Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So Tuesday was a milestone for us: Kiki's first day at daycare.

I was nervous. I must have repacked her diaper bag like 15 times. I had it all done finally before I went to bed, and of course checked and repacked it again six times in the morning.

There was no reason for me to be nervous. A good friend of mine has re-opened her inhouse daycare. I know her; I know her kids. She's watched Kiki numerous times before, and even had her overnight.

But I don't know. This is daycare a whole new word in our world over here. Plus Kiki has not been greatl socalized. She tends to get slightly aggressive, and she has a temper, and she bites and hits and pinches and scratches and pokes eyes.

And she's far too attached to her mommy.

I thought I would feel guiltier than I do about this daycare thing. I mean I'm home all day; yes, working, but here. I can do both! Why not?

The reality is that Kiki plays alone most of the day, or watches tv alone. She doesn't get any interaction with people outside me and Kipp on the 3 days a week he has off and the older siblings the four days a month we see them and the occasional stranger in a store who coos at her.

I don't work with her during the day like I need to. She doesn't know how to color. She doesn't point at things in a book except randomly. She still doesn't do puzzles well. The only thing she's excelling at is using utensils to eat and that's because three times a day, I'm right there teaching her.

So honestly, I truly feel guilty that I haven't given her what she truly needs, and honestly? That would be -- someone else in some other place with other kids and a routine of educational exercises. Because clearly, I am not that person with those attributes.

And it gives me free days to work, which makes me productive, which makes my boss and pocketbook happy.

Anyway, enough of my self-pity. Back to the point!!

She did GREAT! She didn't cry, not even once, and she played with the other kids very well, and made herself happily at home over there. She even took her nap like a good little girl.

Heather has an entire schedule set up each day, complete with planned times for craft time, outdoor time, reading time, alphabet and numbers. It's awesome! And also? She sends me pics of Kiki being happy. (By the way, this is not the first or only evidence I have that Kiki is going to be a professional drummer when she grows up. In a girl band of course that will be wildly popular and she will be an icon and I will be on every tour with her to make sure those groupies keep their dirty distance from her with their drugs and booze and wild parties and such.)

(Or a tap dancer.)

And when she came home, she was so calm and sweet and I just stayed glued to her side until it was bedtime (well, I had to step away to make her dinner.) We sat together on the couch and watched some shows, and every so often, she'd look over at me, and lean over to hug me. Awwwwww!!!

She even followed Sugar around, and instead of pulling on her ears or tail, she thew her arms around Sugar's neck and hugged her over and over and over again.

However, despite her sudden affectionate nature, she still insists on holding her doll baby thusly as she watches Moose A. Moose dance and sing.

So it's official. Daycare is good. Kiki is thriving.

Now if only her mama would just let her go and take her to daycare two days a week like she's supposed to.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gluten Free in Public

So I found this resource on the web while looking for gluten free snacks for Kiki, and was thrilled. First, because of the format: I can print it out and give it to her daycare provider and preschool. Yay! Both have already expressed great interest in it, and yes, I know preschool is a year away but still. She requested I give her about a year to get some gluten-free school supplies in preparation. Woot!

Second, Reese's Peanut Butter cups are gluten free! Reese's! Peanut! Butter! Cups! Both Kiki and I are thrilled to pieces.

So if you or someone you love has Celiac disease, go here and have a whole list of horrible for you snack foods you can enjoy like every other junk food junkie!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random Update

It's been sooo long since I posted. Excuses? I have a million. But instead, I shall just let ya know what's happened since May.

Kiki now walks in public, though we still have to coax her by holding her hand.

When we say "It's bedtime!", she heads for the stairs, which she insists on climbing herself. If we hold her hands, she'll actually walk 'em (though she sometimes takes two at a time, which she finds endlessly amusing for some reason.)

She rode a pony at the fair.

She now points out where her head, nose, eyes, and mouth are; she kind of knows her shoulders, but she still won't point out her knees and toes. She squeezes her nose and says "Honk!" which I have a video of on my phone, but that format doesn't translate to the computer, so I can't share it. :(

Her newest favorite game is Ring Around the Rosey. I've been trying to teach her the hokey pokey, but everything always turns into Ring Around the Rosey.

This next week, she's going to start daycare twice a week. One of my good friends has re-started her in-house daycare, and she's just wonderful with kids and adores Kiki. It's going to be fantastic: Kiki will get socialization with other kids her age AND get out of the house AND I'll get uninterrupted work time.

And this time next year, Kiki will be in preschool 5x a week. I met the administrator (I think she is), got all the paperwork, etc. I want to do a tour of the school sometime, but we just haven't had the time yet.

And pretty much I think that's the general overview. Hope everything is great out there! I haven't not only been posting, I haven't been keeping up with anyone's blogs either. I need to get out of my hole methinks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What did I get for Mother's Day?

Homemade pudding for breakfast (it's the thought that counts!)

Many, many text messages from friends and family.

And three times today, Kiki stood up by herself in the middle of the floor and took two to three steps unassisted each time!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh, I Know

Still not making regular updates. I know. Hey, between a 2-year-old who is now climbing up onto BOTH couches at will, workloads, chores, stepkids, husband, and LotRO, who has time for anything else?

Yes, my beloved husband has finally talked me into getting back into an MMORPG. Blame him. It's all his fault.

But I'm taking time today to drop a quick note. Things are achanging in the household...

This last weekend, Bri called to tell us she wanted to live with us. Her mom was supportive of the idea (but heartbroken, we knew). We got excited, even though we kept cautioning each other that 12-year-olds change their minds more often than we change our sheets. Maybe even more often than we change Kiki's diapers.

Sure enough, she changed her mind Sunday night. We were so disappointed, but... well, what are you going to do?

Today her mom called me and we had a long talk and she's apparently of the mind that it WOULD be a good thing for everyone involved if Bri came to live with us. So.... discussions back on the board! Again, minds could change. It happens. Like diapers. So I'm trying not to get too excited, but still.

Kipp is practically dancing from room to room, I tell ya.

In other news, Kiki is still a Mama's girl and doesn't tolerate a babysitter during the day very well. (sigh). She's been awful moody lately -- is that normal for a 2-year-old? Can't be her bowels this time; she's a super pooper trooper these days. Well, her checkup is coming up soon, so we'll see then how things are going.

And that's all for now, folks!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rat Race

It occurred to me today that I haven't been blogging. I haven't been reading other blogs (except for Yarnhacker who blogs less than I do! :P). I haven't been following Kiki around with a camera. I think I may have missed an eye appointment for her this month.

So it's high time for me to list out some of the new things she's doing.

Most recently, she's become more touchy-feely. She actually wants to be near us, at least within touching distance if not actually in our laps. She likes to crawl up on the couch and sit between us. She'll reach out and touch Kipp, then reach over and touch me, and after a few minutes, she'll do it again, as if to reassure herself or us that we're still there.

She also likes to sit facing us, and push our heads together to make us kiss. This gives her endless enjoyment. After about a million kisses we stop kissing each other and start kissing her which makes her grumble, until we kiss each other again, which makes her giggle.

She's been climbing onto her rocking caterpillar and actually rocking it!

She likes to sit in her own chair, but still does the butt hunt to find it. She hasn't yet figured out that when the back of it is facing her, her butt will find no purchase.

She sits and pets the dogs when they lie next to her. Sugar only gets near her when she wants to play, and she's a little too high energy for Kiki. But Honey lies patiently whle Kiki strokes her, pulls on her ears, and kisses her muzzle. And lately, if Honey lies there long enough, evetually Kiki will drape herself over her, and watch tv from her custom Honey bed.

She's repeating words on occasion, but sometimes only once, and then not again for days on end.

I gave her a comb the other day, and she started to try to comb her own hair.

When she gets hungry, she goes over to her high chair and tries to pull it over to the couch.

She's doing shape sorters! We're working on her attention span and finishing projects, like puzzles. As long as she's in her "work chair" she focusses like a champ. We're trying to teach her the sign for "break" to signal when she feels like she's done.

She's still not walking alone, but she's starting to stand unassisted more and more and longer and longer. She finally lets us take her by the hands and walk her across the living room without lifting up her legs and hanging from us like a monkey.

And she's beginning to isolate her index finger more and more, even poking it into things.

So much more, but I'm out of break time. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gifts from Grandma

She's climbing up on the couch all by herself now. And thus did she discover her gifts from Grandma, and this ensued.

Monday, April 13, 2009

OMG She's 2

She's now officially a big girl.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1001 Things I've Been Meaning to Do

It's just sad. Sad.

