Category Archives: Aitch

The Cost of Vaccinations. Literally.

Did you know that medical providers are one of the last bastion against transparent pricing? Somewhere along the line, they decided their patients shouldn’t "shop" for care, and I guess there’s a logic to that as the idea of their doctor being the least expensive might read "poor quality and service". Even when we were uninsured, I didn’t make phone calls to different clinics to see who had the least expensive office visits. Our pediatrician was Dr. Kidd before I lost my insurance; it was Dr. Kidd after.

Our insurance through the Evil Hospital did not cover vaccinations. We took Doodicus to the clinic his pediatrican referred us to that was funded by the state. We paid a palsy "copay" ($20 maybe?) and for almost nine years, all shots were administered by them. Our current insurance now covers vaccinations 100% and with that coverage, the clinic prefers we take the kids back to Dr. Kidd, which is totally understandable.

In July, I took Aitch in for her well-baby check which included five vaccinations. I paid the office visit co-pay of $30 and never gave it another thought until I received my Explanation of Benefits from the insurance company. I wish I could play the game, "Guess How Much It Cost?!" through my blog, but obviously I can’t, unless you’re willing to spread this post out for the next couple of weeks and no one has time for that level of shenanigans, right?

Aitch’s exam, five vaccinations, and the administration of the vaccines came to a grand total of $1,000*. The specific breakdown (I’ve included the codes for you medically-inclined) follows:

99392 – $152. This was for Dr. Kidd to tell me that Aitch is perfect.
90461 – $100. This was for the nurse to poke my kid in the thighs with a pointy object and make her cry.
90670 – $205. Prevnar 13 vaccine (pneumococcal)
90716 – $125. Varicella vaccine (chix pox and boosters)
90707 – $78. Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine
90713 – $48. Polio vaccine
90700 – $52. DTaP vaccine (diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis)

Now let’s play a game. What does it cost in your area for vaccinations?

* This is for a provider in a rural-based community in the middle of the Prairies.

Dear IRS:

If you happen to work for the IRS, let me first apologize for how stupid I am going to tell you I think you are.

Our kids have to pay taxes because of some kind of trust, or something, their grandfather set up for them. This spring our Financial Dude (I think that’s the title on his business card) calculated that Aitch had to pay $28 in taxes for 2011. A check was filled out and attached to her return and that was supposedly that.

Then in May we received a letter from the IRS with a pay-stub enclosed asking us to pay her taxes, now with interest, to the tune of $28.11. Within a couple minutes I was able to determine that they had transposed the SS# for my daughter per the back of the cancelled check sent in April so instead of applying the check to Aitch’s account of say 111-11-1234, they used 111-11-1243. I was also able to confirm that this was an error on their part because we had copies of the returns that have 1234 on everything.

When I tried to call the IRS to explain how they are stupid, as I am sure they don’t hear enough of, I was told they couldn’t discuss the account because I am not Aitch. I tried to tell them that she was three, but because the IRS is stupid, they did not care that she was only a pre-schooler. I called the Financial Dude who said, “Seriously. The IRS is stupid and I’m not spending two hours on the phone (I was on hold for an hour) over $28.” Fair enough. So I made photocopies with a letter explaining the mistake and mailed it to the IRS.

About a month later, we received another letter and another pay stub informing us that to avoid additional late interest charges we should pay the $28 and some-odd-cents AND that they would review our information and respond within 45 days. That was in June.

Last week, we got another letter informing us that their big, giant collective heads were still reviewing and it would take another 45 days.

And I just laugh because…well, like, WOW. There’s a federal employee out there who has been paid three months salary to have a $28 tax dispute sit on his or her desk. I don’t know what an IRS employee gets paid, but I’m going to guess it’s around $7,000, minimum, a quarter. Doesn’t that make you laugh, too?

ETA: We got a letter from the IRS this week. They “found” our original payment from back in April and our 2011 taxes are settled. It took them three and half months.

