Saturday, January 31, 2009

The First Hair Cut

Once upon a time there was a girl with a horrible baby mullet. Due to some serious rubbing on the back of her head, her hair was scraggly and sort of well, ugly. It drove her mother nuts. Especially since the side of her head didn't have much hair, and only part of the front of her head did. Sort of like a cross between a mowhawk and a mullet. Sure, you could do pigtails (some days), but her bangs were in her eyes, and there was much tangling.

So, despite fears that she would look like a boy (curse all those parents of boys who leave their hair longer), her parents brought her into the salon (Kid's Hair in Minnetonka) and let Andrea do her magic. She even sat still the whole time AND let her use a blow dryer.

It turned out great. Sort of like a bob, very cute, and only a little gender undetermined, but that is why they invented hair clips.

I bought like 15 of them at Target and added a liner to keep them from slipping. (carpet non slip stuff works awesome!) They work, and were cheap enough I won't mind if they get lost at daycare. We were going to have them cut bangs, but today she all of sudden let me put a clip in her hair, and didn't mess with it. So we went with the bob. Hopefully it continues to grow in, but in the mean time, maybe a little more pink won't hurt.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You never know how much water...

... your body is made of until it tries to get rid of it. All at once.

The diuretic is kicking my ass. I drink, I pee, I drink, I pee. I also don't sleep because if I get up while M is restless she wakes up and then I really don't sleep, so I lay in bed trying not to think about having to pee. Eventually when I do get up, I feel better, but then I can't fall back asleep very well. And then I have to pee again.

I owe a lot to a coworker of mine who was very open about her experience with preeclampsia. If it wasn't for her, I would have never been as prepared as I was for how they would react and what would happen when my slowly creeping higher blood pressure finally turned ugly. One of the things she told me about was that after she gave birth, while recovering from her emergency c-section, all of a sudden her body got rid of the water it was retaining. She said it seemed like she peed for a day. After I gave birth, I wanted that so bad. The magnesium had made me extra bloated, and in the time leading up to M's birth, the edema had made me uncomfortable and itchy. It didn't happen, it was slow, and the itching sucked.

What is happening now, is what I thought would happen then. I'm sort of hoping it wears off a little after I shed all of my water weight (almost five pounds in two days). I know I will always deal with this side effect a little and need to stay hydrated all the time. I just hope it is worth it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Big Fat Hairy Deal

Apparently, I'm just really hairy for no good reason. My tests made it back in time, and while my testosterone is not low, it is not high either. That means basically that while I may still have PCOS, it is unlikely. Unlikely enough to not get an ultrasound to know for sure.

I was given a prescription for Sprionolact, which blocks testosterone to hair follicles. The thinking being that maybe I've got some super sensitive hair follicles. However it's main function is as a diuretic medication for high blood pressure. It can cause potassium issues (no banana for you!), and I should have to pee a lot. (yay, cause I don't do that enough...)

What I wasn't expecting was that it would hit me so hard. I wanted it to be something solid and specific. I wanted it to be something that I could attack, could deal with. There is no guarantee that this medication will help at all. That means that I may never wear a foundation makeup again, will never be comfortable having my picture taken, will never want to socialize like I used to. I realized how crippled I have been by my own insecurities about this. I'm so afraid of what people will think, of how I don't want anyone to see me like this, so I sit at home to avoid dealing with it. Not only am I fat, I'm hairy, and while there are some pretty fat girls, they certainly aren't covered in hair. I don't feel pretty in the slightest.

So I cried a little bit while driving back to work, and made a stop at Target to get the prescription filled so I didn't have to go back right away. While I waited I went and tried on clothes since I have two pairs of jeans that really fit, and they're starting to show the wear. The ones I got fit well, and were a smaller size than I expected. (still starts with a 2, but ah well) I even tried on some trouser jeans that were flattering but would require high heels, which sort of set me off about how with big feet I can't get any good shoes. (facial hair of a guy, and shoes as big as a drag queen's...)

I've had a little time to think and I need to do something about how I feel about myself. I won't be a good role model for M if I keep this up. If it takes saving up for laser hair removal or waxing regularly (ouch!) then I guess I save up the money or suck up the pain. Try and take the time to make sure that I feel good about myself. Maybe I'll start with some professional waxing and some dressy shoes that actually fit so I can wear those flattering trouser jeans. (A girl cannot life in Keen's alone) Maybe the medication will work, but I will do my best to love myself not matter what.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A question of sleep?

What time was/is your toddler's bed time? How long do they nap? When do they get up?

We're having some sleep issues around this house, and I'm beginning to think it is time to reconsider our routines.

