Thursday, April 30, 2009


We've had quite the first 6 weeks, with a mixture of pride, excitement, joy, worry, exhaustion, and bliss. Adding a second kid to the mix has been both way harder (finding time to just be with Luca, not being able to nap when baby does, crying newborn + whining toddler) and way easier (SO much love to go around, Luca being a fabulous big sister, Rohan fitting into the fold so easily, already knowing what to expect) than we could ever have imagined.

Luca's turning 2 very soon (next week! :::gulp:::) and she becomes more kid and less baby every day. She's my little buddy, and sometimes I tear up just looking at her, listening to her talk and sing songs, and imagining what she's going to be like when she gets older. She loves telling stories. Come over and let her warm up to you, and you're likely to hear about how Mama fixed the fan, how Grandma's kitty cats scratched her, how Daddy built a gate, how the ice cream "FALL DOWN!", and how she has a broken ABC table. She has an amazing memory too...Mama fixing the fan refers to me using the vacuum to get dust from the fan blades weeks upon weeeks ago, and she still talks about it almost every day. She's a funny kid too, which makes me so happy. Lots of people can be cute. You can study yourself smart. But funny is born, and I'm proud my kid was born with it.

As for Rohan, he's doing so well. His skin issue (and the corresponding belly pain) does not cramp his style too much. He has yet to react to sunlight or heat, which were our two biggest worries. Can you imagine if he reacted to sun and heat living in AZ? Eek! He had a rough time with his belly issues last week when the spot was blistering, but we quickly found a regimen of Gripe Water and Mylicon to deal with it. Lots of times he gets fussy because of the gas and we have trouble burping him while he cries. Gripe Water usually gets a good belch out, and calms him right down. Every time Rohan gets some Gripe Water, Luca stands nearby, mouth open, pleading, "I have some too?" Ah, big sisters! Anyhow, his belly seems better this week and his spot hasn't been irritated, so he's been sleeping well (he usually only wakes 2 times per night, which I can totally handle) and smiling a lot. In fact, his first smiles came before he was even a month old!

In other news, Darrick got his contract for teaching next year, which is a relief. With all the cuts to education funding in Arizona, we were happy he has a job. He's the newest teacher in his department, so his fear was he'd be the first to be cut if cuts were to happen. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about that right now!

We're planning a trip to visit my Grandma, who is 91 and lives in LA, in a few weeks, when Darrick's off for the summer. She sent us a card when Rohan was born, letting us know she's working on a quilt for him. It will probably be awhile before it's done (at her age, the quilting is slow going) but we're so excited to have it. She made one for Luca, and it's such a special treasure to us! Here is the quilt she made for Luca. Cannot wait to see Rohan's!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I've been putting off this post because I'm not sure how to start it and, it's so new to us that I'm not even sure where it will go. Our son has been unofficially diagnosed with Mastocytosis.

What is Mastocytosis? Mastocytosis (pronounced "mass-toe-sigh-toe-sis") is the abnormal growth of mast cells in the body (usually the skin). Mast cells are part of the immune system. The most common form of mastocytosis is when mast cells accumulate on the skin, causing reddish brown spots or bumps. In rare cases, mastocytosis can affect other parts of the body, such as the stomach, the intestines and the bone marrow. This disease is considered an 'orphan disease' because it's causes are unknown and it's believed to effect less than 200,000 individuals. It is typically pretty harmless, and in kids it is almost always completely gone by the time they hit puberty. Symptoms can include spots like a rash or hives, diarrhea, and stomach pains.

We believe Rohan has what is known at Solitary Mastocytosis, which simply means that instead of many little spots on his body, he has one rather large one. When I took him in for his 1 month appointment on Friday, the Peditrician noticed it and asked me how long it had been there. I told her "Since birth. We assumed it's a birth mark." She looked closer, shook her head, and told me she thought it was a skin issue called Mastocytosis and that it would resolve itself over time. She gave me a print out about it, and we left. I didn't think much of it, except to mention it in passing to Darrick, who looked it up online 3 days later.

