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Welcome back, old self. It only took 16 months. That’s like low term in state prison.

Welcome back, old self. It only took 16 months. That’s like low term in state prison.

It’s been over a year since I’ve blogged.

IMG_0410

I’ve been meaning to blog, but with the birth of my second child, I just haven’t felt up to it. Blogging was constantly on my mind, but it was hard for me to do it. Honestly, going back to writing is about as awkward, unsettling, and weird as having sex for the first time after giving birth (if you don’t know what I mean, read Erin Donovan’s “Dead Vagina Walking” to get caught up to speed). Plus, there was just so much to write about I honestly didn’t know where to start.

Since blogging about all that I had wanted to write about in the past year would take forever, so I’ve just made a timeline. Here’s a year of my life, condensed:

12/2013: I give birth to #2! After laboring at home and giving up because my beloved husband FELL ASLEEP while I was dancing to speed things up, we end up at the hospital, 6cm dilated and me yelling for an epidural because 1) holy oxytocin, back labor and 2) I was so desperate for sleep.

Eight hours later, my husband would help deliver a sunny side up, 7 pound 3 ounce baby girl. Unlike with my first baby, the moment they put Juliette into my arms, I was in love. Unlike with my first, I was not overwhelmed with the knowledge that I was now responsible, legally, morally and otherwise, for a tiny human being whose survival depended on me. Instead, I felt proud and confident. The past nine months had been terrible, both physically and emotionally, but after giving birth I felt amazing.

dancegome

Of course, no way could I ACTUALLY do this immediately after giving birth.

1/2014: On New Year’s Day, we go to Disneyland with my son and my brand new baby girl. Being in the hospital had been terribly tough on Tiny Boss, and I wanted to do something special for him. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea and I end up with a sick, feverish infant and several sleepless nights. Those sleepless nights haven’t disappeared, by the way.

2/2014: I am pumping so I can save milk for Tinier Boss because FFS, she is going on the bottle as soon as we get her two month shots. I am NOT making the same mistake I did with her older brother (who never took a bottle and therefore I never got a break).

3/2014: I have way too much milk because she’s not on the bottle. I’m going to start donating milk. Or maybe I should sell it. I found a website that puts you in touch with parents who need milk. This person is willing to pay $2/ounce for fresh, unfrozen milk. I’m pumping 6-12 ounces a day. I am literally a cash cow! Wait, not a cow. Poor choice of words.

Later in 3/2014: I make $20 selling breast milk! After emailing the buyer, who promises to be discreet (ok?), we meet at Starbucks.

You’re K.C.?”

whaaa

Fine. Maybe he’s a dad? But a few hours after we meet up, K.C. texts me, “Your milk is delicious.”

ewBut maybe I shouldn’t judge because thanks to Google, I’ve learned that some cancer patients drink breast milk (it is full of nutrients and extremely easy to digest). Also, some bodybuilders do it too, although based solely on appearance, this guy wasn’t a bodybuilder . . . I speculate that I have sold 10 ounces of my breastmilk to an adult baby (thanks Wikipedia!).

4/2014: I am still disappointed that I can’t make money with my boobs.

sad

What happens to a dream deferred?

8/2014: We travel to Mexico with both kids by plane.

Vacationing with tiny humans is awesome!

Vacationing with tiny humans is awesome!

The kids do awesome and I am proud. On the return flight we are stuck in a holding pattern for almost two hours due to bad weather and no one under the age of three in my row has a meltdown. On the other hand, our surrounding passengers must have been coming back from a convention for assholes. I regret not being a Tom Clancy fan; otherwise I could yell out spoilers at the man sitting next to me pretending to read but he can’t due to the amount of eye rolling going on. Bless his heart, he can’t seem to stop alternating between rolling his eyes and huffing like he’s trying to get to the head of the Hometown Buffet line. dwight

Next time I board a plane with kids, I’m printing out required reading (including this and this) to pass out. How’s that for goody bags?

booobitch9/2014: My son is potty trained! I’m forever grateful for the 3 Day Potty Training method.