Last week we had lovely weather. For 4 days straight, it was in the 70s. At night instead of dropping down to an arctic 66 degrees in the house (that's when the heater kicks on because I like it cold when I sleep am energy conscious) it stayed at an annoying sweltering 72, which meant breaking out Kiki's summer sleepwear. And oh woe, her summer clothes from last year are too small!

Anyway this year I decided to do sundresses all summer. So I've actually been buying a sundress every other week or so, to make a grand total of 3. And they make good light sleepwear too, thankfully.

And then! Mom and JP send a box of summer! clothes! hats! sleepwear! Easter dress! filled to the brim with tissue wrapped goodies, which Kiki had a ball unwrapping.

And just as they were all washed and ready to wear? It started to snow.

Stupid Missouri weather.

But, oh the hats! She won't keep 'em on, but we're working on it. And oh, the dresses! And so, yes, I've been meaning to take pics and pics and more pics and... did I mention it snowed today?

I've also been meaning to video her saying her handful of words and doing the itsy bitsy spider and the wheels on the bus because oh my God, it's hysterical.

Even better? Butt hunting. She has discovered FINALLY that she LURRRVES her Dora chair, and loves to sit in it and bounce. But she is not walking yet, so she has to figure an alternate way to settle into it. Which involves crawling up to it, turning her back on it, then sticking her butt up into the air as many times as it takes to finally land in the right place.

We would help, but we're laughing too hard trying to encourage her to figure it out for herself.

And I've resigned myself to buying stock in prune juice and Metamucil. For life. Gah.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh poop

I just realized I haven't posted since Tuesday and thought, "Hey! I should write a post!" and then I realized, "Hey! All the stories I have to share this week have something to do with poop!"

Umm, hence the not posting since Tuesday.

I'm sure you'll agree there's already too much crap on the Internet. (oh yes I'm so clever.)

I mean I could take the safe route and just sort of mention the regularity of Kiki's bowel movements, but it's really not interesting unless I go into detail, and when I go into detail, I mean I really overshare. And wouldn't you rather be spared that?

I would love to spare you that. I am, however, incapable of censoring TMI. It's a sickness.

So the doc on Tuesday said that Kiki's poop would come out clear or something like that and not to be alarmed when it happened. You know, like when she was on this antibiotic and it turned her poop red, and the doc warned me about that in advance, which was nice, but I already know the poop you REALLY have to be scared of is black poop because that might actually indicate internal bleeding, but no one wants to know you know that.

Or why.

Okay. Anyway. Wednesday, normal bowel movement. Thursday, normal bowel movement. Friday, I called her pedi and reported that ummm, her bowels have been normal, so should I be worried that she's still blocked up? (You might think that constipation that severe would mean she hasn't pooped in days, but she poops every day. Really.) Word back from the doc was, keep giving her the laxative 2ce a day and call back on Monday.

Then later that day, she evidently had a normal plus a little extra bowel movement and then another one after her nap which evidently verily exploded through her pants (Kipp got to deal with both of these 'cause I was first running errands and second napping. Ha!)

Then, today, no bowel movement until right before bedtime and then... ewwww. Not huge, not explosive, but messsssy, and also? Not clear exactly, but. Let ewww suffice.

I'm waiting on pins and needles to see what awaits us on the morrow.

In other news, I have had dreams about snakes for two nights in a row now. In the first dream, a huge monstrous anaconda (which frightened me) was killed and half-eaten by a tiger (which sort of frightened me more, but in a different way).

Then I dreamed there was a rattlesnake in the garden, and my Dad ran from it in a vaguely slapstick sort of fashion, which is not in character with my Dad in the least little bit.

Last night, I dreamed about a snake that was in between me and a road I had to take to get to an interview. I had Kiki with me, in a baby carriage (not a stroller!) and I would have considered taking my chances as I was running late for the interview, but I wasn't willing to risk Kiki's life. Then the snake was chased off by a lioness, who also then ran off.

So because I had similar imageries in my dreams two nights in a row, I decided to check it out on an online dream dictionary and... wow. Dude, I have issues. The back alleys of my pscyhe are like full of crack whores.

I'm just surprised I didn't dream about poop.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's up, Doc?

Soooo I dropped my older kids off at the grandparents -- bless their hearts -- and dragged the baby to the pedi and presented him with a laundry list of Mommie Worries.

She's grinding her teeth.

She's banging her head on things. Everythings, in fact. And everyones, to boot.

She's been uncharacteristically grumpy.

Sometimes she seems to burst into tears for no reason, then stops and resumes playing.

Oh, and I think she has a bowel blockage because she's spitting up after drinking or eating a lot, and it doesn't seem to be related to dairy like I thought it was at first, nor is it the flu because she's not running a fever anymore, so you know, could you check that out?

And then, per usual, I apologize for being a mom by saying, "I know. It all could be just because she's 2."

But this pedi is great because he never patronizes me. He checked her ears, and then he listened to her stomach, and then he sent us down for X-rays. Sure enough, the girl is packed so solid there is no apparent air anywhere in her intestines.


Now even though I suspected this -- !!!!! -- I immediately got all defensive. She's been having bowel movements. I've been feeding her vegetables and fruits. Is it the diet change? What is it? What caused this? Is it just the way she is (because she's had prescription laxatives since she was 8 months old.)

No real answers in that regard. Just, "Call in on Friday and we'll see how it goes."

Being a smartass, I said, "No pun intended?"

He did a double-take, gave me a funny look, smiled and said, "Now that was bad."

Honestly. I think he loves my daughter more than me.

Oh, you know, and give her laxatives twice a day until Friday. I think I forgot to mention that part.

Thank goodness we have bigger diapers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The best laid plans...

So Chris and Bri have this week off for spring break and we get 'em all week. Which is, you know, yay! except Kipp is working 10 am to 9 pm Mon through Thu, so guess who gets to be the referee? (Obvious answer: Me.)

So I pick 'em up and get the quasi usual "Bri is grounded because she did yadda, yadda, yadda." And my first response was "Yay! Free babysitting ALL WEEK LONG! Huzzah!"

But then Kipp rained on my parade, decreeing that babysitting should NOT be used as a punishment, especially since Bri spends most of her time babysitting just watching tv. So, crap.

But then I thought, "Huzzah! Free house cleaning!" Because I figured I could bribe Bri into "earning" small rewards like an hour or so of computer time or outside time or whatnot by, you know, doing my chores! Yay!

So far there has not been a decree from on high that this is unacceptable, so I now have a clean kitchen. Go me!

And I still get free babysitting because what else is she going to do? Ha!!

I'm still working on getting that Evil Stepmother certificate.

I got a truckload of work done today. I am psyched. But I think Kiki is suffering. I don't know. I mean not at the hands of Bri or anything. I mean she's just been uncharacteristically grumpy lately, bursting into tears and whatnot, and banging her head way more often than before. And she's still spitting up, even after switching to hemp milk. So I don't know. I just don't know. I have this feeling, and I don't even know why, that she's got a blockage. But you know, that's so me, jumping to the worst possible conclusion.

I'm taking her in to the doctor tomorrow so he can pat me on the head and tell me I'm paranoid.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh, that's right.

I have this bag of baby barrettes and bows and clips and bands and all kinds of stuff because when Kiki had a full head of hair since birth, everybody (and I!) would get these things for her.

I put them in the bag so I wouldn't lose them, because all I ever seemed to use was the bands, to do her hair up Pebbles-style. Every day. Pebbles-style.

So a lot of this pity party stuff THAT I'M TOTALLY NOT DOING ANYMORE had to do with all these barrettes and bows and clips and bands sniff sniff that I couldn't use anymore.

Anyway the most noticeable bald spots are along the top and back of her head, where a headband would cover beautifully. So I tried that, but headbands stay on with less efficiency than hats (she doesn't pull them off, though. They just... slip off.) Also there's this precarious balancing thing they'd have to do to cover perfectly and still stay in place.

So I thought up a brilliant solution, if I do say so myself, and that was to get a simple headband and dress it up with bows and barrettes and clips which would also strategically keep the headband perfectly in place. Voila! So simple! So brilliant!!

And then as I attempted to execute my master plan, I remembered vividly why all those barrettes and bows and clips went unused before.

Because she is half worm and half monkey and at least 95% slippery eel. Arrrrgh! I will have to confine her in her high chair to do this and -- oh yeah! That's what I had to do when I did her Pebbles-dos. And those 5 seconds every morning were dripping with baby drama. I can just imagine what 15 minutes of painstaking pinning is going to entail.

But that doesn't faze me. Not in the least! Ha! I laugh in the face of baby drama! Ha!

Right now, anyway, while she's sleeping. Ohh, maybe I should try it while she's sleeping?

So I've been pondering these last few days a comment made by Starr about cow's milk and eczema and stuffiness and whatnot. The last couple of weeks, in addition to the congestion, Kiki's been -- well, throwing up isn't exactly the word for it. It's more like spit-up, no gagging reflex. But it's happened just about every day for about two weeks now.

Last week I thought it was just because she was sick. But I've since realized that it only happens after she finishes a cup of milk without eating anything with it OR if she drinks a cup of milk and has cottage cheese.

Turns out that lactose intolerance is not uncommon in people with Celiac, so... Starr, thanks. I'm going to cut out the cups of cow's milk first and see if that makes a difference -- I'll still cook her cereal with it, give her yogurt and cottage cheese, and if just eliminating the cups of milk doesn't make a diff, then...

You know, and doing this stuff without consulting a doctor first makes part of me nervous, but the other part says, "You were right about the gluten!!!! And it's just 2 or 3 cups a milk a day."

Which I can totally substitute rice milk for. I mean if I give her a cup of plain milk, she generally doesn't drink it all anyway. But she'll pound it down if it has strawberry or chocolate in it, something that has been worrying me because I'm not 100% sure that stuff is gluten-free. BUT I know for sure I can get gluten-free flavored rice milk, so... maybe this is like a two birds/one stone scenario.

Okay. Everybody chime in and start lecturing me about the sugar content of chocolate milk now. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No More Pity Parties!!

That's right. I'm done whining about it. No, really. You know why? Because there are hats. And thug babies are cute.

The only challenge is keeping them on her head.

Also? Forcing a baby to model right before bedtime is a recipe for diva drama.

Tomorrow I am playing with headbands! And barrettes! And bows!

Kiki will probably be searching for a new mama to replace the one that has decided to drive her insane.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Kiki's fever broke overnight on Thursday, but she's still kind of congested, so we've been giving her Benadryl at night which is keeping her asleep until like 10:30 a.m.!!!!! Wow, nice to sleep in but REALLY doing a number on our schedule around here.

We're nearing her 2nd b-day which has got me thinking about Dr. Dermatologist. I started reading up on topical cortisone treatments, the most common side effect of which is thinning skin at the application points. Kipp adamantly does NOT want her to undergo any treatments if there's any side effects at all, and thinning skin did not comfort him.

I don't know. I guess I'm a bad mom. I just want her hair back. It made me cry again yesterday, which is pissing me off because I just. Want. To. Get. Over. It. Already. Sheeesh.

Other than that, business as usual.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hot and cold

From about November last year to January, Kiki seemed to be constantly congested or snotty or sneezy or somehow sick. Since her change to gluten-free, she's had none of that. (I don't know if it's coincidental. I'm just saying.)

Until a couple of days ago. And then she got congested. And then she ate dirt. And then the night before last, I forgot to turn the heater on when we went to bed and woke up to a 60 degree house and a very, very cold and pissed off baby.

She's been running a fever since yesterday. I've been filling her with fluids and ice cream (because she's very grumpy about eating when she's sick. She's hungry, mind you, and she wants FOOD NOW only she doesn't want THAT FOOD, she wants YOU GUESS AND IT BETTER BE A GOOD GUESS!). I was really worried yesterday because she only partially wet about two diapers, but today she seems back to normal in that regard.

If she's still feverish tomorrow, I'm taking her in. I'm sure it's probably a sinus infection by now, but I was hoping with enough fluids, Benadryl and Tylenol I'd be able to stave it off and keep her from having to have antibiotics. But three days with a fever is my limit, dammit.

Does she act sick?

Other than the eating thing, nope. Not a bit.

She does sleep well though.

Share your child's story!

I followed a link to a story in the Salt Lake City Special Needs Kids Examiner (umm, long title) and found this story.

She plans to raise funds and get sponsors to help develop the pamphets that she would like to see in doctor's offices across the state and eventually the nation. "I think if we are willing to address abortion, we should also offer the other option as well, which is having the child and raising a child that loves without condition."

I'm not good at writing abstracts, especially at 2:30 am, so please read the article if you might be interested in sharing your child's story with her. :)

She's asking parents to email their stories to her at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dearest Kiki

Dearest Kiki,

You will be two years old in one month and one day! Time has passed so quickly, and you are doing so many things. I'm keeping a running list, and I will write you a letter on your birthday to brag about all of them. I'm so tempted to do it now, but in another month, who knows how much more you'll be doing!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much you've grown as your birthday gets closer and closer. It's hard to believe I watched you grow up day by day and still somehow missed when you changed from a small, sleeping infant into a mile-a-minute child, into everything, giving us the giggles every time you laugh.

I feel like I have grown with you as well. Over the last two years you have taught me so many valuable lessons. Some days I practice them better than others; some days I mess them all up completely. But we are all works in progress, my darling, and just as you are so much more grown up than when you first came home -- because of you, so am I.

Here are the top ten things I have learned from you over the last two years. And here's to getting better and better every day at living them!

1. What may at first be difficult beyond bearing could well turn into a gift that surpasses your wildest dreams.

2. Patience.

3. To stop comparing one individual to another in an attempt to gauge the success of one of them.

4. To live not day by day, but moment by moment.

5. To put aside the whole picture and appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the pieces of the puzzle.

6. Running may get you there faster, but crawling gives you time to change your mind about your destination.

7. To be exuberant about the smallest victories.

8. To let go of the looming defeats.

9. To hope without desperation.

10. To stop thinking about what if and celebrate what is.

I love you, Kiki, so much.

your mama

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mmmmm, dirt!

There's a park just about, I don't know, down the street. By the river. It ain't far. There's a playground. I've been to the park area once or twice but never taken Kiki.

Until today!

I met a friend out there. She has a 9-year-old son and an almost 3-year-old daughter (her birthday is only 2 days after Kiki's! Well, a year and two days, I guess.)

There were no kiddie swings, so I introduced Kiki to the slide instead. She kept signing for more, so I kept sending her down it. Then my friend's daughter plopped herself in the sand and started playing so I thought, "Hey! Maybe they'll play together!"

Kiki instead decided to swipe her new playmate's binkie and toss it in the dirt. Oh maaaaan....

And then? Kiki promptly began upon her quest to Eat Dirt and Sticks. And she's lightning fast. So after the fifth time I had to stick my finger in her mouth to swipe it out -- at great personal risk, mind you! -- I decided that we'd had enough sand time.

I had this BRILLIANT idea the other day to dress up Kiki's hair and hide the bald spots. I thought of a headband.... now why didn't I think of this before? So I tried it today but unfortunately the only hairbands we have are too narrow to cover what I want to cover and it won't stay on.

She looked cute as a button though! So now I must hunt for wide headbands and figure a way to fasten 'em to her head. I'm thinking maybe one of the metric ton of barrettes we have for her.

And now it's soooooooooo bathtime!


Took Chris in again to get his ears cleaned today. This time they said the wax was soft enough to irrigate, and thank God, they were able to get it all out. Clean as a whistle! No surgery necessary!

Chris's comments after the irrigation were, "My ear feels normal again." and "My voice sounds funny. It sounds like I'm talking through a microphone."

So now he'll get another hearing test at school and here's hoping he passes!! Pretty sure he will. You should have SEEN what came out of his ear (though I'm sure you're happy you didn't!)

When Kiki gets up from her nap, we have a playdate scheduled at the park down the street. Need to do the outside thing today 'cause it looks like the rest of the week is gonna be rainy and miserable. Darn! I was hoping to go fishing on Thursday too!

Oh well. Play date! Yay!

Now if she would only go to sleep... little monkey.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bragging on my girl!

Today we bought SIZE 4 DIAPERS! Because today was kind of warm, and Kiki was kind of fussy, and so I kind of stripped her down to her diaper and let her roam around like that for a few hours and I kind of noticed half her butt was showing, like we're talking DIAPER WEDGIE.

If this isn't a sign of growth, I don't know what is.

Also, in the TMI department, I haven't had to give her prune juice in a week and the girl is having massive bowel movements that are not rock hard nor watery. I know. But it makes me happy. Other than the clean-up part. Eww.

Now, for some REAL bragging!

She's eating with a spoon! By herself! And she actually manages to get food on the spoon herself about 10% of the time and into her mouth without mishap about 80% of the time. Yay!

She's also begun to isolate her index finger. She's not completely pointing yet, but she wags her finger at me, and she pokes at things with it now.

Today during her OT session, she actually stuck objects in the shape sorter by herself!

And yesterday at her PT session, she took a step completely unassisted!

And she's vocalizing and mimicking all the time now. She's almost got Mooo down pat, and once she figures out that Woof! isn't supposed to come out of her nose, she'll have that one too.

She's actually calling me Mama, Kipp Daddy, and herself Baby.

And I know there's a million things more but I need to compose myself. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gluten-Free! It's the new granola!!

There's this part in the beginning of Bedtime Stories where Courtney Cox-Arquette's character is trying to get the kids at her son's birthday party to eat the cake she's provided for them. "It's yummy gluten-free cake!" she says, "With wheatgrass frosting!"

Now the only explanation I can possibly come up with for a gluten-free cake with wheatgrass frosting is that the writers are junk food junkies who don't know what they're talking about, except that health-food new-agers are funny.

Which brings me to.... gluten-free food is so very often "organic" or "environment friendly" or somesuch, which ends up making me feel like a pretentious hippie. Which I know is totally ludicrous and I grew up in California, for crissakes, where bizarro health food diets are born (ie macrobiotics, etc.) So you'd think I'd be, I don't know, either gung-ho or at least a little, you know, tolerant.

But no. I'm sniggery. I don't even know why I have this particular sniggery part of me that sniggers at people's choice of high-priced diets, but I do. I mean honestly, in Kiki's case it's MEDICALLY NECESSARY. And for kids with autism who are on gluten-free, cassein-free diets ALSO NECESSARY. And I don't get all giggly at vegans or vegetarians (much), unless they're all preachy about it, with their animal rights and shit (while they wear their leather boots.)

I guess I am not a very tolerant person.

All of this intro is just to tell you two gluten-free stories.

The first is about my foray to Mamma Jean's last Saturday for the gluten-free extravaganza. They had free samples of their gluten-free food, and since I am on the hunt for flavorful gluten-free bread, this seemed like my golden opportunity.

Now here's the ironic part. Although I am obviously patronizing towards health-food diets, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE health food stores. I do not understand this. Maybe it's a homesickness thing. But Mamma Jean's is like a miniature Whole Foods, and it just feels homey.

So I did find some palatable gluten-free packaged bread, not to mention a GREAT idea for rice (make some rice. Put gluten-free creamy soup in it until it's creamy but not soupy. Rivals any packaged rice side dish you'll find, plus it actually fulfilled my craving for comfort food/mac and cheese), a home-made cookbook/family story of an Ozark woman who was there giving samples of her homemade gluten-free bread (OMG soooooo yummy, except am I going to make homemade bread? Really? Without a machine? I doubt this), wheat-free soy sauce (in bulk!!!), and gluten-free Oreo cookies (the creamy center of which was not creamy at all, but were still an obvious big hit anyway.)

The other gluten-free story I have happened last night. We went to dinner at the family restaurant. We haven't been for a while because even though with our discount it's almost as cheap as eating at home, we've just been counting our pennies. So we had a lot of catching up to do. Scott, the night manager, has a daughter about 6 months older than Kiki. Brooke, the kitchen manager, has a daughter about 3 months older than Kiki. So you know what it's like.

Anyway Scott hadn't seen Kiki in a while, so right after enthusing about how cute she is, he said, "Oh my God, what happened to her hair?" And so I launched into the story of Celiac disease and yadda yadda yadda until Kipp interrupted me and told me to order already because we had to get the kids home, dammit.

So a little flustered, I'm settling Kiki in and looking at a menu, and a woman walks up to me and says, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, and it's not every day you hear about that particular disorder."

And me being an idiot, I said, "You mean Down syndrome?" Because I wasn't exactly sure what she said, and in retrospect, I think she may have even started the conversation by saying she had it, which means I questioned whether she had Ds, which I think is funny. I'm probably warped.

"No," she said patiently, "Celiac disease. And I thought, Oh, no, not that sweet beautiful little girl! She's so young! How awful."

Awww. She praised my girl. I was all ears.

It turns out there is a Celiac disease support group in town. Wow! So I gave her my email address, and now I'm waiting for info.

I'm supposed to be making myself a doctor's appointment this week to get a script for Chantix because Kipp got his and now he's telling me if I don't get it, then it will be ALL MY FAULT if we don't quit smoking. Pressure! Anyway I think I will also get tested for Celiac because... well, my tendency for hypochondria notwithstanding, I just wonder.

And in other news it appears Chris will have to have surgery to get that earwax out of his ears. Poor Chris! And the doc blithely went and mentioned it RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM even though I was careful to write autism on his history sheet. I mean honestly. I know he doesn't act it -- his case is very mild -- but it only takes a thing like SURGERY to set him off. I managed to shush her, get him calmed, and change the subject, but still.

Will keep y'all updated on this one, I'm sure. :)

You know, you're all probably looking at Kiki's recent haircut pics and thinking, "How is it that everyone comments on her hairloss? You can't even see it!"

It's all about camera angle, peeps.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's the little things

How do I know my prozac is working?

When Bri says, "Why are you happy all the time now? It freaks me out. I liked you better when you yelled at me for no reason."

I love that girl.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

What have you done for me lately?

So I took Chris to the ENT this last week because like his daddy, he has an earwax problem. His earwax is so built up that it's affected his hearing. So Kiki and I sat and watched him be lowered on a Star Trek captain's chair (circa Kirk) so the ENT could poke a telescope into his ear and prod at it with a pick, a vaccum, and God knows what else.

Kiki and I were fascinated.

Turns out that she couldn't get any of it out, so she sent us home with a prescription for ear drops and strict instructions to NOT USE Q-TIPS EVER OH MY GOD DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT ARE YOU CRAZY? As we were following her out, she motioned Chris over to a display of hard candy, suckers, and stickers. "Help yourself," she told him, "and take some for your sister, too, if you like."

Now Chris has lived with only one sister his entire life, up until two years ago, and while he knows Kiki is his sister, I don't think it's exactly sunk in like it has with Bri. I mean he loves to show her off to his friends -- not even kidding. The first thing he says to any of his friends that come over is, "Come meet Kiki! Let's play with her for a bit." -- but the exact relationship to her? Not quite cemented.

So he made a face at me when the ENT told him this and asked me, "Why should I get HER anything? What has she done for me lately?"

Which made me giggle, which I choked on when I caught the look on the ENT's face, and so I had to sober up and say, "She's not talking about Bri. She's talking about Kiki." Because I am an Uber Parent who giggles when her kids are rude to each other. Obviously.

Realization dawned on Chris's face, and he immediately back-tracked, asking me what sticker and/or candy Kiki would like because OF COURSE he would share with KIKI. Which only made me want to giggle harder. I think the ENT was ready to call DFS on my ass.

So we have Bri and Chris this weekend. On the weekends as their dad sleeps in, they usually race downstairs once they know I'm up to see who gets to play on his computer first. I'm quite used to this by now, but there are mornnings when I'm EXTREMELY GRUMPY and I tell 'em to go play in the street.

No, I don't. I tell 'em to go get breakfast. And then bathe. And then by that time I've pleasanted out a bit and can be cordial and gracious.

This morning however only Bri came down. My kitchen was a mess -- Kipp would have cleaned it before he went to bed IF I HAD ASKED HIM TO but because I didn't ask, HE DIDN'T DO IT (am I ranting a little?) and Kiki had woken up SCREAMING and soaked completely through to her bed and I was, you know, grumpy.

Bri proceeded, quietly and without being asked or instructed, to put up all the barriers in the living room. Then she took Kiki out of her playpen, set her loose, made sure she had tv and toys to occupy her, then came into the kitchen and helped me make breakfast. NO LIE!

And when breakfast was ready, Chris came down and the first words out of his mouth were, "Can I play on the computer? I know, I know after breakfast right?"

And I said, "You know what, Bri's been down here since I got up, helping me out with breakfast and Kiki, and she hasn't said one word about the computer but I bet she wants to get on it. So, for all her help and stuff, she gets to go first."

Because I am an Uber Parent.

And because Bri is an Uber Sister, she added, "I didn't ASK because I thought it would be RUDE." Which is funny because although I think Bri knows the technical definition of rude, she certainly doesn't understand the practical application of it, i.e., the girl cannot NOT be rude to save her life.

I digress from the POINT OF MY STORY.

This afternoon I had to run out and do errands, the last of which was picking a friend up from the airport. I left still grumpy with Kipp and with Chris and with being a mom in general because of all the attitude I get when I instruct someone to do something that actually helps me out and rarely RARELY does anyone just step up and do shit for me, which made me feel all glowy glowy about Bri, so I stopped and got her beef jerky, her favorite treat.


And then being Bri, she went and got herself in trouble before I got home because she stayed out later than she was supposed to without checking in for lunch. I got this update over the phone while I was coming back with my friend from a VERY GRUMPY Kipp who had the Stern Father Going To Rain Heck On His Errant Child voice going.

I immediately told him that I was giving her bag of beef jerky REGARDLESS and I was going to make a BIG production of it, and he started to argue with me until I told him WHY and then he grudgingly backed down because he knows. He KNOWS. He's just lazy. (Like I am, but this isn't about me right now.)

(Wait, it's always about me.)

So I did. I came home, I gave Bri the jerky in front of the household, with the big kudo speech as to why, and when Chris said it wasn't fair and even KIPP said, "Did you get me anything?" I responded...

WHAT have you done for ME lately?

Because I am not just an Uber Parent, I am a grown-up.

PS I got LOTS of stuff for Kiki though. Gluten free stuff. More about that in the next post.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I just don't see it

I just don't see it anymore. I don't even remember when I stopped seeing it; it's like it just happened.

I still see it in adults. I'm not sure why. But in children? I don't see it at all. I searched for it in Kiki's face today when it struck me that I couldn't see it anymore, and I didn't see it there.

I have this newsfeed to the right over there. It looks for articles on Ds. Lately so many of those articles have been about the new prenatal testing for Ds, and while I try to be positive about that, it sort of irks me. I mean the tone of them -- "Ooo! New exciting science stuff! So that all you preggers wimmin won't have ANY MORE excuses about checking to see if your fetus is broken!"

It makes me think about all the women who decide they'd rather not have a baby who has Ds. It makes me think of all the people who would choose not to have Kiki in their lives based on a cold piece of scientific result, without ever even taking the time to look at her, bask in her smile, play with her.

It breaks my heart.

Now look at this article. Look at the pictures. Do you see it?

Like I said, I just don't see it anymore. And I think as Kiki gets older, I'll stop seeing it altogether. Which makes me incredibly happy, because I'm so tired of the shallow bits of me.

Edited to add: Felt compelled to mention I'm not morally or ethically opposed to abortion in general. I feel compassion for women whose first reaction would be, "Oh my God, I won't be able to handle this!" I was one of them once -- but it turned out I was wrong, very wrong. And I'm not an exceptional person by any means.

I just feel a little queasy about the idea of the social pressure, the medical pressure out there on women to abort their "less-than-perfect" fetuses. Who gets to decide what less than perfect means? I thought Nazism was out of vogue?

And when I say it breaks my heart, I mean that personally, it breaks my heart that anyone -- not to mention an organized group, a multinational group of intellectually elite, government funded to boot -- would look at my daughter, my wonderful gorgeous brilliant daughter who every day amazes me, that something so awesome could come from my imperfect being -- would look at her and only think of her as a broken person.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You can tell it's laundry day when...

I ran out of pajamas for Kiki last night. I resorted to putting her in one of the new sleepers Mom and JP got her when they were here in November/December. I figured, it's going to snow tonight; a blanket sleeper is appropriate (even though her bedroom upstairs is always the warmest in the house!)

It was a size 18 month. It was loosish when she first got it.

It is now tightish.

Yay!!!! I think we're officially into 24-month size territory now! And she's only 22 months old!

Things like this make me sooooooo giddy.

PS Kipp's only comment about Kiki's haircut has been: "I don't like bangs."

WhatEVER. He's said nothing since then, so I think it's growing on him and he doesn't want to admit it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You've got some 'splaining to do!

I'm obviously trying to get my husband to divorce me.

First, I make his dog run away. But she came back, so I had to think bigger (like Pinky Dinky Doo and omg I watch too much Noggin.)

So today, I did this.

No, I didn't take her to Cookie Cutters. Dude, we're talking a 30 minute drive into town for a $16.95 haircut? When I can go around the corner and traumatize a perfectly nice stylist for only $5? Please.

Kiki? Was not obedient. She squirmed. She fussed. She cried. This was the best the woman could do.

I told her from the beginning, I just want something lower maintenance. I know it will have to be a comb-over, but I'd like the top cut so that it falls to above her eyebrow in a bang. I want the back shortened so I'm not spending so much time combing out snags.

She asked, "Oh, does she have cancer?" She said it in a very concerned, caring way, which reminded me just how freaking shallow I'm being about all this. Honestly, it could be something terrifying, like cancer. We're lucky it's not, so I need to let. It. Go.

I explained to her about alopecia, and the celiac disease, and all that, while she focused mainly on trying not to accidently cut my daughter. I could tell she was really frazzled and concentrating on Kiki instead of me, because I think she asked me like 20 times how old Kiki is. She followed us out to the car afterwards, too, telling me how cute Kiki is, and asking again what alopecia is, and how old she is. I think she just wanted a return customer 'cause I kind of tipped her big. I mean honestly -- it wasn't a cakewalk, and the cut was only $5. I felt sorry for her.

And now we wait for Daddy's reaction....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wish Fulfillment

I'm trying very hard to model calm, non-violent, yet disciplined behavior to my daughter. This is difficult on many levels:

1. I am not disciplined.
2. Every time she pulls my hair now, she immediately wags her finger at me, knowing what's coming, and it's so damned hard not to laugh. But honestly! If she knows she's going to get the finger wag, how does she not know NOT TO DO IT???? Where have I gone wrong?
3. Have I mentioned Sugar thinks her own name is NO? And that she's imbued with just way too much energy? And that she gets between me and the baby whenever I say NO, even if it bowls over the baby or means jumping on my head? Have I mentioned this?

So it was the end of a long day. I'd completely mucked up the baby's schedule such that she had lunch at 2:30, didn't fall asleep for her nap until 4, didn't wake up from said nap until 6:30, didn't get dinner until 8, and then finally got a bath at 8:30 and I thought What the hell, let's just keep her up til Daddy gets home.

At around 9:15, I'm on the floor with Kiki. She pulls my hair then we wag our fingers at each other and say NO and Sugar bounds in between us and WILL NOT GO AWAY and I just gritted my teeth trying not to beat the dog because how am I supposed to teach Kiki nice touches while at the same time squashing a dog's muzzle?

Don't call PETA. I'm not like that, honestly. I just THINK it.

Anyway, I decide it would be best for EVERYONE involved if Sugar spent some time outside on the tether. As I fastened it to her collar, I muttered to her, "Do me a favor and run away."

At 9:30 Kipp came home. I griped about Sugar and suggested HE let her in because I didn't even want to LOOK at her.

Sugar. Was. Gone.


No dog on the tether.

No dog in the yard.

No dog responding to us banging blinds or yelling for her.

Kipp got in the car and drove around looking for her. No luck. We spent the next hour or so -- an eternity! -- checking outside in the front, in the back, every 10 minutes, hoping she'd come back. I wailed in the night, tears streaming down my face, that I WAS KIDDING! YOU STUPID MUTT! COME HOME!

Okay. That was internal monologue but the tears were real.

Finally, she came home. All smug and bouncy and happy as a dog can be.

Stupid mutt.

It took Kipp 15 minutes to pry her out of my body hug.

Monday, February 16, 2009

On the outside looking in

When I first moved here, it became my obsession to fit in. (Have you noticed I have obsessions?)

One of the first things I noticed is how the natives pronounce the name of the state. My first few attempts to say the name all native-style were met with polite chuckling and patronizing pats of the head and the caution that I wasn't allowed to pronounce it that way until I lived here for a while.

So I waited.

And waited.

About two years or so.

And then I tried it again, and no one complained. Success! I am a native!

Or you know, not so much.

Anyway, another thing I learned quickly is that this is the hometown of a certain well-known individual, Mr. P. Mr. P. went to the same high school as Kipp and I think was in the same class as Kipp's oldest brother. Mr. P's brother is on the local chamber of commerce, so Kipp's dad runs into him quite a bit. He also knows Mr. P's sister, and Mr. P's parents are regulars at one of the family restaurants.

So interestingly enough, everyone around here refers to Mr. P casually in conversation by his first name, like they know him personally and/or grew up with him or something. Which, um, is technically true.

There is kind of a running joke about inviting Mr. P to this or that local event (again, referring to his first name with fond familiarity), but I don't really think anyone actually follows up on that as much as you'd think.

