February 28, 2011

The Trouble With Fairies

I wonder why anyone
suspected Ken was gay?
Last week was President's Week, so Moe had the week off from school. He started the week with a cold that he generously shared with Jelly. And lest the dog be left out, we ended the weekend with an emergency trip to the vet for Berkeley, who has a nice case of conjunctivitis. Fortunately, that appears to be viral in nature, probably not contagious to us, though it does require an ointment. Not drops. An ointment. That I have to put directly into her eye.

Earlier in the week I was concerned because Moe wasn't eating much. He seemed hungry but every time we sat down to eat, he pushed the food away, even more than usual. I wanted to make sure he didn't have a really sore throat that might need medical attention. So I loaded the kids in the car and drove to McDonald's. This decision was entirely based on my son's medical needs and not at all because I was feeling lazy and needed to get out of the house, even to just go through the drive-thru. And sure enough, Moe scarfed down his nuggets and fries, indicating that he was grumpy and picky, not very sick. Who needs medical school?

On this trip to McDonald's, I got the kids a happy meal to share, and although I got the toy for boys (a matchbox car), the packaging has both the "boy" and "girl" themes. The girl theme this time was some kind of Barbie fairies and said: "Carrie is a Purse Fairy because her favorite accessory is purses. Taylor is a Shoe Fairy because her favorite accessory is shoes."

Let's think about this for a minute. Does that mean the Tooth Fairy's favorite accessory is teeth? And more importantly, really, Mattel? After the whole "math is tough" debacle, couldn't you at least try to mix in a Book Fairy or some kind of Good Deed Fairy? In the name of research, I decided to look up these Barbie Fairies and see what they are all about. It turns out they are characters in a Barbie movie, and Carrie and Taylor are not just fairies, but movie star Barbie's stylists, so they are, at least, career women. For Taylor "the more fabulous her shoes, the stronger her magic is."

Despite her frightening proportions, I've never been that offended by Barbie, certainly not any more than the size 0 mannequins in every clothing store window (though don't get me started on those slutty Bratz dolls). And honestly, I see nothing wrong with accessorizing. I'll even admit that for a moment I wished that the Shoe Fairy would pay me a visit. But the jump from "shoe fairy" to little girls believing that they get their power from their shoes, rather than their brains, is so small I can almost reach out and touch the stripper pole.

The stereotypes seem to go on and on, with Raquelle trying to steal the spotlight from Barbie, because women always have to take each other down, right? I am kind of interested in Princess Graciella, the "Fairy Princess of Gloss Angeles," who, with a name like that, must be a pretty cool drag queen. Look, I don't expect Barbie to teach my daughter science, but I thought we had progressed at least a little further than this.

I was grateful for one clarification, however. After Ken and Barbie's seven year separation, their reconciliation was made official on Valentine's Day of this year when Barbie changed her Facebook status to "in a relationship." Despite this, there has always been some debate about Ken's sexual orientation. This movie seems to clarify things for us: "Funny, hip and super cool - he can handle any situation...even being snatched away by fairies!"

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

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February 25, 2011

Fish For Sale

For Sale: Two Fish

Two beautiful African Cichlids for sale. Possibly South American. Does it matter? They're fish. They're yellow. You're watching them swim, not talking to them.

Fish are flexible and won't mind moving. I watched them from their first days when they were hatched into their mother's mouth. Yes, it's weird, but that's what happens. I rejoiced as they were first released and allowed to swim on their own, cried when so many of their brothers and sisters were eaten by other fish in the tank. Okay, I didn't cry so much as cringe, but these two survived, so they're probably the smartest or strongest of the litter. Pack? School? Whatever.

These two fish were born at a large office at Microsoft, but later adopted and moved to a cubicle at Apple. One fish seems to have made the transition completely, although I often find the other scratching "I'm a PC" in the gravel. Fish were expecting to stay at Apple, but when adoptive father, my husband, moved to another competing company, fish were relocated to our home. Fish were instrumental in the launch of the iPhone and may be aware of much of Silicon Valley's intellectual property.

Wouldn't even begin to know how to tell you the genders of these fish but I'm pretty sure they are the same, since they have not bred their current tank, despite what I am sure are optimal breeding conditions. Fish are approximately 6 years old. You'd think they'd be dead by now but apparently they are just scraping middle age.

Ten gallon tank requires minimal care. Just change the water when you can no longer see in the tank. At least that's what my husband does. When water levels get low enough, noise from filter will make you believe you have a waterfall in your living room. Great for those who enjoy white noise for sleeping. Warning: sound will also make you want to pee.

