Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pooh Bear

We rented a Winnie the Pooh movie from the library. Thing 1 and 2 have been watching it this evening and suddenly started playing Winnie The Pooh. Thing 1 pulled the great big stuffed Pooh bear down from upstairs and is walking him around holding onto his ears. She marched him up to me and asked “Are you Kristin the Robin Hood?” I laughed and said no. She marched him back in front of the TV again and watched for another minute, then came back out asking where she could find Christopher Robin Hood. At least she stopped calling him Kristin... I don’t know where she got the Hood attached to Robin, I don’t think we’ve talked about Robin Hood that much… It’s just awfully cute.

We replaced the Gamecube that was stolen and bought a Mario Kart game to play on it that we didn’t have before. Thing 1 is actually not too bad at that… but her vocabulary is pretty funny about it. I suspect she’s picked some of the things she said from me, but it’s odd to hear it coming out of her mouth when she cries “I NAILED him!”

Friday, March 24, 2006


Thing 2’s vocabulary has always been advanced. When I took her in for her 18 month appointment one of the questions they asked, along with things like can she stack blocks and walk backwards or whatever, was “Does she have 10 words she can say or understand?” I was kind of shocked. Yes. More than ten. A lot more than ten. So I went home that day and counted. I stopped counting at 70. I wrote them down, and think I put the list with her babybook, but kept adding to it in my babywritings. So that is gone now. But even at two years old she was talking almost completely understandably. I think they asked me if she was using three word sentences at her 2 year appointment. I hadn’t counted how many words she used in her sentences because she was speaking in complete paragraphs. I think I counted a seven word sentence around that time.

Oh… I wish I could remember… I’ve already forgotten so many things.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

No matter what you call it...

I have written extensive lists of the girls’ pronunciations, what they said and what it meant, but I can’t remember anymore, of course.

Like Benember: which is how Thing 1 says “Remember.”
And “Bunanoh” which Thing 2 says to tease you. We haven’t figured out if it’s a verb or a proper noun. The usage is kind of a happy accusation: “YOU’RE Bunanoh!” and you’re supposed to say “No, you’re Bunanoh!” Which of course makes her laugh wildly and poke her finger back at you to say “No, you’re Bunanoh!”
Thing 2 tells you she loves you “very, very muchly.”

Friday, March 17, 2006

Back from So Cal

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from writing here, I suppose. Not that there isn’t a lot to write about, there always is…

When we were coming back from California we saw a group of about 20 Buddhist monks at Burger King. Thing 1 heard them talking and said “They’re speaking Spanish!” I said no, honey, I think they’re speaking another language besides Spanish. One of them heard us talking and told us the name of his language. I don’t remember what he said. So this was about a month and a half ago. Then the other day we were looking at a package of cookies that came from Japan. There were Japanese characters on it and Thing 1 asked me what they said. I said I don’t know, because I don’t read Japanese. She said “Or Chinese.” I said yup. I don’t read Chinese. She said “Or sing-hi.” I said what? She said Sing hai. That the orange men spoke.
It took me a minute to remember the monks… but as far as I know that could very well have been what the man told Thing 1 his language was called. I don’t know if it’s it, but of course the more I think about it, the more I think that might have been it.

Hubby has been writing his book lately, and working from home. It is awfully nice to have him around, though it has changed our schedules somewhat. It is a bit of a challenge to keep it quiet around here, and keep the girls from going in to interrupt him. We have gone to the park and the Children’s museum more than we might have otherwise, to keep them occupied.
Last Thursday, for example, I took the girls to the Children’s museum to keep them out of Hubby’s hair. On the way back Thing 2 got angry that I hadn’t put her cup in the correct cup holder on her new car seat. Her unhappiness escalated into out and out screaming and crying, which I dutifully ignored. Finally, after much struggling, she opened the correct cup holder and put in her cup herself. She announced through her tears that she was so very proud of herself, and that her eyes were taking the tears back in. Then she told me, quite seriously, “Mommy, you complete me.” Of course I laughed and after I told her that was a very sweet things to say, asked her where she’d heard that. On TV was all she could tell me.

We had a marvelous time in Oceanside - aside from the whole being robbed thing.  We went for two weeks, and aside from a couple of days at the beginning when Hubby flew to New York, he was there the whole time. We went to the zoo without him, but all of us went to the wild animal park together with Grandma and Papa. We spent a lot of time on the beach and hanging out at the Condo, and the four of us spent three wonderful days in Disneyland and Californialand. I wanted to break up that time, but it kind of worked out that we needed to do it three days in a row. By the time we were done the girls were pretty tired, but we had a lot of fun while we were there. We learned not to take them to the Blue Bayou, and to make sure we bring a stroller for one or the other of them, and Daddy’s stomach isn’t nearly as strong as mommy’s, though he did not actually throw up, he just became nauseous after the 30 or 40 straight rides on the toon town roller coaster. We found a rather nice hotel across the street from the park, and would go there again though we might need to make time for the girls to swim in the pool. It’s just hard for me to justify paying for a night when we’re swimming in the pool since they have one at my folk’s condo. However, we’re not walking right by it at the condo. Tigger and Mickey mouse both made a really big deal over Thing 1 and Thing 2… Mickey kept gesturing to them and really took a lot of time with them. All in all it was a really nice trip, though Hubby was ready to be gone after two weeks. My mother gets to him after a while…

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thing 2 is born

While I’m doing Thing 1’s birth story, I should do Thing 2’s too. I don’t think I’m going to be able to fill this journal in sequentially, but figure I’ll just write it as I think of it. And while I’m thinking about it, here’s Thing 2.

I think Thing 2 was conceived in Seattle. Hubby went to a conference called Oopsla the first part of November. Counting November 7th to the 24th of July is just short of three months, and seeing as how Thing 1 was early too… I suspect that’s when she was “begun.”
It was a more uncomfortable and maybe even difficult pregnancy. It seemed I was sick a lot, I had a head cold through most of the last trimester. I gained more weight with Thing 2, which helps toward the general discomfort. A lot of that was because the summer when I was pregnant with Thing 1 we were in cool comfortable Alameda, and, frankly, I just didn’t get as big. Also, because I was working from home up until the last month, I’d just go upstairs and take a little nap about the time I figured the people I was working with back in Salt Lake were having lunch. I took my phone with me so I’d always be there to answer when they called, but it was tough to always sound “awake” when they woke me up.
With Thing 2, I already had Thing 1 running around keeping me busy. I could nap when she did, in theory, but the problem with that is I was usually trying to catch up on other things, housework, laundry, email, whatever when she was napping and so I didn’t get the naps my body wanted. And when I was just ready to collapse, I couldn’t just go take a nap because there was this charming little toddler who wanted my attention. So it was a different pregnancy.
Salt Lake was having a warm summer, which was also hard on me. When Thing 1 was born I wanted her to stay in for another couple of weeks. With Thing 2, I wanted her out.

That summer my mom and Aunt Janet co-hosted the family reunion in Park City. The reunion date was something like two weeks before my due date. I thought it would be cooler in Park City but the problem with that was that it wasn’t particularly any cooler, and because it usually is cooler up there the condos we were staying at didn’t have air conditioning. I was pretty hot. There were a couple of afternoons when the family would come back to Salt Lake to do some activity and I would escape back to our house in to take a nap with the air conditioning on full blast.

Thing 2 didn’t wait the full two weeks after the reunion. I think she was born exactly a week after it ended.

I don’t remember having warning contractions this time. And based on how fast Thing 1 came, the doctor wanted to induce me so we could control it and I wouldn’t have this baby on the floor of the grocery store. Turns out Thing 2 was much slower than Thing 1. There could have been several reasons for that but we’re not going to go in that now.

