Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's!!!!!!!!

Stolen from New Mama's Nest, who took the suggestion of other bloggers to list the first sentence from the first post from every month of the past year. I thought this looked like fun and I'm too brain-dead to write anything interesting. Enjoy!

January 2006 Well, I've made it through dialing 9-1-1 for the very first time!

February 2006 for me to jump on the E-Bay bandwagon and bid like crazy on silly items that no one really needs.

March 2006 I finally got my wish . . . Miss Iris is basically sleeping through the night.

April 2006 Yes, the day and half of frolicking and fun is over.

May 2006 I hate my job.

June 2006 As I started sharing the story of Iris's near fall from our window, many people began sharing stories with me of narrow misses their own children have experienced.

July 2006 . . . luckily didn't directly belong to me.

August 2006 Grrrr! Am I putting too much thought in to this?

September 2006 Oh my goodness!

October 2006 So this diet I'm on?

November 2006 Oh my goodness, is Target the mecca for stay-at-home mamas or what?

December 2005 It seems like just yesterday, or at least just last week, that Eloise was the master of sleep.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Goodbye, diet!

I just had to share my excitement . . . the postman just dropped off a box of cookies that my mother shipped from WI. Included in the package is my very, very favorite cookies of all time, which are the sugar cookies that my Grandma makes. Sadly, there are no pfeffernusse in the box, but all of the other delectible goodies more than make up for it! Oh, I am in cookie heaven! Wake me up when the dream is over . . . .

In the trenches

Do you ever wake up in the morning more tired than you were when you went to bed? If you're a mama reading this, I know you have. And if you haven't, then please don't comment because you will be hunted down by many angry, sleep-deprived mamas who want to smash you over the head with a blunt object.

Last night the ladies and I woke up somewhere between 4 and 10 trillion times. It was insane. I couldn't be more tired if I hadn't even slept. I am trying to have a new attitude about all of these night-time shenanigans. Instead of getting crazy angry about them, I'm trying to embrace them and--gasp!-- appreciate them. Rocking babies back to sleep, even countless times a night, and shushing scared toddlers back to sleep, even countless times a night, is the trenches of motherhood. It's not fun, not by a long shot, but this is work I do, day in and day out (or should I say night in and night out?).

As for Eloise's appointment with the pediatrician yesterday, we learned a couple of things. First, the booty rash that we have been powdering diligently with medication for yeast is not, in fact, yeast. It is a strep rash. Now my poor girl is taking antibiotics. I was a bit miffed about this because the girl's regular pediatrician, who we saw yesterday, took one look at it and new immediately it wasn't yeast, but the girl who we saw last week (she works with the regulr doc and is an ARNP/ND) said it was yeast. FYI-- if your babe ever has a bright red rash that looks like yeast you should look in the creases on their bottom area. If there is no rash in there, it may not be yeast and may, in fact, be strep, which is more serious. I've been taking probiotics and trying to figure out how to get them directly in Eloise (on top of the two other meds she is now taking twice a day!) to help counter-act the harmful stuff about antibiotics. They also said Eloise should keep taking the Pepcid (we switched to that from Zantac a couple of weeks ago) and we will also be going in to get a big wedge for her to sleep on. Sigh. I keep getting told she will soon outgrow this. I'm just waiting . . .

In other news all together I came up with the exceedingly brilliant idea to have my mother fly out and stay here with us when Matt goes on his next business trip. This next time he will be gone for a week and I just can't imagine how I would stay sane without help for a whole week, so I am attempting to "bring in the big guns" as they say. She hasn't given me an answer, yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I adore her to pieces and I still love letting her mother me, even though I'm pushing 30 and have two children of my own.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

We did it, we did it, we did it, yeah!

Oops, sorry, I was temporarily overcome by Dora. However, we did actually do it. Survive the aquarium this morning, I mean. The ladies and I made it all the way through with only minor tears shed once, and that was by Miss Iris. I know that my baby is well over 4 moths old now, but I still feel such a sense of accomplishment when I travel out of the house on an outing like this. The hardest thing, I am learning, is that I refuse to travel with a stroller but then I end up lugging so much crap right on my body. Add a delightful little baby on top of it and there is quite a bit to schlep. A diaper bag with diapers for two (and cloth for one!) plus today three heavy coats, hats, snacks, you get the idea. I would love to figure out how to whittle down the amount of stuff I carry. The funny thing is, I very rarely need anything that's in my diaper bag, and that includes diapers. We are hardly ever away from home, or at least the car, long enough to necessitate a diaper change or an outfit change. Why do I carry all this stuff? Well, I am a firm believer in Murphy's Law. If I don't have the diaper bag Murphy's Law says I will be stuck in the middle of the aquarium up to my elbows with two children with explosive diarrhea. Seriously. So off I schlep.

