Monday, December 29, 2008

Bears and trains and laptops, oh my!

I hope everyone had a merry holiday celebration (or at least enjoyed some time off work). We had a good Christmas. Little Bit was so excited to see his presents under the tree Christmas morning. Unlike last year, he wasn't afraid of the large stuffed animal in the living room. He ran towards Winnie the Pooh, saying, "My bear! My bear!" and gave it a big hug. It's almost bigger than he is and very soft. When Little Bit has outgrown it, it's mine! It will make a great pillow for watching tv.

After opening some presents, we told Little Bit that he should check the front room for anything Santa might have left him. On Christmas Eve, DH and I had stayed up after Little Bit was in bed and put together his new train set. It briefly looked like this.

Within, oh, 10 minutes or less, Little Bit had begun picking up sections of track and throwing them onto the floor. DH and I expected that. We didn't expect that Little Bit would want to immediately start building up the tracks again. He wanted to do it himself, putting the pieces together like a big puzzle. Sometimes he'd ask us for help. He's only two and a half, but he already saw the fun in re-arranging the tracks. The tracks got put together and taken apart several times over the long weekend.

Little Bit also likes his baby doll from Santa. He's not too clear on all the intricacies of baby care ("No, son, don't beat the baby against the side of the couch. That's not nice"), but he did lay the baby down for several naps and told us, "Shhhhhh...baby sleeping."

DH and I got new laptops for Christmas. We actually bought them before Christmas when they were on sale, but got each other some accessories to unwrap on Christmas. I love the advance of technology. My new laptop cost about 1/4 the cost of my six year old laptop, and of course it has way more memory, speed, etc than the old one. Plus, it weighs almost half what the old one weighs. I love it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More potty talk

Poor Little Bit is still suffering from that awful diaper rash. His rash seemed to be getting better over the weekend. Then, he went to daycare on Monday. I left the cream, asked them to apply it after every diaper change. On Monday night, his rash was worse again. We were back to his begging us not to change his diaper.

On Tuesday, I told his daycare teacher that the rash had gotten worse and to please be sure to apply the cream after every diaper change. When we picked him up Tuesday night and picked up the prescription cream to take home, we saw that they had gone through almost the entire tube. Let me spell it out -- according to my health insurance, this 50g tube of cream was supposed to last for 30 days. Daycare used most of the tube in one day. I don't even know how they could go through that much cream unless they were using it on every kid in class, too!

We tried to get a refill of the cream last night, but the pharmacist told us the insurance company would not pay for it. So, how much is the tube without insurance? $250! Two-hundred-fifty dollars!! That daycare blew through. $@#@#$@!!!

So, DH and I went home, trying to figure out how to handle this. Little Bit is in crying pain, begging us not to change his diaper with this diaper rash/infection, and we're almost out of cream. We looked at the ingredients on the prescription cream -- (0.25% miconazole nitrate, 15% zinc oxide and 81.35% white petrolatum). So, it's Monistat and diaper rash cream (the zinc oxide). For $20 we can mix up our own cream using OTC vaginal yeast infection cream and diaper rash cream.

Several people are going to hear about this -- first my HR person who can say something to our health insurance folks (maybe they need to see a video of our boy screaming and begging us to not touch his bright red bottom). Sure, daycare used way more than they should have, but the health insurance is crazy if they think that tube is enough to last 30 days. Then, our daycare folks will be in for it for wasting a 250-fuckin'-dollar tube of cream in one day. And then, our doctor for prescribing $250 cream without mentioning to us that we could just make our own over the counter for $15-20! Arrghhhhh!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chri-mas Lights Inside!

Holidays this year are especially fun since Little Bit is old enough to understand something about Christmas. Over the weekend, Santa Claus came through our neighborhood riding a fire truck with the horns and lights and sirens blazing. Little Bit was slightly disconcerted by the noise, but he was excited to see Santa Claus.

Last night we finally put up a Christmas tree (yes, we are lame). We usually get a real tree, but with all of us alternating being sick and with DH's work schedule, the last few weeks have just disappeared. After we put up our new fake tree (pre-lit, too! how convenient!), Little Bit toddled over to the entertainment speakers where a few presents were gathered, picked them up, and put them under the tree. He just knew that was where they went. Too cute.

Then, he asked, hopefully, "Open now? Open now?" We laughed and explained again that he could open the presents on Christmas Day. He seemed to accept that he would have to wait a few more days.

We left the lights on the tree lit for the evening. Every now and then, Little Bit would point to the tree and exclaim, "Chri-mas lights on! Chri-mas lights inside!" Because up till then, he'd just seen the lights outside in neighbors' yards.

I'm so looking forward to Christmas morning - to seeing his face when he sees his new toys. He just loves trains so much. I know the train set and train table are going to be a big hit. He will play "train" with his toy cars, saying, "Choo-choo!! All a-boar-d!"

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This morning, when I was sitting next to him on the couch, Little Bit put his arms around me and said, "I love my Mommy!"

*cue melting heart*

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Might Need to Start Bare-Butt Time

Poor Little Bit has the worst diaper rash of his life. It's gotten worse and worse the last few days since he also has an intestinal bug. He tries to bargain his way out of diaper changes, mostly just telling me to put the diapers, wipes, and cream over there and to leave it alone and nooooooo! He cries and cries because it hurts so much to wipe his bottom and to apply the cream.

I'm home with him today. He woke from his afternoon nap earlier saying, "My bottom hurt! My bottom hurt!" He began crying and screaming. We went to change his diaper. No poo this time, so his urine must have really, really burned. I talked to the pediatrician on the phone earlier, and she advised to use the prescription cream we have for yeast infection rashes. I applied that liberally. Within a few minutes, Little Bit finally stopped crying.

He said, happily, "I feel better! I feel better!"

Oh, thank goodness. It kills me when he's in so much pain and I can't help him. My nerves feel scraped raw.

In happier news, I won something way cool over on We Covet - the Ultimate Planetarium from the Discovery Store.

This computer-aided, motorized indoor planetarium allows kids and adults to view the night sky as it would appear anywhere in the world. Projecting 88 constellations, 12 celestial objects and more, it transforms an ordinary room into a stellar display. The planetarium also contains a searchable database with over 600 star facts and interactive talking computer with backlit navigational screen.

How awesome is that? Since I majored in astrophysics/astronomy for my undergraduate degree and worked in astronomical research for several years, this is the perfect geeky gadget to entertain the family.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

We already have the big Christmas gifts for Little Bit -- a new KidKraft wooden train set (he adores trains) and a used KidKraft train table (gotta love ebay for saving me $100). I also got him a Playdoh set (Playdoh is another favorite in our house), the cutest Max and Ruby beanie babies, and a few Max and Ruby books. I was idly surfing on Amazon for stocking stuffer ideas. I clicked on the "Under $10" link, then the link for "Boys".

What immediately struck me was how the boys' toys were all violent toys - soldier figurines from Halo or Transformer battle robots or Nerf "blaster" guns or "Battle Brawler Deluxe Monsters". Besides the fact that all these toys were for older kids, was this seriously the only thing Amazon's listmakers could come up with?

(As an aside, there is a link for "Preschool" that has a mix of things like puzzles, trucks, Mr. Potato Head, and dolls, etc., but I'm sad that the older boys' toys are all violent.)

One of the things I love about our little guy is his warm, affectionate nature. He snuggles up against me or his dad while watching tv. He just wants to be touching one of us. He will just run over to give us hugs, saying, "My mommy!" or "My daddy!" I don't want him to lose that as he grows up. Sure, I find myself falling into the stereotyping of young boys sometimes...when he wants to run and jump and falls, but picks himself up and says, "I fine," I think or say, "He's such a boy!" Really though, that just seems to be active, outgoing toddler behavior.

So, one of the other things he's getting for Christmas this year is a baby doll. This Corolle doll. He has stuffed animals that he carries around, but now he will also have a baby doll to love and nurture.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

SNOW!!! In Houston! It snowed here yesterday and last night, ya'll. The last time it snowed here was Christmas Eve in 2004 (when DH proposed to me BTW).

This was Little Bit's first snow, and it was miraculous. We bundled up Little Bit to take him out and show him the snow falling before his bedtime. I loved watching the white flakes come swirling out of the darkness. The snow frosted the tree limbs and bushes, the cars and houses. It sprinkled powdery fine on the grass, melting on the warmer street. It swirled around the Christmas lights.