So I figured this would be my next step, you know? So the other day, I tested it out with Kipp. Out of the blue, I said, "You know, we should see if B wants to set up a playdate next time he's in town. One of his daughters is about the same age as Kiki."

Kipp gave me a very bland, very patient look that clearly screamed, "PRETENDER! FAKER! WANNABE!" But what he said was, "Sure. And make sure to invite his wife too, because she's hawt."

Which made me feel all smugly at home. I mean I am a big faker and pretender because I certainly have never met Mr. P, but I love it that my husband indulged me. And I have absolutely no desire to embarrass myself by dropping said name in conversation with anybody else.

Because you know, they probably went to high school with him.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Kiki Words

Kipp had her saying "More" over and over again for her cookies the other day. Awesome! We have yet to repeat the performance though. She has resorted to signing More instead.

Today Kipp took over all day long while I slept and slept and slept. I've had a headache for like three days now and suspected it was hormone related and sure enough, Aunt Flo came in last night. About once every two years or so I get a period that lays me out, and this is it. Where is menopause for crissakes? I'm so ready.

Anywho, Kipp proudly stated to me today that Kiki knows how to ask for her Mum-Mums (rice crackers, gluten free). Evidently I had not relayed to him that mum-mum is her word for anything she can pick up with her hands.

I need to work on my OWN communication skills, it appears. Maybe Kiki and I can learn to talk at the same time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kiki Discovers the Wiggles

Once upon a time, when I was a know-it-all nonparent, I once scolded my cousin for letting his toddlers sit around and watch tv all day. "You shouldn't use the tv as a babysitter!" I told him.

He responded, "My parents let me watch tv all the time when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine."

There's no way to argue gracefully with a statement like that.

Now as a parent who has a child who finally shows interest in the tv, I have to admit it's nice to be able to get away once in a while and know she's entertained in my absence. I mean I don't go for a walk or anything. I'm like no more than 8 steps away from her at any given time, but still. I can work. I can clean the kitchen. I can make meals. That kind of thing.

I'm used to having the tv on all the time; it's more like background noise for me. But I confess a probably unhealthy obsession with children's programming. It enthralls me. And some of the shows enthrall Kiki as well. Like LazyTown. And Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. And the Backyardigans.

Up til now we've watched almost exclusively Noggin. I've heard tales of children who'll watch the same Barney tape/DVD over and over and over and over and still want to see it over and over and over. I figured Kiki would be one of those, but Noggin has recently lost its thrall over her as the same episodes repeat themselves (though she still loves Moose A. Moose and will drop everything to hear him sing or play a puzzle game.)

So I switched it over to Disney this morning and discovered the Wiggles. I've heard of the Wiggles before, but this was my first exposure to them. And they enthralled us both. Anything with music and dancing grabs Kiki. She sat still for a straight 10 minutes until there was some little interlude with a dog practicing his swimming strokes, and then she busied herself with handing me her blocks until the singing and dancing started again.

I'm definitely getting her into a dance class when she finally starts walking! Umm, that should make up for turning her into a couch potato, right?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Now what do I do?

Lately Kiki has been wagging her finger at us in response to us telling her NO (after she's pulled our hair or bitten us or smacked us.) It's awful cute, but I don't want it to turn into some kind of rebelliou gesture, so I always respond by shaking my finger back at her and saying sternly, "That's right. NO."

When she smacks me or one of the dogs, I tell her NO and then I take her hand and stroke whatever she hit with it and say, "Nice touches."

Today I was lying on the couch watching her play. She dropped what she was doing, came up to the couch to check on me, and pulled my hair. "NO!" I said.

She gave me a look, then reached up and stroked my arm. To add to the apology, she laid her head on my arm, looking up at me with puppy dog eyes, then leaned forward and gave me a kiss.

You know, if she keeps schmoozing like that, it's going to be so very hard to stay stern with her.

(And yes, I praised her for her apologetic behavior. I'm trying to believe in positive reinforcement.)

She's been running around yesterday and today saying, "Hi, baby!" When Mom called, I held the phone to Kiki's ear and for the first time ever she vocalized into the phone, not once but twice! And while I was on the phone, I was feeding her cookies. Mom heard her ask for a cookie and she said, "Oh! She said Mama!"

Umm, no. She said "Mum mum" which is Kiki-speak for "Yum yum" which is any snack she can pick up without a spoon. It does still count as communication as far as I'm concerned though.

She still only says Mama when she's put to bed. Little stinker.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Holier Than Thou

Before I was a mom, I was one of those non-parents who saw kids in public and invariably thought, "For pete's sake, get your beasts under CONTROL!" I was confident that when *I* had kids, they would be well disciplined, polite, and well behaved.

Of course I didn't know one very important thing. And that is? I suck at discipline.
There were plenty of clues along the way, as in, I don't even discipline MYSELF. But no, I never caught on.

Now I have a child who bites, smacks, and pulls hair. Which is normal, I guess. But I just want her to STOP! STOP IT! STOP IT NOW!

One thing I will say, she is a DREAM at restaurants. Other than occasionally throwing some food on the floor then looking around expectantly for a couple of dogs to trot up and clean up after her, she is perfect. She doesn't scream or fuss, she flirts with everyone, and she eats whatever we give her.

Today she actually worked with her spoon at breakfast and lunch, navigating it herself from bowl to mouth, and didn't throw it once. Yay! I feel kind of guilty that she's not feeding herself yet; I think her only real block in this endeavor is me. It's like I can't seem to relinquish control enough, or the thought of her throwing her spoon or making a mess or not eating enough if left to her own devices is too much for me to overcome.

I guess I'm a little overbearing after all. Just not in a good way.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Counting Hairs

Okay. I obsess yet again. Please indulge. But I mean, dude. Look.

I didn't take photos of the spots lurking under her hair because I figure they're hidden, right, and that's a blessing. Right?

She don't care.

The upside is this: after her bath last night, there was only one strand of hair left in the tub instead of a pinchful! So maybe she's stopped losing it? I hope!

Despite the good news in the tub, I was feeling kind of dejected and discouraged and sorry for myself last night -- hey, it's all about me, after all. I've dreamed of having a daughter so I can play with her hair, make french braids, pig tails, Swiss girl braids, all that. Sniffle. Poor me.

Okay. Anyway. I went out and re-looked up the article that clued me into celiac disease. Turns out it was an Italian study and something like 3 people out of 100 who had alopecia tested positive for celiac disease. I'm not good at math, so I'll take it on faith that the staticians claim that's too many to be a coincidence.

Anywho, also one of the boys in the study had alopecia totalis. He lost all of his body hair. But he regrew it all when he went on a gluten-free diet, which is amazing because what I've read is that alopecia totalis has the utmost lowest possibility of hair regrowth.

But alopecia is unpredictable. So you know. Grasping at straws and still feeling sorry for myself.

Kipp scolded me last night for the pity party, pointing out to me that Kiki is still and always will be beautiful, and that I need to stop focussing on the hair or she's going to pick up on it and focus on it too. Gah. I hate when he's right.

I wish there was a hair saint I could pray to.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ice and Snow

Well, we did get snowed in last week. I wanted to get a pic of Kiki playing in the snow once it all stopped being nasty, but we have a wicked nasty slope in our front yard (and the backyard is the domain of the dogs, if you know what I mean.) I could just imagine myself trying to take a picture of her and trying to catch her as she rolled into the street. On the ice. That I would slip on. And probably crush her.

All therapies were cancelled last week. They didn't even plow our street until Thursday around 1 pm. And also, the wicked slope. I didn't think it was prudent to endanger the nice women that Kiki plays works with so often.

So I decided to put it off until Bri and Chris were here over the weekend, so they could play WITH her in the snow, and then I'd have pics of ALL of them! Ah, such plans. It didn't happen. The older kids went off sledding, and by Sunday the snow had melted enough that it just didn't look pretty enough anymore.

Oh, and I'm lazy. Because 3 layers of clothes on a child who screams when she gets dressed? Not fun.

Not much to update, but it feels like there's always changes. Bri's all into Kiki's new diet, and is all big sister about it. She called yesterday to invite us to her Student Leadership dinner next week. She pointed out that there would probably be no gluten-free choices, except maybe salad, so I should bring food for Kiki.

And that she would also be waiting on our table, so we should be nice to her. Heh! Her intent, she says, is to so impress her Papaw with her waitressing skills that he'll hire her at the restaurant in a couple of years.

Papaw was tickled to hear that.

