Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You are doing everything right

There are precious few times in your life when someone makes this statement AND direct it towards YOU. Never mind it being in reference to your parenting. That's virtually unheard of outside of consolation from a friend or family member.

A nurse, a medical professional at my pediatrician's hot line said that very thing to me last week. I was calling for nothing major but just a little reassurance. Heidi had a little cold but I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to anything more. I'm well versed in childhood illnesses but when the child in question is 3 months old you tend to second guess yourself. After going through the laundry list of treatments I noted that I was already doing everything she stated. She replied, "Well, then you are doing every right. If she has any changes or gets worse give us a call."

Its a little thing but means so much. Living life is difficult at times. You second guess the mundane and the extraordinary, especially when it comes to parenting. Rarely do you ever get affirmation that the choices you make are correct or at least not completely wrong. You aren't warping your child and CPS isn't knocking on your door.

Twice since Heidi has been born have I gotten that little (read: huge) pat on the back. Yes, its true, I know how to treat a cold. That's not such a big deal but when Heidi left the NICU I was nearly reduced to tears. The nurse practitioner told Mike and I how happy we made her. It was so nice to see a baby leave with such a good family. People who truly cared and could care for their baby. She told us we were a joy to have and knew that Heidi was going to thrive with us as parents. How could that NOT make you well up with tears? Not only were you finally able to take your baby home with you, but someone was praising you and your parenting abilities. That right there is sheer perfection as far as I'm concerned. And something I'm not likely to forget.

I know I am not the perfect parent or person for that matter. I have my faults and I struggle, but in the grand scheme of things I'm doing ok. I think often times we don't give ourselves enough credit for what we do right. There is so much focus on the negative, what you screwed up and how messy your house is. On the other hand, you can't just ignore the mistakes and gloat. Rest on your laurels thinking you know everything. Usually the people who think they know everything really have the most to learn. I am always learning and learning from my mistakes. Every now and then it is nice to have someone comment on what you are doing without prejudice. It makes you take a step back, look at yourself and carry on with a wee bit more confidence. I have good kids. They are happy, healthy, well cared for and loved. I must be doing something right after all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How can someone soooo cute

be just so damned naughty? Seriously? It must be a self defense mechanism for self preservation that 2 yr olds are so cute. If they weren't cute you'd surely lock them outside or drop them off at QuikTrip.

Currently Colin is in time out on the step behind me. You see he was just hitting Raph over the head with part of the Little People Nativity Set. I'm pretty sure Baby Jesus would NOT approve of this behavior. Every time I turn around he's either scooted away from said step or climbed up on the railing, poised, waiting for me to notice.

He is such a beating to discipline these days but that boy has his moments of complete and total sweetness. I enjoy waking him up every day, twice a day. I start by tickling his feet, or his neck or his back. He pretends to keep sleeping and I tickle a little more until he can't contain his laughing any longer. Then the wiggling, tickling, giggling sweetness goes full force.

He is a sweet boy when he wants to be...its just that those moments are far outweighed by the naughty glint in his eye.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm going to go all Super Nanny on his ass

Colin makes me want to drink cooking wine. Seriously. I know he's 2 but damn, I can't take it anymore. He's taken Terrible Twos to the next next level. I spend all fucking day saying no, taking things away, picking up and defusing fights. Its got to be exhausting to be this bad. At least he's a good sleeper. If he did all this and didn't sleep I'd be homicidal...or just drop him off at QuikTrip. I just don't know what to do with him anymore. I suppose I could just beat him but that really wouldn't solve anything. It would just cause more problems b/c then I'd be put in jail...then again I'd be away from kids for a long long time. That might not be so bad after all. AND someone would do all the cooking.

Anyway, Colin has become that kid. You know the one I'm talking about. The one where people cluck and tisk as they walk past you shaking their heads. That poor mom with her out of control child. Why can't she just make him behave? I've tried. Believe me I've tried. What can you do when your kid is standing up in the shopping car, screaming, with a dirty face and throwing stuff out of the cart...or even worse, putting stuff in. That's how I came home with a can of generic cream of celery soup. ::gag::

I want to go all Super Nanny on his ass but I don't think I have enough fight left in me. That's all I do all day as it is. I fight with him over every. little. thing. I even choose my battles but its just constant. And when you discipline him he spits at you. Yes he spits. In complete disrespect he does that raspberry type of spit with pure venom. With that spitting I've decided to just ignore it. Kind of like when they start saying 'Shit'. Instead of making a big deal about how they shouldn't say such things (gee, wonder where they heard it?) I just ignore and they stop or just forget.

Meanwhile Raph is no angel either. I swear that boy will start his period any day now. For real. I think he could use some Midol b/c he's soooo hormonal and whiney. On the way home today he was just bitching and moaning about everything. Every.thing. Life is so unfair and everyone is out to persecute poor poor Raph. I let them get soft pretzels as the store while we were out. He threw a fit b/c they weren't cinnamon (read: sugar) pretzels and they were salt. I'm soooo mean like that. He went on and on and on about how he won't eat a salt pretzel and he doesn't like salt and there will be nothing on his pretzel to eat, blah blah blah. We come home and he makes a huge mess of de-salting his pretzel and eats it all. At this time Colin was eating a piece of cheese he got at the store before his pretzel. A few minutes later Colin finds me asking for his pretzel. I go in the kitchen to find it and Raph has eaten 80% of Colin's pretzel. WTF?! WHYYYYY? You just bitched about how he didn't want a salt pretzel then eats his own pretzel and most of his brother's. I asked him why he ate Colin's pretzel. "Because I didn't know if he was going to eat it." Duh.

Between the spitting angry tyrant and the whining bitching mope I'm not sure which is worse! Today Heidi is my favorite.

Let us FEAST!

Ahhh Thanksgiving. The holiday invented to revolve around gluttony. Its an American tradition! This week both boys had "feasts" at their schools. I didn't get to go to Colin's feast but everyone brought fruit. I think that means they feasted on fruit salad. My kids can tear up a fruit salad and I will be bringing one to our Thanksgiving dinner.

Raph's feast was more along the lines of a Peanuts' feast. You know, how Snoopy and Woodstock doll out buttered toast and popcorn? It was really cute to see all these little kids dressed as Pilgrims or Indians gathered around the table for a feast of jello, turkey sandwiches and popcorn. Some of the kids complained about the carrot and celery sticks not having a dip. They didn't eat them b/c they were too "bland". Interesting word choice for a 5 year old.

Holiday meals are always a problem for Raph. Poor kid can't or won't eat most everything that would be on a menu for Thanksgiving. Turkey? Nope. Stuffing? Are you kidding? Potatoes with gravy? Aside from the milk factor...no way in hell. Pumpkin pie will make him sick but he does love him some vegan tofu pumpkin pie. So every family dinner at the grandparents' house leaves us to question what will he eat? Usually someone will make a side of plain noodles. I swear that boy will eat plain noodles every day of the week and never tire of them.

When I'm consumed with utter frustration and despair over the lack of diversity in his diet I have to always remind myself about my mom's favorite Cella story. When I was little I would only eat white and yellow things. You know, PLAIN NOODLES, cheese, cheerios, bananas, corn and milk. All very diverse and vitamin rich...not. Then one time we are at Possum Kingdom Lake (yes that's how its spelled) and all we had to eat was fried chicken. I refused to eat it b/c it was brown, not white or yellow. I was STARVING and crying. My parents did something that if it were witnessed these days someone would have surely called CPS. They pinned me down, pried open my mouth and shoved in a piece of fried chicken. Low and behold I loved it. At that point I started to broaden my horizons on food, albeit slowly.

When I think of Raph and his noodles I just remind myself that I turned out mostly ok and will eat pretty much anything now. I do, however, draw the line and animal organs and squid b/c that's just nasty. While everyone else is enjoying their turkey with all the trimmings Raph will be happily eating his noodles and tofu pie. That is, of course, unless I decide to continue the family tradition of pinning a starving child down and forcing him to eat meat. Mwahahahahaa.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

She's cute, no?

