Saturday, February 20, 2010


Do you know what you were doing 11 years ago today? I do. Husband and I had our first date. I was a senior at George Washington University and had been interning at a now defunct .com. He joined the staff in January and was forced to sit "with the interns" in the conference room while the office space was being renovated. He could have worked at home but he had his eye on a certain co-ed.

Yes, technically I was his intern although I had been there longer than he had been. It was also during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He read the employee manual to make sure he could ask me out. He did it the one time he cajoled us two interns to have a drink at McCormick & Schmick's on K Street and asked me if I wanted to have dinner some time soon. I had had Scotch for the first time (thanks to him) and said yes. Later I met my roommate Gretchen at Union Station for a movie (no recollection what we saw) and I told her I was asked out by someone at work. I was 21.

Fortunately for me I was able to delay the date until after Valentine's Day and his birthday (Feb 16th) because I went to Mardi Gras that year. Better off not sharing THOSE stories on the blog.

In the week leading up to our date I asked my sisters if I should really go out with him - after all, we worked together. Stacey pointed out it was a free meal.

He took me to Blue Point Grille in Alexandria - drove me in his car. After we had dinner he drove me home but I didn't want to see a movie (frankly, I think movie dates are lame) so we went to Mr. Smith's in Georgetown. While having a beer by the window some guy came by and pressed his face up to the window and licked the window.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pregnant Pauses

A few key differences and similarities between this pregnancy and my "twin" pregnancy:
  • Olympic coverage. Ned almost ended up being named "Micheal Phelps". Spyder was looking at Lindsay Vaughn last night. The only difference is that this time I am working while watching the Olympics - last time was the end of my pregnancy and I had convinced my doctor to give me 2 weeks before Ned and Penny were born so I could set up the nursery and write thank yous.
  • Physical symptoms. Heartburn started earlier and now it strikes during the day as well as at night. I passed one glucose test but one more to go, fingers crossed no GD this pregnancy. I feel larger, aching back, much earlier despite only carrying one. No swollen ankles or featloves (yeah, winter!). Bad leg/feet cramps are coming into play this time too (I would remark they seem less frequent but then I will probably regret it).
  • Taking a beating. The best part about carrying a singleton is the movements. Every single one of them belongs to Spyder. Last time I would feel a baby and then worry - "which baby was it? What about other one? Is that baby okay? OMG, when was the last time I felt Baby A, I must call the doctor asap." Now it's all "hey, simmer down in there, little lady". But man, it is so reassuring. I smile every time instead of the questioning panic I felt last time.
  • The munchies. I had two pieces of chocolate cake that my mother-in-law made last night while watching the Olympics and working. Two. And no, they were not tiny. Some might even argue the opposite but fortunately that someone was playing video games in the home office and didn't notice. I never got the munchies with my "twin pregnancy". [Gak, hate that phrase but hard to come up with another.]
  • You are going to put your finger where? Last time Dr. Whatscooking checked my cervix every time. And I had 2x month appointments the first two trimesters and 1x week in my third trimester. Every time. Not fun. Found out recently that is not the norm when I commented to my other pregnant friends that it was nice this new doctor doesn't do that.
  • Lack of preparation. This is sort of similar (see the two weeks of bedrest noted above) as last time but this time there is no "stuff" to buy. I have to just go through everything and get organized. Check back with me in May on that one.
  • Two years older and two toddlers more tired. Seriously, having to spend the weekends spending time with toddlers and working while they nap/sleep is kicking my ass. Last time I worked crazy hours when 7 months pregnant but managed to nap at weird times to survive - not possible this time around.
  • Denial. You're going to laugh but I was really prepared for twins. I was prepared for the sleep deprivation, the constant state of survival, the struggles with BFing, etc. But I also had a baby nurse for 6 weeks and was doing something new. Trying this again with just one I feel a bit lassez faire and it's going to bite me in the ass.
  • Delivery options. I've been stressing over VBAC and C-Section since I get an option. I have no desire to be in labor. Period. I appreciate the risks of the C-Section and know the recovery. That said I didn't have to heft around 2 toddlers and get up and down off the floor post surgery. I'm leaning toward VBAC but will probably schedule a C-Section to be safe (of course if I pick June 1st then I'm like to have a C-Section). I am not taking a class, I'm going to run to the hospital at the first sign of pain and demand an epidural. If it weren't for the recovery I would have done the C-Section in a heartbeat.
  • Daydreaming is so 2008. I've had less time to ponder this baby. To think of what she'll be like and how we'll be as parents. I hope maybe I can get some time off before she is born so I can do it - it's like "pre-bonding".

What about any of you who had more than one pregnancy? Are my experiences the norm?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I guess she takes after my side of the family

Nanny April sent me this photo of Penny modeling an outfit her great-grandmother Mimi gave her. When I looked at it I nearly fell off my work chair.

I mean - talk about the spitting image of her Grammy. My mom will kill me for this photo taken in 1992 but it is the only one I could quickly find.

I feel a little badly that Penny has a haircut from the early 90s but there is only so much you can do with bone straight hair that is still coming in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Cutest Acronyms Usually Spell Trouble

Penny went to see her pulmonologist on Monday. I was supposed to take her but Sunday night at 11:30 pm woke Husband up to confirm he could do it. As part of her visit the doctor had her undergo a chest X-ray. I'd guess this is her 8th chest x-ray.

The doctor and I played phone tag all day on Tuesday about the results. You know it is never good when they actually call you with results. We caught up on Thursday. I really like that we do most of the consult with this doctor by phone - I am calmer at my work desk, able to take notes and ask questions without trying to process by holding a toddler.

Penny's chest x-ray looks the same as when she was in the hospital with pneumonia after she aspirated. There is an "interstitial pattern" that indicates either fluid or some sort of "reordering" of her lungs. This is unusual because obviously there shouldn't have been any fluid.

Possible causes are:

(i) Aspirating while eating. We already did one barium swallow test that was negative but we are going to do another to rule that out.

(ii) Aspirating while sleeping. If (i) is negative we will do a bronchioscope (sp?) and also put a monitor in her (similar to the pH probe we did for her reflux) that determines if she has fluid coming up her esophagus and moving into her lungs. While she is under they are going to do an endoscopy - might as well check on her reflux.

(iii) If (i) and (ii) are negative, which he thinks will be, we have a new working theory - "chILD" = Children's Interstitial Lung Disease. That's a misnomer because it isn't a disease - its a group of disorders. Basically it is a catch all for any lung issue that they can't fit anywhere else. It is very rare. Two symptoms Penny has include: failure to thrive and low O2. Tests will involve a chest catscan which they only do if (i) and (ii) are negative because of the high radiation and risk for cancer in the future as a result of CT scans isn't "non-negligible" and possibly a lung biopsy. Treatment options include steroids and of course continued O2.

But...the real answer is that she has to grow out of it and they are hopeful she will because she is growing. After all that, including a possible diagnosis, you expected a different result? Husband and I are sorry she has to go through so many tests but we are also confident she will eventually grow out of this too and we appreciate what a great team of doctors she has on her side.

Interestingly, to turn this back to me, there is some evidence that 10-16% of cases are hereditary. I was a preemie with lower lung function I wonder if this means I may be more likely to have adult onset IDL which is supposed to be terrible. And of course I'm going to be vigilant about Spyder (this may push me to use formula for eating monitoring purposes but we'll see).

One other thing to mention is that this is not often diagnosed in infants and often misdiagnosed as asthma in older kids. Don't bother to Google this - it will drive you crazy. And whatever you do DON'T read about adult onset ILD.

Funny part was that Dr. Katz, Penny's gastroenteroligist sent her pulmonologist a note saying (to paraphrase) - "I'm all done with her, she's great on my end, now you have to fix her." But he's been pulled back in for the aspiration items. We Esqs are tough to shake.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekend Mishmash

I was looking back yesterday to a year ago - my last few weeks at home with these two:

Back then I knew I'd have rough periods like this one - working all the time. I haven't put the kids to bed in more than 2 weeks, working two weekends in a row, tired all the time. I've been doing a lot of rationalization lately - about how my dad worked and he didn't feel guilty about leaving my mom on the weekends to do so; that these are temporary periods of time; that the kids are still happy and thriving. Husband has been doing quite a bit of solo parenting but he does do a business trip once a week so he gets at least one night off (last week my mom covered while I worked until 11:00 pm the night he was gone).

Our nanny has been with us full time for a year this week so we are going to give her a raise. We are also planning on discussing with her the next maternity leave - I think we'll guarantee her 40 hours but have to let her know upfront she won't be getting the overtime she has been during my leave (she has been averaging 50-55 hours a week). Well, husband will have to discuss it with her since I'm trying to close 3 deals this week.

In toddlerhood news I am witnessing increased fighting over toys. In our case it is usually a writing board and certain books. Penny likes it when I write her name and she points at each syllable and says "enny". I guess the kids will be literate. I did laugh out loud when both kids were holding onto a book, pulling it back and forth and crying because each one wanted to control it. While sitting next to an entire basket of other books, of course. I'm trying to talk about "turns" with them but at this age it is hard so I just redirect - any other thoughts from others out there?

The do play without adult involvement more and more - Ned is better at it than Penny. She wants to sit by you and have you point out every animal, object, etc. in each book. Some animals she'll point to if asked where they are but it is funny how we always point out the horse and cow and she can never point them out when you ask her. That rules out 4H.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hint: Not Prof. Plum or Col. Mustard

Husband here. I have a little contest for you.

In the style of the board game Clue, I would invite you to leave a comment with your guess about the horrible crime perpetrated in the Esq. household today: who pooped, in which room, after eating what.

First person to guess correctly is the winner. (By dint of knowing the answer, I am already the loser.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toddlers = Teenagers

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between toddlers and teenagers? The whining, demanding tone of voice; eating you out of house and home; and wanting whatever they aren't allowed (TV remote = car keys).

I have taken the next step into toddlerhood this morning with Penny. Both kids have been bears about having their diapers changed after breakfast. This morning I resorted to the oldest trick in the book for both toddlers and teens..........bribery.

I told Penny that if she let me change her diaper I would give her some of the lotion I put on Ned (he has dry skin). So cooperative! Of course then she kept signing for "more" lotion and whining/crying when I put it away. It's easier to redirect toddlers than teenagers. This really emphasizes though how much the kids are beginning to comprehend what we say. Just like teenagers though they are more apt to ignore than comply.