Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4 month Well Baby

My baby is 4 months old. Seriously?!

Let's do the trek up to Portsmouth Naval Hospital and enjoy us a hot serving of military efficiency at its finest. No, really, WE HAVE TO.

So off we go, through the tunnel of death traffic, into the ghetto known as P-Town, past the ever-judgmental base gate-guard (no, I don't have my ID out and ready because, yes, I did find it necessary to be texting my husband my location while I waited in line because your newfangled technologically-updated buildings are impenetrable by my rogue cell phone waves. Thank God, hallelujah, we are protected from texting terrorists.) I didn't know if Stephen was going to make it off work in time to meet us somewhere so I had to report my status before I parked and went off the grid.

(and for the record, Blogger-post editting software, "texting" IS a word so stop trying to reprimand it with your accusatory red dotty line! Get with the times and quit being so 80's!)

And off we skip, tra la la la, into the seven story parking garage, finally find a spot, park and head to the elevator with 3 minutes to get to our appointment on time. I sprint up to PEDS on the third floor (and by sprint I mean awkwardly walk as fast as my postpartum maternity jeans can handle the incessant swish swash of my inner thigh regions as they wear the fabric thin and pilly - OMG, you know what I'm talking about). Tardiness is unacceptable. You do not want to have to wait another 3 weeks to "reschedule" a missed appointment. The sign on the wall clearly states "If you are over 10 min late for your appt, we will reschedule you". It also says "Please let someone know if you have been waiting more than 15 min past your appt time" but I dare you to take them up on that one. TRIPLE DOG DARE.

And as a not so funny side note: these people are. Straight. Up. Rude.
It's the military. Not like anyone is in fear of losing their job...

I was behind the sign that says "For privacy reasons, please wait here to be called" with angry red arrows and a big X taped to the ground. The desk lady was oblivious. Two minutes go by. No one else was waiting at the counter so I went ahead up. I was looking straight at this nub receptionist and she was writing so I waited, trying to be polite. I usually, as a rule, try my damnedest NOT to be rude. I didn't clear my throat or tap the counter with my nails. I just waited. Scanned the office. Looked down and smiled/cooed at E. Read the informative pamphlets about "Similac: It's the New Breastmilk" and "Breastmilk: It's the New MIRACLE OF LIFE". She continued to tap papers into orderly piles and scribble on post it notes. She finally looked up, sighs loudly, and scowls, "Say something!"

I was stunned for a second. Wha'.....
"Say something! You're just standing there!"
As she finished the sentence, she sort of maybe chuckled in a "I'm just joshin' ya around, I didn't mean it" kind of way.

But she did.

I almost reached over and curled my fingers in her fake too-long-for-regulation horse-hair curls. "Excuse me Bitch." But I didn't. Partly because, well My God, there were children everywhere and partly because fuck you we're changing peds and the paperwork is already making its painfully slow way through Tricare as we speak so MLEH (that's me sticking my tongue out in mature defiance). I blinked a few times and then I told her we had an appointment, right now, and we had arrived. She said wait and be seated, so I did. And then I mentally set her weave on fire wondered if she was just having a bad day.

We waited the required 45 minutes past our appointment time, as usual. We finally go back and answer the preliminary questions. Any concerns? Not really (I mean, I google, therefore I am informed). And they ask me if I filled out that 21490324 page questionnaire they always give me and I roll my eyes and say "No, I do not feel suicidal/homicidal/postpartumy-bat-shit-crazy. That would require I have free time and obviously I have a 4 month old so that's not an issue. And for the record, if I did have free time, I still wouldn't waste precious time being depressed. You could probably find me ohIdontknow in the shower, or possibly trying to finish JUST ONE GODDAMMED LOAD OF LAUNDRY before the Hubster comes home again and says "Ohay, what did you do all day". Maybe not with his words, but with his eyes. On second thought, give me the damned questionnaire, I want my husband to live.

