Sunday, May 27, 2012

SAHM problems

1. Running out of whole milk. A catastrophe that needs rectified with a middle of the night run to the 7-11.  Have you been in a 7-11 in the middle of the night? It's actually worse than going there in the day time...if you can believe that.

2. Having no clean bottles.

3. Having clean bottles, but no nipples since your dishwasher's heating element destroyed them.

4. Having a Sophie's choice-like dilemma when your husband is off work and wants to spend time with you (you know, since you do nothing but nag him about how he always chooses his iPad and the toilet over you) but you desperately need to clean the house.

5. Friends are coming over for a SOS playdate, but your house is trashed. You've also, coincidentally, run out of Lysol wipes.

6. Having friends who actually care what state your house is in. These friends typically don't have kids.

7. Pets. Prior to having kids, they were only endearing nuisances. Now they threaten to wake up your sleeping monster during nap time...is euthanasia of pets illegal*?

8.  Facebook/pinterest/blogging vs. making dinner

9. Having too much coffee and then going on an errand with your toddler. Pooping in the privacy of your own home is an ordeal with your kid. Pooping in public with him is impossible...so you have to abort your errand (which probably entailed buying milk and coffee, see #1) and race home.

10. Trying to simultaneously keep your kid awake in the car seat while not causing a 10 car pile up.

11. If you fail at #10, having a kid who fell asleep in the car nanoseconds from pulling in to the driveway.

12. Trying to transfer your kid from the car to the bed without waking him up. If he wakes up (which is always), your nap time bliss is over. And your sleep deprived kid will stay awake until 9pm. Because f you for ruining his nap.

13. Cleaning anything ever.

14. Changing batteries in toys.

15. Having someone beat you to a great deal on kid's stuff on Craigslist.

16. Taking your kid to a doctor's appointment for yourself.

17. Having to put your toddler in a stroller. They want to walk, damn it, or at least be carried. They do not want to sit strapped in to a stroller.

18. The new AAP car seat recs for switching from backward to forward facing. Fuck you AAP. Don't any of you have kids? My son won't be 40 pounds until he's in 3rd grade.

19. Having a picky eater. By picky, I mean my son won't eat cake, ice cream, chicken nuggets, or anything. Ever. At all.

20. The days where the kid only naps in the car and doesn't take a real one at home. These make for long, cranky, sleep-deprived nights.

I could really go on and on, so I'll spare you and ask you to add your own mommy problems!


*No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the post that never should have existed

You know when things are going very wrong, but you think to yourself, "Well, this sucks, but it's going to make for an awesome blog plost (or story, for those that don't blog)?" Have you ever gotten to the point where it sucked so bad that you tried to fix it, at the expense of losing your precious, hysterical material?

Have you ever had things end up so fucked up that you tried to fix it and ended up with blogging material anyway?

That's where I'm at today.

So today I had my first real gyn appointment since having Parker. I'm on my last 2 weeks of birth control pills left, so I desperately needed to keep this appointment, even though it meant that I had to take Parker with me.

I drove 20 minutes to a clinic that ended up being primarily a charity clinic (aka, a medicaid clinic). Do you have any idea how these places work? Because I do....since medical students and residents typically run them.

This place was totally stereotypical for a medicaid clinic: TONS of people waiting, lots of people not speaking english, overbooked physicians with no sense of hurry or efficiency, and babies EVERYWHERE.

The only thing I had a problem with was waiting a long time, and the only reason I cared was because I had Parker with me.

Parker, on the other hand, thought I had brought him to the KING OF ALL PLAY DATES. He was SO excited to have little people to play with. He was giggling at everyone, and making this weird screech he makes when he is so excited he doesn't know what to do.

His bliss quickly turned to anger when he realized that he wasn't allowed to crawl up to everyone and poke them/taste their body parts/climb in their laps/pull their hair...etc.

I knew this was going to be bad. 

I called my mom to see if she could come get Parker. Despite the fact that blogging about the pelvic exam and pap with Parker in the room would probably be funny, I needed to abort the blog material and get rescued.

My mom's crappy GPS couldn't recognize the address, so she's on the phone with me "mother-f-ing" the GPS when I get called in by the nurse. I told mom I'd call her back but not to worry about finding us, we would be fine and somehow get through the visit.

The nurse took my temperature, blood pressure, and then asked me to step on the scale.

Como??

Umm...did I forget to put Parker down? Is this thing calibrated properly?

No, you are not still holding your baby, and yep it's calibrated. That's your weight. There ya go, in case you needed a reminder that you had a baby and your body will never be the same. But don't worry, there will be other reminders at this visit that your body has changed forever. Stay tuned!

So we get to the exam room and my mom calls and says that she thinks she has figured out where to go.

Except she hasn't. She keeps saying, "I'm passing a Burger King. I see a Chinese place. There's some trees. It looks like I'm entering a city."  Seriously, she said those last two.

"It looks like I'm entering a city."

Really, mom? I don't know what to tell you. I'm across from the hospital in a shitty clinic that is next door to a laundromat. Roll down your window and listen for Parker screaming in frustration because I won't let him mouth the biohazard trash cans.

My mom, bless her directionally-challenged heart, finally comes to my rescue. She takes Parker and we switch cars, since she doesn't have a car seat.

Finally, I can breathe.

And breathe I did, for AN HOUR, until the (extremely crunchy) nurse midwife came in to see me.

But right before she came in, I get this picture via text from my mom, with the caption, "locked out."
My mom's house key was on her key ring, which I now have because I have her car.

FML. FML. FML.

***

Enter crunchy, super nice, hoop-earring-and-ankle-length-skirt wearing midwife.

She takes my history, leaves so I can undress, and comes back in.

Here is where the "your body has been ravaged by a baby" reminders begin.

The breast exam.

It took negative 3 seconds to perform, because if my boobs were small to begin with, they are nothing but nipples now. If there was a lump, you'd see it...no need to even feel for it. And it would be called "my breast" because that's all that would be there.

Then she does my speculum exam. Have you ever heard of a clinic that heats their speculums? I haven't.

It's fucking weird to have warm metal inserted in there.

Again, very crunchy.

So she pops open the speculum and says, "Oh you have your period."

Oh, really?? Since when?

Since the stress of the prior hour resulted in uterine cramping and bleeding. Is this possible, you ask? Yes. Yes it is.

So after all that, I can't get a pap smear. I have to reschedule for a visit in a month, at which time I am getting Implanon inserted in my arm, so I don't have to deal with this shit for 3 years. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

back door disaster

The other day I had a particularly bad day. The peak of it resulted in my house key breaking off in the back door, so Parker and I were locked out. I had just gone grocery shopping, so I had $100 worth of food in the process of going bad. I tried calling Tim, who was obliviously sleeping in our room (he is working nights now), but his phone was off. I tried his work cell. It was charging in the living room.

I did have a key to the building's main front door, and since the front door is close to our bedroom, I figured I could bang on that until I woke Tim up...hopefully before all the perishables perished. So I had to put Parker back in his car seat (since I didn't have a gate key on this set of keys) and drive the alley to the main road to get to the front street.

Parker was in dire need of a nap, so he is SCREAMING his face off...like he is the one having the bad day. I get Parker out of the car and we climb the stairs and I start pounding on the front door. After both my knuckles were red, swollen, and feeling broken,  I realized I had a can of garbanzo beans in the grocery bag I brought with me up the stairs. So I started pounding with that.

After a while, Tim woke up, but not before a huge area of paint had chipped off the front door from me pounding at it with the can.

Beating the hell out of the door felt good. So good that I still don't feel bad about the paint.

Anyway, that was 2 days ago. I haven't had a chance to have a key copied, so we have been parking out front on the street and leaving our front door unlocked (since our building is locked and we know and trust our 2 neighbors).

Today Parker and I got back from Target and he was napping, so I decided to go into our bedroom to get toilet paper for the bathroom in the hallway. It was locked.

Now why would Tim lock the bedroom door???

The only reason I could think of was one that I didn't want to walk in on, or disturb, for that matter. So I waited 20 minutes.

Door still locked.

Half hour goes by.

Still locked.

Okay, I'm no expert on men matters, but how long does it really take? I mean, it's not like you need to light candles, put on music, or set a mood...right?

And aren't you kind of an expert by now? You're not 14 years old...

At 45 minutes I had to poop so bad that I decided to knock on the door. The cat's out of the bag....or should have been by now. But I had to use light, quiet knocking so as to avoid waking Parker up.

The irony of the situation is absurd, because...

wait for it...

the actual reason the door was locked?

