Saturday, December 15, 2012

no words. but hopefully, there will be action.

I find myself out of words. What has happened in CT is unimaginable. Horrific. Devastating. 

I'm not going to repeat others' wonderful lists of things that might help the Newtown community. You've seen them and are probably doing something, too. For my part, I've called the President, I've signed some petitions, I'm going to send a donation to the Newtown Youth and Family Services, and I'm hugging the kids extra close.

I also just read Nicholas Kristof's excellent op-ed in the NYT in which he argues that guns are a public health crisis, not an issue of freedom or privacy. He asks why we don't regulate guns as strictly as we regulate cars, and he's right. So many Americans die from gun violence--we cannot allow our otherwise responsible and democratic society to continue this madness. Let's step up, together, and get the courage to stand up and demand change.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three. Three!

Yesterday, my baby boy W turned three. He got one big gift, a little purple sparkly bike (a hand-me-down from a friends' 6 year old girl). We're trying hard to raise him so that gendered gifts aren't an issue one way or the other; i.e. it's okay to like trucks and dolls and it's silly to think that boys and girls can't share interests.

He LOVES the bike. My favorite moment yesterday happened after all the family members had gone home from our little party, after all the food was put away and the cake was eaten, and while M and I were just talking quietly while W was quietly admiring his bike. W interrupted to us to ask, "Mommy? How does it work?" and I turned to see that he had, in fact, been playing with the bike chain and trying to puzzle out how the chain related to the wheels. His hands were completely covered in black grease. We quickly ran over with wipes to make sure that the grease didn't spread all over our carpet (!). But I was mostly so proud of him. He was not only enjoying his gift, he was being curious about it. He was really interested in how it all worked together. I picked up the back of the bike and moved the pedals to demonstrate how the pedals move the chain and how the chain moves the back wheel to move the bike forward. I know he didn't understand it. He's only three. But the look on his face was absolutely priceless. I would be thrilled to raise a child who is curious about the world around him.

I am so honored to be a mother, and so grateful to have been given the chance to get to live with and learn from this sweet little boy.

Photo: Wyatt is three!

Monday, December 10, 2012

the long dark night of potty training

Indeed, the diaper rash is yeast! My ped has an interesting protocol. Lotri.min, of course, but then he also wants us to abstain from wipes and to use kleenex and baby oil at diaper changes. For three weeks! The goal is to keep her as dry as possible. He warned that even after symptoms are gone, the yeast may flare back up unless we go about three weeks being very careful the entire time to keep her dry.

What's interesting is how little I miss those wipes. The baby oil and kleenex thing sounds like it wouldn't work, but in fact, she's much cleaner than with the wipes, in some ways.

In other news, we've entered what a friend of mine calls the long dark night of potty training. W is wearing underwear over his diapers at all times (he LOVES his Thomas the Train undies!) and is sitting on the potty regularly. It's only pee so far, but I'll take it. At school, he's even better. No diapers at all--just underwear, though accidents have happened quite a few times, so I bought a bunch of cheap pants to keep around in case he doesn't make it to the potty on time.

This is where I am at the moment: knee deep in diaper rashes and potty training sticker charts. Other things are happening, of course. W turns three in a few days (wha?) and I'm in grading hell because it's the end of the semester. I'm also finally feeling healthy--I've had a string of headachy episodes and minor colds that are all but gone. It's a common end of semester thing for me. I almost always get sick or just physically unwell (you know, that feeling that something is off, even if you're not demonstrably sick). But it's clearing out. I'm feeling more like myself.

I also think that the last of the breastfeeding hormones have settled down. I find that the end of breastfeeding throws me for a real loop, and maybe that's what's been going on, too. I have no science about what kind of havoc weaning plays on a woman's body, but I bet it would be interesting. I suspect the answer would be that every woman is different and that the body adjusts in its own time, right?

Anyway, knee deep. I'll update on how it continues to go. I'm really posting this because I've been reading lots of other parents' protocols on potty training, and I'm always interested to see how it played out. Maybe someone will find my potty training attempts useful.

One last thought about potty training. My aim, in all of this, is to go at W's pace rather than my own. W is one of the last kids in his class to be working on potty training, and some of the kids younger than him (2.5-3) are already day potty trained. I just haven't pushed it because I wanted W to feel like it was his success, not mine. I think this is the right approach, though I'll have to reassess when we get farther along. My evidence so far is just that he's so freakin' proud of himself when he does pee on the potty or get stickers from his teacher for successfully telling her when he needs to go. That's what's telling me that we're on the right track.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

three year olds and fear; diaper rash from hell (a combo post!)

1. This weekend, we went to a three year old's birthday party at one of those places that has big inflatable slides and bouncy houses and other dangerous looking structures. It was terrifying on many levels, even for me and my husband. The noise! The bright colors! The screeching of three year old boys going down crazy inflatable slides!

W knew most of the kids because they're his three year old friends from school. But this inflatable paradise? Not his cup of tea. In fact, W had a full on panic attack (not really, but you know what I mean) when I was lightly encouraging him to climb to the top of one of the smallest slides. I was planning to go down with him and show him that they're meant to be fun, not scary. But he had none of it. He was literally clawing my shirt and screaming, so I went back down the stairs hugging him in my arms and told him that if he didn't want to go, it was fine with me. One of the other parents said, "you should have just made him go down with you--he'd have loved it." I said no way. I wasn't going to betray my son's trust, even on a small inflatable bouncy slide.

Maybe he would have loved it. Who knows. But I was not willing to take that chance. He's just a cautious kid. He watches to see how things go before joining in, and he's not the kind of kid who can be pushed into anything. I respect that about.

2. In other news, baby E seems to have a bacterial rash in her diaper area (though it's really spread out on her upper thighs and is less focused on the usual places). I'm treating it with bactro.ban, prescribed for this same thing last time by my ped. I'm going to call her again and make sure I shouldn't be doing anything different. No fever or anything, but she's really uncomfortable. Lots of little red dots and now, small blisters. I'm also using triple paste.

Does anyone have advice about this kind of diaper rash? My ped called it impetigo last time and it just seems to be back. I've talked to her daycare teacher and she says she's doing all the right things (changing her often, making sure she's really dry before putting on a new diaper, putting on this bactro.ban and triple paste). I even get the rash under control just in the evening and morning, but by late afternoon, her entire diaper area is bright red and she's clearly bothered.

Could this bacteria be something that resides at daycare and she's getting it back on her during the day? I do notice that over the weekend, I'm able to get it very much under control using my bactro.ban and triple paste protocol, but by Monday, it's back full force.

Any advice? Anyone see something like this? Does she need antibiotics (oral)? I know you're not my medical professionals, but the hive mind of blog writers is often better than my random googling powers (which have terrified me about mrsa and I'm having visions of these little blisters becoming antibiotic-resistant boils...). Talk me off the ledge?