Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A big sigh of relief! Peanut's ear surgery went fine. He was such a little trooper until the surgery: no babas after midnight (he normally has one at 5), up early to be at the surgicenter by 6:45, and hanging out there for another hour until the surgery. He barely fussed at all and seemed to enjoy all the nurses fussing over him. He only cried when they gave him gas to go to sleep. I mustered up the courage to hold him, and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. He slowly drifted off to sleep.

Within 10 minutes, the tubes were in. We could hear him screaming as soon as he woke up, all the way out front in the waiting area. He was like a little wild child screaming, flailing, and arching his back. Poor Daddy spent the 45 minuts of post-op holding a little screaming demon. The little guy was still "drunk" from the anesthetic as was apparent by his barely-focusing eyes. Once we got him settled into the carseat with a binky, he was fine. By the time we got home, he was smiling again. And after a baba, he was ready to play. Daddy passed out on the couch, so around 10, I took Peanut into the bedroom and laid him in bed. He rolled around and played, then noticed a sock had fallen off. He took one look at those juicy toes, spit out the binky and stated sucking on his big toe. I laughed. He was adorable. A little while later he rolled around until he was comfy, then zonked out - for 3 glorious hours. Which meant I did, too. Pure bliss.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving was quiet and enjoyable. Mom came over, so it was us 3 adults and Peanut and a whole feast of yummy food. Mom was pleasant most of the time, although she drove us crazy insisting on making a jell-o mold that neither Hubby nor I wanted. The recipe made enough servings for about 15, and we both suggested she halve it. She would have So, she ended up with a huge bowl of pink crud only she would eat, then complained about it. Mom will never change.

Friday, things got hectic. Hubby was called out to an unattended death, then to another. Saturday he had to go to an autopsy and that night a toddler died of apparent meningitis. Sunday he went to the autopsies for the two Friday deaths and the toddler.

I could not do what he does. One of the unattended deaths was a 30-year-old man, who probably died from liver disease due to drugs and alcohol. 30 years old. Younger than me. Someone who should have been in the prime of his life.

The toddler got to me even worse. Apparenly she had an ear infection, was taken to the doctor on Friday and given antibiotics. By Saturday morning, she was crying/screaming and every time she tried to stand, her legs buckled. It was meningitis and had already become pneumonia as well. She was dead by 11 pm. She went from "just an ear infection" to dead in less than 48 hours. Scary shit. Now we understand why our pediatrician sent Peanut to the ER when he had the horrible bilateral ear infection. Even though I griped about it at the time, and Hubby was pissed because he felt that she overreacted, we're glad she was on top of things.

I'm still thinking about that poor child and praying we never have to go through anything like that.

Peanut's ear tubes go in tomorrow, and I have worries about the procedure at the back of my mind as well.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy Birthday, Peanut!

Today you are 1 year old. At this time a year ago, I was fully dilated and getting ready to push. The epidural was so good, I couldn't feel anything, so we had to wait for it to wear off. In another 3 hours, out you popped. And our lives changed for the better.

Daddy and I never knew how much we could love you. As you get bigger and develop more personality, our love grows. You've become a real little person with your own opinion on things, even if you can't always express them in a way that we understand.

You've decided that the butt scoot is way better than crawling, and boy, you've gotten quick. A few nights ago, you made it to the dog's bowl before I realized what was happening. Luckily I got to you just as you were shoving kibble into your mouth. I'm afraid of what would've happened if it made it in. I also removed another 3 or 4 pieces from your greedy little fists. Let's just say you were not happy and made it clear. I guess if it's good enough for the dog, it's good enough for you, and you're not one to pass up on food.

You look like a drunken sailor when trying to walk. (An adorable little drunken sailor.) I think it'll be a while before you have your land legs. And still NO TEETH. Where the heck are they?

We're working on teaching you baby signs, but nothing yet. Last night you did point to the mashed potatoes when Daddy wasn't feeding you fast enough. Way to go. You also clap when we say "Yay". We're working on waving and blowing kisses, but you don't seem interested in either one.

Did I mention how cute you are? You are adorable. Of course, I'm biased, but everyone says what a cutie you are when they see your pictures. Nearly every time we go out, someone comes up and mentions your cuteness. Don't let it go to your head, though.

This morning, when you had your 5 am bottle, I whispered "Happy Birthday" into your sleepy little ear. As much as I'm not a morning person, I love our pre-dawn time together. You are so warm and sleepy and cuddly when you have your bottle. As soon as you're done, you roll over so you're chest-to-chest with me and fall asleep. And usually within about 30 seconds, the cute little snores start. As I hold you smelling your sweet hair, hugging your little body, everything is perfect. I lay you back in bed with Daddy so I can get ready for work, and you snuggle up to him, often putting an arm over his neck. I know we'll miss these days when you're too big and too cool to cuddle with us.

Tomorrow we're having a birthday party with Gramma and a few friends. I can't wait to see your reaction to the cake. We even have a little cake just for you. I wonder if you'll smash it and moosh cake all over yourself. I hope so.

Mommy xoxo

Thursday, November 17, 2005

One year ago today, I left work early. I was tired, swollen, and wondering how I was going to keep working up until Peanut's due date of January 3rd. I wanted so badly to save my paid leave until after Peanut's birth. Or to at least make it until the holidays. Little did I know that I'd be awakened before dawn by the popping of my bag of waters; that in less than 24 hours Peanut would be making his grand entrance into the world...-

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gramma passed away Thursday afternoon. She had a rough night, but had settled down. My aunt was there with her, which made me feel better about the situation. Even though she was unaware, someone who loved her was with her at the end.

