Monday, May 30, 2011

Hair

Dealing with Norah's hair has continued to be a struggle. She fights me when I try to brush it, fights me when I try to wash it, and fights me when I try to put a clip or pony tail in it. Lately I have been too exhausted to do any of these things, so she usually wins the fight. Luckily the curliness of her hair tends to hide the tangles. And the dirt. Last weekend at a birthday party, my friend Suzy remarked that it looked like Norah's hair was starting to lose a bit of its curl. Sadly, I had to admit that it was most likely the dirt, sweat, and grease weighing down hair that hadn't been washed in oh, a week. Oops.

We checked out a book from the library called "Ella Kazoo Won't Brush Her Hair" about a little girl whose hair grows so long and so tangled that it gets in everyone's way. That seemed to inspire her, so this afternoon I bribed her with a cookie AND an episode of World World and spent about 20 minutes brushing out the rat's nest on the top of her head.

I had no idea how much hair she actually had. She could totally be on Toddlers and Tiaras.

Marriage

We went on a family hike today. I agreed to go because it wasn't hot (almost June and it still is mostly still in the 60's. Love, love, LOVE). Anyway, this was the first "real" hike we've taken Norah on where she's gotten to walk, as opposed to being strapped to someone's back. (Clearly we haven't been on a hike in a while). She loved it and we spent almost 3 hours on the trail because we had to stop every minute and a half to appreciate nature from an almost 3 year old's point of view. Which was very awesome because were it not for her pace we would have totally missed out on seeing a family of banana slugs. I had never seen a banana slug before. They are totally disgusting and very cool.

Anyway, on the way back down, BVZ and Louis went ahead because Lou was in the carrier and getting fussy every time BVZ stopped walking. Which meant that Norah and I were left alone to enjoy her snail's pace and talk about all of the things on her mind. We passed two guys with a baby in a jogging stroller. They were clearly a couple and as we passed them Norah asked which one was the daddy. I told her that I thought they were both the daddy, and just like we learned from her book about all kind of different families, some kids have a mom and a dad, some kids have two moms, and some kids have two dads (we haven't yet gotten to just a mom or just a dad, because I don't want to freak her out unnecessarily).

She asked if they were married and I said that I didn't know but maybe they were. This led to a discussion about how she wants me to give her my wedding dress when she grows up. I told her that she absolutely can have my wedding dress and she can marry anyone that she wants to marry as long as she waits until she is at least 30. She then very adamantly announced that when she is 30 she is going to wear my dress and get married to....Louis.

We'll save that talk for another day.

Louis: Three Months

We are finally starting to emerge from the newborn haze and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Actually, I shouldn't be so dramatic. Louis may be the world's best baby. He is sweet, cuddly, and totally mellow. We may do 3 loads of his (and my) laundry a day and he may still be waking up twice a night to eat, but that pales in comparison to his huge smile and sunny disposition.

I weighed him on the 28th before his bath and he is clocking in at 13 lbs and 9 ozs. Not huge, but not tiny either. Ironically enough (those who have suffered through my Norah-doesn't-eat-enough-paranoia will certain roll their eyes at this point), I have often wondered if he eats TOO much. Lou loves his formula and is easily putting away 32 to 36 ounces a day. Which means he is only 3 months old and is already eating us out of house and home. Kid doesn't have a college fund yet because his grocery bill is off the charts. The barfing seems to have slowed down somewhat, but maybe it's just that we are getting used to it.

He is long and lean, just like his sister, but he is definitely starting to get the chubby upper thighs, which I love. He has the longest toes, fingers, and eyelashes. He also apparently has huge, ahem, boy parts. I didn't really think anything of it because my exposure to little baby boy parts has been pretty limited, but Amy commented on it when she was here and the other day my friend Tara came over for a visit in the middle of a diaper change and said, "HOW did they miss that thing on 3 different ultrasounds??" Ha. Louis, if you are reading this in 10 years and are completely humiliated, well. I apologize.

