Thursday, June 28, 2007

This n' That

It's been a week since I blogged...I know, I know, I'm bad. But life has been happening. In anticipation of my next blog, however, I have been carrying the camera around and taking pictures, so here are a few from the week. Nothing terribly exciting, just everyday fun and stuff.

Jake and Emma are getting so big and doing a lot of smiling, so we had a photo session to commemorate gums and smiles and big blue eyes.
I also bought a new bathing suit because I seemed to have lost all the suits I had last year. This is what happened when Jake saw his Mama's thighs for the 1st time.
I bought Bumbo seats this week because the babies are holding heir heads up pretty well and I figured they could use another view of the world. I bought pink and purple by mistake, so I had to go back and get a boy color. I guess that makes me part of the gender stereotypes problem - too bad! Jake is way too much of a bruiser to be in a pink or purple Bumbo seat! They found ways to amuse themselves, like playing "who can pinch whose foot harder?"
And, of course, big sister found her way into the loop with "this is what a lion says - ROOOOAR!" and she was helpful as always as the pacifier retriever.
Max needed a bath, so we broke out the generic Head n' Shoulders and rolled out the hose.
Olivia LOVES to wash the windows on the door and I never deny her that kind of fun. Check out that hubba!
And after working her little fingers to the bone, she was off to play "can't catch me" with Max. This is the reason I have to soil and reseed around this tree every year.
The week ended on a bit of a sad note. We discovered that our favorite lawn ornament and good friend, Ribbit, broke his foot. It's a pretty severe fracture, so it looks as though surgery will be required, though, as you can see, he is in good spirits, reading his favorite book "How to Catch Flies".
That's all for now. See y'all later - maybe with something more interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Stats

The babies are quiet for the moment. Emma is in the swing and Jake is in the vibrator seat (wish I was). I was going to nap, but I decided to blog instead. Are ya proud of me, K?

The twins went for their 2 month checkup today, though they are 3 months old. They have had so many Dr. visits for illness that it keeps getting put off. They are both charting fairly well, but have lost weight in the last couple weeks. Here are their stats.

Has a major ear infection
weight - 9 lbs, 14 oz - 10th percentile
length - 23 inches - 40th percentile
head - 15 1/2 inches - 20th percentile

weight - 10 lbs, 12 oz - 5th percentile
length - 23 7/8 inches - 50th percentile
head - 15 inches - 3rd percentile (he had a preemie head when he was born and is starting to grow out of it. The Dr. called it a toaster head and I cracked up b/c his head absolutely looked like it had been in a toaster when he was born).

So there it is. They chart on the low side because they were born at 36 weeks and started out smaller than average, but continue to grow and plot well on the CDC chart. YAY! If they were well and eating and sleeping right, I'm sure they would be chunkas by now, but my 2 little beans are on the small side right now. Better for the arms.

They are both on so many meds right now...
Xopenex inhalant 6 times/day
Pulmicort inhalant 2 times/day
Pepcid 2 times/day
Amoxycillin 1 time/day
Orapred 1 time/day (Jake only)

The amoxyxillin gives them diarrhea and red, raw butts. The Xopenex makes them nutty - baby ADHD - almost no napping. And the coughing fits make them vomit like the girl from the Exorcist, which is especially fun at the 3 am feeding.

They are scheduled to see the pulmonologist on Friday morning. They have both been diagnosed with reactive airway disease and it basically means that while other children who are exposed to a runny nose will get a runny nose, but when Jake and Emma are exposed to a runny nose, they are susceptible to and will likely get lower respiratory infections.
I am really hoping I hear something other than the usual..."Just keep giving the treatments every 3-4 hours. It's going to be a few weeks before you see major improvement and they will have ups and downs, but should get better with time."
I know this is just how it is for now, but I would much prefer to hear..."Give them this medicine 2x/day for 3 days and they will be good as new". FAT CHANCE!

OK, dishes are waiting - see ya later!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Week in the Life...

Now that we are home, I need to talk about some of the good stuff. Here goes...

Before the craziness on Saturday afternoon, the week was a fun one.

Olivia got her 1st bike and was happy enough to just sit on it. Pedaling is a whole other issue - how the hell do you teach a kid to do that? And, of course, we insist on sneakers and a helmet, though not all the other kids on the block have to abide by the same rules. Too bad!

