I didn’t think boys were supposed to be ready to potty train, well, until they were ready to go to college. I’m pretty sure I’m still working on fully training my husband about proper wiping and aim technique.
And yet, here I am, with a barely 18 month old who is now holding his pee all day. It all started last Thursday. I picked Kellen up from daycare (because on Thursdays, Mommy is busy building her brand).
“He was dry when we changed him,” they said. They change him every two hours, which has always seemed a little overkill to me, but I also don’t like to waste disposables, mostly for environmental reasons.
DRY?! We got home and I gave the kid “jew” and “k”, pumping him full of all the liquids I could get him to drink (as opposed to spit out because apparently that game is just SO FUN). He didn’t pee before bed, but that diaper was SOAKED come morning.
“Just a fluke,” I said. And I knew he wasn’t dehydrated. We went to the indoor playground (which has couches for moms!) so Kellen could play trains all morning. I put him in the car, knowing he would likely fall asleep for his nap on the way home. “Oh shit I need to change you,” I said, unbuckling him. DRY! The damn diaper was dry (and so not worth the power struggle that ensued to get him BACK into his car seat). Nap time came and went, and again, soaked diaper.
Of course my first thought was that something was wrong, he was holding it because it hurt. But it didn’t seem to hurt him at night, so that didn’t really make sense. Thankfully I know a wonderful group of moms who suggested that maybe he was ready to be potty trained. WHAT?! Apparently there is a checklist for this kind of thing (gotta love Type-A American moms). I read the signs, and other than having words for needing to go, the kid is ready.
Mommy is not.
I am not ready to have to go to the store and ask my kid 80 times, “Do you need to use the potty?” I barely remember to bring diapers with us when we go somewhere, much less have a slew of clothes changes on hand. A kid sitting in a dirty diaper is a lot more socially acceptable than one with a pee stain on the crotch of his pants, ya know?! Environmentally I would love not to use disposables anymore. But my energy level just doesn’t seem ready to deal with all that comes after. Superman underwear for goodness sakes! He’d actually have to have clean underwear (at least while he is still being dressed by his mom and not in charge of separating clean from dirty).
With all that said, I have to admit my incredible pride when he peed in the potty last night. It was either in the potty or on me because as soon as that pee pee hit the cold air when I took off his diaper, he was going. We aren’t pushing the potty thing. He’ll still wear diapers. But I am getting him used to using the potty and wanting to go there because, well, sometimes this kid decides he’s ready for things that mommy and daddy just aren’t. And he’s got my stubborn side. I know he’ll win.
Want to play along? Just post your Friday Confessions on your blog, and I’ll link back here. It’s a way to have a little fun before we get all controversial and stuff.
* Kellen’s socks didn’t match his outfit today. It’s actually kind of a miracle that they matched each other to be quite honest. I never realized that matching one’s socks to one’s outfit was weird until I was in college. I was wearing orange, so it had to be Halloween, because orange and me, we don’t really go together. And my socks were orange too. Because I always match my socks to my shirt. My friends laughed at me. Kellen’s friends will probably laugh at him too. Unless I just buy him white tube socks as he grows up. Of course having a boy with white tube socks brings up a whole other issue about having boys that I’m just not ready to think about yet.
* I like when my blog riles people up. I mean I want to be friends and everything. But I also like my blog stats a lot. And when google analytics has a green up arrow indicating a 200% increase I feel like my blog is being traded on the Dow or something.
* I bought a UN flag to hang up outside my house. See, I think I live on the most conservative street in America. Yep, the whole country. My street. At one point there were five militia Tea Party flags. They are yellow and say “Don’t tread on me” and apparently they are the flags the militia used in the Revolutionary War. My Prius (AKA the hippy-mobile according to my neighbor) with its COEXIST sticker is a little out of place around here. We would have moved, but there was that whole fire thing… and I had a whole set of reasons to move back. So here we are. But now I have a UN flag to hang up outside. It’s going to be brilliant. I’ll let you know how the riots go. I almost bought a peace flag, but I actually think a UN flag is better. Passive aggressive diplomacy. Right here!