I went into labor about 1:00 a.m. I think we had just gotten to bed an hour or so before and had just dropped off to sleep when I woke up with a contraction. Hubby doesn’t get near enough sleep, neither do I, but I wanted to let him sleep. I couldn’t do anything about my sleep, but I didn’t have to wake him up yet.
I tried to doze between contractions but it usually takes me about fifteen minutes to go back to sleep under the best of circumstances, and waiting for the next labor contraction does certainly NOT qualify as good circumstances. I don’t think I slept very much at all. I think I finally woke Hubby up around 3:00 or something. Turns out I probably could have let him sleep longer, but I was nervous with how fast Thing 1 came that this baby would come fast too. Also, unlike the circumstances with Thing 1’s birth when we just loaded ourselves up in the car and drove to the hospital, this time we had to get Thing 1 somewhere comfortable instead of just waiting for the contractions to get five minutes apart and then sprinting to the hospital. Instead of calling Mom and Dad to sprint down in the middle of the night we took to Thing 1 to North Salt Lake to my brother’s house before continuing on our way to the hospital. Ironically, we drive right past the hospital when beginning the 20 minute drive to North Salt Lake…
My brother was out of town, incidentally, and we called my sister-in-law at 3:30 and told her we were on our way over. She didn’t get much sleep that night either because apparently Thing 1 was sad to be dumped off at someone else’s house. SIL very kindly sat up and rocked and cuddled her until morning. They have a big recliner lounge chair in their front room for just such an occasion.

Another difference was this time Hubby wasn’t pushing his fist into the small of my back to control the labor pains. He had a lot farther to drive, besides I’d been in labor for several hours already and he hadn’t been doing it then.
On our way back to the hospital we had to cross the route for the 24th of July Marathon. We were diverted around our path several times to avoid the marathoners. A bit of a challenge for a laboring woman, I wish we could have just told the police at the barrier that I was in labor and we just REALLY needed to get across that street, but instead we were routed down and around to get back to the hospital eight or so blocks away from our house.

I figured I had already proven myself with Thing 1 that I could have a baby without drugs, and agreed upon checking in that I would please like an epidural please. It made the labor completely different. It was quite pleasant, actually. We were in a nice room, with a rather comfy pull out single bed for Hubby. With Thing 1, Hubby didn’t have any time to sleep. With Thing 2, he pulled out the chair and took a nap.
I could have too because it didn’t hurt, but I was too busy trying to pick out a name. The nice nurses let me borrow the baby name books from the nurses station and I was furiously perusing those books while time passed and we waited for my body to do the work.
Which it didn’t. Time passed and I didn’t dialate. Finally they put me on Pitossin to hurry things along. She just wasn’t in the hurry that Thing 1 was. Thing 1 was born less than ten hours after the first contraction. Thing 2 was still a quick labor by usual standards, but if I count the first contraction at 1:00 a.m. or so, she was a fourteen and a half hour labor. The real beauty here is since I had the epidural, those extra four plus hours weren’t so bad. And as far as epidurals go, it seemed really nice to me. I could still wiggle my feet, and vaguely feel some things if I remember correctly, but the action area was numbed up.

We called my folks to come down and pick up Thing 1 while we were still in the labor room. My sister-in-law had her four girls to take care of and couldn’t really watch Thing 1 full time for the next couple of days while we welcomed home the new baby, besides Grandma and Papa wanted to dote on her a little.
Hubby called into work, I remember, to tell them where we were… the residents and nurses came and went, it was just a more relaxed, casual atmosphere. Not that I would have done Thing 1’s any differently, but the struggle without the epidural just changed the whole experience in different ways than I would have thought before.

In fact it’s almost more of a blur for me, because it was longer and it was less intense. I remember wishing I could sleep because I hadn’t slept the night before. I was jealous of Hubby who did get a couple of naps in.

Finally it was time to push. They asked me if I wanted a mirror rolled in so I could watch her coming out of me. My sister-in-law had told me that she had watched her fourth daughter being born and it was cool, so I decided to too.

It was cool, though I couldn’t believe it was actually her. The top of her head looked all wrinkly and gray. I thought it must have had the umbilical cord wrapped over it like lattice on a pie but no, that was the top of her head after being squished together. It is different pushing when you’re not feeling pain, just pressure… but I watched Thing 2 being pushed out into the world, and I think this time I was more moved because I wasn’t hurting so much. I could enjoy it more.

Thing 2 was born at 3:30 in the afternoon on Thursdsay July 24th. She wasn’t quite in the pink, and was a little cold. She was healthy and everything but they wanted to warm her up a little and the lights in the birthing room didn’t seem to be doing the trick. So they didn’t just hand her over to us and leave like they did with Thing 1, they were a little more concerned and hovered around more.
But we did certainly get some time to admire her and count her tiny fingers and toes.