At first, this is awesome, but then the realization that my schedule is now ruled by his bladder (or worse) quickly sets in. I learn the importance of always knowing the location of a bathroom or a good bush wherever I go and accumulate bad juju for the number of times we have peed on the seat or elsewhere (shudder). I spend good money on a Kalencom portable potette that is used and accepted by every American toddler except for ours.

11/2014: Flu season has set in. You know what’s worse than being sick with one kid? You guessed it.

12/2014: Baby girl is one year old. I can’t believe a year went by.

And that’s what I’ve been up to since I last blogged.

IMG_9513Actually, it wasn’t that bad getting back into writing. Stay tuned for my next post, which will be about transitioning from one to two kids, and the number of new gray hairs that have coincidentally sprouted at the same time.

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10 Rules Toddlers Live By That Are Designed to Break Your Spirit

Someday, with any luck, my kid will read this post and thank me.

And also one day, with any luck, my kid will read this blog and thank me.

10) Once a routine has been established and you’ve both settled into it, that’s when the toddler will decide the routine is no longer valid.

9) Diaper blowouts will always be more likely to occur in the car seat than at home. This doubly applies to infants.

8) Events you schedule in advance at certain times suddenly and inexplicably become the prime napping time.
eviltoddler
7) The more tired you are, the less likely it is your toddler will go down for a nap without a fight.

6) Toddlers (and infants) have adult sized farts, adult sized poops, and generate as much laundry as twelve adults.

5) The best place for a tantrum is always in public.

4) No matter how clean your house is, they will find something gross to stick into their mouths, like dead flies or year-old-raisins from under the couch cushion.

3) They refuse to understand the concept of “no” until they’re old enough to loudly, and forcefully, repeat it themselves.

Toddler octopus

Toddler octopus

2) Sharing is caring, but toddlers are selfish little miscreants.

1) Your comfort is always, always, inversely proportional to theirs. This means they’re the most comfortable when you’re standing up and less when you’re sitting down. If you’re actually laying down, you better get used to being perfectly still and ridiculously quiet, like you’re hunting wabbits.

Don't move. The baby's sleeping.  Source: http://dailypicksandflicks.com/

Don’t move. The baby’s finally asleep.
Source: http://dailypicksandflicks.com/

Someone’s Got To Go From This Bed

bedforone

A couple of months ago, I decided we should upgrade our tiny Ikea sofabed mattress to “something better.” We had been sleeping on it directly on the floor with Tiny Boss since he was old enough to crawl and fall off the bed. Now my back was finally starting to ache as my pregnancy progressed, although it was mostly from being cramped into one corner while Tiny Boss occupied the center of the bed like a (tiny) boss.

“No more!” I declared. “We shall upgrade!”

The upgrade turned out to be a somewhat random Sealy foam mattress we picked up at Sears. Would we like the boxspring and bedframe for only $100 more and free shipping? Well, sir, what I would like and what is actually feasible are two entirely different things. Obviously, this man did not have kids.

We had to forego having a real bed, and settle for another mattress (albeit a larger, fluffier one) because Tiny Boss, who sleep-crawls all the time, would probably end up falling off it in the middle of the night, possibly hurting himself and, more importantly, waking up.

keepitreal

The purchase turned out to be a curse.

No, it’s not the “gassing off” of the foam mattress – even my pregnancy-sensitive nose can’t smell the fumes emitting from the foam material, something that is supposedly so toxic that they were rejected by those responsible for acquiring beds at NASA or something.

So what’s wrong with our mattress?

  • Every time my husband moves, the whole bed moves. Since I’m not from California, I automatically think we’re having an earthquake; Tiny Boss wakes up.
  • It’s so comfortable when I’m the only one in it, which just makes sleeping in it every night even worse.
  • It comes with an anti-mom curse. If Tiny Boss is sleeping in it already and I sneak in next to him, he’ll wake up. Doesn’t matter if it’s during a nap or at night, if he’s had a long day playing at the park or if he’s been dosed with Benadryl (kidding) – he’ll wake up.
  • What was “ultra firm” in the store turned out to be pudding-soft in our house when all three of us sleep on it at once.
  • The dogs really want to lay on it. They come in at 5am and stare at me, willing me with their big brown dog eyes to let them on the bed until I throw some pillows at them, and then they just lay on the pillows instead and make them smell bad.

