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.

Imperfect World

We’ve all heard at one time or another how someone has simultaneously announced their second line on the pregnancy stick, taken the tour of the maternity ward, registered for baby gear, and traded in their sedan for a family van. I did that back in 2004 before I found out that miscarriages weren’t just a myth.

Once that miscarriage (or two or four) has gone by, that person (me) never thinks the same way about a pregnancy, whether their own or someone else’s. They don’t assume that a new pregnancy ends the way 80% of the population thinks they do. In fact, they (me) even begin to believe the worst before they ever believe the best.

My son’s teacher announced to the class before Thanksgiving that she was expecting a baby in June. By my calculations, she at least waited to tell them after her first prenatal appointment, which is usually around week eight or nine. I wasn’t thrilled with the school’s permission to let her announce this to her students – second graders – so early, reasoning that it would be a distraction throughout the entire school session. Inwardly it was because I didn’t want her to have to untell a bunch of seven and eight year olds. Because that’s the way I think.

But see? That never happens in a perfect world, and to me his teacher was living that ideal. She had a little boy who was just potty trained. She must have planned the pregnancy with the due date occurring early summer, giving her time to enjoy a new baby before going back to school without disruption to the class schedule. She’s also very young…

A Perfect World.

Unfortunately, she found out this past weekend that there is no such thing as a Perfect World and had to announce to the children via the school’s principal that her baby died.

When Sparring Partner picked up Doodicus from school, my son shared the update with his dad, who then called me to pass on the sad news and to let myself prepare for the questions as Sparring Partner decided to tell Doodicus that we had had that happen to us. I again did some calculations and figured that the teacher, Mrs. P, would have been in the beginning of her second trimester.

While it’s not the way I would have preferred for Doodicus to learn that not all pregnancies result in a baby, Padora’s box has now been opened. I picked up Doodicus from daycare and we went through the regular pleasantries of “how was your day?” and “what homework do you have?”, and then he said, “Can I ask you a question?” I was glad that I was driving so that he couldn’t see my face from the back seat as I anticipated what was coming. “Sure,” I responded.

“Have you really been pregnant four times?”

I wondered why Sparring Partner had said four and could only presume that as a man he probably had no idea. “Actually I’ve been pregnant six times. My first was with you and my last was with Aitch.”

“Did the other babies die?”

“Yes.” I did not ask why he asked but waited to see how the conversation would progress.

“If you had all those babies, there sure would be a lot of kids in our family.”

“Yes, I suppose there would have been.”

“We were told today that Mrs. P’s baby died. I didn’t know that could happen.”

“Normally it doesn’t,” I responded. Normally. In a Perfect World.

We talked a bit about how sad Mrs. P was going to be and that we will say a prayer for her and her family. Doodicus told me that the principal suggested that the class not talk to Mrs. P about it as it would make her sad. I could only suggest to my son that he could mention to her in private how sad he was about her baby and that we prayed for her.

“Aitch and I were lucky, weren’t we…what happened to the other ones?”

“Yes, I suppose you were lucky, but the really lucky ones are Daddy and I because we have you both.”

I then told him briefly about my pregnancy with Vivienne when he was almost three and how I remember every detail of November 2004. I told him how when Daddy brought him home from daycare that day, he came into the bedroom where I had been lying their crying all day following that fateful ultrasound and asked me if I was going to be OK, too young to know only that I was very, very sad. I had told him I would be. Eventually.

At the end of my reverie, Doodicus started to tear up. When I asked what was wrong, he told me that he was sad because he almost died. I was startled by that and asked when did he almost die. “When I was born.” He knew the story of the emergency c-section and that he was so little and spent nearly a week in the hospital. I tried to ease his heart a bit by letting him know that while he was sick when born, we knew he would be alright and that we would take him home healthy.

After he had calmed down again I said that he shouldn’t dwell on it to the point it makes him unhappy, but that if he had more questions, he could come to us. I don’t wish to keep revisiting that wound, but I think he is ready to know more than we give him credit for.

An early pregnancy announcement will make any one of us want to “protect” the expectant mother by warning her not to count her proverbial chickens, but that makes us sound paranoid or jealous. True (for me) on both counts. I have never-and never will-wish that life lesson on anyone, and yet…with a sickening thud in the pit of my stomach upon this recent news, I heard in my head “I could have told you so,” and I hate myself for becoming so fucking jaded.

