Sunday, July 30, 2006

Can you spot Gwen?

While she was asleep last week, Gwen's grandma decided to give her a haircut. I know it's really difficult to cut Gwen's hair so that's why I've never done it. She tried her best so I guess we'll have to live with her looking like a Romulan for a couple of weeks.


Mommy update on this:
This side of adorable....

It's been a while since I have posted a picture. I had hoped that this blog would be a lot less text intensive that it has been, but it has been fun actually to maintain and air my thoughts. Grandma gave her an over-earnest hair cut the other day. When I came home, I thought she was wearing a black headband. I was thinking, "where'd she get a black headband?" Apparently that was the beginning of her hairline. YIKES!!! So enjoy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Zithromax - could I start a petition to ban this product?

Ok...this is the unofficial observation of an untrained and biased mom.

g took Zithromax for 5 days because she had a lingering cough ~ 3 weeks. It really wasn't a terrible cough. It usually happened around the morning as she is about to wake, sometimes during the night as she slept and sometimes when she runs around furiously. Again if this cough was on its first few days, I wouldn't even bother the doctor with it. However on week 3, I was beginning to get concerned and mysteriously just as I was about to call the doctor about the cough, she ran a high fever for the day. So G and his mom took her to the pediatrician who prescribed a cough medicine (which she has been on for a million times now - ok I exaggerate maybe only 4 times and zithromax which she has never been on. Zithromax is powerful stuff from what I gather first from the dosage. Most other antibiotics g would have to take every couple of hours. Zithromax only needed one does every 24 hours. We were also cautioned to give her exactly the amount prescribed, no more no less. The length of time taken was also shorter than the usual 10 days. Zithromax needed to taken only for 5 days. The cost was also pretty astronomical considering that we still had to shell out $40 despite having insurance coverage. I wonder what the actual price would have been without insurance.

Well, g took the prescribed dosage and the prescribed time. I noticed all these changes in her (see previous post - am i a nervous nellie?). She developed an even worst attitude. She was just generally unhappy with everything. She would cry at the drop of a hat. We had a baby playdate last Saturday and she refused to play really and just kept to herself. Over dinner she had a complete meltdown, refusing to eat and screaming.

While on the drugs she also developed this horrible hacking cough. She coughed so hard that she almost shook the crib just from the strength of each cough. it was horrible to hear. The cough would wake her up at night.

Her appetite also became non-existent. Yesterday she had a couple of grapes, a few glasses of milk and half a bowl of rice. Usually that's more like her snack. Side note - it could very well be that she is moving into her picky eater stage. I will wait and see on this one.

Yesterday she is finally done with the drug and the change was dramatic on two fronts. She was once again a happy little girl, running around, playing, singing and affectionate. Last night, she slept through the night without a cough.

Now before you say that, "oh..the drug must have cured it" g is actually back to her original occasional cough. So in a way we are back where we started.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Am I being a nervous nellie?

I posted this on one of my mommy message boards, needing to get an answer. I got a lot of sympathy, but not many answers. So I figure I will post here and see.....


I have a 21 month old DD (dear daughter) who has had a cough for almost 3 weeks. Last week, she ran a 102.8 fever during the night. So we gave her tylenol and took her to the doctor the next day. They put her on Zithromax (antibiotics) and carboxafed (cough medicine).

Odd symptoms (all of which appeared in a matter of days):

1. Loss of appetite - Since then her appetite has gone from insatiable to non-existent.

Her usual meal would be:
breakfast - bowl of cereal or oatmeal, cheese sandwich
snack of fruit (plateful)
lunch- a full bowl of rice+protein+vegetable
snack of fruit (plateful)
crackers, goldfish here and there
dinner - another full bowl of rice+protein+vegetable

Sometimes she would even have 2 breakfasts.

In a matter of a day, she has gone from the above to eating just a few slices of papaya or blueberries for the whole day. She has been this way for almost 5 days now.

2. Generally unhappiness - She has also become exceptionally whiny. She is terribly unhappy about everything. This used to be such an easy child to care for. She has a lot of words already, so she can usually ask for what she needs. But now, she just cries at the drop of a hat. A full-on cry, tears, screaming and everything for no obvious reason.

3. Itchy all over - She has also been really itchy. She has always had eczema, but now she has flare-up in the oddest places (the side of her arm, her shoulder, etc)

4. Sleepiness - I shouldn't be complaining about this, but all of a sudden she needs to nap for 4 hours. She sleeps her normal amount at night also.

Now the question - am I just being a nervous nellie or is this a normal transition to toddlerhood as my ped has told me?

