Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've been a pretty good mom this year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than the doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. Sold enough popcorn and cookies to send a small town to scout camp this summer. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, (I've had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles,) who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years to write again.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy/toy aisle in the grocery store.
I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint-resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that won't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide a few candy bars.
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. A nice hiding place to talk on the phone would be a real "plus"!
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother/sister," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog or the neighbors.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to shower, brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. Here's a novel idea...I get to go to the restroom uninterrupted...and alone!
If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and I think my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. (I suspect he wants his crayon back.) Have a safe trip, remember to leave your wet boots by the door, then come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.
Help yourself to the cookies on the table but please don't eat too many (you'll make yourself sick!) or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Monday, December 8, 2008
While certainly realizing how much my husband helps in the parenting of our daughter, conversely I realize how taxing it is to do it on your own! Take Saturday for example. After getting to bed around 11:00 the night before after celebrating my birthday, hubby was up and out the door by 4:00 a.m. Although I tried to go back to sleep, somehow my body knew that I was now the only responsible person in the house –and thus, I slept with one ear open toward the baby monitor. When 6:00 a.m. rolled around I figured I had better get up even though my body wanted nothing more than to sleep in (I knew I should have turned down the 3rd glass of Chardonnay). I knew that if I wanted to be able to so much as brush my teeth and use the restroom without a committee I’d better do it before my little one woke up.
By 7:00 Coco was up and ready to go. I had managed to at least get up, get my hair back in a pony tail and get my teeth brushed. I was however still in my PJs. The morning was a long blur of trying to get stuff done around the house while simultaneously trying to entertain and keep an eye on Coco. It seemed no matter what I had in mind, she was going a different direction. She wanted to play in the kitchen until I started to do the dishes – then she decided it was time to go pull ornaments off the Christmas tree. We played around the tree for a few minutes until she decided it was time to go pull all her books out of shelves in the living room. We hung out in the living room until she decided it would be fun to chase the cat through the house. And so on and so forth.
Finally, I decided that I had to balance the guilt of not getting anything done around the house with the guilt of needing to spend quality time with my daughter. I sat down and played “blocks” with Coco for 20 minutes. Then, I left her quietly playing with her toys to go do the dishes. Thinking back on it, I did see her come into the kitchen with me. I just figured she was pulling everything out of the utensil drawer as is her fav hobby whilst in the kitchen. That was until I heard the sound of a hundred Cheerios hitting the floor. I turned and this is what I saw:
But even as tired and frustrated as I was, you just cannot get mad at that face. And to her credit at least she was eating the Cheerios – not just being naughty by dumping them out. Soooo I got down on the floor and we both had some Cheerios (from the top of the pile thank you). After that, we scooped them up by handfuls (such fun) and put them back in the bag. We then walked the bag and box to the trash and threw them in. And on to the next thing... and the next thing… and the next.
All I know is that by 1:30 I was so glad it was naptime I could have sung hallelujah – but very quietly so as not to risk waking her!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I love this time of the year. It is by far and away my favorite. I love the snow (only for a bit!), I love the lights, I love the hustle and bustle, I love giving presents, I love getting presents, I love the food, I love the clothes, I love the fact that everyone is nicer to each other - if even only for a day.
And now this year I'll have even more to love - Christmas with a little Coco by my side. She's finally old enough this year to be able to get in on the excitement. I doubt she'll be toooo thrilled about all the presents just yet, but she'll sense that something cool is happening and get in on the family excitement.
I can't wait to let her have her first hot chocolate, her first Christmas dinner, her first Christmas candy... the list goes on and on. And to kick it all into high gear, today she will the get the chocolate out of the very first day of her very first advent calendar! For a little girl who almost never gets sweets, unless its an apple or an orange, this should be good! The bad part will come when she wants "mo pees" (more please) and then where will I be? Defile the advent calendar or hurt some very small feelers. I'll probably buckle like an old ladder. But you know what - that is exactly what HappyTime is all about --- doing more, staying up later, eating too much, being happy and full and decadent. And I love it!!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
After they took Cora away for the procedure, I was told I could wait in the area outside of the recovery rooms until a nurse came to get me. I was told that it would only be about 5 or 10 minutes for the entire procedure. So, I paced, tried leafing through a magazine, tried to think of some conversation to have with Hubby, and when all else failed, stalked the recovery room door. It had a small rectangular pane of glass in the door, but I couldn't see much.
Hubby, knowing better than to try and get me to sit down, just came and stood quietly next to me. As we were waiting I heard that familiar wail. I heard Cora crying. To say it about broke my heart would be an understatement. It was all I could do to keep from ripping open the door I was pressed against and rushing in to hold her. Don't get me wrong, I can handle my child crying. As a mother of a colicky baby I learned it early just so I could survive. But I found that I couldn't handle it when I wasn't there with her. It was one thing if she was upset but at least knew her Mommy was there. It was quite another for her to be groggy, scared and alone in a strange place.
Just as I had about reached my limit (which is apparently about 10 seconds) a nurse's face popped into the glass. She warily opened the door and said "are you Cora's parents". I quickly confirmed we were and about pushed her over getting in the door. "She's just coming out of the surgery suite now" said the nurse. Just then a door at the other end of the room opened and a lady came in holding my little Coco - who was too groggy yet to realize she was upset and so was silent.
Oh. Hmmmm. So it had not been Cora after all who had been crying. Looking around I saw a little tow-headed boy sitting with his mother. He was the source of the tears. At the time I was so relieved that Cora wasn't upset that I didn't give it much thought. But in the days after it has been nagging at the back of my brain. Isn't it supposed to be mammalian? Darwinian? Aren't we supposed to instinctively know the cry of our offspring? What does that say about me as a mother if I didn't?