Doc is going on about what solids to start with and how often and the importance of still getting enough milk and I just butt in "We won't be starting solids before the next visit so thanks but no thanks". Then he asks me all 122141 questions on the OTHER questionnaire, the one that asks if your 4 month old can do (insert age appropriate milestone here) and wants to know your daily schedule (haha schedule hahahaHAHAHA!) I tried to preface every answer with a prolonged eye blink because OREALLY?!? Then why did I waste my 45 minute wait in the lobby filling out your dumb paper when I could be watching FUCKING BARNEY with everyone else. (Disclaimer: "Fucking" describes not Barney's actions but Barney as an entity.)

And he wanted to know all about her hemangioma and I was beyond annoyed. 1) You're a doc. Look that shit up in your book. Put that expensive medical school training in action. 2) If your medical practice insists I see a different doctor every time I come, at least share notes or something. I really wasn't thrilled to be there. I just wanted to basically get her weight and height and then maybe a lolly pop or a sticker or something. I don't trust their backward thinking about child rearing. (Movie Quote: You hear that? He wants to REAR YOUR CHILD!)

That concludes this round of ranting. On to the raving.

Elizabeth's new stats are as follows.... (drumroll please :)
 Height: 27 inches
Weight: 15 lb 2 oz
(now I know where all that milk is going)

And I never got that lolly pop.

On to immunizations...

I really wanted to believe that this time would be different. I prayed to the gods that we wouldn't get the same guy as last time. I offered them the child after next as collateral (shhhh... we're only having two kids... What was that, God?... nope, nothing to hear over here...) He was there. Waiting to stab the next unsuspecting little baby. I was all like "Hey douche-tard, you who last time speared my precious one with your daggers of poison. No thank you. I will wait for the next available representative please."

Now let me get past my arrogance and swallow my pride a bit. Let me go back to the these mutilators and keep my cool and try to cling to the "bigger picture". Because I totally put my child's care above my own desire to spare her unneeded pain. Because hordes of babies have always been toted in to be assaulted get their shots and then successfully released to their parents to go on and drool another day. Because I want her to get them. I do. I'm not one of those hippies don't be believin' in no vaccines. I mean, no offense if that's you, but I would be more than pleased to take my spot in the ranks of lemmings parents you depend on to vaccinate our kids, in the hopes of keeping the plague away from your unprotectedvaccinated kids. K, that's my opinion. Just don't come crying to me when a wave of polio hits and, well, let's just say your kid can't stand in the "my legs work good" line. Damn Outbreak Monkeys. Oh, polio is dead, you say? Oh, ok then......

Another disclaimer: lemmings aren't actually lemming-like. It's a myth propagated by Disney.   Just so you can be informed.

Back to the story. I do wait for a different guy. Two in fact. A team. They are excellent. Tag team Lizzie's plump little turkey legs like they were injecting it to be deep fried. She cried for a second, a brief WHAT THE FROCK JUST HAPPENED (yes, she would say frock if she could because I would wash her little mouth out if not. DO AS I SAY and NOT AS I DO little minion!). Everything went pretty smoothly, nary a hiccup until I asked if I could pop E on the teat as soon as it was over because my chesticles have the same effect on her as they do on Stephen (complete and utter mind erasing. TMI? I thought so :)

The big tall one was all scared and "oh you cant breastfeed in here" and I'm like "WTF, let me update you on my rights you little adolescent brat. I will have La Leche up in this bitch so fast it will make your head spin, Poltergeist style. And furthermore,..." but he stopped me and said "Oh no, we just gotta keep the line moving. So I was like "Oh, ok, that's cool... Almost had to school yur punk ass"

But then the little shy pimply one piped in " Plus, we don't want to, like, see your boobs and get sued."

Twitch. Twitch.

"Hello, 1980's man. It my fucking right to whip my shit out and feed my child and I don't give two shits about you seeing my tits. They're milk bags you pervert. OMG now my head is spinning..."