I can confidently say that I am his favorite person. I can get the biggest, gummiest smile out of him, and he makes me smile just as much. This one may be his number two:

Norah is a great kid, but she's also a great big sister. I wasn't sure how it was all going to shake down, but she's been nothing but kind and loving to him since the moment he arrived. I am sure things will change once he can get into her things and what-not, but she really genuinely loves him and that's beyond awesome.

Lou is a good daytime sleeper (knocking on wood). He takes 3 consistent and solid naps a day, and a cat nap thrown in there somewhere for good measure. I would prefer he sleep in his crib or the co-sleeper during the day, but he prefers his papasan seat. He can sleep through just about anything, which is a good thing around here. He has started to grab onto things and likes to hold something while he sleeps and/or rides in the car. He hasn't shown a true preference for any one lovey just yet, except maybe for Norah's hair.

He's got the same gorgeous blue eyes and alabaster skin as his sister. In certain light his hair looks very red and in other light it looks very blond. He also has awful cradle cap, though, so it is probably just brown.

Bath time is probably still the best part of his day. He likes toys and kicking around on the floor and sitting in his bumbo seat. I am trying harder to incorporate more books into his daily routine, which mostly consists of him sitting on my lap while I read Norah the 9,000 books she demands on any given afternoon. He doesn't hate the car seat and seems to enjoy stroller rides. I feel like he sits in his papasan chair way more than Norah ever did and as a result I am paranoid about flat head (shocking, I know), so while we are out and about I try to wear him as much as possible. He tolerates it but doesn't love it. I have high hopes that once he can face out in the carrier he will be way more into it. You would think we were water boarding him every time we do tummy time by the way he carries on about it. Thankfully, he seems to have great head and neck control despite his complete and total refusal to work on it (the bumbo certainly helps).

He "talks" all of the time and Norah likes to translate. The other day she told me he said butterfly in Spanish.

We love you, Lou.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reid

I know it's been a while since Amy and Reid visited, but I haven't really been able to look at the pictures much because it makes me so sad that they are gone. It's easy to describe the love you have for your kids, but a little harder to put into words how one might feel about your siblings' kids. I was only 25 when Megan was born and I had no concept of parenthood. I was dumbfounded by how strongly I felt about her the instant she was born (and before I even got to meet her), and how connected to her I have been ever since-even though I have never gotten to live in the same state and have obviously missed a lot of her childhood. Trevor and Reid are no different. I love them as though they were my own, and it breaks my heart that I don't get to see them every day.

Reid and Louis are only 3 months apart and will be best friends no matter what (they don't really have a say in the matter). They are obviously too young to interact in any meaningful way, but I am convinced they made a real connection.

We actually didn't do much while they were here other than hang around the house and try and survive two babies. We did make it to the beach, though.

They rolled around a lot in their matching outfits.... I had these onesies made for them (if you can't see it, Reid's says, "Lou's BFF" and Lou's says "Reid's BFF"). However, it was totally coincidental that they were wearing the exact same pants. Reid showed up in California wearing them and it just happened to be what I put Louis in that morning. Fate indeed.

Although a good night time sleeper, Reid sucks a lot at taking naps. However, he LOVED our giant bed and took several good snoozes there.

This look happened often. Reid would turn his head and just stare at Lou's face for as long as we would let him. It was beyond cute.

Norah thought Reid was beyond fabulous, even though he loved to pull her hair. We'll take him, anytime, anyplace.

Mother's Day Redux

On the real Mother's Day we all had food poisoning. Then a week later I was sidelined with mastitis. So, this Sunday we finally had our long awaited Mother's Day celebration. Norah woke me up with a card that she and Louis had both "signed" and we all had breakfast together.


Even Bear.

BVZ made mimosas (I had to sit down after just one).

Then we packed up and went to the beach. The day before BVZ told me, "we have a surprise for you tomorrow" and Norah whispered "we are taking you to the beach." Hey, at least she whispered. Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest beach day and was very chilly and windy. You can't promise to take Norah to the beach though and not deliver, so we persevered.


See this hoodie? It does not belong to us. I am not sure who it belongs to (I suspect Caleb?) but Norah loves it and wants to wear it every day (we'll give it back, I promise).

BVZ packed an awesome picnic of baguette, brie, salami, cucumbers, celery, hummus, and strawberries. We learned Norah does not enjoy salami.


Lou spent the time either napping or making out with his dinosaur.

Norah came home and made me this drawing. She told me it says, 'Happy Mother's Day' and it was just for me. But then later she told me it was her menu, so who knows.

(As an aside, Norah is really into pretending she is at a restaurant these days. She will sit at her table and ask for a menu. I have to say "Hello, Madame. My name is Tiana (from Princess and the Frog) and I will be your waitress for the evening. Would you like to see a menu? What can I bring you to drink, we have milk or water." She will then order her drink and ask to hear the special. I tell her what the special is, ie, what she's getting for dinner, and she tells me, "I will have that please." Whenever BVZ asks her what she had for dinner she says, "oh, just the special." It's quite the production, but hey. Whatever works).

The rest of the day was spent napping and doing house related chores (although I did sneak away during nap time and bought myself a pair of shoes). Lou did some tummy time-which he HATES-but Norah helped by entertaining him, which he loves. She says she's helping him exercise.

It was a long time coming, but a great day. Although the one thing I wanted was for BVZ to get a picture of me with the kids. That didn't happen. We'll try again one of these days.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Overheard...

...in our bathroom this morning:

Me: "Eww. Your pee is really stinky."

Norah: "Oh yes it is. That's because it comes from my butt."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adding Insult To Injury

As if last week's food poisoning incident wasn't bad enough, I managed to come down with mastitis YET AGAIN. I mean really. I wanted to nurse Louie. I tried to nurse Louie. I spent a lot of time, energy, money, and heart ache trying to nurse Louie. And not only could I not nurse Louie, but I have had to deal with the nightmare that is mastitis, TWICE in less than 3 months???

I didn't even think a person could get mastitis after weaning, but apparently it is relatively common within the first 3 months after you stop nursing. Saturday I was a little sore and then by Saturday night I knew exactly what the problem was. I went to urgent care first thing Sunday morning and I got an antibiotic injection and a prescription for a 10 day course. By Sunday night things were much worse and I couldn't even walk without excruciating pain (every time I moved the left side of my body it h.u.r.t).

First thing Monday morning I made an appointment with my OB (she was on call so I had to see someone else in the practice), dropped off Norah, and headed in. I felt really crummy and was actually feeling worse by the minute, but was surprised to find that I had a temperature of 104. The doctor was very concerned that not only had I not responded to the antibiotics at all, but the problem seemed to be getting much worse. My poor left breast was swollen to about twice its normal size (the horror), and was as hard as a rock. Oh, and really, really red. She had to press on it to see if she could feel a clogged duct. Now, I have had several broken toes, appendicitis, 48 hours worth of labor, and 2 c-sections and NOTHING has even remotely hurt as much as this doctor trying to feel for a clogged duct in my boob of doom. I cried and cried and cried and it took everything I had not to punch her in the face. (To her credit, she was very apologetic and I think she felt like a giant a-hole for having to do it).

She suspected that it had actually moved past mastitis and was an abscess that would have to be surgically drained. Crap. She immediately sent me to have an ultrasound and then scheduled me a consultation with one of the breast surgeons. Crap, crap. I had the ultrasound, which hurt like hell, but thankfully they did not find an abscess. The surgeon was quite concerned with how it looked and drew around the red area with a permanent purple marker. She started to go into what would happen if it didn't improve in the next 24 hours, which I will not repeat. She sent me home with orders to return the next day (today) and prescriptions for a much stronger, higher dose antibiotic, and two different pain medications (including my best friend, Vicodin).

I went through the drive-through pharmacy pick up, which I discovered a while back and was told they were running behind and it would be 20 minutes more. So I waited 20 minutes and then went inside, waited in line, and gave my name at the counter. And was told they were running behind and it would be at least 45 minutes. And then I promptly burst into tears. The clerk asked me if I wanted a tissue and I said, 'no, I want my prescription. It hurts really, really, really bad.' I felt like an idiot, but by this point I really couldn't help it. I think they were appropriately horrified (or maybe just compassionate), but my prescriptions were ready in the next 5 minutes.

I felt better within about an hour of the first dose of the new antibiotic and have continued to improve. It helped that I went to bed at 8:00 pm yesterday, which I haven't done in about 25 years. At my appointment today the breast surgeon said 'we aren't out of the woods yet, but things are moving in the right direction' and is making me come back on Thursday and then again next week. When all is said and done (even with our excellent health insurance), I will have spent $190 on co-pays for office visits and prescriptions.

Norah is doing her best to take care of me and asks me every 5 minutes if my boob still hurts. Louis continues to brighten my day with his big, gummy smile. BVZ has taken on the lion share of child rearing these past few days and has decided that I am the perfect person to educate young people about the perils of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum issues. He thinks if a 16 year old had any idea any of this was possible she would invest in a lifetime supply of condoms. Ha. He's probably right.

But the upside is that you get a baby who looks like a little old man. And really, is there anything better than that?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Smiley Lou

He's one happy baby.

video

Happy Birthday BVZ

BVZ's birthday Saturday started out with Norah and I making a Starbucks run. Usually I try and dissuade him from getting his favorite drink (White Chocolate Mocha) because it has like 9,000 calories in it, but this time I actually went and got it for him (although I get skim milk for him, not 2% like he requests and he is none the wiser).

It was kind of a dreary day but we had been talking about going to Vasona Park in Los Gatos for forever, so we figured it was now or never. It was about a 40 minute drive and the parking lot had maybe 20 spaces (thanks, bay area), so we drove around for another 10 looking for a spot on the street. Norah saw Shrek recently and there is a scene where the Donkey says 'are we there yet' about a hundred times and she just thinks re-enacting it is hilarious. I don't necessarily share her sentiment.

It's a big park and despite the crummy weather it was very crowded. Lots of parties going on. There is a great playground with 2 large play structures. I don't know if she isn't fully recovered from being sick, or what, but Norah has been a stage 5 clinger this past week. She's been super duper sensitive and cries at the stupidest things (which is totally not like her). I am hoping once she's back to 100%, we'll get our happy and jovial girl back because this one is driving me bananas.

She wanted nothing to do with the play structure ("too scary"-again, odd for her) and so she played on the swings and on the train and fire truck structures.

She sat in the train car for 20 minutes or so and made friends with all of the kids who came in and sat at the table with her. She would ask their name and then offer them tea.


We walked the length of the park to the carousel in the back. It's an old historic carousel, which is very cool. What is not very cool is that they made me go with her since she was less than 40 inches tall (I would have gone anyway), and I had to buy a ticket to stand there next to her. A $4 carousel ride. Anyway, I helped her climb up the horse she picked and as soon as she was strapped in she FREAKED OUT. Like on the verge of tears freaked out. Thankfully she rallied and agreed to at least try it.

Her rally face.

She then wanted to ride the train, so I stayed with Lou and she and BVZ hopped on.

Apparently 30 seconds into the ride she freaked out and started yelling for me. Luckily, she had a quick recovery and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

Home for naps and then Norah and I went up the street to get groceries for dinner and a cake. Salmon for BVZ and Norah and Halibut for me (I hate Salmon).

With garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Clearly, we need to work on portion control.

We got BVZ an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins, which is starting to be a family birthday tradition. There weren't a lot of options, which is why we ended up with the pastel rose one. The guys working at the ice cream shop was less than a, well, enthusiastic employee. Rather, he was altogether annoyed to be there. I called him the Honey Badger (ie, Honey Badger don't give a s%*t....do NOT click the link if you are 1) at work, 2) easily offended, or 3) are my mother. Seriously). Anyway, at the store I asked Norah what the cake should say and she said, 'Happy Birthday, Brian.' Ha. I asked her if she wanted it to say 'Happy Birthday, Dad' and she said no because his name is Brian. Ha, ha. The Honey Badger clearly only listened to half of our conversation and ended up writing 'Happy Birthday, Dad.' Or at least I think that's what he wrote. His cake penmanship sucked.

We all enjoyed the cake nevertheless and BVZ said it was one of his best birthdays ever.*

*He didn't get any gifts on his actual birthday because he had already received two. First, several weeks ago Louis had an AWFUL night (like waking up every 15 minutes or something barbaric like that). The next day was a Friday and so after work I sent BVZ to a swanky hotel where he got to watch whatever he wanted on tv, eat whatever he wanted for dinner, and sleep through the night. I figured that was the best birthday gift he could get. Also, he got to take himself to a Giants game this past week (in a great seat), so he's good for a while....

Monday, May 09, 2011

A Mother's Day Full of Vomit

Last week Aunt Amy and Reid were here. We had a fabulous time. I can't even write about our week yet because it makes me so sad that they are gone. They were scheduled to leave about 4:00 pm on Saturday, so BVZ wanted to make everyone a nice lunch before they had to go to the airport. He grilled turkey burgers, got chips and salsa, and a bowl of pre-cut fruit from Safeway. We had a picnic outside and despite the wind kicking up, it was a really nice afternoon.

I asked Norah if she wanted to go to the airport. She said yes. She told me she had to get bear and her Tinkerbell blanket and then she would be ready. She got bear and her blanket and came back announcing she was ready to go to Bubby's house. Uh-oh. She really, really, really wanted to get on the airplane with Amy and Reid so that she could go to Bubby's house and "go swimming and play with all of Bubby's toys." I tried to reassure her that we would go to Bubby's, just not today, but she was having none of that. Finally I told her that she didn't have a ticket and you had to have a ticket to get on the plane. She ran into her room and came back with the receipt we get when we check out library books and announced, "here's my ticket, now I can go on the plane!" Heartbreaking.

Even more heartbreaking was actually having to leave Amy and Reid at the airport. I cried. Norah cried. It sucked. I asked Norah what we should do to make ourselves feel better and she said we should get milkshakes. I thought that was a great idea. This would turn out to be a terrible idea.

By the time we got home I wasn't feeling so hot. I figured it was because Amy and I had been staying up way too late talking and brushing each others' hair and the babies hadn't been the best sleepers all week. (Amy very lovingly referred to them as "turds"). Anyway, Norah and I took a walk around the block but that seemed to only make me feel worse. It was like out of nowhere I had the world's worst hangover. I fixed Norah some dinner but she only ate 2 or 3 bites of it before telling me she was "too full." I started having some, ahem. Bathroom issues. I was hanging out with Lou on the glider in his room at about 6:30 when Norah came in and told me that her tummy hurt. I asked if she needed to sit on the potty (usually, "tummy hurts" is code for "I have to poop") but she said no. Then she said, "Mom, I mean it. My tummy REALLY HURTS." And then she proceeded to puke the entire contents of her stomach, including that aforementioned vanilla milkshake, all over the glider and rug in Louis' room. So much puke. So much.

She got cleaned up and put into pajamas and even though it was 2 hours before her bedtime she asked to go to bed. That's how I knew she was really sick. She conked out and I continued to have, ahem. Bathroom issues. About an hour later she started screaming for me and both BVZ and I ran into her room and discovered the poor kid covered in vomit, her bed soaked. She got new pajamas and her bed stripped and got set up on the couch while we dealt with the crime scene. BVZ got her a bucket and showed her how to use it-"okay, honey, barf IN the bucket..." and I turned on Calliou.

About this time I knew Amy should have landed in Texas, so I called her to make sure she got there okay and to see if she was feeling bad as well. She answered the phone and from the second I heard her voice I knew all was not okay. So, for as much as the past 36 hours have sucked for us, it doesn't even remotely compare to what poor Amy went through. She did in fact get sick. On the plane. By herself. With Reid. Who is 5 months old. It is hard enough to pee in an airplane bathroom by yourself, much less while holding a baby. Then imagine having, ahem. Bathroom issues. And then vomiting? At the same time. Multiple times. During the course of a 3 hour flight. Complete and total misery. I have an anxiety attack just thinking about it.

Norah thew up a few more times (in the bucket-yay!) while sitting on the couch and I sat with her and held her hand. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew I was the next to fall. I got halfway down the hall before the puking started and then had the worst, most violent vomiting I have ever had in my life for the next 15 minutes straight. Chocolate milkshake, not the best idea I have ever had.

Norah gave up laying on the couch and just passed out on the floor.

She slept on the floor Saturday night waking every 15 minutes or so to throw up in her bucket (of course by this time it was just stomach acid and bile). BVZ slept on the couch and woke up with her every time she got sick. I tried to sleep in the bed but was similarly up every half hour or so to throw up or use the bathroom. It was a nightmare. BVZ had some, ahem. Bathroom issues. But no puking. Thank goodness because there's absolutely no way I could have dealt with Norah's sickness on my own in the condition I was in. Lou decided to be a total rock star and slept from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am, then downed a bottle and went back to sleep until 7:00 am. It was like he knew he had to be on his best behavior.

Sunday morning Norah still couldn't even keep water down so we had to take her into urgent care to check for dehydration. She had "moderate" dehydration but nothing serious enough to warrant an IV or other intervention, so they gave her Zofran and we got to go home. In retrospect, I am not sure why I am the one who took her into urgent care. I guess we just sent me instinctively because I am always the one who takes them to the doctor, but holy schmoly. I never should have left the house and felt as though I might die the entire time.

Thankfully, as soon as we got home, Norah wanted to go to bed and so did I, so we both slept for several hours. I spent all day Sunday feeling as though I had been hit by a truck. Norah tried to play but ended up laying on the floor for the better part of the day.

The Zofran did its job and kept her puke free until she went to bed Sunday night and yup. All over the sheets again. Plus, all over bear. She was devastated he had to go into the washing machine and demanded to sleep with me, although "Mom is not as cuddly as bear." We set her up with her bucket and a lot of towels, but thankfully she slept instead of puked the entire night. Although she did wake up at one point and ask me, "IS BEAR DONE YET?"

She woke up with a smile on her face this morning and asked for breakfast and to go to Ruby's house. I gave her a little bit of breakfast and then put BVZ in charge while I took a shower. And she then puked up everything in her stomach on the chair in the living room. Poor pumpkin. On a scale of 1 to 10 I feel about a 3 today. Which compared to the negative 5 I have been for the past 36 hours is a definite improvement.

We are having a Mother's Day re-do this weekend. It better be good.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Easter

Easter was a million years ago. Does anyone still care? I am not sure, but I would feel remiss in not making some effort to recap the holiday weekend. The long and the short of it is that: 1) egg dying with an almost 3 year old isn't really that fun; 2) after begging for weeks and weeks for a Bullseye in her Easter basket, Norah did in fact get a Bullseye in her Easter basket. And she couldn't have cared less; 3) we have awesome friends.

Norah and I celebrated Good Friday by dying Easter eggs. Or rather, I dyed the eggs and she ate them.

And threw a big, giant, baby fit when I wouldn't let her eat one with the shell on.

Here's our finished product.

Lou was similarly not impressed.

On Saturday we attended the first birthday party for one of our very favorite little guys. Of course, I managed not to take a single picture.

Saturday night was a bad Louis night and BVZ and I both woke up, ahem. Grumpy. We tried to snap out of it as we watched Norah hunt for Easter eggs, but it didn't help our dispositions when she would find an egg, shake it to see if there was anything inside, eat whatever was inside, and then throw the empty egg on the floor, demanding more m&m's. Things got even worse when I tried to take a nice picture of the two crankiest kids of all times.

Louis got a pass (after all, he's only a baby), but Norah got told (with regard to the non-stop whining) to "zip it and throw away the key." She thought it was funny and cheered up a bit.

Our friends the R's and L-J's came over for an egg hunt and lunch and things definitely turned themselves around. The kids had a great time playing (even though the weather made our fun outside hunt into a lame inside one), and we took advantage of a quick break in the rain to let them wreak havoc in the back yard.

Sweet girls.

We just grilled hamburgers and our guests supplemented things in a big delicious way.

Norah and C wrapped things up by tearing around the house wearing their "egg noses."

Fun, fun, day.

Monday, May 02, 2011

And In The Blink Of An Eye

My little baby became a kid.