Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He Took The Bottle

and I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my chest!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Secret to My Success: Denial

I go back in 10 days and Bobo doesn't take a bottle, so if you want to see stressed, see me when I think about that (often at 3 am). Bobo is going to "Baby Bottle Boot Camp" at the day care on Wednesday. I have scheduled a massage during that time so that I DO NOT THINK ABOUT IT.

My biggest fear is that Bobo will be like Chuckles. I have to keep reminding myself that they are different kids and not compare them blah blah blah, but ugh. Chuckles did a little thing called "reverse cycling" where he slept a lot during the day while I was at work and didn't eat much and then was up all night to eat when he had access to the All-You-Can-Eat smorgasbord that is me. It was wrenching and exhausting and I swear to you, I will wean if Bobo does this just to spite him. Or something. It was greuling. I'm still tired from that. That is the reason my kids at 3-1/2 years apart and not 2 years apart as I had originally planned. In fact, I was thisclose to leaving Chuckles an only child.

Two more things: A big "Eff You" to the good folks who write our tax code. Thanks for nothing. We owe $4 and that is with withholding of Married-Zero for Mr. Long-Suffering and Me. We have 4 dependents so that seems odd to me. At least we didn't owe AMT. Good thing we had Bobo last year or we would have owed thousands.

I was doing some Spring cleaning in the flower beds and took a sharp stick to the eye. It hurts. I abraded my schlera and well, I have excruciating eye pain. Which is always a good time. The hardest part was when I pulled the stick out of my eye where it was stuck and dangling. Actually, the best part was when I told CHuckles to go get Daddy and he did. Very proud of my big big boy.

Oh, one more thing, we went to Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop, which is one of Barack Obama's favorite restaurants in Chicagoland. Food gets a 9. But the restaurant was so uncomfortably warm we had to leave. I mean like 85 or 90 degrees. Chuckles took his sweatshirt off, I was sweating, Bobo turned beet red and fussed but didn't want me to hold him because I was warm. He was hungry so I fed him but I couldn't use my "Hooter Hider" because of the aforementioned heat. Bobo would have burst into flames. At least I was in Illinois where they have Right to Breastfeed in Public Laws. Anyway, good food, bad ambiance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I try not to be all judgey and everything, but here I'm going to judge....

If you are someone who, for a living, shoots things into little tiny babies, you had better make sure you know what you're doing. Damn sure.

Yesterday was Bobo's 4- month ped appointment. He was administered 3 shots, which covered 8 diseases. Except! One of the shots was wrong! Wrong! Wrong! As in, he was given a vaccine not approved for use in the US in children under 12 months, and approved in Italy for 5 months and up. So, no country in the world approves the use of this vaccine on a 4-month old. And my Bobo got it. Bobo, who has had nothing in his body except breastmilk and vitamins (plus a few correct shots). The very same Bobo who did not receive the Hep B vaccine in the hospital because they would not let me be present for it (to make sure it was done correctly).

I feel so guilty because I was there and I asked about a million questions to make sure they were all right. And then I was given a print out of the shot record and I was reviewing it and saw that he received the Hep A vaccine instead of the Hep B. THe doctor called today and apologized. Argh! Now what do I do? I love our pediatrician but I have been completely underwhelmed by his office staff (it's not actually his staff as it's a big corporate clinic place so I don't think he gets to pick people). Do I change pediatricians? Do I just step up my diligence (which is already set to Freak Out Code Red Alert)? Do I sue? What do I do? Tell me, dear internets...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Global Economic Collapse

First off, Bobo was 17 lbs 14 ounces. The ped thinks he's probably a few ounces shy of 18 lbs because of his bout of influenza. It put his growth on hold for a day or two. No big deal. Kid is still huge. 26". Which is odd since he was 26-1/2" two weeks ago, but measuring is hard. And I'll go with it since our baby bucket car seat only goes to 26". And I want him in the bucket.

On to the economy.... The following could be full of unpopular opinions, so I'll start by reminding everyone that I am a libertarian and pretty much think everyone should take care of themselves. That out of the way, here I go spewing my manifesto or something.

AIG Bonuses - These were contractually mandated by the pay structure. If the government didn't want them paid out, they should have put stipulations on the money before they gave it to AIG (or better still, not given AIG one red cent and let the company go bankrupt which would void all contracts and everything could be re-negotiated. This reminds me of a mom who gave her daughter a check to spend on her wedding. It was not enough to cover even half of it and she gave it to her daughter freely and without condition. And THEN, later, started telling her daughter what kind of wedding she had to have since the daughter was spending the mother's money. Ugh! Pay the bills directly, or put conditions on the money upfront. Barney Frank, (D-MA-4th Dist) I am looking at you Mr. Master Grandstander.

