Total Recall Sunday: The weight of the matter.

This is a post I wrote out of frustration when it comes to how pediatricians and others judge the growth of children. My daughter was born a “normal” weight but she’s a small girl, petite, compared to most kids her age.

I know it can also be frustrating for parents on the other side of it. Just a few weeks ago when we were in the waiting room at my daughter’s pediatrician, there was an adorable 11 month old boy. A woman in the waiting room told the mother “It doesn’t look like he misses any meals”.

I think our kids already have so much pressure to deal with, more so than we did, and having people commenting about their weight shouldn’t be one of them.

The weight of the matter.

January 6, 2011

When my daughter was born, she weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces. With every well baby check-up, she would only gain a little weight with each visit.  At 14 months, she was in the 3rd percentile. When she had her check-up at 18 months, she weighed a little over 21 pounds.

I can never remember how tall she is because by the time the nurse checks her height, my daughter is usually screaming which makes my brain melt.

I was a preemie and weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces when I was born. I was always tiny throughout my childhood and I’m only 5’2.

When my daughter was about 9 months old, we took her to a different pediatrician for her check-up because her normal doctor wasn’t available. This doctor really ticked me off because she spent most of the appointment telling us that we have to fatten up our daughter. Seriously?!

She’s perfectly proportioned and I just think she’s going to be petite like me. The regular doctor she had at the time told us she’s thriving and we have nothing to worry about.

For some reason, people think it’s okay to tell us that the little hummingbird is too small for her age. I know that some parents are on the other side of it and have people mentioning how big there child is.

Just today we were on our way inside the grocery store and a woman stopped us to tell us how cute our little girl was. She mentioned that she had a 15 month old daughter at home. When we told her our girl was 20 months old, she said “Really! Wow, she’s so small!”. Grrrr. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it except it happens frequently.

My daughter is going to spend her lifetime dealing with people that are critical of her hair, her height, her voice, her looks, her weight……

“She’s pretty short.” “Does she even talk?” Total strangers will say this and they do it in front of her. I know she’s young but I also know she understands a lot more than we think.

I thought it would be several years before people would be so critical, not before she was even two years old.

It would never cross my mind to tell a parent that their child is tiny for their age, nor would I ever say “damn, your baby is huge!” I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are just idiots.

The hummingbird at 19 months old.

                                              

Join in on Total Recall Sunday and link up. It could be a post you wrote last year or last week. The linky will take you to a new window but I will link you to the front page.

1. Truth Mama ~ What NOT to say to a pregnant woman.

2. Spill The Beans ~ Couch Wars.

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Fuck this shit, today I’m an owl.

Normally I try to watch my language on this here blog even though in real life fuck is one of my favorite words. This week I was looking at the search engine terms to see how people are finding my site and the title above was one of them.

That has got to be one of the most awesome search engine terms I’ve seen for my blog. I’m still scratching my head and wondering how they found my site with that though.

Since I’m on the subject of owls, there is one in my neighborhood that drives me crazy almost every night. It’s not like I’m an owl hater but this particular owl seems to wait until I’m finally about to drift off to sleep and starts with his Who Who…..Who Who.

What the hell owl? I have enough trouble trying to fall asleep without your annoying ass keeping me up. Your who who-ing doesn’t help the situation. This owl must be male. heehee

So, whoever searched this and found my blog, thank you. You’ve inspired me to do one of my not at all awesome cartoons that probably doesn’t make any sense.

                                                       

                                                     

                                                           

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Because moms are only human.

There’s obviously no doubt that my daughter means the world to me and as I slowly crawl out of the depression I’ve been in, I feel even closer to her. The little hummingbird isn’t just getting half of her mom like she has been since anxiety and depression hit me full force. She’s getting all of me, all sides of me.

Since moms are only human, there are times I show my irritation. In the past, I would do my best to hide it or take a few deep breaths and then deal with her acting out. That’s not to say I’ve been perfect, just that I’ve done my best.

