Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Essence of Shirt

London mentioned that she has trouble with wordless Wednesday, and to be honest, so do I. I always have something to say about everything, and this is true for yesterday’s post. I’ll use the comments from yesterday as an excuse to say what I really wanted to say, but didn’t have time for.

Deanna asked for a picture of Shirt, and I’m happy to oblige.


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Michael, on the other hand, was pretty ticked at me for taking Shirt away from him for the 30 seconds it took to snap the picture.


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She also asked where Shirt came from. Shirt was purchased at Motherhood Maternity while I was pregnant with Michael. I had several different colors, but I liked the feel of the blue one the best, so I continued to wear it to bed after Michael was born.

But, that doesn’t explain how it went from being PJs for me to being Michael’s most beloved possession. Two things contributed to that. The first thing was this so called “brilliant” idea that I got from one of those smug and self righteous sleep Nazis. I’m not sure which one. I’ve banished all of those books for being COMPLETELY USELESS. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that Dr. Weissbluth’s book (or whatever the evil man’s name is) because I never made it through his book. What kind of sick person writes a nine thousand page book for an exhausted parent to read in the three seconds they have everyday to read? Dude, I needed a Power Point presentation, not a dissertation.

Anyway, one of those books mentioned leaving an object that smells like you in the crib with your baby. It would provide comfort and help the child settle himself if he awoke in the middle of the night. It seemed like a stretch to me, but why not? What harm could it do? When Michael hit his 9 month sleep regression and refused to sleep EVER, I got desperate. One night I just really needed him to let me lay him in the crib and go to sleep so I stripped off my shirt and snuggled it up next to his nose. If it had worked, I wouldn’t mind the fact that my 2.5 year old son now carries around an old tee shirt, but it didn’t. He woke up later that night - and the next night, and the next night, and the next night. Well, being exhausted, I just sort of left the shirt in the crib with his teddy and his plush blanky and all the other comfort objects that didn’t work. I’d just sort of tuck it up near his chin hoping that one night it would work.

The second contributing factor is Karma. I’m convinced that this is the power that lead to Michael eventually latching onto Shirt and making it his lovey of choice. See, it’s possible that maybe I had a blanky when I was little, and maybe my poor parents were forced to turn around on many trips just to pick up said blanky that I could not possibly live without. It seems only fair that I now have to do the same exact thing for Michael. My mom has gotten more than a few giggles out of it, I’m sure.

But, that’s not all that Karma has done. Having a lovey is bad enough, but having to deal with Shirt is even worse. Think about it. You see kids with bears and blankets all of the time. Sure, some older folks look at you funny for letting a – GASP - two year old carry something like that around. But, everyone looks at you funny when they realize your kid is carrying around a dirty old tee shirt. And at this point, that’s what Shirt is, a dirty old tee shirt.

Why do I deserve the added punishment of the dirty old tee shirt? Well, it may have something to do with my long term relationship with my blanky. See, I never really abandoned Blanky as a child. Blanky went to college with me. And – I cannot believe I’m writing this – when Blanky started falling apart, I asked my mom to make me a new one. It’s possible that I may still have Blanky and that poor Andy is subjected to having the stinky thing in bed with us. I think I am suffering the wrath of Karma because of that.

Which, brings me to what Maria asked about. The smelling thing. This is something that is very difficult to describe to someone that has never had a stinky lovey, but for those of us that have, the smell is the best part. It probably has something to do with the olfactory system and soothing smells. The human sense of smell is a very powerful sense, and it can trigger memories and emotions. My theory is that the smell is so closely related to the feeling of being comforted that it becomes an integral part of the lovey’s essence. So, while it stinks to everyone else, it’s the most wonderful smell to the user. (I’m really shoveling it today, aren’t I?)

So, that is the story of Shirt.

Oh, and several people mentioned that Michael looked sick in the picture yesterday. He wasn’t. Andy took that picture when we were on vacation. Michael had just woken up, and was chillin’ in front of the TV.


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This is what Michael looks like when he’s sick. This was taken on Sunday afternoon after he had thrown up and started to run a fever. When we left him, he was sitting up. However, while we were eating dinner, he must have slumped over and didn’t have the energy to sit up again. He looked so pathetic that I just had to snap a picture of him before making him comfortable again. (Nice huh?) He’s doing much better now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some Things Just Do Not Work in Pastels

Have you ever wondered what Crazy Berries Yogos look like on their way back up? Nope. I didn’t think so. It’s not something I was losing sleep over either, but lucky me, I got to find out anyway.

I knew when we enrolled Michael in daycare that he was going to be sick more often, but I didn’t expect him to get a second cold only four days after he had finally recovered from the first cold. He seemed to be handling it better, and had a great visit with Aunt Bubbles on Saturday. We even went out to lunch and he chowed down on his lunch.