M currently goes to bed at 7 PM and gets up between 5:30 & 6:30 depending on if she wakes up when A gets up or not.

Lately she hasn't actually been falling asleep for at least an hour after we put her down. She is still taking a pretty solid two hour nap. I'm not sure if the issue is she just isn't tired, or she just needs that long to wind down.

It could also just be that she's going through more milestones. She is teething (though a dose of ibuprofen before bed seems to have no effect on this issue), and has gone through big changes at daycare. She also seems to be increasing her vocabulary by the minute.

Help? Just when I figured we had a good solid routine I could count on, she's gone and changed it again.

Finding your inner circus act

I like to make jokes about my balance since an inner ear infection on my 20th birthday left me a little off kilter. While my personal equilibrium will never be the same, I try to make attempts at finding balance in the rest of my life. I don't always succeed.

This year my anti resolutions were part of my small first steps to help me find more balance in my life (and perhaps a smaller size me as well). I am happy to update and say that they are going well. If the scale is telling the truth, then I've lost somewhere around five pounds in the month of January. A perfectly acceptable start to the new year.

Since that is going so well, for February I'm going to try to add to my list of things to keep on track. I'm going to try to finish one knitted project a month, and exercise at least three times a week. I'm still not sure what that means. For the most part I should be able to go for walks in the skyway downtown (even if it is to go to Target to get diapers). However, the work schedule may get in the way of that some. If that doesn't work, I'm debating the purchase of some kind of either video or equipment. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, since it will be warm enough for morning/even walks before you know it. For the knitted stuff, so far so good. There are plenty of babies on the way, and I intend to keep as many of them as I can in warm sweaters.

No matter what, I'm committed to making sure that as M gets older I set a good example. You can be a good employee, a mom and good spouse all at once. Find your inner tightrope walker...

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA

Friday, January 23, 2009

The up side to a down economy

We found out this last week that despite major projects at work, we can no longer work any OT. The OT is always the reward to grueling work when things get like this, so it was a little bit of a bummer. It beats losing your job, so I really can't complain. The other up side is that we can only work 40 hours, no exceptions. So after a nice long week on call, I got a surprise day off today. It also means that I will likely take little PTO for the next few months, no matter how many Dr. appointments I have.

I considered keeping M home with me to hang out, but then realized that it is her last day of transition to older toddlers, so she really needed to go to daycare. That means a day to myself. To clean. No really, I wanted to clean.

After M was born my already relaxed house keeping has gotten... well, there just isn't any way to explain it without swearing. The main floor is OK, the kitchen is in permanent disarray (which I blame mostly on it's total lack of storage), but the worst is our bedroom. It isn't a safe place to hang out with M while we clean, it isn't seen by the public, and it involves clothes. Which since both A and I are not at healthy weight, comes with emotional baggage. So today I am tackling it. I've already got a couple of bags to go to Salvation Army, a pile to put in the laundry, and dusted and vacuumed a few thing. All that before 10 AM. Right now I'm just working on laundry, making sure I don't get too far ahead of myself. I won't finish it today, but I should get it more on the way to a place I can enjoy.

The washer is done, so back to work for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Updates etc, etc, etc...

I emailed M's old teacher and got a polite little response back. End of story, nothing more to do. Still curious and a little bummed, but that is the way it goes.


Transition to Older Toddlers is going incredibly well. The combination of the new larger room with new challenges, as well as the warmer weather allowing her to go outside means that she has actually been in a much better mood in the evenings. I think next week (even with more cold) will be even better. She is talking every night all the time. I understand next to nothing she says and usually just agree. Not sure, but I may have agreed to a tattoo when she turns two...


Next week I have an appointment to see my endocrinologist. I had my blood work done this week (hopefully the tests will be back in time). I'm both scared and excited about this. Part of me really wants it to be PCOS since it would explain so much. But on the other hand, knowing the other health problems that could mean, it would suck equally as much. I do think that possibility of looking less like a pre-op transsexual wins in the end.


So far the healthier eating/lose weight thing seems to be making slow but steady progress. I just need to add in the exercise component. To help with that, I'm thinking about doing the March of Dimes walk this April. Having had pre-eclampsia I know how important the work they do is, and I think it would be a good tradition to start with M. I can do the Minneapolis walk which is 8 miles, or the St. Paul one which is 3.6 (I think). I'm afraid of the training and weather impact of the Minneapolis one (8 miles of cold would suck), and afraid to look like Flotsam's stalker if I do the St. Paul one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WW - Here fishy fishy fishy!

