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.

Sleep:
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.

Likes:
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.

Dislikes:
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!"

Milestones:
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.

Clothing:
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 Pep.pa Pig clothes. Seriously, everyday she looks for Pep.pa stuff in her drawers. I *may* have sent her to school in her Pep.pa Pig pajamas one day, as who can really tell?

Activities:
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.

Eating:
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

Reading:
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.

Watching:
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.

Listening:
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

Drinking:
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.

Eating:
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.

Wearing:
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.

Loving:
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.

Anticipating:
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.

Hoping:
That Kate sleeps through the night tonight.

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

Wondering:
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!

Trying:
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.

Worrying:
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 
NEAT
Cardio

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 Face.book 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.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Day in the Life Summer 2017

These were events as they occurred on 23 July 2017

Husband 42 years
Jane 41 years
Kayla 9 years
Tyler 4 years
Kate 2 years 

0335 My slumber is disturbed by the sound of Kate mumbling, "Mommy... MOMMY"
0336 I quickly hop out of bed and find Kate standing by the gate which prevents her from escaping her room.
0337 I direct Kate to go back to her bed as I use the bathroom.
0340 Finish in the bathroom and stand outside Kate's door. Holy shit! She's fallen back asleep in her bed on her own.
0343 I'm ecstatic about the fact that she fell back to sleep on her own and I'm nervous that she'll wake up again; hence I can't fall back asleep
0415 Still awake.
0420 Briefly check a few news stories on my phone. Stop as I acknowledge this isn't going to help me sleep
0430 Work on composing a few blog posts in my mind. Someday, these words will meet my keyboard.
~0500 fall back asleep
0602 Hear Kate cry at her gate "Out?" "Out!" "Out!!!"
0604 Grab her milk and release her from her room prison; bring her to our bed for morning milk.
0605 Husband has turned on coverage of the final stage of the Tour de France. Kate has been really into watching the bicycles (which she was originally pronouncing as "bad giggles" We had a bit of fun with that, but worked to correct her.)
0620 Wow, somehow I managed to get a short cat nap. I can hear Husband and Kate in the kitchen and I hear Kate asking "where's Mummy?"
0621 Time to get out of bed and she's now grabbing my hand demanding "Mommy, get down!"
0625 Discover that the blue light is on the Kurig, indicating that the water reservoir needs to be refilled. Give Husband shit about it, as if I leave the blue light on, I get treated like the worst person in the world.
0630 My Coffee is ready. I really need it.
0635 Prepare protein shake and starting logging foods for the day
0640 Try to encourage Kate to eat something for breakfast. She wants applesauce. Why not?
0700 Plan out meals for the week and make shopping lists. I was too tired to do this last night.
0715 Husband attempts to Face.time with his parents. I secretly wish he would do this after I've left for the gym
0716 No answer. (Phew)
0720 Kate wants to play in her room. I go with her to give Husband a rest so he can make his breakfast
0745 Take note that Kate hasn't peed since she woke up. Offer her some "coco water" [coconut water]
0755 Realise I should get ready for the gym
0800 While I am getting changed, Kate announces "pee-pee" I follow her to the bathroom, but am told "STAY MOMMY".
0802 Hang back in the hall and listen for her to finish. Go in to help wipe and dump/clean the potty.
0810 As I am getting ready to leave for the gym, Kate is suddenly very clingy
0812 Get in my car and drive off. I can hear her screaming from the garage.
0826 Arrive at the gym. The new Saturday coach is filling in today
0840 I'm liking this new coach as he's very creative and always is thinking up new activities. Today's was trying to row exactly 100 meters. If you were over or under, you had to do 2 air squats per meter (with a max of 16). After nearing hitting the max on my first attempt (107 meters) I hit 100 meters exactly twice.
