Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

Rolling! December 27, 2007

Filed under: development,holidays — crittermama @ 1:58 pm

So much to write about, but so little time. For now, just this: he’s ROLLING.


Merry Christmas! Have food poisoning! December 19, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,family,health,holidays — crittermama @ 10:59 pm

Several years ago, a friend and colleague gave me a pair of socks for Christmas, and the tag read, “Merry Christmas! Have socks!” And I still say that every time I pull on a pair of Christmas-themed socks. (Yes, I have more than one pair.) And I’ll maintain for a long time that getting a pair of socks for Christmas is sooooo much better than the case of food poisoning that the deli around the corner gave me on Monday.

In my quest to find a lunch place that I could trust not to put unwanted dairy products into my food, I visited a couple of local delis and such around my office. I wanted to read the labels on the bread, since some bread does have dairy added to it. The first place had no labels on the bread (no labels?!? what’s that all about?!?) and the only writing on the tortilla packages was instructions on how to fold a tortilla. So I moved on to the deli in the liquor store behind my building. They let me read labels on the bread and, triumphant, I ordered a turkey club sandwich.

I will NEVER eat there again. Around 5:00 or so, I started to feel a little funny. I cooked dinner, but couldn’t bring myself to eat any of it, and lay down on the couch to rest while Dave took care of the Critter and put him to bed. I started to vomit around 9:00, and it just kept coming. I’ve never barfed so much in my life, even with morning sickness, even with hangovers, even with migranes. It was at least every 45 minutes for the next 12 hours. I had nothing in me and couldn’t keep anything down at all. I could feel the fluid leaving my body as I fed the Critter overnight, and I got really worried about being able to keep up my milk supply.

We called his pediatrician and my primary doctor, and they both told me to go to the ER to get some fluids if I couldn’t keep any fluids down within the next hour. After hanging up with doctor #2, I threw up immediately. Dave took the Critter to day care, and then we went to the ER. I only barfed once in triage, but it was bad: I was seeing bright lights and thought I would pass out. The upside is that I learned about the handy-dandy barf bags that hospitals have. It’s a plastic ring with a baggie attached to it. Portable and easy! Woot!

Another thing I learned: our closest hospital has three separate waiting areas before you actually get into the ER. In waiting room #3, I couldn’t sit any longer and just had to lay down on the floor. Several people passed by, worried about me, but it wasn’t until a very authoritative woman came by, and called the ER to get a place for me to lay down that I cared that I was laying on the floor. Turns out that she was the director of the ER. Nice timing!

Long story short (too late): I got 2.5 bags of saline, my BP was really low for a long time (sounds familiar), my blood tests came out ok, my urine tests came out ok (including the negative result on a pregnancy test, thank GOD), and an abdominal x-ray came out ok. I was released just in time for us to pick up the Critter from day care.

Since then, I’ve had a gallon of gatorade, a bunch of sprite, some chicken broth, and even a few pieces of bread. I got some good rest last night and felt much better today. Of course all of our Christmas prep is now two days behind and I’m worried about getting our gifts to family before Christmas day, but I’m able to walk, so it all works out in the end.

Yay for IV fluids!


My new best friend, the snot sucker December 9, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,health,profession — crittermama @ 4:50 pm

All hail the bulb syringe! We’ve got three of them, but the only one worth it’s salt is the one we stole from the hospital. The little guy and I both started getting stuffy last week, and I had hoped that it was just a side effect from the cold weather.

And snow! We had snow! Here’s the critter with his Pa:

sNoah and Pa

And with me:

sNoah and Mama

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures, but of course our GOOD camera had a dead battery. Bother!

Anyway! Back to my baby’s nose and nasal discharge! We’ve used a humidifier in the room for a couple of months now, since he’s always been a little snurffly, and we’ve had to clear his nose a time or two in the past. But wow. We’ve never gotten anything like what we’re seeing now. It is SO SATISFYING to clear his nose. And he can tell a difference, too. At first, he’d cry and scream, but this morning, he actually SMILED at me as I went after him with the bulb syringe. Crazy kid.

We’re keeping him home from day care tomorrow, which means that we’re each giving up a half day of work. I’ll take him to the pediatrician tomorrow morning, and Dave’s going to come home in the afternoon so I can get some work done. It’s not a whole lot of fun for the little guy to be all stoppered up, and we want to make sure that we’re doing the right things. It’s probably just a regular old cold, but we just want to be sure.

On another front, we’ve found the Sleep Lady’s book, and we’re both making our way through it. I hope this one helps!


She’ll love this December 6, 2007

Filed under: family,holidays — crittermama @ 9:00 pm

Finally, a picture of the critter with his Dede, taken at Thanksgiving

Dede and Critter smiling


Dagnabbit December 5, 2007

Filed under: home training,travel — crittermama @ 2:50 pm

Tour de Georgia to skip Dalton this year

The fact that the Team Time Trial will be held on a NASCAR track is pretty cool, though it is certainly a stunt to get more locals to come out. I had promised the Critter that he’d get to see his first pro cycling event from the carpet capital, so I’m bummed about this news!

