Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Children of Men by P.D. James

The Children of Men The Children of Men by P.D. James

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. The plot was compelling, the concept intriguing. It follows a man through 10 months of his life in a world where mankind has lost the ability to reproduce. There is not a fertile man in the world, and the youngest people are now twenty-five. James' imaginings of the impact of worldwide infertility are well-realized and believable.

I took the rating down from four stars because James' sentences are quite convoluted and she gets really bogged down in descriptions. In the midst of the climax of the book, she has a paragraph taking up most of a page which describes the trees around a lake. No thanks.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve

My husband told me he doesn't like White Christmas by Bing Crosby. That sounds awfully close to blasphemy to me.

I've felt recently that I need to work harder to keep the Sabbath holy - specifically, not read novels on Sunday, but instead read religious books. The first two Sundays I felt this, I just ignored the feeling. The past two Sundays I have read The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis instead of whatever novel I happen to be in. It was so hard. I spent far less of the day reading than I normally do. I'm kind of embarrassed by how difficult this is for me. But at least I am making progress. I know I need to make Sunday a special day, set it apart from the rest of the week.

Friday, November 07, 2008

So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish

Blogging just isn't doing it for me. I never want to update my blog anymore. Opening my Reader and seeing eleventy-million updates stresses me out. So instead I just close it and read no one's updates. This is all just feeling like a pain for me right now, instead of fun. So I'm quitting.

I'll probably pop in to your blog occasionally to see how you're doing. Just don't expect anything out of this blog. Posting will be erratic to non-existent.

If we've emailed privately before, drop me a line if you want the link to my private family blog. That will probably be the only one I update (for the grandmas).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've been busy, yo. Dh's parents came last weekend. Two days after they left, my mom flew in from NY. The day after that, Dh left to go hunting with his dad and brothers. He returned this evening, and my mom flies out tomorrow. I think Miss E is going to collapse in a puddle of tears upon her discovery that The Grandparents Adventure 2008 is over and life is returning to normal.

Ace can totally sit up now. Go, Ace!

Miss E is really bossy now. Um, it's funny but I bet it's going to get old fast.

Dh came back with some elk (his brother got one) and is canning it in the kitchen right now. I already told him we are eating out until the canning is done and that kitchen is clean again.

I think he thinks I am joking.

Last night I dreamt Obama came to my church. The parking lot was flooded, and we innertubed around in it. He was nice, but a bit superior.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saucy Miss E

Miss E is almost 2 1/2. I am constantly delighted by her expanding vocabulary and comprehension. Though occasionally chastened:

Someone in a van in front of me was driving sooooo slowly. Finally they pulled into a turn lane. "So long, grandma," I muttered as I passed them. A few moments later, Miss E thoughtfully asked, "That was Grandma?" Oops.

* * *

She still talks about that calf from the pumpkin patch. The other day she carefully laid her baby bear down for a nap in a large Rubbermaid tote. "Baby Bear scared," she told me solemnly.

"What's Baby Bear scared of?" I asked, suspecting the answer.

"Baby Bear scared of cows."

I reassured her that Mommy and Daddy would not let any cows hurt Baby Bear. A few days later, Dh asked Miss E if we should go to the pumpkin patch and she emphatically told him no, because she didn't like the cow. That cow is very vivid in her memory!

* * *

Miss E loves Sesame Street. She loves all the different characters, knows their names. One day she was hanging around me while I made dinner in the kitchen.

"Wait a minute!" She looked up at me expectantly. "Wait a minute! Oscar the Grouch!"

I suddenly realized she was quoting Oscar. I filled in. "Now scram! Wait a minute! I sent this email! I'll scram!" (There've been a lot of Sesame reruns on lately, so I've got the skits down too.) She was delighted and danced around the kitchen saying, "Now scram!"

Today she saw my shoes sitting out on the bathroom floor as I put on my makeup before church. "I wearing Mommy's shoes to church!" she announced. "Mommy's wearing Mommy's shoes to church," I replied. "No, I am!" she shot back. Have you noticed all the exclamation points? That's how Miss E talks. Emphatically.