"So no one would steal me while I was sleeping and the front door was unlocked."

Are you serious? Do I really believe this?

Coming from my husband...yes. Yes I do believe it. 

I haven't told Tim I waited 45 minutes, until I nearly pooped my pants, thinking he was in the bathroom doing something else. He will know the truth when he reads this. And I hope I get some serious "awesome wife" points for it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

my deep, dark secret

I consider myself to be a pretty easy person to read. You can easily tell how my day is going by the look on my face and the tone of my voice. It's nearly impossible for me to lie and therefore I don't have any secrets.

Except for one.

On a daily basis, I think to myself, "How much longer are these cats going to live for?"

It's terrible, I know. Do I feel guilty about this? Sometimes...like when my cats are calmly sleeping next to me (NEXT to me, not ON me) on the couch, or when Parker is literally putting one of their rear, clawed paws in his mouth to bite and the cat still doesn't shred his face open.

Let me tell you when I don't feel guilty wondering about the life expectancy of my boys: when I am cleaning up their vomit on an almost-daily basis, when I am constantly tripping over them, when they feel the need to love-bite me, when my husband's allergies flare up, when Parker is digging in their litter box.....the list could go on and on.

The one that makes me contemplate "accidentally" leaving the back door open or adopting an un-neutered 100 pound pit bull is when they won't come out of Parker's room when I am trying to put him to bed (!!!!!). In moments I am not proud of, I have reached under the guest bed (where they hide) and have pulled them by the tail out from under there.

The thing is, that these cats are, literally, the sweetest two cats in the world. Not by coincidence, they are also the dumbest cats ever. Only with domesticated animals is it actually an evolutionary advantage to be stupid. Because with their stupidity came sweetness.

Is it a good idea to cat-walk out the window onto the 2 inch railing of our 3rd story apartment?

Yes.


(To be honest I almost had a heart attack coaxing this cat back inside. You should have seen the way he leisurely turned around on that railing...)

Should I eat an entire plastic bag and then vomit it up?

You bet.

Should I paw my clean water and make it dirty within seconds of having the bowl filled up?

That's reasonable. And makes perfect sense...because then I won't drink it and will demand clean water, which I will promptly soil again.

But with all their flaws, we still manage to have moments where I remember that somewhere, deep deep down inside, I love these two pains in my ass.



Oh yeah...and then there's the problem that Parker is obsessed with them.
So weighing all this information, I will continue to put up with these two trouble-makers, and will remember that I love them dearly.

But seriously, how long do cats live for?

Monday, April 2, 2012

day care disaster: part 2

This day care thing just keeps getting better and better. I think I might be the world's unluckiest person in the world when it comes to finding a place for Parker.

Last week I spent all my free time (aka Parker's nap time) calling day cares and people who run home day cares in order to try to dig myself out of our original day care disaster. By word of mouth, I got the number of a woman who runs a home day care. She seemed nice and responsible on the phone and said we could come by immediately to check out her home. So that same day Parker and I went over there.

It seemed great! Her day care room was being remodeled, so it was under construction and she had all the kids in her living room. The kids seemed happy and well cared for. When it was time for the kids to go down for their naps she kissed them all and told them "I love you." I was totally impressed and the cost was insanely affordable.

She emailed me her application and I filled it out. I emailed her back to tell her I completed it and could bring it by this week. She said that would be fine, but she wanted to inform me that she got 2 dogs over the weekend.

Como??

I was so sure that this woman got two small breed, child friendly dogs that I emailed her back that I was "okay with dogs." I asked her what the breeds and sizes were.

This response is a direct copy from that email:
"5 month old. One a rott, well trained and the other is also 5 month pitt which was in an abusive home. The foster family had kids and was pregnant. Moving to an apartment. Would like you too see both."

Are you f-ing kidding me?!!!!

I'm comfortable with a lot of things, but not with my son going to a day care where there is an abused pit bull who is now in a new environment. I honestly can't believe that the other parents would be okay with this! And it really shows a lack of good judgment for the care provider.

So now I have to back out of the deal and am out of day care again.

Until...

I got a phone call today from one of the local centers saying they have an opening! Parker and I booked it over there to take a tour, and it was beautiful. It was everything I dreamed of and more. After the tour, I was told we would be contacted prior to starting to do a home visit, to make sure I knew what to bring in with Parker, and to pay up.

I finally had a stroke of luck!

Then I got home and read their pamphlet. They charge $2000 a month.

I honestly don't think we can swing that much. It was going to be a stretch to pay $1300 a month at the original place!

Yet again, I am back at square 1.

Are you wondering if that center who screwed me over in the first place (the $1300/month one)  ever called to let me know if they will make an exception for us? They haven't called back yet. Maybe they will later on this week...

We have an appointment with another day care tomorrow, so maybe it will be "the one."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

respect: a novel concept

This post is a little different from most of my other ones, but I think it has a good message and it's been something I've been mulling over for at least a year now.

Neither one of my parents went to college after high school. I consider them happy and successful people who raised 4 awesome kids on very little money. The fact that 6 people survived on their income is a testament to how successful they are as people. I grew up going to public schools and having normal friends, some who went to college, and others who didn't.

When I graduated college and went to medical school, I became increasingly aware of the pride my colleagues had of their own academic accomplishments. A lot of times, entire conversations occurred where it was just each person patting oneself on the back. I, myself, went through a phase where I can honestly say that, in a certain way, I thought I was better than "uneducated" people. The thing is, it was a short-lived phase and totally embarrassing and immature. I have a problem with those who have not given up this sophomoric arrogance after graduating and having real-life experience working with people.

Maybe doctors just have a stronger propensity for narcissism than other people and so I've become jaded with over-exposure to it. It's really a problem though. For example, I've seen doctors talk down to nurses and other medical staff for no good reason. When did we lose the concept of the "health care team"...where everyone is working together for the common good of the patient?

You just can't talk down to people because they are "below" you in an arbitrary hierarchy. I have a specific example I was witness to in medical school. There was a scrub tech who was an incredibly mean and arrogant person. One day we were all scrubbed for surgery when I overheard her telling the circulating nurse a story.

Scrub tech: "One of the other scrub techs told a surgeon to shut the hell up. I mean, he is a doctor! You can't talk to a doctor like that!"

Nurse: "You can't talk to anyone like that."

Point very well made. This whole world needs to operate on the grounds of mutual respect for people as people. You can't tear down the people you rely on to facilitate all your orders. Trust me, if you are rude to the wrong nurses, they will make your life a living hell. They will page you for the dumbest of reasons at 3 a.m. And you will probably have brought it upon yourself.

Similarly, I've seen nurses talk badly about techs in the hospital. They do all the work that no one else has time/wants to do! How can you demean them? Also, you never know someone's background story. A lot of techs are working as techs in order to go to nursing school eventually. And a lot of them are perfectly happy with just having a steady job!

Basically, what it comes down to is that it is a privilege to take care of patients. It doesn't matter what your position is...we should all be working together for the same thing: the best possible outcome for the patient. This can't be done unless everyone shows everyone the same amount of respect.

Friday, March 30, 2012

diaper changing, a traumatizing experience

I've thought about video-taping a diaper changing episode to show you exactly what I deal with every few hours on a daily basis, but I figured that putting my son on the internet sans clothes was a bad idea (even though it would make great blackmail material when Parker is a teenager). So instead of a video documentary, I will describe it to you.

This morning, for example, I fed Parker his breakfast. Approximately 4 minutes after eating, he is off in a corner playing. He abruptly stops digging at/banging the AC vent and stands up. You might think he was just standing there doing nothing (think whistling, looking-at-the-ceiling, no-one-is-pooping-here baby), but I know better. I knew he was pooping, so when he finished and went back to playing, I knew he needed changed...contrary to what he was trying to convince me of.

So I scoop Parker up to carry him to the changing table, and this is when the drama starts. "WAHHHHHH WAHHHHHH WHY ARE YOU TAKING ME AWAY FROM throwing all my books on the floor/ripping all the pages out of my books/popping all the lids off of my formula/getting into the cabinet with all the cleaning supplies/digging in the litter box........etc. etc. etc."

Then he usually stops crying momentarily while I am holding him, until he sees us closing in on the changing table. Then he starts freaking out again, since he knows the torture that I am about to give myself him. I lay him down and try to play with him. I sing to him and give him ANYTHING he wants to hold (including the fan/light remote, car keys, my ipod, my phone, a bottle...you name it, I've tried it)...but he is no longer fooled. He knows I am going to change him so he uses all his tiny muscles to flip over.

I flip him back over. He is screaming.

