Friday, January 29, 2010

He's a toddler

I know that he's pretty much been a toddler for a while now, but at daycare, Hulk is spending more and more time in the toddler room, and he LOVES it. In our state, the age for toddler is officially 15 months - and he won't be there until March 5th. But since he is walking and playing with all the toddler stuff, my daycare lets him go into the toddler room as much as they can. It's all based around child to teacher ratios - infants are 3:1 and toddlers are 5:1. When he first started going over it was like a super fun and different day - and he'd be SO tired by the end of the day. Now - we get to school and he is running towards the toddler room (they have a table filled with SAND!! High levels of excitement.). God forbid he gets stuck in the infant room all day... he looks so disappointed. The closest in age child in the infant room to him is 9 months old... so I picture him wandering around all day just looking for someone to play with, poor guy. But it's only another month... but I wish things were more based on ability rather than age.

Last night, Aaron got stuck at work, so I was on my own for picking up Hulk, feeding him dinner, bath time, and bedtime - all around Maggie's fussy time at night. And it's sad - but I felt like a super rock star by the time I got him to bed. I'm sure I would have a better routine figured out if this was an everyday occurrence - but this cemented my opinion that I'm just not stay at home mom material. I would be a wreck by the end of the day! Anyway, I had stopped at the store and bought him crayons and those crayola color wonder magic markers - and it was perfect. We sat the on the floor and played quietly(instead of our normal running around the whole downstairs playing with every loud toy and bouncing every ball and screeching at the dogs) until bath time. I had never played with him that way - he really likes to 'draw'!

It's so much fun seeing him grow and figure stuff out.

One of the things I think I'm going to regret having kids so close in age (like we planned it this way!) is that all these stages will come really close together. The past 5 months with Hulk have almost been magical - his delight at crawling, the excitement and frustration of walking, figuring out using straws and climbing stairs and using ride on toys and just all the fun he has every day.... I know they doesn't end for a while, but I think the sheer excitement that he gets out of it will calm down a bit. And Maggie hits 2 months old today - just a few short months and we'll be going thought this all again! Exhausting but fun all at the same time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2 month checkup

Well, my little girl got her 2 month checkup today. I was more than happy to be going to the doc, as she threw up 3 times last night. I wasn't surprised that she caught the bug we've all had - but I was hoping that she'd be spared. Aaron and I were vigilant with the hand washing - but Hulk is always coming over and touching Maggie's face and hands so I guess it was inevitable. Anyway, she, as always, did a good job freaking me out. She throws up almost silently, so I was up watching her to be sure she didn't choke on the vomit.

Damn, I'm in a good place.

When Hulk was sick at this age, I didn't worry - knowing that his reflex should be to turn to the side. Sigh. But, as my therapist said, I'm entitled to freak out as much as I want! This morning was awesome, let me tell you - Hulk is still having nasty stinky poops from his illness, and she was starting up with it - so I was changing nasty poop after nasty poop all morning. Only 2 more years of diapers, right?

In good news, she is at 10.2 pounds. I don't remember her length, but she was 35% for length and 25% for height, which is just as she has been all along so the doc was happy with it. I was admittedly obsessing on her weight gain for a bit, as Hulk easily gained 6 ounces a week when he was Maggie's age, if not more. The doc reassured me that she was doing fine for her curve, and not to stress about it. It's SO hard not to compare the two of them! We decided to wait a week for her shots to let her get over the bug she has.

We talked about her response to the Altimentum and the Prilosec. I'm 100% sure the formula has made a difference, but not so much on the medicine. So we agreed that in a few weeks, once she is stable (the bug is gone) we'll stop the meds and see if it makes a difference. But for sure her crying and stuff to me is normal newborn issues - not pain. Which makes us all happy.

We talked about her sleep, which has certainly improved in the last few weeks. We usually put her down between 8 - 10, and she'll sleep until 1 or 2, which to me is pretty good. Then she'll go another 3 or 4 hours until her next bottle. Sometimes she will wake up and hammer down a bottle, other times she'll eat 1 or 2 ounces and then play with it and s.l.o.w.l.y eat the next ounce or two over an hour. Which at 3 AM is brutal! Aaron is of the mindset that she NEEDS to eat at least 3 ounces to sleep for another 3 hours - and I kind of agreed - so we'll sit there and harass her and force her to eat, which often gets her pretty pissed off and 100% awake, and hard to get back to sleep, obviously. But there have been a few times when she just kept turning away from the bottle, so I gave up and let her go to bed after only eating 1 or 2 ounces, and she would actually sleep another 3 hours. The doc assured me that she is big enough to be giving cues for hunger and that she's been gaining weight fine, so whatever she eats in the first 15 - 20 minutes should be good, and then to put her to bed. That maybe she doesn't always need that feeding. The only issue with that is that she always cries a little when you put her down, and that drives Aaron crazy. He admits that when she cries, it raises his heart rate and he freaks out a bit. So, either he or I pop right up to soothe her. Last couple nights I've kind of drawn the line with him, saying two or three minutes of crying is ok. I'm starting to feel like with her, she needs that little bit of crying to let out a bit of tension before she falls asleep. He is working on it - but it's tough for him, and I understand that.

We also got a bit more confirmation on Nora. I think I'd already mentioned that the ME found nothing wrong in the autopsy... but my doc had been independently talking to other professionals and seeing if they had any answers. A infectious disease doc and a geneticists both agree that they can see nothing wrong, and a cardiologist wanted to get an EKG of Maggie and make sure that both Aaron and I had had a good EKG in our pasts. I have, Aaron hasn't - so we will be doing that. Maggie will get one next week when we go back for the shots - they tired today, but the machine wasn't working right and wasn't getting readings from all the leads. But, signs are still pointing to SIDS, which is a frustrating thing for Aaron - yet another piece of crap in our lives that is unexplained. Blech.

Monday, January 25, 2010


At almost this exact same time last year, I was dealing with baby and Cece illness. Same story, different year. Saturday I felt SO nauseous. Gross. I never threw up or anything, but my stomach kept tightening up and cramping all night... and throughout the day on Sunday. Fun fun. Poor Aaron was up with the kids all night on Saturday too, I was nervous that if I took her, I'd have to run to throw up.... Maggie woke up every 3 hours, and if she was sleeping, Hulk was up talking. Add in my MIL was visiting, so she kept on getting up and trying to 'help'... fun night had by all.

But we are all back to normal now. I'm feeling better, Hulk is back at school, and Miss Mags slept 5 hours last night. Thank god.

I think I've set on the date I'm going to go back to work - April 19th. A group of my friends gets together each year, and this year it's from April 8 - 13th on Bainbridge Island! Aaron pushed me to go... so I'm going and taking Maggie. I have everything set up except for the plane tickets. I can't believe it! It'll be great to relax and be in a totally different setting... I just need to figure out my leave. I've got everything covered until April 6th, so now I just need to see how I cover the rest of the time off (vacation/sick/personal days?).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hulk Day

Today, Hulk and I had a planned trip to the aquarium. I even planned to have Maggie in daycare so I wouldn't have to worry about 2 at the same time (and I could test how I managed the whole 'baby in daycare' thing. It was fine, btw).

Last night, when Aaron picked him up from daycare, they mentioned he pooped out an outfit. And then he wouldn't eat dinner. And he pooped out two more times before bed - but all the time acting fine otherwise. I figured we would still go - especially with all the planning I'd done beforehand! He wasn't acting sick - just having the poop issues. This morning, he woke up super happy and poop-free. As we were getting ready to leave the house? Poop everywhere. But still happy as a clam, minus the poop issue. I packed up 2 changes of clothes and we went. And had a great time - but I'm glad I brought the change in clothes. Maybe not the best circumstances for a first trip to the aquarium, but he would have gotten kicked out of daycare anyway - and he was fully entertained! Here are a few pictures:

The New England Aquarium has a huge tank right in the middle - he LOVED it.

We missed getting the huge smile on his face, but loved the tank where you could touch things:

And right before we left - we saw the seal show. We sat on the edge, and this huge seal was sitting right below us! Hulk was fascinated.

Now I'm sitting here hoping he goes down for a little nap. He did sleep in the car, but I'm watching him on the video monitor, and he is really fighting a nap. And MAN does he need it.

Keep you fingers crossed that he is better tomorrow... or it's going to be a rough day!

In Maggie news - last two days she is a changed baby. It's like the Prilosec kicked in. She wakes up, eats her bottle, and at night, we can get her right back to bed. During the day - she is just a lot calmer. It's awesome. Praying that I'm not jinxing myself by saying anything. I'm interested to see how she does after a day in daycare with all the stimulation she's not used to!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

I could get angry....

Maggie's new formula is crazy expensive. The good news is that it is sometimes covered by insurance - so we were hoping for that. Otherwise, we would just deal, but it would be a help (obviously) if it was covered. The doc submitted the claim, and then the pharmacy called me. They said that they didn't have the right insurance number for Maggie. I thought that was weird, as Hulk had just been to the doc and we all have the same numbers - and he had no issues.

So I called the insurance. They told me that since the formula is available over the counter, it gets rejected automatically, but all your doc needs to do is to resubmit and it should be fine.


But Aaron was home on Weds, and we got a call from the doc explaining that it appeared to them that Maggie's insurance was canceled. WTF? I was having friends over for lunch - so Aaron did the calling around. You are NEVER going to believe what happened. I obviously had to call in and add both Maggie and Nora to my insurance to be sure that everything was covered, and we then canceled Nora's. Well. When they call to submit claims, they do it by birth date. So - when they call, the computer would pick up twin A first (Nora) see that her policy was canceled, and then reject the claim - not looking for another child with that birth date. Obviously, twins are rare, and losing a twin is even MORE rare, but serioulsy.


Now the insurance company is fixing Maggie's number so that doesn't happen again - but you've got to be kidding me! Poor Aaron was on the phone for over an hour telling our story over and over again. Good times.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Tuesday

I've been so busy - thought I'd pop over here and update you all.

Hulk had a slight fever on Thursday - he's ear infection was back - so we went on another dose of antibiotics and he is all good now. Hurrah. Maggie now has his cold, and she is pretty pissed about it. Poor girl. At least she is more annoyed than in pain - now that the alimentum is doing such a great job. Although I won't say she is 100% - so we are trying a little bit of medicine starting tomorrow (I forget which kind - I'll let you know when I pick it up). But the good news is that she is sleeping for decent spells in the night, so we are feeling somewhat human again.

This weekend was great. On Saturday, Aaron stayed home with the kids while I went out with my girlfriends for dinner. As I was leaving Maggie starting freaking out - and I was thinking of staying home. Aaron insisted he could handle it, and I left with the screeching baby in his arms. I felt awful. As I got to the end of our street, he texted me that she was sound asleep. But that is how it's been going - there is one time each day when she just freaks out for about an hour... usually at the end of the day. Totally inconsolable. So I was wondering if her stomach issues build up as the day goes on? We'll see if the meds help.

Sunday, one of my friends on my street volunteered to watch Hulk and Maggie while we went to the movies. I wouldn't really normally let just anyone watch them, as it's rough. You are watching two babies, basically. Well - this friend had and 18 month old when her twin girls were born, so is pretty much the only person that I am 100% sure can handle a 6 week old and a 13 month old at the same time. We left the house together and saw Avatar. It was great to be out baby free, and great to just be together doing something fun and non-baby related.

And yesterday, I know it was Monday, but after I dropped Hulk off at daycare, I went to my local coffee shop to a knitting group, then into Arlington for the baby friendly movie (Invictus - good movie!), and then home to pick up Hulk from daycare, and left again for quilting class. Maggie came with me to all of it, and around 9 PM was crying pretty hard - and I was nervous that she was totally overstimulated and I was going to be screwed for the evening of sleep - but she did great. I got home with her at 9, she slept until 1:30 and then again until 5:30!

Tonight Aaron is off at soccer, and I'm home with the kids. It's so much better now that Maggie is happier. It's manageable, and we are picking up little pieces of our lives. Getting a little back to normal. I even popped into my office today to show off Maggie to my colleagues, and that was great too. Everyone was happy to see us, and it felt good to see everyone. I had sent an email to my boss about 2 weeks ago, and he hadn't responded - so I was getting nervous... but turns out he was just busy. Tomorrow at 10 we are going to talk and I'll get my review for the year. Hopefully it is good. I'm also going to explain to him that my plan is to stay out of work for another 6 weeks, as recommended by my doc and my therapist. I don't think he'll have an issue with it - but I hope it doesn't screw me out of any good projects that are in the pipeline. I'd been thinking on it back and forth, and decided that I really need the extra time - and I can't imagine that 6 extra weeks off would make a big change in a career I've got over 10 years invested in.

OK - off to go read a book. I'm considering joining a book club, but haven't even opened the book yet. I figured I'd see if I could sit and read some tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well. That soy formula did nothing except make my cute little baby have gas that was SO awful I was wondering if it was the dogs or her (I have boxers. If you know anything about dogs and gas - they have THE WORST GAS EVER). And the poop. God bless America was the poop disgusting. And she was still crying inconsolably and waking up at least every hour.

So I called in the troops. Aaron and I haven't slept more than 60 minutes in a row for 3 weeks, and were very close to losing it (like we weren't close already). I had a friend that was going to come and watch Maggie for a whole night last night, and I had calls into the doctor. But, my doctor had said that if on Monday, we hadn't seen a definite change, that I could come in and pick up the next level of formula. Other girlfriends of mine, whose kids had reflux, suggested Alimentum - which is a super fancy formula that has the protein already broken down. I thought that wasn't what the doc was giving me, and I actually wasn't aware you could just go out and buy this fancy stuff at the store, so I waited until I got to the doctor's office on Monday.

The stuff I was picking up was the Alimentum - so I was happy it was that - because every single person that has a crazy fussy baby said that within 24 hours, the Alimentum helped. I was hopeful - but not TOO hopeful - as the soy formula did nothing. And also - the friends that the Alimentum made a difference for, their babies had reflux, so they combined it with medicine. I wasn't doing that - but my doc was also pretty sure it wasn't reflux. Well, by the end of the day, she was less fussy. That night, she slept from 9 PM to 1 AM. At 1, she took her bottle, burped, had a diaper change and was back in bed, sound asleep, by 1:23 (not like I was counting or anything). Normally? It would take us a minimum of 60 minutes to get the bottle in her, and she would be screaming the whole time. Then add another 40 minutes to get her to settle down. She slept again until 5 AM. Then got up, ate, and slept until 9 AM.

I cannot tell you how awesome this was.

But did we sleep? Nope. It was the 4th. One month since our world was flipped upside down... and sleep wasn't really possible for either of us.

So we still took our friend up on the offer of the overnight help, and both of us slept 8 hours last night. I tried to go to bed at 7, but turns out that when your aren't worrying about calming a crying baby, your mind will turn to a bit of a dark place... but I did finally fall asleep. And it was a good sleep. Not enough to fully recharge (I think I would need days of sleep for that) but enough to pull us away from the brink of insanity. And now? I have a little sweet newborn baby who cries for a diaper change, or a bottle - but these are things I can fix. Aaron was holding her tonight, and her eyes were closed and she was peaceful - we both look at each other and smiled. The rational part of my mind knew that we'd either figure her out or she'd grow out of it - but I was worried it would take months. I'm not trying to jinx myself - but I feel like we made some progress!