There are some upsides to the purchase though. For instance, two years ago we had bought a set of queen sheets by mistake, and now we finally have a mattress that fits it!

The realization that one of us needs to be evicted from the bed came to me last night as I lay miserably on the hard, tiny crib mattress we had placed on the floor to buffer Tiny Boss’ frequent falls of the bed. I’m tired of not being able to stretch out fully. It’d be nice not to wake up with little feet in my face. And I can’t even remember the last time my boobs were fondled by adult hands.

Quite possibly THE BEST ONESIE I have ever seen. Source: http://www.countercouturedesign.com/cock-block-onesie/

Quite possibly THE BEST ONESIE I have ever seen. Source: http://www.countercouturedesign.com/cock-block-onesie/

So new resolution: I’m going to buy a toddler bed. I placed some on our shower registry so that I can use the 10% off coupon that comes in the mail for all the stuff that doesn’t get bought. Soon thereafter, we’ll transition Tiny Boss into his own awesome Cars or Dora toddler bed, which he’ll totally love sleeping in. And then I’ll get awesome sleep, right?

You can stop laughing now.

Note to those who have a “family bed” – when you go mattress shopping, insist on trying out all the mattresses on the floor, not on the box spring. Pull them off the frames yourselves if you have to! Then make sure everyone – mom, dad, kids – gets on the bed and rolls around for at least five minutes to get a good sense of how that mattress will work for you at home. You’ll thank me, even if the sales person doesn’t.

Tiny Boss Eats His Own Poop – Been There, Done That

I’m sorry. I know it’s been less than a week since my last blog post about poop. But I just have to share this because writing is my therapy, misery loves company, and . . . I just gotta say it, my baby stuck his own poop in his mouth today!

It was completely my fault too. We had just gotten back from lunch and Tiny Boss was sweaty, so I took off his diaper to let him air out before putting on a new one. As we relaxed on the mattress on the floor (which is now the bed we share with Tiny Boss), enjoying the breeze of the ceiling fan, I started getting sleepy . . . so sleepy.

And I jolted awake. I don’t know how long I fell asleep for. A minute? Five minutes? Tiny Boss was sitting besides me, calmly eating Cheerios. I looked around to assess the carnage. Room looked fine. I looked around specifically to see if he pooped, since he seems to like pooping in the most inconvenient of places – he didn’t. So I thought. But now that I was awake and he had an audience, he did saunter over to a nearby pillow and proceeded to pee on it. Fine. I got up to get a diaper. And when I came back, he had put something in his mouth, which he spit out immediately.

No such luck.

No such luck.

It looked like a squashed Snickers’ mini. Only how did one get in our room and how did he unwrap it?

I already knew the answer before I saw it. Two perfectly formed logs, stealthily camouflaged amidst a brown puppy dog towel. We had bought the towel at Target; at the time, it was the cutest thing ever. Now, I vow not to have anything in any shade of brown in our room that could potentially conceal turds.

The cursed towel.

The cursed towel. Don’t ask me if I washed it yet.

I scooped Tiny Boss up, ran to the bathroom sink, and washed his hands. I hesitated – am I supposed to wash his mouth out? We’ve tried to teach him how to spit, but haven’t been successful. I decided to use my fingers to “brush” his front teeth and washed his lips and chin, trying not to freak out.

Then I rapidly went through the four stages of disgust – shock, revulsion, more shock, and resignation – followed by some frantic Googling. Apparently, this is pretty common, since it’s the first thing that popped up when I started typing “baby ate p . . .”

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Thanks to the Illinois Poison Control, I started to feel a little bit of relief. Apparently, this is quite common, and not harmful (in small amounts), and one should remain calm and carry on unless the child starts exhibiting symptoms like “persistent/continued vomiting, diarrhea or fever.”

God bless these people.

The Illinois Poison Center even has a blog about the calls they get about children and infants eating poop, and ranks the type of poop in order of frequency of calls they get:

1) Human

2) Cat

3) Dog

4) Other

I don’t even want to think of what “other” poop kids will try eating.

They’ve also gotten calls about kids eating used condoms, used tampons, live cockroaches, live goldfish, backwashed enema fluid . . . yeah. I’ll stop.

But check out the IPC blog. There’s tons of useful information in there, and most of it is easy to read, even for those with weak stomachs, like my husband.

* * *

It’s been four hours since the poop-tasting, and Tiny Boss seems fine. He finally napped, but not without doing this first:

Yes, again. The black thing is a measuring cup. Does anyone else wash their kids with kitchen utensils?

Yes, again. The black thing is a measuring cup. Does anyone else wash their kids with kitchen utensils?

Good thing the weak-stomached husband will be home soon.

Still on Vacation: Day Two of Shoveling Sh*t From the Bathtub

Poop in a cup

Wait, was this in the job description?

Oh, the things they don't tell you about motherhood. Like babies don't care about plans, or childhood development books, or your career. A toddler wouldn't think twice before giving your West Elm sofa a Sharpie makeover. I mean, these things are self-evident, or they should be, but our kids have beaten us into such exhaustion that we don't always remember.

I know that with kids, all bets are off, yet I still forget this from time to time. Fortunately, I have Tiny Boss to keep me in check, which he does by doing things like pooping in the hotel bathtub and leaving me to scoop the turds out with a Nordstrom bistro sippy cup.

It was my fault though. You see, I had begun to get complacent. Our vacation – just me and Tiny Boss – started off without a hitch, with Tiny Boss charming everyone around him on the plane ride from LA to Oakland. Emboldened by our success, and me successfully managing a car seat, stroller and luggage all by myself, I was ready to take on the world.

Ok. I know I'm not as much of a badass as Sarah Connor, but traveling alone with a toddler kind of makes me feel like I am. Source: http://cheezburger.com/2362491136

Hell yes I was proud. I'm sure that was my first mistake.

My second mistake was waiting forever at the carousel for the carseat. We've traveled with carseats before, even to the same airport, but I don't ever remember picking it up from the “oversized luggage” pile. Suitcases came and went on the rotating conveyor belt, and eventually there were none.

I marched over to a JetBlue employee, my pregnancy making me self-righteous, and demanded they find me Tiny Boss's Graco Snugride. Oh, it's just over there? Okay.

The third mistake came after I took the shuttle to the rental car station and started getting on the 880. As I started onto freeway ramp, I heard a thud from the backseat, and crying. Actually, more like angry, hysterical shrieking.

I had completely forgotten to secure the car seat itself onto the backseat. As a result, the car seat, with Tiny Boss securely strapped in, had slid across the back seat and tipped onto one side, with poor Tiny Boss sideways and immobilized.

Somehow I manage to pull over onto the shoulder and leap into the back and sit him upright. He was fine, but I was not. I don't even know how a 20-week pregnant woman leaps from the front seat of a Ford Fusion to the back in half a second, but it happened and I wished I had a dash cam recording myself. I imagine the video would kind of be like those “When Animals Attack” footage, like when bears chase people – they're huge but surprisingly fast and agile.

Anyways, I was shaken and felt like the worst mom ever. I didn't tell Tiny Boss's dad at first, thinking for sure he would agree that I was horrible for putting our son's life in danger and make me feel worse. But he was understanding, and the rest of the trip was uneventful. There was very minimal crying in the car, a lot of naps in the stroller, and I was feeling like a badass mom again, traveling by myself with Tiny Boss, getting some work done at night, just handling it, till the poop thing happened.

It wasn't nice poop – I seriously wouldn't have minded that scenario as much. By nice poop, I mean something solid or log-like. Even softserve-style all in one piece would have been doable. But it was loose, mushy, greenish black poop that babies get from eating too many blueberries. I had turned away for what seemed like a second and when I turned back, Tiny Boss was waist deep in water, floaters and sinkers and WHAT IN GOD'S SWEET NAME IS THAT – WHOLE UNDIGESTED RAISINS!??

