I think we’ve got an emergency.

Last night was our first middle of the night trip to the emergency with little Paloma.

During dinner I noticed that she was only eating with her right arm, at bed time she didn’t help me get her dressed, and while drinking her bottle she only held it with her right arm. I thought it was a little weird but since she wasn’t screaming or anything I figured she was being particular.

She went down at 8:30pm like normal but at around 10:00pm she started crying in her sleep. Nothing serious at first, just random cries, but as the night progressed her cries got more intense and at around midnight she was screeching. I pulled her into our bed thinking she might be hot from the heater in her room. But after getting her undressed and giving her some water I realized something was up.

When Paloma throws a tantrum she normally gives it her all kicking and punching with all her limbs. But last night I noticed that she only used her right arm. At that point I knew something was odd and we should take her to the emergency room. It was 1:45am and I was dreading the hour drive to the hospital but it needed to get done. After waking my parents to get the car keys and successfully freaking out my mom we headed to the hospital. It was freezing last night. There was ice on the windshield and even Paloma didn’t object to being bundled up in three different blankets.

After a very bumpy and scary ride thanks to my dads driving, we got to the hospital in 35 minutes. We walked up to the window to speak with the secretary about needing to see a doctor. We were quickly processed and taken to triage. The nurse took down all her info and we waited about two minutes before we saw the doctor. Our doctor was hesitant at first to see if anything was wrong but after attempting to play with Paloma she realized that something was bothering her arm. She had me undress her slowly and she noticed that she was definitely having issues moving her left arm. She did a another physical examination and felt that her elbow was dislocated.

Hearing that my heart dropped. I felt like it was something I did. I pulled her arm too hard to get her away from something dangerous or maybe she fell too hard at the park. Why hadn’t I noticed it earlier? I felt like an awful parent.

The doctor was very quick to tell me it was a miracle I even noticed it when I did considering PJ wasn’t crying. After popping it back into place she gave her some Ibuprofen and kept her for few minutes for observation. While she wasn’t comfortable using her left arm all that much afterwards you could tell there was a HUGE difference in how she moved. She slowly started using her arm to hold my cell phone and she used both arms to ask to be picked up.

Once the doctor saw that she had improved mobility she sent us home. I’d say we spent a total of half an hour at the hospital. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a short emergency room trip in my life. I have friends with kids in the States and when they tell me of taking their kids to the emergency room it’s literally hours before anyone gets seen by a doctor. It’s moments like these where I’m extra appreciative of being in Uruguay. The healthcare here is amazing, people are treated like people and not like money. I wish that the States could adopt this, that hospitals could be stopped being seen as businesses and could be seen as healing centers.

Today we’re taking it easy at home. Carlos has the day off so we’re at home trying to recoup from a long night. Thankful for that our adventurous little girl is feeling alright.

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Putting ME before MOM.

The past few months have been rough on me. Paloma has been getting curiouser, the construction on the house has been keeping me busy, and taking care of my parents has been draining. As the construction has started to wind down (today is hopefully the LAST day!), PJ enjoys playing alone more, and we are finally seeing an end to unpacking I’ve realized that I haven’t prioritized myself since January.

It’s been so easy to get lost on the teacup ride that has become my life. My contractor doesn’t buy the supplies for the house, rather he gives me a list of what to buy and I have to go to the hardware store and pray they have them. If not it’s a whole day trip to Las Piedras (the nearest city) or even further, Montevideo. Once I return home he’ll inform me I have purchased the wrong items, forcing to me grab my already grumpy one and a half year old and make the hour trek back to the hardware store. This doesn’t include the three to four trips to the grocery store–because God forbid my parents know what they want BEFORE I leave the house the first time–,the agropecuaria (a veterinarian pet supply store), the bank, the money exchange, and the vegetable stand. After this I come home, pray I brought the right things so I don’t have to leave again and start cooking dinner. All the while I have my parents telling me the internet/DirecTV/phone doesn’t work and I have to fix it along with my daughter screeching to be let out of her playpen.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. “So? We all have a million things to do as parents and caretakers? It’s our job.” And you’re right. My job is to take care of my parents, my child, and run their/my home. But have you noticed that apart from my incessant grumbling, I haven’t talked mentioned taking a second for myself?

Prior to construction starting in January I took about an hour or two a day to work out/meal plan/write/vegetate online–anything to just clear my mind from my daily pressures. As the stresses started piling up I put my personal time on the back burner, dreaming of the day when I’ll be able to have a minute to myself again. Since then I’ve been getting ridiculous headaches, body aches, nausea, and dear Lord have I been binge eating.

I went to the doctor last week complaining of my gong-like headaches in fear of having a brain tumor and even though she referred me to a neurologist, she told me she believes it to be psychosomatic. As someone with a history of debilitating anxiety and depression (what’s up Zoloft?) I wasn’t surprised to hear it. I’ve taken the past week to take a look at my life, how I’ve allowed myself to unravel at the seams and simply put, stopped caring about myself. But not anymore. I need to create order and happiness in my life. I don’t have anything to be upset or unhappy with. I have my whole family, I have a happy and healthy daughter, I have a marriage that exudes love, tenderness, and respect.

For the past week I have made it a point to get my hour or two a day back. I wake up every morning and make it a point to put on actual clothes. I apply make up even if all plan on doing is staying home–take a look to your left to my Instagram feed for proof. I started eating healthily again and am slowly easing my way back into exercise. I have spent my whole life lying to myself saying that eating like a beast makes me happy. It doesn’t. I always feel sluggish, glum, and bloated afterwards. Whenever I eat healthily I feel light and untroubled.

I need to constantly remind myself that in order for me to take care of those I love, I need to put myself first. Like on an airplane during the safety demonstration. Should your oxygen bag be deployed please put it on yourself first then place it on those traveling with you. Since I’ve made these adjustments to my daily life I’ve been so much happier and better equipped at caring for those around me.

Our new normal: an excuse for me to whine about first world problems

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Carlos got a new job. He’s currently working for a company that outsources customer service to Amazon. The hours are less than ideal (12:30pm-8:00pm) and the commute is awful (four hours daily) but we’ve been making it work. I will admit though it has been rough for me to get used to not having him around.

I know that 99.99% of stay-at home moms do it alone. They keep house and do the child rearing without the help of their partner. And the first few days without Carlos home, I didn’t know how they did it. PJ was throwing tantrums left and right, she wouldn’t eat, and all she did was run around yelling “DADA!” But after the first three or four days she got used to it. She started eating again and was more affectionate. She definitely is still throwing tantrums but it’s because we’re limiting screen time and she is not happy. Damn you Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for being so appealing!

However, now she barely acknowledges Carlos when he comes home from work. He gets here about twenty minutes before bed time so at that point she’s cranky and just wants to run around. He’ll walk in through the door and depending on the day she will either smile big for him or just pretend he isn’t there. I’m hoping it’s just a phase and she will be more excited to see her dad as time goes on. Luckily since he’s starting his official schedule this Sunday, he will be able to spend the good hours with her before work and not only get to see her for ten to twenty minutes.

What’s been most difficult for me to adjust to is not having help when things around the house get tough. Since we live with my parents I’m constantly cleaning, running their errands, doctors appointments, cooking, etc. I’ve spent the past two years doing all of this with Carlos by my side and now I have to do it alone.This is an issue that everyone goes through but right now I feel like I’m standing at the base of Mount Everest being forced to climb it completely unprepared. I’m trying to find my rhythm but it’s proving to be difficult. I’m praying that once our house is finished I’ll be able to be a bit more organized.

These are tiny things to be complaining or stressing about but in my currently very tiny life bubble, it’s what’s happening in our lives right now. Next week our shipping container gets here and I promise to write a post on how that all went. I was going to write it earlier but seeing how not much has happened I figured I would write just one post. I can’t wait to sleep on our bed and our nice sheets and wear clothes I haven’t seen in over two years. I’ll probably be swamped for a few months trying to organize everything getting here.