Monday, September 29, 2008

Da-Dee, Someone Misses You!


Hola, Papi! Yo soy Oscar! Como esta? Yo soy bueno. I bet you didn't know I spoke Spanish. Well, I do. If you and Mom brushed up your own Espanol skills you'd know that.


Anyways, Mom tells me you're in Spain all week. I'm not sure where that is, but she said it means you'll be even later than usual. Like six days late. That's really, really late, Daddy.


I just wanted to let you know that I'm making good and sure that Mom really misses you while you are gone. You won't even believe what I pulled today!


So, this morning, I was all "Yawn, I'm sooooo tired! Let me pull this throw pillow from the couch onto the floor and lay down on it and suck my thumb." So Mom put me down in my crib and I laid there quietly for like 15 minutes, you know, long enough to let her fall asleep herself. Then, I started screaming like a banshee, all "I am soooo not tired at all! Why the heck am I in here? This SUCKS! Get me out NOW!" And Mom came and got me. It was awesome.


Then, I took it easy on the old gal for the rest of the afternoon. Until I woke up an hour early from my afternoon nap. Whoa Nelly did I let her have it. Daddy, I turned the whine on in force. I whined CONSTANTLY from 4:30 until 7:00, unless I had food in my mouth. It was so cool.


Poor Mom. She's doing dishes and laundry right now and has no idea I'm even writing this. She thinks I'm fast asleep. Sucka!


But seriously though, I'm really not trying to give her a hard time, it's just that I miss you so much and I hate that my routine has been disrupted. I'll make a deal with you - you bring me back a super cool authentic Spanish toy, and I'll ease up on Mom, okay?


Miss and love you,


Oscar

Consigning my Soul

Last week, a friend and I went to the preview sale of our area's largest consignment sale. And I think a piece of my soul died as I waited in line to buy $50 of someone's used crap longer than it took me shop for said use crap.

In case you missed it, I'm expecting my second baby in under two years. And babies cost money. Money that we don't really have a lot of. So, I'm trying to economical in purchasing items for our expected arrival, or, I'm trying to do this one on the cheap. In theory consignment sales are ideal, particularly in our area. The median family income is pretty high, so these sales generally have lots of expensive, barely used stuff for practically free!

Sound too good to be true? That's because it is. It's like 500 moms and pregnant women tearing through racks of last season's Baby Gap. Most of the stuff was over priced - I'm not paying $8 for your used Carter's sleeper when I can by $7 for a brand new one at the outlet store. There was not a bathroom in sight. It was raining outside and about one million degrees inside. I'm not kidding. There were floes of lava everywhere.

Don't get me wrong - it was fun to hang out with my friend and I got a few of necessary items. But I also came home with swollen feet and a back ache that was so painful it rivaled my back labor with Oscar. I'm talking a thousand pound anvil grinding into my sacrum. Really. I have an actually ACME logo burned into my lower back.

So, anyways, no more consignment sales for me. I'll not be lured n by their promises of high quality goods at rock bottom prices. Seriously, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than go to another.

And if, by some chance, I forget how hot and swollen and miserable this last sale made me and talk of going to another, I'm counting on you to show up on my doorstep, needles in hand.

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As a warning to my subscribers, I might be double posting a bit this week, as I've promised Nelson I'll post daily photos of Oscar. You'll have to try and survive the onslaught of cuteness.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On My Own

Nelson is off to Spain. Well, technically he's sitting on the runway in Baltimore three hours delayed, but he's not here, that is for sure. His plane is having "mechanical problems" and although I'm not really afraid of flying, "mechanical problems" always freak me out just a bit.

Things tonight were fine - my brother cooked dinner, I gave Oscar his bath and got him to bed with little trouble.

I'm not panicking, not yet. I have a lot of help coming this week in the way of dinners and bath time thanks to my fantastic friends. If I weren't 30 weeks pregnant, I could manage physically just fine. But, at this stage in my pregnancy I really count on Nelson's help in the evenings. He gets me through, keeps me from melting down, assures me I am doing a fine job.

I say I'm not panicking but inside I'm all "OH MY GOD. How can I handle this on my own? What happens when I'm just too tired and too cranky and too sore? GAAAAHHH!"

I know I'll hold it together. Don't worry, I won't be a whining, blogging mess all week, I swear. I'll be back to my funny, touching, witty, [insert flattering word her], self. Promise.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Phobia Friday: The Lazy Family Edition

So, I'm not the only one in my home with weird phobias. Here are a few that other members of my household live with.

