Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday Favorites: Saturday Edition

Late last night I realized that I had neglected to do my Friday Favorites. I could have quickly whipped it out, but I decided that I was way too tired to make the effort. So, you get my Friday Favorites on Saturday.

1. As I mentioned in my last post, Edith did really well at her 2 month appointment. It's always nice to know that your children are okay.

2. I just realized that Easter was this week, and we dyed eggs last Saturday-- wow, it seems so much longer ago than that. Good thing I've already posted about it, so I don't have to go on and on now.

3. A "guy" came to mow the lawn yesterday and will be back later to take care of the rest of the yard. I thought it was great, but Big isn't sure he's too sold on the idea-- they missed cleaning up a few grass clippings from his basketball court (and I mean only a few). I could get used to it, though.

4. Yesterday was busy, but was capped off wonderfully by a visit from some family. Auntie Opera was here from New York and Auntie Art and my folks came with her. It was fun to hang out, and I'm really glad that Auntie Opera was able to meet Edith.

5. Ginger had her end-of-year choir concert last night. Luckily it coincided with everyone being here, so Ginger had more spectators than she would have normally had. I'm glad Ginger loves to sing (and she's awfully good at it).

6. I was a more prolific blogger this week than I have been for a while. I feel like I have been languishing in some sort of uncreative haze since I got pregnant. I have been writing little, almost completely lacking in humor, and pictures have been virtually non-existent. I'd like to think that this week's postings signify a change-- a reversion back to my more normal self (I use the word 'normal' very loosely here, of course). I can't speak for any of you, but I think this is a good thing. 

This next week will be a busy one (baby blessing, Bud's birthday and a move), so there should be a lot to post about. If I have time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Months with Edith

It's hard to believe it, but Edith is two months old as of yesterday. She's been around the block, like, twice now. Things are sooo much better than they were a month ago-- she's eating better, no oxygen hose to get in the way or annoying nasal cannula to curse... we're pretty happy about that. And next week we should find out if we get to rid ourselves of the apnea monitor. Fingers are crossed.

We've learned a lot about Edith in the past month.

She's starting to lose the long tufts of hair that grow out of the tips of her ears. I'm a little sad about it, but I'm sure Edith will be mighty grateful they're gone once the teenage years roll around. 

Edith is becoming quite the talker. She is cooing and squealing a lot more now-- her little voice is so cute. 

She did stellar at her 2 month appointment today. She weighs 13.76 pounds (98.19%), she's 24 inches long (95.38%) and has a head circumference of 15.75 inches (80.84%). Not bad, considering that one week she had almost no weight gain. 

We found out today that Edith needs to go to rehab. So Hollywood of her. Actually, we're going to try to stretch the neck muscles that are shorter on one side from her crazy position in the womb. By doing so, we'll hopefully avoid having her head get lopsided. We'd rather stretch the neck than do a helmet. 

Edith has roots. Some of her hair is falling out, but some of it is just continuing to grow but has switched colors-- dark on the ends, blonde-ish at the roots. I'm curious to see what her final color will be.

Her favorite position is the nursing position. Edith loves to smile and chat with me while there, and if we turn the lights down low and put her in that position she is out instantaneously. No joke. Quite a change from a few weeks ago when the position would put her in a panic because nursing hurt so bad. Medicine rocks.

Daddy is definitely Edith's favorite person. She loves to snuggle with him, and when I'm struggling with her Rophone whispers sweet nothings in her ear and has her out in no time flat. It's a serious love-affair they have going on.

Here are a few less-than-great photos I took last night, but it gives you an idea of what she's looking like these days:

Happy two-month, Edith!


Edith's groans and grunts rouse me from my short-lived slumber. Duty calls again. As I struggle to kick my feet free from the blanket that has somehow wrapped around my ankles like shackles, I push my aching, almost-forty-year-old body into an upright position. 


Wait, wait, wait.... listing to the right... listing... listing....

