It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote a post of any kind so I’ll try to catch you up to speed on what we’ve been up to! I’m sure I’ll forget a huge handful of things I meant to update you on (photo dump at the end of the post, PROMISE), but I’ll try my best in this post before I need to hit the hay:
- Oh boy. Tantrums. Two’s. It’s been quite a roller coaster! Man, do I miss the days when she was just basically happy with us! Now it’s timeouts every other day because of throwing fits from little things (I won’t let her eat the blueberry that fell on the ground at daycare, she wanted more toothpaste on her toothbrush, daddy gave her the water bottle and not mommy, she wanted daddy to stand over “there,” and instead he is standing “there (different spot)” the list just goes on!
- Singing and Talking: On a positive note, she sings nursery rhymes in the car. We get to hear everything: Jingle Bells, Happy Birthday to Jia, Old McDonald, Finger Family, Johnny Johnny (Yes Papa), etc. Yup, Jingle Bells in March – these details are not important to toddlers, but at least it’s entertaining!
- Her first 6-word sentence: She was eating an animal cracker (oh actually, it was a cookie) and had one in each hand. Mei Mei comes up to her and sniffs her hands and Jia yells, “NO MEI MEI GO TO KITCHEN!” So funny!
- Rolling on the Floor Laughing… To date, the most hilarious thing she has EVER done: Jeff and I were walking to the elevator with the little one and I said, “Jia! Where’s your lopet (Chinese for butt)??” and she smiled, put her hands on her butt, and let out a giant fart. It. Had. Us. Cracking up!
- She turned Two. And I made a disappointing cake: So, last year I made a healthy no-sugar added banana cake with home made cream cheese frosting. This year, I made a last minute version of it, without looking at the recipe a few days prior. Oops. This meant the no-sugar added applesauce the recipe needed – the 6 ounces it asked for – was replaced with a 4 ounce applesauce pouch. I didn’t think those 2 ounces mattered, but apparently it did. The cake was awful. It was dry and hard as a brick. Sure, the funfetti frosting (yup real frosting) I used to ice the cake was still super delicious, but that cake… it went in the trash after our ceremonious blowing out of the candle.
- We went to Disneyland! I have mixed emotions in thinking back about that day. We went two days before her birthday, on President’s Day Weekend and it turned out to be 90 degrees that day. It was hot, Jia wasn’t agreeable unless we were seeing Mickey, Minnie, various princesses, or riding roller coasters/rides, she wanted me to carry her (both of us super sweaty) and NOT be in the carrier or stroller. She also didn’t want to pee the whole time we were there. She ate all the snacks we’d packed for her, but didn’t eat a real meal all day. She went into tantrum mode and even laid down on the ground in protest. But overall I think she has good memories of Disneyland. It was definitely way more work for us than it was probably worth, but that’s okay. I’d do it again, maybe… but also, I think we would’ve had more fun had we waited until she was 3.
- Hello Otitis Media: She got her first ear infection. The string of colds from daycare gave her a pre-birthday gift of a resistant ear infection that required 2 different types of antibiotics, in total. She loved amoxicillin (the pink bubble gum flavored liquid) but she eventually hated her other antibiotic. Can’t remember the name of it now, but she was happy with it the first 7 days, but then Disneyland day and the day before her birthday (days 8 and 9 of antibiotic) she screamed when we tried to give it to her. Lo and behold she happily took a dose from her pediatrician. Who would’ve thunk? Little monster..
- No more pacifiers. We did away with them the weekend after her 2nd birthday because of the ear infection. Recall from my blog post “Otitis Media and Pacifier Use Part 2: Is there a Link?” once you get that first ear infection and you are using a pacifier, your risk of recurrent ear infection is higher due to the physiological change in the ear drum and ear canal, rendering it vulnerable to a proceeding infection. So, after her antibiotics were done and she was cleared of infection, we ditched them.
- How we ditched them: We told her in the few days leading up to that Saturday, that in the weekend we were going to get rid of pacis. We would remind her and say, “pacis are for babies! no more pacis after this weekend, okay?” and she would say “yes.” Of course, I’m sure without knowing at all what she was acknowledging, but it made us feel better. Once Saturday morning arrived, we said ceremoniously, similar to ridding her of diapers, “OK, let’s throw away your pacis! Put [giraffe] paci in the trash can! Yay! No more pacis you’re a big girl!” and “Do you wear diapers? (No) Who wears diapers? (Babies) Babies use pacis, are you a baby or a big girl? (Big girl!)” and cheered her on. After they were in the trash can (her cleaner bedroom trash can, not a nasty kitchen one) and Daddy took her to the toilet, I quickly gathered those pacis and placed them in a ziplock bag for the next kid. (YES I WILL WASH THEM)
- She loves school. Like really loves it. She asks for school on the weekends, and when I pick her up from school she doesn’t care that I’m standing outside the gate watching her play. She’ll smile and wave to me and say “Hi mommy!” but she’ll continue to sing and play in the sandbox or jump on tree stumps, etc. It’s a relief how much she enjoys it and looks forward to going, but it makes for a quick return home for dinner, a little difficult. She even flips out if I try to take her home too quickly. Too bad we’re switching campuses in a few months to be about 10 minutes closer, we’ll have to go through the whole process of her crying when we leave.