Full coverage at Tour de Georgia site


Parenting Hurts December 3, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,health,holidays — crittermama @ 6:19 pm

I knew about the lack of sleep that would come with being a new parent, and the possibility that many days would come and go without my benefitting from a shower. I knew that there would be late nights worrying about something or other. I knew that we’d struggle with setting the right boundaries, and that someday, we’d be up all night waiting for the teenaged critter to come home. What I didn’t realize is that parenting is one big repetitive stress injury waiting to happen.

Both Dave and I have tennis elbow and creaking knees and NOW I’ve got some sort of strange tendon thing in the first knuckle of my left index finger. What is THAT?!? And how did that happen? When I rotate my left wrist, I can feel a popping in my left elbow. I know this is because of how I’ve held the critter while nursing him and that I tend to hold him in my left arm when we’re bouncing, dancing or swaying. But what the heck is going on in that joint and how do I get it to go away? I suspect that the critter will continue to require food, comfort and mama-induced motion, so… now what?

In his (HIM!) health news, we had our follow up with the pediatric GI doc today. I’m to continue with the dairy restrictions, especially since we saw a spot or two of blood last week in his diaper following my inadvertent consumption of some whey-containing bread. But the doc said that I should “challenge” it again before we come back for our next follow up in 3-4 months. He also said I could probably have a piece of cake if I were at a birthday party but… yeah, I’m not going to do that. So no buttery, creamy holiday goodies for me! Unless they’re vegan. Got any vegan goodies for me?

Of course you all want to know about his stats, right? Here you go:
Head circumference: 16.75 inches
Length: 24.5 inches
Weight: 16.5 pounds

Oh yeah!


HIM and The Mother December 2, 2007

Filed under: development,family — crittermama @ 1:16 pm

Three things I have to put out here at the beginning, so you’ll understand. One is that I watched The Cannonball Run many times as a child. Two is that I’ve seen LOTS of nature shows. Three is that I am haunted by my Psych 101 textbook.

We’ve got a new member of the family here, and that has resulted in MANY changes. Not the least of which is that the husband and I talk about the critter a LOT. As do most parents, we rarely use our son’s given name, but rather use many nicknames, aliases and pseudonyms. The Critter, the boy, the young’un, YOUR son, a series of words that rhyme with his name, and “HIM” or “HE.” This is certainly not a biblical reference, but rather a simple pronoun. HOWEVER, because I’ve seen The Cannonball Run a million times a million years ago (and I’m fairly certain that Dave has not), I can’t have a conversation in which we refer to the critter as “HIM” without thinking of Captain Chaos, played by Dom Deluise – Dun dun DUNN!!!


I’m sure that Dave is ashamed that I even admitted this, so we will speak of it NO MORE.

Moving on…

As I’m moving through my new daily life, I find myself thinking of my role as “The Mother.” Not as A mother, but as THE mother. This has to be a reflection of my educational history and the many nature shows I’ve watched. You know, as in, “For the first months of his life, the cub stays close to the mother,” and “When danger threatens her offspring, the mother chimp is ready to defend her baby,” and “The mother must provide for all of the baby elephant’s needs.” THE MOTHER seems more like a biological function sometimes than anything else. Depending on my mood, I’m either amused or tired by this observation.

“To calm her infant, the mother replaces the pacifier in her crying baby’s mouth.”
“The mother supplies breastmilk, nature’s perfect food, to her child 8-12 times a day.”
“When diapers need changing, the mother provides entertainment as well as a clean diaper.”
“The mother is the baby’s primary source of comfort, having carried her baby for nine months in the womb.”

It’s the comforting function that I keep coming back to, and that I’m haunted by. Anyone who took Psych 101 in college has heard about the experiments performed on rhesus monkeys in which babies were separated from their real mothers and “raised” by cloth or wire “surrogates.” The experiments proved that infants needed not just warmth and food, but also gentle contact. But the process and outcomes make me want to weep for those babies. Without any contact from their real mothers – or any living creature – the babies were given a choice of a “mother” made of wire that had a feeding nipple on it, or a “mother” made of warm, soft terry cloth that provided no food. Invariably, when presented with both choices, the baby would choose the comforting mother. When the baby was hungry, however, it would feed from the wire “mother” and then return to the cloth “mother.”

When these babies that were raised in insolation were then introduced to others, they couldn’t behave as they should have, since they were traumatized by lack of socialization and had not learned how to be rhesus monkeys. Much has been made of these studies in theories of attachment parenting and such, and I won’t get into all of that. But my heart breaks for both the babies and the mothers that were forced to go through these experiments, and I cling closer to our little guy.