Buckets and Birdies

Buckets and Birdies
Co-Pilots for Life: Greta and Mary Katharine

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In recovery after my C-section.  MK was very mad that she was "pulled" from her baby apartment.

First time meeting Mary Katharine.  She was very excited and immediately took upon her role as Big Sissy.

Her photo shoot---it took about 30 minutes to get her to finally calm down and fall asleep.

Oh.  Hi.  Please note the AMAZING birdy spikes atop her little head.  These hairs help project the weather, nearby radio frequencies, and winning lottery tickets.

Laughing at Pepe.  She loves him.  (She also was enjoying the fan.  Fan watching is a great pastime for a 3 month old.)

Mary Katharine has definitely blossomed into a whippersnapper.  When she is awake, she is AWAKE.  Arms and legs moving at full speed, lots of talking, laughing, staring at the fan, and looking at whoever is talking.  She loves Greta, and Greta loves her.  She was extremely fussy for the first several weeks that she was home.  I contributed it to reflux, an immature digestive system, and an overall uneasiness.  I took matters into my own hands and decided to take her to the chiropractor.  I am all about "hula-boola" medicine, as it has predated traditional Western medicine.  The chiro was very certain she and I were out of sync and MK's neck was out of whack.  After some minor "adjustments" which included hanging her upside down, she literally relaxed right in front of me.  We followed our chiro appointment with an infant massage, which definitely helped.  MK seems to be a child that is extremely sensitive to her external environment---observant, bright eyed, strong, and stubborn.  She is clearly a different child than Greta---Greta was a great sleeper, eater, and content to be held.  MK is a woman with her own mind.  Thankfully, she is sleeping better, enjoys the swing and bouncy seat, and seems more comfortable in her own skin.  I will say I know she is my child because she loves being outside, as I seem to produce BIOPHILE children.  (Afterall, she was borged into the world in a birdy nest.)
And some more big milestones......
I have been selfishly dreading this day since she was born.  It is a direct indication that she is growing up and there isn't a damn thing I can do to stop it.  I understand and accept that I can no longer stimulate her at home with activities and school is the best place for her. She had a great morning (she goes MWF, 9-1130) and was excited to return on Friday.  Her teachers are both vets in the preschool department--teaching for more than 30 years each.  I met a few moms at the open house last week, and I was super amped that one is from Ferndale!!!  (Detroit, what?)  My fears is that she will develop insecurities about her glasses, her speech, or any thing that may be "different."  Clearly, these are my OWN fears that affect MY EGO.  I am sure she will be just fine!  I want her school experience to be a positive one, as my schooling through high school sucked.  (I didn't find my strengths as a student until later in college.)  She attends speech class on Tuesday mornings, which seem to also be going well.  I know her experiences and time in a traditional classroom will greatly help her speech---another reason for her to attend preschool.  But most importantly, her preschool has a classroom rabbit--Truman.  The man of every hour. 

This is where I almost lost it.....She was giving me the stink eye....she wanted me to leave.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Welp, it has been long enough.  I am deciding to blog from MyMy and Poppy's house, which seems to be the only time I actually have two free hands (lots of people to hold Mary Katharine).  While I would LOVE to post a picture, I don't have any downloaded on the current lap top, so my next post will include ample pics of MK (aka Baby Underpants).

Some specs on Mary Katharine:
Borged into the universe on June 2nd.  8:30 am.  6 pounds 15 ounces.  20 inches long.  She was meticulously extracted from my lower abdomen by Dr. Davis, screaming her little head off.  She was clearly NOT happy.  The noise of her wailing was the most reassurance I could get (amid my sweating and dry heaving), considering the entrance Gertie made into the world.  Right off the bat, I knew she did not look like Greta.  However, I immediately was drawn to the amazing baby bird hairs that was formed into a glorious mullet like structure on the back of her baby head.  Considering how nauseous I was from the spinal, I was surprised I even remembered her birth.  The lovely anesthesiologist had been pumping Zofran into my IV, which made me groggy.  That mixed with morphine made for an interesting 1 hour recovery post op.  I was able to hold her immediatly.  She was alert and pissed.  My kind of lady.  I was so relieved to have her delivery over, which seem to create so much anxiety for me (during the entire pregnancy).  She didn't have a name for two days.  We still went back and forth after the birth certificate lady met with us.

