Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Wish...

I wish I had a video camera attached to my head. For one thing, it would mean that Kiki would be completely used to it and wouldn't stop doing whatever she was doing that I wanted to film just to try to grab it out of my hands.

She's out growing the living room barricades. We'd thought about getting real gates up at the exits, but we're rethinking that strategy. She gets so excited when she gets past the barricade and gets into the kitchen. She cackles as she scurries across the floor.

And here's where I wish I had a camera. She was so excited to be mobile on the kitchen floor that she crawled full speed right into the table leg. Bonk! She wasn't hurt; she didn't cry. It did make her stop and look around though.

So our new strategy is just to give up on the barricades and child-proof the kitchen. It'll be somewhat cheaper as well.

She's babbling like crazy these days. She's now learning what a sheep says, but it confuses her a little bit between that and a lion. So now her famous lion impression is suffering a little bit, but the demonic sheep? More than makes up for it. She's finally saying Dada, so Kipp is ecstatic.

And I think we're going to eliminate her afternoon nap. She took one today for the first time in a few days and didn't sleep through the night as a result. Can't have that!

I always get anxious when she gets her inoculations. She always reacts to them in some weird way. This time, she's got a lump at the inoculation site. Normal, I'm sure (yeah, just stop me from calling the doctor tomorrow anyway!), and so far not nearly as dramatic as the last couple of times... so, counting blessings and whatnot.

Sure wish I'd win the lottery. 'Course I'd have to play to win, but whatever.

Friday, August 22, 2008

As the world turns...

First, about the last blog and the only comment I got! K, you're right about me posting about the hypocrisy about the tone of my last entry and the fact that I have the "Ban the R Word" logo on the page.

The thing is, I'm on the fence about whether or not it really is hypocritial. Well, okay, all rationalizations aside, I suppose it is. Rather than really banning the R word, I think I'm more in the "use it wisely" camp. However, there isn't a logo and movement available (that I know of) for that camp so... hmmm. Maybe I should just start one.

I'm leaving the logo for now as I continue to mull it over. I do wish some people would be more aware of the words they choose when they speak. This is one way to bring about some level of consciousness in that regard, even if it maybe (in my opinion) isn't the best way.

I think for now I'll live with the hypocrite stigma. I've lived with worse.

Now, more personally and on the home front, the cough is gone! Hallelu.... yah? How the heck is that spelled? Anyway. And her appetite is back and she's putting on weight fast which is making me cut back on the butter and the cheese.

Of course the downside for HER is that she was healthy enough to get her shots yesterday. I knew she was feeling her old self when she completely refused to be contained. I let her wander all over the examination room when it was just her and me, but that wasn't enough for her. Oh no. She didn't want to be held for her exam either. And she was all smiles and giggles and wiggles while we held her down for her shots until the split second after injection.

And then she got the, "What the ...." look on her face and she started waaaaaaailing. I feel bad for the nurses that always have to be the bad guy. As I was comforting Kiki afterwards, the nurse leaned in to apologize and got a smack for her trouble.

Speaking of the smacking and the biting and the pulling of the hair, Kiki has learned the NO word. Yay! Now when we say NO (with stern emphasis) she immediately pulls her hand back. I'm sure the next thing that will happen is that her first word will be NO, but hey.

I need to get some current pics up, I know! Working on it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Politically Correct

I write this wondering if I'm coming from a a sublime kind of denial or ignorance. I don't think I'm going to make myself very popular with this entry. I don't think I've yet acquired the personal experience needed to not be ignorant about this. So please, correct me if I need correcting. Email me or write me a comment.

There is a movement afoot to boycott Tropic Thunder due to its repetitive use of a certain word and the way they’ve used the word in its marketing. Politically, I know where I’m supposed to stand on this subject. I’m a part of this community. I’m supposed to stand with them.

Other than being empathetic though, I’m not quite sure where I stand politically.

People are angry. I think they are reacting the way they are because they deal with this word on a daily basis when it is spoken out of hate and used specifically to hurt and dehumanize specifically the people they love dearly.