With a groan, I straighten myself out and open my eyes to take stock of the situation. Ahhhh! I can't seeeee!!! I close my eyes and open them again for another go. A little better, although I'm not so sure my eyes are pointing in the same direction. I've clearly developed two lazy eyes. At least I can make out a blurry two of everything in the dim light.

I make my way over to where Edith is, hoping that I have gotten to her before she is fully awake. If I can do what needs to be done while she is still drowsy, I may be able to get her right back to sleep. The race is on.

I shut first one eye and then the other, trying to deduce which of the two babies I should pick up. They're both awfully blurry, but I'm pretty sure I know where the heads are. Switching eyes back and forth, I feel around until I have my hands under Edith's armpits and lift. 

Nuts! I caught a whiff and she's poopy. No avoiding a change this time around. Still blinking and winking, I lay Edith down for what will hopefully be a quick change. I really need her to stay mostly asleep-- I'm waaay too tired to entertain a baby!

As I fumble with the zipper of her pajamas, it becomes clear to me-- my fingers have been replaced with sausages. Plump, buttery sausages. The zippers, snaps, and diaper tapes are virtually impossible to grasp and then slip repeatedly from my fingers. The clock is ticking-- she's becoming more alert!

Holding kicking baby feet in the clear with my sausages also proves to be a challenge. Hold still, baby. Hold still. Ah! Noooo-ooooooo!!! Her foot has plopped in the poop! I awkwardly use my wiener fingers to clean up the mess. At least, I think it's clean. One eye says it is, one eye says it isn't. I go with the eye that says it is. 

In as quick a slow motion as I can manage, I struggle to re-diaper and dress the girl. She's awfully squirmy for an asleep baby, so I bend in close, blinking my eyes rapidly as I take a gander. Hi, Edith! What a nice smile you have. And is that a twinkle I see in your eye?

Yup. She's awake. 

I start to nurse her and the praying begins. Please let her fall back asleep... please let her fall back asleep.... I really need her to....


Is that too much for this old lady to ask for?

Monday, April 25, 2011


The kids all picked out their own Easter outfits this year. Definitely worth documenting. Let's give it a shot. Okay, kids, look at the camera and smile...

Hey, that first one isn't too bad! But let's take a few more to make sure we get a good shot...

Guess it's a good thing I got that first shot. It's perfectly boring.

Easter Eggstravaganza

We had a great Easter weekend. On Saturday, my folks and Auntie Art came down to dye eggs. Dyeing the eggs is one of my favorite parts of Easter, so I was glad my mom manned Edith so I could take some pictures and color a few eggs.

Such a tough job, but my mom was willing to make the sacrifice.

Big really got into it this year. Last year he stayed focused for about 10 minutes before he decided dyeing eggs is a bore and wandered off. This year he enjoyed himself so much that he even commandeered a few extra eggs from his siblings so he'd have more to dye. And, yes, Big needs a haircut.

Auntie Art patiently helped the two boys, so I got to just do my thing. So fun and relaxing. (Isn't her pregnant-with-twins belly cute?)

I think dyeing eggs is such a great way to learn patience. It takes time to dye eggs to perfection. Good job being patient, Bud.

The girls got in on the action, too. 

No eggs were damaged during the dyeing process, of course. Or if there were any, the evidence just may have been destroyed.

Besides the suspected demise of a few eggs, the only mishap was when Big spilled a huge cup of water in Auntie Art's lap. Thank goodness Bud was able to help her remedy the situation.

The afternoon was a whole lot of fun.

Now, time for some deviled eggs!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Favorites

I've been sitting here, racking my brain, trying to think of what went on this week... boy, when you're stuck in on little corner of the house for weeks on end everything really blends together.

1. Well, I have managed to mostly catch up on the laundry. Doesn't sound like much, but it's really rather exciting. Really.

2. I have actually gotten quite a bit done in regards to the move-- we might actually be ready to fly the coop on time. This is one of those times that I'm grateful to be efficient, since my windows of opportunity to get things accomplished can be so small. Don't hate me because I'm organized.

3. I have figured out that it is animal protein that has been giving Edith all her tummy troubles. Well, most of them anyway (sorry about the onion last night, Edith!). I toyed with going vegan (we are planning on going mostly vegetarian as a family already), but I don't think that I have the know-how to go vegan and make sure that Edith and I both get what we need. So, since I can't have dairy without causing an urp-fest, we'll have to deal with a little meat here and there. It's getting me to try out new foods and recipes, though.

4. By far the best thing to happen this week (but also kind of scary)... as of Wednesday night, Edith is off oxygen! It's so much easier to snuggle her now. Yay!

Here are a few pictures of the supertired-abouttogetmad-awfullycute-oxygenfree baby:

(I don't like what the outfit does for her coloring, but after two pooh-blowouts today, our options are limited)

Looking a little sleepy...

"What? You're gonna take my picture?"

"Can we be done now?"


Okay. We can be done now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Big Math

Quite a while back, my sister-in-law posted on her blog that her son, George, had walked in the door from church, gotten himself a yogurt, and ate it without spilling a drop. George is only 20 days younger than Big, but Big often forgets that fact because he's bigger than his cousin. And, when you're 3, the concept of time can be just a tad elusive.

Yesterday, Big was eating a yogurt and making a terrible mess because he wasn't staying focused on his task. I pointed out to him that his cousin can eat a yogurt without spilling, so I know that he can, too. Big seemed shocked and a bit dubious at the revelation.

Then this morning, after clearly having mulled it over all night, Big said, "George is 2 years younger than me, and I'm, like, 3 years older than him... so how is it that he can eat a yogurt without spilling?"

When I told him that no matter how sketchy the math the answer is still the same, he seemed disappointed. You just need to pay attention to what you're doing, Big.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Favorites

A little bit of craziness has ensued in the past week. 

1. My folks returned early from Armenia bringing both good and bad things. Bad: because of the reason (a detached retina for my mom) and because of the fact that it pushes up our move (I can hardly manage to shower, let alone pack up the house). Good: They got to see Edith, my mom can't see how messy her house is very well, and they'll be here for the birth of my sister, Auntie Art's, twins. 

I declare the good things the winner! Every girl wants her mom there after she has a baby, especially when it's her first.

2. A good friend of mine came into town this week and stopped by with his family. It was great to see them, and he brought Edith her very first volleyball. My friend is addicted to the sport and is clearly trying to steer Edith in that direction. 

3. It's bike riding season again! The kids have had fun pedaling around, and hopefully Bud will be training wheel free by the time he turns 6 in two weeks.

4. We are moving to a house right around the corner-- we almost didn't apply to rent it because it was available earlier than we needed. It's a good thing we decided to anyway, since now we need it earlier! It's a great house and we've lived there before (when I was pregnant with Bud until just after he was born). This time, though, none of the kids will be doing cherry drops from the underside of the spiral staircase! I hope.

5. Edith did her sleep study last night to see if she can go off the oxygen. A night of no beeps or alarms is what we got, so we're hoping she'll get rid of the cannula forever. Her doctor's office didn't get the results today, unfortunately, so we have a little longer of cannula in, cannula out until they tell us we're done. I'm just happy Edith did so well.

It's been a great week overall-- hopefully next week will be great, too (and more productive)!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sweet Talk

Bud absolutely loves his baby sister, Edith. Every time he walks by her he has to pause for a quick kiss on her head, pat to her belly, or a chat. He talks to her in the cutest high-pitched 5 year old sing-songy voice. Today while I was changing her diaper, Bud sat by her head for some conversation.

(I don't know how to type sing-songy, so just use your imagination)

Bud: "Hi, Edith!"

Edith: Looks at Bud adoringly

Bud: "I love you."

