Posted by: DD | December 13, 2009

IN SUMMARY

Thank you for visiting this site that I’ve used for the past couple of years. However, it has now been retired.

Instead I have found a new home, one that I hope will be free from a couple of very specific and undesired sets of eyes. If you wish to join me about my new site, please leave a comment on this post.

If you have reached this blog because you were automatically redirected from another of my blogs after finding it via a search, you can still do a search through the side bar over there on the right.

Posted by: DD | April 27, 2011

Never Worse Than Never Ever Again?

(From the Archives: Another Child)

I read that line on a blog several days ago and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head since. Its simplicity is what I think twists me up inside even though initially I nodded my head in somber agreement.

How could I agree when I don’t have anything to make the judgement on? Mr. DD and I never experienced the “Never”, and I can’t help but wonder how differently things would be for us now if we had started on the wrong side of the statistics.

We would have been better prepared by consciously making the decision almost immediately as to what to do when we’re ready the next time. Instead we waited with our eyes shut thinking a subsequent pregnancy would happen the way it did the first time. Ironically, it did, but nothing could have prepared us for the first of three miscarriages. No one can ever be prepared regardless of the number of times it happens.

After the first miscarriage, we had to “do” a minimum six month of trying naturally, which does nothing but stress one out and it’s not fair that most physicians won’t offer a referral until you do. In our most recent cycle, I’ve learned that the now 24 months that have passed since then, waiting and trying have not increased our chances of getting and staying pregnant. I found out the hard way that in just 12 months, my ovarian reserve has pretty much dried up.

And what knocks me on my ass is that we are now experiencing the Never Again possibility without warning.

So here’s a question: is there really Secondary Infertility when there was already Primary? With Primary you already know that the next time ART will more than likely be involved. You know the lingo; you know the odds; and maybe PIF has even given you the good fortune (in relationship to the whole shitty process) of having frozen embryos awaiting you.

In an email exchange I had with someone, my eyes were opened to the idea that there is no SIF if there is PIF. I don’t mean necessarily that the second child can come easier to the IF who desires child no.2, I just mean that SIF have their “eyes wide open” to what is to come. They may even know from the moment their first child is born that they are done. They’ve accepted it and have the peace that can comes with time and having a new baby in their arms. How many times have you heard a PIF hope that they have twins the first time around and know that their family will be complete?

Here’s something that came directly from my email exchange:

“When you go straight to ART for #2, this is not experiencing SIF. That’s not hearing ‘only’ one child for a few years, that’s not your child begging for a sibling, that’s not being the only only in a classroom and being told that your time is easier/looser etc b/c you only have one.”

Another question: how can there be Secondary Infertility when there wasn’t primary? I would like someone to explain to me how Infertility has become Secondary. Secondary to what?

Even more difficult when it comes to our Secondary Infertilty diagnosis is feeling like you are squelching your spouse’s hopes that you could possibly conceive without ART. Yes, it’s possible, but highly unlikely. My husband has repeatedly told me that he feels like I’ve “written him off” (because our IF’s main cause is MF, but not the only factor). If we had had Primary, we wouldn’t have the late-night crying and under-our-breath hissed discussions that we’ve done it before without a doctor’s assistance, we can do it again. We would just be trying to figure out what are the next steps we should take in ART that have the quickest and most desirable outcome.

For me, I can only speculate that we never would have had to do the two failed IVFs which strapped us emotionally and financially. If we had had PIF, the use of donor might have been accepted without a blink of an eye – maybe not the first time, but more so the secondy time – and possibly the only heated discussion we might have had was should the donor be Irish/German or Irish/Irish decent.

Secondary Infertility is a misnomer and leads to so many misconceptions and unfounded bias. Do you think the couple who had PIF who find themselves surprisingly pregnant naturally a second time now consider themselves Fertile? I would love to see someone admit to that. So why should I now consider myself SIF when there was never PIF. And here’s even a further leap: why should I consider myself SIF when maybe we were never “fertile”? Maybe we just got lucky the first time, and then found out the hard way that we are actually Infertile.

Posted by: DD | December 30, 2009

RASH (no pictures this time) UPDATE

This is a follow-up to the post about my daughter’s rash since I’ve had many hits on it and queries as to how she is not doing:

It’s been what seems like an endless parade to and from a medical office of one kind or another lately. After waiting literally months for ZGirl’s dermatology appointment, it came and went and left me feeling a bit fuzzy in the brain – like I hadn’t ever been to a specialist before – and went away with more questions than answers.

Dr. Eyebrows, the junior of his now retired father who we originally saw last year, took one look at ZGirl and exclaimed how her condition and symptoms were exactly like his own son of the same age. I felt relief. He gave us a script for a cream, advised us to try an OTC antihistamine when things got bad, and swabbed her to see if she was a carrier of nasal staph.

Did you just go reread that last part?

Yeah. That’s where I got derailed at the appointment and failed as a parent to ask WTF. A couple weeks later I got a call from the clinic to confirm that she was positive. We’ll come back to that in a sec. At the time we were to start a nasal antibiotic right away.

For several days, we squirted an ointment up both nostrils of one very pissed off toddler. It would piss me off too.

After the treatment, her skin looked beautiful! I mean enviably gorgeous! And then a week later she was sick again with something viral (aka “cold”) and the rash and redness returned with a vengeance. Then the daycare told us that there were two confirmed cases of staph (I hadn’t told them about ZGirl’s appointment). And then the coughing and wheezing started. And then she threw up. And then the blizzard snowed us in and the in-laws out. And then Christmas came and went. And then this past Sunday Mr. DD bundled her up right away in the morning because she was getting worse and took her to the urgent care: ear and respiratory infection and the beginning of more antibiotics, this time the kind that taste like ass, even when flavored with grape, which resulted in a taste of ass covered in grape jelly.

And then finally, her follow-up appointment with Dr. Eyebrows. One I was determined to get to the bottom of with this staph infection carrier business. I spent free time googling “nasal staph infection carrier” needlessly. The nurse who called to confirm ZGirl was positive did not clarify that she was positive for another kind of bacteria – but NOT staph. Awesomeness.

Basically, ZGirl just has very sensitive baby skin and moisture followed by sudden dryness (like snot dripping and then subsequently being wiped away with a sleeve) will cause her extreme irritation. The prickly rash she gets on the rest of her body is her skin’s reaction to infections, which really does make sense when you consider the skin is the largest organ of the body. She should outgrow it eventually. Until then, if she gets really rashy about the face, we are to slather her with A&D ointment at bedtime. And that’s it.

If you are still seeking answers to your child’s unexplained rash, ask about getting a culture for staph done. Try A&D ointment, generously applied. Ask about steroid creams or try a mild over the counter cortisone cream. As for the body, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Aveeno for baby works great. Avoid highly perfumed lotions. If nothing else, vaseline after a bath. Good luck.

Posted by: DD | October 15, 2009

WHAT MATTERS

I will honestly admit that I forgot that today was THAT day, THE day set aside by someone who like me – and tragically – like too many others, felt more awareness was needed. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

And while I forgot that today was that day, I wake up every morning knowing that something is missing from my life. Would I have smiled more, cried more, loved more? Would I have found peace sooner, stopped blogging sooner?

I am reminded of a little trick I use to deal with things that hurt or irritate or anger me in which I ask myself, will it matter in 5 minutes? Will it matter in 5 days? Will it matter in 5 months?

How about in 5 years? I can tell you that for me, it has been 5 years come this November. It still matters. It always will.

  1. Pregnancy #2: Vivienne Elise – Death November 2004 at 15wks GA, EDD May 2005
  2. Pregnancy #3: Death December 2005, chemical, EDD September 2006
  3. Pregnancy #4: Wolf – Death October 2006 at 8wks GA, EDD June 2007
  4. Pregnancy #5: Death May 2007, EDD February 2008

I don’t light a candle. The small flames flicker in my heart and they will never, ever be extinguished.

Posted by: DD | September 23, 2009

NO WHY, JUST AM

Stop it. I’m hormonal and ya’all are going to make me cry.

Three things:

First, I did not die. I’m still around. I will continue to stalk follow your blogs. So stop acting so damned goofy.