The dreaded toilet paper roll replacement. For some reason, fear of replacing this roll runs so deep in my home, no one is able to install a new roll, other than me. Place the and new roll on the back of the toilet or on top of the expired roll? Not a problem. Actually throwing out the expired roll and replacing it with a new one? Terrifying.

Rinsing of rabid recycling. For some reason, empty cans and bottles and jars line themselves up beside the sink, never being rinsed or transferred to the plastic bag I keep available for depositing these items.

Placing dirty dishes directly into the very spooky dishwasher. Maybe folks around here are superstitious and just think that all dishes much sit in the sink for a certain amount of time before going into the dishwasher? Who knows. But I do know if I didn't load them, they'd still be in there. FOREVER.

Unloading the very spooky dishwasher. Again, it could stay full...FOREVER!!

Putting garbage into the human-consuming trashcan. Trash, as in crumpled up receipts, DVD plastic, paper bags, plastic bags, used tissues. These items litter my home, on counter tops and table tops, sometimes falling to the floor. I suppose if you have a trashcan of the human consuming variety, it's pretty scary to place items into it for fear of losing a limb.

Vacuuming the horrifying hardwood floors. I'm actually kind of wondering if the animal fur balls don't come to life at night and threaten to smother all who would vacuum them. Except me, of course.

I am actually not afraid of any of these things. In fact, I do them on a daily basis. I'm just that heroic and that brave. Or is everyone else just that lazy?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are You Tired of Me? Cause I Sure Am.

I know I just did a post all complaining and woe is me, but it is what it is. And after reading it back I was all, "Wow, I'm one of those pregnant people who complains about being pregnant. I hate those people." So, please bear with me. I know that's a lot to ask, as I'm having difficulty bearing with myself these days.


Okay, on to my chief complaint. Oscar. And the not napping. Or, rather, the short napping in the morning. His three hour morning nap has been whittled down to 45 minutes to and hour this week. He's still napping for about 2.5 hours in the afternoon, which is great I guess, but mostly I'm annoyed.


See, this morning nap is where I generally do things like dishes, laundry, reading, blogging, and most importantly, napping. I no longer have time for the napping. And you may be thinking "Okay, crybaby, just sleep in the afternoon during that nap," and I TOTALLY would, except that in the afternoon, Danny is only napping for 45 minutes to an hour, if at all. And you can't really nap while you're watching a one-year-old. That would be SLIGHTLY irresponsible. Or TOTALLY irresponsible.


So, that's one thing that's annoying me about Oscar whole "I don't need a real morning nap anymore." The other thing that's annoying me with the fact that once he does wake up from his brief morning siesta, he acts like a total tool. Can I call my toddler a tool? Because he is one.


He whines, he cries, he throws himself dramatically on the floor, he rattles the baby gates, he refuses to be consoled. A snack and some water placate him temporarily. Like for five minutes. Then, he's at it again until Danny wakes up like an hour and a half later.


And that has been my day, everyday, all week. And in case this is your first time here or you've somehow missed something, I'm pregnant, cranky, tired and have no patience these days.


Point being, CAN I PLEASE GET A FRIGGIN NAP ALREADY?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Natural

There are so many amazing things about babies, toddlers, children. Watching them grow and learn and figure things out is really one of the best parts of parenthood in my opinion.

I love watching Oscar struggle with a problem until he can find a solution. I love it when he looks at me with pride, for my approval. Like the first time he walked. He was so proud of himself and so excited that I was proud of him as well.

But what amazes me even more than Oscars ability to learn, the way he absorbs things like a sponge, is his innate intimacy and sweetness. You don't find this in every kid, but it is certainly present in Oscar.

From birth, Oscar was a snuggler. If Oscar was in your arms he was trying to burrow in, to get closer, to find the spot between your chin and chest or your shoulder and neck and lodge himself there. If he was in the bed between Nelson and I, you can bet he was scooting himself into the tight crook of someones arm, getting so close he'd be almost underneath us. If he was sitting beside someone on the couch, chances are good he was stroking and arm, or resting his head there.

My pediatrician called him a tactile baby - he just loved to be touched. And he still does. Even now, if someone is sitting on the floor playing with him, he'll toddle over and plant him self in that person's lap, like he belongs there. He will bring you toy after toy, sharing all he has.

When he's sleepy or just waking up, nothing makes him happier than cozying up to me on the couch where he'll play quietly with a toy or flip through a book.