Here you can see what the spot looked like at birth:

Bad idea, Googling health issues. Just FYI.

The pictures, the stories, the information...all of it terrified us. We read accounts of kids who were covered head to toe with spots. Kids who itched and itched and scratched and bled and scarred. Kids who needed to carry an epi pen at all times in case they had a reaction severe enough to cause their airways to swell. Kids who can't be in the sun or the heat, can't eat a whole litany of foods, have IEPs because they can't focus while in class during a rash episode, are made fun of by their peers, deal with severe pain and cramping...the list goes on and on. I kept imagining my poor sweet beautiful boy covered in rashes, sheltered from the sun and heat (In Arizona??? HOW?!?!?), having to avoid all kinds of foods like bananas and strawberries, and unable to take aspirin. It was overwhelming and I just wanted to curl up in a corner, in denial, and cry.

Monday, for only the second time in his short life, Rohan spit up. Twice. A lot of spit up. I didn't think much of it. When he woke for his middle-of-the-night feeding, I noticed that his spot seemed to be kind of puffy, but it was late and the room was dimly lit, so I just fed him and went back to bed.

By Tuesday morning, his 'spot' was now a blister.

By Tuesday evening, his blister had oozed out some fluid and started to heal over.

For the rest of the week, the process repeated itself, and he seemed to be bothered more and more by gas issues. He's become more of a fussy baby, and we've resorted to giving him Gripe Water (another mommy must-have!) and Mylicon in alternating doses to help him deal. We also lie him on his belly to nap when we can watch him, since it seems to help force some of the gas out.

This is what it looked like on Thursday:

**EDITED TO ADD on 6/11/09: Since this post was written, we stepped AWAY from Google and got Rohan into a pediatric dermatologist versed in treating Masto (works for Phoenix Children's Hospital, which is highly respected and known for being an excellent facility for children). He's now being treated with a topical steroid cream and oral antihistamine. THANK YOU to the people who contacted me and urged me to seek out a Dr who could work with us to treat him!!! And to the people affected by Masto themselves, who have helped to assure me that he CAN get help and lead a relatively normal life.**

We don't have a firm diagnosis, and the main reason we don't is because the only way to get one is to do a skin biopsy. BUT, all the signs are there that it is Mastocytosis. It seems to be fitting all the descriptions, down to the story I read online of the woman whose son has Masto and who, during pregnancy, noticed her skin's pH changing. This happened to me: a few months into my pregnancy, the skin under my wedding rings turned red and started to peel and itch, feeling a bit like a chemical burn. All the signs are there that he has Masto, but even if we do get it confirmed, there is NO treaatment and NO cure for it.

That's right: there is essentially nothing we can do for him, other than try to help him avoid 'triggers' (such as heat, the sun, certain'll be a complete guessing game figuring out what his triggers are as they are different for each kid) and give him antihistamines when he's older if he itches too much. There is no medicine to treat it. There is no therapy, no lotion, no soap. The only cure is time.

So, of course we are worried and anxious and trying to just hope for the best while preparing for the worst. If we are really lucky, Rohan's one spot will stay solitary and not spread, he won't have very many 'triggers', and he won't have much pain and itching. And, of course, as vain as it sounds I worry about other kids making fun of him and his having to face that for several years. Basically, I worry about the uncomfortable and the unknown. All we can do is keep an eye on it, help him be as comfortable as possible, and hope it doesn't spread or get worse. If we're very lucky, his one spot will be the only one he gets, and we'll just have to deal with that and with keeping the belly pains and other symptoms at bay.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quick Update

I am so behind on blogging. Mostly because my 'me time' is relegated to a few stolen hours here and there when both kids are asleep and I am awake. I have much to update on, and most of it is good. But since I don't have much time, the highlights:

- Luca will be 2 next month! When did THIS happen?!?! She is SUCH a kid now, too. She's got attitude for days, she speaks sentences (she strung together 6 words the other day...SIX words from a 23 month old....), and she's taken to being a big sister better than we ever could have wished for. She never ceases to amaze us.

- Rohan is a little champ. He's faced a few obstacles already in his short life (5 weeks!), some of which I have blogged about and 1 which I will blog about eventually...when I'm ready...but he is such a cool kid. He snuggles, he smiles, he holds up his head and has already rolled twice from his belly to his back. He's such a light in our lives.

- Darrick got his contract to teach next year, which is great news! AZ's budget was slashed big time this year, and the huge cuts to education mean a lot of teachers are losing their jobs because their schools just don't have money to pay them. So we were really releived to learn Darrick's boss gave him his contract and he has a spot still! He loves his job, and we definitely need that paycheck.

That's it for now...crying baby calls, so I'll tide you over with some pictures.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Processing at Month 1.

I've spent a lot of time in the past month thinking over Rohan's birth. It all went so fast that it was a wild ride I was taken on, and as a result I didn't have much time AS it was happening to really stop and take note of things. But now that Rohan is a month old, I've had a few thoughts I want to get down, just for posterity. In no particular order:

1. I am so amused at the fact that the morning Rohan was born, I posted a blog entry about how nothing was happening and how good I felt. And then I made a cheeky comment about all the cramping I'd had previous nights possibly meaning a shorter labor. And I was very not serious, since labor with Luca was 27 hours. Who would have guessed I'd be right....?

2. I was also laughing because my mom and I were talking on our way home from shopping and lunch that day (around noon) about how I was having cramps. I told her I'd had them for about a week every night, but they would go away, and that I was sort of hoping they would mean a faster labor. "But not TOO fast," I enthused. "I'm not hoping for a whirlwind 3 hour labor, but I'd be happy for 8 oe 12 hours." I had Rohan in my arms a mere 4.5 hours later. Hmmm.

3. I think what 'they' say is true about needing to be in the right situation for your body to really LET labor happen. I was contracting, but when I spoke to my MW at about 1:30, I was able to talk to her THROUGH a contraction that was 2 minutes after the prior one. I was also able to take some laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer and to sit on the floor with my friend and her beautiful 8 month old and have a conversation. It wasn't until I saw my husband's face as he came to check on me in the bathroom that it hit me like a ton of bricks that I WAS in labor. Seeing him lifted a weight, and made me feel safe and ready to give birth. From that point on, there was no going back. I was IN LABOR, and hard labor at that.

4. I think it's funny how many people have said they envy my fast labor. First, because I actually wish labor had been a bit longer. I wanted time to use the birth pool to relax. I wanted to be able to hang out with Luca a bit and see how she was handling watching me in labor, rather than having to make a snap decision to get her out of the house. I wanted to walk through contractions and use my birth ball. And, I admit, I REALLY wanted a labor that lasted long enough that I could get some back rubs and hair brushing out of my husband between contractions.

5. I've been wondering what the experience was like for Darrick. The day after, he told me he dreamed about the birth that night, and that he couldn't stop thinking about it. I didn't think to ask what he meant, until today. He told me his memory of the birth is peace. He felt at ease and safe and happy, and he was never worried about how it would turn out. He was proud. He was at peace. That made me smile.

6. My only real regrets as far as things I had some control over were that I didn't call and have Darrick come home sooner (like around noon when I was pretty sure this was going to be the day but still thinking I must have HOURS left) and that I didn't open my eyes and see Rohan as he was born. I wish I'd asked my MW and her apprentices to tell me to open my eyes.

7. One more thing about the speed of this labor. Even if I HAD planned on going to the hospital, I'm fairly certain I never would have realized I truly was in labor and made it there in time to get an IV and pain meds. And then I would have been birthing pain-med free in an uncomfy bed. No thanks.

