Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I need someone to check my pulse ...

I think there may be something wrong with me.

I can't believe I'm standing with uber-conservative fundamentalist Christians on the topic of Merck's new wonder drug, even if our reasons may differ.

Since June when a federal advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend all girls and women ages 11 to 26 receive Merck's new vaccine for genital warts, Gardasil, which in clinical studies proved to prevent cervical cancers by preventing infection from four strains of the human papilloma virus, I have been waiting for government entities to mandate its use.

Now it seems Merck is pouring its money into pushing its revolutionary new drug -- which, for the record, costs $360 for the three-shot regimen needed for effectiveness -- on state legislatures across the country, hoping they will mandate the costly prevention for all girls beginning at age 11.

Merck isn't saying how much it's spending on this endeavor, but one might imagine such non-disclosure could mean the grand total is a boatload. Why just image, if even a small percentage of states pass measures to require parents vaccinate their girl children against HPV, the company stands to have a lucrative payday ... at least until its patent runs out or until the drug is approved for our boy children and the process starts all over again.

Let me just get a few things off my chest:

I know that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, and particularly devastating to underdeveloped and impoverished nations.

I believe Merck's vaccine is safe and effective.

I fully expect Ittybit to get this vaccine when she turns 11, even if I have to pay out of pocket for it (currently most insurance WILL* cover this preventive measure).

I think the idea that HPV can be completely prevented by morally responsible living is akin to sticking your head in the sand.

I think that discovering that cancer can be caused by a virus is INCREDIBLY exciting for the future of medical research.

BUT ...

Do I want government telling me how to raise my child?

What if I were afraid of the repercussions of vaccines on cognitive development?

What if I was convinced of anecdotal accounts of parents who believed their kids were adversly affected by innoculations instead of peer-reviewed research showing no link between childhood vaccinations and autism?

What if *shudder* I believed in my heart of hearts that giving her the shot would be akin to giving her the keys to a lifetime of debauchery and moral decay?

In short, what if I were someone else?

I suppose there are still choices I could make. I could pull my kid from school and take her education on at home.

Sure, I could fight the good fight and buck the laws of man. But should I have to, especially where medical decisions are concerned?

Mind you, I have no trouble with the use of the term "herding" as it relates to mass innocuations being the most effective way to irradicate dieases.

Yes! I think it's wonderful that this discovery has been made. I think it's a valuable health care tool that all people -- even boys when the drug is approved for use in the other 49 percent of our population -- should seriously consider. Like many have said, I feel there really ARE more pros than cons.

However I wonder if Gardasil, in it's current $360 form, will be made available to the developing world and those marginalized by inadequate medical coverage, where the need is arguably the greatest?

I know this issue may one day go the way of seat belts, the infant car seat and, most recently, the ban of trans fats in NYC restaurants, but I can't help but want government to make its recommendations, decide such discoveries are worth funding for those least likely to afford it, and then step off and let folks make their own decisions.

The last time I checked, the government has a lot on its plate. It has to figure out how the millions of uninsured in this country can get adequate health care; it has to deal with this mess it created in Iraq; the future of education; and what to do about global warming. I really wish it would make some headway on these issues before it goes and tells US how to raise our kids.

And to tell you the truth, I'd just feel a lot better if a single drug company didn't stand to reap the benefit.

*** UPDATE ***

This just in ... it would appear, according to Associated Press reports, that pediatricians and gynecologists from Arizona to New York are refusing to stock Gardasil because of its $360 price tag and what the doctors say is inadequate reimbursement from most insurers.

Surprise, surprise. ...

*** UPDATE II ***

Merck is completing testing of Gardasil on women ages 26 to 45 and will apply for approval for those groups by year’s end; it is testing it in young males and could seek approval in 2008.

*** UPDATE III ***

Rival drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is developing its own vaccine, Cervarix, and could seek approval this year.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Laughter can make your stomach hurt, right?

This kid just cracks me up.

I mean it.

While Jed was off with his friends in Maine for a four-day drunken reunion with his childhood buddies -- doing unspeakable things with raw sewage and soft-sided luggage (I'll say no more) -- we were at home trying to amuse ourselves.

Yet, even though I am usually exhausted by the end of the day, it always seems as if she's the one doing all the work.

We started off our adventures on Saturday by meeting my parents for breakfast in Chatham, where Annabel managed to Hoover something from everyone -- a little bacon from Amah's plate, a little ham from Mama's and some -- wait, what is he eating? "I don't want that" from Papa's plate -- not to mention scarfing down enough pancake and sausage from her own dish to make a trucker sated.