On Auto Execs taking private planes to DC to ask for money - OK, I understand that it looks bad. Taking a pay cut for yourself and promising to brown bag it to work every day would probably make some people feel better. But, let's talk about private jets. Let's say these guys make $1,000,000/year. Assume a 75-hour work week. They make $256 per hour. Standing in line at the Northwest Airlines counter, going through security, etc, takes time. And time is money. Plus, they had more than one guy flying to DC for this, so it might just be a little bit economical if the CEO and 2 VPs need to go to DC. Also, many of their employment contracts stipulate private plane travel (of course, they could waive that). And they don't make their own travel arrangements. Their secretaries contact the Corporate Travel Department who handles it. Their time is money and they don't spend their money on the Southwest Airlines website trying to figure out whether flying into BWI and renting a car to DC is the most cost-effective travel route.
Full Disclosure: Many years ago, when I was but a fresh-faced lass right out of college, I lobbied in DC. And I took a private jet. I'd leave for work at 7:30, fly to DC in my smart pants suit, face a full day of lobbying, lobbying, lobbying, fly home, and be back in time to have dinner for my husband on the table by 5 pm. A chauffer-driven car would be waiting for me at the private plane terminal. It would whisk me away to the lawyer or the Deparment of Commerce or wherever. Then I would head to "The Club" for lunch and back to wherever for an afternoon of stiflingly hot conference rooms. Once I saw Al Gore in the private jet terminal (he was in his fat, beard phase after his 2000 loss). I'd like to state that this was THE BEST JOB EVER. It was super hard and sometimes felt like beaurocratic drudgery but the perks were awesome. And the bathrooms were so clean. And they had hand lotion and mouth wash and free tampons because who wants to carry a tampon in her briefcase only to have it tumble out in front of the US Trade Representative. My point is that I was not making $200/hour and even I got to fly in a private jet.

On helping people who got behind on their mortgages: I'm sympathetic to their plight, but I feel as if they've gotten themselves into the situation and need to just "man up" and get out of it. Now, certainly, some people have circumstances, but other people borrowed more than they reasonably could afford. They lied (or had mortgage brokers lie on their behalf), they borrowed too much, they took risks (option ARM with interest only for first 5 years?), they assumed property values would climb forever (what goes up must come down). I feel like they should have to bear the brunt of the risks they took. The reason it could have paid off big is because the downside is bad. If there is no downside to things, how will people learn not to take risks? I am risk averse by nature. We have a small mortgage. We save money. We live on one income. We live on less than one income. We work for companies that provide benefits. I will never be rich because I don't take risks, but I'm not losing my house due to unpaid medical bills, etc. I do not want to pay for the mistakes of others. I just don't. If they fail and flail, then let that be a lesson to them.

On nationalized health care: I'm against it. I'm actually sort of against today's traditional insurance. I'd prefer high-deductible catstrophic plans that would force people to shop around for the best price on primary and preventive health care.

On government education: I'm against it, but I moved to a good school district (even before I was married and before I had kids because I figured people who pay a premium to live in a good school district are people I would like to have as neighbors and homes in good school districts are easier to sell). If I could get my school district tax dollars back and use them to pick a school for my kids I would, but we will muddle through in our school district with strict parental oversight.

And that's my Libertarian Manifesto. Oh, and my secret for financial success: invest countercyclicly (hmmm, is that spelled correctly?).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

So, it's the 17th of March. And in honor of the beautiful weather we had today, I took the kids to a new National Park near my house. They put in a park at the National Lakeshore, so you could say I took the kids to the beach. In March. And all our noses and cheeks are a little pink now (was quite breezy so not sure whether sun or wind but must put sunscreen back in the diaper bag).

Am going back to work in 2 weeks. Having a major freak-out as Bobo does not take a bottle. In fact, he thinks a bottle is an affront to his dignity or possibly a modified form of waterboarding torture. Whatevs. Am sending him to day care for 4 hours next week for Baby Bottle Boot Camp. They tell me to bring in some milk and one of every kind of bottle I have and at the end of the 4 hours, they will tell me which kind of bottle to send on his first day. Ok, then. And I have a massage scheduled for me during his Boot Camp so that I will NOT be thinking of my poor baby being subjected to an artificial nipple against his will. (Do you think they know that I have, like, 10 kinds of bottles plus two soft-spout sippy cups I have tried?)

Bobo is 4-months old. His ped visit is tomorrow. I am guessing 27", 18 lbs, and 4 shots. We'll see.

I have a bunch of stuff to say about global economic collapse (and an anecdote about when I used to be important and have interesting non-child things to say), but it's after 9 pm and the house is eerily quiet. I best get to bed because the long nights usually start like this.

St. Patrick

St. Patrick

Thursday, March 05, 2009

As Good As The News Could Be


Bobo's temperature at 10 am yesterday after 13 hours with no Tylenol. He was chatty and smiley and had slept through the night (I was up checking his breathing repeatedly, but he slept fine). The pediatrician was very relieved (he confessed that after we left, he kept second-guessing himself and thought we should be in the hospital).

Last night, however, Bobo was up 4 times. Which was fine. No complaints. I'm sure I slept better in my own bed than I ever would on a chair in the hospital. He has no fever, so I have no idea what was up with that. I gave a dose of Tylenol before bed just in case he was achey like I would be with the flu. Maybe it's the 4-month sleep regression. Which would be un-fun, but decidedly better than flu stuff.

And the really really super good news: Bobo's weight was unchanged from Tuesday to Wednesday. 17 lbs, 4 ounces both days. One of my giant fears in life is dehydration so I was super duper glad that we were in the clear on that one.

Speaking of dehydration, we contacted an attorney about the salmonella Chuckles contracted after eating the hummus at the Taste of Chicago (which resulted in severe life-threatening blood poisoning and dehydration). We filed suit. Resolution expected by 2013 or so. Our courts at their speedy best.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I Hate It When This Happens


Answer: Bobo's temperature at the pediatrician today. I called shortly after 7 this morning. Got a 12:15 appointment (they didn't start until noon). And things got progressively worse until we got there. Bobo was given the maximum tylenol dosage based on his 7.4 kg weight (95th percentile!). His nasal swab is positive for influenza. Mr. Long-Suffering, Chuckles, and I were all vaccinated, so who is the SOB who infected my tiny little baby? All sad and lethargic and weepy and sleepy. We are expected back in the pediatrician's office every day until he is better (unless of course they decide to hospitalize him...which was a decidedly real possibility today). If he does not show improvement, they are going to start prodding him, drawing blood, and doing X-rays (to check for secondary pneumonia). The long night of comfort and nursing is ahead of me. Wish me luck and coffee. Oh, and I am starting to feel a little hot myself.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
I hope my sons will be wise.

Juile (who I think is Julie with a's OK, have you seen my TEH?) writes: "...I've heard that some insurance companies charge you slightly higher rates if you drive a red car....of course that could be another line my mother fed me (along with cigarettes are the gateway drug to heroin, and convertables make you old before your time)...."

Jamington tells me that some friend of hers had a mom who told her daughter that she had asthma and was deathly allergic to cigarette smoke. So, if she smoked, she'd die and if she hung around smokers, she'd wind up in the emergency room. Okeed Dokee then. I do not think the friend wound up smoking. I should think not.

What lies did your parents tell you that you've since found out are not true?
  • My mother was not so much into the imparting of life lessons, but if she had been, I'd be laughing now at the thought that having sex once could get you pregnant! Ha ha ha ha ha. Well, actually, I suppose I technically got pregnant from having sex once (but you know after weeks of drugs, tests, monitoring, etc).
  • Flipping the lights on and off really fast does not, apparently, cause the house to catch fire. I recently heard myself chastise Chuckles with that and my husband just looked at me like I was nuts. "What? That doesn't cause a fire?"
  • You are allowed to eat more than one banana a day. I have no idea why my mother told me there was a limit. I'm guessing they were expensive.
Chuckles collected his Disney Pixar Cars 1:55 die-cast Red the Fire Engine. He had dry morning diapers for another 7 days. He has now slept in underpants 2 nights in a row...still dry. Very proud. But now I need your advice. Are you supposed to wear underpants to bed if you are wearing pajamas? I only wear undies with my jammies when I need some hygiene products. The rest of the time I am commando. Something to do with letting the air get at you to prevent yeast infections (maybe this is one of those lies I was fed as a child?). So, what do you do, what do you do with your kids?

I walked in and said, "With my trade-in, I need to walk out the door paying X, however you need to get to it." The first dealer said he could do no better than X plus $747. I said I could not do that, and I walked out. Mr. Long-Suffering was heart-broken and I pretty much had to drag him out of there. He really wanted that car. I was stoic. I don't need a new car. I said, "Let's just go to some other dealer, tell them we will buy it right now today if they sell it for X.". He thought I was batty (but he often thinks that, so it's not like it's news). They came back with X plus $1500. I said, "That's a shame, because I would've bought it and would like to have it." They said, write the number here and initial it and I will take it to my boss. I did, and they took it. I bought the car. I got Cyber Grey. I pick it up tomorrow. I think I got an awesome price.

I bought the car from a dealer in an "Enterprise Zone" which is a nice way of saying economically blighted. There are certain considerations granted to businesses in the enterprise zone so their ongoing costs are lower (lower taxes and even some subsidies to retain/attract businesses). Perhaps this is why they were able to meet my price and the good neighborhood dealer just a mile from my house couldn't (I go to Story Time at the library with the dealer who did not sell me my car).