Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Here are some pics of the kids in their Halloween gear. Max dressed up both yesterday (dinosaur) and today (doctor) for school. Then, we did trick or treat to a few houses around the block.

Family Pictures

I have 81 proofs of them total. Yes, I spent so much money they gave me a CD of them all electronically.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Max Factor

This whole newborn twin thing really wouldn't be so bad if it weren't what I call the Max factor. Good thing I love that kid so much. Now, he really has been pretty well behaved lately, but he woke me up at 4 god awful this morning and anyone who knows me knows that is my least favorite hour to be awoken (grumble grumble). Then, he woke up N. In one of my finer parenting moments I reminded him of the family pictures we are attempting this afternoon and that while he says he isn't tired now, he better not be then and I want him nice and happy and smiling for the camera. He assured me he would be. (HA) Actually, give me any two of the three and it is a piece of cake. That third kid just puts it on the borderline between manageable and not depending on the day/hour/mood of me and the children. My cousin swears it is just one less than what you have that makes it all seem manageable. Hard to say I guess since I leaped from 1 to 3 with no stopping in between.

My brain is mush. So mush that I can't remember my password to my work computer. I'm trying to get that squared away this week as well as practicing getting both Max and I ready and him to preschool before a reasonable work start time. The first day was rough. The second day great. The last two average.

I've been working my "to do". Have an appointment to finally get my living will/trust set up. I've almost finished my Christmas shopping (all done online, of course). I've been working through all of the voter initiatives trying to determine which I want to say yea and nay. I wanted to get claims submitted for my health care and dependent accounts and enroll for 09 benefits, but...alas...can't access things (which started the ball rolling on getting my id's and passwords reset). Hey, at least I found the power cord...drat, that reminds me that I need to pick up a new headset. I'm sure I've done other things, but ...brain is mush...don't remember.

Let's talk about negative reinforcement. I got into the Halloween candy the other day and my milk supply about doubled. I tested it out again yesterday and same thing. All the fat and sugar may not be good for the waste and the rest of my body, but it has done wonders for my milk supply. I keep telling myself to test it out by eating more calories in nice healthy fruits, veggies, and dairy products. I haven't yet.

Even when I didn't need to, I supplemented with a bottle of formula last night is so much need to wait for the milk to heat. Just dump in 2 scoops of formula, add 4 oz of room temp filtered water at the ready, and shake. Good thing I'm so committed to this pumping breast milk thing no matter how much of a pain.

I talked to the pulmonologist. Every time I talk to that lady I get all worked up and irritated. I talked to the nurse at our peds office who is going to talk to our ped so see if I can get a referral someplace else or if she is the only game in town. I hope not. She just blindy expects me to just do what she wants without explaination, never mind an explaination that makes sense. I think I annoy her as much as she does me. It's like I am challenging her expertise every time I ask a question and she gets all defensive. On the other hand, she can't explain or justify what she is telling me so....I'm hoping for a change.

Off to shower and get ready for the day. I wish I had time for a nap.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's over rated, right?

Sleep, that is. Not motherhood. I slept from 8 pm - 11 pm last night and from 4:30 am is - 6:11 am. First, N was up at 11 pm. Then, I had to pump. Then, I couldn't fall asleep. Then, R was up. N wanted to eat again. Max woke up and wanted to cuddle. Then, it is a blur. I've stopped waking one to feed after the other because it backfires so often where the one woken is just awake and crabby and won't eat.

We rallied and went to the farm/pumpkin patch this morning with a local SMC group. It ended up just being us and one other family and we had a wonderful time. My mom was here for a few hours when we got home. Then, I was just in for the home stretch where Max couldn't settle and fell asleep late and R just cried on and off for a few hours.

I'm wiped out and really can't see straight. I'm hoping tonight is a bit better for me, but not counting on it. R was really, really, really fussy which is unlike him. He's settled in to sleep at the moment. I'm hoping either the Mylcon or the Tylenol did the trick for him.

Ah, but it is all worth it. Most of the time, I'm sure of it. I'll have years to sleep when they are grown and gone so I'm just trying to enjoy the now.

The other morning....