I get his diaper off. Pee diapers are not too bad. Poop is much worse, but if I know it's there I can have the wipes open and ready to go. The worst situation is when I have a ghost poop. A ghost poop occurs when you think you are only changing a pee diaper, but when you open it up you have poop instead, and you are completely caught off guard.

How on earth do ghost poops happen? I'm guessing a good diet of probiotics from yogurt...it makes the poop almost undetectable by smell. Either that, or I am so desensitized by bad smells at this point that my nose just doesn't work.

If I have a ghost poop, usually I don't have the wipes open and I certainly don't have a wipe pulled through the hole. These poops almost always happen when the wipes are near the bottom of the container and I'm desperately shoving my two longest fingers in the wipe hole opening trying to reach the bottom to grab a wipe.

You would think there was a million dollar bill at the bottom of that container then way I am sweating and trying to reach down there. 

While I am trying to reach the wipes at the bottom of the container, Parker is fighting the hell out of me...while the diaper is open. I am now using one hand to try to keep his grabby-hands away from his poop covered scrotum while simultaneously I am holding his feet up at his ears. He is still screaming bloody murder.

So I use the poopy diaper to try to wipe some of the crap off his butt so that maybe I'll only need 50 wipes instead of 75. I finally get a wipe out of the container, and start wiping and cleaning and trying to keep those damn little hands away from the poop.

Then here's the best part: Parker has somehow learned to soothe himself during these extremely traumatic experiences by squeezing his butt cheeks together and bouncing his butt up and down while frog-legging his legs. BOING BOING BOING. So I have one second between boings to wipe in his crack before he clenches up again.

Clench, boing/wipe. Clench, boing/wipe.

Does anyone know what I am talking about here, or is my son completely out of his mind??? 

At least he usually isn't screaming anymore. It just takes me at least 10 minutes to get him cleaned up.

Putting the new diaper on is also difficult because all Parker wants to do by this time is get off his back. He can't stand it (odd, coming from a baby who also HATED tummy time...).

I finally get the diaper on and his clothes put back together. I pick him up and he always acts like nothing happened.

When do kids start to cooperate with diaper changes?????

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

day care disaster

When we moved to St. Louis I heard from other moms to get on the waiting list for day care ASAP. So in August I googled "Wash U daycare" and found their website. I filled out their wait list application, mailed them a check, and was waiting waiting waiting until Friday of last week.

They called to tell me they had a spot, I immediately agreed to take it, and Parker was going to start May 1st. I was so relieved. When I was writing the check my husband asked me to verify the cost, because it seemed to be more than other residents were paying. I emailed the director and she called me.

After a short conversation she informed me that I have been on the wrong wait list the entire time. I was on the wait list for attending physicians, fellows, and graduate students. There is a separate wait list for residents...and the two different day cares are not affiliated with one another. Therefore, my time did not transfer and they could not accept me. 7 months of thinking I was on top of the daycare situation, and THEN they drop this bomb on me. And they drop it a month before I need child care. But not to worry, she is very sorry and will refund me the $150 I already paid to hold my spot.

I was SO ANGRY on Friday I was shaking. I felt completely...victimized? Screwed? Someone should have caught this when I first mailed in my application. In addition, I called several times between them receiving my application and my being accepted and subsequently kicked off on Friday, and made it PERFECTLY clear that my husband and I were residents. No one said a thing.

I called the director back and, as calmly as I could, I informed her that I thought the fair thing for them to do was to make an exception for us and let us enroll until the correct daycare had a spot for my son. The director said she would call their Wash U liason and talk to them about it. On Monday I got called back with a big, fat no. No exception...they cannot take my son.

I then called the regional manager of the day care. I explained that this is no one person's fault, but someone should have informed me during one of several phone conversations that they don't take resident's children...someone should have caught the error. I told him that one problem is that their staff don't understand the difference between a medical student, a resident, a fellow, and an attending. I also told him that their website doesn't specify who they take and who they don't take. It says it's for "Wash U faculty and staff." The application is equally vague as it doesn't ask you to put down your occupation; it only asks you to put down your "company name" (which I put down as "Wash U surgery").

The regional director (and actually everyone I spoke with) was extremely nice and apologetic. The problem is that I'm still completely up a creek, if you will. The regional manager said he was going to talk to someone to see if maybe they can accept us, but it doesn't look promising. I am supposed to hear back from him on Monday.

In the meantime, I've been getting on wait lists left and right. I am calling around to home day cares also. The problem is that the day cares that have open spots for a 12 month old have serious problems. Stay tuned for an update about the centers I've visited...you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Occam's razor burn

I know a lot about my husband's toileting routines. I know that he is almost 30 and uses Axe hair gel (so he can get some "hair action"), that he uses WAY too much face wash, and that he showers in the morning and bathes at night. I also realize that his bowels cannot move properly without the aid of his iPad. One thing I don't know about him is the kind of razor blade refills he uses.

I knew he was out of razors, so when I was at Target I actually remembered he needed them (it's a big deal if I remember to buy anything besides baby stuff) so I went down the shaving aisle. I had no idea which razors he used. I tried calling him but he didn't pick up, and since Parker was causing my arm to feel like it was going to fall off at this point in the shopping trip, I decided to just buy him a pack of disposables. I didn't buy the 0.99 cent Bic ones, I bought ones that I thought were good. They had at least 3 blades. They weren't generic. The aloe strip wasn't microscopic.

I felt like such a good wife since I remembered to pick up razors, even though I knew they weren't the right ones. Tim was very thankful.

The other night, he was shaving with one and was complaining about how bad they were. The thing is, he was practically on his last one...he never told me to get different ones. I just assumed they were fine. After he was done shaving, his neck looked the a cheese grater had attacked him.

Then I had a brilliant idea.

"Here baby, I have some lidocaine gel you can use for your neck."

Lidocaine gel...aka Bikini Zone.

Bikini Zone, in case you aren't familiar, is a gel for use after shaving your bikini area. It has lidocaine in it, so I figured it would be great for Tim's face and would make his irritation feel better. Soooo I squeezed a huge amount into his hand and waited for a blissful look of pain relief to spread across his face.

Apparently the skin on the face and neck is a little more sensitive than the skin of the bikini area (in my defense, you can see how I might have thought the opposite, no?). Tim rubbed all the gel onto his neck and started scream-laughing and fanning his face while jumping up and down. This was like the reaction in Home Alone with the aftershave, except a million times better.

He yells at me, "What did you give me?!?!" So I showed him the Bikini Zone.

Of course, he wasn't exactly happy that I had given him crotch cream for his face, but I was laughing so hard that I didn't care.

We learned a valuable lesson here, and that is not to use Bikini Zone on the face. Apparently it stings. A lot. Apparently it also smells bad (contrary to their advertisement of a "light refreshing scent"). I wouldn't know, since I've never put it near my nose.

I will say that the next day, after the angry red burned-skin look had abated, his face and neck looked smooth and irritation-free. You're welcome, my love.

The sad thing is, I still don't know what kind of razor blades he uses. I never thought this would be in the "need to know" category of wifery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

racism is a pediatric disease

Are you totally sick of the racism and intolerance that still runs rampant throughout this country? Please read for the brown boys, a post from Mom's New Stage. It's touching and will hit home to every parent. Let's stop corrupting our children with racism, because they all start out perfect.

{But not all as perfect as this...couldn't resist putting in a picture of my son as a newborn :)}

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

picture perfect

When I was a kid, I was a very selfless little girl. I always put others first, especially my grandparents. This is a letter I sent to my grandmother when I was a kid.

It reads, "Dear Grandma, Please send me a letter." I wrote my name at the top so she wouldn't accidentally send one of my siblings (or God forbid, one of my cousins) a letter instead of me.

The following represents the time in my young life when I realized that I would never become an artist. Feel free to admire the following self portrait (and what self portrait is complete without a rainbow to accompany it?):


I may or may not have been somewhere near high school when this was drawn.


Monday, March 19, 2012

hooking up isn't always cheating

Today I am linking up with Mom's New Stage for a Q and A session. This is very exciting for me for several reasons.
1. It means my blog was interesting enough for a fellow blogger to include me (thank you!)
2. It came at a great time, since after a very stressful week I am having writer's block
3. Focused writing is good writing

The first "rule" is to post the rules, so here they are:
1. Post the rules.
2. Tag up to eleven bloggers by posting links to their blogs, and let them know.
3. Create eleven questions for the people you’ve tagged.
4. Answer the questions your tagger posed for you.
5. Have fun!

