Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When All the Pharmacy Doles Out is Pain

Yesterday started out pretty well. Well, it was sunny and both the Ladies slept until after 8 am. I guess when you are given that gift of a few extra minutes of sleep that it has to be balanced out by a time-suck that not only thoroughly wastes your time and energy but leaves you wishing that the kids got up at 5am and you never had to venture out of the house.

The Little Lady has a cough. It started to sound more like a bark. My plan was to bring her to the walk-in hour at the pediatrician, but since she slept through that hour, I called them at 9:15. I could take her in at 10. I have been pretty lucky with both the Ladies and we haven't had too many sick visits. We have had a few trips where I brought the Lady in and they were basically like "Thanks for your co-pay there is nothing we can do for you." So, unless there seems to be a change in their symptoms or their behavior that is pretty apparent I am not one to rush to the ped, but I had a feeling that the Little Lady's cough was more than just a cold.

In another small victory that should have foreshadowed the eventual swing of the pendulum, I was able to get the Lady dressed and ready to go with minimal opposition. Granted this included allowing her to put on some eye-makeup and rummage through my jewelry box, but after I was able to wipe off the mascara from her nose and pry the baby blue Tiffany's bags out of her hands, we were good to go.

We got to the Dr. on time. The Ladies were well behaved both in the waiting room and in the examination room. The Little Lady has some sort of viral infection that moved to her lungs. Bronchiosaurus (or something like that--we have been watching a lot of Dino Dan at both our house and the Wild Man's. I am glad the Lady has an interest in dinosaurs and not just Princesses but the kid on the show is super annoying and kind of a know-it-all and my head is clogged up with a ton of dinosaur names.) Anyway, the only treatment for the bronchiosaurs is albuterol, which is an asthma medication. So we hooked up the Little Lady to a nebulizer and hoped for the best. The Lady covered her ears because it was too loud, and although initially receptive to the device, the Little Lady disconnected the tubing twice from the mouthpiece and I ended up wrestling with her for the final 5 minutes of the treatment. Overall though, it wasn't that bad of a visit. We ended up raiding their supply of stickers, made an appointment for a recheck next week and were in the car, with our own rental nebulizer, to pick up the prescription at 11 am.

I hate inefficiency. Also, did I mention it was 11 degrees outside? Luckily, I was able to get a parking spot in front of the pharmacy. I put the Little Lady in the stroller and we all piled out into the freeze. I made my way to the counter at the pharmacy and they said they didn't have the prescription in yet. No worries I thought, we just left the Dr's. office, we will hit the Carters next door and check out the clothes. I picked up a cute dress for the Lady for $7.99 and after letting her run around the store for about 10-15 minutes we went back to the pharmacy and waited online. Still no prescription. The Ladies were getting restless. It was then that I realized that part of the reason we were able to get out of the house on time was that neither one of them had any breakfast. I rummaged through my bag and found a bag of fruit snacks for them to share. The Lady, however had eyed the candy counter and had focused in on the Skittles. The nagging began soon after that.

Here is where I started to lose it. The pharmacy assistant was less than helpful and kind of had an attitude. She told me the pharmacist was checking the messages on the phone. OK, but the Dr. said she was going to fax it in. The Lady has the Skittles in her hand, then she put the package in her mouth. The Little Lady wanted out of the stroller. This was pretty easy to do, since she was only strapped in on one side due to the fact that she was wearing 500 layers and I couldn't close the straps. She ended up on her back on the floor crying. The Lady decided to stand on the thin ledge beneath the candy display, she too ended up on the floor, crying. I made my way down the aisle towards the front door, the Little Lady in one arm, pushing the stroller with the other and trying to convince the Lady that she was not getting any Skittles until after we ate something healthy for breakfast. And it was clearly time for something to eat. I decided that I wasn't going to open a box of Pop Tarts from Aisle 1 but instead hit the Starbucks on the other side of the strip mall, because we had a gift card and I knew they had yogurt. Before we left though, I let the pharmacists assistant know I would call the Dr. and see where the script was.

