Blog Reruns

I got all charged up to talk about my hunt for a new bra and had this moment of deja vu when I sat down at the computer. Oh right… I’ve already talked about this.

I talked then about how my “real” band size is a 28 or 30. I don’t have any bras in my “real” size. All of my current bras are from VS because I know exactly what size will (mostly) fit me there. However, I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to purchase my “real” size through an online store. I’ve purchased two separate bras and had zero luck so far. The first was just laughably big, by every measure, because I had a moment of amnesia and blissfully forgot about the whole “real” size issue. The second bra I’m less sure about. To be fair, I probably chose poorly, in trying to buy my first “real” sized bra because this particular style was flagged as running shallow in the cup. Order a up a cup size! the site told me, so I did. And it doesn’t really fit. My boobs still seem squished in the center. I ordered another cup size up (which, for anyone keeping track, is now two cup sizes above what I really am), but I had the thought that maybe it’s just the design of the bra.

I hate that I’m paying $7/bra to try these things on (essentially, as that’s the cost to return the bra). I’ll probably try going into an actual store later on, if this third round of bras yields nothing. Or, you know, I could just forget the whole endeavor for a while and try again in another couple of years. Stay tuned!

Speaking of boobs (nice segue self!) how was your Valentine’s Day? Ours was nice. I decided on Monday to make a nice dinner for Luffy and myself. Nothing fancy, just something with a tad more effort that a typical Wednesday night dinner. I decided to do big, thick steaks and my favorite mac and cheese. We shared my good champagne and I made Luffy’s favorite mini cheesecakes. It was a really nice night if we don’t speak of the overstimulated, sugar-blitzed toddler I wrestled and wrangled from the time I picked him up to the moment I tossed him (lovingly) into bed. Poor kiddo was just plumb tuckered out from his first Valentine’s Day party.

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Weekend Joy

I was going to write this up yesterday (Monday), but then it took me over an hour to get to work due to multiple accidents. And then my sauerkraut leaked all over my car. And then I got the dreaded call from daycare to come pick up my diseased* child. And then I had to rearrange my day to care for a cranky-ish, infectious dude. And then I got screamed at for a half hour because I had the audacity to think a car ride** might help an interrupted nap. And then, once Luffy got him back to sleep peacefully, I had the audacity to wake the dumpling up from a perfectly WONDERFUL nap to buckle him into the car. Again. Like deja vu woman! And then we went to the pediatrician’s office where he was MOST displeased with me for not letting him out of the examination room when he so politely requested. And then I spent another hour in traffic trying to make it to my exercise class on time. So yeah, it was that kind of Monday.***

*He’s fine. Little bacterial infection in his eye which cleared up almost completely as soon as we used the drops. So Tuesday-edition dumpling is only like 2% diseased.

**I know dumpling. Mama’s sorry; I don’t know what I was thinking.

***But Luffy was the real MVP as he convinced the dumpling to sleep not once, but three times AND he took solo parental duties as I flitted off to teach class.


We had a glorious weekend, thank you for asking. And since I was kicking myself earlier over not writing down the happier times, I’m doing it now.

Saturday morning, Luffy took the dumpling to the playground for the first time as a mobile child and he liked it so much, we took him back two more times. We spent a collective four hours at the playground this weekend. It’s a great one, close to our house, that has separate areas for smaller kids and big kids. The dumpling mastered the climbing wall (not a traditional climbing wall, mind you, basically is was a staircase with unevenly placed and irregular steps) and we introduced him to slides. Saturday morning, he was unsure. Saturday afternoon, he had fun with help (mama getting him into position at the top and dada guiding him down). By Sunday morning, he was getting himself started at the top and only needed our help getting all the way down. (He kept getting stuck on his shoes, then he’d attempt to push up to stand.)

Besides the climbing wall and slides, he loves the steps (he got wonderful practice at holding on to the rail for support) and he had great fun wandering all over the park. We’d give him his sippy cup and off he’d go, to meander through the fields and parking lot, with his little entourage of adults following behind. And what an entourage it was! My mom came in for a quick visit and Luffy’s parents would meet us there, so we’d have five adults following the whims of a toddler. Great fun for him!

