For about 20 minutes yesterday morning I was planning to take the kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific while Erik was at work. Then I was like, "Whoa, what am I thinking? I don't even like to take the kids to Costco by myself and I'm going to spend all day with the two of them at one of the largest aquariums on the West Coast?!"
So, instead I took them to Petsmart and I really don't think Luke knew the difference!
As pathetic as this may sound, taking both of the kids out and about by myself to explore, while Erik has been at work this week, is a very big deal for me. I really struggle with doing anything with the two of them. I know it is very wimpy, but until Luke stops running away from me, it is hard to leave the house. I try restraining him in the stroller, but he can even get out of that now.
My ideal invention, if anyone wants to provide the financing, is a drive-thru grocery store. You could drive down each aisle so as to compare prices and products. I would love this because then I wouldn't have to take the kids out of the car. Knowing my luck though, this would become reality and I would get stuck in a boring aisle behind a big truck.
For about 20 minutes yesterday morning I was planning to take the kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific while Erik was at work. Then I was like, "Whoa, what am I thinking? I don't even like to take the kids to Costco by myself and I'm going to spend all day with the two of them at one of the largest aquariums on the West Coast?!"
Posted by Cristin at 12:00 AM
I think I need to enunciate better when I speak.
Yesterday we drove to a park. Before we got out of the car I said, "Luke, do you want to play? We're going to play! Let's play!" All of sudden from the back of the car I hear his little voice, "Dear Heavenly Father," I turn around and his eyes are closed, head bowed.
Every time we go up to our hotel room, Luke says, "Mommy, I'm not afraid of the alligator!" I finally realized right now that he means elevator.
Then, of course, we all remember his problem with the word cup. I'm happy to say that is finally resolved. That is one word I have been sure to say clearly and correctly.
Posted by Cristin at 12:59 PM
I pity the fool that does not have a Portable Playard Tent. Really, I do.
We're hanging out in Redondo Beach this week while Erik is down here for work. Last night was the first night trying out the playard tent in our hotel room and I must say that it was pretty humorous watching him try to escape. Even better, he slept in until 9 a.m. Yipee.
This hotel has a pretty extensive complimentary breakfast. I wondered if the hotel staff would stop me as I made a couple trips to stock our mini-fridge with the free bagels and apples, not to mention the several sippy cups of milk I filled up. They just kept saying "Good Morning" as I passed by. I'm sure they've seen worse freeloaders.
Now if I can only keep Luke from jumping out our second story window... just kidding, kind of.
Posted by Cristin at 9:51 AM
This week, my sister-in-law, Else, emailed the following picture to sixty of her closest family and friends:
My first response was, "Ew. Did you really just email a picture of a stick containing your urine to everyone you know? GROSS." My brother-in-law responded, "At least we didn't announce to the whole internet world that we cook bacon topless." Ooooh, touché!
Why do people feel the need to announce their pregnancy in some "cutesy" way? It's like a wedding proposal. A plain "Will you marry me?" just doesn't suffice anymore. Everyone wants a good story.
When Candace was pregnant, she didn't tell people until she was 18 weeks along because she was embarassed for people to find out that she and her husband have sex. So, she wore a shirt that said, "Yes, I'm Pregnant" to a family function. Problem solved. She didn't have to verbally tell anyone because it was written across her chest.
My brother-in-law, Christian, wrote about it on his blog and waited for people to read it. Of course, I was the first one that did. (Thank you, Google Reader.)
Then there are the awkward phone calls...
90% of the time a married friend or family member says, "I have some big news," followed by a long pause, their sentence ends with the words, "I'm pregnant." That long pause is especially awkward because I have to pretend that I don't know they are going to tell me they are pregnant.
For example, my sister-in-law, Trine, called me on Easter and said, "Hi, Cristin. Happy Easter. We believe in new life. (Long awkward pause while I get ready to pretend to act surprised that she's pregnant, because I KNOW that's what she's going to say.) I'm pregnant."
I prefer this approach:
Me: Hi, Mom. I'm pregnant.
Erik should feel especially jipped, because most women do creative things when telling their husbands they are expecting too. They buy balloons, put buns in their ovens, eat with pink and blue napkins, etc. I wish I could be fun like that. I'm just too impatient and practical. Both times I have been pregnant, I tell Erik by saying, "I took two positive tests, but they are probably wrong." This way we can both be skeptical together.
