Monday, August 31, 2009


I was resting on the couch while the rest of the family was upstairs napping today. Goldfinger was on, and I was waking up for the Pussy Galore scenes and drowsing off for the rest of the movie. And then I was jolted awake by the sound of screeching metal on the TV. Other parents of young kids will attest to the fact that it is impossible to pass a backhoe, garbage truck, field of cows or any other number of items that are high on the toddler hit parade without needing to point and yell, "Look honey!". It is most embarrassing when you are out in public without your kids and are caught grinning madly and waving at the beer-bellied fellow in the cab of the front end loader for no apparent reason.

Well, the screech in the movie was the scene where Odd Job, Mr. Goldfinger's assistant, drives a car into a metal scrap yard and it is picked up by a massive claw, swung over acres of junked cars into a compactor and then crushed into a small metal cube the size of a dishwasher. It is then picked up by a giant magnet, swung back over the acre of cars, and placed gently into the back of a pickup and driven away by Odd Job.

I recognized the gold standard of toddler joy and recorded the movie. When Monito and Pequita woke up I fast forwarded to the scene and then showed them the clip. Monito clapped and screamed MORE! We watched the scene four times with no less excitement. I got good at stopping the DVR right before Odd Job shoves a body into the car's trunk - I was pretty sure that would be hard to explain. As 007 says, he had a 'pressing engagement'.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baby Got Back

I had a funny post all written about Monito's diaper-free exploits and potty training and figuring out what the social rules are about a few things when I realized that RIGHT THERE is the line I won't cross on a public blog. Nice to know I have a line!

I have started editing out nudity in pics of the kids and intend to go back through all the archives (sigh) and pull any naked pics after a particularly unsettling episode of Law & Order. Yeah, laugh away, but it emphasized something that I've felt nervous about all along. But stories related with no photo op can apparently render me squeamish too. Hmm. Watch out, all you folks who read the blog and also visit in real life. I've got some funny gross stories that will have you in stitches.

The Hunger

Monito is growing. He is already huge, but he eats everything in front of him and asks for more. Homestead Mama was taking the kids upstairs for naps today and Monito was trailing her up the stairs. He kept seeing things in the kitchen and saying, "Mommy! No eat all goldfish crackers! No eat all neckarines! No eat all miwk! No eat all oatmeal!". Each statement delivered with earnestness. I'd like to point out that while I may sneak ice cream when they have gone to bed I really haven't given him reason to worry I'm going to empty the kitchen like a scourge of locusts. He really is just saying goodbye to his favorite foods while he sleeps. And clearly planning what he wants for dinner when he wakes up.

I made one of my favorite meals from childhood tonight and the kids gobbled it up. My mom, from Michigan, called it 'Mince'. Fry chopped onions up in a large pan, toss in ground bison meat (this was hamburger when I was a kid, but we only eat bison these days) and cook through. Stir in diced carrots, peas and corn or some medley of your kids fave veggies. Serve over mashed potatoes. We had a side of cooked beets tossed in balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme. Kids cleaned their plates, as did we.

Homestead Mama and I realized that we have totally slacked on an important lesson - our kids do not know how to make a moat out of mashed potatoes and then let rivers of gravy wind down to their food. We will soon have a roast turkey with gravy and remedy this flaw in their gastronomic education. Smocks and drop cloths all around, I expect. Night where we have sanctioned food play get a little raucous but are some of the jolliest.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I was busy upstairs this morning dismantling the dog crate that remained set up in our dressing room solely for the kids to play in. (We had taken the door off, so its not like we ever locked them in there.) As always, the kids were playing near me, Monito at my feet and Pequita in the office. I heard my bedroom door shut and Monito ran to it and knocked - his sister said 'come in!' He left my room. Soon I hear lots of giggling and laughing.

One of my basic rules is that if I can hear both kids and there is no screaming, they are probably ok. Parents know - when there is silence bad things are happening. So I'm feeling confident that things are fine and I finish collapsing the kennel. I head out into the other room where, lo and behold, both kids are eating a tollhouse cookie at 8 am. Suppressing my first 6 instinctive responses, I say "Mmmm, those look good." They nod vigorously and keep chewing. Pequita gets her sly look and tells me, "Mommy. Pequita go downtairs (sic) and climb up and get own cookie. Den I came uptairs (sic) and eat cookie. Bubba see my cookie and he go get Bubba *own* cookie.". Grin. I asked, how did my bedroom door get closed? My daughter said, "I closed door so Mommy not see me eat cookie."

