Wednesday, November 30, 2011

People of Walmart

No one should try to do Walmart with 3 kids without a Grandpa!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wintery Mix

It's been sraining, or maybe rowing?  Anyway, it's been raining and snowing most of the day here, and I was craving REAL hot cocoa - the kind made with milk and Hershey's cocoa and sugar and vanilla on the stove when I got home from a treacherous drive back from my friend Monica's house...

(I just have to stop, here, and tell you all how grateful I am for such wonderful friends who take such good care of me.  I have so many awesome women in my life who hold me up when I'm feeling weak, and who help me out in so many ways.  I hope I deserve all of you, and I hope that I manage to repay all your kindness, someday, when I'm getting sleep again...)

Anyway, the cocoa.  So I was making it, and I thought, "You know what this needs??" and I got crazy, or what passes for crazy when you're a 35 year old married mother of three, and I threw in a tablespoon of white chocolate chips and a tablespoon of semisweet chocolate chips.  I let those melt, and I topped my cup with whipped cream left over from Thanksgiving and a little cinnamon/sugar mix sprinkled on top.

Good heavens, it was almost as good as rum.

Baby just woke up...  *sigh*

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Update

Sorry for the quietude, lately. It's been busy around here. We hosted Thanksgiving, but I outsourced nearly everything, including the cleaning!, and had lots of help so it was pretty stress-free.

The girls both spiked fevers the next day. Mary Grace really gave this virus her all, with an axillary temperature of 104(OMGWTFBBQ, indeed!!!). I've always taken axillary (armpit) temps because I figure that if they need the temp to be rectally accurate, they're probably in the hospital. You just add a degree - normal is 97.6. Well. That theory apparently falls apart somewhere around 103.

I called our doctor, who was on call this weekend, which never actually coincides with when we're sick, so that was a holiday miracle, and he said we could treat her at home. Blew my mind. I thought anything that high was a first class ticket to the ER.

Ibuprofen brought it down, but we have stayed close to home this weekend, only venturing out last night for more Christmas lights and dinner with Grandpa Bob. He and Grandpa Ben were here Friday, too, for all the virussy fun and bonus turkey.

Bonus turkey is what happens when I decide that we bought a small bird that was more JLo than Dolly, so the white meat was gone by Friday lunch, and the oil for the frying was about 4x the cost of the turkey, so what really makes sense is to buy another fresh turkey (on sale!!) and then ANOTHER turkey (for Christmas - 59 cents a pound!) and deep fry them both (well, we will do the Christmas one later, I froze it) to spread our oil costs out over 3 birds. So we had turkey again on Friday. I'm going to freeze some of it.

Finally, Penny somehow scratched her cornea, so she has antibiotics and a cone of shame. She is actually a lot more pleasant with the cone. If she steals a toy, she can't run under the chair or the table with it because the cone gets stuck. She's kind of depressed about it, so she sort of just lays around and looks pathetic most of the time, which is an improvement. We might keep the cone.

Hope your holidays were stress-free, healthy, and with just the right amount of shame and depression to keep everyone in line.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What the what?

My dad lives 6 houses down the street, which is AWESOME this time of year, because it's like having an extra fridge and an extra oven, as long as you don't mind a chilly walk in between houses.

Sunday night I awarded him temporary custody of our Thanksgiving turkey so it could thaw.

We deep fry our turkey (the first year we did this, I got a hilarious call from my sister, urging us not to deep fry the turkey.  I assured her that her rocket-scientist-brother-in-law was accustomed to dealing with much more hazardous chemicals on a regular basis, and not to worry.  It became clear over the course of the conversation that she thought we were going to deep fry the turkey inside the house.   This is why non-rocket-scientists should not deep fry turkies!) so it's essential that it is completely thawed.  If there's a frozen spot, you'll end up with explosive outgassing, as they say in rocket science, and that's bad.

Due to the mission critical nature of the proper thawing, I just sent my dad the following text:

Can you grope the turkey and make sure it's gonna be thawed for tomorrow?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It's 4 am. 4/5 of us are awake. I am so tired of tired.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sleep, Part Deux

Since my last post I've been working really hard at getting Jack down for naps and bed at consistent times, based on this book that Monica recommended.  He gets up at 7, goes down for nap at 9:30, sleeps about 45 minutes, back down again at 1:30, sleeps around an hour and a half, and goes to bed at 7 pm.

