Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

First the lion prowls....

Then she takes down Mommy...

And then Daddy!

But how can you resist the cute?

So I took her trick-or-treating (kind of!) to exactly 3 houses: two of our neighbors and our good friend who lives in the neighborhood behind us. She wouldn't do her lion impression at the last house, and did most of her growling for our next door neighbor who is mostly deaf so it was kind of wasted.

Here is where I start grousing about my neighbor. Please skip ahead if you don't like grousing.

Now mind you, I know he means well. He's an older gentleman, he's very helpful when we can't figure out why our backdoor light won't go on or I can't start my car and whatnot. He's also the one who scolds us if we don't keep our lawn mowed. Evidently he also keeps track of the number of people who go in and out of our house. Not that I care overmuch, but you know.

It's just.... okay. I may have blogged about this before, and maybe I haven't, but here it is again anyway. Some time earlier this year or something, I was chatting with him while I was holding Kiki and I mentioned she had Ds. He said he thought something was wrong with her, and made mention that he has a relative with Ds who is now 35 or so but didn't have a lot to offer in that regard either. And then he began to impress upon me that I had to start going to church because more than anyone else, she was going to need a lot of God in her life (I may be slightly paraphrasing, but the implication was very heavy on the pity.)

At the time I tried to put it all aside because he was, after all, regenerating the battery in my car for me. A nice, neighborly thing to do.

Tonight, Kiki and I stopped to visit to say Happy Halloween. He asked if she was walking yet; I said no, but she's cruising and her PT is thrilled with her progress. He then asked if that was all the people coming and going from our house, the therapists (sigh), and I said yes.

He then mentioned his 35-year-old relative again -- he was specific about the relation, but I've forgotten it already -- and somehow we got into the topic of how Ds children used to be institutionalized as a matter of course. He said he couldn't imagine doing that to his own child; they're our responsibility, after all, and we need to step up. So far, okay.

Then he says, "Of course they're more work than a normal child."

And you know, in writing this all down, I'm thinking the conversation wasn't really as bad as I felt it was. I think he was obviously trying to empathize with me. He mentioned on several occasions that Kiki was beautiful. He didn't say anything grossly insulting. But he made several little comments, little ignorant comments that I can't even recall right now, that I might have normally considered innocuous, but they bothered me.

And the thing is, he's concerned about her. That's genuine. And he's also curious about her; that's genuine as well. She signed Thank you to him for the candy, and he was shocked that she was learning sign language. I explained to him about the speech development delay and that signing helps her communicate earlier. He was a little critical of how she signed Thank you -- it's not perfect, but she's 18 months for cry-yi -- but he was still impressed.

I think what bothered me most of all about the conversation is that the whole conversation was about Kiki's Ds and not about Kiki herself. Or maybe I was just in the mood to be irritated. I don't know. He's not a bad guy, all in all, and he means well, and I probably shouldn't bitch about it.

Everyone else loved the costume, loved the cute of Kiki, and made no mention of Ds at all. Which I think is as it should be, right?

I have this thought sometimes, and maybe it's all part of the grandiose dreaming that parents do about their children, but it brings me a sense of comfort and pride. I think sometimes that all of us were brought into this world to touch others in some way. I think sometimes that Kiki's touch on people will be profound; it certainly has been so on her parents, after all.

When I was a child, I used to wander the neighborhood and visit with all our neighbors. I knew everyone on our street; not the kids, but the adults. I would go and visit with them for long periods of time.

I have this thought that Kiki may be the same. I have this thought that our next door neighbor may be one of the ones she visits the most, and that there may be a strong bond between the two of them that changes the shape of both of their lives. I have this thought that Kiki may have a profound effect upon him and everyone near us.

But that's as may be. I'm still struggling very hard to learn to live in the present, moment by moment as it were. It's not easy for me. I think I'd have been a soothsayer in a different time, as much as I love to live in alternate futures.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Doesn't it look like her Rody is making bunny ears behind her? Silly Rody.

I had a list of topics I was going to address for the 31 for 21. I was going to have a fresh photo for every entry. Where has the month gone?

By my count, after this post, I will have to write 11 more posts to have 31 posts for October.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

So since that is obviously not going to happen and it's maybe slightly possible I'll post a costume picture tomorrow late at night MAYBE before the strike of midnight on November -- good lord! -- I will just have to give a quick update of events round these parts.

Kiki is now seeing her OT weekly. Starting today! We started working on puzzles today.

Mom is leaving AZ tomorrow and heading our way!

We took the kids to Spooktacular at the zoo last weekend and Kiki did the same thing she did last year: stayed awake and alert and quiet for the whole duration. She did her lion roar for at least four people.

