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May 14, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Off the charts

Today I am writing to vent out my frustrations with doctors in general, and how much they are into percentiles/charts and numbers. Not everyone fits into their little mold. Everyone is different, and we all grow at our own pace. I say this because my son is a small kid. He is 17.10lbs at 15 months. He was born 8.5 lbs and by the time we left the hospital 3 days later he was around 7.4 lbs. He grows slowly, but steadily and he follows his own little curve and pace. He is so small that he is pretty much in the 1st percentile for weight and height for kids his age. But that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with him.. First of all, we need to factor in genetics. I am small as well, barely 103 lbs and I am only 5’2″ while my husband is 5’9″ and 170 lbs. So its pretty much to be expected that he would be a little guy. Next, he’s meeting his milestones! He may not be fully walking yet but walking has a wide developmental span (9-18 months) and he is taking steps, standing and scooting. He’s very social, he waves, mimics, says hi and bye and smiles and plays peek-a-boo. He has about 3 words and pretty good comprehension. He’s just a very mellow and cautious baby. At yesterday’s doctor’s appointment, the doctor pretty much told us he was borderline failure to thrive, and that we had to go back next month for a another weight-check and then decide if further testing was needed to check his thyroid, test for malabsorption and celiac’s disease. He also wanted Johnny on a multivitamin and off the boob. As far as I know, breastfeeding is still the best for babies for up to 2 years so I was very disappointed that he even mentioned that. Over-all, that well-visit was just so bad and left me and my husband feeling so bad and like failures. Our son is a peanut- he’s happy and thriving and he’s a good eater- but he’s small. That’s okay. He’s just another variation of normal. I may not have a medical degree, but I know my son better than anyone else, and I am a little offended that someone who sees my son for 15 minutes every 3 months has the nerve to try and call him “failure to thrive.” To top it off, he even took notice of a small bald spot on Johnny’s head and asked us about it, almost implying Johnny had Trichotillomania..I mean really? Are you insane? He’s 15 months. His hair fell off when he was 6 months old, he had a lot of cradle cap and he’s never had a haircut yet. Yes, his hair is growing funny. But he does not have a hair-pulling disease. I was really blown away. I am thinking at this point that I may want to just seek a new pediatrician, someone who is more pro-breastfeeding, attachment parenting and someone who doesn’t necessarily feel that just because you are “off the charts” means something is wrong.

May 2, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Starting my weaning journey, and transitioning from co-sleeping to crib

I would like to document the journey I am about to embark upon. Breastfeeding was not really something I was set on doing when I got pregnant. I was formula-fed as a child and I feel like I grew up healthy and turned okay, so I never had any qualms about formula. Plus, my mom and I have an amazing bond so I never felt that her not breastfeeding me (she’s a working mom-still is!) affected our relationship. But through all the information I got from my mom groups like Cafemom, and information from my midwife and doula about the benefits of breastfeeding, I decided that I would at least give it a go. Well when Johnny was born, he took to nursing right away, and although it was a pain I kept at it. I suffered through engorgements, plugged ducts, pumping at work but never regretted my decision to nurse. Johnny was always a slow weight-gainer, but it was steady so I knew that my breastmilk was doing its job. There were days when I had to supplement due to low pumping supply, but that didn’t faze me. Johnny took to the boob and bottle like a champ, and drank formula just as much as breastmilk. And when I was tired of pumping, I even found a milk donor to supplement just so I could reach a year of him being mostly EBF. Lucky for me Johnny was a late teether and he did not get his first tooth until 13 months, and by 14 months he has 4 teeth. Well now the dynamics seem to be changing. Nursing used to be something we both loved, but somehow I find myself resenting it more and more, and I feel that its really starting to take a toll on me. He still constantly nurses at night, maybe every 1-2 hours, and I am finally at a point where I just want to sleep. Also, he has been biting me and chaffing my nipple, and I dread the time when he latches and unlatches. I feel that this is hurting our bond and relationship as I am not looking forward to our nursing sessions anymore. I’ve decided to try and slowly wean him, gently and patiently. How? I have no clue to be honest. But for my sanity, I must at least try, and I would also like to start transitioning him to his own pack and play instead of our bed. Not because we don’t want him in bed with us, but because of space issues and well, I think it will help with the night-nursing weaning. I will try to do it by cutting back a session or two at first. I will see how it goes, but I will keep you all updated. I know it will be hard, and it will take time, and I will probably be very sad when this does happen, but at the same time I am very proud of myself that we have made it this far. :)

Moms, I would love to hear your stories of how you did it!

April 21, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Biometrics scheduled!

Just a quick update.. I received my biometrics appointment set for 5/2/14 (30 days from my receipt date). :)

Yay! Things are moving along.. How exciting :)

Edit**

Did a walk-in on April 23 in York, PA. In and out in about 30 minutes

As of 4/25, I was placed in-line for interview :)

April 15, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

April is the month of the military child!

April is the month of the military child!

Today I wear purple in honor of my son, who is a military child. :)
I just wanted to say I appreciate all the sacrifices military children make.
God bless you all!
:)

April 15, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

N400 Mailed.. and some updates!

I mailed my N400 packet last 4/2/2014 through USPS Priority Express to Lincoln, NE. It cost about $20 for one-day delivery. It was delivered noontime on 4/3/2014. Just to clarify, I mailed mine 4/2/2014 because that was the day of our 3-year anniversary, which is one of the rules for eligibility (3 years married + 3 years permanent resident). I sent the G-1145 with my application but never received any notifications when my application was received and processed, which I thought was strange.. On 4/9/2014, my check was cashed (I got the lovely deduction on my bank account). On 4/14/2014 I finally received my NOA1 or I-797C Notice of Action which made me happy and breathe a sigh of relief. However, my NOA1 was odd and unusual. It stated:

Receipt with Exception

“The above application has been received by our office and is in process, but has been noted with one or more of the following exceptions: missing evidence(s)- your application was missing evidences that you will need to provide at the time of your naturalization interview. You will be notified under separate notice of the necessary evidences that you will be required to bring to your interview. Do not submit any evidences by mail”

I’m not sure why I got this statement, from what I have observed, it is not really standard. It is making me worry :( I guess all I can do now is wait for the separate notice. I will keep you all updated! I am thinking it is because I said yes to being cited by a police officer because I had a traffic ticket. I have proof for that, so that’s an easy fix. No big deal if that’s all it is. 

I also checked my case status online, and it says, 

Initial Review

On April 11, 2014, we mailed you an appointment notice to have your fingerprints taken. Please follow the instructions on the notice. If you move while this case is pending, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address or call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.

Which means I will get my biometrics letter soon, hopefully! 

I will keep everyone updated with my N400 Journey! Hoping for a smooth sailing one! 

March 11, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Working Mom Woes

Working mom.. who are we kidding here. I am so frustrated, because try as I may to do my job well, something always comes up, and of course, my son always comes first. Ever since my son started daycare, he’s had the stomach bug, the cold (twice), random fevers (Don’t get me started on the 24 hr fever-free policy), and now I just got the call that they think he has pink eye. He doesn’t, he has a blocked tear duct, but I get the resemblance. They won’t accept my mom-diagnosis, so now we have to take him to the doctor to get a note. I work a teacher’s schedule, I get 3 personal days and 10 sick days a year. It’s only March and I only have 4.5 days left. NONE of those sick days were for me, they were all for Johnny, but that’s okay because he was legitimately sick in some of those occasions and I wanted to watch him. But now I have to leave work early or miss work altogether just because of fever-free policies and things like that? They don’t make it easy for working moms.. Maybe I should just stay home. 

Feeling frustrated :(

March 6, 2014 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Preparing my N-400 Packet

So I have been reading up on the forums and instructions for citizenship (N-400), and here is what I am preparing to include in my packet so far. I have not gotten around to actually doing it yet, but I will do it in the next 3 weeks (I send mine in 4/3/14). Here’s my list:

1. Cover Letter (Optional- But to me it looks more professional, and presentable and the person who opens it knows what the packet should have)

2. G-1145 (So that you can get notifications)

3. Completed, signed N-400 form (21 pages long)

4. Check for $680 (Ugh, I know!) addressed to U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, with A# printed on the back

5. 2 2X2 passport photos (thin, glossy) with name and alien # printed on back

6. Hubby’s BC copy (to prove his citizenship)

7. Copy of Marriage Cert

8. Johnny’s (son) copy of BC

9. 3 years tax return transcript

10. Lease with both our names on it (Not necessary, but proves domicile and that I live with my husband)

11. Copies of my DL and Tim’s DL and Mil ID – (Totally not necessary, but I will add it in anyway).

12. Front and back copy of current 10-year GC (duh.. almost forgot about that!)

Edit.. After consulting with other people who have previously filed, I am thinking of adding in a recent joint account statement. Can’t hurt I guess!

What do you guys think? What’s in your N400 packet?

Because I am a military spouse, I am sending mine to Nebraska through USPS Priority Mail.

Wish me luck!!! I am very nervous!

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