Thursday, December 31, 2009

This year cannot end fast enough

So over the previous weekend I had the trunk lock drilled out, the air conditioner button fell off and several months ago the rear window got stuck one inch down and refused to work. I dropped off the car at the mechanic's and said it's falling apart, please fix it. Doomsday words because he called an hour later to say the front tires are threadbare and the front brakes are paper thin - total cost, just under $1,000.

Grimly I agree to do all the work, kicking myself for not keeping better records because I know I bought a new set of tires in '06, is 3 years really enough time to go through a set of tires? Even upon coming home to search paperwork I can't find those tires to see if I have any kind of warranty on them. Also must have failed to rotate the tires over the past 3 years because the back tires are fine. Bloody hell.

Monday baby got seriously ill with a cold, refused food and slept the entire day.

Tuesday she felt better and played in her room in the morning.

Wednesday baby could not walk, we set her down after a bottle and she collapsed at 8am. Shock, horror don't begin to describe the day until we finally land at the doctor's office at 11am. First we watch the doctor yell at her children on the phone, and not just yell, do the repetitive "kids you need to settle down, I'm here to take care of sick children", her kids didn't care. I don't know why adults try to reason with children.

This was not my daughter's regular Pediatrician. She finally blows into the room, hair askew and sits to listen to our daughter's problems. She thinks it might be Toxic Synovitis which is a virus in the hip or joints affecting one leg and last about a week, can start with a cold. She was kinda wishy washy about this and non-conclusive. I'm used to baby's regular Pediatrician who takes command and tells us exactly what to do. She's authoritative and calming at the same time. This woman made me want to panic and run to the nearest emergency room.

We came home, baby went to sleep, I went to work for 1/2 a day to ship boxes for the Hong Kong toy fair, when I came home Husband said she had walked a little and he got her to eat more. Call was put into her regular doctor for more information and calls to grandparents for prayers and support.

Thursday (today) we get up and baby's considerably more cheerful, she drinks 2/3 of her bottle without gagging, walks a bit and plays in her bedroom. Her doctor finally calls back, explains the virus in better terms so I understand and tells us to give her 3 doses per day of Motrin and bring her in by Saturday if she's still having trouble walking. See, she tells me exactly what to do, I like that!

We go to get my car, pay just under $1,000 and as I prepare to exit the car lot, I test back window, yeah it works, front tires look nice, front window is down (why do car guys always leave the front window down?) I press the button to make it zoom back up, hear a large crash, clicking sound - MY FRONT WINDOW IS BROKEN!!! Have you ever picked up a fixed car only to have it break before leaving??? It's New Year's Eve, parts need to be ordered so we are home for the next 4 days sharing 2nd vehicle with Husband, who works Saturday and Sunday. I am so angry at this stupid car that I immediately want to trade it in for a more reliable vehicle. $250 per window breakage which is "common" in this idiot car. Grrrrrrrr.

And I got a bad cold, on top of pregnancy so I feel like the walking dead. I'm going back to bed and staying there. Nothing can break if I'm safely in bed. As for baby, thank God her daddy is home today and tomorrow. Hopefully I'll perk up before Saturday so we can have a fun weekend.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I USED to consider myself a pretty handy person

I did in fact graduate from college with a degree in Industrial Design, I can use power tools, I can build models and toys. Why then am I suddenly confounded with locking my keys in the trunk?

Backstory -
for the 3rd week in a row we decided to go to the Deerfield Beach Island, previous two weekends we arrived too late for the boat, today we were 10 minutes early. I repacked my purse essentials (wallet, visine drops, toothbrush kit ((for braces)), snacks for mom and baby along with change of diaper equipment) and then dropped purse into the trunk and locked it. Upon unloading baby from her carseat the realization that keys were attached to purse set in.

Logically I know the seat can be pulled down to enter the trunk from the inside but it doesn't work, there's no strap sticking out saying pull this, no clever lever to pull, NOTHTING, so I do what any stranded woman with child must do - ask a man with 3 kids nearby to help. He also can't figure it out and doesn't want to miss his boat ride to the island so after 8 minutes of trying leaves. I check to see if the owners manual is in the glovebox and it's GONE! I pull out the carseat, trying to remember exactly how husband had attached all the straps, and then yank really hard on every part of the seat. Nothing gives. Finally in desperation call insurance and yes they cover reimbursement so I call a locksmith.

The locksmith also cannot figure out how to move the seats and is left with drilling out the trunk lock. This means taking a big old drill and just jamming it into your lock and drilling it out until there's a big old HOLE! $150.00 later and I desparately hope the insurance really will cover this.

The entire hour we waited for the locksmith and for mom to shake the back seats, then clean them and try to reach husband futily and repeatedly the baby happily padded around the park entrance, she doesn't know what's up. She still got her hour of play so once the locksmith left I attempted to reload the carseat into the car to leave. Confusion sets in, I can't figure out how to attach the locking device into the car. I finally reach husband at work and beg emergency help and he can't walk me through it, I swear something is broken becuase the locking devices will NOT click into the spots he swears are there! So I had to rely on the old seatbelt wrapped around whatever plastic hole is available on the carseat and slink home with my tail between my legs.

Someone owes me a major demonstration on exactly how to install a carseat and how to pull the stupid seat down. Furthermore I'd like a demo on how to change a tire.

PS - Husband came home to demonstrate the trunk opens into the car but not from backseat into car. Well that makes no sense.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Wagon

Charlotte is thrilled with her new Christmas Wagon!

ps. we used these photos to announce 2nd pregnancy to family

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Daughter turned 18 months old today and we celebrated by spending ALL afternoon at the park, skipping two bottles (her choice) and eating chocolate graham crackers.

I consider an outing successful when she's covered in bark, dirt and stained hands. This might be an anomaly in parenting as I watch other parents shriek "Damion, DON'T SIT DOWN, the sand is wet"! They run over to wipe their child's mouth after every meal while mine goes round with chocolate ring around the mouth. I'm not sure where I developed this casual style but she seems happy poking at everything in sight and there's always time at the end of the day for a bath. I also don't help her climb and rarely help her onto playground toys. She has to learn to do it herself, besides, I'm too busy taking photos.

Well right-o then, on with the photos:

I swear these pants looked dirtier in real life, she had rolled in the bark several times, they must be good pants to brush off so well.

Hands dirty from crushing berries of a Dahoon Holly and fresh mushrooms.

The best part of the day - she learned to go down the tunnel slide head first! I was over the moon with pride!!!

We stayed out long enough that upon coming home I only had to hear the animatronic plush 30+ times. They might not last till Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Tonight we got a little Christmas Spirit by way of package from Mema and Grandpa. We got all sorts of goodies for the whole family - window stickers, glitter stickers, candy, hair accessories and then the Coup de grace - animatronic plush - pause, scream, throw out before child sees the singing Christmas dog and Mickey Mouse. There is a reason I make these toys and LEAVE THEM AT WORK!!! Number of times played - 15+ each before bed.

Perhaps I should return the favor and ship a box of all the animatronic plush I've made? But I'd have to ship the child with the toys so she can play them over and over and over.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week 8

Monday's appointment was a bit of a shock, twin gestation showed up on the monitor, but only a heartbeat in one. The mid-wife said that's probably why I've been feeling extra nasty these past few weeks, extra nausea, no desire to eat, food taste like sawdust, tired all the time, etc. It would appear that I have a possible case of Vanishing Twin Syndrome and the second will be absorbed during the pregnancy - just the sack mind you, no heart beat presumably means just a sack. I don't want to think otherwise.

I've always wanted twins - they fascinate me and I dream of seeing how complex I can make my life and still come out sane. I guess this was not meant to be, still thankful for the strong heartbeat in the other sack. I have an appointment in two weeks with high risk specialist who's going to take a more detailed look. I suppose it's 2 weeks away due to all the Christmas and New Years celebrations.

I also want to say the mid-wife who handled this appointment is the kindest sweetest women I've ever met, particularly in contrast. I remember my first appointment at 7 weeks when I was pregnant with Charlotte. I had freaked out from some blood discharge and rushed in a week early asking for proof the baby was okay and the guy who did my first ultrasound complained while he had the joystick up my hooha that it was so annoying when they send women in for an ultrasound so early, he couldn't find the heartbeat and rammed the thing around, pressed hard on my belly until a heartbeat was finally located. I was so worried about the baby that it didn't occur to me to be furious with him until now. Thankfully my insurance changed and I had to switch doctors or he'd have hell to pay if he met me now.

