Sunday, March 30, 2008
Charlie has been overly stuffy for about a week now, so I think I will call the ped. tomorrow. He has trouble drinking because of the boogers, and we've taken to saline drops and aspiration a few times a day. On the plus side, however, he is obviously seeing better than he was; he actually goes cross-eyed because he's trying so hard to focus on what's in front of him, and he actually appears to be looking around the room, versus staring and having people in his way.
Charlie attended his first big family party on Saturday, where we were part of a surprise 40th birthday for my cousin in Kalamazoo. It was great fun, and her husband succeeded in pulling it off. We played "pass the baby" most of the day, from oldest (Oma, at age 89) to close to the youngest (Iris, at age 4) all holding Charlie. We then had our first overnight at my parents', where both grandparents happily hogged him. Unfortunately for us, they didn't offer to do those middle-of-the-night feedings.
I got new glasses on Friday, and there is definitely a difference. The glasses I had were the same prescription as my contacts, but when this new dr. looked at them, they were off. By quite a bit, actually. That's fine by me, I like getting new glasses. I have to have the right "arm" adjusted as it's a little tight, but otherwise I'm pleased.
Roman stays home with me 2 days a week starting this week, and hopefully we will begin to see a change in behavior. One of our biggest irritations is the fact he wants us to play with him 24/7. I don't ever recall my parents playing with me for hours on end, and I don't know where he gets this idea. Probably because he always has someone to play with at preschool. Well, the playing and following directions are our biggest problems. Fingers crossed for my patience this week!
Friday, March 28, 2008
And now it has all blown up. For those of you who have heard the story on CNN or the front page of Yahoo! News, and who knows where else, you have not heard the whole story. Kwame's indictment this week on 10 felony counts, among them perjury and obstruction of justice, is about his testimony in a trial, NOT the fact that he had an affair. Like Bill Clinton before him, he doesn't seem to get that the public could care less if he cheated on his wife; it's that he kept lying about it, even under oath. Here's the whole story:
The deputy chief of police began investigating a party where a stripper was last seen alive. This party happened to be at the mayor's mansion. Oh, it gets better. A few months after the investigation is begun, both the deputy-chief & a bodyguard are "encouraged to leave their positions." Both sued the mayor, stating they were fired because of what they were investigating; and the fact that it was leading to a reveal of an ongoing affair/multiple dabblings with women by Kwame.
The trial begins. Kwame, along with his chief of staff, both swear that the deputy chief was not fired; he was "reassigned" and chose to quit. Kwame also denies firing the bodyguard. They also both deny that they were having an affair. Still, the deputy and the bodyguard were awarded some 6 million in damages. Kwame blames the verdict on "white suburbanite jurors" and claims the verdict was racist.
Then they began a civil case. Rather than appeal or go through the civil case, Kwame all the sudden decided to award the deputy (and another police officer) 8.4 million in settlement. He stated this was so Detroit could "move on." Well, it turns out through the Freedom of Information Act, the Free Press obtained thousands of text messages that had been WITHELD at the trial, which clearly outlines that the deputy chief WAS fired, Kwame DID have an affair with his chief of staff, and that he lied multiple times on the stand. Oh yeah, and that settlement? There was a "confidentiality clause" stating that the deputy and the other officer would never mention the text messages or that they knew he was having an affair, in exchange for the money. All this on Detroit taxpayers' dollar.
Kwame refuses to resign as mayor. He has actually pled "not guilty." And the case of the murdered prostitute at the party at the mayor's mansion? That's being re-investigated. Thug politics. It makes me want to escape from this area forever, and to forget it exists.
I will post pictures and news later!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Doug is surviving on the lack of sleep, although he is notably more grumpy than in the past. I don't think this is just lack of sleep, however; for some time he has been struggling with what he wants to be when he grows up. Now that he's the proud father of two, I think the matter has begun to niggle at him again. That's about all I'll say about that right now, though. He is very excited to start a golf league that meets one evening a week at a local course he used to play with his brother. Since Roman joined our family Doug's golf has been limited to the range & maybe once or twice on the links. I'm happy for him too - my one night out with the ladies lifted my spirits so much, I think golfing once a week will give Doug some happy time away from home.
Together we are doing better than during the pregnancy, which is interesting. I think I feel much more like myself now, which obviously would change how we interact. Plus since I'm home all day, I'm not nearly as stressed as I am when I work. That changes our dynamic considerably as well. We are planning camping trips for the summer, mostly to Frankenmuth I think. They have nice facilities, especially with having a little one.
This coming week, for me, is the last of my sort-of freedom. Roman will go every day to preschool, but then the week after he will start staying home with me. At first, just 2 days; then in May, he'll be home 3 days a week. We're hoping we can keep it that way through the summer, so he can still get together with friends and play his little heart out; but we'll have to keep a close watch on financials. My school paid me a lump sum of the remaining amount they owed; we now have to budget it out for the next 5 months. Next year I only get a half-step raise as well, and since I didn't finish my Masters... well.
Speaking of my Masters, an agreement has been reached. All praise Madonna University, and specifically my advisor, who has pulled strings yet again. I have received another extension through next year; on top of that, one of my favorite professors has agreed to let me independent-study one of the classes I need so I can take it in the Fall. Then only one in the Winter, and still my project; then I'll be done. Still a lot of work, but at least I won't have to do 2 classes at the same time. There was no way I could do that, teach, coach swim, and have a family life.
On a physically personal note, I have lost the final 6 pounds to put me exactly at the weight I was when I found out I was pregnant. Now comes the hard part; losing the same amount again (or a little more) to get down to a better weight. My hormonal acne, which was so horrible to the point that it hurt to even wear a bra, is finally clearing up. It's bad, don't get me wrong, and I still awake with new ones daily. But the major painful ones are finally going away.
Lastly, we're both happy this weekend - it's the first time we've been at home for Easter. Most years we're with family, or last year we were lucky enough to be on vacation. But we've never been in our church for a major holiday, so we're pretty excited. Dinner afterward will be shared with Doug's parents and brother's family from South Dakota. It will just be SO nice to be in our little house with our little family.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
After the party I drove just a few blocks away to go to our 2-month checkup at the pediatrician for Charlie. For vaccinations he got 4 shots and one oral medication. Wouldn't you think that scientists could come up with more oral vaccinations? Anything better than shots. Anyway, here's the information you want, though... the boy weighs 8 lbs, 15 oz! That's just shy of NINE pounds! In two weeks he's gained 2 pounds. No wonder my arm aches sometimes. In fact, Charlie has officially graduated to the "regular newborn" chart and is in the 5th percentile for 2-month-olds. He's practically off the charts for preemies, which is why we switched to the newborn chart.
That's all the news for now; Charlie is getting grumpy from his shots and he's allowed to have some Tylenol now. And then I have to go pick up Roman.
Monday, March 17, 2008
God has taught me today that I made the right choice in not being a full-time stay at home mom with multiple kids. Roman is home today sick (horrible cough, low-grade fever) and between his neediness and Charlie crying like a real newborn for 15 minutes for no reason whatsoever (gas, I think), there's no way I could handle this every day. I ate my lunch standing up and got about 6 bites of chicken and 4 bites of rice. An hour later, I had string cheese. Not the way to live life!
We have an appointment on Wednesday at the pediatrician for the official "2 month" checkup. I also have a couple pictures on the camera but I will get them posted later.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tomorrow Charlie goes on his first outing. Well, besides the doctors and the occasional CVS or IKEA visit. My niece is having her 5th birthday party at a nature center for maple syrup tapping, should be really unusual & cool. Doug and I are torn 50/50 about Doug staying home with Charlie. Nothing to do with the baby, actually, but because we are so darn exhausted at night, we don't get anything but the essentials done. It would be nice if both boys could disappear for a day or afternoon... but at the same time, we're not ready for Charlie to be out of our sight for so long yet!
Speaking of IKEA, I have spoken ill of that great place. I now have 2 complaints to lodge against the building. First, the bathroom situation is horrible for a family with kids. If you're in the back of the store and God forbid, your child says in that strained voice, "I gotta go pee!" you're in trouble. They have no bathrooms in the back, only in the front. And if you're on the first floor Marketplace, well, you have to go through the checkout counters to get to the bathroom. What do you do with your merchandise, you ask? Leave it. And hope they don't put it back or wheel your cart away.
