Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day Four: Argh!

Nothing is more heart wrenching than to hear your daughter cry out in the middle of the night, "Momma. Help. Hurt."
With her limited vocabulary, last night was a game of Clue. TG kept crying for milk. I surmised she was trying to quench the fire that was a sore throat. DH thinks that's malarkey and that she was just being needy. This is not the kind of conversation I had wanted to have at 2am in the dark with a sick crying child.
"A toddler isn't just needy. They can't communicate what's going on so they meltdown. From what I see, I'm guessing she has a really bad sore throat."
"Well why would she suddenly get a sore throat? Shouldn't she have gotten it when she had the fever?"
"Have you ever been sick? Do all the symptoms come at once all the time?"
"I'm just saying it's late in the game to get more symptoms. I can't help it if she wants you. You did this to yourself with the breastfeeding and AP."
This last statement put me off the most. I don't know why he needs to say those things.
At one point she got up like she did the night before. I take it as the I-have-a-fever-and-don't-want-to-lie-down 15 minute cruise to her play area. During this time, I went to the bathroom and waited until DH took her to the playroom to sneak into the bedroom for a 15 minute breather. I waited because when it comes to me or her Dad, TG will chose me most of the time. I don't say this as a brag either.
Anyway, as I lay in the fetal position in bed hoping not to be seen, DH and TG head towards the bathroom. TG says, "Open. Open." DH responds, "No TG. I don't know why your Mom feels she needs to sit in the dark in the bathroom." He then moves to the bedroom and then spies me laying in bed with a finger pressed against my lips.
He closes the door and leaves.
Again, this pisses me off. Why does he have to say that to her? That clearly was an issue with me and him not our daughter. I figure the night is not the time to start the 'discussion' and close my eyes and try to have 15 minutes of sleep.
Later that night, TG woke up and cried again. "Momma! Help! Hurt!" She then took my hand and put it on her tummy. I prayed for gas and hoped it wasn't the onset of a stomach virus. I gently pressed on her tummy and rubbed it gently allowing the heat of my hand and the pressure to penetrate. She fell back to asleep sounding like a wheezing elephant. The congestion has come in.
This morning, she's like a glazed donut. I didn't understand what they meant when they said toddlers are walking snot farms but now I know. Holy moly, I can't keep the tissues close enough. I turn and she's got another two lines of boogers flowing from her nose. Then there is the oh so pleasant, sneeze. Toddlers don't know to cover their mouth yet. As soon as you recover from the spray that hits your face, you wipe your eyes and see two huge rockets dangling from your child's face as she grins and chuckles at your funny sneezed on face.
The dutiful crazy new mom that I am, I spent the night reading up on colds and symptoms and remedies for a toddler. So far what I've been doing seems to be the best bet. Tylenol if agitated or high high fever. Keep hydrated. Offer lots of chicken soup to soothe the throat. Avoid citrus items that may burn the throat. This could explain why she wasn't keen on her usual favorite, tomato sauce and pasta. According to one of the articles I read the typical cycle of a cold in a toddler is 3:3:3. 3 days of fever and malaise. 3 days of congestion and sore throat due to the nasal secretions running down their throats. 3 days of dry up (humidifiers are a good bet during this time).
I guess this means she's par for course. Of course, I can't just say this to my husband, the man who refuses to let me take TG's temperature.
One of TG's playmates, text messaged my husband offering to bring her son over to play even though she's ill. "A cold is par for the course. I don't mind." That's very sweet of her but I'd prefer not to be the Mom passing germs off unnecessarily. I'm not sure what to make of that offer. Honestly, I wouldn't wish this on any Mom and it's just a cold."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

First real fever: Day Three

Symptoms: Low fever, clinginess (not as much as yesterday), a little color back on her face and expression in her eyes.
I still don't know what it is. No other symptoms appear.
In a way a child's illness causes the parents to be a prisoner. I had to cancel another day of playdates. Her fever is not as high as the first day but I would like good karma to follow. I wouldn't be happy with a mom bringing a fever laden tot over to my place even if he/she looks and acts fine.
The problem with that though is that I'm on day three of being TG's play partner. I know this shouldn't sound bad but when you've been attached to a radiator all day and night, the radiator can become quite heavy and hot. You start to wish for snow or rain.
To make matters worse this morning, Zoe threw up all over our living room rug, the very rug the toddlers usually play on the most. DH is in the process of throwing out the rug and will be heading out the day after the snowcaine to pick up a new cheap rug at Home Depot. We're of the opinion that if a kid plays on it, there shouldn't be any remnants of dog throw up on it. Even if it's cleaned, we know she threw up on it. It wasn't just one spot mind you. The dog must have decided that he'd do a rendition of the split pea scene of The Exorcist.
I'm feeling better than yesterday thanks to some much needed napping and sleeping yesterday and last night.
TG's appetite is still low but she's nibbling so I don't worry. Plus she has eaten an entire egg (protein) all three days she's been ill. I'd probably worry more if all she ate was pasta or grains.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day Two: Fever but no boogie

Symptoms: fever (high but not as high as yesterday), ruddy complexion
I think we're in full sick mode or at least I hope this is it. I am exhausted. TG didn't sleep well at all last night. It was as if she recalled how awful it was the night before and fought sleep left and right. She woke up twice and headed out to her play area. DH watched her for those 20 minutes while I just lay in bed for a breather.
Running on little sleep and DH and I are snapping at each other. The bone of contention at 5am is DH does not want me to take her temperature with a thermometer. His theory, it doesn't matter what temperature it is. She's hot. I think it's psychological.
From the minute she woke up, 9am, thank goodness, she's been attached to me like a chimpanzee to her mommy. I've peed with her on my side, brushed my teeth and practically changed her diaper while she was on my lap.
Learned that animal planet HD with the african safari is a big hit. She seems to find running cheetahs and lions hunting hysterical. I don't know what to make of that so I'll just chalk it up to it's educational.
I passed on a Mom's night out tonight for obvious reasons. DH doesn't understand why but hello, we have a sick kid who seems to want mommy and the breast 24/7.
What is eating me though is that we are in the midst of snowcaine 2010 and the snow is just the perfect mixture for playing in and we are stuck inside. Looking outside my kitchen window I saw our neighbor with her two girls making snowmen. I'm so jealous.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

High Fever & Irritability. Hello first major illness.

We are in our first real illness for TG. I think it's a cold but I'm not sure. She was like a furnace last night. I pulled out the Tylenol and began giving her doses today. It's the first time we've had to do this aside from vaccinations.
I've been on poop watch and monitoring her. A snowcaine (apparently a snowstorm that resembles a hurricane) is due to hit us today and tomorrow so we are definitely bunkering down nonetheless.
Every time she lays down, her temp spikes. She's aware of this and has started to fight sleep and naps.
The last nap she had today was a good one but she woke up after soaking her mattress. I'm not sure if it was urine or sweat or a mixture of both.
We have her living in her diapers and a pair of pajama shorts.
I'm on chicken soup duty now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adults need naps too.

Not to give too much away but I seem to have returned to pimples preceding Flo's visit. I am going to guess this will continue for the rest of my life. I don't mind so much because it's not often that I get a huge outbreak.
I just think it's funny that I'm still dealing with a pimple or two. Goes to show you how much hormones effect our bodies.

I'm pretty exhausted these days. I'm running around a lot and it's hard to keep up. Still I thank God for what I have and am blessed with our fortunes. It could be worse.
DH probably has it the worse with school and homework taking over his nights. I hope he gets some rest. Cranky hubby is not fun hubby.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Are you sure you speak whale?"

It's no secret my daughter and husband love the Museum of Natural History. I suspect I'm going to have to save my money now for the sleepover she is going to want when she's older. Yes, they offer sleepovers at the museum.
One of her and every other kid in NYC's favorite rooms is the whale room. DH thinks it's because of the giant blue whale suspended overhead. I think it's part whale and part atmosphere. It's dark and cozy and the lullaby sounds of underwater resemble the womb atmosphere.
"There is no way that's the reason the kids love this room."
"We don't know but I suspect it's a reason."
"If you ask any kid here, they are going to say it's because of the whale."
"Well, it's not like a kid here is going to say, "This is reminiscent of my previous abode. If TG said, "Well the sounds are eerily familiar, Mommy. It's like the sounds in your tummy when I was incubating," I'd be on the phone with Mensa."
By the way, I can't help but think about Dory in Finding Nemo whenever I go in there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Non-sequitar: My kid thinks Grover is a frog.

I'm a loon. I just bought my 19 month old daughter an interactive map of the United States. You put it on the wall and it has removable parts that let you puzzle piece the states together.
I know she's only 19 months old.
This didn't stop me from purchasing it though. It's so darn cute.
Two days ago, TG pointed to the letter 'R' in her book and said, 'K'. I have no idea where she got this but this has no started me on a alphabet kick. We've always sang the alphabet song and played with her alphabet magnets but now I'm pointing them out to her everywhere.
It then dawned on me that we spend a lot of time sitting and eating on the dining room table. Most of the time, I place her in there to begin eating while I plate up in the kitchen. Why not make use of that time and place alphabets along the wall for her to look at.
I'm not expecting her to recognize and memorize them but hopefully staring at them and pointing at them every now and then will help things stick.
So off I went to find alphabets to stick on the wall. Normally, I'd probably make them myself and I plan to do a letter project a week with TG when she's older. For now though, time is limited. So I picked up a set of alphabets to place on the wall and that's when I found the US Map. I had to have it. My eyes lit up. Heck, maybe DH can find this useful. The man is awful with navigation and geography.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hoping to develop a healthy palate

I always find it humorous how folks without children or very young children ask me if I've seen any good movies lately. I can't even get through a 30 minute program nowadays.
Anywho, the topic of food and toddlers is usually on my mind and the minds of most parents with toddlers. It seems as if toddlers go through stages where they eat and don't eat.
I figure my kid isn't wasting away so I'm not going to fight it. I do get a little compulsive about making sure she eats a protein, even if it's 1 bite, once a day. Ideally, I'd like to have her meals be a balance of protein, veggies and grains but nowadays it's mostly, fruits, grains, veggies and a hint or two of a protein.
I think this week, I'll make some ragu sauce for TG this week. DH can mix it was pasta or rice.
Every week I try to make a food that incorporates a protein and veggie that DH can feed TG. Usually it's something like chicken loaf or baked fish with veggies in rice. It makes me feel better that she's given something with proteins and veggies and DH who isn't a cook has something to give our daughter aside from pasta, waffles or scrambled eggs.
TG still isn't keen on big chunks of meat and veggies, unless it's carrot slices, so I usually have to think about an all encompassing casserole or meatloaf or dish.
She's a huge fan of tomato sauce though so I use that alot.
The kid eats more pasta with tomato sauce than anything else but I don't complain. I figure the pasta is whole wheat and the tomato sauce is the veggie. I add softened carrots or spinach, garlic and onions and a protein and voila!
Anyway, some folks were surprised to see TG wasn't eating any candy that was strewn all over the tables at our family gathering. The fact is she hasn't had candy yet and DH and I don't see why a nearly 2 year old would need to. We didn't mean to get on our soapbox but we stated that she'll be exposed to this soon enough. Until then, we would like to instill in her a healthy appetite and a palate that is free of as much processed foods and wasted calorie foods as much as possible.
I don't plan to be some sort of militant anti-candy mom but for now I like that my daughter's desserts and treats are peaches, bananas, strawberries and apples. I love that a little jam on her waffle is a super treat and an occasional bite of a chocolate date muffin is a treat.
Oh, we taught her how to dip her food into ketchup a few days ago. She's so dainty. It's adorable. If she gets something on her fingers, she stops eating and says, "Fingers." and either grabs a napkin or holds it out to be wiped.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's like the passing of the Olympic torch but with less fanfare

