Friday, December 27, 2013

Sixteen Years....and Counting

Today is our 16th anniversary! No cute wedding photo re-cap, because it was so long ago that all our pictures were etched into a rock wall somewhere. And I can't even find our wedding album to snap a digital picture of because, it's been 16 years! I know its somewhere in the house and maybe I should digitize them one of these years. But I haven't. Shane did get me my first digital camera two years later. And I promptly broke it 6 months later. Thus beginning my longtime love-hate relationship with anything more technologically advanced than a  screwdriver. I didn't even have an email account until after we were married. But I won't get started on how the computer-mama relationship has gone.

We didn't plan anything too special for this year. Last year, with a two month old, it was breakfast out and a movie. At the theater. With all the kids. I think this year I'll just have him pick up some tasty snacks from trader Joe's and we'll open some wine. And maybe watch a movie at home. Malachi decided to give us an early present last night and went to bed at 9:00. And then he decided to take it back and woke up at 10:30, all refreshed from his nap. And then one of the kids needed to sleep on our floor, and since two kids share a room, it was a two-for-one, which further delighted Malachi and made it absolutely impossible for him to go to sleep until 2:00am. Which did enable him to sleep through the night for the FIRST TIME EVER. So low-key, low-energy expenditure is what I am going for this year. My in-laws did gift us a TWO night stay with the kids next month, which will be delightful and hopefully we can get enough rest to get me through the next delivery.

It will be nice to get  a break after we've recovered a little bit from Christmas and late-night liturgy and kids that don't seem to need sleep. And Malachi's plague which has been plaguing him since Thanksgiving and adding to his already established no-sleep habits. We are thinking of actually not even going anywhere. Just staying home and not doing laundry. Or getting up at night or taking a week to watch a movie that came out 10 yrs ago and I've only been able to see it in 5 min increments so forgot how it started or what the plot is.

I did, however, manage to get him a gift. His long lost slippers! He's been wearing a pair, but they're both right feet. Today I found two other slippers. Only one is a left foot, but now he'll have a pair that won't make him turn in circles, and it increases the odds of having another full pair when we find another stray one. I didn't have to shop, spend money, and I know they'll fit. So I'm feeling really good about it. I even wrapped them. In Christmas paper. Because that's how it goes after 16 years.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Up Dates- Part II

It felt good to be back in my room and to be with Shane. The doctor had already visited him to give him her update but she came back and Shane says we chatted. I'm glad he was there to remember what was said as there were some holes in my recollection. She did say upon getting a closer look, she observed the cervix was very soft and she suspected there had been some imperceptible contracting going on. And possibly nursing was contributing, so that had to stop. I was glad I had woken up and nursed Malachi before we left that morning, but I didn't realize that would be the last time. I was glad he was eating so much already but still sad for him. Other than that, the procedure had gone really well and after 24 hrs of monitoring for contractions we could go home.

There actually were two real contraction in that time period, but they did not feel any different to me  from the occasional cramping and my stomach did not feel hard. So that was weird to have things going on with my body that I was not attuned to.

I felt really crampy and was surprised the regular doses of  Ibuprofen they were giving me didn't make them better. The nurse ordered me up some oxycodone but even then I could still feel them. They weren't contractions, just cramping and complaining about being stretched and sewed. And perfectly normal.

After chatting with the Dr. Shane ran out and got me a latte. At 3:00, finally. And some snacks. I had jokingly asked the nurse that morning if they had some caffeine they could put in my IV. She said yes. But no. Dinner came. Some dry chicken and green beans. And strawberry cake. I ate it all. Shane had to go out to a local restaurant for some dinner and wine. I realized it was only 5:00 and knew I'd be hungry again before bed so I texted him and asked him to bring me a veal parmesan and some tiramisu. And half and half. He did.

That night my mother-in-law texted pictures of the kids and Grandpa rocking Malachi to sleep. Audrey slept in the big bed with the baby and he only woke up at midnight but went back to sleep after a bottle. I was so thankful we didn't have to worry about him being sad and really could 'relax' knowing all the kids were happy. Relax, as much as you can with the contraction monitor running all night, jamming and beeping. Sounding like a fish tank when it  was not jamming,  The antibiotic and ibuprofen  rounds every few hours. The having to unhook every time I had to pee, the monitor and the leg warmers. Luckily they just put in an IV port so I didn't have to take my tail with me anymore. Shane was pushing water on my like crazy but I was tired of having to get up and I finally said 'no more!'.  

Shane had a little blanket and pillow to cozy with on his little day bed. In the morning he ran out to get coffees for us and described how it felt to have slept in a hospital perfectly. Jetlagged. I was so thankful to the staff and hospital and really nothing could have gone better. And if we need to have a hospital birth I would feel comfortable about being at Evergreen. But I was really excited to come home and start my couch rest recovery. Just for a few days, then I could start getting up, but no heavy lifting, or excessive exercising. So not much different from most days.

A week later we went back to the OB. The ultrasound showed everything was staying in place- baby and stitch. She said she won't know until its time to take it out ( usually the 37th week) how much of an ordeal it will be. Could just be a snip in the office, unless its embedded too much and they'd need to put me out again. Then I could wear the squeezy legwarmers again. I might actually try some at home, if possible, if the night spasms get bad again. So, good to know about.

I go back again in a week for another check up. Its kind of fun getting to see the baby so often. And get reassurances  she's doing well.

At the first visit the Dr said there was a 50% of preterm labor if they did nothing. I don't know if that changed when it had thinned again the next visit. According to statistics, the chances of a successful emergent cerclage- meaning it was not planned and the cervix had already started its readying procedures- and successful meaning the baby stays put until at least the 37th week, are 40%-60%. But given that I'm usually overdue, I'm expecting to have this baby some time in July. No. Not really. Maybe she'll just be on time.

But I don't know if we are past most of the hurdles that precipitate preterm labor- breaking the bag during the procedure, the procedure starting contractions, infections etc,  and if that makes a difference in the numbers. I feel like we're all good. But not having history of this and not knowing/understanding the root cause that started it all, if they can even know, I'm anxious to see the weeks go by and know she's getting everything she needs from me. We're 25 weeks right now. Speaking of needs, I've been meaning to put out a post on sleep help. Not offering it. Asking about it. When I'm not too tired.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Up-Date And Lots Of Firsts Part I

Some funky stuff happened so I locked up the blog. Still not sure what I'm going to do, but for the moment I'm over it, and though fingers could still use some help in the nimble department, thought I'd give it a go.

We went in for the 20 week ultrasound. She's a girl! everything else looked good but then came the 'older pregnancy' warnings and Down Syndrome talk. Shane had taken the big kids out by then as the room was feeling increasingly small so only I was there to hear the ramblings "..  older mother are in the blah blah blah..1 in 15 blah blah focus on the 14 in 15 blah blah test thick skin blah blah. Oh and your cervix is short. But we'd like to do an internal ultrasound to get a better picture if  you are OK with that."

I answered as long as baby is fine, which she is, I don't need more tests for her. And she had frizzy hair. So don't knock my cervix. No, not really. Everyone's hair is better than mine these days. But I didn't need any more tests for the baby. And why not the extra ultrasound? After 5 kids, its not like there's room to be prudish. So she did and it confirmed the measurement of 2 cm. Which for 20 weeks was short and different from my previous pregnancies.

Then I saw the midwife.  Then I went home and Binged cerclage and thin cervix. Then I went back three weeks later for another ultrasound and found the cervix was thinning  more and measured 1.3 cm and the dr wanted to get something done about it ASAP. Fortunately there was no dilating or funneling, but it was still all new to me. She said there were two options, to put a stitch in or try progesterone shots for two weeks and see if it helped. Shane was not with me and didn't answer when I called him so I was feeling a bit (lot) overwhelmed. I'm horrible about making decisions, especially if they come up unexpectedly, are out of my experience realm, and could have serious consequences.

So I dropped in on my midwife, who is just around the corner, cried on her shoulder a bit then she sent me back to Evergreen to schedule a cerclage. They asked if I needed to go home first or if they could just admit me then. I said I'd like to run home first. They said come back at 4 or 5. For a noon surgery the next day. I asked if I could go home and sleep and come early in the morning. She said they could do the pre-op stuff right then and sure. Just don't eat after 3AM, be there at 7am.

So I played tag with Shane in the parking lot. He had driven up after not being to get a hold of me by cel phone, tried to catch me in the office, talked to the midwife and gotten the rundown, and just missed me at the OB's.
 We finally found each other and ran home to have a steak dinner and sleep in our own bed.

The next morning, his mom came over and we headed to the hospital. We had the nicest nurse and I was sad when her shift was over. Which was not until dinner time, so that was nice. The Dr came and explained the procedure with her 'not very nice' tool and recommended I go for the general not the spinal. Which was also new for me. I said sure.

After several attempts they finally got an IV going (new again). Blood draws are easy on me so I was surprised it did not translate to an easy IV. Apparently I have lots of nodules?/blockages? or some other name I can't remember that don't allow the needle to thread into the vein very far or easily. So they had to try multiple sites before locating a good one.

So then we just had to sit and wait and play with the adjustable bed and read through baby names. Oh she also said they would keep me over night for monitoring. 
Shane could stay or not. I was not prepared as I had read it was pretty much an out patient procedure, but as long as they gave me a toothbrush and a pair of underwear, we'd be fine.

Surgery was a little late. Then they couldn't find a wheelchair. I said I could walk just fine. But they said no. So we waited. They finally found one so Shane accompanied me and the nurse to the next floor where a host of  people were waiting to each ask me my name, DOB, if I was allergic to latex, etc. It was strange to have all that attention and I was hoping someone would ask which muscle areas needed the most massaging. But no one did. They did however put cool yellow inflatable leg warmers on my calves, which would take turns filling/deflating and felt like a little massage . So they gave me a mask for a little while and wheeled me off to the operating room. And then it went just like the dr said it would. They would tell me they were putting the sleepy stuff in my IV. and then I would wake up and it would be over.

I woke up in a different room. I was screened off from the rest of the recovering patients but I could see them through the small gaps between the movable partitions. I didn't wonder what had happened or where I was but I didn't feel like moving at all. Which was a little distressing when I felt like I had to pee. A nurse was with me the whole time. She asked if I wanted to wait 10 min when I'd be back in my room or if I'd like her to assist me now( aka use a bed pan). I  thought of and totally sympathized with Hank from Breaking Bad as I chose the latter. But it was so nice to be able to just lie there and not nearly as bad as what I knew had just been done to me. Glad I had gone for the general.

Soon they wheeled me back down the hall, into the elevator, and back to my room where Shane was waiting. I felt the mattress beneath me move and realized they were inflating it. Then using it to transfer me to my own bed. 'Wow,'  I thought. 'That's really clever. I wonder who came up with that idea?'

Monday, October 14, 2013

Malachi's Story

( This was written about 9 months ago. As tomorrow is Malachi's first birthday. I thought I should finally post it. Sans editing. Like I normally painstakingly do. (Ha ha. Spell check is as close to editing as I get these days/years.)

8:30am  Shane announces over coffee that today is the day. I say ok. We wake up the kids and they join us in the library. We watch Baumgartner jump. Wow!

11:00am  I eat a snack and take a nap in preparation. We wait. I try to pack in as many calories as I can not knowing how long I have or many reserves I'll need. Each bite could be my last. I finish up some baby laundry and put drinks and things I might want in various places. The baby blankets are stacked neatly on my vanity.

9pm Standing in the kitchen I feel a contraction that makes me grumpy and think Shane must be right. I wish I had gotten more sleep.

11:00 We go up to bed to get more sleep as the nap has worn off. I can't sleep. Shane starts timing- 9 min, 4 min, 13min. I call my sister and say it is probably going to be tonight and to share the information with the rest of the family. We'll call when it gets serious.

1:00  I tell Shane they are getting stronger and to page the midwife and call his mom and Tirzah. And run me a bath. While he is talking to Heike my water breaks. Fortunately I'm on the toilet.

1:45 Heike arrives. I am in the tub. Counting towel thread loops, bathroom tiles, or watching a piece of lint floating in the water. Anything I can think of to focus on. Heike says baby's head is right there and wonders if Tracy will make it in time. The contractions are strong but I'm staying on top of them. Tirzah, my mother-in-law, and the second midwife, Tracy, arrive. Tirzah brings freshly made muffins and half-and-half. I'm really glad because our fridge has been broken for three weeks and we are living out of a cooler on the back porch. Which would not accommodate a Cotstco trip's worth of anything so food is a little scarce.

2:10  I say I want to push. Heike says  baby's head is right there 'shoots away' or something like that. I float on my back and wait for the next contraction. I am visualizing getting in bed with the baby and having a good sleep. Soon.

2:40  I feel the baby kick. A contraction starts and I get ready just as it starts to fade away. I wait for the next one. I start drumming my fingers on the tub wall. The contractions get shorter and weaker and very far apart. I feel way more aware of  what is going on around me than I think I should be. I ask Heike what's up. She suggests trying a new position. I float a little while longer just breathing through the contractions. Pushing feels like a waste of energy.

3:10  I move to the birth stool and the contractions get a little stronger. Then weaker. I get up to pee, walking starts a contraction. I sit down. It goes away. I'm flummoxed. I'm feeling exhausted already. This was why I was hoping for labor to start in the morning with a full night's rest behind me. So I decide to try and rest instead.

3:40  Shane helps me get back in bed. The contractions are strong and I can't sleep.

4:00  Back to birthing stool. Uterus still trying to go AWOL. Heike gives me some sublingual pills advises on various techniques to jumpstart things again.

4:20 Hurts like crazy burning across my abdomen when I push. Heike suspects full bladder and unceremoniously and almost imperceptibly inserts a catheter. I think 'wow that was not a big deal.'  But it still hurts when I push.

4:25 Heike says my body is out of energy. The athletic equivalent of bonking.Tirzah brings up some of Shane's gel shots left over from his bike rides. They taste horrible but I eat two. Supposedly they are different flavors.

4:30 The poor excuse for contractions start up again. I'm feeling fed up. We had planned on Shane  delivering the baby but Heike decides he needs to stand behind me and be a restraint. Which is good. He holds me around my shoulders and with the next pseudo contraction I push like there's no tomorrow. It starts to ebb quickly but I keep pushing, grab another breath and go under again. It feels like a do or die moment and I want to finish. Now.

4:31 Out comes Malachi's head- along with about 1000cc of blood. I look down and see him. I am so relieved to finally see some progress for all my work but know it's not done yet.

4:33  Feeling a little betrayed, I give up waiting for any assistance from a contraction and push the rest of him out. Along with another gush of blood.

4:34 I nuzzle Malachi. Shane and I admire him and declare it to be the best birth yet.

4:40 Placenta delivered. more blood. Heike gives me two shots, one of Pitocin one of methergine. More blood. Shane cuts the cord and helps me get in bed, leaving a scene from Donnie Brasco in the bathroom and blood on anyone standing in a 4ft radius of the birth stool.( Over the next few days we find and clean up  more remnants of the birth. I just discovered yesterday, three months later, some spatter on the wall that was overlooked before.)Partial abruption found on placenta.

