Two Fridays ago Eric had foot surgery to repair an ankle so damaged that they found broken pieces of bone and the ligaments on one side were no longer really attached to anything. It was an injury he obtained at a younger age, but had wanted to correct for a number of years. In fact, when we would just go for walks in our neighborhood, the slightest unevenness would cause him to roll his ankle if he wasn’t paying attention.
When he found out his insurance would be changing he took the plunge and scheduled a visit with a doctor who recommended surgery and got him scheduled.
Unfortunately for me, his surgery took place at the end of February, just a couple weeks after Avery’s back surgery. So she’s still recovering and requires a little bit of extra help, and now my hubby is out of commission too. So not only is he not able to help with the babies, he also needs help himself.
I will say, it has been a little bit stressful at home. I’m starting to find a rhythm and things are getting better, plus now Eric’s becoming a little more self-sufficient now that his pain is managed and he’s figuring out how to get around and to better take care of himself. At first it was so incredibly hard being nurse to two and mommy to two (Avery in the overlap), but each day gets a little easier (with the help of a LOT of prayer.. mostly for patience).
Aria is a little frazzled by all of the changes, between Avery and Eric’s extra requirements and now bedtimes and mealtimes are a little different, and mommy is the only one chasing her around and taking her places and reprimanding her bad behavior (Eric will verbally enforce but can’t pick her up so can’t do any physical punishments like putting her in timeout, etc.). It may have taken a toll on her behavior as she has gotten multiple negative behavior reports this week. I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. We had a talk last night and I told her she needs to be a good girl at school, and I’m trying to help her see that listening to instruction is beneficial (and can be fun.. like cooking or learning something new) while not listening means reprimands.
Funny thing, at home she is actually being pretty good. She’s been helping me with preparing dinner, she LOVES to take care of her little sister, and she’s been just an all-around help for the most part. We’ve had a few rough moments, but in general she’s actually a pretty good girl. And it’s not like she’s suffering from not enough attention, we go for walks or play outside most evenings, she went to the park for an entire afternoon with most of her cousins and her sister, and she’s having a pretty good spring. (The monkey is all about climbing right now)
And she really does adore her sister.. in the mornings before being dropped off at school she wants to just sit and hold Avery’s hand. Avery seems to really enjoy the attention. And she makes sure Avery has toys, and tells me if Avery is crying and needs a bottle (which she sometimes tries to make herself).
I think her favorite part of her daddy’s whole “boo boo” situation is that she gets a free ride around the house whenever he’s on the move. She throws a fit if he goes somewhere without her, because she loves to catch a ride on his kneeling scooter thing.
Bedtime has been a little different, but she really gets excited when I tell her Avery’s going to read books with us. I put Avery on the beanbag chair and Aria sits in my lap and we read books and it’s very sweet.
Last night when I was reading, Aria went over and was showing Avery how to put shapes in a shape sorter. She would stick the shape in the hole so that it was just sitting there not quite all the way in yet, and then she would take Avery’s hand and make her push it the rest of the way in. Then she would applaud her. It was so cute.. my phone was dead or I would have taken a picture.
She’s actually participating in prayers more now too. When I say her bedtime prayer for her (I say it from her perspective), she actually repeats everything as I’m saying it. Then we both say a very fervent “Amen!” at the end together.
So while things are different, I’m just not entirely sure why she’s acting up at daycare
Avery on the other hand has figured out she can manipulate me. She just loves being held, cuddled, snuggled, kissed, adored… She can play by herself as long as someone is nearby and she’s not all alone in a room, but she prefers to be held most of the time. I just can’t manage that, though, so she ends up on the play mat on the floor or in her bouncer seat in the kitchen and she generally tolerates it most of the time. But at bedtime she demands my full attention. So after Aria is in bed Avery’s bedtime routine includes washing her stitches on her back, cleaning her helmet, and then whatever else depending on time or dirt (like a full sponge bath or not). Then we usually read a couple little baby books, some of which she gets SO excited over, like the ones with flaps that open and show something different underneath. Then we cuddle and she has her last bottle of the night. When she falls asleep I flip her over and she drools on my shoulder. It’s very sweet. It’s the only me-time I really get during the day, because she will just snuggle there and I can read or watch something on my tablet and no one bugs me during that time.
When I’m sure that she’s sated and snoring and I’m ready to go finish off the night (like dishes or laundry or general cleaning up or preparing lunches or getting ready for bed or whatever is left to be done) then I go to lay her down in bed.
And that’s where the trouble has started. It used to be that I could lay her down and she would be done for the night. Lately she’s started waking up as soon as I lay her down and then I have to hold her more and try again. Or she might go down but then wake up an a few hours later and I have to try again. She’s figured out that I will tend to her if she cries… because I have to. As she’s still recovering, part of the limitations were that she can’t cry. At least not hard crying. It apparently puts the wrong kind of pressure on her spine, which we’re trying to heal, so along with no sitting up or standing or straining to poop, she’s not allowed to cry. And therein lie my troubles.
The last couple of nights she woke up and I let her cry as long as it was just fussing and whimpering, but when it became more forceful I would go try to comfort her. But then she would just get louder and louder until I ended up picking her up and holding her. I tried snuggling her in the rocking chair, and she would instantly fall asleep on my shoulder, but when I would lay her back down her eyes would pop open and she’d start crying again. I tried feeding her more, repeated snuggles then attempts and placing back in her own bed, but kept failing miserably. So I did what any exhausted mother in the middle of the night would contemplate but probably not actually do… I brought her to bed. I tucked her in between Eric and myself, made sure she safe from being smothered by the blankets, and then passed out. And or course she would sleep perfectly, pressed against my side, through the entire remainder of the night.
When she’s allowed to cry again I think we’re going to have to work on sleep training. Poor baby’s just going to have to cry, because she needs to be able to sleep in her own bed. Even if she is the cutest snuggle in the entire world.
So with Eric’s surgery at the end of February, the total came to four surgeries within seven months, one for each member of the family: my c-section, Aria’s tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, Avery’s cord de-tethering and Eric’s foot reconstruction. I’m sure our insurance company LOVES us right now, and we still have at least one more surgery to go in just a few months!
Eric and I are both bundles of nerves, for a few reasons. Both of us are nervous about Avery’s procedure tomorrow. Every time I think about her spine, and moving her, and feeding her, and burping her, and changing her diaper, and her spine… I just get squeamish, and think about the opening that will be there… I just… Ugh.
So at least there is something else causing some of my nerves which can help alleviate the nervous fear of that, and that’s work. I have to give a ginormous presentation to the entire sales organization next Friday, and it makes me tremble to think about. Two hours of me talking about stuff that I’ve been doing research on for the last few months! What if people ask questions I can’t answer? What if my data is wrong or I interpreted it wrong? What if I mess up while super high ups are on the call listening? Again, ugh.
Eric is nervous for similar reasons. So he’s also nervous about Avery but while Avery is having her procedure tomorrow he will be reading a Bible passage for his friend’s funeral, in front of lots of people, which is his biggest fear. He said he has to worry about not only not being nervous but also keeping it together, and I think he’s a tiny bit terrified.
What’s with all this public speaking while trying to not think about a teeny tiny baby having her spine dissected and surgically altered?
So yeah, ugh.
Pain in the Butt #1:
My cute adorable little toddler is such a stinker sometimes, but we all already knew this.
I was taking a shower in the bathtub in the main bathroom and found that quite a bit of my hair was coming out. Having recently given birth and rarely washing my hair anymore, clumps were sticking to my fingers as I combed the conditioner through my locks. In an effort to reduce the amount of strands washed down the drain, and there to clog said drain, I began to plaster the strands to the wall so I could throw it all into the trash when I stepped out.
Aria wandered in, saw me in the shower, and proclaimed, “Aria shower! Shower with mommy!”
I reluctantly allowed her in, grieving the loss of the closed shower doors (she likes to leave them open) and the warmth that escaped in a breath. She plugged the tub, capturing the soapy water that began to swirl around our ankles. She splashed, she spun, she sortof let me wash her hair as she wandered aimlessly around the tub.
Then Aria looked up and screamed, “EEW!! Eeew eeew eeew!!” I followed her gaze and saw her looking in horror at the spidery mess on the wall.
Other recent antics include wanting to change the movie in the DVD player over and over again. She is able to do it all herself, will go and get a movie from the case (she recognizes them by their cases, she knows which ones are which), take the movie out, eject whatever movie is currently in the player, puts the new one in, puts the ejected one away in its correct case and back in the movie stand thingy, and will watch for approximately 2 min before wanting to do it all over again. The only thing she can’t do quite yet is start a movie that requires the remote control. The DVDs will start automatically, so she, literally, is completely self sufficient and doesn’t need any adult shmadults.
This becomes frustrating when, oh say, you’re trying to watch something on tv, like a football game, and she decides she’d rather watch a singalong video, and she and her father are RACING to the tv to see who can get to it first. I personally find this incredibly amusing.
For some completely unknown reason when I put her to bed it takes a million times longer than when her father does. Together we say our prayers, read books, put on our PJs and lotion and chapstick (mouth breather, always wakes up with cracked lips unless enough stuff is put on her lips before bed), sing songs, give lots of hugs and kisses and then she still cries and yells after me the names of songs she still wants sung, or asking for more hugs or kisses.. When Eric puts her down she is completely content after the 5 to 10 min he spends with her then leaves her tucked in and happy with no crying or yelling. So unfair.
Pain in the Butt #2:
My sweet, precious, oh so cute little baby is sooo patient and calm. One would never think she could be a pain in the butt. But no, she can be. For example, the bar that connects her shoes is off for now because she keeps kicking her shoe off by using the bar as leverage, and instead of spending the whole day re-buckling and re-tying her shoe, we’ve been told to just leave the bar off until we see the doctor again. She is SO excited to have freedom of her feet and they just kick constantly. Like at 5 in the morning. She apparently wasn’t hungry yet, because not a peep came from her mouth. No, we were just awoken with a very rhythmic, thunk thunk! … thunk thunk! … thunk thunk! It would last for awhile then I would groggily turn on the vibrate and music on the bassinet, and that would lull her for a bit, then it would start up again. This went on until I finally dragged myself out of bed and got us ready for the day. Ugh, so tired. Stinker.
But she’s soooooooooooo cute, and that smile just makes you instantly forgive her. And really, who can blame her for reveling in her new found freedom.
Pain in the Butt #3:
An actual pain. No really, I have a pain in my butt. The dermatologist took a suspicious looking mole for biopsy. So my butt hurts.
Pain in the Butt #4:
The hubby. Often of an evening I’ll ask him to put Aria to bed, or will give him the list of things I still need to do, and he’ll take over some portion of that list. Last night I rattled off things I still needed to accomplish and how tired I was (a little under the weather) and jokingly asked if he could pump for me. I’m so tired of pumping. Well he never actually signed up for any of the nightly activities and went about cleaning or whatever he was doing. I was a bit peeved and huffily took Aria up for a bath and to put her to bed. A tiny bit pissy the whole time.
Well once she was tucked away I came back downstairs and Eric was holding Avery, had just fed her, and also showed me one of the pump bottles with something in it. He said, “I pumped, but this is all that came out.”
It was slightly brown and viscous. I was very very wary of what was in the bottle, and while appreciative that he had fed the baby, I still had to take her up and top her off because she was clearly not sleepy yet. Not to mention I still had to pump.. ugh.
I asked, “what’s in the bottle?” and his response was repeatedly, “I pumped! You asked me to pump and I did! Aren’t you happy?”
So, while a bit less pissy, I was still frustrated that I still had to put the baby to bed and pump.. I just wanted to go to sleep already.
Once all that was done, I came back down and was going to go wash bottles and pump parts for the next day. But Eric had already washed everything. Ok, I was no longer pissy.. but what was in that bottle???
I opened it. It was sweet smelling. “Eric! Did you put syrup in here??”
Yesterday I made fajitas for dinner. Eric was standing there putting his together, but suddenly he turned to me and struck a pose, like a body builder. Then he turned back and continued what he was doing. I looked at him quizzically, but when it was my turn to make my fajitas I saw why.
*Sigh*… He cracks me up.
Eric apparently caused a ruckus in the neighborhood today. He had put all of the wood packing materials that came with the baby’s furniture outside, with the regular branches and wood for fires, but it had drawn some mites or something. He decided he’d rather burn and destroy this stuff instead of bagging it up and bringing it and its infestation into the house (garage), which I completely agree with.
So he got out the fire pit and started burning this stuff, which apparently caused a bit of smoke because it was damp or rotten or something.
He said he sat out there for two hours in the heat monitoring this stuff, before deciding it had burned down low enough, and was no longer smoking, so that he could go inside and work on hanging curtain rods in the baby’s room.
The baby’s room has the absolute best view in the entire house of the backyard, and so he could see down at the fire pit and that it was fine, but at some point he was not near the window and when he looked back the fire had been put out and there was water on the ground. He had literally been inside for less than five minutes when this happened.
Eric ran outside to find out why one of our neighbors would trespass to put out our fire, only to discover a fire engine out front. Apparently a lady down the street had seen the smoke, asked the UPS delivery guy if we were home, to which he had answered that no one answered the door when he delivered packages (because Eric was outside at that time, monitoring the fire), and she had noticed that Eric’s car, which is usually so prevalent right in front of our house, was gone (because I had driven it to work). So she did the neighborly thing and called the fire department because clearly our house was on fire and we weren’t home.
So Eric had to explain to the chief why he was burning something, clarify that he hadn’t actually done anything wrong because it was in an enclosed fire pit (with the screen cover on), and was technically being monitored if you exclude the minute or so he took his eyes off of it.
Eric did talk to that neighbor and thanked her for caring enough to check and call, and it sounds like he had a chat with the other neighbors as well, with the one two doors down yelling over, “Eric? Are you still outside? Just wanted to make sure you were keeping an eye on your fire” and such.
It’s funny that while he’s at home during the day so much is going on. It’s like an episode of Housewives or something, except I know that most of them are men, which makes it all the more interesting.
So now Eric has to figure out what to do with his soppy wooden mush mess.
I sincerely hope she has Eric’s sense of humor. Or maybe a combination of our senses of humorosity.
Yesterday, as I come in the door, finally home from work –
Eric: “We’ve been robbed”
Eric: “Yeah, two Toaster Strudels are missing”
Lisa: “Actually only one”
Eric: “Oh. False report”