Grandma and Papa came to the hospital to get the car seat for Thing 1 from our car, and arrived about ten minutes before Thing 2 was born. The nurses asked them if they wanted to come in for the birth, and I had said it would be okay, but my mother doesn't think that's appropriate - in fact, this was the closest she'd ever been to an actual birth, not including the three in which she was directly involved.  She doesn't believe in bringing germs to the newborn, it's bad form to barge into the hospital.  But this was the last grandbaby she'd ever have, so she was willing to make an exception, besides they were already in the area.   But that did not include marching into the actual birth.  So right after the baby was born, after Hubby and I had held her a little and the main part of the birth was over, we told them to come in.

I think they cried too. I know Mom did, I’m not sure about Dad but I think he’s kind of a softie, and it is so amazing to be in the same room with a minutes old baby… before they even wipe all the cream cheese off of her.

The second time around everything seemed a lot easier. I surprised myself with how much I have forgotten, and of course every baby is different, but in general I just wasn’t stressing things like I did with Thing 1. I left the hospital as soon as I could after they cleared me to go because I’d learned my lesson that you’re much more comfortable and likely to get some real rest at home.
We did leave the hospital without a name again, and agreed to call it in after the weekend.
As with Thing 1, we kind of had two front runners for Thing 2's name. Zoe and Abigail.
The thing is, with Thing 1 I liked Madelyn but wasn’t so fond of Maddy.  I liked the full name, not the shortening of it. With Thing 2 I was considering Abigail but would probably call her Abbie because I wasn’t so fond of Abigail. It’s too much an old lady name.
Zoe name seemed like an unusual name to a lot of people. Quite a few people just stared at me blankly when I told them it was one of our top names, my dad said “isn’t that what they call a kind of fish?” Turns out I think he was thinking of “Roe” which is a kind of fish eggs.

I don’t think Abbie lasted very long, though. Zoe had been one of the star names from fairly early on, I just seem to want to take my time and see the baby before deciding. My arguments with Zoe were mostly in spelling. I would probably spell it Zoey, since to me you spell Joe J-o-e and hoe is h-o-e… so wouldn’t Zoe rhyme with Joe? Hubby insisted no, Zoe is the proper way to spell it. I might have won an argument for an umlat or something and going with a ZoĆ«, but the idea of having to figure out how to get that little double dot to show up above the e every time I typed it seemed like a pain, as did going back with a marker to fill it in every time. So Z-o-e she is.

Thing 1's name shows up on babycenter’s popularity list as #31 the year she was born.  Thing 2's shows up as #31 the year she was born. 
At least we are consistent. We don’t want an overused name, we want the thirtyfirst most popular name.

Thing 1's name was, by the way, up to number 22 in 2002 and up to 14 by 2003. In 2004 Grace was 16 and Zoe was 33. Last year Grace was 17 and Zoe was 32. So they seem to have found their popularity niches for a while. By the way, in 2003 while Madelyn spelled that way wasn’t on the top 100 list at all, numbers 10 and 11 were Abigail and Madeline.

So.  After we brought Thing 2 home, Thing 1 was hangin' with the grandparents, and we had the house to ourselves.  Me and the baby were doing some power napping, and Hubby is left at loose ends. 
He decided to clean the garage because he was kind of sitting around without much to do – kind of the daddy’s lot in life, the mommy and baby sleep and daddy putters around – anyway he was out in the garage cleaning up and he decided to put the old 15 inch wheels to the Passat into the eves of the garage. I think he climbed most of the way up the ladder, lugging this wheel along behind him, and then he kind of lobbed a wheel up – not noticing that the plywood ceiling of the garage didn’t actually completely cover the area over where the car was parked…. So he hefts the wheel up onto the garage attic, and this 30 or so pound wheel bounced out of the box, and down between the rafters, and down onto the Passat below, hitting it on the trunk. I think it was damaged badly enough that we couldn’t get the trunk open.
Boy was he sheepish when he came in to tell me about it.
Poor guy. I suspect he’d rather I didn’t remember that.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Thing 1 is born Part II

Thing 2 has an interesting bedtime ritual. She lets me boost her into the crib and I lay her down, then kiss her good night. THEN she announces she needs medicine. Medicine means the slightly flavored colored water that I keep in an old Motrin container in the bathroom. I suck a teaspoonful up with a syringe and take it to her in the bed and squirt it into her mouth. It is at that point that she tells me she needs to go potty. Which is awfully hard to refuse. She can almost always produce at least a teaspoonful – is there a relationship between the teaspoonful I squirt in her mouth?