But instead I just left, vital stats taken, jabbings accomplished.
Next step? Fight insane killer tunnel traffic going home. At 5 pm. Super Yay. Can't wait for her 6 month check up!







Saturday, December 12, 2009

Where's the Thanksgiving post?!

So yeah, procrastination.....

I has it...

Embarrassingly late Thanksgiving entry because, well, there were just too many pictures to go through. Seriously, like, I had to pull all the good ones out and merge the ones everyone else took. And then there's all the super advanced filters for the images in Picture Viewer. And the wine has to be drunk people! I don't see you helping me with that!

No sympathy?
I figured as much...

Thanksgiving story: we went to Florida to see the Dad-in-Law and the Florida Mom. It was elevenish hours to drive. Elevenish because, who am I kidding, anything more than a tank of gas and it doesn't matter. Long. Butt numbing and and boring and no amount of "I Spy" is gonna make it more fun-ish. So to cut down on the sucks-ass-factor, we left in the evening. (My idea, as opposed to Stephen's idea: let's leave at 5pm and get stuck in all that tunnel traffic behind a non-inspection-passing toxic-fume-spewing VW van full of unshowered hippies who are smoking reefer and jamming to Bob Marley. It happened last time folks. I was there.) That was the easy part, the "deciding".

When Stephen got home, I sent him upstairs to nap with E and I packed. Which is such a thankless job. I mean it's right up there with dusting and keeping the CD's in alphabetical order. No one looks at your OCD-y luggage with labeled sandwich bags and every possible electronic charger and says "My God, Sweetheart, thank goodness I have you or, ....shit, I'd be naked!" Nope. I should rack up points for every time I answer yes to "You didn't happen to pack X did you?" or "Please God tell me we brought Y." Then I could cash them in for, like a cruise or a spa day or something. Wouldn't that be nice!?

So anywho.... as I am scrambling to remember every possible thing a Mommy, Daddy, Baby and Doggie might need for 4 days, Stephen is refreshed and staring at me burning circles in the hardwood floors. I was in full-fledged freak-out-mode. I was so tired. Poor Hubby was just toting out my finished products as I filled them. He wants to help me, he really does, but he knows me well enough to just back up and let me do things my way. You know, cuz my way is better ;P

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is simply being cute and photogenic as always.

Don't forget to pack the boobies, Mom. 
I needs them.

Eventually we get packed and get on the road. We drive elevenish hours. Arrive in Florida. Have Thanksgiving. Eat too much. Feel like the guy from Seven. The End....

Contact tryptophan high via boobie milk.
Or is that a contact "low"?


I did not have eating relations with that cranberry sauce!

Haha! Yeah right!

You know I took like eleventy billion pictures of my angel and now I feel compelled to show them all to you. That's how much I love you, blog readers (all 4 of you!). However, the humorous paragraph producing brain cells have recently been shot all to hell by someone who got their 4 month shots and is now the most clingy, cranky, cantankerous demon spawn who no longer requires sleep and/or silence to function. I won't name names, but you know who you are (points to E). I'm tired. She's tired. The neighbors are tired. They should make a Lifetime TV show about it.

Instead, I treat you to a simple picture montage with captions. Please hum an appropriately chosen theme song to yourself as you scroll down.

Chillin' with Grandpa...

Nom nom nom ... you is comfy couch to eat upon...

Gammy giving Mommy a much needed break from the Milk Monster... Thanks Gammy!

You see these people here?
These mah families...
They loves meh <3

This my Gammy...
I has stolen her heart and putted it in mah pocket <3

Someone to play with!!

Thanks Uncle Will!
I need you at my house to 'splain all my toys there, too :)

However, this "sharing attention" stuff displeases me greatly...

Indoctrination via gaming propaganda...
I think it's working!

This game you play...
Not amusing...

OMG my baby is getting so big!

