Thursday, July 31, 2008

clothing


All my kids get this tshirt from Pokkadots.com. Seriously, though I got a sale email from them and their little boy tshirts are soooo darn cute! If only I had enough money to buy clothes somewhere other than target! Not that I haven't gotten some totally ruling clothes at Target. L and Z have matching red r2d2/c3po shirts...so cute. L had a yoda shirt too that I would give my right arm to have also found in Z's size....someday Z will be a 4T....someday very soon and that tshirt has his name written all over it!

Calling all nannies!

Last night our totally awesome and wonderfully laid back nanny gave us one week's notice. She is a teacher and was offered a job at one of the local middle schools starting on August 6th! I am off next week to take care of L starting school, but I am a little worried. We really liked our last nanny, and when she had to quit we were freaking out...but our current nanny was soooo much better for the kids especially L. She is just really laid back ( but not a push over). When L would misbehave, she would go into time out and her frog would drop to the bottom log. Our first nanny would have a total freak out if L misbehaved.
Anyway, so we are now looking for a new nanny who can start right away and is comfortable with an apnea monitor on Ben....good luck right! I am not going to hyperventilate.

Today is L's birthday...she is 5yo. Last night before she went to bed, she expressed to me her belief that when she woke up today she was going to be as big as a 5 year old. I remember having that thought when I was a kid....that when I woke up on my birthday, I would have grown overnight. It was funny. I am decorating a Wall-E cake after work today and hopefully will have it done by dinner time. I baked the cake last night so it is all ready to go. I bought several different colors of frosting that just need the little Wilton's decorating attachments put on...I am hopefull...and I am not going to hyperventilate.

So if anyone knows a good nanny in the birmingham area that is looking for a job.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gotcha day

OK....maybe I am a little emotional coming off of my estrogen high....today I was obsessing about Gotcha day. As some of you may know, next week is the one year anniversary of when we picked Zeb up in Bishkek. If we were to celebrate a gotcha day, I would celebrate it on August 6th, when Z really came home (in a figurative sense!). However, I am torn about the gotcha day thing....the idea as well as the name.
I thought maybe a family day would be better - but we plan on adopting again and I can't imagine that the family days will be on the same day. Then I thought well maybe we shouldn't have a gotcha day....after reading a blog by an adult adoptee who reminisced about how much she abhored her adoption day celebrations every year. Seriously though, having a day to celebrate adoption and talk about adoption - Z's story, culture, etc could be a very important way for him (and the other kids) to process any issues and become more self-aware about feelings toward adoption. That is my thinking, however, I am not an adoptee and I learned a long time ago that unless you have experienced something first hand you can't know what it is like.
How do I make August 6th about adoption, the entire family, Zeb, and Kyrgyzstan? Should the focus be Zeb? I googled gotcha day...I did...I will google anything. Lots of ideas about how to make the day special for Z. Will that make the other kids feel slighted - they only get a birthday. Of course they will never have to process the loss of a birth family, birth country/heritage etc. Somehow, making a paper crown for Z once a year doesn't seem like it will make up for that loss anyway. I am not trying to be glib. There is a lot of pain in adoption and I think I am trying to find a way to separate the happiness of Z becoming part of our family from the sadness of him needing to become part of a new family. The problem is I can't seem to separate it in my mind - maybe I have googled too much on adoption! Will it lessen his pain later if we are proactive about addressing the sadness of it from the get go. How to be solemn and happy at the same time....should we be solemn about the day or just happy?
So the question is...how do I frame August 6th?
Is your gotcha day celebration called something else?
What exactly are you celebrating and how are you celebrating it?
Do you address the loss of adoption at all on this day?
Am I just all hepped up on estrogen and caffeine and obsessing about something that is not an issue?
And....will I ever figure out what is wrong with my camera so I can post some pictures of whatever event takes place on August 6th?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Work

I started back to work today. Ben is doing good, except he had "loose connection" alarms going off all night. I kept waking up and retaping or pushing the leads back on instead of taking the 2 minutes to just replace them and I paid the sleepiness consequences today.

