BUTT KISSER

After only two-plus years of having a blog on wordpress, I’m FINALLY getting around to posting my blogroll. Yeah, me!

Check your link to make sure it works (not everyone is on there yet). If you have an asterisk by your name, it’s because you have a wonky feed address in my reader and I’ll have to get to you screwballs later.

It goes without saying that if you want me to have your blog on the blogroll, you just need to email me if you’re the bashful type; or if you’d rather call me out in front of everyone to show what a ungracious hag I am, leave a comment.

As of this post, I’ve got A-M in. If you are in N-Z, keep your panties on (for those who wear them) and I’ll get to it sometime in the next two and half years.

Gotta go. Someone is pooping and clapping. That’ll be me in 50 years, “Thank Jesus! I’ve pooped!” The parallel universe won’t end there. I’ll also be in a diaper.

SOAP AND SOCKS

I like to bring my opinions on products I use here, but only because I feel strongly about them enough to either warn you to save your money for that martini or four; or to advice you of something I’ve found that works. I don’t get paid or asked to promote anything on my blog. Much like Suz does with her “Things That Don’t Suck”, except she includes fun little snippets prior to the big reveal. Me? I don’t do fun and while I’ve tried, I have a heck of a time blogging in “snippets”. I’m freakishly long-winded.

I thought I would give Seventh Generationlaundry soap a try. I thought it’d make me feel more “green” as we disposed our dirty laundry and the soap that comes with it into our septic system, and ultimately, the leech field. While the stuff rinses out and leaves no perfume after-smell, it doesn’t clean very well, either. A bit of a problem when it’s supposed to be detergent. If I don’t pretreat even the smallest of “stains” (let’s say a wet cheerio smear), it doesn’t come out in the wash. I’ll be going back to Tide.

Socks are a staple with babies, much like diapers. I have lots of different kinds. If you want a fashion statement, definitely go with Trumpettes. The only downside to them is that while they say 0-12 in size, it’s more accurate to get them for a 2-9 month old for the best fit. After that, I have to confess my undying loyalty to Old Navy’s baby/toddler socks, specifically the kind I linked to. They are thick and cushiony and so inexpensive!

By the way, we did end up buying a Britax Marathon carseat. I can’t yet review it because it’s sitting on the garage floor as Mr. DD’s thought it would be a simple snap-in installment. It’s not. Actually, he’s a great procrastinator.

And lastly, I have to add that while I really liked using diapers.com when ZGirl was itty-bitty because it meant that I didn’t have to leave the house for necessities, nor did I have to wait an eternity for Mr. DD to come home after running to the store and getting distracted by some kind of manly product of one kind or another, I have found their prices do not qualify as bargains, even without paying tax.

There you go: one very wordy review of a few things I’ve used personally. Plus this gets me out of a real post for another couple of days.

GOTH BABY

0315-drooling-4ZGirl is at that fun stage right between being a mewling newborn that only smiled when she farted and the toddler who will feed the Wii pennies and paperclips. She can sit up for a long time and entertain herself, and if she gets tired she’s figured out that if she leans over far enough she’ll face plant into the carpet to find herself, even in involuntarily, doing some tummy time. Luckily, she’s not crawling yet. It should mean that I get more blogging in. Alas…

She doesn’t laugh much, which can be a little disappointing. XBoy laughed a lot. Still does. Sometimes he’s in his room laughing hysterically. I don’t bother going in anymore and trying to see what’s so funny because I worry I’ll turn the corner and find him grinning like a maniac at the booger he’s just extracted from his nose and flicked onto the lampshade.

About her laughing: what’s weird is that I’ll find some new way of making her laugh, like bouncing her on the bed, and then when I go to repeat the activity for the benefit of Mr. DD? She might grin, but no laughs. She’s a one-laugh pony.

She also has quite a stranger danger awareness going on. Oh, she grins like the Joker at people when Mr. DD or myself is holding her, but get a little too close? She averts her head, baby body language for “sodd off”. She’s a tease. It’s not just something she acquiring as she moves into the second half of her first year, either. She’s always been this way.

