Friday, May 28, 2010

Spyder: A Birth Story

Josephine Alice joined the Esq Family on Thursday, May 27th at 11:30 am, weighing in at an impressive 8 lbs, 3 ounces and 20 inches long. Here is her birth story.

Husband and I left the house at 7:00 am (Nanny April came early) and waited around for hours despite the word "schedule" in "scheduled C-Section". I was actually having contractions and probably was having them the day before when I ended up taking care of Ned and Penny all day when our backup care fell through and Nanny April's eggs were being harvested (things look good for her on that front). That would probably explain why I was a hormonal mess and didn't handle constant toddler tantrums very well.


Husband and I finished up all last minute items on Wednesday night, going to bed way too late and I didn't sleep much (in retrospect probably because of contractions). One important task on his list was to pick a name but I convinced him we just needed to have a finite list. In case you were wondering we went to the hospital with Adelaide, Alice, Eleanor, Evelyn and Josephine as possibilities.



Once they took me to the OR everything went quickly and smoothly, it seemed much faster than last time, including the stitching up. I guess Dr. Whatscooking did a really good job last time and I had almost no scaring and I lost almost no blood during the process. I did have BP dips, itchy skin and later vomited but that was all par for the course.



I kept falling asleep after I went to recovery so it was good that Josie slept too. She latched immediately when she did wake up and has been a little miffed at Mommy, Esq ever since for not actually having any food yet for her. Husband was really tired last night but he did diaper changes since I was still hooked up to the catheter. But I was up and walking around a few times and felt fine.

Josie slept on my chest from 3-7 am and it was really sweet. She looks a lot like Husband and his mom Debi. It's nice being able to spoil one baby - and second time around this feels pretty relaxing - we didn't bring too much stuff, we have friends bringing food and an infant cries so much more quietly than a toddler.


Thanks for everyone's well wishes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Controlling Spendthrift Impulses

I'm ready to have this baby just so I stop spending money. I have 3 days at home and every day I have had to run errands that have involved spending way too much money. Sure, mani/pedi and eyebrows are a luxury but I have to look nice for all those photos I expect to be in. :) And there are the few miscellaneous supplies we needed, involving trips to Isis, Target, Babies R Us and Christmas Tree Shop. Now that we have lovies for Spyder she can officially arrive. Since Penny has pink hippos and Ned brown monkeys we went with green frogs for Spyder. Tomorrow, my last day is going to be spent stocking up on groceries.

I really need to keep spending in check while I'm on maternity leave. I intend to be religious about grocery lists (and try to avoid Whole Paycheck) and do more cooking (okay, this might be a pipe dream). I will be joining a gym after we get back from a family vacation to North Carolina in July but I am going to have that be a short-term cost (only while I am on leave) to get back in shape.

Ned and Penny will be at home with April so getting out of the house will be a priority. I will try do to so by enjoying playdates with friends instead of running errands or meeting for meals.

I'm even contemplating starting a weekly budget for myself.

Any other suggestions for helping me keep spending in check while I'm on maternity leave?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Preparations

As part of preparing for the impending arrival of Spyder, I put together a schedule for my parents who will be taking care of Ned and Penny. It's been a long time since I've posted one - we've been on this one since they were about 16 months old.

6:30-7:00 am: Wake up. They are usually willing to hang out in their cribs to about 7:15 am. They will instruct you to open their shades and sometimes Penny takes a little while before she’s willing to get out of her crib (just like Grammy). Change diapers in nursery before going down to breakfast. [Ask Penny if she wants to sit on potty, Ned too if he is interested.] Leave pacifiers and lovies in cribs before heading downstairs.

Penny gets 5.0 ml of Omeprizole (in fridge) before breakfast.

7:30 am: Breakfast.

7:45-8:30 am: Brush teeth, wash hands, put on sunscreen and get dressed. Brush Penny’s hair and put in pigtails. [Any and all of these things can wait until April arrives.] [Ask Penny if she wants to sit on potty before she is dressed.]

8:30 am (Thursday and Friday): April arrives and will handle everything until 5:30 pm – easiest if she leaves while they are eating in their highchairs.

8:45/9:00 am: Snack. You can do snack on the go if you are heading out (at the park, etc.). Sometimes a kid won’t snack (Ned), which means will be hungry earlier for lunch.

Penny gets 1.50 ml of Pepcid – in cabinet on left. Can bring in diaper bag (doesn’t need to be refrigerated).

11:30 am: Lunch. If you want to do lunch out we usually aim to be seated between 11:00 am and 11:15 am to avoid meltdowns.

12:15 pm: Nap. Change diapers before naps. Close blackout shades. Story in cribs or in room on floor.

2:45/3:00 pm: Wake up from naps. If you are lucky, sometimes they only sleep 2 hours. [Ask Penny if she wants to sit on potty when she gets up.] Leave pacifiers and lovies in the cribs.

Penny gets 5.0 ml of Omeprizole (in fridge) before snack.

