Impending Doom = Realized

So, about this? The track record remains unbroken. Add to the list:

2010 – The year that Dave and I both got sinus infections. AGAIN.

Dave is mostly over his version of The Plague now, but I’m smack in the middle of it. I can’t breathe, I’m constantly sneezing and coughing, my throat hurts, and I’ve lost my voice. Fabulous.

Also? Knowing that a giant bottle of DayQuil is sitting right there in my kitchen cabinet, and knowing that if I took it, I’d undoubtedly feel better, but being unable to take it because it’s contraindicated for pregnancy? That sucks extra hard.

Dave got my laptop set up with a VPN client so I can connect to my work computer and still get some work done. So that’s what I’m doing, lying in bed with my laptop on a TV tray, and trying to concentrate on work. It’s awfully reminiscent of the last time I was pregnant, and not in a good way. At least this time it’s just a sinus thing that I know will probably be over in a few days, and not some Unknown Pooping Disorder that will rob me of all of my energy reserves (and a hell of a lot of muscle tone too). So, um, silver lining, I guess?

Another silver lining is that my mother-in-law is here, and she’s planning to make shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight. Comfort food = WIN.

Bratty kid, or parenting fail?

When we were at the pool on Sunday, I noticed this stark contrast in child behaviors.

First, we met a little girl named Sophia. She’s 4 1/2, and apparently this is her first year taking swimming lessons. Her dad was in the water with her (along with her big brother, but he was 8 or 9 years old, and off in the deeper part of the pool with his friends), and she was practicing putting her face in the water and kicking. She came over to Catie and the two girls shyly introduced themselves. Sophia said to Catie, “I like your name,” which made me melt because I’m sure that an adult told her that’s a nice thing to say to make friends, but it was so sweet. I knew Catie wouldn’t know how to respond, so I said, “Well, I think Sophia is a beautiful name.”

She and Catie played together for a while, she showed Catie how she could put her face in the water, and Catie was duly impressed. Her dad was friendly and chatted with Dave and me while the girls played, and it was great. Soon they had to head home, and that was that.

Here comes the contrast.

Right as Sophia and her family were leaving, a new family showed up at the pool. Again, it was a dad (it seems the moms in our neighborhood get the day off on Sundays; I wish I’d gotten that memo), and there was an older brother and a little sister, but this time, the dad parked himself on a chaise lounge in the shade and started talking with another dad. The older boy jumped in and started playing with the older kids, and the little girl came over to me. Not Catie, just to me. She told me her name was Sarah, and that she was 4 years old. I did a kid introduction, “Hey Catie, this is Sarah. Sarah, this is Catie.” And I thought that maybe they’d play together nicely like Catie had just done with Sophia.

Um… not so much.

It became apparent pretty quickly that Sarah was in dire need of parental attention, and since her dad never once even glanced in the direction of the swimming pool to make sure that his kids weren’t drowning, she latched on to me. It started with her asking me a million questions and making me feel like I was in that Monty Python sketch about “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Then she wanted me to watch her while she did all kinds of pool stunts… which, oooookay, but shouldn’t your dad be watching you?

Also, I don’t know what the heck this kid does in her off-time, but she clearly is not supervised nearly enough, because she was covered in band-aids, which kept coming off in the water. Every time one did, I’d point it out to her and ask her to please go put it in the trash can (which she did). Then I’d look at Dave and make gagging faces. Band-aids floating in a pool is just about one of the grossest things ever. And this is why Dave and I started referring to her (after we left the pool) as Open Wound Sarah.

Then she started to get a little obnoxious. She and her brother had brought a ton of pool toys with them, but every. single. item. warranted this high-pitched, eardrum-piercing “THAT’S MINE!!!” shriek from her – and I’m not even talking about Catie, I’m talking about when her brother tried to use the toys. Even the things they’d brought two of (like, say, beach balls or pool noodles), she insisted that they were both hers, she didn’t want her brother to touch any of them. And I think it’s worth noting that none of her shrieking fits warranted even a glance from her dad, who was still engrossed in his conversation.

Next, she turned her attention back to us. Catie was playing with her inflatable pirate ship, putting her toys in it and pushing it out to Dave and me in the pool. Sarah asked if she could ride in the pirate ship. I said sure, if she wanted to share one of her toys with Catie. She gave Catie a beach ball (which Catie was happy to play with), and we let Sarah play with the pirate ship for a while. That’s fair, right?

