Sunday, December 27, 2009

A lot of laughter

One of my favorite parts about parenthood is the random stuff that tickles him. This particular evening, David threw Robbie's O-ball up and caught it. This was apparently the funniest thing Robbie had ever seen, and deserved applause as well.

He's definitely ticklish. I dare you to listen to him and not be tickled, too.

This is a game Grandpa plays with Robbie quite often and Robbie just eats it up. This time it was Grandma's turn and Robbie was HIGHLY amused.

In amazing news, Robbie actually took 2 unassisted steps on Christmas Eve! He took another today. He absolutely could walk if he chose. But right now he thinks our attempts to get him to stand or walk without help are hysterical. If you watch him, you can see he doesn't fall. He controls his descent. This was actually taken last week even before the steps.

Robbie loves music, even his Momma's mediocre singing. One of the biggest challenges in getting a child to talk is getting him to "turn on his voice." Music is a great way to encourage that, so we take turns "singing." (That's the "Row row row your boat" part is.)
Of course, hand motions are just plain fun. He sometimes mixes up the sign for "more", the Itsy Bitsy Spider motion and the "roll it" motion from Pat-a-cake, but usually catches himself and corrects. Sometimes he does the motion for the "spider" or "roll it" and looks at us expectantly, obviously requesting a song.


Friday, December 25, 2009

God bless us, every one.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Ho ho ho!


P.S. More pictures available on a public facebook album.(It's SO much easier to upload there.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Just a quick pop in.
The week has been crazy. I lost seniority when I took my leave of absence to stay home with Robbie. That means that I am low man on the totem pole at work so my schedule is reliant upon everyone else. Since every one likes to take the holiday weeks off, holiday weeks are always a surprise for me.

This week that means working 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual. It's been challening for me, but poor Robbie is suffering the most. He has yet another cold and ear infection (new surgery date is scheduled for the 6th. Be sure to write that on the calendar in pencil.) and the schedule change just has him all out of sorts. He has been down to 1 nap a day for probably 6 weeks now, but with getting up so early, he just can't make it until an afternoon nap. Then because he's taken a morning nap, he doesn't want his afternoon nap, so by evening he's exhausted. Tonight he fell asleep in the car on the way home (yeah, it's an 8 minute drive) and didn't wake up even when getting him out of the car and out of his coat. That's VERY unlike him, but the poor kid is just exhausted. I only let him sleep an hour, but that was enough that he wouldn't go to sleep at bedtime, which means tomorrow morning is probably going to be ugly.

My family is in town now, leaving Thursday, David's family is coming Thursday, leaving Sunday. Of course, there's still the usual Christmas stuff to do. I've lost count of how many dishes I've had to make to bring to various functions. I swear if the media reports the economy has taken an upswing, I'm taking partial credit simply for how much money I've spent at the grocery story this season.

I am a bit bemused that I did all the shopping and wrapping for both families. David was responsible for buying ONE thing. Care to guess which ONE thing is still not purchased, which because of that is also the last thing that isn't wrapped? That's a little frustrating. (And no, it's not a difficult to find thing. It's a freaking umbrella.)

Anyway, nothing exciting, mostly just regular family stuff. It's nice to have "normal" problems sometimes.

I hope everyone is surviving the holiday season. It certainly holds many different challenges depending on your current lot in life.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December pictures

Mmm, still loving my thumb.

My old friend Lexi and I went to our friend Gavin's baptism party.

I still say Santa looks a lot like Gavin's grandpa.

Mommy's friend and his daughter came to visit that day, too.

Let's see where this fits

I see you!

This week on mini WWE wrestling, Remarkable Robbie takes on Scrappy Santa.

Daddy's a good snuggler.

How many zeros in a million again?

Taking in the sights with Dad

The jumper is even fun when I'm not in it.

The tongue helps point the way.

Nick Nolte is my hero.

He's got eyes of the bluest skies as if they thought of rain.


Saturday, December 12, 2009


Michelle Duggar had a preemie.

I have no idea if most of the world followed the story today, but all of my online communities are quite atwitter about it.

Now, I think the Duggars are kinda crazy. I mean, I wanted a baby really badly, but 19? That's a lot. A lot lot. Like, really, a lot. And I can't help but think anyone who wants 19 kids is insane. Of course, lots of people might think anyone who has done some of the things I have would be insane, too. I accept that. (But seriously, I haven't had a full night's sleep in 18 months. Do you think Michelle is getting any sleep? She clearly still has time to screw, so she's obviously doing better than me, but still.... wait.. where was I? Oh yeah.... so the Duggars are crazy.)