4:45- I start shaking and shivering. Shane gets in bed next to me. I can't talk my teeth are chattering so hard. I don't even notice who has the baby. They give me a hot pad and extra blankets.

5:10 Midwives clean up the delivery site and the trail I left from the bathroom to the bed. Somebody brings me Malachi and he nurses right away. I am finally warm. I take some ibuprofen.

5:40 -Cyril sees Tirzah in the laundry room  and assumes it  means one thing. He comes to our room with big eyes and is enormously pleased to meet his new little brother. He runs off to wake the other kids and soon we are all gathered together on the bed. The midwives let the kids have family time before they do the newborn exam. The kids ooh and aah over his tiny fingers and toes. Trudy feeds me chicken noodle soup. And muffins with lots of butter.

6:00- Midwives go down. Tirzah and Grandma feed them muffins and coffee. Then they regroup upstairs. Somebody feeds me something.

6:20-The midwives do the newborn exam there on the bed. Nothing of note but a suspected tongue-tie. He weighs in at 8 lbs  even. 21 inches. Kateri puts on his first diaper.
Everyone goes home or back to bed. I am put on bed rest for a week until my iron recovers. I lost more blood ( about 2 cups,) than I did with Cyprian. I'm glad I didn't pass out again. And do glad to finally be snuggled up in bed with Shane and the baby.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Please Pray

I'm asking anyone who comes across this post, to please pray for my brother-in-law and his family. He was just diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. He and his wife have four young children. My sister-in-law has decided to share their journey. You can read about it here

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A little lunch reading

I sat down to peruse the internet while eating lunch today and this article caught  my eye:

My favorite  paragraph was this:

The introduction of the drug has exceeded expectations though and, coupled with therapies like Gilenya, these pill-form medications are changing the way patients are dealing with their disease. i.e. They are DYING!

OK. I added that last part. But it's still true. When I went to the neurologist last she listed all the new drugs coming out. But cautioned it is always a good idea to wait and see who dies first. And of what, as the market guinea pigs are more numerous than the trial rats and new information (side effects) really come out once a drug is FDA approved.

Not that I was thinking of trying it anyway. But its fun to keep up on the news.

Speaking of MS, I have been blogging in my head a lot lately and have been looking forward to sharing stories about walking into doorways and falling off exam beds, and cleverly and desperately peeing in a diaper only to find the '12 hrs of wetness protection' is a lie. (Also, some of those stories have a basis in reality and some do not. But I'll let you wonder a bit for now.) Because for real my hands are numb and typing with the fingers that are just mobile enough (popsicle sticks would work as well) is really slow so no longwinded diatribes about the state and fate of man or mice (especially ones in trials). For now. But it started with my legs and they are feeling some improvement so hopefully that means its on its way out and I will be a fully functional battle station in a few weeks. I'm bummed because I did want to participate in Jen's 7 for Seven idea. At least I have something new to read every day this week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer What?

Well, our summer is off to a normal Seattle start. It's been rainy the past two days. I took a picture through the back door. I didn't want to step out, because its all wet. We put the down blanket back on our bed last night, after having it off for awhile. I suppose it had to start cooling off to get ready for 4th of July. Another Seattle  tradition. But at least we have cousins coming to visit for the week, starting today. Never mind we might all be cooped up the whole time.

Pregnancy, on the other hand, is still off to a good start. But  I don't usually start to feel yucky until about week 6, and then feel better by week 12. Though I am still planning on not feeling queasy at all. I have started  making notes on quick snacks to keep around. I didn't try this one last time but for breakfast I'm  going to try a banana, strawberry, blueberry, kale, and cashew butter smoothie. I can chop and freeze it all then just blend in the morning.

Lately in the evenings I've been having whole wheat crackers with triple crème brie and apples. I am going to try and keep that up as well. Just because I really like it.

I was a little worried the other night in bed, the best time to worry, about Malachi and how long I'll be able to exclusively nurse him. He's been really fussy in the evenings. even if he goes to bed early, he'll wake up just to fit in his fussy time, which is generally from 9-11pm. Though he is not adverse to starting it earlier, if he feels the need. Or going later. The other night he extended it until midnight. Which was really fun because it coincided with my snack time so I got to try and assemble my crackers with one had while standing and bouncing up and down.  But I am trying to be very conscious of my diet so we powered through it.

So of course I start to worry maybe he is hungry and not getting enough.  Or, God forbid, should lose a chin .

I've never been pregnant this early. Usually it was after a year and they were eating some table food. So it feels weird to be thinking about his diet already. After doing some research and talking to my mom, which are the same thing, I felt better about sticking to the course of holding off on loading up the conveyor belt with the fridge contents and sitting Malachi in front of it. Instead I've just focused on making sure I get lots of nutrients and water.

                                                      What, fat boys get hungry too!

I've also been checking blogs of anyone with a baby near Malachi's age hoping to find a similar story. Come on, my baby is X months younger than yours. Aren't you pregnant too? But so far, no. I still wonder why I am. Malachi still nurses a lot at night, in the mornings, and all day. He's never not with me, unless he's napping and I make a Costco run. Nothing is different from my other kids.  I've only recently started to thin about exercising. The best I can some up with is Malachi has some big things to do in life, and he's going to need a side-kick.  If this baby comes out wearing boots and a cape I'll take that as a confirmation.

Speaking of Malachi coming out, I just realized I still have not posted the story of his arrival. It feels hard to go back and read what I did write down. Because it was hard. And I might just post what I wrote without revising it. And maybe that will remind me to  clean up some of the blood that is still on the floor trim. Yes, I have cleaned the bathroom since, it was just an out of the way spot so it was overlooked. For 8 months. But then I think 'you'll just have to clean it all up again in 9 months, maybe you should wait? Besides, you need a snack.'

On an even better note, this study says breastfeeding is OK for mom's with MS. And goes back on an older study that showed no benefit to prolonging the protective period that pregnancy affords by saying it actually does. Not that I needed anything to convince me that nursing was best. Sadly, the article does not state strongly that women 'should' breastfeed, just that they can. But when you read the research it is pretty clear that moms that breastfeed  are better off. As a side note, I have never had the much warned about post partum relapse.

Well, wherever you are, hopefully a sunnier place, I hope your summer is off to a great start. We'll dream about sprinklers and sunburns and enjoy free rootbeer floats that our grocery store is offering as consolation prizes for the crummy weather. Where, I will probably pick up some more cheese and apples.


Monday, June 17, 2013

XRJQZ&&&%#! : o : )

No, this is not a guest post by Malachi. The first part was a tribute to my Scrabble letters. The last part was my reaction when I finally found a gift for Father's Day. Shane is notoriously hard to get things for. The things he does not get for himself are things I'm not really qualified (or funded enough) to get him. Like, a 60ft catamaran or something. So instead, I found the most unique, literally one -of-a-kind presents I could find. And then I woke him up early to show him the test results. Because I know he needs his sleep on the weekends. But I knew he'd want to know and it was way too early to call anyone. I was going to take a picture of the little digital 'pregnant' symbol. But it was gone the next day and when I tried to pee on the second one it came up with an error symbol. So I looked up the  symbol in the manual and it said the results mean you need to do another test. Which I didn't have. Who can screw up peeing on a stick? Oh. Someone with 5 kids one of which is sitting on her lap while she tried to do said test ( I know. Too much information). That's who. So no cutesy picture of a positive test.

I was surprised, and not surprised. On Monday I went into the clinic. I wanted to make sure the UTI from the week before was all cleared up. I had sort of a funny slightly full feeling and it made me want to check it out. So I left the baby at home and ran up to not pee at the drs.

