Thursday, December 27, 2007

It was a remarkable day because the Toddler took a sleeping nap. Without screaming. Sure, I was driving down the highway when she started sleeping, but that happens frequently on those days when she's overtired and is forced to sit without amusement in a nice smooth gently vibrating seat. No, the real challenge comes when the ride is over. When Daddy is home and unbuckles her for the ride into the house. If she's been asleep we carry her in; these days she's not only capable of but encouraged to walk into the house under her own power. Once inside the house if she's been deeply asleep and is still groggy she gets laid down on her bed. Today there was one brief wail of protest. Then... nothing. Not a peep. She was, instead, fast asleep again and took a two and a half hour (almost 3!) nap. Woke up for dinner. Just now went happily and peacefully (and sleepily) to bed at 8.

This is a normal-type bedtime schedule for her age. This is what I aspire to every day of our lives. This is not so normal for us ever, especially so the past month when Mommy's been having a baby and recovering from same, when she's less inclined to get tough with naptime enforcement and has settled for "at least she's pretending to play quietly." Two hours or so of playing in her room more or less quietly without massive destruction while I tried to get either chores done or resting of my own. Not ideal.

I wouldn't get so hung up on this if not for how badly she still needs that nap. Some kids don't need a nap by this point. Great. I support that. But this kid... she is tired enough it's starting to hurt to see her. And when she's tired she's more easily frustrated. She has more tempers. She has a lower tolerance on how much outside stimulation she can handle before needing that hard swaddle and serious quiet time trying to beat her mommy up. Incidentally, you haven't been kicked until you've had a toddler kicking and punching a recent c-section incision. It's.... unique. Thank God for the nice doctor who gave me that beautiful bottle of percocet when I left the hospital. I use it frequently, still, on those nights after such episodes.

But today everything seemed to go okay. I'm still stressing about other things, nasty money-type things, that I can't control. I just don't have that type of cash laying around. If I did I wouldn't have those stresses. I'd have other, equally annoying, stresses. In the meantime I'll try to concentrate on the successes. Not only those of naps but those of healthy preemies doing well. Baby fat starting to appear. Children tolerating their feeds and gaining weight and coming closer to a dischargable state. It will be very nice to see my babies both home.

And I think I have problems sleeping now? At least this week the not-sleeping is not because I have to deal with wailing and refluxing and pooping children. I may be cranky and awake but I'm doing so in a quiet environment.
I'm getting even more frustrated with the big G. Google. They took away my page rank, as fast as they had given it. And what does that prove? Why should they be the standard when they don't disclose how page rank is given, taken, or anything about their adsense problem. I think by now most people know that Adsense will ban your account without ever giving you a reason or proof of misdoing. Any request for reconsideration to either program insists that you check a box saying that you know the ban was all your own fault. Well, what if it wasn't?

Earthfrisk is coming on the scene. It's a fast and simple way to combine all the major search engines and issue ranks given by your peers on the Net. You can download a customizeable search bar that's compatible with IE and Firefox. Make it work for you. Search Engine does not need to take you to three or four different versions of the same results. Search all the major engines at once and save time! The meta-future is dawning with a new way to do things.

It's Thursday. It is, right? My days and numbers are getting so screwed up this month. On the other hand I look at how much has happened in the past 30 days. Thanksgiving. Christmas. A new baby. Pumping as much as I can stand it. Insomnia. Getting back up to speed on preemie issues, tailored to this season and area. Toddler getting ready to transition to the next educational step through the next several months.

I guess I can cut myself some slack on this.

So the new pumping regimen. I've talked about it already, yes? In the first two days of this slightly different style and timing I've gone back up to half an ounce combined. And I've got a lot of hope that just maybe if I can keep going with it and the hydration required and all that fenugreek I can bump it slowly even higher than that. I hope so. Robbie just went to 15ml a feeding. Yikes! That's half an ounce.

And it's almost the weekend again. I'm so ready for this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why am I awake at this horrible hour in the middle of the night? It can't possibly be because it's Christmas, and I have the ability to sleep and snuggle up in the night next to my Boy and know that I don't have to wake up before dawn tomorrow in order to ferry him to work. Well, maybe that's part of it. I can't sleep, anyway, so I might as well sit up and pump out more drips and drops of milk for my Robbie.

