Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Proper Potty Training December 30, 2011

Filed under: Baby G — arminta @ 1:49 am
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Gee whiz, will this bitch shit up about her kids potty habits?!?!

 

Probably not…

 

So, let’s recap the potty progression:

  • First there was cloth, and it was good. First six months (i.e. EBF diet) cloth was A. O. K.
  • Then there was potty & diapers, ala Elimination Communication, and it was also good. It took a lot of work on my part, but, less diapers! We had days with lots of catches and days with very few catches. Overall, it was great, except you know, nekkid booties get cold and Ladybug cannot be trusted to not injure exposed weiners (or hands, or really anything, but Daddy is most worried about injured weiners).
  • Then came sposies and they were easy. Expensive, yes. Gross, hellz yes. But, oh so easy. Too easy.

Now we have a semi-verbal toddler who says words like “pee-pee” and “poop” and “potty” and even phrases like “go potty” and “eww poop.” He says these things at times like when he’s peeing (with or without a diaper on). He even grabs his bird right before peeing if he has a diaper on.

 

Oh snap! That sounds like potty training readiness queues… So this week, while Ladybug is terrorizing her Daddy’s house, we’ve gone back to diaper free. He is definitely getting the connection between pee-pee and poop and potty. Not necessarily getting the actions together to go to the potty to make potty, but understanding they are related. It’s enough for me.

 

Now the question is, do we keep it up next week when Ladybug and Little C are back in the house? I’m leaning towards “hell yes.” What think ya’ll? Potty train a 16 month old, or let the signs pass and go back to diapers? If you are potty trainging a young toddler (younger than 24 months), what are you doing and how’s it going?

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My New Job: Reading Harry Potter December 29, 2011

Filed under: Completely and Entirely Unrelated to IF,Writing — arminta @ 4:29 pm

As you might have gathered from the last post, I’m writing more again. Really, truly trying to finish something! I have all of these ideas floating about. There are bits of a story and scenes for a novel, but nothing really concrete. I keep sitting down to write and find myself feeling the work too flat. Too Stepahnie Meyer, if you will and I’m shooting for JK Rowling (as any decent author should).

 

See, I have spent a lot of time calling Twilight entertaining, but flat, crappy writing. Of course, I’ve spent a lot more time positively gushing about what a freaking genius JK Rowling is to have come up with the whole concept/world of Harry Potter. While I know that there is a lot more to literature than just these two, these are what I think of when I think “write fiction.” So, I made a decision! It’s time to study these authors and examine their methods. It’s time to read from the authors perspective.

 

In other words, my new job is re-reading my favorite books. It’s a hard life… LOL

 

Seriously, though, I’m sure there is much to learn from both of their writing processes and that’s where I’m looking to start.

 

Are any of you writing fiction? Done any cool author studies? Am I the only dorky grown-up giving myself homework?

 

Christmas Dialogue Writing Exercise

Filed under: Family — arminta @ 3:54 am
Tags: , ,

Hey ya’ll. This is one of my exercises from my “trying to be a proper writer” pursuits. The prompt was “Christmas dialogue.” Since, retelling the truth is often easier than making something up (especially when it comes to dialogue), I decided to focus on a conversation (rather, several conversations over the course of the day) that I (actually, my mother and I) had with my Grandma on Christmas. For the sake of the “story” it’s written in first person, but a lot of the conversation was between my mom and grandma. It’s long, but if you’re interested in what Alzheimer’s looks like, it’s worth a read. Also, if you’re intersted in critiquing someone else’s crappy fiction… please, have at it. No really,  critique away, if it makes you happy.

 

****************************************************************************************

“What’s wrong, Mamaw?” I asked as I bent down to light her cigarette.

“Gail has a woman, here. She’s upstairs,” my grandmother replied.

Of course, I didn’t want to remind her that my grandfather had been dead for nearly 10 years, so instead I asked, “What makes you think that?”

“I can hear her talking. She has a baby.” Hmm, this was new. “Your mom should make her leave,” she said as she attempted to stub out her smoke on her hand. I deftly slid an ashtray into place before she could burn herself and wheeled her back into the house.

