I was going to try for a 7 Quick Takes Friday but I felt really awful last Friday. And now I'm too tired to put a post on one subject together so you just get randomness.

  • In case you were wondering, the kitchen is pretty much on hold. Craig has been spending his evenings doing dishes, cooking, laundry, etc while I'm in bed as soon as we get Lucy down. But at 4pm the last weekday we were in town before leaving for my dad's, we got the final inspector to come in and pass us. So we are legal and its actually in pretty decent working condition. Craig was able to work on venting the hood during nap times last weekend and the backplash materials I ordered just arrived but since that is one of my pet projects, I really want to be involved with it and since it isn't necessary to function, it can wait for a month or two. The only other things left are the trip to Ikea (also waiting for me to improve) so we can put the missing drawer fronts on and switch out the random piece of melamine we are using as a temporary island counter for actual butcher block plus final touches like curtain, blinds, stools, etc. 
  • You may have noticed that I said "we" are putting Lucy to bed. Lucy has always been a mama's girl. Craig always been a very involved dad but these days we are pushing that farther, both from necessity and because I figure we have about 7 months to make her a daddy's girl. It seems to be working. She wants him to sing to her at night and not me and they have been going on lots of fun trips to exotic places like the library and the grocery store. She still has her fair share of banging on the bedroom door shouting mama (which she says with the accent on the second syllable, it sounds french and is completely adorable) but instead of getting really upset, she normally gives up after a few minutes and leaves in search of dad. 
  • Daddy time is really helping me out because Lucy is wearing me out. Partly because I'm tired and sick. Partly because we are having some discipline issues lately which would exhaust even the regular put together mom I used to be. And partly because I've been in entertaining mode. Entertaining a toddler is a lot of work and I'm not used to it. Normally, I just do my day and she tags along: I do the dishes, she helps put things away or wipes the table or spins in a circle next to the table. I go downstairs to do the laundry, she helps me shove wet clothes into the dryer and gets to push the button or she might go off searching for dead bugs. Then I do my bible study while she sits next to me with her bible and "makes notes" in her notebook. We do play and read together but its only a portion of our day. Not anymore,  if I want her to stay in bed with me, I've got to work at it.  And it is hard work. Every once in a while I can get her going with a toy (normally her Duplos) next to me but one her own so I can sleep but she seems to sense when I stop paying attention and suddenly she "needs" me to make her a house for her giraffe or to separate two blocks that are stuck. I've heard some moms say that they don' t know how to do dishes, laundry, etc with their young kid around. But now I want to ask them how they manage to get through the day without having chores to break it up. 
  •  I've been having some good days lately so even though my evenings are still rough, I do have hope that it shouldn't be that much longer. The physical isn't that bad but the mental parts are really getting to me. Like I really want to go to church. I haven't managed to make it in over a month, although Craig and Lucy have, and I miss it. I miss the fellowship, I miss the chance to get out of the house, I miss the worship. And honestly, I feel like a lazy bum for not going to church. 
  • But we are going to our first midwife appointment on Friday and should get to hear the heartbeat so that will probably really improve my attitude. I know its a real baby that we have prayed and hoped for and already love but it is still hard to imagine. But that heartbeat makes it so much more real.  
  • On another happy note, I bought Lucy's swim suit last night. Hanna Andersson had a BOGO 50% off sale and I had been eyeing this adorable baby swim romper for a while. I love Hanna Andersson clothes. I normally search for it on ebay but I thought the swim suit was a pretty fair price and hopefully she can get two summers out of it (She is really in a 80 but has 90 pajamas that work so I went with a 90). I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised with the number of modest little girl swim suits I've been seeing this spring. I really thought I would struggle to find things with sleeves but their little and big girl separates are cute too and you could easily put a modest set together. And I've seen similar things at several stores, including Target. Of course, there are plenty  on the opposite side of the spectrum (like this and this) but I'd rather just pretend those don't exist. 


