Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well that explains it

I thought about taking Paul to the doctor for his pink eye yesterday, but his 6 month well check was already scheduled for today, so I waited. (Normally I’m a fan of letting pink eye run its course since it’s usually viral, but the particular strain our family has been passing back and forth for a month seems especially vicious when unmedicated and clears up really fast with antibiotics, so I think it’s bacterial.)

The nurse asked me how Paul was doing and I was all breezy “Oh, just a little pink-eye, no big deal! Otherwise, he’s good!” Then the thermometer beeped and she shot me a look and said he had a temperature of over 100.


It got even worse when the doctor came in the room. He checked Paul out then asked how long he’d had pink eye. I babbled on about how he got it right after Meg did two weeks ago, so I just gave him ointment we had left over from when he had pink eye two months ago. It went away, then my mom caught it and now Paul has it again.

He said (in a nice way) both the eyes and ears were infected and by only treating the eye I did no good, because the untreated ears would just re-infect the eyes.

Excellent. So do you have mother-of-the-year awards in the office or do they get mailed? I asked. (Or just thought. Whatever.)

What I actually said was Meg has the same pink eye and she IS looking a little flushed/feverish, so could you look at her ears, too? He took a quick peek and determined she also has an ear infection.

So. Meg is not just cranky because she’s overstimulated from Christmas, she has pink eye and an ear infection.

Paul is not just refusing to sleep because he’s going through a growth spurt, teething, a wonder week, a physical developmental leap, and pink eye, he ALSO has a double ear infection. And a cough. And a mystery rash on his chest that’s “probably viral.”

I'm guessing he'd probably say he's having the worst week of his life. Man, six months is rough.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sleep, or the lack thereof

I’ve thought about posting several times over the last few days. We have tons of Christmas pictures. I want to post about the presents I gave my mom. I have a couple other half-written posts.

But oh my goodness, I am so unbelievably tired. I’m at work this week and I’ve spent the last hour doing pretty much nothing but fighting to keep my eyes open. I want so badly to lay my head down and go to sleep. Paul has been sleeping terribly and is so cranky when awake it’s almost impossible to enjoy having a baby. Or anything, really.

He does have a lot going on. I’ve been blaming most of this on the six month growth spurt and teething. Due to the growth spurt, he wakes up in the middle of the night absolutely starving and has shot right out of size 12 months, which he just grew in to last month. My mom bought him size 24 month bodysuits and they fit. There’s some room to grow, but not a lot. Twenty. Four. Months. At six months old. Then, in addition to waking up every 3-5 hours round the clock to eat, he also has trouble falling asleep because his gums are hurting so badly.*

Today, just for the heck of it I went and reread Moxie’s sleep regression post and realized week 26 is a wonder week, which also disrupts sleep. Apparently his little brain going through a mental developmental spurt and is learning “the world of relationships.” This reminded me physical developmental spurts disrupt sleep, too, and guess what…he’s been working hard at figuring out how to crawl. Oh yeah, and he has pink eye (again). It’s a wonder this kid ever sleeps.

As if this weren’t all enough, tomorrow is his six month checkup and I’m sure they’ll be giving him shots. If you’re looking for me, I’ll either be rocking myself in a corner and mumbling incoherently or on plane to somewhere far, far away. I haven’t decided yet.

*The only thing that’s helped for the teething is this vibrating corn teether my grandparents gave him for Christmas. He loves it. I’m thinking of ordering 12 more.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I take it all back

You'll never guess what's getting me in the Christmas spirit.

It's the Christmas cards I was so cranky about! I am loving checking the mail every day and tearing into new cards. I wish I had a place to display them (I KNOW). I cried when I read our close friends’ Christmas letter saying they’re moving to California – even though I already knew. I even thought the card that included a crossword puzzle you have to solve to read the letter was fun, not annoying.

I also love sending cards. I’ve been meaning to ask all of you for your addresses (by email, if I have it, then here if I didn’t), but kept forgetting to do so. Even though the cards won’t get to you by Christmas now, I’d still like to send them! If you’d like one, send me your address at

P.S. We’ve also gotten SEVEN cards for the people we bought our house from. Over three years ago. It’s kind of annoying.