The sound of our neighbor's kids laughter rang out in the darkness. They scrounged snow from all over their yard and built a snowman. DH took a pic of Little Bit standing next to the snowman this morning. I'll have to post it later. I think Little Bit was about the same size as the snowman.

I actually had to scrape icy snow off my car's windshield this morning. I don't know where my ice scraper is (bought when I lived up north and packed away somewhere), so I used the edge of a magazine to loosen it.

Kyla at The Journey has some great pics of them playing in the snow. Our local paper has an article with pics too.

It was warm and in the 70s here on Tuesday, then snow last night, and we're going to get back up to the 70s by Sunday. Gotta love that crazy Houston weather. At least we had a little wintry weather to really get us in the mood for the holidays.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Insert some title here

Poor Little Bit was feeling under the weather this past weekend. He lay back on a pillow on the couch, watching cartoons most of the weekend, and didn't even want to lift his arms to hold a cup to drink. I gave him ibuprofen for the fever, but even with the fever held at bay, he was listless. There's something very pitiful about a little feller saying, "I feel bad."

I made him as comfortable as I could and gave him lots of mommy love. I held the cup with a bendy straw to his lips when he wanted a drink. I got him his stuffed monkey or his Mickey Mouse to snuggle. DH would come and give him Daddy tickles that would bring out a brief smile.

Little Bit felt started to feel better last night. When he ran back and forth carrying armloads of stuffed animals from his bed to the couch (just because), it was a clue. (Blue's Clues!) He felt well enough to go to daycare today. DH dropped him off, telling them that he had been sick, so to call us if he got feverish again. The daycare manager asked Little Bit if he felt better.

He said, "I feel better...Daddy feel better...Mommy no feel better."

I had to laugh at that. I was in bed when they left, because DH let me go back to bed and snooze in a bit.
------
A random cute conversation with Little Bit --
Last week, when driving Little Bit home from daycare at the end of the day, I heard him say, "Moon!! Far away! Very high!"

The crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus were putting on a great show. I said, "Yes. It is very far away. You need a rocket ship to get there. Mommy's working on that."

He agreed, "Need a rocket ship!"

A few days later, when he noticed the moon shining again outside the car windows on our evening drive, he said, "Moon! It far away! Need a rocket ship!"

Did I mention he's only two and a half? He's so smart. *proud mama grin*

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My 100th post!

Woo-hoo! 100 posts!

DH has been working unusual hours, including some evenings and weekends. While I enjoy the time with Little Bit as special mommy-son time, I know Little Bit misses his dad being around (like I do). He will ask many times, "Where Da-da?" When his dad comes home, Little Bit jumps up with the biggest grin and peeks over the couch to the back door, crying with glee, "Da-da!"

This last weekend, DH worked Saturday morning, then had the afternoon off. We all went shopping at Target. Little Bit sat in the basket of the cart, DH pushed him, and I got things from my shopping list. DH sped him around the store and around in circles while Little Bit said, "Whoahhh!! Whoahhhh!!" They both had the biggest smiles. I laughed to see Little Bit having so much fun.

At the end of shopping, we stopped in the Starbucks inside the store. We gathered around a little table and shared a fresh baked blueberry muffin. DH and I got Eggnog Lattes. Nummmmmm.

I was enjoying the moment when Little Bit made it ten times better. He looked up and said, "I happy!"

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's a Nice Date Without Barf on Your Clothes?

On Saturday night, DH and I were going out for a real, grown-up, dress-up, cocktail attire, date. We got to my friend's house to drop off Little Bit. He had fallen asleep in the car and was draped over my shoulder, as I rang the doorbell. My mommy senses were tingling though, when I heard his breathing sound a little funny. Just as my friend opened the door, Little Bit barfed. I was quick to turn him around, but he still nailed the shoulder of my velvet outfit...and my friend's patio.

*grin* Hi, here's a barfy toddler for you, bye! No, actually, Little Bit was fine after that; he had just gotten carsick. So, we changed his shirt, wiped my shirt off, and left for our date. And a fun time was had by all.

Last night, DH and I finally got the answer to the burning question that has been haunting us for months....how did Joe take over from Steve on Blue's Clues? Yes, sad isn't it? There is a whole Blue's Clues Debate about Steve vs. Joe, but Little Bit doesn't seem to have a preference. He just says, "I li'ke Blue's Clues!!" When the special hour and a half Blue's Clues started yesterday, I called DH to tell him it was the Steve to Joe transition episode, the one we'd been waiting for! Yeah, I told you it was sad.

Steve shaved his head and has a rock band and a myspace page. Who knew Steve was kinda cool? I always thought early Joe was cuter than Steve, but Steve is kinda cute with a shaved head.

With all the kid's tv that we watch, there are many burning questions that keep us up at night. Do you ever wonder where Max and Ruby's parents are? Where were Steve and Joe's parents? Why was Steve living alone? Why was Joe living somewhere else? Is Little Bear the same bear that is on Franklin? What is up with that wacky family on Miss Spider? DH keeps commenting on the fact that Miss Spider should be eating most of her adopted kids. And seriously, earwigs?!? *shudder*

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obviously I Need a Lexus

Apparently when I switched from driving my old SUV to my new Accord, all the local streets and parking lots moved higher in response.

Those rat bastards.

I could post a close-up of the gouged, scratched, and peeled-up metal of the lower side of my new car, but it's too depressing. Who decided to put large concrete curbs around those posts at daycare, anyway?!?

And seriously, why do you need curbs around a useless piece of dead grass in a parking lot?!? That one got the *other* side of my car today!

I won't even talk about all the concrete curbs in parking spaces that have defiled my front bumper. I need electronic sensors around my car.

So, either they're out to get me or...nah, as my DH knows, it's never my fault. I blame the Romans.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Updated - Or Would It Be My Mommy CV?

Her Bad Mother wrote this post regarding the Motrin ad campaign that insulted baby wearers specifically, and moms in general, as trying to be Stepford Mom conformists.

[I have such a bloggy crush on HBM. She writes so well and so honestly. I think if I met her, I might get all fangirl geeky. Read her stuff; it's awesome.]

Anyway, she coins the term "mommy bona fides" in the above post for those outward signs that say, yes, I am a mommy. Things like a Frankenvulva (if you haven't read this post, you must do it now! I'll wait....ok, are you back?), a stained wardrobe, a muffin top, a short temper, etc.

That got me thinking about a list of mommy bona fides for me. Of course these are just mine, I'm sure all 2 of my readers have some other good ones, too.

My Mommy Credentials...
I've caught throw-up in my hand and been peed on (not in any sort of kinky way, yuck).

I know all the words to the "Little Einsteins" theme song.

I actually find watching episodes of "Max and Ruby" relaxing.

I have sniffed near another person's butt. (What? I'm talking about the diaper sniff, people.)

I can play what amounts to Charades with a 2 year old, trying to translate what he said. One word, sounds like...pi'doh...could be pillow. Pillow? No. Playdough! Of course.

I talk about poo and potties and tantrums with strangers.

My abdomen looks like I tried to come up with the next big trend after piercing or tats or branding -- pale squiggly lines rising from my lady parts like flames to cover my stomach. Yeah, those would be stretch marks.

So, what are your mommy bona fides?

P.S. Is it just Little Bit or does your toddler insist on falling asleep holding random things. A tupperware lid and a squishy foam cylinder from a toy, really? Last night it was hand-me-down toddler reindeer slippers he found in his stuff right before bedtime. Don't suggest he give those up unless you want a tantrum of epic proportions.

Updated to add:

I may not wear the ubiquitous mommy ponytail, but I almost always have my hair up in a bun with a butterfly clip (is that worse than a scrunchy? I don't know).

I sometimes have the dreaded muffin top. *sigh* At least I hide it by wearing long shirts untucked.

While I didn't get near the scars that HBM got, I also got to experience the joy and physicality of vaginal delivery. Ice packs are your friend. So were pillows to sit on for weeks and weeks and weeks...

Most of my pants now have elastic in the waistband. This may just be a me thing and not a 'mom' thing, but I loved the stretchiness of maternity pants' waistbands.

I keep books or magazines in the car so I can read at stoplights (who remembers free time to read before becoming a mother?)