Inspite of her purple hands she's pretty damn cute if I don't say so myself.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our neighborhood sucks on Halloween

There are a few reasons this is so. The first being that there are a bunch of crotchety old people that live here. I have nothing wrong with old people but the high density of old people means that the vast majority of the houses don't have their lights on. That means that when you are trick-or-treating you have to walk a long way in between houses that have their light on. It would be one thing if they houses were close together but they are not. Sprawling lawns are beautiful but lets face it, when you are begging for candy you don't want to have to wait for it! The straw that breaks the camel's back...or just hurts your legs just to think about...is that our neighborhood is VERY hilly. You nearly have a coronary pushing a stroller, forget about a double stroller or pulling a wagon. The total effect is that its just not worth it to walk long distances up hill both ways to get a kitkat. So help me if they even hand out raisins that's worthy of an egging!

Raph said the witch farted and it blew up her skirt...seems he doesn't know Ms. Norma Jean

Every year we go to another neighborhood and hit up those people for candy. Kind of like busing for preschoolers. This year we went to my brother-in-law's neighborhood. They live in a New Urbanism development. Ever see the movie The Truman Show? That was filmed in Seaside, Florida the first New Urbanism development. The premise is that you can walk to anything you need since the a huge segment of the population is either too young or too old to drive. They have high density living with plentiful common areas and parks so you don't need a yard. Also, its planned out so that you can live your whole life without having to move very far. You can start out in an apartment over a business, then move to a townhouse, a single family small house, bigger house and then back to a townhouse when you are retired. All different economic strata are commingled in a pristine environment. Its nice, albeit creepy at times...hello Truman Show!
Raph as Bumblebee...the Transformer not the bug
We went to a bonfire in the common area and trick-or-treated in the high density neighborhood. It was great because there were TONS of kids running on the sidewalks and up to each house(very few cars). Many people had their lights on and even sat on their front porch with fire pits blazing. It was so nice to be around so many people enjoying the evening and laughing at the lame jokes.
What did the mummy say when he solved the mystery of the missing black cat? That about wraps it up!

Colin would only wear a costume if it came with weaponry. I think Charleton Heston is his president. He even put down his pumpkin and shot some people after they gave him candy...smart to shoot AFTER they handed over the goods.

The boys enjoyed full, heavy pumpkins, being recognised for their costumes and watching people use a potato gun. What more could you ask for!? We enjoyed short distances, flat sidewalks, few cars and a bonfire with beer. Its a win-win situation if you ask me.

Heidi promptly wiped off her whiskers but she's still pretty cute!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My baby has purple limbs

Seriously, what is wrong with my children? I actually had to call my ped today b/c Heidi keeps turning purple. I let it go for a few days and attributed it to she's a baby and they do weird things. It kept happening so I just couldn't NOT call. Last night I noticed her hands were REALLY purple. I took her clothes off and her arms, legs, feet and torso were all dark purple. She wasn't cold, nothing was tight, she was squirmy and happy...just purple. Sigh.

At her doctor's appt the ped asked, "Now which one had purple arms before? Colin?" Yep that was Colin. We discussed how hers are different: She doesn't have a purple farmer's tan, she hasn't been sick and its just weirder. Stumped she tells me, "That's just weird. Honestly I wouldn't even know what to test. I'm going to call a doctor I know at Children's and ask him. He knows lots of weird stuff about weird stuff. She's an enigma."

All we know is that her heart sounds fine, her chest xrays from the NICU showed a normal sized heart, she's perfectly happy and normal in every other way but just turns a lovely shade of purple now and then. Paging Dr. House, we need your assistance.

Edit: We have a diagnosis. The helpful doctors in the Diagnostic Center at Children's talked to my ped. It seems Heidi has a benign condition that is a spasm of the vascular system. It seems her blood vessels to constrict and that makes her skin look purple. It resolves itself pretty quickly so its not a big deal and she will outgrow it. We just need to make sure she doesn't get cold (duh) and call them if something changes. The doctors said its more common in babies that were born early though they have no idea why its just now presenting itself. I think she just REALLY wanted to be part of the blog in the truest sense. So there you have it, she's just fancy and likes purple. My ped said she felt like it had to be something minor since she's just a normal, healthy, fat baby but couldn't just ignore it without consulting another doctor. I like when doctors are willing to admit that they don't know everything and seek the opinions of their peers until they can come up with an answer. For this I am grateful and feel that much more confident in her abilities as a doctor.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where have all the heirlooms gone?

Does your family have an actual heirloom? Seems like in days gone by every family had something of significant value. Something handed down through the generations. Something of quality craftsmanship and great pride. In today's world of disposable everythings there are no true heirlooms. I know I have nothing to hand down to my children. I suppose Heidi could have my wedding dress but mostly likely she will want to pick her own dress. I have some jewelry that isn't disposable but that's about it. Everything else is so temporary and disposable. Nothing is handmade. Its all mass produced in Taiwan or India. Even cell phones are replaced every couple years. My grandparents have the same coffee maker they've had since they were married (62 years). I've replaced our coffee maker at least 3 times since we've been married (8 years). Part of it is the fast paced growth of technology. Why buy a DVD when there is a BluRay disk? A CD when you can download songs directly on to your iPod...but be sure to replace that iPod next spring with one that is even smaller and can hold 100,000 songs and podcasts?
We don't even print pictures with regularity. I take thousands of pictures but rarely print them. I do make scrapbooks filled with pretty archival papers to showcase the pictures but its a slow process and I don't know that I will ever finish. Plus I'm not handing them off to anyone. My kids can have their baby books when I'm dead!

So in this world of transience a true family heirloom is ever more special. I had the great privilege to use an heirloom with all three of my children. My Grandma was baptised wearing a beautiful silk gown with a silk brocade cloak and bonnet. I have never seen anything more beautiful or made with such great care. You want to whisper when you handle the delicate fabric. And its even more precious to put something so magnificent on a newborn baby. Babies and heirlooms are their own beautiful combination. Its reserved for one very special and holy moment in your child's life. A fleeting moment draped in luxurious silk and anointed with oils. So beautiful and terrifying to put a wiggly baby into something grand. I am very honored to have been able to use a real, honest heirloom that is almost 100 years old. And even more pleased that none of my babies ruined it.

Raph on his baptism day

Colin on his baptism day being held by his great-grandma and the original owner of the gown

Heidi on her baptism day and wearing the bonnet reserved for the girls in the family

Friday, October 23, 2009

Marcella is

too tired to blog.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is there anything more rediculous...

Than a 2 month old wearing embroidered bootcut jeans?

Maybe a 2 year old cleaning the floor wearing underoos?

Or possibly my 93 year old grandpa playing trains on the floor for an hour?

A sick boy eagerly completely his make-up work for school?
An 11 lb baby taking over a king sized bed?

A toddler refusing to wear anything but underwear?

Baby pearls on a baby that keep mysteriously disappearing in to neck rolls?

A Nana that comes to play?

The aftermath of small children playing unattended at a party?

Or just the sweetness that is Heidi.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Because I don't have enough to do

I feel like I'm nesting again. I have a sense of urgency and manic disorder in my life. I keep starting and not finishing projects. Not just small things but really really big things. I have 3 color swatches up on my living room wall. I made a bunch of birth announcements by hand and sent them out but I still have to make more and send the next round out. I made Baptismal invitation announcements and mailed those out. I've been sorting through old files on my computer in attempt to get them loaded onto my new computer. I do have to return that work computer someday soon ya know. I've started cleaning out closets. Cleaning my office at home. Refinancing our house. Culling through the glut of random and broken toys in the boys' rooms...when they aren't home of course. Learning how to cook new and interesting foods. Quest for the best grocery deals for the week. Stay on top of laundry so my baby doesn't go naked after she projectile poops on things. Be on time to drop off and pick up my boys' at school, sports practices and doctors appointments. Plan for out of town guests. Make daunting lists of things that I want done NOW. Like regrouting my bathroom or hanging pictures. Colin is the only kid in his preschool class with no family photo collage on the wall. Oh yeah and I have a newborn and I'm still achy from surgery. Ya know...no big deal.

In the mean time I am in love with this sweet baby girl of mine. Isn't she cute? Not so cute when she won't sleep but I digress.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The pregnancy that was, the baby that is

This last pregnancy was wrought with anxiety, fear and frustration. There is always a certain level of anxiety with an average pregnancy but its compounded by a thousand when you get the label of "High Risk". You are never really certain if what you are experiencing is normal and what is a sign of trouble. I ended up in Labor and Delivery four times thinking I was in preterm labor. I was on so many prophylactic medications to stop preterm labor but all signs pointed towards an early delivery. Even my OB said that there was virtually no chance I'd have a term baby.

Just when I would get comfortable with my new normalcy (the feeling I was in labor every.single.day) something new would happen and throw me back into panic mode and an extra doctor's visit. Then, amazingly enough I made it to the last week of my medication. My doctor had been on vacation the week prior and said I was the only patient he checked on and thought for sure I'd have the baby before his return. I held onto this pregnancy and was so far along that I didn't need medicine anymore. I was almost term. It was a miracle.
At 36 weeks and 4 days I went into labor. After trying to decide if I was really in labor or not I called my doctor and he sent me to Labor and Delivery. I did not want to go in only to be sent home again so I waited until I was certain. I got to the hospital and sure enough I was in active labor. I was still preterm...barely...so my doctor checked my fluid levels and my levels were low. That sealed the deal and I was going to have my baby that day. I was so happy to be finally finished with this stressful pregnancy AND it seemed like a take home baby was in my grasp. That was all I wanted. A healthy take home baby.

I went to the OR and had a nice section...they do exist. Obviously its not the most pleasant experience but I knew what to expect and it all went well. My beautiful baby was born at a healthy weight of 7lb 2oz. She had pouty lips and was mad at anyone trying to clean her up. She was perfect and had moxy.

Then the NICU nurse practitioner asked why they had her so early. She had a worried look on her face and another nurse whispered to her. They had to keep suctioning her mouth, they gave her oxygen and took her away. I finished up my surgery and went back to recovery. As it turns out I did not have a take home baby within my reach. Her lungs were not quite ready for the outside world. She was struggling to breath and needed help.

I got to see her the next morning and she was on a CPAP machine, her hands bruised and dotted with attempted IV pokes and an IV taped to her forehead. She quickly developed pneumonia and could not tolerate any stimulation. She would cry if someone touched her, there was a light on or there was too much sound. It was a horrible feeling to not be allowed to hold your baby because she was too sick. There I was in the NICU again wondering what would happen to my baby and when she would be able to come home.

The nurses, nurse practitioners and neonatologists were all wonderful. I had been there before so I knew what to expect. I knew not to ask when she would come home because they can't tell you that. If they do tell you a date its likely to change and devastate you all over again. I listened to what they had to say, waited and gently laid my hands on her back to help soothe her. That was all I could do. My arms ached to hold her and make it all better but I could not.

I had two other children at home wondering about their mommy and their new baby sister. Raph took it the hardest because he'd been down this road before and remembered what it was like. He told me with tears, "I thought we were going to be able to take this baby home." It was heartbreaking but all I could say was, "I thought so too honey. I thought so too."

Its hard to have a baby so fragile and sick. Its hard to explain to others what is going on. No one comes to visit you, no one knows what to say to you. You are alone with your husband trying to be in two places at once. All of your children need you and they can't be together.

As she gained strength she was able to tolerate stimulation. When she was 6 days old I got to hold her. It took two people to wrestle all the wires, tubes and equipment and place her in my arms. Not only did I get to hold her but she would take her first nipple feeding at my breast. That was one of the best moments for me. Not only was I able to hold my child but nourish her weak body at the same time.

Each day she was able to tolerate more, feed more, have a wire removed and eventually was ready to come home 12 days after her birth. Everything was ready to go except her car seat test. They told us she would be ready to come home early afternoon but I got a call around noon. She was failing her car seat test and they didn't know what to do. After consulting with the neonatologist again they ordered a new battery of tests and a caution that she might not be able to come home as planned. After several anxious hours they called to tell me that she could come home, but she must not spend any length of time in her car seat. Avoid unnecessary trips and certainly no extended car trips. Finally my baby was coming home.

We brought our beautiful, healthy Heidi Sophia home to meet her brothers. It was a joyous day and we didn't put her down for the rest of the evening.
She is a sweet, easy going, snugly baby. A far cry from the screaming, high maintenance, untouchable baby that she was in her first few days. She is well worth all the tears, anxiety and frustration. Our home is now complete.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Toddler speak

There is something that is just endlessly amusing about how little kids, especially toddlers, mispronounce words. Sometimes we embrace those mispronunciations and used them in our everyday speech. My extended family still says, "Nuther one...." because my now 12 year old niece used to say nuther one.

Raph has always been quite advanced in his speech and vocabulary but that does not mean he's exempt from mix ups. He can clearly name dinosaurs that have at least 20 letters to their name but he can't say camel. That would be a caminal. Go figure.

Colin started speaking early the way that Raph started out. Then right after his 1st birthday he had tubes put in and all speaking stopped. Yes, every single word he knew and used was gone. Not that he was mute but he just stopped talking, entirely. For about three months he used no actual spoken words. Thankfully he had an expansive baby signs vocabulary and could communicate but it was more than a little alarming that he stopped speaking. Right before his next check up he had a mini language explosion and started talking. Not exactly clear speech but at least words were coming out of his mouth. He added an extra 'schlush' to most words and my pediatrician said it was too early for speech therapy but to keep an eye on it and we'd reevaluate at his next appointment.

Naturally just before his next check up he had another mini explosion and he had dropped much of the schlush-ing. It was still there but not as prominent. He still had a limited vocabulary but he was improving. At 18 months he had probably less than 20 words (not including signs) and many of them were not clear to the average person. At that same age Raph was speaking in complete sentences, would have back and forth conversations with you and I stopped counting his words when I reached 100. Night and day.

At Colin's 2 yr old appointment I brought up his speech again because he used the sound an object makes for the word instead of actually saying the word. Even now a bird is a tweet and a dinosaur is a rar-rar and so on. He has sentences now and makes himself understood most of the time but its not always clear. It enrages him when he will say something that you don't understand but we are both trying to understand each other. Because his speech issues are never static his new *issue* is that he drops the first sound of most words. They are just optional in his mind. This new speech pattern is so charming and funny. I love this phase and can't get enough of it. Is that bad? It really doesn't bother me because I know he will talk with relative clarity one day but oh the mixed up words are so funny.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My New Normal

The statement "Everything is relative" has never been truer. A friend once told me that my normal is someone else's screwed up reality. This is a fair assessment and I'm ok with that. I have overcome a milestone with this pregnancy...accepting my new normal. My new normal is that I feel exactly the way I did when I went into preterm labor with the boys...every.single.day. I have come to terms with this new normal. Its ok to have regular contractions every 3 minutes. Its ok to have cramping and pressure associated with said contractions. That's just how it is now.

I had a similar problem with Colin's pregnancy. My new normal of the third trimester was spontaneous bleeding. It just became my new normal. I had been check into the hospital and monitored. Checked in my OB's office and checked again. Everything was fine, there was no catastrophic cause for my bleeding and they actually couldn't even figure out why I was bleeding. All they knew was that it wasn't doing any harm. I had to accept this fact and just deal with it.

Here I am again, just dealing with these symptoms that would make a normal person surpass me in the frequent flyer status. Surely they would be knocking on the hospital door at least once, sometimes twice a day. Oh and my new normal includes the lobster leg effect. That's charming, no? Whatever, that will stop soon enough.

Here's another little bit of normalcy to adjust to these days. Raph is on vacation without us. Lucky boy got a trip with Nana and his cousin Jenna to Yellowstone. I talked to him on the phone and it was a typical stream of consciousness conversation. The only difference was instead of talking about cartoon characters and friends from school it went something like this, "Hi Mommy! Today we went on a stagecoach ride, and then we saw a black bear AND a grizzly bear. Later on I plan on seeing a gray woof. Tomorrow we are going on David and Betty's boat and then we get to go on top of a mountain. There was ice cream but I couldn't eat it because it had cow milk in it. Oh and we saw a moose......" My favorite part of that conversation was that he talked about a stagecoach ride in the most nonchalant way and he planned on seeing a gray woof. There was no doubt in his voice that he wouldn't see that woof. (He did see it by the way)

Jenna and Raph on the first day of their adventure standing in front of the Grand Tetons.

Meanwhile back on the home front, Colin is an only child. Once he got over the initial blow of being left behind he started to see the benefits of being the only kid in the house. He has been so snugly and sweet and fully enjoying our undivided attention. He does ask every day where Nana and Raph are but only in a fact finding mission, not in a real worried kind of way. He's taken up residence in Raph's seat at the dinner table, gets to read Elmo and Eric Carl books all day, and gets to pick which cartoons are on TV. Ahhh the good life.

I will say this is a nice calm before the storm. Raph comes home today and I will resume my roll as a very pregnant mother of 2 boys. Next week I go back to my doctor and assuming things have remained static I will breath another sigh of relief...if not I will panic and eat mass quantities of ice cream. I've already turned in my official letter of resignation at work and now I have an end in sight. I realized yesterday that I will only have, at most, FIVE more butt shots left! That's just one little vial! Yippee!! Sometimes its the little things. See, that is so not everyone else's normal. I'm excited at the prospect of *only* five more shots to the rear. I think Mike will miss those shots...

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Mommy Has Red Limbs

Looking back, Colin never stood a chance. He's the namesake of this blog b/c of his purple limbs but it seems his ability to change color might have been genetic. You see, I have RED limbs. My new keep-the-baby-in-drug gives me red legs. About 2o minutes after I take it my legs turn lobster red for an hour or two. Its pretty impressive to have what looks like the most hideously painful sunburn of your life...only on your legs. Someone at my office said, "Wow it would be HILARIOUS if it was your whole body!" Yeah, hilarious.

Here I am at 30 weeks, hoping for 6 more sporting technicolor limbs. Good times. I keep repeating to myself, 'boring is good. boring is good. boring is good.....' Maybe it will sink in, just maybe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Reason

I am a firm believer in Divine Providence. I think on some level most people have a similar belief though they may not believe in the God part. They might call it Karma or Buddha or Chance or just seeing the best in any given situation...there is always a silver lining. Sometimes you just can't know what good could possibly come of it. Every now and then you get a little taste of what good comes from bad.

Colin's NICU stay and problems after he was born were obviously hard to deal with on many levels. I know that things could have been much worse and for that I'm grateful and I do feel very lucky. BUT it still was horrible and something I never want to relive (are you paying attention in there little baby!?)

Raph's first meeting with Colin. The nurses let him touch Colin's feet in a mess of wires.

Once when I had a doctors appointment and I had Colin with me who was 8 months old. Since we were at the hospital we stopped by the NICU to say 'Hi' to the nurses and show him how well he was doing. It seemed like a bust because I didn't really know any of the nurses that were working, save one. Then on my way out I saw a couple who had come from the NICU. I said Hi to them and asked if their baby was in the NICU. They said yes and their little girl was the exact gestational age as Colin and had similar problems. Colin was in a stroller playing with his feet and smiling at them. They both dropped to their knees when I told him that he had been in the exact same place 8 months prior. They started crying, on their knees smiling at Colin and holding his hands. They thanked me repeatedly for talking to them and giving them hope. The man hugged his wife and sort of whispered into her hair, "See, she's going to be just fine. She's going to be just like him some day. It will all be ok." Right then I knew that was my moment, that was what we were meant for. We were meant to be on that elevator, on that day, at that time to give that couple hope on their darkest day.

This was Colin at 8 months, around the same time that we saw couple in the hospital. Insidentally he's wearing the hat that was given to him in the NICU that was way to big for his tiny head at the time and had to be taped in the back so it would stay on.

Now, one of my dearest friends had her baby last week and he's struggling in the NICU. I got to talk to her on Saturday for a bit and she told me about her baby and how he was doing. I gave her a little advice, shared with her my experiences in a new light and we even laughed a bit. It felt good to be there for her even though I can't be *there* for her since she now lives in Ohio.

She sent me this email today: Has Marcella Jr. settled down yet? I'm thinking about you and your baby all the time. Also your advice and encouraging words have been helping me through my toughest moments and have really given me some perspective on this whole experience that no one else could give me. I'd be a lot worse off right now if it weren't for you.

That right there makes me want to cry. I was just being her friend but I helped her because of what I've been through. I don't feel like I've done any grand deed I was just talking to her for a few minutes. Its in moments like these that you gain a little perspective for yourself and your circumstance. It helps you to see the good in the bad...even if it is over 2 years later. I forget sometimes about Colin's beginnings. Looking at him now you would never know he was a struggling preemie. Now he's an active, healthy and mischievous 2 year old who sometimes makes me crazy but we are so very very lucky that he is the way he is.

Colin this past weekend with sprinkles on his face and enjoying life.

All that said, I'm content with one story to share and I'd be perfectly happy to have no more stories to share with anyone at any time. Got that baby? Stay put! And quit giving me gray hairs! A good colorist costs money!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

I'm stealing this idea from Erin ( http://momommy.blogspot.com/ ) because its the perfect type of post for me today.

*I am 29 weeks pregnant and I've already made not one but TWO trips to Labor and Delivery. The fun just doesn't stop!

*Yesterday I had a moment where you feel like you do when you take your car in for an oil change and the service manager tells you that you need new brakes. That was me at my OB's office yesterday. I went in for stabbing pain in my side and came out with contractions every 4 minutes, a steroid shot in the butt, prescription to stop contractions and a doctor who keeps telling me that boring is GOOD. I try, I try, really I do.

* I am currently on 4 different prescriptions to keep this baby in and healthy, plus one to manage side effects. Awesome.

*Colin has a new found obsession with squeezing his nose closed and saying, "Ewwww kunk poop!" Somehow a Curious George episode about a skunk spraying George got turned into a skunk pooping on George. He will proclaim "KUNK POOP!" then cackle his little goofy head off.
*Raph inherited my crazy dream gene. Each morning he will recount his convoluted weird ass dreams to me and laugh at how silly they are. Last night's dream included multicolored dogs, squirrels, guinea pigs and Raph all in some sort of bounce house.

*In less than 2 weeks my baby boy is going on his first trip with Nana. He will be spending a week in Yellowstone with his Nana and cousin Jenna. He's about to implode with anticipation. He will have such a great time while he's there but we will miss him.

*Colin still likes to have people call him a baby duck. And if he's extra special that day a "cue body duck" because he is about as cute as a baby duck.

*Normally I'm really annoyed when stores start putting school supplies out in JUNE but this year I am grateful. (See first few bullet points) We already got Raph's new Transformers lunch box and thermos. He is beyond excited for Kindergarten to start in August. My only hope is that I am able to be with him on that momentous day and not in a hospital. Timing is everything and the arrival of this new baby girl couldn't be at a more inopportune time.

*Colin has a girlfriend at school named Bella. There has never been a more appropriate name for a little girl because every time you see her you just want to say, "Awww che bella!" She's beautiful, even as a newborn she was quite striking.

*My grandparents recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. We should all be so luck, happy, healthy and loved as those two. My grandpa wanted me to tell Mike, " I've been married for 62 years. Keep that in mind because you've got a loooooong road ahead of you." I think had my grandma been within ear shot she would have smacked him for that.

*Both my boys have a hording tendency when it comes to stuffed animals. Really I'm not sure how they sleep with so many animals in their bed nor how they continue to want more. I recently got a gift of a stuffed animal for the new baby. They have fought over that stuffed animal and its not even for them. I hope this baby has a strong grip because she's got two baby stealers in the house.

*Raph completed his first research project and presentation this week. He had to research Italy and present his findings to his class. It was so much fun teaching him and watching him make his own conclusions on the topic. A boy after my own heart enjoyed the artists. Did you know Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael aren't just Ninja Turtles? Oh and Raph's favorite picture on the Sistine Chapel ceiling was the Temptation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve. Or as Raph puts it, "You know, the one where they are all naked." He must not have looked closely at the rest of the ceiling because clothing items are few and far between.

*Playing on our bed is one of the boys' favorite activities. Colin will taunt you with, "Na-na. Boo." and then they fall over and hide under covers and laugh themselves silly. Who knew a bed could be so much fun?

*Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy some BBQ, fireworks and try not to burn anything down!