How to Tally Up the Points You Earned for Taking Care of Your Sick Kid/s

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As I said yesterday on Facebook when posting this picture of my two sick, glassy eyes kids: Happy Snotsgiving from the Wallenstein Croup.

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+5 points for 1st kid
+7 points for 2nd kid
+3 points if one doesn’t speak yet
+6 points if nether speak yet
+12 points if child speaks and more than 65% of the day they spend whining
+25 points if both children whined
+10 points for each time you say “eat your (breakfast, lunch, dinner)”
+17 points for each time you say “eat your (breakfast, lunch, dinner)” once number above reaches 100
+15 points for omitting the swear word you want to say (that rhymes with trucking) after the word “your” and before the word (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
+9 points for each time you say “cover your mouth”
+7 points for each time you say “cover your nose”
+6 points for each time you say “no, I will NOT throw out your tissue”
+11 points for each time you say “drink this, it will make you feel better”
+3 points for each load of laundry you do to sanitize everything within a 10 foot radius of said child/ren
+5 points for each time you say “stay away from your brother or sister”
+4 points for each time you say “don’t touch that”
+2 points for each time you say “wash your hands”
+3 points for each time you apply Aquafor to the child/ren’s nose
+6 points for each sheet change
+1 points every time you turn on the humidifier
+2 points every time you say “blow not wipe”
+20 points for each doctor visit
+25 points for each pharmacy visit after 8pm
+50 points for going back to the pharmacy because you forgot the thing you went to buy (but came home with Peppermint Patties)
+4 points if the child wants to sleep in a tank top, it’s snowing outside, & a fight ensues
+6 points for each time you try to convince the child a hot shower will feel good

 

-5 points for each time you recommend watching a movie vs. a 22 minute show because you will have to return to the germ den to put on another one
-10 points for each errand you make up to get out of your house the second your partner gets home
-3 points for each time you tell your child they are sick because they put their hands in their mouth/didn’t wear their coat/went outside with a wet head
-6 points for each time you wanted to sell your kid to the circus for annoying you even though they’re sick and you should be nice
-15 points for the happy dance you do once the children fall asleep
-5 points for each glass of wine you drink
-10 points for each carafe
-15 points for each bottle
-20 points for each magnum

Now add up your points….

 

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Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of Ages! Big Apple Circus presents Metamorphosis

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Big Apple Circus presents Metamorphosis

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Fantastical Fun for Everyone!

Looking for a fun activity to do when it’s too cold to play outside? Well, step right up to the Big Apple Circus! Boys, girls, and adults of all ages will thoroughly enjoy themselves under the big top where no seat is bad and smiles are guaranteed.

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I am a big fan of the circus. Not clowns (ew! They scare the bejesus out of me) but the circus. I used to drag my husband pre-kids and now I am happy to drag my whole family! This was our third year taking our daughter. The first year was exciting because they made an announcement that the actor (one of my favorites) Eli Wallach was in the audience. I couldn’t resist saying hello during intermission and telling him my favorite movie was Keeping the Faith. He could not have been nicer. Last year I bought tickets so far in advance I did not know I’d have a new baby keeping me home (my lucky husband got to go). This year we all went together and even the baby (who just turned one at the time) loved it. We were unsure if he would sit still but given our lack of a babysitter for the day, he came along. I think he was the most enthralled!

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 Photo Credit: FredCohenPhotography

My absolute favorite moment of the day was during the animal parade, when a camel literally stuck his head into my neighbor’s bucket of popcorn. As if that wasn’t funny enough, he did it a second time. We are still unsure if this was part of the act… if it was, my neighbor certainly wasn’t in on it! Kudos to the Big Apple Circus for replacing his popcorn immediately!

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Photo Credit: FredCohenPhotography

As always the circus was filled with acts that you should not and could not try at home. My favorite was the outrageous costume changing couple Vladimir and Olga Smirnov. I honestly do not know how they did it. You think they have the clothes layered but they keep coming off. I really want to know how they did it! Seriously, it was so cool.

