Monday, January 28, 2008

sniffle, snork, honk

Home today sick. I feel a little silly, since I feel a ton better today than yesterday, but I needed the day to just take it easy, and get a little work done, believe it or not. Since no one can call, walk into my office, or otherwise interrupt, I actually can manage to get some work done.

Yesterday was awful. I woke up feeling fairly crappy, not helped by an extremely whacked out night with Son. Just as an aside, he went down for what I thought would be a brief nap at around 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. He slept until 11pm, got up for a new diaper and to get changed into his Pjs, and slept until 1am. He woke up then, and Husband was convinced that if Son came into bed with us, he would sleep. To quote Paul Sr., "delusional." After coughing and sniffling and blowing my nose since I had become vertical when I got up to bring Son into our room, and getting kicked in the back one too many times by Son, I lost it and started to get up with him. I was ticked at Husband for trying to ignore the squirming 35 pounds in our bed, especially when he knew that I felt lousy. Especially since I let him sleep in on Saturday morning until almost 10am.

To give him about 1/32 of a brownie point, that was enough to get him up. Son hadn't had dinner, so I'm assuming that Husband fed him, and that's about where I lose consciousness. I woke up again around 5am, to find Husband and Son not there. Husband went in to work to pull some reports, and took our DVD player with to keep Son amused. They got home around 6:00, and both went back to bed. Of course, BabyA was up at 6:55. Ugh.

I only got progressively worse. In order to allow Son and Husband to sleep without cranky BabyA, the two of us headed out to Target to pick up a bunch of things for their stay with Grandpa and Grandma next week. I started out with a pocket full of tissues. In the end, I had to rip into the travel pack of tissues that I had picked up while I shopped. It was either that, or look like a toddler. I voted to keep at least a little dignity, even though I was on day three without a shower. (I did manage wash my face, and the clothes were clean, but ewwww.) BabyA was great-she talked and played with her bug, and was in general just charming.

By the time that we got back from going to a car show where Son could get his picture taken with a life-size Lightening McQueen (oh the joy! Son was beside himself, and that made the trip worth it in and of itself) my eyes were watering, I wouldn't go anywhere without having a box of tissues with me, and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and whine. Funny thing is, that option appears to have disappeared the moment that "mom" was added to my biography. We did manage to get both of the rugrats down early, and to bed earlyish ourselves. Amazing what seven hours of sleep can do. My secretary threatened to douse me in Lysol if I came in today, so here I sit. Back to work!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Need to remember

Tonight was one of those nights with BabyA that makes me not want her to grow up and stop being the sweet, precious baby that she is.

She started rubbing her eyes (a new one for her, but when accompanied by a yawn, pretty darn conclusive of a sleepy baby) around 7:30. I finished up Son's bath since Husband was in the doghouse with him, turned over the dressing duties to Husband (by then the transgression had been forgiven by Son), and headed downstairs after retrieving the backup binky from her swing.

Getting her ready for bed can be a lot of fun. Just time for hte two of us. I undress her, change her diaper, put on her lotion (she struggles with some dry skin issues), and get her dressed. While we are doing this, she is talking to me, plays with her toes, and will grab on to my hand and insist that she gnaw on it for while. I'll take that for now, since her teeth on very much on their way. Anyway, she was in a great mode. Very smiley and just charming.

I fed the hungry little vampire, but she wasn't horribly settled. She would wiggle around, unlatch, look up at me with that little half grin, latch back on, and repeat. By the time that she is done with both sides and burped, it is clear that someone isn't even remotely sleepy.

Husband came in for a wardrobe consult (poor guy is color blind, and things can get a bit, well, interesting), and while it wasn't the most clear thing, it looked like she reached for him. This made Husband glow, since he has been convinced that she doesn't like him. He held her, and all sorts of smiles. She has mirrored closet doors, and while she isn't sure who that baby is in the mirror, she sure thought that the one that she saw was awful entertaining. She was still very awake.