Not to blow any big surprises, but if we have another child, I will announce it with these:
(By the way, I'm not pregnant. This is not a cute way of telling anyone. I promise.)
Posted by Cristin at 10:45 PM
Tonight I had to buy formula and I hate buying formula. I would rather speak in public or eat expired food. Anything, but buy formula.
I stared at my options for so long that I think the store employees suspected me of shoplifting. I almost wanted to steal it so that I wouldn't have to buy it. It's so expensive and lousy. I read all the labels of all the cans. Somewhere on each label, in tiny print, it read, "Breastmilk is ideal food for babies." (That short and sweet disclaimer reminds me of the warnings found on packs of cigarettes.) Why, I asked myself, am I doing this if I know breast milk is best and I am capable of giving it to my baby right now?!
The answer: Because I am lazy. Tomorrow is the memorial to commemorate the one year anniversary of The Accident. So that I can attend, I am leaving Charlie for half the day with a friend and I forgot to pump. I should have started pumping in preparation a few days ago, and I didn't.
I have been so careful during this nursing ordeal to not use formula in order to keep my milk supply up. I know that a morning of formula isn't going to affect my milk supply, I just hate giving my baby some concoction where the number two ingredient is vegetable oil. (I know, I have issues.)
[Speaking of the nursing issue, I went to a dermatologist today and he said it's psoriasis that is being irritated by Charlie's saliva. Hopefully his diagnosis is right and things will improve. If they don't, I'm about ready to fly up to Salt Lake to meet that "nipple expert." That's how desperate I've become.]
Anyhow, I decided to go with Nestle Good Start, not because the label claims to have the same ingredients found in breast milk (all the labels say that), but because Nestle makes good chocolate. So, if the formula is anything like their chocolate, Charlie should really enjoy his bottles tomorrow.
Posted by Cristin at 9:56 PM
Poor, poor, Erik. He recently went to a dinner held by one of his company's vendors where they made every guest take a picture with the Laker Girls. He didn't want to do it. This picture is totally forced. He looks miserable in it, doesn't he?
The best part is that he brings the 5 x 7 above picture home today from work and seriously asks me if I think it would be wrong for him to display this on his desk. (I find it interesting that he never wanted to display the picture of him and Harrison Ford on his desk.) I told him that it was wrong, not because I am jealous, but because stupid* people will think he's cool.
Please don't misunderstand me. I think these ladies are talented and hard working athletes who deserve respect. I just want to black out their flat, perfectly toned, stretch mark-free bellies with a permanent marker. That's all.
*I am using the word "stupid" in this context to refer to people who have foxy ladies on their mud flaps, read Maxim at work, and go to Hooters (for the amazing buffalo wings, of course!).
Posted by Cristin at 10:22 PM
Today I had the rare opportunity to go out to lunch by myself. That probably sounds sad and lonely to most people, but for me, it was refreshing. I used to do that sort of thing all the time before I had kids and I really miss it.
Why do I find it so difficult to enjoy the current "season" of my life? When I was childless, all I wanted was a child. Now I have two, and I find myself often wishing life was as carefree and peaceful as it was before the kids were born.
Tonight as I was rocking Charlie to sleep, I tried to remember what it felt like to have him inside me just three months ago. I'm starting to forget already and it makes me sad. I looked over to the place in my bedroom where he was born and thought about the first time I saw him. I have such conflicting feelings about time passing. I know that one day I will wake up and my kids will be adults. I keep telling myself that although this time is difficult and I am so very tired, it will quickly pass and I do not want to have any regrets.
One of the most important lessons I have learned about being a parent is to seize the moment. If you have a spare 5 minutes, don't waste it doing something stupid because it might be the only 5 minutes you get to yourself that morning. When you have an opportunity to take a nap, take it immediately. And most importantly, when your child is two years old and throwing his 10th temper tantrum that morning because he can't wear his pajamas to the park, just smile and think how one day this will be a fun memory. Or at least I hope it is.
Posted by Cristin at 10:24 PM
No one in my immediate family is famous (with the exception of my game show experience), nor have we ever known anyone really famous. What we do specialize in, however, are brushes with D-List celebrities. Especially those celebrities that are so low on the D-List, we can't even remember their names.
Take for example, my sister, Kelley. She is a magnet for D-List celebrities. In high school she spent the night at the girl from Jurassic Park's house, except that she didn't realize it was the girl from Jurassic Park until she kept seeing all these pictures of her with famous people (like David Copperfield!) and of course the real clincher was the Jurassic Park towels in their closet.