Kiki's palate is changing or something. She used to love green beans, and now? Not so much. She's beginning to get picky about what I feed her, and she is very VERY adamant about what she will NOT eat. As well as what she WILL eat. Things she loves, like cottage cheese with applesauce, she cries when it's all gone. And it's not like she's still hungry. I mean, come on, she's not even 2. I think a half cup of cottage cheese with a quarter cup of applesauce is pretty much a full tummy, and that's not even counting the crackers and the juice or milk that go along with it.

Honestly, you should see people's eyes bug out when I bring out her meal if it's cottage cheese with applesauce. "She'll never eat all that!" they say. Ha! She gobbles it up. She fusses if you're slow with it. And then she cries when it's gone. So, you know, she loves her cottage cheese with applesauce.

(So does her daddy, who ends up eating the "chunks that are too big for her" when he's feeding her.)

She's begun to resist naptime, and I'd toy with the notion of letting her skip it if a) I didn't also need a nap and b) she wasn't hitting, biting, scratching, and head butting everything in sight (the dogs, me, the walls, the floor, the couch) when she starts getting tired.

I think she's a goat. Her head butts hurt. And how do you stop an almost 2-year-old from banging her head on things? Do I need to put a helmet on her? I mean she's not doing it exceptionally hard, and she only does it when she's grumpy/tired.

I don't know. I'm at a loss. This child is going to be an interesting teenager.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Kiki is 21 months old and has officially grown out of her 12-month-old clothes.

I know this because I tried to make her wear her I Love Santa shirt to bed last night. We got it for her for Christmas of 2007. It was too big for her then. It just fit her on Christmas of 2008 (yes, I did try to make her wear it. In fact, she did wear it until she puked up rainbow sherbet all over it.)

Last night, it was a little short in the arms and kept crawling up her chest like it thought it was a belly shirt. She's a little young to be sporting a 6-pack, so I figured it was inappropriate even for bed, and I chucked it.


Not 'cause I didn't like the shirt, but you know. She's growing again!!

And then I decked her out in a 12-month layette with the snaps that turn it into kind of a nightgown. Because I'm all kinds of fashion conscious. And with pajama bottoms. Because it was cold.

It's been storming ice nonstop since yesterday, and an hour or so ago it began with the great big chunks of humonguous snowflakes. I think we're gonna be snowed in in the morning.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Well, I've had actual court docs to transcribe all week. One! Day! Turnaround! Ack!

My mother-in-law has been over every afternoon this week (except Monday, court holiday) to watch the monster, bless her heart. Kiki is not so thrilled. Kipp's schedule this week is 10 am to 9 pm, so he sees her an hour or so in the morning and that's it. So Kiki has been missing Mommy AND Daddy all week, and she's been taking it out on her poor Mamaw. Oh, the screams!

Yesterday, Sue just bundled her up into the stroller and took her out around the neighborhood for an hour. She was fine the rest of the day. Between the screaming! and the cold, fresh air, she completely passed out at 7. She woke up around 2 am, and Kipp got to spend about an hour with her before putting her back to bed, and then? She slept until 10 am this morning! Wow!

Which of course puts her schedule all over the place. Yie.

One more day of court work this week -- Friday's I can do over the weekend -- and then 2 days next week. I'm just looking forward to payday! Woot!

So it's a short blog today because I want to play with my baby for a while. Here's a pic to tide ya over... not incredibly recent, earlier this month. I'm thinking of taking a pic of the top of her head for posterity, which I'm sure she'll love me trotting out on her prom date.

Kiki's new trick: saying Aaaaaah! Her pedi was thrilled. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

And the answer is...

Thyroid test... negative.

Diabetes test... negative.

Celiac disease..... DING! DING! DING!

So it is official. And I shall never second-guess my gut instincts again.

And also? I obviously must get more militant about this gluten thing. Positive blood test after supposedly being gluten-free for 3 weeks? I must be doing something wrong.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some Photos

I know. I've been bad about photos. Have I mentioned my vanity?

Anyway, I did take some pics of Kiki in one of her new outfits that she got for Christmas. I dressed her up to visit her Papaw at work. After admiring how beautiful she looked, he asked, "Umm, aren't those boots a little big for her?"

Well, but they're SO CUTE!!!!! And it's not like she's walking in them. But I do love how it makes her legs look so puny and bandy. She looks almost like an anime creature.

This was taken earlier this month. I haven't taken any pics since then. I have some others I will upload (when Kipp isn't playing CounterStrike and bitching at me for mucking with his bandwidth) from the same week.

No word from the doc yet on the test results. Of course, I neglected to ask him how long I'd need to wait. 'Cause, you know, I'm smart that way. It comes from watching Noggin 100 hours a day.

I don't really have any other updates. I just wanted to upload a pic because, well. So we had a SanDisk once (can't find it now) that we used to transfer our pics from our camera card to the computer. Then when I lost that, I started using the camera itself to upload the pics, but then I lost its unique USB cable. So then I started using the OTHER camera to upload pics, but you KNOW it's only a matter of time before I lose THAT cable for good.

So anyway I was hunting through my office and laptop briefcase for something over the weekend, and I found... something.... that my laptop actually CAME with that I didn't even KNOW about. Yes. An insertable memory card reader. One that stays in the laptop ALL THE TIME so I won't LOSE it.

And obviously I had to try it out. Yay! It works!

I know. Don't even say it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Alike Than Different

Saw this on Raising Joey, and I had to share it too! The National Down Syndrome Congress has started a More Alike Than Different campaign, and the following are some of the spots they've videoed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Week in Review

It's been a busy, busy week.

Kipp had Monday off, and it just so happened to be the Monday of the local parents' group meeting. They had a couple of guest speakers we were really interested in; a married couple in their 30s. Both of them just happen to have Ds.

It was both enlightening and sobering in some respects. Like I said, they are in their 30s, so they grew up in a much different world than our kids are growing up in now. They didn't have early intervention. They weren't mainstreamed in school. When they got married, their group of peers, a small group of adults who have Ds that they grew up with, stopped socializing with them. The reason, the young man's mother (who was up there as a guest speaker also) explained that the parents of the others wanted to avoid trouble; it's heartbreaking to have to tell your child they can't do something, and if any of them had been influenced by their example and wanted also to get married, it would have brought so much trouble to them.

The couple was so charming. The man was very well-spoken, and the woman very shy. They were both funny, and had amazing comedic timing. They both work; she is a bagger at a grocery store, and he works in the bakery at Wal-Mart. He was asked how much he makes (since he's not drawing SSI), and he informed us $10.45 an hour. The room was really impressed by this, and he grinned at us, and rubbed his fingers together in the universal sign for "mucho money."

They held hands often during the meeting. She often laid her head on his shoulder. He did almost all of the talking; she is hearing-impaired and her hearing aid is broken.

They live with his mom, who maintains guardianship over him (so they aren't legally married.) She agreed to let them marry, as long as they agreed to have the woman's tubes tied. They both love children, and were hoping to have children of their own, but the man's mother stood her ground. "There's a difference between loving kids," she said, "and being able to take care of them 24/7." The couple does have several dogs; the young woman said her dog was her baby. When asked if she was okay with not being able to have kids, she hesitated then said firmly, "No. I wanted a baby." But she sighed with resignation, and laid her head on her husband's shoulder.

They don't have drivers licenses, but the man does know how to drive. Again, his mother insisted he not get a license; she thinks he'd pass the test with no problem, but she's concerned about his reaction time, and more concerned about the rest of the drivers out there. You could see the pain in her face when she discussed her decisions about the driving and the grandbabies; they were hard decisions for her, and it hurt to have to make them.

The wife owns a 2-bedroom log cabin on her family's property out of town. The couple spends every weekend at this home alone. They do have an agency that checks on them, to make sure they have food, that the food isn't spoiled, and whatnot, but the rest they do themselves. There are lists in every room to remind them of the things they need to do to keep the house neat and clean.

That was Monday night; Kipp and I talked all the way home about future possibilities. Well, I babbled and he listened. You know how it goes.

Tuesday, I took Kiki to her pedi. Her diaper rash was just not clearing up, and it had developped blisters over the weekend. He said it looked like it had gotten bacterial, so she's back on an antibiotic. This one? Every 6 hours. Geez! We're lucky Kiki takes medicine so well.

We talked about testing her for celiac disease. I told him I'd already put her on a gluten-free diet and had seen improvements in several areas (not to mention her hair is growing back.... did I mention that?) He said since the blood test looks for antibodies, being on a gluten-free diet would most likely give a false negative if she does have it.