So okay, I think they're crazy. They are not my kinda people. They have a lot of kids, don't believe in birth control, homeschool their kids, publicize their lives on TV, have way more money than me and.. well..even I dress better than them, and that's saying something. I've had many a conversation about how selfish, irresponsible & misguided I think they are. Michelle seems nice enough, but really, I think she's a nut.

But all of a sudden? Michelle is part of my fold. And Jim, too, I guess, but really, Michelle. I heard the news late last night (a friend of theirs broke the news on a message board before even the media had gotten it) and was stunned. I was surprised to find tears in my eyes at even the thought of another preemie born so early. At that point, they were still saying it was gallbladder related. Today it turns out it was the dreaded preeclampsia.

Number 19 is Josie, 1 lb 6 oz, born at 25 weeks. Just an ounce smaller and a week earlier than Robbie. Right now, Michelle is probably in a hospital awake. Maybe she's pumping. Maybe she's sent Jim down to the NICU to check on Josie just one more time before she tries to rest. She might still be on mag and unable to even see straight yet. She could be hobbling around from the C section and is probably wondering what in the hell just happened. (Well, maybe not "what in the hell", I doubt she cusses... but if she ever wanted to, it would be now.) Maybe the nurse is in to check her blood pressure one more time.

Jim, if he's like David, is doing his best to help Michelle. Maybe he doesn't even know what preeclampsia is, only that the doctors acted like it was pretty bad and the baby is here now. He sees his wife in pain, fragile. He sees his daughter in a heated plastic box and she's impossibly tiny. Maybe he's afraid to touch her. Her skin looks like it will tear open any moment. She, too, is so fragile. He's still trying to take in that he could have lost both of them yesterday. What just happened?

And Josie? Well, the media says she's "doing fine" and "resting comfortably." The media lies. There is nothing restful or comfortable about the NICU. Doing fine? Perhaps. But the thing with preemies is that everything comes with an asterisk. Doing fine*. *for a 25 weeker. Even Robbie eighteen months later, still gets his asterisk. He's so big*! *compared to where he started.

"Fine" for a 25 weeks means she's intubated, but maybe doesn't require a lot of oxygen. It means they were able to find an IV and it's holding. She's in an isolette with the heat turned up, but maintaining her temperature. Maybe they haven't found her PDA yet. She certainly hasn't had her eyes or hearing checked yet. Her first head ultrasound maybe doesn't show too much bleeding. It means she's setting off the alarms on her machines, but not the really bad ones. Right now "fine" means the dozens of machines and tubes and wires are doing what we hope- they're keeping her alive. Yes, she's fine*.
*fighting to keep it together

Jim and Michelle are probably also fine*. I know I was fine* for 96 days. And sometimes, I'm still fine*. For the parents of a preemie, particularly one as early as Josie, fine means putting one foot in front of the other. Because they have to.

The message boards and comments on news stories were filled today, with comments like "well, maybe NOW they'll stop." "Well, you knew it was bound to happen." "She should have known her body couldn't have another baby!" Yes, that silly Michelle, she birthed 18 children and should have expected 19 to come impossibly early. She should have known that a disease that affects less than 10% of pregnancies, and even fewer non-first pregnancies would get her this time. God has a maximum allowance of healthy children for each family, and they had reached it. They should have known this one was doomed. And I'm certain their top priority right now is decided if they should try for number 20.

The world is full of judgement and blame. Yes, we women with failures for bodies, we are foolish. We are deluded. We should have known better. How dare we! We should be ashamed. How could we not have known we were tempting the fates? Certainly we deserve the horrors we watch our babies endure.

The sad thing is that Michelle is probably thinking very similar things right now. No matter what else she's doing, she's wondering how they got there. If she could have done something differently, if there is anything more she could do now. She's probably praying. If she's like me at all, she's praying for peace for whatever may come. She's praying for healing for her child, for strength for herself and for wisdom for the doctors.

Me? I'm going to join her. Because Michelle Duggar? She's my people.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take 5

Just a quick note to say ear tube surgery is cancelled again. He has another cold (yes, ANOTHER) and started coughing a bit last night. By 3:30 this morning, his breathing was sounding thick and he was coughing pretty hard. So we started nebulizers for the 4th time this year.

