Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Enough with the Needles

Today was Brandon's last check-up with the Public Health Nurse until his preschool check-up when he turns four! My baby's no longer a baby. I'd say I'm disappointed that I'll no longer get periodic updates on his weight and height, but the fact of the matter is that he insists on weighing himself on my bathroom scale at least once a week anyway. Note to self: Perhaps you should be more careful to project a positive body image in front of your children and stop weighing yourself so often--even the baby's imitating you.

I feel like the health system here is taking chances by leaving parents on their own between the ages of 18 months and 4 years. The window of opportunity on early intervention in the case of developmental delays is completely lost by not deeming it necessary to see a child during that timeframe. Chances are that a child would see their family physician due to some kind of illness in those two-and-a-half years, but what if that doesn't happen? Natalie has been sick only once in her life, and it coincided with Brandon's birth around her second birthday, and it was a mild bacterial infection that cleared up with a course of antibiotics. She wasn't quite two-and-a-half when we moved to Newfoundland, and she hasn't seen a doctor while we've lived here. She hasn't been sick enough to warrant it. I guess we'll find out if she's developing on schedule when she goes for her check-up sometime after she turns four next April.

I'm happy to report that Brandon was deemed to be absolutely perfect at this morning's appointment. The nurse didn't use the word 'perfect', but I can read between the lines. She said at 18 months of age children are expected to know six words in addition to 'Mommy' and 'Daddy.' I'd say knowing eight times that many words, screaming "No! I go! All done!" while the nurse jabbed him three separate times with needles, then trying to put his own shirt on so that she can't jab him any more makes him pretty darn perfect. He also weighed in at just shy of 25 pounds, and he's 33 inches tall, giving him the perfect height-to-weight ratio (the nurse did use the word 'perfect' that time).

Despite my reservations about the lack of check-ups for the next 30 months, I'm pretty relieved to be done with acting as a human straightjacket to a screaming baby during immunizations. I'm done with the quivering lip upon sighting someone wearing scrubs. The confusion when the clothing comes off. The panicky crying that occurs on the baby scale (can they not think of a better way to weigh a squirming newborn/infant/toddler?). The outright shrieking and flailing when it's time to lay on the table for a length measurement (it's not the freaking rack, but you'd think it was the way my kids scream when a nurse stretches their leg out while I hold their head still).

The next time anyone in this family needs a routine vaccination I'll be able to explain what's happening, and there shouldn't be any screaming--just mild whining and protestation. Today wasn't just a milestone for Brandon--it was a milestone for me. You can just feel the sigh of relief, right?

Oh wait. Flu shots. Darn it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So Proud

It's not often that my alma mater makes headlines, and it's even less often that RPI (aka Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute) is featured on Saturday Night Live.

It all began last week with a directive from the medical director of RPI's health center, which inspired several articles much like this one found in the Albany newspaper, The Times Union, which included the following:

Your hands are washed and you're sneezing into your arm while you stay 6 feet away from anyone who looks sick. Now the H1N1 has another way to lay you low: no more beer pong.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is asking students to curb the sharing of cups after a group of students contracted the swine flu during a weekend of drinking games, according to Dr. Leslie Lawrence, medical director of the school's health center.

"While it might seem fun over the weekend, it will not be enjoyable when you and your friends are sick and missing class or midterm examinations," he wrote in a message distributed to RPI students and staff.

Waldman, Scott. (2009, October 13). Beer pong: unkindest cup of all? Times Union,, (accessed on October 19, 2009).
From there it was just a small leap to this little snippet on SNL:

Thank you, swine flu! I have always wished that RPI could get a little more publicity.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

I think this first aired in February, but a friend recently posted this on her Facebook profile, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Funny stuff.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Love Ballet!

Okay, so we don't all love ballet, but Natalie sure loves it. She prances around the house, constantly twirling and kicking, and while I don't love having to sit around the tiny little reception area at the dance studio entertaining Brandon for 45 minutes when he should really be home in bed sleeping I do love that Natalie loves dancing. As long as she continues to love it I will drag my lazy self to ballet class and sacrifice one day's worth of that most precious time to a stay-at-home mom--naptime.

