the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm Supposedly De-Germifying My House...

Among other things. Instead I'm taking a break from the Lysol 4-in-1 cleaner and Clorox fumes and blogging at you about the reasons for the de-germifying. For the record, I *have* cleaned both bathrooms (which were really gross, btw, even though I swear I just cleaned them on Monday. How do bathrooms get so gross so fast? Hmm, on second thought, maybe I cleaned them *last* Monday). I've also put a load of sheets in the washing machine. So I'm not being a total bum.

So, anyway... oh yeah. Reasons for de-germifying. Because the Max has been very, very sick for most of this week. You already know (scroll down to my last post) that Max hasn't really eaten much of anything for over a week. That trend continues. But there's a reason for it, and that reason is because he's sick. Max never eats when he's sick.

Remember that checkup Max was supposed to have? Well, it turned into a sick baby appointment instead (but the doctor assured me that, at his age, as long as Max is making some attempt to communicate verbally, he is fine. No need to obsess over how many words are in his vocabulary). Monday evening, the Max started running a fever. Nothing crazy, but a fever nonetheless. Then Tuesday morning, I was awakened by a screaming baby with a 103.5 degree fever at 5 a.m. Gah. So, I called and changed his appointment from a well-baby checkup to a sick appointment, and proceeded to alternate doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen every three hours. Went to doc, Max had an upper respiratory infection (aka a cold) and an ear infection (because that's what happens to Max when he gets a bad cold). Got some antibiotics (not penicillin, though, 'cause he's allergic) and a steroid cream for this pesky rash he's had for a while.

Came home from doctor's appointment, Max took a long nap, and when he woke up his fever was back, even though he had been taking one fever-reducing medication or another every 3 hours all day. I freaked out a little bit, and I wouldn't let him go to bed until I established that his temperature was going down again. After sleeping for ~4 hours, Max woke up. With a temperature of 104.2 degrees. Ahhh! So I stayed up with him for about two hours or so, trying to get the fever down, which pretty much consisted of giving him Tylenol and sponging him with lukewarm water (which he HATED). I'd put him to bed in nothing but a diaper, so I couldn't really remove any more clothing. When his temperature dropped 2 degrees, I finally laid down on the couch with him. An hour after that, Max's fever finally broke. And two hours later, his temperature was back up over 103. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I called the pediatrician's office again and expressed my concerns over the crazy fever business. I was told that the trend would likely continue for at least another day, possibly two. They told me to keep doing what I was doing and not to worry excessively as long as Max was moving around and alert when he was awake and his temperature dropped at least a degree or so after giving him medicine (even if that meant his temperature was still over 102 degrees). So we continued with the alternate doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen every 3 hours and the nakedness. I put clothes on Max for about an hour on Wednesday, but his temperature started going up when I did, so he pretty much went naked for two days (well, naked except for a diaper).

Wednesday night: more of the same. Max woke up at 1 a.m. with a temperature of 104.4 degrees, and we went through our fever-reducing dance again, followed by crashing on the couch for a while. But this time, it was heavy rain that woke me up at 5:30 Thursday morning, and Max did not have a fever anymore. He did start running a low-grade fever later in the day, but it didn't concern me much, and he only had two doses of Tylenol all day. He didn't have a fever at bedtime last night, and his temperature was normal this morning. He was also very spunky this morning, heading for the blinds, followed by the dishwasher, first thing. He still didn't eat anything, but he did drink some milk.

I've accomplished absolutely nothing this week, what with the sick baby and all, so I sent Max to daycare today (with instructions for the teachers to call me immediately if he showed any signs that the fever was coming back) so I can rid the house of sick baby germs and possibly get a little work done. But sanitizing is the priority today.

Now, I must be off. Household surfaces are waiting for me to bleach the hell out of them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Things Max Did NOT Eat Today

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Bacon
  • Blueberry muffin
  • Nutri-Grain bar
  • Banana
  • Gerber spaghetti rings w/ meat sauce (they were leftovers from the bowl he didn't eat yesterday)
  • Yogurt (hell must have frozen over because this kid LOVES yogurt)
  • Pizza (from Little Caesar's)
  • Italian cheese bread (also from Little Caesar's)
  • Turkey
Know what he did eat? A handful of dry Cheerios, one of those tiny boxes of raisins, a handful of Cheez-Its. Maybe two bites of turkey. He's also had two half-full sippy cups of milk. Could be worse, I guess. Hopefully he'll eat dinner. He ate half of his chili last night.

Also, he has only napped for 30 minutes ALL DAY. And I am feeling particularly bitchy today. Not sleeping might have something to with that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obsess Much?

