Archive for the ‘ Caroline ’ Category

Gluten-Free? Help Me.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually written about this here before, but Caroline has some serious GI issues.  I know I’ve written about her reflux in the past because it nearly killed both of us (her from aspiration pneumonia and me from pure stress), but I’ve probably never mentioned her extreme constipation because a) I keep forgetting to and b) talking about poop on the internet is super gross, you guys.

But here we are because, as in the past, I need your help.  Ready?  Caroline’s dermatologist suggested that her combination of severe eczema and constipation might be due to a wheat sensitivity, so she recommended we try going gluten-free.  When I was a kid, I technically tested positive for a wheat allergy (which I have ignored completely and proceeded to eat carbs like it is my job), and she’s seen kids with these issues have them completely clear up when gluten is removed from their diet, so… we’re giving it a shot.

I have to admit I’m not exactly thrilled at the prospect.  Caroline, like most three-year-olds, is already an extremely picky eater.  I’m not sure how I’m going to get her to eat a balanced diet without gluten, since I have to put wheat products in most things in order to get her to eat them without a huge battle (i.e. macaroni and cheese with peas, blueberry pancakes, broccoli nuggets with bread crumbs, chicken nuggets, etc.)

In summary, here are the things she likes to eat: things with gluten in them.  Here are the things she doesn’t like to eat: things without gluten in them.

You see my dilemma.  She might starve and I might lose my mind.  (And yes, I am being dramatic.  I’ve been told I have a flair for it.  I don’t think it was a compliment.)

Despite the difficulties, I guess it can’t hurt to try, right?  Going gluten-free could be good for me, too.  I mean, I do technically have an allergy, and at the risk of sounding like a 14 year old teeny-bopper, I heard Miley Cyrus recently went gluten-free and have you seen girlfriend’s abs lately?  I’m just sayin’.  (I know she’s like 19, tops, and has never had a child that we know of but please just let me live in my fantasy world, okay?)

So, gluten-free parents out there, what’s a girl and very picky preschooler to do?  Any recommendations for recipes, websites, blogs, and/or gluten-free substitutes for wheat products?  How do you handle a child who has to go gluten-free when all they ever want to eat is carbs?

 

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Need a Nanny? Try Speed Dating.

Monday, June 18th, 2012

With my residency complete, my next task has been to focus on finding a nanny in Massachusetts to take care of Caroline for the summer before her new preschool opens.

(Side note: this new preschool is totally badass.  It’s a Montessori school where she can take Spanish and music and art and yoga and Zumba.  Not joking.  I basically want to go to it myself and send Caroline off to work in my dental office to support us.  I mean, she’s already got the scrubs.  But I digress.)

Faced with this task, I tackled it with my usual crazy-intense full-tilt totally-inappropriate approach: I went all in, you guys.  I did nanny speed dating.

I used Care.com to post an ad for a nanny (did not include Caro’s Tumblr, though I should have) and was promptly overwhelmed by over thirty applicants for the job.  In all seriousness, that website is great.  The vast majority of the applicants were well-qualified and seemed very nice, and they do the background checks for you.  No, I’m not getting paid by them to write this– it’s just the truth.

Problem is, with all those applicants and all the online dating I’ve been doing lately, I was afraid I was going to mix up my accounts and start hitting on the nannies and trying to hire the single men.  Which I’m pretty sure is illegal in at least 48 states.  (Although, wait a minute… that actually sounds like a more successful dating strategy than anything else I’ve tried lately…)

Anyway.  I managed to narrow the field to six potential nannies, and scheduled to meet all of them in half-hour blocks this afternoon.  Let’s just pause for a minute and discuss how incredibly awkward I am and should never be allowed to interview anyone for anything, ever.

Okay, good talk.  Glad I could share that with you guys.