P.P.S. I might still send emails asking for addresses, so don't be surprised if you get one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas spirit

It seems a lot of people aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit this year. I’m not really in the mood for it. It’s not a “Bah Humbug, let’s cancel Christmas” mood as much as “Christmas? Meh.” This is distressing me, as I loooove Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year. I’m afraid I’ll wake up in February thinking NOW I’m ready for Christmas, then realize it’s 10 months away. I keep going through the motions and trying to force myself to get as much out of it as I can, but so far it’s felt nothing but forced. I don’t know if it’s because rather than baking cookies and buying gifts and wrapping packages I’d rather be sleeping (SO TIRED) or because there aren’t really any gifts I’m looking forward to or because there’s no snow (it is NOT beginning to look a lot like Christmas).

I guess as a kid I didn’t realize how much work Christmas is (kids never do, do they?) It was easy (and enjoyable!) to get it done when we didn’t have kids, then got harder with 1 kid, and now with 2 there’s just no way to get it all done. I’ve think been up until at least 11, often 12, every night since Thanksgiving. That probably doesn’t sound too late, but when I have to get up with the baby during the night then be up sometime between 5 and 6 for work it’s just not enough.

Between work and buying gifts and having two kids (including a baby) we’re so crazy busy there’s no time for Christmas movies or other Christmas-y activities to build Christmas spirit. I’m sure I could have somehow forced time for Advent activities into our schedule, but it seems I have to choose a focus and this year it was baking. I’m bringing cookies to every potluck party, including them with gifts, giving them to all the teachers, etc. I’ve made so many cookies just the thought of them is off-putting. I stopped eating them sometime last week.

At this point I see Christmas as a finish line. I just have to last a few more days. Then maybe I can collapse in a heap and sleep for a week. Except no, I still have to take care of those kids. And clean the house for our annual New Year’s Eve party. And host a party where the whole point is to stay up past midnight. Whose idea was THAT?

Friday, December 9, 2011

On our tree

After last nights post in which I basically said I don't want to put up any of the ornaments we've accumulated over the years, I started really looking at them (I, uh, didn't put them on the tree. Thomas and Meg did that while I fed the baby.)
This is me, age 4 or 5ish, I think. Preschool ornament!
Meg, 4 months (she was 7 months at her first Christmas, but the ornament was ordered in advance)

My MIL brought this back from Mexico. On one hand, it's fun every year to say ooh, remember the starfish ornament? On the other hand, it doesn't exactly scream "Elegant Christmas."

While looking at all the ornaments I realized probably half of them are Iowa State ornaments. We have enough to do an entire ISU tree and, now that I think about it, I think that's what we did our first Christmas. We didn't have a big tree, so we put all the Iowa State ornaments on a little tree and didn't get the others out.
I kinda think that's what I want to do next year. We can do the big tree with red balls, gold beads and/or garland, and our Iowa State ornaments. Then maybe put up the little tree for the rest of them. Of course, that would require me buying red balls and gold beads after Christmas this year, because I refuse to pay before-Christmas prices. We'll see if that happens.

Am I the only one who has ornaments from my childhood on the tree?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So who is going to PAY for this decorator?

Do you display the holiday cards you receive? I think it’s a lovely thing to do, but I just…don’t want to. I like things neat and homogenous. Dozens of cards with different colors, shapes, styles does not appeal at ALL. I look at every card we receive and read every letter. I keep them in a pile and sometimes look through them all again. But I can’t bring myself to put them up. We put photo cards from immediate family members (parents & siblings) on the fridge, but that’s the extent of the displaying.