Last Monday we went to the zoo. It would have been a great idea if only it wasn't everyone else's idea too. Also, if Dora hadn't been there with her hoards of wild fans who ran around and nearly knocked M over multiple times... At least the fish were a high point.

More Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A study in little girl's clothing

Last time that M went through a growth spurt, I bemoaned the sorry state of little girls clothes. Specifically, the sorry state of girls jeans.

I like having M wear jeans for a number of reasons. The least of which is that they just wear better. I have trouble getting stains out of knits. Jeans either come out easier, or just don't show. They are also much warmer in winter here in the lovely state of Minnesota. When your other option is a thinner knit, they block the wind better. (we use leggings under our jeans)

However, I've noticed that girls jeans are far different than the boy's jeans, and not in a good way. While most kids M's age are generally growing at the same rate, girls jeans are skinny. Not just the skinny cuts either. They're skinny in the legs, the hips, just about everywhere. Go over to the boys section at the same store, and they're all baggy and comfy and you can actually move in them.

When M is in girls jeans that by all rights should fit her (her height and weight are proportional, if not both a little ahead of the curve), they are snug in the thighs, she can't pull them up on her own, and worst of all, she can't climb in them. It is sexism for the toddler set. Pants should not be skin tight on someone who can't form a sentence of more than three words. (leggings being the exception of course)

Size 18-24 mo. Gap jeans - Bottom boys, tops girls

There are of course brands that are the exception to this. Carters is OK, but the elastic in their waists (at least up to 24 mo size) tends to give out early. Hanna Andersson rocks, but they are expensive. We're getting ready for potty training, so I've bought less jeans in the next size up, and more long tops and leggings. (I'm trying to hold off on really getting into it until it warms up and we can get rid of the onesies, but still we need to get her some larger pants)
I'm laying down a challenge to Gap, Old Navy, Gymboree and Children's Place. You can make cute, fun, stylish clothing for little girls that still allows them to be kids. They will have plenty of time to shove themselves into the style of the day, to put on the cute heels that give them shin splints, to sacrifice for fashion, when they are older. Right now, they just need to play as much as they can.

Same 18-24 mo. boys, 2T girls, 18-24 mo. girls

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Starting the addicts young

Normally on the weekends we make lattes at home with a stove top Turkish style coffee maker and a milk steamer. It makes for a smooth cup of coffee and a great latte. Best part is, they come out just the way I want, and I make perfect foam.

Since M isn't much of a milk drinker at home (though she is OK at daycare), we started making her "special milk" when we drink our lattes. I steam up some whole milk and add just a tiny bit of flavoring or honey to it. She drinks it with a straw, feels like she gets to participate, and I get some milk in her*.

This weekend we ran out of coffee, so instead of just going to get coffee to make at home, we treated to some store bought lattes. Unfortunately I forgot to order a steamed milk for M. So when I was done with my latte I rinsed out my cup and put some warm milk in it for her. I think I may have to get a couple of cups from my local coffee place for her to use on the weekends.

* I make sure she gets other dairy products at home, and she eats green veggies like a champ (spinach and broccoli being her favorites) so I don't worry too much about her calcium intake. I wasn't a milk drinker either, so I try not to push too much. It is hard however in such a dairy centered culture to have a kid who doesn't like milk.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Moving on up!

This last Wednesday in the middle of my big project at work, I got a call from M's daycare. The number popped up on the caller ID and I got a sick feeling in my stomach. There was no way that I could leave work to deal with her, my husband would have to be called. She was supposed to be napping, so it wouldn't be good.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The center director called me about if we were OK with M moving up to older toddlers a month early. She was already penciled in for March, a month before she turns two. However the boys that were set to go before here aren't quite ready yet and she has been really growing lately. She is talking and communicating so well. She understands so much and surprises me all the time with the things that she says. More than anything, she stands out from her classmates. Her teacher thinks that her pushing her boundaries is more about her being bored and needing more of a challenge.

I'm so very excited, but I have a little concern. With the new room comes being around the terror twins again. We've been running late since it is cold, and showing up around the same as them. While I could never know for sure, I think they are the ones that bit M. The ones who's parents ignored their kids hitting other kids right in front of them. The girl just this morning tried to grab M's brush out of her hand right in front of me. (we were putting in her pigtails) When that didn't work, she went after another kid's breakfast. I just hope M is old enough and verbal enough now to say no. I don't want her hitting back or anything, but I also want her to stand up for herself.

We shall see, one way or another, I'm saving 20 bucks a week. (which is about what she's been adding to the grocery bill with her recent growth spurt)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweaters big and small

Ok, so April asked about knitting and since I have been tackling something I never thought I would, I thought I would share. However, if you are my SIL and want a surprise, stop reading.