Help Us Choose a Name

As you may recall, when MacKenzie was gestating Lucy, we gave the fetus a nom de guerre, Nigel. Well, when we announced the impending arrival of baby #2, Amanda reminded us that we should name this one, too. And we want your input, so please vote in the poll below. The first choice is Craig's nomination, the second came from Rachel, and the third from MacKenzie. The final choice is a takeoff on how Lucy says "two," which comes out like "dew," which is appropriate for our second offspring.

We will declare the winner in a week or so.

Note: this poll is non-binding.


Adventures in Early Potty Training: I'm a big kid now!

FYI: Lucy is 20 months old now but I began this post over a month ago, it's just taken me a while to get around to posting it. Its been a crazy month :-)

I'm calling it. Lucy is potty trained. And I must say, it feels pretty awesome.

We took a break from the whole thing while we were at my parents' for my mom's last few weeks and the funeral and all that. But when we got home and tried to find a rhythm again, we picked it back up and she did pretty well. We were even able to add underwear to the mix. Before then she did better naked, but at that point, she did better with underwear. Without it, she would sometimes just pee, clean it up and move on without batting an eye but she doesn't like to wet her undies.

We were at 2 accidents a day (with 5-7 successes, so still pretty good odds) for about a month. Then one day we went down to about an accident a day. It didn't matter what I did, it was once a day (but different times). Then a few weeks ago, she started making it almost all the time. Part of what helped is that she goes much longer between pees. From what I've read that happens not just from aging but because of the potty training process and it is good thing. It means that instead of just letting urine out whenever, she is holding it in and intentionally releasing it and emptying the bladder more fully. This is healthier and decreases her risk of getting a UTI.

That isn't the only change that prompted the "Potty Trained" label. Other include:

  • She can wear pants now, which is helpful, although she still prefers to be sans clothing general (not potty related, she just a naked-time loving kid)
  • Non-home potties are not evil and will use them if she has too although, like me, she would much rather not have to. This means we don't wear diapers out (I make exceptions for long car trip or plane rides but only until our trainer issue is resolved, a post for another day). We had taken small trips without diapers but yesterday (as in, 3 weeks ago:-) was our first big day out in underwear. We went to a church carnival, out for lunch, then the post office and Wal-mart. I really didn't think it was going to go that well especially after she didn't need to go at church with their toddler-sized potty, the one potty I was counting on her using (she loves that potty!). Luckily she told me at Chick-fil-a and we made it in time (it was kinda busy) so she actually made it through the whole trip dry! Of course, this meant I had to sing "the potty sitting song" in front of a larger audience than I prefer but we met the grandma who overheard us and she gave us a "good job" and a smile. I was so proud of Lucy though, it could have been a 15 year old rolling her eyes and I wouldn't have cared. My dignity is worth nothing compared to dry undies. 
  • She's also been dry at nap times for well several months now so I finally stopped making her wear a diaper then. My main concern there is that our mantra has been "We only wear diapers when we sleep" and I didn't want her fighting me at bedtime just because she didn't have to wear them for naps. She still nurses at night and what goes in must come out so I think night training is going to be a while yet. 

We still have accidents every once in a while and I expect we will for a while. Mostly they occur because she is doing something really fun and doesn't want to stop. I've seen her stop playing Duplos, stand up and walk toward the bathroom, then stop and look back and forth between the potty and the toys. If I'm there, I just walk over, take her hand and say "potty break time." She looks relieved then, as if she wanted to go but couldn't. At 19 months, her self-control is still pretty limited.

I still go with her although she's doing more and more of the dressing/undressing and grooming aspects herself.  And I ask her if she hasn't gone in a couple hours but I'm trying to let her be more independent. I used to tell her it was time, and sometimes I do (like the situation above) but most of the time, I ask now. Although now that she has hit that "no" phase, I've had to change the way I ask. I realized that if she says she needs to go, she needs to go. If she says she doesn't, and she isn't doing anything fun or we are between activities, she probably doesn't. If she says she doesn't but is engaged with something neat, she might very well have to go so now I'll ask if she is dry. She'll pat her pants and say "Yes" and then go back to playing or run off to the bathroom because she wants to stay that way.

Overall, I think this method worked great for us and I'll probably be doing it again whenever baby #2 comes around. It took a while but it wasn't a lot of work, honestly the hardest part was thinking it through enough to write the blog posts :-), and she could either be 19 months old and still in diapers now or free and clean.


Nice Lunchbox You've Got There

MacKenzie just wrote tangentially about the North Carolina government lunchbox inspection story, and I had a Facebook discussion on the topic, but I'm going to expound upon it here, in order to make some further points. As an introduction, here's what happened:
RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.  
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day. 
I remarked on Facebook that if anyone thinks there is nowhere to cut government, here's a prime candidate. I think the idea that government is now inspecting lunches is the latest, greatest example of government overreach in this country. The response by supporters of this idea will be that some kids get really poor lunches, and we have to help those kids out. That idea prompts several responses.

The first of these is that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. You can give kids all the healthy food you want, but that doesn't mean they will eat it (never mind that the lunch in question in this article was what most people would consider perfectly acceptable). Schools in LA found out that, no, kids would not eat quinoa salad. Instead, they bought junk food off the "black market." If kids don't eat their government-approved lunches, do you force them? I don't think that will work.

Second is the question of where this ends. After we start inspecting everyone's lunches, what's next? The kids who are bringing unhealthy lunches to school are quite possibly not brushing their teeth as often as they should. Will we have inspectors looking in kid's mouths after they look in their lunchboxes? Will the government hand out toothbrushes with their chicken nuggets?

Third is the impact of government policy on Americans' eating habits. The lunch police are motivated by the growing (literally!) obesity problem in this country. But why has this come about? I think someone could probably write a good journal article on the effects of various government food policies on our diets. The example that jumps out at me is high fructose corn syrup, which exists because sugar tariffs have driven up US prices well above the world market price, prompting food manufacturers to find alternatives. A lot of people claim that US farm policy, which promotes growing grains, makes bad food cheap and attractive. Food stamps and school lunches are two other programs worth examining in this regard. Maybe this is one of the countless examples (e.g. the housing crisis) of government trying to create solutions to a problem it has created (while refusing to admit that it is culpable).

Fourth is the application of government programs, supposedly intended to help the poor, to everyone. Why do rich senior citizens have to use Medicare? Why do rich women have to receive free contraceptives? Why is there a consistent push to shove every kid into pre-kindergarten? And in this case, why must everyone's lunch be inspected? I suspect that it is not out of a desire to help everyone, but instead out of a desire for government to control more and more of our economy and our lives, because we can't take care of ourselves. This has to stop, not only for budgetary reasons, but for reasons of freedom and self-reliance, characteristics our country needs to remain successful, but that are slowly melting away.

There's a little food for thought for you, that the lunch inspector will surely disapprove of.


But shouldn't we do something?

The internet is abuzz with tweets, status updates and posts about this story. Don't worry, I'm not really going to get into it that specific case, but I have enjoyed seeing people's reactions especially because they seem to go beyond what normally happens in a case like this.

We've all seen it before. People think some parents aren't doing a good job ____ (feeding, educating, teaching that all lifestyles are equally valid, etc) their kids so the government needs to step in.

The reactions tend to fall into one of two camps. The first says that the government has no business interfereing. The other thinks that it does, because there are some truly crappy parents out there and shouldn't we step in and help those kids, who through no fault of their own, end up with the crappy* parents.

Depends on who "we" is. If "we" is the government, then no, I don't think "we" should because 1) it isn't the government's job and 2) the government can not do a better job parenting than a parent, even a bad parent.

But if by "we" you mean, individuals, then yes. I believe as Christians we are called to help those around us and that includes the little people. Ways this could be done include**:

