Sunday, May 31, 2009


I finished the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan last week, and I really liked it. It was about the special relationship between Lily and her laatong Snow Flower. A laatong in ancient China was a woman that you're matched with at a young age, and you have a special bond that supersedes everyone else, including husbands and family.

I don't have a laatong. I've always seemed to get along better with males than females. It's like I don't speak the same language as other females. I was never close to my mom, and I don't have any siblings - namely sisters. Girls seemed to always have more drama than boys. I really don't like to stereotype, but it did seem that I had to talk girls down from the proverbial ledge since first grade. I definitely have my dramatic moments - they're mostly fleeting, except for this Julia not-eating thing.

When I think back to my close friends in school, most were boys. There was always something appealing about playing basketball for the sake of playing basketball and not having to deal with any other 'stuff.' You know how girls spend a vast majority of time in their younger years talking about best friends, and who's friends with who, and who do we pretend doesn't exist when we're in they're presence. Blah blah blah. Heck, some adult women do the same things! Males were usually without the drama.

It's not that I don't have women friends, but I don't have a best friend apart from S. He's my best friend. Don't get me wrong, I love that. But it feels like I'm missing out in some way by not having that sort of connection with people of my own gender. Most women value their girlfriends almost as highly or as highly as their husband.

I don't even know how to go to the 'next level' with a girlfriend. Do you ask them to go on a spa day with you? Do you share a bottle of wine and tell your deepest, darkest secrets? I sincerely missed this chapter in Being a Girl 101. I didn't spend a whole lot of time with girls, and when I did there would be lots of emo rants that would freak me out, and I would go read a book. Reading was much easier to understand than the inner workings of a female mind.

Between the ages of 12-13 I was really good friends with a girl. But then puberty hit, and she was so excited about the prospect of dating boys and which boy was cutest. I didn't really care, and I was resisting growing up and getting older because it would irrevokably change things with boys. So the two of us grew apart gradually, and I ended up moving anyway. Within 2 years of that, I started college. And let's just say college boys are eager to be friends, and I soon became friends with more males. It's not that I dated many of them, but I got to know several. I was the girl that they'd take car shopping, I'd help them with their homework, I'd help them with their relationship problems, etc. And I think those are friend-like behaviors, but they were always with males vs. females.

And now that I'm married, it's just weird to be friends with males. I know I've got to widen my circle of girlfriends or at the very least 'bond' more with the great friends I have. I don't really 'know' them as much as I'd like. I WANT to! I want to have a friendship where we talk about more than the weather and superficial kid stuff. Although I do take comfort in the fact that I've done pretty darn awesome on the How Well Do You Know ______ facebook quizzes. But even if I do know my friends well, I guess I don't feel all that comfortable confessing a deep dark secret like I do with my husband. What do girls like to do? Stereotypically they like to go to the spa, shop, ummmm...drink coffee, drink wine, complain about their husbands.

But what if you're not a fan of any of the above activities? It's almost like I need to take a personal ad out for a girlfriend who's not too girly (because that just completely overwhelms me - spa + shopping in one day = Beth spazzed out) and not too dramatic. Or maybe I need to suggest an activity to one of my friends and see where it leads. See, LA, I told you I was the girl version of Sheldon. Didn't he do that in an episode this season? He was trying to be friends with someone and didn't know how to.

Doesn't it sound like dating almost? If I ask one of my girlfriends to play mini golf or something like that, isn't it just plain weird or why do I feel like I'm setting myself up for rejection? I guess the spa route is a little more socially acceptable than mini golf.

I'm a complete freak. I really hope Julia is better at female-female interactions than I.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birthday Party Recap

Pictures are posted on Facebook. I'm reticent to post pictures on a public blog, particularly pictures of other people. So go there to see them, and if you're not my friend on Facebook, then 'friend' me so I can see your pictures too! :)

Nothing says lovin' like your camera crapping out the night before your daughter's first birthday party! I really don't like my camera. It's a Sony point and shoot W-55. We had it less than 30 days before we had our first 'issue' with it. We had to send it back to Sony to get it fixed. Now it seems to have crapped out again. You completely charge the battery, and the camera won't work. Today I ordered a battery online, and if the camera still doesn't work with the new battery, then we'll have to get a new camera. Blech! That would be our 3rd digital camera in 5 years. So we had to use our old digital today, and also our friend took lots of pictures. All worked out though it was weird to use the old digital camera. It's one of those that you can't use the picture preview LCD thing. You have to peer through the teeny tiny viewfinder. Very retro!

The cake turned out pretty good. S is a great cake decorator, very patient, and skilled. It's so sad to cut into it after 12 hours of work. It tasted great though!

We kept it very simple for food: veggies, fruit, chips & pizza. I really thought 5 pizzas would be just enough. They were big pizzas from Costco, and we were expecting 30ish people. Except kids don't eat that much, and probably most people ate lunch before they showed. It turns out we had about 2-3 pizzas left.

It was great to see our friends and family come together for Julia's birthday. Julia herself did pretty well. No meltdowns on her part. For the first hour she insisted on being held by S or me. The second hour she was okay on the floor near us, and by the third hour she was playing on the floor with other kids without us in the room. She ate a few bites of cake, but it was more of a squishing experience - as I'm sure it is for most babies. The biggest surprise is that she really dug the pizza. She ate quite a bit (for her).

Julia was spoiled with lots of clothes, toys and books. She got a lot of dresses, and even a bathing suit! I love it because she now has summer clothes, like sundresses, which she really didn't have before now. She got some fun toys to play with and lots of books to read and music to dance to. One of the songs is, "I am a grocery bag."' music is kinda weird.

All in all, it was great. The adults got into the Cheerio game we played. I was kind of at a loss of how much to 'plan' for the party - i.e., there were lots of people and how can we have games and keep people entertained given that there's such a range of ages. So I just had one simple game and treat bags. We can get more complicated in future years!

I should get snoozing. I'm so exhausted from staying up late the past few nights getting things ready.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No more Wamu

I'm sad that Wamu failed. I still don't understand how the FDIC took it down in one fell swoop in August and sold it off for an insanely low amount. There must have been some interesting politics involved. It was the biggest bank failure in recent history.

Well, Chase bought Wamu. From August to May, they left the name Washington Mutual up, and they kept the website up. I could pretend that Wamu was still alive. I was in such denial that I thought Wamu would redeem itself somehow.

And last week Chase removed all the Wamu signs. They switched us all over to the Chase site to view our accounts. It's the last nail in the coffin.

Funny how I've been avoiding going to the Chase website. I have bills to pay, money to transfer, accounts to balance, and I've been in pure denial mode. Til it's practically the end of the month, and I really need to start paying some things.

I have a Chase credit card, and when I logged into the credit card, it pulled up the bank accounts as well. Cool, they identified me. Before I give them too much credit, I'm sure they only linked because it's the same social security number. When I try my Wamu login and password, I see the same accounts. So I have 2 separate logins for the same accounts. Weird. But okay.

What irks me about the Chase website is that it's one of those super secure websites. Yeah, yeah, they're concerned about my identity. That's nice and all. But it's a pain in the butt when you're on vacation and trying to pay your credit card from a different computer. And now it will be a pain in the butt to even look at a bank account balance. They make you activate the computer by sending special codes to your e-mail, and then you have to answer all the secret questions. It makes it problematic because I use my hotmail account, and you can't get into hotmail from a lot of computers. So, in short, their activation process sucks.

