A Few Lighter Moments

It’s the first of December and we’ve spent the entire morning outside in the warm sunshine. This is simultaneously fabulous and alarming. We actually had lunch on the back porch. At the moment Yogi is napping and Monkey is on a jog with my wife. I am deliciously alone. Ahhhh…..

I’ve missed this space and the opportunity to slow down and reflect that it provides.  Since writing last, more than just vomiting and coughing has been going on around here. Of course it has. There have been plenty of lighter moments and I’m finally ready to acknowledge them.

  • Monkey met his two cousins and I’m pretty sure he loved every second of it.

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  • Yogi fell in love with sand. Neither of the boys were wild about the water and waves part of the beach, but the four of us had a blast on our first family trip to the beach. It wasn’t a beach trip if the term conjures relaxation, but I’m so glad we went. There were sand castles and digging and walks to the ice cream shop and pancakes for breakfast.
  • Monkey is sitting up on his own and just yesterday he started babbling at the park. Man is this going fast.
  • Yogi is showing no sign of letting go of his breastfeeding relationship. He gets Mommy milk in the morning and before bedtime. On particularly busy mornings, the boys eat together and Yogi loves to pick who gets what side. “This Mommy milk  Yogi, this Mommy milk Monkey”. Breastfeeding a toddler is certainly entertaining.

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  • Mommy and Yogi built a paci box! This goes down as the greatest idea my wife and I have had so far. The paci box is a special box (made out of Legos) where paci hangs out when it’s not bedtime or nap time. Since Monkey’s arrival we have been fretting about Yogi’s increasing attachment to his paci. By the time we got the idea for the box, Yogi was asking for his paci anytime we were at home. Now that we have the box, he is quite happy to part with the paci when he wakes up. Brilliance!
  • The Monk can sit up in the grocery cart!

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Three Cheers for the Monk!

Can you believe that happy little face? This is Monkey at 7:30 this morning in a hospital having had no milk since 3am. The Monk is one game little dude. I was not nearly as chipper.

I never imagined I would feel this good about my baby undergoing surgery, but I am over the moon. Today’s scan revealed precisely what we were hoping for. A simple dermoid on his nasal bone that is nowhere in the neighborhood of his brain. There were no other nasty surprises to be found and he came out of anesthesia like he was waking up from a nap. When we walked into recovery he was gripping a bottle of Pedialyte for all he was worth. The nurse who was caring for him said it was his second and he had woken only moments before. That’s our Monkey!

We’ve got a surgery to schedule, but it sounds like it will be pretty straightforward. It’s likely that it will take less time than the scans he got today. He’s got to go under again and he’ll have a scar, but other than that we’re home free. There are two very happy Mommies at my house tonight.

I’m so grateful to every one of you who kept us in your thoughts today. Thank you from the bottom of my happy Mama heart.

The Monkey Bump

Thanks for chiming in with kind words on my last post. Knowing that you guys are thinking about us is comforting.

After meeting yesterday with a pediatric neurosurgeon and today with a peds ENT, it seems likely that our little Monkey has a nasal dermoid. To those like myself who don’t speak medical-ese, this means that the boy has a bump (a mass of misguided skin cells really) between his eyes that needs to go. The major question of the moment is whether the bump extends into his brain space. Obviously, if it does the surgery will be a much more serious kind of surgery. On Thursday he’ll be getting scanned (MRI and CT) so the doctors can answer that question.

My fear of the moment is that in a little over 24 hours my six month old will be put under general anesthesia. Neither of his Mommies has ever been under this kind of anesthesia, but Monkey will have to do it both for the scans and for the eventual surgery.  Twice. For some reason this is what is scaring me the most. All the doctors have assured us that they do these kinds of procedures all the time, but that only helps a little bit. Words like anesthesia and surgery just don’t belong in a sentence that also includes a baby.

Exhaustion

I’m at the end. This family MUST get better. So many wonderful things have happened to us since the last forever when I posted, but at the moment I’m trapped in whiny-negativity land.

I was so eager to get past summer and into fall and since fall has arrived we have been nothing but sick around here. First there was croup and then there was a REVOLTING stomach flu that had Yogi vomiting all over his horsey costume after only the first house in his Trick-or-Treating career, and since the beginning of last week there has been the sinus infection FROM HELL.

Looking back the croup really wasn’t so awful. No one else got it and as long as we kept the humidifier running the seal barking was fairly controlled. The stomach virus was a bad deal for everyone. Yogi and my wife were hit the hardest, but all of us got a touch. A toddler throwing up in his sleep is both scary and disgusting and I hope to steer clear of that brand of illness for as long as we can.

The latest yuck-fest is just a little too much. It started last Monday when Yogi woke up screaming bc his eyes wouldn’t open. They were sealed shut with awful green sludge. A hot rag took care of it, but within a half hour his eyes were goopy again. That got us worked in at the pediatricians’ office (after hours) and Yogi’s first round of antibiotics. The sludge is gone but my happy Yogi is still not back. In his place I’ve got a meltdown-a-minute, fussy, sick kid. Oh AND two sick Mommies. One of whom is on on day 8 of a 12 day work week. The sleep deficit around here is crippling.

None of that even really matters though. What does matter is that at the sinus infection appt, the doctor was checking Monkey and became concerned about a bump between his eyes. The kind of concern that gets you a referral to a neurosurgeon. For your baby. Crushing. We’ve been assured that it’s likely not to be anything like cancer, but that it will need to be removed. Which means surgery and general anesthesia and potentially some involvement with his brain (we’ll need a scan to know about that).

I’m pretty sure that is called burying the lede, but it’s all I can do to even type that. I do believe we’re all going to be ok eventually, but right now that feels very far away.

Yogi’s Six Month Check Up

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Yesterday was our six month visit with Dr. Wonderful and the little dude is now big enough to sit and wait patiently in his own chair.  Funny.  Everything looked good to the doctor and he was particularly pleased with the state of his ears after the illness we had a few weeks back.  Although we decided not to run the lab to make sure, Dr. Wonderful was fairly confident that it was RSV when we came to the office for our first sick baby visit.  Apparently ear infections are a common follow-up to RSV and the fact that Yogi didn’t have that complication suggests that he has “good ears”.  Hooray for that!  My wife has terrible ears, so perhaps Yogi didn’t inherit those?  That would be nice.

Here are the details:

  • 27″ long (70th percentile)
  • 14lbs 8oz (7th percentile)
  • 16.5″ (4th percentile)

While it’s possible that he didn’t get my wife’s ears, it is clear that he got her tiny head. 🙂

More Baby Friends

This is Yogi’s best buddy.  She is six weeks older and has been kind enough to show him the baby ropes.  Last weekend when she and one of her Moms came over to play, I took out the camera and this is what happened.  Both of them were immediately cheesing.  I think the camera is something they are both pretty used to. 😉

Yogi’s Latest Trick

Watching the little guy learn new things is mostly exciting, but it can also be frustrating.

His latest trick?  Pulling his bib off his neck.  In case I haven’t mentioned this here, my son was a St. Bernard in his last life.  Surely.  It is the only way to explain the unbelievable amount of drool that he produces.  He has been this drooly since maybe the first month and in spite of what everyone says when the drooling becomes apparent to them, there is not a tooth in sight.  I really think I’m right on the money with the St. Bernard thing.

At any rate, a drooly baby who loves to pull his bib right off as soon as you put it on is a wet baby.  I can only replace the bib so many times and I think it just eggs him on anyway.  The “putting the bib back on” game is not nearly as entertaining for me as it seems to be for him.  So when he starts in on the bib I’ve just decided to let it go.  It means lots of clothes changes as the front of his shirt now functions as a bib, but what can you do?

 

Just What I Needed

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may  go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

from The Prophet Khalil Gibran

 

This reading was part of the worship service this morning on the theme of letting go.  “Letting go” is the theme for March and I think it’s a good one, at least for someone like me.  Someone who is not so good with letting go.  These words were just what I needed this morning.

I particularly like the idea of bending in the hands of the archer.  Well, I don’t like bending, but the idea resonates.  It’s true.  Bending is the way of things and certainly the way of parenting.  I might as well let my bending be for gladness.  Working on that…..

You Want Me to Do WHAT?

As you can see, Yogi was stunned by our expectation that he try a little sweet potato this afternoon.  This was our first foray into solid foods and it was highly entertaining.  The facial expressions alone were worth the urgent necessities of bathing (for all three of us) and laundry that followed.

Moving Too Fast

I really must catch my breath.  During the last few weeks life has been moving at such a frantic clip that I have barely had time for a good, deep breath.  As the Anxiety Queen, this is not a good thing.  Happily, the bulk of the rush has been associated with positive changes that are great for our family.  In an effort to clear my head, here is the bulleted version of recent happenings at my house.

  • Yogi went up on the airplane and all three of us survived.  We manged to travel out-of-state with two checked bags, a car seat and a diaper bag carry-on.  My wife wore Yogi in the Ergo and he flirted with EVERYONE in the airport.  The boy will stop at nothing to get the attention of someone he has his eye on.  😉
  • Yogi met just about everyone we knew in our old hometown.  We walked every inch (mile?) of the hospital and my wife was able to be proud Mommy with all of her colleagues.  My job at the hospital involved being the family pack mule and making sure that none of the secretaries grabbed Yogi and ran when we weren’t looking. Not an easy job. We tried to get a picture with our RE, but he was in surgery (I knew we should have called ahead….).
  • We walked through our old neighborhood and discovered that the bank has finally wrangled possession of our old house from our no count landlords.  Surprise, surprise….
  • We spent our last evening with friends who gathered for a “Meet the Baby” dinner party.
  • We arrived home to moving boxes and the emergence of Sickie #1 (me).
  • I organized the packing and loading while sick and with a baby strapped to my body.
  • After all of the major packing and loading tasks are accomplished, my parents arrive.
  • Yogi starts acting fussy and odd and Sickie #2 is born.
  • Yogi reaches the crescendo of illness on moving day while we wait (not so patiently) for the gas man (brrrrrr!) and can only wonder about where anything we might want or need is actually located.
  • My wife takes the post-move day off and we have four adults to focus on moving tasks and sick baby care.
  • After performing their duties as AV/Tech guy and Kitchen Organization pro, my parents head for home.
  • Four days into Yogi’s yuckiness, he wakes up screaming from a nap in a way that alarms me and I decide we need to take him to Dr. Wonderful.  The three of us spend Friday night in a doctor’s office to find out that yes, it is true.  Our baby is sick.  Other than that, all is well.  Give him Tylenol and snuggle him.  Gee, so glad we decided to use our time that way.
  • My wife’s parents arrive and settling in/sick baby care continues.
  • My wife’s parents head for home.
  • The three of us are finally settled (and well!) in our new house.