I had purposefully drank a large glass of water before I left. But much to my dismay, and drs surprise, I couldn't go. So we chatted a bit and I explained how it didn't feet like a typical UTI, but jus funny enough as to feel like something was trying to get my attention. And sometimes that is how UTIs start for me. They always ask if I'm pregnant and I always tell them there's always a chance. Unless  I AM pregnant. Then I tell them yes. So he said they could check that too. He looked over my charts and saw that every time I had come in suspecting something was amiss I had been right so he wrote me a prescription for the Monurol  again and we discussed what I might talk to the urologist about next week. It was all very nice. And finally I had to pee. He came back in and said,

"You were right."

At least about the leukocyte level being high. He said he'd call me in the next few minutes when he got the hcg results back, if it was positive. I went to the pharmacy and waited. He never called.

But, being the 'I love tests that tell me about me' kind of person  that I am, of course I came home and started peeing on things. But the first positive was not until Sat, so that will be useful information for the midwives as my cycles had not been perfectly regular. All two of them. Also, for anyone interested, because I always am, the 'practice' or warm up ovulation thing  is totally true. I had two periods of suspected ovulation, complete with lh surges and everything- I told you I liked tests. But the last one was the real one. Also, lh looks suspiciously like hcg, so if you get a string of positive lh tests you are probably pregnant. It was a good thing I was testing so often so I could pinpoint approximate implantation and then and not just tell the midwives 'surprise me' when it comes to calculating my due date.

So I might have a short window of actually coming up with real words at Scrabble. Before the pregnant brain sets in. If it ever left. I'm still not sure it did. Thank goodness for spellcheck.  Real words. Not just silly arrangements of letters pulled out of a bag like I think the MS drug companies do. Why else would they call things like Tysabri, Copaxone, or Tecfidera unless they were just going for points. Not 'easy to say easy to spell. I laughed out loud when I read the newest Plegridy. Really? That's the best they could come up with? It doesn't even have a Z in it. Another fun part is keeping the names straight all through the trial and release-to market phases. Just when you get a handle on BG-12, they go and change it to Tecfidera. Ok so Tysabri is a little easier than it's  natalizumab (sounds like a space alien name). I think they laugh when they come up with their silly names. 'Hey, guys. I got a good one. Even the neurologists won't know how to say this one without the secret decoder ring! Oh, and tomorrow we're doing no vowels.'

Marc Stecker's post informed me about the newest candidate in the funny names line-up. Whether or not you are interested in funny named drugs, MS research, or zombies you should check it out. His blog is Wheelchairkamikaze. The link is to the right.

(Haha. Spell check is having a hayday with all the drug names.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Let Them Eat Food

Malachi is teething. Hard. One tooth is through, but the second is clearly giving him a hard time. Which is a hard time for all of us. Eating, bathing, and conversing are things of the past. I told Shane we should just get some French comedies as subtitles would allow us to actually get the movie. Instead of trying to read lips and coming away with vastly different plot themes. Were we watching the same movie? He was confessing to the murder? I thought he was professing his undying love and affection.

Teething tablets, Tylenol, frozen chewy rings. None make  much of a difference. He's also started nursing like he's smoking a cigarette. He takes long, slow drags. Then lies there contemplatively, the cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, and looks around before taking another puff. The he feels the cigarette slipping so he employs his newly emerged snaggle tooth and catches it just in time. At which point I take a sharp breath. Which scares him. So he cries some more and I cry some more and I wonder how the detective knew the murderer was the wife.

So I laughed, yesterday, when the therapist advised me to work on getting some time for myself. To exercise, think, grocery shop- without the distraction of kids. Actually, I had already set aside some time on my calendar next week. At 4am. To pee. These days that's about as luxurious as it gets. She also advised me to focus on nutrition and making every calorie count. As in make sure every calorie comes from butter, heavy cream, bacon sandwiches, or triple cream brie with crackers and apples. Or at least that is what I took it to mean. Given the few opportunities and the speed, and positions, which go with trying to get food past a grabby Muffin and into my mouth, the fewer in number and more calorie-dense in composition of each bite the better chance I won't pass out before the next meal. At this point I don't know if my freaky metabolism could support me, a growing fat boy, and  some jumping jacks.

I surprised myself last night when Shane, who had already worked late and through some of Malachi's evening fussiness - it gets worse at night-asked if it would work to take the big kids to see the midnight showing of Man of Steel. And I said sure. By work, it ended up meaning that Cyprian would discover they were going and he was not as he was awake when they left.   Because my kids stay up way too late and a midnight showing is not really a big stretch for them. His sadness would not be assuaged by the opportunity to camp out in mom and dad's room and Malachi, who was almost starting to stop whining, felt inspired by the competition  and set up wailing with renewed vigor. I was starting to regret my support as Cyprian threatened to pack his bags and leave and Malachi bit me for the umpteenth time. Then Kateri took the baby and walked and the  change of scenery and pace helped him finally quiet down and I slipped him a cigarette and  he went to sleep. Just about the time the movie was starting.

And I  was so not ready when Malachi started repeating all of the bushman's lines from The Gods Must Be Crazy. At five in the morning. He finally went down for a nap. 45 min ago. He's up now. Probably he sensed I was about to make lunch.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I have 15 minutes before Malachi wakes up.

So this will be quick. Unfortunately, all day long he has only been taking 15 min naps. Spaced hours apart. Which for a growing boy who got up at a normal time, is not good. And when he is awake, he's not very content and is very opposed to mommy having a BLT, unless of course, I share. In other areas he stands for babies should always be held, moms should not eat, pee, do dishes with two hands. He is pro equal time with the laptop, and other annoying views that are not compatible with adults living a somewhat sane existence. He did finally pop a tooth earlier in the week so maybe he is working on another one. So far there have been no injuries due to said tooth. Which is surprising because he likes to play growly bear cub with everyone and gnaws on shoulders and faces with ferocity. And grab handfuls of hair every opportunity he gets. I think I will never wear my hair down again. But doing so would involve brushing it so it's not like that was ever going to happen anyway.
In the midst of all this, I was surprised with a revelation I had. I've been doing some research about women and the natural rhythms of life and made a discovery. PMS has been gotten a bad reputation, by what I think is just a misunderstanding. Normally a women's energies are focused on fertility, nourishing relationships, family and other cheerful female attributes. But once a month, her energies focus on the things beyond herself and with hawk-like precision, she is able to see and point out all that is wrong in the world. And then she uses her creativity and problem solving to instruct precisely how those wrongs are to be righted and who's job it is and when they should do it. With clarity of mind she is like a beacon, shining a spotlight on any and all areas where others need improvement. Rather than women separating themselves from polite society at this phase, they should realize their potential of the life coaches they are  and get recognized for the guidance they offer to others.
In other news, Malachi had his first food. Which actually turned out to not be food at all. Unless you are a cow. I wholly expected he would get his first food yesterday when I had an appointment and left him sleeping on the couch with Shane for a couple hours. I was hoping he would take a long one as he had gotten up really early. But his Napoleon napping schedule was starting and he woke up not long after I left. I figured I would come home to him eating steak. He was fine. And though he makes stealthy swipes at anything anyone is attempting to nourish themselves with, has so far been unsuccessful at getting any himself. Successful at knocking plates and food on the floor but not in his mouth. So today he decided to really go for it and worked his fat little fingers to edge of the blanket and plucked some grass. He was not as entertained by the flavor as he was at the process of getting it so I let him dig around and pull grass. Then had to wrestle him later to wash his hands and clean out all the dirt from his fingernails. Its going to be a fun summer.

We walked down to the new construction site where the kids like to play and he was not happy sitting in the stroller so I put his blanket on the dusty ground and he was super excited to scrunch his fingers in the rocky dirt.

It's actually a pretty cool area, complete with cattails and a little watery thing for doinking rocks into. The kids could play there all day walking the tire tracks, playing Mars rover, the Sandlot, or abandoned children. Actually, they are there right now. I brought Malachi home for a nap, figuring we'll be back in 15 min. Maybe I should have packed them some food. In case he naps longer and they get hungry. Its very dry and there are no signs of wildlife or edible vegetation. Otherwise, I'd trust Kateri to set up camp and rustle up some grub.

Speaking of Kateri, she just came back to tell me she got her first bee sting. Actually, she got two of them. She didn't even cry. One is on her cheek. So that will be interesting to watch. And Malachi is up. What's that I sense? something is wrong in the universe? I must be off then.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

crazy week..

And it's not even over. We had a fun weekend with relatives staying over and a bridal shower for Shane's sister. It was very sad to have  the cousins  go. And their moms. Dads sat this one out.
I was very sad, when, that evening I started suspecting another UTI. Then I thought back to the shower, all the treats ( sugar) sangria ( alcohol and sugar and citrus, triple whammy) I was hoping it was just some irritation. But just in case, I started the herbals with lots of water to help treat it. The next day I felt better and was glad it was a false alarm.
 The next day when I went to see the neurologist, she offered to run a test and I said sure. She also said I was stable. She didn't offer a detailed list of the areas, so I am going to go with all of the above. I did discuss my frustration, in the event of an actual UTI, of not being able to get the drug I prefer and wouldn't it be better for me to just have some on hand for those situations. She was not keen on that, but gave me a referral to a urologist, so I might still have an in.
So imagine my surprise when the nurse called the next day evening, at 6:00, after I had called them to get results and was told they should be in on Friday- in three days!- to tell me I did have one. Then she told me the dr would call in a perscription for three days of high dose Bactrim. And I could pick it up the next day.
So I got off the phone and stewed for a bit. Then I called around until I found a pharmacy that had Monurol. It was after hours  when I called the answering service for my dr and told her I was nursing was did not want to take that one but wanted the Monurol. And I had already called a pharmacy and located a packet of it and gave her the number. The dr called back and said she would look it up when she got home and call it in. I was feeling ok so was not too panicked about waiting until the morning. But was keeping up the water and bitter herbs. And was feeling giantly irritated about the situation.
The next morning I called the pharmacy and was told the dr had not sent it in. So I called the dr. Then I had to take Pippin to the dentist to get a flap of gum removed because he kept chewing on it and it hurt. I was wondering why he had asked the other  day what would happen if you ate a piece of yourself. Or drank your own blood. Then when he said it hurt to chew I looked in and saw  some flesh flopped over his back molar. So this morning we  rushed down to get it taken care of. Actually our rushing was slowed down by a fire engine. Parked across my driveway. With no driver in it. I contemplated trying to squeeze around it, but knew I'd have to straddle the curb and after my last curb incident thought better and waited until they left. Which was not too much longer.
And then the nurse called back. While I am sitting in the waiting room trying to nurse a wiggly babe and remember the name of the pharmacy I wanted to use. I think I probably told her the wrong name. At least once. I had written down the number at home and finally called home to ask Cyril to look by the cupboard by the back door for the piece of paper. Like a 12 year old boy he looked. I told him it a  piece of blank paper. So he looked for an empty page. Then I said, no, it has a number written on it, but its just white paper. I don't see anything by the front door. No, not the front door, the back door. Ooh. THe back door. No I don't see anything there either.
So I kept trying to locate the number on my phone with one hand while still nursing a wiggly baby and occasionally patting Cyprian's leg while he lay still to get his gum flap clipped. He did very well. Kateri had come and was a huge help offering to take the baby and then deciding it would be better to just take him out to the waiting room to play and I tried to focus on remembering the names and numbers of what felt like the entire world. I wanted to get it called in so I could pick  it up on my way home. But after the final call back from the nurse, she told me the pharmacy had to order it and it would be in tomorrow. I will withhold my thoughts at that point.
Once I got home I found the paper. In my pocket. I had had the foresight to think I'd want it and should take it. But then, I forgot. I hope at least one person gets the reference to Mr Moon's oft repeated line. I called to make sure it was the pharmacy I thought it was. I was so confused with names and numbers at that point but really wanted some confirmation that I remembered correctly the phone call from the night before. The pharmacist answered and I pitifully explained that I was losing my mind and did he remember me calling before. Ever? When I told him the name of the drug he said it was being delivered and would be ready in an hour.  I said I would have the neuro send over the request. He said he already had it, that's how he knew it was me. Not sure what that meant. But I said ok, ate some lunch and bitter herbs, and ran to pick it up.
 Kateri, my trusty side-kick, came with me and the baby. He was  mostly happy, didn't poop. But he had already made up for that at the neurologist visit, where I didn't have Kateri to take him out when he was super stinky or help change him back at the car where I almost drove off and left the not-crusty-anymore-and-very-useful stroller in the parking lot.
He had pulled the very same trick when I went to the phone store to exchange my phone. Again. The first time it kept giving me silly sim card messages and shutting off. The new one came and seems to have some issue with the capacitors on the left side of the keyboard. So it shoves extra r's, t's, f's and sometimes an e into words. And makes it look like I have a speech impediment when I send Shane messages. So a new one is ordered and I hope everything will be resolved tomorrow.
I picked up some test strips at the pharmacy too. I am contemplating saving the drugs for a more dire time and just water and bitter herbing this one away.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mostly pictures

I have a cold. Again. It seems like the last one, which I shared with Malachi, was just like yesterday. And then when I thought about it I realized, it was! I've been popping the Chinese herbal pills like crazy. When first line of defense pills didn't work and I could not find any of the second  my sister came over with some of hers and we swapped. So hoping things will start improving soon.
Malachi finally got  over his cold and I was thinking he might be getting this one due to his extreme fussiness. But I think it might just be more movement on the teething front. Either way he has been generally dissatisfied  with pretty much everything, mostly everyone, and most activities. In the evenings he's  only soothed by dancing with Papa. Which is super cute but not super helpful on nights like tonight when Shane has a dinner to go to.
I offered him some Tylenol and some teething tablets. Then I fed him some candied pecans. He was just starting to really enjoy them when I realized what I had done and fished them back out again. I was standing at the counter holding him on my hip and snacking on the nuts I had made the day before. I had just finished feeding him some teething  tablets like a birdie and absent mindedly popped some of the nuts in his open little mouth.  He was not too keen on giving them up but I got them out. And it appears he does not have a nut allergy. So that is good news.
He is definitely entering the difficult to do anything with as he throws his weight, which is not an insignificant amount, towards whatever object looks appealing. Like my coffee, the flowers on the counter, anything anyone is trying to put in their mouth. It makes for fun mealtimes.
He is also in the "I don't like strangers and if you are not in my immediate family you must be a stranger waaaahhhhh! stage.
The big kids finished up their classes last week and for Audrey's poetry class the students were going to take turns reading some of their work. So I got my phone on video and was all ready to video her performance. That was until Malachi noticed the girl standing next to me. She was wearing a hat. Strangers wear hats wahhhhh! I felt Malachi curl into me  and could see from his cheek outline he was freaking out. I bounced faster and whispered in his ear, trying to get him to look at my face. But he kept looking around and seeing lots of unfamiliar faces and oh no. It's hat-girl again waaahhh!
So I quickly stepped out  of the room and watched as the other kids took turns reciting. I knew Audrey would be last and was hoping I could get him calmed down enough for me to jump in at the end and at least get her. I sat on the hall floor and nursed him talking to him and soothing his ruffled fat rolls. He was finally his smiley self and we chatted and snuggled. Then it was Audrey's turn so we stepped back into the room. He was immediately agitated so Kateri grabbed him while I tried to hold the phone still. But the first poem ended and there was clapping and it was too much. So I got a few seconds of video and hopefully no emotional scarring. And when you come to visit, please, no hats.
He did get to enjoy some swing time last week when we had several days of beautiful weather. He liked it but the baby swing required some extra padding to hold him securely. The weather is horrid now. I turned on the heat for Malachi's bath. And I think the rain is supposed to continue for the next week. So not much swing time in the near future.

