Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mama Frog and Luca Butterfly

"Night Luca. I love you."
"No. Sit down Mama, sit DOWN!"
"I can't Luca. It's bedtime. Why don't you tell me what you will dream about tonight?"
"And what else?"
"Anything else?"
"LUCA butterflies!"
"What else?"
"Hmmmm....Mama as...a....FROG!"
"NO way?!?! That is awesome! What else will you dream of, Luca?"
"Dada as what, baby?"
"Dada as a KITTY CAT!"
"Ok, sweetie. Sweet dreams of Luca and puppies and Luca Butterflies and Mama Frogs and Dada Kitties."

:::shuts door:::

"MAMA! Hey MAMA!!!"

:::opens door:::

"Yeah, baby?"
"I love you, mama frog."
"I love you too, Luca butterfly."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Light it up.

Darrick: "I'm not sure if I will ever want a third kid."
Me: "Yeah, it's way too soon to think about that. Maybe we can talk about it when Luca starts school."
Darrick: "I'm thinking you should get that LED* thing put back in."

*LED = IUD. I promise it never lit up.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's not that I have nothing to say.

It's that I have too much to say. And it keeps swelling in my head and I sit in my car mentally writing blog posts, but then I can't seem to put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard, as it were). I've had so much on my mind lately, both trivial little things like wanting to talk about how Luca amazed us with potty training so easily and heavy introspective things about marriage and kids and love and life. But I bore myself before I even start to write, so I wonder...won't I bore anyone reading this as well?

And then I realize...blogging is so self-involved and self-indulgent anyhow. So I may as well write about whatever strikes me, right?

I went back to work 2 weeks ago, after a long maternity leave that was most decidedly MUCH too short. I know I just contradicted myself, but it was longer than my leave after Luca was born (6 weeks) and yet too short for my tastes, so the contradiction makes sense.

It hit me last night, when I was holding Rohan on the yoga ball, bouncing him into droopy-eyed bliss, how much I just want to stay home and absorb every second of my kids. His little right hand was up on my chest, gripping at the edge of my shirt; his left hand pressed to his cheek. And then there it was: that moment moms live for, when full-bellied contentedness lulls their baby into sleep. The split second in time when baby's arm goes limp and drops down to the side and the pacifier pops out of baby's mouth (much like the red button signifies the turkey is done) and they drift into baby dreamland. What must it be like in the dreamland of a baby, whose mind is unburdened by the nasty and ugly and evil of the world? Puppy dogs and milk and rainbows and more milk. Fields of soft green blankets with streams of milk running through them, and Mama and Dada smiling in the sky, like that creepy baby-sun on Teletubbies only NOT creepy because babies love that kind of thing. Because to a baby, mom and dad may as well BE the sun since the world revolves around them. I love that moment for the calm it brings...the softening of Rohan's brows (he, like his mom, has very expressive brows that are always in action when he's awake), the pouting of the lower lip, the plumpness of the cheeks. Since she was little, I've always said Luca asleep is all eyelashes and cheeks and lips. Well her little brother is shaping up to be much the same...those lashes that curl just so and the lips that pout and puff and the cheeks, so edibly sweet and perfect like little apricots. I have to resist rubbing my lips against his cheeks once he falls asleep and they go slack, for fear it will wake him. But when he's not asleep, all bets are off and those cheeks get nuzzled and nibbled more times a day than I could begin to count.

So last night this perfect storm of baby sweetness occured as I was bouncing with Rohan, and it hit me like a punch to the stomach. All the sudden my throat got thick and I could taste the bitter sadness of missing the hell out of my baby. I started to tally it up in my mind, the number of times I will have to miss this moment...this instant in time when Rohan slips easily from awake to dreamy in my arms. It's just a small thing...a mere few seconds that may go unnoticed by anyone else, but it's the little things that end up being the biggest. It's the feeling of warm baby cheek against skin, of breaths slowing into sleepy regularity, of a tiny baby body going limp with complete faith in the arms holding it that I know I will miss the most as he gets older. It burns at my eyelids and my heart feels a little squeezed, and I sit and cry as I bounce him on the ball, resigned to the fact that I am working so he and Luca can have a good life (and, honestly, a roof over their heads...I'm not buying Prada with my paychecks!) and I know the trade off is the moments I will miss, stacked up into piles of guilt and bitterness and hot in my throat.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blog Love.

Ok, I have fallen in love with two blogs I found through happenstance. I got an email at work which lead me to the blog Orange Salad, which then lead me to SweetSalty. And there I found this post.

I'll be wasting numerous hours where I could be sleeping or working on those thank you cards for Luca's birthday gifts which are now weeks overdue reading these blogs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've heard it said before that you will never forget the day you give birth. That no memory, no single moment nor collection of minutes, hours, feelings, emotions, sensations will ever be more vivid a memory than giving birth.

