Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

I love how there are more new and ingenious ways to save the earth every day. And you don't even have to get off your patootie or spend a single sent to accomplish these ones.

Now, I'm as Google-dicted as the next person, but try using this search engine, at least for a day. Ecocho is partnered with Yahoo and they're planting trees with the revenue coming in from the ads. So the more you use them to do your searching, the more trees get planted, and the more greenhouse gases are offset. Apparently, Google was working with Ecocho at first, but have since stopped. I don't know why. But I emailed them a nasty letter here: adsense-support@google.com and suggest you do the same, if you're a Google user.

There's also this from the Earthday Network:

Tell your leaders to act before the heat hits the fan

You know how we always talk about how politicians aren’t doing anything to stop climate change? NOW is the time for us to make them change their ways. Earth Day Network has drafted a petition demanding that Congress act to solve this crisis, and to solve it fairly.

Join me in signing up Earth Day Network's online petition, at:


See? Now you can feel good about doing a little something for Earth Day this year.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Love Hurts

My blog is going to start sounding like Scarlet's.

I had my first regular PT session today. I got the good ol' e-stim, learned some new exercises, then massage, and ultrasound. I was feeling pretty good about all that, until I realized what time it was and that she'd gone an hour past the time I told Ouiser (who was keeping the Papoosekin) I was sure we'd be done by. Nuts (excuse the kindergarten-speak, we're trying to cut the foul language around here as Baby S is coming up with about 17,000 new words per day, and we all know how malleable children's language is. Just ask Toddler Tamer--sorry again, TT! The Husband's a little out of control. Holy tangent.). So I owe Ouiser. I'm actually going to owe her a whole bunch because she's keeping the Papoosekin twice a week for a while so I can go to PT sessions. We don't really know how long "a while" is because I don't know how long the PT will go on for. No one really knows because it depends how my body progresses. I know my insurance only covers 30 visits, but I'd be shocked if I had to go that many times. Well, if it started to look like that may happen, I'd certainly look into day care. Of the non-taking-advantage-of-my-friends kind. Ouiser and I are tight, but I fear her southern hospitality may not extend to three months worth of free babysitting!

Anyway, today I learned all about my transverse abdominal muscles. Well, that's not true. I learned all about all the abdominal muscles during my first semester of graduate school, but I learned to isolate these particular muscles today. These are the very muscles that Pilates focuses on, which is why I suspect I'm heading into Scarlet territory. These are muscles that we all apparently should be engaging at almost all times for postural support, but many of us don't use at all. In fact, my therapist told me about a study where they did EMG on 40 NFL players with back problems and found that only 2 of them used these particular muscles during any given activity under which they were tested. The rest relied on their power muscles but completely ignored these. These transverse muscles are the ones that run laterally across your abdomen. They're the deepest of the abdominal muscles and can be tough to isolate. They're also almost non-existent after having a baby. Thank goodness for my athletic background because they are tough suckers to isolate.

In Babyland, gates are up, which means Baby S can finally play at our house without being subjected to innumerable death traps. We still have more to put up on the stairs, both indoors and on the deck, but we at least have the living room and dining room quartered off from the rest of the house as baby-safe zones.

Ouiser and I are trying to get all our ducks in a row before heading off to NY for Scarlet's shower and bachelorette party this weekend. Our little ones will be with their papas all weekend. Should be interesting for all involved. I'm trying to make peace with the fact that I'm convinced the Papoosekin will start crawling while I'm gone. Sad for me, if she does, but it may be the only "first" her papa would be around for because he works, so it's only fair. It's going to be so weird being away from her. I'm torn between being really, really excited to have time to myself to do something fun and really anxious about being away from her. It will be good for me, but it's going to hurt, too.

Friday, April 18, 2008

At Least We Know I'm Not Spineless

The big news around these parts is that the Papoosekin is learning to crawl. I mean it is imminent. Wednesday afternoon Ouiser kept the Papoosekin for me while I was at a physical therapy appointment (more on that later). When I came to pick her up, she was playing on the floor and was apparently so excited to see me that she got up on her hands and knees...for about a second. But it was the first time I'd ever seen her do that.Then yesterday morning she did it again when she was on our bed and realized Bob was there, too. Last night, after the Husband came home, she did it over and over again for about 20 minutes on the living room floor. She got up on her hands and knees, would hold it for maybe 10 seconds, including some rocking back and forth, and then fall. Once she even got a knee forward, then fell on her face. I cannot even begin to describe how exciting it is to watch this. So, so, so cool. I mean, five months ago she was barely breathing oxygen and opening her eyes. Now she's about to be mobile.
We're also a smidge terrified. I can't even think about the babyproofing we need to do. Have I mentioned she's only five and a half months old? We're not prepared for this. We just recently discovered an appalling lack of smoke detectors in this house (didn't the last owners have three kids? Yes, they did.). Obviously, that needs to be fixes asap, hopefully this weekend. Then we'll get on the babyproofing.And as our child is flourishing, we are decaying. Seriously, it feels that way sometimes. The Husband came down with another round of that mystery stomach virus/plague from hell that has laid waste to his innards four times now in five months. Sound suspiciously like something other than a virus to you? Me, too. I made him go to the doctor who ran an ulcer test, but that came back negative. Now we have to decide whether to do further tests, or let it be for now.

Did I mention we have a $5,000 deductible? We do. Each.

And I started physical therapy last week. With the repeated back issues...the Lilliputian getting heavier (I've gotta stop feeding her...)...I'm only 30; I shouldn't be this broken. Anyway, I went to the doctor. He took an x-ray. It showed that I do not have scoliosis (lateral curvature of the spine), but my pelvis is crooked. And I have kyphosis (anterior-posterior curvature of the spine...why older women look hunchbacked. And by the way, that explains why my rowing coach used to always yell at me to straighten my back, and I'd say, "I am," and she'd say "No, you're not!" and I'd say, "I can't straighten it anymore!" and she'd yell, "Yes, you can!" Etc. We all hated her.). And my left leg is 2 cm longer than my right.

So they put a heel lift in my shoe and gave me a gazillion exercises to do each night. And I have to go see my PT twice a week. I like her a lot though. And there's that deductible. So let's home this is worth it.

Gotta get to bed. Mr. Ouiser was sick. The Husband was sick. Twice. Baby S was sick. Now the Liliputian and Ouiser are both sick. And I'm just starting to feel a strange sensation in my left sinus. Drat.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And I Wonder Why Her Breath Smells Funny

We've now got three meals a day, consisting variably of rice cereal, avocado, and sweet potatoes. Today was the first day of sweet potatoes, and they were a hard sell, but she's been unsure of everything the first go around so far, so we'll see how she fares tomorrow.

I'm also growing acutely aware that we have a massive bib shortage. I've used everything from a cloth diaper to a kitchen towel to a washcloth today because I just can't keep up with the bib laundry. Six bibs doesn't make it very far when you're doing three meals a day.
The Husband has been on a great 7:00-4:00 schedule at his new job...until this Friday. Someone else in his department is temporarily unable to do his 8:00-5:00 shift, and because The Husband is the most junior employee, he has to take over. Fortunately, it should only last a few months. Unfortunately, during that time he won't get home until about 6:00, which is the Papoosekin's fussiest time of day as she winds down toward that 7:00 bedtime.

These smiles weren't really for us. These are the squeals of joy that are bestowed upon Chewy every time he gets within her line of vision. I really need to confirm with our pediatrician that there's no harm in Chewy giving her a good tongue bath every time he comes upon her, including the inside of her mouth.

I've had so many other things I've wanted to blog about, but The Husband and I continue to feel overwhelmed by life in general. We've made a conscious decision to just start letting some things slide because we're both about to lose it completely. So the house is extra messy. Dinner doesn't always get made. And I don't blog much. Hopefully it will get better. But happy husbands and wives and mamas and papas are more important than all that other junk, so that's what we're focusing on.