But there is one redeeming feature on the Chase website. We have a lot of different accounts - my checking, S checking, joint checking, joint savings, my savings, S savings, Julia savings, plus some more. Get it? That's a lot of accounts. I tend to do a lot of transfers among accounts for lots of different reasons. There's usually a method to my madness, but sometimes when I look back at the log, I'm thinking to myself, "What were all these transfers for????" On the Chase site, you can write yourself a memo for each transfer. That will be very helpful to recreate what happened several months later.

I will miss you, Wamu. You've been a great banking partner for 18 years. It's time for us both to move on. Please know that I will never forget your loyal service.

Adequate hydration

Thanks for all the comments on the attachment issue. That is definitely what I thought would be a benefit to daycare: having multiple caregivers. She's adapting to it, though not as well as would be preferred.

A new assistant director started a few weeks ago. When I was dropping Julia off yesterday, the assistant director was talking to Jennifer. Julia just looked up at the lady and started screaming. Kinda like, "Stop talking to Jennifer! She's mine! GO AWAY!" The lady seriously looked terrified of Julia. She basically ran out and told me that Julia doesn't like her.

She's a baby! You can't let a baby control you like that, Lady!

I empathize with her though. Really. Julia screamed at me for the first 4 months. She screamed at everyone and everything. But after 4 months, she kinda got used to S and me. Kinda. And now, she practically LIKES us!


We may have sippy cup success! She has been taking 2-3 ounces of water a day from sippy cups without valves. She's not fond of juice or formula from a sippy cup though. She just spits it out. Great, the baby who needs to gain the most enjoys water the most. I had high hopes of her reaching 18 pounds at her 1 year check-up, but I'm pretty sure she's not going to make it. Boo!

She's really tapering off the formula. I was going to try to hold off til the allergist appointment before trying to introduce whole milk (in case she's allergic), but I may sneak an ounce here or there into her bottle. Maybe she'll like it better? One can always hope.

For the past week, she's been drinking about 12-14 ounces of concentrated formula per day. That's equal to 15-17 ounces of "regular" formula. Plus the 2-3 ounces of water. She is eating more solids now - she never really liked baby food, but she's more eager to eat people/finger food. She was never a great pee-er (except when she was first born), but now it's getting bad. She doesn't seem dehydrated when looking at her, and she still drools plenty. Her body must be taking in every droplet.

So I'm trying the theory that Julia knows how much to eat. Tricking her by concentrating her formula as we've been doing for the last 5 months may just be causing her to drink less of it. Today I stopped concentrating her formula, and maybe she'll drink more fluid in order to get the same number of calories. More fluid = more pee, at least in theory

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We live on a golf course. Not sure why since we despise golf. Okay, I know why. Because in 1999 when we were looking for a house, this development was just being built & we have the smallest house in the middle of much more expensive houses. Location, location, location. Isn't that what we're told anyway? Suburbia surrounding a golf course should be some sort of idealic heaven where your property values double every year, at least according to the promotional literature. Yeah right.

Idealic heaven that consists of windows being smashed by golf balls, property values plummeting, and the stupid golf course alarm goes off at 11pm. It's been going off for an hour. And what does a golf course alarm sound like? It's an unrelenting BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. It's like the sound makes when the garbage truck is trying to back up. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

For an hour.

How do I know it's the golf course alarm? Last time it happened it was 2am and was beeping for just as long. That time I was more adventurous and went outside and tried to investigate. Dang golf course that is positioned like an ampitheater, so it echoes forever.... BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

I tried to ignore it, but I can't. So my ingenious idea is to close the window. I lay down and try to sleep, but you can still hear the BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

If you lay there quietly, it no longer sounds like a garbage truck in reverse with the windows closed. It sounds like an alarm clock instead. Who can sleep while an alarm clock is beeping at you?

So I can't sleep and am writing this blog entry to share my pain.

What part of the golf course is alarmed? Heck if I know. All I know is that alarm goes off late at night when it's warm. It's got to be kids that trigger something. And we get to hear BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. until some unlucky worker gets their butt into the building to turn it off.

My Blog Compulsion: J & K

This Jon & Kate thing is soooo sad. I'm not sure why I dwell on it. I didn't even watch the show that much. There are so many elements to it - fame, greed, relationships, infertility, working on a marriage, extended family, The Golden Rule, and so on.

The timing of J & K is actually coincidentally very similar to S and me. They started dating in October of 1997, and so did we. We got engaged Dec. 23, 1998. They got engaged Dec. 25, 1998. Ah, but they have 8 kids, and we only have 1. They're famous, we aren't. Okay, our lives are very different, but at least the beginning of our relationship timeline is the same.

While you can find a whole truckload of information on them pretty much anywhere, one thing struck me that I haven't yet commented about:

In the clip above, which are compiled home movies and pictures, I loved how she twirled at Disney World on her honeymoon. Can you imagine her doing that NOW? That small moment clinched it for me that she has changed immensely. Question is: what was the cause of the big change? The kids? Jon? Fame? I have a gut feeling that it was the last one.

Do you know of the big rift between her and her family that caused them to become estranged? Her father had people in their church parish donate cribs for the 6 kids, but the cribs didn't match. She wanted matching cribs, and his stance was that if you were fortunate to get a crib from a well-intentioned stranger, then you had no right to complain that it didn't match. I'm sure that was just the straw that broke the camel's back in a long litany of individual instances. You can easily put aside a few individual instances as miscommunication or a bratty moment, but there are a considerable number of examples of Kate behavior that is unacceptable of a woman in her 30s.

This brings up a whole new line of thought. What happens if the person you marry changes significantly over time - so much so that they no longer resemble the person you married? Or perhaps you know of one big flaw in your spouse, but you put it aside because you love them, and then the flaw goes completely out of control?

I'm not saying she's the only one to blame. It takes two to make or dissolve a relationship.

It's all so sad. I feel for the little victims in all this. I wish J & K would take a serious look at what is best for the kids right now. Does that mean divorce? Who knows? It appears to me that Kate's priority is fame and being a celebrity. It appears to me that Jon's priority is finding himself and/or drowning his sorrows in vices.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Attachment Issues

I'm not one of those delusional parents who think my child is perfect. I figured out my child had issues before she was born even, but I really, really figured it out about 5 hours after she was born.

Before she was born: If I was on my side, her foot would slip and get wedged next to my ribs. She would repetitively try to get her foot "unstuck" until I moved. Poor thing didn't realize it was pretty useless to fight gravity. You could almost figure out that even Julia as a fetus was beyond pissed off that her foot was stuck. Mellow baby = NOT Julia.

So today I called the daycare director to talk about transitioning Miss J to the toddler room. My main concern was that the kid who turned 1 on Saturday has been transitioning for 2 months. Julia, well, she turns a year old next week and hasn't even seen the toddler room once. It was a soft nudge that perhaps they need to start introducing her to her new environment sooner rather than later.

The director tells me that Julia has attachment issues so it will be a difficult transition.

Yes, I know Julia has issues. She won't eat, she's clingy, she gets pissed off about a thousand times a day. It's a tad too early to enroll her in the anorexia program and the anger managment program I've been eyeing.

As a mother, I wonder if there's anything I can do about the attachment stuff. When the director says "attachment issues," I believe what she means is that Julia will only go to people she likes. She doesn't warm up quickly to most people. S and I kinda think that's a good thing. She's not going to be one of those kids who wanders off to help a stranger find a dog. She doesn't give kisses to random people (S especially finds this reassuring). But I know we need to work on her adjusting to change a little bit easier.

