Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Catch Up

Somehow, I only just published a post on Disney World I wrote in December. In related news, I don't think I remember anything else about that trip, so we'll see if there are any other Disney posts. I've been terribly blog delinquent and haven't written since December. But I just realized there's a blogger app for iPhone (which I'm using now), so hopefully that will get me back in the blogging world, albeit probably with typos. 

The boys have made so many advances since December; I need to go back and read previous posts so I can update y'all fully. Off the top of my head, the biggest thing is probably that James says "truck" or "dump truck" to describe anything with wheels, and he says "oh dear" whenever he's unhappy. Bobby doesn't talk, but they certainly babble at each other and understand what each other are saying. 

I leave you with a cute pic or two:
James enjoying salsa and chips

Bobby passed out on the floor after deciding to start his day at 4am

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Disney World!

Way back at the beginning of November, we took the boys for their first trip to Disney World.  Peter's family has gone every year to Disney World since he was pretty small - maybe two or three years old, so it's become something of a tradition.  They're members of the Disney Vacation Club, which basically gives the member points to use against hotel rooms during each year, so we only had to worry about our flights and costs once we got there, which was nice.

The boys did pretty well on the flight; they slept most of the way there.  Once we got there and picked up our luggage, we headed for Enterprise rental car.  That was an absolute mess.  It took forever to get our car, and then once we got everyone settled and ready to go, there were no keys.  Nobody knew where they were.  So we had to find another car and get everything transferred.  The car they tried to give us was a no-go, because the boys' seats wouldn't fit in it properly.  Finally, we got a small Volvo crossover/SUV type thing, so I think we really ended up ahead in the deal, since we got a premium car, but it took over an hour to get the whole thing settled.

We finally arrived and got settled in at the hotel - we stayed at the Kidani Villages (the Disney Vacation Club property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge).  It was wonderful for the boys - they could see animals from the balcony, which they thought was awesome!  We all stayed in a three-bedroom grand villa.  Initially, Peter and the boys and I were in a separate room, but somehow the booking got mixed up and they had us in a studio rather than a one-bedroom.  That meant that everything was in one room, so there would be no place for us to go after the boys were asleep, not to mention that there really wasn't room for two pack and plays.  But we switched into the grand villa where everyone else was staying, and there was plenty of room - plus we got to bank the points that would have been used on that extra room!  Generally there are enough points in a year for the family trip, plus one kid (they alternate between Peter and each of his sisters) to take a long weekend.  So there are some years we've been to Disney twice in one year, and his sister has been even more times than that - she loves Disney!

We had lunch in the room (very late - I think it was probably 3:30 or 4 by the time we got to eat) and then room service for dinner that night with Peter's mom, his sister, and her husband.  Peter's other sister arrived late that night, and her boyfriend arrived a few days later (he had to work).  The first night was hard; the boys were up off and on all night.  I think they both ended up sleeping in the (thankfully) king-size bed with us.  I think the combination of a new place, seeing more people for the first time in awhile, plus the noise whenever they rolled over in the pack and plays (there were sheets, but you could still hear a plastic-y noise) just kept the poor little guys awake.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I realize that I haven't posted in a month and a half; things have been a little crazy at our house.  After we got back from Disney World (which I hope to write about later), one of us was sick after the other, and in any spare moments I've been trying to get the boys' playroom done so that they have a place of their own to play, rather than in the middle of the living room.  All that, plus holiday prep, means things like blogging have fallen to the end of the list.  Now, though, I'm sitting in a doctor's waiting room undergoing fructose sensitivity testing.  Basically, I've had to drink a really awful, sweet solution and they then have me breathe into a machine every 30 minutes for 2 hours to see if I have a fructose sensitivity.  Fun times, let me tell you.  But since I'm a captive audience, I thought I'd get back on the blogging train.  Before I start back with general blogging though, I wanted to say a few words about the Newtown tragedy (or as many as I can before I start sobbing in front of all these people).

