Thursday, July 30, 2009

The things I wonder

Do rich people have heated toilet seats? Due to the heat wave, I have a really toasty toilet seat. I wonder if people can buy something that will warm it to this toasty temperature Mother Nature gave me.

How does this diaper sizing work? Miss J has never outgrown a diaper. I merely run out of one size and then move her up to the next. Except in the case where I ran out of size 2, moved her up to size 3, but she was way too tiny for size 3. Then I exchanged 2 boxes of size 3 for size 2. After those exchanged boxes were finished, I moved her up to size 3 & she was much more comfy in size 3's. The package says size 3 is from 16-28 pounds. Since she's 19 lbs and a very slow grower, can I safely assume she'll be in size 3 until she's 28 pounds? That will be when she's like 4 years old, so she'll never outgrow them.

Size 4 starts at something like 22 pounds. Do you move them to size 4 when they hit 22 pounds?

What do you do with the fuzzy phase of when they fit into size 3's and size 4's?

Gaps in Knowledge

Remember "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Regis Philbin would ask questions of increasing difficulty of the contestant in the hotseat until the person got one wrong or decided to walk away. There were quite a few people who got the first question wrong, and those questions were always "easy" by conventional standards.

I took a testing course in college. It was a fascinating class where we analyzed all sorts of tests. I remember when we were learning about the SAT, it was shown that there aren't really difficult questions on the SAT. Between 70-80% of the test takers get each question right. It's just difficult, though not impossible, to get ALL of the questions correct unless you really know your stuff. That's because the typical test taker - or contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" - has some gaps in knowledge or aptitude.

Those poor people who bomb out on the first question of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" likely don't want to lose face by not knowing the answer to an "easy" question, so they don't want to use a lifeline and therefore guess incorrectly. You gotta feel bad for them.

So I'll admit I have a huge gap in knowledge. I really don't know anything about Watergate. I know it's named for the hotel. There was something about burglars stealing tapes. It involved Nixon and caused him to resign. But I don't know any details or what the whole evidence on tapes was about.

This morning I watched Frost/Nixon. It was a really good movie; however, I STILL don't know what Watergate was really about. I was hoping to learn more about what actually went on. It was more about Frost trying to get Nixon to admit that he made mistakes and regretted them.

Now I'll have to google it and get the Cliff Notes version.

The reason for my huge gap in more recent US history is because I never "got" to it in school. Junior high seemed to focus on Columbus and explorers. My first year in high school we were in world history. Then I went off to college and could pick from a selection of classes in order to fulfill the history requirement. I picked 1800s US history. I never took a political science class either, so I seemingly "skipped" 1900s US history.

Let's say the gap has led to some embarrassing moments, such as when I thought McCarthy and MacArthur were the same person. Hey, they were alive around the same time!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yeah yeah yeah

I know, I said I would try to curb my weather whining. But now the stupid butt weather forecast says it will hit 100 tomorrow. And I'm not thinking what you think I'm thinking. Okay, maybe I am, but I'm also irritated because daycare will be closed AGAIN! Yes, it was closed today because the forecast was over 100. The daycare is actually much cooler than our house due to the shady area and better cross breezes. So S worked from home to take care of Julia (it was his turn since I stayed home 2 weeks ago when she was puking). Tomorrow it's my turn; it would be nice to go to work where it's cooler. It's not like she's sick - the stupid butt daycare doesn't have A/C. Every other freaking daycare on the planet has A/C. And this whole thing is even more stupid since our house is 94 degrees. No A/C either; it's not like we have it any better. We're much hotter than the daycare anyway. That's with fans going, windows strategically opened, etc. We've all been sleeping on the family room floor because Julia's room is completely inhospitable (as in 100 degrees).

Getting a child to sleep in the family room sucks. It's taken us 2 hours to get her to sleep every night in 90 degree temperatures in an environment she's not used to sleeping in. The two of us aren't in great moods, so let's just say Julia's getting on our last nerve. Not only do we spend all day trying to feed her, we are now struggling to get her to go to sleep. We all sleep crappy since it's so freaking hot & we're on the floor.

Lots of swearing in my head. Yes, I'm sooooo cranky and fed up with this weather.

FED UP!!! And you'll say to go get a portable air conditioner. Ha, I challenge you to find one in Western Washington. Really, people are even stealing each other's fans at work. A/C units can probably only be found on the black market.


I went to the grocery store this evening. It was kind of funny because I saw a high school classmate. He didn't recognize me - oh, the good luck/bad luck to being the type to completely fade into the background in any social situation. And I have the good/bad fortune to recognize any face and name I've ever met. And I remember a good deal of things about them too.

I wanted to go up to him and say, "Hi, Matt ____ (I know his last name, just not putting it here). Remember we were in 10th grade Spanish with Senora Tenoco? You sat behind me. I remember how you were involved in the police explorers club, and you wanted to be a police officer. You even carried yourself like a police officer. I have to know if you work in law enforcement now. Remember that time we ended up at Homecoming with bad dates and we shared a dance and a laugh? Your dad was an elementary principal, wasn't he? Is he still a principal, or has he retired? Your sister Amy was older than you and has a disability. How is she doing? What's she been up to?"

Yeah, I sound like a complete psycho stalker. I swear, I'm not. I know that's how I would come across though even if I lied a little and said, "Hey, you look familiar. Did you go to high school around here?" His eyes didn't even register me as he walked by, so I thought I would be weird to say anything. Then he'd think I was interested in him.

I never was. Short, red-hair and liked law enforcement and old Chevys. Sooooo not me. I have problems with authority and would like a man to weigh more than me. Then there's that thing that I'm married with a spastic toddler who doesn't eat. :)

The Girls of Summer

I’ve been so cranky and miserable that it’s not worth posting a whiny “It’s hotttttttttttttttt” blog entry. But for the record, it is indeed very hot, and we don’t have air conditioning. Perhaps I could survive a 5-day heatwave better if it hadn’t been 80 degrees for the past few months. But to have 80 degrees for a few months, with no rain, and then mid-90s to 100 degrees with little relief in sight, I kind of see some justification to my whining.

Anyway, I will try not to whine too much. I don’t think I’ve whined about the heat that much for the past several months. While I don’t like 80 degrees, I can tolerate it. If the indoor temperature of our house is 70 at night and 80-82 during the day, I won’t even whine much or even at all. After all, it’s summer. When the indoor temperature exceeds 90 degrees during the day and doesn’t go any lower than 82 at night, it’s unbearable. Particularly with a toddler that doesn’t drink much. I already worry enough about her. Don’t make me worry that she has some serious dehydration issues in this excrutiatingly hot house.

Not much is going on. It seems like everyone is literally lying low around here. The in-laws will be back on Saturday. It’s good that they’ll watch Julia next week. After utter crankiness and sleeping on the floor for the past several days, I’m not sure how long I can fake a good disposition when the “wet your whistle” comments and deafening TV volumes start back up. Julia was actually eating solids for them. That’s more than I can say that she’s done for me recently. So I’ll take the extra help and try really hard to have a good disposition despite being hot and miserable.

Julia had a BLAST playing with the sprinkler last night. The girl loves her liquids outside her body instead of inside her body, that’s my theory. There was plenty of playing and smiling to be had by her. At the end of her playing, her teeth were chattering due to all the cold water. Eh, within a few minutes of being inside her body was boiling again.