I never knew if that was true, although it has become a truth in my life. There was a moment during Rohan's birth, when I was deep into the work of laboring sitting on my knees with my arms draped over the side of the pool. Darrick was there - always there, through every contraction and expletive and smile and stolen moment of calm between contractions - but there was also this pair of hands, holding a little tube which was feeding me extra oxygen. The tube was there, inches from my face, just as a precautionary measure. It's not so much the oxygen I remember - though I do, from the hissing sound it made to the mildly sweet flavor it had - it was the hands holding it.

Those hands I remember so vividly, though I'm positive I never even opened my eyes to look at them. Still, I could 'see' them with my eyes closed, and they comforted me. When I had a brief moment of panic in the overall calm that was the birth, those hands touched my hair...and the voice attached to them urged me on, gently but firmly telling me I was doing what needed to be done, and prefectly at that. Assuring me that I would make it through. I remember the smell of those hands (hands which had been interrupted mid-dinner prep to come to the birth, and thus smelled like garlic and something else...maybe butter?...and so it's a good thing I love the smell of garlic). I remember the feel of them, as they brushed my cheek, touched my hair. And I remember the person attached to them as she held me up with her words, quietly reminding me of two distinct truths. That what I was doing in that moment was my work alone, and that I was strong and powerful and capable and that this was my story I was writing, and Rohan's and Darrick's and Luca's and we would own it forever and take it with us through life as we shared it with friends and family and someday our grandkids. And, as perfectly opposite though it may be, that this moment was but another of millions of moments in time when a woman and people she loved and who loved her had gathered to welcome a life into the world, and while it was unique and special in a million trillion ways, in the scope of history it was unremarkable and NORMAL.

I hope to be like my Grandma someday. At 91 she still remembers the births of all 3 of her kids. And my mom will tell me that HER mom has the stories jumbled and the facts mixed up and out of order and warn me not to believe everything Grandma says because, after all, she is a confused old woman. But I don't buy that. I think what 'they' say is true, and that even when she's forgotten which kid had reflux, which one hid a dead mouse under her bed, and which was friends with the girl down the street whose dad owned the donut shop, my Grandma will remember the day her kids were born. Because it was both the most remarkable and the most ordinary day of her life.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Update That's Not Much of An Update After All

Rohan had a recheck with his dermatologist last Thursday. They wanted to see how he was responding to the steroid cream and antihistamine, and decide what our next course of action was. The NP (Nurse Practitioner) couldn't stop marveling at how calm and content and happy he was; a marked change from the last appointment we had, which occured on his worst day ever and involved him crying hysterically from the car to the check-in desk to the exam room, until he finally passed out in exhaustion. This was the same NP who told me that my baby might just be 'the kind you need to set in the crib and leave the room and let cry' because there appeared to be no consoling him. Anyone who knows me knows how deeply I internalized THAT gem of advice, but she SWORE up and down that his fussiness HAD to be something 'else' not related to the Masto because she tried the 5 S's (you moms know them: swaddle, swing, shush, side/stomach hold, and sucking) with him and he DID NOT respond at all. In fact, I believe he screamed louder in protest to being taken from my arms. This had her convinced he had deeper issues such as reflux, but I knew in my heart the issue was the Masto.

Fast forward to last Thursday, and as I said she was marveling over his calm and happy demeanor. We told the NP and Dr that he was a whole new happy baby on the meds and hadn't had any flare ups or blistering. They were pleased, and told us from now on we can continue with the meds on an as-needed basis only. The steroid cream we are to take a break from for 2 weeks, then use for 2 weeks, 3 times total. And then we stop using it altogether unless his spot gets worse, at which point the Dr would want to see him before we decided whether to continue with it. The dangers with the steroid are 'pitting', where too many skin cells get killed off, and some of the healthy ones are damaged, and weight loss/appetite loss. He has no pitting at this point, and his appetite is hearty as ever, so we're following protocal for now and taking 2 weeks off before we do another 2 on.

As far as the antihistamine, we're to give it when we feel he needs it. Initially we were stoked (yes, I just used 'stoked' in a sentence) to hear this, as we both had agreed that if he COULD be without the daily meds, we want him to be. After all, we're both the types who don't usually take meds for things unless we NEED them. You are, after all, reading the blog of a girl who birthed this baby in a pool in her living room. We've discovered though, only 4 days later, that we're probably going to have to use the antihistamine more often than we'd hoped to. Already we had to give a half-dose on Saturday and (after 45 minutes of shrieking cries and rigid posturing) a full dose this evening. We'd love to avoid it if we can, but the hard fact is Rohan IS going to NEED it sometimes and we'd prefer to give him 1/10 mL of a very safe medication once in awhile over making him needlessly suffer.