I know this is *mostly* the same pic again, but the subtle differences between the two made it hard to pick just one. It's always such a struggle for me to chose a favorite in a string of pictures and that's probably why it takes so long to get my blog posts out. But such is the life of a cute kid mommy. It's a cross I have to bear <3

James Bond?

 Oh Grandpa, I don't know what Mommy and Gammy are talking about...
You're so witty!

 Oh God... someone save me...
testosterone levels...
so high...

Dad... you're doin' it sooooo wrong...
Lemme shows you...
Up, down, left arrow, left arrow, triangle, circle, square...
Oh, and jump... 
no explanation needed....
It must be hereditary... 

Group shot...
cutest one is in red <3
Chewie and Annie...
not the quickest of friends, but eventually the bestest of friends...

 Lizzie's personal guard dog....
Annie would follow her around the whole time and sleep outside the door :)

Destroyers of garden planting supplies...

They could be twins!

Le animals...
Jealous much?

His name is Chewie and he is in time out.
But we still lovez him :) 

Betsy never passes up a good lap...
Even one that *might* be already taken!
My cute little yin yang twins <3

This concludes our belated review of Thanksgiving 2009.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Growth Spurt


I just found this post as a draft from when E was 6 weeks old (9/18/09). It's so effin' funny to me. Maybe not to you. But I remember being psycho bat-shit crazy new-mom and killing the people who told me stuff like "this too shall pass" and "that's how it is for everyone". Seriously. And then I hid their bodies.



Oh wow, no posts in a week or so.
I was on vacation, finishing a novel, rendered useless by a continually non-sleeping infant.

It amazes me that I actually beat my Penn State record of how many nights I can stay up and still function the next day. Gosh, I think maybe four? Five? And I easily topped that with seven straight days of no sleep.

Unless you count the 45 minute power naps where I chanted in my head "Gotta go to sleep, gotta go to sleep, gotta go to sleep" (ugh stress-induced-insomnia!) until Lizzie cried herself awake and a little part of me died. Or my 20 minute liquid-magma showers where I tilted the shower head sideways, leaned against the wall, and half cried / half dozed into the spray. Or the hour long nursing sessions where I would teeter as close as I could to dream world without losing muscle control and dropping the Milk Monster. So yeah...

What was all the fuss about?

Growth Spurt.

That's all. Just a growth spurt. Some babies get through them in a day or two. Not Lizzie. She enters into her week long metamorphosis with feeding frenzies. She will nurse for 30 minutes to an hour, sleep for 30 minutes to an hour, repeat until your boobs fall off. No breaks at night. So don't ask. The breastfeeding literature calls it cluster feeding. I call it cruel and unusual punishment. It's kind of humorous in that exhausted sort of way. I look like hammered dog shit. Maybe even smell like it too.

It's funny when you look back at how fast a lack of sleep can turn you into a downward spiral. You collapse into a black hole, devoid of all intelligence, relying on instinct alone. You stuff whatever sustenance you can down your throat and try to remember you are housebroken. Things like dishes and laundry become so complex, so unbelievably impossible to even fathom, that the mere thought of resolving them causes you to go glassy eyed and fall heavily to the couch. And 2am shrieks for boobie milk? Well, sandwiched between midnight shrieks for boobie milk and 4 am shrieks for boobie milk, they are psychosis inducing. The moment I hear her little bottom lip quiver in the pitch dark room, my mind snaps. It takes every sensible, logical, civilized fiber of my being just to prevent the Hulk from coming out as I reach down to pick up her frail, tightly bundled body. My mouth is sweetly whispering "Aw, you need some milkies, huh Mommy's sweetheart?" but my exhausted mind is frantically trying to recall if I'm supposed to shake the baby or not shake the baby.

It's when you get to the 6 week growth spurt... It finally makes sense... It's already the second one... you're so tired... Angel baby has traded her halo in for a pitchfork and horns... All the time the crying, the screaming... you wonder how people survive this... how the government hasn't investigated this insanity and used it as an interrogation tactic... how the human race has propagated this long... the devastating noises this spawn of yours is making... No other child in the history of newborns has ever caused a parent this much pain... this is not acceptable... I just fed you... I can't take it anymore... with scowling face you cross the room and unfurl your white clenched fists as you reach for the baby... Time slows down... You are just as close to sobbing as you are to screaming... your very next action is undecided as your brain grapples with logic... you flash back to the hospital when they were born... some boring ass lecture about some incredibly common sense knowledge... WTF... why do they waste our time... everyone knows not to shake your baby... I do not require a class to "refresh" my coping skills with stress... I KNOW not to shake my baby... a moron would understand that... what soup sandwhich needs this knowledge... "when you feel overwhelmed, stop, count to ten, take a breathe, don't shake the baby"... and then you get it...

That's why you take that damn class. When the shit hits the fan, and it will, it's so hard to imagine what it will feel like and how you will react. Newborns will suck the very life and soul from your bones and spit it back at you, mixed with sour milk and evil. No shit. I was there. Got the goshdamn tee-shirt. Autographed.

I don't know where I'm going with this. But this sucks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Guess who learned to sit !?!?

If you guessed Chewie, you are wrong!

He is still learning to sit and stay seated.

But if you said E, then you are right! Kinda....

We got her this Bumbo-style chair thingy with a tray thingy with toys and cups. I'm not so good with the baby gear descriptions so here's a pic:

Reasons why I like it:

1. It's really colorful. Babies like color. Babies are interested in color. Babies will sit down and shut their milk-holes for seven minutes to stare at the pretty colors. Seven minutes. Which is exactly the amount of time it takes to heat up a mug of already cold coffee, pee with the door open to watch said baby-looking-at-pretty-colors, pop some Tylenol and then run back. It keeps her occupied!

2. It makes noise, but not too much noise. I respect the fact that, like, your brain is developing. And it needs stimulation. What I can't stand is obnoxiously loud and repetitive torture devices toys that exist merely as Excellent Gifts for Ass-hats you Hate. Like drum sets or the Popper. Or anything that plays cheesy songs or happy elevator music or says words that can be "mixed" DJ style (the cow says, the cow, the cow, the cow says moooo). Gimmie a slight rattle or maybe a stylized version of some classical music and I'll be happy. She likes the sounds. It keeps her occupied!

3. It spins. You can spin around in the seat and have access to 360 degrees of awesome. Which means that the slightest movement on her part and she is now looking at a brand new set of toys. Which is good because E's attention span right now is about as long as my husband's when he is playing video games. Well, maybe about twice that long. I doubt she remembers by the time she makes it all the way around that she's back where she started so IT KEEPS HER OCCUPIED!

And it also keeps her sitting upright which, to E, is her God-given right and by golly, don't you forget it!

And it has a seat belt which makes me feel better when she dives forward to try to nom nom nom the shinies.

And it was cheap as hell at the NEX.
You know Mama loves a good deal :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The grabbing the legs thingy...

Ah. The holding the feet thingy. I have been watching E, waiting for her to realize she can (a) grab things and (b) control her feet. She still can't necessarily "grab" things. She won't grab for a rattle or reach up when I go to lift her out of her bed. But she has finally mastered the holding the feet/leg concept. I'm not sure of the technical term for it.

Alright you two, get in my mouth NAO!

I am mostly excitedly anticipating when she will eat her toes. Like, I know that's gross. Really gross. And if it were any other human being, say my husband, I might vomit and take him to the pound. There's just something about a baby eating thier own feet that is quite interesting to most folk. Or maybe it's the jealousy over the whole flexibilty thing. Either way, it's entertaining and at 3 and a half months, she finally realizes the first step to doing it.

cannnn-nonnn-ball !!!

(And yes, I KNOW she's utterly delicious and you want to eat eat eat her now now now, please and thank you. With some Nutella. Mmmmmm, Nutella...)