I don't dwell on it for hours, or devote time to thinking about it everyday. I haven't even Googled it (and for those of you who know me you realize that is something - I have many medical and psychiatric degrees from Google U). But I do wonder about it from time to time. Does this make me a bad mom? I guess when I meet Darwin someday, I'll have to ask him.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I’ve basically given up trying to teach Coco specific words and have begun just letting her pick up vocab at her own speed. I still throw a word at her now and again just to see what she does with it. I usually just ask her “Can you say _____”. She understands that means I want her to try and repeat the last word I said. It works well and for the most part and she at least gives it a go.
The issue comes when whatever word I am asking her to repeat sounds like another word she already knows. If they are too similar she simply reverts to the known word. Using “elbow” for example: she has a stuffed Hippo which she was carrying around one day. I asked Coco “Can you say ‘hippo’?” She looked at me and immediately said “ehbow?” We went through this a few times but really got no closer to hippo so I let it drop.
That bring us to this weekend. It was just Coco and I – Daddy was out running an errand. As she was running amok playing with her toys, I was sitting out the couch polishing off what remained of a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Cora decided she needed some of whatever mommy was having. Not really wanting her to have Doritos, I realized that they weren’t all that great for me either. I told Cora, “Mommy shouldn’t be eating these – these are yuck. Mommy will turn into a fatty if she keeps eating them. Can you say “fatty”?” (Yes I know, it was terribly PC but such is life) Those little eyes looked and me and without skipping a beat she said “Daddy!”
It’s a good thing I was already sitting down because I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes. Soon thereafter, Hubby got home from his errands. As he was in the foyer removing his scarf and coat, I brought Coco in to meet him. I couldn’t help myself – I asked Coco “Can you tell Daddy’s how you say fatty?” To which she dutifully and proudly stated “Daddy!!” Hubby did not share my enthusiasm for her new found humor. He simply stared at me, scarf in hand, and said “Nice.” Then with a little gleam in his eye said, “Just wait until I have some alone time with her.”
Humph. Poor sport. Let me go on record as saying Daddy is anything BUT a “fatty”. Therein lies most of the humor. But I suppose being called one by your 17 month-old isn’t exactly charming. For him. I mean I thought it was hilarious. Hmmm. Whatever. Funny is funny. If you can’t warp your young child to your own ends, what’s the point of having children for Pete’s sake?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Cora is currently learning to go down the stairs forward (she used to have to turn around and climb down them backwards). I had her hand at the top of the stairs and she was just beginning to take a step down whilst reaching for the railing when our 85lbs Lab decided he wanted to be part of the group and pushed past her to race down the stairs.
Once he pushed past her she lost her grip on my hand, slipped and spun around tummy-first onto the stairs. Just like a little one hanging on the edge of a cliff she grabbed briefly for the top step but couldn’t hold on – her hands slipped off and she started falling. In horror I watched her tumble and slide down the stairs. Luckily she never went end-over end – she just slid and rolled sideways (like a child rolling down a hill). Her head never hit either wall or banister and she came to rest with her back against the waiting baby-gate.
Its amazing that while your body feels like things are going in slow motion your mind is whirring at a million miles an hour. I knew I would never reach her before she landed – wherever that was going to be. So many things were going through my head. I was looking for any sign of blood or serious injury; I was watching each millisecond where her body went and how she fell; I somehow knew I had to be careful because if I got myself into a hurry I would slip and fall on top of her, exponentially worsening things. All of this was going through my head however the only thing that came out of my mouth was a scream for my husband that sounded horrible and scary even in my own ears. I didn’t even know my voice could make those noises.
Ryan came running from the master bath but by the time he got to us, she was already done with her fall wailing at the bottom of the stairs and I was just scooping her up into my arms. At first I held her, softly swayed and tried to calm her. Ryan met me at the base of the stairs but there was no way I was giving her over to him – I clung to her. But then the tears came, and the shaking took over, and I realized I wouldn’t be able to hold her for much longer so I kissed her and handed her over to her waiting daddy (who thankfully stayed unbelievably calm).
Daddy had the presence of mind to take Coco into the next room to her toys so she wouldn’t see Mommy upset. Once they got settled the crying stopped and she began to play with her Dad. I sank down onto our couch and, unseen by little eyes, sobbed my heart out. I had a million feelings. On one hand I knew she appeared to be physically alright, and so I questioned my reaction – scolding myself for being a drama queen. On the other hand I felt immense guilt, shame, relief, fear, love, and the remnants of sheer terror. When I was through, and able to get up, my husband was waiting with a deep hug and words of comfort – assuring me it was not my fault and that “these things are bound to happen”. The same things I would have told him – and meant them – if he had been the one who watched the fall happen. But for some reason I had a tough time forgiving myself. I am supposed to be the mom who protects her child from all harm, and here I had let go of her hand and let her fall down an entire flight of stairs.
To make matters worse, falling down stairs is a bit of a touchy subject at my house. My sister fell down an entire flight of wooden, unfinished basement stairs onto a cement floor as a child. She suffered a serious concussion (including unconsciousness) and a terrible black eye. My mother has talked about that day since I have been old enough to understand. When Cora was born my mother was the first to prompt me to get baby gates and to remind me to always keep an eye on Cora because “things can happen so quickly”. In addition, my beloved uncle fell down a flight of stairs some years back. Unfortunately it caused irreparable damage and while he stayed with us (albeit in a coma) for a couple of years, we lost him after that. To have to call my mother and tell her what had happened was almost as bad as the event itself. I just knew how disappointed she would be. (But of course she was a mother first – and calmed her own upset and hurting child when we spoke.)
