Monday, November 24, 2008

Mom called this weekend. She's doing a little better, but still sounds depressed. The psychiatrist changed one med and upped another which seems to be working. Mom said her goal is to be well enough to spend Christmas with us. What? Hubby and I never planned or intended for Mom to spend Christmas with us this year. After her disastrous last visit, I'm in no mood to have her visit for a long while, especially not at the biggest holiday of the year.

I told her we'd have to see how things go. There is no way she can come on Christmas anyway. Hubby is only off for the 24th and 25th, so there is no way we could pick her up before Chrismas. If she's doing well and seems stable I could maybe take Bean to daycare and bring Peanut with me to pick her up. Hubby said he would be willing to take her back the follwing Monday. I just have a bad feeling about it. I don't really want to make the drive alone (or alone with Peanut) as it's 3 hours each way. The hospital is creepy, too. There are a couple of patients in Mom's building who hang out in the foyer and are scary. Not to mention there are criminals there. One social worker pointedly told me to be careful when bringing Peanut there.

So, I really don't want to deal with the trip or with my Mom. But the guilt kicks in. After all, it is holiday season and holidays are supposed to be family time.
Bean has started to reach for things. Bean scooted/lunged across Hubby the other day and grabbed at his bottle. The following day, I was shaking his chewy rattle as I leaned over to give it to him and he reached both arms out for it. And this morning he reached up and grabbed my hair as I was buckling him into the carseat. He's been a hair-snatcher from day 1, but normally he ends up grabbing my hair while waving his arms around. This time was deliberate. Stinker.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Peanut read his first word today! He and Hubby were watching an old episode of Tom & Jerry with Spike and his son in it. Spike's doghouse had "Father" painted over the opening, and the puppy's had "Son". Peanut asked what the words said. Hubby helped him sound out "fff-aahhh-th-errrrr". Then Hubby suggested that Peanut try the other word by himself.

"Sssss-ooooo-nnnnnn. That spells son!"

Way to go, little dude!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hubby recently worked a missing child case. The child was quickly found and returned home. Unfortunately, Hubby had to notify DCF because she went missing due to neglect.

You see, the 4-year-old was left in the care of her grandmother. Who let her play outside, by herself, in only pants and a t-shirt on a breezy day with temperatures in the low 60s. Grandmother didn’t bother to check if the back gate was closed. It wasn’t. So the little girl, who was unattended for at least an hour, wandered off into the woods behind her house and eventually found her way to a neighbor’s house and knocked on their door. The neighbor recognized her, notified the authorities, and took her home. Another neighbor stated that the girl had showed up at her house earlier in the week.

Four. Years. Old. The same age as Peanut. We don’t let him play alone in our very small, enclosed backyard for more than a few minutes, and that is to run inside and use the bathroom or grab the cordless phone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Peanut,

Happy Birthday! Today you are four years old. It seems like just yesterday you were a tiny, fragile little preemie and now you are such a big boy. I can’t wait to get home from work to sing happy birthday and watch you open your presents from Daddy, Bean, and me. You were asleep when I left this morning, so I kissed the top of your head and whispered “Happy birthday” into your ear.

You amaze me with all the things you have learned. You know most, if not all, of the alphabet and can sing the ABC song with little prompting. (Although you don’t like to sing – I think you get embarrassed.) You know how to turn on the computer and which icons and CDs go with each of your games – the games that have really helped you in learning your letters. You can yank open the fridge (with a bit of effort) to grab a slice of cheese or hand me the carton of OJ (still your favorite). You still come up with cute names for things. The other day you wanted to wear your “tip top” shirt. It took a little while for me to understand you were asking for your tank top.

You are a wonderful big brother. I’m in awe of how gentle and loving you are toward Bean. Yes, you do get loud and overzealous with your kisses, but you really do love him. You’re quick to pick up a dropped binky or chewie toy and hand it back to him. You love to clown around and make him smile and giggle.

Happy birthday, Sweetpea. May you have many, many more.

I love you,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mom will be kept as an inpatient for another 6 months.

I am so relieved.
I had hoped to watch the results on Election Day night. This year held the same excitement for me as the first one I was able to vote in. I remember sitting in Best Friend’s dorm room with several other friends, that night in 1992, excitedly watching the results come in. This time Hubby called me with the preliminary results that Obama had won. I am thrilled and hopeful he will get our economy slowly back on track, among other issues.