Alas, any tips would be great.

Allergist = June 22nd.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wonder Years

In my previous journals (i.e., Myspace and Live Journal), you can add your mood to your post. Big girl journals don't have that, I guess. Well, I will add my own anyway: nostalgic.

The moon landing happened in 1969. If you remember the show the Wonder Years, they went back 20 years in time. The show started in 1989, going back 20 years in time to the moon landing of 1969.

Now, in 2009, if we had a Wonder Years going back in time 20 years, we could relive 1989 all over again. It's kind of weird how fast 20 years has gone. In that time, I graduated high school and college, got married, worked, had a kid. 20 years ago:

I was watching the Wonder Years on my 19" Westinghouse TV in our house in Henderson, NV (outskirts of Las Vegas). I was in sixth grade. My teacher was Kari Carlson, a new graduate from UNLV. She got married to the school custodian Mr. Dieke in the spring, and then she became Mrs. Dieke, which is a really unfortunate name when you teach sixth graders. I thought she was really cool because she had been on the Alex Trebek version of Classic Concentration and had won a car, which she drove to school every day.

My mom and I had recently moved into our house in Henderson after living in an apartment for several months. It was a new suburban development. Henderson was growing by leaps and bounds, as it had been for at least 20 years and would continue to do for the next 20 years. Building houses in the desert is relatively easy and quick. The problematic part is RATS! When a house is being built in the desert, let's just say that rats love to run for cover. One burrowed its way under the stairs during construction, and it got trapped when the carpet was laid. So it "unburrowed" itself by gnawing through the carpet. Then there was the rat that climbed through the ductwork and got stuck between the first and second floors. It would run back and forth. For the first few days, my mom thought it was me. Like I'd be up in my room reading, and she thought I was making quite a racket. She'd come up, and I'd be laying on the bed & she'd accuse me of making weird noises. I'd just look at her like she was nuts because the rat noises were harder to hear on the second floor vs. the first floor.

Then I'd start to hear it when I came home from school. The pitter patter of clawed feet up above your head. I was a latch-key 11 year old, and I'd just stare up at the ceiling as these weird noises emanated down. First in curiosity. Then when I figured out that it had to be an animal (since it was way too noisy for a ghost), I'd wait for my mom to show up outside. In 100 degree heat. Or I'd lock myself in the bathroom. I was a weird kid who hated rats.

My mom called up the builder. They had some dude show up, and he thought we were both nutcases claiming there was a rat stuck between the first and second floors. Well, of course, Mr. Rat was completely quiet while he was there. We probably did seem like nutcases. He set a trap above the laundry room through one of those access points in the ceiling. Hmmm.... there was an access point to the ductwork right along the rat route. Yeah, we both mysteriously are conjuring up imaginary rats in the exact route a real rat would take.

It got really quiet in the house all of a sudden. A couple of days later he came back. I was holed up in my room while he extracted the dead rat from the trap. See, I told you I wasn't conjuring up rats. I may be a nutcase, but my rat paranoia is very real.

Why does that stupid rat story stick out in my mind when I think back to 1989? I'm sure there must have been more exciting things that happened back then, but I can't think of them right now.

Gotta Love Facebook Quizzes

Facebook quizzes are really juvenile. Like, "What color are you?" or "Who were you in your past life?" or "What's your old lady name?"

You really don't learn anything earth-shattering about yourself because they're written by teenagers. But there was one that I took that was kind of funny. What's type of house are you? Everyone else gets spacious houses on lots of land, and I got "townhouse." At first I was a little taken aback, but then today I realized just why I got townhouse.

In preparation for Julia's party, we decided we had to do some yardwork because it's going to be sunny and 75 degrees on Saturday. So that means people will likely go outside. And our outside is utterly shameful. Beyond shameful, it's more like horrifying. As I've said before, I am allergic to pretty much everything in the yard. And S really dislikes yardwork, as do I. Like everyone else, we have so little spare time, and we want to spend our spare time doing something a bit more fun than yardwork. There are people in the world who think yardwork is fun. I wish I could have channeled them today.

The townhouse is sounding really appealing right about now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Person + Memo to Self + Nurse Call

Edited to Add: HI WENDY!!!!

I do not swear very often. Probably S hears the most of my verbal cursing, but it's really not that much. But I have this problem where I mentally swear all day long. My stream of consciousness spews constantly, and it seems like I mentally swear every few minutes. I've really got to cut that down. I censor myself so that it doesn't come out verbally, but I feel kind of scuzzy for swearing (even mentally) all day long. I tell ya, I'm a nut.


And so I called the nurse for the GI specialist. I explained that when I was told that Julia's white blood cell count is high, I feel nervous & since the next soonest appointment is JULY, I would feel better if I could have an explanation of what's going on with Julia. Totally reasonable, right? I thought so. I was even proud of not even mentally swearing as I talked with her.

What I appreciated was that she actually consulted with the doctor and called me back. That was very nice of her. I found the conversation frustrating, and of course there was lots of mental swearing on my part.

She told me that Julia likely has an allergy due to the presence of white blood cells in her gut, per the doctor. The doctor says we should go on hypoallergenic formula. She's already on hypoallergenic formula. She said we should go to an even more hypoallergenic formula (that you can only order from the manufacturer for $40 for a 3 day supply, but I digress....).

This is where I tried to articulate the problem, all while thinking that doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital may be issued credentials from the Psychic Hotline or something. Not that I'm the smartest person around and am certainly not qualified to be giving medical advice, but follow my logic:

- Julia is almost 1 year old.
- She's eating some "people" food. Starting at 1, "people" food is supposed to making up the majority of her diet.
- She's also underweight. We have to give her high calorie foods to give her the most bang for the small amount she ingests. These tend to be cheese, yogurt (hit and miss), cream, butter, etc.

I tell the nurse the above, and I tell her that it seems to make the most sense to figure out what she's allergic to. It's going to be really problematic if it's milk, but she may be allergic to wheat, gluten, eggs, or something else that is hurting her gut. However, if we know what it is, then we can avoid those foods. And if it isn't milk, then we can try the cow's milk transition.

It just doesn't seem very practical to move her to an even more hypoallergenic formula because she is (hopefully) going to be ingesting more "people" food.

She said that we can start an elimination food diet and see what happens. Again, I try to restrain my mental swearing from turning into verbal swearing. I explain that Julia doesn't display allergic symptoms like eczema or rashes with any food. We only know there's something hurting her tummy due to the endoscopy results. Getting an endoscopy after reintroducing every food is not very practical.

So then she said we can ask Julia's primary doctor for a referral to an allergist. GI specialists can't diagnose specific allergies.

Why does it feel like we have to start all over again? Pending doctor crap for Julia: allergist so we can figure out what she's allergic to, speech language pathologist for a feeding study to see what's going on for all her food aversions, and radiology for a fluoroscopic video swallow study to figure out if anything's wrong with her swallow.

To top it all off, she has a fever and a nasty cough. I am so exhausted from all her medical drama. I know it could be much worse. Really, I do. But these constant issues that even the (supposedly) best doctors in the state can't figure out drives me batty. Or, as Marie would say, I am driving myself batty because of these constant unknowns.

If you would like a slightly spastic but fun kiddo who doesn't like to eat, let me know. Better yet, if you think you can 'fix' her, I'm all for it!

