Saturday, August 31, 2013

What is there left to do?

Please stay with me. I'm upset, agitated, and my thoughts are all over the place. If I'm confusing, I apologize.

I've hit another snag. It has taken Sofia over 2 months to clean her room. She's done a bit daily, but always slacks off. I can't necessarily punish her for that because I was/am the same way. However, I have been getting on her case more and have started to take things way. I need to get my youngest out of a crib since she climbs out, but cannot until she cleans up to make room for the bed and to make sure things that Gianna could get hurt on are put away. HOWEVER, as I was getting her stuff together to spend the night at Grandma's tonight, I noticed something in her pillow case that wasn't her pillow. She had put her iPod in there to hide it from me.

I took it from her a while ago because she took it outside one day and broke it. It broke because she put it in her invisible pocket and it fell out while she was running. It hit her foot, went flying in the air, and shattered. I took it because 1) she knew it didn't belong outside, 2) she hid it from me, and 3) she lied when I asked about it. This happened months ago, and ever since then, I have had it hidden. This is the THIRD time she has taken it. This last time, I had it hidden in between my mattress and box spring. She KNOWS she's not allowed in my room unless I tell her she can come in. I have not allowed her in my room alone since I took the iPod away from her.

As it stands, because it's taken her so long to clean her room, she is not allowed to go to the local fair, she is not allowed to ride her bike for the rest of Summer, and she isn't having sleepovers or going to be sleeping over at anyone's house. I'm now taking the computer and game access away from her. So, what is left for disciplining her??

She just walked in, and I confronted her. First things first, she started shaking, and telling me she didn't know how it got in her pillow case. She didn't do it. Ten minutes later, after me not budging, she admitted she took it out of my room because she just couldn't live without it. This is the same spiel we went through when I caught her the first time with it in her pillow case. I'm pretty sure I blogged about it previously. Crying, lying, shaking, defensive, etc. Now she's saying that she doesn't care about herself. She cares about me, her father, her brother, and her sister. But not herself. I am fairly certain she's saying that just so that I pity her and give up on the punishments. I told her I was going to shatter her iPod since she keeps taking it and lying. She said doesn't care. I can shatter it if I want to.

I'm going to have to talk to her doctor about this, because frankly, I have no idea what to do. Depression? Normal 10 year old behavior? What?!

What do I do in the mean time? What would you do? Please give me some advice!!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

**REVIEW** SpermCheck Fertility

Recently, I was sent a product called SpermCheck Fertility to review. After MUCH begging and pleading on my end, my husband reluctantly gave it a shot. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take part in any of it, because he chose to do it while I was sleeping.

Directly from their website:
SpermCheck® Fertility is a simple, FDA-approved male fertility product that provides quick and reliable results,
 indicating if your sperm count is high enough for successful conception. The SpermCheck® Fertility kit, which 
can be used in the privacy of your own home, quickly informs men whether their sperm count is normal or low. 
This innovative male fertility test can help rule out male infertility or provide answers to conception problems 
prior to visiting a fertility specialist. 50% of the time, male infertility is the cause of conception problems and 
80% of the time, the male is not tested.

So, from my end, it appears to be relatively simple with some minor guidelines. Wait at least 48 hours since the last ejaculate, but no more than 7 days, or the results may be wrong. Other than that, as long as you follow the directions, it isn't hard.

The kit comes with the instructions, a collection cup for your sample, a solution bottle, a semen transfer device, and the actual test.

You would need to obtain a sample directly into the sample cup, without missing a drop. After that, it needs to sit on a flat surface for at least 20 minutes to allow it to thin out a bit.
After those 20 minutes (but no more than 3 hours), you would remove the transfer device and stir it about 10 times to ensure it's equally mixed. After mixing, you need to use the plunger from the transfer device to retrieve enough semen to go up to the black line, avoiding air bubbles. After retrieving enough in the plunger, you need to deposit it into the solution bottle, slowly. Once it's all in there, place the cap back on the solution bottle, and gently mix it by turning the bottle upside down at least 5 or 6 times, more so if your sample is thick. If you shake it too hard, you might end up with foaming. Let the solution stand for 2 minutes, then gently squeeze exactly 6 drops into the testing window. Your result will be visible at 7 minutes after placing the drops in the testing window. If you read it before, or after those 7 minutes, the results may be inaccurate.

A positive test will have a line next to the 'C' (control) and the 'T' (test) in the windows. That means that the sperm count is at least 20 million per milliliter. If there is no line next to the 'T', then your sperm count is less than 20 million per milliliter. With either result, you should contact your doctor to have more extensive testing done. Especially if you are trying to conceive and are struggling.

Hubby's result was positive. Which is not a surprise to either of us.

All in all, it's a great little tool to reassure your mind if you (or your hubby) have fertility concerns. It appears to cost around $40 for one test. I have not seen them in stores, but this is not something I have actively been seeking out.

The only complaint Anthony had about it was that the cup was too small. He had no issues doing the test himself and did not need to wake me up to ask for help. 

Like them on Facebook HERE.

**SpermCheck Fertility sent me the above product for review purposes only. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. All experiences and opinions are mine and may differ from your own.**
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gianna!!

Wow. It's so hard to believe that my baby is 2 now. TWO!! Where has the time gone??

We did a party for her on her birthday, Sunday the 25th. Unfortunately, not many people came, despite RSVPing that they would. It was a total bummer, and has taken a toll on my mood lately, and my financial status. However, I am so thankful for those who did come. Gianna had a great time with her friend Anna!