Secondly, yes, Facebook. Learn it. Love it. I do. Here’s how to find me, but you’ll need to have an account to even see it. You can also throw my email into the search and find me that way, too. If you don’t know how to navigate facebook, you should. It’ll look good on your resume (but for the love of all that’s holy, do NOT friend your boss or stalker co-worker! If you’re not sure, just … don’t!). I actually can – and will – do “posts” there. There’s even a feed if you are savvy.

I also have a Flickr account. You won’t be able to see pictures of many pictures of ZGirl or XBoy unless you have an account there. Again, let me know if you want to become a contact and you’ll be in like Flynn (or whatever the fuck you’ll be in like). And guess what? You can subscribe to a feed there, too!

Lastly…Yeah. I could come back, but unless my uterus decides to pull a surprise pregnancy (oh, wouldn’t you all just LOOOOVE that) or I find out I’m dieing of some strange and funky malady OR more likely, I get so miffed about something that I just CAN’T bite my tongue another minute longer and I get no satisfaction from FB…well then, it could happen. On the other hand, I did tell my husband I quit and he’s happy about that.

OK. NOW, I’m done. All together now:

Good night, good night until we meet again
Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen ’til then
And though it’s always sweet sorrow to part
You know you’ll always remain in my heart

Good night, sleep tight and pleasant dreams to you
Here’s a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true
And now ’til we meet again
Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
Good Night!

Good night, sleep tight and pleasant dreams to you
Here’s a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true
And now ’til we meet again
Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
Good Night!

Posted by: DD | September 22, 2009

ADIOS, AU REVOIR, AUF WIEDERSEHEN

I think it’s time. You can always find me on facebook.

…until we meet again.

Posted by: DD | September 22, 2009

PREGNANCY PALS

I had a Pregnancy Pal when I was pregnant with XBoy. We didn’t start off as friends who had planned pregnancies at the same time. Instead we had met during our late 2nd trimesters at the YMCA where we both were taking the swim class. We even worked for the same company, but had never met since we worked on different campuses.

Pregnancy Pal and I were due within a week of each other in December 2001. We both were going through our first pregnancies. She was in her late-20s. I was in my early-30s. Looking at us as we climbed out of the pool you might have thought she was at least 8 weeks behind me as her bump was just that – a bump – whereas I bulged.

We became good friends.

Her son was born at the end of November. I remember coming to visit her and her baby and holding him and marveling at how small he was. Less than a week later, I delivered XBoy.

During the first couple of years, all four of us spent a lot of time together. We compared milestones in both our babies’ lives and our own. We dressed them similarly for holidays and took pictures. Soon we were talking about having our second children. Early summer 2004, she announced she was pregnant. By the end of August, I told her I was, too. We were again Pregnancy Pals.

I specifically remember how we packed up the now three-year-old boys in my SUV and made a trip to The Metro for a day at the zoo, something we had done the year before together. The boys were in the second row trying to outdo each other in noise levels, silliness, and snack consumption. My friend looked at me and announced, “Next year when we go, our baby girls will be in the second row and the boys will be in the far back!” jokingly said since neither of us knew the sex of our babies, but it was a lovely image to have.

As most of you know, in November 2004, the path my Pregnancy Pal and I had started on violently diverged. I miscarried at 15 weeks. She went on to deliver a healthy baby girl in the spring. Obviously I did not.

A rift was created that November between us. We still got together for play dates with our sons. We got together to discuss flooring options and pour over paint chips as we both were building new homes. But those times weren’t as often as before. Part of it was the constant time demand of dealing with construction decisions, but what went unsaid was the fact that we were no longer Pregnancy Pals.

Compared to her first baby, who I held when he was less than 24 hours, I did not see her daughter until she was almost two weeks old. She was on maternity leave and I was still working full-time so getting together to go for a swim, or lunch or shopping, were moments few and getting further between.

A couple years later, her husband was transferred to another region and they moved away. For the first year, she would call up when they had returned to town to visit family so that our sons could get together (XBoy took his friend’s move pretty hard, and he still talks about him), but even those times came to a stop. I don’t know when exactly the last time I saw her or her children, but I know it was before our donor egg cycle.

The other day I typed in her name on Facebook’s search and I saw her face for the first time in two years. It wasn’t just her I saw, either. Her profile picture was of her and flanking her, in a group hug, was her son and her daughter. They were both wearing back-packs. I assumed the picture was of their first day of school.

As I stared at the postage size picture on my screen, I saw what might have been.

Angrily, I also thought, what SHOULD have been.

I closed her profile screen without sending a friend request. I shut off the light above my computer, kissed my husband goodnight who was watching TV, and went to bed with my heart heavier than it has been in a long, long time.

I lost a baby and a good friend that fall. I really miss them.

Posted by: DD | September 15, 2009

THE IMPOTENCE OF A GUD EDUMACATION

Hi am from western,Nebraska i can see the concearn in this sitution. On one hand you have a old school that could be shutdown and kids would have to be consolidated. this is what happend to our town four years ago. And has not been the same since. Give this a thought there will be no friday night football games in the fall or baseball game’s in the summer. Also this will be good reason for the younger familys that are left in the community to leave cause there is no school there for there children to go to. Then what local businuss you have will start to close up plainly put with no school the town will slowly die off. On the other side of the fence is build a new school and spend allot of tax payers money wich probably is mostly older farmers and ranchers in the area wich have seen there kids go though school allready. And if they build it will it stay open in the next ten years. I would hope it would cause it might let some of existing young to want stay in the town they grew up in where they had wonderfull childhood memorys that they want there kids to have. And possibly take over dads farm or store or open one of there own. What this gets down to is without a shool you will just support the next town that keeps there school open and there business and will have to drive there to get grocerys and other items you use everyday. I hope the town XXXXXX will take the risk of building a school.

There are only 276 words in this comment to an article in our local paper. I think my eyes were bleeding by the 100th and my brain imploded somewhere around word 204.

This poor bastard is living proof of what happens when rural schools are consolidated instead of making major rennovations or building new. Please, PLEASE, don’t let this happen to your community and pay the higher taxes already.

Posted by: DD | September 14, 2009

SKIN DEEP

As ZGirl’s pediatrician predicted, ZGirl’s rash on her body cleared up within a week as did the other symptoms of a viral infection.

Unfortunately, her facial rash, which he suggested was contact dermatitis, a catchall for “hey, we don’t know what kind of rash it is or what the root cause is” kind of rash, has – as you can see – only proceeded to get worse.

2009 002

See how it’s even on her eyelids??

The picture captures one of the worst days. In the morning it looks less inflamed, but it’s definitely there. I try to put on a light coat of 1% hydrocortizone cream with a bit of vaseline over that, per doctor’s order. However, I haven’t seen any improvement whatsoever. I don’t know if it itches or burns as she doesn’t seem to scratch or rub at her face, except when she’s tired and she rubs her eyes, which is probably how it is getting transferred in the areas it is. At the onset of these symptoms, I did a little inventory of whatever I have changed. As I said in my first post about the rash, nothing has changed, except she’s on more regular foods and whole milk now.

We have her 15 month check up in a month. I’m not sure whether to ride it out until then or try to get an appointment with another dermatologist (which could take a 3-4 week wait anyway). I keep thinking tomorrow she’ll wake up and it’ll all be gone. And then I think it again the next day, and the next. It doesn’t seem emergent, but how long do we let this go on?

Thank goodness those gorgeous blues distract me.

2009 043

(BTW, the picture immediately above was taken August 24th while the first one was taken September 14th)

Posted by: DD | September 10, 2009

NINE

It’s getting late and I’m crazy-ass tired and yet – I am compelled to post. Let’s keep it brief and get to the points I wish to cover, shall we?

1 – My MIL wasn’t able to get around very well this weekend, complaining of pain in her legs. Monday a.m. she was admitted to the hospital. She needs to have her hips that she had replaced 15 plus plus years ago replaced. Mr. DD has spent every evening at the hospital as now she’s been running an unexplained fever. Once she recovers from the fever, she then will spend the next couple of weeks in a nursing home until the scheduled date of her surgery since she can’t go home as the FIL is also recovering from a surgery from a couple months ago. Getting old sucks.

2 – XBoy has brought home work every day from school that he refuses to finish in school. This on top of the regular homework, which includes 20 spelling words, like “autumn” and “September”. Is this normal for 2nd Graders? In the three weeks he’s been in school, we’ve already had the note about pushing another kid as well as the initial note about XBoy’s belligerence in refusing to do his work. How many more weeks before school’s out?