Edited to add: I saw a small splash of blood on her pillow when I was trying to soothe her back to sleep. Teething???

Monday, July 17, 2006

g's all better now

what a tough day for all of us yesterday. I had planned to spend the day with g in NYC yesterday while her mom was at work on a Sunday. It was a bit hot..but still would have been nice. First thing in the morning we decided to go out to Chinatown for some dimsum. We're encouraging g to walk more on her own these days now that she's older but the little kid is just lazy sometimes and just wants to be carried.We ended up holding her hand on each side. I grabbed onto g right hand while her mom took the left. She took a few steps but then started to whine and thrash about asking to be carried. As the trashing escalated her fake tears and cries became very real. She started to go ballistic. That was the first sign something was wrong. And then all throughout dimsum she refused to be put down by her mom. that's when I first thought maybe I sprained her arm as she was thrashing. It was bad when she stopped moving her right arm. The doctor told us to keep it under observation. It was a good thing that she was not swollen or bruised. It was most likely a sprain. I felt really bad though.

With the new developments I didn't want to venture around the city with her. Instead we went home after we dropped her mom at work. At home getting her to sleep was really difficult. She kept point at her right elbow and saying "It hurts." I felt so bad for her. I tried everything to console her and get her to sleep. IT was only after 45 minutes taht she fell asleep. Even asleep though I think it was not a good sleep. g usually moves around a lot during her sleep, but everytime she did yesterday it would cause her to wake up when she rolled onto her right side. Luckily she did get a 2 hour nap and when she woke up she was still not her full self. I feed her because I saw she was having difficulties feeding herself with her left arm.

Instead of bathing her I gave her a wipe down. I thought she had been traumatized enough. However when I went to put on her long sleeve onesie she screamed out in pain again. I tried to be as gentle as possible with her right arm but I guess it wasn't delicate enough. I felt so bad about the whole experience. With her mom back now we decided to give her some Ibuprofen and a rub of some Chinese Scotch to help work out the pain. It's a secret recipe of roots and Johnny walker that works well for bruises and sprains when I was a kid. She hated all the rubbing but eventually calmed down.

We awoke this morning to a crying Gwen. Her right arm was still limping at her side. We had decided to take her to the doctor since this was much worse than we had imagined. We had to get g out of her night clothes and it was going to be a delicate situation again. Together g's mom and I worked to get her undressed. As g's mom slinked her right arm out of the long sleeve onsie, there was a pop sound. g cried out hysterically but her mom consoled her. As the crying subsided, we put g down so that she could run about. The most impressive thing was that she started to play by herself with both arms. Her mom had popped her elbow back into place. g was back to herr old self and all it took was a tight fitting onesie to fix it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Daycare vent - Ugh...what should I do?

I just got a notice from our daycare that they are going to be raising their rates. Not a big deal in and of itself, when I read that they are increasing it by roughly 50%, my eyes popped out. Granted that they are (or were) cheaper than a lot of the others, but a 50% increase seems unbelievable.

Because they are cheap, I have been very "forgiving" about some of their shortcomings. So now that they are going to be on par or more expensive than most, should I be more "picky"?

The shortcomings...
TV Time - it just seems like when I drop g off, the TV is on. When I pick her up, the TV is also on. On the few occasions that I have come at an off-hour to pick her up, the TV is on. Is that all my kid does?
Lack of a defined curriculum - They say they will have their website that will outline their mission statement, etc up soon, but it's been going on 6 months.
Webcams - This was one of the big selling points when we signed up. I asked about it last week. Not yet ready.
Lack of "qualified" professionals - I think I had high hopes that this would be a place that g would learn something. I am not talking sitting at a desk and memorizing the multiplication table. The people who work there however do not seem to be qualified to teach the English language. Granted, I have never asked for credentials, but they speak "street" English (ie aks instead of ask, lyberry instead of library). The "director" can't even really string together a grammatically correct sentence in English.
General pet peeves - The center itself is not wholly childproof. There are electric wires that kids can pull. They have a free standing 4 ft water dispenser that isn't anchored in any way. Once when I got there, they were "combing" a dog on one of the kids' activity tables. I am not sure if they were delicing the animal or why an animal is even in the space. I just kept thinking that thankfully g is not allergic to dogs.
Do they really know how to run a business? This is only their 6th month of operation and already they need to raise rates. In the letter sent home to us, the director/owner bemoaned about needing a pay increase, that it is only fair since she vacuums, wash dishes and does the laundering of the kids' bedsheets & pillows and she also indicated the need for art supplies, etc. To me, that means that this person has drastically underestimated the cost of running this business. If this is so, what is my insurance that this won't happen again in another 6 months when they will be hit by higher heating cost?