  • The single dad in the army who keeps getting sent on TDY (short term, long distance assignments)?Have his 5 and 9 year old boys stay with you while he's gone. And while they are there, teach the 5 year old to read.
  • The middle school girl struggling with her femininity because her mother isn't in her life and her dad and younger brother aren't exactly helpful when it comes to learning how to dress and act like a lady? Turn your once a week get together with another mom and girl into a "girls club," include her and teach all three girls to bake, sew, quilt and memorize scripture.
  • When the young teen girl who doesn't get out much is invited to the same costume party your daughter is, but you know she doesn't have a costume or a way to get there? Say you have an extra one lying around, run around to quickly put together something that looks like something you would have had lying around, then tell her you'll pick her up when you drop of your daughter since its "sorta on the way" - even though it isn't. 
  • The brothers who have been attending Awana for several months but you still haven't met their parents or seen them at church? Spend some extra time going over their verses before quiz time to give them a chance to succeed and make sure they understand what they mean. When one says he wants to believe in God but can't because he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, lend him several books about science and God, even though you realize the chances of ever seeing those books again are pretty slim.
  • That high school friend of your son's who always seem to hang around your house at dinner time because his parents both work and he doesn't want to go home to an empty house and a Hot Pocket? Invite him to stay for dinner - even if you had him over the last two nights. 
Those aren't just random examples I thought up. Those are specific things I know my mom did, and just the ones I could think of in one evening. I'm sure there are lots more that I can't remember or was not aware of. It explains why when she died, a friend on mine from high school who could only get two days off of work drove 14 hours through the night, arrived at my house at 2 am to go to the funeral the next day, just to drive back 24 hours later. It's why people that are not one of her three biological children called her "mom."

When she died, people wanted to know where to donate money. What were her special causes? It was hard  to answer because she didn't have one special cause. People were her cause. Christ was her cause. This isn't a money issue, its a people issue. Sometimes I read a book or hear a story and I want to "do something," I want to save the world.  If only it were as simply as just sitting down, coming up with a plan and changing lives. Maybe it works that way some of the time but I think most people who make a difference are just open to situations and people, and are listening so when God gives them opportunities, they can take them. 

*When I'm talking about crappy parents, I'm not talking about abusive or truly neglectful parents.  I'm referring to those marginally crappy parents.

**I realize this makes it seem like the parents in these situations were bad parents. They weren't, they were just doing the best they could in difficult situations. Except the cases were a child was abandoned by a parent. Those parents are crap.


Discriminating Hugging

Lucy is a bit of a hugger. Her sign for hugging is a tap of her chest with her open hand, and we see that sign a lot when she wants to hug something or someone.

But she doesn't like to hug me. For a while, when I asked her for a hug, she'd say no, but I learned that if I asked for a "little hug," she'd say yes. But she sees through that now. My requests for hugs, little or regular size, almost always get rejected. She will pat me, though, so I still have that.

While she is loathe to hug me, she will, of her own volition, hug a wide range of inanimate objects. Here is a sampling of items she has hugged recently:

  • A package of diapers
  • A lotion bottle
  • Stars on a page of a book
  • A bunny on her shirt
  • Her stuffed kitty
  • Her baby doll
  • A bird on an accent tile on our bathroom wall
  • A fish on the front of a Duplo package

It is good to know where I stand with her.


The 411

Baby is due mid-September. I'm only 9 weeks along. This is pretty early to be telling people but 1) Everyone in my family could use a reason to be joyous right now  b) Life is precious, even if something happened and we lost this baby, I would still be glad for the time I had with him/her. And you're never truly safe even if you can breathe a tiny bit more after 12 weeks. A friend recently lost her baby at 21 weeks and I've known people that have gone to the hospital at term expecting to come home with a baby and instead come home arms empty and hearts broken. I can't even imagine that pain and I don't mean to be depressing but I'm gonna rejoice with this because I don't know that the future holds. III)  I feel a lot less lame about not returning phone calls, emails, being behind with thank you cards, etc when people know that I'm spending most of my time in bed trying not to throw up.

Speaking of throwing up, I've been asked if the morning sickness is as better this time around. (For those of you who weren't around last time, I don't really "do" pregnancy very well.) The answer: Yes - and No. Yes, it's better in the sense that I'm actually keeping things down this time and I've not lost any weight. By this time with Lucy I'd already a few of the 12 pounds I would lose before I finally started gaining some, and looking at the very few pictures we have from them, I just looked awful - bags under my eyes, grey skin, etc. I won't say I'm glowing right now, but I don't look ill. And it started later this pregnancy, so maybe it will end earlier than the 4-5 months I had to go through last time. A girl can hope.

