Thursday, 7 December 2017

Kate 2.375

At the time I sat down to start composing, I had just completed five full days of solo parenting. As in Husband left at the ass crack of dawn on Wednesday morning and didn't get back until the wee hours of Monday morning. Five Full Days. Actually, it wasn't too bad, but it is exhausting and wears on my patience. As Husband always points out, she's in Day Care for three days, so I'm really just on my own for the weekend. In some ways it is a bit easier. I don't have to worry about what he wants for dinner or have to work around his schedule, I just have to sort out myself and Kate. The trouble is that it's not just taking care of Kate on my own, it's taking care of a kid who is missing her father. As the days pass, she gets clingier and grumpier, any my patience wears thin.

On the fifth day, we went to Tar.get as I needed to get some new pants for Kate. I decided to have her try them on in the store so I could buy multiple pairs of any pants that fit. [Face palm.] Never have your toddler try clothes on in a store. No matter how long or slow the queue is at Customer Service to do a return, it is much easier than trying to have your kid try clothes on in the store. Kate was insisting that the pants were "too big" before she even tried them and she was resisting with all her might. When she really doesn't want to cooperate with getting dressed, she'll make her legs weak so that she can't stand up. It's probably one of the things she does that pisses me off the most. I yelled at her. In Target. Many people heard me. Not my finest parenting moment.

As we were leaving Tar.get, they were cleaning the woman's restroom and there were at least three people waiting for the family restroom. She had recently peed, so I was hoping she would make it until our next stop. Nope. While I was opening the boot of our car, I heard the sound of water splashing on the concrete floor of the parking garage. I looked over and saw that she had peed whilst sitting in the cart. Fortunately, this was the one day that I had forgotten to bring cloth bags and I had to pay 10 cents each for plastic ones from the last store in California that still distrubutes plastic bags. I had to empty everything out of the bags into the car and then change her out of her wet clothes. Once I got her buckled into her car seat, I tossed the bags into a garbage bin and pushed the cart toward the back corner of the parking garage where I turned it upside down, so no unsuspecting Tar.get customer would accidently start pushing around pee soaked cart. Then I went back into my car and cried.

I don't think I've cried since Kate was two weeks old when I was super hormonal and we thought she had colic. I felt I was being pushed to my limits and it had only been five days. I've said it so many times; I don't know how single parents manage, or even parents with more than one kid. I felt so relieved when Husband returned on Monday morning and could help her get ready for school and I could just enjoy some time to myself while I was drying my hair. Later that day, Husband learned that he was selected to umpire in the NCAA tournament and would be gone another three days...

Nicknames; Katie-Kate
Weight: 34 lbs
Height: Not Sure

Her activity bag! When we flew back east, I decided to take advantage of the fact that she was a seated passanger and would be allowed a carry-on item and I loaded her lion back pack with coloring books, stickers, silly putty, small puzzles, a few craft projects I scored from the clearance table at Jo.ann fabrics. It was enough fun to keep her entertained an occupied during the flight that I decided to keep it stocked for when we go out to restaurants

The Golden State Warriors. This girl loves her Dubs. Not only can she cheer at appropriate times, but when we start to watch a game on TV, she realises that she needs her Warriors shirt. It's hard explaining to a 2.375 year old that things we do during the playoffs (watch every game, dress in the team clothes) we don't need to do during the regular season. I've started carrying a GSW shirt in her diaper bag, so if we encouter a game, we can get her into her team wear.

Oh she also likes her Active wear... because I started singing the Active Wear  song.

She also likes her winter boots, as I played 'The Boots are Made for Walking' to add to the list of inappropriate songs I've shared with her.

The girl who was content to waste water all day has now soured on showers. In fairness, it has gotten cooler and she doesn't like getting out of the shower and feeling cold. I get that. Unfortunately, she still refuses to take baths. When she was over bath crayons and paint, we had to take the bribery up one notch. One of Husband's umpire friends has a ritual of taking a beer with him to his post game shower. Depending on how the game went, how much the coaches/players/fans yelled at him determines if it will be a 'one beer shower' a 'two beer shower' or the rare 'three beer shower' So for her, it's one milk shower and sometimes a milk and Annie's fruit snack shower.

She also dislikes getting her hair combed post shower. She may inherit my thick but fine hair, which is prone to tangles. I had to switch her from Baby.ganics to a combo shampoo and conditioner and
start using a spray-on detangler. I have to admit Husband is much better at getting her hair combed than me. I mentioned this to my friend Amy and she reported that she thought her husband was better than her with their daughter's hair, until she discovered that he was only combing the superficial surface and leaving tons of snarles underneath.

She dropped her first F-bomb. On Tuesday mornings, I try to leave early enough to allow for traffic when we go to gymnastics. This particular morning, we were already 7 minutes passed my desired departure time. I loaded her jogging stroller and my swim gear into the boot of my Jetta and tossed my purse and her diaper bag in the front seat. Then I opened up the rear door and discovered that Husband had taken the car seat out as it needed to be cleaned. Oh fuck, I quietly thought to myself, but I remained calm. At this point I had resigend to the fact that we were going to be late and a few more minutes to transfer stuff into the Honda wouldn't matter. Kate disagreed. "Oh, for Fuck's Sake!" she exclaimed. I was feeling both horrified and proud that she at least used the word properly.

F-words aside, she is rapidly developing her vocabulary. I'm often surprised at what comes out of her mouth as she spouts off words and terms we haven't used with her before. (Totally guilty on the F-word, especially during my solo parenting stint, but I did point out to Husband, that OFFS is an English expression, so she must have picked it up from him) Maybe once or twice a day we'll have to ask her to repeat herself of speak slowly, but for the most part, her speech is really clear and she using tenses, possessive pronouns approrpiately and conjugating verbs correctly. We were really concerned about speech development as my cousin has two kids with severe langugage delays and our pediatrician warned that since she was ahead with physical development, she could lag with language. My older cousin, who is a Speech Language Pathologist, visited recently and commented that she was impressed with her 'linked word utterance'. Linked word utterance is a fancy and cool SLP term that means abilitly to string words together. Somehow they mostly seem to be in the form of various commands, "Mommy, turn the light on in my room, please!" "Thank you"

She has developed a cute little routine of saying good-bye when we leave our house. As I'm backing out of our driveway, she'll shout out "Bye House!" "Bye Daddy!" "Bye Kitties!" "See you Soon!" This has lead to saying good bye to everything all the time "Bye Farmer's Market!" "Bye Gym!" "Bye Costco!" "Bye Pool!" "Bye Transfer Station, See you soon!"

I think I read on another blog that she should be able to play by herself for 20 minutes at this age. She can do so, but it's so unpredictable. One Saturday, we can back from the gym to get cleaned up before going grocery shopping. I was ready to leave, but she ended up spending an hour playing by herself in the room. Since I didn't have anything else to do, I let her carry on playing while I did some random chores around the house. She also seems to be taking her pretend play to the next level by assigning actions to her toys "Mommy! Kitty hit Baby!" "Puppy Dog is not listening to me!" Oh really, I can't imagine how frustrating that must be..

We may be hitting another milestone if we decide to take the plunge and turn her car seat to front facing. We recenly took it out to have my car washed, so it would be an opportune time. Her legs are getting pretty scrunched and there are other kids in her class who weigh a lot less than her who are turned around, but still... I'm hesitating... recommendations say to keep them rear facing as long as possible. 'As long as possible' can you be any more vague? Admittedly, I have a secondary motive for wanting to turn her around. Whenever I am stopped for a stop sign, a red light, traffic, Kate commands "Mommy Drive!" "DRIVE MOMMY!!!" I would like to be able to explain to her why Mommy can't drive right now...

Potty Training:
My cousin and her new Husband (who has a 10 year old daughter) came to visit when we were one month into potty training. I quipped that the potty training learning curve is not linear and he described that it's more like a sin wave that trends in an upward direction. I've found that to be a very accurate description as we seem to be in a cycle of two steps forward, one step backward. Overall, I feel like we've made great progress since my last post. Here are some of her PRs:

Using the travel potty on the airplane! I had very low expectations when we flew to the east coast. I put her in a pull-up as I didn't want to be dealing with changing wet clothes whilst traveling by myself. We used the bathroom twice before boarding and her pull-up was still dry. I brought her to the bathroom on the plane and she was scared of the airplane toilet. I get that. I know some adults who still fear they'll be sucked in and spewed into the sky. When we got back to our seats, she told me that she needed to pee-pee, so I pulled out the Portette used it right in the seat. It worked really well as the guy sitting in the aisle seat was rather large and slept the whole flight.