I have seen it fit to keep quiet about all these because I felt, "hey, you get what you pay for." But now that I am paying a premium, should I demand more?

So this is my question - should I stay or should I go? Should I demand more? If I do, I fear retaliation towards g. IF I go, g would have to start over and she has finally adjusted to her life and routine there. I would hate for her to have to go through the trauma again.

What would you do?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I think it is finally happening...g falling asleep on her own. Yes, technically she has been sleeping through the night for more than a year. Yes technically we have also started sleep-training around her 7th month, but all our sleep training sort of went to pot. We have decided to go with the Weissbluth (cry-it-out) solution and it seemed to have worked a little. However my MIL seemed to think that it was too inhumane. She discovered that if she slept or laid down beside g, g fell asleep "on her own." That seemed to have gone well for months. The process was fairly simple. We started with a sleep routine of a bath, a few books, singing, rocking and finally we would laid her down into the crib. One of us would lay beside her, sometimes letting her hold a finger and she would eventually fall asleep. The whole process would take about 30-45 minutes.

I would gladly have proceeded with this, if it were not for the fact that she had started to lengthen her routine. From a typical 30 minute routine, it became an hour then an hour and a half. When we were inching to 2 hours, I had to put a stop to it. So we started again last week, putting her down in bed after the typical routine of bath, book and singing and letting her sleep alone without us in the room.

That first day was sad. She cried for about 15 minutes. A the days progress, the crying time seems to be getting less. For the last two days, she literally cried for less than a minute. I know it seems too early to call, but I think we are on the right track. Yes! Just in time for baby....

Monday, July 10, 2006

g - the non-growing eating machine

It was time for g's physical today. We took her in to see her usual doctor and he checked the usual stuff. I was so disappointed that g didn't gain any weight or height since her last visit. What's worst is that she not only didn't gain but she lost on both counts. She lost about 1/2 lb. Due to probably some measurement error, she also lost 1/2 inch. What gives!!! I could blame the fact that g is perpetually on the move, but I was at a loss as to how to explain the loss considering that she seems to always be eating.

Case in point, we had gone to beach picnic last weekend (pics & video coming soon) and she ate almost the whole time that we were there. Upon her arrival, she ate a bowl of mixed vegetables and pasta and a desert of watermelon and a whole banana (the genetically altered variety ~ huge), then more watermelon. She took an hour nap and upon awakening, she ate more watermelon. We went swimming and when she returned to the picnic table, she had a tomato, fishballs,a peach, more tomato, a cheeto, an 8 oz bottle of milk and more watermelon. She took a nap in the car and upon arriving at home, she ate another half of a tomato before she went to bed for the evening.

Before you think that this is an abberration, the day after the picnic. For breakfast we gave her some cereal and milk. We went out for a drive and she was eating more cheerios in the car while she drank 8 oz of milk. For lunch, she ate a bowl of sweetened tofu (her new favorite food, she had a typical adult portion). She drank more milk and she went to nap. After her nap, she ate a scrambled egg, half a large tomato, a whole snow pear, a slice of cheese, a slice of whole wheat bread, some goldfish, gerber fingerfood and a glass of diluted juice in a span of an hour. We then took her to the playground where she proceded to burn all the calories that she had just injested. When we returned home, I made her a dinner of sweet peas and steamed fish. She only ate half this time and drank half a glass of milk.

Upon analysis of her diet for the last 2 days, I saw a pattern. She tend to have vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Her diet is really light on meat although I try to always have a protein in there. She has a diet that I would love to have, an ideal balance of all good nutrient except that it's a little light on the fat.

What is more comforting though is that the doctor didn't seem alarmed at this at all. He told me that all kids' growth plateau at this point and when we described to him her typical diet he said that she eats well and we should just leave her alone. He also said that kids should learn that they eat for themselves, to solve the problem of hunger and not to please or annoy their parents.

I am encouraged by this bit of news because I have been trying really hard to instill the concept that food is JUST FOOD. It's not love, not comfort, not a bargaining chip, not a battleground. One eats to live. This comes from my own issues about food. Thus far I am happy with how she is. She seems to eat what she wants and has no hesitation to ask for more if she wants and will let you know in no uncertain terms if something does meet her high standards of consumption. Her grandma is worried that she eats too much and does not know how to stop. I believe that instinctively kids know when they are full. I see this in g. Despite her heavy eating yesterday, when presented with a full plate of peas for dinner she ate half her usual portion and pushed away the rest. Although it goes against the grain of my "nothing-left-on-the-plate" upbringing, I don't force the issue if she indicates that she no longer wants to eat. It was hard in the beginning because I did have a tendency to want to make her finish her bowl of food. I have come around. Now if I can only convince grandma....