In the meantime, current projects include: filing taxes, installing baby gates, installing carbon monoxide/smoke detectors, figuring out how not to freeze our baby out (who lives on the first floor) without sleeping in pools of our own sweat (in our room on the second floor), and jumping through the endless hoops required by the State of Tennessee in order for me to get a license to practice here. Apparently AZ was a little more lax. Funny, it didn't seem like it when I was jumping through their hoops. Oh, and more bibs are on the shopping list. And baby food freezing trays.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Gourmet Beginnings

The subject of last meals comes up sometimes in conversation. You know, if given the choice, some people say they would have a chocolate cake, others filet mignon, etc.

Have you ever thought about what your first food would be, if given the choice? Neither had I. But surely it wouldn't be this, would it?

Rice cereal. Mush. The Liliputian had her first taste of it yesterday and her second today. The awful face she makes in this video only lasted for the first few bites. Then she was pretty eager for it. It took forever to feed her the few ounces, but it went faster today.

We're supposed to continue with this for four days, then we can try something new from a very brief list. I've been going by the popular Super Baby Food book, which has some problems (inaccuracies with advice, very dense text, a bit disorganized), but seems like a great resource as long as you're aware of these. The four-day wait period is to ensure there are no allergies. Then you introduce one new food after each wait period; so, if there is an allergic reaction, you know exactly to which food it was. So, we'll probably try some avocado on Wednesday. Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Little Catch-Up

Happy 5 Month Birthday, Papoosekin!

Wouldn't you agree that this is not a baby with a weigh-gaining problem anymore? Look at that chin!
She's rolling, she's sitting up almost independently, she's standing for a few seconds holding onto the couch...She is acting so ready to start solids. The debut of brown rice cereal is planned for this Saturday. She may be teething; she was so fussy today and she's almost never fussy. I can't see anything, but her mood improved after a little homeopathic teething drops application. Sitting, standing, rolling, eating, teething, fattening...my little newborn is a full-fledged baby. I told the Husband that I feel like she'll be telling me she hates me any day now. OMG, we need to childproof this place. She's going to be mobile any minute.

(This one's from our last day in Tucson, at only three and a half months.)

(And this one's from our first day in the new house in TN.)

In other news, we had a fabulous visit with Scarlet Lily and her fiance last weekend. I joined a gym. I hurt my back again (though nowhere near as bad as before). I'm looking for a physical therapist or physiatrist. We moved the Liliputian out of her temp nursery adjacent to our room and into her own, permanent room (I'll take pics when I get a chance). The Husband is sick with the same cold Mr. Ouiser and Scarlet's fiance have. Chewy and Otis have met and made friends. My laptop has been officially wiped. I've got all new credit cards and a bunch of credit reports I need to review with a fine-toothed comb this weekend. That's about all I can come up with...we're real exciting around here.

Want a list of things I need to do? No, you don't. I'll give you a partial anyway. I need to get a rain barrell. I need to plant some vegetables. I need to get curtains up in the dining room. I need to install baby gates. I need to make sure all our outlets have plugs. I need to install magnetic cabinet locks. I need a haircut. I need to pack up the size small Fuzzi Bunz. I need to report the identity theft to the feds and the local police. I need a TN license and registration. I need to seed the lawn. I need to get a TN SLP license and look for someplace to work. Ugh, I need to update my resume. I need to post this and go to bed.

I'm getting more sleep at night, though, thanks to letting the baby cry it out. I learned a magic trick involving turning off the monitor while she screams, waking up by instinct after about 10 minutes when she's done crying, and turning the monitor back on. Cuts down significantly on my trauma and sleep deprivation, which makes all of life seem more manageable. Although I'm a little panicky that they're not replaying last week's Lost tonight like they normally do. What happened?!? No, wait!! Don't tell me. I'll catch up somehow.

*(Huh. Sorry about the duplicate posts. Don't know how that happened. Anybody know how to delete those?)