I haven't weaned Lucy and I actually think that is the reason my morning sickness is that smidgen better - my body knows it can't let go of the few calories I can take in. But my supply has decreased and she's noticed. In fact, just a couple days after we found out about baby, she threw a 30 minute tantrum, running around the house hystericaly signing to herself "milk-milk"+"all gone" until she collapsed on my lap and fell asleep. After that first week, she more or less got used to the lower supply and started eating more at meal time and being content with what she's got but she's not giving up completely and that's great with me. It is nice to have a way to give her attention while still being able to rest and if that is what is keeping me from moving from bad morning sickness to full blown HG, I'll take it. 

The bad: I still feel as bad as I did last time and my meals consist of a lot of Nutella sandwiches and Sierra Mist. Not exactly "real foods" but it gets the job done. The only time I'm not nauseous is when I'm asleep, taking a bath or lying perfectly flat and still. None of these things are easy to do with a toddler so taking care of Lucy is really challenging. At least last time my job involved a lot of sitting and reading or lab work at a bench. It also involved less bodily fluids and smells. And I was able to stop work at 5 and go to sleep.

Luckily, I still have the same super husband I did last time. He's taken over all laundry, dishes, dinner prep, basic house maintenance, and  we are finding ways to make it work when he is at work. We've basically moved all Lucy's fun stuff into our bedroom and we spend our days playing, reading, coloring, etc in bed. I've also resorted to movies but I save those for the first 30 minutes after I eat when I really really do have to lay down and be still.

So, that's what is up with me. I'll probably be kinda scarce around the blogosphere for a little while but who knows, maybe this will all be over in 2-3 weeks and I'll be back to my old chipper self.


The Real Birth Control Issue

In the kerfuffle/brouhaha/contretemps over Obama and his contraception edict to religious organizations, the debate has focused on whether the government should force religious organizations (primarily the Catholics) to violate their principles as they pertain to contraceptives as part of Obamacare (see here and here). I think this is all beside the real point, which is this:


This ruling not only requires all employer-provided health insurance to cover contraceptives, but they can't even charge a co-pay for it. It has to be totally, absolutely free. Here's some cost info on birth control:
According to Planned Parenthood (2010), the cost of birth control pills is $15 to $50 a month, depending on the type of pill. On an annual basis, that means the pill costs between $180 and $600, plus doctor visits. Other forms of birth control carry varying costs: For example, Depo-Provera shots cost up to $600 per year, and a diaphragm costs from $60 to $100 per year, plus office visits. The cost of condoms is dependent on useage, but at an average cost of $2.50 times two per week, they would typically cost $250.00 per year.
I'd argue that that's not a lot of money. I'd say that is true even for the poor, considering what possessions poor people often have. If $600 a year is too much to ask people to pay, what else do we have to provide for free? Heat? A car? Diapers? Besides, this freebie isn't even aimed at the poor; all women get free contraceptives under Obamacare. Why should Warren Buffett's wife get free birth control?

I'm sure the argument for this is that contraceptives prevent unwanted births, and thus save money. But considering that nine of 10 insurers and employers already cover it, according to my first link in the first paragraph,  I doubt this provision will change much of anything. If people want birth control now, it's more than likely they can get it. And if they want it, why not have them throw in a few bucks out-of-pocket?

This illustrates the main problem with government interference in health care: politicians force insurers to cover every politically correct procedure or drug. This leads to increases in insurance premiums, reduces consumer choice, and, by introducing a third-party payer, increases the cost of medical care (but these are probably purposeful drawbacks, intended to destroy the private insurance market). As John Cochrane says in this WSJ article that may or may not be behind a paywall:
Insurance is a bad idea for small, regular and predictable expenses. There are good reasons that your car insurance company doesn't add $100 per year to your premium and then cover oil changes, and that your health insurance doesn't charge $50 more per year and cover toothpaste. You'd have to fill out mountains of paperwork, the oil-change and toothpaste markets would become much less competitive, and you'd end up spending more.
The minute pills are "free," under insurance, the incentive for drug companies to come up with cheaper versions vanishes. So does their incentive to develop safer, more convenient, male-centered or nonprescription birth control. And by making pills free but not condoms, the government may inadvertently be contributing to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.
So, yes, the religious freedom aspect of this issue is troubling, but it's not the main reason to complain.


