Monday, February 28, 2011

As one of my friends put it, no Mini Paul yet!

So, the verdict is in. Not pregnant.

I got to have a long chat with my GYN. Just her and I. No students. That does not happen often, as she works for a teaching hospital. It is my choice, I know. Usually, I figure they need to learn at some point, with someone, so I don’t mind. But today I just wasn’t in the mood. I was ready to say no when she asked if she could bring the student in. I was hoping for some privacy and to get some medical advice from someone I trust. I knew the conversation would go differently if it was just her and I. I was right. When I asked about midwives in the area, she told me about the ones she really likes and the one group she does not like. She would not have said that if she had a student with her.

Anyways, she is not worried about my unusually long cycle. She said my “milk hormone” could still be high from when I was breastfeeding, to which I replied that I still am. Her response: “good for you. We don’t get to do that too many times during our lifetime. Do it for as long as you and her want to.” Thanks, doc. It’s nice not to be treated like I am a weirdo, and, frankly, I needed some nice, friendly words today. I guess I took for granted how regular my body has always been and so when I heard “your test came back negative” on the phone today… Let’s just say that the thoughts I was getting were not positive ones. I know a lot about infertility. I have a friend who has been trying to get pregnant for over four years. Wouldn't it be screwed up that my body "worked" this whole time and now that I know I want another baby, my body does not cooperate? I knew my thoughts were not rational, but they were there, nonetheless.

Long story short: she thinks that breastfeeding can have an impact on my cycle, even though I am only nursing about four times a day and I am not producing a lot of milk.

She said that we could check on my thyroid to rule that out. I need to decide if I want to do that right away or if I want to give my body some more time. I have had the test done before and the numbers have always been in the normal range.

She really thinks that I could be pregnant in a month or two. Na├»ve lady! She doesn’t know my kiddo’s schedule was screwed all winter break and she was going to bed at midnight. Naps are a blessing and a curse, did you know?! It’s not that easy to make a baby when you already have one!

K, now that I am done rambling and feeling like I might not be making much sense, it’s time to clean Ari’s lunch dishes and go to bed! Need to get back into my school night routine!

What did she say?!

Several funny Ari stories!

We went to visit Nana this weekend. Ari was very excited. She loves going “to the hotel” and seeing Nana, of course. Once I told her we would be going to the hotel, she knew instantly that we would be seeing Nana. She said “mommy, when we go to the hotel, our house is far away, but Nana is not! We can go see Nana after we sleep. I want to surprise her! Is that a good idea?!” So cute!

At the hotel, out of the blue, Ari started jumping, dancing on the bed, and singing “coca-doodle-doo” over and over again! We have a video! I’ll try to upload it on here another time.

On the ride home, Ari started playing silly games and saying silly things. “The highway is… pink. The hotel is… orange. The road is… red!“

Later on, “Daddy, your name is… Grandma! Your name is… Monkey!”

Silly Daddy responded with “and your name is… Shoe!”

Ari: “That not my name! I not a shoe! I Arianna! I a ferry!” )She was a jaguar for a month (thanks, Go Diego Go!) but she moved on about a week ago!

Then… A different, strange sounding, deep voice… “I a shoe. I don’t have a name!”

A shoe talked to us! Yes, you did read that right! You see, my mother-in-law is a puppeteer. My husband has many talking stuffed animals, mostly monkeys.

All that being said, I was not prepared to hear a shoe talk to me! Heck, my crazy, I mean, creative, husband was not prepared for it either! We are still laughing about it! Daddy and Nana are proud as can be!

Moving on… Last night Ari was looking at some of our wedding photos at my mother’s. She said that I was a princess. Daddy explained that we got married that day and that is why we were dressed that way. Her response: “Oh. I want to get married too. I want to marry my cousin.”

Lastly, tonight, at some point during the hour we spent together trying to get her to go to sleep, Ari said that she and her friend R (her best friend, a male classmate) were talking about having a play date. I asked where they thought they would play. At school? She said that she does not know yet, that they have not talked about it yet. Maybe at his house.

What? My daughter is marrying her cousin and she is going on a date with a cute and sweet 4-year-old boy?! I can’t stop laughing!

By the way, just as a random aside, I can’t believe it took her over an hour to fall asleep even though she had been up for about 12 hours. This does not happen often, but, clearly, it does happen every now and then. Oh, that reminds me… At one point I said that I was feeling frustrated and tired. I got a “huh?” as if “what the hell are you saying, mommy?” She did not know that word, I get it.

10 seconds later, “I feel fuh-tay-ted too, mommy. I not ready for sleep.”

I can’t get over it! This kid is too much! I just love love her silliness, her strange, made up games, and the remarks that come out of that little mouth! It does not get old!

Today is the day!

Today I find out if I am pregnant or if my body is doing some sort of strange stuff it had never done before.

Sounds silly, particularly since I already have a child, but I am feeling nervous! There is no reason to be nervous. If I am pregnant, great. If I am not, we can try again. Still, I have that familiar nervous feeling on my tummy!

My appointment is at 2:15pm. Only four hours away!

Oh, by the way, I did try Planned Parenthood. It's nice to have readers who have a brain! Thank you, Logical Mommy, for the suggestion. It turns out they used to do blood pregnancy tests, but not anymore. Also, it turns out that needing an order from a provider for the test is not hospital policy. I am assuming it is statewide.

I understand needing an order for the blood test if my health insurance is going to pay for my blood test, but no such luck here. So, in that case, I insist that I am a grownup, I have a brain, it's my arm that will get poked and it's the money my husband worked his tail off to earn, so, dang it, I should just be able to go get me a blood pregnancy test!

How did I end up getting the test? I called my GYN's office yet again and explained my acid reflux situation, how if I am pregnant, then I know I can't take the medication, but if I am not, there is no need to be this uncomfortable. Finally got the dang slip! Today I find out just how much money Tums will be making from me and if I am not touching Prilosec for eight months or so.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you ready for a health care vent?!

If you are not, you might as well skip this post! I’ll try to keep it brief, I promise!

Here is the story. I am late, as in my period was due a week ago today. Most of the time I have a 28 day cycle. My longest cycle ever was 31 days.

I know what you’re thinking! Pregnant, for sure.

I have done multiple pregnancy tests. Negative.

I call my GYN’s office to request an order for a blood pregnancy test after learning that I could be pregnant and the home pregnancy tests might not pick up the HCG (pregnancy hormone). Yes, that does happen. It happened to my best friend, it happened to my neighbor, etc., etc. Something to do with how my body produces HCG and the test just can’t pick it up.

The nurse wants me to come in for an appointment and she wants me to wait another week. What? I did not ovulate late. I know my body. Furthermore, health insurance is expensive in MA. We have the cheapest one and we still pay over $700 per month. This is the preventative plan. In other words, it covers our physicals and it starts to pick up other medical expenses after one person has spent over $2,000 or the family has spent over $4,000. The alternative would have been paying about $1,100 per month.

Anyways, this means that we need to spend $75 on a blood pregnancy test and another $100 or so to see a midwife or a GYN so that she can hand me an slip for a blood pregnancy test.

Oh, by the way, in Puerto Rico, I could go request a blood pregnancy test, pay $25, get the result the next morning, and be done with it.

Can you tell I am mythed? Is this not ridiculous?! I might be pregnant and I might not know until I am six weeks along?

Oh, by the way, I have acid reflux from hell. I am not taking the medication just in case I am indeed pregnant. If I am not, it would be great to know so I can stop being so freakin’ uncomfortable. Sometimes my reflux is so bad I can’t lie down. I would like to kick a nurse right about now!

Monday afternoon I am seeing the GYN who delivered Ari. I had scheduled this appointment a while ago. I’ll go in there, say hi, get the slip from her, and pay her over $100 just for seeing her for ten minutes and getting a piece of paper from her. Freakin’ awesome.

Ok, done!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things that make me smile and make me want to hug my Ari!

What are some of the things kids do that make you smile?

Here is my list:

When she comes over and gives us hugs and kisses completely unprompted.

When I ask who she had lunch with and she responds, happily "R, my best friend"!

When I see her chasing her friend R at the playground.

When I see her and her daddy playing all sorts of silly games together, like the game where she steals his socks and runs away, the game where they feed a dragon, the game where she feeds daddy pretend ice cream, etc., etc.

When she asks for a family hug before bed.

When we talk about our day before she goes to sleep.

When she gives me something, she puts it right on my hand (I am very, very low vision).

When we make homemade waffles together in the weekend.

When, in conversation, she says things like "we're a team, mommy, we're a team"!

She is awesome!

Tell me some cute stories!

A Beautiful Unplanned Unassisted Birth Story

So, before you go freaking out on me, personally, I would not plan an unassisted birth. I would consider a home birth. In fact, it sounds very appealing to me, after the experience I had the first time around, so long as I am accompanied by a midwife who has lots of experience, who could notice if something was starting to go wrong, who would respect my choices, and who I got along with easily. The other option I would consider is a birth center. There is a new birth center near us that does water births. More on that on a separate post.

So, there, that is my latest crunchy revelation!

Now, onto the blog entry I wanted to share:

This mama was planning a home birth. Her midwife was on the way. Things happened very quickly. The contractions were never super painful, so she thought she had a lot of time before her baby would be born. I want a birth like that!

The whole story is beautiful. My favorite part is the fact that the mama's 2-year-old would come and hug mom just before a contraction would start!

The topics my 3-year-old has been discussing lately...

Here is a list of the topics Amor Chiquito has talked or asked about recently:

Why people work.

How people get money and what we do with it.

“Is Daddy working so we can buy food and go on the big boat again?”

“I don’t like the winter. I want to go back to the beach.” Don’t we all!

We went shopping and she wanted several things. I got her a jump rope and the Don’t Break the Ice game, but said we would need to save to get the other toys. She wants to save money to get herself a $20 Leapfrog laptop!

Daddy told her that school is her job and she said that she does not make money there so it’s not a job! She can’t make money because she is too little.

She is starting to talk about eating healthy.

For a few days, she was obsessed with not eating too much because her tummy would hurt. I think she heard one of us say that once and it really made an impression on her.

She has been hearing about her cousin’s birthday party, which is happening later today. She would like to have a Dora cake for her birthday. Why me?! I feel Dora is so annoying!

She would like a “sister baby.”

“Mommy, why you no have a son?”

She asked how babies get out of mommies’ tummies.

She also asked how babies get in mommies’ tummies! What? I didn’t ask any of this until I was five!

I am sure there is more, but this is what comes to mind right now.

Fascinating stuff!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Is it all about separation?

I am kicking myself! I should/could have realized this sooner.

I have now spoken to two of Ari's three teachers about our mornings. One of them is a mother. The other day, B, the teacher, told me she asked Ari if she liked school and Ari said yes. B suggested that it might all be about separation, that if we spent the whole day with Ari in school, she probably would not complain about going to school in the morning. This conversation happened on Wednesday.

Thursday morning was work sharing. This is where the parents have the opportunity to spend the first half hour with the child in the classroom. This happens every other Thursday. We usually get through three activities. I very much look forward to work sharing days!

Wednesday afternoon, I realized that work sharing would let us test B's hypothesis. Thursday morning, before Ari had time to go through her morning ritual of saying she did not want to go to school, I told her that we would be working with her in her classroom that morning. She was beaming! She was so excited! She did not complain about going to school once.

B was dead on. And so was Daddy. He had mentioned this as a possibility a few weeks back, but, somehow, it did not click for me. I think it was because he talked about us being fun, not about separation. It's all about the key words, I guess!

So what to do now? It will be a learning process, like everything else. Here is what I am thinking so far:

I told her she can tell me when she would like mommy time or hugs. She is doing that.

I am making a point of spending more time with her after school. Often, she wants some time to just sit and watch TV. Frankly, I am not a fan of sitting down to watch Dora, but I think I might just suck it up and try. It would give us time to hug and cuddle.

I am spending more time playing silly games and finding things to talk about.

When the morning ritual comes up, I can be empathetic about the fact that she might be missing us and wishing we were there. We can dialog about how we can spend time together before school, after school, and how I can try to get to school earlier so we can spend some time together at the playground or getting her artwork from her folder. Every Friday the teachers put her artwork in a mailbox at school for us. But Ari really enjoys giving us the artwork herself. If I can get to school 15 minutes earlier and it will, in turn, make my child happier and my mornings more pleasant, I'll do it! I might not be able to do it every day, but I can try.

Assuming that Ari's concern is separation, do you have any other thoughts or suggestions?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Article: Psychological Impact of Circumcision

Just came across this article:

It is clearly an anti circumcision article. A lot to think about and consider. I like that it sighted impirical studies.

If you have any circumcision articles you found helpful, be it pro or against, please feel free to share.

I know some of my readers have circumcised their boys. Please don't take it personal!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Update on the anti-school morning routine...

I talked to one of Amor Chiquito's preschool teachers on Thursday. He says Ari seems very happy, has a few friends she hangs out with all the time, and is working on many different things. He said "it looks like she is having the time of her life," as we were looking at her playing at the playground with her best friend, a very cute 4-year-old boy! He said that he would check in with the other teacher (she was absent that day) and ask if she was aware of anything.

Daddy says that Ari is happy to go in the classroom once they get there. In fact, sometimes, she almost forgets to give him a hug!

So it looks like it is nothing but normal kid stuff. Yay! I rather deal with that than deal with her feeling uneasy in the classroom, a kid bothering her, or anything like that.

Recently, I started telling her that she can tell me if she wants a mommy hug or if she would like some mommy time. She has been doing that. I figured if she is craving/needing more mommy time, that might help with the whining and the morning issues.

Long story short: it is a work in progress!

Tons of parenting podcasts!

On this website, you will find many parenting podcasts. It looks like authors of different parenting books are interviewed.

I have not listened to any of them yet. Just discovered the website five minutes ago! But they sure do sound interesting.

Seeing as how, for me, parenting is a work in progress and I never stop learning, this is very exciting and I am looking forward to podcasting out! It's a new verb, one I made up a while back, thanks to Geeky Entrepreneur practically sleeping with his damn mp3 player!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Website: Fever in Infants and Children

I was trying to help my neighbor whose 3-year-old has a high fever and found this website:

It mentions different symptoms, what may be going on, and if you should call the doctor or go to the ER.

On sharing unsolicited opinions...

Disclaimer: I am feeling very emotional tonight. No clue as to why, I just am. I apologize if this post turns out to be a disorganized rant.

That being said, I really wish people would stop and think before they share their opinions, particularly when they disagree with the way others parent. There are cases where a child is in danger, where it is obvious the child's needs are not being met, be it emotionally or physically, or cases where the child is not being treated with love and respect. When you are witness to such a thing, by all means, please try to find a way to respectfully talk to the parent of the child. Offer empathy, understanding, and suggestions. Do your best to avoid using an accusatory or condescending tone. Actually, let me back up. Before you do all that, go do some research and make sure you are right. Sometimes we think we are correct and we are not. Sometimes we think we know the facts and it is only our opinion, which may or may not be correct.

Going back to the way people parent, as I have said many times, different things work for different parents and kids. Here is my story. I have very high expectations as far as what type of mother I want to be. I feel that raising my little girl is the most important and biggest responsibility I will ever have. She has her own personality, but I strongly believe that the way I treat and address her will impact her a great deal. I am aware of my strengths and my weaknesses. I feel like since my Ari was born, I am always learning something. Sometimes, I feel as though I have the hang of something only to realize later on that a different way of doing things feel better/more appropriate to me. Example: discipline. More on that on another post.

As my mother-in-law has said many times, babies make you eat your nevers! There are many things I do or have done that I never thought I would do.

I have done a fair bit of cosleeping.

I am still breastfeeding. On, say, day 10, I didn't know if I would make it to six weeks, never mind nursing for over three years.

My kitchen is full of fresh fruit and veggies and there are probably only two or three cans of food in there. I refuse to tell you what my diet looked like when I was a teenager attending college!

I keep thinking about how Ari being in school has changed her eating habits. I think about what to send for lunch, what would be yummy and healthy snacks that I can bring when I pick her up, etc. I think I am going to start baking more. You have no idea just how much I dislike cooking, but there you have it! Tons of fruits and veggies, few cans, and lots of homemade snacks and meals.

You also have no clue as to how much I love Burger King! But I am trying very hard to avoid going there often because I don't want my child to think that eating French fries and cheeseburgers is something we do all the time.

So, bottom line is I feel like I have good and bad days, but, overall, I am giving this mothering thing my best. On days like today, when I feel emotional and my choices are criticized, based on someone's opinion, not on any facts, I don't know if I want to kick someone or if I just want to cry.