I honestly don't know what to say.  Every time I think about those babies with their lives cut short, I'm heartbroken.  How do you write an obituary for a six- or seven-year-old?  And then how do you write nineteen more?  The funerals and services begin today, and my heart aches for the parents and families and friends.  The other night, I was up with James in the middle of the night for over an hour trying to get him back to sleep.  I was annoyed and tired, but then I thought, you know, there are twenty families who would give anything to be awake with their babies.  Anything for a crying child in the middle of the night.  Twenty families who may be awake, because they are so overcome with grief that they can't sleep.  And then the countless other families who are awake with children who can't sleep because they're terrified, terrified because they saw or heard their friends and teachers get gunned down in a place that was supposed to be a safe haven.  I don't know what the answer is.  I know that it is important that we have this conversation now.  Don't put it off, and say it's too soon.  Soon it will be too late.  I've seen people commenting that it isn't all about guns; it's about access to mental health care, too.  This is certainly true; we need to have quality mental health care available to anyone who needs it.  But I think people jump to guns because there's no way we can ever help all the people who need mental health care.  There's no way to track everyone down, and no real way to force those who need help to take it if they don't want it.  And because of that, I think people look to something that can be legislated, and that's gun control.  Living in Texas, I don't know that banning handguns would work.  I know that several countries have done that, but I wonder what their rate of gun ownership was beforehand.  As I said, I don't know what the answer is.  There probably isn't one single answer.  But we have to do something.  No parent should ever have to bury her child.  No child should ever see his best friend gunned down, or hear his favorite teacher die defending his life.  This has to stop.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Birthday WellCheck and the Horrors of Milk

The boys had their one-year well-check the Monday after their birthday.  Their pediatrician said they looked good and were doing really well.  They had to get four shots, which they were not too keen on, but they did ok.  Unfortunately, the pediatrician didn't give me the usual printouts with all their measurements and percentiles, so these are approximated from looking at their charts online (our pediatrician uses MyChart, which lets the parents look at the records online) and plugging numbers into an online calculator, which I don't know if I believe:

Height: 30 inches (51st percentile)
Weight: 23 pounds (49th percentile)
Head Circumference: 19.1 inches (93rd percentile)

Height: 29.5 inches (34th percentile)
Weight: 20 pounds 2 ounces (11th percentile)
Head Circumference: 18.25 inches (45th percentile)

We also got the ok to switch the boys from formula to whole milk, cold turkey.  I was so thrilled to not have to deal with formula!  We took the boys to Trader Joe's and picked up some organic whole milk.  I've gotta say, I was really disappointed with the new (to Houston) Trader Joe's.  After having routinely shopped there in Chicago, I felt like this one was tiny and didn't have the same variety of stuff that the ones in Chicago did.

Anyway, we made the milk switch on Monday, and on Friday, I noticed that James was really straining to poop, and the poor little guy was crying because he hurt.  I called the doctor, and the nurse I talked to said that they wanted his belly to be x-rayed in case of obstruction (this was after giving him a suppository, which did nothing).  The nurse insisted that it couldn't possibly be the milk, even though I was certain it was.  She even told me to keep giving him milk.  Yeah, I don't think so.  Of course, by now it was after hours, and they don't have an x-ray tech after hours even though they have appointments, so they made me go to Texas Children's ER.  I called mom and asked her to meet me with a sandwich, because I hadn't eaten dinner.  We got there about 7 pm and left at 3.  IN THE MORNING.  It was awful.   They gave him multiple suppositories - all he did was push them out.  X-rays showed no obstruction, thankfully; he was just all backed up.  They finally gave him some miralax and told me to bring him back that night if he still hadn't pooped.  Thank God, he pooped later that day while I tried to grab a nap.  We took the ER doctor's advice and switched both boys to soy milk - there's really no way to give one something and not the other.  

Needless to say, that weekend was awful.  James's sleep schedule was all off, neither of them were too keen on soy - it was just a mess.  When I called the pediatrician on Monday to report in and get his opinion, his nurse relayed that he needed the fat and calories from whole cow's milk and needed to be on it, so just give him miralax every day.  What?  Are you kidding me?  Medicate my child every day with something you aren't even supposed to give babies?  I don't think so.  That's the one time I have ever really disagreed with him.  So, after talking to my friend about how she had switched her 2-year-old over, we set up a slow change - first four days of six ounces of formula with 2 of milk, then four and four, finally two and six, and then all milk.  Right now we're about to finish with four and four, and (fingers crossed), all seems to be going well.  I think James's system just needed time to adjust.  

Finally, a couple pictures in exchange for listening to me talk about poop! =)

James meets Buddy (mom and dad's new dog)

James sharing his toys with Buddy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy birthday, boys!

With fingers crossed that James was all better and that Bobby wouldn't now get sick, we celebrated the boys' first birthday as planned on Saturday, the 20th.  In a bit of background, let me say that I have never been hugely into birthdays.  They're fun, but my family was never one to make a massive deal out of anyone's birthday (nor do I think you should), and I lately have felt like if I start to build up a birthday in my mind, I get really disappointed.  That said, Peter encouraged me to go all out for the boys' first birthday, and I found myself thinking, this will be different.  Right.  I planned on a food truck (the food truck phenomenon is sweeping Houston, and they're so much fun for a party - they come, feed you, provide something to talk about, and take all the trash with them.  What could be better?)  Well, the truck I really wanted was booked for a private event already, and the other I talked to wouldn't head out to our suburb for an event of less than 100 people.  For a first birthday?  I don't think so.  But I absolutely refused to cook, so I had Central Market do some trays, and they were quite good, I must admit.  Moeller's bakery did the cookies (for party favors), the big cake decorated like a zoo, and the smash cakes for the boys.  Another minor screwup - the cookies were supposed to be dinosaurs, but as you can see below, they're pumpkins.  At least the boys were little - it made no difference to them!  No one from Peter's side of the family was able to come; I felt really bad for him, but he didn't seem too upset about it.  So we ended up having a much smaller event than originally planned with my parents, sister, grandmother, and some friends.  I think the boys had a blast, though, and all four of us took a three-hour nap afterward!

James is ready to party!

My dad with James (left) and Bobby

The boys meet my friend's two-year-old for the first time - they thought he was awesome!

Happy 1st Birthday Bobby and James!

I couldn't believe Bobby let me put on his hat

Bobby loves his hat!

Not really sure what this whole cake thing is about


Happy birthday, Bobby!


Saturday, November 3, 2012


Wow, I'm about two weeks behind in posting.  A bit more than that, actually.  I figure I've got to catch up to real time before we go on vacation to Disney World - or at least that's my goal.  So here's a post about James that's been rattling around in my head:

The week before their birthday (of course), James started running a fever of 103.8 on Monday.  He was very lethargic (quite unlike him) and just obviously didn't feel good.  We took him in to an "after-hours" (read: after 5 pm and 10 bucks more expensive) appointment.  Of course, our normal pediatrician was out of the office, so we saw another doc.  He gave him some advil, informed me that he had a virus, and sent us on our merry way.  I wasn't thrilled - my friend who sees the same doctor we do told me this other doctor (who was actually Peter's pediatrician) has a "been there, done that, seen it all" attitude.  So while his diagnosis may be right, he is not reassuring and doesn't really give you any tips as to how to manage symptoms while you get through the virus.  

The next day, we were over at my mom's, and James had been passed out in her lap for quite some time, when she told me he was feeling super hot.  We took his temperature, and it was 105.2.  I was terrified.  We called the pediatrician, and of course our doctor still wasn't there, but they told us to bring him in and he would see another pediatrician.  Well, after I did some very stern talking (no actual yelling, mind you), because we were stuck in the waiting room with a severely ill child for nearly an hour, we got back to see the doctor, who was really nice.  Unfortunately, at this point, James started crying/screaming uncontrollably, interspersed with bouts of just passing out.  When she examined him, it seemed like he was in a lot of abdominal pain.  She said she was afraid of intussusception.  Basically this means that the intestines have telescoped into each other, and it can cause huge problems - it happens to a lot of preemies, and I had read about it when I was having such early contractions and put on bed rest.  So of course, at this point I was terrified, although trying to be as calm as possible.  She called Texas Children's Hospital and told them she was sending us for an abdominal ultrasound.  As we headed over there, mom texted my sister that she needed to come pick up Bobby.  She met us at the hospital and took Bobby in his carseat, put him in her car, and drove him to our house, where Peter met her and took Bobby.  In the meantime, mom and I took James to wait for his ultrasound - after 5, there's only one tech, so it took a while.  He did really well for the ultrasound - he screamed for a little bit (the exam took forever), but he then was so tired and sick he just passed out.  We got word that the ultrasound was normal (thank God), and that we could either take him to the ER if he was still screaming, or take him home.  After taking one look at the line for the ER (it was now about 7:30 pm and the ER was packed), we headed home.  When I checked his temp before bed, it was down around 100 - the ultrasound gel all over his belly really cooled him down.

The next day (not to sound repetitive), we were able to take him to see his normal pediatrician, whom I adore.  He catheterized him to take a urine sample, just to rule out a UTI, but told us that since his fever was decreasing, it was probably just a really awful virus.  We could alternate doses of advil and tylenol every 3 to 4 hours to keep the fever down.  The next morning, his fever was gone, and he was covered in spots.  The pediatrician called me to check on him (and to tell us the urine was clean) and told me that the rash was a great sign - it was confirmation that he had roseola, a virus.  Basically, there was no way to confirm that that's what it was until the rash appeared (which it always does at the very end), and of course nobody wanted to take a fever that high lightly - it could have been any number of other things.  I was so relieved.  By the end of the day Friday, Jamesie was feeling much better.  We were able to have their first birthday party on Saturday as planned, and celebrate their actual birthday Sunday....  that's my next post!

James (feeling much better) climbing around in a cabinet I was clearing out in the kitchen

Friday, November 2, 2012

Various and Sundry

I'm feeling very tired.  Tired and stressed.  Part of it is the monster sinus infection I have.  I had one when we got back from Seaside (that was great fun, by the way, having a sinus headache that left me in tears in the middle of the night in rural Florida.  Peter had to go to a gas station because that was all that was open and get me tiny packets of Advil and Mucinex, which I took double doses of so that I could at least sleep.  Good times.), and my doctor gave me a z-pack.  Long story short, that didn't work, so I went to see my ENT at the beginning of this week (although it feels like a lot longer ago).  He put me on a monster antibiotic (my mom informed me she didn't know it came in that strength) and steroids, and informed me that if this doesn't fix it, I have to have surgery.  Great.  That's what I like to hear.  So I feel tired and rundown, and I feel like everything that can go wrong in some way likes to at least try to go wrong, even if I rein it back in before it goes too terribly wrong....  Does that make sense?  But then I think that I could be living in the northeast and enduring the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with no power and two toddlers, so things could be much, much worse, and I'm grateful.  Right now I just feel like things are a little hard, and I would like a little bit of a break, thank you.  But I don't think moms really get to take a break.

On the upside, my parents have a new dog.  This pug turned up at their place out in the country several months ago, and my dad kept thinking that he would continue on his merry way, but he never did.  Mom finally convinced Daddy that he needed to bring the dog in, since he clearly wasn't going anywhere.  This dog clearly belonged to someone - he is clean, healthy, and sits on command, but they haven't been able to find his owner.  Mom thinks maybe somebody couldn't take care of him anymore and dropped him by the side of the road, and he made his way to their property.  Daddy's been calling him PD (for Porch Dog, because he liked to hang out on the porch), but we have to rename him.  PD sounds like Petey, and then everyone gets confused as to whether we're talking about the dog or my husband.  Slight difference.  I proposed Jeeves.  He's a cutie pie, don't you think?

He likes to lie in "super doggy" position.  Apologies for the weird glare at the edge.  And my foot at the bottom.  Cell phone pics are clearly my strength.