Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Toddler Hearing Tests

Carter - hiding in his playhouse after a long day

I brought Carter to have his hearing tested last Thursday. After the whole, “is he having a hard time hearing or could he have a more serious issue” ... issue … I rushed him into a hearing test as fast as I could.

Here is the breakdown of how a hearing test goes for a toddler. They bring the toddler and his/her adult into a small dark, ridiculously warm and creepy chamber. And then they close the door - an oversized steel door. How this is necessary …I don’t know. But it really felt like a scene from the movie Saw was about to take place.

Then it gets weirder. A noise comes through a speaker on either side of the room … if the child looks at it … a strange pink elephant bangs on cymbals and a red light shines up into the elephants face. I guess this is the best, most un-creepy test that the hearing specialists could come up with. Because holding a shot gun up to their head and screaming, “can you hear me now,” not scary enough? And after this part of the test is done - they attempt to put little probes in the childs ears - as if any child (any age) would allow this.
I mean…why not scare the crap out of defenseless little toddlers … and then when you can’t get a conclusive test result … then say crap like “well, since he didn’t fully cooperate with the testing – it’s hard to give conclusive results.” Leaving me to want to respond, “well, since you don’t fully cooperate with the laws of common sense … you’re not getting your effing test results and you can bite me if you think I’m putting my kid through another one of your scare tactics.”

But I fake smiled and thanked them for their time while I rushed my screaming child out of their office (never to return).
  • Hearing test results = no obvious hearing issues.
  • Dr’s response to test results = perhaps he has had so many ear infections that he has just had a heard time learning to talk (due to the fluid in his ears making sounds more muffled).
  • My response to everyone else’s responses = He can talk when he wants to (and he can have as many cheddar bunnies as he wants for having put up with all of these tests).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just Another Cleveland Blogger

Yup. That’s me. Another Cleveland Blogger. Another Cleveland Blogger that thinks Forbes can suck it. “Most miserable city”… I take it the writers at Forbes don’t get out a lot … because I have to highly doubt that Cleveland is seriously the most miserable city in the U.S.

Let’s go over some of their reasons for Cleveland being "miserable" – and why I think they can ‘suck it’ about these reasons:

1.) Corrupt politicians: Umm…are there non-corrupt politicians? I don’t know where to start on this.
2.) Weather: I guess I am unsure on where to start on this too. Are we not like every other city in the northern part of the country? Should we just say the northern party of the country is the most miserable part of the country? Oh wait…nope…the south definitely got snow this winter as well. In fact – didn’t Florida freeze over? AND - Isn’t Forbes/US located in New York? And umm ... isn't the weather the same in New York as it is here? I’m confused on this.
3.) Sports: I have a serious issue with this. How on earth are we suppose to take anyone seriously that uses sports as a determining factor in where to live? It’s sports people…throwin’ a ball around. You can tell I am not a huge sports fan…but I can’t imagine anyone would let sports dictate where they intended on living…unless they were paid to play sports in said city. I hate it when people make cat coughing noises when I say I grew up in Michigan. Yup – two colleges play a sport against each other…and one of those colleges is in Ohio and one is in Michigan. Now shut it about their lame rivalry…there is more to life than sports.
4.) What was their other criterion ... let me see ... high unemployment. Again ... I don’t see how Cleveland is worse than other cities. Are you telling me Gary Indiana beat out Cleveland in employment?

I just don’t understand how some of the positives of cities were not taken into consideration. How about the fact that we have some of the best ranked hospitals in the country…and world? How about the fact that we have Dennis Kucinich? He may be weird, he may have a dead thing on his head…but come on…he’s SUPER funny. And how about the fact that the west siders and the east siders act like they’re across the country from each other ... this is funny shit people. FUNNY SHIT.

Some other good things about Cleveland that shouldn’t be overlooked:
- Great Lakes Brewing company – seriously…show me a better Christmas Ale
- THE ARTS … I could go on and on about the arts in Cleveland
- Sunday drinking at Shooters
- Close proximity to Canada…and New York. Beat that Chicago!
- The Metro Parks. The Metro Parks seem to go on forever in Cleveland. The picture below is from a picnic we had with Trad and Michael in the Metro parks. If you have not been to Cleveland - or have not been to the Metro parks...trust me when I say - the park system is huge and beautiful.

- And ok…I said I’m not a huge sports fan …but Browns Fans rock. They’re just full of funny drunken awesomeness. They just are. The picture below is from Carter's first Browns Game.

- The Cleveland Zoo. The picture below is from this past weekend. Yup - we braved the "miserable" Cleveland weather and went to the zoo. And we had a blast.

- Within 20 minutes of downtown, you can buy Amish cheese.
- The lakefront. This picture (below) was taken from the Lakewood board walk (a few months ago).

- The strange language difference (seriously…who else uses the phrase “tree lawn”). I love it.
I honestly could go on…and maybe I will post more in the future. But I wanted to get my opinion out there – and tell people to think this through before judging Cleveland too much.

And p.s. it’s been a LONG time since the river caught fire. Stop bringing up old shit. Seriously … Forbes didn’t have to go all angry-wife on us.

And p.s.s I actually like the photo that they showed to represent Cleveland’s crappy weather. Some people like snow. Some people like living near a lake.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guinness Mind Games:

I put corned beef in the crock-pot this morning for tonight's dinner… and my recipe called for a little Guinness (shhh…don’t tell my doctor). Well, the real problem with this is that now there are three other Guinness cans in our fridge. And every time I open the refrigerator door they’re all, “Don’t you wish your water was as tasty as us…don’tcha…ohhhh…don’tcha!?”

And yes – I could have gone to a liquor store and bought just one can. But walking into a liquor store pregnant … carrying a toddler is maybe too tacky … even for me.

Chad’s going to have to do me a favor and eliminate these tonight - before they torment me with their mind games any longer. I’m sure he’ll be pretty broken up about this personal favor I’m asking of him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This photo is actually from after a dinnertime tantrum. Carter ended dinner by plastering his food all over himself...and daddy is cleaning that mess up here.

For many of you – it may be painfully obvious that Carter is not only our first child…but neither Chad nor I have a lot of experience with children. I wasn’t an avid babysitter as a teenager – I can’t exactly account for my time as a teenager …I guess I sat around in coffee shops discussing "important" things. I knew everything back then. And Chad…well, I don’t know what he did with his time either – but I can assume it involved alcohol and/or sports.

But, this lack of experience should explain why we’re amazed by each and every milestone, each tantrum, each…well… everything. And this is why I’m always asking friends and family for advice on certain subjects. I don’t want to mess the kid up too bad.

So, dear readers, here is my latest obstacle. Tantrums. We have been struggling with teaching Carter the word “no” for quite some time. But now – it has turned into full blown tantrums. Over…EVERYTHING. And I know some of you are chuckling to yourselves saying “it’s just his age…” and maybe it is…but there has to be some pseudo solution. I’d even accept a band aid for the problem at this point.

Here is the source of yesterday mornings tantrums:

- I told him he couldn’t feed the dog his breakfast
- I took away his sippy after he threw it at the dog (a few times)
- I tried to put his coat on
- I tried to put his hat on
- Don’t get me started on the gloves
- I tried to put him in his carseat
- I tried to take him out of his carseat when we got to the store
- I told him to stop pulling clothing off the racks at the store
- I tried to put him in his car seat again
- I tried to take him out of it again
- I tried to put his bib on
- I tried to feed him his lunch (he wants to do it himself)
- He wanted to get out of his highchair
- He wanted to pound on the tv and I said no

Sadly – there were more than this. But you get the point.

So…what is a mommy (who is anti-spank) to do? I am a few tantrums away from dvr-ing every single episode of Nanny 911 and Supernanny just to get ideas.

I have been trying time-outs…but at 18 months…let’s just say - it’s just not working well.
And yes, I know we have done this to him by giving him every little thing he wants…and now he’s all, “look bitches…I own you – don’t try to discipline me now.” But I also don’t want him to turn into one of those ridiculous teenagers on teen cribs that has everything and thinks the world owes him even more. Or worse yet – what if one day he turns into a republican?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mommy's Expanding...

For those of you that have been bugging me about posting a belly picture. I’m finally caving. This is the belly ... at 23 weeks.

Baby Girl currently weights almost a pound and a half ... and is sitting sideways. None of the Got-children have any interest in sitting on their heads. But really, can you blame them? I have no interest in sitting on my head either. Mommy's with ya kids.

On a side note...yes, we have picked out a name. And no ... i'm not telling it. Gotta keep something a surprise right?

It's a Girl

The Gotfam will be adding a little tiara-wearing, drama-filled, Barbie-dressing, hair and makeup obsessed maniac to our clan!

Yup, you guessed it (well, hopefully you guessed it). We’re having a Girl! Not an e-news correspondent slash American idol host – I’m lookin’ at you here Seacrest.

Gender day is our happy time during pregnancy. We LOVE gender day. We skip around singing Gender Day songs, we play “what if” games, you name it…we’re freaks for gender day. What is to be expected from two excel spreadsheet obsessed OCD planners though?
Outside of finding out that we’re pregnant and actually having the child…gender day is our happy happy time. The rest of pregnancy…well, I’ve made my opinion known on this topic.

So to celebrate – my wonderful hubby booked a hotel room overlooking all of downtown Cleveland and the lake and made dinner reservations at one of our favorite Cleveland restaurants – Pier W. Which also happens to be the same restaurant he took me to when we found out we were having a boy when I was pregnant with Carter.

AND (being that food is uber important to this big girl), he had chocolate covered strawberries brought to the room when we got back from dinner.

Nicely played hubby.

Happy Presidents Day

Disclaimer: This post is a bitter one. Read at your own risk.

Yup - my poorly constructed graphic for presidents day. Give me some slack...Carter is destroying the house as I make this.

As it is another strange holiday (that only government and bank employees get off work) I have decided to post a happy day-off “Government and Bank jerks day” post (Chris, you’re obviously excluded…I know you work- you’ll see why I said “government employees” when you read the rest of this post).

Why ... why do you seem to aggravated with the government today Chrissy – you ask. Well, outside of a lot of other reasons…taxes. Today’s gripe…taxes. We are having a lot of tax arguments (us-vs-government and us-vs-accountant) these days.

There are a few reasons for this…but here is my favorite from this week:

The government has readjusted our last year’s income (how do they do that you ask…especially when your employer sends you a form with an exact number). I guess - because they can. They give no excuses or proof…outside of… “it’s just this amount now.” AND – because it’s late (now) we owe interest. And if you find this ridiculous…you just wait – it gets even better.

- We just received this notice (this month - February of 2010). And the notice states that our payments were due in November of 2009. Hmm…how is this possible you ask. Well, because they had our old address. Strange…you say – since we have updated our address (multiple times)…with…wait for it…wait for it….THE GOVERNMENT (and the post office…another government-run entity, along with many other establishments who also failed to record our address change – also lookin’ at you here Chase Bank).
- So the post mark on the envelope was originally October 2009. And then, when the post office caught the address change issue – they “put it aside.” The next postmark on the envelope is February 2010. So, if you can tell me what happened to this “important tax information enclosed” envelope for four whole months….you win. You win the “What the Fuck does the government do with their time and our money” prize.

I mean….what happens to an envelope for 4 months in one post office location? Let’s take a poll. Do you think they:

A.) See how many envelopes they can pile in one spot before the pile reaches the ceiling
B.) Build envelope houses out of important –looking envelopes (the more important – the higher on the house they go)
C.) Employee Santa’s elves to handle returned (wrong address) envelopes…therefore explaining the October through January lack of action

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This is a big week for the GotFam:

It’s gender week. We officially find out the gender of the sea monkey tomorrow. And surprisingly, I have been able to contain my excitement for months (we could have found out quite awhile ago…but there were no ultrasound openings).

But now, all of the sudden…I find myself pacing in front of the future nursery wondering what color we’re going to be painting. What theme we’ll go with, what he or she will look like, what name we’ll pick, etc etc etc.

I am beyond excited.

And it seems to be bringing on another type of emotion too. It’s making me look at how much Carter has grown up. And I’m starting to get a little sentimental. He’s going to be a big brother. My little man.

Carter - 1 week old
It’s been he and I during the day for so long…I’m wondering how the dynamic will change. One thing’s for sure…he’s always going to be mommy’s special special man.

Carter - 18 months old

Hear that future girlfriends?! I’ll kick some nasty skank ass if you touch my special man (ahh…how I can bring a cute and tender moment back to reality)!


Disclaimer: Ok Ok…so I’m not perfect. I say stupid shit all the time. Stupid, inappropriate, poorly-timed shit. But, when my husband has foot-in-mouth disease when I am all pregnant…I feel this overwhelming urge to scream and punch a wall. Must be the hormones.

Here are a few examples:

Me: Honey, does it bother you that my pregnancy brain has taken over and I forget everything? Like, would you say it’s more cute…or more annoying?
Chad: Hmmm…both.
Me (as my head starts to spin and fire starts coming out of my mouth and ears): WHAT?!
Chad: Mostly cute though…mostly cute

Me: I think I am off to bed
Chad: Alright, Goodnight big girl
Chad: uhhhh
Chad: I must have meant to say something else…what did I mean to say …umm
Me: Oh whatever
Chad: Like…big daddy…like the movie…maybe that was in my head when I said that
Me: Oh nice try

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things we need…like we need a hole in the head

Another pet would be a good example of something Chad and I need … like we need a hole in the head.

Driving home from the grocery store (that I never actually made it inside of…because I instead slid across their driveway and into a curb…and then couldn’t get turned around…so we went to target instead) today…I found a dog. A tiny, cute, innocent, super cold, and super lost dog. It had been running through the very snowy street with a much larger dog, who jumped the curb and ditched his buddy when cars came up (jerk).
So the tiny, cold, cute puppy did what any tiny, cute, cold critter would do. It froze (I feel the need to clarify given all of the snow we have had…it “stopped moving”) in the middle of the street. And everyone else drove around him! Who drives around a puppy in a snow storm…when the puppy clearly can’t get up onto any sidewalk? Geez...kharma people...KHARMA.

So, Carter and I stopped and grabbed up the puppy. We drove around (with the puppy on my lap) a little while looking for worried puppy parents…and finally found them. Apparently “those darn kids” let the dogs out…and the puppy had followed the big dog directly into the street to play in snow (which goes to show that my dog isn’t the dumbest dog out there…love ya Layla).

Moral of the story…"it’s always the kids fault." Or…"always stop for animals...or I will blog curse you to have bad kharma." Or…"should have tried to find another entrance to the grocery store…because Carter’s cute new pants from Target are not going to taste very good for dinner tonight."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A steady diet of Cheddar Bunnies and American Cheese

Is it possible to survive on Cheddar Bunnies and American Cheese slices alone? Carter would like to prove that the answer to this question is yes. In fact – he feels so adamant about it that he intends to throw a tantrum anytime I get any other food near his face. To the point that this mommy begs to ask the question, “is this fight worth it?”

I had to track him down and climb into his tent with him to try to convince him into some grilled cheese bites. Don't ask me what he's wearing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Finally, starting to feel better...

Carter's mojo started to come back (slightly) ... and just in time for superbowl Sunday. My mojo (on the other hand) faded. This mommy slept for most of Sunday while daddy and Carter played and snacked on superbowl food.

Carter even had some uncle Trad time this past weekend.

And although it snowed and snowed ... mommy wouldn't let Carter out to play. Mean mommy ... but if he's feeling better now...I guess mommy made the right decision.

This note about sums up the last two weeks at the GotFam house

Sorry Layla ... but this note really had to be posted on the front door:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playing his trump card:

Well, Carter’s bronchitis is now pneumonia. We found this out after he spent the entire morning and afternoon yesterday crying, hitting his chest and crying more. The only time he would calm down was when I bathed him. So … he spent much of the morning in the bath. But after he wouldn’t eat, sleep or stop crying – I gave up and brought him back to the doctor where they diagnosed him with pneumonia … and the double ear infection. Our poor little man.

When getting back from the doctor’s office and pharmacy, he seemed to have perked up a tiny bit. Enough to want a snack (his cheddar bunnies – for those of you that are not familiar with the bunnies…they’re basically organic, expensive gold fish crackers – that Carter prefers WAY above gold fish). And quite frankly – if he wants me to have a full sized dump truck back up our driveway and drop off 3 tons of cheddar bunnies…I’ll find a way to make that happen. I feel so bad for him.

So I handed him enough bunnies to last at least 30 seconds while he wandered around making sure all of his toys were still there (something he tends to do when we arrive home from any length of outing).

Knowing very well that he has some form of trump card – he finds a way to reach the entire box off the counter (he grabbed it when I was vacuuming the family room and didn’t notice what was happening). Needless to say – in the time I turned off the vacuum and checked on him (if I say 30 seconds had lapsed…I would be exaggerating…20 seconds may be more correct) ... this had happened.

He has pneumonia. He could have smashed his bunnies on an original Picasso painting and I would have forgiven him. So I scooped him up and told him that he is precious and mommy loves him.

For some reason - I get the feeling this will happen again ... but next time it will be my fault.