 

Well, it could've been worse. At least we didn't eat corn that night. I took Tiny Boss out, tried not to drip poop water on myself, and washed him in the sink. Then I took a picture for good measure, drained the tub, scooped out the poop with a paper cup and rinsed the tub with the shower. Washed Tiny Boss in the sink. Yes, it could've been worse.

And tonight, it was worse. The tub at our new hotel is old and uses a rubber stopper to plug the drain. I had to stick my arm in cold poopy water to unplug the tub. This damn eco-friendly hotel doesn't have any paper cups, so I sacrificed a plastic sippy straw cup. Agonized whether the cup, once its fate was fulfilled, should go in recycling or trash. I threw it in the trash and hoped that housekeeping wouldn't fish it out for recycling.

By the way, there's definitely a technique to tub-poop-scooping, and I am happy to teach anyone who is interested.

I had to wait till Tiny Boss was asleep before I could clean the tub. Meaning it was 1am by the time the tub was clean and I had washed my arm and hands in hot soapy water for 20 seconds followed by a liberal amount of Purell.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

By the way, if you haven't already, check out my guest post at Evidence Based Tits and Teeth, a pretty cool blog from “across the pond” in the UK. The post is part of the Happy Medium Monday series, which contains submissions from different writers about their experiences on both breastfeeding and bottlefeeding.

 

Not that many of my friends have kids (yet). Or maybe they do, but in the past I’ve always managed to somehow be inextricably busy and unable to attend many of those first birthday parties. That is, until I had my own kid, and realized how important the baby’s first birthday parties is for some (most?) people (mother in laws?).

bitchesbetrippin

But Tiny Boss’s first birthday party is another story for another blog post. Today I went to my friend’s son’s first birthday party. I couldn’t understand why she was so stressed out about the whole thing until I went to the party – and saw what it entailed.

There was a DJ, a face painter, a balloon guy, and tables and tables of food. There was a gigantic banner with a large, blown up photo of the birthday boy. It reminded me of those huge portraits of Communist dictators like Mao Zedong or Kim Jong Il. The number of guests must have been upwards of 150.

The party was based on the movie Cars, and both parents were dressed as mechanics or race track attendants or something like that. The kiddie guests had their own special goody bags that were nice enough that I would have wanted one for myself. Someone told me that all Filipino first birthdays were like this and I thought to myself, poor Tiny Boss – he really got the short end of the stick with me then!

This is the first image that pops up when you do a Google image search for "extravagant first birthday parties." Our Asian Evan didn't have quite such a posh event. Ok, not even close. Source: http://www.hellobee.com/2011/12/29/evans-first-birthday-bash/

This is the first image that pops up when you do a Google image search for “extravagant first birthday parties.” Our Asian Evan didn’t have quite such a posh event. Ok, not even close. Source: http://www.hellobee.com/2011/12/29/evans-first-birthday-bash/

Everyone today was having fun and stuffing their faces, myself included. The kids were all occupied one way or another, and I came to this realization: baby’s first birthdays are like weddings.

  1. No matter how small and intimate, or large and lavish, it’s completely up to the bride/groom/mother/father. It’s their day. Don’t judge. Just enjoy.
  2. There will always be a bridezilla/momzilla/mom-in-law-zilla.
  3. The day will pass in a blur and you’ll rely on good photographers to help you put together the pieces afterwards.
  4. The cake is a big deal to the guests.
  5. An open bar, or at the very least, alcohol made available, is highly suggested.
  6. Party favors and take-homes are a must.
  7. Sometimes the best way to get through the entire event is to drink. A lot. See #5.
  8. The gifts you get don’t make up for the expense of the event.
  9. There’s always that guy/that kid who throws up.
  10. What the celebrant really needs is a nap.

And the guests. The guests need a nap too.

Silver Linings, and Lessons From Poison Control

God bless the California Poison Control center, or in my case, the California Center for Reassuring Nervous Moms.

It’s been a rough week. What was supposed to be a restful week off from court (more on that later) turned into caring for a sick toddler, and then myself, after I found out I had thrush from breastfeeding.

Image

A week off? Silly me.

