Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kirk Who?

Having my sister do daycare for the first year of Kirk's life is great for when we need a babysitter; she's always super excited for a chance to spend time with him. And he has a blast spending the night at his Auntie's and playing with his cousins. So we try to use that option on occasions like last night. Mercurial Rage had a fancy cocktail party/photo shoot for their record cover and I wasn't about to miss that! We had a wonderful time and I danced til my feet couldn't dance no more. During the festivities Mr. b got a message saying that my sister didn't want us to pick Kirk up right away in the morning; she wanted more time with him. Aww. Happy to oblige!

But then this morning my sister called with a different plan. My mom was babysitting our nephew and so my sister wanted to take Kirk and her girls up there so all four cousins could play. Sounds reasonable except for a few small details: my sister is notoriously slow, my parents live an hour away, and we wouldn't have a clue when she'd be returning the boy to us. But who are we to begrudge Kirk a chance to play with his cousins and go on an Auntie adventure?

Mr. b and I had a great day. Lazed around, loud sex, driving and shopping without any regard to getting home in time for naps. But by 6:30pm I still hadn't heard from my sister to say that she was on her way back down. At that rate, Kirk wouldn't get home until bedtime. Ridiculous! Sure enough, when I called to investigate, she was doing laundry. And it's those little instances where she completely disregards other people's schedules that remind us why we no longer use her for daycare. I'm confident that Kirk had a wonderful time. But I would have liked to have seen him, oh, at all today.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mommy & Daddy are Idiots

We fucked up. Mr. b and I fucked up big time.

Kirk started cough-puking again sometime after midnight on Friday. Of course he didn't have anything in his stomach by then so all that came out was phlegm. We brought him in to Urgent Care as soon as it opened Saturday morning. At that point he was at least keeping water down.

The Urgent Care doctor explained that it's extremely common for babies to vomit during intense coughing. Lord knows I've hacked hard enough to nearly trigger my gag reflex. She said this whatever-it-is has been going around and it's viral, so we just have to ride it out. She suggested we put Kirk on the BRAT diet (my new favorite acronym--Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) and give him Pedialyte and popsicles to keep up his energy. He was obviously quite worn down by then since he hadn't been able to eat since lunch the day before. She said specifically to stay away from all dairy products and anything else that may irritate his stomach.

So he was fine the rest of the day Saturday. Couple of naps, lots of liquid, no relapse. He was fine Sunday, acting like his old self and genuinely hungry again. And that's where we fucked it all up.

We were lazy about dinner. Who wants to cook on a Sunday night? So we opened a couple of cans of beef ravioli. Kirk ate shitloads. Then before bed, I let him have some milk. He had had a small amount before his nap--but his stomach had still been fairly empty. This time? "Valley Forge, barf city!"

It was awful. The poor little guy threw up over and over and over. We changed his jammies three times before his stomach was emptied. By the end we were so inured to the gross that we were just catching little half-digested bits of ravioli in our bare hands. He finally was able to fall asleep about 10:00pm and had some Pedialyte a couple of times in the middle of the night.

I felt so bad. We both felt so bad. We totally jumped the gun and Kirk was the one that had to pay. I don't know how long we're supposed to keep him on BRAT, but clearly it wasn't long enough.

Since he doesn't have a fever and really isn't acting sick--apart from the puking--we sent him to daycare today. Apparently 4 out of the 6 kids there had vomit sessions over the weekend. All attributed to a different reason. So it was applesauce all around for the little ones today. And we'll just take it easy for the rest of the week. Lord know I'm sick and tired of doing sick-covered laundry.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cough & Puke

