Friday, May 16, 2014

7 qt: the 12-day week


I forgot quick takes last week, because I forgot it was Friday.  And the reason I forgot it was Friday is because it wasn't really a Friday for me .... John worked the whole weekend through.  So, we are now wrapping up 12 straight days of work for him, including two days where he worked late!

It's what he had to do to save up some time off for his brother's wedding.  It's the only downside of his new job -- he doesn't have all the time off he saved up for it at his last job.  We were going to take a whole week and drive out there together.  Now, he's working ahead to earn a few days, and he's going to have to fly to make it there and back in time.  And that means it'll be just him, because we can't afford to fly us all.


I'm disappointed because I love visiting John's family, I like weddings, and the kids love being doted on by their many aunties.  But on the other hand, not having to drive 20 hours and stay in hotels with kids is kind of a plus.

The other downside is that John won't be here for my birthday.  I'm thinking of having a party for myself.  I know it's not the thing, but I would love to invite some girls over and eat cake.  I have learned my lesson from the last two birthdays and am NOT making a cake for just our family.  That always ends in too much cake eating for me.  I wish I had more willpower where cake is concerned.


For the past couple months, I've had this weird rash on the inside edges of a couple of my fingers.  It's just a few teeny tiny bumps, which turned out to be blisters.  I stopped wearing my rings, but that made no difference.  Recently it started spreading, itching, and getting much worse.  In fact, it reminded me of how my hands used to get all swollen and blistered from time to time when I was a kid.  That was utter misery.  The first time I could trace it to some hand lotion, but other times I couldn't figure out why just my hands had this rash when there hadn't been anything I'd put on my hands and not the rest of me.  The swelling and itching was the worst; I could barely bend my fingers and had to take benadryl to sleep at night.  I got a prescription cream from the doctor that didn't help.  It was only when my grandma put some witch hazel on my hands that the swelling and itching started to get better.

Well, it occurred to me that now I have the internet, like I didn't back then, and I looked it up.  Turns out it's called dyshidrotic eczema, or pompholyx.  (I can't decide which is more fun to say!)  Now, that's about all the useful information I discovered, because it can be caused by almost anything and there's no real cure.  I did find that it can be caused by an allergic reaction anywhere in the body -- even hay fever -- even though the blisters are only on the hands or feet.  I found that some people have it all the time, and felt quite thankful to have such a mild case.  And it did mention witch hazel, which I started putting on.

Sure enough, it cleared up in a few days.  And thank goodness, because those blisters were itchy and painful!  To say nothing of how miserable it was to do the dishes.


We have had alternating very hot, sunny weather and pouring rain.  I remember now this always happens this time of year.  That's when the garden shoots up while I'm not paying attention, and the weeds gain ground because it's either too hot to do anything or too pouring to be outside.  I'm trying to keep up on it better this time.  My tomato plants have BUDS on them, squeeee!  And the sweet potato plants are looking great, despite the fact that Michael yanked them up the day after I planted them and I had to stick them back in.  I've picked little bits of spinach and lettuce, and should be pulling radishes soon.  Amazing!


I have suddenly passed from the "occasional wiggles" stage of baby kicking and gotten (quite without warning, because I'm not even that big yet) to the "protruding limbs" stage.  A foot or elbow pokes out and has to be poked back in, only to reappear somewhere else.  It's crazy weird.  But kind of cool too ... makes me remember that there actually is somebody in there.


Oh, it's been so long since I've posted, I have all sorts of good news!

Good news #1: Michael is night weaned.  I used this method, more or less.  The advantage of it is that you are training your child to go to sleep in his bed rather than just substituting the nursing crutch for some other crutch, like rocking.  I was terrified to do it because Marko woke up exactly the same amount after he was weaned, but it took an hour to get him back to sleep instead of five minutes.  But Michael, after a few nights of whining "I want to nur-us, I want to nur-us," over and over again, started sleeping better than he had before.  It helped when I told him he could nurse when morning came, and if he was very fussy I whispered in his ear for awhile, just random comforting things, to get him to stop whining long enough to go to sleep.  Once we had phased nursing out altogether, he started going to sleep in five minutes just by me lying down with him, without having to nurse.  (Considering that he used to sometimes be up for half an hour nursing and kicking me, this is a huge improvement.)  And then he started .... WAKING LESS!  He usually gives me about six hours, sometimes even EIGHT, without waking at all.  Sometimes I hear him stir and put himself back to sleep.  It's nothing less than a miracle to me.

At five or so, when the light is shining in the window, I let him get in bed with me and nurse if he wants to.  Though I am thinking about phasing that out too, considering I don't actually want to get up for the day at five.  It's just that I'm afraid that with the light and the birds singing, he might not go back to sleep at all if I don't nurse him.  Even with nursing, he woke up at 4:45 this morning and never went back to sleep.  Ugh.  But he has a cold, so that's his excuse, I guess.

This has led to the conclusion that my depression and irritability is mostly just exhaustion, because the week we were working on night weaning, I wanted to crawl under a rock and DIE, and now I feel like a new person.  I am frequently even patient with the kids!


Good news #2: Marko has finally had about enough clinginess, which is likewise delightful.  I have been able to talk him into going into his room by himself to listen to music and play with legoes for an hour or two most days.  It's delightful for him, because he's an introvert and his clinginess was keeping him from getting any quiet time.  And it's delightful for me, because I get a BREAK!  I can lavish as much attention as I want on Michael without him getting jealous, and sometimes I can even have no one needing me at all!

Michael, though, hates it.  He's always asking if Marko is done yet or if he can go into the bedroom.  Reminds me of me .... my brother always wanted to be alone, and I always wanted company.  For the first time, I'm thinking maybe it's good for them all to have a third kid in the family.  That way Marko can seek solitude if he wants it and the other two can entertain each other.

Sure enough, Michael likes the idea of another baby, whereas Marko will scream his head off if it's mentioned.  This puts kind of a damper on midwife appointments.  He does like the midwife, though.  He and Michael play midwife as soon as she's gone.

Well, that's about it for the week.  How was yours?

More quick takes at Conversion Diary as always.


Enbrethiliel said...


#1 -- I'm sorry that you and the boys will have to miss the wedding. =( But I also see the bright side of not having to drive for hours and sleep in hotels.

#2 -- Yes, go ahead and have a party and invite some friends! Not just because of the cake, but because it's your birthday! I'm not big on parties, myself, but when I flirt with the thought of having one, I know it's a good idea. =)

#3 -- I'm all about googling symptoms and finding traditional remedies these days. That we can do so is one of the Top 5 things that makes me happy to live in the present. I'm so glad you were able to diagnose and to treat the problem!

And now I'm curious . . . What else would witch hazel be good for?

#7 -- For Michael's sake, I hope that the third kid is an extravert, too! LOL!

#8 -- You need an eighth take so that you can go into delicious detail about what "playing midwife" entails! *waits impatiently*

Sheila said...

Witch hazel is an astringent, so it's good for any itching or swelling. Some people also use it as a facial toner.

My thought is that even two introverts will each *sometimes* want to play with Michael.

Mostly they just run around saying "I'm the midwife!" but after last time, when Marko went ballistic over the doppler machine, I showed them how to play doppler. We turn the baby monitor to loud static and rub it on each other's bellies.

Amy said...

Number 6 sounds so much like our night weaning experience. After a week or two when the was sleeping so much more, I just kept thinking, why didn't we do this earlier! And the desperate nursing in the morning to try and get him to sleep just s little longer. Also, midwife sounds like a great game:)

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