Showing posts from 2010

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

I have been blessed in my life to know lots of premature babies.  Many of my friends have had premies.  I  have had two premature babies myself.  Many of these children have flourished under the care of experts who worked tirelessly to ensure a happy, healthy future for them.

Many do not.

Our son, Phoenix Jude, was born on April 11, 2008.  He was born in the 27th week of gestation.  He and I had already been in the hospital for several weeks by that point on a long term maternity ward (something I didn't even know existed until this point in my life).  I had developed extremely high blood pressure and eventually my son had to be born in order to try and save both of our lives.

Phoenix weighed one pound and 12oz.  He was on a ventilator and a feeding tube and catheter and every other supportive device you can think of.  He was just 12 inches long at birth.

He had a lot of challenges and, after three days, he succumbed to these and died on April 14th, 2008.  I still love him and thi…

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Recently The Mister and I have had a shift in our schedules.  He got a promotion (go baby!) and I continue to work my normal schedule.  This means The Nugget has entered daycare for about 3 hours a day because The Mister works afternoons/evenings and I work days.  The Nugget goes to daycare from 1:00PM-4:00PM four days a week.  The entrance into this setting caused the cursory gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, tears and anxiety for all, but she has actually settled in quite nicely and very much enjoys her outings to see her friends.

Our big problem is that The Nugget's normal nap time falls about 2:00PM.  When I say "normal", I mean this is the schedule that she has set for herself over the course of time.  She just tends to get tired about that time of day.  With the daycare schedule as it is, she is now arriving for a play date when she would normally be napping.  Knowing this going into the situation, I attempted to plan accordingly.

Our first plan of attack was t…

HAZMAT to the bathtub

So I am giving The Nugget her bath the other night.  All is right with the world; she is splashing and playing and having a fine time, which she usually does while bathing.  A few minutes in, though, I hear a little "toot".  And then she says, "poop."

I will remind you all that The Nugget is not potty trained.  She appears to be able to make some sort of loose association with the word poop, but she has never once gone on the potty or accurately alerted me to her need to (or completion of) poop.

So, I say, "Do you have to poop?"  Those of you who read this blog will know that her response was, "Okay."  She then went on to continue splashing and playing, so I assumed that she had probably just had some gas and continued watching her play.

Bad decision.

Pretty soon, The Nugget is making what can only be described as a "poop face".  I go into overdrive, grabbing the potty seat and latching it onto the toilet and whisking her out of the t…

Tip. The Sippy. Up.

Okay, those of you who are fans of Young Frankenstein, go back and read the title to the tune of, "Put.  Zie candle.  Back."  Couldn't resist.

Now, welcome to one of my most perplexing issues with The Nugget.  The child appears to be incapable of tipping her sippy cup.  I know some of you are already reacting with, "it's because you are doing it for her."  I admit that we do it for her, but it is because she will. not. do. it.

Not only will she not do it, she appears to be oblivious to the fact that she is not doing it most of the time.  If we give her the type of sippy cup that requires tipping, she will often just stand there sucking on the spout and drawing in air.  She may stay completely content like this for loooong minutes on end.  Until mommy finally snaps and gently lifts it up and explains, for the millionth time, "tip it up."  As soon as I let go, down goes the cup.  Occasionally she will realize she is getting nothing to drink and look…

Spider Alert!

It's been a couple of years now since The Mister and I moved into our current house.  Previously we lived in a 70 year old bungalo in the downtown area of Indianapolis.  We now live further out in the 'burbs near a lovely park and reservoir.  We have lots of trees and wildlife.  And spiders.  Lots and lots of spiders.

Now, before you spider lovers out there attack, I want you to know that I appreciate the spider for its role in the world.  If I am outdoors and I see a spider, other than possibly shooing it away from my space, I leave it alone.  I want spiders in my garden to keep out the other pests.  Where I don't want spiders is in my home.

In our old house, which had been lived in by the same man for over 40 years, I NEVER saw a spider.  I know that sounds crazy but it's true.  I don't know, maybe we had some spider-eating snake that lived there.  But, if we did, I never saw the snake, either.  I was thinking, old house, lots of spiders and creepy things.  I don…

18 Months Old

It's The Nugget's year and a half birthday today.   I cannot believe how the time has flown.  I mean, a YEAR and a HALF.  I still look at her sometimes and expect to see this:

And I am sometimes surprised to look into a little girl's face and not a baby's face.

So, in honor of her half-birthday, to The Nugget, I say this:

I am so very blessed to be amazed, challenged and loved by you, my beautiful daughter, every day.
At age 18 months, you definitely have a voice of your own.  We love this about you, though it can sometimes be frustrating.  You know what you want and when and how.  This can lead to tears when we can't understand or can't provide what you want, but these periods are generally short-lived.  Your Daddy and I want you to be a strong, independent woman with your own voice in the world and we  encourage you to use that voice of yours.  To help in that department, you are learning vocabulary at an amazing rate and now use many 3 and even some 4 word s…


The Nugget has found a new way to get The Mister and I to say yes to things.  Or so she thinks.  It's simple, really.  She merely mentions the thing that she wants to do or to have, for example, "cake".  As the parents of a toddler, we are used to repeating what she says in order to ensure that we understand her meaning and praise correct use of words.  She has turned this repeating against us.  When we repeat something, such as the word cake, back to her, she immediately says, "Okay."  In her mind, it's a done deal.  She has requested cake and we have agreed to provide it.  Thanks Mom!  Thanks Dad!

