Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grandma's first pie

My mother-in-law is here for Baby's birth. Unfortunately, I had Babe's a little early, so she couldn't help my husband while I was in the hospital, but she is here to help me for a full beautiful week, and I am grateful. Today she made our leftover chicken into one of Dad's favorite meals, chicken pot pie. She tells me this is her first pie. Apparently she has enough pie experience though, to realize that any pie is better with some decor, in this case her sweet granddaughters' initials.

For the record, I have made more pies than I can count, but hers looks better than most of mine have.

some thoughts during the last five days

*My husband loves his little girls. This picture illustrates it better than I can describe it. He looks this way with the other one too, when she submits to a little cuddling.
*People keep asking how Kiddo likes her little sister. While she hasn't told me what she thinks, she did cry for 20 minutes the day Baby was born when her dad told her that soon I would come home from the hospital with her. (We suspect it had more to do with my absence rather than Baby's addition.) But other than that, she's been very helpful, and is learning to yield some of her time to the baby. She has figured out that "the baby is biting Mama" which is eating time, and realizes that I really can't hold both of them at the same time, although I'm sure I'll learn. In reality, I think it's just one more change in her life. We've done a lot of those recently, so I'm sure she'll do just fine with this next one. And she sure loves to hold her.

*The other night while trying to fall asleep after a late night (early morning?) feeding, I found myself thinking the following: "I preferred the contractions at Kiddo's birth, but the tearing/stiches from Baby's." Now that is an example of choosing the lesser of two negative things.

*My haircut gets the birth of baby seal of approval. It still looked okay after hours of head smoothing to help me relax, and then when I finally got around to showering, and realized I didn't have any shampoo, I cleaned it with Dial soap, and it still did fine. My long hair would not have survived that.

*After only five days, it seems that Baby has been here with our family forever. I love that aspect of having children. As soon as they come, you wonder how your family existed without them.

*Of all the hormonal changes/fluctuations of a woman's life, baby blues irritate me the most. As I cry in the evening I know I'm just reacting to hormones, but I sure feel like I'm a failure at everything, and will never be fine again. It helps that this is my second time through this, so I can remind myself that *really* this too shall pass.

*I have a fair complexion, my husband more so, can any one tell me how we get babies with dark hair, skin, and eyes? And then how that all goes away?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

and then there were four

She's here.
7 lb 13 oz. 21 inches.
Thursday, 3:01 am. (Why do my babies come in the middle of the night?)
She has a name, but I still have no idea what to call her here in blogland. For now she'll be Baby.

Hats off to an amazing husband who physically, emotionally, and mentally supported me through what quite possibly were the hardest three hours of my life. At least I have a second beautiful girl to show for it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

two heartbeats

At two visits to two pediatricians, Kiddo has been diagnosed with a heart murmur. Both assumed it was benign, but the most recent told us to get it checked out, just in case, since we had insurance. So today we took Kiddo to the pediatric cardiologist. First we had a short consultation in her office, and as we left the office to go to an exam room, Kiddo waved and called out "Goo-bye doc-toh" as if we were done.

When we got to the exam room, Kiddo started worriedly stating "she cannot look at your arm" and we assured her once again that she wouldn't be getting a shot today. Instead she had an echocardiogram and EKG. Kiddo behaved exceptionally well, and earned the praise of the doctor for her good behavior (apparently these tests are usually pointless on any child from 9 mos. to 3 years because they get so agitated). Kiddo found most of it very interesting. When the lights were turned off she told the doctor over and over "good night" and talked about looking at her tummy, even if most of the exam was a little higher than that.

As the I heard the sound of her heartbeat magnified through the equipment I thought, this sounds familiar. And then I realized that this week I've heard both my girls' hearts beating. They are both doing great.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

change is here

My great physical vanity is my hair. It is curly, and almost zero-maintenance. And it's a cool melange of color. What more could a girl want?
It was also really long...

...because it's hard for me to find someone I trust to cut my hair. But it was time for a change. I've been thinking about it for months (perhaps years) but there is the problem of who, and how? Because if you look for people with curly haircuts, they are often all a variation on my haircut, just at varying lengths.

But my walking partner is also a professional hair stylist. So I asked her to cut my hair.

And she did.
So now it is not long. And in this picture looks a lot like my mom's hair color, not my reddish-brownish mix I'm used to. But cute I think. And it didn't freak Kiddo out. And I really don't know whether it is still low maintenance or not, but knowing me, it probably is, because I just can't imagine spending much time on it.

the reenactment

On Tuesday we went out to dinner. As we were driving home we were listening to Kiddo's music. At one point, Daddy started singing along, which is really not okay with Kiddo, so she screamed to let us know. This is not one of our favorite responses of hers, so, as we always do when she screams that way, we turned off the music for one minute. Daddy told her that the music would not turn on again until we got to the bridge. She asked for us to turn on the music, but he insisted we wait until the bridge. In actuality, it turned on a little sooner because he cooled down, and she had, immediately following her scream, said "Please don't sing" which is what she's supposed to do. She is making progress at least. And that was the fun music time that night.

On Wednesday we headed off to the zoo. We again were listening to Kiddo's music. At one point, for reasons I was not clear about she screamed. Then she screamed again louder. Then she started reprimanding herself, "Don't scream." Then she told us the consequences, "We will turn off the music." And she finished it off with the length of the punishment, "We will turn the music on at the bridge." It was a little complicated to drive, considering how hard I was laughing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the local zoo

Today instead of our typical walk through a local park with ducks, we explored the local zoo. It's an odd little place with some exotic animals, and many not so exotic. While it wasn't quite the zoo I was hoping for, Kiddo did love the excursion.

She was more than happy to check out the peep holes into the prairie dog exhibit. Unfortunately, she was too short to actually see into the enclosure. And I was definitely too big to get in there to help her. She was still pretty impressed. As the first animal we visited, this was also one of her favorites.
She also loved the farm animals. Maybe it was because she could recognize them. ("It's a pig! Taking a nap!" "It's a cow!" "Look at the horse!" Or maybe because their "habitat" is a stall in a barn, it was easier to spot them. But she was the most excited here.

She enjoyed the gibbon, which was the only animal that really did anything, but was equally impressed by the small statue of the elephant within the gibbon's space.

But, being Kiddo, her favorite part was this fountain:

And, I remembered just before we left that there was a train ride, so we took that too. That was also popular. "It's a train! We are going so fast!" she cried with joy (as we pulled out of the station slowly enough for me to have been able to walk faster). Here we are on the train with my walking partner, and Kiddo's great friend (mine too).

But the outing was clearly a success because the trip ended like this:

What a sweet, exhausted, little girl.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

not so simple math

I'm okay with the idea that my brain functions at less than optimal levels during pregnancy, especially late pregnancy. I've come to grips with the fact that I can lose my train of thought mid-sentence, that I have trouble telling people where things are, or in fact, naming things. I accept this as part and parcel of the experience, and realize that while my brain may never function the same, it will work again, and it will work well. (After all, I wrote a dissertation post-pregnancy.)

This is especially important for me to remember today. I was trying to subtract 60 from 1020 in my head. I couldn't. I tried it multiple ways, and each time my brain would short circuit without providing me with an answer. It didn't dawn on me to try to figure it out using paper and pencil, then I could have solved it. I eventually gave the problem to my husband with the instructions that I knew it was simple, but I was just not doing well, and I specifically instructed him not to laugh at me. To his defense, I think he was laughing at the situation.

In case you were wondering, the answer is 960. Of course.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"she can't look at my arm"

As part of Kiddo's two year check-up, the doctor suggested, since we have insurance, that we should get some routine blood work done, specifically to check Kiddo's lead levels. I believe this is more a feature of where we live as opposed to any direct concern about development.

Having recently had my blood taken, and having recently watched my child get some shots, I was not keen on this idea. I debated back and forth the merits of knowing, vs not getting her stuck, and even prayed about it, and decided that it would be okay to have the blood work done.

This morning I felt it only fair to give her a brief heads-up, and told her at breakfast (about 30 minutes before we left) what we were doing today. She spent the next 30 minutes living life, with brief interludes of remembering that we were going to the "doctor," (okay, a lab technician, but I'm working with Kiddo's world here) and her crying pitifully claiming "she can't look at my arm." And sadly, I couldn't tell her that it wouldn't happen, I could only tell her that she'd be okay.

The waiting room was more of the same. She'd be fine, then start wandering around (a distress signal) insisting "she can't look at my arm." At a calmer moment she looked in our bag, and found a princess pull-up that she started carrying around as a comfort item... Then we actually went in. I had brought a video for her to watch, but frankly, she was more interested in watching the man put the band around her arm, and look for a good vein. And he pricked her, and I didn't even know because she didn't even react. When he started filling the little vials, she squawked briefly. He laughed at her delayed reaction. Then she watched him fill up his quota, and put a cat bandage on. Then he gave her princess sticker, and she put that on her arm too. She clearly had no sense of one serving a different purpose than the other. And she was completely fine.

Which means the promise of the donut store was now unneeded, but we went any way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

too cold for me

My husband had the day off on Friday (yay for Good Friday, on many levels), so we decided to go to the beach. It was supposed to be in the 70s, so it seemed like a perfect day. We packed to the best of our ability and headed off mid-afternoon (after Kiddo's appointment). An hour later we pulled into the beach parking lot, and I saw multiple families dressed more warmly than we were, and I thought, "oh my goodness, you forgot what a northeastern shore was like." Silly me, I grew up in this area, I should have packed differently (read: better).

This is when they first got into the water. Now, be clear, Kiddo loves all bodies of water that are big enough to get into, from the bathtub on up. And the ocean was the pinnacle of all that. She has been known to request, and stay, in water that is not very warm. But we had not factored in was how COLD the water would be (and I was sure it would be cold).

After a few minutes of being in the surf, daddy pulled Kiddo out because she was turning purple and he couldn't feel his feet. Oh, and she was massively shivering. (I had gotten my feet wet, gasped at the painful cold, and quickly found my way back to the sand, where I was sure the waves wouldn't get to me.)

So we put on her sweatshirt (oops daddy, I didn't pack one for you, sorry) and wrapped her up in one of the towels I remembered just as we were preparing to walk out the door. (Who goes to the beach without a towel? Seriously though, I tried.) Kiddo spent most of the rest of the time that we were there begging to go back into the water. Except she didn't actually want her to be in the water, she wanted to be held above the water.

Which makes sense. It's hard to stand in the surf, and the waves were basically her size. It was a new experience, and it was cold. Her dad is an incredible man, and spent a large part of the time we were there in the freezing cold water. And she loved him for it. As I watched him walk back into the frigid water again, I took this picture and thought, "For his parenting skills alone I should have married him."

He did get small breaks though, as we convinced her to fly a kite (which she loved) and blow bubbles (not as exciting because of the wind). Finally after about 45 minutes, I realized we needed to be good parents, and get her out of the cold.

Here are the four of us at the beach:
Kiddo is excited to go back to the beach and the ocean and fly the fish kite again. She suggested today. We told her no. Maybe next month.

regression to the mean

After months of thinking about it, I finally set an appointment for Kiddo to see the pediatrician. I got a few recommendations, and then chose the one around the corner from our house. It would take longer to get in the car, park, get out of the car than it does to walk. (I'm not sure how the math will change with an infant...) Unfortunately the wait was super long. (Doubly unfortunate, I am way sensitive to imagined criticism, so my husband can't even complain about it.)

Kiddo's vital stats, at 2 years and 3 months are 36 inches tall, and 28 lbs. I laughed today, realizing that in the last year she's put on a whopping 8 lbs. It seems like it should be more given how much she's grown up, but perhaps a lot of that was developmental. What these measurements also mean is that she has moved past the ridiculously long and skinny stage. As opposed to being 95th percentile height and 25th percentile weight, she is now 75th percentile height and 50th percentile weight. I think that's great.

As for her doctor, well, I'm reserving judgment for right now. I'm sure I'll know better how I feel after a couple rounds of infant visits. And those will come soon enough.