Saturday, August 25, 2012

Troll Toilet Explosion

Setting the Stage: We have a lot going on. There is no doubt. We have purchased a new house which is in the middle of being renovated. We have an infant which is about 3 weeks old and an almost two year old who has started preschool. Our current home will (God willing) be rented and we are hoping to have this house rented by October 1 which means a little staging (to use an HGTV term) needs to be done as well in the middle of our boxes and child rearing.

The Event: This morning Eliot went to meet his parents at our new house to help paint and complete various other tasks. Lydia has had breakfast. Vivian is the process of having breakfast thus I am bound ot her in a chair. Lydia is sitting on the floor in a sea of baby dolls and stuffed animals and she emerges with a little troll doll with hot pink hair. She asks me to take off the shirt she is wearning which I do. A minute later, Lydia returns and points to the troll's bare butt and questions, "poo poo?" I say, "yes, poo poo, she must need to use the toilet." Lydia goes off and plays. I assume for a moment that she went into her bedroom, but then I hear splashing.

"Lydia, where are you?"
The loud sound of a dunk.
The scurring of tiny feet.
Splish Splash...drip drip...

Troll Toilet Water Explosion!

Lydia comes to show us that the Troll has gone poo poo! Oddly her excitement does not match mine when I realize that there is trail of toilet troll water from the bathroom, along the hallway walls, all the way to the living room reaching the kitchen, which has managed to touch every surface including now the hungry Vivian and the trapped mom. Sigh.

The troll has been in time out for the rest of the day. I figured it was his fault.

Having two kids is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. The moment you think you have a minute, you don't. It's hard work. Not that I would change a thing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Things are going well here at the homefront. Lydia is enjoying her sister. Just tonight she was sitting in her high chair finishing up dinner stating "My turn hold sister." She was ready to hold her sister which she has been doing everyday for at least a little bit. Vivian sleeps fairly well and eats even better.

Matter of fact, Vivian is an eating champ. She latches well and fills her belly, sometimes for 20-30 minutes at a time on one side. There are stretches that she eats for 30 minutes on one side, stops to burp and eats some more on the other side usually another 20 or so minutes. That is a full hour of eating. As a mom that has dealt with babies (or toddlers) that do not eat I couldn't be more thrilled that she has a healthy appetite. However, sometimes she eats for a full hour, rests for a short bit and will eat again, this of course is also perfectly normal, I believe it's called cluster feeding, but it can be a little tiring.

Actually, the super eating baby is tearing up my nipples. It is normal for there to be discomfort. It is also normal for the nipples to suffer blistering, rawness, peeling, ultimatley leaving the area very tender. I am using warm towels, lanolin ointment, soothing gels, long showers but it hurts. It hurts just sitting here typing. But the real pain is when it's time to feed her again. The latching is so painful I want to scream. Once she is on the pain fades significantly but it still uncomfortable, not as bad as wanting to cry out but enough to wince through it.

Moms make many sacrifices for their children but I still need to remember the big picture.

Because of this I have a new mantra:
There is nothing better than breast milk for a baby.
There is nothing better than breast milk for a baby.
There is nothing better than breast milk for a baby.

A moment of relief is that I am thankful that all socks seem to stay on her feet.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And then there were TWO...

Vivian Josefine has arrived! We are so excited to have this new precious little girl in our lives. Vivian's name came from a love of classic names by Eliot and I, like Lydia. Josefine is in honor of my dad's mom, Josefa. I never was able to meet her but she was an amazingly strong woman whom I have been told to have inherited a lot of my personality, strength and smile from. I wanted to honor my father who has always worked harder than imaginable, loved silently but strongly and would move mountains if he could for his family.

The birth story was so lovely. Labor pains began erratically a couple of weeks a head of time. Once week earlier to her arrival my ob had said that I was dilated 2 centimeters. Contractions had progressed off and on throughout the following week. At about 1am contractions became fairly regular being about 20 minutes about with a duration of about one minute. 4am I woke up Eliot and told him to call into work that I was in labor. I had my weekly ob appointment that morning at 8:30 and decided to go to the appointment and have them take a look. The verdict was that I was 4-5 cm and that I should head to the hospital.
By the time we were checked in and given a labor room, I was at 6cm and I asked for the epidural. I wish I had developed some fantastic philosophical stance on this issue, but my first birth experience I labored for 18 hours with pitocin without pain medication, it was brutal and I was exhausted. This time, even though I was progressing well, I wasn't going play the martyr. So I went for the drugs and I am glad. By the time, anesthesia came in I was at 7cm. There was no need for additional medications at all. I continued to progress rapidly, now feeling comfortable. A couple of hours later my ob, who was fantastic, came in with a team of nurses which I can't say enough nice things about either, and took a look. She wanted to see how I pushed. I pushed once, Vivian flipped into position, then I pushed twice more and she was here. They placed her on my chest. Vivian latched almost immediately and she nursed for a full hour before even been assessed. It was amazing.

Considering that one of the issues with gestational diabetes is the size of the baby, Vivian was actually almost an entire pound less than Lydia. I never once had a high blood sugar result in the 8 weeks of testing. I actually will say in all honesty that having the diagnosis actually made me a worst patient. Since I never had a high result and I didn't gain a pound in the last 6 weeks, I ate what I pleased. I know and I am sorry to all my girlfriends that have struggled on so many of the issues of pregnancy weight and medical intervention, but I didn't do anything special. Despite a lifetime of being weight conscience and dealing with genetic dispositions to body types and metabolism, pregnancy apparently is my golden ratio, the perfect biological storm, so to speak.

My biggest fear about having a second child was how it was going to effect our first, Lydia. I have to say that she is doing great. She is young and doesn't quite understand her own strength but she really seems to love her sister. Lydia is a strong extroverted personality and has previously shown clearly the emotions of jealously and loves to be the center of attention. Thus a new person on the stage could have been a real struggle for her. Mind you it has been 72 hours, we are just getting into our daily lives. So far our strategy has been not to talk about Lydia being jealous OR the center of attention OR anything else negative around her. Kids are smart. She is young not dumb so we don't want to reinforce ideas that need not be at the forethought of any one's mind.

The other thing, I really feared that picture where the older sibling holds the baby sibling. For years I have seen toddlers holding infants in that pose and I have been thinking that is just crazy. Who does that? Who lets their babies hold a baby? Just as Lydia gets bored of Mickey and tosses him over her shoulder I figured that would be Vivian flying over the very same shoulder. What I learned is that Lydia needed to hold her. She watched family and friends visit and everyone wants to hold the baby. She needed to be able to hold her too. Lydia needed to see what the big deal was. So slowly we have let her. I think it helps her be a part of things, mind you, I don't leave the scene to get coffee or see something shiny at that moment but, I take deep breath and let the sisters have their moment.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Old Lady that Swallowed the Fly

       Lydia has been taking swim lessons all summer. Recently there was a switch in her class so we have been going in the morning rather than in the evening. My dad has been joining us because it was getting difficult getting her in and out of the carseat by myself being as pregnant as I am. The other day while Lydia was swimming, Abuelo diligently watching her every move and I scheduling another contractor, we all over hear a conversation.

       To our right there was a mother, a grandmother, a granddaughter and an impatiently impending swimmer. The grandmother begins to read a book to her granddaughter, " There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...WHAT? That is ridiculous." The other waiting moms and Abuelo room erupted into laughter. Her reaction was so surprising. So shocking, I am not sure any of us could hold in our amusement at her response.
      She sighs but continues, "I don't know why she swallowed a fly she may die. WHAT kind of book is this?" Her daughter tries to explain it is a little bit of a classic but doesn't quite convince her. The grandmother continues to read  each page accompanied with additional consternation. Once she arrives to the old woman swallowing the dog that was it. Her next, "WHAT!" was followed by her daughter taking the book from her and instruction the little girl to get a more "Toddler appropriate story to read."
        On the other side of the room, three moms discussed the story. One woman stated that she had remembered the story  as a child to read "I guess she will cry." Another woman stating that she was a preschool teacher agreed and said that she herself had always read the book to her students omitting the death portion and replacing it with crying instead.
         I pondered for a while this odd scenario that unfolded before me. We read this book to Lydia all  the time. I never once considered that she would think that someone would actually swallow any of these animals, however I suppose if she did I am glad that the result would be death. I wouldn't want to her to think eating a fly or a spider on purpose would just be a few tears. Spiders are dangerous tiny creatures and if Lydia attempted to eat an entire horse I am fairly sure that the horse may react poorly. Despite these practicalities, the other consideration is why would we want to shield our children from death completely?

        Death is not a fun life lesson. It just isn't. Nevertheless, it is a part of the human experience. Isn't it preferable to mention death in an absurd or fantastical fairy tales prior to having real loss in life? To me, it is. It is better than being side swiped by the finality of being; the child would at least know that it exists, it happens.
       Cognitively Lydia is not ready to conceive of death, however the little girl at swim was 6-7 years old, she may have some ideas or  more importantly, questions. Why not have the conversation? Why not allow at the very least  for the Old Woman's poor decision making be a conversation? I ask Lydia if she think it's silly, and she says "Ya" and laughs. Surely the average 6 year old doesn't think that this woman actually ate the farm. So why avoid it?