Saturday, January 27, 2007

1/27/07 Night Trouble

A very, very bad night. Katrina was restless and up time and again, so many times I lost track. I kept giving her the pacifier, but she'd often lose it, or spit it out, minutes after. At 5:30am, after the umpteenth time of putting the pacifier back, I turned on the light to look at her, to be greeted by bright little eyes and a big grin. Great. Then she wouldn't nurse, just looking up at me and smiling. But I wasn't smiling back, I was dog-tired after constant sleep interruption. And she was up.

I carried her out to the family room, intensely frustrated and fearful. I just can't go through what I did with Gabriel that first year again, I just can't. I was up so, so many times during the night with Gabriel, and really up, like pacing him around downstairs, for hours, sometimes multiple times in one night. Those are practically traumatic memories, and I can't bear facing more months of that again.

I didn't want her waking the rest of the house up, so I tried to keep her from crying, but she'd get too wiggly. I wasn't about to pace her around, so I actually took her out for a drive. Not with the intention of putting her to sleep, but rather just keeping her out of the house for a while before everyone else was up.

Then I took her upstairs and did some laundry folding until she got fussy, then nursed her. Futile, she still wasn't hungry and only nibbled me uncomfortably. I didn't have all her usual accoutrements -- including the pacifier -- so swaddled her in a towel. (All our linens are in a big unfolded heap on our bed, as I had to wash everything in the linen closet to eradicate the ubiquitous construction dust.) I lay down next to her and shh'd her and rubbed her belly. She kept making noise and darting her eyes around the room, but to my amazement, she eventually calmed down enough that she drifted off and fell asleep. Wow, I actually got her to sleep another way!

But the night had taken its toll on her too. Later in the morning, after the boys were gone with Dave to Gabriel's gymnastics, she gave me the longest stretch of sleep yet, about 3 hours, during which I was unconscious too. I was so, so tired, especially since I'm still coming off that illness. But I don't want to sleep until noon. I want to sleep during the night, and be up during the day. I'm funny that way.

I didn't go anywhere today, and barely even got dressed. Dave went to work this afternoon, and I zombied through motions of giving the boys lunch and putting Julian in for a nap. It was a quiet afternoon, and I gave the boys an early dinner. Katrina cooperated the rest of the day, being very cute and making all sorts of funny new sounds, and went to bed with no problem.

I don't get it. Neither the attachment-parenting nor Babywise methods have worked as advertised. Why do I have babies who only go backward in wakeups, starting around this age? I dread the night now, and dread being tired all day tomorrow too. And I can't be. Tomorrow is Gabriel's birthday party, and then I have to finish packing for Tucson.

Yes, this will pass, but looking ahead, it's a long, long road.


Friday, January 26, 2007

1/26/07 A Day of Rest

Today I made of point of sleeping as much as possible during Katrina's fairly reliable morning nap. I won't feel like this whole fever thing is behind me until I go back to exercising again, but I should be able to tomorrow.

Now that I can look back on my fever episode, it's almost a traumatic memory. I was really, really sick, and suffered so many hours of a brutal fever without being able to lie down and rest. I spent the better part of a week in a fog, doing the very bare minimum needed to keep the household running and the family sustained.

And oddly, no one else got sick. In fact, despite all the pawing and in-your-face attention Katrina gets from her preschool-attending brothers, she's never been sick either, other than a stuffy nose for a few days.

This morning, I told Gabriel I was going to pick him up from pre-K, and he smiled at me, gave me a thumbs-up, and said, "Great, Mom." He's acting like such a real KID now!

I asked Tonya to keep Julian today, once again, because -- great news -- the electrician was here today and he couldn't nap upstairs. This really marks one of the very last steps. Yay! In fact, we could move in this weekend if not for my upcoming trip to Tucson, and Gabriel's birthday party on Sunday.

Katrina spent a lot of time today in the family room bouncer, with me and Gabriel. I put a bib on her today, hating how it looks, and how it gets in her face all the time. At the end of the day, her shirt was still soaked, but at least it was the same one.

If I find the time tomorrow, maybe I can go back to the Y....!


Thursday, January 25, 2007

1/25/07 Normal day?

97.8 this morning, and it held all day. I was almost nervous about checking my temperature, dreading the triple digits.

Music class was much better; teacher Danny had memorized the songs and was much more engaging. Still trouble with managing the time, but he seems responsive to suggestion, which I'll give him next time if he runs late again. Julian had a great time in class today, and sang the new songs in the car all the way home. I haven't played the Drum CD for him once yet. That's the trouble with being sick for a week, stuff like that falls through the cracks.

Kids Inc kept Gabriel all day, and I had Julian and Katrina all day. Katrina wasn't great today, lots of crying for reasons she wouldn't reveal to me.