8. I always felt like having this baby at home was the right thing. I never really worried about things going wrong or complicating the pregnancy or birth. I knew transfers happen to some people sometimes, but I never even entertained the thought that I could be 'some people'. I just expected things to go 100% fine and I am SO glad I believed in that. For one, if I'd been under the care of an OB and consistently measuring 1-2 weeks ahead (as I did this entire pregnancy), I probably would have been given an ultrasound to measure baby. And they probably would have guessed him to be pretty large and pushed me for either an induction or a c-section. I would have said no, but I don't know how successful I would have been at fending it off. Say I WAS successful, and ended up going into labor on my own in a hospital and he had that nuchal hand (nuchal hand = hand by the face, which he did indeed have). I knew he was stuck for a few minutes, since I could feel myself pushing but him not moving. My MW handled it by trying to help me push more effectively and by recognizing what was happening and pulling his hand out so he could be born without it impeding progress. Would an OB have done the same? Or would an OB have either pushed for a c-section OR done an episiotomy and then used a vacuum to pull Rohan out? And if the OB HAD used the vacuum, would Rohan's cephalohematoma (which resolved totally on its own by 1 month) have been worse...possibly even causing a skull fracture as they sometimes do when caused by a vacuum? I don't know...but I am damn glad I trusted my body and my MW trusted my baby and me, and I don't HAVE to know the answers to those questions. Once I had time to really THINK about all the different ways this birth could have played out with an OB and a hospital, I knew I made the right choice birthing at home.

I'm still in awe. Honestly, after this experience, in spite of the pain that comes with birth, I almost wish Darrick didn't want to stop at 2 kids. I would love to do this again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trusting the Mom in Me.

It's taken some time, and one beautiful, healthy, sparkling and brilliant toddler to teach me this lesson: how to trust the Mom in Me. Motherhood is a great challenge in many ways, but in so many more it's the greatest joy. It teaches you the depths of your love and appreciation for others (your child, your spouse, the people your kids call 'uncle' and 'aunt' or 'grandma' and 'grandpa'), and if you pay enough attention it can teach you to love and appreciate yourself even more.

When Luca was born, she was 6 lb, 7 oz. I remember when they told us what she weighed, Darrick and I both responded with shock, and asked if they were sure. The whole time I was pregnant, I heard over and over "That is going to be a BIG baby!", and I believed it. Neither my husband nor I are petite and delicate, and we come from families chock full of tall people, curvy people, strong and able people. So when Luca came out well under 7 pounds, we were genuinely surprised. And that was just the beginning of a long couple of weeks of constant worry, stress, crying, fear, doubt, and guilt. Because no matter how hard I many times I nursed her in 24 hours (and believe me, it was A LOT of times!) many pumping sessions I fit in when I should have been many friends and lactation consultants and kind ears I talked to, she did not gain weight easily. It took her more than 3 weeks to return to her puny birthweight, and in that 3 weeks she went to the Pediatrician about every 3 days to have her weight checked. Those appointments were great stressors for me and for Darrick, and I can only imagine Luca's little newborn self was stressed by them as well. She would cry, I would cry, and I'd leave frustrated and feeling inadequate because despite my best intentions I could not seem to get my baby to gain weight by breastfeeding. I was at a loss to why I was 'broken' and disappointed in myself. Surely, I must be doing SOMETHING wrong or, worse, there must be something wrong with ME, if I couldn't get this to work.

By the time she was a month old, Luca was slowly gaining, but it took until she was 9 months old for her to get over the 5th percentile in weight. I got comments all the time from people who fussed over how small she was or couldn't believe she wasn't a preemie. It killed me inside. I tried pumping to increase supply. Supplements (fenugreek, blessed thistle, mother's milk tea) to increase supply. Food (oatmeal and 2 eggs every morning without fail) to increase supply. I was resigned to supplementing with pumped milk and (reluctant small doses of)formula. And I felt like I was broken the entire time.

Luca weaned herself right around 11 months. A huge part of me felt immense pride that I'd faced all those obstacles and managed to nurse her for so long. But a bigger part felt like I'd been robbed of what I had hoped would be a beautiful and natural experience. Breastfeeding was something I wanted to do for my baby's health, for myself, and for the ease and convenience. Instead, it took over my life in many ways. I feel pride now when I hear Luca say a new word or see her smile and I think "MY body made her, my body grew her, and my body fed her for 11 months.", but I worry that pride will forever be overshadowed with memories of the difficulty, tears, and self-doubt.