This post is all about me obsessing over Max's verbal skills, so if you want to stop reading now, I won't take it personally (plus, I won't even know). I mentioned yesterday (seems like it was a long time ago) that I made an appointment for Max's 18 month checkup. His pediatrician told us that this was an "optional" checkup, as no vaccines are required, just a developmental checkup. Specifically, she said that if we were concerned about his vocabulary we should bring him in at 18 months, otherwise wait until 24 months. I have had some concerns about Max's verbal skills because he really has not been much of a talker. I find myself continuing to question whether it's possible that he has a speech delay because there are so many sources of guidance on these things with so much conflicting information (um, I've read everything from "an 18 month old should be able to say 3-10 words" to "an 18 month old should be able to say at least 10 recognizable words" to "an 18 month old should have a few dozen words in his/her vocabulary").

So I started thinking about the words that Max actually says and the sounds he makes that should count as words but that most people wouldn't understand (not that everyone we meet has any reason to know that when he says "pah" he means paci or that when he says "bah" and points at something that means he wants it). Then there are all the words that he's said repeatedly for only a few days, never to be uttered again (outside, duck, book). And the ones he's said a couple of times but doesn't use regularly (no, bear, eyes, pot, "dah" for dog). And the ones he said very clearly one time only (cookie, ostrich, paper). If I count all the sounds that mean the same thing as words (usually, it's making the first sound of the word but not saying the whole word) then Max says about 12 words on a regular basis. We are only guaranteed to hear four of them several times a day (yeah/yes, bye, pah, bah). He only says a few words clearly enough that the average person who doesn't see him super often would probably understand (bye, yeah/yes, key, hot, oh, mama, daddy; no, bear, whoa, pot, and eyes are pretty clear when he chooses to say them). Most of the time, Max prefers the point and grunt method of communication anyway.

So maybe I really don't have anything to worry about. But when all the other moms you meet are bragging about how their kid is combining words and has over a 50 word vocabulary, and other kids at daycare tell you bye bye more clearly and more enthusiastically than your own does (and when they call you "mommy" when your kid has not yet gotten beyond "mama"), you can't help but worry about it.

I'm sort of looking forward to this checkup, if for nothing more than to allay my fears. And to get more pesky, persistent rashes looked at.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Really? It's Only Lunchtime?

Things I did before noon today:
  • Woke up, took a shower, got dressed. Did not blow dry my hair.
  • Unloaded the dishwasher.
  • Got Max up, in a fresh diaper, dressed, fed (Cheerios and 1/2 a banana), changed again, and packed off to daycare.
  • Met Dr. V. at Starbucks to go over the very few and very minor revisions still to do on Chapter 2 (formerly known as Chapter 1) of my dissertation. Then he told me to send it out to all but one of my committee members. Yay, progress!
  • Did two loads of laundry (ok, the second load is still in the dryer).
  • Baked a loaf of bread (from frozen dough that I thawed in the fridge).
  • Shaped hamburger buns for dinner tonight and left them on the counter to rise (I just took them out of the oven, so they weren't finished before noon).
  • Got some exercise in the park ("exercise" was intended to be jogging but ended up as mostly brisk walking).
  • Took a shower. Because exercise is sweaty business. Especially in 90 degree heat.
  • Made an appointment for Max's 18 month checkup (Eeek! He'll be 1 1/2 next week! Then I'll feel stupid telling people his age in months and just have to say he's 1 1/2!).
  • Finished revising the Methods section of Chapter 3 (formerly known as Chapter 2) of my dissertation.
  • Wallowed just a little in the fact that my baby has been in the world for almost a year and a half and is entirely too giant.
I had lunch (a boring turkey sandwich, but it was on yummy fresh baked bread) after noon, so that doesn't make the list. Also, in case you were wondering, I did not get up at 3 a.m. to accomplish all that. I got up at 6:15 as usual. It seems that either I am doing AWESOME in the time management department today or Thursday Next's dad paid me a visit and stopped time for a while (see The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde if you don't get the reference; then read the rest of the series 'cause it's really amusing if you're into funny, satirical, sci-fi-ish books full of literary references).

Now, is it naptime yet?

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Know I'm a Psycho Bee-otch Sometimes...

But I'd like to think that I'm not a completely ungrateful one (more on that in a bit). And also? I REALLY need a break from my in-laws for a while. We have seen them so many times lately (EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND for at least 5 weeks plus a few times during the week) that I am quickly reaching my breaking point. And guess what? They want to come over again TODAY. Do they not know that it's Friday and NOT a holiday? Actually, they wanted to come over and get Max and take him to the Bass Pro Shop (which, incidentally, is BETWEEN their house and ours and probably about 30-40 minutes from our house). Shall I say "WTF?" Um, yeah. I shall. WTF?

