Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bottles Suck, Barium Swallows

Husband and I stayed home from work on Wednesday to be there when the Early Intervention evaluators came. We also took Penny together to Children's Hospital for her barium swallow test. They had a last minute opening for Wednesday afternoon and I figured "let's just make it a day of Penny."

Here's what I thought before the evaluators came: Penny's fine - she's advanced so much the last month or so and I bet we don't qualify for services. [Side note: you have to be 30% behind the norm to "qualify".]

Here's what I am thinking after they were here: Oh, my, God. She's two months behind? And they think it's medical?! Shit. We're never going to figure this out.

Two of the three evaluators are also nurses and they think the reason she's delayed (especially in gross motor and pre-speech) is because she doesn't like to be on her stomach. She's very stiff and is hard to transition her from sitting to standing or vice versa. Penny doesn't actually roll, just flips to get off her stomach. They have recommended we try to figure out a "team" approach with her GI, pediatrician and ENT. In their opinions something is wrong with her medically and it is resulting in her not developing skills normally. Their possible suggestions: adenoids, reflux and delayed gastric emptying. I like the idea of a team approach it is just going to be challenging to get all the doctors and specialists talking to one another.

At the barium swallow study (which she passed with flying colors) the feeding specialist doctor said it was unlikely to be delayed gastric emptying since she eats so much solid food and there is no real way to test for acid reflux.

As I've documented on this blog we've tried a number of meds for acid reflux and nothing helps - if she had acid reflux wouldn't one of them helped?

To summarize: Something is wrong with Penny. No idea what. Sounds familiar.

On the plus side the evaluators were completely amazed how happy and engaging she is. Apparently Penny has a great attention span for playing and is very curious. She definitely brought out the charm. Of course they may leave you with something positive so you don't feel too dejected.

We have another appointment with the GI doctor in a week and a half so I'll be discussing this all with her. Now though I'm wondering whether I get Ned evaluated for early intervention since I know he's not all that much ahead of Penny. Until the GI doctor recommended her evaluation I was going to wait until the kids were at least a year old.

I am trying to keep this in perspective - Penny will probably outgrow whatever is the problem and will catch up eventually in her speech and motor skills - after all my sisters and I were delayed in our motor skills and we caught up (so I can't play video games or most sports that could be more genetic than anything else).

Another side note is that today really drove home how much Husband and I have become co-parents. I was pretty worried when I went back to work that all the kids' appointments would fall to me but since I've been back he's really taken a huge role. I never worry anymore about how he's handling things - I completely trust him and think he's doing a great job even if it is not my way.

As Simon Would Say, "That Was the Most Self-Indulgent Rubbish Ever"

Thanks for putting up with my woe-as-me blog post yesterday. It was the most useful de-lurking post ever and I appreciate all your "XOs".*

Last night my pride knew no bounds when Ned discovered his penis. He kept touching it after I cleaned him in the tub. Husband wanted to give Ned some privacy and mentioned something about it being a lifelong relationship. I realized I am not remotely prepared for all the boy stuff that goes along with having a son.

P.S. American Idol - I will leave the analysis to the experts, but wanted to remark on something Simon said. He made two comments about Allison not wanting to win enough. I think that has something to do with her age but I also think it says something about how we raise women not to be competitive - that it isn't polite. I'd like to think Title IX has helped on that front and I am certainly competitive (see below) but I do sometimes feel apologetic about it - something men don't seem to express.

*Fret not about my fragile blog ego. I'm just crazy competitive (a Triplet perk). First there were grades, then SAT scores, then law school rank, then billable hours, now blog stats. It's a whole new blogverse out there, folks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is an interesting blog, right? Right? Hello, Out There!

Is my blog boring you? I am incredibly interested in Esq. tykes photos and their trials and tribulations and too lazy to wax on about my job insecurities. But I don't think my blogging public is as interested - Google Analytics says readership is down. My self-worth is completely tied into those numbers now that I am working to Not Compare Esq Tykes With Other Tots.

I've been mulling a posting about table food and how it is my Mount Everest but that's probably completely uninteresting, right? And don't get me started on how now I've realized that all those posts on breast feeding were the most boring ever - although at the time I thought they were Very Important.

To My Few and Very Special Loyal Readers: instead of offering a $1 a comment post I can only promise to say lots of trivial things about topics you enjoy. So, what do you WANT to hear about?

Oh, Mommy, Esq., You Are the Funniest and Most Clever Mommy Ever; We Love You Even If the Blogverse Doesn't

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So many wonderful things about this weekend:

1. All the trees and flowers are blooming. Here are two pictures of our cherry tree:

2. We put the kids in real summer garb. Penny loved that she didn't have to wear socks all day.

3. My sister Allie had her baby on Saturday - right on her due date. And it was a little girl! Lucy Elaine, 8 lbs, 5 ounces, 20.5 inches. Apparently Lucy has hair and is a bit chubby but I haven't seen a photo yet. My parents now have 5 grandchildren - 4 of which were born in exactly 8 months.

What is your favorite part of Spring?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kewpie Doll

Several people have remarked that Penny looks like a Kewpie Doll. I guess there are similarities. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

He Just Keeps Yanking Our Chain

This seems to be the week of Ned. He seems to be going to that "developmental leap" I've heard so much about but no developments have actually occurred (ie, no teeth and no crawling or pulling himself up).

My good little sleeper has been rolling over onto his back and squirming on his tummy to the place in his crib where he can grab the cord of an elephant that plays music ("Twinkle, Twinkle" if I recall correctly). Husband heard the music last night when he came to bed and I heard it starting at 5:45 am. Miss Penelope wants her brother to "shut it" so she can get more rest. Mommy, Esq. and Husband are glad he's relatively quiet and hasn't been crying or wanting to get up too early (yet).

Who Me, Nap? I'd Rather Pull The Elephant

A few questions for my loyal readers:

1. Should I think about sleeping Penny in a pack n' play in the guest room while Ned is going through this stage? Once I did move her in the middle of the night (if I wake up around 3 or 4 which hardly happens any more) and she slept much better. I don't love the idea of sleeping in a pack n' play so I'm tempted to just suck it up and let her be tired in the morning.

2. Do I take out his only beloved crib toy? [Yes, those are blankets in his crib - we use them for naps. Yes, yes, SIDS and all that, I'm a terrible mom. Also a terrible homeowner since we "blacked out" his shade but using Scotch tape to put up aluminum foil under the shade.]

3. How long does this stage last and we can go back to good sleeping? I've stopped flipping him back to his tummy - no point. When he's tired he sleeps on his back. Up to him to figure out how to roll the other way.

Penny will get her time in the sun soon - tomorrow will be their 8 month chair photos!

P.S. That is Ned's real hair - we do NOT style it. It is brushed down flat after his bath. This is what it looks like when dried. It's the most awesome baby hair ever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yes, Please

We gave Ned some cheese with his "whine" tonight. He seemed to like it. Didn't stop the whining though.

Do You Want Some Cheese With That?

Whining is an instinct that was given to children to punish and humble parents and to torture them. Here is 5 seconds of what we hear all day:

You'll note he whines while he plays. He also whines while he eats (between bites). He whines all day long. I can prevent the whining only by (a) jumparoo and (b) holding him. I think a pacifier would also work (for a while) but I'm trying to limit them to story/nap times. He knows when he is whining and if you get him to look at him and smile, he'll stop and smile back. It's torture.

Can someone please tell me that this is just a phase and not one that will continue until he goes to college? (Maybe some possibility that he is about to say the letter "m"? Please?) Any tricks to stop the madness?

Ned is lucky he's cute.

For more cute photos of Ned from this whine-filled morning check them out here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Swinging Back and Forth

I've been kind of quiet on the blog lately because I've been struggling with figuring out how to be a working mom when my job doesn't fit within the 9-5 hours and I'm not busy enough to feel that productive when I am in the office. Husband has been traveling too much so I've had to put the kabosh on it - one AM/PM per week is all he can be gone. I don't have much of a choice - I need to be very available for my job and since I make a significantly higher salary than his job does my job has to come first. But when I spend all day doing nothing and then have to take a call at 5:30 pm it is very frustrating.

On the kids front: Penny has started puking up some of her meals - I guess we were too quick to think she doesn't have acid reflux. We are being careful not to "overfeed" her (whoever said you can't overfeed a kid doesn't know Penny's love of "gruel") and will call the GI on Monday. Ned loves to roll from his tummy to his back but can't roll the other way so we have created a vicious-Weissbluth* disapproved cylce where I have to go in multiple times a night to flip him back on to his tummy. Oh, and 6 am is the new 7 am for the kids. On the fun side Ned started saying "b-uh" or "b-ah" - definitely a "b" sound. And Penny has started with the "gee" noise. Since Penny has adopted some of Ned's noises I sometimes have to look to be sure which kid is "talking".

This weekend the weather was great and I came out of hibernation to visit with some work friends - Cynthia and her daughter who hosted our play group, Chris and her daughter and ABS who took some awesome photos all joined in the fun. I did a good job not stressing how "far" behind my kids were (Chris's daughter is as precocious as little Georgie with her crawling) but her toy set up gave me some ideas so I may have to pick up the stacking cups Penny is playing with and a baby doll that Cynthia's daughter loves.

The most important part of the outing was the swings. I have been dying to do a twin back-to-back shot. It was beginning to sprinkle when we left for the park but I was determined. Penny loved, loved, loved the swing - squealing in delight. I'm going to scope out the parks near my house to see if I can find another infant swing.

*Weissbluth is coming out with a book on twins this summer. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Owned a Pair of Jellies Once Too

I'm too busy at work (finally, yeah!) and home (since Husband is traveling) to do a real post but I can't stop this addiction. So in honor of Way Back Wednesday hosted by Cheryl, here is a photo of my sisters and me at the Cape one summer - probably when we were about 8 years old. Guess which one is me? I swear I saw these sunglasses in USWeekly.

The photo is also in honor of nicer weather and the fact I have my first Esq. family vacation planned - to Martha's Vineyard. No, not when Bo will be there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Time To Stop Hiding Our Shadows

I have a confession to make: I don't take the tykes anywhere. Apart from daily walks (unless raining) our kids have only been out of the house to the doctors in the last few months. The occasional playdate has been at our house since "my kids nap so well at home and after all we have this playroom filled with toys and I promise I'll have yummy food."

On Saturday Husband and I were going to take the kids to Whole Paycheck. But it was raining. And it would be crowded. And the kids seem happy enough where they are.

When I was a temporary SAHM we went out every few days - playdates, Isis class, breastfeeding group. Sure I never ran errands with my kids but I didn't have to - the nanny was here once or twice a week and what better excuse for me to have some alone time?

It seems so much less necessary to go out and about with the kids when we only have them to ourselves for 2 days. Sometimes my parents drop by. Sometimes I sleep in one day and I don't even get dressed until they go down for afternoon naps. It's less boring when you are only a SAHM for 2 days a week to watch your kids steal toys back and forth for an hour. You don't want to miss out on the comfort of the routine and you want to see how your kids are moving past their current rituals and on to new ones.

It is time for the Esqs to come out of hibernation. To figure out how to have activities at non-nap times. I do love how well my kids nap but that's more than 4 hrs a day that are taken up napping; and the whole eating process: the bottles and the "solid" foods and now trying some table foods - don't get me started on that time suck. In an attempt to thumb my nose at the cold weather that refuses to leave I have signed the tykes and Mom and Dad up for an infant swim class - 8 am on Saturdays starting the first Saturday of May. Now I need to figure out what the kids are supposed to wear... And crap, I need to see if I fit into a bathing suit. Shudder.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some Bunnies Love You!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hold On To Your Hat

Husband bought himself a $60 hat. I'm not clear as to when he expects to use it. Husband was so excited about it that he took it out of the package before he changed into DaddyWear (tm).

P.S. See Penny's stubborn look? She keeps her bottom lip tucked in and mouth tightly closed most of the time. Not sure if she is just worried we are going to try to feed her. :) Penny is actually happy in these photos - she just didn't want to release her lower lip to smile.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Bundles of Joy That Bind You

Spending time with my sister and her daughter last week brought back some memories of our newborn days. I can't say it brought back many memories because frankly I don't remember a lot - and that is probably for the best.

Having a newborn (or two or more) is hard on your marriage. I recall crying once about Penny (the first day she wouldn't eat - the beginning of that long and still unending road) but the other times I cried - which were not that often thankfully - it was about my husband. Husband and I have found a good groove now that I am back at work and things feel more equal. But those early days were all about what I had to do and how I wasn't feeling supported or appreciated or understood.

1. Roadmap. There is no roadmap for new moms - no matter how hard you know breastfeeding will be, how many classes on childcare you take or even if you have hired a baby nurse (as we did) it is The Mommy who is in charge. The Mommy is expected to know everything - how to change a diaper and sooth a cranky baby. How much and when to feed The Baby. When The Baby needs to sleep.

2. Mindreading. Husbands can't read minds. But The Mommy is expected to know everything so why can't The Husband be expected to read The Mommy's mind? Can't The Husband understand the nuances of when you are about to break-down because dammit you didn't want him just to swaddle The Baby you wanted him to hold The Baby and make The Baby STOP CRYING. Or just sit next to me while I breastfeed even if you hate the HGTV/SoapNet show I am watching. Communication is really hard when you are sleep deprived, when you are burning more calories breastfeeding then a marathon runner, when your mind is consumed by details of poop and last feeding times.

3. Changing Roles. The Mommy was just a Lawyer, Wife or some such person 10 mins before the baby(ies) popped out. Now The Mommy is supposed to be 100% about her kid(s). See #1 - where is the instruction manual? How come The Husband can complain about being sleep deprived when he is only getting up once a night (or not at all)? The Husband shouldn't be worrying about paying bills or opening mail or anything not 100% baby-related when he is home with you - that can wait until The Baby is asleep.

4. Worst Time of Day. I remember calling Husband every 10 mins after 4 pm asking when he was going to come home. Because the time from 4 pm to bedtime is a Soul Sucking couple of hours. And if you are pumping and breastfeeding (or trying to) it is even worse because you are so exhausted from the life being sucked out of you. If someone else tells me I should be sleeping when the babies do I am going to kill them.

5. Learning to Accept Help. Husband and I were rockstars in the hospital. The nurses told me that they never worried about us - I seemed so together and strong despite a C-Section. The kids roomed in and we did it all with a cheery waive to the nurses - "all under control, thanks!" My sister was smarter - she sent Cameron to the nursery because after all, Cameron wouldn't be rooming in when they brought her home. Damn, good call. Stacey though can't let go of the cleaning/picking up of the house. Husband had already trained me in that department. Sort of like #2 it took a while before I was willing to accept help - even from the baby nurse we were paying! You want to be in control and make all the right choices.

6. Nothing Stays the Same. The Husband always complains - why do you keep changing things? See #1 - The Mommy has no idea what she is doing. The baby changes every day. You need to try out a multitude of routines before you fixate on one that will last you for about 2 days. This was so hard on Husband. I think he loves that the kids have been on the same routine for more than 2 months now. Hmmm...that must mean it is time to shake things up.

This walk down memory lane hasn't dissipated my thoughts toward having another child but it does remind me how friggin' hard the first kid(s) are on a marriage. I would like to think I would handle things better the next time around but frankly I don't think I will remember enough so we'll be back at #1 reinventing the wheel.

What was the hardest thing in your relationship with your partner when you brought home your bundle(s) of joy?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wait, Only A Year Older?

Monday was my birthday - 32nd if you are counting (I am not). Well, technically it was our birthday since I share it with my triplet sisters. It never gets old wishing them a happy birthday and hear it repeated back. I hope my kids enjoy that too.

I flew back to Boston in time to see the kids before their afternoon nap. Big smiles and then some crying from Penny. They seem so big after spending time with Cami. Penny is no worse for being off her medicine and she has learned to "kiss" - although it is really on her terms.

Last night I put a poof (puff?) on her tray and she picked it up and popped it in her mouth. I was so proud.

Ned has started "crawling". It is hard to describe since it in no way resembles anything the baby books talk about. I will try to get it on video but here is a shot of him making a crawl attempt. He rolls up on his shoulder and lifts his hip on one side. Believe it or not it is effective albeit very slow.

To encourage Penny who hates tummy time we have started her napping on her tummy. She enjoys it but has no interest in crawling. I want to encourage the tykes to start pulling up but our couches are not really good for that - any suggestions on what sorts of items are good for them to use to pull up?

While I was gone there was much toy stealing. As usual my in-laws are completely taken in by the kids - Ned and Penny know how to lay on the charm.

Ned enjoyed some time with Grandma watching a Wild Turkey (!) that visited our deck one morning.

Grandpa spent time with his mini-me - 2nd generation.

Sometimes the kids got along when they weren't stealing toys from one another.

It made me laugh when Husband kept telling me the way he did things and instructing me in his methods. Techniques he thinks work for Penny to eat better. He also moved the swing and a playmat downstairs to our basement. Hey, I wasn't done with those yet! He totally took on the role of Mommy, Esq. while I was away.

Husband was very glad to have me home last night. He was pretty exhausted so I put the kids to bed and made dinner. That's the kind of birthday girl I am. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Carolina New

There is green grass and leafy trees here in North Carolina. It seems like a good place to raise a family.

Stacey is doing a great job with Cam. It does seem easier with one baby (where is the chaos and slight panic trying to juggle two) but it is still hard. Stacey has been very calm and Cam is getting the hang of breastfeeding - although it takes an hour and is done every 3 hrs from when she starts. Wait, I did this with two? I must have been crazy.

I'm insanely jealous of her huge nursery. It is easily double the size of our nursery. So much storage that she isn't using a drawer or part of her closet. I already reorganized it to make it more mommy-friendly. For example, Stacey isn't really going to want to hang up all the onsies - wouldn't having them folded in a drawer where Cameron's diaper is changed makes more sense?

I forgot how LITTLE newborns are. I mean I did this just 7 months ago but I feel like I am going to break Cameron when I change her clothes. And she is so squirmy! She is much more alert then my kids were and stays awake during breastfeeding. In fact she was up for almost 2 hours in a row yesterday. It was tough to break the bad news to Stacey but when Cami is up at 6:30 am it is time to start the day - I made it easier by starting the day with them both.

Cameron has shown me who is boss - every time I've changed a dirty diaper she's peed on me and herself necessitating a costume change. We had 3 costume changes yesterday. Who knew that girls could do that?

In some ways being with Cami makes me want to have another (singleton, please!) baby. But I am also reminded how tiring and yes, boring, it is to be with a newborn. Once we got to 4 months and the kids were interactive the days were much more interesting. The early days involve lots of sitting around, trying to nap and drink lots of water and keep the house picked up, changing diapers and clothes and just staring at your beautiful new baby(ies).

Who can resist such a cutie - the hair, the hair! A full head of hair with real length in the back. And fuzzy little ears. And arms like Gollum - always clutching and moving. Skinny little arms and legs that Stacey cutely thinks are "plump" (they will be soon enough).

Penny and Ned are surviving just fine without Mommy, Esq. We did Skype yesterday and Nanny April sent me a photo of them. Just before I left the house at 4 am I checked on the kids and Ned was wide awake so I gave him a quick snuggle and kiss before I left. My in-laws are there to help out but it is killing my mother-in-law that we don't go in when the kids stir for naps/bedtime. Husband said Debi was waiting outside the nursery when they were doing their waking up at 6 am today. Poor Debi - I hope my schedule doesn't drive her too crazy.

Penny also had her appointment with the GI. She has gained 3 ounces in 2 weeks which the doctor was happy about (am I the only one who thinks that is low?). They conferenced me in so I could hear and be a part of the discussion. We have stopped giving her the acid reflux medicine since there has been no improvement. Husband said Penny ate almost nothing this morning so maybe we're wrong but we are giving it a couple of days. Upon recommendation by the GI we have called Early Intervention to have Penny evaluated.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fantastic

Today is the first day of April so I thought I'd talk about the awesomeness that is my Nanny April. Penny certainly agrees since she has started crying when I come home - presumably because she doesn't want April to leave. Sorry, kiddo - you're stuck with me at a couple of hours every day and most weekends.

When I complained to Husband about how Penny prefers April he said "Of course, they spend more time with her." Sensitive, that man has a very sensitive soul.

But he is right and she is way better at playing with them than I am. April throws corn out so the kids can watch the squirrels on our deck. She turns Penny's swaddle blanket into a parachute. Each kid gets a special song before naptime. The tykes play with musical instruments and listen to classical music. They have finger painted. When they are grumpy she puts masks on their faces representing how grumpy they are.

When I am home with the kids I often feel like I am "surviving" and not educating. But I have been stealing some of her ideas like the water play. Since April does so much for us around the house (laundry, dishes, playroom) I can feel absolutely relaxed when I spend time with them in the morning. And that is absolutely priceless.

This is the only photo I have of her - I'll have to take more.

I am going to print out photos of Husband and me to put in the playroom so she can talk about us. Any other suggestions?