At 2 years old, Gianna:
  • still rides rear facing in her car seat.
  • still breastfeeds at least 5x a day.
  • definitely is in the "terrible twos". As a matter of fact, the Terrible Twos have nothing on her!
  • is more assertive in what she does and does not want.
  • is trying to be more independent.
  • sings along to Bubble Guppies and tries to sing her ABC's.
  • has all four eye teeth coming in at once, but you would never be able to tell.
She is growing into a fabulous little girl, and I am so proud that she is mine! She is very loving, and says please, thank you, you're welcome, and bless you appropriately. Her newest thing is spitting. When she's angry, she will spit. When she's frustrated, she spits. When she's bored, she spits. She just spits. All the time. She still doesn't sleep through the night all the time. Maybe 3 to 4 times a week. She also climbs out of her crib, so we are looking into buying her a big girl bed. We just have to wait for Sofia to finish cleaning up their room so that there is nothing in there that Gianna can get hurt on.

I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us. Wait, scratch that. Yes I can. I don't want my baby to grow up! I am not ready!!!


ETA: I have been eyeing a new car seat for G for her birthday. We only have one car seat, so it's a pain if we need to go somewhere in Anthony's car, or if someone else needs to take her for a bit. I then have to uninstall the seat from my car, install it elsewhere, and then reinstall it in mine. While I know how to buckle the seat in properly, it still leaves room for error at every uninstall/reinstall. It would make things a lot easier to have an extra seat. Unfortunately, it's just not in our budget at this point. I thought this might be a good start to getting the funds we need to purchase a new seat. If you'd like to donate, please do! If not, no biggie!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The worst feeling of my life

The other day, AJ had his therapist appointment. What happened shortly before the appointment had me so shook up and upset that I haven't been able to really write about it. It also just happened to be my mother's birthday, so it made it even worse of a day for me.

AJ's appointment was scheduled for 1:00. At about 12, we started to get ready. Gianna likes to run around and play when I tell her it's time to get dressed. She thinks it's a game. In order to get her to actually calm down enough for me to change her, I have to lay down with her and rub her back. While we were laying down, we heard footsteps. Not knowing whether it was AJ or Sofia, we pretended to be asleep. Complete with fake snoring. Playing into it, AJ was pretending to struggle with waking us up "Oh gee, mom is asleep. Gianna too! Wake up, sleepyheads!" Gianna replied "NoooooOOOO!" which lead to him saying yes, and them going back and forth, getting louder each time. I was still laying there, on my belly, head turned towards Gianna. At one point, Gianna screamed really loudly. I saw AJ's hand come over my head, and I assumed he was going to rub her back to get her to calm down. But his hand didn't stop on her back. He had it up near her face, and I thought he was going to pat her mouth while she was yelling (to make the wah-wah-wah sound).

Boy was I wrong. What I saw horrified and scared me half to death. His hand certainly was up by her face. He had put his palm on her mouth, and his fingers over her nose so that she couldn't breathe. Not only was he covering her mouth and nose, he was shaking his hand. I *KNEW* it was intentional. I flew up as quick as I could. Watching my baby, who simply adores her brother, panic and her eyes get wide in that split second scared me. AJ? He had NO remorse whatsoever. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied "I wanted her to stop screaming." When I asked him if he realized that he could have suffocated her by doing that, his response was a matter-of-fact "Yeah, and I don't care. I just want her to stop screaming." This wasn't the first time he's done that. I saw one other time, but thought I was seeing things, so I didn't say anything to him. I wish I did, because the fear in Gianna's eyes broke my heart. I sent him to his room, as my main concern was calming Gianna down and getting her dressed still.

It's frightening to see my go from happy and playful, to mean and intentionally harming his little sister. I brought it up with the therapist, and she talked with him a bit about it. He said that he was mad at himself for hurting her and wanting to kill her, but he didn't really care. He still had no remorse. He talked about it as if it were no big deal, all the while, playing with the toys the therapist had in the room. She mentioned that she feels he may be depressed, and wanted to talk it over with the RN who is in charge of his medication. We finished with her, and went to the RN. I told her all over again about how it happened, how it was all very sudden. No more than 2 minutes from the time he came in my room to the time he covered her face. The fear on G's face, the panic that set in, the lack of caring from AJ. We talked about how his mood is just getting worse and worse. We increased his Ritalin from 20mg up to 30mg. His Risperidone is still the same- 1mg in the morning, 1mg in the evening. Hoping this is the correct combination now. Watching Gianna be so nervous around AJ is not fun. She adored her big brother, and always wanted to be next to him. It's heart breaking to watch her cower in fear when he's around. It's sad that I can't even run upstairs to get something without having to bring her because I just don't know what he might do. I have never had this much fear in my entire life.

To make matters worse, the 15th would have been my mother's 55th birthday. It was hard enough trying to get through the day, but then to add that on top of it. Later that day, we had soccer practice for Sofia, and I had to try to make it through the fear and upset from the afternoon, the birthday of my mother, and then Sofia started whining that she didn't want to play soccer. Too bad it was already paid for. I am making her play this season, then if she decides that she still doesn't like it after it's over, then she doesn't have to play anymore. But, I am not having her quit before she even gets started. AJ's practices are on Tuesdays, and he likes it so far. Teams will be assigned either next week or the week after. Hopefully they each have someone on their teams that they know. Would make it a lot more enjoyable for them.

In any event, it is almost 2AM here. I have some planning to do tomorrow because in one week, my baby will be two. Her party will be here before I know it. Time flies so fast.