So I don't know 11 bloggers, but I will tag a few blogger friends who I follow:
Confessions of a Recovering Supermom
Dollops of Diane
Dr. Princess
Misadventures in Motherhood
Pampers and Pumps
Team Studer
The Misanthropic Father

Here are the questions I will be answering:

1.  How long does it take you to write a post?
It depends on how excited I am to write it. Sometimes 10 minutes and sometimes 10 hours. Maybe I should avoid posting the ones that take 10 hours. 

2.  What does hubby think about your blogging?
He feigns interest. I make him read most of my posts. He is kind of an egotist...he likes the ones I write that mention him, even if they cast him in a less-than-perfect light. (Hi Baby!)

3.  Number of times per day you check your stats?  I ask because I have a problem.
HA! I have that same problem. I check it like a crack addict the day I've written a post. Then maybe once a day on the days I don't post. Very rarely, I'll go an entire day without checking. 

4.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
My first inclination was to say anywhere, as long as I am with my husband and son. But that's not entirely honest, so I won't lie. I'll say San Francisco. I've never been there, but the gays know how to live and all the hype about the area has to be about something!

5.  Time you go to bed vs. when you should be in bed?
I go to bed between 10 and 11. I really should go to be between 9 and 10, since my son is still waking up no later than 5 am. I'm torn between loving his early bedtime (between 6 and 7 pm) and hating his early awakenings. 

6.   Current fashion trend you'd pay to have bombed off the earth immediately?
Those toe shoe sock things that people run in. I'm not even sure if this is still considered trendy since I'm the most unfashionable person I know. But if it is still cool, it's a total gimmick. Hope all you people enjoy the unnecessary tetanus shots you'll need from running in those things!

7.   If someone put you in Target right now, what is the first thing you'd buy?
I'm salivating at this question. Probably shampoo, since we are running dangerously low. Then I'd look at the bathing suits and think about how I used to be able to look good in a bikini.

8.  What makes you laugh these days?
Reading people's blogs. And watching AFV (that's America's funniest home videos, for the lay people). 

9.  Toy you would very much like to see your child "lose"?
Hmm...this is a tough one since my son is only 11 months old. I can't wait to retire the exersaucer since it's such an eyesore in the living room and I'm really tired of stubbing my feet on it. 

10.  We all read about stars and think "Hey, she's normal! We could hang!" You know you do! Name a female celeb you think would be a good pal.
This would be an easier question if it asked who I would never hang out with (Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner) but to answer it I'll say Emma Stone.

11.  Can you talk about personal goal for 2012?
My goal is to maintain blogging after I start working as an OBGYN resident in June. It might not be easy, but pregnant women do so many funny things it shouldn't be hard to come up with material. Women in general make amusing patients. I once had this really sweet teenage girl come in for her first gyn visit. When her parent left the room, I asked her if she had any questions while we were alone. She asked, "How do you know if you've had sex?" WOW that one took me off guard!

And there you have it, some insight into me!
For the people I tagged, here are your questions if you so choose to answer them (if not, enjoy the free publicity!!)
1. Is there anything you are looking forward to when your child hits their next stage of childhood? If you are childless, is there anything you are really looking forward to about having children?

2. What would your dream house have that is a unique expression of yourself?

3. What's your favorite TV show nowadays?

4. What do you secretly love about your significant other that they may not know you love? If you are single, what do you look for in a partner?

5. What really annoys you in a relationship?

6. What got you into blogging?

7. How do you feel about kids on leashes?

8. What is something embarrassing you've done lately (or seen happen to another person)?

9. Do you have April Fools plans?

10. Do you still celebrate your birthday?

11. How much time do you spend on facebook?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

the stress of matching...a hairy situation

Monday I find out if I match into a residency program here in St. Louis. This has been an extremely stressful week for me, waiting and waiting to find out.

Saturday, I realized that what I was feeling was well beyond stress...it was straight up panic. My indicator? My trichotillomania flared up again. Yeah...I wish I was kidding about this one, OHHHH but I'm not. When I wasn't happily being distracted by Parker, like when he was napping, I found myself literally standing at the window, looking outside, and pulling my eyebrows out. I know, wtf, right?

Most people with trichotillomania pull out their eye lashes, so I don't know why I go for the brows. Just another neurotic thing I do, I guess.

So I'm standing there like a CRAZY person, staring outside....mooooooonday is coming....monday is coming...PLUCK...MONDAY is coming...PLUCK....FUCKING STOP PULLING OUT YOUR EYEBROWS.

Check facebook.

Monday is coming...PLUCK...

I try to make myself feel better by saying, Okay, I'll only pull out the raggy ones, not the smooth ones. But eventually I don't discriminate. I've had one other major trichotillomania episode in my life. It was in med school, and I pulled almost EVERY ONE of those fuckers out. It was SO embarrassing.
 Those brows were not shaped that way on purpose. It wasn't pretty, took a long time for them to fill back in, and they never looked the same.

I hope that blogging about this will make me aware that now that other people will be paying attention to my brow situation, I will stop doing it. Here's hoping. Anxiety is a bitch, people.

I might be less stressed about the whole thing if my family, bless their hearts, would stop pretending like there is no chance for me not to match. They have no idea how the process works. Much stranger things have happened. Lots of competitive people don't match. I calculated some stats...last year 10 people who applied to OBGYN ranked only 3 programs. 6 of them matched, 4 didn't. I figure that gives me about a 60% chance...maybe slightly higher.

This is the problem when you academically succeed your entire life (please forgive the egotistical nature of this statement)...you're not allowed to worry about failing. This makes the anxiety even worse, because I'm not allowed to discuss it with anyone who isn't in medicine. And if I did fail, everyone's disappointment would be unbearable. Telling me, "Don't worry you'll match...you always succeed," is the least helpful thing to say to me. It's actually kind of insulting. What's better is to say, "You'll find out soon, and if you don't match, have a plan."  Thank you friends who know how this process works. This is the right thing to say.

Other things not to say are "think positive thoughts.' My dad has been thinking positive thoughts about winning the lottery for decades now...it hasn't panned out well for him. 

My plan for if I don't match is to book the next flight down to Gainesville so I can try to scramble into a medicine preliminary year here in St. Louis. And hope for some divine intervention that my adviser can make some calls before I get there. Having this plan makes me feel a little bit better. Hopefully it won't have to be implemented.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

pooping: a luxury I don't have

Prior to having Parker, there were things I used to be able to do without having to do them lightning-quick or with a person attached to me.

One of these things is pooping. And eating...among other luxuries.

Let me describe to you Tim's bathroom habits. He poops at least twice a day while at home. I have no idea how many times he goes at work, but the man has overactive bowels. When he goes at home after he works, he takes his iPad and a beer in the bathroom with him and spends 20-30 minutes in the bathroom "pooping" (aka playing some football game on the iPad, or reading, or whatever else men do in the bathroom), in total spa style. Sometimes he will call out, "Babe! Can you bring me another beer?!"

I am making a blog post out of this because it really makes me angry. If you are a normal parent, one who has spent any period of time alone with a baby, you can understand my annoyance.

Let me describe to you how pooping is for me. I have to bring Parker in with me. I stand him up at the bathtub while I quickly lift the lid and sit down so as to block him from exploring the toilet water with his head and hands. At the bathtub he knocks every bath item into the tub. After he does this, he gets bored, so I have to sit him in my lap and read him a story. He's bored. So I put him on the ground, where he cruises to the back of the toilet and tries to stick his hands into the crack between the water reservoir and my ass so he can reach into the toilet water. So now I have to lean back all the way to block his hands. This is not a comfortable or a natural pooping position.

 At some point he makes his way to the cabinets under the sink, which don't have a lock on them. He pulls them open and bangs them shut, OPEN, SHUT, OPEN, SHUT, while his fingers dangle perilously over the top of the doors. So I have to put my hand at the top of the door to block Parker's fingers from being pinched at the top. BANG BANG BANG BANG against my hand. Yes, it hurts. Yes, I think to myself "Damn I really need to put cabinet locks on." Every. Time.

This is the epitome of multitasking. 

And then there's the wiping process. Parker's second favorite thing to eat is toilet paper, so I'm fighting his grabby-hands off while trying to wipe. It's AWFUL.

I've tried to poop only while he naps, but after I have my morning tea I have to go...like quickly. And the caffeine is just too important. So short of stealing Parker's diapers, this is the way it has to be.

Are you wondering why I don't just close the door and lock him out? Perhaps you haven't seen the  separation anxiety video. Also, he manages to hurt himself when left unattended for more than 20 seconds.

Since it's not fair to be mad at Tim for something he is totally ignorant about, the next time Tim yells for me to bring him another beer, I am going to bring him Parker. He has no idea what he's missing out on and what he takes for granted.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

crotch attack

Today it was absolutely beautiful here in St. Louis, a very balmy 75 and sunny. I was looking forward to getting out with Parker as soon as the garage repair man came to fix our garage. He came out and within 5 minutes said he needed to fix some motor something, but I would need to back the car out in order for him to access the motor part. I ran into our apartment to grab the keys. I couldn't find them anywhere.

I called up Tim to see where he put them. He doesn't answer, so I go back out and arrange for the repair guy to come back tomorrow, since my husband misplaced our keys. They ended up conveniently being in his pocket at work. This doubly sucked since our stroller was locked in the car.

Since I really didn't want to waste all day inside, I strapped Parker into the Baby Bjorn and decided to go for a walk. This was a mistake from the get go. He is just too heavy for me now that he is 10 months old. He is still really small for his age, but so am I. I just don't have the muscle capacity to walk very far with him. So we get a little way down the street and I turn around.

We are intercepted by this very sweet, elderly woman who is walking her poodle. She stops us so she can talk with Parker. "Oh she's a little girl?" Well no, she's a boy. But I can see how that might be confusing by the red and brown onesie, brown pants, and blue sunhat that he is wearing.

Then something happened that was borderline criminal...I'm almost ashamed to disclose this. She reaches for Parker's foot. Since he is in the carrier you can kind of picture where his foot is in relation to my body. In the process she totally swipes at my pelvic area and ends up hitting me right in the crotch. I was so startled I jumped, which startled Parker, which caused him to kick this woman, which startled the woman.

We both jump away from each other.

"Oh my, he doesn't like his feet touched!"

Ya...that's the problem. Not your hand-eye coordination.

I don't even know what to say to her comment, because I am still recovering from being molested by a little old lady and her poodle. I safely back up a step and divert all our attention to her dog. We managed to sneak away without further inappropriate contact...but in the meantime, I'm really going to retire the Baby Bjorn. It's just too dangerous now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

when vacations attack: part 2

With part 1, we left off getting off the plane in Florida with an ill, naked baby after an extremely unpleasant flight.

The following days entail Parker getting progressively sicker. He starts doing the combo vomit/diarrhea thing. By day 3, Tim and both of his parents have been infected. The house smells to high heaven. Everyone is too sick to get out of bed except to hit up the bathroom. I am the only one who managed not to get sick.

And ooooh lucky me. As I was the only well person in the house, I had the pleasure of desperately trying to keep Parker clean, hydrated, and out of the ER. Tim and his parents were amazingly helpful, even in their debilitated states.

At day 3, Parker became listless and did nothing but moan. I started to really worry. He was actually floppy, and I was just about to make the executive decision to take him to the emergency room when he puked all over my father, who came for the day to visit. He perked up after that, so we decided to ride it out for another day.

He was up all night again with lots of diarrhea and lots of crying. So on day 4 we took him to an urgent care center that advertised that they treated kids. After seeing this doctor, I'd venture to say that he doesn't frequently see children...at least not young ones. He diagnosed Parker with an ear infection and gave him a prescription for an antibiotic.

The doctor didn't do anything wrong, per se, but he prescribed azithromycin for the ear infection. Besides the fact that the treatment of choice is amoxicillin, azithromycin tastes like shit. When you combine bad taste with a baby who is already vomiting and diarrhea-ing all over the place, you get... more vomiting. Obviously Parker wasn't absorbing any of this drug, so we needed an alternative.

I called up the doctor to ask if we could get an antibiotic shot. He said no. So I made an appointment with an actual pediatrician down there and took him in. This doctor and I had major communication issues...long story short, he didn't give us a different antibiotic. Without me asking for anything other than a different antibiotic, he prescribed cough syrup (not that I'm complaining since it is knock-out juice, but NO ONE does this anymore), Zofran (anti-nausea medication), and Imodium (google this for an infant....it's practically contraindicated). Bless this doctor's heart for trying to make my baby feel better, but read a freaking journal once a decade.

The next day Parker was still vomiting this crap up, so I called Dr. Azithromycin back to see if we could get amoxicillin....his response was "If your kid is still vomiting, you need to take him to the ER." Umm...you're not listening to me, sir. He is only vomiting up the antibiotic. Dr. I'm-too-lazy-and-incompetent-to-treat-an-ear-infection didn't care, and wanted to pawn us off on the nearest ER. This is why the ER is full of people who don't need to be there. This is part of our nation's healthcare problems.

Finally I did the most sensible thing...the thing I should have done in the first place. I called Parker's own pediatrician in St. Louis. I frantically explained that in 36 hours we would be boarding a plane with a baby with an untreated, raging ear infection (and terrible diarrhea). She called in amoxicillin and Parker has been tolerating it ever since.

On the ride home from the pharmacy, where we picked up the amoxicillin, Tim was horsing around with me while he was driving, and ended up badly curbing his grandmother's Cadillac SUV. The passenger rear tire deflated immediately, and the front tire had a huge bleb in it. $200 and hours later, we had the car back in working condition. Of course, now it was too late to get that first dose of antibiotic into Parker since he was in bed for the night. 

As far as our "vacation" went, we didn't end up doing anything we had planned on doing. Tim didn't get to introduce Parker to the pool or the beach. No cute pictures of Parker in his bathing suit, rash guard, and sun hat (mega sad face for this one). No movie at the theater. We couldn't even take Parker to visit with his great-grandma for fear that her 80+ year old immune system would send her to the ICU if exposed to this monster virus.

The only good thing was that Parker got to visit with his grandparents (and his dad...let's be honest, he doesn't get to do that very often). I think in the future, if my mommy instinct is telling me not to travel with Parker, I will follow it. Even though we couldn't have predicted how sick Parker was going to become, something in me knew it was a bad idea to travel with him and over-exert him. Now if we could only get the dads plugged in to this instinct...

Update: Just in case you're curious, it is 10 days later and Parker has still not had a normal bowel movement. Also, somewhere during that week Parker's second top tooth erupted. That's 3 new teeth during that week of gastroenteritis, ear infection, and upper respiratory infection. I can't imagine how bad he was feeling.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

when vacations attack: part 1

Tim and I just got home from the world's worst vacation. Ever. I feel bad saying this because my in laws tried SO HARD to make it as nice and relaxing as possible...but despite their best efforts, it was pretty much futile.

**Every word of this story is true. Believe it or not.**

I'll begin with the events leading up to our arrival in south Florida.

1 week prior to flight: Tim and I fantasize about long days spent at the beach and pool, drinking cocktails, and not worrying about our infant son who would be in great hands with his parents. Tim went as far as to say that maybe we could go out to see a movie. I thought, maybe even a movie AND dinner. It was going to be warm, sunny, relaxing...

4 days prior to flight: I take Parker to the library for story time. There are no less than 15 disgusting babies ages 0-4 years old snotting all over place while Parker happily mouths everything in sight.

3 days prior to flight: Parker has play group with a bunch of seemingly healthy babies.

1 day prior to flight: Parker vomits in the morning. His top tooth erupts.

Night prior to flight: Parker vomits all night, requiring full bedding changes and midnight bath. He seems ill...for reals.

5 hours prior to take off: Tim and I have a debate over whether we should fly or not. By debate, I mean that I say I think he is too sick, and Tim says the tickets were way too expensive, non-transferable, and non-refundable. Therefore, the only way we are not getting on the plane is if he is actively dying.
My sick son with raging teething cheeks.

2 hours prior to take off: Massive diarrhea at the terminal, with blowout. Spare outfit employed.

Leg 1 of flight: Parker refuses to take any formula or food. He sleeps most of the time, but when he is awake he is fussing up a storm. Parker has his third bottom-row tooth erupt.

Leg 2 of flight: Parker takes a bottle, vomits it up, and has massive blow out #2. Tim gets covered in shit. His pants are covered, his jacket is covered, both sleeves are covered from the previous blowout. I get out of my seat to access the overhead bin to find diaper changing material, only to have the overhead bin door fall off in my hands. At this point we have a naked, screaming, poop covered baby in Tim's lap and me holding the broken overhead bin. There isn't a single person on the plane who isn't staring in our direction. A few people are pointing at me so the flight attendant can come help me out with the broken door. Flight attendant comes over, helps me replace it, and now I can tend to my shit covered husband and son.
This blowout is one of the worst we have ever experienced. The poop is nothing but shear virus. It's green, mucousy, liquid virus that smells so bad I'm actually gagging. I've never gagged from the smell of poop. Ever. And I've smelled a lot of shit. Needless to say, our spare outfit is ruined, and Parker is now donning only his diaper. Tim gets up to go to the bathroom to try to clean himself up, and while he is gone Parker is sobbing his face off. Clearly, he doesn't feel good, he is naked, and I don't even have a blanket for him since it's covered in poop also. I stand up to try to bounce him a little...I lock eyes with a woman sitting a couple seats away. She mouths, "It's okay," and for some reason I lose my shit and start to cry.
I let a few tears of frustration go and get myself together. Tim comes back and I hand off Parker to him so I can wash up and get rid of the diaper and all the clothes which are not salvageable. The baggy of crap is too big to fit in that tiny garbage door next to the sink on the plane, so I break into the compartment under the sink to put it in. Then I can't figure out how to close it. I'm waiting for the alarm to go off for tampering with the bathroom. Nothing happens, so I leave it alone.

We finally land and get off the plane to meet my in laws. They are totally amused and tickled that Parker is only in a diaper. It's just too soon for me to get a kick out this.
                 "Didn't you pack a spare outfit?"
                 "Do you have a blanket we could wrap him in?"               
Really?

We all get back to the in laws house, which is this beautiful condo right near the ocean, and get Parker to bed. The kid was so exhausted we didn't even give him a bath. Which worked out okay since he needed one a few hours later anyway.

Stay tuned for how the following 5 days went. If you've seen the movie Contagion, you might remember that the virus in that movie affected 30% of the people who were exposed. Parker's virus affected greater than 80% of people exposed during this trip.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sophia Grace: a rant

I am sure that most of you are familiar with Sophia Grace (and Rosie). In case you aren't, they are the two little British sisters who became famous on youtube for singing Nicki Minaj's song Super Bass.

If you haven't seen it, this is the video: 

When I first saw this, I thought to myself, wow the little brunette has some legit talent. The little blonde, well, not so much. She functions pretty much solely as Sophia's wingwoman. Adorable, definitely prettier, but significantly out-shined in the talent department.

The video exploded in popularity, and I thought that maybe Parker would enjoy it. He seems to enjoy little girls for some reason (I think because every encounter he has had with them involves him being treated like a doll), so I figured he might get a kick out of the video.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Parker quickly escalated from the boo boo lip to tornado siren wail. He hated Sophia Grace and Rosie. I couldn't figure out why.

Then I saw these two on the Ellen show, and realized that Parker is just smarter than I am...and apparently a better judge of character when it comes to first impressions.

First off, let me say, I LOVE ELLEN DEGENERES. Meeting her is on my bucket list.

Ellen does have her flaws though, like all of us. She love love LOVES these little girls. But Ellen doesn't have the insight that Parker has.

Sophia Grace is crazy obnoxious. ***Lord forgive me for poking fun at an innocent little girl, but holy geez. When I saw her on Ellen, I had a vivid flashback to Tom Cruise on Oprah, and thought to myself, holy shit...Sophia Grace is Tom Cruise's illegitimate love child. She has his manic tendencies, random bouts of scream-fests, inability to sit still, and uncanny ability to suck you in with her indisputable talents.

If you haven't seen these two on Ellen, I'll do you a "favor" and post the video. Prepare yourself for the world's most annoying, self-centered, tutu-wearing brat.
 
Now, let's focus our attention on Rosie for just a second. Poor, adorable, dumb-as-dirt Rosie. Please stop perpetuating every stereotype out there for blonde girls. Do you have a brain? Do you have your own thoughts? Do you have to look at Sophia Grace for permission to talk? Do you need Sophia to tell you what to say? I'd have her evaluated for "the spectrum"...if you know what I mean. I can't wait for the day she realizes how much she actually despises Sophia. Then they can switch from the Ellen show to the Jerry Springer show.

All I know is, Parker knew it all along, from the moment he first set his eyes on her. Ellen and I didn't see it coming.

It's girls like these two that make me happy I had a boy. And it's karma from this post that let's me know that my next baby will probably be a girl, just like Sophia Grace (except probably without the musical talent and twice the obnoxiousness).

***This post is just for fun. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings here, or get readers all riled up and angry. Don't take it too seriously!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

my mom moment

Most of the time, the fact that I have a child is very surreal. You might think that 40 weeks of pregnancy and 9 months of " look mom! I'm a real-live-boy" is enough time for me to wrap my head around this fact, but it's been slow to set in. It's not that I haven't enjoyed (almost) every minute of having Parker in my life, because I have. It's just been weird for me to suddenly have my life revolve around a person who isn't myself. Parker wasn't a planned pregnancy, so this may be why it's been less instant for me than for most.

[Sidenote: When Parker was first born, I had a lot of people say to me, "Have you ever thought you could love someone so much?" I think these people need a serious lesson in the baby blues (which more than 70% of women experience) and postpartum depression (also VERY common). Loving a baby (beyond the obligatory, this is my child, love), for me, is just like loving anyone else. The relationship takes time to develop, and you have to get to know each other first. It should be a give (and give, give, give, give) and take kind of thing. If you have that instant magic love for your newborn, that is AWESOME. But you're not a monster if it takes a little time!!]

This morning I had a moment that made me feel like a "real" mom.

You may picture me taking my son to play with friends. Or us taking a stroll in the park. Or me happily tossing Parker up in the air, in the middle of a meadow, while butterflies flit about us and a double rainbow in the sky circles our heads.

My mom moment involved nothing more complex than oatmeal.

I discovered the other day that Parker likes oatmeal. Adult oatmeal, with texture and everything. So this morning, I doubled the serving size that I normally eat so he (and I) could both have some. When it was ready to eat, I poured it into one bowl, and grabbed two spoons: one baby and one adult. Then I sat him in my lap and we ate it together while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (or was it Baby Einsteins? It was early, I can't remember).

I am not really sure what was so profound about this MOMent (couldn't resist), but I think it was the fact that he was sitting in my lap (and not in his high chair) and we were sharing food. It was so sweet. I thought to myself, now this is something I'll actually miss (along with baby laughs and nakie babies).

Monday, February 20, 2012

"I hate you mama!! But don't put me down."

"I hate you mama!! But don't put me down." I feel like Parker is thinking this a lot lately.

Parker is 9 months old now, and I suppose this is about the time when babies start to recognize things as familiar and unfamiliar. The cruel irony of separation anxiety is that it coincides with increasing testing of independence in terms of developmental timing. So, for example, Parker will test his independence by crawling away from me and into another room, but then he will cry like a crazy man when he realizes he is alone. He doesn't always figure out how to crawl back to me, so I have to go retrieve him from whatever bedroom closet he ventured into. He is always there, crying with fear, until he sees me and smiles.

Things that are familiar to Parker (and by familiar, I mean 'source of comfort'):
-First and foremost, the cats
-Me (with glasses on)
-Tim
-the cats
-our apartment
-pacifiers
-bottles
-Sesame Street...ok let's be honest, all daytime TV
-Making monster noises, screeching, and doing all things boy
-Did I mention the cats?



Things that are unfamiliar to Parker:
-Me with contacts in
-Me dressed in anything other than pajamas
-Tim dressed in anything besides work clothes
-dogs
-any place other than our apartment, Target, or the grocery store
-Sippy cups
-Cuddling with me, except for when sleepiness lends itself to accidental snuggle episdoes

Separation anxiety hasn't been all bad. It's been good for my left biceps. It's been a good test of my patience. It makes me feel like Parker thinks I'm the most awesome person in the world.

The problem is that it is SO annoying sometimes. I posted this video on facebook, but not everyone who reads this blog is fb friends with me, and so I am reposting it here:

video
People tell me all the time, "You'll miss this." And you know what, I will. But only after the passage of time has bestowed rose colored glasses on my hindsight....as it has for all parents who tell me to enjoy every moment. I am enjoying it. I'm sure I'll enjoy it more when I no longer have it.

The grass is always greener, and all that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a close call

A few days ago, Tim had a day off work. We usually do a bunch of errands on these rare occasions, and this day was no exception. Everything we had to do was in the same, small plaza.

Tim dropped Parker and I off at Old Navy while he went a little further down to get a hair cut. He met us back at Old Navy, we walked over to Barnes and Noble, then we needed to go across the way to the grocery store. It was freezing out, so instead of just walking (with a getting-progressively-moodier baby) we decided to drive and park a little closer.

Since Parker was being a beast, I didn't strap him into his car seat. We were driving maybe a thousand feet and would hit a max of 5 miles per hour. I wasn't worried....

