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Archive for March, 2008

Sadie,Sadie Petite Lady

The results of Sadie’s bloodwork came back revealing absolutely nothing wrong with her body chemistry. So, for now, she’s just an itty bitty healthy baby. My depression lifted dramatically and I realized that part of my reaction to any sort of possibility of bad news is probably tied in to first finding out that something was wrong with my pregnancy. I just don’t want to be caught not looking. I’m the same in relationships; when I met my husband, I was paranoid that he’d break up with me and I wouldn’t see it coming. I’d think that everything was going perfect and inside his head he’d be plotting his escape all the while pretending things were good for him too. And then one day, BAM! He’d tell me it was over. So I made him promise me that if he was having any doubts that I wanted to be forewarned. I just felt like it would hurt less to know that something bad was brewing even if I couldn’t do anything about it.

Hey, enough navel gazing. I should just write a few sad songs and go on the road with Sarah Maclachlan already.

Right now, I’m obsessively checking on my virtual friend Alexa who is going through such a tough time I can’t possibly imagine the truckloads of antidepressants she will need when all is said and done. She is such a trouper and she needs all of our support right now. Please start reading her blog if you’re not already addicted. She’s a beautiful writer ever through the heartbreak she’s enduring.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 19, 2008 10:28 pmUncategorized11 comments  

Optimistic or In Denial?

I brought Sadie (dis one) to her pediatrician today to see if my four-month-old preemie has gained any weight. Two weeks ago, she still only weighed seven pounds. Her weight is not something I think about everyday. My own weight comes to mind much more often to be honest. Since before she was born, all I heard was the positives. “Yes, she’ll be born very small but small babies are fighters! They’re so used to having to fight for nutrition in the womb that they develop more quickly” Or other positives like “her brain is being spared. Every ounce of nutrition is going to her brain and the rest of her will just be small for awhile.”

In the NICU, I was overwhelmed with the positives, “look how great she’s doing! She’s breathing room air. What a little spit fire. She’s going to fine.”

When I found out that I was going on partial bedrest because Sadie was too small at 29 weeks, I first worried but then took it with a grain of salt. Me, small baby? It’ll work out. I assumed when I went for my follow up visit that my baby would have grown. A lot. I’d heard from so many bloggers that that was the case with them. But at the follow up visit, she hadn’t grown and I was rushed to the hospital to to be admitted immediately. But every nurse said two pound babies do great! Don’t worry! We see this all the time and your baby could still grow!

Before I actually gave birth, while I was on bedrest in the hospital, I received so many emails with stories of people’s tiny babies who “you can’t even tell they were a preemie now!” I bought it all, soaked it in and didn’t worry too much. I needed to believe all of it because what’s the alternative? Assume they’ll be problems? Not me. I’ve always had a somewhat unshakable optimism – sometimes it can be downright annoying. But, it’s in my blood.

As you know, she didn’t grow. I gave birth to her a week and half later and she was two pounds. “But she’s breathing room air and it’s just a matter of time until you won’t even know she was a preemie” the nurses all said.

It’s four months later and she’s only 7 pounds 8 ounces. FOUR MONTHS LATER. My doctor is concerned. Not very concerned but he wishes she was growing more, faster. He says, “let’s wait and see but I want to do a complete blood count” just to rule out certain things. I really don’t want to know what those certain things are.

I remain optimistic but there’s a part of me that wonders if optimismism at a certain point is just denial. Do I accept that there could be a major problem? Or do I continue to assume that everything will be fine and being born at two pounds is not a big deal?

I don’t know anymore. But I guess I want to be prepared this time if there is going to be a problem. I don’t want to be made a fool of assuming everything’s okay,when it’s not.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 18, 2008 12:26 amUncategorized29 comments  

Specs Appeal

I took the preemies (otherwise known as dis one and dat one) to the eye doctor today. For those of you not “in the know” about preemies, they are vulnerable to having eye problems. When Sadie (dis one) was discharged from the NICU, I had instructions to take her to the eye doc one month later. Despite the fact that this referral was stuck on the refrigerator from the day they were home, I didn’t get around to making the appointment until a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, a month or so late. I know, you’d think with my light schedule of feeding, burping, not sleeping, staring into space, watching a third of a Lifetime movie, taking my daughter to school, picking her up, making her lunch, forgetting her lunch, driving back home to retrieve said lunch oh and the other doctor’s appointments every week, I wouldn’t have forgotten the eye doctor. But I did.

