Saturday, December 24, 2011

The most wonderful day of the year

To me, anyway. I love Christmas Eve. I think that Christmas carols sound their absolute best right after the sun goes down tonight....and even though I am, I suppose, an adult, I still feel a coil of anticipation in my stomach. Santa's coming tonight!

This morning, I tried to explain the whole chimney/fireplace/presents thing to the Chicklette, but I'm not sure how much stuck. No matter. The cookies and milk will go out, someone will eat them, and tomorrow morning will end in a giant pile of wrapping paper.

After that, I suppose it's time to turn to the Big Decisions that loom in life....but until then, I'm going to squeeze every last second out of my favorite 24 hours of the holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back in the blogging saddle....for the moment, anyway

I don't even know what to say about the fact that it's been 9 months since my last post. It's, um, been a long time!

Life has been crazy. My marriage has been to the brink and back....I won't elaborate too much on the specifics, but let's say we are both in recovery and leave it at that. Things are good -- not great, but stable. And that is more than I would have hoped for a year ago.

The Chicklette turns 2 tomorrow. I could just eat her up -- she is so cute and fun. And challenging. But mostly fun. Being a parent is so much more than I expected it to be -- in all sorts of ways.

What prompted me to post today, mostly, is that it's my 36th birthday. Which reminds me that time and my ovaries are marching on. We have been charting and "trying" and generally living life with the goalie pulled for the last year or so. Unsurprisingly, this has not resulted in anything resembling a pregnancy (despite the numerous suggestions that It! Could! Happen!). It hasn't happened. And that's OK for now (see above re: marital brink).

But I think what this means is that, come January, we (meaning mostly I) will be back in the stirrups. I have so many mixed feelings about this that I don't know where to start. So I might try and start to sort them out here.

Happy holidays to anyone who is still reading this sorry excuse for a blog....may magic and joy be the biggest part of the season for you and your family.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Destruction, thy name is Chicklette

It's really amazing how quickly the Chicklette went from tottering a couple of steps at a time to full-out running around the house. In circles. Repeatedly. Until Mommy and Daddy have both broken a sweat trying to catch up. The cats have taken to hanging out on the breakfast bar, because they can barely outrun her (and are, frankly, too fat and lazy to try more than once a day).

And the mess. Oh, the mess. Parenting lesson of the week: even if you've childproofed a room, it doesn't mean that there still aren't dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of "safe" things that can be moved/thrown/otherwise displaced in a matter of seconds.

The capacity for self-destruction is also high. Just this week, we've had a fat lip (falling face-first onto a toy), a smushed pinky (from exploring the dresser drawers), and a head bonk (from walking in one direction whilst looking in the other). I don't know what this says about me, but I find these types of mishaps quite amusing (aside from the initial tears). It's like having a very small and cute drunk person wandering around all the time. I'm sort of surprised that I'm as calm about the physical injury side of things as I am, but I guess I always figured that the Chicklette was doomed to inherit clutziness from both sides.

In other news, I found an ossified avocado under my car seat this morning -- it must have rolled out of the daycare bag about a month ago, because it was about half its original size and weight. Complete with a little "ripe now!" sticker on the side. Which made me laugh way more than it probably should have.

So that's the news from here. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Using birth control un-ironically

So, one of the interesting decisions we've had to make in the midst of our current family drama is the decision to table for one year any discussions about or efforts towards having another kid. I say "interesting" rather than "awful" because it unexpectedly felt really good to be open and honest about the fact that we are not in a position to bring another person into this family right now. This past month has made me see what being a single parent would look like, and while I'm hoping that won't become the permanent state of things, I just can't stomach the idea of bringing (or trying to bring -- let's not get ahead of ourselves here) another innocent bystander into the current chaos.

Also "interesting" is the way my thinking has changed on the whole age thing -- 6 months ago I was panicked about turning 35 and OMG I need to get pregnant again right now, but the Perspective Fairy seems to have visited me during some night recently and I'm a little more sanguine about the whole thing. Sure, it would be better from a biological standpoint to get the baby party started sooner rather than later, but I've been around the infertility blogosphere enough to know that I could still have a few good years/eggs left in me. Or I could not. Either way, it's out of my hands and I'm at peace with that at this particular moment.

So, we're back to using birth control. Not in the ironic suppression-before-IVF way, but in the actual, hey, sex can make babies and we don't want one of those right now way.

How unexpected is that?

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Ear Tubes

First of all, a non-explanation explanation of where I've been, for anyone who still even reads this thing. My little family is currently going through our biggest challenge yet. I'm not going to say much, because it's not really my story to tell and this is the internets, after all, but I feel as though my home life has completely changed in the last 3 weeks. I think ultimately it will be for the better, but for now we are taking it, as they say, one day at a time. (Surely that will provide a clue.)

Anyway, my saving grace through all of the drama has been my beautiful daughter. The best part of what's been going on (and granted, there's not much competition for that honor) is that I've been getting more quality Chicklette time. And she is just so fun. Walking, talking, blowing kisses ("MmmmmmmmmWAH!"), growing vampire teeth (the two front ones just refuse to come in for some reason), and just generally being awesome.

One not-so-fun thing was the surgery she had last week to insert ear tubes. I thought I'd write about our expereince here, in the event there's anyone out there contemplating a little bilateral myringotomy action.

We've known for a couple of months that we were going for the tubes. The Chicklette's had 5 (or 6, depending on which doctor you ask) ear infections since July, a couple of which required multiple rounds of antibiotics to clear. That's a lot of drugs, not to mention office visits. But the thing that truly motivated our pediatrician (and us) to get a consult from the ENT was that the Chicklette ALWAYS had fluid in her ears, even when they weren't infected. We'd read and learned from family experience that this was likely causing a hearing deficit that could affect speech development.

In we went for the consult, and then to the hearing test which confirmed that yes, the Chicklette was definitely having some issues. So we scheduled the surgery (or, as I liked to call it, the "procedure").

So, I don't think I need to tell any parent out there that scheduling surgery for your child is SCARY. You know, the whole "please read these forms and sign them and oh no of course your child isn't going to die from the anesthesia or bleed out of her ear but we have to put it in there JUST IN CASE" thing. Good times. But we knew it was the right thing to do, so I sucked it up and put myself on a Grey's Anatomy hiatus for a few weeks.

I will preface the actual surgery story by saying that everything turned out JUST FINE. But in case anyone's curious about the process, here's how it went down. We got to the surgery center at 6:30 a.m., with a tired but generally happy baby. I had been nervous about the night before -- she couldn't have food or milk after midnight, and then only clear fluids until 5:30 a.m. Luckily, no wakeups that night and no screaming for milk in the morning. We checked in, and then headed back to the pre-op area. We were at a facility that specializes in children's surgery, so there were toys and stuff to amuse her highness. When the time came for her to go in (after the signing of many more frightening forms), the nurse whisked her away quickly. Not a peep. She was done 15 minutes later, confused and cranky from the anesthesia (administered via mask, not IV), with a dollop of heartbreaking blood dried on her ear. But she was fine. We got discharged within about a half hour, headed home, and spent the day at home. She took a 3-hour nap and woke up good as new. I swear, kids are resilient.

The doctor told us that they had pulled a LOT of very thick fluid out of her ears, and actually looked mildly skeeved by it. Is it wrong that I was sort of proud of being able to gross out a doctor? Even if only vicariously through my child.

Anyway, almost a week out and she's fine. We'll have our post op on Thursday, and hopefully she won't have any issues with infection. I've already noticed her responding to things she didn't before (and she actually startled at a noise yesterday, which I've NEVER seen her do), so it feels like the decision is already paying off. She'll have another hearing test in a month or so.

So, that's the story. Happy to answer any more specific questions anyone has if they're contemplating taking the ear tube plunge.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby steps

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. Well, I guess I can. The holidays and their attendant chaos have required some recovery time. And, to be honest, I've just been generally having a rough time. We're still working through some Marital Discord in the Barefoot household, and I've been having a bit of a pity party about it. Hopefully a temporary one -- because I'm losing serious patience with my sad sack self.

In happier news, the Chicklette is cuter than evah, and even took some first steps yesterday and today (both of which I missed, thank you business travel). I am relieved -- all of her little friends have been zooming around on two feet for quite some time, and I was starting to get a complex. We are full-on into table food, which has been messy and also a fun introduction to the many different textures of poop. And I'm pretty sure that the Chicklette has either a) developed her own language (baby genius!), or b) is being visited at night by aliens, because she is talking a mile a minute, very authoritatively, in a language that is very clearly not English.

So, life rolls along. Mostly good, some bad, but always interesting. And if anyone out there is still reading, happy new year!