He's two pounds now. Two pounds for Christmas. I thought it might happen, but that was positive pushing in my brain. I never fully believed I would see it. We went up to see him and there's just enough chub on his body now that I don't see every breath rushing through his lungs. The internal workings of his body are more of a mystery now. Isn't that something? He begins to look like a Real Live Boy and less of a hairless spider monkey covered in very fine thin fur.

Incredible to stop and think that very soon -sooner than I expect or believe will happen- he'll be coming home. By "soon" I mean that it may be another month or so. Roughly his due date, but we won't know for sure until it happens. One day my phone will ring and the doctor will say that it's time to bring my baby home, and then my world will turn upside down one more time.

Last time I likened it to being in labor mentally. I was more nervous walking into the hospital than I had ever been in my life. I shook, my hands sweated, and I couldn't think beyond one moment to the next. We held the car seat between us. And a diaper bag. I don't even remember what was in it. So clueless, despite everything I thought I knew.

This time will likely be the same. In another year I'll blog about how innocently naive I was tonight. How I thought I knew what I would face, the challenges, the sleepless nights, the endless slogging through learning a new preemie who must be held Just So for feedings, upright or sideways backwards for so many minutes after feeding, how he sleeps best, how to keep socks on his feet... I'll despair about ever sleeping at night with my Boy in the same bed, because it'll seem as though one or the other of us is always awake with this child.

And I will feel so incredibly blessed to be allowed to have this miracle in my life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yes, there really was a baby in those blankets! But the blanket bundle was about twice the size of the baby. His head is about the size of a medium lime, and he was flirting with me the whole time I was holding him. So cute! I'm thrilled that I did, indeed, get to hold him before Christmas. This might be the best present I've ever gotten, possibly only tying in place for "best" with the Christmas eve that my Boy came home from a two month stint in Meridian, MS. That was the time I found out I was pregnant with the Toddler two weeks after he left. It was a wonderful moment for us, but then we got worried because nothing really seemed to go right, and he couldn't wait to come home and be with me/us... last set of orders cut before the command there broke for the holidays. He was diverted and rebooked and what with one thing and another he was on one plane or another for 24 hours until finally arriving at SD. I didn't care. I was just so happy to see him at last.

And here we are, Christmas Eve day. I hope it's a merry one for all of you, no matter where you are or what beliefs you ascribe to. Big Hugs.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yesterday I held my baby for the first time. His head is so small. His body is so small. I have to hold his neck completely straight to keep the airway clear.

note to self. do not let keyboard ever get wet again. it makes the 'v' key stick and make a mess.
I always hated the thought of planning my wedding. Even though we were doing the legal stuff first, we had counted on doing the "church thing " later on. If you've been reading this blog, you know that life didn't work out quite that way for us. There were babies. Preemies. My perpetually cold feet to deal with. But the day will come again that I'll have to sit down and plan as wedding back east, without the benefit of living there. It makes me shiver. On one hand I want to do it; get to be a bride in a white sparkly dress- even though my dress will now be something other than white. On the other hand how do I wade through all the things I'll have to do? There's the location. The food. Alcohol? Lodging for out of town guests who will be traveling there? Lodging for us? And childcare... can't forget that now. In fact, that may be more Of a consideration now than ever before. Philadelphia Weddings are a snap when you have an online option for your planning needs. If you're wary of dealing with crowds of vendors all in your face, there's the convenience of doing it online. If you're too far away to visit a wedding show, there's the convenience of making the arrangements on your own time and schedule instead of with twenty vendors distracting you.

I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I know how hard it can be if you're looking at either a low key wedding or an Event worthy of the Main Line. Budgets are important. If I could do this all for little money and the most convenience, this is where I'd start. Longwood Gardens? Sign me up, when the gardens are budding and if you could arrange for the holiday lights to stay up a little longer? That's just fine with me. This site is as good place for me to start. If I change my mind as to having this party on the east coast, they cover plenty of other big areas

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Robbie is now 1 and 12. That's 805gm for those of you in a metric world. 1 pound, 12 oz. When speaking to someone else, especially in the world where you're always referring to these weights, we tend to drop the pound/ounce labels. It's x and y, not pounds and y ounces. Convenient.