I’m not sure why the cards annoy me the most, since our tree ornaments aren’t any more homogenous. has been kind of bugging me that (it seems) everyone who has tweeted a picture of their tree has a 'decorative' tree (as opposed to a 'personal ornament' tree) and I don't. I'm jealous! I’m the kind of person who would rather have a pretty tree with red and silver balls only than one with mismatched ornaments from special occasions, vacations, preschool crafts, and so on. So how do people do it? Do you have two trees? Do you put the mismatched ornaments on the back of the tree? Do you just not have many ornaments that don't fit into the color scheme? Do you have lots, but refuse to display them? I know my aunt wanted a tree with white ornaments only for years before she finally just did it one year. What I really would like is for a professional decorator to come and decorate my house with no personal touches. Does that make me a Christmas grinch?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Good enough

I wrote two days before I found out I was pregnant with Paul. I didn’t have internet access at the time and didn’t realize I’d forgotten to post it until I already knew I was pregnant. At that point, it seemed like instead of talking about a hypothetical situation I was saying I didn’t love the new baby as much as the one I already had (hormones may have been involved…) But I saved it anyway and this week I came across it and decided to post.


Every time a mother talks about breastfeeding her child past 1 year, especially if the child is almost 2 (or older), I wonder what that must be like. My original goal with Meg was to breastfeed until she turned 1, then wean her off daytime nursing (so I wouldn’t have to pump at work), but continue to nurse first thing in the morning and before bed. It didn’t work out. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get her to nurse at all past 11 months. It was a combination of going out of town for work and decreased supply because Meg preferred bottles and the pump wasn’t as efficient as the baby. She decided it wasn’t worth her time and nothing would change her mind.

At the time I was disappointed (an understatement – I wrote a LOT of angsty blog posts about it), but now I feel like it was the best thing that could have happened. She’s only 16 months old and breastfeeding is already a distant memory, which has made my life a million times easier. It may be selfish, but I love that all I have to do is hand her a bottle and she drinks it while I get ready in the morning or read her a book at night (or do nothing while Thomas reads her a book). I LOVE that I don’t have to think as much about what I put into my body. I love that I can go for a run while Thomas puts her to bed. (I do miss the calories burned by making breastmilk)

At this point, while future children are purely theoretical, I don’t think I’ll have any desire to breastfeed past a year. I know it would be good for them, but it just worked out so well this way for our family. I’m very, very happy to not be breastfeeding anymore (and it’s not because I didn’t like it – I also wrote posts about my love for breastfeeding.) Maybe it’s because near the end it was such a huge hassle. I had supply problems that started when Meg started eating solid foods and just kept getting worse, so it was a BIG relief to stop struggling with it.

I suppose my feelings might change once I have another child. Maybe even when I get pregnant. But right now I’m not even opposed to the idea of weaning at 9 months – it would have saved me so much heartache to just stop when the supply issue became a huge, all-consuming problem rather than fighting it unsuccessfully for 3 months. Basically I’d like to go back and tell myself to stop freaking out – both my baby and I turned out just fine. Because the fight took so much out of all of us, I’m not interested in fighting at all next time. When Meg was born I thought convenience was never worth it if the harder way was even a little better for my girl. I don’t think that anymore. Good enough is good enough.


How I feel now: I love breastfeeding, but I no longer consider formula as something to be avoided at all costs. I did very much want to make it to six months of exclusive breastfeeding, if possible. I’ll definitely accomplish that since we only have a couple weeks to go and no supply issues. After that, though, I don’t know. I’ll keep breastfeeding, but will probably drop from pumping 3x/day at work to 2. I suppose the rest depends on Paul. Once Meg started purees, she had very little interest in breastfeeding. She drank bottles just fine, but didn’t want to work for food. Paul is more snuggly, but seems just as interested in solid food (read: very) as she was. Also, our deep freeze is being overrun by frozen breastmilk and I’m getting a little itchy to start using it. On the other hand…I’m not sure if I’m ready to start scaling back. Pretty soon I’ll have to decide whether to pump an extra bottle after the morning feeding over Christmas. I didn’t with Meg and it killed my supply. Right now I’m leaning toward still doing it, which probably means I’m not as ambivalent as I think. I’m still not opposed to weaning at 9 months, but I’m not exactly in favor, either.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

They are the SAME SIZE. Seriously, why do they not fit?