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Photo Credit: Big Apple Circus

Also impressive was not one, but two ladies – Tatevik Seyranyan and Odbayasakh Dorjoo – who folded themselves into one small box. Yep, two ladies. Folded in half. One box. Do not try this at home folks. Makes my flipped downward facing dog seem pretty lame… The photo below only shows 50% of the women who fit in this box. At the same time.

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Photo Credit: Big Apple Circus

And of course what would the circus be without horses, dogs and other animals performing astonishing tricks before your eyes, trampolines, flying trapeze, “Chinese yoyos”, foot juggling, and an aerial space act that will leave you bedazzled and beguiled (spoiler alert, there was a spaceship. My daughter was MESMERIZED).

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The Big Apple Circus’ 37th season runs under the Big Top at Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center (62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues) through January 11, 2015. The show is two hours long including a 15 minute intermission. The Big Top is heated and there are tables and chairs available for you to sit and eat prior to the show. There is also a stroller and coat check. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.

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In addition to the Big Apple CircusTicket Specials and *giveaway below*, I’m pleased to offer my readers the promo code BIGAPPLE which will give you up to $25 off tickets!* That’s per ticket, not just off the total purchase! (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply). Buy tickets online at www.BigAppleCircus.org, by calling (888) 541-3750, or at the Circus Box Office located in front of the Big Top on Lincoln Center Plaza (there is no service charge for tickets purchased at the box office). Hours of operation:  Tuesday through Friday from 10am – 8pm, and Saturday through Monday from 10am to 6pm (or to 8pm on weekend days when there is a 7pm performance).

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Finally, I want to share something very interested that I learned about the Big Apple Circus (a not-for-profit performing arts and outreach institution committed to invigorating the communities they serve with the joy and wonder of classical circus). At the center of the big apple, is a big heart. I like supporting companies that give back to the community and reading about all of these different programs simply blew me away.

Tax-deductible contributions made by corporations, foundations and individuals enable Big Apple Circus to bring its special magic to diverse audiences through its outreach programs including:

Clown Care[SM] the signature community outreach program of the Big Apple Circus, brings the joy of classical circus to hospitalized children at 16 leading pediatric facilities across the United States.

Vaudeville Caravan[SM] brings the uplifting power of the circus to delight the residents of nursing care facilities.

Circus After School[SM] provide a unique opportunity for at-risk youth to develop life-enhancing skills such as teamwork, commitment, and responsible risk-taking through a structured program of learning and performing the circus arts.

Circus For All!® annually distributes more than 50,000 free and discounted tickets to public and private schools and not-for-profit organizations serving disadvantaged children, families, and the elderly.

Circus of the Senses® a unique performance that enables children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and other disabilities to experience the magic and joy of the circus.

Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism! for these performances, Big Apple Circus worked with renowned ASD experts to adapt Metamorphosis for families with members on the spectrum.  The adapted show includes the same world-class artistry as the full performance only with a shorter running time, adjusted lighting and sound, calming centers, pictorial social narratives and plenty of folks to assist in creating a memorable event for all!

Ticket Giveaway!

Win two tickets for opening night at the Big Apple Circus!

Friday, December 12th at 6:30pm

To win, answer the following questions:

1. What’s the height of the Big Top?

2. What is your favorite part of the circus?

Winner will be chosen Sunday, December 7th, 2014 at 5pm.

Breast Milk Lemonade

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November 21st came and went. Nary a tear was shed by moi. In fact, I didn’t realize that yesterday was my day – even as I watched a commercial for the new Exodus movie (nice timing 20th Century Fox!).

Look at that!

This, people, we call acceptance and closure.

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Celebrating the big O-N-E October 12th, 2014

For those of you who did not read my last blog post, my delicious little thirteen month old boy – who was an avid nurser and exclusively breastfed baby – stopped nursing, cold turkey, on October 12th at 11pm. After running around like a chicken without a head and not knowing if this was a nursing strike or just the end of an era, I decided I needed to pick an end date and prepare to move on.

That date was yesterday.

I chose the date November 21st – which was 40 days and 40 nights later because it sounded round and good. Right, Moses?

Truth be told, after using my beloved pump for a month and unsuccessfully trying to keep my supply up in case he returned, I gave up. Bless its little sucka sucka Little Engine That Could heart, my milk supply plummeted and I had to let it go.