It must become difficult after time to separate the people who use the word in a general and casually derogatory sense from the people who use the word purposely to the faces of specific people in public places. It must be become difficult over time to distinguish the laughter of those who laugh at a joke from those who laugh at a person.

I haven’t had this consistent and painfully personal experience to date. Perhaps this is why I’m not as emotionally charged about the subject.

I’m not na├»ve. I know there is hate and ignorance out there, and I’ve been witness to it on occasion. I’m on the fence however about whether or not bigoted language begets hate or hate begets bigoted language.

The C word and the N word have been censored in our culture. They’re not used in polite company. They’re beeped out on radio and on network television. Still, there is racism and sexism inherent in our country. Hate crimes still happen.

The only difference between the C and N words and the R word currently is the level of awareness. Bigoted and/or sexist or not, anyone and everyone knows those words are offensive and why. The usage of the words is policed, but it hasn’t ended the hate behind the words, has it? Has it even decreased? What will change in the world if the R word is censored?

I don’t know where I stand on this. I know people who throw the R word around thoughtlessly, and these are not people I believe who hate anyone or would ever do anything purposely to hurt anyone.

I believe a word can be used impersonally and without hate, even though that same word can be used in a different context to be an exquisitely personal weapon. Does that mean the word should be eliminated? Is it the word or the actions associated with the use of the word that are the real problem?

I think there is an inherent problem with attaching a stigma to the R word. The problem is, how do you separate the stupid from the retarded, or is there any culturally perceived difference?

Intelligence is measured by IQ. It is not an infallible measure by any means; do enough research and you might even begin to question whether there is any merit in it at all.

Still, historically, intelligence is measured in IQ. If your IQ is lower than 70 (or even 80 according to some interpretations), you are considered clinically and medically retarded. According to the way the system works, the normal range for IQ is 85-115 or 90-109, depending on which interpretation you choose to believe.

I haven’t seen Tropic Thunder, and I've read they haven’t allowed any groups to prescreen it to see how offensive it truly is. However, from the previews I’ve seen, the main players certainly act like they have a lower than average IQ (in other words, they’re stupid). Quite likely, they may even be clinically retarded. Most likely, they are just socially retarded.

But in any event, if they refer to one another as retarded, perhaps they are correct. If they are talking about others being retarded, being as they themselves are apparently lacking in IQ themselves, then that would be irony.

But is it offensive? Of course it is; they meant it to be. There is a certain kind of humor that dances on the edge of decency; it’s supposed to offend us, so that we open our eyes and look at ourselves and our presuppositions and maybe, possibly, just rethink things a little bit. South Park does this every episode about a whole myriad of topics.

Is Tropic Thunder successful in walking the line? I can’t know without seeing it; and then it would only be my opinion.

I know of movies that I believe have done this successfully. The Ringer comes to mind; it has an intentionally offensive premise, but because of the underlying respect in the script given to the handicapped actors in the movie and the handicapped characters they portray, the movie itself becomes a learning piece. The protagonist in the film is the one committing the offensive and bigoted act; he learns something about himself and the people he meant to exploit; he comes out a better and more respectful person. As an audience, we’re meant to make the same journey with him.

I don’t really see anything on that level in the previews I’ve seen of Tropic Thunder, but to be fair, I didn’t care for the previews of The Ringer either.
I’m not going to take a political stand on the movie.

I imagine as the years progress and experience shapes me, I’ll end up adamantly and inflexibly on one side of this specific issue. But right now, I’m not sure that being ruffled and indignant is any way to encourage people to think about particular things. And isn’t that the point of having a mission, to open people’s eyes to a different point of view?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eye Surgery, Check

So eye surgery is set for next month, as long as we can get rid of her sinus infection by then. Being as it's a month away, I'm sure that won't be a problem.

She flirted with the opthamologist, who actually picked her up and carried her over the scheduler. Evidently, he's never done that before, or at least not for a very long time. What can I say? Kiki's a charmer.

She's actually gotten really friendly with people these days. Today at the doctor's office, she crawled over to a woman in a wheelchair and visited with her until she was called for her appointment. The woman seemed thrilled with her.

