Thursday, March 31, 2011

Smell My Teeth

It always amazes me how differently the Ladies can act in situations outside of our home, or with people other than their parents.

For instance, the Little Lady refuses to wear a barrette in her hair if I put it in, however, every Tuesday when I come home from work, her hair is pulled out of her face in a cute little hairclip because the sitter and not her mother put it in.

The Lady also has dual personas, she is the "school Lady", who is apparently a pleasure to have in class and who never gives the teacher any problems. The Lady who is shy about asking one of the kids in her class to move over a little because he is sitting on her "letter" on the circle rug in the classroom, but who will in a heartbeat kick her sister in the head if she is encroaching anywhere too near to her pillows or blankets or couch cushion.

She is also the little girl, who has selective hearing when it comes to listening to her parents. For months, I have tried to get her to brush her teeth more consistently and with greater vigor. Her father and I are convinced that the two of us alone will be giving our dentists kids the future education they deserve with the amount of times we are in that office. I know I am pregnant, but every three months? Come on--I promise I will floss. But the Lady is less than diligent with her dental hygiene.

I tried getting the Lady an electric princess toothbrush. She likes to press the button and put it in her mouth, but for the longest time refused to put any toothpaste on the actual brush. She also gets bent out of shape if you wet the toothbrush first. It has been a hassle. Her little sister however, is more than happy to stick an Elmo toothbrush in her mouth any time it is suggested, pretend to spit into the sink from as far away as three feet, then drop the toothbrush on the floor somewhere for me to step on at a later date.

Anyway, on Tuesday a dentist came to the Lady's school and they apparently watched a video, she was given a goody bag with a blue sparkle toothbrush in it and has since then brushed her teeth no less than 15 times. With toothpaste!

Yesterday after I picked her up from school, she told me the schedule for when we got home was "Brush teeth, milk, big girl show." She then informed me that I had to stand outside until she was finished brushing her teeth. Not outside the bathroom door, but outside of the house. Normally, I would just go along with her suggestions, but the Little Lady was passed out in my arms, the door to the house was locked and required me to actually open it, and I have been battling a sinus infection for over a week. Needless to say there were some tears shed (hers and mine), but in the end some teeth were brushed.

The best part about the entire process though is that after each brushing session, the Lady runs over to us with a big smile on her face and says "Smell my teeth!"

And even though there is pink toothpaste smeared all over the hand towels, and the occasional cup of water is spilled I have to say they smell delicious, Lady, they smell delicious.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Guest Blog from Steadman's Army: Let's Talk TV

Enjoy this guest blog from Steadman's Army, it has been a while since we had any guest bloggers here, and a while since I devoted any real time to blogging about TV watching. This blog takes care of both! Enjoy.

Let’s talk TV. This will be my second year of using Aileen’s blog as a vehicle for informing the public what they should be watching. My credentials? I continue to pay over $230/month for the fios triple play with the platinum movie package and 5 cable boxes, including 3 hi-def DVR’s. BTW, there are 4 people living in my house, inc. an 11 month old and the occasional in-laws. Deal with it. About 6 months ago I also noticed the playboy package (2 channels) had been added as well at 17.99/month, although no one in the house seems to know anything about it I narrowed the suspects down to my father-in-law and my 3 year old son - and I could not be any prouder of either of them. Obviously I kept paying for it even though it’s essentially unwatchable until the ‘juicy stuff’ comes on after 11pm, aka my bedtime. Deal with it.

Smallville is in its final run and on track for its best season yet. This isn’t saying much considering the first five seasons all consisted of Clark talking to Lana about feelings in the loft of his barn. It was about as much fun as taking a cheese grater to your privates, but she was finally written off and now Lois Lane is out-acting and out-cleavaging everyone on the show. It’s glorious. As Hugh Laurie is back into full vicodin relapse, House continues to deliver the goods. 30 Rock is the best comedy on TV, and has been since its inception. Two and Half men, winner of like 15 emmy’s for best comedy, has always sucked, and Modern Family and The Middle are worth mentioning but certainly do not get DVR privileges on any of my box space. NBC’s Thursday night lineup, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock is still king. 48 Hours Mystery is the best show on Saturday night, and CBS Sunday Morning is the jewel in Sunday’s crown.