Oh, and for the record, we weren’t watering the grass for any altruistic reason toward the grass. The thought was that if we sprayed lots of water into the air, it would cool off the air that was coming into the house. Not sure how much that worked, but at least Julia got some entertainment out of it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Somewhere between granny panties and a thong

Since I was a teenager, I've tried to pay no more than $1 for a pair of underwear. And for the better part of 15 years, that's what I paid. Until now.

I've found myself surrounded by horrid pairs of underwear that I would be so embarrassed to be caught wearing when I am run over by that bus. And I can't find a pair of underwear for $1 or less.

I know you're already laughing about the $1 for a pair of underwear. That's indeed how I roll.

Like my affinity for the grocery outlet has worn off, so has my hope that I can stay within my $1 for a pair of underwear budget. Not only do I think inflation has creeped up past $1 a pair, so has my underwear likes.

The goal is to buy multiple pairs of black, cotton, bikini underwear in my size (can wear medium, large or extra large- I don't get it, but whatever). I would add the $1 criteriaithere, but I've decided to throw that criteria out the window.

So today I went shopping for black, cotton, bikini underwear in my size. It was an exercise in futility.

First of all, what in the heck are hipkini (kinda like bikini but covers more???) and hipster and boy shorts? I found a $3 rack at Target, but it was full of these inferior underwear cuts.

Then I go to those packaged ones - Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, etc. They all have those weird underwear cuts too and then the dreaded briefs (i.e., granny panties). I can't find an all black package to save my life. There might be a token black one in there along with a nude color (who likes that color? Someone must buy it, but I really don't think it flatters most people), a gray, and a white. Not only are bikini packages are slim pickins, but there's no packages of just black underwear.

On the hanging racks there are some black ones, but they aren't bikini cut (they're either granny panties or thongs, seems like there's no in between), or they aren't cotton.

Then I went to Sears. Same problem. Then I gave up on the underwear search.

Please, underwear manufacturers, make some black bikini cotton underwear. I didn't think I was asking for a lot, but apparently I was. And if you're really feeling generous, can you put 3-5 of the black pairs in the same package??

Can I Get Her on the Payroll?

Have I said how much I adore the 8 year old girl Kaylee at daycare? Julia adores her, and Kaylee adores Julia. She's at the daycare full-time as a student during the summer, and she spends quite a bit of time with Julia. Do I care that Julia's unofficial caregiver is an 8 year old? I'm actually more impressed with her unofficial caregiver than her official caregiver. At least in the toddler room.

Every time I give the official caregiver special instructions (as in, don't feed her an afternoon snack because she's having a medical procedure OR give her the sippy cup I brought for every meal and snack), they get ignored. Somehow I think that if I told the 8 year old, the instructions would be followed. Back when we used an infant carrier, Kaylee even knew which carrier was Julia's (no one else who worked there did).

Today at dropoff, after being gone a week, Julia was clingy. I knew she'd scream if I set her down, and I was dreading the moment. So I was carrying her around as I was putting things away (yeah, I don't trust the toddler teacher to not get her stuff mixed up with someone else's, so I do it myself). The toddler teacher is tending to a kid, and in bursts Kaylee through the door. I'm not sure if she saw us come in or what. I do know she has to get permission to leave her normal classroom before coming in. Kaylee screams, "Julia!" After all, they haven't seen each other in over a week. Julia looks at Kaylee, gives her a bright smile, and Kaylee takes her from my arms. Screaming crisis averted, and Kaylee starts twirling with Julia, who is laughing up a storm.

And that, folks, is why I love that 8 year old. She's totally getting a Christmas bonus from me. Or a Christmas in July bonus. What can I do for her??? Is homemade stuff out? Isn't it tacky to hand someone cash? Oh what to do!

Can I already book her for babysitting gigs when she turns 13? I love this kid.

Can daycare put her on the payroll? Seriously, I wouldn't mind. It's a win/win for everyone. Julia gets 1:1 attention from Kaylee. The toddler teacher doesn't have to deal with Julia as much. I get peace of mind. Kaylee might be the one who gets the short end of the stick, but for whatever reason she seemed ecstatic to see Julia & she could have some pocket money.

I guess what warms my heart the most is that someone aside from the infant teachers really cares about Julia and takes the time to treat her so nicely.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The protein doesn't add up

I just watched Haunting in Connecticut. I love scary movies, and if they're based on a true story, even more creepy! Maybe I'm getting jaded, though, but the kid who becomes possessed by the dead spirits in an old house storyline is getting tired and repetitive. Remember Poltergeist and the Exorcist and Amityville Horror and a multitude of poor man's versions of the aforementioned?

We think we may have stumbled on a new sippy cup concoction. For whatever reason, Julia has refused to take formula, milk, Pediasure, Boost, Splash or any such derivative from a sippy cup. For the longest time, she only took water. Then we got her to take apple juice. Then we tried to put milk (ick, I know) into her apple juice. The more milk we put in, the less she drank. A girl can't live on apple juice alone. :(

We've still been keeping up with the formula/bottles since her sippy cup intake has been so weak (0-5 oz a day). She doesn't take in much since she, well, doesn't really eat or drink a whole lot. She's probably taking in about 10-15 oz a day of formula from a bottle. 10 - 20 oz a day total.

We finally migrated her from apple juice to orange juice with calcium and vitamin D. We put milk in it for a few weeks. Eh, not a whole lot of difference from the apple juice/milk concoction. She'd drink up to 5 oz a day from a sippy cup.

Someone suggested that we try half & half. Her son HATES milk and all milk products, but he loves orange juice with half & half. You know me, I'm all for seeing if there's a magical potion that will get Julia to eat.

We have added half & half to her orange juice in a sippy cup for the past 3 days, and she's hit 9 oz a day from the cup for all 3 days!!!! Now, it may not be the half & half. She's had an ear infection, and ear infections can cause bottle refusal due to the sucking. So it may be because of her ear infection that she's using the cup more. Or it could be that it's sooooo hot that she's more willing to drink from the cup. Or it could be the half & half.

I wonder if she can keep up the orange juice + half & half for the long-term. I guess I don't really grasp half & half all that much. It's half cream, and half milk. But I don't understand the protein math. Cream has 0 grams of protein, and milk has 8 grams of protein per serving. Now if half & half is half of each, shouldn't it have 4 grams of protein? It only has 1 gram.

And if half & half is half milk and half cream, can I make my own? Wouldn't that be 4 grams of protein that way?

I don't know what else to do since she keeps refusing milk. As in, she will spit it out. This is the best (highest calorie) workaround I can find. I know it doesn't have the protein of regular milk, but if she won't drink regular milk, then I'm not quite sure what to do.

In the meantime we're keeping up the bottles with formula in them. See why I'm so reluctant to give up the bottles? At least we know there's protein and vitamins in the formula.

Have I ever said that I didn't get an easy-going, go with the flow baby? I know at some point, I'm going to better appreciate her tenacity, her stubbornness, her passion for her beliefs. But right now I'm more in the camp that I just want her to eat and drink enough without going on her Gandhi-like hunger strikes on the principle that milk is yucky. The allergist swears up and down that she's not allergic to milk. It's very likely a preference issue.

Fry an egg on the windowsill

It is HOT!!! And it's only going to get worse this week. Mid-90s all flipping week!

I'm not one to complain about the weather much because I picked to live in a climate closest to what I can tolerate, and why complain about the weather because you can't change it. The lone exception is the torturous heatwave that has been happening and will continue to happen for the near term. I'm hot, cranky, impatient (or more so than normal) and tending to a hot, cranky and impatient toddler who doesn't understand that a cool washcloth and a fan is the best she's going to get right now.

I really, really dislike the heat. It's rained 2 days all summer, it's been really really hot, even the weeds in our yard are dead, and I'm reaching "fed up with the heat" status.

At least work is air conditioned. I feel bad for Miss J because daycare isn't. :(

What part of "not hold" do you not understand?

Julia has been sleeping like crap lately. And I think we figured out why.

When Grandpa and Grandma were here, they would hold her til she fell asleep. We don't do that. We put her in her crib, she rolls over and goes to sleep. Now she has been screaming 2+ hours when we put her down to sleep for the past few days.

Ugh!!!!! I hate this! She is so stubborn and can hold out for a really long time.

And the grandparents will be coming back in a week. Just when we'll be undoing what they did, they'll hold her to sleep yet again.

We told them repeatedly while they were here to NOT do that. But Grandpa cannot hear Precious cry for more than 30 seconds without saying, "What are you doing to my granddaughter?"

Grandparents who spoil + the most stubborn baby in the world = a very, very frustrating weekend.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bearded Ladies and other oddities of life

- It seems like the new thing is to have toilet paper holders that only are attached in one spot. When we remodeled the master bathroom, we got one like this. And there was one at the B&B last week. What a stupid invention! Really, you need toilet paper holders to be attached in two spots. Otherwise, a stray hand (or a stray baby) will launch the roll of toilet paper. When it's only attached in one spot, you merely slide the roll onto the spindle, which is easier. But it's soooo not secure.

- Why does Marie Callender's have a salad bar for $10.50 when they have menu items that are $6 & it costs $3 to add a salad bar? I don't get why you would pay $1.50 more for less food.

- Strange looking employee at Blockbuster. It looked like a lady in her 20s, but she had a beard. Yes, a beard. As in tufts of hair sprouting off her chin. I am stymied about what is going on with her. I don't know about you, but most women in their early 20s are self-conscious about facial hair. So if she indeed had some weird beard thing going on, then you'd think she'd wax it.

That leads me to believe the beard is purposeful. So is she a woman who wants to be a man? Or is she a man who's becoming a woman? I kinda wish Julia was at that age of 3 or 4 when she'd ask in her naive child way, I could admonish her, but perhaps the employee would say what is actually going on.

- Let's not talk about Julia's sleeping in the past 24 hours. Let's just say there have been "issues."

- I wonder if half & half is a liquid version of speed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The advantage of not tending to your yard

Believe it or not, there's more than the advantages of saving time and money when you don't take care of your yard. When your neighbors go on vacation for 2 weeks, they don't ask you to take care of their yard in their absence. I mean, why would they ask the people whose only form of lawn maintenance is mowing the weeds every 3 weeks? That would be stupid unless you want to kill every living thing in your yard.

Why not ask the saps across the street who actually take care of their yard to tend to your yard while you're away?

I come home today and see the neighbors from across the street tending to next door's yard.

I'm soooo glad I wasn't asked. Who really wants to spend the evening in the heat watering the neighbor's lawn and pulling their weeds? Yes, the neighbors across the street were even pulling my neighbor's weeds! I personally would only feel responsible for the weeds that occurred during my yardsitting, and I know those weeds they pulled had been around far longer than a week. That's called going above and beyond.

Yep, so glad no one would even think of asking me to do lawn maintenance in their absence.

I have my skills. I'll bake you cookies. I'll balance your checkbook. I'll alphabetize your DVD collection. I'll give you real estate or financial planning advice. I'll attempt to help you to get your kid to eat more. But please don't make me tend to your yard when I don't have the gumption to even tend to my own.

A Father's Quest

We went out for our date night... and got home by 9pm. Yep, that's how we roll. We had decided to go play mini golf in Tukwila. Back where I'm from (Pittsburgh), we really know how to do mini golf and amusement parks. The mini golf courses in Pittsburgh are quite elaborate. Here? Not so much. We've been to all of the local mini golf places, and none can even come close to the Pittsburgh courses. The amusement parks around here are laughable.

The place was nice and fairly quiet for a Friday night. It has games and mini golf. They operate on a token system, so you have to buy a card and then the card acts as a gift card for buying tokens and attractions. When S is operating the mini golf tokens, it spits out 2 balls even though he only ran his card once. If we were completely ethical, we would have told the cashier. But we were slightly confused and thought perhaps we had it wrong. We play. There seemed to only be three types of holes: 1) knock it into a house and have it spit out below where the hole is 2) just straight into a hole (very basic) and 3) knock it off a 90 degree elbow/angle. Can we have some more creativity...please? Despite the non-creative holes, I lose, as I always do at mini golf. We bet who gets to get up with Miss J, so that part kind of sucked since I'll be up tonight at least twice.

After we play, we check the card and see we still have $7 in tokens on it. Then we decide to play skeet ball. For what it's worth, I'm much better at skeet ball on the Wii than in real life. I'm also better at bowling on the Wii; I never get a gutter ball when I play on the Wii. In real life, I never get out of the gutter. So, anyway, we use 10 tokens on skeet ball. We have a bunch of tickets, and then we decide to check out the prizes. S immediately sets his eyes on a rubber ball. I immediately set my eyes on candy. He comments how much Miss J would like that ball. I, per usual, am staring at the Fun Dips and swirl lollipops. The ball was 200 tickets, which I thought was well out of our range. The lollipop was 15. Fun Dips were 25.

We keep playing skeet ball, and at the end of $7 in tokens we have 199 tickets. I'm fine with 199 tickets worth of candy, but S has his eye on that ball. He thinks that if we spend $1 more in tokens, we can earn enough tickets to get Miss J the ball and me a lollipop.

Is the guy sweet or what? He is set on getting his little girl a ball. Yeah, you can buy the ball in a store for $1, but I really think his male ego is wanting to win it for Miss J. Endearing and slightly crazy, but that's him.

We end up with 226 tickets. Miss J gets her ball, and I get 2 lollipops. And S gets nothing because he's not really a candy fan, and he wanted his winnings to go to Miss J.

Behold the ball:

And Daddy sterilized said ball as soon as it entered the house. Is Miss J a Daddy's girl or what?

What to do?

S’s parents are here one more night before they leave for a week. So we get a night out! Wahoo! Except we can’t figure out what to do. We went out for so much food in the past week on vacation that we’re kind of “food’ed out,” but maybe this time we can go out to eat and stay within my diet. That would be a novelty! That means salad bar or Mongolian Grill. There’s not really any movies that mutually pique both of our interests. He’s sci fi and fantasy; whereas, I’m thriller, scary movies and stupid comedies. We occasionally find middle ground on romantic comedies.

We talked about the comedy underground. It’s really seedy – sticky tables, sticky floor, smelly, etc.

I checked out the plays that are playing in the area. It’s mostly Shakespeare in the park. Eh, we’re not big Shakespeare fans, and I’m allergic to the park. So that’s out. I did see one play that looked somewhat interesting. I sent the link to S to see what he thinks.

Date Night is starting to look weary. Any ideas???

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I gained a newborn

Ick, I just stepped on the scale. I wanted a preview for tomorrow's weigh in. I knew it would be bad since I had gluten and dairy, lots of both, on my vacation. And my theory was that it was better to throw my pity party now instead of tomorrow morning. Drumroll... I gained a newborn in a week. I have no one but to blame but myself. Sheesh, talk about weight gain!

I'm back in the saddle after vacation, but it's going to take several weeks to get back where I was. Eating out is so expensive, and it throws off my diet mojo. And let's not forget how awful the tummy was feeling from Saturday - Tuesday. It's just better all around if I stick to the diet.

These politicians... I really don't get them. If I lived my life in the public eye, I would stay on the straight and narrow. Do you know how many people would love to blackmail you for every little thing? So I wouldn't solicit sex in the bathroom, wouldn't have a gay lover, wouldn't have a soul mate lover in Argentina, and I wouldn't be trafficking human body parts or fake designer purses. Heck, I don't do any of that now! But I especially wouldn't do it if I lived a public life.

Have they released MJ's toxicology results? I know the family is claiming murder, but that's got to be because of elevated levels of something in his system. Heck if I know what happened, but I do know the man had a whole slew of psychological issues. Pill addiction is not out of the realm of possibility. I'm not in the camp that he was murdered unless some persuasive evidence comes out.

Better hit the hay. I have a feeling Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless is going to wake up again tonight.

Little Weiners

With the advent of Grandmom and Grandpop watching Julia, they’ve been offering her more foods than she normally gets offered. That is good that her food horizon is expanding. I’m trying to repress my disdain that they’ve given her a Happy Meal and an Auntie Anne’s pretzel though. I didn’t want Julia to know about fast food for many more years. Oh well.

One thing they have offered her that she really likes is Vienna sausages. I have never had the things, but if you take them on looks and smell alone, they are very nasty. Worse than spam. To me they look like little penises floating in goo. The way Julia holds them and gnaws on them makes me feel bad for the little penis sausages. I picked up two more cans of penis sausages this morning. Hey, at 130 calories for 3 penises + 12 grams of fat + 5 grams of protein, I’m going to put up with the smell.

Mother-in-law is obsessed with Tupperware and Ziploc bags. Seriously, this woman should own stock in both. If 4 slices of cucumber are remaining, into a Ziploc bag they go! I myself would just eat the 4 slices of cucumber. Our refrigerator is full of Ziploc bags with small pieces of food and suspicious looking Tupperware. Let’s say you heat up some vegetables in a Pyrex bowl and don’t eat them all. I myself (yes, I’m lazy) would put saran wrap over the Pyrex bowl and put it into the fridge. Mother-in-law’s method is to take the leftovers out of the Pyrex bowl and put them into Tuppeware. Okay, that’s fine. I get it. But the part I really don’t get is the way MIL downsizes the Tupperware as you start to eat the leftovers. For some reason, the Tupperware must exactly fit the food in it. So if you start out with a 4-cup piece of Tupperware and then scoop out some leftovers onto a plate, she will repackage the leftovers in a 2-cup piece of Tupperware. Her method uses a Pyrex bowl, two pieces of Tupperware, 2 lids. My method uses a Pyrex bowl.

I do not know how we generate so much trash when the in-laws are staying with us. 4 bags of trash in a week. With us and Julia, we only generate 1.5 bags, and that includes her diapers. So father-in-law says in his know-it-all voice, “You need a bigger trash can.” The same voice that also says Julia’s tired and not hungry when she’s screaming. No, we don’t need a bigger trash can. You two generate gobs and gobs of trash in some weird, mysterious way. Well, actually it’s not that weird and mysterious because the secret to why we had to run the dishwasher daily during the past week is becoming abundantly clear.

I do like post-it notes. My life is choreographed by post-it notes, or little scraps of paper that I use as post-it notes. After almost a decade of marriage, S has a deep understanding of my love of detailing important things on tiny scraps of paper. That’s why he shows me teeny tiny scraps of paper and asks, “Is it safe to throw this away?” He has learned that if he throws away a tiny scrap of paper with the slightest memo from me to me, he may be thrown out of the house.

Wait, then I sound horribly unstable. I don’t think I’m quite THAT unstable, but let’s just say if I have my grocery list on the back of an envelope that a bill came in & it gets thrown away, I might just come close to a few tears. Okay, maybe I’m slightly unstable when it comes to small pieces of random paper with important things on them.

Since my MIL is staying with us, I’ve seemed to lost track of several random pieces of paper with important stuff on them. I know I had last seen a little piece of paper with important jottings on it a few days ago. It was on the passenger seat right before MIL got into the car. Now it’s not there. I spent 10 minutes going through that car, and I can’t find it. Ugh, I guess I can’t fault her for picking up what seemed to be a random piece of paper and throwing it away. But it’s something her son has learned to NEVER do with pieces of paper in my car, next to my bed, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom.

Memo to self: Should use my phone for lists now.

Memo to Mazda: Why must you have a half-inch gap between the seats and center console? That is a huge space for little pieces of paper (that aren’t the ones I need) to fall into, yet it is an incredibly tiny space to get into. Could you do us all favor and just close that space up? I really don’t want to fetch anything from there anymore. Thank you.

MIL is great. The woman can get more done around the house in a day than I can get done in a week. She definitely has her skills. I am a perpetual bed – unmaker. I have never mastered the skill of making the bed. Maybe I would if I actually cared. But I don’t care. It seems like a stupid exercise because you’re just going to mess it up in a few hours. MIL is obsessed with bedmaking. I suppose most people are except for me. Anyway, I don’t make the bed. And MIL has been making it for us. Gosh darn it, I don’t need anyone to make my bed for me. I’m not an invalid. I hate that she makes our bed so much that I’ve now taken to making the bed just so that she doesn’t. It’s passive aggressive bedmaking at its best. I can’t wait til I can go back to not making the bed.

Is this ever going to be fashionable? Sweaty feet. I have been bestowed with sweaty feet. It’s not like curly or straight hair, when either will be en vogue at least some of the time. Sweaty feet will never be en vogue. They say the average person sweats a pint from their feet each day. I take comfort in this because then I think I’m ‘average’ or ‘slightly higher than average.’ No one else I know confesses to having this problem. Most of the time socks curb the sweat. But in the summer when it’s 90 degrees and you want to show off your cute toes, that leaves sandals as the footwear of choice. Sweaty feet + sandals is a recipe for disaster. Oh, to have dry feet. Julia has sweaty feet too. Why couldn’t she have gotten her dad’s un-sweaty feet? It seems like she inherited every inferior feature possible, so add sweaty feet to the list. When you get a pedicure, it’s even worse. Mango lotion + sweaty feet + sandals = falling out of your sandals and a mango-y, sweaty mess. At least my toes look okay.

O, criminy, am I the only one with a Facebook “friend” who I don’t want? My passive aggressive strategy was to not allow her to see my status updates and then block her status updates. Great strategy, right? Not really, but it works so I don’t see her and she can’t see me. It’s only one person. She seeks me out on every darn social networking site. I don’t really understand why since she won’t say a word to me if we see each other in person. But, anyway, her husband “friend’ed” me today. So now I have to either make it so that she can see my stuff, or I have to make it so that he can’t. Because sooner or later she would figure out that he has different access than she does.

Yet another reason to sell everything and move to a cabin in the woods and change my name to Frickinnuts.

It's 3am and where are YOU?

I can answer where you are. You're snuggled in bed while your babies that sleep through the night are angelically sleeping in their beds. If you don't have kids, then you're snuggled in bed.

And I'm wide awake.

Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless has been up for over 2 hours. Why, you ask?

I'll tell you why. She was hungry. But, no, unlike every other hungry baby, she will not eat. She must scream for 2 hours. The screaming will stop if you pick her up and hold her, but the moment you put her in her crib or try to feed her, she will scream.

There's some genius who is staying in this house (but doesn't permanently live here) who says she's fussy and wakes because she's, get this, tired. Yes, that's why she's up for 2 hours screaming in the middle of the night. Whenever I'm tired, I scream for 2 hours too.

The Patron Saint of Getting a Child to Eat (Darling Husband S) finally finally finally got her to take 2 ounces at 3am. And guess what? She fell asleep. Now with a normal baby this would have happened at 1am, since that's when she originally woke up.

The ILs are really piling the solids into Julia. She easily took in 500-600 calories of solid foods today. That part is great. But her liquids were weak, particularly after 3pm. She only drank 3 oz after 3pm. With a tummy full of solids that weren't chewed that well, a girl needs some liquids to help digestion. But she doesn't realize she's thirsty. Or if she does, she represses it and is a disgruntled mess until you convince her to eat.

And now I'm wide awake. Thanks, Miss J.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home Sweet Hot Home

It's nice to be home. I sinned today with food (and yesterday and the yesterday before that). Tomorrow will be a new, better, gluten/dairy/peanut-free day.

I don't have the amount for Sunday, but for Monday she had about 12 oz of formula from a bottle and 5 oz of orange juice/milk out of a sippy. Tuesday she had 16 oz & 5 oz out of sippy. All in all, not too bad. And she had a good amount of solids. We've been putting Simply Thick in her bottles. We haven't noticed a huge difference yet, but I guess we'll keep doing it.

It is scorching hot. It seemed a lot cooler on the beach. I'm dying here, people. It's rained 1-2 days in the past 50 days. It's Seattle. Yoohoo, rain gods, it's Seattle!!! Come back.

We drove by the house we liked on the internet. Eh, it wasn't so nice on the outside. The main reason being is that it has this big aluminum structure in front of it that it looks like they built for their business. So not attractive.

But... the house next door is up for sale. It's quite a bit more though. Based on the flyer it looks nice, and the outside is appealing. It's a bit older, and it's hard to tell based on the pictures how updated it is. We would probably at least have to update the kitchen. We're toying with the idea of calling up the agent to look inside.

It's soooo expensive though. We are fortunate to own our house outright, and the thought of getting a huge mortgage is disheartening. Even if S lost his job right now, I'd be freaking out and we don't even have a mortgage payment. If we had a big mortgage payment, I'd be a basket case.

The taxes on that house would kill us too. It's assessed for more than 2x our house.

I don't know. Maybe living on the water should be more of a long-term goal.

The other idea going through my head is cashing out our house. Sell it, rent an apartment for a while and make our move when we see a house we like. If we cashed out our house, maybe the interest we'd earn on the proceeds could pay for an apartment & we'd be in a better position to save money.

Making the move right now seems so much like we'd be biting off more than we can chew.

Some days the whole cashing in the house and living in an apartment has some appeal. I can't figure out why. Maybe less responsibility and all that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How can I be bored on vacation?

We've been here about 30 hours, and I'm starting to get a tad bored. Who'd a-thunk it? We've kayaked twice, played our assortment of board games that we brought, ate bad food (gluten and diary laced, my stomach is killing me) and putzed around treehouses and tried to geocache and took a 3 mile walk and found the local post office and read books and played cards on Puget Sound and and and and and.

Bored. S is reading his Star Wars book (yes, I married a geek). I've searched for lake houses online, and I found a good prospect near where we live. I'm a bit nap-py, but since it's almost 7pm, that probably isn't a good idea. I should hold out until 9 or 10pm.

This is probably why we don't go on vacations very often. I'm bouncing off the walls after a day.

Maybe I should upload some pics to Facebook. Yeah, that's something to do.

I'm path-et-ic.

Confessions of a Cheerleader Dropout

Full Disclosure: My dislike of Stepford Wives comes from cheerleading. Like most girls, I always wanted to be a cheerleader. They got to wear cute clothes and had all the boys drooling all over them. And they always looked so darn happy all the time. Like they took 21 Prozac after waking up.

It's not that I'm unhappy, but I was never one who radiated sunshine and bliss. Can you tell? LOL

So in college I tried out for the cheerleading squad for basketball. My friend really, really wanted to be a cheerleader (can't blame her) and didn't want to try out alone. I, on the other hand, was a closet "want to be a cheerleader" type who had to have a reason to actually try out. And her trying out was the perfect opportunity.

You probably know how this is going to turn out. We practiced and practiced, and she became more and more excited about the prospect. I was my cynical self and became less and less interested as I hung out more with the other girls.

I made the squad by a morsel. I'm reasonably flexible and can do flips and cartwheels. I'm not so hot at learning dance moves, but my friend and I practiced, practiced, practiced. As for the personality part, eh, my cheerleader personality is not really there and it's hard to fake it for more than an hour.

My friend didn't make it. That sucked. She was so disappointed, and at that point, I would have gladly changed places with her.

The estrogen of the cheerleading squad was tic-enducing. I understood at that point why I enjoyed spending time with men. No group squealing, no backstabbing, no belabored makeup application, no constant reassuring that he's not fat, you can talk of some things with substance with men. Did we once ever talk about anything less tangible than makeup and basketball players? No. Granted, it wasn't terribly long that I was a cheerleader. I think I made it 3 weeks before I gave up because my friend wasn't there with me and it was not at all fun. I really don't like giving up, but I sooooo didn't fit in.

It's not all women that are like this; it was this group of women who cheered for basketball. It seemed like their whole lives revolved around getting a basketball player to date them, propose with a big ring, and then live in suburbia with 2.5 kids and a minivan.

And here I am in suburbia. I kinda like suburbia for the most part. I like my life. Perhaps why I like it so much is that I can be who I am while married and raising a child. I didn't have to compromise myself.

Perhaps there's a shred of Stepford Wife in me.
Perhaps there's a shred of inner goth-ness in me.
Perhaps there's a shred of nature lover in me.

The thing is that I'm not 100% in any one category. I don't fit in with the Stepford Wives. I don't fit in with the goths. I don't fit in with the gung ho nature lovers.

It's like when I don't fit in with any one clique in high school, and I know people from each clique but I don't have a considerable amount in common with anyone so I'm not best buds with anyone. I'm that person on the fringe who sits by myself at lunch or, when forced, sits with the brainy clique. But I don't fit in with the brainy people because I'm not smart and discussing the nuances of Madame Bovary bores the dickens out of me.

After a while, sitting by yourself at lunch gets very, very comfortable.

No more Stepford Wife propaganda

I love reading blogs. I love reading my friends' blogs, but they don't blog enough to satiate my blog reading need, so I've started reaching out more into the cyberworld. I started following some of those women with the flowery blogs about life is perfect as a stay-at-home mom, they have perfect children and a sexy husband and they want to lose just 10 more pounds, and they have encouraging quotations or Bible verses in pretty cursive in their headers. Then they do those cute daily blog activities about the cute things their kids say.

I just can't do it, people. I want to retch after reading it. (If you're reading this, you do not have one of these nauseating blogs. It's not you I'm referring to. You do NOT have all of the retch-inducing blog criteria.) I'm not sure what it is about their blogs that just makes me want to retch. Am I jealous? Oh heck no. Well, okay, I'll take the perfect child part. :)

Maybe they seem like Stepford Wives or something. I am soooooo not a Stepford Wife. Yes, I drive a wagon with sliding doors that certain people may insist resembles a minivan, but if you open the sliding door, you're apt to hear Tupac or Snoop Dogg. Of course, when Julia's in there, we listen to 80s or something less explicit. I draw the line at listening to Baby Einstein or lullabies while in the car.

So I stopped reading the Stepford Wife propaganda, and it's a very nice change of pace since I added quite a few more interesting people.

