Yin and Bang

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, good. I think that'll work. I'm hoping that repeatedly looking at this sequence and cuteness that it oozes will keep me from throwing the gawddamn baby out the window.

I'm pretty sure it's teething, but since she has no tells, it's hard to know. And it's amazing what having a reason will do for my patience. If I can attribute aggravating behavior to something, then my tolerance is ten-fold. But when there's no apparent reason, I get frustrated. And it makes me want to throw my freshly cleaned window wide open and chuck the baby out into the yard. Maybe if I throw her hard enough, she'll land in the neighbor's yard and they can take care of her for a while.


We went almost three years without a trip to the ER. E was assembling puzzles with D when he jumped up, bolted to get another puzzle and when he took his second step (he literally goes from sitting to 100mph in a matter of two steps), he tripped over D's leg and smashed his head into the corner of the wall. Luckily we have bull-nose corners or he would have had a face full of stitches. He left a 1x2 inch dent in it and has the marks from the texture of the wall spidered across the goose-egg bulging on his forehead. He ended up at Children's Hospital with a minor concussion. Both of his major injuries have occurred in our living room during low-energy play while an arm's reach from a parent. He flies down the street on his scooter, wrestles with his dad, gets thrown around by his T and climbs as high as any playground equipment will allow. He's been going full speed since he was ten months old. Yet he busts his head in the "safety" of our living room while doing puzzles. The irony.

I should be in bed...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
...but instead I'm blogging. Why? Because I made the mistake of looking at my Google Analytics and apparently, someone in Finland* wants to know about the minutiae of my life. And if there's one thing I hate, it is letting people down.

E is just coming out of a disregulation phase. We're starting to catch on to his cycling, and it seems more like a 3 month cycle, instead of the 6 month cycle that Ames and Ilg talk about. We're going to map it this time, but we're pretty sure that about oh, every three months, he spends three weeks or so being a complete and total jerk grump, running into walls, slurring his speech...basically being a total shitshow mess.

So what was he working on? He was working on becoming a completely and totally different kid. He is so much more...more. He's just...more. He's more mature. His thinking is more abstract. He makes more connections, he's more imaginative, he's a whole lot funnier, he's more observant, and he's 110% cuter. He's...more. And while those few weeks were really, really rough, they were totally worth it.

Oh, you want proof? Pictures and funny quotes?!? Okay, okay.

E was snuggled up in my lap for the inaugural reading of the newest addition to our extensive library, There's a Bird on Your Head, and we get to the last page, where Pigeon has a cameo. There's a sharp intake of breath before E excitedly shouts, "I didn't know Pigeon lived in this book!"

On our way home from dinner the other night, I commented that I had to pee really badly. "I'll help you, mom. Dad's going to drive us home in Newie (E's name for the new car) and then he'll open the garage door and then I'll get out of the car and open the door and I'll go upstairs and go into the bathroom and I'll put the seat down for your big butt." Did I mention he's funnier?

Mostly, he just loves things. "A new kitchen?!? I luh-ve it! Do you love it, mom?"

And I could not be more grateful for the timing of his togetherness. Lela (short for Abuela) is in town. My mom hadn't seen B since she was born, so she's been eating her up. And I wasn't there, but apparently when E went with his dad to go pick Lela up, he talked for the entire 40 minute drive home, as if catching her up on his entire life. Seriously. He started with "I was born in a hospital..." to his trip to Children's to going to Metal Park to everything in between. And he hasn't stopped since she got here. It's been amazing watching the two of them. The only glitches have been when she's carrying B and he gets jealous, but we've been talking about jealousy so now he has a word for the feelings, which is a start.

Tomorrow I am interviewing a preschool. I know. It breaks my freaking heart. E turns three in a few months and while I never thought this day would come, I think that E might be ready for a more formal learning environment. Not to mention that he often laments that he has no friends. He does have a handful of friends, but he sees each of them for a couple of hours a week at best, and usually it's at the park or something and you know how three year olds are. So I'm going to visit a Montessori school right up the road from us. I'm nervous about a few things - are they really a Montessori, or are they one of those "we can charge more because the Montessori name is unregulated and when people hear Montessori they automatically think oh wow Montessori"? The other thing that makes me nervous is that they are a five day program. It's only (only!) three hours a day, but sheesh. It just seems like so much.