Husband went upstairs to bed, and BabyA and I settled into the loveseat in her room to watch Iron Chef and just snuggle. I had the lights dimmed down, and BabyA on my lap sideways. She can sit by herself pretty well when supported, but she nearly immediately leaned over to the side and snuggled her head under my chin. it was a little cold in her room, so I wrapped a blanket around her. She started to make her content noises. I found myself stroking the fuzz on her head that is sprouting up now that she's losing her newborn hair. I realized that for that moment at least, I was happy, and so lucky to have the two beautiful kids that I do. I thought about the mom who hasn't been able to touch her son yet due to a freak accident in the nursery a couple of days ago.* I said a prayer for little Maverick, and said a very heartfelt thank you for BabyA and Son. I wrapped my arms around her, and she just snuggled in closer, her breathing evening out, and only occasionally punctuated by a repositioning of her binky. Later on I layed her down, fairly awake, and I haven't heard a peep since then.

I suppose that this doesn't seem too earth-shattering, but it was such a wonderful feeling to have my healthy, beautiful baby girl on my lap, snuggled in, happy to be with me. For just those few moments, everything felt settled, good. Those moments are very hard to come by some days. I'm so thankful that she decided to share that one with me.

*If you haven't seen this story, go to Basically, a newborn, 12 hours old, was in a warmer in the hospital nursury with an oxygen hood. For a reason not yet known, the hood ignited and the baby was burned, with second and third degree burns over roughly 20% of his body. Fortunatley, a nurse was nearby, and was able to extinguish the fire very quickly. He's in critical, yet stable condition at the state's best burn unit. He is the youngest patient they have treated-he was 14 hours old when he was airlifted from the hospital where he was born by c-section to the burn unit. For some reason, I can't get this get little boy out of my head.

Scattered tidbits....

Lots of little things....


I was wrong about BabyA's length-she was actually 261/2 inches long. I can't believe that she's grown almost five inches in four months. No wonder I felt like I could see her growing before my eyes. She's almost too long for her 3-6 month sleepers at this point. Pants don't fit in the waist since they are too big, but they are almost too short! The thing is, she is so proportional that you don't really notice how big she is. It struck me while I was feeding her a couple of nights ago that she now stretches completely across my lap (let's not get into the diameter of my lap, but still) and the Boppy.

Son has yet another sinus-caused ear infection. Poor kid. Yesterday I got a call from daycare saying that he was at the point of tears during snack time since he said that his ear and throat hurt. Of course, I got worried about strep, since he's due for his annual bout, and went and picked him up early. We ended up at urgent care, which turned into an emergency room visit (the local hospital's urgent care didn't open until 6pm, and they run it through their emergency room anyway). Diagnosis: a definite ear infection, but that his throat looked worse than the ear. Since the ear was bad, there was no need to do a strep swab since any antibiotic for the ear would knock out the throat problem. Good thing, since trying to get Son's mouth open for a strep swab is nearly impossible. Treatment: an antibiotic that I've never heard of before, but at least it's only once a day. He was pretty chipper this morning, so he seems to be feeling better. He had mentioned something about his ear bugging him a couple of days ago, but I chalked it up to toddler hypochondria. Hand the dumb mommy award this way please.

Did I mention that I've felt pretty crappy for the past couple of weeks too? I have a hunch that Son and I have been trading this for a while. I just can't seem to shake this. It would help if I could have a day or so to catch up on some sleep, but we all know that WON'T be happening anytime soon.

It was -14 this morning on my way to work. At 9AM. It's been like this for most of January. Yes, I know that I live in Minnesota, but geez. You know its bad when the news keeps repeating things about the extremely short time period that flesh can be exposed before IT FREEZES in a literal sense. Husband doesn't have the really cold weather (up to -35) washer fluid in the caddie, so it is all frozen up in the line and you can't wash the windshield. Sort of a problem when there is enough salt on the roads that they are no longer even remotely asphalt-looking, and its nothing but a slushy mess. I had to pull into an auto parts store parking lot to wash off the windshield so I could see, which lasted a whole quarter of a mile, tops. Funny thing was that it never occurred to me to go in and buy the right washer fluid. We are way beyond the capacities of the blue stuff-bring on the purple. I was very happy to have my Jeep back this morning.