And, oh, the kisses this kid gives. One minute he's zipping around like Flash Gordon and the next, he's planting a wet one on you seemingly out of nowhere. It's so touching, like he just all of a sudden thinks, "Hey, I love my mom. Let me kiss her real quick."

Talking about his kisses make me think of his hugs, his sweet, sweet hugs, where he latches on with is whole body, arms around the neck, head on the shoulder. One hug from this kid and you never want to let him go.

Yes, he's a devil. He's a naughty little thing, always making mischief and peering over his should at me with a sly grin, making sure I see what trouble he's up to. But, the truth is, the second I see that mischievous smile, I'm toast. He's got me and he knows it.

I hope this kind of intimacy always comes easy to him, that he always loves freely and doesn't hold back. And while I know that at 15 he probably won't shower me with kisses and be content to cuddle me on the couch, I know I'll still be looking for traces of my sweet, snuggly little boy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

With a Little Help from my Friends

Call yourself a whiny asshole and the love just comes out of the woodwork!

I was feeling down, defeated, hopeless, and just plain exhausted and you all reminded me that not only is it okay, but that it will get better. Also, the offers of help I got? Seriously. My friend Tiffanie is bring over dinner for not one but TWO of the nights Nelson is in Madrid. In classic Midwestern style, Susanica has offered to bring me dinner one evening as well. And Kate has offered to come over once, possibly twice to give me a hand in the afternoons/evenings. And I cannot forget the offers of help to paint Oscar's fuchsia nightmare from Lissa, Amy, and Pam.

And really, your words of sympathy and support have made me feel more calm and convinced me to be less hard on myself. So, a big thank you to Ellen, Ami, Mike, Veronica, Stimey, Taz, Moo, and Anna for their kind words.

Now I'm off for a nap. I leave you with these famous Lennon/McCartney lyrics, which I am so feeling right now, even though they are majorly cliche. This song would totally be on the mix tape I'd make for you.

What do I do when my love is away
(Does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I'm gonna to try with a little help from my friends

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Post Where I Whine Like an Asshole About Being Pregnant

So, here I am, at a mere 29 weeks and change and you know what? I'm am sooooo done. I'm exhausted (again), I've got nausea (again), I've got insomnia (again), I've got terrible heartburn, I'm starving but my stomach is so compressed I can eat anything, my lower back hurts, my hips hurt, my knees hurt, I'm peeing every 20 minutes, I'm out of breath, I have dandruff, I'm leaking colostrum, my gums are bleeding, my ankles and feet are swelling, I can't remember shit (like to take some out for dinner, or even that dinner exists), I'm fat, I'm crying all the time, and I'm becoming a psychotic bitch.

I feel completely inadequate. I'm too tired to play well with the boys, to big to haul my ass on and off the floor, too tired to pick them up and hold them for more than a few minutes, my patience is short, and they are getting frustrated with me (rightly so.)

Things that used to take me five minutes are taking twice that. Unloading the dishwasher or folding a load of laundry exhausts me. Hell, going pee exhausts me.

I'm overwhelmed. Being pregnant and taking care of Oscar and the house and the shopping and the scheduling is just more than I feel physically and mentally able to handle. I'm forgetting things, important things, like my dogs heart worm medication. Nelson wants to help, but when I give him a list of what needs to be done, one or two things always get "dropped" and I have to come behind him and finish up. Which is even worse than just doing it myself in the first place because, for example, I thought the vacuuming was done, but it never was, so now it's even worse than it was two days ago.

And I can't even talk about the negative progress on Oscar's toddler room. Really. He's going to be moving into a fuchsia room, and I know it and I hate it.

Oh, and the drain on the tub broke so the tub won't stop up, so we're back to using the too-small-toddler-tub for Oscar's baths.

And, did I mention that Nelson is going to Spain for a WEEK? A week in which I'll have even less help than usual, a week in which I'll be solely responsible for the DBB (dinner, bath, bed) trifecta all by myself? At 30 weeks pregnant. How is that going to work? Someone, please tell me because I can't figure it out. I think the week will end with Oscar starving, unbathed, and exhausted. Kind of like me on a daily basis.

This is only the beginning of my third trimester. Things are going to get worse, and I know it. I'm going to get more sore, more tired, more crazy, more fed up. I still have ten weeks and some to go, here. I can't even see the light yet. I still have a long haul. You know, before the new baby arrives and turns everything upside down.

I'm hoping I'm just having one of those days or weeks or whatever. I'm hoping tomorrow morning I wake up and am ready to face the remainder of my pregnancy with my normal glass-is-half-full outlook.

I don't like feeling like I can't do this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

29 Weeks

Here I am at 29 weeks, with a cameo by my chins and dog Nebo.


Friday, September 19, 2008

And So It Began

He was so little and soft and smelled so amazing. He'd never been bathed and he smelled like the very essence of purity and freshness. I could not get enough of that smell.

He was bigger than I expected, but I was still amazed at how tiny he was. I could not stop looking at him, his perfect rosebud mouth, the downy soft hair on his head, the stork bit on the back of his little neck.

When he nursed in those first few days, his body seemed to melt into mine. In our first few weeks, napping during the day with him on my chest, he would squirm and wiggle his way up my torso until his head rested between my neck and chin and his heart was directly over top of my own.

At just four weeks old he looked into my eyes and gave me his first smile. My heart was so full I almost couldn't bear the sweetness.

I knew I would love my son, but I had no idea how all consuming that love would be. How he would fill an emptiness in my heart that I did not know was there. How I'd been waiting my whole life for him. That he would be my soul mate.

Many people said to me, "Don't loose your identity in being a mother. Remember who you are." But I was born to be his mother. It is who I was always meant to be.

***********************************


Congratulations to Kristen and Rebecca on their pending arrivals. May babies number three and two, respectively, give you joy beyond your expectations.


Phobia Friday: The Dark

Can you believe I'm actually admitting to being afraid of the dark? Aren't I like 25 years too old to still have that fear? Well, it's true. I am afraid of the dark, or more specifically, the things IN the dark.

I've been afraid of the dark for as long as I can remember. I think it may be my first real fear. As a child, I used to have awful recurring nightmares and it was always dark out in my nightmares. I used to tell them to my mom and they even her. I slept with a light on, not a nightlight but a lamp, for years, until I was maybe 10 or 12.

I think the root is in the fact that my parents let me watch inappropriate movies as a kid. Jaws, Poltergeist, Alien, Lost Boys, Wrath of Kahn, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween; I saw all these movies before I was ten. And those are some scary-ass movies. They scare me even now.

I also pretty vividly remember my older cousin Chuck telling me the boogeyman lived in my closet and was going to come and get me. I had to clean my closet out so I could shut the door, because I convinced myself he could only get in if the door was open.

When I was in middle school I read Stephen King's Boogeyman and that renewed my terror. I'm not really a big King fan, but let me tell you that story totally played to my fears. His description of the Boogeyman was EXACTLY how I'd always imagined him, and HE COULD ONLY GET IN IF THE CLOSET DOOR WAS OPEN. I've never been able to sleep with a closet door open. Not even a crack. Oscar's closet door doesn't fully close, so I have to jam something up against it at night or I can't sleep. Really.

I've also always had terrible vision, so a pile of clothes, or a dog, or robe hanging on the back of the door can really scare the crap out of me. I mean, unfamiliar shapes in the dark can be frightening if you have good vision, so imagine if you can't see two feet in front of your face.

I used to be afraid of monsters under my bed too, and I had to sleep completely covered up as to avoid being snacked on in the night. I don't really have this fear anymore, but I have to admit, sometimes my dogs sleep partially under the bed, and when I feel them moving under there, it scares the crap out of me. But only for a second.

These days, this fear is not so bad. Our old apartment was in a basement and it really got to me then. Now, even though our house is really dark and really old, I don't get freaked out that often. Our house doesn't creak or shift and has a really good, positive vibe. The dogs make me feel safe (when they aren't scaring the crap out of me) even though I know they are bigger chickenshits than me.

So, yes, I'm afraid of the dark but not debilitating so. I can get my self a glass of water, go to the bathroom, grab a snack, all under the cover of darkness. Sometimes I get freaked out, but mostly I'm okay.

As long as the all the closet doors are shut. And I'll admit that I double check them all every single night.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Notes

Dear Police and Fire Departments of My Fine Community:

I understand that having a siren blaring as you rush to an emergency is completely necessary. However, I'm willing to bet if they were just a scoach less loud than DEAFENING pedestrians and motorists would still be able to hear you coming. And there would be the possible bonus of the sirens not waking sleeping children in my home. Multiple times a week.

On that note, as your sirens are plenty loud, possibly could you not blare you horns in addition to them? Because, I assure you, if any pedestrian or motorist or sleeping child cannot hear your deafening sirens, the horn really isn't going to make a difference, mkay?

Yours in Safety,

Jenni

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Dear Mother Nature:

Although this last weekend was blazing hot, it seems you've finally realized that fall is upon us. I have been enjoying the mid-70s temperatures during the day and the low-to-mid-60s temperatures at night. These temperatures are one of my favorite parts about living in the DC Metro Area.

However, last night, the outdoor thermometer dipped well below 60 degrees and I am concerned. You see Mrs. Nature, I count on a good six to eight week gap between having to use my air conditioner and turning on my heat. This gap allows me to save up a significant chunk of change that I use on my holiday spending.

But, it's already getting a wee bit chilly at night, Mrs. Nature, and because I have a kid, I can't just tell Nelson to tough it out and wear a sweater.

Please, just let fall stick around for a little longer. Is that too much to ask?

Treading Lightly,

Jenni

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Dear Oscar:

I must request that you stop repeatedly pressing the "6" button on your Sesame Street Telephone. Hearing Elmo chanting "six, six, six" is starting to freak me out.

Kisses,

Mommy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You're Late

Last Friday, my husband was running late. Well, later than usual. So late, in fact, that I was not going to be able to fix dinner in solitude as I usually do.

So, twenty minutes after my husband said, "I'll be home in forty minutes," Oscar and I went in the kitchen to cook dinner. Together.

No, normally when Nelson is running this late, we'll just have PB&J or take out and call it a night. But, I had 3/4 lb of ground turkey that I'd saved from the prior evening's meatloaf to use in a pasta sauce (oh, you so wish you had dinner at my house every night, right?) Since we were leaving town on Saturday, if I didn't cook the meat, it would go bad. And, if you hadn't noticed groceries are a wee bit expensive these days, so I'm not willing to let anything go bad, even if it's just 3/4 lb of ground turkey.

So, I set Oscar up in front of the measuring spoons/cups and mixing bowl cabinet and try to get him interested. He is not at all interested in measuring cups. But, he is interested in the sodas sitting in 12-packs beside the fridge. He started taking them out putting them on the floor, rolling the, etc. Pretty harmless, right?

So, I begin making dinner. I put a pot of water on to boil, I pre-heat a skillet for the meat. It seems to be going well, but one of the reasons I don't like cooking with Oscar in the kitchen is that he's so tall, he can reach up and touch the front burners (no kidding) so I have to cook on the back burners, which is a total pain.

The meat is on, all is going well, until I hear a pop. And a hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. And I feel moisture spraying on my legs. I look down and one of the soda cans has exploded and is spraying soda (non-diet cola) all over Oscar, and me, and the pantry door, and the front of the stove, and the floor. I have a small kitchen, okay?

So, I swoop in and snatch the can from Oscar's already sticky hands and toss it in the sink behind me. I turn my attention back to Oscar and he's now standing up in the soda and trying to walk. This does not work. He slips in the sticky brown liquid falls. And burst into panicky tears. And covers himself even more thoroughly in soda.

I pick him up and he is inconsolable. While holding my sticky, soaking offspring, I wet a kitchen towel and attempt to use to to mop up the floor with my foot. You can imagine how well that worked.

Meanwhile, the meat is burning, the water is boiling and I don't have a free hand. Oscar screams like a banshee if I put him down, so I have to disrobe him, one-handed, while holding him. Good times.

I finally get him down to his onesie and wipe him and me down with a wet towel. Again, one handed, while holding him. I also somehow stir the "browned" meat.

I put him down in the living room, and he screams as though someone is putting needles into his eyes. I throw in the pasta, add jarred sauce to the meat and return to my devastated youth. Who is not injured by the way, although I do think falling in a puddle of soda hurt his pride.

We play, happy for a few moments, until I have to drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. At the precise moment Oscar's screams reach fever pitch (four seconds after I leave the room), Nelson walks in the door.

He picks up Oscar, "What's wrong, buddy?"

I come back in the room to see my son soothed by his daddy.

I'm breathing fire when I respond.

"You're late."

Monday, September 15, 2008

From "Nononono" to "No thank you mother, I would not like another grape."

So, remember a few weeks ago when I was all, "My baby doesn't talk enough and is loosing words and OHMYGOD something is wrong with him?" Yeah, well, I was wrong. W-R-O-N-G. The kids is a g.d blabbermouth.