Sunday morning started off ok. Michael was doing well enough that I was able to sneak Shirt away from him for a good, and much needed, washing. He was a bit of a stinker in the grocery store, but nothing too bad. However, by nap time he was really starting to drag and I could tell he was starting to run a fever. I gave him Shirt and put him down for his nap.

An hour later he awoke crying. Andy and I went in to check on him and we got there just in time to see his morning snack of Yogos come back up. There was pastel pink puke on the wall, the crib, his pillow, himself, and the freshly washed Shirt. I believe I may have used some inappropriate language at that point.

Andy gathered everything up to throw in the wash, and I plopped Michael in the tub. Oh man, did that tick him off. For a kid that normally likes bath, he put up one hell of a fight. I didn’t have the heart to fight him too much, so his hair wasn’t as fresh smelling as I would have liked. Ewww…

He wanted so badly to go back to sleep in his crib, but he was still making some unpleasant throat noises, so I decided that maybe the crib was not the best place to put him. I ended up bringing him downstairs so he could cuddle with me on the sofa while I waited for the doctor to call back. He ended up slouched over on the sofa watching TV for the rest of the day. His cheeks were flushed and his ear hurt. I felt so bad for him. Fortunately, he finally drifted off around 6:30 and I transferred him to his crib fully dressed.

So, in less than four weeks at daycare, Michael ended up with two ear infections, two trips to the pediatrician, and two rounds of antibiotics. Because Michael was clearly too sick to go to daycare yesterday, I called my mom and asked her if she could watch him. We had already discussed transferring Michael back into her care when her physical therapist had cleared her, so we decided that this was a sign to make the move. Yesterday I dropped Michael off at my mom’s and Michael’s withdraw letter off at the daycare.

You know, it’s funny. I had such mixed feelings about putting Michael into daycare that I was surprised to discover that I have mixed feelings about pulling him out as well. I won’t miss the harder schedule, the extra expense, or the icky cleaning product smell of the daycare, but I do feel bad for pulling Michael away from the friends he was starting to develop. I also really liked his teacher, and I hope that he doesn’t miss her too much. We are going to enroll him in some activities at the local community center and I hope that makes up for what he will be missing from daycare.

Well, hopefully not the germs. I’m done with germs. Michael sneezed right in my face yesterday, and shared all those wonderful germs with me. My runny nose is just awesome.

I’m also done with Yogos. I realize that they didn’t make him sick, but they just don’t look very appealing to me any more. I think I’ll hide the rest of them in the back of the cupboard for a while.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Walk in the Park

I remembered late on Wednesday that I had a doctor's appointment on Friday morning. After all of the time I have missed recently with the daycare situation, I was tempted to change the appointment. However, after thinking about it for a little while, I decided that maybe I really could use a little me time. The appointment went quickly, then I ran some errands, and once I got home, I started doing chores. Around 11:00 I realized that changing light bulbs and cleaning up Michael's room didn't count as me time, so I decided I was going to make myself do something just for me.

Great idea, with one problem. What do I do with myself? I considered doing my patriotic duty and stimulating the economy, but my checking account didn't like that idea. Next, I considered using up that gift certificate I have for the day spa, but I'm saving that for the holiday season. Hm...what to do, what to do.

I know! It's a beautiful autumn day. I'll go to the park and play with my camera a little bit. I haven't had much time to try and figure it out, so this was a nice opportunity for me. I ended up taking almost 500 pictures, and I'd like to share some of them with you. If you like any of them, you can thank Nikon and Nature.

Here is what I call the creek walk in the park.

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A random tree

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The creek

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I was surprised by how many flowers I found at this time of year. Here are a few of them. I have no idea what any of them are. I can identify all of the birds I saw in the park, many just by sound. But flowers? Nope.

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Of course, I did expect to find plenty of seeds, and I was not disappointed.

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And leaves as well.

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The birds in the park were driving me crazy. There were some black capped chickadees and tufted titmice taunting me by landing on branches so close that I could have caught them with the camera and then flying off as I snapped the picture.

I did stumble across what appears to have been a hawk's lunch. I'm guessing it was a House Finch. I feel bad for the poor bird, but hey, it is the circle off life. And, the colors were startling.

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All in all, it was a very nice way to spend my time. I got to know my camera a little better, and I enjoyed some quiet time in the park. It was a much needed break.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to my normal mommy stuff with a post about what Berry Blast Yogos look like on the way back up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What? WHAT? WHAT???!!!!

I took Michael to get his hair cut last night. It's been a while because after the last cut I decided that I wanted Michael's curls to grow in. I called over to Supercuts to see if they were busy. They weren't.

Michael did great. He sat on the booster seat for the first time, and handled it like a big boy. The woman asked me what I wanted done, and I explained that I wanted the back cleaned up but to keep the curls on top. It turns out that you can only get one kind of haircut at Supercuts. Short. She did a wonderful cut, but it wasn't what I wanted. I guess now I have an excuse to not get his hair cut again for several months.