I don't tandum feed very often, but if every one has slept well (and it does happen rarely) everyone wakes up hungry and full of energy. Here are a few pictures. The twins actually love it. Max is the best show in town.

Today at the farm.....

N was awake most of the time just hanging out. R slept almost the entire time. Max had the time of his life. He rode the ponies. The rode the train (twice), waiting to sit in the first seat so he could be the engineer. He jumped in a bounce house. He rode a huge tricycle that he could barely touch the petals. He rode a cow train. We took a horse drawn wagon ride. He played on a wooden train (three times). He cried and didn't want to leave. He's already angling to go back. Here are just a few of the pictures from the day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's fried

My brain that is. I'm so darn forgetful these days. I'll think about calling a friend, then not remember until days later when I'm pumping in the middle of the night, for example. I have all these great blog posts in my head, then I forget when I have the time/energy to post. Who am I kidding, when I have the time, I have no energy. Wait, I have no time. Yeah, that's it. And, btw, my computer "is a parking lot momma. No, don't move it". It was a happy day when I realized that Monday isn't really the 3rd, that would be a week from Monday. Another week off. And, I have a baby sitter scheduled for Saturday to take Max to a birthday party that isn't until next Saturday. Sigh. I have some really cute new pics that I need to remember to off load and post. There is a list of things I really want to get done next week now that I don't have to work and thought I had better make a list so I could keep focused and remember, but I keep forgetting. It's sad really.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick, Tired

One guess to who might have been sick and who might be tired (and now feeling like they are getting sick). That's the short version of the weekend. The long version would include (but, not be limited to) Max body slamming me from behind when I was in a squat and having a back ache so bad I thought about going to the ER on Saturday night and taking a vicadin instead, not a lot of sleep, and a call to one of my sisters Sunday morning almost, practically, probably begging her to come hang out with us. She came through and did. Sunday was much better than it would have, could have, should have been as a result. I'm so not looking forward to going back to work next week and trying to fit 8 hours of work into this already too busy schedule of mine. I probably should have tried to get into the Chiropractor today, but elected to get groceries and take a nap instead.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The pulmonologist

Yesterdays pulmonologist appointment was very frustrating. I was hoping for a definitive answer and being told R was fine and no longer needed the med lycine or oxygen. What I got was the doc wanting to do a sleep study. And, what a surprise that she is a director of the sleep lab. She didn't know anything about lycine or want to address it at all. I pushed hard and kept pushing insisting that I didn't want to go into the sleep study with him on it if the purpose was to monitor his blood gases and the lycine was supposed to help reduce the amount of CO2. I didn't think I was getting anywhere (other than the doc and I both getting frustrated) or that I was being heard, but did get the doc to authorize a blood gas and metobolic blood test. She kept saying that the lycine shouldn't matter and pulmonoligist wouldn't use it and they didn't in their NICU, and that R had probably outgrown the dosage which would render it ineffective. I said great, then give the order to discontinue it. She didn't want to do that because she didn't know why it was given and how it works. Nor could she answer what would need to be done to make a determination. She kept trying to send my on my merry way with the the appointment for the sleep lab and I wasn't buying it. We compromised on the blood test. I asked if she would research the lycine and get back to me prior to the sleep study on how it works and the potential impact on the study and she would not commit to this. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call last night with the results of the test and a verbal to d/c the lycine. I guess I drove her crazy enough to take time from her busy schedule to do some research on it. Good. I understand why she wants the sleep study, but told her it was rediculous that it took so long to get in and that I was done with the oxgyn. She appplogized and the sleep schedule is set for next Tuesday morning.

I just want to be done with all the doctor appointments already.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

4 Month Stats

Wow, the twins are four months old already. I can't say I'm loving the baby stage like I did with Max, but I don't hate it either. It just seems like there is never time to just sit and cuddle and enjoy a baby. I miss that. I have to remind myself not to be so busy doing that I forget to enjoy the now. There is just so much doing that has to get done.

The twins had their four month pediatrician appointment today. They got a slew of vaccines that are escaping my right now and the paper they are written on is in the other room and I'm attached to the pump right now. However, I have the stats at hand.

Weight 11 lbs (5% age, 75% corrected)
Height 21 1/4 (<5% age, 25% corrected)
Head 15 1/2 (7% age, 75% corrected)

Weight 11 lbs 9 oz (<5% age, 60% corrected)
Height 22 1/2 (<5% age, 50% corrected)
Head 15 5/8 (5% age, 60% corrected)

Just a couple of average joes. :) I almost had Dr. H in tears as I was telling him about my spoiled milk. I had him laughing when he commented on R no longer having oxygen and apnea monitor, how we couldn't keep it on him, had stopped even trying the last few days since every time we turned around he had it pulled off, and how the pulimnolist (appointment tomorrow) is going to have to convince me that it is still needed. All and all, good heath report. All we need to do is try to keep them that way through the winter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pctures, Pictures, and More Pictures

It's been awhile since I've taken/off loaded some pictures. Here are a few, then a few more. As bad as days like yesterday can be, it's all worth it. As the song goes...just to see them smile.

N's "First" Bath Pictures. Taken in a rush before her surgery very early in the morning by my cousin. N didn't get out of the hospital before my cousin left this summer and I hadn't been able to get anyone else to take some. Noemi and my mom are not photographers. Plus, Aunt TT has done the ones for her brothers. Anyone else would have thought I was insane. Giving a baby a bath at 5 am. She totally got it. Hey, if we hadn't done it then we wouldn't have been able because no bathing aftewards for awhile. In fact, she just had another one since then tonight. Sigh. So much to do, only so few hours in the day. Look how much bigger N is from R's first bath. She's positively huge.
N nice and clean for the her surgery.

Max helping to give N a bath pre-surgery.

A random shot of R his first time in the bumba. We haven't used it much yet as the twins are still working on neck/head control, but they are getting better and it makes a nice change every few days.

N - Post Surgery, the end of the shunt
N - Post Surgery, the beginning of the shunt.

Brother and Sister bonding from the other day.

ps. all three kids are in their own beds sleeping at the moment. Another first.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No use crying

No use crying over spoiled milk, right? The deep freezer in the garage got unplugged. An entire freezer full of hard pumped breast milk is thawed and spoiled. I have no frozen milk at this time. I'm not pumping enough in a day to feed both babies let alone get ahead of the game again.

Noemi was telling me this as I was stripping Max naked in front of the washer because he had puked all over everything in the 2 hour car ride (because of traffic and freeway closures due to the fires in the area) home from the peds which we went to after getting a call from Pre School where Max was wheezing and having difficulty breathing so received two breathing treatments at the office and was sent home with an enhailer. Noemi left after I had Max showered and ready for bed. Right after she left, both babies woke up crying to be fed and Max was crying for milk (which I didn't want to give him until I knew he could keep down water) and the cat was meowing because (presumably) he didn't want to go out the doggy door and wanted me to open the front door instead. The day started with all three crying as well and me breast feeding R while Max helped me give N a bottle because he wanted to be the mommy and do it.

The day wasn't all bad. I chose to finish the nursery instead of nap and am glad it is done.

Now, let's all hope and pray the twins don't get what Max has cause if they do, they will be back in the hospital. Max has two simultanous issues. Croup. And, an asmatic type situation allededly caused by the poor air quality due to the fires on top of a cold/respitory bug that has him congested.

Some days are just easier than others. I can't even tell you how much I want to cry over that milk, but three crying children and a meowing cat was enough and someone needed to hold it together. So, let me just swear a minute. Damn it! Fuck! Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!. Before I remind myself that it isn't the end of the world even if it isn't replacable.

It's done!

Finally, the nursery is done...or almost done...or as done as it is likely to get for awhile. Yes, the dressers aren't organized, but they are here and they do have clothes in them. And, the walls are bare, but I haven't decided on a theme yet or what I want to do with them. But, the hard work is done. I have two cribs and everything is set. Now, I just need to find the monitor and the baby einstein CD's, cause no way can I hear the babes from my room without a monitor and no way they will sleep in there without music piped in. Getting the nursery done is such a huge relief.

R's dresser and crib.
N's dresser.
N's crib and R's dresser.
N's crib and the changing table.
N's crib. R's dresser and crib.

The closet showing the nice organized closet full of clothes from 6 months to 2T just waiting to get used, N's dresser, and the door to the room to the far right.
N's dresser, the door to the room, and the changing table.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've been taking advantage of my cousin here to get caught up...on sleep, on projects around the house, on my to-do list. I've been reclaiming my house and my life. My back to work date is set and will be November 3rd. I'm a bit sad that I will not be going back to the assignment that I had and instead will be given "special assignments", but it is what it is and I understand why the decision was made. My short term disability request was flagged for error because apparently a family therapist can't sign it, but my OB agreed to do it so I need to get that worked out this week. I'm so close the having the babies room done I can taste it, but had to back off on getting anything done today to keep the peace between Max and I. My cousin left this morning and I'm sad to see her go. She was a huge, huge, huge help in so many big and small ways. Max is sick, again. I think the only thing worse than a sick 3 year old is a sick three year old who has zero interest in watching TV and wants all of your attention. Having a sitter come for a few hours on Sunday afternoon/evening saves my sanity most weeks. She is out of town next weekend. I think I need to try to line something else up. N is mending and doing fine. She still gets fussy. As my cousin found out, she will turn on a dime and scream a hissy fit for something as minor as trying to give her a fresh diaper, but that is just the normal her. She will also give you big smiles as soon as you are done. The swelling is going down. She weighed in at 10 lbs 7 oz on Friday. R is still an easy going soul who can charm your socks off. He's been sneezing and couging and I'm hoping things don't get worse for him. He's weighing 11 lbs 8 oz these days. Max is as obnoxious as all get out one minute and testing, testing, testing doing things like coming up to me and his brother and sister and blowing (all of his sick germs) on us or saying he is going to shoo (he means shoot I'm sure) or bonk or hit or kick me and then will turn on a dime and be so sweet and tell me I'm his best friend and will I play with him. Yes, preschool, got to love it. Anyway, I'm rambling. Just wanted to check in to say all is fine. I'm just in the minutia of life. Appointments, appointments, appointments. Doctor, parent/teacher, setting up early intervention services for the twins, having early intervention sessions, seing the home health nurse, getting furniture delivered. Boring ole life stuff. And, my laptop is locking up when it goes into standby mode causing me to need to reboot and it's a pain so I'm not as motivated to spend much time on the computer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Menengitis and vacines

Even before Nora got meningitis that caused the hydrocephalus that necessitated her get a life long shunt put in to keep fluid from accumulating causing further damage; Even before the neurologist told me that meningitis is like acid that kills off all brain tissue it comes in contact (almost an exact quote) and THAT was what was causing the probable seizure activity and we wouldn't know until later and she started hitting or missing milestones how much brain tissue was damaged and if the brain would compensate and rewire itself enough that Nora would not have visible brain damage or developmental delays; Even before I read a handout on vaccinations while pumping in the NICU pump room one day that listed one of the biggest reasons to get most of the vaccinations is to prevent against whatever the vacine is for and complications of menegitis. Even before all of that, I was a proponent of vacinations and have keeped my children current. Not only to keep them healthy, but also because as a culture I believe the more people who do not vacinate the bigger the risk is to everyone. I understand people have a variety of personal reasons why they either choose to vacinate or not. I understand the pros and cons both for and against vacinations and this post isn't to judge anyone for the decisions they have made. I even plan to delay the one vacine that is suppose to trigger autism until past the adjusted age of the twins instead of the actual age of the twins because I would like to ensure their immune systems are up to snuff and are able to handle it. The thing is, after having a child with menegitis, that isn't just a word on a piece of paper. I understand all too well the short and long term reprecussions. Nora has had to pay the price in the short term and while I don't worry about it too much I do hope and pray that she doesn't have to pay a steep price the rest of her life. I know and understand the why's and how comes that got us to this point and really believe in my heart of hearts that it just's the journey we have to take on this. I also know that if she had gotten this as a result of an infection because I had not vacinated, I'm not sure if I could live with myself. The guilt, I think it would do me in. The funny thing with menegitis is that while having had it once she is not more or less likely to get it again. Nor is she immune from getting it again. Knowing what I know today. Living with what I have lived with. Seeing my poor little defensiless baby have to deal with one thing after another. I would do whatever I needed. I will do whatever I have to do to prevent any of my children from ever getting this again.

Probably because of the medications still in her system, Nora did fine all Sunday. She started developing swelling around the shunt Sunday night and her head is very misshapen at the moment. I need to take pictures. She has clearly been uncomfortable with a lot of crying and fussiness. The shunt was put on the right side of her head that was her prefered position. The side she favored. Anytime any pressure was put on the area, no matter how light, she would start screaming and wouldn't stop for quite awhile. Poor girl. She hasn't been sleeping well. When she does sleep, she would inadvertently move her head and wake up wailing. Tylenol has helped some. The swing has allowed her to get a bit of sleep here and there. I think finally we are turning the corner and today was a bit of a better day where she didn't scream to be held and then scream while holding her just because she hurt and couldn't get comfortable and just didn't know what she wanted. The last few days would have been a lot worse if Noemi wasn't taking the day shift, my cousin the evening shift, and me the night shift with mostly enough naps between my cousin and I to keep perspective and patient. At least for me, the shift work kept me from getting to emotional and crying with her cause I knew that in x hours, someone else would come on and give relief. It is so hard to see one so little go through something like this. My poor little girl has been through so much and this is just the latest and hopefully the last.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Doctors and More Doctors

I was sufficiently worried about the swelling around N's shunt this morning along with the tenderness in that area, her fussiness, and being off her eating game to ask to have her post-op appointment today. According to the surgen, there was swelling, but it was inconsequential and would need to get much bigger than that to be a concern. I, of course, pressed and asked double the size and he, 3, 4, 5 times the size. So, there you have it. I went prepared (cause with N's luck I figure I must be) to be told she needed emergency surgery, but got the best case news that all was fine. I'm not any more impressed by his office staff than I have been in the past. I waited 1.5 hours to be seen today.

Max had his 3 year old well boy appointment today. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it with the whole N thing. Rather than cancel with my cousin here, she picked Max up from school and took him. I was able to get done in time to meet her in the peds parking lot and we traded kids and she went home with N. I'm so happy I was able to be there for it. And, I'm sure I've said it before. I just love our ped. Max did great. No shots today. He's current on his immunizations. He did get the flu vacination, but via nose.

His height and weight are that of a 4 1/2 year old with his head on par for his age at 3. He weighed in at 38 1/2 lbs (97%) and was 40 7/8 inches tall (94%). His head was 20 inches (74%). We both got our questions in and had nice conversation. Max told him he was going to be a doctor for Halloween and made his day. Dr. H was great when he checked out his groin area telling him that it was his private area and he was only allowed to do it because his mommy was here, NOT just because he was a doctor, but because he was a doctor and mommy was here...which is consistent with the conversations and reinforcement of concersations Max and I have been having about private parts and privacy. The ped and I are just so in sync on things and our styles that it is nice.

Cousin is out walking the babes. Max is in bed (but not yet asleep at last check). Noemi is gone for the day. I'm headed to bed. I've been up since 2 am with a brief nap between 4 and 4:30. I could have been worse, much much worse. Cousin has been doing shift 1 and I'm dong shift 2. So, at least I got to sleep from 9 pm to 2 am. With N feeling so off, it may be another long night so I'm going to catch sleep while the opportunity presents itself.

As stressful as today was with moving up N's appointment, at least if frees up tomorrow and I have a whole day appointment free. What a luxery.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Home Again

The family is all home again under one roof. Another hospital stay behind us, a few more people and another mom informed about hands free pump bras. N's sleeping in her bouncy and looking and acting normal. I have a needy and tired 3 year old who needs my attention. Plus a houseful with my mom and cousin here as well. It's amazing no matter how much or little sleep I get or don't how tired I feel all the time. Counting down until Max's bedtime so I can go crash myself for a bit.

Surgery Update

The surgery went fine yesterday. It was a long day. She didn't get taken back until late. Bumped for an emergency case. She was still a bit sleepy and fussy when awake and only snacking and eating an ounce here and there when I left last night, but doing fine. My cousin stayed the night with her and I'm going to call in a bit to see how that went. I should know by 11 am if she's staying another night or coming home. I love R even more this morning. He slept from 10:30 p until 4:30 a last night. I did wake a few times to listen to the sound of silence before drifting back off, but that is the longest stretch I've gotten in awhile and I needed it. My plan was to bf him in bed and doze thus not having to function in the dreaded 4 am hour, but alas Max woke up 8 minutes later. So, I'm feeling a bit greedy for still wanting more, but am up and moving around here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Now I'm crying

I just got a call from my cousin. She's flying in tonight to help and will be here until the 12th. Totally unexpected. I haven't even talked to her since the appointment and I found out surgery was needed. Granted, I did leave her a phone message where I was crying on it telling her about it. Uh, maybe that did it. God, I love her. It would have never occurred for me to ask her to come, but now that I know she is it just makes everything easier and better. The call was quick. She has a lot to arrange, but did laughingly say..."the ticket was $315 and your paying, I coming it at 7 and getting a shuttle". I said,"now I'm crying and of course I'm paying". Bye. Bye. See you tonight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


After the fiasco around the appointment today, you'd think the day would improve and I'd get better news. The fluid in N's brain has increased such that she needs surgery to put in a shunt. It's scheduled for very early on Friday morning and she will be in the hospital at least overnight. Couldn't seems to get me the first appointment, but no problem getting the surgery scheduled so fast, eh? I'm left scrambling for coverage for the kids. I think I can and plan to at this point take Max and R on Saturday. While I'd love to be able to stay with N overnight, I just don't think I'm going to be able to work that at. Friday will be a long, long day. We have to be at the hospital at 6 am. Don't even get me started with the fact that they said not to feed N after midnight. No way is that not going to happen. She's too little and that is too long. The shit just never seems to end. I'm tired. My poor little one under anesthesia. Fuck!


Major vent ahead. I'm so angry I could explode.

I spend quite a bit of time in doctor's offices these days and traveling to and from appointments for that matter stuck in Los Angeles traffic. I had an appointment at 8 am this morning for N. To get there by that time I had to have Noemi come in at 6 so I could get us ready and out the door in time to get there in rush hour traffic and needed her to take Max to preschool with R since there wasn't enough time and the school wasn't even open by the time I had to leave. We were supposed to have this appointment 2 weeks after N was released, which was 9/5. I called several times a week for three weeks each time being told that they needed to look into things, figure out what to do, talk to the doctor, etc. and someone would get back to me. No one ever called me back, I'd call them and get the same song on a different day. Finally, I called the social worker at the hospital and told her I was having difficulty, she talked to someone at the office and finally I got this appointment. Not ideal, but I apparently the doc is taking most of October off and these are his last few days in the office. Fine, I take it, make the arraignements I need to make and headed out. Got to where we needed to go, had the cranial u/s and reported to docs office as instructed. After waiting for at least an hour (when I was told to expect a 40 minute wait when I asked when the appointment was set up since I had another appointment in the opposite direction at 1:30 pm) when I was told the doc had just gone into a FOUR HOUR surgery and now would not be available at least until after 2 pm. I kid you not. This has to be the worst run office in the history of poorly run offices. So, I'm home pumping and pissed and have to turn around and go back in a bit and hope the wait isn't too long and had to cancel my other appoinment at the last minute and either need to break my word to Max about picking him up from school or get him early and take him with me when I go back and I am so pissed off I can't even tell you. I don't see how they think it is okay to be so inconsiderate with other peoples time let alone the incidentals like paying for and dealing with the poor parking situation and the gas and the commute. I truly am amazed and would go off on them but people who care so little in the first place wouldn't resonate anyway and things are already bad enough. If I had a choice, I'd go elsewhere, but really I don't. So, I'll be pissed and go back and hope that at some point I actually get to see the doctor. Did I mention I was so angry I could expode?

Oh, and both babies are over 10 lbs now. I really need to clear my memory card and take some new pictures.