* I think I need to include a picture of my non-deformed face… just because. This is Dan and me (and Kellen when he lived inside my womb):
I was going to write about the maniac scheduling/CIO/stroller using moms this week, but my funny isn’t here right now, so I’m going to wait until it’s back. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. But it’s coming.
But since I posted my pill picture and Perpetua asked about it, I’m going to share a little about my Lyme disease. Because it’s brutal.
I was bitten by a tick when I was ten. It’s the only tick bite I remember, though a large number of those with Lyme don’t remember a tick bite. There’s no way to know if this bite or another was the culprit. I do remember a rash on my hand the summer I was pregnant, and I now wonder if it was from a tick, but there is no way to know. I always had weird medical things happen as a kid though, so we have wondered if maybe it’s been dormant for many years. Your immune system has an amazing ability to keep things in check (even if you’ve been given a taste of that forbidden formula). And your immune system is amazingly susceptible to stress, which arrived on my, well, ashy, crumbling doorstep when I was eight months pregnant.
I had Kellen and went into my six week checkup, where they did a pap, which came back abnormal (yeah, my fall pretty much sucked), and gave me a flu shot. Four days later (and four days after returning to teaching) my face stopped working. I was home nursing Kellen (or trying) and tried to smile at him, at which point I realized I couldn’t move the right side of my mouth. Earlier in the day I had noticed that it felt like I was talking with braces on, like my lips were having to make way for an obstruction on my teeth, despite not having had braces in well over a decade. That morning I drank orange juice that tasted dull as well as had a Starbucks sandwich that made me question their place as a food establishment. It turned out that my taste buds were not working on the right side. After I finished nursing Kellen I decided to go back to school to finish teaching. I was really scared but didn’t want to deal with it at the moment (because the only two options I could think of were a stroke and brain cancer). As I was driving down the road I lost my ability to blink my right eye. I turned around, and we went to the hospital.
The good news is that it wasn’t a stroke or brain cancer, though the way the dr. told me it was *just* Bell’s Palsy made it seem so benign as though I hadn’t just lost full functionality of one side of my face and now looked like this:
“Are you sure nothing else is wrong?” I asked the ER doc. I just couldn’t fathom that the nerves in my face would stop firing just because they felt like it. The doctor assured me that nearly all cases of Bell’s Palsy are spontaneous and have no other underlying cause than a small virus. (Had I lived in the Northeast, it is likely I would have been tested for Lyme then as Bell’s Palsy is common in Lyme and the first symptom of it moving into your brain, when things get really dicey.) They gave me anti-virals and steroids. (It was because of this I stopped breastfeeding.)
Dan and I decided to head down to San Diego. I had taken a leave of absence from work because I was overwhelmed. The stress of the fire and the rebuild was compounded by this new development, and I knew that I was spread too thin. It has always been hard for me to walk away, and while it was sad, I am proud of my ability to say, “I can’t.” We left the day after Thanksgiving, a trip that was nearly thwarted by an incredible and overwhelming sense of anxiety. I couldn’t sit down at all because I felt so antsy and uncomfortable. It was one of the only times I’ve ever had the urge to scrub a floor. It’s unknown if this was a natural progression of the Lyme or because I had been prescribed Zoloft to deal with the PTSD. It’s been posited that SSRIs may actually exacerbate Lyme symptoms in some people (many also find them helpful).
That was also the day that the dizziness set in, and it’s kept a firm hold on me for over a year. I spent the entire trip in San Diego sleeping. When I wasn’t, I was scared. I truly thought I was going to die but was afraid of going to the ER because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy. I wish I had gone while in California.
I made a deal with myself that I would make an appointment with my neurologist in January if I was still sick after Christmas. I scheduled an appointment. That week I woke up and felt fine, nearly canceling the appointment to see the doctor. At that point my being dizzy was the biggest issue; it was debilitating and frightening. The symptoms came back strongly the day before I went to see the dr. It would be the first of many cycles but also the clue that led another doctor to Lyme disease nine months later.
