Saturday, February 24, 2007


Wren is 10.5 weeks old. As you can see Frost is quite a lot bigger than him. Frost is still very excited about being a big brother. He rushes around Wren, putting his face too close and making crazy faces that alarm Wren no end. This evening he entertained Wren by shining a flashlight around the ceiling. Wren followed it attentively for ages.

Overall, Wren has had a mixed day. He has had trouble napping and we suspect a sore tummy because he has lots of gas. Now he is very tired and I am begging him to sleep well so I can catch up a bit of last night's deficit.

Josh just went out on a late-night desert run and we are eating marshmallows, icecream (Soy Dream and Ben and Jerry's) and some easter eggs. Hrmm... Frost won't sleep anytime soon.

Weary and its all my fault

I had insomnia last night...again. I can't help but think its all my fault. I stayed up a bit late to watch Gray's Anatomy and then checked my email so I went to bed at 10.20pm. That was about half an hour after Wren but for some reason the moment I lay down in bed I became anxious that I was going to bed too late and had "wasted" sleep. Boy was that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As I lay trying to remember how to sleep (duh!) I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. I tried for half an hour (enough to get in a complete panic) and then got up. It took three or four of these cycles till Wren woke up around 1am. I got to sleep before 2am. It is so infuriating.

The worst thing is I can't relax and enjoy sleeplessness - all that personal time! Its as if my head is a rock I can't put down for anything. I can barely read a book because of the hammering imperative to SLEEEEEP.

The irony of all this is that I am reading a book called The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron. The basic premise of the book is that:

when you find yourself caught in extreme discomfort or negativity, the negativity itself is not the problem. If you can have a direct experience of that pain, it will be a great teacher for you. The problem is what Chogyam Trungpa called "negative negativity," or reacting against negativity and trying to escape it.

This total phobia I have about being unable to sleep would be a prime example of her practice but I was so obsessed with my miserable inability to SLEEEEEP that I couldn't even pick up the book to read it!


Wren was okay last night but he woke more than usual. Frost was a saint although he has recently become interested in one of my least-favorite kids shows on TV - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I can't find any redeeming features in this one. At least there is an aesthetic pleasure in playing dragons or watching Tibetan influenced Avatars.

Lest this become a dour post I should add its a good day. I am going to shower before Wren wakes from his first nap and a shower alone is a good thing. I have the car today so Frost and Wren and I will probably get out and do something.

In the middle of the insomnia drama last night Josh reminded me that its our 6th Wedding Anniversary next week. All I could think was "its the day after Wren's next appointment - I hope we're not in hospital." If we're not we should do something.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fresh Turmeric

This isn't my post for the day. I just wanted to say that we had a good night - Wren slept from 10pm-2am, 2-5am and then after his 6.30am waking (the one I do not nurse at (in hopes of training him out of it) he went back to sleep and is only just waking at 9am.

He must be hungry.

Last night I made a tofu, potato, spinach curry of my own design. In it I used fresh turmeric and ginger. I had a bit of it in the freezer and it felt good to grate something myself and cook more than just a sloppy pan dinner with pasta or my old stalwart - the veggie burger with broccoli.

Wren is now awake. Off to meet the day.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How many more days of spring break?

Frost is on Spring Break from school. This means I have two munchkins with very different needs and schedules at home all day.

Frost likes high volume, high activity days interspersed with hours of "castles" and "miniatures" and epic battles with small guys. He also likes TV and in the absence of that - following me wherever I go. He has a high need for social interaction and even when he is playing on his own he is often calling out "Mummy, come and see... I have set up a battle and I want you to see my guys!" There are an infinite variety of "Mummy, come and sees" of course. I am guilty of sometimes tuning out when I am busy and then not having a clue what he is talking about - something I am trying to improve on but I seem to have a limited capacity for thought these days and cannot keep up with all the GUYS Frost is into - Warhammer, playmobil, lego, star wars, knights, Avatar, Trolls, Ben 10, Spongebob and his ilk. All these and more crop up in his daily narratives.

Meanwhile, Wren is content with peace and familiarity. He likes to nap in his swing, his bed and his sling. Only one of these can make it to the park so I have been carrying him a great deal. Wren also likes quiet and me looking at him uninterrupted. I have been very interrupted recently.