It's gotten cold fast round here. Too fast for me to keep up, clothes-wise. It turns out though that Kiki still fits in most of her winter clothes from last year. Which relieves me financially, but then gets me all nervous maternally. I know she's fine; the doctor keeps assuring me she's fine. This time last year, Kiki was in the 50th and 75th percentile for her weight and height. Now she is somewhere around the 15th and 25th.

Then I remind myself of the first time I went to the DSGO meeting, and Kiki got to play with babies her own age for the first time. And compared to the other kids even 6 months older than she was, she was a MONSTER baby. So all things considered, she's completely okay. For the record, a few weeks ago she weighed 22 pounds and was 32 inches long.

She and Honey Bear (my dog, the corgi mix) have become playmates. Honey actually lets Kiki maul her quite patiently and nudges her playfully in return. Sugar, the blue heeler mix, still stays as much out of range as possible. You can see the look of irritation on her face when HER ears get pulled.

And let's see. What else? Kiki is beginning to string words together in sign language. She does "food please" when she gets hungry; and I know she's hungry because like clockwork, it starts happening right around meal time (we're pretty scheduled around here which completely blows me away.)

And that's all I can think of in the time limit I gave myself. :) Back to work with me!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I just noticed that in all of Kiki's photos, it looks like she has brown eyes.

Her eyes are actually blue and appear to be slowly changing to green. They're more blue or slightly more green depending on what she's wearing (though her wardrobe is predominantly pink. Don't ask me how that happened.) She gets her eyes from her Daddy I think. He has one blue eye and one green eye, which just goes to show that he simply can't make up his mind.

I don't know why they look brown in photos though. But I wanted to set the record straight. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Kiki Scared Mommy. Happy Halloween, Mommy!

Yesterday morning, Kiki was having her usual breakfast of oatmeal and fruit cocktail. Kipp had just left for work. The day was pretty much starting out as usual.

I break up the fruit a little before I put it on her tray to eat. Most of canned fruit is really soft, so it doesn't have to be itty bitty pieces, but I'm generally careful about say the grapes, the cherries, and the pineapple. So I was breaking up this piece of pineapple into two smaller pieces, and as I was putting it on her tray, I thought, "Hmm, I can feel a little bit of the core still on the end of that one. I wonder if it could get stuck in her throat."

And then she swiped it up, shoved it into her mouth, chewed, grinning at me and then froze. Her eyes bugged out. She started flailing around in the high chair, her mouth wide open, her eyes bugging out, and not making any sound at all.

My brain freaked out. I immediately thought of the CPR instructions on the refrigerator, all the way in the kitchen. I couldn't remember the way to give the Heimlich on a toddler. I thought I wouldn't be able to run in there and run back in time. I thought, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God...

And while my brain bailed on all of us, my body whipped into action. Somehow I had her upside down, and I was smacking her back until I heard her cry. I looked, but there was no pineapple piece.

She was crying, but it was really faint. I could hear her breath whistling, wheezing, struggling. I knew I had to call 911. But we have a cable phone and I remember reading that dialing 911 on the cable phone is different but I didn't remember how it was different or why and oh my God oh my God oh my God....

While my free hand casually swooped up my cell phone and dialed 911 and spoke clearly and slowly to the operator on the other end about my daughter is choking, she is 18 months old, it was a piece of pineapple, yes she is crying but she is still struggling.

And while I'm talking and holding Kiki, I somehow find myself in the kitchen, staring at the CPR how-to stuck to the side of the fridge for just this type of "it could happen" experience. They connected me to the emergency at Cox and at some point in this conversation Kiki's wheezing had stopped and she was screaming full volume. That's a good sign, right? I asked. The EMTs are on their way, I was told.

Now we live maybe 30 seconds from the fire station. If that. I paced a little, still holding Kiki. I tried to sit down, but she started squirming, wanting to get on the floor and play. So I got up, still holding her, and picked up the living room. Then I put her pajama bottoms on, and took us both out onto the front porch to wait for the emergency guys.

When the first response got there, I walked down the driveway to meet them, Kiki and me, both barefoot and in our jammies. I said hi. They said hi. We exchanged a few other things, and then the young woman said, "Why don't we go inside where it's warm?" which is when I noticed they were both wearing thick coats. Are they called flak jackets? Who knows. I didn't feel the cold at all.

So we went in. I sat down, Kiki in my lap, and the young woman tried to listen to Kiki's lungs with a stethoscope, and Kiki kept swatting her away. Then the ambulance showed up. The first response people got their signature from me, swapped paperwork with the ambulance guys, and then the older gentleman who was obviously in charge of the ambulance team squatted down to listen to Kiki's lungs and she spread her arms wide, cocked her head to the side, and cooed at him. Little flirt.