Along Came a Spider, Who Sat Down Beside Her, and Told Her to Chillax

The little lightbulb in my daughter’s nightlight burnt out the other day, so I took it out of her room to replace it. As I screwed in the new bulb, I noted how quickly it warmed up (the switch was on), you know, as lightbulbs tend to do. The nightlight is actually a paper-mache’-like material over a wire frame in the shape of a duck. I’ve had it since Doodicus was a baby. I returned “Ducky”, as he is fondly referred, to Aitch’s room. She was thrilled I was able to fix it so quickly especially since it was during bedtime and she’s afraid of the dark.

All was well. Until I started thinking about how hot that bulb was. I returned to her room and touched the outside of Ducky to test for heat, but there was none. I left her room again. The more I thought of that bulb, the more freaked out and anxious I became. If my brain could type, this is kind of what it would look like:

what if the bulb gets so hot it starts the duck to smoldering. the smoke detector in her room should pick it up pretty quickly since it’s on that side of the room. would it burst into flames? it’s by the door so how would I get into her room to save her? could I calmly instruct her to get on the floor and crawl out to me? would she pass out from the smoke so she wouldn’t be able to help herself? Dood would try to go in there so I would have to make sure he’d go outside and stay there, but I know he would freak out and try to come back in and that would waste precious time. both her windows are accessible without a ladder. how would I break the windows? the lawn chairs on the deck. I could pick them up and throw them through the window. but that would create a unwated airflow and feed the flames already engulfing her bed! the garden hose. the hose is right outside. I would smash the windows and spray her room. when will I call 9-1-1? would Dood be able to do it for me? would he remember our address or be able to explain to them how to get to us on that rural road? ohmygodthewholehousehasgoneupinflames! galkdjaflksjflwjtopuiwjljldjlfuuuuuccckkkkkkkk!!1;11!!

Eventually the panic attack subsides and I feel a bit foolish for worrying about it at all.

This morning I was thinking about Doodicus and wondering how old he’ll be when he eventually becomes more self-aware and responsible without us constantly reminding him to finish eating, combing his hair, flushing the toilet, and putting on the other sock. Self-control. He has none. What if in six years he still has no self-control; no way to audit his impulsiveness? What if he meets a girl who is looking to manipulate someone like Dood and gets pregnant. Of course, we would help them take care of the baby. But what if she wants to have an abortion, or give the baby up for adoption? Both of these are legitimate options she would have, but both of them make me cringe inside.

I’ll admit it makes me really uncomfortable with the idea of someone else making the decisions about my “blood”, which is so utterly ridiculous for me to say. In fact, I would have to call Bull Shit on myself. Need I remind you that Aitch has at least one half-sibling that is NOT her brother, Dood? The same woman who donated her eggs to us also donated them to another woman from our clinic, and she, too, got pregnant. Aitch doesn’t just have a half-sibling, she was a twin.

I rarely think about it, but sometimes, like today when I think about the fate of my non-existent grandchild, I get my brain wrapped up in it. It’s why I’m writing about it now. Have you ever unwittingly walked into a spiderweb? That’s what it feels like in my head right now. I’m hoping by writing it down, it sweeps the thoughts away, at least for a while. At least until the spider comes back and puts up a new web.

Smile. It Won’t Hurt

We spent this past Sunday at the zoo. It was cloudy and the heat is finally fading away, plus it was the last weekend before school started and we hadn’t made it there once this summer. The kids wanted to ride the train, which goes around the zoo in a loop that’s just under two miles long. Since the train is steam and crosses several pedestrian areas, it is wonderfully noisy with its chuffing engine and warning high-pitched whistles. People can’t help but watch it go by, and a handful would wave as we went by.

Later, we were walking between exhibits and heard the train coming. Aitch stopped to watch it and I suggested she wave to the passengers. As she did, a few on board waved back, but not many. Doodicus asked why we should wave; we didn’t know anybody on board, and I was struck by his question. I told him briefly how decades ago, everyone waved or acknowledged a fellow human being if they crossed paths. A hundred years ago, men politely doffed their hats out of respect to the women passing by and at the minimum, made eye contact out of polite acknowledgement with the men. Then I said, “People have simply become so rude.”

