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.

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