Thursday, April 10, 2014

The T word

Sorry I fell off posting; it was actually fun posting every day and it was interesting to do a loose day-in-the-life type week.  I'll have a birthday recap for you in a second but the reason I've been gone this week is because I'm dealing with another headache.  Last week, it was hectic birthday planning and I'd rather plan fifty birthdays than deal with this bullshit.

Andrea and I have thrush.

I had no idea what thrush was because Sofia didn't have it so I was completely clueless.  I thought it was just milk on her tongue.  I was over at my girlfriend's house and she was holding Andrea when she looked at me and was like, "Um, you know she's got thrush right?"  I gasped, clutched my pearls and said "What's thrush?!"

I'll tell you what thrush is.  It's the mother-effin' DEVIL, that's what it is.

I ran to the pharmacy, got some Gentian Violet and painted her up for seven days.  It made a little bit of difference, but I didn't know that we both have to be treated at the same time and I didn't treat myself, so while it cleared up a little bit, just as soon as I stopped the Gentian Violet, it came right back because she'd probably given it to me and I gave it right back to her.  Then I started having pain so I painted myself with the Gentian Violet and hoped that would help some.
My poor baby
This was after she nursed because I had painted my nipples.
When you put it on the baby, you're only supposed to paint their tongue and the inside of their cheeks.  I don't want anyone Googling thrush, seeing this picture and thinking you're supposed to paint the outside of their cheeks.

I was still having pain and her tongue was still coated so we went to the doctor on Monday who confirmed that Andrea has a mild case of thrush.  She and I both got some Diflucan, I got some nipple ointment and I've been cursing ever since.  

This shit HURTS and I'm heartbroken that my baby might be in pain too.  She hasn't been fussy so I'm hoping it's a mild enough case that maybe she's not in pain.  It just sucks.

Apparently, to get rid of the yeast you have to starve it.  That means that I have to mess with one of those elimination diets, which is pretty much my worst nightmare.  I don't do well with cutting food out of my diet.  It's not good for my brain.  However, I don't have a choice; I want my baby to be healthy again so I'm looking at The Candida Diet, which is a big fat pile of bullshit.

Thrush is a yeast infection, so to get rid of it, they say you have to starve the yeast.  Well, yeast feeds on sugar so you have to cut sugar out of your diet.  Except,

there's sugar in EVERYTHING.  EVERY MOTHER-EFFIN THING YOU CAN THINK OF.

The only things I can safely eat are meat, vegetables, eggs and plain yogurt.  Sounds YUMMY.

I'm using my nipple ointment, I'm taking the Diflucan, I'm on probiotics, washing everything in hot water, all that shit.  But it makes no difference if the food I eat feeds the yeast.  This sucks BALLS.

I need to hear from you, my friends.  Have you dealt with thrush?  How long did it take to go away?  Did you do an elimination diet?  It's only been a couple of days and I'm twitching.  I want sandwiches, I want fruit, I want cupcakes, I want fruit snacks, I want juice, I want pancakes and syrup, I want sugar!!!!

Please help.  Remind me that I'm doing this for my daughter, that this sacrifice is necessary for her health.  Remind me that it's temporary.  Remind me that I'm strong and I can do this.  Remind me that cutting this stuff out will make the thrush go away faster.

Because let me tell you, a sandwich with no bread is just STUPID and reading something only to find out it has sugar makes me want to throw things.  Why the F is there sugar in mayonnaise?

Hopefully I'll be back soon with a birthday recap and I can stare longingly at all the delicious cupcakes we served.  And the sandwiches.  And the donuts.

Ugh, let me stop.  I should probably go eat some carrots and hummus or something.

Thrush is the devil.


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Friday, April 4, 2014

Nothing is ever all bad

They say there's no rest for the weary. Or is it the wicked? At any rate, there's no rest when you have two babies and you're solo parenting for the week, night and day, all you, all the time. 

Now, there may be no rest but your body adapts. One of my favorite phrases is yoga is 'resting in motion.' I used to say it when i was halfway into a tough class and I could feel that my people were working hard. Simply saying the words changed the room and it can change your mindset. 

For me, that's the most important part about solo parenting - finding those moments where I can rest in motion.  Because there is no finish line; it's not like I just have to put my head down for a few days and then it'll be over.  It's not like pregnancy where there are bits you can enjoy but for the most part you're just hanging on until it's over and you'll never have to do it again.  I mean, of course that's how it is for me; my hat is off to all you women who glow and love every second of pregnancy.  Please spread your pixie dust on the world.

No, this won't be the last time I have to solo parent.  Actually, my husband is going to be gone for most of the month of April.  He gets back tomorrow but there's no time to rest.  We have a jam packed birthday weekend and he leaves again Sunday night.  So it's imperative that I rest in motion - there's really no other option.  And that's precisely what I did.

Just after I finished my last post I was able to get Sofia down for a nap.  And wonder upon wonders, I was able to put Andrea down to sleep as well!
It was amazing.

I had a ton of things to do.  There was laundry to fold, dishes to put away, birthday stuff to do but I was reckless.  I threw caution to the wind and I TOOK A SHOWER.  A long one.  It was the most beautiful experience and it was just what I needed.  I tell you what, there's not much that a long hot shower can't make better.  I even put on lotion!  Talk about luxury!  I was renewed and able to be present for my girls and it was great.  Wednesday night was so much better than Tuesday night and Sofia didn't even poop on the floor! 

Thursday was great too.  Sofia had school and while she was there I went back to Office Depot to finish the printing, which was infinitely easier with one sleeping baby in the Ergo and a competent person behind the desk.  I was in and out in minutes and I felt so accomplished and stress free.  We came straight home after school, I fed Sofia and we even got out for a little walk.  She took a great nap and the day went smoothly.

Now, that doesn't mean that we didn't have moments.  Usually, I make it through my day with Andrea in the Ergo but sometimes it's better when she's in her bouncy chair.  She would prefer to be close to me and I don't blame her, but when I'm making dinner and messing around with knives or a hot stove, it's better for all of us if she's in her chair.  And I had my moment while trying to make dinner because Andrea was in her chair screaming her face off because she was thirty kinds of pissed at me, Sofia was outside in the dog pen, naked except for her rain boots and a cardigan and the new recipe I tried was not working out and the food was sticking to the pan and smoking up my kitchen.  The crying was making my chest tight, the food sticking was pissing me off and Sofia was out in the dog pen.  Where the dog poops.  Those are the moments where I really miss having an extra set of hands and I curse solo parenting, because there's no one to holler to go get Sofia or to pick up the baby or to help with dinner.  It's all me, all the time.

I turned the heat down, grabbed Andrea and ran out to bring Sofia inside.  
"Hi Mommy!  I need pants!"
"I see that.  Can you please come inside?  Dinner's going to be ready soon."
"Uh, no thanks.  I'm good."  The things my kid says sometimes...
"Sweetheart I really need you to come inside.  You don't have pants on and dinner's almost ready.  I'll let you watch TV!"  *sinking to bribery*

I opened the gate to let her out and of course she takes off running across the yard, so I have to awkwardly chase her with the baby in my arms and trying to grab her - when did she get so fast?  It took forever to get her back inside and by some miracle dinner wasn't ruined and actually tasted pretty good.  Of course, Sofia wanted none of it and had chips and cheese for dinner. 

And we weren't meltdown-free either.  Banging on the keyboard of Mommy's computer is the most fun ever so of course when I told her to stop and took the computer away, well, that was cause for Tantrum #1.  I got a bonus meltdown at bathtime - apparently, when Sofia puts marker over her entire body, backside too, I'm supposed to leave it there for all eternity, not wash it off.  Silly Mommy.
Mom, this is my Look.

