Archive for February, 2007

Life at 15 months

You know how I was pondering the unpleasantness of that eye exam yesterday?  Well, yesterday afternoon the girl had her 15 month check-up and showed us just how much she hates being the subject of scrutiny.

I’m amazed at the changes I’ve seen in just these past three months, and I realized as Autumn walked into the examining room herself that I do not have a baby anymore but a little person.  She was cool with us taking off her clothes because she’s quite happy to streak though the house in only a diaper, but the moment the resident started poking and prodding her she made it very clear she would have none of it.  I spent most of the time as baby wrangler, pushing limbs out of the way so the resident could properly assess my child.

We had a brief break while we waited for the pediatrician and the resident started asking us questions.  “When she’s on her stomach does she hold her head up?” 

“Um, yeah,” I said, “except when she’s having a tantrum.  Then she just buries her face in the carpet.”

“Does she verbalize?”

Nathan and I both chimed in on this one, “Oh yeah, she babbles up a storm.”

The resident paused for a moment as she looked back at the computer screen from which she was reading the questions.  “Whoops,” she said, “wrong set of questions.”  Apparently we were being asked the questions for assessing a 2-3 month old infant.  I thought the “head up while on stomach” question was odd, but I’m a first time mom.  What do I know?

After the pediatrician came in to do his business, which was essentially a repeat of the resident’s work, Autumn was ready for her shots.  There were only two this time, but I had the unpleasant task of holding down her arms while the nurses poked her legs.  Nathan’s too squeamish when it comes to needles and opted to keep his distance.

She howled. She screamed. I wanted to do the same.  The last thing on the agenda was a poke on the toe to check her hemoglobin levels.  More howls, more screams and three Snoopy Band-Aids later and my daughter was back in my arms, indignantly sniffing as she wiped the tears from her cheeks.

While we waited for the nurse to come back, Nathan noticed drops of blood on the floor.  Apparently the Snoopy Band-Aid on the toe wasn’t as effective as the other two on her legs.  I freaked out.  “Is it on my pants? Is it on my pants?” I asked.  Much to my relief it wasn’t and I was able to tend to Autumn’s toe.  I was wearing new pants, you know.  Blood stains are a bitch to get out.

After all this, we had one more struggle with getting the girl’s clothes back on.  She’d pull off the Band-Aids and we’d put them back on.  She’d kick her legs and we’d tell her to be still.  Trust me, kid.  We wanted out of there as much as you.

To top it all off we were told Autumn’s hemoglobin levels are borderline low and that she needs more iorn.  Apparently peas at every meal does not constitute enough iron to sustain a toddler.  Now we’re tasked with figuring out ways to get more green vegetables in her.  Last night we tried chicken stir fry with broccoli.  I don’t know if it was the broccoli, the exam or the huge load of crap in her pants that ruined her appetite, but most of the meal wound up on the floor.  It was a hit with Molly though.


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Yesterday the whole family received reminders for our eye exams.  Nathan and I received ours from Walmart and Autumn received hers from the opthamologist we took her to last summer.  At one point I was worried Autumn’s eyes weren’t completely in sync with each other.  I still see it from time to time but Nathan doesn’t and thus thinks I’m crazy.

While it’s normal for a baby’s eyes to go in different directions, they should both be pointing in the same direction by the time they’re a few months old.  If they don’t sync up this could mean dealing with vision problems in the future.

Autumn’s pediatrician politely listened to my concerns at her 9-month appointment and referred us to the opthamologist.  After much testing and dilating of pupils and pissing off of child the opthamologist found nothing wrong with Autumn’s eyes.  She was a little nearsighted as most children are at this age but there was nothing to worry about.  She just wanted to see Autumn back in six months.

Fast forward to yesterday.  The reminder arrived and all I could think was, “I do not want to do this.”  It was hard enough holding her down for the dilating drops when she was 9-months old.  She screamed as the cold drops hit her eyes and I felt awful for pinning her arms down so the doctor could get them in.  After six months the girl has beefed up some is is quite strong.  Not to mention she can walk and run away if the situation calls for it.  Back then she couldn’t even crawl and my job of keeping her entertained during the seemingly endless wait in the lobby was much, much easier.

