Monday, January 29, 2007

Roe v. Wade

There was some anniversary of Roe v. Wade last week (let's say 34 years or so). And as I blog all things reproductive, I think I should mention it.
Remember, I am pro-choice, but I am not anti-life. I am pro-choice because there are many many women out there who have made heartbreaking decisions to abort babies that they really wanted because those babies were doomed to lives of pain and suffering. Sometimes those lives would've been just minutes long filled with anguish and fear and pain. As any mother knows, sometimes you want to protect your child from pain and take their suffering away. This is why I am pro-choice.


Chuckles, who is not normally good at sharing, has given both Mr. Long-Suffering and me a nasty, nasty cold. There are globs of green goo and I think my ear has developed some sort of muffling system so I cannot hear. The best part of it though is the fatigue. Nothing beats a nap. Yay nap.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Chuckles dilemma

chuckles gets bitten at day care (6 times so far). Apparently, he is very protective of toys. He says, "No. Mine." But the other kids don't leave him alone, so they bite (only bite him apparently). Anyway, day care wants to move him to a new class to avoid the biting. The new class is the older kids. The 2-year olds. Chuckles won't be 2 until May and they don't usually move them up until a month or two after their birthday. Where he is now, with the Toddlers, he has teh same caregiver he's had since he was 11 weeks old. I'm concerned.

I am touring the 2-year old room in the day care today. I'm not that fond of the main instructor. Maybe I'll like the other one better. We'll see.

Plus there is this whole issue of transitioning him to a new class now and then moving him to a totally new day care as soon as we move. Wouldn't it be better for a single transition? So conflicted.

My cell phone is possessed by demons

The time (which I swear comes from the cell tower) on my phone is 5:30 pm (it's really 2:13 pm). This was really annoying as I use my phone for my alarm clock so in the middle of the night some time, it wanted me to rise and shine and face the day. Frickin' phone.

Driving School

I survived driving school. I cried at one of those "blood on the highway"-type videos they show. What is with me and the crying? I suppose it's stress or something. Or leaky eyes. Must have the eye doctor check that out next time.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blankie Update

Blankie made it back home safely. It took a while, but blankie is home. Here is a photo of Chuckles trying to pick out which of the new replacement (understudy) blankies he wanted from Target (target whom I love who will take back anything all the time).
The blankie on the left won. Classic blankie is just like that but with the satin in the middle and the velvet-y stuff on the edges. New blankie is satin on the edges and velvet-y stuff in the middle. Close enuff with the lights out.

Peek-A-Boo, I see you

Everyone does Yoga (the small one is wearing a Bears outfit)

So, what's up

I got an apartment near work. 1 BR, 1Ba, walk in closet, dishwasher, no TV (but I have borrowed one with rabbit ears and will have it for next week).

Chuckles learned to say, "More Cheerios" so clearly that anyone within a 3-table radius could understand what exactly he wanted RIGHT NOW.

Da Bearce are going to the NFC Championships and I couldn't be happier. We taught Chuckles to put his arms up like Touchdown and should "YAY", so that's so cute, I might just die.

I got a period, if you could call it that. One and a half days of spotting. I was expecting a multi-tampon, multi-day affair with much ibuprofen. Notsomuch. And I am glad. I've just heard horror stories about that first post-baby period. Maybe that's only if you don't take the pill and aren't horribly infertile.

Speaking of birth control and whatnot, to save money and stuff, I've decided to take the pill every other day. If you are actually fertile and trying to avoid pregnancy, I don't recommend this approach. But, heck, if you're me, why not?

Chuckles is upstairs sleeping on his bedroom floor right now. We're from teh any nap in a storm school of parenting, so there you have it. As a wonderful weekend gift to me, he slept until 8:45 this morning. Of course, I had plans to meet my dad for breakfast today (and Chuckles said "PaPa" to my dad (as in GrandPA)). All's well in teh end though. Chuckles is abfab.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Target for my White-Hot Rage

I now officially hate Toys R Us. I used to like them. Back when we registered before Chuckles was born, we did it at Babies R Us. I was very happy. They returned a great many gifts for me and gave me store credit (store credit upon which Chuckles is sleeping right now - we bought his mattress there with the credits).