3:15/3:30 pm: Snack. Don’t worry if they don’t eat much, just means they will have dinner promptly at 5:30 pm (or earlier). April usually prepares what they are having for dinner while they are snacking to save time later. If you want to go outside later we usually reapply sunscreen. If you are going in backyard put on bug spray (spray on your hands and apply to their face/arms, neck, legs).

Penny gets 1.50 ml of Pepcid before dinner – in cabinet on left. Can bring in diaper bag (doesn’t need to be refrigerated).

5:30/6:00 pm: Dinner. Ned has been refusing to eat. If he is flipping out put him in his highchair but don’t give him any food until he calms down, he’ll just throw it on the floor.

6:30/7:00 pm: Bath and bedtime. [Ask Penny if she wants to sit on the potty before she gets in the tub.] Onsies, PJs, size 4 nighttime diapers (2nd drawer down), sleep sacks (no socks needed); lovies and pacifiers in cribs and a book if they want one.

7 pm: Enjoy a glass of wine. You are tired. J

A few other items of note is that I am having the C-Section on Thursday. Our nanny has started an IVF process and it may be that she will be having egg retrieval that day plus she'll need 3 days of bedrest the following week (when I am home post-surgery). To say that I am stressed about all of this doesn't even begin to cover it. We working to come up with some backup care for the kids since I won't be able to do anything to care for them that involves lifting or being on the floor with them. And for those of you who know me in real life you all realize that this sort of timing is very typical "Esq" luck. All we need though is a nice healthy baby and we'll get through the rest.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I See a Baby!

Husband here...

Wife is pretty busy being pregnant, and it's making her too tired to blog often. I will try to fill in a bit by sharing a great little development milestone: Penny's first sentence.

When Wife and kids picked me up at work today (long story involving the van being in the shop due to a parking-lot mishap...), they'd just gotten back from the playground. We were going to Chili's for dinner. (Better than I remembered; we'll go back.)

At the playground, there had been some other kids, including a ~12 month old. Wife was telling me about it when Penny piped up: "I see a baby!" Very clearly and very relevant to the conversation, so I assume it was "for real." I'll give her a pass on the tense confusion until she hits 2 years.

I was pretty flabbergasted, and thought it was just awesome, so naturally I parroted it back. And she did the same. We kept telling each other "I see a baby" all afternoon until bedtime.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laboring Under Delusions

Whenever I tell people I'm going on maternity leave soon or that I'm due soon someone has a story about a lawyer at my Big Firm. Here is what I've heard so far:

- The partner who drove herself to the hospital while on a conference call to deliver her baby.
- The senior associate who came back early from leave because there was an interesting project coming up.
- The associate who decided to distract herself from labor by coming into the office the day she was in labor and billed 8 hours - for each of her two kids [by the way, her ex-husband is a partner and told me this story himself]
- The client who took conference calls relating to financing commitment papers while waiting for her epidural.
- The associate who closed a deal on a Friday and went into labor on Saturday.

I wish I could say these are myths but I actually know most of the women. Mommy, Esq's approach is to work hard but I managed to get my doctor to write a medical leave form for me so technically I am now on leave. I'm not quite done with work but I've got my out-of-office message on my email and I'm only working a few hours a day.

Time to put the Mommy back into Mommy, Esq.

Let me know if you have other superwomen stories - it won't make me feel guilty in the slightest while I sit here and gestate in front of the TV.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Updated: Lawyering Can Be Back-Breaking Work

After far too many hours in my office chair with a huge belly and swollen cankles I can assure my loyal readers that sometimes a white-collar job can be physically demanding. I promise to post a belly picture before I give birth.

Husband and Nanny April have stepped into the breach. Husband even took both kids on an outing today to see trucks (or as Ned would say "Rucks!") and took them to lunch. The very brief periods I've seen Ned and Penny they seem happy and willful - you know, toddlers. :)


All concerned parties are ranting and raving about how I shouldn't be working this much at 38 weeks (almost) pregnant but I feel more guilty about not helping out around the house and with the kids than really miserable about my deal. I can't let down my deal team (the partner certainly sees my giant belly waddling through the office) and very soon I'll be getting paid for 18 weeks of being home with Spyder. This crazy work schedule should be ending early next week and then I'm putting myself on "bed rest" (aka, get the nursery done).

Spyder has been very active this whole time and I actually wonder if the "stress" might not be good for her development. They say that one reason multiples do better than singletons prematurely is because they stress each other out in utero and it helps them develop (especially the lungs). My blood pressure is nice and low so I don't think there is any real risk. I was remarking to a male colleague that women used to carry babies while fleeing from predators and living in caves so surely I can sign up one deal? He thought it was funny equating lawyers to cavemen. Hyper-technical cavemen, I'm sure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2.0

On Sunday Husband and I got up before the kids did (Ned slept until after 7:30 am) and he made us all breakfast and we invited my dad over since he is an early bird. My mom, not so much, so she came after the kids and I napped and put them to bed while Husband and I went to dinner. It's nice that she thought spending her Mother's Day with her grandkids was a present.

I think Bumpa would love it if one of his grandchildren became a doctor. Penny may be in the running:



I actually did most of the childcare on Sunday - took them to the park by myself, made them dinner, etc. Husband did some yard work and went grocery shopping. I really didn't mind but I was laughing a little at all the kids at the park with their dads because all the moms wanted for Mother's Day was a break. I fully appreciate that - especially for stay-at-home moms.




Although it was a fenced in park I did have to be vigilant about my daredevils - even Penny fell off a few high platforms thinking they were stairs. Both kids praticed walking down the stairs, refusing all assistance and Ned has started doing the same at home. It's a bit heart-attack inducing.





At dinner Husband and I discussed baby names and tried to remember what it would be like with an infant again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

OMG--I'm Nesting!

Husband here (not who you expected, is it?):

Holy crap. I think I'm nesting.

In the past 24 hours, I've

  • Fixed a broken faucet
  • Re-caulked the kitchen sink
  • Finished the trim around our office closet doors
  • Cleaned up and organized the basement

Now granted, the first was urgent, and the next two have been on my list a very long time. But cleaning the basement? While Wife was out with the kids and I could have been napping or drinking beer and watching TV?

What's wrong with me?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wonderful Tonight

There is something about longer days, warmth and sunshine that leads me to reminisce about my "youth", probably because I always spent some time at the beach on a towel "planning" how the following year would be better/different. This morning "Wonderful Tonight" came on the radio and it brought back memories of high school since that was the prom theme our senior year.

I went to my senior prom but not because I particularly wanted to; I just didn't want to look back on my high school and think I "missed" something. It helped that my mom agreed to buy my dress (green satin purchased as Macy's, with white satin gloves). I drove a bunch of other single ladies in my mom's minivan (an opal colored Toyota Previa). I know that my sister Stacey had a date (the awesomely fun Ross) but I think my other sister Allison, Natalie and Lauren were in the minivan. I think I even got my hair done. After prom a bunch of us went up to New Hampshire for a co-ed sleepover at one friend's summer home - without parents. Most of my friends didn't drink in high school and I didn't (was even part of a group that pledged not to) so despite sounding risky it really wasn't.

It was kind of shitty being at a prom without a date. You can pretend you are having fun and all but it is not an experience geared toward non-couples. Looking back I guess it was good that I went and probably empowering to be able to tell my kids I "went alone". But the truth is after I got to college and realized that boys will like you even if you are aggressively vocal about liking and being good at school then I decided that high school boys are stupid. It took the sting out of unrequited high school crushes and made me sigh about the amount of time I spent worrying about boys. I can't even imagine how little I would have gotten done in high school if I actually had a boyfriend - all those hours frittered away fretting about not having one!

I want Penny and Spyder to grow up and not be afraid to be vocal about their education and part of me hopes that they too will mostly just have unrequited crushes - it will give them time to figure out who they are before plunging into adulthood.

When you reminisce now about your youth does having kids put it more in perspective? What is one high school experience you would or would not want your kids to have?

P.S. I wish I had a prom photo to include so if anyone has one and can send it I will update the post.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Animal Play

This past weekend we spent a lot of time with animals. And not just these two:

I love the zoo!

Last year we had a family membership to the Stone Zoo that we hardly used. I think this year we'll get a lot more use out of it. A pattern has emerged with the kids - Ned insists on running around on his own steam. He's a very happy boy so long as he is unfettered.

What else can I see?

One parent must be with him at all time so the other parent pushes the stroller and handles Penny. She listens to direction better and we are less likely to lose her.

The Stone Zoo is small but it has "corners" so you can lose track of a kid if you aren't careful. The bird enclosure (Penny was a little scared of the birds flying around) and the black bears were big hits.

Mama?

At Drumlin Farms on Sunday we signed up for a membership too. The kids know that a cow says "moo" and sheep say "baa" and an owl says "whoo". Ned grunts a little through his nose for the pigs like he's snoring (they won't say "oink"). Any other animal says "mooo?" I like the farm because Ned can run very far and you can still see him. Sometimes I have to pick him up and carrying him for a bit before he's willing to run in the right direction. We've been there twice and the kid does not slow down at all.

Moo!

Needless to say they fell asleep in the car while we drove to a place that had functioning restaurants with water. We tried Cracker Barrel but that was packed so we ended up at Wendy's, breaking Penny's beef restriction with shared hamburger. She helped clean the table before we ate.

Little Helper

Lunch time!

It was a wonderful weekend and we learned that if they fall asleep and then won't nap later to just put them to bed earlier - better for everyone. Any advice for keeping track of a "runner" during excursions? I am a little worried about doing so with an infant in tow this summer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Wash Your Hands

Sorry, Ned - waterplay is over for now. Thanks to a catastrophic waterbreak in Massachusetts we are now required to boil water or use bottled water.

We Esqs spent the better part of Saturday afternoon drinking tap water and of course bathing the kids. I hope we all stay healthy.

It's interesting how much we take for granted relating to water. Off to boil a vat of water to wash the kids after mealtimes! Later we'll have to throw out all the ice in our ice maker. I also need to remember that our cat should get bottled water. Lots of interesting facts have been provided - thank goodness for the internet!