Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fashion Statement



What does it mean if you put your mom's underwear around your neck as well as Daddy's sock and t-shirt? (Don't worry, these selections from Julia came from the clean laundry pile.)

Years of therapy

Today was the feeding study. It was a lonnnnng drive to Seattle, partly because of traffic and partly because Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless dropped her pacifier right as we got on the freeway both times and commenced screaming for at least half of the trip both ways. I wish I had that mechanical partition that could serve as a buffer between the back of the car and the front of the car - you know, the kind that limos have.

Got to Children's Hospital. It helped having been there before. Proceed through the 3, yes 3, sets of check-ins. 1) Getting in the building to get badges 2) Then to the floor check-in 3) And finally Occupational Therapy check-in.

There were 3 boys, all with casts on their right arms, in the waiting room. All the parents were there and seemed to know each other. I wasn't quite sure what their disorders were. It was odd that they all had a cast on their right arm. I do think there were other things going on other than the casts. Maybe it was a support group meeting for kids with the same disorder? They knew each other too well.

Rohan - 4 years old (see, I learn a lot in waiting rooms): cast on right arm, left arm didn't really move either, braces on both legs, one eye really wandered. He didn't walk very well.

Robbie - 5 years old: the aforementioned cast, glasses, didn't walk that well but did okay.

Alden - 7 or 8 years old: cast on arm, he was wearing a helmet, braces on legs, hyperactive, didn't walk well, didn't speak well.

I am very curious about what was going on there. It was obviously more than these three boys broke their arms.

Had a great visit with the occupational therapist. It was 2 hours and full of good information. Her impressions:

* Julia doesn't suck well.
* Julia doesn't use her tongue well.
* Julia is an inefficient chewer.
* Julia seems to get really nasally toward the end of a bottle feeding. She thinks that something is going on with her swallow and soft palatte. Julia usually abruptly ends a feeding. Perhaps she's aspirating some formula into her nose.
* She does better on solids than liquids (duh).
* She's learned very maladaptive coping mechanisms over the past year, her hunger cues are pretty much gone.

What does all this mean? Julia needs a swallow study and likely lots of oral therapy to relearn sucking & chewing and work on her maladaptive behaviors. It's comforting to know that we haven't been imagining things. Everyone has said that she's physically okay, and we just have to go with it. This is the first time a professional has really seen first-hand the constant struggles we are going through. It's not comforting knowing that this will take a long time, and it's going to be a lot of work on all of our parts.

The occupational therapist brought up that we live far away. She suggested that we have the swallow study done in Tacoma (at the hospital with the icky GI) because then the therapists there will learn Julia and her specific issues. So back to Mary Bridge we go!

Other suggestions she had:

* Try more solid meals. She has breakfast at 8-9am, lunch at 11:30, snack at 2:00 & dinner at 5:00. Do a pre-breakfast at 6:30-7:00am and a post-dinner at 7:00-8:00pm as well.
* Stick with juice if she'll drink it.
* Don't withhold her pacifier. She's struggling with a lot of things, and she needs her pacifier as a coping mechanism.
* May want to try #3 nipples. It's a good thing/bad thing: the positive with the 4is that she takes in liquids more efficiently. The positive with the 3 is that she doesn't struggle quite as much. She said that the 4's stretch her, and that can be a good thing.
* Don't ask her yes or no questions regarding food. Say, "Let's try _____. They're really yummy!"
* If she won't take mushy foods, put them on her lips. The goal is for her to tolerate them - not necessarily enjoy them right away.
* Give her foods high in water with each meal (fruit).
* She needs to be on the bottle for at least a few more months. She's not efficient enough with the cup and will not intake enough liquids without the bottle. Daycare will have to adapt. If they give us problems about it, we can get a doctor's note showing it's medically necessary.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Babysitter Advantage in Childrearing

I think I'm a better babysitter than mother. I was a really rockin' babysitter back in the day. I genuinely like kids and enjoy figuring out all their personalities. I've had my share of trials when babysitting. There was the family with 5 kids, including 6 month old twins and a potty-training nudist 2 year old at the same time. There was another family with 2 kids, and one was a very challenging kid. Reminds me of Julia in about 3 years. Alexa was very slow to warm up, didn't like any sort of change, and was melodramatic as all get out. It took several days for her to warm up to me, but once she did she was a joy. Then there was the time I felt like Supernanny. The family had 2 kids, and the older boy always escaped his bedroom at night. The parents took to babygating him into his room, which I thought was harsh. I singlehandedly cured him, to his parents' amazement, by wordlessly putting him back in bed every time he got out. It was obvious his parents interacted with him when he did it, so it was his way of getting attention. After a few times of me not interacting with him and putting him back to bed (and giving his parents an explanation of what I did and why), the behavior ceased. This was in 1999 or so, well before Supernanny. Then when I found out she suggested the same thing, I was so proud that I did the right thing in taming his behavior.

This parent thing is a whole different ball game. I think it's because you love this little person soooo much that rationality can go out the door. When she was screaming for juice today (see previous post), I was so close to giving in. She's ratcheted up to full meltdown mode, your ears are ringing, and you intellectually know that some hydration is better than no hydration. If I was babysitting in the situation, I would barrel through with the parent's orders without a second thought. Don't get me wrong, I genuinely liked all the kids I ever babysat, and I would empathize with their plight. But it's hard to build up the attachment and protectiveness in a babysitting relationship that you would have for your own kid. After all, you know your kid's idiosyncracies the best, and you can detect if something is "off" before anyone else.

Sometimes I crave that objectivity that I would have if I were a babysitter instead of a mother.

We've also been trying to wean her off a pacifier except at naptime and bedtime. I was one of those people who sees 4 year olds with pacifiers and shakes my head in disgust. My kid was NOT going to be one of them. I wasn't when I was a baby, as my mother tells me every time she sees Julia with her pacifier. Yes, I ceremoniously spit out my pacifier at 4 months old. My mother can't grasp while Julia still uses it. My mother also can't grasp why Julia's so frenetic while I was so docile as a baby. The implication is that I was a "good" baby, and well, you can figure out that Julia is quite the opposite in my mother's eyes. (And for the record, I'm pretty sure no one in their right mind would ever classify Julia as an "easy" baby. I know this, but I don't like that it's pointed out every time I see my mother.) I try to delicately point out that Julia is not a duplicate of me.

So back to this pacifier thing. We've been keeping the pacifier away from her except when she sleeps. That's another reason she's been melting down more than usual - on top of the milk in her sippy cup thing. We have figured out that the blood curdling "Baaaa Baaaa" screams are for her pacifier. I'm not sure what is more pathetic - the escalated "Baaaa Baaa" (as if we're deaf and saying it louder will sway us), or the whimpering at the end of her tantrum, "Baaa Baa."

We've been staying firm on the pacifier and milk thing. Not that we're "winning" the standoff by any stretch of the imagination. We get screamed at quite a bit for the pacifier, and she's refusing to drink the milk so far. It's pretty much a stalemate with her edging us out occasionally.

You gotta wonder what she's going to be like as a teenager. If she's this obstinate and melodramatic now, then I know we're in for it.

Comments must still not be working. Ugh, I really like this layout for the gothiness with a tinge of pink, and I don't want to find another one. But comments would be nice. The Blogger standard templates are sooooo boring. Other sites have blog templates, but they must not interact with Blogger that well. I went to The Cutest Blog on the Block. I went page by page, and I didn't find anything I liked that represented me. I'll try to explore more templates later in the week.

Strawberry Milk

Today I went to Target, and I swear I saw Brayden (Julia's friend at daycare). But I had never seen his mom before (for some reason, no other parent drops their toddler off at the same time as I do), and I didn't have Julia. I'm not sure Brayden's mom would have appreciated me coming up to her and asking if it was Brayden. I didn't have a cute kid with me, so I'm sure I would have just appeared freaky. So I kept quiet.

Julia's appetite isn't that good again. From June 1 - 25 she did awesome! She was eating 16-20 oz of formula a day, 3-4 ounces of juice and 2-3 meals. Now it's turned off again.

Let me do my daycare rant of the week. Most daycare workers are just fine, and I really liked the two in the infant room. But I must say that the toddler teacher isn't the sharpest person in the world. Today's nap log said that Julia slept for 1/2 an hour, from 12:00 - 1:30. My lovely husband asked how long she slept, as he was confused. She asked how long it said. He said 1/2 an hour. She said that was how long. So he brought up that it said 12:00 - 1:30. She said then it was an hour and a half. In other words, she has no clue either. Well, to her credit, she wasn't the one who wrote down the nap times. The actual toddler teacher is the one who I think may not be the best. Julia still hasn't warmed up to her, and it's been almost a month. I may spend some time in the latter half of the week looking for other daycares. For what it's worth, I think she actually napped for half an hour because she had a complete meltdown at 7pm, an hour earlier than bedtime.

Speaking of daycare, I'm sending good luck vibes to Mischa on her first day of daycare on July 1st!

For a few weeks, Julia has been doing well with drinking juice out of a sippy cup. She was consistently doing at least 3 ounces a day with meals. Last Monday was the allergist appointment, and her allergy test was negative for milk. I'm assuming her blood test was as well since we haven't gotten a call. So I think that means we can start whole milk. On Saturday we did a concoction of poor man's Pediasure (Instant Breakfast + whole milk). I started out with the strawberry flavor because people say kids are most amenable to that flavor. I detest milk, but I must say that the concoction tastes pretty good.

While she's doing okay on the juice out of a sippy cup, the goal is to get her to take milk out of a cup. Right now she'll only take apple juice, and it's only 15 calories an ounce and with little vitamins except for vitamin C. Whole milk + Instant Breakfast is calorie dense with vitamins.

So we've gone cold turkey with poor man's Pediasure out of the sippy cup at lunch and dinner since Saturday. Welllllll.... it's not going well. She won't take it. She'll do a sip or two, make a face and throw the cup. And then commence screaming. Then if she see S's drink, she will point to it and scream even more. She wants S's drink. This happens at every meal. We know she's got to be thirsty. She's refusing to drink at meals. She's on a semi-formula strike. Her constant thirst is not doing anything to help her mood.