The media has picked up on a story of an airline losing a ten-year-old girl and how the company couldn’t have been less indifferent if the girl had simply been a forgotten jacket. Not only had the airline acted as if it had been some lost inanimate object, but I read the comments by people who felt it was somehow the parents’ fault for entrusting the airline with their daughter even though it’s a service they not only offer, but get paid extra for doing so. Not only have we become more standoffish, some people have just become dicks and companies like this airline (United Airlines, for what’s it worth) ultimately reward ambiguous treatment of fellow human beings because it saves resources, i.e. money.

When DID we become so…numb…towards each other; so void of empathy? What ever happened to the simple nod; the one-finger-off-the-steering-wheel wave; the SMILE? We are more connected to humanity then we have been in the history of man – digitally, but it has made us also the most disconnected interpersonally, keeping everyone and everything that can bring us happiness at arm’s length, because it, too, might bring us pain. Smile. Acknowledge. Can it really hurt THAT much?

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

We went to Black Hills National Park in South Dakota last week and maybe at some point in the near future, I will tell how this trip, via a minivan, was just as shockingly expensive as a trip, by plane, to Disney World.

However, this post is about two things I thought I could avoid exposing my children to…wait, make that one thing. Maybe two. I’m not sure. How about a compromise? Two things that revolve around ONE thing: pee.

There are several places to pull over to take in the amazing views when you take the Interior Loop through Badlands National Park (and you most definitely should at least once in your life) and we did just that. There are very few amenities, which is probably why I liked the Badlands – no tourist traps. At one of the stops we made, there were bathrooms, but they were nothing more than permanent outhouses (no flushing toilets). The kids were both so excited to explore and climb in the area, that we headed straight out. In fact, I hadn’t even noticed the little concrete building when we parked the car.

The kids (and Sparring Partner) gave me mini-strokes as they ran for the rocky edges with sheer drop-offs that were no less than a hundred feet straight down, and usually into another series of pointy edges before dropping off again. There are a few barriers but they are basically token attempts at safety. The rest of the paths probably started as bighorn sheep paths, from what I could gather. I took charge of looking after Aitch who kept pulling me behind her while I had a deathgrip on her hand. We had almost reached the furthest point one could go on foot when she stopped to inform me she had to go potty.

If it had been possible, I would have shuffled her off behind a bush or boulder, but there was nothing. That’s when Sparring Partner told me there’s a bathroom back at the parking lot. I turned to look from where we had come and felt my shoulders slump. We were making a sprint back that way, and Aitch is doing the international sign for “I gotta pee!” (hand between legs), which is slowing us down. So I pick her up and ask her not to pee on me. She said she really, REALLY had to go. We reach the steps. There are only about a thousand to climb (maybe just four or five floors, but still). I put her back down and we make it up the steps in record time and miraculously, to the bathroom without an accident.

This only has one thing to do with exposing my kids to something I really had hoped to avoid, and that one thing is that while Aitch used the bathroom before we got back on the road, Doodicus did not.

We loaded up and headed down the road a little further to take in another scenic view when Dood announced HE had to go to the bathroom. It happened to be in one of the areas there was no where to go. There were no safe places to hike to that would obscure him from public view. He’s about to bust and there’s no way of knowing if there is anything at the next stop so I do something I never imagined: I emptied a gatorade bottle, sat him in the van with the doors closed, and told him to fill it. And to make sure the top was on TIGHT when he’s done.

Rest assured that at the next stop, the bottle was disposed of quickly.

A few days later we were on the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. FYI: pretty but a little stressful with two children who are bored and tired and dad who won’t let them color or play video games for fear of missing the herd of buffalo. For what it’s worth, one does not simply “miss” one of the largest herds of bison in the world. There are no bathrooms on this route, but there is little traffic, which equals more privacy. So there we were, right in the middle of the 18 mile trek when Aitch announces SHE has to go potty. Our only option? Show her how to “cop a squat”.

I had her take off her shoes – for obvious reasons – and explained the concept to her, assuring her that I would hold her so she wouldn’t fall…and then that was that.

With those two experiences (and now I have the lyrics, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…”), you can rest assured that I am arming them with the skills to survive in the wild.

In a Blink

A wild hair was sprouted and I decided to import all my posts from my previous blogs. I was tired of logging into one wordpress account to find something and then logging into this one to do the follow up. The downside of this is that during an import/export process from years ago, several posts were duplicated and it’s just not worth it to try to go through them and make it right. Also, I realized after the fact that my categories are all over the place. If wordpress had a way to re-categorize by bulk, I’d do it, but right now I’m either going to just leave it alone and have about 30 categories in place or just move everything into “uncategorized”.

Five years ago I was bemoaning the fact I was on a donor egg/gamete list and recovering from another miscarriage. Today, I am planning on taking down my daughter’s birthday decorations that I put up on Saturday to celebrate her turning four years old.

Shifting Gears

I do think Dr. Rita has some personal experience when it comes to ADHD (my response to a recent question left in the comments). I’ve yet to ask him if it was with himself or one of his children, but I do believe that it’s someone very close to him just based on a couple of things he’s said. I haven’t asked for two reasons, one being out of basic respect; and two, these sessions are for Dood. Sorry, if that makes me out to be kind of a dick, but for now I am being quite selfish about that 60 minutes we have been allotted.

The vyvanse? When it kicks in, it’s wonderful. When it hasn’t – or when it’s wearing off – he is painful to be around. Basically it amplifies all of Dood’s personality traits, whether they are bad or good. I wish I had a better way to describe it, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Today I turned in the enrollment papers to the public school. They will in turn file a formal withdrawal from the Catholic school Dood had attended up until now and request his transcripts. I wish I could brush off my apron and say, "And that is THAT," but Aitch is enrolled in the pre-K classes at the private school. Initially I felt a bit awkward about that decision, but right now I feel it is going to be a good decision on both parts.

Aitch is taking swim lessons for the second session in a row at the local YMCA. My son does not care much for swimming, and I’ve rarely seen him go into water higher than his knees, and never at the lake. Aitch, on the other hand, is fearless, and as such a danger to herself. She walks into the lake until there is nothing under her feet. I literally have to be within arms length of her at all times to scoop her up, and when I do, she just sputters a bit, squeals in delight, and wiggles her way back into the water. At the pool, she loves to jump off the side, go completely under and then leapfrog it to the surface. My heart seems to leap into my throat much the same way.

At the most recent trip to the pool she showed me a new "trick" by jumping off the side and then swimming under the water for a few seconds. The first time, I thought she had lost her footing and couldn’t get to the surface so I pulled her out, "Are you OK?!" "Yeah! That was fun!" and she jogged the best she could in three feet of water back to the pool’s edge, climbed out, and repeated. She popped up, gulped some air, and went back under. I could see her big, blue eyes beneath the water’s surface as she sought out my legs and reached out with her hands and kicked her feet in what one might describe as "swimming". That same night, she ASKED to go to bed.

And while Doodicus is not a swimmer, he did start getting the hang of doing handstands in the pool and I even assisted him in doing a somersault under water. Both kids have both figured out how to use a snorkel with impressive success. I think it’s Aitch’s skill and confidence in the water (as much an almost-four-year-old could have anyway) that has helped Doodicus overcome some of his trepidations. He is often ditching his friends at the pool to come play by us yelling, "Aitch! Aitch! Watch this!" and showing off for his little sister. They are so good for each other.

A couple months ago, I announced that I wished to go to Scotland next year for my birthday. Even though THIS year is a minor milestone, our trip to Disney in February pretty much tapped our vacation resources. I wanted the Scotland vacation to be just for Sparring Partner and myself; maybe the honeymoon we never had (15 years ago this month!). However, SP is not keen on the idea one bit. "I’m not an international traveler," he announced. I don’t even know what that means since he’s never traveled internationally. "Why Scotland?" he asked. I explained that while a vacation sitting on a beach all day drinking out of a coconut would have been my ideal vacation prior to my skin cancer scare, I thought a summer vacation exploring moors, lochs and circle of stones seemed like a rather pleasant alternative. And I know without a doubt, that he would love it. (see update below)

I let the topic drop until last night, "My sister said she would go with me to Scotland if you don’t want to." That statement was true. She loves to travel and as a matter of fact, just returned from her vacation to Peru. SP replied, "I don’t think THAT’S fair for you to go without me." "Does that mean you want to go WITH me?" "No. I don’t want to leave the kids for that long." I could only stare back at him incredulously. It wasn’t fair for me to go without him, but he thinks it’d be "fair" that I don’t go at all?

