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11 PM, previous night. - Attempt to go to sleep. Phil decides to sleep in the attic because he fears waking Theia. Theia wakes up as I'm going to bed, so I nurse her and put her back to sleep. Succeed in going to bed around 11:30.

3:45 AM, previous night - Theia wakes up again. Nurse her back to sleep, no rocking required. Currently reading Pandora's Star on my Nook while nursing. Good stuff. Amazing how he writes so densely and yet manages a pace that pulls the reader along.

7:40 AM - Wake up, this time for good. Nurse Theia, but don't change her because all diapers are downstairs. Put her back in the cradle. Go downstairs.

Take Fu Manchu's steroid and antibiotic and attempt to get him to eat them in cream cheese. Attempt fails because he only wants to lick the cream cheese. Use more forceful methods. Success!

Procure diapers for Theia and dig out clothes for myself to wear from the clean laundry. Shower. Dress. Retrieve Theia from crade, change diaper, and put her in the bouncy seat in my study. Have ten minutes to answer a couple of emails and write a paragraph on "You May Also Like Gas Masks" before it's time to wake Cassius up. Take Theia downstairs and put her in playard.

9:00 AM - Wake Cassius up. He mumbles something about buying new houses. He is excited that the new truck he found in his closet (which we've been trying to keep him out of) has had a bath and he wants to go find it first thing. Instead, I get him out of his pajamas and diaper.

The diaper is dry, so I whisk him downstairs onto the potty. He gets to watch a few clips and then an episode of Thomas the Train. Pee happens, and it's all actually in the potty. Hurray!

Meanwhile, I browse emails and Facebook. I goop Theia up, covering all her limbs with lanolin as part of my latest attempt to defeat the eczema, if that's even what it is. Our regular doctor is out of town for the next two days, so I can't get a second opinion, but I'm not going to put the harsh steroid stuff on my 5-month-old without one. Put Theia back in the playard.

Dress Cassius. Warm up pancakes with maple syrup. Feel very grateful to husband for making large quantities of pancakes on Sunday. Get Cassius started on eating breakfast. He still needs me to cut his pancakes into smaller pieces, but he eats those pieces with a fork by himself.

Take potty's pee container upstairs to clean it out. Bring it back down, along with sleep fleece for Theia for later.

Join Cassius and start to eat my own pancakes. Hear suspicious butt noises coming from playard but decide to ignore them because damn it, I'm eating.

Cassius declares himself done after 3/4 of a pancake. I tell him he gets to watch his "reward" episode now, and it's special because he gets to hold Mama's tablet and watch it there. He chooses vintage Sesame Street. I go back to my pancakes.

Finish eating, go to get Theia. Wow. She pooped through everything. Clean her up, change her diaper, put her in a new one-piece, put her in her sleep fleece. Nurse her. She does not fall asleep.

Carry her upstairs, swaddle myself and her in the mobi wrap, and bounce-rock her to sleep while I sit on an exercise ball in front of my desk and watch the new "Elementary" episode. I *knew* they were going to do something interesting with Sherlock's brother!

10:30 AM - Put Theia down for her morning nap. Type up "day in the life" so far. Man, a lot has already happened.

Sesame Street ends, Cassius has a meltdown, and he needs his diaper changed.

11:03 AM - Beginning of designated morning "Theia's napping, attempt to work out" half-hour. Harley's 5-Factor Workout, one of the library's exercise DVDs.

11:15 AM - Theia wakes up. Fortunately, today's workout is all done laying down, so it's easy to modify into Mommy and Me exercises. Tummy time on Mama's chest while I'm doing flies, airplane on Mama's knees while I'm doing crunch-curls.

Start a load of special Theia laundry, which right now means warm water and extra rinses and no soap. All part of the attempt to clear up her skin rashes.

Read Cassius and Theia a story. Cassius demanded to "hold a baby," so I settled Theia into his arms and read another one while he happily muttered, "A baby, a baby, a baby, ugga-mugga."

Put Cassius' shoe back on. He goes back to play on the porch. Change Theia's diaper. Put away legos.

Attempted to play piano with Cassius. Idea of making hands into "monster claws" to play was a success, but then he yelled at me to, "Stop music!" while he played with his trains in the play room. Practiced a little more, then left when Theia needed to be moved from the floor mat to the changing table because of suspicious butt noises. Cassius started to fake-cry and insist on, "More piano!" as soon as I left.Time elapsed on piano playing attempt: 5 minutes? Maybe 10?

Helped Cassius do two puzzles.

Nursed Theia. Cassius played with his trucks on the front porch.

Put Theia back in playard. Lunchtime.Cassius wanted "ham and mustards" but instead we had noodles with buttery mushroom sauce. There was a handwashing tantrum. He declared himself done by spitting out a bite of food significantly before I was done, and then there was much tugging on my arm and demands for Thomas or help or getting up or potty or the porch.

12:50 PM - I finish eating. Cassius wants to sit on the potty with a timer to earn "Thomas a Train!" After a few minutes of this, he starts melting down. Theia also starts melting down, because she needs yet another diaper change and is sick of being in the playard. In the middle of this, a friend calls to figure out plans for tonight, which might have to be canceled due to a bad stomach. She offers to let me call back at a better time. I tell her it is entirely likely there won't be one. I change Theia's diaper and put her in the Bug exersaucer, get Cassius back into his diaper and pants, and arrange to call friend later to see if she feels better. Finish getting Cassius into clothes and let him go out to play with his trucks on the front porch. There is much muttering about the mailman who has not yet showed up. I clean up from lunch, put away the left out puzzles, and put in the next load of laundry.

Washed face, brushed teeth.

Came back downstairs to find that I needed to change Cassius' foul poopy diaper. Changed diaper. He insisted on sitting on the potty next, so I set the timer and after he sat there long enough (while playing with Theia who was still in the bug), he got to watch a bit of The Little Engine Who Could. Combed and braided hair for the first time today. Put away scattered children's books. Ensconced Theia on the couch, well-cushioned to keep her from rolling or falling, and typed up some more of this epic account of my day. Tried not to laugh at the glowing magic mushrooms in The Little Engine Who Could. Realize that I changed tenses at some point, but am really not going to go back and fix it.

1:45 PM - Cassius has had 15 minutes of The Little Engine, and it's almost naptime. Back into diaper and pants. Theia goes back in playard. I ask Cassius what he wants for his snack before naptime. "Cookie!" "There are no cookies." "I have a cookie in my pocket!" "You do not have a cookie in your pocket. There are no cookies." Pause. "Graham cracker!"

Make snack of graham cracker with butter and cinnamon and sugar. He eats it and wants more. I say it's naptime. He starts to melt down. Theia starts to melt down. There is a whole lot of screaming going on during this, the second simultaneous meltdown of the day.

Wash Cassius' hands and face, put him in his pajamas, tuck him in to bed, refuse to read him a story because Theia's screaming. He wants the lantern. I pick it up and give it a little shake to get it locked in the upright position. Instead the bottom falls out, batteries fly everywhere, and Cassius is scared into crying hysterically. I fix the lantern and put it by his bed. He calms down. I bring his cuddle-puppy back to his room when I get Theia and take her upstairs.

"Nap with Theia! Put her right here!" He pats the bed beside him. I do, for a minute, and they cuddle, and it is ridiculously cute. Nobody is screaming.

I nurse Theia. She falls asleep. I put her to bed. I go downstairs and make tea and a snack. I come upstairs and eat my snack.

Less than half an hour after I laid her down (and before I have finished my snack), Theia wakes back up--wait for it--screaming bloody murder. She condescends to nurse, but it takes a very long time to rock her back to sleep.

I update this day-to-date.

3:44 PM - Victory condition! Both children sleeping! Time to write! YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!

Waste five minutes on the internet, then process emails, do freewriting, ponder--but do not actually start--writing.

4:10 PM - She's awake again. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Not interested n nursing. Rejected my attempts to rock her to sleep. As soon as I stopped trying to put her to sleep, she was all smiles and cooing.

Took her downstairs. Put her in the bug. Pumped milk so that she'd have fresh while I was gone in case plans to go out worked after all. Midway through pumping, she started to fill her diaper, so I had to do an emergency interrupt and get her to the changing table in case of blowouts. Resumed pumping. Phone rang: husband calling to see if I was going out tonight. Explained that I wouldn't know that until 5. Finished pumping. Changed diaper. Took Theia back upstairs and put her in bouncy seat in my office. Called friend: outing is a go! Called husband: yes, you have to watch both kids all by yourself!

5:12 PM - Time to try writing with Theia in the bouncy seat!

5:20 PM - Time to nurse Theia.

5:30 PM - Cassius wakes up. Take Theia downstairs and put her in the playard. Get Cassius (dry diaper!) out of his diaper and pajamas, carry him downstairs, and install on the potty while watching "The Little Engine . . .". Go back upstairs to print feeding tracking sheets and get other nursing supplies. Finish writing a paragraph of "You May Also Like Gas Masks."

Settle Theia on the couch, get laptop, and update this.

. . . and after that, I didn't get time to write up things for the rest of the evening UNTIL NOW. Which is a couple of weeks later. The usual routine involves me putting Cassius to bed at 9 P.M., using the lure of a Boy in the Cave story to get him to cooperate (Super-cute when small child says, "I copper-ate." So hard to pronounce!). Then I bathe Theia and goop her with lanolin to pacify the eczema, take her upstairs, nurse her, and lay her down to sleep usually around tenish. I seem to remember that on this particular day that I was documenting, she woke up again around 4 AM and wouldn't go to sleep for a good hour. I think this was one of the days where the next morning involved Theia still sleeping in her cradle in our room, me crashing on the couch downstairs, and Cassius watching whatever the heck he wanted as long as he let me nap for an hour.

Date: 2014-06-02 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If it turns out to be eczema and if lanolin doesn't do the trick, I may be able to help. I am a lifelong eczematic and I have it under control without much in the way of steroids. When I was a child I was put on *many* steroids for my eczema was acute - and I pay for it every day as an adult, so if I can help any child avoid steroids until they're totally necessary, I'm happier.

Date: 2014-06-02 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We do have an eczema diagnosis, albeit from a doctor I don't particularly trust. She's seeing her regular doctor tomorrow. So far lanolin appears to be doing enough, but I certainly would appreciate any advice you have to offer. I do want to avoid steroids as much as possible.

Date: 2014-06-02 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The trick with eczema is that one group of things will help it and that this group differs from person to person and it's just a matter of working through the possibles until you find the set of ingredients that work. For me, I can't use lanolin or any of the coal tar based stuff (my skin dries out more and cracks - I obviously have a sensitivity to them), but anything with oatmeal in soothes it significantly. Epsom salts in a bath help, too. It took me years of experimenting to find out my group of ingredients and why and how to deal with outbreaks and how they were different to the regular stuff. Since I've worked it out, though, my skin has gone from scary-bad to mostly reasonably good. Email me if you need this knowledge, for that may save you the years of experiments and it may save your child discomfort along the way. (I am so not one of those people who believe that just because I suffered as a child, other children have to!)

Date: 2014-06-02 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, good old trial-and-error. Got it. Perseverance-R-Us!

Date: 2014-06-02 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not so much - I know the groups of things, so you only need to trial one thing in a whole group rather than every product on the market. And if the lanolin works, then you don't even have to do that.

Date: 2014-06-02 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, I see. Hopefully things are under control now, but if they become not, I will certainly welcome your advice.

Date: 2014-06-04 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know this seems wacky and out there, but I hear that burdock leaves, macerated into a pulp, are good for eczema (and also for sunburn). I happen to have a burdock that I'm about to uproot and mash up the leaves and stick them in the freezer. If you want some or all of that burdock leaf mash, you're welcome to it.

Date: 2014-06-04 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't forget to eat the burdock root! (Heh heh heh,)

Thanks for the offer; right now Theia doesn't have any visible eczema, but if that changes I may take you up on it.


cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
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