Moving On

Don’t feel too sorry for me. It’s not like we were trying. I was even doing the “opposite talk” to myself when I headed to the bathroom (at work) to test. “Of course it’s going to be negative. You don’t know when you had your last period and you probably didn’t ovulate…so of course, it’s going to be negative!” because nothing fools the Opposite Gods like telling them you DON’T want to be pregnant…

Pfft. Obviously, they weren’t fooled.

Also? My period started later in the day. ‘Figures.

**********

Aitch’s 18mos check-up is this week. I’m going to fib to the Ped and say that she’s completely off the bottle. We are just weaning her from the morning one. We’re saving the best for last, the night-time bottle. It’s easy enough to distract her in the morning with either the shouting that goes on between Sparring Partner and Doodicus or toast or juice or hurrying our asses out the door because it’s foggy/icy/snowing or there’s an earthquake.  Don’t laugh. It could happen.

**********

We gave Doodicus a tattoo book for Christmas with “500 Plus” tattoos. He was sporting four, all well hidden since the school frowns on even the fake ones. He wanted another so he selected the black and white guitar with wings and we put it next to the Chinese word for “Fake Tattoo”. Aitch was watching us with some interest, but when I put the wet washcloth on top of the paper to release the image, she got pretty agitated and kept trying to pull it off. She thought Doodicus had an owie or that I was hurting him. When we were done, I tried to show her that it wasn’t an owie but she just looked at the guitar and shook her head.

**********

I bought Aitch some shoes that squeak when walked on. They are quite adorable and in spite what my Facebook friends thought (that I would break the squeaker within an hour), I giggle every time we put them on her feet. And while my tolerance has exceeded even my expectations, the constant squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak (walking)…squeak…(pausing)….squeaksqueaksqueaksqueak (running) must be bugging Aitch. Now when we put the shoes on her feet, she’ll walk on her tippy-toes. Good balance practice I suppose, but not the best for the long haul. We removed the squeakers. Of course, when we put them back on, Aitch kept stomping around trying to get them to squeak. Man, she’s fickle.

**********

They are predicting another major snowstorm for us Midwesterners next week. I don’t care. Only nine more full weeks before Spring. So what if we’ll get snow up to another eight weeks after that.

Delurk if Delusional

(This should be a good one to delurk on, especially since it will be the last post during National Delurking Week.)

Last night I was thinking about the date of my last period. I’ve never been good about tracking it, and the only time I ever did was when we were going through treatments. In fact, somewhere in the dregs of the computer system where I use to work is an excel spreadsheet that had every CD1 marked for four years. It kind of pisses me off that I never was able to save it since I was told to vacate immediately the day I was let go. It not only had the cycle days marked but every appointment, every beta level, every check amount written. It was a tidy summarization of my reproductive failures and successes clear of emotion and tripe, unlike my blogs.

I know that I should expect my period before the weekend is over, but stupid me, even with as cynical as I have let myself become, I still wonder “Could I be…?” and let myself contemplate the idea of buying a couple of HPTs.

And then I run head-long into the Wall of Reality.

It took four years for a specialist to get and keep me pregnant. That was over two years ago. I’m knee deep into my 40’s. And yet the skeptic in me still holds onto the idea of maybe….just maybe…. Reminds me of the month I actually thought about using a pregnancy test even though Sparring Partner and I had been sex-free for over seven weeks (infertility treatments are not kind to the libido). I almost convinced myself that my period might have been break-through bleeding (that would have been some kind of crazy “break-through bleeding”) and I could have been two months pregnant!

Can you say, Dee-loosh-i-null??

I knew you could.

This morning I was feeling a bit crampy. I’m not going to be one of those Infertile Urban Legends. Sparring Partner would be pissed. I would be even more paranoid about miscarrying a baby than I was when I was pregnant with Aitch who started with a donor’s egg, and if you recall I was crazy with paranoia then, what with the once a week ultrasounds and Doppler-dancing and leaving work with no notice to go home and lie on my bed and sob uncontrollably waiting for the inevitable miscarriage that never came.

Talk about a Whack-Job. Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I know that most of you are pretty much in the same place I am, which is D.O.N.E., but do you sometimes still hope?