High school was a good time for Kelley to hang out with D-List celebrities. She even kissed one of the 3 Ninjas (the first one from the left with the mushroom haircut). Fortunately for my brother-in-law, Kelley and "Tum Tum" didn't work out.
Unlike Kelley, I haven't been much of a D-List celebrity magnet, or an A-List celebrity magnet for that matter. I once gave Marie Osmond some Tylenol and water. (That was exciting.) So, imagine my surprise when I find out today that one of my ex-boyfriends is a D-List celebrity!
The semester before I moved away to college, my high school drama teacher mentioned that he knew three guys that needed a roommate. Although I had never met these guys, it sounded great to me since I needed a place to live. However, when my mom found out that I, her 17 year old daughter, was intending to live in a house with three guys, she freaked out and made me move into an apartment with some "good Mormon girls."
When I arrived at school, I met these guys that had almost became my roommates because they were theater majors, just like me. They were very nice to me, considering I had left them without a roommate at the last minute. One of these "almost" roommates was named Seamus Dever. He starred in most of the theater department's productions at the time.
That semester I took Basic Stage Lighting, which meant I had to spend a lot of time in the control room above the theater playing with the lights, while Seamus was rehearsing. I quickly developed a huge crush on him, and by the end of the semester we started dating.
Although, I don't know if you would even call it dating. I don't even know if I would call him an ex-boyfriend. I didn't like him when I found out he liked me. It was the kind of relationship that I regretted starting five minutes after it began. My roommate thought it was hilarious. She would sing, "Cause, I'm Seamus..." to the tune of Garth Brooks' song, Shameless, every time his name was mentioned. I remember one night in particular when he came over to watch a movie and I turned my head really fast so that he couldn't kiss me goodbye. I ended it by moving away for the summer. Except that I didn't really leave for the summer, and when he found out that I was still in town, well, that was a very awkward ending to a very awkward relationship.
There are no pictures of Seamus and I together because it was so short-lived and hardly worth mentioning if he wasn't a D-LIST CELEBRITY!!
Here is Seamus as Dr. Ian Devlin on General Hospital. According to Wikipedia, he was killed off on May 6, 2008. So sad. That clip reminds me of when Joey from Friends was on Days of our Lives.
It appears that he specializes in CBS crime dramas now. He's done CSI, CSI: New York, CSI: Miami - pretty much anything with CSI in the title. This summer he'll be in the season premiere of Mad Men, and has a recurring role on Army Wives. Both shows I don't watch, but hey, good for him.
The one thing I couldn't get over while watching these clips of him today was first, how much better looking he is now (he had really bad skin), and second, how old he looks. Then I remembered that if he looks old, that means I am old too.
So, in honor of Seamus making it to the D-List, here's a little Garth -
Everyone sing along, "Cause I'm Seamus..."
Posted by Cristin at 10:30 PM
Posted by Cristin at 7:39 PM
Luke bit his tongue pretty badly last week when he fell off a chair. We thought nothing of it though because tongues are supposed to heal pretty quickly on their own. Then I noticed that he had a fever a few days ago. Yesterday, I knew something was really strange when he crawled into bed at 11 a.m. voluntarily. In the meantime, I still have my strange infection that won't go away after trying thrush treatments and an antibiotic.
I always second guess myself when it comes to seeing a doctor about a medical problem. I think things like maybe the thermometer didn't work right or perhaps it's not as serious as I think it is. So, I decided to go against character, and make the big trip down to Bakertucky to see Luke's pediatrician and my ObGyn to hopefully resolve these little issues once and for all.
[As a side note, I brought a babysitter along with me to help since I would be alone with two kids for two doctor's visits that were 100 miles round trip away. I've decided that I LOVE doing this. Greatest thing ever. I don't know how I would have done it without her.]
Turns out that Luke's tongue is infected and he is now on penicillin. (Now, if only I can find a way to trick him into taking the penicillin. He hates the taste of it.) I took this picture 5 minutes ago. Not a happy camper.
I, unfortunately, did not have as much success with the doctor. The ObGyn said, "Hmmmm. Maybe try Neosporin and then wash it off with soap and water before you nurse the baby. Then again, I'm not a nipple expert. Go see a dermatologist." So, I'm off for another appointment next week with doctor #3.
This whole problem has made me really miss nursing without problems. I know how great and easy it can be. Despite the problems, I still prefer nursing to the time consuming task of making bottles. I've just started biting my lip and taking a lot of ibruprofen when I nurse. The pain goes in phases, some times are worse than others. Charlie just doesn't seem satisfied when I only give him a bottle of expressed milk. Hopefully this will go away soon and we can go back to normal.
In short, we're a mess.
At least one person in our family is happy. I can't believe how much this baby smiles!
Posted by Cristin at 7:55 AM
Since we started the Dave Ramsey plan, I now carry an envelope full of cash that is supposed to cover all of our food and household expenses for the month. The idea being that when the money is gone, it's gone. However, now that I've finally run out of all the diapers that I received as gifts before Charlie was born, I'm finding it very difficult for our existing budget to work with the added diaper purchases I am now making every month. (If I think about how many diapers I actually change a day, it's enough to drive me mad.)
I used to only use Target diapers, but after too many "blow-outs" and leaks, I decided it was worth the money to go with quality over quantity. We switched to Pampers and Huggies and have had less accidents and diaper rash ever since.
The only problem is that Pampers and Huggies are very EXPENSIVE and I have inherited my mother's frugality. Compare Luke's Pampers Diapers at 27 cents a piece to the Target brand diapers at 14 cents each. That is a huge savings when you are literally going through 12+ diapers a day.
Since I am a slave to these certain brands, I am always looking for good deals and coupons. Yesterday I found Huggies online through Amazon.com for 15 cents per diaper for Charlie's and 23 cents per diaper for Luke's. Still expensive, but cheaper than the store, and that price includes shipping.
The only other way I can think of to save money on diapers (besides Elimination Communication), is to potty train Luke. Hmmmm. I think I'll just pay the money for the diapers for now.
Posted by Cristin at 8:00 AM
Despite our landlord's persistent efforts to rent out our home, we've managed to avoid a 30 day notice to move out because they haven't found new renters who will pay their much higher asking price. We decided last month to not search aggressively for a new rental until we received that notice. The strange thing now is that our landlord hasn't cashed our last two rent checks. (I thought they were desperate for money.) I'm considering calling the landlord about it, but I don't want to stir the pot. What should I do?
ADDENDUM TO POST: Does my landlord read my blog? I just checked my account and the checks cleared today. Weird.
Posted by Cristin at 11:01 PM
Do you remember where you were when you heard the news that Britney Spears lost custody of her two children? (It was last September and I was probably sitting on the computer.) Some of the reasons stated were drug use, her irresponsible lifestyle, and claims by her former bodyguard that she walked around naked in front of her children. *Gasp!*
In Britney's defense, how do we know she didn't have a breast infection? Or perhaps it was hard to find a moment to take a shower while caring for two children under the age of 2? (I know it is for me!)
The point is, I do not think this was strange. (I'm referring to that part about being naked in front of your kids, not the part about being naked in front of your bodyguard.) At least not to me. I realize that I am in the minority when it comes to a lot of things (hello, I had a homebirth), but is it really that odd (and wrong) for a 1 year old to see his mother naked from time to time? Not in the exhibitionist sense, but just while getting dressed and bathing?
I try to take a shower before Luke wakes up, but it doesn't always happen. For that reason, he has been showering with me for a very long time now. Especially now with Charlie in the picture, it's one of the few ways that I am able to shower in peace knowing that Luke isn't playing with knives or matches.
Since this little ritual began, I knew it would have to stop. I just didn't know when. Erik pointed out to me a few months ago that Luke pretends to shave his legs when he is showering with him. I just laughed that one off. However, last week I decided that we had our last shower together when Luke started asking me questions that I didn't really want to answer.
Luke: Luke's penis!
Luke: Where Mommy's penis go?
Me: Okay. Get in the shower.
Luke: (pointing at me) Mommy's penis! Mommy's penis! Where Mommy's penis go?
Me: Okay... what do you want to do today?
Sometimes I think Luke is really smart and then he makes comments like that. Then again, you can't blame him. There are some words we haven't taught him yet, so why wouldn't everyone's "private parts" have the same name?
Posted by Cristin at 12:00 AM
I always get on Google Reader on Monday and look at everyone's blog posts about how their weekends were so "fun." Everyone posts these pictures of the beach, camping, parades, bowling, swimming, etc. In the pictures, they are smiling and their kids are smiling. They actually look like they enjoy one another's company. The kids look like they are having fun.
Well, this post has no pictures, because my weekend was not happy. Excuse me while I vent and be way too negative.
Sometimes I feel like Luke is sucking the fun out of everything. I wonder why I even leave the house anymore. It's just too much work for a miserable experience.
It is hard work to drag umbrellas, chairs, food, and toys, along with little kids, out to the beach. Why go through all this hard work when you feel like poking your eye out with a fork at the end of the day? Why take a little boy to a street festival when he just screams almost the entire time and fights to get away? This just isn't fun for me.
True. There are some fun experiences sprinkled through out the bad ones. For example, going swimming with Luke, Charlie and Lizette this weekend was great. BUT, those fun experiences feel far and few between the overwhelmingly bad ones, i.e., Luke throwing a temper tantrum while naked at the beach, Luke not sleeping, Luke freaking out during church. He can be a really good little boy, I promise. It's just that going on trips or "major" adventures does not seem to be sitting well with him.
Erik and I decided this weekend that maybe we just shouldn't ever leave the house again. Of course in three weeks, I will forget that we felt this way and we'll optimistically take off on another trip, expecting the best. It's just a vicious cycle of hope.
Posted by Cristin at 1:00 AM
Look at what I found this morning online and purchased!
This must be a common problem for parents, especially those who camp at the beach, because look at the pictures!
It was a little expensive with shipping ($60.76 total), but since we're camping at the beach in three weeks, I can justify it because we can use it as a tent for Charlie and then a prison for Luke. (Cue evil laugh.)
I haven't even received the Cozy Indoor/Outdoor Portable Playard Tent yet, and I already feel like a whole new world of traveling and true vacation relaxation has opened up to me.
Let's just pray it arrives here within the next 3 weeks.
Posted by Cristin at 10:23 AM
I use my clothes dryer as a dresser.
This is not a recent development. It is a lot more convenient to do this than it was before since the dryer is actually inside our house now. Some of you may remember those irritating people who would leave their clothes in the coin operated dryers at Wymount (BYU's on-campus family housing) for days at a time. Nice to meet you. That was me.
People do not like people who treat public coin operated dryers as their own personal dressers. I know this because I would always find my clothes out of the dryers in baskets, on counters, etc. (I was fortunate that it was BYU, or much worse things probably would have happened to our clothes.)
Maybe this is karma for my (past) laziness and selfishness, because the other day I opened my dryer to find this:
UGH. We're sharing joint blame on this (Erik for leaving the pen in his shorts and me for not catching it). This truly is a travesty. I know that some might say this is a blessing in disguise because I'll need to buy new clothes, but those were my new clothes. I just went to Old Navy and spent a "whopping" $100 on stuff to wear this summer until I hopefully fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I have so few summer clothes that fit my post-pregnancy Chubby Bunny body as is, that I am too devastated to fully go through the dryer to assess the damage. I'm also afraid to use the dryer again because what if the blue ink rubs off on any future clothes I put in there?
Any magical tips on getting ink out of your clothes after they have already run through the dryer?
Posted by Cristin at 7:00 AM
Since my life now revolves around going to the park every day, I was there, of course, on Wednesday morning. I'm admiring the trees, thinking how great it is to just sit and hold Charlie, when suddenly another mother comes up to me -
Other Mother (angry and defensive): What is your son's name?
Other Mother: Well, Luke, just pushed my daughter!
The other mother runs over to where the kids are playing. She stands there holding her injured daughter and just stares at Luke and I.
Other Mother: When I told him to say he was sorry, he kicked the sand.
Me: Oh, okay.
She stands and waits. I don't know what to do. By this point, I feel like every other mother at the park is staring at me. This audience is waiting to see how I am going to discipline my child and I have no clue what to do.
These are the options that went through my head at that moment:
a. Start screaming stuff like, "I'm a gonna whoop you, Boy, when we get home. Oh Boy, oh Boy, yar gonna get a whoopin'!"
b. Say to the mother, "Your little girl deserved it. Get over it."
c. Push Luke violently into the sand and say, "This is what it feels like to be pushed. How to do like it now, LUKE!?"
Instead I just stood there, said, "He's really sorry. I'm really sorry. Luke, we're going home," and we left. I don't think she was satisfied. I'm sure she wanted Luke to say he was sorry and give her daughter some sort of forced hug. We would sing Kumbaya and everything would be hunky dory. Oh well, I missed the boat on that one, didn't I?
I HATE disciplining in public because a) I don't know what I'm doing and b) I hate the audience. I wish there was some way that I could stop him from pushing other kids. Some say that I can't reason with him yet because he's too young. However, I see so many other toddlers who appear to obey, so it must be possible.
I need Supernanny.
Posted by Cristin at 1:15 PM
I just returned home from Albertstons where they are giving away tickets to Batman: The Dark Knight with certain purchases. I keep looking at my receipt trying to figure out how this happened because it seems too good to be true.
5 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios - $10.00
5 boxes of Fruit Snacks - $10.00
In addition to the groceries, I received:
2 Free Tickets to Batman (A $20.00 value)
A Thank You Coupon from General Mills for $3.50
A Thank You Coupon from General Mills for Free Milk for $4.50
Of course, Albertsons does owe me for all the times they have made me take my screaming toddler out of the car shopping cart at the check-out. I have been told by the store manager that no one is allowed to take the car shopping carts out to their cars because they are expensive and people will steal them. (What a good idea! Watch as I try to cram this shopping cart into the trunk of my Mercedes!)
So, thanks, Albertsons. I'm feeling better about our relationship already.
Posted by Cristin at 1:45 PM
I was in the DMV recently and there was this woman speaking very loudly on her cell phone. She was answering a series of very personal questions in order to qualify to host an exchange student in her home. It was really fascinating to me - especially since she was sharing such personal stuff in an open setting. The best part of the conversation was when she asked for a female exchange student because she was afraid a male student would develop a crush on her because she was "very beautiful." I was thinking, "Oh my goodness. Did she just say that out loud in a big room where 20 people are listening to her conversation!" Then I realized that I share very personal things on my blog. How's that any different than screaming out your husband's income in the DMV? It's probably way worse.
Last week's Newsweek had a short article about psychiatrists who are prescribing blogging to their patients because it can be "therapeutic." Well, I blog a lot, so something is obviously wrong with me. My mother says it is because I am egotistical. Probably.
The strange thing is that a lot of the stuff I share on here, I would not scream through a megaphone in a public place. You know how it is - you get a thought, you want to write a down, suddenly you have 500 blog posts under your belt and can't stop. I used to sometimes write for a living, albeit legal documents, demand letters, etc. I miss writing and this has been a good way for me to keep up "my skills." I never write in my journal, but something about knowing that someone might look at this forces me to keep a record of my life. It is weird that I feel the need to share such mundane information with total strangers. It is equally strange that I enjoy reading blogs about children I will never meet.
Blogging is definitely cheaper than therapy.
Posted by Cristin at 7:00 AM
It's so embarrassing how much I was enjoying the season finale of the Bachelorette last night. Erik was sitting at the dining room table behind me on the laptop, the whole time singing, "Lame, lame, lame" to the tunes of various nursery rhymes. He said this is my "porn." I know it's ridiculous and fake, but I just couldn't look away. (Neither could he evidently, because he kept making comments throughout the entire finale AND during the special afterwards.) I think the Bachelor is lousy, but the Bachelorette has always seemed so much better. If there were ever a time that I needed my sisters or Candace* over to watch this with me, this was it. I hate making (what I think are) funny comments all to myself or to a husband who is "too cool" to enjoy some good family time watching some cheesy television with me.
It'll be interesting to see what happens with this couple. They already have a wedding date set, but we all know how that turns out with these things. When DeAnna (AH-na) or "DEE" asked Jesse or "DUDE" what he wanted to do with his life besides snowboard, he said, "Be happy." Nice career choice. I wish we could all "be happy" for a living. I was just glad she didn't pick Jason the Cornball or Jeremy the Crybaby.
*Candace once threw a Joe Millionaire party. She's my kind of friend!
Posted by Cristin at 8:35 AM
I'm taking a break from my own personal hell right now to give you this important bit of advice:
Cooking bacon while topless is a very bad idea.
After two months of practically pain-free nursing, I started feeling a slight pain while nursing Charlie during my visit to Arizona. After a week or so it progressed into a really intense pain and I started developing these open sores and other nastiness. I tried Soothies and other home remedies, but nothing fixed the problem.
After talking to the local La Leche League leaders, we decided that Charlie and I needed to see a doctor right away. On Saturday I went to the only "Urgent Care" in town besides the emergency room.
[I call it an "Urgent Care" because it was a doctor's office in an old house that happens to be open on Saturdays for walk-ins. I know it used to be a house because the receptionist was sitting in an actual kitchen. I know it was a kitchen because she had an old stove and sink right behind her. Papers and files were everywhere, as if the stove and sink did not exist. I did not find this quaint. It was weird.]
The doctor prescribed Nystatin for a possible yeast infection and an antibiotic for a possible bacterial infection because she couldn't figure out exactly what I had. She also wanted to prescribe Tylenol with Codeine for the pain, but after I told her about that FDA warning from last summer she checked her resources (i.e., the internet), came back to me and said I would just have to "muddle through the pain." Yeah, I thought so.
Nystatin is this yucky yellow goop that goes in the baby's mouth and on the mother's nipples to treat thrush. It is very sticky and reminds me of the coating on those long sticky strips that people hang from the ceiling to catch flies. Nystatin sticks to everything, and will take your skin off as well when you're trying to detach. Hence, the cooking bacon while topless this morning. (Did I mention this is a really bad idea?)
When I nurse, I bleed. When I pump, I bleed. In order to keep up my milk supply, I have been hand expressing milk while I heal. I hope I don't have to do it for more than another day or two. Yes, this is as tedious as it sounds. I work for an hour or so for 5 ounces that Charlie gulps down in 5 minutes. Yes, I feel like a cow. The worst part is when Charlie cries and tries to nurse. I want so badly to let him, but he is literally sucking the blood right out of me. Yesterday I let him nurse for ten minutes and I was dizzy afterwards.
Don't forget that during this craziness I still have Luke. Today while I was sitting in the toy room hand expressing milk, Luke walked in with a bottle, lifted up his shirt and put the bottle on his stomach. You know I'm doing it a lot when my 2 year old thinks he has a breast infection too.
I know this will pass, I just wish it would be better right now because I am getting very tired of hand expressing milk. Although, we all know how stubborn I am when it comes to nursing, so I pray I will be victorious in the end.
Special thanks goes out to La Leche League. What a great organization. I love being able to call the leaders for support and guidance. Also, special thanks to Super Why, Sesame Street and Word World for entertaining Luke today.
Posted by Cristin at 12:55 PM
Erik and I decided that we really like 4th of July in Tehachapi. We walked in the Children's Parade (I can't believe that the dollar store flag decorations we taped to our strollers didn't win a prize!), went to the Hot Dog Festival at Central Park and barbecued tri-tip as we watched fireworks with the rest of our ward on the church lawn that evening.
Luke, on the other hand, had a really HARD day.
While we were at the park that morning, Luke really wanted to go into this little inflatable area to have a water gun fight. Since we are very nice parents, we bought him a ticket, handed him a water gun and pushed him in there to fend for himself. I was laughing the whole time thinking, "You're 2 years old! Those big boys are gonna kill you!" They totally did.
Notice how Luke is the youngest kid in there by at least three years. It doesn't even phase him.
This was the first of many times that he would stop, look at us, and scream because someone had shot him. What did we do? Pushed him back in, of course! He still had water in his gun and we didn't want to waste our money.
I couldn't believe how long he stayed in there getting pummeled.
I don't know why I thought this would end well. About 10 minutes into it, he came out with a bloody mouth because he bit his tongue.
Later that day, we went to the church to sit on the lawn and watch fireworks. Since Luke is obsessed with lights, I thought he would love them. Instead he screamed, "Turn off the fireworks! Turn off the fireworks!" and ran to hide in the car. Since, we couldn't "turn off the fireworks," we had to listen to him scream.
Hopefully better luck next year.
Posted by Cristin at 4:49 PM
Is it wrong for me to enjoy this show so much? The premise is actually really awful to think about. Innocent children and babies are taken away from their parents to be cared for by clueless teenagers amidst off camera paramedics, nannies and producers. I'm not sure how they get around child labor laws for the babies. The "serious" teenage couples, some who look like they came from The Hills, are actually young adults ages 18 to 20.
In the first episode, the producers made the girls wear pregnancy suits and attend a class where they watched a baby come out of a plastic pelvis. I was really looking forward to the simulated birthing process. I wondered if they would just make them watch an actual labor, or if perhaps they would swallow balloons (like drug mules) with little babies faces drawn on them and then given pitocin to contract them out. I was totally disappointed when the girls just took off the pregnancy suits and a baby showed up on their door step. BORING.
NBC advertises the show as "birth control" for teens, but there are actually at least two of the girls who look like this might make them want to have babies sooner, which is kind of scary. We (the viewers) all know that their make-believe world is more Truman Show than reality, but I wonder if the teenagers do. There is no unemployment, endless period or cramping from afterbirth pains, crummy hand me down baby gear, or a dumpy place to live. This generation (the 18 to 20 year olds) already has a sense of entitlement, so they look even more pathetic when they are unable to cope with the rigors of childcare while living in a 3000 sq foot furnished new home with a stocked refrigerator.
I watch this show because I am waiting for the off camera "professional" nanny to intervene and for the parents to say, "Hmmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea" as they escort their toddler to the emergency room to sew up their cracked skull or reattach a limb.
If there is a second season of The Baby Borrowers, I suggest the producers head over to Provo, Utah. I have never seen as many teenage moms as when I lived there. Granted, most of these young women are married, but that makes it even more real. Then we could see how a 19 year old girl copes with a new marriage, newborn, and little money. That would be great television.
Posted by Cristin at 2:30 PM
Right after I came home from my mission, I was really awkward in social situations. It had been so long since I had been able to just sit around, be lazy, and talk to a group of people my own age (without feeling guilty for it), that I would actually think in my head, "You are in a social situation. Don't be a dork. Smile. Now say something semi-intelligent. Turn your head and smile at that person. Sit. Good job, Cristin."
Fortunately I've progressed and can now handle most social situations without taking commands from a "little voice in my head." Notice, I said MOST. I still am at a real loss as to what to say when I'm told bad news. (When I say bad news, I don't mean "I stubbed my toe." I mean something along the lines of "Someone died.")
This past week I've had two different friends tell me two different bad things. One lost a grandparent and the other had a miscarriage. I feel awful for them and of course wish I could help them through their grief. I panic when I am told news like this because I worry so much about saying the wrong thing. I start going through a mental list of what not to say and then questioning what I am about to say. This mental process can take anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds and it usually makes for a very awkward silence as I nod my head and go, "Ohhhh." The things on my list of what not to say usually include -
"Hey, stop feeling sorry for yourself. It could be worse, you could be starving or homeless."
"You're right, that is so awful. I don't know how you're going to get over this."
After that, I am clueless.
One of the worst thing to ever happen to me was my parents' divorce when I was a teenager. I hated telling people because they would say things like, "Oh, I am so sorry," and I hated any kind of pity. I just wanted people to treat me like things were normal. It seemed that after I told someone about the divorce, every time we met later they would look at me with these probing eyes and say things like, "How are you doing? Do you need to talk?" I hated that. I also hated people saying things like, "I'm sorry."
So, what do I say? Usually, "Oh," for one minute and then "That's bad." Then I proceed to ask questions, "How old was your grandparent? Was it sudden? When is the funeral?" or "How far along were you?" ... the whole time worrying that I am going to trip on a land mine with a poorly worded question and offend my grieving friend.
I wish there was a book devoted to what I should and should not say in these situations. Kind of like a How to Win Friends and Influence People, but maybe titled, How to Care About Your Friends Going Through Difficult Situations Without Being Offensive.
Posted by Cristin at 1:50 PM
I am photoshop illiterate and therefore incapable of doing anything other than the standard blogger templates. So, here's a big thanks to Kelley who did my fancy new banner. She's DA BOMB. (That is a perfect example of those outdated expressions that 30 year olds say to try to be cool.)
Posted by Cristin at 3:35 PM
Erik turned 30 on Sunday. This means that since I am four months older than him, we are both officially really old. When I was a teenager, I figured that if I was ever lucky enough to live to the old age of 30, I would be the next Jane Pauley. Erik has never said this, but I'm guessing that the 13 year old E.J. Lassen expected to be a fighter pilot or rock star. Ah, but here we are... unless something drastic changes, it doesn't look like there will be any fighter pilot/rock star/anchorwoman life for us. Who knows if that would even make us happy anyway.
For his birthday weekend we went to Camarillo. While Erik surfed, I sat on the beach and thought about how much my life has changed in the past two years. It is still so weird to me that I have even one child, and now 2!
On Saturday night we threw a party for Erik. What's a party without a Costco cake! Check out those disgusting balloons. They were like 2 cups of frosting each.
We roasted him, but since he gave me a list of things not to mention, I remained really quiet. It was a great weekend and I am still recovering. Happy Birthday Baby!
Posted by Cristin at 2:47 PM