On the way home from the museum of natural history, DH sprinted with TG home as I trudged up the stairs with our toddler bag of goodies. Moments ago, as we were in the elevator of the subway station, TG turned to me and asked for her lovey. As I handed it to her she replied as always with a clear, "Thank you." eliciting numerous awes from the fellow passengers.
As she giggled and chuckled as DH carried her home, a fellow rider turned to me and said, "So it does turn out to be fun, right?" I looked over to see a weary man with day old scruff staring at me pleading that the light was in sight.
"My wife and I just had a baby 14 days ago. It gets to be fun, right?"
"Yes but you are in the thick of newborn-hood and sleep deprivation."
"It just lies there."
"Yes, it's a lump of dough essentially until about 3 months when it's a lump of dough that looks perplexed all the time. Then it drools for Lord knows how long and then starts making interesting gurgling sounds. Until then, it's just sleep, eat and pump." is what I wanted to say.
Instead I just said, "Yes, it's a doughy mass you have no idea what to do with until one day it starts interacting with you."
"I just can't wait until she's 2 and she's rational."
"I'm sorry to break the news to you but rational is not what I'd describe a child at any age."

Friday, February 19, 2010

It probably is easier washing my clothes in a creek.

I live in an apartment in NYC where we do our laundry in the basement laundry room. I shouldn't complain. Some folks don't even have a laundry room in their apartment building.
In our laundry room, folks leave books, movies, cds, toys etc for others to take. It's a great way to occupy a child or yourself but not a toddler, or at least my toddler. My toddler would rather run off to the opposite end of the building's basement and run up and down an inclined walk.
This wouldn't be so bad if it was within earshot and eyeshot of the laundry room but it isn't. This means I do sprints. I dash TG to the farthest part of the laundry room, dash to the washer, empty it and then sprint to the incline to pick her up. It's like I'm a football player. I pick her up under my arms and dash back to the laundry room to repeat. Take wet clothes, put in dryer, dash back, pick up football. Empty washer, dash, pick up football. I break into a sweat sometimes. Sometimes, I hold the football while trying to start a machine or two.
Other times, I put football in a laundry cart and dump the wet clothes next to her and make it a game of sorting through the wet clothes with her.
DH had a solution until I found out about it. I'm not joking when I tell you that he put our dog's harness on her and hooked it up to her retractable leash. He thought he was clever and texted me a photo.
She's recently learned the words, "Bubble Machine" thanks to a battery operated bubble machine my husband has purchased. Now she calls the washing machine a bubble machine. She's fascinated by the front loaders and stares at them just long enough for me to fill the machines and start them up.
As for the dryers, she has a grand old time sliding in the debit card into the machine. In and out. In and out. If I'm not mindful, she'd start all the machines up courtesy of my dime.
Biggest Loser should incorporate this workout on their campus. Just bus in two toddlers for each contestant and have them carry them back and forth while doing at least 4-5 loads of laundry.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's it to my husband if I continue to breastfeed?

So DH wants me to stop nursing when TG turns 2. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I am leaning towards reducing nursing but not completely stop.
It's a little psychological for me. Just like my period, it symbolizes my body ramping up for the possibility of another child. Plus, I know nursing gives my daughter comfort.
Nowadays, I nurse mostly at night but during the day if she asks for it. I generally don't nurse in public as frequently but if TG is having a time of it and requests it, I may do so during her playgroups.
Remember how I wondered how moms would shift away from doing it in public? It just naturally happens. Don't get me wrong, if TG is having a fit and honestly needs it, I'll offer it but when she's just asking for quick comfort I usually tell her later and offer her a hug or a cuddle instead. She has a favorite chair she likes me to nurse her in so I tell her later when we are home in the chair. We sit there and she brings her puppy puppet and a book for me to read while she nurses. I can clearly see it's just bonding time she's after.
Still, I'm not sure how to broach my husband's request. I think I need to speak to the other nursing mothers in our support group. I mean, the burden is more on me than him. Why should he have such a strong opinion? Maybe if I broach it as, nursing in private only he'd be more receptive. He clearly sees and announces the benefits of breastfeeding to others. TG has only been mildly ill twice. Her cognitive development is high. Her social skills are strong. Her connectivity to us is tight. The toddlers we know who continue to breastfeed are less likely to catch the bug that passes around the group, seem more attached to their parents and appear to be thriving and happy.
I'm really proud of our bond and our connection and our triumph over the breastfeeding difficulties of infanthood. I'm not just ready to say goodbye to that and the prospect of discussing the even more difficult conversation of a sibling for TG.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tea Parties, Cooking and Cleaning.

