Monday, September 29, 2008

The downside of an active imagination...

One of the reasons I love listening to J talk these days is because he's developed quite an imagination. He plays little games by himself that I can't quite decipher, involving "1-2-3 blast off!" and "Run from the dolphins!" (??). He's starting to enjoy dress-up games where he wears different hats or his blankie is a cape -- I know, I know, I'm probably going to regret that when we're out in public and he's wearing a tattered baby blanket around his neck and a black cowboy hat, but he's still small enough for that to be cute, not weird, right? I'll ask him questions about every day things, and he makes up cool answers. For instance, he pointed out that the sun was going down, and when I asked where it was going, he replied "Into his garage." Or he'll tell me that he's going on a train to see the animals at the "zoom," and then he'll be a pirate. Hey, makes sense to me. Well, to him anyway.

But there is a downside to an active imagination. J has developed a number of fears over the past couple of weeks, both rational and irrational. He's starting to notice when it's getting dark, and suddenly he doesn't want to go up the stairs to his room if "it's dark up there." Up until now, he's been used to a pretty much pitch black room for sleeping at night because even the light from his baby monitor would keep him up. Now we've had to buy a nightlight and on some nights leave the door open because he'll start crying and even screaming about his room being dark.

Last week we had to trim the trees in the front yard, and we had branches bundled up in the garage for trash pick-up this week. The first time we had to go into the garage with those branches J stopped dead in his tracks in the doorway and immediately started climbing up my legs and crying about the "scary trees in there." To the point where we had to back the car out of the garage and go around through the front door just so we wouldn't pass the "trees." The worst episode, however, was over the weekend when we went to Best Buy to look at computers and J randomly decided they were scary and proceeded to throw a major screaming fit about going down the aisle with the computers. And it wasn't a spoiled-brat tantrum -- he was really acting scared, screaming for TH not to let the computers touch him and clutching my neck so hard he left red marks on me.

I'm a little stumped as to how to respond to some of this. On the one hand, I don't want to encourage a fear of every day things, and I know I can't always avoid things because they're "scary." On the other hand, it really wrenches my heart to hear his scared screaming because it's very different than anything he's done before, and he truly seems terrified. I wish I could describe the look on his face when he was trying not to go near those computers, it was heartbreaking. Hopefully like everything else this will be just a phase.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The kid loves his bluegrass.

If this doesn't make you smile at least a little bit, you have no soul. (And a little randomly added clip at the end just to make my day).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The next time my kid gets sick I'm taking him to a vet.

I'm always amazed when I have to deal with doctor visits, for myself or for J, at the difference between the way I treat my client/patients, and the way we are treated. I hate for my clients to wait in the waiting room for more than a few minutes, and I'm fanatic about calling them myself with lab results as soon as they come in, even if they're normal. As we all know, that's not exactly how it works at the "human" doctor.

Yesterday we had to take J to the ophthalmologist. For a few weeks he's been complaining that one of his eyes hurts, and rubbing his eye and doing this weird blinking thing. Our regular pediatrician didn't see anything wrong but because of the concern about things like childhood retinoblastoma, he recommended that we take J's complaint seriously and see an ophthalmologist for a full exam. So the appointment was made, and for the past couple of weeks I was dreading what I knew was going to be a Major Fiasco.

I tried to be proactive and make the earliest possible appointment (at 7:30am) so we'd hopefully be the first ones seen and not have to wait. Nice fantasy that was. We showed up on time, and spent 20 minutes filling out forms and answering questions not really applicable to a two-year-old (History of smoking? High blood pressure? Glaucoma medication?). After a 30 minute wait we were ushered into a room and the nurse, who obviously doesn't regularly work with toddlers, attempted to put J through the usual battery of eye tests. She allowed him to sit on my lap in the big mechanical chair, and asked him to "look to the left, then the right," or "look at the ceiling. Come on, buddy stop moving around, look at the ceiling, ok?" I'm not sure I've ever used the word "ceiling" with J, but whatever. (Side note: Their office really needs to update. At one point they held up a picture that had among other things on it, a rotary phone and said, "Point at the phone!" Completely blank look from J. A Palm Centro -- THAT he would have known LOL.) He actually did pretty well for the most part...and then came the eye drops. First the numbing drops, because as she explained, the dilating drops "can burn like crazy." So she had me hold J down, and then she asked me to hold his eyelids open because he was struggling too much and her acrylic nails were so long she was worried she'd scratch his eye. That's what she said. Then she completely missed the left eye with the numbing agent, so when she put in the dilating drop he started to scream bloody murder and thrash around. All the while J clutching me, wailing "My eye! My eye! Noooo Mommy!"

After sending us out in the hall for another 30 minutes to wait for his eyes to fully dilate, they brought us back into the same room, where J proceeded to drop to the floor and throw a major fit (understandably) about being back in the Room of Eye Drop Hell. So I whipped out the M & M's I'd brought for just such an occasion, and started to coax him into the exam chair again by promising that if he was good for the doctor he could have some candies.

And here's where I almost lost my cool with the nurse. Obviously this lady doesn't have any kids or work with toddlers much, because she had the nerve to say in her most I Don't Have Kids Yet So I Can Be Judgmental of Parents voice, "Oh, come on Mom, don't bribe him, he'll be fine." What? Did you just tell me not to bribe my kid when we're trying to force him into a giant mechanical chair for an ophtho exam? And how, pray tell, will the doctor be able to look into his EYES if he's squeezing them shut and screaming at the top of his lungs? Hell yes, I'll bribe him, thank you very much (can you tell I was a bit ticked at that?).

(Deep breath) Anyhoo...the rest of the exam went suprisingly well, considering. The doctor was actually great with J and reduced the stress level significantly just by his tone of voice. He even got J to put his chin on the little chin thing and hold still for a quick slit lamp exam. He didn't see anything abnormal, which was comforting, except...he was only able to see about 50% of the retinas because J kept moving his eyes around. You know, like a normal 2 year old. So after 2 1/2 hours of screaming, crying, freaking out, burning eyes, and now dilated eyes, we were referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist who could "probably handle a patient this age a little better," just to be on the safe side. AAAAGH! Why didn't we go there to begin with?!? You mean we have to do this whole thing again in a couple of weeks?? Yeesh. Next time J has a problem, I'm just bringing him to work with me -- at least here we're used to patients who jump around throughout the exam and have no problem "bribing" them to do what we want with dog biscuits. Just kidding. Kind of.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Please stand by...

I'm having a hard time posting lately because our home computer is still down (new computer this week, yay!!) and we've been SUPER busy at work, with you, so I haven't been able to post from there much. I've been taking alot of pictures lately, so hopefully I can get them posted later this week.

J is growing up so fast (I think this is my theme for the summer LOL). Over the weekend he wanted to talk on the phone to everyone I talked to -- Granny in Alaska, Auntie B, Auntie D, and Grandmother in Georgia. Listening to his end of the conversation is hilarious, if someone asks him what he did today it becomes a long stream of consciousness list of everything on his mind: "I play outside, wit a baseball bat, and see the doggie, and jump on the wall (?), and one two free ELEVEN!! and I ride my scooter then Mimi no no no barking! listen to Dora music and Daddy make breakfast bacon eggs and CHEESE!!! Wuv you bye-bye I wanna watch Cars." He even had a phone conversation with his friend-the-same-age, which was basically the two of them repeating the same things over and over again and then laughing hysterically.

Fall is definitely my favorite season in Vegas. The weather finally becomes tolerable as opposed to The Living Inside An Oven Experience that is summertime. We've been enjoying sitting out on the patio in the mornings and evenings, me drinking my coffee and reading (or I'll admit it, surfing Facebook from my phone), J playing in the "yard" with Mimi or lounging at his little picnic table with orange juice and grapes. I'm so glad we finally have space to sit outside and have a dog, two things we weren't able to do until we bought this house. Although on the downside sitting outside more is only making me more anxious to hurry up and get the yard landscaped. It's so sad, J has lived in Vegas all his life so he doesn't realize that packed dirt and rocks do not equal a fun backyard. He got a cool Diego sprinkler for his birthday and can't even use it because, well, would you like to run around in mud and gravel?

And finally, on a sad note...I was so stoked to take J trick-or-treating for the first time this year and answering the door for the neighborhood kids on Halloween, until I somehow just realized that we're going to be out of town on Halloween!! Bummer. On the brighter side, we'll be in San Diego, and hopefully we'll get to meet up with Rita and her lovely family. How exciting!! I might get to meet one of my blogging friends IRL!! We'll keep you posted...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What I'm thinking about at 2am when I'm not sleeping...

  • What is J going to be for Halloween? This will be the first year for trick-or-treating, I'm so excited! Someone suggested that I fluff his hair out and dress him as Napoleon Dynamite. Hmm....funny or lame? I was leaning toward dressing him as a boxer, he has little boxing gloves and everything. I guess I could ask him what he wants...
  • Should we be thinking about preschool already? J's friend-who's-the-same-age is already on a waitlist. We're such slackers.
  • We really need to get started on decorating this house. How can I get Candace Olsen from Divine Design to do my house for free?
  • Where the heck is David Cook's album? We're waiting, Davey.
  • Wow, the RNC was pretty whack compared to the DNC. I mean, seriously dude, Palin?? Seriously? And Obama had Stevie Wonder, sorry McCain, you can't beat that.
  • How can I become a work-at-home mom and not change careers? Maybe if we converted the living room into a surgery suite and the garage into exam rooms...maybe not.
  • We are so behind the curve with no DVR or TiVo. I hate when I miss another episode of Project Runway and have to wait for a random Saturday marathon to catch up.
  • Hey! I just realized! If we time it right our next kid could be born on 7-8-9 or 9-9-9! That's gotta be lucky, right? Or at least cool. We need to get on that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Buddy

Me and J have been having a renaissance of sorts lately with our relationship. I think it's mostly that he's becoming more and more interesting as a companion, and I'm getting better at dealing with the tantrums and whining. Fridays are my off day, so every week we get a whole day with just the two of us. I know to stay-at-home moms that probably sounds lame--and it sounds even lamer to me, woo-hoo, a whole day with my kid--so I really look forward to Fridays. J is my little buddy now. We lay in my bed in the morning after TH goes to work, watching cartoons or the Today show. Usually at some point, even if it's over 100 degrees outside and uncomfortably warm in the house, J will climb into my lap and tell me, "I'm cold," and then snuggle up to me. I'm not sure why he has to have the excuse of being cold as opposed to saying, "Mommy hug me," but I'll take it. Then I let him decide what he wants for breakfast (same thing every time: "Pancakes! Um, and syrup! And sausage!").

After that...we hang out. Like I used to hang out with my girlfriends in college. Maybe we'll go to Starbucks and have coffee and chocolate milk. Maybe we'll take Mimi on a walk while J talks nonstop about everything he's been wanting to tell me all week while I was away at work -- there's an airplane in the sky, that car looks like Daddy's car, the doggie was barkin' and barkin' and jumped up, the baby was cryin' and then n0-no-no J in timeout! I love listening to him.
Sometimes we cruise the mall or Target together, or pick out a craft to do from Michael's. At some point every Friday we end up Doing Art, either painting or gluing or smashing Play Doh into the table. And yeah, we also veg out in front of the TV and watch Cars for the billionth time, and some days we don't even get dressed.

This is what I was looking forward to when I envisioned being a mom. I loved my little baby but I really cherish these moments where I get to see him developing into his own person before my eyes. I often look at him and wonder what he's thinking, what does he think of us, of our life? Now that he can talk, sometimes his answers surprise me. I'm constantly amazed at how his mind works. The other day we were having a Serious Adult Discussion about the economy, and I was telling TH that I'd read a commentary about our huge debt to China, and the author said if the debt was called in we'd all have to learn to speak Chinese. And from across the room, out of nowhere, J said, "Ni-hao!" ("hello" in Chinese, he learned that one from Nickelodeon). We were floored. How does he do that? And then we had a little nervous chuckle, as in, wow, he really listens to everything we say, ha ha better watch our mouths.

It's enough to make me want another one. Eventually.