only a few hours of it left but while it lasts, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JENNA!! you've continued to be a great friend to me and today i honor you and send wishes your way for a wonderful day. hoping it's so fabulous you are NOT online right now reading my blog, but you'll see this days later when you finally get back from your trip and catch your breath!
when i pictured lauren's first christmas, i knew she would not be as interested in the presents as the wrapping paper, so i carefully wrapped her things with big pretty bows. we were going to videotape it and have jake in the background in his big pretty bow, her grandparents smiling approvingly, etc. we were supposed to see ryan's family on christmas morning and mine in the evening.
instead, we made it out of our house on christmas eve in a feverish state, and drove to my parents' house so they could take care of us, leaving behind one present for grandpa and one present for lauren which would not fit in the car (truthfully the grandpa present is not bigger than a shoe box but i put it in a giant box to trick him because he always guesses his gifts!)
in the wee hours of christmas eve/christmas morning, i woke up feeling really really sick. Let's just say it was no longer just a pink eye/ear infection/sore throat/coughing problem but had moved into being the other kind of flu. i felt so so so so sick. spent christmas day in bed with a 102 fever.
while ryan & i were upstairs recovering, uncle peter videotaped lauren opening her gifts and from what i hear, she was the belle of the ball. my mom took care of her all day. my dad fed her solid food (she for some reason has a very healthy appetite for baby food with her grandpa like no one else). i'm so glad she was healthy and that her other relatives could be there for her. my brother's girlfriend's family was also there. it was the first time they'd met lauren and they don't have any babies in their (immediate) family so they were excited to see her first christmas and they got her gifts as well.
yesterday was my cousin charlie's birthday and when we called to wish him a happy birthday, we found out that my cousin andrea was also sick on christmas with a similar flu thing. i hope one day ryan, andrea & i can look back on this as "the christmas when we got sick", in other words that it will be the only sick christmas.
so it's official that the whole household is sick (well, not jake). ryan has strep throat. i have 2 ear infections and pink eye. lauren has diaper rash (but her pink eye has recovered). i had to cancel all of my social plans. i didn't want to pass any diseases along. my parents came up to help out with lauren and have been a huge help. so far, knock wood, they have stayed healthy.
ryan went to the doctor for the first time in many years. i can't remember a time in our 10 year relationship when he went before this. and good thing he finally went! strep throat can only be cleared up by antibiotics.
i had to go to my ucla doctor today because the antibiotic eye drops from kaiser were not enough, sure enough i had two very bad (one was bleeding!) ear infections. somehow the kaiser doctor missed this. grrr...
if i'm not better by monday, this will be my first sick christmas since 3rd grade, when i had chicken pox. makes me really appreciate the 22 year streak.
i wish all of my readers good health this holiday season.
yesterday had to be one of the worst days i've had in awhile. i felt like absolute shit. i woke up and i had pink eye and was sneezing. :( immediately called my doctor's office at UCLA to try to get an appointment. kept calling from 8:00 on and kept getting a message that they were either closed or "experiencing extremely high call volume" so finally around 9:00 i left them a message asking them to call me back to make an appointment. it has now been 28 hours and they still have not called. i could be dead by now if it were anything serious.
anyway, on a hunch, i thought maybe my office had not yet cancelled my kaiser membership, so i called and sure enough, it is active until 12/31. so i called there and got a 2:20 appointment for urgent care. this is the kind of slam dunk thing kaiser is great for. when i have something like pink eye, or strep throat, or a broken arm, any fool can tell how to fix it and they're quick and easy to deal with. i would not want to have cancer or give birth at kaiser, but they do really well at handling the simple things.
anyway, was playing with lauren and went to use the aspirator on her (little bulb shaped thing you use to get snot out of babies' noses) when she started choking and gasping for breath. i turned her upside down and thumped her on the back. then she started vomiting snot and blood. not good. i did not know if she somehow swallowed something she should not have, which was cutting up her stomach, or if she had some serious disease or what. i decided to bring her to the emergency room. keep in mind, i have no car to speak of. i called ryan but of course this would be the one time all day he was standing before a judge so had to have his cell phone off. i decided to put her in the (barely running) taurus and drive the 1 1/2 miles to kaiser myself. this involved quickly and half-assedly installing the car seat (we took it out when someone from craig's list was going to buy the car, then the person flaked).
got to kaiser without the car stalling or overheating (phew!) and then decided to just take her to the peds clinic instead of ER because by then she was happy and singing to herself. ryan by then got my message and met us in the waiting room. the doctor there determined that she'd had a nosebleed in one nostril which dripped back into her throat. since babies can't yet clear their throats, she couldn't handle all of the gunk in her throat from the cold and that's why she was making the choking sounds. yeck! i'm supposed to give her dimetap, which is cool, they make these strips that dissolve on the baby's tongue just like listerine breath strips.
then i went to my appointment and the doctor seemed kind of dumb. i had to remind her to check my ears, for example. and she knew i was breastfeeding but she tried to give me some kind of decongestant which even i knew nursing moms can't take. not just that, she just had a weird bedside manner which i won't get into, but she seemed more like a DMV employee than someone with a medical degree. anyway, she gave me the prescription for the eye drops and we went to the kaiser pharmacy. that place was a zoo! everyone seems to be spending down their HCRAs so the shelves were bare. Fine, but you'd think the buyers would learn this by now and stock up extra for the end of the year. Grrr, they were out of prenatal vitamins (no, i'm NOT pg again, breastfeeding moms have to continue their prenatal vitamins) and folic acid supplements. lauren napped in ryan's arms at the pharmacy-bad because then she wasn't tired when we got home and I WAS.
anyway, got done with kaiser, drove home and got into bed with the not-sleeping lauren who wanted to play and pull my hair. managed to get to sleep but got such a case of the chills that i had about 6 blankets and still couldn't get warm. woke up a few hours later hot from the blankets. tossed and turned. tried to shut out the sound of lauren crying (she was playing with her daddy downstairs but would rather be with me).got up to go to the bathroom and almost fainted. had to lie on the ground with the room spinning and feeling so shitty i wanted to be in a coma so i wouldn't feel anything.
have never yet in her life lost patience with lauren, have not yet snapped at her or lost my cool, but came so close yesterday. all i wanted her to do was go downstairs and play with ryan and let me be my myself, curled up in a fetal position, shivering and miserable. i did finally summon enough energy to sit up so she could nurse and she took a sip and then flashed me the most grateful, illuminated smile.
called my mom and told her to please please come up and help because really, i didn't see how i would get from the floor to the bed, let alone take care of lauren and walk jake and do anything else. she came up this afternoon and she is upstairs now, napping with lauren. ryan is back at work.
i am feeling much better today. the eye drops are a miracle, the pink eye is pretty much gone. i still have a wheezing cough but no runny nose. i have very little appetite and my head is pounding and stuffed up but man, compared to yesterday, today is a breeze.
lauren has given me her pink eye and cold. :( she herself is feeling much better today. she slept until 9:30 and woke up smiling. she looked over and pointed at me, one of those "hey, acknowledging YOU" rock star to audience kind of pointings. Then she started to sing. Anyway, I feel the opposite of singing. i have goop in my eye and a runny nose. i had to cancel some plans for tomorrow because i didn't want to pass this along. i don't have any enemies i'd like to sneeze on.
new phone, new task of re-entering everyone's addresses & contact info. please everyone do me a favor-email me your mailing address, phone #, birthday and any other info i should have.
i just spent the past few hours making 40 christmas cards and i'm still not done. that should about take care of my family. if you were at my wedding, you know what i mean. all of those blue-eyed, olive loving people with the weird sense of humor (penchant for puns) who vaguely look like me, all 18 aunts & uncles and 26 cousins, they each get a christmas card. but luckily i don't have some of my cousins' addresses so i'm off the hook for them.
but seriously, the rest of you, email me your address because even some of you who sent us holiday cards this year (ahem, Beesons) didn't put your return address on them. so whether you live in flower mound, texas, harleysville, pennsylvania, minneapolis, minnesota, catskill, new york, los angeles, california, or some other wonderful place, i don't know your address by heart so do send it to my gmail account. thx!
This story was all over the news yesterday. Children with high IQs are likely to become vegetarians by age 30. They have not yet linked diet to improving IQ scores, rather, the other way around. But who knows, maybe I was supposed to be a complete imbecile but since I was a vegetarian even before age 10, viola!
And yes, Lauren is a vegetarian, and will remain one for every meal that I feed her. Debates rage on regarding the meals others feed her (especially a certain grandparent who has meat ball plates planned!)
Today Lauren went to the doctor's for a pink eye infection. She was there the Friday before last, as well, for a cold. While she was there that time, her doctor asked me what she had been up to. I told her in the few weeks since she'd been there, Lauren had hit several milestones. At 8 months, she has a 5 word vocabulary, she started crawling forward, and she can stand on her own. She can point to things in story books and she knows her primary colors. The doctor kind of nodded "uh huh, uh huh" but didn't seem too impressed.
Then she got out her stethoscope and headed towards Lauren, who started to pick her nose. That got the doctor's attention. "Ooh, she is so advanced! What coordination! Such an early age to pick her nose! Wow, she can do it with either hand! What a MILESTONE" and she wrote it in the chart.
As I write this, the Christmas lights are twinkling on the tree behind me, the ornaments are hung, and 3 packages are wrapped. The little girl is upstairs napping and the little dog is as well. 4 dozen nutmeg logs are baked (the must-have Christmas cookie of our family) and all of the ingredients for fudge sit on the counter ready for assembly tonight. We bought a new stocking for Lauren. It's red silk (the Victorian sort of cranberry/maroon shade of red)with a green ribbon pointsettia. We also got a "baby's first Christmas" ornament and put a picture of her on it and hung it. We've bought her exactly 3 presents because at this age it's more about the ribbon and paper than about the actual gifts. But then again, there are still 2 weeks left before Christmas, we may get more if we cannot restrain ourselves. ;) Uh-oh, she's awake, gotta go...
Tonight, Lauren said "Mama" for the first time. I had walked in the other room and she started to fuss and Ryan said something to her like "who do you want?" and she said "Ma MA" really clearly!
Yesterday she said "Jake" twice while petting him and she continues to say "Daddy", usually as "Da da da da DEE". And last night while I was snapping her pajamas, I said "snap, snap, snap, snap" and she repeated "snap"!
In the space of a day, she's gone from being a baby to being a talking little person who's way more coordinated. She can also as of yesterday, stand on her own holding on to a table or toy for long 10 minute stretches. She can do complicated flips in the bathtub so that she starts out sitting up, goes to the backstroke, flips to crawl stroke, and then sits back up again, keeping her face above water the whole time.
And she has been crawling forward more. Can you guess why? To try to touch Jake! (He moves out of the way in time)
Frequently tired mother to a happy 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Wife to a worthsmith who argues for a living. Employee to a really cool un-Lumberg boss at a large Office-space-esque institution of higher learning. Currently stationed at home, working from my laptop. Condo dweller in the heart of screenland who misses NY & snow.