Cichlids are known as "aggressive" but as far as I can tell, they only fight with other fish. They have never harmed any children, especially young, sensory-seeking boys who like to put their hands in the tank. Fish may hide behind plastic plants (included) for days after such incidents but they seem fine. Will include extra fish antibiotics.

All reasonable offers considered.

Today's post inspired by The Red Dress Club: We want you to imagine you've just had a fight with a friend, a co-worker, husband, significant other, child - you get the picture. You're mad. It's time for revenge. What would you sell? Write a humorous listing for eBay or Craig's List. Talk about the history of the items, why they must go.


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February 22, 2011

President's Week Begins with a Whine

When I was a kid, the calendar showed Washington's birthday and Lincoln's birthday, and I think we got one of them off. Then "they" (The ministry of holidays? The CEO of Hallmark?) created just one holiday called President's Day. It is an official bank and mail holiday, but it seems to be one of those optional holidays for companies so Jeff worked yesterday. And our schools are closed for the whole week.

In snowier climates, I think they call this ski week, but for me it just means Moe is home. Moe doesn't do well with unstructured time, so I tried to make some plans. I asked our babysitter to come for some extra time during the week so we could take both kids to some of our regular activities. But, fullfilling Murphy's Law of Vacations (that's a thing, right?), Moe got yet another cold

He's had a runny nose since last Thursday, but otherwise seemed fine, so I wasn't worried. We had a nice weekend, visiting the Body Worlds Vital exhibit at the Tech Museum (the kids are still young enough to not be freaked out by it), and the farmer's market the next day. But Sunday night, Moe had a lot of trouble sleeping. He was up pretty much the whole night.

Now, I've been here before, canceling our activities because of a sleepless night only to spend a very long day at home with two kids bouncing of the walls. So I kept our plans, and our babysitter came and we took both Moe and Jelly to music therapy. Moe seemed fine and was giggling and laughing before we left.

About 10 minutes before we got to music therapy, right as we got off the freeway, Moe started crying. It didn't stop. For the rest of the day. It varied from a pathetic whine to all out screaming, but it was pretty much continuous. The funny thing was, despite the tears, we had a really good music session. Moe wasn't running all over so he actually participated, making choices, following directions and imitating. He played the piano with really excellent rhythm. And Jelly, who doesn't usually come to music therapy, was the perfect "typical peer," modeling everything. Moe has been really been taking cues from Jelly lately, so it was great having her there.

Moe was relatively calm by the end of the session but once lunch came, he was a mess. I think he has a sore throat, so he was probably hungry but not wanting to eat much. I had given him Motrin in the morning, so I couldn't give him any more for a couple hours. So I really had no idea what was wrong. He'd whine, push me, not away but toward something, but he wouldn't lead me all the way to anything so I'd have no idea what he wanted. I tried to put him down for a nap, but he didn't sleep. Jelly didn't nap either.

Around 3:00 I wrapped him tightly in a blanket and put on Sid the Science Kid. He cried until he put his head down on the pillow. Around 4, he fell asleep, finally ending the whining and crying.

Until he woke up an hour later. Both kids were in bed by 6:30, and I was thankfully able to go to a new Zumba class. Fortunately, Moe slept through the night. This morning has had its ups and downs so far. We're going to stay home all day. Wish me luck.

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February 17, 2011

Finding Balance

I keep a list of blog ideas for those days when I need some extra inspiration. I've had one for a while that says "making autism a factor in my life but not the focus." This is not something I know how to yet; it is a goal.

When Moe first started his in-home ABA program, I joined an online group for parents of kids with autism. I asked for tips on surviving a full time, at-home therapy program. In addition to "find a hobby," one piece of advice that stuck with me was to not burn out the first year.

But you see, I'm not good at pacing myself. When I have a new problem to solve, whether it is something minor, like buying a new comforter for Jelly's bed, or something major, like an autism diagnosis, I tend to obsess. I reasearch. I read. Instead of sleeping, I think and think and think. It is my way of getting control over the situation, and I like to be in control. I suppose that's why I was a good program manager, back when I had a career.

Because of all that reading and research, I always question whether I'm doing enough for Moe. I read about parents running full time Son-Rise programs and wonder if I should be doing that. On top of his 30 hour a week special day class, Moe gets extra OT and music therapy, but some kids in Moe's class get extra 1:1 ABA, some do more speech therapy. Should I be doing that too?