...Until I see a cop car heading straight towards us, driving on the opposite side of the road. In seconds he would be passing us, and no doubt would see this crazed 9 month old infant bouncing in my arms, and screeching and banging on the window. When I say "crazed," I mean it. This was the first time he had ever been in the car facing in a forward direction. He was SO EXCITED. We're talking Disneyworld excited.

Parker, being the genius troublemaker that he is, was TRYING to get me busted. After all, I deserved it for dragging him out, in the freezing cold, PAST HIS BEDTIME, to buy clothes only for myself at Old Navy. The grocery store stop was just too much. Someone had to stop me!

So what do I do?

I have a millisecond panic attack, and then I orchestrate a move that my mother taught to me, and her mother taught to her and so on for many generations. I am referring to the coveted "throw-the-kids-not-wearing-a-seatbelt-on-the-floor-of-the-car" move. Also known as the "everyone duck move."

I was blessed that this maneuver has been passed through so many generations, so as to have been perfected by the time I had to bust it out.

I gently toss Parker to the floor of the car, look straight up to the sky, and practically start doing the "nothing to see here" whistle. I mean, it's not unusual for a wife to sit in the back seat while her husband chauffeurs her around with an empty car seat next to the wife. Everyone does that, right?

I'm cringing...waiting for the cop to pass us, turn around, and "pull us over" in the parking lot. He passes, I'm still looking up at the sky (clenching every sphincter in my body), and Tim goes, "OMG he looked right in our car."

At this point I really think we are going to get a ticket for upwards of a thousand dollars for this infraction. What does it cost to drive with an unrestrained infant?

Answer: I wouldn't know! SUCKER!!!!

No. Just kidding (kind of). I have learned my lesson. In the future, if we are only going a short intra-plaza distance, I will at least sit Parker in the car seat so as to give the illusion that he is buckled in.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

things no one told me about being a parent

I was going to title this "things that were not apparent before I became a parent" but I figured that was too lame for even me.

Pregnant me was so excited, so free from worry, so naive (and so well groomed). I really just had no clue.



1. Babies don't sleep: somehow I knew this was true, but I figured my baby would be the exception. When he was still waking up every 3 hours at 5 months old, we took his insomniac-ass to a pediatric sleep specialist (ya, they make those!). Even with sleep training, he wasn't truly sleeping through the night until he turned 8 months-ish. And, by sleeping through the night, I mean when he cries I turn the monitor waaaaay down, and I figure if he really needs me, I'll hear it.

2. Babies don't enjoy being naked.

3. Babies don't enjoy being clothed.

4. Babies don't just lay there on the changing table, waiting patiently for you to change their diaper. When I lay Parker on the changing table, he acts like I am going to pull out a scalpel and slice his penis off. I mean, sometimes he is full out sobbing while I change him. It is so beyond my comprehension. He has never had a traumatic changing experience. You would think he enjoys staying in a wet/poopy diaper.

5. A play date for me is the parenting crystal ball. I've never spent much time around toddlers and young children. When we have play dates now, I make sure I pay extra attention to how they act, so I know what to expect in a couple of years. I've learned: they cry over dumb shit (Parker put a little boy's toy car in his mouth and the boy melted down), they get irritated very easily (Parker grabbed a little girl's dress, and I thought she was going to punch him in the face), always carry extra underwear and clothes, kids are obsessed with bathrooms yet still pee/poop themselves, black potties are both scary and intriguing, kids are human garbage disposals, the other kid's food is always better, the idea of having a baby over to "play with" is far superior than the reality.

6. Babies are mean, evil geniuses. At some point, Parker quickly became smarter than me. He learned to cross his legs when dangled over his neglectasaucer exersaucer so as to prevent me from putting him in it, he learned to flex his hips when I lower him to the ground so I can't set him down, and when he wants picked up he knows all he has to do is head in the direction of the litter box.

7. Babies are dumb.  How many times does Parker have to do the same thing to realize that every time he does it, he gets hurt? Answer: I am still counting.

Monday, February 6, 2012

the silencer

The silencer...aka the pacifier.

The pacifier, acting as silencer, is a double edged sword.

On one hand, the pacifier is almost wholly responsible for getting Parker to sleep. Never mind that I've spent close to hundreds of dollars on pacifiers so that, no matter where he is in his bed, there is one within finger distance (heck, probably within mouth distance...there are so many in there all he really has to do is pucker his lips and POOF, one will magically pop in there!). (One time I picked Parker up from a nap, and when I went to change him out of his pajamas I found, not one, but two pacifiers inside his pjs.) The pacifier can keep Parker quiet in the car, in the grocery store, and while he is playing.

On the other hand, the pacifier tends to keep Parker a little too quiet while he plays. It allows him to get into things that are off limits without me honing in on his normally constant baby noises. These things include the cat food, cat water, litter box, trash can, toilets, food pantry...the works.

Then there is the issue of having a play date with other babies who also use a pacifier. It's just a fight waiting to happen ("binky battles," if you will). Parker just crawls around, trying to grab other children's pacifiers...out of their mouths. And if the other kid is dumb enough to leave it on the ground, Parker will haul ass from across the room to snatch it up. I've seen Parker actually try to put another poor, unsuspecting baby's binky in his mouth IN ADDITION to his own pacifier, which is already in his mouth. Then he gets all bent out of shape that he can't suck them both at the same time.

This is especially malicious because Parker only uses one specific type of pacifier, the Soothie. Despite this, he indiscriminately steals pacifiers of all types and shapes. 

I really think that when they are old enough to fight over pacifiers, they are probably old enough to give them up. I think the "need to suck" has passed when the priority becomes pathologic pacifier hoarding. And that is what Parker is...a pacifier hoarder. Is this how people become "adult babies," aka the world's most disturbed and disturbing group of weirdos?

Alas, despite the fact that I know that Parker is probably ready (in theory) to give up the pacifier, I will not get rid of it. Let's be honest, that thing is as much for my sanity as it is for Parker's comfort.

I used to see toddlers, walking around with their parents, sucking on their pacifiers (the kids, not the parents), and I would think to myself, "wow. Those parents really need to bite the bullet. That kid is able to TWIRL the pacifier 360 degrees."

Then you have the toddler with a true pacifier addiction, such as this little girl. If you notice, she has true signs of an addict: she has dependency (she needs several pacifiers to satisfy her, not just one), she also has fully dilated pupils, suggesting that the pacifier has acted as a gateway drug, to other, more hardcore substances. Such as pixie sticks.  
 (I stole this image, of this very adorable little girl, from http://www.tertia.org/so_close/2007/04/i_fear_that_add.html).

Now that I have my own little pacifier addict, I say to you parents, good for you for encouraging your child to become dependent on their pacifier. Who gives a crap that your kid looks absurd walking around holding his own iphone while sucking his binky (or binkies)? Is it allowing you to run to the store for dinner without a total meltdown?

Then carry on.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

reasons why physicians make bad parents

We all know that physicians (and pretty much all health care professionals) make bad patients. I'd venture to say that most people who go into the field of medicine have some degree of mental illness, not the least frequent of which is narcissistic personality disorder. This leads to a lot of discomfort letting someone else tell you what's wrong with you...and a lot of self misdiagnosis and self mistreatment. 

Not to offend all the mothers out there, but in a similar sense, we all think we know more than our pediatricians at some point or another. ("I know my kid needs antibiotics....his snot is GREEN!") I am no exception to the rest of you moms out there.

For comparable can't-get-rid-of-my-personality-disorder reasons, physicians make bad parents.

Reasons why:

1. I've considered the possibility that my son is autistic numerous times. He is 9 months old.

2. I thought it possible that my son's lack of babbling at almost 8 months was due to a hearing problems (and/or autism).

3. I encourage turn a blind eye to my son to putting things of very questionable cleanliness in his mouth. This has included: the arm rest on an airplane seat, the bottom surface of shoes (some of which my husband has worn to work in the hospital), cat vomit (this one I did not turn a blind eye to), the toilet seats in our apartment, cat food...you name it, and it's probably been in Parker's mouth. And I've probably had a very high threshold for removing it.

4. My husband and I have WAY too high of a threshold for taking Parker in to the emergency room. An example: today Parker was gagging on something that he put in his mouth that he retrieved from under the coffee table. When I dug it out of his mouth, it was a small piece of foil from a pill package. I am not sure, but I think it was part of a package that Benadryl comes in. Normal parents would have taken their kid in to be evaluated for a) possible ingestion of an adult dose drug, and b) possible ingestion of a plasticky foily package with potentially sharp edges. Tim and I decided on the "wait and see" treatment (disclaimer: I do not recommend this method). We decided we would take him in if he started acting weird or he had blood coming out of any of his orifices. So far so good.