And I am OK.

I am.

I am surprisingly OK.

It was extremely helpful having an end date in my mind and I thank all of my friends who suggested it.

I can move on now.

My little baby has become a little man in the last month. He is about to walk, he is using a fork, he knows exactly what he wants and he even started nodding ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like a little oracle. In fact, a few days ago I asked him if he was over nursing and he nodded ‘yes’. Then he smiled somewhat condescendingly at me, like it was time for me to move on too.

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I felt at that moment, he gave me closure.

This was not a strike. He was done.

He was not going to cross the picket line.

I should also mention I asked him if he had pooped and he nodded, I went to change his diaper and upon opening it and seeing no poop he started laughing maniacally. This kid has got some sense of humor!

So why lemonade?

While this was not what I wanted, I have to look at the positive side of it. I must admit so many positive things have happened once I decided to move on:

1. I’ve taken all of my nursing bras and shirts out of my dresser, making room for the new clothes I bought as a gift to myself for the good effort (although I refuse to give up my Glamourmom tanks which are the perfect length (past tush) and have a super supportive shelf bra – they are seriously the most perfect tanks on Earth. It’s cold people: layer, layer, layer).

2. I can finally use cream to get rid of my stretch marks, which I wholeheartedly don’t expect to work at all, but a girl can dream… War wounds my arse.

3. My boobs look fantastic! I’m completely fine announcing this to the world. In fact, you should really look next time you see me. As someone who has fought body image issues my whole life because of the size of my breasts, I can finally say they look great! After nursing my daughter they just got bigger and (fill in a negative adjective of your choice) but now, I feel like I’ve got myself a nice pair. Like the ideal reduction minus the co-pay and recovery time.

4. My hair, which is still falling out by the fistful, looks fantastic thanks to my new Healthilocks hair products.

5. I can go into the city for holiday events and let someone else put my son to sleep.

6. I can take my daughter to events and spend the whole day in the city without feeling engorged.

7. I can sleep late on the weekends! (Thanks honey!)

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Having fun at the KidzVuz Holiday Party!

I even changed my health insurance due to a “change of life” event (OK, not for this reason but I appreciate the theme) and I finished a huge bottle of moisturizer – which is a big deal in my house because I am a complete skin care junkie and finishing a bottle of moisturizer so I can try a new one is a big deal for me. If you are like me you totally get that too.

In conclusion, renewal all around. Too bad it’s not the Spring.

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In Rome, April 2013

The saddest part for me was that my son didn’t seem to want to cuddle with me anymore. But thank goodness, I can happily say that returned. Cuddling 2.0 – we read books and snuggle. Equally delicious, just without the libation. Plus he is really, really into hugging me right now (yay!).

Would I trade it all in for my son to start nursing again? In a heartbeat. However, I’m OK and accept that he is just not that into me (and by me I mean my milk… he is actually quite fond of me).

I don’t think I will ever know why he stopped nursing. Whatever “virus” he may have had is long gone, the teeth I anticipated popping out never came, I just don’t know. I still find it so weird that something between 7 pm – after a full day of nursing – and 11 pm, when he woke up screaming, caused him to stop. But he is OK, growing and healthy – and in the end that is all that matters.

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Cue the music.

In the great words of Jesse Frederick:

When you’re lost out there and your all alone
A light is waiting to carry you home
Everywhere you look.

Strike it Up! I Wanna I Wanna Feed You Milk

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On October 12th, two days after he turned 12 months old, my little boy stopped nursing.

Cold turkey.

Like he was completely done.

As in I nursed him his normal four or five feedings that day with the last one right before bed, put him down at 7pm, he woke up screaming bloody murder (a different cry, not an “I’m waking up to say hello” cry) at 11pm and refused to nurse ever since.

For those keeping a count (read: my boobs) that would be 23 days ago.

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Happily nursing in August.

For the first two days he latched for a second and then stopped because he was hysterical. Then he just turned away absolutely hysterical. Then he wouldn’t even try. Good times. The more hysterical he became the more hysterical I became. I feel like I’m running around like a chicken without a head.

He also refused the pacifier that night and has since hysterically cried himself to sleep for every bedtime and naptime because all of his soothing methods flew out the window. According to the doctors (I took him to three pediatricians and a dentist) he is in no pain and should just be left hysterical so I don’t start a pattern. It’s been awesome.

Why do I think this is a “strike” and not that he is actually done nursing? Because I think he was teething, or in pain, or saw a ghost, I don’t freaking know. But according to lactation specialists and every webpage on the interwebs, this is not how a baby stops nursing. Weaning happens gradually and usually begins around 18-24 months. I experienced this first hand when my daughter weaned herself a few years ago. That was the perfect wean and my grand idea was to do it again the same way. But as my father once said – Man plans and G-d laughs.

Yes, yes, I am so completely happy that I successfully breastfed these last twelve months and am not saying there is anything wrong with stopping breastfeeding after a year. What I am saying is I am not ready to stop and it is extremely upsetting that I don’t know why this happened and I can’t figure out how to fix it. No one asked me! I’m not done. I’m not ready! Plus, is something going on with him that I am missing causing him to stop?

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A seaside suckle in July.

I have been a wreck. I am living in a state of limbo where I don’t know what to do with myself. I am sure my hormones are going crazy too which is partly to blame for me not knowing which way is up the last three weeks. I started pumping again because if he does plan to cross the picket line at some point I want my milk to be there for him. Alternately, I have not been pumping more than once or twice a day because I’m afraid I will have too much of a supply if he is, in fact, just not that into me anymore.

Either way, I am in hell. I miss nursing. I miss the quiet intimacy and sweet snuggling. At first he wouldn’t even snuggle with me which was excruciating, but now I am getting my snuggles back. In fact, he just fell asleep on me for the first time in months. It was absolutely delicious. Folded in half, his little head on my chest, his little hand on my tummy. I could have stayed there like that for hours. But I got cold, because I was trying to do skin to skin with him to lure him back to my milk jugs. I try this suggested method all day long. If you have twenty five cents and like peep shows, drive by my house. It’s like Vegas in here.

As I was sitting there in the kangaroo cuddle position, I was thinking about a concept in my friend Donna Ellenbogen’s Family Wellness Solutions model called “loss of control”. In a nutshell experiencing any type of loss of control – sucks because you lose control. You cannot control the situation. And this freaking sucks. You feel helpless.

I was thinking how twelve months ago in true “loss of control” fashion this little folded boy came into the world breech, breaking my water & making me get an emergency C-section. If you knew me then you would know I would have done anything not to have had a C-section (a view I still hold especially after having one!). Think anything! You name it – from lying upside down on an ironing board at night, to flipping in the pool for hours while my daughter was at school, to making my mom burn moxibustion next to my toes. This baby just wouldn’t flip. Of course later we learned the cord was around his neck, so good thing he didn’t flip.

Loss of Control.

Now here we are once again. My little hoodlum is dictating something I can’t do anything about and I hate hate hate it. I feel so rejected. I don’t understand how something so loved by him can be cut off so abruptly. Doen’t he miss it as much as I do?

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I have been thinking a lot about other women who wanted to nurse but couldn’t, and how they must feel. It is horrible! This little person who you just made, grew, and hatched – whether via a painful method or a really painful method, basically tells you to go F yourself. It is not a nice feeling. It is a sad rejection that I can’t imagine feels any different at day one or day 367. It just sucks. Or I guess – it doesn’t suck…

So where does this leave me? Besides doing all the stuff I find on the internet and following all the advice I’m given, I’ve decided my only choice is to give myself a deadline and then call it. I’ve decided on waiting 40 days and 40 nights in the spirit of my ancestors. So on November 21st, 2014 I will pull the plug (of my pump) and reward myself for giving 150% in this effort.

Sadly, the only thing I have in the books to celebrate with is the Retin-A cream for my stretch marks which I couldn’t use while nursing. Couldn’t suck more than that (or not suck – geez, salt in my wounds!). If you see me that day, give me a hug. I will be a sniveling, hysterical ball of mess.

For the love of G-d, cross the picket line!