Other than that I have been watching the occasional Antiques Roadshow and an insane amount of Wow Wow Wubbzy. I don’t have time to watch anything good, ok? My wife and I get about an hour to ourselves from 9-10 at night and most of that I spend in a scalding hot shower with like 100 pieces of gum in my mouth crying tears of blood.


Oh, and I have the DVR queued up for the upcoming HBO miniseries ‘Game of Thrones’ but that will probably sit unwatched until it gets bumped for space because somebody accidentally taped 2 hours of ‘Golden Oldies’ music on channel 1927. Deal with it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Supermoon, Other Orbs and Minor Musings

My husband and I talked up the supermoon to the Ladies on Saturday, and after getting them all dressed in their feety pajamas and bundling them up to go outside and see it, we were a little bit bummed that it was hiding behind some clouds. Considering that it was past their bedtime and our little excursion outside was done in sheer desperation so that they would actually go to bed after seeing it, I was a little bit annoyed. I mean this thing only happens like every 18 years or something. The next time these kids see that supermoon they are going to be in their 20's. Yikes!

And speaking of large orbs, my husband would like it if I didn't discuss my areolas on this blog. I can't make any firm promises to him because in all actuality they come up a lot in my everyday conversations and daily life, but I will make an effort to keep the chatter to a minimum.

And one more minor musing for today, am I a terrible parent because I have no intention of turning the Little Lady's carseat back to rear facing even though that is the new suggestion and she isn't quite 2 or close to 30 lbs? I certainly don't want to ever put her in danger, but I really don't think she would even allow it. Just wondering what the rest of you with those under 2 are thinking. It is weird to think the new baby will be rear facing until 2013, which seems like a very long way off.  I am certainly not advocating ignoring child safety standards, but I mean, I remember riding in the back of hatchbacks with no seatbelts when I was little. Luckily, my husband is tall and the Lady is in the 95th percentile for height, I am hoping this means that all my kids will make it to 4ft. 9inches before High School, not sure they would be willing to ride in the booster on their way to Junior High.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Step on a Crack, Break your Mother's Back or Ahh, Ahh Acupuncture. . . Why Yes, Please Poke me There

The backpain that I experience during pregnancy can best be described as having a contestant from the Biggest Loser (week one) take a permanent seat on my tailbone for at least nine months. I endured it early on during the pregnancy with the Lady, even when my sister and I were walking upwards of 4 miles almost every day. Ahh those pre-baby days where all we did was chat uninterrupted, while being able to take advantage of having no real timetable to adhere to, no diapers to change, no chicken fingers to bake and when we could still concentrate on our own well being. By my second trimester though, I sought the help of a professional. I went to the chiropractor that my mom and little sister were going to.

There were a few problems with that though, I was living in Connecticut and commuting to Long Island for three days out of the week. Then I was driving from either Long Island or Connecticut to the town in New York where my parents live to meet with this guy for a grand total of like 10-15 minutes, like three times a week.

The TZ, where you can spend days of your life.

The stress that I felt just trying to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and get to the appointment on time made my back seize up. And although, I felt "better" leaving each appointment, especially after the guy would crack my neck and all the anxiety I had about that each visit would pass, the back pain was never really alleviated. Plus, I was locked into this 2-3 day a week contract with a payment plan and I didn't want to waste my money, so I kept going.