We actually had, dare I say it?, FUN. They are doing a whole week of aquatic-type celebrations and so today they had some tables set up for the youngsters to make sea otter puppets. It was really cool, I wish Iris had wanted to sit there all day! We shared a table with a mama and her twins girls, who were just a tiny bit younger than Iris. The girls were ooooing and aahhhhing over Eloise and the mama and I were chatting about big-sisterhood, as she was due with her third in April. I always find myself blurting out the most unappropriate things to poor mamas who weren't asking for my honest opinion, "It's alot harder than I thought it was going to be!" is usually what I end up saying, which is promptly followed by an uncomfortable silence.

We are off to the pediatrician, yet again, this afternoon. Still trying to fix my poor baby girl's reflux. We really should just move in to the damn building the pediatrician practices in and save ourselves the driving time. When I call on the phone, which is roughly once every five minutes, I am probably at the point I could just say "yeah, it's me calling" and they'd know what to do. Sigh. Hopefully this is the visit that solves all of her problems.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Introducing. . .

. . . meemah! One of my very bestest friends has just entered the mommy-blog world and her blog should prove to be super funny and deeply sarcastic. Please check it out here.

Finally, Christmas pictures!

Mmmmm . . . yummy caterpillar! My brother sent this present for Eloise. It's super cool. I love wooden toys for the girls!


Iris in her new tent. I could only set up three parts of it because it ended up being so damn big. The snowman she is sitting with is the singing snowman that Hallmark does every year. They are so cute. My parents gave Iris the one from last year, as well, so we're going to start collectig them.


Iris as a princess. She really loves this dress! Her wooden sushi, which has velcro on it (how else would it stick to the velcro chop sticks?) kept sticking to her dress.


Wooden sushi! Is there a cooler present? Also from my brother. Ironically, my mom bought this set for his daughter and he also bought one for his daughter! Tis the year of the wooden sushi set. I highly recommend everyone buy one of these sets for their children!


Mama and Eloise. My mother sent this hat for Eloise, isn't it hilarious? It's a dog, like a poodle, I suppose.


Christmas is tirig, no?



Santa put Babylegs in Iris' stocking! How thoughtful!


The Christmas after-math. It literally took the whole day to clean this up and make room in our tiny apartment for all of the new toys!

We survived!

And just like that, Christmas is over. On to the same ol' boring rest of the year! We had a pretty good Christmas, all in all. Definitely over-bought gifts, but that's not the worst that could happen! It is pretty hard to be missing family for the holidays, as well. This would make it the third Christmas in a row that I wasn't back home for the big day. Sigh. I would love to make it a goal to be living back in the midwest by next Christmas, but I just might be getting out-voted on that one. Sigh, and sigh.

I think the big hit of our family this year was the wooden Melissa and Doug sushi set my brother sent for Iris. She loves the thing! It came in a cute box, too, so she takes it all out and then re-arranges it back in the box. Apparently this toy was a popular one all around this year, my mom says it was featured on the most loathed of all daytime television shows, The View.

I was going to post pictures, but yet again Blogger isn't cooperating. Is this happening to anyone else?

In other news, the universe deeply, deeply hates me. My daughter's reflux is getting worse. She would be more than content to snooze the whole night away, barely waking for a quick nursie then falling right back asleep, but oh no, the lovely reflux has shot that dream all to hell. I've been up with her every night for at least an hour, up to two and a half hours, while she coughs, spits up, cries, you name it. Luckily over the weekend I could at least sleep in and try to make up for the lost sleep, but during the week, not so much. I actually considered last night to be a good night because we didn't have to get out of bed, but we were still up. More than once! Yippee! (insert deeply sarcastic tone here). I wish we had the money to buy a glider because it's soooooo sucky to be up with her at, oh, 3:30 am, and have to just walk around with her because I can't help her get back to sleep if I just sit on the couch.

I am pretty sure that Iris is ready to give up her naps, as well. On the days she naps it's s struggle to get her to fall asleep for her nap, so she ends up waking up between 4:00 and 5:00. Then when we try to get her to go down for the night at 8:30-9:00 she ends up lying awake usually until 10:00 and still gets up at about 7:00-7:30. On Christmas and yesterday she did't take a nap and actually did reasonably well without it. Okay, she was a bit maniacal on Christmas, but I am sure eating nothing but sugar and having eight million new gifts to play with might have played a bit of a roll in that. Both nights she went to bed at 7:30 and fell asleep pretty quickly. She has also woken up just after 8:00 in the morning, too. I can't tell which sleeping routine is better, but I do like that she is sleeping a longer stretch at night. Maybe I will have to implement quiet time during the day, instead. I just am sad about no naps simply because it was usually possible to relax a bit while she was sleeping, which I really need right now with Eloise's night time shenanigans.

I'll keep trying to post the pictures!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Beginning of a long Christmas weekend

So Matt got home from his work trip yesterday. Not having seen each other in several days, you can imagine the first thing we did . . . yep, you probably guessed it, we got in a big fight. Sigh. It made me really mad mostly because I was so darn excited for him to come home and then it was a shitty night. Apparently we both had some pretty strong feelings about what constitutes proper Christmas card etiquette. I'll leave it at that. Things are okay, now. We kissed and made up.