Cin's niece and Jake's Godmother, Jacqui (aka Jake) is in summer session at college and spends Tuesdays with me. Max is in love with her, always has been - can you tell?

Olivia thought it would be fun to see how my G string would look as a bathing suit. She used to wear them around her neck and dance around our room. Is this an improvement? Not bad, but now I'd have to be 7 ft tall to wear these again. Oh well. Saturday was looking to be the start of another amazing weekend. The only daylillies not to be eaten by the neighborhood deer had bloomed and we were going to do some work in the yard (YES - again!)
I decided to make breakfast on the grill. I know it may not look good to all of you, but if you've ever been camping, you know that there is nothing better than flame-grilled sausage and eggs with a hint of smokey goodness.Olivia was chasing Max around the yard, trying to get the ball that he popped with his big ole T-Rex teeth after it mysteriously appeared in our yard last week.

After he got tired, Max thought it would be a good idea to dig a hole in our flowerbed and lie down in the cool dirt. He denies it still.


Jake's 1st Hospital Stay

I have a feeling it's going to be a long hard road for my 2 little beans. They have both been diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease and are currently suffering with pretty bad cases of bronchioltis. On Saturday, Jake had a fever, was having great difficulty breathing and was having retractions. For those of you not familiar with the term, it means that his chest wall was visibly sinking in with each breath. Frightening to see for the 1st time. So I called our pediatrician and he sent us off to the emergency room. After 4 hours of poking and prodding, taking vitals, breathing treatments, antibiotics, steroids, puking, and lots of crying, they decided to admit him because his oxygen saturation just wasn't what it should be. 3 more hours...then we get a room and settle in around 9PM. He is hooked up to oxygen and a monitor for his O2 levels, pulse and heartrate. He looks so pathetic. Aside from the noticeable bags under his eyes from not sleeping for several days, he was now hooked up to machines. I'll spare you the rest of the details and just say that we are waiting for our discharge papers so we can go home today.

So here I sit with Jake and Emma, who stayed with us last night because our dog, Max would not have been a suitable babysitter for her this morning while I was here with Jake. I am in a strange place right now; not sure how to describe it. The tears are coming as I write this and they are unexpected. From the very moment Jake wasn't breathing right, I think I went into a "mode", became detached from any emotions I might have had about what was happening. For 2 days, I was just here, doing what needed to be done, asking questions, changing diapers, feeding, holding and rocking my baby boy. But I wasn't feeling a whole lot. Only pity - for him, this tiny little creature who has been sick and had trouble breathing for most of his 13 weeks of life. There was one scenario that ran through my head more than once during these 3 days. The scenario in which I hadn't noticed Jake's chest caving in when I was changing him. The scenario in which he continued to be in distress all day and I was too wrapped up in yardwork and housework and feedings and changings to notice. The scenario in which I was so robotic about the things I needed to do that I didn't see the signs - or just plain ignored them. In this scenario, I put Jake down after his last feeding at 9 o'clock that night and he just stops breathing - but I never know.
The 1st time this ran through my head, I dismissed it, very practically, and repeated to myself, "but that's not what happened, so it's fine". But it isn't fine. I could have been so wrapped up in all the little shit that I didn't take the time to see what was right in front of my face, screaming at me. It could have turned out very differently, tragically.
But it didn't. And I thank God for that.
So as I sit here while Emma naps and the respiratory therapist gives Jake another breathing treatment, I feel grateful. Grateful for my doctor, who put me at ease and never made me feel like a crazy, overly-concerned mother; for the ER staff who took such great care of my little man when he was suffering; for all the nurses who took care of all of us while we have been here - they are truly angels of mercy. And I am gateful for my instincts and that I have the humility to listen to them when all logic speaks out against them.
It's hard to do, to listen carefully to your instincts when you know damn well that, if you are wrong, you could look very foolish. And I know now that I will never again be too proud to listen to that voice, screaming in my head, defying what seems logical, and to always act in the best interest of my precious little babies.
And I say to all my friends in blogland...when God gives us the gifts of motherhood, it comes with the additional gift of maternal instinct and the responsibility to use it and act upon it. So the next time you see a bump or a bruise you can't identify or a mark you don't recognize or a freckle that wasn't there the day before, don't ignore it. If it makes you feel anything at all could be wrong, call your doctors, make them listen and don't take any answers that don't put you completely at ease. You owe it to yourself and your childen.

