Thursday, December 31, 2009

All Hail the Triumphant Return of the Underwire

Nursing is (virtually) over. I still nurse about once every other day and will do so until at least tomorrow (so I can say I nursed 2008-2010). But, my old supportive bras are back. And they make a huge difference. I'm all thin and curvy and supported in ways that my no-underwire nursing bras never could do. And I have more choices than just white, black, and ecru. Today: red (with lace and a delicate ribbon). Very festive, no?

I missed my bras. It's been almost two years since we've been together (ditto also my button-down shirts). It's like having a whole new, sexy, curvy, colorful wardrobe.

Bobo hates cow milk. He prefers formula. Have you ever tasted formula? I don't think Bobo has taste buds. Will need to ask the ped about that at next visit.

I weaned to a bottle instead of a cup and am not even trying to get rid of the bottle. I don't care. La la la. I'm sure day care will get him off of the bottle when they need to. Bobo is just not so good with the cup (he doesn't even hold his own bottles), so there's no way he'd get enough nutrition from the cup. So, bottle it is. I imagine by 18 months he'll be off of it completely.

My children wore matching and coordinating outfits for much of the last two weeks, and every time I see them dressed all matchy-matchy, my heart fills with maternal love and pride. It's a sickness. But, I have TWO kids, and I can dress them alike because I have TWO. For quite a while there I didn't think I would get any, and then, I figured just one, but here I have TWO. My cup runneth over. Well, actually, my cup was spillethed over by one of those kids and now I am cleaning cold tea up off of the carpet, but you know. I have a cup (C-cups actually, and they are well-supported).

Terrorism: bad.

Number of New Year's Eves spent with Mr. Long-Suffering: Tonight marks 12.

TV Shows I am anticipating in the New Year: Chuck, Lost, The Big Bang Theory

TV Shows I watch while folding laundry (so much laundry): Something with Jenna Elfman as a knocked up single woman, Modern Family, Cougar Town (which is kind of depressing), Grey's Anatomy (and I don't find Ellen Pompeo attractive or talented), Desperate Housewives, Antiques Roadshow, Ask This Old House, and This Old House.

Speaking of (Ask) This Old House, Kevin O'Connor is the host. He's cute (in a boyish, handyman sort of way). I just read his bio, and I am shocked to learn that he is older than I am. He bought his first house after I did and his wife had their first child after I already had Chuckles, so I assumed he was young, but he's probably 7-9 years older than I am. Here's Kevin...

Bobo got this Fisher-Price Little People House Play Set for his birthday:

Bobo has a habit of putting the toy person on the left in his mouth. Chuckles wants to know why Bobo is trying to eat Kevin. That's right, Chuckles decided that the person on the left must be a toy version of Kevin O'Connor from (Ask) This Old House. I can see it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ladies' Man

In which I will make fun of something serious because that is how I roll.....

So, I was cleaning out Chuckles's back pack the other day. Two half-done worksheets on the letter Ss and a small booklet on Bill Bug's Big something-or-other. There was a little slip of yellow index card really. It said P236123. I thought, "Wow, that's pretty random, but look how nice those numbers are." I set it on the counter to go in with the recycling.

Last night I showed Mr. Long-Suffering the piece of paper. "Do you know what that is?" he asked.


"A girl gave Chuckles her phone number."


"That 'P' is really a '9'."

"I don't believe you. I'm going to google to reverse look up that number."

And you know what? It was a phone number. A girl wrote her phone number down on a piece of paper and slipped it in to my son's back pack. Hussy. I'm sure now that Chuckles is destined to be a ladies' man. When the ladyfolk drone on and on (and on and on) about the things women talk about (about which men do not care), he can just smile and nod his head unable to hear what she is saying due to his hearing loss. Ladies Man!