It started happening on vacation. And to be honest, I'm not even the one who noticed. My sister's step-daughter Skye, who was a teacher and has two toddlers of her own, is the one who pointed it out.

We were playing and Oscar ran toward me, "Got you!" he yelled as he collided into my chest. "What?" I said. "He said 'Got you.' It was pretty clear," Skye said. I was pretty shocked.

And then, there's the babbling, "Goo dala bloo leedle leedle do doo pfft DOG," he said. "That was a really long sentence about a dog," Sky pointed out.

And Oscar does that all the time. "Doola gong leddle dleed leedle bloop DADA tee tee tee MAMA." Little baby sentences.

Then, also while on vacation, he peered around the TV and said, "I see. I see." His first two word phrase!

After we got home, he started reaching for things and asking, "I see? I see?"

And last week, while we were having pre-bedtime cuddle, looked at Nelson and I and said, "Poop." And while we were reading one of his favorite books, he said "dinosaur" three times. Well, he actually said "dyasore" but he was trying to say "dinosaur." It was awesome.

Yesterday, when he was looking at a picture of some cats, he pointed to it and said, "I see it," just as clear as day. That's THREE WORDS! A three word sentence. Even I know that's advanced talking for a 15-month-old.

He also started saying, "What that?" when he points at things instead of just "Dat?" He did it twice yesterday.

It's totally bizarre to hear real words, not just sounds coming out of his mouth. I almost can't believe it. I just can't believe he's talking. Like a kid. Not just words, but phrases and sentences. He's understanding language.

So, he's normal. I feel pretty confident in his language development at this point. I'm not saying he brilliant, but he's where he should be.

Who am I kidding here? He's a freaking genius.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

28 Weeks


Only 12 weeks to go. I'm not sure if that's way too soon or not soon enough.
And yes, my belly is hanging out of that shirt. I'm retiring it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Phobia Friday: The Corn Refiners Association

Have you seen these commercials? The first time I saw them, I thought they were a joke. But they are not.

The Corn Refiners Association has actually produced commercial telling people that High Fructose Corn Syrup is "fine in moderation," comparing it to sugar and honey.

What really pisses me off, is the people in the commercials don't know why HFCS is bad for you. Let me enlighten then:

*There is a DIRECT CORRELATION between the rise in obesity in the U.S. and the use of HFCS in our food and beverages. Obesity = BAD.

*Studies indicate that is causes insulin resistance. It also contains certain compounds that are found in elevated quantities in people with diabetes and contributes to foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage. Hello, diabetes? Do I need to tell you why that's bad?

*It's cheaper than sugar, so it's used more often, and not only as a sweetener, but also as a preservative, so you're probably getting more HFCS than you realize. It's hard to moderate something you don't know is there. Seriously, read the ingredients on your salad dressing or ketchup or cereal. It's there and you don't even know it.

*A recent study showed a link between HFCS and liver damage.


So, yeah, I guess in moderation, HFCS isn't any worse than sucrose, but the point is there is no moderation, in the the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, and most other countries. And, these commercials are not advocating moderate consumption so much as they are pretending that HCFS is a perfectly healthy addition to your and your children's diets.

I'm not saying I don't eat the stuff. I was raised on it; I'm likely addicted to it. But, I keep it away from my kid (as well as other sugars) as best I can.

What I am saying, is don't be fooled by these stupid commercials. They are encouraging irresponsible consumerism and an unhealthy lifestyle. Be aware of what you and your family are eating.

And I'm officially off my soap box.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Do You Do With a No-Nap Baby?

Once again, I'm faced with a dilemma that calls upon me to actually parent my child. As opposed to letting him wander aimlessly through life figuring it out on his own. Sigh.

At 15-months-old, Oscar is getting to a point where he no longer wants to take two naps. However, he still really needs two naps or he's awful tired and awful cranky. What to do?

Our pattern for the past several months has been a 2-2.5 hour morning nap and a 1 to 1.5 hour afternoon nap. And this pattern is SERIOUSLY AWESOME. Really, it is. Ask any parent and they will tell you a kid that naps for between three and five hours a day is like a dream, people, a dream. AND averaging 10-11 hours a night.

Our pattern as of the past few weeks as been closer to one 45 minute - 1 hour nap and one 1.5-2 hour nap. While this is still not too shabby, I'm maxing out at two hours of napping spread throughout the day, which is far less than the three to five hours of napping I'm used to.

Okay, I can deal with the fact that as Oscar gets older, he's going to drop a nap. He's going to reorganize his sleep schedule and consolidate his naps. I'm guessing we'll end up with a 2.5-3 hour nap by the time this all works itself out, and I'll be happy with that.

But what I'm struggling with, is how to help him get there, to his place of napping bliss? I've been following his cues like always, putting him down when he's tired, retrieving him when he wakes; but the fact that it's gotten so sporadic again is wearing on me. And my kid is cranky. The short nap is killing him. It's not long enough for him to fully recharge and he's much more likely to melt down without a nap of 2+ hours.

And, did I mention that I'm pregnant and my patience wears very thin very quickly? It's thread bare, people, and a cranky toddler wears it down in about a second.

Everyone says that the transition from one to two naps is a tough one. I know I'm not the first one to go through this. My pediatrician says it will all work itself out by the time he's 18 months. You know, when I have a newborn permanently attached to my boob and am completely sleep deprived and unable to parent even slightly effectively.

So, I just have to make it three more months, the three longest months of a pregnant woman's life. I have to be patient and help him work it out and deal with his crankiness and meltdowns without having any of my own.

He's awake, right now, at 9:55. I put him down at quarter after. He's crowing and playing up there.

So, I'm off.

Whoever said parenting gets easier is a liar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daddy Worship

Oscar and his Dad: Two Peas in a Pod



I knew that it was coming. Friends warned me about it, and I actually thought I was looking forward to it.

Daddy worship.

It supposedly happens sometime between a year and 18 months, particularly in boy children. They just become really into their dad, preferring them even to mom. I'm not sure why but, my mom friends say it's like a switch flips and all of a sudden it's all about the Dada.

I thought, "It'll be great, Oscar and Nelson will get really close just before the baby is due. I'll be easier on me that way. He'll be clinging to his dad, not to me. I'll have a little space, a little breathing room before the baby arrives. And once the baby is here, Oscar will be so enamored with his Dad, he won't even miss me."

And you know what? They have gotten really close of the past weeks. Like, really close.

When Nelson enters a room, Oscar screams with delight and runs over to him.

If I'm holding Oscar and Nelson walks by, he begins whining and reaching out to him.

If, god forbid, Nelson needs to pass Oscar off to me, his little face crumples into a mass of tears and he clings to his dad like a little spider monkey.

Like I said, I thought it would be great. A relief even. But instead, I have to try really hard to not let it break my heart.

My baby, who once lived for me, breathed for me, was nourished by me, took his very life blood from me, if forsaking me for his dad.

I should not be jealous. I should be happy. It is traditionally much more difficult for dads to bond with babies, particularly when that baby is breastfed by a stay-at-home-mom. Nelson has waited a long time for the moment Oscar would come to him, cuddle him, be contented by his Daddy's arms. He's worked for it. He deserves it.

Now, it's not like Oscar has washed his hands of me completely. He still comes to me and cuddles me and calls to me and plants himself on my lap to play with toys while giving the occasional kiss or hug. He still loves and needs his mom.

But, when Daddy's in the room, I play second fiddle.

And I hate it.

And I hate the fact that I hate it.

I want my baby back.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Reason #2 Why Pregnancy is Awesome

Sometimes, pregnancy is awesome. And I don't just mean because of the whole baby-at-the-end thing (which is the #1 most awesome thing about pregnancy, for sure.) Since I do a good bit of complaining about pregnancy on this blog, I figured I should also talk about it's better points, particularly as I'm entering the home stretch, a.k.a the third trimester, a.k.a the worst, most painful part of pregnancy. So, lots of complaining to come, people.

Anyways, I was reading a post by fellow DC area blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah the other day about her awful, bloody, itchy mosquito bites and it occurred to me that I've gotten not-a-one this year. Not one mosquito bite.

Granted, I haven't been camping or kayaking or anything (which we usually do in the summer) because of the pregnancy, but I have been out in the yard a good deal, picking veggies from our garden, or fixing dinner on the grill, or taking the boys to the park that's located beside one of the DC area's scenic rivers (heh) in a fairly woodsy park.

In fact, my husband, brother, and brother's girlfriend have been complaining of mosquitoes all year. They won't even set foot out the door, to grill for example, without dousing themselves with Off. And I can even see the swarms of bugs as I walk through them unscathed.