I figure once he's sleeping consistently at consistent times, maybe I'll be able to work on having him fall asleep on his own instead of with so very much assistance from me and my magical Benadryl boobies.  Because right now, the kid can't sleep without the magic boobies, and he's waking up every 2 hours or so to remind me how very much he loves them.

I am so very tired.

It is exceptionally difficult to be consistent and still have any kind of a life.

A lot of people moan and groan when their kids give up naps, but I LOVE the freedom of not having to plan my day around someone's sleep, and not being stuck in the house for hour upon boring hour with an unconscious kid.  I have a lot of inertia - if we have to be home for nap until 3 pm, I have a hard time motivating to do anything after that.  BJ will be home in a couple hours.... I need to make dinner.... The internet is so damn interesting......

I told BJ that I feel like I do all the work of raising these kids, so that other people get to enjoy them, but I never get to enjoy them.

It'll get better.  It will get easier, I know.  I know they grow up and they get big and soon I won't even remember how hard and how banal it all was, because I'll be crying as he runs to catch the school bus for Kindergarten.  I know.

But right now it's really hard, and I'm really tired.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Needed: Nocturnal Nanny

Jack is still sick.  So am I.  So is BJ.  We've had to cancel all kinds of fun plans this week, with all kinds of fun people, and it's getting extremely old.  I skipped a good friend's baby shower, because I didn't want to risk giving the mom-to-be influenza (which is what I suspect this might be, given the duration and the symptoms, unless we just have two different virii - one head cold and one stomach bug - that we're passing around and around and around).

The last two nights, Jack has decided to be awake for HOURS in the middle of the night.  Friday night, he was up from like 11:30 to 2:30.  Bright eyed, bushy tailed, completely disinterested in sleep.  Last night it was more like 10:15 to 12:30.  Same thing.  Happy go lucky baby.

We haven't changed anything in the whole evening routine.  He's just not sleeping.  And although one would think that missing several hours of sleep would result in exceptionally good naps the next day, one would be sorely disappointed.

I googled, of course, and it seems that when a baby is starting to walk they tend to do this.  I'd imagine that it's some combination of learning to walk/not getting as much activity during they day because everyone is sick/being sick himself/painful ears?/possible teeth?/trying to drive Mommy and Daddy insane with sleep deprivation.

My friend Monica has been recommending The Sleep Lady, and I'm almost desperate enough to drop the $50 to get her ebook (Seriously?!?! Way to take advantage of desperate parents, Sleep Lady!  I'll bet you're laughing all the way to the bank!).  Monica's daughter is 2 weeks younger than Jack, she sleeps in her own crib from 7 pm - 7 am, and she does not require "nursing down" the way Jack does (and the girls did when they were babies).  I've seen it - they put her in her crib and she walks around for a minute, then lays down with her little tush in the air and goes to sleep.  It's like a miracle.

We need a miracle in this house.  After 7 years of sleep deprivation, I'm at the end of my fragile little rope.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Need To Be More Specific

I had just ended a call with my friend Colleen, mother of 5, because I needed to locate Mary Grace.  I was pretty sure that she had taken the dog for a walk down to Grandpa's house, as I had instructed, but since she had been gone half an hour and I hadn't heard from her, Grandpa, or the dog, I figured I'd better look into it.  Meanwhile, Claire and Jack were playing in the living room.

When you talk to another mom, you expect to have the conversation interrupted, on both ends, by directions and redirections for the kids.  It just happens.  Small people can't be left unsupervised for more than 3 seconds at a time, and something about Mom being on the phone makes them (or at least mine) lose their tiny minds.

When my dad answered, I asked, "Is that Mary Grace I hear in the background?"

"No, that's Penny," Dad said, and I let go of the breath I had unconsciously started to hold.

"Ok, I just wanted to check, since I hadn't heard anything," I said, as I noticed Claire doing the potty dance.  I didn't even pause as I told her to "GO TO THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW."

"Right here in the kitchen?" Dad replied.

LOL, Dad, LOL.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay?

Jack has an upper respiratory infection and a double ear infection.  On his post-visit summary, it said he could have Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain and fever, and Robitussin or Robitussin-DM for his cough.  Awesome.  Except they didn't list any of the doses.  I asked for the Tylenol and Ibuprofen doses at the beginning of the visit, because he breached 20 pounds and I thought that was the level where they went up.  But I hadn't thought to ask for Robitussin.  The doctor didn't mention it.

So I did what I've always done since they took the doses off of the packages - I called the pharmacy.  "I'm sorry, Ma'am," she said, "I can't give out dosing information anymore."


I'm lucky to have insurance and to go to doctors who are part of a large network in my town - so I know that I can call the main number after business hours and talk to the on-call pediatrician.  I wonder what the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance are supposed to do for their sick kids?  Guess?  How is that keeping children safe??

And I have had to wait up to an hour for a call back from the on-call doctor.  Time flies when you're having fun, but time slows to a snail's pace when you've got a sick screaming baby in the middle of the night.

Sure, I could do the math - 20 pounds of kid, X mg per pound, Y mg per teaspoon.  So you multiply 20 by X to get the amount they need, and divide that number by Y to get the number of teaspoons (or the fraction of teaspoons).  Right?  I get it.  But a frazzled parent with a screaming sick baby should not be forced to do algebra in the middle of the night.

I could also Google, but I don't think it's a very bright idea to trust my kids' livers to Dr. Google, do you?

I've heard various reasons why the dosing information has disappeared.  One explanation is that it's to prevent overdose.  I don't understand this logic at all.  "A bunch of parents gave their kids too much of this medicine, so rather than tell you how much is safe, we're going to make you guess/call around and wait up to an hour for an answer/do algebra."  Um, or you could tell me the safe amount, because I am a good parent, and the parents who suck are going to overdose their kid whether it's on the package or not.

I think the real reason is liability, and that seriously pisses me off.  Kids are suffering because companies don't want to risk getting sued when some moron with a 6th grade education misreads the label and gives her kid 1/4 cup instead of a 1/4 teaspoon.  The problem with our society is that somehow the drug manufacturer is liable for stupid parents' mistakes.

Look, kids get sick.  And my philosophy on medication has always been, "If I'd take medicine (Tylenol, etc.) for something similar (toothache, cold, etc.) then I'm going to give it to my baby if s/he has the same thing!"  I never had any plans to keep their bodies pure and free of medicine.  Medicine, when used properly, is an amazing benefit to being a modern parent.  Can you imagine what it must have been like for parents 100 years ago, before they had fever reducers, to watch their kids suffer and not be able to do anything for them?  Horrible!  I've heard parents of school aged kids say, proudly, "Oh, little Snowflake has never had any medication in his little life!"  Guess what, sister, there's no medal for that when your kid reaches age 18, and to me it sounds like little Snowflake has spent a lot of time needlessly suffering.

While we're overhauling this system, let's standardize the doses, ok?  If Jack gets 1/4 tsp of Robitussin, he should also take 1/4 tsp of Benadryl, 1/4 tsp of Tylenol, and 1/4 tsp of Ibuprofen.  And let's lose the whole tsp/ml/cc thing.  Pick one.  Stick to it.  For Pete's sake.  Better yet, let's make it by age - 1 cc for one year olds, 2 ccs for 2 year olds, 3 ccs for 3 year olds!  Or 1 tsp, I don't care, just pick one and be done with the conversions.

We've got to deal with this dosing stuff, because it's a real problem.  I have three kids.  I may be able to remember song lyrics to songs I haven't heard in 15 years, but I can't keep the doses for everything straight for all three kids.  Especially when they're constantly changing as the kids grow.  And if the currently available decongestants aren't safe for kids under 6, could someone please develop some that are safe?  Preferably today, if possible?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It's November 1, which means today's the annual day I feel guilty about not writing a novel this month. It's a thing, for those of you who don't read too much internet like I do, where a bunch of people get together and try to write novels of significant length in a month.  I don't know why they chose November, because it's the second-busiest month of the year.  No one consulted me.  I have three kids and a puppy and a business.  It's just not time, for me.  Maybe next year.

How many more years can I keep saying that, before I run out of next years?

It's also NaBloPoMo, which means National Blog Posting Month - we're supposed to post at least once a day, every day, for the entire month of November.  Typically that's achievable, for me, but lately I've been kind of quiet, haven't I?  Everyone keeps getting sick.  I barely have time to brush my teeth.

Excuses, excuses.  But they won't be little, forever, right?  Someday.....