Not feeling super cheerful about Christmas due to all the ugg going on inside but will do my best to chin up and make it fun for the family. Really glad we are not traveling so no one has to put up with my staring at food in horror, eating 2 bites and asking for plain yogurt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I wish my toddler were more understanding

for my need to take a nap which I tried to do during her nap time but once I laid her down she woke up and poked at me until I got up

for my need to eat, without a toddler in my lap, because it's soup and I'll spill it on her pretty yellow dress

I wish she would stop shaking the Christmas tree like a giant pinata in order to get my attention while I scarf down the soup

Maybe she wants a bottle. I just tried feeding her the black beans from my soup until I found she had spit them out and was painting with them on the floor. Sigh....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Tree

Last year husband insisted on a plastic tree for multiple reasons:
* the previous year he swears we got fleas from the tree, they are a nightmare to get rid of in a warm climate.
* our youngest cat eats the pine needles every year and gets sick
* the oldest cat makes a nest under the tree and get's pine needles everywhere
* as the tree get's closer to Christmas it dries out and the pine needles really rain down
* we have to pay $65 every year for a regular 6' pine, I suppose living in Florida means higher prices for trees because they have to be trucked down from the great northern states

I have to admit it was rather nice to set up the fake tree for FREE this year! I'd like to get a real wreath so we can have the pine smell, maybe later today.

My biggest concern was that our walking, climbing 17 month old toddler might pull the tree over; plastic trees are really light and don't have much support on the bottom. So after much thought and consideration, husband pulled a long Velcro strap from the garage wrapped around the center of the tree and nailed the ends to the wall. It's invisible from the front. He's such a handy guy.

The next concern was to put decorations high enough so that baby can't pull them down and/or put up non-breakable decorations. To be honest, we got the tree up 2 weeks ago and the decorations are still pending. I keep thinking I'll do it after work but then I'm too tired. So our tree has an angel on top and lights. Maybe I'll finish it tonight, or maybe like Halloween, we will wait to Christmas Eve to finish the tree.

By the way, we found the cat has eaten the plastic pine needles by way of throw up residue that had been mostly cleaned up by the dog. If they both die, we will bury them in the flower bed with a sign that reads "Stupid and Stupider died by way of plastic Christmas Tree consumption".

I think next year I'm decorating a potted plant on the porch. Go on, tell me to suck it up and get into the Christmas spirit.

ps. I'm delighted to report that I just found the Christmas Tree pulled to a strange angle and it was the Velcro that kept it standing! Go husband!!!

PPS. And if I had any further doubts about getting a fake tree, here is a link from Neatorama showing a dry Christmas Tree burning in 5 seconds and burning everything in the room in 45 seconds!!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I've become a weekend blogger and my stories are predominately about my daughter. I'm not good at writing about the stress of work and how this is the worst time of year because we are preparing new lines for January toy fairs and there is constant pressure to get everything done on time. It's so refreshing to come home to a demanding little girl who in some ways may mirror the demands of work such as needing constant interaction (boss demanding constant meetings), feeding bottles and meeting bedtime schedule "on time". Boss constantly reminding us to get things done "on time" - like it's even possible to forget and I fail to understand the need for a constant reminder - seriously I've been doing this for 10 years is it really freaking necessary to remind me of the Hong Kong Toy Fair in January every single day??? If I'm asked one more time "are you going to have everything done on time" followed by head shake of "I don't see how you're going to pull this off" followed by head tilt and mouth pulled in firm line then I'm seriously going to force morning sickness all over the conference table and go home for the week claiming swine flu! I'm sorry I digress. I really hadn't planned to write about work. That won't happen again as I need to remain calm.

This past week I finally took the test, I'm 7 weeks pregnant and really feeling it. I was actually quite nervous about this weekend and how I'd do with less energy, needing naps and so forth but it worked out just fine. On Saturday I found that if I nap with her she sleeps longer, so we slept for 2.5 hours. Today I only caught a 1/2 hour nap but it was enough.

With a focus on naps and eating I wasn't' sure if we'd get to do anything outrageously cool and awesome. The weather was cloudy so I suggested a photo shoot on the beach.

Thanks for helping me make this cool collage which I also used as 20x30 posters for family Christmas presents.

Then today we went to the park.

I also managed to make the best Stew of my entire life along with a seriously impressive Chicken Parmigiana and Chocolate Pie. In my last pregnancy I lost appetite for the first trimester but that doesn't seem to have hit yet. Feeling queasy and fragile but otherwise okay. Hope ya'll have a wonderful week.