In addition to the shoe hunt, I'm also hunting for play foods for TG. She's at this stage now where every cooking session has some participation on her part. Today, I gave her the analog food scale and some potatoes and she had a jolly time weighing the potatoes while I made some fish and pasta. It's Ash Wednesday.
By the way, Chinese New Years and Lent don't mix. I packed this huge yummy lunch of leftover New Years eats only to be reminded today was a day of fasting and abstinence. Lunch today was mac and cheese but tomorrow I feast!
Her to broom, mop, duster and dust pan came in today and she's also been helping me clean up. Man of man do I hope this stage of helpfulness stays around for a long time. I'm loving it.
Since she loves helping me make eggs in the morning, I thought it would be neat to buy some play eggs. Did you know that most wooden play eggs don't crack? Yup. I finally found one from Haba. It's a tin egg with a fried egg in it.
I hope it is entertaining for her. I also picked up some wooden cut veggies and fruits so she can 'cut' her veggies while I make our meals.
I figure I'm going to research doll houses for her 2nd birthday. I think that's something she'll like.
She's started doing all the typical girl stuff you read about. Today she had me put her stuffed animals on chairs and she fed them peanut butter play dough and pretend tea. She also had them each do something unique. Her penguin played with her toy guitar. Her knight with horse sat with her play dough. Her pirate sat by her xylophone.
I'm seeing some leadership skills growing. It's like when she feeds her playmates and brings them water. She's like a little mommy making sure folks are fed.
Oh here is another milestone. She knows the main characters on Jack's Big Music Show now. We play JBMS on several occasions, when DH has to use the restroom and there is no one around, when she has a particularly messy poop diaper and we need her not to squirm and in an embarrassing admission when DH and I need a little private time. Trust me this is not as often as you'd think or I'd like but you do what you gotta do. It's about the only program she is allowed to watch.
She had a poop diaper and came to me and said, "Poop. Jack. Mary. Mel."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Cook. Cook." with a grin on her face.

"Eggs. Eggs! Eggs!" TG said as she grabbed my hand and attempted to pull me up from the bed. Groggily I stumbled into the kitchen, led by my 19 month old. "Chair. Chair." I turned over one of the dining room chairs which have been stacked up along our wall. TG has mastered climbing chairs and tables.
I placed TG onto the chair with her whisk and bowl. I grabbed the eggs and TG and I made scrambled eggs together. She plays with the cracked shells (clean), she sort of helps me whisk and she watches as I fry up the eggs.
Such is her new obsession, watching eggs. Yes, watching. She says this now when DH cooks. "Watch. Watch."
I sit TG down in her chair, strap her in, wash her hands and mouth. I put on her bib and give her a fresh glass of water. I hand her fork and plate with eggs to her. "No no no. Hot. Cherry?"
She refused the eggs and asked for cherry yogurt. By the way, Cherry = yogurt regardless of the fruit I put in it. Blueberry yogurt = cherry. Prune yogurt = cherry.
Oh and No No Hot = "I don't want." This works out well sometimes as DH will say to her "No Hot." when he wants her not to do something our touch something. She seems to understand and scampers off to scale another furniture piece.

Monday, February 15, 2010

NYC apartment + ball tent = playroom

I wanted to know for sure what TG's shoe size was so we headed down to a local shoe store. Of course, before we even got there, she fell asleep in the car. DH and I sat in the car waiting for her to wake up. Now most would ask why didn't we just wake her. Well, she's teething and her sleep has been off and well, you just don't wake a sleeping child according to our experience. You cherish and savor the quiet and the reboot.
Turned out ok anyhow as when we went in I noticed the prices were rather steep. The exact pair of sneakers she had on were priced at $49.99. I had purchased them at the outlet for $20+.
We took the opportunity to have another husband/wife date. DH picked up some lunch and we sat in the front seat noshing and gabbing. We then beelined to Toys R'Us which I believe is his favorite store at the moment. He's like a kid in a toy store.
DH filled the cart up to the brim with toys. "Hey look, Buy 1 get 1 free on infant toys!" "Honey, she's not an infant anymore." "So, she still likes it." "The shelf life is small. Put it away." "You're no fun."
We ended purchasing a collapsible ball tent maze and a wooden xylophone. Can you guess who picked what?
Oh and DH can't stand the aisle with the McDonald's toys and make your own Twinkies. He says it's no wonder the US leads in childhood obesity.
Now, I'm going to be honest, I thought the ball tent was this small affair. The box was compact and the photo made it look like it was kid sized. What they didn't tell you was those kids had to be at least 6-7 years old.
Holy moly, my one bedroom apartment has this ginormous maze taking over half our living room.
Of course, TG and DH took to it like it was their own private clubhouse. When it's quiet and TG isn't visible, I look for the rustling of the tent and know she's playing in there.
DH immediately scheduled a playdate and showed off TG's new toy. One boy ran around it curious yet cautious. The other one took TG's lead and immediately jumped in and crawled around the maze.
DH relaxed on the sofa and took turns throwing balls into the basketball hope on the other end.
Guess the package was right, fun for ages 3+.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sun Leen Fai Lok

