it my whole day took a dramatically different turn that I could have ever imagined. He put his hand over his chest and said he felt sore. The next thing I know I was dialing 911. I knew it was a heart attack. I don't know why, but I just knew. I just kept telling him to breathe and try to relax knowing full well that nothing I could say or do would make it any better. I prayed that Mac would stay asleep until the paramedics had come and gone, but of course I heard "Mommy, I'm awake" coming from upstairs right about the time the ambulance arrived. I told Mac to play in his room and that I would bring him breakfast. He looked at me funny, but went back to his room to play. I went back downstairs and Eric just kept saying "Don't let Mac see me." I heard Mac upstairs crying so I went to check on him, and when I picked him up he saw the lights from the fire truck. He immediately got upset and started asking for his Daddy. It's funny how kids can sense when something is wrong. I told him to play for a few more minutes and I would be right back. As I got downstairs Eric was being wheeled out and Mac was screaming "I want my Daddy." I think that may have upset me more than anything. I told Eric I would be right behind him as soon as my Dad got there to stay with Mac. I guess I went into Mom mode because as soon as they shut the door I just told myself that nothing was wrong. Even though I knew it was serious, I just started getting everyone dressed and fed like any other morning. Mac kept asking about his Daddy (even though he never saw anything) and I just kept telling him that Daddy was okay and we would see him later. As soon as my Dad got there, I put Ellie into the car (obviously I was not thinking when I decided to bring her) and headed to the hospital. While we were waiting for the ambulance I had called my friend whose husband is an ER physician to ask her where I should have the ambulance take Eric. Fortunantly, she thought it was serious enough to meet me at the hospital. I pulled into the garage and drove around looking for a spot for what seemed like an eternity. After searching for the ER, I ran into the paramedics who had brought Eric in. When I asked where he was I received a blank stare in return. Then the reality of what was going on hit. I asked again and still nothing but a stare. The third time I asked I think I was actually yelling and one of them said "He's not in the ER." I wanted to shake her at that point for not volunteering exactly where he was. Finally, she told me he was in the cath lab. I just stared at her and said "He had a heart attack didn't he?" She just looked away and told me I should go to the front desk. Thank God my friend was standing there waiting. The man at the desk was telling us where to go to find Eric, but I didn't hear one thing that came out of his mouth. I just followed my friend. By the time we figured out where to go Eric was already in a room/out of the cath lab. I left Ellie in the waiting room and went into see Eric. I was terrifed to walk into that room. I didn't know if he was going to be hooked up to machines or if they had caught it in time. To my surprize he was in bed, completely awake, and talking to a nurse. I didn't really know what to do. I just walked over to him and put my hand on top of his. I kept waiting for my emotions to take over, but they didn't. Eric had a harder time that day that I did. When the nurse told me exactly what had happened I was shocked. I could wrap my mind aroudn the fact that he had a heart attack, but not that he really could have died. Not long after I arrived our friend who is a physician at the hospital came in the room. I have never been so relieved to see someone come through a door. He looked over Eric's chart and basically said he was very lucky to be alive. Eric had 100% blockage in his left anterior descending artery (LAD), referred to as the "widow maker." They had placed two stents into the artery and saved his life. They also found blockages in two other arteries that will most likely require stents in the future. The rest of the day is one big blur. I spent most of it on the phone contacting our families and answering questions from our friends. I am honestly thankful that I had something to do because oddly enough, it kept my mind off of worrying about Eric. That night Eric was in great spirits. He was up and moving around, joking, and seemed "normal." I still hadn't broken down and cried like I was expecting. We spent the late night/early morning listening to machines screaming that Eric's pulse/blood pressure were too low (which they weren't) so there was not much rest to be had.
The next day basically consisted of a multitude of doctors and nurses providing us with more information than I think I will ever understand about the heart. I guess I expected a heart attack patient to be "sick" but Eric wasn't. It was almost as if nothing had happened. He suddenly had more color in his face than I had seen in weeks and we were taking turns joking about how he has a free pass to get out of doing anything for a least a solid year (that probably sounds horrible, but we needed a little humor at the time). Once again our night was consistently interrupted by a screaming machine that I seriously comptemplated throwing in the hallway at one point.
On Thursday morning the doctor said he was sending us home. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to take him home. I suddenly found comfort in all those beeping machines that had annoyed me the past 2 nights. But I was never going to be ready to take him home. There was always going to be that fear so I just kept telling myself that Mac was going to be so happy to see his Daddy. We got home exactly 53 hours after his heart attack (crazy when you realize they make you stay in the hosptial 4 days after having c-section). When we got home, I left my mom with Eric and the kids to go fill Eric's prescriptions. I dropped them off and decided to get my grocery shopping done while I was waiting. I walked up and down the aisles trying to figure out what to get. Nothing seemed healthy enough. There was either too much fat or too much sodium. I could feel all of my emotions rising up, but I manged to push them back down and hold it in. When the prescriptions were ready I went to check out and I just lost it. The pharmacist was trying to comfort me, but I found my self incoherently blubbering away for all to see. Seeing all those medications sitting in front of me made it all very real. It was the first time that I actually put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I suddenly realized that my entire world, everything I know, everything I love about my life, was almost taken away from me.
I still worry. I find myself checking on him throughout the night. It's frightening to be that close to losing everything you have come to know about your life. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. As I sit here writing this I know that my life could have completly changed in the blink of an eye. I could have lost my best friend. My children could have lost their father. I don't think I have ever taken Eric for granted. I have always known just how fortunate and blessed I am to have him in my life. However, I did take for granted our time. At 30 you don't see yourself here. You don't see the possibility of a life ending. You just plan on growing old together as though that is the only option. Now I know that is not always the case and I will forever cherish every moment I am given with my husband and children.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Deep Breaths

