Friday, May 30, 2008

It was a good vomit-free run

It lasted 27 months, 22 days but all good things must come to an end. My son puked for the first time this morning and I was thisclose to missing it. Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for Josh, I was literally walking out the door to meet a friend for coffee when he started blowing chunks in his high chair. So I stopped in my tracks. Although I did consider getting my beverage and muffin to go. I wouldn't have been gone that long.

Josh said Jack woke up with possibly the worst diaper he has ever had to change. But he was acting normal and wanting to eat his "mel" (oatmeal) so Josh made him a bowl. Next thing he knew, Jack was starting to gag and then the oatmeal was mixed with a lot of other stuff.

Jack was sobbing, obviously he was scared about the whole thing. Hell, I cry when I throw up. (I have not thrown up from a stomach bug since I was in eighth grade. I should get a medal, no?)

I was almost sobbing when I had to help clean it up. I don't do puke. Those friends you have in college who always vow to hold your hair while you puke? Yeah that wasn't me. I was the friend leaving them in the dorm bathroom and going out for another drink. But when it was my own child, I manned up. Josh and I tag-teamed the cleaning of the boy and I hosed down the high chair and started the laundry.

After all that excitement, and a trip to the grocery store for pedialyte and applesauce, I came home and needed something from Jack's room. It pretty much reeked of the diaper from that morning and I couldn't understand why since we disposed of that affront to nature in the outdoor garbage. That's when I found his pajamas -- with poop inside them. And then glanced in his bed, where I found more poop. Not sure how Josh missed those little presents, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt since he stumbled in there at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m.

The rest of the morning and afternoon were sickness-free. He ate some dry toast, egg, applesauce and pedialyte. He took a three-and-a-half-hour nap and woke up in a chipper mood. My pediatrician's office says to start a regular diet, including milk, 6-8 hours after the last bout of sickness. So we gave him some crackers and milk and he was fine. His father declared him well enough to go out for pizza.

You might think I am going somewhere with this. Nowhere you might be guessing.

The pizza dinner was fine. But when we got home, he started wandering around the house saying, "Butt hurt, butt hurt. Poop." We encouraged him to go on the potty, but he was having none of that. Instead he went in his diaper, which was fine. Josh said it was bad again, changed him and got him ready for the bath. Where he started wandering around saying the same thing. But this time he was looking kinda nervous. We put him down in the bathtub, he stood up and promptly pooped in the bathtub.

So not only did he puke for the first time today, he also pooped in the bathtub for the first time. It upset him much more than it did us. He knew he wasn't supposed to do it, and he tried so hard not to. We kept telling him it was OK, but he just cried. We got him cleaned up and into bed and hopefully this will be the last of it. Although I doubt that is the case.

I'll just be here doing more laundry. And trying to decide if eco-friendly green cleaning products can also sanitize my memory of this incident every time I take a shower in my bathroom for the next year.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Have your vegan cake and eat it too

Vegan cake. It just sounds wrong doesn't it? I mean who doesn't want to make a cake with eggs and butter? The terrorists that's who. And now, they've won. Because I am right now -- as I type this -- eating a piece of vegan cake AND IT IS DELICIOUS.

Cookies and Cream, if you must know, from Chicago Diner via Whole Foods. And honest to God, it's really good. And I keep thinking how awesome it is that I can eat something like this and it's dairy-free. It's not soy-free, but I am taking it one step at a time with Emmie's supposed intolerances. Let's see if dairy is the culprit before we go rushing to blame soy as well. Although 60 percent of children with a dairy intolerance also have a soy intolerance. Lalalalala, I can't hear myself typing that. Lalalala not listening.

Vegan totally means there's no calories too, right? Because if I am denied the sweet sweet goodness of butter and eggs, it better not add 10 pounds to my ass.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bite me, Blogger

This is ridiculous. Still can't publish. I finally switched to Typepad, but the redirect isn't working yet.