So far we're holding firm on not giving her juice. I honestly never thought a 1-year old (particularly a newly minted 1 year old) could be this stubborn. A 2-year old? Yes. S says it takes 3 days to extinguish the behavior. Well, dear husband, Saturday-Sunday-Monday - it's 3 days. And she's still not taking the milk out of a sippy cup. She's still peeing, so I'm not terribly worried that she's dehydrated. She'll drink the bare minimum - I just worry she'll stall in the weight department.

I'm looking forward to feeding therapy tomorrow. She's got to have some ideas for us. I'm at a loss at Julia's refusal of any milk-y drink. This will make life very difficult if it continues. Fortunately there is a nutritional drink that's juice based. It's horrendously expensive though - $5 for an 8 oz serving. Yes, you read that right. I'm going to see if the GI specialist or even the feeding therapist has a sample of it. The Neocate people only sell it by the case.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time flies when you read a journal

Have you ever been so captivated by someone's story (i.e., journal/blog) that you keep reading and reading & before you know it, you've spent 1 hour and feel like you almost know the person?

I just did that, and then I think to myself, "I'm so glad I'm not you."

Let's just say I stumbled onto an extra special LiveJournal user. I should have known that if there is an adult content warning you have to click through to even get to the journal and then an adult content warning on each post, it is indeed an extra special Live Journal user. In actuality, the content isn't that bad, but this poor woman has ISSUES. Not a couple of issues, but a whole library full of subscriptions.

I'd go into further detail, but it's a family blog without adult content warnings. Some people make me feel really, really normal. And I'm okay with feeling normal.

Another Stunning Food (sarcasm dripping)

3 oz of formula
Dinner of pasta shells - 100 calories
Cheese - 50 calories
Juice - 50 calories

Ugh! I don't know how, but she's wetting diapers a bit. She's in a reasonable disposition and doesn't have a fever anymore. I just don't get what this hunger strike is about.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So much for property values

So the season starts where I dread getting a letter from the Homeowner's Association. It would go something like this:

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. G,

You bought your home for a reason. You could have picked a house anywhere else (and we wish you did). But, for whatever reason, you chose this neighborhood. We who live in this suburban development (that is very akin to the one in Stepford Wives) believe that rising property values are number one in importance (even over Botox). Since you chose this neighborhood, you must think property values are important as well. So for the love of PETE, will you please clean up your damn lawn? You're bringing down everyone's property values.

Sincerely,
Bill, your Stepford Wives Homeowners Association President"



And my reply back would go something like this:



"Dear Bill aka Captain of the Stepford Wives Project,

We hate yardwork. We're too cheap to hire gardeners, and we object to leaf blowers on moral grounds anyway. I personally am allergic to all things that are supposed to be green. Therefore, we have concluded after 10 summers in this house that the best path to take is to not water the lawn. The $10,000 estimate I received to install sprinklers made me want to convulse. Not watering impedes grass growth anyway. Unfortunately, weeds are peskier and do okay regardless if they are fed water. We do mow the weeds every few weeks, until early August, when even the weeds die.

Our method is organic. It doesn't deplete the environment needlessly. If you change the Homeowner's Association bylaws, we would happily astroturf the whole stinkin' yard. It would be green all year long, and you'd never see a weed. We would even make a few bucks by setting up a mini golf course in the backyard. You could even get a % of the proceeds. It's a win/win, President Bill.

Love ya, Prez.
Lot 46"

Could it be the yogurt?

Julia started having a fever last night. It was in the 102 range during the night, and it came down a bit as dawn approached. But she was cranky and tired and otherwise not up for daycare today. She wakes up at 6am, and of course they expect her to stay up til noon. And that wasn't gonna happen.

So, I stay home. She's whiny, clingy and not feeling great. I can handle all that if she at leasts eats. Well, she didn't. At 7am she ate 4 oz. Good! But that was pretty much it until 6pm. She kept all her food down (yeah, the whole 4 oz). She just refused to eat.

She pooped around 9am. Why is this important? Well, we have to give the doctor stool samples to see if there's blood in them. If there is blood in them, that could be sign of an allergy. She also pooped last night. So I had 2 samples to fill my poop kit! I try to fill in my poop kit while holding her. Let's just say that one of the poop sticks flew across the kitchen. And I couldn't find the thing. So I scour the kitchen looking for a poop swab for 10 minutes. Finally find it, sterilize the area, and off to the doctor's office to turn in the samples pronto. Do you really think I want to leave poop hanging around the house over the weekend?

Go to the doctor's office, deliver the sample, and find out they can test it there. Yippee! Hang around 15 minutes and hear the delightful news that she doesn't have blood in her poop. Yay Julia!

Then we went to the grocery store. I had a few things to pick up, and it's on our way home. Got home, tried to feed her. Nope. Put her down for a nap. Try to feed her when she wakes up. Nope.

This feeding frustration is bringing up not too pleasant and recent memories. I can handle whiny and sick most of the time. I can't handle whiny and sick when I know that if she drank something she'd feel a whole lot better.

Commence lots of frustration.

I give her some Nystatin and 3pm. S (the feeding expert, who is much more patient than I) comes home and tries to feed her. Nope.

Then I remember she ate a tub of yogurt yesterday. That was the only thing that happened that was unusual. She's been off the yogurt for 6 weeks or so. Hmmmmm, got to thinking, is her abysmal appetite due to a fever of 100 degrees or thrush prompted by yogurt?

S got her to eat 5.5 ounces at 6pm. That makes her at about 10 oz for the day. Plus a little sliver of cheese, 10 peas, and a tidbit of peach. Is that a crappy food day or what?

We gave her another dose of Nystatin before bed.

The thing is - if she actually eats tomorrow, we won't know if it's the thrush or if it's the fever.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Comments and Death

I love my new layout, but I can't make comments. This could be problematic. Hmmmm...I'm having a blog template identity crisis. HELP!

2 celebrity deaths today. Farrah was a tad before my time. I knew of her, but not being a teenager in the early 80s removes me a bit from the situation.

Michael Jackson was so pivotal during my formative years. As controversial as he was, he made stunning contributions to music, music videos, and pop culture as a whole. He was a legend. It's hard to deny that. It's a bit beyond my comprehension that someone who was such a legend could die. He's such a fixture that you thought would be alive and kicking til 90 at least. I wonder if there was anything fishy surrounding his death. After all, he had a big fall since 1993 or so. He was a weird guy, but he had some weird parents and weird early experiences in childhood so it's not terribly surprising that he had a few screws loose.

I wish him peace.

If there are such things as pearly gates, what must the people who died in the late morning must have thought? I'm waiting to get in heaven, and here I am surrounded by Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Duuuuuuude!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I agree

LA's blog post on pushing kids inspired me. She was saying that she was frustrated that kids are supposed to know how to read and write by the time they start school, and this puts way too much pressure on them.

I'm sure parents were competitive back when we were kids, but it feels like the game has changed considerably nowadays. I have had to hold back my laughter in two recent instances:

- A parent who says that she has 'art time' with her 2 month old. She shows him flashcards of famous pieces of art, and I'm sure says the artist and name of the piece. Oh good lord! No offense if you're a mom who does this, but do you really think this is going to sink in? That must have been such a pivotal moment that the kid is going to always look back fondly to the instance first saw Starry Starry Night on a flashcard when he was 2 months old.

- A parent who says her 18 month old is going to start in a soccer league. You have GOT to be kidding me! Seriously? An 18 month old hasn't mastered walking yet, much less running down a field kicking a ball. And it's competitive?

So, yes, I am the slacker of a mom who is raising her baby/toddler without flashcards and without soccer leagues before she turns 2 years old. Shall we already cross Harvard off the list?

I am a child who was pushed hard in school. My mother expected straight A's, honor society, blah blah blah. And I did it. I graduated with a 2-year college degree at 17 and a 4-year college degree at 18. Where did it get me? The same exact place it would have had I taken my time getting through high school & college and participated in the activities I wanted to participate in. So I'm not feeling why I need to push Julia like I was pushed.

However, I WILL teach her to have a good work ethic. Don't even get me started on that one. She will learn to follow through on her commitments, finish her homework, show up to school on time (which will translate hopefully to her showing up to work on time every day) every day (yes, I'm a stickler for showing up and only missing school/work if you are legitimately sick).

I do believe that parents need to work with their kids. I see a lot of parents with a hands-off approach, and they think teachers need to do all the educating of their children. I don't agree. I do think parents know their child the best. If Julia seems ready and eager, I'm happy to help her read earlier. If Julia isn't interested, I don't see pushing her into reading before she's ready & then making it not fun for her.

It's kind of like the sleeping thing. We co-slept with her for a long time. 8 months. She really didn't do well in the crib by herself for a long time, and she seemed to like sleeping in bed with us. We finally thought she was 'ready' at 8 months, and since then it's been so easy. She goes to sleep immediately (usually, particularly at night). Nighttime isn't a struggle. It could be many things that contributed, but I really think waiting til she felt a little more secure helped make that transition.

That's my main beef with this toddler room thing. Daycare is stuck on precise ages when some kids don't adjust as quickly.

So, my long-winded response to LA is that I agree. I think kids are under enough pressure, and we don't need to add to it.

As subversive as a Snickers bar

I love Pink. The color and the music artist. She just permeates angst and the dislike of being pigeonholed. I am obsessed with her song, "Sober." "The quiet scares me because it screams the truth."

I have a LiveJournal - it's yet another site where you can blog. I don't use it anymore, but I check my friends' page frequently to see if any of my friends on there post. When you log in, you see the question of the day. "What do you miss the most about being a kid?" I thought about it. Not much, not much at all. I do miss riding my bike. I'd ride it around the driveway, pretending I was a taxi cab driver. As an adult, you can't really ride a bike around your driveway for hours without being taken off to the mental institution. Oh, and I miss playing with Strawberry Shortcake and my hotwheels. That about sums it up.

Other people can post their answers to the question, and then you can link up to their journals if their journals are public.

One thing that's good to know is that LiveJournal is, well, kinda subversive as a whole. I don't like to stereotype, but the vibe over there is, "Why have a Blogger? It's so mainstream...ick...who wants to be mainstream? I'm angst-ridden, emo, and... well... so not mainstream." I myself am appear as mainstream as a Snickers bar, and maybe that's why I don't fit in over there. I have my slightly goth tendencies, but it's more of a personality thing. Do I read those books? Nah, I didn't even like Twilight. Do I listen to that kind of music? Not much - a bit of The Cure. Do I dress goth? Not really. Yeah, I don't fit in over there.

So I go connect to the journals of some people who responded to the question of the day. I read two teenagers' blogs and three 40-ish women's blogs. I was surprised because I could actually understand them. I have encountered a few LiveJournal blogs before that I had no flipping clue what they were saying. It was English, but I could not make heads or tails of it. Thankfully I could understand these. Here's my impression -

Girl 1: Hates her mother. Emo picture of herself. Hates her mother. This girl really hates her mother. Wow, this journal is getting repetitive. Nexxxxxxxxt....

Girl 2: Loves, loves, loves her daddy. Daddy made her pancakes. Posted a picture of herself, emo. She posts samples of her emo writing (which I didn't read because emo writing doesn't really interest me). She seems to have a 'normal' life. She can't wait to get a car. She went to 'smart camp' for two weeks. She plays the violin. Cool beans, mostly normal girl that has an emo bent.

Woman 1: Money problems, talk about husband, wait, talks about some other guy. Wooooooo...I'm confused. Ah, it's getting weird. What?? Isn't that so 70s? So you meet a couple for lunch and then you each go home with the other partner? Then you say you update your Facebook during all the festivities? My mainstream Snickers heart is palpitating now. The next blog entry is back to money woes.

This LiveJournal stuff is not for the feint of heart. Nexxxxxxxxt...

Woman 2: This woman has a crappy life. CRAPPY. To paraphrase, she's 40-ish, both her parents died when they were in their 40s, her only brother died a year ago, her stepkids don't talk to her, her one biological daughter who's almost 18 is locked up in a juvenile detention center. Her dog ran away a month ago. She's filing for bankruptcy. Her car died and she doesn't have transportation. She has 2 jobs to make ends meet, and she has to walk to both of them because she doesn't have a car anymore. Isn't that the basis for the worst emo-tinged country song you have ever heard? On Christmas her daughter couldn't come home, so she borrowed someone's car to go visit her daughter in the juvenile detention center. I want to pay for this woman's therapy. Obviously, if she doesn't already need it (which I think she does because there are obvious battles with depression going on), she'll need it soon enough.

Woman 3: Oh my. OH MY! She's married, however, the theme of Woman 1 is carrying on with this woman as well. She has a crush on another dude. Wait, her and her crush hooked up. Now all she can talk about is this other dude. Oh wait, she has a girlfriend too! BDSM references. And they are all going to the Renaissance Fair and doing renaissance-y things together. My Snickers bar mind is overwhelmed with Renaissance, BDSM, two guys & two girls. She doesn't understand why the mainstream world has problems accepting her 'polyamorous' self. More money woes.

I see a theme that women on LiveJournal who answer the question of the day have money woes. I would also hazard a guess that my small sample of the women experienced some abuse as girls too.

LiveJournal is definitely some interesting reading if you aren't feint of heart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Open mouth

For the past year, every time we have presented Julia a bottle, we have gotten one of two reactions:

1 - Instant screaming. "You're trying to kill me!"
2 - Apathy, complete with a sigh and a head turn. "Oh, that thing that you bring out all the time."

So how does she eat? Well, if she's at the first alternative of screaming, you wait until she gets to apathy. When she's at apathy, you present the bottle for about 15 minutes so she's used to looking at. Occasionally you try to put it in her mouth. Most of the time she will purse her lips and turn away. Every once in a while you will have success. She'll suck for a little and get 1-2 ounces. That was the cycle of her bottle feeding for literally a year.

With solid foods, it has been better. She never did baby food, but she definitely does finger food. And if you bring her a little sandwich or puffs, she will get excited and even open her mouth before it gets to her. Unfortunately, Little Miss J can't live on puffs.

This morning she woke up at 4:30am. She looked tired, not in pain, was liking being held but not needing to be held. So I thought I'd make a bottle and try. It's been several weeks since she's waken up at night, and even when she wakes up at night (hungry - since she had usually only eaten 12 ounces during the day), it's usually a fight to feed her.

I make a bottle and come back. What does she do? Julia sits up immediately, gets slightly excited and OPENS HER MOUTH!

I have been waiting for this day for over a year. I never thought it would come.

When I think about it, all her feeding issues were the worst part of her first year. You know she's gotta be hungry, but when you try to feed her, she screams and screams and refuses the bottle.

Unless you've been there, it's really difficult to fathom the magnitude of what a crappy first year we all had & why an open mouth at the sight of a bottle is a milestone I never thought I'd see.

I'm so proud of you, Miss J! You may finally be on your way to a normal-ish appetite!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I would rather be at work

Have you heard of the game, "Would you rather?" The whole game is picking the better of two not-so-fun alternatives. I play the game all the time in my head. Sometimes both alternatives really suck: Would you rather go to the gynecologist or GI specialist? It's kinda funny that whenever work is paired with anything else, I always choose work.

I'm one of those weird people who likes work more than most things. Would I rather work or go to Jamaica for a week? Work! Factor in travel, heat, and hotels, yes, I would gladly pick work over a supposedly 'relaxing' vacation.

It's no surprise, then, that I would have preferred to stay at work than take Julia to the allergist appointment today. It truly sucked. A good point is that S went with me.

We get there at 1:30pm. We get into a room by 1:45. Not so bad. Here's the interesting part - Julia weighed 18 lbs, 12 oz today after being 18 lbs, 1 oz last Wednesday. But...she hadn't eaten before her appt last Wednesday, and she had just drank 5 oz before we went in today. The nurse interviews us - we get 10 minutes in, and then she gets called away to take a phone call from Multicare. So we wait. For about 15 minutes. She finally comes back, and then she tries to get Julia's oxygen levels. Ha! If you try to attach any piece of equipment to Julia, you encounter the wrath of Julia. Much screaming commences. She can't get a good reading because Julia is screaming, flailing, and being her 'spirited' self. She gives up.

Then we have to wait for the doctor. He doesn't come in until almost 2:30. Our appointment was at 1:30. We're all starting to get claustrophobic being in the tiny room.

He finally comes in, and I get the vibe that he's like my OB. Authoritarian. Oh, can his ego even fit through the door? He asks the same questions the nurse asks. I tell him that we're here because she's failure to thrive, weak eater, and the endoscopy showed white blood cells. If it all possible, we'd like to figure out what she's allergic to in order to avoid those foods.

He says that he will only do the skin test and igE blood test (RAST). There are some other blood tests available (igA and igG), but he doesn't do those. He's concerned about false positives, and they aren't allergy tests. Some difference of opinion there.

I don't think Julia will go into immediate shock if she eats a specific item. It's more of the delayed fussy tummy stuff that I think affects her. They did the skin prick test, which she didn't like so much. Then we had to wait, yet again, another 15 minutes to see if she had a reaction. Not surprisingly, none of the 5 things he skin tested her for were positive. We leave the office with a stool test (to see if her poop has blood in it - one sign of allergy), and we go off to the lab for the gluten and RAST test. The time is 3:30. Two hours into the ordeal.

We get to the downstairs lab, and there's only 1 person waiting. Yes! And then we wait, and wait, and wait. Usually I can wait for a bit, but we have already been at the doctor's office for 2 hours. My patience was running thin. Suddenly the room fills up. There's a couple with a 3 year old and a newborn. Julia is intrigued by the 3 year old. He's running around, and she's laughing at him. Then I set her down, and she's chasing him in her baby way, which isn't very fast. After all, she's been walking for a month, and he's been walking for 2 years. They're playing, and it's kinda cute. Then she falls. She falls all the time, nothing new. Then she starts crying. I say, "Julia, get up. You're fine." I go to pick her up. I'm holding her, and then S notices there's a pile of blood on her shirt. She opens up her mouth, and it's full of blood. Oh sheesh. She's screaming, we've been waiting over 40 minutes at the lab, we're approaching 3 hours for this whole ordeal. After 5 minutes, she calms down and is watching the other kid again and laughing.

It looks like her lower teeth bit into her upper gums. The bleeding's stopped. So crossing my fingers that everything's okay.

The lab technician finally calls us back. They need to get 3 vials of blood from her. I'm resisting the urge to tell them to take the blood off her shirt, her mouth, my shirt & her back. They get another person to help hold her down, and they draw the almost 3 vials. She's screaming the whole time, but S thinks it's more from being held down by all of us more than the pain from the needle.

Do you feel sorry for little J? She had her blood drawn, her first accident that drew blood, and the skin prick test? She had an all sorts of icky kind of day.

And that, folks, is why I'd prefer to go to work over going to the doctor any day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Smooshed Teddy Grahams

Two years ago I never thought I'd go out in public with smooshed teddy grahams on my shirt. First of all, I don't think wet teddy grahams would have been anywhere near my shirt. Second of all, I really would thought I would have seen them before I left the house. Obviously things have changed.

Whenever I say anything, Julia disproves it the next day. Welcome to parenthood! However, I will tempt the jinx by saying that Julia becoming 1 has been simply wonderful. The thrush is clearing up, and she is eating! 16 - 20 oz a day + 2 good meals. Her disposition is much better. No more 5 hour screaming sessions. Now she'll still cry, but it's more in anger or frustration. The transition to milk-based formula has gone well. She's on 100% milk-based formula now and is doing okay. She doesn't seem to have any ill effects although the allergist we see on Monday might not like it. Julia really seems to be enjoying life now. She loves playing, games, and smiling. She's even seemed to transition to the one-nap thing! And she's eating all her calories during the day - YIPPEE - and not waking up at night.

It's been quite a turnaround in a few weeks!

The big thing we have to work on is phasing out the bottle and phasing in the sippy cup for more than juice. And of course the transition to whole milk once we get the clear from the allergist.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cell Phones

Our two-year phone commitment is coming due soon. Oh, what to do?

We have an interesting set-up now. We have our home phone still. And we each have cell phones, but they are add-a-lines to S's parents' plan - based in Arizona. We have cell phones, but they have an Arizona area code. When we renewed our two-year contract last time, we got cute little new phones. Well, I lost mine within a month due to a hole in a purse. S's dad graciously let me use his old phone. The combination of old phone + I don't like phones = I never turn the stinkin' thing on. NEVER.

So we're wondering what to do. As we see it, we have 3 options:

1 - Keep the status quo. Get the free phone upgrade at renewal and carry on as add-a-line on the parents' plan.

2 - Keep the home phone, get a pay-as-you-go plan on our own with a local number.

3 - Scrap the home phone, get phones that also have internet. After all, that's the only way I'll actually use the phone. We actually would both LOVE to have Internet anywhere. Like you're in a store, and see some item. If you want to look at the reviews of it on Amazon, you can do it right there vs. go home, look, go back to the store. I would be in heaven.

But the cost of it would be so much more than it is now. Our home phone is only $25 a month, and we pay S's parents $25 a month for the cell phones. 2 phones with internet would cost much more than that every month. So how much is the convenience worth? That is the question.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Need will power

Happy Birthday, Marie!

It was a quiet day. Tomorrow's weigh-in for me. I seriously doubt I've lost anything in the last week. So we're almost halfway done with the year, and I've kept to my diet for one lousy week- I think it was one week in late April/early May. That is terrible. I had one good week where I kept within my points on each day. The rest of the weeks - not so much.

I've lost 20 pounds, which isn't so bad considering that I didn't stay within my points for the vast majority of the weeks. How about I try to end the challenge with 1 "good" week? That means staying within my points EVERY day, getting exercise and limiting sweets. I will continue to diet after the challenge ends. I still have another 15-20 pounds to go. And I can lose it by 2010. It's definitely do-able. I know what to do; it's merely keeping with it. Easy in theory, difficult in practice.

It's also easy to stall. I really like how one of my friends looks. I got up the courage to ask how much she weighs because I think it would be a good target for me. She looks to be a healthy size 8-10, my height, and not at all anyone would call pudgy/fat. I come to find out she actually only weighs 5 pounds less than me (or at least that's what she said). But she's more muscle. I'm definitely 'fluffier.' So I think my goal is good. I just have to be focused and not succomb to tortilla chips, chocolate, ice cream and any other food that will take me off course.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Helpful Advice

I do love my mother-in-law. She is incredibly generous and kind. She raised her three children well. Sometimes, though, a conversation with her on the phone - or even just listening to S's side of the conversation with her on the phone - makes me want to roll my eyes.

Every once in a while she does a Julia interrogation. I'm not sure what prompts it, but for whatever reason occasionally there is an hour long conversation about Julia. Mother-in-law spent 3 days with Julia when she was a newborn, and then the next time she saw her was when she was 8 months old and in the 2nd percentile. I have a feeling that mother-in-law thought we were merely incompetent at feeding Julia, and that's why she was so low weight. While I do admit that I have some competency issues, there is also the fact that Julia refused to eat. After that visit when she experienced it herself, she seemed to tone down the, "Have you tried this? Have you tried that?" as related to her feeding.

There are some things that she says that do produce the eye rolling still. If anyone said them, I'd roll my eyes. However, when they are bunched up together in the same conversation or within a few days, I have to watch that my eye rolls do not become belabored sighs.

- I'm sorry that a kid in your church has the horrible disease of which you mention, but I doubt Julia has it too. When I look it up online, I see seizures are a feature of this disease. Julia's problem is that she doesn't eat. She doesn't have seizures. Again, I'm sorry about the kid in your church.

- Thank you for reminding me that babies need to wear sunscreen when they're outside during the summer. Yes, we have Waterbabies. Yes, we don't keep her out too long. (Resisting the urge to say, "Really? Babies need to wear sunscreen? Why?")

- The hat thing. We must have 30 hats for Julia. Everyone gives you baby hats. Nurses and old ladies are obsessed with putting hats on babies. S and I really don't think hats are necessary unless you have a winter baby. As long as the baby isn't cold, it's not a priority to us. After she was 2 weeks old, she has never worn a hat. (We're both inside people anyway and she rarely spends time outside not in the shade, so it's not really a concern due to the sun.) Hats never stay on, the baby usually doesn't like them, and they kinda look stupid. But whenever a nurse or a woman over 60 asks you if you put a hat on your baby, say YES!

- Car seats. Ugh, do we have to go there? They've changed the regulations, and now they recommend rear facing for longer. "Yes, we bought her a convertible car seat. Yes, we installed it per the instructions." Need we say more? Really?

- When your point of reference is always the kids at your church, your children that were raised 30-40 years ago, and your grandchildren, it gets grating to hear the same comparisons over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Yes, I know every other kid and grandkid was a good eater except for the other granddaughter. She didn't gain weight well. She was only in the 30th percentile. Sorry, you lost me. 30th percentile is freaking huge compared to 2nd.


I know she thinks she's helping. Or she thinks we're idiots, which would mean that she's helping us become less of idiots. I would appreciate help more in the line of babysitting vs. 'helpful' 'advice' though.

To the Doctor we go

Today was Julia's 1 year check-up. S usually goes to all her doctor appts too, but this one he couldn't make. :( I went into it hoping that she was well over 18 pounds. Yesterday with the poor man's weigh in the evening she was over 19. I know people weigh more in the evening, so I was hoping for high 18s with an early morning weigh.

I really don't know how people function with 2+ kids. I have my skills in life, and they tend to be more oriented toward math and technology. Kiddie logistics is beyond my capabilities. I cannot get 1 figured out. If we were ever to toss a newborn into the mix, I don't think I'd ever leave the house.

Do you know that I have never used a public changing table? Yes, I am that remedial. Julia is over 1, and I have never used one of those things in public restrooms. Before you think I should be locked up: 1) I avoid public restrooms at all costs for myself, much less a little kid. 2) Julia doesn't eat a lot and therefore doesn't pee a lot. Even overnight, she only wets her diaper a little. 3) She doesn't poop in public. She only poops at home (usually standing next to the coffee table) or daycare (we encourage daycare poops). Therefore, if we are going out, I change her before we leave, and she's good for 3-4 hours at least.

This past weekend we switched carseats. She's now in a convertible car seat. I have a feeling she'll be rear facing for quite a while. The recommendation is that she be rear facing til she's 35 pounds, and she will hit that when she's 13 or so. :) For those without kids, the big difference between a convertible and an infant seat is that the convertible stays in the car whereas the infant seat often gets popped into shopping carts or just carried around.

All this is to set up the fact that this was the first voyage in the convertible car seat that I've taken with Julia other than daycare. The plan was that after the doctor visit we would go to my work. People keep asking for me to bring her in, and I finally had an opportunity.

Load up the car. The diaper bag is very spacious, but with her medical records and blanket on top of everything else, I can't even zip the darn thing. Her medical records are getting quite thick. And the blanket now goes in the diaper bag because when I take her out of the car, the blanket needs to go into the diaper bag or be carried since I can't just put it in the infant carrier anymore. Get Julia dressed, try to do her hair ("try" because, well, yeah, you get it). Commence screaming, which somehow spurs the snot fest. Pause to get a kleenex, take spare kleenex. Try to wipe her nose (after all, having a snotty nosed kid in public is sooooo trailer park). Commence more screaming - wipe, wipe, with her vigorous head turning there's snot now on her eyebrow, cheek, and chin as well as her nose. Get a baby wipe and do the best I can. Put on her shoes. She has the cutest sandals, and I love to put her in them & they went with the outfit. Butttttttt.... the sandals are way too wide for her feet. The length is a-okay, but her feet are so narrow that they somehow slip through and her sandals come off all the time. Try to feed her. No-go.

Julia hates her car seat. About as much as getting her hair done and diaper changes and getting her nose wiped. We somehow get to the doctor's office. At this point, I'm ready for a nap. My doctor calls it low protein or low iron. I call it putting in a full day's work by 9am.

I get out of the car, open the car door, and see a virtual snot factory sitting in the car seat. There's snot all over her pacifier (which was my saving grace during the drive), her cheeks and her nose. Get another baby wipe and try to un-trailer park her. Get my purse, the diaper bag (which I am pretty sure weighs more than Julia), and Julia and lug it all up the stairs to the doctor's office. On the way up the stairs, Julia loses her pacifier. Bend over and pick it up without toppling over--success. Pick up the pacifier, get up to the landing, and she loses a sandal. Stop, bend down, hold that in the crook of my arm because I haven't mastered how to hold her, diaper bag, purse, pacifier, shoe & open the door. Nearly collapse at the counter, and they ask to see my insurance card. Ugh, seriously? It's the same insurance - same exact card. Really? Must we do this now? So while holding her I try to dig through my purse and find the exact same card I've already given them.

(At this point, you may wonder why I don't use a stroller. The stroller wasn't already in the car, so I would have had to lug the monstrosity to the car, lift it into the car, reverse the process when we got to the doctor. The doctor's office isn't very wide, and the patient rooms are fairly tiny.)

Then they give me a clipboard to fill out about her development, and I go to sit down. Thank heavens Julia lets me sit her down without screaming. Again, I soooo want a nap. And I canNOT imagine having another kid with me at the same time. Finish the paperwork, and I get out the bottle to try to feed her. She's about to take the bottle, and the nurse calls us. Repack the bottle, get all the loose fallen stuff, clipboard, bags, her and follow to the room. Get her undressed while the nurse asks questions. I have to fill out a really stupid form that had no purpose. It basically asked if I was Native American and if I was on Medicaid (negative, negative). Then the icky weigh-in. I kept her diaper on, which was ever so slightly wet. 18 lbs, 1 oz. Blah! I was disappointed. I really thought she would be mid-18, almost 19.

