In Sickness and in Health

Has it really been 9 days since the last post? And that wasn’t a proper post either. Sigh.

We’ve just slid into the weekend after the first week of school. But the week before that the children were tag-teaming fevers and I was sickish most of the week until I tested positive for the flu on Thursday. On the same day, Barrett was diagnosed with an ear infection and cellulitis (the area around his eye was red and puffy–presumably related to the ear infection). The doc (not our regular doctor) prescribed Tamiflu for the family for which we paid a small fortune. By mid-afternoon, Derrick came home sick from work as well.

The following day Barrett went in for a check-up, and since his eye was about the same, the doctor suggested we go to the ER. We begged for a less expensive option, and ended up seeing a specialist at the University Hospital where we were told that cellulitis can take a long time to resolve–typically more than 24 hours to see an improvement. Happy with the confirmation that the doctor had put us on the right path, we went home and were sick all afternoon.

As tough as the week/weekend was, it could have been much worse. Liberty stayed strong, and I only felt miserable every other day. Derrick was over it by Monday. Barrett grinned and giggled all the way through it. What a child! I think the massive quantities of Vitamin C we’d been consuming must have helped.

This semester I’m teaching one course (a fantastic group of students so far), doing a research assistantship with the Campus Writing Program, taking two professionalization courses, and writing my dissertation. I’m 2,700 words into my second body chapter. With my workload so full, the kids are both in full-time daycare. The adjustment of leaving Barrett there all day has been harder than it was when Liberty started. (My last baby!) They both, of course, are doing fine. It’s me that feels anxiety about it. I really, really want to crank out a draft of each chapter by the end of the semester. I feel as though that’s the only way I can justify the expense of daycare.

Tonight I was planning to spend a few hours on my diss once everyone was in bed, but my brain simply will not cooperate. Writing a blog post is about as good as it gets.

And lest I forget, today Barrett is six months old–halfway to his first birthday! Son, you are a joy beyond anything we could have imagined! You have rolled over a time or two, but it was more an accident than anything intentional. However, you are an expert kicker. When you lay flat on the floor, you kick like a wild thing. In the bath tub, you kick the water with joyful intensity. Bouncing in your johnny-jump-up is your favorite trick. You can’t sit in my lap without almost bouncing out of my arms.

You charm all you meet. People who normally have nothing more than a nod for me stop to hold full-length conversations with you. It’s as if they truly believe you smile especially for them.

You love to eat–breast milk, formula, egg yolks, vegetable puree–you can’t get enough. You love kisses. Nothing delights you more than smooches on one cheek and then the other. You love your toys, reaching for your yellow duck, grinning like it’s an old friend. You love music, not in the background, but loud enough to fill the room.

At first you only recognized your daddy and me, then slowly your sister’s face seemed to grow on you. One day you grinned when you saw her, and now at the end of every day when we are all reunited, you are all eyes for her, loving her attention, her loud, ungainly BOO! in your face. Seeing her dote on your and you soaking up the attention reminds us one more time why we are so happy to have two kids.

We love you, Barrett, and part of us wishes you could stay like this forever.

Sick but happy baby Barrett in our messy front hall.

Myers-Briggs (for the heck of it)

Introverted (I) 70.59% Extroverted (E) 29.41%
Sensing (S) 54.55% Intuitive (N) 45.45%
Thinking (T) 65.63% Feeling (F) 34.38%
Judging (J) 64.71% Perceiving (P) 35.29%

Your type is: ISTJ

ISTJ – “Trustee”. Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 11.6% of total population.

http://similarminds.com/cgi-bin/newmb.pl

<div align=”center”><!–70.59 54.55 65.63 64.71–> <table border=”0″ cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ bgcolor=”#dddddd”> <tr> <td width=”250″> <div align=”center”> <font color=”black”><b><a href=”http://similarminds.com/jung/istj.html”>ISTJ</a></b&gt; – “Trustee”. Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 11.6% of total population. </font></div> </td> </tr> </table> <a href=”http://similarminds.com/jung.html”>Take Free Jung Personality Test</a><br><font size=”1″><a href=”http://similarminds.com/personality_tests.html”>Personality Test</a> by <a href=”http://similarminds.com/”>SimilarMinds.com</a></font></div&gt;

 

Indulgence

Since this is my near-private corner of the Internet with few, if any, readers, I’m going to indulge in a little bragging.

Just before the New Year, I read an inspiring blog post about losing weight fast. Desperate to do just that–but expecting a gimmick–I found the enthusiasm contagious. Basically, the post describes a low carb diet*, less than 50 grams of carbs a day.

In the past I’ve had some success in cutting out sugar and simple carbs, but nothing dramatic. My sweet tooth is a bottomless pit, and I can eat savory carbs like a farm hand. So starting on Jan. 1 I started eating low carb–sorta. However, I kept reading the online forums, etc. and quickly realized that in spite of previous weight-loss efforts, I have been inhaling carbs (fruit, whole wheat products) at a shocking rate. No wonder the results were mediocre at best.

On Sunday, I rebooted the program. I’m not tracking carbs, but I’m eating meals for the Induction phase that keep carbs around 20 grams–mostly eggs, veggies, meat, and a little yogurt. Today is the fourth day I’ve been on the plan–so far so good! Staying out of the house all day (working on my diss in Conley House this week) has been key. I’m down four pounds (that’s a pound a day, if you’re trying to do the math). After trying–and mostly failing–to lose a pound a week, that works for me!

So long, baby weight! Let’s plan to buy a new swimsuit in May!

*Of course, for best results, it shouldn’t be approached as a short-term diet, but as a long-term way of eating. Lucky for me, Derrick has no qualms about eating this way either. He agreed he could make rice for himself if he wanted it. Liberty is old enough to have very specific likes and dislikes, but I hope she’s young enough we can slowly but surely guide her away from carbs as well. Our genes haven’t set her (or Barrett) up for success in our carb-saturated world.

Proud Moments

Last night was very rough. I’m not sure if it’s when the clock strikes midnight or when I settle in for the night that the children spontaneously awake. Liberty will come over and need to be resettled or Barrett will begin yowling in pain. His incoming teeth just won’t give him a break.

As a result I’ve been dragging most of the day and wondering how I will fare tomorrow when my week of intensive dissertation-writing begins.

There have been two particularly redeeming moments though. 1) Just now Liberty held up a toy magnifying glass and asked, “Can you put milk in a magnifying glass?”

I think that’s her first ever joke.

2) Earlier this morning while Derrick and Liberty were at church, I was breastfeeding Barrett when he turned to grin at me. It was a little unexpected because I thought he was about to fall sleep. But then he also grunted a little, so we flew to the bathroom where I set him on the toilet. And sure enough, he had another poop!

Call me nuts–or disturbingly obsessed with my child’s poops–but I really think he was trying to communicate with me!

The first episode of Downton Abbey, Season Three is on in four minutes. Now I need to choose between watching it or going to bed or cleaning up the house.

So Much for Solids

This child won’t stop eating!

Since Barrett was begging to eat every time I turned around, we started solids when we returned from our holiday tour. At first it was great because he could go more than 30-60 minutes without demanding food. But now we are back to square one. I can’t finish a thought without him leaning toward a food source. He’s insatiable!

What to do?

The good news is that he sat on the potty to poop this morning. Which begins to balance out being up all night helping these kids sleep. I was just getting back to sleep myself when my 6 AM alarm went off. I slept until 8:30 when Derrick brought Barrett to me for his second of three breakfasts. After that he had two egg yolks and several tablespoons of broccoli and potato puree. And another round of breastfeeding. Now it is 12 noon and Derrick is rocking him to sleep–the only way to distract him from even more breastfeeding. His feelings are quite hurt nonetheless. Oof!

This morning Barrett weighed 19 lbs. according to our bathroom scales.

Productivity

Yesterday Barrett pooped in the potty. He was squirming after breakfast, so I took off his diaper and sat him on the toilet. I was so proud! Later after about three hours of prep, the children and I ran errands. We spent some time at the library since we rarely get a chance to do so during the semester. One of our stops was the AT&T store where the sales associate put my SIM card into my old, clunky slider phone. I’ll be eligible for a $.99 iPhone in June–unless I can find one on Ebay first.

In the evening I realized that we had missed the first day of intercession daycare. Even though the week has been hairy, I was a little bit devastated to realize that it’s already time for Barrett’s full-time daycare to begin. At any rate, I was glad we’d taken the opportunity to visit the library while we could.

So today I walked the children to daycare. We were all bundled up like the boys in A Christmas Story. Liberty was thrilled to be going back to her old classroom. When I returned, I commenced making meals for the freezer. As of this evening I have 19 crock pot and heat-and-serve meals squirreled away for the coming months:

  • 2 pot roasts with veggies
  • 3 packs of browned ground beef with peppers and onions
  • 5 packs of heat-and-serve meatballs
  • 2 Carribean Chicken
  • 1 Cranberrry Chicken
  • 1 Honey Dijon Chicken
  • 2 Thai Honey Peanut Chicken
  • 3 Creamy Italian Chicken

I’m exhausted but pleased. As a bonus, I’ve dropped four pounds since the New Year. So ready to shed this baby weight!

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Happy New Year!

How January 1, 2013 finds us:

  • Barrett is five months, six days; has two lower teeth as of Dec. 28th and started solids the following day. Since he has the rest of his life to develop a taste for carbs, we are starting him out on egg yolks and a green bean-potato puree. He can’t get enough of them!
  • Liberty is two months short of her fourth birthday, loves to paint, play dress-up, and outsmart us with our own logic.
  • Yesterday I was emptying a pan of soaking dishes only to find my iPhone at the very bottom. It had slipped from the window ledge where I had placed it. No one to blame but myself. It is now doing 48 hours in a bag of rice and silica packs. I am re-evaluating my relationship with technology in light of my resulting iPhone withdrawals.
  • Derrick worked Sunday in order to make up time from our holiday travels, and we are spending a quiet day together (after a quiet evening and early bedtime last night).  Parenthood does this to you.
  • We are getting back in the groove after nine days on the road, visiting friends and family in Oklahoma and Texas. To balance out the delightful time spent with loved ones, our van broke down just as we were heading home, resulting in a dreadful repair bill. Thankfully, though, Derrick’s Dad was available for rides and moral support, and the delay lasted less than 24 hours.
  • As soon as I wrap up this blog post, we’ll commence with packing up old clothes and toys in order to make space for the new clothes and toys given to the children at Christmas. If I play this right, there’ll be a net reduction in the amount of stuff cluttering our living space!