When I emerged from the bedroom all dressed and ready to go, Miss E came up to me. "Pretty shoes. Ooh, nice tights. I like your skirt. Nice shirt, Mommy! It's nice!" She went right up my outfit. I loved it!

Miss E constantly runs around. She also constantly narrates her day. This afternoon Dh and I were eating a late lunch after church. He read the newspaper, while I tried the NYT crossword (pretty hard today, only got about a third filled in). Miss E ran around the table, narrating to herself. "I running! It's fun!" Repeat for five minutes. Then she started with the "I'm gonna get you!" and tickling us. She can only be neglected for so long. Ha ha

Wow Ace's clothes totally don't match.

It's a good thing Ace is a big boy, because his big sister has no concept of playing gently, despite my best efforts. She loves to lay on top of him and give him rough hugs. Fortunately, he loves it and will squeal delightedly and grab on to any part of her he can. She usually loves to help me, fetching a bib or binky for Ace, or running into his room when he wakes from a nap to keep him entertained for a few moments until I get free.

She has been asserting her independence more often recently. She threw a huge fit at Target Friday because she didn't want to ride in the cart. (I suspect this was because Dh was with us. She rides in the cart all the time when I take the kids by myself.) She never wants to go for a walk anymore, though she used to love walks. This afternoon I insisted on a walk, and she bawled for the first five minutes. Eventually she got distracted by something and forgot to keep crying, and then had a lovely time.

Ace has taken over the high chair, and our chairs are much too big for Miss E, so we got her a booster seat. To get her psyched, I told her she was a big girl to eat in the booster seat! A big girl like Ballerina (EdgyK's daughter, one year older than Miss E). Now every time Miss E eats in her booster seat, she announces proudly, "I a big girl! Like Ballerina!"

She also wants to be just like her Mommy, which makes my heart sing. She carefully watched how I ate my spaghetti and was soon trying to wind her noodles around her fork too. She didn't want the noodles cut up! She wanted them long - "Like Mommy!" I love to hear that little phrase.

I love the spontaneous bear hugs, the unsolicited kisses, the requests for me to kiss an owie and make it better. Miss E is fabulous!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lousy Movie

This movie is really quite dreadful. First of all, Patrick Dempsey is borderline to begin with. In this movie, he plays an extremely annoying womanizer who is supposedly so charming that women are willing to sleep with him despite his misogynistic ways. Oh and the main female character, a genuine, sweet girl (Michelle Monaghan) is also fine with being his best friend while he sleeps with most of the female population of NYC. It only goes downhill from there. The last twenty minutes of the film are composed of literally every cliche in the canon of chick flicks.

Only watch this movie if:
  • You love Patrick Dempsey so much it has turned off all your brain cells
  • You enjoy throwing up in your mouth
  • Your queue is absolutely empty AND your husband is out of town AND you are bored.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why Did My Kids' Naps Only Overlap by Thirty Minutes Today?

What a cheesy grin this boy has! I love it!

This is the intent look Ace gives Miss E all the time, like he is memorizing her coolness so he can adopt it himself in a few months.

Dh started grad school a few weeks ago, but thankfully Crazy Dh* has not appeared. On the contrary, we've been getting along very well. This is partially due to the fact that Ace is getting older. I'm getting more sleep, and therefore am not constantly annoyed and blaming Dh for everything. Which I think he is thrilled about. Go figure.

The past few nights, Ace has been waking every 1-2 hours wanting his binky popped back in. He's nursing less (a couple of times making it to 5:30 am!) but waking more. Since Dh is the one fielding the binky requests, he's getting really annoyed. I'm starting to think a true cry-it-out might be in order. If Ace can sleep from 6 to 5:30, he's obviously not actually hungry at midnight when he usually nurses. I don't know. I think I'll at least wait until he hits 6 months.

Miss E is still talking about that cow from the pumpkin patch. She tells me that the cow scares her. Oh and she has started the whole "Don't touch me, Ace!" while they are in the double stroller. Frankly, it's hilarious.