But this is why I like him (it doesn't hurt that he's flirting with Kiki the whole time.) He added, "Let me ask you this. Let's say we do the blood test and it comes back negative. Are you going to change her diet?"

Well. No.

"Exactly," he said. "If she's improving because of the gluten-free diet, why would you change it? And if she does have celiac disease, the only thing you CAN do is put her on a gluten-free diet. Now if in the future you need a diagnosis for some reason, like when she gets into school and you have problems getting them to give her gluten-free food, I will be more than happy to talk with them, give them a note, whatever it takes to ensure that she stays on the gluten-free diet."

Love him.

Next up, Kipp wanted her tested for diabetes. She's been peeing CONSTANTLY, and is always signing for drink. Kipp has diabetes, and excessive peeing always makes his radar go PING! PING! PING!

"Well," he said, "If we're going to test for diabetes anyway, let's go ahead and test for celiac at the same time. Might as well test her thyroid while we're at it."

Yep, love him. Not even any argument, just "Okay, let's go!"

The blood drawing was dramatic. They had to take it out of her arm, and didn't get enough out of the first arm, so we had to go to the other one for the rest. She was NOT happy. She cried and yelled afterwards, and I held her and comforted her, and just before we left, she stopped, smiled at the blood people and waved bye-bye.

Then snuffled all the way to the car. Poor darling.

Wednesday, we had our WIC meeting. She spent the whole time signing for a ball. I don't know why she thought the WIC lady had a ball, but she was insistent about it.
And then she had her ST, but her focus was way off.

Today, she had her OT, and her focus again was kind of off. For the first time ever, she actually turned her back on us and pretended we weren't there.

Now I love her OT. She's a fabulous woman, and she's been getting great results with Kiki. She tends to get boisterous when she's excited, however, and she often rubs Kiki's torso or roughhouses her when she's playing. Kipp and I don't really roughhouse with Kiki the same way; you can tell by the look on her face and her body language that she doesn't like it.

So I intervened finally and told her OT all of this. She apologized and explained that with most of her clients, exuberant and rougher feedback is often necessary due to their sensory issues. I said there was no apology necessary; she hadn't done anything harmful or anything. It's just Kiki is a different kind of kid; she responds quickly to praise, and she gets overwhelmed easily when there is loud noise or is surrounded by too much activity and motion.

Later in the afternoon we went shopping. My gluten-free pantry is getting bare. I remembered that the large grocery store in town here has a health food section, and I decided to check what they have. You know, because it's only 3 miles away, and the health food store I went to last week is like 15 miles away. Score! So much gluten-free stuff!! Yay!

And you know, now I don't have to drive all the way to another town and drive through busy big town streets just for health food. Hee! I say "busy streets" and make the woman in me who grew up in the Bay Area, CA, laugh like a school girl.

I'm spoiled, people. I'd rather drive through the woods to get to the grocery store than have to take highways and city streets. So there you go.

And that's all I have. Isn't that enough? Isn't that a lot?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hair Obsession

Okay. Last post on hair for a while. Promise. I know I'm being vain, and there are so many worse things, and I need to suck it up. BUT, just as an update, there's some fuzzy white-blond hair poking through one of the bald spots on the back of her head too. Yay!

But I had to share this because it tickled me. I told Bri this weekend about Kiki's hair loss, and that it could be permanent. "No!" she responded, "She can't lose her hair! How is she going to get a boyfriend??"

Bri is 12. Boys are important right now.

I reassured her that it wasn't certain to be permanent, and if it was, Kiki could wear a wig. This appalled her even more.

"She CAN'T wear a wig," Bri informed me. "How is she going to take a shower in middle school wearing a wig? Also, girls in school pull hair HARD. They'll pull her wig right off!"

These were things I hadn't even considered. Not knowing how else to respond, I just lamely repeated that it wasn't certain the hair loss would be permanent.

She thought for about a minute, and then smiled. "Well," she said, "we can always put her on Match.Com."

You know, we all obsess about the important stuff. It runs in the family, obviously.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gluten Free

So I went to a local health food store on Friday (I think there are maybe 2 in the area.) It was just like walking into a corner of California. Oh, it made me miss Trader Joe's. I think there's one in KC. We need to make a road trip!

Of course, health food is at least twice as expensive as regular crap, but it's for a good cause so I'm not complaining.

Kiki's been gluten-free since New Year's Eve now. As far as immediate effects, last night when I was giving her a bath, I noted her skin is now smooth! It had been so bumpy on her arms and legs for a while now. The doc had said it was eczema, and I'd been putting cream on her like crazy with no effect. Less than a week of gluten-free, and her skin is smooth. Woot!

As far as her hair goes, she's got two more small bald spots on the top of her head that she's just developed in the last few days. But, right in the front where she'd started to recede first, there's a fine, white-blonde fuzzy patch of hair growing in. Yay! I don't know that this is a result of the new diet; I know that with alopecia, the hair starts growing back in as spontaneously as it started falling out. In any case, hopefully we're turning a corner.

I've started counting her calories because she eats like a little horse. I've been telling the docs for almost a year now that I've been concerned about her slow weight gain and the fact that her growth has slowed so awfully much. They keep assuring me that it's just because she's so active. Which is true, but I wonder sometimes if they also think she's a picky eater. And she isn't! She eats lots. I've pegged her at about 900-1200 calories a day, which is just about right for a toddler (that I can glean from the 'Net, anyway.)

Hopefully, this diet will fix all that too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Taking the Bull by the Horns

My Grandma was the type of person who paid close attention to what doctors told her. She acted very dutiful and docile to them. And then she would go home and exhaustively research every prescription they gave her and every diagnosis they gave her, and then she would decide for herself which way she was going to treat it.

She was very big into holistic healing, believing that doctors tended to be too focussed on their pharmaceuticals and the symptoms rather than the big pictures. She made her own herbal remedies. She believed in vitamin and mineral supplements. She believed that diet affected us, environment affected us, mental states affected us.

She spent a lot of time pushing articles on Mom and me throughout her life, articles out of several health food and New Agey health type magazines, as well as more mainstream mags like Reader's Digest and whatnot. She didn't nag so much; she'd just cut out the articles, hand them to us, and then leave it up to us from there to read it and do something about it.

Mom told me that after Grandma died and she was going through Grandma's things, she found a whole pile of clippings, and magazines with pages marked, and notes to Mom about how she needed to read these things. So Mom read them, really read them, and she was amazed that Grandma had noted that Mom was stressed, overworked, overtired, possibly depressed, and that all of these articles were tips about how to address those issues, how to make her healthier.

My point here is, I guess, that having lived with my Grandma most of my life, I have this habit of researching. I don't just take doctors at their word. I have to know more. I have to know everything. And luckily I have the Internet, where Grandma used to have only the library and her magazine subscriptions, so it's so much easier for me.

Also having been raised by my Grandma's health consciousness, there's a very ingrained part of me that believes every health condition is an effect; there is a cause, you just have to find it. So it doesn't sit well with me when a doctor tells me, "No one knows why it happens. It just does sometimes." Just because there's no emphatically proven cause doesn't mean there isn't one; it just means it's not important enough or lucrative enough to research.

So I felt guilty about Kiki's alopecia. I cried all day. I felt like I had done something wrong to cause it, or that I hadn't done enough to stop it. I felt sorry for both of us.

And then Grandma's genes kicked in, and I went Internet surfing, and I found a link between alopecia arreata and celiac disease. And then I found a link between celiac disease and Ds. And then I read the symptoms for celiac disease, and this little bell went "Ping!" inside my head.

Now maybe I'm grasping desperately at straws. Maybe. All I know is that now that I'm taking some kind of action, I feel empowered. I feel like if I can put up some kind of battle, then even if she does lose her hair, I will know I did everything I could.

So as of dinner last night, she's on a gluten-free diet. It turns out there are a couple of health food stores in town, and one of them has a huge selection of gluten-free products. I will be checking them out tomorrow.

Being gluten-free is certainly not going to hurt her, and there's such a huge chance that it could actually improve her health, decrease her chances of developing autoimmune thyroid disease, and maybe even get her hair to grow back -- you know, we have to try it.

I feel so positively charged up right now, I don't even know how to express it. Thanks, Grandma. I love you and miss you so much.

About Me

I'm originally from the west coast, but now live in the midwest with my husband Kipp, our two dogs, my stepdaughter and stepson, and our youngest daughter who has Down syndrome.

Stats n Stuff

  © Blogger template 'Isfahan' by 2008

Back to TOP