1500 words about my hurty ankle.

A couple people* asked to hear more about my ankle/foot thing, and also I would like to complain about the doctor I saw for it, so buckle up, dear readers.

For anyone who hasn’t heard me complaining (how?), I sprained my ankle a few days before Hazel was born. Much to the surprise of all the people who nervously watched pregnant me doing box jumps at the gym, it ended up being a walking injury. Just toppled over in the yard, scaring the hell out of my poor mother in law. It took a few weeks to heal from the initial injury, but that was actually kind of a blessing in disguise – I rested more and accepted help more gracefully than I did after Eliza was born.

It was feeling a lot better after a few weeks, so naturally I decided to play in a frisbee tournament. Just a little bit! And I got my ankle wrapped before I played! I’m not a complete fool! But yeah, ok, this was a pretty dumb move. It was also fun though, and I got a nice smug feeling about being able to play frisbee three weeks after having a baby, so I’m not sure I’d decide differently given the chance. After the tournament, I noticed that my ankle felt pretty sturdy and strong, but there was lingering pain in my foot. I was a little confused, and had been all along, because the pain was on the inside of my ankle/foot, but I’d rolled it to the outside. I went back to resting, icing, NSAIDs, and wearing a brace intermittently. Also making Kevin wait on me and do most of the chores. “Sorry dear, my foot hurts, I think I better rest it.” Whatever, I don’t feel bad, I have spent 584 hours** nursing Hazel, so it’s not like I’m being totally worthless.

I’d try to play frisbee or run on the treadmill every few weeks to see if it had gotten any better, but there was really no change from that point onward. It hurt a little bit throughout the day, every day. High impact activities made it worse, but only briefly, for a day or two. I struggle to assign a number to the pain, since it barely registers compared to kidney stones or childbirth, but it hurt enough that ignoring it seemed like a poor choice.

I decided I probably had tendonitis or a stress fracture, and eventually went to see a doctor. A doctor who plays frisbee with us, so he wouldn’t call me a flaming idiot for waiting four months to get it looked at, or continuing to run sometimes. He looked at x-rays I’d had at the ER the day I sprained it, and noted that I have mild arthritis, and weird arches, and a bunch of bone remodeling from playing sports (the sprinting and cutting cause the bones to get little ridges). That was all interesting, but the actual problem appeared to be the extra bones I have in each foot – accessory navicular bone. Apparently 2-3% of people have this (Jonna does – holla!), but it usually isn’t a big deal. The posterior tibial tendon connects there, though, and in some folks, this gets super inflamed and causes issues. More commonly in people who play sports. Boo, hiss. I actually knew I had this extra bone, because I had issues with them hurting when I was an adolescent, but they stopped sometime in middle school and I basically forgot all about it.

SO. My doctor friend sent me to the single foot/ankle specialist in our fair city to see what could be done. This is where things got super annoying. Foot Doctor took more x-rays, handed me the same diagnosis, and then started making RIDICULOUS TREATMENT SUGGESTIONS. First, he says, OUT LOUD, “I love surgery” which is always a super lovely thing to hear. I mean, he is an orthopedist, I am not surprised, but it’d be nice if he at least PRETENDED he didn’t just want to slice and dice my ankle because it’s the most fun option FOR HIM. When I balked at that, he then suggested throwing a cast on my leg for six to eight weeks, to see if total immobilization might help. I just… what? I get the reasoning behind that idea, I do – it might allow the tendon to calm the hell down. But in terms of impact to my life, it’s essentially the same as surgery. Same immobilization, comparable fall out in terms of muscle atrophy and loss of range of motion… it’s as if he didn’t have eyes or ears, to take into account my patient history or life style or anything. A leg cast. For a 29 year old woman with a job, a two year old, and a 4 month old. A nursing mother who wants to have another kid eventually.

Here are the reasons this dude is a complete idiot:
1. Surgery for ANS is not terrible successful, even in young patients, and is a giant pain in the ass to recover from. That’s not even taking into account the likelihood that a 29 year old with two little kids and a job and NO SPARE TIME would do a good job with rehabbing afterwards, to get back range of motion and rebuild strength. Which would basically set me up for future ankle injuries, wheee, thanks dude.