Michael was covered in hair, so I gave him a bath once we got home. Boy does he love water. I think he could play in the tub all day if I let him. However, he does need to do other things like eat and sleep, so we keep it to a minimum. I just drain the tub, and he normally gets the hint.

As he was getting ready to stand up and get out of the tub, he said, "Kiss my peanut." But he didn't say peanut. He said the appropriate term for his, um, you know.*

My mommy alarm went off, and I mean big time. Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! What did he just say? Oh my god! Oh my god! No, he couldn't have just said that. Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!

I tried to remain calm even though I was freaking out inside. "What was that sweety?"

"Kiss my Peanut!"

Resume Oh my gods!

What is going on here? Why is my kid saying this? Oh my god! What's going on at Daycare? I'm going to have to kill someone!

Calm, must remain calm.

"Why do you want me to kiss you?"

Please let this make sense. Please, please, please.

"I sat on glasses."

"Huh?"

"Ouch, I sat on glasses."

***light bulb goes off.***

Michael had brought his sunglasses up to the bath with him saying they were water goggles. When he had shifted to get out of the tub, he must have pinched the boys with the hinge on the glasses. I can't imagine that it felt too good, so he did what he always does when something hurts. He asked for a kiss.

Phew. That sure scared me for the all of 2 seconds it took to figure out what was going on.




*I'd say it, but I don't want to think about what kind of Google searches would lead here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

One of the time honored traditions for both Andy and I while growing up was the annual trip to Linvilla Orchards. They had this incredible octagonal barn, old tractors that you could climb on, and a llama. Oh, and pies that were worth killing for.

It's not really the same place today as it was when Andy and I were kids. The octagonal barn burned down a few years ago, and even though they say they are going to rebuild it, they haven't. The old tractors are long gone and have been replaced by a huge playground, a train ride, and a bunch of food stands. I miss the tractors, but the funnel cake rocks. The pies are still worth killing for, but we skipped them this year because of waistline issues.

We have taken Michael every year, and it's clear that this has become a holiday tradition that we will keep alive.

Here is Michael as a itty bitty baby.

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Here is last year's picture.

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And here he is this year. Isn't he getting big? No more pumpkin sitting for him.

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This year they made a huge Teepee out of corn stalks. Michael that it was the coolest thing ever. He would have played in there forever if we hadn't been forced out by the sheer amount of people that were there.

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They also had these massive pumpkins fenced in with wire fence. Michael REALLY wanted to see them.

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And then we discovered the duck pond. This is a new feature to the Orchards, and one that Michael loved. He gets a kick out of feeding animals, but tries to draw it out as long as possible by feeding them one grain at a time. It really seems like torture if you ask me.

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Here are the poor birds waiting anxiously to be feed. Hopefully some impatient kids came along after Michael and just threw loads of food at them. Poor birds.

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So, I'm Wondering...

When I checked my blog this morning I was really surprised that there were no comments. Not because I think my blog is all that, but because of something I tucked into yesterday's post. So, it has me wondering...

Do people just not read tag posts?

Did I kill the post with the management stuff?

Or, do you all really think it's not at all surprising that I took taxidermy in college?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tagged

I've gotten several tags this week, and I think I'll do them today while I'm feeling a little bit too overwhelmed to pull off another picture post.

My first tag was from Kaycee who tagged me with a MeMe!Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences on your blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

I promised Kaycee I would do this from home where I have more than two books, and the likelihood of it not being extremely, mind numbingly boring is much higher. However, she's probably GIVING BIRTH at this very moment, and won't realize that I lied until she comes out of that new baby haze in a few weeks. So, here goes!

Oh...I'm not going to torture you with the Using Access 97 manual. Not only is is boring, it's out of date. But, to do this and have it be relevant, I'll have to break the rules. Won't be the first time.

From Leading & Facilitating High Performance Work Teams from the Daniel Management Center...

What People Want from their Jobs: Different perceptions, in rank order (I'll give the top five)

Manager's Perceptions of Workers Wants
Good wages
Job Security
Promotion/Growth
Good Working conditions
Interesting Work

Worker's Perceptions
Full Appreciation for work
Feeling "in" on things
Sympathetic Understanding
Job Security
Good Wages

It's actually a good book, if you are into that kind of thing. If you happen to be a manager, please note that worker's care more about having their work recognized that getting paid for it.

Now, because I'm getting to this late, I think just about everyone has gotten the tag. But I'll still try to tag a few of you.

Karen

Heidi O

Deanna

Then, Beth tagged me with some randomness


1. I discovered that I'm allergic to Fox in my taxidermy class in college.

2. Not only can I roll my tongue, I can also fold it in half, and flip it over.

3. I don't like the color red.

4. My handwriting is atrocious.

5. Two of my permanent teeth never grew in.

6. I've had dinner with the dude that played Leather Face in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre .

7. I grew up in a house that was built on a small cemetery.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How Pluto Became a Pirate

For a month or so, I've been trying to get the idea of dressing up for Halloween across to Michael. I thought it would be a lot of fun to take Michael out and let him pick out his costume this year. I bought several Halloween books, we have watched several Halloween shows, but aside from pumpkins, Michael couldn't care less about Halloween. So, Andy and I ended up picking out his costume for him.