Kiki's mother, however, needs to learn to dress appropriately when she takes her out. I wore shorts and a tank with a built-in bra, and around the house it's totally fine. I find however that it shows entirely too much cleavage when I bend over and/or when the child tugs on the halter strap. So I was reeeeaaaallly self-conscious and cursing myself the whole time.

So, about 30 days and counting. I have high hopes for the outcome, though I'm trying not to. It's just I've heard quite a few testimonials so far that after the eye surgery, other kids have shown a big improvement in their developmental milestones. So, you know, here's hoping! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

This bites

The biting has gotten worse, and sternly saying "No!" doesn't stop it (although it does make Kiki cry.) She's not even doing it out of anger or frustration, she just... does it. Sometimes it starts off as a kiss. But generally speaking it just seems to be when she's wanting our attention or she's hugging and kissing.

So being a Thoroughly Modern Mommy, I went out on the 'Net to see if I could find any help in curbing this behavior. I found an interesting board where parents posted about this problem, seeking the same kind of help as me. Some parents advocated the same stern "No!" type of thing we've been doing. Some parents advocated biting their kids back. Umm. Ouch?

Then I read a post by a mom who noted that she thought her child was biting when being affectionate: hugging, kissing, etc. Hmm. A little light went on.

Then I found an article written by an "expert" (I'd post all the links but you know what? I'd have to find them again. I'm lazy.) The article advocated the "No" technique, and also to be very careful not to reinforce the biting by laughing at the child's antics or participating in biting games with the child.

Bing!

Okay, now that might sound weird, the "biting game" thing, but hear me out. I don't actually bite my daughter. But I do kiss her feet and her chubby little arms and when doing so, I often nibble gently on her and pretend I'm eating her all up. It makes her giggle, which makes me giggle, and so there you are.

So I go downstairs and I confess to Kipp that it's all my fault that Kiki bites, because she thinks it's a sign of affection because of the games I play with her. And he starts to mock me -- because I'm always coming up with some reason or another that I'm a bad mom -- and then shamefacedly, he admits that he nibbles on her too.

We both agreed to stop the nibbling games immediately. Hopefully once the mixed messages stop being sent, the biting will just fade away.

You know, I remember when I was a kid, and my mom pretending to gobble up my chubby arms. She'd put pretend salt on me and everything. It was a hoot. Of course, if I remember it, that probably means I was already of an age where it was possible to communicate to me that there is a definite difference between pretend nibbling and taking a chunk out of somebody biting.

Gah, the subtleties of parenthood. Babies should come with individual manuals. And "Do Not Nibble Until 4 Years of Age" warning signs.

Now I have to find whole new ways of making her giggle. Luckily, Kipp discovered recently that throwing pillows at her makes her belly laugh until she snorts.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Health Stuff

So Kiki had her well-visit today but because she isn't well, she got no shots. She wasn't exactly disappointed by this turn in events.

Don't know what's up in the health regard but her weight is up! Yay! 6 days of adding butter, peanut butter, cheese, or cottage cheese (or sometimes combinations of these things) to everything she ate made its mark. She's now 29 inches long (tall?) and 20.3 pounds (or something. I'm not keeping close track. All I know is want her to weigh 23 pounds, and if she drops under 20 pounds, I'm going to hook up a feeing tube to her or something.)

So, three weeks ago, she had a high fever for 2 days, and got antibiotics for 7 days. Upon completion of the antibiotics last week, she started sneezing, got a runny nose, and developed a cough. Following doctor's orders, we started giving her Benadryl at bedtime, then even started dosing her in the morning and afternoon too beause the bedtime dose didn't seem to have any impact.

Then yesterday, we decided to skip the afternoon dose because she didn't seem to need it. And then right smack in the middle of dinner, she stopped eating and started screaming. She had a fever of 102. We gave her Tylenol, and it shot up to 104, then came back down to 102 before we put her to bed. She woke up coughing and screaming twice -- this is a baby who NEVER wakes up at night.

Soooooo.... the fever broke at 5:00 a.m. She acted completely well at the doc's office -- of course -- though she has a nasty rattle. And she's on fever watch tonight because if it spikes again, she's in for chest X-rays and bloodwork tomorrow to rule out pneumonia.

Hey, I was on WebMD and Wrong Diagnosis last night and became convinced she has whooping cough. Kipp pointed out there was no whooping noise. I pointed out that's the SECOND stage.

He's been married to me long enough to know when there's just no talking to me. So he quietly went back to his Soduku puzzle and let me stew.

All I'm saying is if the doc thinks there's reason to possibly suspect pneumonia, then I'm not as paranoid as I think I am. Sometimes though I still suspect I have Munchausen's, I swear to God. Because I'm anxious beyond words, and the child is running around rosy-cheeked (from fever) growling and laughing and romping about as if she felt like a million bucks.

Well, except when she starts screaming in the middle of dinner. Dammit, I am NOT that bad a cook.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Allergies

I'd hoped Kiki would inherit her Dad's genes in regards to allergies or more to the point, his lack of them. Alas, it appears not to be the case.

She's always had a sneezy thing, but yesterday her sneezes were accompanied by coughs. And her nose got all plugged up so all night long it sounded like she was wheezing. So of course I took her in to the doctor today.

Being the baby-mother hypochondriac that I am, I pointed out the yellowish tint in her skin (my imagination), the wheezy cough (her lungs were clear and her cough magically disappeared during the entirety of the office visit), her snotty nose (yes, it was), the patch on her arm that looked like ringworm (it's eczema), the bumps on the inside of her arm (dry skin), and the fact that she doesn't seem to be gaining weight (in fact, she lost 2 pounds since June. In June, when she was 22 pounds, I got all hyped up that she needed a new car seat because her infant one was only rated to 22 pounds or so, and babies grow overnight, you know so -- and here it is August, and it appears we could have kept her in the old car seat until, oh, probably Christmas '08.)

Soooo, the upshot of the whole visit was: lotion on her arms 3x a day, Benadryl every night when she goes to bed, and put butter on her vegies.

We also added a humidifier, because it's there, and it should help.

So I came home thinking her cough was all in my head as well, and then she woke up every 15 minutes coughing during her nap. So there! Not in my head! And also -- ohhh, my poor baby!!!

I'm hoping the allergies don't get full-blown as bad as mine. I'm almost tempted to expose her to a million cats a day just to ensure her immunity.

And of course since I'm a worrier, I'm now focussed on her weight. The doc says 20 pounds for her age is actually good, but it's a little bit of a concern that she's losing weight, although she is extremely active and she could just be going through her lose-the-baby-fat phase. And she's got a lot of rolls. I mean the child does not look malnourished in the least. But looking at photos from a few months back and comparing -- yeah, she's gotten narrower in the face and shallower in the belly. Which is probably just her growing up too, you know.

Still, the current plan is, no kidding, butter everything and feed the kid every three hours. As long as three of those are snacks and she doesn't have to be confined in her high chair, I think she'll be okay. However, giving her a snack on the floor means she has to deal with the dogs, and if she drops anything, it'll get all hairy.

So I tested giving her a snack in her Pack and Play, and that worked pretty well. I spread peanut butter on a cinnamon graham cracker, broke it up, put it in a bowl and put it and a sippy cup of chocolate milk (calories!!! calories!!!) in with her.

First thing she did was turn the bowl upside down. Second thing she did was start chewing on the bowl.

Eventually she set about consuming her snack, so it was a success. Kipp was a little dubious about the mess in the Pack and Play, but I pointed out that there was a sheet over the mattress, and I have lots of sheets, and sheets are washable.

Then I realized I'm talking about 3 sheets a day. Hmm.

We're also trying to get in the habit of getting her to nap in her crib instead of the Pack and Play. Now that her Pack and Play will tend to be crumby, this will be very necessary. Of course, she naps just fine in her bedroom -- I tried this yesterday -- it's us who have to adjust. Trudging up the stairs and all. Because we're lazy.

Well, I could certainly use the exercise. She may have inherited my allergies, but luckily she did not inherit my sedentary nature.

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