Pierced

What may have been a million years ago, I was the assistant manager at a Claire’s store. You know? That place where girls ages 5 to 15 flock to get their jelly bracelets, scrunchies and rhinestone jewelry for the Winter Dance? Why yes, it was like one of the Circles of Hell.

One of my many responsibilities – besides nabbing a six year old for shoplifting a $1.99 ring by “dropping” it in her shoe – was piercing ears. I hated it. It was about that time that such stores were permitted to pierce the cartilage, that hard part of your upper ear. Did you know that cartilage crunches? Yeah, you would know that if you got your ear pierced in that way, but the person doing the piercing can hear it too.

Worse than that was the piercing of a newborn girls’ ears. I’m sure if you took a poll, parents are probably 50/50 on whether they would or have, but I’m in the 50 that wouldn’t. I don’t know if my opinion was influenced by my less than one year stint at Claire’s, but I’m certain it didn’t help. Mothers would bring in their wee itty bitty one week old sleeping baby (I noticed that the policy is now at least 4 months of age) and sign the paperwork and then with the help of one of the other staff members, we would each hold a piercing gun in our hand, lining up to the dot of ink we marked earlier to make sure the holes were level and equal, and then 3, 2, 1 – TRIGGER! and pray to god neither of us went early as to startle the baby suddenly which would result in an uneven pierce. The screaming that would emit from the newly pierced baby was heart-rending, even in my still-single and child-free state.

I love nibbling on my daughter’s ears (and my son’s when he forgets to block me during our wishing of goodnight to each other), and not having to worry about the click of a stud on my teeth or the back of an earing getting sucked in accidently. I can certainly see the appeal of adding a little “pretty” to your little girl, but…*sigh*….

I guess I’m looking forward to when my daughter reaches an age where she starts to notice earrings and then as a big surprise for her birthday or Christmas, we take her in and create that memory together, like my mom did with me when I had my ears pierced by the family doctor when I turned 16.

How old were you when (if) you got your ears pierced? Have you or would you pierce your baby’s, whether boy or girl since I’ve now seen baby boys’ ears pierced as well.

I can see by your blouse, it’s cold in here.

How do you keep your toddler comfortably warm when they go to bed at night? Aitch not only sleeps in her pajamas, but a sleep sack as well. I can tell she gets cold because during the middle of the night when I wake up to Sparring Partner’s snoring go to the bathroom, I can see her on the monitor curled up into a little ball, feet and hands pulled in under her like a turtle, and her butt in the air. She doesn’t fall asleep like that because it’s warmer in the house at her bed-time but cools down considerably in the early morning hours. I usually go in and cover her with a blanket, but that ends up in a tangled mess (along with the sleep sack) by wake-up time.

I’m not keen on resetting the thermostat since Doodicus sleeps down the hall and he’s his own personal furnace. I also won’t entertain the idea of a space heater.

Maybe I’m just paranoid and she’s actually comfortable, but I know that even when I’m dressed in pajamas, socks, and covered with a flannel sheet, blanket and comforter, I’m STILL cold. Do you have any tricks to ensure your little one stay comfortably warm (or cool) when in their crib?

This one’s for me.

I think it’s ironic that when I’m at home, I have absolutely no time to update either my blog or facebook (want to be FB Friends? Find me by using thismamasaid (at) gmail (dot) com), but get me back to work and hooboy! Look out! I’m on FIIIIIRE! As much as I can be anyway.

I thought about reminding you that’s it’s National Delurking Week, but it seems that the only people who “delurk” are the ones who aren’t lurking. Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

You probably don’t want to hear about my holiday weekends since even I don’t want to relive them. It’s not that they were bad, per se, they just weren’t noteworthy.

Instead, let’s talk about Aitch. Nope, she’s not sick. Not any sicker anyway. She’s become my little portable three-ring circus she has, and neatly compacted into a no-longer-a-baby body.