- Continued from previous post -

SO I pushed. The doctor hadn’t been called yet because I guess sometimes you can push for a couple hours – something I don’t even want to imagine. The resident positioned himself between my legs and I pushed, just like he told me. Good and hard. The resident and the nurse exchanged a couple of glances, which made me a little nervous, and then he smiled and said “Stop pushing, it’s time to call the doctor.” The look he gave the nurse scared me but I decided not to think about it.
So I had to wait in that position, not pushing, for half an hour (until around 3:00 a.m.) while my body is screaming at me and contracting and trying to push out a baby, while they called the Dr. and she came. Looking proper as always… I’d heard nurses joke that even at three in the morning she comes up the hall with her hair looking good, wearing her pearls and high heels… I don’t know about that I just know it took her half an hour to get there.
So she checks me out and said unfortunately I’m only dialated to nine centimeters, not ten. She says she’ll just put her hand up there for the next contraction and ease the peritoneum over the baby’s head. That was probably the worst part of the labor. But once she did that, and told me to push, it was pretty fast and Thing 1 was born at 3:35, I believe. Without so much as an asprin, as Hubby liked to brag later.
I was just so terribly glad it was done, she was out… And Hubby watched, holding my knee and coaching me, and telling me when he could see her head, and cried. I cried whenever I saw movies of anyone else give birth, but when it was me, I was just so stunned and tired I couldn’t muster up one tear.

She was not very big, a really nice size – 6 pounds 10 ounces, I believe. I’ll have to check her baby book. But very healthy without being so big. She was really pink and responsive and the nurse brought her right over to me to breastfeed and she caught on quick, and looked around with these big dark eyes. I remember being so amazed at this new tiny little person.  Hubby said “Look at how she’s looking right at you! She is so brilliant!”

The hospital people kind of cleared out and told us they’d be back in an hour. We called my mother and father, who had known we were going to the hospital. She was already awake, even though it was something like four thirty in the morning. She had woken up an hour before – probably about the time the baby was born… and said she had lain there wondering what was happening and if the baby was born yet. We called Hubby's sister since she knew we were going into the hospital too. Then they took the baby to the nursery for her first bath and checkup. They had sort of toweled off the cream cheese stuff babies are covered in when they’re born, but she needed a proper bath and her full check up. They took me to a private room, where Hubby and I kind of moved in, talking about everything and rather too excited to sleep. It was probably about 4:30 in the morning.

We didn’t find out about what was going on in the rest of the world on September 11th until we called my brother's house around 8:00. My sister-in-law answered, and I told her the baby was born and she said “Oh, it’s wonderful to have good news on such a horrible day!” I thought oh no, her father (a rancher) has been cornered in the corral and gored by a bull again. She said no, a plane has crashed into one of the twin towers. I imagined a little tourist plane… bzzzzzzzz....  We turned on the TV and every channel but the hospital baby channel was showing video of the one, and then the second plane flying into the towers in New York.
Very surreal.  No one talked about it.  Just the TV showing it again and again.

The doctor came in on Thursday morning and said everything was going well, and I could take the baby home after dinner that night. I decided that I wanted one more good night’s sleep before I launched into taking care of this baby by myself, and so we’d check out the next morning.
Of course they wake you up all night to take your blood pressure, and every time the baby fusses the least little bit they bring her in to be fed. The next morning as we were getting ready to leave I told one of the nurses that’s why we’d stayed and she said if she had known that she’d have advised me to go home, you never get as much sleep in the hospital as you do at home, they’re always waking you up for something. But it’s kind of like my neighbor told me later… I was just scared to bring this little helpless baby home. I didn’t feel like I could take care of it. Did they have any idea how stupid I was? Surely they wouldn’t let me leave the hospital with her? They seemed alarmingly unconcerned at my incompetence.
A lot of people go into the hospital knowing what they will name their baby. Some people refer to it by its name long before it’s born. Two days after Thing 1 was born we were getting ready to check out of the hospital and we STILL didn’t know what to name her. I had been toying with Madelyn Rose… because I like Madelyn and Rose because Hubby's mom’s favorite flowers were roses, and my mother is and my grandfather was such big rose gardeners. The other name we were toying with was Grace. Those were the two front runners.
I’ve always wanted to name a daughter Michal, because I was almost named that and I’ve always liked it, but I worried that she’d be one little girl in a classroom full of Michaels in school and didn’t want to do that to her. I think it was the day after she was born that Hubby was holding her and said “What about Grace Michal?” And it was like I was hit with a brick. Oh…. I really liked it.
But I wanted to KNOW…

One of the nurses was named Charity. She was really pretty, a little bit older, but very attractive and nice. I was thinking I kind of like the thought of a name with a virtue behind it.
The lady from the records department came in with the forms that you need to fill out for the baby’s birth certificate and everything, and we told her we still weren’t sure. She asked what we were considering, and said she’d give us her advice. Looking for any sort of advice, we told her.
She said something like “Madelyn Rose is really popular right now.” I said I wasn’t surprised that Madelyn was popular, it had been on the popular lists for a while, but Madelyn WITH Rose as a middle name? She said yes.
Of Grace Michal all she said was Grace is more often a middle name.

So we took our anonymous baby home on Friday and were told we had until Monday morning when the records lady got to work to decide. I decided to call our baby one name each day and see which felt best.
On Saturday I called her Madelyn. “Good morning, Madelyn.” “What a pretty girl you are, Maddy.” It was okay… but… I wasn’t sure. Maybe it just didn’t quite sound right to me. One of my problems with Madelyn was that I like Madelyn but I am not as fond of Maddy. Or Matty. Of course we could have called her Madelyn and corrected people who called her Matty, but it was a strike against the name.

On Sunday I called her Grace. “Would you like some breakfast, Gracie?” “Oh, what a lovely burp that was, Gracie.” “Grace, darling girl, time to wake up!”
It sounded better, but I still wasn’t positive. But by Monday morning, even a couple of quick but thorough searchings of the baby name lists hadn’t revealed anything I liked better. I was a little frustrated with Hubby that he wasn’t taking this too seriously.  I think he thought the decision was already made in the hospital, why am I belaboring it?  So I decided a rose by any other name is still as sweet, and went with my initial response to Grace Michal, and that’s who she is.  Or Thing 1, on all blogs but this one.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thing 1 is born

When my first daughter was born:

We had moved back to Salt Lake after spending a year in Alameda. We moved the first part of August, and settled into our house in the Avenues. I had continued working for Allen Communications, the same company I was working for when I met Hubby, the whole time we were in Alameda.
We really liked Alameda, and would have probably stayed there if the job market in the San Francisco area wasn’t so awful. It was awful everywhere, but SF was hit particularly hard.
Tomax, the company Hubby worked for when I met him, wanted to hire him back and was willing to move us back to Salt Lake to do it. So back we went.
I worked for about a month – into September, and was getting ready to start my maternity leave. I hadn’t decided exactly when because I was not expecting this baby for a couple of weeks.
Then on Thursday the 6th of September I got an email at work requesting I come to a meeting in one of the conference rooms. It was a pink slip meeting. A bunch of my co-workers and I were getting laid off. They asked us to come back on Friday to clean out our desks.
Getting laid off was hard, but not so hard for me as for others. Since I was not the major bread winner, and since I’d been expecting to take a leave of absence from work anyway… I remember that Hubby was so very sweet, as expected, and while he was hugging me that evening when I told him he told me that now I’d have time to write that book…
On Friday the office manager confessed she’d gotten wind of a lay-off about a week before. They had been planning on having a baby shower for me that Friday, but she figured what with a big lay-off the day before, maybe it would be a better idea to bump the shower to Monday, the 10th of September.

I had what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions over the weekend, I think Sunday night. Except they were rather painful. I put a call into the 1-800 nurse for our insurance, which by the way was still my insurance which was much better than Hubby’s insurance, and they said it was probably nothing given how sporadic they were.

The shower was a lunch deal, and I had a few sporadic contractions during the party. No one noticed until my friend tried to talk to me once and I couldn’t… it was kind of funny, actually.
After the party I had an appointment with my OBGYN, Dr. Beard. She was running kind of late, but she assured me that I was 4 centimeters dialated and chances were she’d be seeing us back that night at the hospital. I assured her that the baby shouldn’t be coming for another week, even though it was well within the due date window.

We went to Costco on the way home from the doctor’s to pick out a VCR for upstairs. I was still firm in my plan to catch up on the baby and birth manuals, and watch the movies that my mom had loaned me. As we were in the VCR section, at about 6:15 I got a contraction that was followed at 6:30 by another one. From that point on they continued fairly regularly. I felt kind of bad for the guy who was trying to help us pick out a VCR, as he was politely trying to direct the conversation my way, and I kept breaking off listening and would walk painfully around the displays. I didn't really have the inclination to stop and explain, I just had the inclination to walk away.  Which is odd for me as I'm a real explainer.  Maybe he's seen a woman in labor before and he kept talking to me and looking at me rather intently because he suspected I needed to go to the hospital.  But since I never got very big with Thing 1, maybe he figured I was just rude.
Hubby got some dinner at Costco, but I remember reading a warning somewhere to be careful what you eat in these circumstances because there’s a good chance you’ll just be throwing it up later. I just got a fruit slush, which turned out to be a good idea, because it tasted awfully good to me, and I was just thirsty anyway. I can’t remember if I threw it up later or not… I think I did.

We went home, and for some reason Hubby’s sister came over. I can’t remember why. She kind of hung out for a while, despite my obviously being in labor. I remember she kept pestering me to go to the hospital. She said at 4 centimeters she had an epidural already, and before that was in agony.  She wasn't helping.  I was certainly in labor, but agony is a strong word, and I would rather be at my house than in the hospital so I waited. I kept wondering why she was there but it seemed rude to ask. Besides, I was a little preoccupied with what I was doing. It might have been 8 or 9:00 pm when she left.
Finally, around 11:00 at night Hubby and I went to the hospital. The contractions stopped abruptly. They said that I was almost dialated enough to be admitted, I can’t remember how much, but that I was on the edge. IF the contractions didn’t start up again they’d send me home. However, in about 45 minutes they started again.
We had read about “the Bradley method” in a book. It involved Hubby pushing on the small of my back to counteract the pain of the contraction. I thought it worked quite well. It kept him busy, for one thing, and of course he didn’t always have his hand on the right spot so some of the time what he was doing was distracting me from the labor pain by driving his fist into my back and giving me a new pain to focus on. And of course I wasn't really able to direct him "Lower, Lower... left..." But it was quite a lot of work for him and in general really did help.
There were several times that I decided I was ready for an epidural, but the nurses were so encouraging telling me I was doing so good, and moving so quickly, and so much farther ahead than any of the other women in there that night. And I was asking them in a rather passive, conversational manner. Like “So let’s talk about an epidural.” Which they did. Talk me out of it.
Finally, around 2:30 a.m. I was READY for that epidural!!. It was hurting and I was tired. Hubby was tired. He had been pushing vigorously into my back since nine that night. We called the nurse, and I was going to tell her no messing around now, I want an epidural. And before they give me one I need to go to the bathroom one last time. She came in and said no, it’s too late, it’s time to push.
So that’s what we did. I mean I did. One nurse pulled a leg up to my shoulder, and instructed Hubby to do the same with the other leg. Then they told me to push.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Snowy day

I was planning on taking the girls to the neighbor’s house this morning, while I got some errands run. But when I decided that I needed to shovel the 5 inches of snow on the ground when we were ready to go out the door at 9:30, I realized it might not happen.
It takes 15-20 minutes to get us all in our snow gear and ready to go outside to shovel. During this time it seems like no matter where I want to go, there is a small person standing innocently and obliviously in my way. Or sometimes she is trying to get me to pick her up, but either way it rather slows me down.
Once we do get outside the actual task of shoveling snow is hampered by the need to find the girls some shovels, fix their broken plastic shovels, and reshovel snow that they have shoveled onto my previously shoveled sidewalk. I don’t say much to them about the last part because it is so funny to watch them do it and they struggle so valiantly and yet so futilely. Then comes the almost constant need to put Thing 2’s gloves back on. She’s not much of a shoveler, most of her goal when outside is to consume as much snow as is possible. Her attempts at shoveling were thwarted by the fact that her gloves are pretty bulbous, and her hands end up more as stumpy extensions of her arms than real hands, barely even bending at the wrist unless she knocks her gloves off, which she does constantly and then cries that her hands are cold. Usually, though, before I can put her gloves back on she turns and sinks her hand in the snow and starts licking the snow off of it. Crying.
It’s amazing I get any shoveling done at all. But if I hurry and try not to let myself get too distracted and only stop to reapply gloves and rescue hats and girls who have toppled over and gotten snow down the openings of their clothes, sometimes I can actually finish before Thing 2 gets cold and gives up on the whole being outside things altogether.
Today Thing 2 stayed outside about 45 minutes, which might be a new record for her. Thing 1 talked me into staying outside a little longer after I brought Thing 2 in, but she let herself be talked into coming in around 11:00. Seeing as how we weren’t quite ready to just turn around and march out the door, what with Thing 1 kind of wet and cold, and taking into account I wasn’t sure I could get the car out the hill coming out of our garage into the still snow covered alley, I decided we weren’t going anywhere.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Start from scratch

So now I attempt to recreate it.

I guess that the going back parts will come. But I was having trouble keeping up with what was going on now. I’ll have to try and make time to write down what I remember, and what is sparked in my very sluggish brain with the information I get from the ‘baby missives’ I sent that a friend of my saved.
Tonight Thing 1 gave me a kitty lesson. She’s been doing this for a while and she did it tonight and I remembered I wrote about it before…
Anyway, she tells me her details, all in a rush, and she gets very frustrated if I don’t sit and listen patiently through the entire thing. She announces she is going to give me a kitty lesson and then launches into it. The typical kitty lesson goes something like this:
“I’m your nice kitty and I’m purple with rainbow spots and I have a rainbow tail with a bow and I have triangle ears and whiskers and there are babies on my back and I am very nice.”
Then I have to hold still while she “puts the lesson in my pocket.” And then she’s done.

Monday, March 6, 2006

We were robbed

While we were on the vacation of a lifetime, three weeks in Southern California, and what I think were some kids broke into our house.

They climbed over the back fence and jimmied a window in the kitchen open with a screwdriver. They took the car keys off the key holder and drove the Saturn around to the garage, then loaded it up with our stuff and drove away.
They took my wedding ring. All my jewelry but a few pieces that were dropped or overlooked.
They cleaned out the girl’s movie drawer, taking everything we hadn’t taken with us to entertain them in the car on the drive to California and back. They took the Gamecube and all our games.
They took the monitor to the desktop computers, and took my laptop.

They took a disk case that sat next to the computer, that contained all my backup files. They took all my photos from about 2004 on, nothing of which have I printed out since Thing 1’s birthday last year. All the backups, all the masters.
They took my writings.
Since Thing 1 was born, I’ve been keeping a diary on her. I started a separate one on Thing 2 when she was born, but last year I combined them as it was getting cumbersome to keep two diaries updated.
I had upwards of 65 pages of journal entries, like this one, about their babyhoods. Sometimes I wrote every day, sometimes I’d skip a couple of months, but I wrote down things they said, details about what happened the days they took their first steps, ate their first solid foods, first started potty training. I kept track of the especially cute vocabulary words they said, things that I don’t even remember now to give examples of.

They took it all. They don’t even know what they have. They don’t even want it … and it is so precious to me… I cannot recreate it. I can’t even remember it. So carefully preserved, so proudly written down. I was so pleased that someday I would be able to hand my girls this diary of their babyhoods, so many precious moments recorded.

But now it’s lost.

They took it.
I keep hoping for some miracle. That I will remember someone I emailed the file to – I didn’t. That there will be some backup copy, kept somewhere else that I will find. But there isn’t.

It’s hard to write about. It … just makes me so sad.

I can keep going with information about them now… but it just kills me that so much is gone. They were so cute and so funny and I was so proud of myself for having written about them.
It’s just so hard – they grew so fast as babies, and it was such fun to write down what they said and did.