That's Happy New Year in Cantonese. Literal translation = New (Sun) Leen (Year) Fai Lok (Happiness).
That's your language lesson for the day.
Went to my Mom's for the traditional new year gathering.
Dressed TG up in her cheongsam but American-style. It's freezing in NYC so she had a henley on underneath. She also had red tights and rainbow legwarmers. What? She's a toddler. I can do this to her now.
I also put the henley on underneath because I have this thing about her having 100% cotton on her skin.
She had a grand old time playing the very out of tune piano at my Mom's. She also enjoyed walking around the kitchen. My Mom's kitchen has two entrances.
This reminded my mother of how my father decided to buy the house many moons ago. Apparently after an exhaustive day of searching and dragging me in my stroller, I ran around the kitchen like a kid letting steam out. This was taken as a sign that this is the house we should buy. I'm not sure how true this is but I've heard it so many times, I take it as so.
TG was so exhausted, she fell asleep on the way home and slept a total of 6 hours straight! This gave DH and I a chance to enjoy Valentine's Day together. We spent the morning having a V-day breakfast, Steak, Eggs and Potatoes. It was a big feast allowing DH to have a big meal before heading over to my Mom's. We had heart shaped blueberry pancakes on Saturday.
While TG slept and dreamt of out of tune pianos and circular kitchens with beaded entrances, DH and I caught up on the Olympics while noshing on chocolate ice cream with blackberries and dark chocolate covered strawberries. We promptly passed out on top of each other like beached whales. We woke up at 2am when TG toddled over to us half dazed with her lovely firmly grasped in her hands. "Bed? Bed?" she inquired. "Yes, let's go to bed, TG."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shoes or as TG says, "Sneak-hers"

I am so done with winter, at least winter in NYC. The wintery white has now become grey ice with flecks of brown and yellow. Ewww.
I've been on a shoe hunt for TG. She's a size 6 shoe now which means I need to buy size 6.5. First of all, can I just say, can the shoe makers pick a size for toddlers already? One shoe company has her as a size 22-23. Another has her in a size 6.5. Another has her in a size 7. What gives?
I tried measuring her feet in inches or centimeters to use as a gauge but some companies don't even offer that kind of measurement on their website.
I'm obsessed with this one pair from See Kai Run. It's the Brenna shoe. It is so gosh darn adorable and of course I can only find it in a size 3 toddler.

For a woman who was obsessed with shoes BC(before child), you would think my toddler would have a million pair of shoes. Not so. She has only had 6 pairs of shoes so far, 2 dress, 4 sneakers. This is my thought. 1) Kids feet grow at an exponential rate so why buy a million shoes. 2) Toddler is still learning to walk and balance and run and jump. Sneakers, soft and flexible soled seem like the logical choice. 3) I'm cheap but in a good way.
I figure I'll spend more money on quality versus quantity. So she may only have 3 pairs of shoes that fit her now but they are of good construction and quality.
At this point, she doesn't have any dress shoes. On the occasions we've had to go out to a dressy function, she's worn her sneakers but I think she can get away with that now. 1) It's winter here in NYC and 2) Toddlers look so darn cute in anything you put on them.
The spring it coming though so I'm the hunt for a spring dress/play shoe. I'm a fan of classics and new classics. Hence my obsession with the shoe above. It's classic but in a new way and they are super flexible and come in wide which is a plus for TG who has inherited DH's and my wide foot.
You'd think shoe shopping for my kid wouldn't cause me such grief.

Friday, February 12, 2010


One man's outlet is another man's chore.
Now if only that chore was something that would take a load off of my list of to dos.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


TG is sprouting molars. I noticed them when she gave me a giant grin and cocked her head back. I think I see 4 popping out. This could explain how extra clingy she has been.
DH makes comments every now and then that he finds it strange how she wants to nurse as often as she does. Lately, it has been a lot. Since nursing triggers pain relief, I'm fairly certain this is the reason.
DH has also voiced his opinion that she should be weaned and not self weaned.
Currently I'm of the opinion that I'll cut back from nursing in public but if she wants it in private, I would like to continue.
I know it's not for everyone but I feel like nursing is a powerful tool and has many benefits for her and me that I would like to continue it until either of us are uncomfortable.
I'd like to meet with my nursing mother's group to discuss it soon.
As for the teeth, thankfully, aside from the extra nursing and cuddle time she requests, I think she's a trooper. I've heard of some toddlers who are just an absolute mess with teething.
Now if I can only convince her to eat her proteins and leafy greens again.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wish I had a carpenter in my family

