Friday, April 30, 2010

Apartment, Ol' Gal, something is going to change here.

We're definitely moving away from our apartment, one way or another. Whether we wait until September to move or if we get out now - who knows, but one way or another we're leaving. We received a notice in the mail stating that our rent is going up, and there is no way we're going to pay more to live in a place that has caused us so much stress, time, & money. If I had a way of knowing that everything would be fixed for the whole year AND that the new neighbors would be good AND that our safety concerns were fixed - well, then I would stay. But since those things aren't possible to know, we're going to part ways.

If it were just Jared & I living here, maybe we could swing it. We could make do with caving ceilings and all of the other problems. I probably could have lived the few days without drinking water or being able to do the dishes. But with Oliver? It doesn't fly. Any time a repair needs to be done, we worry for Oliver's health because of old lead paint. We can't live without the kitchen sink having water, because if we need to mix a bottle we can't use the bathroom water. Who knows if that is safe to drink? Even if we use bottled water (which is not good for mixing bottles with on a regular basis) we still have the problem of not being able to properly clean them. It is a huge pain.

Besides the inconvenience, these problems cost us money. We had to buy bottled water when the plumbing problems happened. We also had to go out to eat because I couldn't cook without water int he kitchen. We had to buy an air filter to filter out construction dust in the air, lest our 3 day old baby breathe it in. On multiple occasions we've had to leave because conditions were either hazardous or too inconvenient to live here with the baby. Driving to grandma & grandpa's house takes a lot of gas, seeing as they're 40 minutes away, and in case some of you have been living in a bubble.. well, gas is expensive. Only once did we receive a rent abatement, and even the abatement that we got was not sufficient enough to cover our losses. This just isn't working.

And don't get me started on the lead paint. Just don't. I can't get into that without getting really mad. The closer Oliver gets to crawling, the more I worry about it.

SO, dear apartment! Either the lead paint issues need to be fixed so we can live out the rest of our lease in peace, or we're going. Because lead paint is not cool. Not cool for us. Not cool for anyone. Especially not cool for the baby.

I'll spare you the "It's not you, it's me" speech because, well.. Let's face it. It IS you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What kind of child am I raising...

An untouched container of pears and a sippy cup of water sit on the dining room table. Enter, Oliver, a 7 month old baby.

Oliver: EEEEE! eeeeeEEE!! YA YA YA!

Oliver grabs the sippy cup, shakes it as hard as he can and sprays water everywhere. Laughs.

Oliver: YA YA DA DA!

Oliver suddenly quites, poops, laughs, bounces up and down.

Oliver: YA YA YA DA DA!

Once again, the room is silent - the only noise heard is an explosion of poop. Oliver looks off stage to his mother, and smiles.

Exeunt stage left, aka the changing table.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Oliver has four teeth now. His second top one just came in as of.... well, I'm not quite certain because I didn't actually notice it until he bit me yesterday and I pried open his mouth to take a look. Now he thinks it is great to grind them together and make the most terrible noise ever. I think getting all of those teeth in has givin' him a bit of a 'tude. You know, because you can't just bust out four teeth without being some kinda badass.

So, with his new attitude he has decided he does not like quite a few things. And if he doesn't like it, why, he will scream at you! Hit you! And he's only 7 months old. Oh, and did I mention he thinks the word "no" is the funniest concept in the world? I sense there will be a need for some strong discipline in this house.

Things he now declares to be the worst things ever to exist in the world:
1. Green veggies.
2. Getting his face or hands washed after a meal.
3. Putting on the second leg of his pants.
4.  Not allowing him to eat the food off of your plate.
5. Pushing the computer out of his reach.
6.  Toys he was loving up until 2 minutes ago.
7.  Our kind neighbor.
8. Being weighed at the doctor.

He never used to scream at these things, but now he does. I'm wondering if he's not some sort of genius, and he has already progressed to "terrible twos" before turning 1. Because... well... sometimes it is seeming pretty terrible up in here. But you'd never guess it from these pictures I took in the park. He has most everyone fooled.

(Also I was trying out different settings on my camera. Can you tell?)

Monday, April 26, 2010

But wait!

Doobie forgot to mention that the new camera is also waterproof.

And shock proof.

He just wanted you to know that.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sorry I've been away.

I upgraded my camera and have been busy playing with it. As a small consolation, please accept these images of the Doobie Baby.

Also, he just started getting up on his hands and knees. Can you tell?

There. Now surely you aren't cross with me anymore, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Apartment... Why do you do me like you do?

Dear Apartment,

I loved you from Hello. You are a convenient drive to everywhere I want to go. You are spacious enough to make me feel at home, without making me feel lonesome. The neighbors are good. Your price is right. I've done nothing but treat you well, and you think you can walk all over me.

First you decided to rain down nasty water in my bathroom. While I was in the hospital. Giving birth to that nearly TEN POUND baby. It was a mess to come home to. I understand, you were jealous. I get that you needed attention. Really, I get that. I have forgiven you.

But again? You think you can rain poop water on me, AGAIN!?! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

And if you think it has just been those two incidents, you're kidding yourself. What about the hot/cold water issue in our bathtub? I would really prefer to have both types of water available to me, at all times. What about the time your ceiling in the living room started cracking and sagging? The neighbors' party upstairs is no reason to let that happen. And let us not forget to mention the ants you let in last summer. Into our living room. We didn't even have any food in the apartment yet, and still... you let in the ants. Simply unacceptable. Inexcusable.  Did you really think we could go on like this? We can't. I won't.

Last weekend, when all of the sinks in the building had water back up into them, that was the last straw. The city inspector is coming by, and I don't think he will want to hear any of your excuses. I'm giving you an ultimatum: Shape up or I'll be searching the MLS list for another lover. I deserve better than you're giving me.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seven Million Wonders on Picture Day.

Today is picture day for our family. It looks like the weather is going to be nice, so I'm looking forward to it. I hope we can get some good shots. Could be tricky, because between Jared & I we aren't too photogenic. Oliver is going to have to carry a lot of the weight himself, I think.

The photographer's website has an intro page with the quote by Walt Streightiff (What, you've never heard of good ol' Walt?) that says, "There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."

Yesterday Oliver got to play in the grass for the first time, and he was fascinated. He wanted to eat it, he wanted to touch it, but when he fell face first into it, I don't think he cared for it much. I could see his brain trying to work out what grass exactly was.  If you had lived your whole life indoors and you had no concept of plants and growing things, what would you think? It would be pretty amazing.

Everything new is like that to him. Every tiny thing that I don't even think about is something exciting for him to learn. He really got a kick out of the squirrels in the park. He stared at big kids on the playground like he was trying to figure out how to copy them. He tried to take a rock home as a souvenir, but I wouldn't let him.

Instead, I took some photos of him in the grass.

And of course some photos of him eating the grass.

And him not liking the grass.
Debating the finer points of the grass.

And declaring it good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I get Oliver's "developmental milestones" sent to me via email every month, and I usually just ignore them. I know he is doing well, so I usually just don't care. Today I was bored so I decided to read them. Per usual I was able to mentally check off everything on the list until I came to "able to pick up a small object, such as a raisin."

Now that, I didn't know if he could do that or not. We typically try to keep all raisin sized objects away from him. But, since it was bugging me and I wanted to know... I searched the house for something for him to try to pick up. I settled on breaking up a graham cracker into tiny pieces.

Lo and behold, he can do it! It is a stupid thing to be excited about, but I'm still proud of him nonetheless. First he was satisfied with picking up the graham pieces and crushing them, but then he wanted to eat them so I said... well, okay. Sounds good to me. Do it.

And he did. The look on his face was ridiculous. What? Food that crunches? FOOD DOESN'T CRUNCH! And then he bit it and his mouth went chomp chomp chomp and he declared it good. He now wants more. And more. He is a carb-aholic already.

I don't know why I was so surprised when he liked the graham cracker. He eats everything I put in front of him. Sweet potato, yams, green beans, peas, apples, pears, carrots - he likes them all. I gave him a taste of my mom's white chili last night and although he made a face, I bet he would have eaten more of it. He will happily suck on a lemon slice. He will gnaw on a pickle.  He enjoyed my sister's mango smoothie. He likes food. He lives to eat. Put it in front of him, and it will go into his mouth.

So, today I discovered two more ways in which my baby is like the family dog:

1. I can feed him the food from my plate that I don't like, so I can still get dessert.
2. Much like a dog gnawing a large bone, he tilts his head to the side and concentrates very hard on his food. Any pieces that fall out of his mouth are game for a second go. The crunch crunch crunch of graham cracker is not unlike the noise a dog makes while chewing hard kibble.

Like my baby, but hairier and less cute.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yeah. Happy Easter.

Having a kid makes you cease to exist as the baby of the family. It means you will not get as many presents for Christmas. It means that you will not receive the Easter baskets anymore. Birthday presents for you are actually more things for your kid. People do not call you up and ask, "Hey,  how are you doing?"

From now on, it is "Hey, how is Oliver?" That child is stealing my thunder, but more importantly my peanut butter cup eggs... I will, however, be making up for it this October when I eat all of his Halloween candy. Because I can hold a grudge that long.

Anyway. Even if I did ahve Easter candy I couldn't eat it. My face is hurting like a banshee (banshees = lots of hurt) and I could barely eat my scrambled eggs this morning. Yesterday I managed to eat a chicken sandwich, but today seems much worse and I am much more swollen... Stupid wisdom teeth. Should have left them in there. I get the feeling I am going to have to have the dentist mess around again because I can feel even more bone sticking out of my gum. Gross.

In an effort to distract myself from my face holes, I:

1. Made dinner already in the slow cooker.
2. Made bread.
3. Cleaned the kitchen.
4. Made papple sauce baby food. (Apple/pear combo)
5. Made papaya baby food.
6. Read the latest chapters in my baby books.
7. Sorted through Oliver's old clothes.

I have nothing else I want to do, and my face still hurts. Next, I am going to try wailing. My mouth is so swollen that I can't close it all the way, so teeth gnashing is out. But I think the wailing I can handle. That ought to make me feel better.

P.S. I took pictures of Oliver enjoying (aka tearing apart) his Easter basket. I'll post them later, when my face comes back from hell.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It is loud.

When Oliver woke up this morning without crying, I was happy to get a little bit of reading in before I went to get him. I got out my book and as soon as I finished the first page he yells, "YA DA DA YA DA!"  At first, I thought it was cute. When I went back to reading, it wasn't cute, it was loud. I'm glad he is trying to talk and all, but really..  once he starts he doesn't stop. Makes it hard to talk on the phone, read a book, enjoy a peaceful car ride, etc.

The worst part is that he often tries to talk while I feed him, which results in biting me. With his teeth. It hurts. It is innocent enough, but still hurts.

There are times, though, when I can see that this child could unleash his fury onto the world and make us all suffer. The way he wails on some of his toys while he screams is mildly terrifying. The looks he will shoot you when you displease him are downright malicious. If you set him down next to his cousin the first thing he does is go for the eyes or the hair. All dogs in his life are seriously mistrusting of him because of past hitting/pulling/biting incidents. I get the feeling that this could equate into horrific grocery store tantrums later in life. That scares me.

While I was shopping with my mom, I made a comment about how glad I was to have a boy, because girls are hard work. Another shopper tried to warn me about how destructive boys are, and now I am starting to see it. Toys can not just be touched or looked at. You can't just press on a button to make it play music. The only acceptable ways to interact with toys are a.) hitting them b.) slamming them against the floor or c.) dropping them.  The same goes for people. You do not cuddle the people you like. Instead you will either 1.) pull their hair 2.) poke their eyes out or 3.) bite their faces/any convenient body parts.

I feel like he is going to rip apart my home as soon as he can move, and I don't know what I can do about it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Note to PCOS: You suck.

Last Thursday Oliver had his usual 6 month check up. I expected it to be no big deal because, well.. his other visits were no big deal. For this visit, his doctor was out of town so we were scheduled with another pediatrician. The new doctor's nurse came in, asked us if we had an specific concerns for this month, and I said no. She told me to strip him down and take him to the scale.

