Monday, September 29, 2008

The Only Thing Worse Than Packing is Unpacking

You can't take a step in my house without planting your foot in a pile of something.  And by something I mostly mean laundry.  Ah, the joys of returning home...

What a weekend!  Lucy was a fabulous traveler.  She whined less than I did, in fact.

Lucy in Chicago - Mommy's hometown!

As we made our descent into central Wisconsin, the colors took us by surprise.  It's been years since we've been back in Wisconsin in the fall, and we'd forgotten the fiery beauty of it.  The weekend was amazingly temperate with Indian Summer temperatures in the high seventies in the sunny afternoons, and the cool evenings reminded you that it's still fall.  The Bubba's sister planned an outdoor wedding, and the atmosphere couldn't have cooperated more perfectly.

If you asked my Bubba to finish the sentence "You know you're home when...."  more than likely his answer will involve some sort of reference to being around 862 members of immediate family.  As we pulled out of the airport onto the road to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house, cousin Benny drove by in his big dump truck and we honked the car horn.  We're home!

Lucy meeting Grandma for the first time


Meeting some of the cousins

Lucy has 11 cousins on the Bubba's side, but in Lucy's eyes, there was only one (cue Barry White music).

Meet Lucy's cousin crush

Ethan has 6 months on Lucy, but you'd never tell, he's a peanut, and she's a moose!  They both wear 3-6 month clothes.  Every time he came around, she'd grin from ear to ear.  He'd poke her in the eyes, she'd giggle.  He'd grab her hair, she'd coo at him.

Back to the wedding...

The 862 aforementioned relatives all had a hand in the wedding somehow.  One aunt made the cake, another one did most of the planning (with the mother of the bride, of course), another aunt did alterations on the wedding dress, yet another one provided the chairs and tables for the reception tent.  The actual ceremony was at a gazebo that an uncle built.  The food was provided by a team of various relatives, and served by the lunch ladies that worked in the cafeteria when the Bubba was in school.  The brothers put up beautiful christmas lights around the tent and the sisters-in-law cleaned and managed the kids and tried to stay out of the planning foray.  I was amazed at how everyone came together with whatever they could do and made Kate's wedding awesome.  

A vision walking down the "aisle"


Lucy and Auntie Michelle at the wedding

Katie was married on Friday and my Llama and my sister and her family drove up to see us on Saturday.  We spent a lazy day visiting and recovering from the late night of socializing.

Lucy got so much loving from aunties and uncles and cousins and second cousins and once-removed that when we would lay her down at night we could almost hear the "THANK GOD!" in her sigh.  And then she'd sleep for 6-7 hours.

We're happy to be home and sleeping in our own beds.  We all went to bed early last night and today Lucy and I are dealing with the unpacking and getting back to normal.  With no one to entertain us, we just  sit staring at each other waiting for the other to do something funny...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Preparing

Tomorrow we leave.  We're headed to Wisconsin for the Bubba's sister's wedding and general family merry-making.  I am so excited.  I can't wait to have Lucy meet her grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins.  There will only be about 80 million of them there.  My Bubba is the fifth of seven children and all the siblings have kids.  Not to mention that he also has like 50 first cousins (we tried to have a small wedding - it would be easier to get Palin to give up her outdated updo than to have a small wedding in this family).  

Also, since my Llama and sister live so close, they are going to drive up for a little visit on Saturday, so Lucy gets to see her grandma again and meet her Auntie Brenda and the cousins too!  It's going to be a very busy weekend of all kinds of stimulation for this little person.

Of course, to take the edge off my excitement, I have to be a little bit nervous and neurotic.  What the heck does one pack when traveling with an infant?  Thank goodness we're traveling to Wisconsin to visit family and not on vacation somewhere exotic (like Florence.  Hmm, I bet it's lovely this time of year....) where there aren't any Tar-gets.  

Lucy has a brand new dress for her Auntie's wedding.  So that goes.  And jammies.  And other clothes.  And diapers.  And wipes.  And the breastpump ('cause Mommy's going to be too busy dancing to be bothered with whipping her boob out every time the Bugga-boo cries).  What else?  Baby acetaminophen?  Diaper rash cream?  Her entire changing table?  I've never been away from home long enough to know what I can live without!*

Now, I'm not one of those people who overpacks.  In fact, I tend to be an under-packer.  I don't like to deal with the clutter of having a lot of stuff - especially if I'm trying to rush from point A to point B.  This comes from years of experience of being addicted to going to Europe.  Even my big cool diaper bag is a sad little saggy sack full of two diapers, wipes, my wallet and my chapstick.