She started waking up to pee at night. While we were in Rhode Island, she twice woke up my Dad to go potty and her diaper was relatively dry in the morning! When we got home, as she was waking so frequently during the night, I decided to try to have her go to the bathroom. We had some success, but one night she was still really sleepy when I put her on the toilet that she nearly fell off and almost face planted into the cat box. We've held off on night time training for a while, which has also coincided with a recent stretch of sleeping through the night.

While at home, she is very independent and insists on going herself and is using the big toilet. She moves her step stool from the toilet to the sink to wash her hands. She even used the bathroom all by herself while we were in a restaurant that we frequent.

She told me "I no need it" when I tried to put on a pull-up just before gymnastics class. She has stayed dry during three classes in a row.

As I was composing this post, I was planning to write that she is almost fully poop trained as she had not had an accident since August. I was questioning of writing such a declaration would bring about a jinx, but I was so confident that she had been doing so well that typing and posting such words would not have any impact. Wrong. She had her first poop accident since August that night. Note: do not even think about writting about any potty training success without risking a jinx. Sigh. Our days Without a Poop Accident counts goes back to zero.

We moved from being proactive in buying 3T clothes to being reactive. She is genuinely a 3T, especially for pants. Part of my meltdown in the Tar.get parking lot was over the challenge of buying her pants. If she is wearing a diaper, her pants barely fit over it, so she looks like a teenage boy with his underwear hanging out. Even if she is wearing undies, she still has a plumber's crack showing. My baby is not even three years old as she has a big booty. No matter what I do with trying to make her eat healthy and introducing exercise, she has my genetics. She's stuck with junk in her trunk. BTW, why do all girls' pants have such tapered tight ankles that get caught on their heels and are a major pain in the ass to take on and off?

Ugh. There is a reason why I saved this one to the end. We're pretty much at the same place we were at my last update. In fact, I probably could have done a copy and paste. We're still staying in her room until she falls asleep and she's waking up anywhere from 0-3 times per night. Actually, we enjoyed a five night stretch of her sleeping through the night, but she has woken up at least once over the past two nights. The goals for 2018 are going to include getting a twin bed for her and getting her to go to sleep on her own and stay in her bed. The only new highlight is that Tyler is joining us for her stories. It's really cute, as soon as we get settled in to read some books, he comes running into her room and sits down next to us. One night, he hadn't entered the room yet, so Kate called out to him "Lylah! You're missing stories!"

Looking Forward to:
My parents are coming in two weeks, so I'm looking forward to another family Christmas together. We're keeping presents really simple for Kate as it doesn't really seem like she needs anything right now and I'm still so pleased with how she can entertain herself just with her stuffed animals and blankets. We're also getting ready for our back yard project in the New Year. Husband decided to replace some of our siding and replace our front door as part of this project. We've been doing a little bit each weekend to clear out old shrubs. Kate has been pretty good about playing outside while we work.

Overall, it feels like a very depressing time in our country and in the world right now, so I hope things can only get better in 2018.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

A Year in the Life... A Year Later...

Gilmore Girls was, and probably always will be one of my favourite TV series. In addition to the fast paced whitty reparte and plethora of pop cultural references, I loved the series because Stars Hallow was based on my hometown in Connecticut. Especially as I was living out of state for the first two seasons, I could be transported back home once a week. No, we didn't have town meetings, but our selectman was a bit like Taylor. I thought the series wrapped up at just the right time. It struggled a bit when Rory went to Yale and I'm not sure it was prepared to handle her post graduate life. It's always better to leave your audience wanting more. Except maybe when you give them more and it's not quite what they expected.

I was so excited about the GG Revival last year, and it was perfect that it debuted on Black Friday, also know as my Stay-At-Home-All-Day Day. I watched the six hour segment at least twice that day. I had the same question a lot of people asked that day; 'when did Rory become such a whiny entitled little bitch?' Until I re-watched that series and discovered Rory had always been that way. The revival really made me change the way I viewed the series. I was not alone in this observation, as I spent a lot of time reading on-line reviews from TV critics (this was before my 2017 goal to spend less time looking at crap online) other expressed similiar sentiments; 'why did I even like this show?'                                                                                                  
Yet because I cannot help myself, I recently re-re-watched the revival and decided to compose my own list of comments and observations. As you can see, the whole goal of not wasting time on senseless crap is not really happening...

Rory does look impossibly fresh to have just flown in from London. I know this from experience. To arrive in Connecticut midday, she would have needed to wake up at the ass crack of dawn, if not earlier, schlep accross London (oh wait, I forgot Logan sent the car to take her to the airport) go through check in, security and then travel seven hours trapped in a tin can surrounded by people with consumption, diphtheria, scabies, hummus dip and rabid dogs. Once she lands, if she flew into JFK, she could take the train to Connecticut, which involves at least 5 transfers and while dragging your luggage, is really not fun. Taking a taxi or an Ooo-ber would probably cost the same amount as her flight, which we're really not sure how she can afford, seeing that she has no steady income and is presumably living off a trust fund that her grandfather or her noveau rich father set her up. She could have flown into Bradley International Airport, but would have needed a connecting flight, thus adding more time and wear to her journey, unless we assume in magical TVworld there are direct flights from LHR to BDI. Afterall, Stars Hollow is supposed to be 20 minutes from Hartford, but Bradley itself is not in Hartford. It's about tweny minutes from Hartford heading toward Springfield, Mass. The really burning question is: why didn't Rory's loving and devoted Mother pick her up from the airport?

Working Kirk into Friday Night Dinner was brilliant.

Lorelai re-used her daughter's analogy of loosing her virginity as a ship that had set sail.

Emily is right. At 32, Rory is too old to be couch surfing and 'crashing' here and there.

During the series, Gilmore Girls was criticised for it's lack of diversity (with the obvious exception of Michel) but I had to admit it was accurate. I grew up in the town that provided some of the inspiration for Stars Hollow. There were a total of three black kids in my school (and I'm talking Kindergarden to High School graduation and two of them were sisters) My mom had to ask me if I would feel comfortable going to see the new dentist who was black. It is however, painful to see how they treat the few black characters who show up in the Gilmore's world. In the series, we had Logan's driver, who Rory asked to move Lorelai's TV set upstairs. After his heartattack, Richard had a black nurse, who was berated by Emily as she expected the nurse to do the maid's work. Even the one black guy with some status (Logan's partner for their failed business) had disgusting eating habits. Apparently the trend continues in the revival as Paris humiliates and fires her black assistant. Sigh.

I'm not sure why Luke and Lorelai would need a surrogate to have a baby. Did she have a hysterectomy or an endometrial ablation since the series ended? We can all do the math to figure out that Lorelai is 48. Most REIs will recommend donor eggs after the age of 43. It was a missed opportunity to shed some light on donor eggs. Instead we were confused along with Luke on whether or nor Paris was running a fertility clinic or a brothel.

What was the point of the two second cameo of Lane's father [who I always presumed was dead]? Um, where was he when Lane got married? Had her twins? Renounced the Seventh Day Aventists and joined a band? Got drunk? Dyed her hair and dyed it back again? Yet he shows up for the Stars Hallow International Food Fesitval?

The Gay Pride Parade discussion was really awkward. Was Gypsy trying to out herself or Taylor? Also, as a former resident of Woodbury, Woodbury does not just lend out their gays...

Yes, of course the A-list stars want to stay in Woodbury.

It is clear Rory really thought Mitchell pulling some strings at GQ was going to set her up with a job, instead it seemed that they only spent time with her as a courtesy to him.

Not only did Rory miss the opportunity for her story about lines when she stumbled on a group who didn't know they were lined up behind some guys eating lunch while she was nodding off and sleeping with Wookiees; she missed the commonality (the word used by the publisher who pitched the idea to her) which her mother discovered by bonding with the kitchen staff to get the goods and learning that the person waiting in one line may hold the items desired by another. It shows how far she's fallen from Chilton Rory who wrote a great piece on the boring topic of repaving the parking lot.

I have to admit I was enjoying seeing Rory fail in a job interview that she thought she was beneath  her. Even more satisfying that she couldn't deliver a decent come back line. Also, her lucky dress was not that flattering.


Was anyone else disturbed by the way Lorelai and Rory were treating the two young boys holding the parasols?

Rory thumbs her nose at the offer to join the faculty at the prestigious Chilton, but is willing to become the unpaid editor of the Stars Hallow Gazette?

Um who is writing all the stories for the Stars Hallow Gazette? Elves? The portrayl of Ester filing the same piece of paper and Charlie falling asleep at his desk is a bit ageist

The Secret Bar is awesome.

Every time I've re-watched the revival, I fast foward through the Musical.

It was exceptionally tacky for Rory to write "Break up with P" right in front of Jess, but maybe I can understand a little given how hot he is now.

Sorry Jess, it's actually not that compelling of a story. Privledged girl gets pregnant as a teen, runs away from home and raises her daugher on her own until she needs to borrow money from her wealty parents to send her kid to a fancy-smancy private school where she ends up being a legacy admission at Yale* (which her father paid fully) and then does nothing with her life. But if you want to add in a bunch of colourful characters as townspeople and replay the tension between the grown single mother and her resentful parents; maybe she should pitch it to Doyle as a TV series...
*Albeit Rory was valedictorian and deserved to be admited to Yale on her own merits, she seemed to think that would set her up for her life. I don't think she was ever as driven or prepared for anything after her Ivy League admission.

Why is Lorelai still so sour on Jess? Does she not know that he was the one who got her to go back to Yale? That he ended up doing pretty well for not having a father and having a ditzy mother? More so, has she not see how hot he is?

Yeah Rory, I don't think you're going to be able to retire on the royalties from his book, so don't be too dismissive of grad school (nice to have that option) or groveling for jobs that you don't want (and didn't get)

Autumn (sigh, 'Fall')

The whole doing Wild thing was stupid.

I like how they wrote TJ and Liz into the story line, but didn't bring the irritating characters back. It is fitting that they would get kicked out of the vegtable cult.

I thought the scene with the Life and Death Brigade was a dream sequence. Really, did we need to be reminded of what privledged rich assholes they are?

It's a bit ridiculous that Logan still calls Rory 'Ace.' Also she never needed rescuing? Isn't that all he ever did for her?

I couldn't really beleive the story of 13 year Lorelai bonding with her Dad when he caught her ditching school, but I found it compelling when she recounted getting the call from her mother about her father's death and suddenly her phone went back to being a calculator again...

It was really satisfying to hear Emily Gilmore say "bullshit" Why did the writers wait until last episode to discover they could curse on Netflix?

I didn't pick up on Rory asking her Dad about Lorelai raising her alone the first time I watched the revival, but I did notice that she didn't take a sip of the large cup of coffee in her hands...

I also lived outside Scranton too. Dean is right, it is really boring, but I didn't become pregnant with four kids because there is this thing called birth control.

Emily lacing up her sneakers to volunteer at the Whaling Museum is a throw back to Emily in Wonderland from the first season.

"Mom, I'm Pregnant" In the fifth season, after Rory brings Logan to Friday Night Dinner, Emily asks Richard, "can't you imagine a baby with his blond hair and her blue eyes?" Yeah... I don't think this is how she imagined it...

Yet, despite all the flaws with the revival, they left me wanting more...

Friday, 20 October 2017

A Day in the Life Autumn 2017

These events occured on Friday 13 October 2017. 
It was an unusual day, so I thought it would make an intersting DITL post 

Jane 41 years
Husband 43 years
Kate 2.25 years
Tyler 4 years 

0105 I wake up to the sound of Kate's baby gate rattle and I can hear the white noise machine getting
louder. She's not making any noise...
0107 ... yet. "mommy!" "Mommy!!" "MOMMY!!!"
0108 I get up and open the gate and usher Kate to the bathroom and help her on to the potty. Surprisingly, the Pull Up is only minimally damp.
0110 She successfully pees in the potty. I wash her hands with a baby wipe and walk her back to her room.
0111 Lie down on the pull-out mattress in her room.
0115 She falls back to sleep quickly, I head back to my bed
~0120 drift off to sleep
0435 Kate wakes up again. I ask if she has to go potty and she starts to cry and sits down on her floor. I take her hand and lead her to her bed
0438 She falls asleep and so do I
0525 I'm woken up by Kate getting out of her bed and walking on to my mattress. "I have to go pee-pee" she announces.
0526 We walk into the bathroom, she sits on the potty, but doesn't produce.
0528 As we leave the bathroom, she points toward our room. I decided to let her go back to bed with us
0533 I think we are both fast asleep

0600 This is when I should be waking up and leaving for the pool. I've taken the day off from work as I have a three-day SCM swim meet. However the meet was cancelled due to the poor air quality due to the NorCal Wildfires. I don't feel right feeling disappointed in light of all the devastation caused by the fires; but our team was poised to win this meet! Something good that came out of the meet being cancelled was that the host team organized to let swimmers donate their meet fees to the Red Cross rather than receive a refund and they donated all the bottles of water, sandwiches and cookies that would have been fed to meet Volunteers and Officials to first responders.

0709 Husband wakes up in a panic thinking that I've overslept. I must have told him at least a dozen times that I was off today...
0710 I grab Kate's milk and let her drink it in our bed. I change into my gym clothes.
0715 I go back into the kitchen to make my protein shake, while Husband and Kate take a shower. Check the news for updates on the fires and enjoy a few minutes to myself.
0725 Husband is calling to me to bring him Kate's towel and robe. I meet them in the bathroom. Kate was playing with red soap/paint and the shower looks like a crime scene.
0730 I make Kate some toast and give her some yoghurt and raspberries
0735 Husband joins her in the kitchen. I go back to the bathroom and spray scrubbing bubbles spray in the shower as I'm afraid that the red paint may stain and our shower will forever look like the shower scene in Psycho.

0745 Bring Kate into her room to get her dressed. I had set out her activewear as she has soccer on Friday, but it was cancelled due to the air quality. Her Day Care is also having Fall-Fest today and costumes are encouraged. I'm planning to re-use her Olivia dress for Halloween, but I'm fearful about her being the only kid in a costume, so I opt to dress her in black pants and her Star Wars Storm Trooper T-shirt.

0747 Fridays are Share Days at her Day Care and as they're learning the alphabet, you have to bring in an item with the letter of the week. This week's letter is 'I'. I've been wracking my brain trying to find an 'I' item. I spot one of Kate's babies and decide she can bring in the doll, calling her an Infant. Of, course she wants to bring her two babies (Infants).

0750 I grab my protein shake, my travel mug of coffee, my purse, my gym bag, my lunch bag, Kate's lunch bag, and Kate's Day Care bag. As we walk toward the door, Kate requests for "Uppie". This is one of my biggest parenting pet-peeves. Every morning, when I'm carrying tons of stuff, she wants to be picked up.

0752 We make it into the car. I notice that she grabbed some address labels from Husband's desk (the free ones you get from the American Heart Association) and is placing them all over her car seat.
0755 Arrive at Day Care. As soon as we walk in she says "Hi Friends!" and walks toward her classmates without a glance in my direction.
0756 I decided to leave quickly and quietly while I can

0815 Arrive at the office. Groan. I hate having to work on my day off, but I've been so busy and I'm drowning in email messages and unfinished notes. Since I'm not officially on the clock, I decide to park in the designated patient parking area as it makes it easier to leave than my space in the multi-level garage.

0820 Heat up my breakfast and head to my desk.
0823 Check on news about the fires as I wait for my computer to start up

1035 I had planned on leaving about now as I wanted to attend the 11 AM Strength class as well as the 12 PM WOD, but I haven't completed as much work as I was hoping to, and I feel as if I'm in the zone, so I decided to stay a little longer.

1140 Now I decide to wrap things up. I've come to a good stopping point and I always give Husband a hard time when he works on his vacation days, as I make the arguement that working on a day off amounts to paying your employer to work. I kind of acknowledge that I could work all day and still not get caught up.

1145 As I'm leaving the office, I run into the President and CEO of our medical group as he still sees patients once every few months. I explain why I'm wearing my gym clothes in the office. Hey, maybe not a bad thing to have the President/CEO see you coming in to the office on your day off.

1147 I chat with him as we walk to the parking garage. He lives close to an area where they were mantatory evacuations due to the fire, so he and his family decided to leave anyway after loading up their car with valuable items. This fire is really hitting close to home. Another colleague in my group use to live in Santa Rosa and has several friends who have lost their homes. I also have a friend who lives in Sonoma who has been displaced all this week and doesn't know if her house survived.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1200 The WOD is total manageable. Working on bar muscle ups, strict pull-ups and thrusters
1250 Finished a little early, head over to outlet stores (which is right next to the gym) to pick up a gift for Co-worker's newborn baby girl.
1340 Arrive at home. Check into Facebook while eating lunch
1410 Work at raking up leaves and other dead stuff in the front garden. I manage to fill 4 Lawn and Leaf bags and throw some branches into our plastic green bin
1520 Check the time and decided to start putting away tools and get cleaned up for Kate's Day Care event.
1535 Wipe down the walls while I shower, the red soap/paint comes off the tile very easily, but I'm going to have to scrub the grout with a brush. Decide to pick up some other colour paint so our bathroom doesn't look like The Red Wedding from Game of Thrones every morning.

1545 As I'm not sure if other parents will be wearning costumes, I wear my shirt that reads "This is My Costume"
1602 Arrive at Day Care, technically two mintues late, but no one says anything. Kate's teacher tells me that she has been out of sorts today. I find her sitting in the corner pouting.
1608 Spending some time talking to Kate to find out why she is upset (not really giving any reasons) and manage to convince her to come out to see the activities
1610 We start at the sticker table. There are pieces of orange paper cut into pumpkins to decorate with stickers. Stickers are the remedy to bring Kate out of her funk
1620 As I'm getting bored with stickers, I move on to the next table, which is making a center piece. There are hollowed out pumpkins with a green piece of foam and lots of flowers and other decorations to use. I suddenly realise that I am the only adult working on her own pumpkin, so I invite Kate over to 'help me'.
1635 We move on to a station of hay bails, which Kate is presuming is for climbing. There is someone taking family photos with a modern version of a Polaroid camera.

1640 I run into two other mothers that I've become friendly with through out this year. We were discussing the emergency kits we recently had to prepare for the kids. I revealed that I thought about contacting them to consolidate the supplies, but figured they were probably already done and we're putting it off to the last minute as I did. Nope, they were procrastinators too and thought combining resources was a good idea.

1705 Head inside to check out the food. It's hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Ugh. Doesn't look too appetizing. Kate is fascinated with the self-pour spout on the lemonade container and has been filling up multiple glasses. She seems to be spilling more than she's drinking.

1720 While chatting with the other Moms, one reveals that she is pregnant. Just had her anatomy scan and learned she's having a girl. Congradulate her and make a note that I'll be able to pass on some of Kate's old clothes. The other Mom had shared with me that they had been trying and the now pregnant mom had asked about her fertility specalist (Other mom's first son was an IUI, then she had a sooner than expected spontaneous conception for her second). Can't help to wonder if this pregnancy was spontaneous or assisted, because that's just where my mind goes.

1745 Most other parents are getting ready to leave and staff are starting to clean up. I gather some plates and cups to help with this process and I encourage Kate to help clean up. She is doing her part to finish the mini-cupcakes by licking the frosting and throwing out the cake.

1755 Kate is not wanting to leave and I have to drag her away screaming. Unfortunately, we have a long walk through the parking lot to our car.
1805 We run over to Safe.way as I have a few items I need. I grab a cart just because it's easier to contain Kate.

1810 I left the cart too close to the individual squeeze packets of applesause. Kate has grabbed a box and put it in the car and is asking for a packet. On a few occasions I've let her open a box while we're still in the store. I try explaining to her that we don't need any more applesause as I picked up a big box of individual packets while I was at Costco. She starts crying. Some guy over hears our conversation and asks "Can you have too much applesause?" I send him a 'not helping' look, but he does make a good point. I decide to get some small tubs of applesause that she can eat at home and I won't have to deal with the issue of her eating packets at home when those are supposed to be for on-the-go.

1812 As we walk down to the end of the aisle, we pass the flower counter. The woman asks if Kate can have a b-a-l-l-o-o-n to cheer her up, unless she is behaving spoilt. I really appreciate that she asked this and decide Kate can have one as she came through very well on our applesause negotiation.

1820 The balloon's magic is very short lived, as Kate is becoming cranky again and is trying to climb out of the cart. I decided to bail on my shopping trip as no item on my list is so critical that we can't make it through the night. I do pick up a frozen pizza for our dinner. I know, not really much of a healthier upgrade from the hot dogs and macaroni that I turned my nose up at, but I really don't feel like trying to cook anything while she's acting this way. #lazyparenting

1823 Kate stays in the cart to help me unload on to the till, but then I take her out as she can now step from the cart onto the till. She wants to take her balloon with her. I try in vain to convince her to leave it attached (with a plastic clothes pin) to the cart.

1824 She has figured out how to un pin the balloon from the cart. I pin it to her shirt and using the terminology from her book, I explain that it is an 'Up' balloon and she needs to hold on to it. She takes the clothespin off, but the pin is heavy enough to prevent the balloon from going up.

1829 While I'm trying to bag my items and scan my clubcard, she's found something to stand on to allow her to reach the gum on display.
1830 I tell Kate she needs to step away and come to me by the count of three. Another woman in the queue informs me that she's actually standing in a stack of baskets and can't easily get out.
1831. The woman immediately behind me has wedged her cart in the aisle and as her face is buried in her phone, she doesn't hear me twice ask her to move. I move it myself so I can collect Kate and she gives me a dirty look.
1832 I'm running my card through the machine and keying the prompts to get cash back for the Farmer's Market. Kate tries to sneak back to the gum by crawling (thinking I can't see her if she's closer to the ground) I move my left foot to try to block her and I end of stepping on her fingers.
1833 She's all-out bawling. I'm holding her, signing for my cash back and trying to finish packing while everyone is looking at me.
1837 Make it to the car. Kate has calmed down quite a bit, but she requests that I apologize to her fingers. Cue #momguilt. I let her hold the bottle of Coke.Zero that I picked up to prevent swelling on her fingers.
1840 Buckle up Kate, pack up the groceries into boot of the car, buckle my seatbelt and Kate realises... "MY BALLOON!!!"
1841 Oh fuck. I forgot about the balloon.
1842 I start up the car. I'm not going to be the mom who goes back into the store for the balloon. Tonight's life lesson is why we hold on to balloons.
1845 She's really upset about the balloon. "MY BALLOON!" she cries over and over again. I now agree with Amber and I officially hate balloons now.
1847 The crying over the balloon has now morphed into crying for Daddy. This is another parenting pet-peeve. Husband has been AWOL so much lately due to work and hockey matches and I've been doing so much double duty and yet that's who she wants.
1848 My annoyance and frustration has just turned into understanding and some perspective on why she's been out of sorts.

1852 Arrive at home. Change Kate out of her Day Care pull-up, which is on the verge of leaking right now. Figure she's cranky as she is probably hungry. Set her up in the kitchen with a snack and some milk and turn on ABBA Pandora.

1855 She's calm enough to let me put the groceries away, unpack her lunch bag and finish up the breakfast dishes, plus feed the cats.
1857 Now she's insisting that I sit down next to her. Sitting down seems like a good idea. She crawls into my lap.
1903 I hear the garage door open. Husband is home way earlier than expected
1905 Kate jumps off my lap and has a warm reunion with her father.
1908 After a few minutes of cuddling, he goes off to take a shower and get dressing, leaving her upset again.
1911 Kate announces that she has to go potty, I try to follow her, but I am sharply told "NO, I DO IT MYSELF!!"
1915 I hang outside the bathroom, but she manages to use her stepstool to get on the big potty and then moves it to the sink to wash her hands after she's done.
1917 The oven beeps indicating that the frozen pizza is ready. I try to get up and Kate starts crying. It's hard to fathom how she can go from being so independent to being so clingy.

1922 Husband joins us and starts discussing his counsultation with a representative to re-do our siding and windows. This has been something he's wanted to do for a long time and figures it's a good time while our deck is ripped apart, although it will nearly double the cost of renovating our back yard. He thinks we can get an extended line of credit to fund the project.

1935 As I wasn't expecting Husband for dinner, there is not enough for him. He heads out to pick up a pizza for himself (and probably some beers) Kate is happily eating her pizza and doesn't fuss too much when he leaves.

1940 I turn on HBO to confim what time the second showing of Real Time with Bill Maher will be on. They're playing last week's episode, so there must not be a new episode on this week. I leave it on as I feel asleep around this point in the show last week and it wasn't loaded on to HBO GO. Russell Brand is a guest speaking rather prolifically about his book on addiction. I can't tell if he really knows what he is talking about, or is full of shit, or maybe a little bit of both.

1950 Listen to Bill Maher's monologue during his New Rules segment. He is discussing a piece of legislation proposed by Connecticut Senator Richard Bumenthal (I met him on a few occasions when he was Attorney General in Connecticut, and seemed like a good public servent) that would require cars to be manufactured with a device that would alert drivers if they leave their kids in the back seat of the car. Bill's initial objection is the cost of such devices would be passed on to non-parent drivers and it seems that the less costly option is "not to be a dumb-ass and check for your kids with your eyes." Pre-Kate, I definately would have agreed with this, but I learned first hand it can happen easier than you would think.  About a year ago, I was driving to work and I heard Kate babbling in the back seat of the car. I was on auto-pilot and turned right out of our street to go to work instead of turning left to go to Day Care. I didn't get that far, but I shutter to think what may have happened if she had fallen asleep and I hadn't heard her (fortunately it was not a hot day, but I know that's not the point). At the same time, I don't know how effective a monitor on the dashboard would be as you have to get out of the car first before getting your kids out and I think a lot of cases involve parents knowingly leaving their kids in the car. I also can agree with Bill's point that issues of over-regulation that become losers for the Democrats.

2000 Throw the dishes in the sink to deal with later and fix two cups of milk for Kate. One for night, and another for morning.
2003 Instruct Kate to put her pee-pee in the potty. She delays a bit, but does eventually.
2008 Encourage Kate to climb up on her changing table to put on her night time pull-up and change into her Pig Pijamas.
2010 Sit down on her bed with a handful of books. Tyler walks in and joins us on the bed
2025 She's finished her milk, I curtail her reading session by stashing some unread books behind my back.
2030 Husband comes home while she is brushing her teeth and brings her to bed and says good night
2032 I lie down on the mattress next to her bed. Kate is asking that I hold her hand

2035 Tyler walks in the room and lies on my abdomen. As much as I really wish that Kate would put herself to bed, and I wouldn't have to do this...I do enjoy it. After running around non-stop all day, this is the first time I get to take a break and rest. Plus, I appreciate the one-on-one time with Tyler.

2045 She sounds like she is sleeping, so I scoop up Tyler and join Husband while he's eating his dinner.
2050 He's going on and on about the siding and windows. I'm way too tired for this conversation so I feign interest as he's talking.
2105 Husband offers to do my dinner dishes if I clean the cat box. Deal.
2115 Brush teeth and get changed into my bed clothes
2125 Hop into bed. Use the Cozi app to work on the grocery list as I plan out meals for next week
2130 Flip though my copy of Michelle Tam's new Paleo cookbook Ready to Not to get inspired.
2132 Tyler jumps up on the bed and is rubbing his head on the edges of the book.
2130 Wow. Hot Friday night. Frozen pizza, putting a toddler to bed, now in bed with my Husband and cat reading cookbooks.
2131 Nowhere else I'd rather be.

Steps: unknown as my fitbit didn't change over night :(
Also I have no idea why this published with a big space in the middle

Monday, 9 October 2017

2.25 Years

Last update, I decribed how I was surprised to find myself feeling lonely on an overnight trip when I had some rare time alone. Once again, motherhood has caught my emotions off-guard. Husband and I have become a little concerned with Kate's ABBA obsession on Pandora. Seriously; she can tell the difference between the original ABBA and the musical/movie soundtracks or another band covering ABBA. While I've been trying to convince her that life can be better than an ABBA song; better than Dancing Queen. Husband introduced her to the Disney station on Pandora. For right now, it's as close as she's come to seeing some of these classic movies or cartoons. It holds her interest for maybe all of five minutes. Any-hoo, we were listening to Disney songs one night and "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid was playing. At first, I was surprised that after almost 30 years, I still know just about every line to that song. Then, I was even more surprised to find that I was crying over that song.

Not just a little crying, like you do over a Hall.mark commercial. This was an all-out bawling my eyes out approaching an ugly cry. Kate had to actually ask "What's wrong, Mommy?" "Mommy, you okay?" I know I don't ovulate with my Nex.planon, so I couldn't blame it on any endogenous progesterone production of PMS, but my ovaries can still produce estrogen, so maybe I just had a little blip of estradiol released. Nope. One week later, we were listening to the Disney station once again and the waterworks were in full force. Seriously? What is happening? What is it about this song that is triggering such raw emotions? After all, what message is it sending our impressionable daughters? Ariel's original intention to go to the surface was to learn. Important lessons; like what is a fire and why does it burn? Then she meets a guy and is distracted from her goals. Girlfriend, you're going to be learning about a whole new kind of burning. It's called Herpes. Okay. Phew. Skeptical, cynical Jane is back.

Diapering/Potty training
Heading into the 3 day Labour Day weekend marks three months since I took a week off to introduce potty training. Am I where I want us to be at this point in time? Oh shit, that sounds like an interview question. I'd answer with yes and no. She really has it while were at home and we've had some totally dry days. Days when I'm changing her for bed and I'm removing the exact same clothes I put on in the morning. Does that seem as exciting as it sounds? It really is. Often, she'll make it to the potty and will put most of the pee in the potty, but she pees a little bit while she's en route and the undies and sometimes pants are wet enough that they need to be replaced. We'll go back to naked training and she'll get it again... for a while, then she's partially wetting again. She had a few more accidents at home while my parents were visiting, which I'll attribute to her being distracted, but there were two episodes where she annouced "I peed!" [on the floor] and I suspect it was an attention grabbing technique as everyone was busy getting dinner ready during that time. Sigh.

She also does pretty well when we go out, most recently she announced that she had to pee while we were shopping at Safe.way and we actually made it to the bathroom on time! I was also concerned about pooping as Little Myrtle didn't use the potty for #2 until she was passed the age of 4 and my friend's daughter requested to have a diaper every time she needed to poo. Fortunately, Kate didn't have any fears or issues about the douce and she hasn't had a poop accident in a long time (although just after I wrote this, you know what happened...) Where I wish we were doing better is at Day Care. To be fair, she is one of the first in her class to start potty training and they don't really work with the kids until they move to the 2 year old class as the toddler room is gated off from the bathroom. I know I need to be more patient as she just moved into the 2s after the August break, but because their floors are carpeted, they keep the kids in pull-ups/diapers until they're really able to stay dry.

Not only do I feel this is hindering her from moving forward. It's become such an issue when we try to remove the pull-up when we get home (we also have the same problem in the morning). She loses.her.shit. It's the mother of all meltdowns. "My Diaper!" "MY DIAPER!!" "MYYY DIIIAPPPERRR!!!" Our Diaper De.kor had a lock feature that I have never found the need to use until recently. Seriously, she'll put her hand in the pail to try to retrieve the soiled diaper. [shaking my head] She's about 40/60 on staying dry at naptime. We still use a pull-up at nap time, but sometimes it will be dry. There have also been occasions when I've forgotten to don a pull-up or she'll fall asleep early and she'll wake up absolutely soaked. I really don't know how we're going to do nap training. I was comtemplating starting nap training when we get back from the east coast in early October, but I'm thinking this may be too ambitious. We probably won't start night time training until she's 3, because right now, she pees for all of California at night. She was soaking through her Pamp.ers Night time diapers, so I decided to use pull-ups at night. Although they are less absorbant, they have a better fit, which has lead to far fewer leaks. Additionally, on a particularily hot night, Kate decided to pull off her shorts and diaper and wet her bed all night. PULL-UPS FOR THE WIN EVERY TIME. We may be ready to move up to size 3T (gasp). My last comment on diapers: Swim diapers are completely useless. I took Kate to our community pool one afternoon, and as I loaded her into her push trike, I thought she felt wet. I sort of ignored it, hoping maybe she spilt some water on herself. Nope. By the time we arrived at the pool (a ten minute walk), not only was she completely soaked, pee was pouring out as if it were a sieve. Yeah, swim diapers are just a facade to appease pool managers. Pee is going in that pool. Since no one patrols for swim diapers, I've given up the swim diapers and I have her use the potty before we get in. She probably is peeing in the pool as someone [ahem; Husband!] taught her it's okay to pee in the shower...

Oh, as she was recently resisting wiping; I may *may* have taught her "I need TP for my bunghole!" Shut up. It worked.

Oh, I've been reading my old updates where I gushed about how my baby was such a good sleeper and I wonder if I'll ever get back there again. I know I should shut up. I keep reminding Husband that to go nearly a full year with her sleeping through the night every night, is really unheard of and what we are going through now; is in fact, normal. However, it is still pretty rough. I also reminded Husband that she is going though another transition as she was moved up to the 2 year old classroom during this time. At the begining of the year, when she moved from the babies to the toddler group, she was really tired and we ended up putting her to bed earlier. This time, it's having an opposite effect. We've been putting her to bed a little later, and she gets this super burst of energy right before she goes to bed, so it takes longer to get her to wind down.

While I was such a champion for Cry-It-Out, sadly it does not work once your kid can get out of bed and subsequently, can climb over her gate. Oh yes, Kate the climber scaled her 36 inch high gate. Looking back, I can't beleive we didn't see this #parentingfail coming. If she can climb out of the crib, why didn't we anticipate she'd climb over the gate? (I watched her do it -she grabs the top and places her bare feet on the bars and walks up... just like she sees people at CrossFit do rope climbs...Shit! not a good idea to bring her to the gym) So now, one of us (usually me) has to stay with her on the pull out mattress until she (nearly) falls asleep. I know this is wrong. I know she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own. We're probably making things worse every night we stay with her. Yet, it's the path of least resistance and is the only way we can get her to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time. She'll actually stay in her bed. She does toss and turn a bit and will kick off her blanket and then requesting her blanket, "flanket on" (Flannel blanket = flanket) I tried a few different blankets that I could tuck into the mattress, but little Houdini would wiggle out of them. I've currently been using a quilt that a patient of mine made for her as I can just toss it on her.

She was waking up anywhere from 1-3 times per night. Again following the path of least resistance, we found it worked best to respond to her right away. Sometimes you can coax her back to her bed just by standing outside her door, sometimes she insists you lie on the mattress next to her and fortunately, she usually falls back to sleep in minutes. We started to wonder if she were falling out of bed and that was waking her, so I gave up on the pool noodle and purchased a small bed rail. It seems to be working, as she's been sleeping through the night more often than not, but we found that it sometimes works for us to sleep in her room. Husband had to get up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning, so I went into Kate's room when she woke around 5 AM and I was able sleep through him getting ready and leaving. While it was super hot, I was opting to sleep in her room as she has a fan.

She got a car for her second birthday! A classic Little Tykes Red and Yellow Crazy Coup. This was one of those gifts that really meant something for me as I always adored them and really wanted to be able to give one to my own child. Our friends in LA got the newer version for their daughter, which has a handle to make it easy to push, but I was really set on the classic car. Now I kind of wish I had gone for the one with the handle (Kate hasn't mastered the Fred Flinstone action of moving the car
with her feet) and you have to lean over to try to push it.

She also has a new kitchen. Thanks to Body Shop Girl for her recommendation not to put it in her room while we were transition to the toddler bed, we set in up in our foyer, which is a very under utilized space in our house.

Her twins! Kate has started brining her favourite dolls and stuffed animals to Day Care, which means we have to be cognosant about bringing them home. It was a very long weekend explaining to her that her Baby was away on a vacation. While I was shopping for her gate and bed rail, I discreetly snuck another baby doll into the cart, so we would have a back up. I made it out of the store without her noticing, but while she was strapped in her rear facing carseat, she could see me put it in the car boot and excalimed "TWO BABIES!!" I was busted. It was a #momfail. There was something about the joy in her voice as she says "two babies!" I gave her the other doll and watched and she enjoyed playing with both dolls. Of course, she now has to bring both babies to Day Care each day and it's even more to collect each night.

Bandaids. One of the other things I was looking forward to when I had a kid, is that I could justify buying Hello Kitty Bandaids. It turns out cartoon bandaids are really stickers Anytime she bumped or banged herself, "I need a bandaid!" We had to teach that bandaids are only for bleeding (point proven when she sustained a small scrape on her foot). It was a greater challenge to explained that the Disney Villian series stamps are not stickers.

The word 'the'. She injects the work 'the' a lot. "Brush the teeth" "Open the mouth!" and my favourite "Happy The Birthday!"

She is also into nail polish. I had to take her with me to get a pedicure for Isabelle's baby shower. She soaked her feet with me and stayed still long enough for me to apply polish on her toes. Since then she's been requesting "paint on the toes!" She now sits still and lets me cut her fingernails if she'll get nailpolish.

I can't think of too many things off the top of my head, but she now knows how to tell us what she doesn't like by declaring "I no like it!" She has been making any sentance into a negative by inserting the word 'no' in the way the French use ne (pas) around the verb. "I no have to go pee-pee" "I no want to get in the car!" My personal fav; "HEY!! NO DO THAT!"

Her speech is progressing very well. About a month or two ago, she started busting out complete sentences. We were getting ready to leave the house and I told her that I had to find the cats first. "Lylah (Tyler) is under the bed" she informed me. Not only was it her first complete sentence, it was accurate too! (in fairness, that's where he hides every morning) Later that evening when I was trying to get her to go to her room and get ready for bed, she stood in the kitchen and declared. "No, I am going to stay right here!" Good sentance structure; not too happy about the defiance.
Her most impressive sentance came while she and my Dad were playing on her bed. "Papi" she began (yes, his name is a reference to David Ortiz) "I think Lylah went pee-pee on my bed." My Dad looked down and noticed a wet spot on her pants. "Kate, did you go pee-pee and you're trying to blame the cat?" "yeah." Impressed with the sentance construction and creativity to blame the cat. Not too impressed with the potty miss.

She is "reading". Not really. We've read her books so many times, that she's memorized the lines and can receit them; or she look at a page and describe what she sees. Yet, she insists she's reading to me.

Her 2T clothes grew tight very quickly, so we've just jumped up to 3T. It seems like she grew out of her shoes overnight and currently I only have 3 pairs that will fit her. She's also become obsessed with her Pig clothes. Seriously, everyday she looks for stuff in her drawers. I *may* have sent her to school in her Pig pajamas one day, as who can really tell?

We're giving soccer [football] another go. Our Day Care offers soccer classes and I signed Kate up in the Spring. The class is for 2 years and up, but I tried to argue that she was going to be turning 2 during the course. They let her try the first class; and then refunded our money as Kate wasn't cooperating with the lesson. (I assign some blame to Husband as he sent her off school in her crocks and not the sneakers I left out for him...) We then tried another soccer class on Tuesday, and she still wasn't paying attention to the instructors and would run off and do her own thing. I signed her up for the Autumn soccer session through Day Care and I thought she might do better in a more familiar setting along with her Day Care friends. She's been to two classes and hasn't been kicked out, so that's a good sign. She even came home after her frist class and reported to Husband that she "scored a goal"

We also started gymnastics classes on Tuesdays. It's not so much a structured class, as there is a gym filled with mats and a few pieces of equipment and the kids get to run around and play. We missed a few classes due to her being sick and our trip, but recently she was crying at the end of class as she didn't want to leave, and ortunately, the instructor let us stay for the next class as a make-up session. it's going to be hard to explain that we can't do that every week.

In some ways, things are getting better; in other ways thing are staying the same and in some ways, they are getting worse. She's getting a little better at actually sitting in a seat and eating with us. She has to have the same food on the same plate, and yet will try to eat off your plate rather than hers. We're trying really hard to fight her on this, as I feel this is a battle I need to stand my ground, but sometimes she wears me out and I relent. She'll stay in her seat for half of dinner, then will try to climb in one of our laps. Again, trying to nip it in the bud, but sometimes, it's how we can finish our meal, rather than wondering what she is getting into somewhere in the house. Sometimes, I still need to spoon feed her, but it's how I do my ninja mom tricks of hiding shreadded chicken in guacamole.

Health Issues:
She had a fever and needed to be picked up from Day Care...on Husband's birthday. He was a good sport about it. Fortunately, she was back to normal the next day and she managed to avoid the Hand Food and Mouth Disease and conjunctivitis that was going around her Day Care. She's had eczema on the back of her hands for a while and she's just gained a new patch on her thigh. She occasionally gets hives on the back of her legs. I've been contemplating taking her for a visit with our pediatrican, but it's mostly because I want another developmental check before her third birthday as I know he'll just tell me to use hydrocortisone on the rashes.

Looking forward to:
At press time, we returned from our East Coast trip. We took a trip to the zoo, a children's musuem, an abandoned castle and hit the beach a few times. We caught up with some local friends and Myrtle arranged her schedule to fit a lunch date for just the two of us in my old Connecticut neighbourhood. Is it too lame to say that I'm already looking forward to next Spring and warmer weather? It's been rather cool lately. (Yeah, I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the Californian, thinking 'trying dealing with two feet of snow Bitch!') Hear me out as I swim in an outdoor pool at 6 AM! The water is warm and feels great once you get in, but getting in and out of the pool is brutal. We're looking forward to The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and getting some much needed rain (oddly, I love swimming in the rain) but I have some legitimate reasons to look forward to Spring.

We're going to un-shithole our backyard! While my parents were visiting and Husband and I took some time off and we happened to be home when a landscaper was walking through the neighbourhood trying to drum up some business. Had we not been home, we just would have thrown away any flyers or cards he left on our front step, but we set up a free consultation. We're going to demo and rebuild our deck, create a small paved area which ties into an improved stone wall. We're also installing fake grass. I know, eyes rolling, again... it was a compromise. I would love to have real grass as I would actually enjoy mowing, but Husband doesn't want the expense of watering it. We're hoping a no maintainance lawn will actually be a good selling feature when we decide to move. No, it's not the Sunset magazine back garden of my dreams, but it's going to be a hell of a lot better than what we have now. We won't be embarassed to have friends come over. Kate will have a decent place to play. I'll actually post pictures, so watch this space.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Right Now - September 2017

I've been struggling to get through 1984. It's really hard to get into it, but everyone says once you really get into the thick of it, you can't put it down. I'm starting to understand why my professor only had us read excerpts from it. I picked up Al Franken's Giant of the Senate to read while I was on jury duty, but I was dismissed early and didn't get passed the first few chapters. I purchased Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl. I'm really going to try hard to read it by the end of the year.

I'm binge watching How I Met Your Mother (currently on season 3). It came up as a NetFlix suggestion and I remembered how much I enjoyed this show. It was really good, although it stayed on too long and should have been wrapped up a year or two earlier. I'm trying to determine when it jumped the shark.

I'm still rocking along to my I heart 80s station. Every Sunday morning they replay Casey Kasem's American Top 40. It's like travelling back in time and reliving history. Last week an upcoming band from New Jersey made their debut on the chart. Casey thought they might hit it big. Spoiler Alert: They did. It was Jon Bon Jovi

I'm trying not to drink my calories, so I'm not drinking much alcohol or anything else that has superfilous calories. I struggle drinking plain water, but I need to be careful with Vitimin Water or Bai Antioxidant infusion water as they each have 5 carb grams per serving.  Unfortunately, Coke Zero (Now Coke Sugar Free) has zero calories and zeros carbs, so I've been drinking more of it after I successfully kicked my habit. I still follow the rule that I won't buy a 12 pack to keep at the house, but I'll occasionally purchase a 20 oz bottle. I'm trying to let the fact that it's such a rip off to buy that size discourage me.

Whatever I want as long as it falls within 105 carb grams, 61 fat grams and 120 protein grams and 1485 calories. I started working with a nutritional consultant at our gym to track my macronutrients. I've become one of those people who logs everything thing I eat into the My Fitness Pal app and carries around a mini food scale. It's been working as I've lost 7 pounds in just under 3 months.

Padded bras. Of course, I'm wearning more than that at the moment, I was speaking in general you perv! Sheesh! So I mentioned that I've lost a bit of weight. Yeah, it was all from my boobs. I look in the mirror and see an ironing board as my reflection. I've regained my teenage angst and insecurity about my chest size. I hadn't gotten around to googling boob jobs yet before I saw on my Moms who CrossFit Facebook page that some women who had breast augmentation reported that they couldn't do pull ups after their surgery. I realised that I've worked too hard to be able to do pull-ups to lose them when I can wonderbra it. So I subcommed to stuffing.

My padded bras. LOL, just kidding. No seriously. I am loving Kate at this stage. Her vocabulary is exploding and she's developing into such a sweet and smart little girl. I'm trying to savor these moments and recall them for when she is a pain-in-the-ass teenager.

Our trip to the East Coast to visit my parents. I'm looking forward to taking Kate to the beach, we're going to the Zoo and we're meeting up with Myrtle.

That Kate sleeps through the night tonight.

I haven't been watching the news much this week due to my binge watching HIMYM. Shameful, I know...

How Kate is going to be on our up coming flight. We have a lay over. I've been working on packing snacks and games to sustain us. I'm also bringing my portable DVD player and I borrowed a copy of Mamma Mia!

To be better about sharing Kate photos with my in-laws. I recently sent them some of her art work from Day Care which they really appreciated.

About how much is getting fucked up by the Trump administration behind the scenes.

Planning: What to pack for my trip. Specifically, what to wear to try to make Myrtle jealous of my weight loss.

Contemplating: Accepting a position to be clinical site lead at my job. More on that later.

Monday, 11 September 2017

50 Questions You've Never been Asked

01. What’s your favorite candle scent? Anything vanilla (I know, boring)
02. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? No one. I love being an only child and don't give a shit about celeberties.
03. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? See Above
04. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? I was 30 years old. Married in 2006
05. Do you know a hoarder? Not personally
06. Can you do the splits? Once upon a time I could. Will work on it.
07. How old were you when you first learned how to ride a bike? I'm pretty sure I was 5. I was kind of surprised to see my 7 year old nephew is still using training wheels.
08. How many oceans have you swam in? 2 -Atlantic and Pacific
09. How many countries have you been to? 10 -Austraila, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Germany, France
10. Is anyone in your family in the army? My maternal grandfather served. A WWII Veteran.
11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Kate Victoria
12. What would you name your son if you had one? Jack William
13. What’s the worst grade you’ve got on a test? I've failed a few
14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid? Probably Growing Pains. Yes, I'm that old.
15. What did you dress up as for Halloween when you were 8? I think that was my Cyndi Lauper phase. Orange hair spray.
16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? None of them
17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? Mine is a hybrid
18. Did your mother go to college? Yes and then grad school in her late 40s
19. Are your grandparents still married? Yes at the time of their deaths.
20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? No, but I want to introduce it to Kate as martial arts are helpful for teaching discliping and building self confidence, especially in teens.
21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? Uh, yes.
22. What was the first amusement park you went to? There was a small park near where I grew up in Connecticut
23. What language beside your native language would you like to be fluent in? Spanish and ASL
24. Do you spell the color grey or gray? Grey -the British way
25. Is your father bald? Nope full head of hair.
26. Do you know any triplets? An old hockey teammate was a triplet (nautral conception)
27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? Titanic, never saw The Notebook
28. Have you ever had Indian food? Last night!
29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? Crogan's -our local pub. We got a free round of drinks on Saturday just for being frequent patrons.
30. Have you ever been to Nandos? Yes. This is a British questionaire. To others who were wondering, Nandos is a chain restaurant that features different styles of peri-peri chicken and different sauces.
31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, Bookers, etc.)? Costco
32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? Edwin (after my maternal grandfather)
33. If you have a nickname, what is it? N/A
34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? my daughter Kate
35. Would you rather live in the countryside or the city? City girl
36. Can you whistle? Sort of
37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? No, but I need to fall asleep with the TV on sleep timer
38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Yes, I'm a breakfast is the most important meal of the day girl
39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? Calcium and Vitamin D supplements since I switched off dairy
40. What medical conditions do you have? Borderline high blood pressure. I had to go on meds during my final transfer and was on treatment during my pregnancy, but went back to normal range at my post partum visit and was still normal at my physical last year.
41. How many times have you been to the hospital? 3 ER visits (needle stick, finger laceration and cellulitis) and 1 admission to deliver Kate
42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? Yes and I've been reading the book to Kate
43. Where do you buy your jeans? Last time I hit the Levi's outlet
44. What’s the last compliment you got? Two women in the gym noticed that I've lost weight
45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? Sometimes
46. What flavor of tea do you enjoy? Don't like any fru-fru teas
47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? I'm not a shoe girl. I probably have less than a dozen and that includes three pairs of sneakers
48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? I want to expose her to religion, but hope she chooses to be Agnostic.
49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? 9 or 10. It was revealed on an episode of Family Ties.
50. Why do you have a blog? It was my lifeline during infertility. I wanted to be anoynmous within my support group and I wanted to connect with people who were going through the same challenges. I never imagined I'd make the lasting friendships that I did. I've met 5 bloggers in real life. It's the coolest thing to meet someone in person for the first time and feel like you're catching up with an old friend. My blog is still very important to me, so I just can't quit it.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Fitbit Tips

I started using my Fitbit a few weeks ago. As insensitive as she was dealing my infertility, Myrtle has always been very generous with giving gifts. Leading into Christmas on 2015, she offered to get me a Fitbit after she raved about hers. "It does more than steps, ittells you about the quality of your sleep!" I had just gone back to work and Kate was flirting with the Four Month Sleep Regression. I didn't need some wrist band to tell me that my sleep was crap. I politely told her that I probably wouldn't use it. She got me one anyway and it sat unopened in my sock drawer for twenty months.

Why was I reluctant to join the Fitbit craze? I had a very snobby attitidue toward it. I figured that since I went to the gym I didn't need to count steps as exercise. Then I read an article on fat loss that made me realise how flawed my thinking was.  It's an awesome article, but carve out some time if you want to read it, as it's rather long. The gyst of how it got me to my Fitbit came when he described the hierachy of important factors for fat loss:

Calorie Deficit
Protein Intake
Strength Training 

His point is that while cardio is necessary, you need to have those other factors in place first. WTF is NEAT? It stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and is defined as all activity that isn't intentional exercise. He continues in the article, "Okay... why should I give a fuck?"

I have to admit this got my attention. He drew some pie charts to show that if you work out one hour every day, it's only 7 hours per week; which is only 4% of the time during the week. So you should maximise what you do in the other 96% of your time. Walking, light stretching, moving around; it all adds up. "A Simple way to do this is to aim for 10,000 steps per day." And thus, I started giving a fuck about NEAT.

I unwrapped by Fitbit Flex and started making some classic rookie errors. I wallked up and down every aisle in Tar.get and was disappointed when I only registered 36 steps... as my arm was stationary while I was pushing the cart. I began noticing ways that I was picking up cheeky non-steps. Driving my manual transmission to work yielded 65 steps. Even cleaning out the cat box would count toward my steps. WTF is going on that this thing is making me look forward to cleaning cat poop?

Then I discovered there is a setting that inquires if you are wearing your Fitbit on your dominant or non-dominant hand. I'm one of those wierd people who prefers to wear stuff on my dominant hand. Yeah... that really killed my steps. It's a struggle to make it to even 7,000 steps on a work day. Our office was designed to be super efficient and minimise movement. I find myself thinking up excuses to take a walk, but sometimes it's not for good reasons. Like walking over to the hospital to get a Coke.Zero from the vending machine, although in my defense, one time it was because I felt a migraine coming on and I needed caffeine STAT. The trouble with trying to squeeze in extra steps during my work day is that it affects my productivity. I have ADHD at the end of the day and I'm easily distracted as it is. I'm also noticing that I'm becoming slightly resentful as I'm busting my butt to do chores around the house such as emptying the dishwasher or putting away the laundry just to get steps while Husband is just sitting around watching baseball...

Nonetheless, I feel committed to giving a fuck about NEAT. I really want to achieve my goal of getting a PR on my body fat test in October. My other issue with my current Fitbit is that the battery is really weak and I'm needing to charge it every 2-3 days (I'm guess that's from keeping it in the box for nearly two years...) So, I ordered the Flex2 as it can be worn while swimming and I can get credit for my laps in the morning. Does anyone have any advice on how to earn more steps during the day and get the most out of your Fitbit? I recently crowd sourced on and not surprisingly most of my infertility friends answered. I should have started here in the first place.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

It's My Party

Kate's 'I just woke up face' comes across as
'Not Impressed.'

Let's be honest. While Kate is obviously the star of the show at her birthday party; I play a key supporting role. It's kind of also about me. Am I organized? Am I creative? Do I give out good gift bags? Are the kids having fun? Are the adults enjoying themselves? Is this year's party as good as or better than a previous year's party? Well, last year Kate's first birthday party was marked by two cupcake fails and half of our guests were sick with a horrible GI virus, so the bar was set pretty low for this year's event.

My planning began back in January. It started when I picked up an Oliva book from our favourite conseignment shop. I loved the simple, yet dramatic illustrations and whitty dialogue and I quickly became obsessed with Olivia. As I started collecting every book in the Olivia series, it dawned on me that an Olivia themed party could extend my tradition of basing her parties off of popular children's books. Last year I decided to do a The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party, I thought I was the first person to think of this idea, until a quick Pintrest search confirmed that pretty much everyone in the world does a TVHC party. As I easily found Olivia balloons, party plates and cups that read "Best Party Ever!" I also wasn't going to be breaking any new ground with an Olivia themed party, yet I thought I had some creative and likely unique ideas on how I would put it together.  

*Spoiler Alert if you have not read Olivia*

I wanted to copy some of the activities Olivia performs in her book. As we have a long hallway, I could tape some paper on to our walls for the kids to paint on the wall. I purchased a sandtable for making sandcastles. Finally, as Oliva was very good at wearing people out and could even wear herself out; we'd get a bouncy house so the kids could wear themselves out. I had it all planned out how I would set things up around our house. The only problem, as long time readers will recall, is that our backyard is a shithole. I started my annual quest to make the garden look slightly less like a shithole, and in doing so I pricked my thumb on some wild roses. The next morning I woke up with a painful, red, swollen thumb and ascending cellulitis. The ER doctor informed me that wild roses often carry a very potent bacteria. Asthetics aside, the other challenge with out backyard is that we didn't have the 15 x 15 foot space required for most rental bouncy houses, so I borrowed one that my cousin had purchased. It fit in our garden, but barely. Kids would have been literally bouncing off our house. It was a bit of a painful moment of defeat, but Husband convinced me that our house just wasn't going to work for the party I was planning. I was reluctant to agree, but I knew I didn't want my party to be remembered as the one where kids got hurt.  

As we had just recently been to a friend's party for her five year old, Husband reminded me that we're fortunate to live in an area with access to multiple reginal parks. However, while there are almost fifty picnic sites availble to reserve; there are only three that allow both a bouncy house and alcohol. Two essential items. So, we ended up at the exact same site that our friends used when they hosted their party. A bit of deja-vu for some of our guests. Since we weren't constrained by the size of our house anymore, we invited some more guests than we had the previous year, including Isabelle and Bob, three Day Care classmates, one of Husband's colleages and her two kids and one of my work colleagues who had invited me and Kate to her son's party. 

Long time readers may also recall my attempt to make my own The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed cupcakes last year. I have to admit my intention was less about saving money and more about proving how crafty I can be; but I spent the same amount of money on supplies to try to make my own cupcakes that I ended up paying for professional made cupcakes. This year I vowed not to waste my time and money. At least not in the kitchen... I tried to grow grass in our back garden... I would show before and after photos, but I think this is a situation where the 'after' pics look worse than the 'before'. I purchased 10 bags of dirt, a few bags of grass seed and a hand held seed spreader. I watered it every night, but nothing grew. So, I'm not a baker, nor a gardner, but I am a decent seamstress. I bought the red dress and black stripe leggings from Nordstrom's clearance rack, but I made the white collar for her 'Olivia' dress. It only took two attempts and three trips to Jo.Ann Fabrics, but I think I pulled it off. 

Is it really cheeky to re-use as a Halloween 
coustume, if it still fits?

The collar in progress,
Yes, the stars are supposed to be black.
Jane of last year would have obsessed over it
and gone to great lengths to find black stars.
This year, I'm letting things go...

Husband was dissapointed he didn't get to go the the gym
Party WOD
2 Rounds
Lug coolers, crates, tents and tables 200 meters 
For Time 

[NB Thanks to my aunt and uncle for watching Kate while we set up]

Sand table for creating sand castles

Painting Station

Food courtesy of Chip.olte

I left Husband in charge of decorating.
He forgot about these ballons and just left them in the tent.
It was a lazy accident, but I though it worked.

Cupcake success this year!

Yes, I borrowed the tent from my swim team...

At the time that I am finishing this post (almost one month later) I have not heard any reports of anyone getting sick and no one was hurt during the party! Although I don't think anyone really understood the Olivia theme to my activities, the kids all enjoyed them. They bounced, painted some pictures and got sand in their socks and shoes (sorry, Moms). I also had a small bubble machine and a bunch of bubble wands on hand. My cousin's youngest son appointed himself in charge of the bubble station and appropriately re-filled the machine and trays with bubble juice. I also had a few Hula-hoops that Kate picked up during our many trips to Jo.Ann Fabrics (they were keeping her occupied and only 99 cents..) that I brought a long, and surprisingly, they were a huge hit. I had done a lot of prep work in the weeks leading up to the party, so it only took Husband and I about 40 minutes to pack and load the cars the night before. I had vowed that I wasn't going to stay up until midnight preparing for the party and I didn't. I was up until almost midnight doing meal prep for the week as I knew I wouldn't have time for it on Sunday (the day of the party). We were exhausted when it was all said and done, but it was an enjoyable day. My favourite moments include Kate wanting me to go into the bouncy house with her (although I had to explain that I couldn't bounce as we usually do, as I was wearing a dress and didn't want to flash our guests) and seeing Kate run across the field to greet her best friend from Day Care. She seemed to enjoy the day and I don't know if I'm imagining it, but seemed to make her way around to interact with everyone who attended. She was the star of the show. I was happy to do my part in the supporting role.