As the party went on I watched for this mysterious “other woman.” But, only my sister and I were carrying babies. Not that there were many people to watch anyway, it was just our family in the house. We ate lunch and had a cup of coffee. Each of the great grandbabies spent some time with her. Baby Cassi even sat in her lap and fed her a chip.

Soon, though, the coffee had done its job and since it was Christmas and the nurse was off, Mom & I had to do ours. “I need to pee,” Mamaw called out, much like a toddler in public.

Mom was on top of it, “OK, just go in your ‘special pad’ and we’ll clear the boys out of the living room and change you.” My mother is incapable of referring to an adult diaper as a diaper.

Soon, we had her positioned on the oversized ottoman (which is the perfect piece of furniture for this particular job) and everyone was cleared from the room. As I was getting Mamaw’s “special pad” from her bag, I could hear Mamaw telling my mom about Papaw’s woman. She was crying.

“Jean, it’s only our family here today. If there was a stranger here I’d throw them out. After we get done here, I’ll have the boys check the house.”

Not good enough… “I know I’m right. I saw her!” Mamaw was crying harder know. It was nearing 5pm.

Mom tried to make the save, “I know that you believe what you’re saying, and I don’t know if Dad has a girl or not, but if he does, she is not in this house, and if the boys find her in this house, I’ll throw her out myself,” she said as we lifted, cleaned and re-diapered.

Still not convinced we believed her (probably because we didn’t), Mamaw dropped it for the time being. She had that look of getting ready to prove us all wrong about her, though.

Thankfully we returned to the party and things were getting back on a happier note. Present opening was beginning! We all gathered in a circle in the living room, ready to ooh and aah over each other’s gifts.

“I love watching the kids open their presents.”

“I know you do, Mamaw. The kids look like they’re loving them this year, too!” I answered her, glad to get her attention on a positive thought. “Oh, honey, what’s wrong?” The tears were starting again.

“I didn’t get them anything for Christmas! I didn’t do anything this year!”

“Now, Mamaw, really! Of course you got them presents! You and I shopped for them together.” (True.) “They really seem to like them, too.” (Also, true.) “I bet that toy you got Connor will be his favorite.” (OK, that might be stretching it, he did get a deluxe bat cave from his Nana.) This seemed to cheer her up, then she looked positively terrified.

“Do you see that woman there?” she asked.

“I see Holly.”

“No, not Holly. That woman is sitting right there.” She pointed at my sister.

I tried again, “I see Holly. You know, Holly has lost a lot of weight, and she changed her hair.”

“I’m not talking about Holly!” She was definitely getting upset.

I tried a different approach. “I see Parker.” I pointed at my brother.

“Yes, I see Parker,” she agreed.

“I see Mom.” I pointed at my mother.

“Yes, I see Cathy.”

“I see Holly,” I tried again, “she’s sitting right in front of Parker and next to Mom.”

“That’s not Holly.”

“Mamaw, that is Holly.” At this point the whole family was watching us, waiting for the storm that we all could feel coming.

“That’s not Holly.” Her voice quavered. She wasn’t so sure anymore.

“Mamaw, watch that woman,” I said as calmly as I could muster. “Holly, can you come over here?” My sister stood up and walked across the room, Mamaw’s eyes on her the whole way.

She bent down next to our grandmother and said “Hi Mamaw, can I get you anything?”

“Mamaw, do you see that it’s Holly, now?” I asked.  “She’s lost a lot of weight and changed her hair. She looks a lot different from across the room.” I pleaded for her to recognize my sister.

“Yes.” Her answer was hesitant, her voice shaky. “I need a cigarette.” This was more firm.

“OK, Mamaw, let’s go out and have a smoke.”

For the first time in family history, gift opening was stopped two presents in for a smoke. My husband and uncle got her back into her chair and we wheeled her out to the front porch. She picked at her clothes with her good hand, and looked around as if waiting for more surprises to jump out at her. When we got outside, she finally let it out. “I didn’t know her. My own grand-daughter! I didn’t know her.” The tears were falling freely now.

“Mamaw, she has changed a lot over the past couple of months. It’s OK.”

“It’s not OK. I didn’t know her. I looked right at her and didn’t know her.”

I didn’t know how to answer that. I don’t know how to comfort someone who has just realized that they can’t trust their own mind, their own eyes. I had no words for her, so I just patted her arm. I patted and cried and she cried and smoked.

The door opened and Holly peaked out. “You guys still smoking?”

“Mamaw is, but I’m done.” I answered. Mamaw and Holly both chuckled.

“She was done before I had mine lit!” Did she remember that I don’t smoke, or did she really think I had hot boxed one on her?

“Sounds like her!” Holly smiled. “Can I come out and sit with you a minute?”

“Sure, sure. Sis you should go back in, they’re probably looking for you.” One day, I’ll have to find out who “they” is.

As I closed the door behind me, I heard Mamaw apologizing and my sister letting her know she understood. She had the words I couldn’t find. They were both smiling when they came back inside and we picked up opening presents like nothing had happened.

*******************************************************************************

 

Tossing and Turning December 15, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,Blogging,Family,Little C,Rheumatoid Arthritis — arminta @ 2:57 am

I’m sorry that you guys only hear the bad stuff from me. These days it seems time is slipping through my fingers and documenting the good times/feelings/what-not seems to be taking a back seat to, you know, living. But since it is in the dark AM hours, and I can’t sleep, and I’m too lazy to go get another bag of Chex Mix from the basement, and I can’t be bothered to adhere to the rules of decent sentence length, I figured this would be a good time to throw a quick state of the Minta address out there. Oh look, bullets!

 

  • The Babe: Is 10 shades of awesome. I love that kid. This evening he told me “EAT!” and I said “What do you want to eat, buddy?” You know what he said? I’m not even kidding (although I don’t know if he was or not, probably not, though.) “Food!” Yeah, he talks like that. He gives real kisses. To everyone but me. Sometimes me, but Daddy and Ladybug are constantly getting the sugars. I am jealous, especially because at 15 months he has decided that the boob is dead. But those sugars! They make my heart soar. Have I mentioned that I love this kid?
  • The Babe’s Health: Pretty good, but he has had an  official asthma diagnosis, which brought with it a daily inhaled steroid, which brought with it thrush of the every-damn-where. I assume it’s from the steroids, although mama has the thrush every-damn-where, too. Since the new inhaler has come on the scene, we’ve had no major URI’s, though! We had three in a month prior to the inhaler.
  • My Health: Ugh! So, the RA = Bad. Left ankle still a hot ass mess and general feeling of assiness are keeping me down. The weight = bad, because I’m doing things like eating a bag of Chex Mix at 1am. Basically, I’m getting that falling apart/dying slowly feeling again. So, it’s time to get the fuck off my ass and fix it!!!!! I mentioned the head to toe thrush, right?
  • The Family – Minta Edition: Land mine! Let’s see, my sister has proven once again that she is the center of the universe. My dad disagrees, because he is, in fact, the center of the universe. My Mamaw has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and my uncle’s wife is trying to shut her up and never let her leave the house. Lil C is having some crazy jealousy/regression issues.
  • The Family – G Edition: He has been in light contact with Aunt C and has proposed a “truce” on Christmas ala WWII. I have proposed “Hell to the mother fucking no.” In all actuality, he is probably going to take Baby G over to Aunt C’s house on Christmas Eve and allow his mother to visit over there. I am not a fan of this idea, either, but am picking my battles. He says he’s going to call her and Aunt C to talk to them prior to Christmas. I’ve tried to help him organize his thoughts, but we’ll see if he uses any of my suggestions…
  • My Jobs: Yes, jobs! Ya’ll know how I was waffling about obtaining gainful employment? Well, my Etsy shop kind of took off 🙂 So, that’s pretty awesome. Speaking of (and I know this isn’t really the place to do this…) any mommy bloggers looking for free hats, who are willing to write a post showcasing said free hats, please let me know! Baby Hooked Boutique is looking for marketing partners. Other jobs? Still assisting my mother and nanny’ing H’s kiddo’s.

I think you get the gist of things. I think I shall head to bed and attempt to get some sleep. You know, today is my 28th birthday, and we 28 year old’s need our beauty sleep.

