Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Fun:)

I love fall! I love the weather, the changing seasons, the crunchy leaves. I have no idea why, but there are certain days each fall that take me back to high school football games, and that was a LONG time ago.

I'm always looking for ways to build traditions into our lives. My parents weren't really "tradition" type people. Of course, Christmas each year was always fun, lots of presents, cookie making, etc. And, the Easter Bunny came every Easter, but they never went out of their way to do things not neccessarily associated with a holiday.

I know so many people get into apple picking, but I've just never been drawn to that. I remember my grandparents taking me a few times when I was little, but it never evolved into a tradition. And honestly, I like apples (love to bake with them!), but I don't see the need to travel 45 minutes to an orchard to bring home 10 pounds of apples. Maybe next year, we'll give it a try, if Sophie seems eager to do it.

However, we are 2 for 2 with the Pumpkin Patch!  As a kid, I never went. Didn't even know it was a possibility. I took Sophie for the first time last year, wearing Connor, since he was all of 6 weeks old. This past weekend, we all went. It was an adventure, but we all survived. Thank goodness for our wagon that can strap in two babies.  Sophie was jealous that the babies got to ride, until she say the play area. Slides, stacks of hay, a zipline, she was in heaven! She had so much fun that I took her back the next day.

My absolute new fave of my little red-headed boy:)

My big girl Sophie. I have a very similar picture from last year. I need to do a side by side:)

And, last but not least...my favorite new walker. I love that Connor is chilling with his sippy:)

Oh, and speaking of fall, I made these FABULOUS brownies, bars, whatever you want to call them. Next time, I'll most likely use 2 boxes of cream cheese:)

Monday, October 22, 2012

One year

It's been one year since my mother in law died. I've been dreading it, and it's here. I'm honestly not sure if Dan is aware. He knows it's around the time, I'm sure, but I haven't told him. I don't think it would be helpful. I still think about her all the time, daily, sometimes several times a day. Maybe this is because I didn't really get to grieve myself between taking care of 3 babies and making sure Dan didn't fall COMPLETELY off the deep end last fall/winter.

I can still see her falling, still see her standing in the door of Sophie's room the last time I talked to her (still KICKING myself for assuming she was high from pain meds), giving no thought to the fact that she was suffering from the fall.

It's funny that I have no recollection of the weather in those days surrounding her death. In most other significant times of my life, I can still remember the weather, at least the season. I don't remember her death being in the fall. I don't remember it being chilly. I DO remember Dan getting that phone call, seeing the look on his face as he told me he had to ID her body. I remember trying desperately to get in touch with my mom or sister (who were together). It was like I was on speed, just rotating between calling each of them until one finally answered. I remember saying "Bonnie is dead. I need you hear now." I remember in those first weeks after she died being up in the middle of the night for the twins every 3 hour feedings, and looking into the kitchen from their room, swearing that I saw her walking from the family room into the kitchen.

I don't blame myself, or our house, for her falling. I vividly remember scanning the ground where she fell, looking for a stray shoe or crayon she might have tripped over. There was nothing. She just fell. And hit her head. I DO blame myself for not making her go to the ER. Sure, Dan drove her home that night, but clearly that wasn't enough. Yes, she seemed fine the next day, but what was going on inside her brain was certainly not fine.

I understand what several have told me, that once she fell a clock started ticking. I don't like it, but I understand how it might be possible. This means of course, there was nothing we could do. That's where it gets blurry for me. I can't understand how, if we had gotten her to the hospital that they couldn't have done SOMETHING for her. Drilled a hole to relieve pressure, or something. At the very least, and this is what I can't get past and where my guilt comes in (and refuses to leave) is that even if there truly was nothing to be done to save her, as least we could have said good-bye. At least we would have had that opportunity. Maybe that's selfish of me. It just occured to me for the first time since last October that it could have been worse for HER to know she was going to die, just waiting for it to happen.

I will never forget the sound of Sophie's little 22 month old toddler voice following her nana down the hallway and out the door, as she left our house for the last time. Over and over, nana, nana, nana...at least 20 times. I remember Dan and I looking at each other saying "listen to her. It's like she's never going to see her again." Out of the mouth of babes.

Sophie rarely brings her up. Interestingly, she did mention her last night, which was the first time in weeks, maybe months. She saw a baseball player doll on TV and she said "nana got that for me." I looked at the TV not really knowing what she was talking about, and realized that yes, less than a week before she died she bought Sophie a stuffed Al.bert Puj.ols doll. I remember that at the time, Sophie was less than thrilled with the doll, and my mother in law was less than thrilled with that reception to her gift, lol.

Dan still has good days and bad days, although mostly good. The things that he might bring up are good memories, not just sadness/pain. It's still hard to talk about her though. We're just getting to that point. I have a few pictures I want to put out, but I'm not sure if he's there yet. And honestly, I'm worried about what those pictures may bring out in Sophie, memories, questions, etc. Not sure if I'm ready to deal with that yet. I feel good that he and his mom were in a good place before she died. God knows there were some rough years, both before and after I came into the picture.  Dan has thanked me often for encouraging their relationship. I never really thought much about it until after she died. They had a really bad, nasty, nasty argument less than a week before she died. It was both of their faults, but thankfully they made peace with each other.

I think about her everytime I sing Wheels on the Bus or the Itsy Bitsy Spider to Sophie. Those were her songs to sing to Sophie. In a note I wrote to her after she died, I promised that I would keep reading and singing to Sophie. I still think about her on Sunday nights, knowing how much she loved her news shows. I think about her EVERY single time I sit in the rocking chair in the twins room. A few weeks before she died, she insisted that I needed a rocking chair in their room. The rocking chair that Sophie had had in her nursery was moved to the family room in our new house ( the same chair that she had been sitting in right before she fell). She had the rocking chair from her house moved over to ours. She told me it was mine, I could paint it, whatever I wanted to do to it, but that I NEEDED a rocking chair in a nursery. This was the same chair that she rocked Dan and his brother in as babies. So needless to say, in the dead of the night, when I am trying to calm Connor, I often think of her rocking her own babies. I look at Avery and Connor from time to time and say "oh, your nana would have loved you." And then I realize that she had been able to meet them; but those days all seem to melt together in my mind.

I'd say we had a better than average relationship with each other. I feel strongly that her intentions always came from a good place, although at times I just really wanted to tell her what I thought;) For example, the night I walked in her front door that last summer and she dragged me into the bathroom to show me how to properly apply eye make-up. Um, ok. It's nice to think of those things now and smile.

I really felt like she was making some serious changes last fall to improve herself. She was more quiet. Not reserved (never!), but she seemed to really think before she spoke, tried to word things in ways that wouldn't be offensive to others.  Not to say that she succeeded, lol, but she was trying:) I will never forget the day we brought the twins home from the NICU. She came over, it was her first time seeing them since she didn't believe in making hospital visits, which I never understood. I was washing bottles in the kitchen, looking like death warmed over I'm sure, she hugged me and then said she wanted to make it a practice to start hugging those she loved, to make sure they knew that she cared about them.

I could go on and on, but I've been crying through most of this and really need to get myself together. I feel like, if she were here, she'd tell me to get over myself, lol.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My sweet little Mr. Man is turning into quite a little bully. He's been biting us for weeks, but recently also started headbutting AND hair pulling. I'm hopeful it is all developmental and will stop as quickly as it started. He seems to go in phases with the biting. There were several weeks when there was none (and I thought it was over!) and then it started again. I have to think (hope??) it's related to teething. His 1 year molars are currently making their way.

I would not be surprised in the least if at least one of our neighbors has heard a random scream come from our house. This would be me or Dan, screaming because we're being bitten by the cutest little red-headed boy. It's to the point that I will purposely hold him facing away from me to avoid a bite. We're using sign language, but when we sign NO he just giggles. Avery has scabs on her shoulder from where she's been bitten by him (we didn't catch him at the time). I did catch him trying to bite her bum the other day. So thankful that he only was able to grab diaper. He got a hold of my finger last weekend and I screamed so loud that Dan came running. He.would.not.let.go. I had teeth marks on my finger for hours.

Last weekend, I witnessned him lean over and grab a chunk of A's hair and PULL. He pulled so hard that she fell over. It was like watching a trainwreck. I watched, thinking "oh no, he's not going to do that" and then watched him do it (shocked), and then more shock when he didn't let go and just pulled her over!

He will headbutt a person, anyone, who happens to be holding him. He also headbutts Avery. I think Sophie's too quick for him, lol.

How can this sweet little guy be a bully???

In ENT news, he had his monthly visit yesterday, to check on status of his hemangioma. She was really pleased that it has not only gotten smaller, but that it's much more "soft" than ever before. She thinks this is most likely because his weight has tapered off, while meds have stayed the same. We're staying the course one more month, and if it presents the same in November, she will reduce the Propanalol a bit and see what happens.
We also discussed tubes. He hasn't met the threshold of x infections in x months, but we did discuss the fact that at EVERY visit with her and most visits with his pedi, he has fluid. He was treated for an ear infection 2 weeks ago, despite not having one. Dr. R felt that there was enough fluid build-up that it was most likely heading into infection territory. He was already so inconsolable that she decided to treat it like an infection. So, next ENT visit he'll get a hearing test. We're both doubtful there is a hearing issue but she wants to rule it out, and then we'll talk about tubes, just to keep that fluid out of his ears. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Example of "bladder the size of Texas"

Yesterday was a doozy. The night before, Connor was up and down for several hours, and I finally brought him to bed (a rarity) to sleep on me. Total, I slept maybe 3 hours, and it wasn't "good" sleep. I was a walking zombie the entire day.

When I picked up Sophie from daycare I was told she hadn't peed on the potty, despite 2 attempts by the teachers. I noticed she still had a diaper on. By this time in the day, they've usually taken it off and she's just in underpants, but i assume they didn't want to clean up a flood, lol. I tried to get her to sit on the potty before we went home, but didn't pressure her too much, since she did have on a dipe (and I had no mental energy left)

We got home, she refused to sit again. I was not in a good place mentally to fight her on it, so I just let it go. Fast forward to about 6:30, when I was in the kitchen trying to fix myself some dinner. I hear "oh, mommy. Look." I walked over to her, and she's standing in a lake of her own pee. It had been about TEN hours since she had gone. She doesn't understand the concept that what we drink eventually has to come out, so it's not like she was monitoring what she drank throughout the day. It SOAKED her size 6 dipe, her pants AND her socks and she was STILL standing in a lake of urine.


I don't know what else I can do. I suppose I need to be more forceful when I tell her it's time to sit on the potty. Or maybe I can get a timer that goes off every x # of hours. Something has got to give.

To top it off, less than 15 minutes after cleaning/sanitizing the floor (and her), she spilled her bowl of cheerios on the table. Milk everywhere, table, chair, floor. I started crying, then decided to leave, lol. Nothing like a quick trip to the grocery to get out of the chaos.

Oh, and BIG news!!!! Little Miss Avery took her first steps a few nights ago!!! When I left for work on Tues, she was standing in the middle of the floor, completely unassisted. That night, we were playing in Sophie's room when she decided to stand up again and then took about 4 steps toward me:) She fell, of course, and started giggling like a mad woman:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peeing on the potty and Losing the Wubby (Round 1)

Sophie is dealing with two major life changes right now, potty training and getting rid of her pacifier (Wubby). My # 1 priority is potty training. She is *this* close to just getting it, but that girl has a bladder the size of Texas. She will.hold.it.all.day.long at daycare. Seriously, she will go pee at about 8 am, and then HOLD it until 5ish, when I pick her up from daycare. Occasionally, she will have an accident, but usually she has successfully held it all day.

Control issues, anyone? Hmmm...wonder who she got that from?!

From the beginning, we've let her lead the way in potty training. The longer it's dragging out though, the more forceful I am getting (and the more resistant she will sometimes get in response--hello Dan).  It's not about the cost at this point, she goes through so few dipes a day that it doesn't matter. I just want her to be DONE already.

I took her to Target last week and told her to pick out any toy she wanted, and that when she was done with dipes we would come back and buy it. Luckily, she picked a $12.99 toy:) Every time she gives me a hard time about sitting on the potty, I remind her off the game. It works, for the most part.

She likes to wear her big girl underpants, so I talk that up alot. Often, she'll wear a dipe, with underpants on top.

She seems to think she only needs to go once a day. When we are home during the weekend, I'll ask her to go try to pee, and she'll say "I already did." Other times, when sticker motivation is peaking, she'll go 3 times in one hour. I'm still waiting to figure out the "trick" for her.

Breaking the pacifier is proving to be MUCH harder. I never planned to attempt potty training and paci breaking at the same time, but as long as she is not in the mood to go bat-shit crazy when I won't let her have her Wubby, I will try. It's amazing to me that she can go ALL day at daycare without it, but the second she sees me, she pops it back in her mouth. I mean, seriously, she doesn't even use it to fall asleep during daycare naptime.

Last night, on the way home, she dropped it. Although easily in my reach, I told her I couldn't get to it and she'd have to wait until we got home. Once we got home, I kept putting her off, re-directing her, telling her that big girls don't need Wubbys. I reminded her that none of her big girl friends need one. Somehow, we made it to 7:30 until she really started breaking down. I gave in, since all night I'd been telling her she could have it for bedtime.

I mentioned that Santa might come take her wubbies at Christmas, and leave her an extra present. She wanted nothing to do with that idea.

During those times she goes bat-shit crazy, though, she is just pathetic. The look of heartbreak and sadness that is on her face when she is begging for it is just unreal. The look on her face almost makes me cry:(  I have to keep reminding myself that this is something all toddlers face. I secretly just hope she will forget about it, but I know that's not going to happen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We can do this!

We had another really good weekend! It gave me hope that we will get through this stage. I think alot has to do with Avery. She has settled really well into WCM, and I attribute harminony in our house in large part to her happy mood. When she's not happy, NO one is happy.

I was actually able to lie on the couch this weekend, for almost an hour. All three babies were playing around me, and no one required any major attention. It was wonderful. Dan tried to say something about how well they were playing, but I wouldn't let him, lol. Didn't want to jinx it! But, it gave me hope.

Both babies are cruising around like crazy, Avery was standing on her own this morning. I'm actually surprised she's not walking. I had expected that to happen by her 1st birthday. They're more independent and it is wonderful. With Sophie, each milestone was so bittersweet for me. I wanted her to reach them, was thrilled when she did, but then sad because she was getting bigger. With the twins, I'm ecstatic when they do something new, and don't look back at all, lol! I'm SO done with the infant stage. I'm ready to move on, see what's next. I think a large reason for that is that I know how much FUN they can be, how much fun Sophie is. With Sophie, I used to pour her into clothes that were clearly too small for her, not wanting her to get bigger (but really it was because her clothes were so darn cute). With the twins, I clean out their closet and drawers every 2 weeks or so as they continue to outgrow things.

I suppose it's time I mentioned their 12 months (now 13) unofficial stats:

1) Both weighed 21 pounds 10 oz. Not bad for less than 6 pounds at birth!! Sophie weighed 22 pounds at one year.
2) Wearing 12 month clothes. Connor can wear 18 month shirts, but not pants.
3) Size 4 dipes
4) Eating anything and everything, although Connor is much more discerning. Both LOVE bananas; Connor loves meat, they both love cheese.
5) Avery: blondish with blue eyes; Connor: red, red, red, with blue eyes
6) Avery is hell on wheels while awake, but if asleep nothing can wake her up. Connor is easy peasy while awake, but does not do the night time sleeping too well.
7) Connor adores Sophie's pink vaccuum. In addition to just playing with it, he seems to know exactly what it's for, and will mimic me when I vacuum (as best he can from a sitting position).
8) Both are very in to "push" toys right now.
9) Avery is SO easily distracted. On those rare nights that she is having trouble sleeping I have to be in a dark room, light out, door closed, otherwise she can't calm down and relax.
10. Connor has 8 teeth, with 3 molars that have pushed through recently; Avery has 7 teeth and I expect an 8th any day.
11. Avery smiles alot (and is clearly happy) but her laughs are more rare; Connor is free with the smiles and the giggles:)
12. Connor said "uh oh" last night; Dan and I swear we heard Avery say "daddy" and "couch" last week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Recharged, and asthma

I did take the day off last Friday. Once I made that decision, it was like a cloud had been lifted! I needed that time desperately.  In addition to a 3 day weekend, Sophie also spent the weekend with my parents. It is a completely different world with two babies, not three. I got to play with them, enjoy them. Dan knew I was struggling, and so slept with one eye open all weekend. Of course, these 3 days they slept through the night except for one Connor wake-up. But that's ok, just knowing I didn't have to be "on" was a great feeling.

We cleaned, we organized, we played with babies. It was much needed. Of course, within a few hours of Sophie being home on Sunday afternoon, we were back to that frazzled and chaotic place, but at least our house was much cleaner:)

Also, re: my banana throwing, I realized that my outburst was probably also PMS related, COMBINED with general mental fatigue. Ha, that makes me feel a bit better.

Yesterday, we woke to Sophie having some pretty severe retractions, and alot of "belly" breathing. In hindsight, she'd had a very restless nights sleep, with is VERY unusual for her. She tossed and turned, talked in her sleep, etc. I gave her her Flovent and Albuterol, meaning to check on her breathing in 20 minutes. Despite my best intentions that never happened. Even though Dan is on baby duty in the AM (waking, changing, feeding, changing again because without fail they poo while they're eating), I completely forgot. I checked her breathing when we got to daycare and she was still retracting, although less. She seemed pale, but in generally good spirits. Because she has a history of decompensating so quickly, and also because she's been in the hospital in the last month, I didn't take any chances. I gave her 2 more puffs of albuteral and left for work. Daycare gave her 2 more sets of 2 puffs over the next hour but the retractions weren't lessening. Called the dr, they wanted to see her.

By the time I picked her up, and we waited for the dr she was in pretty bad shape. Sleeping in my arms, very pale, low grade fever. She just goes downhill so fast. We gave her a neb treatment in the office and that helped. She has a very raw throat, but not strep thankfully. Drs guess is another upper respiratory virus that has triggered her asthma.

She's on her 3rd round of steroids in the last 5 weeks. I HATE this for her. She seemed better this morning, in better spirits, although still retracting.