As for myself, I'm kind of stuck in Brideshead Revisited. I'm finishing up a crocheted afghan. And I started a cooking blog with EdgyK. I am a freaking nerd! Boo-yah!

*Crazy Dh is the person who replaces my husband when he is in grad school. In the words of Miss E, "I no like it."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch!

I was excited to take Miss E to the Pumpkin Patch, which also promised a petting zoo. I thought she would love the animals! Unfortunately, this innocent creature completely freaked her out!

She spent most of our visit in tears. Anytime she heard the calf moo, she would say quietly to herself, "I no like it." She got far away from that cow as soon as she could and cheerfully yelled, "Bye bye, animals!"

Apparently when you go to the pumpkin patch on Friday afternoon, you get the Patch completely to yourself. It was actually a bit creepy.

The following picture illustrates what Ace happily spent the entire visit doing:

"Miss E, show me your teeth!"

We'll see how she does next year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fully Upright, I'm Happy to Report

The vertigo is almost gone, so my body decided it would be super! cool! to come down with a cold. A cold I can deal with. A cold does not lead to me potentially passed out on the floor. So yay for a cold!

I emailed my doctor, specifically mentioning that the pharmacy said motion sickness tablets are not okay to take since I am breastfeeding. He wrote me back: take motion sickness tablets for a few days. Sigh. It is so nice to know he just skimmed my email.

BUT in happy medical news our co-pay for Ace's hospital stay is ridiculously low. Like, ridiculously. I wrapped my arms around Dh and said, I know sometimes you hate your job, but your benefits are worth their weight in GOLD. And he agreed.

* * *

Sleeping issues are better. Ace has settled on a bedtime which miraculously is usually within thirty minutes of Miss E's. Yes that's right, both my babies go to bed around 6 pm. Ace sleeps until midnight, when I nurse him, then goes straight back to bed until 5 or 6-ish, nurses again, then sleeps until about 7:30.* And he usually takes two two-hour naps during the day. To compensate for all this sleep, he nurses every hour and a half when he is awake.

I honestly think he is hungry both those times at night. (Ace's pediatrician does not agree, which doesn't particularly bother me.) I mean, I can barely go six hours without food, and my stomach is at least five times the size of Ace's. Miss E was still nursing once at night at this age, and she didn't have the same level of fat to maintain. :D

* * *

So the other day Ace was laying on the floor. Miss E was laughing. I looked up to see Miss E standing on Ace's legs. He was not crying; he didn't even seem phased. Miss E got off him guiltily. But needless to say, I was pissed. Miss E didn't protest timeout - she knew she had earned it! I guess I can't use Ace crying as a clue that Miss E is mistreating him. He looks at her so adoringly. I think he's just thrilled for any attention she throws his way. Thankfully Miss E gives Ace hugs much more often than smacks.

*He does wake periodically throughout the night, but Dh pops his binky back in, and that usually works. Dh = no Mommy milk smell

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Inconvenient Illness*

About four or five years ago, I suddenly started getting really dizzy all the time. My co-worker told me the only time she got dizzy like that was when she was pregnant. So I thought I was (it was too early to test). But as the dizziness continued over a week, and no other symptoms appeared, I became suspicious. I went to the doctor and discovered I had an inner ear infection that was wrecking havoc with my sense of balance. He prescribed a high-powered motion-sickness medicine to suppress the dizziness until my body could fight the infection on its own. I had to take a couple days off work (boo-hoo) and then I was fine.

Thursday morning I was getting the kids ready to go to the local children's museum. Suddenly I got really dizzy and really nauseous. So much so that I laid down on the couch and couldn't get up without feeling like I was going to pass out. I recognized the feelings - it was a more sudden and intense version of that ear infection. I called my husband and he said he would come home. Of course I had made the mistake of telling Miss E where we were going, so when I let her know that I was sick and we would not be going to the children's museum, she freaked out. Ace was already strapped into his carseat and after a few minutes started to fuss. I crawled slowly down the hallway to drag him into the living room. I was worried that if I stood up and carried him, I would fall and hurt him. I was only able to drag him halfway down the hallway before I had to lay my head flat down on the ground. That's where Dh found us when he got home. He carried me into bed and took over the kids.