I went into this pregnancy, in spite of all of that, knowing I would breastfeed again. I know it seems like an odd choice, like I am some kind of lactating masochist, but I just thought this baby deserved as much of an effort on my part as Luca did. I know many, many women who formula feed their beautiful and brilliant babies and it works for them, and I fully support the right of a parent to decide what works for them and what they are comfortable with. But for me, breast IS best, and I think a baby deserves my time and effort to give them the best. If not now, when they are tiny and I am their world, when? And I'm so happy I decided that, because my experience this time has renewed my belief in myself. I could attribute this success to a lot of things.

First, I know what I am doing. This makes a WORLD of difference for me. I knew what my challenges would be, and how to move past them. I didn't stress when we had latch issues, because I knew how to work with them. I wasn't worried when he got lazy and fell asleep while nursing because I could wake him and keep him going. I didn't mind the endless marathon hours of sitting on the couch with a baby attached to me, because I knew this was what I needed to let him do so he could help my milk come in and so he could learn what HE was doing. It's just much easier to have perspective when you have...well...perspective, if that makes sense.

Second, he knew (somewhat) what he was doing. Luca was not a natural nursing. It took a lot for her to 'get' it, and with me not knowing what *I* was doing, it was the uphill battle to trump all other uphill battles. I had to help her a lot, and nursing was tiring and something I sort of dreaded until she was almost 4 months old. Rohan 'got' it more quickly. In fact, the first time I tried to nurse him, he latched right on.

Third, I had people around me at the birth who supported nursing and helped make it happen. My MW has 7 kids, all of whom she breastfed. Her apprentices, between them, have at least 7 more (one apprentice I never asked, but the other two have 5 kids and 2 kids), all breastfed. They supported me and advised me. In fact, one of the women there helped me get Rohan latched for the first time by giving me the simplest of directions. Does that ever happen to you? You're trying and trying to do something, and suddenly someone says, "Do X and it'll work." and you think "Yeah, like it's THAT easy?" and...lo and IS that easy? Anyhow, in addition to them, Darrick was there and supporting me. In contrast, at the hospital with Luca I had minimal help and no consistency to it.

Fourth, I was able to nurse right away, basically. I gave birth, got out of the tub and got warm, and went straight to feeding my baby. With Luca, more than 3 hours passed between her birth and my first attempt at nursing her. Those three hours were critical and I am sad I can never get them back.

Which brings us back to the central issue in this post. Breastfeeding was going well and I was feeling confident, and then I had to take Rohan to the Pediatrician. On my MW's scale, he was 8 lb 12 oz at birth. At his 2 day check up with the Pedi, he was 8 lb 3 oz. She wasn't worried, as it's normal for newborns to lose up to 10% of their birthweight, so long as they regain it by about 2 weeks, or put on 0.5 - 1 oz per day. Well, we returned to the Pedi (to have his cephalohematoma checked) at 4 days, and he was up to 8 lb 5oz. Smashing, no? Fast forward to a week later (11 days), and he was...8 lb 5 oz. Seven days with no gain and suddenly I was having flashbacks. This Pedi (same practice, different Dr from Luca's) wasn't overly concerned, but asked us to come in a week later to recheck his weight. All I could imagine was twice a week visits where I stressed, they pushed formula at me, I cried in my car on the way home, and I was ashamed to tell people I was supplementing.

We left the appointment, and I was surprised because though I was stressed over the scale not moving, I was not feeling lost and in despair like I had with Luca. For some reason, I just KNEW everything was ok. He was eating well and had all the signs of a healthy baby. I said to Darrick (and anyone else who would listen) that I thought maybe this was just how my kids were...perhaps I didn't MAKE chubsters? Perhaps my kids don't GET fat and happy? Perhaps there was nothing to worry about at all, and just like Luca is healthy and brilliant and beautiful despite her skinny start, maybe Rohan will be too?

