Steve was in Florida for a few days and although practically everything else in my life is much harder when he is not home it is incredible to me how much tidier my house stays when he is absent. He made Patrick pancakes this morning and I am pretty sure that there is an eggshell - an honest to f.... ha ha ha ha OH MAN - a live action post. Steve just walked in from his breakfast-bar-in-progress project and asked, "What happened to my tape measure? It was right there"... he points... "when I left."
Right there being the center of the dining room table and when I left meaning last Thursday. As if a reasonable person would have kept an unused tape measure on a frequently used surface as a... what? A shrine? I rest my case. Steve just puts things down wherever and then he never thinks to pick them up until he needs them again. Of course, there are faults on both sides. While I am quite good (one might even say compulsive, if one was very rude) about picking things up; I never have any idea where I put them. So although I clearly remember taking the tape measure and later using it to see how tall Caroline is (still short) I have no idea where I put it after that. The garage? The bathroom? Caroline's dresser? You know, as many times as I have just typed that word in the past minute I am still unsure if it is right: I always say tape measure-r, like a thing that measures (a measure-er) constructed of tape; feel free to educate me.)
I took Edward and Caroline for the last of their four month vaccinations yesterday. I had been putting off the DTaP because my pediatrician said that is the one to which babies tend to react if they are going to have a problem with any of them and after the two month shots Edward was a high fever with a nasty rash surrounding a small speck of baby. Although I pride myself on my maternal detachment and my rational worldview I swear I have never been as close to Mrs Lovejoy as I was when I realized that I had authorized eight vaccines in one day and was directly responsible for turning my delicious Edward into a red, sweaty, screamy disaster. I am still pro-vaccine and I favor a planet in which no one dies from preventable disease but diptheria plus tetanus plus pertussis plus hep B plus polio... my god won't SOMEBODY think of the children?
Anyway, I gave them both a healthy slug of infant tylenol half an hour before the shot and I continued to give Edward a dose every four hours until bedtime and (deo volente) he seems to be fever, rash and scream free. I definitely think staggering the shots has been a good idea with him, and it probably doesn't hurt that he is five and a half months now and a good, I don't even know, eight pounds heavier than he was the last time. I was so anxious about this last set of vaccines; I'm glad he did not have the same reaction this time. Caroline, on the other hand is so congested she can't breathe. If I had realized at the time she has gotten Patrick's recently acquired camp cold I might have put the shots off again but I did not - so I did not. Fortunately, she is not the delicate flower young Edward seems to be.
Caroline is a menace. I put her down and she flips over and rolls until she can't roll any further. This is usually because has wedged her head under something; popular choices being the bouncy seat, the couch or an end table. Then she shrieks. However, sometimes she just gets her feet sandwiched and she will lie there grinning fiendishly at her own cleverness. Either way I say "Oh CAROLINE" a lot:
I just looked at this picture and realized that the entire front of her garment appears to be covered in slime. That appearance would be... true. Reflux-y babies are not tidy babies. And that blue thing is Steve's physical therapy whatsit, the stretchy thing he uses to exercise his knee. A trained forensics expert might be able to trace the line of drool extending from Caroline's chin down to the rubber loop and conclude that the baby had recently been chewing on it; perhaps while her mother tried to remember where she had put the camera. No comment.
Edward rolled over this morning. Back to stomach. Then he did it again. Although this is not his absolute first time doing so; it was the first time it looked like it was accomplished with any forethought. Prior to this Edward has been content to lie on his back and smile at things. When he felt the need for exercise he would keep his arms pinned rigidly to his sides and flail his legs. He looked just like the Lord of the Dance. He's a happy little thing.
They both are. They're good babies, and now that I have learned the rule of the 6:30 bedtime and the need to put them down for naps every two hours or so whether they are unconscious or not... they are remarkably easy.
Patrick was very excited about Caroline and Edward before they were born. When they arrived he was fascinated and proprietorial for about a month. Then he was SO TOTALLY OVER the babies and everything having to do with the babies and when he wasn't completely ignoring them he was lavishing me with praise about how good, how fantastically good I am with babies and didn't I want to take them... somewhere? somewhere else? so that he and his father could play? He mentioned that Sassy does not like babies because they always need someone to carry bottles upstairs for them (one task; Patrick has ONE task that we regularly ask him to do for Caroline and Edward and that is it: every now and then Steve asks Patrick to carry the evening bottle upstairs for Edward; and despite the infrequency and relative painlessness of the chore this is the first thing Patrick mentions when people ask how he likes being a big brother, "Well, I have to carry bottles around all the time for them..." - drama queen) and they cry when she is trying to watch one of her shows so she misses learning stuff. At first I was sympathetic. After all he had been an only child for a long time, naturally he would take a while to adjust. Then I noticed the way other children greeted their infant siblings after a long day at school or camp and I thought, huh. I could not think of the last time Patrick was actually friendly to Caroline or Edward; and most of the time he was downright crabby. So I told him to shape up and when that did not work I told him I was disappointed in him.
He was stung. "That's not a nice thing to say!" he told me, which is kindergarten-speak for "How dare you!"
I told him it was true.
We left it at that but I notice he has been going out of his way to talk to the babies lately. Part of it might be the fact that the are getting more interesting (Patrick finds it hilarious that Caroline scares the beejeesums out of me by disappearing so quickly - the more safety minded among you will be glad to know I finally brought the pack n' play back) but I think some of it has to do with my lecture. Which makes me feel all wise.
So Caroline is fine (but congested) and Edward is fine and Patrick is fine and Steve is fine (his knee seems to be doing quite well) but I am falling apart. I had a pinched ulnar nerve in my left hand that was bothering me so much I went to see a hand surgeon. He sent me to a nerve place and they tortured me. Literally. They put needles into the different muscles in my hand and then ran electricity to test how much it hurt. It was awful and if I could remember what it was called I would warn you to be very very certain you have nerve damage before blithely scheduling an... EEG, was it? Anyway, I hated it and a week or two later my hand felt better anyway. Then it started to hurt on the other side (the thumb rather than the pinkie) but I was too embarrassed to go back to the hand doctor again. So I am just wearing a brace and taking lots of ibuprofen and I hope this too will clear up on its own.
In a more dire development I noticed a painful lump in my breast yesterday. I assume I have a blocked duct and I have been pumping more on that side and I took a hot shower and tried to massage it but... yikes. It is worse and larger today. Do I need to see a doctor (I never know who to call, my OB or my family practice) do you think, or will it work itself out eventually?