Going Silver

Why, yes, I am going to take some time to make a tribute to myself.

When A1 was a baby, I breastfed her only four months. She had severe reflux and lost a few ounces. At a year old, she weighed 18 lbs. ( A2 is six months and 16 pounds, just to give you an idea) She was in the 5th percentile for most of her infancy. She is now 36″ and 23 lbs. She is thriving, talking, and smart as a whip. I had to switch to formula when she lost weight. I made a swift decision that I felt would maintain her bill of health.

I am proud to say I’m still nursing A2. We have a happy, relaxed nursing relationship. I can actually enjoy nursing her, instead of stressing out about work, my broken arm, and first time parenting. She is in the 60th percentile, which is a pretty damn big deal. She is a happy, bubbly girl who likes to laugh and smile at her family members.

According to BabyCenter, I have earned my silver boobs!!! Woo hoo!


The Unofficial Choir Member

I made the choice to take the As to Daddy J’s alumni choir concert. I was hoping to give you a glowing review of my experience. I can’t even tell you how long it lasted. I have no clue.

A1 was fine at first. She had three books and my iPhone. She played with a few Fisher-Price apps and flipped through the books. She even clapped for the choir once. Then, all hell broke loose. I had moved her and A2 to my lap. The Elmo Loves You book fell to the ground. A1 whined, “Elmo!” and wouldn’t accept her Touch and Feel Farm or Zoe and Elmo Go to the Zoo. Going to my former college’s chapel has never seemed like such a bad idea.

I tried to placate her after another tantrum, but the condescending assholesold couple in front of me turned partway around and said, “Take her out, please” in this dumb ass we’re-trying-to-enjoy-the-show way. Yeah, because I never tried to do so before I was married, attending concerts while I lived on campus.

I tried to leave. The door is heavy. I am carrying a squirming toddler in one hand and a chubby six-month-old in the other. I felt almost hardcore that I could carry them at once. I sat down, and of course, A1 kicks up again, and I am forced to take her out of there. It was during one of the pauses the choir director (who is a condescending jackass) takes to give a dissertation about his inspiration for the song at handspeak. I walk A1 to the back. She has a tantrum on the floor. I am still carrying the baby. I eventually walk them back and try to open the stroller. The gentleman in the front-facing partnership says, “Do you need help?”. I lost it. “YES, I DO! SET THIS UP AND HELP ME PUT HER IN THE STROLLER.” Fucking idiot. I guess he saw the baby in my arms and got the damn point. He couldn’t figure out the DuoGlider, because he’s 80. He, myself, and another kinder, gentler woman, who I wish would have sat by me, brought my things into the hallway. I was pretty mortified. I still am.

We sat in the hallway for the duration of the concert. A high school alumni of mine, whose wife was also singing in the choir, was there with his four-year-old. She was a sweet little thing. That was a bright spot, as was the lady who showed her kindness. Otherwise, it wasn’t fun.

I figured A1 didn’t want to sit still that long. Suddenly, when the audience clapped, she put her fingers in her ears. It was too loud, and she was overstimulated. A2 didn’t even cry once. I then realized that it was a mistake to bring her there at this age.

I’ve declined dance recitals and all sorts of events similar to this. Now, I will continue to do so until the kids are 10 or so.


Love you!

I have been working with A1 on her speech, as all of you know from a previous post, and now I am happy to report that I’ve seen the language explosion progression. I also have learned a few things.

A 23 1/2 month old is talking more than you know. I think part of it is the epiphany the parents have: finally understanding what your child is saying.

Had the bowl of blueberries not been in front of A1, I wouldn’t have realized it she said, “Blueberry.” Sometimes, the only language I hear is Caveman. There is definite language barrier there. She also said, “I want it!”, and her longest sentence yet: “Oh wow, the bubbles!” I am so proud of her.

So now I don’t have to worry about that as much. A few days ago, I was exercising my brain, researching all sorts of websites for the average number of words 18-24 month olds say. Well, she’ll be two on the 11th, and she says 40 words. I’m not sure exactly how many phrases, but when I hear a new one, I add it to the memo on my iPhone. I like to keep track, in case I see something that could signal a delay or an area in which she would need more work. Being apart of the special education system taught me what the signs are.

One day, she walked over to the coffee table. I gave her a kiss. She kissed me back and said, “Luh you!” Moments like these make me remember why I love being her mom.


Silent Stalkings: Viral Edition

Two nights ago, I was hit with the mini-virus from hell. I went to bed at 3 am after nursing A2. Then, at 4:30 am, it hit me. Nausea, clamminess, and eventually, a stomachache. From the feeling of it, I figured it was intestinal fortitude. It was at first. Then, without warning, I got chills, and my teeth began to chatter. I switched positions and eventually threw up.

Vomiting is horrible. You literally feel the energy being siphoned out of your body. I went from .5 to nothing on the energy scale that day. A2 ended up co-sleeping in our bed, something that never happens (we tried it with A1 in a bassinet when she was a baby, and she was a horribly noisy sleeper. Newborns are such grunt-y things).

After more chills and more diarrhea, Daddy J asked me if I wanted MIL to come over or for him to stay home from work. I opted for the former. He did, and performed well.

He did bottle feedings with A2’s pumped milk and fed A1 lunch/breakfast. He made pasta with vodka sauce for dinner. I had no complaints, and got sleep for the first time in six months, once I stopped feeling like crap.

Today, I have recovered. The As and I will be attending a friend’s bridal shower in eastern Ohio. The gift is purchased and set up, and both diaper bags are ready to go. All I must do is choose.


I Think She Hates Food…and Language

A1 is the pickiest damn eater on the planet. Seriously. I realize all toddlers are picky, but even when I try to avoid it, I end up in all-out warfare with her at the table.

She basically hates everything except blueberries, bananas, all junk food, Chocolate Chex, apples, string cheese, yogurt and milk. She hates any vegetable except carrots. If I had a white flag to wave, I would.

Couple that with the battle of trying to figure out what she wants and being pressured by your own mother/past conversations your SIL initiates with your friends, and it’s a lovely recipe for stress. It’s hard to take care of my kids with all that head noise. I really wish everyone would shut up, and that I’d stop caring about what SIL, MIL, and company said.



“Can She Talk?” *facepalm*

Father’s Day was a great day. We ended the visit at my parents’-in-law’s (PILs) house by walking around the block. I had the DuoGlider and the As in tow, of course. We stopped at a friend of the family’s home, and showed them the kids. Apparently they’d asked my MIL if we could stop by sometime. Everyone was pleasant, and kept telling us how beautiful our children were, which was nice. A few people asked how old A1 was. I told them she will be two next month, since I’m sick and tired of giving her age in months (23 1/2… I’m sure everyone gets the point by now). Then, I hear it. I heard it through Daddy J from MIL, perhaps few another person or two I cannot remember at present, and definitely from my inner voice: “Now, is she talking?”

*mental facepalm.*

I constantly worry about A1 talking. Yes, she talks. Does she talk in front of other people? Not always. That used to be a big, fat “no”, but now that she spends more time with M and some of our other family members, she has come out of her shell a little bit. What resurfaces my worrying is any comment someone else makes about it, because it reinforces my anxiety. Thanks a lot, people.

What do I say? “She talks, but she has to warm up to people first.” “She’s shy.” (I hate that one, but I never have a slew of canned responses prepared, because I don’t want to broadcast my fears.

I had developmental delays as a child. Long story; future post. In short, I fear A2 may encounter some of the same issues as me. So far, she isn’t showing any signs, but when I see M talking more, it bugs me, because I am home all the time with her and A2, so why won’t she show other people what am amazing kid she is?