Anyway, I was to TRU today to return a few items my mother had gotten Chuckles for Christmas and to use a gift card we received as well. One of the items had a big sticker on it that said Toys R Us exclusive, but they wouldn't take it back because I didn't have a receipt or a gift receipt. They wouldn't even give me store credit for it. I am livid. Livid I tell you. Livid. So, now I guess I will try to return the stuff to Target who I know will give me store credit.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Let's get everyone up to speed (reproductively speaking)

A timeline might help, perhaps...

August 8, 2003 - went off birth control pills
August 31, 2003 - took first of many negative pregnancy tests
Mid-October 2003 - got first post-pill period
Late October 2003 - scheduled appointment with gynecologist to figure out why I get no periods and my temperature charts look like they were made by a random number generator
January 2004 - got second period, so I rescheduled my appointment with gyn
Late Jan '04 - had appointment and found out I needed to have bloodwork done on the 3rd day of my cycle (which had just passed and with my cycles that could be 3 months away until the next time)
Feb '04 - period #3 going on for almost 3 weeks. Called gyn to find out what wrong. Given drugs to stop period, thicken lining, and bring on a new period. Ten days later - get blood work done
early Mar '04 - find out I have PCOS and start treatment
Mar '04 - on CD5 (cycle day 5, 5th day after start of period) begin first round of fertility drugs. Take 25 mg clomiphene daily for CD5 - CD9. Go in for ultrasound and find out absolutely nothing happened. Take drugs to bring on a period.
Late Mar '04 - triple dosage to 75 mg clomiphene daily for 5 days (CD5-CD9). Go in for ultrasound and discover that some things have happened but not nearly enough.
April '04 - CD3-CD7 take 75 mg clomiphene. CD14 ultrasound shows not much, so they add progesterone to the mix.
May '04 - CD3-CD7 take 75 mg clomid, Ultrasound shows no uterine lining and small follicles so estradiol added to the mix, but nothing happens.
June & July '04 - CD3-CD7 75 mg clomid, CD8-CD13 estradiol, CD14 hCG trigger, CD21-28 progesterone (while on vacation with my in-laws and the progesterone needs to be kept in the 'fridge and they don't know we're trying and having trouble and keep making comments about when are you going to have a baby and I threaten death to my husband unless he tells them so the pain can stop)
Aug. '04 - This is my last chance before I have to undergo serious injections of drugs and see specialists for closer monitoring. CD3-CD7 75 mg clomid, CD13-CD15 triple dose of estradiol, CD16 trigger shot (to make the follicles rupture and release their eggs), CD21 and on progesterone suppositories. I got pregnant, but I didn't know it. We were scheduled to go on vacation with my dad and I started spotting around CD25, so I assumed another failure and another month of drugs, etc. I got a hpt to confirm negative so I could call the office and make plans for the next phase. The hpt was positive. What the hell? Anyway, I called the office to let them know and schedule blood work.
The bloodwork confirmed that I was pregnant (but the levels were lowlowlowlow). My progesterone was very low as well (despite the cooter bullets I was taking daily). All signs were that something was amiss. It could be a misacarriage about to happen or an ectopic. They don't want me to go on vacation and want me to continue having blood drawn every other day until the levels drop or show good improvement. Then, I start bleeding.
Let's say there are levels of bleeding:
Staining (maybe a dot here or there on the TP)
Spotting (requires a mini-pad)
Bleeding (tampons or regular pads)
Heavy bleeding (tampon with an overnight pad as back-up)
Really bad bleeding (after childbirth or right before you decide to get a hysterectomy)
I had blood drawn and everything went up as it should and doubled and whatnot. So, the concern is still ectopic or threatened miscarriage. I went on vacation and had bloodwork done there (during a torrential downpour no less). The results continues to go up and I continues to spot. In fact, I spotted on and off for the next 10 weeks or so. I supplemented progesterone until the first week of the second trimester.
Second trimester went well. I felt good, not too big, not too tired, although if I didn't get dinner by 3 minutes before I got home from work I devolved into a crying mess (bad blood sugar issues, but repeated testing showed no gestational diabetes). Once I got to week 24 or 25, I felt somewhat better. My baby was on the cusp of viability. I certainly didn't want him born then, but there was some hope that if I couldn't keep him inside, something might be done.
The third trimester was OK, until around month 8. I got big. I started to pee myself. I got carpul tunnel and my hands kept going numb. I developoed icky purple stretch marks. Even my maternity clothes stopped fitting. My belly button stretched out grossly. It was quite uncomfortable but overall I was pretty happy since the end was near and viability was almost assured (over 90% chance of survival).
On May 5, 2005, I had my baby. I found childbirth in the hospital model to be traumatic. In fact, I think I mentioned I might have a little PTSD from it. I have rage over the helplessness I felt. In fact, I vow right now, I will never never ever ever do that again. I will hire a doula or bring a girlfriend to advocate on my behalf because my husband was too shocked by everything happening to be able to do it for me. In fact, he didn't know enough to know what was happening.

Long story short though, I had a healthy baby. I didn't see him for hours and hours after he was born though due to the surgery, hospital policy about keeping constant temperature, and then shift change. I'm still pissed that I didn't see my baby for 4 hours. I should have been nursing him, but I was not. I am very thankful my husband did not call our families to let them know the baby had been born though, because if they had come to the hospital and seen the baby before I did, I think I would be very very angry right now still. They are angry we didn't call right away but hey, wife with surgery, baby in distress being revived by a neonatologist. I think we were a little busy. It was a couple of days before I ever saw my baby's feet, hands, penis, etc. By the time I got him, he was swaddled and wearing clothes. It felt strange to me to go and unwrap him. I should have, but I didn't. If I ever do have another, I'm unwrapping my baby and sniffing its newborn head, etc.

I found breastfeeding very hard in the beginning. If I hadn't been warned that it was hard, I would have thought something was wrong (actually I did think something was wrong and had out latch evaluated repeatedly). I also found physical recovery very difficult. I had gone through hours of labor and pushing and then had major abdominal surgery and then had to care 24/7 for a new baby. It was draining. My husband was fabulous. For this reason, I will love him forever. My kid was pretty great too (oh, he's napping upstairs right now after I took him for a little car ride around the neighborhood).

We interrupt this message

To tell you that I won't be blogging during the week any more. See, I have to start working full-time, and I am no longer staying with my sister-in-law, so unless the Super 8 ($48/night) has a computer in the lobby with internet access, you won't be hearing from me until Friday. Pity, I know.

Also, I wonder if the Super 8 has a frequent stayers program because I'll be there 16 nights/month or so. That's a lot of nights. A miles program would rock the house. And they have free continental breakfast.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Why I cry

I've been crying a lot lately. Probably more than I should. But, the good news is I still smile every day. If I didn't, I'd be calling my primary care physician and getting some help (do I even have a doctor now since I changed insurance plans twice in teeh last 3 months?). Anyway, I cry. A lot. Christmas is over, so you'd think it would be getting better, but it's holding steady.

I think I cry because I have an unrealistically high expectation of myself and others.

For example, before Chuckles was born, I registered for things that I thought we would need. I brought the Consumer Reports book with me to Babies R Us when I registered, which I why I was not surprised to learn that the Graco SnugRide infant car seat was found to be very good according to the recent reports. The hospital gave us an Evenflo Discovery car seat when Chuckles was born and I never let him ride in it because it only had a cheap 3-point harness and it never fit him quite right (he needed a bigger baby butt to sit flat in the seat), so let's say I also was not surprised that this car seat ejected the baby from the car or something. Whew. I gave that car seat to someone too. Hope he read the reports and has stopped using it for his daughter.

I have talked to other people who registered for car seats and they had never looked at the car seat ratings. They picked car seats by which car seat fit their stroller and had the fabric pattern that matched their stroller, high chair, and pack-n-play. I am shocked. I picked a car seat first. Then I found a stroller that went with that. Then, I went with the cheapest pack-n-play I could find (and it doesn't match anything else since when was the last time you pulled your stroller up to your pack-n-play or set your car seat in your high by the time you need a high chair at 4 or 5 months, the kid has probably already outgrown the 26" height limit on the infant carrier) that hadn't been recalled for safety reasons due to flawed design. Then, months later, we bought a high chair at a second hand store (after reading reviews on them). So, I guess I am shocked that other people aren't as concerned as I am about safety and everything, so maybe this is why I don't sleep at night and they do. Lack of sleep also makes me cry.

By the way, I need to get rid of my pack-n-play (it's like a play pen for you who don't know). My child will not and has not ever slept in it really. He did as a newborn, but not since. Hates it. When we travel, I wad a comforter up and put it on the floor for him. Works OK. Not great, but ok.

Even babies can blog

So, this image is courtesy of my new webcam. My mom and sister also have them, so we can all do videoconferencing with eachother. I went over and set my mom's up today and hopefully taught her how to use it, but I imagine I will be receiving phone calls that it won't work and fix it. I can't wait. Chuckles figured out how to record movies of himself and also how to stop them, so I now have fifteen 3-second movie clips of him smiling at himself, saying "baybee", and hitting the space bar.
While on the video conference with my sister today, she ran through the GARS screening criteria for autism with me. It's a little misleading since Chuckles came back as "at-risk" or something, but the questions are geared more toward children ages 3 and up. For example, there was a question about temper tantrums. He's 20 months old. He has the occasional melt-down (about once per day). If he was 5 years old, this would be alarming, but at his age notsomuch. Also, there were a lot of questions about pronoun usage. So, Chuckles is fine. He has a lot of risk factors, but he's OK. I am officially not concerned about it, but of course, I will continue to monitor him for all sorts of things.

Menu Blogging

I am terribly behind in telling you what I've been eating. Terribly behind. I know everyone wants to know what I eat. So, here goes...
breakfast - bisquick pancakes made with soymilk served with Grade B maple syrup from Trader Joe's and a glass of milk
lunch - turkey sandwich on whole wheat made with Smart Balance flax oil margarine and a navel orange, half a clementine, 4 Trader Joe's chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), and a glass of skim milk
dinner - chicken with carrots, celery and onions served over Klusky noodles, and two glasses of milk (second glass washed down 4 more TJ's sandwich cookies)

Friday - I ate both breakfast and lunch in my car while driving in excess of 55 mph. For dinner I had a Lean Cuisine.

Thursday - breakfast and lunch in car, for dinner I made pan seared pork chops, brown rice, and green beans.

Wednesday - we went out for pasta. Chuckles was covered ear to ear in red sauce. I had mushroom ravioli and a large glass of 7-Up (which I rarely do).

Tuesday - I have no clue what I ate other than breakfast in the car and a corned beef sandwich from a deli under Mannheim Rd near O'Hare airport.

Monday was New Year's day and I had awesome food at the open house we attended (where I lost Blankie). I had bruschetta, gumbo and jumbalaya, ham, cut up fruit, stuffed clams, etc. Fabulously awesome food.

Oh, and on Friday, I had two cups of coffee because apparently, I am falling apart.

Next year

As Jenn's birthday has now come and gone, my thoughts move to my own upcoming birthday (31). I'm not worried about the age. I think I took 28 the hardest of them all with the tears and the blubbering and the "so old" talk. 30 was a breeze. 29 was fine, and I doubt I'll even notice 31. However, it has been proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a horrible, horrible person who thinks of no one but herself. And that's ok. The world takes all kinds. 2006 (the year I was 30) was The Year of Hating Everyone and Everything for me. I need to come up with a pithy name for the year I am 31 (2007).

Jenn has already told me that I am not permitted to have another Year of Hating, so I must come up with something else. I'll take suggestions. Keep in mind that The Year of Loving Everyone and Everything would make me vomit just a little bit into my mouth every day.

A particularly perky person at work told me he loved Mondays because it meant that he had 5 brand, new opportunities for greatness ahead of him. Well, I think I just threw up a little bit, but I get the idea. I really do try to do my best. really. Or at least something that looks really good but isn't actually my best but would probably be someone else's best. So, there's that.

Happy Birthday to Readers

A big ole 31 to Jenn (who is 5.5 weeks older than I am and will always remember it).

A nice little 30 to Rockwell (HRB) who is practically a kid still.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My house is a stye

So I must go and vacuum. And wipe counters. And clean toilets. For the next 17 minutes, until Chuckles will wake up from his nap at day care and I will go get him.

Are you doing this on purpose or are you just ...?

New Year's Day Chuckles didn't eat a great breakfast (not unusual at all for him). So, we canceled breakfast and went about our day. A while later we tried again. He ate. It was getting later, so I didn't push the issue too much since lunch would be upon us soon. He had eaten enough, so we ended breakfast so as not to spoil lunch. (As a side note, Chuckles needs to be kept on a rather regular eating schedule or we mess up dinner and when dinner is ruined, there is no sleeping through the night and then we all suffer.) A couple of minutes later, I see my SIL feeding Chuckles Cheerios and some kind of Gerber junk food (side note: just because it's made by Gerber does not mean it is free of sugar, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils). I let it go since I didn't want to cause a scene (for once).

A few minutes later, Chuckles is on his grandfather's lap eating something. I ask, "What is he eating?" almost sure it's a cookie. The response: "An apricot kolatchky" like it being apricot - a fruit - makes it OK to feed him a cookie right before lunch. I reply calmly, "OK but no more since those have cream cheese in them." At which point we have the following conversation:
FIL: No, it was apricot - not cream cheese.
Me: I mean the dough. The dough is made with cream cheese.
MIL (who made the cookies): No, it doesn't.
Me: Yes, it does. I have your recipe.
MIL: Oh, right.
FIL: So what?
Me: Chuckles is allergic to milk.
FIL: Does cream cheese have milk?
Me: ????? You're kidding, right?
FIL: What? (acting like he didn't hear me)
Me: Yes, it's dairy. Cream and cheese. #1 ingredient is milk.
MIL: Well, it's only a little.
Me: Well, he's a lot allergic, so no milk. At all. OK?

At lunch time, Chuckles demands a "cock-ee" or cookie instead of scrambled eggs and carrots and throws the cutest little temper tantrum that I ignore completely since I want to end the tantrums before they start and my sister-in-law tries to offer him a cookie during the tantrum to get him to stop. I think I gave her the iciest look in the history of the world and froze her to death since she stopped speaking mid-sentence whilst criticizing my parenting. I almost grabbed my child and left right then, but since my husband was having a nice time and it's his family, I stayed but said we had to get to my aunt's house right away for her party (which I didn't even want to attend, but ultimately decided to attend to get out of there, since there was no way we were leaving for hours if we didn't have a good excuse...and I ended up with the blankie faisco at my aunt's, so that wasn't great).
As we were leaving hastily, my in-laws again smacked me up the side of the head by suggesting that I am somehow mistreating my child (or future children) by making him wear hand-me-downs or somesuch crap like that. I'm not sure what exactly the point of their statements was but let's just say that what they said made me feel both defensive and like crap. I like these people and they are very nice, but either I am going completely mental these last few weeks or they have actually gotten catty. And they always do this stuff when Mr. L-S is in the bathroom. So either they do it on purpose or he spends a lot of time in the john.

I am guessing that the real reasons are many and they have just as much to do with my own insecurities as with anything they are actually doing. The Number One reason I think I have had go-arounds the last three weeks is this:
They are not my family and we do not share common history. I guess this one fades over time, but really, I think that my childhood shapes how I view everything about how I want to raise Chuckles (and not that I am trying to emulate how I was raised because I am actually trying to do the opposite). And the run-ins have become much more frequent and a ton more painful since I became a mother.
As I have said before and will say again and continue to say until I am blue in the face: How I choose to raise my child is not a judgement of how you raised or are raising yours. We're all different and have different values and different children who need to be treated differently to fit into each of our different families. Different is OK. We're all just doing the best we can. Maybe my best isn't as good as yours or isn't even at all like yours. If I practice Attachment Parenting (which I don't) and you practice Babywise, it doesn't mean we can't be friends, but we should never talk about childrearing if we want any common ground at all.

Maybe I'm just sensitive over my own insecurities. And perhaps, I need to stop living with them.

Christmas re-visited

Mr. Long-Suffering got me a web cam for Christmas. I opened the box, just looked at it, and said, "I don't get it." Apparently, he got it so we could teleconference when I'm gone during the week. When he said that, I started to cry again since it means he thinks I'll be commuting from far away for a long time. Very sad. I wanted a potato peeler for Christmas, a can opener, and socks. How hard is this? I got the can opener and the socks, but I got a webcam instead of a potato peeler. Potato peeler would not have made me cry, that's for sure. Husband is a good man who tries to be thoughtful, but he's a man and he's not in my brain and doesn't know how sad and conflicted I already am about commuting away from him and boy. This might have been the worst Christmas ever. And that's saying quite a bit.

New Year's Resolutions

Last year I had two resolutions, both of which I kept. I was going to wean and lose the baby weight. I had to do the first in order to do the latter. Weaning might seem like a no-brainer, but I am lazy and nursing was easy (relatively speaking). But, I did both. What should I do this year?

Should I try to be less sarcastic and more sickeningly sweet? Should I try to get along with my in-laws better? Should I kiss my husband more? Should I be more thankful and full of gratitude (believe me, as sarcastic as I may be, I am thankful for my husband and son...oh yes).

Rookie Mistake

I left Chuckles's blanket at my aunt's house on New Year's Day. Not just any blankie, but the special "boo bankie" (aka blue blankie). He's going to bed without it just fine, but he's waking crying for it and in the morning, he walks forlornly around his crib looking for "key key KEY".
My aunt has promised to overnight it to us, but the post office was closed Tuesday so we could mourn President Ford. I am mourning all right. It should get here today. CNN's Blankie Watch Day 3 coverage continues. I went to Target today and bought 3 blankies as back ups. I'll see if any of them are good enough tonight. The rest go back. I have been trying to get Chuckles to take a receiving blanket to bed with him. He keeps picking them up like they smell and dropping them on the ground with a look of "Imposter" on his face.

The Rules

#1 Rule in Life: Mind your own (darned) business.

If no one asks your opinion, don't give it.
If you are compelled to give advice, give it once and move on. Do not continue to give the advice if someone has already ignored it once.
Do not interfere in how another person is parenting his or her own child (imminent physical harm notwithstanding).
Judge not - lest ye be judged.
Cast not the first stone (or I might pummel you with rocks).
And those who live in bottle-feeding houses shouldn't throw stones at breastfeeders.

Happy 2007, and 2006 year in review

Welcome 2007. I hope you're good.

Here is 2006 year in review for me:
January - Stomach flu
February - I turned 30
March - first night away from Chuckles
April - I weaned
May - Appendectomy & Chuckles turned 1
June - I interviewed for a new job
July - Another crumby vacation with my in-laws which devolved into me crying
August - I accepted my new job
September - I gave notice on my old job
October - I started my new job
November - Working, commuting, etc
December - More of same plus I ruined Christmas (again)

So, 2007, I hope you're better and less-eventful than 2006 (except for ht part where we sell house, buy house, and move).

It's been a week, but I'm still here....barely

The old year went out on a bang as Mr. Long-Suffering and I decided whether I should go to the Emergency Room on New Year's Eve (on his insurance under the old co-pay rules...$50) after I sliced my finger paper-thin on the new Ginsu knives whilst making a fantabulous potato and egg torto espangne tapas dish a for New Year's Eve tapas party. We opted not to go to the ER and the finger is still bleeding periodically (and it itches like a melon year's resolution to swear less is working). By the way, the torta was great (any recipe with 3 cups of olive oil is bound to be good). Here's the recipe.