I called to cancel and the surgeon himself called me back. I think they are starting to wonder what's going on, but I don't know what we can do about it. He said they can do the surgery with a head cold, but with Robbie a head cold turns into wheezing almost every time.

I never thought I'd see the day I missed quarantine, but I think I'm officially there. Say some healing prayers for Robbie!


Spoke w/the pediatrician and she added pulmicort to his drug cocktail, and actually wants him to stay on it for the rest of the winter. Twice a day until he gets the tubes, then once a day for the duration of germ season.

She was sure to point out that he now holds the record for most tube reschedules. My little guy is setting records everywhere he goes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A few pictures

Just a few pictures I just posted over on Robbie's Blog. (There's also an update over there, if you're interested.)

Now that he can pull up to stand at the dishwasher, the dishes are his chore, right?

So big!

Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma!

These are my groceries. Get your own.

Here Grandpa, let me show you how it's done.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brain droppings

I don't really have anything interesting to say.

Thanksgiving was nice. My MIL came and only stayed a day and was pleasant. I was a little paranoid because Robbie had been eating REALLY well for a while and of course, the day she arrived, he ate nothing. (Before she got here, not her fault. Just a crappy coincidence.) I kept waiting for a comment about it, but it didn't come.

The day after T-day, Robbie was diagnosed with yet another double ear infection. I hoped that's why he was refusing to eat. Right now ear tube surgery is scheduled for the FOURTH time on the 9th. I'll believe it when it happens.

He continued to eat like crap for several more days, and I started getting really nervous.

But Monday he ate a smidge better for me, then yesterday daycare got him to eat pretty well. They said it was difficult, but they got it into him. This morning he wouldn't eat much again, but this afternoon he did great, so I'm hoping that as his ears are feeling better, he'll continue to improve.

In amazing news, he had PT at daycare today and apparently his therapist got him to stand unassisted for about 10 seconds. Unbelievable! I'm very sad that I missed it, but I know I'll get to see it soon. He's really cruising and crawling everywhere these days. He's pulling up all over the place and even learning to take a fall a bit better. (I confess he's been a bit of a whiner in the past. If he even thinks there was a chance he could have fallen, he'll cry real tears as though he's really damaged himself. Fortunately he's doing a lot better about it. There's a little whining, but once he sees that you're not going to pick him up and say there there, he goes back to what he was doing.)

I believe he's officially broken 23 pounds. At his last doctor's appointment, he was 22 lb 15.5 oz, but that was on a full tummy. But I gave him a weigh tonight and he was 23.3, so I think he's really over it now. What this means is that he really needs to get on that walking thing because he's getting quite heavy to lug around. Though my upper body strength sure has improved.

I have an upper respiratory infection. I'm not entirely convinced I didn't have the flu last week. I had a swab done because I was concerned about passing it to Robbie. It was negative and she didn't think my fever was high enough, but Lord knows I felt crappy enough for a few days and all the other symptoms fit. And the rapid swabs aren't terribly accurate, so who knows. So far, Robbie seems okay, and I think I should be far enough out now that I wouldn't be contagious anymore, so I hope we're in the clear.

I've spent untold hours putting together a photo book of Robbie from age 6 months to 1 year. It will be part of our Christmas gifts to the family since I swear, I could hook a webcam up to Robbie's forehead and they'd still tell me I wasn't sending enough pictures. The untold hours of organizing has meant no sleep for me. I'm tired.

On top of everything else, I somehow got the most annoying rogue program infection on my laptop and spent a disgusting number of hours fixing it last night. I'm all better now, but man, that was obnoxious. I think I'd have been less annoyed had I been doing anything fun like surfing for porn, but I swear, I'd barely been off the shutterfly site for 3 days prior to that.

And really, who in the hell sits around and writes that shit? Hey, I'm a super smart computer programmer probably making a pretty damned decent living, you know what I was thinking? I was thinking I'd write a program that would make a fake virus warning pop up on people's computers approximately every 45 seconds. ::rubs hands together evilly::: Yes, yes, it will be so deliciously eeeeeevil.

Seriously, man. Get a hobby. Volunteer somewhere. Research cures for preeclampsia. Hell, write a program that lets me upload pictures to blogger in order, with captions, more than 5 at a time. DO SOMETHING FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.

Anyway, that's all I've got. I must sleep now.