3 – ZGirl received her one year vaccinations including the first half of the flu (regular flu) shot. Mr. DD and I spent that night alternating between holding and comforting an arched-back, screaming hysterically, and feverish baby. Remind me to tell you how the next morning I opened the door on her head. I’m sure it’ll be funny in a week or two.

4 – The next day I stayed home with ZGirl since she was still running a low-grade fever. I was in the middle of getting her lunch in the microwave, running a load of wash, running the dishwasher and we lost electricity in the house. A car accident somewhere down the line. I called and bitched to my husband since he has some sort of magical power to make it come back on again if I get screechy enough with him.

5 – AND THEN tonight Mr. DD announces that we have no propane. Even though our contract with the natural gas company is “keep full” (which means to come in every month and top of the tank). The company has done this not once, but twice before. Instead of calling them tonight and fight with them later over the emergency service charges, he will call and have them deliver during normal business hours. No hot water for a shower or the endless dishes or ZGirl’s or XBoy’s baths.

6- My own post requesting advice on how to get rid of violets garnered less response than a post I didn’t even write. I’m wounded.

7 – Mr. DD and I had a huge fight. Huge. It was about money. Or should I say the lack thereof? Not being able to find a new job is wreaking havoc on our marriage. Is that oversharing?

8 – We received news a couple weeks ago that one of Mr. DD’s nephews and his wife were expecting their first baby. This weekend we heard she miscarried. Now instead of sending the congratulatory card, I need to find a sympathy card.

9 – I’ve caught a cold.

Excuse the multiple updates if you get this through a reader. I blame life right now.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event
Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need.

Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them.

Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book.

Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time.

If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

(President Obama’s speech in its entirety.)

Posted by: DD | September 7, 2009

SHRINKING VIOLET? I WISH!

Between my last miscarriage and the time we waited to be matched to a donor, I threw myself into the new landscaping around the house. Breaking a sweat alongside one of my sisters who was suckered into helping me felt good after months of months of trying not to physically exert myself for fear of….who knows what…shaking loose a potential embryo??

04.21 front yard before (5)We started with the long side of the house in front. While I think the clean and symmetrical lines of an English garden are very beautiful, that wouldn’t work on a hilltop acreage with rustic, albeit non-mountainous, views.

Last summer, the second growing season for many of the plants I was able to get in, weeds took up comfy residence in my rock bed among my grasses, hostas and hydrangeas. I could barely handle pulling weeds in the heat, much less bending over at 7 and 8 months hugely pregnant. The area suffered.

This year, while it has been better, I didn’t count on ZGirl’s obsession with the river rocks. Not the playing part; the EATING part. Now, I need to give her a bit of credit. She doesn’t actually eatthem. She puts them in her mouth and then walks around sucking off whoknowswhat from them. Is she mineral-deficient? I wonder. These aren’t pebbles I’m talking about. There are river rocks the size of figs, so big that she can’t close her mouth big. And while I can get her to spit it out immediately when I place my hand under her chin, it just gives her that moment to eyeball the next rock of her choosing.

Do I even need to mention that now is a poor time to even put her in the grass to play because the sandburs that spot the yard are now seeding? Ugh.

The weeds in the bed are way down this year, but now I’m fighting another insidious threat: the sweet little wild violet. (picture below is stock to show the spring blooms)

WildViolets

*as I shake my torch and pitchfork in fury!*

2009 103textThis is how the space pictured first above has progressed – if you want to call it that. I had a tree planted between the two windows. This summer I realized that it just wasn’t coming back. In fact when I went to dig it up, it basically just lifted out of the ground. That’s how dead it was.  The problem area is mainly below the porch.

2009 099Here’s a close up of “ground zero”. That’s a 5 gallon bucket full of violet corpes and yet it seems I’ve barely made a dent! All that green stuff in the rocks that are not either hostas or ornamental grasses? Those are allllll violets. Seriously, these little bitches are running amok in my planting bed. Searches on-line for a solution only find me in the midst of some wild violet forum where someone posts a similar plea for help and they are all but tarred and feathered for wanting to harm the sweet widdle fwowers and suggesting the Flower Hater dig up the plants and give them away to all the Violet Lovers of the world.

If I had that kind of time, I wouldn’t be looking for a way to kill them. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love violets. My aunt’s name is Violette, but she’s not taking over my landscaping, either.

Do any of you have a magic solution? If the darn things would just sprout up in the field instead of my landscaping beds, I wouldn’t be beseeching you for your help.

Posted by: DD | September 4, 2009

TASTES LIKE SUMMER

Mr. DD brought home sweet corn tonight. Even though it’s getting late in the season, many vendors around here plant in shifts about a week apart for several weeks so they don’t end up with one or two good weeks, but can sell corn for almost eight or more.

ZGirl has taken quite a fancy to it. It doesn’t even need to be cooked for her to enjoy. We can hand over an ear of corn freshly husked, and she’ll gnaw on that happily for some time. Of course, it’s much better (IMHO) cooked with a little butter and seasoning, but she doesn’t mind either way. She even stood up on the tippiest of her toes trying to grap the ears Mr. DD had just cleaned, and when she realized she just couldn’t quite reach them, threw herself into a tizzy.

cornmore

corn

 

corncheers

(Gotta wash it all down…)

cornsalute

 

Viva la corn!!

Did you notice the Husker shirt? You didn’t?

NOW did you??

Posted by: DD | September 3, 2009

270* DOWN, FINITE TO GO

Be honest with me.

Exactly how old were you when you became a responsible adult and remembered to pack tampons/pads/those crazy rubber insertable devices/etc. into your purse JUST IN CASE?

Please tell me I’m not the only woman who is most likely peri-menopausal with regular periods that STILL can’t get that right.

I’m even still struggling with getting my underwear on right-side-out on a regular basis.

Just so you don’t think I’m a total nincompoop, I have never applied a pad and THEN put my underwear on inside out. However, if you have, please fess up to take away a bit of my humiliation.

* The approximate number of menses** I’ve had.

** Funny how menses and mensa*** are so similar.

*** I bet menstruating mensa members remember to pack tampons.

I threw out a couple pairs of shoes the other day. One pair was XBoy’s that he wore into the ground over a year ago, literally since there are holes in each heel and toes. The other pair, some Merrill’s I’ve had since before I got pregnant…in 2001, that after two (term) pregnancies no longer are comfortable on my now 1 size larger feet. *ouch*

I salvaged the shoe strings from the Merrills, but as far as I was concerned neither pair were worth keeping. Now my husband, who saw them sitting in the garbage, announced that he was going to give them to Goodwill instead. I looked agog at him.

As the first (and I can assure you, the ONLY) one to notice when an article of clothing needs to be retired, which is wisdom I’ve gained after YEARS of collecting, sorting, washing, drying, folding or hanging up said articles of clothing, I think Mr. DD’s sense of quality is a tetch…warped. Every season, I try to convince my husband to reduce the number of white t-shirts – emblazoned with either Big Johnson’s tacky sayings, Fox, or Losi graphics (yes, I really am married to a 14 year old) – from 30 to 24 (just a half dozen, that’s all I’m asking). I’m lucky if I can get him to part with one.

XBoy’s growth spurt that went first o u t and then UP left him with a nearly bare closet since I was harvesting outgrown, torn, and stained clothes at the rate a Lexion 590R combine in the north 40. For you non-farm-savvy readers, that’s a lot. Ooops. Pardon me, I think my hick is showing.

I probably take a boxful of clothing to Goodwill (or Salvation Army depending on what end of town I’m on) a few times a year. I wash and very neatly fold what can be washed and folded. If it has a hole in it, I try to mend it. If the zipper is broke, I get it replaced. If I can’t fix it, it doesn’t get donated. Mr. DD on the other hand, doesn’t quite understand why I put the effort into it. Can’t they wash/mend/fix that stuff themselves?

Places like Goodwill and Salvation Army should not be dumping grounds for stuff I wouldn’t make my own kids wear, yet people take their mildew and flea infested sofas and dump them in the back of the stores all the time. Mattresses of questionable smell and color are “donated” at night. Old tube-televisions with frayed cords that don’t even work are left daily because some people think they are the perfect “project” for somebody with some free time and spare change to fix.

Let’s just take a look at that last statement: free time and spare change. Right, because that’s EXACTLY what we all have, especially those who find themselves thankful for the services Goodwill or Salvation Army provide, Free Time and Spare Change.

So back to Mr. DD and his ridiculous suggestion that I give XBoy’s torn and worn shoes to Goodwill. His argument in this case was they’re probably better than what some kids have to wear. While that may indeed be true, then instead of giving some poor kid an opportunity to wear just slightly less than passable as footwear shoes as opposed to barks of tree ducktaped to their little feet, just go out and buy an inexpensive pair of NEW shoes and donate them. Don’t assume the people who shop at Goodwill are THAT desperate or have that little pride.

Give. Give generously. But don’t give generous amounts of crap just because YOU don’t want it anymore.

*trip -THUMP-bump*

Erm, sorry. That was me falling off a soap box I didn’t know I even climbed on. Silly me.

Posted by: DD | September 2, 2009

*THE* REVIEWER

During a vacation in Vegas many years ago, I was walking down the corridor of the hotel we were staying at to get some ice. I saw what appeared to be a crumpled napkin on the floor. As I approached it, I could make out the distinct printed scrolls that frame a dollar bill. I picked it up (of course), and unwadded it. It wasn’t A dollar bill. It was a hundred dollar bill!

I scanned up and down the hallway. No one. It wasn’t in front of a hotel door, and I’m sorry but I’m not knocking on a hotel door at 11:30 p.m. to ask the person who may or may not be a hooker if she might have dropped a hundred dollar bill.

I couldn’t believe my good luck, stumbling upon a tiny treasure – a nugget of gold! I tucked it away in my pocket for later, selfishly not wanting to share countered by my desire to whoop it up in excitement when I returned to the hotel room.

The other day I stumbled once again on a bit a nugget. Should I share or keep it to myself? But it was just too good and I am so lame that surely I was probably just the last to know about it. Kind of like the FAIL Blog. I mean, I would see posts and tweets about someone doing something they thought was stupid and then appending the word “FAIL” to it and it took me forever to figure out what the fuck you all were even talking about!

I’m oblivious like that.

So I was checking out this Sophie teething giraffe that people are going ga-ga (literally) for. I remember seeing it when I was still pregnant with ZGirl and thinking, boy, that’s dumb, but with all the hype I had a renewed interest in it (I would drop $250 on a pair of Uggs if I had the money, even though I find them atrocious – just because I’m a lemming!).

sophieHere’s Sophie. Cute, huh? Amazon has it and while I think $20 is outrageous for a teether, I did pay about the same for one of those wooden teething rattles from etsy that doesn’t really rattle at all and is way too big to teeth on. A dud, really. Anyway…Sophie’s got a bunch of reviews, a vast majority of them positive. But I like to read the one-star reviews first to get to the heart of a problem, if there is one. That’s when I read this review:

A conspiracy in the making

I find it alarming just how many parents are praising this thing. As a parent, you want to protect your children. When learning about all the protective measures this toy takes, most parents would be on board. But I know better. I did a little under-the-microscope research and have reached some alarming conclusions about this toy.

First of all, the name “Sophie” (a nickname for “Sophia”) is of Greek origin. A little known fact is that the ancient Greeks oftentimes ate their young for food or sacrificed them to their many gods. Giving a baby toy a name that descends from a line of baby-eaters is puzzling.

Even more puzzling is the deliberate use of a giraffe. There are no records of a giraffe appearing in Greece in the wild. How then are we supposed to believe that this thing can be both Greek AND a giraffe if the combination is simply not possible?

This choice of species is even more alarming to anybody who has read the Greek epic “The Odyssey”. At one point in the story, Odysseus and his crew arrive on the shores of Africa and encounter none other than a giraffe. The giraffe was seen as a demonically tainted horse and struck fear into the hearts of Odysseus and his men.

Still not convinced? Look at the gallery of customer-submitted pictures. The majority of these photos feature a baby masticating the face of their Sophie toy. A cute gesture, or the only defense a baby has against the demonic animal? Think what you believe, but my research points towards the latter option.

At first I was like, wow! what kind of crack is this person smoking and where can I get me some?!

I couldn’t help myself. From there, I just had to follow the link to the reviewer, which if his name is any indication, “THE reviewer”, I should have known things were going to get interesting.

“THE reviewer” has reviewed 98 items and they go back to 2005. He even has an Amazon review of Amazon.com:

Minor Flaws….., January 23, 2006

yeah,I like this place. I like writing reviews and what not.
I have 2 complaints:
-editing reviews,whenever you do this you have to choose your rating for the product again,which gets annoying. If i want to change it, I’ll change it.

-recommendations could be a little better.

thats all I have to complain about.

Once I press “save” this becomes property of amazon.com….yay?

Maybe you just want it short and sweet and you need a review of a gallon of whole milk:

I gave this to my cat and now he thinks he is Supercat! you should see him try to fly and jump off telephone poles

But it looks like he took some time off in 2008 and then snapped (in more ways than one – see the following paragraph) right back into in 2009 (thank goodness!):

poulanNothing gets the job done like a Poulan Pro 400E!, July 23, 2009

Hi. Allow me to introduce myself. I live in a remote village located in the rural outskirts of Spain. It’s a nice little place, and me and my people have thrived there for countless generations.

Lately, however, an American agent of some sort has shown up. He seems to be looking for some missing girl judging from the picture he once showed us. Now, I’m not gonna lie, my people are aggressive. We’re not infected monsters or anything like that, we’re just aggressive. So, when the agent kept trying to break the language barrier and inform us of this missing girl, one of villagers kinda lashed out a little. I don’t think that justifies a gunshot to the head.

So, the agent gave up on communicating with us and is now just killing on sight. I took refuge in my barn and thought desperately of a way to dispose of this American. A few minutes later and I had devised a genius plan. I opened my tool shed and got out my Poulan Pro 400E. Just holding it made me feel stronger! And then, almost without thinking, I emptied out a nearby sack of flour and placed it over my head. I don’t know why I did this, but I realized how menacing I would look once I poked eye holes out of it.

There I was, with my Poulan Pro 400E, ready to bust some heads. Finding the American agent was easy, all I had to do was follow the sound of gunshots. I eventually found him capping my people outside the chief’s home. I revved up my Poulan Pro 400E and began my pursuit. The second he heard this baby running he got a terrified look on his face. He quickly switched his handgun out in favor of a machine gun and pointed it my way. Ha! Those puny bullets merely tickled my body! It was as if I had became three times stronger just by holding my Poulan Pro 400E. The agent ran out of ammunition and switched back to his handgun. This time he took careful aim at my sack-covered face. I was amazed, the flour sack provided protection from the bullets, so much that they didn’t even phase me.

As I approached ever nearer, the agent turned and headed upstairs. I can only assume he ran out of ammo and began searching for the many boxes of ammunition that we villagers like to randomly place. I followed his trail up the stairs and caught him with his back turned. This was it. I lunged as fast as I could towards him, and he turned around just a moment too late. He was now on the receiving end of my Poulan Pro 400E with a look of pure pain on his face. After seconds of futile resistance, his head was sawed off with a nice clean cut. It dropped and bounced on the floor, much like how his limp body did soon afterward.

That’s my story. What it all boils down to is this; No matter the situation, a good Poulan Pro 400E can always help. It most certainly helped me!

Who knew Amazon reviews could be the next blogging platform?

Damn. Really, Amazon? No RSS feed? Mark that down as another complaint.

You can take this link to all his reviews. If you don’t find something to giggle about, then you are dead inside…

Posted by: DD | September 1, 2009

IT IS THE BEST OF TIMES

A couple months ago, I set a goal for myself. It should have been a simple and easily attainable goal, and in the weeks leading up to that deadline, I was convinced it was going to go as planned.

After ZGirl’s first birthday, I was going to give up blogging.

I have been carrying around delusions of grandeur for years, hoping to take this community by the nipples. You might assume I’m pretty full of myself to even think it, much less profess it here, but I’m not an egomaniac. I just never realized how much pull there was in the comments and emails of strangers who are willing to take a minute or two out of their own busy schedules to let me know I’m not alone.

When you grow up use to being a wall-flower, you take whatever attention you can get, you know?

There are some days I can’t believe I would ever think of leaving this behind. It’s the days that you’ve offered a shoulder when I’ve found myself shaken to my very core, or to side with me when I think Mr. DD is being a putz, and of course to share in the greatest joy I’ve ever known. And once in a great while, I get an email – out of the blue – by someone who thanks me for being me. That’s a beautiful and humbling experience right there.

But then there seem to be more days when it just doesn’t seem worth it to even log-in to WordPress. Those days I feel as if I’m forcing the anger or the funny. I ask myself is it because I’m not as bitter? Oh, but I am. Am I angry? Hell, yes! Did I lose my funny? Did I ever have it to lose??

Like most bloggers have confessed, I do go about my day thinking, “Oh! That’d make a great post!” so I sit down at my little desk, fire up my lap-top, my thoughts jumbled and still forming like a little cauldron but then Life outside the internet takes place:

 “I’m out of clean work shirts!”

“XBoy has a Time-Sucking Function to go to at 7:00. You want to stay here with ZGirl or take him?”

“Mom, will you play backgammon with me?”

“Mumum – mumum . . .  Mumumumum! MUMUMUM!!!”

While these things get to be annoying in their repetitive nature, I also find some peace in them, because it’s all I really wanted when I started blogging in the first place. Isn’t that what we all wanted when we started blogging (whether writing or just reading) (if you were/are an infertility blogger)? To get life back to “normal”, whatever that normal was?

I’m returning to the normalcy that I envisioned, but I just feel like there isn’t enough rage, bitterness, sorrow and sarcasm to satisfy whatever your needs still are. And quite frankly, I miss having one of my posts linked to when I wrote something that spoke to your heart, your head, or even your funny bone. In fact, I don’t think we link to each other as much as we did in the past (I say with three fingers pointed back at me). Maybe I’m out of touch, or maybe we become so overloaded that we’ve become passive, if not just plain indifferent.

After taking weeks to get this out (I know. It doesn’t seem like it, but I just can’t get it flow quite like I want), I’ve realized that I won’t stop blogging as I had planned. However, I’m giving myself permission to NOT think about posting; to stop reaching for the proverbial Blogging Brass Ring – an “in” to syndication, to publication. I’ll leave that up to those who find writing an unquenchable passion. For me? I just want to stay connected with friends who saw me through my worst and know that right now, this is the best I’ll be. I’ll no longer apologize if it’s not enough for some. It’s more than enough for me.

Posted by: DD | August 28, 2009

Protected: FRENEMIES

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Posted by: DD | August 26, 2009

WHAT?! IT COULD WORK.

I was reading about what is causing our health care costs to rise and repeatedly noted that 78,000,000 (78 Million for you three-zero-comma challenged) Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age and subject to the extra medical needs that all old people need; and that these same old-farts-to-be will have at least $166,000 in out of pocket medical expenses if retiring today and living to 100.

Do you realize that if we killed off the Baby Boomers*, the U.S. could apply almost $13,000,000,000,000 to the deficit?? Of course, if you want conservative numbers since not all of these BBs will live to be 100, we could lower the estimate to $6,000,000,000,000.

13 Trillion Dollars (or a minimum of 6 trillion)!

Hey, you want to talk Death Panel? I’ve got your Death Panel right here!

*To my two sisters who are technically categorized as Baby Boomers. . .  I’ll miss you. Really.

Posted by: DD | August 25, 2009

DO YOU HAVE A SECRET KNOCK?

If you use a feed reader (Bloglines, Google.Reader, etc.), here’s a tip I use to remember passwords to protected sites.

More than likely, you will have an option to rename a subscription. Say for example, you could change “Punch Drunk” to “Self-Absorbed Hack”. . . If you wanted to, that is.

I amend the names of subscriptions by adding the password: “Punch Drunk” becomes “Punch Drunk: pw lilliputian”.

Now I can’t share my list of reads in Reader, even though I can share individual posts, so I could inadvertently and carelessly share a password. However, I would never “share” a pwp blog or post. That would be stupid. Don’t be stupid.

Bloglines does allow you to share your list, so you’ll want to be careful there.

Posted by: DD | August 25, 2009

Protected: I’M NOT A GAMBLER

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Posted by: DD | August 22, 2009

BABY JEAN, THAT’S MY GIRL

I embarrassed to admit that I am a sucker for baby girl’s clothes. The tights. The baby dresses with matching undies. The shoes. Oh, yes, the shoes! OK, so I’m actually not a sucker for BUYING the clothes, but I find myself weakening considerably when I walk past Baby Gap. And she only has three pairs of shoes.

It wasn’t that long ago that I found a pair of these jeans for ZGirl. Cute, right?

2009 006

But jeans can be stiff and scratchy and hot and just…ugh! for the little goobers. Still, cute.

But these jeans aren’t really jeans. They’re stretchy leggings, boot cut. I love boot-cut. They make the diaper butt look smaller. True for adults as well.

2009 008

I loved these “jeans” so much that I went back to the store and picked up sizes 24 mos (really? 24 mos? What’s wrong with 2T?) 3T and 4T.

The price for such an acquisition?

$16.

FOR ALL FOUR.

Here’s the secret: the store is unfortunately The Mecca for the Mental; A Bastion of the Bat Shit Crazy; The Interior Designs Supplier for the Double Wide.

WalMart.

Don’t judge.

Let me distract you from my brief lapse in sanity. Look! Cuteness that is my little Rocker Girl!  And yes, that is a drum stick in her hand. We start ‘em young here. By the way? Shirt, courtesy of the Baby Boy’s department at Target.

2009 007

Well, it’s not…

  • Chicken Pox
  • Fifths Disease
  • Hand, Foot & Mouth
  • Roseola
  • Shingles
  • Molluscum Contagiosum

But he does think it’s viral, especially since at the last visit a week ago to the pediatrician, the other guy said she had an ear infection (but I’m still rolling my eyes at that one) and the loose stools.

The rash on her face is most likely contact dermatitis, a.k.a.: Drool Face.

I know. The suspense was killing you. But now you know as much as I do about ZGirl’s rash, which really if you were to sit back in your chair and gaze up to your ceiling and contemplate, it wouldn’t be much at all.

So, uh, yeah. Carry on with your weekends, people.

Posted by: DD | August 20, 2009

RASH (with pictures)

2009 008

2009 009 closeup

 

2009 012

 

So. Now what do you think?

Did I mention here that ZGirl has another rash of some type or another?

After her week off from daycare while Mr. DD was in Boston, the Sunday before her return back to daycare (this is important), I noticed little tiny bumps under her chin, but lots of them. A couple were even on each of her cheeks, above her mouth, and on her sweet little eyelids. Her EYELIDS.

We took her to the see the pediatrician right away who diagnosed her with a teething rash. Try some hydrocortisone and vaseline, he said. Since he’s not ZGirl’s regular pediatrician, I was skeptical. He’s always been off on her past diagnoses.

The days passed and they got worse. As I described on facebook last night, she looks like a PMSing, 15 year old girl. She’s a wreck. A hot mess. Not only that, the rash has spread to her trunk, groin and upper back. Like a prickly heat rash.

The daycare noticed that when she first shows up in the morning, she doesn’t look bad. By the end of the day? See the “Hot Mess” comment above.

HOWEVER, I have to admit that I don’t think this is daycare related. Remember how I said they started showing up after her week off from daycare?

It was suggested that it might be a yeast rash, which it kind of looks like. Another suggested was hand, foot & mouth infection, which I don’t think it is because the sores don’t open and she eats well (no inside mouth sores) and no fevers.

I’d post pictures for you M.D.’s out there (or M.D.’s via Google), but I haven’t had much time to do more than eat supper when we all get home for the day. I’ll try to later as once we figure this out, it might be helpful for the next person.

I did get some new detergent, dye and perfume free, and rewashed the clothes and blankets she was going to use today. We’ll see what happens.

OOOH! I just had another thought: she on whole milk exclusively. Could that possibly be it? Regular formula and she drank whole milk in limited quantities before. Her colon has been on overdrive as well, going from one regular BM to now at least 4 to 5. Thoughts? Opinions??

BTW, in 30 minutes I’ll be at the dentist’s with XBoy. I’m going to find out if they can give him something other than (or in addition to) nitrous since I think we will go ahead and get those baby teeth pulled, but not today.

Posted by: DD | August 18, 2009

MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED

There are days that I get so angry and worked up, I can barely complete a simple task *.

I am angry that I have to consider a job opportunity 30 miles away. Maybe not a big deal to you city dwellers who are accustomed to a two hour commute one way, but this farm girl with a penchant for instant gratification will find the drive an equivalent of water boarding.

I am angry that the people yelping the most about the healthcare reform are those who HAVE healthcare. A (conservative) friend of mine said that the reform will just make those who don’t have insurance (because they are on Medicaid or don’t have a job) more likely NOT to get a job. It’ll “keep e’m lazy”, she said. Hey, that’s just awesome. Thanks for lumping me in with that group. So reward those who are on Medicaid by letting them KEEP Medicaid and let the few like me who don’t qualify for any healthcare without facing bankruptcy suffer for the many. Perfect answer.

I am angry that the people who proclaim their patriotism the loudest are the ones who love to throw around endearing terms like “King Hussein”. I get the whole “freedom of speech gives me carte blanche to spew my verbal diarrhea”, but don’t preach to me how you think this whole country is going in the shitter because of “King Hussein”. It’s going to the shitter because you’re an ignorant, fear-mongering, vitriol-filled, a-hole that does nothing but BITCH to anyone who will listen instead of educating yourself.

In addition to the previous paragraph, I’m angry about the endless and utterly ridiculous comparison of President Obama to Hitler. See both the Rude Pundit’s and Suz’s posts for a couple of succinct and eloquent summarizations.

I am angry that some ignorant woman believes she’ll carry her twelve fetuses to term and give birth to them NATURALLY and that she’ll get to hug them, and squeeze them and call them George, Jr., George III, George IV, etc., etc.. Actually, I’m sure that the healthcare in Tunisia is quite topnotch, especially since it must be an international hub, squeezed there between Algeria and Libya. Anyone else find it unbelievable that the expectant mother claims to be carrying six boys and six girls? I doubt that she’s even beyond 9 weeks, much less far enough along to make out the sex of each baby. I bet Suelman is pissed to be not just one-upped, but four-upped!

I am angry that while a certain Holy Roller Christian Blogger pleaded for forgiveness for stealing content from another More Famous Blogger under the guise of, “I just read her book and her words were so true!”, no one seems to have noticed that Holy Roller stole the words of another Not As Famous Blogger and since now Holy Roller is moderating her comments, her readers are faithfully continuing to follow her and stroking her poor, sweet, innocent head and telling her how wonderful and God-fearing she is and “of course we forgive you as you certainly meant no harm to More Famous Blogger who is siccing her evil minions upon you”… and I want to fucking choke someone. If she stole from two bloggers, she’s stolen from more and no one seems to care.

I am angry because I care that no one cares and that I shouldn’t care. It’s none of my damned business anyway, right?

I am angry that I’ve procrastinated until the very last evening before school starts to write my son’s name on 64 fucking crayons and sharpen 48 fothermucking pencils (oh, and yes, I have to get his name on them, too) and resist the temptation to just shave XBoy’s head bald tonight while he sleeps since there won’t be any time to get it cut according to the school’s policy before Wednesday morning! Not to mention that the yard hasn’t been mowed in three weeks and I am out of diapers. Well, *I’m* not out of diapers; ZGirl is.

* And dammit! Why the hell can’t I get two goddamned paperclips separated?! It’s not brain surgery!

…and so…

Just WHAT exactly are YOU angry about today?

Posted by: DD | August 14, 2009

Michael Vick was making $35,000 a year as a shop mechanic before serving a prison term after he was found guilty for torturing dogs. After serving his time, another mechanic’s shop hired him.

No one in the community, much less the nation, batted an eyelash. Not so True story.

So is everyone in a tizzy over his reinstatement into the NFL because instead of only making $35K, Vick stands to make $1.6 million? Or is it because we are under some false impression that pro-athletes need to be pillars of inspiration to the community and its children?

I’m usually the first to throw any nutless, animal abusing, asshole under the bus, but I’m not sure why – out of the obscene number of wife-beaters, drunk-drivers and petty-larceners – anyone is depleting their reserves of indignant anger on this inhuman waste of space.

Posted by: DD | August 11, 2009

A SLINKY SHE IS NOT

ZGirl fell down the stairs at my SIL’s house this weekend. In a moment of brilliant parenting, I let her toddle off to the living room while I sat in the kitchen. Of course I knew there were stairs, but didn’t think about it. I’m only guessing what happened since my nose was buried in a wine glass, but it would seem she decided to follow one of the older toddlers up the stairs. It wasn’t until I heard a bumpity-bump-WHUMP, followed by high-pitched screaming did I come running.

I found her on the third step from the bottom, in an open-mouthed-carp-out-of-water launch for the next unholy screech that was delivered in full red-zone audio directly into my ear canal as I snatched her up into my arms. The steamroller finally stopped backing over the cat, which was stuffed in a waterlogged set of bagpipes no less than 10 minutes later.

XBoy, who was sitting on the floor playing, said she fell all the way down from the top. I almost ripped him a new one since obviously he witnessed not only the fall but the ascent to where he knew she shouldn’t be, but hello? I’m the mom. I was the one who failed Parenting 101.

She’s fine but for the rug burn on top of her head.

I’ve been mentally flogging myself with a crap-filled diaper that’s been left in the 100 degree heat and humidity since then, all the while with each sloggy thump, I’m chanting, “stupid!, stupid!, stupid!”.

Posted by: DD | August 10, 2009

NOT SO STILL WATERS

We were at my SIL’s this weekend for supper, and while sitting there digesting, SIL’s daughter asked her mom if could have the bunk-beds that were in the spare bedroom.

. . . Just in case they “decide to go for a third one”.

Wouldn’t you know? Hearing how easy it is for most to manage their family size when they do nothing more than think about it is still like a punch to the chest.

I use to try to be magnanimous and would say that I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what we did, but you know what? I wish it was more difficult for the average couple to conceive and deliver a child.

I could gloss over my reasons by saying maybe they’d appreciate their children more; maybe there would be fewer abused children; maybe there would be fewer neglected children.

But really, the reason I wish that it wasn’t so easy? It’s so I wouldn’t have to feel so disconnected from my husband’s family who I once felt a great bond with, in the beginning, before our first miscarriage.

It’s immediately apparent to a couple when there’s a miscarriage or a failed cycle what is gone, but I think the hardest long-term loss has been the repeated sense of not being normal, of not belonging.

That painful rock had settled to the bottom of the pond long ago, but I still feel the rippling effect on my heart almost every day.

ripple

Posted by: DD | August 9, 2009

DO WE LIKE OUR VIDEO MONITOR?

This will be a quickie, since Mr. DD (who arrived safe and fairly sound last night from his week-long trip to Boston) thinks I’m doing something productive like creating an ebay listing…

The video monitor we have for ZGirl is actually a combination of a small screen TV and a home-improvement store-bought surveillance camera. Combined, the cost was only a tad more than buying a good quality “baby” monitor, but the benefit was worth it.

I’m basically as blind as a bat without either my glasses or contacts. The small screen TV sits on my nightstand and it’s about a 11-13″ flat-monitor screen so it actually takes up little space (if you had to, you could mount it to the wall). Those baby monitor screens run about 5-7″ and that just won’t cut it. Granted, my version isn’t portable, but we also use audio monitors so IF we had to go outside or whatever, we could still be within shouting distance.

It’s fun watching ZGirl play in her natural habitat without her knowing we are watching. We’ve caught XBoy going in there in the mornings to entertain her and that’s cuter than heck, too.

I would only warn you that if you decide to get any kind of video monitor that has infrared for night vision that your baby’s eyes will glow creepily when they are open at night. It can be a little disconcerting at first.

Posted by: DD | August 8, 2009

FREEZE TAG

The other night as I had given the house the equivalent of a whore-bath once over, I went in to check on the now sleeping kids. I shut off XBoy’s desk lamp and then headed to ZGirl’s room. I heard her as she restlessly rolled from side to side, but assumed she was still asleep.

When I peeked into her crib, I saw her big eyes staring up at me.

Shit!

I froze like a statue. Stupidly, I thought if I didn’t move she couldn’t see me in the dark. But babies are like bears. Their keen sense of smell can make out maternal exhaustion, which triggers their innate Play mechanism, even at 11:00 at night.

She lifted her head to get a better look at me and smiled this ridiculously cute smile at me.

Me? I’m standing there, halted in mid-step, still not moving.

“Really, ZGirl, it’s just a statue. Go back to sleep. You’re dreaming that mommy is standing by your crib.”

Mentally projecting those thoughts didn’t help. I’m not sure why.

I couldn’t stand there all night and had to make the decision to do or die. So finally I reached in and stroked her face and whispered good night and quietly left the room

I lucked out. She didn’t make a peep and went back to sleep.

Next time, I’ll just go to my  room and check the video monitor.

Or send Mr. DD into the bear’s den.

**********************

I sent out a Desperate for Friends request on facebook. If you got a request from a women wearing strange glasses too big for her face, and her first name starts with D and her last name starts with D, that’s me.

Also, if you have a facebook account, you can find me using my email address: ddattko (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Posted by: DD | August 5, 2009

BABY, LET YOUR HAIR HANG DOWN

Hair 1 Year Ago

Hair 1 Year Ago

Towards the end of this past school year, XBoy announced he wanted to grow his hair long(er). What the hell, we both thought. How long could it really get before he had to go back to school and conform to their appearance requirements of short hair for boys (not covering the ears or past the collar of their uniform)? We agreed with the understanding that once school started, he’d have to get it cut.

Open any catalog or magazine featuring boys XBoy’s age – 6, 7, 8 – and you will most likely see my son’s hairstyle. It’s longish, kind of a skater-dude appearance, and really what I would consider unremarkable in the sense that it doesn’t turn heads. However, he’s had several compliments from his peers on how “cool” his hair is. My kid won’t brush his teeth unless under extreme duress, so to see him take great pride in keeping his hair (relatively) clean and combed is impressive.

I’ll just say it: I like his hair long(er). He stands out amongst the children of Nebraskan conservatives on the playground.

Unfortunately, I find myself thoroughly annoyed with my in-laws, XBoy’s grandparents, who tease and mock him because of his hair. “Sorry to hear your barber died,” he says; “Do you need a little bow ribbon to hold your bangs out of your eyes?” she says.

I’ve told my son to not let their teasing bother him. As his parents, if the hair was a problem, we would let him know. I even told him that he should challenge his grandfather. Tell him that for $100, you’ll go get your hair cut. I tell XBoy that because his grandfather WOULD give him $100 for a stupid haircut, just so he wouldn’t have to be seated across from some hippie child when out in public.

How it must have annoyed my father in-law when in his youth, Mr. DD grew his hair to the middle of his back…

So what’s wrong with a little mild teasing? you might think. Then consider this: how would you feel if you had a little girl XBoy’s age who decided to cut her hair really short and then adults teased her, saying “You need to grow your hair out. You look like a boy!”? That doesn’t happen. Or if it does, it’s because those adults are bigger assholes than I could imagine.

And I can imagine pretty big assholes since the ones I actually know rank right up there.

My hair is short. Currently it’s much shorter than XBoy’s. If someone in my family – including in-laws – implied I should have longer hair so I look like a girl, I would schedule a G.I. Jane cut within 24 hours. I kid you not. I have no emotional attachment to my hair. I’ve never liked it and frankly, whenever I watch What Not to Wear and some chick is sobbing into her locks of freshly cut hair, I want to reach through and smack her. It’s HAIR. If you truly hate the cut, it’ll grow back. Jeezus. Deal with it.

0709vXBoy is developing his own style, and as long as it’s harmless in his experimentation, why shouldn’t we encourage that?

Preemptive Side-note: While someone could construe this post compared to the previous one as hypocritical (getting him to fit in when it comes to his smile, but encouraging his nonconformity when it comes to his hair), it only takes a couple moments of thought to realize that if he really felt uncomfortable with his hair, he could simply change it and the next day he’d be like everyone else. His teeth? Not so much.

Posted by: DD | August 4, 2009

HE LEFT ME

He left me Friday afternoon. He finished work early, packed and drove away.

Mr. DD left us to take his dad to Boston to see family, and we sorely miss him.

My phone has gone kaput on me, probably due to an unusually high humidity, especially when surrounded by a teething baby’s mouth.

What is it about phones and babies, anyway? She has a toy one, but NOOOOOOoooo. What do you take me for, she says when I try to perform the ole’switcheroo, a Baby?! Stupid Mommy.

With my phone’s keyboard failing, I’ve had to use the blue tooth in the van. Handy that. Kind of.

I have to go out to the garage and turn over the engine. Talk about a huge cell phone. And no, we don’t have a land-line.

During his absence, I’ve developed an unusual love of the styro-nut chair. You might know it as a “bean bag chair” but since they replaced the beans with those horrible Styrofoam peanut thingies, I can’t call it a bean bag chair.

Anyway, it makes a nice cocoon for ZGirl when I just don’t have time to hold her when it’s time for a bottle. Yes, she can hold her own bottle, but well, I feel a bit guilty laying her down on the granite counter-top and handing her a bottle. Kidding. I don’t let her lie down on the counter; she sits on it – legs dangling over the edge.

Mr. DD returns this weekend. I can’t wait. To all the single-parents out there: We at Budweiser salute you, Ms. (or Mr.) Styro-nut Chairs Are For Amateurs since Real Parents of Genius would place their baby in the kitchen sink filled with last night’s dirty dishes and proceed to feed and bath the baby, and do housework in one fell swoop.

Posted by: DD | August 3, 2009

THANKFULLY, STILL NO BROKEN ARM *knock on wood*

A year ago in May is when XBoy had the accident at daycare that resulted in all four front baby teeth being pulled. The link to that post actually will just bring up the comments because at some point I cut and paste the post without actually pasting it anywhere. The words have long been lost.

He was riding a little scooter around on the gym’s floor and for whatever reason, he decided to use his face as a brake on the bleachers. After meeting my husband with a bloody-faced child – being such a big-boy in spite of the pain and fear and blood – at the dentist’s office, we were told that we were fortunate in that the damage was limited to the baby teeth.

Ooooh! An illustration!

Ooooh! An illustration!

The x-rays showed his two permanent middle teeth (central incisors) were just about to emerge (the baby teeth were already loose before the accident) and the teeth on either side (lateral incisors) were still quite high and would come down much later. About six months ago, after the two central incisors were fully emerged, I noticed there was a considerable gap between the two. The space that had been meant for four new teeth appeared to be compromised.

I first saw his dentist, who thought I better see an orthodontist. The ortho poked around, but advised us to wait and see and check back later.

Now it is later and while I had hoped that I would get good news, we didn’t. So typical of those dental types, wouldn’t you agree?

XBoy’s poorly spaced descent of the centrals were not the result of the accident, but due to both of his parents passing on a less than perfect labial frenum. Mr. DD’s sister had a substantial gap (diastema) between her teeth. The gap between my teeth was perfect for holding straws (if you goal was to store a couple of straws between your teeth), so about 20 years ago I had my dentist fill it in. God bless those who revel in their gap-toothed smiles. I just didn’t have the confidence to pull it off.

And I don’t think XBoy will, either. Not to make a snap judgment call about physical beauty, but he already struggles with the stigma over the first few months of behavioral issues last fall in school. If I can prevent future teasing, especially when it comes to his appearance, I’ll do it without hesitation.

That brings me to the ortho’s opinion on XBoy’s current situation. With the two central incisors taking over the space that was meant for four, we now must make a decision to either do a) nothing and check again in 6-8 months and see if the lateral incisors are finally descending; or b) pull the baby canines to create room for the lats.

The concerns we have with either choice are based on pure speculation. The wait-and-see certainly seems more appealing. ANYTHING seems more appealing than having two teeth pulled especially when said child is capable of losing his shit over something as innocuous as a hang nail. The problem is that the waiting usually only puts off what’s inevitable. Worse case is that these teeth, denied the ability to descend, start growing their roots up too high and curling around where they shouldn’t be so when we finally do end up pulling the baby teeth (or they fall out on their own), the lats will be even slower to emerge.

Slower as in, y-e-a-r-s. XBoy could be eleven or twelve years old and have only two top teeth in the front to smile with. We’re talking pre-teen here; middle school. Do YOU remember what it was like in middle school? You’re hormonal, checking for hair where you’ve never had hair; actually washing and combing the hair you’ve had; and no longer able to pretend you’re skeeved out by the opposite sex. We all know kids are insatiable when it comes to picking on other kids (a form of deflection, don’t you know), but when they’re ‘tweens, they can be downright evil in their cruelty.

You can understand why I don’t want to have XBoy’s nickname to be “Gopher” or “Bugs”, right? I can assure you personally, Gopher is a shitty nickname.