There are occasions when she’s being a typical 2-year-old and I raise my voice (okay, more like yelled while saying her full name) and gets into something she knows she shouldn’t be getting into, like taking the cats food and water dish and then dumping it all over the floor. Or when she gets angry and throws something in defiance. She has been testing boundaries more and more.

When I scold her she’ll get this look on her face like wtf mommy or start crying. This always makes me feel like shit but the killer is when she lowers her head and walks out of the room.

As soon as those incidents happen, I instantly wish I could take them back since I feel such guilt but I know that she has been fine tuning her little toddler manipulation. I know she needs discipline but I also know I could approach some situations in a more gentle way.

We moved her to her big girl bed last Sunday and it’s been rocky to say the least. We tried to do it a few weeks ago but she just didn’t seem ready which is why we waited a few more weeks.

A few nights ago she was in her bed, well mostly out of her bed, and yelling for us while having tantrums. Me and the hubby actually waited to have dinner until after she went to bed because he had to go back to the base to oversee flag duty that he has twice a month.

Anyway, while hearing her yelling, screaming, and acting out I felt my patience wear thin. Even when she’s tantrumy and a typical 2-year-old I still feel bad when I hear her cry and I swear it actually hurts my heart. On this night though I just couldn’t take it.

After dinner I went into my bedroom and shut the door. My hubby and I took turns putting her back into bed when she kept on getting out of her bed eleventy billion times. She would go to the security gate we placed in her bedroom door frame and start kicking and shaking it really hard.

Normally we let her get out of her bed but if she starts doing something like that, we go to her room, pick her up, and lay her back down in her big girl bed and tell her she need to go to sleep.

With all the screaming and crying she was doing on this particular night, it was at that point when I seriously contemplated getting in my car and driving to the nice hotel down the street. I had thoughts of ordering room service and being able to watch some trash television in peace and quiet while wering a nice fluffy white robe.

Instead of doing that I walked into the master bathroom with my iPod and just sat on the floor for about 20 minutes so I didn’t have to hear my daughter throw a fit. I reluctantly made my way back into the “battle zone” where my husband was so I could give him a break.

The hummingbird eventually calmed down and finally wore herself out and fell asleep. Of course by this time it was too late for me and the hubby to spend some much-needed time together.

Even though I doubt myself on a daily basis when it comes to me being a mom, I do know I’m a great mama to my little hummingbird. I’ve learned that just because I am a mom doesn’t mean that I have to give up some simple pleasures like reading a book or just finding time to sit down and write this.

I used to think it was bad when I would want some time for myself and I would feel so relieved when my husband would take our little girl out for a few hours on the weekend so I can have some peace. But now I know after being at home with her all week, those few hours that I do have time to myself have me be a much better mother because while it’s taken me these past two years to figure this out, moms are only human.

It’s okay if I don’t spend every single waking moment with my daughter. I still want my own identity and while being the hummingbird’s mom is a huge part of that, I don’t want it to be the only part. As much as I cherish the time I do have to myself, when she is out with my husband, I miss her every second.

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Toddlers are odd but it makes for great entertainment.

                                                            

When it comes to the little hummingbird being a toddler, it can be so amusing by how odd she is. Recently she had this obsession with putting a pair of my clean underwear around her neck and waving this small American flag that we had leftover from the 4th of July while she would run through the house. Don’t even get me started on her fascination with flashlights.

                                                       

Well I’m upper upper class high society…God’s gift to ballroom notoriety…And I always fill my ballroom…The event is never small…The social pages say I’ve got The biggest balls of all…

After my hubby had stolen someone else’s cat out of their own yard and we were in our backyard trying to figure out if it was our missing cat…hold on…hahahahaha….I noticed my daughter was playing with a golf ball.

My husband doesn’t golf and I asked him where she got it from. He said while he was stealing getting the cat, the hummingbird hopped out of her wagon and walked to this family’s porch where she found the golf ball. After she got it in her hot little hands, she refused to give it up.

So, my hubby is a cat napper and my daughter likes to steal someone else’s balls at the tender age of 2. I had to distract her while my germaphobe self washed the golf ball and her hands. The hummingbird would not let go of the golf ball and even *had* to have it when she went to sleep.

You know, there’s a ball joke in here somewhere but seeing as how she’s only 2 years old, I’ll take a pass even though it’s tempting. My hubby and I have said every cheesy ball joke we could think of though.

A few days later she lost the golf ball and it took her forever to go to sleep because she was upset that her new toy “friend” was missing and kept on asking for her ball? ball? The next day my hubby made a run to Target and got a pack of golf balls so we wouldn’t have that situation again.

He also showed me that he bought a 3 pack of tennis balls for her and I reminded him that she wasn’t a puppy even though she might act like it sometimes. I’m sure you can guess what else she has to have in her bed. The other day I noticed that her little pink purse looked more ballsy heehee and when I took a look, I found this:

That same day, she had her Easter basket/purse/hat in her bed and when she got up from her nap, I peeked inside and saw this:

                                                           

Pinch that booty…But watch ya self…Pinch that booty..Show me what you workin with….

Months ago I started this thing with the little hummingbird called pinch the booty…not to be confused with armpits, booty…armpits, booty where I go back and forth and tickle both. Either me or my hubby will say pinch the booty and the other one will act unsuspecting and surprised when she grabs our butt which gets her laughing.

It’s backfired a bit because she’s been pinching the booty when we really do least expect it.

One time when we were at the grocery store and she was getting restless, we started doing it to distract her. She would run back and forth to me and my hubby and do it. At one point when she was headed toward my hubby and he was pretending not to see her approach him, she ran right past him with her hands ready to pinch the booty and was headed for a few other people who were down the aisle.

I thought oh shit and my hubby was still turned around and didn’t see her running by him. I started running after her and then he saw what was going on. Even though we were afraid she was going to grab some strangers butt, we were cracking up. She ended up stopping right by these people and they’re booty’s went untouched.

                                                         

Here comes Santa Claus…Here comes Santa Claus…Right down Santa Claus lane…

I don’t know how this started exactly but within the past few months, the hummingbird developed this obsession with Santa Claus who she calls “Sabby” like Tabby.

She goes crazy when she sees “Sabby” and I even bought her a little stuffed Santa Claus that she loves. My husband also dressed up this little hippo the hummingbird already had in a “Sabby” suit which he actually found at a store and is normally used to dress up wine bottles. Why would someone would want that for a bottle of wine even if it is for a gift for the holiday. Just give me a glass of wine, yo!

My daughter goes crazy over any clothing that has a lot of red in it and will immediately repeat over and over Sabby? Sabby? Whenever she sees older men who have white hair then she thinks they’re Santa Claus and she gets so excited.

I’m betting when the time comes, if we take her to see him for Xmas, she will freak out like she did with the Easter Bunny. Now those were some good times…..Not!