People, you don't know why others make the choices they make. You don't know what they know or don't know, what they have learned via first-hand experience or research. You don't know what their and their kids' preferences are. Don't be so quick to point out how others should or should not do such and such.

Someone who I respect and love dearly was telling me today that she thinks that Ari should have been weaned long ago, that breastfeeding is about nourishment, that the minute Ari started eating solids there was no reason to nurse anymore. She said that breastfeeding Ari at this age is about something else, that "something else" being a negative thing. I happen to disagree with her wholeheartedly. Breastfeeding, for us, is not only about nourishment. Breastfeeding is about a bond, a special and unique bond between my daughter and I. Breastfeeding boosts the child's immune system. Breastfeeding has a positive impact not only on her health but on mine too.

It is my choice to decide if/when I wean. I respect those that will nurse longer than I will and those that weaned earlier on. It is my choice if I will wean or if I will wait for my child to wean herself. It is my choice to change my mind. Now that my child understands language, I feel it is appropriate to talk to her about weaning, about how little babies need a lot of milk, kids like her eat food and get a little milk, and how some day she will be ready to stop and my body will stop making milk. It is my responsibility to listen to my child, to take her needs and wants into consideration, and to also set boundaries and ensure that I am taking care of my own needs.

Person that I love and respect so much, you love my child to pieces, but you only see us once a month. You don't know all the details about our breastfeeding relationship and how we are feeling about it. You parented your boys a while back the best way you knew how. Now it is my turn. I assure you that that little one that you love so much is loved and is being raised the best way I know how. I believe that breastfeeding, for now, is right for us. We will be done when we are both ready. I love you, but, please, think before you speak. Sometimes I feel like I just can't do anything right when it comes to parenting. When I talked about preschool, it was too early. When I talked about adopting, I got a weird look. When I talk about breastfeeding, you think I am doing something wrong. There are times when I screw up. That is inevitable. Breastfeeding is not a screw-up. When you disagree or think I am making a mistake, please take a minute to remember that I am doing the best I know how, to remember that I think and research a lot before I make decisions, and remember that empathy works better than a criticizing tone.

Ok, I'm done! Talking to Geeky Entrepreneur and writing it all out made me feel better.

It starts early.

Not wanting to go to school, that is.

The past few weeks, each and every morning, we hear the same thing.

Ari: I no want go to school. I no want to see my friends. I want stay home.

Me: Why?

Ari: Because. Because no. I want stay home.

Me: Why do you want to stay home?

Ari: Because I want to. I want to watch Dora.

Me: Does someone bother you in school?

Ari: Drew.

Me: Did he hurt you?

Ari: Not yet. He hit other kids.

On and on and on...

What to do?

I have wondered if it is a stage, the typical "I don't want to go just because." I have wondered if she feels uncomfortable. If so, what is going on? I have wondered if someone is picking on her or bothering her. If so, how do the teachers handle it? Would they tell me about it?

At this point, my guess is that it is simply that she wants to stay home just because. That being said, I feel I ought to look into it. If something was going on, I would kick myself later, to say the least.

I am going to talk to one of her teachers. I also would like to go in and observe via the one-way window for a little bit. I wouldn't make a habit of doing this. I would not want to make the teachers feel uncomfortable. But I would like to learn more about what it is like in the classroom. And, I want to know, first hand, how my child is doing and feeling when she is in the classroom. It will be a bit interesting to pull this off. Not driving sucks big time, particularly when the school is 20 minutes away and we live in the boonies, sort of. But I'll figure something out.

If I am correct, if this is only the classic "I want to stay home just because," how should I handle it? What do you do?

Thus far, I have been empathetic, understanding, but firm that she is going to school. I wouldn't mind keeping her home for a day if she needed to recharge. But she is saying she does not want to go each and every day. Yesterday, she said she did not want to go. If going on a cruise of the Caribbean for a week did not recharge her, I don't know what would!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Three-year-olds are so clever!

This is a good one! I am heavily biased, but, still, Ari is just too funny and impish!

We went out to dinner last night and I got a tiramisu. I shared it with her. We had some of it and I was going to save the rest for later.

Ari: Mommy, why you not eating anymore?

Me: Because I am full. I will finish eating it later.

Ari: But I'm not. When people are full, the kid eats the cake.

Geeky Entrepreneur and I could not stop laughing! I just love the remarks and realizations she makes. It never gets old!