Itchy and Scratchy

February 11, 2009

I have a mommying question for all of you mommies who still bother to read.  Lately, Scooter has been scratching himself a lot.  It’s always been a problem with him, but in the past it was more just when he was getting his diaper changed; I think he liked the feeling of his short nails on his normally-covered diaper area.  As long as I kept his nails short, it wasn’t a problem (well, when he wasn’t scratching poopy areas).

But the last week or so, it has felt more like spring, with temperatures nearing 80 degrees.  I’ve pulled out spring wardrobes with short sleeves, and Scooter doesn’t seem to know what to do with all that exposed arm.  Every time I get him up from a nap or in the morning, he has new scratches on his arms.  One this morning was scabbed over; it had clearly bled a bit overnight.

I’ve been doing some google research, but all I can find are references to eczema, which he most definitely does not have, and baby mittens to keep from scratching (those certainly wouldn’t work with a nearly 18-month-old).  Our weather has been drier than usual lately; is there any chance that could make his arms itchy?  And how would I help it if that’s the problem?  I’m being even more diligent about keeping his nails short, but I don’t think that is going to be enough to keep him from hurting himself.  If I can’t find a solution to the root problem, I might have to keep him in long sleeves for the time being, which does not sound fun as the temperatures keep gettiing warmer.

Has anyone else had this problem?  Do you have any suggestions?

Seriously, Can I Catch a Break Already?

February 3, 2009

I know there is a lot going on right now that is wonderful, but the weird stuff is way more interesting to blog about.  Seriously, I feel like I’ve been living the past few days in that children’s book Wacky Wednesday, where all I do is point out what doesn’t fit.

First there was the toe.  I’m going to the doctor this afternoon to get it checked out.  Of course it’s starting to improve now, but it’s still sore enough that I’m going to keep the appointment anyway.  Maybe when I stop waking myself up out of a dead sleep because I moved my foot wrong and feel like it’s on fire as a result–maybe then I’ll know my toe is better enough.

Then there was the stupid grocery store incident that truly hurt my pride more than my mouth.

Then yesterday the dog jumped up on me when I was playing with Scooter on the floor.  Luckily she missed him, but her claws scraped my face instead.  I have a beautiful scratch right along the edge of my mouth.  Thank goodness for good concealer that hides it fairly well.

This morning’s drive to take PJ to MDO was ridiculous as well, although fortunately there were no injuries involved.  First, as I was getting ready to turn the usual way of the neighborhood, I saw emergency vehicles blocking off the entire intersection at the nearby light.  Nobody was getting by.  I quickly turned the other way, deciding it might be a good idea to find an alternate route for the day.  Then the check engine light came on AGAIN.  This is the third time in a few months.  The last two were something stupid with the gas cap, so I’m not exactly worried this time either, although it is annoying to take care of.

Then as I pulled up to the entrance to the church, I saw that it too was blocked off by emergency vehicles due to a recent accident.  Some people were finding ways around it by driving on the grass, but I decided it was silly to mess with that and headed to the other entrance.  (Seriously, why was I the only one going in the other entrance?  It was just as easy to get to and didn’t require anyone to drive on grass.)

I also avoided about five accidents on the whole drive.  People were driving stupid this morning, I guess.  I can certainly see how those other accidents happened.  I had several people pull out in front of me when there wasn’t room and others hang out in the “suicide lane” in the median with their front end in my lane and butt sticking out in front of someone else.  What’s funny is that there really weren’t that many cars out.  Why make yourself such a hazard when waiting ten seconds could get you where you need to go safely?

Anyway, I’m kind of waiting to see what happens next.  Will the sky be yellow?  People wearing shoes on their heads and hats on their feet?

Oh! Scooter took his first two tiny steps yesterday evening, just barely before M walked in the door after work.  He’s still not quite ready to take off, but that was literally a step in the right direction.

Bullet Posting Again

January 26, 2009

Sorry I don’t have the energy or focus for a real post today.  I caught a cold over the weekend (no idea how, I never go anywhere without at least one of my boys and they’re all healthy), and it just keeps getting worse.  So here’s a few thoughts, bullet-style:

1. Any of you with toddlers/pre-schoolers, I have a question for you.  At mealtimes, do you have to remind your child to eat every thirty seconds or so?  Unless PJ is just super hungry and the meal is exactly what he wanted (and sometimes even then), he continually gets distracted from eating.  While chewing one bite endlessly, he will start playing with his fork or spoon, or look under the table for the dog, or play peek-a-boo with me or Scooter, or anything else he can find to do other than eat.  Until I threaten to take his food away and dinner be over, he cannot focus again on eating.  Most meals, this happens with every single bite.  Is there any wonder I hate mealtimes some days?  So is this typical behavior?  Do your kids do this too, or did they have a phase where they did this?

2. I’m totally torn between finishing off the job of weaning Scooter so I can take real cold medicine and clinging to our last nursing session each day for that snuggle time.  The practical side of me says it’s time already, but I don’t feel ready emotionally yet.  He still seems to enjoy it as well, otherwise I would have moved on already.  It doesn’t help matters that M doesn’t fully understand how strong my emotions are about this and continues to encourage me to finish weaning.  Must be nice to be a man, where much of the time the practical side is the only side.

3. It’s weird sometimes to listen to PJ talk.  He talks mostly non-stop these days, and almost all complete sentences.  His vocabulary grows each day, and he often rattles on about something he could have only learned at school.  It’s just so normal that I tend to forget that less than six months ago he was barely talking at all.  He sings songs now and will try to quote the dialogue of his favorite movies along with the characters.  He asks for what he wants and can answer my questions (even if he doesn’t always do so readily).  I’m so proud of how he’s flourishing in pre-school.  I’m starting to hope they reconsider whether he needs the extended school year program this summer; not only will it prevent us from going crazy having him around all day every day, but I want to see his improvement continue and not have him lose any ground over the summer.

4. My parents are coming to visit us the first weekend in February.  It won’t be a long visit, but I’m super excited that they’re coming, other than the extensive cleaning I need to do over the next two weeks.  You see, although both of my parents have been frequent visitors over the past few years, they have never managed to visit at the same time.  The last time they visited us together was right after PJ was born, before we’d moved into this house (we moved the next weekend).  Even when Scooter was born, only my mom was able to come down right away; my dad showed up a week or so later when he was here on business.  Considering we only live 4 or 5 hours away from them, it’s crazy to think they haven’t been able to make the trip together.  It means a lot to me that they’re making a real effort to take a joint trip to see us.

Now off to start cleaning for their visit.  The guest room has become the catch-all room since it has been so long since we’ve had overnight visitors, so I need to find somewhere else to store all the junk hiding in there.  Wish me luck!

Dutiful Mommy Blogging

January 7, 2009

I think I need to start writing down the funnier things PJ says.  Yesterday was a drizzly day in the morning, so when I was picking him up from MDO, he told me I needed to “turn the rain off.”  I wasn’t even sure he understood rain; it had been long enough since we’d had any.

Another funny one from a few weeks ago happened when he was “helping” me change Scooter’s diaper.  He had to inform me that “Scooter’s p*nis is bwoken.”  It wasn’t, but he has such a fixation on things being broken these days that he’ll call anything broken if it doesn’t do exactly what he thinks it should do.

Scooter also made us laugh at something he said for the first time yesterday.  He’s been saying “all gone” often, sometimes even in the right context.  I think he was trying to tell me he was all done sleeping (he often mistakes “all done” and “all gone”) when I was doing his after-nap diaper change.  Of course, the “all” part of “all gone” came out sounding a little like a scream at first, it was that loud.  I wish I had a recording of it; it was the funniest thing, that scream-like singsong “all gone.”  M heard it from the other room and cracked up along with me.

It was nice to have that funny moment yesterday because so much of the day was spent frustrated with his screaming.  He wasn’t sleeping well at all and was overtired from not sleeping enough at night and taking incredibly short naps.  He would seem happy for the first half an hour or so after waking up from a nap, but it wouldn’t last and he’d collapse into screams shortly after.  I’m still going to blame it on teething.  On the bright side, he slept much better last night and seems to be in a better mood today.

January 5, 2009

I’m still here–sort of.  Still lacking any motivation to write here.  I’ll have something happen or an interesting thought flit across my mind, and by habit I start writing the post in my head.  But I never make it to the computer to record it.  I’ve been making an effort (at least in the past week once we got back home from our Christmas journey) to keep following your blogs.  I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who’s been slacking off, so I feel a little better about it than I would be if all of you were still posting almost every day.

Christmas was mostly uneventful.  We went to my parents’ house for a few days, but we spent our nights at a hotel.  That turned out to be a good move; every one of my siblings and their dog was there.  It was so busy there that we were all getting overwhelmed.  It was good to have a place to go to get away from it all every evening.

We spend the few days after Christmas with M’s family.  His grandparents were there every second we were, so we didn’t get any alone time with his parents.  That was annoying, but nobody can tell M’s grandma to go home when they’ve overstayed their welcome.  The exciting moments there were when we met M’s other grandfather for the first time and M’s brother’s common-law wife for the first time.  It’s safe to say that there is some nasty family history there that has kept us from spending time with certain family members, so it’s a good thing that everyone is willing to give second chances and spend time with this family again.  It wasn’t a long visit either time, but it’s a start.

I’m awfully glad things are getting back to normal today, though.  PJ had more than enough time to get used to having more free time and get back to a more normal sleep schedule, but the last few days (or week) have been torture.  He’s been hyper, literally bouncing off the walls one day, and I’m looking forward to having him spend his afternoon at school today, back to a regular routine that he loves.  Maybe he’ll run out some of this energy there.

Scooter has been more difficult since we got home.  He decided that very night that he wasn’t doing baby food anymore, probably after watching his cousins eat big people food on our trip.  It lasted about three days before he turned his nose up at anything we offered him.  So we’re back to baby food, the only thing we could get him to eat.  We’re just feeding him less baby food and offering him a wider range of normal food to fill his tummy the rest of the way.

And all of this happened just as he started teething the rest of his molars and eyeteeth.  All at once.  He’s run a fever for at least a few hours a day for about a week now, and we’ve been going through the Tylenol and ibuprofen like crazy.  He’s been waking up at least once a night from the pain, and he will only go back to sleep after I’ve nursed him.  So it’s clear that we’re not weaning anytime soon.  Oh, well.

M got me a Wii Fit for Christmas (yes, after discussing it with me).  I’ve been using it for five or six days now, every single day.  It’s more fun than I thought it would be.  I’m very proud of myself for keeping up with exercising this long.  Unfortunately, the Wii Fit says I have about twenty pounds to lose to get to my ideal weight.  Yuck.  After almost a week, I’ve lost about half a pound.  After gaining two at first.  This is going to be slow going.  I guess maybe I should finally get around to improving my diet, even a little, to make the results go any faster.

Wanna hear something interesting?  After not writing for two weeks-ish, my traffic really hasn’t changed much.  It will be an interesting experiment to see if it increases any over the next few days now that I have a new post up.  I guess I really do get that many random google hits for older posts.

Anyway, I hope all of you had good holidays.  With any luck I’ll be back again before Valentine’s Day.

All Over the Place

December 1, 2008

No, I’m not dead.  I just haven’t felt like making time to blog, what with being sick for over a week, starting my first definite period since BabyN (and no, the IUD does NOT make it lighter or shorter), and being out of town for Thanksgiving.  Heh, I just summarized the last two weeks for you.

In other news…

–I’ve decided on BabyN’s new name on the blog.  You might recall I’ve been agonizing over this for some time, and I had a moment of enlightenment last week.  M’s family got a real kick out of how BabyN crawls, scooting around on his butt, and several of them started calling him Scooter.  I pray to God the name doesn’t stick, but it makes for a cute name to call him on here.  So from now on BabyN will be called Scooter.

–Thanksgiving went okay, even though we were spending the holiday itself with M’s family.  My parents were invited to the big family dinner, and they came since they had no other plans for the day.  They helped both of us keep our sanity.  Scooter screamed bloody murder most of the time since we ended up getting there right at naptime and there was nowhere to put him to sleep.  My back still hurts from all the carrying I had to do that day to keep him somewhat happy.  He also wouldn’t go to anybody else pretty much the whole week.  I love that he’s that attached to me, but it would have been nice to get a little break every so often.

–On the bright side, both boys charmed everyone (even Scooter through all the screaming).  PJ started talking way more, too, saying some of the cutest things.  He was showing off like crazy.  Now he keeps asking if we’re going to go see his grandparents today.

–We found out on Thanksgiving that my little brother’s wife is pregnant again (the ones we’ve had personality conflicts with in the past).  Their two little ones will be just a couple of weeks closer together than ours.

This brings up all sorts of conflicting emotions in me, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  If it was my older brother, I’d be thrilled for them.  I hate that because of past hurts they caused, I can’t just be happy about it and move on.

I think a lot of it is the sense of competition they bring about.  If we have something, they have to have something better.  Last year, they had both just gotten brand-new expensive phones–and then complained about how poor they were and could never afford anything and needed help buying even clothes for their little girl.  He had to get a better camera than my older brother, who is a professional photographer, and again complained about how they had no money.