From the moment she’s handed off to someone other than Mr. DD, XBoy or myself, you can countdown from five and she’ll be wailing by two. I have to admit that I get a sense of smug satisfaction when she does it to the in-laws. But now that the daycare is having some turnover (I’m having no luck finding a replacement), she’s having a rather difficult time adjusting. Her reports home have gone from “she was very happy today!” to “a little grumpy…” Even when grandma comes for the day, ZGirl keeps her at arms length – literally. And once one of us walks into the room and she spots us, all bets are off. She pops out that bottom lip as far as it goes, tears fill her eyes and her arms reach out. It was cute the first dozen times or so, but seriously, Girl, you need to lighten up!

There’s one other little thing she does that’s a bit strange. She’s never taken to a pacifier and she has not yet developed a preference for any kind of “lovey”, so when she’s tired or cranky, she actually self-soothes by hitting herself in the head. Either she puts up one hand in front of her mouth and uses the other hand to hit that; or when she’s taking a bottle and is super tired, she’ll smack the top of her head either with an open palm or closes fist. She’s even taken to pulling her hair. Not hard, but still.

Is that too weird? It is, isn’t it. It figures. In the picture above she looks all light and sunshine with blond hair and blue eyes, but she’s a goth baby with her sullen attitude and get-away-from-me-you-big-person-freak and self-flagellation. My interpretation of that is below. I’ll first warn you that I haven’t yet figured out the photoshop I got for Christmas so I had to use paint. Yes, I really do have an art degree. Scary, no?

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babygoth

CONE OR CUP

I think I have misplaced what I would equivocate as my pimp hand when it comes to blogging. It’s not that I’m no longer bitter, but maybe my daughter has been the honey on my spoon that eases that nasty aftertaste.

It might be the lack of adult, human interaction I haven’t had recently, which since the beginning of the year, has been reduced to my husband during the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Trust me when I say “adult” refers only to his physical age. His mentality rivals my seven year old son’s.

It also might be I’m not reading enough blogs that write stuff that get under my skin – aside from the earlier post about those who ask for handouts. Instead I’ve settled into the overstuffed easy chair that is my blogroll.

It’s no wonder many bloggers go out with a bang instead of letting themselves become simpering dolts who whine and complain about losing their pimp hands, and possibly even thinking that “pimp hand” is a hip and cool reference.

What has happened to me? I’ve become…vanilla!

SAY WHAT?

“wait a cunt pinching minute sharpie”

In most cases I can decipher the yoda-speak when it comes to google word searches that eventually show up in my stats. But the example above? That one is going to keep me up all dang night.

(Since the words aren’t mine, it does not go against my lenten goal of not swearing on my blog. Just in case anyone was keeping track. Pru.)

TIN CUP

I have to say this and get it off my chest. And while I know there are probably a majority out there that will not agree with me, I’m going to give voice to the handful that probably do.

When someone plugs for donations on their blog so they can go to say, BlogHer, I find myself every so slightly (OK, a lot!) put off.

As someone who has had to change their plans about BlogHer from being “Most definitely going!” to “Pretty sure I can still go.” to “Damn. I can’t go.” because of financial changes in my personal life (loss of job), I feel I should be at least empathetic, but I’m not.

BlogHer is once a year. That means when the last one was over, there was twelve months – give or take – to plan for the next one. $100 a month saved should cover the following year’s flight, hotel and registration regardless of its location.

So, go ahead and judge me. You might even want to point out how I can be such a hypocrite, but since this is my blogI’m giving those people the equivalent of a “tough toenails!” and moving on.

EITHER URINE OR UROUT

tub-peeI presented the following scenario on both twitter and facebook, so this may be old hat to many of you.

You run a bath for your baby – in the big tub, mind you. You strip baby and put her in the tub. Instantly, a cloud of pale yellow emits from you child’s nethers.

It happened to me the other night. No, it wasn’t ME that peed in the tub, but ZGirl. I’m sure I probably said “shoot” (or something similar), but then “meh” and let her play before finally shampooing her. I never gave it another thought when later I kissed her or blew rasperries into her tummy. Until now and I’m a bit squicked out.

Be that as it may.

Now poop and vomit? That’s entirely different. I’ve had to bleach the tub on more than one occasion from past incidents (after I’ve removed the baby).

Pray, what would do, or even better, what will you admit to?

