Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food poisoning

Food poisoning blows.  Especially when its hitting both adults.

'Nuff said.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I subscribe to a lot of blogs on a lot of different topics.  Yesterday, almost all of them had a 'be thankful' message.  I didn't have time to do a mine will be a day late.

Yes, I have lots to be thankful for.  Another preemie mom friend of mine wrote me the other day, asking how I was holding up coming onto the one year anniversary of the girls' birth.  She's having a bit of a difficult time with her son's first birthday coming up and the memories it is bringing on.  In a way, I'm blessed that I have a very busy life that keeps me distracted from the memories of the past...I do have my girls, but I am also working full time and have a toddler.  I barely have time to breathe, never mind reflect on the last year.  But I do think it is important to take a moment to be consciously grateful for a few things...

I am thankful that my girls are as healthy as they are.  For 30 week preemies, they are doing amazingly well.  Even their pediatrician is shocked at how healthy they are.  We got lucky.  I read a fair amount of preemie message boards, and I know what we could be dealing with.  Obviously we aren't out of the woods and for all I know we'll be dealing with some future learning disabilities or other problems, but for now, things are great.  I am thankful for that.

I am thankful that my son is as well adjusted as he is.  The year was rough on him too, but he amazes me every day.  As I'm writing this, we have a back-up babysitter downstairs (Nicole's baby is sick, so she couldn't come today) and even though he only met Keisha less than two hours ago, they are having a great time downstairs.  Last night at my sister's house, he had a blast.  Sure, he has his moments, but so do I.  He's human.  And for an almost-three year old, he does amazingly well.

I am thankful for my husband.  Chronic stress can obviously affect a marriage very badly, but he has hung in there and stepped up to the plate and is just amazing.  He has spent a fair amount of the year being a single parent as I've dealt with various health problems and was incredible.  Unlike a high majority of dads, he is an extremely active parent and is a fantastic father.  And a wonderful, wonderful husband.  I couldn't ask for anything more and I could write enough to really express how fantastic he is.

I am thankful for my family.  Our family has had a rough six months, which I haven't talked that much about in here.  But I think it has brought us closer together in some ways.  And while I'm not happy with the events that have gone on, I am thankful that we have been able to weather through it so far.

And practically speaking, I am thankful for what we have.  Like lots of people right now, we are stressed about our finances and the economy.  We are hoping to move out of our house if we can, and while we aren't happy with where we are, I am thankful we have a place to live, jobs that pay well, a nanny that loves our children, and more laughter than tears.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun with a toddler

I admit to not spending that much time with children before having my own.  I never babysat, didn't teach, and really didn't have an urge to hang out with kids.

I still don't, with the exception of my own

So hanging out with a toddler is a somewhat new experience for me.  I find the girls less fascinating...I've done the 'baby' thing before.  But Zev is new.  Zev is different.  Zev I find interesting.

What has been amazing me recently is how his imagination is now exploding.  Our bed is now an 'ocean' that he goes swimming in.  He has a turtle-shaped lamp in his room that reflects the shapes of stars and a moon on the ceiling that 'watch him'.  And, my current favorite, three puzzle pieces held together are a sandwich, which he will make for me to eat.  And when I asked him what type of sandwhich it was, it turns out it was a cheese sandwich.

'Will you play with me?'

'Will you sit with me?'

'Will you lay with me'?

'Will you read this with me?'

How can you say no?

Then, like all toddlers, he does something obnoxious and you forget how cute he can be.  He'll push one of his sisters down and then scream when he is ordered to his room.  Or throw a fit when we refuse to allow him to 'watch music' (his phrase for listening to music we have on iTunes while random pictures are displayed on the television screen).  Or insist that he DOESN'T like the potty/Nicky/Mommy/Daddy/Dinner/the sisters.

Its definitely fun.  Lucky for him, the cute factor overrides the obnoxious factor.  And it makes me look forward to when the girls are his age and what cute things they are going to be doing.

He's turning into a 'real boy'.  His memory is outstanding:  he will remember an entire song after just hearing it a few times.  And sing it to me.  His likes/dislikes are becoming more distinct.  And he's becoming fun to really play with, now that he is really playing.  It amazes me sometimes.

Its fun to watch him grow and learn.  I never realized how difficult parenting was until I started doing it.  He truly has a mind of his own, and its growing into its own.  I just hope we do a good job with him....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still hanging....

We're in the midst of planning the girls' first birthday, which (believe it or not) is less than four weeks away.  Originally we were going to have it at our house, but after putting together a guest list, I became uncomfortable with the thought of having everyone come to us.  We live in a small, old, house.  There just isn't enough sitting room for that many adults + children.  While it would work (and we've done it before), it is rather chaotic and I think its rude to have too many people and not enough chairs for everyone to sit.

So we had to go to option 2.

Option 2 is now to rent out time at an Indoor know those big warehouses that have tons of toys and climbing structures with all those kiddos running around and screaming in.  You can rent out a room for birthdays for 1.5 hours and let your child-guests enjoy the play area while adults can sit and chat amongst themselves.  Its a bit old for the girls (these places are meant more for toddlers and up), but we need the space and many of the kids who are coming will be older. clean up.

All we have to do is supply the food; the facility will provide plates/utensils.  Unfortunately the place we like was booked in the afternoon, so we will be having a dinner party.  Pizza and cake it is!  Nice and easy.  Now I'm just debating whether I want to order a really funky cake from a bakery and have it be a little more 'special'.  Or do something a little different and just get a ton of cupcakes.

Unfortunately this plan puts Zev out a little bit.  His birthday is a month after the girls', and we can't throw two huge parties.  So, once again, his birthday is going to take a hit (if you go back, you can read about what happened during his birthday last the last minute it was decided that Meorah was going to come home from the NICU the day we planned to have his party so we had to do a last minute reschedule and it became a very small party at our house the night before we picked her up).

Since my mom and Jason's mom will not be coming to Zev's birthday for various reasons, we decided to have another party for his birthday, but limit it to only family and friends with children and have it at the house again. The girls' party is basically everyone we know, regardless of whether or not they have kids. 

Again, I can't believe its been a year....

No plans for MY birthday, which is the day before the girls' birthday.  I know Jason is putting something together, and I know it has something to do with pictures because I've seen him play around with them recently and I he said he's already figured out what he's doing for my birthday.  He's made albums for me before, so that's probably what he's doing (hint hint, if you're reading this, I like hard-bound books or real printed pictures...the digital stuff on paper isn't the same...).  If my parents give me money, I think I'm going to buy an espresso maker....I had some on my work retreat and fell in LOVE.  Not that I need more caffeine, but a girl has to have her vices. I also need a new wallet.  Meorah has been chewing on mine, and its a little yucky now.  I also have been seeing some 'mothers' jewlery, with different birthstones for the children.  I like that idea, too. 

What I should do is call our babysitter and see if she can come and babysit some afternoon/evening so Jason and I can go out.  That's what I'd really like...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It took 11 months....

But we finally have a sick baby.

I'm not counting the runny noses all kiddos end up having this time of year.  I mean 'really' sick.

Tzelia came down with a fever last week.  She was cranky, lethargic, and very needy.  She felt like a hot water bottle and her temp was over 101.  So we took her to the doc; our worry was an ear infection since Zev had a lot of them when he was an infant his first winter.  Her pedi said her ear was slightly pink, so we got a script for some antibiotics and started them.  Her fever didn't really break until a few days later.  A few days after that, Jason noticed that she had developed a rash on her chest and abdomen, spreading around her shoulders.

So yesterday we took her for a sick child visit.  Our thought was it was either a reaction to the antibiotics or it was a viral infection:  the fever and rash could be a sign of roseola, which is a virus that children.  The main symptoms are a high fever, followed by a rash a few days later.  Those symptoms matched, but the rash looked a bit different from a typical roseola rash, at least in my opinion.

The doc tended to agree.  She told us that it was most likely viral and to stop the antibiotics.  Whether or not it was doesn't really matter since there is no treatment for it anyway.  But she did agree that the rash didn't look like the typical roseola rash.  And she said if Tzelia does end up needing antibiotics in the future to try the amoxycillin again, but watch for a rash just in case this really was just an allergic reaction.

That's what I tend to think it was.  I think she had a virus that naturally went its course and the rash was a reaction to the drugs we gave her.

But 11 months without a sickness is pretty good, I think.  I'm chalking that up to not doing day care and the fact that she's still getting breastmilk.  Gotta love the antibodies there.

Speaking of which, I've got about three weeks left of pumping.  I really need to start figuring out how to cut down and how I want to introduce the whole milk.  Right now I'm pumping about 6 times a day, and twice at work.  Either next week or the following I think I'll drop one session at work and keep the rest, and then go from there.  The longest I've been able to go during the day is about 5 hours and then I start to feel 'itchy'.  Overnight, I've gone as long as 6 hours, but that's typically on a weekend when I 'sleep in' (ha...that means 6:30am rather than 4:30).

Its very bittersweet for me.  I'm glad I made it this far, although I'm not sure who really cares at the end of the day.  Is it really such a big accomplishment?  I suppose it is...most people wouldn't do this, especially for twins.  It makes me sad to stop, but I think my husband would kill me if I wanted to continue.  He's been very supportive but hates that I'm doing it (because of the means scheduling our days around the pump, he doing a lot more, etc).  I think he's a lot more excited about my stopping than I am...


Saturday, November 6, 2010

The terrible threes....

Zev will be three in January.  The following is a pity-party/vent/cry session.  I know all this behavior is typical for his age, so I'm not concerned about it.  Its just...a very difficult age.

And I know why...he's recognizing his feelings more but still doesn't have all the verbal ability to explain what he means.  He has no filter in his brain, so everything he thinks/feels just blows out of him.  While he understands a lot, at the same time he's a toddler, so there are certain more abstract concepts he just doesn't get.  Words he doesn't understand.  Superimpose that on a fierce need to be independent, high activity, high emotion, and a very (naturally) self-centered way of looking at the world...

Well, you end up with a very narcissistic person who reminds me of the brain damaged patients I used to work with a decade ago...those with complete frontal lobe impairment who were just completely inappropriate and high-needs.  Only he likes to scream and cry when he doesn't like something and is much more willing to do it for a very long time.


He's also very perseverative (also a sign on frontal lobe damage....), and if I hear the songs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory one more time....

I just don't have a lot of patience for him right now.  And that makes me feel bad.  At the end of the work day, I'm running around trying to make meals for the next day, make dinner for everyone, clean up, feed the girls, make baby food to name it.  I feel like Zev gets the short-shift in all of that.

He's also in a daddy-phase right now, which makes me feel horrible.  And I know THAT is normal too, but I can't help but think its partly due to all the health problems I've had for a year now (!!!!).  Bed rest with my pregnancy, exhaustion/sickness after the girls were born, ulcer sickness, now the surgery recovery....I've been on a 'hands-off' mode for a year.  How can that not affect how he sees me?  He's learned that he can't jump on mommy, that mommy has a 'boo-boo', that mommy is resting, that I can't jump around and play like daddy can....

So it really hurts my feelings now and I feel like its my fault.  I know it isn't and that this has just been a bugger of a year.  But the constant rejection (and I mean every single night he'll throw a fit if I try to put him to bed...there is only so much rejection you can take) is starting to wear on me.

The answer is more play time with him, obviously, but I'm still in recovery-mode, so that's hard.  And, as I said, I'm not a naturally patient person, so I have a hard time slowing down and being really 'there' for this little brain damaged person.

I know this is just a phase for him (and for me).  I just hope when the girls are this age things are a little better....maybe the fact that they are girls?  Regardless, my health should be better by then and I will hopefully have learned enough from this period with Zev to help next time.  Because TWO brain damaged people running around....well, I don't even want to think about that....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm really late on updating

I've been meaning to do a Halloween post, but life just gets in the way....

We did go out trick-or-treating for a little while.  I really wanted to go out with Zev and Jason:  last year I was on bedrest and even 'broke' it then to walk around the block to look at the pumpkins and decorations (of course I paid for that later with some pain, but it was worth it to me).

So Sunday evening we decided that we would feed the girls and then all of us go out for a bit and then come back and put the kids to bed.  Our bell starting ringing just before 6pm.  We managed to escape around 6:30 and were probably out for about half an hour.  It was COLD.  Jason had the girls in the stroller (sans costumes...they weren't going to be seen anyway) and I walked Zev up the steps to each of the houses.  It ws fun, although I had to prompt him to take the candy.  I think naturally he is a shy boy, but he did get into it.  We didn't get that much candy, but I wasn't going to let him have any of it anyway:  I told him we were collecting candy for daddy.  Ha.

(I know its only one day a year, but child nutrition is actually pretty important to me and a lot of my personal reading has to do with the food industry, sustainable farming, and nutrition in general. I debated being 'that house' and only giving out pretzels or other healthy stuff, but decided not to go that extreme.  While we were out, we did end up finding 'that house' and I did let Zev eat the bag of pretzels he got from her)

After Halloween, I went back over old pictures to see how Zev has grown....

Zev's first Halloween I just bought a onsie and a hat.  We didn't go anywhere.

Second Halloween (note the big baby bump...the girls would be coming about six weeks later, and this is after about four weeks of bedrest).  The weather was really nice that year and this is out on the porch carving a pumpkin.  He was a bear but refused to wear the hat that went with the costume.

This year at the Prudential Center as Kermit the frog.  Again, refused to wear the hat that was with the costume...I should keep this in mind for next year...

The kid finally grew some hair.