I have a new niece due in three or so weeks, so I thought I would tackle another baby sweater. I made her big sister a quilt, but that seemed a little aggressive with my own toddler to deal with. This is my second truly successful sweater. The first was for a coworker. I figured if I brought it in half made to her shower I would have to finish it. It worked, and it was easier than I thought. I only wish I had been brave enough to make some for M when she was little.

One for the new baby, and one for her sister's baby doll. Except that one I think will be too small, so I made another. That one fits M's baby doll (slightly smaller than her cousins). I used the Knitting Pure & Simple free sweater pattern with some slight modifications for the buttons. For the little one, I took the same basic pattern and halved one of the larger sizes. I've liked her free pattern enough to actually purchase some other ones, including a couple in M's size. I may be crazy, she's bigger than 6 months.

The knitting is hard on my wrists, and my cyst isn't getting smaller, but the therapy of it all has been worth it. Just see the happy customer above.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A daycare quandry

Yesterday M missed daycare because of the "eye", and we missed out on seeing one of her teachers for the last time. It would seem that the lead teacher in her room quit last Friday with no notice.

Which would lead me to believe she was fired. Except that she was back yesterday to say goodbye to the kids. Which you know, we missed of course.

So now I am a bit stuck about what to do. You see, I have her email address. She sent us pictures of M playing last fall. Something I gave her my email address so she could do, so it isn't like I got it off Facebook or anything.

Do I email her? Do I ask what happened? Do I offer a reference? (we totally loved her) Do I leave it alone?

I wouldn't mind knowing if they canned her, seeing as I care if there were issues with either her or with the daycare. However, everything I have heard would lead me to believe she actually quit. You would think in cases of a firing you would want your parents to know that if there was an issue with was swiftly dealt with, right? Not have them whispering about what happened. Or if there was an issue with how they treat their staff, you would want to know.

This is the first inkling of anything amiss at this daycare, but it has left me slightly uneasy. Something that hit especially hard today. For the first time since she wouldn't latch as a newborn and got jaundice, I felt like a parenting failure. Thanks of course to having to yell at M multiple times this morning to keep her from hurling herself down stairs, running into traffic, squirming out of my arms and on to pavement, trying to put pink eye drops in her eyes, etc.

So, email? No?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The crackers on your boot are not a snack for later.

M woke up this morning with her one eye crusted shut, so there was no doubt it was pink eye. Her nose has been running non stop for days, so it really was a matter of time. I did give her drops last night (leftovers, shhhh, don't tell) to make sure that she would only miss one day of daycare if I was right. However, I didn't have enough for a full course, so we were off to the Dr. this morning.

I was right about it. A bad cold that most likely that caused the pink eye. Her sinuses just boiled over to her eye so to speak. Her ears were clear (yay tubes!), so that was good. We even managed to see one of the Dr's I like. She commented on how different M is now and how much she is talking (no kidding).

By the time we left the snow had started in full force, so I was giving my attention to the slippery roads and just happened to glance back at M. She was sitting picking snow/ice/salt (I hope) and who knows what else off the bottom of her boot and eating it. It would seem the molars coming in (confirmed by a slightly shocked Dr.) mean that she will put anything in her mouth. She likes snow, metal, dog toys, fingers, and just about anything that fits.

I will admit that I reacted pretty strongly to it. I just don't know how to get it through to her that some things are just that dangerous. Chemical deicers I doubt are good for kids. Neither is removing your boots and socks in the middle of winter in Minnesota. Something else she does all the time (then eats her toe jam, ew). So what do you do? How do you do the danger thing without permanently traumatizing them? She really can't be reasoned with yet, so I'm feeling stuck. I also have a feeling that two is going to be a hard year for us. The teeth are just the beginning...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The days are getting longer, right?

Sorry for the delay in being here, I've been busy dealing with a toddler who is getting her teeth (two year molars) and having another growth spurt (Yay, 3T pants?), and finding an old love again in knitting. I used to be a knitting machine, but I haven't felt like I've had the time. However, it is winter, and I find that there is therapy in knitting. Something I need since there is so little sun this time of year. It helps me focus (and keeps me from drowning my sorrows in chocolate).

I've also been working on my usual winter cleaning and organizing spree. It is my version of cabin fever. It helps accommodate any new things we received for the holidays, and feel like there is something fresh in our lives when everything outside is dead.

We've already taken care of getting M's new toys in her room. We anticipated that a little and added more storage to the basement to clean out things she had outgrown. The next project is my bookcase in the office.