Anyway her color was fine, her circulation was fine, her lungs were clear, her throat was clear, all was fine. It was like it never happened. In fact I don't recall at any time that she even turned blue or purple or anything; if she had, I would have remembered and truly freaked, I'm sure.

The gentleman said, "Must have been a good piece of pineapple."

I said, "I hope she enjoyed it because it's the last piece of pineapple she'll get for five years." And then I burst into tears. Well, I teared up and caught myself before bursting into tears. I tend to do that.

I've been inspecting every poopy diaper since then for an errant piece of pineapple with the full intention of burning the fucker.

And because that was not enough adrenaline for the week, today Kiki tumbled while playing with her dancing bear and started screaming high heaven. It wasn't a big tumble. She fell on her butt from a standing position. I picked her up and tried to comfort her -- she doesn't comfort well when she's crying, she pushes away and struggles and screams louder -- and she actually let me cuddle her. So I thought maybe she'd bumped her head, and I pulled her back a little to take a look and... there was blood all over her sleeve and the front of her shirt.

She'd bitten her tongue. With her 6 teeth.

She clots fast though. I barely noticed the blood pooling on her lip before it stopped completely.

I can only wonder what tomorrow holds for us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

(2) Changes may be coming

Daddy has taught Kiki how to blow her nose and this is the face she makes when she does it. Honestly, she learns things sooo fast when they come from him. She also now gives zerberts instead of biting because of him. I suppose it helps that he's ticklish and when she gives him zerberts he laughs and laughs, which amuses her no end.

So when Kiki's OT was here, she mentioned that things might be a-changing down at the therapy center. First Steps just recently underwent some bureaucratic office shifting, and they sent out this ominous-sounding letter a few months back about it. It seemed to me from reading it that they were likely to cease all therapy and place existing clients directly under Parents as Teachers.

I remember reacting in panic, and showing it frantically to Kiki's PT and ST, who both reassured me that no one was taking 'em away from us. Just our coordinator was changing (we're meeting her this coming Thursday.)

Well, now her OT mentions that yes, in fact they are considering dropping support for scheduled therapists for most of their clients, and assigning therapists as needed only as consultants to the Parents as Teachers representative assigned to each client. Ack!

Now I have nothing against Parents as Teachers. As far as I've heard, it's a great program. But it is not designed for children with learning delays; from what I understand, it's specifically designed to coach parents so as to keep their kids from developing any delays. Totally different approach, if you see what I mean.

Anyway I'd always known that Kiki would graduate from her therapies and go into Parents as Teachers (and preschool 3 to 5 days a week) when she turned 3, but I am NOT ready for this to happen before she hits 2. She's doing so amazingly well with her therapists! Dammit!

Well, it's too soon to panic, I think. I need to find out a little more and write some letters and drum up some parental outrage as necessary. You know, things I'm not very good at.


Almost caught up!

You know, here's the thing. I can't help but admire Sarah Palin. I don't like her politics, I don't like her mob rousing, but I have to give her enormous kudos for being out there.

I remember what I was like when Kiki was Trig's age. Her first year was easily the most rawly emotional and overwhelming year of my entire life. In my heart I don't believe that Palin is using her son as a political platform (I think McCain and his campaign are, but that is incidental). In my heart I think that when she was offered the position of running mate, she jumped at the chance to get into the spotlight, to take the opportunity to make a better world for her son, for all her children. Whether or not I agree with her ideology in that regard is incidental.

The point is that she took action to deal with this very real, very big thing in her life, at a time that I recall for myself being so frightening and surreal. I see her out there cutting ribbons on the opening of a dwelling for adults who have Ds. I see her out there meeting with people and families of people who have Ds, connecting, and I can imagine that it gives her hope, strength, fortitude -- all the things that she is then returning by having Trig in the spotlight, showing him off with pride and love.

So. My anger just sparked off because of McCain during the debate, turning her life into a political platform when he himself has no clue, as evidenced by his apparent inability to distinguish autism from Ds (yeah, I read all the spin later about his "apparent" slip. Whatever. I am not so convinced.) I directed that at her, but that's all McCain. Gah.

Okay. I'm done talking about politics.

In our own current news, I have to report that the Your Baby Can Read program is a big hit around here. Kiki LOVES watching the videos. And she recognizes "clap" and "arms up"! I am so not making this up. I'm hesitant to call it really reading, but on the other hand... she responds when she sees the words, before she hears them, so...

(I just noticed it's out of stock though...)

Once a day I watch the video with her, and once a day I let her watch it alone. At the very end of the video there's a section that begins with a young girl saying, "Parents, show this section occasionally to your children."

I swear, if you're in the other room barely paying attention, it sounds like she says, "Parents occasionally show deception to their children."

Which may be true and all, but don't tell her that NOW! Sheesh. She'll figure it out when she's a teenager, and I'll deal with it then.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(3) To be fair

I realize I've sort of been on an anti-Palin rant the last couple of days. I'm not really anti-Palin as much as I am anti-Palin-McCain-policy-politics-whatever.

But to be fair. I read this blog entry: Blessed Chaos: Courage and Sarah Palin, and it rang true with me as well. Under all the campaigning, I know Palin is a mom dealing with a new child and a new world. I remember how that was. Hell, I still feel like that.

I honestly don't know how she's doing it, but she is. And that is strong. And I think that from now on, I'll stick to disagreeing with her politics and mud-slinging and mob rousing and leave alone the whole other issue.

I feel so up and down about that whole part of it. Part of me wants to connect with her, based on what we have in common. The other part of me is suspicious of her, and that suspicion just makes me... angry. At her, at me, at the world, I don't know.

But this is why God invented therapy, yes?

(2) Something new every day

Hyperflexible children apparently think this is a comfortable sleeping position. Personally, it makes my hips ache just thinking about it.

Learned something new from the Patricia Bauer site. I had honestly never heard of People First Language before. Or maybe I had and just didn't pay attention. That is entirely possible. Well, now I am learning as much as I can about it. Better late than never, what?

*Ooh, yes, I'm familiar with People First language. Just had never heard the term before.

I'm still learning to use it consistently and properly. Stopping to think about what you're saying does have an impact on your mindset. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm trying.

As for Sarah Palin not using People First language and being judgmental of that because I myself am still trying and made lots and lots and lots of mistakes when Kiki was as young as Trig is, I can only say this... I haven't put myself in a position where I'm trying to be some kind of champion in order to get into higher public office. As she is in this position, and she continues to use her family as part of her political platform, she puts herself in the unenviable position of being judged by how well she represents the people she says she connects with.

You know, first you gotta learn the language.


She's now shown off her block stacking skills for all of her therapists as of today! So I had to get pics of her doing it to show off for the rest of the world too.

Since her face is kind of cut off, I'll add another picture.

She and Daddy have a new favorite game. He starts the game by crawling around, chasing her. Then he shrieks, and crawls off, which is her cue to start chasing him. One of these days I'm going to video this game because she laughs so hard while she's playing.

Ohh, while searching for new thriller movies to DVR for myself, I found The Seeker: The Dark is Rising! I thought if I was terribly lucky it might be based on the Dark is Rising books by Susan Cooper. I was right!!! Yay!!!! It's actually pretty good AND it has Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who!) playing the Dark Rider. Heaven. Sheer heaven.

Finally have some work so no more couch potato for me. Time to face the grindstone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

(3) And another thing....

While we're talking about politics, the whole health insurance thing... okay. Deep breath.

McCain's proposed health plan would provide $5000 to every uninsured family so that they could go ahead and purchase their own insurance. Great! Except that the plan does not require health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

This means our family would never qualify for the $5000 because my husband has diabetes. I know this because a couple of years ago I attempted to get us private insurance, and was turned down during the phone call, without even getting any paperwork first, when I mentioned the diabetes. I called at least six large health insurance companies, and even the local hospital insurance programs. Same story all around.

I suspect, but do not know, that the same would be for insuring Kiki.

I do not know enough about "high-risk pools" in "some states" to offer any opinion in that regard.

Also, his health care plan proposes taxing health care benefits provided by employers. Okay, first of all, in my experience getting health insurance through an employer, I still had to pay for it. Not all of it. So let's say I had to pay $127 every two weeks for family health insurance coverage, and the company is absorbing half that cost. That means that in addition to paying $127 every two weeks for my health insurance, I have to pay an addition $30 in taxes (or something). That means I'm paying $4080 a year for the health insurance that everyone else is getting $5000 a year for. So you tell me. Wouldn't you then push your employer to NOT provide health insurance?

That is, of course, unless you have diabetes.

(2) Musings on the debate

I said before I would not blog about my views on politics. Bah.

We actually watched the debate tonight and while it is fresh in mind, I want to express my thoughts about a couple of key points.

First of all, McCain put Palin up as a spokesperson, advocate, and even expert on disabled children, specifically, autism. It is my understanding that Palin has a 4-month-old son who has Down syndrome. When Kiki was 4 months old, I would NEVER have positioned myself an expert on anything related to disabled children. At 4 months, she was still bottle-fed, slept a lot, burped up, pooped, and then slept some more. Like, um, UNdisabled 4-month-olds.

Secondly, autism is not synonymous with Down syndrome. I know next to nothing about autism, admittedly, but this I know: they are two completely different things. My daughter who has Ds and does not have autism is 18 months old, and I guarantee you I do not "know more than anyone" about autism. Or even Ds.

Thirdly, I do not for a second believe that Palin would support nor attempt to influence McCain to support any special programs for disabled children for the following reasons:

1. They are Republicans. Republicans do not historically support programs for special interests. And disabled children? Are special interest. They're actually a subset of a larger special interest group: children.

2. Palin has the money, the employment-supplied insurance, and tons more resources available to her than, say, Joe Sixpack and Hockey Mom have at their fingertips to benefit their children, disabled and otherwise. I think she's far more likely to think, "Trig and our family are doing exceptionally well without any special help from the government; so can YOU!" than any other response.

3. And I can NOT get past this. Palin supported making rape victims PAY FOR THEIR OWN RAPE KITS. "Hi! Want to prosecute the guy who raped you? Well, pony up the money, honey, or hit the street. Oh, and don't even THINK abortion. You KNOW it's your fault you got raped, so deal with it."

Got to love Evidently, I cannot in all conscience blame her for the fact that police chief of the town she was mayor of at the time put this practice into place.

4. A bipartisan board found her guilty of abusing her powers as governor. Hi. This bothers me A LOT (even as much as paying for your own rape kits.) I know she's put together her own report that finds her innocent -- did you think she would write a report that admitted her guilt? -- and I've heard some reports that the state trooper in question is icky. Still, I find this unacceptable for such basic reasons that I have difficulty understanding anyone not getting it.

Gah. Gah. And more gah.

Today, was Kiki's PT appointment. Her PT mentioned that at the last speech Palin gave (or one of the speeches she gave) that many, many parents showed up, bringing their babies who had Ds. I thought that was awesome.

I am happy that Ds is getting the positive attention it is getting. I am thrilled about that. I do not want to appear ungrateful for that.

But.... gah! gah! gah! I feel like I need a shower.

(On a more childish note: McCain and Joe the Plumber sitting in a tree...)

Oh the Horror

Kipp says this picture of Kiki looks like the creepy ghost girl in The Ring. Heh.

I love October. I think it's because Halloween is my favorite holiday. My favorite holiday used to always be Christmas, but all the traditions I grew up with revolving around Christmas have been abandoned over the years until there's absolutely nothing left. No one's fault but mine; I could have kept the traditions going on my own, but I didn't.

But Halloween, on the other hand, the traditions are easy to keep. Candy for the kids; check. Answering the door; check. Costumes; check. Best part? Horror movies!!!! All! Month! Long!

I think I've watched scary movies my whole life. When I was a kid, Mom and I would cuddle up together, holding a bowl of popcorn, turn all the lights off, and just watch 'em late, late, late. And I'm proud to say I'm well on my way to passing that tradition on to my own daughters; minus the cuddling (neither Bri nor Kiki are cuddlers) and the popcorn (when it's just Kiki.)

While I'm thrilled that Bri shares my love of horrible horror movies, I'm sometimes a little appalled by the ones her mom lets her watch. Don't get me wrong, we're on the same page on a lot of them. Like I don't think her mom would let her see any of the Saw movies. But... there are still a few she tells me she's seen that make me raise my eyebrows. I shrug it off though and don't let it affect what I'll let her watch here. If it's rated R, it's off limits. Period.

Anywho. What I love about October is that there is a veritable buffet of horror movies on all the time, and with DVR I'm in scary movie heaven. I rarely even look at the descriptions of the movies. I just scroll through all the horror ones and mark 'em for record if they're on a channel we get and I haven't seen it before.

So the other day I watched one called The Cradle. I was a little leery of it because the blurb said it was a about a man, his wife, and their newborn being haunted by a child who had been buried alive. Leery because I find that since giving birth, any material revolving around the endangerment of children COMPLETELY unhinges me. For example, I watched one scene in the movie Cold Mountain, the one where the soldiers take Natalie Portman's baby out into the snow and leave him there uncovered while they rape her inside her home. I actually, and I am not lying, went into hysterics, I cried so hard. For the baby.

Of course, I think I had only given birth like 3 weeks before that.

Anyway, I taped The Cradle and then watched it. First of all, Lukas Haas looks like my cousin. Secondly, it's seriously creepy. Third, I spent the whole movie yelling at the tv. Obviously, there's the typical "Don't go into the woods at night, you idiot!" type of coaching one normally gives the stars of such movies (that is normal, isn't it?) but in addition to that there was a whole lot of, "You are too STUPID to be a PARENT!" type of yelling.

Halfway through the movie, I announced I wasn't going to watch any more of it. But I did anyway.

And you know what? I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, days later. It's actually haunting me, dammit.

So because it's haunting me, I have to grudgingly admit that I not only liked it, I think it's rooted itself as a guilty favorite. I actually have to recommend it. YarnHacker, I mean you. I think you would like it. Halfway through you will probably decide not to watch anymore of it, but I encourage you to work through it.