Too bad I can't blame my being late for things and being too rushed to put on makeup on being a harried mom. I'm just lazy. Heh.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So tired

i'm doing well -- hardly any pain recovering from the sinus surgery. I felt a little guilty about taking sick days (just a little - there's something to be said for freedom to watch whatever I want on tv and being fully excused from many things...no lifting toddlers, no bending over, etc), but then yesterday I actually got dressed. I needed a nap after I finished dressing. Yeah. Me tired.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What kind of service would *you* expect for that kind of money?

I had the pre-surgery appointment with my sinus doctor yesterday. In just 3 days I will be woozy from the lingering effects of anesthesia and will have various bloody fluids coming outta my nose. As I remember from my last sinus surgery, the sling that goes over your ears and around your nose to hold the gauze in place is pretty comical. Oh, yeah, and I'll have a partially numb face. Good times.

The doc used an endoscope to look into my infected sinus yesterday. He said it's looking better, but, well, I won't give you the details about the pus he mentioned. Because that's just gross. I am *so* not the type of person who runs into friends I haven't seen for awhile, then starts blathering on about her upcoming sinus surgery and making references to roto-rooters being applied (there's a lovely image!), when those friends have just been enjoying bagels and coffee. Ahem.

The nebulized antibiotics have been fighting back the infection somewhat, just not enough. I am so sick of that nebulizer machine. I've been using it for months now, or possibly since the Clinton presidential years. I'm not sure. Things get a little blurry in my continued exhaustion. During the day last Saturday, thanks to DH entertaining the little guy, I slept for about 6 hours. Then, I went to bed about 9pm that night. I still had to come home early from work one day this week to sleep because I was feeling vertiginous. (Like how I worked that $25 word in there?)

The doc showed me the CAT/CT scan of my sinuses. It's much cooler now that they have the images on computer in digital form. Way back in the dark ages, 6 years ago, my last pre-sinus surgery scan used actual huge X-ray films. I know, barbaric. You only got X-ray prints of a limited number of slices through imaging of the head. With digital images, the doc could scroll the mouse wheel and take us through my skull and sinuses and back out from any direction. Kinda cool. Yep, the images confirmed how very effed up my left sinuses are.

As I was leaving the doc's office, I noticed the billing charges on my checkout slip. Of course those are never what the insurance actually ends up paying the doctors, but I guess if we had no insurance, it's what we'd have to pay. There was a $120 office visit charge *plus* a $350 charge for the endoscopic procedure. $350?!@! He looked in my nose like 15-20 seconds! Seriously. For that kind of money, well, let's just say, I'd prefer the cuter doc in the practice, and it should involve other kinds of procedures.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Look at those munchable cheeks!

Halloween 2006 - 5 months old





Halloween 2008 - 29 months old



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More quotes from our toddler

DH comes into the room after overhearing me on the phone with my mom.
DH: Who's whining and not listening?
Little Bit (putting his hand on his chest): Me!!
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Last night, after I put Little Bit into his chair at the dinner table, he made his seating preferences clear...
Little Bit: I sit by Mama....Daddy far away!
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During dinner, Little Bit will sometimes encourage us to share. If I put parmesan cheese on my spaghetti, Little Bit asks for some on his food, then says, "Daddy some." I have to put some cheese on DH's food, too.

DH and I had finished reading bedtime stories, and Little Bit was climbing into my lap for his 'nah-nah' (nursing). Little Bit settled into my lap, said "Daddy nah-nah," and then started nursing. I tried not to crack up too much. He was willing to share his nah-nah with Daddy!

Yay!

"Change has come to America." ~President-Elect Obama. Full text of his speech. Reaction from the world.

I'm feeling good this morning...and hopeful for the changes that my son will see in the next century.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween: the laid-back version


I will upload the cute pics of Little Bit in his Halloween costume soon. He picked out his costume at Toys R Us weeks and weeks ago - a fuzzy Tigger costume, with a tail and ears. Oh, the cuteness. Makes me want to nom-nom-nom his rounded little cheeks. The costume was a 4T, which, we thought, oh that's too big, but let's try it on him in the store anyway. It fit our "little" guy perfectly. Lesson learned -- trying on the costumes in person is the way to go. If I had ordered him one on the internetz, I would've ordered a 3T.

Unlike last year's Halloween, which consisted of taking him to *one* house next door before he melted down, this year, we took Little Bit to *three* houses. Yeah, we're pacing ourselves. You can see last year's Halloween costume on the side of the blog. Of course he was an astronaut! The fun thing this year was that he knew what was going on. After dinner, when we wondered aloud if he would be up to putting on a costume, he lobbied for, "Twick'r Tweet! Twick'r Tweet!"

He loved looking at the decorations and the pumpkins in the yards (real and fake). One house had a motion-sensor activated tombstone that cackled. Little Bit was not sure about that at all. He clung to his dad's pants leg and let Dad take the lead. We got lots of great video and picures, then retired to our house. We got Little Bit into his pjs, gave him some small pieces of candy, and he watched "Max and Ruby". I'd say we timed it about right. We went out a bit early, before dark, because we knew a late night would be a recipe for meltdown central. He had a great time, got some candy, and did not meltdown.

Getting him to bed was a bit of an adventure. As it got dark, our doorbell rang numerous times. Little Bit gleefully got down from his bed where we were reading and ran to the door. He wanted to see the other kids in their costumes. He also asked repeatedly for candy from the big bowl on the bookshelf by the door. Finally, DH sat outside on our porch with the bowl of candy, so I could get Little Bit to sleep without any more doorbells.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Home again

While I was away, I called home every night at Little Bit's bedtime. He would say, happily, "Mommy...Mommy...Mommy!" I'd ask him if he had played ball that day and he'd say, "I play ball" or "I slide". When I said, "I love you", he said back, "I love you, Mommy." {Here's where my heart melted into a puddle of goo.}

It was so amazingly awesome to be able to 'talk' to him on the phone and to know that he understood that his mommy was coming back. Eight months ago, when I turned down a business trip, he was just too young, I thought, for him to understand I'd be back and too young for me to be able to leave for a week. But he's a big boy now, and this business trip was just for three nights. We could do it.

During the first two nights I was away, Little Bit did ok. He would ask where I was, but accept when DH told him that I was away on an airplane and would be back in so-many nights. Little Bit began to expect my call each night. If the phone rang near his bedtime, he got a big smile and became very excited. On the third night, my last night away, Little Bit had had enough. He kept asking for me and had trouble being settled down to sleep.

I flew back home yesterday. I was very excited to see Little Bit, figuring he would be ecstatic to see me. I was looking forward to that moment when the huge smile of joy lit up his face, and he came running to hug me. I was at home when DH returned from picking Little Bit up at daycare. Little Bit came inside the house saying, "Ride bike outside!!" Basically, he seemed to notice me, like - oh, hai - and kept running to get his tricycle. DH said the look on my face was priceless, like, whut? I certainly didn't expect that reaction.

We all went outside. Little Bit rode his tricycle, walking his feet along as he sat on the seat (he's still working the the whole pedaling thing), while DH and I walked behind him.

On the walk back home, DH reminded Little Bit how they had talked before bed the last few nights about mommy being away on the airplane, but that mommy would be back, and here I was. Maybe Little Bit had been playing cool, because he was annoyed I had left. If so, I was forgiven now. The distraction of his tricycle could last only so long.

For the rest of the evening, Little Bit wanted Mommy. He wanted me to carry him when he was through riding his tricycle. He wanted to sit on my lap while we ate dinner. He was glued to my side or in my lap as we watched cartoons before bedtime. That was a balm to my slightly injured feelings. He did miss me. I soaked in the warmth of his small body next to mine.

Not too long ago, I was settling Little Bit into my lap for storytime before bed. I exclaimed as I hefted him, "You're getting so big!" He said, "No big boy," and snuggled in closer to me. {Here's where my heart melted into a puddle of goo.} Right then, he didn't want to be a big boy. He wanted to be my little boy. I reassured him, "You'll always be my baby." I hugged him even closer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Missing my family, but on the bright side...


Business travel and all day meetings - $1000.
Daquiri on the beach at sunset - Priceless.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hot, hot, hot!

Something fun to do tomorrow here in Houston --
The Houston Fire Fest will take place 10/25/08 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the HFD Training Facility located by Hobby Airport (8030 Braniff). Admission is FREE!

Further information is available at the following Web site: http://www.houstonfiremuseum.org/firefest.html

One of my coworkers mentioned it today. Maybe there will be some hot firemen there, too. Heh. Little Bit will love the big fire trucks.

