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December 10, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago


1:54 pm: To actually hear the facts straight, they seem mildly horrible. It amuses me to find myself actually very cheerful and content with life and with everything I have in it. I am really enjoying my life and all the challenges and fun stuff with it.

So the facts were that John, indeed, had a bad cold last night, and he did, in fact, go to sleep early. I stayed up to finished the journal stuff. I decided that since Jet had passed the touchy feeling magical hour past bedtime time that he might actually stay asleep for a while, and I went to bed at about 10:30 pm. At 10:50, Jet woke up screaming.

Since John was sick (okay, I am still sick as well, that shaking and fever and feeling way too hot during the day was not a sign of being Well) and couldn't get himself to wake up to Jet's crying, and since I wasn't really asleep yet, I put my slippers and robe on and went up stairs to pick up Jet and comfort him. Nearly always, John does the bounce duty for this as I don't have to feed Jet, and it's just a chance for me to sleep a bit when I'm really not needed.

So I actually got to experience this waking from Jet for the first time in a little while. As the other times, Jet was twisting and kicking and in obvious physical distress. I held him and bounced him and he seemed to only be kicking one leg most of the time and a little with the other. The thing I'd always been to sleepy to notice before or it was just something Jet was doing overtly for the first time in a while was that he was grabbing at his belly and the joint of the kicking leg. He was clawing at those areas and when my hand was in the way he was clawing me. I was also awake enough to notice the characteristic odor of a disposable diaper absorbing it's first shot of urine for the night. It wasn't anything like full, so I didn't think, at all to change it.

It was only after the ten minutes of twisting that gradually subsided into calm and peace and a relaxed and sleeping boy again that my brain connected things. The other bit of data is that for the weeks since Kathy's visit, Jet's been getting up multiple times every night. He's been getting up somewhere between 20 minutes to two hours after his last feeding of the day, and then again after the middle of the night feeding. We were wondering if there was something in my breast milk that was making him have intestinal problems, but that seemed totally improbably given my variety, over this whole time, of my diet and health. Especially to have it be so regular.

My brain finally said, hey, what if after drinking so much he simply has to pee? And that wetness is aggravating his diaper rash to the point of waking him up in total annoyance? The actions he was doing seemed to point to that.

I went back to bed, tried to tell John my revelation, but he was dead asleep before I'd finished my sentence. Ah well. I tried to go to sleep, and since John had a cold and his nose was stuffed, he started, naturally, to snore. I thought a bit. if I stayed here, I wouldn't be able to sleep. It was also obvious that John was in no shape to get up to take care of Jet. I finally woke John up and said it would make more sense for him to sleep downstairs. I got my robe and slippers and a stack of sheets, and we went downstairs and set up him comfortably with the humidifier running, a full set of clean sheets and blankets, and his normal pillows. Now that John was actually awake I passed my theory by him again and he blinked and said, "Wow, that makes sense!" And then added the words for which I'll bless him, "I'll call Dr. Turner in the morning."

John definitely knew that the price for a long night's uninterrupted sleep was that he'd have Jet for most of today and he agreed to that, no problem. I trooped back upstairs, took off my robe and slippers and snuggled into my warm bed. Ten minutes later I hear Jet crying again.

When I got him the unexpected thing was that he was coughing and the cough seemed to make him cry harder. From pain or from something else I couldn't tell. We'd run out of Motrin, so I gave him Tylenol. Then I changed him out of his disposable into a cotton diaper with the theory that the paper was making him itch more, and I slathered him in A+D, the anti-diaper rash stuff, and I fed him. He seemed to go to sleep with the second half of the feeding, but woke up as I was trying to put him down. I wondered if the bulk of the cotton diaper was the culprit, so I changed him into a clean disposable.

I then bounced him and he started out clawing incessantly at the diaper area, and gradually he'd have longer and longer periods of calm and falling asleep between waking up and frantically clawing again. Finally he just woke up and cried and cried. So I got him out of the disposable, he, of course, chose that moment to fountain, and with long standing practice, I caught it with a cotton diaper and wiped everything up except that he'd gotten his sleeper, too. Agh. I took his wet sleeper off him and he started to shiver. I reached down where the sleepers usually are and I couldn't find any clean ones. There were buntings and thick day clothes, but no sleepers. I kicked the whole pile across the hallway and with them scattered I found the one sleeper that was left clean.

Yes. John usually takes care of putting Jet in a sleeper because he usually changes Jet in the middle of the last feeding session. Also, yes, I got rid of a very good measure of frustration and anger by the simple kick to the helpless and completely unbreakable pile of clothing. I have to thank Dorothy Corkille Briggs and her book Your Child's Self-Esteem for the outlet and having it be satisfying and knowing that my emotional needs were taken care of an out of the way so I could clearly and cleanly deal with Jet's physical needs.

I got him put back together, this time in the cotton diaper he fell asleep in while nursing and I cleaned off the A+D and put on jock itch cream (anti-yeast infection remedy, but what man would confess to a yeast infection?) instead. We cuddled up warmly, and he instantly got quiet and went mildly alert. Just the wide-eyed, awake child mode where he isn't irritated anymore, but still needs a little incentive to actually go to sleep. By now it's 2, my throat is raw, and I'm tired. I take him into our bedroom, glad I'm not waking John up with this, and I lie down on the bed in my robe and slippers with Jet on my chest.

At first he wants to play with my face and I laugh but don't let him. Then we just giggle at each other for a few minutes and I can feel him relaxing. Finally, he snuggles his head against my shoulder and lies there for a bit before changing position. Three times of doing that and he puts his arms on my shoulder and lays his head on them and goes to sleep. Two minutes after that he rolls to one side, clearly wanting to sleep on his side, so I roll to my side, pillow his head on my arm and we go to sleep for a bit. I wake up, pick him up put him back into his car seat, which I've put into our room so it'll be easier to get up an take care of him. He's as limp as a dishrag and stays asleep this time. His good humor was all the proof I needed that the cotton diaper and the jock itch cream were a far better combination than the disposable and the A+D.

Unexpectedly, it turns out that by having him in the room with me I actually make it so that I don't have to get up at 4. He made the initial protest sounds of waking up and I just spoke to him and he went back to sleep. He did get up at 5, hungry again, since I'd last fed him at 12:30, and this time he just went right back to sleep when he was done.

When he woke up at ten 'til 7, he was in full Ewok-speak mode, cheerful as a chickadee, and bouncing to go. He was so happy. I went down and woke John up to tell him I was nursing Jet so he could shower and get ready to take him. John had had such a good night's sleep that most of the cold was gone and he was feeling much better. I was completely trashed, of course.

After nursing Jet I went back to bed, and I could hear the occasional sounds of Jet playing, i.e. the occasional cry of delight, a few bangings as he found something he could pick up and whack, and the occasional conversation of English and Ewokese.

I didn't let any of it keep me awake, however, and had a rather delightful dream of being an agent that specializes in undercover stuff with an implanted camera and wire that only left a thin ridge in my left eyebrow. I had just managed to cross and intersection that was sometimes a U.S. standard square intersection and sometimes a British roundabout (the timing was tricky) and was literally bumped into by a beautiful woman with the front half of her hair pure white and the back half salt and pepper, all shoulder length. She was gorgeous. She also, somehow, knew what to look for, and with the caress of a thumb knew I had an implant and she got really turned on by knowing she was being watched.

The amusing things at this point are that I realize that in this dream I'm male; that she knows this at all is some huge security breach; and instead of the dream going X-rated at this point it goes Mel Brooks. Yeah. Mel Brooks is the M-equivalent and things get funnier and funnier from there with the experiments he makes in appropriate weaponry (okay, weaponry that's activated by a certain show tune and mostly emits bubbles) and alternate methods of surveillance ("If you put it down there, we'll have like two different points of view!").

I wake up laughing.

It's pretty funny. I feel better for the two hours of sleep. 2 to 5 + 5:30 to 7 + 7 to 9 = 6:30 hours of sleep, better than six hours, which is pretty good for me. I am so glad of my Con and Caltech training. I get up, make myself breakfast, eat it, try to pump as I'm not going to be able to feed Jet at 11 as the Turner appointment has fallen to 11:30. Pumping doesn't work but it doesn't really matter, either.

We go to pick up Jet and he's had a great day at Joan's and *just* fell asleep and she wrapped him in his bunting and tucked him in his chair. He wakes up on hearing our voices and peers out from under the edge of the hood to look at us. The edge is always just a bit over his eyes and he always looks quizzical as he turns his head so he can at least see out of one eye. It's very cute.

We load him into the Baby Buggy and get him to Dr. Turner's and he gets to nap on the way. Once there he's happy. He bounces, claps, laughs and smiles at everyone. The other kids giggle back, but since everyone's sick, the parents mostly keep playing together to doing the same things at the same table, but not touching too much or breathing each others sneezes. Jet watches it all in fascination. I get the feeling that he never really knew that there were that many kids out there. He was leaning forward to see everyone.

When they called us into the examination room, the nurse asked a bunch of questions, got answers from us and then laughed as Jet tried, three times, to crawl off the examination bench. Of course, he was doing it head first again. It was pretty funny after getting all the symptoms and the nurse grins and mutters, "He also seems reeeeal listless, too..." This is when Jet gives her his huge smile and she's laughing as she leaves.

Dr. Turner came in soon after and with her expert eye determined that it was actually eczema, not a yeast infection and not diaper rash. Just plain, scaly, itchy skin from getting wet too often in a climate that's too dry. She gave us three possible remedies, that we could use as we liked, and said that with any of them used regularly it should clear up in three or four days. So just two or three more nights of multiple ups, hopefully.

Home again, home again. Lunch and fun. Jet's been not only tremendously happy, but he's been crawling all around the living area and playing with everything he can get near. It's been fun watching him go around and just decide everything is a toy and enjoy it to his fullest extent.

He ate off me, he ate a bottle and a half of baby food with John and when I sat down to my steamed mild chili bean tamales he ate as much of that as I'd give him and he was bouncing whenever I put a spoonful in my mouth as he wanted another one for his. When I had to have both hands free to undo the second tamale John had to take him as he was crying so hard when I tried to set him down. He then eagerly ate as much as I would give him of the second and amazed me when the tamale was done by just turning away. He'd been eating it just as eagerly at the end, but I guess he was able to see that it was just all gone and that was good enough for him. Wow.

Now he's watching John wrap presents while eating a bow and sitting in his high chair. He likes being able to see. He cheeps and chirps and goes "dub dub!"

8:43 pm: We've had a really excellent afternoon and evening. John got lots done, got the gifts wrapped and in the mail, and we have just a few more things to do with respect to Christmas.

Jet's been playing steadily and he ate two entire jars of food for dinner, one of stinky vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli) and one of kiwi, mango and apple. Also, ever since we got back from the doctor's and used the 1% hydrocortisone on his skin he hasn't protested being changed a single time. Not once. He's played, giggled, occasionally taken a swipe at himself, but has been fairly simple to distract away from scratching himself.


It looks like even this much has helped. So this is very good indeed.

Our dinner was mac and cheese and hot dogs and broccoli. Yum. Simple, quick, low effort and with both of us having head colds made to fit the level of our ability to taste, i.e. practically none. A bit of TV, a bit of writing, and our evening is done. Yay! Early to bed and maybe late to rise, and we'll see if we end up any wealthier or wiser.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.