Remember, I introduced you to Dead Alive. You know your life would never have been the same without it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Disassociative October

Octobers around here take some getting used to. Kipp always says, "If you don't like the weather here, wait an hour. It'll change." That's never more true than in October (and April. The Saturday after Kiki was born, it snowed. In April.)

The year we got married, it was HOT all through September. People kept telling me it would cool off by October, and I trusted them enough to book the wedding and reception in an old historic building with no air conditioning. Luckily, a couple of days before the wedding, the heat abated, and it was actually a very nice day.

This year it started getting cold in September. What that actually means is that most of the week it's in the 80s or 90s and then suddenly one day it will be 40. Now that it's October, it's about 2 or 3 days a week it's dropping into the cold.

So one night last week, it dropped one night and it was COLD. In the middle of the night, I realized I had to change Kiki into something warmer, and to my dismay it appears that she's outgrown most of her sleepers. The only one that seemed big enough was a deep winter one, which I put her in, and in the morning she was drenched in sweat.

So to be a good mommy, I went out and bought her some long-sleeved pajamas with long pants. They're soft cotton, so they'll breathe, but they cover her up so she won't chill.

Of course, Murphy's Law then dictated that it would be too warm to wear them more than one night. Thanks, October.

That's okay. I know winter is coming. And at least I am now prepared.

I figure I am now 5 posts behind in my goal of 31 posts for October. Is it cheating to post more than once a day to catch up? Well, whatever. I'm going to post multiple times a day on occasion just to catch up.

Besides I have tons to blog about. No really. I do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tricksy Hobbit

I'm cheating. I took this picture yesterday, not today. She's gotten to the age where she knows she's supposed to pose cute for the camera. Or come eat the camera. She's still a little fuzzy on the details.

Kiki has decided that this Outsmart Mama Week. First up. Kipp was scheduled from noon to 9 on Monday and Tuesday. Monday it completely munched my schedule, so I decided I would get up at 6 am on Tuesday and be able to work for a couple of hours before Kiki got up. See, she usually sleeps until 8 unless we get up before that.

So what happens? She wakes up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off at 6. No early morning work for Mommy!

I decide that maybe I should plan to get up at 4. This way, with all the breaks I have to take during the day to tend to and play with Kiki, I should still be able to have work done by 8 pm. So, I set my alarm for 4 am this morning.

She? Woke up at 2 and didn't go back to sleep until 3:30. Now granted, I could have just stayed up at that point, right? Right. I didn't though.

It could have something to do with the teething, I guess. Hers, not mine.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


She loves playing with her clothes. And blankets. And anything fabric. She doesn't like being dressed and groomed though. *sigh*

I had the day off today so Kiki and spent time playing, catching up on True Blood, fighting with the water company, and grocery shopping.

By the end of the day, she started fussing loudly. Kipp suggested maybe her teeth were bugging her. Did I mention she now has 6? 3 on the top, and 3 on the bottom.

Anyway I managed to rub some Orajel on her gums and felt even more bumps a-coming, and this time instead of welcoming the Orajel, she slapped my hand away and wailed some more. We dosed her with Tylenol and in 15 minutes she was all giggles again.

Her daddy has a skill for motivating her to climb and stand. He sort of tricks her into thinking she's getting into trouble and she's all over it. And him. She was actually using him as a stepladder to climb onto the couch this evening.

Well, tomorrow is Kipp's last training day in the store and then he's back in his office. He's been complaining about his feet hurting because of the concrete floors but discovered today that if he starts off the day with painkiller, by the end of the day he feels pretty good. Wouldn't you figure he'd figure that out at the end of the week?

Kiki signed Mama today. Three times. Of course this probably means that in a couple of days she'll be confusing it with Drink, but she'll sort it out eventually. Her ST assures me she's processing everything, and everything will sort itself out as she figures it all out.

Of course, now that she's signing Mama, Kipp is trying to teach her Daddy. I was tempted to give him a wrong (and highly amusing sign) for Daddy, but decided that was cruel. Have to be nice to the breadwinner with the achy feet, you know.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Falling Behind (as usual)

Ooo, I'm cutting the deadline for today close! Didn't have time today to take a new pic, so I am posting a pic of Kiki with her daddy, just a few days after she was born.

Today is our 4th Anniversary. Happy Anniversary, darling! I love you so much. I can't imagine life without you; I don't know how I made it as long as I did before meeting you. You complete me.

Today was Kiki's ST day. She actually babbled for her ST for the first time! (It took putting a mirror in front of her to do it.) Her ST gave me some tips about where to shop for developmental toys and books... TJ Maxx, believe it or not. She says it's hit or miss, but she's gotten some great things there.

I am itching to shop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Eh, Whatever

Did you notice that I've been doing an alphabetical theme for the blog titles this month? This month that's supposed to be 31 blogs, one blog for each day, for T21? Did you notice that I totally bailed this last weekend and offered no explanation or apology? Did you further notice that for E today I totally came up with something lame?

Yeah, I'm like that. Hi!

So I'm brainstorming to myself what I'm going to blog for E, and do you know what my diseased mind comes up with? Exit strategy. Empaths. E-Commerce. Existentialism. You know what? I almost blogged about existentialism except that once I copied and pasted the dictionary definition of it, I had nothing to add.

Around here, Kiki is discovering new and different places to put her toys. On top of the couches. In the entertainment center. Tucked into cushions. Bounced off the ottoman onto the kitchen floor. She's also discovered how to open and close drawers. I know this because she emptied one of the drawers in her bedroom and spread the contents all over the floor; but there are no drawers open.

Unless, you know, she's developed the mutant superpowers of Shadowcat. Which is unlikely because she's not an adolescent yet.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I can sleep anywhere -- it's a blessing or a curse, depending on if you're the pilot and you're expecting me to keep you company/awake -- and I sleep fabulously in the car. I've always been a car sleeper. When I was a kid and we'd go on road trips -- and all of our vacations were road trips to Oregon or LA -- I'd sleep the whooooooole way. It kinda ticked my dad off because he wanted me to soak in the scenery or something.

Scenery is nice, but if I can't touch it? I'd rather sleep.

Now I figured that all babies sleep in the car. I'd heard stories in fact of desperate parents taking their babies for car rides for the sole purpose of getting them to sleep. I kind of figured it was just a given.

But Kiki? Has never been a car sleeper. She has occasionally slept in the car, don't get me wrong. But unless it's right at her nap time and/or she's exhausted, she simply will NOT sleep.

She likes scenery too. And she loves the built-in car seat in the van because it doesn't obstruct her view out the window. And she loves listening to the radio and rocking out as we travel along.

What she doesn't like, it turns out, is slamming doors. Once a car door is slammed, it's game over for a few miles while she screams her lungs out. Now because we have two older kids who slam doors as a matter of course and then look at you blankly when you say, "Stop slamming the doors," because they don't understand the subtle difference between a slamming door and a closing door, car trips with all the kids in tow has become something of a trial.

Hopefully this, too, shall pass.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I am not a clothes horse. Nor have I any sense of fashion. When I shop for clothes or shoes, it's pure functionality and takes me as little time as absolutely possible. And it ain't often that it happens either.

However, I can't seem to help shopping for clothes for Kiki. I love looking at little girl clothes. I love the idea of dressing her up. Finances being what they are though, I've kept myself tightly in rein. Outfits I've bought her range max out at about $5 (sales at Wal-Mart or the consignment store.)

Shoes are definitely a foreign fashion thing for me; I didn't even start putting any on her until she was 9 months old or so. And evidently I don't know from cute. I bought her a pair of brown Pooh shoes at the consignment store for $3 (perfect condition! not shiny!) and I thought they were adorable. Bri immediately decided they were boy's shoes, and either to get my goat or because everyone is dense, the household sided with her.

They are NOT boy's shoes. Boy's shoes don't have the strappies on the top. They just don't. Do they? But they are brown, they have Pooh on them, and they look a little bit like hiking boots.

ANYWAY. I ended up splurging at a real department store the other night and bought her two rompers and some actual tights (!!!!) They were on sale, because I'm still cheap at heart.

We met Daddy for lunch today at the family restaurant, so I dolled her all up. I wasn't prepared for what she'd look like in a romper and tights though.

She looked like a little girl. Not a baby girl. A little girl. Look how big she is! Look how long her legs are getting!

I admit it. I cried a little. It's back to shorts for a few more weeks until Mommy toughens up.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that I've finally stopped tweaking my template. For now. I go through these phases where I have to change the look of the site, and then I find a template I like, and then I upload it and then.... all my widgets get wiped. Wiped! I'll figure out how to get around that some day. I think this is the 5th time I've had to rebuild my blog roll.

And I'm still adding blogs to the blog roll.

The other thing. One of Kipp's co-workers joined us for lunch. Right now Kipp is training in one of the local stores as part of his overall training on the help desk. Anywho, we're sitting and eating, and doing the whole huzzah, it's Friday, and whatnot.

Kipp says that today went faster for him than the day before. His co-worker disagreed and said the day before went faster for him because it was so busy.

Only he didn't stop at "It was so busy."

He said, "It was so busy, it was retarded."

Right in front of Kiki. I mean, not that she'd notice right now (she's still having a little trouble distinguishing "dog" from "please" so vocabulary isn't likely to traumatize her today.)

I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what to say. Even if I knew what to say, how would I have said it? It was obviously said so obliviously, so casually, so unintentionally. But I mean, Kiki was right there so I have to think, "Do you even know what that word means? Do you know what you just said? Do you know who your immediate audience is?"

It was kind of surreal. I don't even know how else to describe it. I know this isn't probably the right reaction, but even though it initially got my attention -- zzzzzZZZING! -- it didn't really hurt or offend me. I think it was becaue the context was so obviously... umm, weird. I don't know. I honestly don't.

But I do know I passed up an opportunity to advocate. Although in all honesty, really? To what end in this case?

I think maybe I should just buy the poor guy a pocket dictionary.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Once upon a time, we had a firmly established bedtime ritual. It involved changing into jammies, taking bows out of hair, getting kisses and huggles from Daddy, and then getting the exact same list of songs sung while rocking before being put in the crib for the night. Oh, and then cue the 45 minutes of rain sounds from the white noise machine and it was lights out.

Bedtime is not so peaceful these days.

There's still the pulling of the hair organizers out of the wild head of hair, leaving her looking like a wild child being raised by wolves. But the changing into jammies is now a wrestling match. While Daddy has no problems at all getting cuddles when he gets home from work, once it's dark and after dinner, he has to chase her, and then she waaaaaaaaails and kicks and swats.

In other words, she knows what's coming.

The litany of songs to lullabye her has changed. And she no longer snuggles while she listens. Sometimes she honks my nose. Sometimes she starts dancing. Always she giggles and tries all kinds of cuteness to prolong the pre-bedtime-time as long as she can.

But it's inevitable, and we know from experience now that even if she acts like she's all wide awake and playful, if we let her stay up until 7:30, then all bets are off because now she's over-tired and she will fight sleep for hours at that point, just to let us know how righteously pissed off she really is.

I still haven't been able to get a good look at her 5th tooth, and I suspect that there are others breaking through. I try to get a feel when I swab her gums with Orajel, but I honestly enjoy having my fingertips and would like to continue their existence.

Short post today, I know, but I have work. And hey! I'm still on game for the month! Yay!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Every time we've gone out in Kiki's short life, she's attracted attention. It's obviously common for people to coo over babies in stores and whatnot, but it's immensely rewarding as a parent to bask in that adoration nonetheless. Of course I'm a complete idiot socially so I've never really quite got the hang of responding gracefully to attention. When I'm told she's a beautiful baby, my quasi-socially-aware responses range from "Thank you" to "Well, we think she's a keeper." (I'm not even joking. I've said that. More than once.)

I never quite know where to go from there. Do I engage in conversation? The worst is when they have kids too; I usually compliment their children as well, because it seems rude not to reciprocate, but I always feel like it sounds so lame even though I swear I'm sincere.

On exactly two occasions in her entire life, strangers who have complimented her went on to mention that they had a family member who has DS (one had a granddaughter the other was a niece). Both times it took me completely by surprise. The first time it happened was the first time it had occurred to me that other people might *notice* she has DS; the second time because I'd forgotten since the last time that people might *notice* she has DS.

For some reason each instance set me to thinking that maybe, maybe every compliment she gets is really some kind of half-pitying encouragement, some way of saying, "If we tell you she's beautiful, that will lift your spirits and maybe help you get through another day."

And when I get to that point, I actually have to laugh at myself. For one, when strangers tell me she's beautiful, it does lift my spirits and makes me feel fantastic. And other than an overly active hindsight imagination, I've never had the impression that anyone offers me any pity. The compliments have always come from people who interact with my child; they flirt with her and she flirts back, and they are pleased. I've seen this same interaction between small children and strangers my entire life; countless times, I've been the stranger charmed by a child.
There's no difference when it's my child.

It does remind me though of an instance when I was pregnant. I remember one of my friends gushing to me that she had seen the cutest DS baby the other day at the store. I knew she was sincere, and I knew she meant all the best by it, but whether it was hormonal at the time or not, I remember being mostly struck by one thing: she hadn't seen the cutest baby at the store; she had seen the cutest DS baby at the store. She had classified the child by his/her disorder even in the same breath she was using to be complimentary. I mean even when people are talking about puppies, ie, "I saw the cutest puppy at PetSmart today!!", they don't generally mention the breed of puppy unless asked or because they've got a certain inclination towards that certain breed.

In summary I guess I should give her the benefit of the doubt and assume because of unborn Kiki's DS that she had an inclination towards it. But at the time my thought was, "How many people will go home after meeting Kiki and say the same thing? Will Kiki spend her entire life being that DS girl someone met or knew?"

Sometimes I don't know if I'm being ultrasensitive or not sensitive enough. I guess at the end of the day I can only be honest about how I feel or what I think and go from there.

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