It was a rather tedious afternoon of saying the same thing over and over and asking the same questions over and over, trying to politely dismiss them before the next one walked in while we were chatting.  One of the nannies actually called me out on it:

Me: (glancing at the door) Okay, well, thanks for coming by!  I’ll be in touch about the position.  Nice to meet you!

Her: Are you cycling all your potential nannies through here this afternoon, like, one right after another?

Me: What? No. (guilty look)

Her: (irritated) You’re doing this like speed dating, aren’t you?

Me: HAHAHA!  That’s exactly what this is like!  That’s hilarious!  I love it!

Her: ::blank stare::

Yeah, I didn’t hire her.  I don’t think we’re that compatible.  We’d never work out in the long run.  We just want different things, you know?  (It’s not her… it’s me.)

In the end, I found a great girl to come and hang out with Caroline this summer while I’m working, and hopefully help ease her transition to a new home, a new preschool, her father moving away, and whatever else we have in store for us.  Speed dating was a pretty efficient way to find her, too.  And now it’s on to the next task: moving to a new home, with a three year old in tow, and no help.

Anyone know of a speed dating service for movers?

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Momfessions

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I’ve been dealing with an awful lot of Mom Guilt lately.

Here’s the deal: I’m coming up on the end of my residency (only two more days!).  In order to finish early, I had to switch a bunch of call, so I’ve been on call approximately one billion times in the last few weeks.  There have been a few days in there where I would be at the hospital until 10pm or later, go do my grocery shopping, come home and pass out for a few hours, and then drag Caroline to daycare at 6:30am to be in the operating room by 7.  This past Sunday, I saw 17 patients and didn’t get home until it was almost Caroline’s bedtime.

I would complain that my own kid doesn’t even know me anymore, but the fact that she’s repeatedly begged me to “stop fixing so many teeth, Mama, please” is evidence enough that she’s well aware of who I am and exactly how much of a workaholic I am, to boot.  Some nights I call to check on her and my mom will tell me “she’s doing great” so that I don’t worry, but in the background I hear “am I going to Mama’s house soon?  Is it time for Mama yet?”

Sigh.

Feels good to get it out, though, even if there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment.  And while we’re at it, I have a few other things I’d like to get off my chest.  That’s right!  It’s time for True Confessions: Mom Edition.  Here’s how this works: I publicly post a bunch of stuff that I’d normally never tell anybody, ever, and then you do the same in the comments.  K?  Good talk.  Don’t let me down, ladies.

Here we go:

I’ve had an open container of cooked egg noodles sitting next to the carseat for four days.

Those AAA batteries you gave my kid with her birthday gifts?  Not a single one of them was used to power her toys, if you catch my drift.

I got fed up with Dora the Explorer, so Caroline thinks she’s been “sleeping” since sometime around February 2011.  I have also been known to tell her that Yo Gabba Gabba is “broken”.

I have brought her to daycare looking like this, because I didn’t have the energy to fight her:

When she asks me what my wine is, I tell her it’s “Mommy tea”.  And yes, the liquor store is the “Mommy tea store”.  And she comes with me when I go there.  Frequently.

Those fruit snacks and Kraft mac and cheese in the shopping cart are for me.

When I get tired of reading her books over and over, I hide them and tell her they’re at Daddy’s house.

I have occasionally bribed her with candy to stay in the jogging stroller so that I can get a workout in.

If people come over on short notice, I throw all her toys in the shower so that my house looks clean.

When she wakes up at 5am on weekend mornings, I have been known to drag her into my bed, hand her a bowl of dry cereal and my iPad, and pass out cold next to her until she shakes me awake again.

So, what about you?  Time to share in the comments!  Don’t leave me hanging, here…

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Job: I Have One.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Well, after all kinds of back and forth and craziness regarding my future employment, I can finally say that I’ve settled on something and gotten a job.

An awesome job.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s about as good as this whole “job” thing gets.  (I wouldn’t know.  I’m 28 and have been in school for-literally-effing-ever, so I have never had a real one before.)