Lucy's new shirt

I've had several "favorite" outfits for Lucy over the last 20 months but I gotta say, I really like this one:

Everytime I see it, it makes me want to cry...or maybe that is just the hormones.


More Medicality

I'm so glad you guys seemed to enjoy the potty humor post. I was a teensy bit afraid that I would get a crickets response and feel like an immature 12-year-old for even posting it so every comment really made my day.

I'm still working on that other potty post and several others. We got back from spending two weeks at my dad's and even though we came home to a clean house and I thought I did all the laundry before we packed, somehow I'm already overwhelmed. I love coming home but I hate just having arrived home.

In other news, I took Lucy to our doctor to get her face checked out. As soon as we stepped in the door, she freaked out. She normally likes our doctor but she was shaking so hard it I felt like such an evil mom for even bring her there. But I trust our doctor so I really wanted to go over a few things.

When we took her to get the stitches removed on Friday, both the ER doctor and I were concerned about the upper mark. It was still really red and swollen. He thought it might be the beginning of an abscess that would need help draining. Luckily, after a weekend of hoping and praying, she woke up Monday morning covered in blood. That was really scary but once I got her cleaned up, that wound looked so much better and I consider it a small miracle that it drained on its own. But I still wanted to get some cream for scar prevention. I know at 20 months she doesn't really care what she looks like, but I'm thinking she might 10-15 years down the road. When I mentioned this to the first pediatrician, he looked at me like I was some sort of toddler and tiara mom and said "only time will tell." When I brought it up today, she said that she was about to suggest it herself. It could be because she has a background in the more "aesthetically" side of medicine so she is more aware of options, or it could be that she actually take a few minutes to think about what the patient is saying - I've heard it both ways.

Also Lucy has a weird rash. It started on her back the last day I gave her antibiotics and another patch justshowed up on her belly. I know they say rashes are rarely anything but this one just looked weird. Before she even took a look, the doc told me that unfortunately because of the antibiotic and the timing, she suspected...lifting Lucy's shirt...yep, ringworm! Nothing like a little fungi to liven up your day.

So know we are one another medicine to treat that. Luckily we caught it pretty early (it hadn't really formed any rings or I would have recognized it). And another small miracle, so far neither Craig nor I have seen any of us which considering how much of a snuggler Lucy is, and how little she likes to wear clothing, that is really saying a lot. We are trying to treat it topically but it that doesn't start clearing it up in the week, she's already given me a prescription for an oral medicine. I really really don't want to have to resort to that because one of it's main side effects, wait for it...diarrhea! Do you feel like we are going in circles here?

Wow, this post was not meant to be such a downer. I really didn't mean to write a whiny post. But I can promise you this - I'll be back again tomorrow with a post that I can guarantee to be non-whiny. You really won't want to miss it. Deal?


Toddler Tuesday: Potty Fun

I have a big post about potty progress coming up but as I was writing it, I kept thinking of fun potty moments that I wanted to share. Yes, potty training can be fun, if you don't mind a little bathroom humor (and if you do mind bathroom humor, you should stop reading at this point)

Now, when it comes to certain aspects of parenting, I'm pretty laid back. Stop laughing Craig, I said certain aspects. Yes, when it comes to if I'm doing a good job teaching, disciplining, meeting her needs, etc, I probably need to give myself more grace, but when it comes to other stuff, I'm way less type-A than I thought I would be. Here are two conversations that occurred in the last 72 hours:

Scene: Lucy is running around naked while I'm sitting on the couch covered in a blanket.
Grandpa: Isn't she cold?
Me: Probably not. She took her clothes off herself and if she wanted them back on, she'd ask for help.

Craig: Where did she get that granola bar?
Me: It was on the nightstand, I thought you gave it to her.
Craig: I found that under the bed.
Me: Oh, she dropped it down their yesterday while we were reading.
Craig: Is it okay for her to be eating it?
Me: Sure, it's organic.