Every member of the family knows how much Natalie loves ballet, but Kyle is particularly attuned to what makes his little sister happy. Not much more than a baby himself when Natalie was born, Kyle doesn't remember a time before his sister was attempting to run his life, push him around, and wrap him around her little finger. Kyle may only be four, but he's an expert at being a big brother, and he loves Natalie and Brandon with all of his impulsive little heart.

Every Thursday is library day for Kyle's Kindergarten class, and Kyle looks forward to Thursdays all week. He loves picking a new book, checking it out, bringing it home, and showing it off to all of us. I forgot that yesterday was library day, and Kyle didn't mention it, so it wasn't until I was unpacking his backpack last night and found a new book that I remembered. I was confused at first because this book was pink and had little girls in tutus on the front, and Kyle is an almost-five-year-old boy, and almost-five-year-old boys do not like pink. Or girls in tutus.

Then it dawned on me. Kyle picked out this book and brought it home for Natalie. My sweet little boy sacrificed his one book and his Power Ranger-loving pride to check out a book called We Love Ballet! for his sister. How cute is that?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's Going On?

I've been neglecting my blog for over two weeks now, as my mother so helpfully pointed out to me yesterday. There has been a ton of stuff happening that is totally blog-worthy, but I've been so busy just trying to keep up with everything that I don't have the time to blog--not coherently anyway.

I've also been entirely overwhelmed by the weather. It's been raining for more than two weeks now, with the sun making an appearance for approximately eight total hours in this two-week period. The grand finale to this two-week sogginess occurred yesterday in the form of freezing rain, sleet, and howling winds. Rain and wind weren't a big deal before I had children, but spend a few moments imagining me carrying Brandon in one arm, holding Natalie's hand with my other hand, herding three more kids across a busy street and then across a busy parking lot, followed by an attempt to speedily secure all of them in a mid-size SUV. This involves buckling five squirmy kids into two carseats and three booster seats and a vehicle determined to be just not quite wide enough. Now cue the drenching rain and blustery wind. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

When I woke up this morning there was a strange light outside the window, and I was confused until I realized that's what sunrise looks like when St. John's isn't entirely blanketed by clouds and the sun manages to peek through. The sun has been out all morning, and it even seems like the hurricane-force winds from last night have disappeared. It's pretty cold out there, but I'll take it.

Maybe now I can start blogging again. I hear it's supposed to be nice for a few days. Here's a list of a few things I probably should have blogged about but didn't get around to because of my laziness:
  • My mom and grandmother came for a visit to St. John's (It rained the entire visit, but I believe a good time was had by all--despite the extra night in Newark that Mom and Mom-mom were treated to.)
  • I did the Run for the Cure (Someone should have warned me that street of St. John's are a far cry from my lovely, hill-free treadmill, but I still managed to do the 5k in 31 minutes, so I'm fine with that for a first attempt at a 5k.)
  • We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving before Halloween seems a little strange, but Kyle had a nice four-day weekend, sparing me a few trips to school and, therefore, a few drenchings of the sort described above. Happy Thanksgiving!)
  • Shaun turned 30! (I made a cake. The whole day was about as exciting as my 30th birthday, which was spent primarily in the Newark airport. Shaun is having trouble believing he's 30, but this is alleviated by the fact that I had to turn 30 first. Happy Birthday, Shaun!)
I really hope to revisit some of these subjects, but don't hold your breath. The sun's out, but I'm still incredibly lazy. Okay, to give myself a little credit, it's not possible to be totally lazy when you're running around in circles taking care of a toddler, a preschooler, a Kindergartener, a house, laundry, the finances, doctor's appointments, birthday parties, snowsuit acquisition, vacation planning, and meals, just to name a few things.

I am, however, completely lazy for approximately one and a half hours each day during naptime--I'll try to allot some time to blogging between episodes of Dr. Oz.