5. I've called my pediatrician's office asking for specific prescriptions to be called in without an office evaluation. Including medications that Parker had never received in the past.

6. It makes me really angry when I am in the pediatrician's waiting room and another parent keeps complaining to the secretary that people are going before them and they were "waiting there first." More than one doctor works in the office people. Some patients are there for a nurse visit. Relax. It's not the first time you've been in a waiting room...you know it takes forever, for all of us.

7. I think every issue with illness can be handled via a phone call to my pediatrician's office.  And by "every issue" I mean I've called twice.

8. I give my kid Ibuprofen way too liberally. ("Oh, poor baby, do you have a tooth coming in? Are you in pain? Are you just acting like a little shit?" Ibuprofen!)

9. I plot Parker's growth curve at every well-child check.

10. I saved the inflammatory one for the last. I am a very liberal person when it comes to how people raise their children, but I have one exception. I can't stand it when parents don't vaccinate their children. I've seen kids die of meningococcal meningitis before and I've seen several babies hospitalized for influenza. Since the chances of a complication occuring with a vaccine are much lower than the chances of a child having a potentially life-threatening complication due to a preventable disease, I think it's just COMMON SENSE to vaccinate your kids.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

wtf Disney?

A few days ago I decided to take a break from the trash TV I watch on a daily basis and put something on for Parker's entertainment. We had already watched every episode of Sesame Street (multiple times) that we saved on DVR, so I flipped on the Disney channel for him.

I was so surprised from the image that was on the TV. I couldn't figure out what the characters were supposed to be. I took a picture so I could share my confusion.


Was Disney trying to inform children of the normal range of variation in bowel movements (including variations in size, color, consistency, and fiber bulk)? It even appears that the fat, brown poop all the way on the right has specks of residual, undigested salad coming out of his head.

Pardon the pun, but holy shit!

I was totally hooked.

We continued to watch these happy poops ride the train, while the small but lovable conductor poop dictated where they were destined to go.

After watching for a while, I realized (much to my disappointment), those are not, in fact, turds riding happily on a train...as had initially crossed my mind.

They are actually "small potatoes," as the title of the show informed me.


Monday, January 30, 2012

speculation nation

I am pretty sure we have all been victim to well-intentioned, older, more experienced family/friends/strangers who feel compelled to give their opinion on what is ailing your baby. Nevermind the fact that you, as the mother, have spent every waking (and not-so-waking) minute with your child and you know your baby inside and out. You, after all, do not have the experience of raising 6 children...it doesn't matter that they did this 20+ years ago. They know your baby better than you do.

1. "It's colic."  This one really gets to me, probably more than any other excuse for a crying baby with the exception of food or milk allergies (see #2). Colic is a term that gets thrown around by lay people all the time for a fussy neonate. In reality, colic has a very defined, clinical definition. There is a difference between a "colicky baby" and a baby who actually has colic.

2. "Your baby may have a cow's milk/lactose/[insert any solid baby food here] allergy." Milk and food allergies...OMG people, these are rare conditions. Just because your baby gets upset every time he eats a bottle does not mean he is allergic to the lactose. This is called normal response to new bowel stimulation. Let me inform you on what an actual allergic reaction is, in contrast to an adverse reaction (adverse reactions are very common, allergies are not).  Allergic reactions result in, at the VERY LEAST, hives. Hives, swelling of soft tissue, and difficulty breathing are all signs of an allergy. Allergies can be life threatening, with the worst reaction being anaphylaxis (swelling of the throat resulting in death if no intervention is taken immediately). Hives are NOT the same as a rash. A rash is an adverse reaction, hives is true allergy.

3. "It's teething." This may very well be the case for your fussy baby...the problem is that you just can't tell until the tooth pops through, and by the time the tooth comes in, the baby feels better. It's just not fair! There are so many teething myths that don't hold up when you study babies in a general sense (for example, babies do NOT get a true fever because of teething). However, I do believe that individual babies may show their own signs of teething (maybe your baby has a "tactile fever"....he feels warm to you).

4. "He is pulling his ear...he has an ear infection." Maybe, but probably not. If your baby just got a cold and is pulling on his ear, it's most likely NOT an ear infection. Ear infections show up days after the first cold symptom because it takes some time for the infection to spread from the nose and throat to the middle ear. Ear infections also usually are accompanied by true fever. Pediatricians are also not routinely handing out antibiotics for ear infections anymore, because almost all ear infections are due to viruses anyway.

5. "He's too cold."

6. "He's too hot."

7. "He is sleepy."

8. "He is bored."

9. "He is overstimulated."

10. "He is understimulated."

11. "His diaper needs changed."

12. "He is being a little shit." ...but seriously, this should really be one of the options.

...Ok I think I've made my point. Any of these things *could* be the case for why you have a fussy baby. The problem is that you can sit there and speculate a million possibilities, and you will never know for sure.

I know that most people are just trying to be helpful, but it's just so annoying, especially because they always suggest these things when you are almost about to have a mental breakdown trying to figure out what's wrong with your child. It wouldn't be so bad if they were giving you input while your baby was happily playing on the floor.

"Maybe he is hungry." Ohhhhh yeah, I didn't consider that possibility...babies need to eat???

Friday, January 20, 2012

psychological damage

I have done my first real "bad mom" thing. I have introduced fear to my son.

I guess it's not surprising when I think about it, that I would be the one to open this emotion to him. I mean, I've introduced every other emotion to him...starting with comfort in the womb. I've introduced security, happiness, anger, silliness, frustration, discomfort...and now fear. 

Fear is, by far, the worst of the bad feelings. After all, it is the one that is most remembered. It's imprinted in the primal brain. It's hard to overcome (psychiatrists make TONS of money trying to have people unlearn their fears...fears of flying, phobias of all sorts).

So are you wondering what I've done?

It's not as bad as I make it sound. No permanent damage has been done. Parker will not grow up to be a sociopath.

I was doing that game where you toss the baby in the air. I help him down low, and then quickly brought him up above my head and tossed him up.

At first, he would get this frightened look on his face, but he always laughed right away. I *thought* he was having fun.

Until I tried to do it again today, and when I caught him he was shaking he was so scared.

OMG I am the world's worst mother. He even starts to shake if I just hold him up above my head. 8 months old, and he needs to see a therapist.

I can picture him 20 years from now, laying on some psychiatrist's couch. "I have this irrational fear of heights and flying. I'm terrified I'm just going to plunge to the ground, out of no where. Where do you think this fear is stemming from?"

Then the psychiatrist will hypnotize him, and somehow it will come out that I maliciously threw him 4 feet in the air, over and over, with him crying while I laughed at his horror.

Of course, this is absolutely not the case. Once I realized he was, in fact, terrified of the game I cuddled him and stopped doing it. I also feel very guilty for him learning fear from me. I'm the person who is supposed to protect him from it!

Ironically, we have a plane to catch tomorrow. Let the psychological damage begin!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

age is in the eye of the cashier

When Tim got off work tonight, I asked him if he could swing by the grocery store to get a couple of things we needed (one of these things was a pregnancy test, but that's a different story). In addition to my list of things, he also grabbed beer for himself, since he can't go into a place that sells beer and not buy some. For the record, he is not an alcoholic. I never buy beer for him because it's too heavy for me when I'm shopping by myself with Parker...which is a one-arm job. That is why he always buys it when given the opportunity.

He gets all the groceries and goes up to the check out aisle.

Here is a funny bit of info about my husband: he ALWAYS has his ID out when he buys beer. It always makes me laugh to myself, because I can tell that no one has been planning on checking his ID since I've known him (this is the complete opposite of my situation...I get ID'd all the time. I actually got ID'd by the UPS guy when he had a delivery of wine. It's actually really very annoying and I don't really think it's flattering at all). Without fail, Tim always has it out for the cashier, and they usually look at it since he is waving it in their face, so they don't insult him.

This time was a little different.

How old do you think this man is (take off the baseball hat, and keep in mind that his hair is not grey at all and he does not have a receding hair line)?

The cashier goes, "Oh I don't need to see your ID. Let me guess your age...38?"

...?

OMG I'm seriously dying laughing!! 38!!

Tim replies, "No! I'm.....30."

The best part is that Tim is actually 28...but he told the cashier that he was 30 so it didn't seem like the age discrepancy was so huge. He didn't want to look 10 years older than he really was!

Amazing what job stress and a baby will do for your aging.