Anyway, like I said. I should be in bed. B is teething and developing quite the personality, not to mention still waking up because she must. flip. over. I threw a whole week's worth of sleep training out the window because being awake from 1:00 am till about 2:30, falling into a fitful sleep only to be woken up again at 3:something and then again at 4:something sucks rocks. So I stopped and thought about what I was doing and why. I reassessed my intentions and priorities and came to the conclusion that 1) B is not ready to sleep on her own, 2) that I am a complete and total bitch on no sleep, 3) that the reason I was booting her in the first place is because sleeping on my side causes my knee caps to slide off the front of my legs, 4) but as much as my knees hurt, running a stop sign because I am so motherf'ing tired that I didn't see it is alarming and scary and not ok, what number am I on? 5) I need to sleep and B sleeps sooo much better curled up against me and one day she'll be too big to sleep with me anymore so if the only way anyone gets any sleep around here is with her chubby little baby body curled against mine then fine. We'll try sleep training again in a bit, once we get all caught up on our sleep. As for the knee caps, I'm sleeping with a pillow between my legs and trying to flip onto my stomach or back whenever either one of us rustles. It's better, but not great.

Oh, and before I forget, here are a few pictures...

I mean, seriously, two weeks ago, E refused to let me take pictures of him. He'd get all weepy and upset and now, now he actually smiled at the camera. He didn't stop to smile at the camera and a couple of times he got all self-conscious, but at least he didn't throw mulch at me.
I love these two. It started to sprinkle on us and E threw up his hands. "Rain! I love the rain!"
I hope that one day B has her own chubby baby and forgives me for posting this one...but how could I resist?
I don't know I like this one so much. It's not the best pic of E...maybe it's because he was talking so animatedly about his magic pebble or because there's nothing in the background to detract from him. But I like this picture.

Alright, now can I go to bed?!?

*I also have readers in Russia, a few different parts of Italy, Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Canada. Crazy, huh? I would love to know if they are reading in English and if not, how does my sense of humor translate? Am I funny in Finish?

Stuff and Nonsense*

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I cut all my hair off. All of it. I got D's (reluctant) permission first, had dozens of internal arguments weighing the pros and cons of short hair versus long and then finally decided to chop it all off when I remembered that all the hormone-induced hair loss was about to grow back in the form of a baby fro. And if there's one thing that I don't want to rock, it is a baby fro. The snot wiped across my shoulder and the disheveled look of a sleep-deprived mother are flattering enough, thankyouverymuch.

Luckily, D hasn't realized he gets better looking with age. It's unjust. Kind of like how ours is the only species where the females get all dolled up to impress the males. Think about it.

My iPhone got stolen on Mother's Day from the zoo. I left it on the toilet-paper dispenser in the bathroom stall. In my defense, I'd been up since 1:00 am. We realized that the perp was going to keep it after we called it for the zillionth time and it started going to voice mail on the 2nd ring. Son of a bitch.

So I went to the Apple store and expected to pay another $200 for a new phone. HA! And in front of my children, the genius barista asked me to bend over so that he could you-know-what me for $600. When I almost burst into tears (I'd been up since 1:00 AGAIN) the barista offered to replace my phone with half the phone for twice the price. Exqueezeme? I walked out without a phone, feeling as naked as the day I was born.

There was no way I was paying $600 for a new phone, but now that I'd owned an iPhone there was no way I was ever going back. It was like driving a Porsche (well, what I imagine it must be like to drive a Porsche) and then being asked to drive a rickshaw. How do you even drive a rickshaw? Doesn't someone else need to pull it for you? So if you're alone, do you just put your stuff in it and then drag it behind you? See?!? I wouldn't even know how. I was in quite a predicament. And the longer I went without my phone, the worse the shakes got. Baby had the bends.

Long story short, I spent almost three days without a lifeline phone trying to find a loophole. I searched eBay, talked to three different reps at AT&T and finally figured out that instead of paying $600 for a replacement iPhone, all I had to do was add a line to my account (which was suspended for safety) and get a new phone for $200. Yeah, bitches. The funny thing is that the last rep I talked to actually refined my plan. I called and asked "hypothetical" questions like, "What if I got a new iPhone and dug one of my old phones out of E's toy box and put that phone on my line so that I could keep my number and then just forwarded my calls to the new number?" Once she figured out what I was trying to do, she helped me do it, god bless her. And while I have to pay an extra $10/month for the extra line, now that I'm on the family plan I am actually paying less a month because I'm on a better plan. So suck it, Steve Jobs.