In light of every single lady on facebook having babies in the last month and expecting in the next few weeks, here is a list of things that are most important for mommies today:

1.  Moms can do anything with one hand.  (The other hand is always busy feeding other siblings, cleaning dishes, picking up toys, folding laundry, picking up other siblings, preparing food, etc.)
2.  Brushing your teeth and showering are luxuries.  A mother is lucky, especially new moms, to have enough time to do both these activities during the day.
3.  Makeup/cute outfits/blow dried hair are distant memories until your baby is a old enough to nap for at least 2 hours.  Also, clean cute clothes for mommy are usuallly riddled with food/barf/poop/pee by 2 pm.
4.  Pregnancy continues after the baby is born.  While Victoria Beckham may be able to return to her pre-baby weight within 2 hours after delivery her kids, this may not be the case for you.  It took me one year to lose all of Greta's baby weight.  Awesome.  Also, the prego belly?  Yep, that flab sticks around for awhile.  HOT.
5.  Ringing doorbells and knocks on the door will send a mother into Defcon 7.  These noises wake sleeping children.  These noises are also brought on by uninvited visitors that are annoying and unneccessary.  They deserve to die.  Real friends/visitors know to use the back door or just walk in.  They also know they should bring dinner/coffee/McDonalds and be willing to fold a load of laundry/hold a baby/calm a crying toddler/clean a few dishes.
6.  Leaving the house is a luxury.  Fussy babies hate car rides and car seats.
7.  Sleep:  ooooh, a biggie.  Stretches of sleep are fond memories like those drinking binges in college.  Never going to happen......at least not anytime soon.
8.  It is a good day if everyone has eaten and are wearing clean clothes.
9.  Want to give a great baby gift?  Buy the new mommy a cleaning lady for a month.
10.  Real friends understand a major lapse of communication....like months will go by and said friend isn't mad at you because they totally understand.
11.  Psychiatrists were put on the planet to call the anxiety/psychosis of mothers.
12.  Caffeine is the best drug in the world.

I am sure there are several more.  My brain is fried.  I can't believe I am still up.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Greta had her 6 month follow up appointment with our neurologist in Fort Wayne.  This time, we saw the nurse practioner, Ms. Janet, who was so nice and wore fun glasses.  Double bonus.  I had some concerns recently because Greta's sleep has been a bit wonky lately, and she has also been rolling her eyes a bit.  While eye rolling is not that big of deal for 99% of kids, a person affected by a seizure disorder can sometimes exhibit this which indicates seizure activity.  Greta usually rolls her eyes to the right, and it is definitely NOT when she is trying to be cute, funny, silly, or sassy.  She's had some moments where she will space out.  Again, while most children do this to be silly, in Greta's case, it is a bit different.  With all these new observations, I was concerned she needed to be bumped up again on her Keppra.  Welp, she is now bumped up to the max dose, and with that, there is a strong chance they will start her on another medication.  She has only gained 1.5 pounds in the last six months, so she is metabolizing more medication without more body weight.  Again, time for possibly a new medication.  This is very normal with anti convulsants, so I am not freaked out or scared by this. 

I also mentioned to the nurse that I am concerned about her snoring, and episodes of "apneaic breathing," which are disrupted loud bouts of sleep where her snores collectively mount to a large disruption.  For kids with seizures, this is a bad news, because they are not getting enough oxygen during sleep.  Less oxygen means more seizures are likely to happen.  SO, she ordered a sleep study test.  She also recommended getting her tonsils out.  I guess they are scaled between a 1-4, and her tonsils measure large at a 3 without signs of illness or infection.  She thinks this is the reason she looks so tired.

We talked about her constipation issues and she thinks it is related to her poor muscle tone, which can manifest itself in poor digestion.  I guess your bowel muscles are different, but they too can be compromised with any sort of head injury/brain delay response.  It is common with kids who have cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome.  We never had her diagnosed with CP, because we didn't need to.  Now, the diagnosis of a mild form would be easier explaining all of mild symptoms to practitioners.  Again, she has MILD symptoms.  She has really come a long way with any motor delays, though some of these larger functions can still be complicated (sleep, digestion, speech).

Once we get her seizure stuff under control and her tonsils out, she should be golden for a while.  In the meantime, she is currently wearing big girl pants.  They are dry.  It  has been 20 minutes.  #winning

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I signed Gertie up for preschool yesterday.  I wanted to cry.  She said she was happy because her classroom has a pet rabbit named Truman.  I guess things are looking up.  No, she is still not potty trained.  Bad parent over here.

"Happy now?":  Her question while participating in a fun activity where Mommy or Daddy are watching.

"Neat!":  An interjectory statement made when Greta is experiencing something new and fun.  I have no idea where she got this.  I don't usually use this word.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Greta and her neighbor accomplice, Lily, showcase their sweet fashion finds.

We were snowbound, once again, yesterday, after 10 new inches of snow fell.  The school district here is on their 9th, (NINTH) snow day.  Thankfully, Greta celebrates such holidays, knowing Lily can come over and play with her.  Usually, Lily goes to Big Girl School and leaves Gertie behind to play with Mommy.  On this particular day, we headed off to Target to find some baby wipes and sunglasses.  Miss Gertie is going to the ophthalmologist on Friday to have her eyes checked.  I am hoping this is a mere formality and that glasses won't be necessary.  This trip was under the direction of our neurologist, just making sure all of her systems are "a go."  I, on the other hand, will be heading to my own eye doctor appointment next week for some new fresh specs.  My Sarah Palin glasses are no longer cool and I am surely ready for something different.

Greta is now sleeping in her BIG GIRL BED.  This is a VERY big deal around here.  Big girl bed, big girl school, etc.  We get the point.   We are happy to report that she is sleeping very well in her big girl bed.  We do have to put a gate up at night so she doesn't get out.  It is very dark in the hallway, and the last thing we need is someone falling down the stairs.  I suppose our next course of action is getting rid of her Sucky (pacifier) and then onto the biggest challenge:  Potty Training.  For the record, she is totally NOT INTERESTED.  I am very serious in not rushing her.  The last thing we need is a controlling toddler who refuses to go treekle on the potty. 

Big.  Girl.  Bed.  (Please notice that Lamby, Sam the Monkey, and Puppy Baby are facilitating the change of bedding.)


Thursday, January 30, 2014

We visited a potential preschool for fall this morning.  I almost cried on my way out the door, knowing Gertie will be at "school" next year.....back pack and all.....arts and crafts.....snack time.....NOT OKAY.

Greta decorating cupcakes during polar vortex round #2

Not only is she growing fiercely independent, everything is already 'BIG', 'MY OWN,' and 'I DO IT.'

Again, not okay.

Baby #2 is making quite a name for herself

                                                       Yep, we are having a GIRL!

I am receiving wonderful name suggestions, but I am seriously clueless.  She kicks a bit and gives me heartburn, much like Gertie.  I am hoping she is a spitting image of Greta, because any child that resembles me at birth will look like a monkey alien.  But no name seems to come to mind yet.  I am patient.  We have 18 weeks to go......PS, Dave is of no help in the name department.  All he says is "NO" if he hears something he doesn't like.  Thanks a ton. 

We had our anatomy scan this past week and she is looking healthy and measuring right where she should be.  There were moments when I thought I could make out her nose, and it looked like Greta's.  I am hopeful for that.  Greta's nose is a perfect button. 

And speaking of more children.....NO, the baby's room is NOT ready and I haven't even started to think about moving furniture yet.  We have our room above the garage that needs a major overall, and I hoping Uncle Chris will come to our rescue when the weather warms up.  In the meantime, I am doing a mental inventory of everyone I leant baby gear out to.  I am hoping it will return to me in a timely manner.  :)

PS, Greta received a custom tee shirt creation from our special friend, Kady, who makes amazing design shirts.  If you are interested, check her out! She is now a Michigander, so show her some GLOVE LOVE!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

So here are a few things that are going on with Gertie:

1.  Everything has to be "BIG."  Big cup of water, BIG bath, BIG serving of crackers.  BIG.  Word of the month.

2.  She insists on doing things herself.  While I am mostly okay with this, it is unbelievable to me that she can pull up her stool, turn on the faucet, turn on her toothbrush, brush her teeth, turn off the water, step off the stool, then move the stool safely out of the path of the door.  She is practically a woman.  I'm NOT okay with that.

3.  She is well aware there is a baby in my belly.  I know she will be very helpful with baby #2 arrives, though I am a bit sad that I might miss my snuggle time with Gertie.

4.  She is a hot dancer.  Best dancer at St. Bernadette's. 

5.  She is definitely my child:  She LOVES the snow.  Sledding, shoveling, stomping. You name it, and she'll do it if is has to do with snow.

6.  She is NOT potty trained and I feel like she is never going to be interested.  However, she does fart a lot and if that is an indicator, we've got a soon to be potty trained lady on our hands.  In the mean time, I ask a few times a day, which is usually followed by a simple, "no."

7.  She is embracing her Dutch Boy haircut. Grammy Goble is her famed stylist and I don't trust anyone else.  I absolutely LOVE her little bob and we have received many compliments.