At first I was diagnosed with Benign Positional Vertigo, which is caused by ear crystals shaking loose. The test for this is tilting your head back to see if it gets worse. It did. But the exercises didn’t work. So an MRI was ordered. While I passed the muscle tests with the neurologist and chiropractor I was seeing, I drop things a lot (more than normal), so I worried a lot about MS, especially because I was told that mid to late 20s was typical for age of onset. With every click on the MRI machine I just hoped that I didn’t have MS and if I did that the test showed it. I didn’t want to be sick, but I also wanted an answer to why I felt so badly.
I’ve put this picture up on my fire blog, but I know there are people here who don’t read it, and I’ve been talking about my Lyme disease recently, so I am going to share my day’s worth of pills pic again because I think it helps understand the reality of this disease.
Sadly I look at that picture and think, “Is that really all of them?” because sometimes/usually it feels like more.
It’s been a crazy weekend. I know not everyone agrees with the passage of the Health Care Reform bill, but its passage brought me to happy tears. We were in a position the middle of last week where we were talking about how Dan could juggle a full-time job and full-time school so that I wouldn’t lose insurance because I have been told that I am not insurable at this time.
And I’ve covered a lot of touchy issues this last week. So we’ll slow down and do some food
This last week was rough. With my stomach issues with the new meds, it was pretty much a gorge all day long. My friend made stir fry and brought it over on Tuesday, but I burned the rice REALLY badly. Even if crunchy rice looks like it could taste good, it doesn’t. To my credit, I thought I had turned the stove off. Wednesday we had pancakes and eggs. Friday I made a pork roast following the instructions from the guy at costco, and I was really disappointed. Saturday night we had hamburgers, and as much as I wish I could do the whole wheat buns, there is something so very delicious about potato buns. Last night we took Digornio pizza out, and I made peach and blueberry crisp for dessert, which was only so-so.
But this week will be better. Nexium seems to be calming down my stomach, and I’m feeling better because of the meds. And the best part… Last Thursday my mom’s group got together at one of those places where you assemble several meals (do you have one? Because they’re awesome). So I made 8 meals, which each serve six people, and now I have several frozen meals to choose from. It’s awesome.
Meals for the week:
Monday – Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (currently defrosting)
Tuesday – Fish tacos maybe. Or something else with the Tilapia.
Wednesday – Friends over. Orange Chicken with brown rice
Thursday – Pork Loin with Balsamic glaze, noodles, steamed broccoli
Friday – Something with Pork!
Saturday – Dinner Out. Spring Break starts for Dan
I promise to take pictures because this week looks yummy
I apologize for not updating the Meal Plan tab. I am hopefully going to work on that today.
What are you having this week? Have you tried any of the meals yet (MEGAN?)?
Oh my goodness, I think I am actually posting on the right day Go me… and my meds. My stomach is still a bit off, but I’m learning a new definition to the term “full stomach.” Apparently a bowl of cereal wasn’t cutting it. And now I’m blogging to pay for the gastric bypass I will need to get after my Lyme is in remission… that would be if I made money from my blog, which I’m sad to say, I don’t.
This week’s ControverSunday is about extended breastfeeding- woot! Something I know absolutely nothing about personally but for which I, still, have an opinion. My having an opinion is like a Duke basketball player having good aim (it comes naturally for both of us). My aim, on the other hand, not so good… and apparently my ability to pick a NCAA winner also not so good (what happened Kansas!).
The first image I want to leave you with is from a few years ago, while Dan and I were engaged, talking about babies but certainly not having them. We were out to a business lunch at a local chain restaurant. We were talking to someone about their business needs, and then, from across the way, a giant three and a half foot tall person walked up to her mom, pulled up her shirt, pulled down her bra, and went to town.
The next image is of my friends, many of whom have breastfed their children well beyond a year, but, from what I understand, that nursing occurred at night, before bed, until they a) had another kid b) the kid self-weaned or c) they decided that it was time to stop.
So when we talk about “extended” it’s hard to know which scenario we’re referring to. Maybe it’s both, but in my mind those two examples are SO very different.
