Sunday, August 23, 2009

Being Friendly

During eighth grade "Shannon" moved to town. It was clear from the beginning that Shannon would be part of the popular crowd. It was also fairly clear that Shannon was not a fan of mine, as evidenced by her declaration, "I don't like that girl." I pretended that this did not bother me in the least, but deep down, I was wounded. Not only because this girl that I did not know had hurt my self-esteem, but because I knew that this was the nail in my popularity coffin. I'm not sure what the popular equation involved, but I'm fairly certain that your neighborhood, attractiveness, and involvement in certain activites played key roles. I had a few strikes against me already, and now I had been black-balled by one of the queen bees. Our dislike for one another culminated in an unseemly exchange during ninth grade (which I am not proud of). She made a snide remark, I flipped her off, and three of her worker bees called me aside in an attempt to intimidate me into submission. I'm fairly certain that was our only interaction until some minor conversation occurred during our senior year. At yet, as an adult, I still recall that interaction with clarity. Mostly, I think, because I deeply yearned acceptance. I wanted all the girls to like me and every boy to have a crush on me. As an adult, I realize the foolishness of this desire. But somehow I still feel a residual sting from the whole high school experience.

These memories are floating at the surface of my mind because I have recently joined the world of Facebook. It has been great to reconnect with friends from the past and keep abreast of the goings-on of my local friends. However, I never considered who would ask to be my "friend." Some of the girls from high school, girls who I perceived to be in a crowd that I didn't feel welcome to join, have sent me "friend requests." And quite honestly, my gut reaction is to ignore them. I tell myself that they are probably just friend-hoarders and this is not a genuine effort at being my friend. Or that this is not real human interaction anyways, it's just computer networking after all. But truly, I'm ignoring them because I want to return the favor. I'm keeping record of their wrongs. And I thought I was more grown up than that.

In actuality, fourteen-year-olds are not the only ones who yearn for acceptance. My mind knows that I should not strive for the approval of man, that God is the only one I should seek to please, but it's a struggle to put that into action. For now, I suppose my next step will be to quite clicking the "ignore" button.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You Like'a the Juice?

I'm now relearning all of the baby-feeding facts I learned four years ago. We have tried rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, and bananas (surprisingly, peas have been the big winner so far). In my efforts to reeducate myself, I've done a little reading, and not just for Charlotte. Years ago I learned that toddlers should have no more than four ounces of juice a day. But Owen is almost four, so I thought I should probably check to see if there are new guidelines. In fact, there are not. From 6 months to 6 years, they should not exceed four ounces of juice a day! What was even more interesting was to learn that many toddlers/preschoolers consume their entire day's worth of calories in liquids. The pediatrician writing the article said that parents were showing up, concerned about their child not eating, not realizing that two sippy cups of juice and four or more of milk contained more than the recommended 1200 calories their child needed for the day. It's hard to think of liquids as having quite so many calories. Since I've been breastfeeding, I've been drinking lots of caloric beverages, without much consequence. But it's going to be tough to break the habit once I have to go back to feeding just myself. So if you see me six months from now, staring lustily at a Dr. Pepper, please hide it from me.

Fecal Matters

There were so many comments about toilet usage on the last post that I just can't resist. Are all of you aware of toilet spray? Years ago a friend shared this with me, but I looked it up for myself the other day. I found a summary of a scientific study about what happens after you flush your toilet. Spray from inside the toilet is expelled six to eight feet in all directions. That means that poo is on your ceiling, in your sink, on your toothbrush, and hanging out in your fuzzy little bathmat. The article stated that your toilet seat is infinitely cleaner than your sink because of the lack of moisture on the seat. Have you touched your sink lately? Maybe you should stop. Maybe you should get a pair of gloves to wear whenever you come near it. Maybe you should start peeing in your sink and brushing your teeth over your toilet. Poo is everywhere, people. Embrace it (not literally, that would be gross). Stop hovering. Give yourself a minute to relax.

