This month isn’t quite over, but I am so done. In the last couple weeks, we dealt with C’s cold turning into croup with me having to convince the hubby to pick up some prescription Decadron at 1am, to avoid taking her to the ER. She missed 3 days of school in just her second week there. It was a relief to finally send her back because she was going stir-crazy at home. Then she picked up another cold and give it to me, and I’m still coughing a ton at night thanks to asthma. I really need to just suck it up and get myself on some steroids too, but I hate how insane I feel on it. Otherwise, she seems to have adjusted pretty well to school, so long as hubby drops her off – she’ll run and hug the teachers, and cheerfully wave bye to him. I usually pick her up and she’s fairly cranky, fighting getting in her car seat and all the way home. She’s also now in a bath-hating phase. Ugh!

One cat is getting once a day antibiotics for another week, and subcutaneous fluids every other night. I had to take her in for follow-up labs this morning, and at least she’s still weak enough they could do the draw without too much fuss. We’ve had to resort to using a cat muzzle on her for the fluids because otherwise hubby can’t hold her still long enough for the fluids to get in.

The other cat had his lymphoma follow-up earlier this week. He’ll stay on Prednisone and Flagyl sort of indefinitely. The vet brought up a chemotherapy pill that we could use if things get worse, but at $90/month after insurance coverage, I don’t know that I could justify that plus I’m uncertain about restrictions with him hanging out so much with C. I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

Then our older dog had to go in also earlier this week because she had some blood-tinged urine. So she’s on twice a day antibiotics. This is her 4th presumed UTI in a year, and it’s perplexing because there really seems to be no great explanation other than presumed incontinence. I’m about ready to start her and the first cat on D-mannose just to see if it might help, since at least it can’t hurt.

I had a great Tuesday off where I actually didn’t have work to do, and was able to catch up on some household tasks. Even thought about going to watch a movie. I should have just done it, because work has sucked since Wednesday, and I’m working through the weekend also. 2 admissions in 3 days, no charts done, and I’m so fried when I get home I just crash into bed. Part time seems great, but I’m still carrying a full (overflowing) panel, and have to deal with the forms, messages, etc. This was my fear – that I’d be paid less but still have to do almost the same amount of work, just not necessarily in time seeing patients. I don’t know what the answer is…

Fever, again?!

I guess I was lulled into complacency by our almost 4-month break without a significant illness. C had a fever with cold symptoms less than 4 weeks ago, but thankfully only needed to stay out of daycare for 2 days with the fever. Bounced back really quickly and figured we had at least another month before I had to worry about her catching something else.

She had a blast at My Gym this morning, hurling herself head first into the ball pit multiple times, and grinning ear to ear on the zipline ride. Grandma and great-grandma came to visit, and she enjoyed their company outside, picking flowers in the yard and watching them garden. Then at lunch, she ate 2 bites of diced-up peach, and turned her head to everything else. Chalked it up to her unpredictable toddler pickiness these days, so just put her in crib to nap afterwards. She laid quietly for over 2 hours, though seemed to be awake on and off.

When I got her out at 3, she wasn’t happy like normal after a nap. Thought she was hungry, so tried to give her more peach for snack, and then she started crying and fussing Figured it must be another hard poop after she had a disastrous poop day at daycare 2 days ago (I had to throw out her shorts and she nearly ruined the provider’s rug), but it was soft. Then I realized she felt hot while I was cleaning her up. 103.1 temperature! With no other signs or symptoms, so I’m trying not to worry about the possibility of a UTI since she’s definitely at risk with the constipation. Her ears look clear but I haven’t tried looking in her mouth to check her throat. Tough right now because hubby’s at a work function until late tonight. Just really hope she’s better soon so we can avoid another bladder cath 😦

Laid up on the couch

I’ve been experiencing back pains in the evenings for a while now, but they’ve become more frequent recently. At some point early this morning, my lower back completely seized up. So now I’m stuck on the couch after taking a very long time to get C ready for daycare. At least hubby was home and could take her up and down the stairs, but I still had to get her in the car seat and out when the time came. The pain is finally easing up after I put on Salonpas and begrudgingly took Ibuprofen – I get nervous taking NSAIDs now because my creatinine (measurement of kidney function) is high for somebody my size. I also need to catch up on charts but laying on the couch or bed just makes me sleepy.

This month has been really tough on all fronts. I did manage to cram for and pass my board recertification while nursing a sick toddler at home. Then nervously had to check twice over 2 weeks on whether I needed to report downtown for federal jury duty. Thankfully I did not, but that meant basically only seeing sick visits on those days since my schedule was held beforehand. That gets very tiring after a while – I don’t think I would survive trying to just work in urgent care. About midway through this point, my chief called me angrily demanding to know why I couldn’t release my schedule yet, and that she’d never heard of anybody being on call for jury duty for 3 weeks. I guess the scheduler must have said something about how bad our access was in clinic, and she misinterpreted my being out the first week when I was taking my exam. So that was fun. She relented after I explained but I still get the impression she didn’t believe that I was really on call for 2 weeks. Ugh.

Now I’m dealing with searching for child care again. Yup. This is more of a just-in-case situation, but Mrs. K told me that she had already put off a knee replacement surgery last year, but that her pain is getting worse and it’s affecting her back now too. I’d noticed her leaning and limping more in the last few months. She sees her doctor tomorrow (again – having to send C to my friend for backup care since I can’t leave work before 3pm to pick her up), and I assume they’ll decide and set a date for surgery at that time, but I went ahead and started the search for daycare/preschool. I didn’t want to have just a couple weeks to look like the last 2 times. Saw 4 different places on my day off, and have it narrowed down to 2. The hard part is any center is a significant cost increase over what we pay now, and of course nobody can beat Mrs. K’s location (across the street from my office). All this is happening, just as I learned that I will actually cut back to part-time in a month, which is a month earlier than I’d planned! So great in that I needed this, but not so great with the increased expense of child care. I thought about trying to find another in-home daycare, but all the recommended places are full or don’t have the hours I need based on their location. I would love to just enroll C 3 days a week, but my work schedule can only guarantee one full day off and the cost of backup care one day a week doesn’t make up the difference vs. 5 days a week.

The 2 places I’ve finalized are pretty different on almost every front except cost. It may end up being an issue of availability since the one that’s close to my office thinks they may have a spot in December but they’re not sure until end of November. The other is closer to our home, and very convenient for hubby to drop off (hurray!) and do pickups once I start working one evening a week. They’re brand new so they definitely have spots right now. In any case, at least I have some prospects, and hopefully we’ll know more after Mrs. K’s appointment tomorrow.

My Gym and PT appointment

I don’t think I ever brought it up, but we had stopped going to The Little Gym classes in June because the class time changed to right when C was still taking a morning nap. She was always cranky, and then we kept missing class due to travel or illness. So I finally canceled and got a refund back on some of what we’d pre-paid. Lesson learned: don’t pre-pay a bunch of money when it comes to kids’ classes, because you never know what will change.

We attended the grand re-opening of our local My Gym yesterday, which is a lot closer, and C had a blast… until she didn’t. There was a lot to take in, with so many older kids running around, screaming and playing. She definitely loved watching them, and gravitated towards a little inflatable ball and the practice steps. She even happily sat under the parachute as it went up and down, laughing as she felt her staticky hair stand up on end. Then it got too close to lunch time, and that combined with the over-stimulation pushed her over the edge. So we left very hastily. We are signed up for the first month, so we’ll see how that goes.

One of the instructors there worked with her a bit on the balance beam, and felt that she just needed to gain some more confidence in her wobbly knees before walking. He thought she was just weeks away. We had her physical therapy evaluation this morning. The PT reviewed her birth and health history (hurray for an integrated electronic health records system!), and we went over when she hit her gross motor milestones. Basically she was on track for everything until pulling up to stand, which was delayed at 11 months. She asked about any sitting devices or walkers we used (other than the activity center for brief periods around 6 months old, nope). Then it was time for the nitty gritty. If I thought I had it bad examining an uncooperative toddler, a PT has to convince said toddler to perform certain tasks to observe what they can and cannot do. We had to do lots of cajoling and switching out of toys to finally convince her to pull to a stand. Then she melted down when we were demonstrating her supported walk, and also when the PT tried to keep her from kneeling down and stay in a squat position instead. Some of the observations she made:

  • C has a preference to use her left knee more than her right. She usually leads with it, and when transitioning between a sit and crawl, prefers to go onto the left while putting her right foot down. I have noticed this when she creeps up the stairs.
  • She much prefers to come down to a full kneel instead of squatting.
  • Her lateral transitions are weak – in other words, moving side to side.
  • She does not bend her knees enough to achieve a good high step, which is what’s needed before she can walk independently.

Basically nothing very alarming came up. She was amused to see C knee-walk near the end, and couldn’t believe when I told her that she does this all over our non-carpeted house. She agreed she’s very close to walking on her own, but given that she’s already almost 16 months old, definitely qualified for ongoing PT. So we have a referral out for that, and I should expect a call within a few weeks to schedule that. Hopefully it won’t be too bad to get something first thing Tuesday mornings, since that’s the only consistent half-day I have off from work. In the meantime, we’re going to have her work on pushing around a big exercise ball, since she doesn’t seem confident with regular push toys as they roll away from her. And we need to work on getting her comfortable with us walking behind her instead of leading her, all without killing our backs.

Sick at home

I’m not sure what’s going on with me. This week has been physically and emotionally draining, despite taking a vacation day Monday to give myself a little break. Had a long overdue massage – my shoulders are always wrecked from hefting C around, since she is still not walking at 15 months old and almost 25 lbs. The strength is definitely there, and I’m glad I finally bought a toy kitchen for her to play with, because it’s really encouraged her to stand and play more than before.

I’ve also been really bloated and gassy for a couple weeks, to the point where one of the nurses asked when I was due(?!). She was appropriately horrified when I said I was NOT pregnant. Thought I’d solved the mystery when I finally remembered to take lactase pills in the morning, since I now often eat overnight oats with C for breakfast, and of course it’s made with regular milk. That in addition to the milk in my daily iced coffee has been pushing me over the edge of my lactose intolerance.

My work efficiency is gone. I think I’m just too drained, and then I get home and the last thing I want to do is chart and deal with my inbasket. C has been having nightmares and teething pain, so her sleep has been hit or miss. I think I’m clocking 6 hours uninterrupted at best. I generally don’t do well if I get less than 7. I started crying quietly last night at her bedtime for no real reason, I think from exhaustion.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning in a sweat and with a headache. Managed to get back to sleep but half an hour later heard C banging around in her crib, and I still felt warm. No fever on the thermometer, but I still felt like crap, so finally decided to call in sick for the day. Got C ready and dropped her off for daycare, only to realize as I was unbuckling her from the car seat that I totally forgot to brush her teeth and wash her face. Oops.

Headache went away with some coffee, but back has been aching off and on all day. I’m supposed to start my period today, so I’m guessing that’s contributing to all this misery. Hopefully I can get a decent night’s sleep and feel better by the morning. I “volunteered” to work extra all day Sunday too 😦

“I don’t want to lean in, okay? I want to lie down.”

If you haven’t seen the Ali Wong special “Baby Cobra” on Netflix yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. The title of this post is just one of her many gems, and she touches on infertility and miscarriage so frankly, it’s awesome. Some will find it offensive and full of triggers, but I really found myself nodding and laughing along so hard I was in tears.

So while I totally have the above thought sometimes, in all seriousness, I would suck as a stay-at-home mom. I’m terrible at cooking and housekeeping, and hubby is honestly the better, more patient parent when home with C. But this full-time (really overtime) working thing is really not working out. Every time I think I’ve caught up, I get hit with so many forms and messages on top of all the patients, I can’t see straight. I don’t sleep well, because I worry I’m missing something. I continue to be asked to work another 2 extra shifts every month, and it looks to be this way at least through October, and then cold/flu season will hit with a vengeance, and it’ll be 1-2 extra shifts a month simply due to the usual demands of the season. And these are all weekend shifts because we have no child care in the evenings, and hubby can barely get back in time for C’s 7:30 bedtime. People ask why we don’t just hire a nanny – as if a good, trustworthy nanny is easy to find and keep around here, and at a cost almost 4 times what we pay for daycare right now.

I emailed my chief, desperately asking when would be the earliest I could cut back to 8/10 as we’d talked about. We hashed out possible schedule changes, since part of working in my group means putting in work on evenings and weekends – there’s just no way around that. Hubby promises to stay home Wednesdays so that I can start working evenings again, and hopefully get most of my weekends back. As to when this will all happen, I don’t know. But right now, I’m actually looking forward to October, when I have to take my board recertification exam and have 2 weeks of being on call for jury duty. At least it’s a break from clinic!

To make me feel worse, today I saw a post on Facebook about how one of our friends has just been promoted to VP at her company. Their daughter was born the same month as C. She had a few more weeks of maternity leave than I did, but somehow was able to go back to full-time work without much problem and end up with a promotion, while I’m floundering, trying to figure out how to keep all these balls in the air and asking to take a step back. Not to mention she’s been back to regular workouts with her husband, and the countless trips they’ve taken, both with and without baby. This is definitely one of those times Facebook can make you feel really crappy about yourself. Maybe I need a Facebook break.

A breather

I’m enjoying a rare moment of quiet on an actual day off from work. This is a bad work month for me, with everybody trying to jam in for physicals, and me working overtime every Saturday. Urgent Care was oddly busy this past Saturday – I saw 16 in an afternoon, and they all showed up within 2 hours! I finished my charts last night, so that I could keep C out of daycare and spend the day with her. Took her to meet up with her daddy for lunch at his work. Picked up the Mamaroo from a friend, since I’m loaning it to yet another friend with a new baby. Put C down for a nap, then washed dishes and put away the laundry. There’s certainly more I could be doing, but none of it is pressing.

After an embarrassingly long break, hubby and I have finally picked back up with the intimate part of our relationship. I admit I was terrified the first time, but it was totally fine and I’m kind of enjoying the no-pressure part. There is a wordless agreement that we aren’t trying but aren’t preventing for now, even though the thought of being pregnant again doesn’t exactly have me jumping for joy. I’m quite certain I do not want to attempt an FET, though I know my RE will be sending a bill soon for another year of storage for our 4 embryos, and I’m sure I will just pay it.

C is starting to stir, so I should wrap this up. We’re supposed to meet my friend for coffee, and after I put C to bed tonight, I’m going to run the Mamaroo over to our friends’, and try to help them with their colicky baby. I’m sure once I get home from that, I’ll be thinking more strongly about contraception…


Health: She came down with a cold on Mother’s Day, then later that week developed an ear infection. Thankfully the Amoxicillin worked pretty quickly for her. The sad part is I probably gave her the cold, and it’s been almost a month and I’m still hacking. Yay, allergies and asthma! She’s unfortunately developed some pretty persistent constipation, thanks to not drinking enough water while eating solids like crazy. I found a concentrated prune juice extract that’s easy to get into her, but even then, she cries and strains a fair bit if we aren’t careful.

Growth/Feeding: She’s likely 21 lbs now, we don’t have her checkup until next Tuesday so nothing official yet. 8 teeth are fully in, and she seems to be working on some molars now. I ended up still pumping 3 times a day through this past Friday, though would stop short of 15 minutes each time, since I was naturally producing less and less over the last couple weeks, sending just 5-6 ounces a day to daycare as I tried to get more water into her. She had her last planned bottle Friday, and from here on out we’re working to just give cups. Hoping she picks up with this soon. Already have a crazy collection of 5 different cups trying to figure out what works best. She loves her solid foods these days, and had her first real taste of sugar Friday at daycare, when Mrs. K baked her a cake. Then she went all out with the sugar at her party today, and is still rolling around her crib over a half hour after I laid her down, lol.

Sleep: She sleeps pretty consistently at night from 7:30pm-6:30am. Of course today she decided to wake up early to celebrate, I think due to her teeth bothering her. Daycare naps are still an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. At home, I can usually get her down for an hour morning nap a bit after 9am, but afternoons are inconsistent – and we are still having to hold her or at least lay next to her for these. I was shocked she slept a good 90 minutes after her party today, but she was probably worn out after all the activity.

Development: She says “dada” and “mama” specifically for sure, says “hi” and “bye” while waving, and lately after just sounding like she was humming it, actually says “uh oh” at what seems to be appropriate situations! She did finally pull up to stand starting a month ago, but definitely isn’t that interested in cruising or walking yet. She is the only non-walker in her Little Gym class, so it’s a little intimidating to watch all these kids running around her, but she seems to enjoy it. She’s very fast with crawling and can certainly go up a step without a problem. Recently she was able to maneuver a spoon with guacamole into her mouth successfully!

Daycare: Probably the best thing that happened in the last month is Mrs. K telling me I could stop sending food for lunch! C eats along with the big kids, and Mrs. K is an amazing cook – the kids eat crazy amounts of veggies thanks to her. I just send along some fruit, a few crunchy snacks, and any leftover pouch from her breakfast.

Parenthood: There is no question – I am exhausted and ready to cut back at work to 8/10 Timing is tricky though. Even if I request now, it likely won’t happen until we are able to hire more, but I think better to go ahead and ask so that I don’t regret it and work crazy overtime again in the winter. I’m tired of missing all our friends’ kids’ parties – I looked around today at all the kids happily playing in our house, and realized I’d missed every single one of their birthday parties in the last year because I had to work.

Our anniversary is next week, and we have some serious relationship rebuilding to work on. I can’t imagine not being with hubby, and he is an awesome co-parent, but we definitely need to focus on us again.

I’m not sure how often I’ll continue to blog here. As it is right now, I’m procrastinating with the 60 charts I have left open from last week.

Coming up on a year

C’s birthday is this Sunday. Chances are I won’t write her update post until the next day at least. I’ve worked EVERY Saturday this month for a half-day, and as much as I was hoping my chief might take my place this Saturday afternoon, I haven’t heard from her so am not holding out much hope. Today was my “day off”, and I ran around to multiple stores stocking up our house on the usual staples, but also preparing for her party. Didn’t have a chance to touch the laundry or the 80 charts I have open.

Ugh, the party… Yes, it’s a big deal, but I’m definitely of the mindset that just family is fine for the first birthday. Hubby disagrees. And so instead of a nice intimate 20-guest party of just relatives, we are having 60+ people come over for an ice cream party, complete with trays of food, an ice cream sundae bar, and a giant Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake (hubby and I always had this cake for our birthdays growing up and even now!). I wasn’t going to go crazy, but I felt obligated with that many people coming over to buy decorations and assemble favor bags for the 15 or so kids who’ll be attending, along with making sure there were enough things for them to play with. Thank goodness my crafty sister arrives Saturday. She’ll be busy cleaning and starting the decorating while I’m at work. My parents arrive Friday but aren’t party people, and will likely make pointed comments about what a big fuss we’re making. Sunday’s going to be all about delegation, as my main job the morning beforehand is to make sure C takes a good nap.

As for work, I had my annual review yesterday and completely lost my shit in front of my chief. She’s taking one responsibility off my plate, and told me to consider going part-time if we can swing it financially. Things have been tight with the unexpected sewer line backup and repair, and recent house updates, so that’s the main thing keeping me from requesting right now. Granted, I know I can always request to work extra, but I’ll be losing vacation time too by going part-time, so I have to think it through carefully first.

11 months old!

Posting a day early since I have a decent cell connection right now, and our internet has been out since Tuesday!

Health: The month when Norovirus took the entire family out – enough said!

Growth/Feeding: She’s over 21 lbs based on our home scale, otherwise no official measurements until her 1-year checkup. Her 8th tooth is just peeking through the gum now. We’re on our way to a year of almost exclusively breastfeeding, something I didn’t think was possible last June. I think I will start cutting back on pumping duration next week, with the last day of pumping to be May 27. Thinking I can still manually express if I become uncomfortable. I doubt C will take the thawed breast milk by itself, but I’m thinking about using the frozen sticks to make smoothies with berries, and see if that encourages her to drink more from the cup. She continues to love solids, and it’s pretty easy to dump food on her tray and let her go for it. She’ll take the spoon and pouches also, but forget trying to give her any meat-based pouch.

Sleep: We fought through a few rough nights of crying it out after we all recovered from Noro, and OMG I’m so glad we did before hubby left for his work trip! We go through her bedtime routine, ending with nursing. She doesn’t usually fall asleep on the boob anymore, but will lay her cheek on my shoulder afterwards and I’ll just cuddle her for several minutes. Then I lay her in the crib with the white noise machine on, and she eventually falls asleep on her own after I leave the room. Naps are a completely different ball of wax still. I’ve given up hope on getting consistency at home, what with my crazy work schedule, grandma’s visits, and meeting with friends. At daycare she takes 2 naps totaling 3 hours, but always has a similar-aged buddy in the same room, so she apparently expects the same at home. Doh!

Development: Her strengths continue to be social and verbal. She loves to wave bye and sometimes hi, says “dada” and what sounds like “hiiii” frequently. She adores the 2 other little girls at daycare, and it’s really cute to see them interact. She can crawl up a step, and sometimes makes her way back down also. I’ve seen her push up into downward dog position a few times this week. Feeding herself blueberries is her favorite fine motor skill these days. She can support herself in a standing position, but we have to place her there. I still have no idea why she doesn’t pull up, and we’ve signed up for classes at The Little Gym to see if we can encourage more upright mobility.

Daycare: Going back after she missed over a week while we went out of town then Norovirus was tough. She cried every morning at drop off for a week, though Mrs. K said she stopped 5 minutes after I left. She’s become good friends with all the kids and especially the other 2 young girls.

Parenthood: Can’t wait for hubby to return home tomorrow. This was a rough week though I have to admit I’ve slept well due to having nothing to do with the lack of internet. We resolved to go on more frequent date nights, and hopefully this will bring back some much needed spark to our relationship. C’s godparents moved closer to us recently, so I’m hoping this will allow me to work more evenings and thus avoid having to work most Saturdays. The pace at work is easing up a little after the end of cold and flu season, but I’m still struggling to finish charts. Our internet is actually out at home right now, so it’s forced me to do as much as I can before picking up C from daycare. Oh, and of course we’re planning her birthday party – what was supposed to be a “small” family gathering of 20+ people is turning into a circus of 40 guests. Good thing we have the space in our house!