About ten minutes later, Catie decided that she didn’t want the beach ball anymore, she wanted her pirate boat back. Sarah refused to give it back. I kind of stumbled with that one while Catie gave me this, “WTF, Mom?” look. I honestly wasn’t sure how to handle it at first. Then I decided that you know what? These are not communal toys, we are not on a playdate, and this kid has about a bajillion things of her own to play with. So I said, “Sarah, you know, Catie brought this pirate boat to the pool, so it’s hers. And if she wants to play with it, she should be able to play with it. You have a lot of your own toys here, so maybe you should go play with them instead.” Sarah gave back the pirate boat, then turned around and kicked the water to splash both me and Catie in the face. I said, sharply (and loudly), “Ok, that’s not nice, we don’t do that.” Her dad? Yeah, he still didn’t notice.

Sarah took off for the chaise lounge where her dad was sitting, rummaged around in their bag o’ pool junk, and came back with one of those Super Soaker water guns. I looked at Dave and muttered, “Great. Now she’s armed.”

And as I predicted, she spent the next few minutes filling up the water gun and spraying it into the air so it would come down on Catie’s head (which, hello, I barely got the kid to go down to the 2nd step, don’t get her head wet or she might freak and never come back). I told her to stop a couple of times, then finally said very loudly, “Ok, Sarah, that’s enough!” Apparently that was loud enough to get her dad’s attention, and he looked over just in time to see me making a face at Dave that probably indicated I was about to throttle his kid. He called for her to come put away the water gun. Finally. But that was basically his only parenting contribution for the hour that we were there.

But she still wouldn’t leave us alone, she kept trying to boss Catie around and take her pirate boat away from her, and it was just aggravating. Finally I said, “You know, I think it’s time to go home for lunch!” By that point, all three of us, even Catie, were happy to leave just to get the heck away from that kid.

I still can’t decide, though. Is Sarah just a bratty kid? Or is this her parents’ fault for not paying enough attention to her, and causing her to seek attention in negative ways? I was only around the kid for an hour, so I probably don’t know enough to judge, but I’m leaning toward the latter.

I just really hope we can avoid that family at the pool in the future. I have a feeling I’ll end up snapping and yelling at the dad to pay attention to his children if we have to go through that again.

pounding the pavement

Yesterday, I didn’t get up early to exercise before work, so I decided to go for a run in the evening. Dave was picking up Catie from daycare, so I thought I’d squeeze in my workout before dinner. The couch-to-5K workout is only 30 minutes, after all. No biggie, right?

So I set off on my usual route. And it was fine. On my second running interval, I came to an intersection – although, “intersection” seems like the wrong word because it’s really just the place where a residential street meets another residential street; it’s not like there are stoplights or traffic involved. But anyway, since there was a street crossing, the sidewalk dips down a bit as it leads to the road, making the sidewalk accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, etc.

And even though I’ve crossed that particular road a thousand times with no issues before, this time I somehow lost my footing, and I went sprawling into the concrete. I was carrying my iPhone (since it has my couch-to-5K app on it), and in my effort to try to save my iPhone, my elbow took most of the force of the fall. I also managed to skin my wrist, one of my knees, and part of my stomach. (Nothing hotter than skinned belly flab, let me tell you.) It was a pretty epic wipe-out.

I quickly got up and assessed the damage, saw that I was bleeding from more than one place, and I cursed loudly. (Sorry, neighbors!) I turned off the couch-to-5K app and tried to call Dave to tell him to come pick up his bleeding wife on the side of the road. Alas, his cell phone was off and he didn’t answer the home phone. I knew that likely meant that he was playing outside with Catie, so he wouldn’t be able to hear the phone ring. (I found out later, I guessed correctly.)

So, I had to hobble back home – about 3/4 of a mile from the site of my humiliation – dripping blood on the sidewalk the whole way. I’m sure the people who drove past me were horrified.

And you know, I’m FINE. I am. It’s just some cuts and scrapes, and they’ll heal eventually. But I’m just SO ANGRY about it. I’m mad that I had to cut my run short, and I felt like I was just getting started. I’m mad that this means I probably can’t work out for the next few days, and I’d really been enjoying my workouts. I’m mad that all these scrapes will probably continue to sting and keep me from sleeping well at night.

And on that last note – my elbow was really the worst of all of my injuries. We’re talking several square inches of skin missing. (I’d post a picture, but… no. I don’t need to gross y’all out.) And of course, we don’t have any large gauze bandages and medical tape in the house, because, OF COURSE WE DON’T. Our first aid kid is pretty much limited to a tube of Neosporin and some Hello Kitty band-aids. I knew that when I went to bed, my elbow was going to wake me up every time I moved and it brushed against the sheets.

So, since necessity is the mother of invention, I stuck my arm through one of Catie’s Pull-Ups and used it as a makeshift elbow bandage. It totally worked too! Except when Catie saw me this morning, she got all upset and said, “HEY! That’s mine!!” Well, sorry kid, it’s mine now.

Let’s sum up:
* Knee, wrist, stomach: mild scrapes, should recover quickly.
* Elbow: bad scrape, will take some time to get back to 100%.
* Pride, dignity: damaged beyond repair.
* Gracefulness: never had it in the first damn place.

Random stuff because I haven't blogged in a week

1. Working full-time is kicking my ass. Hence the lack of posting. It’s good, I like the job a lot, and the people I work with are all great. It’s just that transitions are hard. I’ll get into a groove with it one of these days.

2. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to blog about my job and explain what it is I’m doing now. I wouldn’t mention the company by name, and I have nothing bad to say about any of the people I work with, so it’s probably fine, I just tend to be a little paranoid about those types of things.

3. I’m still sick. I caught Catie’s last cold, and while she managed to recover completely in about three days, I’m going on two weeks and still feel like crud. It’s not cool. I mean, the excuse to take copious amounts of NyQuil is nice, but that’s really the only perk.

4. My ribs, which I hurt falling down the stairs nearly three weeks ago? Yeah, they still hurt. Combined with the cold, I’m kind of a big whiny mess.

5. It’s Thursday and I still haven’t watched Tuesday night’s LOST, because I’ve just been that busy. This is practically unheard of.

6. Dave needs a haircut because he’s starting to look like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. I mean, not with the metal talons or psychotic gaze or anything. Just the ridiculous volume of hair. I’m hoping that by mentioning it on my blog, I’ll shame him into going to get a damn haircut already. (Hi, honey!)

7. New Catie tricks (which we can entirely attribute to daycare because lord knows I didn’t teach her this): she’s trying to wipe her own butt and she’s flushing the potty herself. I know this is like the most boring child development update ever (unless you’re my mom), but it’s a pretty big deal around here.

8. Here’s a picture of a cute happy toddler until I can figure out what else to write about that won’t bore y’all to tears.

playing on the stairs

Happy almost-weekend!

the weekend, by the numbers

The past few days, recapped:

1. On Saturday, we went to my cousin’s house for baby Austin’s first birthday! I can’t wait until Cat gets those pictures uploaded because man alive, that little boy was covered in frosting. It was a great party, and Catie always has so much fun playing with her cousins. There were many tears when it was time to leave.

2. On Sunday, Catie “helped” me clean the house, then we went grocery shopping together. Dave spent most of the day in bed because he just quit smoking and feels like hell. (Everyone, give him a big cheer: yay, Dave! You can do it! Hang in there!) He did manage to wake up in time for dinner, and we watched the Puppy Bowl because we are totally not a sports-type family. I mean, yay for the Saints and all that. New Orleans is my mom’s hometown and I do really love that city. But, watching a bunch of grown men slam into each other over a ball? Not my thing.

3. Catie didn’t get much of a nap on Sunday, so she was in bed by 8:15. (Hallelujah!) Dave was already asleep by then too. After I got Catie settled, I started to head downstairs, but I slipped on the first step & went crashing down the stairs. I only fell down about four steps, which is not that bad, but I slammed the left side of my back into the steps when I landed. I thought for a second that I had broken a rib, it hurt so bad, but I think I just bruised it. And I knocked the wind out of myself so hard that I couldn’t speak (because believe me, I tried to call for Dave, but I couldn’t).

When I finally regained my breath, I realized that I was probably ok and didn’t need to go to the ER, so I just scooted very gently down the rest of the stairs. I tweeted about it, and a couple of people told me to ice it. And when the Internet tells me to do something, well by golly, I do it. So I iced my back while I watched “Big Love”. (And incidentally, did any of y’all who watch it cry during last night’s episode? Or am I just a hormonal, injured, still-slightly-sick mess?) I don’t know if the ice helped or not, because my back still hurts like a son of a b**** today.

4. Today was Catie’s first day at her new daycare. We’ve been talking it up a lot for the past week, about how she’s going to have so! much! fun! there, and she was excited to go. Then we got there, and I could tell she was nervous. I got her all settled in with her stuff in her cubby, and she grabbed onto me and said, “I stay wif you.” I told her that I’d stay for a couple of minutes while we looked around the room. We introduced her to the other kids and the teacher, and we walked around, looking at all of the various toys and activities.

I spent a few minutes with her, then told her that I was going to go, but that I’d come back this afternoon. She said ok and gave me a kiss, but her shoulders were still hunched up the way that she does when she’s feeling anxious. I stopped at the door and turned around to wave bye-bye one last time; she gave me this tiny, tight “putting on my best brave face” smile and waved back. I barely made it to the car before I started crying. I’ve left her places before when she was crying for me, and that was awful. But this was harder in a way that I can’t quite explain.

5. I’m going to have to pick her up early, because there’s no way I’ll make until 5:00.

not how I envisioned ending 2009

Warning: This post is long, and full of whining. I’m sick, and this is what I’m like when I don’t feel good.

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Dave and I were both sick while we were in England. It’s been pretty awful. For most of our time in the UK, we were both downing cold medications every four hours like clockwork, just to try to manage our symptoms.

We left Dave’s mom’s house on Sunday and drove down to London. We stayed in a hotel near Heathrow so we could be there bright and early for our 7:40 a.m. flight on Monday. I noticed that I was getting worse. My cough was so bad that it was making me dry heave. Because of my gastric bypass surgery, it’s impossible for me to vomit, but I could feel the lower part of my stomach – you know, the part that’s been surgically separated so it’s no longer attached to my esophagus – seizing up, and I knew that if it had a choice, I would be puking my guts out. That was unsettling.

Monday at the airport was a nightmare. We left our hotel at 5 a.m., trying to allow extra time because we knew there would be heightened security after that whole terrorist incident. We ended up standing in line for over an hour to get through the second security screening. And we were lucky, an airline employee came and pulled us over to the “exclusive” line reserved for first-class passengers because we had a stroller, and they needed to get all of the strollers on the plane.

Btw, while we were standing in line, every time I coughed, the old lady standing in front of me would look over her shoulder and glare at me. I started talking to Dave really loudly about WOW THIS COUGH SURE IS ANNOYING BUT IT’S A GOOD THING I’M NOT CONTAGIOUS, HUH? Translation: chill out, hag, I don’t have H1N1.

Our flight left over an hour late. The flight was pretty miserable for me. At one point, the lady sitting across the aisle from Dave passed a roll of cough drops over for me. I thanked her, took one, and passed it back. She said, “Oh no, you keep it.” Wow. I guess I was coughing a lot more than I thought I was.

The plane had a pretty bumpy descent and landing. Catie started to cry in her seat, and I leaned over to hug her and try to calm her down. Then, she puked all over both of us. And a little bit on Dave too, for good measure. Fabulous. This is why I always keep a change of clothes in our carry-on. We had to make a quick stop in the restroom for a wardrobe change before going through customs and immigration, I found a plastic bag to shove the stinky/pukey clothes in, and we were on our way.

[Side note to the person who had to clean row 29 of United flight 923: I’m so, so sorry. Really.]

Since our flight had been delayed, we missed our connection in D.C. Of course. I stood in line at United customer service for about an hour and a half, only to be told that sorry, the remaining flights from Dulles to Raleigh were all booked, but they could get us out the next day. Um, no. It’s less than 300 miles from D.C. to Raleigh, so we said screw it, we’ll rent a car and drive home. All three of us just desperately wanted to goooo hoooome. I had been fantasizing all day about sleeping in my own bed again. We found a rental car that had a compact car with a toddler car seat available, and off we went.

Three hours later, we were still stuck in D.C.-area traffic. Holy cow. It was sometime during that – when I was driving (or more accurately, sitting there with my foot on the brakes) while Dave and Catie were both sleeping in the backseat – that I realized that I had been awake since 3:45 that morning England time, which meant essentially 10:45 p.m. the night before on the east coast. And did I mention that I can’t sleep on airplanes? I kind of dozed for about 20 minutes, but that was it for the entire 8-hour flight. That’s a long time to stay awake, y’all.

We finally got home around 10 p.m. Catie was all refreshed from her car nap and SO! EXCITED! to see all of her toys that she hadn’t seen for the past 2 1/2 weeks, it took quite a while to settle her down. I finally got her to bed just before midnight and then crashed myself about 5 minutes later. I set a new record for myself – awake for 25 hours & 15 minutes straight. I don’t recommend it. And I have no desire to set that kind of record ever again.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been really, really sick. I went to the doctor on Tuesday, he heard crackling in my right lung and sent me for a chest x-ray because he suspected that I had pneumonia. The office called me back yesterday afternoon to inform me that I don’t have pneumonia, just really severe bronchitis. Oh, and I have pink eye too. Because you know, I didn’t feel horrible enough already.

I woke up yesterday with a migraine so intense that I was involuntarily crying from the pain, and Dave almost called 911. That sucked too.

And you know, it’s not like we had big plans to party it up on New Year’s Eve or anything, but this is not exactly how I envisioned the big evening, either. Both of us in our jammies and coughing and miserable.

The good news is that Catie is continuing to do really well during all of this. She hasn’t shown any signs of being sick yet (although I’m scared to say that for fear of jinxing it), and her sleep schedule is all screwy from the jet lag, but we’re dealing with that. For the most part, she’s being totally sweet and lovely and well-behaved, and she doesn’t seem to mind at all that Mommy is phoning it in and just letting her watch cartoons all day long so I can lie around feeling pitiful.

Catie says, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"

She’s also taking this opportunity to explore her own sense of personal style, with hilarious results.

I hope all of y’all have a wonderful and happy New Year. And I hope to be less whiny (and healthier) by my next post. See you in 2010!