Besides the playground, he just played really, really well by himself. He was the sweetest little boy, giving hugs and unloading cabinets. He’d busy himself with the recycling bin, then wander into the living room for a quick snuggle and off he’d go again to upend the next drawer. My mom and I took him to Target and then to See’s Candies, where he stole 3/4 of a chocolate caramel from me and proceeded to amaze me by eating the entire thing. He then gestured broadly at the chocolate display case and I had to break his little heart that those weren’t ours for eating.

Anyway, nothing extraordinary except the quiet happiness of a wonderful weekend. Hope yours was enjoyable too!

One and Done

Luffy and I have decided. We’re changing our life-plan and sticking with our little family of three. One child. Just the dumpling. Honestly, other than my absurd wish to be pregnant again (anyone need these rose-colored glasses?) and hold a newborn (but only for like half an hour), the thought of just having one child brings me a lot of peace.

I wrote once, on a community board, that I feel like I’m too selfish to have another child. Not in a bad way, but more in a self-care way. Not to knock the dumpling or anything, but there are so many other things I enjoy in life. Plus, I’m not really into the whole mom sacrifices everything – her time, her body, her identity, EVERYTHING – to raise children. At the end of the day, I still want – nay NEED – time for myself. Time for my interests and hobbies, like exercising and travel. I’d really like to be able to teach at least three exercise classes a week again. Luffy and I would love to go to Italy again and we can’t wait to introduce our child to the joys of traveling. And hell, I need time to take care of myself. I’m a much better person with 15 minutes of peace and quiet. I don’t want to become a mother who hasn’t had a decent meal all day or whose children are well-dressed but she’s in sweats and unwashed hair. [Nothing against those mothers! It’s just not for me.]

With the plan for one child a go, Luffy and I have already started to become excited for the near future again. Travel! With and without the dumpling! We’re that much closer to getting a dog (because I refuse to be the primary care-giver for a puppy at the same time as a baby)! We’re that much closer to retirement! We’re that much closer to diaper-free days and meltdown-free days and – GUESS WHAT?! – we no longer have any newborn days in our future again! HOLLA!! WOOT WOOT!! and etc!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware we might change our minds and we reserve the right to. Once the dumpling’s a little more independent and we’re through the ups/downs of early toddlerhood (read: teeeeeeeeeth because the dumpling is getting four right now). Once he can talk to us, maybe? We might change our minds. And that’s ok.

Right now though, my mental health is a lot, er, healthier with the thought of having just one. And that’s ok too.

Back to the routine

I must say, it feels good to slip back into a routine.

That was completely me. I lost all sense of the days and, even this week, I’m still lost as to whether it’s Tuesday or Wednesday. I used to love the times of the year when you get to kick back and lose yourself in the days of leisure, but with a toddler who does much better with routine, it feels so good to sink back into our cozy routine.

Unfortunately, our routine is being disrupted yet again this Friday by the dumpling’s MRI. Luckily, it should be fairly short, all things considered. I mean, the poor baby has to be sedated for the procedure so I was concerned they’d want to keep him for monitoring. I spoke to the radiology nurse yesterday though and she assured me that we’d likely be on our way by 10am at the latest. I still plan to keep him home though, to monitor him myself, so Friday should be an interesting day.

Luffy and I were talking the other day about how strange it is, having a child, in certain situations. For instance, while I was talking with the radiology nurse, she told me that two adults can wait in radiology, but then only one adult can go back with the dumpling. She said that adult could remain with him until he was asleep and then that person (which, who are we kidding, is going to be me) will be removed from the procedure area. And when she said that, my heart just seized up as my mind conjured up the image of my son under sedation, all alone in an MRI room. I won’t be allowed to rejoin him until he’s in recovery and I’m praying that he will take longer to wake up because I don’t want him to wake up without me being there. I mean, if he wakes up and no one’s there… my heart can’t take that.

Or, another example of this odd phenomenon where my heart squeezes involuntarily: our daycare is hesitant to move the dumpling into the next class (the toddler class, for ages 12-18mo). The dumpling’s 14mo now and finally walking pretty well. He’s actually already on the school’s lunch plan and we’re beginning to shift his schedule to align to the toddler class, so we asked them about the timing of his move to the next class. When they hesitated, we pressed and they told us that they thought he was too small. At first, we were dismissive (and also probably a touch defensive), but really, he’s small?! He’s probably always going to be on the smaller side of the class, at least until he hits his first pubescent growth spurt. What’s the cutoff here? I mean, if you hold him back for his size now, what about the next transition? He just broke twenty pounds (which we know thanks to a visit last Friday to our pediatrician!*), did they want him to be 22lbs or 25lbs? What exactly was their goal?