I have to travel for work for the whole first week of February, which leaves BabyA a week short of being five months old. Which sucks. I missed our all hands meeting in October due to being on on leave, so I'm pretty much obligated to go to this one. We're going to be at a resort on Monterrey Bay, so I can't complain too much. Regardless, I've been going along freezing milk as much as I can to try to have enough to not have to supplement while I'm gone. I've been a bit afraid to do an inventory, since I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to have enough. As of Sunday, I had 120 oz frozen. Problem is, at BabyA's current rate, that's only about 3 days worth, and I'll be gone for right around 5 days total. I am not happy about this. We know that she has a problem with dairy proteins (her eczema only flares when I've eaten relatively unprocessed dairy like milk on my cereal-cheese on pizza, for example, doesn't seem to be a problem). I've now got to try to find a soy based formula that she will tolerate and hopefully not react to. I've got to get on that soon, since I don't want to leave my Mom with a cranky baby away from her pediatrician. I'm just disappointed that I wasn't able to have enough. I'm also worried that not physically nursing for almost a week is going to pose a problem. During the work week, we only nurse once, maybe twice a day, but that is our snuggle time, and I really don't want to lose that. I just hope that we don't hit any significant issues because of this.

I managed to not get my happy pills refilled for about four days last week. Since I'm on such a low dose, I had wondered whether I really needed them or not. After four days without, the answer is a giant yes, I do. Feeling much better after my trip to the pharmacy. Even with my return to my chemically-induced "normalcy," I'm thinking that I still may need to up the dose. I'm on the lowest one as it is, but I wonder if it is subtherapuetic.

OK, I've managed to waste most of my morning on this. Time to get some work done.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4 Month Appointment

BabyA had her four-month appointment (a week late, but oh well) and all is well.

She was 24 1/2 inches long (99th percentile) and 13lbs, 10oz (66th). I was only partially kidding when I said that I married Husband for his genetics. So far, I have two kids that are above the 95th for height-but then again, I was in the gigantor category up until I was 13, and then, well, things ground to a startlingly quick halt. All 5'2" of me is hoping and praying that BabyA leans towards Husband in that regard.

She had four big, scary, shots and the second of her rotavirus doses. The shots were not at all enjoyable. She started to cry prior to even getting stuck, and after the first one went in, all we got was the silent, purple-faced, howl. I felt so bad for her, knowing how much they must have hurt. I can guarantee that the tylenol will be flowing pretty freely tonight for her poor little legs.

Son was with for this excursion, and contrary to everything that I thought would happen, had a grand old time, and didn't even react to her crying over the shots. He still freaks out when another kid or adult gets too close to her, but a nurse carrying a tray of needles didn't even cause an eyelash to bat. Silly kid.

There's a bunch of other things that I want/need to get down and out of my head, but after being out all last week on jury duty and being selected for a trial, I'm in the weeds trying to get out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Could this be a trend?

This Monday morning was much, much better. NO howling, whining, yelling, or carrying on.

I've discovered which of the three PBS stations that we get on cable has Thomas & Friends on in the morning, and Son was absolutely beside himself when I told him it was on after Curious George (even though it turned out that on the HD station the programming is different). Once it finally came on, all I heard was screaming and bouncing in his chair in the living room. It kept him occupied while I dressed and fed BabyA, and just made things go a bit smoother. Get this, I was even able to satisfy his toddler mind by telling him that I was recording it AND Bob the Builder, so he could watch it if he had a good day when we got home tonight. All sorts of smiles, and a cooperative exit out to the truck.

I even managed to program the DVR to record the whole series for both of them, so at least I'll have some available as a treat or reward for good potty behavior. Way cheaper than a DVD, and since we are more than a little thin in the money department, this is a very good thing.

He even used the potty successfully this morning. And slept through the night without even a wiggle, which wasn't the case the night before. He was also in bed by 7:00-that NEVER happens-so he was actually well rested. I even got a lunch made last night, and it made it to work with me!

Oh, and the last hooray moment? I was three pounds lighter that I was last week! Who cares if it was on two different scales and my scientific self is beating on my wall of denial to scream something about baselines. Regardless, if I keep my act together for the next three weeks, I may be able to go and use my gift cards for some new duds before my trip out to California in February. Hooray!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh, it just gets better

To complete my tale of woe from Monday, to say that Son has had a rough couple of weeks is an understatement.