2. He seemed to have no clue how disruptive and awful a cast and crutches would be for SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS OH MY HELL. I mean, this dude has four young children. I can only assume his wife does 100% of the child rearing, because how on earth would he even suggest this, otherwise? A cast, just to SEE if it would help. And if it didn’t, then surgery and ANOTHER CAST. Can you imagine hobbling on crutches to nurse an infant several times a night? I can, because I DID THAT IN JUNE.

3. He was totally dismissive of the fact that I am a) still nursing, and b) want to have another kid. Like he has never heard of relaxin. You might be sitting there, reading (if you are still reading this, you get a cookie), and saying “Susie, what the heck is relaxin? Are you being a pretentious scientist again, expecting people to know this crap?” Well, dear reader, I DO expect an orthopedist to know what is, yes. It’s a hormone that is produced during pregnancy and nursing that causes ligaments and tendons to… relax. Loosen. So basically, my skeletal system is sort of plastic at the moment, and can be expected to enter a state of plasticity again the next few years. So surgical intervention or a freaking CAST are both terrible treatment options for a body that is known to be in a state of flux. There is an excellent chance that when I stop nursing, this could go away. Or that it would come right back when I am pregnant again. DUMB.

4. He seemed to have no interest in my life style. He was dismissive when I tried to explain the activities that I like and would like to return to (running, sports). Even when prompted, he had none recommendations for ways I could manage or support the injury so that I could continue to do these things. He suggested ceasing to exercise entirely, as if that were a good, healthful life plan. I just.. What? What the hell? What do doctors want us to do? Seriously, can they have a big doctor meeting, everyone is invited, and all get on the same damn page? Do you want us to exercise or not? Is walking the only exercise that’s acceptable? Or maybe just swimming. Good thing everyone has time and access to pools, am I right? Everything else is too high impact, better to just sit your ass on the couch and eat bon bons. This shit drives me BANANAS.

Anyways, I said no thanks to his ideas and asked what else. He said I could do a cortisone shot to see if that might calm the tendon down. I got that on Thursday, and it has felt significantly better since then. I’m supposed to limit activity for awhile (forever apparently, but I’ll give it a few weeks at least). I think I’ll go back to my doctor friend at that point, and see if he has any constructive ideas, because come ON.

*FINE it was just my mom. Maybe I should stop blogging and just call her every day.
**Seriously. FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FOUR. That’s more than 24 days of my life.

Posted in Me me me, medical anomaly, times when people annoyed me | 10 Comments

Family History

I have a super genius idea for a post, today, and it involves tricking my mommy into doing my work for me. Mom! Read this! And then write some stuff!

SO. I was looking for something in my archives, and found this post from last year, about privilege and personal backgrounds. I was talking about family history, and my mom popped up in the comments and filled in a bunch of stuff I didn’t know or couldn’t remember, and I found it FASCINATING. You know how your parents can be some of the most important people in your life, people you talk to all the time, people you respect and love, but somehow you just don’t KNOW that much about them? No? Just me?

WELL. I want to know more about my parents. I suppose I can’t just leave it at that, and expect my mom to supply details. HMMM. Ok, here is what I know:

My mom is the middle of three kids, born in 1952, grew up in Sandy Hook, NJ. Her dad (Russel, born 1912) owned a real estate/insurance business. Pop served in WWII before he had kids – I have seen pictures of him, sailing with his buddies somewhere (Trinidad and Tobago come to mind?). I did a project on him when I was in middle school or so, but I can’t remember what I learned – I don’t know if he saw action in the war, or even what branch of the military he was in. He was the only grandparent I really knew – the others all passed away when I was little. He was wonderful and interesting. I’m sitting here smiling, remembering sitting on his lap while he did the crossword puzzles. He smelled like vanilla and pipe tobacco. Sigh. I wonder if he was the same kind of father as he was a grandfather – engaged, fun, twinkly eyed – or did he work all the time, or something else entirely?

My mom’s mom (Viola, born 1916) worked as a secretary for awhile, and then stayed home with the kids. She was also a portrait artist, though I’ve only seen the landscape paintings that are hanging in our house and my aunt’s house. I never knew her – she passed away when I was a baby – but I gather that she was sort of a difficult woman, stern, had a lot of rules. I know that she and my grandfather didn’t have kids until after the war – my aunt was born in 1949 – but I don’t know if they didn’t meet until afterwards. I guess I’m just assuming the war was why they didn’t have kids until the ’49, when my grandfather was 37 and my grandmother 34. Those ages don’t strike me as older for starting a family, anymore (I mean, OLDER, honestly, hah!), but I suppose they were then? I don’t know.

I’ve seen lots of pictures from when my mom was growing up – it seemed like a fun, idyllic sort of childhood. I remember a story about a toy car that ran on orange juice, but I might have made that up. I remember hearing that she was on a swim team that practiced in the Atlantic ocean. That her mom used to drive the kids to the storm wall when there were big storms coming in, to watch. I remember a picture of my mom dressed up for prom, where she wore long white gloves and she looked so pretty.
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I don’t know as much about my dad as a kid, or his parents. He was born in 1947, in Orange, NJ, and has two younger sisters. His dad was an accountant, and his mom was a secretary. The only detail I can think of from his childhood is a picture I saw once, of him and his sisters in a snow cave they constructed one winter as kids. I think part of the reason that’s all I can think of is because I didn’t really know his parents, my paternal grandparents, very well – they both passed away when I was in elementary school.

My mom and dad met working at a summer camp in the Poconos when she was in college. I don’t know how long they dated before they got engaged – not long I think? I remember vaguely that my dad went on a backpacking trip for a few weeks, which he cut short because he decided he missed my mom too much, and asked her to marry him. Or maybe that was a movie I saw once. Who knows! Anyways, they got married (in 1973 – 40 years!) when she was 21 and he was 26, I think – very small ceremony, just immediate family, in one of their living rooms. I remember a story about my grandfather offering my mom a car and a ladder instead of a big wedding, and she took him up on it – she got a little red volkswagon bug.

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I guess 1973 means they got married during Vietnam.. I know my dad was in Air Force ROTC in college, and I think he served during the war in some capacity, and I’m having vague recollections that he eventually left the service as a conscientious objector? This is very hazy, and I’m guessing it could be a touchy subject. I think he was in grad school (Stevens Institute of Technology, for Physics) when they got married, and my mom must have just finished her undergraduate degree (Goucher College, for… Religion or Music or something?). They lived in Hoboken, NJ and my mom worked at NJ Bell while my dad finished school. I think they lived in a rent controlled brownstone or something? I remember something about the landlord trying to stick it to The Man by keeping rent low. I might be making this up, seems awfully silly. They were close to Manhattan, though, I know that – I know they went to the city a lot, but I don’t know what they liked to do. They also did a lot of camping and hiking and such, which is easier for me to picture.

They moved down to Atlanta after my dad finished grad school and got a job with AT&T – I guess that must have been 1980 or so. My bro came along in 1982, so they were married for 9 years before they had a kid. I think that’s pretty neat, having all that time. It must have been totally insane to move that far from where you grew up, where your parents lived, and start a family. It’s not like it is now – I mean, we live across the country from our families, but our kid facetimes her grandparents multiple times a day.

I remember some other stories my parents have told me – a road trip when my mom was in college, where her friend refused to put the top up on her convertible, and they all got terrible sunburns. Pranks my dad pulled when he was in school (high school? college?), where they lined up empty soda cans behind a door to confuse a teacher, or put some kind of mildly explosive something or other on a stair case so it would pop loudly when you stepped on it (??? made up? seems like it!). Oh, and something about getting in trouble with his fraternity in college for kissing the president’s sister, or something salacious like that. Oh and my mom knew Anne Lamott in college – here she is, hiding in my mom’s old pictures (that’s my dad on the left).

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So, anyways, I could go on with half remembered stories, but let’s see if I have laid enough out for my mom to chime in. My only other option is to try to get her tanked at Christmas so she’ll start telling stories, but she doesn’t like to drink… hey, that reminds me, I think she decided she didn’t like alcohol after she over-indulged at her sister’s wedding, and maybe something happened to the cake? Mom? Tell me more!

Posted in Me me me, retrospect | 10 Comments

Also Kevin mopped the floor

Well, no one slept any better last night, and I was a cranky jerk again, BUT let’s just move right along or it’s gonna be a heck of a long month. Here are some things that are pretty great today:

– Finally got our acts together after a couple of very long weeks, and made a meal plan. AND a yummy dinner – chicken pot pie.

– I snookered Kevin into making a ton of mirepoix. Just didn’t tell him we only needed a half cup of each veggie, so he chopped enough for SEVEN pot pies. Into the freezer, and next time prep will be a snap.

– Hazel took a nap on me today. She hasn’t done that since roughly July or August. Well, she falls asleep nursing all the dang time, but that is not the same at all. This is super nutty, if you think about the fact that she would ONLY sleep on me for the first six weeks of her life. I can barely even remember what that was like, and I missed the weight of a snuggly, passed out baby on my chest.

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– The cortisone shot I got last week seems to be doing good things. I’m supposed to take it very easy for a month or two, always wear supportive shoes and basically not move my foot unless I have to, BUT it hurts less than it has in months right now. I wish I could go ahead and go running but I know that’s a terrible idea. For now I’ll just revel in the lack of pain.

– Eliza only wants Kevin to read her the terrible McDuff Moves In book, which is a blessing indeed.

Posted in ephemera, little bears, Me me me | 7 Comments

Tired/Awake

Hazel had a bad night, and I am in a terrible awful mood. Well, that’s not entirely true, because Jess had her baby last night (Annika! So cute and perfect!) and this has left me filled with palpable joy but also I have some rage because why do cats meow in the night? And why don’t dudes lactate? And why do I have such princessy sleep requirements? Whyyyyyy.

Anyways, obviously this isn’t the best foundation for me to do any Serious Pondering, but all these feelings aren’t just going to sit around in my brain, quietly whiling away the hours while I carry on with my day. No, they must be FELT. The result of this, so far, is that I have been awake for five hours at 9:00 am, and I am just so tired. I am stealing glances at the clock every few minutes, while Eliza and Kevin play, and Hazel noms on her toes, and I’m ignoring all of the opportunities in front of me for fun and enjoyment and productivity in favor of counting down the hours until bed time. How ridiculous is that?

There are a number of very obvious flaws to this tack: the minutes pass a hell of a lot slower when I’m being a grouchy clock watcher; it’s not as if there is any guarantee that I will get more rest tonight or that tomorrow will be magically better; and when Mama is being a self indulgent jerkwad, that brings everyone else down and makes the day actually, objectively harder and less pleasant.

Ok, so I KNOW I need to snap my ass out of it, I do. It’s not helping! It is actively making things worse! And yet, here I sit, grumbling. I wish I could go running (I am trying hard not to succumb to an exercise/exorcise pun, here), but my ankle is still hosed.

(It’s messed up from when I sprained it right before Hazel was born, but actually the sprain healed totally in just a few weeks. But I have an extra bone – accessory navicular – and now severe tendonitis that flared when I sprained it. I got a cortisone shot on Thursday so hopefully that will help reset the whole mess, because I really think some cardio might be good for my brain at this point.)

ANYWAYS, the point of all this grumbling is mostly… well, I really hate spending time with this mindset, counting down hours instead of trying to enjoy them. I’ve got happy babies and a lovely husband and good friends.

***

Whew. Kevin helped me take a three (3) hour nap, and I am feeling human again. I think all that bumbling up there still stands, it just doesn’t seem quite so tragic to me now. Also all these children are a lot cuter after some sleep. Perhaps a family trip to the park is in order.

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The cat is still on my shit list, though. He might be sleeping, but I’m sure he’s dreaming up ways to annoy me in the wee hours.

Posted in ephemera, little bears, Me me me, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Hazel, months three and four

Last month wiped me OUT, man. I mean, it was fantastic, we traveled a lot and had a lot of fun. But also: plague and pestilence, and not a lot of sleep. Hoping things will settle down now!

Hazel is four months old as of Sunday, so here’s a recap of mundane details only future me will care about.

By three months, Hazel chilled out a LOT. She is still more sensitive than her sister – startles easily, and will wail loudly at very loud noises or minor physical insults – but she is pretty easy to soothe. It’s kind of really cute when she gets upset, too, and not just a little ridiculous. Her face just CRUMBLES and she makes this indignant wailing sound like when you sit on the cat. And then: SNUGGLE TIME.

Her bed time has been moving earlier and earlier. Up until three months, we were having to force her to sleep by putting her in the Beco and walking her around the neighborhood until she passed out against her will. Then I’d dream feed her, swaddle her up, and plunk her in her bassinet. That whole process took till about 11 pm, which is still well past my bedtime. I’d have to take a nap before her dream feed at least half the time, so Kevin would stay up past 11 with her so I could catch a useful amount of sleep. After we got back from Denver a few weeks ago, we stopped doing the walk and her bed time has moved back slowly to 8 or 9 pm, which is LOVELY. Sometimes I can even stay up for like half an hour after she goes to bed! FREEDOM!

She has been sleeping longer stretches more consistently as well. Sometimes she will go all the way till 5-7 am, sometimes she gets up a few times to eat. She has always busted her swaddle by the time she decides she’s hungry. (Or maybe she decides she’s hungry once she’s busted her swaddle? Chicken/egg ahhhh!)

She doesn’t nap that well for us, but our nanny can get her down most days for an hour or two. For me, she falls asleep nursing and takes cat naps for 10-20 min a few times a day. She will wake the second I try to move her, though, and normally wants to eat again after 30 – 60 min. So when I am home in the afternoons and on the weekends, it is pretty tough for me to get anything at all done. Hazel wants to be at the buffet, and Eliza basically stands on my legs piling up her toys and books. It’s…. relaxing. Also productive. Yep. It’s obviously better when Kevin is also home, because Eliza will play with him or he can get stuff done while she smothers me.

This kind of makes breastfeeding jail sound kind of terrible, and it really isn’t. It’s easy to take Hazel anywhere and I don’t have to take anything with me. I can count on her being pretty easy and laid back all the time, as long as my boobs are with me. She will eat less frequently if she has to – like when I’m at work or other people are playing with her. It’s kind of like how I am with diet coke. If It’s available, I will drink it all the live long day. If I had to hang out next to a fountain machine all day long and not drink it? Haaa. Yeah right.

She is getting better at taking bottles while I am at work, too, though Kevin still can’t give her one. He doesn’t have the opportunity to practice very much, though, so I’m not surprised. I’m not that worried about it now, though – I don’t have to travel for work for months, and it’s coming up on fall/winter when the shorter days have us staying home a lot more anyways, so it’s just not a huge deal. It is going to fly by. It already IS flying by. I feel like the hardest part is definitely over.

As of the past week or so, Hazel is wanting to spend more time playing, so I’m sure it’ll shift soon, too. She likes her exersaucer a lot – she actually plays with all the peripheral toys on it, too. Eliza never gave them the time of day. Hazel puts everything in her mouth and gnaws on stuff delightedly, rivers of drool streaming out of her mouth all the livelong day. We are using a lot of bibs this time around, or the poor thing is just soaking wet all the time.

While we were in Denver (Oh, we went to Denver! Kevin had a business trip, so we went, and stayed with Jess, and it was the BEST EVER except for the one night when Eliza woke up for the day at 2:17 AM OMFG). I had the startling realization that while yes, Hazel is a very smiley baby, she was actually specifically smiley for ME. I got the biggest grins by a long shot. Totally blew my mind, and then that started to change almost right after I realized it. Now? Eliza is her favorite person. She loves to watch her, and if Eliza says much of anything to or near her, Hazel starts cracking up. It’s the best. Eliza is just starting to notice this, so she isn’t really playing into it deliberately yet, but I’m sure that’ll come along shortly. I can’t wait.

What else? We’ll need to move her out of her bassinet sometime in the next month or two, and I think we’re just going to put her in a pack and play, also in the guest room. We eventually want to put the girls in the same room, but it seems like you don’t do that till later unless you have to. But when is later? I’m sure, like with most things, I’ll fret and fret about this and then figure it out without too much trouble once the time is right. That’s a lesson I’ll be learning over and over again until my children are grown, I’m sure.

Notes on post-partum Susie, for future Susie: my hair started falling out in gobs about a week ago. I vaguely remember it starting around five months last time, or coinciding with weaning, and I have no recollection of how long it lasted. I HATE IT MAKE IT STOP AHHH. Ahem. Also, the last couple of weeks, I feel mostly normal, body wise. Like, I don’t spend all day feeling uncomfortable in my skin. This is not to say that I am back to my pre-Hazel body, oh no, not at all. Just that I have reached a point of being relatively comfortable, and I have some clothes that fit ok, and I’m not constantly worrying about how I look/feel. I think this is a combo effect of losing some of the baby weight, redistributing stuff, and also being a little better rested so my brain isn’t hamster wheeling all day long about stupid shit. I *think* I reached this point faster with Eliza, but I lost a bunch of weight without trying at all after her, so whatever, past Susie. I have more thoughts about this but odds are I will never, ever, ever have a spare moment to elaborate, and also only future Susie probably cares so now I hush. (That is, until I spit out a bunch of nostalgic crap about Eliza turning TWO, which she did on Monday without my permission.)

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Official three months old picture.

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Babies are really adorable but they kind of suck at playing.

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This morning, after opting out of sleeping to a reasonable hour, because she was too excited about life.

Posted in little bears, Me me me | 6 Comments

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

We spent last week on Tybee Island at Kevin’s ancestral home, with his parents as well as mine. It was the best of times, and the worst of times, y’all. Eliza had so much fun with her grandparents, and she loved the ocean. It made my heart full, seeing Eliza bopping around my husband’s childhood home, exploring and playing.

 

But, oh, we all got a stomach bug. Eliza and Kevin were felled on Monday night almost simultaneously. I got it the next night, then Kevin’s dad, then his mom. I convinced my parents to hit the road a couple days early so that if (when) they got it, they would at least be at home. It was… terrible. I don’t think I’ll ever be rid of the image of my not quite two year old, so confused, throwing up in a bucket. Poor kiddo. And, well, I got a lot sicker than anyone else did, and I would like a gold star for surviving AND nursing Hazel. That was NOT FUN. Hazel didn’t get sick though, and picked a very good night to sleep for seven hours in a row, so thank god for huge favors.

 

We did get two really lovely days at the beach before anyone got sick, and managed to get two more lazy days after everyone was feeling a bit better (though everyone was so tired and listless, we just kind of sat there). Eliza had fun even on the days in between, and someone was always feeling good enough to play with her.

 

We also had an epic trip home, with a broken plane leading to two hours stuck on a run way, a missed connection, and an overnight stay in Seattle (where “overnight” meant four hours at a hotel). The girls both did really well, under the circumstances. Eliza didn’t sleep much on the flights, and she cried a good bit, but considering how much we were asking of her, she did great. Kevin took her on an airport shopping spree with our food vouchers, and she picked out several Winnie the Pooh items. I’m pretty sure it was all worth it in the end, in her book.

 

It was all worth it in ours, too.

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Posted in georgia things, little bears, Me me me | 10 Comments

Adventure is out there

I grew up camping – my parents took me on my first camping trip when I was 10 weeks old. Johnny was two and a half on that particular trip, so not terribly far off from Hazel and Eliza this weekend. I obviously have no memory of the trip, but I have always loved the picture of me and my big brother passed out in the tent. And the older I get, the more I appreciate that we spent so much of our childhood outside.

Nothing like a nice face pillow for a 9 week old, ahhh the 80s

 Me and my bro, simul-napping in the tent on my first camping trip. I’m 10 weeks old, and I like to bury my face in pillows whilst sleeping on my tummy (still true).

We took the girls camping at Mt. Rainier this past weekend, and took Eliza kayaking on the Columbia the weekend before. Kayaking was pretty great – the whole excursion only took a few hours – the kayak place is 15 minutes from our house – so we had a babysitter for Hazel. We got a tandem kayak with a jump seat for E. She was totally psyched for about half an hour, a big grin plastered on her face and she just kept exclaiming about the kayak and the water. We weren’t doing point to point – just paddling around on the Columbia near the kayak place, because we (rightly) figured she’d get bored pretty quick. Once she did, we went back to the shore and let her wade around and throw rocks, which were excellent activities in her book.

Kayaking bears
Happy kayakers

Playing with rocks

Camping was also fun, but a little more fraught. Rainier is about three hours away, which is a lot of car time for both kiddos. I brought all manner of toys for the car for Eliza (magnets on a cookie sheet! books! crayons! stickers! snacks!) and crossed my fingers that Hazel would sleep. It went pretty well, but man, entertaining a two year old in the car is mentally exhausting.

Once we got there (Ohanapecosh was full, so we stayed down the road at La Wis Wis) and got set up, we tried to get Eliza down for a nap in the tent, but she was having none of it. She loved camping last year, but we hadn’t gone since October or so, and I was anticipating having issues with napping at least. We talked it up a lot – calling the tent a fort (she loves to make forts in the living room) and talking about fun it would be. Kevin tried lying down with her, but she just wouldn’t settle, and didn’t like being zipped in. Eventually we put her back in the car and headed up to Paradise to poke around. She passed out immediately in the car and got a short nap. She had a great time riding in the kid backpack on a short walk to Myrtle falls, and lost her little mind over the waterfall (“Wooooow! Wahfall! Whooooa” all in hushed tones of amazement).