So, I asked my mother. A long, long time ago, she worked in a daycare (actually several, including running her own in-home daycare). My first clue as to the depth of her concern was that I texted her and she called me back. (Complete sidebar here – whenever you elevate the method of conversation, it always feels a touch more dire. Like if you email someone and they text you in return – or, in this scenario, you text someone and they call you back instead. But I digress…) She told me that if the daycare managers were hesitant to move the dumpling because of his size, it was very likely that the next class has some “assertive” toddlers – i.e. the toddlers that are in the pushing and hitting phase. His teachers have told me time and time again that if another baby takes a toy from the dumpling, he just goes to find another. He has such a sweet and passive personality (most of the time!). My mother said that she’d listen to the daycare managers, because she’d hate for the dumpling to go from a stellar daycare experience (seriously, he loves his teachers and class so much) to a classroom full of “bullies” who will quite literally run him over, physically and figuratively. And y’all – my heart just hurt for my son. It made me want to scoop him up and give him a hug. Or follow him into the toddler class to run interference for him against all of those bigger, pushier toddlers. Or, better yet, just keep him in the infant classroom with the teachers who already love him! Yes! Let’s do that!

Parenthood, right? It’s frustrating and fulfilling and heart-wrenching, all at the same time.


Now for a little observation that I really want to jot down:

My sweet baby has always loved to read. He loves books and turning the pages and lifting the flaps and hearing the stories. One of his favorite books (which was actually one of my favorites as a child!) is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He also really like Sandra Boynton’s Doggies when he was really little, I think because of all of the doggie sounds. He’s gone one step further lately – he actually has favorite pages. And it’s very clear because he will thumb through a book with purpose until he lands on a particular page. And if we’re reading the book and I turn the page away from his favorite, he’ll immediately turn it back to have me re-read the page. Squee! Isn’t that just adorable?!

Right now, his favorite pages are the “nine dogs on a moonlit night” page from Sandra Boynton’s Doggies because we howl at the moon and he thinks that’s hilarious. His other favorite page is the “di-no-saurs sing-ing a di-no-saur song!” from her Oh My! Oh My! Oh Dinosaurs!. I think he likes it because I sing the words with much flair and embellishment. Plus, I occasionally decide to show off my skills at holding a note and hold on to the “song” until he’s smiling like a fool. Good times!

Anyway, wish us luck for Friday. I’m ready for next week when we can slip even further into our comfortable routines.

*The trip to the pediatrician last Friday was unscheduled but ultimately uneventful. The dumpling had a cold over Christmas, as I’ve mentioned. He ran a fever Friday through Sunday, but woke up fever-free on Christmas Day (Monday). He seemed to be improving and then he ran a fever again on Thursday afternoon. He didn’t have a fever Friday morning, but I spent a restless Thursday night with him as he tossed and turned and dozed fitfully. So, we went to the pediatrician’s for a clean-ish bill of health. Good thing too because the radiology people weren’t too jazzed about him having had a cold so recently and were quizzing me to make sure he hadn’t been diagnosed with the flu or RSV or something.

Post-holiday Recovery

Well then, that was depressing.

In hindsight, I think that I was just really upset over my parents leaving early. Even before the holiday, I had been bummed that they were only staying for a full day (Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, so basically just here for Christmas Day). So the abrupt departure was something I just couldn’t deal with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the dumpling was a lot to handle, but topped off with my parents being here for just 24 hours, and voila! Existential crisis du jour.

If I may though, the decision to have a second child has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I’m not sure if it’s the dumpling’s mini-tantrums or my concerns over his development or perhaps the lackluster Christmas we had. Regardless, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to whether I want to have a second child.

Luffy’s ambivalent on the matter, so it’s really up to me. He does, at least, concede that I do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to our son, especially right now when we are in the grips of parent-preference (me, of course). It is nice to hear, in a way, that he sees everything that I do, but it doesn’t help the decision about a second child because I know that I’ll be doing most of the work. Hopefully, the dumpling will be a bit more independent when/if this hypothetical second child makes an appearance, but I know I can’t just focus solely on the young child and leave the older to fend for himself.

On the one hand, it feels like such a cop-out to plan my life out based on what’s easier right now. Right now, I can’t comprehend throwing a second child into the mix. Another strong-willed, uneven tempered being. I barely keep up with the dumpling as it is and I am always happy to turn him over to daycare for the day (mama needs a break too!). Honestly, just the thought of “I will only have one child” brings me a lot of relief and peace. And since it does, is that my gut telling me that I’d be no good as a mother of two? Is it taking the easy road or is it taking my feelings into consideration regarding our family’s future? After all, no one wants to be that mom who looks back at her life and regrets her children.

I feel like we’re at a crossroads of sorts. We ventured down one life path (have a child!) and we’re coming to a fork. The path that we’re on now has been fun, yes! With the dumpling’s laughter and smiles – watching him learn to crawl and walk and eat solid food. But it’s also been hard. With nursing around the clock in the beginning to newborn meltdowns to toddler meltdowns to colds and stomach viruses and febrile seizures.

This post is just all over the place at the moment. Basically what I’m trying to say is that raising a child is hard – oh so very hard – and I do a lot of the truly hard stuff. So if I choose to only have one child – is that taking the easy way out of life? Would I regret it later, that I never put in the hard work upfront to later enjoy the rewards of multiple children? Or, is choosing to have one child simply listening to my gut feeling that I’m unhappy right now and that child-rearing is the source of my unhappiness?


To add in one of my patented to be fairs, we have had a few tough weeks here recently. First with the shenanigans at Thanksgiving, then the seizure, and Roseola, and a cold, and possibly molars, and Christmas letdowns – it’s probably not the best time to be making life decisions. In the midst of the holiday blues, I even forgot that just weeks ago I seriously contemplated writing up a post about just how happy I was. At the end of October and first week or so of November, I was completely content. I felt it to my very core, the feeling that all was right in my little world. I didn’t write the post, because I thought it would come off as too braggy – look at me and my cozy little family! – but now I’m sad that I didn’t. It would have been a nice reminder of just how happy my life can be.

Happy holidays!

I have today off, which I feel is a little odd but I’m not complaining. Plus…. I have today off and yet I still dropped the dumpling off at daycare which means…. [ahem] I AM NOT DOING A DAMN THING ALL DAY!!!!!!! Woot woot!

Luffy and I dropped the dumpling off (he’s got some conference calls this afternoon, but he bummed around with me this morning) and went to get breakfast tacos. We decided to kill even more time by going to see the new Star Wars movie. Spoiler alert: we didn’t get to see it. I went to the restroom to pee before the movie and was faced with my own little horror show. My period – a week early. I felt like such a teenager again. I hadn’t replaced the liners I keep in my wallet and a frantic search of my car didn’t even reveal an ancient emergency tampon. I thought briefly about staying for the movie and just, I don’t know, keeping my legs crossed tightly, but Luffy laughed at me and steered me towards the car.


We’re all ready for the holidays around here. I wrapped all of the gifts and tidied up a bit, though I’m sure I’ll need to clean again before my family gets here. We’re seeing Luffy’s parents tomorrow (they want to take us to get pizza and I’m fairly certain it’s solely for the purpose of watching the dumpling eat pizza) and my family gets in on Sunday. They won’t be here for long, so I’m sure it will feel like a whirlwind.

In other news, the dumpling is battling his first cold of the season right now. And just a week after his brush with Roseola! Did I mention that? We had a follow-up appointment with his pediatrician on Tuesday and she confirmed my suspicions that he likely had Roseola. It’s a virus characterized by a sudden high fever that lasts 3-5 days. About 12-24 hours after the fever subsides, a rash appears for 24-48 hours. It can only be confirmed by a blood test for antibodies which explains why the hospital’s nasal swap didn’t reveal anything. Also, according to one article I read, about 10-15% of babies with Roseola will experience a febrile seizure because of how quickly the fever climbs. Of course, take that with a grain of salt because the internet. The silver lining is that once they have Roseola, they have immunity for life.

But back to his cold, the poor thing. He’s not running a fever, as of right now, but it doesn’t stop me from dosing him up with Motrin at nights, just in case. We’re running his humidifier on full blast and moved our air purifier into his room. And of course we’re chasing after him with tissues to wipe his nose which, according to my son, is the WORST imposition. At least my insistence that he drinks more water is met with more appreciation. I even make him a little concoction of warm, diluted (very diluted) cranberry juice and honey each morning. Honey to help with his cough and cranberry juice to entice him (that boy is definitely my child in his love of tart things). So yeah, that’s where we’re at now. And while we still can’t dose him up with, say, Robitussin, at least he’s not a tiny newborn anymore. My nerves can handle a sick toddler over a sick newborn any day.