There you have it. Subterfuge and deception at less thaan 3 years old. Her brother was all too happy to go along. What in the world am I up against?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fuschia - the New Black

My unbelievably satisfying new shirt, pink and fuschia stripes. And to think, I used to wear almost all black and grey.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My desire for another kid is strong, firmly planted and something I've kind of always carried around. Two of my friends who have (or will have very soon) two kids of their own just outed themselves to me quietly as having intentions to keep going and have a 3rd or even 4th child. I am thrilled beyond measure but find it odd to feel this happy about someone else's family planning.

Growing up with 3 kids in my family, we mostly hung out with other families who had at least 2 kids. It was a special kind of mayhem when we got together - we could field whole teams for games, fill a field with tents on a camping trip, and take over restaurants. But it also created enough space so that one could disappear and finish a novel or sulk in peace and not attract much attention, which is a luxury. The instant community that occurs when large families get together is comforting to me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brave Boy

Monito and I were attempting our regular dismount from the Ergo carrier in the park this morning so he could dance to the accordion trio. He torqued around in his excitement while dangling from my hands and POP went his arm. 30 minutes of screaming followed, lasting all the way to the ER. X-rays were awful with lots of crying. Pequita was a trooper, playing with a new book of fairy stickers while she watched us through the peep hole. Luckily, not being pregnant, I could hold Monito during the process.

Then back to our cubicle to wait. The nurse practitioner, Michael, came in to check Monito out. Without a word, he picked up Monito's arm and started bending it vigorously. The vibrating, red-faced painful surprise took a few seconds to register with Monito, but I'm sure everyone heard it all the way to the parking lot. Apparently, he was resetting the arm, but didn't warn me at all. Diagnosis? Nursemaid's arm, which basically means we jerked his elbow out of joint. Ouch! We left the ER with the boy in an arm brace with orders to follow up with the orthopods if no improvement tomorrow. On to pudding in the cafeteria!

On the way to the cafeteria, we ran into some friends - the mother was in the ER with chest pains, her toddler, infant and husband wandering around trying to stay entertained. That put our little arm worries into perspective. I still don't know if everything is ok. Hopefully it was nothing, but she was getting a cat scan as we left.

With no naps, Homestead Mama working late and two nutty kids, bedtime will be early tonight. I'm going to sign off and get to it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cinderella and ice cream. Perfect.

Country Mice part two

I brought the camera, flash, paraphernalia and everything. I left the battery at home in the charger, of course. All pics from this weekend are courtesy of Blackberry.

We spent the bulk of our time in the dinosaur area, with a quick tour through the mammals on the way out. We stayed 2 hours; the kids would have stayed all day. Monito was willing to listen to everything we had to say or read to him about what he saw, and he asked lots of questions about the things that most interested him. 'Is this one dead? Is that one dead? Are they all dead?' Clearly the museum is missing out on a good thing by not having a live T-Rex there for kids to toss hot dogs to.

Pequita divided her time between admiring the giant fossilized turtles and doing 'magic', her Pippi-inspired gymnastic-like moves she performs on all the guard rails, benches, curbs and ramps she encounters. Other parents glare at us as their kids' eyes light up with envy or ideas when they see our daughter doing a series of forward somersaults down the planetarium ramp or executing a 360 degree twist while vaulting the lower 4 stairs of the triceratops display. She's a force of nature.

After the museum, we picked up lunch at the Fairway market and ate it in the fabulous playground 3 blocks from our hotel. I had arranged to meet a friend from high school there and while the kids frolicked and H-Mama led them through the sprinklers I caught up on the last few years with Melanie. Then back to the hotel for an epic 3 hour nap for all of us.

I woke at 5 pm with one thought in my head - we have 15 mins to get the car out of the parking garage before we pay another 24 hour charge, which in my town is enough to rent a hotel room for a night. H-Mama vaulted out of bed and took care of finding street parking while I made microwave mac & cheese for kids. Hotel rooms are the perfect (only) place for this stuff. We were all in such a good mood, so rested and relaxed, that my wife* and I decided to brave Planet Sushi with the kids. Again, we walked there. I love being able to walk to everything! The kids were super during the meal, and allowed the adults to enjoy ourselves. We all shared the food - edamame beans, tempura udon, sushi combo platter, and miso soup. The nice waiters rigged some training chop sticks for the kids and showed them how to pick up beans with them. Huge hit, moderate success. Then a stroll home through the warm rain, stopping at the West Side Market for ice cream.** We watched Disney's Cinderella on DVD (the kids call it the "Mad Kittycat movie" as Lucifer is the clear favorite) and then retired to bed with a huge stack of childrens books the hotel keeps on hand for guests.

I am so happy we came.

*gratuitous use of term 'wife' just for the thrill.

**lest this sound too idyllic, I will add that at this point we parted ways and I, with Monito trapped on my back in the Ergo carrier, sprinted the 2 blocks to the hotel to take care of my upset stomach. Despite swearing off spicy food and liquor like Dr. Google suggests when on methotrexate, I am unable to reliably process the bland food I am eating. 'Nough said, I'm sure. H-Mama and Pequita bought the ice cream and met us back in the room.

Country Mice

We had a lovely day. After all the hubbub of yesterday, we all slept in this morning. We had yogurt and coffee in our rooms, then we strolled over to the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. I wasn't sure they would really enjoy it, but oh lord, if we lived in the city we'd be there every week.

Natural History Museum

We haven't run into Curious George yet, but we're still looking.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Only someone who is childless would agree to bring dinner to a hotel for us by 6 and still not be here at almost 8 pm. Oy.

Luckily, I am a compulsive packer and had mac & cheese, grapes, graham crackers and juice in the hotel suite just in case. (Patting sick self on back).

Nice View If You Can Get It

Our hotel suite in NYC is wonderful. We have a balcony with a nice view of the Hudson, and from the 10th floor life is sweet. Monito woke us all up as usual, and we were lucky enough to witness, while outside admiring the deathly high drop to the sidewalk, a garbage truck picking up more bags than we could count from our street. From the 10th floor we had to watch the pickup in the reflection of the shiny building across the street, but how fortuitous that we could do that?

We spent the day with a friend of H-Mama's from her undergrad days and her family in New Rochelle. I wish that we lived closer to them; we love them and their daughters are a couple years ahead of ours. Pequita had full access to a huge princess wardrobe of shiny dresses, sparkly tiaras, plastic high heel shoes with Disney princesses on them and best of all, a big girl to tell her what to do, wear, and say. In years to come she may not like the last bit as much, but right now she is a rapt audience, willing to comply with anything to bask in the glow of older kids.

I was ok this morning, but really faded by the afternoon with waves of nausea and the sweaty shakes that left me in tears. My head aches so much that daylight is hard to endure. I finally am ensconced in the king-sized bed, poufed in pillows and duvets with the a/c blasting, and feel non-critical for the first time in hours. Best of all, the bedroom doors are closed and H-Mama is entertaining the kids in the living area of the suite with the toys, art supplies and DVDs I packed. Her sister Lori is headed over with Indian take-out, and we'll have a peaceful evening at 'home'. Totally worth the upgrade money for the suite. I'm really happy we came, especially since I can get down time to rest. I'm hoping that the Tylenol I took will help with the headache; ibuprofen is contra-indicated with methotrexate, and the Tylenol in our medicine kit expired in 2006. I took two anyway. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Still Alive

Funny, not much to blog about these days but miscarriage, so I've been a bit mum. Damnable cells started doubling over the weekend, so this morning I took a couple of shots of methotrexate in my tusch. I have a new found empathy for people who have to undergo a cancer-treating course of chemo, as this stuff is foul. It hurts and stings as it goes in. I have dizziness, nausea, a horrible systemic taste in my mouth, I'm shaky and just off. I am surprised they let folks drive after shots of it, as I was not secure about my ability to not pass out for a while.

Monito is bereft without nursing. He is so angry at me for saying no - he wants comfort and hugs but when that is all I give him he hits and scratches me. Pequita is better off, able to verbalize that she can wait for Mama to come home but that she's sad. I'm crying through the worst of their tantrums as *I* am so sad about it all.

Things I am JOYOUS about and GRATEFUL for:

- Monito is finally sleeping through his regular waking around 10:30ish - he now wanders into my bedroom around 4 am dragging his crocodile, taps me on the shoulder and calls out "Mommy! Its you!". (He confuses his pronouns; he means 'its me')

- Pequita is feeling her oats. She is defying me at every turn, saying NO just to be contrary, and individuating much of the time. While this stresses my last nerve and challenges my parenting skills, it is amazing to watch and I can see all the nurturing we've done paying off in a confident girl.

- we are going to NYC this weekend and staying in a really nice hotel and seeing friends and family. It should be lovely.