If a blog publishes in the woods and no one can read it, does it make a sound?

Hang in there good readers.

In the meantime, please check out a new blog at


Monday, May 26, 2008

Still held hostage by Blogger

Blogger hasn't let me publish in a week. They suck it. I have posts in the queue, they just sit there. So I am not ignoring my poor little blog or you, my faithful readers. Argh.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I love New York

Josh and I are off to New York. We are once again sticking the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and jetting off for a weekend away. This time, we'll be hitting Buddha Bar and SoHo House for good friend (and longtime reader) Ed. Yes, we're trendy like that. I'll have a full report next week, if Blogger ever deems me worthy of publishing again.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Held hostage by Blogger, Day 3

Emmie had her four-month appointment yesterday and I would love to talk all about it to you except I can't because Blogger won't publish anyone's site through ftp and I am hopping mad about it.

So you would have seen a post about how Emily is a GIANT. No really, she's 26.25 inches, which puts her above the 95th percentile. She is so long it is insane. She also tips the scales at a petite 12.2 pounds, which is the 25th percentile. Her head is average, at 50th percentile, which is great because I didn't want a daughter with a big old pumpkin head.

But the truly fantastic news is that Emmie had a little blood in her diaper. In a bout of fantastic timing, it was right before her appointment. So they were able to test her diaper while we were there and yep, it did have blood in it.

Blood in the stool of an exclusively breastfed baby usually means one thing: a dairy and/or soy sensitivity. Guess who now is giving up all dairy and soy? Just like I did with Jack. Except stricter because he never had GI issues from it, he just had eczema. So goodbye ice cream. I will love you from afar. Don't even get me started on the lack of butter. Thank God we have a ton of vegan offerings in the 'hood.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blogger ... I hate you

Blogger is screwing with me. I have been trying to post last night's prose all night and into today. Using this as sort of a test/dog-ate-my-homework excuse for why there was no post yesterday...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Room to grow

Remember when I was on bedrest oh-so-long-ago and we gutted the first floor of our house and created an additional bedroom upstairs? And remember the fun it was of living through a remodeling project while pregnant?

Well we're about to start another gut remodel project. Remodel v2008: now with children!

We're converting our house to a single-family dwelling in two weeks and as part of that project, we are tearing down the walls and ceiling in the lower level, installing some new supports so the house doesn't fall down, putting up all new drywall and dropping a new staircase. Oh and my most favoritest part of the whole project: built-in bookshelves and toy storage. Because the downstairs, my friends, will be for the children and the toys. And the first floor will be rightfully reclaimed by the adults in this family as a plastic-free zone.

What's that you say? Didn't I learn my lesson last time about living in a house under construction? Pfft. This is going to be cake. At least this time we have a refridgerator and a stove. And there shouldn't be any snow falling into my bedroom through a hole in the wall where the chimney used to be.

For the newer readers, true story: we lived here for six months with neither a fridge nor a stove. My problematic cervix meant I couldn't leave the house or even walk downstairs. My mom made me grilled cheese and french toast on an electric griddle on top of the ironing board in the hallway. And we stored all the perishables in a little college dorm fridge. There was a lot of pizza consumed. It was good times.

I am hoping the whine of the tablesaw is a nice complement to the white-noise machine we use for the kids when they're sleeping. And there's nothing dangerous about a toddler being around a gaping hole in the floor is there? Jack does have a little hardhat and tool belt and tool set. I think I shall put him to work. We need some crown molding installed and I think he's ready for compound angles.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Emmie: Four Months

Dear Emmie,

Today you turn four months old and you celebrated by going on your first roadtrip. Considering you hate your carseat with a white-hot passion most people reserve for things like 90s hair bands, it was a grand time. But you managed to somehow survive the five-hour drive to Michigan with a few stops for breastmilk, a jaunt in a state park and a visit with our friends in Indiana.

