Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gotta love people's stupid questions...

Here is a list of stupid questions people ask adoptive families:

Still laughing after reading some of the answers parents wish to say but don't say!

I am very familiar with stupid questions because of being nearly blind. Here are a few.

You should see some people's reactions when they realize I have a degree. Really? From Mt. Holyoke College, one of the sister schools? Yes, my eyes don't work so well, but my brain is just fine, thank you very much, dumb ass!

You use a computer? Yes, it looks just like yours, but it's cooler because it talks! And I'm cooler than you because I type 60 words per minute and I've never been able to read the keyboard! Yup, I rock! Plenty of sighted people out there do it, I know, but, somehow, it's shocking when you hear a blind person does it too.

Geeky Entrepreneur's favorite: and what will she be having?
His response: I don't know. She can't see very well, but she can hear you just fine. Ask her.

He has said this, plenty of times!

Different topic: you have to wean her. When are you going to do that? Why does she still do that? She's too old for that.

You mean nursing? Well, you see, it's none of your business. It still helps her immune system. We'll wean whenever the hell we want, by the way, you nozi ass!

For the record, I welcome questions about anything, be it about my visual impairment, about how this may impact my parenting style, about breastfeeding, anything... It's all about how people ask questions, the words and tone they use. So, if you want to ask anything, feel free. Ask on here or email me.

What are some of the stupid questions you're asked?

The questions and hypotheses of a three-year-old

Last Wednesday was a short school day so I decided to stay at school and hang out with a mom of a child in Ari's classroom. We were sitting right outside Ari's classroom. Every now and then I could hear her voice.

At one point I heard this:
"Karen (a teacher), you take shower today?"

What? Did my child really ask this? She asked her teacher of all people?! Yes, she did, I'm pretty sure!

At one point today Ari said her mouth was hurting. Not quite sure what she meant by that. What I thought was interesting, to say the least, was her theory:
"Maybe my mouth stop hurting when I pee."

She pees. When she is done, she announces:
"Oh, my mouth still hurting. That did not work."

Can't make this crap up! I love it, absolutely love it!

Oh, the other day she insisted on bringing a book to bed. She fell asleep with the book on her hands. She remembered in the morning and asked for it right away. Like father like daughter. That's all I have to say!

So long as she doesn't do this in the bathroom for hours each day, it's all good. If she starts imitating her dad that way, too, I'll be having some chats with my two favorite people in this world! You have no idea how grateful I am that there are two bathrooms in this house. People, really, it's not like toilets are comfortable! I don't get it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Open Adoption/Bone Marrow Donation Story

I just came across this:

A must-read, me thinks. Beautiful. A child was adopted via an open adoption. In other words, the families knew each other. Maybe it was exchanging photos, phone calls or a few visits a year. Either way, they could communicate with each other.

Over 15 years later, the child needed a bone marrow transplant. Apparently, it is very hard to find a donor for multiracial people. The family knew the birth family. A birth sister was a perfect match and saved the girl's life.

Please consider registering with Be the Match. The registration process is incredibly easy. You fill out a form online. You get a kit in the mail to do some cheek swabs. You get your card. That's it. You may or may not end up donating. It depends on who out there needs a bone marrow transplant and whether or not you and that person are a good match.

Please, please think about it. You know you want to! Some day it could be you or me, your sibling or mine, your kid or mine.

Here is a link to the Be the Match frequently asked questions:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Impish in sickness and in health!

That's my kid!

Amor Chiquito was about to eat a piece of bread. She loves Italian bread, just like her daddy.

Daddy told her to please sit at the dining table. She grabbed her plate and went to the couch.

Me: Ari, that is not the table, silly goose!

Ari: Yes it is, mommy. I pretend!

Me: What are you pretending?

Ari: The couch is the dining table. I pretending!

Crafty kid! Clever! So, so impish, but oh how I love it!

Go away, germs!

Last night we had a hellish night. Amor Chiquito went to bed early, around 7pm. A lot of good that did me! I was trying to finish a consulting project. I told my client I would get him the final transcript on Monday morning. I know I don't have much of a brain in the morning, so the plan was to finish the project after Ari went to bed on Sunday night.

Back to Amor Chiquito, by midnight she had been up five times. She always woke up crying. I heard things like "daaadeee, maaamiii, I see something." Sounded like nightmares to me. Probably was. Nightmares are common at this age. Kids are afraid of things. They can imagine almost anything. They go to sleep and all the ugly stuff they are afraid of shows up in their dreams.

On the up side, Amor Chiquito did very well hanging out with Daddy. She usually wants me at bedtime. They actually took a nap together. Then I flushed the toilet. Bad, bad move, apparently! She woke up and she was ready to party at midnight! We were up for hours. Sometimes it feels like it's really hard to be nice to your kid!

When I crawled into bed with her I realized she had a fever. It wasn't very high, but it was definitely there. I can always tell from touching her hands and because her mouth feels particularly warm when she nurses.

Here we are. Lots of snuggling. Lots of mommy holding Ari time. Lots of time in bed, which is very unusual for her. No appetite. A very runny nose. Red, teary eyes. I don't know if the red eyes have something to do with the cold or if she is developing pink eyes or something else. So I'll be talking to a nurse tomorrow morning. I've learned all about colds and tummy bugs. This is my chance to learn about eye stuff!

I am very happy that the transcription project dropped on my lap and that it gave me plenty of work for two weeks. But I am also very happy that I am done now and that I can spend day and night, if need be, cuddling with my little girl, who feels particularly little when she is sick. That is the one good thing about having a sick kid: you really get to snuggle with them. You can hold them forever and they don't care. After a while, you start to miss your super active kid, though!

Cooties, be gone! We just got over a cold and a stomach bug less than two weeks ago. Oh, and we paid for a Montessori tuition for my child to have a blast in school and learn stuff, not for her to be home feeling yucky!

Hope you and your relatives are staying healthy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just don't do it!

Don't let your child eat in front of your laptop, that is!

Duh! Makes perfect sense!

Here is the story! Ari woke me up at six A.M. this morning. She wanted to watch Diego and she wanted to eat. I set up Netflix on my laptop and gave her the banana she asked for. Didn't think a thing about it! She then asked for water. I gave her that too!

Did I say that she was on the couch with my laptop on her lap?! Bad move, I know!

After an hour or so, I went back to bed for a bit. Daddy came down stairs and found a piece of the banana and the cup resting on my keyboard!

Have I said oops?!

Oh, have I mentioned that my computer is about a month old!

So, suggestion for you and, let's face it, for myself: when we're almost sleep walking, trying to take care of our kids, let's have them eat at the dining table and let's put the laptop a little farther away from them!

Some lessons I need to relearn five or six times before I really get it, apparently!

If you're wondering: my keyboard was decorated with banana stickiness, but it seems to be working fine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My sweet Ari...

Vague title, I know. I really couldn't think of a good title. I'm tired.

So, as I have mentioned before, I am visually impaired, very visually impaired, actually! I have a rare congenital genetic eye condition. My retina did not develop properly. There are many blind spots on my eyes. I have very limitted peripheral vision.

Amor Chiquito has been aware of this since before she turned one. We have talked about it several times. At the same time, I don't want to overdo it. I don't want her to feel as though she needs to constantly watch out for me or take care of me. I am her mother. It should be the other way around.

All that being said, Amor Chiquito is very aware of my visual impairment and her actions really show it.

The other night, we were leaving my mom's place and we were walking to the car. Amor Chiquito and Daddy headed out first and I talked to my mom for another minute or so. It was dark outside, so I was walking to the car slowly.

Amor Chiquito: Daddy, we need to wait for mommy. She can't see when it dark outside.

Just a little while ago, Amor Chiquito and I were spending some time together before bedtime. Suddenly, she asked "mommy, can you see?"

I am a big believer in being honest to kids and using words that are age appropriate. So, my response was "yes, love, I can see a little bit. You can see a lot and I can see a little bit." I figured that would be sufficient for now. It was.

Other situations where it is clear that she is very aware:
Sometimes I call her name just to say I love you. Other times, I call her name so I can figure out where she is. If you've been with a little kid to a big store, you know what I'm talking about! So, when I call her name, her response is usually "I right here, mommy."

When she is about to hand me something, she typically says something like "right here, mommy," or "right in front of you, mommy."

I am so very grateful for my sweet child. She is so aware and she loves helping others. My hope is that our modeling positive behaviors will inspire her to continue to be the beautiful, caring human being she is right now.

I'm sure someone out there is wondering how my visual impairment has impacted my parenting style. It has, in some ways. I will write about that another day. The short version is that I do almost everything with my child. Some things I do differently. There are three things that I have a very hard time with: measuring her medicine, clipping her nails, and brushing her teeth. Breastfeeding was challenging at first, but we got through that, clearly! More later!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Off to the beach!

No, we are not going to the beach! But Amor Chiquito really wants to! She woke us up around 5:30 today and the first thing out of her mouth was "I want go to the beach."

Really, kid?! 5:30am? Why? Everyone went back to sleep, except me. It takes me forever to fall asleep, so why bother? If I did manage to fall asleep, I would have to get up in less than an hour.

There is one thing I miss from my pre-parenthood days: sleep. Oh how I miss you, sleep! It's much better now, don't get me wrong. But all week she has been getting up two or three times a night. So this mommy is tired! And I have no idea whatsoever why she is getting up in the middle of the night lately. Maybe it's too warm in the house? Daddy would disagree, but Ari and I like to sleep in a very cold room. Poor man! You should see the way he sleeps!

Back to the beach, the ironic thing is that today is the date to make our final payment for our next vacation, not that Arianna knows that! But, hey, there is no way I will forget now!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two cute stories!

I am hearing so many stories lately. I love it! I really should get better about writing them down. Some of them are so adorable!

Here are two:

Last night, Amor Chiquito talked to Geeky Entrepreneur about hotels, going far away, and visiting family.

Amor Chiquito: Daddy, my house is not far away, but the hotel is far, far away.

Daddy: Do you like going to the hotel, Ari?

Amor Chiquito (very excited): Yes, Daddy, I love the hotel! Hotel is for resting. Then we see Nana and Titi (Spanish for auntie, my sister). Daddy, I want see Nana after we sleep, please!

This morning, Amor Chiquito and I had a conversation about the winter.

Amor Chiquito: Is it winter yet?

Me: No.

Amor Chiquito: I go look out my window.
(She ran, looked out the window, and returned, kind of sad/disappointed.)
Mommy, it not winter yet. I really really want to make a snowman.

So, her definition of winter: when there is snow on the ground!

Tell me about the cute things your kiddos are saying! I love cute kid stories!

Why we get sick (Ari's version)

Amor Chiquito, Geeky Entrepreneur and I were sick this week. She has a cold and all three of us had a stomach bug. So, we have been talking about being sick, getting better, etc. Also, it sounds like Amor Chiquito has been learning about it in school. All this led to the following conversation:

Me: Ari, Mama (grandma) is sick. Her tummy hurts. Would you like to help her?

Ari: Yes, we need to give her kisses. I want to give her kisses! I want go Mama house, please!

Me: Would you like to share your Ginger ale with Mama? You and Daddy could bring her some.

Ari: Yes, I share my ginger ale with Mama! It make her feel a little better. And we can’t forget to give her hugs. Mommy, Mama got sick because people sneeze and she got germs. You have to sneeze on your elbow.

Later on, I was talking to my mom on the phone, telling her that Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito would be delivering a few things soon. Amor Chiquito ran over and asked me to tell Mama that if she throws up she will feel a little better.

It is very fascinating to me how much kids understand and how much analyzing is going on in their little minds.

What interesting conclusions/realizations/advice has your little one shared recently?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Donating breast milk helped a mother cope with her loss.

I had no idea what to title this post.

This story is beautiful, very touching, and sad. A mommy's baby passed away. She continued to pump breast milk after his passing. She ended up donating her milk to several people.


What an unselfish and admirable way to grieve.

My thoughts and hugs to all of you parents out there who have lost a little one, whether you miscarried, had a stillbirth, sudden infant death. Whatever it was, I just want to send a big virtual hug your way.

Big News: First Nap in School

So, at pick-up time in school yesterday, right away, one of the teachers came over and said “Arianna napped today.” Then, the other teacher came over. She always practices her Spanish with my mother and I. As one teacher was telling me that Ari slept, the other teacher was telling my mom, in Spanish, that Arianna slept for a long time, close to an hour and a half.

Call me super weird, but I almost wanted to cry! You have no idea how huge this is for us!

You should have seen my face! I simply could not believe it. I had given up on it. I was figuring that if she ever napped, it probably would not happen until March or something!

Amor Chiquito desperately needs a nap. When I pick her up, she is usually very tired and cranky. She only wants me, she wants to nurse many times, she is whiny, etc.

Yesterday, I picked up a completely different kid! She was happy, very active, and playful. No whining. She did not ask to nurse all day, not until bedtime. We played lots. We went out for a treat. We had a lot of fun taking a shower together.

I am so proud of her! I told her that I was happy that she napped and that I love seeing her rested and happy. Let’s see what happens the next few days!

Oh, if you are curious, this is week eight in school!

Have I mentioned that I still can’t believe it?!

Oh, by the way, she is less dependent on me when it is time to go to sleep lately. She is also not asking to nurse nearly as much. Is my baby getting ready to wean at last? My baby is growing up!

Yes, I know she is no longer a baby. Whatever, she is still my baby!

I had secretly started to wonder if kids really do wean themselves. I have been a strong believer in child-led weaning, but, to be honest, I have felt frustrated the past few weeks and I had begun to second-guess my decision. I feel that I am beginning to see the signs.

More on breastfeeding, weaning, and support for breastfeeding families in another post.