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 was NOT a good day. I don't think I have ever been quite that stressed/frantic/overwhelmed in my life! And to those of you called, left messages on Facebook, etc....THANK YOU!!! It seriously made me feel like I was not the only one who had ever felt that way! I sincerely appreciate your words and advice. After my blog post about my frustrations things continued to tumble downhill. Ellie was awake and screaming from midnight until 5am. A few incidents of projectile vomit were involed. I cried, she cried. It was quite possibly the worst 5 hours I have ever experienced.
I had to wake up at 7 am that morning because it was Mac's first day of school and Ellie's 2 month shots. I got both of the kids fed, dressed and ready to go on time (for once) and we headed on our way out the door. The entire drive over, Mac and I talked about school. He kept telling me how he was a big boy and "no cries" when Mommy left. He even told me "Mommy always come back." That's our new mantra at nap/bed time right now as well. When we pulled into the parking lot he started asking if Mommy was coming to school. I told him I was going to take him to his class, but then I was going to leave, but it was okay because Mommy always comes back. We got to his classroom and were waiting in the hall for the teachers to open the doors. He started getting a little teary eyed, but I just told him "no cries" because he was going to have so much fun today. Once we got in the door he was such a big boy! We went over and checked out the crayons, the play dough, and even the class fish. I went to kiss him good-bye and he realized I was leaving. He wasn't happy about it, but held back the tears. I was so proud of him!
After a successful drop off, Ellie and I headed to her doctor's appointment. I remember how horrible Mac's first round of shots were. He screamed for a good 5 minutes or so afterwards and I felt so sorry for him. I was not looking forward to this. My sweet girl weighed in at 10.8 lbs (40th percentile) and 23 inches (75th percentile). When it came time for the shots I was prepared for the worst, but she did great! She gave the nurse a dirty look after the first stick and barely let out a little whine after the second. Such a big girl!
We got to have a little playdate with Ellie's friend Olivia until it was time to go and pick up Mac from school. When I opened the door he had this huge smile on his face. He charged at me, arms open, and gave me the biggest hug and said "Fun day Mommy! Fun day!" He even told me "Come back tomorrow!" Wow! What a huge difference from this summers school experience.
My WONDERFUL sister came over that afternoon and spent the night with us. She even got up with Ellie when she woke up at night. It was a much needed and welcome break!
After a much more relaxing night of rest, it was time to get ready for day 2 of school. Getting Mac out the door was a little more difficult this morning because he just wanted to stay home and play with BB, but after a little coaxing we headed to the car. Unfortunantly, drop off was not as smooth as it was the day before. There were some tears, but thankfully no screaming or attempted escape. When I came back to pick him up I opened the door just as the custodian was leaving the room with a bag of trash. Based on the odor that followed I thought wow, somebody's kid really stunk up that room! Guess who it was. As I scanned the room for Mac I caught a glimpse of a half naked blonde kid in the corner. Mac had just had a MASSIVE blow out which involved him grabbing the poop from his diaper and pretty much ruining the clothes he had on. The whole room reeked! Once he was dressed he came running to see me and I really thought I might gag a little. And his poor teacher still had poop on her arm! I felt so horrible. Then as we were leaving, his teacher tells me how Mac was yelling "Salud" and "Cheers" during snack time. Today was one of those days you are just so proud of your kid! It will be a great story to tell future girlfriends, right?
Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This and That...