I'm also getting worried about nighttime sleep -- after a great start, she's gone way backward and now sleeps for shorter stretches than she ever has. The Babywise book says a 3-month-old would now be sleeping 10-12 hours a night, having fallen into that naturally after dropping nighttime feedings. All she's done is added nighttime crying times. I usually get her back to sleep with the pacifier, but that's starting not to work, and is definitely starting a pacifier dependency that could be more of a curse than a blessing.

In some ways, it's a relief that she doesn't respond to being bounced around and rocked, or I could fall into doing that at 3am again, for months...oh please no. People say those nighttime moments end up being warm memories of you alone with your baby? How's this warm memory for you: I got up, got dressed into war clothes (sweatpants, sweatshirt, warm socks), tucked a small pillow under the sweatshirt to protect my chest, put earplugs in, and then alternately sat, stood, bounced, jumped, and swung a screaming Gabriel starting at around 1am. That's not what I call a good memory of being alone with my baby in the middle of the night.

Incredibly, Julian's nap and Katrina's only stretch of nap today coincided perfectly, allowing me to rest for a while. I even had time for breakfast afterward (at 3pm!) without being disturbed.

I spent some time upstairs with the two younger kids after Julian's nap, only got two crummy photos. Katrina had been wearing an adorable yellow corduroy blouse, but it got too wet from all the drool and spitup. This funky onesie from Spain was one of 4 she went through today. I hate bibs on babies, but this "fountain of youth" might well need it.

Julian LOVES smiling at Katrina.

This all gave me strength for skating tonight, which I wasn't going to miss even if I had to do it from a wheelchair. The rest and food didn't give me as much strength as I thought, as I got tired quickly, but I got into some good rhythms in practice after the lesson and felt OK about my unsteady back crossovers.

Under the worst possible photographic conditions, taken by, I'm sorry to say, the worst possible photographer, a photo still managed to get taken of my back crossover attempts. I wonder how they'll feel when my skates are broken in enough that I can lace them all the way? Right now, the ankles are completely unlaced.

Better yet, a video. Dave managed to catch one of my better moments without the helicopter arms. Still pretty darned shaky though!

Now I just have to gather myself for Gabriel's party on Sunday, and start preparing for mine and Katrina's trip to Tucson, also on Sunday.

Happy 5th Birthday Cousin Aidan!!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

1/24/07 The Conspiracy

99.7 this morning.

Today was another rare day Tonya took Katrina this morning, so I could go to Urgent Care for this persistent fever. We had cleaners coming, but that was OK: they'd be close to done when I'd get home, and then I'd get a precious baby-free REST until Katrina-pickup at 12:30.

That plan was complicated by our contractors coming this morning to whittle down the punchlist. Not a morning I really had time to mark out bathroom accessories, but I tried to swallow my aggravation. After all, when will they ever come back?

I went to Urgent Care and was seen pretty quickly. The doctor didn't find anything obviously wrong; a little nose and throat redness, but lungs and glands are clear. He said long fevers aren't usually viral and prescribed me an antibiotic.

Looking very forward to a solid hours' nap, I got home to discover that the cleaner was nowhere near done downstairs. Usually, it's a crew of two, but today it was just one lady, and she had at least an hours' worth of work to do downstairs. Usually then I'd nap upstairs, but the carpenters were here today! I was livid at this fate. Of ALL DAYS!

I ended up parking my car around the corner and trying to catch a few winks crumpled up in the driver's seat, furious at this awful confluence of circumstance hat tied up our upstairs and downstairs simultaneously.

When I picked up Katrina, she was all giggles and smiles, having had a great time at Tonya's. But she was clearly tired, and went down for a nice nap around 1pm, no complaining. But I still couldn't rest, because I was expecting our heating company to come check out why the kids' rooms are so cold and our room so hot upstairs. It was a 2-hour appointment window that wound up precisely coinciding with Katrina's nap. Again, no rest for me. My frustration was explosive. It was no one individuals' fault, but I was in desperate, desperate need to lie down and huddle under covers.

To make matters worse, the worst fever I've had yet started building this afternoon. I became so chilled and achy that all I could do this afternoon was sit around on the bed with baby. By evening, I was up over 103 and could barely move.

Dave took the boys out for dinner, and I tried to lie down for the tail end of another Katrina nap, which of course ended a few minutes later. Nursing her was excruciating because it meant peeling off layers, and I was really really chilled.

I was starting to get fearful, remembering articles I've read about people who die suddenly from mysterious bacterial infections. I've had temperatures before, but never any that lasted more than a few hours. For a long time there, I went years and years without a fever. They're more livable than I'd thought, as they're cyclical, and I'm almost getting used to a semi-feverish state of under 101 or so (and my normal temp is below 98 to start with). When a new one is building with chills, it's very hard to function. The down cycle of sweating is a lot easier to live with.