Tiny Boss came down with a fever a couple days ago. No other symptoms, so all I could do was bring the fever down, keep him comfortable and snuggle with him as much as he wanted.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I contracted thrush, which means that not only does breastfeeding feel akin to sticking your nipples into a lamprey’s mouth (other mothers describe it as shards of glass in the breast), but Tiny Boss was also unable to comfortably breastfeed. So he’s been miserable. I’m telling myself there’s a silver lining. Perhaps he’ll finally wean?

Insert nipple here to find out what it feels like to breastfeed with thrush. Source: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/marquette/

Not breastfeeding friendly.
Source: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/marquette/

Last night, on day two of fever with no other symptoms other than some ear pulling, I decided to give Tiny Boss some of his leftover ear drops from his last ear infection. A couple hours later – coincidence or not – his fever was gone and he was back to his usual way of wearing me out – running around, grabbing stuff, spilling stuff, throwing stuff and just in general doing all sorts of stuff he’s not supposed to do.

Based on last night’s success, I elicit my husband’s help this morning in giving Tiny Boss another round of ear drops. Four drops, left ear only, easy enough, right?

WRONG.

In my defense, it was early, it was dark, and my contacts were sticking to my eyelids.

“IT’S SPILLING OUT OF HIS EARS!” My husband started yelling.

Apparently the drops were coming out of the dispenser but I just couldn’t see them, so I had been steadily squeezing a stream of antibiotics into his ear. How many drops did I give him?

“Like, maybe 10?”

“He’ll be fine,” I said, sounding much more confident than I felt.

That confidence quickly wore off, however, because Tiny Boss began to cry. Loudly. With tears and everything. What could be wrong? Did his ear hurt from the sudden, unexpected flood of liquid? Did some of it trickle down to his throat? DID I JUST POISON MY BABY?

The offending drops

The offending drops

I had no idea, so I did what every health practitioner hates (I only assume this because I hate it when my clients do their own legal research) – I turned to Google.

Unfortunately, “put too many ear drops” only turned up with two relevant hits.

The first one was from Yaboo! answers by some poor sap who used too many ear drops in one ear and now couldn’t hear. The second was a fact sheet from the New Zealand government for Cilodex, which sounds close enough to our prescribed brand of ear drops, Ciprodex.

For Cilodex, you’re supposed to rinse the ear(s) with warm water immediately and call a pharmacist or doctor “if you use too much (overdose).”

Wait, so you can overdose on ear drops? As far as the ear rinsing, I wasn’t even going to go there. It was too early to call the pharmacy, and I didn’t want to hear any lectures about not finishing the ear drops last time or using the drops this time without being prescribed.

The poison control center would be my best bet. 24 hours a day, staffed by MDs, RNs and pharmacists.

“My name is Steve. What can I help you with?”

“Um, I accidentally gave my son too many ear drops.”

“Sure. What’s your son’s name?”

“Raynor.”

“Full name please.”

And then he wanted my full name, and by this time I was pretty sure it was to call CPS or the cops if necessary, or at least to add me to the state roster of bad moms.

“How many drops is he supposed to have?”

“Four.”

“And how many did you give him?”

“Uh, maybe 10?”

“Oh boy.” Seriously. The man said that. But then he said these magical, beautiful words, words that were rang sweeter than Susan Boyle’s voice and brought more relief than Rolaids.

“He’ll be fine.”

Apparently you can’t really overdose on antibiotics, and since he didn’t ingest them, he probably won’t even get the stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea that is usually associated with taking too much of an antibiotic. Tiny Boss had used these ear drops many times before, so an allergic reaction wouldn’t be a concern, either.

Silver lining: I learned about antibiotics overdose and after today you’ll never find a more precise ear drop administrator this side of the Mississippi.

After that, everything indeed was fine, that is, until Tiny Boss managed to simultaneously spill a smoothie and tea on the coffee table and the dog ate my fried rice.

Silver lining? My coffee table hasn’t been looked this clean in months. Fried rice is unhealthy, anyways.

Shortly thereafter, I realized I did not have the day off and I did, in fact, have to go to court today.

To quote Liz Lemon: blerg.

Silver lining, anyone?