Friday, July 31, 2009

Meet Up Tomorrow, and I Love Yous

For those who are coming to the meet up, it's supposed to be partly cloudy and highs in the 80s tomorrow! I don't have a back-up plan, so I hope it doesn't rain.

We'll be there around 10 (if I can get the kids ready and out the door in time). I can't wait to see everyone!

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Here's a cute story for a Friday afternoon.

The Pumpkin is pretty good about professing her love for us (when she's in the mood). And after my heart melts when she says, "I love you, Mommy," I often respond, "I love you, too." (The "often" was for the "too" because I always tell her I love her when she tells me that--and I tell her many other times.)

Well, lately, she has been saying right after me, "I love you, too." So then I'll say, "I love you, three." And then she says, "I love you, four." And we'll continue up a few numbers until we're both laughing.

Oh, I just think she's the sweetest, most incredible girl in the world!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh, Poopy!

Sometimes, it feels like all I do is nurse the infant and change diapers. The nursing is something that I worked hard to be able to do to with both the Pumpkin* and now with the Pookie. Even through the early days and weeks of sore nipples and constant wakings, through the fussy 5 week nothing-but-nursing-and-being-with-mommy-will-do phase, and now through the 6 week growth spurt and crying on and off the boob for no reason, breastfeeding the infant is so worth it and rewarding to me.

But all the dirty diapers? That's just something you have to deal with as a parent and/or child caretaker. Both of my kids are in diapers (the Pumpkin in Pull Ups), and they generate a good amount of waste. Unfortunately, the waste doesn't always make it into the diaper. For instance, there was a couple times when the Pumpkin pooped in the tub.

And now we can add another time... last night. That was fun. Luckily, the Pookie had fallen asleep, and I was able to put him in the swing while I helped Londo clean up the tub and the Pumpkin.

Early the next morning, just after Londo left for work, the Pookie had a big poop. I heard the big poopy noise as he lay beside me, nursing himself back to sleep (he'd been grunting and squirming in the way I know means he was about to fart or poop). Well, I knew that noise, and I knew I had to jump out of bed and change him quick before his diaper leaked and poop got all over my bed. So, I quickly got him to the changing table and waiting to see if he had more. Once I opened his diaper, he pooped more. I started wiping him, and he pooped again. All over my hand. Really gross. I was able to get a wipe to clean up my hand without getting the poop everywhere. And then he pooped again, with an explosive shot that would have gone across the room if I hadn't already had my hand right there and was able to use the diaper to stop it.

Ah, good times. But, you know, he's an infant. What can you do. The bright side is that that was the only time he'd pooped all night. Which means that he's going less often and in bigger amounts at once. He's consolidating his poop, like he's starting to consolidate his sleeping in to naps (just starting to lately, but not there yet).

As for the Pumpkin, she is in Pull Ups and does use the potty. In fact, we've been putting her on the potty since she was 10 months old. We've not really done potty "training" with her, but we thought it was a good idea to put her on the potty occasionally to get her used to the idea of using the potty. We found that something about sitting on the potty seemed to make it easier for her to poop, and she poops pretty regularly on the potty. She pees too. But with a no pressure attitude from us, and she still goes in her Pull Ups.

You see, I read an article about elimination communication when she was around 10 months. And while I was not ready to really put in the effort to get her diaper-less so young, I really took away from the article the idea to get her used to using the potty. We (as a society) put our kids in diapers for the first 2-3 years of their lives, basically training them to use the diaper when they have to pee or poop. Then, we suddenly say that we want them to do the opposite. Sit on this brand new thing and go in there, not in your diapers. Do a 180, and try not to make any mistakes.

Instead, Londo and I decided to sit the Pumpkin on the potty at least before baths every night starting at 10 months old. Any time we saw the cues for her needing to poop, we would get her to the potty so she could go (or finish going) in the potty. When we stopped doing baths every night (we do every 2-3 nights, or more often as needed), we made the bedtime routine: sit on potty, wash hands, brush teeth. Around when the Pumpkin turned 2, we made her "morning routine" the same thing. We've now started offering the potty more often. After hanging out with her potty-training cousins last weekend she even told Londo she needed the potty and she peed and pooped on it!

We are going to go full force into potty training this month, I hope. She starts pre-school on August 31st, and they said they will work on potty training if we are doing it at home (but won't do it for us on their own, like I know some places will). I had considered starting potty training sooner, but we were concerned about all the recent changes in her life--especially the baby brother! Also, Londo and the nanny didn't seem ready. But I really want her to go into school with "working on potty training" in her papers. So the nanny is offering the potty more (I hope), and we are as well. Still no pressure from us, but I hope that the kids going at school will help her want to do it to.