So am I a bad mom for not wanting to deal with this?  I can see exactly how my day with her will end.  I will have tried to offset the stress of the day with a visit to the Chinese buffet and Autumn will have a brand new pair of paper sunglasses she refueses to wear.  Not to mention the numerous chases around the lobby and the hallways and her wanting desperately to sit in my lap and not wanting to sit in my lap and, of course, the howling as he gets another round of dilating drops.

Walmart exams are so much easier.

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My almost Valentine


This is the bouquet I almost got today. My lovely, sick-with-pneumonia husband ordered them for me as a Valentine’s Day surprise a few days ago before he got sick. We don’t usually do the V-day thing because, as he puts it, “It’s a Hallmark holiday.” He knows I’ve been having a rotten time at work lately and wanted to do something nice, but as it turns out the flowers were never delivered to my office. Well, at least not before I left for home. As far as I know they could be sitting on my desk right now in the dark, cold office wishing they were back in the humid greenhouse from whence they came.

Nathan was pissed and went back to their website to fill out a customer service complaint form and tried numerous times to call them, only to be told by a virtual voice that their call volume was too high and he had to be disconnected. When I got home I insisted he call our credit card company and dispute the charge that had already posted to our account. It wasn’t that I was mad, but when you pay $57 and give a company the option of delivering flowers on Valentines Day or the day before even, they had better successfully deliver those flowers on one of those days.

By the way, don’t ever order from 1-800-FLOWERS. Even if you have a coupon.

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Bad news: Nathan has pneumonia.  He came down with a cold this past weekend and it has somehow evolved into pneumonia.  He was on call this past weekend for work (he works in a computer support center) and took quite a few calls in the middle of the night because apparently people feel entitled to tech support at all hours.  As near as he can figure his resistance was worn down from lack of sleep.

So now he’s on strict bed rest and has to sleep in a sitting position.  Autumn and I have to keep as far away from him as possible while still residing under the same roof so that we don’t get sick as well.  While Autumn has developed a bit of a cold, it’s nothing more than a mucousy nuisance at this point.  She’s sleeping with a humidifier in her room and whatever cough she had is pretty much gone.  At least I don’t have to deal with a sick child and a sick husband at the same time because, you know, it’s all about me.

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We’ve been doing really well with limiting our TV watching. True to our resolution we’ve kept it off after work until Autumn’s bed time.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle the weekend as well because I love me some Nickelodeon in the mornings and my favorite thing to do on the weekends is sit in front of the TV with the “Fairly Oddparents.”

Saturday, as usual, was busy with errands and whatnot, but Sunday…well Sunday was the most productive Day of Rest I’ve had in a long time.  With the TV off I didn’t sit in my robe until noon.  I showered, washed some laundry, fed the girl and cleaned her room all before nap time (hers, not mine).  In the afternoon we went to Target for a few things and then to Lowe’s to get a part of fix Autumn’s closet door.  I sorted through Autumn’s closet and even vacuumed before the day was out.

I have to admit I had a moment of weakness while folding laundry and turned on the TV in our bedroom for a bit.  Autumn was on the bed with me but was more interested in toppling piles of washcloths than watching “Jimmy Neutron.”  Nathan caught us in the act and asked why the TV was on.  After a full day of actually doing stuff I had no energy to explain.  “Because I want it on” I said.

Don’t mess with a girl going through withdrawal.


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Baby blues

I had such a nice five day weekend that it was very hard coming back to work Tuesday.  It was so bad that I barely functioned and went home that night with tears in my eyes.  Work is work and I’m not very happy, but I don’t really know what my problem is right now.  I guess one of the things is that I hate having to leave Autumn every day for a job I despise.  A year ago Tuesday was also the day I returned to work after a three month maternity leave.  I guess it hit me how much time I’ve lost with her already.

The daycare center on campus recently started taking children as young as 2 1/2 so Nathan and I have been talking about getting Autumn on the waiting list.  I talked to the center’s director the other day and she said getting Autumn in shouldn’t be a problem since their busier time is at the end of August when the fall semester starts and Autumn will be 2 1/2 in the middle of May next year.  Right now the center is only $20 more per week than what we’re paying our current provider.  Whatever increase we pay will be worth having Autumn closer to me.

So even though we just started talking about this and we’re well over a year from making the change if we do decide to move Autumn to the center, I can’t help but think about C-.  Autumn’s been with her since she was 11 weeks old.  Nathan and I love C-, love the warm, caring atmosphere she provides for Autumn and I can’t imagine having to tell her, “Yeah you’re great and we appreciate all you’ve done for our daughter, but it’s time to move on.”  Granted there are a few things about C-‘s place that twitch my maternal protection alarm.  This morning I dropped Autumn off and was greeted by the sight of C-‘s pajama-clad boyfriend.  He’s been there before and I completely trust that C- would never let anything happen to the kids, but I’m always nervous when someone’s there who I don’t really know, man or woman.

Then there’s the TV issue.  Autumn is exposed to way too much television.  It’s on when we drop Autumn off and on when we pick her up.  I honestly don’t know if C- ever turns it off during the day.  I know I have every right to ask about it and I plan to, but how do you regulate TV exposure at someone else’s house when other people’s kids are involved?  And how can I criticize C- for doing the exact same thing I do when I’m home with Autumn?  Hi, my name is Heather and I’m a TV addict raising the next generation of reality show junkie.

I talked this over with Nathan and we agreed to keep the TV off until Autumn goes to bed and to try to have it on as little as possible on the weekends.  Pretty soon we’ll be moving our monstrous TV into our newly painted family room downstairs and won’t have any TV upstairs save for the one in our bedroom.  The upstairs living room will be Autumn’s domain (as if it isn’t already) and her designated play room.

Speaking of downstairs, I’m really excited about the changes we’re making.  We painted last week, ordered two new couches, new curtains and window shades and plan on painting the fireplace before our couches are delivered. We’re ordering paint for the fireplace from this site because, really, how cool does that look?  Better than the red brick splattered with Aloe Vera green that is is now (we’re messy painters).

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A month ago I marveled about how we hadn’t gotten any snow yet and how we ended up with a green Christmas around here. Well, this was the view from my deck yesterday morning:

That’s Molly contemplating how badly she really has to go to the bathroom. We usually let her out upstairs and she takes the steps down to our pool deck and out onto our itty bitty lawn. The snow has been too much for her and we’ve been letting her out downstairs where she’s been able to at least get to the minute clearing she’s made for herself these past few days.

I probably should know how much snow has fallen, but I don’t know any way to describe this other than A LOT. This is a lot of snow. It’s like Mother Nature is trying to play catch up because we just have to meet our seasonal snowfall averages. At this point I don’t much care because it got me out of work today. I’ve hit the vacation lottery because I took last Thursday and Friday off to paint my basement and wound up with an extra day off because the university closed for the day. I’m guessing we’ll be back tomorrow.

I had to take some pictures because it was crazy how much snow fell in just a short time. A lot. It was a lot of snow. Anyway, here are a couple of nice shots of the overhang just outside our patio door:

This is the kind of stuff roof rakes were made for. Yes, people around here buy rakes to pull the snow from their roofs. See how lucky you Southern folks are? I ended up knocking some of this down with a broom handle, only to end up nearly burying Molly in an avalanche as she decided at that very moment to try the stairs again.

It was hilarious.

This picture here says it all though. This here is my patio furniture (plus the back end of my dog):

Nathan insists the furniture will be fine come spring. He also thinks the snow covered chairs in the middle resemble a butt so I’m not so sure I can trust his opinion that the manufacturers had this kind of abuse in mind when they weatherproofed the set.

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