Now we find out they’re looking at a new car.  Instead of finding something larger to make life easier with two children, they are going to buy a luxury car, one that starts at $40K for a base model.  It’s better than the luxury car my dad has, the one he saved up his whole life to get.  If I hear one thing about how poor they are at Christmas, I think my head just might explode.  I just hope they really are doing that well to be able to afford all these luxuries and that this is my jealous side getting to me.

But I wonder if rushing into a second child this soon (yes, I’ll admit we rushed into a second one too) is not their way of competing with us, trying to have more children faster than we are.  It sure pricks my competitive spirit, making me want to rush into having another baby, purely to prove we’re better baby-makers than they are.  In every other way, I’m not ready for another.  It’s stupid to have even let myself think about having another baby when we’re not ready just because I want to compete in a stupid competition that probably doesn’t exist.  That’s why I hope they’re not doing the same.

More than likely I’m just projecting my own sickest, most embarrassing emotions onto them, thinking that they can be as awful as I can be deep inside.  That’s why when we see them at Christmas, I will act like I’ve never thought they could be capable of such feelings.  They will just be my lovable brother and his wife, and I will congratulate them on their success while suppressing those emotions I wish I wasn’t feeling.

–And that’s about all I feel like writing about today.  I went into the weird thing with my brother and SIL a lot more than I intended to, but I kind of needed to work it out for myself.  Tomorrow (if I can make myself blog), I’ll have to give the update on my nephew.  I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving as well.  Now I’d better go start catching up on blogs.  That may take a while.

–Oh, yeah, thanks for all the suggestions on the last post.  I did get the next size in diapers to try it out, and both boys fit in them fine and we haven’t had one leakage incident since we upgraded.  I’m so thrilled that the solution was so simple, and now I feel silly for not thinking of it myself.  The pants problem hasn’t been resolved yet, as I haven’t had a chance to go shopping, but I have lots of ideas now.  I’m planning a trip to Old Navy soon, and will also be looking to see whether he can fit into 2T pants, as they tend to be skinnier than 24 months and sometimes 18 months too, or so I’ve heard.

Asking for Help Yet Again

November 19, 2008

I’m at a loss here, so I’m turning to you experienced, more creative mothers to find solutions for me.  As usual.

Problem #1: Diapers

Both boys have had problems lately with leaky diapers.  They are both currently wearing size 3 Pampers Cruisers.  Is there a better diaper out there for boys?  PJ could step up to a size 4, according to their weight specifications, but BabyN is still too small.  (I’d prefer he step up to big boy underwear, but unfortunately we’re nowhere near there yet.)  Do you think the bigger diaper would help with the leak issue overnight?

BabyN’s problem may not be solvable with a different diaper, but I’m still open to the advice.  You see, he sleeps on his belly with his butt in the air (totally adorable, by the way).  All that pee hits the front of his diaper, and gravity pulls it down toward his belly.  It leaks almost every day, and I simply don’t have enough pajamas to change him when he wakes up early in the morning soaked in pee.  (He usually goes back to bed for another hour or two, so I’m reluctant to put him in clothes for the day yet.)

Are there better diapers for baby boys, with more protection up front?  Or is there something I can do on BabyN that will soak up more of that pee before it hits his clothes?

Problem #2: Pants

Last week PJ went to the doctor for his three-year check-up.  He has gained less than half a pound from his two-year check-up (but the doctor isn’t worried, oddly).  He has grown about three or four inches, though.  He is actually solidly on the chart in height, when his weight is lagging far behind the chart still.  That makes for a tall(-ish), skinny kid.

Pants are hard to find.

He is wearing 18-month pants–usually.  He still fits into some of his 12-month pants, but I’m making a real effort to pass those down to BabyN, since he now needs them more.  Besides, even if they fit fine around the waist, they’re starting to look like high-waters.

The pants issue is what sent us shopping this weekend.  I was really proud of how many perfect pants I found for both him and BabyN, but when I tried to put him in a pair of them this morning, they were huge.  The perfect length, but unable to stay up around his waist.  I tried his brother’s size of the same pair of pants–still huge around the waist but too short (which means they’ll be too big around the waist on BabyN too).

I’m incredibly frustrated.  We have the exact same pair of pants for him already, and they fit beautifully.  That’s why I got these pants specifically.  I can’t believe that the same style and same maker of the pants (even in the same year) don’t fit the same way.

I already took the tags off, too, so I’m not sure they’ll take them back.  They weren’t expensive at least, but I hate thinking we wasted that money.  Do you think I should try to take them back anyway?