Hiking with babies
Hiking with babies

We got back to our campsite around her normal bedtime, but figured there was no way she would go to bed without major help from us, so we just made dinner and hung out for a couple hours. She did pretty good about not touching the fire pit, or the fire once we made it. She had her first marshmallow (she approved). Then I took her and Hazel into the tent to try to get her settled. I laid with them both, nursing Hazel and trying to calm E, for an hour or so while Kevin cleaned up. Eventually E was so wound up that I had to get Kevin to come in to the tent as well – she was full on tackling me and Hazel and I couldn’t deal with both kiddos. Kevin laid with her for probably another hour and half before she fell asleep finally.

… and then she woke up around 1:00 am, FUH-REAKING OUT. Girlfriend wanted OUT of the tent. She screamed and thrashed for probably an hour, on and off (mostly on). That was pretty rough. I was already awake because Hazel was still doing her night time cluster feeding thing, but I couldn’t feed her AND help Eliza. Not being able to help was pretty frustrating, but oh well. Eventually she fell back asleep, and we all slept till 7:00. Made some breakfast, broke camp, and ended up just heading home. We were all pretty damn tired.

We are now solidly in the Type Two Fun phase of adventuring with children. Most excursions have the potential to blow up in our faces, and they do, about as often as not. But we go anyways. We smile, we take pictures. And we hope that one day soon, we can look back and remember fondly.  That it won’t even occur to our kids, looking at the pictures, that we barely slept, or that they screamed on the long car ride. That they will just think it was awesome, growing up outside.

Sadly, the closest I got to reproducing my mom's picture of me and my brother. And not for lack of trying.
Sadly, the closest I got to reproducing the picture of me and my brother. And not for lack of trying.
E and Pooh, bouncing around the campsite
E and Pooh, bouncing around the campsite
Documentation of Hazel's first Rainier trip
Documentation of Hazel’s first Rainier trip. (Eliza’s is here.)
Posted in little bears, Me me me, milestones, retrospect | 18 Comments

Hazelnut at two months

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… is SO HAPPY. She loves looking at people, and will smile like a loon if you lock eyes with her. She’s working on her giggle – it started out sounding like a little cough, but it’s moving more towards a guffaw, now. I love it.

… doesn’t sleep on me anymore at night. In fact, I’m worried about whether she’ll do it this weekend when we go camping.

… has no discernible schedule during the day, and is probably starting to need one. I don’t remember how to get an infant to nap? I should probably start by just putting her down sometimes. It’s like I’ve never done this before.

… will not go to bed until at least 1:00 am. Until then, in the evenings, she will either cluster feed and barf (because she doesn’t actually NEED to be eating), or sleep fitfully in a carrier if you walk around for at least 5 out of every 15 minutes. Then she eats for an hour or so and goes to sleep. (She’s getting more efficient at her dinner – it’s cutting into my midnight blogging capabilities.)

Once she DOES go to sleep, she sleeps for between three and seven (7!) hours. Usually three, but she’s done the seven thing TWICE. Granted, anything more than four is kind of a waste because I’m up anyways, but I’m sure we’ll get our timing worked out eventually. And the fact that she CAN do it is the biggest thing, right??

… still doesn’t like bottles, but doesn’t HATE them? She doesn’t scream anymore, but looks at you like you are a damn fool when you put the bottle in her mouth, and just lets the milk dribble out. Some days she’ll take one, drinking 1-2 ounces, but usually she waits to do the bulk of her eating till Mama’s back home. I’m working a bit more now (6ish hours a day this week!), so this will get interesting.

… likes to be vertical. Even though she is too small by a laughable margin, we stick her in the exersaucer or the jumperoo and she loves it. Not a super fan of the bumbo, because sitting down is pretty boring. Laying down is only for sleeping and eating – otherwise, please hold upright at all times.

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She’s definitely just a happy spitter at this point – colic is gone, and reflux is under control. I was saying to Kevin that she isn’t that different from Eliza at this point – she’s turned into a relatively easy baby – and he sputtered, saying she’s barfed up an entire Eliza of milk. True. Also, just me, or is it way more awkward when your baby barfs breast milk on someone than formula?

Two month stats from today’s doc appointment:
Weight: 11 lbs, 7 oz (64%)
Height: 23.5″ (86%)
Head Circumference: 15″ (30%)

I am not terribly confident of the measurements of height, and even less so of head circumference – they can measure several times and get utterly different numbers (14.5, 15, and 16″ in fact!) – but she looks like a normal baby, so I’m officially dismissing any too-small-head worrying at this point.

It’s been a few hours since her shots, and I can say she’s definitely more sensitive than her sister was – she napped for a bit and then woke up totally inconsolable. It took almost an hour to get her to calm down enough to nurse. Poor baby girl.

Eliza continues to mostly like the baby, but also to carry on her merry way since Hazel doesn’t really do much. E is somewhat fascinated by the whole nursing thing – she talks about the baby eating, and steals burp clothes and nursing pads, and usually desperately wants a snack as soon as she notices Hazel is getting one. We’ve gotten her somewhat trained on getting out a particular blanket, spreading it on the floor, and helping herself to a box of raisins or a container of goldfish from her snack cabinet. She does a pretty good job, you know, for an almost-two year old. But there might be some rogue raisins in the carpet, and it takes a LOT of verbal coaching some days. This is fine, considering I’m basically pinned on the couch under Hazel, and verbal coaching is far preferable to the snack related tantrums we were having before introducing the snack blanket model.

Eliza also loves making Pooh and her other toys do baby things – she likes them to be swaddled, to hang out in the jumper and exersaucer, to carry them around in a sling I fashioned out of a scarf. It’s really damn cute. Yesterday she stole my nursing pillow and crammed Pooh under her shirt and yelled EEEEEAT so I guess she has this whole momming thing down. That makes one of us!

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Posted in little bears | 6 Comments

Bottles and my face.

I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time keeping my eyeballs open during Hazel’s late night feed the past few days. I’ve been getting more sleep this week – she’s been much more agreeable in the evenings for Kevin, so I’m usually getting a nice nap before midnight. So I think my body must be shifting out of survival mode and getting kind of uppity about it. I mean seriously, it just took me a full thirty minutes before both my eyes would consent to open. How am I supposed to rewatch Friends and write on my weblog with one eyeball? Kind of a shitty eyeball, at that.

ANYWAYS. Guess what? Hazel drank a FOUR OUNCE BOTTLE today. From the nanny. This is the first day that she’s had a reasonable volume while I’ve been at work. Kevin still hasn’t had much luck giving her a bottle at night, but this is a huge step in the right direction. I’m giving myself some of the credit for the bottle/nursing switchathon over the weekend, because that was unpleasant and time consuming. So, go team!

Right on the heels of my excitement about the bottle success came an anxiety spiral about Hazel deciding she prefers them, and my milk supply tanking. So that was super nice. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, as I once again find myself nursing her for an hour and a half in the middle of the night.

Perhaps related to my sleep issues, I recently tumbled down the slippery slope of make up obsession. I fully blame Kelly and Ginger and Maria. I got really fed up with looking like a zombie after a few nights of particularly awful Hazel sleep, so I went and dropped a bunch of cash on every bottle Target carries, and some eye make up at Ulta.

20130808-012356.jpgplus ice cream, because I deserve it.

Then I played face dress up during the simultaneous nap, which, ok, maybe *I* should have taken a nap too, but shut up. The stuff I got was: Benefit Stay Flawless 15 hr primer, Benefit Fake Up concealer, an Eco Tools eyeliner brush, two e.l.f. Cream Eyeliners, Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara, and an e.l.f. Primer (that I haven’t tried out yet). Other stuff I currently use: an Aveeno moisturizer and Bare Minerals translucent powder. I’m pretty psyched about how my face turned out. I just did normal make up stuff, and tight lined my eyes. Which – I didn’t know there were other ways to put on eyeliner, because anytime I try other approaches, it just highlights how red my waterline is, and how blondish my eyelashes are (even with mascara, I guess because the base still shows a little).

So here is part of my face, in the kindest of natural lighting:

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The slippery slope continues, as I have since purchased a Tarte brightening eyeliner to de-redify my lower waterline, and rediscovered a small pile of Urban Decay stuff (this and this) I got from Laura during the Blathering gift exchange. Next up I think I’m going to get a setting spray. Primer was sort if revelatory, as one of my big reasons for hating make up was that it didn’t stay put. Now it mostly does! Woo.

Posted in ephemera, little bears, Me me me | 6 Comments