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November 2005
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January 2006

In Need of Advice

I have some questions I’d like to turn over to the general public of parents out there.  I’m hoping you all can lend some experience, wisdom, insight, stories or even shared rumors.  This is a quest, you see.  I am perfectly happy to throw my hands in the air and proclaim, shit, I don’t know what I’m doing, please help me.  (And as the parenting books tend to err on the side of lots of caution, sometimes they just aren’t helpful.)

First question… or really, situation.  In my parenting book it mentions that right around 12 months of age, give or take, “your child may start refusing food to see your reaction”. OK, well.  It seems we’ve speeded up that process by giving our child amoxicillin.  Chance sees the feeder spoon all filled up with pink goo, gets an evasive look in his eye and immediately dons the “clam mouth” (that’s the jaw and lips clamped shut expression).  My parenting book also says that at his age, 8-12 months, he still has a “short memory”.  Yeah, right. This kid knows what the medicine looks like and then he’ll hold onto his grudge for a good while after, sometimes even refusing his bottle – apparently on principle.  I really hate to treat my child like the cat and pressure open his little jaw by squeezing his cheeks, but sometimes you just do what you gotta do.  Plus, the guilt trips he’s giving out are surprisingly effective.  So, any advice out there to make this process easier?

Second question.  Our son already has a security blanket.  He really loves it and he will comfort himself to sleep if he’s got it with him.  So… when is it OK to let your child sleep with a blanket/security object?  Now, don’t despise me… I’m not letting him sleep with it yet.  (Well, except for his day naps, because I’m awake and there to check on him.)  He’s currently 9 ½ months.  He has not once buried his face in it to a degree where I thought he was restricting his air flow; he just likes to hold onto it and make little sucking faces towards its general direction.  (It’s so cute!  But SIDS still freaks me out.)

What do you all think?               - the weirdgirl

P.S. I actually wanted to post these questions last night, but I was having the WORST Internet problems!  What’s up with that?

P.P.S.  I’m also looking for a good developmental milestone book for kids; any recommendations?  One with good behavioral advice? 


Mutual of Omaha Presents…

The elusive snotmonster is a wily creature.  Once our team tracked down a likely specimen the beast fought aggressively to avoid capture, squirming violently and sounding its distinctive grunting-nose-whistle.  Avoiding its flailing limbs, it took no less than two members handling the beast to ensure no harm came to it or the team during its examination.  Finally subdued, the team members quickly took a sample of the characteristic feature of the snotmonster in the hopes that further analysis of the DNA would lend insight into its unique immune system and possible evolutionary forebearers.  Due to the unusually excessive amounts of said snot and the relative ease with which the team tracked this particular creature, it could only be surmised that the snotmonster was suffering from an ailment that slowed it down.  However unfortunate that was for the beast, it benefited the team greatly as they acquired quite a large sample of the creature’s snot and even went on to clear the animal’s nasal passage for better breathing.  Once that was complete the only thing left for the team was to tag it and release it back into the wild; continual tracking of its migratory patterns and behavior will be invaluable for future understanding and protection of the snotmonster.           

                – the weirdgirl


The End of the Weekend

Well, all the family/holiday stuff is done.  Thank goodness.  It was, in turn, fun, exhausting, teeth-grittingly aggravating and all the usual family crap.  I have heard people say that they love spending time with their families; that they have the best times at family get-togethers.  I am incredibly impressed by people who say this.  Obviously, somebody did something really right in those families.  I won’t be so naïve as to think that this might still happen with our families’ older generations, but perhaps me and Keen can manage to keep things enjoyable for our kids. 

On that note, the day started off well.  Lots of sitting around.  Schoolhouse Rock playing on the DVD. We were alternating between organizing left-over Christmas stuff and being utterly lazy.  Good times, I tell you. 

But then I noticed something.  A pull at the ear.  Another.  Two hours later, after the kiddo woke up from a nap, the ear looked red.  Still… no fever, no crying or apparent discomfort.  Another hour later and it was still red.  OK, that was it.  I took him to the clinic. Caught the ear infection right at the beginning.  Whew!  (*wipes sweat off brow*)   

I think Keen was a little bemused at my lightning quick reaction.  “Are you sure he didn’t just clunk his ear on something?” Keen asked.  Yes, I was sure.  I’ve just done too much daycare, known too many kids over the years, I KNOW what the red ear means.  I even vaguely remember the last ear infection I had as a kid.  They suck (with a capital exclamation point).  And I neither wanted to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a kid in pain, nor let Chance experience it if I could help it. 

So now I consider the crazy holiday weekend officially closed.  (“Although we are alone, I lock the door.”)  Sorry family, the kid is sick, we’ll have to visit later.  After we all recover.    

          – the weirdgirl

P.S. Friends still welcome to stop by. J 

P.P.S. Happy Birthday, Dani!   


Mmm, Fiber

I JUST NOTICED this rather shabby-looking corner of a gift under our tree that my son has apparently been using as a chew toy.  Considering the many layers of mastication visible here you'd think I would have noticed this happening, wouldn't you?  Bad mommy.  So should I pretend I haven't seen it or just turn the box around so he can have a fresh corner?          - wg

Dsc00826


Cookies!

Today I got a batch of Bite My Cookie’s scrumptious treats.  And let me tell you, they are fucking good (that’s better than sex good… or maybe snack-right-after-sex good)!  Yum yum yum.  They are also HUGE!  Almost a meal in themselves (and trust me, I have no problem making a meal out of dessert – I’ve already chowed one and a half of them).  I tried getting a picture with the cat (who was very interested in them too) so you could see the size of them proportionately.  But considering the cat is kind of big himself, it didn’t come out as well as I hoped.

In any case, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU BMC!! Your cookies rock! 

Dsc00816_1


Unwitty

I could not post last night due to application issues! Grrrr snarl Here’s my state of mind from last night.  (I am marginally improved this morning, but not much or I would feel up to writing something new.) 

Dec. 20th  11:30 pm

Once again, I am braindead.  Damnit, that seems to happen a lot!  My stamina has just been down the tubes lately (and I’ve been refraining from popping Sudafeds to keep me awake – oh, college days I miss you).  I’m getting old, old, old.  Can I ask for my energy and my old waistline back for Christmas?  (No?  Well, then piss off Santa!  What did you ever do for me?!  Oh, did I say that out loud?  Shit.  Think nice thoughts, nice.)

Anyways, I did want to mention a couple of things.  For those of you who know Adventure Dad and his Foxy Wife it may behoove you to visit Sandriux.  There is a little announcement! 

And for a funnier-than-shit list of Christmas MUST HAVES, check out the Phoenix’s latest post.  Seriously.  Gals, ever had that desire to pee standing up?  Better than Dave Barry’s list.            - wg 


Almost There

Boy, am I pooped.  It seems like you just get everything on your list done when a few more things creep in.  Oh, well.

Keen and I are starting to get really excited about Christmas, because of it being Chance’s first and all.  I know the grandparents have visions of him gleefully tearing open gifts and reveling in the joy of the season.  All the other relatives want to take pictures and see him in a Santa hat.  Me and Keen both want to see his reaction to his presents on Christmas morning  and all the festivities.  I know.  I know.  It’s all for us adults.  After all the trips to the mall we’ve already dragged him to, and all the family and friends visits he will be doing, in the end he’ll be happiest cruising around the house in his own space, maybe crinkling up some tissue paper as he chases the cats.  And maybe that’s the part we’re really looking forward to… when all is said in done, nothing beats relaxing in your own house with your kid; reading him a book, playing with a new toy, watching him have the most fun just being with his parents.  It’s all about those great spontaneous hugs around the necks Chance throws us just to let us know he cares.  Kids are so good at that. Damn, do they get this holiday season or what?

Warning: I may get even SAPPIER as the week goes on.             – the weirdgirl


Cracking the Whip

Ha ha! I’m back in front of the computer!  (Oh, I missed you Internet connection.)  My back is on the mend and I can sit for longish periods once again.  That’s the real kicker, never knowing what’s going to happen if my back acts up… sometimes I can only sit and rest, other times I have to keep moving.  This was one of those keep moving times.  Sitting for longer than 20 minutes in front of the computer was killing me.  On the upside I DID get all my wrapping, baking, visitation scheduling, putting the photos into frames, addressing the envelopes and other miscellaneous holiday stuff DONE!  Ha HA!!  Work projects, on the other hand, have been sadly neglected.

Hmmm. I get PAID for those, don’t I?  Damn, I guess sitting on my butt reading books will have to wait.  So much for the holiday dream. 