A blizzard hit NYC. Schools were closed and for the most part folks stayed home. DH took TG to the natural history museum again and I worked from home.
TG isn't a big fan of the snow. She loves the outdoor but mostly when during the spring, summer and fall. I don't think she knows what to make of snow. DH made a snowball for her again. She was disinterested. He then showed her she could eat clean white snow. Again, she wasn't interested and began her Woody Allen no rant.
TG has started what folks commonly call the 'Terrible Twos'. This is the stage in which toddlers start to test their boundaries and explore independence or so the books tell me. What's maddening for me is that she clearly knows she's not supposed to do whatever it is she is doing and will wait until DH or I are present to do so. She'll even wait until she received eye contact and then smile and proceed doing what she should be doing. Clearly, she could care less about the actual action but much rather wants to see the reaction.
I knew this day was coming but I'm still at a loss on if I'm responding correctly. If it's something that isn't dangerous and mainly annoying (ie. banging a toy on the floor) I state we don't bang the toy but roll it/push it/pull it/etc... and demonstrate. If she continues, I ask her to show me how to roll it/push it/etc. If she continues banging it, I tell her again we don't do so and that I will take it away if she continues. If she continues, I take it away. She doesn't protest usually. She just goes about with another toy. That's what's nutty. I know she could care less but she just wants to see the reaction.
If it's something I think she's doing to just get a rise out of me or attention of some sort, I either ignore it or distract her by calling her to me to help me with something. Most of the time this works but sometimes, I go back to 'We don't ... We ..."
The hardest thing for me to deal with at this point is the knowledge that she wants to climb things, especially when I'm in the kitchen preparing a meal/snack. It's as if she knows I'm indisposed. Clearly in her mind she's not waiting for me to be unavailable but that I just so happen to be unavailable.
There is only so much I can really do to distract her and keep her entertained while I'm chopping up onions.
It gets super hard when she starts whining for me to pick her up. She clings to my legs and pulls my pants nearly off and incessantly states, "Down? Down? Down?" She transposes up and down when it comes to requesting a pick up. DH thinks it's her asking us to get down so she can get up.
Sometimes she's just curious to see what I'm doing. Other times, she just wants me to hold her in my arms. There are somethings in the kitchen I can do one handed while holding a child. I've made scrambled eggs one handed. I've made pasta one handed. But there are other things like handle raw meats and cutting that can't be done one handed.
I'm still hunting for an affordable step stool that I can feel comfortable with TG standing on in the kitchen. We have one in the bathroom but it's a smaller variety and I don't let her stand on it without me behind her. In the kitchen I need to be able to move around.

There is this one that I always see in my Google searches but it's awfully big and ugly and super expensive. If I told my husband I spent over $100 on a step stool, he'd have my head examined. I'm hunting for an alternative or a sale on this bad boy. I have a daughter who is super curious about cooking and I envision we'll need something like this for years to come.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Immunity shield on full

So TG's playmates apparently are coming down with something so I've been on immunity booster mode. I don't know if it works but it settles my mind and that in itself helps build the immunity.
Immediately, I've made a quick chicken noodle soup with extra carrots and garlic for TG. Thankfully, TG doesn't mind the garlic I add to her food. I think it comes from my taste for garlic.
TG also followed me around the house with my organic disinfectant while I spray and wipe down her toys and books. TG is also receiving more warm baths to wash off the day and relax her.
I'd like to think that this helps in some way. Who knows.
Illnesses aren't the only thing that she's picking up from her playmates. She also started to putting things in her mouth and taking after some bad habits, like banging toys on the floor and her utensils on the table.
I'm not happy about this as she knows she's not supposed to do this but she sees the attention her friends get by doing these tricks. I try to ignore them to hopefully show her it won't get the same attention and reaction but it's been hard, especially when she's sitting a few inches from you and banging a Chinese soup spoon on our wooden dining room table. How do you ignore the bad habit without just letting it go as if it's ok to do it?
The stuff in the mouth drives me a little nuts. She never put anything in her mouth and now, she sees a penny, in it goes. Play dough, in it goes. It's the reason why we put the crayons away when her friends come and I have to rethink any arts and crafts with her playmates that include small objects like marbles and tiny stickers.
Of course I get all crazy thinking about whether its good or bad she's imitating them. They imitate her in her speech and talking and now she's imitating them by banging things and putting things in her mouth. Now I know this doesn't reflect how she'll deal with peer pressure later on but this is the first time I see that she's learning from others and in some aspects, correlating action and reaction and applying learned skills.
One of the moms jokingly said, "Oh man, here my kid is learning words from your daughter and she's learning how to pretend to cry from mine. Sorry."
I know she was joking but for a bit I did feel sort of like I was getting the short end of the stick. I laughed it off after a few minutes though I realize as TG grows, I'll probably feel this way again at some part even if it's in humor.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I need sleep from last night's sleep

Have you ever woken up feeling more tired than refreshed? Such is my day. I can't seem to concentrate and I feel like I'm in front of tennis ball machine and I'm getting pelted left and right.
I suppose it was a restless night's sleep but surprisingly, I got more sleep last night than most nights.
I noticed DH looking a bit haggard as well. I think we both need something to refresh ourselves. What I don't know.
TG has been testing now. She seems to have started to test what she can and cannot do with us. The latest is not eating her eggs and feeding them to the dog.
Personally, I'd probably just stick with the yogurt for breakfast and give her a protein for lunch until she's past this whole no eggs kick but DH feels its important to have a protein for breakfast. I agree but I'm not going to fight it, especially when I feel this tuckered out. Maybe tomorrow I'll make the egg into 'spaghetti strips' and see if she'll eat it.
We have another crazy week ahead with Chinese New Years and Valentine's falling on the same day. I usually don't make a big deal about Valentine's but since DH and I seem to need some type of pick me up, I've got something up my sleeve.
Oh, I looked over my recipe book I was compiling for my future kids and I realized, wow, I have tried to make a lot of stuff and a lot of it sounds yummy. Maybe I should take a page or two and make those dishes instead of just the same old same old.
I know that sounds simple but for some reason, I've completely forgot to look back at my homemade recipe book.
Oh and just because I'm feeling non sequitur, two nights ago, I dreamt my husband was Jack Bauer and our house kept getting invaded by foreign military. Strangely enough, even though it was annoying, I felt my daughter and I were safe knowing my husband was Jack Bauer. It was bizarro as they literally would come in with guns pointed at us but I wasn't scared. Now if this was really '24' and not my dream, I'd be peeing myself as family seems to be the first to go on the show but I was calm enough to offer the folks who held us hostage something to drink. What the heck does that mean?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The crazy mother rant.