So, I know I'm not too much of a "what-if" packer.  Which makes me nervous with an infant.  There's all kinds of what-ifs.  But then again, we'll have access to wholesale Marts, a washer/dryer, and lots of family wanting to help.  We're not even bringing a carseat - my Bubba's brother is picking us up from the airport with one to borrow.  And if I forget something, chances are I can get my hands on whatever it is in 'Sconsin.

Ok. So I talked myself down from the ledge.  I'll pack like I normally do and not worry about it.

I just can't forget the pacifier.


*With the exception, of course, of the hospital stay in which case she was sick and didn't need anything at all except food and clean diapers.  


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall

It's the first day of fall and we're feeling it in the Pacific Northwest.  It's been cool and rainy for the past couple of days, and I'm remembering how hard the winters here are on me.  This is the time when I start thinking about investing in a SAD light, and then hem and haw and think and analyze and finally talk myself out of it in the early spring when the sun comes back.  This pattern has repeated itself for the last three years.  Maybe this is the year...

I wonder how Lucy will do since she's from Seattle.  Maybe she'll just be used to it and love the rain.  It's weird to think that our daughter is from somewhere other than the Midwest.

On a brighter note, it's chilly enough and Lucy's big enough to wear some of the things I've been knitting for her!!  Such as this little vest:


I could munch on the cuteness of her.  The bad thing, though, is that this makes me want to spend all my time making more cute things for her, and I just don't have the time!  Naptimes are sacred for getting housework done and things such as showering (hm, maybe I could give up showering...).

And now I must return to housework!  The laundry calls.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Little Dose of Krazy

I forgot to post Lucy's stats from the hospital.  She's 24 inches long, people.  Everyone that saw her said, "Really?  Only 5 weeks?  She's so long!"  I guess I just assumed she was pretty average and I haven't had any other five weeks old to compare her to.  But I guess that's what you get when Daddy is 6'3".  Also?  She weighs almost 12 pounds!  So she's in the low ninety's percentile for weight and high ninety's for height.  Crazy.  As the Bubba says, she's well above average in every way.

I have the sweetest husband, and Lucy has the best daddy.  I'm about to wax sentimental for a couple paragraphs about how awesome he is, so go ahead and skip if you don't want to hear how dreamy I think he is.  He was such a good daddy while Lucy needed so much love in the hospital.

The things he says to Lucy are so cute, especially if he thinks no one is listening.  In the hospital at one point, he was just being by her when she let loose a couple of screams.  The Bubba said "Oh!  You're good at letting us know when you're not happy.  That's one of the things I like about you."

And he makes up songs to sing to her that are so sweet and fun.  When we were in the emergency room, he sang "Lucy Rose, we'll take you home to a place you can sleep.  No more nurses pokin' you and makin' you sad"  to the tune of Take Me Home Country Roads.  And in the hospital, he sang  "Lucy, my Lucy Rose, we're a-gonna take you home!"  To the tune of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.  And then, of course there were liberal sprinklings of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

It's amazing how kind of crazy you get after a couple of days in the hospital.  We started singing "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" to each other.  And I was absolutely shocked at how many words to the song by Bubba knew.

So, back to Lucy.  She's doing better today.  She's got a rash all over her little body which the doctors said to expect as the last symptom of the virus.  She has been spending more time alert and playing; she's still not eating or sleeping quite like normal, but we get closer every day.  She's had lots of nice smiles to share with mommy, and she's just milliseconds away from vocalizing.

She's so happy to be home:





Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Market To Market To Buy a Fat Hog

Home again, home again jiggity jog!!

All of Lucy's cultures turned out negative after 48 hours, and we're HOME!  Thanks for all the love and prayers, people.  I know they helped.

