Saturday, September 30, 2006


P.S. - Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights is a truly terrible movie. Never ever watch it. No matter how bored you might be.

I think she got caught in his lederhosen...

I was reading the Taxi blog tonight (see sidebar for link, it's quite good) and I had an eigth grade flashback of just how uncool my life has always been. See, back in 8th grade, I had a friend who I thought at the time was very cool and I always thought my life was so boring compared to hers. (She went the way of the trollop and I soon quit hanging out with her, not that that relates at all to the rest of this post).

First of all, don't think this is some sobfest about how my life has gone awry and I'm some deprived suburban housewife tied down to a yard and kids. I have exactly the life I wanted (minus the teething and flatulence), and it's pretty fabulous.

But my life isn't book-worthy. It's not column-worthy. And for crying out loud, I don't know why you all keep coming back, it's certainly not interesting enough to fill these pages as often as I do. If it weren't for bad jokes and chronic constipation, I would have no material.

My life is just so... average. Not romantic or adventurous or chaotic. Now, take Mike. Mike is following his dream of acting and he's getting somewhere. In the meantime, he's doing what he needs to do to get by - he's driving a cab. That's dedication to a craft, to a dream.

My dream, if you can even call it that, when I graduated college was to write for a newspaper. Really, truly, I would like to be a critic. But honestly, it was just something I thought would be cool. Not a dream, not something I even considered moving for, or giving up anything for. So I sent resumes to a few places, took a corporate job "just to pay the bills" until I found something "real", and I'm still there 10 years later.

Maybe I'm mourning the fact that I never had a cool career goal, like lawyer, doctor, actor, something cool, something with some cache to it. Process writing (or Operational Engineering, as my title reads) is actually quite rewarding and a good fit for me. It might even be applicable in other fields, should I choose to leave my current job. I like my boss, my coworkers, my office. And it definitely pays the bills. But it's not the stuff of novels. Can you imagine? Syl's eyes grew wide, a look of terror spreading across her face. "No one has been collecting these accounts, not for months! Thank god I came when I did!" Not exactly riveting material.

It's probably just that I am fed up with my kids today and wondering what a different life would be like. A cool life. A life where I have exotic dreams and everything is like a movie. Like I only have to suffer for my dreams for 2 hours and then everything works out in the end.

Truth is, I think I'm living my dream. I love my family. I have a great job. I took the girls for a walk today on the path that goes by our house and found the big park a few blocks away. As we walked around the corner to see the pond, filled with geese and ducks, the huge playground and the baseball fields and ice rink, I was so thankful this was my home. This is where my kids are going to be from, this is where they are going to grow up. This is what I've been working towards - a quiet, secure, happy house where I can cultivate my family, a quiet job where I can be needed, feel smart, and still leave at 4:30 to pick up my kids.

So I guess the point is, some of us don't need fame or to work for a career goal that is noble or exciting, or whatever. Hey, more power to those who do, I hope they get it. Mike, I hope this latest job pans out into a blossoming career that pays the bills and satisfies you. I hope it brings you the kind of happiness I have already found. And I hope that you can get through the crappy days that will inevitably come with your dream and still keep the shine on it.

The point is, this was a crappy day and it made me wish for the romance of someone else's life. But their days are crappy too, and life ain't always beautiful. My house is a mess, my kids are crabby, and I would like to get some more sleep. But damn, life is good.

Friday, September 29, 2006

News around el Casa del Pants

Please feel free to correct my Spanish, I don't actually know any. Except fake Spanish, like Donde esta el Wussy? El Wussy esta aqui.

Kitten is still testing limits, but is settling in. Now she is having trouble going to sleep and we have to go back to her room and reassure her that we are still here and we will play some more when she wakes up. She's still very confused about all the changes, I think, and she has never been one for change.

Meimei is growing fast (9 lbs. last Tuesday!) and is eating and sleeping well. Although she could be sleeping more. She's 5 weeks old and I am eagerly anticipating moving her to sleep in her own bed. And I am also awaiting the day when she sleeps more than 4.5 hours at a time in the night. Kitten was sleeping 6 hours at night by 2 months, if I remember correctly.