 

Miscarrriage: The Bullshit of all Bullshit December 12, 2011

Filed under: Blogging,Miscarriage — arminta @ 9:31 pm

Hey guys, please pop over and give Meg some love. She, T and their surrogate went for their 7 week scan today and discovered that despite the 4 great beta’s, the sac was empty. It’s so completely unfair. My heart is broken for them.

 

No Need to Test December 9, 2011

Filed under: Miscarriage — arminta @ 12:37 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Hey guys this post is chock full of the disgusting TMI that comprise the details of a suspected early first trimester miscarriage. Enter at your own risk.

Well, today I have no heartburn, very slight nausea, almost unnoticeable metal mouth. This is not surprising since last night the bleeding slowed down, I passed about 1ml of what looked like amniotic fluid (floats to the top in the diva cup…) then after about an hour of pretty heavy cramping, I passed a pretty giant mass (which I suspect was the fibrin clot) and since then the cramping has slowed down/stopped, the bleeding has slowed down and the symptoms have all but disappeared.

What’s going on is definitely not a period. My periods have become clockwork normal since the Baby G has been born. They start on CD 28-30 (of course making that day CD1). Day 1 is light (for me, which is to say 10-15ml daily loss). Day 2 is HEAVY (for anyone, average 85ml loss). Day 3 is heavy, but not as heavy as Day 2 (30-50ml loss) and Days 4-5 are spotting. I ovulate on 14 or 15.

Having been through this four times before (the other 2 were later in the pregnancy) and having my OB tell me “sounds like an early miscarriage” I’m ruling it an unconfirmed miscarriage at 4wks.

Fuckity Fuck Fuck

We’re not trying in January or February. I don’t know where to go from here. This was really my fear, that we’d get stuck back in the infertility and RPL rut and looksy here… I want baby G to have a sibling, a person to be family when G & I are gone. I know he will have the C’s and if that has to be good enough, it will. But, I’d really love for him to have someone of his own, too. You should see his little heartbreak everyday when they leave. And, I can tell Daddy G is hoping for this more than he’s letting on. But, I am so not willing to do the last 3 years over again. We’re happy, now, why fuck with that?

 

Grr and Such

Filed under: Miscarriage — arminta @ 1:53 am
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Yeah, so, we’ve been cycle tracking and timed intercoursing like good little (fat) infertiles do. I’ve mentioned this to you before. And, we’ve had a few “could it be’s…?” and the same number of “nopes.” So, that hasn’t been too cool. But, see, I’m actually kind of chill about it. I’m truly happy with the family dynamic, and I love the shiz out of being Lil G’s mama. For my sake, getting pregnant again would be great, and not getting pregnant again would be fine, too. Really. I’m not just saying that. Today. Feelings change, but that’s where I am today.

OK, not really. Really, I’m pretty fucking terrified of getting pregnant again. Because “duh” have been pregnant 7 times, have 1 living child. The odds are not in my favor. At all.

A fact that is staring me right in the big fat face right now. Because of the multiple months of testing early, testing on CD28, blood on CD 29-30, I made a commitment to myself, my wallet and my husband. NO TESTING UNTIL CD30. Period. Which is all fine and good, except… well, I’ve had the WORST heartburn for two days (CD27-28), have been slightly nauseous for the same time, have a bad case of metal mouth and have slept like the dead for two night in a row (thank goodness Baby G got his sleeping issues sorted). For the record, these are so my early pregnancy symptoms. And I’d be all kinds of cool with waiting until Saturday (i.e. CD30), smug in my confidence that this was the month that we’d see that line and I’d be taking Lil G to Christmas in an obnoxious ass “I’m the Big Brother” t-shirt. I WOULD be that way, ifin’s I weren’t currently bleeding like a stuck pig.

But, you see I am bleeding like a stuck pig. I’m on the fence about whether or not to test. Obviously, if I was/am pregnant, it is miscarrying. Do I really want to know that? Also, at this point would the test even still be positive? Would I be able to trust the test at all? I don’t know. Of course the Hubs jumped to his standard response of “call the doctor, make him figure something out, get a D&C.” He wants to know every detail. I’m not so sure that I do… I think I’m good on just not knowing.

What would you do?