Monday, November 30, 2009

Oddly Specific

Thanksgiving was good. Again and again. I have now had that meal 5 times and it's still good. Note to self: Next year, invite more people. The answer is not: Make less food.

We've started talking about Christmas lately. The grandmas want to know what Chuckles and Bobo want for Christmas. Bobo is a baby. He has no idea what he wants. Chuckles, however, wants whatever is currently in Bobo's hands even if he just played with it 2 seconds ago and set it down or never really liked it anyway or it's a fricken baby rattle or teething toy. He wants it now. So, I told my mom that, and she laughed. She laughed. Thanks, ma.

Mr. Long-Suffering keeps lecturing Chuckles about how crashing his toy cars is chipping the paint and ruining them (at this point, I must note that Mr. Long-Suffering still has his Hot Wheels and they are near-mint, unpackaged). So, Chuckles told my MIL that he wants Lightning McQueen, King, Chick Hicks, etc. The only thing is he has all of those already. So, he told grandma he wants new versions so the paint won't be chipped?!?! Wrong lesson, Dad. I think Dad was trying to teach being gentle with your toys, and all Chuckles heard was that his toys were now flawed and he should get new (or he's planning on continuing to play with his old toys and show dad the news ones?).

After observing Bobo for a few days, I have decided he wants a pillow. I actually put a pillow in his crib when he turned one in the futile attempt to make him, for-the-love-of-everything-most-especially-me, sleep. So, we tried some pillows and the one he seems to like the best is mine. It is flat - very flat and thin (like my hair!) - with a cotton case. And it's not because that one smelled like me because all the pillows smell like me. So, the boy needs a pillow so I can get mine back. Or I need a pillow. He also needs a blankie. Mimi got him a blankie for his birthday and he seems to like it enough (although somehow he got himself tangled up in it last night and started screaming because he sat up, was completely covered over the head, had no idea where he was or how to get out), but it's winter weight. I can see the blankie becoming impossible next summer.

And lastly, I have a Croft+Barrow, sea foam green, 98% nylon, 2% spandex, V-neck sweater that was a Christmas gift from my SIL in 2003. It's really soft, very comfy, and machine washable. I wear it frequently. Chuckles covets the sweater. It's so soft he always wants me to wear the sweater so he can sit in my lap and be hugged by its softness. He has decided he wants that sweater, in red. So, now I'm off searching the interwebs for a fricken sweater. I would even buy the sweater in a ladies S and shrink it. How does one search for such a thing? I have googled the sweater, the manufacturer, I looked at Kohl's, I typed in "soft sweater red", but searching for clothes on the internet is like finding a needle in a haystack (and I tried ebay too).

'Tis the season of oddly specific Christmas requests.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Threw the Lunch

Yesterday morning as I was putting Chuckles into time-out for sass-mouth, the phone rang (at 6:57 am!). It was Mr. Long-Suffering. He left his lunch sitting on the wall in front of our house. Could I put it in the fridge for him or bring it to him?

Uhhh, OK. Since it was his 35th birthday on Monday and I hadn't gotten him anything tangible, I decided to bring it to him. But I wasn't going to go all the way to his office because his office trailer is down an alley that is not paved, covered in scrap and debris, it was raining, and I have a new car. So, I offered to drop it on the corner near his work...just pitch it out the window for him to collect when he had a chance. Instead, we met at the fire station and I rolled the window down, tossed his lunch bag at him, and promptly started crying. Apparently, my interactions with a smart-mouthed kindergartener had taken more out of me than I thought.

Chuckles says the following things that make my blood boil and make me want to go old-school and take up the spanking.
  • Upon being asked nicely to do something routine: No.
  • Upon being told something unremarkable but true (like you have chocolate birthday cake frosting on your mouth because I am awesome, made a cake, and shared it with you): I don't care.
  • Upon being told something, anything, that he didn't know: I know that.
  • Upon getting hugs and kisses from me after getting a special flip in the air during family wrestling time: I hate you.