Today I had to take Eloise to the doctor, yet again, because she had developed a really bad booty rash over the last few days and then she woke up this morning with a red rash and blister-like bumps all over the places that the edge of her cloth diaper cover would have touched. We aren't sure why, but it might be from some component of the cover that her skin doesn't like (maybe latex?). So she has a yeast rash and then red bumps all over. It's very sad, indeed. She's a pretty sensitive girl! I'm becoming to be best buds with the pediatrician. I've talked to her on the phone and we've seen her so many times in the past few months!

Eloise and I attempted to stop at Whole Foods after the pediatrician appointment, which, apparently, ever other human on the face of the earth had decided to do, as well. It was a zoo! We were able to get all the things we needed and dodge all the things I really, really wanted (a tin of peppermint bark, perhaps?), but didn't need. I'm going to start taking some acidophilus which is supposed to help Eloise's skin, as well. Apparently the pediatrician thinks she may have eczema, in addition to her whole host of other problems.

I have spent some time tonight looking up mixed drink recipes onlie because I decided a fun new tradition would be to get our drink on for Christmas Eve. And by
"get our drink on" I mean that I will have one and a half drinks and be completely loaded and Matt will consume the rest of the two bottles of booze and still be completely sober. Ah, well. In case you're wondering, our drink of choice is basically a White Russian, but with egg nog instead of cream. Yummy! I can't wait!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The light at the end of the tunnel

In a few hours Matt will be home from a work trip. He's been gone since early Monday morning. I feel like the moment I see him I'm going to throw the girls at him and collapse from exhaustion. Dramatic, no? I seriously don't know how single parents do it. They must have alot more help than I do (which is, um, none?). I had child care lined up for Iris this week, but she got sick on Monday. Her cold is getting progressively worse and today she has a terrible sounding cough. She woke up this morning at 5:00 am and was soaked in pee (again! Why are her paper diapers suddenly making my life hell?!?!) and was coughing, and coughing, and coughing. I gave her medicine but it didn't even do a single thing. Nothing. She's been up since 5:00 am. This probably wouldn't be so bad, but I didn't get Eloise to sleep until after midnight and was up between that time and the time Iris woke up. Thank goodness that little girl has been in the bed alone sleeping since about 6:00, and now three hours later is still snoozing away. I rested on the couch all morning while Iris destroyed things and watched television. She's showing no signs of sleepiness, though I suspect she will become incredibly sassy before she gets sleepy.

Someone traditionally gets sick when Matt leaves. The most famous example is when Iris was seven months old and I was up vomiting the whole night. Luckily a childless friend who I very rarely get to see was here for dinner and was able to stay through the night with me, literally holding my hair back while bouncing Iris in her other arm. I have thought and thought and thought about why we always get sick when Matt leaves and it finally dawned on me-- it stresses us all out. I am beyond stressed when he is away and that most certainly affects the girls. Stress + cold season = sickie pants.

This is just one more reason we need to live closer to family. If I had family close by I could get some help when I need it. Everyone I know here who can help has kids, and won't come near us with a ten foot pole if my children (or I) are already sick. Obviously, I don't blame them. I would do the same thing. This is exactly the kind of situation Grandmas were put on this earth for! To help care for sick grandkids when there is only one parent around and she feels like flinging herself off a tall building.

So, I am literally counting down the minutes until Matt's arrival. We are picking him up at the airport so we can get to see him that much quicker.

This morning the wierdest thing happened, as well. When we were all awake in the wee early hours I had set Eloise out in her bouncy seat and walked away for a little bit, maybe 2-3 minutes. I walked back in to get her and when she saw me she totally startled and started screaming like I scared the crap out of her! I picked her up and hugged her tight, I felt so bad for scaring her. Iris asked why she was crying and I said that I had scared her, so Iris told me that I needed to tell her I was sorry. Now all morning Iris has been saying I need to tell Eloise sorry for scaring her and that it wasn't a nice thing to do. The only thing I can figure is maybe Eloise was drifting off to sleep in her chair and that's why I startled her?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Two new videos



Wow!

As I type this one of my daughters is asleep in the bassinet and one is attempting to go to sleep in her bed. It is pretty spectacular to have free time during the day without a child either awake or in my arms or in the sling. I feel like a whole new woman!

This morning we were supposed to join some friends for some cookie making, but Iris has a cold, which I didn't feel was particularily conducive to handling food that others would be eating, so I decided we should stay home. We did, however, make our own treats! (As a side note, if you are at my home and I offer one of these to you, it might be in your best interest of your health to decline). Iris unwrapped a whole bunch of kisses which I placed atop some waffle pretzels, softened in the oven and the pressed an m-n-m in to. I'm no Martha Stewart, but damn these were fun to make and also delicious to eat! I got the idea from another mama at Iris' school, cause lord knows I don't come up with these things on my own!

I will post some photos as soon as blogger stops being a butthead and lets me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Overheard . . .

Overheard in our living room this evening:

"Is that a reindeer? No, that's sissy's chair. Is that a reindeer? No, that's mama. Is that a reindeer? No, that's Icey!"