We hit Starbucks and I spent a good $25 off the gift card on an egg sandwich and some healthy snacks that they both devoured, we ventured back out into the cold and once again found ourselves at the pharmacy counter. The assistant who had been helping us earlier was no longer there. This, I like to think was a minor victory. The prescription was ready for the Little Lady, thank goodness. I also had to pick up my prescription of prenatal vitamins. After hunting it down, she handed me the bag and told me it was $94. Yes, $94 for vitamins. I handed her my special coupon card that the ob/gyn had gave me and she informed me that they were now $74. I informed her that the last time I filled this prescription, I paid $11.54 and I wasn't paying more than that now. I then realized that our pharmacy coverage had changed. I should have remembered that since I spent over a half an hour at the same pharmacy a week earlier trying to get a prescription for my husband. Luckily, this woman was actually helpful, she checked the computer and was able to not only give me the vitamins for $11.54 but did it in a pleasant way that made me not one to jump over the counter and knock off each individual pill container from the lines and lines of shelving behind her. Oh, she also rang up the bag of Skittles for the Lady and a bag of plain M&M's for the Little Lady. The time was12:35 pm.

We made two more quick stops at the bank and the post office. The Lady ate the entire bag of Skittles and the Little Lady passed out in her carseat. I'd like to say that this was the end of it, but after putting the Little Lady into her bed, I had to go back out to the car and get the nebulizer, the new dress, my purse and the bag of medicine. The Lady insisted on going with me, then insisted that I carry her up the stairs. It is really hard to explain to a 3-year old that you can't carry them up the stairs because they weigh too much and your hands are full of bags and you are carrying another baby in your belly. It is also hard to explain to them that they should walk up carrying their sippy cup that has been in the car since Saturday, when clearly they only want to be held. After a few minutes of whining and yelling (on the Lady's part), I walked up the stairs to let her have her little tantrum. I checked a few e-mails and called my sister to bitch about the happenings of the previous 3 hours. When I went to the top of the stairs to check on her, the Lady was laying on the bottom landing, up against the first stair, on a wet, dirty doormat in her jacket and hat, fast asleep. I gave her a few moments then went down to retrieve her. Yes, I was well aware that in the end she got her way, and I had to carry her up the stairs. Unfortunately she woke up soon after, yelled for a little while that she wanted to sleep on the bottom of the stairs and then got herself undressed, wrapped herself up in her nonnies, snuggled comfortably on the couch, while I fantasized about winning the PowerBall, having a house with an attached garage, a pharmacy with drive-thru service and children who listen.

Here is a photo of the Little Lady on the nebulizer. Three seconds after this photo was taken she didn't look so content.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I like to think that each day offers its challenges and successes. I mean there has to be a little bit of a payoff for enduring poo foot and temper tantrums right?

I also like to think that sometimes you find a little bit of clarity in a place you would never expect. Yesterday, as I was driving home from my sister-in-law's where the Lady got to hang with Ironman and the Little Lady tried very hard to play the role of the big sister to my newborn niece (this included trying to shove the baby's pacifier into her mouth on numerous occasions, when it was quite clear that the babes was not interested), with both Ladies sleeping in the backseat, the DVD player not spewing Strawberry Shortcake dialogue (really, how many times can you use the word "berry" in place of "very?" talk about overkill), the radio off, on a two lane highway on the back roads of Connecticut, I pulled up behind a white VW bug (a new one) with the licence plate that read CATPWR.

CATPWR. In that one moment, I thought to myself "Bean, your life isn't that bad--go home, give your husband a 5, nay a 10-second frencher, be grateful for your children and the things you have in your life and be happy that your aren't driving around in a car advertising your love and the powerful nature of felines. Live the life you've imagined."

So, even though when I went upstairs to check on the Ladies last night and found a pile of crayons that had been peeled of their wrappers and a crayon mural on the wall above the Ladies' bed, and even though we were late again to school today, I realized that this is the life I chose. With all my bellyaching and complaining, I am glad to be driving around in a station wagon, littered with a few toys and a couple pairs of the Little Ladies shoes. I am pretty sure I won't be hitting the DMV anytime soon for a personalized license plate that reads BEANPWR, but there are those very small moments of quiet--on a side street covered in snow, or listening to the Ladies sleep where I am reminded of what I have in life--where it seems like a really good idea.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We're Late, we're late. . .

We need a better morning routine. I am not a morning person and because of that I think my children aren’t quite morning people either. Now, this doesn’t mean that they don’t get up early; it just means that we like to ease our way into the day.

When the Ladies wake up, they come down stairs, we have some milk, and we cuddle on the couch. I will admit the TV goes on and that there is no real sense of urgency to getting up and getting out.

This has started to cause a problem, especially on the days that the Lady has school and that I have to work. I just like to take a few extra minutes under the covers instead of jumping in the shower or starting the morning rush. The Little Lady will cuddle up right next to me with her little nonnies, I mean really who wants to give that time up? But then I look at the clock and I curse myself, because now we only have 35 minutes for both my husband and I to shower, to feed the girls and to get the Lady dressed. This causes more problems than most since she has a tendency to spend most of her day “nudie,” and drags her feet on all things clothing related.

We have tried laying out clothes the night before, but that doesn’t guarantee that will be the outfit that she actually wears, so I never know if it will take us an extra 10 minutes to get out of the house because the pink pants that were fine the night before have suddenly become unacceptable in the cold harsh reality of daylight. We have also tried to make getting dressed a contest. But recently when I tried this approach she just told me that I was already almost dressed and she didn’t want to be faster than anyone. Can you say backfire?

I have tried letting the Lady choose from two options, I was told this was a good way to let kids feel like they are in control, often this just leads to her flat out rejecting both outfits and leads to a bit more yelling and frustration on my part then I’d like to admit.

So this year my only New Year’s resolution was to make it to the Lady’s school on time. This means getting her into the classroom, hands washed (as required) and signed in. We did great on Tuesday, okay on Wednesday (even with having to bring the Little Lady, who also insisted on washing her hands) but by Thursday our first week spiraled into disaster. Not only were we ten minutes late, but now the State requires that parents mark down the time that we arrive, so staring back at me in a cold, graphite-grey pencil mark was proof of our tardiness. Oh, 9:10 why do you mock me so?

Now, I have to admit, we are certainly not the last people walking into the school and I have seen many people driving in when I am driving out, but I have very clear memories of waiting around for my mother to pick me up from things when I was little and I don’t want my kids to feel like we are always running late or that I am not going to get them somewhere on time.

So how do I change this? I know I am going to have to bite the bullet and actually wake up earlier than my children. This is a foreign concept to me. The Ladies are pretty good sleepers and a 7:30 wake up time is by no means shabby, but am I supposed to get myself up at 7 just so I can be ready to tackle the day before they get up? The answer seems fairly obvious. But really one of the benefits of having kids is that I don’t need an alarm clock. I have the same clock radio by my bed that I used in college, but I haven’t actually had to use the radio/alarm part of it in over three years. I am pretty sure that you can’t even get a radio station on that thing and really who wants to wake up to some harsh alarm buzz? Now, in order to get my act together, I am going to have to set that thing for 7 or maybe 7:05 or 7:10 and hope that because I take the time to get myself ready first that we can be in the car on our way to school by ten to 9, outfits approved, jackets zipped, totally on time.

I am not sure what I am going to do when these kids have to be on a bus before 8am or in a classroom at 7:40 in the morning, but I think I have a little bit of time before we get there. Perhaps there is no need to rush things? I mean it is really comfy under the covers.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I am the Bowl

I just want to thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. We are very excited to be having this baby and I am sure the next few months and beyond will be both a learning--and like the addition of any child into your home--a life-changing experience.

I just want to add two quick addendum's to my previous post. After discussing it briefly with my husband, who didn't read it but still feels the need to give me advice about what I write, I realize that I should be the bowl in the three bean salad and not him. Now, I did come to this realization after he said something along the lines of "Why do I have to be the bowl, you should be the bowl you carry everyone?" and then I realized he was absolutely right. I am the bowl. I am the vessel. It is just more literary. This of course makes him the vinaigrette, which will now be referred to as the "dressing" since he doesn't like vinaigrette and prefers the thicker, creamier high-fat versions of dressing, which I think he should drink directly from the bottle, considering that lettuce is only a means for getting it into his body.

I also want to point out that I will be happy with this kid no matter what its sex. If it is another Little Lady, so be it, I know Little Ladies. If it is a boy, well bring it on, and in all seriousness I probably would post two or three blogs a week about his penis. They are just weird.

On The Three Bean Salad

When I first articulated the idea aloud that I wanted to start a blog, I was sitting on the beach in August 2008, trying to come up with a name. I had already formulated the first three or four posts in my head so it was just a matter of finding a title and getting started.

I was aware of the idea of "branding" or "marketing" myself and I had seen a ton of mom-focused blogs out there with clever mom-centric names like Popping Pampers and Prozac, or Parentopia or PoshMomma or MommaBytes or something that screams parenting and most importantly being a mother, but let's be honest here, I knew I wasn't going to make money off this blog and I wasn't 100% interested in writing solely about motherhood and parenthood.

So, since I have been called Bean by family and friends from the time I was little, I decided to use that in the title. Granted, I did mull over MommaBean and, Bean, Beers and Babies, but ultimately settled on TheThreeBeanSalad for a few reasons. The first was because it didn't scream MOM-BLOG, however I was a little worried it would be misinterpreted as a recipe site for barbecue enthusiasts. The second reason was because for me three bean salad actually had a childhood memory associated with it, we always had it for our Fourth of July get-together and it captured that simplicity of childhood, the act of pouring three cans of beans and some dressing in a yellow bowl and making it part of a meal. In keeping with that line of thinking I realized that a three bean salad can be a barbecue staple, something dependable, easy to make, a mixture of any beans you have on hand, shook up and seasoned, it is simple and standard and although it might make you a bit gassy, you always know what you are going to get. I hoped that this blog could be a reflection of that. I decided to go with it.

Later, after I had created my blog and started posting, I realized that the Three Bean could describe my new family, my husband, the Lady and myself. We too, were a mixture thrown together and shook up and what came out of it was our everyday adventures that are essentially the fabric of this blog. When the Little Lady was born, I kicked my husband out of the salad, well I guess I regulated him to the vinaigrette dressing. He plays a less substantive role in this blog, but in truth, without him we would just have a bowl of beans and no flavor. He keeps us together and is an integral part of all of our lives.

Now, I think the real reason for this title is actually revealing itself to me. Come June we will have one more bean to add to this salad and the title of this blog will actually reflect not only all those things listed above, but the actual number of kids I will have. And in order to keep us all a part of this metaphor, perhaps I will make myself the vinaigrette and my husband can now be the bowl that keeps us together. If you are rereading the above sentence just to make sure, let me be perfectly clear: baby number three in June.

If you are wondering why it took me 18 weeks to reveal this to you it is because I had a hard time adjusting to the idea. While, I have always wanted three kids, this just happened sooner than expected and because of it, all those big goals I want to accomplish for me and my family have become much more urgent and can no longer be ignored. There is no way there will be five of us living in a 1020 sq. ft. condo. I know babies are small, but they grow and if you have a three-year old who runs as much as mine does, you know that any small, confined space can be an issue. You have read here before about my inability to figure out the logistics of parenthood, and with the addition of one more child that is amplified for me. I probably haven't been blogging as much lately, because a lot of what I have been thinking/feeling has been wrapped up in this pregnancy news and until I was able to tell the world, I wasn't able to be 100% honest with my readers, and for that I do apologize.

I will say you missed out on a lot of posts of me just complaining that I felt like throwing up everyday and that dry-heaving was my enemy. You also missed out on a post about how much weight I have already gained and that for those two weeks when my husband was gone when I felt like complete poo thanks to a cold, I couldn't take any medicine to knock me out. So basically, you were probably spared the first-trimester pity party, which was probably best for all of us. But now you know. Now the ThreeBean will truly be about my three little beans, and I appreciate you taking the time to read all about us.

Oh, on a side note, since everyone I tell thinks this will be baby girl number three (no, we are NOT finding out), send me any good girl names you might have. I am at a loss. If it is a girl, I thought I would refer to her here, in a totally unoriginal way as the Littlest Lady, but then I decided that perhaps the Last Lady would be more appropriate, because I am pretty sure this is it for us. I do think I would shorten it to LL because, well that just sounds cooler and will be easier to type. If it is a boy, his name on this blog will be based on personality and initial impression, and don't worry, even though I have a rudimentary understanding of the penis (this is my third pregnancy) I am totally unsure of what to do with those little balls and will be sure to post about it ad nauseam.  

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

I have decided not to make any resolutions this year, but instead I am going to try to focus on some of the bigger goals in my life that I have either long been avoiding or are in serious need of attention. This means not just personal growth and concentrating on me (why, yes, I have been watching some of Oprah's OWN Network coverage for the past three days) but also on the bigger goals that affect my family and hopefully will add to our overall well-being and happiness.

We have some big goals that mean big changes, so stay tuned. . .