Teeth Angst

People have told me that Julia has been teething for months and months and months. Cranky baby? It's gotta be teething! Ummm, yeah.... I seriously had two mothers tell me when Julia was 2 months old that she was cutting her molars! Yes, she was screaming and her gums were a little white back there. But she was 2 months old, for crying out loud! She had NO teeth yet, and she was sprouting her molars??? Made absolutely NO sense to me. I think mothers of quiet, peaceful children attribute any fussing to teeth. Let me tell you this: most of Julia's angst has NOT revolved around teeth. And I roll my eyes when anyone attributes her crankiness to teething. People have been crying wolf for a lonnnnng time, and no teeth were seen.

She got her first two bottom teeth at the same time at 9 months old.

We checked this weekend, and still no signs of any more teeth. Of course, we'd LOVE her to have more teeth because she could chomp her finger foods better.

Well, it was quite a pleasant surprise when Jennifer said that one of Julia's teeth popped through. It's a little fang - top right canine. I feel like a bad mommy for not noticing myself. But I swear it wasn't there this weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I just finished reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It was a really good book. I feel like it's prompting several blog entries, but I can't wrap my mind around the issues enough to write them. I wish I was a good writer. I wish I had that relationship with words that I could convey exactly what I mean by using the precise words in the precise manner with little or no thinking. I'm more of a numbers person, and I struggle with words. I didn't even know the stereotype that women are better at English than math til I was in college. I was always quite the opposite. No, no, I don't have that correct either. See, I struggle with getting across what I mean. To clarify, I always was good at spelling and grammar. My reading comprehension sucks, and I could never analyze poems or literature for symbolism. I have the mechanics down - I struggle with the bigger issue of substance.

I am very insecure. I've got to work on that. How does one work on it though? Do you take a magic pill that makes you confident in yourself? How does that work? And, more importantly, how do you make sure your children are secure in themselves? I'm already screwed up enough. How can I make sure I don't pass down all of this other junk too?

People can tell you that you shouldn't be insecure. They'll tell you that you're smart, (sometimes) nice, blah blah blah. But if you don't believe it for yourself, then it will just be blah blah blah that you hear - in one ear and out the other.

It's interesting to see how people's insecurities manifest themselves. Some people are very insecure about their relationship, so they're kind of paranoid and stalk their spouse & check credit card receipts & check cell phones. (Although I must admit that most of the time those types of people have a reason to be concerned about their partner's whereabouts.) Some people berate other people to make themselves feel better - think junior high school taunting.

Most of my insecurities seem to revolve around self-doubt and compulsive worrying. I worry that I'm not doing the right things for Miss J. Am I unintentionally making her health issues worse by feeding her something that irritates her system? Am I being a complete nag if I call the doctor to ask him what do those results mean? Would she do better with a different mother? Did I offend someone by saying something too flippant? How can I blend into the wall so I'm not noticed? And so it goes...

It's almost 3am now. I've been up since 1am. Miss J woke up crying, and she has this wheezy/croup-y thing going. S ran the hot shower to try to loosen it up. He finally persuaded her to eat. She was sounding so hoarse that I thought cool liquids would help her throat. Plus, she was a bit behind in formula intake. She still sounds icky though. Then my mind wanders. We have been trying to get her onto a different formula to ease her toward the cow's milk transition. But hearing about this white blood cell thing causes me worry. Maybe it is a milk allergy & moving to a milk-based formula could be causing more of an allergic reaction, wheezing and respiratory issues. Or it could simply be an upper respiratory infection. I don't know what it is. All I know is that she sounds awful right now. She's 30 feet away in her crib, and I can hear her wheezing. S went back to sleep, but I'm awake and worrying - per usual.

I say this often, but I'll repeat it. I cannot have another child. My genes are incredibly faulty. I can only blame S for passing on her awful hair. All the rest - her GI issues, respiratory issues, weird food stuff - that's all me. I cannot put another child through that. Plus, I don't have enough mental energy to deal with two. I'll be a surrogate. I don't mind being pregnant. I can stand physical anguish. It's the mental anguish and worry and constant insecurities that I'm not doing the things I should. That part is far worse than any physical pain.

I'm still waiting for the Xanax fairy. I wish I could feel okay about taking mind-altering drugs. Feeling less anxiety would be very nice.

Now it's after 3am. I have got to try to go to sleep, or work will suck. But you know how you can't sleep if you have a lot on your mind? That's why I blog - to try to clear my head. The only thing is that this particular blog is clouding my mind more than clearing it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pictures & Cherries & Biopsies

I love that cherry season is starting. Eating bowlfuls of cherries for breakfast, lunch and dinner makes me happy. Did you know that you can eat a pound of cherries for 5 Weight Watchers points? Last summer I ate at least 40 lbs of cherries. I love cherries that much.

We had professional pictures of Miss J taken on Saturday. The whole time I had flashbacks of the one and only other time we had professional pictures taken of her. That was when Julia just turned 5 months old. The photographer wasn't good combined with Julia couldn't do a whole lot. She didn't sit quite yet, and she hated being on her tummy. So the one pose they did was her laying on a pillow, all while she looked terrified.

This time went a whole lot better. Julia's more at peace with herself. She can do a whole lot more. The photographer was better. I tried to tame her hair. I tried to pick a cute, timeless outfit that would commemorate her being 1. It all came together well, I think. It would have been nice if she gave a few more smiles, but all told - we're happy with the shots we got.

I called on the biopsy results. Her esophagus looks okay. There are more than the expected number of white blood cells in her stomach and small intestines. The doctor is going to look at them further and call me back soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


My siesta habit began a long time ago - when we lived in Las Vegas & I was in 6th grade.

Las Vegas is hot, but you probably already know that. What you may not know is that Las Vegas has year-round schools. For decades, the population has increased at a faster rate than they can build schools, so in an effort to maximize classroom space, they rotate classrooms as different classrooms go on breaks. Parents tend to like year-round school because you get vacations at "off" times, which makes it easier to travel. And of course you get the standard Christmas break.

Not only is it HOT in Las Vegas, but you also go to school in July when it's 110 degrees - and I'm not even joking.

Another "interesting" thing is that you have to live 3 miles away from the school to get bus transportation. When we lived in Vegas, I lived 1.5 miles away from the school. So it was either walk 1.5 miles home from school (Mom drove me to school in the morning) or walk 1.5 miles from the bus stop.

If you haven't been to Vegas before, let me tell you yet another tidbit. Las Vegas has no shade! There are a few palm trees here and there, but have you ever gotten adequate shade from a palm tree? Most of Vegas vegetation is tumbleweeds with a few cacti thrown in. I don't even think a spider receives shade from a tumbleweed.

Alas, I walked 1.5 miles home from school in scorching July heat with no shade while carrying a backpack full of books. It's no wonder that when I got home, I'd eat a big bowl of ice cream and cuddle with the air conditioner vent. And fall fast alseep. I'd have a siesta just like the people of Spain have.

And so a habit developed.

When we moved to Seattle, I kept up the same habit. It wasn't so warm here, but I would always snooze when I got home from school. Junior high and high school let out around 2-2:30pm. When I started community college, I took morning classes and usually finished classes by noon. My mom got home at 5:30pm. So I usually had 2 or more hours to take a nap except when I was working after school.