As Perpetua describes in her ControverSunday post, an arbitrary year mark seems ridiculous. Kellen was eating table foods around the seven month mark because well… my kid’s kind of dextarily advanced. But we didn’t switch him to whole milk until he turned a year, and now he gets milk when I think of it, which more often than not, is not every day. What can I say, the kid likes “jew” instead (heavily watered down “jew” I might add). Some kids just aren’t ready to forgo a bottle and formula at a year. I don’t advocate continuing to starve a breastfeeding kid for which the boob just doesn’t work. And I don’t advocate giving up the bottle to an equally hungry kid just because some pediatrician gives me a handout that says I should. AAP be damned.
But that four year old wasn’t getting nutrition from the breast in my opinion. I know having such an opinion is controversial, but hey, isn’t that the point? I don’t buy into the misguided research about the IQ benefits of breastmilk. I don’t think that breastfeeding beyond a year provides immunological benefit (and I’m highly skeptical of the benefit it provides before that). I don’t think it prevents ear infections (giving a baby a bottle to bed or continually propping might CAUSE one). [I'm not going to address the stats here, but if you are interested in a look at the breastfeeding studies, the hyped headlines, and the real conclusions drawn by Scientists, head over to the Fearless Formula Feeder.]
What I do think breastfeeding provides is bonding time with mom and baby, but I am lucky and get to experience incredible bonding with my child over books like I Love You Through and Through and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. And in the morning we get to play in our bed before we all get up for the day. While I have never breastfed a child past six weeks, I can’t believe that bonding over the boob is any more special than bonding over a book or ticklish toes.
So why do I think people continue to breastfeed their not-so-little kids?! First, I think they have been misled by a community of lactivist zealots more interested in furthering an agenda than stating the facts. I stand by my position that you cannot take a group of moms into a public school Kindergarten and accurately point out which child was breastfed and which was poisoned formula fed. If outcomes matter, and I believe they do, then I’m not sure what the outcome of extended breastfeeding is supposed to provide. The main reason I believe that moms continue to breastfeed is their not wanting to give it up. Breastfeeding is meaningful to them (and I don’t want to diminish that at all), and maybe they don’t feel like they can achieve the same bond reading books and playing tickle toes and buzzy bee.
What you do in your own house is really of no concern to me. I just really don’t think that breastfeeding a four year old in public advances any breastfeeding cause because the majority of people aren’t impressed by your lack of modesty. They’re turned off by the fact that your child just stripped off your clothes to suckle your breast. Had it been a two year old, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Extended breastfeeding is great if it works for you. But I also think there are some greater social boundaries you have to understand that don’t apply as much when you have an infant who is truly dependent upon you for his or her nutritional needs.
Legal Disclaimer: This post is not about individual parents practicing the attachment parenting philosophy. This is a rant geared at the movement that is attachment parenting (or the cult, depending on how you look at it). Because I know you, the individual, has never had any judgmental thoughts about me, the formula-feeding, stroller-pushing, Cry-it-outing, disposable-diaper-wearing, tv-allowing, electronic-toy encouraging, me-time-needing mama. I’m sure there were some sane people following the Hale Bopp leader too, but when it came down to it, they all drank the poison, not that I’m comparing you to that kind of a cult, but I’m trying to impart the idea of group mentality here.
When the recall was first issued, I wasn’t sure which slings the parenting universe was atwitter about. I was disheartened to see it was the sling that I had used and loved for the first few months of Kellen’s life while we walked around a construction site waiting for our home to be rebuilt. And then I came across a blog, Dou-la-la. One of the many gems about this post is:
“It seems to me that these are inauthentic slings at the core.” [and therefore we should ignore the sling warnings because they obviously don't apply to the "good" mamas researching "REAL" slings]
She goes on to say that these slings are essentially like buckets, and I swear at one point there was a comment on there about babies being toted around like messenger bags and swinging into your hip (but maybe that was another blog).
And this, my bloggie friends pretty much sent me over the edge.
As far as attachment parenting is concerned, I am a failure as a mother and my son is going to be some attachment-disordered, love-lacking, corporate executive who wanders through life wondering if he could have been more or better if only I had worn him in one of those upright slings (I mean not to mention wondering if maybe all those stress hormones in the final month of pregnancy caused irreparable harm, but that will be for him and his therapist to sort out). I failed at breastfeeding, my son slept in a crib, we let him cry it out, he only co-slept so that I could get more sleep since I was battling a bacteria that was eating away my brain and joints (selfish, selfish, selfish), I used a stroller (gasp!), and I failed miserably at cloth diapering when I realized my energy level was just not suited for laundry every other day (I can tell you honestly that I sorted laundry last Saturday and three of the loads are still sitting in piles in my bedroom, and thankfully none of them are cloth diapers). Oh, and I let my child ride in a car seat while the adults sat in the front and if he cried, I was more interested in him stopping to save my sanity than out of fear that five minutes of crying would cause brain damage. The one thing I thought I had going for me to ensure my child wouldn’t be crying in the arms of a therapist at 15 was the damn sling. And now I learn that according to the cult that is Attachment Parenting, it’s not even real… a PSEUDO-sling.
This goes back to the ControverSunday post about “good” parenting. To me, Attachment Parenting is all or nothing (even though there are advocates out there who will try to say otherwise). And if you don’t conform to the tenets as prescribed by the Almighty (ahemDrSearsahem), you aren’t “good” enough for them. Because really, it isn’t about the hey-it-works philosophy, which is pretty much how I would describe what I’m doing over here. It’s about, hey-my-way-works-for-everyone and who are you freaks who think that your way is just as good. I got told on a blog (not through comments, just by reading) that my way of carrying my child was a joke because I was treating him like a messenger bag. Well, that Ergo you use is like a backpack you half-wit. Maybe your baby thinks your hair is ugly. At least mine got to look at a pretty black and white pattern and see my boobs, even if he didn’t get to drink from them.
I also was told on my mommy forum that it [my sling, not theirs] is dangerous (you know, now that they’ve recalled them) though I never heard any of them crying foul about their risks before the recall. So is co-sleeping. I know lots of parents who co-sleep (*raises hand* -when he won’t go back to sleep), and few of them have foregone their pillows and blankets and donned themselves in long johns, hats, gloves, and scarves just to ensure the safety of their babies. The point is that we all take risks as parents. And most of us just pray to the almighty (whether that’s God or Dr. Sears or some mystic force in the stars… or even just dirt) that our kids make it through the day intact.
I don’t care that you breastfeed and babywear and cloth diaper and co-sleep. Just don’t tell me that I’m pseudo-mothering because I don’t. That kind of kool-aid isn’t getting us anywhere as mothers.
Grand proclamation- I am still not feeling great, but I woke up this morning with thoughts, so I think I can put together a cohesive post… and well, there’s always spell check, so this grammar loving, spelling freak won’t be caught with any spelling errors despite the fact that her frontal lobe (or wherever the spelling center is located) is overridden by fucking bacteria. I’m currently sitting downstairs, which is an improvement from my bed, whose sheets really need to be changed- I’ll need to remind Dan to get on that (yeah right). And I’m drinking regular coffee since I am foregoing my three hour afternoon nap. That’s mostly because I have marriage counseling at 11… without my spouse because he forgot… and then training at 1:30, which will be a joke since I still have shooting pains down my arms and numb fingers. But I go to pretend like life is normal.
Anyway, ControversThursday, hosted by Perpetua and graphics by Accidents. This last week was the culture of pregnancy. I could talk about fertility, but that’s been covered, or the fact that my husband got me a onesie as a wedding gift before we ever started trying because he knew how much I wanted kids and collected baby clothes to put in our nursery (that burned up before any of my kids ever wore any of those clothes- bitter, no?!). But I’m not. I’m going to talk about birthing classes and birth plans.
I plan everything. I make lists of things to do all day long that includes making lists of things to do. We planned our pregnancy, which worked out oh so grandly for me (a year, a miscarriage, and an accident later!). My birth would be no different. I wanted a med-free birth, a natural labor so that my baby, who I would love from the first blink, and who was immobile (or so I thought) could crawl his way out of the birth canal, up my abdomen, and grasp on to my breast, which would already be dripping milk to fully nourish my hungry baby.
