Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Poo-poo head

On Saturday, I dressed Kaylee in one of my favorite outfits for her: a onesie that says “little monkey” and has a picture of a monkey eating a banana. When I saw it in the store, I just had to buy it -- even though I was in a Gymboree, where the clothes are much too expensive when you consider that the baby will grow out of them in 10 minutes. That’s how much I love this onesie.

So imagine my horror when I realized that, 15 minutes after I dressed her, Kaylee had a diaper explosion. And not just any diaper explosion –- a sick baby diaper explosion. That’s the worst kind, I’ve recently learned.

I had to call Rob in for reinforcements while I cleaned poo off her calves, thighs and back. I didn’t actually need him to do anything other than cheer me on, but his laughter was a nice counterpoint to my frantic chanting of “ew, ew, ew, ew.”

After I’d properly mourned the staining of the monkey onesie and sent Rob off to throw it in the washing machine, I dressed Kaylee in something else and started trying to forgive her for the incident.

Later, I carried her into our bedroom to talk to Rob, while I nuzzled her and pretended to eat her neck, face and head. Then I held her out to Rob and said, “Here, kiss your daughter.”

He gave her a peck on the side of the head, and then as I pulled her away, he said, “What is that on her head? ... Is that poo? Does she have POO on her HEAD?”

I turned her around and there it was. Poop. Right there in her hair, most likely deposited there when I took her onesie off.

And Rob, sweet husband that he is, had one more thing to say.

“You really are going to turn her into the stinky kid, aren’t you?”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


If my family were characters in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror novel a la The Stand, Kaylee would be a survivor and the rest of us would be dead.

Because she was able to giggle and play immediately after episodes of Exorcist-style vomiting, Rob and I attributed Kaylee’s trouble last week to “air in the tummy” or difficulty digesting her new solid foods. We were wrong. Very, very wrong.

Kaylee apparently brought the superflu home from daycare, and she managed to pass it on to all of her Colorado Springs-based family within 24 hours. I never thought a 12-pound, 10-ounce little person could wreak that kind of havoc.

On Friday night, we had dinner with Grandma and Uncle Tim, and Kaylee exploded all over a previously clean eating establishment. On Saturday, we had a picnic with Gram, Papa, Uncle Jamie, Aunt Laura and cousins Hope and Evie, and there were no major bodily-fluid incidents.

By Sunday night, Grandma, Uncle Tim, Gram, Aunt Laura, Rob and I were all in the grip of a nasty stomach bug, and Papa was feeling kind of queasy.

That’s right. My baby took out four households.

And while we were all incapacitated with misery, she was bouncing in her Jumperoo, laughing her little head off.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Again with the puking / I’m so happy I have Rob

I think I may have to saran-wrap everything in Kaylee’s room.

Kaylee almost always wakes up at around 3 a.m. and has a bottle before drifting quietly back to sleep. This is usually a rather uneventful experience: feed the baby, put her back in bed, the end.

Not so much the last two nights, though.

Rather than going right back to sleep, Kaylee’s bottle-drinking has been followed by a hiccup and then a shower of vomit. She hasn't seemed to mind, really. She's been in just as good a mood after channeling Linda Blair as beforehand, so I don’t think she’s actually been sick.

Kaylee may not have minded, but it was a bit traumatic for Rob. In two out of three spit-up incidents, he actually had to go take a shower because of the volume of vomit that had been dumped on him. The carpet in front of the rocking chair in her room was squishy, Kaylee’s pajamas were soaked, and the dog was in heaven.

You may remember that this is the week that Rob was scheduled to go out of town for work, but something came up and his company decided not to send him. This was disappointing in an aww-now-he-can’t-have-adventures-in-Virginia kind of way, but a relief in a now-Mommy-is-less-likely-to-go-crazy kind of way.