Fortunately, I just finished a big dig and tapped a new well of patience and when I got to my wit's end, I turned it around and started working toward the other end, but man, this is exhausting.

But last night, I made four pies. One of which I brought to work today. The first thing I ate this morning was pumpkin upside-down praline crunch thing. It's like health food. Full of Vitamin A.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Opposite of Turkey

So, Thanksgiving is Thursday. I am traditionally the person to host the day as we have a turkey fryer (and long tongs, fireproof gloves, and a fire extinguisher).

So, in honor of the fact that we'll be eating turkey for a week after (since we cook two turkeys, one fried, one roasted), this weekend I wanted to fix food that was the opposite of turkey. Saturday, I used up the last of a bottle of red wine and made tortellini with fruits de mer red sauce. Scallops, shrimp, chunks of lobster, calamari. On Sunday, I thought again, "What is the opposite of turkey?" And I came up with....drum roll....ham soup. I know it doesn't sound appetizing but it was so good. Mr. Long-Suffering and I each had three bowls. Chuckles was unimpressed but Bobo ate all my vegetables. So, what is ham soup?

One quart of frozen cherry tomatoes from my garden
5 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
Two stalks celery (with leaves)
half a vidalia onion
1 T cumin
1 can vegetable broth and half a can of water
some lemon juice
4 bay leaves
some fresh ground pepper
(I did not use garlic, but you should...i just forgot)
about a pound of smoked, sprial sliced ham leftover from last Christmas cut into pieces
a can of beans (like garbanzo or navy or kidney or fava or cannelini)
5-8 ounces frozen leaf spinach

Add everything (except ham and spinach) into a large pot and cook for a few hours on super-low. Then an hour before you're ready to serve, add the ham (stil frozen is fine). Once it thaws, you can remove it, chunk it up, and then return to the pot. 15 minutes before dinner time, crank heat up to meadium and add the frozen spinach. Stir. Keep heating for the 15 minutes. Then turn heat off and serve with crusty bread (and butter).

And the menu for Thanksgiving (for 19, several of whom are small people) is:
A veggie tray with dip
One 15-pound fresh turkey, injected with creole butter and slathered with Cajun spice, fried in peanut oil
One frozen 11.6-pound pre-brined, injected turkey, open pan roasted with celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in the cavity, drippings retained for...
Cresent rolls from the can
salad (from a bag)
mashed potatoes (with garlic, butter, and whole milk)
stuffing, two kinds. My MIL is making one from the organs, and I am making one with breakfast sausage. Neither of which will actually stuff the bird.
corn (because some kids said they wanted corn)
sweet potatoes, candied
sweet potatoes, plain boiled for the youngin'
green bean casserole with the French's onions, which were on Aisle 6 bottom shelf, by the green beans
Broccoli-Cream corn souffle with bacon on top...a total aside, but I saw they are making something called tur-bac-hen now and it's a chicken wrapped in bacon stuffed in a turkey. mmm, bacon.
Spinach-noodle ring with parmesan (but I am seving it in a casserole dish not a ring mold because I never get that to work and it tastes the same, regardless)
A cabbage and bread casserole that is an old family favorite. You make a roux and use cabbage water, and well, it doesn't sound good but it is. Oh yes, it is.
cranberry chutney
cranberry and fruit jello
Ocean Spray cranberry from the can turned out in a pretty dish with can marks still clearly visible
Two pumpkin pies with whipped cream (you have to make them's the law)
A sweet potato pie (if I am so inclined and find a recipe)
A pecan pie (first time!) with rum

Did I forget to invite 90 more people over to eat the food?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

366 and burying the lede

Today, I took Bobo for his one-year well-baby visit. We could, if so inclined, turn the car seat around (we are not so-inclined but it's nice to have options). We can start on whole milk. He needs a lead test. He got 4 shots at the ped's office (Hep A, Hep B, Prevnar, and MMR...he did not get the varicella vaccine since he already had chicken pox). Then, we headed off (with Chuckles) to the county health department to get H1N1 vaccines.