We've already been through all of this. So suffice it to say that I'm a possessive psycho bitch who flat out refuses to let ANYONE take her toddler away from her. Even if it's his grandparents and only for a couple of hours. I'm sure it's crossed your mind that perhaps I wouldn't react so defensively to the idea of my own mother taking Max shopping without me (or Chad). That perhaps it's only my MIL who brings out the crazy bitch in me. The answer is I don't know. Because my mom? Has not foisted her presence upon us with mind-blowing frequency or ever taken it upon herself to walk off with Max without a word to at least one of his parents in a public place, and I really don't think it has ever crossed her mind to come over and take Max off somewhere without us. She has invited us (all of us) to go somewhere when she wanted to take Max somewhere. So excuse me if I think that's the way things SHOULD be (add a healthy dose of snark to that statement).

Now for the "I'm not ungrateful" bit. We went to the zoo with Chad's parents last weekend. And they kindly paid for our admission as well as theirs. They also bought us lunch. I acknowledged these generous acts and thanked them sincerely for it. But if they think that paying for zoo admission and lunch makes it all right for them to hog my child on his first trip to the zoo (not to mention carry him off to see the tigers for the first time and leave our diaper-bag-lugging, stroller-navigating asses in the dust OMG WTF) then I'd rather pay for everything myself. And yes, they DID take Max to get his first glimpse of a real live tiger without me. When we've been reading animal picture books in preparation for his first trip to the zoo to see them in real life. Hello, steam coming from my ears.

You might wonder how it is that my in-laws manage to sneak off with my kid in public places with such alarming regularity. You see, they're tricky about it. At Frank's wedding, for instance, Chad and I were sitting down to eat, and his dad was standing up with Max behind us while we ate (because the Max, he likes for you to stand up when you hold him. Otherwise he wants down). Then we turn around and they're GONE. We scan the room, and they're NOWHERE. OMG, WHO DOES THAT? He couldn't have said, "Oh hey, I see a co-worker, I'm going to take Max over and say hi." Nope. He just walks away like it's not a big deal at all that we're at a crowded wedding reception and he just walks out to the parking lot with my baby without telling anyone. So I'm freaking out a little bit, searching the whole room then the bathrooms then outside behind the reception hall where some people were mingling before seeing them walking back from the parking lot. So I tell him that is NOT OKAY, I require a bit of common courtesy when it comes to this sort of thing (if not asking permission to take my kid out of my sightline, then at least a heads-up that it is happening). Otherwise, I FREAK THE HELL OUT. Because I don't know where my kid is. Gah. I get a smile and nod and half-hearted apology. Problem solved.

Or not. Because when we went out to lunch for Mothers Day, he did it again! GAHHH! He's all, "Let Grandpa tote you to the car for Mommy" to Max. And I'm all, "Fine, whatever." So he gets Max out of the highchair while I'm putting his crayons and sippy cup back in the diaper bag, and I turn around and once again, they're gone. And when we get to the front of the restaurant, where we can see Chad's truck, they're not there either. Because once again he saw someone he knew and followed them to their car (in the lot on the side of the restaurant) and didn't bother to tell anyone. Gah. See, the way it usually happens when we go out to the eat with them is that Chad's dad will take Max out of the highchair and wait for us to gather our things, and we all walk outside together. I really hate this new 'taking Max and disappearing' act they have going. Because Chad's mom always manages to disappear with them, but they never bother to say a word about it to Chad or me.

Then there's the whole zoo fiasco. Not to mention the "we really want to take your baby and raise it ourselves" seeds that were planted years ago when Chad's mom was pressuring us to have a baby (like, a week after our wedding). When I told her I most definitely was not ready for a baby at that point in my life she said, "You can just have the baby, and I'll raise it." I am not joking. Those were her exact words. I don't actually know if she was joking or not. My gut says not. So I am obviously not the only crazy person in this family.

So maybe all that has something to do with my gut reaction to their incessant desire to take Max off without me (or Chad). You know, that instinctual response that says "NO!" Well, all those incidents plus the little seeds they're planting in Max's mind that say "Grandma and Grandpa are better than Mommy and Daddy. If Mommy and Daddy do something you don't like, even if it's for your own good, you can call us and we'll take you away" probably contribute to my wanting to keep Max with me, or at least in one place when he's being baby-sat.

After all that negativity, now I'll leave you with a picture of Max seeing sheep for the first time.