Friday, October 31, 2008

Let sleeping babes lie

Last night was one of those amazing nights that Harry feel asleep at 645 pm. It's always a gamble - do you try and wake him at 715 and then put him back to bed at 830 or just see if he sleeps through. Well, we left him and he stayed asleep until he was wide awake, along with Suzy, at 3 am. Well, I was wide awake too. So, Suzy ate and Harry and I watched The Flintstones which really was a silly show. Happily everyone was back to sleep before 4 am. But, shees, what a morning.




Next week is my last week of 'baby vacation'. (Term coined by Pete and find me later for the editorial related to calling this 'vacation'.) We're getting a new furnace on Monday, an upgrade (200 amp!) to our electrical service on Tuesday and then Wednesday I see the doctor and am hopefully cleared for regular activity and an end to blood pressure medication. It should be a busy week.


Meanwhile, everyone is invited to the super basement cleaning party this weekend.

PS - Uncle Roger + crew - thanks so much for the pony. Every girl needs one.


Another baby

When you're pregnant, it seems like every other woman you see is pregnant. Almost as if the non-pregnant ones are invisible. Pete was especially sensitive to this phenomenon. Skip and his wife, Kristin, were pregnant right about the same time as us. Kristin developed a little case of preeclampsia (sound familiar?) and they had a baby boy, Anderson Philip, on October 26. Congratulations!

PS - if you're looking for a way to contact Skip, find me offline and I'll deliver the most recent address.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Emergenices


Some of you may know that Harry is a bit of a freak when it comes to dessert. For the most part, he's only interested if it is a bar (brownie) or a cookie (chocolate chip). Cake? No thanks. Ice cream? Once in a while, but only in sandwich or on a stick form. Pie? Not a chance. But cookies and bars? All day everyday. And, we actually have cookie emergencies at 610 Pine.


There are times when I look at Harry (and now Suzy) and tell myself to remember the moment. This happens every time Harry and Pete sit down at the table with coffee cups of milk and cookies to dunk in. I'm not sure who makes more noise sucking the milk off the cookie or a bigger mess on the table or drops more cookie in or shows less shame when placing the whole hand in to fish out the broken cookie, but they are adorable.




PS - Schmoopie, You simply must move back. You've had your fun now sell that house and buy one on a tree street. We still have an airport, Schmoopie can commute. I'd even give Schmoopie piano lessons if he wants them, just to sweeten the deal. I'm such a great, patient teacher. Come back, Schmoopies, come back!

Was it you?

Someone taught this girl how to cry. I mean, really cry. Loud. Wailing. And, she sounds just like Harry did. However, the oddest thing is happening - when she cries, I get calmer. When she wakes up at night, it's okay. With Harry, the crying made me crazy; he couldn't tell me what the problem was, there was just the crying. When he woke up at night, it seemed abusive. I spent a lot of time telling him, 'You are not efficient!' And it really made me nuts.


Some of this is due to the fact that Pete and I really aren't baby people. We of course love Harry and Suzy and enjoy their baby-ness, but when other babies come around we don't need to hold them. We don't stop strangers in public places to talk to them about their babies. The other reason for this uncharacteristic zen-like calmness is the fact that we are done having babies. This is it. 1 boy, 1 girl. No more.

None.












Monday, October 27, 2008

Talk about wasting

Today I:

1. Took Harry to school (and called mom to arrange for pick up and delivery to sitter)
2. Watched 6.5 episodes of The West Wing
3. Napped

I am going to get up and make chicken marsala now.

Really, I am.

Time's a wastin'

Things I thought I'd do on maternity leave (besides the obvious):

1. Play the piano
Total minutes spent playing the piano since 9/30: 7

2. Read a pile of books
Total books read since 9/30: 1

3. Build multiple things out of legos
Total minutes spent hunting for lego pieces: 4,568

4. Nap, taken daily, as needed
Total naps taken: 2
Daisy, of course, rubs my nose in this every day, even now snoring next to me.

So, all this leads to what exactly have I been doing on maternity leave (again, besides the obvious)?

1. Laundry. How can one little baby make so much laundry?

2. West Wing reruns. Don't worry, I'm already hanging my head in shame.

3. Legos. (See above.)

4. Trips to Walgreens, Target and the grocery store. I don't understand why that takes so long.

5. Trying to figure out exactly why I like synchronized swimming. Really, I do.

In case you're wondering, the obvious things are:

1. Chasing Harry from one place to the next

2. Feeding and changing Suzy

3. Cleaning the house

4. Contemplating exactly how I'm going to get Pete to agree that we NEED a Wii.

5. Cooking

6. Multiple insurance/doctor phone calls

Except for the nap part, it's been very satisfying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jack-o-Lanterns

In my world, there are 2 types of people:


1. Those willing to stick their hand into a pumpkin
2. Those unwilling to do same


Harry and I are of the second variety, so thank goodness we have Pete (and for me in previous years, my mom) to do the dirty work. As you must have guessed, last night we turned perfectly good pie ingredients into seasonal decorations that will rot in our south facing bay window. Fun was had by one and all.


And, we also started the annual game where Pete thinks I'm going to make roasted pumpkin seeds so he saves in them in a bowl and I let them sit there until they are all water logged and rotten and throw them out. Who am I to mess with 9 years of tradition? But, this made me wonder which of the tasks I've convinced myself are essential to the library that never get finished and we all live without that I could save time and money by not even starting them in the first place?


In other news, Suzy makes the cutest little faces. I know, I know, most babies make funny faces, but let's face it - Suzy's are the most unqiue, adorable little girl faces. (Paul, you are allowed to disagree after your daughter arrives.) Of note:






I'm trying to convince myself that this isn't the 'oh, you are my mom' face.

PS - Auntie Linda, the lobster is adorable!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A clean house

So I finally got myself over to MPL's site to check for Consumer Reports vacuum review (that's right, you can access Consumer Reports for free from your local library) which they did in the last issue. Apparently, I should be buying a canister vacuum, since they are better for bare floors. But, stick vacuums (not for stick people) work quite well on bare floors also, and cost a fraction of the price. So, I bought a Dirt Devil Power Stick and I have this to say about it:

1. I love it
2. It's great on stairs
3. The cord could be longer
4. It's annoying to not be able to turn it on with a foot
5. I love it
6. Totally worth the $44.99
7. Suzy sleeps through the following simultaneous events: barking dog, vacuum running, ipod playing Johnny Cash's Flosom Prison Blues
8. Harry thinks it's a special boy vacuum and likes to use it (things are getting better and better, no?)

Then, so inspired, I dusted the living room and dining room, and then cleaned the kitchen (while on the phone, annoying, I know) and took myself and Harry to the dentist. I also folded a zillion loads of laundry. Seriously -- where does it all come from?

Meanwhile, this stick vacuum thing got me thinking: they took an existing product and spun up something new. It does the same thing as a regular vacuum, but it's small and ever so slightly different. Sort of like Cirque de Soliel (I refuse to look up how to spell it because the people in it look like clowns and are just too scary to see this close to bed time) - it's just a modern version of the circus. Anyway, it made me think about what fresh take I could make on a current service or product.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Funny face

When Harry was born, Anna told us about the theory that infants only smile to help ensure that their parents can endure the crying, interrupted sleep and other unpleasantness of early parenthood. Everyone likes cute pictures of babies, but they make such funny faces and I think it's a shame not to capture some of those. Of course, these are the same pictures that will make them crazy in teenage years, but it makes up for the current parental madness.

Lately, when reading some library blogs, I've been thinking that while web 2.0 technologies are really great, it would be even better to have people talking about how libraries (and other people) are actually using these things. Don't get me wrong, I really like blogs and for a long time I thought about writing one, but I never seemed to have enough material until well, you know, a few weeks ago. So, the question isn't why should we use blogs and RSS and social tagging, but how should we use them and what is the benefit - either to the bottom line or the user?

PS - Pete, Birger, Gretchen, Sarah - so nice to have lunch today. Susie, how did I forget to take a picture of you and Suzy??? Maria, thanks for the visit and adorable outfits.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cooking shows

Turns out Harry likes cooking shows almost as much as he likes cartoons. We made chili today (it's on the stove now - nice to know that dinner is taken care of) and when we were done he asked if we could watch tv where they were in the kitchen chopping. It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about, but we watched a nice lady make sesame orange pork chops.

Today I am halfway through my maternity leave. I'm enjoying being home with Harry and Suzy, but I have to admit that my brain is starting to tick again. I'm back to Morning Edition and All Things Considered and today while I was feeding Suzy, I read 'The Week' instead of my trashy novel. Nothing against trashy novels, as I enjoy them with greater frequency than I'd like to admit. Let me know if you need suggestions, I won't tell anyone you asked.

Meanwhile, I heard a sound clip of a Barack Obama speech today where he quoted the Reagan campaign with 'are you better off than you were 4 years ago', which got me thinking about what I was doing in a library 4 years ago. Most companies/employers are good at making you think about what you did in the last year and what you'll do next year, but it seems to me every once in a while, it probably pays to take a look further back. There may be an idea to repurpose, or maybe even one who's time has come.

PS - Scott, thanks for the pink HD wear. Mrs. Lyman, thanks for the great outfit and Harry's shirt. Parkers, thanks for dinner, dessert, snacks and the adorable outfit. Granny, thanks for lunch!
PPS - It's bugging me - I don't know if I used the right who's/whose there and am too lazy to look it up. Anyone??

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lunch with Granny

Today we had lunch with Pete's Granny. Meaning, we went to her house and she made us a delicious lunch.
I just saw a commercial for a television program entitled 'Magic's biggest secrets revealed'. I have to admit, there are somethings about magic that I just don't want to know. I like being able to suspend reason and believe that someone is really being cut in half and then magically put back together. What's life if you can't believe in a little magic?


Of course, I saw this commercial while Pete and Harry were watching their new favorite program, 'Iron Chef':

(Of course, you can see I should have moved my new favorite hand lotion for a better shot.) (I write a lot of parenthetical phrases. See that? I even got to write parenthetical. Now I have to run spell check again. Woo! I got it right!)


I also have a confession to make: I'm a lot better at doing nothing on this maternity leave than I was with Harry.

PS - I'll be at MOTC on Tuesday morning, close enough to lunch if anyone is interested in joining me (and Suzy). I haven't quite decided if I want to try and wrangle Harry, too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

9:21 pm

Harry's home.

Sleepover

Harry is 3 hours into his first sleepover. He's at TJ and Elizabeth's house - their mom, Jenny, is my friend from the 1st grade, and I probably had one of my first sleepovers at her house. We're thinking that there is a 50% chance of a phone call to bring the boy home. But, otherwise we'll fetch him in the morning and see how he did.

Meanwhile, we had trouble decided if we should take advantage of the time at home or go out to dinner. Eventually, sloth won out and we were too lazy to make food so we went to the club for a fish fry.

And, no matter what your politics, Sarah Palin ought to stay off SNL - Tina Fey is rocking that impression.

I'm going to go find some leftover cake.

PS - Dan, Sarah, etc. - thanks for the bitty baby - she's the same size as Suzy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it wrong to eat it before he gets home?

Tell me, really, what would you do?




An SOS on my brain

Last night around 8 pm:
Cindy, sitting down on the couch: I've got to feed the girl.
Pete: OK
Cindy: Crap, I left the shield on the sink.
Pete, sighing: I can't wait until you get your brain back.
Harry: I'll get the shield!

This morning, around 10 am:
Birger: is it Pete's birthday today?
Cindy, glancing at the date on the computer screen: shit.
Cindy: shit shit shit.

On the upside, his present is already here. On the downside, I won't be doing Suzy's announcements today. I have to make this: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/.

Cake will be served at 7 pm tonight - all are welcome.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out of the mouths' of babes

Cindy: Harry, go get your Planet Hero spaceship out of the car.
Harry: Whatever.

The madness continues

So, after my Nerf gun moment of insanity, you'd think I'd be in the clear for a while. But, then I had to go to Target today to buy more diapers (seriously, how does one teeny tiny baby use 92 diapers in 1 week??) and I bought the replacement pack of 30 plunger foam darts for the gun.





Meanwhile, I had something to say about sales tax and the county parks and about how libraries should do that, but now I've lost that thought amongst the hunt for the foam darts.

PS - Pete took the camera to work today, so this slightly lower quality one is from my phone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not a whole lot

Harry woke up this morning and asked to go to Kelly's house. I should rephrase that - Harry woke me up this morning at 815 and asked to go to Kelly's house. So, I managed to get him shuffled out of the house around 10. So much for efficiency.

Suzy and I slugged around most of the day - I did get her room put together (and Harry's got baby legos all over the floor already) and the living room and dining room vacuumed. Man, the floor was really dirty. I also watched more Project Runway than I care to admit and made some good headway on the latest Stephanie Plum novel. Which I am reading in large print - it's sort of fun excepting all the page turning. Oh, and I gave her another bath with the expected results. This time I think she turned a little more purple than red during the howling. On the upside, she was nice and awake for some photos after.


In other good news, Pete's new chair cushion arrived today and I made the apple cake. The recipe is quite lovely, I'll use the walnuts and more cinnamon next time. I'll also probably look into getting a tube pan, since I seem to be bundt pan challenged. I spray the hell out of it, and I set the timer to let it cool and the stupid thing always breaks. I have accepted the fact that I can't make pie (stupid crust) but I seem to be unwilling to give up on bundt. Also, we need a new vacuum. Something good for bare floors. I'll check consume reports tomorrow, but if you've got a suggestion, I'm all ears.


PS - Kelly, thanks for the super cute outfits; Garretts, thanks for the massage certificate - I can't wait to use it; Jean thanks for dinner and legos and pink shoes and chocolate; Edward & c., we love the t-shirt!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Your big brother

Maybe it's because I have an older brother, but I feel it's important for every girl to have one. They can be handy and a pain in the hinder all at the same time. The age gap between Harry and Suzy is a little larger (4.5 years vs. 13 months), but I imagine he will still give her a ride to school or put the chain back on her bike and so on. The general consensus around here is that Suzy looks a lot like Harry when he was born. I figure there are worse things that can happen to a girl, and of course, Harry was a very cute baby. However, I do hope that Suzy ends up looking more like a girl than Harry as she gets a little older. (I also really hope she doesn't end up with a chin like Dan's!)


Harry is very proud of Suzy - today he asked if we were taking her into school and then motioned for all of his pals to come over and have a look. We were running a little late, so he didn't get much action, but I wondered how long this activity would continue.


Anyway, I know you really don't want to be looking at a picture of Dan and me at the Milwaukee Public Museum from last Christmas, so check these out:






PS - Paul, I finally figured out the date: it only shows atop the first post of the day.

Chicken legs (and arms)

I told you she was long. And a little skinny. But, it won't last long. I've been too afraid to type this, thinking that it would certainly change, but Suzy doesn't do much crying. Well, except during a bath. At night we wake to sucking sounds and some grunting, but not much full out wake the neighbors wailing.

Pete got the boat out of the water today. I picked Harry up from school and took some sandwiches down to the club for lunch. Suzy and I did a mountain of errands this morning - library, pharmacy, Kohl's, grocery store and so on. I had forgotten how much space that car seat takes up in a grocery cart, even if you have skinny legs.

Harry is going to spend a few hours at the sitter's tomorrow with his pals - I'm looking forward to a nap, even if I have to wait until tomorrow to get it. I tried to stay awake last night to watch the Iron Chef Challenge with a secret ingredient of beer, but so sleepy!

PS - IC, thanks for the great fruit basket - we were clear out of bananas and who can eat Honey Nut Chex without them? Photo credit to Gretchen.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nerf disaster

Whew. Seems like we didn't do anything this weekend and at the same time like we did everything. Church this morning and a quick stop at Target where in my delusional haze, I thought it was a good idea to buy Harry a Nerf gun. (Why? Why did I do this??) Upon arriving home, we cooked up so many rules related to the gun that I'm amazed he still thinks it's fun. Don't point the gun at people, don't point it at the dog, only shoot it outside, keep the bullets out of the neighbor's yard, etc. etc. etc. It occurred to me that I was trying to make the gun part of polite society - an act doomed for failure. Of the 6 original plunger/dart/bullet things, we have just 4 left, and the little bugger was smart enough to notice they sell replacement bullets.

Meanwhile, Suzy is doing just great. She slept through church and we're almost happy to hear her cry some, since she is so very quiet. I tortured her with another bath with the same results. I do hope it's just a phase, since I explained that no one really likes a stinky baby. We'll run some errands tomorrow (including the library!) while Harry is at school.

In other important household news, Daisy lost a tooth due to some poor dental hygiene. I gave her a toothbrush and explained how to use it, but apparently she didn't work it into her lay on the couch and bark at the mailman routine. Pete tried to brush them today with mild success. She is 12 now, but some how we still think of her as a puppy.

I'm going to go sing the boy a song before bed and then watch the rest of the baseball game - it's looking like there will be a dogpile on the mound sooner or later. I'm also trying to get Pete to run to Dairy Queen for a strawberry sundae.

PS - Gretchen, thanks for the pink suits and games with Harry - he was still talking about you tonight before bed. Anna, thanks for the lovely sweater and games with Harry. Joanne, thanks for the carseat cover loan and the sleeper.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An outing

We took Suzy to the doctor yesterday - her bilirubin (jaundice) is coming down nicely and she has gained 2 ounces since leaving the hospital. All good news. We don't see another doctor until she is 2 months old - excellent news. In bad news for Harry, he's got a couple booster shots due and we'll do those at Suzy's next appointment in December.
After the doctor, we picked up Harry from school (where there was general naughtiness by the class and specific naughtiness by Harry who 'somehow got that kid's skin between my fingers') and went to the zoo. The weather here has been so lovely and it was so nice to be outside. (In fact, Harry is outside now in his swimsuit with the hose.) Suzy and I have finally figured out eating without the mechanical device and bottles, but my supply is a little bit bigger than her stomach right now. We left in a bit of a hurry as I looked longingly at the machines in the Family Farm milking parlor.

I'm having some wicked headaches from the blood pressure medication, so the doctor recommended checking my blood pressure a few times a day and only taking it if I get a reading over 140/90. I will continue to take the evening dosage and hopefully that will be enough to keep things under control.

Harry had soccer this morning. He's not really big on group participation/team sports, and it's often pretty painful for whoever takes him to the activity, but he said he wanted to sign up, so off we go. He's pretty terrible at holding his place in line, asks several questions before performing the drill but loves running between the cones and kicking the ball. Thank goodness he didn't want to sign up for soccer and football!

The nursery is coming along - Pete and I are sorting through several boxes of books and trying not to make too much of a mess of the basement. We have the changing table set up and a little dresser in there. We'll get the floor scrubbed and a new rug down this weekend and then we'll be all set. Excepting that I suggested that we paint the blue wall a nice rose-pink color... maybe I'll go get some swatches from the paint store this afternoon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We tried

Well, we were home until Pete's mom showed up. Then we went to the grocery store while she sat with the kids. It still seems strange to say/type kids instead of Harry.

The neighbor's are putting up a new garage and today was concrete day. It was a little noisy with the construction and Daisy barking at everyone walking up and down the driveway, but Suzy slept right on through. Tomorrow we take Harry to school and Suzy to the doctor. We're thinking about goign to the zoo for an hour of so, but right now that seems like a lot of work. Then again, we may need to medicate Pete if we don't do something that involves leaving the house tomorrow. I've never seen him so excited to go to the grocery store.






An angry bath

So we're home. Harry was very pleased to get Suzy yesterday and gazed at her all the way home. He insisted on whispering, since she was asleep, and sang 'Good Night Sweetheart' and 'Wake Up, Little Suzy' all the way home. He enjoyed holding her, but couldn't sit still very long, since he had a job to do.
We gave Suzy a bath, which made her madder than I've ever seen her. Harry couldn't decide if he wanted to help or run away as so not to hear the wailing. It was a little nutso in here with her screaming and him running back and forth from the kitchen sink (bath site) and the couch. She was up to eat at 11, 2 and 5 - I took the 11 and 2 and made Pete do the 5. She's eating very well (it's getting a little less mechanical) and looking more pink than yellow (jaundice clearing up). We see the pediatrician Friday morning for a check up, and I imagine everything will be fine.

Meanwhile, we're all staying home today. Maybe a little work in the nursery - which is looking less like storage space and more like a bedroom. Pete is home until Monday and the weather here is supposed to be beautiful.

Altho, everything looks better when you have a Harry and a Suzy at home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We're home

All 4 of us, and Daisy too.

Editors

I think I've told you that I'm enjoying writing this blog, but what makes me CRAZY is when I re-read a post and find grammatical/spelling/usage errors!!!

Right now, Harry and I are on the couch watching PBS kids and eating chocolate chip pancakes that Pete brought home. Harry will go to school this morning and Pete and I will do a little work in the nursery and then we'll all have lunch and go get our girl.

I just spoke with Suzy's nurse, Suzie (she also had a Cindy, a Sue and a Suzette) and her bilirubin is down, but she may be coming home with a biliblanket. Otherwise, things are looking great and we're looking forward to a few days at home together.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One last night of sleep

Suzy gained an ounce! The doctor considered letting her go home today, but she has acquired a case of breastfeeding jaundice. She's got the glo-worm blue light on her back for the night and hopefully won't need to come home with it. In addition to the yellow skin, the jaundice makes her sleepy and less likely to eat as well as she would, so they thought it best to keep her just one more night before sending her home with us tomorrow.


I told Harry I was going to go get some nappies for Suzy today. He said, 'Mom, don't forget the wipes' - it's a good thing he remembered, because somehow I had forgotten. I stopped on my way home this afternoon and managed to remember nappies, wipes, plugs, butt paste and a cart full of other necessities. I also managed to go to the Public Market at lunch time and practiced my German (nouns good, cases and verbs bad, medical terminology even worse) with Birger's parents and acquired some green things for our fridge - it's been a little sketchy here lately in the vegetable department.


So, assuming all goes well tomorrow and we really do bring our girl home, we'll be open for visitors this weekend. We're considering going to church Sunday morning, but otherwise we'll be here. You may want to call first, but we won't turn anyone with cookies away.

PS - Craig and Brent, thanks so much for the lovely layette!

A weighty issue

Good morning! Just a quick update - I talked to Suzy's nurse this morning and will be heading downtown as soon as I can pry Harry off the couch, but our girl passed her car seat test and can come home tomorrow so long as she has gained weight when they pop her on the scale tonight.

I am going to use this as an excuse to have a chocolate malt for breakfast. After all, nice fatty milk will make a nice fat baby! So, keep your fingers crossed for us and we'll let you know how it goes.

PS - Phams, thank you for the outfit and blanket - very chic. Eaton University - thanks for the cookies, they are ridiculously pink and delicious looking (also, thanks for the morning delivery, Harry is having cookies for breakfast).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday: Sailing or Suzy?

My mom came over tonight to hang out with Harry and fold the previously mentioned laundry. (Our dining room table is covered in baby clothes. Ridiculous how one little tiny thing can need so much stuff.) Harry seems to have a bit of a low grade fever going, but some Tylenol knocked that out and he had a nice night at home with Ama. Tomorrow we'll take it easy in the morning, maybe make some french pancakes. Then he'll go over to Kelly's and I'll head down to see Suzy.

Pete and I went to feed Suzy tonight. She woke around 8 and we changed her nappy (the poor thing doesn't have a butt), took her temperature, weighed her and feed her. She gained half an ounce since yesterday and her temperature is just fine. Pete's mom fed her around 5 pm and she took nearly 2 ounces and about the same when I fed her tonight. We had to bring her car seat in so they could do a pulse ox test on her while sitting in the seat to ensure she will be able breathe properly while positioned in her seat.

So, the nurse mentioned that there was a chance she could go home on Wednesday at the earliest and by the weekend at the latest. While I'm very anxious for her to come home, I want them to keep her there just as long as they think necessary. But, man, I'm tired and would be glad to stay home.

Keep your fingers crossed.

The nursery

Confession time. We moved Harry into his big boy room last year just before the holidays. Then I started using the nursery as storage/office space. We hadn't quite gotten the nursery together before all of the excitement a week ago. So, yesterday when we got home from the hospital, Pete headed up to the attic and got the car seat and the rest of the LTO's*. We acquired a bassinet since the tiny Harry days, so Suzy has a car seat, a wardrobe and a safe place to sleep even if her room is a bit of a disaster.

Today when I got to the hospital, I found Suzy in a regular crib and off all IVs. We're down to just 2 patches that will stay on until she goes home. The nurse said that we are going to 'normalize' things, meaning that Suzy will be on her own schedule eating as much as she wants when she wants. This is amazing progress, as we were told to expect it to take until tomorrow for her to work out her breathing and then another week (ending 10/14) for her to learn to eat. So, after discussing this news the nurse asked if we have everything set at home. When I hesitated, she said, 'I don't think she is going to be here very long.'

If you feel like folding and sorting LTOs, there is a giant pile on my dining room table.

*LTO's = little tiny outfits

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The unused IV site

Another tube out. Suzy is suffering no lack of appetite, so yesterday after we left the nurse was able to remove the IV site from her hand. She still has a line in her belly button, which we are hoping will come out on Monday, leaving her with just 2 patches - one to monitor her heart rate and the other her lungs. Today we will have a couple of 21 cc feedings and then up to 24. Suzy needs to get to 30 cc's (roughly an ounce) before coming home.

I am still tiring quickly and having some fragile moments. Pete is holding things together wonderfully and will even manage to get the boat out on schedule. I'm hoping that when Suzy comes home we'll all be able to have a few days together to figure out our new routine. Poor Daisy, I'm sure she'll think this is a terrible trick.

This morning in church they lit a candle of life for Suzy, our church's way of welcoming and celebrating a birth, adoption or death into the community. This was my first trip into society (that didn't involve getting a gallon of milk) since I checked into the hospital on 9/24. I was reminded that besides Suzy's progress and Harry's innate flexibility, we are so very glad to have the caring people around us that have made this just a little bit easier on all of us.

PS - Ant, you were right, it really is a lovely name.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just quick

Ok, I wasn't going to do this because I want to eat the hot dogs I took from Mom's freezer yesterday (eat your heart out, Dan) and watch the Badgers/Brewers, but they are just so darned cute:













Photo by Pete

Lego town

Bilirubin light off. Pulse ox monitor off the foot. Feedings up to 12 cc's. Lung x-rays looking perfect. All good news. I had planned on staying here most of the day with Suzy, but Harry is exhibiting the need to stay home in 'big boys and shirt' so I think I'll pack up and maybe stop for some legos at the 'special boy store'.

I do need to get home in time to see that football game without the 300 member cheering squad. And, also from the bad news department, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get out of making dinner tonight. I had such a good run going....

The countdown

Greetings from the NICU.

Suzy is breathing on her own. They removed nasal tube last night and she is holding her own. So, 1 tube off her head and 2 patches off her face. 3 patches, 2 tubes and a bilirubin mask left to go. She kept pulling the tube out and the nurses keep telling me that she is feisty. Somehow they think this is my fault, the old apple and the tree talk. Last night Pete feed Suzy 6 cc's via a bottle and this morning she's up to 9 cc's of milk per meal. The more milk they get in and she processes the less she needs via IV. Today I'll feed her and then we will top her off with the 9 cc's. Now that the breathing is under control she has to prove that she can eat and gain weight every day. Also, she feels better with something in her belly rather than living off the IV fluids so maybe she will turn into a calm, mild mannered, sweet sort of girl.

While Suzy is a really good size for a 34 week baby, she's very skinny. Her arms and legs are terribly long and are just waiting to be plumped up - sort of like a donut without the filling. Her fingers are also very long and according to Pete, they are just like my hands. Something about the index and ring fingers being the same length and a 'ridiculously' long thumb. Personally, I think my thumb is a perfectly fine length and if you're looking for freaky thumbs, all eyes ought to be on Dad, Dan, Liam and Harry. (Mine doesn't bend every way to Sunday, it's just long!) All this spells piano lessons to me.

Pete and Harry are working today; they have a boat skid to deliver. He went to play at TJ and Elizabeth's house last night while Pete and I sat with Suzy. Harry was thrilled and was out the door without shoes or a jacket before I could say, 'Wait, I have to call Mrs. Brown first!' They had quite a nice night and we'll be looking to schedule a sleepover very soon. We had a cookie emergency at our house last night, but managed to solve that with a stop at 1415 Mackinac - there seems to be a cookie making explosion over there now that we've discovered the most amazingly perfect cookie recipe. (I do not kid, stop now and make these cookies. If you do, we wouldn't be upset if you sent some over, also, this apple cake is looking mighty good.)

And finally, a short list of things I should have know:

  1. the small load of pinks/reds in our house has magically turned into 2 loads
  2. even with an epidural, when you get right down to business in that delivery room you remember every detail of what it takes to get a kid out
  3. NICU nurses are an amazing bunch of people even if they are constantly hugging

PS - Gretchen, I've got the worst case of GCS with no end in site.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A new lunch table

I think that I'm going to put more miles on driving to Sinai than I have driving to work in the last month.

Today I got to feed Suzy. While not quite as colorful as my usual lunch table, she held her own. She did very well, but it's hard work for such a little girl. She takes about a teaspoon at a time, and then needs a 2 hour nap. So, we ate twice, we both had a nap (I think I might have done just a tiny bit of snoring in my rocking chair) and then it was time to come home and see Harry (read: build various things out of legos). We'll head back later tonight for some dinner and then do it all again tomorrow.

In respiratory news, sometime this afternoon Suzy should be breathing 100% on her own. This is good news, since it's one less cord to get tangled up while holding her. We also have a tiny case of jaundice going on, so she's been baking under the bilirubin light for a couple days now. She still has a heart and lung monitor, an IV site on her hand, a catheter in her belly button and a blood gas monitor on her foot. Mom said yesterday that she is wired for sound, and I'm looking forward to the removal of each device, but at the same time feel very fortunate for the progress medical science has made in the last 500 years. (It reminds me of that line about 'back in the 1500's surgery was really exciting and had great possibility, but did you really want to be the one on the table?')

I am feeling much better. I was feeling a little fragile on Wednesday, but a day with Pete and coming home Thursday has done much to remedy that situation. I tire quickly, and this is the only silver lining I can find in not having our girl here - we're all able to get some good sleep until the inevitable 2 hour schedule and never ending sleep deprivation headache kicks in.

Aren't kids great?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And then there were four



A new friend

So, now that the woozy drops are gone, I'm reduced to the standard swiss cheese-mommy brain excuse. My previous PS should have included one for Linda - the new kitty is snugged in with FAO, Harry's kitty waiting for some company while waiting for her proper owner to come home.

Back in my hospital library days, I made a wonderful friend named Marian. We spent a great summer working on a what sometimes seemed like a silly project creating a website that care providers at Aurora now use every day for patient care handouts. (Called 'For Your Well Beings' for those of you in the Milwaukee area.)

Marian's sister Linda has recently joined the staff at Sinai and Pete and I had the pleasure of meeting her. Linda is going to keep on eye on Suzy while we aren't there.

It looks like the cow

Harry is home from his farm field trip today. Among other things, they milked a cow. As it turns out, this was quite a timely activity, as when he came home, it was time for me to pump. After I explained why the baby wasn't here, we had a conversation about how the baby eats. He paid careful attention to what was going on and then said, 'Mom, it looks like the cow'. He's got a point.

Now, I'm sitting on the couch and the sweet boy is in the kitchen washing the parts.

PS - Auntie Mary and Uncle Buzz and Schmoopies: thanks for the beautiful flowers, they came at the time when I needed the place to look less like a hospital.

Cindy shaped dents

Hello from the couch. My couch. On Pine Street.

Let's do the update on me and then get to the fun stuff. Pete picked me up this morning and brought me home (after a stop at Panera since the food situation here is a little sketchy right now). My blood pressure has come down very nicely and I will be on a medication for a few weeks to make sure it stays down. I think the MD wanted me to stick around for another day, but that would have required straps and a psych consult so I'm home with an order for bed rest. I'm allowed to drive down and see Suzy, so the tentative plan is for us to get Harry off for his day in the mornings and then head down to spend the day with Suzy.

Harry is on a farm field trip today with Grandma Jean. I'll be here when he gets home and we'll have a nice afternoon together. Meanwhile, I'm going to watch some quality daytime television and have a shower. (I am more excited about the shower than the television.)

Suzy is doing very well. Premature babies often make good progress followed by a couple steps backward. It's lots of work and their little bodies pay for the work they do to make the progress. Yesterday they had to give her a little more help breathing since she wasn't quite as efficient as hoped and there was a little too much CO2 floating around in her blood gas. This morning things were looking beautiful and we are hoping that she will breathe unassisted starting a little later today. Depending on how that goes, they will pipe some milk (yep, that's going fine too, although a little more mechanically than hoped) down to her belly. With luck, in the next few days I'll be able to try feeding her. Finally, she's got a tiny case of jaundice going, so in top of a few other monitors, she's got a billilight and an itty-bitty eye mask to help cook that out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What have you got?


We've got a middle name and a camera cable.


Here's Suzette Grace Larson:

Reading, sharing and visitors

Pete reminded me that we should let folks know about visitors. I'm blaming the woozy drops (which stop in 40 minutes) for not remembering that people like to visit babies. I wonder how long I can use those as an excuse before switching over to the standard mommy brain.

Harry and Suzy met yesterday afternoon. He has already promised Pete to take good care of her forever and explained to Jack that he must be nice to his baby sister. He's also most concerned about his legos, as 'she could choke on them'. (A thinly veiled disguise for not being interested in sharing his legos, in my opinion.) Are you surprised that I pointed out that this is why it's important to put your legos away? He insisted on singing 'Good Night Sweetheart' to her and promised that he would read his Sam and Mat books to her. (I think I haven't managed to tell you that Harry has successfully started reading over the past 2 weeks.)

Anyway, Suzy's visitor list is pretty short - just the 3 of us and grandparents. She is doing great, but there are other babies over there that need a little more help than her getting going. As I mentioned before, we expect her to be home in a week or two and will be glad to receive visitors then. (See the first post about the dust - no guarantees on a change of that state.)

As for visiting me (I'm going to pretend that someone still wants to see me, instead of Suzy who I have to tell you is practically perfect in every way), I'm planning on spending most of the day today sitting with Suzy. I'm not sure they will let me go home tonite, but hope springs eternal.

Harry is holding up like a champ on his grandmother vacation, but I must confess that I'd like to wake up and wonder what time the silly kid got into our bed and drag him down for a bowl of cereal and to watch SuperWhy!

Still don't have a 20 on the camera cable, but Jean reminded me that I could shut down the wireless on my Blackberry and use that for a few photos of our girl. I'll get those up later today -not to worry, I'll get a flattering angle for her feet.