0900 It's somewhat of a partner WOD as you had so share a bar with someone else, although you each have an individual time. I like partner stuff, as it pushes me to go heavier. I find someone with a similar ability. We work up to 60 kg for a deadlift and 35 kg for a 3 squat clean/5 push press/1 Overhead Squat combo. I would have gone heavier on the deadlift, while I think she would have preferred to be heavier on the other lifts. Compromise
0925 Finish the WOD. Glad we didn't go heavier than 60 kg on the deadlifts, probably could have done slightly heavier on the other bar.
0927 Husband and Kate arrive. She has two baby dolls, her Dress-Me Kitty and a blanket because it must be that kind of morning
0930 As Husband is doing his warm-up and I'm getting ready to go, Kate gets a major case of Daddyitis. "Daddy" she whines incessantly. "DADDY!" DAADDDDYYYY" He acts annoyed, but really must feel like a rock star.
0940 Driving home and she's still crying for "Daddy." I'm not resentful at all.
0955 Arrive home. Yes, I did an extra loop around our block as she was starting to fall asleep.
1000 I leave the garage door open while she's sleeping in the car and jump in the shower. Twice I think she might be waking up
1015 Take meat out of the chest freezer to thaw for tonight's dinner. Prepare her snack bag and grab my cloth bags for shopping.
1025 Chase Tyler back into the house and set alarm even though Husband will be coming home soon.
1045 Realise I've just spent about 15 minutes on Facebook when I was intending to log my WOD and foods. Decide to leave right now or else risk her waking up just as Husband arrives home
1105 Arrive at the Farmer's Market. Kate is stirring a bit. She wakes as I try to transfer her into her stroller. I offer her the Portette potty, she's refusing. She's fussing when I attempt to strap her into the stroller, but she also fussed when I tried to fold it up. She climbed in it, but refused to be strapped. Oh well, this can work.
1107 Chat with the hummus vendor as he confirms if I'll take my usual order. He remarks at how big Kate has grown and reflects that he recalls when I was pregnant. This is why I love the Farmer's Markets. [I later ran into this guy in Cost.co later this week -I really should learn his name] I ask for a plain hummus sample for Kate
1110 Kate is not liking the hummus and is wiping it on her stroller
1111 Deviate from my usual course so I can hit the coffee vendor to steal some napkins to clean the hummus. Receive dirty looks as I looks like I'm jumping the queue.
1115 Come to the end of an aisle and find a discreet place to try to get her to use the potty. Get out the portette. She isn't offering any resistance, so I help her with her pants. As she is peeing, I look for wipes in the bag. Crap. I forgot to restock wipes! Good thing I still have some napkins and some hand sanitizer.
1118 As I'm repacking the potty backpack, I notice that Kate is directly eating out of a bag of strawberries. Have at it.
1125 We hit other vendors at the Market, Kate decides she wants out of the stroller so she can walk. It's good timing as the bags are getting heavy, so I can place them in the seat of her stroller
1130 Kate approaches a vendor who is selling grapes. She grabs an entire bunch from the sample table. I offer to pay for the grapes, but the saleslady refuses to take my money. I buy some peaches, even though I don't like them and probably won't eat them. Fortunately, these grapes are very small and don't need to be cut up
1135 We leave the market. I feel guilty as I parked in Target's parking lot (which has many signs forbidding market parking) while I'm not shopping at Target today.
1145 Arrive at a Sporting Goods store as I need more Ultra.Swim shampoo and conditioner. I'm out of conditioner and I had to ask the really hot guy on our team if I could borrow some from him.
1148 Browse through a clearance rack as I need more gym shorts and yoga tops. Not finding anything suitable
1150 I really needed to pee, so Kate and I go to the bathroom. There are two empty stalls. Kate runs into one. She tells me "Stay Mommy," but I help her push down her pants and put her on the toilet while I go into the other stall.
1151 She announces "all done" although she didn't pee. She jumps off the toilet, pulls up her pants and crawls into my stall.
1153 As I'm finishing, someone else arrives in the next stall and Kate tries to crawl into her stall. I probably should have explained that we stay in our own stall earlier.
1155 Quickly wash hands and rush out of the bathroom before the other woman comes out of the stall.
1157 Grab two sets of shampoo and conditioner so I won't have to make this trip again for a while
1159 Kate has wandered over to the camping section. There is a display of chairs in a circle around a faux camp fire and there is a grandfather and his two tweenager kids who are trying out the chairs. Kate decides she needs to sit in the chairs too. All of them.