Sometimes I really hate being a woman.
Mothers truly make this world go round.
The statement that pokes me in a place that sends me into full wrath is, "Things always work themselves out."
Do you know how things work themselves out? Mothers.
Without mothers, things would stay lost forever.
Without mothers, socks and underpants would be worn until the elastic falls off of the overstretched, see through loincloth that once held the shape of underpants.
Without mothers, bathrooms would never get cleaned. Mold and mildew would rule the world.
Toilets would come in brown tones to mask the never cleaned inner bowl.
Ovens would be pristine as take out would be the number one source of nutritional consumption.
Babies would grow up learning that after they fall asleep you better not need anything until the morning as your cries will be unheard. There was a study that proved men are more prone to wake up to the sound of a car alarm than a crying baby sleeping 50 feet from them
Attachment parenting would consist of men bungee cording their toddlers to their belt loop.
Multi-tasking would consist of holding a beverage while surfing an iPhone.
Honestly, I don't mind doing what I do because I know it needs to get down and it, in the long run will make my family's life better and happier. I don't like to talk about it. I don't like the whoa is me connotations. I know every mother out their is a three ring circus. We don't want accolades.
What we want is, when we ask you to throw us a frickin' bone, to not asks us what type of bone and where to friggin' find the bone.
Is it Mother's Day yet?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

No soda or cake for TG, thank you.

My kid loves soup.  My 19 month old takes to soup like an elderly person.  Yesterday, my daughter ate an entire serving and a half of chicken soup with carrots medallions, sliced bok choy, celery and bite size chicken breast nuggets.  She used a straw to drink the literal last drop in her bowl.  She used her spoon, her fork, my spoon, my chopsticks.  When I see my daughter's grin as she's enjoying a home cooked meal I know I'm doing something good.
Today is my mother's birthday.  It's a milestone birthday.  We got together and had a nice seafood dinner at my place.  I spent the day prepping and cleaning.  It was cathartic and in a strange way symbiotic.  TG and I were home and we worked together to get things done smoothly, quickly and easily.  I gave her the duster and she went around the house pushing and dusting the lower shelves and floorboards.  
When I had to vacuum, her least favorite object in the house, I made sure I warned her and did so as far away as possible from her. 
I think she's warming up to it slowly as she not only pets the vacuum when it's not on but now realizes it's role and job and doesn't scream out, "All done!" when she hears it turn on.
After I vacuum an area and turn it off, she'll toddle over to it and touch it and look at me.  When I warn her that I'll turn it on again, she'll toddle to another room and wait for me to turn it off again.  She still happily closes the utility closet door when I put it away though.  Slowly but surely.  
Her doctor said that her aversion to it may have come from something that happened when she was younger.  "Perhaps, someone vacuumed next to her or worse used the arm attachment near her.  Adults forget how monster like a vacuum can seem to a small child."
In my list of to dos for the shindig, I also had two wishlist items that we were able to accomplish, take a bath/shower.  TG woke up early from her nap and we both were able to wash up.  
This was much needed as TG smelled like soup.  At least soup for the most part is homey and evokes comfort.  I'm surprised Yankee Candle hasn't invented a 'Soup' scent.
My brother had a great idea of encapsulating my mother's hand and my daughter's hand in clay mold.  My mom seemed to like this but I don't think she quite comprehended what we wanted to do.  She seemed distant.
TG did make her day when she called everyone by their Chinese titles.  She even called my mom by her title without a reminder or a request.  She toddled over and gave her a ball and said, "Paw Paw?  Ball."  That was probably the best gift she received.
The day before TG and I worked on an art project for her as a present.  TG painted a picture and put stickers on her modern artwork.  She gave it to her today and she was thrilled.  
I'd like to think my mom was pretty proud of TG and in a small part me for how I am trying to raise her.  I know she doesn't completely understand how and why we do what we do but I think she knows we are doing what we think is best.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Laurie Berkner's I'm a Mess is my theme song today but in a good way

TG likes to take apart my husband's wallet.
As of today, my husband is now missing all of his bank cards and a few ids. We have no idea where they may be. When I hinted they may be in the trash, my husband was rightly upset.
I'd like to think my toddler wouldn't throw anything but trash in the trash but she may have a different definition of trash than us adults have. Heck, she ran around with the toilet plunger the other day much to the disgust of my husband who nearly did a Silkwood on her following the plunger incident.
Surprisingly, I'm turning out to be more of a laid back mom when it comes to messes. I was wondering how my OCD would be and if I'd be some Mrs. Pristine type of mom.
So far, I'm probably more open minded about messes than my husband.
For example, I don't feed our daughter. I let her feed herself, even if that means she uses her hands, every utensil on the table including ours, spills most of it on herself, the floor or the dog etc. DH cannot stand this and will feed our daughter. For him it probably seems more efficient. It takes less time and it's less messy.
For me, I'm all about her having fun exploring her food and listening to her tummy. I'm also keen on her mastering utensils. You can't do that without application. Guess that's what you get when you learn to use chopsticks at an early age.
Even with painting, I'm pretty laid back, I think. Clothes and the floor can always be cleaned. Today, while TG was making a birthday painting for her grandmom, she Jackson Pollack'd her feet. I thought it was cute and took a picture. I drew the line when she tried to grab my phone with her purple/orange/turquoise hands.
Honestly, I probably don't mind so much the crayons on our wall because I know they are washable and in a totally revealing admission, I love the fact my house has signs of kid life in it. I sometimes complain about having to wake up at 3am to tidy up toys and broken crayon pieces but I don't mind so much because it's evidence of kid fun. I want my child to never feel confined to some Victorian childhood. Dresses with matching hats and shoes are great sometimes but there is something to be said about a tee-shirt and jeans/sweatpants.
Now if I can only somehow get DH to hide his keys and wallet or put them away.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Not a fan of Chaka Khan's 'Everywoman' right now.

