Bottoms Up (and pray it doesn’t leak)

Why is it in preparation for change, we imagine the worse and yet when all is said and done, whatever the change was has come and gone much like a gentle breeze, barely enough to cause a ruffle?

That’s what happened with Aitch’s bottle habit. A couple weeks ago, we decided to cut the morning one. After two or three days, she stopped asking for it. And then without even really trying, the night-time one suddenly was gone, too. Yes, it makes me quite sad but I don’t want to dwell on it.

To expedite her final transformation into toddlerhood, we turned her carseat to forward facing. Yes, I know. The other way’s safer and all that, but the poor girl who is tall for her age, is tap dancing on my van’s leather seat backs. Not really noticeable unless she’s wearing her squeakers. Squeaking is cute at home, but I’m not what one would consider a “defensive driver” but rather an “aggressive driver” and really don’t need the added aggravation on my commute. Plus, at home, I can escape if I start to feel a bit “tenso”. At least she’s still in her crib (*fingers crossed*).

Anyway.

Sparring Partner and I went through a dozen styles of sippy cups for Doodicus without really finding one that didn’t leak or didn’t require an annoying valve or a horrible and expensive combination of the two.

These are the styles we’ve tried:

First Year’s Take & Toss – we used these a lot with Doodicus. Loved the ease of clean up, but they were most likely to leak (especially when someone shakes them upside down). Even more of a pain in the ass, is that if these get dropped, the lids would pop off and you can pretty much count on cleaning up apple juice residue for the next month from your floors.  Perfect for bringing along to a restaurant and serving your kids water.

Playtex’s Twist–n-Click – it has a silicone valve, which means extra cleaning and potential for lost valves. However, haven’t noticed any leaking and they’re insulated. This was the kind we sent along to the daycare.

Playtex Insulator Sport Cup – this was the only sippy cup that survived intact between when Doodicus stopped using them to when Aitch started. The problem is cleaning up is extremely difficult considering all the pieces, one of them being a straw. A straw!! And forget about finding replacement parts. We actually had two cups and two lids, but only one straw. Couldn’t get a replacement for the silicone sleeve or straws without spending what it would cost just to buy a whole new one. This one also necessitates an adjustment in drinking since Aitch is in the habit of tipping her cup in order to drink. Doing that with this cup means she draws in nothing but air.

Nuby Two Handle with Silicone Spout – I got these early in the introduction to sippy cup business because of the soft spout. While others complained of how the baby chewed up the spout, Aitch didn’t do that until just a couple months ago. My problem with them is that you have to have the spout  and lid lined up JUST. RIGHT. or they’ll leak. Or she pushes the silicone down and breaks the seal. More leaking. We use them now only when the others are dirty.

Nuby Two Handle with Soft Spout – Another version, but same issues. An additional problem with sippy cups that have handles is that they don’t fit into cup holders. DOH!

Nuby Sports Sipper – Great if you’re little shark-pup is teething. Also it leaks. A lot. My very least favorite of them all. I’d say Nuby, while great in looks, has really failed us in reliability, function and design.

Of course you have to know what’s coming now, don’cha?

Tell me, which sippy cups do you and your child(ren) love? or hate? And why?

Suckday: The Eighth Day of the Week

It’s a shit day and I don’t feel like jazzing this up with anything funny or thoughtful or whatever the fuck normally comes from life’s ass-raping lessons.

I received an email today (I was cc’d) that an employee where I have been “temping” for a year come this lovely Friday, has decided to downgrade her hours and accept the position that I was temping for. What does that mean exactly?

It means, once they fill the position she is vacating – one I’m not qualified for – I will be once again without a paycheck. Fuck. Seriously. And you convinced me not to be a whore and take down my ex-stalker. Thanks. Thanks a lot. FML.

This on top of the fact that I couldn’t get to sleep last night after receiving a rather disturbing Flickr contact request from a person I had never heard of. His line was, “I use to follow your blog before it expired. Now I spend time on Flickr.” I went to check out his photos, which he had none. He had just had favorited other Flickr photographers’ photos. His selections seemed odd.

I googled his email. It came up to a Facebook account with what might be his “real” name. No picture. No updates. No friends listed. No location. Nothing. I googled his Flickr account name. Found some comments on Flickr, but it also lead me to several threads on babycenter.com. The link is a list of his comments and posts he created. Innocuous? Maybe so, but after seeing some of the pictures he linked to via Flickr and some of his posts, I got a sick feeling in my stomach.

Especially this post regarding belly buttons. Especially since I see this as a recurring theme in his comments and posts. Especially since he’s using pictures of kids who aren’t his (and as far as I can tell – he doesn’t have) as an example. Especially when he asks to see photos of other kids’ belly buttons.

Infer what you will, but I immediately blocked him. I didn’t report him as many of my Facebook friends urged me to do because if the ICAC is going to be able to check him out, having his accounts suddenly deleted isn’t going to help out the next innocent person.

Maybe he’s just a normal guy who loves amateur photography, especially family orientated, but you know what? I don’t care. He’s a stranger to me and my family. Just to see what would happen, I responded to his request by asking, “Which blog are you referring to, Real Name?” (his name from Facebook since he didn’t use it anywhere else) and surprisingly, I’ve had no response.

So yeah. Not a good day.

Ironically, I just hung up with someone who’s been trying to get some information from several different departments where I work with no success, and she said, “You’ve been the most pleasant person I’ve talked to so far today. Thank you.”

It helped. A little. But now I’m going to go to the ladies room and have a good cry over how I hate my former employer(s). After this, if I’m ever offered a position where my supervisor is bald, I am SO declining. Billiard-ball-sporting fuckers.

I don’t care what Healthcare Reform “costs” the taxpayers. I care what it costs ME.

Due to a comedy of errors (without The Funny), our family is now without health insurance coverage. When I got the official letter, I admit, I nearly had myself a heart-attack, but because I couldn’t afford to have one, I just had a mild freak fit instead. Sparring Partner has been given strict instructions to get and save every receipt related to medical expenses in hopes of getting some of it back after filing taxes NEXT year.

I tried to reason with myself that our monthly out of pocket expenses surely couldn’t be more than what we’d pay for a monthly premium. Sadly, only two weeks into January and we had already shot our wad.

Doodicus’s 60 day supply of ADHD meds was $210. Aitch’s 18 month check up was $140. Then there was the urgent care visit for yet another ear infection for Aitch and the subsequent antibiotics that were filled. Not once, but twice. So, uh, yeah. Not quite the auspicious start I was hoping for in the new year.

After this last round of antibiotics for Aitch’s second ear infection of the year, we are now starting a six week regimen of AB (unknown cost at this time) that the pediatrician hopes will keep future infections away until the fluid can finally be absorbed by her body. If not? Then she’ll be getting tubes. Average charge at the local hospital? $2,700.

I haven’t made an appointment about my earlier concern (protected post). I haven’t a clue what the cost there will be.

Of course, then there’s the mammogram screening I need since the last time I had one was Fall 2007 as required by my RE before I could go through the donor egg transfer as I was then pushing my big fat zero around with a four. That alone will set me back about $450, including the radiologist’s fee.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to bitch once again about $25 office visit copays; $100 emergency physician copays; and $50 pharmacy copays… *sighs wistfully*

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep track of all of our medical expenses here. With the healthcare reform on life support (sadly) and full-time, permanent employment still a pipedream, keeping a runny tally will not only be helpful to me, but maybe someone else may find it beneficial, or at least interesting, to know what the “typical” medical expenses a family of four incur over a year. So I’ve started a new page on this blog.

And to avoid ending this post on what could without argument be the most boring conclusion ever, I’ll share a little story about Aitch:

She’s a bit “particular” when it comes to routines. Loves them. Chaos and change? Hates. At bath time, normally we go and start the tub water to warm it up, call out, “Bath!” and she comes running. While the tub fills, we get her undressed and the clothes go into a little pile by the door to be taken out to the hamper later.

The other night, I told her it was time for her bath while sitting in the living room. She was happy to hear it and started off. I stopped her by telling her to take off her socks. So she sat down and took them off. And the pants and the shirt (with some help – obviously). I asked her to pick up the now discarded clothes and we went into her room and I pointed to the hamper and asked her to put her clothes in there, and she did.

THEN we went into the bathroom. While my back was turned, adjusting the temp of the water, she dashed out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, she came back holding the pants, shirt and both socks in her arms. She deposited them, very deliberately, next to the door, gave them a pat as if to say, “Stay!” and then walked over to me to check out the status of the water in her bath.

She even puts away the box of colors and coloring books, you guys! Oh, yes, she does.

Definition of Bravery

Many of you know Geohde from Mission Impossible, yes? While she’s wicked smart, which is helpful in her profession that she claims is medically related (a “Doctor” I think she calls herself), even though that intelligence has completely failed her when it comes to outsmarting her toddler twin girls and their penchant for pooping willy nilly on her floors. However, aside from the intelligence quota, she is also one of the bravest bloggers I know. Brave? How so, you ask? You didn’t check her link if you are still asking that.

That post about honest journalism I directed you to has inspired me to buck up and show you something that while a bit horrifying to view is actually a part of me I’m secretly very proud. Well, secretly until now.

(Four days post c-section) FRANKEN-ABS!! Run for yer lives!!

(stitches replaced with tape) I have zee Sexxy now, no?

(11 days post c-section) I could almost – almost! – hold a pencil with that front-butt.

Now please understand that this was a year and a half ago. I would like to believe that my pooch has improved a bit. At least I don’t have to worry about small animals using it to protect them from the elements, and the iodine eventually did wear off, and of course the sexy vertical line (linea nigra) is long-gone. What will never disappear are the c-section scars, one on top of the other.

Sparring Partner is adamantly against me ever getting a tattoo, so I’ve declared that my c-section scars are my tattoo. Don’t bother trying to liquor me up in hopes I’ll bare them to you in their current state. I need to perpetuate the fantasy that since the time these photos were taken I am now sporting washboard-flat abs. I can assure you that a dime no longer disappears into the cavernous recesses of my belly button.

How brave are you? What do you got but don’t flaunt? Share!

Another “woe is me” Post, Made Fresh!

Funny how some days blogging can make me feel either quite assured and likeable and funny and appreciated and yet on an equal number of days, make me feel like I’m just a loser (♪baby, so why doncha kill me♪). I take the good days for granted, and while I’m pretty sure they outnumber the bad, the bad have a way of halting me in my tracks for which I only stir long enough and with enough energy to open a word document and start a post. Like this.

I probably have a dozen posts in draft that start off almost identically to this one. I let them ferment a bit in the dark while I wash and dry what may be my only pair of big-girl panties, and then eventually I let it go. However, I would like just this once to air out my insecurities before I tuck them back away in their little dirt boxes to fertilize my mental mushrooms.

I read a variety of blogs, including too many satirical (aka FAILblog, LOLcats, LameBook, etc.), and over 100 private blogs that are either parenting- or infertility-related. Actually, it’s 114, and the reason I include that number is because of those 114 writers, I honestly connect with and like all 114. On my Good Days.

On my Loser Days, I start to think that only 14 actually like me back and that’s IF they even know I exist.

I don’t comment as much as I use to. I lost the luxury of dependable computer connection and limited distractions along with my job last year. So while I can go through my reader and star the posts I want to come back to, in the hour (if it’s a particularly good night) of stillness I have before bedtime, I find that there’s just not as much time as I need to continue reinforcing the bonds I thought I had, not to mention forging new ones.

My laptop has found that updating its security settings during a particularly involved and meaningful comment is a perfect opportunity to show its spite. Comments disappear. Websites lock up. URLs kick me out.

It’s like being invited at the last minute by a bunch of friends I happen to run into on the street to a major rave and the bouncer at the door not having the updated guest list after I’ve run home to dig my sparkly top out of the bottom of the hamper since I hadn’t had time to run it to the drycleaners after the last time I wore it six months ago and haul ass to the secret scene of the party in a driving snow and ice storm.

Really. It’s JUST like that. No pauses and no punctuation.

When I feel like I’m losing touch with some of my mostest favoritist bloggers, I will email them to let them know I tried. I really did. And I shouldn’t do that, because like me, you are busy people too and sometimes you don’t have time to respond. Guess what I think then? Here, I’ll give you my internal dialog:

Hmmmm. I haven’t heard back from Blogger I Love.

You just sent it. Give her a day.

Maybe I don’t have the correct email address…

Blogger I Love is busy, just like we all are. Back off. You’re being paranoid.

Oh my god. Blogger I Love just put up a new post. She’s on her computer so she had to have seen my email. I must have offended her! Oh, shit!!

Would you stop?! God. You’re not 14 anymore. Grow up.

It’s been a whole day now. She’s mad at me.

Fine. She’s mad at you. That’s her problem, not yours.

Yeah. You’re right. I’m SO over her anyway…

Blogger I Love? Come back…(*plaintive whine*)

I’m not the only one, am I?

Oops! Not only have the panties made it through the spin, they are just now softly “shssshhing” and “whummping” in the dryer. And I don’t think I’ve even made my point yet…have I?

It’s just that sometimes it’s so hard to know where I stand in on-line relationships. It took me almost 10 years with my husband to finally be able to accept that he doesn’t have to tell me he loves me every time we see each other to know that he loves me.

Probably.

I’m pretty sure he does.

Maybe it would all be so much simpler to believe you all hate me and it’s purely out of pity that you continue to read. Maybe it’s not that or you know that I easily fit the profile of a stalker and would hunt your ass down if you left me.

Just know this: if I’ve sent you an email, or I’ve commented, or you’ve seen an IP from a state known only for its Kool-Aid origins, then know that I do love you. Like my husband, I’m just not very good at showing it consistently or when you might need it the most.

Sh*t

While we mull over the morality issue on my last post, maybe a little levity will help break the tension a bit. Plus I’m just as torn about what to do even with your input. When one of you say, “Do it! It’s deserved!” I’m all, damn straight! and then the next comment is, “You’re a bigger person than that,” I’m all, damn straight!

You’all are like the little angel and devil sitting on my shoulders whispering in my ears.

Speaking of devils.

This weekend, Doodicus and I were in the mud room, getting our coats on to go on an errand. He knelt over to tie his shoe and bumped into my leg with his head so his hat came off and landed with a flop on the floor.

“Shit.”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“No. Not nothing. What did you say?”

“Shit.”

“It’s ‘shoot’ for you.”

“That doesn’t make any sense!”

“And ‘shit’ does?”

“It makes more sense than ‘shoot’.”

Mark one up for Doodicus.