Archive | September, 2011

Devious ways

29 Sep

Its amazing how devious I’m becoming as my daughter gets older.  One morning recently I was reminded of the episode of South Park, entitled Scott Tenorman Must Die. Stay with me, here.

In the episode, Catman is bested by an eigth-grader, Scott Tenorman. Cartman thinks that he can buy Scott’s pubes (yes, you read that correctly) and it will still count the same in the manly column as growing your own.

Anyway, of course his friends call him out and he spends the rest of the episode trying to get his money back, and Scott just keeps outsmarting him.

That is, UNTIL the very end when, well, if you haven’t seen the episode I won’t ruin it, but let’s just say Soylent Green is Made of People.

So, on this particular morning, I plop some scrambled eggs on Bea’s tray (which she just happily ate for me a few days prior) and she started whining. She put one to her mouth, did a little lizard lick, and put it back down.

Whaaa? Something the queen doesn’t like? No, Goddammit, I made these eggs just for you and you need protein. Hmmm, look how good they are, mommy’s eating them. Oh, maybe if I give them to you on a fork. No? What if I cut them up real small for you? Not going to work, huh?


Grrrr.  So, I begrudgingly mixed up some oatmeal and peaches and started feeding her.  I noticed the little scrambled egg bits still left on her tray.  I thought, what the hell?  So I put some in the bowl, mixed it up so they were nice and coated with oatmeal and fed it to her, making sure she got a good chunk.

Chew, chew, weird face, chew, chew swallow.

“You like that?  I put eggs in it!”  I said to her, in a similar tone of voice that you would use to tell your high school rival that she has a booger hanging out of her nose.

Another spoonful.  Gulp. “Yeah, that one had eggs too,” I say, laughing. Na-nee-na-nee-boo-boo.

I’m not sure why this mattered so much to me.  I’m stubborn and a control freak, and I realize there will be battles I will lose.  But clean trays feel like a victory, and wasted food that I cooked, in general bothers me.

This is what my FB status read later that day:

“Dear Bea, remember this morning when I tried to give you scrambled eggs and you closed your lips tight and swatted my hand away?  And instead I gave you oatmeal and peaches? Well guess WHAT?  I put the scrambled eggs IN the oatmeal!!!  You ate it anyway!!  mwa-ha-ha-ha… I win again!!”

So, I’m not nearly as devious as Cartman, but I’d say I got a fair amount of satisfaction out of this one.  She’ll even the score eventually, I have no doubt.   😉



24 Sep

For those of you that know my husband, you know he is pretty hilarious. He’s not the knee-slapping kind of hilarious, but witty, cerebral, quiet and well, sometimes, we just laugh at him.   He tries to listen when I talk about stuff that bores him, and sometimes he gets the proper names of things wrong.  But its funny to hear him try.  For instance, he was referring to one of my favorite spas, About Faces, in a conversation and couldn’t remember the name.  “You know that place you go to… the spa.  What’s it called? Green leaf?”

Huh? Where in the world did he come up with that?

So anyway, I try to record some of the things he says through my Facebook posts.  I always tell myself I need to write them down in a book (aside from Bea, Bob stories are usually the biggest source of entertainment for my friend Mandy).  So from time to time you’ll be treated to a post simply called “Bobism #123” or something like that.  And that will be it.  For example, when I was pregnant, I got the book Pat the Bunny. He said, “Oh, so is Pat the Bunny’s name?”  I’m fairly sure he was serious.  That’s the thing about Bob.  You never can quite tell if he’s saying something to be funny or if he’s serious.  Sometimes the latter case is actually funnier.

Without further ado, Bobism #1 goes something like this:

In the bathtub the other night, Bob was washing Bea.  It’s usually his job, because at 24 1/2 pounds, she’s quite the back breaker.  We still put her in the blue baby tub because it saves water and makes for a quick fill up.  But, the downside is, you sort of have to lift her up to get to her lady parts (Invention idea # 475: Liftomatic chair type device for fat babies in bathtub).

So he’s washing her and says “Ehh, what’s this brown thing in here, a Band Aid?”

Me (squinting): “Oh yeah she still had a bandaid left on from when she got her shots last week.”

Bob reaches in and grabs it, bare-handed.  “AAAACKK its POOP!”  Yep, Bea had left Bob with a little Kibble-n-Bit.  Needless to say, my night was complete.

TV Fall Season is HEEEEEERRRE!!!!!!!!!

20 Sep

Did anyone else catch the Premiere of “Up All Night” last week?  Its the new NBC show starting Christina Applegate and Will Arnett (and SNL alum Maya Rudolph).  You can tell by the amount of promotion they are putting into this show that they are pretty much pinning their fall hopes on these guys.