1220 We're still in the camping section. The other family can sense that I'm desperate to leave and they get up from the chairs. As we saw a dog waiting outside the store when we entered, I start talking to her about seeing the doggie.
1230 I let Kate pick out a mini-Lara bar as we check out. She's distracted and forgets about seeing the doggie, who has left with his owner.
1235 Sigh as I get back in my car. 50 minutes just to get shampoo. Why couldn't I have borrowed some from the hot guy again?
1255 Arrive at Chip.olte. Inform Kate that we need to put pee-pee in the potty first. She echos "Potty First!" loud enough for some diners to hear
1300 Success on the potty and staying in our own stall
1305 The queue has dissipated during our washroom trip and we walk right up to the counter. The woman reminds me that guacamole is extra. Sigh. I know quac is extra, I can read the sign. It's even more confusing as I ask for an empty guac container...
1307 I received a free cup for water, although I'm really tempted to get just a swig of Coke.Zero as I could use the caffeine. Kate asks for water (even though I got a milk for her). I feel she is serving as my moral compass
1310 Sit down to eat and fill some beans and meat into the plastic container for Kate and top it with a bit of guac. She just eats the guac and then starts eating the rest of it from my bowl.
1315 Finally get her to eat some beans and chicken by dipping it the small amount of guac I was hiding under some lettuce and spoon feed it to her. Hate the fact that we're going backward with me feeding her; but hey, she's getting some protein.
1320 Leave Chip.olte and head for Whole Foods. Kate stops to pet two doggies in the 25 yard journey. I'm hoping that she doesn't notice the frozen yoghurt shop
1321 Of course she did, as she heads right in and adds a "C'mon Mommy!"
1322 I decide she can have yogurt as she ate a decent lunch. I wasn't going to get any for myself until I checked and discovered that 2 oz of sugar-free, fat-free vanilla with no toppings is only 10 grams of carbs. The saleslady gives me a weird look when I asked her to weigh the cups separately.
1330 Head to Whole Foods. Kate spots a mini-trolley and motions that she wants to sit in the main part of the cart. (The mini-trolleys have signs instructing you to not place your kids in the baskets). I'm a badass shopping cart mom, so I put her in the mini-trolley, especially since we only need a few items and I anticipate this will be a quick trip.
1331 As soon as I walk in the door, I'm busted by a check-out lady for having my kid in the mini-trolley.
1332 We go back to the front of the store to get a large sized regular card. I let Kate sit in the main section
1335 There is a guy giving away sample bottles of a new green tea. I take one as I didn't get anything to drink during lunch
1355 Check out at Whole Foods and head back to my car to drop off the WF purchases before going to Safe.way
1400 Potty stop first at Safe.way. Somehow she manages to wet her pants and I have to change her. Not counting this as a miss.
1405 Although we just had lunch and yoghurt, Kate still seems hungry, so I give her some crackers from my emergency snack bag. It does keep her occupied while I'm shopping.
1445 Head back to my car. It's a scorching 99 degrees out and Kate is saying 'hot' as soon as I try to put her in the car. I load all the groceries in the boot first and then strap her in. I leave the trolley in the parking space next to me like an asshole, as I don't want to leave Kate in the hot car even for a few seconds to return the card to the rack.
1446 I do realise I could have left Kate in the trolley, pushed in back to the rack and then carried her back to the car. I will try to be a better citizen next time.
1450-1515 Watch the temperature as I drive home, it hits 101, the drops to 92 as I approach the tunnel and is 79 by the time I pull into my driveway. Kate sings a few songs during the car ride. I tried to sing along, but was promptly told "Mommy, NO."
1520 Kate is so excited to see her Daddy when we get home. It gives me a chance to peacefully unload the car.
1530 My parents care calling to Face.time with Kate. I was hoping to start my meal prep for the week
1635 Finish chatting with my parents who will be visiting in a few weeks
1640 Husband offers to do my meal prep and get dinner ready if I take Kate to the pool. I suspect he was watching a movie while we were out and wants to finish it
1700 After changing into our swimwear, I grab some towels and place Kate in her push trike to head to the pool.
1715 Husband has sent me three texts asking how to cut my carrots.
1720 There is a girl about the age of 7 or 8 swimming in the pool as her mother is sunbathing. She swims over to Kate and offers her a plastic pool toy. Kate starts throwing it so the girl can swim after to retrieve it.
1735 Perhaps bored of the game, the girl decided to go into the hot tub and her mother joins her. Kate decides she wants to go over to the deep end and jump in [while I catch her]
1750 Time to go home. Kate and I rise off under the pool shower. I decide this can count as her bath for tonight.
1805 Arrive home and change out of our wet swim gear.
1813 Start working on dinner while Kate is sitting on Husband's lap. She is requesting to listen to "Musique." Specifically, "ABBA." She gets annoyed when a non-ABBA song comes up on Pandora. We are serious considering upgrading for the unlimited skips and no ads.
1830 Pack my lunch and Kate's snack bag for tomorrow
1845 Our dinner is almost ready. It's South Beach Chipolte Chicken Chili, which is too spicy for Kate. I heat up some breakfast sausages for her.
1847 She's more interested in the shredded cheese we've sprinkled on the chili. I'm pleased that she's actually sitting down to eat.
1900 We actually finish a civilised with everyone sitting on the table. I offer her some pineapple while Husband and I clean up from dinner.
1903 I notice that she is removing each piece of pineapple from the container and is placing them in line on the table. I feel I should be discouraging this... but it's keeping her occupied... so I keep cleaning...
1905 I look over and see that she has emptied out the pieces of pineapple and is drinking the juice directly from the container. I have to admit that she has seen me do this on a few occasions
1906 I hear pieces of pineapple hitting the floor. Time to clean up.
1910 I was going to suggest that we could take a walk around the neighbourhood, but Kate announces that she needs to poop.
1911 I attempt to follow her to the bathroom, but am told "Stay, Mommy!" She tries to close the bathroom door, but it doesn't close all the way. I can see that she makes it on to her potty. I go into her room to tidy her toys and pick out her clothes for tomorrow.
1915 She's still sitting on the potty singing to herself.
1920 Time to wipe/clean up the potty. Decide this is a good time to get her changed and ready for bed, albeit a little early. I make a note that we have completed the day without an accident.
1925 I go into the garage to get a pork tenderloin out of the chest freezer, so it can defrost for tomorrow. Kate follows me and starts playing with a toy race car set that she received for her birthday.
1927 Husband had started a load of laundry while Kate and I were at the pool and forgot to empty the machine. While Kate plays, we hang up the wet clothes.
1940 Bribe Kate to come in from the garage with the promise of milk.
1941 Kate announces that she needs to pee. Suspect this is a delay tactic.
1945 She actually does need to pee. Use the bathmat in the bathroom to re-diaper her.
1948 Head into her bedroom and Husband brings in her milk. She wants him to read her stories tonight.
1950 He reads three books, but she wants me to read "one more book" which turns into three more books
2005 Time to brush teeth. Husband has pre-loaded the toothpaste on her toothbrush as she has been drinking the toothpaste straight from the tube.
2008 Husband says good night and exchanges kisses with Kate before handing her off to me to snuggle on the glidder
2011 She shifts around on my lap for a few minutes; then announces "Bed",
2012 I place her in her bed and I lie on the mattress next to her bed.
2014 She requests to have her Kitty
2015 She requests to be tucked into her blanket
2017 I retrieve my phone (which I had hidden earlier under her bed) and discretely I finish logging my foods for the day and catch up with Face.book
2026 She seems to have fallen asleep. I quietly leave the room and latch her gate.
2030 Change into bed clothes and climb into bed.
2031 Husband starts watching Game of Thrones. I know everyone else on the planet loves this series, but I can't stand it. I tried to get into it, but I couldn't keep all the characters straight and the violence is just too much for me. Usually, I won't even stay in the room while it's on, but I actually don't have any food prep or kitchen chores to do. I have another project that I could be working on, but I'm way too tired at this point in the night.
2040 I was going to start writing some blog posts, but don't have the energy, so I check out the latest blog post from our nutrition coach as apparently, he has time and energy to write some posts.
2115 "Boobs!" Husband announces as there is a graphic sex scene on GOT. After a year of breastfeeding, I am happy to see he's returned to his default response to breasts.
2125 There is an intense battle scene a the close of GOT. I leave a comment on the Nutrition coach's blog. My iPad defaults my identity as Jane Allen. ...Awkward...
2130 Now Husband is watching Ballers. Another show I just can't get into. I can't wait until John Oliver comes back.
~2145 I fall asleep, which is pretty early for me, but I need to take advantage of as much sleep as I can in anticipation of Kate waking up in the wee hours of the morning..

