October 30, 2012

The worst week as parents so far

You'd think the worst week would have been early on due to the lack of sleep. Or the week of uncontrollable crying before we found out about his dairy sensitivity. Or the two weeks after he started teething his molars when we'd find him in bed every morning with an exploded diaper.

Each of those was interesting, to be sure. Yet it's this past week that's been the worst. We thought Brex was reacting to too much dairy on Friday morning when he threw up (we'd run out of formula and substituted Lactaid milk). Well, he then threw up three more times at day care and they called me to come get him. We went dairy free and he seemed fine. Until that night...

I'm not going to give details here, it's a disgusting topic, but let's just say that over the past five days Jrex has had to get his car shampooed, we've washed the car seat cover, the stroller, the high chair, every bedsheet Brex owns, our bedsheets and more clothes than I can count. What makes it easier is that Brex is happy once he's done. The problem has been we keep thinking he's over it, and then he proves that He. Is. Definitely. NOT.

The other bonus is that he was generous to share the joy with me.

My father arrived for a 10-day visit Saturday afternoon. I'd begun to feel nauseous that afternoon, so Jrex left me and the baby sleeping at home while he picked up Dad at the airport. Dad arrived, I woke up. I went into his room to say hi and was about to greet him with, "Welcome to the house of plague and cold" (our first floor heater has been broken since Thursday and the highs over the weekend were in the 50's. Nothing like being stuck in a freezing house!!). However, I had to sit down abruptly on the bed. It was all I could do to keep from throwing up right then. He sat quietly next to me. After a little while he said with concern, "What's going on? Are you ok?"

I shook my head and murmured, "I have to throw up!" I barely made it to the bathroom. Nine-months of pregnancy with nausea but no vomit, and I'm felled by a stomach bug.

Yesterday Jrex had to take the day off so I could do my job. I had non-stop work, no time for lunch, and crazy phone calls all day. After dealing alone with every one of Brex's many sick days since day care began in January, it was wonderful to have Jrex and Dad help out.

Right now Dad is walking around the neighborhood with Brex and I'm trying to get work done. You can tell how well that's going!

What makes this the worst week? Just the sheer grossness of it all combined with having a house guest. I want to be able to do fun things with my Dad, but we're spending most of it cooped up in a cold house. The cool thing about Dad is that he's able to roll with it and doesn't seem at all put out. It's also the fact that just when I think it's safe to resume 'normal' activities (going out for dinner, letting him drink his bottle in our bed), he proves to me why that was a silly idea. Yeah, yeah, 'this too shall pass', I get it. I just don't like it!

October 15, 2012

Belated Happy Birthday

Within a day or two of Brex's birthday, I put up a photo essay on Facebook. Since then, I keep meaning to do a blog post about it, but didn't have the urgency. I suspect that FB has taken the 'need' out of many blogger's posts.

In any case, we had a fun birthday for the boy. I thought he'd be shy when everyone looked at him; instead he beamed and waved each time he was the focus of attention.

The other revelation after planning an event for two weeks with Mom K is that most of my problems with her are that we are too similar. We both like to have things a certain way, we both want to know the agenda, make lists, plan ahead, have everything ready and make it look good. The whole visit she was also on the phone with members of her church, counseling them, chatting, laughing, and in general, staying connected with a wide network of people. The core problem is that given our similarities, she's better at everything than I am! She's a better cook, more relentless cleaner, more tireless in playing with Brex, more cheerful in serving. She sets a standard that I'll never be able to match so it makes me feel insecure and uber-critical of whatever ways I can find her being 'less than'.

When I mentioned this revelation to Jrex, he didn't disagree with my premise. In fact, he agreed that his Mom and I are both perfectionists (I retorted with known irony, "I'm not a perfectionist! I just want things done the right way...."). He did add though that I'm much better with a power drill than is his Mother. It was actually comforting.

So, here are a couple photos for those of you who aren't my FB friends (or who missed seeing them there).

In the Korean 'dol' ceremony, we put out objects that supposedly predict his future. The money symbolizes wealth & power/ thread is long life / bowl of rice means abundance / tin whistle (non-traditional) meant the arts / pen for a scholar. When I told some of my non-Korean friends about the meanings of the objects, they exclaimed, "What? None of the futures is for anything bad?" Sheesh!

Here's the boy's face when seeing one of his buddies from his old day care. Yes. It's hero worship.

In other kiddo news, he's not quite walking, but I think we have an official first word. What we're going to claim as his first word is the dog's name. He produces a mangled version of her name every time he sees her. However, what he says quite clearly, quite distinctly, quite meaningfully, emphatically and gleefully . . .

. . . is "No".

Sigh. The week after he turned one we had to have two 'obedience sessions'. He'd become increasingly defiant and so instead of moving him or distracting him, I decided to go head-to-head. He crawled over to touch the TV screen. I warned him not to touch it, he looked at me, looked at the TV and then firmly smacked it. I exclaimed, "NO!!!" very loudly (the way I'd say it to the dog). He burst into tears for 20 seconds. Then turned off the faucet, babbled at me, shook his head. Then touched the TV again.

Repeat. five. times.

While he stood holding the table without touching the TV, I praised him in a very happy voice for not touching the TV and listening to me. Then when he touched it, the loud, scary, "No!" He finally stopped trying and crawled over to play happily with a toy.

The day after, we did the same pattern with the dog's food dishes.

Since then, he's been much better about listening to us, but he's also quite excited to use a word that has such power. What have I done!?