I caught the last 20 minutes or so.  As far as TV shows go, I found it relatively realistic.  Relative being the operative term.  I’m not sure what family would decide to keep a TV producer’s salary in lieu of a lawyer’s salary, but then again, I did miss the first 10 minutes so maybe there was more to it than that.  Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.  I did find a really funny quiz on the NBC website.  Men, see how well you do!

Also, I must bow down and pray to the Modern Family writers, Good Wife actors and Biggest Loser Contestants (although I’m not sure where trainers Kara and Brett went. I don’t know how I feel about Anna Kournikova, but me thinks the NBC brass is trying to get a little more male viewership on this show).

And, sadly, I wish I could say that TV is such a huge part of my life since becoming a mom and having to stay in a lot more, but that’s not the case.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a TV addict.  Even as a child, I panicked at the thought of not getting home in time to see my shows.  This is why I believe Tivo is one of the top inventions of this century.  But I digress. (Note to self: start blog on top inventions of this century).

May the TV Gods smile sweetly on you this week.  In the name of the Farnsworth, Marconi and holy cathode ray tube. Amen.

Just when you think you’re having a bad day

16 Sep

So, its been a trying week here in the Flora household. We’ve had poop issues (not enough, too much, can’t find a happy medium), bottle issues, whining, tantrums, etc. And that’s just Bob. hahahahha

No, but seriously, so far the 12 month milestone isn’t necessarily making me do backflips.

So I go to the doctor yesterday afternoon. Its the clinic I go to about 4-5 times a year to make sure I haven’t gone completely crazy.  Sidebar, ladies, if you are dealing with Post Partum Depression, or know of any women dealing with a mood disorder, this little known clinic at Hopkins is regionally renowned and highly recommended by doctors in its field.  I found out about it from a friend of mine who was a Psychiatry resident at Georgetown, and her mentor told her about it.

Anyway, this clinic comes with a couple of pains in the arse.  For one, they only meet on Thursdays at 2:00.  Two, it’s a bit of a long wait.  I’m usually there for about two hours, including my visit and consultation.  So, I’m sitting in the waiting room, playing Bubble Burst on my phone, when this girl walks in, out of breath like she’s been running.  She signs in, and mumbles something to the secretary about being late.  The secretary, Elaine, says not to worry and I make a comment that the residents haven’t arrived yet so she’s ok.

But she is quickly starting to become on the verge of hyperventilation.   I’m no doctor, but she sounded like she was doing lamaze breathing or something.  Elaine asks her if she needs a doctor.  She says she needs to see Dr. Payne (Dr. Payne runs the clinic).  So Elaine calls the doctor and says that she will be in in a minute.  She then invites the girl into her area and says “let’s get you some air,” and opens a window.  She is crying hysterically at this point, and kept saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” and sobbing.  Elaine is trying to calm her, and tells her to take a deep breath, it will be ok, etc etc.

Meanwhile, there are like 7 other people waiting with me.  I have been coming here for a year and never seen anyone in this bad of shape.  Elaine tells her to sit down and Dr. Payne will be there in a minute. The girl says she can’t sit, she just needs to stand, her anxiety level is too high.

So, she leans against the wall right in front of me, slides down the wall, curls up into a ball, hugs her knees and starts sobbing again.  I sort of look around without being obvious.  No one is doing anything.  I mean, I’m not sure what I expected anyone to do.  But the poor thing was in pain.

I get up, walk into the bathroom and put water on a paper towel.  I walk over, lean down and hand it to her.  “Here,” I said.  “Thank you,” she sniffs.

“Let’s take a walk,” I say. “Come on, get up, take a breath.  Let’s walk.”  She gets up and I take her arm.  We walk down the hall.

Still crying, “I’m sorry….I’m so sorry….”

I am rubbing her back.  “Its ok, hon, we’re all here for the same thing.”  She starts telling me how she just got fired from her job today and she was a good worker.  They found out she was a former addict and told her they’d no longer be needing her.   Said she worked for a thrift shop.  Being face to face with her, I can see how using has ravaged her face.  She couldn’t have been more than 25, but had acne scars and red bumps.

I just said, “I’m so sorry.”  We stopped and turned around and I spotted Dr. Payne in the hallway.  “Oh there’s Dr. Payne.” The girl reached up and hugged me.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Its ok,” I said.  And she went back to see Dr. Payne.

That was the last I saw of her.  Come to find out, she’s prone to these dramatic outbursts, but still… I felt for the girl.  After having a baby, that’s the only way I can see the world, now.  Everyone is somebody’s baby.   And if my baby were slumped over against a wall, sobbing hysterically, I’d want someone to give her a hug too.  Sometimes that’s just what you need.

So, after seeing this gal, it reminded me of how far I’ve come.  I’d been having some stress and anxiety the past few weeks because there is a lot on my plate at the moment (when my ‘to-do’ list starts to get more than 5 deep, it makes me a little tense!)  But this was a gentle reminder, I believe, that things with me are just fine.

When things are getting us down, its so easy to lose perspective.  And here I was stressing about writing thank you notes for my daughter’s birthday, who is so loved and surrounded by such generous friends and family. That’s not a problem!  This girl at the clinic, she had problems.

So, it will take me a while to get these thank you notes out, and to get my pants hemmed, and to clean out Beatrice’s closet, and to find someone to re-do our kitchen floor, but these are problems I guess we should all be glad to have  🙂

The Journey Begins Here…

13 Sep
You’d be scared, too, Mouth if you knew what was coming!

Remember that part in Goonies when Mikey whispers “It all starts here..” in the basement of the Fratelli’s hideout? That adequately sets the tone I think. I’ll start by saying that this post is a bit, uh, descriptive.  You’ve been warned.

I got married much later than the rest of my friends (ironically enough, Bob was one of the first of his friends to get married). So, that meant that of course we’d have children later too. I went off the pill shortly after we got married. I kept feeling as though I was behind in life. I am a very competitive person, and I felt like I was finishing last place in the race. I know it sounds silly, but after a while I started to feel more and more alienated by the things I didn’t have in common with everyone else. So, it became my mission to get pregnant. Unfortunately, nature didn’t really cooperate with us. It took almost 2 years. My best friend’s son was 5 before we got pregnant. That sort of made me sad because I wanted them all to be able to play together and 5 years seemed like a big difference.

If you haven’t been through fertility treatments, this isn’t meant to be something that I want sympathy for.  It was part of my journey, and if you know me, maybe picturing me going through all this will give you a laugh, even if at the time it wasn’t all that funny.  Maybe you know someone going through the same thing and this can give you some perspective.  If you are going through fertility treatments, you may enjoy knowing you are not alone. If you’re thinking about or going to have fertility treatments, don’t let any of it scare you. It’s a badge of honor, we wear it proudly.

After about a year of trying to get preggers, I went to my doctor and got a prescription for Clomid. That’s usually the first step for anyone who’s been trying for about 12 months. You take a pill for five days, and are then instructed to, uh, perform on certain days (usually 13, 15 and 17). Ahh, the romance! I should have known I was not cut out for it when it got annoying after the second month! Well, needless to say, after 3 months of it, we had bupkus.

It was April 2009 when I made the appointment with a fertility clinic. My OB recommended them. When we first met with my doctor, she sat with us for a long time and went on and on about different reasons for infertility, various tests they perform, various types of treatment, etc. I have to tell you, after about 10 minutes it was mind numbing and she lost me. After that point, I decided it was best not to try to fry my brain keeping up with it all, and to just take it one step at a time, and do exactly what the doctor says. I think I can understand how and why some women get obsessed over their treatments, and what’s going on with them, what the next step is, blah blah blah. It really is quite an interesting journey. We’ll get to the grocery bag of medication in another post. Anyhoo…

I made a pact with myself early on that I would not become one of those women who could only talk about fertility and getting pregnant. I had known women who were slightly obsessed, and sometimes it was annoying to listen to them go on ad nauseam. Besides, I didn’t see what there was to talk about. If I was pregnant, I was pregnant. If I wasn’t, I wasn’t. Other than a couple of interesting stories (the baby making room and hyperstimulated ovaries we’ll get to), I didn’t feel there was much to tell. Now, mind you, I wasn’t private about what we were going through. I did tell most of my close friends, but we did not tell hardly any family. When there was something to tell, we’d tell. So, beware: if you tell people that you are doing fertility treatments, be prepared for the floodgates to open up. Everyone means well, and is excited for you, as you will be at first. But you will soon become frustrated as the months go on (and your treatments aren’t working) and the questions become more frequent. And sadly, half the questions don’t have answers. Many women don’t know why they have trouble getting pregnant. And if you’re like me, you may not understand half of what’s going on, you just want to have a baby, so you go with it. Yeah, I’m not sure what that blood test was for, I just know I had to have it done, and it came back normal. Normal is always good.

Beyond just the general annoyances, there are a few PHYSICAL pains that are part of going through fertility treatments. They generally occur right at the beginning. For me, it was in the form of 2 painful tests. And of course, all of this is based on very precise timing determined only by Mother Nature herself. If it were up to me (and the doctors too, I’m sure), we would have gotten it all done within a few days.

So, the first bit of torture, er, I mean, testing that my doctor wanted me to do was called a Hysterosalpingogram or HSG. Basically, they shoot some dye into your fallopian tubes to see if there are any blockages. It has to be done in a hospital because it requires an x-ray machine and technician. Sounds innocent enough, right? HA! Dr. Smith told me that “Some women feel some discomfort with this procedure, so if you like I can prescribe you—“

“Yes, please.” I never turn down a doctor’s offer to give me pain killers. Never, ever. I am a wuss when it comes to pain. So, she prescribed me some Percocet and told me to take 1-2 before the procedure.

I think we went in May to have it done. Bob had to drive me because of the painkillers. So I took one at home, and then one in the waiting room. That may have been a mistake. They called me back into the changing room where I changed out of my clothes into a gown. Another woman was waiting there too, to be called back into the x-ray room. I would learn that this was common: procedures were scheduled together for efficiency. So I came across many poor souls going through exactly what I was going through.

So there we sat, in two hard plastic chairs in the changing room. Not very comfortable. Had they called me back first I think I would have been ok, but the waiting was killing me. I started to get nervous, and then feel wacky from the drugs. I started to sweat profusely. My stomach was in knots. I went into the bathroom, praying the woman waiting with me would not need to use it. I was queasy and dizzy. I managed to pull myself together and splash cold water on my face. I think I made a little small talk with Woman #2. I really wanted to just curl up in a ball and cry on her shoulder and tell her how scared I was, but I kept my cool, I think. Soon, they called her back.

So there I sat, alone, shaking, sweating, dizzy, trying to just close my eyes and block it all out. I don’t know what the hell was taking them so long. Then about 10 minutes later it was my turn. I walked back into the x-ray room and wondered if it was obvious how high I was. Dr. Smith was there, and I was relieved to see a familiar face. There was also a really nice tech lady there.
So ladies, picture an exam on an x-ray table. Weird. I lay on the x-ray table with my knees bent (no stirrups) and my doctor proceeded to do her thing. The x-ray machine was not over me, at this point. She had to insert a catheter, but was having some problems. Want to know what it felt like? It felt like someone was trying to pull my insides out. Just like that. The queasiness was coming back. I could tell she was struggling. She said she couldn’t get the catheter in. Oh great. She signaled to the tech to go get some sort of medieval sounding instrument, when POP! “Ah it’s in!”

“Oooh, I felt that!” I said. I thought the worst was over.

“Ok please get the radiologist,” Dr. Smith signaled to the tech. They then pulled the machine over me. It had sort of a little skirt on the outside of it so the radiologist wouldn’t be greeted with the sight of my hoo-ha sticking out. The radiologist came in, and I could see my innards on the screen. “Ok Carrie, I’m going to start inserting the dye.”

I’m not sure what I expected it to feel like, but a little liquid swishing around my insides did not sound like anything to be afraid of. Boy was I wrong. She had a little balloon at the bottom of the catheter that she squeezed to insert the dye—sort of like a pump. I can’t describe the pain, except to say it was a pain I’d never felt before in a place I never knew existed. Sort of like being punched in the gut, only from the inside out. I started screaming and crying, and the technician quickly came around to hold my hand. I squeezed it so hard. I think all I could say was “ouch” and “oh my God.”

It was over in about a minute, and the radiologist left as quickly as he came in. Dr. Smith showed me my fallopian tubes on the screen, which appeared to be clear and free of blockages. It was kind of cool to see my insides like that. And I was so glad it was all over. They told me I’d have some cramping for a few hours, and to wear a pad because some of the dye would leak out. Lovely.
Fortunately, it looked like everything went well with the test and I got to spend a day on the couch with ginger ale and Spaghettios (my childhood get well meal). But, I had another fun test ahead of me (cue dramatic music). It’s called a uterine biopsy and its almost as fun as the HSG.

Mom support line

12 Sep

Milk is delicious from a cup!

There should be a support line of some sort for moms when we need a quick pep talk. I don’t mean like a health-related, or nursing support line (thankfully those DO exist).

I mean when we’re having a moment of Mom guilt and need to hear from another mom that we’re doing the right thing, its not so bad, etc etc. I was really blindsided tonight. I am not one to feel much of the aforementioned Mom Guilt. MG eludes me in most cases. Doctor’s visits, shots, blood draws, sick baby, leaving for work, taking something away when its time for bed–none of it really ever gave me pause.  I hear other moms say how they cried when their baby had shots, or had to have their husbands there, and the feeling is just foreign to me.  I guess Beatrice should to get some credit here. She does fairly well with doctor visits.  But, really, I thought I was immune to the MG.  If you don’t feel bad when they are blood letting your child, when can you feel bad?

