Monday, April 30, 2012

Vomitus Alloverus

I adore Katie. She is the light of our lives. Every little smile, every sound, every new thing she does fills us with happiness. But there's more to Katie than meets the eye.

She's a puker. I don't mean she has a weak stomach; she's eaten some very questionable things off the floor and never had a problem. I don't mean she has motion sickness. Quite the opposite: she loves doing somersaults and being held upside down.  I don't mean she's prone to stomach flu - she's only had colds so far.

I mean she's an angry puker.  If screaming loudly enough to make Mommy's ears ring isn't enough to get her point across, throwing up is her ace in the hole. Our first encounter with this phenomenon really caught us off guard. We'd finally given up on the "no-cry" method (after 14 months) and started sleep training*. Katie, of course, wanted no part of this, and screaming quickly escalated to barfing.

The second encounter was during Katie's first haircut. We knew she would be wiggly and unlikely to sit still, but we were really surprised at how vehemently she hated it. Tears turned to screams, and when that didn't stop the nice lady from coming at her with scissors, she decided to try barfing. Luckily, the stylist took that in stride and managed to get a few more snips in before we threw in the towel.

The third encounter with the puke-monster was during what was supposed to be a routine blood draw, for Katie's vaccine study. It took nearly an hour, four techs, and a WHOLE LOT of barf before we got the two tiny vials they needed. The charge nurse asked what Katie had had for breakfast, and when I told her "yogurt," she said "Oh great. That's what I brought for lunch. I'm going to go throw it away." They are never gonna let us come back to that lab!

Last night was our fourth encounter. Katie had a fever of 102 (see previous post) and Kaiser instructed us to give her those children's Tylenol drops. Well, to say that Katie didn't like them would be a real understatement. I totally expected squirming, screaming, and spitting, which is why we chose to administer the medicine in the bathroom, the only room with an easy-to-clean floor.  I did not anticipate the puking. I certainly wasn't prepared for how much there would be. Or how many times. All over mommy. Very little got on the floor, actually. At one point, Anthony and I looked at each other and started to laugh. What else can you do? (Besides cry?)

Anyway, I'm considering keeping Katie quarantined until she outgrows the angry puking. No fun!

UPDATE: For those with an iron stomach, here is a picture of Katie and Mommy in all our puke-covered glory.  Seriously, click at your own risk - it is really really gross. And Katie is naked, so I'm definitely gonna get some flak for this in about 12 years.  Take me to the horribleness!

*A story for another post. Someday soon, I promise!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Viruses: A Rant

Last Thursday we had a play date with a new friend we met at the supermarket. They live just a few blocks away. She's just a few weeks older than Katie, and they played really well together. I mean, as well as can be expected at a year and a half. They shared toys nicely and didn't hit each other over the head (much), so that's a win in my book.

BUT - when the little girl showed up, she had a runny nose. Her mother said, "Oh, she's had that for a while now, probably allergies." OK, I took that at face value, and the play date commenced.

A while later, the little girl tried to drink from Katie's sippy cup of water. The other mom took it away and explained that her daughter had recently had Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HMFD) and that the virus can still be shed weeks after symptoms disappear.  W.T.F!!!!  Why did you bring your kid over to my house??????  I appreciate the gesture of not letting the kids share sippies, but hello? Her kid's saliva is all over my den, kitchen and dining room, all of Katie's toys, and Katie herself!

Anyway, how do you kick someone out of your house during a one-hour play date? I guess I'm too much of a people-pleaser, so I let it continue. After they left, I went into a germophobic frenzy. I immediately washed Katie's hands. I grabbed my bottle of Method Antibac and sprayed every object and every surface I could think of that had been touched.  (omg, I just remembered! Doorknobs! AAAAAAAH!)

Long story short, guess whose toddler has a runny nose today, three days later?  I am fuming. And praying we all don't get HMFD.

Seriously, people? Keep your kids home when they're sick. End of rant.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bacon Pancakes!

Welcome, dear readers, to my first-ever tutorial!  Today is Anthony's birthday, so I wanted to cook something extra special for breakfast. Lucky for me, inspiration came in the form of a friend's post yesterday on Facebook: pancakes with bacon cooked right in the middle!

They were super easy, and quite the crowd-pleaser too!  Enjoy the pics!  :)

Bacon Pancakes

Step 1: Cook the bacon. We like ours not-too-crispy. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't hold up, but they were just fine.

Step 2: Pour off the grease. I poured off as much as I could, but left a little bacon-y goodness as grease for the pancakes.

Step 3: Add the bacon back to the pan and pour pancake batter over it.  I did one at a time, but if you have a larger pan or a griddle, you could do more.

Step 4: Flip your creation and continue cooking. I did a little over 1 minute per side.

Step 5: Enjoy!  Happy Birthday Anthony!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Crunchy Dance of Joy

I may have turned to the Dark Side. I really hope this post doesn't cost me my one and only reader, Awkward Mom!


I just made my own Larabars!  If you're reading this and you happen to not be Awkward Mom, the whole "make-your-own-granola-bars" controversy stems from this hilarious and also thought-provoking post: Awkward Mom vs. Other Moms. (Do check it out; it's a delightful post.) It seems that granola-bar-making is something only annoying, overbearing, sanctimonious Perfect Moms do.

I promise I'm not trying to be a Perfect Mom!  Yuck. If you could see the outfit I'm wearing right now, or the state of my hair, you'd know right away that I'm not one.  ;)

But anyway - this Larabar obsession of mine took root about a week ago, when I saw a copycat recipe on a craft website. I love copycat recipes, but I'd never tried a Larabar. The copycat post mentioned how horribly expensive they can be: up to $1.89 per bar, and they're teeny.  Fast forward a couple of days later, when what should be on sale at my local market? Larabars!!  Woohoo. I tried two and fell in love with the Coconut Cream Pie flavor.  So of COURSE I had to try the recipe.

Truth is, this could be the easiest thing I've ever made. The bulk of my time was spent searching for ingredients!  There are only five: Dates, cashews, almonds, coconut and coconut oil.  Pit the dates (I had to google that, but it couldn't be simpler). Then you process everything in a food processor, and turn it out onto waxed paper and mush it into a bar shape.  No brainer.  The noise of the processor didn't even wake Katie up!  Could there be a bigger win?

And they are TASTY as all get-out.  I am stunned at how simple the ingredients are.  I'm not the type to turn up my nose at refined sugar (there are some Snickers wrappers in the trash can right now that will attest to that) but I do occasionally enjoy the wholesome feeling I get from eating food that's...well, real food.  :)

Thank you, Lara, whoever you are, for inventing these. I promise I'm not trying to put you out of business, and that I'll continue to buy your bars for their awesome individually-wrapped convenience. But, as my local Trader Joe's doesn't sell Coconut Cream Pie, I'm gonna whip up my own once in a while too.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunshine Award!

Shucks, folks, I'm speechless!  I was over at Awkward Mom, and I noticed she'd won the Sunshine Award for having an awesome blog.  (Totally deserved, btw!) I read through her throughly amusing acceptance speech, and when I got to the end, I was floored.  The Sunshine Award requires you to pass on the award to other bloggers, and one of the blogs she passed it along to was...this one!  Yaaaaaaaay!

It seems the protocol is to answer some questions and then share the love. So here goes!

1. What is your favorite color?
My lifelong favorite color is blue, but right now I'm partial to teal. I've got a shirt that's the brightest teal you could possibly imagine and I wear it a lot.
2. What is your favorite animal?
That depends. Domestic? Cats. Wild? Bears. Stuffed? Also bears. (I mean plush, not taxidermy. Ew.)
3. What is your favorite number?
27. Coincidentally, Matt Kemp's number. (Even though nobody asked, my favorite Dodger is #16, Andre Ethier.)
4. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Pepsi, preferably from a soda fountain. Somehow it tastes better than from a can. But I'll take a can any day. I rarely, if ever, drink caffeinated soda, so it's a special treat.
5. Which do you prefer, Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook, hands down.
6. What is your passion?

At the moment, raising my beautiful daughter and watching her change as she grows up.  But I also have an entrepreneurial streak a mile wide.  

7. Do you prefer giving or receiving presents?

Probably giving. I love to give thoughtful presents, but sometimes it's frustrating when I can't think of the right gift for someone. Particularly when that someone is my husband, whose birthday happens to be this Saturday. I tried and tried and tried, but the gifts I came up with are woefully lame.  :(
8. What is your favorite pattern?

The cute cabled clutch knitting pattern I designed a few years back.  Right now I'm marveling that I had a) the time and b) the brain power.  Look at all those fiddly cables!  Pre-kids, for sure!

Hmm, awful photo. Can you even see the cabling?

9. What is your favorite day of the week?

Saturday. It always has been, but since Katie was born, the feeling has taken on a new intensity.
10. What is your favorite flower?

I love tulips, but the peonies in my bridal bouquet are probably #1 in my book. I didn't preserve the bouquet, so the peonies are just in my memories (and wedding photos).

And now, folks, it's time to share the love.  I've been procrastinating about this because I'm kind of embarrassed. I only follow two blogs, and one of them is the one that nominated me for this award. But the other one is a hugely successful (and totally hilarious and readable) blog and the author really doesn't need lil' old me to give her an award.  It would be like the star of a high school play giving an accolade to Meryl Streep.  (In other words, I'm incredibly small time.)

But anyway, here goes: I'd like to pass the Sunshine Award to...Anna at!  (and the crowd goes wild!!!)

Thanks again, Awkward Mom, you sure put some sunshine into my day!!  :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Katie's Newest Pastime

Alternate title: Why Styrofoam Peanuts Should Be Banned

Last Christmas, my sweet Uncle Ralph sent Katie a very special gift.  It's a framed picture of me at age 6 with my dear Aunt Gayle, who passed away last year.  He thought it would be cute for Katie to have a picture of her Mommy as a little girl.  Isn't that adorable?  And did I mention that Aunt Gayle and I are both in costume, as Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion? (I got to be Dorothy.) At the risk of dating myself, when I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz used to come on Channel 5 every year. I would go over to Aunt Gayle's and we'd play dress-up and act out the parts. We even got Uncle Ralph to be the Scarecrow once! Mostly it was me playing Dorothy and Aunt Gayle doing quick costume changes during commercial breaks. I even had a DIY pair of ruby slippers (patent leather + red glitter = a huge mess!)  Ah, good times.

But I digress. Uncle Ralph's present arrived in true Uncle Ralph fashion: wrapped so securely that you could drop it off the top of the Eiffel Tower and it would be unscathed. He cleverly constructed a double-walled cardboard box by taping two boxes together, Frankenstein-like, with what must have been about a mile of tape.  The frame was wrapped in some kind of space-age* cushioning, and...a BOAT LOAD of little green styrofoam peanuts.

I hate these things. Who doesn't hate these things? Why are they still in use? They make biodegradable ones out of corn now. Amazon uses those nifty little air-filled bags (still plastic, but at least they're theoretically recyclable.) I've even heard you can use industrial-grade popcorn (air-popped) as packing material.

Anyway, Katie would definitely disagree about these things being the scourge of the universe. She freakin' loves them. She takes one in her pudgy little hand and breaks it in half with the other. Then she breaks that half in half again. And again. And again. Best game ever! (gaah!)

Last week we finally broke down the box and bagged up the peanuts. (You know, since it's April.)  But some escaped, all over the garage. Can you picture me trying to round up the peanuts, while Katie runs around exponentially increasing their number?


*Anthony pointed out that the Space Age was the late 1960's. So not exactly cutting edge. ;)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Katie's Kisses

A while back, Katie learned how to give kisses. She leans close to something and says, "Muh!" Her first favorite things to kiss were pictures of babies. I never realized just how many pictures of babies there are out in the world. When we pass the diaper aisle in Target, Katie just goes crazy. "Baby! Baby! Baby!" And, if I let her lean in close enough, "Muh."

Now, the thing about Katie is, she loves pictures of herself most of all. Vanity so early? She also likes to kiss the mirror. She spots pictures of herself all over the house, of course, but her real obsession is digital media. Naturally Anthony and I have Katie's pictures as screen savers, lock screens and desktop wallpaper on all of our digital devices.  So whenever I turn on my phone, iPad or computer, Katie automatically says "Baby!!! Muh!" and wants to kiss the device.

But kisses for Mama and Dada? Those are like hen's teeth! Katie seems to like to tease us.  We'll ask, "Katie, can I have a Muh?" and she'll walk tantalizingly towards us, only to bolt at the last second and run cackling around the kitchen. Seems like we're constantly asking for kisses only to be rejected. And, to rub salt in the wound, Katie likes to kiss random objects around the house. Jars of baby food? Muh. Board book? Muh. Toy xylophone? Double muh. Banana? Why not? Muh. And, my personal favorite: box of Rice a Roni? Muh. But noooo, no muhs for mommy and daddy!

But on the rare occasion that we do get a kiss, there's really no better feeling in the world.  Especially when it comes with a big hug. ;) Love you, sweetie!

Seriously, how could anyone resist a MUH from this little angel?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Terrible Twos

Everybody's heard of this, right? Two-year-olds are supposed to be a mommy's worst nightmare.  So how come my 17-month-old has been throwing tantrums, whining, and screaming at the top of her lungs? It's been about two weeks, and I am ALREADY OVER IT. I thought that teaching Katie sign language would help with the inevitable frustration of being a toddler, but I guess being able to sign "flower" and "doggie" and "bath" just isn't enough.

When Katie woke up this morning, she gave me a huge smile and started bouncing in her crib.  Then, the second I picked her up, she said "Milk!" and when milk didn't Apparate right into her hand, she started to scream. She continued her caterwauling through the world's fastest diaper change, wailed piteously while I hastily dressed her, and screamed all the way down the stairs and to the refrigerator until - gulp gulp gulp - silence.  Whew.

A few hours later, I noticed a peculiar odor coming from my kitchen counter, and decided I'd better go dump the compost bowl into the bin outside. I knew Katie wouldn't be thrilled about my decision, but since she was playing in a well-baby-proofed section of the house, I took a chance.  That was when I discovered just how loudly one can hear Katie's screaming from outside!  The neighbors must think I'm boiling her in oil.

*sigh* Just my luck that my little one decided to start the Terrible Twos before she's developed the capacity to understand the concept of "time out."  ;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Katie and The Bump

I know what you're thinking - not a "baby bump."  Not yet, anyway!  ;)

"The Bump" was a pea-sized dermoid cyst on Katie's forehead, near her temple.  She'd had it since birth. Dermoid cysts are extremely common and almost always benign.  And even though her hair usually covers it up, we decided to have it removed.  I wrestled with the decision, because I really do believe my precious darling is perfect exactly as she is.  But the thing about these cysts is, they can grow bigger.  Her doctor said he had a 15-year-old patient last week with a cyst the size of a golf ball on her head!!  I didn't want little Katie looking like a cartoon character who's been whacked with an oversized mallet.

So...yesterday was the procedure.  The surgeon did it endoscopically, so the stitches are hidden under Katie's hair (underneath a lot of weird hospital-smelling goo.)  The Bump is gone!  Anthony and I are so happy it's all over.  We worried ourselves silly over this - not only the procedure, which had to be done under general anesthesia, but about the whole ordeal.  We had to stop feeding Katie at midnight, which is no biggie in itself, but she is pretty demanding about wanting her bottle immediately when she wakes up!  We thought the drive to the hospital would be one big scream-fest.  It turned out that our fears were unfounded.  Katie must be a morning person.  I've never met anyone who could be that cheerful and chatty after being awakened at 5:45, in the dark, and buckled into a car seat for a 35-minute drive to the hospital.

Anyway, this event has reminded me how incredibly lucky we are to have a healthy child.  My heart goes out to all the parents who have had to spend time in hospital waiting rooms, worrying about their precious babies.  We were so stressed out over a simple, minimally-invasive procedure. I can only imagine what it must be like if your child's life really hangs in the balance.  Kisses, hugs and prayers to all those who have ever endured such terrible anxiety!