Monday, October 29, 2007

What $700 a Month of Daycare Tuition Gets You

Me: So, do you like going to daycare?

Little Guy: Yeah!

Me: Do you see all your friends at daycare?

Little Guy: Yeah!

Me: Who are your friends?

Little Guy: Mia and Carson and Noah and Jake!

Me: Wow, you have lots of friends!

Little Guy (spreading his hands wide): Yeah, and Carson has a BIIIIIIGGG penis!


Little Guy (in a whisper): And Little Guy has a little penis. In his diaper.

That was so not where I saw the conversation going.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Can a Toddler Subsist on Yogurt Alone?

Lately, this has been our dinner mealtime routine.
Little Guy: I want yogurt.

Me: Sorry, hon. It's time for dinner.

Little Guy: No! I want YOGURT!

Me: Yogurt is not a dinner food. I made a nice dinner for you. You're going to like it.

Little Guy: NO! I no like dinner. I want YOGURT!!

Me: NO, you can't have yogurt! It's dinnertime. Now go sit in your booster chair.


Three guesses as to what Little Guy had for dinner tonight. I'll give you a hint. It has a "y" in it and it wasn't my jambalaya.

However, I still give myself credit for a) making a dinner from scratch that he could have theoretically eaten and b) ensuring that the yogurt he was eating was made from cows not treated with the bovine growth hormone.

Beyond that, I really don't know what more I can do - especially since I think that force-feeding toddlers was recently banned in California (or was that force-feeding ducks?). Anyway, hopefully, I'll get some good ideas from other participants in this blog blast who actually know how to parent and aren't just really good at pretending.

This post was written for the Parent Bloggers Network Blog Blast. Post your own entry about your mealtime skirmishes and strategic maneuvers on your blog anytime Friday, October 26, before midnight PST and e-mail the link to PBN to be entered to win a $250 Williams and Sonoma gift certificate! This blog blast is in support of the new book Deceptively Delicious, which I obviously need to buy asap.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just Shoot Me

I am so frustrated.

When Little Guy was born, I followed the standard immunization schedule and he got all of his shots on time (or at least most of them). When he was about a year and a half old, I read What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Children's Vaccinations. The book opened my eyes a bit to the additives in various shots and some of the controversy regarding multiple dosing. Around the same time, I also became aware of the many anecdotes from parents linking the MMR vaccine with the onset of their child's autism. Despite the fact that the leading governmental health organizations have said that their studies show no link between MMR and autism, I became worried enough to delay Little Guy's MMR vaccine until he started daycare at two years old.

But now, I am facing decisions about how to vaccinate the new baby and the more I read, the more confused I am. I believe that vaccinations are important - actually critical - to keeping disease incidence down on a population level. Vaccinations save lives, no doubt about it. However, I am also concerned that vaccines are being administered in a way that may be more convenient for hospitals, but less safe for children. Specifically, I am not a fan of the super-duper combo vaccines that are becoming more and more common.

Today was the baby's 2-month check up. I went in armed with a suggested alternative vaccination schedule to discuss with the doctor.

Here is how the conversation went:

Doctor: So today is shot day! (He said it like we had won a prize.)

Me: Yeah, actually, I was wondering if we could talk about that. I'd like to discuss an alternate immunization schedule.

Doctor: Oh?

Me: Yeah. I just don't really feel comfortable with the idea of all of the additives that are in vaccines going directly into my baby's bloodstream all at once. I'd like to space out the vaccines a bit.

Doctor: Well, the problem with that is that it's really hard to keep track of what vaccines you need and which ones you've had when you get off the standard schedule.

Me: I understand, but I'm just concerned that the baby's immune system isn't ready for all of this.

Doctor: They have done studies and found that these vaccines are perfectly safe though. They wouldn't be on the market if they hadn't been safety tested.

Me: Well, what about the old Rotavirus vaccine? Wasn't that pulled from hospitals after problems a few years ago.

Doctor (missing the point): Oh, there is a new Rotavirus vaccine now though.

Me: But isn't it pretty new?

Doctor: Well, it depends on what you consider new.

Me: Well, my two-year-old didn't get it. Isn't it just a year old?

Doctor: But it's been tested on 100,000 people before it came to market. Plus, this one's oral so it doesn't go into the bloodstream.

Me: OK. Well, there is at least one that I don't think we want at all - hepatitis B. I was reading that it's often transmitted sexually and that those at highest risk are IV drug users, people with HIV, health care workers, etc. (basically, not babies home with their mothers). Plus, I read that the immunity wears off in 10-15 years, which is when he would probably be most likely to contract it if he were sexually active. So we don't want this one.

Doctor: Well, you have to have it because it's in the Pediarix.

Me: What's that?

Doctor: Pediarix is the DtaP, polio and Hep B combo vaccine. That's what we're giving now.

Are you fucking kidding me????