Needless to say, once she realizes that, no, we have not agreed to her demand, there is much gnashing of teeth.  And screaming.  And sca-reeming!  Possibly tears as well.  After all, historically she has only known how to ask for things that we would certainly provide if she requested.  Things like milk, bezzies (that's berries, people; get with the program)…

Two Be or Not Two Be, Is That The Question?

I know I am not the only parent in the world who wrestles with the idea of whether or not to have more children.  I am in what feels like a constant internal struggle with this idea.  The Mister would be perfectly happy to stay with just one, and I can respect that.  Then again, The Mister probably would have been happy to stay at zero, but I see how he is one of the most wonderful, loving fathers I have ever seen and know that he was meant to do this.

The Mister has a few good reasons why he doesn't think we should at least give birth to another child.  I have had two quite complicated pregnancies.  He doesn't want to stress my body anymore.  He doesn't want to wind up being an only parent.  I get it.  BUT...there is a question in my mind about having just one more.  He has tentatively agreed IF the OB/GYN says he would allow it for his own daughter or wife if she had gone through similar situations.  That seems fair.

Of course, if we don't have our biological child, …

The Best Day of the Month

My favorite day of the month is whenever this baby arrives in my mailbox:

It makes my heart go pitter-patter just seeing it lying there in my mail box.  I begin each reading with great debate over whether to plow right through it in one self-indulgent evening or savor it, stretching the reading out over the course of a week or so (I don't think I've ever made it last longer than that, save for possibly during those early, sleep deprived days of parenthood).

I was lucky enough to marry The Mister whose father and step mother had been getting this magazine which I somehow NEVER KNEW ABOUT for many years.  My first visit to their home became an opportunity to read as many back issues as down time would allow.  It was fabulous!

Lucky for me, those same wonderful in-laws got me a subscription to this magazine after seeing my zest for it at their home (and possibly wondering about this strange new daughter-in-law who would rather read magazine after magazine that interact with her f…

The Smack Down

Oh, how my toddler taunts me with her rapidly changing emotional currents!  And so early!  I thought it was the terrible TWOS, but we are clearly in the one year old range now at 16 months.  Is there no mercy?

The Nugget has recently taken to tantrums.  Screaming.  Twisting.  Kicking.  The works.  She has always been a very well-behaved child, and, though I knew tantrums would come, I was still shocked by their arrival and by the ferocity of the things!  She has always had her own voice and an opinion about things, something The Mister and I have encouraged, but this voice is so angry and loud.  And embarrassing, I might add.  Totally, utterly embarrassing.

Some family came to visit the other day with their adorable four month old baby.  He is sweet natured and lovely and super smoochable.  Needless to say, I smooched.  How could I not?  I hold up the below picture as all the evidence you need:

 As you can see, the nugget was enjoying his company.  They  were sharing a moment with Elmo…

The Writing is on the Wall

I have been pondering what to put on my laundry room wall for...well, I suppose for about two and a half years.  Admittedly, I wasn't putting my FULL attention to this subject up until recently.  The topic has, however, had my full attention for some time.

We got a lovely platter as a house warming gift when we moved here.  It has mostly been in storage as it doesn't really go with most of my other serving pieces and, yes, I get a little nutty about that kind of thing.  I did think it was pretty, though, and it recently occurred to me after reading other blogs and seeing the general popularity of chalkboards that I could make the platter into a chalk board.  So, without further ado, I give you: the chalkboard project!

Here is the platter in question:

Isn't she purty?  Sadly, I realized only AFTER I dug out the platter that it had all of those frilly, scalloped edges to tape up.  In my mind's eye, the platter had been SQUARE on the inside and this project went much more …


A few weeks ago we decided to try getting a dog friend for our current dog, Frolic. We used to have two dogs and one of them died about two years ago. I have wondered if Frolic was lonely as she has started to have some separation anxiety when we leave her. Keep in mind someone is in our home nearly every minute of every day; we only leave her for brief periods. Still, I was worried. What do I have to do other than worry about the emotional well-being of our dog? Plus, I have been in this whole, "embrace the chaos" space, thinking I need to, you know, embrace the chaos of family life.
So, after months of endlessly searching for a dog, I found one listed on Craigslist that I thought would be a good fit for us. Similar size, the owner said she liked other dogs, spayed, shots, etc. I called up and we scheduled for the dog (Zazzy) to come stay for a couple of overnights. Just a trial period to see if our dogs got along. The owner seemed very nice and clearly loved Zazzy…


The Nugget is at a point in her development where her vocabulary is just developing at an unbelievable rate. She has picked up on the fact that one of us often says "honey" to her when she needs soothing or to be nice. About 5:00AM, she began to fuss in her crib. I blindly listed toward her room, narrowly avoiding a fall in the hallway in my barely conscious stupor, to find her lying face down with tears streaming saying, "honey, honey" in the saddest way. I immediately scooped her up and rocked her back to sleep, all the while smiling because, if I am being honest, these are my favorite times as a parent. I know many of you are cringing, wanting your sleep back, but with a fifteen month old child, cuddling can be rare. These night time wakings are one of the few times when I am fully able to snuggle her to my hearts delight. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am delirious. Yes, my hair is standing on end and there is drool on my cheek. But I love it. I. Love. It. …