And thankgodthankgodthankgod he was here. Because a hysterical 3 a.m. phone call from his wife screaming, “I’M COVERED IN PUKE. GET ON A PLANE AND COME HOME RIGHT NOW SO I CAN TAKE A SHOWER!” probably wouldn’t have helped him achieve maximum productivity.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jumpin’ monkey

Kaylee has recently taken up jumping. Of course, to a four-month-old baby, jumping involves the following steps:

1. Complain until Mommy helps you stand up.
2. Suddenly pick your legs up off the floor.
3. Hope Mommy realizes what you’re doing before you collapse into a heap.
4. If Mommy plays her part, she will bounce you up and down, letting you launch yourself off the floor with every bounce.
5. Repeat every few minutes, all day long, or until Mommy’s arms give out.

We didn’t know where she’d learned this particular stunt until Rob went to pick her up from daycare late last week. He was gathering her stuff into her diaper bag when he heard something going “boing! boing! boing!” and the joyous laughter of a highly entertained baby. Kaylee was sitting in a Jumperoo, bouncing enthusiastically and enjoying every moment.

We were still in search of something that’ll keep Kaylee busy while we eat dinner, so over the weekend we bought her a Rainforest Jumperoo that takes up about a third of the living room.

She loves it. More than she loves us, I think.

If there were a way to give her bottles via IV so she didn’t have to stop bouncing, I think she’d go for it. As it is, whenever she gets hungry, tired or otherwise upset while in her Jumperoo, she makes sure she lets us know, and loudly –- but she doesn’t stop jumping. And it’s entertaining to us, too, because it’s very weird to see a baby jump spastically while alternating between crying and laughing. (“I’m hungry! This is fun, wheee! Give me a bottle! I like jumping!”)

Here’s hoping it’ll keep her entertained long enough for Rob and me to eat a meal at the same time. That would be nothing short of miraculous.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Six things I’ve said to Kaylee in the past seven days

"How’d you get a booger in your ear?”

“Don’t pee don’t pee don’t pee don’t pee don’t pee don’t pee…”

“That’s one thing you’ll learn when you’re older: Boys don’t listen.”

“Is that chocolate on the back of your head?”

“Don’t believe anything your daddy tells you. Ever.”

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I have poo under my fingernail. Now I have to go boil my hand.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dear Kaylee, at 4 months

Dear Kaylee,

You have changed so much this month that it’s hard to believe you’re the same baby. Suddenly, you’ve noticed the world around you, and you seem extremely eager to get yourself out into it. You’d like nothing more than to crawl over to the dog food bowl and take a sample.

Speaking of the dogs, your disinterested attitude toward them has changed to one of fascination. You can’t get enough of watching their epic wrestling matches on the living room floor. And now that you get a lot of floor time, they’re finding you more interesting, too. Kody, in particular, likes to place himself right at your feet when you’re trying to crawl so that your frantic kicks will pet him on the head.

You’re also always looking for new and exciting things to put in your mouth, from blankets to rattles to monkeys. If our dogs would let you, I’m pretty sure you’d be happy to chew on their ears.

And you’ve apparently decided that Mommy would look better bald. You’re lightning fast at grabbing a handful of hair and yanking as much out as possible. I really should start putting my hair in a ponytail for preservation purposes.

Sitting still no longer appeals to you, and if you’re not being held in a standing position, you’re complaining because you want someone to help you stand. Grandma bought you a Bumbo chair, which we thought would hold you in place long enough for Mommy and Daddy to shovel dinner into our mouths, but you’re so adept at squirming that you’ve almost figured out how to escape. I’m looking forward to seeing your shocked expression when you do manage to roll yourself out of the chair and onto the floor, because I’m pretty sure you haven’t thought far enough ahead to know what you’ll do next.

You’re getting more interesting every day, little monkey, and flashes of your personality are starting to peek through your babyness – you’re already starting to seem like a little kid. Seeing you smile at me is the highlight of every single day, and it more than makes up for the dirty diapers and the late-night feedings. I think we’ve got a good thing going here, kid.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bring on the mashed carrots

Lately I’ve been reading up on when I get to start giving Kaylee solid foods. From what I understand, 4 to 6 months is a good age to try out cereal, and she’ll be four months old tomorrow.

I can’t explain why, but I am so excited about feeding her with a spoon and watching her smear pureed green beans into her hair. (Is there a type of fruit or vegetable that stimulates hair growth when it’s rubbed onto a head? Maybe I could start her on that.) And my dogs should be excited, too. Ever since we brought her home and they took their first wary sniffs of her little feet, I’ve been telling them, “Just you wait. One day she’ll figure out that you guys get excited when she throws her food on the floor, and then? Then you’ll be in heaven.”

She exhibits most of the signs of being ready to eat solids; she’s definitely taking an interest in our food when we eat, often trying to grab drinks out of our hands or watching longingly while we eat forkfuls of mashed potatoes.

Plus, our house has just delivered a secret weapon, I think, to stimulate her desire to eat the kinds of things we eat. Since we turned on the heat the other night, we’ve discovered that through the magic of physics, all of the smells of the kitchen are somehow channeled directly into Kaylee’s room –- and NOWHERE else. Thus, two nights ago Rob woke me up in the middle of the night, after giving the baby a bottle, to ask me why Kaylee’s room smelled like hamburgers. And this morning, I went to get her out of bed and was greeted with the strong aroma of chicken fried rice.

With these kinds of forces at work, surely she’ll be flinging food at the dogs in no time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Budding artist

Kaylee created her first work of art at daycare on Friday. Do I detect a budding Picasso? ... Or a kid who likes to eat paint?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My baby Einstein

When I picked Kaylee up from daycare yesterday, one of her teachers told me that a classmate’s brother had asked about her. The 9-year-old boy has a little sister, and wanted to know whether Kaylee is younger than her. She is, by a week or two.

At this, the boy said, “Well, she is really smart. She stands up really well and is always smiling. She’s just really, really smart.”

I know that a 9-year-old’s stamp of approval isn’t that big of a deal, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A stranger’s son thinks my daughter is smart. Yay!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Daycare 1, Mommy 0

When I picked Kaylee up from daycare last Friday, she was asleep in a bouncy seat with a blanket wrapped around her. She looked peaceful and serene, but when I went to pick her up I realized the blanket was essentially acting as a straightjacket.

Her arms were pinned to her sides so securely that she couldn’t move them at all. As I was unwrapping her, I thought, “Jeez, she’s not a cannibal. It’s not like she’ll lunge for your throat if you let her use her arms.”

My annoyance quietly smoldered for the rest of the afternoon, until I decided to try to get Kaylee to go to sleep. She’s reached a point where she fights sleep with every fiber of her being, and she’s mastered the art of squirming off of laps when she thinks an evil adult is trying to put her under. (Unfortunately, she can’t sit up or crawl, so she just squirms off to the side and then whines because she’s landed herself face-down on the couch.)

Anyway, as I cuddled Kaylee and rocked her, she was in her full-throttle I’m-never-going-to-sleep-again mode, even though she could hardly keep her eyes open. Her legs were kicking, her arms were flailing, and she kept yanking out her pacifier or smacking herself in the face.

So I decided to try the daycare’s methods and wrap her up in a blanket. (I used to swaddle her when she was a newborn, but she quickly figured out how to break out, so I stopped.) I couldn’t get the blanket straightjacket-tight, but I was able to keep her arms under control.

It was like magic. Within seconds her eyes started to close, and she was sound asleep within five minutes.

All right, daycare people. You win this round.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

So, um, could someone restart my heart please? Thanks.

I checked the mail over the weekend and found that the hospital had sent me bills for almost $2,000 for Kaylee’s birth, when I thought we didn’t owe anything because of the extra insurance coverage we’d bought.

Now, ok. Kaylee is, of course, priceless. If someone told me that we’d have to pay a million dollars in order to keep her, I’d find a way to set up a payment plan or sell off my soul.

But still, when you think your bills are paid, a statement saying “send payment within 30 days” -- where said payment is several digits long -- is kind of shocking.

I spent all weekend in a bit of a panic, trying to figure out how we’d manage to come up with that much money so quickly. (They don’t repossess babies, do they?)

I called the hospital this morning, having practiced my angry speech all day yesterday and all the way to work today. It involved creative swear words, a couple of insults and perhaps some crying. It was really quite beautiful.

But I didn’t get to use it after all. The lady on the phone almost immediately recognized a clerical error and told me that I didn’t owe anything.

So, there’s one weekend needlessly lost to panic (and a three-day weekend, at that), but at least I get to keep my baby. Whew.