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Two Years!

Refusing to cooperate for a birthday photo

Oh, how I've changed in just two short years. A few months ago, I received a flyer in the mail for a medical education conferencce in San Diego. It offered 22.5 credit, almost a quarter of what is required of me over a two year period and was only $350.  It was to be held from Friday to Sunday morning, so I would only need to take one day off from work, and with such a quick flight I  could leave early Friday morning and still be back in time to shop and meal prep on Sunday. I decided I couldn't pass on such an opportunity to prudently use my CME funds. Oh, and did I mention that I'd have two whole nights to myself for the first time since Kate was born? As some of you may remember, I had recently spent my first time away from her, but it was with my parents. I was looking forward to sitting by the pool without a chaperone. Preferably while sipping an adult beverage and reading a book. 

Yet, as it goes with so many things, the fantasy in my mind was much better than the reality. The conference itself was great, but while the Easy Bay was suffering an oppressive heat wave, San Diego was grey, overcast and barely 65 degrees. So much for sitting by the pool. I used to really enjoy conferences for the opportunity to meet other clinicians and explore a new city. I'd often seek someone else who was attending the conference by herself and invite her to join me for dinner at some local and popular restaurant. As I had been up since 4 AM to catch my early flight, I was so tired and I felt that I couldn't make the effort to engage with anyone else. I ended up needing to cut my trip short as my cousin was somewhat unexpectedly in town, so I changed my flight and left Saturday afternoon. What surprised me is how relieved I was to be going back home. How much I missed home. As an only child, I always thought I'd mourn the loss of my alone time after marriage and motherhood. Yet here I was, all alone, and I was lonely. I missed Husband, Kate and Tyler kitty. I shivered my way though a nice meal at the hotel's waterfront restaurant and went back to my room, changed into my bed clothes and watched The Rock on TNT, which is one of those movies that we've seen over a dozen times, but always have to watch whenever we find that it is being shown. It all felt very anticlimactic for my big night all to myself. Maybe it would have been different it had been bright and sunny and I could have had my time by the pool.

Likes: Showers! Thanks to everyone who chimed in on how to help our situation with the bath. A few days later she walked into the bathroom when I was about to get into the shower and just stripped down and announced that she wanted to join. Problem solved! She loves the shower and it's more convenient for us. The only issue we've had is that she likes it too much and will demand, "I want shau-wer" a few times during the day. We've been trying to explain the situation with the drought and that we only shower once a day, unless we get dirty, which apparently was an invitation for her to draw all over herself with markers so she could score a second shower. 

"Giggle" As I've previously written, I've been trying to avoid any iphone time with her, but I finally caved. She had been refusing any attempts at cutting her nails and one day she scratched me with one of her talons. I turned on the iPad to the sign language videos that I had downloaded for our flight home from London. (in hindsight, it wasn't a good idea to use a sign language video while I was trying to cut her nails, but it worked.) Too well. After we were done, she started demanding (and using the 'more' sign) "more giggle." (I have no idea where she came up with the term 'giggle') "MORE GIGGLE!" "GIGGGGGLEEE"  and cue major meltdown. I was and yet wasn't surprised how she could become so hooked after that brief encounter. She was still requesting "giggle" for the next few days and if she spots my phone, she identifies it as "giggle". We did give in an get a phone for her. Sort of. I was passing an table of clearance items at a baby supply store and found a toy mobile phone that teaches numbers in English and Spanish. One day when her nap was out of sync with my swim practice and gave her the toy phone and some snacks as she sat in her stroller parked by the pool. I've worked out how often I need to get out and check in on her if she's awake during swim practice. A cup of milk will give me about 500 yards. If it's a repeating set, I'll get out after each interval to give her a new food item, but on this day, she didn't fuss at all and I stayed in the pool the entire time. My coach noted that she seemed to be talking with herself on her phone. I was so happy to see that she was starting to use her imagination to entertain herself. 