Here’s a secret… in my long history of manifold careers* (yes, I’ve had a lot of jobs. I get bored, OK?  And then I need to move on,) one year I just happened to quit one right at the beginning of December.  I also decided that I wouldn’t look for another job until after New Years because, you know, who’s really hiring?  I had the whole holiday month off!  It was a beautiful thing.  And since that one time when I non-intentionally took off the holiday season, after experiencing the joy of a December off… if I had a job that I hated and I knew eventually I would quit I would try to stretch out the time so I could quit right before the holidays.  I managed to quit two or three jobs in a row just as I was ramping up for Christmas.  See?  That’s strategic planning.

Ah, well, not happening this year.  Work is a-piling so I gotta get crackin’.  It’s so lonely when you have to crack your own whip.  You can’t even get a good sexual innuendo out of it.           – the weirdgirl

*Just so you know… those many jobs?  None of them counted; they weren’t real careers.  Just those crappy jobs you take during and shortly after college to pay the bills.  And some of them just sucked.  Such as the one where the glass ceiling was about knee-high and there was no HR person to complain to about the sexual harassment.  And any place I had to manage the phones automatically doesn’t count.  Oh, and some of them went out of business, so those don’t count either.  Frankly, the only ones I count as “real” are the ones where I actually learned something.  Well, learned something besides quitting gracefully right before the holiday season, that is.  Bwa ha ha!


My back has gone out again. *groan*  I think the little guy is going through another growing spurt (that’s usually about when my back goes out).  Plus, he is a wiggle machine, right now. A STRONG wiggle machine! I know he’s a least 20 pounds on our oh-so-calibrated bathroom scale, but you can’t get an exact weight on that thing.  And again, there is the wiggling impeding measurement. I’m having a hard time sitting at the computer so I’ll come back when my back calms down. Anyone know a masseuse who does house calls? (NOT that kind!)            - wg


The Great Santa Mystery

OK, the busy-ness of the season and some work projects are fucking with my ability to blog properly.  Apologies.  I’m sure the brain power will return soon.  Rest assured that in the back of my brain, deep thoughts are a-percolating.  I can feel them.  But until they brew themselves into a brainy version of hot, caffeinated goodness, here’s another thought I’d like to leave you with: 

Jack Nicklaus = Santa Claus

Now you may scoff, but I have thought long and hard and worked out all the angles of this quagmire of deception!  Consider the following.

Fact number one: All pro golf tours END before winter!  Hmmm, just in time for the REAL season.

Fact number two: Let’s examine the name… Jack Frost… Old St. Nick… Santa Claus… they all conveniently merge into “Jack Nicklaus”.

Fact number three: The golfer seems jolly more often than not. 

Fact number four: Hauling a golf bag, hauling a sack full of toys… can we say “pre-season training”? 

Fact number five: What else is he supposed to do all year long? Make toys?  What’s the point in having a cheap, workforce on site if you’re gonna get your hands dirty?

All are these things coincidence?  I think not.  OK, they’re not really “facts” but I think this is some pretty damning evidence.  And finally…

Jack_2 Jack_with_bag_1

You can see it, can’t you?            

                - the weirdgirl


It’s Beginning to Cramp A Lot Like Christmas

I have been rushing all weekend to get Christmas stuff done.  See, I have this whole system when I’m overloaded of assigning myself deadlines (or sometimes rolling deadlines) in order to complete everything.  All scheduled in between caring for the child, of course.  Last week was “complete all Christmas shopping” and “finish so-and-so project for work”.  This weekend was “wrap gifts,” “decorate tree,” “get photos done,”  and “start Christmas cards”.  This coming week, starting tomorrow, is “start 2nd & 3rd projects for work,” “make fudge,” “finish Christmas loose ends,” and “craft projects”.  You get the picture.  Ambitious little twat, aren’t I?   

This is how the weekend actually went:

Saturday

Clean house

Start wrapping gifts

wrap

wrap

wrap

Anticipate getting photos with Chance and Santa

Get excited

Think about the mall on the weekend

dither

Move getting photos done to Monday night

wrap

wrap

Order project items online

Think about Christmas cards; shuffle stack of post-it notes shoved inside address book

wrap

wrap – still not finished

House is now a mess again

Sunday

Get period

cramp

cramp

cramp

Drag ass out of bed

cramp

Attempt to clean up portions of house

Take pain medication

cramp

Move furniture in anticipation of tree

cramp

Take more pain medication

cramp

Go to neighbors party

Drink wine

feel better (a little)

Decorate tree

Yell at cat for attacking tree

Fix tree

Sit in numbed state on couch

cramp

Roll remaining items on list forward

The problem with my system is that it doesn’t allow for breakdowns in momentum of any kind.  Or sometimes sleep.  However, I stick with my method because I do pad the deadline schedule liberally.  So in theory that means IF I get everything done I will have the week before Christmas free to sit on my ass, play with Chance, and read books.  Maybe even go visit people.  You know, for the holidays.  It’s that whole “work hard up front, screw off later” system.  Maybe I can still manage to catch up.  I really like the screwing off part.             – the weirdgirl

P.S. I thought cramps were supposed to go away after having a baby?  Or at least get better.  What the fuck?!