And as I said, Option B is to just pull them now and get the ball rolling. Yes, it is a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul since it requires the hole left by two teeth to bring in one and he will probably be playing catch-up when it comes to making room for any upper teeth. This is only the beginning since it’s very probable that he will end up with braces down the road in what the ortho described as a “comprehensive treatment” plan or the ortho’s “down payment on a private jet” plan or our “say goodbye to your university education and heLLOOO to the community college” plan. But I think – I HOPE – it’ll be the right choice for now.

I am just full of angst over the idea of causing XBoy any pain, but I know it’ll be fleeting. He won’t understand until he’s much older that the painful experience of teasing for being different is something he won’t simply outgrow. As his parents, we don’t need to make it easier for the other kids to find something to zero in on. I for one am not part of the camp that believes that kind of bullying builds character.

By the by, why the hell are my posts so long? Really? I want them to be short and sweet but they just get away from me… I was able to boil this all down to my husband via a phone call in like 10 seconds! Sheesh. If I’m going die of boredom, I’m taking y’all with me, Bitches!

Posted by: DD | August 1, 2009

SHE MET HER MAKER

It can’t be All Gloom, All the Time here at the happiest place on earth, Punch Drunk World, so I’m going to share a very happy and momentous event that took place a few weeks ago.

I had to take ZGirl to see a dermatologist in The Metro. She had (and still is getting) these little “pimply” bumps on her skin, one at a time, in random locations, and I wasn’t able to get diagnosed by either a family practitioner or her pediatrician. I thought they might be mollescum, but they aren’t. The “specialist” said they are manifestations of ZGirl’s cold virus in her skin…What the hell??

That is all besides the point. I left early in the morning with the intention of getting to The Metro to visit my old RE’s clinic and introduce ZGirl. I had sent a birth announcement a year ago, but in all this time I had been unable to make it down there with her due to 1) their wonky hours of “earlier than hell”; and 2) my fear of traveling by myself with one cranky infant in the back.

Luck would have it that not only was I able to leave at the crack of dawn (get it?? the crack of DAWN???? hoo! – I slay me!) in order to make it there before the RE left for rounds, but I had both XBoy and my mother to help keep the high maintenance princess happy. ZGirl, in case you were wondering.

I will remind you that the RE who we started with, Murdock, left right in the middle of our donor egg cycle. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this until almost six weeks later when I came in for the ultrasound. For those who may have read through archives and kept seeing a reference to my pregnancy and “Murdock”, that was what we nicknamed the baby as ode to the doctor who got us to that point.

It was Doherty who was our RE once we became pregnant, and we are appreciative to her and the staff for what came across as genuine care and excitement.

When I carried ZGirl into the waiting room that morning, I was glad to see it was empty. The receptionist did a double take, recognizing me even though it had been nearly 18 months since my last appointment there. A couple of the nurses and the PA all came out to meet ZGirl and while I thought that I had missed the RE since it was later than I had hoped when I arrived, she was still in the clinic. She rounded the corner and also recognized me (or at least did a great job appearing as she did) and gushed over ZGirl.

This clinic, the most hated place on earth when any one of my nine treatments failed or were in the midst of failing (I mean, come one! This was where I heard Dr. Murdock tell me during my second ultrasound with Wolf, “This is not going to end the way we had hoped.”), is also the place I will be forever emotionally indebted to (even though I feel as if we would be forever financially indebted to as well) and can think of it with fonder thoughts.

Thank you, Dr. Murdock and Dr. Doherty, for believing it could be done when we had stopped believing in ourselves.

maker

Posted by: DD | July 31, 2009

REJECTION

I arrive to pick up ZGirl from daycare. At the end of the day with just a hand-full of kids left, they are all together in the big room. I peek around the corner on the way past to get her bag and caught her eye. She doesn’t smile back. I continue on figuring once she notices I’m no longer at the door, she’ll come looking for me.

I gather her things and return to the doorway. One of the caregivers has picked her up and is standing there. ZGirl is still somber, quiet. I reach for her, but she doesn’t reach back. I gently peel her away from the woman holding her and just as I have her rested on my hip, she begins to cry and wail and reach out…

…for the caregiver.

I hand her back, smiling, wounded. ZGirl stops crying. We talk about her day. Everything’s been fine.

I reach out again thinking this time she’ll reach back. She doesn’t.

Again, I take her back into my arms and she cries and reaches forcefully away from me. I hand her back, not wanting her to be upset when we leave and watch as she not only stops crying but curls up in the arms of the caregiver and averts her face.

I still smile, hiding the hurt as I pretend to look at her journal entry for the day, blinking back tears.

Posted by: DD | July 28, 2009

EXORCISING THE FEAR

Fernando Schnabl lost his wife and five year old son when Flight 447 went down in the ocean earlier this summer. Did you know that he and his daughter boarded an earlier flight because of their fear of flying together “in case something happened”?

The fiery accident on New York’s Taconic Parkway took the lives of a 9, 7, 5 and 2 year old.

A local family’s two year old died after he drowned in the pool.

What happens to you when you read or hear about these tragic accidents?

Physically, I seize up in terror. I can feel my heart pound. My throat tightens up. I fight back tears. And then my mind does something so horrible that I can barely function: I imagine ZGirl or XBoy in that situation. Like right now, I’m doing it.

And that’s why I must write about it. It’s been happening a lot recently. It started one night shortly after the crash of 447 as I was just on the verge of falling asleep when suddenly the mental picture of my daughter’s lifeless and tiny body floating out there alone and cold came to me in searing imagery …I started to hyperventilate… even now, trying to describe the morbid thoughts, I am fighting to control myself, to breathe.

I must purge these thoughts. I have to find a way to banish these visions that send me to the bathroom retching in fear. I must face these mental demons before they consume me. My husband wants to go to the beach next year. A few months ago, I would have anticipated the chance to finally take a vacation. But now I have become so paranoid that all I could do was answer, “We’ll see.” I don’t want to get on a plane with my children. I can’t explain what is going on in my head to Mr. DD. He would only tell me that I’m worrying needlessly; enabling what was once a non-existent phobia.

Is this normal? Not just to fear the worst, but to imagine the worst? I feel paralyzed and that in some way, it’s a sick mind that allows imagery of such awfulness.

Posted by: DD | July 27, 2009

OH SNAP!

If you were wondering if while shopping for fall and winter clothes you should go ahead and get that size 18 mos onesie? Take my word on this: don’t.

Onesies are THE DEVILLLLL once a baby is capable of standing and walking on their own. At this stage, I prefer the bag ‘em and tag ‘em form of dressing when it comes to the thrashing, screaming, feral girlchild.

Posted by: DD | July 25, 2009

LOVIES

On the way to do some school supplies shopping (SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL!!! SCHOOL STARTS IN LESS THAN A MONTH) I had a horrible thought cross my mind. ZGirl has developed a crush on a stuffed animal, a Ty plushie given to her as a gift. Of course, that’s not the horrible thought even though it is a whole lot of pink and purple rolled into one and IN THE FORM OF A UNICORN!

Yes, I’m shouting. Too much coffee.

The thing is, we only have one of them. I need to be like Serenity who wisely has three of her son’s lovies in her possession.

XBoy’s “lovies” ended up being all of the cloth diapers we bought to use as burp clothes. I’m sure at one time we had a couple dozen of them about, of which one by one they would disappear. I remember one being left intentionally on the shopping mall’s tile floor covering a puddle of slushie XBoy had dropped when he was probably around three because at three years old we have to carry our own goddamn drink and then spill the entire contents all over the damn floor where someone could easily slip and sue the mall management. I actually had one of the shop workers call maintenance but after waiting for five minutes with an inconsolable toddler, I decided that losing the burpie, which was much easier to see on the floor than a melting pile of banana slushie, was simply cutting my losses.

Today he still has a couple left: his Burpies. One that is is absolute favorite. Probably because it has gone through the washer and dryer so often that it is now as fine as tissue paper and almost sheer.

It took a couple dozen of those bad babies to make it seven years. With that revelation, I knew that one beanie baby wasn’t going to make it through ZGirl’s formidable years as a toddler. So the hunt is on for one retired stuffed animal. I’ve already found a couple and will be swooping in on ebay to get them when the time is nigh.

Why couldn’t she have developed a penchant for a roll of toilet paper or a plastic shopping bag? Those, I have plenty of.

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