Because I don't yet have Meimei's insurance card, I can't pick up her medication unless I am inclined to pay $81 for it. And since I am not, she is just going to live with the acid until her card appears. But she seems not too terribly unhappy, or at least it's doable, so maybe we will skip the meds after all.

I made fantastic au jus sandwiches this evening from Rachael Ray's show.

I'm getting a bit more used to getting stuff done with one kid underfoot and one attached at the breast, and I actually got the bills paid today and some other stuff done online. And I got dinner cooked, but not a whole lot else done.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Taking back the Street

A revolution is desperately needed on the Street. I don't know yet who is strong enough to undertake the mission, but it has to be done. The Street has been corrupted and it's time to take it back.

Elmo must be stopped. An insidious force, he has injected himself, slowly but surely, into every aspect of Sesame Street until he now rules the show. He's Karl Rove, but on stage instead of behind the scenes. His little speech impediment is an act, people. Elmo's calculated this from the beginning. He's taken over the whole show and it's time to take it back.

And who will do it? Bert and Ernie, while not gay, are certainly too pussy (although I think Bert could snap and kill one of the children one day; he's entirely too frustrated). Big Bird? Hardly seen anymore, he's gone into hiding. Even the Grouch has gone soft, reading a bedtime story every day to Slimy, his worm. Sans trash can, I might add.

Grover is on permanent assignment, constantly traveling. Cookie Monster is still holding strong, he might be a candidate. The Count is clearly insane, always has been. Just try getting him out of his dungeon. Maybe Mr. Hooper can come back from the dead and kick some ass.

Elmo's reign of terror must be stopped. I'm sure kids think he's cute, but should we be playing down to them with the baby talk? What happened to speaking to children like adults so they learn how? I'm sure Elmo is a monetary juggernaut, but what happened to Sesame Street being an educational juggernaut?


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Testing, testing...

At 16 months, we have had to jumpstart the time out concept into our daily routine. Kitten is clearly pushing the limits to see what I will do about it. She's still mostly preverbal, so how do I know? When I tell her not to touch something, she looks at me and takes another swipe at it. She got timeout twice today.

Now, we can't just put her in a chair, she will get right up. She's a bit young (and willful) to get this concept. So I put her in the Pack 'N Play in Meimei's room. Two minutes. I know they're only supposed to get the same number of minutes as their age, but come on. One minute? Please. I can't even get out of the livingroom and back in that time. Kitten howled the entire time both times, so clearly she doesn't like it. And she started listening after that.

So how do I teach her the lessons? Well, we have long suspected Kitten understands much more than she can verbalize, so I have been talking to her for months as if she understands, on the off-chance she does. And something's getting through, because when I gave her warnings the rest of the day and said if she did it again she would go to timeout, she stopped whatever it was she wasn't supposed to do (playing with the trash can, smacking her sister, etc.).

I used to believe that if we could just make everything in the livingroom/dining room/kitchen babyproof we wouldn't have to worry about her. Today, I realized that it's the easy way out and that she will never learn to mind me in the outside world where things aren't all babyproofed and neat if I don't start having these battles at home. Especially when she starts walking. Lord help me.

And on an added note, Kitten tried to bite me today. She's never done that before, although I should have expected this kind of physical lashing-out. She can't yell at me, so what's really left to her? Anyway, she tried to bite me and I think I pulled the mom-voice, and possibly the mom-look. I was so shocked I said "Don't you dare" in my best Dirty Harry impression, and she was so shocked, she didn't dare. So, crisis averted. But my kid, a biter? Hmmm. Must be Pant's genes.

And there will be no comments from the peanut gallery on my childhood biting habits. I never have and I never will. I will deny all other versions and forward any comments that contradict my story to my therapist and a man trained in "shutting people up but good."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Planet of the cranky

It appears that, once again, mental disease notwithstanding, I am the only sane person in this household. Kitten is teething something fierce and was a bundle of trouble today, causing Pants to go rabid insane. And Meimei just wants to be loved, but is craziness in her own way. Even the cat was nuts this morning, until I figured out she just wanted food.

Tomorrow is the first day all by myself with the Terror Twins. Officially, we will have all gone insane by 5:00 and if you don't hear about the murder-suicide on the evening news, we will all be checked in to the psych ward. See you there!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just can't catch a break

So now Meimei and I have caught Kitten's cold. Damn.