Kirk's been puking today. It's really weird and I'm kind of concerned because I just don't know what's wrong. He's not feverish. He doesn't have a cold beyond the January sniffles that everyone has right now. But three times now he's coughed really hard and then thrown up. He did it last night while asleep; Mr. b discovered the mess at 4:30am when Kirk woke up and called for us. He was fine today though, until I was making dinner. Coughing fit, then puke, all over the kitchen floor. The nurse line advised us to not feed him, not give him milk, and only give him clear liquids like juice or water. But then shortly before bedtime the same thing happened and he threw up all the juice he'd drank! I'm paranoid about him now. He's sleeping peacefully but of course he's no longer propped up on his pillows. I'm afraid if I try to move him he'll wake up. I don't think we need to go to the emergency room when Mr. b gets home from closing the café tonight or anything. But I do think we should go to the urgent care in the morning. I just don't want it to be something in his lungs or something weird and old fashioned like the croup.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blooming Dogs

Rose in Bloom Louisa May Alcott
Crack. This book was crack. I wish there were more Rose books because I would totally read more. It almost makes me want to read other Alcott stuff—and I was never really that into Little Women! I’m glad that Louisa May has a sibling death fixation; Rose totally would’ve gone for the bad boy Prince Charlie instead of Mac who she was obviously meant for.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
Another ridiculously fast read. The narrator of the book is a 15 year old autistic boy; he is investigating the murder of his neighbor’s dog. It was amazing. I loved the way his world-view was described and the way he over-explained things like using prime numbers for the chapters. It was a compelling story, too! And one of the best, most satisfying, last lines I’ve read in a long time.

Since I read Jane Eyre I have encountered references to it twice. Mr. Rochester is apparently a Romantic archetype; he was mentioned in both the Chet Arthur Conspiracy and in Rose in Bloom.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Splish, Splash, I Refuse to Take a Bath

Kirk’s going through a weird phase. Everything is just so freakin’ hard. Bath-time is currently the worst. It’s like he’s scared of the water or something! He still continues to prefer standing (though he doesn’t like showers so that option is out) in the tub. But instead of banging on the wall and playing with his duckies and the shampoo bottles, he leans over the edge of the tub and wails. It’s virtually impossible to even dump a cup of water over his head to wet him down pre-shampoo. Forget about rinsing! He will not be forced into sitting. And if you physically restrain him on the other side of the tub so you can rinse him without pouring water all over the floor, it’s like you’re torturing him or something. I have no idea what his deal is. He’s mildly better if one of us is in the tub with him so we’ve started trading off taking baths. He’ll sit in my lap and let me rinse him but he won’t sit on the tub floor. Last night he bathed with his Daddy and wouldn’t even sit in his lap. Yet at the end of the bath, if you can distract him into finally playing with toys or at least the rinse-cup, he’ll eventually sit. Especially if the water is draining. I just don’t get it. For a while he was trying to actually swim in the tub; after being soaped and rinsed he’d get down on his belly and scoot backwards and forwards in the water. I have no clue why he’s reverted so far from that behavior.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Year in (Book) Review

The Chester A. Arthur Conspiracy was very hard for me to get into. I was quite excited by the prospect of an alternate history surrounding Chet’s administration. Along with Polk, he’s Mr. b’s favorite president so I thought it would be fun to constantly check in and see where the subtle changes were happening. But it wasn’t really like that. SPOILER ALERT In fact, there were no changes to “known” history. John Wilkes Booth was secretly not dead and cuckolded Arthur. Nell still died, though it was a fake death to run off with her lover. When telling this to Chester, he died of a heart attack and Wilkes assumed his identity. He presided over the caucus that nominated Garfield, became the Vice President, assumed the presidency after Garfield’s assassination, and then died, though that was also a fake death. So it was just a very strange premise. I didn’t really start to enjoy it even a little bit until after Chet was dead. And by the end, I felt so little sympathy for Wilkes that I was rooting for his aide to get his revenge. It was thoroughly researched and very accurate, but also written in a stilted “period” present tense that was difficult to penetrate.