Today is the kindergarten holiday party. It's really a Christmas party, but everyone is invited regardless of Christian-faith, so we'll call it a holiday party. With pizza. Chuckles was inordinately excited about this. Just jazzed. As I was laying out his clothes last night, he told me he wanted to look "cute" for the party.
"Sweetie, you're always cute."
"I want to look cute. And be pretty."
"I want to dress up and wear my fancy Christmas clothes."
"I want to wear my [sweater] vest."
"Alrighty then."
"And my (flailing arms wildly) shirt." I'm pretty sure the flailing was chirades for 'button-down'.
"Sure, OK, no problem."
"And my yellow, slippery Sponge Bob socks. Are they clean yet?"
"Yep, right here in the basket."
So he put his slippery socks on and proceeded to 'ice skate' on the hardwood floors until bed time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?

I took a little vacation day yesterday. I needed some time to get some things done and spend some time with the kiddos.

Monday night: mixed up sugar cookie dough and put it in the 'fridge to chill. Called one of Chuckles's friend's mother's to see whether she and her child would like to come over Wednesday morning to decorate cookies. They would! Score.

Tuesday night: Minimal straightening of house because I was just too tired. Rolled out the dough and baked the cookies. Chilled two Archer Farms Peppermint Nog bottles of coffee.

Wednesday morning: Entertained. The kids were not in to the decorating. They played nicely (albeit everything they touched from a piece of chalk to a finger was a pointing at people, nice, play nice! I said, "NICE!").

Wednesday noon: Simultaneously fed kids peanut butter sandwiches and applesauce to combat the sugar buzz they were on. Also, put Bobo down for a nap.

Wednesday afternoon: Took Charles to the audiologist. Do you hear what I hear? Not if you're Chuckles. He has a mild hearing loss in his right ear from recurrent ear infections. It's mild. I had pushed the pediatrician for the appointment since he didn't fit the standard (no ear tubes and no second line of antibiotic infections). But a mother knows. And I knew he had a hearing loss (although I had thought it would be more profound). The good news is his ear functions. The cilia hair cells are healthy, the tympanic membrane vibrates, his brain can interpret the signals it gets. We retest in 3-6 months (waiting on the call to find out) and monitor. In the meantime, we need to conserve and protect the hearing he does have. No loud toys, no headphones, no loud music, ear plugs when power boating and snowblowing, etc.

Also, the audiologist wants to see Bobo since bacterial meningitis can cause hearing loss (and he's not hitting his babbling milestones very well). So, I told her to write that in her report on Chuckles so that I could be referred back with the other kid. Yipee. Or not.

After I got home, I was fixing dinner and Bobo got in to the bag that was to go out in the recycling. He sliced his finger on a can of green beans (no salt added, but not organic). And he bled. Yikes. That was a lot of blood. So I applied pressure and he squirmed and BLOOD! And I put a band aid on it. He removed it. I put a better one on and all was right with the world until I noticed he was eating the band-aid. Ick. So, the bleeding stopped, I confessed all to his father, and then, he took 3 steps. And took 3 steps twice more. My baby's first steps! Woo Woo.

A Bannner Day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crappy Croup

So, Chuckles has not slept on the bathroom floor any more.

I did follow up with the morning nurse to make sure Chuckles was OK and didn't need to be seen (I'm still a little gun shy after the whole Bobo blood infection near-death thing). The daytime nurse knows our family and was very soothing. She gave me a list of 12 or so things to look out for with the croup. If any of these things came up, Chuckles would need to be seen by the ped.
  1. stridor
  2. blue lips
  3. speaking in tongues
  4. gasping for air
  5. irritability beyond being a 4-year old
  6. head spinning around
  7. retractions
  8. inability to catch breath
  9. not noticing that mom is eating ice cream and asking for some
  10. paranoia
  11. difficulty swallowing
  12. taking up with communists

So, all-in-all, Chuckles recovered nicely and here we are joyously awaiting the arrival of Santa Clause and all the oddly specific bounty he will bring unto us. And also, we are awaiting the Big Brown Truck (UPS) and the Amazon box that it will bring.