Go back to the room to wait for the doctor. We play for a bit, and then I try a bottle again. She downed 5 oz! This is something she's only been doing for the last few weeks - drinking so much at a time. Of course it would have been nice if she did it BEFORE the weigh-in.

I do like her doctor. He's so nice. He paid a lot of attention to her development. Probably because she's so little he wants to make sure things are going okay. So the short story is:

Julia has a massive head (75th), good height (a little above average), very low weight (5th). We talked about her development quite a bit - asking about what she does and doesn't do & he played with her. What reassured me is that he says she is well above average in her physical development - her walking at just turning 11 months, the games she initiates, cognitive abilities. I really wasn't worried about those though. I'm more worried about her being behind in her eating abilities. But that's the feeding specialist's area. He says she is doing great, she's just skinny & she'll probably hover in the 5th percentile for quite a while. Get the vaccines. As one may expect, she screamed, but she quickly calmed down and got styling band-aids that matched her outfit. Oh, he was also ticked off that the GI specialist didn't send him the endoscopy results. I said I only knew they found white blood cells, and they said to put her on Neocate. (Which I have not done because I think we need to find out what she's allergic to first) He said he'd get the results himself and call me this afternoon. I heart Julia's doctor. I am so glad we switched from the icky pediatrician.

Oh, she has a slight ear infection. All the snot from her cold seems to be filling her ears and irritating them. I get an amoxicillin prescription. I'm actually happy about the prescription because Julia's perpetual snot and cough is getting a bit worrisome.

At this point, I'm ready to call it a day. But since Julia's doing okay, I take her to work. She was in a good mood, and with a couple of people she even played. She got comfortable enough that I set her down, and she walked around, gave kisses, and was an overall charming baby. And this was AFTER vaccines! Let's just say that I dig the toddler years far more than I dig having an infant.

I wanted to get the amoxicillin prescription, but after hanging out at work for 2 hours on top of the doctor visit, I was done. Head home, take a nap, then go back out to get the prescription.

And that, folks, was my day "off."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ipod combustion and a complicated roof job

Julia hit the hay very early tonight. She took ONE nap, but it was only 12:00 - 12:45pm. Needless to say, she was falling asleep after her bath. Got some formula into her, and she's out like a light. She ate reasonably well today. I wish I knew what the daycare portions were. They said she had strawberry yogurt, graham crackers, a biscuit with jelly, a bean burrito, pears, peas and green beans today. I really want to know how big that bean burrito was. And they said she ate all of the burrito and even had seconds of green beans. For dinner she didn't each too much: a few meatballs (tiny), a few raviolis (tiny), and half a fish stick. But hey, she more than made up for it at daycare. And she had 15oz of formula in her too.

It's nice that she went to bed early. I've been laying on the bed and listening to music. Haven't done that in a lonnnnng time. Guess I'm kind of melancholy because my playlist includes 3 Doors Down (great music but you will need Prozac after listening to them), Duran Duran and The Cure.

A girl can like the color pink and listen to The Cure, right? Those two aren't mutually exclusive. I had some good times listening to The Cure during 1996. It's funny how I can go through my playlist and instantly go back to when I listened to that particular song. It's like a time machine that changes years with every song.

Ah, the Footloose soundtrack is playing now. I love the Footloose soundtrack. I have it on record. Remember records? Don't have a record player, but I have records just in case. Just in case of what? Oh, who knows. What if all the world's CDs and Ipods spontaneously combusted? Well, if I could find a record player in the carnage, I could listen to the Footloose soundtrack and Madonna.

Soooo sleepy. And I have tomorrow off! What to do? Let's see... pay bills, Julia dr appointment, will likely have to go to the pharmacy because of her wicked cough that's persisted for a month, maybe grocery shop. Essentially errands. I'd like to touch-up paint the hallway too.


***********************

Construction contractors aren't really my favorite people. I don't have a whole lot of experience, but in the past year I've had enough experience to know that it's a pain in the tuckus:

- Bathroom remodel: can we say ugggghhhh? My maternity leave project that consumed a disgusting amount of time. Do you know how many people I interviewed? I will spare my readers who read my blog on MySpace from the trauma of a huge, long recount of the awful process. Conservatively, I had 40 different people come look at the project. I ended up picking the contractor based on the fact that I knew his mother, he wasn't creepy (since I would be home with him all day with Julia), and he was reasonable. Well, he fell through the ceiling, and he didn't repair it very well. And then the quality of his work was not great. If even me - a non-construction person - can see huge flaws from across the room & I'm practically blind, that tells you something. But since I know his mother, it makes it touchy so I'm just living with the subpar job he did.

- Floor swap out: I love the person who did this. He did a great job, did what he said he would, I had questions & contacted him later & he responded within an hour. I would work with him again if I had anything needing done that he does. But he only really does kitchens and floors. If you need a good floor/kitchen dude, I have that one covered.

- Water heater replacement: Let's just not freaking go there. The dude sucked, I should have not hired him, but I was desperate. Let's just say I filed several complaints and so did other people, and his butt is suspended.

- House painting: Actually that one went well... so far. I can't really judge paint jobs. It looks okay. And they were cute. They painted without their shirts on.

- Roof cleaning and treatment: All I want is to get the cedar roof cleaned and treated. I didn't think it was that difficult. One dude came out and gave us a whole long speech that we didn't want to hear. He would not give us an estimate until we listened to his 2 hour long speech. Buh bye. (The manager later called back and wanted us to call them so we can still get our roof cleaned. I don't get it.) Then we ask our neighbors, who had it done, for a recommendation. We get the referral. I'm all excited and immediately check out the WA Contractor's License - MUST always check up on construction dudes - and find out they were literally suspended the week prior. Sooo frustrating! And if you see "suspended," run! The dude we helped get suspended deserved to be suspended. He broke at least 8 plumbing regulations during the install. Back to the roof issue. On Saturday we get an ad for a roof cleaning service. I called, they came out to look, and they just sent me the estimate. It's within the range we were expecting. I go look up the WA Contractor's License, and they were suspended on May 27th.

This does not instill my faith in roofers. Is it that complicated to get your roof cleaned by a licensed/bonded/insured roofer who is not suspended? Apparently so. Almost wants me to ask the pressure-washing obsessed neighbor if he'll wash the roof. Almost.

Tupac

Anonymous has checked. Should I delete the last post??? Oh, I don't know.

Happy Birthday, L! Did you know you share a birthday with Tupac? He was quite a person. Contrary to popular thought, he wasn't all bad. With very few exceptions, I don't think people are 100% bad. He actually has some good music with a GOOD message. Okay, all that is disguised by the fact that he has some very misogynist lyrics in some songs, but there are other songs that are very pro-woman.

As he was a Gemini, Tupac had two very different sides of his personality.

I miss him. It would have been interesting to see how he developed his life had the whole East Coast/West Coast stuff didn't happen.

On Recent Events

It's 2:30am, and I still can't fall asleep. Blah! I went to bed extra early tonight at 8:30pm, and then Julia woke up at 11:30pm because her paci fell out of the crib. She doesn't wake up to eat anymore, but it's the end of the world if she needs her paci and it fell onto the floor. I think I went to bed way TOO early and my body thought I had a nap. I'm raring to go!

I probably shouldn't say anything, but I will anyway and then live to regret it. Because that's just how life goes. I know who Anonymous Commenter is. I'm not going to call her out in public because that's just mean. But I do know who it is.

What y'all may not know is that I made this blog public because I do believe in the freedom of information, and I don't mind meeting new people through this blog. I am a real person who goes through real struggles, and if someone perhaps stumbles upon me from various ways, and we develop a friendship, now that's kind of cool, huh? But I wanted to have some layer of protection in case anything got weird. And honestly there are a handful of people I don't want to read my blog, but I think there's enough ambiguity that those people won't just stumble upon me randomly.

So a few months ago, at April's suggestion (thanks, April), I put a behind-the-scenes log for this blog. It gives me the IP address of every hit, and it tells me what your IP address is, where it's from, etc. I haven't had the need to look at it, so I never did.

At first I thought Anonymous was a random person on the Internet. And that was completely cool with me because everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and I can see why it's easy to interpret that I want my kid to have special attention. That's not what I wrote. I think the gist of what I wrote is that we struggle with the one-nap thing, but every daycare seems to do it, I just wish it wouldn't be expected to happen over a week. And I was pissed because she went so long without eating. And Kindercare is freaking creepy. Yes, adults who call kids their 'friends' - I think that's creepy. So sue me. Call me crazy, but do NOT call my friends crazy. After all, I know I'm crazy. My friends are infinitely saner than I; that's why I like 'em. They keep me grounded.

So when I logged in and matched the time of the Anonymous comment to the IP address, I wholeheartedly expected to see an IP address in Montana or something. But I saw it was good ol' local Washington State. In fact, a town about a block from me. There went the random commenter theory.

And so it's someone I know. Which of course is most puzzling. If you think I'm a whacko, then why not tell me that - delicately please - since you know me? I know I don't agree with all my friends on everything. Heck, I can't agree with my husband on everything! That's why I encourage a variety of opinions. We need to learn from each other. You can even tell me I'm looking at the situation in the wrong way in a comment with your name, and I won't delete you. I can't claim to be a liberal and tolerant without living it. That would be hypocrisy.

So I know who it is. And the two of us don't agree on certain issues, and we've voiced our disagreement in the past so I'm unclear as why she prefers to comment under a veil of secrecy. I respect her as a mother. I think she loves her kids and tries to raise them well.

You may think I think it's you. So as to clear up any confusion and keep the person anonymous (cuz, after all, that's how you want to remain), you were the one who gave Julia the cutest little Democrat shirt. See, I kept her name anonymous and the only two people who know that fact are her and me.

I'm not hurt. I thought she knew me enough to talk to me personally though. I can see how she was thinking that I was attacking her profession. I didn't mean to be, but I strike a balance on this blog - saying my real feelings vs. not trying to offend anyone. It's a hard balance sometimes.

If you want to talk with me personally about this, go right ahead, shirt giver. You know my e-mail, you have my phone number. I'm not upset with you. You have a lot going on in your life right now, and I'm here if you need me. But I think me contacting you right now might be a little odd because there's a big elephant in the room.

For everyone else, while checking the log for IP addresses can be quite compulsive, after I check one more time to make sure Anonymous read this, then I won't log back in unless something fishy comes up.

Peace out, homies! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Could there be a glimmer?

We may (hmmm... should probably stress that more), MAY be getting somewhere on the one-nap thing. Saturday Julia took her nap from 10:30am - 2:00pm. It was most inconvenient because I wanted to take her to L's party at 1:00, but the one thing I've learned very quickly is to not wake a sleeping baby. She tends to nap more on Saturdays - I think to make up for less naps during the week. Plus her mood is in the crapper when she wakes up. If you have ever played the Sims, she is like one of the Sims that literally takes an hour to get out of bed, and she's kicking and screaming and whining and generally discontent for that hour! On Sunday, she slept from 11:15am - 1:45pm. On Monday she slept from 1:05pm to 3:10pm. Just one nap only on all those days!

I almost had a cow when I looked at her food log for the day today. 4oz at 9:00am and then a solid lunch and then a solid snack. S quickly asked how much I took to daycare. I told him 12 oz. Well, if she had eaten only 4oz, she should come with 8 oz, right? Well, she came home with 2.5 oz. So they likely forgot to record a feeding...or they fed her bottle to another kid. But let's go with the theory they forgot until we know something different. She didn't act particularly starved when she got home. It was one of those days where both of her infant room teachers called in sick, and then they took her to the 1 year old room for part of the day as well. Considering all the hubbub and change, Julia actually did quite well (assuming she actually ate the other feeding that wasn't recorded).

I found the most fascinating product tonight. Benecalorie. It's 1.5 oz of powder, and it adds 330 calories to liquids. Supposedly it's tasteless. I'm resisting the urge to buy it for Julia.

Let me preface this by saying this failure to thrive thing is very difficult to deal with. It's difficult on so many levels. On a fundamental level, I cannot grasp Julia's issue with food. If you know me, you know that I LOVE food. If you ask me my favorite food, I will go on and on for an hour and list everything under the sun: enchiladas, chocolate-covered pretzels, pizza, cake, ice cream, cherries, chocolate, mashed potatoes, ravioli, etc. Food IS part of my essence. It's also part of why I struggle so hard with weight loss because if I don't have my favorite foods, it really does take away my zeal for life. If I didn't have my next meal to look forward to, then I'd be plain ol' sad. I know where I was when I had the best chocolate in my life. My mom had given me leftover Scottish money to spend at the Scottish gas station. I had no idea how much I had, and I was lusting after the chocolate bars. There was 1 kilo of chocolate; it was the biggest chocolate bar I had ever seen. The cashier there must have found me fascinating. I was literally touching it in awe (I was 19 years old and starstruck by a huge chocolate bar). I went over to her and said how much chocolate will all my money buy. She told me it was just enough to cover that BIG chocolate bar. I don't think it was. I think she just saw how IN LOVE I was with that bar of chocolate.

I ate that chocolate on the plane home, and it was the best chocolate ever. I had also pretty much starved on the Scotland trip because they do lots of red, greasy meat. I had lived on potato leek soup for a week, and that chocolate bar was pure heaven.

I don't 'get' why someone wouldn't like food. Okay, formula tastes like crap, I suppose I can understand that. Even though she does eat solids, she's not a great eater. And every doctor has told me that she likely will never be. I soooooo don't get it, but whatever. She doesn't have all my psychological issues with food. I should be happy with that part.

Now how to deal with it is another issue I struggle with. There are two basic schools of thought on this. My pal Wendy (shout out Wendy!) and my other pal R both have kids with similar issues, and they each approach it in a different way than I do. And they approach it in slightly different ways from each other. We each want our kid (and all the kids are girls) to thrive and eat and 'be normal.' It's just a different plan of action. Well, actually I don't really have a plan. I can't call mine a plan when it's far from the truth.

Leigh Ann and Rosemary, shout out to you two! Even though you have tiny babies too, I think of you in a different 'category' because your kids eat. I don't 'get' why your kids are so skinny considering how much they eat, but I guess they have fast metabolisms. Can Waylon and Andrea loan me their metabolisms for a month? Pleeeeeeease. I know you ladies are just as concerned about your kids' weight just like me. I'm NOT discounting that.

I plod along by concentrating her formula, and I reluctantly do that. I don't want to trick her into eating more food - I just want her to eat more food on her own. When she hit bottom (the 2nd percentile), I knew I would have to do something more than merely concentrating her formula. She was eating 13 oz a day and minimal 'meals.' As for possible remedies, there's tube feeding, there's Periactin (an antihistamine with the side effect of stimulating appetite), there's an antidepressant (with the side effect of suppressing her gag reflex), there's even more hypoallergenic formula with 'better' flavoring, there's Duocal (similar to Benecalorie but not quite as many calories), and I'm sure I'm forgetting several other methods.

When she got back up to the 5th percentile, I was encouraged that maybe she could do this ON HER OWN. I have faith in my little J. If I introduced her to more palatable foods, maybe she would unearth her mommy's genes in the way for zeal for eating, and she'd take off and become my human garbage disposal. A girl can hope, and there's been a lot of hope on my end. There's not much else to go on.

When you're in this situation, you have to follow your gut. I'm only 1/2 of the parental unit as well. Fortunately, S and I see the issue similarly although he's the more rational one. While we haven't said our policy out loud, I think it goes like this: If she's on the charts (2nd percentile or higher), we're going to plod through by just concentrating her formula. If she goes lower than that, we're going to really look hard at other methods.

I'm not saying that what others choose to do in this situation is wrong. They are merely taking a different path than we are. That's cool with me. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with taking a different path. And I feel like I need to know the different paths to take should we get desperate. We've been close to desperate - exceedingly close, and we could land ourselves right back there at any time.

Personally we're uncomfortable to give her medications just for the side effects. I really don't want to go the tube route. Why? It seems like it takes away her power. She's going to need to learn to eat on her volition, and tube feeding doesn't do that.

I have the least objections with the calorie supplements. I indeed think it's tricking her, and I'm trying to stay away from that. But...it's what I'd be most amenable to doing. And this Benecalorie stuff taunts me. If I could get 330 extra calories into her a day by adding it to her formula, that would be an extra 2,310 calories a week! That's 3/4 of a pound! Oh, that would take the edge off if I could get 3 extra pounds onto her in a month.

And then I stop myself as I type. I read that last sentence: "I could." It's not about her; it's about me. I would feel a whole lot better if she weighed more. But Little J, for whatever reason, feels just fine at approximately 18 pounds. She's not waking up to eat anymore at night (HOORAY, by the way!). While there may be some 'timing' issues at daycare, she doesn't go to bed hungry. She feels just fine at her weight. It's ME with the issue.

A sucky thing about being a parent is confronting your own personal crap that you bring into the parent/child relationship.

On that long-winded note provoked by Benecalorie, I'm going to try to hit the hay.

Stop! It's the protein police.

I've been a label reading addict for the past two days. Not looking for the normal calories/fat/fiber, but I'm looking for that protein line item that I always ignore. The whole protein obsession makes me think of Atkins. And even saying the name Atkins diet makes me want to convulse. I picture lots of raw eggs (why raw? I have no idea. I just picture massive amounts of raw eggs) and a big plate of steaks that are oozing blood. All with a side of greasy bacon. Atkins = that mental picture, and I immediately want to hurl.

The doctor made excellent points, which have been reiterated over and over already by Marie and Rachel. Now I'm on a protein search...but don't make me eat raw eggs, steak (oozing or not), or bacon.

Once I got over that mental hurdle, I investigated our freezer and pantry. Those turkey burgers from Costco? ONE patty (1/3 pound) has 35 grams of protein! That's almost 50% of the recommended amount in 200 calories of turkey. Awesome! And I've really started to become addicted to Boca patties. Being on Weight Watchers, they are only 1 point (70 calories, minimal fat, 5 grams of fiber). They also have 10 grams of protein each. Boca burgers may just be some sort of miracle food with being so low in points and relatively high in protein. A can of tuna fish has 26 grams of protein and 150 calories. Wow!

Turkey burgers require to be baked or grilled on George.
Tuna is really smelly.
But the Boca patties seem like they'd be really easy for work. I can eat a can of tuna for breakfast though.

*********************************

I like a good charity like the next person. After all, there are so many worthy causes out there. And each one of them seems to have some sort of fundraising walk/run. I thought in the past you pledged a dollar amount for each mile walked/ran. Now it’s more of a lump sum thing. People walk/run for various charities, and I do my online donation.

But I really struggle with the basket concept. We do this thing for our work charity where we create baskets and then other co-workers bid on them, and the money goes to the charity. I suppose it’s a good concept in theory, but often it ends up with spending so much money and time that doesn’t end up going to the charity. We’re told what kind of theme to use for our basket. Then we have to go get a basket, get that cellophane stuff (like I would ever have that stuff on hand!), buy stuff for the basket, put it together all pretty, etc. By the end of the whole deal, you’ve spent at least $100 for your part of the basket plus 3-4 hours of your time shopping and putting the darn thing together. Then you take it to the event, and then the basket only brings in $50 for the charity. So, what you in effect do is spend $150 (the $100 on the basket and the winner’s $50), and the charity ends up with $50. Does that make any sense???

I know the theory is supposed to be that people will bid up the basket to much higher than fair market value. That might happen with a richer audience. If you invite Bill Gates to the auction, a basket could go for the unsightly sum of $2,000. But I live on the part of the planet where the basket will go for less than fair market value.

Therefore, I think I will bow out of the basket creation business in the future and just donate money. It’s far less stressful and will end up with the charity getting more anyway because I suck at putting together auction baskets.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Call me a prude

Julia really hasn't had a "lovey" or security object. She has her pacifier, but for many months that's all she had. Then a month or two ago she started hugging her bottle of body wash as soon as she got into the bathtub. Sometimes she'd hold it for most of her bath. Kind of a weird security object, huh? The two of us were thinking we'd have to start putting her to bed with her body wash. Finally she's started to hug her purple lamb. So we've been putting the purple lamb to bed with her. Sometimes she reaches out and clings to it as she falls asleep. Yay - security object!

I'm starting to feel old and prudish. This morning S was mowing the lawn, and Julia was playing. I wanted the TV on in the background, and I found the "Best Week Ever" on VH-1. I love those shows that make fun of celebrities and reality shows. And it's easy to watch with Julia nearby. During a commercial break, there was a commercial for a vibrator. Okay, it was a "fingertip maasager," close enough for government work. I do not think that's appropriate. It's Sunday morning at 10am. Yeah, it's VH-1, but it's not like I was watching the Playboy Channel. Geez! So not appropriate. Maybe I'm 81 instead of 31. Some days I certainly feel like it.

Julia cut her foot yesterday. I'm not quite sure how she got such an evil cut, but I have a feeling it had something to do with her stiletto toes, and one toe scraped her other foot. But anyway, her toe bled on our sheets. I was using Oxyclean to get off the blood, and it was kind of cool to watch the Oxyclean work. The blood stain was really streaky, and the Oxyclean foamed on just the bloodstain. So there was streaky foam. It was really cool looking. Most of the time I use Oxyclean on tomato sauce and cheese sauce, and it doesn't do that on food stains. Or even poop stains. But it does some fantastic foam work on blood stains.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Customer Service and Nutrition

It seems like people lament that customer service has gotten worse over the years. I really don't think I have enough data to form any conclusion for myself. However, I do know I had an awesome customer service experience recently. I made a call to a 1-800 customer service line. You know the type --- 10 menus where you key everything in, and you eventually get to a real person and then you have to verify the same things verbally. I posed my question, and the person could have taken the easy route. But she hesitated and said she'd verify, and then when her verification didn't quite pan out, she checked her back-up system. She easily spent 10 minutes with me when she could have let me go much faster. I appreciated that. After the call, I went back to the website and wondered if there was a way to get in touch with her supervisor. I wanted to tell the supervisor that she really was excellent at what she does. Heck, the economy is in the crapper, and all their salaries are probably frozen, so maybe a compliment like that would make her day. I tried and tried, but I couldn't find any way to e-mail them. The only contact information is to just call that same 1-800 number. I guess I could have call the same number and ask to speak to a supervisor. I still remember her name - maybe I should do that.

Today I went to my nutritionist appointment. I went because I'm feeling soooo tired all the time. I know I should be taking a multivitamin and eating better. And, yep, I was told to 1) take a multivitamin, 2) take fish oil, 3) eat more PROTEIN (Mama Marie is nodding her head to that one because she always tells me to eat more protein), 4) stop eating refined sugar - easier said than done, and 5) get various blood tests taken. It's likely the placebo effect, but I must say that I ate 80 grams of protein today and took a multivitamin & feel a whole lot more energetic. Yeah, it's the placebo effect.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grrrrrrr

I am so angry. I tend to quickly get angry and then quickly cool down. So when I'm still angry 3 hours later, then I think to myself that I may legitimately have a reason to be angry.

The daycare report today said that Julia ate 7 ounces at daycare today. Not that great...but when you look closer, she had 4 ounces at 8:30am and 3 ounces at 4:00pm. Typically if she refuses a bottle, they list the time and say "refused." None of that is listed. The only entries are 8:30am, lunch with no liquids mentioned & nothing taken out of her sippy cup, and 4:00pm. They did say she was in the fishie room almost all day today. She has one nap listed from 1:00pm - 2:30pm.

How do I interpret this? I interpret her report card as they did not try to feed her a bottle between 9am and 4pm. And the stinkers fed her at 4pm, so when we get her home, she's not very hungry for dinner and then her bedtime bottle (of which we're lucky to get 3-4 ounces into her).

Wanna know how angry I was?

I drove to daycare and asked to speak to the center director. She was in a board meeting, so I explained my concern to the assistant director. The assistant director said that it looked like a long time between the two feedings and would talk with the teacher ... blah blah blah. I reiterated that Julia is failure to thrive and eats small amounts more frequently, and going this long between feeding attempts is way too long. I understand she's transitioning to the toddler room but please attempt to feed her since she's not great with the sippy cup blah blah blah. On my way out I see the rocket scientist Courtney (see previous blogs). She said that Julia was fussy when she woke up from her nap at 2:30. I wanted to scream, "Then why didn't anyone try to feed her?" But I restrained myself from screaming at her and strangling her. I was quite proud of myself actually!

I was still so angry that I went to the nearby Kindercare. I wondered what their toddler room was like. Unfortunately, they have the same 12-2 one nap thing. But.... from 8-12 months, they have a 'waddler' room. For 4 months they work on the transition from the infant room to the toddler room. 4 months!

The lady was kind of creepy. Well, SHE wasn't necessarily, but she was brainwashed into using weird terminology. They call the kids/children/infants 'friends.' It's really weird to listen to. "Most of our friends transition from the waddler room to the toddler room at 12 months." Why can't you call them children? It sounds kinda cult-like if you call them 'friends.' All the staff had walkie talkies. Kinda odd. And they all called each other "Miss So and So" even when the kids- I mean friends- weren't present. It's weird to observe adult-to-adult interaction where they call each other "Miss So and So." And the workers wear uniforms. I don't know, just a creepy vibe like you're in a place far, far removed from society at large. Michael Jackson kinda creepy.

Oh, one thing she did say was really odd. She first asked what my daughter's name was. I said Julia. She said she hadn't heard of it. Then I re-pronounced it to the very American woman because maybe I said it too fast or something and it sounded like some other name. Ju-li-a. She still looked at me blankly. In my year of telling people my daughter's name, no one has ever looked at me like I named her something off-the-wall. If she was Moonbeam or Sassafrass, I can see the puzzled look.

Yeah, I'll sum up the whole Kindercare experience as a Michael Jackson sort of creepy. Hell no will Little Sassafrass be going to Kindercare.

Overall, I am happy where she is now. I do not get a creepy vibe at all. I just think when she's between two different rooms, she gets lost in the shuffle & they forgot to attempt to give her a bottle. Maybe the toddler teacher tried to feed her, and she doesn't log refusals like the infant room.

Who really knows? Yet I really, really want to stay away from Kindercare. Heebie jeebie overload!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Addendum

I wish my addendum was that she ate another 3.5 oz. Instead, it's that I have to summarize what the sleep book said. It said to make bedtime earlier -> thus more rest -> thus less need for a morning nap. However, it did say an earlier bedtime could backfire. (I give them props for this!) Earlier bedtime could result in earlier wake time -> more need for a morning nap.

Today we actually put her to bed at 7:45. Maybe we can inch it up a little bit to 7:30. We'll see if that helps.

Julia has a lot of books, which I love. But we haven't had many places to put them. Her room is small and full with her crib, a changing table, a dresser, and a toy bin organizer full of toy bins. The books don't really go in the bins. For a while, I've just put the books in a wooden basket, but there's no order to it & we keep pulling out the book on top.

S brought a huge collection of Dr. Seuss into the relationship. While I certainly know Dr. Seuss has a place with green eggs and ham and the cat in the hat, I tend to prefer books that don't rhyme. Now that we have more books that don't rhyme, I'd like to give them some more face time.

So anyway I went to Target and spent a whole lot of time figuring out what would be the best way to go. I started out wanting a bookshelf. Though space in her room is limited, we could put in against a short wall next to her closet. There was a dollhouse bookcase that was cute, but it was white. Her furniture is all a shade of wood called honey - except for the toy organizer, which is white with pastel bins. I kept ambling at Target, and I finally found a wood cube organizer with 9 cubes. 5 of them were bookshelve-compatible, and 4 could fit those colored fabric baskets. I guess it's just a different spin on the toy organizer concept, but I liked that it was more flexible and seemed like a more valid piece of furniture than the toy organizer.

I picked the one that was the closest to her furniture color, and it matches! Wahoo! I love the way it looks. Honey-colored furniture with 9 holes, including 2 with beige fabric baskets and 2 with pink fabric baskets. S put it together tonight, and he even attached it to the wall. (Gotta love a husband that does extemporaneous assembling!) It looks so polished. You can see her books. Her toys are put away in the fabric baskets that you have to pull out to see what's in them. It looks like it "goes" with the room better. And the pastel toy organizer bins are now in the family room. It adds a bit more to our family room, but I think we put more of the toys in the bins it will clean up the mess from the floor and look better overall.

Her room finally looks "complete." It's difficult when you're trying to put together a room before the baby's born and you're not really sure what you're going to need or how you'll really use things. Sometimes you just gotta wing it until you take the time to conscientiously try to figure out what makes the most sense given the situation at hand. Til things change again!

We've got dwindling

June 8: 16 oz
June 9: 16 oz
June 10: 12.5 oz (ack, that's quite a dip! Let's hope she rebounds tomorrow.)

I despise a sleep book we have. It is such a load of crap. I despise people/books that tell you what you "have" to do and do not accommodate exceptions.

Let me take a time out and say that I do not like people who constantly think they themselves are always exceptions to a rule. I know someone like this, and it completely irritates me. Tell her a rule, and she will whine and complain until everyone acquiesces that, yes, she is an extra special exception to a rule.