The other day with my parents at dinner, I expressed this concern (it wasn't the first time), and Jeff got a little upset with me. He pointed out (again, not for the first time) that Moe basically has a full time job and he's not even four years old. My dad pointed out that the more I spend with Moe, the less time I have for Jelly. I have to try to balance the needs of a typical toddler and an autistic preschooler, as well as our needs as a family, and my needs as an individual.

But right now, autism wins. These are crucial early development years, and perhaps it is unrealistic to think that Moe's needs could be anything but the defining factor in our lives. I think I'm going to make turning autism into a "factor, not the focus" a long term goal. For now, I'm going to do my best to give myself an occasional break (provided by my book club and sporadic trips to the gym) and try to really believe that we are doing all we can for both our kids.

Today's post inspired by the Mama Kat's writing prompt, "Finding the balance. How do you manage?"

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February 16, 2011

Unsolicited Advice (A Letter to New Moms)

Dear New Moms and Moms-To-Be,

There are a plenty of pregnancy books to tell you what to expect, from scientific to humorous, including one I just read for the From Left to Write book club, Exploiting My Baby. When I was pregnant with Moe, I read many of them, but I still had no idea what to expect. You won’t either. But there are a few things I didn’t read in books, and that I could only discuss with a few good friends, who swore to me to only tell the truth about their experiences. Here are some of these, though I reserve the right to drop my knowledge on you as I see fit. It is my blog, after all.

You need to do what is right for you. Be informed, but you and your husband get to decide if you will breastfeed, circumcise, co-sleep, let your baby cry it out, go back to work, or use cloth diapers. I am always happy to share my experiences (duh) as are most mothers (and grandmothers), but the best decisions you make will be the ones you can live with. You must, however, vaccinate your children.

Motherhood is not one thing. Your brand of motherhood is unique to you. Others can give you advice and help, but they are only talking of their experience. Do not feel guilty if you do something different.

You will feel guilty.

It is okay for your baby to sleep in the bouncy seat.

You may not bond with your child the first moment you see him or her. A week or so after Moe was born, some friends came over. One of them said, “the moment you saw him, didn’t you just know you’d jump in front of a bus for him?” And I remember thinking “Um, I guess,” because I knew I’d have to but I just wasn’t sure. I hope you love your child with every cell in your body the moment you see him, but if you don’t, don’t worry. You will. At this point, not only would I jump in front of a bus, I’m pretty sure I could fling that bus back into the air, Superman style. (And if you truly need help getting there, please talk to someone about it.)

Having a newborn is sometimes boring. It is terrifying and exhausting, but in those early days, you’re pretty much staring at a cute, needy blob. During the first month of constant breastfeeding, I watched the entire original series of Beverly Hills: 90210, from Minnesota through the marriage of Donna and David. (OMG, I just realized that my cousin Donna married a David. How did I never put this together before??) You’ll have so much time on your hands yet be unable to accomplish anything.

You will figure out how to go to the grocery store.

Sometimes, you just have to get through it. Those sleepless nights, where you are up every two hours? They suck. But they will end. It was still really hard the second time around with Jelly, but at least I knew it was going to end. (Specifically, for us, at four months when we started sleep training.)

Buy and use Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Happiest Baby on the Block (the DVD is fine). Don't bother with The Baby Whisperer. (Just my opinion. Feel free to disagree or add your own suggestions in the comments.)

You will wonder if you’ve made a colossal mistake.

Find other mothers to share experiences with. Even if they don’t become your best friends, they will give you an excuse to get out of the house. Find things that are not baby related to do as well, especially if you're not working. For me, that is my book club. It helps you keep some of your pre-mom identity.

The things you obsess over, like which stroller to buy or baby proofing you home, turn out to be the easy things.

Finally (for now), motherhood has been harder than I could have ever imagined. Having a child with autism was definitely not in the plan, and there are days when I just don’t think I can do it anymore. And though I sometimes miss how things were before children, I do not regret having my kids for one second. They will bring out your best and your worst, but they will be all yours, and you will love them in a way you never thought possible.

This post is dedicated to my cousin who just had her first baby, as well as to some of my best friends who are pregnant with their first babies. It was inspired by the book, Exploiting My Baby: A Memoir of Pregnancy & Childbirth by Teresa Strasser, which I received free of charge from the publisher. For other posts inspired by this book, visit From Left To Write.

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February 15, 2011

Music Therapy Progress

Swaying to the music
I've mentioned before how Moe seems to be quite musically inclined. He sings a lot, and is always in tune. A few months ago, we started going to music therapy. Jeff and I, as well as Moe's teacher, were all really excited about it. I was hoping this could be the key to unlocking some of Moe's communication and play skills, and also a way to develop his musical aptitude into, perhaps, a real talent.

But as I've had to learn over and over, there is no magic bullet and all things take time. The first couple months of music were rough. Moe seemed to enjoy going but would jump from over excited to trying to leave the room to major meltdown. It was exhausting for me, and I began to wonder if it was worth it. I'm happy to report that things are going much better lately.

Look at that imitation!

Our music therapy sessions are 45 minutes long. They are similar to an ABA session, although all the activities involve music. We might do imitation games with the drum or the xylophone (Moe's favorite); have Moe make choices between different activiites, like playing with scarves or shakers; or ask Moe to make selections during songs, like finding the correct animal during Old Macdonald. There is als some time for just playing and exploring the instruments, and Moe likes to strum the guitar and play the piano.

The last two sessions have gone really well. In general, Moe has been more regulated,so keeping him calm in class has been a little easier. He's still excited, and some things that are generally difficult for him, like making choices, are still challenging. But we've seen a lot of improvement in terms of engagement, eye contact, and imitation. We've seen these improvements outside of music therapy as well.

Great eye contact
It is impossible to determine whether school, music, OT, or just developent is the cause of these improvements. With autism, you end up doing a lot of trial and error until you find a combination that works. You hold that pattern until it isn't working anymore. Some things, like Moe's general calmness and better regulation, can come and go. But for now, I'm pretty happy with the way things are going.

Most of all, Moe seems to be having a lot of fun!


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February 14, 2011

Why I Celebrate Valentine's Day

Today I'm celebrating Valentine's Day over at Hopeful Parents, where I write on the 14th of every month. Head over there to see Why I Celebrate Valentine's Day.

Be sure to leave a comment there and make me feel loved :)


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February 11, 2011

Forever Linked

I could never have imagined that events so seemingly unrelated would be forever linked in my mind. There are four events, two then two more, that, although separated by time and distance, are such strong reminders of each other that I cannot think of one without thinking of the others.

The first two took place in 1994. I was a senior in college, living in a small cottage in Berkeley, my parents and brother in the San Fernando Valley. My roommate and I had ignored an early morning phone call, but when it rang again I picked up. It was my mom, telling me about an earthquake. It was big, she said, lots of damage, but they were okay. I turned on the TV to see the ruins caused by what we learned to be the Northridge quake, my roommate unable to reach her mom who lived in that very same city. It took at least a half hour before we noticed the blinking light on the answering machine: a message from her mom, also safe, who had been our first early morning caller.

Some days later, I received another phone call. This time, the news was of my brother’s first seizure, the starting gun to what turned out to be a long race against the brain tumor that would eventually kill him.

Years later, my brother still alive but bedridden and only sometimes lucid, I was living in a different place and with a different roommate, but we received another early morning call. This one started “turn on the TV,” which we did, just as a plane crashed into the second twin tower. Shortly after that, I went down to visit my family, and realized that my brother, so worldly yet a believer in the goodness of people, had no knowledge of those events. The understanding that there was no longer a need to let him in on significant world events had a profound effect on me.

In early March, to celebrate my birthday, I went to New York to visit a friend. That was the first time I saw the empty space at Ground Zero. My parents called me to cut my trip short as they believed the end was near for my brother. It turned out those weren’t his last days, though he died toward the end of the month.

An earthquake, a seizure, and a terrorist attack all reported to me through phone calls. But I was there for the last event, sitting on my brother’s bed as his breathing slowed. It stopped, and then the whole world shifted.

Written as part of The Red Dress Club, a community of writers. This week's prompt was to write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted."

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February 10, 2011

Moe Plays Hard To Get

Moe goes to our school district’s special day preschool. Because this is the program qualified spectrum kids get once they turn 3, new kids occasionally join the class mid-year. Moe’s class recently had some new additions, two boys, both of whom are actually smaller than Moe.

Once of these kids, A, has taken a liking to Moe. The teachers say that little A follows Moe around everywhere, getting right in his face. And Moe wants nothing to do with him. I think it’s great that there’s a kid who is pushy with Moe, forcing him to interact, and his teacher said that these are new behaviors for both kids. The teachers will let this go on, A chasing Moe and Moe trying to get away, until one of them (usually Moe) gets really upset.

But something happened, and now A won’t play with Moe anymore. We aren’t exactly sure what happened except that Moe got a haircut and now A is visibly upset by Moe and actively avoids him. Nothing else has happened or changed, and the teachers even tried to get put them together, but A is just not into Moe anymore. Did A have a thing for curly hair? Is he mad at Moe for changing? We have no idea, but it’s such a funny little preschool drama.

I wonder if Moe misses A. Remember how in high school there was that guy who liked you, and even though you’d never go out with him, you kind of flirted anyway because it’s nice to be pursued? And then when that guy finally got a girlfriend, you were kind of jealous because he was your guy to string along? As far as I can tell, Moe has no desire to have a new friend, but does he still want to be wanted?

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February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Double the Cuteness

Hip Hip Hooray!

New Haircut

Please let the cuteness here distract you from the mess in the background. The toys have taken control.

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February 8, 2011

Unspoken but True

My son doesn’t speak so I’ve learned to read him in other ways. I know which giggles are meaningful and which are just manic tics. I know his joyous squeals and grumpy whines. I know his attempts at sign language, when he is really trying to tell me something or just going through the motions because he knows he is supposed to.

I know that when Moe gets into bed for the night, sometimes he whines or cries a little. It doesn’t last long, and, as far as I can guess, is just his nervous system settling down for the night, like the last sputters of an old car engine. I know that if I go to him during that time, it just makes things worse and he has to start his winding down process all over again.

But yesterday was different. Jeff was has been working late recently, preparing for a big announcement at work, so I’ve been on solo bedtime duty for a few days. I gave Moe his melatonin and, like clockwork, 15 minutes later he climbed into his crib. Like I do every night, I dimmed the lights, tucked him in, checked that he had his monkey toy, and said “I love you, Moe,” his cue to raise his hand for a kiss.

This time, however, instead of allowing me that one kiss then pushing me away, he grabbed my hand and brought it to his head. Moe likes a lot of deep pressure input, and lately has been asking for head massages. We’ve all been a little congested and I know that can feel really good. I pressed my hand to his forehead for a few seconds, said goodnight, and turned to leave. He grabbed my hand again, and I returned it to his head.

This time, Moe brought his hand up to mine. He gently slid my hand to his cheek. He turned his head slightly, so he was just leaning in to the palm of my hand. His eyes began to close, so I started to step away, but he grabbed my hand, and placed it back on his face. He looked up at me, smiled softly, then once again pressed in toward my palm as his eyes struggled to stay open.

I so rarely get to see Moe at peace, quiet and calm, and although he often craves touch it is not generally with such softness. The gesture was more than just a sensory need, at least it felt that way to me. There was affection there, a shared moment between mother and son, unspoken but true, love passed from hand to cheek and back again.

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February 7, 2011

Mommy's Little Flight Risk

This weekend wasn't a great week for showing off my skills as a mom. You may have read about how Moe locked me out of the house. Although technically I wasn't really locked out because I have a spare key for just this purpose. But yesterday afternoon, while Jeff was in San Francisco getting ready for a work event, I actually did lose Moe.

The weather was beautiful and the kids were full of toddler energy, so we went to the backyard to play. Generally, Moe explores the perimeter of the yard, following a self-made path behind the plants, peeking through the knots in the fence. Sometimes, he'll pop into the playhouse. The plantings aren't particularly dense, and I can see the whole yard from pretty much any spot in it. Occasionally, I'll lose sight of one of the kids, but that generally means they are inside or right behind the playhouse in the back corner of the yard, under the grapefruit tree.

Jelly had brought me the bubbles and we were sitting on the patio blowing bubbles while Moe was running around. After a minute or so, I looked up and couldn't see Moe. I called his name, not expecting him to come running, but he usually doesn't stay still for long. I couldn't see or hear him, so I started toward the playhouse, mostly to make sure he wasn't eating dirt. That is when I saw a large gap in the fence that separates our yard from the neighbor's. I ran.

I peered through and there was Moe, in our neighbor's yard. He hadn't gotten far. Fortunately, I could fit through the gap and ran to grab him. Though I'm pretty sure at that moment I could have torn down the fence with my bare hands if I had needed to. Then, always there to make things just a little more difficult, the dog followed me through the fence. I put Moe back through to our side, climbed through myself, and called the dog. Berkeley does have a pretty good recall, though I did say "want a treat?" just to be sure she'd come. I know our neighbors have a dog as well, and the last thing I needed was for Berkeley to start a fight with their dog, in their yard.

All's well that ends well, I suppose, but my heart has never raced so fast. After getting the kids back into the house, I was shaking. I have no idea if the neighbor's yard is fully fenced or if Moe could have gotten out to the street. I don't know if their dog is friendly toward children. My worst fear is that Moe will run off, and we are so careful when we are out, never letting go of his hand for a second. If Moe did get lost, even out of our own yard, he can't say his own name, has no fear of the street, would jump right into a swimming pool, and would never know how to get back home.

We've patched the fence temporarily just so the dog can't go through and will talk to the neighbors this week about getting it repaired (it is a shared fence). I've also heard about bracelets made for kids with autism or other special needs, in case they get lost. It wouldn't keep Moe safe from the street but would at least help someone get him home to me.

Note: Here is one bracelet, though I'm going to do more research to find other options as well: Child ID Bracelet.

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February 6, 2011

Locked Out

I try to keep the house safe and accessible for Moe. There are relatively few things Moe isn't allowed to do in the house, but there are some rules, and many of them involve water: no splashing in the fish tank, no spraying water from the refrigerator (why didn't we get one with a lock?), and no splashing in the dog's water dish. Moe is getting better about these, but sometimes the appeal is just to great and I find myself with  a watery mess.

The dog's water dish is right by the door that leads to the garage. Moe is now able to lock and unlock this door, so we recently added a child lock on the door so he can't escape the house. Our washer and drier are in the garage, so I go out there a lot, and of course I don't always take my keys with me. So today, I went out to do some laundry, and I left the door propped open. While I was putting laundry in, Moe popped his head out. I said "Hi Moe!" He then slammed the door shut, and I heard him turn the lock. Yes, he locked me out of the house.

Now, I had anticipated this very scenario and have a spare key in a locked box, so I knew I could get back in. But before I had a chance to open the door, I heard Moe inside splashing in the dog dish. I have no way to know if he planned this when he locked the door or just seized the opportunity, but it was damn funny. Moe is becoming quite a little troublemaker.

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February 4, 2011


It’s Friday, the end of another long week, and sure to be an even longer weekend.

I’m sick yet again, just a cough and some congestion. I’m not exaggerating when I say that one of us has been sick every week since Thanksgiving. I’m losing my voice, making it quite difficult to yell “not for mouth!” every 10 seconds. Annoying.

On Wednesday night, I heard Moe coughing an hour or so after he went to bed. I went to check on him and he had thrown up all over everything. After changing pajamas, sheets, pillow, stuffed monkey (yes, we have 2), and blankets, we got him settled back in bed. 10 minutes later, take two. Annoying.

It took Moe many hours to fall back asleep, but once he did, the rest of the night was uneventful. Thursday morning, I went to get him up for school, to find him in his crib, huddled under the blanket with his diaper and pants off, sheets soaked. He was otherwise fine so I sent him to school. He had a good day and a great music therapy session.

The next day (today), the phone rang around noon. Moe threw up at school. I pick him up, we get home and he is just fine. He wants a snack first thing, and is running around like crazy. He’s discovered the sliding doors on the buffet in the dining room (the one with all of our crystal and china in it), and I have to tell him about 50 times not to open them. When he’s not doing that, he’s turning the light for the wine fridge off and on over and over. Annoying.

Moe’s new favorite way to play with toys is to open a bin that has say, 75 legos or 15 matchbox cars, and dump it out. He’ll play for a minute, then as he’s leaving, he’ll bring one piece with him then drop it in some random spot as he’s en route to the next thing. Or he’ll walk by the refrigerator, grab one of the Fridge Phonics letters, bite it and then just drop it on the ground. I’m constantly relocating small pieces of toys. He’ll also grab a cup of milk off the table, take 3 sips, then drop the cup on the rug. Annoying.

Each night, around 5:00, as I’m making dinner the kids start huddling around me like little puppies. Even playing a favorite video doesn’t keep them out of our small kitchen. Moe starts climbing onto the counters and Jelly hangs on my legs. They have no concept that this is slowing things down, and it is so…annoying.

Moe doesn’t want to eat anything right now. I think, like me, he’s probably been a little under the weather, although he seems perfectly willing to eat Jell-O and Pop Tarts, just not dinner. I put food on the plate in front of him, he pushes the plate away, then pushes me toward the kitchen as if to say “try again, Mom.” Annoying.

This evening Jelly insisted on wearing too small baby socks and her brother’s Crocs. She keeps taking off one of the socks and shoes, then coming to me to put them back on. I’ve now put these back on her at least 15 times. I know she’s learning, but man, it’s annoying.

Somebody stick a fork in me. I’m done!



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