She's taken to twirling and dancing in circles - she does this with her Jessie doll saying "wheeee!" the entire time. Griffin thinks it's hilarious (it is) and so she'll do it now just to make him laugh. Of course, then she gets really dizzy and bumps into walls; this causes her to dissolve into a fit of giggles herself.
She also likes to run in circles. Specifically she like to run circles around her brother.
Exhibit A: (if you're reading this on Facebook you have to actually come to the blog site to see the video)
Sleep has been the biggest issue in the Rodgers household lately. After the kids spent Friday at my parents, Griffin had three nights in a row of terrible, awful, no-good, very bad sleep.
He was up every 30-45 minutes, would scream but quickly fall asleep if rocked or bounced, however the MOMENT he was put back in his crib he'd scream again. And I'm not talking whimpering or crying, I'm talking about "oh-my-god-someone-is-trying-to-kill-me" screaming. It was awful. It coincided with an attempt at night weaning but I don't know if the timing was strictly coincidental or if the night weaning attempt was the trigger. It doesn't really matter since we've nixed any sort of weaning for now.
He is teething, so that could have contributed to the no-sleep clusterf*** but I doubt it was the only reason. Other possible culprits: normal sleep regression, he's about to hit a new developmental milestone, nightmares, asymptomatic illness, or any 1,000,000 other things that can affect a baby's sleep.
I think it's because children with G names have sleep problems. This is based solely on Griffin's sleep and the sleep of a friend's baby whose name also starts with a G. So Jodie? Stay away from the G names (Jodie is my cousin whose due with her first in August).
Luckily the past two nights have been tolerable. One wake up to bring him into bed to nurse and one at 3am - that one Bryan takes and gives him a bottle. Then he's back in bed until almost 7. Much, much better. I would LOVE it if we could just go down to one waking and then B and I could switch off nights, but I'll take what we've got - it's better than what it was earlier in the week.
So today I went and got CPR certified. I've been certified before - and have actually taught CPR - but it's been a few years. It all comes back to you, so the class and test were pretty easy for me. 30/2, 15/2, AED. If you've taken CPR you know what I mean.
The class was adult and infant CPR so we worked on both mannequins. Giving CPR to the infant mannequin, even though it only barely looks like a human baby, was really difficult. I had to stop myself and center before I could practice. Visions of Griffin lying on the table were overwhelming and during the video portion where they dramatize a baby's resuscitation made me tear up. Luckily they didn't have toddler sized mannequins otherwise I think I may have had to excuse myself - that would have been too much to have to practice on mannequins that too closely imitated the sizes of both of my children.
But I was the first done with my test (got 100%) and the "practical". It was a class made for healthcare professionals - and it was unnerving to see so many respiratory therapists and RNs who messed up on the basics. Although most of these people probably don't have to do basic CPR since they have access to medical equipment on the job.
So anyway, I'm certified. Now I hope I never have to use it. Ever.
Penelope has become obsessed with the zoo. EVERY morning this week she's asked to "go see the animals mommy" as an afterthought she'll say "and go see aunty meagan too" (I don't know why she doesn't use capitals). Her Aunty Meagan is one of my best friends from high school and she works at the zoo, so we get to see her whenever we go (she also has us on her membership so we get in free - score!). Poe's favorite animals are the giraffes and the zebras. She also likes the flamingos and the white faced saki. Don't ask me why.
I think I'll have a regular zoo-day every week (unless I find a full time job or get sub work that day). It gives us a chance to walk around for a few hours and both kids nap pretty well after a morning at the zoo.
First: WIC is perhaps one of the most inefficiently run programs I have ever worked with - and I used to work in non-profit.
Today's appointment was a waste of time and going into the specifics only serves to piss me off. I'm tempted to write a letter to the director.
BUT, Penelope was hilarious while we were waiting. There was a little boy in the office who was probably around three. He wasn't much bigger than Pen, but his vocabulary was better. They were playing in the back area of the waiting room and Penelope thought he was hilarious. Some of her gems:
"Robot shirt mama. Nice shirt boy."
They were running around, falling on the ground, and laughing at each other. It was quite amusing.
So it's been awhile since I posted about our Vegan Adventure. I had grand plans to post recipes and ratings but those, obviously, have not come to fruition.
The success or failure of this experiment depends entirely upon who you ask. And since this is my blog, you're asking me - and I think it's great.
Although if I'm being realistic then I have to acknowledge that Penelope has only tried the vegan baked goods and Bryan has only sort of liked one dish (the vegan "mac & cheese"). Penny wouldn't even try the mac & cheese.
I have liked 90% of the things I've cooked. The quinoa salad is perhaps my favorite... followed by the pumpkin cake. Then there's the black bean soup, the rosemary foccacia, the mac & cheese, the chocolate cookies, the banana bread, the saffron rice (so good), the curried veggies... I'm making myself hungry!
The only thing I wasn't impressed with was the marinated portobello mushrooms, but they really should have been served like hamburger patties. On their own they were only ok. The broccoli polena was just bland - but if I use a sauce then it might turn out better.
This week our vegan meal will be another round of the "macdaddy" (i.e. the vegan version of mac & cheese). I might make curried veggies again since I though it was amazing.
Bryan's been a good sport about the whole thing though. He eats what I make and only rarely complains.
While I'm not technically dieting, I've lost about 6 lbs so far. I could probably loose more if I kicked it up a notch and started really exercising, but that would require effort and energy.
Griffin is getting to the age where we should start hearing some actual words instead of just screeching and grunting. For awhile he was repeating "uh-oh" after you would say it to him, but he never used it outside of repeating so it doesn't really count.
I've been working with him on the "mmmmm" and "dddd" sounds in the hopes that he'd get "mama" and "dada" down. It seems to have worked... he now says "ma, ma, mama!" But I'm not sure whether to count it as his first word.
If you've ever seen Toy Story 2 or 3 then you know who Jessie is. I think I've already detailed how much Penelope loves the Toy Story movies so today's events should not be at all surprising.
First off, I have to give a huge public thank you to my parents. Every Friday night they take the kids for the night so Bryan and I can have a date and get some sleep. Last night we went out to dinner, watched Mad Men, and played Rock Band (oh yes, we're geeks). We then slept in, until 8. It was glorious. And while I missed our morning routine, I did not miss the 1am, 3am, and 5am wake ups. Although Griffin slept well for them (brat).
Anyway, we picked up the kids this morning and took them to one of the many parks in Sac. I forgot the name, but it's downtown by where they have the Farmer's Market. It's "space" themed and has a large play structure for the older kids and the younger kids. It's actually a really great park - I think we might have G's birthday there.
We're one of the first families to arrive and have the run of the park for awhile. While running around, Penelope finds a 2" plastic Jessie doll. Probably from some Happy Meal. There aren't many kids around and Bryan said it was sitting there for awhile, so odds are some kid dropped it the day before.
Poe is instantly in love.
She walks around with the toy and they play together. There's a dual slide, Penny sits on one side and she holds Jessie on the other side and they slide down together... hilarious. I have video and I will try and upload it tonight.
Penelope also puts Jessie in this cup/ride thing that twirls around and proceeds to twirl her around. You know those boards with the holes, where you stick your head through and you're a character of some sort? Well this park had an astronaut one and Penelope stuck Jessie through it so she could be an astronaut.
She would also say things like "Jessie's having fun!" or "Jessie's happy!". When we got home it was "Jessie's lunchtime too!"
Jessie took a bath with Penelope today. And she also accompanied her to bed.
I think we need to get Poe a slightly larger version.
As we all know, my milk supply has never been where it should be. Thanks to my LC and a drug called domperidone, it got close, but I've always had to supplement. When I started working I was pumping, but that got to be too much so my supply dropped a smidge. Now that I've lost some weight it's dropped even more. Apparently I need to be at a certain BMI to produce milk and that BMI is not one at which I'm comfortable.
With these drops in supply I can no longer nurse G overnight. Sure, we can nurse a little at night - I have about 2 feedings worth of milk (spaced about 6 hours apart) but they never seem to keep him asleep for very long and he ends up latching on an off for hours. This keeps me awake since I can no longer sleep while we nurse in bed. Also? I'm only producing milk on one side.
The road is getting rougher and I just don't know if I have the energy to keep on keeping on, know what I mean?
We had a really rough couple of nights and it prompted this conversation with Bryan and I yesterday:
Me: "I'm thinking of weaning" Bryan: "Ok."
Alright, so that's not really a "conversation" per se. Well, I guess it technically is...
ANYWAY: We're going to night-wean.
Griffin will nurse before bed and in the morning (especially if I want to delay our morning wake-up), but no more middle of the night nursing. He'll get a bottle or be rocked. Hopefully this will translate into more sleep for all of us. I've started to wake up every morning with a monster headache - due to sleep deprivation - that even my morning cup of coffee can't cure.
Since we won't be nursing at night it will be interesting to see what my milk supply does. I would not be at all surprised if it dried up completely.
This makes me more than a little sad. I know that continuing to nurse at night, while keeping my supply where it is, is causing me a lot more headaches and heartaches than it's worth. But the thought of stopping nursing completely... well, that causes a fair amount of heartache as well.
There will probably be two camps regarding this decision. The first will be those who think that I should keep nursing as long as G is interested. The "a drop is better than none" camp... and then there will be those who thought I should have quit long ago, that the struggle caused me too much stress and may not have been worth it.
Although now that I think about it, that's probably not accurate. Most people will probably think "do whatever it is that makes you all happy" since most people I know understand my breastfeeding history and aren't jackalopes.
I really should be proud of how long we've nursed. 9+ months is longer than average in the US, and considering my supply problems it's a HUGE accomplishment. But I still feel... inadequate? I guess. There is so.much.pressure to breastfeed that I can't seem to let it go.
Maybe this pressure is all internal. Or maybe it's because I participate in online debates about things like nursing in public and extended breastfeeding. Or maybe everyone really is judging me for my inability to nurse my babies for a year (I don't really believe that, but sometimes it feels that way).
But back to Griffin and weaning. The decision has been made - we're night weaning. We'll see what happens and go from there. I'll deal with my mommy guilt as it comes and continually remind myself that our formula fed daughter is practically a genius.
Griffin will be fine regardless of how much milk he gets from here on out even though I may not be.
Today I had to take Penelope in for some blood work. WIC requires semi-annual testing for iron and lead. Poe had never gotten it before, so she was due, but I was dreading it... in fact I procrastinated until the day of our WIC appointment because I did.not want to go. We had to reschedule our appointment since the results won't be in until a bit later this week.
It was as awful as I feared.
I was going to detail the whole experience, but reliving it makes me cry. Poe has probably already forgotten about it. Suffice it to say, they had to do it twice since she knocked the first needle out of her arm and she got so upset that Griffin started crying.
As we walked out of the lab, the 100 people waiting (ok, maybe 35, the lab was standing room only) all gave her sympathetic smiles and told her what a good girl she was. All she could talk about for awhile afterward was her "bandaids" and "all done mama, all done".
I will probably be more traumatized in the long run than she is.
I feel for parents of kids who have long term health issues and need regular doctors appts/bloodwork/etc. I know it's hard for the kids, but it has got to be heart wrenching for the parents. You're doing what's in the best interest of your child and that involves causing them a fair amount of pain.
I mean, we just had routine iron and lead testing and I need a glass of wine and a good cry. I cannot even fathom how parents of sick kids handle the stress. Maybe you get used to it? I doubt it. But you probably develop a much more realistic outlook on the whole thing that I have - you have to.
Fortunately, I can afford to be melodramatic. Other parents cannot. I'm sending all those other parents a huge virtual hug. You are stronger than I.
Today, right before my nap (yes, I got a nap today, score one for me), I remembered some of the things I wanted to blog about.
I still probably won't remember all of them since the list came to me seconds before falling asleep. But the first thing I remembered upon awakening (well, the first thing related to the blog... I don't want you all to think I wake up thinking about blogging first. The first thing is usually "ok, which child is awake" and "will they both stay asleep long enough for me to pee") was related to carseats.
We finally flipped Penelope. At 25 1/2 months she is now forward facing.
There will be three different responses to this news:
1. What? You still had her rear-facing? That's awfully long/weird/strange/paranoid. Poor Poe, she was probably so uncomfortable. (She wasn't).
2. What? You flipped her already? Don't you know it's a million times safer to RF until the age of 27? How irresponsible!
3. Um, WTF are you talking about?
Obviously I'm exaggerating a little, but most people will be either shocked that I waited so long or they'll think that I probably should have held out for another year. Or they won't know what the hell I'm talking about.
We flipped her for one major reason... we were without a car seat for G (it was in my parent's truck across town) and we had P's forward facing only monstrosity (it's huge), so we put G in Poe's "old" RF seat and Pen got to flip around and sit in her "big girl" seat.
We were planning on making the transition soon anyway, events just happened to force that transition on Saturday.
I have read the research/seen the videos, and I know that rear facing is safer - for everyone. It's safer for adults as well. But RF was becoming rather impractical. I kept smacking Poe's head on the car trying to get her in the damn seat (she is an Amazon child and crazy-tall). She can now climb into the car herself although she can't quite put herself in the seat. This is still immensely helpful.
Her seat is still a 5 point harness and she will stay in it until she outgrows the limits. Then she'll move to a booster until she outgrows the limits, etc.
Griffin will be RF until at least 2 and we'll reevaluate then. We may keep him RF longer depending on our carseat situation, but I'm not willing to compromise on RF until 2. If he was a year old he'd technically be able to flip (the law is 20lbs AND one year) but there's NO WAY I would flip him at a year. Absolutely no way. As it is I have some reservations about flipping Penelope; but what's done is done and I think flipping her back would trigger more meltdown and tantrums than I am willing to handle.
It's been awhile since my last post. We were all sick, it was finals week, and I've started seriously working on Griffin's "yearbook". Penelope had one at her 1st birthday party and everyone had a chance to sign it. It was a lot of fun to make and will hopefully be something she'll treasure - so G gets one too.
Once I'm done I'll post the link so people can comment before I have it printed.
Here's a quick recap on everything that has happened this week.
1. Griffin is crawling!!! It's been a few days, maybe a half a week. He's getting better and better... I have some video of his first crawling attempts and will hopefully be able to post it sometime next week.
2. G is also pulling himself up on everything that is remotely sturdy enough. So tables, couches, pant legs, etc. He's also stood up unsupported for about a second or two. So cruising is not that far in our future - neither is walking. I would not be at all surprised if Griffin walks before Penelope did, but he might take his time. We'll see. I'm not exactly rushing walking. I'm just happy he's crawling.
3. I'm done with student teaching! I need to get the paperwork in to do the sub-thing for San Juan and update my resume so I can start looking for full-time (or heck, even part-time) teaching gigs. There are a few more administrative things I need to do before I have my credential, but I am done with the hard part. I still have to write my thesis before I have my Masters, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, I still have BITSA once I'm a full time teacher. Really looking forward to that one.
I have very mixed feelings about the end of my student teaching tenure. I am happy that I'm finished since it means that I'm that much closer to getting my own classroom, but I am very sad to be leaving my students and Mira Loma. I really enjoyed working at ML, the staff and my mentor teachers were wonderful to work with. I will also miss nearly ALL of my students. Even the more rambunctious ones :)
4. Mom and I start tap classes Monday. I'm happy to be getting out the house and doing something to stay active. I'm also happy to be doing something with my mom, I really love spending time with her.
You know, that's all I can think of. I'm sure there's 1,000 things more that have happened since my last post. Oh, the kids are better. So that's good.
I will preface this by saying that hopefully last night's events prove to be the most dramatic and traumatic medical issues we have in this family. Because looking back on the events of last night, things could have been 1,000x worse. Looking objectively at this week, things could have been 1,000x worse; but when you're in the thick of it it's hard to be objective.
So. The story.
The kids have been sick since the 1st. Fevers (never over 101), runny noses, sneezing, watery eyes, etc. Tuesday they seemed to be doing better, Wednesday they were just a little sniffly (although at that point my Dad was sick) and so I figured we had seen the worst of it. Thursday everyone got worse. Bryan, the kids, even I wasn't feeling all that great Thursday evening.
Griffin got the worst of it though. He was so congested he was having trouble breathing, his right eye was constantly 'weepy', he was sneezing and coughing... but no fever. So we gave him a bit of baby Benedryl in the hopes it would clear up some of the mucous so he could sleep and he and I camped out on the couch so he could sleep on me in an inclined position. I hoped this would help him sleep since he hadn't gotten anything resembling decent sleep.
Neither one of us got much sleep. I couldn't fall asleep because Griffin needed to be patted/bounced to stay asleep and then he started having these weird breathing spells. He'd stop breathing for a few seconds (2-3 seconds max) then open his mouth, take in one big breath (which sounded like a frog croak), cough (which sounded like a seal bark), and cry (which sounded so pathetic). He'd have to pause during the crying to breathe, which means that he'd stop breathing, gasp, cough, and cry some more.
Broke my heart. And it freaked me the f*** out.
Bryan comes out in the living room to join us and I call the Blue Cross Advise Nurse. I generally love the AN line. I trust my nurses. I prefer nurses. But I now realize that the AN line has a serious case of CYA (cover your ass).
The nurse I spoke to was pleasant. She had a reassuring voice, she was calm. During the first part of our conversation she had me convinced that nothing was wrong. Until we started discussing G's breathing. She asked a few questions and the moment I said yes to one of them her voice changed. She was worried. Very worried. And then she said to me.
"Ma'am. You need to call 911. Would you like me to call them for you?"
If I was freaked out before I don't know what I would call my emotional state after that.
So we call 911 and a few minutes later, 6 Firemen are standing in our living room listening to G's chest.
Turns out, he's ok. Well, he sick. Really sick, but not Emergency Room sick.
The rest of the night was pretty suck-tastic. G slept on me in our bed for awhile, then slept next to me - that was when I was finally able to get a tiny bit of restless sleep.
I only taught one class period today and then went home to take care of my sick baby. We saw a doctor today and what he has is viral - meaning we keep and eye on him to make sure its not getting worse and just wait it out. If he's not better on Wednesday then they want to see him again. Croup was mentioned as a possible culprit, but he doesn't have a fever. It's not a sinus infection or ear infection.
Benadryl to clear up mucous, eye drops for his "weepy" eye, and humidifiers in every room in the house.
Add to this short naps (he's still not breathing well enough to nap for periods longer than 30 minutes) and now Penelope is having sinus problems. She woke up from a too-short nap crying... she has so much mucous that she is swallowing it (gross) and her breathing is now labored and a little on the erratic side (at least when she sleeps). Oh! And my fever is back! Hoo-flipping-ray.
In general, this week has been awful. I would like a do-over.