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Announcing….

~~~

Last week I wrote a post about how I would love to have a group blog. Just 5 days later I am extremely happy to announce Motherhood Uncovered. What can I say, I’m persistent.

The incredible Cheryl from Coffee with Cheryl has been hard at work designing the new website. We have an amazing group of writers, including Cheryl, for Motherhood Uncovered and I am so effing happy that this has come together the way it has.

There are still kinks and other things to be worked out with the site so we don’t officially open the doors to our new website until Monday if things go as planned.

I just published a post that I wrote for this blog from April because I couldn’t take the waiting and was telling Cheryl can I put something up, anything at all just to get the ball rolling. Luckily for my husband it’s not his balls rolling since he hasn’t been that thrilled with me being glued to my laptop for the past several day or starting a new website.

I would tell him that I have to get this started and I don’t want to hold off on it and he would give me a your crazy look which has been the way he looks at me lately so no biggie.

Even though the website for Motherhood Uncovered isn’t completely done yet, you could always go over there just to check it out and look at the awesomeness as well as subscribe so you don’t miss out when we do get it going. You know you want to. *bats eyelashes*

Before I forget here’s a summary of what Motherhood Uncovered is going to be about….

Motherhood Uncovered is a blog written by a very diverse group of women who know there is more to parenting than sunshine and rainbows. You will never hear “motherhood is a breeze and so effortless”. Having children can be hard and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed as well as doubting yourself as a parent.

So, join us on this crazy ride called motherhood!

P.S. I am definitely still going to keep This Is Mommyhood up and running.

Updated to add….We already have our staff writers in place but if you would like to contribute your writing then you’re more than welcome. Email me at ms dot elledavis at gmail dot com.

I really want this new website to be for all moms and have your voice heard.

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I wanna be sedated.

So, back in May we had to take the little hummingbird to the pediatric dentist which inspired the post I could never be a pediatric dentist because I’d probably end up fingerless and have to hold my dental instruments with my feet but nobody would want to go to a fingerless dentist so really I’m saving money and years of having to go to dental school.

The hummingbird was born with a tooth but a few months ago the tooth went missing and we took her to the dentist who said everything looks fine and the tooth probably just fell out since she had it since she was born.

At least I think that’s what she said. It was hard to hear over my daughter screaming bloody murder while the dentist checked her.

A few weeks ago the hummingbird started pointing to her mouth and was saying boo boo or ouch and although it was hard to see, it looked like there was a little tooth where her other one used to be. My hubby took her back to the dentist while I stayed home since I hate to see her upset and I’m sure my presence in these types of situations just make it worse. I know she can feed off of my energy.

The dentist found that there were fragments of my little girl’s old tooth and my husband called me from the office and told me this. When he came home he said that her dentist needs to do minor surgery to get the fragments out. Then he dropped the bomb and said she’ll have to be sedated as well as given nitrous oxide.

It’s safe to say that I didn’t take the news very well. The thought of my baby going through anything like that freaks me out. Even though she only spent 3 weeks in the NICU after she was born, I felt like they did enough poking and prodding with her to last a lifetime. Knowing she’ll be sedated scares the jebus out of me since I made the mistake of looking at the worst case scenarios on Dr. Google.

I really do think she’ll be fine but it doesn’t stop me from worrying about this procedure. What really kills me is knowing that this can and probably will cause her pain afterwards. I think the proper thing to do is for the office staff to give me a tank of laughing gas while we sit in the waiting room and then another one for me to use once we get home so I won’t be as worried and high strung.

When we took her to the dentist the first time, on the way there I was telling my husband that we should just go and get some tacos and the hard taco shell will clean my daughter’s teeth and take care of them better than a dentist could. Irrational? Hell yes. Crazy? Uh huh! Best idea ever? Of course.

But my hubby didn’t listen to me so now here I am, at 2 am, writing about how a hard taco shell could have helped the hummingbird’s teeth and make everything all better.

She has the minor surgery early Wednesday morning. I’ve been looking over the instructions that were given to us by the dentist called “Instructions for Parents on Oral Sedation for Children” and this is under the before treatment

After the medication is administered, do not become alarmed if your child gets noisy or restless initially.

Um, okay. My kid is 2 years old. She’s already noisy and restless so how will we be able to know any difference? haha.

We had already known about the hummingbird having to get this minor surgery done before my in-laws came to visit so it came up while they were here last week. As usual my MIL said idiotic things. While we were talking about it, I told her how nervous I was and my mother-in-law was like Oh please, she’s under the care of medical professionals, it’s no big deal and implied that I was overreacting.

Maybe I am overreacting but holy hot pocket Batman! I swear this woman doesn’t have a heart. And I love how she said that the hummingbird will be under the care of medical professionals. With the recent dealings I’ve had with doctors, including my miscarriage last month, I have found that most doctors have no idea what they’re doing and say stupid things so that didn’t make me feel any better.

Speaking of my MIL saying idiotic things, I don’t know why in the hell my hubby and I still watch movies when my in-laws visit but we did this time around too. You may remember when I wrote about watching the very sweet movie Up with my mother-in-law and how she ruined it by saying nothing about it is realistic and then I contemplated suffocating her with my candy wrapper but ended up not doing it because I wanted to see how the movie ended.

Well this time we watched a movie that I’ve seen hundreds of times yet both my MIL and FIL went all verbal ninja on it and made me want to stab them both in the face. We watched the movie House Of Sand And Fog with Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley. If you haven’t seen this movie then put it on your list because seriously, it’s such an incredible film.

Throughout the whole 2 hours I had to listen to a running commentary from my in-laws.

Example…

Them: I wonder where this was filmed. There’s lots of fog there.

Me: San Francisco.

Them: It doesn’t seem like it would be on the east coast. I can’t figure it out. Oh there’s the Golden Gate Bridge so they must be in San Francisco.

Me: *stab stab stab*

Them: What is that woman doing? Where is her husband? Who is she talking to?

Me: When she answered the phone she mentioned it was her mom.

Them: Why is she having this conversation? It doesn’t even seem important to the movie. I still don’t know who she’s talking to.

Me: *stab stab stab*

But I did survive their visit….barely. Now I’m waiting for my MIL to ask us what we’ll be doing for the upcoming holidays. We can never say we would just like to stay home and spend time together so I need to come up with something. I’m thinking of telling them we already have plans and we’re taking a trip to Hogwarts. I’m sure they wouldn’t have any idea what it even was. I could have some fun with this.

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One of the greatest stories I’ve ever heard.

This guest post is from Jennifer from the site Frisch Food. If you aren’t reading her blog already then I suggest you get your booty over there. Go on. I’ll wait.

Okay….

Jennifer is also involved in the big announcement I have tomorrow and I am so freaking excited.

Q and A with Jennifer.

Elle: What’s one of your favorite movies?

Jennifer: The princess bride.  Because it has never stopped being anything but awesome, no matter how many times I watch it.

Elle: What’s a favorite book that you like to read to your kids?

Jennifer: I love reading “Hush, little dragon” to my little dragon. Also “the paper bag princess”

Elle:  If the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, which weapon would you want to have to fight these brain eaters?

A. a flame thrower.

B. an unlimited supply of ninja throwing stars.

C. a chainsaw.

D. a shoelace because you’re bad ass.

E. other and what would it be?

F. none of the above, I want to be a damn zombie!

Jennifer: E. I would fight them with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She could take them and I could stand in the periphery and make witty comments.

~~~

The Helicopter Incident 

by Jennifer

For those not familiar with the format, in Peace Corps Thailand they place you in a home-stay almost as soon as you land in country. You live with a family that often cannot speak much, if any, English. You hang out with your family, learning because you have to, and attend regular language/ culture classes with a native Thai speaker for about three months. You are placed in a language group with other volunteers who live in the same village, and my language group was…ahem…competitive. 

That’s another story, but suffice it to say I left home-stay feeling pretty confident in my language skills.  One might almost say overconfident.  Yes, one might.  Maybe even more than one person might say that.

After those three months, I moved to my “official” site.  My site was a wildlife sanctuary in the middle of the “least visited province in the entire country” (according to the Lonely Planet, 1997 edition). 

I quickly learned that my language skills were not anywhere close to as good in reality as they were in my head. They used different words in my new province than in my home-stay province, for one thing. For another thing, Thai is hard.  I spent about two weeks feeling useless, because I had come there to Change the World, and I couldn’t even communicate at a third grade level.

Right around the two-week mark, one of my co-workers informed me, through a mixture of his rudimentary English and my rudimentary Thai, that people from the European Union were coming to the sanctuary. They were coming to check out the sanctuary in order to determine if they wanted to support the sanctuary’s efforts financially—there were wild elephants, leopards, and (allegedly) Sumatran rhinoceroses in the sanctuary. 