Today, was a very good day for Frost. He has gone to bed content and exhausted. I also had a good time but by nightfall Wren was all zonked and out of kilter. He has just fallen asleep in the swing where I put him while I prepared his medicine. I have no idea when or how I should transfer him to bed. Its never happened before.

This morning, Wren and I went to our Listening Mothers group while Brandi watched Frost for a couple of hours. Frost had a great time (as always) and they went for a walk and retrieved the football and Frisbee which had been thrown over into Freda's yard - again.

There was a brief interlude for lunch and then we headed off to Annie's Playground where we met Laurie and her family. The idea was for Frost to play tennis but after a few balls he preferred to run around chasing and throwing balls with Dylan so we got to hit a few balls ourselves. This was great in principle but Laurie and I are less than skillful - I am less skillful than Laurie's less-skillful and Laurie thought she needed to see a chiropractor afterwards. Thankfully, Barbara (Laurie's mom) was able to send balls back to us most of the time.

We reconvened at Laurie & Erics and admired their new paintwork while Frost and Dylan played quite happily for hours. Wren had some waking times but basically slept and nursed on my lap for hours on end which suited him fine but had me less-than-adept at meeting his needs for the rest of the day since he kept falling asleep unexpectedly and then being up for hours. I didn't realize how accustomed I was to putting him down to nap and getting a hands-free break. Still, he was very soft and warm to hold and his fuzzy little head smells great.

I had a bit of a meltdown with Frost and Joshua this evening after I was asked whether Frost could watch Joshua play video games longer instead of having books. I was like "WTF?" - how is it that this question was referred to me at all. Its clearly No No No. Anyway, a drama ensued in which Frost accused me of denying him all the things he loves in life (digital media - all of them) and forcing him to read books because "YOU enjoy them!!!" [stricken and accusatory face]. I was at a loss for words so I just listened and said we are doing books. Later, snuggled up reading a folktale about a Little Singing Frog, I asked Frost if he really doesn't enjoy book time. He replied that "I don't like the sound of it but when we are reading the books then I like the books. Well, it depends - I like it if they are good books."

Clearly, I must maintain standards at bedtime reading if I am to compete with the offerings of the small screen.

I tried to read Wren The Big Red Barn but he fell asleep too soon so Frost and I read it. He found it very entertaining and loved to count the eggs under the hen and find the tiny mice playing at night. We had a conversation about nocturnal animals.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Almost 5 hours!

Wren's sleep continues to improve and suffer little setbacks. Last night was a prime example. He slept from 9.30pm till 2.15am. It was his longest stretch yet. He woke again at 3.30am and I had to rock him to sleep. I suspect something alarming or paintful woke him because it was very sudden. He slept till 5.30am and then was a little monster and couldn't get back into a self-maintained sleep till 6.30am, woke at 7.30am but fell asleep again and is still going an hour later.

I feel a bit woozy from all the getting up and down but a single 4 hour stretch does wonders for me.

The sky is blue although the weather button on my browser tells me that its currently overcast. If it holds out for a few hours I will take the boys to the playground. Wren hates the cold on his face so we won't last long but we are also thinking of going to U-Village to make something at Paint The Town. Frost is excited and incredulous that they let you take it home.

Yesterday was a loooong day with Frost on spring break so I am going to make more plans in days ahead. Sadly, two of our playdate plans for today have had to cancel due to diseasles and we hope they recover quickly so we can play and eat soup in the days and weeks ahead.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One week today

One week today is our next cardiac clinic visit, echo and cardiology appointment. I am starting to worry.

Each month after the appointment I go through the same cycle. For the first week after the appointment I feel completely panicked. I wish there was another echo immediately to reassure me that he is still okay and worry about every flush of color or moment of crying.

During the second week I start to relax and enjoy Wren doing normal things. I have moments of panic but I'm in transition from having a hospital-needing-baby to having a baby who is doing great and is pretty much like any other.

In week three I am having a great time. I feel confident Wren is doing well and happy and we would get good news about his heart if we had an echo that day.

But then comes week 4 and the countdown to the next appointment. Its like a shadow is cast by the impending visit. I feel that the hospital extends its fingers and starts to claim him as a sick baby again. I feel sad. I don't want to go and know anything. Last week was such fun.