I'm not joking when I say that the child had marker on every square inch of her body, and it took her less than five minutes while I finished dinner.  Again, extra hands would've been nice but I guess I just have to be thankful that it was just marker and it was just on her, not the walls.  Once again, I put Andrea in her bouncy chair while Sofia got her bath and once she was in the water, she was fine.  What is it about these kids?  You'd have thought I was trying to put her in boiling lava, yet three minutes later she's splashing around "I'm swimming like a shark Mom!  Look at me go!"  Even Andrea was okay in her chair - I think she liked watching Sofia in the water and I'm really looking forward to putting the two of them in the bath together and watching them play.

Even bedtime was much smoother than Wednesday night and we settled fairly quickly.  Unfortunately, Sofia had a bit of a stuffy nose and couldn't get comfortable. "Mom my nose is broken! Fix it!"  And then Andrea chimed in with a most impressive middle of the night poop which is why I'm awake.  I got them settled back down and asleep but now I can't sleep.  

Honestly though, it's nice to be able to write.  It's nice to get this moment to myself and while I'm sure I'm going to pay for this in the morning when I'm zombie tired, I'm enjoying it now.

Rest in motion.  Just because it never stops, just because the job is 24-7, there will be moments of peace.  Just watch for them and be present when they happen and you'll be able to keep going.  

That's what works for me anyway.  

Peace, my friends.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rookie mistake

I was hoping to get to Wednesday at the least before I completely fell apart but no such luck.  Yesterday was a complete Mommy failure and it was my fault.  I committed the most rookie of all mistakes and it derailed the rest of the day.

ProTip:  Never ever ignore your child's hunger.  Ever.  It won't end well for you.

I know this cardinal rule and I honor it above all things most times.  However, there are times when I take leave of my senses and think that my toddler is a logical and rational human being and can ignore hunger pangs for a quick second while I run an errand.  That way of thinking is absolutely ridiculous and frankly, dangerous.  Toddlers are not rational people; they don't eat balanced healthy meals at properly spaced times.  They have two hunger modes:  Not Hungry and Oh My God If I Don't Have Food Right This Second I Will Spontaneously Combust.  There's no in between and if you've tipped the scale in the wrong direction, sorry 'bout your bad luck.

So why oh WHY did I think *this one time* it would be different?  Because it's not.  It never is.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays Sofia is in school.  She usually gets out at 11:15, we're home by 11:30 and she's stuffing her face by 11:40.  If it's a good day for me, a nap will follow shortly after.  Because of all the snow days we've had, they've extended her day, dismissing at 11:45.  Plus, it was nice out and they did some hard playing on the playground.  So I picked up my baby, who was tired and starving.

Why oh WHY did I go to Office Depot to print birthday stuff instead of carrying her STRAIGHT home?!  But that's just what I did and when we pulled into the parking lot instead of our driveway, the Hunger demon and its twin, Fatigue, began to possess my daughter.

"No Mom, we have to go home."  That was my first and last rational warning.  I ignored it, like a stupid rookie.
"I know sweetheart, I just have to make one quick stop and then we'll go straight home I promise."  No stop is ever quick when you have a tired hungry toddler, FYI.

I was convinced it would be so fast that I naively didn't even put Andrea in the Ergo; I just had her in one arm and held Sofia's hand with the other.  SO DUMB.

Because of course the Office Depot person didn't know what I needed, despite me being as clear as I could.  Of course they didn't have the paper I needed.  Of course she took a personal call as I was standing in front of her, the demons slowly invading my daughter.

Sofia put on a SHOW in Office Depot.  Rather, it wasn't her, it was the demons.  The demons made her collapse on the floor and scream for the entire store to hear how hungry she was and how she wanted to go home.  Mother of the year, right here.  Then she wanted to  run off so I had to awkwardly chase her while holding my seven week old in my arms.  She didn't want to stand up, so I had to pull her arm, which I hate because I'm always terrified of pulling her just right and her frickin arm coming out of socket.  But I can't bend over because of the baby and it was an absolute mess.  I had to leave the store and run outside, drag-carrying a screaming Sofia so I could get the double stroller.  I felt the tightness in my chest, the admonishments in my head.  What the hell was I thinking?  I know better than this!