We're going home now. I am happy, and worried, but relieved Jake is OK for now. I can't wait to get home so I can cry.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Duck, Duck, We Got Goosed!

This is Piggyduck. It may look like 2, but Piggyduck is one being, whose whole is greater than the sum of its' parts.
The bedtime routine didn't go so well last night. OG was fightin' it hard. She was belligerent and fresh and tenacious and just would not go to bed. The fight was on.
She is a master of delay tactics. On a good night (for her), she can put off going to bed for an extra hour. That would be an hour more than her already elaborate bedtime routine, which we gleefully (and regrettably) helped her create. Now since she is a creature (and I do mean creature) of habit, there is no part of the routine that can be left out, and yet she feels free to add to it on a whim.
So...after finally getting her upstairs and brushing her teeth, washing her face, going potty, undressing (slowly) all by herself, choosing pajamas, putting them on (again, slowly, all by herself), reading a book, while repeating particularly well-liked phrases and commenting sporadically on characters and their plights, rocking with Mommy in the chair, folding her blankets just so to make the perfect pillows, lying her blankets on her bed one by one (yes, she needs all 3, even in the dead of summer), sitting on the floor and rubbing her head while Celine plays in the background, Mommy thought is was the perfect time to say goodnight. But, NO! She wanted to read the book to Mommy herself. On a night when she would have gone to bed earlier and happily, on a day when she she has napped well and isn't so cranky and crabby, it would not have been an unreasonable request. But not today. Mommy (Cin) just needed her to go to bed so we could relax a little before feeding the babies and giving them their 4th breathing treatment of the day, doing dishes, making formula, picking up the house a little before bed...You get the idea.
So, the fight ensued. She insisted on reading.
No, Honey. Please get back in bed.
She repeated her request loudly while starting to cry.
No, Olivia. It's time for bed.
She started screaming and throwing a whopper of a tantrum.
Cin calmly asked her to get back in bed and go to sleep.
If you don't get in bed, I will take Duck away.
And there it was. The consequence. We know exactly what her currency is and we are not afraid to use it. We hate taking away Duck and/or Piggy (Duck always goes first because Piggy is the favorite by just a little), but we use it as a last resort when a timeout just won't work or isn't enough and there are no other options.
Then, the standoff.
1..........2........get in bed........3.
No movement.
And Duck was gone, banished to the stairway to the attic.
Go to bed, you can have him back tomorrow.
If you don't go to bed, I will take Piggy.
And off to bed she went.

She came down the stairs 5 minutes later and insisted that she needed the additional blanket that was in her hand. Another delay tactic. I led her back to her room and lay it on top of her and asked her not to come out again. It was only at this moment that I realized Duck had been taken because she asked for him back.
Request denied. (united we stand, right?)
You can have him back tomorrow. Goodnight, Olivia.
'Night, Mama.
1o minutes later I hear a door open again, then another, then I hear it close, twice. I was wondering what was going on, but let it go because she never emerged on the stairway into the den where we were sitting. I imagined she thought better of it and just went to bed after peeking out of her room.
After our chores were done and we were ready to retire ourselves, Cin looked at me with her big brown eyes and asked in her most pathetic, sing-songy, "I'm a softy" voice, "Can we give Duck back?". I jumped on he opportunity and responded with a resounding "YEAH!" Duck had only been taken 1 time overnight and it was torture for us. We had to talk each other through a very rough night as we took turns, each trying to convince the other why we should give it back.
So we ran up the stairs like 2 kids running for the ice cream truck, tore open the door to the attic stairs and "WHAT#$%^!!!!!" Duck was gone. The little scoundrel went and got him and took him to bed. After we picked our jaws off the floor and stopped peeing our pants from laughing so hard, we went onto her room to confirm the theft. There he was, tucked sweetly under her arm and she, so fast asleep that she didn't wake even when we removed the covers and turned her over to see the evidence of her cunning. Well done, OG. Our hats are off to you.

I look forward to the day she is old enough to sit around the table with her 2 moms while we polish off a bottle of wine (or 2) and reminisce about the day she stole Duck back.