Friday, January 30, 2009

That's a Whole Lot of Family

Wow. I haven't really spoken with anyone about the whole octuplet thing that seems to have a so many people buzzing. Partially because, um, I don't really care that she had 8 babies-- that's so her nightmare to deal with, not mine. Also, because the infertility community goes a bit beserko if you criticize anyone who has undergone fertility treatments.

My understanding is that there are many ways to eliminate or greatly reduce the possibility of having a pregnancy of eight freaking babies when undergoing fertility treatments and that, for the most part, doctors and patients are fairly responsible for doing what they should to reduce the possibility of multiples in excess of two or three. So when I heard about the octuplets, I had the passing thought something had medically gone awry.

Now it comes out that the woman has 6 other kids.

So now, you know, I sort of have an opinion. Who the hell let this woman who has 6 kids undergo a pregnancy that resulted in 8 additional kids? And on the other hand, how do you put limits on someone's reproductive rights? I mean, I guess no doctor is going to say "Really? You already have 6 kids, you don't need a 7th." But this is eight additional kids, who, while they are doing very well by all accounts, were at a tremendous risk for all sorts of medical problems AND who, as far as I know, qualify for medicare pretty much from birth.

Sweet Jesus.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Making Good On Some Resolutions

Well, it hasn't been going too well. I did turn in my yoga studio gift certificate for an official purchase of 50 yoga classes. I haven't actually gone to a class yet but my plan is to start with what I'm hoping will be an easy "Yoga Rise" class on Saturday mornings beginning in February. Last week I bought some new yoga pants from Old Navy. It's a start.

Today, I finally booked a "hot stone" massage and facial for tomorrow. It won't use up the entire spa gift certificate (that I received, oh, over a year ago), but, again, at least it's a start. I have no idea what to expect from a "hot stone" treatment, but it seems interesting. Hopefully, it'll be relaxing. It's at Toppers Spa and I find some of the staff at that place completely snooty--and really, they have no reason to be. So we'll see.

The bubonic plague hit poor little Rolo this past week, and frankly, I've been using that as an excuse why I haven't been eating well or doing my morning stretching. Hopefully, I can start a better routine this coming week.

How are your resolutions going?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Square One

So the "phase of the week" is currently: total freak out at day care drop-off.

What the hell? For months, MONTHS, Rolo has been fine at drop-off. But so far every morning this week has involved hysterical crying. He's more mobile than he was 3 months ago when we last went through this, so he's able to chase after me and cling to my legs. Good times.

I'm following the same routine as normal: I put him down in a chair at the table, get his breakfast snack ready, have a little chat with him and then leave. The ONLY difference is that because more kids were moved up into his class last week, they've started using both sides of the room for breakfast. So Rolo is on a different side of the room now when eating--however, this is the same side of the room he's spent the majority of the day every day for months now. So it's not like it's "new." It's just "new" at breakfast. Seriously, is THAT enough to throw him for a loop? Because if it is, I'm beginning to think the kid has a personality disorder.

The most frustrating (and confusing) part is that at pick-up time at the end of the day, he doesn't want to leave. I have to chase him around the room. He pitches a fit when I try to "make" him leave before he's ready. Again, WHAT THE HELL? I could see if he had separation issues, or if he hated his day care. But this? He doesn't want me to leave him there, nor does he want me to bring him home.


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Monday, January 12, 2009

It Starts This Young

We're considering switching day care centers. Rolo's current day care is, well, fine. I mean, yeah, they dipped him in bleach, and they've done a few other things that haven't thrilled me, but that comes the territory in day care. The teachers genuinely love the kids. Rolo loves his teachers. If he was to stay in this day care for the next year or two, he'd probably be just fine. No worse for wear.

And yet.

The reality is that the teachers, while loving, are glorified baby sitters. I'm realizing what I want in a day care for an infant and what I want for a toddler are two different things. Teachers with early childhood education degrees might start to matter now. For the most part, Rolo sits in a room all day. Yeah, there might be songs and some art work, but I can't say I'm overly convinced that there's a whole lot of interaction and learning going on.

Does that matter? Now, at not even 18 months old? I don't think getting him into the "best" day care or preschool is the first step towards Harvard. When is "fine" fine and when should you want better for your child?

So I started to hear about another day care--actually, no, it's a preschool. They start taking kids at 18 months old. Anyway, I passed by it a few times months and months ago and since then, a buzz has started. The mother of one of Rolo's "friends" at his current day care told me about it and that she was going to enroll her son there. Weeks later, another mother approached me to tell me she was switching as well. Then, while speaking to a colleague from work, it came up that his son attends this new preschool too.

I got the information, spoke to the owner on the phone. Sounded great. Is considerably more expensive, but I went to look at it anyway. It's radically different than Rolo's current situation. There are pros and cons. The kids rotate through rooms throughout the day that focus on art, music, library, learning and gym. They actually have access to a gym so that the kids can run around even when the weather is too bad to take them to a park. Teachers are either early childhood specialists or have degrees in a specialty, like art or music. They all seem nice and caring. These are all the pros. The cons are the price, that it's new and therefore they are still "tweaking" their systems, they don't offer daily reports and it doesn't offer the kind of routine Rolo is used to--for example, it's not like Rolo would have just one teacher like he has now, the teachers rotate through different groups of kids. So from a "continuity of care" aspect, it's not like you can go to one person and get an idea of how your kid is doing. I don't know that they emphasize practical knowledge like, say, how to use utensils. Also, it's a little hippy-dippy (flooring made of recycled material! they compost waste!). Not sure if that's a pro or con.

I left feeling torn. Realizing that educationally, this place is way better. But, it's not as structured. And frankly, while I think he would grow to like it, Rolo is going to lose his shit if we switch him. Transition isn't always easy for him. Then again, maybe Rolo would adapt better to change in a different environment, one that wasn't as structured.

I had another realization after I left, one that sort of slapped me across the face. At our current day care, Rolo is decidedly in the racial minority. Will be even more so once his two friends switch over. All of the teachers at the entire day care, with the exception of 2, are African American. This new preschool? All the teachers I met are white. It's a majority of white kids too. An interesting example of socio-economic segregation. The white kids go to the more expensive, more educationally-driven school, taught by the higher-degreed teachers. This is a preschool, people. The realization was both stunning and obvious.

You know, I wasn't ready to deal with this yet.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Month 17 or the Month of E-Pootbal

I swear I started a post about this, but Blogger apparently ate it. So Rolo is 17 months old. Less than a month away from being a year and a half.

He's had a language explosion of sorts the last two weeks and all of a sudden, he's trying to repeat anything we ask him to. Although most words aren't pronounced correctly, I'm still able to understand what he's saying. Most of the time. His vocabulary tends to fall into two camps: words he will say only when prompted and words he will say on his own, when he either sees or experiences something related to certain words.

One of his favorite things to say is "E-pootbal" (read: Eagles football). He says every time he sees a football or any Eagles paraphernalia. In fact last week we passed a Lids store in the mall, and Rolo totally went ape-shit, nearly hurling himself out of his stroller, yelling "E-POOTBAL!" when he saw an Eagles hat in the window. Ron, as you might imagine, is so proud. One might argue that it might be more helpful if he learned more practical words like "eat" or "poop" or "drink" or anything related to primary functions in life. But no, he is his father's child and football reigns supreme.

Word association proves to be confusing to toddlers. We have an Eagles wreath (don't even ask) and whenever Rolo sees it, he promptly says "E-Pootbal" because there is an Eagle on the snowmen. Unfortunately whenever he sees any OTHER snowmen, he also says "E-pootbal" because apparently ALL snowmen now represent the Eagles franchise.

Another word he literally just started saying, and frankly, I'm shocked it took this long, is "no". Which he says by drawing out the "o" sound for a fairly long time while simultaneously giving you a look that clearly reads "Are you out of your freaking mind?" It amuses me. I know it won't for much longer.

He's also starting to grasp the appropriate meaning of nodding and will nod "yes" when I ask him questions.

Rolo is have short but distinct phases now. For a week, he won't want his morning bottle, something he normally devours when he wakes up. Then he might be back on the bottle but he'll want to have his toy monkey tucked under one arm. Then for a few days, he might only want to read one book (ad nauseum) and then he might undergo a few days when he pleasantly lays still during diaper changes before reverting back to his usual whirling dervish ways during changes. Then it's a week of not wanting to eat chicken followed by a week of ONLY wanting to eat chicken. It's, um, a constant surprise what the phase of the day will be. Toddlers are awesome like that.

Signing isn't going spectacularly, but he does the sign for "more" constantly. And that sign, in Rolo's mind means many things like "more: get me something different than this food in front of me" or "more: read this book that I'm handing you" or "more: I would like something but I don't know the word for it so I'm just going to signal 'more' so that you know that there is some nameless thing that I desire."

Lastly, Rolo's starting to think in more abstract ways. When I read him a story a couple of weeks ago that involved the words "washing up for dinner" and Rolo immediately starting rubbing his hands together like one would when washing one's hands. I realized what he was doing and asked "Are you washing your hands?" And he nodded solemnly and pointed back to the book. We don't really ever use the phrase "washing up for dinner" around our house, so I'm assuming he just connected it with washing your hands. He makes the same motion every time we get to that part of the book.

I'll try to post again with an 18 month update next month, as I'm sure my little man will be up to a lot more.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yes, I made stupid resolutions this year. I was watching TV yesterday and some "resolution expert" was directly people to make resolutions that were very specific and put them on the fridge.

1. Lose 10 pounds. This was orginally "lose weight", but then, you know, the "expert" said to be specific so I figured I should have a particular number in mind. I had gone back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, which is five pounds higher than my ideal weight, but now I've gone up 5 pounds from that. So, 10 pounds it is and to assist with this I've come up with some sub-catergories of this resolution"
  • Stretch/yoga-at-home three mornings a week.
  • Go to yoga class once a week (my fabulous son got me 50 classes at a local yoga studio for Christmas).
  • Limit take-out food to one day per week. I figure if I stop ordering food 2-3 times a week, eating healthier may be easier.
  • Attempt family dinners. Since forever now, I feed Rolo shortly after we get home each day and then Ron and I eat after Rolo goes to bed. In a way, I like this, because it allows Ron and I to eat in peace. Also, Ron sometimes isn't home until 7pm or so, which is a little late to expect a toddler to have dinner. On the other hand, waiting until after he's sleeping, we wind up eating at like 8:30pm and the later it gets, the more attractive ordering take-out food seems. In order for this to work, it will involve several things. Namely, I'll need to leave work promptly at 5pm so Rolo and I can get home by 5:30pm, so that I can then start cooking and have dinner ready at a reasonable hour. I'll also have to give up my fantasy that it will always be the three of us, because in reality, it will often just be Rolo and I. Note to self: find recipes that will heat up well for Ron.

2. One of my other resolutions is to use my gift certificate from LAST CHRISTMAS to Toppers Spa for things I would normally never do. Like a hot stone facial. Along with this, I'd like to resolve that yes, in fact, hair cuts and manicures and other frilly things can still be part of my life and therefore I should schedule them in advance like any other appointment. My entire life does not need to be about work and family. There can be just be me-time.

3. Try not to freak out about the future.

In other news, and related to #3, Ron's been offered and has accepted the opportunity to remain at his hospital for an additional year of training in a sub-specialty, thus pushing his fellowship completion date back to the summer of 2010. He's really interested in this sub-specialty and although the thought of extending his fellowship isn't ideal (I mean the idea of being "done" this June was pretty alluring), I think it's a good move to follow your dreams when presented with the opportunity to do so.

The icky part is that the work hours of this extended year will be horrific and I pretty much have to resign myself to the fact that I won't see Ron for a year beginning this summer. Believe me, selfishly, I hate the idea of that and a part of me wasn't going to be disappointed one bit if he decided not to do this extra year. However, the more mature part of my brain realizes that a year of sacrifice is worth Ron working in a field he really loves for the rest of his life. The good news is that this means he can put off his job search another year and we'll be staying put in the area for a while longer.

So, you know, happy 2009! I'm off to have a drink.

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