Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family trip

We went to Branson, MO a few weeks ago. . . I'll just let Parker tell you about it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Been avoiding this. . .

Beginning yesterday, Sweet Pea started wearing a helmet. I've know this was coming but I was avoiding posting about it here. Partly because I just didn't want to have the conversation or answer the questions.

But I am going to answer them and then some hopefully. So let's get started:

  • Her condition is called "Plagiocephaly" which basically means her head is lopsided.
  • She's right in the middle of the scale between a normal head and Dick Tracy character.
  • She will have to wearing a skull shaping helmet for 3-6 months.
  • The helmet doesn't push on her head, it leaves open spaces where her head is dented so her skull can grow into it. . . like a Jello mold
  • She doesn't mind the helmet she just ignores it and does what she always does.
  • She does get sweaty in it, she gets time out of it, but once she's weened into it she'll have it on for 20-22 hours a day.
  • She did not get this way because we neglected her and never held her. She had the flat spot when she was born and that made it more comfortable for her to lay on that side. . . it just got worse.
  • The condition is classified cosmetic, though some studies are linking it to future brain problems.
  • No, our insurance (United Healthcare) won't cover it—because it's cosmetic. The company that makes the helmet gives a discount to those whose insurance won't cover the cost.
  • The hardest part is when she's wearing it we can't snuggle up close to her face like we used to. . . well we can but we'd be snuggling plastic.
There's more to the story, but I don't want to write it all. I just wanted to answer the questions. I may write more later.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sleep. . . Sleeeeeep

If you had asked me a couple months ago which of the kids was an easier baby to care for I'd have said the girl hands down. Now I'm not so sure. Her sleeping habits have become really annoying.

When we lay her down, she often cries for a couple minutes. We go in and calm her. Then she starts to drift off. We leave the room and 1 minute later she's fussing because she lost her pacifier, so we go in to replace it. This happens every minute or two for about 20-30 minutes.

Then 45 minutes into sleeping (most of the time) she wakes up and squirms and fusses and does that whole thing again.

We do get one longish stretch of sleep from about 10:30 when we go to sleep until between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Then it's every 45 minutes to an hour and she's up again.

She's back to wanting to be swaddled too. Which is fine, it keeps her hands busy so she can't pull out her pacifier more often, but she gets all tangled up in the blanket when she tries to wiggle out...which makes her cry even more. It's so incredibly frustrating.

As I mentioned before we don't let her "cry it out" because we don't want her to wake up her brother. I think we may need a grandma to take him for the night so we can whip her into shape.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teaching bad habits...

The little monkey and I were outside yesterday. He was playing on his new Cars Slip N' Slide and I was supervising. He was starting t get covered in grass and mud. I informed him we needed to go in soon and he informed me he needed to pee. . . now.

Since he was dirty and we would have to cross the carpeted living room for him to reach the bathroom I decided it wouldn't hurt anything to let him pee outside. I picked the most secluded spot in our yard (behind a bush on the side of the house) and helped him pull down his swimming trunks just a little so he could pee without showing the world everything below the belt—his preferred method of urinating.

I told his mother before he could rat me out and I told him repeatedly that peeing outside was only something to do with Daddy helping. The matter was closed. . .

Until today when he was playing in the sprinkler with grandpa and decided it was OK to pee on a bush in their front yard. . . with his shorts completely down. . . while the neighbors were outside talking with grandma and grandpa. . . with their little girl watching.

I'm sort of proud that he was able to keep going with grandma, grandpa, and his mother all yelling "NOOO!" at him.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Make 'em Laugh. . .

So for the past week or more we've been trying anything to get Sweet Pea to laugh. She smiles a lot and gets really close but hasn't done it yet.

Then tonight, we had her in her car seat sitting on the neighbor's driveway and without anyone paying attention to her she started laughing at our neighbor who was talking to us. She wasn't talking to the baby or anything, just talking in general when she let out a pretty big laugh.

Not fair.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gal smiley. . .

Sweet Pea is so smiley. Much more so than Mr Schnicklefritz. He still can't really smile on command. He gives that grimacing 3-year-old smile. But not her. She smiles without command which is nice, but she also loves raspberries and other faces and noises.

The only real problem is that she's at her smiliest after her late night feeding. So when I take her back to bed she lays there and smiles at me while I'm trying to get her to sleep. You're can't tell a 3-month-old that it's sleep time not play time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So loud. . .

Sleep has been a little harder with the second kid due to one main thing. . . she is so loud. I mean car alarm loud. Even when she's crying strictly for attention (the big blubbering "whah's") she has a really loud voice.

And because he'll make us pay for it later we don't want the little monkey to wake up and miss any sleep. So we're less likely to let her cry for a little bit and sooth herself to sleep, which means we are making constant trips down the hall to put her pacifier back. That's not too bad until it's your third trip there in the past 15 minutes. . . at 2 a.m. . . on a night when I have to go to work the next day.

But that's my roll to play. My wife is a heavy sleeper so I'm the one that gets up to take care of her. It makes for some dangerous drives to work nodding off at the wheel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Second child syndrome. . . .

Everyone talks about the second child not having as many baby photos as the first child. No one talks about the second child not having time on the parenting blog.

This weekend, I found myself looking through old blog posts to see at what age the little monkey hit milestones (like rolling over, smiling, and most importantly sleeping through the night). Just to get a gauge of when events might be coming for our little Sweet Pea.

It made me realize that this space is really sort of a baby book for the kid(s). . . I partly blame this lack of posting on Facebook. It's so much easier to post a quick note there than to write a post here. But Facebook isn't so easy to get that info back out in a meaningful format.

I need to be better about posting. Even if it's just for me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby girl. . .

We were sitting on the couch a couple nights ago and my wife was having contractions. That wasn't anything new, she's been having a steady stream of Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks. She's also been dilated go 3 cm for several weeks. So we take all contractions seriously.

These were different, these were starting to get uncomfortable for her and seemed to be a little more regular than the others.

So we loaded up the car, dropped off our sick preschooler at his grandparents, and went to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and we escorted to a maternity triage room. My wife was hooked up to the monitors, we got started asking questions, and the contractions stopped. Not stopped so much, but changed to 20 minutes apart. This was first pointed out by the on-call OBGYN who told us he had just sent home 6 women that night we were not in labor.

Then he examined her. . . "oh, you're a keeper," he said. Not many contractions but she was in labor.

So we were landed in a delivery room and moved through the process: IV, blood draw, questions, monitoring, and suddenly regular contractions. . . painful ones. Another examination showed my wife was at 6 cm and it's about 1 a.m., if she's going to get an epideral now is the time. So she elected to have it. Nothing is really felt by my wife from this point on.

And then we (or mainly I) slept—off and on—until 6 a.m. when it's announced that it's time to call the doctor.

The doctor arrives at 6:50 a.m. prepares everything she might need to work and at 6:58 my wife is informed to push during the current contraction (which she can't feel). She pushed 3 times and the head is half way out. It's decided that she'll stop and push again on the next contraction. . .

Only our daughter doesn't want to wait that long. So she wiggles a little and pulls herself out at 7:01 a.m.

And just like that our newest family member is here. Now the real hard part starts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Worst timing ever. . .

Our son is sick. He's 3, it happens. He's got a fever of one hundred and three. . . four actually on one night. It's now lasted 4 days, and he's got a bad cough (so bad it made him throw up one day). According to his doctor, it's a croup related thing that is going around. It lasts a long time too.

Why is it the worst timing ever? Because this morning his baby sister was born. I don't want to detract from the miracle of her birth (more on that soon) and let him steal her spotlight, but as I'm sitting her in this hospital room watching my beautiful wife hold our adorable new baby girl I feel like we're all incomplete.

Whatever he's got isn't worth risking the health of a 1-day-old. But knowing that one quarter of our family isn't able to participate in this moment is breaking my heart. It's all I can think about. He's with his doting grandparents and they are taking good care of him, but he shouldn't be with them, he should be with us.

It really sucks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Off my game. . .

I pride myself on two personality attributes. I learned the hard way to be modest. . . not modest in the prudish meaning but modest about my accomplishments. I know that goes against saying "I prime myself on" but still I do. So I always try to be humble.

The other thing I always strive for is calmness. I try to never get stressed. Being stressed (aside from the many health problem it can caused) often forces people to make foolish mistakes. They get rushed and frantic and don't work to the best of their ability. So I decided a long time ago to not get stressed out about things.

Sure a project disaster (a plumbing one jumps to mind at the moment) or a looming deadline might get me worked up now and then, but once the initial panic wears off I calm down and get the job done.

Which is why the prediction of an early baby has me so flustered. With our son it was 7-10 days which somehow seemed doable. Being given to the end of the weekend was a bit more urgent. So for at least 3 days of work and a weekend which produced no baby, I was stressed, which as I said isn't normal for me. Since then the panic has died down and I'm able to work quickly and efficiently without stress.

And still we have no baby. I'm going to have to talk to the doctor about that today.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Impatient children. . .

When there was a month left until our son was born we went to my wife's doctor's appointment and was told we had 7-10 days left until her arrived. He was born 11 days later.

So this time around we were sort of expecting a similar situation.

What we weren't expecting was a much more worrying "I doubt you'll make it past the weekend." Especially when that's on a Wednesday. So now we're both in hyper active mode at our respective work places and are a little stressed that she'll be coming soon. Thankfully she's only 4 weeks early, she should be fully formed and ready to face the world.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finally potty trained. . .

Almost a year ago we successfully pee trained our toddler. It took one time of having to hold him on his little potty chair, but since then he's matured to the point of being able to take care of it all himself. He'll stop playing or pause the TiVO, run into the bathroom, and come out just like he went in. It's a nice thing to not have to deal with that end of diaper changing anymore. . .

But then there is pooping. He refused to even try. We tried everything: bribing, taking away toys, rewards, punishments. Nothing was working. We recently convinced him to sit on the toilet with a pull-up on and that was a little better and we felt a large step in the right direction, but still he refused without a pull-up.

Then two weekends ago I tried something I had read about online and thought would never work. . . I cut a hole in his pull-up. He didn't notice while he was going. After he finished I went in to help him clean up and talk to him.

"Buddy, I have to tell you something."

"What, daddy?"

"I tricked you, I cut a hole in your pull-up."

He saw what had happened and agreed that it was great the clean-up no longer consisted of a whole diaper change, but still he thought he needed the pull-up. For two weeks he was pooping through a hole in a pull-up.

So yesterday I decided it was enough. I cut a bigger hole in his pull-up. One so big that it was less diaper and more belt. . . ok that gives it too much credit, it was a belt. And he knew it and suddenly realized that it was cool that he could poop and then pee without having to be changed out of a pull-up in between.

Today he was still trying to insist that he needed it but I told him it was silly and refused. . . and an hour later we were having a potty party at Chuck E Cheese's.

And just like that the last chain of babyhood was broken. Just in time for the next baby to arrive.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Are you ready for some cartoons?!

"Listen buddy, daddy isn't like a lot of other daddies," I explained to my son on Sunday. "Daddy only watches one football game a year. It's called the Superbowl."

He laughed, "duperbow? That's funny."

"Yeah I know, but you see football is on every Sunday and on some other days too and lots of daddies watch it all the time, AND they watch other sports too. You're pretty lucky because the Superbowl is the only football game, heck the only sporting event, that daddy watches all year long. . . and I only really watch it for the commercials. So tonight, daddy is going to watch his show which means you are going to have to play with your trains and not have cartoons on the TV that you ignore while you do it. OK?"

"But I wanna watch Thomas."

"I know but not tonight there is no Thomas. Tonight we watch football."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More overheard in our house. . .

Parker: Where you going mommy?
Mom: I have to pee.
Parker: I'm coming with you, let me get my binoculars.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tonight after bedtime. . .

Parker: (from his bedroom) You have to come in here.
Me: (going in his room after ignoring him for several minutes) What?
Parker: My head is making a funny noise, listen. (start slapping himself on his head)
Me: ----!
Parker: See it's going "bong bong bong bong." I don't like it making that noise.
Me: Then stopping hitting yourself on the head.
Parker: But I like doing that.
Me: Go to sleep.

**FOLLOW UP: This morning hit woke up and tested hitting his head for the noise and said it was gone. . . that's when it hit me, he had water in his ear from his bath. Mystery solved.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The A Team

After his nap. . .

Parker: Did you play your game? (referring to a video game he has watched me play a little lately).
Me: No, I watched a movie during your nap.
Parker: What was it called?
Me: The A Team.
Parker: Oh. . . Like on Sesame Street?
Me: Sort of, only no furry monsters or a guy dressed up like a giant letter "A".
Parker: I like that Sesame Street show.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting bigger. . .

You always hear parents of older children (or even of adults) talking about "it" going by fast. "It" being the life of your child as they get older. I listen but I've always been OK with our little monkey getting older.

Moving from the crib to a bed, elicited nothing emotional for me. Neither did other milestones: solid foods, walking, talking, potty peeing—not even our recent trips to visit preschools made me feel sad that my baby was growing up.

Then last night we decided to eliminate his booster seat at the kitchen table. That choked me up a little. It's not like he hasn't sat at other tables without a booster seat before—and if anything it makes him look shorter when he sits at the table—but for some reason that has made me think of him as grown up. . .

And suddenly "it" is going by too fast.