Instead of kicking back on the couch in front of the TV with Hubby, I was at the ER with Bean. During the previous week, one of the other babies came into daycare on nebulizer treatments. My RSV radar buzzed. Bean came down with a cold over the weekend and my radar was still beeping away. By Tuesday, he was wheezing and Hubby trucked him off to see the pediatrician. He came back with a positive RSV test and was sent home on Albuterol treatments (which, unsurprisingly, did little for him). When I got home from work Tuesday night, he was wheezing, retracting, and breathing very rapidly (80 breaths/minute). The on-call nurse listened over the phone and told us to go to the hospital. I packed up Bean and the breastpump and off we were. It’s amazing how fast they get the little ones in. I barely sat down after checking in when they called us to triage and immediately took us into the Peds ER section. He had two more breathing treatments, a dose of a steroid, and was still wheezy. He fell asleep in my arms after the second treatment and the TV remote was across the room, so I didn’t see any of the election coverage until well into the night, shortly before Obama was declared our president-elect... that was after I was able to get Bean to sleep in the crib and tiptoed over to the remote.

Bean was admitted around midnight. The poor guy was exhausted. He was so sweet, though. He managed to smile and flirt with the nurses while they changed him into a baby-sized gown (yes, a miniature version of an adult hospital gown.) He ended up staying 2 nights. His 02 saturation was great while he was awake, but repeatedly dipped into the upper 80s while he slept. The monitor’s alarm was off and on all night. By the second night he was much better, with lows in the low-mid 90s.

The Peds unit was beautiful. I was able to sleep in the room with him. I stayed both nights and Hubby relieved me during the day in between. Peanut was great through the whole thing, too. He got a little cranky with me during the day when I was home with him (he missed Daddy) but we played at the park and took a long nap before returning to the hospital to eat supper with Hubby. He was sad to go home again with only Hubby, but they said a prayer for Bean which seemed to help.

Bean is still coughing and snotting, but not at all like a week ago. RSV is some nasty shit.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The ability to gestate, birth, and then nourish a child via my body amazes me. It's truly a miracle. The fact that milk-producing structures evolved from sweat glands is mind-boggling.

I've dropped down to 5 milk-pumping sessions per day. I generally get about 10 ounces of milk at each session, with about 5-7 additional ounces at the first morning session (the girls, they do fill up overnight). I've had my share of plugged ducts, as I did with Peanut, but I've had the additional fun of mastitis and a milk blister. I've been the poster child for breastfeeding problems.

The mastitis came as a surprise. I felt fine when I went to bed with no obvious plugging. I woke up the next morning engorged, in pain, and with a fever. I denied it was anything worse than a plugged duct (even though the side of my boob was rock-hard and tender), took some Tylenol and went to work. I rode out chills and the funky out-of-sorts feverish feeling till noon and went home. I took a peak in the mirror and between the red streaks running up the side of my boob and a 101 degree fever, I could't deny it any more. I was able to get an appointment right away. A shot and some oral antibiotics took care of it. I did have the extra fun side effect of puking from the oral meds. I lived on crackers, rice, broth, ginger ale, and baked chicken for a week. I'm back into all my prepregnancy clothes and weigh about 7-10 lbs less than I did before getting pregnant - not the way I wanted to get there.

Everything I heard about mastitis sucking was true. It tore me up. It probably took me a good week or two to feel better.

Next came the milk blister. I still let Bean latch on with the nipple shield once or twice a day. He was very fussy one night (he acts like he's teething, but no toofies yet) so I put him on the boob. He chewed the heck outta me, even with the nipple. I notice a swollen area the next day and figured it would go away without any problems. A few mornings later I woke up with plugged ducts and couldn't get them to drain. When morning break rolled around I pumped again and was hugely engorged over half my breast. I looked like I had a bad bood job with ripples along the top and side of my breast and my nipple half swollen. That's when I noticed the blister, which I couldn't remove.

I went straight home after work. An hour of hot wet washcloths alternated with pumping finally loosened the blister enough to allow the milk out. I have never felt such relief.
They're like clockwork. Every Saturday, between 9:30 & 10:30 am, the church people come to our door. Usually they're the JWs. They drive me f'ing crazy because the scenario is always the same (not to mention I'm skeptical of any religion that requires its devout to recruit new members and will shun/excommunicate those who don't live up to their strict standards. Cultish, if you ask me.):


(Doorbell rings, dog goes apeshit, Bean starts screaming.) A crying baby is a great excuse to close the door, though.

Today I had them twice. Two elderly men at 10 am followed by a Spanish-speaking man and child at noon. "Do you speak Spanish? Does anyone in the house speak Spanish?"

Do they not check with each other to see which houses they've already been to? I wonder if our bilingual neighbors feign ignorance of English to get rid of them?

Our "No Soliciting" sign will be amended to include "No proselytizers". Leave me alone. I believe what I believe and no amount of annoying visits, whackadoo tracts, or fear mongering is going to convert me to your version of religion.