The pediatrician we saw in the morning said that everything looked fine, she just had the one more dose of antibiotics and we'd be good to go.  Those darn antibiotics.  I thought they were helping Lucy, but since nothing was growing in her cultures, she didn't have any sort of bacterial infection.  So they didn't do anything but give her diarrhea and a raw red bum.  Lucy screams every time we change her diaper now, and I feel awful about it.  Ah well.  The price we're paying for precautionary measures.

The doc also said that if anything else ever happens to Lucy...  she trailed off her sentence and pointed with both hands at the floor.  She was gently chiding me for bringing Lucy to a regular emergency room.  Like I should have known (not getting defensive, these are just things no one tells you until you feel like a jerk and a bad mom for not knowing).  She mentioned that on Sunday we happened to choose the only ER in the area without a pediatric section.  Awesome.  That was an expensive lesson that we learned.

One other interesting thing the doc mentioned was that Lucy's development would probably slow down.  She asked if Lucy'd been smiling or cooing or anything yet, and we said that she was pretty much on the verge, she does it sometimes but not consistently.  The doc said that all Lucy's energies would go toward making her all the way better and not toward learning new skills for probably the next week.  Except that Lucy's been smiling a lot since we've been home.  I think she likes it better here than in the hospital...

Poor little thing!

Not feeling very well, but showing off her chins anyway.

She struggled out of her swaddle and then passed out

Evidently Lucy has a virus of some sort that we just need to watch and make sure doesn't change at all as she recovers.  I'm so relieved.  Relieved that Lucy just has to get over her first flu bug, relieved that the hospital ordeal is over.

I figure this is good parental conditioning.  Next time something happens - oh, you're throwing up?  Big deal, I've seen you have a blood draw by someone who works on adults!  Broken limb?  Hah! I've watched you get a spinal tap!  Maybe it'll be just that little bit easier.  The first time just had to break the ice.

I didn't realize the exact extent to which that hospital stay and the stress was taxing me.  When we got home, we ate some dinner and I crashed hard.  Good thing my Bubba is the sweetest man in the history of the world, he took some of the pumped milk in the fridge and took over two feedings.  I slept from 7:30 yesterday evening until 4 this morning without even moving.  Blessed, heavenly, blackout sleep.  I also lost 4 pounds over the last three days, but I'm not really counting that as a bad thing right now.

The Bubba had to travel to San Francisco for work today.  So I'm on my own with Lucy again.  But at least we're not confined to one room!  I'm looking forward to taking it easy and relaxing in our comfy little house with my poor little only under-the-weather baby.  Whew!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Middle of the Night Post

Today was so much better than yesterday.  At least there weren't any painful tests to go through.  It was just waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  

Lucy is currently on a saline drip and some kick-butt broad spectrum antibiotics that she gets a dose of every 24 hours.  And boy, there must be some good stuff in there because she hasn't run a fever for 13 hours now! 

They told us in the ER that we'd get the test results by this morning.  Evidently that was a ruse to get us to agree to all of it and be admitted and whatnot.  The night nurse just told me that we won't know until probably tomorrow afternoon.  

sigh  

What we do know is that nothing big and nasty has grown in any of her cultures so far, and if it were a big nasty infection, whatever big nasty things would probably have grown by now.  That's as close as we're going to get to any positive feedback right now.  

And that's ok with me.  Lucy looks like she's feeling considerably better.  She's being more ornery and very vocal about her preferences to be held, not to have a cold bum, to eat - NOW, etc.  And I didn't think it possible, but I'm super glad she's cranky.  That means things have progressed from red alert Sick to a more manageable orange Don't Feel Good.  The White House has been informed.

What?  The Bubba and me?  We're ok too.  Thanks for asking.  He went home again for some quality rest and I am sitting awake at 1:30 on this piece of plastic covered plywood that they tell me is a parent/caregiver cot.  Whatever.  If I get a chance to lay on it, I'm sure I won't even notice that it's not a 5 star hotel bed with Egyptian cotton sheets.  Mmmmmm.  So far I've gotten about 8 hours of sleep in the last 72.  I have a hard time relaxing if you can believe that.  A friend of mine bought me a massage in honor of Lucy's arrival, and you have to believe I'm going to be getting rubbed down with essential oils just as soon as I can make an appointment.  Mmmm.