To sum it up, here's how I feel right now. It's a little bit scatter brained, but so am I at the moment!

Well, Eric and I have put potty training on hold. We tried (for all of 4 1/2 hours) to do the 3 day potty train and couldn't do it. I pretty much freaked out. I already feel completely overwhelmed when I take both of them out in public. There has already been an incident of Mac taking off and me chasing him with Ellie in the stroller, and if I am constantly having to scout out all the bathrooms anytime we go out in public we just aren't leaving the house. It's just too much for me right now. It upsets me a little because I do think he's ready/able to be potty trained. I guess if he's ready now, he'll still be ready in a month, right? Sometimes I just think there are too many things going on. I feel like we just brought home a baby, are in the process of getting him to have a real bedtime (up until now we've just let him fall asleep whenever), are trying to make him fall asleep in his bed and not ours, and starting back to school this week. I think that adding potty training on to all of that is just a lot for him, and us, to take. What really bothers me is that a lot of his friends are in the process of potty training and we aren't. I feel like I'm holding him back or something. Ugh...Mommy guilt never stops does it?

This week, Eric is traveling. Let me just say, I am very thankful that his job very rarely requires him to go see clients. He left Monday for NY, but came back on Tuesday. Then he left again today and will come home on Friday. So really, it's only 3 nights that he'll be gone, but it's my first time to be all alone with the kids. I feel like it shouldn't be this stressful. I'm with them all day long so why is it such a big deal if he's gone 3 nights? I will give Eric a little shout out here...this has made me realize just how much he helps out at night.

This has been a whole new situation for me. I had already quit pumping for Mac at this point so actually breastfeeding Ellie is very different. And of course that whole sleeping through the night thing was apparently just a phase. She only wakes up once at night, but it makes a big difference on my energy level during the day. I don't really like getting out of the house with them because I don't particularly enjoy feeding her in public. I've done it a couple of times, but I feel rushed and just want her to eat as fast as possible. Plus, depending on where we are, I can't always just stop and feed her if I have Mac. I keep thinking, what do I do if I'm feeding her and Mac decides to take off?

And tomorrow is a not so fun day for sweet Ellie. It's time for her 2 month shots. I hate these. I still remember the look on Mac's face when they gave him his shots. It was a mix of terror and shock followed by a flood of tears (from both of us). Hopefully she won't be to cranky tomorrow night.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Boy

We've really been talking a lot about this whole potty training thing with Mac the past few weeks. He is so excited about wearing his big boy underwear this weekend. Everyday he asks if he can wear them. I'm hoping that's a sign that things will go smoothly. Any time we mention underwear he tells me "keep them dry" or "no more diapers!" I'm taking him this afternoon to go and pick out his big boy prizes for when he uses the potty, so hopefully that will get him even more excited about this weekend.
Unfortunately we are still having issues with getting Mac to bed. We have been letting him fall asleep in our bed and then taking him upstairs before we go to sleep. The last 2 times I have put him in his bed before he fell asleep, he got so worked up/upset that he threw up. Last night we tried again to put him in his bed and he had a complete meltdown. I felt so bad for him. We sat in the floor in his room to try and get him to calm down for a while, but he was not having it. And of course, I caved. But before we headed back downstairs we had a long talk about being a big boy. I told him that this was his last night to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed and that he had to be a big boy and not cry when he went to sleep. This morning when I went to get him out of bed, I got my typical, "Good morning Mommy" followed by "No sleep in Daddy bed now." I was pretty surprised that he remembered and even more so that he seemed to understand. Then he told me "No cries tonight Mommy." I told him he was being such a big boy and you could just see how proud he was of himself. I've been telling him how we will read lots of books in his room tonight and it will be so much fun so we'll see how it goes. I promised him I would buy him Tow Mater and McQueen sheets if he slept in his bed with no cries 5 times in a row. He has told me "Big boy car sheets" every time I mention going to sleep so hopefully the bribe will work!
Nap time is usually not a very calming event either, but today I told him that big boys take naps and don't cry. He started getting a little teary eyed when we went up the stairs, but when I laid him in his bed he just looked at me and said "Mommy be back soon. I sleep." What?!?!?! I think he actually gets it! I guess the only bad part is that I'm going to have to give him little prizes to keep this going for a while. Oh well, at this point I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get the kid in bed!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Weekend Fun!

We had the best time last weekend! For my sister's birthday, her husband rented a beach house and invited us to join them. I made the mistake of telling Mac about our beach trip about 2 weeks prior to the actual event and I think he told me 10 times a day that we were going to the beach with B.B. We've taken him to the beach 2 or 3 times before, but he has always been afraid to get in the water. As we were driving down to Galveston, he kept telling us how he was going to go swimming. I was a little doubtful that it was actually going to happen once we got down on the beach, but he couldn't wait to get out there! Mac LOVED splashing around in the ocean. He even liked it when the waves hit him!

My brother in law, Travis, dug a huge hole (Mac referred to it as the pool) and filled it with water. He even caught some fish and put them in there for Mac.

I was a little concerned about taking Ellie out there. I mean it's only 100 plus degrees and she's 6 weeks old. My sister/brother-in-law had a huge tent that we set up and Ellie sat comfortably in her carseat on the tailgate of truck. I think she had the best seat in the house. It was completely shaded with a nice breeze that rocked her carseat back and forth. She slept almost the entire 3 hours we were out there!

Mac has talked about going to the beach ever since, so I see a lot more beach trips in the Bethea family future!
Mac has apparently started a new phase...the "I help Mommy" phase. In theory it sounds great, right? He wants to cook, clean, feed Ellie, etc., etc...the only problem is that a task that normally takes 5 minutes ends up taking 30! Oh well, I obviously am not going to tell him that he can't help me. Everytime he "helps" Mommy, I make it a huge deal and tell him how proud I am of him for being such a big helper. You can tell he is so proud. Last night I was changing the sheets on the bed and I hear him come running in the room yelling "I help Mommy. My turn! My turn!" So I told him to pull the sheets on the other side of the bed. Apparently he interpreted that as "Stand in the middle of the bed, get under the sheets, and jump up and down and count to ten as loud as you can." One day I'm going to ask him to help with the sheets and in return I'll get an eye roll and a snide remark so I should just be happy that he actually wants to help!
I really do like this sweet/helping stage though. We were at Target the other day and as we passed the floral department Mac bolted. He ran straight to the bouquets and screamed "Flowers! Look Mommy, flowers!" I tried to get him back on task so we could get out of there, but he wouldn't budge. He grabbed my hand and said, "Buy Mommy flowers? Please buy Mommy flowers?" Well of course I couldn't break his little heart and say no! I told him to go pick some flowers for Mommy. He stood there with his hands on his hips for a minute scanning the selection and then chose some lovely yellow daisies. He was so proud of himself. I put them in the kitchen when we got home and everyday he goes to see the flowers he got me. Everytime I'm in the kitchen he points and smiles and says "I buy Mommy flowers." So sweet.
He really is a funny little guy. Last night after I made the bed, Mac wanted to put on his shoes. No reason. Just wanted to wear them. So I put his shoes on and finished cleaning. We were getting ready for bed and I told him it was time to take his shoes off so we could go to sleep. He said "No Mommy. I sleep in shoes." I asked him why he wanted to sleep in his shoes. His response, "I sleep in shoes. I go run to the beach. I sleep in shoes." He makes me laugh so hard that I actually let the kid go to bed in his shoes.
Here are a few pictures from our fun weekend:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Nice Mommy