But the damage was already done.  Sofia was gone and the demons had taken full possession.  Now that she was in the stroller she screamed to be let out.  "Please Mom can you take me out?!"  "Two seconds honey and then we'll go I promise" as I feel the sweat forming on my back and my head getting itchy.  Then Andrea winds up and starts crying.  I nursed her in the back of the store - at least I could do something about her crying - with Sofia crying in the stroller.  What a mess.  

In reality, this was all about ten minutes but it felt like an eternity.  Time stops when children cry, I swear.  My poor Sofia was delirious with hunger and I pulled into Wendy's to get her a cheeseburger and fries and we sped home.  She INHALED that burger like I'd never seen, making me feel like the lowest slime alive.  I felt so bad, but again, the damage was done and now she was overtired.

Overtired toddlers do weird things like run around in circles screaming.  It's deceiving because they're climbing the walls but they're exhausted.  It's a strange phenomenon and I did all I could to settle her down but it just wasn't working.

Finally, I put her in the car and we headed to my girlfriend's house.  We'd already planned to have dinner with them and it was a thirty minute drive.  Sofia was asleep before we left our neighborhood, so she slept for thirty minutes but she really needed a couple of hours.  

This wasn't yesterday but it was another day that I'd tried for hours to get
her to sleep and she falls asleep within seconds of being in the car.
I guess I should be thankful she sleeps well *somewhere*.

We got to their house and Sofia ran and played for hours with my girlfriend's son.  When we left I was sure she would sleep on the way home, but she was too wound up from playing.

Bedtime was a nightmare.  The demon Fatigue hadn't released its hold on my baby and wasn't going out without a fight.  I tried to speed through bedtime but you really can't speed changing two kids, chasing one down to put pjs on, nursing one, brushing teeth for another - it was bad.

We all finally settled down to sleep around ten and Sofia slept hard.  Poor thing was full-out snoring and she didn't wake up until almost ten this morning.  Thankfully the demons left her and she was my happy smiling girl once again.  I was a little spent though and we've spent the morning watching lots of TV because Mommy needs to recuperate.

It's crazy how badly things can go off the rails when you make a rookie mistake and I definitely didn't thrive yesterday.  As I was driving out to my friend's house, I was completely beating myself up, all kinds of negative self-talking in my head and I felt things spiraling.  I really lost it yesterday and I was really disappointed in myself.  Thankfully, I spent the evening with friends so the day wasn't completely shot.

Today, we're going to try again.  We all got some much needed sleep, I've already fed her well and often today so the demon Hunger is kept at bay.  I will try my hardest to get her down for a nap but that's harder these days because I've always laid down with her to get her to sleep and that's not always possible with the baby.

Yesterday was pretty bad - oh yeah, she pooped on the floor again too, but at least that one was smack in the middle of the living room so I didn't have to play poop detective.  And I didn't handle it well.  I was frazzled from Office Depot, mad at myself, frustrated that I couldn't get her to nap, Andrea was crying and I come around the corner to a poop-covered kid and a nasty present on the living room floor.  I got on her level, looked her in her face and with a harsher tone than I should've used I was like "Sofia!!! Poops go in the potty!!!!"  It was less a teaching tone and more a 'what the hell is your problem' tone.  I'm not proud of that - I should've taken a second to get it together, but the poop on the floor was the last straw to a wacked-out few hours.

Yet, today is a new day and I'm leaving the events of yesterday in the past.  I'm going to try again to get her to nap and hopefully I'll be successful and when she wakes up we'll reconnect and do something fun.  And I think that's what matter the most.  I'm going to fail, I'm going to mess up and I'm not going to thrive all the time, but as long as I don't give up, that counts for something, right?

Anyway, that's what I'm going with.

Gotta run - the baby's crying and it's time for Sofia's nap.  Wish me luck.

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