See. You wouldn't even think she was our first, would you? And potty stuff is just another area I'm totally laid back about.  Craig has been known to call me from another room, slightly frantic, "She's peeing, she's peeing on the floor" as if I should come running. I would if it were blood or vomit but I just don't freak out about a little pee or poop. Maybe that is why I have had so much fun with Lucy. Toddlers are hilarious and they have no social inhibitions which only increases the laugh factor. So if you are finding yourself without a potty training toddler to bring amusement to your days, enjoy these:

  • One phrase I use with Lucy is "listen to your body," especially when I can see that she needs to go but she doesn't want to. One time I took her to go and afterwards I said "doesn't it feel nice when you listen to your body." At this point she did her sign for listen/hear (finger in the ear), tooted really loudly, then started laughing so hard she almost fell off the potty. 
  • For quite a while, anytime she saw a clear liquid on the floor, she thought she had peed. Even if we are standing at the sink washing dishes and she spills a cup, as soon as she looks down, she starts saying/signing potty and runs to the bathroom to get a prefold to clean it up. I tried explaining but she didn't get it so I just let it be one of those amusing things, especially since I'd rather her use a prefold to clean up water than a kitchen towel to clean up an accident. But when she started wearing undies (instead of being naked) this led to some confusion. I spilled some water and she saw it and started to say potty but then stopped, looked down and patted her undies. She was obviously bewildered because in her mind she must have somehow peed on the floor but not in her undies. At that point, I could see the wheels spinning so I took a little cup and poured a bit more water on the floor. Then she got it! She did her signature face slap (think Home Alone but on the forehead) and started laughing at her own silliness and signing water. She still has moments when she panics if I ask her to wipe up water on the floor with a paper towel but once I clearly explain it is water, she calms down. 
  • One day Lucy was being particularly clingy and I was having a hard time being patient. I got up to go to the potty myself but she started clinging to my leg and crying for me to play with her. I turned and jokingly said "But I have to go, do you want mommy to pee in her pants?" She smiled a little, shook her head "No" and let go of me. Thinking I had her now, I tried to increase the laugh factor by saying "Do you want mommy to poop in her pants?" Her mouth dropped open and she got the biggest look of horror on her face. Apparently pooping in your pants in not something you should even joke about. She let me go to the bathroom and it was a good thing. I try really hard not to laugh at her but it was all I could do to keep a straight face until I got those few steps away and as soon as the door was shut, I burst out laughing. 
Even Craig has one: 
  • I took Lucy to potty one day. She pooped, stood up, looked at it, signed "kitty" and laughed. Who needs clouds?


Romantic February 14 Plans

How much do you think MacKenzie will love it when I surprise her with this? I'd better bust out my best suit.


An update

The last two days have been a bit better than the beginning of the week. But then last night I laid down next to my baby sleeping and watched her and even the bad parts didn't matter so much. It's so easy to forget horrible behavior and temper tantrums when they are sleeping like angels, right? But it wasn't just that. I realized how much worse it could have been. Then I started to cry. She's okay, I'm okay. Tomorrow we get the stitches out and hopefully get the okay to stop the antibiotics so the worst should be over.

I once read in a photography/scrapbooking book that you should take pictures of these types of events because those are the things your kids will want to see. I think that might be more true of boys but still, I took the pictures. I don't know about putting it in our photo books though, I don't ever want to think about it again.   But actually, looking at these pictures, it doesn't look as bad as it does in real life (or should I say "in my head") so maybe a scrapbook page wouldn't be so bad.

Being spoiled on Tuesday: A cup of pedialyte, the joy of not being asked to wear clothes and Caillou. What more could a kid want?

 Wednesday: Made to wear clothes and go to bed on time. Hmmm, what is happening to my royal treatments? (Not a great shot of the wounds but you can see how much her face is swollen still)

Back to our routine on Thursday. Real underwear and a trip to the park. I guess my normal life isn't so bad. (The bruising is actually looking worse but she seems to be less concerned about protecting it). Although she is still really worried that the random strangers she meets are going to come up and poke her face. When we first got to the park, it was empty and she had fun. Then a few moms and tots showed up and she freaked out, wouldn't let me put her down and kept trying to cover her face. I told her they were nice moms but she just kept saying "no, no, no" and wouldn't calm down and so we left. But she saw a puppy and got all excited, jumped up and down, waved to him and yelled puppy...at least this doesn't appear to be creating a fear of dogs issue.


Birthday Blehs

I've been wavering between going with the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" and accepting my need to vent. I've decided to vent. If you want peppy, go elsewhere. This week has not been the best. 

Sunday night I thought all the tough parts were behind us and Monday morning Lucy seemed to be doing fine. But it didn't stay that way. We spent the morning picking up heavy duty antibiotics and seeing a random pediatrician here in town so Lucy could get a tetanus shot. Of course, since it wasn' t our doctor, he gave me a lecture about vaccines and then fought me when I wanted to give Lucy the DT and not DTaP. He also took the ER sheet I handed him and proceeded to read it back to me in a condescending tone. "You have to be seen back at the ER in 5 days to have the stitches removed, you need to make sure she gets her antibiotic"...yeah, I know, I handed you the paper that says that! And when he asked about the antibiotic, I said we hadn't given her the first dose because the pharmacy wasn't going to have it ready until noon. I don't think he believed me because he went on and on about how important it was and even asked what pharmacy I dropped it off at. Eventually he relented, we got the DT and got out of there but it is so much nicer to be seen by a doctor who doesn't act like you are an idiot. But it makes me appreciate our family doctor that much more.

Monday afternoon was when things really went downhill. Lucy was really upset now and refused to take a nap and was cranky all afternoon. We got her to sleep that night pretty easily but she woke up often until a little after midnight when she decided she was just not going back to sleep. I'm not sure if it was that her face was hurting her, she was reacting to the shot, or having nightmares but she was not a happy camper. She would fall asleep for maybe 5 minutes, then wake up screaming. We finally got her to sleep around 5:30 by taking her down to the living room and sitting with her watching cartoons but she only slept an hour and was back up until later that afternoon. Craig and I got less than 2 hours sleep the whole night. I was hoping we could spend the morning snuggled on the couch reading and watching cartoons because frankly, I was completely drained.

But then the antibiotics started kicking in. I had been warned that they often have gastrointestinal side effects and they did not let me down. (TMI alert!) explosive diarrhea is hard enough for experiences pottiers and even with her in diapers we went through multiple outfits, sheets, blankets and let's just say that is a good thing my dad has a leather (cleanable) couch. It was bad. And I couldn't even give her a bath because of the stiches. Well actually, they told me I could bath her if I could just make sure the stitches didn't get soaked but I'm wondering if they have ever bathed a toddler because everything within 10 feet of the bathtub gets soaked when Lucy take a bath.

I had only brought enough diapers for nighttime use so Craig took a break at work to run and get some disposables and pedialtye. Then I had to convince Lucy that it was okay to wear diapers. Since she hasn't ever worn disposables, I was able to convince her that all her undies were dirty and that these were throw away undies for when your tummy hurts. It was a tough sell because they fasten like diapers, but since they were thin, I thought I had a chance. She stood there looking at me and the "throw away undies" but when I asked if her tummy hurt, she said yes and then sat down on the diaper. It was so sad.

Today was a little better. She actually slept last night, not well, she said her face hurt but still, she slept and I'll take what I can get. And.I'm not sure if her body is adjusting or all the yogurt I'm forcing into her is helping but the tummy troubles have calmed to a level I can at least handle without needing going through my entire wardrobe in day. And I figured out that most of the trouble comes in the first 2-3 hours after she takes it so we even braved the library story hour since it was just outside the danger period. Getting out of the house was such a treat it was kinda ridiculous.

Did I mention it is my birthday? Craig took Lucy with him to go pick up milk and Thai takeout. It took a little convincing to get her in the car, I think she was afraid we were going somewhere scary again but eventually she relented.Now I'm enjoying my hour off.  Hopefully tomorrow continues our trend towards normal.