Saturday, February 26, 2011

He will huff and he will puff and he will cough your house down

Poor Milk Dud. He must be feeling really badly. Tonight, I went on a Baltimore Mommies Moms' Night Out that I set up earlier this month. I had fun. Ate Mexican food. Had a Cuba Libre. When I got home, my husband told me that Milk Dud had been screaming for an hour and that nothing he would do would stop the screaming. Mommy has the magic touch, of course. Nursing = sleep for him.

He was coughing again, so now I'm waiting for his neb treatment to finish so we can go to bed. I feel so badly for him. He huffs and puffs so hard trying to breathe. The darn thing sounds like a helicopter. He is still coughing. I hate hearing it. I want to just snuggle him and give him kisses, but I can't make him feel better that way. I hope this goes away soon. He is looking at me with tears from behind the mask. After 3 days, he has stopped fussing with it, though. This is a hard mom moment.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tales of Lysol, Jofish and Baltimore Mommies

Yes, yes... I know... It's been a couple of weeks. I have a couple of good excuses. First of all, the boys have both been sick. They caught colds right around Valentine's Day. After my great deal on Lysol at Safeway (I think I paid $1.50 a bottle for the antibacterial cleaners), I scrubbed the entire house that was scrubbable. I thought they were getting better. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Squirty is better... Milk Dud is not.

Poor Milk Dud. He was just hanging onto this cough forever. I figured he was just being like Mommy. Thursday morning, he was wheezing so badly that we took our first emergency visit to the doctor. She says he has reactive airway disease. He had a nebulizer treatment in the office and they sent us home with our very own machine. Just what every 6-month old needs, right? Of course, he hates the thing. He's better about tolerating it after 2 days, but he fusses so much when the mask is on him. It's supposed to look like a fish. Well, Squirty picked up on that and started calling him Jofish... I decided to let it stick since every kid needs an alter-ego for their stupid fish mask. Squirty was the most helpful 2-year old ever, though. He makes his brother laugh and totally forget he has on the mask. For that, I'm rather thankful.

This is poor Milk Dud AKA "Jofish" doing his nebulizer.

My fun for the week will be tomorrow. I'm going to a Mom's Night Out for the first time since I had kids. In November 2008, when I was on maternity leave, I found this online group called Baltimore Mommies. They have different activities and stuff throughout the greater Baltimore area. They have an awesome forum with lots of different boards. There are actually groups all throughout the country that are from the same group. In the early days of being a stay-at-home-mom, they were a life saver to me. It was a way to interact with moms, but without having to take my tiny preemie out of the house. I could talk to moms in my specific area. I could talk to moms who were breastfeeding. I could talk to moms with special needs children, like my preemie. I didn't get on the site a lot, but I did get on sometimes. Last spring, I finally got up the guts to go to a play date where I didn't know anyone. I only did two before going anywhere with Squirty and my huge belly was too much work. This fall, I got more involved online. In November, my area was looking for a new moderator, so I applied. On my application, I actually said that I was applying to force myself to get out of the house and do things. Man, they must have thought I was nuts, but I got the position. Last week, I applied to be a co-manager of the user groups... and I got it. I'm enjoying seeing what happens in other subgroups of our area. It's actually helping me learn about things in Westminster, Towson, Dundalk, etc. I am proud to be a member of the group and excited to continue on in my new position. I hope I can encourage other "lurkers" to take a more active role in the community.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Random thought generator

Squirty is taking an extra-long nap and Milk Dud is also sleeping. That means I have 5 minutes to my thoughts...

Do gyro bowls actually work?

What on earth did Lorelai see in Luke? On a similar train of thought, why did Rory like Logan? At least Matt Czuchry is good-looking... No, my son is NOT named after his character. Why aren't the actors who played Lorelai's parents more famous?

Why does my husband think that leaving the house before 9:30 is early? I'm usually up 2-3 hours before that.

Why does Joanna Garcia always play pregnant people?

Why does Squirty scream "a boo boo!" when the dog touches him with his nose?

Why do face wash people only clean their cheeks?

How did they make the Ghiradelli triple chocolate brownies even more chocolatey?

My last random thought is "Hooray for the IRS letting women deduct breast pumps! Why couldn't they do that in 2008 when I bought mine? Although, maybe I need a new hand pump."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Look Ma! One Hand!

Since I call this blog "Trapped under a Milk Dud", I probably should say something about breastfeeding, right? After a rough start with the NICU and all, I nursed Squirty until he was 17-months. I only weaned him because I was pregnant again. My supply really dropped and nursing made me even sicker to my stomach than I was when I wasn't nursing. I missed that relationship.

I was excited when my pregnancy with Milk Dud was normal and he didn't go to the NICU. He nursed instantly and constantly. The hospital lactation consultants loved me. I was easy and they were impressed by what I went through the first time.

I feed on demand and Milk Dud has packed on the pounds. He was 8-11 at birth. He is 5.5-months old and I suspect he is around 23-24lbs now. He is off the charts for weight, height and head circumference. I see linebacking in his future. He screams for solids and I've given in a little. Last night, I had to endure his screaming for hot sausage, peppers, onions and tomato sauce.... anything but the Cheerios on his tray.

He loves his mommy and to be held. I wear him a lot. Thank goodness for my Ergo and Mei tai style carriers, although I have yet to be able to nurse in one. He still needs to be held a lot. I've learned how to do a million things with one hand. I'm actually typing this on an iPad with one hand while nursing Milk Dud and watching "Cars" with Squirty. The problem is that as he gets heavier, it is harder for me to do stuff. I'm increasingly "trapped under a Milk Dud." I will miss this relationship when it ends in a year or so, but I am looking forward to a little more freedom with it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Planning to Coupon at Safeway

I've become a couponing nerd. I got so excited when my paper came Wednesday and had the Safeway and Giant ads for this week... Especially Safeway. They had a bunch of store coupons and I was really excited for the ones that overlap manufacturers' coupons I have.