He wanted desperately to be outside with the big kids so I lugged the high chair out for him. He was quite content watching the kids play. This was before his teeth ( if it is his teeth) started bothering him.

 When his is not grabbing everything he can get his chubby hands on he likes to sit and write code.
And then sit and relax by the fire in his new fat pants.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Quick Up-Dates

Because it is a beautiful day and we have to carpe vitamin D when we can.

It has actually been lovely weather the past week and I feel ready for barbecues and shorts and the kids playing outside until late in the evenings. But I am a little wary too. Just when you pull out the summer clothes and sunscreen, the clouds roll in and it rains for the next month. Welcome to Seattle.
The sun is spurring us on to finish up our school work and reminds me to order our yearly tests, and when I am forced to, to think about thinking about next year and getting anything I need to do now, done. Which has been going well and I'm feeling on top of it. This last year we did not get as much done as I had hoped. But with the new baby and bed rest and everything that goes with welcoming more life into our lives, school took a back seat for a long while. I am thinking this year we can really step up our game and hopefully get all caught up.

So I was really taken aback when, two weeks ago, I clued in to the fact that fertility has, in fact, returned. Muffin is 6 months old! The other kids were at least a year before said fertility returned. I have done nothing differently this time. He nurses like a champ-just look at his thighs-all the time, multiple times a night. He is pretty much attached to me all day. I don't see how a quick trip to Costco sans baby in any way sends a signal saying "Ok, lets get ready to roll folks" to an ovary. Its not like I am working out, or anything, or on any medications or have exorbitant free time that is in need of being filled. Somehow the message got through though and here we are.

At first I thought 'well, Muffin is 7 years younger than Pippin, so maybe he needs a sibling REALLLY close'. Shane and I still share a room, so the possibility is quite real. Then I thought 'he is still my little Muffin. even though he is 20#, and he needs to be my 'little' muffin for awhile longer. Why? The only thing I can some up with is spending lots of time with other women, who funny enough, are all on the same schedule I am. I thought this could at least get my neurologist off my case about medications for awhile longer. But I'd be pregnant two summers in a row! Seriously, I would totally feel like an elephant and there would go all the catch up I was planning for next school year. Then I realized, as I said it out loud, life doesn't fit around school work and schedules. Everything else fits around Life. And then, two weeks later, it was clear God was not asking us to accept Muffin 6.0. But as  a nursing mom I felt it was useful information to share with someone, somewhere. So there it is.

In other much less potential for life changing news, Shane's truck is out of commission for awhile. The other day he said he could leave work around 7. At 7:45 I called to see where he was. He was just coming up the hill and hoping the truck would make it. Thankfully, it did. He got it into the driveway, where the next day the tow truck picked it up and hauled it off the garage  where it will probably need a transmission rebuild and who knows what else and how much but most likely lots of both. So that means he gets to use my car for awhile, which has a really crummy radio and acoustic effects and no matter how high you turn the volume the only thing you can hear clearly is the screaming of the children over who can look out which window. At least that is my experience. And is the reason I ever turn that radio on in the first place. I would probably just think there was an extra kid screaming. For commuting without kids, well, I don't know what that sounds like. I encouraged him strongly to try the hands free speaker thing he got for me. He politely declined. It did remind me of this funny, and sadly fairly accurate video on how to 'Mom Your Ride'

And to finish, here are some pictures to prove we have sun, and so in a week we can remember what it looked like. It is so out of character for this time I was not prepared and had to put  Audrey's old sun hat on Muffin.

Where's my ham bone?

Cyprian waiting for his turn to perform at the piano recital.

Watching the tow truck take Papa's car.

Fat boys can wear floral and plaid too!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Malachi really is one of the smiliest babies. (Smiliest was highlighted as a misspelled word. I'll bet Words with Friends would allow it.) All anyone has to is say hi to him and he pulls out and delivers the biggest grin he can. He just exudes happiness and contentment.

So it has been a huge turn around that he has been doing this a lot this week. Last week he had a little cold but it was never really bad, meaning I didn't have to extract anything from his nose with the hated blue squeezy thing. I've been waiting for any drainage to stop but I still have to wipe his nose several times a day and he definitely is not feeling his normal self. Meaning he requires lots of pacing and bouncing and strolling. It is so sad to see him trying to tell me what is wrong, as loudly as he possibly can, but I still don't know what. His gums look fine, he felt a little warm yesterday morning, but that was 5 days into it. If he is in the midst of a communication session. nursing is not desired at all, on his part. So I keep pacing. Eventually he gets into a low mournful  moan on the exhales and then I know he is going to fall asleep. If I time it correctly he will be asleep enough to not be offended by nursing and  eventually I can put him down for a little bit.
 I feel so exhausted at that point I can just muster the energy to take a quick shower and make some sort of meal. I am afraid the little kids schooling has been compromised this week, but the big kids are carrying on nicely.

So when my sister sent me a text to join her on Words with Friends, I thought yes, that is what I need. We love to get together for Scrabble, but as schedules don't always allow for real, live, in-person game it seemed the perfect option. So I signed up, apparently all the user names I tried were taken so I am just a random number and won't know how to find me. But if we just keep a game going all the time I don't have to worry about it.

Yesterday she came over and we played a real game. We took turns pacing with the baby and sorting out kid squabbles. Then finished up our virtual game we had started that morning. I asked her at what point we might suspect we have a problem. She said when we stop feeding the kids. That sounded about right. But I was a little unsure of our diagnostic criteria when it was time to go and we found this:

But they were well fed, no one needed a socket put back in place, and we had both won our fair share. And Cyprian now knows how difficult it is to put a mattress pad on a lower bunk without hitting your head. So we all learned some good lessons. And some new words. More on that later. I have to go. It's my turn.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shane didn't have all the details of my day yesterday, when half way through it he called and told me if I put away the laundry he'd give me a backrub after dinner. At least I could have understood it that way. What he really meant was if I unearthed the massage table from the mountain of clean laundry sitting on it, we could utilize it for it's intended purpose. Which, I found out, is not as a clean laundry hamper. Though it is pretty functional that way too.

For the rest of the day I'd catch myself getting grumpy and then I'd remember the promised treat. And sometimes I'd remember the clean laundry. But things were so busy all evening I didn't get to it until a few minutes before he walked in the door. The kids had already eaten so I gave the baby to them to play with and Shane and I  sat down to eat and recount our respective days. Mine was mostly whining about how draining- physically and emotionally-my day was. Shane, after listening to the news on the way home, about how morally drained our society and country are and it doesn't appear there are going to be any major improvements for a few generations.

In thinking it over, the brazenness of the evil in society is astounding. And its not that so much that it is just tolerated, but is promoted, and taught to be  'normal'. Anything different is laughed at, at best, persecuted, at worst. Though its not fiery stakes or lions or any of the other forms of torture used in the first 300 years of the Church, and some places still today, it is persecution nonetheless. And its everywhere .Seriously, if you value your employment, you can't wish your co-workers a Merry CHRISTMAS. You can't talk about how you are against killing children out 'offending' someone. Marriage? That's so outdated and exclusionary.

 And then he go to the scary part. Yes, things have been slowly, initially, and now rampantly been getting worse. But to continue, evil needs the next generation. Meaning my kids. And your kids. And their kids. And it will try to slowly wear them down. To desensitize them to evil and it's fruit and eventually convince them it does net exist. Its just a bogeyman you think is under your bed. But look. There's nothing there. See? Everything is fine. Now go to sleep.

A bishop, somewhere, said recently of the rapid decay of society and its effort to eradicate Truth, 

"I am going to die in my bed. My successor will die in prison. And his successor will be martyred in the public square."
 For speaking the Truth.

Maybe his successor will be my son. And his successor my grandson. And They Can't Have Them!!!

I am sure every thinking generation thinks they are the most corrupt and can't imagine things getting worse. But that just means they have no imagination. Things can and will get worse. More babies will be killed, more lies put forth as the truth, more good people will be persecuted.

Shane posited a situation where homeschooling was outlawed and the state comes to take your kids. What would you do? As a Christian, what can our response be? Like Peter, do we cut off their ear? ( I'd probably start with something else, personally) Or do we turn the other cheek? And what does that look like when it comes to our children?

It seems so overwhelming and hopeless at times. Which is exactly what Satan would like.

I've been reading a book my brother-in-law recommended called Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman. I've only gotten a little way through, but am really enjoying it and wished I'd started it at the beginning of lent, instead of Holy Thursday. I won't try to summarize the book as I am sure I'd do it poorly and that would not be fair. However, it did help me to think about what Everywhere Present might mean. And how we accept and live with the fact that God is EVERYWHERE PRESENT.  Not just in saints and tabernacles. God is Life. And Life is Everywhere. Where life is celebrated and welcomed, so is God. Where it is not, well God is still there. We are just choosing to ignore or deny Him. And what does that mean for how we live? Not just for ourselves, but for the whole world. I think of all the monks and nuns praying unceasingly for themselves and all of creation. That we might see and accept God's presence and strive to make our life here an abundance of His Life. To share that with everyone we encounter. To be able to see in everyone the Divine Spark that makes us icons of the Creator and bring more light to the world. Because who would want less God in the world?

It is so apparent to me when I see little Malachi. He truly is an abundance of Goodness. But the same is true of the guy who cut me off, the dis-obedient child, and the grumpy worn out mother. He's there. And I don't think Satan can stand it and stupidly thinks he can win by trying to put out the lights or blind us to the reality that God is here. But we all know God wins. And there we can find our  comfort. That and chubby thighs. Even if he is fussy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Even When No One is Puking, Days Are Still Hard

I just realized how long it has been since I've updated. A while. Like we have a new pope now, while. And Pascha feels like years ago.

Craziness has been mostly contained the past few weeks. Not controlled. Just contained. And on a good day, so are Malachi's poops. Which is good because he's been choosing the most inopportune moments for a movement. Cyril has started eye therapy to help improve his visual acuity. And no matter what day of the week, or what hour of the day the appointments are, Malachi feels the need to leave his mark. I try to wrap him in a blanket and muffle it a little. But it usually does not work. And if it did, the warm sour-yogurt cloud that quickly permeates the small office will not go unnoticed. I finally got Cyril comfortable enough ( I will under no circumstances leave you and head for a warmer climate, besides now Malachi needs a new outfit) to be ok with me excusing myself and  going to the bathroom or car to clean him up as best I can. And now Cyril thinks it is jut funny and reports to the kids when we get home that Malachi did it again. They have taken to referring to the eye doctor as the 'poo doctor'.  I am just hoping he recognizes we are at the dentist, later this week, and withholds his gift a couple hours. At least I know where to take him if he ever gets constipated.

He has actually had a cold this last week. This is his first big kid illness, and he is a big kid #19 3 oz.
But he is also 6 months old this week, so I knew we couldn't keep him for everything forever. He is not losing too much sleep over it, just a little fussy here and there and not napping as well. Thankfully, the stroller can let him sleep in  as semi-reclining position so that helps a bit. As does a little ibuprofen . Still, he  is just needier, which makes for a more exhausted Mama. Even with all the kids fighting to help him. Heavy accent on the FIGHTING. Not much of the helping.

Today he was not comfortable enough to nurse and nap so I paced and he moaned and I rocked and he moaned. And I knew he was tired and I also knew Shane was going to be late and that I had nothing for dinner and needed to go to the store and the kids were getting along poorly. He finally went to sleep so I gently asked the kids to keep their audio output to a minimum and please for the love of everything holy, stop fighting. So they put their game faces on. And got along about as well as an Israeli and a Palestinian would do in a three-legged race. Which, of course, woke him up. And when he finally went back down, I did the big girl thing, instead of playing Words with friends, and went to the grocery store and bought enough sedatives to last a week. Just kidding. Just milk and cereal and chicken. I popped in the drug store to get more ibuprofen. They had a cereal the kids, especially Cyprian, like for $2 less than the grocery store. So I bought the whole shelf. Which was only 7. I was so excited I forgot the ibuprofen and had to buy it at the grocery store. So I probably came out even in the end.

And now it is that magic hour where I drink wine with my husband and put together a feast Barefoot Contessa would be drooling over. Kidding again. It's 7:00. Shane is still not home. I'll feed the kids some chicken and potatoes and try to get the house in some version of 'clean'. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about how the country is going you know where in a hand basket. And it might all be due to Words With Friends.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today I took Kateri to the mall. It was my fault. She had been displaying some rather undesirable habits around school work so I devised a plan. For her and Cyprian. If they could go one week without whining, school time and beyond, they would each get to pick a store and I would take them. Looking back I see I could have been much more reasonable. Like, don't whine and I'll make you dinner, or wash your clothes. But then Kateri could realistically decide she could do those herself so it had to be something she could not do. Like drive.

They did it, I am happy to report. Cyprian had chosen the military surplus store, but as he had donated all his money to a friend's medical bills, we decided to put it off until he saved up again. (More on that later. Kids can be so heart warming.) Just writing that I can see a post on donations would be much better than a post on  shopping but shopping is what is I am recovering from right now so this is what you get.

Kateri was up and ready to go at 8:00 this morning. I was not. She finally got me to commit to taking her before lunch. But nothing more specific as I knew she'd be reminding and pushing me into the car when I wasn't ready. So before lunch I fed Malachi, she packed the stroller, and we were off. At first I thought 'Its early. We could probably get a parking place close in and maybe just leave the stroller.'  Then I remembered he is 18 lbs now and she night not make swift decisions so it might be worth the hassle of getting it out. On the way I asked her how much she had saved up.

"$42" she proudly answered jingling her bag of money.

"How much of it is in dollar bills?" I asked, cringing.

"$10. I have two $5 bills. The rest is in quarters."

"Oh" I said feeling more thankful for the stroller.

Once we got out of the parking lot, Kateri insisted on pushing the stroller and the elevator buttons as we made out way to the doll store. Malachi mostly was entertained, though he didn't like  to stop too long inspecting the outfits. And once he saw an outfit he did not feel the need to go around and look at them all again.  And again. But Kateri did so we went round and round. All the while I was feeling  irritated with the ridiculous prices and wanting to convince Kateri to go somewhere else and didn't they realize how hard she had worked for her coins and her trip to the mall and didn't they feel ashamed for taking her money? And no amount of smiling and doling out stickers is going to distract me  from the fact that this doll dress is more expensive than the dinner I am making tonight for our whole family.

