Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quote of the day

Said by my husband when I called my husband from work to see if he needed me to pick up anything on the way home:

I have a baby in one arm, a dog in the other and I’m holding a book which she is trying to eat! I can’t talk to you too! Come home. Bye!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The longer the move takes, the less time devoted to pretty much ANYTHING else

(oops, wrote this one and forgot to post - so a late post - meaning, I actually sent my Christmas cards before the 23rd!)

The move keeps dragging. Originally we were going to get in the first weekend we had the place (that’s when the movers dropped off most of our stuff). Then we needed another week because of all the unplanned painting to be done. Then just one more – as painting takes a lot longer than we thought… And the longer the move takes, the less I do anything else. I took the munchkin for Christmas pictures very early so that I could have the cards all ready to go to send with our new address before we started receiving cards (and so they wouldn’t get lost in the move). Admittedly I was slow about printing out labels and all that, but when I finally was ready to go on them, I found I had no energy to write much of anything on them!

This has always been a bit of a pet peeve of mine… I know I’m going to get flack for this, but hear me out. I get Christmas cards from college friends who I haven’t seen in years and they just sign their names – no updates on family or life, no photocopied Christmas note. As we’ve gotten older and everyone starts to have kids, they include a picture – so that’s kind of an update in itself. Although then the card is pre-signed, so they just stuff it in an envelope (with an address label) and send it off – feels like we could do that by email.

I know I’m being picky and petty. I actually really enjoy getting the Christmas pictures of my friends’ kids. It just starts to feel a little impersonal, I guess.

I mentioned this a few years ago to one of my friends – who does always write a note – and she said I’d see how much harder it is when I had kids (it’s her answer to a lot of things I say…). But now, with the move, I am ready to just shove these babies in envelopes – with my pre-printed labels, and printed new return address labels (just hoping they notice that it says we’ve moved!). I feel like I complained a bit too much about that in the past – and it does still feel too impersonal (if I like you enough to send you a Christmas card, I feel like I should say hi on it…), so I put a brief note on most of them. (To be fair, my husband’s relatives and college friends who I don’t know so well and my distant second cousins, etc. … did not get notes!) However my sentiments got shorter and shorter as I thought about my move to do list! Good friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time got a simple “Miss you! Hope to see you at the holidays!”

Great. I’ve totally turned into the thing I used to mock! I’m going to do my best to blame it on the move rather than the babe. We’ll see how that works for me … next year… (I’m sure they’ll be something new to blame it on then!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are you going to keep this wallpaper?

Lest there be any doubt on the design of our wallpaper… I had told my husband (before we knew about any other issues) that the kitchen wallpaper just HAD to go before we moved in. It’s yellow with some flowers and berries and is really just very busy – and covers the kitchen and adjoining hallway. I’d sent pictures of the house / the website info to a few different people all of whom sighed in relief when I told them that wallpaper was going. One actually said – thank goodness you said that, as I was going to tell you – friends don’t let friends keep that wallpaper.

But I do have to admit now that we’ve removed the other extensive red toile wallpaper from our entry / stairway and now that the previous owner’s floral furniture is gone, it doesn’t seem quite so egregious to me. I’m not saying I like it! I’m just less repulsed. But clearly I’ve just gotten used to the pain…

Our first weekend, our new neighbors sponsored their church youth group to rake our front lawn as a welcome to the neighborhood present. It was really kind of them (although a little part of me does think that they also just wanted the darn leaves gone! I mean, the place obviously hadn’t been raked all fall and it was covered! We have a lot of trees, so even the front lawn alone resulted in about 25 bags of leaves – God help us in trying to figure out what to do in the back! But that’s not our priority when so much is left to be done on the inside – a fact I think our neighbor’s must have guessed… But anyway - ). When we saw the large group of teens working outside, we brought out some drinks and snacks and told them that they were welcome to use the bathroom (the one on the first floor as no, you can’t not walk on my new carpet in leaf raking shoes!). One girl, who was about 14, was waiting for the bathroom and turned to my husband and said – so, are you going to keep this wallpaper in the kitchen? Hahahaha! He told her, no, I think we’re going to take this down. Why? Do you like it? She responded – no, not particularly. Then she went on to explain that it was a bit much next to the red bathroom (yes, the red toile wallpaper was in there too – but in this case only halfway up to the chair rail molding and the top was painted red.). But then she qualified that she actually sort of liked the bathroom – um, thanks kid, so do I.

Thus far only one person has ‘voted’ in favor of the wallpaper (it’s not my husband or me and this isn’t a democracy!) – even among strangers who’ve come in. I wonder where my wallpaper scorer went…

Now THIS makes me feel old and suburban… (About your tree?)

Day two of home ownership and my husband was at the house trying to get everything done – stripping wallpaper, painting baseboards, dealing with the HVAC guy and chimney sweeps and so on. One of the neighbors came over to say hello. She introduced herself (and checked the place out!) and then said, hey, will you step outside with me? My husband was a little surprised, but said – OK… They got outside and this is the conversation that followed (well, approximately! I wasn’t there):

Neighbor: You know, your property actually extends pretty far over this way (indicating towards her house).
Hubby: oh yes, I know. It’s a big lot (where is she going with this?).
Neighbor: So all these trees are yours.
Hubby: Yes
Neighbor: And they all drop leaves on my lawn.
(Ah, this is where she is going with this…)
Neighbor: I can’t even grow grass because I get no sun.
Hubby: Actually, you know, there’s a type of fescu that is just perfect to grow in shady areas. It has a shallower root base and thicker leaves, so it doesn’t need as much sun.
(Editor’s note here: He made that up. He knows nothing about this. Apparently fescu (however it’s spelled) is a real grass. Maybe it’s good in shade (maybe not). I have no idea why. And more importantly, he has no idea why. He was just trying to redirect – I mean we weren’t even moved in yet!)

The conversation continued…

Neighbor: I think we should landscape it.
(Note – we. We, huh? Lady, landscape your little heart out. I’m pretty busy ripping down wallpaper.)

Finally, Hubby looked at her and said something like – Look, I’ve owned this house TWO DAYS now.

She backed off a little. But then pretty much redeemed herself as a neighbor by saying she would buy the plants if we would plant them.

So I started telling people this story – my Mom, some friends, etc. And suddenly I realized – oh my God, I’m telling stories about my neighbors! I’m having whole conversations regarding the foliage in my yard! I’m like a thousand years old now…

The neighborhood Christmas tea

So before we had even actually moved into the house, there was a note in my mailbox inviting me to the 7th annual neighborhood Christmas tea (!). I have to tell you – I grew up on a really busy street with no other kids on the block and no HOAs. My parents have owned (still do) that house for more than 40 years and when I was little, many of the neighbors were original owners. So we knew them all – I think we were a novelty – like standby / practice grandkids in the neighborhood (though I think most of their grandkids were actually older than us). But still, as it was a busy street and most of the families were older, there was never once a block party or anything like that. To be honest, I thought block parties were a made up thing on TV. You know, like how everyone sits on ones side of the dinner table in TV shows or the living room is set up so everyone faces one way? Block parties were a TV thing like that. (A side note – my parents also never complained about their in-laws. Both sides of my family are pretty nice generous people, so I think that made it easier, but I also remember my Mom saying, how could you ever have a real animosity for the person who gave birth to / raised the person you love most in the world? OK, so I’ve seen some of my friend’s mothers in law who perfectly answer that question, but still, I get her point. Anyway, as a kid I also thought that in-law jokes were just something for TV. Not something real or based on any actual animosity. So I was overall sheltered.)

Anyway, my in-laws neighborhood had a block party a couple of years ago – my first. Apparently, according to my husband, a block party veteran, it was a truly lame block party. No grill, no keg, etc. And here I was thinking I hadn’t missed out on anything as a kid. But, according to him, a “real” block party was much better and something worth going to. OK, I’ll take your word for it.

My only experiences with these types of neighborhood community events are the parties run by prior condo associations. While they are trying, the reality is that they often are pretty lame and lack real mingling too. I’ve usually brought friends and encouraged them to do their best to drink back my condo fees.

So a neighborhood tea – one held the week I moved in – seemed such a novelty! Where have I moved? Is this a good thing – a real community? Neighbors who understand that the word means more than a shared property line? Or a bad thing – have I moved to Stepford?

It turns out it’s the first – wow! I brought the munchkin with me as the hubby had worked the night before and gotten no sleep. She was the only baby, but they’d said it was OK to bring her along – and boy was she the hit of the party! Most of the people there seemed at least a little (to a lot) older than me. I’m not sure all their ages, but have to guess from the ages of their children (and grandchildren and great grandchildren). There were actually a good number with teenage kids (and at least one with a 6 and 9 year old. My Mom pointed out that I could have a 9 year old if I’d started really young. OK, maybe… But could we stop aging me?). They had tea and snacks and everyone was very anxious to help me get some as I was holding the baby – it was really very nice (as I’d been wondering how on earth I’d manage). As I was sitting, someone next to me said – I’m just dying for my turn to hold your baby. Well, how could I resist (I could finally eat the chocolate mousse cake then!) – and she went no fuss! She actually was OK being held by a few people – as long as she could pull off / attempt to eat their name tags.

They actually had a short program – first an icebreaker to introduce everyone and then someone gave a short presentation on the meaning of Christmas and bringing the light of it into our lives (getting beyond all our busy-ness to remember what it was about. This was definitely the neighborhood CHRISTMAS tea, not the holiday tea.). It was actually pretty nice – not overly preachy and pretty open. And, through the intros, you could see that everyone was pretty friendly and laid back.

I have to admit that it all seemed a little surreal – so much unlike what I’m used to. But all in a really good way. And not once did anyone bring up our leaves or our trees or whatever other mess we need to sort with this house!

Friday, December 18, 2009

New carpets

On the bright side, we did want new carpets and now they will all be done before we even move in. On the down side – they are taking ALL our available funds. The entire slush fund that represented our emergency savings post settlement. OK, we do get paid this week, so we’ll be OK – as long as nothing else happens (dear God, was that bad horror movie juju or what? I take that back. I never said that!). We’re working on negotiating getting at least some of the money back from the security deposit. (Actually, basically, what we would like is enough money to cover all the carpets – not all were stained, but we had to replace all of upstairs and the stairs so that they match. And because we were going to do it anyway eventually, let’s just make it one big project. If that’s covered, we’ll worry about coming up with cash for the rough in at some future point when we get to that.) Sadly, the couple who’d been so nice up until this point is now digging in their heels. My husband pointed out that I probably wouldn’t want to just give up a few thousand dollars without a fight either, but I don’t like the way they’re doing it. They could argue that based on the grade of carpet or what have you, we should split the cost. Heck, they could even TRY to argue that the carpets weren’t that bad (they were). But that’s not the approach. They are arguing that we should have known about the carpets from our walk throughs (despite the furniture). Heck, they are now even arguing that they’re not responsible for the rough in that was in the listing and they confirmed was there multiple times. I think their argument is that it’s not listed in the contract. Yeah, you know why that is? Because plumbing conveys! You don’t HAVE to list plumbing!

Anyway, their demeanor on this is making us want to ask for even more! But I think we’re caving at 60% (slightly less than the carpet cost, but it will cover most of it) to just be done with it. It’s just all added so much extra stress! Because, given the state, we couldn’t move in with it – which meant it had to be done almost immediately. And, hey, if you’re carpeting, you should really paint first – which meant ripping down A LOT of red toile wallpaper (it covered the foyer, stairs and upstairs hall. If that doesn’t sound so bad, you should probably know that the dining room next to it was navy and the living room on the other side was sort of a peach color – and then there was other very busy wallpaper in the kitchen.). Sadly, we just ran out of time, so we just ripped down the wallpaper and prepped the rooms and then painted the baseboards – as they will be closest to the carpet. But in the plans to do this, my husband decided he was simply too disgusted by the carpet to even kneel on it while he worked, so he ripped it up first – discovering that the stains penetrated the carpet pad and had even stained the floor boards. Thank God they weren’t wet / didn’t smell or have mold. But can you imagine how gross they were / how much there was to pass through all of that?!

But now we have new carpets and have begun the work of painting – and have realized in the process that we have essentially recreated the design of our condo (essentially the same carpets and exactly the same wall color). Well, or we almost have – the condo is (sadly!) still nicer as it has crown molding! We’ll be remedying this soon… I’m beginning to wonder about our logic in moving (something I’m sure I’ll REALLY wonder about when the first mortgage bill comes due…)


Ah thank God the time has finally come! My in-laws have been amazing in their generosity with us as they’ve opened up their home, but it is definitely time to go. We went to the final walk through for the new house and it is now ours. And we are discovering the “joys” of homeownership right away…

Every time we’d seen the house before it was jam packed with stuff! There was barely an inch of floor space. So when we’d seen the carpets upstairs, we knew that they were a bit worn and we’d need to replace them in the next few years. But we figured we had a few years. With ALL the furniture gone, it turned out there were - what we are politely calling lots of pet stains. Less politely, it looks like the dog must have pooped all over one room and in many places in a second. Actually, checking the stains on the carpet that we could see before – those were probably cleaned up poop stains. Anyway, the carpet absolutely has to go – as my husband said, he wouldn’t let the dog in there, never mind his 9 month old!

The other issue is there was no rough in for plumbing in the basement. Again, the basement was jam packed with stuff, so we could never see the exact area where it should be, but every time we came, they assured us it was there. Now that it was finally empty – no rough in. To be fair, my husband asked the owner to show him where it was. She went downstairs and pointed, saying, there it is. He responded – that’s the sump pump. (As an aside, yes, I totally would have believed that was whatever you told me it was as well. Well, maybe I could recognize a sump pump… but I’m not sure.)

Because we did the leaseback, we’ve already settled and can’t go through this at settlement. However we did a hold a security deposit with the title company, so now we have to start negotiating on that. Unfortunately, the security deposit isn’t really enough to cover all that’s missing, but as my husband is handy, I think we can make it work – not that we’ll likely get the whole thing. It’s all just such a pain and we really want to be done with it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So here’s a gross one… awhile ago I noticed a few little black spots on the tubing for my breast pump. I didn’t think much about it – figured they got dirty somewhere and left it at that. My husband happened to notice them last week, though, and said – um, that’s mold. How disgusting! He was insistent that we should cut them at the moldy part and get rid of it (when multiple cleaning attempts failed), but I didn’t want to do that for fear they might not fit right after that and the pump wouldn’t work – because then what would I do!?

So I went to Babies R Us the next day – and nothing. They don’t sell them. You have to go to the Medela website. I went to the website and was about to order the ($20!) new tubing when I noticed a mention of the 1 to 2 year warranty on the parts. Well, I haven’t had this a year… So I decided to send a note asking how to clean them and, if they couldn’t be cleaned, if they were under warranty. They responded right away that they would send new tubes free of charge! Woo hoo! Who’d have thunk it? So glad I asked…

Monday, December 14, 2009

All about Meme: 5 People you'd like to swing a golf club at

So today's prompt is 5 people you'd like to swing a golf club at. I suppose I can't start with people who won't get merry and happy at the holidays as a flying golf club makes me a bit un-merry too and it seems counterproductive. So let's try again -

1. The BIGGEST, BADDEST, Big Bertha of a poison filled club at the dang bugs in the house! We've finally gotten posession of this house (moving stories to follow later) and I keep finding big disgusting bugs! And little insidious bugs! And YUCK!!! They need to go! I thought that terrible anaconda sized snakeskin indicated that something had already eaten all my bugs (He's apparently gone or he'd be getting a golf club - but it would be thrown at him. From a distance. While I ran and screamed like a little girl).

2. This next one is for my husband (meaning on behalf of, not coming FOR his head) and it's for the last person to paint this place. The clean up work needed to even get to our own painting is painful. The other day he was fuming - who paints over light sockets?! That is just shoddy work. (note - I am probably lazy enough to paint over light sockets. That's why he is in charge of painting projects.)

3. Myself - for having so much stuff that must move and be unpacked and places must be found for it. This has the added advantage of not only taking out frustration, but also, if I'm knocked out / laid up, someone else is in charge of unpacking! ;)

4. Movers! All of them. Everywhere. Them and my list of other unsavory types - mattress salesman, real estate agents and anyone in the wedding industry!

5. I'm with Supah Mommy on the inventor of the big blow up Christmas lawn decorations. Thank God we are too strapped for cash this season to afford any as my husband has his eye on a few...

I'm saving a special bonus club (my mulligan!) for my husband if he doesn't get on the ball with Christmas shopping. I won't hit (too) hard. I promise...

Questions of vaccination – H1N1

We just went for my daughter’s 9 month check up – she’s doing well. 95th percentile in height, 50th in weight and 75th in head circumference – the doctor has told me numerous times not to worry about the discrepancy as she’s just making herself tall and skinny like we all want to be. Anyway, the kid has so much energy she probably can’t get any more weight on her!

Unfortunately we couldn’t see our regular doctor, so instead had to see the one who always wears bowties – and always seems amused by my lists of questions (amused in that way that he seems to want to pat me on the head. This from a grown man wearing a bowtie!). Anyway, we starting working through my list (numbering 15 this time – you’re starting to be amused and want to pat me on the head too, don’t you?) and got to vaccinations. He got that sort of amused smile (I’m holding off from going so far as to call it condescending, but may yet revise) and said something like, ah yes. OK, what do you want to know? After he explained that she’d get her Hep B booster and her flu shots, we started on our questions.

I have to stop here and say – I’m not anti-vaccination. I know people have good reasons for being anti-vaccination and everyone is entitled to their beliefs, particularly in raising their children. But these are not my beliefs. I am not crunchy granola. I do not disagree with using medications – and heck, other chemicals – appropriately and in reason. I know that vaccines have risks overall, but do generally believe there is a greater risk to not getting vaccinated. That said… the flu vaccine has its own special place in this discourse for us. For several reasons. I’ll go with the low end ones first – my husband’s first question was about the efficacy of the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines. I mean the flu vaccine is always a guess as to what this year’s strain of flu will be – so you get the vaccine, but they’re wrong on what the prevalent type of flu is and you get the flu anyway. And H1N1 was sort of rushed to market this year due to the scare, so that’s another concern. The doctor got his back up a little at these comments explaining how good and useful and well tested they are.

So then we brought out the big guns – we told him we were nervous about side effects. With that little smile, he asked why? Then my husband wiped that smile off his face by explaining that he had had very serious (in fact, life threatening) complications from the flu vaccine in college. He spent months in the hospital with Gullian Barre syndrome, which had actually completely paralyzed him for weeks. Now we had the doctor’s attention a little more, but he still explained that GBS was a 1 in 1 million chance. I told him that I understood that, but that it’s hard when 1 in 1 million is sitting next to me and such a close blood relative to my baby. My husband also pointed out that GBS is highly under diagnosed (the doctor really fought back on that one, but I will have to disagree with him, as my husband was lucky that (only) one of the doctors in the ER he went to even knew to test for it) and is often not linked causally to the flu shot when it likely should be. The doctor shot back that still 1 in 8000 people die from the flu each year (hard to point out that I don’t know any of those people, but I do know someone who had GBS. Statistics never mean a thing to the individual.).

We only talked to him a few minutes and then took 5 minutes to talk amongst ourselves – should we do this? The chances of anything happening to her from the shot were so low – GBS is not genetic. The chances of getting H1N1 are so much higher and so risky for her age. But either option feels so potentially devastating to us. Parenting is hard! After weighing our options, we decided we would do H1N1, but not the seasonal flu shot. So we found the nurse and told her – she came back with a form we had to fill out and sign to get H1N1 – question #4, has your child ever had Guillain Barre Syndrome?

Oh crap. It was all jumping back up at us and we felt totally undecided again. I didn’t know my husband when he had GBS, but I’ve heard enough to have some idea of the stress is caused. The night he went to the hospital, at 20 years old, he was told to make his peace and say his goodbyes to his parents. He beat the odds and lived, but had to learn to walk again. He finally got out of the hospital after about 3 months and returned home while all his friends finished out the semester. He went back for the fall semester about 7-8 months after his first diagnosis, but now says that that was probably really too soon physically. Mentally and emotionally, he needed to get out of his house and back to school then though! Actually, I take back my initial statement – I don’t think I have any possible concept of how hard and stressful that was. But I saw how hard it was making this decision about what to do for our tiny little person who was dependent on us to make the right decision.

So we stepped back and decided not to get the shot then. I have no idea if this is the right decision. I actually have no idea if this is even the final decision – we may yet go back and get it. But until then we deliberate – and, hey, don’t sneeze near my baby!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 months – out as long as in

The little monkey is now 9 months old – meaning she has been outside as long as she has been in. And, sadly, this is totally feeling like an accomplishment to me! I remember reading a friend’s blog years ago about one of her kids birthdays – she said that she felt like every birthday was an accomplishment / a validation – like, hey, I’ve managed to keep these beings alive for another year! At the time, I didn’t get it (I was sort thinking – shouldn’t their birthday be more about them / their accomplishment), but I’m starting to now. Before she arrived, I was so worried we’d permanently scar her (be it emotionally, mentally or physically!) by this point, that I feel like there’s almost relief that it doesn’t FEEL LIKE we’ve totally screwed up yet. Although she is spoiled and plays us like a piano (look who’s still sometimes waking up at night in no predictable pattern!). But I think she’s mostly spoiled the way babies should be – she’s totally “over-loved” by parents and grandparents and tons of extended family! And, in turn, we, as her parents are totally spoiled by their love and generosity!

But that wasn’t so much the point of this (must be getting into the holiday spirit!). It’s just amazing to me how quickly so much time has passed. I was warned it would – but still can’t believe it. It’s amazing to me all that has changed in the last 9 (and 18) months – to think, a year ago, I was still anticipating her arrival. A year ago was my baby shower where I got so much pink stuff I became utterly paranoid that the sonogram would be wrong and she wouldn’t actually be a girl and I’d be in trouble!

It’s hard to remember my life before her. At times I do long for just a day or two of sleeping in, getting to relax with a book and a glass of wine or having a night out with friends, but mostly it seems like my life must have been a little empty before her because it’s so full of her now!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The time before memories.

It recently occurred to me that we’re in an interesting time. My daughter is 9 months old – so what we do effects her and who’ll she’ll be – but she won’t remember a thing about this time! Seriously. My earliest memories, which are very vague and seem more like photos I’ve seen sometimes than real memories, start around 3 or 4 and stay hazy for awhile. I’m not sure I can remember a think about pre-K and barely remember kindergarten. My husband has a better long term memory than me (but much worse for anything that’s happened since we’ve met!) and can remember specifics from when he was 3 and even some details from before that – but certainly nothing as far back as 9 months!

It was an odd feeling. In certain ways, oddly liberating – we can’t screw her up too bad yet! (Can we?) In certain ways, it makes sense – you really don’t want to remember someone changing your diaper (I think I hope some form of dementia keeps me from remembering on the other end should it come to that) or ‘sucking out your brains’ with a nasal aspirator. Then there’s the scary morbid part that thought – if I died right now, she’d never remember me. (Yeah, way to go down that path.)

But then again, I know that even though she won’t remember it, this is the foundation. She won’t remember whether I came when she cried, but, depending on which doctor you’re buying into, either she’ll remember that she can manipulate me through tears or she’ll remember that she was not left alone. Or if I don’t, she’ll remember that Mom doesn’t just give in because you cry or that she was abandoned. Though I mix and match the two concepts to make the decision on whether to pick the baby up when she cries in the night just as scary as it can possibly be!

Anyway, it all seems odd. These weeks and months are flying by – as I was warned they would! – so that sometimes even my own memories of them seem so strange and vague (especially the sleep deprived very beginning!). They are so important (I think all the doctors agree on that part – that if you don’t follow them exactly, you’ll totally screw your kid up because this time is so important!), yet so fleeting and she won’t remember them. I’m not usually this ‘poetic’ (or corny), but it makes me want to gather them up in my hands and hang on to them. I don’t want to keep her like this forever, per se, but I think I’d like babyhood and childhood doled out in portions over life – so you can have it a little bit at a time and appreciate it. Heck, I’d like that for myself (not necessarily babyhood, but childhood!). My husband suggested this as well, but I realize that the fatal flaw is that you can’t mix it in with teenager-dom – when you probably need it most – because you might throw them out the window during the baby days, as you know you can totally “take them” then.

Time to get our own place!

OK, the countdown is finally winding down! We may actually be in our house in just a couple of weeks. And man is it ever time! Most recently I mentioned to my husband that we needed to put the suitcases away from our trip our few weeks back. He pointed out that we’re moving in a couple of weeks and will need them then, so why bother? And I agreed. A couple of weeks and I agreed! I went in for the logic of – why make the bed, I’m just going to sleep in it later? But the truth is I’m worn down by our tight quarters and can barely care anymore. My only fear – as we’ve made SUCH a mess of the two small rooms where we and the baby are living – is that I’m letting the bad habits (that I’ve spent the last 3 years of our marriage trying to eradicate) set in for good. My husband hasn’t put laundry away in weeks (maybe the 2+ plus months we’ve been here), but I can barely argue as there’s barely a place for any of it to go anyway.

So keep your fingers crossed – I don’t relish yet another move (it’s going to be an absolutely CRAZY week from when the current tenants leave till we get in – think chimney sweeps, hvac cleaning, rug cleaning, floor cleaning, movers, and pretty much any other service man you can think of…), but man will I be happy to be settled!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nasal aspirators, snot suckers and brain eaters

As I mentioned the other day, there’s been a cold (and/or the flu) going around our house recently. My husband and mother in law were hit worst. I was just feeling a little under the weather / tired, but no big deal and the baby had the sniffles. But you know what baby sniffles mean? They mean someone has to get that gunk out of her nose because she can’t do it herself – and so we introduce the nasal aspirator, or as we call it, the snot sucker. She loves it! Just loves it. Who wouldn’t love having some plastic jammed up their nostril to suck gunk out? Clearly the screaming and head thrashing and hands up mean that she LOVES it – right? That’s a true sign of baby love.

It occurred to me that it’s not much fun and maybe it hurts or is uncomfortable, so I asked my husband if he’d ever tried it on himself. He looked at me like I was nuts and said, no, why would I do that? Now before you think I’m totally nuts too, not only is he a man who tried all the baby food (and breast milk!) to see what it tasted like (as did I – except the bananas because I hate bananas!), but he's also a paramedic – so he has to do this to people a lot. And heck – maybe they had to practice it on each other in clinicals or something? What do I know? I know they all had to start IVs on each other (reason number 8000 why I will never be a paramedic. I don’t do well with that when the really skilled practitioners do it. Like I want a rookie!), so it’s not totally unreasonable. But he said no, he hadn’t. So I decided to try it on myself (yes I cleaned it before and after!) and I’ll tell you what – nothing. It felt like NOTHING! I tried shoving it really far up my nostril figuring her nostril is lot smaller than mine, so that would be more comparable. And I did it with the big, hospital issued one, rather than the nice cute little CVS one we got more recently. Now, it’s arguable that it feels different for her. She’s smaller and all that. But sometimes she sits for the little purple CVS one like it’s no big deal (which it is!) and she doesn’t even notice. So I really don’t think it hurts her or causes discomfort.

Which leads me to believe she must think we’re attempting to suck out her brain with it. Sure she’s 9 months old. So she doesn’t know what a brain is. Or more to the point – she doesn’t know where her brain is to know that this would be the right access point. But otherwise I’m at a loss.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Closing on the house

The day is finally coming when we will move! We have FINALLY closed – though we still have a lease back agreement for a few weeks after that. Closing went well. We did the walk through the night before – which was interesting, in that all their stuff is still there because they’re not moving yet! They are making some progress on packing – slowly, but surely – but overall, the house still looks very lived in.

Having looked at SO many houses to find ours, it was almost like seeing ours for the first time when we walked through because I was finally able to really focus on what would be ours. I’d mentally moved our furniture into the last house that fell through at the 11th hour, so I was now mentally packing that up and putting it here. There were a few things “missing” that I hadn’t noticed before – like there are oddly no linen closets? But these things are remediable (they’re leaving some shelves for us, but we can get a cabinet down the road – and eventually we’ll just throw all that in to our mega remodel of one day). And there were no big surprises …till we got to the basement.

We were walking through the basement when my husband pointed to the rafters beyond some boxes and said – did you put that snakeskin there? His sentiment didn’t immediately register. What’s a snakeskin? Is it some sealant or covering? No, no. It is the skin of a snake! Literally! The owner said, No! She went on to explain that actually she hadn’t noticed it until the termite inspector came and that she’d freaked out then, but he’d promised her that the snake was long gone. As she said all this, my brain went into overdrive! Snake? Snake?!?!?! There’s a snake in… oh God, MY, basement. Can I get out of this contract?

I stopped my hyperventilating as we continued the tour of the house, but COULD NOT get the image out of my mind (imagine what this did for the pre-closing stress induced insomnia that I’d felt). There was about 6 inches of the tail hanging down – which meant that there was well more than 6 inches up in the rafters to support that part of the weight. Based on the width of the tail – it was a lot more than 6 inches. This was a BIG snake. Now, to be fair, it was a black snake. A completely harmless snake that I’ve seen around here before. My husband reminded me that it eats mice and its presence means that rodents were kept at bay (I responded with – what eats snakes? Ala the old woman who swallowed a fly.). And we live in a wooded area. There will be snakes (that was my husband’s logic. Guess who’s not going in the backyard anymore?).

My final compromise on this was to rationalize that – it’s coming on winter. Yes, the snake is gone now. So my husband needs to go to the basement first and be sure to remove the skin and never tell me how long it was. He assured me that it actually wasn’t very long and I thanked him for his happy lie.

Anyway, despite the snake, I decided to show up to closing the next day and we bought our house! We’ve spent the time since calling movers (don’t get me started), the electric company to change everything over and all those other “grown up” things that we need to take care of.

It’s so funny – I began to realize this being a parent, but now really see it as we buy a house – my parents weren’t actually born grown up. They weren’t born caring about boring things like mold and taxes and savings accounts! Life has snuck up on me and made me responsible and a parent – a grown up. Boring!!

A plague on our house

Be it the flu or swine flu or maybe the black death – a plague has befallen our house! Or, well, yes, still my in-laws house as we are STILL living there. My Mother in law got sick about a week ago with cold symptoms. She was very nervous about getting the baby sick and therefore completely quarantined herself to her room for several days. We changed up our work schedules for childcare and it all seemed OK. Until my husband came home with a cold on Friday morning. He’d worked 24 with his fever spiking at 102.5 in the middle. He’s not one to go to the doctor or admit illness readily, so either he was really worried about infecting the baby or he was really really sick. His flu test came back negative, but, as the test apparently has a high false negative, the doctor diagnosed flu based on his symptoms. (I later learned that all flu currently diagnosed is assumed to be swine flu because we’re not seeing seasonal flu yet and apparently the test isn’t sensitive enough to distinguish.) As the munchkin had been a bit stuffy for a couple of days, we decided she needed a trip to the pediatrician – just to be safe.

Our normal practice on taking her to the doctor is that one of us sits in the car with her while the other waits in the waiting room. When we’re called, we all come in. That way she doesn’t sit in the petrie dish that is a pediatrician’s waiting room. I know this may sound overly paranoid, but our daughter was born in February – smack dab in flu season. I’d had the flu the year before and wound up with quite a bad case (throat so sore the doctor prescribed vicadin for the pain (OK, so even I thought that was extreme), no voice for almost a week, throwing up, IV liquids – all that fun). We didn’t want to risk exposing our 4 day old at her first doctor visit, so the doctor actually suggested this procedure. As it worked and seemed like a good idea, we’ve stuck with it. Anyway, as my husband was sick, he couldn’t come along, so my mother in law took car duty instead and therefore came in to the appointment.

The doctor took one look at my laughing, squealing daughter and looked at me like – lady, you are completely crazy to bring this obviously perfectly healthy child in for fear that she has the flu. I explained that I didn’t really think she had the flu, but she did have cold symptoms and had definitely been exposed to the flu (which is, of course, very dangerous for someone her age). I know, I know! I’m a paranoid first time Mom! But still! Anyway, I was very glad to hear that she just had a mild upper respiratory infection and it was no big deal.

So now we just wait for the rest of the house to recover. My mother in law is beyond any contagion stage (apparently her doctor said that she had the flu, but not the swine flu), so she’s watching the little monkey while I work, but still trying to get extra rest when I’m home. My husband is mostly feeling better (mostly), but still not allowed near her. So he’s been sheepishly observing what he’s referred to as my ‘single parenting’ the last few days as he avoids coming near the baby. And, I have to admit – it’s been exhausting. Even when he does a shift of 24, I’m often left to wonder – how do single parents do it? There are so many things going on at once! Those moments when the baby is dirty and hungry and needs me, but the dog also needs to go out and I’d really like to make it to the bathroom and maybe have some breakfast myself – but I’m trying to pump before I get the baby so we have enough supply! There enough to drive you over the edge – and make me very grateful that that is not my every day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best Birthday Present EVER!

My daughter took a TWO HOUR nap yesterday so I got to sleep for an hour and a half in the afternoon!

She sort of took it back last night though when she was up three times... Ugh... I'm back to fully feeling my age after that!

Monday, November 30, 2009

All About Meme: Excuses

So this week's challenge - excuses! A note excusing myself from participation. Here goes:

Please excuse My Baby Sweetness from participation this week as she is working on that cold fusion thing (oh no, that's next week...)

As she is cultivating her creative genius (only true if that comes from chocolate - and even then, it's what I WANT to be true for my morning).

She's recovering from a near death experience. (hmm, not totally true, but truer than I'd like it to be this morning as I stepped on the wet floor in my office kitchen this morning and went FLYING. Only gymnasts should start their Monday morning doing the splits.)

She is sleep deprived. (Sadly way truer than I want it to be. Decided to try some tough love with some crying it out last night and so we were all up from 2 to 3.)

Because it's MONDAY and no one should have to think on Monday!!! Yup, that one

Lots of bloggy love!

Quote of the day

As said to my husband by a woman he works with –

“I love your daughter. She is just so F___ING cute!”

Making friends

We went over to visit some friends of ours this weekend who have a 2 year old daughter. Their daughter has just gotten over her biting phase, so on every previous visit she has been pretty well sequestered from our munchkin. The second she would come within 3 feet of her, her Mom would fly over to jump in between them or grab her daughter. The little girl still isn’t exactly ‘gentle’ (I mean, she’s 2!), but she tries to be gentle. And she’s enthralled with this little person who’s come to her house. She’s even reasonably good about sharing her toys and puts up with some flailing baby arms and grabbing – I’m amazed.

Well, with the munchkin’s new found “kissing” ability (big open mouthed drool on you) and the little girl’s new found gentle love of the baby – we got some cute pics of them making friends – or the munchkin trying to eat her face while she leaned in to kiss her (po-tay-to, po-tah-to).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Butterfly kisses are a bit droolier than I thought…

The munchkin has learned to kiss! Hmm – OK, that is actually a total overstatement. It suggests that we say kiss and she puckers and daintily puts her lips to our cheeks. This is not at all the case. More accurately I should say, she has learned the concept of showing affection by pressing her mouth to you, but has made it her own. What she actually does when you ask for a kiss (and other times when she goes for spontaneous affection – something we love as this kid is NOT a cuddler!) is she opens her mouth wide and puts it against your face, slobbering drool all over you. We think it’s very cute (even when it seems to involve some licking) – but I’m pretty sure that most of my friends (particularly those without kids) think it’s very disgusting. I can’t say I exactly blame them (but how can they not see the cuteness!?). Hmm, so maybe I should say that she learned to french kiss… Or learned to kiss from the dog?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top teeth

I can usually pinpoint the moment her teeth break through to within about an 1 hour. When she sobs and cries and fusses and tosses uncontrollably– to the point where you wonder whether you should call the doctor, social services or an exorcist – for about an hour, you can usually look in after and see a bit of white poking at the gum.

I’ve been lucky enough to miss most of these – the first time, we were at a wedding and she was with a friend of my Mom’s. The next two, my mother in law had her. But I think I was home for the last one – though I’m not sure I totally see the tooth coming through… This may be an extension of the joy of tooth #3. Which means there’s more!

Of course, you might argue that there are, in fact, 16 more. But my mother in law has told me that a lady at Safeway told her that only the first 4 are a problem. She’s decided to go with this – not to seek a second opinion from another person or to start polling shoppers at any other store. Because we like this news. This suggests that we are almost done. We are therefore going with it. Please don’t burst my bubble.

Can’t sleep – and this time it’s only me!

I’ve had such insomnia several days this week as closing fast approaches. I’ve tried staying up reading to tire myself out – easier on nights my husband isn’t home and I don’t have to worry about waking him. The other night he was home and I kept going downstairs to read, thinking I was tired enough, coming back up, only to turn around 20 minutes later to repeat the process. It’s so infuriating when the baby is actually sleeping and I could actually get some decent rest, but my body has decided to be against it! She’s actually slept through the night for several days in a row now, but I haven’t. In fact, it may be enough days to call it a pattern – heck, a schedule! She’s been going to bed between 7:30 and 8 and waking up between (as early as the ongodly) 6:15 and 7:30.

As her restlessness / waking up seemed to coincide with our move, I’m wondering if she’s just finally getting settled and can sleep here better. That would totally make sense as we’re moving out soon and will therefore have to repeat this pattern… Ugh.

Monday, November 23, 2009

All about Meme: Thankful

So I'm having a Monday and am super dense and can't seem to get the link in here right, but I'm going to participate anyway! SupahMommy and MommyBrain have sent the request what FOUR things are you thankful 'FOUR?' - in celebration of Thanksgiving. So here goes -

#1 is my little family. I'm so grateful for this baby who it seemed we waited so long for and had so many difficulties along the way.

#2 I'm thankful for our extended family - our parents, cousins, aunts and uncles (yes, my in-laws too - they are really wonderful people)

#3 I'm thankful that my in-laws have been so kind to let us live with them while we've had so many hiccups in the home buying arena and I'm thankful that it worked out well, but more than that...

#4 I'm thankful that it is finally almost over and we will soon be in our little home!

Now is the time in life when we deal with people’s butts

The other morning I was trying to sleep in a little after having had some insomnia (as did the baby!) over night. The baby hadn’t cried too much, but she’d been making noise and chattering away over the monitor on and off between 2 and 6 am. Shortly after that, I heard some belly noises. I tried to convince myself that it was NOT the dog – whose butt was positioned right around my pillow (this is not the game of Russian roulette you want to play on belly noises!) – but instead the baby. Yeah, like I wouldn’t have had to clean up a mess if THOSE noises (note the volume of noises directly next to my head v. over the monitor) were coming from the baby. Anyway, I finally dragged myself up to take him out at about 6:30 and bemoaned my lack of sleep.

I explained this all to my husband when he got home (he’d worked 24 and got home around 8), noting that when I heard the noises I knew I was going to have to clean someone’s butt – be it the dog or the baby. He looked at me and said – “Babe, this is the time in our lives when we deal with people’s butts. I am not a firefighter. You are not a Finance Manager. We are the butt cleaners. This is what we do. This is purpose right now.”

Well, as long as I have a purpose.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eczemic reaction

We started to notice a small area of dry spots on the munchkin just before we went on vacation. Nothing we figured we needed to worry about – maybe some eczema or something. She’s had dry spots before and apparently they are pretty common in babies. Well, this little spot seemed to grow on our trip to more and more dry red areas on her back and arms until my husband told me that she had hives. I looked at him and said – that’s what hives look like? He looked at my like I was positively nuts (or possibly the dumbest person on the planet) and said – how do you not know what hives look like? I did my shoulder shrug of “dunno” and said – I guess I never had them. I thought they were more like circles – maybe raised (I was thinking of boils – maybe those drawings of bubonic plague victims...). He told me that they could be circles, but didn’t have to be.

So we called the pediatrician and the nurse helpline assured us that if they weren’t effecting her breathing or bothering her, they were really no big deal and should go away. Only the next day, they didn’t seem to be going away, but instead getting worse. So on the way to the airport we started calling the doctor. Nothing. We tried a few times, but couldn’t stay on through the airport and eventually gave up when we had to turn off our electronic devices. We tried again when we landed – this time trying any variety of the extensions – the nurse advice line, the receptionist, billing, the line for doctors and hospitals calling, etc. We waited on hold with each for 15 minutes and decided the phones were clearly broken. Finally my husband left a message (the first opportunity to do so) at the billing office explaining our problem and explaining that their phones must be broken. We got a call back a bit later. Their phones aren’t broken. The swine flu freak out is in full swing. Every mother in the greater metropolitan area is calling to say that her child possibly has swine flu and needs an appointment so that all 15 phone lines are busy all day long. They were very nice then though and gave us an appointment for 8:15 that evening (when crankiness has REALLY set in because the sweetness should be asleep, but still we wanted to get her checked out).

The doctor came in to our appointment almost rubbing his hands with glee at seeing “something different!” No snotty noses. No fever, chills, coughing, sore throat! Who cares what I’m looking at, it’s not a flu test! He took a look at the baby and told us that she had “an eczemic reaction” (so, um, that’s eczema, right?). He explained that maybe she was allergic to something – had we changed detergents or anything? I explained that we’d been on vacation and changed EVERYTHING this week! But it was not a big deal at the moment. We needed to put hydrocortisone cream on it twice a day and pat rather than rub her dry after a bath and she’d be fine.

And speaking of baths – she had one in her future after stopping by that petrie dish of kids with the flu! Which only had her up later. Which made her SO happy… God help us…

Monday, November 16, 2009

I feel like someone put Xanax in my Cornflakes

It’s Xanax, I mean, right? I feel all jittery and displaced and unsettled? I have no idea why. OK, the lack of sleep last night didn’t help – but then again, I didn’t sleep because I felt all jittery – so I’m thinking it’s more a symptom than a cause. What’s even weirder about my title – I had Cheerios for breakfast…

Anyway, in my complete brilliance, I was sitting at the office this morning, feeling all jittery and decided that I needed something. Something. I don’t know what – something. I probably just needed to do something with my hands… Anyway, I decided I really wanted a cup of coffee. Before you jump to conclusions, it was my intention to brew up some decaf. There is never decaf in the breakroom (and I feel like a complete tool brewing a whole pot of it thereby taking up a valuable pot, i.e. caffeine source, from others in the office), so I’ve got a little personal brewer on my desk. But I was out of coffee pods for my personal brewer. So I decided to grab a bag of decaf from the breakroom and use that instead (yes, the coffee pot does have a grounds option rather than a pods – this is not the stupid part yet). Except there was no decaf in the breakroom! None. Nowhere to be found. We’re all meant to be hyped up on caffeine all day! I find this strange as there was some last time I checked (it might have been awhile ago). And no one ever uses it. So where did it go? It got lonely and a complex because no one wants it and it ran anyway?

This left me with no decaf options. So I figured a little regular won’t kill me, right? I mean, I really want some coffee. I’ll just do about a third of a cup coffee, mostly hot water and then creamer (I had some French vanilla creamer in the fridge that was calling to me). Except I think my ratios were off. It’s about a third coffee, a third creamer and a third hot water.

So I felt off and unsettled and odd and jittery and therefore decided to introduce caffeine (keep in mind I stopped drinking regular coffee about a year and a half ago when the doctor suggested that caffeine was associated with early miscarriage) and a whole bunch of sugar. Oh hell yes!

The only potential bright side to this bit of great thinking is that both those things should lead to a HUGE ASS crash after they wear off. So maybe, just maybe if I can ever get over the jittery feeling, I’ll move on to zombie-ish. I’m thinking this will probably happen during a meeting with my boss… But that might be better than my current state in a meeting with my boss as I’m barely able to sit still. Always the sign of a good employee –totally on the go and always moving shows I’m working hard, right? Yeah, that won’t look like total ADD at my desk job. Hmm… I’ve heard of adult onset ADD – I just never really figured the onset was quite so quick – like overnight I go from able to focus to walking along, mid-thought and – SQUIRREL! I haven’t actually seen Up yet, but that part was in the preview – where the dog has a device that is able to translate his thoughts into words. He’s explaining this and mid-sentence his head flashes to the side, he yells SQUIRREL! And then comes back to the conversation. That’s what I’m feeling like. Like my Labrador-beagle. Only possibly less focused. (Usually I only feel like him in my desire to sleep 18 hours a day.)

Maybe I’ve got my drugs wrong and what I should have said is I feel like someone should have put Xanax in my Cornflakes. But, of course, I ate the Cheerios, so I’d still be screwed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daytime outings

I mentioned the change in our evening plans, but it reminded me of the recent changes in our daytime plans as well. A few weeks ago I decided to meet a friend for lunch in Georgetown. It was a beautiful day (and it was getting to the point in the season where we were starting to run short on beautiful days), so we thought it would be nice to get out and enjoy it. I fought traffic and somehow managed to get rock star parking (not sure how that happened). But then I started fighting the crowds on the streets to meet my friend with the stroller in tow.

As it was one of the last nice days, it seemed that EVERYONE had decided to take advantage of it. The streets were packed. It would have been painful to try to get around in that many people without the stroller – with it, I was feeling homicidal. I decided to “pull over” into Barnes and Nobles to wait for my friend there – only to discover there are 2 steps up to get anywhere besides the magazines – the racks for which are very close together and not stroller friendly. I was starting to feel downright whiney when I noticed a woman passing with a double stroller for her twins – who did not look at all whiney. In fact, it looked like this walk was purely for exercise! That one shut me up (and made me wonder if I could get whatever meds she was getting…). Well, it shut me up for a little while.

I finally met my friend and we found a spot with an inside patio for lunch where we could relax. But somewhere in there I started to wonder – when did I get this old and boring? Shouldn’t I want a good outside patio spot near the street to not only enjoy the weather but get to people watch!? Shouldn’t I want to sidewalk shop after lunch – rather than only wanting to rush back to my car to get the heck out of Dodge! Sure, I have no money, so that does reduce my shopping instinct (well, sort of…). Oh man – I’ve gotten old!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mom’s Saturday night

I recently read a blog on ‘things I’d being doing on a Saturday night if I weren’t a Mom.’ ( It got me thinking… Years ago (way back when), I used to go out quite a bit. There was a time when I sat down on my couch to watch tv one day and wondered why that felt so odd – it was then that I realized I hadn’t actually done that in about a month as I’d been out every day (ok, so sometimes I was in class at night, but that’s not the point!). There were days when watching the sunrise was a late night activity rather than an early morning one.

But I admit that I settled down quite a bit when I met my husband. At the beginning we still went out a bit, but not nearly as much or as late. We saw far fewer sunrises. Then his schedule got crazy with work – he’s a fire fighter and works 24 hours shifts every three days. So you have to figure – he’s generally either working overnight on Friday or Saturday or he’s got to get up at 5 to work Sunday. It makes it hard to plan to stay out till 5 any night. But usually after several nights of weekends spent watching movies on the couch, I’d start to complain that I actually wanted to go out – and be out past 9! It would take some time and planning, but we’d make it out on occasion – or I’d plan to be out late on the night he worked (then we could both sleep in exhausted when he came home from work!).

Now that we have a baby, we don’t really have the argument about not going out much anymore. There’s still that part of me that longs to actually make it out! But that part is often over shouted in my head by the part that is desperate for more sleep! It’s not just that I’m tired at night when I’d normally be going out. It’s also that I know that it doesn’t matter how late I stay out – I’m still going to have to get up when the baby does in the morning (if I’m lucky, we can make it till 8, but some mornings, like today, she started grumbled before 7. This doesn’t account for the fact that I’ll also need to get up in the night sometimes too.).

But while that ‘discussion’ is over, I have now replaced it. I used to exact promises from my husband that we would go out on the town sometime in the next, say, month. Now I exact promises that he’ll give me a good backrub in the next month. How times have changed… For the record, that deadline is currently set to expire on Friday…

Monday, November 9, 2009

All about MEme: Shopping Spree

So today's question is what 5 items would I buy on a shopping spree if someone else was paying. Good timing as my birthday is coming up and Christmas is just around the corner and I've been trying to answer the "what do you want" question for weeks now. The problem I'm finding is that there are so many things we seem to "need" (big quotes) for the house (we move in a two weeks - yeah!) and the munchkin that I haven't gotten to "want" yet. Of course generally what we "need" is too expensive for anyone to get me anyway! So let's knock of those "needs" (maybe I should call them high priorities wants) and see what's left. On the first list - the things I have to spend my money on before I can spend on me...

1. Movers! Oh dear lord! Good, bonded, responsible, reasonably priced movers who give you a quote and stick to it and don't add on 7 things after and claim that's in the contract you agreed to, though you didn't sign it yet. Movers who don't involve a trip to small claims court!

2. Someone to refinish the floors. The house has these awesome civil war era wood floors (the house is not civil war era. It's 20 years old. The floors were repurposed here.) and then some nice rugs to cover and protect them.

3. Painters and new carpets! My husband will be doing a lot of DIY repairs as we move in, but carpets just may not hit our initial budget - and there's no way painters will, though he hates painting. It would be nice to just take that off the list...

4. A healthy injection to the munchkin's 529. I feel like we've been saving on the house and trying to get our finances in order forever for it that I've held off putting money anywhere else that we can't immediately get it - just in case. I know we need to do this - and do it regularly. But being a grown up stinks.

So if I took care of all that, I'd only have one left for me? Sort of defeats the purpose and the fun of the game! I'm going to add a few personal wishes!

1. OK, since someone else is paying and I get to go nuts, I'm going with diamond earrings. What? Was I starting to sound selfless up top? No way! Just guilt ridden... ;)

2. A really well tailored outfit for hanging out - casual, but almost doesn't look it because it looks so good on. We're talking expensive, designer jeans (I have never actually bought these for myself - was too excited to find the Old Navy ones for $28 a couple of years ago), cool shoes (but I've turned into an old lady and they have to be comfortable too!), a well cut jacket - things that hide the post pregnancy body I can't quite get back to where it should be. Hmm, and on that note...

3. A personal trainer! I've basically lost the pregnancy weight, but I still can't seem to find my pre-pregnancy body. If you see it anywhere, let me know...

4. A vacation! Wanderlust is hitting again - and at the worst possible time for my finances. I want to travel the world! But still get to bed at a reasonable hour...

5. OK, Ok, I'll put down the flat screen TV for my husband. Then we could move that monstrostity of an anchor holding down our house to the basement (you know, with those movers I mentioned above...) and we could be done with it.

Guess I'm off to buy a lottery ticket...

Top 40 under 40

So the other day I noticed an article online of the Top 40 people under 40 – which listed the most successful “young” people. And as I was reading – I felt like such a loser! Seriously – OK, a lot of people on the list are 38 or 39 (just making the cut off), so they are technically still a bit older than me. But there are also people in their 20s. And anyway, I’m not about to make the list in the next 5 years. I told me husband this and he told me that I was being silly. He reminded me that we’re actually probably ahead of the curve – buying a house and a car this year despite the economic downturn. We decided that we need to have a “bottom 40 under 40” list – that way I could feel better. He joked that it might go something like – this is Marvin. He lives with his parents and… oh damn…

Note – if you haven’t read my prior posts, we are currently living with my husband’s parents due to issues with buying our house. We were supposed to stay with them for a week or two because we were renting our condo out and wanted the lease to start in September. A week or two has turned into 3 months (by the time we finally move) – which is more than just a stopover we don’t even have to mention, but an actual large chunk of time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Signs our child might be spoiled

Grammie was watching the munchkin yesterday and she got fussy while being changed. They were downstairs and Grammie thought – well, let me give her a book to settle her and stop the squirming. Now the fact that she grabbed the books from a toy she bought for her friend’s grandchild (but hadn’t sent yet) would point to our baby being a little bit spoiled. The fact that she bought the toys for that kid because the munchkin really liked because Grammie already bought them for her, so that now she has two sets? We’re in trouble!

Pulling the goalie

We watched Marley and Me the other day. Well, more to the point, we watched ¾ of Marley and Me the other day. Once they moved and Marley started to seem to have trouble with the stairs we decided we didn’t want to watch anymore. I actually liked (and probably related to) the story a lot more than I expected to. I thought it was just going to be a cute dog story and didn’t realize how much it was about life. Anyway, one really funny comment from the move stuck out. When they decide that they might want kids, they say – rather than “try” for a baby, what if we stop “trying not to” have a baby. He tells his boss that, who asks – “Look, are you having sex?” (well, yes.) “Did you pull the goalie?” (yup) “Then you’re trying!”

I had to laugh – because, of course, when we first started “trying,” we weren’t “trying.” We just weren’t preventing. We’d let nature take its course. We hadn’t been married very long and knew we wanted kids. Ideally we thought we might wait longer, but we knew it could take awhile, so we thought – let’s see what happens. Yeah, right. The second we “pulled the goalie,” we started thinking about it and wondering. I started getting disappointed when I got my period. It was no time before we were wondering about times of the month and temperatures and all that… I didn’t go in for temperatures right away (that would be trying!), but I was doing a vague home spun method of the reverse of the rhythm – I couldn’t help but do that! I mean, I knew how long my cycles were. I knew when my last period was. And about halfway through – well, duh.

I was talking to another friend several months ago who was thinking about kids. He told me that they weren’t trying, but they’d stopped trying not to. I want to call him now and quote the goalie line!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Purell and paper cuts

… don’t mix well.

Do they have a sense about people?

We pulled up to our in laws the other day and the neighbor my husband doesn’t care for was talking to them. We introduced the munchkin and she cried and turned away. We explained it as she was tired and is at that age… The next day my mother in law took her outside with her to get the mail and ran into the same neighbor as well as the guy on the other side who they like better. She liked the “good” neighbor, but cried again at the one they don’t like! My mother in law says it’s because the “good” neighbor made her noises back to her (she looked at Grammie as if to say – hey, this guy speaks my language!), but maybe she just has a sense about people. Or she came preprogrammed (from the factory) with our biases.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time. The munchkin finds that it is unnecessary. She's choosing not to observe. If one more person says, well that extra hour of sleep this weekend was nice.... ; )

Everybody cut Footloose!

The other day was a kind of long day where the hubby and I looked at each other and said – let’s try to get the baby to bed early so we can go to bed immediately after! But she was having none of it. I went upstairs with her around 7:30, but her schedule was a bit off (she’d been up too late the night before and napped too late that afternoon) so she was vehemently opposed to sleep. Or maybe it was all the commotion…

Being upstairs with her, I missed most of the commotion (because I am that attentive), but was sort of aware of some yelling. Here’s what seems to have happened…

The dog started getting sick, so my husband got into gear to take him outside / take care of him. He eventually decided to take him to the basement – as there’s no carpeting there and easy access to an exit, if needed. His Mom thought he was outside and sometime after that heard loud banging / cracks. She thought they were gunshots (I heard them, but just don’t generally assume gunshots. Where I’m from, that’s almost always a car backfiring or kids playing with fire crackers. But I guess the deer are a real problem near them and she thought someone was shooting at them.). She got very nervous that her son and the dog were outside, so she called her husband to go find them. Apparently he went out after them, but she didn’t realize that. So when she found her son and the dog in the basement and then noticed the front door was unlocked, she locked it (as one would with people shooting outside!). Her husband came back a few minutes later to find himself locked out (so now he’s the one locked out at the O-kay coral!).

I came back down (with the very awake baby) a little bit later to hear this story. My husband was nowhere to be seen. About half an hour later, I convinced the baby that she WAS, in fact, tired and wanted to go to bed. So I decided to go look for my husband.

I knew he was very overtired and a sick dog was the last thing he wanted to be dealing with, so I wasn’t sure what mood I’d find him in. In the past when I’ve tried to help when the dog is busy throwing up at 3 am (and he’s got to get up in 2 hours), he’s been known to be… somewhat testy. So I was a little apprehensive about what I’d find. What I did find was that he’d found a working tv in the basement and he and the, now fairly healthy, dog were watching Footloose! It was just coming up to that scene were Kevin Bacon has just had it with the small town and therefore works out all his frustration and energy the way any normal young teenager would – by dancing around an old empty warehouse. I’ll have to remind my husband of that solution next time he gets frustrated with work. (Clearly watching it was enough to help all that night! The dog was perfectly healthy after that!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And one more thought on sleeping

For once my comments on sleeping are not just a complaint about night time feedings! (Although she did wake me up twice last night and the second time she didn’t want to go back to sleep. But that is besides the point! As a side note, I know many people are in the “cry it out” camp, but we’re living with my in-laws and my father in law had a big meeting at work today so he really needed a good night’s sleep. It’s one thing if our sleep is disrupted, but my in-laws finished their sleep training 30 something years ago and are inconvenienced enough by us as it is.) Anyway, sorry, we’re not talking about that. I forgot.

My daughter has a new preferred sleep position. She’s become a belly sleeper, but it’s not just that – she sleeps with her knees under her and her butt stuck up in the air. I put her down on her back and she almost immediately rolls to this position. My mother in law has tried moving her, but she just rolls right back (or wakes up mad about being moved!). I can’t understand how this is even vaguely comfortable, but she seems to be in that position almost every time I walk in to check on her. My Mom thinks it looks like she’s ready to crawl away the second she wakes up. I’d more vote that it looks like she was crawling and just thought she’d stop for a second and …zzzzzzz…

The new and improved new house!

Thank Goodness! The couple accepted our offer on the new house and we will settle in just a few weeks! Unfortunately they need to rent back from us for a month (not ideal, but sort of necessary for us to get this house at this price and we do have a place to live in the interim), but then we will move in in about 2 months! Woo hoo!!!

This house is a bit smaller than the original, which is sort of a bummer, but it’s a much better location. It’s quite a bit closer in to the city and about 5 minutes from my office (I may need to drive around the block a few times on the way home to decompress!). It’s also a much bigger lot, so there’s room to expand one day if we want. Truthfully we wouldn’t be able to afford a house the size we’d really like in this community, but we can afford this somewhat smaller house now and then can potentially add on to it when we can afford that – so maybe we’ll get the bigger house in the better community yet (without moving / more closing costs! Although we might have to move back in with my in-laws for renovations so I need to think about this…).

Anyway, we’re very excited for this place (and not just to move out of my husband’s childhood bedroom!). It’s cute and homey – with wood floors taken from a Civil War era house and 2 wood burning fireplaces. Hmm, and as I’m apparently going with a “woody” theme, it also has a nice wooded area in the back which makes it all seem more rural (though still in a city) and will be a fun place for our daughter and our dog to play (well, he’ll probably get there first – she’s only 8 months old!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So I bought my little monkey her very own little monkey costume to wear this Halloween. But then I thought - well, I guess she'll just wear it when trick or treaters come by because she is too young for trick or treating / can't eat candy. But then I just got the idea from another (devilishly wonderful) blog ( of taking her out trick or treating for the free candy (duh)! When she's older and able to eat it on her own, she'll probably get mad at me for wanting to take it... Or at the very least won't let me have the good pieces!

I also think that I should get first dibs on any of the candy (over my husband) because I'm breastfeeding and therefore if *I* eat the candy, she does eventually get it. If he eats it - well, he's just, LITERALLY, taking candy from a baby. And everyone knows that's wrong.

Potty Training

I know that most of you will think I’m crazy even starting to write about potty training when my daughter is 8 months old. My husband certainly thinks I’m crazy. But here goes…

Potty training is one of the things that scares me about parenthood. It’s completely uncharted waters (uncharted poopy waters…). How on earth does one go about doing this? OK, it’s not really uncharted waters. LOTS of people have done it before. There are tons of books. In theory I even have experience with it, being potty trained myself (I thought I should clarify lest you think I keep the Depends people in business, given my stated fears. I mean it scares the crap out me. But not literally.).

So I started reading books early – and a lot of them have suggested it’s possible to potty train early. Or, if not to potty train, to get your baby comfortable with the potty so that it’s less of a struggle when the right time comes. I guess I should give a little more background… Some time, several months ago, my sister in law mentioned a friend whose in-laws swore up and down that they could potty train her child of less than a year while the friend was away for a week or two (when you come back, he will be potty trained). Apparently they were not wholly successful, but it brought up the discussion and it turns out that other cultures (they are Eastern European) potty train much earlier than Americans do. She told me this and I thought – you’re crazy. How do you possibly potty train a child that can’t yet walk? It’s not possible. I dismissed it out of hand (because that is the type of open minded individual I am). But it must have been in the back of my brain because I decided to look up some information on potty training last month and found out that apparently other people do potty train much earlier. In fact, if the book I was reading last night is true, even Americans used to potty train infants (to some extent) until the 1940’s or so. In a world before disposable diapers (or “good” cloth diapers), it just made sense to potty train earlier. And children likely wanted to potty train earlier rather than be cold and wet (a feeling hidden by modern diapers). So from very early on, parents would learn to read the potty signals and hold a child over a toilet (or pot or hole in the ground or fill in the blank depending on the appropriate time and circumstance). This book suggests that babies can read their body signals to know that they need to go (or are going?), but because modern diapers remove the need to read that signal, they lose the ability / desire / etc. Hmm…

So this got me thinking… When my daughter was a newborn, you could always tell when she was pooping because she made a face as she went. (Yes, there was also a lot of noise and sometimes some poop on your jeans to let you know, but the face was consistent.) But she’d pretty much stopped making that face for pooping over the months that followed. However, she had her first solid poops recently and I noticed that the face returned for these – as, I guess, this is a new and different sensation – one she is none too happy with as she tends to cry then too. If the books I’m reading have any value then – well, she’s giving me poop signals right now and she’s unhappy about pooping / sitting in poop – maybe I could start getting her used to the concept of the potty.

I know, I know! My husband laughed at me when I told him this plan last night. And really – I don’t exactly think it’s going to work or that I’m going to have a potty trained 12 month old. But the stuff I was reading had some other points that seemed to ring true (to me!). The big one was that toddlers often don’t like the potty / are scared of the potty / or just plain refuse to sit still long enough to be on the potty. So it becomes a war – which the parent inevitably loses (or possibly EVERYONE does). It made the point that now might be a good time to start putting my daughter on the potty because she can’t walk yet and therefore will be happy enough to sit still there and get used to the potty. Then, as a toddler, she won’t be scared of it and she’ll be OK with the concept of sitting on it when she actually needs to.

So this is the great experiment. I haven’t bought a potty yet, but when I do - feel free to come back and laugh at this one – it does seem just a little bit insane to me too. But, whether it seems insane to you or not, please tell me about your own potty training experience – what worked, what didn’t, when you started (and ended!).

The straight poop

I mentioned earlier that we were starting fruits and vegetables in the last month or two. It’s taken awhile, but she is FINALLY starting to actually eat them! For the longest time, I know her bib and hair were enjoying them, but it didn’t seem that much was getting in her mouth. But then we started fruits. She liked some of the fruits a bit and stopped pushing them out with her tongue – and I think it was like a curtain lifted for her. I think she just finally actually figured out how to eat and that that sensation of fullness wasn’t half bad. Or maybe I’m crazy (wouldn’t be the first time!). Whatever the case, after she ate those first fruits that she enjoyed, she was much more amenable to eating other things. Things she’d rejected in the past. Heck, she even ate some cereal! (Note – I’d gotten her to eat before, but it always seemed that as much came out of her mouth as went in. Feeding took forever as I felt like I was retrying with the same spoonful over and over again - put it in her mouth, she pushes it out. I scrape it off her face with the spoon and try to put it in her mouth again. And again. And again.)

And eating so much solid food had some results. Solid poop! You can tell we’re first time parents as this TOTALLY excited us. My husband felt the need to call me at work to tell me about the first semi-solid poop. When she had a “real” fully solid poop, I called him in to look at it. Now, we didn’t go so far as to take a picture (as he did with the merconium at the hospital), but it was still an exciting time. Even though it smells a lot more than the old breastmilk only stuff did. It reminds me of that old Cosby routine. I can’t remember all the particulars, but he talks about how new parents are always totally excited by poop at the beginning. We show the dirty diaper to everyone and have to be stopped from framing it. So he notes how confusing to the baby it must be when (really not so long) later we’re sighing about by yet another dirty diaper and arguing over whose turn it is to have to change her. I’m not sure I realized how funny (and accurate) Cosby was when I was a kid…

Monday, October 26, 2009

All About MEme - tales from the darkside

If you read the posts this came from, you'll know that I am not alone when I say I am a major scaredy cat - scared of my own shadow! When my husband and I were dating, we were walking in Georgetown and a rat (a rat!!!) ran over my foot - did I mention I was wearing sandals? So I felt it's disgusting little rat-ness running over my bare toes?! I jumped about a mile! I maintain that this is not scaredy-cat-ed-ness, but completely reasonable. But what might be less reasonable is... my husband saw how quickly I jumped at what went bump in the night and is able to make me jump any time we are walking down the street or hiking just by yelling - rat! Or snake! or even - watch out! It's a terrible weakness to have around him...

But ironically, while I am easily startled, I'm also very good at logic-ing away the boogie man. Nope, that was my imagination. It never happened. I didn't see anything. I wasn't really awake yet. I don't really go in for ghost stories that much and always think - well, there has to be some logical explanation. My husband is sort of the opposite on this end. He doesn't freak easily, but he definitely believes more strongly in the paranormal and doesn't talk himself out of those experiences. He had several strange stories about the last house he lived in, which he and his roommate both agreed was haunted. But this story is actually about the condo where we used to live (until this summer).

This happened a few years ago (maybe 3?). It was the middle of the night and we were both in bed asleep when he woke up to go to the bathroom. For whatever reason, he started to head out of our room to the guest bathroom (rather than the master). When he opened the door, there was a very bright light in the hallway that shone for just a moment and then was gone, though he hadn't turned any lights on.

My husband describes his reaction to this light as - rushing back to the bed in a panic like a little girl - all 6'4, 250 lbs of him. We both sat freaked for a minute - what on earth was that?! I tried to suggest it was headlights from the parking lot - but those would have had to have come from the window in our room and this came from the center hallway (nowhere near a window). I thought maybe there was a power surge and a light had flashed brighter. But that would have made a noise and broken the bulb - and this wasn't the right type of light. It didn't flash like that. It was just a pure white for a moment. My last ditch effort was to say that I wasn't really fully awake and it hadn't really happened - except that we both saw it.

We never did figure out what it was. But my husband decided to use the master bathroom that night - and I lay wide awake while he did staring into the blackness unable to relax.

So not exactly a scary ghost story - but then again, I don't usually believe in ghost stories so knowing that I saw this did sort of freak me out.

Your baby can read!

Ok, so my baby can NOT, in fact, read yet. And even if she could, I’ll be honest, despite her clear early genius, I don’t think her comprehension levels would really be “all that” at 7 months. But that did not stop us from going to the National Book Festival on the mall recently.

The event was actually a bit different from what I pictured. Well, scratch that, I’m not exactly sure I had a clear picture. But whatever picture I had, this wasn’t so much it. But it was still fun. I think I had the concept that this would be like the library conferences my Mom used to go to – there’d be a big area with booths set up for different books / authors / publishers / reading related stuff with some book related giveaways (bookmarks, say) and places to buy books and get signatures. Maybe there was a part more like that, but the parts we saw were more big tents dedicated to different genres – a fiction tent, in which John Grisham was speaking (the place was packed to the gills and overflowing) when we arrived. I’d more put him under “mysteries/thrillers” (the next tent over), but who am I to judge?

Anyway, despite the fact that we’ve established my baby can not read we headed to the children’s and teens section for their next lecture by James Swanson. My mother in law noted later that she really loves having the baby with her as she feels like she can push her way to the front in these situations because clearly the baby needs to be there and we have to have seats because of the baby (who is not old enough for a seat and was in her stroller). I had not heard of James Swanson before, but after hearing him speak I have to say – I sort of want to go buy his book (well, maybe borrow it from the library cause that’s the kind of chick I am!). He wrote a book on Lincoln’s assassination and then developed a young adult version of it, which is what he was speaking about. Now I admit, maybe I just liked him because he shares my daughter (and Lincoln’s) birthday. (Hmm, or maybe I didn’t like him because every time he reference his shared birthday, he totally forgot to mention her! Well, one day he’ll surely realize her historical significance.)

The one unfortunate thing about the day was the weather was not very nice. It was actually OK, but a little chilly and overcast. After about an hour or two, my Mother in law got worried that it was too chilly for the baby and we should go. I didn’t want everyone to leave on our account – especially as she had on a long jumper and a sweater and I had a light blanket over her. But eventually I thought maybe, just maybe, my MIL was pushing so hard for the baby’s need to leave, as she really wanted to leave. Only took me how long to pick up on that one? Way to use our kid!

Dang, why didn’t I think of that?

Putting the baby to work

As we started looking at houses again, we decided to go back to one we’d seen before that was overall a bit smaller than we’d really like and, though they’ve now dropped the price a bit, still a bit out of our price range. It’s a really nice place in a good location with a great (big) lot, so I thought it might be worth considering whether we could get it at a reduced price and then, one day in the future when maybe we actually have some money, put an addition on it, since the lot is big enough to support it. Admittedly, the way the lot is laid out, we can never have a 2 car garage (unless we stack the cars!), but we can probably get a 4th bedroom, a larger kitchen and family room and entrance to the house from the garage (well, maybe if we win the lottery).

The house was supposed to be open for viewings this weekend, but apparently the agent screwed up and we should have had an appointment. The older couple who lives there was nice enough to let us in anyway, though, and showed us around. As it’s an older couple with grandkids, we decided we should send the baby in first and put her to work! She did her best to charm them (my favorite quote was the woman actually said – She’s adorable. I mean, I thought my grandkids were cute, but she’s really cute!).

I think we’re going to try to get this one (though we’ll have to offer less than they’re asking because we just can’t meet their price), so here’s hoping they really liked her and want to see her grow up there!

Rumors of our house had been greatly exaggerated

The realtor called last week – the bank has told the listing agent that they won’t be able to close on the house and we should withdraw our offer. My first response to the voicemail was a loud and guttural profanity, but since then I’ve felt too ‘tired’ to even curse it. And we start looking at houses again… while living with my in-laws and cursing Deutsche Bank for screwing us over in this process

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

The dog and the baby are clearly in on this! They are working together to make sure I get as little sleep as possible. I'll be sleep deprived and therefore a far weaker target. I'm not exactly sure what their end game is yet... For the dog, I think it's a bid to get more treats. For the baby... well, she's harder to read. Maybe she's just trying to get some bargaining power once the terrible twos hit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Being Cultural

We finally both had a day off last week – a day off where we didn’t have to house hunt (even though ours keeps getting delayed) and didn’t have to move (nowhere to go!) and didn’t have a thousand errands to run! So we decided to go have some fun. The original plan had been to go to Annapolis, but the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as we’d hoped, so we decided to go the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, MD. We figured we could get our fix of being near the water if the weather was nice, but didn’t have to stand around in the cold by the water if it wasn’t.

As it turns out, the museum is actually multiple buildings (and outdoor exhibits!) on the water, so we were outside quite a bit. We’d dressed the munchkin in a long sleeved pink onesie (an adorable one my friend sent that says “does this diaper make my butt look big?”) and overalls with pink patches. But as it was cold, we threw a sweatshirt on her – a maroon BC sweatshirt that my sister in law bought (for equal opportunity college fashions, though she has gotten her FAR MORE VT stuff). I figured she had enough pink on, but in the baby bjorn (or daddy bjorn as my husband likes to call it), you could only see the jeans and maroon sweatshirt, so everyone kept asking us about our son. Oh no! I’m cross dressing her already! Just add this one to the therapy bills…

The museum was actually pretty interesting and more extensive than you’d think. We learned a bit about the history of the Bay and how fishing has changed. OK, maybe that doesn’t sound so interesting… but fishing was really a way of life, so it has far reaching impacts there. Anyway, afterward, we walked around the town a little and had an early dinner and stopped to get some ice cream on the way back to our car (I don’t know why I have been obsessed with getting ice cream this summer. I don’t know if it’s just the breastfeeding uber-hunger or what, but I’ve been eating a lot of ice cream!). The young woman working at the shop noticed our munchkin and told us she’d just found out she was expecting. Except she didn’t say it with the enthusiasm that you usually hear. My husband was mid-way through saying congratulations, as I watched her face and wasn’t sure congratulations were really what she wanted. She went on to explain that she was 22 and trying to go to college part time and that her boyfriend was completely overwhelmed by the news.

It’s so crazy when you think about it. I remember in my mid-20’s when my first friend started trying for a baby. It actually took her almost no time (though she thought 3 months felt like a long time), but it was so strange to hear her disappointment in not getting pregnant each month when so many other people I knew were trying for exactly the opposite at that time. Obviously several years later the tables have turned – concerns about pregnancy among my friends tend to be more fertility issues (we had our own such issues for over a year), so it was so ‘odd’ to hear someone unhappy about a pregnancy when that is all so many people I know want. Fate has a funny sense of humor, doesn’t she?

As I listened to this girl, I just wanted to give her a hug and run to buy her some diapers (or some baby thing) at the store (though my husband told me it was too early and that wasn’t appropriate). My husband told her that having a baby had totally changed everything in his life – entirely in good ways and tried to be encouraging (though he did have to give his typical speech warning her that the first 3 days were crazy hard!). But it was hard to watch her pain and fear (at least easier now that we have overcome our fertility issues to have our baby) and my heart went out to her. So I put this one out to the universe – to pray for this girl (and her ‘twins’ who are all over, facing the same situation).

Attitude and Reverse Discrimination

The other day my mother in law tried to feed the munchkin some peaches while I was putting away my expressed milk and doing a few other things. She was having none of it. She fussed and moved away. I decided to give it one last try before we called it a day on peaches and decided she didn’t like them. Well, it was like a different baby! She ate the peaches right up and finished the jar.

Surprising as that was, I think the highlight was possibly the sidelong glance she gave my mother in law halfway through that said, I’ll eat them for my Mom, and was totally superior. My MIL said that clearly the baby wasn’t thinking about those times when she is the only port in the storm (when I’m working). I said that she clearly hadn’t gotten the rule book that explains – you act out for your parents, but then when Grammy watches you, see if you can get her to say – I have no idea what you’re talking about. She’s always an angel for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Obese" infant denied health insurance

I saw this article and had to write a quick note on it. Apparently a 17 lb 4 month old is being denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition - obesity. The child is in the 99th percentile for both height and weight, but the insurers look at the weight cut off only and won't accept a baby over 95th percentile - despite the fact that the child is solely nursed and totally healthy!

Can you believe that? The Dad joked that they don't have control over what he eats to put him on Atkins (and he's not yet walking to go on a treadmill!), but as soon as he goes on solids they'll start the slim fast. The mother (quite rightly!) said she won't withhold food to get him below this arbitrary number. I realize I'm coming off really opinionated here, so if there's another side of the story that I'm just not seeing (because I'm too busy seeing red!), please let me know your thoughts.

I know that insurers are "numbers" people and that they have to manage risk, which is based on a discrete set of numbers / rules, rather than personal experience or subjective input. But it seems like their numbers and rules should allow for exceptions on weight restrictions for INFANTS under 6 months or a year old - especially those that have not started solids yet! I don't know enough about how formula feeding 'works' to understand potential overfeeding issues there, but I know that you really can't overfeed a nursing baby. My daughter will simply stop eating when she is full - even if I continue to attempt to nurse her. Admittedly, it is possible to "force" too much expressed milk on her (I think one of our babysitters may have accidentally done this) - but she just spits it up if you do.

This just makes me so mad!

Click on my post title for the full article.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All about Meme - Friends

This week's question was what Friends character are you most like. As I was a long time ADDICT of this show, I figured I'd better answer. The obvious answer to any of my friends is Chandler - it's the sarcasm and the overstatment (could I be any more like him some days?). One of my college friends told me that he'd heard one of "my" stories from another friend and even without hearing the source, he knew it was from me just based on how it was told and which details were emphasized.

Well that and I have one of those jobs that makes no sense to anyone else (remember the trivia episode - what does Chandler do for a living?). While I don't create a WENUS (weekly estimated net usage... stats? Something like that), I did for a long time create a WIFR... Oh man, this is so sad! I remember what the WENUS was but not what my own report acronym was! It was weekly international, something with an F, report - a sales monitoring tool. This is so sad...

Well, moving beyond that sad state of my brain, I've realized that there's also a Monica part of me recently. I may not be all that organized, but what I do have organized, God help me if it's messed up! I recently had not put away the baby's laundry for a couple of days (due to some long work hours mixed with intrinsic laziness) so someone else took care of it for me. Rather than be grateful, I had a little mental freak out because not everything was put in the right place - outfits weren't separated from onesies, wash cloths were in with clothes, dresses weren't hung up, socks weren't in the right drawer - Cats and Dogs living together, IT WAS MADNESS! Anarachy! I had to pull everything out and totally reorganize.

Had to.

Had to.

Yup, that doesn't sound at all OCD...

... had to.