A pox upon our house

Last weekend we went out of town for a night and left little M with her grandparents, and all was wonderful. Of course I worried about her constantly, but I was able to relax enough to enjoy myself. We got to eat hot meals simultaneously, go to a movie (in a the-ATE-er!), take naps, and sleep in. We even ate ice cream cream for breakfast.

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Why are these parents so happy? They are clueless!

Miri got to spend lots of quality time with her grandparents, go play in the baby park at the mall, and probably ate ice cream for breakfast too although Grandma and Grandpa are smart enough not to document that. However, she woke up kind of fussy and clingy on Sunday morning, and by the time we got home around noon she was listless, whimpering, and burning up with a fever of 103.4. She’s been a pretty robust kid so far, so it was terrifying seeing her so sick. I called the nurse line, gave her tylenol, and lots of snuggles ensued.

Sick baby snuggles.

Sick baby snuggles.

After a second dose of tylenol, her temp had only decreased to 101, and she hadn’t really pepped up, so off we went to Urgent Care. They basically weren’t able to do or say much, as I expected, but at least we got a professional opinion that “She’s not dying,” which is what I needed to hear. She was fighting some virus and it would have to run its course.

More sick baby snuggles, in the waiting room.

More sick baby snuggles, in the waiting room.

By the next morning, her fever was coming down and she was a bit more like her usual self.

Cheeky girl, feeling good enough to eat peanut butter toast

Cheeky girl, feeling good enough to eat peanut butter toast

By that afternoon, I noticed a raised, maculopapular rash across her knees and starting on the soles of her feet and her bum. I quickly consulted Dr. Google then called her ped’s office. They confirmed it was likely Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, a viral illness. The rash would just run it’s course, and fortunately it didn’t seem to bother her. The next day her hands, bum and entire legs were covered in this rash but she was her usual happy self. The ped’s office nurse assured that most adults have already been exposed to the virus as children, so it was unlikely Dad or I would get it. Famous last words.

A few days later, I was feeling achey, headachey, and just run down. I checked my temp, and was 101. You guessed it…I must be one of those lucky adults who was not exposed to this as a kid. After a few days of flu-like fevers, fatigue and malaise, a tell-tale red, raised rash erupted on my hands. Just as that happened, Matt noticed that he wasn’t feeling so well either…you see where this is going now, huh?

It’s amazing that this rash didn’t bother Miri at all, because OH MY GAWD is it painful! My hands are on fire, and now my feet hurt with every step. I can’t do a thing, because my hands are basically useless…every little touch sends prickly heat through my fingertips. It’s not like I took having two fully functioning hands for granted before, but I kind of did, considering how completely humbling it is to not be able to DO. Especially with a squirmy ten-month-old cruising around… On the up side? It was a useful distraction from the case of mastitis I simultaneously developed. Yep, at the Rivett house it’s go-big-or-go-home.

Shameless promotion: Read this!

Chronophage, by M. G. Churchill

Zara’s mind has been re-wired to do away with sleep, a requirement for piloting mankind’s first interstellar star ship. Her new brain is not without side-effects, however. Between consciousness and a semi-lucid state called ‘drift-diving,’ reality splinters. Amnesia and déjà vu become one, hours and days deleted. But Zara’s memories are classified, and she is told she no longer has a ‘need to know.’ After a mysterious agent propositions her for secrets in exchange for information about her missing father, a tempted Zara dismisses the notion. However when her flight status is unexpectedly revoked, dismay and resentment quickly changes her attitude.,, because this was not supposed to be the end. Prophetic visions of floating jungles and sentient insects haunt her. An alien terminus? So real, it must be fate. Zara soon sets out into the byzantine world of Lacus Somniorum, the Moon’s clandestine Lake of Dreams in search of answers, not only about her past, but also her improbable future.

Read it, then go to Amazon and review it! My personal review doesn’t really count since I’m not unbiased. I didn’t write it, but I’m fond enough of the author that I married him.

Please spend more money on your baby.

Babies and their gear can get pretty expensive, so I think I’ll spend a few hundred more dollars on her. We’re flying to San Diego in a few months, and we bought Miri a seat and we’re bringing her car seat on board.

Since the FAA is not yet requiring that infants under two ride in their own seat, in a restrained in a safety device on airplanes, it is left up to parents to make that decision. And while I believe there eleventy-billion ways to parent and most of them are probably right, and how you parent your own child is your own business, there are few things I just can’t abide. This includes breakfast burritos, any Tom Hanks movies post-1998, and lap babies on airplanes. The FAA requires all children over two years old to have their own seat, and even warns against lap babies for infants under two, stating on its Child Safety website, “the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved safety restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap.  Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.” An unrestrained infant becomes a deadly projectile in the event of turbulence or a crash. Just this past February, a United flight from Denver to Billings experienced such severe turbulence that an infant was thrown from its mother’s arms. In 1994 USAir flight 1016 landing at Charlotte experienced a microburst and crashed upon landing. Thirty-seven passengers died, two of them infants. The babies had been riding in their parents’ laps, were thrown upon impact, then died in the fire. Their parents walked off unscathed. Following this accident and the ensuing NTSB investigation, the Board recommended to the FAA that children under the age of two be restrained during takeoff, landing and during turbulence.  While the FAA conducted tests of child safety restraints, it has yet to do anything other than simply recommend their use. That was in 1995.

I used to think that since having kids was probably pretty hard, parents should take advantage of whatever perks they could. Kids eat free, drive in the carpool lane, board planes first, save money on an airplane seat as long as you can. But once I started reading about car seat safety, and then infant safety on planes, I realized that just because the FAA doesn’t require infants to be restrained, it doesn’t mean they are safe on your laps. I’m a safety freak in most things, so now that I know this I can’t take that risk with Miri.