Next we stopped by American Pie (just because I can't resist the place) and Annabel informed me she would like to buy a present for her sister.

"Honey, you do remember that you're getting a brother, right?"

At which point, she looked up at me sternly and said: "I TOLD you I wanted a sister, right?"

Impassively, and without further comment, she put back the porcelain pig with purple glittery tutu and matching spangled wand and reached for the shrink-wrapped snake hanging from a revolving display nearby.

"He'll like this dinoserosaur. Let's get this."

Later, a trip to New York State Museum's Terrace Gallery carousel burned up another two hours of prime television viewing zombie-anizm. Lucky for me -- and her grandparents who came along for the ride -- she’s not too fond of the horses, preferring to take every spin on the stationary benches. I say this 'cause if anything can make me feel a little woozy it's a carousel horse and the mighty (unexpected) spin of the wheel. (Anyone else notice how fast those things go after it’s too late to get off?)

Next we proved multi-tasking is possible for toddlers (and expectant mothers) by going home and simultaneously baking sugar cookies and making dinner. The latter of which I can proudly say she managed to consume before the former.

But of course the BEST came at 8 p.m., when for some strange reason my stomach started to hurt in a worrisome kind of way that made me think if it didn't let up by morning I'd have to give someone in the medical profession a call and ask them to see what's what. I told her that my tummy, where the baby was, wasn't feeling too well and we had to take it easy and get ready for bed so I could rest.

She made a huge effort to climb into bed from the other side, saying she didn't want to hurt my belly. We read for a while and she quietly went to sleep 30 minutes later, in her own bed, with little if any protest.

In the morning she slipped into my room and peered at me with a worried expression.

"Is your stomach still hurting mama," she asked as if time didn't elapse during the night.

"No, baby, it doesn't. It feels a lot better."

Yup. She's a keeper.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tell mama ...

It's rare that anything ever turns out the way you think it will.

When you come to think of it, how often did whatever you planned for your life ever come to to pass?

If I had followed the roadmap I drew way back when, I'd be single, living on the west coast and doing something so fabulous with my life that the light from fabulous would take 18 million years to get to the place I am right now, which is still pretty darn good.

And yet, somehow, having a boy seems about as foriegn to me as having kittens.

Don't misunderstand, I'm excited at the thought of having a boy, it's just that I haven't ever lived in a house with boys (beside the occasional pre-pubescent behavior exhibited by my husband from time to time). I really don't know what to expect.

So I would really appreciate some thoughts from the internets. I know you have 'em. Tell me all about your boys and about their relationships with their sisters. Tell me about your own brothers and sisters. Tell me what surprised you and what made you glad it turned out as it did.

Go ahead, tell mama.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A bit of a sticky wicket

You may recall Annabel has mentioned a few (hundred) times that she would prefer a girl to any other brand of baby, including the cute a fuzzy puppy variety.

She's even offered names that she would happily accept: Lola, China, Brianna, Tierney, Ella and Maya are just a few on her short list.

So you might imagine my hesitation at telling her the news the ultrasound technition told me. Would it really be the worst thing in the world to name the boy China and dress him in pink? But no, honesty is the best policy.

The first chance I got, I told her that we had news. She was going to have a brother.

Her eyes fixed on me and started to tear up. "But I don't want and brodder. I don't WAAAAAN'T a BRODDER," she wailed.

This is not going well, I thought as I scooped her up into my arms and tried to comfort her.

"I know, I know. You had your heart set on a sister, but brothers are really better. They are. They are," I stammered, grasping at straws. "When you have a brother there are things you won't have to share. You'll have your own room and your own clothes. And you can still show him all kinds of things. You'll see."

She was still crying.

"If you had a sister you would have to share your room, and your clothes and your best toys," I continued fruitlessly.


I was confused.

"I don't want a brodder or a sister, I wanted a baby," she scowled. "A baby this big," she explained, pinching the air with her fingers.

"Well honey, you will have that. You will have a baby."

"Ok, mommy," she sniffled. "Can I have some peanut butter, too?"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is what best friends are for ...

ME: Guess what? We're officially in the mixed-bag club.

MARTHA: CONGRATS! Wait. What do you mean mixed-bag club?

ME: It's a boy. And we already have the girl ...

MARTHA: Oh good... I was fearing you were telling me it was a hermaphrodite.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh, the possibilities

An empty yoga studio on Sunday wasn't a total loss.

Sure Gwen, my most dedicated student, was feeling under the weather and had called to say she's wasn't going to make it to class but there was still the possibility that others would make their way to the studio on this cold, cold day. "Blustery" as Annabel so rightly puts it.

Nope. The wind, as it turns out, was too fierce.

So Annabel and I did some stretching, built a tower of bricks and hit the road early.

Ok, we hit the town to do a little window shopping.

I'm taking advantage of Annabel's new found amiability while I can. Last year the idea of browsing in stores (or even outside of stores), eating in restaurants and being out in the world seemed like a distant dream. Now it's a genuine possibility. I want to take advantage of it while the proverbial window is open. We're all feeling slightly isolated with all the catalog shopping. Every once in a while it's nice to see real faces and mirror real smiles.

We went to The Gifted Child and bought a Melissa & Doug stamp set as well as a Charmmy Kitty dishware set for the good little miss. Then we stopped into JWS Art Supplies and took advantage of its winter "white sale." We got two 16" x 16" prestretched canvases for $12: I have plans for artwork for the kids' room(s).

And then we moseyed over to Martin's for a late lunch. We split a hamburger and a fruit cup (she ate most of the burger ... I ate most of the fruit) and we people-watched.

She was quite taken with twin boys - 10 months old (I inquired) - at the next table. Neither of us could keep our eyes off them. They were twin bundles of joy.

Four adults juggled the twins, taking turns eating and performing amusements.

But Annabel wanted to make sure her interest in the boys was clear: "I'm going to have a sister soon," she told them as they bundled up the boys to leave.

"Well congratulations," they said. "I'm sure you're gonna be great."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Small miracles ...

Amazing beings, children. They never cease to astound.

Last week, while Jed was off doing art stuff with a big crane and dangerously sized sculpture, Annabel and I immersed ourselves in the children on the Web; the pride of flickr folks to be exact.

To be honest, I didn't really think about what I was doing. I turned on the computer, as I always do, to check in with my peeps in this photographic playground. There's always something new: Henry's cuddling with his new brother, Leo; Ella's jumping on a trampoline, a gift for her Second Birthday; "The Beast" is being a good mama to her baby doll, cooking in her play kitchen while wearing her dolly in a sling - just like her mommy and her sister Charlie. And Matilda is cleaning up in the shower.

I called Annabel over and reintroduced her to Matilda. She had met Matilda in person back in October, but it had been a while since she'd looked in on the computer to see what she was up to.

She looked at the photograph of Matilda showering, asked what her name was and told me she wanted some juice and a snack.

Every day since Annabel asked about Matilda, the girl who was washing in the inside rain.

And then, on Thursday, when I least expected it, Annabel wanted to know every possible detail about the showering Matilda. We were on the way home from Amah and Papa's house when she made me tell her Matilda's name again, what she was doing in the pictures and what parts of her body she was washing in the "pishers."

It was a kind of game. She knew all the answers but she wanted me to ask her the questions. Then she told me she wanted to take a shower, but that she didn't want to get sprayed.

When we got home she actually took off all her clothes and went into the bathroom. We adjusted the shower so it hit the wall and she eventually got totally soaked on her own. She even "washed her armpits just like Matilda."

It seemed like a small miracle, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pieces of the puzzle

I've always hated it when people tell you that there's something ominous brewing behind the scenes. They dance around the meat of the matter, but never elaborate on the specifics.

And so it is with amazing shame that I will tell you, my imaginary friends, that there are BIG things going on over here at Ittybits & Pieces; big things that are making me fall to pieces.

But I can't tell you what just now. I am sorry.

I can tell you that as far as I know, Thing 2, is right as rain and I'm even feeling the faint signs of a new life stretching around. I can tell you that I have another obstetrics appointment Tuesday, and perhaps then will know even more intimate details about the baby on board. I can tell you that everyone here is well and trying to keep warm since winter seems to have arrived finally.

But the big thing I can't say is potentially life changing; and I don't handle life changes well. It is something I have to think about before I make any real decisions but it is something I have to make note of here since I will be thinking of little else until I can sort it all out; if I can sort it all out.

I will have to discuss it here at some point during the next several months to the dismay of some, and I imagine my telling will be at length. This is how I make sense of it all; if at all. So it will have to come to pass. Just not now.

For now, I have to calm down, catch my breath and stop crying and wishing I'd done everything differently.

For now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Myths and legends

10. "A carefree childhood"

9. "Anti-wrinkle cream"

8. "Self cleaning"

7. "A free lunch"

6. "Married bliss"

5. "I'm not trying to sell you anything"

4. "The last mop you will ever buy"

3. "New and Improved"

2. "Two are just as easy as one"

... and ... my personal favorite:

1. "You can be whatever you want to be."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's official: I have the emotional maturity of an 8th grader - especially when my blood sugar is low

*** Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

ITTYBIT: (all wide eyed on the porch) What was that noise?

MOMMY: It's just your dad, he's in the kitchen pounding his meat. Why don't you go tell him to stop. It's too loud and we can't read.


DADDY: Did your mommy tell you to say that?

ITTYBIT: Yep. (runs back to the porch).

ITTYBIT: Mommy? Are you crying?

MOMMY: No honey, I'm just laughing really hard.

Monday, January 15, 2007

This is a tough nut ...

Ok ... so according to this the only way President Bush will listen to reason with regard to the War (of deception) in Iraq is if Laura divorces him and Barney bites him.

Sounds like a reasonable man to me.

Friday, January 12, 2007

If only 'twer that easy

"If I concentrate really hard, the lady with the bowl of warm water will go away."

- If only 'twer that easy.

So operation NO NEW DEALS has had a glaring set back. Last night the schedule went all to hell. Late getting back from work, picking her up; Jed still in D.C. I could sense the makings of disaster.

Still, bath time should have been a cinch. She didn't require her hair to be washed. It was just a token scrub in warm suds. But she decided to surprise me and wash her own hair. Oh was she pleased with herself. She massaged away at the back of her head like a professional. Before I could stammer a protest, she had created enough foamy goodness there to hide a small treasure trove of toys.

I was truly impressed. But also truly dismayed, knowing that such a frothy mess would have to be rinsed -- the not-so-much-fun part of the shampooing process. It couldn't be avoided, and it threw her into a tizzy.

All roads lead to bedtime, and this was going to block it.

To make matters worse, her teachers at school had given me a book (that I tried to hide from her) called "Mommy, I Want To Sleep in Your Bed," or something or other, that I felt was akin to looking her in the eyes while she's playing happily with safe, respectable toys and instructing her 'Not to pull down the drapes.'

Not only was she NOT thinking of pulling down the drapes, but now that I've told her it's a possible diversion from a tea party with Panda, it seems like an idea that's more fun.

As I suspected, the book taught her the exact phrase -- "But, MOMMY, I WANNA SLEEP in YOOOOOOOOOOOOORR BED!" -- that awoke me at 2:30 in the morning.

I gave in. I was too tired to fight about it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A little faerie dusting

About five years ago I decided enough was enough. If I was going to have to endure another northeast winter I was going to damn well enjoy it. So I did what any consumer-driven, non-diaper-buying newlywed would do: I plunked down a couple-a hundred bucks for a pair a cross-country skis.

I'd taken up the sport two years earlier when a friend suggested a trip to a local ski area she and her husband frequented. From my first wobbly decent down the hill in the freshly laid tracks (ending no doubt, precariously on my posterior) I was hooked.

  • I was outdoors
  • The air was cold
  • I was warm
  • It was fun

Up until that very moment I had forgotten all the days my mom had to physically haul my red-faced, blue-lipped, chattering teethed self back into the house to warm up against my protests of not being cold.

Up until that minute, I had forgotten how much I loved winter.

How could I have known paying $350 for a cross-country ski package would ensure the end of snow-covered hills in our region?

How could I have guessed that in the five years that followed - the snowiest of which occurred during 2003-2004, the year I was PREGNANT - I would be able to use the skis a grand total of six times?

I suppose it wasn't the wisest of things to impulse buy end-of-season snowshoes for Ittybit last year -- the only year I satisfied my jones to ski by standing in the storage room and trying them on -- since my superstitious mind now firmly believes such effrontery (and not merely global warming) could only explain the lack of wintry weather since.

But impulse buy I did.

And for 12 months, those green snowshoes have hung in the closet - tormenting me.

I had no idea they were tormenting her too:

MAMA: OH, ITTYBIT. ... Look it snowed. Let's go out an play.

ITTYBIT: It DID?!! Wait. I'll get my stuff.

(disappears and returns with her hat and snowshoes).

There may have been only a dusting ... but it's a start.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The house of polygamy

LORI to husband on phone: ... "Ok. Bye, Honey."