When I was pregnant with the Little Lady, I decided not to take the chiropractic route, just for the sake of my sanity and my wallet, even though the back pain started earlier in the pregnancy and was more intense. I was busy running after the Lady and I figured it was just my cross to bear. I mean, I was pretty lucky in terms of other aspects of the pregnancy, what was a little back pain? Just because it left me feeling like an 85 year old woman by the end of the day and forced my husband to either pull me up out of chairs, or literally push me from behind so that I could get out of bed, I could handle it right? Besides, I knew that once I delivered the baby that the pain would go away. I likened the pain to the Bangles Song "Eternal Flame" and pushed it to the back of my mind.

Is this burning an Eternal Flame?

I was lucky that it was extinguished post-partum.

So, here we are the third time around. I am partially convinced that the Ladies are making the pain worse by insisting that they both be carried. "Hold me momma, hold me," is a common phrase heard in our house, but I am also becoming convinced that the sheer amount of running on the cracks of our wood floors, which causes me to stress over our downstairs neighbor being "disturbed," coupled with the fear that one of them is going to run straight into the kitchen cabinets and crack their head open, is doing nothing to relieve any pressure, anywhere in my life or on my body.

Thankfully, I have other moms to rely on. At one of my Moms Club events, I was not only informed that one of my fellow moms practices Reiki, but also given the name and number of both a chiropractor and an acupuncturist. I figured if I can't take a real pain killer, I might as well go the alternative/healthy way. I wrote down the numbers in the back of my daily planner and then pretty much forgot about them. The pain however got worse.

There were times at night when I would hobble to the bathroom to pee and have to brace myself on the bathroom counter, because the rim of the toilet seat was not quite enough surface area to support my back and the searing pain that shot through my lower back was enough to make me contemplate those giant wee-wee pads you get after delivery, those or Depends.

Modern Family's take on Reiki.

I tried the Reiki first. For those of you who are not familiar with it or only saw that "Modern Family" episode where James Marsden was living in the princess castle in Cam and Mitchell's backyard, Reiki is actually an alternative practice that deals with the transfer of energy through the hands into the body. There is touching involved but no actual manipulation like massage. I figured I would try it out. Not only is the mom someone I trust and am comfortable with, but when else do you get to lay on a table for an hour, listen to calming music and relax? Plus, she made me a kick ass smoothie post-Reiki session and it was delish.

I will say that even though I had a hard time "turning my mind off" (I can't help it, I think about eighteen million things a second) and the chorus to Bon Jovi's "Lay Your Hands on Me" kept on playing in a loop in my head (I know, not really an appropriate song, but I love me some Jon Bon!), that I left that session feeling relaxed and renewed, which is something I needed desperately at that point. My back felt okay, it wasn't like the pain had disappeared, but in all honesty that wasn't what I expected. The fact that my overall mood lifted was a much better fix than the back.

So, I kind of rode that wave for a few weeks, until I decided that I really had had enough. By the end of the day at work, I was half limping down the stairs, by the end of the day at home I was wobbling around from room to room, I broke out the body pillow, I tried some stretching, I tried to ignore the pain, I finally picked up the phone.

When I first spoke to the receptionist at the health and wellness center, she informed me that they didn't take my insurance and that the intial consultation would be $300 and that each follow-up visit would be $85. Way too much for me at this point. As much as I was willing to pay for someone to take away any of the pain, I wasn't going to shell out $300 for an initial visit that I wasn't even sure was going to help me. I told her that deal wasn't going to work for me, but she said she would talk to the acupuncturist and get back to me.

Oh, the pain killer gods were looking down on me. I heard back from the health center and the initial fee was waved and the follow-up visit costs were halved. I made my first appointment.

So I found myself walking into an office in a strip-mall along one of the main drags of my town, where I was greeted by a very nice woman who brought me into a room where I sat on a heated table and explained my pain. I was grateful she was a mother, so she knew what pregnancy felt like. I also found out she was currently pregnant and was a member of my online moms group. I was feeling comfortable, but a bit unsure of what to expect.

