Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Day

Things settled down a bit today. C.B. is still feverish, but there has been no more vomiting at the zoo. He is eating and drinking and starting to act more like himself. He even beat me at Candyland a little while ago. The bummer of it is that we missed out on two play dates and preschool today. Except for school, however, the activities have been rescheduled.

Mr. H was awake for a good part of the early morning, but he has been sleeping most of the afternoon so far. It is a treat to see his blue eyes open and checking out his surroundings. He looks much different with his eyes open than when they are closed.

The Banana has been pretty cooperative today, for a two-and-a-half year old. She has only been in “Time Out” once today. She is currently treating me to a long nap. Aaahh! When the big kids get home I think we’re going to have to go for a long walk to enjoy this weather. If you live in St. Louis…go outside. It’s gorgeous!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today (So Far)

7:15 Kissed my school-aged kids goodbye. Got the Banana out of bed, fixed her a bowl of cereal and sat down to feed the baby.

7:30 Miss M called from school. She forgot her glasses and was worried about how she’d make it through the day without them. I told her I would have to see how things went this morning before I knew whether or not I could load everyone in the car to bring her the glasses.

8:00 The guy to patch the drywall by our new non-leaking skylight arrived. There have been a variety of guys in and out of our house for over a week while the skylights were being replaced. Today was the drywall repair specialist.

8:30 C.B. finally woke up and came downstairs. I decided to get everyone ready to drop off the glasses at school. I put together the Spring picture orders and wrote a quick than-you note to a school mom to drop off while I was there as well. I felt so efficient! I also decided that we should run an errand or two and maybe even visit grandma while we were out. I mean, it’s such an ordeal to get everyone ready and into the car that we might as well make the most of it.

8:45 While everyone was getting dressed, the man to spray the outside of our house for bugs showed up. I had forgotten all about him. Good thing we were still home when he arrived!

9:30 We were finally ready to load up into the car.

9:45 Dropped off a dish from a friend who made us dinner last week.

9:55 Arrived at school where the secretary, principal and other moms did some ooh-ing and aah-ing over the baby.

10:05 Put a large stack of baby announcements in the mail

10:10 Recycled our plastic grocery bags

10:20 Arrived at grandma and grandpas house. By this time C.B. looked exhausted, which was strange since he had only recently gotten up, the little sleepyhead. I felt his forehead, which prompted me to take his temperature. It turned out that he had a fever. He promptly fell asleep on grandma’s couch. The Banana sat at the counter and ate Goldfish crackers for about 20 minutes.

After running around outside for a short time, the Banana came in to announce that she was poopy. I changed her diaper and decided to change Mr. H while I was in a groove. He was also poopy.

11:00 Since it had been over three hours since he last ate, I fed Mr. H. Unfortunately he fell asleep right away so he didn’t get much in him.

Being the cool kid that he is, Mr. H can poop in his sleep. And, boy, did he! So I changed another poopy diaper and decided that it was time to get the Banana home for some lunch and a nap.

11:30 We got everyone loaded up again to go back home. C.B. looked terrible. I told him to hang in there and we’d get him some medicine at home and he could curl up on the couch.

11:45 Mr. H was wide awake by the time we got home and was still hungry. I really wanted to get the Banana her lunch so she could get off to bed. We walked in the door and I gave C.B. some Tylenol. He had a look in his eye that told me to get him to the bathroom. We just made it in time for him to throw up in the toilet. Meanwhile, Mr. H is crying in his car seat and the Banana brings me some Go-Gurt into the bathroom to open for her.

12:00 I was able to get C.B. settled on the couch, I made the Banana a sandwich and sat down to nurse the baby when…

12:15 The doorbell rang. I thought it might be the drywall guy because he had some more work to finish up. But it turned out it was a tree trimmer who thought our tree needed some help. I politely declined.

12:30 Got Banana to bed, and finished feeding the baby…finally.

1:00 Having a nice quiet lunch all by myself while everyone else in the house snoozes peacefully. I need to enjoy this while it lasts!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Few More Pix

I'm adding a few more pictures of Mr. H, mostly because there's nothing I'd rather see when I open up Internet Explorer right now.

He's doing well, and has not set off any alarms on his monitor. As you can see, he's quite comfortable just hanging out here at the Reddy Zoo.

He sleeps a lot.

But every now and then he lets us see his gray-blue eyes.
And he's got us all wrapped around his little finger.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Isn't it Romantic?

ro•mance (rō mans′, rō′mans′)

1. a long medieval narrative in verse or prose, orig. written in one of the Romance dialects, about the adventures of knights and other chivalric heroes

2. a fictitious tale of wonderful and extraordinary events, characterized by a nonrealistic and idealizing use of the imagination

3. a type of novel in which the emphasis is on love, adventure, etc.

4. the type of literature comprising such stories

5. excitement, love, and adventure of the kind found in such literature; romantic quality or spirit

6. the tendency to derive great pleasure from romantic adventures; romantic sentiment

7. an exaggeration or fabrication that has no real substance

8. a love affair

9. MUSIC a short, lyrical, usually sentimental piece, suggesting a love song


Lately I have been thinking about the true meaning of romance. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of what is traditionally believed to be romance in my life since the baby was born. For example, I spent nearly a week in the hospital while my husband spent the nights at home with our other kids. In addition, he picked up some kind of horrible infection the day before the baby and I came home. The doctor told him to try to stay away from all of us for a while. It has taken him almost a week to feel better. Is any of this sounding romantic at all so far? I didn't think so.

I started wondering how this lack of “romance” might affect my relationship with my husband. And then I realized that things have been far more romantic than I thought. I realized that romance has surfaced in our lives in more unconventional ways. And I think that I have come up with my own definitions for romance that don’t necessarily encompass what the dictionary states in the entries above.

ro•mance (rō mans′, rō′mans′)

1. When your husband leaves his wife and infant son at the hospital to take care of his older kids at home, when he would much rather stay and gaze on the new baby’s perfect little face.

2. When your husband tries his best to calm your nerves when you call him at 5:30 am after the doctor informs you that your new baby needs to stay a couple of days in the Special Care Nursery at the hospital. And after said phone call he secures child care for the older kids to be with you and the baby for the next 24+ hours.

3. When you can see the pain in your husbands eyes at the thought of not being able to hold his new son because of a severely contagious infection he has acquired. This is on top of the physical pain he is experiencing with his illness.

4. When you look at your new baby and see the living reminder of a husband and wife’s love for one another, regardless of how “romantic” your relationship has recently been.

I don’t think these definitions will make into the dictionary anytime soon. But that doesn’t make them any less true or significant. So, in case you were wondering, Honey...whether you know it or not, you have been sweeping me off my feet these last couple of weeks. You romantic devil, you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finally Home

It took nearly a week, but we finally made it home with our new baby boy. Since we’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, we’ll just call him Mr. H.

It turns out that Mr. H has a mild case of reflux, but it was enough to cause a bit of a scare while we were still in the hospital. Apparently he had an episode where his oxygen level dropped and he began to turn blue. He was given oxygen and was fine, but not fine enough to send home. He was admitted to the Special Care Nursery on the day we were supposed to leave the hospital. There he was hooked up to wires and monitors to observe his heart rate, respiratory rate and his oxygen level.

It was difficult for us parents because we could no longer have our little guy to ourselves; we had to go visit him. I was still able to nurse him, but instead of him hanging out with me in my room, they called me whenever he got hungry. I was no longer a patient at the hospital, but I was allowed to stay in my room because the Mother/Baby unit was mercifully slow.

We were hoping to have only one extra overnight for them to observe Mr. H, but after another oxygen drop, they ordered an Upper GI scan for him. After they gave him some delicious looking barium to drink, my husband and I watched the on a monitor as the liquid traveled through his digestive system. It was kind of interesting to see his tiny little tummy being highlighted on the screen as it filled with the chalky goo he had just ingested. We were told afterwards that he has slight to moderate reflux, and that it is very common and easily treated. He was prescribed Zantac twice a day, which is kind of funny because I took Zantac twice a day when Mr. H was in the belly. We were hoping that he’d get the new medicine and we’d be going home that afternoon. But it turned out that they wanted to monitor his progress for another 24 hours on the Zantac. In addition, they ordered a home monitor for us to use when we brought Mr. H home and we were also signed up for Infant CPR class.

While none of this was bad news necessarily, it was just another bump in the road to getting back to our “new normal” at home. Two additional nights in the hospital meant more time off of work than my husband was anticipating. It also meant more work for grandparents, aunts and other awesome folks helping out with our four kids at home during this unexpected bonus time at the hospital. The CPR class was scheduled for the same night as the kids’ Spring Concert at school. Grandparents Day at school was today so we needed to enlist extra help so that all grandparents would be available to attend. It was things like this that added to the frustration of the situation and turned me into an emotional wreck. I had read that it is common for women who have just given birth to become more emotional for a time afterwards, but this was getting ridiculous. Thank goodness that hospitals usually keep boxes of tissues around every corner.

One more night in the Special Care Unit, a morning of training on the use of a home monitor and a test to make sure Mr. H would make it home without an episode in his car seat and we were leaving the hospital, almost a whole week after we arrived.

It feels so good to be home!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's a boy!

8lbs 7oz, 21 inches

Smiling already!

"I knew we should have named him Elvis!" - Dad

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Almost Here

The title of this post describes both myself and the baby in my belly. Yes, he/she is really almost here. The C-section is scheduled for tomorrow morning and we will finally get to meet our new little one. But I also feel “almost here” as my preoccupation with getting ready for baby continues. My lists are nearly all complete and my bag is nearly all packed, but there are still a few last minute things to do today. Nothing major, but enough to keep my mind busy. Trust me…that is a good thing.

Every time I start thinking about tomorrow I get a little emotional. I have even been tearing up at the sight of tiny babies. I think there is this part of me that still has a hard time believing that this is really happening. We had given up believing a long time ago. We finally convinced ourselves that our family was complete. And then the baby we had stopped dreaming of arrived on the scene.

I went through most of the pregnancy in disbelief, often anticipating problems that thankfully didn’t arise. It took until the ultrasound over halfway through the pregnancy for me to truly accept that we were going to have another baby. Then it became more comfortable and even enjoyable. Until we got a little closer and I started freaking out about all the preparations. Now I am past freaking out. If it isn’t done, it isn’t going to get done, and that’s OK. I have even crossed things off my list simply because I decided they didn’t actually need to get finished, not because I finished them. Tomorrow is going to come whether I am ready or not.

And speaking of tomorrow, we are hoping to be able to upload and post pictures on the blog from the hospital room. We have heard rumors of wi-fi in the building. Stay glued to your computer screen tomorrow afternoon!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I need to apologize. I have been completely preoccupied lately. It’s a preoccupation that’s bordering on obsession. I am under the delusion that I am actually going to be ready for this child to arrive. You know…the house will be spotless, every article of clothing will be washed and put away, all the light bulbs will shine bright, the paint will be touched-up, and everything will be in order for my family to function effortlessly while I spend five days in the hospital. I actually have a list going to achieve these lofty goals. (I also have a second list going for my husband to help me achieve them.) Yes, I know I am crazy.

Besides the organizational and housekeeping things, I have a mental list of other things I would like to accomplish before the baby comes. These are things that I fear I will not be able to do again for a long time to come. Things like going out for lunch with my girlfriends, having a nice, relaxing dinner with my husband, going to a movie or a happy hour, etc. This list is almost complete. Unfortunately we can’t seem to find a movie that’s worth the cost of the tickets, not to mention the distress of sitting in one place for more than an hour during the ninth month of pregnancy.

It would seem that my first list is pretty well balanced by the second. While there are plenty of things on that first list that I feel I need to do around the house, the second list offers plenty of relaxing possibilities. So if I take some time out from the housework to have lunch with my girlfriends, the work doesn’t seem so bad. See? It’s all about balance.

I do realize that life is not going to stop when the baby arrives. I know that the house will get messy and the clothes will get dirty and I will need to do all of these things on my list again. And again. But maybe I can put off doing them for just a little longer if they are done really well in advance. Or maybe I am just looking for a place to focus my nervous energy now that I only have about a week of pregnancy left. Either way, I should have a nice, clean house and a couple of completed checklists come Wednesday, April 9. Beyond that, anything is possible.