Postscipt: here’s a comment on my facebook page by the venerable OvaGirl in response to a “stain” appearing in the tub that makes me giggle each time I read it:

Also, are we definite that it’s pee? You say “stain” in quotation marks like maybe it’s not a stain, like maybe it’s the halo of the Virgin Mary who’s making a rare appearance to…I don’t know…foretell the end of the world or alternatively offer to babysit. In which case, we simply move baby to one side because she’s sitting on VM’s head.

 

(Flickr image by RCP Family)

MY LIFE (IF I WAS THE TITANIC)

It’s just one calamity after another over here.

This daycare business is making my butt clench up tighter than a young nun’s thighs at a frat party. I’ve been given several names of private care-givers but so far I haven’t found any that have an opening for a baby.

Add to that, my dad was re-admitted to the hospital Monday night. Since my last post was overly long, I’ve shortened his situation into a bulleted timeline:

  • Massive blood loss (blood count 9 for you medically-savvy readers)
  • Plummeting blood pressure
  • Colonoscopy (negative)
  • Endoscopy (pancreatic ulcer – cauterized) (blood thinners mixed with chronic ulcer = mucho blood loss)
  • Resting and recovering

Next stop? Back to the nursing home to continue his physical therapy.

Whatever happened to the good old days of dreading / anticipating CD1?

DAY-COULDN’T-CARE(LESS)

It was on a Sunday evening that I started rethinking the rash on ZGirl’s chest. I told Mr. DD that it could be ringworm, but after googling it and finding several sites that addressed it in daycares and that it wasn’t anything to keep a child home from, I didn’t think twice about it Monday when I readied her for drop-off. In fact, when I arrived, I mentioned it to one of the staff that it might be ringworm and asked her to just keep it covered, a supposedly easy feat considering its placement.

Within a few hours, the director called and told me that since it does  appear to be ringworm, I would have to come and pick her up. I was miffed, but I looked at it as an excuse to spend the afternoon with her. I did run her to my FP to get a confirmation and treatment advice, which yes, it was and he said to simply keep it dry, covered, and apply lamisil or a similar product. When I asked if I should keep her home from daycare, he also said I shouldn’t need to since that’s where she probably got it from, but keeping her home a couple days during treatment would cut down on someone else getting it. So, that’s what I did.

By Thursday, I figured she should be good to go back to daycare. I dropped her off and thought nothing more of it.

It was when I picked her up after work that things started getting ugly.

I turned the corner to her room of the center and there was ZGirl sitting her carseat outside the door in the hallway. The gate was up in the door and a caregiver was seated on the other side of the gate. When I asked why, she said that she didn’t want to get ringworm. The director was also in the room and she said that her staff was susceptible to it since they had had it once (“No, duhhhh. That’s why ZGirl has it now,” I said in my head.). Then she asked if ZGirl would be back tomorrow and I told her yes, and walked out. I was so angry to see my daughter put out like a nasty bag of laundry that I could barely see straight.

When I got home and told Mr. DD, he wanted to call the director himself to a little butt-chewing. I actually convinced him to just sleep on it, but we both agreed it was time to find a new daycare.

Friday morning I was running late so Mr. DD offered to take ZGirl to daycare for me. I had just arrived at work when he called me. He said that he walked in the doors and there was one of the staff telling him that ZGirl wasn’t welcome since she had ringworm.

Mr. DD demanded that the staff member call the director, who wasn’t even there yet, to ream her out. Once on the phone, the director voiced her concern over how we weren’t treating ZGirl’s infection; how she was understaffed and she couldn’t afford to have staff out with ringworm; and how she had informed me the night before that if ZGirl still had any signs of ringworm that she couldn’t come back until it was finally clear.

Mr. DD responded that it was due to her staff’s carelessness that ZGirl was infected in the first place. He told her that ZGirl had been receiving treatment since Monday and that the doctor said it was no problem for her to return. He told her that her lack of staffing was not his concern; his only concern was his daughter.

The director finally conceded that ZGirl could be left there only after they stripped her down to see if she had any other flare-ups. This bit of news only fueled my anger since I am sure they weren’t doing that to the other children in the daycare.

Finally, Mr. DD told me that when he brought ZGirl into her room at the center, the staff member there seemed irritated that ZGirl was going to stay. This made us both wonder how she was going to be treated over the course of the day, but we refused to give in to their irrational judgment.