Nine Months Old

Tomorrow Chance will be nine months old.  I can’t believe how fast these last six months have gone!  Especially since the pregnancy and first three months seemed so long.  It is mind boggling to me that I’ve been waist deep in this whole adventure (including being preggers) for 18+ months.  And that in only three more short months Chance will be one year old!  All in all it has been a wonderful, exhausting, horrifying, and perfect experience.

(Though I do dream I’ll get a real vacation again someday.  Now I know why all those parents at Hawaiian resorts lie in a stupor, soaking up the sun while their kids get chased around by the pool attendants. I’ve seen ‘em.)

So here’s an update at where Chance is at nine months:

He has seven teeth, with the eighth about to break through.  Poor kid got five of them within two weeks.  And I think his molars may be starting too, because he’s drooling/chewing on his fingers at the back of his mouth.  He’s pretty stoic about it, though. I think he may have inherited his dad’s mouth.  Keen has the most sensitive feet in the world – you don’t want to hear him when he stubs his toe – but Keen has a double root canal and doesn’t take ANY pain killers afterwards.  (crazy)  See me?  I’m the opposite.  Tough feet, wimpy teeth. 

As I have previously posted, Chance has learned to clap. He’s also started with the pincer grasp, which he uses to seek out and pop small items from the floor into his mouth (argh!).  Since he’s started that I figure it’s about time to move on to slightly chunkier foods.  (I admit, I’ve been a total chicken about the finger food thing.  But with good reason; I tried giving him a bit of grown-up mashed potatoes once and he rowlfed all over me.  I’m hoping that gag reflex has gotten better.) 

He hasn’t quite figured out waving bye-bye yet, but he can rotate his little wrist like a fiend so I’ve been giving him brass bells to play with (‘tis the season for ringing).  And he also does a pretty good mad scientist impression twiddling his fingers together.

He crawls like a madman, pulls himself up on everything, and has even been eyeing the short spaces between furniture.  Chance and I both know he’s not ready for that step yet (and I’m DEFINITELY not ready for him walking yet), but it’s fun to watch him weighing the possibilities.      

No words yet.  It’s taken him a little longer to start babbling.  His favorite sound?  Diga diga diga.  Yup, just like that pervert on Family Guy.

So that’s it for now.  Tomorrow nine month pictures and a trip to see Santa.  It’s so obvious it’s for us more than him, but what can I say?  I’ve got to document it all.  We’ve turned into those typical, sappy parents.  J 

Have a good weekend everyone!            – the weirdgirl


Love It / Hate It

I have been feeling a little behind in everything lately.  Even though the check marks on my list are multiplying, even though things are slowly coming together… ugh, this time of year.  It comes too quickly and goes away too soon.

Chance has just figured out how to clap his hands. He’s not great at it yet, but he can definitely make a “clapping” sound.  He also looks so PLEASED and DELIGHTED when he does it… ah, it just gets me, big ole sappy mom, me.  You can’t help but celebrate too when a kid has yet again, mastered the universe!  Or at least a small portion of it. Yay, clapping hands!

He also seems to be understanding “no”, or starting to.  And he doesn’t particularly like it.  I swear he’s testing me.  Sometimes he goes right for the electrical cord of the ground heater (that has been moving from room to room), looks me right in the eye, grabs it and then smiles.  THEN when I say, “No Chance, that’s not to play with,” he gets a scary, determined look in his eyes, hollers his defiance at me, and shakes the cord some more.  “See this, mom?  See me shaking the cord?  What are you gonna do about it?”  (I kinda hope this part is only my imagination running wild due to lack of sleep.)

So, with those updates, I’ve gotta tell you… I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to seeing Chance clap on Christmas morning!  I remember my (much younger) kid brother clapping from excitement at Christmas and it’s just so damn endearing.  (He’d probably be mortified.)  I think Chance will be a little too young to clap from holiday excitement, but I’m going to try to get him to clap every chance I can.  (ooh, that sentence came out a little circular, didn’t it?)

And on the flip side, I’m SO DREADING the tree going up!  Even WITH the soft, plush ornaments my mom gave me for the lower branches, I know the scenario.  Me saying “no” at every turn, the bellows of defiance… it’s a whole new Christmas carol.

Would it be tacky to cordon the tree off with baby gates?             - the weirdgirl


Cell Phone Haiku

Since poetry and ring tones are now apparently at the same level of art in our culture (and because it’s been on my mind all day (GGC & Phoenix inspired me)) I decided to take it to the next level.  I give you… haikus for your phone.  Yes, now you can have your very own personalized recorded haiku as your ring tone.  What better way to deliver the message that not only do you have a call to answer, but also let the world know you are the classy, artistic sort? 

Some examples:

Temporary calls,

transitory voices long,

I am so profound.

My importance… so

much more than your dinner time;

I talk as you eat.

Caller ID haikus:

Hello, it’s your mom…

Why are you avoiding me?

I just want to talk.

Yo, bitch, it’s me. You

better pick up this damn phone.

I ain’t playin’ now.

Finally, for the parents:

            Don’t worry, your kid

            is not hurt or sick, but still…

            answer, just in case.

(In actuality, for parents away from their kids, this would sound like: phone ‘rings’, Don’t worry, your… beep, “Hello?! Hello?!”)

Any others?         - the weirdgirl


Poetry Snob… or My Cell Phone Hasn’t Sent Me a Message

There was an article the other day about a poet performing his work, “twenty haiku”; a mixture of performed haikus and multi-media.  I won’t comment on the poet’s art itself (not really my cup of tea, but here’s the web site if you’d like to visit) as I find much of the appeal of spoken word is subjective.  I’ve enjoyed it when it’s done well.  When it’s not done well… well, it’s about as bad as any other failed poetry form. 

However, it was some of the quotes used in the article that really got my attention.  Here, a sampling:

“It's fantastic that he's taking haiku to a higher plane,” said his second-grade teacher from Parkview Elementary School in San Jose, who taught him the art form years ago.

“Its simplicity -- like ring tones -- delivers a message.”  [A 24-year-old commenting on the poetry’s accessibility.]

deep breath… dee-eep breath

It’s at times like these when I just feel like smacking someone with a Norton’s Anthology.  (And yes, I had to edit down and reel in the tone of this entry quite a bit before I let myself post anything.)              - the weirdgirl


Out of the Blue…

Keen has decided that the cartoon Kim Possible must have been designed with Angelina Jolie in mind because, as he says, “Except for the hair Kim Possible looks just like her.”  I think Keen is crushing a little hard on Angelina.  I can’t say I blame him.  I remember first seeing her in Hackers years ago and she stood out.  (Mainly because she was the only one who could act in that flick.  And she was pretty cute too, very compelling.)  Ditto with Girl Interrupted.  But somewhere between then and Mr. & Mrs. Smith… Angelina got fucking gorgeous.  This is probably old news to you Jolie fans out there.  I always knew she had a serious fan base, but I really hadn’t been paying attention to any of the particulars (it kind of goes along with my not-paying-attention-to-celebrity-happenings thing).  And then I saw clips of Mr. & Mrs. and GODDAMN if she is not getting more beautiful as she gets older!  Some things just take you by surprise “while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along”.

I’m bringing this up is because I think Keen is a little mystified by Charlize Theron (though we both love her; she’s even on Keen’s top five list) playing Aeon Flux.  I think he secretly believes it should be his hottie Angelina (or Kim Possible with different hair).  However, I think someone else would be a better fit.  Honestly, when they cast these things they really should think about temperament, don’t you think?  So here you go, Aeon Flux should really be played by… Parker Posey.  Notice the emaciated thinness, the preoccupation with haute couture, the intensity?  A woman bent of revenge?  She was meant for this role.  Plus, Parker Posey can scare the crap out of anyone.  I’m just saying.                 - wg

Aeon_flux Parker_posey


Quit It

When my in-laws come over to babysit they’re always washing my dishes for me.  Except, even though we have a perfectly good dishwasher, they wash them all by hand.  I really wish they would stop.  I’m sorry, I just don’t trust that everything is sanitized properly.  But how do you tell someone, “Please stop being nice because I don’t think you’re doing it right,” or even, “Your helpfulness is giving me the willies,”?                - wg