Iris always comes up with the funniest things to say. I am constantly amazed at her grasp of language for only being 2 1/2. Matt and I have been talking about her empathy skills, as well. She is truly amazing. For instance, this past week Matt was bouncing Eloise on the exercise ball and it broke. For the rest of the day, and maybe even the following day, Iris would look at him with a very sweet, concerned look and say "are you okay sweetie dada?" and go on about the ball breaking and how scary it was. The little girl can be such a handful, but I feel so good knowing she has a deeply caring heart, as well.

Kids are just amazing. The stuff they come up with often makes you think "what?!". I can't wait until Iris and Eloise start engaging in conversations that I can eavesdrop on and smile about.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hooray (sort of) for wind storms!

As you may have heard, the Puget Soud region was hit by some insane wind storms the night before last. A million and a half people were left without power and over 24 hours later half a million still don't have any. I am sure this is incredibly awful for the people it is affecting. Last night at the grocery store people were stocking up on firewood and coolers. We were very lucky because we never lost power, not even our cable (and thank god for cable!). Matt's office building, however, was without power, so he didn't have to work yesterday. Therefor, I say "hooray!" because it was really nice to have him home one extra day this weekend. We did a little shopping yesterday (one of the stores hardly had any lights on at all, but they were open!) and I was able to run to the post office all by myself (ah, peace and quiet!) to finally mail out the Christmas gifts. Now we just cross our fingers that they will get there by the big day! I am officially done with my shopping/sending. Matt is apparently still going to buy me some things, which I am not sure why since we did say that our present to each other was going to be the very laptop I am typing on. Hmmmm. He was concerned that Miss Iris would get the idea that Christmas was all about her since Eloise would have a couple of gifts, he and I wouldn't have any, and then she'd have about a billion to open on Christmas morning. Good point! I'll take more presents :)

We are trying to start all sorts of fun Christmas traditions for our family. One of Matt's is to get a new CD of Christmas music every year (this year I got him the Sufjan Stevens multi-disc set!). We actually listen to Christmas music quite a bit! Tonight we went for a drive to see lights, which I suspect will also become a tradition. Then there is the advent calendar filled with chocolate, the St. Nick's stockings, the Christmas day stockings . . . well, you get the idea. When two people try to combine the traditions of both of their families, what you get are a boat-load of tradition to fill many days of festivities!

I have thought alot about what I'm going to do differently next year, as well:

1. Next year, I will have all of my shopping done by Thanksgiving. I got a good start this year, but next year will be better!

2. I will not be dead-set on using the photo we take in front of the tree for our Christmas cards, thereby making it easier to get them printed an out in the mail earlier.

3. I will also not be dead-set on creating a huge amount of photo gifts on Shutterfly. Although I love the company and their products, man, they are so frickin' expensive it's insane. I have found much cheaper places to do my photo gifts for next year! Which brings me to my next one . . .

4. I will create my photo gifts MUCH earlier next year so I don't have to pay extra for express shipping to everyone and will use all of my own pictures of the grandkids for the calendar I make for my parents. Man, trying to get my brother and sister to send photos was like pulling teeth, I swear! Next year I will just use the photos that I will tae on vacation this summer.

5. We will set a budget and start saving ahead of time!

6. I will get Iris and Eloise involved in making crafts and goodies for gifts.

And for the biggest one . . .

7. We will be with extended family next year, one way or another! We decided not to travel this year for alot of reasons, but it will feel lonely this year. I especially miss my immediate and extended family this time of year because whenever we get together the kids are SOOO much fun to be with.

Has anyone else learned anything from this Christmas or have any good tips to share with me for making the holidays more enjoyable and less stressful and consumer-filled?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

(Almost) four months old!

Eloise had her four month well baby visit today, so I might as well update on her progress now while it's all still fresh in my mind :)

She's still a big girl, tipping the scales at just under 16 lbs. I thought for sure she would have doubled her birth weight by now, but she's got a few more ounces to go. She's also above the 90th percentile for height! Woo Hoo! We talked quite a bit more about the reflux and things to try. It's so frustrating, I wish it would just be gone already! She's already improved greatly, become so much less fussy (I dare say she's become an enjoyable baby?) and her coughing has decreased-- except for at night. We're still up for an hour or more every night while she coughs. Hey, at least it's a quiet time to catch up with the message boards and check email, right? I love the girl's pediatrician. She is so fantastic and has an awesome staff. When I leave there I feel like I'm doing an awesome job parenting and that my girls are the cutest children on the face of the earth (seriously, they fawn over them like they've never seen kids before!). Of course, I think all parents should have that experience with their child's pediatrician, but I know that's not the case for many co-sleeping, breast-feeding, anti-vaxing, anti-circumcising (etc, etc) parents out there.

Eloise is doing great at shoving just about everything in her mouth and is starting to make all kinds of talking sounds! She is a big fan of her sister and Iris can get her laughing and cooing like no one else can. It's pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

And last, but not least, you might be interested in this EBay Auction. A Seattle weekly paper called The Stranger is auctioning off a bunch of cool stuff with the proceeds going to those less fortunate. I have never bid on their auctions before, but this one caught my eye (you know, since I'm a "breeder"). I know that some of my more financially endowed Seattle (or anywhere!) friends could definitely cough up a few bucks for charity, eh? Let's just say I hope I get outbid because, A) Matt will kill me for bidding without asking him first! and B) if the bids go higher, more money will go to charity.

Hooray! A video!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The pre-school smack-down

Last week at school another child decked my dear, sweet, completely innocent child (insert sarcasm here!). Actually, he decked her twice. I wasn't in the room and therefor didn't see it, but Iris was pretty upset about it and apparently it warranted a special mention of the other child at our school meeting, to really stay on top of that child. Today I walked in the climibing room where we have all these slides and rocking horses and stuff, of course the two moms who were supposed to be watching the kids were just yakking away in the corner, and I hear Iris start screaming. She was under a slide with another child. She was totally hysterical and after a little comforting she said that the other boy bit her. That boy's mom said they had had a altercation the week before, as well. I haven't really been to school with her in a long while (Matt was taking her) and I never heard of anything else like this, but now I wonder if I'm just not getting told. Each week that I've been back this has happened now! I'm not saying that things don't happen in a room full of small children, but it really makes me mad when the other parents aren't watching the kids. I used to walk in to the climbing room last year, as well, and find Iris about to break her neck while the moms were in the corner exchanging casserole recipes or some shit. It made me really, really mad. I wish we had a better group of parents this year, but so far I'm not impressed with their ability to actually keep their eyes on children. Okay, I might be a little mad because Iris has, so far, gotten hurt every time I've been at school with her!

I'm super excited I'm going to get my hair cut tonight. Last time I got it cut it wasn't totally how I wanted it and now it's growing out a little shaggy, so I'm going to have it fixed. That's one fun thing about shorter hair, you get to go to the salon a bunch! Woo Hoo!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas, gah!

Okay, Christmas went from manageable to totally out of control in one day. Eloise was quite a trooper and accompanied me on a shopping excursion this morning. We got almost every last thing we needed to buy, so that was good. Tonight I finished up some last minute photo gifts I had spent literally hours working on so that those could be shipped in time for the holidays, as well. I get this bright idea in my head that it is a great, relatively inexpensive thing to create photo gifts (calendars and photo books, to be exact), but I'm not too bright like that. Besides the time involved, it ends up being a pretty pricey endeavor. We've already spent a good chunk of money sending things from Shutterfly.com (yeah, you're welcome, Shutterfly!). I started realizing that after we're done shipping all of the gifts this year, well, let's just say groceries might be slim for the month of January. It's truly, truly mind-boggling how much everything ends up costing. Luckily, due to my faulty budgeting, Matt got a paycheck this month that wasn't allocated to anything specifically in our budget. Pretty much every penny of it is going to Christmas, I swear.

Okay, I feel like a Scrooge. Every year I have these grand illusions that Christmas won't break the bank and I won't feel guilty about what we "owe" people and I'll get Iris to hand make cool things to send to everyone and have them all done before Thanksgiving and get them out in the mail flawlessly (and inexpensively!). Hmmm, no. Not so much. I don't want to be a Scrooge. I want to enjoy buying and giving gifts, and I do, in theory, but when I think about the craziness of it all, it gets to me. I spent a huge amount of time dealing with our Christmas cards. First there was the taking of the pictures, then there was the time spent on Shutterfly putting them in to a cute card. Then the time spent on Costco's website creating a new card because they were half the price of Shutterfly. Then the trip way across town to pick up said cards. Then there was the time spent making a new card on the computer (if you're keeping track, that's THREE times I made the damn card!) and the trip back again because the first set of cards weren't edited correctly and Iris had one red eye in the photo. Then there was the time spent driving to the post office and purchasing special holiday stamps. Of course, there was the time spent gathering addresses, addressing and stamping envelopes and finally stuffing them so they can be off in the mail tomorrow. Phew! A huge amount of time (and money, I might add) just for the cards. Now I understand why my sister swears to me every year they aren't doing Christmas cards.

Next year is my year. I will have a better plan, I swear. I will dub it the year of the frugal and we won't do this again. The only thing done right this year is that I really did start buying some things in July and finished the girl's shopping by October. Everything else is being done last-minute, but the girls were taken care of!

I am sure come Christmas morning it will all be worth it. I do love this time of year. It makes me really sad to not be with my extended family, but maybe by next year we'll be relocated and will have a big family with lots of kids to celebrate with.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Just three shopping weekends left!

Gah! I don't want Christmas to be here already! I was doing so good, getting shopping started in July and all, but now here it is, practically Christmas eve, and there is oh so much left to do. My biggest frustration right now is stemming from attempting to put together a whole bunch of photo gifts on Shutterfly. I love Shutterfly, but man they sure give you a lot of options for making, say, photo books. I recently discovered that Firefox hates Shutterfly and their website won't work properly when using that browser, so I've thrown in the towel and went back to Internet Explorer. What is all the fuss about Firefox, people? Can someone explain this to me? Yes, I got to use the totally adorable "Tinseltown" add-on to make my browser hyper-cheerful, but if isn't running my favorite websites properly, then there is no reason at all to use it.

Yesterday the girls and I made a trip to Costco. I usually dread shopping there because it's SO busy and everything you buy weighs about twenty pounds and you can't leave the store without spending half your life's savings, but we needed to get some things before our membership ran out so off we went. Usually when I'm out and about with the girls I feel like I'm barely controlling chaos. Like if even one thing went wrong then the whole show would just collapse. We did okay yesterday, dispite a few snafus. I try to bribe Iris with a smoothie every time we go to Costco because it keeps her busy for pretty much the whole trip. I handed it to her and we were walking over to get a straw and a woman with a gigantic pizza box walked right in to her (or Iris walked in front of her, take your pick) and it sent Iris and the smoothie flying across the floor. Oh, what a mess. And a screaming toddler. And a hugely apologetic woman. I was like "oh shit, now what?!?!" because there was smoothie everywhere, Iris was upset, Eloise, who was previously asleep in the sling, woke up . . . the chaos began. Lo and behold, a very nice but disconcertingly scraggly guy brought Iris another smoothie and a Costco employee came right over to help clean up and the pizza lady apologized about a million times (I told her it was okay, it was just an accident, I really wasn't upset about it at all). I was just so glad everyone was so helpful, because it's stuff like that I can't deal with yet. I just barely hang on when everything is going right with the girls.

In other news, I was at a loss as to what to get for Eloise for Christmas and finally realized that the perfect gift was more Fuzzi Bunz. As it is I do diaper laundry every other day, but would like to stretch that to every third day, so I ordered more dipes. Cottonbabies.com was having a sale, so I stocked up on the next size up, too! Yay! There is quite the sticker shock in buying so many at once, but the resale value is incredible. I will probably only end up spending about $4 on each diaper after I make money back from selling them.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My heart hurts

I am constantly reading things in the news about families and children that make me so, so sad. There are many times in the past few years where I just have to take a break from the news because I can't process it anymore.

Have you been following the story of the Kim family, who was on their way back from Seattle to San Francisco and got lost in southern Oregon? The parents and their two small children were lost over a week ago. The mother and the girls were found alive in their car but sadly, today, two days later, the father was found dead in the wilderness. He was trying to find help for his family. I am just so sad for them. Here is a link to the recent news from this story.

Please keep this family in your thoughts.

Peanut butter M-n-M's for breakfast!

Happy St. Nick's Day! Iris woke up this morning to her first ever St. Nick's stocking. We have now commenced on the eating of the candy for breakfast. Yummy! At least peanut butter has some nutritive value, right? St. Nick also brought her a harmonica, some foamy soap for when she plays in the sink and a play-doh gadget that squeezes out shapes. Of course, there was a bit of candy in there, as well! Alas, I have no pictures as my camera isn't at home today, but take my word for it, she was pretty darn excited to see that her stocking was filled this morning! Eloise also got a treat from St. Nick, hers is a beaded teething bracelet.

In other news I think the medication that I give Eloise for reflux really is working! She has been SOOOOOO much more calm since starting it just two days ago and sleeping tons better. She still is coughing a little bit, but not for two hours straight at 4:00 am, thank goodness. She also took two long naps yesterday all on her own in the bed. I couldn't believe it. In order to get her to nap over the past couple of weeks I've mostly had to hold her or keep her in the sling or else she would wake right up. So, either this medicine is a miracle (a miracle veiled in vile tasting syrup, but still a miracle!) or it's a crazy coincidence that whatever was bothering her is almost totally gone.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The cure?

Yesterday Eloise's pediatrician decided to start her on medication for reflux. We aren't 100% sure that is what is going on, but some of the signs seem to point towards it. I must say I'm a little skeptical since a couple of the typical symptoms are slow weight gain and spitting up, two things that do not apply to her at all, but we'll have a go with medication and see how it works.

We picked up the medication and also went to Toys R Us to get a wedge for her to sleep on in bed. Luckily I can put it right next to me in bed and it's not that high, so it's still easy to breastfeed in bed and it's not like she's sliding off the thing in her sleep. I also gave her two doses of the medicine. My god, does it taste awful! It's like a mint flavored cough syrup. I can't imagine they could have concocted something that tastes any worse if they tried. And don't children notoriously hate the taste of mint? Why isn't it something more palatable? Grrr. So, of course she screams like she's being murdered when I give it to her.

Well, I know it's just day one of the medication and sleeping on the wedge, but by golly if she didn't have a terrific night of sleep. She fell asleep at about 11:30 and had a coughing fit as I laid her down in bed, but after a drink of some milk she zonked out and never woke up again coughing the rest of the night. Considering just the night before we were up for two hours while she coughed, I would say this is quite the success! I hope and pray that this is the miracle medication because my poor girl is just not feeling very good.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is funny



p.s. thanks to Matt whose friend Laura told him about this!

Hmmmm . . .

I just had to share this. I love to browse the Urban Baby Runway blog and dream about all of the things I'll never be able to afford. Usually I just think everything the gals over there write about is the coolest/cutest/most awesomest thing I've ever laid my eyes on. Well, today I was reading and saw this product. It's called Milkscreen and apparently you go out drinking and then squirt some breast milk on this product and it tells you if you're too loaded to nurse your baby.

Is there something I'm missing? Who out there is drinking so much that they don't know if they are too drunk to nurse? I have always held fast to the rule "if you're too drunk to drive, you're too drunk to nurse" which I got from kellymom.com. Someone out there is doing a great job scaring the crap out of mamas who are nursing their babes, making them believe even one sip of alcohol will damage their breastfeeding child for life. I can't even tell you how many mamas I have met that sincerely believe they either can't drink while nursing or that you have to "pump and dump". Now, though, you can buy a kit, and for just over $3.00 for each test, you can find out if you're too wasted to nurse your babe (oh, and for those mamas who are doing keg stands at frat houses every weekend, this company sells cases of these strips).

Now, I am sure there is a big market for this product (just like there is for the god-awful and silly looking Hooter Hiders) but in fact, it's completely unneccessary mamas. Here is my totally free holiday PSA: If you're too drunk to drive, you're too drunk to nurse. Give your babe a good breastfeeding session before you imbibe and you'll be good to go for a couple of drinks (or half a Mike's Hard Lemonade, if you're a light-weight like me!).

Sunday, December 03, 2006

More on Eloise

So in all my ranting about Eloise lately, I failed to mention that she is still coughing (didn't I? I don't think I did . . . ) and I am not totally sure, but that may be heavily contributing to her overall crabbiness. Remember I wrote 3 1/2 weeks ago about taking her to the ER? Well, she is still coughing, all this time later. Last week Monday it was almost totally gone, but it's come back in full force. I wonder if after all this coughing she just freakin' hurts, you know? On Friday night she was screaming like I was putting hot nails in to her and nothing would calm her down. It was awful. I ended up giving her Tylenol, and I'm not sure if it worked or if it was coincidence, but she calmed down shortly after. I will be placing yet another call to the pediatrician in the morning to figure out what the heck to do. I like to scare myself by researching too much on the internet and in the wee early hours this morning I was convinced she had pneumonia. Oh, yes, I got about three hours of sleep last night. It was awesome. More than being pissed about how cranky she is I just feel bad for Eloise. I want her to feel better.

This week she is supposed to have her first day in the nursery where some mamas at school rotate taking care of each other's little ones so we can help out in school. I am absolutely terrified about it. I don't want to leave her there and I don't want the mamas there to have to struggle with her. I can't even calm her down alot of the time, how will they be able to?! I would just miss the class but Iris hasn't been able to go to school in almost two weeks because of the holiday and then the snow last week. Ugh. Having two kids is so hard! Ha ha. Lots of juggling and figuring it all out.

We had a fairly good weekend. I was all spaced out yesterday after sleeping in so late and then spending so much time on the internet. I had a brief afternoon break where I went shopping for St. Nick's Day treats for everyone. Do you celebrate St. Nick's Day on December 6th? We always did growing up and I just learned that it's pretty much a regional thing to the Milwaukee area. Anyways, St. Nick will be coming the night of the 5th and filling stockings and leaving them on bedroom door knobs. Yay! Today I woke up with the girls so Matt could sleep and suprisingly I was just wired all day even though I had little sleep. I installed the software for the printer/copier/scanner and Iris and I had to go to the store to get the right cable to connect it to the laptop. Iris was insistent on wearing her frog costume today, so that she did, even to the grocery store and the taco joint. We call the taco joint "hola's" because the man who is there 99% of the time when we go always says "hola!" to Iris and she got it in her head his name was hola. Since we can never remember the real name of the place we just call it "hola's" as in, it's hola's place! Matt cooked another yummy dinner tonight and we did damage control with Iris because she refused to nap today. Toddler melt-down in full effect . . .

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A great dad

I was just telling Matt that he was a great dad. Of all of our multitudes of problems, he has pretty much always been so good with the girls and in working with me in the way we parent the girls.

As you may have read in my last post, I'm a bit at my wit's end with Eloise right now. After she finally calmed down last night we got to bed around 1 am. Even though Matt was out last night and got home after I went to bed he still got up with Iris this morning so I could sleep in until after 10:00. Then he took Iris swimming for a bit and when he got home he needed to go to the DOL to get a new license. I was having a little huffy moment because even though I have managed to keep Eloise asleep in the sling the whole morning while I played OUR the new computer (Matt keeps reminding me that it's not MY new computer), I didn't want him to leave me here with both of the girls. Yeah, I was being silly, I know. He offered to take Iris with him and I joked "or you could take this one!" (meaning Eloise) and he said that he would if I wanted him to. He's good like that. The only time he ever, ever says no to doing something for me or the girls is if he actually, physically can't do it (like he has to be somewhere else, for example). He would have taken both of the girls to the DOL with him if I wanted him to, so I could sit home alone.

Since I am such a message board fanatic I often read posts by mamas whose partners don't really do much with the children or help out very much. I take it for granted that Matt is as involved as he is. Part of me thinks, well, this is how fathers should be, but I know full and well that quite a few fathers aren't and that I am one lucky mama to have my girls have a father like him. When I think about all of the problems he and I face it can be easy to discount the positive stuff and think it doesn't matter, but I know it DOES matter. My new outlook on everthing tells me we have enough positive stuff in this family to keep it afloat. Let's hope so, huh?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Weeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our new laptop came today! Hooray! Not that I will ever have time to use it since my baby apparently hates just about everything, including, most importantly, letting me have even one second of peace where I'm not holding/bouncing/jiggling her. It's seriously driving me insane. She started out as such a calm baby. I just thought, oh my, my luck has changed! I got a calm baby after Iris the terror! Nope, this one just decided to wait a bit until she unleased the crabiness. Okay, so I'm having a rough day. I just wanted two seconds in peace to look at the computer and have a moment to myself. I managed to get a bunch of things set up on it jiggling her in one arm (I'm getting good like that!).

With Iris I just remember thinking I can't wait until you get older and grow out of the fussy baby stage. I hated that, I hated that I couldn't enjoy her being a baby. Yes, we have our share of issues now, but I like her waaaayyyy more now that she's grown up a bit. I feel the same way about Eloise, sadly. I love her, she's my baby girl!, but alas, I just can't wait for her to grow up and move past this intensely fussy stage. Sometimes I just think I wish I would have waited longer to have a second because I never got that much time to fully enjoy the toddler stage before throwing another baby in the household mix. Now I have to wait until Eloise is grown before reaping the benefits again. Sigh. I hate feeling that way, honestly. I wish I could enjoy baby time more, but I just don't. It's a vehicle to get to toddlerhood, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe if I had gotten happier babies I wouldn't feel that way.

Well, I'm getting good at the one-handed typing thing, at least! I'll have more fun updates on the new computer soon. Hopefully over the weekend I will get a baby break to poke around some more.

The baby who hates to sleep

It seems like just yesterday, or at least just last week, that Eloise was the master of sleep. She slept maybe 23 hours a day, I swear. I knew that it would come to a bitter, tragic end, but damn it if I just didn't want it to! Now, I really should be thanking my lucky stars that she does sleep extremely well at night. She always has except for those times when she has been sick. It's during the day that's troublesome. Today she took four half hour naps. That's IT. Ugh. It makes it impossible to do anything. When she's awake she's crabby half the time. I suspect it's because she's tired, but who knows. She is also still staying up really late. Sometimes I go to bed before she does and Matt stays up with her. I want to try and shift her awake time so she wakes up earlier and goes to sleep earlier. We'll see. She probably has other plans.

It's also been snowing a ton here. Of course, now it's all gone and is back to regularily scheduled rainy weather. We missed two days of school this week because of the snow! It makes me laugh because in WI, for school to be cancelled it has to practically be 40 below zero and three feet of snow. Out here, a dusting of snow-- or even the threat of snow and the whole city shuts down. Not suprisingly, we haven't been out much. I get so cranky when I'm house bound for this long without any kind of kid break. I've been on kid duty 100% of the time since Sunday afternoon. And not just kid duty, but kid duty within the walls of our apartment for the vast majority of the time. Blah. I just don't want to take the baby out in the cold weather and Matt has had the car most days (not that I would have been brave enough to drive, anyways!) Added on that a cranky baby who won't nap, and well, yeah, I'm exhausted without even really doing anything, if that makes any sense.

In my continuing quest to edge us ever-so-slightly towards maybe possibly thinking of re-locating I was researching houses online in Milwaukee. I can't even believe that we could afford a whole house there for what we are paying in rent here. It makes me feel so defeated that we just throw money away every month. I resent this area more and more every month for feeling so trapped in our apartment and our lifestyle. We couldn't even move to a different place in the city if we wanted to! All of the rents are too high. They just raised our rent a bit, we now pay dangerously close to $1,000 a month for an apartment we grew out of one child ago. Sigh. I hate it. I hate feeling stuck here. I hate paying all that money every month and not even having everything we need or want to show for it. Added to the fact all the money is getting thrown right down the tubes, not contributing to an actual investment like it is when you own a home. Okay, I'm just making myself more mad as I write this. On to the next rambling topic!

My whole family--Mom, Dad, Sister and her family, Brother and his family, and us-- are attempting to find a place we all agree on to rent for a week this summer. A nice family vacation, if you will. The drama of my family really is coming out. It's sort of funny, actually. Rarely does something come up that all of us need to put input on. Everyone is squabbling about how much money we should spend on it, how big of a house we need, etc etc. I think it's going to end up being a really fun vacation, but all this planning is annoying. I am excited for the girls to spend some quality time with the rest of their family.

Okay, I think that's about all the updates I have time for. I started this blog entry last night, but alas, Eloise still hates sleeping, so it was cut short.