Thursday, January 31, 2008

humiliation now comes in two colors!

i left the house this morning wearing non-matching shoes.

dropping off the girls, i spent 15 minutes at the baby house chatting, and another 15 at the k-house. no one mentioned my shoes. it would have been ok. i was still close to home, i could have stopped by and changed. i would have been even later for work, but whatever.

when did i finally notice this situation?

the moment i stepped out of the truck in the work parking lot. 40 minutes from home. i laughed out loud--what else was i gonna do?

and then, because i was aware of it, i realized that although these shoes may have similar shades and similar buckles, at least enough to get me by unnoticed (they certainly look alike in the darkness under my bed!), they do not, in fact, have the same height heels.

i will be limping along like quasimodo all day. and that will certainly not escape attention.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

big girl

where has the time gone? i can't believe my first-born is 6 today. she is so excited.

she has so much character, so much charisma, it's irresistable. her friends at school certainly feel it. even B, the girl she has trouble with, feels drawn toward her. this morning when we arrived at school, B came up to her and wished her a happy birthday. then her mom prompted her to tell pooka that she, B, had started to make a gift for pooka, but that it was still at home unfinished.

later, a little birdie told me that B said she had dressed up for school today expressly because it was pooka's birthday. how sycophantic sweet is that? so when B turns around and does something mean, is it her poorly handling pooka's rejection? i found out through email with the teacher that the basket-throwing incident was initiated by pooka telling B that she was not invited to pooka's birthday party. AND that she would instruct me to not answer the phone if B's mom called me about it.

ok, sometimes, charisma can be evil.

when i discovered her derisive behavior toward B, pooka and i had a serious conversation. i had told her not to discuss the party at school precisely to avoid hurting the feelings of the kids who were not invited. i never thought i had to explicitly tell her not to throw it in their faces.

i reinforced her obligation to be nice, not rude, and i tried to explain about being modest regarding your own talents. if you want to help, you should try to do it in a way where you don't come across as a know-it-all.

teaching pride, and it's opposite face modesty, is a touchy subject. many adults have not mastered it. (i think if we handle this as a tag-team it'll be best. kisu can teach pride and i'll handle the modesty.) hopefully, bits and pieces will start to sink in.

she may be a brilliant 6 year old, but she's still just a 6 year old.

6 years old already.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a plausible excuse for brain damage

at dinner, pooka told us that a girl at school threw something at her. (We'll call her B.) pooka responded to that act of violence smartly, "that didn't hurt."

you know what's coming, right? yes, B threw more things until pooka finally started crying. (i must admit, at this point i started laughing. this is the child who sustained a second-degree burn on her hand with nary a peep, but throw a basket at her a couple times and she bawls. maybe she realized that was the best tactical maneuver.)

later, in the shower, pooka reached down to get the soap and cracked her head squarely on the edge of the tub. (i laughed again; that seems to be a disturbing trend....)

so perhaps these events explain why she was unfazed as, snuggling on the couch, i let rip two thunderous farts directly onto her legs. as the aroma drifted up, she turned to me, grinned, and then buried her head in my lap!

there's gotta be some damage in that head.

Monday, January 28, 2008

would you accept blessings from a condemned man?

it seems like every month we get a call from the church to serve communion. since we never answer the home phone and only check the voicemail about twice a month, we don't do it.

last night, kisu not only answered the phone, he answered the call. he committed us to serve communion next week.

i was gobsmacked.

kisu attended church exactly twice last year. once for the baby's baptism and once to see pooka's Christmas performance. no, wait, there was also one visit in gratitude for his new job.

he's not anti-church, he just doesn't want to give up his sunday morning lie-in. well, that and he doesn't like me poking him every time the pastor makes a statement that i think is directly relevant to him.

i have been looking for ways to be more involved at church, but this was not high on my list of possibilities. this is waaaay too public. very important duties. i'll probably get jitters and spill the wine all over somebody's sunday best.

but then again, i was nervous about teaching sunday school all on my own and that turned out well enough. at any rate, i didn't swear or lock any kids up in the cabinet. not that i wasn't tempted, mind you. (what kind of brat kid goes to sunday school and pointedly turns his chair away from the teacher and the other kids?)

