Thursday, December 06, 2012
He's trying harder to talk so there's less cave-man grunting and more sweet little phrases he comes up with like this one upon being caught in his first rainstorm- "Yay! Falling water!". He calls Lauren "Tee-ta" now instead of "Lo". He says "Yites!" for Christmas lights, just like Lauren did. ("Yay! I love yites!" He is obsessed with "twash" and has to close the lid of every open trash can he sees. He received a big Bruder trash truck for his birthday, which came with 2 miniature trash cans, and he plays with it every day. Also 4 more trucks.
He likes to say "I WOULD" when he means "would like to". "I would eat! I would that!" "I would cut! I would touch! I would walk! I would eat cake! I LOVE cake! CAKEY!"
At his well-visit, he weighed 36 pounds and was 38 1/2 inches tall (also I never blogged this but at 18 months, he was 36 inches and 34 pounds), which means if he stays on his height-curve, adult-William will be 6' 5"! He eats about 3 times as often as I do, and his favorite treat these days is "shaboos!" (strawberries) or else "dooce" (juice).
He loves to make stacks of blocks and to play with his cars and to take baths with "buboos" and "shahmpoo!" He wants to explore the neighborhood, and has named one of the local squirrels Julia. Her husband or son or arch-enemy, another squirrel who runs around and chases her, is called Paul.
Back to my changing feelings about being home with William, it's gotten easier in the past 8 weeks since I wrote that post, partly because I seem to sense the fleetingness of it, knowing he'll be in nursery school in July so I will have less than a year left at home with what will likely be my last baby. He's also so loving and sweet to me, and such a charmer.
A funny story about that-we were at Home Depot and he had run off nearby, when a woman wearing the same colored jeans was shopping nearby. He ran over and hugged her ankles, thinking it was me. When she looked down and he saw that it was a stranger, there was a moment of shock on his face. Instead of crying or looking embarrassed, he took a beat, then played it off as intentional and beamed a giant, flirtatious grin at her, like "how YOU doin'?"
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
He's not talking much-he has his words, but mostly those that describe all of the above interests: "ball, truck, bus, BIG BIG ball, bird, bug, mud, dirt, fleurs, plants, rocks, red, blocks, car, I go, I fall down, whee, wow, all done, puzzle, hot, water, dog, strawberry, and shoes." And the favorite catch-all: "Eh". Cave-man talk.
I guess what I'm realizing is we're both getting ready for him to spend time at preschool. I might not be ready to pay that bill every month, but I'm ready to have a little space, otherwise, I get so exhausted here trying to keep him happy and then put him down for his nap, that when he is finally asleep and I have time to do my work (new job assignment at the office, by the way, so even more that I should be keeping track of), all I want to do is rest and not take apart the code on some web page I might get interrupted from halfway through. (So I do it in the wee hours of the night instead, and the next morning I regret staying up so late.) I head to the fridge and eat the "grown up" things I can't consume in front of him because he'd want some and would point and "eh, eh!" at me and do his caveman growl/whine because I wasn't sharing any chocolate, coffee, spicy foods which he would insist on trying and would then look horrified, spit them out and indignantly accuse me- "hot!"
Though we do have lots of little moments of giggling happy, sweet times. And bits of comedy. He tries on other people's shoes and clomps around pretending to be Daddy or Mommy or Lo. When he wants to leave the house, he can't say "let's go", so instead he charges into my closet, tugs on the sleeve of one of my pink shirts-always a Brooks Brothers dress shirt-pulls it down and drags it over to me, pulls me by the hand and gives me that look that means "let's go for a walk". .
There are tantrum moments. when he badly wants to go outside and charge out into the street to chase a truck, and I stop him from himself by bolting the front door with the deadlock where he can't reach it (he can rip the childproof door knob cover off), and he rages at the injustice of not being allowed FREEDOM to just run around by himself. And I feel bad for our neighbors who have to hear this. If I were that single, childless neighbor getting to sleep in on my day off, I'd be hating me and my screaming kid right about now. Today when this happened, I let him have his little tantrum (shutting the windows) and then after a few minutes when it died down, I distracted him by doing a puzzle with him 3 times in a row. Each time we finished, we clapped and shouted "YAY!", high-fived, and then he did the sign language for "more".
But wow, that half hour on the rug took every fiber of my being, to sit and focus on the puzzle with him and talk about it and not reach for my laptop or call someone on the phone or read a magazine. Because WOW, being present with little kids can be BORING. And I know, there are people reading this who are OFFENDED that I admitted that, people who desperately want children, who feel THEY would NEVER be bored with the wonderful magical mystery of every second with their precious child that they love so much.
But the reality? After I've read "My Truck is Stuck" for the two thousandth time, and had the same argument about why it is not a good idea to wear a long-sleeved sweatshirt on a 95 degree day, even if this sweatshirt does have "ya, ball. wed." on it, my mind does wander on to other things that I love so much...
Monday, October 01, 2012
Well, my conference lodging and meals were sponsored this year, and the sponsors don't have a web presence and aren't even listed in the phone book, and don't need any publicity from me at all. My aunt & uncle, who are some of the nicest people on earth, were my innkeepers.
Uncle Fred picked us up in Newark on Monday, and drove us back to his house (after stopping at the Bear Mountain zoo, where William made friends with a swan.). He and Aunt Marguerite spent the week in a friendly "favorite relative" competition with my parents. The pinnacle of this was a photo they emailed showing William eating not just one ice cream cone, but two at once!
They chauffeured, cooked, cleaned and did our laundry and watched William while I was at the conference. On Thursday night, they drove in with me for the Expo Hall portion, and took William to Aunt Andrea's apartment around the corner, then drove me home. On Friday and Saturday, Uncle Fred woke up at 5:00 a.m. each day to get ready and drive me to the train station.
He and Aunt Marguerite took great care of their grand-nephew, to the point that William burst into tears when they left the room, even while I was there. They kept him entertained by endlessly reading "My Truck Is Stuck", and took him on William-tailored adventures, including seeing planes at the local airport, throwing stones in the river, visiting several playgrounds, attending a birthday party complete with a clown, and seeing lots of trucks up close. And one visit to a police car whose driver gallantly turned on the flashing lights for William.
This year I didn't do much partying after the sessions, I could have, I'm sure my aunt & uncle would have come to get me at the train station at whatever hour I wanted, but I didn't really feel like it. I felt like going back home, to their house. And I am so happy that William had this week to love them even more and to feel at home with them, too!
I can never thank you enough, Aunt Marguerite and Uncle Fred! I would name a building after you, but that's been done before. ;) So here's a blog post dedicated just to you. Thank you a million times for this and the countless other nice things you've always done for me, my whole life! Love and miss you lots!
Friday, August 03, 2012
It is really great to be here, but not for the reasons you'd expect. More on that later, but for now, this photo for Desiree, to show one of the less desirable aspects of NYC in August. I'm on the train coming back to my aunt & uncle's house as I post this.
If you just met me at BlogHer, feel free to comment here and say hi. I will write more when it's not by painstakingly pecking on my phone!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
It's funny, I'm only 1/4 Italian, which thins down to only 1/8 in Lauren's blood, but if you ask her what her cultural background is, she 'll proudly say "I'm Italian!" because it's the most fun part. It's the side that throws big elaborate meals with her favorite cheeses and pestos and lots of laughter and grown-ups drinking wine and talking in big boisterous voices with lots of hand gestures.
Lauren's Nonna's Nonna came from Italy. The family recipes we make the most are from that side. My great-grandparents came here over 100 years ago but they're the most recent immigrants in our lineage. We still have cousins that live in Parma, we visit and correspond with them. There is a town named after the family (or the family was named after the town, we're not sure!) I've been there twice and I've been welcomed into their home both times. Lauren longs to "go back". (She was there in utero.)
We have food words we use from Parmigiana (the dialect my great-grandparents spoke). We say "boo fa" which means to blow on something when it's too hot, and "poo cha" which means to dip the bread in the olive oil. We have a song in Parmigiana that my grandmother used to rub my eyes and sing to me, about the rain. I've never seen any of this written down. I don't know how to spell the words. Our traditional foods for the holidays are (to me) much more interesting than "American" fare. Lasagna at Easter, not ham. About 10 different kinds of antipasti. And all of those desserts, would make my mouth water just to type about!
