Gobs of rain today.

I took Josh to the mall to play since it was so wet outside. It afforded me a chance to also do some post holiday shopping, though I didn't get far on account that Josh has no patience.

I learned recently that Play-Doh can be used to dampen the sound on super noisy toys! Josh got an Elmo Tool Bench for Christmas from his grandparents. The only problem is that there is no volume control and when you're standing next to the speaker (like all toddlers would be), it's effin' loud. So I stuck some yellow clay into the plastic volume holes. It's still a little loud, but it's not deafening.

I'm supposed to pick up Emily from DFW soon. Her flight got diverted here on account of the storms in the area. Apparently she's really upset because she was on her way to meet her boyfriend's family in DC before going back to the Navy in Chicago. She's probably bummed that she won't get to spend time with him. While I'm sad she's missing time with her dude, I'm secretly thrilled that she's staying the night with us. I miss the days when she lived here and we could goof off anytime.

This converting from crib to toddler bed is a time consuming transition. As I'm sure many others will be. Unless Josh is asleep or falling asleep, he has a tendency to get out of bed and either play or run to another room. I have a stool outside his room that we sit on waiting for him to go to sleep. If he thinks we're by the door, he won't get out of bed and eventually goes to sleep. So far this technique works and sitting by the door takes anywhere from a few minutes to almost half an hour. Luckily we have enough light from the master bedroom to read a bookwhile we wait for him to fall sleep. I'm hoping this will help him to go to bed, stay in bed and put himself to sleep.

Time to get Em'.

What a whirlwind of a Christmas! Quick run down of the happenings, then I'm off to nap...

Friday- Left for vacation the very day after Rusty got over his cold and Josh stopped wheezing his cold. We spent the night in Amarillo where we got a call warning us about impending snow on the mountains.

Saturday- We decided to risk it and left for Ridgway, CO anyway as scheduled- we encountered no problems! Josh got car sick at the last 20 minutes of the drive. It was totally gross!

Sunday- Refreshed, we trekked up the mountain to Telluride with Cameo & Lee where we shopped, ate and played.

Monday- We left Ridgway for Boulder taking I-70. It took us all day. We stopped at Alysia's for a break before going to Jeff's house.

Tuesday- Pretty boring. Josh played at Pearl Street Mall, we bought books & coffee. Josh napped 3 hors then we met Laura, John & Alysia at a brew pub. Later, we stopped by my grandmother Betty's for a visit.

Wednesday- the snow was coming down fast so we decided to go to town quickly for food in case we got stuck in Jeff's bachelor pad. We got down from the mountain fine but quickly realized we wouldn't be able to go back. Leaving our stuff at Jeff's, we made hotel arrangements and checked in. I had 2 white Russians from the bar efore we walked to a grocery store for necessities.

Thursday- I walked to Alysia's to retrieve my phone that I forgot and a couple other things. She took me to my car parked half a mile from the hotel to shovel it out. That afternoon Rusty found someone to take him up te mountain to get our luggage. yay!

Friday- despite everyone's warning, we decided to leave town for Plainview. We brunched with Laura & John then headed out. The roads were fine but slow between Denver & Co. Springs. We hopped onto US-50 which was great until La Junta, where the day's slushed turned to ice & snow pack. It was slow going, but we had no problems. We made it to Plainview at 2am.

Saturday- We wake up, have breakfast, shower, play then head out for home. The trip home was uneventful- as it should be.

Sunday- My mom flies in to join us for Christmas. We cook for everyone at Rusty's parent's house and open gifts.

Monday- We return to Rusty' parent's house for Christmas dinner and open a few more gifts left over. Josh decides he can climb out of his crib so we convert it to a toddler day bed. We're all getting used to this change.

Tuesday- Mom & I have breakfast at Ikea then I take her to the airport in the afternoon.

Wednesday- Shopping and gift exchanging.

Thursday- That's today! Josh got his second round of flu shot, I developed Christmas pictures, Josh played at the park and now he's sleeping.

And so will I soon since Josh woke up several times during the night.

Josh is sick with a cold again. I think he got it from his friend Micah after being watched for a couple hours during my dentist appointment Thursday. As usual, and unfortunately for everyone, his breathing has become labored requiring vapor breathing treatments every couple of hours. This really puts a damper on our weekend plans. We can't get a Santa picture if Josh is sick, no family portrait like I was hoping to do, and we'll miss a holiday party tomorrow. Josh won't eat anything and only sleeps an hour or two at a time- even at night. So I'm exhausted, Rusty is napping and Josh is just miserable. :(

Having a bit of blue hair has been fun. I get compliments from people I wouldn't expect. Waiters. Cashiers. Nine year old girls. A 2 year old at the park pointed to my head and said "blue hair" to her mom. I got the color redone to be more blue and less blue-green. At the salon a lady asked why blue? Because it's a bold color. And I like blue. When it fades it doesn't look like a highlight gone wrong- it looks deliberate. There's no question that I intend for some part of my hair to stand out. Rusty says it makes me seem young because it's playful.

My dentist appointment today was not fun. I was supposed to lose a metal wire retainer (called a lower bonded retainer, cuspid to cuspid) that runs behind my front lower teeth and have a cracked tooth patched up in the back. My dentist numbed my right side and started working on removing the wire, which is supposed to be a quick and relatively easy procedure. Instead, the wire retainer took forever to remove due to an excessive amount of cement and bonding. And then she discovered a small cavity at the bottom of one tooth where the cement and wire concealed it from x-rays and check ups. So her attention shifted to the newly found cavity. I got numbed then on the other side of my mouth. By the end of the appointment I felt like my tongue was as big as a foot. And I had that feeling I was drooling, even though I wasn't. It's a weird feeling for me to feel my bottom teeth from the back again. I can feel the cracks between each tooth and the smooth backs of each tooth. Especially my canines. My dentist felt bad for me having to endure a painful removal and to have a cavity that I couldn't have prevented and now have to pay for it's treatment. She said the workmanship of the wire retainer was over-engineered and wondered why people do stupid things like this. Sadly, it's not the first time a dentist has inflicted tooth problems on me. When I was 12 I was eating a cookie when parts of a tooth crumbled out in my mouth. Alarmed I told my mom who took me a dentist. Turned out some dentist capped a cavity on the tooth when I was 9 but didn't clean it out very well so it decayed slowly over time until the cap had nothing left to hold onto- hence pieces of tooth falling out in my mouth. This is all very gross and probably not what you want to read about. It's a lesson though. That doing a hasty job, not taking the time to something right, can have a major repercussions years later. Especially in dentistry! I still have a cracked tooth that will be worked on next month.

We're planning to take Josh to see Santa for the first time this weekend. Secretly I hope I get a good picture of Josh crying on Santa's lap. Not because I want him to cry but because I think it makes for a cuter picture. (That's my dark humor talking.) But if we get a happy smile that would be good too. Personally I think it's a little creepy all these kids sitting on some old dude's lap. I know, I know... from the kids' perspective it IS Santa their talking to. The older kids know it's someone who will pass on the list to the REAL Santa after the mall gig. I've never been all cheer and gung-ho about Christmas as an adult. Somehow by next year I'll have to change my tune for Josh's sake. For him, this will be the biggest time of the year. And it's my job as parent to play it up. Until then- I'll bah hum bug it while I can! :-P


Josh had his 18 month pediatrician appointment. Here's the stats:

Weight: 24.9 lbs. - 35th percentile
Length: 34.25" - 93rd percentile
Head: 18.5" - 25th percentile
Vaccination: Hep-A and first flu vaccine

He's a healthy normal boy. He is a lot more physically capable than his peers in that he throws balls (toys, food, etc.) well, he runs, walks and climbs well, he uses eating utensils (he's getting better), and he's mastered stairs up and down. Language is a shortcoming so far. He recently started to sign certain concepts (milk, more, food, roll*), and speak/repeat words. However, he doesn't say much (other than his usual practice language that no one understands) and he certainly doesn't make short sentences like some of his friends. When he's ready, he'll start conversing. Oh, and he sings. He makes up his own 2-5 notes tunes. He eats well, he understands rules and often tests us, he sleeps well and he plays nice with other kids. I couldn't ask for a better kiddo!

*From the "patta-cake" rhyme, he loves to "roll it up" when we sing."

I got poked in the eye yesterday by Josh’s tiny finger. He was pointing to my face just as I lifted my head to look at him. I think I was cleaning up food off the floor in front of his seat in the kitchen. It was an excellent opportunity for me to teach Josh the words ‘ouch!’ and ‘oww’ and ‘you hurt mommy’s eye’. I swear I didn’t swear which is impressive for my character. As expected my vision went blurry for a bit. I didn’t think much of it until this morning when I noticed my vision in that eye was still off. I went to the optometrist this afternoon, got antibiotics to prevent infection, more eye drops, and scheduled to go back Wednesday for a second look. The doctor could see the tiny scratch but didn’t know why that would cause my vision to be so blurry. To give perspective, I wet from 20/20 to about 20/80 in my left eye. In the light, things have a shadow and extra lines to the left of images.

Rusty & I sneaked away to see Casino Royale yesterday while his mom babysat. She didn’t do much though because Josh slept nearly the whole time. We both really enjoyed the show. I could look at Daniel Craig (the new James Bond) all day long! What a hunk. He plays sexy-rugged really well. Judi Dench is still M. I think she must be at least 92 years old. We also want to see The Fountain and Borat. Maybe later this week.

I nagged Rusty this weekend that he was barely home. This wasn’t fair of me to do this because, in his defense, he was home with a minor cold on Saturday. I avoided him for the most part on Saturday to keep clear of germs. He felt fine by Sunday but then had to work in the morning and after the movie. Watching a movie, by the way, does not count as quality time because you are engrossed in the show, not in the person sitting next to you. By dinner on Sunday I felt like I had seen him maybe 3 hours out of the whole weekend (an exaggeration) and needed him to plug in at home. I didn’t feel like eating dinner because I was so bummed out. “If you were saving lives or being someone’s hero I could understand the long hours. But it’s 6pm on a Sunday and you’re working for a server. It’s just a server. I understand there are things that need to work before Monday morning, but come on- it’s Sunday and you’re working half the day.” He felt bad that I was frustrated. We went to a bookstore that evening (I got “The Last Van Gogh”) and afterwards he encouraged me to get some sushi for dinner. I realized the sushi was his version of a bouquet of flowers as a way to smooth things over. To be perfectly honest, I love the sushi (much tastier than flowers) but I’d rather have more quality time with him.

My mom calls me this weekend to say she’s in the hospital. She woke up on Friday to a tightness in her chest. She called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She had a “tiny little” heart attack. Apparently her cholesterol is sky high (over 300) and blood pressure beyond severe hypertension (180/120). She’s still in the hospital under doctor supervision until she’s well enough. Her diet is probably to blame. She lives a busy work life on-the-go with little time (sometimes money) for a healthy rounded meal. She was having severe back problems when I visited her a few weeks ago for Halloween. The doctors think that may have been an early sign of the heart attack. She’ll be fine but will need to make some serious changes to her health going forward.

We are in the process of making some upgrades to our house. I have reached my tipping point. I am out of space to put stuff (too few closets, cabinets & shelves), the walls are bland, furniture left over from our post-college days, there’s carpet in the guest bathroom that will surely get gross once Josh starts potty training... the list goes on. I’ve made pans to have the guest bathroom tiled next week. Then, I’m painting stripes on our bedroom wall to give it some life. Then we’ll have the living room walls painted ‘mélange’ green from Sherwin William’s swatch book, shelves in our closet, new wall paper in the kitchen, tile in the kitchen, shelves in the front room, and slowly replace some of the outdated things like our blanket of 9 years and TV console from Wal-Mart circa 1998. My goal is to have the majority of this done by summer next year. No particular reason for the timing, it’s just a goal to keep us focused on finishing.

On the topic of house upgrades, I’m finding myself becoming very comfortable with Josh’s age these days. I enjoy the moments when he plays by himself for a few minutes. I love that he can feed himself and communicate what he needs (usually). I really love that he sleeps long naps in the day and about 10 hours at night waking only once or twice on average. The thought of starting over with a newborn is suddenly less appealing. I’m even contemplating returning to work after the new year. I want to contribute to the finances of the house and be productive outside of domestic life and child rearing. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE staying home with Josh, spending time to make sure he’s well fed and cared for, socializing him and myself. And if we got pregnant again I would embrace the new family member and adjust to that coming. But until then, I think it’s time to back to “normal”. Whatever that is!

Josh is sick again. I say again because he had a cold, it went away, then it came back with a vengeance. As with any cold involving snot and coughing, he's had breathing problems. Luckily we have a home nebulizer and plenty of Xopenex. He's had several breathing treatments since yesterday afternoon.

I think Rusty is cursed. Every time he tries to get a day off work either something happens to suck him into a call, a meeting, emails, or his office. OR something goes wrong at home to make being home not much better than working. The last time he tried to take off a work day Josh got sick, we went to the Docs, had all this medical drama. Same thing yesterday. He was supposed to be on one call at 9am but then got pulled into another call at 11am. By noon Josh was really not feeling well so we decided to take it easy. After unsuccessfully trying to get him down for a nap, we went to Target for a few things. After about 15 minutes there, Josh puked all over Rusty, the floor and- it's not his fault that Rusty tried to put him back into the shopping basket- he puked all over the things we wanted to buy. Eeeew!! That was the last excitement of the day. We went home and pretty much stayed home!

I have a cold today- ug. My throat is scratchy, glands swollen, less energy- but it's not too bad. I've had far worse colds than this. Luckily my nose isn't runny or stuffed and I'm not too lethargic.
We made a huge batch of carrot soup yesterday for Tommy's Food & Spirits Party. We filled an entire crock pot full of this yummy soup, which won as best side dish by crowd applause & shouting. There were two ties: mojito and the beer bong tied for best beverage and raspberries on fire and truffles tied for best dessert. The two guys tied for best beverage had a rock-paper-scissors face off to break the tie. The best desserts had a dance off. In the end, everyone was a winner because we got to "eat like kings, drink like queens".

Joshua stayed at Preethi's for a few hours last night while we partied. It was the first time I had taken him to someone else's house to be watched at night, other than the in-laws. And they don't count because Josh knows them and usually stays with them. I couldn't get him to sleep so Preethi finally laid him down in the pack n' play. She said he was quiet and played for a bit then feel asleep.

It's raining so I'm not sure what Josh and I will do tomorrow. I guess he'll go with me running errands since there are no indoor parks and I refuse to take him to the mall play area until he's old enough to stop running into the mall.

BOO! Happy Halloween!!

Trip to Lubbock was good. Josh had such a great time playing at his grandma's house. We got into town about 6:30pm, in time for dinner at Furrs and putting up the pack and play. Saturday we spent the morning at Maxi Park playing, feeding ducks, and playing some more. I met with a fellow meetup.com mom's group organizer. Josh napped well then we went to the Corn Maze. The maze was fun but then I got dehydrated by the half-way point and needed to rest. We went on a hay ride and picked out a nice pumpkin for my mom to decorate. That night, after dinner and Josh's bedtime, mom and I decorated pumpkins and watched Poltergeist. Sunday we walked to a nearby park with mom's dogs (who nearly broke her back from tugging), gave up that idea and went back to Maxi Park. Sunday evening we had dinner at Raymond's who served up gumbo, blackened fish and chicken, and this yummy squash au gratin. I would have loved to stay and chat at length but Josh needed to go to sleep. Josh had fun at Raymond's. He learned to throw the dog's toy to play fetch. Every time the dog fetched the toy Josh laughed. I took josh to my mom's for bed and stayed up talking until late. Our trip back home was uneventful.

Josh was sooo excited to be home again with his dad. They played for two hours until Josh needed to sleep. I was hoping to get a back and shoulder massage from Rusty but he got paged and had to work. :-( Back to normal.

Today is overcast and chilly. We don't have any special plans for Halloween. Maybe I'll dress Josh up this evening to help answer the door for trick or treaters.

It’s a marathon blog!!

Josh is still sleeping- YES, seeping in at :9:40am. Wake him!? Yeck, no! I had breakfast, tea, watched my news, checked emails, made his breakfast, filled his milk & juice cups, got dressed… It’s amazing what all I can do in the small amount of time of peace.

I’m making preparations to go to Lubbock again this weekend with Josh, sans Rusty. He’s staying behind to work and relax on the weekend. I’m sure he’ll enjoy the house to himself initially but he’ll miss us! I’m going to try a daring act of driving the majority of the way in the daytime instead of after dark. I’m hoping he’ll be better with this idea than when he was younger. If the idea is a total flop, I’ll leave Sunday night.

The other day Rusty came home from work. Josh greeted him at the childproof gate by the back door to the garage. Rusty said “Well hi!” to Josh, then Josh replied “Hi”.
We were shocked! Josh has begun to say a few words but nothing with any regularity. Occasionally he’ll ask for ‘muh-muh’ meaning me, or ‘da-da’ meaning lots of things not me. I held him up to see what we were cooking and told him it was hot. “Hot Josh, this is hot.” He repeated ‘hah’. He’s also practicing inflection. I often ask him “where is it?” when we play peek-a-boo with objects. After throwing a toy and putting his hands up as if asking a question, I’ve heard him say ‘ah-eaih-eh?’ He makes the same sound of asking the question.

Rusty and I had discussions last weekend about future plans I general. We both want to move to a Blue state. We both want to renovate our house to be more interesting and comfortable. But we’re a bit at odds about having a second baby. I want one sooner rather than later. My worry is that we would decide a couple or few years from now to have a second and then the kids will be further apart in age and I will be further from a prime age for childbearing. His worry is that another child will take up more space in the home than we comfortably have room for right now. [For those who have not seen our house, we have three bedrooms, two baths. One of the small bedrooms serves as a computer room where Rusty keeps his servers, computer equipment, and occasionally works from home.] Making room for a baby in that room would entail moving computers to the common area (i.e. dining room/ front room) or keeping baby in the common area at nights. We haven’t figured out how to make this work yet, but we’re talking about it. Which is an excellent first step.

Dang! The boy is still sleeping! It’s 10am. We have to play at the park, clean out my car, get some groceries, paint a pumpkin or two (me, not him). Now I’m worried he’ll be up all day without a nap. Which wouldn’t be so bad come to think of it. Now that I have my leisurely obligations out of the way, I could tolerate a full day without break. This may be an experiment on how to wear out a Sarah!

This weekend was awesome! Lee & Barb got hitched and are now touring the hill country of Texas before going back to Portland. Their wedding was just like them: relaxed, joyful, fun and in good taste. The reception was at the Plano Art Centre so we had seating outside in the garden/patio area. Rusty was a groomsmen on the grooms' side. I have to clarify this because both sides had men and women. We created an after-party at Tommy's. I stayed until midnight getting a ride home from Matt & Sam. Then on Sunday morning we headed to brunch hosted at the home of friends of the family. Joshua, by the way, had fun at the reception and brunch, although he came down with a cold on Saturday which got worse by Sunday.

Speaking of which, his breathing became short and wheezing yesterday morning so I took him to the pediatrician's as a precaution. It seems that every chest cold has the likelihood to cause difficulty breathing so we got a nebulizer to keep at home and plenty of Xopenex. Now we can take care of his breathing problems without running to the doctor's or going to the E.R. The pediatrician suspects Josh will out grow this. I certainly hope this is true.

I was a whooping 3 days late on my period but started it this morning. So I'll be drinking an ale on Friday when I go out with other moms. I can tell that actively trying is going to make me crazy. Being late on my period made me hopeful and full of mixed emotions. Feeling grumbles in my stomach (probably from gas) gave the illusion of something greater. I guess we'll just have to try, try again!

Oh, and PMS is full force now. confused

I think my whining and moaning about the weather finally paid off. Today started out rainy and cool. Tomorrow is supposed to be cool and muggy before dropping to a high of 65 on Thursday. Why such a big deal? I plan to take Josh to a pumpkin patch festival on Thursday and having cooler weather will be more comfortable for him to be in his costume. I just hope it’s not too muddy then.

I made an awesome dinner this evening. Here’s what we had: Breaded Pan-Fried Pork Chops, Ginger Asparagus with Cashews and Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries. I will make the rice and pork recipe available on recipes.ringofsaturn.com either tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow we’re having trout. I invited massage therapist friend Teel over for dinner. She’s a vegetarian who eats fish so dinner will be easy to accommodate her diet.

Lee and Barbara are in town preparing for their wedding celebration this weekend. Rusty is in the wedding party though it’s not clear what he is. He wasn’t named Best Man and we don’t know who is, or if there is one. I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I can’t wait to see them get hitched, to see lots of people I haven’t seen lately, and to be fed. Let’s face it, weddings are good for feeding you. Well, this wedding anyway! True to Iron Chef DogCow’s nature, we’re celebrating the nuptial from Thursday evening (grilled stuff at the parents’ home) to Sunday brunch with friends of the family. I plan to take Josh to the reception for a bit. Hopefully he’ll last a while before I have to take him home. There’s a park in walking distance from the reception in case he’s feeling extra energetic.

I’m just days away from finishing my book. I’m reading Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. This is a fantastic book! So good that it is keeping me from my sleep because I can’t stop reading. Even though I’ve already seen the movie and I listened to a condensed version on disc a few years ago, reading the book has been just as great as if for the first time. Speaking of which, if I am to get any sleep tonight, I should probably wrap up and get to reading.

From a recent email:

Regarding how we are. . . Remember how Josh was always lively in class with the Plano Moms Group? How he always wanted to stand and squawk? Nothing has changed expect he's older, runs, climbs and points at everything. He's still very active, always on the go and makes so many noises! He's not trying to learn language yet. Going 'eh eh' and pointing seems to get him (eventually) everything he wants. He's very independent, has no concept of strangers nor dangers, and loves to play chase. He also has bruises all along his legs! I guess you could say we're about as normal as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The governor's debate is going on right now. The four incumbants are doing the rapid Q/A from a panel who ask various questions about policy, plans, ideals, and trivia about the state. The two independants (Kinky & "Grandma" Strayhorn) sound uninformed and unprepared but had strong colorful personalities and a little fire in their responses. The two party candidates (Bell & Perry "Zzzzz") are prepared for the debate but sound boring and slow to the point. Although I do want a governor who is highly educated and can actually manage, I also think having a lively personality is the type of catalyst that will move things to progress. Keeping the state's history in mind, I also need to consider who could someday make a decent President. Kinky may be fun for governor in Texas, but would we really want him in charge of everything? It's just something to take into account.

Ninety degrees in October. Ninety! That’s, what, 10 degrees warmer than the average? I’m forming a theory that some places will have it easy during the impending global warming reaction that has been predicted for the next 50 years. Other places, like Dallas, won’t do so well. I predict the area will suffer drought and excessively warm air. The trick now is to find those places that will benefit- and MOVE!!

Josh has been a light eater the past few days. Last night he barely touched his corn, macaroni and breaded chicken. To make up for his appetite loss, I’m feeding him vegetables and fruits for snacks instead of crackers and dry cereal. He ate a quarter of a tomato and some corn for a snack yesterday. And some banana. And two bites of kiwi. His newest craving- rice pudding! I got a container of rice pudding from Target recently. He’s ape over it! It’s a treat to pull out when he’s eaten well.

Welcome to life at 30! Wow. Nothing happened.

I have good sushi karma. FujiYama serves very tasty sushi about a mile from our house. I decided to treat myself to a small order of sushi for lunch. They have a special right now that says “Lunch Special – Buy one sushi, Get one free”. We have a menu at home that was mailed a while back. I called in an order for one mackerel and one halibut sushi both costing $4.25 per order. Each order has 2 pieces. So this would logically land me 4 pieces of sushi. Josh clambered into the stroller and I wheeled him up the hill to get my order. I’d like to mention that my pessimism of having another heat blast was accurate. Today reached 98 in some areas. Although the bank’s digital thermometer measured 95, I swear it was hotter. Back to sushi. The lady who presented the bill was going to charge me $9.20. I brought exactly enough cash for one order: $4.60. I explained there was a mistake. I didn’t order two orders of sushi, only one. She asked if I ordered one mackerel and one halibut. Yes, I said, that’s the two sushis, one of which is free. She agreed and that was why my order cost $9. We went back and forth for a moment. She told me to pay what I could afford and bring in the remainder of my bill tomorrow. I was grateful she let me leave the store with my sushi half paid, even though I believed they made a mistake.

I get home and found 8 pieces of sushi in my box: four mackeral, four halibut. Suddenly it all made sense on how things got so confused. Most places that have a buy one, get one deal apply it to the menu items you order. So when I ordered my two types of fish, I expected one type to be free. Instead I paid for two types of sushi and got two free. Tomorrow I will take my $5 to them to make good on my bill and keep my sushi karma in the positive.

In other news, I signed myself up for medical research this week. The Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM), at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, is seeking healthy women who are planning on becoming pregnant within the next 6 months to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the brain controls blood vessels and blood pressure during the early and late stages of pregnancy. Subjects will participate in testing prior to pregnancy; between weeks 4-8 of pregnancy; between weeks 32-36 of pregnancy and 6-10 weeks after delivery. Participants will receive free blood work, electrocardiogram and monetary compensation for their time. To qualify, you must:
* be a healthy female- not on any medications
* have no previous history of pregnancy-induced hypertension or pre- eclampsia
* be a non-smoker
* be able to commit to 4 visits to the IEEM during regular business hours (each visit takes approximately 2 hours)

Due to a certain wedding taking place in May next year in Canada, we’ve been holding off on trying for number two until this month. I am determined to be at this wedding, even if I have to walk my boney butt to Vancouver alone! Thus, I wouldn’t really be able to go if I was too pregnant or just had a baby. But if we start soon and I’ll be able to attend with more than a month left to the due date. THAT is my master plan. We’ll see how things actually work out.

Back to the research. This is a fairly invasive study. In the 2-3 hour appointments, I would endure multiple medical tests to my blood pressure, nerves, heart rate, etc. They will have me on a special prepared diet two days prior to each appointment. This ensures I don't pig out on pretzels or junk food which can effect my blood pressure. Why do this, you ask? First, there's the money. Every little bit helps. Second, it's timing. I just so happen to be thinking of trying for baby number 2 in the near future. Third, to be part of medical exploration. It takes willing volunteers like myself to promote further understanding about our health and our bodies. The hardest part about my appointments will be the time spent waiting for each test to complete. There will be times when I must lay on a bed for minutes at a time while they take my blood pressure and monitor this or that. I hate to wait, but I guess I'll find a way to entertain my brain.

Today I am now 30. Happy Birthday me!! Saturday Rusty threw a party for me at our house. He made lots of yummy appetizers and snacks (and we bought $50 of sushi) and invited lots of friends. All sorts of good people showed up to celebrate with me. I had such a great time gabbing, drinking, and socializing with friends I don't see enough of these days. The big gift from Rusty was concert tickets to see Massive Attack on Sunday evening. That concert ROCKED!!! I nearly knocked him over with excitement
when he showed me the tickets Saturday night. We spent half of Sunday sleeping in shifts and slowly getting ready for the night. Joshua
spent the evening with Grandma Anne. He had a good time, everyone was happy.

Ok, so back to the concert! It was at the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie so already the venue was excellent. Seats were cushy, the air was clean, it was freakin’ cold inside but that didn’t matter because they sold good beverages, such a premium margaritas. We met several friends there we hadn’t seen in a while. Some were a little shocked that we had reproduced since the last time we hung out. Teel also went to the concert. She went with two friends but they weren’t sitting anywhere near us. Oh yeah, we were in the front center just 6 rows from the stage. The opening act was DJ Shadow, who mixes smooth thick bass with a hint of retro-lounge. Massive Attack played nearly every song from Mezzanine (their best album) and a few new ones. They opened with a lovely new tune that got heads bobbing and swaying but was sedate enough to capture everyone’s attention and confine them to their seats. No one stood up until the second song and by the third song, people were up in the aisles and crowding in front of the stage. I stood in front the stage for a few songs but retreated back a few rows to get a better sound. Although being close enough to be touched is exciting, I really wanted to enjoy the music and the sound system was wobbly in front of the stage where I started. There was a lot less electronic gear than I expected. They had two drum sets, guitarist, bassist, one electronics dude handling everything from a keyboard to a Theremin, and a rotation of four singers. The lighting fit the mood of the music- dark. They opted for back lighting only during the performance. Although I initially wanted to see them perform, having a dim view of the action made me listen more than watch. After the encore, they turned on lights while the members took a bow and
exited. The entire performance was completely graceful. They sound just as wonderful live on stage as they do on a CD. It was everything I hoped and expected! [wiki]

About my hair. I wanted to get dreadlocks. I came very close to getting them. I made an appointment, consulted with a stylist with lots of experience and recommendation- but ultimately the price was not to be desired. For a day’s worth of dreading, the price was
$500. That was the price for 10 hours to make tons of small strands all over my head. Although Rusty & I could do this on our own at home, I was worried about it looking bad or not being done right. So instead I got a strand of hair dyed bright blue. I’ve gotten mixed
responses on it. Some people dig it. Others don’t get it. I like it. It’s not as wild as I was hoping for but no one says I have to stop here. Posted by Picasa

Friday is shaping up to be a busy day for me.

  • 9:00-9:45 - Consignment shopping with other moms
  • 10:00-10:45 - Gym Dandies to let Josh run & play
  • 11:00-12:45 - Hopefully Josh will nap
  • 1:00 - Take Josh to Melissa's to play for a couple hours
  • 1:30-3:00 - Hair appointment
  • 3:30 - Pick up Josh, stop by grocery store on way home
  • Evening - Do any urgent chores since none of it will get done this weekend

I don't know what the plans are for this weekend. I know I'm having lunch with my mother-in-law on Saturday and that I'm not going to church. Everything from here is speculation. Which is way more exciting than usual!

Tomorrow, not so exciting. The weather is absolutely beautiful so I think I'll take Josh to the park. He went to the library this morning for Rhyme Time. Just about any structured activity is a stretch for Josh to participate in. All he wants to do is run around, explore, play- do all the things an active toddler is expected to do. Sit in my lap? Heck no! After the library, Preethi and I took the boys to a nearby park. The boys had fun with the playground then a lady brought over a young chocolate laborabor who was playing fetch with a tennis ball. All five kids at the park were immediately attracted to the dog and his ball trick. So we gathered around the lady and watched the dog run after the ball a few times. Josh loved this! Afterwards we had lunch at Fusion Cafe. Yummm!

Wow. I just saw a commerical for a audition for "Hottest Mom in America" for this weekend at Reunion Arena. Crazy.

Rusty is watching his first football game of the season: Ohio State vs. Texas. Every so often he yells excited at the screen: Yeah!! Oh!! Woo-Hoo!! Ah You Suck!! Arrgggh!!! Josh got into the spirit of watching football by walking around yelling too. More like barking. And he raised his arms in a mock touchdown. We’re going to try to teach “touchdown” by the end of the season. Joshua has his own game he likes to play. Whenever we get ready to plunge him onto the bed or sofa we usually countdown “one, two, three” followed by “wooo!” He started doing a fake count followed by a fake “wooo” in the car when he was bored. I hear him going “eh, eh, eh, oooh! uh, eh, oooh! teh, teh, teh, teh ooooh”. So I joined in by counting for him then we both go “wooo”. All I have to do now is count to three like a countdown and he goes “ooooh”. That’s our game. That and peek-a-boo through the curtain of his activity wall.

My mother-in-law pointed out to me that Josh is saying “no”. He’s been shaking his head to signal “no” for months now. Recently he’s starting to say “nuh” when he isn’t interested in whatever we’re asking him or offering him. “More peas?” I’ll ask. “Nuh, nuh” he’ll say shaking his head, squirming in his seat and pushing all food out of his way.

Josh has, by the way, a second molar coming in on the top. We don’t have sleep problems with teething, at least not this week. He’s always restless a bit at night around the same times: 1 or 2:30 and 5:30. Usually he just needs his binky reinserted and his puppy in hand. A few weeks ago he was difficult to keep asleep, so perhaps that was a precursor to teething.

I have decided I’m no longer dreading the big 3-0. I don’t have a choice- it’s coming with or without me. So I’m embracing this last youthful birthday. I wish I had a shirt to wear around town announcing my proclamation. I have some ideas of what it could say, like:

  • Thirty never looked so Good!
  • Dirty Thirty
  • Real Life begins at 30
I also plan to get my hair styled. I won’t say publicly what I plan to do. I’ve made my decision. I've talked to my salon stylist. He made some suggestions. I’ve looked at pictures online and in magazines. I’ve thought about it a lot and can’t wait for my hair appointment later this week. I will say this. I decided this is probably my last real chance to be radically… uh, radical. I’m not in the public, I don’t have to present myself professionally (at least not in person, usually), I won’t be able to get away with doing this much later than my present job as Mom with Kid. If I ever wanted to do something wild or crazy with my hair, something liberal and unexpected, this is my last chance. Or so I perceive. Stay tuned.

The Pepsi Kid Around was fun, and should be much more fun as Josh gets older. I took him there Saturday morning for a couple of hours. He played in the big sand box twice, bounced in the inflatable bouncy tent, watched bike stunts, saw dogs dance and perform, got splashed by water from a dunking booth and by fountains on our way out. I was hoping all the activity would tire him out to sleep for three hours, but alas that did not happen. We got a mere two hours, his normal nap length these days.

After napping, we took him to play at his grandparent's house while Rusty & I went to see Beerfest at the theatre. We knew this was going to be a campy, funny movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. I laughed from start to finish. The only thing that would have made it better was watching it with a group of friends. Maybe later on DVD we can arrange for a movie night or something.

We had dinner with the in-laws and their friends then headed to Addison to see fireworks. Larry Little works for an aviation company so we had access to watch the fireworks from the top of the parking garage. It was a good view with no mosquitoes! yay!! Josh ran all over the place. He got really sleepy towards the end. Putting him to bed was about the easiest in months.

Addison got lucky. There was rain in the forecast looming overhead but not a drop fell until early this morning. Now the grounds are sufficiently wet and we feel sufficiently cooped in. It's rather dreary out now. The overcast skies and high of only 80 degrees makes it feel like Fall is already here. I am pessimistic though. I predict another scorcher week between now and the real end of summer weather. Let's hope I'm wrong!

Addendum- Bravo has started their third season of Project Runway. Every so often I get totally engulfed in junk TV programs. This is one of them. I can’t seem to help it! It’s “reality” based, though that description is a crock. It’s a competition between fashion designers who take a few moments out of a tight schedule to create a new design to talk about their experience, berate their team, critique other people’s work, and say whatever is on their mind. I love seeing the fashions and the flops and of course the tension between everyone. Unfortunately, this means I’ll be junking out in front of the tube once a week until it’s over. Luckily the new episodes come on at night after Josh’s bedtime.

I took Josh to The Flying Fish earlier this week to get dinner. I wasn't feeling up to cooking and I had a coupon for a free entree that was burning a hole in my pocket. While we waited for the order, I walked around the shop showing Josh all the fish on the wall. "Fish," I'd say pointing to a huge bass mounted with mouth open and tail turned outward. "Big fish. Little fish. Stripe fish. Long fish. This fish has wings!" I'd say pointing to the dozens of fish along the walls. Then, he pointed in the general direction of a perch and said, "shhh".
"That's right. Fish!"
"shhh. shhh."
"Now say ffff-iiii-shhhh" I enunciated while making a goofy excited face. He giggled and kept making a 'shhh' sound. That was close enough for me.

Yesterday was rough for Josh. We started the day with a nasty boo-boo. I was braiding my hair back getting ready to get out for the day. Meanwhile Josh is playing in the our bedroom closet. Usually he pulls shoes off the shelf, plays with my mini easel, and looks around at all the junk I should either get rid of or- I should just get rid of it. Anyway, Josh was talking to himself and then I hear a cry. I'm thinking he's frustrated or bumped into something. He walks over to me in his usual tip-toe way, arms up and face completely red. He's lets out a wrenching cry. I knew he was hurt or really upset but didn't see why. I looked at his face, his head, his legs- nothing looks out of place. Maybe his teeth? I pick him up and he's bucking and clenching onto me at the same time. He does this when he's really mad or upset sometimes so I didn't think much of it. I walked him over to his room to get him dressed hoping to take his mind off of whatever set him off. I get his shirt half-way on then set him down to finish. Oh man- he screamed! I laid him down to put on his pants, now a little flustered not knowing why he's so cranky. Then I see needle stuck in his foot! A sewing needle had some how got stuck on the bottom of his foot and was dug in more than an inch! I was a little freaked seeing it. I slowly pulled it out and carried him to the bathroom to clean it. Almost immediately he stopped screaming and crying. It was like he was thinking, 'Ah, finally you know what my problem is!' I cleaned off the blood and put peroxide on the hole and added a band-aid. His foot was sore (duh) so I carried him around to the kitchen for a drink of milk. Then I held him for a bit on the couch listening to music while I took it all in and thought about what to do next. I stroked his hair and kissed his head, and within minutes he fell asleep on my lap. I guess the stress of not being able to communicate added to the pain of a freakin' needle lodged in his foot drained all the energy he had. If he hadn't walked on his tip-toes, or if I had insisted there was nothing wrong and made him stand up, it might have gone all the way in. He's fully recovered now. By later that afternoon he was walking and running like nothing ever happened. I kept him off his feet as long as I could by driving to errands, going for a stroll, and holding him as much as possible. Later that afternoon, leaving a friend's house he tripped on a crack in the sidewalk scraping his knees. They got a little bloody and scuffed, again he's recovered, but that's at least a normal rite of passage for a toddler.

We got a glimpse of Josh’s first molar this evening. He was being fussy around dinner time in his usual of late manner so I decided it was time again to check for new teeth as a possible reason for the crabbiness. Rusty held him nearly upside down while I tickled him. I didn’t see it at first but Rusty did. On the top left was a shiny white bud barely poking through. I suspected it was nearly time because he ran a mild fever yesterday for a few hours. It hovered around 99-100 degrees for a few hours. He didn’t seem bothered by the fever so I didn’t give him any medicine. By bedtime the fever was gone. I’m bracing for restless nights in the next week or so as the tooth pushes out.

This morning we took a trip to the Galleria for story time near the play area. This was a planned event for the Second Time Moms Group so I was glad to meet a couple of the members finally: Lauren and Angi. It’s funny- these two moms live about the furthest away from the mall and they made it while others who live closer didn’t come (or didn’t find me while I was there). It was neat to see another toddler who is near Josh’s age but with completely different temperament. Sydney, who is a month younger than Josh, is mild tempered, plays near her mom, interacts with the grown ups around her, quietly observes her surroundings, and yet does all the normal activities of a toddler such as climbing and pointing to things she wants. Joshua, however, was literally running circles around the play area and dashing out into the mall non-stop. Lauren had her two-year old and two-month old with her. It was neat to see what to expect for myself. If things go as planned, we’ll be having a two-year old and a two-month old next year too.

While sitting in church this evening, I got to thinking… I’ve always wondered what it would be like to radically mess with my hair. Like dye it a bright color or get dreadlocks or chop it off into some funky style. Ever the professionally-minded person, I didn’t act on these ideas in the past because I liked having a job that pays well despite having to portray a professional, conservative look. However, I’m not in the public eye now. If ever I wanted to mess with my conservative style, now is probably the last real opportunity to do so. I think I’m just crazy enough to actually do it. But first I’ll need to think about what I want to do and pick out the right day to just do it!

Joshua's 15-month pediatrician appointment was this morning. Here are the stats:

  • Weight 22.2 lbs. - 20th percentile
  • Height 33" - 93rd percentile
  • Head 18" - 15th percentile
His weight is expected to be stable on the lower end of the percentile while he grows tall like his parents and grandparents. He got a repeat of previous vaccines: DtaP, Hib, prevnar (pneumonia). He'll get his first flu vaccination in October and again at the next visit. He checks out as a very healthy and normal boy. I was advised to get him off of formula very soon. I have half a can that I'll use up. Currently he drinks half whole milk and half Next Step formula. I like adding the formula to give a boost of vitamins and iron but the pedi suspects this will effect his eating habits since it tends to be thicker than plain milk. I was also given a handout for guidelines and ideas of foods for toddlers. Josh has a balanced diet but there are a few vegetables I could try on him for variety, such as mushrooms, cauliflower, green beans, and lettuce. He used to reject greens like green beans and broccoli, but maybe now he'll be more open to trying it. Still no words, though he is communicating in different ways like raising his arms to be picked up, pointing at things, reaching for stuff he wants and trying to open the fridge when he wants milk. He just doesn't see the need in learning to speak yet and certainly doesn't want to since we encourage it.

New pictures are online from the past three months (this time my URL has an 's' in it!): www.ringofsaturn.com/joshua

How to sneak alcohol into a pub: Carry a sizable purse or small backpack. Order a similar colored beer or beverage served with a glass. Drink the first beverage as ordered. Inconspicuously refill the glass when the wait-person is not around. Discard empty container in bathroom trash or leave it on the bar when the bartender is busy.

The playdate on Friday was a success. I made two quiches though the first one was better tasting and was available an hour before the second. The second one wasn’t very good because I was distracted while putting things together: I left out an egg, I didn’t stir in the salt and sugar well enough so the majority of it sank to the bottom, and I took it out before it was all the way cooked in the middle. Luckily most people weren’t interested in eating by the time it was out. I also served raisin cinnamon bread- which was demolished. About seven moms showed up. Toys got scattered all over the house! Josh had a pretty good time playing until the last hour when he started getting sleepy for his nap. That afternoon he slept for nearly three hours. In fact, three times this week he’s napped for 3 hours long. There were a few people who couldn’t attend who I wished had come because I hadn’t seen them in a while. Mostly moms from my old Plano Moms Group whom I have lost touch with.

It’s always rough for me to leave Josh with the nursery at church when he goes into hysterics as I leave. Today I dropped him off and immediately he broke down bawling. I felt so awful. I wanted to go back, hug him, and keep him with me during service, but I knew he would be bored during the sermon and, more importantly, I knew he needed to learn to separate from time to time. I hung around the hallway around the corner listening to him cry for a moment. The nursery people were good at calming him down within two minutes. I pulled myself together then made my way upstairs to the service.

These last few days have been particularly tough. Josh has taken to screaming and wailing for a period of time in the day for no real apparent reason. It’s as if he developed colic at a later age. Sometimes it happens in mid-morning, sometimes in the late afternoon after his nap, and usually lasting an hour or more. I keep trying to find a solution such as offering him milk or food or playing with him or getting excited about something fun like music or toys. It usually only works for a moment then he resumes his wailing. And it isn’t really crying but more like whining or general crabbiness. I caught myself repeating words I heard growing up: “I’ll give you something to cry about”. It’s an empty threat, but just as bad to say. I’ve also caught myself holding him a bit tightly or snatching him up rough and quick in my overly frustrated state. Often he wants to be held and carried around and when we set him down he goes back to wailing. I tell him I can’t hold him all day and that he needs to get around on his own, but this lecture is lost on his 15-month-old ears. If it were cooler outside I’d take him for a walk. But in 100+ degree weather, that’s just not an option. Turning on the TV works for a moment as a distraction, but then I feel guilty captivating him with it. So my only tactic is to try a little of every trick in rotation, to endure, and to thrust him upon Rusty when he comes home from work.

Thankfully he’s sleeping now. I think it’s high time I got myself a desserty treat and enjoyed the peace and quiet while I’ve got it!

Turns out Josh forgot he had a fever by Monday morning. He woke up as happy and normal as could be yesterday like nothing happened. Maybe he's teething. I'll keep checking for molars, but nothing yet. I canceled a playdate Sunday afternoon believing he would be ill. Now that he’s ok, I have 28 eggs* leftover that was going to be used towards making quiche on Monday. So I’m throwing an egg-citing playdate on Friday to finally make the quiche(s) and enjoy the company of other moms and their toddlers.

Yesterday evening we went to a baseball game in Frisco. The original plan to was let Josh stay with a babysitter but since he had a fever on Sunday I canceled that babysitter. Then when he was ok, we were stuck with either taking him or Josh and I not going at all. So we decided to it would be more fun having Josh along. And it was! Within minutes of getting to the suite (we were in a corporate suite overlooking the game) we had to baby proof things: unplug the phone, move the peanuts, pick up drinks… Josh had a great time both inside the suite and out on the balcony. He played with peanut shells, climbing in and out of the chairs, clapped, played peek-a-boo behind a seat, changed channels on the TV inside, played with the phone and was generally adorable to everyone. I left with him at 8:45 thinking he was close to his bedtime and hoped he would fall asleep on the way home. But I think he was so excited about getting out that he was awake and active until nearly 10pm.

Today we’re to have lunch with moms in Frisco. Maybe I’ll take him to Addison to get wet this afternoon at the fountains. But no promises- it’s supposed to be 102 degrees, and that’s before the heat index!

*On Friday we went to the Farmer's Market to get eggs and other stuff for the playdate. I got 2 dozen farm eggs for $3.

Josh is sick again. :( It seems like he's sick about every two or three weeks. Our pediatrician assures me this is normal for toddlers at this age and level of activity. For anyone who thinks that keeping their one-year-old out of daycare to prevent colds and sickness is kidding themselves. Somehow Josh finds all the germs. And as usual, the timing stinks. Monday I was to host a playdate at home and then go with Rusty to a ball game in the evening while Josh was babysat by a friend; Tuesday was supposed to be a lunch with a small group of moms. Monday's plans are right out, and probably Tuesday too since he may still be recovering and/or contagious. His last temperature reading was 104. We gave him some Tylenol and rubbed his head with a damp cloth to help cool him. Now he's at 101 and awake from his nap.

Today feels like a Sunday. We drove home from Lubbock starting just before 9am this morning. The weekend stint in Lubbock was fun. It was a short trip, but Rusty & I had fun giving Weyandt a tour of everything important to us. We drove in late on Friday and promptly crashed in the hotel room. (By the way, if you ever find yourself in Lubbock needing a hotel, the Holiday Inn Express is the way to go. It’s a newer hotel with much nicer rooms and amenities than its neighboring hotels.) I woke up early on Sunday once at 5:20am then again at 7:15am, I dozed in and out until finally sleeping more until 9am. My internal clock is used to Josh waking up at 5am and 7am every morning. We had breakfast with my mom then drove around town looking at stuff: Maxie Park, Texas Tech campus, Rusty & Matt’s old apartments, my grandmother’s old house, Prairie Dog Town, the flea market, The Strip, the Llano Estacado Winery, etc. Half way through the tour we picked up Matt and Oana. The five of us spent the afternoon telling stories and making fun of things. The engagement dinner was held at the American Wind Power Center, a museum of windmills. It was a classy casual affair with BBQ, beer and wine, and friends of the Musselman family. Once the sun went down, it was cool outside and a lovely sunset with a rainbow off in the distance. Not quite the type of climate I would have predicted for this time of year. We hung out at the Library Bar afterwards playing games and talking.

We drove Matt and Oana home and decided to taste the homemade brandy Oana’s parents made. I didn’t try any (I was the designated driver and not much of a brandy fan anyway) but the guys all really liked it. Oana’s parents are such neat people to talk to. Her dad has some great stories that kept us there a little later. If it hadn’t been so late and if the Ranch House Restaurant hadn’t been broken into causing Matt to drive his mother there to make sure things were ok, we might have stayed later talking. So this morning we dragged our sleepy butts out of bed and had breakfast at (yep) the Ranch House Restaurant. Apparently whoever broke in didn’t find anything they wanted (no money, no fake dollars, no blank paychecks, no electronics worth the taking) so they broke out a glass door to leave. We enjoyed our meal, said hello and goodbye to Matt, Oana and her parents one last time, then scrammed out of town. The drove home was fairly uneventful. I got car sick a third of the way, probably from reading in the backseat on a full stomach. I sat in the front passenger seat the rest of the way to keep my bearings.

Meanwhile, Josh had a great weekend with his grandparents Russ & Anne. Russ tried to take him on a bike ride in one of those bike trailers, but Josh didn’t like being strapped in and especially didn’t like wearing a helmet. I think we’ll have to persistently work in the idea of wearing a helmet, or anything on his head for that matter! He ate well, played a lot, slept well and got good care for his hives. Anne thinks he’s allergic to the amoxicillin that he’s been taking this week for his ear infection. I gave him a bath with Aveeno colloidal oatmeal and his bumps looked much better this evening.

This week looks to be busy as usual. Tomorrow we’ll start securing drawers around the house so Josh will stay out, Wednesday I’m volunteering three hours to help set up a consignment sale in Plano, Thursday I’m shopping half price at said consignment sale, Friday is open though I have no doubts we’ll fill the day and evening doing something. I always seem to find something to do through the week.

So Josh indeed did not sprout a molar or any new teeth. He had an ear infection last week Thursday evening followed by difficulty breathing caused by bronchiolitis. Here's the email I set to friends and family the night we came home from the ER:

Our adventure started last night with lots of crying before bedtime, fingers in the mouth and ears, and a runny nose, which we believed was all due to teething. By early morning Joshua was very short of breath with wheezing. I called the pediatrician'’s office as soon as they opened and got a morning appointment. Upon the beginning of his appointment Josh was having a hard time breathing resulting in a low blood oxygen level (91) so they gave him steroids orally and a Xopenex vapor breathing treatment. They also checked his ears and found he had an ear infection on one side (which he got amoxicillin to treat that). There was an immediate response to the first treatment in that he sounded better and his blood oxygen level was normal (95). We gave him one more breathing treatment then headed around the corner to get his chest x-rayed. Because he had a fever and raspy breathing, they were concerned that he might have pneumonia (he doesn't) or asthma (he doesn'’t, although asthma does run on Rusty'’s side). X-Rays were mostly clear except for a tiny speck on the right side of his lungs, but the doctor isn'’t concerned about that at all. After the x-rays the doctor decided to give him another breathing treatment because he sounded raspy and short of breath again. By the time we were ready to leave the pedi's office, his blood oxygen level was down to 91 again. They said once the steroids kick in he'’ll feel good for a bit and things should start to clear up. We were instructed to give Josh vapor breathing treatments every 2-3 hours at home over the weekend plus antibiotics for the ear infection plus steroids. We have a vapor breathing machine on loan from the pediatrician's office.

The steroids kicked in at home and he was in a great mood for about 20 minutes, eating, playing, babbling. Then he started to sound raspy so we gave him another breathing treatment and put him down for a nap. He slept 2 hours then when it was time we gave him another breathing treatment. After the fifth treatment, it didn'’t sound like he was having any better breathing. We decided to take him to Rusty's mom (who works in the NICU at Plano Presbyterian Hospital) to get her opinion on whether he sounded ok. One nurse took his blood oxygen level reading (it was real low, around 83) and another breathing specialist advised we check him into the ER for more treatment. So we checked into the ER and quickly got him into a room and had THREE breathing treatments in row. [A note about these treatments: They are not fun. Each treatment takes about 10 minutes. There'’s a mask that goes over the mouth & nose and the machine that pumps the air and converts the liquid medication into a vapor is noisy. So Josh squirmed and cried and got real upset with every treatment.] After the third treatment he was breathing well. The doctor watched his progress for a couple of hours before we came home. We're advised to give him breathing treatments every 4 hours during the night and to go back to the pedi's office tomorrow to get a check up.

Josh is sleeping now (soundly) and hopefully he'’ll sleep better than he did the last two nights. I'’ll send an update later this weekend on how he's doing.


Then the follow up on Tuesday after the pediatrician gave Josh a clean bill of health:

Josh is fully recovered and back to his normal active self. The pediatrician suspects he developed bronchiolitis. This is fairly common among babies/toddlers and is not related to asthma. Thank you to all who called or emailed your concerns this weekend!

It was fairly scary on Friday morning when Josh was not breathing right and was lethargic. I knew it wasn't a cold and I feared it was something worse. After breathing treatments every three hours during the weekend and Monday, and steroids to increase his activity level (which is never fun for the parent) and antibiotics for the ear infection- after all that Josh is feeling and acting about as normal as ever. Which for him normal is 90 MPH.

This weekend we are going to Lubbock to attend an engagement dinner with Matt Muselman & his fiance Oana. We decided, after a week of waffling on the issue, to leave Josh with Rusty's parents here in Dallas. This is a short visit of formal affair and we'll be traveling with a friend who is sharing our hotel & gas. I think Josh will have much more fun spending two days with grandparents. And we will be able to enjoy our short time there without worrying about naps, feeding him, tantrums, avoiding heat, play time- all the things that take time. To help me feel better about this, I've made a two page dissertation on how to care for Josh and to expect. I'm hoping the tips and routines I outlined will help the grandparents. We'll see soon enough!

If you can't manage from an office, why not do it from home? In addition to the three other moms groups I am a member of (Le Leche League, Mommy & Me, Monday Moms), I started yet another group with Kim this week though Meetup.com called Second Time Moms. This one is unique though because it's catering to a niche group: moms who have toddlers and who are planning for, expecting or have recently had their second baby. It's enough of a challenge for first time moms to learn the ropes of keeping a fragile being alive- it's quite another to continue that task while keeping yet another fragile being alive. If these were older children, say 6 years old, and moms having a second child, it would be easier. A 6 year old can speak, is generally potty trained and tends to disappear in the day for nine months out of the year. However, a toddler is wrought with short comings in language, tempers that flare out of nowhere and tend to make messes in their pants as well as around the house. I dread some of the details of raising a toddler, such as potty training/bed wetting, converting the crib to a toddler bed, dealing with testing authority, and I'm certain to find a Crayola masterpiece etched into our carpet or sofas at some point. Add those anxieties to my desire to have a second baby in the somewhat near future. I am either insane or strangely naive.

Josh's latest skill: he can climb onto kitchen/dining room chairs and then onto the table. I'm working on getting him to only "sit down" on chairs and to not get on the tables. I feel it may be a losing battle though in the kitchen. There's really no way to keep him from climbing onto those chairs unless I turn them upside down on the floor- which he climbs on as well but at least can't get onto the table.

A bit of bad news. Darwin has again bit Josh, this time it was hard on his fore arm enough to require a good cleaning and huge bandage. The cat has been kicked out of the house for now. There's food and water for him on the porch, but he's not allowed inside. My job this week (in addition to keeping Josh from falling off chairs and tables) is to either find the cat a new place to live or send him to the pound. I really don't want to send him to the pound because he doesn't deserve to die, but he cannot be in our home near Josh any more and none of the no-kill shelters are taking animals. I've called every single shelter and agency known in the metroplex. Darwin has been a source of great controversy since he came into our home, but it's high time he left even if he is adorable.

New toddler accomplishments:

  • Turn on and off mom's laptop
  • Climb into highchair, stroller or kitchen chairs repeatedly
  • Attempt to climb onto couch and fail repeatedly
  • Throw dramatic tantrums if crossed
  • Eat well one day and toss it to the floor the next day
  • Point to things of interest
  • Pretend to talk
  • Test the rules to gauge parental reaction
  • Play chase several times a day
  • Make a mess several times a day
  • Hog the TV remote
  • Demand any electronic devices
  • Drink lots of milk from a sippy cup
  • Squirm during diaper changes
  • Walk away while being dressed or undressed
  • Kiss or lick glass surfaces
  • Nuzzle on mom and dad's shoulder when tired

Josh loves playing in water. I've taken him to the Lewisville Aquatic Park, Addison Circle's fountain area, a friend's pool at her apartment and now tomorrow the Jack Carter Pool in Plano. Not all this week nor back to back but all recently. It's about the only thing to do in the sweltering heat. Although Josh loves all kinds of water for play, I prefer the super-shallow wading areas. My little guy has no sense of danger whatsoever! He tries to crawl out of my arms in the pool so he can crawl on the water. I explained to him it doesn't work like that but he doesn't get it.

Most babies shift towards taking on nap a day around their first birthday. Josh is inconsistent. Some days he'll pass on the morning nap and take a long afternoon snooze- but then he'll revert back to two naps. I'm encouraging him to move towards that one long nap so that I can work in the afternoon. Today's tactic worked very well- we hung out at Addison Circle eating brunch (he had half a banana and some peach) then played in the water fountains with Preethi & Vincent then he played some more after lunch. By the time we got home at 1pm he was exhausted. He slept from a little after 1pm to 4:45pm- waking once for a drink. Tomorrow there's a playdate at 11am so we'll probably leave home early to play at a park before joining the group. That should make him plenty tired!

So how's life with a toddler? All in all I'd have to say (so far) it rocks! I love seeing him learn. Unlike when he was an infant, I can play with him. And he's better at self-play. Nights have become quiet (almost no waking) and easy to put him to bed. And he can eat more types of foods, though I still opt for the healthy stuff. It's easier to have fun with a toddler than an infant like going places and trying new things. It's also neat to see his opinions developing. He hates ravioli right now. But he'll eat crackers, cheese and fruit until the sun goes down. Some music makes him dance while others are lost on him. And he loves "outside". Any time to be outside, whether walking, strolling, playing with wood chips or dashing across the neighbor's yard- is a good time. Oh, and toddlers are way more resilient. He falls, bumps and tumbles all the time and is getting better at not crying about it. But I still hold him and rock him to sleep mostly because I like to and still can.

Someone somewhere right now is watching a home video. Someone somewhere right now is writing a book. Someone somewhere right now is discovering they've lost their home.

Nolan sent Joshua a survey to fill out. Here's what Josh had to say:

  1. FIRST NAME? Joshua
  2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not directly, but my parents got inspiration for my name from musicians they really enjoy.
  3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? This morning- I ran into the side of the kitchen table and got an 'uh-oh' on my noggin.
  4. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO? Climb and run!
  5. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Of course!
  6. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yep! I can carry around my toys around the house, push chairs across the kitchen, climb to the top of stuff and peel off the rubber shock absorbers from the cabinets.
  7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I haven’t tried ice-cream yet but I hear it’s real yummy!
  8. WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION? Toddler
  9. SHOE SIZE? 6W
  10. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandparents! I just can’t get enough of them!
  11. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I’m too busy playing to check my emails.
  12. WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Yogurt with cereal grains and a veggie cracker
  13. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Mandarin Orange because that’s one of my favorite fruits!
  14. FAVORITE SMELL? Dirt
  15. WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MEET? How big they are compared to me!
  16. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Very much- I can’t wait for Nolan to be my play pal.
  17. FAVORITE DRINK? Juice!
  18. FAVORITE SPORT? Swimming. No wait! Running. No wait! Climbing, yeah!
  19. HAIR COLOR? Dirty blond
  20. EYE COLOR? Blue
  21. FAVORITE FOOD? Cheese
  22. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? I like Baby Einstein and they have happy endings
  23. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? White and green under my blue-green overalls
  24. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My daddy playing piano and my parents making funny noises
  25. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Vancouver, CA to see my Matt
  26. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can make clicking and ticking sounds with my mouth!
  27. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? May 25, 2005 at 11:08pm in Dallas, TX at my midwife’s birth center

I had an interesting moment at the grocery store this afternoon. I was looking for the last two items on my list, chicken patties and meatballs from the freezer section. I knew they were along the back row but wasn't seeing them right away. A guy, maybe in his late 30's, was standing in front of the section I was scanning back and forth on. I think he was reading package labels or something. I realized how silly it must have seemed that I was going back and forth past him looking for these things. I decided to make light of my predicament by saying, "I'm not stalking you, really." He chuckled then said back,
"The way my life is that would be a welcomed change." I shot him a friendly smile kind of going along with his humor. Then it struck me like a brick: what did he really mean by that? Is this how people pick up other people in the grocery store? Was he making some slight advance? I mulled over his words probably longer than I should have while finally locating my items. He looked at me again as I reached in for a package, and it wasn't a flirty smile- more like it was a prolonged glance. Women have a funny way of noticing even the slightest changes. I didn’t respond to his extra glance sensing there was something fishy about the way he responded. Maybe he’s single? Maybe he’s lonely? Maybe he’s just friendlier than I expected? Or maybe what he meant to say just came out funny.

Josh is still sick. I'm getting worried about him because he hasn't eaten hardly anything since Tuesday except some yogurt in the mornings and a few bites of applesauce and mandarin oranges that I've forced upon him. We decided to take more dramatic steps today. I made straight formula (no whole milk) and offered it to him in a bottle. Although he's supposed to be done with bottles, if this is the only way I can get nutrients in him I'll do it. In fact, this week has no rules. He's watched more TV/movies than usual, I've offered him more juice than I usually do, he ate a pretzel one afternoon so I kept offering him more- if he wanted to eat a cookie I've give it to him so long as he ate something. He's still throwing up too. This evening he barfed all over me, the carpet, the wall, the steam cleaner near the wall, the kitchen floor, all this while on our way to put him to bed. We tried to give him water, he threw that up too. Then we tried 1.6 mL of medicine to soothe his coughing and runny nose- he puked that up too. So now he's laying in bed coughing every minute or two, and probably hungry and thirsty. I plan to take him to the doctor Monday to see what I can do to keep him from getting too dehydrated and hungry. My hunch is that he got a cold on top of a nasty stomach virus.

Someone somewhere right now is being hired for a new job. Someone somewhere right now feels trapped in their marriage. Someone somewhere right now is celebrating their 21st birthday.

Josh is alseep again. Poor guy- he throw up on me in the living room this afternoon. I gave him a bath, changed his clothes, then cleaned the carpet & sofa. After he puke he felt better. He was splashing around in the tub then running around the house exploring for a while. After about 30 mintes of play, he got tired. I held him for a bit and he fell asleep on my shoulder. I laid him down for his 4th nap today. He's sleeping as much as yesterday but not in a single long stretch. The first nap was just over an hour, then 45 minutes, then another hour and now it's been over an hour. I hope he feels better this weekend. I want to get out and enjoy the festivities around the 4th of July. I don't wish this stomach virus on anyone!

Someone somewhere right now is having a baby. Someone somewhere right now is feeding their livestock. Someone somewhere right now is a prisoner of war.

For anyone who has ever abandoned their diary or journal for a length of time can relate to me when I confess that blogging has lost its initial glam. I seem to fill my time doing other things instead of updating my blog. It’s not to say I don’t enjoy it, I do. It’s just hard for me to stick with it (or anything) for too long unless something new happens.

Josh has become sick again starting in part Monday evening then full blown by Tuesday afternoon. He’s got what Rusty’s coworkers nicknamed the “Puke & Poop Bug”. It’s a stomach virus going around that, by all appearances, seems to effect only males. I don’t know any moms or wives of the stricken who are sick. Friend Preethi put it right when she said she thought this virus was slowly killing out the male population. I don’t think the virus would actually kill anyone but maybe it takes an hour or two off of someone’s life.

Anyway, Josh puked on me 4 times today. Twice in the living room and twice in the kitchen. He also had runny poop, the diarrhea type. Rusty took care of him for about an hour while I ran out for groceries this evening. He didn’t puke on Rusty. Instead, he gave him dirty diapers. Rusty says after the first changing Josh rolled over, was about to crawl away but stopped and filled his diaper again with runny poop. He didn’t even make it off the change pad! The poor lil’ dude has been very tired and lethargic today. He slept for a total of 4 hours and when he was awake he only wanted to rest his head on my shoulder. We took it super easy today watching The Wiggles for a bit this morning then a documentary about castles this afternoon.

Despite being sick, Josh is still toddling around the house exploring. He “helped” me fill the bath tub this afternoon for his bath. He’s learned how to turn the faucets on and off. He also spent some time pointing at and touching the carpet cleaner. He’s interested in the gadgets, like the extensions and hoses. He gone back to handing me his cup when he’s done drinking. I much prefer this over he former course of tossing the cup aside when he was done. Thank Gawd for sturdy plastic sippy cups!

Having the extra nap time was good for me. I was able to finish a web design for a St. Vincent de Paul project, I did chores, took a long shower, even a nap. I figured I should make the most of his naps while I can. I wonder sometimes how it will be when (if) we have a second child. Are moms able to put both kids down for a nap at the same time? I guess not. I would probably be busy with one child at all times. And how does the “second time mom” put an infant down for a nap with a toddler playing nearby? I remember having to be very quiet and careful putting Josh for a nap when he was younger. The slightest bump or noise would startle him awake making me soothe him to sleep all over again. Does the second baby get the extra time devoted to them? I need to hang out with toddler moms more so I can learn from them.

Sometimes I play the “Someone Somewhere Right Now” game. Here’s how it works: think of a situation common to all human beings then make the statement (internally or out loud) that someone somewhere right now is doing that thing. Then pause to reflect on it. I’ll start. Someone somewhere right now is hearing the best news they’ve ever heard. Someone somewhere right now is having a car wreck. Someone somewhere right now is posing for a picture. Someone somewhere right now is dying of starvation. Someone somewhere right now is taking a test. Someone somewhere right now is about to go to bed.

The power to walk compels me.
The power to walk compels me.
The power to walk compels me.

I feel bloaty and achy and lethargic- yet I felt the strong urge to walk a mile. My late day routine of strolling Josh has become the staple event of my evenings. Rusty & I walked up the street. I got a banana frappucino, he got a pizza for dinner then I bought 2 tamales for lunch tomorrow. All that walking and we ended up buying junky foods!

Tomorrow is a busy busy day. First I'm taking Josh swimming with Samantha Weyandt at her apartments, then we're off to a play date in McKinney (which is 30 minutes away), then home for what I hope will be a long afternoon nap, then we're having company over for dinner. For me it will be a non-stop day. In myopinion, those are the best kinds of days to have.

This week has been action packed, mostly with Josh getting wet or dirty in some way. I took Joshua to the Lewisville Old Town Aquatic Park and he had a blast! The park is geared for babies up to preteen kids. They have a winding shallow pool that's only 3 ft. 6 in. deep, water spouts, sprinklers, fountains and a wading area that's only a few inches deep. The pic-nic/seating area is covered by huge square umbrellas and they have a decent bathroom. The cost: $3. I think we'll be frequenting the park this summer!

Josh is obsessed these days over wheels, especially the type you steer with. At play areas, parks, on toys- if he sees a wheel it becomes the only thing he wants to play with. I looked for some toy with a wheel today hoping to find a push-toy of some sort. My search, though limited, was unsuccessful. When he ventures outside of our house, the first thing he goes for is the water spout. Why? He can turn the spout (which is wheel-like) to make water come out. I have a feeling he'd turn it even if nothing happened. We've been tightening our spouts after each use.

My trip to Lubbock & Plainview was relaxing. I left Friday as soon as Rusty came home and stayed at my moms. We worked on pricing stuff in her garages sale boxes on Saturday before I left for Plainview to be with Emily. Emily, who is going to boot camp June 27th, hosted a Going Away party at her parent's home.

I came up with some ideas for my mom to advertise her garage sale next weekend:

  1. Little Miss Muffet found her tuffet at my garage sale!
  2. Little Boy Blue found his horn at my garage sale!
  3. All the king's horses and all the king's men came to my garage sale!
  4. The emperor found his new clothes at my garage sale!
  5. Jack and Jill went up the hill to get to my garage sale!
  6. Jack be nimble; Jack be quick; Jack came to my garage sale!
  7. Mary Mary, though quite contrary, came to my garage sale!
  8. One, Two Buckle your shoe; Three, Four come to my garage sale!
  9. Knick-knacks and paddy whacks, all at my garage sale!
  10. Yankee Doodle bought his hat at my garage sale!
Not sure of she'll use these, but I think it would catch people's attention.

Josh was brutal this morning. He woke up cranky, crying and at 7am. I guess a weekend with Dad wore him out. He napped from 10:30-12:30, making us miss a play date at the mall. But I didn't mind missing the play date. I got my nap too. :)

Jeepers what a week.

  • Josh is now able to crawl onto the coffee table. In fact, he's also nearly able to crawl onto his high chair seat if it didn't have a big plastic knob in the middle keeping him from sliding out when seated.
  • He is also working on standing up without a wall, furniture or legs.
  • Rusty is out this week in San Diego living the fine life on company dime & time while I'm here in 100 degree weather taking care of a sick toddler. Me? Jealous? You bet!
  • After yoga class on Saturday I think Josh came down with a cold. He was not well all day Sunday with sneezing and runny nose. He's better today though I still have to clear his nose periodically, sometimes with Kleenex and a suction bulb.
  • I have plans this week to keep us busy until Rusty comes back home: play date tomorrow, dinner with a friend (thanks to Matt Weyandt for posting his yummy salmon recipe), visiting a St. Vincent de Paul warehouse to take pictures, meeting a friend I haven't seen in over a year, meeting with a mom I have never met, and finally picking up Rusty from the airport.
  • I plan to go to Plainview this weekend to visit my mom and celebrate with Emily before she goes into the navy. I think I'll leave Rusty to care for Josh all weekend without me. It's only fair. :)

It took a miracle but we saw Nine Inch Nails* and Bauhaus in concert Saturday night. Friends Gene & Becky Tien called Rusty at 2:30p on Saturday to see if we wanted to fill two extra seats. Apparently there was some miscommunication on who was going, how many tickets they needed, etc. After the call, we phoed as many friends a we knew to see if anyone would be willing to watch Josh for the evening. Between us, we called six people getting a "gee, sorry, not tonight". My last hope was in Melissa, who has a seven-month-old. Rusty had already given up. As the phone rang her house, I told him if she said no, we wouldn't go. It turns out, she almost did say no. Her hubby was going to a bachelor party that evening. She called her mom and invited her over to help her watch both babies at her house. I was really surprised that at the last attempt, things worked out.

We had a great time! We got there a bit on the early side allowing us to get good parking (I left after the concert in record time- no waiting!) and spend time with friends Gene, Becky and Heather, and Heather's brother Jeremy who has an eight-month-old baby. Bauhaus was OK but being my first concert of theirs, I know I missed something. Half the crowd was interested in them. People reliving their formative 80's industrial/goth memories. There was intermission then NIN hit the stage with a rage and thunder that everyone paid to see. By the third song the lead guitarist dove into the crowd to be carried back by eager fans. In fact, there were a lot of legs and bodies carried around on the front center area. We were seated to the back right (or left if on stage), our seats on the edge of a row between sections 200-201 about 5 rows from the front of that section. The light show was good but the mesh LCD screen that came up and down throughout the performance was an awesome effect. We left at the end of the concert before the final finale. You know, when the band is done and the crowd begs for more and we all know the band is coming back to play one last song. We left before that last song. Rusty heard everything he wanted to hear and I wanted to beat the traffic so we could pick up Josh from Melissa's.

Today we took turns catching up on sleep. Rusty slept in then I took a long nap while Josh napped. I think Josh had a great time at Melissa's because he was tired this morning despite not waking too much until morning.

*I would have given anything to go to the Sasquatch Festival in Gorge, WA last week. Some day before it becomes banned, overly commercial or dies out, I want to go. This year's music on the main stage (2nd & 3rd days) was a generous sampling of bands and music I really enjoy.

We are officially done with bottles- yay!! The transition to sippy cup was good. Josh didn't reject the cup in expectation of a bottle. In addition, today was the start of introducing cow's milk. I've been giving him formula that's cool or room temperature for a couple weeks to get him acclimated to colder drinks. I'm offering him half formula, half milk right now. He seems ok with the change. I plan to keep offering him both for a week or so then cut back on formula. The stuff's expensive even though it has lots of nutrients.

Today Josh took one nap. I think it was a fluke, though he's done this a few times. Today he went to sleep a little after noon and didn't wake until nearly 3pm. I was able to do so much: lunch, clean, email, create "thank you" notes, do my hair and makeup, read a few pages in my book. It was nice having the long down time. If Josh sleeps until 8am on a somewhat regular basis, I'd be ready to move towards one nap a day. Though I can't really control that- it's more or less up to him and when he's ready to do it.

My girly friend Melissa called today to vent. She's going through a bit of what we went through a while back: people assume that when you have a baby you disappear or become so tangled in family obligations that no one bothers to include you on fun stuff. It's hard not to take that personally when your friends all get together to do something fun and don't bother to invite you. Rusty & I have tried very hard to communicate to our friends that we are still interested in going on and can even trade off to make this happen (such as Rusty staying home while I go out for a bit, or vise versa). To make things worse, she finds herself initiating much of the correspondence and plans to get together. It's understandable when people are busy or lose touch altogether. But then there are those who don't really have that excuse. For whatever reason, they just never ever bother to call or email. Ever. So in order to keep the friendship afloat you always make the first move. I'll tell you from experience: that gets real old real fast. I can't say that I'm perfect about contacting every person I know often. But I do find myself inviting friends to do stuff far more often than I get invited from them. I think Melissa felt better knowing that someone else was going through the exact same dilemma. I'm moving more towards the notion of finding new friends who have more in common with me and who are interested in keeping in contact. It never hurts to add new people to one's personal Rolodex anyway.

Joshua's one-year pedi appointment was this morning. Here are the facts and figures:

  • Weight 21 lbs. 7 oz. 25th percentile
  • Height 31" 80th percentile
  • Head 18" 25th percentile
He got tested for lead in the blood and got vaccinated for Hep. A, MMA, and his vision. (All is assumed normal and healthy unless otherwise notified.) Of course I was advised to transition Josh from bottle to cup very soon (I already anticipated this battle) and to move him on to cow's milk in the near future. The doc recommended a cold turkey approach to the transition of bottle to cup. I expect Josh to fully retaliate and hate me/us for it, but he needs to move on and I really want to stop washing bottles! The cow's milk issue is different. We can take a gradual approach to it until he realizes it's good and the only option besides water. I think I'll avoid juice until he's got the hang of cow's milk and using cups all the time. Also of note from the appointment- Josh hasn't really spoken a word yet, at least not clearly and repeatedly and in front of his parents. So we'll focus on one or two words until he gets the idea that making words leads to getting stuff he wants. Aside from not talking yet (which is somewhat normal for boys) he's as healthy and active as can be expected.

By the way, new pictures are online from this weekend:www.ringofsaturn.com/joshua We're working on how to upload video to the photo gallery, but that'll happen later once we figure it out.

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