We are constantly setting her to perform minor feats throughout the day:

What does a cow say? Boooooooo (which is also what she says when she sees a cow as she’s never actually SAID cow)

What does a horse say? Neeeiiigh

What does a sheep say? Baa-aahhhh (again, has never said “sheep” but instead baahs like one when she sees one)

What does a dog say? Arf! (sometimes she’ll pant)

What does a kitty say? M-owwww

What does a lion say? Rowwrrrrwww (why a lion? I have no idea but if she sees one or we say “lion”, she growls)

Can you dance? Show us your dancing. *hips going side to side and a few deep knee bends*

Can you jump? Show us how to jump. *shallow knee bends followed by a quick straightening of the legs and enough air to slide a credit card through if she gets a really HIGH jump*

We got her a picture book that has common items in it, including shapes, colors, seasons, zoo and farm animals, as well as household products. Also in there are pictures of children pointing to a part of their body (ears, eyes, nose, tongue, etc.) as well as actions. One picture is of a baby for the word Baby. The baby is wearing a diaper. When she sees the baby, sometimes she’ll say “baby”, but lately she’s been pointing to the diaper and saying “poopy”.

Poopy applies anytime she wants a change of diaper, not necessarily WHEN she needs one. She’ll run (like a drunken queen in high heels, she does) to her room, grab a diaper, the container of wipes, and run back. It’s quite a sight and one that has me dying of the cuteness each time, especially when she has her hair in two little pig tails that stand straight up on top of her head.

She tries desperately to put on socks and pants and shoes. The other day she managed to get her pants on…if getting both of her legs into one opening counts as getting them on.

Aside from mimicking an animal farm, she does use quite a few words. Impressive considering only a couple months ago I was sure she would never get beyond, “uh-oh”. “Daddy” was always there, but recently more “Mommy”. Never to call me but used to identify the owner of a particular item, say like my phone or shoes. “Mah” is her brother. “MemeMEmeme!” is used as an objection to having something taken away from her that she thinks should be hers. Sorry, sweetie, but the steak knife you were able to pilfer from the table is NOT yours. “Oosh” is shoes. “Gocks” is socks. “Moe-Are” (done with as much exaggeration of the mouth as possible) is more.

She’s quite tidy, too. Obviously a trait she picked up from her donor (it would stand to reason that being neat is all about nature and not nurture). Japanese beetles have been falling from the uppermost corners of the ceilings because the current frigid temperatures are making even those spots too cold to cling to. Because Aitch is quite a bit closer to the floor, she is the one most likely to notice them so she’ll call out, “yucky!” I’ll investigate and she’ll point and then I have to pick up what usually is the broken and crushed body of a beetle. Yucky is right. But she uses “yucky” to describe any bit of flotsam that may be on the floor. Once I’ve confirmed it is a Yucky, I’ll ask her to throw it away. She’ll pick it up, go into the kitchen and pull out the trash drawer, give whatever it is a pitch with a flourish only a person of 24 inches can do, and push the drawer shut with a slam.

Did I mention I die of cuteness? Repeatedly??

Doodicus if not enjoying her new sense of self as she often pushes him out of the miniature rocking chair. His Tech Deck skateboards are a forbidden fruit and she enjoys flaunting the fact she has them half way in her mouth and then tears across the house shrieking when he shouts, “NO!”. A game she enjoys too much since she often catches my attention from the other side of the room to indicate she has just secreted something she shouldn’t have into her mouth. I’ve learned that if I move towards her, she runs. And running with a Sorry game piece jauntily poking out between her lips is not a good idea. Instead I pretend not to notice or care and walk into the next room. And wait. It doesn’t take long before she comes looking for me and that’s when I snatch her and pluck the offending (to me, not her) object from her mouth.

She has also become quite enamored with the Wii controls. Watching her brother and Daddy wave them around has led her to believe there’s some fun in it. And so she does, which led to quite a donk to the head when the cord came back at her like a whip.

I no longer see her teetering on the edge of toddlerhood. She’s firmly smack-dab in the middle of it. Even when she’s in trouble – like when she slaps me in the face which is when I put her abruptly and firmly on the floor and turn my back to her – she has an innate sense of adorable. When such times happen, she will try to peak around at me by leaning over and towards me. If I happen to catch her eye, she’ll stick out her bottom lip, signaling her remorse. It gets me right here *hand over heart* every time.

While I still miss the days of her being a baby, these days of giggles and “peek” and “gocks” and screaming at the same pitch as my whistle are helping me to not miss them quite as much.

Now see? Isn’t this better than begging asking you to delurk or become my FBF?