Feeling overwhelmed today.
It's hard being everywoman. It's even harder trying to keep my ideals and beliefs into play. When it comes to food I'm a stickler for healthy low processed foods. I believe what I put into my family's body affects their health and well being. I spend a little more, invest a little more time so my family benefits.
Occasionally time gets the better of me. One of the benefits of my OCD is I usually have backup plans. I try to have something marinating or parcooked in the freezer or fridge. I used to make large batches of food and freeze for such an occasion.
If you followed my pregnancy you know that I made large quantities of food and labelled them for my husband to cook. You can blame my OCD or whatever but the instructions were for naught.
With DH's attention to calorie counting preparing a meal has gotten a little more stressful. I try not to leave extra portions and meals premade to prevent him succumbing to temptation.
That means more on the fly cooking. I don't mind as it is healthier to avoid family style meals but that means my nights are a whirlwind of activity. It's gotten to the point where I know my eyes don't seem focused and I may appear at a distance.
As soon as I get home it's a card game of spend time with TG, clear the kitchen, prepare a meal, tidy up the play area (the entire apartment essentially), catch up with DH before he leaves, decompress from the day & prepare TG to go to bed. All this while trying to convey a tranquil soothing going to bed atmosphere.
I know I'm not the only mom out there who is going through this. Some have it better. Some have I worse.
I'd just like a lifeline right now. Ten minutes locked away would be nice.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Paints and Stickers

Stickers are a big hit with TG and her playmates. Even on the airplane, she took stickers and placed them on the television monitor. Thankfully, this mommy was smart enough to bring along the repositionable stickers.
We also started introducing painting with a brush and that seems to be a hit. The crayons were being used more as teething devices than for actual coloring, unless you count coloring of ones teeth.
To save money to help tiny toddler fingers, I have started making stickers out of heavy stock construction paper. I punch out 1.5" square pieces and stamp them with numbers, letters and shapes. I then place them on wax paper and the kids can peel them off and place them on paper or back onto wax paper (TG's favorite).
I'm trying to think of a cool project for Valentine's day for a nearly 2 year old. Since she seems to like the heart shape (she placed heart shaped stickers all over her Dad's foot the other day), I'm thinking of drawing a heart and then using red construction paper to practice tearing and gluing. I think it's a bit advanced and I' not sure how the tearing will be interpreted (books? magazines?). Maybe next year. I can always just make heart stickers again. We'll see.
Oh, apparently the food strike is going around. All her playmates have been leaning towards the finicky end this week. We did manage to get two out of three kids to eat breakfast one day when all three sat together at the dining room table and ate. Of course, my daughter, the one who likes to feed everyone, initiated this with a very clear exclamation, "Hungry." I love how my 18 month old can tell me clearly she's hungry. Next thing you know, she's passing pancakes to her playmates and their noshing and gabbing at the table.
I may have to start making the sweet potato pancakes again. Still a no go on whole green veggies.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


All this eating pasta and decreased protein, veggies, fruits and yogurt has lead to some tummy trouble for TG. I surmised this as this afternoon, I noticed she hadn't pooped yet. Plus, she kept taking DH to the bathroom and saying, "Poop." Everytime DH put her on the potty though, she just sat there.
Then she came up to me and pressed on her tummy deliberately and not in the 'I'm pointing to my tummy' way. I had just finished reading an article about signs toddlers use to tell you about tummy distress and that was one of them.
DH was oblivious of this and didn't think it was a bit deal. I'm sure it wasn't but I figured if my child is trying to communicate to me that she has a poop that won't come out, I'm going to help her. It also helps that I was a pretty constipated child back in the days. Yes, the anal retention manifested into physical form as well.
Mommy cook that I am, I prepared for her a nice yummy dinner of baked butternut squash, stewed cinammon apples and alphabet pasta.
30 minutes after her delicious meal, success.
Now, maybe TG will go back to eating a more balanced diet. I left a chicken loaf and some baked squash for tomorrow's lunch.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pick Pick Pick Pick Pick Pick

TG has now entered a week of picking out pasta and eating only pasta. She won't even eat shrimp which is one of her favorites. She's eating 1-3 pieces of protein and then diving into the pasta.
I'm compensating by serving pasta with veggie sauce. She's still not eating veggies whole. She likes it mushed or if it's orange. Green stuff, not so much. I've been dealing with it by serving carrots and sweet potatoes and squash. She'll eat spinach if I add it to her meatloaf.
It's not that she doesn't like it. She's eaten them before but I suppose it's a texture aversion. She still only has 8 teeth. Should I be worrying? All her playmates have incisors and molars cutting in.
Anyway, my latest invention is shrimp and avocado pasta salad. I make guacamole and toss in some salad and cooked shrimp. If I'm lucky, she'll eat 2-3 pieces of shrimp and then eat the pasta that has been coated in avocado.
Hope this phase passes soon.