Her Vacuum. I'm trying to establish that we don't get a new toy everytime we go to a store, but on a recent trip to another baby supply store, she was able to keep herself distracted by pushing around the display model of a Dyson vacuum (it seriously looks like the real thing). I had a 20% off coupon that was about to expire, so I thought it would be a good use for it and bought one for her. She seriously loves it and will vacuum along side me. I'm thinking any toy that encourages cleaning is a good investment. (Random note about vacuums: we used to be total Dyson snobs, especially as one of my University flatmates was somehow related to the famed inventor, and we beleived that they were worth the high price. However after we went through three models within seven years, Husband decided to do some further research and went with the Hoover for pet hair. So much better and one third of the price of Dyson. 

She's become obsessed with my glasses. 

Dislikes: Getting dressed and staying dressed. We've entered into the 'clothing optional' phase, where she wants to run around naked. We're trying not to make too much of a big deal as a). we're hoping it's just a phase. b). it's been really, really hot lately. and c). we've had to revert back to doing some naked potty training. She does seem to be interested in picking out her clothes (and once went out her her jammies as she could only open the drawer for night wear) so I've moved all her clothes to the bottom drawer and I let her pariticipate in selecting what she wants to wear. 

She also doesn't like Pandora ads and will freak out demanding "More Music!" She also does not like it if I join in singing or dancing with her. I've been told "No, Mommy." 

Diapers: So, by the time I took my week off to work on potty training after Memorial Day, she was pretty much completely using the potty for #1 at home. My goals were to get her to poop on the potty and to manage outings. Our first trip out was an EPIC FAIL. We went to Buy Buy Baby and as soon as we entered the store, I told her it was time to put her pee-pee in the potty and she went on the toilet. So far, so good. Perhaps too good and I was probably feeling more smug than I should have been. We barely stepped outside the bathroom and she pooped. Back to the restroom to change. A few minutes later, I was looking for a larger sized sleep sack. Kate had wandered off, but was still in my peripheral vision. I heard someone say, "Is this your child? He or she is peeing.." Ugh! Back to the bathroom again! BBB has a fenced play area for children, so I dropped Kate off and ran two aisles down to pick up a pack of wipes. I couldn't have been gone more than twenty seconds. When I came back she was wet. Face palm. It was a good thing I was purchasing some more training pants and we went through all the ones I brought with us. I figured that she has to have accidents in order to learn. Plus, I reckon that many other babies have had their share of accidents in Buy Buy Baby. 

She did get much better as the week progressed. When ever we would arrive at a store or restaurant, our first stop is to locate the bathroom, so we can put pee-pee in the potty. She did well with prompting, but I would discover that when she annouces "pee-pee" in a store; it means 'I need to go NOW' or 'I am going NOW!' At home, she can take her sweet time, pick up a toy or book along the way, and still make it, but not when we're in public. After having a few misses because we didn't make it in time, I changed out our diaper bag to The Potty Backpack. A backpack is much easier to wear than the over the shoulder diaper bag and I can be ready to spring into action at barely a moment's notice. The Potette travel potty is the best thing since sliced bread. It can be used as a seat reducer (although Kate doesn't like it and will use a 'big girl potty' in public) or you can put a bag over the seat and it stands on retractable legs to be a potty placed on the ground. Twice, we've copped a squat in Safeway to quickly catch a pee. (Fortunately, no one else was in the aisle) 

There are some other essential items to carry in your diaper/potty bag that I wish I had seen written down somewhere before we started venturing out of the house: It was recommended in my potty training book to carry a wet bag and some dry pants, undies and socks. Maybe it's just not applicable since it's been so warm and we're not wearing socks, but I found I needed to carry an extra pair of shoes. Sometimes two pairs, as when kids have an accident; it goes right into the shoes. Eww. Gross. I have to give a shout out for Crocks. While I'm not too fond of them for adults, they are great for kids for this reason. You just throw them in the wash with the rest of the wet clothes. I also discovered having some old washclothes on hand is very useful, although wipes are still essential, they're not absorbant enough to clean up a major accident. Something else that would have been handy to know ahead of time; you don't need to be super sterile and bleach the kiddie potty every time she pees, just using regular baby wipes will suffice. I noticed a fine rash on the back of Kate's thighs and concluded it was from the Chlor.ox bleach wipes I was using. Cue Mom Guilt. 