Is that how people developed text-speak? Because they just found that labels so darn convenient? And am I now feeding into the same mindset that makes my teeth clench up every time I'm confronted with a license plate saying I luv u2? Maybe I should administer a self-punishment right now and go read my grammar references. Eesh.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Congrats go out to my cousin's family, as they welcome their new son today! They haven't updated the site just yet, but I've seen the pictures and he's a cute one.
Five days until Christmas. Are you panicking yet? I was... but then I realized that I've got better things to do with that energy. The past couple of days have not been good ones for me; overwhelmed, overstressed, exhausted, unable to let go of anything at all. It's a wonder that my Boy hasn't demanded a six-pack and some quiet hiding time alone with his laptop and computer games off in the closet. Some closet. Somewhere. Far away from the insane one. I've gone from hopeful to a nearly weeping wreck of a woman about fifty times in just the last twenty four hours. This morning he comes into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and just stood quietly at the end of the bed with a loving and patient and determinedly neutral pleasant Look as he asked how I was feeling so far.

Do I appreciate this? Yes. Do I fully comprehend that he's doing the best he knows how to do, based on his extensive knowledge of me and my ways? Yes. Have I been batshit crazy by far this past week, and will it happen again and again in the next year or two? Oh hell yes.

Tonight I'm going to get him some beer on my way to pick him up from work. He's completely earned it, and I know that this situation with Robbie is getting to him too. The difference is that while I'm staring at my breasts willing them to produce milk he's watching me go from banshee to reasonable and back again while staring at my breasts willing them to produce milk, and he's waiting patiently for his wife to re-emerge from this she-demon. It's just the getting there that sucks. The journey's goal is worth it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One of the best experiences I ever had with a computer was the day I first watched a dvd on the laptop. At last I had the power to really have a personal viewing experience! Customized to me! A screen in my lap, in bed, with my needlework on the keyboard and the picture just a half-glance away from where my eyes needed to be. It was incredible. This is why high on my priority list is to get me a new laptop. Sometime. Maybe next year, late, after the Robbie-expenses are shaken out of the budget and incorporated into regular rotation instead of the "emergency, unexpected" category.

It's hard to know exactly what your AV needs are going to be for a personal use. If, like me, you spend most of your life on the Net, you know that your every day habits can be easily influenced if you've come across the right motivation. If your favorite website adds a new feature that uses new audio visual equipment and installations, you're so much more likely to rush to pick it up. Learn the bells and whistles. Before you know it that new feature is familiar and you seek out other places to use those applications. It doesn't have to mean spending tons of money in the workplace, if you're primarily using these things at home. On the flip side, if you do use a lot of this sort of stuff in the workplace, you need to stay competitive. Advertising uses a ton. IT needs to know how to make it work and fix it when idiots like me mess around with it and "break" the application. Eventually as the program becomes more mainstream most of us will learn how to use it and either need training on such things or be sought out to train others. There's no way quite like having to teach someone else how to use a product to make you very familiar with it in record time.
My little boy is now 1 lb 11 oz. If this keeps up he might just double his birth weight by the time he's a month old. Isn't that the coolest?

The Toddler, by comparison, took about 6 weeks to double her birth weight. Of course, she was a bigger baby. Just when did 2lb, 10oz become a big baby? About the second that I fully comprehended that I had delivered a 1 pounder.

We're off to a positive start this morning. Mommy slept twelve hours. Toddler slept 14 hours. Newborn remains stable in the NICU, demanding his pretty nurses bring him breakfast in the isolette... Daddy is tired, putting in another 12 hour day. He's got that sucky schedule all this week but I'm crossing my fingers that nothing happens of an emergency nature over the holiday. We all need that little break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Once upon a time when I still had all my teeth, they were VERY sensitive. So sensitive, in fact, that I had to give up chocolate, candy, ice cream, anything hot or cold, and was down to eating mostly soft, warmish, mushy foods. This is what people used to live with when they had poor dental care. I didn't even have that excuse. It was horrible. Embarassing. I was left out when there were family gatherings and lovely yummy food that I had to pass by or eat horribly carefully and slowly in order to avoid major dental pain. I don't mind certain amounts of pain. I really don't. But dental pain -yeesh. That's a biggie.