Won't it be nice to have only one kid's diaper to change, even if he poops on me while I'm doing it?

*Check out this website! Write up your story and submit it! Let's support each other in our endeavors to breastfeed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Wanted to Smack the Nurse

Yesterday was the Pumpkin's appointment with the allergist (because of her reaction to peanut butter). We don't know anything for sure at this point, but we are treating her as if she has a peanut allergy. It turns out that Londo's perception of the Pumpkin's reaction to peanut butter was different from my perception. He did not see the red blotches I noticed, and he thought it faded more quickly than I did. In order to get a more accurate diagnosis of her allergens, the allergist wants her to get blood work done to test for peanuts and other tree nuts. I will bring her to the lab (separate office) for the blood test tomorrow or the next day, and we'll get the results a week or so after.

So that's the big news.

(This was also the first time I have gone somewhere without the Pookie. I had pumped 3 ounces of milk a few days ago, and I left the Pookie with the nanny and the pumped milk. They did great. He turned 6 weeks on Sunday. I can't believe people go back to work at this point. I really feel for them. I had trouble being away the 2.5 hours we were gone. Luckily, I have over another month before I go back. But I do hope to get more little breaks as I continue pumping in the next few weeks.)

The appointment itself was very frustrating. And now I'm going to vent.

Being so lively and full of energy, the Pumpkin does not sit still in waiting rooms. We, her parents, know this full well. We also knew that we'd be in a general allergist's office, not one geared toward children. So we let her run around outside the office in the building's hallways, where no one was and she could go up and down stairs to her heart's content. This was all expected, so this was not too frustrating for us. The waiting for over 30 minutes was frustrating, especially considering the appointment was at 9:30 in the morning when I had assumed they wouldn't be too backed up being so early.

Eventually, the nurse called us back to a room. She said our room wasn't ready, but she was bringing us back to another room until our room was ready. So she called us back because... We were uncomfortable in the waiting room? She was happily running around outside the waiting room. We were going to be seen shortly? We waited in the two different rooms for at least another 30 minutes. But whatever.

The nurse took us back to the room. The Pumpkin came back fine and was looking around, taking it all in. She was doing fine. And then, the nurse said, out of nowhere, "Nothing we are doing in this room will hurt."

WHAT? What the heck did she say that for? My daughter has no problems with doctors. She has no problems with new places. She does not anticipate needles or un-comfort with doctors at this point.

Londo and I tried to cover it up by talking quickly about other things and distracting her. However, this nurse said it again! I'm guessing she was trying to be reassuring, but she. was. not.

The Pumpkin started becoming apprehensive. She started getting this nervous look on her face. It didn't take long for her to start crying and needing to be held. Sure enough, the Pumpkin said, "It's gonna hurt!" She said it a few times.

While she was getting pretty upset, we moved on to answer the nurses questions. She kept trying to ask the Pumpkin and engage her, like about how old she is and what our dog's name is. It wasn't helping. We got the nurses questions answered and at the end of that portion, the Pumpkin again said it was going to hurt. And the nurse said (I kid you not), "I wonder why she thinks that!" I. Was. Livid. (On the inside.)

So we waited in this first room for a little while until the same nurse took us to our room, which was now ready. She weighed her and measured her height. The Pumpkin was upset during this, but we got it done. Then the nurse left the room, but left the door open. Let's see, we have a very upset toddler who thinks she's going to get hurt in a room she was just moved to... and the nurse leaves the door open. Um, hello?

Our pediatrician referred us to this place, so I thought they would have an inkling of how to work with kids. The doctor wasn't bad, once he finally saw us. He apologized for the wait, saying that it wasn't usual to have a wait like that, especially on a Monday morning. We had the Pumpkin mostly calm by the time he came in, thanks mostly to a pen and paper and the Pumpkin's love of drawing. She was still apprehensive with him and a bit fussy, but mostly she was sick of being cooped up in a room. We were able to answer the doctor's questions and hear what he had to say while bouncing her in our laps or holding her in our arms... but just barely.

They didn't do the scratch or prick test on her, which was good because she never would have sat still for that. We brought our portable DVD player and some DVDs for her in case she did have to have that (Stacy, thanks for that suggestion). Even though we didn't do the test, we put on a show for her while the nurse showed us how to use the EpiPen and we watched a video about living with allergies. It mostly held her attention until we got all the paperwork and information we needed and packed up. Oh, and the nurse did come in and out of the room with paper and other things, and she kept leaving the door open. Drove. Me. Crazy.

I think it would have gone much better if that stupid nurse had any idea of how to deal with a toddler. I seriously could not believe what she said and how she tried to interact with the Pumpkin. This woman was clueless. I'm guessing she either never had kids or had them a long time ago and forgot how to deal with them.

Not only was Londo totally pissed off at that nurse, but he was not that thrilled with the doctor. As I understand it, he was frustrated that the doctor seemed to have his mind made up that she had the peanut allergy without really seeming to investigate whether or not she had it. But as Londo and I discussed after the fact, it was probably because most people who come in already have seen a reaction, so he can start from that point. The reaction I described fit in with an allergic reaction, so he jumped right to that. However, when I realized that Londo and I had different perceptions of what happened, I made sure Londo also described his perception to the doctor. At that point, the doctor did say that instead of just being okay with having the blood test done, he really wanted it to be done to see what it would tell us.

So now I have to go get the Pumpkin's blood taken at some lab. That should be fun. And I'll have to do it by myself because Londo can't take more time off work right now. I will have to leave the Pookie again, which I can't do until I pump more milk. Hopefully I'll be able to pump soon and take her in the next day or two. We really want to know what it will tell us. Even if we get a false positive, it will be something more to go on besides one reaction that we parents perceive differently.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Question of the Week - I've Never...

My daughter has beautiful hair. It's this wild curly hair in the same shade of brown as mine. In fact, I had just about the same curly brown hair when I was her age. My mom always kept my hair relatively short, about shoulder length. I know it was because it was easier for her to deal with it, but I always wanted really long hair. When I became a teen and was completely in charge of my own hair, I was allowed to grow it long. It's been long ever since.

For a few years now, I have been contemplating getting enough cut off to donate it to Locks of Love. Now that the Pumpkin isn't using it as an aid to fall asleep or for comfort and it's pretty full and vibrate from the pregnancy hormones, I feel that I'm ready to get the 10 or more inches cut off to donate. Going back to work after having my second child is a good time for a drastic change in appearance, right? Maybe it's all the What Not To Wear I've been watching while on maternity leave...

But this would be nothing new to me. Having a hair cut, returning to close to shoulder length hair. Been there, done that. I can grow it again.

But the Pumpkin... She has never had her hair cut.

Seriously, never. I just couldn't bare the thought of having her sweet, precious hair cut at all when she was younger. She was just so young and her hair so short. I'm sure it's part of my baggage because I'd always wanted long hair and my mom wouldn't let me grow it out.

Now the Pumpkin's hair is getting pretty long. It's so curly and wild and incredibly beautiful! She gets so many compliments are her lovely locks. It's completely uneven, but you can't tell because of the curls. It's long enough for ponytails and pig tails and barrettes, but not quite long enough to braid.

I would get it cut now. It probably should be evened out some. But I just haven't. Or maybe it's that I can't bring myself to do it. Londo used to ask when we were going to get it cut because he wanted a lock of it to keep. He stopped asking a long time ago, and now I've even heard him tell others with a chuckle that she's never had her hair cut. It's become an interesting fact about her.

Which is why this week's Question of the Week is:

What has your child never done/had done or what have you never done/had done?

As for me, I never learned to ride a bike. There was one time when I was about 13 or 14 when I got on a friend's bike and rode it around the cul de sac just to see if I could do it. I did it. But when I tried a couple years later, I was not stressful. So I really just don't know how to ride a bike. I think I could if I tried, but I have no need or interest at this point.

In case you wanted to know, there is a reason I never learned. The reason is called I'm-more-stubborn-than-my-dad. You see, I had a cute little Strawberry Shortcake bike with training wheels and I took a pretty bad spill on it. My dad said it was because I had the training wheels on and that I needed to learn how to ride without them. I said I wasn't ready (keep in mind this was right after my big fall and scraped knee). We argued. He said the next time I got on that bike it wouldn't have training wheels. So... I never got back on. In retrospect, I see how he was right about needing to learn to balance and not depend on the training wheels. However, he did not approach the issue and solution in a way I could listen to and agree with. It was a lose/lose. But he did an excellent job of teaching me how to drive years later, and that's way cooler.

How about your kids or yourself? What has your child never done that most kids do? What have you missed out on that makes everyone turn and say "You haven't?" Don't be embarrassed--it's just an interesting fact!