Mom seems to be coping pretty well. I know she's sad, but she'd hanging in. I need to give my aunt a call. I last talked to her a day or two before Gramma died and should see how she is.

It looks like the family will have a memorial service sometime in the spring, when the weather is warmer. Gramma wanted to be cremated, so there's no hurry. As Aunt said, she can keep Gramma on a shelf over the winter and Gramma can keep her company. A springtime memorial sounds good. We wouldn't be able to go now, as Hubby is in homicide training, I have only 2 or 3 days of paid leave left, and we have no cash. Hopefully by spring we'll have some bills paid off and maybe I will have accrued some more leave.


I can't believe I forgot to mention Gramma's clothes and jewelry in the previous post. Back in the day, Gramma was quite the fashion hound. She had closets of clothes, shoes, purses, hats, scarves and gloves. And drawers of sparkly costume jewelry. It seems that her style of brooches are making a comeback and I always think of Gramma when I see them.

I loved going to Gramma's house and playing dress-up. She let me have free reign of the shoes, hats and jewelry and I loved it. I borrowed purses for several proms/dances over the years and still have a couple that she either gave to me or I forgot to give back.

When she went into the nursing home, my aunts cleaned out her house. They divvied up the jewelry and donated the clothes. I think some may have made it to our old church, where I went to nursery school. My best friend and I used to play dress-up nearly every day at nursery school, mostly with clothes Gramma had donated. I hope a new generation of little ones are having as much fun as we did.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gramma was rushed to the hospital a few nights ago with heart failure. The doctors didn't expect her to hang on this long and she's now in hospice care on a morphine drip. She could slip away at any time, and although I'm sad, I also realize it's her time. She's lived in a nursing home the past 6 or 7 years and has slowly succumbed to dementia. She had the occasional lucid spell, but she was to the point of no longer recognizing her own children. At least she was cheerful and seemed genuinely happy.

Gramma was never one of those super-involved grandparents although she was good to me growing up. After raising her own kids, she made it clear she was done and wasn't going to raise the grandkids, too. Mom is the baby of the family and I'm the youngest grandchild, so by then Gramma was definitely done. She did watch me in the summers when Mom didn't have daycare for me, or during the school year if I was home sick, she often came so Mom could go to her job. Gramma used to take me to the community pool in the summers, although I don't think she ever donned a bathing suit and she never got in the pool. We'd also go to Marcus Dairy for ice cream. Gramma always loved the sweets. Always. Marshmallows, Mallomars, and RC Cola were staples in her household.

Gramma was born in 1910 in Fairburn, GA. There used to be rumors as to whether or not her parents were actually married (they later separated and her father re-married) but I think my aunt did find a marriage certificate. Anyway, Gramma was raised by her mother and grandmother. I think she and her mom had a rough relationship, possibly her mom wasn't cut out for mothering, but her grandma doted on her. Her mom and grandma ran a lodge in Ormond Beach, FL during the winters, where they had regular residents who would stay for the winter season. Somewhere, Mom has a wonderful old scrapbook filled with turn-of-the-century postcards from the lodge residents. They are great.

She had wonderful stories of her childhood. The kooky uncle who kept pet squirrels and lived out back on the property. A sea turtle so big that she and 2 friends could comfortably stand on its back. Getting to church late on a Sunday and sitting with John D. Rockefeller, who gave her a nickel for the offering plate and a whole dime to keep for herself. The pet bear cub "Johnny Bear" they kept until he was too large to handle - her uncles accidentally killed its mother while hunting, not realizing she had cubs. Somewhere, there's a photo of a young Gramma standing on a chair next to the bear, holding onto its leash. He was eventually sent to a zoo.

At 16, Gramma married her first husband. They had 3 sons, the oldest died of pneumonia before the age of 10. Her husband liked to play the stocks and lost a substantial amount of (her) money in the crash. When money got really tight, she went to work in a factory that manufactured razor blades, as an inspector. The employees were paid per unit inspected and apparently she worked too fast, so the other employees told her to slow down. She and the husband eventually divorced. She later married my grandfather, who was also divorced (his first wife cheated on him). They went on to have 3 more children together - my aunt, uncle, and Mom. In all, they had 7 kids in the house. Grandpa was a pharmacist and had learned his skills by apprenticing - back in those days, you didn't have to go to pharmacy school if you apprenticed under a licensed pharmacist. He owned a pharmacy and all the kids and Gramma did their share of working in the store. Grandpa was a kind man who truly loved Gramma. And I think she truly loved him as well.

Grandpa died of a heart attack and Gramma later married a 3rd husband. I think it was mostly because she was lonely and was of an era when people didn't "shack up". I vaguely remember him, but he died when I was young. He seemed like a nice man, but I'm not sure the marriage was all that great.

The last 10 years or so became difficult. Gramma had a hard time living on her own, but none of the family wanted to take care of her. Mom tried for a while, but it took a toll on her. Gramma had become paranoid and would fairly regularly called 911 for no apparent reason. After several falls and a hospitalization, she was sent to the nursing home by the doctor. She hated it for the first few years, but once she was put on anti-depressants (to also help with the paranoia), she became happy. What a wonderful change.

As much as we used to gripe about Gramma and her idiosyncrasies and her often childlike behavior, she really was an amazing woman. She outlived 2 of her children and 2 husbands. She divorced her nutty husband in an era when that was not done. She lived her life the way she wanted and nobody could change that.

I love you, Gramma. I hope you go to a good place where you'll see your sons and Grandpa. Every time I see a butterfly, I'll be thinking of you.