Friday, May 11, 2007

Physical Therapy and the Carwash

Wren has been referred to Physical Therapy for help with managing his swollen leg. Dr Lewin and Dr Johnson feel that PT might have some ideas for helping the edema caused by the blocked Ileac vein.

Meanwhile, Frost has a strange lump on the tooth that was coated with sealant on Wednesday. Assuming this lump didn't grow by itself overnight, I believe it is a lump of the gluey stuff.

He is going back to the dentist on Tuesday for a fix-it-up.

Yesterday, I drove over something on the road. It looked like a tiny shampoo bottle made of plastic. It went WHUMPH under the front tyre. Since then the car has been engulfed in a cloud of the most unbelievable stench. Joshua called it "stale pee", it could be described as "burning fish" or "melting plastic utensil". I suspect it is the aroma of shampoo burning on the underbelly of our car.

Last night Josh took it for an emergency whirl through the carwash and parked it in the street. I just went out to check and the pong is still there so I sprayed the left wheel wells with the hose. We couldn't have the car in the garage because it was seeping the stink into the living room.

I just hope it dissipates really soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ergo Yogini

I have just bought a new baby carrier. Its called an Ergo and is supposed to help carry a heavier baby and allow easy back carrier.

Ergo shmergo.

Once again I am cursing the damn bits of cloth that make up a baby carrier and whoever wrote the instructions has a cruel sense of humor. How am I to know which the male clasp on the webbing is? Or which way they mean me to hold this thing to define RIGHT or LEFT shoulder? Hey, its reversible!!

While I can use the Rosaldo sling in my sleep and knot myself in a Moby sling (all the while dragging whatever debris happens to be lying on the parking lot floor into my arms) in a moment this Ergo thing has me baffled. It seems to make a tiny pouch for the baby to fit in or smothers him into my bosoms. Sure, a girl wants to be able to breastfeed her baby but not to walk around like a marsupial with the embryo attached!

I think I shall have to practice new positions with the Moby as well as use this thing a bit to give it a chance. Honestly, I do wish baby carrying didn't have such a steep learning curve. I wish it was more graceful, easy, mutually satisfying from the get-go. Instead I feel as if I could throw it away and tow Wren around in a stroller for the rest of his infancy. No More of this Fashionable Carrying nonsense.

Oh, while I am on the business of strollers. What is going on in stroller world? Why does the more bizarre a stroller is the more desirable it becomes. I was at the PAcific Science Center last week and saw a women pushing her infant in what can only be described as an aluminum hatstand. It was super high off the ground and had strange hooks and a little baby bed. I later saw this model advertized for over $900. I kid you not. The Bugaboo is a category unto itself and craigslist is forever populated by the Bugaboo enthusiasts trying to sell their gently used BB for only $600... quelle disconte!

I have set my sights on a Combi stroller but these seem scarce on Craigslist and since my ancient Graco stroller is still working I am not willing to spend very much for the lightness and portability we all value - oh, and a basket underneath! I also like the Bumbleride - one of the suite of strollers that make their mark by being reversible (so baby can ride backwards) and having cute textiles instead of a blue check. But even then... do I need this? Nope. No and no.

I am going to lie on the couch with the remote control for the last 15 minutes of my freedom before entering the dreaded bedroom with the little limpet.

Oh, and I missed out on reading half my email this week so I also missed the final Parents Meeting of the year for our school. And it was on a Wednesday - a day I can usually manage with the car - instead of Thursday. I really wanted to go but I missed it. One more irritation and frustration to rival not being able to make a big enough pouch with the ergo.

Various small moments

I am sorry to announce that Dad (Grandad Peter [Rabbit]) has left to return to South Africa on his very long trip via Heathrow. I dropped him off at SeaTac this afternoon without a voice, bearing two small check-in bags, 16 boxes of chocolates and wearing oversize shoes for Orion which he hopes to age gracefully and avoid customs. Dad has a remarkably fast blink reflex so I was unable to get any flash pictures of him with his eyes entirely open. This is the best I can do. I think it is a lovely shot of all of them.

Here is another of Wren this week, taken by Frost. We both look a bit plumper than strictly necessary but Wren is enjoying himself. His sleep is still absolutely foul. In fact, in a week moment today I started paging through The Ferber Book and decided that I have completely messed up Wren's sleep by nursing to sleep, nursing when he wakes in the night, jiggling him to sleep, allowing him not to cry to sleep and not having a good reliable bedtime routine of bath, books, etc. All of these things seem completely out of my control right now and I am about to sink into a well of self-pity and despair about it. Last night was so bad I can't even identify when he woke and slept. It was all a jumbled blur of jiggling him, nursing him, calling joshua to jiggle him and despairing. After 4am I kind of gave up and felt better lying in the dark. Still, this cannot go on, obviously.

This last one is of Wren mouthing the washing basket. He loves to suck and chew on anything near his mouth... this is evidence. No teeth yet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

grandpa Peter Rabbit's visit

My week with Wren has been a treat and a surprise. He behaves just as one would expect a baby who had not experienced the trauma of an operation to do. Indeed he is doing things now that I did not notice when I arrived.

He is mouthing anything that he can get to grips with quite aggressively. He likes to be a part of family activities. The exercise of being carried around in the garden as we weed or dig is a treat for him for quite a long while and he rests in the carrier between activities. He seems to stay awake for longer periods when interesting things are happening and sleeps well afterwards.

He loves mobiles for a while, gazing enraptured at them, but the normal distractions given to babies have only limited appeal time. He is soon asking for more and Shannon is quick to oblige with feeds, rests or a walk around the house. His cycle of rest, play food seems to be shorter than I recall for our children but the difference I think is in the way Shannon chooses to manage Wren.

I have noticed far more lovely smiles in the past couple of days and squeals and grunts of pure happiness when he responds to attention. Wren seems to be growing in confidence by leaps and bounds. It is a pity that I shall miss so many stages of development before I see him again. When he looks deep into my eyes I cannot help thinking he is seeing a particular person and I wonder how long he will remember.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Science experiments and Tiger Mountain

  • This morning we climbed Tiger Mountain up to the Bat Caves. Frost and Grandad claim they saw 2 bats although I am not convinced. Wren did not see the bats because he didn't go into the cave which was deep green and slippery in a crack between two huge rocks. The walk was a long haul (about 1.25 miles) along a path that became progressively steeper until it felt as if we were climbing a muddy bank. Frost complained that he was tired from about 100 yards along the trail. He couldn't believe we expected him to keep walking up and up and up. After an hour he asked whether we could carry him. We found that playing knights with sword ferns helped distract him from the hike. On the way down he skipped and ran until he complained he had a sore side (a stitch?) We stopped at Krispy Kreme in Issaquah and bought a dozen to replenish ourselves.
  • Wren liked lying on his back watching the leaves while Frost and Grandad played sailing boats down the little pebbled stream.
  • Frost went to the dentist and had sealants put on his second molars. The dentist liked babies and enjoyed talking to Wren. She stroked his big fat left leg and said how cute it was when babies have nice fat thighs. I didn't feel the need to tell her that it was an edema from his occluded ileac vein.
  • Frost thinks it very funny when Wren sucks his finger. "Sometimes Wren can go crazy cos like I was telling you before I put my knuckle in his mouth and he bit it hard two times but then like he suddenly started to go like [tossing his head from side to side] go crazy!!! Wren sucks my finger like a cuttlefish"
  • Dad and Frost did some science experiments this afternoon. Frost woke me from my nap explaining that he and grandad had heated copper sulfate over the gas flame and some had leaked and it make green fire! They also exploded a bottle rocket from baking soda and white vinegar, heated iron filings and sulphur and made a zinc dust and sulphur fire which sputtered away making bright lights.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Despite the sleep thing, Wren and his sleep enablers are doing well. Last night was slightly better than other nights this past week. Wren went to sleep at 9.30 but I woke him for a "top up" at 10.30pm and he woke:
  1. 2.00am
  2. 3.30am
  3. 4.30am
  4. 6.00am
  5. 7.00am morning!
This is not a great situation but its one waking up from intolerable. This morning, as I staggered out at 7am, Josh said "sounds like he slept well last night". I think I glared at him.

Wren is very fat, happy and easy going during the day. He likes to hold things and grab and loves being talked to. He sleeps easily in the car and on the move.

Today we are planning to BBQ although josh tells me our BBQ is a health hazard and we need a new one. I shall see ..... argh. I am so overwhelmed with things to do that I can't even think of multi-tasking:
clean kitchen
remove pastry from floor
put away old laundry
open mail
toys everywhere
eat food myself
put on clothes
pick up stuff everhwere
sweep messy floors
throw out old diapers
garbage out
pay bills.....