And so I thought a lot about it that weekend, and on Monday I called my MW to talk. I explained to her what was going on and how Rohan was doing, and I asked for her expert input. She assured me that I could be right...that perhaps I didn't make chubsters and my kids don't get fat and just like Luca is healthy and brilliant and beautiful despite her skinny start, so might Rohan be. She cited studies on breastfed vs formula fed babies, mentioned how breastfed babies tend to be thinner b/c they process mom's milk more efficiently than formula, etc. And then she offered to have us come by and have him weighed on her scale...the same one he'd been weighed on shortly after see how he was doing. I agreed.

I took him to see her when he was 16 days old. We chatted, I nursed him while she and her two apprentices peeked in to be sure his latch was good, she snuggled him and cooed over him, and then he was weighed. Eight pounds, twelve ounces. He weighed exactly what he had at birth...and exactly what he SHOULD at 2 weeks. Victory!!! I called and cancelled his follow-up appointment for that Friday. Darrick was a bit worried. He fully supported me cancelling the appointment (primarily because we have a $25 copay and that man will stop short at almost nothing to save some cash!) but he started making comments here and there about how there is nothing WRONG with supplementing and how we have 2 free cans of formula in the kitchen (thanks for your faith in women, Similac) and he didn't mind making bottles, etc etc etc. I told him thanks but no thanks. I told him if he thought my supply was low, I'd pump and we could feed Rohan what I pumped. I told him, "You know what I think? I think I never even HAD a problem when Luca was born. I don't think I was broken at all, but that I let my spirit be broken by worry and fear. I won't let that happen this time. I just KNOW Rohan is ok."

So we pumped and fed bottles after I nursed. Only once a day most days, but enough to appease the hubby and assure us both I AM indeed making plenty of milk. And I refused to stress out over how much he was or was not gaining. I just had faith he would be ok. The Mom in Me knew it to be true.

Rohan had a 1 month appointment this morning. He is 32 days old. When we put him on the scale, I almost squeeled with joy to see that he weighed 9 lbs, 12 oz. In 21 days, he gained 1 lb, 7 oz. His Pedi wanted to see him gain at least 25 grams per day, and he gained 33! The Mom in Me knew he was ok...knew I was doing right by him...knew there was nothing to be gained from stressing and worrying and doubting myself and my body and my baby.

This is an art I am learning. I am discovering ways to shut out the noise of other people, as well-meaning as they may be. I am figuring out ways to be true to me and do what I know to be best for my kids. I won't win all the battles (let's not even talk about circumcision) and I won't always be right, but I am learning that I can trust myself. I'm learning that, as far as moms go, I happen to be a pretty kick-ass one! And I think I'm giving a real gift to my kids in trusting myself and listening to my own voice. Not only will they grow up with a mom who's true to herself, but they will also grow up with a mom who trusted THEM to fulfill their part of the equation. I am really learning to embrace the challenges of motherhood and not compare my experience and those of my kids to the experiences of others. It's freeing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Expecting A Second Kid? Things You REALLY Need.

I was in the shower this evening (otherwise known as partaking in the only 15 minutes I get without someone attached to me/talking to me/wanting to eat/wanting to play/needing me) and it occured to me that I was woefully unprepared to be a mom of 2 under 2. Not mentally, nor emotionally, but in terms of gear. So I thought I would put together MY list of things moms expecting #2 should be sure to have on hand, in the hope that someone reading this blog will benefit from my steep learning curve.

1. A sling and/or wrap. Better yet, three. This way, you can keep one in your car, one in your diaper bag, and one in the dirty laundry pile (because if your newborn doesn't vomit or poop on it, your toddler will find some way to funk it up). The sling has made it possible for me to do a lot of things:
- Shopping with both kids by myself. Because Luca HATED her stroller until 2 weeks before Rohan was born, and now FREAKS if he's in it and she's not...
- Taking the kids to the park. Luca can run free and I can hold Rohan without needing to lug around a stroller, and my hands are free to grab Luca if I need to.
- Eating. No. Really. I can't tell you how many meals I've eaten in the past 4 weeks with Rohan strapped to me in a sling. Babies have a sixth sense, and they always seem to need to be held right about the time you're sitting down to eat. Prop him in the sling, and he gets held while I get fed.
- Playing in the backyard with Luca. I don't have to find a safe and shady spot to park Rohan because the safe and shady spot is attached to my body...and happens to be his favorite place to hang out anyhow.
- Housework. This is mostly hypothetical, as I've never been one for doing a lot of housework even without 2 kids to care for, but when I need to run out to throw some laundry in or I need to vacuum the rug before someone comes over and is appalled at the layer of dog hair covering it, the sling comes in handy. It would be even MORE useful if the sling came with a maid, but beggars can't be choosers....