And although Meimei dropped the motherlode Monday night, I am afraid she is constipated again, as she has had terrible gas all day, causing crying fits about every 5-10 minutes all day. Kitten's issue appears to have cleared, but mine is still ongoing.

So I got nothing on my list yesterday done, although I did get myself and meimei to our respective doctors, which did have to be done. And today? Nothing but sitting and holding a crying baby. Who has now finally chosen to sleep.

Did I mention she is a stomach sleeper? Which of course is verboten in this day and age of SIDS. Thankfully, she will sleep with one of us in whatever position we put her in. She only apparently needs to nap on her stomach, at which time I can watch her while still getting stuff done. And she's super strong, so hopefully she'll turn over quickly and I won't have to worry about her sleeping on her stomach anymore.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hanging out

Me and meimei here, just hanging out. Went to the doctor today and got the rest of the tape taken off. Not even a lot of adhesive leftover, they came off pretty clean. He said I was healing pretty well (actually, he said I was a "good healer") and that I could do whatever I want in 5 more days. But he made sure to tell me that my body would let me know if I was pushing it too far and to remember that I had been stabbed 4 times and was still healing, although I would be off official restrictions. Comforting.

Meimei is nursing well and has not had formula since yesterday morning, which was only because I was sleeping. So I think we're back on track. And she pooped today and got a bath, so no more stinky baby.

My projects for the day were to go to the doctor (which I almost didn't do because I woke up late and nearly missed my appointment), give Meimei a bath, and move Kitten's clothes to her dresser, which is currently half done.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I plan to unpack at least one box from the basement and work on Meimei's announcements, which of course, never were finished while I was home for a month before she was born. Sad. And hence, the list, ala Ms. Huis, for accountability this week.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Random Thoughts

God bless the infant swing. Meimei definitely has acid reflux and I will get her into the clinic this week, but until then, she doesn't want to be put down. Which makes it harder to get stuff done, like showering and going to the bathroom.

Not that the swings helps with the bathroom, however, as we are all constipated. Meimei, Kitten, and me, all having issues with the poop. Meimei is actually starting to just smell like poo all the time, it's been so long. I keep changing her, thinking she's finally gone, but it's exuding from her pores. Which makes me wonder if I smell. You'd tell me, wouldn't you?

Special thanks this weekend to:
My dad and stepmom for taking Kitten Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. Oh my gosh, we got laundry done and the kitchen clean!!
Pusher for the fantastic food. We have eaten all the steak thingies already, and Pants says if he is ever shopping for a new wife, you are so on the list. (I'm being thrown over for steak wrapped with spinach and bacon. Probably a pretty good deal.)
MIL for painting in Kitten's room. It's actually almost done in there now, minus some putzing with her closets and some cute decorating. It looks like a girl room! (but not too girly, thank you very much)
Pants for his continued work with Kitten and for the boost on the laundry while Meimei was nearly constantly attached to my boob this weekend, as well as the righteous sleep this morning, sans Meimei.
SIL for coming over and holding Meimei this afternoon for hours. Not a hard job, but I was getting rather weary of sitting around and I haven't ventured to put her in the carrier yet since my surgery, as I already get little knees in the incisions at night. No telling what might happen if she's strapped to me.

So anyone who wants to come over and hold one small, mildly stinky baby is welcome, as I would like to clean my bathroom.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Look at my terrorists! Look!

Pay no attention to the quagmire behind the curtain. Instead, just to remind you of why we entered a war with no clear strategy, I have something to show you. Look closely.

Here are 14 guys who should scare the hell out of you. I've had them out in the woodshed, prodding them with farm implements for my own pleasure, but I decided to trot them out an show everyone. You were asking some awfully sticky questions about that woodshed, so let's forget about that part - aren't you scared?

Now, I know these guys have nothing to do with the previously mentioned quagmire, but look! Ooooh, scary. See? We have to be at war! I am justified!


Random Thoughts

I will be picking lint-covered adhesive off my skin for the next month. Two sets of EKG patches, three IVs (long story), a giant pressure bandage on my abdomen, tape marks from blood draws, and soon-to-be three smaller patches on my abdomen, once those get removed. I finally got my arm cleaned off today from the IVs. I think there is still a patch on my back from the (failed) epidural.