Finally this evening, this last temp broke and turned into a cold sweat, giving me enough energy just to type into this blog. Everything else has to wait: email, checking out the upstairs...even really enjoying my kids. I tried today to sit and talk with Gabriel while I warmed up with some tea, but couldn't concentrate and had to resort to a lot of "ohhh, I seeee" sorts of comments.

At least the contractors fixed my tub jets, yay! And the heat guy did balance the heat system upstairs, also a good thing. And, the house, while not clean, is under control. So in the end, I'm glad all the people working here today got done what they did. But couldn't they have arranged it a little less perfectly to prevent me from resting?

Gabriel's tried underpants the last 3 nights, the last two if which, he's been dry!!

I'm down to 100.5 now, a nice break after the misery of this afternoon. At least I distracted myself a little with pictures. And there is nothing like my beautiful baby's smile to cheer me up.

Katrina is starting to make the funniest sounds! And, some really funny facial expressions, sucking her whole lower lip in, for instance. This is so much like what Gabriel did as a baby that it's almost surreal. She has more energy and less focus than he did, but the similarities are still overwhelming. Everyone says they're all different -- let's hope so!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

From worse to better

No photos AGAIN today?! Worthless!

Last night was busy busy, getting Katrina's things ready for a morning at Tonya's, so that Dave and I could meet with our estate lawyer. Since Katrina didn't give me a moment yesterday to pump, I tested formula on her last night. Nothing doing. So amidst all the other preparations last night, I managed to pump, but not enough for a whole morning. I hate pumping, and it hates me too. I set up the pump so that I could sneak in first thing in the morning and pump before Katrina woke up.

Going to bed was more of the same: shivering and difficulty falling asleep with a temp hovering around 102. But that wasn't the worst of it: every time I started to fall asleep, I was woken with coughing. (After all, what would a Noemi illness be if it doesn't include a serious cough?)

After 3 hours, I finally took my strong, strong cough medicine, which knocked my cough -- and me -- flat and let me sleep. At 6am I woke up, baby was asleep, perfect opportunity to pump the rest needed for the morning. I felt absolutely awful and freezing and tired in indescribable ways, dragging out of bed for the decidedly unpleasant procedure. The things we do for our babies!

Sitting pumping, I was hit with a wave in my head, fought it, then next thing I knew, I was on the floor with a bloody nose. The next thing I knew after that was Dave trying to rouse me from a back-lying position. I must have turned the pump off and repositioned myself after passing out, pitching forward, and face-planting on the cushy rug. I was too weak to stand up or really use my arms, but I managed to sort of crawl back to bed while Dave took care of the boys.

On top of it, Dave got a phone call from his Aunt Helen that Dave's father is in the hospital, and has been for 5 days! Dave called Laura and told her too, further adding to our morning complications.

At 8am, Katrina was still asleep, and I had juuuust enough time to try pumping again before we had to leave at 9 to make our appointment. This time I was dead-tired, but not about to pass out.

Despite this, we made it to our lawyer appointment, and it was very productive. It actually felt good to be concentrating and thinking and holding a conversation without always having an ear tuned for baby.

And I still had a 101 temperature.

When we got home, I had a rare opportunity to really, really sleep, until Dave returned with Katrina and Gabriel around 1pm. A nice solid hour and a half of sleep made such a big difference, I haven't had that in days.

And when Dave brought my baby home this goodness! Was she ever in a good mood! I think she loved being at Tonya's with all the kids to watch and all the things to smile at. She was positively beaming, which is exactly what I needed. Then she napped soundly all afternoon, allowing me more rest. Thank heavens. I needed it, since from 5pm on, it was nonstop work taking care of dinner and kids and getting the house ready for the cleaners tomorrow. Figures they'd come on a rare day I won't have any kids here, but I will be so happy to see upstairs start to look like home again.

Through all this, my temp went up over 103, then dipped to 100, but never went away.

Tomorrow, Tonya will take Katrina for the morning, Julian all day, and Gabriel will be at Kids Inc in the morning. This gives me a chance to go to Urgent Care without the dreadful prospect of a long waiting-room wait with a grumpy unsoothable baby. Three days and four nights of temperature is enough.

Last I checked I was at 101. But it was still a good day.


Monday, January 22, 2007

1/22/07 More awful day

I burned with a fever all night, and woke up shivering, but feeling a little better. Still, the thermometer reported a 101 temp. We arranged to have the boys in daycare all day, and I planned to rest every second Katrina slept.

Which amounted to about 45 minutes total, and full of interruptions at that. More of the same from last night: she just would not nap today. A short nap in the morning, but then she was up from 11:30am - 5pm, minus two 10-minute car snoozes (one deliberate out of desperation). I couldn't believe it. That's less than toddlers sleep! Why does she pick the days I'm sick to do this?! I got desperate enough to drive her down and nurse her to sleep, neither of which worked.