The first place we looked was at Pottery Barn Kids. They have some beautiful costumes, and if Michael had liked any of them, I might have considered spending the money on one. However, the only thing he was interested in was this.

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I'm pretty sure that he would have played with this thing all night if we had let him. I thought about buying it, but I'm also pretty sure that he would lose all interest in it the moment I paid for it.

So, we headed off to the Disney Store. We tried to get him interested in the costumes there, but he was more interested in a toy vacuum that made noise. So, Andy and I looked around, and decided we really liked the Pluto costume. I mean, how can you resist this?

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I mean, how cute is that? It's soft and puffy and warm. Just like the turtle costume I bought Michael last year.

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Hmm...now that I think about it, Michael didn't like that costume at all, and refused to wear the turtle head. But, he's older know and he actually knows who Pluto is. Maybe he'll really get into it.

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Maybe not.

Michael had a costume birthday party to go to on Sunday, so Saturday night we came to our senses and returned Pluto to the Disney store. We decided to go with the safest costume we could find. The pirate.

We considered trying the whole costume on him on Saturday night, but I decided that the last minute shove him in and out the door might be the best approach. Here we are at 50%. Not bad. No tears yet.

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Now for the top.

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He looks a little pained by the top, but he managed to hold back the tide. I fixed him up really quick, and we headed out the door. Here's what he looked like an hour later.

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So, I'd say that the pirate costume was a success. He even wore the bandana on his head. It wasn't as cute as Pluto, but it worked.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally, Vacation Pictures

It's only been a month since our vacation, but it feels like it's been even longer. I'm ready for another one!

Most of our vacation was a staycation, but we did spend two days down at the shore with my dad. It's hard to describe what the shore means to me. For many people, beach memories are of a rental house and a weeklong party every summer. But, our beach house has a little more meaning and my memories are as much about family as they are about sand and seagulls.

My dad's parents married at about the worst time you can imagine for starting a family, the Great Depression. They were hard working people, but as many people know, that doesn't mean you'll always have a job, or a home. They certainly suffered along with the economy, and did lose their beautiful home. When the economy picked up, not only did my grandfather start working, so did my grandmother. They worked hard, and managed to rebuild their lives.

Like many in the Philadelphia region, one of their dreams was to have a summer house down at the Jersey Shore. When things were going well, they purchased a small plot on Long Beach Island and built a summer cottage. My great aunt and her husband bought the plot next to them and built their own little cottage. The cottages weren't anything special, just little boxes with just enough room to eat and sleep. They are close enough to the ocean that you can walk up with your blankets and chairs in the afternoon, and close enough to the bay that you can walk down and watch the sun set in the evening. At the time, they were all the rage. Now, they are just tear downs waiting to be developed.

It never mattered that the shore house wasn't very big, and that I had to sleep on an old Army cot in my Grandmother's bedroom. We weren't there for the sleep. We were there to play in the sand, swim in the ocean, and get hugs from the best grand mother on the face of the earth. We spent every weekend of every summer down at the shore, and they are some of the fondest memories of my childhood.

With both Andy and I working, and the significantly increased traffic, we do not have the opportunity to head down every weekend, but I do want to make sure that Michael gets his share of summer time beach memories with his grandpa. Here are some of the memories we created this year.

The sunset from the front yard.


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My sweet, sweet men.

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Michael on the dune walk.



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A look over the dunes to Barnegat Inlet.


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A really cool tree I found.

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The Barnegat Lighthouse.

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Cheeseball.


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A Plover in the tide.

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Michael having a blast on the rocks.



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Next year, I hope to make it down to the shore more than once. However, that's really dependant on how well Michael learns to fall asleep in a bed, not at home, without me with him. On this trip, he refused to sleep in his pack n play, and Andy and I spent a very long night being kicked in the back, being kicked in the face, and listening to grunts and toddler toots.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Those Sweet, Sweet Moments

The past few weeks have been pretty tough. With all of the changes and illness, Andy, Michael and I have all been pretty cranky. But, it hasn’t all been bad, and in the last few days it’s been getting a little better. There are those sweet moments that just make it all worth while.

Michael has been a bit clingy recently, and I’m ok with that, even if it does mean I have someone “helping” me when I go to the bathroom. At bedtime, I give him a choice of riding up the stairs piggy back or walking up, and for a while he was picking walking up. I love watching him run down the hall with his shirt dragging on the floor next to him. But, recently he’s decided that he wants me to carry him up. I know some people would say that a two and half year old should walk up the stairs by him self, but I don’t care. I’ll carry him up to bed every night that he lets me because I love to feel those arms around my neck and the tickle of his hair on my cheek.