It was the first time our friends had seen you and they were exclaiming how tiny you are. Which is so funny to me because you are gigantic compared to how you started out. You are wearing 3-6 month clothes now and I can't wait to see how much you weigh at your appointment next week. I am really looking forward to those four-month shots, let me tell you. I am sure you are too.

One great side effect of the shots will be some much-needed sleep. You see, dear sweet Miss Emily, you are in the midst of the fabled four-month sleep regression and it is roundly kicking my ass. Your sleep has deteriorated from the blissful nights of the first six weeks to the point where your longest stretch is from 8-10:30 p.m. Then you're up looking for something to eat and sleeping next to us in bed. Then you decide that's not an option either, so we stick you in the swing next to the bed, where we can get a good four or five-hour stretch out of you. Of course, that comes from 6-10 a.m. and your brother wakes up at 7, so you can see why Mommy needs to invest in a better eye cream.

But all that nightwaking makes for a good milk supply. You're still digging the breastfeeding, although we have battled some thrush this last month. In order to treat it, we had to use a nifty little neon purple antispetic called gentian violet. It stains everything purple -- including your wee little mouth and tongue -- but I am hoping this second round of treatment has crushed the thrush. Because there's nothing like the feeling of glass being sucked through your nipple to make you want to continue with breastfeeding for another eight months.

Your relationship with your brother has pretty much remained the same this month. You adore him and can't keep your eyes off him. He likes to hit you and play with your toys. Although he is starting to enjoy giving you toys to hold and insists that you put them in your hand, even though you're not so hot with the grasping and holding part yet. He also really likes making you smile and has now started serenading you with various melodies he composes with the word "Emmie" in different keys. I think it's his way of showing you how much he loves you.

This month has resulted in the discovery of your hands. You have mastered the act of bringing them to your mouth and we can hear you sucking them three rooms away. You're just starting to realize you can use them for other things as well, like grabbing your legs in the hopes of corralling those elusive feet. Oh how those feet tempt you -- you can see them wiggling around but you have no idea how to get them into your possession yet.

You had your first weekend away from Mommy this month, when I went away to San Francisco for your aunt Marnie's bachelorette party. I went to drink from wine bottles and you stayed home to drink breastmilk bottles with Daddy. You and Daddy and Jack had a great weekend together, doing fun stuff like going to the zoo and the park and he even took your to your first baseball game. Perhaps I should do that more often.

But I was so happy to come home and see your little chicken-fuzz hair and your big, big smiles. Coming to get you after you have woken up in the morning is one the best parts of my day. You look around when you hear the door open and the moment you see my face, I see the recognition in your eyes and you give me a huge smile and you start kicking your legs and arching your back because you are so excited for me to pick you up. And when I do pick you up and smother you with kisses, you bury your face in my neck and start grabbing my shirt like you can't get yourself close enough to me.

Someday Emmie, you are going to want to get as far away from me as possible. Not only will you not want me smothering you in kisses, but you won't want me within 50 feet of you. You'll be embarassed by me and how I dress and the way I breathe will even annoy you. I want to tell you now that I understand. I don't take it personally. And yes, I am going to wear that when I drop you off at the dance and no, I won't drop you off three blocks away. But I will love you then like I love you now. Fiercely, completely and without reservation.

Before you know it, you will be crawling and then walking and running. All of those things will take you away from me and out on your own, but please know that I will always be here for you. I will always be watching and waiting for you, so look back when you need reassuring. Even from three blocks away on your way to your first dance -- don't worry, your friends won't have to know. It'll be our little secret.


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

I need catcher's equipment

A chest protector, mask, helmet and shin guards would definitely be in order for me these days. That would be because I am the punching bag for my son and I need to protect myself.

It was so bad this week that I actually considered spanking him. I didn't -- and that's the important thing -- but I had almost reached the end of my rope.

If he wasn't hitting me, he was kicking me. In the face. Or the boob. Have you been kicked in the boob while you are lactating? It really freaking hurts, let me tell you. It didn't matter if I was one-on-one with him during Emmie's nap or if we were all playing together. The end result was always the same: me getting injured and him getting a timeout.

At one point, I was sitting with him on the kitchen floor -- just the two of us -- and he was pretending to make pasta sauce for Daddy. We were having a grand time. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor and seeing stars. My 2-year-old literally laid me out with a Tuuperware mug to the nose. I had tears in my eyes and I said to him, "Look, Mommy is crying! You hurt Mommy."

His response? He laughed at me.

Which worries me somewhat. I have a kid who delights in causing pain. Great. This ought to go over super at preschool. But you know, it's actually not a concern. Because he only delights in causing harm to me and Emmie. He sometimes hits Josh, but I would say it's extremely rare he hits anyone else. I have never seen him hit his little friend we have playdates with once a week.

I know, I know. He's pissed at us for bringing Emmie here. I get that. But it's still heart-breaking to see that look in his eye and just know he's coming right for me. I reflexively pull my head back and put my arm up when he starts squirming around me now. And I hate it.

I have tried everything I know. I do 2-minute timeouts (unless I am nursing, then he goes to the naughty mat by himself and we count to 10). I have yelled right in his face. I have calmly said, "No hit." I have tried talking to him and telling him Mommy doesn't hurt him, why would he want to hurt Mommy? I have even tried walking away from him and sitting on the other side of the gate for a minute. But none of it is working.

Josh thinks the solution is easy. We just give a timeout every time. But let's be practical. I can't give a proper timeout when he smacks me in the cart at Whole Foods. Nor when he kicks me as I am getting his pajamas on for bed. Nor when I have the other kid on the boob and he's smacking her in the head.

So I'll just be over here cowering in the corner. I know this too shall pass, but probably not before I get a black eye.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

George of the (urban) jungle

The best feature of my cell number, which I have had since 2001 mind you, is that I have a number that is eerily similar to one belonging to a man named George.

If you transpose the last two numbers, and you're trying to call George, you get me. You see, "G" as he is affectionately called by his peeps, gets calls to meet him at the gas station. At 2:30 a.m. Every night of the week. Sometimes, his callers get a little insistent. Like calling eight times in four minutes.

Now this G, he's a popular fellow. Gets lots of calls. From lots of different numbers. I can only imagine how many people are correctly dialing his digits if I get this many wrong numbers.

I can only imagine why G needs to meet these people in the middle of the night. Maybe he has a gas credit card that he uses to buy nice people gas. Or maybe he's the night manager and they need the safe opened. OR MAYBE HE'S A FREAKING DRUG DEALER.

There have been many nights, after I have been awakened with a random wrong number vibrating the phone off the table next to my bed, that I have been tempted to call George myself and tell him to have his people get the damn number right.

Josh is unhelpful. At first he thought it was funny, but then he started getting annoyed every time I complained about it and asked why I didn't just change my number already? Because I refuse to back down and let G win! Damnit, I should start filling his orders on my own. I could be rich.

There have even been some callers who didn't believe it was the wrong number. No, really, I am not G. I do not know G. I certainly am NOT G's woman. YOU HAVE THE WRONG FREAKING NUMBER ASSHOLE.

Josh also wants to know why I keep answering the phone. The short answer is that outside of the middle-of-the-night ones, which I now ignore, I have no idea. He points out that if it really was for me, they would leave a message.

I think the real reason is something that Jen Lancaster pointed out at her recent book signing. When you're a writer, you find yourself in these insane situations that normal people would walk away from. But as a writer, you stay just to see how it's going to turn out because it's material!

So for you, my readers, I will continue to answer the wrong numbers and see if perhaps some of G's friends might like to peruse a Mommy Blog.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rounding third, heading for home

We spent our Mother's Day at the Brewers/Cardinals game in Milwaukee, where Jack got to run the bases. I think he runs better than Albert Pujols right now.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Think he watches me much?

This afternoon I was feeding Emmie. Jack, who was gunning for his 750th timeout of the day, decided to pick up his doll and hit it, instead of one of us for a change. I reminded him we don't hit the doll baby either, because it's not nice and it hurts.

Reminded might be a little mild. Perhaps "told him in a strong tone of voice" might sum it up better. It was 4:30 p.m. I was tired of getting hit. I was also tired of deflecting his hands and feet away from his poor sister's head.

He looked down at his baby and said, "Eat?"

I said, "Well sure, your baby can eat."

He then proceeded to pretend to unzip a sweatshirt (with the sound effect "wup!" which is how he says the word zip) and pull his shirt up. He then took his baby and pressed her head to his chest.

He stared at me like, "What the hell woman? Now what do I do?"

Then he threw the doll baby down and walked away.

I think a little biology lesson might soon be in order.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

One year ago today...

We created the cutest girl in the world.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You Are My Sunshine

He's the next American Idol, mark my words.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I can't even imagine

A friend forwarded me this blog and it hit me so close to home, it stopped me in my tracks. Please take a moment to read the synopsis here. I warn you, it's horrifyingly sad and awesomely uplifting all at the same time.

I read the archives in one sitting while Emmie was napping on my lap and I couldn't think about anything else all afternoon. The one thought I kept coming back to was, "I can't imagine if this was Josh."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Scarfing it down

Setting: the nearby Dairy Queen, 8:45 p.m. on one of the nicest days of the year. There's a line out the door and everyone is dressed in shorts and T-shirts.

In walks a woman wearing a SCARF. A wool scarf wrapped around her neck. Seriously? You're coming for ice cream, it's 75 degrees at night and you're wearing a muffler?

I watched as she ordered and consumed a dip cone. And then shivered and wrapped her arms around her sides. I half-expected to see her blowing on her hands and pulling on boots.

It was 80 degrees today. I'm not sure if she spent the day in a meat locker, but WTF?


Monday, May 5, 2008

Just kickin' it at Whole Foods

Jack likes to keep it real at Whole Foods. He says kicking his hat to the left is the way to show his allegiance to his toddler gang. You know, in case he comes across any rival factions in the organic produce section.

Emmie, non-plussed at Jack's gangster ways, decided to wear her sun hat in the correct fashion. She was so confident Jack would have her back if anything went down, she took a nap.

Mommy was serving as the lookout. Good thing I practiced my get-away stroller-driving techniques on the mean streets of South Central.

Alas, there was no turf war involving tofu or goji berries today. But we were ready.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Abstinence not the option

This morning, we stopped to visit my sister, Beth, at work. She's an assistant principal at a high school and on our way to visit my parents, we dropped in at her office for a bit.

After running through the main office and using his outside voice, we ducked into her private office where we removed various hall passes, pens and important files from Jack's reach and corraled him behind her desk. Once he tired of typing out discipline referrals on her computer and trying to grab her walkie-talkie and broadcast his displeasure with the grading system to the staff, he decided walking around on the other side of her desk was vastly preferable.

I was sitting there chatting with Beth, when Jack started saying, "This? This?" and trying to shove something at me. I absent-mindedly grabbed whatever it was he was showing me and it felt ... odd. Rubbery. In a foil package.

Hot damn, it was a condom. Yes, my son is already carrying condoms. You can never be too careful around the sandbox.

I ask my sister exactly what kind of sex ed programs they are running around there and flip the condom to her. She starts to laugh and says another assistant principal told her he kept finding them all over school a few weeks ago, but she didn't think anything of it. She had a stack of pictures waiting to be hung in front of her desk, so she surmised a student must have dropped them behind the pictures and when they were put on the wall yesterday, their hiding place was unearthed.

Mmmmhmmm. Sure.

I did see him furtively stuffing something in his pocket afterward. It's a good thing I'm not one of those abstinence-only parents when it comes to sex ed.