Me (to the doctor): Oh, well, that must be new because my 2 year old had these three vaccines administered separately.

Doctor: Yes, it's new.

Me: Well, that kind of throws my schedule for a loop. I was hoping to do DtaP and polio one month apart and skip Hep B altogether.

Doctor (just staring at me)

Me: Anyway, I want to read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears before I make any final decisions about the vaccines. I just ordered it.

Doctor: Just because a doctor writes a book doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about.

Me: That's why I'm consulting a number of sources. I just don't want to get any vaccinations today.

Doctor: OK, but moving off the standard schedule makes things very confusing and we don't recommend it.

God, he must think I'm a complete moron.

Me: I think I can keep it straight.

Later at the shot clinic down the hall.

Me: Can I get a list of the ingredients to the vaccines?

Med asst: We don't have the ingredients.

Me: Well, can you tell me what the brand names are so I can look them up.

Med asst: Uh, hold on. Let me ask the nurse.

Nurse (to me in a snippy tone): What's your concern?

Me (equally snippy): I want to know what's going to be shot into my kid.

Nurse: Well, you can go to the CDC website to look it up.

Me: OK, but I want to know the names of the vaccines so I know what to look up.

Nurse disappears with Med asst. Med asst returns a minute later with a yellow sticky with pediarix, prevnar, acthib and rotateq scribbled down

Med Asst (handing me the sticky): The nurse wanted me to tell you that we haven't had preservatives in our vaccines for five years.

Me: OK, thanks.

Upon returning home, I looked up the first vaccine, Pediarix. The ingredients are, among other things, 2-phenoxyethanol (as a preservative), thimerosal (at "undetectable" levels) and formaldehyde. Hmmmmm. Sound like preservatives to me...

So, I feel very annoyed and confused. Why are drug manufacturers combining so many drugs into one shot? I don't like it. It takes choice away from parents.

And I don't like being treated like an idiot by my health care professionals. I'm not an idiot. I'm just proceeding with some caution when it comes to health care decisions for my children.

I researched for 2 weeks before I bought my double stroller. Am I supposed to be less attentive about this?

Monday, October 22, 2007


Wow. So much great advice and encouragement in the comments of my last post. Thank you. If I could sum it up, the most common comment was: "It will get easier." I can't tell you how much it helps to be reminded of this.

And by the way, I feel more than a little wimpish for even complaining. I am lucky to have two healthy children. I should probably shut my trap and just be thankful (though the venting felt sooo nice).

And also, I feel it necessary to clarify (in order to protect my reputation and in case there was any confusion) that I am not a fan of Michelle Duggar's hairstyle, or as kgirl so aptly described it, her "super-mullet". I am merely amazed that she keeps her hair clean with that many kids, especially hair that long. However, as you all pointed out she has many kids to help her raise her other kids and all. I don't know why I didn't think of that.

And finally: speaking of large families, have you seen the show "Our 27 Kids" about the couple who adopted 24 special needs children, in addition to having four of their own? They adopted several children with down syndrome, a blind child, an autistic child...and that's all I can remember, but there were other disabilities as well. One of their children died of leukemia. From what I saw on the show, they are simply amazing, generous and loving people. At one point in the show, I remember the mother reminiscing about one time when many of them had the stomach flu, including herself. She said that after throwing up in the middle of the night, she went to attend to 14 of the other children who had also thrown up. Fourteen of the other children. Throwing up with the stomach flu. All at once.

Yeah, uh, what was I complaining about again?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Rant and a Question

Now that the baby is two months old and I have had 60 whole days to experience the wonder and joy that is caring for two little children, I can officially tell you the following:

This shit is hard.
My marriage is suffering.
My house is a mess.
My toenails need clipping like you wouldn't believe.
I haven't had a decent shower in days.
And, uh, this shit is hard. (Oh, sorry I think I said that already.)

So, with all this in mind, there has been a question that has been nagging at me for the past several days. A question that has been inching its way forward in my brain ever since I saw the Duggar Family on TV a few weeks ago. And it is this:

How does Michelle Duggar, with 17 kids to look after, manage to keep her hair this long and healthy looking? I mean, how in good God's name is that possible?

Please someone tell me that the network has hired her a hairstylist or at least a nanny who watches her five children under five for her while she showers every day. Because if I find out that she manages to do her own hair herself and still keep that sunny disposition with 17 kids to look after...well, I'm just going to have to do something eat the whole box of Oreo cookies in my pantry. I'm pulling the box out as we speak.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Showdown at the Hoedown

To the angry dude who acted like a complete jerk-off at the pumpkin patch today:

Do you really think it was necessary to talk shit to the hayride driver in front of approximately 20 people (including several children) who were sitting like civilized people and waiting patiently for the hayride to begin?

I mean, I know you had to wait an extra 5 whole minutes because the driver (nice soul that he was) told a couple people, including my husband, that they could run to get some tickets for the ride and that he would wait. But is there really any excuse for giving attitude to this poor old man and saying rude things to him like, "We want to leave NOW!" and yelling "What's taking so long??!" I must admit, it really takes a special person to yell at a man who is 70 years old and probably volunteers his time driving families around the pumpkin patch because it brings him joy to see people have fun on a hayride.

When this kind-hearted hayride driver told you that you should be a little patient and that part of what was wrong with the world was that people couldn't be more patient with each other, I almost stood up and clapped (Here, here!). And then I was appalled that you retorted by saying, "Haven't you ever heard of customer service?" You practically spit those last two words.

Well, I couldn't say it then as there were children present, but I think you are an asshat. And I'm pretty sure that, unfortunately, your two young daughters are going to grow up to be asshats too, given the fact that you are their father.

Later in the day, we passed the hayride driver and thanked him for the ride - and especially thanked him for having to take your crap. And you know what he told us? He told us that you actually demanded your money back for that ride. Demanded your money back. A whole eight dollars. Two dollars each for you, your wife and your two daughters to ride.

Who demands their money back after they take the hayride? A total asshat, that's who.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Live Breastfeeding: Beware of Nipple Flashing

Today I'm bringing you live breastfeeding in support of the League of Maternal Justice's Breast Fest!

I've been having trouble uploading the video to Blogger so you have to click here to view it on YouTube. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I think I flashed my nipple a couple times accidentally. It was a little difficult holding the video camera while breastfeeding. Plus, the baby has a little cold so he pulls on and off a lot. But hey, if you don't mind seeing my nipple, I don't mind you seeing my nipple. We're close like that.

For more information on today's Breast Fest, click on the button below.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Reality Check

Last night while I was working out at the gym, I looked down at myself. I was toned, trim, and in overall great shape. I couldn't believe it! Just 7 weeks after having a baby and I had NO cellulite. None! I looked good. Damn good.

And lemme tell you, it was such a great feeling. I felt young and healthy and in shape.

...And then I woke up, hauled my fat butt out of bed, and had myself a cinnamon roll for breakfast to get over the disappointment of my reality check.

By the way, have you tried the take-and-bake cinnamon rolls that they sell at Ikea? Yeah, I know - a furniture store is an unlikely place to find tasty danish, but after eating several of them I can guarantee you that they truly are delicious. Especially right out of the oven. So warm and toasty. Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why the News Sucks

Anyone else think it's INSANE how much media coverage is being paid to the Britney Spears drama?

It seems like it's been leading the news all week. My question is: Why is it even IN the news? Wait. Don't answer that. I know there are millions of people hanging on the details of her crazy life for some weird reason. But you know, I'd personally love it if the major news networks would actually cover REAL news, not celebrity gossip. If I wanted to hear endless analyses of Britney's custody battle, I'd subscribe to People magazine.

Speaking of real news, I have a new post at Moms Speak Up. (Unfortunately, I have a feeling that more people are hearing about Britney than they are about the fact that millions of children just lost access to their health insurance.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Heart Ache

Dear M,

It's not your birthday or a special occasion, but I still feel compelled to write to you. You are 27 months old - a toddler - officially in the "terrible two's." But you know what? Things aren't so terrible. In fact, they are quite wonderful. You are wonderful. And that is why I am writing you. So that you know how wonderful I think you are and how much I love you.

Did you know that mommy rocked you in your rocking chair until you were 26 months old? Yes I did. I rocked you in that rocking chair from the day you came home from the hospital until just a few weeks ago. We rocked together every evening for 20 minutes and then I would put you to bed in your crib. I did this even as I wondered whether we were exceeding the weight limit for that rocking chair and even as I struggled to cradle your legs as they dangled far over the arm of the chair. I told myself that you wanted to be rocked each night. That you wanted to lay your head down on my chest. That you wanted me to cuddle you.

But the truth is that you probably would have been content to go to sleep without all that rocking a long time ago. It was me. I wanted all those nights in the dark, cuddling together, reciting nursery rhymes, talking about our day.

The last week that we used the rocking chair was last month. It just happened. You decided it was time to sleep in your "big" bed in your new room. You left your crib behind without a second thought - and with it, you left behind our rocking chair. You didn't need it anymore. It was almost like you had forgotten all about it.

I kept thinking you would ask for me again - and the rocking chair - but you haven't.


I think about our rocking chair every night. I see it when I close my eyes at night.

You are growing up. Faster than I could ever imagine. You are more a boy than a baby. You are changing. Your baby speak is getting less babyish. You are a phenomenal, sensitive, beautiful child. And I am happy to meet this new, loving boy.

But no one told me that a mother's heart could ache, even when everything is so good and perfect. Or that motherhood would be filled with good-byes. Or that the thought of a rocking chair could plague me for weeks during my second year of motherhood.

You may be growing up, but you will always be my baby. With or without the rocking chair.
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