New Mama Musings

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rock-A-Bye Henry

Henry fell asleep in the car this morning after a very traumatic haircut, his third ever. He was only out for about fifteen minutes, but it was enough to make him think he was not gonna take a nap in the afternoon, no way no how.

I tried, believe me, but after half an hour of him walking on the bed, doing the "all done" sign, and thrashing around saying "roh, roh" ("roll, roll"), I finally got him up.

Several hours later, though, we found this:

I particularly love the foot on the gate. Babies are so silly.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Me: Should we sing a song to help you go night-night?
Henry: Mmm.
Me: How about, "There was a teddy bear--"
Henry: No.
Me: OK, what about, "You are my sunsh--"
Henry: No.
Me: A-B-C-D--
Henry: No.
Me: The wheels on the bus--
Henry: No.
Me: --go round and--
Henry: No.
Me: The itsy-bitsy spi--
Henry: No.
Me: Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-O.
-- silence --
Me: And on that farm he had a pig--
Henry: No.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Cardamom is Mine...or, Not Without My Spice Rack

My husband and I stopped being excited about second requests for showings of our house over a week ago, because although there was lots of interest we were still without an offer.

We had our third open house last Sunday and one of the couples who went through asked to see it again Monday night, this time with their agent. We dutifully but unenthusiastically polished the faucets, hid the humidifier, stuffed the bean bag chair in a closet, removed all the crap from the front of the fridge and basically made the house look like no one actually lives here.

My husband had band practice later that evening and needed to gather his equipment before he left, but we were sure these people would be out by then. So we drove to the local custard place for dinner and back, only to find their cars still parked outside our house.

We proceeded to drive around for the next hour, making ever-widening circles to check back on their status. Finally, just as my husband was calling our agent to have him tell them to get the hell out of our house, we saw them walk out.

We were crabby, to say the least.

The very next day an offer came in from The Couple Who Would Not Leave. They offered full asking price, but they also wanted our stove and refrigerator (which we were planning on taking with us), the coat hooks in the front hallway, the towel hooks in the bathroom, and the shelves in the kitchen.

And my spice rack.

It was a lot more difficult than you'd expect to find just exactly the kind of spice rack I wanted: stainless steel, wall-mounted, clean lines, room for lots of spices (I actually bought two racks and hung one right above the other). I finally found it in the Hold Everything catalog, and since I buy my spices in bulk I also bought the coordinating clear glass bottles to store them in. I made the labels myself.

Admit it: you're impressed.

My stepsons' friends find my spice rack greatly amusing for reasons that, no matter how often are explained to me, I will never understand. I'm told that it's funny because my spices are labeled and in alphabetical order.

But why exactly is that funny? Would it not be funnier for them to be unlabeled and in a jumble?

My personal opinion is that, living in Redneckville, USA, none of the kids have ever seen their parents cook with anything but seasoning salt. And you always mock that which you do not understand.

So it was extremely ironic, and personally horrifying, that the potential buyers wanted my spice rack. At first my husband told our agent that we would do whatever we needed to do to make the deal go down. But after spending about fifteen minutes online searching for a replacement spice rack, only to find that Hold Everything had closed and no one else seemed to be selling anything like it, I stood my ground.

They could have the stove, they could have the fridge, but I wasn't moving without my spice rack.

Luckily another offer, also at asking price but with no such requests, came in right after the first one. And when the first couple found out another potential buyer was moving in on their territory, they voluntarily re-wrote their offer, bumping the price by a thousand dollars, giving us a week post-occupancy for free and dropping all previous requests.

The second couple also re-wrote their offer, but although they included a heart-warming letter about how much they loved the house, they didn't raise the price. And as my 16-year old stepson said, money talks.

Just between you and me, though, the first couple had me at "you can keep the spice rack."

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That

Last night I was working on the computer when I realized I hadn't heard Henry in a while. I got up to investigate, poked my head into his room and saw this:

Good grief, could he be any cuter?

In other Henry news, he's begun repeating words like crazy. (I think our days of using profanity with wild abandon may be over.) He now says za (pizza), dwah (draw), shu-duh (CD), hwss (shh), bah-bah (bye-bye), peppuh (pepper), roh (roll), tah (star), pa (grandpa), mama, dada, salsa, baby and the first letters of many words (including dog, doll, done, dark, moon, ball, balloon). The animals he can more or less mimic are cow, cat, chicken, tiger, owl, sheep, and snake. And he repeats things we say just once, like sweatshirt, oh dear and damn (see reference to profanity above).

He also approximates the word "nurse," though I'm not sure anyone but me or my husband would know what he's saying. Whenever he does the sign for milk and he's recently nursed or eaten I'll say, "Nurse? NURSE? Get outta here." So now when he does the sign for milk it's accompanied by a high-pitched "HSS! HSS!"

Finally, one rather sickenly sweet game the two of us play is Where's My Hug? I say, "Where's my hug?" and put up my arms in the "I don't know" gesture. He repeats the motion and then runs at me yelling "ahhhhhhh!" and gives me a hug. It's pretty much the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pull My Finger

Henry has recently become aware of his, um, bodily functions, and often suddenly stops what he's doing, looks at me, and pats the front of his diaper. Most often I think he's peeing, but other times I can hear that he's farted.

When he passes gas he immediately puts his hands together and does the sign for "more." I'll say, "Are you going to fart again?" and he'll smile and then get a look of concentration on his face. Surprisingly, he is often successful.

Henry let one fly the other day, to the delight of his big sister. Madeleine was even more tickled when he signed more, I gave him the go-ahead, and he did it again. And again.

To be completely honest, I was tickled too. I grew up in a household where no one farted in front of one another (hell, no one said "fart"). We were chided to "go in the bathroom and do that!" So I figure if I can find amusement in it now, at the age of 35, it's only fair.

When I told my mother this story she commented that I'd need to get Henry to stop doing this before he goes to school. If we decide to homeschool, I just might use this as the reason.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

TMI...or Not Enough? You Decide

Something weird happened to me a few days ago: I got my period.

This isn't weird just because I'm still breastfeeding, which can delay the return of one's fertility after giving birth.

No, it's weird because other than once or twice as a young adolescent, I've never menstruated on my own. It's because I don't ovulate (and thus don't have a period) that I underwent IVF to get pregnant with Henry.

So the fact that my period showed up now, well, it's amazing to me.

A lot of women complain about having to deal with a period and say how wonderful it would be if they never had one. But it always made me feel a little bit less, a little bit freakish.

As I learned more and more about health, it also started to worry me. Whatever the hormones are that cause normal cycles were out of whack in my body. What other implications might that have?

I'm sure some would say that it was the pregnancy that somehow "jump-started" my body. And maybe it was. But my guess is something more specific: high doses of vitamin D.

Last spring, searching for a solution to Henry's sensitive stomach, poor sleeping and slight rash on his cheeks I started doing a lot of research on nutrition. It was sometime in the summer that I stumbled across some information about cod liver oil and in particular, the high doses of vitamins A and D it contains.

What I read convinced me to start taking a dose daily. (I also gave Henry some every day for a while, but I've become lazy about that.) Within a few weeks my skin, which has been prone to outbreaks practically my entire life, cleared up.

Henry eventually stopped spitting up completely, though I'm not convinced it was anything more than time that helped with that. He still sleeps rather poorly and the rash comes and goes (his doctor says it's keratosis pilaris).

But the state of my skin was enough evidence for me to think the cod liver oil was contributing something to my diet that I had been lacking, so I continued to take it.

Then I read about a study in which women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (which can cause anovulation, among other things) were found to be deficient in vitamin D. Only a few months of vitamin D therapy normalized menstrual cycles in over half the women.

My infertility specialist had dismissed the cause of my anovulation as a PCOS-variant, which I took to mean that she didn't really know what my problem was, but didn't really care, either, because her job was merely to get me pregnant through high-tech intervention.

Don't get me wrong; I liked my doctor. But this whole journey confirms my feeling that there are very few in the medical profession who know much about nutrition as a basis for healing, and that we are our own best advocates.

Monday, January 01, 2007

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby