Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Bites

I like the idea of the Quick Takes Friday posts. An assortment of non sequiturs with no having to tie things together or make a point. Which on an under slept Monday morning seems just about right and could describe most of our days.

Speaking of under slept, the day I woke Malachi up earlier in the morning, he did indeed go to bed earlier- a whole 10 minutes earlier! So technically it was before midnight, but not enough to warrant me doing it again.

Malachi seems to be getting over his fussy-ness.  If you just walk, bounce, and hold him all day, he doesn't fuss. Unless you stop. Shane and I take turns walking and eating in the evenings when he's home. During the day the kids help take turns. but they don't last long and come back complaining of sore arms and backs. I still see no obvious tooth eruptions. My sister came over last week and brought some good teething toys, teething tablets, and some baby oragel. We took turns holding Malachi and taking turn at Scrabble. She called the next day to say her arms were sore.

Malachi hasn't pooped in a couple days. I'm really hoping he is not saving it for piano lessons. I am glad the piano teacher has kids too. Especially since Malachi doesn't feel lessons should call for a pause in his vocal protestations of whatever baby injustice he is experiencing at the moment. And I am glad the kids are practiced in the art of playing the piano no matter how loudly someone might be complaining. Though everyone might find it a little distracting if Malachi decides it time to evacuate his bowels. I'll pack extra everything.

I didn't have to reheat my coffee this morning but decided to just drink the last bit cold. I find some mornings I am in such a hurry to get a hot sip or two I end up burning my tongue. It's been sore the past 2 weeks.

I am finding it difficult to keep up the eating for  two. I should probably put snacks by the bed. I usually go to bed hungry despite multiple snackings after dinner. that might be due to the fact that I am still awake 6 -7 hrs after dinner.

That's all for now. Unless we get back from piano with a great poo story.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trying to Catch a Break

So Malachi's tongue issues seem to be resolving nicely. He does not drool milk everywhere when he nurses on the left side or act like he is being water boarded when I have a letdown. His tongue is way more active and we see it so much more, which reminds me how much we didn't see it before. We are all very happy for him. Though we can't wonder why he is still so fussy all the time. I mentioned some behaviors to the lactation consultant and the craniosacral lady and then both suggested teething.

What the What? Teething at three months! The other kids were all 7 months or more before they started teething and then they just wanted some extra chew time and a couple weeks later they were done and  that was it. I suggested it was a tad early to be doing that and Kristina said some kids start the drooling and teething behavior long before the teeth are thinking about erupting. As in months before. So we might have three or four months of this? I suppose there is a first for everything. But why couldn't his have been first time for  something nice. Like, no morning sickness. Or first time a baby just fell out without any effort on my part. (I am still planning on writing up his birth story sometime when I can get a solid chunk of time to think not just hurriedly typed out because I have 15 min and am trying to finish my coffee too before he wakes up) Or first time a baby was born knowing that nighttime was for sleeping? Those would have been pretty good firsts.

This morning I actually got up early and woke Malachi up. I realize how stupid that sounds. You never wake a   sleeping baby, intentionally. I got up at 6:30,after getting to sleep sometime after midnight and a couple of mid-sleep feedings. I was still sleepy but I woke up when Shane got up, which has been gloriously late the past week made possible by carpooling with a co-worker. Normally he would leave at 6am, or earlier, to beat traffic and then return sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 in the evening.  As Malachi is still up until midnight, or generally, later, and Shane tries to keep us company some nights, the later wake up time is much appreciated. And it means I might have the opportunity to see Shane off some mornings. Though many mornings I go back to bed because Malachi will sleep another couple hours before his is ready to start his day.

But this morning, I thought it might help to get him on an earlier schedule, or at least attempt to. So far all it has done is make me really tired, tax my already feeble brain cells to the limit, and provide us with more fussy-pacing-drooly-finger time or stand up and bounce while nursing or else "I won't recognize that the thing you are trying to put in my mouth  is an approved device for transmitting sustenance. I am going to gag now" time.  And I had the bright idea to get the bigger kids up early too. If they are not all asleep by 10:00- that is early for us-I will go back to my old 'schedule' after cursing the sleeping gods, of course.  But I am really hoping it does work and I won't regret it.

I did regret it earlier when Shane asked me to send a package for him this morning. And I had to find a zip code while typing with one hand while Malachi slobbered on the other one and Kateri practiced her very lengthy repertoire of songs and I somehow hit the back button and had to start all over. I was exhausted before I even left the house. I decided I would not wait in line at the post office with a fussy baby and chose to take it to the closer UPS store. Then, when the baby got sleepy I further decided I would leave him at home and go quickly to mail the package. And pick up some teething toys to give our wrinkled fingers a break. And milk. because there is never just one errand. If you are going to make the effort to get out you might as well make it count.

So after Malachi was settled on the couch, and the kids were quietly doing school work- mostly because I  told them, in no uncertain terms, were they to make a single sound or do anything other than breathe while the baby slept, I grabbed Kateri and ran. Taking her was also strategic as it removed the 'accidental' looking at someone the wrong way or breathing their air which always results in a fight.

On the way I realized there had been two packages in the library and called Shane to make sure I needed to mail the box. Not the tube. I felt so empowered punching the call button on the handsfree speaker thing Shane got me for Christmas.

"Call Shane. Mobile."   I told it and feeling like I was on StarTrek.

"Calling Shane mobile" it repeated back.t

He didn't answer so I left a voice mail.

Seeing as I was getting close to the UPS store and assuming he was in a meeting and could not answer but could read a message, I came up with another plan. I commanded

"Text Shane Patton, mobile".

"Texting Shane Patton mobile. Say your message" it responded.

So I asked which box I was supposed to mail and off the message went. A second later the box announced,

"Message from Shane Patton mobile. You can say read it or ignore."

"Read it."

"grmph" came a grunty sound. "You may say repeat or I'm done."

"repeat" I said trying to listen more carefully.

"grmph" it said again.

I told it to  repeat  a couple more times before I gave up the idea of deciphering the meaning of the sound. Then another message came through as I pulled up so I picked up my phone and read  the transcription of our conversation. It went like this:

Me-Is roys package the one in the big on painkiller box or is it need to be in my life?


Me-Tight. Making sure toys picture is in the long box not a cardboard tube.

I had the right package and got it mailed quickly, got the milk and teething toys, and got home just as Malachi was waking up. He didn't care much for the teethers, no matter how hard or often the kids tried to shove them between his gritted gums. So I picked him  up to nurse him and then he decided he would indeed like a chewy toy. Me. Now that is tongue is all sorted, his latch is that much stronger and that much harder to break in an emergency. Why did we have to go from funky leaky nursing to 'this is what feels good on my gums' nursing. Couldn't we have a little period of just normal peaceful bonding nursing? We will need some lessons in what is for eating and what is for chewing and I am praying that his sharp little teeth will stay underground a bit longer. Like until he is weaned.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bringing Down The Tree

We decided to take out tree down last week. Actually, what happened was that I had promised the little kids we could do something fun after the lactation appointment as the big kids were gone with Grandma. By the time we got home I was tired and hungry so we ate lunch and then I proceeded to sit and nurse the baby and not get up for awhile. While sitting there I couldn't help but observe that our tree had shrunk to about half its original width, was brittle as a toothpick and had that very sweet smell it gets right before it goes bad and turns to that very nasty smell that makes you quickly want to throw it outside. So I thought we'd  forgo that stage and suggested the little kids start  un-decorating the tree. And since the branches were all sad and droopy they could reach  most of the ornaments, except the star.
Kateri put on the tree skirt and they began dancing around pulling off ornaments and whooping  it up with all the energy of a native de-frocking of the tree festival that would end with the tree being lit. On fire. Which was one of my fears and another reason it needed to go.   They quickly had stripped it of everything but  the star on top left, which was beyond their reach. But not the dandling chord attached to it.  So they made up the game 'lets see if we can pull the star down' which I quickly anticipated would turn into 'lets pull the tree down' intentionally, or not, so I put the kibosh on it.

I was happy that the 'fun thing' for the day also happened to  be something we needed to get done and all the activity entertained Malachi as well.

They were quite happy pulling off ornaments and lights and running their hands down a branch to make all the needles fall off. Which the needles did very readily. I warned them it would make a bigger mess to clean up when they were done but they insisted they loved so sweep and vacuum the needles and that was why they were doing it. Plus they commented several times that this was the best activity ever and as they threw handfuls of pine needles into the air . Then Kateri go the idea to roll in the needles and get them to stick to her hair so she could be a real Christmas tree.

And then the fun was over and it was time to clean up and all of a sudden it was the worst day ever and it did not count as the 'fun thing' for the day. So, just like the living room, things were back to normal.

I am happy to report that Malachi is back to normal as well. Whether it was the growth spurt or the clipping that was disturbing him, I'm not sure. But his naps are better and he is more cheerful. And we are seeing a lot more of his tongue as to him it feels like a new found toy to stick out and wiggle around. And I think that means it is not sore. The nursing is better and I have not had to  employ any of the awkward nursing poses to help him. Which would have been an option as we are still not getting out much. The colds sounded bad but now the reports about the flu going around sound worse and after it was reported that an usher at church came down with a horrible stomach issue during liturgy I renewed my resolve to never leave home again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip, Or Not

 Malachi has been having some growing/recovery pains lately. Which is translating to not napping unless being held, acting like he's being poisoned when I try to nurse  him, and me getting nothing done. Sometimes  I can get him to nurse. If I am standing up. And  IF I am walking. And only after he recovers enough emotionally from the fact that someone had just tried to poison him. The lactation consultants said it is a bigger recovery  than the first clipping and to give him ibuprofen if he seems uncomfortable. Even then, two hours later he would start to fuss. So she said add acetaminophen and alternate the doses. But still he is having some trouble. Which makes for long days and late and challenging nights. And even more challenging waiting room times.

It used to be so easy. Now I have to reheat my coffee every time I want a sip. And one cup can take me several hours to drink.
 Kateri at her appointment looking very professional.
Sometimes he does this and I get all excited thinking I'll get to finally have breakfast, coffee, or a shower. Not all three. 5 min later he is up and 'squiggling' and we go back to pacing/nursing.
I'd been doing the exercises the lactation consultant gave me to help him transition to using his previously ignored muscles, and to keep the frenulum from tightening up or developing scar tissue again. But today I called and asked if we could stop by to have a look-see just to make sure it was not still causing  problems. The big kids had just left to go to art and writing classes with Grandma and the receptionist said Kristina could take a peep if I got there in the next half hour. Fortunately I'd been well schooled in the 'how to have a functional day with broken sleep, no breakfast or shower, and only 1/2 cup of cold coffee. I hollered to the little kids to grab their boots and away we went. Boots are great. If your socks don't match nobody can tell. And if, as is usually Cyprian's case, you don't have socks at all, well you're still in luck.
So the good news is, no his frenulum has not re-attached. There is a little scar tissue from the first, or second clipping, but we went over the massages to do for that. And tried some new nursing positions as he is still a little less comfortable on the one side. She watched him nurse and suggested little adjustments. Then she suggested having him in a more upright position reclining on my stomach. She seemed hesitant in helping him transition while still nursing.
"Here" she said "try like, um, I don't want to, uh..."
"It's ok," I said. "It's number 5. It's real stretchy."
I was relieved, as was Kateri, that a third snipping was not in order. And knowing his discomfort seems to be the result of adjusting to normal while hitting his 3 months growth spurt at the same time but will end someday, I think I can muster up the energy and good will to get through it gracefully enough. Though I did have a little setback when Shane reported to me his new paycheck, courtesy of the #%!@ s in D.C.

Seriously, there is a new tax on dental devices. So braces that already cost a bazillion dollars are going to cost more. And with four, soon to be five, kids ahead of me in line I probably won't even be considering it for myself until I'm 60. By which time, if things continue in the vein they are now and a doomsday device does not take out Washington, will be even less affordable and if you try to get them anyway they will realize you are a drain on the system and euthanize you instead. After they try to get you to inform on your friends and family for illicit possessions like guns or heirloom seeds or activities like collecting your own freaking rain water!

Ok tirade is over. Fortunately, Malachi's nap is not. So I just might get something done. After I heat up and finish my coffee.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Frenotomy-Part II

Today I took Malachi back to the lactation consultant. His latch did seem a bit stronger since the visit by the craniosacral lady but I was eager to see if he needed anything else, get it done, and be done with it. I was a little bummed when it was snowy and icy yesterday. My car is not so great in bad weather and I didn't want to have to ask Shane to stay home or trade cars with me. Then Malachi was in a strange humor all day yesterday. Not his super chipper self, very clingy, and sometimes had almost a glassy-eyed sick look. When Shane got home he noticed it too and tried to cheer him up and get a smile out of him. Eventually Malachi went to sleep on Shane where he stayed through dinner and coffee. Waking up just in time for us to get ready for bed and NOT got to sleep. But I didn't mind too much. He was smiley and definitely his usual self. And definitely not sick. We managed to  sleep in a little and still get to our appointment on time, even though I had to scrape and defrost the car first. Fortunately the roads were all fine, which also meant Shane could go to work.

Kateri came with me, of course, and we bundled up the Munchkin and went to see Kristina. She was happy to see him again and I was happy that he was all smiles. Especially when we got to strip and weigh him. But then things got more serious. The previous clipping had definitely grown back and with scar tissue this time so things were nice and tight, but not in a good way. The assistant came in and the scissors were readied. She tried swaddling him up snugly but he decided he does not like swaddling and the little blanket was no match for a determined  14 lb 11 oz baby. So I ended up holding his arms down and his body still. It took a couple seconds longer and there was a little more blood than the first time. And he took a few minutes to settle down enough to nurse.

Kristina went over some exercises to do with him to keep the cut from closing up and scarring again. So now that that is out of the way and I went to the grocery store yesterday to  stock up a little I can look forward to any weather that would keep us home and cozy.

Here is picture from Christmas, I realized I didn't put any up. It was Malachi's first Dr. Who episode. I thought it warranted documenting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nap Time

That small part of the day when I get to choose an activity to do. Today I opted for folding laundry. Tomorrow I think it will be scrubbing the shower, maybe. There are so many choices. I finished the laundry so now I get to throw in a blog post for a bonus.

Yesterday the craniosacral therapist came out. I like house visits. A lot. It was rainy and windy yesterday and I was fighting off a cold so I was extra grateful to not have to pack the baby up and go out. The appointment went well. She said she observed some minor adjustments/releases happen when she did her feeling around. Then, after seeing him nurse, she made some suggestions in positioning to help him realize and use his new mobilities. Friday we go back to the lactation consultant, which should be enough time to assess if another clipping is necessary. Then I think we should be all sorted out. I think I am as supposed to take him in for a second pediatrician appointment, but he is doing well and I don't really want to take him anywhere near a clinic until flu season is over so I have not scheduled one.

He is growing so well I had to go buy him new outfits a couple weeks ago and already the sleeves are looking short. Kateri helped 'encourage' me in cleaning our his clothes basket. By stealing it to do her laundry and piling up his things in a corner in my room. I figured I might as well since they were all out already. I packed up the little onsies and fuzzy outfits from his early days. Those early days seem so far away now. As does my tiny newborn kitten. Sometimes it feels like I have a different baby now and somebody took my little one. It is going by so quickly. I used to think people were crazy when they would tell me that these are the best years and someday I'll look back and yearn for them.

I'd think 'yeah right, because being sleep deprived to the point of insanity, never eating dinner or doing dishes with two hands, or having time implement a regular hygiene maintenance plan is so much better than anything else.'

But now I feel I am starting to understand what they mean. Or at least I imagine I do. I do appreciate that I know where all my kids are. That every night  I can check on them by walking into the other room, not waiting by the phone for a call. If they have a question or need help we are only a few footsteps away, not thousands of miles. I know/hope when we get to the next stages we'll be ready and the transition from baby to adult will not feel sudden like it does now.

Shane was doing some searching around and found that Stanford offers an online high-school program. It looks a bit more rigorous than what Audrey is doing now- ok a lot bit- and I had some reservations about  signing her up. I thought 'she is not old enough, she'd be intimidated, she won't want to go to their summer programs she wants to stay home.' Because that is how I would have felt. But Shane talked to her about it and showed her the information site and she is excited about it. So we signed her up for the assessment test later this month and we'll see how it goes.

I am starting to feel a little excited  for her now. For all the opportunities she'll have, for the relationships she'll form, for the education and experiences she'll have. That someone else will be teaching her higher math. And that she will have chances to figure out the world and how she wants to fit in it on her own terms. But not entirely on her own. Because for a little while longer, we'll just be in the next room.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's Thursday

Today Shane forwarded me an email from his friend. To the group of friends who started out working together, have gone their separate ways, but still keep in touch and occasionally vacation together. It was a sob story about how he only has so much time to live and at the end of life what you look back on and remember are the times you spent with family and friends and in light of it being a new year he thought it would be a good time for them to show their loyalty to the group and  renew their commitment by promising to show up to every Thursday Call of Duty Black Ops online game.

When Shane got home I told him I'd read it and seeing his friend was terminal I thought he should play tonight. Also, I realized it has been a while since I've posted anything and figured it would be a good time to catch up. So, while Malachi nurses, I sit in bed with my Surface reminiscing over the past couple weeks.

Christmas already seems ages ago. Mostly due to the fact we took a trip just a few days after Christmas. We celebrated our 15th anniversary by going out to breakfast by ourselves and then seeing The Hobbit as a family. Shane and the kids had gone opening night so if the baby fussed Shane could take him out. But Malachi was very considerate and slept or nursed most of the three hours. We all really enjoyed it and can't wait for the next part.

While we were at breakfast we got a call from Shane's mom saying GG-  great grandma-was not doing well. The next morning the report was worse so we packed our over-night bags and made the 6hr drive to Oregon. Where we ended up staying  the next 5 days.

Sadly, we arrive at the hospital just a few minutes after she slipped away. As most of the family was already gathered it seemed best to try and arrange a funeral as quickly as it would be possible. Workers were found, funeral plans made, and three days later on New Years Eve,  we buried GG.

The sorrow at losing GG was off-set by the knowledge that she had led a long and full life. That she had left a legacy of children, grand children, and great grandchildren, and that she had been for some time been longing to meet her Saviour in 'Glory Land' as she said.

And for the cousins there was the distraction of staying together at a hotel with a  beach and a swimming pool. Being December the beach was not visited much. Shane took a few of the kids down but it just resulted it wet clothes, showers, and having to buy new shoes. So that was the end of that.

The day of the funeral I opted to stay at the hotel with Malachi. He was napping and the weather was not friendly to little babies. We had not packed for outdoor ceremonies and it seemed cruel to take him out in the elements. The big kids had warmer jackets, but even then the reports coming back were that it was bitter cold and windy, everyone was cold,  and I had made the right choice in keeping back with baby. So we stayed and then joined up with some of the family at Rogue Brewery. Which we had visited the day before as well after a trip to the aquarium.

That evening Shane took the kids swimming again. We tried some of the complimentary salmon chowder put out by the hotel each evening- it was very good- and the kids tried lots of the fresh baked cookies put out a little later. Then we set up for a New Year's Eve party complete with party hats, party blowers and poppers, and champagne. It really was fun all being together. And it was really fun because we had four rooms in which to spread out. Shane's brother took the boy nephews and they set up bachelor pad. His sister, Kim, was next door to our room and the kids had fun going between the two or calling each other on phone. Cyprian kept calling pretending to be a solicitor and asking if we had any credit cards he could have. And in the evenings we could pick out a movie from the lobby library, put the kids next door, and sit and have coffee or wine together. I was sad the first morning we were home because A-after 6 weeks of vacation Shane was back to work and B-I had to have breakfast and coffee without the usual company. And then there was C-listless kids not knowing what to with themselves. However, the cousins are coming here for a visit this weekend so parents can get a break and we are planning two birthday parties to fit in while they are here.

Cyril's birthday really is this week-end. Audrey's was 3 days after Malachi was born but got lost in the shuffle of new baby, bed rest, no sleep, and the holidays. So with the cousins here it seemed a good time to celebrate it. We'll all be together for dinners and playtime already. We'll just add cakes and candles and fit in as much celebrating as we can. Because life is terminal and these are the times we'll remember.