On a related note, we were in Bethesda for a research study the last several days. Part of the study involved a blood draw. They had poked our little girl twice, gotten no blood, and left us all a little traumatized. While I'm holding, bouncing, and soothing, one of the technicians hands me a urine cup. He declares that they also need a urine sample from Charlotte. I stare at him in bewilderment. How the heck am I supposed to get a six month old to put urine in a tiny little cup? I suddenly have visions of me trying to wring pee out of a cloth diaper or holding her over a cup for hours, hoping to catch the pee as it comes spouting out. I laugh at him and ask, "How?" He vaguely says something about a diaper. We go to the peds clinic, and I get a VERY detailed explanation of urine bags from one of the nurses. These are plastic bags that get taped to babies in the hopes that the urine will collect inside. The best part was that every time she should have used an anatomical name she instead whispered, "girl parts." Needless to say, these bags are NOT foolproof. Catching urine is quite the tricky business. Thankfully, the little teaspoon that didn't dribble out into her diaper was sufficient. At least I didn't have to wring out anything.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Hiatus

So I've noticed that many of my friends and acquaintances are on a bit of a summer hiatus from their blogs, so I thought I would post something, just to give you regular blog-checkers-with-nothing-to-read something to do. I was thinking in the car today about little bits of info that I have acquired that others might find useful:
1. Dawn dishwashing detergent is fabulous for removing grease stains on clothes (I never wear an apron and therefore am constantly splattering my clothes with oil in the kitchen).
2. You do NOT need to get your oil changed every 3000 miles. Read your manual. Most car manufacturers recommend either 5000 or 7500 miles.
3. Your local library probably has most of the movies that you spend money to rent. You might have to wait an extra month to see it, but it will be free. Just put it on reserve and you get an email when it comes in.
4. Consignment and thrift stores are a gift from God. I buy all of my clothes there. I purchased a Guess skirt (that's still in style) for $3. Get over the whole, "eww, someone else wore this," problem and realize that you park your bare butt on a toilet seat that MANY others have used every single day.

If you have any bits of wisdom, please share.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Familiar Waiting Room

I feel like a regular here. I know the location of the bathroom. I'm aware of the weird hours of the caf. I know that you don't sit near the desk, because once the volunteer receptionist leaves, someone has to answer the patient update phone. And I'm used to the obnoxious sounds of The Suite Life in the background. But anyways, thought some of you out there might want to know that Charlotte's cath has gone well. We haven't been able to see her yet, but the procedure went as planned. Her aorta is looking good, and her clot in her femoral artery has dissipated. We'll be back here in two months to keep an eye on her aorta, but for now, we're awaiting our release.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Red Menu

Tonight we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. Every time we go I am amazed at how wonderful the food is and feel really dumb for every time I have eaten at any other Chinese restaurant in Hampton Roads. Seriously, if you live around here, you need to drop everything and drive straight to Jade Villa in Virginia Beach. Don't worry, they're open until 1:30am. You should know, this is not your average American-Chinese place. They have two menus--one white menu and one red menu. The white one (how appropriate) is for the faint of heart, the weenies, the Americans. The red one is for the actual Chinese people who eat there. No joke. And every time we go, I scour the red menu. You see, I really want to be one of those people--the adventurous, well-traveled, not-scared-of-your-crazy-jellyfish-appetizer types. But I'm not. I cannot find a darn thing on that red menu that sounds better than Mongolian Beef, egg rolls, wonton soup, and General Tso's. I am not enticed by tripe or duck tongue or boneless pig's feet. So I suppose I will continue to order from the white menu, happily gorging myself on the best Mu Shu Pork I have ever eaten.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

God Made the Fish

We had salmon for dinner last night. We're a seafood loving family, so Owen is no stranger to fish. But last night he was apparently thinking about the food on his plate. He held up a piece of salmon on his fork and declared, "God changed this from a swimming fish to a fish that you can eat." Hmmm. I don't know what you would have done, but I'm not quite ready to tell him that someone kills the fish, so I just kept right on eating.

On a different note, I finally put together the "Who Loves Baby?" book we were given when Owen was a newborn. It is squishy and slobber-proof and has slots for pictures of all the people (or however many will fit in 6 photos) who love your baby. So I filled it up today and let Charlotte look at it. Every time she gets to the page with Owen's picture on it, she smiles.