Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Road Trip

Captain Read-Every-Sign-Aloud-and-Comment-on-the-Obvious resumed his position of most honorable drive master.  Co-Captain/Navigator Designate Milk-Maker-Baby-Soother-Child-Distractor (wo)manned the co-pilot seat.  Then the Gigglesisters piled in the back seat, and we're off to grandparents house.

When she was 1.5 years Miss Monkey weathered the trip to Texas for grandparents visit with a video player, and by the time we arrived she was zombified.  This year we did it old school, no video.  Books on tape, music, coloring, staring out the window, giggling with the baby girl, and a view finder click-click-clicking away.  It's a 13.5 hour trip (~778 miles), we left at 3:30 am MST putting the girls in the car in hopes that they would sleep for a few hours before the day began, it worked mostly.  One tank later we stop for breakfast somewhere in New Mexico, then it's on the road again.  I estimate it was about 10am or so before we heard the first "Are we there yet?" plaintively from the back seat.  "No, it's a loooong drive to Gramma's & Grandpa's house.  Remember we looked on the map, and talked about how long the drive would be?  All day, remember?  Well, we're about half way there now."  

Then about an hour later, "Are we there YET?" suddenly we are entertained with, "I think you took a wrong turn, Papa.  We should be there by now."  Later interspersed with "When do we eat? I think we should stop at a restaurant."  This continues on into the afternoon, watching the miles and tiny towns roll away.  Eventually, sometime mid-afternoon, I think she surrendered to the car.  It's hard to teach a new person how to sleep in the car, too.  When I was little we took our favorite pillow and blanket and made a bed as best we could, elbowing each other out of the way, to be comfortable enough to sleep.  The more we slept the faster the trip went.  The First Born would have none of this sleeping in the car, I think she just couldn't get comfortable or she wasn't tired enough.  Baby E did great up until the last couple of hours when she had obviously had enough.  I spent that time twisted part-way 'round so she could have a hand to toy with, my guess, to know that she wasn't trapped back there without us.  On our way home---post refreshments and visit with Maui-Amarillo transplant buddies---the baby was fed, diapered, jammied and ready for "bed".  The bigger one fell asleep on cue for bedtime and stay asleep until we were almost to Denver, when, for whatever reason, she was wiiide awake at 11pm.  Miss Chatty-Chatskins, the content of which we understood very little, most of it was dream-conscious gibberish I think, and something about Chuck-E-Cheese.  She almost had a fit when I told her she had to go to bed immediately upon our arrival home.  Gone are the days when we could nurse our babies while the husbands drove, and kids calling dibs on the way-back seat could stretch out for the cruise.

We made it, in good time, and enjoyed our visits with everyone immensely.  Gratefully enjoying every moment.  Happy Thanksgiving.

p.s. when the family joke has become to comment on the "funny lookin' dawgs" in the vast cattle fields of Texas, it's best to surrender to the silliness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Workout? what workout?

I haven't rooted to the couch, that's something at least.

There were at least 6 weeks there when Baby E arrived that for obvious reasons I merely concentrated on sleeping when I could and recovering from the endurance challenge that is the last trimester or so of pregnancy culminating in the extreme endurance of labor.

After the okay from Doc I did workouts here and there when I could, and still there were snags in my plans.
I can't workout if my breasts are or will become engorged---that's uncomfortable. So timing my workouts post-nursing, and hopefully while baby is sleeping is key.  Add to that I must time my workouts according to my nutrition and availability of some one to keep eyes on the offspring and it gets tricky, GloboGym won't take any infants in childcare < 6 months.  When Miss Monkey has a bike again, she can ride while I jog  Baby E in the Burley.  But without a bike trailer I'm trapped on the trainer or spin bike.

I got into such great habits of eating while training for the 1/2IM and I kept up that metabolism with swimming & walking while preggers (besides the mega-munchies to feed that baby), which means that I have to eat before a workout (and sometimes during) otherwise I bonk.  So there were the times that The Man came home early-ish I could've headed to the gym but I was hongree, and if I stay to eat I end up putting kiddo to bed, then had to nurse the baby again before bed, and suddenly it's 9pm and I'm wasted tired and just want to sleep.  Wake up next day, after a baby feeding or two in the night, and repeat...oh, and 4 hours or less of sleep in a shift.

Then there's moving, and the big pause with Miss M, and moving again.  Makes for even less time, and less schedule to operate with.  I did get yoga in, a little strength training, and more run than bike, no swimming tho'...and that little bit probably kept me sane with a Little Girl that was acting out and a sweet -sweet demanding infant.  Social obligations aside, just getting baby n' kiddo into some semblance of schedule proved impossible, and only just now have we settled into a routine in the new place.  Finally!

Hope beyond hope that AquaPiglet (thank you, TriAya!) has settled into a 6ish to 4ish sleep, then we nurse early, she goes back down, and I head out to do something until Loving Husband departs for his fantabulous VP position.  If there's time later in the day for more, then we're golden, it'll develop just as it should, I've faith.

Shopping races for next season, and looking forward to getting back into the rhythm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Miss Monkey, other than the self explanatory slap-stick silliness.

Situation 1:  
Papa singing in the kitchen, loudly, operatically, about chicken soup or ramen noodles.  She trots to her room specifically to dig out a kazoo-like ocarina shaped tooter, pokes her head around the door and "ttoooooots" into his song.  She grins, we laugh.

Situation 2:  
Sitting around a table, the two of them are facing me. I'm relaying the events of the morning, visiting fabulous neighbors, etc.  The Man says, "oh, you have something on your face...a smudge of something."
"What?  I do?" says I.
"Yeah," says he.
 "Really?  'cause that would suck, I mean, I would swear that if I really had something on my face then one of the moms would have said something to me....Miss Monkey, do I have anything on my face?"
Small pause, as she considers, then without prompting of any kind, with poker face, "Yeah, you do!"
And as he couldn't handle it anymore, my loving husband bursts out laughing, as does Fiona.  Ganging up on me already.

Situation 3:
The other evening, returning home, the first born notices my husband wearing my Broncos cap (yes a bit embarrassing at this point considering their latest games).  She's been experimenting with our given names lately, and we repeatedly ask her to call us Mama and Papa or Dadah(her concoction of Papa & Daddy).  So, here he comes wearing my cap.  "Mama, Gary's wearing your hat!  Mama, GARY is wearing your Broncos hat! MAMA, GARY IS WEARING YOUR BRONCOS HAT!"

From the other room I hear, "Please! call me Papa, I really prefer it when you call me Papa!"

Back in the kitchen, "Ada! Papa's wearing your hat!" too smart, and too too funny.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Silent Mommie

Tuesday past, my voice completely left me all day, and has only returned in patches 3 days later.  The First Born really misses her bedtime story from me.  I gave a valiant effort last night, but she was so disturbed by my coughing fits at every page turn she allowed me to give up and call in a replacement.  But then there was a tantrum and as it turned out she didn't get a story what with poor behavior.  Too sad to be unable to read to her, even sadder for me to be unable to sing lullaby to the baby.  F expressed some fear that I wasn't going to get my voice back---well, Bear expressed that fear, "Well, tell Bear that I've got medicine now, and I'll be okay soon."  I've been ill for a week now, having not shown much improvement, I burst into tears last night 'cause I'm so tired, tired of this illness, tired of inability to be Best Mommy, and really frightened that it mightn't end, that it'll pass on to the girls.  The nurse practitioner decided on two antibiotics to treat what may have started as flu but ended up as a combination of infections ear/nose/throat---superfun.

What I noticed while I was struck dumb.
  • My baby missed my voice.  Signing with her a little so far helped the situation I think, but I notice that she was less vocal around me, and it was heart-wrenching to interpret her questioning looks upon my whispers.
  • Facial expressions and body language are amazing communicators with out voice.  I never considered that my facial expressions could be more expressive, but they had to be considering I didn't have my normal voice inflections.  A smile isn't simply a smile, and a look directly into the eye counts for so, so much.
  • I had so much more time to listen, and nothing at all to say.  My whispered responses weren't going to be heard, and it felt like a luxury to not respond to every little thing said.  It's easier to hear when I'm not thinking about what I'm going to say, and I heard more than I normally do.
  • Thought about what it must be like to be a hearing/speaking child growing up in a deaf/dumb household.  I once knew a young man whose parents were both deaf, yet his faculties were intact, he had interesting child hood stories.

I look forward to regaining my ability to communicate in normal voice rather than honks and squeaks,---and the occasional alarming lowing moan reserved for that persistent throbbing headache.
Not but healing thoughts from here on out, and may I permanently retain that expanded listening ability.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


the baby?  the 4 year old?  one can't be too sure with familial epidemiology.  But I got it, and if Baby E had it before me it must have morphed into something bigger and uglier special for me.

My harrowing Halloween tale of fever dreams and delirium started Friday afternoon, mild fall day, Miss Monkey in her costume walking her baby, Leia, and I wearing the infant exploring our small new community.  Then the goosebumps started, flashes of chills, my skin began to hurt, I finally said, "I think I need to go back inside and lie down."  By the time The Man arrived home from work I had given up on being vertical at all, called in Dr. Sparkle (who by the way is very good if you've need of a pint-sized pretend physician), and was lying on the bed covered head to toe with jammie-pants, hoodie, and blanket.  He said he could feel me baking underneath it all...I was just soooo coooold.  103.7 F read the thermometer, and as Dr. Sparkle took notes, The Man decided he'd head to the grocery to get additional supplies.

Saturday was spent feeling as if I'd been run over several times, then was being pulled in multiple directions by the other members of the family, I was eventually ordered (and partly retreated) to the bed where Baby E chewed on a toy while I dozed.  After an afternoon nap whilst The Man whisked Miss Purple Princess Monkey away to Boo at the Zoo, I felt somewhat better popped more pain reliever and allowed myself to be talked into going to the family Halloween costume party we had planned on attending.  He aided me tying a green blanket toga 'round myself, I called myself a stem wearing a flower-baby.  I was warm at least, and somewhat coherent for a couple of hours.  We carved pumpkins Sunday, 4 now, and mostly hung around...again I'm dozing in and out of feverish sleep.  BUT is that ALL? is that then END? You say, surely you must feel better now, right? At least according to my schedule I should've shaken this by Sunday evening. 

No, instead I'm sitting right now, ridiculous early, sans voice, with a terrible cough, and ears I swear if I'd an icepick I'd relieve the pressure horror movie style.  Voiceless, I went to bed super early to awaken at midnight or so with my head so filled with gook I thought I'd gotten water trapped in my ears somehow, and so engorged I had to come downstairs to pump.  Every turn of the head was painful, and the fever was back up again, took another Tylenol and waited for it to work.  Few hours later, somehow Baby E has slept all the way through the night, I'm awake again with sweats and painfully engorged breasts.  I bided my time 'til 4am, and decided I'd just get up.  Too uncomfortable to sleep, the Tylenol helps a lot, but doesn't make it go away.  And what are the friggin' odds that The Baby sleeps all the way through the night? sheesh.  Breastfeeding while ill is hard on me 'cause I feel as if I'm being drained of more than milk.

So, here I am, praying for it to be over already, and praying that the little ones don't get it from me--at least not the version I'm fighting.  Pictures of our Halloween soon to follow (minus the illin' mama).