So, next weekend I think I will be off to Ikea, after I survive this week. M may have an ear infection, pink eye, or just a really bad cold and those darn teeth. Drat!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

WW - The very patient dog

She lays there patiently while she tucks her in despite the fact that she is viciously chased with a doll stroller at other times.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The anti resolutions

I suck at resolutions. They are rules. While I have no problem following rules that make sense to me, I have been known to ignore/bend ones that just aren't fair.

So, this year I'm trying minor behavior modification. Mostly related to losing weight and getting healthier. I've made an appointment to see my endocrinologist in late January (earliest I could get in) to figure out why I look like a pre-op transsexual. I'm also working on losing weight, still. Seeing as last year I sucked at it. (though I am at pre-baby weight, just barely)

I think the problem with my weight is that I have 90 pounds to lose to get to a healthy BMI. No really, my BMI is 38. I look at that 90 pounds and I freak out. It seems impossible. So instead of that, I'm trying to get under 200. Roughly half of what I need to lose. That should be enough for me to consider thinking about having another munchkin. It would improve my well being a lot.

Since we know I suck at rules, instead I'm trying a different approach. One that has actually worked for me before. I'm starting by trying to change a few bad habits every month. This month I have four or so. I get these to be habbits again, and build from there.

No soda (pop for you Minnesotans) That means diet too, since that is a slippery slope and it tastes nasty anyways.

Next to no fried food. I will make exceptions for the occasional samosa, but no french fries, potato ole's, etc.

Sugary coffee only on weekends, and weekdays, less overall. I'm cutting back from an iced venti sugary flavored latte with less ice (and thus more milk) to a venti nonfat no foam latte with a splenda and a raw sugar. Weekends when I make lattes at home, I'll still have something sweet, but I see that changing eventually too.

Eat breakfast and eat out less overall. Lite yogurt, frozen raspberries, and a little granola all doable at the office. For lunches, I need to pack my own (and A's) and eat out only once per week. At night, more cooking at home (and thus more leftovers for lunches)

If this all works out, next month I tackle more about what we eat at home. I finally have a clean kitchen again, and if I keep it that way, I can start cooking better stuff at home. I also need to figure out how to best use my Costco membership. A has also volunteered to help with cooking, so we'll see what comes of all of that. You will notice that exercise is nowhere on there. Not that I don't know that I need to, but because it is freaking cold here. Start with food habits first, then move on to physical activity when it isn't minus twenty.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Look, a rainbow threw up in her room

We live in an old house. (60+ years) and like many old houses, it has no insulation. That means that while we have new windows, we are constantly fighting the cold. Add to that a love of keeping our money, an old gravity furnace that wasn't designed to heat this many rooms, and you have well, a cold old house.

Which is fine when you're newlyweds and you're happy to snuggle together under blankets and invest in down slippers. When you're married with a skinny little toddler with no body fat to keep her warm and love of running around without socks it isn't nearly so much fun.

We got M some slippers she likes wearing (bear feet, ha!), and we keep her in sweaters, but we've wanted her room to be more cozy so she'll play in it more. With the addition of her new kitchen, it really drove home that we needed to do something. So, while roaming the isles of Target yesterday, I found these. On clearance (yay!). I snagged what I could, then hunted down more at another store (which actually cost me more because of some odd thing about "different markets" 10 miles apart).

They aren't a perfect match to her decor, but we noticed the temp in her room seemed to go up. We finally removed the glider, giving her more space. We created a little reading nook by her bookcase and moved all of her books to lower shelves so she can get them out (and put them away). We custom cut some of the tiles to make everything fit, and put her other rug back down to help make it easier to get the doll stroller over the edge. It is well... bright! However, it is warm, and she loves it. Really, that is all that matters. Right?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One cute win for baby signing

M has been signing since she was around one. We started with more and all done to help with meal time. At the new daycare they really work the signing and she has picked up a bunch more signs like please, thank you, apple, banana and cracker. Not as much as some kids I know, but it has definitely helped while her speech caught back up. It has also lead to some interesting uses of the signs. She makes her dad's sign "more" when she wants him to bounce her on his lap. (like many fathers he is the human jungle gym) She signs "banana" when we talk about her Nana (my MIL).

Today however she showed off what she knows, it what may be the sweetest way possible. She brought her baby over to me and requested I read her a book. I read to her a little and then M wanted to take over. She made the baby sign "more", then made her sign "please" and then read the baby the book. Pointing out everything in it that she knows. Mouse, puppy, truck, banana, car, ambulance... She even made the baby turn the pages (something we've been having her do for a long time).

The baby in her room reading later in the evening.