I'd always be up by 5:30pm. My mom has never taken a nap during the day since I've been little. Let's just say she doesn't approve of people sleeping during the day. In order to not get chastized for my lazy ways, I couldn't let her know.

When you take a late afternoon siesta, it is harder to get to sleep. So I'd stay up til 1 or 2am, and I'd either talk on the phone, play computer games, occasionally do homework, read, watch TV, etc. If the internet had been more pervasive back then, I know I would have basically lived on there.

So my nighttime sleep would be 4 or 5 hours, and then I'd supplement with a 2-3 hour nap during the weekdays.

Once I went to Western Washington University, I'd do the same thing yet again. And considering I worked from 11pm - 2am, the late afternoon nap became a survival mechanism.

By the time I graduated college, I had been doing regular weekday siestas for 8 years. This full-time work thing has intruded on siestas, but for most of my married life, I've at least gotten 1 siesta in on the weekend. Now that Miss J is here, I had the best excuse ever to partake in siestas yet again while I was on maternity leave and she napped in the late afternoon. Now that I'm back to work, there's no siestas on weekdays BUT... I still try to get at least 1 siesta in on the weekends.

Old habits are hard to break, aren't they? This is such a GOOD habit, though. If it wasn't for being up til 2am (when Miss J will be up by 6-7am), then I'd say siestas would be the best habit there is.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First Steps

Julia has been stepping since last Friday, May 7th. She's taken at least 2 steps each day. I don't call it walking; it's stepping! She's fairly cautious, and she will only do short steps into our arms. Yippee for stepping!

The older kids at daycare love Julia. It's weird how they prefer her over the other babies. I'm not sure if it's because she's a girl or if she laughs at them or she follows them around or what. They dote on her so much. Today a little girl brought in her old clothes that she wanted Julia to have. Awwwwwww. I will totally take used clothes, particularly ones she can wear to daycare since she ends up so messy there. In the bag was the cutest princess outfit with wings. I have a feeling that it will be Miss J's favorite outfit sometime soon. If it was a bigger size, I'd want to wear it!

We're giving up the prospect of her ever eating all the baby food we have. I've given some of it away to a friend, and I've bagged up the rest and am going to take it to the food bank. Buh bye, baby food! I had bought 100 jars back in January, and I've given away 50 of them. And the other 50 - well, most of those ended up in the trash with only a few bites taken. We never even tried Stage 3 since Stage 1 and 2 went over so poorly. She really likes those pasta containers of Gerber Graduates instead. Yep, she's like her mom. I can live on pasta.

On the down low, (whispering) perhaps starving her on Sunday night and Monday morning was a blessing in disguise. We haven't given her reflux meds for 4 days. And she seems to be doing okay without them ... so far.

She's been doing better with lidded cups with straws. Still choking a little, but seems to be getting more fluids.

Still haven't heard anything on the biopsies. I presume it's one of those things that no news = good news.

Princess Angst

S and I are complete idiots sometimes. We have the best of intentions, but when it comes down to it, we're like Barney Fife.

It all started when I was thinking about what kind of cake I wanted for Julia's birthday party. If you know me, you know that I focus on the food FIRST! Birthday = cake to me. And this is the first birthday party where I've actually picked out a cake. My mom usually made me a cake, but it was a 9 x 13 cake that she didn't even write on or decorate. I looooove cake, and I loooooove that I have a little girl, and I missed out on really cool cakes when I was younger. Put all that together, and I start lusting after a princess castle cake. I even went to an upscale bakery's website and found the magical cake!

Then I commiserate with Leigh Ann, who is doing a Cat in the Hat theme for Waylon's party. She was talking about making it and searching for cake pans. And in her search for Cat in the Hat stuff, she sees a romantic princess castle cake set. And it says on the box that everything needed is in the box. There is lots of Georgian encouragement that we as parents can make this cake.

I tell S about this castle set, and - due to watching one too many Food Network cake challenges and his slight craziness intermixed with being a design minor in college - he is stoked about making a princess castle cake.

We buy the princess castle cake set and immediately find out that we need a ton of stuff that's not included in the box. The box contains plastic turrets. That's it. We have to get specific icing tips, cake sparkles, specific cake pans, dowels, cake boards, decorating bags, icing dye, and I'm forgetting a whole bunch of other stuff. All told, all of this costs close to $200. And we're not even sure we can pull it off.

One of my friends suggests that we do a sample. After all, we'll learn from our first attempt. And if it turns out REALLY horrible, we just ditch the whole stupid idea and buy it from a bakery.

Last weekend we did a sample. It turned out pretty bad. We scaled back the castle quite a bit. So much so that the door is twice as high as the cake. The turrets wouldn't stay upright. The frosting is supposed to be WHITE, but with the vanilla it turns slightly yellow. What princess would want a slightly yellow castle? S did okay with the flowers, but it was his first attempt ever to make flowers with icing. And the cake itself was kinda uneven.

We did learn a few things, and I think it's a go to try to make the 'big' version for her party. I'm leery about this working, though, and we may end up getting a bakery cake at the last minute.

Know that we're making it out of love, Miss J. Let's just hope it doesn't fall over before we cut into it. That would make an exceptionally funny story though!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My personal therapist

My therapist is my blog. Would that mean my therapist is myself? Free therapy. Awesome!

I used to journal a lot. I filled several books of thoughts, and I was going to pass on the journals to my children when they turned 18. I never understood my mother, and I wished I knew something about her. I know the general facts, but almost nothing about her feelings and motivations. I know she fundamentally changed after her divorce from my dad, and since that happened when I was 2 years old, I was acquainted with her closed-off, distrustful self. I never met the woman who my father fell in love with or the woman her college friends trusted. My intention with the journal was for my children to know me - know the mistakes I made, know my joys, my disappointments & the path I took in life and why.

And I haven't journaled in a long while. I've blogged very consistently instead of journaling. Journaling would be very frustrating. It would consist of "Why won't you eat?" That gets repetitive. So I choose to blog, and when Julia asks why I didn't journal in her first year, I'll make something up.

I feel so much pressure lately. Not enough time, depressing news all around (local, national, global), too many things to do. Before Julia, I often felt guilted into doing many things because I had a lot of free time. Sure, I'll do this (stupid) committee. Sure, I'll make a blanket for you. Sure, I'll take a look at your bank account and figure out what happened to that money.

Now...I don't have as much guilt. Someone calls me up to ask me to volunteer on a committee. Nope, sorry. And I don't even feel guilty! The church calls earlier in the week to ask us to bring up the gifts at mass this Saturday (we just did it last month), and not only do I say no, I ask them to take us off the list. Again, I don't even feel guilty! I feel like my commitments are lightening - and I feel relief when I can cross them off my list.

I would like to let go of some of my other commitments as well. Why? Well, I just don't feel like they are a priority to me right now. I only have so much time, and I'm already away from Julia 40 hours a week, and I don't want to be gone more than that. But I can't bear to say that to the people involved because it sounds incredibly selfish. Everyone needs to spend time with loved ones and doesn't want to be pulled away for (stupid) commitments.

Okay, so some of my guilt is hanging around. I am Catholic after all, so it's only appropriate that I feel guilt at all times. I wish I could cut some strings, but at the same time I know I have to keep some connections.

I'm a recluse who intellectually knows she shouldn't be a recluse.


I've been doing crappy on my diet this week. Spending Monday in the hospital did that to me even though I know I shouldn't use that as an excuse. I throw all my point counting out the window and eat whatever I see when I get stressed and worried. And I get stressed and worried a lot. Disappointing myself by overeating gets me even more discouraged, and then it starts to spiral.