By 5pm she finally caved, and thankfully Dave picked the boys up so I could squeeze in a few minutes...only to be interrupted by the demands of dinner and little boys. On top of it, the fever returned in the evening, and it remains as I type (going on 48 hours now). I hate my life -- I just can't take care of myself in even the smallest way, and I can't enjoy my gorgeous little bundle of energy. I managed to squeeze in some phone calls today, but I kept wandering and sounding incoherent, not to mention coughing, and gave up on that.

Tomorrow morning, we're planning for Tonya to take Katrina and Julian for a meeting with a lawyer to finalize our estate plan. We haven't cancelled, but two things stand in the way. One, I'm still sick. Two, Katrina would not take a bottle of formula tonight, which I'd counted on so that I could pump tonight (as finding 20 contiguous minutes to pump today was impossible). Three, we're not really prepared for this meeting. C- for us. But, if Reasons One and Two line up, we're going, Reason Three or not. We'll never do this otherwise.

Gabriel pulled out his Gabriel-ness tonight, refusing to go pee and wash his hands before dinner. He was threatened numerous times with going upstairs straight to bed (that's the rule if they claim they're too tired to sit down to dinner), but continued to refuse, even as I pulled him up the stairs. Of course he wouldn't stay in bed, so I locked him in to make the point -- he didn't realize we could do that again. But then he started throwing things at the door and trashing his room. He got a nice spank for that. Then he'd say he was ready, I'd take him to the batrhoom, and he'd refuse once again. This impasse went on for about half an hour, until he finally, finally gave in and agreed to go pee and wash his hands, and sat down to dinner. Which he ate all of.

This was a clear-cut case of the same old thing of seeking conflict and resisting for the sake of resisting. A rational kid who claims he wants dinner and to be reunited with his Teddy Bear waiting for him in the dining room would have simply done what we asked. Going pee and washing hands is something they have to do every night, it's not like this was some horrible new imposition. It's also the part of the day I hate the most, since it always, always takes work to get them to cooperate. Often I can make it fun and often they'll just do it happily, but much of the time, it's hard to wrench them away from playing (yes I give them advance notice which does no good at all), and then there are the times like tonight that Gabriel takes it on as a project to resist. I really didn't need that from him today.

I'm's easier to sit here and type than it is to get ready for tomorrow! But incredibly, Katrina has been asleep for about 20 minutes.

no photos today.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

1/21/07 Another wasted Sunday

I woke up this morning around 2am, uncomfortably cold. An extra blanket didn't help, and then I realized: I'm not cold from the outside, I'm chilled from the inside. I was half-awake the rest of the night with a temperature, which persisted all day and evening. My teeth and ears ache, I'm alternately hot and cold, I've had excruciating headaches (not migraines though, a blessing -- it is different)...and it continues even now.

But of course, life goes on. Babies don't understand that Mom is sick. Dave did most little-boy childcare today, taking the boys to Bobbi's for breakfast, putting Julian down for a nap and entertaining them the rest of the day, plus some time walking a fussy Katrina around outside. Still, I can't just stay in bed and feel sorry for myself all day, not when I'm nursing an energetic 3-month-old.

Katrina (and I) really needed to get out, so our one outing was a walk to Starbucks (oh joy). I put her in our regular stroller for the first time -- it is so much better than the snap-n-go! Julian was very cooperative -- his only time today -- and it gave Dave some time off from the two. One or the other boy is fun, but together...ugh. Still.

Gabriel discovered even and odd numbers today, starting from miscounting 9 eyelets on his sneakers. This led to a discussion about the difference between even and odd, and from there he was mostly getting them right when quizzed -- even large numbers in the 1000s. Mostly, he gets really excited about being asked. I'm not sure how he figures it out; he certainly thinks about it, but doesn't seem to know yet about the easy way to tell. The concept is certainly there though.

Katrina is juuust starting to grab things, and tonight, even attempt to put them in her mouth. Mostly, her hand gets hooked on something and then she puts her hand to her mouth, but you can see the wheels turning.

Her wheels turned way, way too much tonight. She hasn't done this in weeks, but she was full of energy and showed no signs of wanting to go to bed tonight -- on a night that I had been waiting for hours to lie down and huddle feverishly under blankets. The time I had mastitis, the same thing happened. It is so frustrating to have to wait for so, so long just to lie down when you're feeling so, so bad! As I type, she is finally asleep, thanks to Dave, and I just took a nice warm bath. But I'm still cold and chilled. This fever hasn't broken all day. This is not a good time. We have numerous appointments and commitments this week, not to mention Gabriel's birthday party and my trip to Tucson on Sunday.

So I'd better quit typing and just get to bed. Apologies to the many people who sent email and I haven't answered.