At this point, we don't have any plans to see the dermatologist again anytime soon. She gave us a prescription for 30 mL of the antihistamine, which is 300 doses, so it should be a looooong while before we even need a refill. Our plan is to keep a close watch on his progress and be conservative (this is one area in life where I can USE that label about myself!) about the medications but give them when needed to keep our little guy happy and comfortable. Because, you know, he has this one little dimple in his right cheek, and you can only see it when he smiles, but I'm in love with that dimple and everytime I see it my heart gets all warm and I can't help but smile back and so I will do anything I can to make sure I see that dimple as often as possible!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

California. As promised.

I know. Now you can release that breath you were holding, right?

So last week marked the final week of my maternity leave, which coincided nicely with Darrick's first official week of summer break. We decided to take a trip to L.A. to visit my Grandma, who is 91 and just one of my most favorite people in the world. Ever. And we decided to drive because the flight would have cost $400....and that's not even accounting for the rental car we would have needed.

It always amuses me how people have these visions of L.A. as this glamorous and beautiful place. As we came through the fields of windmills, we could already see the haze, which was so thick for a moment I thought, "Well, maybe it's raining ahead?" Yes. Raining. Raining Hummer exhaust, Marlboro 100s smoke, and choking fumes of pollution. Sexy city, indeed.

I digress.

So we left home at 3:30 Tuesday morning and drove until the kids woke and needed a break for nursing (Romo) and Mc Donald's sausage and cheese (Luca). The kids did great in the car, sleeping a lot of the trip. Lucky break, I suppose. We made it to Grandma's at about 10:30 and spent the day hanging out with Grandma and introducing her to Rohan. She was smitten. He was smote. (No, I don't know if that's a real word. Whatever. I liked it.)

On Wednesday we took the kids to Balboa Park because it was either let Luca run and play at a park or watch her get so bored and stir-crazy she starts juggling Grandma's Hummels. Curious about Balboa Park? It's a HUGE park with a man-made lake in the middle, and some seriously cool playgrounds. It was also the park Tori Spelling to her kids to on a recent episode of "Home Sweet Hollywood". Yes, I watch Oxygen. What of it?

Anyhow, Grandma and her care provider came with us. My Grandma has had a few bad falls over the years, so she has 2 women who come into her home to help with household chores, making sure she takes her meds, driving her places, etc. After the park, Darrick and I decided we wanted to take Luca to see the Walk of Stars, so we hopped on the freeway, but we ended up turning the wrong way on Sunset, so the road we took lead us through Brentwood (yes, USWeekly fans...the very same Brentwood where you always see pictures of Jennifer Garner pushing little Violet on a swing in a park) and all the way to the beach. It was Rohan's first time on the beach. He was not that impressed. Or maybe he was. He plays his cards close to the vest. We DO know precisely how Luca felt. She was not amused by the sand in her shoes, so she took them off and then was pissed the sand was hot. So Daddy carried her into the water, where she was absolutely appaled at the cold WETNESS of it. She ended up lounging on the blanket. Way to take in life's adventures, Luca!

That afternoon my mom flew over to stay with Grandma for a few days.

We were leaving the next day, but Darrick had broken his sandals at the beach and had no other shoes with him, so mom and I went to WalMart to get him some new sandals. WalMart on the bad side of L.A. at 9 p.m. is just about exactly as you'd probably imagine. So we rushed through it and then got out to the car only to discover: no keys in the diaper bag. Luca was with us and Rohan was sleeping at Grandma's house under Darrick's watch. And it appeared my keys were locked in the van. And my cell phone was at Grandma's house. We rushed back into the mall attached to WalMart (again, only in scary L.A. would WalMart be part of a MALL) so I could ask the customer service people if we could use a phone to have Darrick get a locksmith to us. As we sat at a table in the food court so my mom could write my Grandma's number down, I looked over and saw a poop. On the floor. In the food court.

A human poop.

In the food court.

And people this is just ONE example of why I say L.A. is not the swanky place of glamour "The Hills" makes it out to be.

In the end, the keys had been found by someone in the store (I think Luca took them out of the diaper bag and dropped them) and we made it home without the assistance of a locksmith.

So that, friends, is our trip to L.A.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Big Girl

Ahahahaa....thank you Suzie for making me realize I somehow published this post without the text!!

This WAS a post about how Luca's using her big girl potty like a pro, and how it only took about 10 days for her to go from diapers to potty trained. But I don't feel like rewriting it because, honestly, a post about potty training is like listening to someone tell you about their cat's love for the toy mouse on a fishing pole. ONLY interesting to the person holding the fishing pole (or, as it were in this case, the Elmo undies).

Alas, I have a lot to update on, but you've all been spared THIS update because apparently my brain was not functioning well on such little sleep when I attempted to regale you with tales of the toilet.

You're Welcome.


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