About 30 minutes after everything had settled and we were sure Coco was ok, my body just gave out. I could not function. I would have willingly gone and taken a nap at that point, but I felt like I didn’t deserve one, and therefore wouldn’t allow myself that luxury. So I tried to do things around the house in an exhausted fog. I had to pay my penance for what had happened.
As of this morning I am happy to report Coco seems none the worse for wear. She has no scrapes or bruises. She is happy as a little clam and in fact within about 20 minutes after the accident yesterday she was back to her normal self. She also appears to have no residual fear of the stairs – she was back at the gate, wanting to go up and down, yesterday afternoon.
So while it appears Cora has no lasting effects from the ordeal, I’m sure Mommy will have. I’ll probably hold little hands tighter, give a little less leeway, curtail a little more freedom and generally be a wet blanket for a few days – a few weeks – who knows. I realize at some point I’ll have to relax the mental grip I have on her a little, but just don’t ask that of me anytime soon.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have news for him … my time is here and going strong. Maybe not frogs in panties, but our recent events may have inspired even stronger reactions.
Here is the background: my daughter loved to be outside – as most little ones do – this summer. When she was out, we would always let our lab, Summit (see photo due right), out with us to enjoy the sunny days. When outside, Summit’s second order of business (you can guess the first) is to find a tasty twig or branch to chew up. Fascinated, Cora always wanted to grab the “stick crumbs” on the ground. We would always tell her “No honey, yucky! Sticks are yucky! Let mommy have it.” And she would hand it over and go find something else (usually equally as disgusting) to play with.
Because of this little routine, anytime she finds bits of something on the ground or floor (lint, leaves, food, etc) she comes running holding it up for me yelling “Stick! Stick Mommy!” And then we throw it away together. The only problem here is that she can’t quite say the word “stick” … it comes out much like another S-word I really shouldn’t say here. It’s a four-letter word. I’m betting you can work it out. Yeah. Holy stick.
Cute right? Yeah cute and funny around friends and family. But fast forward to this past weekend when we went to the local kiddie photo studio in the mall for her Christmas pictures. As I’m in front paying at the counter, she comes running from the back of the store (where there was a movie area to keep the kiddos entertained), clutching something in her tiny little hand, weaving in and out of other parents, children and employees, yelling … you guessed it: “S—t!! S—T Mommy! S—T!
How do you even begin to explain that. And how do you explain it without looking even more guilty and pathetic as you go? I believe I laughingly mumbled something about “she’s trying to say ‘stick’ I swear!”. I paid in a New York minute, gave Daddy the “you were supposed to be watching her” glare and hightailed it out of there.
We have to go in tonight to pick up the prints. All I can hope is that no one else there this weekend will be doing the same thing. And I can hope they’ve recently vacuumed in there tonight.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Apart from the above-mentioned few, I can’t help but believe that Barack Obama may be the closest thing we’ve had to a “people’s president” in a long time. I say that for many reasons.
First, oftentimes we see presidents elected by regions. Either we get someone “bi-coastal” (i.e. they get the northeast and California plus a few other states but leave behind a good part of the in-between), or we get the “hometown” presidents who get the heartland and a some others pulled in but alienate the coastal states. In Obama’s case he got it all. While he did capture both coasts, he also got Florida. And Iowa. And Virginia. And Ohio. And Nevada. And New Mexico. Basically Obama captured states from every region in this great nation. He cannot be said to have alienated the South, the Northwest, the Midwest or the Southwest.
Second, as one pundit pointed out, Obama seems to be a bit of a people’s mirror. By that I mean that people see in him what they want to see. He is black, but he is equally white. He is wealthy but has come from little. He lives in one of our largest cities but has been a small town kid. He is educated but talks to his kids about puppies in front of an entire country. He attracts movie stars and small town teens. He invigorates an entire arena or a small dinner party.
The hard part now is living up to his duplicity. Can he continue to be all things to all people once he stops talking about policy and begins making it? Will he continue to inspire all walks of life when he is making decisions that they may not agree with? Will he be able to live the Lincoln line of not pleasing all of the people all of the time and yet still being respected and revered? Will his polish fade and tarnish under the pressure of a difficult war?
All these things remain to be seen in the next four years, but for one girl from the Midwest, the future looks more hopeful than she’s seen it in quite sometime - as I believe it does for many, many others.
Monday, November 3, 2008
What has ensued over the past four months has been a series of unintended consequences. Over 20 children have now been left at Nebraska hospitals from families hundreds of miles away. One mother flew her child in from Arizona. One mother drove 12 hours from Wisconsin with her child. One father turned over eight (yes eight) of his children. This leads to the other, perhaps larger issue. Many of these children – most in fact – are well over 10 days old. Most are pre-teen or teenagers.
Hearing nurses at these hospitals describe how an 11 year old boy wept and begged for his mother not to leave him as she walked out the door, or how the mother of 14-year old simply drove up and made her child walk in without her and then drove away, how can one not be affected; not want to demand action? So, the Nebraska governor has called an emergency session of the legislature to fix the problem and most believe the age limit will be reset to accommodate only those children up to three days old.
While I commend the state’s desire to do something, I have to question if this is a merely a band-aid to cloak the underlying injury? As one state legislator so astutely observed, perhaps there is something bigger at play here if within four months more than 20 children have been turned over by their parents to a governmental body? Maybe in fact this has saved children’s lives or least saved them from abuse by parents unwilling or unable to care for them. I just cannot help but think that this law served as an unintentional pilot program for an unknown but needed solution. If people are driving twelve hours or paying to fly across country, something larger is in play here.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am not advocating that people should be free to give children up just because they don’t feel like being parents any longer. I am not. But what I am saying is that right or wrong, people are out there in droves willing to do so. And maybe that is the best solution for that child. It seems that in America we are quick to say that everyone is responsible for their own actions – especially in the realm of child rearing – but we’re not willing to address what to do when people who are ill-equipped to make those decisions do so anyway. Yet everyone shakes their head and clucks their tongues when the next big story of child abuse or murder appears in local papers.
For some reason I cannot turn away from the story of poor little Caylee Anthony. It has gripped me (and many others) more than most anything I've seen since the days of Susan Smith. I've heard the evidence of her mother referring to her a "little snot head" just days before her disappearance; I've seen the photos of her mother, in the days after Caylee disappeared, partying in clubs, throwing up in toilets, and participating in "hot body" contests. I don't think there are many left who don't think Casey Anthony had something to do with her daughter's disappearance and feared death. Maybe if there were more Nebraska-like Safe Harbor laws, Caylee would be alive and well today?
Does it make it “right” or “ok” to give up your child when they are 13 years old? No. But does it make it ok for someone with no job, no stable income, no place to live and an abusive relationship to have a child? No. The child should not have to suffer for that. Maybe what we’re seeing here is an unintended sociological experiment and perhaps instead of crying “foul” we should more closely examine the variables behind the data.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Basically the times I've had issues were as follows:
Travelling home on a flight - had no breakfast and had a cheese/cracker tray for lunch. I focused mainly on the brie. I got sick on the plane and unfortunately that was one of the bad ones. However, I don't always travel well and am infamous for getting "travel tummy" so I can't say for sure what the cause was.
Days later, I had some ice cream cake at work and about 20 mins later didn't feel well. The symptoms were moderate - bloating, a little gas and one trip to the restroom.
Finally, today I had some cheese soup for lunch. It was another doozy. I was very ill for about 30 minutes. Had I been in a meeting, travelling or out and about it would have been a disaster. As it was getting that kind of sick at work was still no fun. However... I did follow that up later in the day with a hot chocolate made with milk - no issues.
I've had a few other times where I've had a little bloating and pressure but nothing worth really worrying about at all. And I have had plenty of dairy including whole glasses of milk with no issues. My guess is the times I've had issues were times I went for a while without dairy and my body was readjusting. But that's an uneducated guess on my part.
In addition, my co-worker who's husband was severely LI has completed the program and is doing great! So, my bottom line is that I do think it works. I do think its a "use it or lose it" deal. And I do think you'll still have issues. It is not a "cure" per se - more like a conditioning process. So take my info for what it gives ya and best of luck to all you LI readers!
Apart from that little quandary, we heard the words we were dreading. Tubes. I had read an article pre-delivery which stated that tubes were the root of all evil and way over prescribed. I had made up my mind at that point that my child was never to have tubes. Under any circumstance. Period.
However, over the past 9 ear infections (if you count double infections as 2), I have begun to dig a little deeper. Oddly enough every mother I’ve asked is a big fan. I’ve heard stories about it changing kids’ personalities, lives, and play habits – all for the better. One mom told me her son, who was a bit wobbly in the walking department (as is Coco), immediately went to walking straight as an arrow and soon to running. One mom told me that the afternoon they got home from the procedure, her little one brought her every book and toy that made noise and piled them in her lap, fascinated that he could hear them clearly. One mom (our daycare provider) said that a little boy she watched went from being a fussy toddler before his tubes to being a happy bright little star the day after.
Needless to say, Coco goes in for her pre-op consult tomorrow. I’m in. I’m all in. Screw whoever wrote the “tubes are the root of all evil” article. I don’t know them. I do know my mom-friends and I know my daughter. If tubes will help her stop toppling over, and if tubes will stop a little voice from saying “owie” while pointing to her ear, and if tubes will prevent a 10th round of antibiotics in 17 short months of life – that’s all I need to know.
Am I nervous? Yes. Mostly about the anesthetic since I know ANY dose of general anesthesia comes with risks. But I also know the type used and the duration (about 5 minutes) greatly, greatly reduce those risks. I’m a little nervous about what precautions we’ll have to take once they’re in. I always loved swimming and want Cora to enjoy that also. In addition she loves bath time and splashes around like a little fish. I’ve had some mom’s tell me they had to use earplugs while some said they never did and had no problems. We’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it.
Tomorrow will be day one on what I’m hoping is a journey to a happier little one.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Link your tagger and list the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog-some random, some wierd.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of the post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
I was tagged by: Amy at http://amy-littletreasures.blogspot.com/
So let's see, 7 random facts:
1. I've been to a wedding and a funeral officiated by the late Jerry Fallwell.
2. I was voted most likely to be a rock star (groupie) in high school.
3. I'm on a cross-stitching binge.
4. I met my husband at Motorcycle Safety Class.
5. In my adult life I've only lived away from Iowa for 11 months (in Memphis, TN).
6. At one point prior to meeting my husband I was planning to move to Paris.
7. I love playing video games (XBox 360 and Playstation 2).
And I'm not going to tag..... (ok I don't know that many bloggers...)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
She now says “no” approximately a four billion times a day: in the car, out shopping, having breakfast, having dinner, playing with her dolls or her cell phone, getting dressed, changing her diaper, getting up in the morning, or just when the mood strikes her. And the mood strikes her quite often.
Now I realize that even at this tender age children begin to assert their independence and test boundaries. What I hadn’t realized was how crazy this makes mommy. It seems no matter what I do my little angel has turned into a mule. (I’m being polite here). In the morning: “Its time to get up honey”. “No!” (while she rolls away out of my reach). At home getting a snack out of the cupboard: “No!” In the evening feeding her dinner “Nonononononono!” At night getting in our jammies “Nooooooo!” *sigh* Is it wrong to want to gently throttle your little one on occasion?
The problem is that sometimes the “no’s” are so stinking cute you can’t help but want to laugh. As with many things in a child’s life I think this is God’s plan – make them cute so you won’t hurt them. So, for now I do one of three things… 1) take a “hard line” stance such as “Cora, this is what we’re having for dinner – this is not up for discussion”, 2) turn my head so she won’t see me laughing, or 3) throw up my hands, give up and go get Daddy to let him work on it for a while.
God give me strength for the twos and threes to come…
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
While, by that time, Coco was fine and in good spirits, it took my breath away to see her like that. These are the first scrapes and scratches she’s ever had, so that made it all the harder. Her daycare provider came over and explained that Coco had been playing with a toy phone when one of the older girls (2 and a half) decided she wanted the phone. Coco was disinclined to give it up, and so the other little girl grabbed for the phone, which Cora was holding up by her face, and they fought for it. Apparently the other little girl had very long fingernails and so by the time our daycare provider could reach the skirmish the damage had been done.
And the damage is hard to look at. One large crescent shaped owie on her cheek, one on her nose, two on her lips, one on her forehead, and another (smaller) one on her cheek.
While I realize that these things can happen at daycare, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Thankfully, our provider cleaned Coco up, and put some Neosporin on all of the owies. But now I have to deal with all of my conflicting emotions: guilt for not being there, fear that the scratches will scar or become infected, anger that it happened at all, frustration in not knowing what to say to our provider in a situation like this, and understanding that kids are not bullet-proof.
For now all I can do is tend to the owies with the utmost loving care, keep them clean and well salved, and kiss as many boo-boos as I’m asked to. I know this is the first of many scabs, scrapes and scars to come, but – as my mother told me many times – the first one is never easy to get over.
Monday, October 13, 2008
As the plane touched down, I was anxiously awaiting seeing Cora’s face as I came down the escalators to the waiting area. While pulling up to the gate (about 15 minutes early even!) I texted hubby to let him know I had landed. A minute or two later as I was jetting down the jet bridge I got a somewhat frantic call from hubby: “What do you mean you’re there? Where are you?” Me: “On the jet bridge, why?” Hubby: “Well we’re not even there yet – we’re about 5 minutes away! You’re really early!” Crap. Seriously? There went my little fantasy about running into my baby’s chubby, waiting arms.
I sadly plodded down to the baggage carousel and plucked my bag from the black and silver river of luggage. Then, I sat down and waited. After about 5-10 minutes I was the only person left in the baggage area save for the airport personnel and the rental car counter clerks. I sat and looked out the door expectantly. Finally I saw them coming up the walkway. Excitement flashed over me again.
I ran to the door and waited just inside. Hubby activated the automatic doors, put Cora down and said “who’s that?” As she studied me for a split second I held my breath. Then she came running pell mell toward me and I was thrilled. I scooped her up and hugged her and smooched her and told her I loved her and that I was happy to see her. By that time hubby had caught up. Cora patted my face and smiled … and then promptly turned around and said “Dah-yee” while reaching for my husband. That was SO not cool.
Since then, she has been a “Dah-yee’s girl”. Totally and completely. Mommy is fine and all, but we want Dah-yee whenever possible. The night I got home, I put her down for the night, just as I always do when I’m home. She looked up at me from her crib and said “Dah-yee?” Then when I left she cried until hubby went up to give her a hug. This whole weekend if hubby went upstairs to get something
I know everyone says these things go in waves – they ebb and flow – that next week I’ll be in high favor. But there is a little part of me that keeps whispering “but what if doesn’t … what if you’re not … what if she’s never close to you again?” I know its silly, but *I* am the Mommy. *I* am supposed to be the superhero. *I* am supposed to be the One above all others. The one she goes to when she realllly needs comfort. So far I’m just the one who helps out when Daddy isn’t available.
For now I’m just doing the only reasonable thing I can. Keeping a positive attitude. (And giving her whatever she wants, whenever she wants it.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Enter My Food Diary! Endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and Martha Stewart (just to name a few), for those of you who have used Weight Watcher's online and loved the food tracking ability - this place is for you. Less expensive to join and maintain than WW, but still a lot of the goodies you want. It has a large database of both generic food items (i.e. "steamed rice") along with name brand and restaurant fare.
While it obviously won't track "points" for you - it will tell you daily how much you've consumed in the way of calories, fats, sodium, cholesterol, etc etc. It simply helps raise your consciousness around your daily eating which is where so many of us go astray.
So sign up, log in, track and lose! Or at least here's hopin!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Well never fear - wallcandy arts is here! These great surface graphics and wall stickers are hip, trendy and even into the fun land of kitsch. And don't worry about morning after regret. As the company says:
All of our stickers are reusable and won't damage walls. Ready for a change? Peel it off and reconfigure it, put it in a different room, or adhere it to the backing to store it away for when the mood strikes!They have a ton of celeb followers (my bff, Heidi Klum being one) so you know you're in good company.
Feeling super artsy or wanting to bring out the inner artist in your little one? Use their Chalkboard Graphics! This is one of my personal faves - fun yet classy!
So go on and get stickering. You haven't had this much fun with stickers since scratch and sniff pizza stickers in 5th grade. (Ok we won't mention that weird phase you and whatshisname went through).
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This morning was none better. After a sleepless night of not getting comfortable and of drifting in and out of weird sicky-inducted dreams I got up. Same dealio only now the white patches were more plentiful. But I knew I had to go in to work. Not because I had some big project due, but because I had a long-anticipated hair appointment at 10:00. That could not be missed. I was going red for fall and that was a big deal. (Oh don’t act like you didn’t always try to go school sick if it was a field trip or party-day.)
So I continued my Zicam bender I started the night before and headed off to work. I made it through my first couple hours without too much strain and then headed off to my hair appointment. As the time wore on the more worn I felt. By the time she was rinsing out my new red, I mentioned how crappy I felt.
First, she told me that strep was going around. Wonderful. But then, Shelley said something that caught me off guard: “You’re sick a lot aren’t you?” What? “How do you mean?” I asked. She told me that every time I come to see her I’m either sick, or getting over being sick. She reminded me that this time last year Ryan had to take
Then she mentioned how I was sick so often while I was preggers with Cora and how miserable I was since I couldn’t take any cold medicine. To be fair, part of that was actually allergies. But still it got me thinking. She asked if I was taking a multi-vitamin and I said “no” – but I never have save for my prenatal vitamins.
I remember when I started at the company I’m with now, I didn’t take a sick day for almost two years. What has happened? Have I become that much more prone to sickness? Or am I just a bigger weenie now then I was then about feeling under the weather? Is it the months of lack of sleep that are taking their toll? Now that
So as I sit here at my desk and try not to swallow, I ponder the bigger question of mommyhood, getting older, and the changing workplace. What is simply correlation and what is cause and effect? Will I be able to track down a specific reason or will I just have to accept my sniffles as they come. Will it get better or am I doomed to live as a fragile flower one virus away from life in a bubble? Or is Shelley just over-generalizing things? These are all things I plan to ponder tonight while dosing myself with chicken noodle soup and constant infusions of Zicam. I’ll let you know if I find something worthy of disclosure to the CDC.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We knew it was going to be a long day of travel. Basically we had to be at the airport by 9:30 for our 10:30 flight. We then had a two hour flight (ish) to
Well I am happy to report that both on the way there and on the way back
We had a few grump-ifying experiences. One, none of the airline gate attendants would allow us to use Cora’s carseat even when there was an empty seat (or on some flights, many seats) available. Sooo poor Ryan had to lug the carseat carrier around for two days for no good reason. Two, we had a rude family in the row in front of us on the flight back into Des Moines (allowed the kids to listen to DVD’s without headsets thus blaring the movie Garfield to the whole cabin, refused to spend anytime interacting with their own kids – too busy reading books, and once when Coco dropped her paci and it rolled up the aisle in between the husband and wife, they just looked at the paci and turned away causing Ryan to unbelt himself and try to grope up the aisle for it.) Nothing horrible – just bad manners (which are, unfortunately, so prevalent these days).
So all in all a good trip and a huge relief. I don’t think we’ll be making our trip to
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The second reason tomorrow will be a big day is that it is
In order to prepare for said trip I actually made a checklist. Seriously. It has categories for “pre flight purchases”, “carry-on”, “checked luggage”, “to do day prior to departure”, “to do day of departure”, etc. You get the idea. Yes, I am neurotic. But to an admirable end I think! I just want to make sure that we have everything we need to try and keep a little one satisfied during 8 hours of travel (1.5 hr flight, 1 hr layover, 2 hr flight, 2 hr car trip). Here is what we’ve figured out so far to take on the flight:
- Lots of snacks including “special occasion” ones she wouldn’t normally get
- 2 “old” toys that she knows and loves
- 4 “new” toys to bring out one at a time that will keep her occupied longer
- 4 books for her to look at and play with
- Multiple pacis to keep her happy and to help on take-off and landing with her ears
- Her favorite blankie
- “Earplanes” earplugs for little ones to relive pressure during flights
- Portable DVD player with movies (although this only works for about 10 minutes at a time for her)
- Lots of diapers/wipes
- Sippy cups with bottled water
- 2 extra outfits “in case”
We also plan to gate check her carseat so we can get to it if we’re lucky enough to get the option.
So – any other suggestions out there, or are we lookin as good as can be expected??
Friday, September 5, 2008
This week is their semi-annual Tee and print sale. All Tees are now either $9 or $12 and all prints (basically the same art on the Tees just made to be framed!) are $19! But get em while you can.. they only make a limited number of each design and when they're out, they're out. Unless of course the public as a whole votes for a reprint! Oh and did I mention all designs are submitted by folks just like you?
They even have some limited designs available as wall art - not prints - but actual vinyl wall art! Super cool.
Check out a few of my Fav's:
My Daily Struggle
My Thoughts Exactly
Great For The Kiddos
This One May Take You A While (stand waaaay back to read it)
I Like to Think I'm This Cool
Just Plain Odd
And now go check out all your own!! You can search the whole catalog, search by size/gender, or just check out what's new. And the best thing - they have kids and infant sizes too!!! Go get yourself covered!!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
You will note it is currently empty and the counter is at zero. That is sad. :( Please fix it. :)
Also, for those of you who liked the series I did (the Lactagen Blog, my WW days or my CSOTW - which I totally need to ramp up again) I put the labels at the bottom of the righthand link list so that you can jump to certain ones you lurve. Memories.... light the corners of my mind...
12 Oz Skim Milk
Eggs with cheese
Turkey sandwich with Brie Cheese
3 slices deep dish cheese pizza
Chocolate Peanut Butter Malt from DQ
Folks, a month and a half ago I would have been in a coma. I would have been in so much pain, I would have been laying in the bathtub praying to die. Instead: nothing. Nothing nothing nothing. It works. Who woulda thunk it? It works. Of course the down side is that I gained a pound that one day alone. :)
Now, the cynic in me wonders how long this bliss will last, but we'll just have to wait and see. I can't tell you how wonderful it is in the meantime to be able to go to a restaurant or even just to have dinner in my own home and not have to either curb what I eat or pull out the Lactaid.
To be fair, I was not what I would call "severely" lactose intolerant. I could have sour cream on a taco or cheese on a burger and have no issues most of the time. But have a glass of milk or some pudding and boy look out. However, a friend's husband IS severely (and I mean severely) LI and he has been inspired to order and try the Lactagen. I'll let you know how it turns out for him.
I'm probably about done posting on this topic. I may do a one month follow up but for the most part, unless you hear about it - consider it all good. :)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Once we were up and running for the day, I decided it was best to just take her in to the doc. We have her first plane ride coming up next Thursday and on the off chance she had an ear infection a checkup was better now than later. Of course when I say off chance, I suppose it isn't off at all. Since she's been born Cora has had 5 ear infections (if you count each ear). Again, since she doesn't get outwardly sick, we can't ever tell until its severe. By then the doctor at the clinic looks at us like he's debating calling DHS. He usually asks something like "didn't she seem upset when you laid her down?" To which we would say "Ah no... she went to sleep." I'm not sure he believed us.
Back to the story... our walk in clinic doesn't open until 8:00am and Daddy leaves at 7:00 so for about 45 minutes I was trying to entertain Coco in a suit and heels. Once we finally got out the door and to the clinic, I realized that carrying a 25lbs doll along with a large handbag all the while in aforementioned heels is not as fun as it should be. Once we got in to the waiting room Coco wanted to roam. And of course she made a bee-line for the sniffliest, runny-nosed-ness, most hacky coughing little one in the room. I didn't need her getting something else on top of whatever she may or may not have already but didn't want to hurt the other mom's feelings so I mumbled something about "Come on Cora, I don't think this little guy wants your germs" and carted her off.
Once we finally got in to see the doc my suspicions were confirmed... ear infection. *Le sigh* So it was off to Walgreen's to fill her prescription. Now I had a sick(ish) baby who had missed snack time and was nearing nap time. Not a good combo for life on the go. But having no choice (after I carted said baby and handbag all the way back through the building and out to the car) I headed to Walgreen's and drug Coco in with me.
Out of desperation, while they were filling the scrip, I went to the baby aisle and bought some Gerber cookies and cheesy poofs. Cora had never had the cheesy poofs but I figured I'd give it a go. We sat in the waiting area and I opened the canister for her. You would think that child had never eaten a day in her life. She was literally grabbing poofs with both hands and shoving them in her mouth. After a short period of that, I tried to put the lid back on the poofs. Bad idea. I suddenly had a screaming pile of snot covered angriness in my lap. I tried to be the strong mom and tell her "Cora, you've had enough of those. Now that is enough." After about 2 minutes of that along with the ear piercing shrieking I simply opened the canister back up. Oddly enough it was met with joyful silence as Coco once again blissfully stuffed her mouth.
Once they called our name, I realized that I had to somehow get 25lbs baby, handbag and now 2 containers of treats up to the counter, extract my wallet, pay for my items, and get all of this back out to the car. Riiiight. Somehow I didn't end up dropping any of them (baby included) and got out to the car (with screaming child in tow since I had, for real this time, taken away the cheesy poofs).
My plan was to give Coco her medicine in the car, and then head on to day-care. After getting her into her car seat (no small feat in her state) I was too wiped. I decided we would run home, get her medicine, give her a cookie, leave the treats at home, mommy could change the itchy sweater she had been silently swearing at all morning, and then we could go to day-care. Once I turned into my driveway and looked back to tell Cora we were home I realized why things had been so peaceful on the ride.. Cora was out like a light. Knowing my child as i do, I realized that if I had woken her at that point, she would not go back down for a morning nap and she would be an evil little imp at day-care. I pulled into the garage and said, as if she could hear me, "Mommy is going to just run inside very quickly. I'll be right back... right back!" Feeling some level of bad parenting for leaving my child unattended I bolted inside, threw the treats on the floor of the foyer, took the steps two at a time shedding the horrid sweater along the way, threw the sweater on the floor of the bedroom, grabbed another (non-itchy) one out of the closet and bolted back down the stairs and out the door to the waiting car praying I would not hear wailing. Phew - all was well - she was still asleep.
I drove to day-care with a sleeping baby all the way. Once I pried her out of the car seat she woke as I knew she would but at least she had gotten in a good 25 minutes. I took her inside along with the medicine while also clutching two cookies to help her tummy. I explained to Linda (her day care provider) and begged her indulgence to let me give Coco her cookies and meds, store the meds in her fridge and then get the heck to work.
Once baby was medcined and cookied, hugged and kissed, I headed out. I got to the parking ramp as quickly as I could and realized that I would have to circle upward for an eternity to find a spot. Then I remembered overhearing that one of the reserved spots (given to associates who help a local charity) was unspoken-for this month. Mind you it is the one and same charity whose annual kick-off meeting I was chair of - and that I was currently missing due to taking Cora to the doctor. Nice. I had no shame as I pulled right into the main floor, reserved spot. I grabbed my briefcase and purse, and picked cookie off of cashmere as I headed past security and on to the elevators.
Once I was safely in my office, booting up my computer, flipping through files and walking around while listening to waiting voicemails I realized that it was almost 10:00 am and I had not had breakfast. Then more importantly I realized I had not had coffee! How had I survived? No wonder things had been so chaotic! I actually found myself wondering if the Starbucks Baristas were concerned when I hadn't been in. Sad isn't it? You know its bad when the baristas see you standing in line and just start your drink for you - before you ever open your mouth or get anywhere near the counter. As I sat down at my desk and began to go through the 35 waiting emails I wondered if it was kosher to have coffee with lunch. And I wondered if it was kosher to have lunch at 10:00am....
Friday, August 29, 2008
Today I've had my 2 servings of 10oz of milk plus pasta with cream sauce and cheese. Lovely.
I'll report back from time to time to just confirm that over the weeks I'm still hangin in there but I will say that my cynical nature has been dispelled (on this topic at least). I'm not silly enough to think this is a forever cure - I'm sure if I stop having dairy for an extended period I'll be back where I started. But hopefully a glass of milk a day keeps the ickies away!! We shall see...
So thank you to everyone who voted - and thanks for making a difference in one guy's life!
Just wanted to tell you all that Shane took second place in the WFN fishing contest you all worked so hard at. They just got a call this morning. He came in second out of everyone that was voted for. He gets a $500 on line gift certificate at any national store that he chooses.
Without all of your help it wouldn't have happened. He and my sister thanks each and everyone of you for the thrill he got for coming in second. This is a great lift for him and he can't come close to expressing his thanks to all you you. Your the greatest. And thank everyone else who helped as well. I don't have Kristi's email or I'd have her included as well. She did a great write up on her Blog. Please pass the word to everyone who worked on this.
And a great big hand of applause for John who said up all night the last day and voted till the last minute.
Good things do come from hard work and great friends.
Thanks again from all of us. Your the greatest people.
Shane is walking on clouds and very proud to be a part of such a great network of friends.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm not singing from the moutaintops just yet. Even "back in the day" I could get away with a latte every once in a while... so we'll see. But I'm cautiously excited. Tomorrow will be 10oz 2x day and then Saturday will be 12oz. Sunday I plan on having a big ole chocolate peanut-butter malt so I'll report back!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Also, again maybe totally unrelated but (for those squeamish stop here and move on to the next paragraph) I have gotten two yeast infections (told ya!) in the past month. Yeast, obviously, feeds on sugar not to mention this is getting all the internal flora in my system reworked, so I wonder if this has something to do with that. Who knows.
But at any rate, I have only 3 more days of "powder" left and then we start back into dairy for a 3-day build up to freedom. I have noticed the grit in the powder lately since I'm taking it in such large amounts in such a small amount of water. It contains silica (aka sand!) so its a little gross. Not disgusting - just a little chalky and doesn't stay stirred up well.
I'll post back on day 35 when I start dairy again. I'm a little nervous - its a workday and you start with 8oz of milk at breakfast... but we'll just have to see!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
When you become "available", you market yourself as best you can - trying to seem upscale while still desirable. You make sure to play up your best assets while playing down those that you're not as proud of. Sometimes you even enlist the help of professionals (in the way of a stylist or sometimes even those who can preform major work) to prepare to hit the market. You put yourself out there as open and available via all the traditional ways and maybe even some newer more innovative means.
Then, finally you get a phone call or an email from someone who is interested! You get all excited wondering if this one could be "the one" even though you know its too early to speculate. You and the potential schedule a time to meet. You spend all your free-time thinking about the upcoming meeting and getting ready. Sometimes you find your mind anxiously drifting back to it while doing other things. You tell your friends and family that you have a potential match - how exciting!
The big day comes and you rush home from work to primp and preen. Maybe you even take off from work a little early to really make sure you have time to put your best foot forward. You rush about making sure every little detail is perfect - you want to look magazine glamorous! The time comes and you sit and wait anxiously thinking about what you want to say. Sometimes, the worst happens and you get stood up. You feel disappointed, then angry. Then you start to wonder why? Why did they even call if they really weren't interested in following through? You know you'll likely never get an answer to your question.
But most of the time, the person shows. The doorbell rings and your heart jumps just a little, but you want to seem cool and collected so you take a breath and head to the door. Sometimes you know right off the bat that its just not going to be a good fit. But on those times where you have potential, you try and show off all your good points during the meeting. You want to seem desirable and available but not cross the line to desperate for goodness sake! At the end of your time together, there is the awkward moment by the door where no one really knows what to say. Sometimes the prospect will tell you that they aren't ready to committ - they are just looking right now to see what's "out there". While you appreciate the honesty one part of you is frustrated that they are wasting your time but one part of you wonders if maybe you can "wait it out" until they are ready to settle down? Maybe you were so fantastic they will be ready sooner rather than later? Most times though pleasantries are exchanged and if you're lucky the potential says they will call soon.
Once they are gone and out the door, you can finally breathe and relax. Then the post mortem begins.... you dissect what they said, what you said, what you did, what went right, what went wrong, what they seemed to like, what they didn't. But most of all you wonder if you'll hear from them again, and if so, how soon.
Most times, you never get that call back. You never know why and after enough "first dates" you start to wonder if you're ever going to find "the one". You start to doubt your worth and compare yourself to others out there on the market. You start to nitpick your faults and stop giving credit to your assets. You start to wonder if you really should have some work done?
Sometimes you do get that call back (or second email) and the person wants to come see you again! The whole dance starts all over again and your hopes start to soar even though you try and stop yourself. After the second meeting you usually fall back into the "never hear from them again" category and go through that ordeal again. Sometimes the potential has the courtesy to send an email - or more rarely a phone call - thanking you for your time and telling you that they loved what they saw, but you're just not right for them. "Its not you, its me." They assure you that you'll find someone soon.
Your hopes are dashed even though you pretend they're not. After enough time has gone by you start to think about just pulling yourself off the market and giving up completely. Friends tell you to give it time - Rome wasn't built in a day. But you feel like its been forever and to make it worse you hear friends or acquaintances talk about finding their perfect match in a matter of days or weeks. You sulk for a day or two - but then you get that next interested email or phone call and away we go all over again....