Today, we are going to Safeway. I'm going to stock up on sausage, yogurt, ground beef and soda. I need a green pepper and some hot dog rolls, but those will be the only non-coupon items I buy. Oh, I also have a mail-in rebate for Perdue Short Cuts. That will be a separate transaction, though. I pay cash for mail-in rebate stuff and do them in individual transactions so they are the only item on the receipt.

I'm predicting a shopping bill under $30 and it will be mostly meat that I can freeze. I guess this is my new hobby :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My most recent expertise

I have learned a great deal since having kids. I've learned that I can go without sleep. I learned how to make baby food. I've learned a little bit about being patient, but there is one thing at which I thought I'd never have to become an expert. I know too much about Monster Jam.

Squirty loves anything with wheels. For Christmas, he got 12 monster trucks... He has since accumulated 30 of them. He is also into watching them on tv. I didn't get it at first. Watching every night at 5pm has turned me into a fan. I know a lot about Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger and the Cretens and Bounty Hunter. It's kind of sad and silly. The part of my brain that used to identify birds has recently been replace with knowing things like Captain's Curse is a 1941 Willys. I'd never heard of a Willys until watching Monster Jam.

I'm not complaining. I just find it amusing the things I've learned since I had Squirty.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How to pick a preschool?

Today, I signed my 2-year old up for preschool in the fall. Yes, it's February 1st and I'm already planning my September. I've been planning it for several weeks. Squirty turns three in September, which means he will miss the normal cut off date for public schools around here. Technically, I could wait another year or two to enroll him. I mean, they don't require kids go to preschool until they're four and starting kindergarten the next fall. Squirty just needs more interaction with other kids and some outside adult instruction without my presence, so I started the selection process...

Now, I live in a pretty high-rent area between DC and Baltimore. Lots of well-paid people who want only the best for their little princes and princesses. That means there are lots of different types of schools and availability... but not necessarily openings.

First, you have to pick your type of school. There is a public option in our school district, but you have to be 4 by September 1st... so that was out for us. On to private preschools...

Now, the decision is religious or secular. There are so many different things from which to choose in our area. I'm Methodist and my husband is Catholic. I have no problem with religious schools. I would consider any of the many Christian or Jewish preschools in the area. I say those two, because I didn't come across any other religious-based schools within a decent driving distance for me. The Catholic schools required 3 by September 1st IF they had a 3s program. Most only had a 4s. The one Jewish school was very nice, but a little cost-prohibitive for us. Luckily, there are tons of Protestant preschools that have either a 2s program or an "early 3s" one. It's just a matter of picking the one that "fits" the best.

As for secular preschools, you have even more choices there sometimes. You could go co-op, where the parents have to be involved with the school both in the classroom and outside of it. You could go Montessori, with self-directed learning. You could go traditional academic. It's almost overwhelming. I knew Montessori wasn't for me. I teach my son in that method at home, so I wanted him to have a more directed method of teaching. With the traditional academic, I felt like I was sending my 2-year old to prep school, with uniforms and everything. I'm not ready for that. He's not ready for that. I liked the idea of a co-op. I have a strong science background and could help bring that to the classroom. I do like the fact that the parents run the school to a major extent. That could also have issues, though. What if you butt heads with the head of the board of directors? What if you have another child like I do? What are you supposed to do on your day to help? The cost of a co-op tends to be significantly lower than most other preschools.

There is the option of a home-based preschool. My sister runs one. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in my area who does. I have trust issues when it comes to my kids, so I'd have to know the person pretty well to enroll a child in a home preschool. They are great for personal attention, though. I totally see the appeal.

Then, when you make your decision, sometimes you have to go wait in line to register your child. I did pick a school and enrolled my child for the fall. Open registration was at 10:30am this morning. Moms lined up at 6am. Seriously... 6am... I've heard of places where they go even earlier. I got there at 10:30 and got a spot in their 2-day 2.5s class. That wasn't anywhere near full, but the 4s were. I hope we made the right choice, but I won't know until Squirty has been in a few weeks or even months. I don't know how people make it through these things without beating themselves up that they chose correctly. I guess I can say to myself, "It's only a year... He has 2 more after it." I'm not looking forward to repeating this in 2 years with Milk Dud.

My patience took a vacation and forgot to take me

Last night was rough. For some reason, neither kid wanted to sleep. Around 4am, we all ended up in the bed and THEN we got some sleep... Not much, but some.

I was very thankful for the ice delaying the schools. Today was preschool registration. So, I had to pack up both kids and get down to Laurel to sign Squirty up for the fall. They didn't salt their parking lot and I had to slide down a hill to get to the entrance. Then, I had to carry my stroller up a flight of stairs to get to the registration. Thank goodness I didn't use the double and just made Squirty walk. Once inside, I found out that moms had been there since 6am for a 10:30 start time. I ran into a mom I met last week at the other preschool I toured. She came to the same decision I did. We waited an hour, but got into the 2.5s class. I'm wondering if the fact that the older classes filled so quickly means that it is a great school. I'm hoping the decision to driventhat far 2 days a week was worth it.

When we got home, I fed Squirty lunch and realized my patience took a vacation and forgot me. Luckily, the boys napped at the same time, so I got to sleep, too. Then, they also let me make dinner. My patience is back, but I think the weather will be bad again, forcing us to be trapped in the house :( I'm looking forward to school Thursday and the gym play date on Friday.

I hope tomorrow will be better. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....