August 31, 2011

Singing in the Shower

Finn was singing in the shower this morning. (To the tune of Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl".)

"I kissed a girl and I liked it.
Taste just like cherry chop sticks."

I wonder what cherry chop sticks taste like and who he has been kissing.

August 30, 2011

Sisterly Advice- A Vaguely Serious Post

My most recent example of excellent big sisterly advice... via text messaging.

Her: When you went off birth control did you have any noticeable side effects after having been on the pill for years?

Me: Yes. Pregnancy. Every time.

(Insert Sister rolling her eyes heavenwards and deeply regretting having asked me the question in the first place.)

BEFORE ANYONE ASKS: NO, this is NOT me telling everyone my sister is pregnant. Because to my knowledge she is not. Quite the opposite, in fact.

She thought I was joking but she knows my (and her own) history... we are fertile girls after all!

That, of course, wasn't what she meant at all. She actually wanted to discuss side effects of going cold turkey off the pill and what it would do to her. She had been reading internet "medical" data and chat room horror stories and had successfully freaked herself out. She'd had some symptoms and wanted to know if this was "normal". So, she came to me, her big sister, for some advice. (Mom was probably busy.)

I told her, reasonably I thought, that she should consult her doctor and that some of the things she had read about where possible but it was unlikely that she would get ALL of the symptoms at the same time. She knew all of that.

But I also told her something that she didn't know yet... "normal" changes after the age of 35- menustrually speaking. But that she knows her body best and she has to pay attention to what it is saying. She also has to share that information with the doctor to get the best information.

I illustrated this with a personal story, with a point, from a couple years ago. SPOILER ALERT: this story is about my period so if that sets off your T.M.I. alarm scan right down to the bottom for the point of the story.

I went to see my personal doctor because I was concerned that my cycle had been doing some wonky things. Until that time I had always been regular like precision Swiss clockwork, both on and off the pill. Now I was +8 days one month and -2 the next. It was very odd. So, of course, I did some internet research and had convinced myself that I had early stages of ovarian cancer. (Yeah, I'm an idiot. Not the point. Keep reading.)

So I go to my doctor and I describe my lack of normal cycle. He listens and then asks me my age. I tell him. He said that this change in my cycle could be that I was now over 35. That things change at about this age for women.

I emphasized how regular I had been, like, forever and was he very certain that there might not be anything else at play here. Seeing that I was not going to let this go he dug around on the inside of his desk for a little bit until he procured a little pad of paper. This was a menustral tracking chart. He then advised that the only way we would know if this was normal was if we tracked my menstrual cycle for 6 months or more. (Insert smug doctor face of knowing I would go away for at least 6 months and let him deal with patients who had real issues.)

So I dug around in my purse for a moment and handed him a piece of paper. I told him that I had already charted this information on my own over the previous +12 months and I still saw no pattern. (Bazinga!)

He was a little dumbstruck as he looked at it for a moment but evetually concluded that it was well in the range of normal but that normal, for me, had obviously changed since I had turned 35. He also added that I'd had regular PAP test which showed normal results so we had no reason to suspect anything odd was at play here. He also added that he thought I was a very peculiar woman for having had that charted already.

My answer to that was that how was: of course I had it charted. I noticed a difference and how was I supposed to prove a trend if I didn't have any data?

Any I bring it around to my points and I have a few:

  1. Being aware of YOUR body is what is relevant. You should know your normal and know when your body is deviating from it.

  2. Stay away from the internet for self diagnosis.

  3. Charting and graphing- all the cool kids are doing it! You should too.

All of this sisterly advice in 140 characters or less. Not bad but I'm not going to quit my day job.

August 11, 2011

We'll be careful... I promise!!!

"Mom, can we do our nails ourselves?"

"I'm busy right now, Honey. Can this wait, please, until I am done cleaning the pool?"

"No! We want to do it now."

"Okay. Please do it in your bathroom and be really careful."

"Thank you Mom. We will. I promise!"

Exhibit A

Take one tiny bottle (10-15 ml) of Essie "a list" nail polish. Add two little girls and a curious kitten inside the boundaries of a bathroom. What could happen?

Yeah, well we all know what came next... an accidental spill...panic... a panicked attempt at clean up before your little brother can tattle ... dabbing the spill marks with nail polish remover hoping to make a clean spot... dumping the nail polish remover on the floor/counter/sink and scrubbing like mad with the bathroom towels...kicking the cat out of the room again before he can drink more nail polish remover... figuring out that you have stepped in the nail polish and you are leaving more marks on the floor with every step you take (including on the white bath mat)... and finally... sending the child whose arms and hands are 60% covered in red nail polish to tell your mom.

This is another one of those moments where I should have had the presence of mind to have taken a picture. But I didn't. I have not yet reached the Zen enlightenment stage in parenting where I can laugh before I yell. I'm working on it- I seem to be getting lots of opportunity to practice.

There was nail polish on the wall, the floor, in the sink, on the counter, on the door, on the mirror, on Georgia's arms and hands, on Olivia's sock, in the cat's fur, on the bath mat and covering 4 separate face cloths or towels.

Important lessons the girls learned from this:

  1. It might have been better to have confessed sooner.

  2. Cats are never helpful in stress inducing nail polish incidents- no matter what anyone says.

  3. It is a lot of work to clean this stuff up! But it is easier when mom helps.

Important lessons I learned from this:

  1. Holy F***! 10-15 ml of nail polish can go a LONG way! (Did they drop it from the frickin' ceiling?!)

  2. I have pledged my love and eternal gratitude to the makers (obviously a parent) of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I will NEVER be without these in my house.

  3. Initial reaction aside (yeah, I yelled, but HOLY CRAP you would have too!) I was calm enough to realise that each of the girls felt really bad about the incident and that they were punishing themselves worse than I ever would have. Accidents happen.

  4. I really need to buy some new face cloths and towels for the kids' bathroom. I'm thinking black ones would be good.

  5. AND I'm putting a live squirrel in the car of the next person who buys my kids nail polish. I'm just saying.