Now that I'm starting to follow more blogs, I'm really enjoying the varied reading. There are such interesting people out there in Blogland. And when I log into this site, I always have such engaging reading. Love it!

And can I reiterate how much I love the iPhone? You can geocache with it!!! Is there anything this little gadget CAN'T do? Well, it can't do housework, but I can use it to get a maid.

Peace out.

The Stillness of the Beach at Night

Here we are on vacation at the Eld House. S is sleeping, and since I took a nap earlier, I'm wide awake and raring to go.

This vacation thing is nice. Never before have we really gone on vacation. I don't count family obligations as vacations. Before Julia we could pretty much do what we wanted when we wanted, aside from our work schedule. And even then, we could take off time from work whenever we felt like it. But after a year of Julia, it's nice to take a few days off from parent responsibilities. She's far less difficult now, but when she's awake, it seems like we try to feed her a bottle or a meal every hour or so. Then at night she still tends to wake up once or twice. So yeah, getting out of parent responsibilities for 48 hours is really, really nice.

We're down in Olympia at a bed and breakfast. It's a guest house that's on Puget Sound. It's really pretty here. We brought our camera, but we didn't change batteries beforehand, and it's dead. We forgot spare batteries. Oh well, we have our iPhones. And those have cameras. That should be good enough.

Today we took a kayaking trip on Puget Sound. It is soooo nice here. Expansive waters, nature, peace, just beautiful all around. I cheated on my non-gluten/dairy diet when we went to Applebee's. I challenge you to find something on that menu I could eat. Even a salad is out because I can't have dressing (soybean oil) or cheese or a breadstick. And, seriously, what is salad without dressing, cheesing, and the requisite breadstick???

This evening we went geocaching. We set out around 8:30pm. When we headed back, we kind of realized that there isn't a lot of lighting around here. At all. I guess there's a downside to all this peace: pitch black darkness. We had walked a mile and a half away (three miles total), and I was spooked on our way back. I don't usually spook easily, so that's saying something.

It's kind of quirky around here. There are large parcels of land, and it seems like a lot of people have a business-like spirit around here. Imagine houses with businesses attached all over the place. We're staying at a bed & breakfast that is the guest house of a main house. Then up the road is a house that uses its spare space to rent out RV storage. Then there's the people who used the rest of their land as a driving range. You can't forget about Steamboat Annie's. It's a little shack that serves a bazillion different food items with a house attached. Then there's the really bizarre place. I'll have to take a picture of it. It's a house, and they also sell used kiddie plastic crap: Little Tykes cars, sandboxes, plastic slides. It's like a junkyard full of plastic toys. Never saw anything like it before.

S and I really like this living on the water thing. Both of us want to do it. I think we live in the suburbs because the alternatives don't look terribly promising. Urban living is not really for us - too crowded and noisy. The country isn't really our style either; yardwork and tending to animals have no appeal. Apartments, condos and townhomes aren't really "us" either. By default, we're in the suburbs. But living on the water does seem like us. Quiet, reserved, beautiful scenery, it's a nice way to unwind. I could seriously do it.

I even found a house for sale very close to the water that looks great. Of course, it's an hour away from where we live now. It's so stupid because we both have very small commutes to our jobs right now, and moving to a house on Puget Sound would easily make our commutes an hour each way. And uprooting Julia would be difficult.

But...we could always take a look at the house just to see what's out there. And we could also look at houses on a lake near where we live now. It's a great time to buy real estate....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Date Night

14 oz formula (bottle) with Simply Thick

Tonight we had date night while all of the grandparents watched Miss J. She loved being the center of attention for hours on end. We loved getting out. It was a win/win as far as we're all concerned!

We went to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past at the cheap movie theater and went out to dinner. I think I'm one of the few women alive who doesn't really like Matthew. The accent, he always plays the same type of guy, Dickens twist on a stereotypical romantic comedy. But it was the only movie S and I agreed on. He wanted to see Harry Potter (I didn't). I already saw The Proposal with a friend, and he would've seen that. We also considered Obsessed which was also playing at the cheap movie theater. I suggested that we see the movie that got the better ratings, and Ghosts won by a small margin. It wasn't bad, just a stereotypical romantic comedy with not the most engaging leading man. Sorry, he doesn't do anything for me.

I'm more of a Josh Hartnett kind of girl. I like the brooding, smart types. Or if you're not brooding, at least be funny like Will Smith. Maybe that's why I like S. He's a tad bit brooding, but not too much. There's only so much a person can take of brooding English majors. And it's can be a bit annoying to be around someone who makes fun of every single thing. S is a nice balance.

Sunday morning we live on our little vacation. 2 days in Olympia. It's an hour away. It'll be nice to get a change of scenery, get 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep, and we'll be staying on the water. Miss J will continue to be adored. Let's just hope the grandparents push fluids. She's notoriously bad at fluid intake.

Well, I'm going to sound off for the night. We have lots of last minute things to do tomorrow morning - like pack! And I need to go to the store because FIL drank all of Julia's whole milk.

He says skim milk upsets his stomach. Has anyone ever heard of fat-free milk upsetting your stomach but fat full milk settling your stomach??? I wish he would just admit that he LIKES whole milk better. Geez, call a spade a spade.

Quarter Marathon

Thursday: 12 oz formula, 3 oz of juice/milk from sippy
Friday: 14.5 oz formula, 4 oz of juice/milk from sippy (good day!)

I just got back from walking half of a half marathon, aka a quarter marathon, aka 6.55 miles. Yes, I walked precisely 6.55 miles. I took the GPS. I averaged 3.3 mph (18 minute mile) for all 6.55 miles. I had started out wanting to do the whole half marathon, but it was approaching midnight, I had to pee, I was thirsty, and my legs were starting to feel it.

All in all, I was happy to have maintained my pace. It's been quite a while since I walked that long. I'm fairly acclimated to walking 2-3 miles at a time. 6.55 miles is far more than I'm used to doing.

I must admit that I'm not quite sure why people walk half marathons. I do understand the health value of being able to maintain your endurance for that long. Really, though, what's the point? To prove you can walk 13.1 miles? I survived 6.55 quite well; I'm sure I could do the whole half marathon. When you walk, it's not like you go super fast. I guess people go to say they did it and try to beat their best time.

Eh, but I really don't see the value in it. I can walk the half marathon. I know I can. If I already know this, then why participate? To prove it to whom exactly? I already proved it to myself, and I don't need to prove it to anyone else.

Better get to bed. Night night.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wet your whistle

