Monday, March 31, 2008
The newest pool hall in town for tots? Oh no, that is now my sons room. Kyle's parents actually found him a kids pool table. I didn't even know they existed and he loves it. (he's loved playing with their pool table from the day they got it) Apparently everything is real, you could even just use it as a table top pool table if you live in a tiny apartment or something.
Saben had the loooooooooooongest birthday on record, we celebrated for about 3 weeks between seeing both families, having a small celebration on the actual day and then a party on Friday. It was a lot of fun though and I really enjoyed planning all the special things for him.
On his birthday we had a fun day playing with toys & riding his bike. We got him one of those kits with wooden nuts & bolts to build a train. Then in the evening we all went out to Chichettis Pizza and Mallard Ice Cream. Mmmm......
We had his kids party at the Children's Museum. Nine kids showed up to play for an hour in the museum and then we all went into the back room for Bagelry bagels & cake. It was really fun to see him have such a great time.
One of the best parts of planning Saben's party was taking him to Target to pick out the cake mix, plates, napkins, etc that he wanted. Being the non-commercial stooge that I am, I took him to the area with colorful plates rather than cartoon ones. He picked square yellow ones and square pink ones. I suggested perhaps red instead of pink, but promised myself that if he was adamant we'd get the pink ones. He didn't really care, so we ended up with a mix of red, yellow & blue decorations and "Funfetti" cake with chocolate frosting.
Annika's favorite part was the boat & posing for the camera. And sucking on everything in sight so that now she has a cold. But last time we went she brought home the flu, so I'm not complaining.
Dirty little baby hands. ahhhh.... I love watching my kids dig in the dirt, especially for the first few times when they are just discovering it. And maybe not so much when they are intent on moving my garden bed into their play area, one toy dumptruck at a time, like Saben last summer.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I'm finally recording this somewhere permanent, I wrote an email to some friends about it and just now edited/added a few details. If you don't enjoy the details of childbirth, read no further.
On Thursday, March 24th, about a week before Saben was due (due date: April 1st) I stepped out of my car at World Vision where I worked and felt a little fluid leak. I went inside to clean up and then called the hospital. They said to wait a few hours to see what happened, so I just went to work like normal, but warned my boss who was then a nervous wreck. At noon I went out to lunch (olive garden) with my cousin who just happened to be in town from Wenatchee. She had been joking all along about me having the baby and when I told her what was going on, she insisted I go to the hospital. The hospital agreed when I called them, so off we went.
When I arrived, they had no idea why the fluid leaked, but my blood pressure was super high (about 140/90) and they said I had pre-eclampsia. (I had been retaining water like mad & had other signs as well) Did I mention at this point that my slacker husband was in complete denial and was still working? I didn't make him come in because my cousin was there with me, but he didn't even arrive until I had already been checked in & they'd started the pitocin to induce me! (6pm)
Kyle arrived and we sent my cousin (Amy) off to our house to get our stuff. The lame part was that I was so certain I would be late, I hadn't even packed my hospital bag. So she was running all over the house while Kyle & I described what to grab & where it was.
The hospital put me on magnesium to keep me from going into seizures from the pre-eclampsia and Kyle's family arrived to check on us right as I was feeling completely nauseous from it. The night passed uneventfully as far as I remember.
The next morning I talked to my friend Katie and found out she was in the hospital too! We had both gotten pregnant about a week apart and had been joking about talking on the phone while in labor. Sure enough.... We checked in late afternoon once we both had epidurals, but Katie beat me and actually got a different birthday for Leah since Saben was born just after midnight.
I didn't start feeling contractions till noon on Friday, the 25th. Through the night, they were there & frequent, but weren't powerful enough to do anything or to even hurt really. By 3pm I was hurting a lot and I think it was around 5pm that I was dilated to 4cm and begging for an epidural. But I was having these odd 2-3 minute contractions that would peak, go down, go up a little, then back down a bit, peak again... and after the long contraction I was only getting 30 second breaks before it would start again. The monitor looked more like large plateaus, rather than the peaks & valleys of a normal contraction.
I tried a few drugs first to see if that helped. It did, and I remember my water breaking as being one of the most phenomenal sensations I've ever experienced, but I'm pretty sure it was the drugs that made it so wonderful.
So off to epidural land. I really truly thought I was in love with the anesthegiologist lady, she was my favorite person in the entire world. At 7pm they told me I was already 8cm & would be pushing shortly...but turns out the resident who checked me didn't do such a great job (to put it mildly) and I was only 6cm when they checked again at 9pm.
At this point, Saben's heartrate was going down during the 5 minute long contractions I was having. My uterus was basically having super long contractions but never getting strong enough ones to actually get my cervix open. So they waited 2 hours and when I was still 6cm at 11pm they decided to do the cesarian. Oh, and I was running a fever, which they didn't like either.
So out he came!! I was half relieved & half completely freaked out. I think I shut down a lot mentally/emotionally at that point because it was just too overwhelming for my brain to comprehend what was going to happen. Being cut open while awake is pretty much my worst nightmare mentally. I actually tried to talk them into putting me under so I wouldn't be aware of the surgery.
Actually it wasn't that bad. I didn't even realize they had started and spent the whole time trying to figure out exactly what we had been doing one year prior. (lying on a beach in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt) Saben Luke Young was born at 12:30am, March 26th. I teared up when I heard his cries & then got to gaze at him while they sewed me back up. Part of me was still pretty freaked out that they were still tugging & playing with my guts though.
Saben got to ride in my bed with me back to our room and we tried to nurse for the first time. I'm still not quite sure what was going on, but I have never been so completely exhausted in my entire life. I actually was falling asleep while trying to nurse. Granted it 1:30am, but still....I blamed it on some drugs that perhaps the anesthegiologist gave me.
The first day was odd too, I think I was still in shock, it kept seeming like Saben was just some baby they had dropped off for me. It was only later that I learned that the Magnesium they give you can make you feel really strange like I felt. Luckily by the next day I suddenly was completely happy & excited - my emotions turned back on and I was in heaven.
Kyle was absolutely great through the whole thing, he blew me away with how fantastic he handled the whole thing.
We were in the hospital five days, four for me to heal & recover from the pre-eclampsia and then an extra day for Saben because he had lost too much weight. By the following Wednesday we were all home, safe & sound.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
On Tuesday a doctor finally cut my toe up. Yuck yuck yuck. I decided to just take some leftover oxycodene from my cesarian instead of going to Freddies to get Vicodin. I don't remember any side effects with it after my surgery, but man was I feeling it this morning. Dizzy, naseous waves mixed with high energy and little bursts of euphoria. It also made my toe virtually painless. But I think I'm done taking those for a while.
Friday, March 14, 2008
The plane ride was complete easy & uneventful! Getting our rental car in Hawaii was another story altogether, it took at least an hour (although my Dad might claim it was only 20 minutes) and the kids were getting pretty cranky by the time we left. (or was that me?)
After the kids were in bed, Kyle & I went out for a night on the town...still trying to find me a swimsuit. I finally gave up my dreams of a tank-ini because apparently they only make those for women in their 50's. (nothing wrong with that, but I'm not 50) After much hesitation and some encouragement from Kyle, I bit the "who cares about my post baby flabby tummy" bullet and got a really cute bikini that I ended up loving.
Day Two: Annika joins the shriners.... (photo above)
Ha ha. We went to the beach in the morning, moved all our stuff to our new permanent hotel room and then had to leave for another couple hours so they could clean it. So we took a drive around the island. My main memories from the day are of the kids being really cranky & fussy. Fussy at the beach, then not taking the naps I'd hoped for in the car, then screaming by 7pm because it was 9pm at home and they were exhausted. But we also got to see some body boarders, a gorgeous beach (Lani Kai) and had some fun at the playground just trying to recoup & relax a little bit.
We finally got back to our nice new 3 bedroom condo and got to see this gorgeous view of the ocean:
Kyle & I went out again once the kids were in bed, but this time all we did was get groceries because we were exhausted. We bought $7 boxes of cereal for breakfast and a $7 gallon of milk, plus stuff for Saben's lunches.
Day 3: Aquarium, alone at last & Woodhouses
In the morning we walked to the aquarium with the kids while my parents went to see Pearl Harbor. We had a fun time & a nice walk back and finally started to feel more relaxed.
In the afternoon, my wonderful parents stayed with the napping kids while Kyle & I explored Chinatown and took in Foster Botanical Gardens. We bought a yummy smelling plumeria lei & exotic fruit in china town but passed on the frogs we saw being butchered. The garden was fun, but a letdown - I was hoping for lush tropical flowers everywhere and nothing was blooming. Plus it was mostly trees, which don't excite me much. But we had fun scampering around & reading about everything.
Once home, we headed to the beach and took a refreshing sunset swim with the kids. Wednesday night, the Woodhouses arrived! Funny coincidence, but a dear friend I studied with in Egypt just happened to be vacationing in Honolulu with her husband the exact same time as us. We met up, walked to the Moana Surfrider and caught up over cocktails & the waves crashing just a few feet away. Pure bliss.
Day 4: Hiking & Snorkeling
We drove a lot this day. First up to Hanauma Bay to drop off my parents for snorkeling, then back to Honolulu for a hike up to Moana Falls. I loved being out in the "jungle" and had more fun looking at the plants there than I had in the botanical garden. So many fun things growing everywhere. Then we reached the waterfall which was LAME. It was barely a trickle down a rock face and the government idiots had put this big cable barrier about 10 feet away from the pool with big signs all over the place saying not to cross it. Apparently there had been a rockslide seven years ago. But it made it so ugly, I wish I had known.
Then back out to get my parents, back to the hotel room, then we grabbed Kate & Jon and headed back out to Hanauma Bay, kid free. Aaaaaahhhhh.... Definitely one of the best parts of the trip, I love snorkeling. We stayed out for 1.5 hours and saw plenty of fish and two sea turtles. Kate found a nice beach mat someone had thoughtlessly thrown away.
My parents went out to dinner so Kyle & Jon went to find Thai food while I put the kids to bed. Very nice day. (no pictures from today because my parents took all these pictures. We brought our camera and then got lazy and did not take a single one the entire trip. Thanks Mom & Dad!)
Day 5: North Shore & STEAKS
Headed up north in the morning. Stopped in Haiema & tried our first bite from the famed Shrimp Trucks. Apparently the area is littered with shrimp farms and we got this delicious plate of 12 shrimp fried in tons of garlic for um...$8 I think? It was so delicious and I highly recommend sticking with Giovannis if you ever get up there. We had lunch some place else and it wasn't as good.... although I did get 4 gigantic prawns (4 prawns = 1 lb) that were very yummy even though I had to rip them apart myself.
Anyways, after our shrimp snack, we headed to a beach to watch surfers. We thought it was one of THE famous beaches, but we were wrong. The maps were confusing. But the surfing was still cool.
Saben built a shovel farm while the rest of us gawked at surfers. After lunch we finally found the Pipeline & Bonzai beach and watched even more amazing surfers.
We stopped to see some sea turtles that had crawled out on the beach & then headed to Matsumotos for shave ice. We shared one amongst the 3 of us and I loved it so much I made Kyle go get me another one while I nursed Annika.
(turtle just under my tricep)
The day went amazingly smoothly considering we had two kids getting in & out of the car & driving all day. Then just as we hit Honolulu - disaster. Traffic. Really really bad traffic. We were stuck 10 miles from our condo for an hour.
Finally home, Kyle and I at last got to go out to dinner on our own. We chose the d.k. steakhouse because I had read lots of good things about it. We ordered a prime 30 day dry aged 42 oz. porterhouse to share because Kyle doesn't like the marbling in my favorite cut - a rib eye. It was fantastic and actually wasn't super expensive if judged by Waikiki prices. A very good deal.
Day 6: Beach
We could not believe how fast our vacation went. Only 2 days left!! Off to the beach again with kids and again - much better/smoother than our first day.
Annika actually fell asleep this time, while I DRAGGED Saben out into the water. He had avoided it ever since the first day and it really seemed like he should at least get in a little bit. Luckily he loved playing in the sand, but he's definitely not a water guy.
This time we finally stayed at the condo while the kids napped. We met my parents for a sunset fire show at the Sheraton and then went to put the kids to sleep for the night. Then we went out to another fabulous dinner with the Woodhouses as the Hula Grill. Fun, fun, fun.
Day 7: Last day
We woke up late and decided to go get Malasadas at Leonards. These things are to die for, seriously one of my favorite "fried sweet doughy" things of all time. They are just barely like filled donuts, except warmer, yummier & with better fillings. Then it was off to climb Diamond Head.
It was hot, hot, hot, but amazingly, Saben climbed 95% of the thing, all by himself. We were shocked to say the least. It's .7 miles to the top, which isn't a ton, but its steady uphill all the way with more than 100 stairs at the end.
So the whole time we were in Oahu, this kept happening to us:
Japanese girls were in love with our kids. They would gather, giggle, shriek, point and go "oooooooh!". Then they would want pictures with the kids. It was really really funny. but the strange part is about 50% of the them ignored us completely. 40% noticed and smiled, but the 10% groups of really hip Japanese girls just went wild for our funky son.
In the afternoon we met Jon & Kate at the beach and jumped around in the waves for another 1.5 hour swim without the kids. It was really fun even though I bashed my knee on some coral. The BEST part was this couple who were surfing and doing what sort of looked like ice-skating moves on the surf board. He would have her way up in the air balanced on his hand with her legs pointed at the sky. It was incredible and also made us giggle.
We had a picnic at the beach to watch our last sunset that evening.
And finally, on our last night, right before we said goodbye, we finally got a picture of the elusive woodhouses. Who apparently are midgets. I forgot to mention that.
Day 8: Did some quick shopping, then rushed to the airport only to find out our flight was 3 hours late. Lame. Got home at 4am.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Mondays are really busy days for me because my mom comes to watch the kids and I try to get as much done as possible. Add a tummy ache to that and well... not so many/great pics today.
I also kept looking around the house & felt really uninspired. Then I went out to photograph some of the flowers in our garden and loved them so much i couldn't pick just one to post. So there's a few extra flowers and several hours where I was shopping & napping where I didn't take any photos at all. Oh well! (Here's a link to the project in case this is new to you.)
Saben feeding Annika for the first time
This is how Saben pees standing up.
The the other day, our friends had just arrived from out of town. We were talking in the backyard and Saben was running around pushing his dump truck on the patio. Suddenly, our friend goes "What is that on the ground? Is that poop?"
I look at it and think "oh no, poop feel out of his underwe...." when out of nowhere, Roxxy runs up, eats the poop and then skulks off.
Saben summed it up best "The poop fell out of my pants and then Roxxy ate my poopball!"
Friday, March 07, 2008
1) I have a really bad habit of chuckling to myself at my own jokes. Jokes I think of in my head while other people are talking. People often notice and then I have to tell them what I am laughing about whether its funny or not.
2) I became a vegetarian (I did eat fish) when I was a freshman in high school and our family traveled to Hong Kong. Millions of animals dying for us to eat every year made me sad. After 7 years, I went to Egypt and decided that if I was ever going to thrive & fit in a foreign culture, I would have to learn to eat meat. Now it doesn't bother me at all, even on the bone.
3) I did not get a single stretchmark with either pregnancy
4) I really really enjoy weeding. Something about physically removing bad stuff out of the dirt and making it all clean again. I love getting my hands in dirt & the smells of the plants & dirt. The only time I don't like weeding is in heavy soil where the roots break off constantly. If I'm in a garden with weeds I have a really hard time not pulling them, but only because I enjoy it. I even pull them at parks occaisionally.
5) I almost never eat candy or ice cream. (but plenty of cookies, pastries & fruity desserts)
6) My brother & sister-in-law are about to enter a pool of applicants to adopt an infant and I am very very excited for them!
7) While I wrote this, Annika ate 1/4 of a business card before I noticed.
Q: Should a parent try to force a child to eat?
A: No. In fact, the dinner table is one potential battlefield where a parent can easily get ambushed. You can’t win there! A strong-willed child is like a good military general who constantly seeks an advantageous place to take on the enemy. He need look no farther than the dinner table. Of all the common points of conflict between generations—bedtime, hair, clothes, schoolwork, etc.—the advantages in a food fight are all in the child’s favor! Three times a day, a very tiny youngster can simply refuse to open his mouth. No amount of coercing can make him eat what he doesn’t want to eat.
I remember one three-year-old who was determined not to eat his green peas, despite the insistence of his father that the squishy little vegetables were going down. It was a classic confrontation between the irresistible force and an immovable object. Neither would yield. After an hour of haranguing, threatening, cajoling, and sweating, the father had not achieved his goal. The tearful toddler sat with a forkload of peas pointed ominously at his sealed lips.
Finally, through sheer intimidation, the dad managed to get one bite of peas in place. But the lad wouldn’t swallow them. I don’t know everything that went on afterward, but the mother told me they had no choice but to put the child to bed with the peas still in his mouth. They were amazed at the strength of his will.
The next morning, the mother found a little pile of mushy peas where they had been expelled at the foot of the bed! Score one for Junior, none for Dad. Tell me in what other arena a thirty-pound child could whip a grown man!
Not every toddler is this tough, of course. But many of them will gladly do battle over food. It is their ideal power game. Talk to any experienced parent or grandparent and they will tell you this is true. The sad thing is that these conflicts are unnecessary. Children will eat as much as they need if you keep them from indulging in the wrong stuff. They will not starve. I promise!
The way to deal with a poor eater is to set good food before him. If he claims to not be hungry, wrap the plate, put it in the refrigerator, and send him cheerfully on his way. He’ll be back in a few hours. God has put a funny little feeling in his tummy that says, “Gimme food!” When this occurs, do not put sweets, snacks, or confectionery food in front of him. Simply retrieve the earlier meal, warm it up, and serve it again. If he protests, send him out to play again. Even if twelve hours or more go by, continue this procedure until food—all food—begins to look and smell wonderful. From that time forward, the battle over the dinner table should be history.
— Dr. James Dobson
Ok, so apparently Dr. Dobson forgot the part where your hungry child becomes low blood sugar, despondent, cries himself to sleep on the floor at 10am, then wakes up and throws up the water he drank in the morning to try to alleviate his hunger. All so that he didn't have to try one bite of potato the size of a blueberry that he refused to try the night before. (we were trying to get him to try one bite of something new, no more food until he tries that bite.)
Do I just keep refusing food until he passes out? Which is practically what he was doing, he was all ready to just go back to sleep again (which he never does & definitely shouldn't be tired since he's had all his naps & gone to bed on time lately).
How is refusing him food until he eats what you want him to eat not "forcing" him to eat? It sure feels exactly like the battle Dobson describes before his brilliant solution. We were most certainly engaged in a battle of wills and stuborness.
I know we haven't done everything perfect in the food department, but where to go from here? I have a son who eats no vegetables, lots of fruit, lots of dairy & carbs, breaded chicken & occaisionally white fish. And refried beans, but only the ones at Taco Lobo that are pureed smooth. And will not try anything new unless its a condiment.
We've tried offering him new things & just letting him eat or not eat it as if we don't care. Doesn't seem to help. We've tried only giving him what we are eating for dinner and that led to:
1) Completely miserable meal & bedtimes for over 2 weeks with almost zero progress
2) Saben crying the instant I told him it was supper time. He dreaded & hated dinner.
3) Saben binging on 4 bowls of cereal every morning because he was so hungry.
4) Pregnant, tired mommy & daddy finally giving up.
What's nuts is that he actually eats fewer things these days because every now & then he'll get tired of something & drop it from his repitoire. (like cheese sticks) I tried blending some squash into his mac & cheese, and now he thinks he doesn't like mac & cheese either. Oh, and Saben LOVES to help me make food, he does it all the time. But contrary to stories you see everywhere, just because he helps me make a huge green salad does not mean he will try even one bite of it.
Ideas, weblinks, books, & encouragement welcome.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Update: The link above no longer links to the psycho mouse nativity set. Whoops. No idea how that happened except that I was telling someone that a psycho-cute chipmunk would make a funny t-shirt and used the nativity set as an example.
ps. Dad, make sure you check out the recipe, I think I found the perfect recipe website for you....
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I'm trying not to be paranoid, and her dad goes "Don't touch the baby honey". People say this all the time when their kids want to touch Annika, so I am trying to decide why he said it... did he mean in general, or because his daughter is sick? He turns his back to do paperwork at the counter and she hangs around and then starts rocking Annika in her carseat. Since he doesn't do anything more I assume she must not be sick.
Then her Dad turns around and goes "Don't touch that baby" again. Our eyes meet, I think he was trying to figure out if I was annoyed and he sort of smiles. I'm still trying to figure out if his daughter is sick, but I smile as if its ok, because it is ok with me, assuming she isn't spreading germs. He finally comes over, by this time she's had her hands all over the carseat, leaned in close to Annika's face & let annika touch her shirt.
He goes "sorry about that" and I go "its fine, assuming she's not deathly ill or anything". See, I just ASSUMED that if she was really ill that her Dad would be clever enough to keep her FAR FAR away from kids and infants. So guess what he says next?
"Actually, I brought her in because I think she has pink eye". SERIOUSLY!???? Seriously????? Pink Eye!!! What on earth was he thinking???? She rubs her eyes, she touches things, we touch the same things - car seat handle perhaps??? then we touch our eyes and voila, we all get pink eye too.
Of course I'm too shocked to actually say anything and they got called in right at that moment. As we were leaving, they were leaving too and sure enough I see he has a prescription in his hand. Luckily the nurse helped me disinfect everything & we all washed & sanitized our hands, but I wish I could go back and give it to that dad.
So now I have a new strategy. Anytime another kid tries to touch my kids in the doctor's office, I am going to tell the parents that MY kid is desparately ill. That'll show them.
Packing for 10 days away from our house was dreadful & time consuming, but everything came together with no last minute surprises. I think packing is quite possibly one of my least favorite activities - I actually have reoccurring nightmares about trying to get packed and being late for a plane.
Friday morning we drove to Seattle and I started working on the flowers for my sister-in-law's wedding. There was sort of a mess when the flowers arrived looking more red & yellow instead of orange, but it all came together and I got all the bouquets, corsages & church decorations finished without any more hitches. Special kudos to Kyle for staying up late with me wiring Eucalyptus leaves. I'll try and find some pictures to post later.
Shauna's wedding was beautiful and everything came together so smoothly! It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed being a part of her special day. We were all in the wedding except for Annika. Saben did a great job as ring bearer, I convinced him it was a special job and that they really needed him to bring the ring to them in the front. He walked right down the aisle with no hesitation and even climbed up the steps to offer the ring to Kyle.
At the reception, lack of sleep finally caugth up with Saben and he went nuts. He was out on the dance floor ripping it up, doing his fancy footwork that makes him look like an elf in riverdance. Then he started running. And running some more. Then falling down on purpose. Round and round the room, weaving in and out of tables. I couldn't do anything except hold Annkia and try to keep an eye on him. I tried to get him to slow down but it became apparent that he was so far gone that any attempt to control him would end in screaming. (note: Saben is normally very obedient, but when he is super tired he gets very upset easily and nothing solves it except to put him in bed)
So we left the reception earlier than we'd hoped and sure enough, Kyle had to carry Saben out kicking and screaming. He was SO tired. But... I think watching him go crazy dancing & running was totally worth it, it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen him do.
Sunday we were able to relax a bit with the friends we stayed with (THANK YOU kyle & holly kate!!!!) then spent the night with Kyle's parents who drove us to the airport the next morning for our flight to Hawaii. Hurray!!!!!
To be continued.....