The other night, Little Bit sat on the toilet at home for the first time! They've been doing potty training at daycare -- having him sit on the potty and sometimes he goes. I haven't been too stressed about potty training. Sarah, over at life at 45 degrees, and I have the same potty training philosophy:

Part of me hopes that one day, as we near his 3rd birthday, he will grab a copy of the NY Times, announce that he needs some privacy and then abscond to the bathroom for 20 minutes, returning with freshly washed hands and saying, "I need real underwear. The ones with Thomas on them. Let's go to Target."

But the other night, as DH was getting Little Bit ready for bed, LB asked to go to the potty. I heard them go into the bathroom and DH put LB onto the toilet.
Little Bit said proudly, "I be big boy!"

I tip-toed to the edge of the door and peeked around to see our little guy perched on the big toilet. That's how unhurried we are about training - we don't even have a potty seat to put on top the toilet. He just had to balance so he wouldn't fall in. Little Bit saw me peeking around the corner and grinned, then ducked his head shyly.

It was so cute to see him perched on the edge of that big toilet, with his little bare legs dangling. I was tempted to take a pic of him, but I didn't want to distract him if he was actually going to use it. He didn't, but maybe next time he just needs some reading material.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wedesday

video
(Now if I could just figure out how to rotate the video on my phone or the computer...)

Update

Next week I'll be going on a business trip. This will be the first time I'll be away from Little Bit for longer than 8-12 hours. Back in March, I declined a business trip. It just felt too soon to leave Little Bit that long. This time, while I am still a little apprehensive about leaving him, I'm also looking forward to having free evenings for a few days. I'll be staying at a hotel on the beach near KSC. I know I'm going to miss Little Bit and DH, but it's going to be nice to recharge my batteries by the ocean.

I talked in detail with my doctor about the results of my CT scan. The upper sinuses on the one side are just eff'ed up, and in a much worse state than before my previous surgery six years ago. We set my revision sinus surgery for just under three weeks from now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Funnies

Now for the lighter side -- breaking out the robot at the debates:

More caption gems for the photo here. "Apparently he was trying to reach across party lines and his shock collar went off..."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let's get political

Kyla, over at The Journey, posted a fantastic letter to Joe the Plumber, pointing out the idiocy that is the McCain health plan. $5000 is not enough to cover health insurance for most people, let alone health insurance for people with "pre-existing conditions" or chronic health issues. As Kyla points out, McCain doesn't even bother to address/mention the uninsured.

A local radio show host said this morning that during the Presidential debate last night, McCain reminded him of the old man who yells at you to get off his lawn. McCain wants to keep the big tax breaks for the rich and the big corporations, while 95% of the rest of us get nothing. That's how you get a $10+ trillion national debt; you keep spending money you don't have over the last 8 years, but still continue to give tax breaks to big corporations and the very wealthy. Regarding the claims of tax increases and fines for small businesses that McCain has made about Obama's tax plan, the truth is that "fewer than 2% of business owners would be hit by Obama's proposed rate increase. For those who are affected, the increase would be levied only on a part of their earnings, not all of them." ~from CNN Money

Additionally, Obama will not "fine" small business if they can't afford to provide health insurance for their employees. Small business is exempt from the payroll tax.

DH and I were talking last night about how very tired we are of the Republican campaign strategy to continue repeating the same lies over and over, even when those lies have been refuted. Maybe they hope that more of America is computer illiterate and won't be able to check the facts.

Oh, yeah, and Palin didn't even have a passport until 2006?!?! No wonder the idea of her as possible VP, being a heartbeat away from the presidency, makes Europe cringe. She is definitely no Margaret Thatcher.

His vocabulary is expanding

Last week, we were getting ready to go out to eat dinner. I started to buckle Little Bit into his carseat.

He said, "I poo-poo."

I said, "Oh, son," thinking about having to unbuckle him and change his diaper, "Did you really poo-poo?"

He answered, "No, I just farted."

Bwah-hahahaha! DH and I fell over laughing. I'm so proud; he's only 2.

---------

My parents just left yesterday from a long weekend visit. When they arrived late last Friday night, Little Bit woke up as usual about 11 pm. He smiled shyly at them and hid his face, then flirted with them from the protection of my arms. We could tell that he remembered them from the last time he saw them about 5.5 months ago. They were so tickled that he remembered them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A nose by any other name

I went for the follow-up with my sinus doc last week. After 2 months (!!) on the nebulized antibiotics, only half of my sinus infection is cleared up. The doc suggested sinus surgery to open up the passageways on that side of my nose. I go for the CT scan on Friday, then he'll call me with the results and schedule the surgery.

*big sigh* I just want to not have sinus headaches every day, to be able to breathe out of both sides of my nose, and to not be exhausted all the time. Is that too much to ask?

And just because you might be wondering who is lying or being misleading in his presidential campaign or who is being fairly truthful, go check cnn or factcheck.org

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fear and Loving in Houston

In movies, they sometimes show it by slowing down the film speed. The heroine or hero suddenly moves in molasses as the unthinkable seems to be happening -- the car crashes, the rope breaks, the shot is fired. It wasn't anything as dramatic as that, but, nonetheless, as potentially devastating.

I had just walked out of the restaurant door to meet with DH and Little Bit. Little Bit saw me and grinned in delight. The next instant he was running towards me, across the grass, towards the pavement of the parking lot...then I saw the SUV driving from my right, heading towards what looked like a meeting with my precious boy. It didn't feel like time had slowed down; everything moved much too quickly.

I could see every detail around me. I saw DH trying to catch up with Little Bit, who had been just out of reach. I noticed the older couple who exited the doors after me, looking in suprise and alarm as I screamed, "Noooooooooo!!!!" with my hand stretched out as if I could physically push Little Bit away, to stop him, to hold him safe. In my hyper-awareness, I saw the driver of the SUV, a woman, hear my scream and realize quickly where the danger was. She hit the brakes. I saw the SUV roll to a stop just as Little Bit disappeared behind the front wheel of her car. I ran forward, not knowing.(please, no...please, no...)

Heart racing, I turned the corner of the front bumper to see Little Bit running behind the rear of the car, still intent on getting to me. Ohmigod, he was running, he wasn't hit! But I was desperate to catch him before another car pulled into the lot, desperate to make sure he hadn't been hurt at all. I caught up with him as DH got to us. I grabbed my little boy and held him close, saying, "Ohmigod, ohmigod... oh, don't do that to us, little one!" He was fine, smiling at me, wondering why the adults were so excited. The woman driving the SUV had gotten out and ran around to us in panic, too. When she saw that he was fine, she looked upwards in thankfulness.

DH and I held him close as we walked to our car. Our hearts were still hammering, the adrenaline rushing through our veins. It had been just another ordinary day, that almost wasn't.

This is what it's like to live with the most tender part of your heart outside your body, outside your control. Just a few seconds difference, a driver's inattention...I shudder. I try to protect my overly sensitive mother's heart when I can. I don't read certain news stories; I can't. I can't read the details of little children who died by accident or malice. I don't click through to the news stories, but sometimes the local paper betrays me. Their website contains too much information in the headlines. Information that I did not want to know. Information that haunts me when I see the pictures of those children with bright, inquisitive eyes.

So, I try to protect my little one the best I can, knowing that it's not all under my control. Hoping that we continue to be among the lucky.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't tell that to Superman

This morning DH was carrying Little Bit, laying stretched out in DH's arms, down the hallway.

DH said to him, "Look! You're flying!"

Little Bit answered, "No...Birdie fly. Airplane fly. My no fly."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pictures of the aftermath




As we drove home from daycare yesterday, Little Bit began his sad, yet funny litany noting all the trees felled by Hurricane Ike.

"Nuder wun fah down...nuder wun fah down...nuder wun fah down..."
Another one fall down.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A moment

Last night as Little Bit slept between DH and I, I listened to the snuffles and little sounds he made. He sighed and nestled against me like a little puppy, happy and content. I marveled at his sweetly curved arms, still plump with baby fat. It's when he's asleep that I can glimpse again the little baby that he was. When his face relaxes and his eyelashes kiss his round cheeks, my heart fills again. He may be growing by leaps and bounds, but he'll always be my baby.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The aftermath of Ike

We went to bed last Friday night to try to get some sleep. Our power had flickered off and on several times, but went off finally at about 11pm. I woke up about 2am, when Ike was supposed to be hitting land. DH was already up and walking the house, checking the floor in front of windows for water. The sound of the wind and rain outside was impressive. We looked out at our back patio to see some blue styrofoam that had come from someone's house when the siding and other insulation was ripped away. We hoped it wasn't ours. As we watched, a sudden gust of wind sucked the the styrofoam straight up and gone in an instant. We were definitely seeing the 90+ mph steady wind with the 100+ gusts at our place.