anyway, if you hear about a church melee involving a sinner bursting into flames and then being doused in sacramental juice, well, that was probably us.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

last stop on the milk train

with bug's decreased appetite during her illnesses, she has started the weaning process. and by going 12 hours without nursing on saturday, she has officially passed the point of no return.

this is a bittersweet time. i'm sad that i didn't make it to the end of the year, like i did with pooka, but bug got exclusivity longer than pooka did-- and pooka didn't bite as much.

pumping was really starting to be a drag, though, and i eagerly look forward to sleeping through the night. (i'm sure it'll happen sometime, but it didn't this weekend. she cried every 15 minutes from 1-3 am this morning. poor mom kid.)

and the biggest reason: i get to eat tuna sandwiches again! kisu would not let me eat them while pregnant or nursing because he didn't want the babies to risk mercury poisoning. now that i'll be the sole owner of my body again, i can eat what I want. tuna and cottage cheese for lunch every. day. the pounds will fall off like water from a hippo emerging from the river. (yes, that's exactly the image i want for my re-shaping.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

you are cordially invited to my pity party

how tired am i of going to the doctor's office? very.

so bug came through the allergic reaction just fine, but in the meantime, she managed to unearth some rsv. (and she's shared it with her family.) yep, the pneumonia-causing virus that lands infants in the hospital.

fortunately, she doesn't have pneumonia. she just has bronchiolitis and a tremendously snotty nose. which situation caused me not only to lose my rare chance at a day to myself on monday, but to stay home from work today as well.

(i missed the second weigh-in for thrive, much to my dismay, since the scale finally! registered a loss this morning.)

so now bug is receiving steroids. the irony here is that this is the day after pooka gets her very.last.dose.

part of the reason i'm so fed up with going to the doctor is the drawn-out process. i like our doctor, and most of the office staff, but every appointment takes at least an hour, even a well-child visit. today's's 930am appointment ended (granting time for a chest x-ray) at 1230pm. seriously? we spent at least 50 minutes in the exam room waiting for the doctor to return and tell me the next step.

don't get me wrong. i'm very grateful to have access to doctors, medicine, and the insurance to pay for most of it, but it's infuriating to deal with them. and it's heartwrenching to have sick kids. especially ones who can't tell you what's wrong.

i often indulge in some self-pity comparing this aspect of my life with my sister's. she had 3 kids when she was still young, naive, and uninsured. they almost never went to the doctor and are now robust, non-deformed teenagers (no comments about well-adjustedness).

i had a college degree before i had kids, read a lot of preparatory material, and am well-insured. i have one kid with a life-threatening illness and a second who's faced one (fairly minor) obstacle after another.

alright, i'm done crying, "poor me!".

daily i thank God that we have the means, the strength, and the support to deal with everything we've encountered without suffering loss of marriage, house, or sanity.

if He sends His special children to those who are best equipped to obsess over care for them, i guess he found the right place.

Friday, January 18, 2008

vote for mom!

after picking up the girls tuesday, I went to spend my pointless valuable two cents in the grand tradition of primary voting. i thought i would make like a good role model and do my patriotic duty, teaching a lesson along the way. since the precinct is at the end of our street, i figured it would be quick.

(i was right. there was no one else there but the blue-hairs running the operation. when i fed my ballot into the belching machine, the total clicked up to an astounding 140.)

pooka said that her kindy (do i really have to type out kindergarten every time?) teacher was talking about the primary and naming names, too. i asked which names. pooka couldn't remember, so i started listing them.

romney? i can't remember.

mccain? i can't remember.

clinton? yeah.

obama? yeah.

giuliani? i think so.

huckabee? i think so.

hmm, is the teacher showing a democratic bias? is pooka proving that our family's memory issues commence earlier with every generation? or even worse, is pooka destined to be a democrat? (her father will be mortified).

i gave her the benefit of the doubt and concluded that hilary and obama are getting press for their unusualness.

pooka asked for whom i was voting. and then she asked for whom she was voting. and then she asked for whom we were voting on daddy's behalf.

i'm not really one for politics, but every time a presidential election rolls around, i tell myself that i'm gonna pay attention this time and make sure i vote for the right person. about five weeks later, i'm tired of listening to all the b.s. it's hard to jump into the middle of such a soap opera, but it's unavoidable. from the moment you're born, there's already crap you missed out on that should play a role in your decisions (along with the decisions of the politicians). i guess that's what all those history classes were for, eh? maybe i should have paid more attention in school...

the planks of my campaign platform:

immigration: no playdates without thorough background checks into the potential visitor's potty training history, recent sugar consumption, and intended length of stay.

natural resources: no flushing foreign objects down the toilet.

health care: enforced vegetable quotas at every meal.

fiscal responsibility: balance the allowance budget. impose reasonable spending limits on candy.

security: head counts on all outings. no child left behind at the zoo (even if they did act like a monkey.)

education: prompt homework completion. less television.

energy: more naps. earlier bedtimes.

fair trade: encourage clothes swapping, including maternity wear and hand-me-downs (even if it's from sister to brother!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

wednesday's medical rundown

wednesday was pooka's last in-clinic chemo treatment. i am so excited for her to be done, but she doesn't yet realize the enormity of it. one more spinal and bone marrow and then DONE!

i was hoping to have the afternoon to get some errands done or at least do some special mommy and pooka event. unfortunately, something else came up.

since the diagnosis of scarlet fever, bug's rash has steadily gotten worse until finally the daycare teacher felt the need to mention it. i called the on-call doctor and based on my description, she thought it likely to be a mild allergic reaction to amoxicillin. she recommended that bug be seen wednesday.

after the majority of the day spent in the hospital with one kid, i needed to take the other kid to a doctor, too.

at least the timing allowed me to indulge in a small luxury and steal a nap. granted, i had to do it in the car in the parking lot at the daycare, but it still counts. pooka was asleep as soon as we finished lunch. i think she still had some anesthetic in her system and the only thing that had allowed to be awake earlier was the raging hunger she was suffering. after a catnap, i was able to tackle the next challenge awaiting me.

the only available doctor in the practice was one whom i had never even heard of before. i was not optimistic about a definitive diagnosis considering that he had no prior knowledge of bug. apparently, our doc had stated in her notes that the scarlet fever might simply have been a virally caused rash. the new doc ran with that and said this was just the progression of it.

as we were leaving, our doctor came down the hall and i took the chance to get her to look at bug. since she had seen what the rash looked like before, she would have a better idea if this was the same thing or an allergic reaction. she concluded the latter.

i also asked her about the continued need for the helmet. for the last 2 weeks, bug's scalp has been chafing and weeping. bug seems unperturbed by it, but i can't help but think that continual chafing will inevitably lead to infection. her head has changed noticeably in the 6 weeks since donning the lid and kisu and i believe that any further benefit will not outweigh the risk of sores on her scalp. our doc agreed with me and gave us the ok to stop using it.

now we have to get through her unlearning period. she has gotten used to both the defensive and offensive properties of that helmet. when she wants to get somewhere, she simply lowers her head and bulls her way through.

i guess she'll learn soon enough that that tactic hurts her as much as the other object.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

legalized crack

timmy's donuts get rave reviews, especially being this close to the great white north. people act like they're truly addicted. i personally don't get the attraction.

kisu first introduced me to them on one of our trips through canada to visit mom, touting them as the world's best. i was unimpressed.

i like donuts, don't get me wrong. but as long as they don't give me heartburn, one brand is much like any other. with the exception of that double k brand, i won't go out of my way to show preference.

anyway, since timmy's has invaded the us of a, i actually don't like to eat them at all. i think the quality has gone down. (always fresh, my patoot. they're hauled over the border in trucks full of frozen balls of dough.)

but the real reason i will not put another bite of his product in my mouth from this point forward is: they make my tongue numb. seriously.

last week dad brought some over. as a former cop, he is a self-admitted connoisseur of the fried puffs of dough. he claims that timmy's is the best brand going. he will plan errands and other trips around timmy's locations. (and cracker barrels, but that's another story.) halfway through my treat, i realized that my tongue was going numb. i finished eating it and felt the effects for almost an hour afterwards.

i was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps it was that particular flavor. the next day i tried a completely different flavor, but again lost sensation in my mouth.

i wonder if i just have a negative reaction to whatever addictive substance they use that has everyone else hooked for life? it wouldn't be the first time that my body had a reaction opposite to the expected for a given chemical.