I scoured the internet and conferred with my online buddies about the best natural birthing classes. I settled on a 12-week intensive Bradley class. I think I was this teacher’s worst nightmare, excuse the cliche. She spewed factually incorrect propaganda. Some of the highlights were the proclamations that epidurals likely were responsible for things like ADHD and autism (as a former special ed teacher who read research on these topics, I was quick to question her research, which included gems like, “Well, they don’t know why the rates have risen”). We were also told that we could control things like pre-eclampsia by our food, which may have some truth, but I know plenty of women whose diet had nothing to do with their pre-e. When I had fire-breathing-dragon heartburn, she encouraged me to use Papaya enzymes instead of Prilosec, at which point I wished that I could actually breath fire. We were told that too many ultrasounds might leave our child with three heads… well, not really, but it felt that way. And being the mom who opted to have elective gender ultrasounds and a 3-D ultrasound after the fire just to bring some joy into my day, I just don’t buy the hype.
We were all encouraged to write birth plans, which I was going to do anyway. I asked for no intervention unless requested. While I wanted a med-free birth, I didn’t really believe that an epidural would HARM Kellen anymore than my ultrasounds or Prilosec would. But when I was stuck at 6 cm for several hours in the middle of the night with a headcold, that epidural sure sounded good and relaxed me enough to get me to a 10. I had an epidural placed and turned on for all of 10 minutes before I needed to start pushing. A lot of good those drugs did me! And then I started to push… and push… and push… and push… you get the idea. I pushed for a long damn time. I pushed squatting and hanging onto a bar like a monkey. My birth plan said no help, so I kept pushing. When my midwife told me that it was only a matter of minutes, I screamed, “HOW MANY MINUTES?” because, you know, there’s a big difference between five and fifety-nine, and I was coherent enough to know the difference. Finally as we approached the three hour mark, my midwife (in a hospital) told me to tell her when I needed help.
HELP! I screamed.
I asked a lot of questions in those few minutes, which is what I was taught at the Bradley class. But really, I just wanted that damn baby out of me.
She said they could use a vacuum. After pushing for three hours, I didn’t care if it was calfing tools as long as they got the baby evacuated quickly. I asked if he would still be birthed to my chest, but even if they had said, “No,” I wouldn’t have cared. Of course when the NICU team arrived, I got scared, but it still seemed better than a c-section. The midwife placed the vacuum, told me to push, which I wasn’t all that keen on at that point. I mean I thought that was the point of HELP! And the vacuum popped off, and I thought my kid’s head had come off too, though I was remarkably calm for that realization. She put it back on, and out came the child, who was immediately rushed to the NICU team. No one would tell me why. He had the cord around his neck, and it had to be cut before he was fully delivered because it was not allowing him to fully descend.
Thank god for medical intervention. I don’t know how long I would have been stuck on that table.
Next time I might opt for a birthing class refresher. But on my birth plan the only thing it’s going to say is, “Deliver a healthy baby.”
Lyme is winning for the moment. I am knocked-out, drug down, give up, watch Office reruns all day, one store will tire me out EXHAUSTED.
I have a lot to say. I wanted to write this week’s Controversunday about Birth Plans and the insanity around birthing classes and no intervention (REALLY REALLY want to write about this actually). I also want to write about the craziness that is “good” parenting seen through the eyes of Attachment Parenting, particularly with the recent sling recalls.
But I just don’t have the energy to put together more than a couple of sentences.
Add to that my need to finish my digital designs website to advertise my birthday invites, thank you cards, blog designs, etc as well as my writing website, and well, I feel like a general failure this week as a human.
Hopefully I am teaching my husband what it means to be helpful. Because I need it!
Day 3 of Doxycycline and hopefully that means that I am back to functional within the next 10 days. I hope so. Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy Season Three of Jim and Pam because it’s not so often (or shouldn’t be) that you can justify lying in bed for days at a time.