So, my coworker said with glee, maybe YOU could translate! The EU people, he said, are from France and Germany, and don’t speak Thai, but they do speak English, and he figured I spoke Thai at least well enough to translate most of what we would say back and forth. This made me feel better. I had a purpose! I could be a translator!

Only a few days passed before the EU commission showed up.  I put on my official Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary uniform, the one they had tailored especially for me.  I headed over to the dining room to meet the commission and have breakfast. 

It was there that I was told we’d be taking the EU guys up in a helicopter to view the sanctuary. “Is that ok?” asked my coworker.“Uh, sure,” I replied, unsure. I figured, what the heck. I’d never been in a helicopter. Plus, the EU guys seemed impressed by my Thai speaking ability. I was on my way to Changing the World!

So we met the pilot and co-pilot and got in the helicopter. I translated as best I could between the two forest rangers in our helicopter and the EU guys, as well as the pilot’s occasional comments. 

I was doing fairly well, but sometimes I nodded and smiled when I had no idea what people were talking about, which is generally a mistake. It can get one into trouble.  Still, I felt pretty good about myself.

About midway through the ride, I started to feel as if I had to burp. Really loudly.  While this isn’t, strictly speaking, extremely rude behavior in Thai culture, it isn’t the height of politeness, either. I tried to fight it back for a while, but finally realized it was a losing battle. 

Mid-sentence, I turned my head politely and put my hand up in preparation.

Only I didn’t burp.  I threw up.  All over myself. 

And no one was as surprised as me.

For breakfast, we’d eaten a concoction the sanctuary cook often made consisting of leftover rice and chicken boiled up in a soup. For the briefest of moments all I could think was, “Wow. That looks exactly the same as it did before I ate it. I could have sworn I’d chewed.” And then I looked up.

All of the people in the helicopter were staring at me, horrified. Just then, the helicopter hit an air pocket and dropped, and I threw up again. I tried to say something, but all I could think of was, “do you have a bag?” We hit another air pocket. 

The co-pilot, by this time, was madly trying to find some kind of bag (I kept saying, have bag?  Have bag?), while still keeping the helicopter…uh… afloat. I continued to lose breakfast (who knew I ate so much?); it was in my shirt pocket, all down my front, and pooling at my feet.

The pilot kept trying to turn around and apologize (apparently, while up there, they had spotted some villagers illegally cutting down trees, so he had to follow them until the rangers could catch up from the ground). I tried to figure out how to ask the pilot if there was some sort of “eject” button he could use on me; if ever there was a moment to drop to my death, this seemed like a good one.

By this time I was down to pure stomach acid and was laughing so hard that tears were streaming from my eyes. (What else could I do?) I looked up at one point, and everyone was politely looking out of the windows, away from the trainwreck that was in the seat next to them. And the smell… well, I’ll stop the description here and just let you imagine it. It was delightful.

Eventually, we were able to land. A number of rangers I’d gone hiking with were standing in the cleared field, with walkie-talkies in hand. They had heard the play-by-play from the pilot. They were trying very hard to keep straight faces. I disembarked and waved sheepishly. “It doesn’t matter,” I said, “you can laugh.”

They laughed for two years (taking a few breaks to eat unripe mangoes, but mostly nonstop). Sometimes they pointed and laughed. It was awesome. I learned a lot of Thai slang for vomit.

That was when I realized that I wasn’t going to change the world. But—maybe better—I would come out of the experience with a few good stories. And that was probably good enough.

Epilogue- even though this was a pretty humbling/ borderline humiliating experience, I don’t really feel bad about it (odd for me–I have a WONDERFUL case of social anxiety) because it is a pretty great story. However, I offered to clean up after myself but the pilot told me it was all right, and cleaned it up himself, and I still kind of feel bad about that. 

The end.

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