Sunday, January 27, 2008

It Ain't the Tree....

So, the blotchie skin, cough, red, red cheeks and chin, and the nearly constant itching isn't caused by Christmas Tree mold as suggested by and finally tested at the allergy center. It's the cat. In fact, the only reason Bug doesn't go into anaphylactic shock with the cat is because he isn't eating a spoonful of dander. Rather, when he sits on her favorite couch (see above pic), the small pouf of dander makes him quite ill, but not ill enough for the ER.
We can keep the cat only if he's on a regimen of five drugs per day. My Ninety-hmm-hmmm year old grandmother takes one pill a day. It's just not right on many counts. So, sweetest Auntie Mae and Uncle B and their pets have decided to widen the fold plus one.
Belly kitty has been with us since we were married. She's tolerated four moves across country and two young children. I know she'll do fine. I'm the only one that's just really bummed. Thankful for my sister, but bummed about not having something particularly fuzzy in my life. What an odd combination. My sister and her hubby rock.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The most surprising thing that happened this week isn't that G can now hold cereal in a sweet little pincer's grasp.
And it wasn't all the great gifts that we're all thankful for...
And it's not even the discovery that G knows that her food is different than our food and is NOT content at meal time until she's got some of the real stuff to play with ALL BY HERSELF.
It's that Bug and G are still here. I've specialized in kids 0-3 years for awhile. Normally, children under my care, when they turn three, they go off. They go off to a different audiologist, or school, or therapist or whatever...But Bug is mine! He's still here! We're looking at preschools, but there isn't any big transition or huge meeting discussing his educational path. It's just us. We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We go to the park, dig in the frozen earth in the backyard, wipe our mouths on each other's clothes and pretend we are baby gorillas. Bug also gallops. Everywhere. All the time. Except when stairs are involved.
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Bug celebrated his third year on this earth with a lovely visit from the Philpott Grandparents and the Sullivan Godparents. We had a great time.
G was a little reticent at first, but warmed up to the thought of more attentive adults ready to snuggle the night away.
Bug, as usual, dressed up somebody so that the real playtime could begin. Hurrah! Hurrah!
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Things that Make G Happy

Her toes. Her brother. Her toes. Sitting up all by herself. Her toes. Her feet. Her toes.Her socks. Her toes. Waking up from a nap. Her toes.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cool Customer

I'm reading a "Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion. When she arrives at the hospital after her husband has died from a heart attack unbeknownst to her, the social worker says to the doctor, "You can tell her. She's one cool customer." I have a flat affect too in crisis situations. I've enough first aid training, enough medically complicated kids under my care in therapy, and just enough knowledge of the human body to get me through acute, tough moments. I'm the gal you want when your kid has a seizure at the park, when your child stops breathing because she's stressed out, when your husband collapses in the parking lot. I just kick into this quiet, "What next?" kind of attitude that gets things done when others don't know what to do. I'm the perfect person to have a kid who can't leave the house without an epipen.

This weekend we baptized Baby G and even though our conservative and liberal friends alike really don't understand my relationship with God. I do. And I'm quite confident of it. Yet despite my assuredness, I found myself taken aback at G's baptism. Regardless of my faith, I found that I needed time to reflect on G, just her and only her and not while I'm in the middle of childbirth, and not while I'm managing a 3 year old and not when I'm answering the phone while paying bills while making a vegan dinner while worrying about M's flight home while drying laundry that I'm sure not to put away.
I needed that quiet moment to catch my breath and let it be captured by the winter sun streaming through the windows. Remember her gestation and birth and all the bits I know of her young self and to welcome her. Truly welcome her into my life. I cried. I did. I was not a cool customer no matter how hard I tried. I didn't wail and I think only Miss B and M knew I was a little teary. But I wasn't cool. There is nothing cool or calm about a brand new person in your life. Absolutely nothing.
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Monday, January 14, 2008


We are the proud owners of a great white shark named "Cable." It is our current objet d'amor. Cable likes peanut butter and jelly on sesame bagels, Baby G, driving Mack trucks, and bathtime. I expected the bathtime answer - being a water creature and all - , but found the other likes to be strikingly similar to Bug's own. Oui?

They are growing up so fast I like to look at them from far away to remember how small they still are.
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Saturday, January 12, 2008


I packed away Baby G' swaddling blankets. Sigh.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Myth Builder and Meat

Saturday we found a sitter last minute so when the kidlettes slept, we went to see Juno - The Movie. Afterward I stood, by chance, next to the odd couple who were having a discussion over which they were quite proud. They felt, that they must "free the woman from the act of being a vessel." While I am no feminist, and not a nutter either, I don't feel as though I should be freed from anything. I won't continue the myth that I've found my identity post babies...I haven't. I still have the same whiney existential meanderings that I did before. "Who am I? Who am I as a mother? Should I cut my hair? How do I rid myself of toe fungus? I bet I wouldn't have toe fungus if M had taken care of his toe fungus earlier. How does one effectively clean cat yark? Who will publish my short story?"

I don't have as much time to stare at the rain or at my toes, but I find ways to squeeze it in.

It's not easy to be the main caregiver. It's a lot. And, it's more than rice cereal at 4:30, soy milk to head off a whine fest, and dinner on the table if I'm lucky. But it's only those things too...

I don't mind being "the vessel," it's all mine. The bank could repo my house, Bug's allergies could be fatal, M could plummet to his death during one of his many trips. But being able to carry and care for these kids, that's all mine. There is not one possession or person that I can say is mine, but these acts, these experiences, no one can take them away from me. Not even some weirdo waxing philosophically on an awkward date. I mind not having a sitter. I mind not getting a break. I mind not having someone else do my laundry. Being able to carry G and Bug to term? Instead of Matt? Just fine. I'll take that please.

In other news, this is the face G makes when she realizes that I'm feeding her rice cereal again. I think, now that she's discovered the joys of solid food, that she's a little disappointed that it's not steak. I'll get her aunties to straighten her out.

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Monday, January 7, 2008


What people neglect to say when expecting the first infant, adopted or via birth, is that the mother will be damp for at least the first six months. Here's how I've been slightly damp this morning. If you're curious about my afternoon and evening...go from step 2 through the's just a rinse and repeat cycle anyway.
1) Wake up, shower. 2) Feed Baby G. Wet cereal-hands all over my shirt. 3) Decide to wipe off wet cereal with a wet-wipe rather than let the cereal dry and pick it off at a later time. Both equally gross, but the wet wipe makes me a little more presentable sooner. Not really sure who I need to be presentable for...but I'm trying. 4) Pick up Baby G. She's tired, so she rubs her runny nose on my shirt. 5) Before I lay her down Do dishes = wet hands. 6) Spill coffee on self. 7) Pick up Baby G.She spits up on me, but in an entirely different spot from before. Note: I am not yet completely dry from decisions made or accidents occurring since step 3. 8) Wipe off spit up again. 9) - optional- but occurs once a day - Bug overflows the bathroom sink to make an ocean or a pond or a waterbed or the Puget Sound or the Gulf of Mexico for some water creature or another. I am wet throughout the "drat i didn't catch you soon enough" through the "clean-up" phase. There's more, but I'm waterlogged.
Happily, Baby G is soon to be 7 months and I missed a spit-up session today. I was dry for like a whole hour or something! Yay me! Please bring a dry cloth and your ability to overlook a messy shirt when you visit.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

5 reasons

I never really buy anything without five reasons. The reasons can be silly like, "I will buy these shoes because I like orange shoes," or they can be practical like, "I need new shoes so that my feet don't get wet this Seattle winter." Just so long as all the reasons are above board and acknowledged.
So, I was really bummed about the fake Christmas tree. I know, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal, but it represented just one more thing to worry about with the Bug. "Is he developing asthma? How will I know sooner rather than later that I'm doing the right thing? How can I tell if his wheezing is a tree mold thing and not an exposure to dairy and I should rush him to he ER thing?" and the list goes on and on and on. Plus, I would've groaned and moped at the thought of my parents getting a fake tree when growing up. It doesn't smell pretty and my fingers were worn smooth and sensitive from unwrapping all the fake branches and the fake needles from the fake branches and then you have to make sure to put each fake section on in the right order and then I started thinking about all the Chinese factory workers who put my fake tree together and who must have been like, "Americans buy this? Use this? What?!" (My tree was indeed made in China and I'm not talking Taiwan either.)
I decided to find five reasons to love my fake tree besides it being good for Bug's health. Surprise, surprise! I came up with eight. Here they are: 1) I learned that they are good for the environment. Better than the energy it takes to grow, cut, haul, and ultimately dispose of real trees. 2) No fighting with the lights every year. It's been done for you. Thank you Chinese factory workers. 3) It doesn't shed needles. 4) It's less of a fire hazard. 5)
I'm not listing my number five or my six, seven, and eight. I'm just thankful I had a great Christmas with my family. The tree is pretty. My family is healthy. My family is happy unless it is nap time. I can afford to go buy a tree or shoes or some time from a baby sitter when I need it. I live where I can see snow capped mountains year around. Happy New Year! I'm off to disassemble my tree til next year.
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