And, I haven't been using any Off. Deet + Pregnancy = Sketchy, in my book anyways. It seems my pregnancy pheromones or hormones or whatever are completely unappealing to mosquitoes. And, that's awesome.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Husband Thinks He's Funny. I Beg to Differ.

Friday evening, during the five hour drive home from vacation:

Nelson: Um, is that a giant Batman decal covering the the rear windshield of that beat up old Camero?

Jenni: Yep. He's slow. Pass him.

Nelson: What, did he just get off of exit nineteen eighty nine?

Jenni: Pass him.

Nelson: Get it? Nineteen eighty nine? 1989?

Jenni: I get it. Pass him.

Nelson: Come on, that was funny!

Jenni: Pass him.

Blogging Things That Matter ***UPDATED***

***UPDATE***
Ivy's doctors saw the petition and aproved her treatment! Thanks for you help


I'm still recovering from our beach vacation, but I came home Saturday to find a very moving post about a little girl who needs our help on not one, but two of my favorite blogs. Health care bureaucracies suck. Read Veronica's post below (or click through to the original to see photos of beautiful little Ivy), and please help.

***************************************************

Ivy is beautiful and Ivy is sick. Ivy is only 2.

And yet, at age 2, Ivy has seen the inside of a hospital more times than anyone should have to. Ivy has a rare immune deficiency IgG. Because of that, she has Pemphigus which is an autoimmune response to the IgG [please note, these are photos of Ivy's pemphigus blisters and they may be a little graphic for some people].

These are horrible conditions that no adult should have to deal with, let alone a child.
Ivy is currently on Prednisone and Mycophenolate to help control her symptoms and blistering; however, these drugs suppress her immune system, on top of the deficiency.

Ivy’s mum says “…she was never good at mounting a response to infection but the meds make it worse.”

She frequently ends up in hospital on IV antibiotics, just to help control the infection in her ears that never seems to completely disappear. She cannot be exposed to a simple virus in fear that it will land her back in hospital for days at a time.

She can’t go to the playground to play.

She can’t attend playgroup.

She can’t head to the supermarket with her mother.

She might never be able to go to regular school.

She is only 2.

However, there is a treatment that would give Ivy a good chance at normal life.

It’s called IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) and it is a transfusion of immune cells that would bolster Ivy’s own immune system and help her fight infections in a normal way.
Think about it, a chance at a normal life. A life that doesn’t involve frequent hospitalisations.

Unfortunately, the officials at the Australian National Blood Authority have denied the request for Ivy to have this treatment. This treatment that could very well keep her out of hospital. So far, all appeals have been in vain.

As Ivy’s Mum says on her website:
“My little girl is going to have a life of hospital admissions and illness, some chronic, some life threatening, because some guy in an ivory tower decided she could survive without this medication.”

How is this fair?

What if it was your child? What if it was your sister’s child? Do the rules change for daughters of the officials? How come someone with a big stamp gets to say yes or no to this little girl’s chance at a normal life?

It shouldn’t be like this.

All I am asking for is 2 minutes of your time. If you could just head over here and sign our petition, we might be able to get enough support to convince the National Blood Authority officials to change their mind.

Ivy is only 2. She deserves a chance to be normal.

Please, a minute of your time could make all the difference for Ivy.

Sign Petition

If you have a blog and you would like to help spread the word, please feel free to copy this post and link back here to me at Sleepless Nights [so that I can follow where it has gone].

And if you would like to follow Ivy’s story (and that of her twin brother and older siblings) you can find them here, at My Three Ring Circus, written by the talented Tiff. All photos were taken by Tiff as well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sandcastles, Beware!

Oscar, looking for sandcastles to destroy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vacation, All I Really Wanted

I am NOT a beach goer. This stems from my phobia of the Ocean. Why go somewhere where you will be surrounded by one of the things you fear most?

But this year, my sister invited Nelson, Oscar and I to vacation with her and her in-laws, dad, and step-mom at one of the most beautiful vacation spots on the east coast. As we could not otherwise afford and were not otherwise planning a vacation, we decided we could not turn down the offer.

I won't lie - the bridge we had to go over to get the the island was terrifying. It was maybe 12 feet off the water (except for the peak, so boats can travel under it), it had a large curve, it was LONG, and it was raining. I think I held my breath the whole time. But, we made it.

So here we sit, on an island 1/4 of a mile wide and 70 miles long and I'm loving every minute of it. But, most importantly, Oscar is loving it. Who knew island living could be so...beachy?

Blogger's being wonky, but cute baby-at-beach photos to come!