Our front door was leaking water; the seal between the stained glass inset wasn't quite waterproof. With each gust of wind, water was forced through the seal and ran down the door. The pressure of the wind gusts made the door protest and howl. DH pointed out that it sounded like a kazoo. DH stayed up longer to keep an eye on the windows, etc, but I went back to bed.

Little Bit slept through the storm. Saturday morning, we were still going through the eyewall. We were probably in the eyewall for some 12 hours. Wind and rain for hours. Hoping that the builders of our 5 year old house had built it properly to the hurricane codes.

On Saturday afternoon, we could get outside to look for any damage. We were very lucky. Besides power being out, like 20% of Texas, we had some window screens pulled off and twisted. I'll have to post the pics from my camera phone later. One of our neighbors wasn't so lucky. They were the one whose wall insulation littered our backyard.

I felt so cut off from the world without power. No internet or tv. My cell phone charge was getting low as well, so I rationed calls. We don't have a battery powered radio (yes, we need to remedy that). We got some news from neighbors who had a generator. We heard that NASA/JSC would be closed at least this whole week, and thought about taking refuge somewhere with power. After a few days of no power in the Houston heat, with a bored 2 year old (no, I'm sorry, we can't watch tyee-vee), we decided to take the opportunity to visit some of DH's family.

The drive northward through the path of Ike was interesting. We drove here on Monday. Very few stores were open. The Target was open during the day, selling non-perishable items only. No gas stations had any gas. At first I was pointing out the downed trees in the aftermath, but then Little Bit picked up on it.

As we drove, we heard, "Un moh fah down..." (One more fall down...) over and over.

It was some 250 miles inland from the Texas coast before we saw "civilization" again -- meaning gas stations with gas (only two had gas, both with mile long lines before then), power, and open restaraunts.

Updated to add: on the drive north on I-59 we saw easily 200+ "cherry pickers" and other power/utility trucks caravaning southward in fives and tens. DH and I were both heartened to see so many heeding the call to help restore power to the Houston area.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock me like a hurricane...

I'm watching the 17 ft waves on the news topping the seawall on Galveston just south of us. We are hunkered down in our one story house. It's 12 hours before the eye of the hurricane comes ashore. There is still the ~12+ ft storm surge and then the maybe 10+ inches of rain. The question now seems to be how much JSC will flood, not whether. Our house will be above the flooding, but we are probably going to see hurricane force winds here starting at 9 or 10 pm tonight.

More later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bueller?...Bueller?... Anyone?

Am I dreaming the impossible dream? I just want to find some nice pants for work, preferably ones that shed wrinkles (and won't end up looking like you pulled them from the bottom of the clothes pile, did a sniff test, and threw them on, even though they were fresh, clean, and unwrinkled 2 seconds before). OK, that part sounds do-able. Plenty of 'dress' pants are wrinkle-resistant.

Here's the kicker - the pants have to not make me literally sweat my ass off in the heat and humidity of Houston. Most 'dress' pants seem to be made with some sort of polyester/rayon/spandex mix. Last time I tried to wear one of my dress pants to work this summer, I had to turn around after stopping for my ususal caffeine/coffee fix and return home to change pants. I was going to lose several pounds of water if I didn't.

I need some cotton or natural blend fabric that's been treated to shed wrinkles. At the very least, a manufactured fabric with some breathability. Am I reaching too high? Am I dreaming too big? Anyone have some suggestions for brands of dress pants?

A Par-tay

Blogtations is having a party! They are marching towards the 500th blogtation quote! As part of the party, I'm posting two of my favorite quotes from Blogtations.

Middle Twerp has some type of oral fixation. The child was born with a quarter, three army men, and a Bic pen top in his mouth. Seriously. I just held out my hand as I laid in the stirrups and told him in a firm voice, Spit those out. The doctors were a little perplexed, but I knew it was just the beginning of what was to come. ~ Dreams of a Country Girl

Do you know what's awesome? You can lie around in bed all day with your plaid adult version of a child's security blanket, consuming Doritos and crunchy coffee from a three-day-old mug, and your cats will have no idea that you are completely pathetic and probably undermedicated. ~ Schmutzie

If you haven't read Blogtations before, go check 'em out! If you want to join the par-tay, and possibly win a $50 Amazon gift certificate, check out the rules.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Me-me me-me

I'm going to grab a meme that I just read over at musings' place. The meme is a good 'getting to know you' list of questions.

1. What was I doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was going to grad school. I was one of two "older" students in the program and one of the 5 women out of about 25. My aerospace engineering graduate department actually had a higher percentage of women than most others -- a whopping 20%. I was used to that; my undergrad physics and astro classes were 10% or so women. However, I also had some math and physics classes that were 90% women and 10% men. (That was one of the advantages of going to an all women's college with an opportunity to take classes at the local co-ed college, too.)

Ten years ago, I was wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I'd always done much better in my liberal arts classes than in my science and math classes, but the applied part of engineering was what interested me. So, I stubborned my way through, and my GPA was helped by the A's I got in a few liberal arts type grad classes like Engineering Psychology.

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
Put away my clean laundry. Stop by Tarjay for a few items. Read some more of Twilight.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Chocolate (of course). Popcorn. Potato chips and ranch dip.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Of course pay off all my debt. Contribute to a number of humanitarian and fine/performing arts causes. Buy a bigger house here in Houston. Give a bunch of money to my extended family, and get my mom and dad a house here. Travel all over the world. Buy a house in Hawaii. Set up my son's financial future so he wouldn't have to worry about anything. Buy a trip to the Space Station from the Russians and/or fund my own private space program. *grin*

5. Places I have lived:
Counting places that I have lived at least a few months (including summer internships) - Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas.

6. Jobs I have had:
Fast food worker, data analyst, astronomy intern, human factors intern, grad school Teacher's Assisstant, rocket scientist, space systems engineer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday's Tale of Torture

Today's post is brought to you by the letters T, M, and I.

Yesterday morning the fun began with my appointment at the dentist. The dental hygienist I'm sure is a lovely lady, and any other time I would have happily chatted with her about our toddlers who are so near in age. However, the torture of my gums with an instrument called a water pik (ha, how about water laser?) did not lighten my mood. Yeah, yeah, that's what I get for waiting too long between appointments. Just shut up, lady, I'm trying not to punch you in the stomach.

The fun continued in the afternoon's appointment with my ENT (aka, the sinus doc). First there was the long metal scope he stuck in my nostrils to look into my sinuses. Then, he needed to clean out one side so that the nebulized antibiotics could finish getting rid of any sinus infection. My brother used to offer to use a Roto-rooter on my sinuses when I had a bad infection. Well, that's what the doc did. He kept turning up the suction, because apparently my sinuses have discovered a great recipe for cement. No one's inner sinuses should have to feel that. When the suction thingy of doom didn't get it all, the doc *scraped* at the inside of my sinuses. shudder

So, I left there with both my gums and sinuses scraped and raw and achy. Obviously I should have scheduled a pap smear and a colonoscopy yesterday just to complete the fun. I totally stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's good to be the Mom

What have I been up to in the last week? Being the best parent ev-ah! For one thing, we let Little Bit eat dinner on the couch while watching Dorya. And it was pizza, ya'll! We also had hot dogs for lunch one day, too. I must confess that Little Bit has been getting to watch some tv just about every morning and evening. If we tell him it's time to turn off the tv, his little face gets red, tears spring to his eyes, and he puts his little hand out in a stop motion, like warding off Swiper*, and cries, "No!! More tye-vee!"

Being awesome, we give in and say, "One more story. One more."

The theme songs of all these toddler shows are stuck in my head. I've suggested a drinking game to DH where you have to drink everytime one of the characters on these shows break the fourth wall. You'd be very drunk watching Dora, what with all the "Say map! Say map!" and "Say backpack!" It's one way to get through the horror.

At one point this weekend, Little Bit was doing something that we'd told him not to do (banging a toy on the table, I think). I got *that* tone and said, warningly, "Sonnnn..." Then, being self-aware, I said, "If you don't stop that, I'm going to say, 'Sonnnn...' again."