LORI: Yes, that was Jeff.

ITTYBIT: That makes two honeys.

LORI: NO. There’s only one Honey here. Jeff is the ONLY Honey.

ITTYBIT: But Pooh has honey. That’s TWO honeys.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

All is not quiet on the western front

This third year (starting from say August on) has been a struggle. Food she used to eat without complaint sits untouched on her plate, her arms crossed tighter than even her lips are clenched. Baths, never an easy proposition, have become sideshows of trickery and deception, yet none too entertaining. But it is the sleep issue that may put us over the edge.

Since the New Bed took up residence in our house, the idea of sleeping with us, starfish-style -- all spread out from the center -- has taken up residence in her head.

It all starts out good. We begin the process of decompression: calming down, brushing of teeth, reading of books. Snuggled into her own bed, we give in to the extra story and the calls for water and lights dimmed only so low.

But the needs are endless. First it was water, then juice then milk. At first I balked, knowing that she shouldn't have anything stronger than water for bed lest her teeth rot out of her head. But she didn't really WANT it. She wasn't hungry. She wasn't thirsty. She was stalling.

Eventually our routine got to be worthy of three rings:

PJs = check
Teeth brushed = check
Stories = read three, check
Lights dimmed = check
Monsters sprayed = check
One more story = check
I have to go to the potty = check
Music turned on = check
It's too dark = lights adjusted, check
I want a snack = goldfish procured, check
I want water = check
It's too cold = check
Now it's too hot = This is the last time. Water or no water?
The monsters came back = spray again
I have to pee again = another trip to the potty, check
I need the hotwater bottle ...


... ok, mommy ....

HOTWATER BOTTLE, check ... goodnight.

It all makes me pine for her terrible twos, which in retrospect didn't seem that terrible.

Truly, anyone with the least amount of time on the planet Earth can tell you what's happening here. It doesn't take Dr. Spock to figure it out.

She's testing us and we're getting failing grades.

So every night the time it takes to her to actually sleep gets longer. And in addition to this extended play, every night at midnight or so the monsters wake her up and send her into our room.

The seduction of sleep without the added gust of nighttime coldness of the hallway's hardwood floors makes letting her into bed an irresistible proposition. At first she even fell right to sleep. But then, increasingly, she'd wake up earlier and become more fidgety. She'd poke and prod, and talk.

No matter how cute it seems, no one wants to talk about the dietary needs of the Abominable Snowman at 4 in the morning.

The last straw happened Friday, when she woke us four times during the night. That's it; I need sleep. She's just playing now and it has to stop, I stammered as if Jed hadn't been thinking the same thing for the last six weeks.

So on Saturday a new plan was enacted.

We call it operation NO NEW DEALS.

Bathtime at 7 (and she gets her hair washed when it needs to be)

Bedtime starts at 8:30, she must brush her teeth, use the potty and change into pajamas. We read three to four books; she can have water and a hot water bottle and her music but she can not leave her room. NO DEALS.

As expected, the change was met with tears and tantrums.

By the time she fell asleep at 9:30 I was dreading the midnight call, which came early at 11:30 p.m.

I walked her back to bed and it would seem her head exploded. She did not want to stay in her room with the monsters and the dog farts.

The old me would have said 'who could blame her' but the new me said, "I'm sorry but that's the way it is sugar plum, we all have to stay in our own rooms and sleep."

No sooner had I walked away than I could hear her little pajamaed feet following me, screaming as if I'd torn out her toenails.

I brought her back into her room and shut the door, holding it closed. She threw her little self against it and screamed. I imagine, had she been a little bit older, every second word out of her mouth would have been an obscenity. Eventually she calmed down and commenced bargaining. She wanted the door open.

So we made a deal. The door would stay open as long as she stayed in her room.

I went back to bed.

But all was not quiet in the western wing of the house.

Her shreiking continued from the doorway. She rolled her toys across the floor, tore her clothes from their place in the dresser and yelled at the top of her lungs: YOU ARE MAKING ME VERY NERVOUS!!!!

When the ride-on-horse came rolling to our door I got up and investigated the damage.

It was less than I thought, but still impressive.

I put her back to bed, kissed her head and said: "That's enough for tonight. We'll talk about this tomorrow."

And with that, sleep.

It's been three days now of sleeping through the night. She's even waking up earlier, which has to mean that she's getting better sleep at night.