Friday, July 07, 2006

The stuff of legend....

Ok...this is what g is going to be embarrassed about for the rest of her life. It's going to be one of those stories that has already started making rounds.

g's daycare had a "field trip" to McDonalds last Friday. Yes...I know who does a field trip to McD, but what can I do? When we first heard about the "trip", we were worried that g wouldn't be able to eat anything there. She has never really been to a McDonalds. I think the last place of that kind that she had been to was Burger King, but even then G and I ate the burgers while she had baby food. She has had fries before and I have introduced chicken sticks, but her daily meals have always consisted of a vegetable primarily, some starch and the little bit of chicken bits I can sneak into her vegetable as she would tolerate. G even frankly asked the director about what g would eat there. The director didn't seem to be much concerned, indicating that g has had some daycare food (which might be more closely aligned with the McD menu). So on that day we packed her off with a mini-lunch just in case she starves at McDonald and hoped for the best.

I picked her up that afternoon and got the full report. g LOVED it! Yup, she was lovin' it. Her teacher told me that not only did she eat her full share of chicken mcnuggets and juice. She loved it so much that she started taking food from other kids. No, she didn't wrestle them to the ground for it. The other kids at her table were apparently distracted probably by talking and horse-playing that she just conveniently took from the plates of kids who weren't looking. Wow...I guess I didn't realize how we have been depriving her.

other daycare comments

The teacher also took the opportunity to tell me a couple of other things about the little girl. Her first few weeks at the daycare were really quiet for her. She never really spoke to anyone, preferring to sit in front of the tv and watch Mahrney. The first words she ever spoke at the daycare (the same words that made the people there realize that she wasn't mute) was "That MINE!!!!" (in caps to reflect the volume demonstrated by the teacher) I did tell the teacher though that those words were not in fact her first. She has been speaking for quite a while now and I think officially her first words (the one that she spoke and understood perfectly) was "UP."

g has been upgraded to sit with the bigger kids at the regular dining table and not the special toddler/infant table with the seats molded into the table. The teacher said that they did it because she wanted to sit with the big kids and could feed herself already. That is one thing I have noticed is that g really prefers to hang around with big kids. When our friends visited with their kids, she loved playing with them. Babies, she doesn't quite understand yet.

My own cute little factoid....warning, may make non-parents roll their eyes.

g had gotten it into her head that she no longer needed a sippy cup or straws to drink. She had insisted drinking her "juice' (all liquids other than milk) in our regular cups...thankfully, we switched to plastic years ago. Her new favorite thing is drinking from a water bottle. We had been taking her hiking quite a bit recently, so she must have noticed all the adults drinking from it. Initially we were sharing our bottles with her, but she is all backwash. I know she's my daughter and all, but blech.... Now she drinks from her own bottle. I have bought her little 8 oz water bottles and she seems perfectly happy with that....for now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What does she really do in daycare?

Little g has been going to daycare consistently now for the last 6 weeks since my aunt and Alyssa went home to the Philippines. Since then, she has been sick three times already....ok, that's a separate story. g is finally getting into the daycare groove. She used to keep such an inconsistent schedule when my aunt was here that I think she never quite adjusted. Sometimes my aunt would prefer her to stay home and we would keep her home. Now g has been going 3 times a week for the last 6 weeks and she seems to have adjusted well. She used to cry and make a huge fuss even before we get into the door. The crying would escalate once we got inside the center and the only thing that calmed her down was giving her a huge bottle of milk. Nowadays although she doesn't bound towards the daycare with glee, she at least goes with no crying. She would sometimes whimper like she did today. I did find it interesting though that today when I dropped her off, the first thing she noted upon approaching daycare was "mahney" (aka Barney....yes, the purple dinosaur).

I will admit that it does bother me that Barney is her first association with daycare. It also doesn't help that the television is usually on when I drop her AND pick her up at night. I am hopeful that in the long interim hours that there are other activities. Now I am not one of those crazy moms that want their children to know the native language spoken by the Bantu tribe, but it would nice to think that she is doing more than watching cartoons. No matter how educational these shows are, by nature, TV is passive. I think g would benefit from more engagement in tasks rather than just watching things happen. I know that the chances of me changing how the daycare operates are fairly small. I do what I can at home, but she does spend the bulk of her time in daycare. Can I really stand not to do anything?