There are now a ton of products for sensitive teeth. Some of them whiten, some of them promise to taste better, some sing and dance for you while magically taking out the trash, walking the dog, and toilet-training your children. (Where could I get me that one? I wish!) Biotene is different from the majority of products out there because it contains an enzyme that works to make the causes of dry mouth go away, it helps your gums heal from bleeding and works to counter the sensitivity issues that are causing the pain in the first place. Now, they're not claiming that this product is going to instantly cure you, but it certainly makes the pain less over time while tasting good. What other sensitive toothpaste can say all that?

This was my Robbie last week.

This is my Robbie yesterday. As you can see, the difference from week to week is still pretty slight but I will point out the major change: no vent tubes. In other words, he's breathing under his own power right now. Of course he's nowhere near able to deal with room air; he's on an O2 cannula. Still. I think this is one of the big developmental milestones of preemiehood.

Forget about the normal babybook items. Baby's first smile, first gas, the day the umbilical cord fell off. We are counting such milestones as baby's first day off the vent. Baby's first tube feeding. Baby's first experience trying to suck on a preemie-sized soothie-pacifier. Baby's first time throwing a tantrum inside the isolette and pulling out his leads. Baby's first heart surgery.

Strangely enough I still take all those things as true parental-pride-worthy accomplishments. If I think about them in the context of what the regular baby books tell me, I wonder what planet they've come from, because in our universe those "first" steps aren't going to happen for many months yet to come. They will come, I have every confidence in that. They will arrive here unheralded by balloons or marching bands. It will happen and be marked with quiet joy by a tired mother and father who recognize just how miraculous every sunrise is for this child who started so small and who fought so hard to learn how to breathe and eat and keep his heart beating.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My week just got shot to hell. I kept thinking, I need to update the blog. Then stuff happened. Then I'd think, I need to update the blog. Then more stuff happened. Rinse and repeat this for most of the week and now we come to the first afternoon I've had to myself with the computer and the Toddler is SUPPOSED to be sleeping but the sounds coming through the wall tell me that she's not. Oh well.

She had an enormous bit of fun this morning at the hanger where Daddy works. The kids' christmas party was held this morning. The hanger was clean and plane-free (for once). The heaters attached at the rafter level were running full blast and made it warm. There was bubble wrap taped down in long strips along the sides of the space for kids to run and stamp on. Somehow I saw more grownups "accidentally" having to cross the bubbles than I did kids. But we were early to the party, so maybe things picked up after we left.

Games and fun were in plentiful supply, as were cakes and cookies and cupcakes and popcorn. A giant moon bounce castle. A christmas tree and the necessary presents underneath it. Toddler ran this way and that way and around and around in circles until she fell and bloodied her nose. Then she didn't want to hold still at all for me to wipe it. She cuddled long enough to dry the tears, then she was off again. According to her eyes, she's tired. According to her? Not So. Me? Nap? You must be joking she lets me know without managing to use any words at all.

Tonight is the grownups christmas party and I'm allowed to go. That sounds wrong. It should read that it's harder than getting the Toddler to use her words consistently to get me willing to go to a party outside the house. Or most social functions. Especially when I'm depressed. But to this party I will go, and try to have a good time and wear my pleasant face. My mom will babysit. My Boy is going to be with me. There might be kissing and holding of hands.

We're wild, you know. Hand-holding in public and everything. Who knows? Anything can happen at an office party when it's held in a jet hanger.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For so many moms it goes smoothly. You have a normalish conception. A routine pregnancy that you think will never end. At the tail of it, a balloon and a baby are in your hands as you're wheeled out of the hospital to a waiting car. And then there are preemie mom who may have none of that, or some of it, before finding themselves in either a panicky delivery full of medical stuff or a less-rushed delivery full of medical stuff. A neonatologist is standing by, with a baby team, and you may not even know what they are except that your OB doesn't want to deliver without one. You're the mother, it is supposed to be your job to know this, but where do you belong now?

The recovery of life after that is a hard thing to find again. The pieces of your new parenthood without child. Visiting a NICU, learning the language, learning to love a little bundle of wires and tubing without any of the "normal" stuff. It's a chore. The books don't prepare you for this. The shows on tv don't begin to touch the reality of it when this is your baby and your delivery and your emotional pain. And your husband's too- he's so often forgotten in the concern and rush to ask "how's the mom doing". He's the other parent. He's the one who stood or sat by to watch the love of his life go through all this. What about his dreams and hopes for this delivery? What did he imagine in the days before hell broke loose around you both?

The Boy and I were fortunate. We had prepared for a preemie again. It wasn't a question of would he come early, it was a question of how early would he come. We had processed it a bit. That's how my voice doesn't shake when I talk about it. This is how I can function now. I'm dealing. Maybe not well, but I'm still dealing with it. And this is all part and parcel of preemie parenting for me. Suckful, it is. Hellacious, even. I'm exhausted today. Slept twelve hours last night and didn't get up to pump once, and I'm exhausted. Just plain worn out and exhausted. Will it get better? Soon. I trust, soon. The past two weeks have been a total blur. I don't remember half of the days in them. I drink plenty of water and read and love my Toddler. I try to put some of the pieces back together. Unlike the first time I was delivered of a preemie, I do not feel the need to replay every minute of the second delivery like a bad dream. I remember it vividly, yes, and it's all there for me to replay in my head if I need to. But the birthing part is a calmness in my memory; the Boy held my left hand and squeezed my fingertips. He looked me in the eye. We were there together and I was safely delivered of a son.

Just in time for Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Food banks are facing crisis this year. That's not news, but it should be. Why? Why do we suddenly hear about it now? Because more and more people are driven to these places to put food on the table at the end of the day? I think so. With bills going up, gas and electric and all the other utilities going up. Rent. Mortgages in crisis. And food becomes the last concern on our plates sometimes even though it may need to start coming first.

We've been lucky. Money is never really enough for our expenses, but we've got food and milk. So far. Where will it be next year? Where will it be if my blogging income tapers off? I don't know. I do know that my car insurance rates are going down a smidgeon, which is good news because we can't afford to not have our car. Living in the middle of nowhere, driving to get anywhere, with two kids soon to have a round of never-ending doctors and specialists and intervention programs and schooling. The Boy needs to get to work. I need to escape these baby blues before I have to add myself back into that train of doctors. Did I think it was hard to get therapy with one baby? How about two? And that second one will be every bit as small and fragile as the Toddler was when she first came out of the NICU.

I'm counting blessings. Really, I am counting them. But those baby blues are chasing me around the house last night and this morning until I think I'll lose my mind. Obsessing about milk supply. About production. About whether or not Robbie will have long term damage from being on the vent so long. About wanting him weaned off it already so that I can hold him next time I'm there. Maybe. Because I want to hold my itty bitty boy. I want to see his face, his whole face, for the very first time. Even if I still can't touch him, I want to see his face.
My mom says that I owe her spa time for all the stress and gray hair I've given her over the years. I will owe my husband the same before long. Whenever we're at the mall he starts coveting a ride in one of the massaging chairs. Those chairs look so nice, and they work at those hard to reach muscle groups trying to relax them and unknot tricky places in your back that you never quite trust other people to get at correctly. Now there's a chair even better suited for getting the tension out of your life. Massage Chairs certified by American College of Chiropractic Orthopedists use a quad roller design to relieve stress and tension. Hmmm.. They even come with a heat feature, and a foot massage option. How nice would that be to look forward to at the end of a long day? whether you're chasing kids or papers around an office, get the downtime and pampering you deserve with one of these.
My Robbie continues to thrive. He's gaining weight rapidly, and on the feeding protocol where he's at this means that his feeds have to be increased daily. Every shift, it seems, they're increasing them a little bit.

Of course he's still drinking little itty bits. This morning they told me that he's up to 3.5ml per feed. That's not a lot. Half a teaspoon. But hey- who am I to quarrel with weight gain and happy baby? He's really doing well on breastmilk. Despite my inner fears that the lack of quantity on my part will lead to some deficit in the quality of the milk he's drinking. Who knows? I don't know. What I know is that my baby boy came early and now he's thriving well in his warm nest despite me not being there. I can concentrate on the blessing that knowledge is and not the creeping depression that leads to dark moments.

Friday, December 07, 2007

stupid, stupid, useless me. Can't do anything right. Can't produce more milk for Robbie. Why the hell do I have these breasts if they're not going to nurture my offspring? Why did I have the gall to have another preemie anyway when the breasts don't work and I don't know how to make them work?
I miss my Robbie. I haven't been up to see him, and I know I said that this weekend only thing was going to work out just fine, and I know that it's not economically feasible to just run up there. I was lying to myself I think. I miss him. I still haven't really "bonded" as such. I feel such a different connection with him already than I did with the Toddler. More a sense of "he's mine". Is this because I am a mother already? Is this because I'm worried about his weight and size and prematurity despite knowing he's got the best possible start for someone born this early?