I’m going to be an associate at a private practice in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from where Caroline and I live now.  It’s a busy and successful practice with two other super-nice young doctors who also have kids, the office is beautiful, and my hours are perfect: Monday and Tuesday 8-7, and Friday 8-5.  I’ll have to find a sitter I trust to pick her up on my long days, but this will leave me four full days of the week to spend with Caroline.  And this poor child has been in daycare from 7:15am to 5:30pm nearly every day of her life since I went back to dental school and then residency, two and a half years ago.  I am so excited to actually make a comfortable living and still be able to spend more time with my daughter… particularly since her father is moving eight hours away, and I’m sure she’s going to be somewhat… out of sorts.

Basically, it’s my dream come true, I think.  I have worked so hard for this.

So all of that is a huge relief and very exciting.  I’ll be finishing my residency at the end of June and starting at this practice in early July, assuming I can get a Massachusetts license by then, because as it turns out, it is the most giant pain in the butt ever to acquire a Massachusetts dental license.  I need to pass a physical and take a legal exam and get a passport photo taken and donate a kidney and give up my firstborn child and wait, I’m not even sure what we’re talking about anymore, but all of that seems reasonable, no?  Thanks a lot, Massachusetts.  We might never be friends.

Caroline and I also found the most adorable house for rent ever, located in a fancy-pantsy town nearby, so we are waiting to hear back about whether or not we are cool enough to live there.  I suspect we might not be, seeing as how I have been known in the past to forget to pay my bills until whatever I’m not paying for gets shut off (well played, cable company) and I am a scandalously single young mom.  But, we will see.

So, things are looking pretty good for me and Caroline these days.  As my friend says, “Great kid, great job, great future– only one piece is missing now, Jules…” She means men, of course, and although I have pretty phenomenally terrible luck in that category, I’m sure that someday, all of that will work itself out, too.

And if it doesn’t?  That’s okay.  Because I’ve got my dream job… and I’ve got my baby.

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My Preschooler’s Top 10 Excuses Not To Go To Bed

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

(Alternate Title: Go the F*ck to Sleep.)

Anyone who has a preschooler knows that the only thing more impossible than walking on water is getting your kid to go to bed.  Seriously.  (Probably this is true for kids of any age, but please allow me to delude myself into believing that this stage ends with the preschool years.)  If someone were to tell me, “today I scaled Mount Everest and ran the Boston Marathon and won Project Runway and got my kid to go to sleep within five minutes” I’d be all “oh hell no it did not take five minutes, you lying liar.  Also, is Heidi really that hot and skinny in person?  Do you even know how many kids that woman has had?”

Caroline is three, and she’s pretty much the queen of coming up with excuses to stall when it’s bedtime.  She’ll go to bed relatively easily the first time, but then she’ll get up 45 million times with all kinds of crazy-ass reasons why I should let her get up and stay up.  (Fingers crossed she’ll still be this difficult to get into bed when she’s 18.)  Here’s a selection of my favorites:

10. There’s a dirt spot on my wall.  Can you clean it?

9. My Pooh Bear won’t stop looking at me.

8. My hair keeps getting in my face!

7. I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about what my preschool friends might be thinking about right now.

6. I feel like you’re having too much fun out there without me.

5. I can’t sleep because I just keep thinking so many thoughts in my head.

4. Remember how you asked me what I did at preschool today and I said “I’m not tellin’ you?”  Well, I’m ready to tell you now.

3. I don’t think you brushed my teeth enough!

2. It’s hard to sleep when my mouth is making so much noise.

1. I still need to send out some emails!

Let’s hear ‘em… what are your kid’s best excuses to get out of bed… or not get in there in the first place?

(P.S., I keep forgetting to tell you guys, but if you find my child’s off-the-wall comments entertaining, you can get your fill of Caro conversations anytime here, at my Tumblr.  Enjoy!)

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