But tonight was our first night going bottle-less. We just switched to whole milk. That’s been going ok so far (save for a little, umm, plumbing tweak here and there). My doctor said we really could wait until as old as 18 months to be done with bottles, but I figured, hey, we don’t really need them now, they are a pain, she likes her sippy cups. Let’s just do it.  Yeah!  Let’s do it!

So tonight, instead of her bottle in the cozy dark in the rocky-rock with Mom or Dad, she got a quick story, a little snuggle time and BOOM, was plopped cold-hearted into the crib with nary a drop. Mind you, she wasn’t thirsty, she had three cups of milk today and some water.  I’m not THAT cruel.

But she wailed for like 30 minutes! I felt terrible. I took away yet another part of her being a baby and replaced it with something more grown up. (Oh, she’s still crying, I stand corrected). *sigh*

Was I being greedy? Should I have just been happy with the milk for another month and weaned the bottles more slowly? Would that have killed anyone?

..okay… its really not slowing down…. I’m taking a sip of beer. I guess I’ll give her another few minutes and make sure she hasn’t thrown herself out of the crib. *Double sigh*

Maybe this is a good sign.  I was beginning to wonder if I was just heartless, what with the absence of MG in my life.  So, maybe this is just a sign that I do have a little compassion.  #Silverlining?

I promised some backstory to how we came to have the lovely Beatrice in this post, but our bottle-less evening has changed my plans. More later.

Why is there poop in the middle?

12 Sep

So, because this blog is in honor of my daughter, fellow moms and future moms, I need to start at the beginning with some storytelling. This background stuff has to be done.  Maybe Bea will read this in 25 years and see how much we went through to have her. Maybe she’ll feel the wee-est bit guilty and instead of putting us in the cheap old folks home, her guilty conscience will get us into the Ritz Carlton for old people.  See me? Always thinking.

How did I come up with the name of this blog? Well, I have become fond of several mantras in life: Dance like no one is watching, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, always walk home in groups, etc. But I really caught onto the “Live, Laugh, Love” thing after Bob and I were married. Is that copyrighted, I wonder? I mean, its three words put together, it’s not even a grammatically correct sentence, so I don’t know if anyone can actually take credit for writing that.  Its more of an arrangement, and not so much a phrase. I should look into that. Anyway, whatever it is, it seems to have gained popularity and I see it a lot on mugs, kitchen towels and the like.

So, never really being able to find the simple words to sum up what I stand for (brevity is not a strong point… apologies in advance), I felt this one summed up my feelings on life. Live life to the fullest, laugh hard and often, and love unabashedly.

When dear Beatrice came along, these verbs were amplified times a thousand, but my view on life  also got shifted just a bit. After a rough start (much more on that later), I quickly adapted a new attitude that was necessary to survive with most of my sanity in tact. I had to inject humor into my every day life, because in the end, what’s the point of all this if we haven’t laughed and shared good times?

For those that know me, you know I’m fairly baseline uptight.  I am anal-retentive, orderly and organized.  So having a baby, as you can imagine, threw my world upside down.  “Going with the flow,” was hardly in my vocabulary.   I suppose I could have tried to fight the forces, but I was given some great advice: “Embrace the chaos.” Easier said than done (much more on THAT later), but I somehow came out the other side of this a much more relaxed person.  We can’t control the crazy things that come with having a child.  We can’t have the same life we used to. So, we adapt.   I used to be the person that stayed late at work and agonized over work-related stuff even on the weekends.  After having Bea, it put things in perspective.  I can’t possibly get stressed out at work now, because I see how there are so many more important things in life.  Work is just work.  And if we get some poop stains on something, we just have to clean it up the best we can.

So, I settled on that for the title of my blog. Live, Poop, Laugh, Love. Poop represents the child in my life, but also all the dirty, yucky, gross things that go along with having a child, and the crap a mother goes through in general. Poop can also stand for the crap in life that we deal with on a day-to-day basis, that, hopefully with the right attitude, we can look at with humor.  We all have Poop, I guess is my point.  The figurative and the literal.

My little darling (who I think may be lactose intolerant and is now having no fewer than 6 tantrums a day), is sleeping soundly, and its a school night, so I’ll have to go leave it at that for now.  Next up…. the fertility journey!!!  😀

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