My other reason for buying her a seat on the plane is that she is simply the squirmiest, squirrelliest, wiggliest baby. She is only still when she’s sleeping, and then only for a few moments at a time as she does crib gymnastics in her sleep. Trying to hold her on your lap is an exercise in futility. You will wind up with a Glasgow kiss, your hair pulled, your eyeballs poked, a black eye, and your eardrums ruptured from her frustrated shrieks. She is much happier sitting in her car seat, even if I have to hold my iPad in front of her and press repeat on Daniel Tiger ad finitum. Other passengers and their eardrums will thank me. So yeah, my motives are also quite selfish and for my own convenience, I do admit.

Notes from Mommyland

The most entertaining thing I did today (maybe even all week so far) was watch my daughter eat a peach.

I say that completely seriously, without irony, snark, or sarcasm.

I handed Miri a peach to distract her while we were grocery shopping, because she is Grabby McHandsy and must.touch.everything. I figured she’d just bat it around and squeeze it, but next thing I knew she took a bite out of it and peach juice was everywhere.

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I finally pried it out of her sticky hands when I put her in the car, and she cried the whole way home, deprived of her peach. Sorry kid…no food in the car seat, thems the rules. (Not because I’m a clean freak, but I’m a Safety Freak…choking hazard! Deadly projectile!)

So when we got home, I let her finish the peach. It was hilarious. There is nothing like the pure, unadulterated happiness of a baby and her first fresh peach. I’m even violating one of my own vows, that I’d never post photos of my kid with food on her face. We all knew this day would come.

*Warning, photo bomb ahead*

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The view from here

Miri fell asleep on the way home from a daycare visit today, so I decided to drive around long enough to let her have a good nap. I went through a drive thru to grab lunch, then parked at Golden Gardens to eat while she snoozed. I pulled Greta the Jetta into a space that happened to be between two other VWs, then slowly realized that I wasn’t alone: Both VWs also happened to have a woman sitting in the driver’s seat and a car seat in the back. Well hey, when you’re stuck in the car because you don’t want to disturb baby, it’s nice to have a lovely view of mountains and the bay. I guess I wasn’t the only one with that idea. Matt and I often joke that the reason Ballard (and Seattle in general) is such a congested sh!t show is because of this rule: if you have a good idea for something to do, then you can be rest assured that the rest of Seattle has the exact same idea.

For example:

  • Hey, it’s nice out, let’s go to a restaurant and sit outside to have margaritas (hah! good luck finding a table)
  • Hey, it’s kind of drizzly and gray but not really pouring out, let’s go to the Farmer’s Market since it will be quieter today (hah! don’t get run over by a BOB)
  • Hey, I’m feeling lazy and it’s Sunday morning, let’s go out to breakfast (hah! enjoy your hour-long wait for rubbery scrambled eggs and gluten-free cardboard toast)

Anyway, I enjoyed my Mexi-Fries and this lovely view today.

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To Miriam on Father’s Day

Dear Miriam,

You’re too little this year to understand holidays, let alone make a make card or buy Daddy a tie, so I’m going to let you in a little secret: You got pretty lucky in the Daddy department. I thought becoming your mom was the best thing ever, but to be honest one of the very best things about having you is getting to watch your Dad become your Daddy. You’ll have moments as you grow up, when you might think that he’s unfair because you can’t stay up late to watch TV, or he’s mean because you have to do your chores, or even heartless because he doesn’t approve or your latest crush. But through all that, always remember that this guy loves you more than anything in the world, you are the most important thing in his world, and he will do anything for you. He loves you to the moon and back, and you bring him more happiness everyday than anything else, even his scotch collection.

On the day you were born, the first person you saw when you opened your eyes was your Daddy. He never left your side when they took you to the nursery to be weighed, then he helped give you your first bath. He got up every time you did at night in those first weeks and months, if only to help change your diaper. He misses you all day when he’s at work and we always talk about what kind of little girl you’re going to be, and all the things he wants to do with you as you get bigger. Whenever we take you anywhere, he wants to carry you or push the stroller because he’s so proud of you.  This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship that will last forever, and I’m so excited to stand on the sidelines and watch it develop. My words are inadequate to explain how much Daddy loves you, so here are some of my favorite pictures from the last ten months. Warning: photo bomb ahead!

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Letters to Miriam – Ten months old


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Dear Miriam,

Today you are ten months old! You marked this birthday by deciding to try out this whole bipedal thing…after not showing any interest in walking for months, yesterday you just stood up behind your little walker and started moving forward. You weren’t content to just try a few steps and sit down, but you cruised up and down the hallway over and over again. I can’t believe that about eight months ago, I was looking at you, wondering how in the world you’d ever be able to lift your big ol’ head up all by yourself, and then I blinked and suddenly here you are cruising around the house on your own two legs.

We “celebrated” (as in, it was a timing coincidence) your ten-month birthday with a big trip to IKEA today, and you showed off the fact that you’re such a big baby by eschewing the sippy cup for the grown-up cup. Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes were a pretty good 10-month-0ld birthday lunch, too.

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Nighttime sleeping has been going well these days, you’re in bed and asleep by 7:30 PM and usually sleep till 7:30 AM. You’re pretty settled into two good naps a day, though some days the afternoon nap is a bit of a struggle.

You have a new baby friend (and mama has a new mama friend!). I’d post an adorable picture of the two of you, however, it is pretty impossible to get a good pic of two squirrelly babies in the same place. This is as good as it gets:

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You are on the move, and you have lots of very important places to go!

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Speaking of squirrelly babies who never sit still, here’s a more accurate depiction what today’s photo session really looked like:

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