When I dropped him off on Monday, I was told that there was an incident report for me to sign. Sick as it was, I was praying that it was that Son had been the victim. Easier to deal with a child who is the victim, right? Nope, Son and his archenemy got into it again, and Son bit him. Fabulous. Considering that archenemy left a great dental imprint on him a couple of weeks ago, it didn't surprise me much. Not that I like it, but those two have been butting heads for a while now (Archenemy is near Son's age and is just about his size, so the two are at least compatible, right?).

Yesterday (Thursday) I walked in to find a sunny Son playing in the large muscle room, and I let out the exhale and thought that he had had a good day. Far from it.

I had let him bring two of his matchbox cars that day. He kept them in his pocket, and things were OK. Well, not so much. Apparently, one of the younger kids wanted to look at the car, and out of the blue, Son just whacked him over the head with said car. To the tune of bleeding, and a trip to the ER for liquid stitches. I almost cried right then and there. Where is my sweet little boy? The same boy who had, just the night before, consoled a cranky pre-toddler who had been wailing away in BabyA's room while BabyA had been changed. The same kid who went and found a toy and offered it to her, and stood next to the exersaucer she was parked in to make sure that she was OK?

Son has been a holy terror lately, and I'm afraid that he has inherited the innate tendencies towards having a temper like Husband and I both do. I don't want him to feel that he can't show anger-that's just begging for other issues to pop up, but we really need to find a way to help him control it. I talked to the lead teacher of Son's group this morning, to see if this is an escalating trend, or if it was an off day, or what. She said that he hadn't eaten that day (strange), took a really long nap (very strange), and just was off. He had a timeout for running when he was told not to (pretty much the same routine that he pulled at BabyA's baptism, a tale that will scare anyone from having more than one child). She's pretty convinced that he's just going through a tough phase right now. I shared with her that he had woke up screaming last night after a nightmare, and that it had taken over an hour to get him calmed back down. He woke up pretty chipper this morning, but said that he didn't want to go to school, that he wanted to go see Daddy at work. We had yet another dropoff where he had to be peeled off of me. It hurts my heart to see him in pain, and really torpedoes my day. By the time I left, he had calmed down (I can see into his room from BabyA's infant room) and seemed to be doing OK. It's a good thing that its Friday.

I don't know how to handle this. On the one hand, it could be a phase, and he is struggling, like most toddlers do, with the concepts of sharing, and he is pushing every limit that he can find. Normal, yet infuriating, two year-old behavior. On the other hand, is he on his way to being one of those aggressive kids that other people blog about hurting their kids? If I were his victim's mom, I would want Son's head on a platter, regardless of any base understanding of toddler behavior-he hurt my kid.

I don't want to make the punishment go overboard, and last night there were no cars to play with, just dinner (ate like a bird again-1/4 of an apple and some milk), bath, and bed. The bath was horrible, screaming and uncontrollable sobbing. I ended up taking over for Husband, who clearly was nearing his limits, got Son calmed down and dressed. Husband then took over (BabyA needed to go to bed too) and read him a few books and put him down.

I think that the whole thing was bothering him, as well as our reaction. I don't want to go overboard on it, because he's smart enough to sense when we are mad. He's actually said in the past that "Daddy is mad at me" and that because he was mad, "Daddy doesn't love me." We have to start operating on the understanding that he is assimilating a whole lot more now, but doesn't have all of the skills to process it. That means that Husband has to think, actually think, about what is on TV, what he says. It finally sunk in last night that Son does pick up on it, that it does make a difference. We will be making some changes, and hopefully that, with some time, will help us over this hump.

However, the nightmares are beginning to freak me out a bit. He keeps talking about a "man" in his room. He can't articulate what scares him so much. This morning he was talking about how the man scared him, and how he told him "no." No to what I don't know, and he wouldn't/couldn't say. I have a feeling that he is having a recurring nightmare, but can't tell us enough about it to clear it from his mind. I understand how vivid they can be at this age-I still remember the one that I had around his age and a little older. It actually resurfaced while I was in law school. Obviously, it made an impression on me, and I can't help but wonder if it isn't a similar thing. Last night was the first night that he hadn't slept through since before he was a year old. I'm not liking the idea of a major sleep regression here. Hopefully, if we start to stick to the routine a bit more strictly, and work more on the winding down once we get home at night, it will help.