Now, a second issue has occurred. I went to buy a lamp the other day. I knew they had it upstairs in the kids' section, but I also knew their lighting section was downstairs. So I thought I'd breeze through the "shortcuts," grab the lamp, and get right out of there. Right. That particular lamp isn't stocked downstairs, only upstairs. And that first floor is a maze. I had to go all the way back to the front, go upstairs, get the lamp, then wend my way all the way back to the checkout area. It took me 45 minutes to buy a lamp. Of course, I did pick up a couple packs of napkins on my way through, but still.
March 25 is fast approaching. It's a curious day in our house. It is/was Charlie's due date, and it is also Roman's "gotcha day" - well, the day the judge ruled us fit to be Roman's parents. I thought since Charlie's been home and we've been settling in, this date wouldn't matter much. But it really does. I think we were much more capable than most people to do the "NICU" thing, having experienced an adoption "wait period" before. But with Charlie's situation I have anger, which surprised me. While I'm certainly glad he's here and healthy, there's a part of me that thinks I got cheated. I know, most women would say the third trimester is no fun anyway. But we didn't get a normal arrival. The Norman Rockwell birth. And the more I think of Charlie's actual birth... straining to hear a cry, listening to the mutters of the nurses and doctor, needing to hear if everything was okay, and finally - a 10 second look into an incubator before he was wheeled away. I didn't get to hold him. I didn't get to touch him. All my daydreams of cuddling a newborn, whispering to him, grinning up at Doug... no. And the closer Charlie's due date gets, the madder I am that I didn't get that.
And the closer Roman's Gotcha Day comes, the more I think about that too. We don't celebrate it at our house; his birthday is the significant day, although I'm sure we'll mention it at dinner. But whenever there's an adoption anniversary of some sort - the day we received his referral, the first day we saw him, court day - I reflect on his situation. Now, and what it would have been like had he stayed in Russia. Hm. So I've been doing a lot of pondering lately.
Luckily, the swim season has official started and I'm still inputting the time trials and lineups for the meets, as well as some other minor paperwork. So that will keep me busy, assuming I can stay awake!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday was an outstanding day. Our friends from the Flint area (Flushing, specifically - I don't know if they want to be equated with Flint!) came to visit. They have 3 kids who Roman loves to see; he plays well with their middle child. Their youngest, Sarah (one week older than Roman), could not wait until she had baby Charlie in her arms. They warned us, too - be prepared, because Sarah wants to get ahold of that baby! She held him just fine, as did their oldest. It was a fun afternoon. We were exhausted, though, after they left. Really, the most activity our house has seen since Charlie was born, I think.
Monday brought me shopping with a gift certificate to JCP from Christmas. I finally have a pair of jeans that fit, and 2 mid-weight sweaters that will take me through May. So I cleaned out the majority of my saggy-baggy maternity clothes today. Will put them on Ebay next Fall when they are in season again. There are still a couple items I wear a bit, as my tummy just isn't where it used to be. Today I had another one of those "funk" days. I wasn't in a bad or sad mood, I just kept forgetting what I had planned to do, and yet got some things accomplished. The clothes in the closet, like I mentioned. Even began reading a book. But I didn't call my HR department like I've been meaning to for days. Oh well.
Charlie is doing great. We had to switch his formula again due to what appeared to be painful gas and definitely greenish poop. We are now on Enfamil (he was drinking the preemie version for awhile) and today he is fine. His gas, while still there, doesn't appear to make him uncomfortable and his poos are back to normal. Roman has been catching up on sleep. We've put him to bed at 7:30 for the past two evenings and he has fallen immediately sleep, and he had to be woken up both mornings.
Coming the rest of the week: another visit to the eye doctor for Charlie on Thursday, I go see a movie with ladies from church Thursday evening ("The Other Boleyn Girl" or whatever it's called) and I meet with my grad school advisor on Friday. You know that obstacle I mentioned that might come between me and working next year? That just might be finishing my grad classes. We'll see what options he puts forth and I'll expound on it later.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Things worked out well in the meeting with my boss. He had me scheduled for exactly what I need for next year, and in discussion with Doug we think that we can swing me still being part-time next year (even with some part-time daycare payments), and yet I will still be able to walk Roman to kindergarten and spend my mornings with Charlie. How's that for "having it all"?! I'm sure there will be some obstacle that will come up (best laid plans, and all that) but it looks like for now, God is delivering the perfect year for me next year. Except for having to find time to lesson plan and grade papers, and all that. :)
Roman was rescued this afternoon by a church family who is becoming better friends of ours - they have a son who just turned 4 and they live not even a mile from us. The mom called and asked if we wanted to send Roman their way for a couple hours. What a blessing! Roman gets to play with a friend, and Doug and I get some quiet time together. By that I mean, we're actually quiet. I'm typing, and he's eating chips-and-dip. Ahhh.
Went to a "Generation X" meeting at church last night, the first in hopefully many meetings of the young families in our church. There were 6 couples there, but a possible 15 that could be included in the definition of a "young family." I went by myself as we felt it was a little early to have a babysitter for Roman and Charlie, but there's another get-together next month that I think we will call a sitter for.
Lastly, we're working on tummy-time with Charlie to start building up those neck & back muscles. As the experts say, he doesn't like it at first - but then he at least stops yelling and has a "what the heck!" look on his face... as seen here.
He can actually lift his head a little, and by smearing his face across the stool he does actually turn it from side to side. Just not this day.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
And just like on those tv shows, there is room to add things in 3 of the 4 closets. Amazing. Out on the front deck currently is/are 3 bags of donation items, and on the curb is/are 2 bags of trash from these 4 closets. These are no ordinary bags, either - they are Doug's industrial-grade, 4-foot-high trash bags. I'm very pleased with myself. Lastly, a plug for the Vietnam Vets of America - in my area they collect donations and then sell them to retailers, and that's how they raise money for their organization. Very cool. Plus, they are in my neighborhood every day, and I can schedule a pickup the night before, even.
Roman and I had a teachable moment last night which was nice. As I was tucking him in bed he said, "I know how to spell cat - c-a-t." We then thought of rhyming words. Then I had a stroke of brilliance. "You know how to spell all those words," I said. He didn't believe me. I started with hat. I told him to just change the first letter, and he spelled h-a-t. Got a little grin. Then I said, "how about pat?" He thought for a minute, and then spelled it. We covered rat, sat, bat, & mat as well before he started getting silly. But he had a smile of accomplishment the whole time, and I hope perhaps we made a brain connection there.
Charlie is becoming an actual human as he gets closer to his due date. By this I mean, he doesn't sleep 20 hours anymore per day. He is consistently waking about an hour before his next bottle; a little bit hungry but easy to distract, alert & in a good mood. That's very nice. I know I need to take more pictures... perhaps today or tomorrow.
Lastly, a little about myself - I'm going to meet with my boss today to talk a little about the dilemma of next Fall; specifically, kids vs. work vs. part-time schedule. I just feel I need to clue him in as to the issues and maybe he can assist. Working part-time I know I am last on the priority list when it comes to schedules, but I also know I'm a good teacher & hopefully he'll want to keep me around if possible. Cross fingers. My former boss always had our schedules done by this point, but who knows where C. is currently.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
So the dr. said it was really okay that we weren't on the preemie formula as he obviously is doing well without it. We will continue the multivitamin drops in his formula once a day, and check in around the 19th of the month for his 2-month appointment. Got his second shot for prevention of RSV, and he will have to have one more.
While there, gathered the completed physical sheet and immunization record to be turned in to our school district for Roman. Can you believe it - the boy is going to start kindergarten in the Fall. Wow. He is oh-so-close to reading... he recognizes whole words that he has seen repeatedly, but not so great at sounding them out. Perhaps he will be a whole-word memorizer. Better to spell that way, in my opinion. He also can print his letters, even though he dislikes doing it - my boy is a gross-motor-skills kind of boy! While we missed the first 9 months of his life, it still amazes me how fast time has gone. Kindergarten. Wow.
He already has sat at the desk and played Han Solo. We also heard the most musical, lovely words any child can say - "I'm going to go play in my room!" YES! It didn't last long ("Will someone play with me?") but he really does like playing in there. We allowed his toy box to go in there too; figured as Charlie grows bigger, Roman will need a separate spot for his toys with little things, and just a place to get away from him.
My Dad also gave us an intriguing idea for finishing the basement ceiling; paint some paneling and screw them to the joists. Can be easily removed to check pipes, but will be a heck of a lot cheaper than a drop-ceiling. We'll see what spring brings... we're also talking about the concrete for a garage, finally.
Charlie has a ped. appointment this morning and of course I'll update as soon as we get some new stats!