I think everyone should rent Modern Family over the summer and watch it from the beginning so that you're all caught up next season.

We are maybe possibly kind of talking about considering putting E in preschool next fall. There's a well-reputed Montessori school up the road from us and I have an interview with them on Tuesday. The thing is, I'm going to cry like a baby the first time I have to leave him anywhere with someone other than family.

Speaking of babies, B is seven months yesterday. She is officially in full commando crawling mode. She still tips over but she can get anywhere with alarming intensity. She doesn't sit up reliably, but mostly because she won't sit still long enough. She's got shit to do...and usually, top of her list is pissing E off. She started yelling at him yesterday, which I guess is good because now they're even. She had wormed her way across the room to get to him and at the last minute he yoinked his toys, spun around and got away from her. Her eyes got wide and I thought for a second she was going to burst into tears, but to her credit, she started screeching instead.

With the crawling, though, comes all sorts of trouble, the worst being sleep. Her naps are broken up into twenty-ish minute long bouts of fitful tossing and turning until finally she just. can't. help. but to flip over and wake up. She ends up smooshed against the slats of her crib, crazy-eyed with surprise at the lack of control she has over her own body. Luckily, the two nights that we were up at 1:00 am paid off. The first night (happy mother's day!) was an impromptu sleep training session. She woke up at 1:00 on the dot (as she is wont to) and since she was in the crib, I didn't just roll over and sleepily pop a boob in her mouth. Which led to the discovery that she wasn't waking up at one o'clock to eat. She was waking up out of habit, looking for a little entertainment. I didn't feed her and I didn't say a word. I just rocked her in the darkness of her room. For one hour and thirty-seven minutes. Then she voiced her hunger and I fed her. She promptly fell asleep and I wondered how many years I lost off of my already too short life. It took me a while to finally fell asleep, which was good since I had to get up again at 4:00 to give up and bring her to bed. The second night I stuck to my guns and she slept the entire night in her crib. I gotta hand it to B, her internal clock is spot on. She wakes up not at 12:59 or 1:02, but exactly at 1:00. Until the third night. She didn't wake up till 2:37. And then last night at 2:39. At this rate, she'll be waking up at 6:00am by 2011. Happy New Year.

E's lab results came back. His vitamin D is back to normal range and his liver function looks good but his CBC values aren't perfect. The one that the immunologist would like our (new) pediatrician to keep an eye on is his platelet count. Oh, and the stupid nurse called on Friday as they were closing up and left a voicemail that said something along the lines of, "Platelets are elevated, erythrocytes are down, lymphocytes are up, your kid has leukemia, happy mother's day." She didn't actually say that E has leukemia (or happy mother's day, as a matter of fact) but she might as well have. I googled his blood results and as Dr. Google usually does, he diagnosed E with an a tragic and incurable disease. D had to call them on Monday because I didn't have a phone and he straightened it all out. He also explained that the nurse should never, ever do that again.

In funny E news, I asked him what time it was today and he said "Thirty-nine dollars." Whaaa?

The other day he wanted potato chips for breakfast and when I pointed out that if he was too full for waffles, he was too full for chips. "I'm only full to the bottom. I'm not full to the top. There's room for chips at the top." He had chips for breakfast. I'm a sucker for ironclad logic.

He also spent all of Mother's Day saying "Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Are you happy?" And I was. Even though I was exhausted and disappointed that someone would choose not to return my phone, I was really, really happy. D went all out and made it a Mother's Day weekend. He made banana pancakes on Saturday and french toast on Sunday and I got to take a two hour nap and he got me a gift certificate for a massage at one of my favorite places and then my brother, Bangs, and my sister also got me a spa session and the promise to watch the kids while I got pampered, plus a bottle of wine, plus a new painting plus really sweet cards. D took over enough of the day-to-day minutia that it gave me enough time and space to take a deep breath and remember why I love my job.

*Cute book but not worth full-price unless you are a teacher and looking for exemplary use of onomatopoeia.