The first thing I was told when I called the office was that “we do NOT validate parking!” Okay, noted. Oh, and we do not take your pitiful Blue Cross insurance. Really? No Blue Cross? Isn’t Blue Cross like the one dollar bill of medical insurance? It’s ubiquitous! So I ask if there’s an infant eye doctor in the area that does take our insurance and I’m informed that there is only one other office and they take NO insurance. Great, so I’ll be paying cash then. We weren’t off to a good start, the eye doctor’s and I.

So, on my way out the door I made a mental note of the forty dollars in my wallet keeping in mind the “no validating.” The office staff was as nonaccomodating as I suspected they’d be but the doctor was a lovely man. He told me he’d be checking the preemies’ vision to see if they’d need glasses. I said “you mean in the future?” and he said, “no, now.” I hadn’t known that three-month-old babies could wear glasses but apparently, if they have very bad vision, they can. So, naturally I said, “if they need glasses could we do colored contacts instead?” I got a small laugh. But it turns out they have perfect vision.

The news only gets better when I go to check out with a different person than the one who took me in. Turns out they did indeed take my insurance and I left only a co-pay of 45 dollars each poorer. Believe me, this was a hundred times better than the $250 dollars per baby I thought I was in for.

Unfortunately, they weren’t lying about the not validating parking thing and I actually didn’t have a cent on me. I had to go park across the street in another parking lot that charges money, go to an ATM, drive back across the street and pay three dollars. And it cost me a buck to get out of the second lot.

And there’s no American Idol on tonight. Damn it.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 13, 2008 9:54 pmUncategorized13 comments  

Behold: A Chapter From Naptime…

Hi Party People (Am I ever going to stop being so early 90’s?) — I’m shamelessly promoting my book Naptime Is the New Happy Hour which goes on sale in two weeks. I pray you buy this book so that I can continue to feed my twins in the hopes that they will someday stop crying. But enough cheery talk and let me bust out the chapter where I take my daughter to a haircut joint which shall remain nameless because I can’t afford a lawsuit. Pull up a barstool and get your read on!

SHEAR MADNESS

My daughter’s first day of preschool was just two weeks away. We did a major trip to Target for a Hello Kitty back pack – all cool and black with pink straps and a subtle sparkly finish – definitely ensuring her membership with the preschool glitterati set. She also got a colored pencil set, Snow White lunch box with matching dwarves thermos (which she’d been sleeping with in her bed every night since she’d made its acquaintance), plus we’d hit the Carter’s outlet for a few new outfits and potty training was sort of in the home stretch. Yup, my daughter was poised to become a preschool prodigy. There was just one thing missing: a hair cut.