But, back to the subject at hand, not every kid is a cookie cutter replica of the prototypical kid. Whoever wrote this sleep book is kind of crazy or has had the prototypical child. I don't have the prototypical child. I'm not going to raise her with the belief she is the exception to every rule, but I do think there should be some flexibility for individual differences. When I read how much and what the prototypical should eat or when and for how long the prototypical child should sleep - and mine doesn't do the same thing - then I feel completely inadequate. And I can certainly try to work on sleeping and eating with her, but it's not completely in my control how much she eats or sleeps. Then I fret about having this freak of a child, and in actuality I'm sure she's not as freakish as lactation consultants/doctors/sleep writers make her out to be.

Pet peeve list:

-Lactation consultants who say she HAS to eat 22 ounces a day as a newborn. She only ate about 14 ounces, and I thought I was starving her.

-Dieticians who say I HAVE to get 27 concentrated ounces into her a day + 3 meals at 7 months old. All I have to say is HA! followed by tears because I know that will never happen. And it never did.

-Sleep writers who say every child should take a nap from 12-2 by the time they're a year old.


The toddler room transition is going well except for eating and sleeping. She's interacting with others and playing well. Eating is going okay except for the whole milk/formula from a sippy cup. She can do 3-4 ounces of juice a day from the sippy now. This is BIG for her since she would only take water for several weeks!!! But even though it's a victory, we're still very far from the finish line. And she still struggles with tilting her cup; she likes someone to tilt it for her. (And she still won't hold her own bottle.) When she's so apathetic about eating, it's hard to get her to initiate it herself.

This nap thing is a real struggle. The goal for the toddler room is for her to nap from 12-2. This is also what the sleep book said she should have mastered by 12 months. But it's just not how she operates. She wakes between 6am-7am. She takes about a 30 minute nap at about 10am. Then she takes a 2 hour nap from 2-4. She goes to bed at 8pm. We and daycare have been trying to keep her up later in the morning. But even though they can keep her awake til 11:30am, she takes a 30 minute nap still. Then she's awake another 3-4 hours, and then she starts her long nap starting at 3pm or 4pm. That means we have to wake her up when we pick her up, she's cranky, then we put her back to bed to finish her nap when she gets home.

So you see why I'm consulting the stupid book? I'm trying to figure out how to coerce her to take her long nap from 12-2. It gets frustrating when they say what the kid SHOULD be doing. I better read the stupid book. Maybe there will be actual productive tips that I (and daycare) can use.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whatever Makes You Happy

People have all sorts of hobbies. And, really, I am cool with whatever hobby you have. Heck, if you're a dominatrix on the side - that's fine (but please don't recruit me). If you antique shop - that's cool (but please don't invite me). If you sell Pampered Chef, awesome but please don't solicit me more than once a year. I really am fine with almost any hobby that adults do voluntarily.

But I really, really don't understand why my neighbor pressure washes his driveway compulsively for two hours a night at least once a month. Hey, it's his spare time. He can do whatever he wants. I'm not going to stop him (unless it's 11pm when he gets his pressure washing compulsion). My head, though, really grapples with the concept of why anyone would spend so much of his precious free time doing something so non-sensical. I suppose I can grasp why you may want to pressure wash a driveway every 10 years or so. Not that I ever would, but I guess I can grasp the concept of cleaning miscellaneous ick off concrete once a decade. The pressure washing once a month thing is kinda odd. That's more often than some people vacuum the inside of their house.

To each his own, and he must really love pressure washing concrete. Or he bought a pressure washer as a toy to play with, so he uses that as an excuse to play with it. Oh, who knows! I want to tell him that he can pressure wash our driveway if he wants to feel really productive. After all, we've never pressure washed our concrete. The thought has never crossed my mind. I honestly don't think it ever would had I not seen him out there pressure washing. I don't get the point of it, and even if I did grasp the point, I wouldn't use any of my free time outside with the pressure washer.

Dude, whatever makes you happy. And if it raises your property value, which in turn raises our property value, all the better! :)

My neighbors must hate me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vacation Inaction

We are so bad about taking vacations. Let's see... we've taken a honeymoon. And we've taken the trip to Arizona to see S's parents - oh, that was family obligation. There was that trip to Pittsburgh when my dad was on his deathbed - oh, that was also family obligation. There was San Diego - oh, that was for work & I was by myself. Um, um, yep, that's it, folks.

We have only taken 1 "vacation" as a couple in 9 years of marriage. We're just not "vacation" people. Sleeping in a strange bed in a strange city just doesn't do it for me. Unplug the phone and give me a week in my own house over a vacation any day.

The in-laws are coming for two weeks in July. This allows us an opportunity to get away without Miss J. So what should we do?

I contemplated a cruise. I've always wanted to take a cruise. All you can eat food and playing games? That's right up my alley!

We contemplated going to Skamania for a few days. What to do there? Not much, but there's a great fireplace...though, in July, I'm not sure how much we'd take advantage of that. There's not much else to do in Skamania except play golf. And you know what rockin' golfers we are. :) Hmmm...

I contemplated going to Portland for a few nights.

Jamaica anyone?

I have off on Wednesday. Maybe I'll spend the day seeing if we can get any last minute travel deals.

The best impetus to get out of the house is to know the in-laws will be staying with us for over two weeks. I wish I was kidding. Oh, S, I AM kidding! How could I not be enamored with watching Fox News all day, listening to the toilet flush all night long, listening to complaints about the Seattle weather and how much better it is in Arizona, how we fail as suburbanites for not owning a grill, how we fail as suburbanites for not tending to our yard better, and hearing the same exact stories for the 85th time--remember that time I was on TTY, Madeline, and S put a screwdriver in the roof of his mouth? Hey, at least they'll watch Miss J, and I can't say that about my own mom.

Therefore, take advantage of the babysitting and get the heck out of town!!!

Isn't there some website where people rent out their houses and such?

Help! I take vacation ideas.

Recent Foibles

Are these Julia foibles or Julia’s parent foibles? And would Julia like me to talk about these things? Probably not.

Incidence 1: Birthday Party Poop Explosion
In an effort to have her dressed and ready to go for her birthday party, we dressed her after breakfast despite the party starting at 1pm. The theory was that she’d wake up from her nap already dressed, so we could just put a comb through her hair, and she’d be ready to go. As you know, things don’t always work out – particularly on birthday party day. She was extremely tired extremely early, so we reluctantly put her down for a nap at 10am. We were hoping for a good 2.5 hour nap, but of course she chose to have an hour long nap. So she was up at 11am. And….she had pooped. I can only remember one other time that Julia pooped while she was in her crib, and she was about a month old. (She usually poops next to the coffee table.) And there was poop all over her sheet, blanket and stuffed bear. Surprisingly, her outfit didn’t seem to get dirty, but who wants to take chances on birthday party day? So we start a load of laundry and had to dry her outfit solo to make sure she could have it back on by birthday party time.

Incidence 2: Tub Poop
Every time I’ve bathed Julia I’ve waited for the tub poop to come. It’s the inner dread I have because it will be a pain to get her clean, get the tub clean, get her non-skid mat clean and sanitize everything else, including toys. And if she poops while she’s in a few inches of water, which of all these do you tackle first? Obviously I need to think about other things when I bathe her because it’s kind of warped and twisted. Is it so bad of me to be thankful her first tub poop occurred when I was at the store? Daddy got to deal with it. Now he’s a pro at this, and now I’m even more paranoid about tub poop since it’s already happened once.

Incidence 3: Humidity
We’ve had a humidifier in her room for the past few weeks since the onset of the croup-y cough. This morning we were playing in her room, and she was getting a bit rambunctious. And she plowed into the humidifier, and it tipped. Water everywhere! There had to be at least a liter of water all over the carpet. I tried to soak it up with some towels, but that’s a lot of water. Oh, where to put the humidifier? I didn’t want to put it on the wood furniture. Unfortunately, there’s not anywhere else to put it. Memo to self: 1 year old + full humidifier = trouble.

A-golfing we will go

I've mentioned that we live on a golf course, but we don't golf. The owners of the golf course have been looking to sell the golf course to a developer. Why? Well, the golf course isn't all that profitable, and it's many, many acres. Many, many acres fetches a lot of money in the open market when raw land for new houses is scarce.

When nearby communities found out that the golf course had a buyer, everyone got hot under the collar. Many of the communities tout that they are on the golf course, and if the golf course becomes 800 houses, "On the Greens" is going to become "On the Ghetto." (Not my wording - theirs)

For the past several years, there has been court action about the sale.

We were just told that there is wording in our neighborhood's development agreement that the golf course would stay a golf course in perpetuity, and in order to amend that, a majority of the homeowners would have to agree to change it. And I highly doubt that would ever happen.

So it looks promising that the golf course will stay a golf course in the coming years.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Baby Pudge



Here's a test shot with our new camera. Doesn't her face look kinda pudgy? It's merely the angle, but I do have a certain affinity for apparent baby pudge - even if it is just the angle. Her poor hair. S doesn't like a ponytail on the top of her head (a la Pebbles). Her hair's not quite long enough for two ponytails. And she does not have the patience for a bow clip to be put in her hair. Not sure what else we can do with her hair.

She's got her top right tooth coming in! I think you can even see it in the picture. She's been a little fussier than usual this weekend. Is it teething, or is it the milk-based formula? I have no idea.

We tried to work on the nap today. When she moves to the fishie room (1 year olds), they only take 1 nap a day. Julia, like her mom, is a two nap a day person. We kept her up until 11:30am (she usually naps around 9:30am), and she slept 2 hours. Decent, except she was beyond exhausted starting at 6pm. We put her to bed at a little after 7pm instead of at 8pm.

It would be nice if she could transition to 1 nap a day on her own schedule instead of now. She's ready to be a fishie as far as motor and social development; we just have to work on the nap and formula out of a sippy cup.

Buenas noches.

Food Journal

June 1st - start Nystatin - 19.5 oz
June 2nd - Nystatin - 21 oz
June 3rd - Nystatin - 22 oz (net - lost a couple oz due to eating too much in one sitting)
June 4th - Nystatin - 19 oz
June 5th - Nystatin - 17 oz

Starting June 6th 25% of bottle is Gentlease / 75% is Alimentum.
June 6th - Nystatin - 15 oz
June 7th - Nystatin - 16 oz