Normal baby/toddler:  If you present a bottle or cup & the child is hungry, he/she will open mouth and drink most of it.
Julia:  She's fussy because she's hungry.  However, she doesn't realize she's hungry.  So you have to sit with her for 15-30 minutes and "convince" her she's hungry.  If she only ate 12 oz the previous day and hasn't eaten liquids in 10 hours, you know she's hungry.  The cranky mood is further evidence that she's hungry.
When the in-laws are staying with you, it feels like every move is scrutinized.  Then as you work on cajoling Julia to eat (while having an audience), you get the "helpful" advice.  Such as, "She only wants to wet her whistle."
I am so sick of hearing about wetting her whistle.  The term has been bestowed on Julia when she takes a sip of bottle and turns away.  While they were home with her yesterday, she did not take fluids at all until 2:30pm.  They don't push the bottle like S and me.  It's been a year, so we're more used to cajoling her.  The common theory is that kids will drink when they're thirsty.  Yes, if Julia gets very dehydrated, she will drink.  We wouldn't like her to get that thirsty before she drinks. 
So, anyway, this morning I'm trying to give her a bottle before daycare with the audience who gives advice.  I'm about ready to snap when they keep saying, "She just wants to wet her whistle.  She's not hungry yet."
Finally she starts drinking.  Victory!  I try not to give them a smug look as she downs 4 oz.  Yes, it took 20 minutes of cajoling, but she finally ate.  Her belly was full before daycare, which improves her mood/disposition immensely and puts me at ease because daycare isn't always great about giving her a bottle.  They don't have the time to cajole her for 20 minutes either - I understand that.  However, it seems if she starts off the day with liquids, she has a better day all around. 
The theory from the swallow study is that Julia needs thickener in all of her liquids.  Her swallow is uncoordinated, and perhaps a thicker consistency will help her swallow correctly.  We tried thickening by using cereal several months ago, and it was awful.  She didn't seem to like it at all.  I found a pharmacy that carries Simply Thick, the product that was recommended.  I was going to get a week's supply and see if it helps.  I'm tired of getting so hopeful that a product will be a "cure all."  Before I buy a case of it, I'll see how it works.  If she seems to feel better and eat more, then we'll continue with it. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The label of Ms. Stinky

It's time to lighten the mood. 
I was complaining about the work bathroom air freshener last week.  The fake flower smell is so nauseating.  However, it's only there to cover up stinky bathroom smells.  Our work bathrooms are like you would find in restaurants.   5 or so stalls, 4 sinks. 
Sometimes when you go into the work bathroom, it's not so fresh smelling.  What does one do in that situation?  I don't know about YOU, but I pee as quickly as possible while breathing out of my mouth. 
I dread when I'm in a stinky work bathroom alone.  Because you know that as soon as you step out of that stall, someone is going to open the door, catch a whiff, and think you did it.  When, in fact, you were merely a victim of poor timing and it was the person before you who stunk up the bathroom. 
Now what do you do in this situation?  You've been doing you business extra quickly while concertedly breathing out of your mouth.  You're probably a little flushed by the time you exit the stall.  When you capture eye contact with the incoming bathroom visitor, do you say anything?  Do you say, "It wasn't me!"?  Do you just go about washing your hands and act like nothing's wrong? 
If it's someone I know well, I'll declare, "It wasn't me who stunk up the bathroom." 
If it's not someone I know well, I'm probably blushing because it's embarrassing, which then makes me look guilty. 
It's funny how if there's even one more person in the stalls, it feels like the pressure's off.  But when I'm alone, I feel like the bathroom smell is my responsibility, for some strange reason. 
Am I the only person who is this demented and worries that other people will label me as Bathroom Stinky even if it wasn't me? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 3 without Wheat/Dairy/Peanuts

Puke x3 this morning from Miss J. Gave her a concoction of juice and Pedialyte. She took 9 oz of that + 2 oz of formula before bed. Not great, but at least she's peeing. So far no more puke. We also got 2.5 decent meals into her. She still has diarrhea. She definitely picked it up from daycare since a kid puked yesterday. At first we thought she was reacting to the barium from the swallow study - until we found out that she's not the first victim.

In-laws arrived a few hours ago. They'll stay with Miss J tomorrow. She warms up to them so much more quickly than my mom. It's some peace of mind for us that she should do great getting two people's undivided attention tomorrow.

Day 3 of this no "anything fun" food selection. I don't know what to call it. It's not a diet, per se. It's just a long list of foods I can't eat. Here was today's menu. My appetite was very weak this morning because of cleaning up puke, and then Julia smelled faintly of puke for a while, which didn't help. After I bathed her, she was extra clingy so I couldn't eat.

5 cups of cherries
can of black beans
2 potatoes with salsa on top (this no dairy on potatoes is HARD)

I have 21 points a day, and I think for once in my life I actually came under.

Neat Article

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) – Living happily ever after needn't only be for fairy tales. Australian researchers have identified what it takes to keep a couple together, and it's a lot more than just being in love.
A couple's age, previous relationships and even whether they smoke or not are factors that influence whether their marriage is going to last, according to a study by researchers from the Australian National University.
The study, entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It," tracked nearly 2,500 couples -- married or living together -- from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together compared with those who divorced or separated.
It found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25.
Children also influence the longevity of a marriage or relationship, with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage -- either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship -- having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.
Women who want children much more than their partners are also more likely to get a divorce.
A couple's parents also have a role to play in their own relationship, with the study showing some 16 percent of men and women whose parents ever separated or divorced experienced marital separation themselves compared to 10 percent for those whose parents did not separate.
Also, partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 percent more likely to separate than spouses who are both in their first marriage.
Not surprisingly, money also plays a role, with up to 16 percent of respondents who indicated they were poor or where the husband -- not the wife -- was unemployed saying they had separated, compared with only nine percent of couples with healthy finances.
And couples where one partner, and not the other, smokes are also more likely to have a relationship that ends in failure.
Factors found to not significantly affect separation risk included the number and age of children born to a married couple, the wife's employment status and the number of years the couple had been employed.
The study was jointly written by Dr Rebecca Kippen and Professor Bruce Chapman from The Australian National University, and Dr Peng Yu from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

It's a good news/bad news sort of thing

Bad news: On Tuesday Julia had an abysmal food day.  4 oz out of the cup consisting of 2 oz juice & 2 oz whole milk.  8 oz of formula out of the bottle.  Solids were mediocre, but she threw up last night's dinner this morning.  Chew, Julia.  You've got to learn how to chew.
Good news: I've lost 4 lbs in the last 2 days on this no gluten/eggs/dairy/peanut diet.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Day Early and a Swallow Short

I'm stress eating right now. Since I can't eat anything with gluten, eggs, dairy or peanuts, I'm downing a bag of apple chips. At the very least, my waistline will be happy with my stress eating.

My in-laws are notorious schedule changers. They were supposed to arrive Thursday afternoon. They just called, and now they're arriving tomorrow afternoon. Ugh! A day early. They are traveling by car and didn't plan any hotel reservations ahead of time. They can't get a room for tomorrow night, so they decided to come early. I know, it's only a day. But we hadn't really cleaned the house yet. So tonight we are frenetic cleaning machines.

Today was Julia's swallow study. I had reminded the toddler teacher yesterday and today that Julia was going in for a medical procedure and couldn't eat after lunch. When S picked her up, they were giving her a snack. Ugh! I told her 2 different days, and I WROTE IT DOWN. The toddler teacher had already left, but apparently she hadn't passed on the (relevant) info to the person who took over. This is why I can't wait until Julia moves on to the next room.

So we go to the swallow study. A convict was also getting a procedure done. I'm assuming it was a convict because she was wearing an orange jumpsuit and had a police officer escort. If you can't already tell, the procedure wasn't at the children's hospital. I really like the children's hospital better, convicts aside.

I know my darling dear is a high maintenance, difficult child. I must say that I don't think even I could have done that swallow study. 1) They tie you to a chair. 2) You have to sit perfectly still and look straight ahead. 3) The x-ray machine makes a rumbly noise whenever they start video-ing. 4) They give you barium to drink out of a bottle and a cup. Not your normal milk mixed with barium - nope - straight barium with strawberry flavoring. 5) For solids, they put a honkin' wad of barium on all your food. 6) 3 strangers are staring at you as you drink barium or eat barium coated saltines.

Let's just say it didn't go well. For all six of the above reasons. Julia needs to feel comfortable in order to eat, she must eat familiar foods, and she must not think she's being forced to eat. Let's not call it a swallow study, more like Scream Fest.

We were told to not even think of redoing it for another 5 months. Thanks, we kind of figured it out. That's why we were hesitant to do it in the first place.

She did take a few swallows while she was there. While it wasn't enough to form a "valid conclusion," the speech therapist said it looked like she had laryngeal penetration. Sounds kind of kinky, doesn't it??? :) There's a flap in the esophagus, and it's supposed to open when you swallow. Her swallow isn't all that coordinated, so liquids start to go in her larynx as she swallows. There's not really any way for it to get fixed other than feeding therapy & working with her.

And we got another person who said she doesn't use her tongue or chew well.

I have an appointment tomorrow with early intervention, and then Julia's intake is the 28th. I hope we can start therapy soon after and then start to work on all her issues.

Finished my apple chips.

The Power of the Bargain

I'm a thrifty girl. I come from very, very thrifty stock. Marrying S has loosened me up a bit, but when it comes down to it, I typically choose inexpensive if left to my own devices.

Back in college I used to shop at the Bellingham Grocery Outlet (BGO). I loved it because the food inventory always changed, and you never knew what "treasures" you'd find. BGO was mostly like a grocery store; it had aisles with the typical food classifications. Sometimes they'd get a deal with some business and get a huge vat of something and mark things down really, really low. I remember the one time they got a ton of Weight Watchers (before it was called Smart Ones) rice pilaf frozen dinners. They sold them for 50 cents, and there was a lady who bought a whole CART of them. We called her the Rice Pilaf Lady, and S still reminds me of that lady if I buy too much of one thing. "Watch out, you're almost like the Rice Pilaf Lady with all of those ____."

BGO also used to put free cereal coupons in the school paper. I'd get as many school newspapers and cut out all the free cereal coupons, and then I'd go get several boxes of free Raisin Bran. Not that I really liked Raisin Bran all that much, but it was FREE!

Have I mentioned that I used to live in an off-campus hovel at college? Hovel is the correct term. It was one small bedroom with a mini fridge, and a small closet. There was a tiny bathroom attached. I'd store my free Raisin Bran under the bathroom sink because it was the only space available. The people who also rented out rooms were very odd, to say the least. But that's a whole other entry.

A few years ago they opened up a Grocery Outlet in my town. And I still go occasionally; you really can't ever get thrifty out of me completely. Nowadays I look at food a little differently. Now I look at expiration dates, production dates, check for dents, and silly things like that.
When I see a tremendous deal at the Grocery Outlet (like Oreos for $1), I take a closer look at the product. And inevitably the food has passed its expiration date, or the cans are really dented. Not all of the food has these properties, but some does. The ice cream section is telling because sometimes the labels are from previous years. I of all people can tell you exactly when each special edition flavor came to fruition and when the ice cream companies reduced the packaging sizes. So when I see an obvious 2007 edition of ice cream sitting in the Grocery Outlet in 2009, I skip it even if it is $1 for 1.75 quarts.

The picture above was the uberdeal at the Grocery Outlet today. Egg Beaters for 3/$1. Upon closer inspection, they expired July 13. Expired eggs, anyone?

I think I'm getting snobby in my old age. Or more particular. Or maybe slightly less thrifty.

Monday, July 13, 2009

1 for me

I can now do e-mail blog posting.  I so love iPhones and technology!  Who would have thunk that this little machine could play music, call people, give you GPS coordinates, access this thing called the internet, pay your bills, and entertain you when you're bored?  Simply amazing!

I'm so getting tired of people asking me when I'm having another child.  I answer, "Never."  Then they say, "You can't be serious.  You'll change your mind soon."

So if you ask me something and don't believe my response, then why did you ask me?  Yes, a woman reserves the right to change her mind.  However, what part of "never" seems negotiable? 

Nev-er.  Let's practice it:  nevvvvvvvver. 

Would you prefer that I smirked and said, "We'll see?"  Frankly, that's such a stupid response because then you have some sort of hope that I'll have another when the actual chance is maybe 1%. 

The actual reason is that Julia is so high maintenance that I cannot imagine taking care of an easy newborn, much less if I got bestowed with another high maintenance, non-eating baby.  At that point, I would be running for the nearest bridge. 

Then people would say that once Julia is 5 or so years old, she'll be easier to deal with.  And then, then, then maybe I'd want another.  Ummmmmmmmm I guess it's possible.  Maybe.  But I'd still be very fearful that it would be another baby with blood curdling screams for 12 hours a day for the first 6 months and then not eating after that. 

I'll do pregnancy, I'll do birth, I'll financially support a child.  But I will not go through this or worse again. 

I think the best solution is that YOU have a baby and I'll just babysit whenever you want.  Since you're so concerned with reproduction, then you can do it.  :) 

15.5 oz formula & 0.5 oz out of cup

The Perfect Purse

Sunday: 13 oz by bottle, 2 oz by cup
So far the first day on this new food selection went okay.  I went to Trader Joe's today and found a chocolate sorbet that I can eat.  Woot woot!  I'm pretty sure I can eat it because it had sugar, that gum stuff & cocoa.  It was dairy-free.  And it was so chocolate-y.  There was leftover salmon at work for lunch.  There was some sort of cream sauce on it, but I scraped it off (or most of it).  I also had the chocolate sorbet for lunch.  Breakfast was fig bars and fruit and cucumber.  Dinner was salmon, rice & veggies. 
I think I'm going to first get the foods that I can eat figured out.  Then I'll start counting calories and points once I get into some rhythm with the acceptable food list.  Eating produce and meat is so much easier than figuring out from the nutrition facts on a box if I can eat something, so I may just primarily stick to produce and meat and thereby stop counting the calorie counting.  The "fake" carb stuff (like gluten-free cereal bars and cereals) is so expensive anyway.
I can eat oats, so I'm presuming I can eat oat flour?  I read that wheat products are often produced with oat products, so there is very likely cross contamination.  Yet another reason to stick with "fresh" food. 
Unlike most other women, I just want one purse.  Black because I don't wear brown.  I have a black purse, but the problem is that the majority of it is a snap, and there's only 2 small zippered pockets.  The snap closure is not really all that effective because the biggest part of the purse is susceptible to spilling contents when turned upside down.  If my purse falls or is held captive by Julia, contents spill.  It's also how I lost my cell phone in 2007.  And I do NOT want a repeat of that now that I have the new phone. 
So I got a new purse today.  Here were my criteria for the new purse:
1. Black
2. Zippered pocket with easy access to iPhone, charger & earphones.
3. Secure outside pocket for keys so I don't have to put them in the main compartment
4. I don't have a wallet, so I need an organizer thingie where I can put credit cards, ID, cash, etc. 
5. Zippered main compartments - 2 or 3.  Not a fan of one main compartment because then it just is like a big ol trashbag.  Need order.   
6. Not too big, not too small.  Call me Goldilocks.
I found one!  It's hits most of my criteria.  The only thing it doesn't fulfill is that it only has 1 main compartment.  However, it has 3 small compartments on the outside.  1 of those compartments is a mini wallet organizer thingie.  1 is for keys, and the other will be for my iPhone & accessories.  Because I can access the phone, money & keys without going into the main compartment, I think I'll be okay.  The main compartment has some extra room, so I can easily throw in my camera or even a paperback book.  Awesome!  And doubly awesome because all of the compartments except for the keys compartment are zippered.  No stupid snaps where things fall out when the purse is upside down.  Even though the keys compartment is a snap closure, it's a relatively small compartment & they can't fall out when snapped.
Hip hip hooray for my perfect purse!  Even better, it was on clearance.  $16 and genuine leather.  :)