Does anyone have any experience with returns/exchanges at DSW? I bought a pair of black boots online two weeks ago.
I love them. They fit perfectly and are the most comfortable shoes of any kind I've ever worn. I want to marry these boots. One of the reveiws said "I feel like I'm wearing slippers all day" and they are so right. So on Cyber Monday, I decided to buy a pair of the boots in brown. Except they were out of those exact boots, so I bought a very similar pair.
Same size. Same brand. They came today. I excitedly put them on and they were way too small. Painfully small. I checked the size. I wore them for an hour hoping to stretch them out. They were so tight my feet went numb.

I'm wondering if this is a thing with Born? I checked my pair of brown Born flats, which are also pinchy and tight (and bought on some last-chance clearance site so they were non-returnable), and was surprised to discover they're the same size as my black flats, which are very comfortable. Do they use different kinds of leather or something? Am I a different size in brown and black? Weird.

Anyway, DSW will let me return the boots no problem, but I just want a different size. Per their website, they offer "free" exchanges, but that just means you don't pay return shipping or shipping on the new pair (which is very nice). However, the actual exchange consists of a return and an entirely new purchase. I used rewards $ and a Cyber Monday discount on the boots, making them $65 instead of $100. The returns part of their website says when you return something paid for with a rewards certificate, the certificate isn't reissued. It's gone. So what I'm getting from this is if I "exchange" the boots for the next size up they'll credit me my original $65 and charge me $100 for the new pair. Can someone tell me if this is right? I looked for someplace to email a question, but couldn't find anything. I really want a different size for the same money. It looks like you might be able to do this in-store, but I checked and my store doesn't have the boots. Do you have any experience with this? Any ideas?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thank goodness for the bell-ringer.

We’re going to an impromptu MOPS steering team get together tonight. Plans for it were finalized on Monday and I’ve obviously worked every day since (13 hour days, no less), so there’s been no time for grocery shopping. Our regular MOPS meeting took up the whole morning today and afterwards we usually rush home so Paul can nap and Meg can eat. I decided to try to run to the store quickly, though, so we’d have something to bring. Paul fell asleep on the way there. I figured if I snapped his seat in the stroller and pushed it around (while carrying a basket for the groceries) I could keep him asleep.

I went to the closest grocery store. We don’t normally shop there, but sometimes go for lunch. When we pull in the parking lot, Meg yelled I WANT PIZZA. I told her she could have some (yay! I don’t have to make lunch!) We got unloaded and up to the door (baby still asleep!) There was a Salvation Army volunteer ringing a bell and I thought Meg might like to put a dollar in the kettle. Ok, I thought, where’s my wal…CRAP. I didn’t bring my wallet. No money.

I turned around and walked back to the car. Meg through a fit when I tried to strap her in and kept yelling “I want go shopping! I want pizza! I hun-gy!”

The baby woke up.

By the time I got home, both kids were wailing because they were hungry. Meg refuses to eat anything I’ve offered and is still whining about pizza. Paul is cranky because he didn’t nap. I have nothing to bring to the party tonight.

Not the best day.

At least I didn't get all the way through the store before I realized, right?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I made it! NaBloPoMo 2011

I actually liked NaBloPoMo this year. Last year it was rough, but this year it was a welcome kick start. What I liked the most is how much better at coming up with post ideas it’s made me. I’m constantly looking for ideas and pretty much everything makes it into a post. Shopping for toy storage solutions? Put the contenders in a post. Forget your own last name? Post. Writing a novel-length comment? Make it a post of its own. Meg says something cute? Write it down, for goodness sake, I need something for the blog. I even went back through all my unpublished posts and tweaked/finished several of them for posting.

Then, bonus! I have funny stuff Meg said/did saved for posterity. Jen sent me a link to plans for building a toy cubby thing and my husband is building it! Plus, I’ve had way more email conversations with commenters than in a long time (or, actually, ever). I hope to keep posting several times a week, but you know how December is. It’s kind of a bummer NaBloPoMo is in November, because you get on a roll, then the holidays are likely to stop it in its tracks. Hopefully I’ll at least get around to Christmas photo posts!