Personally, I’d always dreaded this event because my mother, who believed hair cutting was just a natural extension of her “so called” sewing abilities, thought it was perfectly fine and a great money saver to pull out the old Singer sewing scissors and chop away. The woman wasn’t satisfied until I had a straight wall of bangs well above my eyebrows. It wasn’t until I was in the sixth grade, after years of begging and pleading, that my mother finally agreed to get me a professional cut. Only, it wasn’t at a salon per se, it was a friend’s mom who cut hair out of her house on the cheap while enjoying a few gin and grapefruit juices – but hey, I thought, at least it wasn’t my mom. That cut left me with a version of the much sought after Dorothy Hamill that was dangerously closer to a Mark Hamill.
Given my past trauma, I would’ve just let my kid’s hair go long but even though she has the cutest naturally curly hair you’ve ever seen, its growth wasn’t following any plan approved by nature and was quickly becoming a fro. Hoping to spare my daughter the Singer sewing scissors routine that plagued my youth I figured the least I could do for my daughter’s future self-esteem would be to only let someone with actual scissor know-how anywhere near her hair.
It turns out that kiddie hair salons are a growing trend and you can find a place that specializes in lopping off children’s locks almost anywhere. I was excited because I’d heard that these hair salons for children typically offer movies, toys and the promise of a balloon to keep kids busy and prevent unnecessary meltdowns. I thought this was genius! And why stop there? Why not do that in adult salons? I know that during my last hair appointment, watching The Devil Wears Prada, snacking on a chocolate croissant, and sipping a glass of bourbon would’ve gone a long way to take my mind off the fact that I walked out of there looking like the newest member of the Bay City Rollers.
So I set out to find a cute kids chop shop near me for my daughter’s inaugural cut, but I wasn’t prepared for the wave of nausea that overtook me when my Google search for kids salons also turned up a slew of kid spas which cater to toddlers, tweens and teens offering manicures, pedicures, massage, formal hairdos, Mystic tan and a host of other amenities. Hold the phone. Toddlers? Does a three-year-old really need an exfoliating seaweed wrap? Isn’t their skin new enough as it is? And what exactly is so stressful about a kindergartner’s lifestyle that they could possibly need a ninety-minute, 180 dollar relaxation massage? And call me prickly but I don’t ever want to hear a precocious seven-year-old compare the merits of acrylic nails versus artificial gels. Is it me? Am I the asshole?
Feeling decidedly less giddy, I chose a kid friendly hair cutting place in my neighborhood which featured all the bells and whistles plus the cost efficient price of twenty bucks and hoped for the best. From the minute we sat down in the waiting area, I knew I’d made a mistake – no matter where you looked there were endless stuffed animal, colorful barrettes and flavored lip gloss buying opportunities, which I guess was supposed to make up for the lack of current gossip rags for me. After thirty minutes of staring into space listening to my daughter whine “I want a toy, I want a toy,” I would’ve been ecstatic to see a back issue of Golf Digest.
I was dangerously close to purchasing the little lady some apple scented detangler and a floral afro pick and calling it a day when our names were called. Too bad the wait ended up being the best part of the whole unmitigated disaster. The hairdresser, a guy mysteriously costumed as Edward Scissorhands, greeted us, and reached out a plastic scissored hand to my kid to lead her the way to his station. My daughter, not getting the early nineties reference, started crying, and continued bawling sporadically for the rest of the appointment.
Minutes later, my wet cheeked daughter was seated in a mini-yellow racecar adjustable height chair where she gripped the steering wheel for dear life as Eddie draped a plastic zebra wrap around her neck, pulled out a spray bottle of water and started squirting down her hair. Watching my baby’s worried little face almost made me nostalgic for the sewing scissors. Almost. But I kept my eyes on the prize – a daughter who would have stylish, non-laughed at hair. Little did I know the one I really should have been worried about was me.
“So what are we looking to do here today?” Scissorhands asked me while my daughter sat teary-eyed staring at Shrek Three being projected on a big screen TV.
“I guess just a trim. She’s never had her hair cut before and it’s getting a bit unmanageable.” Scissorhands held up a sixteenth of an inch of her hair through two fingers.
“About this much?”
“Um, you could probably go shorter than that.” For twenty bucks I’d like to actually be able to tell it’s been cut. He moved his fingers up an undiscernable amount.
“That’s fine, I guess.”
But this didn’t satisfy him. He needed to know if she wears her hair parted, to which side and did she plan to style it, with mousse. I felt like saying, Jesus. She’s three! Just cut it already!
When Eddie finally got my daughter’s cut underway, he turned his attention to me. “Honey, I can see a little gray in your hair. Do you dye it?
“No.” And come on! When you cut toddlers’ hair, everyone over four is gonna look old. Of course now I was starting to worry. Shit, last I checked I had maybe two strands of gray which I meticulously plucked out.
Without looking away from me, he repositioned my daughter’s face to the TV screen and told her to hold still. “You should really let me color that or at least get a nice herbal rinse to get rid of that ugly gray. Have you considered highlights? At your age, you could definitely use a little light around your face to lift it up.”
I was too stunned to say “Listen, I’m only forty and for your information a lot of people tell me I could easily pass for very late thirties and furthermore, I don’t need style advice from a guy who dresses up as an early nineties Johnny Depp character and cuts hair for kids who are still in diapers for a living.” But it didn’t matter because although it had barely been five minutes, he was done with my daughter’s hair which pretty much looked the same only wetter.
“Are you ready for a blowdry?” he asked, whipping it off its hook. My daughter looked at me – and I looked at him like he’d just pulled out a .45 . Blow dry? Had this freak ever met a toddler before? The sound of a blowdryer scares the hell out of most of them, and the extra cost definitely scared the hell out of me!
“No thanks. I think we’re all good here.”
“Are you sure? It’s included in the thirty-five dollar price.”
“I thought a kid’s haircut was twenty?”
“Oh that pricelist is six-months old.” Gee thanks for the heads-up.
“Hey I have an idea: How about you put up the correct price list and then I’ll give you the corresponding amount of money? Sorry but I’m a little anal and the money that leaves my purse has to match the sign.” After my little outbust, he quietly put the blowdryer away and handed my daughter an old pink hair covered balloon which had been sitting on the floor near her chair gathering dust and static electricity, and we finally headed for the exit, passing a little Down’s Syndrome boy in a Batmobile chair screaming his head off. I’m so with you little man. I thought,. I felt a little bit like crying myself. I tried to catch the kid’s eye to show him that he and I were truly simpatico on this place, but his mother gave me a stern look like she’d caught me staring inappropriately so I quickly turned away. There was nothing left to do but whip out my credit card.
To add insult to injury, after the haircut fiasco, we ended up having to go to Baskin Robbins for a couple of ice cream sundaes just to get over our mutual trauma. The final tally for the ten minute haircut: $65. It broke down like this:

Buying toys and barrettes so kid won’t cry…as much: $20
Hair cut (including unused blow dry): $35
Soothing after-cut treats: $10
Getting out of there without committing homicide: Priceless.
I have a sneaking suspicion there are a shiny pair of Singer sewing scissors in my daughter’s future. Let’s just hope the Dorothy Hamill comes back in style soon.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 10, 2008 7:59 pmUncategorized20 comments  

What I Worry My Nanny Is Thinking

I know I may seem privileged somehow by having full time help currently. Trust me, it’s not because we have too much money and need someone to help take a lot of it off of our hands every week. “I mean, gosh, where should we store all this extra cash? It’s such a nuisance.” Right now, it’s simply and pathetically a matter of sanity. Possibly in a year, I won’t need someone with me all day but for now, with not a lot of sleep being had at night and two parents working, we wouldn’t survive without the hours of relief we get from Liz. I don’t like to call her “my nanny” because it sounds so crass. I introduce her as “The Bizzotch Who’s Watching My Shorties” and believe me, this woman is a Godsend! But, and you know me, there are always a dozen disclaimers -I know I’m lucky to have help- lots of people do it alone- some people are happy to have a babysitter once in awhile -I have to say, it’s sometimes weird having someone in my house everyday taking care of my babies. And when I’m feeling a little insecure (everyday?) I wonder if she’s thinking any judgemental thoughts about me like:

1. Is taking a nap and checking her email a thousand times a day really productive? Would it kill her to clean the bathroom?
2. These babies think I’m their mama! And I love it.
3. No wonder these babies are sick a lot. The woman owns no Clorox Wipes.
4. Post partum depression? That’s nothing becoming a Jehovah’s Witness wouldn’t solve. But I don’t want to bring it up…yet.
5. Hey, I’m tired too, but I manage to work with your twins all day and still cook a decent meal for my family. (I actually know that she rarely cooks at home but yet I feel she still might think this – hence me being medicated)
6. Really? A Happy Meal for Elby again?
7. Does she have an allergy to vacuuming?
8. Okay, today is for sure my last day.
9. Colic my ass, her babies just miss me at night.
10. This lady goes grocery shopping everyday and yet, it seems like there’s only beer in the house.
11. I can’t believe this lady TiVo’s the Janet Dickenson Modeling Agency.
12. I quit.

Tune in Monday when I will post a chapter from my book. Are you so excited?

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 6, 2008 10:14 pmUncategorized24 comments  


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