On Sunday evening, Michael and I were watching Americas Funniest Home Videos curled up on the sofa. At one point, Tom was speaking with an audience member. She had on this funky yellow shirt with ruffles around the v-neck. She was sort of, um, flatchested, and the ruffles made it look like her boobs were growing out of her stomach. So I asked, “What on earth is that woman wearing?” I didn’t expect an answer to my snarky and obviously rhetorical question. But, I got one.

Michael looks at me like I’m insane and says, “A yellow shirt.”

Andy piped up from the kitchen with a laugh, “Duh, mommy.”

That’s when I realized that Michael had just called me stupid.

He did it again on Monday. My mom got him these cute little socks with polar bears on them. In the evening, when I took his shoes off, I asked him what was on his feet. I was trying to get him to say polar bears, but instead he gave me that same incredulous look and replied, “Socks.” I could just hear him thinking, “Why does she waste my time with these stupid questions?” I think it’s so cute.*

The best sweet moment was last night. Michael and I were sitting on the sofa and he had just finished up a snack. I wrapped my arms around him, laid back on the sofa and gave him a big bear hug. He looked at me and said, “I love you” and planted a big old sloppy kiss right on my lips. Oh, I just about melted. We continued with the “I love yous” and the kisses for a few minutes. Sure, I had baby slobber all over me, but oh was it worth it. I just love that little boy to pieces.

I do have a confession to make though. One of my sweet moments last night wasn’t with Michael. It was with “C” my neighbor’s sweet little baby boy. He’s six weeks old, and last night was the first time I got to hold him. Oh, his fuzzy little head was soooo soft. He kept yawning and showing that cute little toothless mouth. I think one time he even smiled at me. (Not really, I think it was a bubble, but it looked like a smile.) I started to talk to him, trying to convince him to let his poor mommy get a little sleep, and he watched me so intently with those beautiful blue eyes. Babies are just pure heaven; especially when you get to give them back when they start to cry.

* I fully recognize that this will not be cute when he’s a teenager, but right now I’m loving it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Diagnosis Contrary

As I mentioned yesterday, Michael’s daycare called to let me know that he was crying and complaining that his ear hurt. His recovery has not been as good as I had hoped, so I thought that maybe the antibiotics weren’t working and scheduled an appointment with the pediatrician. The director was so concerned about him, that she called me again before I left work and came out to meet me when I picked him up. I assured her that I had scheduled an appointment for him. She questioned what he was on, and said she was certain he needed something stronger. When I indicated that I wasn’t completely sure the problem was his ear, she stated, “I’d be surprised if it isn’t. If not, he should be an actor.”

Of course, as any working mom knows, the logistics on things like this complicate matters about tenfold. Andy was supposed to pick Michael up yesterday. Because my afternoon meeting was canceled, I was planning on stopping at Michael’s and picking up some beads I need for a project. Once I got home, we would have a nice leisurely dinner, and then play outside until dark.

Instead, we decided that I should pick Michael up and take him to the doctor’s appointment, which is right next door to the daycare. My drive home is subject to a lot of traffic, so I left a little early to make sure I got there on time. Instead, I got there half an hour early. We goofed around the daycare for a little bit, and then I decided to just take Michael over so he could play in the waiting room.

Michael was clearly feeling sad and out of sorts, so I didn’t even try to get him to leave his shirt or his binky in the car. They had also done some activity with firemen yesterday, so he had this plastic fire helmet that he just HAD to wear as well. So, there we are in the waiting room. Me, dressed in my nice work clothes, trying to keep “boogers” off the dry clean only items, and Michael with his dirty shirt, binky, and too large plastic fire helmet sliding all over his head. I have no idea what the ten other parents sitting with us thought of the whole thing, but I’m sure we were a sight.

Oh, have I ever mentioned Michael’s thing about needing privacy to poo? He will not do his business if other people are around. He routinely hides in the bathroom or a closet to take care of business, and if Andy or I check on him, he tells us “you disappear.” While it makes potty training difficult, it does have the advantage that I almost never need a diaper bag when we go out. You see where this is going right?

Half an hour into our wait, Michael is overcome by the need that only antibiotics (and beer) can create. I looked at his red face, and then down at my tiny purse. Oh shit. So, add a lovely odor to the already strange picture of the two of us in the waiting room, and that’s how we sat for another 15 minutes. (Dude, I was so not going to run out to the car and possibly miss being called for the appointment.)

Michael was in a pretty decent mood when we entered the exam room. He even allowed the nurse to take his temperature. Once she left, Michael started playing with his plastic helmet. I was relieved because he normally tries to escape from the room or tear through the contents of their drawers. The hat has one of those little elastic bands that you place under your neck to hold the hat in place. Michael was pulling up on the hat, and letting it snap back into place. Then he started pulling on the band. Right as I said, “Michael, you are going to zing yourself,” he let the band snap right across his eyes. There goes the good mood.