Meimei would be perfectly happy if she could crawl up and adhere herself to my neck. As long as food came out of it occasionally.

Kitten is now officially stringing two word combinations together. Mama bye and Daddy here. And good god is that kid smart. She was so excited today when she was sifting through the Tupperware cabinet, found a large cup and figured out how the lid went on and that it went to that particular cup.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The blossoming of Pants into a full-fledged involved dad in the last two months is amazing. I know I have complained in the past about his not helping out, his not knowing what to do with Kitten, his need to escape and have his own time. Who knew all I had to do was have a baby and surgery for him to step up his game.

Pants is Kitten's main care-giver these days. He gets her up in the morning, gets her dressed, off to daycare, picks her up, gets her fed, plays with her, cuddles her, hugs her. She laughs maniacally when she is playing with him. She calls his name all the time (although she does now differentiate and says mama too).

I find it easier to be sarcastic than sincere. This post is harder to put together than it should have been. The way Pants has stepped in with Kitten while I have been out of commission is truly amazing and I have a hard time making it not sound like a movie of the week.

And FH? It stands for Fabulous Husband. And only occasionally for fucker head.


So here's the fallout from my misadventure this weekend:

MIL is completely burnt out on our kids. She keeps soldiering on, and she spent almost all weekend with one or both, but the poor woman needs a break.

Meimei had to stop nursing because they put me on Cipro, an antibiotic for the UTI I went in with and didn't know about. I pumped in the hospital, but now we have to try to get her back onto nursing. Today's the day.

Meimei took really well to formula and the bottle. She was a trooper and I don't know if she will go back on the breast, or if my milk supply was kept up enough to feed her.

Kitten has gotten rather blase about me, which sucks. She doesn't ask to be picked up by me anymore, not that I can anyway, and it's probably for the best that she doesn't ask then, but it makes me sad. When I came home, she was standing by the couch and turned to walk to SIL and let go of the couch for a second or two and actually took a step. I looked in amazement and everyone looked at me as if this were normal. And by that time, it was. Boo.

And Meimei has been constipated for days because of the formula and now is not and has poo coming out her ears.

Okay, I've put off the nursing long enough. I guess I have to try it. I'm just so angst-y over this, but I just have to get over it and do it already.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I knew it would all be different

I was pouring myself a cup of coffee when everything changed. I always wondered if people recognized life-changing events as they happened, or if they only knew in retrospect that that was the moment everything changed. But I knew as soon as I heard the woman screaming and I turned back around to the TV, coffee pot and half-full cup, one in each hand, that it was all different now.

Oh, there was some denial afterward, maybe this wasn't what everyone thought, but only until the third crash. When the Pentagon was hit, that clinched it. I had immediately grasped what would become clear, then get lost, and slowly, slowly become clear again.

We lost our innocence that day. We would never again think we were safe from things we only heard about on TV, safe because we were born in the good old U. S. of A. Suicide bombs happened in other places. Even our own previous brushes with terrorism - Oklahoma City, the Unabomber - never brought it home to us like this did.

Why not? Why did we never think this could happen here when it happens everywhere else? When I was in London in 95 there were two or three times that train stations were closed because of bomb threats, etc. It's not like I had never encountered terrorism before. Why did we never think it would happen here?

Some random events from that day in my life:
Mom worked at the NRC and I didn't know if her building was downtown or not. I had to wonder for quite a while if she was in downtown DC, which they were evacuating.

My stepdad finally called home, confirmed that mom did not work downtown, that he could not get ahold of her, that he expected she would not be home, and that he had dialed, from a land line, the home number twice and reached a satellite tracking center that was quite concerned that he kept calling. This is how screwed up the phone routing was on the east coast.

Mom finally called and said she wasn't coming home and that we weren't supposed to go into town. Um, duh, thanks mom. We'll try to avoid the city with the giant target on it. Not to mention we didn't have a car and the subways had stopped running.

I was told no less than 8 times over the next three days by Northwest that, yes ma'am, we fully expect that flight to go up. It wasn't their fault, they did the best they could, it was just so unprecedented. We finally got home on Friday after driving to Philadelphia to catch a plane out of there.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Never a dull moment

So, I had surgery yesterday.

Let's start at the beginning. While pregnant with Kitten, I had a couple of "attacks", which got much worse and more frequent after she was born. So naturally, I went to the doctor. She put me on Prilosec and sent me for an ultrasound, which did not show any gall stones or inflammation. So they said that sometimes heartburn presents as a gall bladder attack, and after the Prilosec, I didn't have any more attacks, so I thought I was cured.

Then a week or two before Meimei was born, I had another one. Now, I maybe hadn't been as diligent about taking my pills as I should have been, so I chalked it up to my own carelessness. Then I had one about a week after Meimei was born, still the same stuff, no worse, no better, but I had been taking my pills. Hmmm. Odd.

Then, Thursday night. Ow. I don't know if you have ever had a gall bladder attack, but dang. Not as painful as Meimei's birth (Kashka, you can tell your dad that when you hit a ten on the pain scale, you will actually not be able to form a sentence, just random swears and atheistic howls to Christ). So if that was a 10, this was probably an 8. I could answer questions with words if required, so that's now my new judge of the pain scale. It started at 9 Thursday night, slowed down at midnight, but picked up speed again at 1:30 Friday morning. It started getting really bad around 4 a.m. when I couldn't stop throwing up. And there was nothing left to throw up anymore. The kids were asleep, Ryan was finally getting some sleep (Kitten was ill and had been up half the night too), so I called my mom to take me to the ER. I figured they would just give me something and send me home.

The ER was typical - slow-moving. Once they got me in, the doc saw me and then I finally got some morphine. And some Zofran to stop the vomiting, which didn't really stop, but it took the edge off it for about a half hour each time. But the morphine was good. And they did x-rays and an ultrasound and then they admitted me to the hospital. I think they might have explained why, but I was on morphine. Why do they even bother talking to people on morphine?

I think when they moved me upstairs, the stone finally passed, because I wanted to vomit until then and didn't afterward. So then my surgery became "elective" because I was no longer in horrific pain, meaning I had to wait until all other surgeries were done before I could get in. I finally saw the surgeon at 9 Friday night and he said I would inevitably have another attack and that my gall bladder was inflamed, so I could have it out this weekend or I could come back in a week and do it. Better not to think too much, so I said now and they scheduled me in.

So I had surgery yesterday and had my gall bladder out. I'm home today and I'm a bit sore, but mostly ok.

Monday, September 04, 2006

You will never grow old, you will never die. But you must feed...

So the nursing seems to be going well. Except that Meimei keeps pushing off. She pushes off two or three times before she settles in to eat. What's up with that? I can't seem to find an answer anywhere. And any other advice would be appreciated, from the pros in the audience (or from the non-milkers, if you would like to weigh in anyway). I have compiled a list of my issues for consideration:

The website said I should be feeding for half an hour at a time. I don't time it, I don't wear a watch or have immediate access to a clock from the couch, but I don't think I'm ever hitting that. Should I be timing it? Should I care, if the kid seems satisfied? Should I worry that sometimes I'm under, sometimes I'm over?

They said it was okay to feed on just one side at a time, as long as I start on the other side the next time. Will that affect my milk supply if that's happening now?

When is my milk supply fully established so I can stop worrying about it?

Will pizza and burgers really upset Meimei's stomach if I eat them? Or is she just gassy and fussy periodically because of the acid reflux, or because she is a baby and that's what they do?

And on a completely rhetorical note, why can't I get the kid to burp when she will burp if anyone else even picks her up?

And just for the record, I am not actually making a comparison between my beautiful new daughter and vampires.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Every time...

Why is it that everytime I fire up the computer, Meimei wakes up and needs to eat?

Kitten's huge vocabulary is slowly converting into English and we're starting to understand her. Sometimes we're not sure if we're making it up, or if she's actually saying what it sounds like she's saying. The other day, she made a grab at Meimei's nukkie, but stopped in midair, looked at me, said "no, no" and then added, "not mine, not mine." Hmmm. Now, I've been telling her the green one is "not yours," but is she advanced enough to convert "yours" into "mine"? Pants doesn't think so and doubts this is what she actually said. But I know what I heard.

I think Meimei has acid reflux too, and we are not waiting 8 weeks to medicate her this time. We waited too long with Kitten at the expense of sleep for 2 months (hers and mine).