When I went to pick her up, the director pulled me aside and asked to speak to me. She told me how another child was sent home with ringworm that morning and how ZGirl probably gave it to her. I corrected her by telling her that ZGirl, who cannot walk, cannot crawl, most certainly did NOT give ringworm to anyone. It was the staff that is transferring it because they are failing to take the simplest precautions. I defended our decision by telling her that every day we come to daycare and see multiple children oozing green snot out of every facial orifice, spewing and smearing pathogens on everything and everyone without recourse, but yet my daughter, who has a fungus that spreads by deliberately touching her and then someone else without washing (in which they would have to undress her as well), has somehow attracted their misguided attention.

I told her that I was highly offended seeing ZGirl the day before in the hallway as if she was a leper, and that they certainly turned face on us considering that the same staff member who dropped ZGirl on her face – who couldn’t put her down for days following that accident -now avoided contact of any kind. The director told me not to take this defensively, but there are other options for care out there, to which I replied that we were most certainly aware of our options and that they were being pursued.

Now before someone tries to play devil’s advocate on me, reminding me that if the shoe was on the other foot, blah blah blah, yes, if I was a parent, I would be very irritated that my child is being exposed to a contagion. In fact, I am a parent who ends up finding out that my child is exposed every day to something at the center that could be entirely preventable if the staff was taking standard precautions. This is why ZGirl has had in the past two months an ear infection, bronchiolitis, RSV, another ear infection, pink-eye, another  ear infection and then the ringworm. Let’s not even discuss how she yet again has a runny nose and mattering eyes. Guess how many times Mr. DD, XBoy or myself have had signs of an upper respiratory infection or pinkeye or ringworm/athlete’s foot in these past two months? Zip.

As for trying to understand why I am working myself up about this when it was just three months ago that a staff member dropped her? I wish I could explain it to you, but I don’t feel anger or malice over that accident. Maybe it’s because I am just so bloody thankful that she’s OK when I find myself imagining the worst; that she could have died in the arms of a stranger. I just expected the care center to feel guilty enough to be more cautious with her and realizing instead of providing extra care, they seem to have just stopped caring. All the other actions are accidents, but to deliberately provide subpar-care? That’s intentional, and in short, unforgiveable.

TAKE DOWN

XBoy begged us to let him join the wrestling club at school. We were both very reluctant as his interest in sport activities wanes considerably when he finds out that there’s actual WORK involved. Soccer games were purely opportunities to be outside and chase his buds around. As for that black and white ball we yelled from the sidelines to go after: uh…what black and white ball?

We tried tae kwon do and it frustrated him that he actually had to do other things besides kick the punching bag. The instructor wasn’t much help either as he talked completely over the kids’ heads and if they didn’t get what he was saying? Tough tutus.

I attended the initial wrestling sign-up meeting to find out more and since they only charged if your child wished to compete in a meet, I figured, what the heck.

I took him to his first practice as well. I may has well been 10 feet tall, purple, and with an enormous horn emerging out of my forehead. I was the only Mom. Not only was I the only Mom, I also was the only person lugging about an infant carrier with a pink-encased humanoid as Mr. DD had to work late.

He worked up quite a sweat that first night with lots of running and drills. It was not his smartest choice in wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt and sweats.

Mr. DD had the privilege of taking him to his next practice. He said that towards the end, they paired the boys up and XBoy was quickly handed his own butt to him on a platter. When he came home, he told us he didn’t want to compete in the tourney coming up that weekend.

Saturday morning was when we were informed about my dad’s accident and didn’t make an attempt to get XBoy to the meet. It wasn’t until we announced that we would stop by the hospital first and then to the tourney did he get upset. Suddenly, he wants to compete! Arrrgh.

He made it to the subsequent practices and this time told us that he wanted to compete in the next meet. We acquired some used wrestling shoes, encased him in the school’s singlet, and off we went.

XBoy last exactly 13 seconds in his first match.

By his 4th match, he actually scored a couple of points for one escape (don’t worry if you have no idea how greco wrestling scores since I am only repeating what my husband told me – I am COMPLETELY clueless). Not bad considering his 3rd match left him in tears.

So he’s not a natural. We knew that and have absolutely no grand expectations from XBoy in this endeavor. He’s learning something he desperately lacks: physical control. If he doesn’t want to compete? That’s fine, too, but he will continue going to practice until the coaches tell us that XBoy is too much of a pain in the ass (hey, it could happen), or when the season is over.

He may be the worst wrestler in the school, but we hope by the end of the season he finds himself in a match with another uncoordinated boy who happens to the be the worst on HIS team and XBoy actually wins a match…but I ain’t going to hold my breath.

MORNING ROUTINE

I can hear her through the monitor clicking her tongue and repeating, “da-da-da-da”. I see her on the screen playing with a crib toy. She’s awake for the day and ready for her first bottle. I walk into her room and she’s peeking at me over the bumper, anticipating my arrival.

Her body is still warm from sleep. I feel guilty unzipping her sleep sack and releasing the last bit of warmth that surrounds her. She smiles happily when I look down on her and she pumps her arms in excitement. After I unsnap her sleeper, I lift out her plump, soft little feet and regardless of how crunched I am for time, I lean over to nibble on her tiny toes and blow raspberries into the arches of her feet.

When I have to lift her bottom, I use one hand to hold onto both ankles, just as I’m sure everyone has ever done and ever will do. However, when I do it, I can’t help but think of how we would carry live chickens on the farm. It’s a thought completely out of context, but EVERY time I change her, that odd memory comes to me.

Once she is changed, she quietly waits until I’ve snapped her sleeper back up and on cue, she lifts her arms towards me, an instinctual motion that is utterly irresistible. Once I have her close to me, I nuzzle her neck causing her to giggle. Even though she’s hungry, she tolerates my delays with such sweetness.

I’m so lucky to have these moments that are anything but routine.

WELLNESS CHECK

My dad is doing well, all things considered. Today, just four days after the accident, they are discharging him to the nursing home for intensive physical therapy. Sunday they introduced him to a walker and it was a miserable first attempt. He has had carpal tunnel in both wrists for years and while one wrist was operated on, it continues to be bothersome and since he felt little relief, he didn’t bother with the second. His upper body strength does not lend itself to a walker. However, Monday he proudly announced that he made it all the way out to the hall. Considering that his first attempt got him standing only, it was a vast improvement.

BTW, if your man has a magazine subscription, I beg you to bring his old issues to the local hospital (if they accept). I went on a hunt through the waiting rooms for something for him to read only to find Vogue, Good Housekeeping, and endless other feminine reading materials. Or if your husband doesn’t have anything, buy a subscription that appeals for men to be delivered to a certain area of the hospital out of the goodness of your heart.

My mom had also brought him some things to make him feel human: a razor, clean underwear, and his glasses. He did opt out of her bringing his dentures. He only wears them for trips into town anyway.

Speaking of teeth, right now my daughter is sitting on the floor cursing the teeth that are yet meant to be. Baby-cussing is awesome.You know it’s baby-cussing when they frown while they babble and it crescendos into a screech.

The spot of ringworm, which as OvaGirl pointed out is in fact NOT a worm but a fungus of the dermis, is at the top of her chest, directly below her chin. I actually noticed what I had thought was a rash created from the incessent water-works dribbling from her mouth a couple weeks ago. It almost disappeared last week and then Saturday is was back with a vengeance. Crusty and the size of a nickel, I even said to Mr. DD that it might be ringworm.

Thump me on the head now, because when I dropped her off at daycare Monday morning I pointed it out to one of the staff and instructed her just to keep it covered and dry via a bib. Apparently, she pointed it out to the Director who called me and said it was in their handbook that children with ringworm could not be in the center.

Funny how the kids are allowed to come and literally seep their snotty noses all over each other via the handling of mutual toys, or even their personal blankets in a non-stop snot-fest, yet this – fungus – is something to quarantine. Both are contagious, obviously, since she also then confirmed that another child had had ringworm a couple months earlier (jeez, a heads up would have been nice), but I would think the kid who wipes their snot on everything in sight would be more of a health hazard. But, whatever. The deed is done and frankly, so are we.

I filed an official complaint today even though I had pangs of guilt. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but seriously? Ever since she joined the 4-18mos old, she’s been sick non-stop. And would you believe that when I tell people about it, I’m asked if I breastfed? Makes me want to poke a sharp stick in their eye. Proof positive that breastfeeding your kid doesn’t NOT make them uber-immune.

If I make it through the rest of Lent without dropping the f-bomb here, it’ll be a minor miracle.