All of the pediatricians in the practice are really great with kids. My favorite one somehow distracts Michael while calmly examining him. One of the other ones just goes in for the kill directly, and finishes up before Michael has a clue what’s going on. The doctor we saw yesterday takes the conversational approach. “Does your ear hurt?” No reply. “Does your ear feel ok?” Turns his head away. “Does your ear hurt?” Nods. “Does your ear hurt?” Shakes his head.

“He’s contrary, isn’t he?”

Michael? Contrary? You mean the child that had been saying no, nope, uh-uh for a year, and had picked up about 500 words before he would say the word yes? (Well, aside from one time when he said it just to let me know that he KNEW it.) The child that refused to call me mommy for months just to drive me insane? The child that disagrees with me JUST FOR FUN? Contrary?

No. (Guess who he gets it from?)

She proceeded with the exam and confirmed my suspicions. His ear looks great. The antibiotics are working. He does have a cold, and maybe he’s feeling some pressure is his Eustachian tube, but overall, he looks pretty good.

At this point, I don’t know whether to be annoyed or proud. On the one hand, crying wolf is a real problem. Not only is he trying to manipulate people to get what he wants, he also making it harder for us to trust when he really is hurt or sick. How do you explain trust to a two and a half year old? On the other hand, I have to confess that I’m a little proud of him. It only took him seven days there to figure out how things worked, and what he needed to do to get what he wanted. That shows some real problem solving skills. As long as he’s not trying to pull that on me, it’s sort of impressive.

Needless to say, we did not have the nice, leisurely dinner that I had hoped for. However, we did get to play outside for a little while after dinner, which always seems to cheer up Michael. While Andy was giving Michael his bath, I took a few minutes to call my mom and update her on his little trick. Her response? Laughter. Guess who Michael got the crying wolf syndrome from? Yep. Me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not the post I intended

My afternoon meeting was canceled, and I was planning on taking my lunch break to post about some of the sweeter moments we have had during these crazy few weeks. However, when I returned from getting my ice cold fountain Diet Coke the message light on my phone was blinking. It was Michael's daycare. He's been crying and complaining that his ear hurts. So, instead of my post, I'm working through lunch so I can pick Michael up and take him back to the doctor. (I'm not surprised, my neighbor, who is both a nurse and a very experienced ear infection mom, told me just last night that she thought Michael was going to need something stronger.)

Luckily, Jen over at Staying in Touch with the Funny Noses (It's as good as it's name) showed me some love and gave a a quick post for today. Thank you!


The rules are these: answer the following questions with one word answers, then pass the award on to seven others.
1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Mousy
4. Your mother? Gimpy
5. Your father? Goofy
6. Your favorite thing? Sleep
7. Your dream last night? Trees
8. Your dream/goal? Retirement
9. The room you're in? Office
10. Your hobby? Needlework
11. Your fear? Spiders
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Here
13. Where were you last night? home
15. One of your wish list items? Books
16. Where you grew up? Tristate (As in the DE, PA, NJ Tristate area)
17. The last thing you did? Sipped
18. What are you wearing? J Jill
19. Your TV? Andy's
20. Your pet? Pet?
21. Your computer? obsolete
22. Your mood? Sigh
23. Missing someone? Yep
24.Your car? Boring
25. Something you’re not wearing? Contacts
26. Favorite store? Barnes&Noble.com
27. Your summer? Over?
28. Love someone? Maybe ; )
29. Your favorite color? Periwinkle
30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier
31. Last time you cried? recently

I'm supposed to pass this off to seven more people, but I really have to get back to work. So, if you are reading my blog and you haven't gotten this one yet, go for it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

*Rolling My Eyes*

Really, I can't think of anything that will work for a title to this post, so I'm just going to go with the eye roll.

After posting my warm fuzzy post about daycare I headed home for the day. It was Andy's day to pick up Michael. It was a beautiful fall day, and when I pulled up to my parking spot, I saw a bunch of neighborhood kids out playing. I expected to see Michael over with the group, but no. I hollered over to ask if Michael was around. "No, last I saw him, he was having a meltdown," was the response I got. Great.

The first thing I heard when I walked in the door was this whining, crying sound. Michael was still melting down. As soon as he saw me, he latched on to me. "What's wrong bunny?" I asked. "My knee hurts." Followed by, "My teeth hurt." Followed by, "My hair hurts."

Dude, you know it's a bad day when your hair hurts.

I cuddled Michael up on my lap and tried to calm him down, but it wasn't working. I knew he was in pain, but I was having trouble narrowing down what was wrong. After watching him squirm on my lap for an hour, I finally noticed a pattern of him grabbing at his right ear. Ah, it must be an ear infection. Off to the pediatrician's office for a diagnosis. Sure enough, his poor little ear is infected.

This is Michael's first ear infection, and I have to give a hand to all of you out there who have been there, done that. I have never had Michael cry so long and for so hard before. It's so hard knowing that something is wrong, and yet being powerless to do anything about it. I gave him Motrin, but I don't know if it made any difference. All I could really do was hold him and comfort him as much as possible.

He cried for hours. Pretty much from 4:00 when I got home, until he passed out on my lap at 8:30. His poor little eyes were swollen and purple rimmed. The only time he wasn't on my lap was while I was driving him to and from the doctor, and while I was picking up his antibiotics. He even had to follow me to the bathroom when I needed a break. It was exhausting, but it was also sort of sweet. He hasn't needed me like that since he was an itty, bitty baby. It felt nice to have his warm, snuggly body curled into mine. I kind of miss those days.

The antibiotics seemed to help faster than I expected. By Friday morning he was much perkier than the night before. He was even being agreeable about taking the "magic pink candy juice". He was still a bit cranky over the weekend, but at least he was up to dive bombing me on the sofa again. Hopefully, he'll be back to himself in another day or too.

I will say that this has been the longest three weeks of my life. First, my car died, then my mom hurt her leg, next the whole daycare thing, culminating with an ear infection and a cranky weekend. And then, to add insult to injury, I got to discover just what antibiotics do to a little one's stomach. And that's about where I started to just roll my eyes. What else is there to say?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tidbits

I still have a bunch of vacation pictures to post, but I'm just not going to get to it today. So, instead I'm going to go with some random tidbits.

Yesterday, Michael seemed to turn the corner with the whole daycare thing. When I picked him up he was happy to see me, but didn't come rushing over. The only time he cried was at drop of. He even relinquished his shirt and binky without a fight. He also took a two hour nap. I was thrilled.When we got home, Michael had a major meltdown because he wanted to go in and get milk and stay outside and play at the same time. He seemed overwhelmed by the enormity of the decision and just lost it. I tried to comfort him, but I think he just needed to get it out. I don't blame him. I get that way to sometimes.

My mom came over for dinner. After we were done, I let Michael out of his chair, while we continued to talk. Michael took the opportunity to have a "private moment". He was having it behind our sheer curtains, so I suggested that he go into the bathroom. He thought it was a good idea, and ran into the bathroom to...well, use it for what it's designed for. A few minutes later we hear the toilet flush. I checked to make sure nothing had gone down the toilet and then went back to chatting with my mom. Then, we hear the toilet seat slam. This time when I went to check on him, his arms were wet, the toilet seat was wet, and there were wet hand prints all over the wall. Guess who got a bath last night?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daycare - Day 4

I'm really trying to stay positive about daycare, but it's not easy. I know that Michael will need an adjustment period, and that I need to give him more time, but it's just so hard. When I picked him up yesterday his teacher told me that she doesn't think he likes going outside. WHAT? Michael lives to go outside. He often stands at our front door wiggling the door handle trying to get out. What on earth could make him not want to go out? He also started begging to go home yesterday.

The worst part was the ride home last night. He slumped down in his car seat and just sat there looking dejected. He hardly spoke, and only to answer questions I asked. He normally spends drive time pointing out traffic lights, trucks, letters, and asking me for wind (putting down the windows.) But, he just sat there like a sad little lump. He did perk up once we got home, but it took a little while. Sigh.

Things that are going well with daycare
  • He has made a friend, who seems like a very thoughtful little boy
  • He was sharing really well with the neighborhood kids last night
  • He is sitting on the potty
  • He's eaten a few things I never thought he would eat
Things that are not going well with daycare
  • He's only napping for about 45 minutes
  • He caught a cold on Friday
  • I caught a cold on Sunday
  • He cries at drop off
  • He begs to come home during the day
  • He misses grand mom
  • He seems very sad

Friday, October 3, 2008

What a Day

This has probably been one of the craziest weeks of my life, and yesterday was the icing on the cake.

I'm very much a planner. I like things to be organized, well thought out, prepared for, and nice and routine. I know, it's not the most exciting way to live, but it helps me manage stress, and remember simple things like where I've parked my car or left my keys. I know, it's not terribly exciting, but it works for me. So, you can imagine that having my mom tell me that she is in excruciating pain and cannot watch Michael for me might just disrupt my routine a little.

In a perfect world, my hunt for a daycare center would go something like this.

  • Identify local daycares within a 10 mile radius
  • Do internet research on each one
  • Talk to neighbors and friends about their daycares, what I should look for, what questions to ask, blah, blah, blah
  • Contact each center, ask tons of questions, take notes, create a matrix comparing advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Select top three choices
  • Visit top three choices
  • Make a decision and then sleep on it to make sure it "feels right"
  • Enroll Michael
  • Establish transition plan
  • Execute transition plan
Here's how it really worked.