maybe the antidote is in the coffee.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

best of both worlds part two: the recap

back from our trip to montana....

we had such a good time. even though it took us 40 minutes to get back to the attached parking garage due to the mob, and then once we did, we couldn't find the truck.

the girls were excited to attend their first concert, but could have benefitted from an early nap. by the intermission, both of them were ready to go home. they eventually got their second wind and lasted the whole show; however, they were both asleep by the time we left the parking garage.

showtime was 7pm. we ran just a little late and were taking care of the potty/souvenir needs when aly & aj started up. they played maybe 5 or 6 songs, only one of which i even recognized. by the time we found our seats, we heard one song and then the house lights came back up. we all tried to put in some earplugs to dampen the volume, but one by one we lost them until pooka was the only one whose hearing didn't sustain certain damage.

stage transition took about 20 minutes and then the screaming resumed. hannah descended to the stage in one of the many screened boxes suspended over the stage. the pyrotechnics had the girls awestruck. she ran a great first half, pausing between songs to drink some water. she made two costume changes, during which her two backup singers ran the segue.

when intermission hit, the girls asked to go home. becca and i were having a blast and encouraged them to hold out longer. (there was no way we were leaving early.)

after another 20 minute break, the lights went down and the music started again. this time, miley rose to the stage at the end of the walkway that extended into the audience. as she finished her first song, it sank into my head: both worlds.

miley's songs were more subdued and at the same time edgier. where hannah was pop, miley was rock/alternative even. i am not as familiar with miley's songs, but judging from the staging of them, they are a little more mature. i'm not sure i was totally comfortable with that, but i noticed some things about her moves that reassured me about her innocence. for one thing, under her short gauzy skirt, she was wearing black lycra shorts to preserve her modesty. also, she still at times had the awkwardness of a pubescent tomboy. she was simply a fun-loving kid learning to grow up.

many of the parents were indeed singing, and becca really got into it. i didn't feel out of place at all. there were even dads there! it was great to experience a concert for the first time again, through pooka's eyes. becca and i got a tremendous kick when aly and aj came back out and the three girls sang 'rock and roll all nite' by kiss. i'm sure the kids were oblivious to the history of that song.

when the second half ended, i was surprised at how many people actually started leaving. don't you people know there's always an encore? when the house lights don't come up, you know the show isn't over. miley finally returned to sit on a stool at the end of the walkway and played us one more song on her guitar. that was very sweet and a nice way to end the show.

i had planned on buying pooka a t-shirt, the quintessential concert souvenir, but they started at $30 and went up from there. what pooka really wanted was a glow stick ($10!) and i added a program ($20).

even though i subjected myself to the consumerism and the mob mentality that i despise about events like this, i thoroughly enjoyed myself and i wouldn't have traded the experience with my daughter for the world.

Friday, January 11, 2008

best of both worlds part one: the anticipation

we managed to get tickets to h*nn*h montana for pooka for christmas. we had tried for the concert in early december, but that was a fiasco.

kisu won a prize as super awesome daddy for landing 4 tix on the floor in the 30th row for the show tonight. i had invited one of pooka's friends and her mommy the first time around, so i figured i'd do the same this time. (having recently been delivered of a healthy baby, the mommy can actually attend the concert now.)

kisu was disappointed that i offered the tickets to friends because he was looking to make some big bucks reselling the two extras. yeah, 3 grand would have been nice, but i prefer having people i know with us, instead of just me, my 6 year old, and 20 thousand screaming mobbers.

pooka is thrilled, although it took a while to sink in. i put some mocked up tickets in her christmas stocking (the real deal didn't arrive until new year's eve), but she was underwhelmed. this week at school, though, she has been giddy and counting down the days.

tonight's the big night. i think i am almost as excited as she is. hey, the songs are actually pretty good, they're positive and inspirational, and she's wholesome--even if i am a little tired of hearing, "sweet niblets!" at least she's not running around with an inflated ego, enlarged liver, or a swelling stomach (yeah, i'm talking about you zac, lindsay, and jamie lynn!)

anyway, i'm sure i won't be the only parent there singing along.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ups and downs

i cannot find my membership card to the gym. i can see it clearly in my mind, and i feel like i just saw it the other day, but i can't for the life of me remember where.