I have decided that I need to start writing down some of the conversations that we have with Mac and some of the things that he says. Here is what we discussed on our way home from a museum playdate today:
Mac: Mommy, I shared water.
Me: You shared your water?
Mac: I shared water. Wash hands.
Me: Huh?
Mac: I shared water. Wash hands.
Me: What? (now repeat this part of our conversation a few times)
Me: Oh, you shared the water and let your friends wash their hands in the sink?
Mac: Yes. I nice.
Me: That was very nice Mac.
Mac: I very nice friend. (repeat 10 times)
Me: Mac, it makes Mommy very proud when you are nice and share with your friends.
Mac: Halen nice friend. Caleb nice friend too.
Me: Your friends are very nice Mac. It's fun to play with your friends and be nice
Mac: I nice Mommy. I shared water. I nice. Mommy, I nice. Mommy, I get cake? I very nice Mommy.
I think he is starting to understand sharing...and apparently he thinks he gets smoething if he does it! Up until a month or so ago if you told Mac to share, he would run up to a kid, take his toy, tell the kid to share, and run away. So technically he understood "sharing." He just thought it meant people needed to share with him. I'll give Ellie a little bit of credit for Mac's new comprehension. I've probably told him a million times that he has to share the "wuckie" (pacifier) with Ellie. It's her pacifier, but I think it makes him feel like he's doing something nice if I make it sound like he has a choice in the matter. Regardless, I didn't catch him snatching any toys from anyone today so maybe it's all sinking in.
I also learned something about myself on the ride home today. Mac started saying "Daddy song. Ball in the hole." (I made up a song about Daddy with Mac. The two most popular versions are "Ball in the hole" and "Kick the football.") So I sang him his song. Then he started asking me to sing the Mommy song. Well there is no Mommy song, but I was happy to oblige and asked him what Mommy does. He got his serious face on for a few seconds, pointed at me and screamed "Mommy clean floors!" Really? So then I was curious to find out what else might come out of his mouth so I asked him what else Mommy does. Lets just say my job consists of cleaning floors, reading books, cooking, feeding Eggie, and saying no. I guess he calls it like he sees it!
School is out for a few weeks and I'm glad. You would think having him out of the house to get things done/take care of Ellie would be a welcome break, but it really isn't. It just turns into a hassle to go and get him. Ellie always seems to be ready to eat right as I need to go and pick him up, the kids in his class literally swarm her stroller (they almost knocked the carseat off one day!), and then I end up dragging Mac through the parking lot because he doesn't want to go home (and yes, this is the same child who screamed his head off when he was dropped off). Plus, when my car's thermometer reads 125, I really don't want to get in it or put my newborn in it either! We did get something fun from the school last week though. They let the kids plant beans and Mac's has exploded. He tells me everyday "Sun and water Mommy. Sun and water." So each morning we water his little plant and put it in the window to get some sun. He must have more of a green thumb than his mother because the thing is still growing! He is obviously proud because every night he shows Daddy his beans.

Mac made quite a mess last night. I went in the other room to hang up some clothes and I hear a loud crack/crash followed by crying. Fabulous. I came running back into the living room to find Mac, and the baby swing, on the floor. Poor guy just wanted to go for a little ride, but I think the swings weight limit is 20 lbs which Mac was at about 11 months. Needless to say, the swing is no more. But there is good news in all of this. Ellie hated the swing anyway and our neighbor let us use her daughters that has multiple settings and Ellie loves it! It buys me some extra sleep time from her during the day! Mac keeps walking over to the swing and pointing at it and saying "No touch. Mac no touch." Hopefully he learned his lesson because I'd prefer not to have to buy our neighbor a new swing!
But the big news is that we are planning on starting potty training at the end of the month. Honestly, I do NOT want to do it. I know how stubborn and hard headed he is and I can't imagine things going smoothly. We are using the 3 Day Potty Train method. Everyone I know swears that in 3 days your kid is potty trained...but it's 3 days of hell! Quick overview: put your kid in big boy underwear and repeat the phrase "Tell Mommy/Daddy when you need to go potty, okay?" over and over and over again. Keep telling them they need to get their big boy pants dry and go overboard on praise when they actually use the bathroom in the toilet. There's a lot more too it than that, but basically it says to prepare yourself for lots of "accidents" all over your house for at least 24 hours. I had a friend tell me to roll up my rug and cover the joke...because her kid literally destroyed everything that couldn't be wiped down on the first day! I know it needs to be done and I'm sure that I'll be happy once he's potty trained, but honestly, it's just not that big of a deal to me right now. I have quite a few friends with boys Mac's age and none of their kids are potty trained either, so I don't feel like we are behind. Plus, I'll be honest, it's a lot easier to change a diaper at the mall, restuarant, or on a trip than to deal with wet/dirty pants, underwear, socks, etc. The fact that he's in size 6 diapers and they are almost too small is probably a sign that it's time, but I realize that this is just one more part of my life that will change. Whatever we are doing, we have to stop when he has to use the bathroom. It's hard to be constantly on call with Ellie around. It seems that all the husbands are pushing the potty training issue and the Moms are fine changing a few diapers each day. Hmmm, could that be because the Moms will be cleaning up all the mess??? But for the record....I do agree. I think it's time. I am sure that this whole experience will warrant a blog post...but I promise, no pictures of the aftermath!
And in important Ellie news....her best friend, Miss Olivia Ann Himes was born on July 29th! She is a doll! Eric and I met Beth and Ryan (the parents) about 5 years ago when we were living in an apartment in the Med Center. I never thought we would both be pregnant and having girls at the same time! They've even had their first playdate already. They spent the time eating, crying, and sleeping, but I could tell they had a fabulous time! Love them!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the past couple of days and a cute video of Mac "reading" his book "Go Dog Go!"