It was so weird. Other than the extreme dizziness and nausea, I felt fine. No ear pain, no congestion. But I couldn't even elevate my head on two pillows without the room spinning. After a bit I developed a major headache. Thursday was pretty bad for me. Dh took the kids to a nearby nursery and they perused the plants. The doctor's office said the high-powered motion sickness medicine was out since I was nursing, so pretty much all I could do was sip high-fructose juice and move slowly. Um, thanks.

Friday I was a bit better, but still couldn't be upright for more than three minutes. I had to lay around. Which sounds like it should have been totally fun, right? And it kind of was. I mean, I finished one book and started another. But as the day wore on, when I asked my darling husband for something (food, ibuprofen), this was his response: "You gotta be kidding me!" accompanied by a loud sigh. Ooh-wee is my husband not designed to stay at home with two kids. He was so grouchy by the end of the day, he couldn't even be civil. Frankly, I was trying not to laugh. Like it's impossible to take care of two kids? Apparently yes, I must be amazing. Dh has a hard time even temporarily putting himself at the bottom of his own list. And it's not like he did much cleaning. He only loaded the dishwasher because literally every cup was dirty.

I was reminded yet again of why I stay at home with the kids and Dh goes out and earns the money.

Saturday Dh had to go in to work for several hours because a big project that he was in charge of was taking place. Miss E played at EdgyK's and I laid on the bed. Luckily Ace takes long naps. I made it to five minutes upright on Saturday!

Today there is major improvement. I have to move slowly, and not sling my eyes around too quickly. Also bending down is a bad idea. But I sat up through dinner and I am sitting up typing this entry. But, um, I think I need to go lay back down now. So here's some cuteness for you:

*Yeah, I realized after I typed that all illnesses are inconvenient. "Oh, this illness came at the perfect time! How lovely!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Bigger Update

I have been considering this change for a few weeks. Some might say dithering. I got my hair whacked off. Here's the kitchen floor after Edgyk's sister was done:

I think I like it. It's still too new to tell. Here is the five-pounds-lighter, not-as-susceptible-to-Ace's-hair-pulling me (forgive my poor photography skills):

And as a bonus, the little Hair Puller himself:

Please note ankle rolls:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Little Upgrade

Last Saturday I turned on the faucet in the kitchen and water started spraying out of the back of it, down where the faucet meets the sink. I quickly turned it off, jiggled the faucet a bit, then turned it back on. It started spraying again. I looked over at my mother-in-law who was visiting for the weekend. "That's not good," she said quietly. No, indeed.

I called Dh over, showed him the problem, then got the heck out of the kitchen. House emergencies + me + Dh usually = fight. Luckily my father-in-law was there to serve as Dh's assistant. They tried to get the faucet working correctly again, but it was no use. They opened the cupboard under the sink to find that water was spraying everywhere down there too. Oh yay! We've been having trouble with that faucet pretty much since we moved in four and a half years ago, but we've always been able to jiggle it around and get it to stop spraying. Not so this time.

We left Ace home with Grandma and the rest of us went to Lowe's to pick out a new faucet. I found a nice one on clearance. Here is a close approximation to what our old faucet looked like. Except ours was uglier:

And here is our new faucet:

It had never occurred to me to replace the faucet, since (most of the time) it worked just fine. Replacing things just because I'm not fond of them is not in the budget right now. But the old one went kaput, and we were forced to get a new one. And I am thrilled! I like it so much more and I think it makes our whole kitchen look nicer.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ace's Four Month Stats

Weight: 18 lbs, 12 oz
Length: 27.5 inches
Head circumference: 16.5 inches

Ace's pediatrician was surprised to see him as strong, agile and squirmy as he was. Apparently big babies usually just kind of lay there, weighed down by their own bulk. Hee hee Ace is an active, happy baby!