The prairie toads come out at night since it is much cooler. There are always a couple of them sitting in the driveway feasting on the bugs that gather around the outside lights. Last night, my husband got home from seeing his dad in the nursing home and it was already after dark. He asked had me come out and look at one of them. He was huge, like a baseball. And fearless, not even a flinch when I poked him with my flipflop. SP had backed the pickup into the garage to unload some things and I warned him to make sure there were no toads under the truck if he moved it. Sure enough, five minutes later, he comes in and sadly announces the big toad is no more. Worse, he informs me that he flipped the gruesome carcass into the nearby landscaping…where I walk around the house…where the kids explore. I chewed him out as if he’d run over the family dog and demanded he remove the remains and dispose of them properly. I am wondering why I had to even do this; he is 40-something-something years old after all.

ETA: I was sitting with my husband last night as he watched Feherty on TV and I was on Facebook. After a few minutes of listening to the interview I made the observation that Feherty is a Scot, not Irish, as SP has claimed in the past. "Oh, so now you want to go to Scotland?!" I looked at him as if he’d grown a set of thorny gonads from his ears, "What?" "Well, before you wanted to go to Ireland and now you want to go to Scotland!" "You asshole. For the past couple of months, I’ve ALWAYS said Scotland. I have never mentioned going to Ireland. No wonder you can’t get motivated to go with me when you don’t even listen to whatever the fuck I’m saying. Goodnight."

High Five! But only after you wash your hands first.

With every blood test and every ultrasound and every home pregnancy test, I couldn’t wait to get back to my computer to write about it. It literally was the first thing I would do when I’d walk through the door (or washed my hands depending on the moment. You’re welcome.). I haven’t had that sense of urgency in ages.

As you may already know, I have a girl who is going to be four in July. Last July Aitch pooped in the potty and then that was it. It was a traumatic experience and she refused to do it again. It took ages just to get her to actually GO again, much less go in the toilet. We’ve had to make quick escapes from errands or family outings because she had to go, but would only go in a diaper or pull-up, and I’m sorry, but I refused to carry one with me in the hopes her desperation would take over the sheer stubbornness. It never worked. The girl can hold it for as long as it takes and I just can’t go through that whole enema thing. Talk about traumatic.

The ultimate bribe we’ve held over her was a Barbie that is part of a set that came with a horse. She earned one of the items when she finally stopped “holding it” and at the time, she chose the horse. Aitch would often ask to   just LOOK at the Barbie even though it was still in the package. She would hold it on her lap and look longingly through the plastic window at the pink encrusted Barbie. I thought it was ugly. To her, it was the most bee-YOO-ti-ful thing in the world. But not beautiful enough to sit on the damn potty and crap already.

Not even ignoring her had worked. She figured out how to put on her own diaper. If your kid is old enough to put on their own diaper, use it, take it off and roll it up, then Woman, I would say to myself, you’ve got a serious problem. I refused to stress (too much) about it. I never had to worry that she’d have an accident when out or that a road trip would mean stopping at every nasty gas station for a bathroom break.

Tonight I was in the bathroom, coincidentally, when I heard yelling coming from the other room and it was coming from Doodicus.I presumed the kids were getting into each other’s faces. Again. After lingering longer than necessary (Sometimes the only solitude I get is on the commode thanks to a child-proof doorknob.), I came out and asked what was the commotion. Doodicus looked up from his Nintendo and said Aitch pooped in the potty. I was dubious.

I looked over at the kids’ bathroom to see Aitch returning the receptacle to the training potty. I asked her what had happened. “I pooped in the potty,” she replied, matter-of-factly. Sure, kid, whatever. The toilet was running because it had just been flushed. I made a closer-than-I-would-have-liked inspection, and sure enough, out of the clear blue, she HAD pooped. In the potty.

I have no idea what switch was flipped. She told me how she had tried to get a pull-up on but couldn’t. She did have the pull-up on but she must have been in such a hurry she had forgotten to take off the underwear and realized the fact too late. So instead of pooping in her underwear (with the pull-up overtop), she had dropped trou…and then something else.

You wouldn’t believe the celebration we all did! High fives, kisses, hugs, congratulations. You name it, we did it. By the time I had finished washing up her hands, SP had the long-awaited Barbie free from the box and handed it over to Aitch who jumped up and down and exclaimed her undying love for the doll (which is now sitting haphazardly in the Fisher Price school bus, all but forgotten less than an hour later).

I know. Who cares, right? So my almost four year old FINALLY pooped in the potty. Big deal. Tomorrow she may decide “meh” and be back to square one. She could regress and start wetting her pants! But right now? The first thing I thought of after the high of event wore off was to announce it here. I am so fucking excited about this that I couldn’t wait to tell you. Just be happy I didn’t post a picture on FB and then end up on STFU, Parents. Let us hope for all of our sakes this is the last post I will ever have to write about toilet training.

My Angel Does Not Poop Fluffy, White Clouds

We meet again with Dr. Rita this Friday. I like your ideas of the reward system, but I’ll admit to being an asshole of a mom and stating it’s just easier on many days to wish I could thump Doodicus for being a real butt. However, since this is about HIM and not about ME, I’ll get some more ideas from the doc on how to implement a system that doesn’t backfire by bringing more attention to Dood at school. Seven- and eight-year-olds don’t notice that a classmate is walking around with a keychain of privilege cards or that the teacher is keeping a sticker chart. Ten- and eleven-year-olds will, and being the blood-thirsty heartless, little vultures that they are, they’ll go straight for his soft underbelly.

Let’s talk about Aitch for a bit now, shall we? She’s got me wound so tight around her little finger, my head is up my ass…twice. "Mommy, will you lay down with me? Just for a little bit?" she wheedles sweetly. And I perch myself carefully on a sliver of the bed she gives up for me. "You’re the best mommy," she sighs. "I love you," at which time she strokes my face with her still babyishly soft hand and tucks her feet between my knees to warm them. I’ve been lulled by her angelic nature.

She wrote her name on a piece of paper the other day, without any assistance. Sure, the "E" was backwards and the "L" was upside down, but it was her first autograph. She drew a picture of a person that same week. Again, without any insistence from us, and then came running up to me with a coloring of a very large-headed, stick-figure with three legs, tree branches for arms (per Aitch), and purple hair. She said it was me.

She’s as subtle as a hammer. Days spent at daycare means her "indoor" voice would rival a howler monkey. And she isn’t just loud, it’s constant. She’s either carrying on a self-monologue, singing or humming. My favorite is her trying to sing the Lion King’s opening credit’s song. If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear she was speaking in tongues.

What I’m really enjoying is her personal level of responsibility. When we ask her to get dressed for the day, she’ll happily skip to her room and come out just a few minutes later ready to go. Sure, she’s most likely wearing a yellow-striped tank-top under the purple polka-dot, long-sleeved t-shirt, zebra-striped leggings and a green tu-tu, but hallelujah! She. Is. Dressed. Most of the time, she’ll even remember to put the empty hangers in the hamper and shut off the lights to both her room and closet.

Doesn’t she sound positively PERFECT??

Yeah, well, before you hate me any further, I’m going to tell you Aitch’s dirty, little secret. She won’t poop in the potty. Oh, sure, she’s been potty-trained for nearly a year. She’s only had a couple of daytime accidents. But that ONE time she actually gave us a No. 2 in the potty was so traumatic, she utterly and adamantly has refused since then. Want to see a normally agreeable child figuratively lose their shit when they literally need to do so? If you don’t act quick enough for her liking, she’ll go put on her own diaper. Not a pull-up, mind you, but a diaper. She diapers herself.

After the first few months of her being potty-trained, we tried so hard to get her to try pooping (again) in the potty, but we only succeeded in causing such major constipation that we had to provide enemas and mira-lax. I have had a child before who refused to be potty-trained on both levels so I knew it just wasn’t worth the fight. It makes everyone unhappy and even unhealthy. In fact, knowing that it took us over eight years to finally feel confident that Dood wasn’t going to come home from school with "damp" underwear, I have given myself permission to wait out Aitch’s rebellion for at least another two years before I get my own panties in a twist. She’s never had an accident. She always waits until we’re home before the urge hits her. On our trip to Disney World? She regularly came to me in the morning to announce her intention, did her deed, and away we went to the parks and never had to give it a second thought.