The visit with the ped was nice. We've seen him a lot lately. We have good rapport. The ped was pleasantly surprised to see that Bobo was only 3 ounces down from his all-time high weight. That's back up 8 ounces from his recent illness-related low. Bobo weighs 23 pounds, is 30" long, and has a 46-cm head circumference (that's 18.1 inches). He is quite average in the 50th to 75th percentile for most things. The important thing is he has been fairly consistent in his growth throughout his life.

Toward the end of the visit, we touched on Bobo's recent illness. The ped said he just presented the case to his colleagues at some meeting because it was so rare and unusual. No one in attendance at whatever meeting it was had seen anything like it in years. And he reiterated how happy he was that we had brought Bobo in that Monday night. Back, before Prevnar, there were about 3,000 deaths per year from pneumococcal illnesses in children. Nowadays, there are about 20/year. So, incidences of bacteremia and sepsis are way down. And Bobo got it.

So, the other day (after Bobo had antibiotic-related explosive poop all over me right after his 1-year photo shoot while I was sitting at the computer picking poses), I went and bought a lottery ticket. I already had a streak of really good luck that week, so I figured I'd see if it carried over into games of chance. Good luck, you ask? Well, yes. We caught it early and Bobo recovered without issue. Good luck. Good medicine.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Bobo is one.

I am sitting at my desk (not crying) thinking, "Gosh, isn't it about that time of day when I pump?" And yet, here I am (not crying) and not pumping.

Bittersweet. That about sums up motherhood. (not crying)

Perhaps, when I have recovered my composure, we can go all PC Load Letter from Office Space on the pump. I really do hate pumping.

Yours Truly,
SarcastiCarrie (who is blinking really quickly and (not crying))

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is What I Wanted, so Why Am I Sad?

I pumped for the last time (forever) yesterday. I hate the pump. Hated it. And yet, there I was pumping and sniffling. Why am I sad? Is it because my baby is growing up? Because, he still seems a lot like a baby to me. And he'll still get breastmilk exclusively for the next month or so (between nursing when I'm home and depleting my freezer stash). Is it because I secretly want a third baby? Because I don't think I really do (although if I happened to get pregnant, ha with the infertility, I would gladly accept another child).

Today is the first workday of not pumping (I left early and headed to the day care to relieve myself). I ended pumping on a Wednesday so I would only have two workdays of no pumping before the weekend (and it was just a really convenient time not to pump with my work schedule as it was this week). I guess I need to modulate my eating now. No more eating like a starved lumberjack truck driver. I won't be buring the extra 500-1,000 calories per day. Do I need to start exercising now? Can I still have thin mints (because I just ate 4 with a glass of milk)?

I sterilized all the pump parts and put them in a box and now what? I think I am just going to put it in the basement and let my lack of decision be a decision unto itself.

T minus 2 days until the first birthday party. Then, 2 more days until the birthday, and one day after that for the 1-year well-baby visit to the pediatrician, where I assume they will tell me to introduce whole milk in a cup (although truth be told, I gave him some in a sippy the other day...he was unimpressed).

By the way, I think I forget to tell you that Bobo did not actually have the Hamthrax. Once all the blood tests came back, the cultures showed a strep pneumo infection (and he had sepsis). That's basically pre-meningitis, but really really bad. Like the kind of thing if we hadn't treated it as aggressively as we did that could have k*lled him. I cannot bring myself to type it because it's so ludicrous and absurd. They vaccinate kids against strep pneumo these days so the odds were against it, but the Prevnar vaccine only protects against the 5 most common strains, and Bobo had one of the others (one of the antibiotic-resistant strains). Seeing just how sick he was and how scared our pediatrician (and the nursing staff) was, I am so glad for vaccines because lots of kids have been saved this infection when it is caused by the 5 most common strains. And heck, we've been saved from having one of those as well.

I don't want to go all pro-vaccine lobby on you here (not after I set people off over health care in that other post...although, it is nice to get comments), but I have had sick kids and I have had a kid sick with some vaccine preventable (chicken pox, anyone) illnesses. It's rough. Being the one to teach your kid to ask for the bucket before he throws up on the couch is hard work and I don't wish that on anyone.