Anyway, maybe it will be good news this time and Wren's turbulence and obstruction will be reduced.


Monday, February 19, 2007

He rolled over

I gave Wren his tummy-time today and he rolled from his tummy to his back, twice. He had his left arm partly tucked, lifted his head up high and pushed on his arms and legs and woops.. he rolled over.

It was very exciting.


Wren had his best sleep last night and I had my worst. He fell asleep at 8.30pm, woke at a bit after midnight to nurse and then slept again till 4.45am. After that he woke at 6am and was up for the day at 7am. It was a very good night for him.

But after midnight didn't go very well for me. I tried to go back to sleep but the excitement of diaper change and the night lamp not being properly covered and the bedclothes being in a mess kept me up a bit. Then I started to wonder whether Josh had put away the soup we made that I had asked him to refridgerate. He was down in the basement:

Me [at the top of the stairs]: Jo-osh
Him [out of the primordial darkness beneath]: Yes?
Me: Did you put away the soup?
Him: What soup?
Me: The soup I asked you to put away.
Him: Oh, no. Are you going to do it or should I?
Me: You do it or I'll never sleep again.

Well, I didn't sleep again till almost 3am by which time I was listening to both Wren and Josh snore and had cycled through almost all my anxieties. I worried and felt sad about the local girl who died of flu complications and that badly timed PANDEMIC FLU pamphlet from King County. I wondered again whether I would recognize the signs of myocarditis in time. I worried that I am not feeding Frost well enough and had forgotten to give him his apple before bedtime. I worried about the grunts Wren makes when he is asleep, the burning smell that passed through the living room in the evening (which Josh said was a burning bug) and then I came back to worrying that I couldn't sleep and those girls died of flu....

The dumb thing about my insomnia is that when I have it I am in denial. I think that by lying there acting asleep I will somehow fall asleep sooner so I lie there without rolling over which is completely unnatural and gets uncomfortable. Anyway, I finally entered the state of half-dreaming - dreams in which I was still trying to go to sleep but was also dreaming and was even more alarming than being awake.

I had a half-asleep dream that Frost slept swaddled and when I unwrapped him Wren had been swaddled up with him and had been squashed into one of those rubber chickens you buy at Archie McFee. Thankfully, in the dream I also looked up and saw he was okay.

I had another half-dream that I lost the diamond in my 40th birthday ring and while I found it before I sucked it up into the vacuum cleaner it kept slipping from my fingers and being lost again right before my eyes.

The last time I looked at the clock it was 2.45am and I decided not to look anymore. I am now awake in the morning and its not so bad but I have to figure out a way to wake up less and dream better and give Frost his apple before bedtime and get him to eat more vegetables and avoid getting flu.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Visitors and the blue yonder

We had a big day today. Firstly, we went out on a family outing to soccer at Magnuson park. Frost scored 5 goals against a confused opposition. Josh says that in any 4-5s soccer game there is one kid who just runs straight ahead when he gets the ball - regardless of whether it is in the correct direction, another who wanders aimlessly and another who knocks the opposition over using physical force. We had all on the field today. Frost was very pleased with himself.

While he played I took Wren for a walk to the coffee shop for one of those decaf soy lattes I am so fond of. On the way home we stopped at Top Pot and I bought a Bavarian Cream doughnut. More on that later.

When we arrived home we lay in the back garden and planned our vegetable garden for spring. Joshua is rather ambitious and we have plans for tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, purple carrots and various lettuce plantings. I think there may be a tricolor corn on the menu too but I have no idea where he thinks we can slip in a few 6 foot high plants without shading out the espaliered apples and the raspberries. I guess we can put them on the planting strip where we get most sun anyway.

Wren lay in the sun for the first time under the pretences of making Vitamin D. He liked it as long as it wasn't in his eyes.

This afternoon Granny Katie and Great-Granny Charlotte arrived to visit overnight. Wren was not in his best frame of mind. He was very whiny and slept a lot. His diarrhea had let up earlier but was back this evening and this time I feel responsible. I think it was that doughnut - you know, the whole dairy thing. Anyway, it took him a few naps and nurses before he was himself this evening and enjoyed his bath and mobile in the usual way. He has gone to bed very early and I do not have a lot of confidence that I will get much sleep tonight.

I hope I am wrong!