Pre-visit, I did ask the mom who gave me the info what I should wear, she suggested loose clothing, which these days is pretty much what my entire wardrobe consists of. I wasn't sure where the needles would go and figured that the shave job I did on my legs two-days earlier would be fine (so of course she put a needle in my leg), I also didn't expect any needles in my feet where the big toes of both my feet are speckeled with the remnants of a really dark shade of brown from a pedicure pre-Christmas, which I can't get off because I threw away the nail polish remover because it expired in 2007 (so obviously, there were needles in my feet). I had showered that day, but the allotted time I spend moisturizing is pretty limited and mostly I am just putting cream on my face, so not only were my legs hairy, my toes chipped with polish, but they along with the rest of my body were pretty flaky and dry.

 I also wasn't sure how she was going to access my back since my belly is pretty big and there was no way I would be on my stomach. So I was put on my side, with the left side up, and then my loose fitting pants were uncerimonisously pulled down to mid-ass region.

I have a problem getting undressed in front of my husband at 28 weeks pregnant. I just don't want to totally scare him away with my super-dark-saucer-sized areolas attached to my breasts that at this point must weigh in at like 7lbs a side, plus, there is the stretch-marked belly. Getting my pants pulled down and my white, cellulite-ridden ass exposed in front of a total stranger I just met 10-minutes earlier--no problem, especially if she is going to stick me with a needle.

I think it's best I can't actually see her putting these in.

So, for about 10 minutes I got poked and prodded with tiny needles in my feet, my leg, my hand, my back and my ears. The acupuncturist told me that she couldn't get the needles too close to my sacrem, which is where most of the pain is stemming from because it could induce labor. I made a mental note to visit her on June 9th and have her implant 25-30 needles in that exact spot.

Then, she covered me with one of those foil-like camping blankets and left the room for 20 minutes. Again, it is amazing what some quiet time can do for someone. Granted, I could hear a conversation about hot dogs through the wall, where I assumed the office of the storefront next to us was, but even that didn't damper my spirits. I mean some people get stoked about hot dogs what can you do?

Who doesn't like a photo of hot dogs?
When she finally returned and took out all the needles, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I what I was able to do was get up pain free from the table and notice an immediate difference from how my back felt when I walked in, to how it felt at that present moment. I allowed myself to hope. I allowed myself to quell those distractions in my head that said it wouldn't work, it couldn't work, it was a waste of time, of money, etc... And as I walked out of that office, pretty much pain free the immortal words of the Bangles drifting through my head in exaultation

Say my name, sun shines through the rain
A whole life so lonely, and then you come and ease the pain
I don't want to lose this feeling. . . Ohhh

Ohh indeed. Ohh indeed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sugar Tests and Scrabble

I am now almost 28 weeks pregnant. As many of you moms know that means that it is time for the glucose test. Basically, it is a test for gestational diabetes, something I am grateful not to have had to deal with in both my prior pregnancies, and something I am hopeful I won't have to deal with in this one.

Basically, you fast overnight get your blood drawn, drink a disgusting, room temperature sugar drink that tricks you into thinking you might be getting something similar to orange soda, but in reality just makes you a little queasy and lightheaded, sit in the waiting room for an hour and then get your blood drawn again. It seems fairly simple.

Yesterday, I set my alarm for 6:45 with the hopes of getting to the lab by 7:15. However, as mentioned in a previous post, my alarm clock pre-dates my college days and if the volume works at night, it doesn't mean it works in the morning. So when I woke up to the Little Lady calling me almost an hour later (hey its daylight savings time, these kids haven't adjusted yet--don't judge my sleeping habits!) I knew I wasn't making it.

Last night, I decided to set the alarm on my phone for 6:35 so that I would get there by 7 and be out of there by no later than 8:15. This would still give me time at home to get the Ladies ready (with the hopes that the Lady would want to go to the special screening of Peter Pan that her school was putting on in lieu of actual classes because of staff-development), fill up my travel mug with my pre-made iced coffee (look at me planning ahead!) and throwing some fruit salad and yogurt in my little lunch pack (eating healthy too Bean? how ever do you manage to be so organized?)

You see where this is going right?

So the alarm didn't go off at 6:35 and instead I woke up at 6:50 to the sound of the neighbor locking and unlocking their car door. This they do every morning and it is almost as annoying as listening to a car alarm, because it still jolts you out of a deep sleep. This morning however, I was grateful. I checked the alarm on my phone to see why it didn't go off. Can you say PM? I mean how much more cliche can I get here? Am I on an episode of Seinfeld? First no volume, then the dreaded AM/PM switch? Yikes.

Well, I was up, showered and out the door by 7:08 and arrived at the lab at 7:20. There was a woman in front of me but I figured my blood would be drawn and the drink drank by 7:30, out the door by 8:35 with enough time to stop home, kiss the Ladies, give a few instructions to the sitter, grab my coffee and be at work by 9.

I sat down and pulled out the iPad. Oh, Scrabble, with your crazy words that don't make any sense while there are plenty of words that I know are in a dictionary, just not the Scrabble dictionary that should be perfectly acceptable and are part of the English language, which you ignore and/or deem non-existent, I am a bit addicted to you.

Well thank goodness I grabbed not only the iPad but a book as well. I am not sure I could have endured the 40 minutes it took the woman behind the counter to figure out the handwriting on the form so that she could perform the correct tests on the woman in front of me, while all the while listening to the beeping of the door as client after client came in to be stuck with a needle. When the woman finally went into the little room in the back it was 5 to 8. Her actual blood draw took about 3 minutes.

First blood draw: 8:01 am. Ugh.

Back out to the lobby to wait. In the following 15 minutes almost everyone else who was waiting was taken in, poked, prodded and headed out to meet their day. I did feel grateful for another preggo lady sitting beside me, at least I wasn't the only one who had to stay there for a while.

I was also grateful that I brought that book. After kicking the computer's ass a few times on Scrabble (so what if I sometimes use the Best Word option? I mean that is what it is there for and it teaches me new words, and really who among us couldn't stand to learn a new word or two--we live in an society where everything is shortened and abbreviated ttyl, lol, byb, gfy, etc. it is nice to learn an archaic word that will probably never come up in regular conversation but that can score you a shit-load of points on Scrabble), I took out the book and hoped the hour was almost to a close.

Second blood draw: 9:05 am--left arm, apparently not the arm to draw blood, I am pretty sure I heard air escaping from the needle after she poked around for a minute and didn't find a vein. 9:06 am--right arm, apparently the "good arm" and also the arm that had already been used.

9:20: Stopped at Dunkies for an iced coffee and a not very good multi grain bagel. I should have just gotten a donut. Dunkies, I love you--but your bagels suck.

9:30: Finally made it to work.

Present moment: Debating on weather or not to strip off these bandages on both arms. Why can't they just use band aids? Why do they have to use real tape that totally sticks to your arms? They might as well use duct tape, I mean it basically comes off in the same fashion.

Hopefully, all the time wasted was worth it and the tests come back negative. I guess I can be grateful for the few chapters I actually got to read and I did get a bingo in Scrabble on a triple word space (all by myself thanks, sometimes I just throw words up there hoping they work) who knew you could spell itemize with an s?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top Mom? Why Yes, I am.

So the Little Lady seems to be readjusting to life with her father at home. I haven't had anymore odd "Daddy?" sightings, but last week while she and I were perusing the pages of US Weekly, she pointed to this picture of Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi, who was wearing a bikini and looking pretty good (and by pretty good, I mean amazing) for a mom of a 1-year-old and said "Mommy?"

And do you know what I said?

"Yes, that's mommy." I mean she has long dark hair and was wearing big black sunglasses, I think it was a mistake anyone could have made.

It also made me realize that to our kids, on some days we are a former model/Reality TV host with a super hot bod and a love for food and dramatic dismissals of chefs and on other days we are 12-year old Asian boys with bad teeth.

So I guess the question is, which one are you today?