If you have an Italian mama, you never go hungry. Italian mamas love to see chubby little babies and love to kiss cheeks. I've got a lot of (especially male) grown up cousins who still live at home. Or bring piles of laundry to their mamas on weekends.
I never thought I would turn into one, but now when I look at those little chubby cheeks and KISS them and KISS them, I think "Lauren, William, you can still live with me when you're thirty, that's just fine! Mangia!"
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
What this has meant for us is a rather condensed summer. Lauren spent the first week of it at Camp Nonna & Poppy, swimming and enjoying herself. William and I were there for the first 2 days of that, then I came back to go to work, and she remained there the rest of the week. My parents drove her to a halfway point from their house in San Diego, we met in Orange County and drove her home. She did not want to come back.
Then she had 3 weeks of STAR camp which she absolutely LOVED. We decided to go car-free as much as possible and walk or bike to the school. The trip there and back became one of our favorite parts of the day. What a luxury, to be able to walk to school every morning! (Instead of the 20 mile round-trip drive we do during the year!) The campus was just over a mile away. I wish it was our our home school, I would send her there in a heartbeat.
We signed her up for one week of "Supercamp", which was just the fun stuff, nothing academic, and 2 weeks of summer school-classes in the morning, fun stuff in the afternoon. All 3 weeks at the same campus. Every morning I would drop her off and watch her scamper over to her friends with excitement, (Meanwhile, William was thrilled each morning to run over to a cage full of basketballs and kickballs, and try to shoot a basket, climb on the "big kid playground" and to try desperately to pass for a 5-year old so that he could join the camp, too!)
The 2nd week of camp, I dropped her off as usual and at pickup, I asked her what she learned at summer school. "Oh, we didn't really do anything yet, probably they'll start the learning part tomorrow." The next day, she went on and on about the science project they had done, and begging me to please enroll her in this school, which was so much fun, much more interesting than her school. Third day, I asked her again what they had studied, and this time "I don't want to talk about that, Mommy!" and she told me instead all about the game of Capture the Flag, and the storytelling class and the nice kids she sat next to. On Thursday, they went to an amusement park.
On Friday, we were running late so she missed circle time and the kids had already broken into groups and gone off to the classrooms. One of the directors said "Oh, hi Lauren! The Supercamp kids are over this way." When I said "No, she's in Summer School", the woman got a funny look on her face. I then realized why Lauren was having so much fun at "school"-she had been cutting class! Turns out, they had been marking her absent at Summer School each day, and handwriting her name on the attendance sheet at Supercamp. The camp staff was mortified when they figured out what happened, and they gave me a partial refund (because Summer School costs more).
Evidently, the first day, Lauren went to sit on the same bench she'd been sitting on the week before, and no one caught the mistake. By the time she realized what happened, she also realized that if she could get away with it, it would be much more fun to stay where she was. So, age 6, her first experience cutting class!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Afterwards, I did a lot of other things. I went in the play ambulance and the ball pit. It was fun! My favorite part about it was the boat that had balls around it, to represent water.
Upstairs there was a stage that was for dress-up. There were mirrors and at the top of the mirrors there were words that said "today I would be". I dressed up as a flower princess.
The airplane was cool! I liked its wings. I pretended to fly it. I think it was a real airplane! But I think it was abandoned.
Lauryn's mom gave me a gift bag and some My Little Ponies! I love getting gift bags, of course! Thank you, Lauryn's mom!
Note from my mom:
If you go:
- Sunday, 12:30–5:00 p.m.
- Monday, closed
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m
- Friday, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
- Saturday, closed
$5 Children 2-17
Children under 2, free
Grandparents free on Tuesdays when accompanied by grandchild
Sunday, May 13, 2012
When we had almost arrived at UCLA, I started feeling better, probably from the Tylenol kicking in. I almost decided to go back home and see if it would go away. What if it was nothing serious after all? I could be wasting everyone's time. Luckily I did go in. The admit nurse told me that I probably had appendicitis and that she'd had hers out the month before and "it really wasn't so bad. I was expecting it to be so much worse."
When I got back to the hospital bed and they did my vitals, my fever was up to 100.5. They offered me morphine, which I declined. The first doctor came and immediately prodded my ovaries. They did not hurt (which could have been a sign of ectopic pregnancy, the other malady that presents with similar symptoms). She told me that they would send me off for a CT scan to be sure of diagnosis, but it was likely appendicitis. Then an older male doctor came and poked and prodded me some more and informed me "that is not your appendix" but that they would do an ultrasound.
My cell phone was not working and Ryan was out in the waiting room looking after the kids, but for some reason texts went through, so I texted my brother (see this old post about why I don't text) which was my only form of entertainment while waiting. I had him call my parents to tell them what was going on.
Meanwhile, they did do the CT scan, but the last-minute surprise was that they had to inject me with radioactive dye, so I would not be able to breastfeed for 48 hours. This ordinarily would have concerned me but I just looked at them with glassy eyes and said "you do what you have to do" and decided to just pump and dump later.
I pumped and dumped in the ER, which was awkward and painful. But getting the dye-contrast CT was the right decision because the scans came back showing that I did indeed have appendicitis and needed immediate surgery. I never saw the male doctor again, who had told me it was not my appendix, and they did not need to do the ultrasound. Good thing for modern technology!
Next, they wheeled me upstairs to the surgery room where at the last minute everyone was in a tizzy because I was wearing contact lenses and still had my underwear on. Once everything was off, they had me wear an oxygen mask and explained that when I woke up my throat would be sore because while I would be unconscious, they were going to put a tube down my throat to help me breath. Then I had a last minute panic thinking that the anesthesia was not taking effect, and worrying that I would remain awake for the procedure.
Then, I woke up about 2 hours later in a private room, with a vague memory of having been in a recovery room and even having spoken with a nurse. My throat hurt but other than that, I felt a lot better. My ribs did feel like I'd been bear-hugged. There were 3 incisions, covered with bandages. 2 along my bikini line and one coming out of my belly-button. I was strapped to all kinds of heart monitors, IV machines and each leg was hooked up to a machine which would "massage" it by lifting it up and raising it while squeezing like a blood pressure cuff.
Whenever I had to get up to go to the bathroom, I had to get the nurse to unhook all of the apparati first. I did not sleep very well because of the leg "massagers". The nurse told me that "some people actually like them". I can't imagine who would. I did manage to get her to surreptitiously agree to turn them off for 1 hour so that I could catch a nap.
No one had been very clear on when I was going home because "it is up to the doctor" but I did not see any doctors again until about 10:00 a.m. the next day. There was also some confusion as to my breakfast diet. Originally they brought me jello and beef broth "for your liquid diet" but since I'm a vegetarian, I didn't want that. And I wasn't told of any planned liquid diet so I think they had me mixed up with another room. I ordered and ate oatmeal and toast.
When it came, I hadn't realized they were going to bring just oatmeal. No cinnamon, raisins and brown sugar. They were nice and went back to the kitchen for the other things, but told me next time I ordered, to think of anything I might like with the meal besides the word it said-i.e. dressing with a salad, mustard, mayo, salt, milk for coffee, etc. and to make sure to say all of the other words on the phone. Weird.
Around 10:00 a team of doctors marched in and said that everything looked fine, and I could go home at noon. One of them told me that the rib pain was because they had to inflate my abdomen with air, stretching my ribcage. So, Ryan and William came (William's separation anxiety could be a whole other post!) and waited around with me, and around 1:00, the wheelchair escort finally arrived and we went home. On the way out, they gave me discharge papers with prescriptions for pain medicine and a note telling me not to lift anything over 10 pounds for 4 weeks.
So that is the surgery story. Moral is, if you are having lower right abdominal pain with fever (also supposed to present with nausea, I didn't have any so that threw them off initially) then go to the emergency room immediately. Don't wait because it's very serious and life-threatening if it bursts but if you catch it early, it's not a huge deal, as you can see from the above. Oh, I will never be a bikini model now but we can pretty much agree that was not going to happen before! ;)
Thursday, May 10, 2012
We drove over to the stop, parked in the large free parking lot (which was mostly empty), paid $1.50 x 2 for one-way tickets and hopped on the light rail. (They leave "every 15 minutes or more often".) Lauren's face lit up, she probably caught my excitement at mass public transit finally coming to the westside.
Inside, it was a smorgasbord of science delights, so many exhibits and bright and shiny moving objects that the kids didn't know where to focus first. It was a little bit hard running after William and when I bent down to put him back in his stroller, I thought I might have pulled a muscle. It hurt near my hip.
The kids' favorite part was the Ecosystems exhibit, where there was an aquarium with a clear tunnel in the middle that they could walk through, while fish swam overhead. Lauren also wanted to explore the gift shop but by then, but we'd promised Ryan to be home in time for lunch (note, they have a Cafe and a McDonald's) plus my hip/abdomen was hurting so much that I just wanted to urgently get home and off of my feet.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
We left and caught a train back, drove home, and I had an agonizing 10 minutes waiting to turn right onto La Cienega into an endless stream of cars, which made the driving the longest portion of the trip.
Finally got home, went directly upstairs and into bed. I had a 99 fever. I put a heating pad on my abdomen, curled up into a fetal position and tried to rest but the pain got worse. Finally around 4:00, I asked Ryan to take me to the emergency room...
(To be continued in Part 2)
If You Go:
Light Rail Expo Line Info:
- La Cienega Station is the westernmost station that's currently open. Parking is free.
- Light Rail Tickets: $1.50 for ages 5 and up, per one-way segment (if you change lines, pay another $1.50) or $5 for an all-day pass. Credit cards are accepted.
- Schedule: Trains run every 15 minutes or more frequently
La Cienega Station
- Strollers and bikes are allowed on board
- Hours: Open daily 10-5
- Admission: FREE! (Donation suggested)
Monday, April 16, 2012
But once we did, we got assigned to the 3:00 group, were given time stickers, and we waited downstairs, where Willie tried to infiltrate the display's security system to smash some ancient pots and pans.
Once inside the exhibit, the animal sculptures made of recycled materials are fascinating!
- Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 p.m.
- Saturday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Closed Mondays
- $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students
- $5 Children 2–12
- Free to Members and Children under 2
- Free to all on Thursdays
Sunday, March 18, 2012
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Get out a 9 x 13 glass Pyrex pan and oil bottom and sides with approx. 1/8 cup olive oil, then sprinkle 1/3 cup breadcrumbs on bottom.
- 6 eggs
- ½ pounds frozen spinach, defrosted and pressed to remove excess water
- 1 pound of cottage cheese (can use feta, ricotta or a combination of all 3)
- ½ cup Romano/Parmesan blend
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (or almond meal if you are doing gluten-free)
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 ¾ cups shredded extra-sharp New York cheddar (you can cheapen out and use other cheddar if your other cheese are sharp)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
I was able to see and touch the new items from the spring line, and here were my favorites:
- "Lion King" changing pad. It felt soooo soft and plush. I loved how it reminded me of Lion King yet could also fit into the decor of anyone who just liked animal prints. From Disney: "Turn baby's nursery into a sleeptime safari with the new Disney Baby The Lion King Nursery Collection. The collection furnishes parents with everything they need to outfit a nursery, including a 4-piece crib bedding set, modern canvas wall art, a musical mobile and an animal print window valance, among other wildly adorable items."
- Their new bodysuits which have 2 sets of snaps so baby can wear them longer or as Disney puts it "The only infant bodysuit with a patent-pending design that "grows" with baby, the DISNEY CUDDLY BODYSUIT™ features a second row of snaps for an inch of longer wear." Great idea! These 101 Dalmations bodysuits were especially cute.
- Lavender and Chamomile scented baby wash. I had a chance to wash my hands with it and it smelled like baby perfume, mmm! Not overpowering, but a sweet and innocent fragrance. These Winnie the Pooh Water Activated Disposable Washcloths are a great idea for clean-ups on the go, when you want a sweet smelling babe.
For more Disney Baby, visit Disneybaby.com