Monday, November 23, 2009

The Esqs Catch a Break

I just got off the phone with Penny's pulminologist. He reviewed her sleep study and she is much improved. She had only 5 apnea events per hour (down from 28.5x an hour) and her O2 sats ran in the low 90s most of the night but only dipped into 86% once. Apparently Penny is diagnosed with some condition that means her O2 runs low all the time while sleeping - and there is no known reason for it. But all of that said the doctor feels comfortable that she can go off the oxygen.

Once a week we are going to test her baseline but with the understanding that her home monitor cannot tell us the "quality" of the data (they can in the fancy lab) - e.g., sometimes she sets if off by moving around. We are also going to keep the O2 tank and supplies for when she has a cold or any other indication that her breathing is not 100%. I'm also going to keep a close eye on her energy levels (one immediate benefit we saw when she first when on O2).

For the last five months we have been putting the nasal cannula over her head, leaving Duoderms on her pretty face, listening to her (rightfully) complain about the arm restraints she can't pull off in the morning, the beeping (oh, God, the beeping!) and it seems unreal that this is becoming part of Penny's medical HISTORY.

It's making me a little weepy.

P.S. Husband said that Penny kept wriggling her toe where we usually put the monitor probe...looked up at him...and smiled. Damn, weepy again.

Let Them Eat Spaghetti

After a grueling two weeks I'm back in America. One of the annoying side effects of traveling for work is that you end up spending so much more money - even when expenses are reimbursed. There is the tip here and there for taxis, the coffee that didn't seem worth submitting, and the duty free treats I picked up in an exhausted haze to say "I love you!" to Husband and the tykes. And let's not even get started on the tons of overtime we paid our nanny so Husband could get to work in the morning (when I usually have time with the kids) and to cover one night when he was getting back from a NYC business trip.

When I got Ned out of his crib Saturday morning he was whimpering and crying. I brought him downstairs and said "You have an ear infection". A few hours later it was confirmed and the poor little guy spent the day crying despite ibuprofen and antibiotics. Don't worry, he's back to his cheery self. Isn't it crazy how moms always know? I suspect Penny will get one soon since she is almost over the 3 week cold they both had.

Speaking of Penny we still haven't gotten her test results from the sleep lab (she's still on O2) but Dr. Katz, her GI specialist said her inflammation in the esophagus is down 75% and that the remaining 25% down at the bottom of her esophagus is likely reflux (not allergies). Whether that means she does have allergies and her being off soy, milk, beef, chicken, peas and peanuts was helping or if merely having her on tons of omeprazole was what improved her condition we don't know. She doesn't have to be scoped for another year so we'll probably have to keep the dietary restrictions going. By and large it isn't that hard but dairy and chicken would be nice to add to her diet. Penny was re-evaluated for Early Intervention. She may have squeaked by to qualify for "feeding" (because she takes small bites and doesn't really chew) but was automatically admitted because of a nice scary letter Dr. Katz wrote with lots of capitalized terms like Failure to Thrive and Esophageal Esophagitis. Husband weighs the kids on the Wii - they each have a "pet" Mii - Penny is about 16.5 lbs and Ned is almost 22 lbs. Husband managed to secure dose 1 for their seasonal flu and H1N1 but I was told we may not get the second dose for weeks...

Both kids are on a veggie strike (not that they ate that many to begin with) and Penny has turned into a carb fiend. Current favorite is spaghetti. Next food project is working on forks - it's not going to well and I wish we had a dog at mealtimes.

Our nanny is also going to transition them to one nap in early January. We are keeping it to 1 hour in the morning to help ease them into it. Penny prefers a morning nap, Ned an afternoon nap so it's been a little rough keeping them on the same schedule.

Consider yourselves updated! Hopefully I'll have some time to reflect over Thanksgiving about my Career and The Juggle and I'll post more about that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pit Stop In Mommy, Esq.'s Race Around The World

This is the longest I have ever gone between posts. I had a whirlwind trip home to Boston last weekend and now I'm working crazy hours again in London after catching a redeye on Sunday night. I billed 180 hours in 2 weeks to give you some idea of my schedule.

When I saw Ned on Saturday morning I was hoping for a "Mama!" that did not materialize but I did get extra hugs to fill me with maternal love. I enjoyed the time I had with them, took two naps when they did and repacked my bag.

Husband is all alone this week - and with a business trip today to boot. It has been an exciting transaction and a great learning experience but I'm ready to be home and to start thinking about long-term work/family issues.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hi, Mommy!

TO: Mommy, Esq.
FROM: Edmund and Penelope
DATE: 9 November 2009
RE: Weekend with Daddy

Despite expectations to the contrary, all is well at home. We miss you, but Daddy did fine on his own. He let us have tasty cinnamony sugar twists for a snack--in our playroom! While we were still wearing jammies at 3 in the afternoon!

This had certain unfortunate consequences, viz., a substantial mess of crumbs and spilled milk and formula. Also, Penny briefly turned into a zombie and tried to eat Daddy's brains. Sweet, sweet, cinnamony braaaaaains. (She got better.)

Later, after a trip to Home Depot (still in jammies!), we ate dinner. Penelope enjoyed her pork sauerbraten, and especially her couscous. It stuck to her ribs. And arms, and hands, and face, and hair, and the wall.

We will continue to report back periodically during your trip. Make sure you get out to see London; we hear the Indian food is excellent. Perhaps Daddy can give us some now that he won't have to deal with the curry-filled diapers. Cheerio!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parenting From Across the Pond

Work decided to complicate the Juggling I mentioned by sending me on a flight to London on Friday evening. I'm almost adjusted to the time change but it won't matter when we are working 20+ hour days until next Friday. This is my first business trip and it is tough that I had no advance notice to plan. My in-laws are flying in on Wednesday to help with the hospital testing for Penny and because Husband has a business trip on Friday he didn't want to cancel. I feel immensely better having them come - and it alleviates a lot of "poor Husband" guilt.

Many props to Husband but since this is my blog I wanted to mention some benefits of business trips.
  • Not my problem. It is sad but true - there is not much I can do from here. I feel for Husband that he has to refill Penny's formula prescription, drive to doctor's appointments, etc. but there is nothing I can do about it.
  • Just me. No O2 monitor going off, no noises as a kid stirs over the baby monitor. Just me and my alrarm forcing me out of bed each morning. Only me to shower, dress and feed.
  • Focus on work. I am all about this deal. There is no distraction about needing to be home for bedtime or taking care of them in the morning. A deal is like a newborn since I can only eat and sleep in snatches here and there but it is nice to re-focus on work (hopeful that this travel/work all the time is a temporary situation).
  • No commute. I actually have to take a taxi from my hotel to our office but it isn't that long a commute (few miles).

I'm trying to use the time to focus clearly on my work and hope that the kids don't change too much in my absence. Whether this is a life I can lead from here on out is another question for another blog post.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Example of The Juggle

I mentioned that I'm on a deal based out of London and also much busier than I have been since returning to work. This is taking the Esq. Juggle to a whole new level. Today Husband and I were discussing arrangements for next week - to fit in kids' doctors appointment, a nanny doctor appoint (I think she's had to leave work early only 4 times since she's started working for us) and bedtime coverage. All kids' doctors visits and early release days for April are in both our Outlooks to keep track but sometimes you have to plan ahead when it will be a busy week. More on Penny to come since as you can see she has a sleep schedule (still needs O2) and another endoscopy (still not much weight gain) planned.

From: Husband
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 10:36 AM
To: Mommy, Esq
Subject: Re:

Monday: nothing special
Tuesday: I come home early to cover for April’s doctor appt.
Wednesday: I work from home or come home by noon for kids’ flu shots, then work from home in afternoon, then take Penny to MEEI for sleep study. You’ll relieve April (late?)
Thursday: I’m at MGH with Penny. You cover morning; I should be back for evening assuming all goes well. After bedtime, I have to drive to client in CT.
Friday: [You cover morning.] I’m in CT until early afternoon; should be able to make it back for bedtime…but better if you can cover just in case.

Clearly most of The Juggle next week belongs to Husband but it will come around again soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lately I've been having to give myself quite a few "pep talks" to do things that my natural lazy tendency is rebelling against.

This morning was typical. I heard Ned some time after 5 am (stupid time change didn't go as well as previously declared). Around 6 am I was having the following conversation: "Cute Ned noises. He must be hungry. Must go get bottles. Get out of bed. Come on, get your butt out of bed, what are you going to do, starve your children? Ned is saying "Dadadada" - will Husband take the hint? Get your lazy butt out of bed!". [And finally out of bed to feed the kids after Husband did go get the bottles (he went back to bed).]

Then in the building garage after sitting in too much traffic: "Maybe I'll just shut my eyes for a minute. Ugh, I'm sure there are a million things I can be doing in the office. I can get through the day. Sure, I have no idea when this deal is going to explode but I'll survive it. What if I just stayed in the car all day? Open the door and get out of the car!"

I think my other self has something to say about my decision to blog instead of work but I plan on shutting her up with some lunch in about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Team Building

Husband traipsed downstairs in dark jeans and a dark shirt this morning instead of his french cuff shirts (with cufflinks) and trousers. On the agenda - team building laser tag with lunch after. He was explaining his military strategies to me. I hope he has fun.

Big Firm is not a culture of team building exercises but I enjoy hearing about them. What sort of team building activities does your workplace engage in? Any "trust falls" still in the mix (loved that part of "Mean Girls").

I think we should try to do more Esq. team building. Working around nap schedules and crappy weekend weather has left us bereft of weekend activities and the whole family is pretty cranky by Sunday afternoon. Any family team building suggestions for a crawler, walker and two adults is welcome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This Halloween I appreciated what it means to be a working mom. I've been stressed about my job all week - working crazy hours, stressed and fed up even when I'm not working. I have managed to be pretty upbeat around the kids and try to be "in the moment". They adjusted well to the time change - we took them out to dinner on Halloween for distraction purposes and they went to bed about 30 mins late. By Sunday afternoon they were back on track for naps and mealtimes. Since my deal is based in London Husband is having to take over for mornings starting tomorrow since I'll be at the office for a 7 am call. I have never understood why things have to happen at the speed of light but at least they aren't sending me to London (the partners went) ... yet.

One reason I've been terrible about posting photos is that the kids are always in motion and I need a better camera to catch them in action. Here are some photos showcasing their costumes - Ned was too hot in his and Penny kept pulling off her ladybug cape and refused to wear her booties but I think they liked playing "dress up".

Scotia made a rare appearance in the playroom - maybe as a Halloween treat for the kids?