We did hit a small set back (interestingly, it was while I was making final edits to my potty training post). She would be willing to sit on the potty in public when prompted, but wouldn't go. (Recently she voiced that a toilet in Tar.get was "dirty" -it was stained on the bottom, but the seat was clean- She didn't pee on the potty and had a miss right as were were walking out of the bathroom. When we were at home, she would announce "pee-pee", we would do our 'run, run to the potty', but she would stop abruptly in the hallway and then walk back to where she was playing. I tried prompting her by bringing her to the bathroom and I got the full on, crying, screaming, meltdown of refusal. Oh shit. I was partially blaming the regression on the fact that Husband was away (he was away during the week I took off and was away for part of the following week and again for another week) but I was determined to stay the course and to push through. I fed her more fluids as she played in the kitchen and when I could tell she needed to pee, I slipped the potty under her and scored two catches before her bed time. The next day she was back to not only using the potty, but having the same sense of satisfaction, "I DIDIT" and was wanting to flush and clean the potty with me. I'm finding now that she is wanting a bit more independence. We were out in public and she tried to push me out of the stall, so I had to wait outside. At home, I hang out by the bathroom door and just ask if she needed help wiping and washing her hands. I remind myself that the potty training learning curve is not linear on a daily basis. She'll do really well and pee when prompted and tell me she needs to go in public; then come home and have a total miss. Sigh. It will all come together. Eventually. 

Clothes: I came to pick up Kate from Day Care one day, and I discovered that she had grabbed a pair of Pepp.a Pig underwear from someone else's cubby and was trying to put it on. While I was impressed with her initive, I had to explain that we don't wear other people's underwear. The next day we went shopping for undies. I was noticing that she would pee a little bit into her training pants on the way to the potty. She was getting most of the pee into the potty, but the pants were wet enough that they would need to be changed. Every time. My book suggested that the training pants are sometimes thick enough to feel like diapers, so putting the undies on under the training pants can help. We also switched from the one piece pajamas to separates to make it easier to go potty in the morning. I wasn't as emotional about parting with the onesie PJs and they were a pain in the ass. Plus these new PJs look so comfy, I wish they came in my size. 


Sleep: We've had no wake ups before 6 AM since my last update! Yay! Actually she's been sleeping later in the mornings as we have been pushing her bed time out a little bit. It used to be that we'd start to get her ready at 7, be finished with milk and stories by 7:20. I would leave the room at 7:25 and she would usually be asleep by 7:30. Lately we've been starting the process closer to 7:45. Some of this is due to the fact that I'm trying to wait for her to pee one last time, but also because it's still very light out as we just hit the longest day of the year. While I really like it when she sleeps passed 7 on a weekend morning, I'm a litte annoyed with the later bedtime, as it is cutting into my evening time.  However,  I'm finding that our cuddle time on the glidder is starting to feel awkward as she's getting too big to sit on my lap. As a result, it's getting shorter and shorter and I think she finds herself uncomfortable and starts pointing to her crib. She's now started requesting to take Baby and Kitty to bed with her. I do have to go back in and remove Baby from her crib, as the doll 'cries' if you squeeze her, so if Kate rolls over on the doll, it will cry and a few times, I've been woken up by the doll's cry.

Eating: A month or so ago, when she was at the start of the horrific GI virus and didn't feel like eating; I gave her some diluted Nak.ed brand blended juice in order to get some calories in her. Now she's hooked on "soup". Like "giggle", I have no idea where she came up with this term as we've never served her any soup and rarely have any ourselves. She's also hooked on "coco [coconut] water". Oh, and remember when I was that mom who insisted on preparing all of her child's food herself? Yeah, those days went out the window when I discovered these:



Now packing her snack bag is a snap! Just drop one of these bad boys and you're done. I also picked up a maze tray (pictured below) from the same Babies R'Us clearance table as the learning numbers baby mobile phone. (I love it when impluse buys turn out to be great investments). She seems to be eating better since using this tray. Incidently, while Tyler has stopped batting his paws on the shutters in the middle of the night, he now starts meowing incessently between 4 and 5 AM. I'll get up to check that he has dry food and if his bowl is full, I'll let him meow-it-out. Just like CIO, it works for cats too as his meowing time has dropped from over an hour to 10-15 minutes. Still it's enough to wake me and sometimes I can't fall back asleep, so it prompted another 'Help! My cat is being an asshole!' email to the vet and she suggested getting him a food puzzle bowl, so he'll be more stimulated and won't meow out of boredom. I just think it's so interesting that similar tactics work for pets and kids. 


Milestones: I think she must be working on manners at Day Care, because it seems like overnight she started saying 'please' and 'thank-you' all the time without any prompting; but I also wonder if it was merely a matter of time. I think back to two month ago when we were in LA and the other mother was admonishing Kate over her lack of manners and I want to flip her off. She also recognises that you are supposed to acknowlege when someone sneezes (or coughs, as she can't quite distinguish) and she'll say "Achoo". I had a coughing fit one morning and she kept repeating "Achoo. Mommy" "Achoo, Mommy." It is so adorable, I don't want to correct her. She's also become very good at saying sorry, and in particular if done something like stepping on your foot, she'll rub it as well.

My pediatrician wanted her to know at least three colours by her second birthday, and I'm pleased to report she knows the full rainbow, plus a few new colours. Although she knows the proper name and sign for 'orange', anything orange coloured is "Lylah" after Tyler. An orange toy airplane is a "Lylah plane". The Indian food truck that is tikka masala coloured, it's a "Lylah truck." Her other new colour is "bluazul". I've been working the Spanish, but apparently I confused her into thinking it's one word. While she doesn't speak too many Spanish words, she does recognise the words. We'll look at her big book of Spanish words and if I ask "Donde esta el perro?" she can point to the picture of the dog. 
She's also started singing a few songs. She doesn't yet know all the words, but she can keep up with the cadence. Much like an adult singing along to the radio. She knows "Ba-Baa Black Sheep" "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the Alphabet Song. She also started saying "I love you" to me and Husband, as she learned the phrase after singing "The Wheels on the Bus". That annoying song proved to be good for something. 

Health Issues: I just realized that she hasn't needed to make any visits to her pediatrician since her last well baby visit at 18 months. I thought we were going to break that streak when she had a fever over 4th of July weekend, but it was quickly resolved. I had stopped trying to put on those stupid toe splints to help her overlapping toes and I just couldn't bear the battle every night. Eventually, they became misplaced and Husband ordered some more online. Not only did she cooperate with letting us put them on, she didn't want us to take them off in the morning. (Crying is sometimes involved) Now she actually reminds us that we need to put them on at night, and even tries to put them on herself. Who is this child and what has she done with my daughter? 

Activities: We finally started soccer! Last year, I learned about a soccer class for two year olds that is held on Tuesday mornings, very close to our house. I've been stalking their schedule all year long, waiting until we could finally register for their summer programme. Kate apparently does not share my enthusiasm, as she is just not getting into soccer. She doesn't want to participate in any of the games (except when they play 'Red Light/Green Light) and would rather dive over the inflatably bumpers that define the soccer space, or vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv (Kate just jumped on my lap to give her input) she'll want to walk along the the stone wall. As a former gymnast, I'm starting to recognise that she has an apt for gymnastics. A few weeks ago, I found her placing herself in a sort of downward dog position, and I started teaching her how to do a forward roll. I think I'll start looking into gymnastic classes after this soccer session ends. While I loved my experience in gymnastics, I'd rather see her participate in soccer, [field] hockey, swimming or tennis. 

Looking Forward to... This is really silly, but it will be nice and simple to merely say "I have a two year old". I've struggled with telling people her age after she turned one year. I know people without kids especially become annoyed when you report your kids age in months or fractions, so I had to say "she's  a little over a year... she's a year and a half (yes, I said half -deal with it).. she's almost two years..." While brings me to what I'm going to do with these updates. I told myself that I would switch to reporting on a quarterly basis, but as you can read... they've become quite addictive to me... so you may be subjected to Kate 2.125 and 2.375... Sorry.