And the bigger question: How do I find pants to fit such a skinny kid?  It’s been a struggle all season but is suddenly getting worse, and I’m getting frustrated by it.  Also, is it appropriate to try clothes on him at stores like that to make sure they fit before we get home?  I’ve never seen it happen, but that doesn’t mean people would look at me funny if I tried it, does it?

Flu Shots All Around

November 12, 2008

PJ had a check-up at the doctor this morning, and he got his flu shot.  I also got one there.  I swear I will never get a flu shot from anyone else.  Nurses who are used to giving shots to tiny babies all day give the best shots.  PJ hardly wimpered when he got his.

BabyN needed to finish up his shots too, two more of his 12-month ones.  The poor thing was already tired, so he didn’t handle them so well.  He fussed all the way back out to the car, and nothing I did comforted him.

He was fine as soon as he got a long nap, but I’m starting to think the spots on his legs are bothering him again.  I put him down for a nap quite a while ago, and he’s still fussing in his room on and off.  That is highly unusual.  I think I’m about to give up on his afternoon nap and hold him until he feels better.

At least he’ll probably want to go to bed early tonight.  We have another busy day tomorrow that starts quite early, so I won’t argue with an early bedtime for any of us.

Cookies and Costumes

November 1, 2008

I just realized I owe you guys some follow-ups.  For one, I did make egg-free chocolate chip cookies for PJ’s school party Thursday.  I was planning to make sugar cookies, but when I didn’t get a cookie cutter in time, I went the easy route.  I used a recipe on the blog that Jessica sent me to the other day (thanks bunches, Jessica!) and was surprised at how normal the cookies tasted.  Some didn’t turn out very well, thanks to a sub-par cookie sheet, but the majority of them were perfect.  M claims that he wouldn’t have known they were egg-free if I hadn’t told him.  Now I’m looking forward to trying a normal recipe of them for us to eat since I have all the ingredients already.

PJ ended up going to his party as a tiger.  I think I’d mentioned that our family had a toddler-sized tiger costume that we each wore, and we were planning to use that one.  Unfortunately it never surfaced, so we found one online.  It fit perfectly, and he loved it.  He still asks to wear it every day.

BabyN went as a pumpkin, as I’m pretty sure I’ve told you.  He was a little less thrilled about his costume, but he got used to it after a while.  He was so adorable in it.

We didn’t do any trick-or-treating or anything, thanks to both of them still feeling a bit under the weather.  Besides, the longer I can delay introducing my kids to candy, the better.  I still put them in the costumes just for pictures, though.  They came out pretty well, even if they weren’t as cute as professional pictures would have been.

So it was a good Halloween, just quiet.  M’s home again, and that’s all I really cared about.

Harder Than I’d Hoped

October 27, 2008

So M left again yesterday afternoon, this time for a long trip.  He won’t be back until late Thursday night.  It was a lot harder to let him go, probably because he just got back from a trip last Thursday night, and this time he’ll be gone much longer than the one night.

Oh, yeah, and we have two sick kids.  BabyN puked everywhere less than an hour after he left.  I got to take his high chair apart, clean it one piece at a time, and reassemble it during his naptime.  Then he screamed for a good part of that naptime, which made it very difficult to do anything.

The dog’s been insane.  Of course.  She can’t leave me alone, probably because she’s lonely–and probably needs to pee.  She won’t go when I take her outside.  Can grief do that to a dog?  Make them too sad to pee when they get the chance?

Then there’s PJ.  He’s recovering from his cold; mostly just the cough is left.  He feels just bad enough still that he spent his entire breakfast time screaming, his second tantrum of the day.  I can’t even begin to count how many he has had since then.  Do you think the cold is affecting his hearing?  Because he WILL NOT listen to me today and then acts horrified when he ends up in time-out for disobeying.

I should probably have compassion for my sick little boy, but I can’t muster any today.  He keeps forcing himself to cough, which obviously makes him feel worse.  And his forced coughs sound like he’s about to hurl.  It grates on my nerves that he won’t listen to anything I’m telling him to do that will help him feel better.  Surely he does want to feel better, right?

The worst part is that I can’t share any of this with M.  He’s super busy at the conference thing, and I can’t just call him on a whim to vent or even share a good story.  It would be even better if we could split up the responsibility of caring for them like we do on the weekends.  It’s tough meeting all their needs all by myself when they are this needy.

And now I’m done venting.  I just needed to get that out of my system.  Maybe now I can readjust my attitude and the rest of the week will go easier.