As much as I know I shouldn't eat processed food, it is so much easier to eat it for tracking purposes. S made a great lasagna on Sunday, but I have not a clue how many points a serving is. Of course there's been a ton of leftovers that I have eaten over the past 3 days.

Tomorrow I can start fresh. It will take a week or so to lose what I gained, but I can do it with perseverance. There's many lasagna and hot fudge sundae transgressions I need to do penance for.

A friend for Julia

At Julia's daycare, she was the only girl for 4 months and surrounded by 7 baby boys. A few weeks ago, Olivia started & she's the other token girl. Olivia's only 3-4 months old, though, so she basically lays there and coos all day. She's such a cutie. Even when she's crying, she's quiet. Aaaaaaaah, to have one of those!

Miss J has grown very attached to Brayden. Let's just say she might have stalker potential. She follows Brayden around all day and must be near him. They eat at the same times because she will only eat solids if he's sitting next to her. And he's taught her how to throw. We were wondering why she started throwing things last week. We roll balls toward her, and she picks them up & overhead spikes them back to us. Where did this come from? Aaaaaaah....Brayden taught her. Now she has to practice her throwing skills at daycare and at home ALL the time.

It's so cute that she has a friend. Or stalkee (not as cute though). Whatever this baby relationship is. Maybe she'll become a tomboy from all of these boys egging her on to throw things.

I think I'll not tell Daddy that Brayden's mom calls Julia his girlfriend. Eh, the relationship will likely be over once Julia hits him in the head with her awesome overhead spike anyway.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Are You?

Blog pal April is slightly obsessed with knowing who anonymously reads her blog. I have the opposite problem. Who is that new public subscriber with the weird screen name? I don't mind if people anonymously read, but if you publicly read, could you please have a human name? Maybe it's some sort of spam robot or something. But why would a spam robot follow my blog?


Maybe I have a robot stalker?

Grocery Shopping

I stopped by the store after work in my neverending quest to find something Julia will eat. Today's purchases were turkey, Teddy Grahams, rice pudding, mandarin oranges and bananas. Yeah, I've really got to work on that food group called vegetables. I think I'll try sweet potato fries and waffles in my next supermarket adventure. Not that waffles are a veggie, but I'm making a mental list of what I'll need next time.

So there was a dude in the checkout line right in front of me. He looked to be in his 20s. He bought 24 strawberry Yoplait yogurts, a buttload of Bumble Bee tuna kits (the kind with tuna and crackers and mayo), a buttload of Progresso Beef Pot Roast soup & a buttload of cans of fruit cocktail. He probably had 24 of each of the four things. To each his own, but it was kind of odd. It's like a month's supply of food, provided that you eat the same thing every day. When you think about it, it does seem almost balanced. Fruit, yogurt, meat, veggies & fish. He hit more of the food groups than I did.

I wonder about supermarket checkers. They must be close to get their psych degrees, don't you think? They probably know the type of person you are based on the food you buy.

The funniest experience I had in the checkout line was when I bought a huge amount of frozen dinners when there was a really good sale. I had 15 or so of them, albeit different varieties. Anyway, the checker looked at me and made a comment on how easy they were for single people like me. I was married then, so I tried to hide my wedding ring. The checker was probably the type of person who thinks a married woman shouldn't serve her husband frozen dinners. Ooops, let me slink away quietly. I'm an awful cook, and most days my husband would prefer frozen dinners over my cooking.

I like to think I have some redeeming qualities as a wife, but cooking just isn't one of them. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surgery Day

It was an exhausting day. Not physically exhausting, just mentally zapping. Julia's cut-off for eating was 7pm last night (shhhhh....we gave her a last bottle at 8pm). She was up to 11 ounces at that point, which isn't very much. But, surprisingly, she slept until 4am without waking up. At 4am, we offered water. Have I said that Julia does not like water? She likes a sip or two of water with dinner, but H2O that comes out of a bottle is pretty much poisonous to her. So after drinking a few sips of waters, she went back to sleep at 6am. At this point, she hadn't drank anything for 10 hours. We offered water; nope, she refused. Have I told you that she's strong-willed?

From 6am - 8am we tried to get her to drink water. Still no go. At 8:10am she ate an ounce. Yes, we went over the deadline yet again. But an ounce of water is better than nothing. Julia was starting to get cranky. The funny part is that she wasn't showing hunger cues. Just a little PO'ed and getting tired.

At 9am, we left for Seattle, using traffic as a justification for leaving early. Honestly, we needed a change of scenery and were hoping she would fall asleep in the car. Yay, she did! She slept all the way to Seattle.

Children's Hospital is quite a big place but easy to navigate. We checked in at the first desk to get ourselves badges. Then we checked in at the second place to get her checked in. Then we went to the surgery center. At this point, we were really early. It was 10:10am, and we were scheduled to check in at Desk #1 at 10:30am. They took her right away.

The nurse took all her stats, and Julia really started to be lethargic. If people are messing with her, she's usually right in their face and checking out the equipment. But she just laid there. Not really whining or anything. Just looking at you with big, sad eyes. Without food for so long, all her fire was gone. I hadn't ever seen her fire gone before. That broke my heart.

Her surgery was scheduled for noon, but it was only 11:00. I was hoping that the show would go on early, but who had ever heard of that? The anaesthesiologist came to talk to us, then our doctor. It looked like we were going to get her in early. Yes!

I carried a very un-feisty Julia to the operating room. S went to the lobby to wait since only one of us could go in. I put her on the operating table. She was so tiny on it; it broke my heart. Under normal circumstances, if you laid Julia on a table with a big light looking down at her, she would be off that table in a matter of seconds. But lethargic Julia just laid there. I stroked her cheek and held her hand. The put the gas mask on her, and she didn't even try to yank it off. She fell asleep within a few minutes, and I left.

They told us a zillion times that it would only take 15 minutes. We sat in the lobby for 30 minutes, and I was getting really concerned. Don't tell me it will take such a short time and then make me wait longer. Of course, pessimistic me thinks something went very wrong.

The doctor comes out finally and shows us some pictures. He tells us it's her esophagus, stomach, and going into her intestines, but it could be anything for all I know. Pink tissue-y looking stuff. He says things look okay, but they took biopsies. She has been wheeled into recovery. He leaves, and we sigh with relief.

Within a minute, a nurse comes to get us because Julia's starting to wake up. I go in and hear the familiar Julia scream from down the hall. But she has worked herself to a level that I hadn't heard in a long time. It's more the screams of WHERE AM I? WHY DOES MY THROAT HURT? WHO ARE YOU? GET ME OUT OF HERE....NOW!!! I had to smile because my girl was finally back. Who knew I would miss all that feistiness?

Two nurses are trying to calm her down. Ha, good luck! Julia is sharing the recovery room with a 10-year old girl. Poor girl and her mother have to listen to Miss J scream her head off. (Children's Hospital, shouldn't each person have the dignity of their own recovery room?) Once she escalates, she is hard to calm down. I'm trying to calm her down, to no avail, because the nurse is trying to take her off all the monitors, IVs, etc. They want me to feed her, but it's kind of difficult with her so out of control and the nurses keep messing with her. After she's off all the equipment, I sit down and feed her. After 2 ounces, I take the bottle away. They're concerned about her vomiting. After initially being a little angry, she starts to calm down. She's coughing and seems so hoarse. I bet her throat hurts. I ask the nurse for Tylenol for her. They give her a pretty heavy dose of it. By the time she and I leave the surgery wing, she's doing better. Once she sees Daddy, she gets happy. We put her into her car seat, gather all our bags, and off we go. When we get into the car, I try to feed her again, but the Tylenol must have started to kick in, and she nods off. She slept all the way home and then for the next 3 hours, only waking up to eat. And she's eaten 9 oz since 11:45am!

The biopsy results take 2 weeks. The doctor wants us to get a swallow study done. Back to Children's Hospital for another exhausting day.

All in all, it went okay. It was hard to withhold food from her, and it was so sad to see her so lethargic right before surgery.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The most photogenic time

I was just looking at old pictures of Miss J. I really think that she was the most photogenic between 3-4 months. She wasn't a crinkly newborn anymore; she had plumped up. Julia's weight downward spiral started in November, so she still had a little meat on her in September and October. And she was starting to be a little more social. I'm posting some pictures from then. Awwww, she was a little doll! I thought people were being nice when they stopped me in the grocery store to say how beautiful she was. They haven't done that in months! Wonder if the skinny with mangy hair thing isn't working out as well as the chubby, smiley thing.

You know I love Miss J, mangy hair and skinniness and all.

Nerves, nerves, nerves

Mother's Day was nice even though I don't like it as a general rule. S did cooking and cleaning, and I got to rest. That was the best gift ever! S made lasagna and garlic bread and salad for my mom, me and Miss J. Yum!

We gave Miss J her last food for the night. She only ate 11 oz today plus 3 small meals. That's what we use night feedings for - to get her to some reasonable total. Because of the endoscopy tomorrow, she can't eat until 2pm tomorrow. That makes me nervous - her going so long without anything. I'm nervous about the procedure. I am glad they could get her in so soon, I'd rather get it done now instead of wait a month. Today she was gagging a lot and had that infamous awful appetite, so it's about time we take a look inside her body and see if anything is awry.

My nerves and I are going to play some Sudoku to distract ourselves. Full report tomorrow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lonely, Addicted?

That's what the church up the street has on their sign.

Lonely, addicted?
Find a friend here
Sunday 10:45

I don't know about that. Doesn't it depend on the addiction? "Friend" could mean something very different depending on the addiction. Okay, I know that a church wouldn't be selling anything that bad. I'm just one of those people with a twisted mind who finds subtext in a church sign and laughs to herself.

I did like one they had about a year ago:

Love your enemies. It makes them nervous.

Kelly watched Miss J tonight. Thanks, Kelly! S and I walked 5 miles on the BPA trail and then proceeded to eat all of the calories we burned plus more with a high calorie snack. Taking a long walk is something that we would never do with Miss J (2 miles is about our max with her), so it was nice to get that opportunity. We were going to see a movie, but we can never agree on movies. He would want to see Star Trek, and I don't like it. I'd want to see a horror movie that he wouldn't want to see. At least we didn't grocery shop. That would be the epitome of bor-ing!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Does anyone look good in yellow?

My mother saved a few of my 'special' outfits from when I was a kid and kept them in storage for many years. Then a few years ago she started randomly giving me stacks of my old clothes, perhaps the gesture meant, "Hint hint, time to have kids, and I'm even giving you free clothing." Other assorted relevant facts: 1) I was born in the 1970s. 2) My mother's favorite colors are yellow and sky blue. 3) My mother really wanted a boy.

I have no idea what to do with this pile of 1970s and early 1980s clothing. They are mostly outdated and horrendous. I can't even bring myself to give them away. Seriously, who would even pay a quarter for a 1970s prairie dress at Goodwill? I must admit that I LOVE that she kept my Smurfette shirt. I was obsessed with the Smurfs, and I wore the Smurfette shirt all the time. I also wore purple velcro tennis shoes all the time, but I think she tossed those, as I insisted on wearing them with everything & she probably plotted their downfall as I have plotted the downfall of Brown Flowers (the couch).

So what do I do with the Pile o' Crap (minus the Smurfette shirt - which must be framed, of course)? I dunno.

I found a picture of my mom and me circa late 1978. And that ugly, short as all get out dress is in the pile of clothes she gave to me. The dress is for 19-22 pounds. Julia's only 17 pounds and average height, but it is a minidress for her. Gotta love the 1970s! I tried to recreate the pose with Miss J. For Mother's Day, I got a side-by-side frame. My dear husband jerryrigged the old picture to fit in the frame. Voila, a sentimental (maybe?) Mother's/Grandmother's Day gift! I was 8 months old in the first picture, and Julia just turned 11 months in her picture. Notice how even as a baby, my arms were freaking HUGE compared to her her arms at 3 months older. And obviously she has much more hair, and it's much darker than mine was.

Hopefully Miss J won't need therapy after having to wear that dress. I guess it's not too horrible, but the white apron-y thing is a separate dress that goes on top of the yellow dress.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And so it's true

Jon of Jon & Kate + 8 is seeing another woman. Oh man, sometimes I hate for all the tabloids to be right.

I feel bad for those kids. They didn't ask to be put in the spotlight and have every event of their lives filmed (including being on the potty and getting bathed and doctor's appointments). And now their family's dirty laundry is the headline of every news organization. The older two are going to get even more negative attention at school. It's really starting to spiral.

My suspicion is that they've been separated for about 6 months. I've been told the episodes in the latter half of this past season were very choppy, and usually only one parent was with the kids at a time. Yep, likely separated, but still doing the show. Putting up the charade to make more money. Money before those sweet children's privacy, right, J & K?

I'm one of those people who believe that you shouldn't stay together just for the kids. But even if you divorce/separate, the first priority for both parents should be the kids.

But their first priority when they were together wasn't the kids. It was money and fame. So how can we expect them to put the kids first in these troubling times?

Urge TLC to stop the show, stop exploiting the kids, and perhaps let the family heal or let them deal with all of this privately.

What a funny girl!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just a bowl of ice cream please

I don't like Mother's Day.

I've never liked Mother's Day, but I don't think you can say unless you're a mother. It is now my right to say that I don't like Mother's Day. Why?

It's another of those Hallmark holidays that tries to sum up a whole year of appreciation into one day. It's just like Valentine's Day - another mindless day to get you to shell out money on flowers and/or candy. My theory is that if you're a good partner, your partner will appreciate you all year long through nice words and gestures. It's the simple things, like getting you a bowl of ice cream after a rough day or listening to you babble for an hour about the stupid stuff that happens at work. Being told on February 14th that I'm supposed to show my love by taking my partner out and buying a red negligee just seems....stupid. Although he might like the red negligee, particularly if I lose 30 lbs....but I digress.

The same thing goes for Mother's Day. If I'm a good mother, my child will want to spend time with me, give me unsolicited hugs, and make me artwork in school. Those are my rewards sprinkled throughout the year. Yes, there will be tough times when she's a tween and teenager that those rewards will be few and far between. But if I do my job right, she may scoop me out a bowl of ice cream once in a while even when she's a teenager. (Do you see a theme on how I like to receive my gestures of love???)

Being told that everyone is supposed to give their mother flowers and/or jewelry on the second Sunday in May is kinda stupid. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my kid pick me flowers on some random day and bring them to me. Or draw me a picture at school. That shows that my child appreciates and loves me without there being any obligation attached.

Perhaps I stumbled on my real issue with Mother's Day. Obligation. S and I have sorted out the Valentine's Day nonsense as pure nonsense. But our mothers (particularly his) tend to think that your love = how much you spend on Mother's Day. And now the ante is upped with Miss J. So now it's a card from us and a card from Miss J for each mother plus gifts. And some of us (i.e., me) forgot about Mother's Day until this past weekend. So it was urgent shopping and gift planning given that we have to get things in the mail.

Miss J, please know that your mother thinks Mother's Day is completely stupid. However, if you actually like me when you're older, you're more than welcome to scoop me a bowl of ice cream ANYTIME, not just the second Sunday in May.

The Letters Surrounding H: That would be G & I

GI appointments are frustrating. Admittedly I am the person who likes to make sense out of everything, and I get frustrated when things don't make sense. I fundamentally do not understand why Miss J doesn't eat that much, and she really doesn't eat that much at one time. 1 ounce - 3 ounces of formula at a feeding seems really low for being almost one-year old.

He gave us the same song and dance. She's Julia, and you can't compare her to any other baby. According to him, she's growing just GREAT!!!!! Can I add any more exclamation marks? He's so enthuisiastic about her progress to 17 lbs, 7 ounces. Do you know how much we work to get her to eat? It's a full-time freaking job. She's soared to the 5th percentile, though, so I guess we're doing something okay.

We're going to have an endoscopy done on her this coming Monday just to make sure her upper digestive anatomy is okay. I'm concerned about her stomach size (is it unusually small? perhaps that's why she won't eat very much at one time?). S is concerned about her esophagus because of her choking when she drinks from a cup or straw. Between the two of us, we really do wonder if she's okay.

And if that comes back okay, then it's basically psychosomatic. Smashing! He thinks that Julia gets nauseous when she feels full, and that's why she doesn't eat much. No real medical reason for it, she's just being Julia!

He wants us to discontinue the night feedings. But...but... if she eats 1-3 ounces at a time every few hours, doesn't she need to eat during the night? He says that she'll make up for it during the day. So then I try to figure this out. If she doesn't eat that much at one time during the day because she feels nauseous, then who's to say that she'll make it up? And how can she make it up with her nauseous feeling? He says that it's likely just comfort that she wants during the night.

Now I never thought I'd be one of those people that immediately tries to justify my daughter's actions, but if she legitimately feels nauseous when she eats more than 3 ounces, then there's not enough time during daytime hours for her to eat her allotted calories. Her getting up 2-3 times a night to eat is legitimate. In fact, if she goes to bed having only eaten 10 or less ounces during the day, I will wake her up to eat during the night. Am I an enabler? I can certainly be called that, but I see it as my job to make sure she eats because she won't always let us know.

This 1-year old thing is full of lots of transitions:
*Transitioning to the toddler room and a whole different routine for her at daycare
*Transitioning from Alimentum to Gentlease or to Pediasure or to whole milk + Carnation Instant Breakfast. We have 3 alternatives, people! Of course we want to choose the course of least resistance and more potential for calories & nutrients.
*Transitioning to sleeping through the night. Not sure what this means with the whole nausea thing.
*Transitioning from bottle to sippy cup.
*Transitioning off of reflux medicine.

The first one isn't optional. The other four are optional. Which to tackle first? Right now I think we're just going to stay in our holding pattern and see how the endoscopy goes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Sip-tastic!

We have been trying to get Julia to drink from a sippy cup to no avail. I mean, she's 11 months now and cannot drink from anything but a baby bottle. This does not bode well.

Alas, last night on the eve of her 11 month birthday, she got a few sips from water through a straw. It wasn't a lot of water, but - hey - it's progress. And the sippy cup winner is? The sad part is that it wasn't a sippy cup technically. It was one of those Take 'n Toss Gerber lidded cups with a plain old straw. Does that mean this isn't a real sippy cup victory?

GI appointment tomorrow. We'll see how much she weighs. Gotta gather our questions for the doctor. 1) Should we do a feeding study? 2) She still eats an abysmal amount at each feeding (usually 1-3 ounces). Is her stomach really small or could there be another reason? 3) This transition off of formula - do we hold off since she's small or do it in increments? 4) Any suggestions for weaning her off of the reflux meds?

If you read the old blog, you'll know that my daycare letter last month prompted a big change - Courtney got moved out of the infant room! I listed out all my concerns and did not point any fingers at Courtney even though Courtney is probably the least capable of all the workers at daycare. She can't figure out how to feed Julia or get her to nap. My letter ceremoniously got rid of Courtney as an infant provider, and S and I thought that was an erratic jump, but we were secretly glad. Well, if Alyssa's (Julia's favorite) not there, Courtney's still in the infant room. Friday was a very bad day for food, and guess who was in the room all day? Courtney!

So as I was dropping her off this morning, I said that Friday was a bad day for food and said that if Jennifer AND Alyssa aren't there, Julia seems to have a bad day. Or at least that's what I surmise from the food log. And Jennifer proceeds to tell me that if certain people (i.e., Courtney) come into the room, Julia screams her head off.

Julia doesn't like Courtney. While Julia is extremely high maintenance, she does tend to warm up to people after seeing them for a few weeks. If it's been 4 months, and Julia STILL doesn't like her, then that does make me wonder about how Courtney treats Julia. We kept Friday's log as ammunition just in case Courtney starts spending more time in the infant room.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sometimes you gotta wonder

It was a great weekend! On Saturday S had a tae kwon do tournament. He ended up kicking some booty and winning gold! He got a few minor scrapes and bruises, but he'll mend. For most of the day Miss J and I hung out. I'm uploading some videos to Facebook right now that show what we did. Short story: she put tupperware on her face and spun herself around, and she jumped. We also took a long walk, but I didn't video that. After an injured S came home, I went out shopping. Today S mowed the lawn, we played, we took a family walk, and S and I went out to dinner to celebrate his birthday while my mom watched Miss J. And Miss J was good! That's awesome because maybe she'll watch Miss J again sometime.

I wish we had a bigger consortium of babysitters. I've told people we need to take turns watching the kids, but we've never actually worked out such a system. So until that system gets worked out, we only have one babysitter.

At the grocery story I only had a few things, and I was only 3rd in line. But it was one of those lines where it literally took 15 minutes for the two people ahead of me to check out. It wasn't the cashier's fault. Both of these ladies had issues. The first one didn't have enough money, so she had to look through her wallet several times. Then she had to forfeit some items. I felt bad for her.

The next lady - I should have figured it out sooner. She had two separate orders going on; after I unloaded, I realized her first order was milk, juice and cereal. WIC. Ugh, I hate being behind the WIC people. Sometimes they have 3 separate transactions: WIC stuff, food stamp stuff, other stuff. So even though you only have 1 person in front of you, it's like having 3 people. She royally screwed up her WIC checks - some were expired, and she didn't match up the right things. The cashier was giving her grief for 1) being in the express line with more than 12 items and 2) not having all her WIC crap together and correct. The cashier was saying she could lose her job if the WIC transaction isn't correct. So then proceeded several minutes of the cashier to try and figure out what was going on while the lady examined her fake nails. And I examined the lady: professional highlights in her hair, fake nails, Costco card, Abercrombie shirt, designer purse, name brand jeans.

I really don't mind helping people who need it, but this lady either doesn't need the WIC help, or she tries hard to pretend that she doesn't need the help.