this was a problem because i needed to renew my membership in time for thrive.

yesterday i called the customer service line and had them look me up by name. it worked and it probably saved me $50. if i had just renewed online, i would not have had the nice operator waive the 're-activation fee' for me. (if i had not let the membership lapse, i probably could have avoided the fee as well, but i knew i wasn't going to use the gym in my last trimester or on maternity leave. after that, well, i didn't know what was going to happen.)

he said it would take a day for the renweal to be reflected in the system, but i didn't want to wait that long.

i went to the gym, hoping that the same receptionist would be there as has been for the past 2 years. bingo! we chatted about our babies and then i told her about the renewal and the card, yada yada. she waved me on through. (dang! maybe i could've avoided paying the renewal fee altogether!)

i jumped on the treadmill, but i couldn't get it to wake up. i didn't think i was gone long enough to forget how to use the machinery. after my third try, i got started. i went for the fat-burning program and the machine went crazy adjusting the incline in order to keep my heart rate at its target. those heart monitors on the handles are useless. how can i be clipping along, even at just 3mph, and have a pulse of 54? nobody even has a resting rate that low, except lance armstrong. i wore my pedometer while on the treadmill and added almost 2000 paces to my total.

it was so good to be exercising again; the adrenaline was flowing, i had an endorphin high--until my body crashed about an hour later. it felt like it just shut down. ah, that sluggishness of the first 2 weeks of working out. i did not miss that.

i feel like this is a good start to the program. the first two days i got back on track with caloric intake (i only was a little bit hungry) and the third day added the cardio. next week i will add weight training again (after i find my gloves.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

a visitor from outer space

she came out of the bathroom stammering like a robot:

i'm an alien.

i'm an alien from planet....

i'm an alien from planet doofus!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

what's your favorite color?

i've never been a big fan of red, but i can definitively tell you that i hate scarlet.

bug's probably not so fond of it, either. she has a fever that color.

i panicked a bit when the doc mentioned it, but doing some research has put my mind at ease.

it's a strep-based infection and is easily treated with antibiotics. it is contagious, as would be strep throat, but it's nowhere near as catastrophic as it used to be when my nana was little. i don't have to worry that bug's hearing is in jeopardy.

i called the daycare to advise them, and i called kisu at work to follow up on the sore throat he complained of yesterday.

(*****red lights flashing, klaxon ringing. wait, does a klaxon ring or clang or what?*****)

and yes! he has developed a fever. guess what, big guy? you've probably got the fever for the flavor of a pringle antibiotics. (as if he needed another reason to hate o*io state.)

kisu's supervisor freaked and sent him home. i wonder if poppa can handle kisu AND bug?

Monday, January 7, 2008

today we thrive

work is launching their fitness incentive program today. there are three phases, and you can participate in any or all, with a team. i have two separate teams, participating in the Walk More and the Lose Weight phases. i'm passing on the Take the Stairs option. i have too much crap to carry everyday to haul my butt up 8 flights in the morning.

the programs last for 8 weeks, and they are offering small prizes for the winners of each 2 week segment. that's cool, but i'm not about the prizes. (although i wouldn't turn down the grand prize of the ip*d+nik* shoes.) i'm all about the "it's time to lose the baby weight and get back to my pre-pregnancy hotness." this is just a convenient launching point, combined with some friendly motivation and support.

check in is this morning and then we're off to the races. i plan on double-dipping my walking/weight loss by using the treadmill. but first, i have to renew my gym membership. and to do that i need to find my membership card. so today is a soft launch. i have started counting calories this morning, though. in the meantime, i'll be taking the scenic routes through the building today.

Friday, January 4, 2008

free range chick

bug hates to be confined. i know no baby is happy to be strapped down, but bug really hates to be confined.

she raised holy hell the day i tried to put her in a playpen while she was still awake. she has slept in one, but we've never expected her to actually play in one before.

we were at a friend's and i didn't want her running loose while i scrapbooked. i put a bunch of toys in with her, but she had no interest. i tried feeding her. i tried nursing her. i tried laying her down with a bink. i changed her diaper. nothing stopped the lamenting and sometimes outright screaming. 40 MINUTES!

finally i pulled her out and set her on the floor in front of me, pondering my next move. lo and behold! she spied my scrap tote and was instantly entranced. she spent the next 20 minutes completely focused on getting my markers out of their little elastic loops. when she was finally successful, she then spent a chunk of time chewing on them and banging them together. she never managed to get any caps off and a few teeth marks won't affect their use. she roamed free, but not far, for the rest of the afternoon and never caused any trouble.

when i get home during the week, it is a crazy, hectic rush to get food prepared for pooka and i and then something for bug. if there is a crockpot meal ready, i plunk bug down in her highchair and placate her with some o's to munch. but if it will take any longer than slapping some food on a plate and sloshing some milk in a glass she won't tolerate it. so i let her roam the kitchen floor. (we used to put her in the pod chair on the floor, but she can now extricate herself from it with minimal effort. the effective use time of that device was depressingly short.) she can't open the cabinet doors yet, so she just plays with whatever's on the lowest shelves. we've done a little rearranging to ensure that said shelves contain plastic items. now that she's standing up, she amuses herself by trying in vain to grab the bread products from the next higher shelf. this is less of a hassle than listening to her whine from the dining room.

when we're downstairs perfecting the art of the couch potato watching tv folding laundry and mending clothes we create a mulit-part barricade consisting of:
one gate--blocking off the furnace area
one folding door--protecting the office
and a laundry basket wedged between the couches--to prevent her escape into the wilds of the basement

she happily cavorts in this free-form enclosure with rarely an effort to bust out. (well, there was that one time she fell head first into the laundry basket, but she was too shocked to take advantage of the proximity to freedom it allowed her). the drawbacks to this system are that we enclose two majorly baby-unfriendly attractions: the entertainment center with its attendant cords and buttons (no real interest, yet) and the coffee table with its irresistibly sharp corners.

seriously, her pull-to-stand obsession can only be sated by planting one hand on either side of these corners and staring straight at the point, daring it to rise up and impale her eyeball. we joke about the protection that she receives as a perk of the helmet, but it doesn't guard her face, and neither does she.

we need to find a cushion for the corners that works better than the flimsy foam we used when pooka was a baby. that stuff only lasted about 2 weeks because every time an adult walked by the table, they snagged the cushions and ripped them off.

maybe it won't be an issue too much longer, as bug is improving exponentially overnight in her standing stability. before we know it, she'll be running across the house chasing after her sister, gnashing her teeth.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

little nipper

bug is developing a bad, bad habit. she likes to clamp her teeth down hard. with something in between. like my nipple. sometimes it's just my clothes. one time it was her sister's chest.

she bit me once or twice before she had any teeth (and it still hurt!), but after the chompers came in, she didn't bother. until the last 2 weeks or so.

she's clipped me dozens of times, often in pairs. after i scold her for the first offense, she'll slyly stare me down as she gently extends her neck and oh so slowly clamps her nascent pearlies down on my uber-sensitive part. if she does it twice in a row, i close the buffet.

i don't know what's causing this new fascination with biting. pooka never had issues with it. i'm sure she did it once or twice, but it was never a problem. bug constantly bites things. she even bit her own finger hard enough to cause herself to cry; however, that experience has not deterred her snapping.

pooka, although she loves her baby sister dearly, has become very wary of holding her too closely. one night while playing on the bed, bug leaned in and took a bite of pooka's chest. it quickly left a welt, a subcutaneous pooling of blood, and pooka in tears. i removed bug to her crib, whereupon she began wailing, too.

i don't know what to make of this behavior. i don't want her becoming a problem child at daycare. (pooka actually has a history of being a chew toy for other children. when she was at daycare at the age of 2, she was regularly a victim of a certain child who apparently had a nasty combination of oral fixation and anger management issues. she has even sustained occasional nips from the supposedly matured kids at the pre-school house.) i try to sternly reprimand bug for the biting--any voice raised in anger will cause her to cry--but it doesn't seem to impress upon her that she's doing wrong.

for the most part, our best path is to avoid putting anything within reach of her mouth other than food, but therein lies my predicament. my offering her food puts me in jeopardy. it's getting to the point where i'm somewhat less than relaxed every time i nurse her (not the night feedings, she's too tired for mischief then) which makes for a not very nice bonding time.

this is one of the many reasons i'm thinking about weaning.