I read 19 books in 2006. Certainly not as good as my best year since I began keeping track (47 in 2004) but better than I thought. I started out the year barely keeping up with the one-book-a-month book club requirements. After switching daycare I was able to take the bus again and so that improved my average quite nicely. I hope to be able to read two books a month, though I’m not going to pressure myself. I do think I’m going to declare an official New Year’s Resolution to read more comic books. I miss them. I need to take the time to just read an issue of something every weekend.

I think my favorite books of the year were Eight Cousins and War for the Oaks. Though there were none that I outright despised. I’d recommend most of them and will possibly even reread a couple of them at some future time.

1. The Lady and the Unicorn Tracy Chevalier
2. Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper Diablo Cody
3. My Year of Meats Ruth Ozeki
4. The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
5. The Cabinet of Curiosities Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
6. Serenity: Those Left Behind Joss Whedon
7. The Peshawar Lancers S.M. Stirling
8. White Fang Jack London
9. A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisine Anthony Bourdain
10. Bee Season Myla Goldberg
11. Eldest Christopher Paolini
12. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
13. Eight Cousins or the Aunt-Hill Louisa May Alcott
14. War for the Oaks Emma Bull
15. ReVISIONS Edited by Julie E. Czerneda & Isaac Szpindel
16. Mercy Jody Picoult
17. The Wizard, the Witch, & Two Girls from Jersey Lisa Papademetriou
18. The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
19. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
20. The Chester A. Arthur Conspiracy William Wiegand

So Tired

I am starting to dread sleeping on my left side. Increasingly it means that Kirk is in bed with us. He freaks out if he is not resting his head on my arm, which then cuts off the circulation and severely limits my range of possible comfortable positions. Occasionally I can lift him over to my right side for a brief time, or he may allow complete cuddling with his daddy so I can turn over.

The sleep weirdness is at a breaking point for me. Last night, after 2 hours of the Kirkus Circus starting around 1am, I couldn’t take anymore and banished him back to his crib to cry. Mr. b managed to get him to fall asleep by holding him in the recliner but it was brutal. During the week or so we were gone over the Yuletide, Kirk was not in bed with me only 2 of those nights. And one of those he was in his Gramma’s bed. He traveled fantastically; rode really well and wasn’t too overwhelmed by the extended family (including my parents, his Godmother/Great Auntie’s in-laws, and assorted friends) gathered for the week in Texas. But he hasn’t returned to his normal routine since we’ve been back. I have to hope that daycare will help that transition.

On top of that, Kirk’s just been extra naughty. I honestly think he’s entering The Terrible Twos, despite this being only his 18 month birthday today. He’s so willful, saying “No, no, no, no” when something doesn’t go his way, hitting Mommy and the kitty and the windows, climbing up any chairs he’s tall enough to get into on his own, destroying his crib and pulling on his window shades when he doesn’t want to go to bed. He fought with his 3 year old cousin quite a lot while in Texas; I’m sure that was largely due to my nephew never previously having to really share his boy toys, his big sister is too girly to be interested, and certainly not having to share his Grandparents’ attention with another boy. During all the evenings that Gramma watched Kirk, she got him fully transitioned off the nigh-nigh bottle—that being the last hold out that Mr. b and I were just too lazy to switch over to a sippy cup. That’s fabulous! But he also learned how to open doors. Now we need to make sure everything’s locked so he doesn’t escape.

Kirk’s got his 18 month check up on Thursday so I’ll be able to run all this by Doc. He’s working on another molar so I’m sure that isn’t helping matters. I worry about his vocabulary sometimes, because he doesn’t pronounce words fully. But he uses the beginnings of words in their correct context, so it’s pretty easy for me to know what he means, even though “Mama” can be either Mommy or Daddy. Or “parents”. “Muh” can be more or mine, “bah” can be bottle or boat or butt or box or bath depending on how he uses it. That kind of thing. Of course, “Mama, wha’s that” needs no extra explanation. I just have to figure out what he wants me to name or look at.

In the meantime, I just need to figure out how to get some sleep.