Z is so sweet with Ben - it was a little unexpected on my part. I think I was underestimating Z's maturity. I didn't think that at 20 months Z would be all that interested in his little brother. Boy was I wrong. Last night I was home alone with Z, L and Ben. L was chililn out watching tv, I was feeding Ben in the rocking chair in our living room and Z was running around crazy trying to eat as many wipees as he could get his hands on and he came over and starting gently rubbing Ben's head saying what was very close to the word baby. Which was great because Z is having some speech delayment issues - right now he only says mom, dad, ow, uh-oh and peekaboo...not the best vocabulary for an almost 2 year old! He was very interested in Ben and was very sweet. For all of his "i am now entering my terrible 2"- ness that he has been displaying lately...he was very, very sweet. Reminding me again what a good kid he is and how lucky we are.

Starting work again kind of sucked....I will be honest about it. I love my job, I really do....but it would have been nice to stay home for a few more weeks and get the house organized (right like that is really going to happen!), spend time getting L ready for school and her new room (that is all her own!) organized. Also, Keith is home this week and it would have been nice to spend some time with him. Oh well....at least I don't have any call scheduled for this month (yet!).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

still no pictures

We are frantically trying to move the rooms around in the house - right now they are about half moved and the entire house is in utter chaos....umm yeah chaos is the right word. I have had another opportunity to appreciate the sheer volume of stuffed animals in our possession right now....it is completely ridiculous.

In the midst of all of this chaos is poor little Ben who finally came home yesterday afternoon. He doesn't really seem so small to us anymore because we are used to seeing a 4 pound baby....but man is he small. He has an apnea monitor that weighs about 3 times more than he does. He hasn't had any real problems with apnea since he has been home....but his heart rate does frequently go lower than 80 so that goes off. It beeps super loud usually about 3 or 4 times and probably scares the heebeejeebees out of Ben which increases his heartrate...problem solved.

While we are trying to get the room situation sorted out - Ben is sleeping in a super cute bassinet in our room. I also indulged in a new pack and play so the old one could go to our nanny's house and be used as a little bassinet. There are of course things I forgot...like a place to actually put his clothes and blankets...right now I am using a Similac paper bag (that is like a gift bag). I know there was some talk about all of the free stuff you get from formula companies....dude all I got was an 8 pack of 60ml's of similac advance which is already gone on home day #2...and a little black diaper bag that is too small to really use if you have 2 in diapers or if you aren't breastfeeding - ironic that it is from a formula company. I also got 2 boxes of pampers wipees and about 12 diapers. The little preemie diapers are soooo small and they are still too big for Ben.

Seriously it is sooo nice to have him home...I know that is an obvious statement - but it was so hard to get to the hospital to see him and then to have 3 other kids to manage and still be able to get in to see him and breastfeed him was a challenge and we really only had to do that for 3 days after my mom left. I can't imagine how frustrating it would have been if we had been on our own the whole 20 days. Being home with so many kids has it's own set of difficulties - mostly just with Zeb because when I am feeding ben it is hard to jump up grab his monitor and book it across the room to prevent hurrican Zeb from jumping off of the couch (which he can climb in record time!)

L and O are always fighting over who has gotten to hold his little hands the most. It is funny. L wants to share everything with him. I think it is kind of a denoument for the new little brother to be a real baby who can't really do much. L's last new little brother was older, of course, and could interact and play a lot more than Ben can.

I am heading back to work on Monday for one week while Keith takes next week off and then I will be home the following week to watch Ben and to get L ready for her first day of kindergarten which is Aug 7th. I am really looking forward to spending some time shopping with L. I feel like I haven't seen her all summer! Her real birthday is on July 31st and I promised her I would make her this crazy princess cake...so I somehow have to squeeze that in....thank goodness for cake decorating frosting premade in the bag.

Must go make some delicious hamburger helper!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Birthday party

I wanted to post some pictures of the L's birthday party - but my stupid camera won't download pictures right now. I just don't have the time to mess with it now though! L came home on Saturday - yeah. She was gone for 5 weeks...a long and eventfull 5 weeks. This is the second summer in a row she has come home from her dad's with a new little brother! We stopped by the NICU on Saturday so she could meet Ben. He was still in the isolet so she couldn't touch him...but she loved his little baby fingers. She kept saying...he is soooo small look at his cute little baby fingers. When I breastfed him she kept saying "he is sooo cute when he breastfeeds". How funny is that?

On Sunday, we had L's birthday party at the McWane Science Center - which is a superfun interactive science center for kids. We are members and the kids love to go there - a lot. O had his birthday there this year and L was soooo excited to have one there too. They brought in animals for the kids to pet and learn about. A tortoise, a turtle, a gecko, and a chinchilla. I think the chinchilla was the biggest hit. Incidently, Keith used to have a pet chinchilla and I think whenever we bring up the possibility of pets entering our house he secretly hopes there is a chinchilla involved! L had a great time, but her dad brought her home sick so she was asleep on my lap 2 1/2 hours into the party. They do an hour of program and cake/presents and then all the kids run around the science center and play....the running around and playing wiped her out!

Also on Sunday, Ben went into a little crib and he has managed to keep his temperature up ...so he is still in the little crib. Unfortunately, he has been having more episodes of apnea and bradycardia so they restared him on the caffeine citrate yesterday. However, since he is doing good with eating (he is at discharge goal for intake....yeah) and with his temperature - they are going to discharge him on the caffeine with an apnea monitor for us to use at home. So he may be coming home 72 hours from yesterday when they restarted the caffeine. Keith and I have to go to apnea monitor training and our insurance has to approve the apnea monitor. Of course, there are no guarantees when he is coming home until he is home (boy that sounds familiar!) I have to admit - last night I went in to feed him after they started him on the caffeine and he ate better and was very alert - more than the previous days. Let's face it .... we are just a caffeine-loving family.

A couple of months ago I tried to use our flex spending health care credit card at Starbucks because it looks kind of like one of my debit cards....I couldn't figure out for like a day why my debit card didn't work. Needless to say - Ben might be the first member of our family to actually be able to use the flex spending card at Starbucks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

the bright side....

OK since I was a big whiny baby, today while visiting Ben....Keith and I decided to list some of the positive things that have come out of our NICU experience.

1. Z was born at 32 weeks and spent time in the NICU - so although his birth weight was higher than Ben's we can appreciate his experience. Although, he didn't have anyone to visit him!
2. K and I have seen soooo much of each other in the last 2 weeks. We have probably spent more time together sitting in the car and sitting in the NICU together than we have spent together ever....except maybe for our trip to Bishkek. It has been really nice.

3. We have really been reminded that we need to slow down our lives and just enjoy each other's company as well as enjoy down time with our family. It gets so easy to get wrapped up in work (especially me!) and to get wrapped up in moonlighting to raise extra money. It is really easy for Keith to overschedule his time (I know you are reading this and you know it is true!!!) This whole NICU has reminded me that we have to prioritize down time no matter how hard it may be for us to actually do!

So from here on out...I will remind myself to prioritize my down time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boy am I a whiney baby!

My last post seemed sooooo whiney. I am not really trying to complain. I feel very lucky and those little things that I am moaning about are really just tiny little things. I really do feel lucky to have all that I have. Just in case anyone thought I didn't appreciate my life....I really do!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who's worn out?




I am literally spending 4 hours a day in a stupid car driving to the hospital to see ben and I am worn out! We were hoping he would be coming home this weekend, but he is still not self-regulating his temperature and is in the baby condo and not a little crib. So .... we just keep on waiting. Our health insurance is 90/10 without a cap...so we pay 10% or everything and each day in the NICU is $7500 not including any therapy, tests or special charges. So our cheap baby is quickly becoming an expensive baby and it just adds a whole new level of frustration to the mix! I have plans for our savings and this wasn't it! But you gotta go with the flow right?! I will just wear myself if I get angry about it. I think it is AA that has the mantra about changing the things you can change and letting go of the things you can't change and being wise enough to know the difference between the two.

Yesterday was when we found out about the ever growing bill - which upset me because we had just rented my house and really started to save money for our next adoption, we just got our huge tax credit refund back and things were looking really good and bam...everything will be gone again...so what do all couples do when there is financial problems....a parking lot disagreement...that's right! So then I went to see Ben and was already upset so he immediately spit up all over me and that was it - After 10 days I finally lost it. I sat in the NICU and cried for an hour holding my 4lb 4oz spit up covered baby. It was very pathetic. In my defense, however, I was really, really tired. Ben eats at like 930pm so we don't get home until about 11pm and then there is always stuff that has to be done around the house so I get to bed at 1am and then I'm up at 730 to take Zeb to school or the nanny's and just go all day.


So I am worn out, frustrated and poor! Oh the fun...but I am already back in my prepregnancy clothes....that is something!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Am I coming or going?



Zeb is driving us to the hospital! He loves pretending like he is driving...so many buttons so little time!
Ben is doing so good! He is off the caffeine day 2 today without any episodes of apnea....if he keeps up the good breathing he could come home next friday. He is also eating pretty good...he is breastfeeding once a day and mostly bottle feeding every 3 hours (19mls...which is such a small amount!) He did have some OG feeds last night because the nurse thought he was too pooped out to suck. He has to be here 7 days no matter what so it doesn't really bother me if a couple of times they put down the feeding tube to give him a break. I just want him to gain enough weight that he can breastfeed more than once a day!
We live about 45 mins to an hour from the hospital so I feel like I spend the whole day in the car and don't get anything else done but my 3 visits to the hospital. I have a yearly in training standardized exam to take on Saturday that I am trying to study for a little bit in between visiting hours....as you can imagine my time mangement is not going so well. I feel like I have a million things to do, nothing is organized and I can't seem to get anything done....it is great. At least I am not trying to do all of this stuff and work at the same time! After my test on Saturday the next thing on my list is to finish Z's post placement worksheet ...actually I have written out the answers i just have to type it up and send it to the translator. I need to print a couple of pictures as well. I will probably do that on Sat night.
I am rambling on when I should be studying about local anesthetics and airway management!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pictures to catch up!



Ok so this picture Keith really wanted me to post even though it is silly....This is me saying..."I am fine - we don't have to go the hospital".
i like the second picture - it is my boys eating breakfast this morning. Z is doing so good feeding himself. He almost never throws any of his food....basically because that means he wouldn't get to eat it and if there is one thing Z loved to do it is eat.

Ben



He looked good right after he was born....now he has the little cpap on. They were thinking about trying him off of it this morning becuase he is oxygenating good ...but evidently he is having a little problem with remembering to breathe so they are keeping it on to stimulate his respiratory drive. I am not really all that familiar with medicine in the NICU....I swear children are like entirely different animals than adults when it comes to medicine...seriously.
Anyway, they are going to get an ultrasound of his brain to make sure there was no bleeding, and they may start him on caffeine to stimulate his respiratory drive. The pros and cons of that are....it doesn't seem like it would matter if I drink my 2 pump mocha while I am pumping breast milk...hurrah! The con is that he has to be off of it for 7 days before he can come home...so that will lengthen his stay here. Oh well. So the sense I get is that he has switched one problem for another and is basically the same as yesterday.
Z has been quite a handfull at the hospital. We didn't have anyone to watch him last night so we packed up the pack and play and set it up in the little sitting area in our suite and he just howled and cried and all around a huge pain last night. I think he could tell we were a little stressed out and the new environment was probably not that soothing....although the suites over here are very nice. Our totally awesome and nice nanny (whose husband is a pediatrics resident) is going to take Z for a couple of hours this afternoon so that Keith and I can actually visit Ben at the same time. That will be nice. My mom is coming into town on Tuesday to help so we can start doing the important things...like moving rooms around and buying all of the nursery stuff we totally don't have....of course and visiting Ben. Keith very optimistically bought some preemie diapers and preemie onesie at the store when he left to get Z yesterday afternoon. I am just not even going to try to plan on when he might come home....that way it will be a pleasant surprise when the nicu dr brings up discharge planning.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Picture month

I love Tina's idea of picture month...so I was going to post 4 pictures on the july 4th to catch up and then post a picture a day....however....I was sidetracked.

I went into labor Friday and all the miracles of modern pharmacology were unable to stop it....so at 854 this morning Benjamin Xavier made his debut at 33 weeks old and 4lbs 8oz. Even though he was small he did really good at delivery....apgars 8 and 9. However, that changed when he went to the NICU and he is having some respiratory problems that will keep him in the NICU an estimated 10-14 days if all goes well.

I am feeling a little bit guilty since I had been complaining about how miserable-y fat and uncomfortable I was. I even talked a lot about going into labor a little early....however, I didn't expect my gravid uterus to evict my little boy 7 weeks early.

I am now trying to take the rest of July off....if any of you readers are familiar with the graduate resident training calendar...July is the absolute worst time in the world to take time off. Especially at my program because the entire entering class doesn't take any call this month (leaving quite a load for the rest of us). So my tempermental uterus has not only hosed my poor son, but it has hosed then entire anesthesia department at UAB....go big or go home right?!

I will post some pictures as soon as my man gets back with Z and the camera cable. We don't have anyone to watch Z while at the hospital....so we are all rooming in with the pack and play and unlimited graham crackers!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power