Is it that he's my baby and I still haven't heard him make a sound a week and a half after he's been born? I want to hold him and I can't. I want to touch him through the portholes of his isolette and I can't. I want to do so much for him and with him, and at the same time I want to throw myself fully into playing and resuming a "normal" life with the Toddler, and that I can do within certain physical limits... I'm torn.

If it was me and the Toddler here, and I was allowed to drive myself, I'd be up at the NICU this morning. Though I don't know who would watch the Toddler since she's not allowed past the waiting room area.

Is this the beginning of baby blues or the beginning of it's nasty depressive cousin or am I just on the rollercoaster of NICU motherhood again?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm running around right now with washclothes tucked into my bra.

No, I haven't lost what was left of my mind. I just don't want to fork over any money for nursing pads right now. I probably should. It would help prevent leakage from my growing mammary glands. It would soak up the letdown I'm getting from one side while pumping the other. But... I don't want to spend the money. Besides, pioneer women survived this many times before the commercial baby industry came out with this concept.

What I'm working at this week is slowly increasing supply. I feel so proud when I get another half ounce, combined. The reason for my pride is that there's nobody around me to compare that to. I don't know what normal women are expressing at this point. Then again, when have I ever been accused of being normal? I prove my point. In other news, I'm starting to wonder how soon I can reasonably steal my car keys back and start taking over the early morning to-work run with the Boy. I miss my morning travel time. I seriously miss it. That was like, our private little date time together. Now what do we have? The two minutes before closing eyes at night in the big bed? A brief kiss in the morning before he leaves? Not enough to me.

I know I need to rest more. I can rest when the sun rises. I want to see my Boy right now. I want to do that running. I want to drive my car.
Is it not amazing what modern surgery can do? Besides the realm of lifesaving procedures, new techniques in the elective field can dramatically improve your quality of life without permanent internal changes. The Lapband procedure is one of the newer techniques for weight loss surgery tampa. It involves the surgeon going in through tiny incisions and placing a small band around the stomach. This restricts the stomach's capacity for food and also lengthens the digestion process to help you feel fuller faster and longer. Sometimes obesity issues arise from problems that can't be solved with a good diet and exercise. There could be a medical component, or a hormonal one that plays into the rest of it. Some people seem to be hardwired for extra pounds early in life and nothing they do can truly solve it. For these people this is one solution that can get them back on the road to a healthy weight.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Many moons ago I called the Toddler by another name. Her NICU name was the Borgmonkey, because she came into this world looking like a wrinkled spider monkey with a fur problem. (She got cuter, obviously!) She was also attached to so many wires and leads and tubing that she was a Borg. This is a testament to the smartassedness of her parents more than anything else.

When Robbie was born the Boy proudly told me that he was purple. After the morphine kicked in we had further discussion, and decided that this meant Robbie should be referred to as a smurf. As we sat by his isolette this past weekend preparing for the surgery it was further decided that he is now Robosmurf. My brief suggestion of The Bionic Smurf was turned down.

I foresee many future tales of the Robosmurf and his partner-in-crime. Thank you for all the contributions to our Goldfish Cracker Funds; every drop in the bucket helps us out in the next couple of months as we're getting up to the NICU to see Robbie and closer to the date when I've got both of my babies home and in my arms.

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Robbie

Yesterday I went out to what was supposed to be my mother's tea-party for her birthday. Turns out it was a surprise baby shower. This is a first for her- she managed to organize this whole thing, starting five weeks ago, to be a surprise. Without spilling the beans to me. And I managed to not find out about it. Me and my nosiness- it's made any form of surprise a virtual impossibility since I turned two. A good time was had by all. Wonderful. Amazing.

What timing! What amazing timing for the birth, given the pre-arranged party scheduling, and that I was on my feet enough to really enjoy it. I was so stunned that it had taken me by surprise that I came home in a warm fog. Much like I had sat through the whole event.
Overstock is having a christmas promotion; register for the All I want for Christmas Giveaway and win a prize of your choice plus prizes for five friends. Christmas this year is going to be tight for a lot of people. Despite the great sales and deals offered by many retailers, the general public is feeling the tight wallets pinch as gas and heating prices go up. Inflation, the economy, the anticipation of rising mortgage rates with the new year. Around here I can tell that pinch will be harder felt than in many other areas of the country.

I'm going to register for this contest on the chance that just maybe I'll win. I want to sign up for the dream gifts; the stuff that I'd just love to have here for my kids and family to make our lives that much easier in the coming months. Like a really big swingset. Or a nursery suite for Robbie. Or a big couch that will fit all four of us comfortably. I think that on the whole, I'd go with the couch. A nice, big, comfy couch with many pillows and a reclining option. Where the kids can climb on their parents, where my two babies can snuggle up to me in the afternoons when they're definitely not tired but need a nap anyway. Is there a better way to nap?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The PDA is fixed. The surgeon went in and made a small incision under my boy's left shoulderblade and slipped a titanium clip around the right place, and now Robbie has a functioning heart that should fix the blood pressure problem and help him grow and thrive. It's amazing what can be done these days, with just a few things. Ultrasounds saved him from distress. Heated isolettes are keeping him warm while machines breathe for him and deliver warmed breastmilk to his stomach a few drops at a time. Other lines bring the raw nutrients to his blood directly. All this, twenty years ago, could it have happened? I want to say that yes it could. I don't really know.

Combined with the miracle of my newborn, the miracle of what is being done now to bring him home to me unscathed is enough to completely take my breath away. Is there anything more to life? Is there anything bigger than a newborn child that could fit in a loaf pan?

Emotions are starting to get the better of us here. Tempers are running high. I don't know where to begin to help my husband. He is keeping everything to himself again; trying to be strong. He's the support, he's the rock, and when will he let any of this out? How hard dare I push?
Have you been seeing the trailers for Sweeney Todd, a new movie from Tim Burton? I just visited the Confessional, where readers are asked to call or write in their own confessionals. Apparantly nothing is offlimits here. There's a badge you can put onto your website, letting your readers know that you've confessed. Of course the confessions are focused towards revenge acts- that's the theme of the movie, after all.

Based on the mother of all current horror film themes, this is about a barber who kills his customers and turns the bodies over to his lover who bakes them into pies. Revenge is one motive. Is greed another? Watch and find out. There's a lot of information on the web about the origins of this legend, about how he was caught, tried, and executed. If you visit Sweeney Todd on MySpace you'll find the confessional feature. Go ahead. You know you want to write your own confessional about what you did to that one person, that one time, when they were mean to you back in middle school. Take this chance to get it off your chest and find out that you're not exactly the worst person out there for doing things like that. You can even visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site for more about the latest adaptation of the story, which is being offered up with Burton's usual flair for making the abnormal seem extraordinary. The cast, from what I can see, only enhances the skill of the filmmaker.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

When my baby girl was born she had a small opening in one of the valves in her heart. It hadn't finished closing, but it did within a few days of her birth. Robbie was born with the same thing. Normally they close just fine and there are no problems; even with preemies. Sometimes they do not.

Tomorrow morning my little boy is going to have surgery to fix the hole in his heart. I do not know what to think; my brain is fuzzy with the morning's events. I thought everything was fine and I was coping, and then I heard this news. While I know it's routine, while I know that everything will likely go just fine, I want to close my eyes and let the rest of the world go on without my knowledge for a few hours. I need to regroup my brain and get some rest before I can cope with this knowledge.

Today is my mother's birthday and all the things I wanted to do to make it a happy one for her are now so far from my brain that I don't remember half of them. She'll forgive me. I don't know if I'll forgive myself later on.
If I didn't know better, I'd have thought that the gift basket the Boy brought home from his office yesterday was from Delightful Gifts. It was just the sort of thing I've seen on their website. If you're looking for a unique gift, why not a basket? It's multiple items, each worthy of being a gift in and of itself. And the container it comes in is often as neat as the collection inside. We couldn't be happier with what we got. I was browsing this website throughout this past year for various stuff; while I never got around to ordering anything off it I was always taken with how many types of baskets they offered. This is a great resource to have on tap if you're living away from the people you'd normally gift for special occasions- why spend time shopping, wrapping, and packing? Then paying to drive to the post office, wait in line, and mail the package, when you can click a few times and have it done while sitting in a comfy chair wearing your fuzzy bunny slippers?

That's what I thought. I sure wouldn't do that if I had another option. Doubly so this week. And so with that argument I wanted to also bring up a few other points of interest before moving on to the article below. Firstly, online shopping for presents this season is on the upswing. Secondly, why leave the house when you don't have to, especially when so many options include free shipping? Thirdly, is there an easier way to send a thoughtful gift than selecting a specialty gift basket that takes into consideration the whole taste of the recipient? The basket we received was remarkable because it came packed inside of the fisher price aquarium tub. There was a pack of preemie diapers in addition to the newborn size that frequently is the size of choice in these things- and preemie diapers are wonderful when dealing with an actual preemie. They may look small initially, but when you then view them on a preemie that's only 3 or 4 pounds, they seem huge. Recognized as Hot 100 Retail Website

Internet Retailer Ranks Website Among Best in Nation for 2008

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE), the premiere Internet Gift Retailer and America’s #1 Gift Basket Website, today announced it has been named one of The Hot 100 Retail Websites for 2008 by leading industry magazine, Internet Retailer. The Hot 100 list represents the best of what retailers are doing online, highlighting innovation and setting the standards in online for what the rest of the industry should be doing., a privately-held company, with one of the largest and most unique selections of gourmet gifts, ranked alongside larger sites such as Dell, Nike and, by building its award-winning site on selection, functionality, speed and the complete customer experience. A recent re-design has improved the customer’s shopping experience to make holiday gift-giving easy and enjoyable, including rating and reviews, behavioral recommendations and free shipping offers.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized as a pacesetter in online retailing,” said Eric Lituchy, Founder and CEO of “We pride ourselves on using the latest technology to make gift-giving fun and easy. Being named among the best in the nation validates we are succeeding in our efforts to deliver the best possible customer experience.”

In addition to making Internet Retailer’s The Hot 100 list for 2008, was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as part of its Inc. 5000, which highlights the fastest growing private companies. offers over 2000 unique and delicious gifts from America’s best brands to the finest boutique shops. Consumers can easily shop the site by gift or food category, occasion, type and best-seller. Corporate gift-givers can choose from hundreds of customized gourmet treats.

For additional information, and to see a complete selection of gifts available, visit

About Delightful Deliveries is an award-winning website that began in 1998 and quickly established itself as one of the premier Internet gift retailers. Its mission is to bring great products to gift-givers, while providing world-class service. The company selects its offerings from a broad variety of fine food gift products for consumers and for corporate gifts, and gathers them in one place to make the selection process quick and simple.
Back in the blogging saddle! Yippee! It's been a wonderful night here at the old homestead. The Toddler slept well. My two moms have settled in and slept well. The Boy slept well. I even managed to sleep well after the painkillers kicked in. Big surprise, I may have overdone things just a bit yesterday. Then I had a coughing fit, and any one who's ever had a c-section can tell you that it hurts.

Today we're hoping to get up to the NICU to see Robbie. I don't know if I'm anxious or nervous or what. This is new, this is not new, this is new. I am a preemie mom again. I pump milk, therefore I am. I had a baby and saw him whisked away in an isolette with a transport team to a new home in intensive care, and I will not get to be his mother for several months. In the meantime I've got the Toddler and that is more encouraging than last time when I had no child at all to remind me that I was now a mom.

It all makes sense, somewhere. In the meantime my thoughts are scrambled and my feelings a little jumbled. But not, thank God, bruised. The depression remains at bay and I'm still cautiously optimistic about the whole prospect of what today holds for us.
Is there someone on your list who is yearning for a new set of binoculars? An avid watcher of the night skies? Fashion conscious teenager who wants the latest in Ray Ban? Look no further than OpticsPlanet for your gifts. Free ground shipping on orders over $29.95, and the Best sellers are even listed for you so that you don't have to guess. This site might look a little crowded upon first glance, but I found the link organization fairly easily to navigate. Gift guides cover everything from what to get the ladies in your life to Guy Gadgets and father's day presents. Stocking Stuffers! They have stocking stuffers as well; that's good for me because I always find myself staring at the orange in the bottom of the stocking and wondering how on earth to fill it up.