I'm still crossing my fingers ... If this works out perhaps next we'll attempt to tackle the shower.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The amazing weirdness of being

I had a bad feeling about this.

The "big day" rolled around and we were all sick.

Ittybit had been on the mend, but a belly full of cherry tomatoes came back to haunt her at midnight. I was in the throes of the worst of the vomiting, wondering if I should just postpone it until we all felt 100 percent.

The obstetrics appointment, that is.

The ultrasound; the prodding, the poking -- all of it might best be left to another day.

And yet, the guilty part of me that says you must not procrastinate; you must avoid the glaring voice at the other end of the phone -- the one whose job it is to reschedule these hard-fought appointments. The one who undoubtedly will say: "You know each one of these appointments is IMPORTANT!"

Oh, but bringing a clingy toddler because you really don't want to send her to daycare with an ounce of residual illness that she can lob in the direction of another unassuming preschooler, seemed worse.

Would it even be possible to see the newbie taking up residence in the womb Ittybit once shared through the clingy little girl who’d undoubtedly wrap her tiny body around me as soon as I tried to put her down?

I can do this, I thought optimistically. We can do this.

And so we did.

As usual, I arrived early (operating under the misguided premise that if you arrive early you have a chance of being seen early) and we waited. And waited. And waited.

After the second trip to the bathroom and the 100th "We'll be called when it's our turns," we were called.

To my surprise Ittybit sat quietly in the chair by the door where I'd put our things. She said she didn't want to see her baby on the television screen. She looked away as I turned to sit on the examining table.

The technician applied the gel and started probing around; looking first at the internal organs before going in for a gander at the real goods. I turned my head to ask Ittybit if she could see and she answered "no" with a scowl in her voice. It seemed she didn't want to look. I turned back to the monitor.

But just as the little baby appeared in the screen, a little hand took mine.

No words, just her hand in mine.

It was really the oddest thing.

She wouldn't talk about what happened in that darkened room for the rest of that day. She wouldn't look at the printouts the technician had given us. It was as if none of it ever happened.

But the next day, when we were both feeling better, she headed to school and me to work, she asked to see the pictures so she could show her friend "Elias," the new baby, whose "head was here and body was right there."

I listened at the door for a while as she explained about the "goop" they put on her mommy's belly, and how this was her little sister ...

She poked her head back into the room where I was listening and yelled ... "Hey, Ma? When is my baby sister coming?"

"In July, sweetie. In July."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

And now, veee daunce ... (because, as it turns out, we are not one hit wonders after all)

Remember ... I don't know. ... say back in August, when I told you all about the heartbreaking experience of discovering Ittybit may, in fact, be an only child?

Yeah ...

... well ...


According to Annabel, her "sister is coming."

"She's very, very small (picture preschooler thumb and forefinger pressed tightly together) and we're going to name her 'Lola' or 'China.'"

Get that? She is NOT having a boy!

It's too early yet for an official word on whether her girl will actually BE a girl, however I pitty a boy named Lola.

There is uncertain proof, however, that Thing Two has already benefited from its big sister's love, albeit inadvertantly, via the binky Ittybit gave to Santa on Christmas.

Study the ultra sound printout carefully if you will ...

See that? In it's little mouth? No? Try tilting your head to the left and squint. See it now? Do you know what that is? I'm telling you this kid's entering the world with its own pacifier. My guess is Thing Two has overheard all the commotion around these parts concerning "binkectomies" and some oversized elf taking binkies and replacing them with something dumb like lip gloss and decided to take matters into its own hands. I imagine it astutely determined that a baby has very little use for Chapstick.


**I actually went through a three-pack of pee sticks just to be sure, but I couldn't bear to post the photos of them all. Two should have sufficed but ya know, what does one do with the third, unused stick? Perhaps it would have made a good watering monitor for houseplants. We'll never know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's been a while ...

Christmas kinda of killed me.

I wish I were kidding.

Right after the excitment was over Annabel got her annual vomity illness, followed by Jed and then - the day I had to work a night shift for the holiday - I came down with the cruddy sickness.

So it's not that I've been ignoring the internets so much as I've really been hiding under a rock.

The good news is we're all on the mend, and we're slowly getting back to normal.

I can tell because today when I brought Annabel to Lori's house for the first time in little more than a week, it took her six minutes to push me out the door.

Twenty minutes later, though, I'm told she was either feeling remorseful or just garden-variety drama.

"I want my mommy. I have water in my eyes."