DH laughed. Sometimes it's just too much trouble to follow-through, ya know? Then, we somehow got Little Bit distracted.

However, my favorite parenting moment this last week was when we were driving home. Little Bit started asking to sit in my lap. I said that he couldn't right now; he had to stay in his seat while we're in the car.

DH then said to Little Bit, "OK, as soon as we get home, one of us will hold you." Then he said to me, "It helps if you can say yes to him in some way."

I said, "Yeah, I know. But I'm a mean mom and sometimes I just like saying 'no'."

* As an aside, check out that link above for Swiper. I googled "Dora Swiper" and came across an interesting post by a history/religion professor about Swiper as an archetypal "diabolical fox-spirit" found in many religions. DH and I were just recently talking about how it was interesting that you have to say "Swiper, no swiping!" the ritually important three times in order to keep him from swiping.

I got an award!


Cool! I got an award from TxGambit.

I'm supposed to answer the following questions with one word each and then tag 7 people with the honor.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is your significant other? Home
3. Your hair color? Reddish
4. Your mother? Homemaker
5. Your father? Shy
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
7. Your dream last night? Forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? Adjusted
9. The room you're in? Cubicle
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Alone
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Hawaii
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Excercising
15. One of your wish-list items? Laptop
16. Where you grew up? Virginia
17. The last thing you did? Coffee
18. What are you wearing? Blue
19. Your TV? HD
20. Your pet? Cats
21. Your computer? Old
22. Your mood? Good
23. Missing someone? Yes
24. Your car? New
25. Something you're not wearing? Makeup
26. Favorite store?
27. Your summer? Hot
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently

I'll have to think about who I might want to give the award to. I'm so happy that TxGambit gave me an award.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The one where I feel old


I realized recently that the high school class of 2008, the incoming frosh at college this fall, were born the year I graduated high school. That certainly made me feel a little old(er). Although it is fun to poke fun at what was considered fashion in the early 80's. How about some awful examples of male (really, mostly gay-male-with-no-taste) fashion from 1986. Check out this post here. There's Adrian Paul modeling long before Highlander. This year's high school graduates probably don't even know who Adrian Paul is.

Oooo, lookit the jeans with pressed creases! And slouchy socks worn outside the pants legs. The best has to be the purple flight suit. For those boyz with a Top Gun fetish.

BTW, when did Top Gun come out? (pause while I search the interweb) Ah-hah, it came out in 1986. No wonder they have a flightsuit in the IM 1986 fashion catalog. The comments to the post above are funny. Then, I read the comment from the woman who said that 1986 was her birth year. Oh, lord.

Hai, I can feelz old now?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to have a fun afternoon (by Little Bit)

1. First, beg for more tyee-vee, more tyee-vee. Make sure to do it when Mom wants to get some chores done so she'll turn the tv back on.

2. Next, when a commercial for Dora the Explorer comes on, cry, "Dorya! Dorya!" because Mom hasn't DVR'ed any Dora episodes, so you'll be stuck with whatever is on Noggin or the DVR'ed Mickey Mouse clubhouse you've seen 5 zillion times.

3. Make sure to cry real tears and snuffle loudly because Mom can't produce Dorya.

4. When Mom is playing cars with you later on the floor, and she makes the mistake of lying down, do a full on WWF drop onto her stomach. She'll make a great sound. That shit is funny!

5. Go from having a wonderful, happy time to hysterical crying for no logical reason (like when they try to put socks on you). You gotta keep the parents on their toes.

6. Charm Mom and Dad by setting out your toy cars one by one and showing off your mad counting skills. "One...two...free..." Parents love that. (You have to throw them a bone sometime.)

7. If Mom and Dad take you to the pool, show that you have no fear of the water anymore, unlike the first few times. You can do this by waiting until Mom is standing on one side of the pool, while Dad is walking with you on the other side. Throw your toy into the pool, so Dad will jump in after it. Then, toddle to the side of the pool as Mom is shouting in panic, and jump into the deep end of the pool as Dad comes up and catches you. This will give Mom some new grey hairs. You know that Dad won't let anything happen to you.

8. Fart while you're in the pool. Then, laugh like hell.

9. Be observant. If Mom and Dad try to sneak a cookie for themselves by sleight of hand and subterfuge, catch them and demand a cookie, too.

10. Make sure to load up your diaper with number 2 when Dad is holding you so he has to change it. (No, really, Little Bit wrote that one. Not me, his Mom.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh, say can you see...

Watching the Olympics has certainly been interesting this year. I suppose I should feel bad about sitting on the couch eating chocolate while all these fine young athletes work so hard. I tell myself that once my chronic sinus infection gets better, I'll have more energy to get back to dancing. Meanwhile, the men's swimming and diving competitions are a nice diversion.

I have to say though that the outfits for beach volleyball are unfair. The women (like May and Walsh) wear bikinis, while the mean wear loose tank tops and long board shorts. That is so unfair! I want either equal oggling time or the women should get to wear baggy stuff, too!

I love living in Texas sometimes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Everyone has to follow the same rules!

Scene: We were heading home from picking up Little Bit at daycare with DH driving and me in the passenger seat. DH was talking and not quite paying enough attention to the stopped traffic ahead of us. As DH slammed on the brakes, I sucked in my breath and tried to keep from screeching. We stopped just before hitting the car in front of us.

DH said, "You can hit me."
I reached over and hit his arm for scaring me like that.

Little Bit piped up from the back seat, "No hitting!"

Updated to add: DH wants it known that he thinks I was exaggerating about slamming on the brakes and such. He says we came to a quick, but controlled stop. Yeah, ok.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This post brought to you by the letter 'L'

and the Lazy Bloggers' Post Generator:

Holy crap! I just returned from my daily swim on the beautiful Fijian beach and realised I have not updated this since I had to start working to pay the ridiculous food and petrol prices to feed my kids... You would not believe the amount of people that are totally stalking me. Stupid Global Warming!.

I am hopped up on caffeine with discovering time doesn't stand still, being distracted by the shiny, just generally being a worry to my psychologist, my day is passing in a blur from now to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am so tired of my kids wanting me to give them attention and stuff. can't they see I am blogging.

I promise I will make more of an effort to blog more often until the nice men in the white coats come back. No, really! I mean it!.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday meanderings

Random meanderings for Monday morning --

We took Little Bit to the neighborhood pool yesterday and had an awesome time. Unlike the first few times, he needed no coaxing to get in. He loved standing under the mushroom waterfall and "swimming"/flying through the water in our arms. Even when his head went all the way underwater, he wasn't afraid. We'll turn him into a water baby yet.

I found out why none of the antibiotics I've tried the last six months (six months!) have cleared out my chronic sinus infection. The culture that the doc took showed that I have a particular strain of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria in my sinuses. The only things that work against it are certain nebulized or IV antibiotics. So, nebulized antibiotics and a follow-up for me in three weeks. Maybe I'll finally have energy again!

I have to say ptpthpthth!!! to hormones. I really got spoiled the last few years thanks to lactational amenorrhea. In essence, I got to go about two and a half years without a period, through pregnancy and beyond, except for the normal post-partum stuff. I'd forgotten what a pain it is having a period every month. And of course poor DH has to deal with Prehistoric Monster Syndrome every month now.

Updated to add: DH was stunned recently when I snapped at him out of the blue for "smirking" at me. He wisely returned from grocery shopping with offerings of chocolate and mini powdered doughnuts. As Undomestic Diva said, I mean, what do we get to throw in your face every 28 [@#$] days? Except, of course, that YOU'RE AN IDIOT?

And I wish my boss would actually tell me the due dates for things so I don't get emails from someone else a few days before a big report is due asking if my item will be ready. This was the second time she didn't tell me a due date, and I got caught out on the short end of the stick both times. Grrrrr...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Support


It's actually the last day of World Breastfeeding Week, but I wanted to post something about it anyway. This year's theme calls for supporting the mother in giving her child the best nutrition. I've heard breastmilk called 'liquid gold' before, and it is.

Two of the big supports I have had in being able to continue breastfeeding my son were the St. Luke's Hospital Milk Bank while he was in the NICU and the policies of my work. When Little Bit had to stay in the NICU for two weeks, I was able to use the hospital grade breast pumps at the Milk Bank, just down the hallway from the NICU. I also rented a hospital grade pump from them to have at home. Encouragement and information helped me to continue pumping every 3 hours, even when I got out so little milk. I was tired and worried, but providing Little Bit with what only I could give him was important to me. The walls of the pump room had pictures of success stories -- pictures of little ones in that NICU and then months later as happy, healthy toddlers. The antibodies and nutrition of breastmilk are so important, especially when a baby needs the extra care of the NICU. I was able to keep my supply going, and Little Bit was fed my milk along with supplementation when he was able to eat again.

Once I returned to work, I had the use of a dedicated breastfeeding mother's room. There is a mother's room at all locations of my company. This program came about due to the hard work of other women before me, including a coworker who had to pump in the restroom a few years before. She (and other women) protested having to basically prepare her baby's lunch in the restroom. Yuck. Once when I was at a meeting at another site, I had to pump in the ladies' room. I had to balance on the toilet with a pump and supplies, trying desperately not to let any of it touch the walls around me...if that was my only way to pump, I just don't know if I could have kept up with it. A clean, quiet room with a lockable door, a table, a chair, and an outlet is a much better option.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How much to ship from France to Texas?

I want one of these:



At least our power wasn't out, so we could wash laundry

We survived the great storm of 'aught-eight. Our highly trained outdoor weather cats reported damp fur and wet paws. But, hey, I got a whole day and a half off work.

Little Bit was home with us yesterday. Poor little bugger didn't want to eat very much, and later we found out why. He snuggled onto my lap, then began that cough which makes me go, uh-oh, and barfed all over himself and me. Ewwwwww. I managed to keep the barf from the couch and our rug, though. After a bath for both of us, I wrapped him in a towel and held him. He threw up several times more as the evening progressed, until there was nothing but stomach spasms. I felt so bad for him, because I know how it sucks to feel like that. Finally, after 2am this morning, he was able to keep down some water. He seems much better today.

In other news, DH and I arranged for a date night this past Saturday. My friend came over to babysit. DH and I rushed off to catch the next showing of Batman. We got home later to hear about my friend's little adventure. She had gone out on the back patio to pet our cats, while Little Bit watched some cartoons.

She got locked out of the house! Little Bit came to the window in the back door and smiled and waved at her, but he wandered off when he couldn't open the door. Of course, she didn't have her cell phone on her and couldn't remember my cell phone number. She went to our neighbor's house, but we hadn't given anyone an extra key. They ended up calling the police, who were able to get in. By the time they got inside where she could get her ID to show the police that she was who she said she was, she was almost in tears. All told, Little Bit had run of the house by himself for 30 minutes.

Definitely time to get some extra keys made and give them to the neighbors.

Monday, August 4, 2008

So, we're gonna get a little rain

Tropical Storm Edouard is headed our way and predicted to ramp up to hurricane strength. Work is closing today at noon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Coming out from Quarantine

Little Bit has been sick this week. It started with a cough and runny nose on Sunday. By Tuesday, daycare called us to come get him -- he had a fever of 101. Late Wednesday night, he was really burning up with fever, 103.3 under the arm, so more like 104.3. I got into a lukewarm bath with him, holding him in my lap and snuggling him. I poured the water over his feverish body. I waited and worried, like so many other parents in the middle of the night with a very sick little one. The bath and the Motrin helped. His fever lessened so he was able to sleep. During the last few days, he was either snuggled in my lap or next to me on the couch, feeling bad, or he was running around playing when the Motrin had brought down his fever. No fever since yesterday afternoon, thankfully. He was his usual energetic and bright eyed self this morning.

I've been sick, too, with the zombie sinus infection. I've been on antibiotics about half of the last four months. I finish a course of antibiotics, then two weeks later, I have another acute sinus infection. I saw the partner of my regular sinus doctor/ENT the other day for the first time. He used an endoscope to look into my sinuses. His reaction? "Hell's bells!! That's quite an infection you've got in there!!" I hope the new class of antibiotics and the steroids to reduce inflammation work. Next stop may be nebulized medicine, which is one step away from IV antibiotics in the hospital. The doc actually (ahem) suctioned out some of the gunk in my sinuses. Ouch. Not pleasant. I so hope that Little Bit cheats genetics and doesn't end up with awful sinuses like his dad and I have.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cruising

Nothing much new to write. I love driving my new car - the inside materials look and feel more high-end to me than the price I paid for the car. I have volume and channel controls for the audio system on the steering wheel - great for a button pusher like me. I also like that I can plug my I-pod into the audio system. All features that I didn't have with my 8 year old car. The 30 mpg also helps.

Though I could write about the adventure to find the title for my old car so I could collect my insurance check. DH and I searched for one whole weekend. Having just moved (that is, just moved 10 months ago), there are lots of boxes not unpacked. The car title was not in the neatly filed manila folders of important documents. We started going through every piece of paper in the file folders just in case. No luck. However, I did find a $200 reimbursement check from last year that was still good. Score!

So, the only thing to do was to drive to the NW side of Houston, about 50-60 miles away, to the only local office to get a certified copy of my title. I drove all the way up there, waited in line, got to the window, and found out that their computer showed my bank still had a lien on the title. @$#!! I had mentioned to DH that I thought I should get an official paper from my bank that the loan/lien was gone, but he said, nah, if the bank mailed you the title (that we couldn't find), then they should have let the state people know. Nope.

I drove back home, stopped at my bank for the official paper, then a few days later, drove all the way back up there. This time, I was driving my new car. Let me tell you, driving my shiny new car, while still having some recent car crash paranoia, through the second worst traffic bottleneck in the country, is not very relaxing. But, I waited in line again, got my certified title, and was able to get my insurance check.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Check out my new ride


The bad news: My insurance declared my old car a total loss. The good news: I bought a new car, a 2008 Honda Accord in this color. Sweeeet!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

That darn mouse

We may have really created a monster. Little Bit has not been himself the last few weeks. Even daycare has commented on it; any change can throw him for a loop and into a crying tantrum. The only big change we can think of has been letting him watch more tv lately. Now he wakes early, saying, "Mickey!! TV!" He cries when I tell him it's too early (hello, 5 am), but will go back to sleep for awhile. Later we let him watch cartoons while we get ready for the day. Some evenings, not every one, we let him watch a recorded episode of Mickey Mouse. But, oh, boy, the tantrums, when it's time to turn off the tv to put on shoes and go to daycare or to brush teeth and go to bed. I've not seen him have such tantrums as these so regularly. I want my sweet baby boy back who gleefully runs into the bathroom when I say, "It's time to brush your teeth! Lets go get your step-stool!"

He cries in despair when we want to take off his Thomas the Train nightshirt to put on a t-shirt for the day. He kicks and cries when we try to put on his shoes. He refuses to choose a bedtime story. He screams in anger. We warn him a few minutes before it's time to turn off the tv. We even try to give him choices (which of these shirts or which shoes do you want), but it doesn't help.

So, internets, any wisdom about two year olds (he'll be 26 months old soon) and tv? DH suggested that we go cold turkey on letting him watch any tv for awhile to get it out of his system. Is the tv the problem or is it just his age?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bye-bye, Mama!

Little Bit has discovered the best joke ever. He says, "Bye-bye, Mama! See ya later!" then promptly closes the intervening door so I'm on one side and he's on the other. He first did it the other night as I was trying to convince him it was bedtime. He closed me in his bedroom, saying his bye-bye phrase. Then, I heard his giggle as he ran down the hall. Last night at dinner, he played the same game with the door at the patio of the Mexican restaraunt. It was so funny that he danced on his little feet in happiness while he laughed and held onto the doorknob.

Lately, he's also been very clingy when it's time to take him to daycare. He protests his shorts, his shoes, the car, anything, and everything. I guess it's separation anxiety. He does his clinging monkey impression at the daycare room. One of the daycare workers has to take him in her arms and distract him with toys.

In other news, I heard from my insurance guy -- he says that they are probably going to declare my car a total loss. I'll find out later today how much money they'll pay me for it. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm driving a new car

I had way too much excitement on the way home yesterday. A guy turned left into the side of my car, crumpled the passenger door and the car frame and kept going. The idiot had scraped off his license plate with my car door, so now he’s going to get a ticket for hit and run, too. Dumba$$. I wasn’t hurt, but it remains to be seen whether the insurance company decides my car is fixable or a lost cause.

Lots of witnesses gave me their business cards in case I needed their testimony, and two of them even drove after him to try to get his license plate number (not knowing he’d left his front plate at the scene).

I've happily had no car payment on my car for three years now and would be glad to keep driving it. I hope they can fix it. At least Little Bit wasn't in the car with me, though, and I wasn't hurt. I have a 2008 rental for now. I suppose I'll think a little about what kind of new(er) car I might want. I suspect that the cost to fix my old car will be at least as much as, if not more than, what it's worth.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Conversations

Little Bit can amaze me daily with his insight and his sense of humor. He likes to 'hide' things behind his back, then ask, "Where crayon?" So I say, "Where is the crayon?" He grins and says, "Hiding!"

Last week, he was playing in the tub for his bath. DH opened the drain. As he watched the water disappear down the drain, Little Bit asked, "Where wa-der?" so I answered, "Where is the water?" He answered, "Hiding!"

Little Bit loves, loves, loves to play outside. This is a little boy who has been known to get out of bed, still in pajamas, and run to the backdoor immediately, saying, "Outside! Outside!" This past weekend we had a heat index of 105+. He wanted to go out, but then refused to go into the sun, staying in the shade where it was slightly cooler than Africa-hot. After coming inside for a bit, DH asked if he wanted to go outside again. Little Bit answered, "No outside." DH asked, "Who are you?! What did you do with my son?" Little Bit put a hand on his chest and answered DH's first question, who are you, "ME!!"

I think part of his reluctance to go outside was his hope that we would turn the TV back on. I love watching TV. It's my de-stressor. I watch everything from National Geographic and Discovery Channel documentaries to HGTV makeovers and dumb reality tv shows (Hell's Kitchen). One of the doctors at our son's pediatrician office is a big proponent of no TV until age two, then no more than two hours a day. We stuck by that -- no tv really until he was about a month before his second birthday. I'd sometimes watch tv while he was playing on the floor, but he never seem interested in it. He preferred building with his blocks or examining his books.

That's changed now. Oh, how that's changed. My parents gave him a Mickey Mouse doll last Christmas. He had never seen a Mickey Mouse cartoon, but he seemed to like the doll ok. Then, one day a few months ago, we turned on the tv to "The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse". I'm sure it was magical to see his doll alive and speaking on the tv. A few weeks ago when I was sick and DH wasn't feeling well either, we let him watch several episodes of Mickey off the DVR. I've created a monster. Now, daily, we are greeted with cries of "Mickey!! TV on!!" If we say that it's time to say goodbye to Mickey and turn off the TV, he throws himself on the couch in despair.

We've also added "Little Einsteins" and sometimes "Handy Manny" to the mix. "Tigger and Pooh" fills in once in awhile on the weekend. On the positive side, the Disney Channel has few commercials during these shows; just at the half hour, there will be a message that So-and-So is proud to sponsor Playhouse Disney. I must admit too that it is unbearably cute to hear Little Bit answering the questions posed by the characters on the tv. "Do you want to help us find Donald?" "Yes!" He'll pat his legs along with the kids on "Little Einsteins" to help Rocket go faster. The shows are just his speed. Just don't tell the doctor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Girls Gone Wild

Wow. Just wow. Being wasted is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to excuse being disrespectful to yourself and to young, impressionable women who might look up to you. It's not feminist to drink yoursef to oblivion all the time and have (unprotected) sex with anyone and everyone. Saying things like, 'only stupid girls get raped' and 'I was raped once but I like didn't do anything about it because I had better things to do, like get drunk.'? Yeah, definitely not feminist, just terribly tragic.

I'm reminded of news stories I've seen about young girls in high school having their stupid acts come back to haunt them. Topless shots instant-messaged to the cute boy in chemistry which then land on the internet and every other boy's cell phone. Video of them drunk on youtube and myspace. Many people make mistakes when they're navigating the road from childhood to adulthood, but now, the internet can broadcast those mistakes long into their futures.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

There is no snooze button on a toddler

Scene - early morning, our bedroom, DH and I trying vainly to leap, gazelle-like, out of bed. Little Bit is bright-eyed and bushy tailed, alternately playing 'Hop Bunny' and climbing the chest at the foot of the bed.

Little Bit: (sing-song voice, from the side of the bed) Maaaaa-maaaa!
Me: (blearily open one eye from the depths of the pillow) Yes, sweetie?
Little Bit: Up!
(pause)
Little Bit: Daaaa-daaaa!
DH: Yes?
Little Bit: Up!

There is no snooze button on a toddler.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That tricky and clever Mother Nature

Nature and biology are tricky, clever things. They make your memories fuzzy and not so immediate. So, you forget how it actually feels to take care of a newborn. Before Little Bit, I 'knew' intellectually that the first few months are hard and that you don't get much sleep. However, the reality was a slap in the face. My body was sore, my hormones were in turmoil, and the long-tunnel feeling that came from sleep deprivation made my PPD even harder. I remember the first morning that DH was supposed to go back to work after the birth. I was going to be alone for the first time with this crying baby, who depended on me for everything, and it scared me out of my mind. I cried and begged him not to leave. I just couldn't do it. Thankfully, DH was able to work from home some and only go in for half days for awhile. After Little Bit's stay in the hospital, my mom came and stayed for two weeks to help me.

Then, much earlier than I had planned, I returned to work. I had always thought that I would want to stay home with the baby as long as possible. I was very wrong. I liked being able to go to pee when I needed to, to eat a meal with both hands, to talk to others. Plus, I just couldn't deal with the crying. I had such a physical and emotional reaction to his crying. I was desperate to calm him and comfort him and make him stop crying. I felt like a failure if I couldn't.

It really wasn't until Little Bit was a little older, about 3 months old, that I got a handle on the PPD. Also, by then, he was becoming more interactive. By the time he was almost a year old, I was able to take FMLA time off work to be home with him and to really enjoy it. I love playing with him and seeing him discover things. I'm one one of those people who prefer babies after the newborn stage.

So, why am I writing about this now? To remind myself. Because, like I said, nature is clever. It's been long enough that even though I said, no, never, not gonna do this again, there is a part of me looking at the pictures on other moms' blogs of newborns and feeling a longing. Thankfully, many of these moms are also posting truthfully about the reality of having a newborn and a toddler. That helps bring me back to reality.

Logically, I think it would be too hard for us to deal with two children at once. We both like having the freedom to give each other a break, while the other one is 'on duty'. I imagine that would be hard to do with two. This last weekend, I was very sick with a sinus infection and feeling quite nauseous. I tried to imagine feeling morning sickness for weeks/months and having a toddler pestering me to get up off the couch and play with him. Not fun. I also slept so poorly (waking every hour or so) that by early the next morning, I felt that long-tunnel feeling which reminded me how I felt in Little Bit's first months with so little sleep. Reality. It was so hard the first time. How could I do it a second time?

So, why do newborn pictures fill me with sadness (that Little Bit is not that little anymore) and longing?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reading with a two year old


Little Bit's favorite book right now is "Go, Dog. Go!" He loves to 'read' along with me, repeating the words. I love reading books with him. You know that fuzzy, warm glow picture that you might have had before becoming a parent of reading stories and singing nursery rhymes to your child? That's what it feels like.

He's snuggled up in my lap, leaning back against me. My little baby, already twice as tall as when he was born. Already needing a size 9 toddler shoe. My baby who loves to jump and laugh and run. According to height predictors, he'll probably be 6 feet tall in another 16 years. But right now, I can hold him in my lap. His hand still fits within mine. His little body curves next to my heart. I hold the book, but he turns the pages.

"Bundle up so you don't f'eeze!!" he says, holding up his feet, happy to be part of the story.

Said very seriously and loudly, "S'top dawg, 'top!" He emphasizes the 'stop' with kicks of his little legs.

Then, I read, "Go, dog! Go! It's green ahead!"

"Green a-head!" he says, putting his hands on his head. Ahead - head, get it? I can't help but laugh.

He knows the book well enough now to anticipate what's next.

"...Climb that ladder to..." I read.

"Dawg part-ee!!" he says with glee.

In hearing other stories, he's fascinated with the Mama and/or DaDa. He points to the Mama bunny in "Runaway Bunny" and says, "Mama?" "Mama?"
"Mama!"

He points to the Mama and Dada birds (the Nene) in his "Goodnight, Hawaii" book. "Mama," he points to the bird, then, says, "Mama" and pats my stomach. He points to the baby birds. "Bee-bee!" he says. Pointing to himself, "Bee-bee!" he says proudly.

Yes, I say, you are my baby.