2. A BrestFriend pillow (breastfeeding moms only). If this pillow and the Boppy got into a wrestling match, the BrestFriend would make the Boppy its bitch. It's firmer and larger, and the fucker STRAPS to you. Yes, people, you can tether a pillow around your (now cushy and non-existent) waist, plop the baby on, and carry on with life. This means you CAN sit on the floor and feed the little one while 'playing blocks' with the toddler. It means you CAN sneak in a meal while baby sneaks in a meal, because you can basically nurse hands-free. It also means that when you go back to work and don't want to wake 20 minutes earlier than your already obscenely early wake-up time, you can plop baby on for a meal, set up a mirror on the pillow, and apply your make-up. Multi-tasking at its finest!

3. Hand-held snacks. Because you can dream of heating up that frozen meal your super-nice friend delivered to you, but the truth is you'll be lucky to get a piece of cheese and a Diet Coke in your system some days when home alone with a toddler and an infant. So stock up with one-handed foods (yogurt drinks, granola bars, chips, fruit, etc) that you can eat while multi-tasking.

4. A good digital camera. We got our DSLR for Christmas, and part of the reason was that our old digital was barely keeping up with Luca. We wanted something that would capture all those magical moments and take good pictures even when the photographer (usually me) is too tired to worry about composition or lighting. SO worth it. As a bonus, invest in a big memory card that will store a shitton of pictures. You won't be sorry.

5. A yoga/birth ball. It was helpful while I was pregnant, but its true worth is found when you have a fussy newbon who just wants to bounce. That thing has saved our sanity more times than I could count, between Luca and Rohan, and we couldn't manage without it. Get one. You will NOT be sorry.

6. Patience, a fabulous partner who lets you take a 2 hour nap while he takes both kids to the park, and a sense of humor. And coffee. LOTS of coffee on those days when you didn't get much sleep the night before and have to function for your toddler while your newborn sleeps all day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Great News!

You may remember I mentioned Rohan's cephalohematoma in a previous post. It's an injury he sustained in birth because he was trying to be born with his hand by his face.


3 Days Old

4 Days Old

23 Days Old

23 Days Old

We were originally told it should 'begin' to resolve in about 3-4 weeks, but could take 6 months to 1 year to be completely gone. He'll be 4 weeks on Monday, and it's almost non-existent already! Go Rohan!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


My husband and I have been together for almost 12 years, married 5. So when he surprises me by coming home with a clutch of wildflowers he picked on his way home one day, my heart sings. It's things like this that remind me why we choose this journey of life together. Because marriage IS a choice, every day, and I'm honored he chooses me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What's Happening

I've been lax about updating my blog, mostly because I am either nursing a newborn or managing a toddler (or both) at all hours of the day. Rohan's still such a cool baby. He sleeps well, eats well, and is getting cuter by the day. He is a good mix of Darrick and me, but ultimately he really looks like Luca did as a baby. Witness:





He's doing really well overall. His hematoma is shrinking and he's eating well. My pediatrician was worried because on her scale he's weighing in below his birth weight of 8 lb 12 oz (last appointment with Pedi he was 8 lb 5.5 oz). I took him back to my MW so she could weigh him on the scale he was weighed on after birth, and he was still 8 lb 12 oz, which is actually exactly where he 'should' be (babies are expected to be back at birth weight by 2 weeks post-birth). So I'm refusing to worry about it. He's such a happy and content baby, I know he's perfectly fine. And, once again, I love my MW for getting me in her schedule and reassuring me all is fine.


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