- I have effortlessly and plentifully nursed every single day, several times a day, for over two years. All but the first couple weeks of that time I've been tandem nursing two babies. Even if I never nurse again, I've had an unbelievable run. So much of my dream of parenting revolved around nursing, and I was able to experience al that. I will always be grateful for the boobs of wonder.

- I've still got $45k of infertility insurance coverage and can keep trying to have another kid if we want to. What a gift.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This weekend's priorities are:

-rake soil & plant grass seed on new patio area; repair lawn where diggers tore it up
-paint the furniture that is cluttering the dining room waiting to be painted
-clean house from top to bottom so I can have people over to play

Homestead Mama just took the kids with her while she runs errands and drops the dogs off at the groomers [yay, less hair to vacuum up!] and what am I doing? Drinking iced coffee, reading and debating if I want to watch a little TV. Sigh.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Its All Coming Back to Me Now

I am remembering WHY no one talks about trying to get pregnant. It is awful when it fails, and how many times, really, DO you want to hear about someone's misery, failure and sad-sack feelings?

My beta from this morning is effing UP to 299. So now its an ectopic, which gels with the tiny stabbing pain in my left lower ute area that started last night. The usual treatment for this is a dose or two of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate. I cannot get over the irony of the discussion I had with Homestead Mama just this morning about not wanting to buy her a bottle of stain remover to get popsicle stains out of Pequita's dress, "too many nasty chemicals" I said. "I'll just embroider over it so we don't pollute our house with cleanser." I wonder how many bottles of Shout I'd have to drink to equal a couple doses of methotrexate?
I'd rather have surgery, but with the low hCg levels it could be a 'microscopic' embryo growing and hard to see with the naked eye. I'm going back to consult with the doc tomorrow. You can bet your boopy that I'll be insisting they give me the wanding of the century, the most thorough ultrasonic pillaging of my innards they've ever done before I take that drug. If they can identify where the little bugger is, I'm voting hands down for laproscopic removal. Surgery chemicals are out of my system in 6 hours, versus one to three MONTHS with Methotrexate.

Meanwhile I'm on alert with the cramps. If they get bad enough I'm to take myself to the ER. Sadly, my pain tolerance is so high that when my appendix went bad I walked around for 4 days with a heating pad on my belly complaining of constipation before realizing I had a raging fever and needed immediate removal. Hard to say for me what is 'too much pain'. One thing that does keep getting hit home is that if my body can finagle a way to require surgery, it will. However, after 25 general anesthesias, I also know that I can survive it.

I'll likely stop blogging about family building for a while. Like, until I'm successfully 16 weeks along and have passed an amnio.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sleeping Like Puppies

So far, having the kids sleep together hasn't increased their wakings. When many nights look like this, it is a wonder, eh?

Friday, August 7, 2009

(Clicking my Heels Madly)

I went for my last vacation blood draw this morning at the hospital about 20 minutes away. Read this with the full twang of the North Carolina mountains.

Phlebotomist: Well, I see ya'll are here for a pregnancy test. How exciting!

Me: Mmmmm.

Phleb: Ya'll were in here earlier this week, too. Oh! Are you checking for twins? Oh my god, that would be so great!

Me: Um, its probably an ectopic pregnancy. We're not checking for viability anymore.

Phleb: (Pause while she tries to decipher the difficult vocabulary words I've tossed at her) Oh, that's so wonderful! I just had my boy this past May. Wow, you don't get any sleep with a baby! You'll find out soon enough! Do you have a due date yet?

Me: (Audible sigh). No. I'm sure my regular doc will go over that with me when I get home.

Phleb: Well, since you are carrying a tiny baby this stick should be easy as pie, what with all that extra blood ya'll will have in your veins now.

Me: (Debates whether or not to inform her that all the hearty fluid in my veins was red wine; I let her off the hook and kept mum.)

Phleb: Well, ya'll have a nice day - wait, I mean have a super pregnancy! You're gonna be glowing soon enough! Bye, now!

We leave for NY tomorrow morning.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Right this minute is the best relaxing I've done all vacation. Kids are napping, my sweetie made me fish tacos for lunch and I'm laying on a porch swing under a blanket reading while the thunderstorm rages on the river. It is glorious, and humbling, and very very peaceful.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To Everything, Turn Turn, Turn

Best case? Miscarriage.
Worst case? Ectopic.
Next cycle: can't decide between FET or fresh IVF.

Going for a hike with the kids.