I have no idea where I am going here. I am really glad both of my kids are OK (they've both had sepsis lucky is that? The answer: not very.). I'm really happy that rocephin exists (and I have no idea whether I spelled that correctly and I am way too lazy to look it up right now) because it's been the wonder drug that works wonders for us. I'm really glad that we're not used to babies and children dying the way we were in my grandparents' (and to a lesser extent, my parents') day.

Special Bonus Info
I want you to know that I am going to see Bon Jovi live in concert on Friday, July 30th. 2010 (how did that happen?). I am already trying to figure out which pair of my jeans I can tight roll and I'm saving up carbon credits to offset the Aquanet I will use to achieve my Mall Hair. I may have to take a photo for you.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I asked for this, didn't I?

So, I see a couple posts down here I asked Bobo to take up explosive pooping. He has done this. With gusto. Unfortunately, as a trade-off, he has not given up the night-waking and if anything, he has redoubled his efforts to end nighttime sleep as we know it.

It's not his fault. He had a secondary bacterial infection with his swine flu. He had strep pneumo serotype unknown which led to sepsis and bacteremia. It was a bad scene at our house from Monday through Thursday morning. Bad scene. With a capital Z. Bad. Cultures have been taken and re-taken. Blood has been drawn. Many different kinds of oral and injectible antibiotics have been administered (in addition to his Tamiflu). Poor kid looks pretty rough. But, he's on the mend, I guess. I hope. Now, we just wait and see if the rest of us get it. Cross fingers.

I have a friend coming to clean my house. Yes, I know, I am such a plutocrat I cannot clean my own freakin' house. I get it. We've been sick. And have jobs and kids and well, I have justified it enough to myself. So, anyway, I am using a friend for this because my regular, occasional cleaning lady doesn't do evenings and weekends and that's about the only time I have to let her in. So, I have a friend doing it. And that's kind of weird, because we live in squalor and I don't really want my friend to think we're dirty (but I am so beyond the point of pre-cleaning before someone comes to clean...I must straighten and put things away so she can find the dirty surfaces to clean...that is enough for me). But, I did feel it necessary to warn her that there is hair all over our house (cat and human) and not the nice, clean, inoocent, blonde straight kind of hair either...the dark, curly kind. But I swear, we're not a houseful of dirty nudists. My husband just has a lot of arm and leg hair that falls off. I swear. (I am reminded and horrified of a Simpsons episode where Marge wins a cleaning lady and finds it necessary to pre-clean in a major way before they get there and judge her.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Knock Knock

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Hog who?
Hog Flu.
Wait, no, that's not right.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Pig who?
Pig Flu.
Wait, no, that's not right.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Swine who?
Swine Flu.
Yep, that's right. Just about sums up 2009 for me.

So, it's Bobo. He narrowly avoided hospitalization more ounce of weight loss and into the hospital he would go for treating dehydration. He's napping now. We went in for observation this morning. He goes again this afternoon and again tomorrow. Wow. Yes. Whew. Uhhh, this is contagious, right? So, I could, uhhh, catch it? Ack. OK then. Moving along.

Chuckles is learning to spell. To encourage this, we did words that sound like pirates talk and focused on words with ARRRRGH sounds in them (art, car, mar, bar, mart, bart, cart, etc). Anyway, he figured out how to spell FART. And did you know that fart is the funniest word in the whole world. I mean, if I walked into the kindergarten class and said fart, boogers, poopie, toilet, I think we'd have to call the paramedics to bring oxygen to the kids (who to my knowledge would need that because of their uncontrollable laughter not because they have H1N1). I told his kindergarten teacher about how he spells that word and she was impressed. I described the word as "Starts with F ends with TOOT." She has since seen Chuckles in action with the word and the other kids think he is so cool and smart. So, yes. Next I might teach him to spell snot. He has a reputation to maintain.