- Miss Fashionista: She’s picky about her clothes. She’ll specify that she wants to wear her heart shirt, Minnie pants, grey boots, a specific jacket, etc. Cute but it gets old. C’mon Jia, we just need to get dressed and out of here.
- She went to the Urgent Care. First time ever. You know how you swing your kid with a parent holding each hand? Or you hold their hands and spin them around? Yeah, don’t do that. Especially if they’re under the age of 4. It can lead to what’s called “Nursemaids Elbow” which basically means the elbow joint becomes dislocated and pops out and it has to get popped back in or it’s really painful. After a day in the park, we were playing the “run run run run… FLY!” game and she was loving it, until she didn’t. She whimpered a little and was really favoring her arm and wouldn’t even lift it to eat and kept asking for an ice pack on her arm. She couldn’t pinpoint to us where the pain was, and we thought it was just the wrist joint having clicked like when you crack your knuckles or your knees crack when you try to get up. When we swung her, I felt a pop but thought it was her wrist popping. So we kept thinking she was over exaggerating (of course, Nurse Mom downplaying injury, great job…) until the next morning when she woke up and still complained of pain. I knew this probably meant she was for real, because if she was exaggerating she would’ve probably forgotten the next day. My NP friend who used to work in the pediatric ICU and is a pediatric NP, advised me to get an x-ray to confirm it wasn’t Nursemaids Elbow or a fracture. Since our pediatrician wouldn’t have access to an x-ray immediately after a checkup and I’d need a referral, I called our nearest Urgent Care (which yay, had no wait time) and went there right away. Yup. Confirmation of Nursemaids Elbow. *Pop* back in it went. Jia was fantastic for the MD and was great when she had her first set of x-rays. She loved seeing the doctor and told the doctor her “pain all gone,” and “elbow all better!” like a champ. Rx: Ace wrap on the arm for 5 days!
- Moments like these ground me and are a reminder to myself to deal with the tantrums like a freaking parent, because she’s a good kid. And my good kid loves the pediatrician, urgent care, and even the dentist! (she cried and asked to go back to see the doctor when we were walking to the car to go to school)
- Note: My first time very aware that Urgent Care and Emergency Room staff will observe the interaction you have with your kid to note whether or not they think you’ve hurt your child on purpose. I’m glad she was happy even if she was in discomfort.
For me, I got a new job and started it in January. I’m working as a Nurse Case Manager for a company called Genex Services, LLC. I’m still learning the ropes and don’t have a full case load yet, but I’m enjoying this role since it allows me to work from home and go out in the field to appointments with injured workers and their physicians (I’m a case manager for worker’s comp claims for injured workers) which means the dogs get to pee and I get to still run the occasional grocery run mid-day and prepare a meal. It’s working out great so far, I’ve been fired and verbally assaulted by a psychotic worker who actually ended up getting caught faking her injury which is an interesting story to tell (wasn’t fun to experience, at the time), and I’ve met some really nice people. My supervisor is fantastic and the job is great.
I’m training for a 10k race that’s in June in Long Beach, CA. Yeah, I’m training for it. I didn’t used to train for smaller races like this because back in my younger days living in California prior (c. 2006-2010) I was actually in good shape and could run without fear of dying of exhaustion. I used to run 3-5 miles no problem as a regular run about 3-4 times a week. Now I have to train for about 10 weeks to get to the point where I won’t feel the need to hug the asphalt at mile 2 of 6.
We had been house hunting for a while but that is on a bit of a break from that, since crunching the numbers led to our eyes popping out of our heads basically. So we want to build up our down payment reserve, which means unless we find a real great renovation property for a decent price, we’re looking at possibly renting for a little longer than we planned.
Other than that, I’ve been staying incredibly busy with learning the ropes of the job while trying to maintain the house and keep the kid relatively sane and completely alive.
I’m going to try and get a research post out in the next couple weeks, most likely focusing on the whole Nursemaids Elbow experience we had. I have a vested interest in that one because we went through it and I honestly didn’t know it existed (remember: I was never a pediatric nurse) and I think there are a ton of parents out there swinging their kids by their hands/arms. I mean, what kid doesn’t love being spun around or swung up in the air?
Anyway, thanks to those readers who’ve nudge-nudged me into writing this post! It’s so touching to hear that you all miss them!
Geez, this was long.
She got to play with snow that her school brought onto campus for 2 days in a row!
Smile Big Smile!
We are obviously too cheap to pay for the Disneyland photos, so here they are from our PhotoPass, the card you take with you around the park and the photographer scans it so you can look online later to see all the photos taken that day. Pretty cool.
Note the “Happy Birthday Jia” and “1st Visit” pins! She later made us put our “I’m Celebrating!” pins on to her dress too.
A serious degree of pooped out after a late late lunch. We were waiting in line to see Princess Anna and Queen Elsa.
Her second ride: The Teacups! Our first was It’s a Small World. The lines were fast, but it was the best: it was air conditioned!
In Minnie’s house, Jia is asking me to take the holographic cookies out of the table, for her.
Waiting in line for the Royal Hall where we’ll meet some princesses!
Meeting “Cindellella” – we also met Belle and Snow White in this gloriously air conditioned haven. Jeff stopped posing with us in princess shots after he realized he didn’t really “need” to be photographed with us, hahaha….
“Meet Mickey Mouse?” Yup, you did, Kiddo. You finally did.
Hugs for Minnie!
Nursemaids Elbow Ace wrap with a smiley little face!