I guess if there’s a potty-training issue to be had, she’s got the "easiest" kind. She asks for the diaper. She stays in her room (as required) until she’ done. She then gives us a shout. We get cleaned up and away we all go. There’s no impossible to reach awkward-tushy-spot on the toilet. There’s no embarrassing public call-out in the Target bathroom, "Mommy! Wipe my butt!" Of course, I would like to not have to buy diapers and would love to finally move the diaper pail into a recycle heap, because as wonderful and as sweet and as loving as she is, her shit STILL does stink.

In this case, I’m not calling out for help. It’s more of a hey, we may LOOK like we pretty much have it going on in the Big Kid department, but in reality we are letting a nearly four-year-old continue to dictate parts of our lives I would much rather have back for myself. Especially Sparring Partner who has brought her to the edge of Meltdown City before remembering there are much bigger battles to be waged and won coming our way, including prom-season. I don’t care if it is another 13 years away. She just better watch her step because if she even tries on a dress with cleavage cut to the naval, I will not be afraid to remind her how it wasn’t that long ago she was crapping in her pants.

That’s What SHE Said

We leave for Disney on Saturday and I am trying to be really zen about it, but seriously, I’m not very good at zen.

Aitch has been calling me “mama” lately. It is not being said in the soft, southern-draw-way one might imagine when a child says “mama”, but more in the possessed-by-a-mass-murderer-doll-under-the-bed kind of way: “ma – ma, ma – ma, ma-ma”.

Speaking of weird shit kids say, tonight after her bath, Aitch was sitting on a stool we keep in the bathroom so she can reach the sink. I was combing out her wet hair, when I heard, “It looks like a penis.”

“What??” I asked, surprised, and stopped to find her doing a very thorough examination of her girly parts.

“It looks like a peanut.”

Um, OK.

But then she amended her observation:

“It looks like a dinosaur!”


Out of the Mouth of No Longer Babes

Children say the darnedest things, don’t they?

Who doesn’t have a story about a toddler saying something completely mind-boggling in its logic; humiliating in its over-sharing; or just plain funny?

The other day I picked up the kids from daycare and I made the normal chit-chat (Did you have a good day? Did you do any projects? How much homework do you have?) when out of the proverbial blue and its unlikely lighting, he struck:

It would have been fun having those four other brothers or sisters, wouldn’t it, mom?

Of course I shrugged it off with nothing more than a “I suppose so” in response. I try not to think about it, you know.

I said *try*.

Poop & Love

Sometime in July of this year, which was around the time my daughter turned three years old, she pooped in the potty for the first time.

Alas. It was the last time as well.

Nope, still not going anywhere but in her diaper. We’ve even tried sitting her on the potty while wearing the diaper. Methinks she was a bit traumatized. What say you?

(WTF: “Alas”? “Methinks”? “What say you?”?)

Not even bringing out the princess Barbie still in its box and setting it on the bathroom counter in all its pink, glittering glory, could persuade her to just try already. In all likelihood, we will have to tote around diapers on our trip to WDW and that seriously bums me out.

Don’t worry about making any suggestions. They’ve been debunked. If you think we haven’t tried, go ahead and make your Pooper Fixer in the comments and I’ll let you know how that went.

Aitch’s new big girl bed is rather comfy, speaking for experience. I’ve been sleeping on it instead of the sofa sleeper when Sparring Partner starts to snore, which most assuredly he does right around 11:15 p.m. (and if by the grace of ambien I sleep through THAT, it starts again around 5:00 a.m.). It was about that time this morning that she woke me up with some whimpering. I looked over to see her sitting up in her crib.

“Are you cold?” I whispered. “Yes.” “Come over here and lie down with Mommy so you can warm up.” “I can’t get out of bed,” she responded almost desperately. “It’s OK this time. Just come over here.”

I flipped back the my blankets while she crawled out of her crib making sure to grab her Flower (a flower-patterned blanket, Tinker Bell (a blanket with Tinker Bell) and both Unicorns (natch) (I told you we took the side rail off the crib, right?), and plunked it down on the now cleared area next to me and she curled right up. After making sure to nest her toes in the small of my back, she was out.

When Sparring Partner whispered to me about an hour later that it was time to get up, I crawled over Aitch who barely shifted in her sleep. Just as I shut off the water in the shower, I heard her crying over the monitor. SP went in and soothed her but also encouraged her to get up and get dressed. She is not a good waker-upper. Have I told you that the daycare staff draw straws to determine who gets to wake her from nap time?

Anyway, by the time I had slapped on my make-up and dressed for work, she was out having breakfast with SP and Doodicus. I asked why she was crying earlier. “I was worried about you. I woke up in my bed and you were gone,” and my heart melted into my boots.

Sure, she still craps herself when she’s not being anal retentive, but she loves me like no other.
OH! Right before I published this, I remembered this little "nugget". I came up with the idea to have her sit on the potty while in her diaper pooping after one especially touching moment when after she demanded a diaper so she could indeed poop (and we do NOT withhold that request because that will bring us back to 6 days of NOT pooping), she then asked to sit in my lap. Which she did, and then D I D. She used me as a toilet folks. And if that ain’t love…


We set up my daughter’s new bed in her room, much to her excitement and anticipation. And in typical psycho-toddler fashion, she promptly refused to sleep in it. Everything one should do when introducing a “big girl/boy bed” was attempted, which included letting her pick the sheets and blankets, setting the bed up without the frame (to keep it low) and putting it in the corner so there are at least two sides are roll-out-proof.

But she still crawls into her crib at night. Yes. She crawls in. She won’t crawl out. She’s always been such a weird child… I asked her why she likes her crib and not her bed. Her answer, “The bed doesn’t have a cage around it.”

Alrighty, then.

We finally removed the drop-down gate on her crib as another step in the Transition, but even I fretted about keeping her feeling secure and didn’t want her rolling out of bed. Somewhere in the back of my head, I recalled a simple tip that involved a swim noodle. Surprisingly, I even remembered where we had stuffed them away after this summer was good and over so I took one and cut it to the length of Aitch’s crib.


Once cut, I simple stuffed it under the edge of her fitted crib sheet.


And now as you can see by her wee, ski-feet, both she and her many, many sleeping accoutrements are fairly safe from rolling easily out of her crib. I’ll let you know if this actually works. For sake of a happy ending, let’s assume that it did.


Draft: July 2010


Oh my! This brings back many happy memories! Last summer the inflatable pool I had bought 3 years prior to that finally made its debut. We had tried to set it up in the back yard but it wasn’t level and the yard was nothing but sand and we just couldn’t keep it clean. Plus Doodicus was not a water lover.

And then we poured a patio and the pool fit perfectly on it. Aitch was a total water baby and her lack of fear made us a bit panicky. Here she is after climbing the ladder and then leaping off into her dad’s arms, whether he was ready or not.

We set the pool up again this past summer but it was fraught with issues insomuch it had several pinhole leaks and a tear, After several patches were set up (and still more were found), we lazily failed to clean it after a week and once the water turned green, the damage was done. We took it down and it ended up in the trash.

Seeing this picture reminds me of how much I missed that summer of 2010.

Draft: July 2010

It’s hard to believe that we have been in our home for almost five years. I will never forget how my daughter’s room started off as the “Baby’s Room” when I was pregnant with Vivienne and we were drawing up blueprints back in 2004. And when it became the “Spare Bedroom”, I never allowed myself to imagine that it would be anything but.

When I first found out I was pregnant from our donor cycle and would sleep in that room because Sparring Partner was snoring, I would lay awake with my hands clasped protectively over my abdomen and plea to whatever powers that be to let this one stay. Tears would leak from my eyes when I squeezed them with earnest and they would spill down my face and into my ears.

Over the past two years, I still wipe tears from my cheeks. The Baby’s Room became the Spare Bedroom and then the Baby’s Room again. I’m slowly accepting that it’ll lose it’s hopes and dreams-based title for good all too soon.


Drafted a year and half ago and I honestly can’t recall where I was going with it. I decided to post it as is since it coincides with the fact we literally just set up Aitch’s new bed in her room. The “baby’s room”.