  • Talk to neighbor to find out what daycares they looked at
  • Make list of four centers
  • Call two centers on Monday
  • Scheduled with the one that has an opening for a tour on Wednesday
  • Visit daycare
  • Enroll Michael
  • Drop him off the next day
Oh, and I forgot the cry hysterically the night before dropping him off, but I didn't really want to make that a bullet point.

So, yesterday morning Andy and I changed up our schedule and delivered Michael to daycare. We brought in Michael's stuff and placed it in his cubby, then we went over to drop him off in the the 3 year old room where he will play until his teacher comes in. Andy left first, and Michael was ok with that. Then, I think he figured out that I was about to leave him with this unknown woman in this strange place. The lip started to quiver, the eyes started to turn red, and my heart started to break. I really just wanted to stay there and hug him, but I knew that it would just make it harder. So I smiled, said good bye and left him.

It was hard to do. Very hard to do. And, to make it that much harder, my routine was shot to hell. I hit the highway, and got to work half an hour later than normal. I had to park my car in a different area of the lot and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find it at the end of the day. (Yes, I really do forget where I park my car.)

Once I got into work, I planned out my day.
  • Work until 3:15
  • Pick Michael up at 3:45
  • Make dinner at 4:15
  • Eat 5:00
  • Head to Open house at daycare 5:45
  • Home by 7:00 to put Michael to bed
  • 7:45 go grocery shopping for mom
  • 9:00 home at take shower
  • 10:00 in bed
Ah, a plan. That feels good. This will all work out.

My mom called at 2:15. Her doctor had just called her with the results of the MRI she had done on her knee. It's bad. Two torn ligaments, one torn meniscus, and a small break in her tibia. Her doctor tells her that she is going to call around and find a specialist that can see her ASAP.

Sounds good, right? Guess what time the doctor could see her? 3:45. Wait, that's when I need to pick up Michael. Even if I didn't, I don't have time to get to my mom's to pick her up. My plan is shot.

In steps the hero of my story. Andy. I managed to catch him on his cell phone right before he was heading into a meeting. When I asked him to pick up my mom and take her to the doctor he said, "Ok, where do I pick her up." And relief just washed over me. We could make this work.

When I went in to pick Michael up, he looked so sad. His eyes were red from a day of crying. His teacher reported that he did have a rough day. She reported that he only ate one beef nugget at lunch. To which I responded, "He ate a beef nugget? How on earth did you get him to do that?" Next she reported that he didn't seem to like being sat on the potty. To which I responded, "You got him to sit on the potty? How on earth did you do that?" At which point I realized that I'm just a big old softy, and maybe this daycare thing isn't all that bad for him.

He did make a friend, and his teacher had a picture of them for me at the open house. It was pretty darn cute. They are facing each other holding hands. Michael eyes were red, but he looked like maybe this wasn't the worst thing in the world. I could have just hugged that little boy for helping to make Michael's first day a little bit better.

The rest of the evening was crazy. Andy and Michael had to go and pick up my mom while I went to the open house. I considered not going, but I'm very glad I did. I got to spend some one on one time with his teacher. She went over all of their daily activities, showed me everything they use for circle time and arts and crafts. I also got to see her interact with the few children that were still in the other half of the room. I really liked her, and I feel a lot better about leaving Michael in her care.

Of course, when I got home, my day still wasn't done. I spent some time with Michael and then got him to bed. I rushed out to do shopping for my mom, and then headed over to deliver the groceries and do some cleaning for her.

When I spoke to Andy, it was clear he was not happy with my mom's doctor visit. He was concerned that the doctor didn't stabilize her knee, and that all he did was give her a cortisone shot and sent her home. I found it very touching that he was so concerned about my mom. I'm a very lucky woman to have him.

My mom is a little frustrated about her knee. She felt that the doctor brushed off the broken tibia, and she didn't like that he was so frustrated with her because she couldn't tell him where it hurt, or what she had done on Saturday that made it hurt so badly. He did indicate that he thought the meniscus damage was from her previous knee surgery, which makes sense. And, he did give her a shot of Cortisone.

When I walked in, I noticed her sitting with her legs crossed. Two days ago, she couldn't even keep the leg still because she couldn't find a comfortable position for it. Then, as we were talking, she got up to show me a skirt she had bought during her vacation. She was on her leg for several minutes before it really started to hurt. So, maybe the doctor knows what he's talking about. My mom is going to wait and see how it feels in a few days before deciding on getting a second opinion or not.

I finally got home around 9:30, exhausted and overwhelmed. I missed the Palin/Bidden Debate, I missed the Phillies winning the second game of their playoff (WAHOO! Go Phillies!) and I missed a lot of time that I would have rather spent with Andy and Michael. However, when all is said and done, we survived the chaos of the day. I was able to snuggle up in bed with my sweetie. My baby was fast asleep in his crib. My mom was resting comfortably for the first time in days. And, my car was safe in my parking spot. For all of that, I am grateful.