Edith: "Coo"

Bud (still sing-songy): Did you know that in 1906 there was a huge earthquake in San Francisco?"

Edith: Smiles

Bud: "Yup. A really big earthquake. It left cracks in the ground."

Edith: "Goo"

Bud (super sing-songy): "And mothers and babies fell out of windows."

Edith: Smiles and laughs

Bud is such a sweet talker.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've Been Remiss

I've been a tad remiss as of late when it comes to recording funny things said and done by the kids. It's just that the popular social networking site I visit is such an easy place to share stuff, but I need to do it here, as well, since this is going to become a permanent record of such things (as soon as I can manage to make the blog into a book, that is). 

During this pregnancy and subsequent business with a newborn, I have allowed myself to take the route of convenience rather than taking the more difficult and verbose route of blogging. It doesn't have to be verbose, I guess, and I don't set out for it to be so... I suppose it's just that I am prone to be that way. 

Plus, I guess it feels a little repetitive, since many of the people who enjoy (I hope so anyway) my blog also are friends with me on that other place. I don't want them to get tired of reading everything twice. But, I've decided that they'll just have to get accustomed to it and laugh twice. 

Big has said two funny things recently and neither one of them made it here on the blog. I posted them on that other place, though. I would hereby like to apologize to Big and his funny statements. I will try to begin to make amends by posting them now. 

Big was playing with Ginger and I overheard him say, "My name is Kevin, but people seem to call me 'Fevin' a lot." He appeared to be quite upset that people can't get his name right. And, no, his name is not Kevin. Today his name is 'Raja'.

Big is just getting over a cough, and the other day when I reminded him to cough into his sleeve so he doesn't give it to someone else, he said with dismay, "You mean, I have to keep it?!" He doesn't have the cough anymore, and none of us have it, so I'd like to say 'sorry' if he gave it to you just so he could get rid of it. He's a sly one, that Big.

Anyway, so I'll try to be better at blogging. At doing justice to the crazy life I lead. Then when I'm old and recount stories to my friends in the home, my kids can correct my outlandish exaggerations because they'll know the truth from reading my blog that I made into a book for each of them. Or maybe I'll just write outlandish exaggerations from the start...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Parenting with Blinders On

Disclaimer: If this post is disjointed and makes no sense, it's because I typed it one-handed, while nursing Edith and mediating disagreements between the kids. Multi-tasking at it's finest!

For the last 6 weeks I have been in a bit of a quarantine. With Edith on oxygen and under strict instruction not to take her anywhere until May, we've been hanging out in our little corner of the family room, tethered and tied down. I have emerged a few times, but in general it is a very Edith-centric and sheltered life I lead.

Oddly enough, though difficult, this has been a bit of a relief for me. The situation I find myself in has given me a break from the nagging feeling that I often have that I should be more and do more as a mom. I am being forced to accept the fact that there's only so much I can do.

I am more limited in what I can offer these days, and do you know what? My little family's world (okay, big family) hasn't been shattered. In fact we're thriving. In a much better way, even.

Instead of us quickly going back to a normal where I shouldered maybe too much of the burden, yet still felt as though I don't do enough, the rest of the family has had to step up. There is a much more equitable distribution around here these days, and I plan on it being our new norm.

And because I've been living such a sheltered existence I have been unable to make so many of the comparisons I am guilty of. Those that make me feel I am not doing enough. You know, those comparisons where I look at other mothers and assume they are doing a much better job than I am and their children must be so much more happy and fulfilled than mine. 

(Well, except when I look at those mothers who berate and yell at their children in public. They should know that such things should be saved for the privacy of home. I mean, any good mother knows that.)

It's kind of like I'm parenting with blinders on, able to see only what's right in front of me.

I know of some people who have as many children as I do (Yes, there are others besides me who are crazy enough or are just plain stupid about birth control), and I hear of them taking all of their kids and sometimes even a gazillion of their kids' friends to the zoo or a park every day of the week without their husbands and then on a mini-trip over the weekend, and I feel guilty. Bad mom.

I see these women in the blogosphere who have cute, craft-filled homes and cute, clean, headband-wearing children and babies, who have planned crafts and games to fill up their children's entire day (nay, lives!), and I feel guilty. Bad mom.

I know moms who go with the flow.

Moms who don't cry over spilled milk and never feed their kids chicken nuggets.

I am not that mom. I am anal and high-strung. A schedule is my friend. I cry over spilled milk (well, you would, too, if the house you were living in had carpet in the kitchen).

I am the mom of children who will never get to have a friend over because she tells them their room has to be clean first!

But, I am also the woman whose children are well-behaved (generally) because they have been fed on-time and are well-rested. 

My children are able to amuse themselves because they haven't had their lives scheduled, and we most certainly aren't going to go anywhere that will do it for them.

My children know that sometimes chicken nuggets will have to do.

My children know they should learn to get along with their siblings because they'll never get to have anyone over.

My children are good readers because they have lots of time to fill. To read. (Athough, if they used that time to clean their rooms, instead, they'd get to have a friend over...)

My children know not to spill their milk or Mom will cry.

Crocodile tears. And swear words.

But, seriously, what I've focused on the past 6 weeks is only what I see here at home. What experience. My kids are great. They are thriving. Sure, I'm not perfect and there is plenty more I could do, could be, but I don't have to do and be everything. And not all the time. 

I will do what I can for now and strive to be better, but I won't strive to be like someone else as I parent (who knows, maybe they feed their kids Pixie Stix for dinner and make their daughters sleep in curlers). I am going to be the mom that works for me and my family. I am going to parent with blinders on.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Favorites

Another week has gone by already?

1. I made it through last weekend with Rophone gone. I not only just made it, but I even fed the kids. I'm such an overachiever.

2. Edith is still eating better. She continues to struggle a bit, but at least a few feedings each day go off without a hitch. It's such a relief when they do.

3. Rophone took Big to work with him this morning. It is so nice to be able to focus only on Edith for a little while (when it's not the middle of the night). Now if she'd only sleep so I can get some things done... 

Ummm.. yeah. That's about it for this week. Sorry folks.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday Favorites (belated, oops!)

I can't believe that I forgot to do this yesterday! The week has been a little off, and I was trying to maximize my time with Rophone yesterday since he's gone all weekend, so a day late will have to do.

1. Big was really great this week. He's just so happy to have his sister, Edith, here. I hope the transition from being the youngest to being a big brother continues to go so well.

2. I took Edith to the doctor on Thursday for a weight check. The good news is that she gained 4 ounces in the last week, the bad news is that it was a 24/7 endeavor to get that. There's no way that I'll be able to keep up that pace just to make sure she gains weight every week. I tried to nurse her while we were there, and after the doctor saw how much pain Edith is in and how difficult it is to get her fed they decided to add Zantac to go with the Prevacid she's already taking. A very good thing, it seems.

3. Now that Edith is on Zantac, feedings are better and she can do tummy time without screaming in pain from the pressure on her tummy. Hallelujah! 

4. I was getting sad about how little Edith was smiling because of the pain she was in, but now she's smiling more (and so am I!)

5. Because of the super long hours Rophone is working this weekend (bah) and a few long days during the week, he was able to take Tuesday and Friday off to hang out. Hopefully he'll be able to do the same next week.

6. Rophone and the boys ran some errands yesterday and when they came home they brought me some tulips. My favorite! They just wanted me to know they love and appreciate me. I am so happy that Rophone is raising our boys to appreciate the women in their lives.

7. We have had some good weather days this week so the kids could get in some good outdoor play. They are so much happier when they get to run around outside. I got out a little, too. Just sitting in the sun for a bit was a great stress reliever.

8. It has once again been reaffirmed to me that I am lucky in love. I am married to my best friend. What could be better?