Um... Where was I?  Oh yeah.  The doctors and nurses here at Children's have been incredible.  This evening Lucy was inconsolable.  I'm wondering if it was just the usual evening fussiness exacerbated by the Don't Feel Good.  Either way, at one point the nurse came in to check vitals, and with the swaddling and and diaper changing, yadda yadda, I ended up crying.  (I'm tired people.)  The nurse gave me a full on big hug and said nice things.  At first I was like "Whoa, personal space." and then I thought, "Whoa she didn't have to do that." and it was good.

The end of the story today is that I'm no longer afraid that my baby is going to die.  That's definitely a good thing.

Keep the prayers coming, people - we're not out of the woods yet! 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stop Making Me Cry. I Mean, Stop Making Lucy Cry. Whatever.

My God, people.  Having a sick kid is the WORST THING EVER.

You see, yesterday Lucy woke up kind of fussy.  Well, she sort of wailed when we picked her up, or fed her, or changed her diaper.  We figured it was probably gas.  We went to church and she slept like a champ in the Moby wrap.  But she was acting not like herself..  I gave her a nice bath and she cried through it.  This is the girl who learned to smile especially FOR the bath.  Then she was a little too sleepy to eat.  Lucy hasn't missed a meal since the minute she was born!  That's when I needed to get the big guns out.  Hello, Mr. Rectal Thermometer.  Meet Lucy's poo factory.  102.8 degrees.  Are you kidding?  Where's that nurse line number?

The nurse, Phyllis, suggested we get her checked out right away because fevers in infants can be symptoms of very serious illnesses, yadda, yadda.  I was adequately freaked out, because someone in the medical profession had said "serious illness" and "emergency room" to me in regards to my progeny.  We left right away and went to Swedish Hospital in Ballard because it's close and convenient.

I figured that when we went to the regular hospital ER, they'd take her temperature, give us something for a low grade fever and send us on our way to cuddle our little princess back to feeling like herself!  Whee!  Here's me with my sunshine-and-rainbows expectations!!

Except that when we got there the ER doctor spewed words like "tests".  And not only that word but adjectives that go with like "blood" and "urine" and "chest x-ray" and "SPINAL TAP" (except, I think he used the more mild term "lumbar puncture").

You just don't say these words to me.

They put a catheter in my little muffin to collect some urine.  She didn't mind that one too much.  And then they sent a phlebotomist to collect some blood.  This twelve year old meekly creeped around the door into our room and explained that she was going to draw blood.  After 17 hours of poking and prodding and heating hands and feet and using a mini tourniquet she made by cutting a regular sized blue rubber tourniquet in half the long way and the short way on EVERY appendage looking for a vein, she gave up and said she'd send someone else.  Thank God!  Stop torturing my child!

The chest x-ray was just as bad.  The Bubba held her in contorted positions so the tech could get a good shot of her chest as she inhaled.  Lucy hated it, and of course we had to take 46 different tries to get a good shot.  Ok, it was only 3, but it seemed like 46.

Then the twelve year old lab girl came back sheepishly pushing her little tray and said she'd take blood from Lucy's heel instead of a vein for some of the tests and then someone from the OB floor would come down and get blood from a vein for the blood count type tests.  I really wanted to wait and just have the ONE blood draw, but my Bubba was anxious to leave the ER (we had been there about 3 hours already!) and told the teen tech to go ahead so we could count on results in a shorter time span.

At this point, I will admit to you, confess to you, that I am a weenie.  I cannot STAND to hear Lucy cry - every one of my cells zings into discomfort at the first sounds of crying.  Worse, doctor-y things like needles, blood draw tubes, catheters, etc. are not my favorite things either.  Combine these, and I am a worthless presence in the room with Lucy while these tests are being done.  Granted, had my Bubba not been there, I would have had no problem stepping up, I'm just glad I didn't have to.  I cried in the corner most of the time while I listened to Lucy screaming and the Bubba saying "You're doing a good job, Lucy!"

AT one point, my Bubba sang "Lucy Rose, we'll take you home, ..." to the tune of John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads.  Yeah.  He's awesome.

The OB phlebotomist finally showed up and both Bubba and I had to help restrain Lucy because she was an absolute ham-fisted clown.  She had heat packs and tourniquets and whatnot galore as well, but this one was more couragous with the needle.  She poked the needle in after the requisite 83 hours of poking and tying and warming and flicking and stroking and pinching.  But didn't get a vein until approximately 106 hours of Lucy's crying pain later, and even then she only got some fraction of the minimum required sample for the tests.  I think the B*$%! word crossed my lips at one point.  But thank Jesus, she took the small sample and said they'd do what they could with it and left my sweet Lu Bugga Boo in peace.

Big sigh.

Then came the spinal tap conversation.  It went something like "Blah, blah, blah, routine test for babies this young with fever, blah, blah, blah."  My reaction was something like "f&$%# that idea."  Let me add here that she did not have a fever in the ER at all (but the nurse took her temperature with a forehead thermometer thingy.  God knows if that is even semi-accurate...), and since all the other tests came back normal or negative, I was starting to think maybe my thermometer at home was playing a dirty, expensive trick on me - one that it would soon regret.  The doctor also mentioned wanting to admit her at Swedish First Hill for observation.  I figured, there's not much that they're going to do that I'm not going to do at home.

So we went home promising to give Lucy some ibuprofen and to call our pediatrician in the morning for a follow up.

I was up every - oh- 20 minutes or so over the night checking to see if Lucy was developing any other symptoms and checking her temperature rectally every time I changed her diaper.  101.3, 102.7, 100.4.  This sucks.

Our pediatrician (whom I LOVE) minced no words in telling us to get to Children's and get a spinal.  I cried, and she reassured me that she wouldn't order something like this on a whim.

So here we are.

I would rather have major surgery once a week than to have to see Lucy go through some of the tests she went through today.  They repeated the tests from the ER yesterday and added some new ones.  I ranked them in order of discomfort 1 being low and 4 being high:

1. Urine sample.  Unfortunately, Lucy had just finished peeing in her diaper when the nurses decided to get the catheter out.  They had to leave it in until her little body could make more urine.  But, generally not too painful.

2. IV/Blood draw.  I will never take Lucy to the regular ER again.  Until she's about 22.  The phlebotomist at Children's was an absolute PRO.  She found the vein, poked the baby, drew some blood, put the little tube in, got Lucy's hand all boarded up and taped down, and Ta-Da!  Done! 5 seconds flat!  Well, ok, not that quick, but she was awesome, and Lucy cried some but not the "Come quick!  I'm DYING!" cry.

3. Nose/Throat culture.  This one falls under the category of "Would rather have my kneecaps broken".  They had to squirt a fluid in the back of Lucy's nose and throat and then stick a big old tube up her nose to suck the fluid out with some of Lucy's gunk.  That's the technical description.  In my own words, it sucked.  Lucy screeched and screamed and gagged and coughed and sputtered and I almost died from pity and grief.

4. Spinal tap.  I cannot describe to you how excruciating it was to watch my baby have to go through this and I do not wish it on any of your babies.  Even if I don't happen to like you very much.  It was a three man job.  One tech held Lucy on her side in the fetal position (which she hated, ha ha) to open the spaces of her spine.  One doctor oversaw the whole procedure suggesting the tech move Lucy this way or that.  The CNP that did the actual procedure looked up at me (bawling in the corner) every now and then to reassure me that things were going ok.

And really?  That was the worst of it.  Now we wait.  Lucy's fever is still high - the latest was 103.  But those tests are either going to tell us that she has an infection of the ______, or they will tell us that her immune system is just too immature to fight off a little bug, or that nothing serious is wrong at all and we just need to ride out the fever.

At around 6pm, the nurse came in and basically told me to check out for a while.  Since I'm nursing Lucy, the hospital gives me vouchers for meals, (as the nurse put it, "You feed Lucy, we'll feed you.")  and she told me to leave and go get something from the cafeteria.  I went around the corner in the hallway and started bawling.  I cried all the way to the cafeteria.  And then, I saw all kinds of families with all kinds of children with all kinds of ailments, and I realized how very blessed we are that Lucy is by no means a sickly child and all she has is a fever.  How lucky are we that our perfect baby was born with all her fingers and toes and all her organs and bones neatly arranged in their assigned spots in her skin?  I ache for the mommies that are here longer term than I am, and their precious babies.

So that's where we're at.  The Bubba went home to get some quality rest since he has to pull double duty with trying to be intellectually present at work for a while tomorrow (making sure buildings stand up takes some concentration, I'd imagine) and being on his A-game here with us as our rock.  

I'm pretty sure we won't die from waiting, but I guess I can't be certain - hell, I'm not a doctor.  I have 8-10 more hours to wait before the first tests come back with results.  And then we can move on from this knowledge purgatory and into the lukewarm pool of What's Next.

Keep praying, team.

Start Praying

Lucy's sick.  She has a low grade fever, but since she's so little that can be a scary thing.  We called the nurse, and she said to get her checked out right away.

We were at the emergency room yesterday and my poor muffin had to go through a battery of tests that I'm sure were as hard (if not harder) on me than on her.  And now today we're going to the pediatrician to follow up.

I don't like it.  I wish they'd just tell us what's wrong so I can fix it.  If you're a prayin' kinda person, offer them up, team!

Friday, September 12, 2008

It Was Great In the End

It turns out I shouldn't have worried.  But I did.  I worried and I stressed and I obsessed and I imagined every possible outcoming scenario.

Carrie at Growing a Baby suggested we get together at Greenlake.

This is the woman who claims to be terrified of people she doesn't know and who refuses to talk to strangers.  And then there's me.  I'm an extrovert - but evidently an anxious one.  I hate calling and talking to people I don't know on the phone.  I really only do it because my husband is even more chicken than I am (he won't even call to order a pizza!), and someone in this family has to have the balls to talk to the cable company and order take out!

But back to meeting Carrie.  I went through 857 stages of anxious.  Do I do it?  Do I come up with some excuse not to?  Do I postpone until someone else can come to intervene if it's painful?  Will she like me?  What if she doesn't?  What if I swear?  I've been trying to cut back on that what with a baby whose first word I don't want to be a four letter shocker.  What if we decide to meet but don't recognize each other and then we both end up waiting around like the kid that doesn't get picked for the kickball team in middle school gym? 

I feel like I'm going on a blind date.

Being blog friends isn't like being friends in real life.  Well, in ways it's more intimate.  God knows I wouldn't admit what an anxiety ridden weenie I am in casual everyday conversation!  So, I feel like I know and like Carrie already, but what if she's different in person?  Or what if I'm different in person??  When you read something, you have the freedom to understand things however you want to.  You have the freedom of skipping over the stupid or boring or uncomfortable parts.  Real life is in your face, you can't ignore the hairy warts.  And what if Carrie doesn't like my hairy warts?

I shouldn't have worried.

Carrie is adorable, and her little Ethan is a charmer and I'm so happy to have new friends!  We talked a mile a minute about everything under the sun, and it's like we've already been friends for ages.  


And just for the record, she's just as easy going and likable and thoughtful and wonderful as she is in her blog!  I mean, she brought me (see: Good Eater) home-made zucchini bread! (By the way, it was so delicious I ate the entire thing last night.  Will start diet maybe on Monday.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fast Forward

Weeks 30 to 41 of my pregnancy crawled by, creeping forward in minute increments.  I couldn't stand how slowly the days passed, and I had such a hard time coming up with activities to keep myself busy so I wouldn't go crazy.

Since Lucy's been born?  I can't keep track of what day it is, and today I thought it was still August.  Nobody told me that as soon as the baby's here time flies!  Lucy is 5 weeks old tomorrow.  Where the heck have I been for the last 5 weeks?  I feel like I fell asleep a couple weeks ago and just woke up now.

Lucy's got a little personality coming out.  She cracks me up.  She gets really excited when we sit in the "nursing" position and can't contain her joy at the thought of food.  Sounds more than a bit like her mom....

Also, today she smiled and splashed all the way through her bath.  She hasn't been smiling reflexively as of yet, but it really seemed like she mastered that skill today just to tell me that she loves her bath.


The evenings are still amazingly fussy as compared with any other moment in Lucy's life.  I learned from another newish (her daughter's 10 months) mom last night that it takes a long time to get over that.  I almost cried.  Lucy is SUCH a fun baby.  She sleeps well at night, she's very pleasant when she's awake during the day, but the evenings she turns into a were-baby howling until bedtime.  Sigh.  This too shall pass....

In another positive note, Lucy decided to respond very positively to swaddling.  She's always hated it and fought it and it never relaxed her at all.  Now?  She'll sleep for 4 hours at a time without her mean old hands hitting her and waking her up.  Awesome.



I can't believe she's 5 weeks old already.  I start working again in a week and a half for my business, and I start tutoring again the week after that.  Time has just been melting away in puddles of breastfeeding and naptimes.  My baby's gonna be walking around and sassing me before I know it.  I better go get some sweet baby cuddles while I can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What I Did Today

And also why I didn't write anything...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Game Day

Saturday morning the Bubba ran to the store and came home with a purple T-shirt for me, a purple hat for himself, and a purple warm-up suit for the Bugga-boo.

Then we packed a bomb shelter's worth of crap into the diaper bag and headed to the stadium for the UW game.  

GO!  HUSKIES!


I'll spare you my game day commentary, mostly because I'll just get mad and chances are you won't care....  I'll just leave it at "it was a good time."

The stadium was so loud that there were times I was worried about Lucy's ears.  In fact, the noise put her straight into a coma.  I actually had to go to a quieter place outside the stadium and wake her up to eat (that's never happened before.  See: Good Eater and also: Roly Poly Baby).

This is what she looked like for ninety percent of the game:

You're missing the kickoff!

Our little fam!

I was surprised at how many infants were at the game!  Maybe it's just the awareness that comes with having a child myself, but it seemed like everyone was hauling babies around in Bjorns.  Three just in our little section!  The girl that took the photo of the three of us had a 5 month old strapped to her.  And there were a couple of big pregnant ladies that came to see Lucy too.

The Bubba (in his infinite creativity) decided that Lucy needed a little something extra to go with her new purple outfit since the sweatshirt said LOVE across the front and not GO UW.  So He got out his T-shirt printing stuff and made this:

Look how big my baby is already!

Which is awesome, but check out the back:


We only got a couple of laughs out of that because it was too sunny/breezy to keep her sweatshirt off.  And otherwise she was in the Bjorn the whole time.  In her coma.  As soon as we left the stadium and the noise, though, she was all about checking out campus.


It was a pretty awesome day.





Friday, September 5, 2008

100 Posts Already?

Holy crap.  I just looked at my blog wondering what I should mindlessly ramble about today and I just saw that this is my hundredth post!  Isn't that some sort of huge bloggy milestone?  Don't I get to eat cake or open presents or something?  Don't celebrities come to my door to pat me on the back?  Don't random people on the street come up and congratulate me and give me money??

NO???  

What the hell am I doing this for, anyway?

Oh yeah.  for my sanity.

And for grandmas and grandpas and other people who love us to see photos of my porky baby. 







Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Blues

Last week (or the week before?  Like I can tell time now.) Bubba came home from work and said that one of his colleagues had asked him what he likes best about parenthood so far.  At the time Bubba didn't have a good answer, but after thinking about it, he told me that he just loves looking at Lucy.  He took her hand and said "Look at this perfect little hand and fingers.  Look at the perfect form."  He then asked me what my favorite part of motherhood was so far.

I had no clue.  Worse than that, I wanted to answer "nothing.  I don't like anything about it."  Instead, I told him I was having a hard time and started sobbing.

I was always a little trepidatious about how I would handle the postpartum emotions and hormonal upset.  Pre-pregnancy, my PMS would be pretty raw, and my emotions would lean toward the sad variety.  So, after Lucy was born, I tried to steel myself and prepare the Bubba for what I thought would surely be a hurricane of histrionics.

I've been pleasantly surprised that it hasn't really been too bad.  My version of the postpartum blues has been a sort of mourning of my previous life.  In France before you're married, your friends throw you an "enterrement de jeune fille/jeune homme," literally a funeral for your maiden life or your life as a youth.  That's how I felt in the second week Lucy was home.

I would sit and cry thinking "Really?  Is this going to be my life from now on?"  Sleeping for two hours at a time and otherwise changing diapers or being a dairy cow.  I would sit in the rocking chair thinking that the living room would be all I would ever see again, and how sad that is because the clock doesn't match the decor since we painted the walls and why can't the Bubba just put the damn ottoman back where it goes when he's done throwing it around the room and why do the concrete trucks have to make so much noise when they're going up the hill and is this what I'm going to have to listen to for all of my life!

I've had to bid goodbye to my previous care-freedom and the thought that a productive day means getting something concrete done.  Now a productive day means keeping Lucy happy and getting a shower.  I've had to bury the idea that it's important to do the dishes and laundry.  Pumping a bottle for the Bubba's midnight shift is way more important.  But the thing about an enterrement, is that you say goodbye, and then it's over.  Then you start your new life.

My favorite thing about having a baby so far is the post-meal cuddles.  Lucy is a cuddler and loves being close to us.  By far my favorite thing is just after she nurses and I put her up on my shoulder to burp her and she nestles in the crook of my neck and grabs my shirt or my hair in her hands and just is for a while.  That's perfect.  

And I don't even miss that other stuff any more.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sleeping Alone

So, I have come to an interesting conclusion about Lucy and sleep.  She seems to sleep much better at night in her crib in her room.  Coincidentally, so do the Bubba and I.  I don't wake up with every grunt or sigh or hiccup coming from Lucy's general direction, and she seems to conk out for longer when she's alone.  

On a side note, I have a baby in my dreams now.  Isn't it funny how ones brain catches up?  So far, I haven't seen Lucy in my dreams, but I have to think about the baby.  

Anway, this morning I brought her to bed with me thinking that I'd nurse her for second breakfasts, and then we could sleep together for a little longer (doing the floor yesterday evening WORE ME OUT - but the kitchen looks awesome!).  Well, she nursed and burped and fell asleep, but kept fussing every so often.  So finally I got out of bed to get a drink of water, and now she's fast asleep and I haven't heard a peep from her in a half hour.  That's a far cry from the I-never-want-to-be-alone syndrome of last week.  But this new development is fine with me!

The only thing I've had trouble learning with her being in a different room at night is that she will cry if she needs me.  I find myself lying awake straining to hear the littlest noise from the monitor.  I have to remind myself that babies cry when they need something and that I should just go to sleep already!  Plus it's kinda hard to hear anything on the monitor over my bed buddy's snoring.  Obviously he doesn't have any issues with it... 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PJs and Sneakers

First of all, how excited are all of us that Maggie's daughter Molly Elizabeth joined the Cheung family yesterday?!?!  I am absolutely beside myself, and I can just tell that Lucy is wicked excited to have a new little friend!  YAY!

These past few weeks are the most I think I've ever worn pajamas.  Every day I look up and all of a sudden it's 2 in the afternoon and I haven't even brushed my teeth yet.  And then all of a sudden it's very important to get out and see some sky before the day's over, but it's always a struggle getting out of the pajamas.

It means showering.  Which means time alone.  Which means Lucy has to cooperate.  It means finding clothes that both fit, don't make me look enormous, and, preferably, aren't maternity clothes (still working on that one).  It means having a destination in mind, the library or the supermarket, within walking distance, and a plan.  It means deciding among the baby-transportation devices: the Moby?  the Bjorn today?  the stroller?  Basically it means making hours worth of decisions just to get out of the pajamas to leave the house.  Really, most days I just want to throw some sneakers on and walk out in my jams with the kid in my pocket, but that would be scandalous.

Today we did make it to the library and to the mailbox to mail some thank yous.  And I started scrubbing the kitchen floor before Lucy woke up and interrupted the industriousness.  **Let me interject here that Lucy has been an ANGEL today.  No fussing!  Sleeping in the crib!  Being generally cute and smiley!  YAY! **  Now that the Bubba is home and entertaining the child, I can finish what I started.  This time I'm going to wax the floor after scrubbing it to see if it stays cleaner longer.  This was a genius idea from the Llama (thanks, Llama!) but it means going over the floor twice and then letting it dry for half an hour...  Ah well, the price you pay to have a clean floor.

I'm antsy to get into some sort of routine.  I'm not getting ready to force anything on Lucy, I'm just biding my time until I can get things done during times of predictable sleep and wakefulness.  I was thinking today that it would be really nice to be able to plan to go grocery shopping and not just wait until there's nothing in the fridge and then go for a frozen pizza and a pint of Ben and Jerry's (nothing at all against Ben or Jerry, of course).

So, I'm off to spend some quality time with my Linoleum.
Here's a gratuitous pic of the princess: