Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Waiter Waiter Percolater

The coffee maker broke this morning. Something about the heating coil. It is deader than a doornail. Brian said maybe this is God's way of telling me to stop drinking caffeine. I say God can come down here and take care of my kids, nurse my newborn twins, run my full-time business and get my house sold. Or He can totally kiss my ass.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Carrie's Dropping Acid and Allison is Doing her Best Janis Joplin Impersonation. Or Something.

The twins are rockin' out, man.

Photo courtesy of Brian.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun!

Typical Day with Newborn Twins:

Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Take slug of cold coffee that has been sitting on your desk since...this morning? last night? Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Baby cries. Pick baby back up. Pick other baby up. Nurse both at once. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Head for the kitchen looking for something to eat. Put bread in toaster. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Pick other baby up. Nurse. Put baby down. Head for the kitchen looking for something to eat. Notice cold, stale toast in toaster. Sigh. Take another slug of coffee. Pick other baby up. Nurse...

Somewhere around 2:30 a.m. after hours of this marathon of nursing I was holding Allison who just WOULD NOT be sated and WOULD NOT go to sleep and I believe I uttered the words, "I hate her." Luckily, Brian has a sense of humor or he might have looked at me askance and taken his daughters from my grasp, never to be seen again.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

This is Spinal Tap

Things got worse and worse -- on Monday morning Allison was burning up with fever and had pus coming out her ear. By Tuesday night Carrie was much the same -- we had a couple of really rough nights with very fussy babies. On Wednesday we went to see the nurse practitioner. Both babies were still feverish, still had fluid coming out their ears, and after consulting with the doctor, Carol sent us straight to Children's Hospital.

Having never taken such small children to the hospital before (my only previous visit to the ER with any kid was when Jack had a gash on the back of his head that required stapling), I had no idea what to expect. Apparently, when newborns have fevers they pull out all the stops. As soon as they had us in an ER room they made it pretty clear we wouldn't be going anywhere for at least a day, maybe two. Full work-ups were ordered: blood, urine catheters and the dreaded spinal tap. If you think it's hard watching your newborn baby girl get a lumbar puncture, try watching it twice. And try watching a 2nd year resident do a crappy job of it. I was not a happy Mama.

So, they removed all sorts of fluid (and we could see right away that the spinal fluid was clear -- a very good sign) and then got us a room upstairs. I was never particularly scared for the babies, more upset that they had to go through all of that poking and prodding. It was pretty clear to me all along that they simply had ear infections, as unusual as that is at that age. And of course I hate taking my kids to the hospital for any reason -- the thought of all that sickness, all those germs, all that potential bacteria makes my skin crawl. But there was nothing we could do but comply -- I wasn't about to bring my babies home with 100+ temperatures and wait and see, not when there was an outside chance of spinal meningitis.

Actually, it turned out to be a relatively pleasant stay. The babies were cozy together in their crib. The nurses got me my own bed (I really want an adjustable hospital bed in my house, I just love those things). I had TV with basic cable and the most fantastic breast pump on the face of the earth. I think I managed to get about 12 ounces out of me in one sitting, I was so incredibly engorged when we arrived. Brian brought me my computer and transcriber, so I set up a little office for myself and worked off and on during the following day. The doctors were great, the nurses were great, and the whole stay had a happy ending -- no meningitis, completely normal blood cell counts, perfectly fine urinalysis, everybody okay.

We're home now and the babies are finally fever-free. Jack is on antibiotics and is feeling fine. I am on antibiotics (sinus infection) and am feeling better. Brian is doing fine. Eli has a runny nose but hasn't been complaining of ear pain or anything, so he might make it through with just a cold. Today is the first day of spring...maybe, just maybe, we'll be done with sickness for a while. I hope so.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Story of My Life

3 of my 5 children have ear infections. Seriously, is there anything more awful than having a sick newborn? She's not gravely ill or anything, but it sucks to see her in pain. The Tylenol is keeping her calm at the moment, and tomorrow we'll take her to the doctor.

I'm sick, Jack is sick, Javi is sick, Allison is sick, Carrie is sick, my ex-husband is sick, Brian is sick...only the dogs and cats seem relatively healthy.

Non sequitor: Brian's grandmother pronounces Javier's name so as to rhyme with caviar. Try it. Haveeyar.

Baby crying. Must go.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Hormone Soup

One minute everything’s fine, the next minute I’m a puddle. Welcome to the world of post-partum. It will pass in a few weeks as this hormone cocktail works its way out of me, but for now I’m a freaking mess…when I’m not totally blissed out, that is.

Personality Profile:

Carrie Anne – fussy at night, doesn’t like to be alone, wants to be held, wants to eat first, has a placid expression most of the time.

Allison Jane – laid back, doesn’t need as much attention, needs to be encouraged to eat, impish grin and devilish look in her eye, gonna be a trouble maker I think.

Both babies are doing great, although Carrie has a cold (and I do too), so she’s even fussier than normal. We have survived a weekend with all 5 kids. Suffice it to say that neither of the grownups got much of anything done beyond the scope of household chores and child care, but everyone appears to be intact and most of us had a pretty good time, so I’d say it was a successful couple of days.

Tomorrow I’m starting up work again, and by next week I hope to be back to full time. I’m eager to get back to work – I haven’t enjoyed that aspect of this leave. I like working and I like to have some control over my business…it’s hard to manage all of that when you have a subcontractor doing most of your work. The sleep deprivation may kill me, though.

Friday, March 05, 2004

7. Kill the Dog

My days and nights are now devoted to nursing the babies and yelling at the dog. All day long, I sit here in this room with the window open, and every, oh, 15 minutes or so you can hear me hollering “Chicken! No!” or “Chicken! Bad dog!” or “Chicken! Shut the fuck up!” If you didn’t know better, you might think I was mentally ill, but actually Brian’s dog’s name is Chickendog and she is a compulsive barker. There ought to be a support group for that or something, but instead there is just me and my hollering.

This morning, hopped up on 2 cups of coffee, no sleep and one 5 mg Vicodin, I decided to make a to do list in order to keep myself from completely slipping into Mother’s-Little-Helper land. It looked like this:

1. Laundry
2. Vacuuming
3. Trash
4. Bill clients
5. Pay bills
6. Clean bathroom
7. Kill the dog

I’ve crossed four out of seven off the list…that dog’s days are numbered. And my bathroom floor is spotless.

Random Political Observations

Please, let’s not attack G.W. on his National Guard record or his (shameful! shocking!) use of WTC imagery in his ads. We all know perfectly well that had a Democrat been in the White House on 9/11, HE would be using those images right now. They strike a chord, and it’s all about striking a chord when you make a political ad. Stick to the subject at hand: the economy, foreign policy, health care – things that matter. I could care less whether he did or didn’t fly planes over the Mexican border during some lost year in the early 70s.

I’ve never liked John Kerry much, but include me in the anyone-who-can-beat-W camp. I’ll vote for him. Not that my vote will count for much in Texas. Especially with the new touch screen voting machines. *shudder*

Scary that Lyndon LaRouche, that wackjob, has the most intelligent things to say about public school education of any candidate I’ve heard for years. No bullshit about accountability and the like, but a refreshing argument for getting back to a classical education that focuses on subject matter over testing. Too bad he’s a racist neo-Nazi asshole in sheep’s clothing. You can listen to the interview here.

Quit whining about Ralph Nader. If the Democrats lose, it’s their own damn fault. Yes, Nader probably tipped the scales in Florida, but if it hadn’t been Nader it would have been someone else. There will ALWAYS be voters who choose not to vote for a major party candidate. If Gore hadn’t run such a crappy campaign, it wouldn’t have been so goddamn close. Get the fuck over it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004