Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have no idea how to do anything even remotely related to blog design, but I was tired of looking at the standard blue screen/purple text template that Blogger provides. I spent much of last night and part of this morning learning how to upload backgrounds and create headers (all while the Husband and Tot are dismantling our Christmas tree - so much the better because this is something toddlers are already predisposed to doing anyway!). I hope you like it. And if not, well, I had a lot of fun learning it so it's very possible that it will change again in the near future. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Peanut vs. the peanut

I have Arachibutyrophobia. Okay, I don't really because that's the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. What I really have is a fear of peanuts. It's a relatively new fear. In fact, it just developed over the last few weeks. Right around the time that Ben broke out in to hives when I gave him a peanut butter cookie.  What followed was a panicked night of Benadryl and frequent checks to make sure he was still breathing through the night. Then a hurried call to the doctor to schedule a blood test for allergies. 

Last week it was confirmed - my Tot has a peanut allergy. And I have a lovely new accessory in my purse in the form of an Epi Pen. This sounds odd to say, but I was devastated. I adore peanut butter. I like nothing better than a big scoop of peanut butter slathered on a banana. Or peanut butter and honey on toast. And my very favorite ice cream is Peanut Butter Cup Perfection from Cold Stone. It goes without saying that peanut butter cups are my favorite candy of all time. So, I was sad to know that my son may not ever be able to enjoy something so yummy.  Not to mention, I also am already a fairly overprotective parent. Suffice it to say, the last thing I needed was encouragement to inspect every edible thing that goes in to my son's mouth. Now I find myself reading every label and scouring menus. My husband is even more attentive than I, and remembers to inform wait staff everywhere we go about allergies.

On the positive side, it's not a life threatening condition - just a moderate allergy. Unfortunately, I am told that each subsequent reaction will be more severe and so it could become life threatening. I am also told that 20% of children grow out of a peanut allergy. So, there is some hope that my kid could one day enjoy the deliciousness that is a PB&J with a cold glass of milk.  In the meanwhile, I will be here - inspecting labels and interrogating waitresses. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Spot

So, we are officially not "not" trying to get pregnant. Which I guess means that we are trying. Sort of. In a non-committal, half way kind of a way. I wonder if I have just jinxed myself by announcing this to the internets at large? I think the idea behind keeping it casual was supposed to be more of a "if it happens, it happens" kind of approach, to keep us (me) from getting our hopes up. But, of course, there is that little hopeful piece of me that thinks "THIS time it will happen" every month.

Unfortunately, every month so far, I am wrong. I am trying hard not to focus on it because I know that will only make things worse but it's hard to not feel the frustration time after time. The reality is, the only way we became parents the first time was through fertility treatments, so it's more than likely that we will need the same interventions this time around.

Don't get me wrong, we are blessed. I know we are blessed. We already have one beautiful son. He is more amazing than I could ever hope for and he deserves more than I could ever give. There are plenty of people out there in the world who cannot even have one child, much less two. My problem is that I hear these stories all of the time about women who had all of these horrible fertility problems the first time around and then they were pregnant with the second baby without even trying. I was sort of hoping to be one of those miracle stories myself.

The worst part for me is that tiny whisper of "maybe this time" that keeps coming up and refuses to be silenced. Even through the first days of irritability. In spite of the stiff aching back. Regardless of the mild feeling of bloating. Despite the first twinges of cramps. All the way right up until that spot appears when I can no longer ignore the very obvious. And then my glance falls on the calendar, focuses on the next month, and I can hear my mind whispering "maybe next time".

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I know nothing

Sleep routines have become haggard again. Ben is back to playing in his crib at night and at nap time. He has also begun waking up in the night crying randomly. This led to an embarrassing pediatrician visit because I was sure he had an ear infection. I mean "he NEVER does this".  Anyway, he had nothing wrong with him - the very nice and very patient doctor checked him thoroughly.

Today, he went down for his nap and would not relax. He played in the rocker and I put him in the crib hoping he could tire himself out. Two hours later, I had watched two episodes of Guliana and Bill and made 6 dozen cookies for two upcoming events and he was still going full steam. He cried every now and again but mostly was chatting and jumping up and down. I could hear "Go train! GO!" punctuated by *thump* *thump* *thump* As a general rule, I avoid going up to try to get him to sleep because it only seems to aggravate him.

I finally gave in and went upstairs to get him up. He had thrown all of his blankets, his pillow, his socks, and his stuffed friends on the floor. Also, he had pulled clothes from the laundry basket through the crib bars and thrown those over the railing. I put everything back and was getting ready to get him up but his little eyes were so tired. So, we sat in the rocker and rocked. I didn't have an Ipod or my phone handy so I sang instead. I only know a couple of songs and even those, I don't really have all of the words to. Initially he fought me and wriggled around like a puppy, but eventually he settled. And then - he slept!

Just when I think I know what I am doing - I don't. But at least he's sleeping.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stolen moments

A few weeks ago, Ben fell asleep on me when I was rocking him at nap time. I was patting him absent-mindedly and my mind had wandered off when all of the sudden, I noticed that his breathing had become rhythmic and his habitual wiggling had ceased. I looked down and saw that his eyes were closed and his face was relaxed. His two fingers were no longer in his mouth and had fallen to the side. It was a welcome sight, and not one I get to see very often anymore. Had I known it might be the last time, I surely would have held him longer and enjoyed the feel of his weight in my arms, the smell of his hair, the sound of his deep breathing.

As is typically the way at this age, every nap and bedtime has become a struggle. I don't know if it's the language skills that have exploded suddenly or if it's his insistence at bringing his Buzz Lightyear beanbag doll to the crib (that Buzz is a real party animal) but every attempt at soothing before sleep has failed. Ben chatters up a storm, flops around from my shoulder to laying in my arms to squishing down in my lap, and tries his very best to distract me from patting him or trying to relax him in anyway. I often have to fight to keep from laughing at his silly faces and games. After 2-3 songs, I give up, put him in the crib where he proceeds to flop about and chatter until he falls asleep. Some nights he has stayed awake for as long as 90 minutes after I have put him down. I have tried everything I could think of to change this recent pattern. We have added extra rocking (which becomes play time), tried to leave Buzz behind (not happening), and even pushed his bedtime backwards in the hopes that he would be tuckered (not so much).

Today we had friends over for a play date and he was demonstrating his cranky side (due to his recent "who needs sleep?" campaign)  when it came to sharing toys and following the rules, but nothing too heinous happened. At least as far as I know, none of the moms left swearing never to return or anything. We had a quick lunch and then began our nap routine again (I am nothing if not determined). Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw that he was asleep! In the rocking chair! On me! Oh joy, joy, joy! I cannot begin to describe the sheer pleasure of being able to hold my sleeping toddler and cuddle him close. So, this time, I did not jump up and place him in the crib. This time, I held him close for as long as I could. I smelled his hair and rubbed his back. I pressed him closer to me and enjoyed the warmth of the snuggle. I drew the moment out and made it last for as long as possible. Because who knows if I will get that chance again...