Then I remembered a particularly memorable shopping trip when I was younger, when Macy's was The Bon and Frangos were made by Frederick & Nelson. So it was awhile ago. It was December and my sister, a friend, and I were downtown, Christmas shopping for the day. We hit the large stores first, and probably picked up some of said Frangos, then went through the smaller boutiques where I remember buying some specialty wrapping paper and calculating the exact cost with tax so I could have the money ready. Which maybe meant I was bored and getting tired of shopping.

We continued on and ended up in Eddie Bauer, which at first I thought was cool, mostly because my older brother worked answering phones for their catalogue and older brothers are cool. Cooler than a fez. But this was the store,  and also not as cool. And then we went down some stairs to what felt like a  basement, but was just the lower level. It felt darker and colder and a little stifling with all the racks and stacks of clothes. I suddenly felt sick. Not in body, but in my soul. Like I was surrounded by evil and sinister people. Like in a movie where someone has been drugged and  everyone around them is playing along like everything is normal but really it is some big sinister plot and then suddenly the protagonist- that would be me-stands up to them, climbs up on a table and wakes everyone out of their drug induced stupor by shouting that I know what they are doing and they are all a bunch of fakes but I know what is going on and  I won't let them get away with it!

I didn't. And they weren't. Turns out I was just really hungry and needed lunch. But I felt more strongly this time I was right. $32 for an outfit that would fit a cat? Or a doll the size of a cat. I reminded her that some other stores had outfits for less and offered to take her there if she wanted to see them. But she was sure she wanted to spend her quarters there. So she did and the lady at the register graciously mentioned that they were in need of quarters as she counted out $23 worth.

On the way out we stopped at the candle store. Shane has been expressing a desire to have some relaxing scents in our bedroom/bathroom. Maybe something reminiscent of a spa. So I thought I'd see what I could find. When the lady asked what I was looking for I said,

"Something like  a spa. Maybe some eucalyptus with some spice but not fruity."

She directed me to three scents. Two of which had elements of what I was looking for and maybe together might do the trick. The third was patchouli, which Shane has forbidden me to ever bring home. Ever. A good deal  of his childhood was spent In Eugene, OR. So I unwrapped the other two and set them on the bathroom sink and will test them out as air fresheners before I actually light them. And hopefully Shane won't  detect some hidden patchouli in the aromas and barf when he walks into it.

After we finally left the mall I remembered I needed to drop off a package and get milk on the way home. Fortunately there was a mailbox not too far from home.  I toyed with the idea of going to the regular store for milk. But that would mean hauling everyone across the parking lot and there was snow in the rain and the baby was already falling asleep in his car seat. The corner store, I knew, was at least twice as expensive and probably would not have more than a gallon of whole milk, as I had bought several already yesterday. And they only sell half&half in quarts. I don't know what anyone does with such a small amount but I can at least get a couple lattes out of it and then hopefully get enough energy to get myself to Costco for life-sized cartons. In then end I chose the more expensive convenient option. In the space it took me to grab the two cartons of milk they had left and one carton of  my staple beverage. the weather went from rain, to hail, to snow, to nothing. Along with really,really cold. I was glad I had chosen the close option. And Kateri was glad she had chosen the store and outfit she did and ran to get her friend for a doll party when we got home. I had lunch and then a latte and I just smelled my bathroom and think the candles might be the right mix. Maybe we'll get some more cold weather tonight and I can recover from our shopping trip with a hot shower in my spa-scented bathroom.

Friday, March 8, 2013


For whatever reason, probably something perfectly reasonable like 'I'm a baby and I'm teething and in pain' Malachi has only taken 10 min naps, if that, today. I could tell he was tired and tried snuggling him and nursing him. But he didn't like anything on the menu and showed his displeasure by grinding and gnashing his gums. Generally with me in between them. Which would set off my own grinding and gnashing and muttering of threats to cut him off  FOREVER if he continued in that vein. We tried some topical and natural teething aids. We tried swaddling, just for fun. With no relief. Finally I gave him a dose of Tylenol and he is finally asleep. And because it is not raining and we got our work done already, the kids  are playing outside and I am taking slow deep breaths and preparing for the dinner rush while I finish my coffee. And of course, typing.
Malachi is getting bigger. Lots bigger. He is in 9 mos outfits and weighs about 18 lbs. The kids complain their backs are sore and we are getting lots of use, and relief, out of the stroller my sister brought over. At first she asked if we'd like to have her cast off stroller and advertised it as 'kind of old and crusty' so to make Shane happy I said no thanks. As I knew it would be stored in his garage which is slowly being taken over by Cyril's projects already. But I told Shane about it. Just so he could know how thoughtful I am. And so he could thank me. Which he did.
Then last week we were attempting to play a sisterly game of Scrabble and munchkin was being super squirmy and difficult. And my sister just happened to have said crusty stroller in the back of her car and suggested maybe he'd like it and the kids could stroll him around the house. so she  brought it in, we dusted off the cobwebs and whatever else was inhabiting it, and  Kateri took him for a spin. He loved it and the kids lined up to take turns pushing him, pretending it was a train making stops to let kids off and on. We  were able to get back to our game and the stroller has become a permanent household fixture. Shane is fine with it and we don't even store it in the garage because it is in use so often. I even took it to the store so Kateri could push him- she was super excited- and  I could push the cart.
(Well the Tylenol really worked. He slept a whole 20 min before waking up so he could not be happy while I strolled him with my coffee in hand! At which point I called Cyril I to walk him so I could roll out the dough for the cheese pizza I promised him we'd have for dinner.)
4 hrs later. Good thing he is so incredibly cute. He was less fussy after his Napoleon nap. But its only 8:30 which is very early for his bedtime and he's so tired that now he's doing this:

And I know it is possible he will have a nap, then wake up ready for a party. Maybe I'll call my sister and suggest a game of Scrabble.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Did Someone Read My Mind?

So things are much better today. I was relieved to find that the pharmacist's claims of 'you'll start to feel a little better in 12 hrs' was an underexaggeration. I still felt under the weather, but not miserable after a few hours and gallons of water.

I asked Shane to stop and get me some probiotics on his way home, along with anything tasty from Whole Foods as I had no dinner plan or delusions that I would be able to by the time he got home. He said yes. Then I asked if we could take a sick day and watch Skyfall. He saw it in the theaters and liked it. I'm getting to be more of a homebody and prefer to watch movies when I have everything I might want at my disposal, including the ability to pause to change a diaper or lay the baby down once he falls asleep. Shane said sure.

The kids had been so helpful and independent while I was taking care of myself I thought they should get a little Lenten reprieve too. So Shane brought home the pills and some dinner and we did just that-Rise of the Guardians for kids upstairs, Skyfall for the parents and baby downstairs. And it was just the way I liked it. Pauses to get more blankets and change the baby. Or get a glass of water and whatever else I needed. It was very restorative and entertaining and just what I  needed. Usually it takes me until about midlent to weaken any Lenten resolve I started with and want to take a break. But illness has a way of speeding up that process. And there were elements of feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and other works of mercy.

We were back to our usual schedule today. I am starting to think Malachi did not have roesola. The rash is still there and could be eczema instead. Which sound weird to think of on a baby's tummy. We'll try some lotions/change of soap etc. And hopefully we won't have to get to changing my diet. He doesn't complain at all but its still sad to see the rough/dry patches on him.

And on the topic of medical ailments, I was very interested to read this article. I have not watched the TED talk it references but a phone app that can detect nitrates in urine sounds pretty amazing and I will watch it when I find it.