We weighed him with no problems, and he didn't scream like he has in the past. The nurse starts clicking on the computer and then turns to me and asks.. "The scale did say he was 15 pounds... right?"

I didn't even know. I don't really care much about his weight. I can't remember numbers worth crap so it could have been 15 or 30 and I wouldn't have known. She had written down 15 pounds, but thought something must be wrong because at his last visit he weighed 14 lbs 14 oz.

When she said that, I figured she just used the scale wrong so I wasn't initially worried. We went back and weighed him again, and the scale said the same thing... 15 pounds. A second scale confirmed the first's judgement - he really does weigh only 15 pounds.

In two months and 1 week's time, he had only gained two ounces.

I wanted to take back what I said before. Yes, nurse, I do have concerns and questions now.

The doctor seemed to take her time in coming in, which gave me plenty of time to worry about what was wrong. When she did come in, she jumped right in about his weight. No how are yous I'm fine thank yous. Just -

"I see your son hasn't gained weight."

That made me feel really good. The whole time she was questioning me about his eating habits I felt like she was pegging me for some sort of child abuser. I already felt bad enough, but she kept asking me...

"Are you sure you feed him at least 5 times a day? Do you stop him from eating before he's done? Do you ignore his hunger cues to keep him on a more convenient schedule?"

No. I fed him all the time. He was pretty happy and he had grown longer than some of his clothing so I thought he was fine. I wasn't paying attention to any of that. I assumed that he was growing. I assumed that, you know... once you get a hang of this gaining weight stuff you don't turn back.  I guess I was wrong, because my 90th percentile whopping big boy suddenly dropped to a 10th percentile petite little thing.

It was everything I could do not to freak out and cry. I wanted to keep saying I feed him I feed him I feed him! But I felt like repeating that would make her grow more and more suspicious of my caregiver skills. She told me about all of the bad things this could mean. Things wrong with Oliver, things wrong with me... She told me all of the statistics about what he "should be" but isn't.

And then she took a deep breath and said: Well, it could just be one bad weigh in. A temporary setback. Sometimes these things happen. Come back in a month and we'll reevaluate our situation. No big deal. I'll just overtly accuse you of neglecting him and you will shrug it off and come back in one month. Sound good? Good.

It's not good. I feel bad. I feel like I've failed him. I feel like I've starved him and its my fault for not realizing it. He seemed happy. He did grow an inch taller. I was doing my best and I thought I was doing a good job and then to hear that I just felt like I failed. It is hard for me to fail. It is especially hard for me to fail when I've given it everything I've got. It is especially hard for me to fail Oliver because he needs me to do everything for him. I don't ever want to let him down.


I wrote what was above the break a few days ago, and it was making me feel so bad that I just couldn't write any more of it. I write in this space to make myself feel better, and if writing isn't making me feel better I don't want to do it. The situation has gotten better now, though, so I feel like I can finish this. The end of that doctors visit was this: go home, try to feed him more often, and come back in a month and we'll check him again. Since he didn't seem to be nursing that well, I started giving him supplementary bottles of breastmilk or formula. I hated giving him formula, but I wanted to make sure he wasn't hungry.

Then on Monday I took Oliver back in to the doctor because he was refusing all foods except his solid foods. I saw him pulling on his ear so I thought he might have an ear infection. (He didn't.) When I took him in, they weighed him (twice) and found he had gained 10 ounces! Ten ounces in 3 days was a good sign - it meant that there was nothing wrong with Oliver, because clearly he is able to absorb the calories if we can pump more into him.

The bad news is that my milk supply has taken a dive. They suspect it is because of my Poly Cystic Ovary Sydrome, aka PCOS.  Basically I can't make up enough to meet his demands. I still make milk, but it comes in very slowly... despite pumping, galactagogues, eating more, drinking more, etc. I have a meeting with a doctor on Monday to talk about different options we can take, but there may be nothing I can do about this problem. I may just have to live with it, always supplementing him with bottles until we wean him.  I really would love to breastfeed him until he turns a year old, but it just might not be in the cards for me. I don't want to speak too much about it too soon - I'll find out on Monday what our game plan will be.

Stupid PCOS. Go away.