I'm just worried about my little boy. I love that creature so much, and miss that happy face. This whole parenting thing forces you to wear your heart on your sleeve, and boy, mine is sure getting beat up.

Monday, January 07, 2008

It doesn't have to be a Monday, but it sure doesn't hurt

Argh. Grump. Obscenities muttered under breath, obscenities loudly spoken when no child ears are present. Yep, another fantastic morning/weekend for me. Good grief this is getting old.

I'm hitting that wall again, the one that makes me think that I may need to up the dose on the happy pills. I'm frustrated, tired, stressed out, and just not good for much of anyone. Hell, I don't even like my own company-I can't imagine what I must be like for everyone else. BabyA is the only one that likes me right now. Just goes to show that when you are someone's sole food source (and pacifier), you have one captive audience. It also helps that she doesn't talk yet.

Son is embracing the terrible twos with gusto. Enough so that I have entertained thoughts of just strapping him to the luggage rack on top of the Jeep and calling it good. The morning went something like this: up waaaaay too early (note the oh-so-fashionable bags under his eyes), whine about juice, whine about breakfast bar, whine about toy that won't open as it should. All before 6:15 AM. Finally finish breakfast, drag (literally) into room to get dressed. "No, no, no, no, don't yike that shirt. Noooooooooooo!" Wrestle with child, showing more patience than I ever thought that I could have, to finally get PJs off, and real clothes on. Fight for 15 more minutes over putting on shoes. "Nooooooo! Too tight!" "No, not too tight. Brand new. These actually fit you." [Screaming] "Nooooooooo!!" [Hysterical sobbing-Son, not me]. Oh, and velcro is not your friend when a two year-old wants to remove his "too tight" shoes. Oh no.

Go down and get BabyA, who actually slept through all of this. Once this kid is asleep, nothing short of nuclear war will wake her up. She actually likes me, even as Son is upstairs banging on the gate and still pitching his fit. Get her dressed, and take her upstairs to feed her the bottle that has been pumped for her. Sit down in the chair, insert bottle, happy baby (thank God, I don't think that I could have handled another unhappy kid). Son still whining, "I want Cars. No, no, no, not in Daddy's car, here." The Cars DVD is in Daddy's car, thank you, and no, you can't watch it my little hellion. Call it parole.

At this point we're pushing 8:30. Shit. I burp BabyA, who is still happy as can be even with the chaos around her, and get her strapped into her carseat. While putting her in, I ask Son to go and get his coat, since we have to leave now. You can guess the reply. By this point, I'm desperate to just get out of the damn house, into a vehicle, and to work, and cursing Husband for not taking any part in this. My sole ambition at this point is just to get to work. I finish getting BabyA strapped in, pack up the daycare bag, and move towards the gate to go downstairs and out the front door. Son is now doing the toddler swandive onto the kitchen floor, his coat is still in the living room, and it's now 8:45. Double shit.

While I may be fostering abandonment issues, I cheerfully wave to Son as I start down the stairs. Ah, finally some movement. The coat is on, but that is it. Son doesn't believe that I'll go out the door without him, and I try to call his bluff. I go outside, put BabyA into the car, feed the dog, and go back for Son. I find him sitting on the stairs with no intent to go anywhere, especially with me. I pull everything out of my bag of parental tricks to get him moving. Nothing.

By this point, the dog is done eating, has had his morning constitutional, and is ready to go inside. BabyA is getting restless, and a look at my watch says 9:00. Good God, where did the time go, AGAIN?!? I finally had to resort to picking Son up like a sack of potatoes, and slinging him over my shoulder, screaming and kicking, closing the door behind me. Oh, and to top it off? Two neighbors are out for their morning walk to witness me giving Son the riot act.

The trip in was more of the same.

Drop-off at daycare sucked as well. BabyA was her normal cheery self. There are perks to having at least one non-speaking child.

Anyone want to trade a day with me?