It's like the 12 days of Christmas around here. Every night at bedtime, I stick my hand up into the box on the closet shelf and pull out another Christmas/Winter book. Tonight featured a book I like to call "Broken Glass". It's a Snappy Sounds Holiday Pop-Up book whose idea of "twinkling" sounds like putting silverware in the garbage disposal or alternately, the sound a Christmas tree makes when it falls over during Festivus Feats of Strength.

Speaking of alternate holidays like Festivus, I take Christmas Cards very seriously. Very seriously. Once upon a time before I had kids, my cards were written, adressed, stamped, and waiting for the day after Thanksgiving to be mailed. Nowadays, I have to wait for the photos to come back before the cards go out, but I take them seriously nonetheless. There is a Newsletter which is called The SarcaSuffering Times (a combo of my last name and Mr. Long-Suffering's last name). It is not a special glow sheet, but more a take on our year, a listing of babies born, and a running tally of how my college's football team whomped on Mr. Long-Suffering's college football team and now we're going to a Bowl Game and you're not. Oh, right, where was I?

Anyway, I take my cards seriously. I send about 50 and I send for 3 years after I haven't heard from someone. Then, they are stricken from the list (unless they are super close family or friends, but old classmates and neighbors are stricken from the list. Stricken, I say.). This year, I got the BEST card I have ever gotten ever for any occasion. You may have heard me talk about my friend Carly before. Anyway, she's not usually much of a card sender, but this year, I got a little card with a sun on the front. Inside, it said: "Brighter Days Are Ahead. Celebrate Winter Solstice." I love this card. I love it more than the bunny with the hair dryer demanding the carrot nose from Frosty. I love it more than the female Frosties talking about the buxom Snowoman having falsies. I love it more than the card featuring Gristletoe that Mr. Long-Suffering gave me 12 years ago (which I still have somewhere but cannot find on the internet even though it was an e-card that I printed out...back when e-cards were novel). So, I love this card. It's from cafe press if you want some. I'm also a fan of Tiffany Ard's cards at omgseriously at etsy. Seriously. I would send them, but at a buck a card and the word motherfucking in them, I just don't think it's going to happen. But I do covet them. I guess I could have a subversive list where only certain people got them.

Moving on, someone asked about the weaning a couple of posts down. So, I have decided that I can either nurse 100% or not nurse at all, but I am no good at part-time nursing. I had wanted to stop pumping and then nurse while at home, and my supply dropped so much that I pretty much can't nurse at home unless I pump to keep it up, so we're almost done. I think I will keep the after work nursing and the middle of the night nursing, but the rest is bottle (either breastmilk from the freezer or formula). We're still pulling milk out of the freezer. You could say I was a little obsessed with having a good freezer stash. I think that doing that did two things for me. (1) It artificially inflated my milk supply so that when I went back to work, I was already used to making more than necessary so even though there was a supply drop, it was fine because it was still enough, and (B) Gave me the mental space not to freak out if I didn't pump enough one single day because heck, there are 8 gallons of milk in the deep freeze. Oh and (iii) It was just really cool having all the milk there. While I was pumping, I think I only used maybe 4 or 5 bags of milk. I can't believe it either, but I pumped 2x daily and took fenugreek sometimes and pumped on the occasional weekend and tried to conserve milk as much as possible. When I switched to 1x daily pumping, I still didn't use too much of the freezer stash because I switched Bobo from three 5-ounce bottles to two 6-ounce bottles, so a net decrease of 3 ounces daily.

Now, I'm trying to do some nursing, but I assume he gets little to nothing. But he's not a fan of food or the bottle so things here are rough with little sleep and a lot of crying (mostly not mine). Bottles of formula are given at bed time in the hope that he'll sleep. It's hard to tell what's what though because every day I look in his mouth and there's a new tooth (plus, I am pretty sure Bobo will be walking by Christmas...he's thisclose). Speaking of formula and sleeping at night, Have you seen the Enfamil RestFull formula that supposedly, I don't know, congeals in the baby's stomach for slower digestion? Does that work? It seems like a baby idea for a tiny baby, but I'd be willing to try it on an older kid like Bobo, who theoretically could be drinking cows' milk. So, anyway, congealing formula sounds gross and I don't think I'd try it on a baby, but you know, whatever, right?

So, in summation: Croup, Santanism, Santaism, Festivus, Solstice, Formula.

And Happy Hanukkah. My local TV station's pledge drive tells me it's the 3rd day (so is tonight the 4th night? I don't know), and our pledge prizes might make it in time for the 8th night, but if not, give them for Kwanzaa.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Crimson

I've never liked it when people do sickblogging. I get it. You have kids. They are snotty. They stick inappropriate things in their mouths. They eat the germs. You've all been ((TMI)) for 10 days and no one has the strength to ((more graphic TMI)) anymore. Understood. Mind you, I've done some sickblogging in my day, so I understand the need to chronicle the suck.

Sure, your kid just threw up (again) and you're out of crib sheets and are wrapping the mattress in a tablecloth until the dryer dings. I understand. But I don't necessarily want to hear about it. Unless you can make it funny.

There have been some random illnesses around these parts lately. Bobo had a one-off puke on Friday night. Mr. Long-Suffering and I were planning on going to Industrial Factory Prom on Saturday night (a work party, black tie, downtown, ballroom). The kids were to spend the night with my ILs over night, first time evah.

So, all day Saturday, after breakfast with Santa wherein they served sausage shaped like little hot dogs (sidenote: our neighbor two doors down was Santa at the Church, so when Chuckles got up on his lap, Santa knew his name (swoon). Also, Chuckles dressed himself that day so he looks like a ragamuffin in all the photos of he and Santa....and Bobo was beside himself with Woe. Woe is me. And he wouldn't part with the binky. He went home and took a meganap.), I get ready for the party. I made my first-ever updo. Exhibit UP.

So, Mr. Long-Suffering and I went to Industrial Factory Prom (wherein they do not crown a Prom King and Queen with hard hats). I ate a fancy dinner with wine and I only cut up my own food and the food was hot while I ate it. There was something called “Santa’s Sweet Table” and it was worth the hype. I drank too much, we got home late, I couldn't sleep. My breasts got full, I couldn't sleep, I then convinced myself that Bobo was very sick (after the puking and the long nap), was crying, and needed me. Then, I spiraled into a full blown panic attack. At the very first acceptable morning hour, we called the in-laws. Bobo was fine. He had a 6-ounce formula bottle before bed at 7 pm and they didn't hear a peep out of him until after 7 the following morning.

I was near tears. Glad he was fine and pissed that he NEVER sleeps through the night for us. And I felt bad that I blew my shot at a night of sleep by panicking and being hungover (the amount of wine I drank should not have left me with a hangover but two years of pregnancy and nursing will do that to you). So, I went back to bed, but my boobs still ached. I made Mr. Long-Suffering take me to McDonald's for my first-ever inaugural hangover McMuffin and then we went to the kids. They were fine.

Mr. Long-Suffering then embarked on a plan to figure out what happened at grandma and grandpa's (Pack-n-play, formula, universally warm bedroom temperature) and how can we repeat it here. I publicly called his efforts futile, but alas, the next night, another 6 ounce formula bottle and a warmer bedroom and Bobo slept through again. Huzzah. However, Chuckles woke up barking like a seal. Or a sea lion. I can never keep those straight. Six of one, half-dozen the other. Bark bark bark. He was so scared, couldn't breathe, started crying, hysterical would be a good word to use. I googled "croup". The internet told me to contact the doctor even if it was the middle of the night. So, I called. Manage symptoms, etc. So, Chuckles slept on the bathroom floor with the shower running steamy off-and-on all night. I got virtually no sleep taking care of that. So, another night with no sleep. And my panic. THe next night, Chuckles wanted to sleep in the bathroom again. Apparently, it was like a camping adventure. For him. Notsomuch for me.

They're all mostly better now. I guess. Until the other shoe drops. Perhaps the other show will be a peek-toe pump.