Anyway, that’s us! Happy holidays from my little family to yours!

[Exhale]

When I first saw the dumpling sit up on the monitor over three hours after he had gone to bed Monday night, my first thought was oh maaaaaan, I hope he goes back to sleep. A selfish thought. I wanted to relax and head to bed myself, not spend twenty or thirty minutes patting and shushing. When we saw him lay back down only moments after sitting up, I silently urged him to go back to sleep. And then, we heard a cry. A startling, piercing, interrupted cry. He was in the monitor’s blind spot, so we couldn’t see him, but the cry was so out of place that both Luffy and I raced back to his room. Luffy got there first.

“Oh god,” he muttered to me or perhaps God himself as he picked the dumpling up. He passed him to me and even in the darkness, I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong. My baby was having a seizure.

Luffy flipped the light and asked me what we should do. I passed the dumpling back to Luffy and didn’t hesitate as I raced for my phone to call 911. When I returned, on the phone with the operator, Luffy was on the floor holding the still-convulsing dumpling. In what will probably be the longest minutes of my life, we anxiously awaited the paramedics as I raced around gathering diaper bag and wallet and shoes. The dumpling was still convulsing when the paramedics arrived and would continue to convulse for several minutes (right up until they were about to administer an anti-convulsant). The total length of time: 13 minutes. Thirteen agonizing, heart-breaking minutes that are seared into my memory.

The dumpling had actually had a fever that night, a mild one, but since he was still eating, drinking, and playing normally, we sent him to bed without a dose of medicine. The paramedic explained that it was a likely febrile seizure (seizure caused by a sudden spike in temperature in young children), but he advised we go to the hospital due to the length of the seizure. (A typical febrile seizure lasts about one to two minutes.) It was the first time I’ve ever ridden in an ambulance. Luffy followed behind as we traveled to a local Children’s Hospital. In the ambulance, the dumpling was stiff through his limbs and unfocused. He began emitting a constant cry/whine and the paramedics were unsure if he was lapsing into another seizure or coming through what’s known as the postictal state (a state of confusion and drowsiness following a seizure).

Once in the ER, the nurses and doctors began to examine the dumpling. They too were unsure of the second seizure or postictal state question, but moved him to a trauma room that was better equipped. In the end, the dumpling would need two anti-consvulsant medications delivered through an IV and respiratory support to bring the seizures and postulating (tightening of the muscles) under control. A CT scan was performed (especially in light of the fact that he bumped his head on a window sill Saturday night), but nothing was noticed there. In order to identify the source of the fever, a nasal culture and urine tests were analyzed, but the hospital was unable to find an explanation. We were admitted for the night for observation.

In the morning, the pediatric neurologist opted for an EEG, a test that would analyze the electrical patterns from the dumpling’s brain. This would better tell us if the dumpling just had one (though frighteningly long) seizure or more than one seizure. If his EEG was normal, we would be good to go without any follow-up care. If his EEG was abnormal, we’d proceed with an MRI. His EEG was abnormal and confirmed that the ER doctors likely saw a second (or even third) seizure that night. We have an MRI scheduled for January. We’ve also started a daily epileptic medication to help ensure the dumpling doesn’t have another seizure in the meantime. We were discharged from the hospital though, under our insistence that the dumpling get a good night sleep that night. (The neurologist had initially suggested keeping the dumpling a second night and having the MRI done inpatient, first thing this morning.)

Unfortunately, the dumpling was still running a fever this morning. We’re following his pediatrician’s advice for dosing him up with Motrin and Tylenol to keep the fever down. He’s cranky and tired, not that I blame him. I’m longing for my happy baby to come back. I wish I could make all of this better. I’ve started researching epilepsy, but I can only take so much (it’s never a good idea to look at medical reviews online but it’s an even worse idea to read through them for your child). I want to watch the dumpling chase after Luffy. I want to watch him sort through cabinets. I long for Saturday when all of this hadn’t happened and we were blissfully unaware of a potential problem with the dumpling’s brain.

I have to stay calm and positive though. We’ll take each day as it comes. Once the dumpling gets over whatever is causing his fever, I think I’ll be more capable of tackling the rest. After all, he’s lived 14 months with a brain that might be prone to seizures. If you’ll excuse me now, I need to go cuddle my baby some more.