M shines all the time, especially in front of people. She sings. She dances. She pees on her potty. She asks me if A2, aka “Baby”, is having fun. A1 does all of that stuff, except for peeing on the potty (we are still working on that, which is fine). I see favoritism when it comes to M. Is it intentional? Maybe not. Is everything (kids videos played) geared to her likes and not A1’s? Yes. Did M mark her territory and pee on A1’s potty? Yes.

As I often do when I am unsure, I researched. I read an article with a side illustration (complete with bullet points) about introversion and how to address the introverted child. This is fabulous, but I think the key idea is to accept the introverted child for the person he or she is.

When I was a kid, I met shy toddlers. I always figured it was because they were little and always wanted their moms. It never offended me in the least. Now, every preschooler must talk. Pardon me while I call MENSA for more details on this matter.


A Tribute to Dads!

Happy Father’s Day, dads! You earned it—whether it’s a paycheck or the payoff of having your kid do well in school, sports, or (if they’re grown) in life. When it comes to a child’s self-esteem, acceptance, and relationships, you are the most influential factor.

You’re the support system and the backup (especially for moms). You help bathe the kids, put the baby to sleep when Mom’s out of options, and preoccupy the kids when she needs a break. Heroism.


A word about viral fevers

When A1 was 10 months old, she had her first cold. I thought 99 degrees was a fever. Psssh. This is normal. I gave her Tylenol, despite the fact that my mother cautioned me against this. She was illness free prior to this, and didn’t get her next “mystery virus” until she was 16 months. I was pregnant with A2.

Her temperature was 102. I took this rectally, as the AAP and our pediatricians recommend. I brought her in after dealing with this random fever for a day or two. I saw the physician’s assistant, which I hate doing for my own appointments. I think doctors give a more accurate diagnosis. Our PA is nice, but she made my toddler a science experiment. Leave your hypotheses in med school. Don’t touch my kid.

They checked her ears. They were fine. The listened to her breathing. It was fine. The PA then said she’d order a urinary catheterization. What the hell?! What are you doing to my poor little girl? The nurse, who I like, was kind as always. She even comforted my stressed out, crying, hormonal self as I watched my oldest daughter scream from this “pencil tip” width tube being inserted into her tiny urethra. Jesus, even I had an epidural when I had that thing put in—she had NOTHING!

Oh, but wait. This gets better.

I was directed to take a sample lab kit for the hospital’s outpatient center to perform BLOOD TESTS on her. I then had to take her to the same place I had my glucose tolerance test done for gestational diabetes. (Three hours of unnecessary torture, all because I ate two hours before then. Lesson learned). These stupid techs held her down, and made me assist. They are cold and uncaring with toddlers. I wanted to punch them in the face. I stood there crying while she screamed. They didn’t give a shit.

The test results, urine and blood work, all came back fine. I tortured my baby for nothing. I was pissed.

Fast forward to today. A2 is 5 1/2 months old. She is fussy and stays up until 3:30 am. She is hot and cranky the next day. She spikes a 101.7 fever.

A1’s fever went down with meds and spiked at night. This is what you expect. A2’s has continuously gone up and down until tonight. 101.7, 100.6, 102.5, 103.2. Yesterday, I gave in. I called After Hours, which is run through a larger hospital two hours south of here. They asked me questions. They told me to bring her in, just like A1. It’s Sunday, and the pediatricians’ office is closed. I had to take her to the ER. What fun.

Two years ago, when A1 was 17 days old, I fell off our old guest bed while holding her. I landed on my elbow, and she rolled to the ground. She was fine. I fractured my distal humerus and didn’t get a diagnosis for four hours. There is nothing like sitting in an ER with a broken arm and no pain meds or splint. I waited just as long with my infant.

The doctor eventually comes in. He is an older guy (well, 20-30 years older than me). He has a bushy mustache and accompanying goatee, salt-and-pepper gray to match the hair on his head. He has a friendly demeanor, and his bedside manner with A2. He checks her in the same manner as A1 was a few months ago. He said, “I’d check her for strep throat, but I’m 99-100% sure she doesn’t have it.” I bristled. I had a throat culture done when I was 12. It adds insult to injury when you already have a scratchy throat. I agreed with him. He ordered ibuprofen for her, which brought her fever down quickly (for the time being). I was given discharge papers and sent home.

What made me do a mental facepalm is the description of what she supposedly has: a “viral syndrome.” It also said “an upper respiratory infection, or UTI, also known as the common cold.” Thanks, guys. Thanks for making me feel even more stupid than I already did.

The purpose of my story is this: to help other new moms who need this information, and veteran moms who also need it, but haven’t had it.

Honestly, my pediatricians are great. I ask plenty of questions, and get concise answers. One thing I’ve noted, though, is that you need to ask, and know what to question. Whether you have kids, are expecting, or plan on it, here’s my advice for you before your next/first fever experience:

1. Throw everything you know about big kid fevers out the window. Not to be dismissive, but the “rules” (I use this term loosely) don’t apply here. 99 degrees is a low fever for us; however, it’s normal for infants and toddlers.

2. No two pieces of advice/sources are alike. It is confusing. The AAP tells you to bring a sick kid in. The pediatrician says it’s a virus that must run its course.

3. No outward symptoms? Probably a virus. Unless you see a rash, like roseola, or ear pulling/pus, like an ear infection, it’s likely to be an internal bug. Now, I’m not a doctor, so I will list my sources from research when I finish this post.

4. If an ER doc or ped tell you that it’s a virus or cold, keep your child comfortable, and check temps often. Administer Tylenol or ibuprofen, but select only one of these, unless otherwise specified by a physician.

5. 100.4, according to the AAP, CDC, and BabyCenter, is a fever in babies 0-3 months. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY IN THIS CASE.

6. For babies 4 months+, 101-102 is considered a fever, according to BabyCenter. Administer Tylenol or ibuprofen. Be sure to check with the ped, or, if available, after hours care about the dosage. This is given by weight, not height, for those who are new to the journey of parenthood.

7. Feel free to ask other moms you trust for advice, as you are seeking here. I recommend it. Weigh out your options, then do what’s best for your child(ren).

8. I don’t care what anyone says—you are NEVER wrong for taking your child to the doctor if you think it is or could become a serious illness.



Another Great Diaper Deal!

We do not have a CVS in my city, but this is a great deal for families who do!

Penny Pinching Peach

If you have munchkins who are still diaper bottoms, this is a great deal for you! I’m surprised to have deals this great so close together! Also, if you’ve not yet done the Kimberly Clark Rebate, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that. (See my previous post about it here: http://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/05/24/fantastic-diaper-deal-rebate-and-more/ ) You could get diapers and wipes for nearly nothing after rebate if you buy three packs of Huggies and $5 worth of Huggies wipes and haven’t done the rebate yet! 🙂

I did two transactions during a quick trip to CVS today. My main purposes for going in there was to take advantage of the diaper deal I’d put together and to get some ibuprofen we needed. There was also a good sale on Pepsi products. I went in with no Extra Care Bucks to spend. I spent $21.49 out of pocket and saved $36.60…

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Product Review: Breastform Mi Pump

Shortly after A1 was born, M was two months old, and my SIL, also J, eschewed breastfeeding long before (M was two days old and her milk hadn’t come in, so she gave up). She was kind enough, however, to give me her remaining Medela nursing pads (thumbs up!) and let me borrow her Mi Pump.

I tried the pump. It works, but I had to put it on level 5 before I could express any milk. Furthermore it hurts (did I mention how important getting fitted is?). It turns out the flanges were too small.

It is LOUD…the whir and click that you hear is pretty damn annoying. I bought my PISA a month later and returned this to SIL, thanking her for her generosity.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank this a 3.5. At least it comes with a nice carrying bag and one of the best (according to other EBFing and pumping moms) nipple tips for breast-to-bottle feeding.

Here it is: