Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who doesn't like Redi-Whip?

Remember how I've mentioned that the Chipmunk won't eat anything unless it's been pureed?  I wasn't joking.
He'll be 10 months old next week and he still hasn't had a cheerio.  We've put them in his mouth, but after about two seconds he starts gagging and proceeds to projectile vomit.  It's not pretty.  We've also tried him on those Gerber Puff things since they just dissolve the second they get into your mouth.  That produces the same effect as a Cheerio.

Last night we tried Redi-Whip.  Hubby put some on the tip of his finger and let the Chipmunk lick it off.  We thought he would love it.  I mean, who doesn't like cream or sugar?  Put them together and it should have been fool proof!  I mean, the stuff practically disintegrates the second it leaves the can.  He should have loved it - dammit!
You can guess what happened, can't you?
He gagged and projectile vomited the second he tried to move the stuff from the front of his mouth to the back.
When is he supposed to get over this?  The Monkey was eating Cheerios at seven months and could probably do it semi-unsupervised by ten.  I don't remember it being this hard.  Even now, if the Chipmunk's rice cereal isn't as watery as he would like he starts the whole gag routine.  I know kids develop at different rates, but this seems a little extreme.  At the rate we're going, he'll be in Kindergarten before he's able to eat like a toddler.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's in a name?

I'm still trying to get used to the fact that I have a baby.  Hell!  Just the fact that I have two kids tends to blow my mind some days.
What I'm also trying to get used to is the baby's name.
I call the baby the Chipmunk here, but his real name is isn't, but let's just say that's what it is.  It would have been extremely cruel for us to name him that with the last name it would be paired with. 
Anyway, when I was still pregnant with him we were absolutely, positively sure it was a girl.  So sure, in fact, we hadn't come up with any boy's names until two weeks before I was due.  We had a girl's name that we absolutely loved, but knew we should come up with a boy's name just in case we were wrong.

We decided on James since we liked the possible nicknames and it seemed to go with the Monkey's name.  We thought we would call him Jimmy most of the time, but it turns out we use Jim or James most often.  I don't think we've referred to him as Jimmy unless it was a joke.
The day the Chipmunk was born was one of the scariest days of my life.  Things were not going as planned at all and I ended up needing an emergency C-section after 24 hours of unmedicated labor (unmedicated for pain, about 14 hours of pitocin).  The doctor's were so concerned with saving him, and making sure nothing happened to me, that they forgot to check the gender when he was taken out.
Since I was so numb (as well as petrified) I had no idea that he had been taken out already until one of the doctor's said that the baby looked ok and they were getting ready to stitch me up.  All day the doctor had been referring to the baby as he and him.  She wasn't my regular doctor so she had no idea what the gender was, I just think it was her way of not confusing the baby with the mother (who is most definitely a she/her).  So, after she had said she was going to stitch me up, she followed that with "he's just going to get looked over and then brought to the nursery". 
This is what went through my head - Wait, did she just say he?  Was that because it's a he?  Or, is it because she's been referring to it as a he since I was admitted last night?
So, we did the logical thing and asked her to clarify.
Turns out she didn't look.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist ( I sooo had to look that up) offered to go check for us.  When he returned he confirmed that the Chipmunk was indeed a boy.
After that, everything just moved so fast.  The Chipmunk was taken down to the NICU for additional monitoring since he wasn't breathing right.  I ordered Hubby to go with him.  After I was stitched up I was taken to a room for observation as well.  By the time I was out of Recovery, Hubby had told everyone in our families - as well as the hospital staff taking care of him - that his name was James.
Unfortunately, I don't feel like he is a James or a Jim.  And he's definitely not a Jimmy.
What makes it worse is that his middle name is my maiden name.  Given the crap that went on with my parents a few weeks after he was born, I'm sure you can see why that pains me.
To sum up, I'm not sure about his first name and I hate his middle name.  I know I could have the names changed, it just seems wrong now.  I just wish Hubby had waited to confirm with me that that's what I was sure I wanted his name to be. 

I should have given naming responsibilities to Clink.  She has already suggested a new nickname for my mother-in-law - BMIL (British Mother in Law).  I think this is genius!  She likely would have done much better than we did with the baby's name - dontcha think?

Monday, March 23, 2009

My mother-in-law is handy

My mother-in-law (I'll call her Nanny) is coming for a visit on April 1st.  She'll be staying with us for ten days - yippee!
I love it when she visits us.  If she and my father-in-law would just move here already we would be very happy people.
This morning I thought of a very wonderful benefit of having her home all day with nothing to do while we are at work - cook dinner.
I cook dinner maybe three of the five weeknights.  The other nights we're either just too busy or,  forgot to take something out or, are way to exhausted to put any effort into it.  Sometimes we have take-out, sometimes we have cereal.
So, to say I'm excited to have a home cooked meal waiting for me when I get home is an understatement.
I also thought of another benefit of having Nanny here - she'll be able to wash the Chipmunk's sleepsack!
The Chipmunk likes to use the top of this sleepsack as his comfort item.  The second we put it on him he sticks the top part where the zipper is straight into his mouth.  He probably sucks on it all night.  Why he won't suck his thumb, is beyond me.
After a few nights of this treatment, the sleepsack is all kinds of nasty - washing only helps, but it does not get completely clean.  Unfortunately they are expensive, so we only have one.  The one we have is made out of fleece, which means putting it in the dryer is a no-no if you want to keep the fleecy quality of it.  Since we're not home when he is not, it's extremely difficult to wash the thing.  He's so attached to it, he struggles to sleep without it while we wait for it to air-dry. 
With Nanny home during the day while we are at work and the Chipmunk is at daycare, the sleepsack could get washed everyday!  This brings real joy to me - the thing might actually get clean!
Do you think Nanny will mind these chores?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Here comes the sun

Not literally. I don't think, anyway.

All last week I was sick as a dog. It started with a little mini-cough which very quickly turned into something horrendous. After about 36 hours I was achy, had the chills, and was coughing up a lung. Turns out, I had the flu. At on point my fever was so high Tylenol and Advil did nothing to help. I thought I was going to have to go to the Emergency room. Thankfully, I came to my senses and took a shower. This brought my fever down to something more manageable. I didn't move from my bed for two days. Hubby did everything for the kids (except, of course, feed the Chipmunk). I got sick on Sunday.

Unfortunately, Hubby left to go back to the UK on Wednesday. It wasn't for a long trip, but it was long enough - he got home very late this past Sunday night. The days that I was still very sick but he wasn't here were not fun. The misery was going to be added to this past Friday when the boys had their check-up (Monkey for his annual, Chipmunk for his nine-month). I could have sworn one or both of them were due for shots. The last time the Monkey got shots he couldn't walk for days due to some adverse reaction. Every time the Chipmunk gets shots he's miserable and doesn't eat for days. This is why we try to schedule their appointments for Fridays. It's better for them to have the weekend to recover instead of us needing to miss work. Unfortunately, since Hubby was gone, I was going to have to deal with the recovery on my own while I was still feeling miserable myself. Thankfully, I was wrong about either of them needing shots and we were all able to survive the weekend - for the most part.

It seems I always fear the worst, but never hope for the best.

A while ago I wrote about the panic attack I had while I was still pregnant. My worries then were mainly about money - mainly not having enough after the baby was born to meet our current commitments, let alone any added expenses that resulted from a having a new baby around. As a re-cap:

  • I was going to be taking 12 weeks off of work, 3 of which were going to be unpaid. A loss of about $2000.
  • Taking that much time unpaid was going to result in me needing to pay for the company's portion of health insurance, about an additional $800 for the time I would need to pay.
  • I was probably going to fail miserably at breastfeeding, which meant we would need to spend money on formula, at least an additional $200 a month.
  • The mortgage on our rental unit was set to go up by $400 last July.
  • We would need to find a new daycare, since the old one was not going to be able to take the baby.
  • Let's not forget the already known about costs of diapers and daycare for the baby.
As it turned out, I didn't need to worry as much as I did.

  • I only took 9 days off unpaid. My maternity leave wasn't as long as I had hoped for, but it's what was best for our family financially. I think the total loss was about $1500, but I was able to stagger the unpaid time off so it didn't hurt as bad.
  • I didn't have to pay anything for the company's portion of my health insurance, this was incorrect information that was given to me.
  • I did fail miserably at breastfeeding, but we decided to go with generic formula this time around - saving us about $30 a can. A bonus of using the generic stuff is the fact that daycare will provide the baby any formula he uses while he is in her care. Now formula only costs about $40 a month.
  • I was entirely wrong about the mortgage. I think I must have been hallucinating when we originally closed on the note.
  • We found a new daycare. It took a while to find someone who would be able to accept both children and was able to take the Monkey to and from school. Considering the baby was a few months away from being born, and then wouldn't need care for another 12 weeks, we were really lucky we found someone when we did. We were also lucky she didn't want us to pay for the Chipmunk when we started using her just to keep his slot open for the 5 months she wouldn't be taking care of him - most daycares I was calling was making this a requirement.
  • A few weeks before I was scheduled to return to work, I got promoted. The change in my pay covered the new daycare cost - yay!
Unfortunately, we did end up having a few extra costs that were not anticipated in my original freak-out.
  • The Chipmunk stayed in the NICU for 6 days - $600
  • The Chipmunk needed supplemental oxygen for 11 weeks - I thik we ended up paying about $50 for this.
  • Because of the need for supplemental oxygen, he had more doctors' appointments than anticipated - this resulted in about $60 of additional co-pays.
  • The Chipmunk developed torticolis. This is still being treated by the chiropractor, but he is much better. An additional cost so far of about $250.
This is way better than I had initially anticipated. I wish I could have the mentality that it will all work out, saving me a ton of stress, but unfortunately that does not appear to be who I am.

Remember the blood tests I had a few weeks ago? I just go the results. Ever since the blood was drawn I was anticipating horrible news. I was certain something terrible was going to be revealed as the reason for my sudden increase in blood pressure. Something was found, though I'm not sure yet if it explains the blood pressure issue.

I'm Vitamin D deficient.

What that means yet, I have no idea. At first I thought, hey that's great! Nothing is really wrong. At least nothing a little more time out in the sun won't fix. Unfortunately, after doing a little research, it's not looking that simple.

I know Vitamin D is used to aid in the absorption of Calcium, so I'm at risk of brittle bones. Whether there are other problems associated with this deficiency has not been explained to me yet. I have an appointment in a little over a month to find out. Hopefully I can learn from the past year and try and have the mentality that everything is going to work out just fine. Wish me luck.