Recent Pictures

Miss E leads her uncle around for kicks on a daytrip to the coast.

My friend Lissa is much better at doing Miss E's hair than I am, despite having only boys!

Miss E giving Ace some "tough love."

She wants to be just like her mama!

Another picture from the coast. Obviously Miss E was not too interested in posing.

And one of me, with poor lighting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NieNie Day

Some of you may be familiar with NieNie, aka Stephanie, the charming mother of four down in Arizona who has an equally charming blog that bursts with love and cuteness. Recently she and her husband were in a terrible plane crash and are looking at months of recovery. Design Mom put together a blogosphere wide effort to raise money for Stephanie & her husband's recovery. There are about a bazillion online auctions going on today all over the Internet. You can find more information and links to all the different auctions at Design Mom. I want to point you specifically to my friend Katie's blog - she is auctioning off some fabulous items, including two Shabby Apple dresses! So go spend some money, it is for a very worthy cause.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Much Better

Thanks for all the sympathy. I really appreciate it. I guess it's true that it's always darkest before dawn, metaphorically that is. Because I've been awake right before dawn, and it's not very dark.

Anyway. Ace is doing a lot better. He spent the past two nights in his crib. I'm getting him back on a daytime nap schedule. And we are all starting to feel more human. Thank goodness.

Yesterday he took his morning nap very sweetly, no crying. At his early afternoon nap, he cried for 45 minutes, then slept for an hour and a half. At his late afternoon nap, he cried for two minutes and slept for an hour. At night he cried for half an hour before dropping off to sleep for a solid four hours before his first night nurse.

This means I am about ten times happier.

So now I'm quite bored with whining talking about Ace and his sleeping habits. And I bet you are too.

I already admitted to the Internet that I covet my neighbor's stroller. Obviously, the only way to cease that dreadful sinning was to get one of my own. I ordered it off Amazon and it shipped yesterday!! I am so stoked. Also, I decided to check the price of the Roulpat, and found to my delight that it was on clearance! So that will soon be at use in my kitchen.

Though I see that the Roulpat is now on even lower clearance. Blast. If you are in the market for a silicone roll mat, now is certainly the time to get it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Not Good

Ace has been sleeping incredibly poorly since returning home from the hospital. Last Tuesday night was the worst - I got about three hours of (interrupted) sleep. Wednesday morning I took him to his followup with his pediatrician and mentioned the sleep issues. The doctor cheerfully informed me that the steroids they gave him in the hospital cause hyperactivity for 7-10 days and that combined with the stress of the hospital visit means he won't be sleeping much. I think I just sat there with my mouth open for a minute.

I started crying in the parking lot, and called Dh. "The doctor just told me the worst news ever," I said, choking on tears (please remember how much sleep I'd had). Dh felt a momentary panic - did Ace have cancer or something? No, it was just me being melodramatic. But I was freaking out. I knew I cannot function on three hours a night. Dh talked me back from the ledge - he told me to forget about cooking, forget about cleaning, to just focus on getting through this time. I took several deep breaths and calmed down.

Since then, each night has been a little better than the one before. I've been doing whatever it took to get Ace to sleep - letting him sleep in the swing, in bed with me, anything. Saturday night he woke and nursed three times, but spent the night in his crib! I was so excited - perhaps the end was in sight? Perhaps we could get going on sleep training again?

No. Last night was awful. Ace went to bed like a dream, so I congratulated myself - much too early. He woke half an hour later. I decided, Tough, kid, I know there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. So I tried to let him cry it out. An hour and fifteen minutes later, I gave up. I nursed him to sleep, then let him get nice and zonked out on my bed, then carried him to his own crib. That was about 10:30. He woke at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 4:45, and 6:15. Between his 2:30 and 4:45 wakings, I lay in bed awake, unable to sleep (curse you, insomnia!!!). At that last waking, I gave up and brought him into bed with me. He got what he wanted. He snuggled right in and slept for three hours, nursing briefly at 8. I was so tired I was able to sleep with him right against me (normally I can't - he's noisy and he wiggles). Lucky for me Miss E didn't mind playing in her crib for an extra hour.

Now while Ace was in the hospital, he hardly nursed. My milk level went way down. So at first I was kind of glad he was waking so much, to nurse around the clock every two hours, so that my milk would come back. But as of yesterday, my milk level is finally back to normal. And I KNOW he's not hungry. He just wants to nurse. All the freaking time. I mean, half an hour after bedtime? Give me a break. I feel like I'm going crazy. I've been constantly on the verge of tears all day just from sheer exhaustion. I've got five loads of dirty laundry waiting to be done. Dh's parents are coming this weekend, but my house is trashed. And Ace is still resisting all naps. This really, really sucks.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
It feels like every time I turn around, I find another historical fiction novel with an annoyingly precocious heroine, who anachronistically insists on having some sort of recognizable-to-modern-readers version of a career, on being "more" than a wife and mother. Medieval feminists? I'm so sure. Contrary to popular opinion, the millennia preceding feminism were much more complicated than: Start your period, get married, make babies.

Thankfully, this masterful book takes no such patronizing views of the past. I read most of Antonia Fraser's The Six Wives of Henry VIII as a young teenager (made it all the way to Katherine Howard), so I've long been interested in this time period. I have to admit I didn't expect much from this novel when I began, because I distrust anything with fake gilt on the cover.

Gregory does a fantastic job evoking the attitudes and mores of the Tudor court. I loved the main character/narrator, she was a woman I could really root for. And so it felt almost like a slap when she mentioned in passing: Having the poor around is very economical, like keeping a pig (paraphrase). WHAT? That's not something the heroines of lesser historical fiction would ever say - they're all too busy preaching 20th-century ideas of equality to the piggish men around them! Gregory, though, is really trying to reflect Tudor England as it was, not as we wish it had been. For that, she won my eternal love.

This book is long (660 pages in the paperback edition). It's going to take you a while to finish. But if you like learning about different cultures and times, and you like a great story, you really ought to read this book!

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Meme Instead of Whining

Thanks for tagging me, Britt! This meme is sure to be much more interesting and positive than the post I would write right now - on three hours of crappy, interrupted sleep - about how my baby is making me crazy.

Eight Things: A Meme

8 things I am passionate about:

  • Family
  • Religion
  • Possession of the remote control
  • Staying home with my kids
  • How 80's fashion should not have come back
  • Good books
  • Good sex
  • Good food

8 books I’ve read and enjoyed:

  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • The Harry Potter series
  • The Book Thief
  • In Defense of Food
  • 1984
  • The Twilight series
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • Lost in a Good Book

8 words/phrases that I say often:

  • “Dude!”
  • “Whatever.”
  • “It's/He's/She's/They're making me crazy!”
  • “Sucka!"
  • “Pish posh!”
  • “Blast!”
  • “Do you concur?”
  • “It's possible, pig.”

8 things I want to do before I die:

  • Earn a black belt
  • Become fluent in another language
  • Earn a graduate degree
  • Visit other continents
  • Think of others more often than I think of myself
  • Finish all the needlecraft projects I have laying around my house
  • Serve a senior mission for my church
  • Write a novel

8 things I’ve learned in my life:

  • People are usually just shy and/or insecure, not snobby
  • Possession of the remote control is really important
  • Exercising my mind each day keeps me happy
  • Everyone really is so different that there's precious little use in judging
  • Don't try to change other people, just myself
  • Take time to nurture my friendships
  • ...And my marriage
  • Keeping the long term in mind helps me cherish the here and now

8 places I want to see:

  • The Rose Window in Notre Dame
  • Iguazu Falls in Brazil
  • The English Countryside
  • Alaska
  • Venice
  • The Pyramids of Giza/the Sphinx
  • China
  • India

8 things I currently want/need:

  • A RoulPat
  • New flooring throughout my entire house
  • The yarn and time to knit everything in my newest book
  • Some jeans that don't give me muffin top
  • A good pair of flats to wear everyday
  • A hair cut
  • A double stroller
  • More sleep

8 people I want to tag:

(if you want to)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Ace Sure Knows How to Celebrate!

Today is Ace's 4-month birthday. We just got home from a two-night stay at the hospital.

Should I start from the beginning?

Saturday morning, we found Ace had completely lost his voice. I thought he was just a bit hoarse as we had recently started sleep training, so he'd been doing some crying at night. But this was pretty bad. He sounded awful. He was acting pretty normally - smiling and rolling around on the carpet - but the sound of him trying to cry was horrible, so I tossed the sleep training. I figured a day or two and he'd be right as rain. While on the phone with my mother in the early evening, I held the phone to his face so she could hear him. She asked, "Is he breathing through his mouth?" "No, through his nose, his mouth is closed," I responded. Unfortunately for all of us, I failed to ponder the ramifications of that fact. Obviously (in retrospect), this wasn't a matter of sore vocal chords.

Dh got home from a motorcycle ride in time to watch the Olympics that night. After we watched Phelps win his (totally amazing) 8th gold medal, we decided Ace's breathing was quite bad. He had also started a cough that sounded like a barking seal (which we did not know the significance of). We called our HMO's advice nurse. When she heard Ace's breathing, she said we needed to take him to the ER immediately or call 911. That's when I sort of freaked out.

Off I went to the ER with Ace. Our country's anthem was playing and Phelps was on the medals stand on the tv when I hurried into the ER with my wheezing baby (it was about 11 pm). The nurse at the counter "heard him coming," - he was that loud - and took us straight back into a room (with a door!) and within a few minutes a respiratory technician was checking Ace out. The doctor was not far behind. Ace had croup. They were all surprised - apparently croup season doesn't start until late September here - but once they found out Miss E was just getting over a cold, the mystery was cleared up. Ace got a nebulizer treatment and some steroids in apple juice. I told him his big sister had to wait until she was about 18 months old to ever have juice, so he was quite "lucky."

Around 1 am, the doctor told me she wanted Ace to stay overnight for observation and more nebulizer treatments. The first treatment had helped a bit, but Ace was still breathing laboriously. We got into a room in Pediatrics around 3 am. We were both wasted by this point. Ace had got maybe fifteen minutes total sleep since 11 pm. He was so tired he fell asleep sitting up on my lap. I wrapped him up and laid him in the crib and tried to pay attention while a nurse told me about the room and their procedures for what felt like an eternity (but was probably only twenty minutes). I curled up on the bed and crashed.

For an hour, until someone came in to check on the baby. Poor Ace was so tired he didn't even wake. The rest of the night is a blur - I woke up at one point to find a different doctor checking on Ace. Someone hooked up a cold humidifier to blow onto Ace's face. I slept through a call from my husband at 7 am. I woke up to Ace moving around, fussing to be fed, around 8 am. Dh called shortly thereafter. I really wanted him to be there with me, as I was still pretty stressed (not to mention still exhausted), but what to do with Miss E? I remembered that EdgyK was just barely back from her vacation and was going to church in an hour. "Ask EdgyK to take her to church with them!" I told Dh. (Thank goodness she was back! This is when family nearby would have come in super handy. Note to self: start pressuring favorite relatives to move to Oregon.)

Dh was able to pawn our oldest off on EdgyK and joined me at the hospital. We slept when the baby slept. Ace was like a newborn - he'd wake up and nurse, then fuss very soon thereafter to go to sleep. We'd swaddle him and rock him, and he'd sleep for an hour and a half. We repeated this every two hours all day. He had a few more nebulizer treatments. By 2 pm, they decided to hold off on any more treatments to see if he continued to improve on his own. And they wanted Ace to stay a second night. I realized I was going to need a few more things from home. Dh left around 3:30 to pick up Miss E from EdgyK's (where she had happily played through her nap). He brought her to the hospital briefly so I could see her, and brought the things I needed. They left around 5:30. I tended to Ace and while he slept, I read The Other Boleyn Girl until the light from the window gave out around 8:30. In bored desperation, I downloaded a game to my cell phone. That entertained me for an hour until I could sleep.

Sleep was again erratic and interrupted, but oh well. It's a hospital. I woke at 8 am to see Ace's regular pediatrician listening to his breathing with a stethoscope. He said he wanted Ace to get one more dose of steroids and we were good to check out around noon. We're to go for a follow-up appointment on Wednesday.

So now we are back home, and so glad to be here. Ace celebrated being home by taking a nice 2.5-hour nap and I celebrated by taking a shower! Ace is smiling and laughing, despite the continued barking seal cough. His doctor said that may last for a week. He is breathing easily now, thank goodness. He is four months old today and weighs 17 lbs 10 oz. I love my big boy so much and am so glad he is doing better!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Which I Covet My Neighbor's Stroller

EdgyK is on vacation for a while. This means I am totally bored. Because let's be honest, I only have one friend. Lol

Anyway, she lent me her double jogging stroller and I love it. I've been using it tons. Monday I walked for an hour, Tuesday twenty-five minutes, today just shy of an hour. As long as the sun's not in his eyes, Ace just chills, sucking on his binky. Miss E alternates between chilling next to her little brother, reaching out to touch the local flora, and protesting if I dare to direct the stroller back towards our house. "I don't wanna go home! Wanna go walk!" Of course her wish is my command.

A couple of Christmases ago, my dad gave me an mp3 player already conveniently loaded with a lecture series on Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. (I come by my geekiness honestly, people.) I got a third through in early 2007 and then stalled. But I have discovered it's the perfect thing to listen to while walking around my town. Today I learned that astronauts aren't actually weightless in space, they are in constant freefall. It was so interesting! I really should have taken physics in college.

Anyway the point is, I am going to have such a hot little body that when EdgyK comes back, she is not even going to recognize me! So maybe I can pretend to be new in the neighborhood and thus hold onto this stroller a little longer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I pre-ordered Breaking Dawn from Am@zon. Apparently when you go for super-duper free shipping or whatever it's called, it means you have to wait until MONDAY to get your vampire love book. So I got it Monday, and I just finished it and I am happy. And can finally start getting some sleep again.*

Dh has been gone since Monday morning on a rafting trip for the teen boys in our church congregation. No cell phone reception in the back of beyond where they're at, so with no contact I find myself really missing him and his voice.

Which reminds me. Dh made a casual reference to something I said on this blog recently. As soon as I caught the reference, I frantically started a mental scroll through my recent posts to make sure I hadn't said anything too rude about him. I remembered the post in which I ranted about his slobbiness, but he was smiling, so I guess it didn't bug him. I had just assumed he didn't read this thing.

I had this terrifying dream last night that my m-i-l invited someone to live in MY house. And then my m-i-l morphed into my own mother, and seemed to also be living in my house. It was such a nightmare. I am firmly in the "Houseguests stink after three days" camp.

Ace has been waking up anywhere from 2-4 times a night. Twice, I can deal with. Three, meh. Four? H NO. I am too grouchy without decent sleep, so for his own sake he should really cut that out. I have these memories of Miss E sleeping like a dream, so I looked back in my journal** this evening - turns out I have major rose-colored glasses when I look into my past. She was getting up 2-4 times a night at this age too, and taking 1-hour naps during the day just as Ace is now. So I am just trying to chill and ride this out.

*Fantasy just doesn't work when you're being constantly interrupted by your little ones, so I read BD during naptime and after the kids were in bed. Which meant late nights.

**Yeah, I keep a journal and a blog. I can't really explain it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

You Are Megara!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Charming and witty. You are always the first person to come up with a wisecrack. Sure, you have an attitude, but that's why people love you. You keep them on their toes. Sometimes you can be misleading, but always end up doing the right thing for the people you love.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Ace blows bubbles like you wouldn't believe. Also drools profusely. We go through a lot of bibs now.

Our little thumb-sucker.

Miss E smiles sweetly before church.