Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Step Away From the Chocolate

You know this is what you need to tell yourself when your three year old looks at you in the kitchen and asks:

"Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Toddler Health Commandments

1. Thou shalt behave completely normally throughout the day - playing, eating and drinking just fine, then wait until your parents think you are safely asleep for the night to throw up your dinner all over your crib, your teddy and yourself.

2. Thou shalt not appear relieved at having emptied the offensive contents of your stomach, and wait until Mommy puts you down in your fresh crib before repeating the throwing up procedure.

3. Thou shalt continue to retch and heave unproductively for two hours (since you have eliminated that which would have sustained a small country, from your tiny body).

4. Thou shalt fool your parents into thinking that all is settling down by starting to fall asleep on your mother's lap - and giving her that double edged sword of feeling so sorry for you because you are unwell, but secretly relishing in the freedom she has to stroke your face and your hair, to hold your tiny feet in her palm, and trace the outline of your fingers in hers, without protesting.

5. Thou shalt disturb this calm in an instant by heaving again and necessitating a quick sprint to the bathroom sink - where bile is all that comes up.

6. Thou shalt proceed to go limp, and refuse to engage with Mommy or Daddy when we try to coax even the tiniest reaction from you, let your head and limbs flop and show absolutely no interest in your most favourite comfort object, teddy (the spare, non puked upon teddy - for Mommy is very clever and has prepared for instances such as these).

7. Thou shalt unceremoniously freak both your parents out so they start asking 'should we call the doctor?', prompting Mommy to phone Auntie Suzy for a second opinion - and she concurs that we need to phone the doctor.

8. Thou shalt [of course] do all of this out of office hours so that when the doctor calls back her advice is 'he needs to be seen, you must take him to the Emergency Room'.

9. Thou shalt perform your 'rag doll' routine for the Triage Nurse and get her just as worried as Mommy, so she asks for a second opinion. In the 15 seconds that it takes the second Triage Nurse to appear - you miraculously recover the use of your limbs, your head and your eyes and you're trying to sit up as if to say 'sick?, me?, nahhh'. Triage nurse is relieved, but still doesn't like your colour and sends us to wait in the huge waiting room crammed with people too poor to see a regular doctor, a situation that Mommy could write about for a long time! and backing up the doctors so that we wait for ages without anyone seeing us. Just as Mommy starts to question whether you should be in the ER or not, thou shalt throw up once more for good measure, just in case going home might have been an option at this point.

10. Finally, at almost 2am, when you decide you would much prefer to lie down in your bed and sleep, thou shalt begin to protest your snuggly place on Mommy's tummy, throw the wet washcloth from your brow and thrash teddy around in case the strength of your distaste for your surroundings wasn't getting through clearly enough.

Satisfied that you'd be just as well off sleeping this off at home, and happier that you were a bit better than you were when you arrived, Mommy decided to call it quits. Leaving the coughing kids, and those kids happily running around causing havoc, with whom there didn't seem to be much wrong at all, to tie up the ER staff some more - we both craved our beds and some rest and TLC is probably all you really need anyway - we went home.

But, please, Son, next time - try and fit this in between 8am and 4:30am, okay? So much easier on all of us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Target Saves Easter

Thank you for your feedback on my questions about the Easter Bunny.

We are in our first month of trying to stick to a formal budget - to stop us getting towards the next payday and asking 'where the heck did it all go?'. We had been doing great - and I was rather anally recording every cent we spent, and feeling smug that not only were we on track, but were set to have some money left over this month, yippee!

But, then the dentist happened and I had to pay a hefty deposit for the work Miss E needs done, and we've had more bills come in for Jay's emergency treatment for croup that our paltry HSA contributions can't cover right now - so, the budget is blown - a good lesson for us in building in contingency funds each month, eh?

Anyway, not wanting to go overboard I waltzed into Target today - and bought some Easter chocolate (complete with coupons for money off!), and picked up sidewalk chalk and board books in the dollar spot.

Fifteen minutes and eleven bucks later we left*!

I pulled myself back from feeling guilty that I wouldn't be showering our kids with wondrous goodies from the Easter Bunny, and stopped myself from spending a fortune on silly stuff that will just get shoved in the cupboards along with all the other crap eh, wonderful educational toys my kids have.

The kids will have fun looking for their plastic eggs in the garden, and will be happy pretty much with the chalk and books.

(*You have no idea the strength it took not to go browsing in all those lovely spring clothes, bags and household goods! I've already mentally spent half of next month's pay on a complete new set of outdoor dinnerware!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Reader Woes

As in 'Google Reader'.

I have none of my subscriptions showing up in my reader. They are all there in my settings, but Google Reader is not updating them for me.

The mighty Google Search is letting me down big time, as there are no current articles showing up revealing any current issues. It's just me it seems.

'Help' is no use either - no handy hints on what I've done wrong, or how I can get my subscriptions to show up.

The first couple of days this happened I thought 'fine, I'll just go directly to the blogs and read them' - which is great - and takes me back to what I used to do before I even knew Readers existed (I'm a bit slow like that).

One big snag in this though. I have been very bad at updating my blog roll - and while I can merrily click on those blogs listed in my blog roll, I have about three times as many great blogs that I read, that I never managed to put on my blog roll - and now I'm having a hard time finding some of them.

I've come across several of you by clicking through on comments you've made on other blogs.

Mind you, once I get to the blogs I'm finding lots of people saying that blogging has lost its appeal and you're taking a break - maybe I'm not missing much anyway?

I need something to read while I'm having my morning coffee though! To save me from trawling through everyone's comments looking for all those great blogs again, and to save my kids from certain neglect today - post me a comment here so I can get your url again and set everything up in another reader (I think I'm going to dump Google!).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Set me straight on the Easter Bunny, will ya?

I think we're moving into holiday overload in this house.

I've only just dumped all the remaining Valentine's candy that Miss E had brought home from Preschool. Given this post, at least I can let go of any extra guilt I might be feeling if I'd actually let her eat it all!

Now we're in this most Irish of days - Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Decked out in green, we all headed to Preschool this morning (fifteen minutes late as usual). The teacher asked me to stay a while and explain about St. Patrick to the kids - which I did happily (any opportunity to explain that Patrick used a 3 leaflet plant called a shamrock to explain the holy trinity, is a good one in my book. Where the four leafed clovers I see everywhere associated with St. Patrick's Day come in, I'm still not quite sure).

The kids all listened attentively, a shocking first for this group of energetic three year olds - must be my charm and lilting brogue that would make Darby O'Gill proud that did in then, eh?

Our celebrations at home are going to be understated today. Always one to march to the beat of my own drum, for dinner tonight we're having - Chili. No, no corned beef and cabbage here. Corned beef and cabbage, as the Humble Housewife explains so well in this post, is more of an American Irish tradition anyway so I don't feel bad at all bucking this trend.

Soon we will bid farewell to St. Pat for another year, and the Easter Bunny will be due to make an appearance. Miss E has her Easter Party at school on Wednesday (more candy!), and a novice at all the necessary preparations - I forgot to bring my filled plastic eggs today. I had specially bought prefilled eggs which did not contain candy - no point in adding to any other kids' potential dental woes now is there? Thing is I didn't have time to come back home and get them after I'd had tea with a friend and gone shopping for a birthday present (I know, imagine taking time for myself, tsk tsk). Taking the easy way out, while shopping for the birthday present, I had to come down off my no candy moral high ground and buy replacements, filled with all sorts of toxic confections, just for someone else's mom to toss in the trash - good times.

The thing about Easter is, I haven't quite got my head around who the Easter Bunny is and what he (or she) is supposed to bring to our little darlings.

Growing up, we got Easter Eggs from our parents, usually ones containing our favourite chocolate bar, and ones we had selected while drooling over the various choices in Woolworths in the weeks before Easter. Easter Eggs in the UK and Ireland are big, boast chocolate eggs, and they contain little packages of chocolates.

In addition to this, there would be the Easter Egg Hunt in the garden (usually our Nana's) when after dinner we would scurry outside to find the eggs (chocolate again) that the Easter Bunny had left.

That was it!

No movies, toys, plush bunnies, bikes (?!!)

If I am to believe the marketing the Easter Bunny is becoming like Santa Claus.

To date we have put a few chocolate eggs in Miss E's basket, and called it good.

However, now that she's mixing with peers, and aware of what happens at other kids' houses - I'm in a quandary. Do I continue to keep this low key in our house - and let them hunt for the eggs outside that the bunny left? Or, am I setting her up for ridicule? If I give in and start filling baskets with toys and movies, I know that's a slippery path I'll be going down and one that's very hard to pull back from?

Tell me please about what happens at your house and let me get a feel for what the 'norm' is?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Google and Blogger Blues

Everything is going all screwy on me. I hope this is not the start of messy stuff I read about other bloggers experiencing that have prompted their move to other platforms.

I don't have the energy, or the knowledge to move!

Anyone linking to my blog as probably won't have a live link now - seems it has to be

I also have a problem with my google reader. All of my subscriptions have disappeared and I can find nothing in either google reader help, nor via the mighty google search to help me fix this.

So here I am, one kid asleep, one watching Max and Ruby (I know, I know!), laundry is up to date and the house is clean. And my reader is broken. Now what am I supposed to do? *gasp*, suppose I'll have to go read a real book or something!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

And so the guilt goes on...

I nursed both my babies, well beyond their first year. Miss E stopped at 17 months, and Jay has just stopped in the last six weeks or so.

Feeling all warm and fuzzy that I was creating such a strong bond with my children, and giving them the absolute best sustenance available. Nursing on demand just like the Lactation Consultants advised, and feeling not a little smug at times that I never had to feed either of my children formula.

Miss E was a demanding nurser - and it took 3 different attempts to successfully wean her. She wanted to be nursed to sleep at night. I did it - 'whatever works' being my mantra. She frequently woke during the night, and would not settle without being nursed. Again, 'whatever works'.

In her toddlerhood, used to nighttime milk - she got milk many times in a sippy cup going to bed. Pregnant with her brother and not up to a raging battle, every.single.night, I chose my battles. Unwisely.

Miss E is tremendous at having her teeth brushed - she (most of the time) happily lets Hubs or myself brush them, and brush them thoroughly, and the milk habit is gone - she has only had water at bedtime or during the night for a while now.

The damage was already done.

At today's lengthy first dentist appointment (at which she did so well), the dentist asked 'did she get a bottle of milk in bed regularly?' - and so out pours my truthful account as I've written here.

Miss E needs four (yes that's FOUR) fillings and I am devastated.

I was adamant that I would look after my children's teeth and instill in them matter of fact daily habits to protect and keep their teeth healthy and I have failed already.

In nourishing my child's physical and emotional needs to be nursed I've let her little teeth come under attack from the very substance meant to make her strong.

When I got upset and told them how guilty I felt at the office today - the assistant and the dentist both said they understood but that given what I told them they would have expected things to be worse, and that at least her brushing routine is good now. They also said they've seen kids in there a lot worse than Miss E - which is of no comfort to me whatsoever since they're someone else's kids - not my responsiblity, not my problem.

Miss E is my responsibility, as is the health of her teeth. She has to go back for uncomfortable treatment and nobody can tell me not to feel bad about this. I did this to her and I feel so damn guilty.