Thursday, June 30, 2011

Super-Duper... Pooper

So, in the never-ending saga of Chloe's intestines (please see this post if you are behind) there are updates.  Let's talk about the medicine first and then I'll bring you up to date... here is how it went:

Week 1: Medicine given every 4 hours, happiness descends upon the Castrucci household.  Chloe's gas comes without scrunchy red face and frog legs.  Bowel movements are every once in a while instead of every time she passes gas.

Week 2: Medicine given every 4 hours.  Bowel movements become something of a topic in the Castrucci house (Chloe's bowel movements) since they are becoming rare.  She moves to once a day with lots of straining and seemingly pain for that one movement.

Week 3: Mommy learns from Dr. Google that one of the side effects of the medicine can be constipation so she moves from every 4 hours to more of an as needed basis.  Slowly Chloe's painful gas seems to return and then disappear.  Passing gas is less, bowel movements are more.

Week 4: Chloe's grandparents (my parents) come to visit.  Mommy spends time showing them how cute Chloe's Buddha belly is and Maga (also known as grandma - or na-na to Monkey at the moment), after exclaiming it is cute, wonders if the Buddha belly is in fact a distended stomach.  Mommy, feeling supremely guilty that she has been thinking the distended belly was so cute, realizes it has been over 24 hours since Chloe has had a bowel movement and calls the pediatrician (which has two physicians, one we like and one we don't).  Of course, the one we don't like calls back and basically wonders why she is being bothered for a baby with gas.  Mommy is breastfeeding so Daddy performs an English-to-English translation so that Mommy can be part of the conversation.  The pediatrician is not concerned about the distension because it comes and goes (along with the gas) and says that babies can go 24-48 hours without a bowel movement.  However, she says if we are concerned we can:
  • Put Vaseline on our finger and gently insert it into her anus (pediatrician assured Daddy she meant the pinkie finger and Mommy assured Daddy that most people's pinkies are MUCH smaller than his), or
  • Put Vaseline on a Q-tip and gently insert that into her anus, and
  • If she still doesn't have a movement within the next day to get glycerin suppositories and use those every 12 hours until she has a bowel movement.
(As an aside, I did read all of that on Dr. Google so maybe it isn't so useless).  Anyway... after dithering for some time (and yes, I did just use the word "dithering".... maybe we should bring it back to everyday language) and talking to the grandparents, we decided to try the Q-tip.

It just so happens that Grandpa is also a physician so Mommy asked Grandpa to be the bearer of the Q-tip.  After Mommy apologized profusely, Grandpa did the deed and Chloe didn't even blink.  Nothing happened (not that I thought something would happen right away) so we gave Chloe her medicine and I fed her.  She actually slept through last night (which of course meant I was up at least 3 times making sure she wasn't dead) until I finally woke her at 6:15 AM because my breasts couldn't take it any longer.

There was still no bowel movement so on the way to the airport Mommy stopped at Walgreen's and purchased the glycerin suppositories.  Mommy dropped Maga and Grandpa off at the airport and went home.  At home, Chloe went to her swing so she could watch some TV (I know, fabulous parenting) while Mommy did a few things.  While she was watching TV Chloe made a pooping face (come on, even if you don't have children you know what I'm talking about), but Mommy didn't count on it being anything but an attempt.

Chloe got a little fussy in her swing so Mommy decided she would feed her and then put her down for a nap.  She picked Chloe up from the swing and wondered why Chloe's bottom felt so cold.  She then wondered why it felt squishy as well and she looked down at the swing.  The swing was covered (well one area was covered) with baby poop and so was Chloe.  Mommy took Chloe upstairs, laid 3 blankets on the changing table and put Chloe on top of them.  She peeled off Chloe's onesie and rolled it up to get it over Chloe's head without getting any mess on her face (yes, ewww).  Mommy then had to perform an archaeological dig to search for the missing diaper tabs before she could take off the diaper.  And because of the sheer volume, Mommy just gave up and wiped Chloe down with one of her blankets.  Mommy filled the tub and scrubbed down her little girl.  Meanwhile, Chloe smiled through the entire process.  Then Mommy fed Chloe and now she is sleeping.

So, here are the morals of this story:
  1. Dr. Google can be just as informative as your pediatrician (and sometimes nicer).
  2. If your baby needs to poop, use a Q-tip with Vaseline or go ahead and buy suppositories - I'm not sure which one did it.
  3. If you can get someone else to insert the Q-tip... do so.
  4. Into each mother's life poop must come... and come... and come... so get used to it.
And because I know why you really read my blog (it's to get at the pictures, just admit it, I'm okay with it) here is a photo we (my, Maga, and Grandpa) took today:

(Chloe hadn't yet pooped and I think Evan was just confused because I took a picture with my mom's phone, my camera, and Grandpa was taking pictures as well)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Programming

Look what the networks brought back for the summer (you may remember the original program - scroll down on the page):

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chloe is Growing Up

When Chloe was born I had forgotten how small babies are.  When Chloe came home from the hospital I had forgotton how precious sleep is with a newborn.  And as each day passes I had forgotton how quickly little babies grow up.

Just a few weeks ago this was Chloe:

And that was pretty much the extent of her activty - folding her hands across her chest and looking out in to space.

Here is Chloe at 6 weeks old:

She is alert, looking around, and awake more and more during the day (and less and less at night).  Still waiting for her entire personality to emerge but little pieces are coming out here and there (like she is definitely opinionated).

And she apparently has a high tolerance for annoyances (we call this one Buddha Chloe):

Monday, June 20, 2011

One of My Perks

When I have to fill out forms (which thankfully isn't that often) under "Occupation" I put "Stay At Home Mom."  And like all jobs there are some parts of my job that aren't fun (like cleaning poopy diapers or being constantly ignored when you tell someone "no"), but I also have some perks.  Granted, my perks don't let me stay in a 5 star hotel or travel first class, but I think having a little man look at you with love and adoration and say "Momma" is a pretty good perk.

Since we have moved to this house I have a new and fabulous perk.  I get to eat breakfast every morning with my little man on our screened in porch.

Yesterday Monkey had French toast, strawberries, and milk (the cofffee is mine). 

He sat in his chair (which is odd since outside he usually sits on the table and gives me many heart attacks as he gets "this close" to falling off - and has fallen off a few times), used his fork, and shoveled in his food. 

While he ate, I got to enjoy the birds singing and the views:

Not bad for living in the middle of the city. 

Even though I had to make his breakfast, monitor his eating, and clean up afterwards, this is a perk I look forward to every morning (no matter how humid it is on a June morning in Atlanta.... and that would be VERY humid).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Yesterday, when I asked Brian what he wanted to do for Father's Day all he said was "sleep in."  So, I tried.  I swear I tried.  I made sure Chloe fed early so that when Evan woke up I would get him.  And this worked.  Then Evan had a dirty diaper that I had to change or he was going to start feeling around in it and we went upstairs.  Once on the changing table Evan started showing off his new favorite thing - screaming as loud as he can a a decible so high that I'm surprised humans can even hear it.  Oddly enough, this woke up Brian so I made him French Toast, we gave him his gift of a customized photo frame, and he chose to go to the fountains for his morning.

Here is what it looked like (and excuse the crappy photos but unless someone wants to buy me a new camera for the Fourth of July or Evan's birthday or Labor Day... we are stuck with this one until my birthday in November or maybe even Christmas):

And of course Chloe was there as well:

Then we came home, put Evan down for his nap, Brian packed up and he was off to his office and then DC.  And I was alone with the two kids.  And, I think I did pretty well.  Chloe was awake while Evan slept.  Then she went to sleep and Evan woke up.  He and I had a snack, cleaned the sofas, made a fort, ate dinner, and almost had a bath but then Chloe woke up and needed to be fed.

Evan only had a minor meltdown when I put him to bed and I just got Chloe back to sleep.  Brian will land soon in DC and I'm on until Tuesday.  Thankfully Evan makes my job joy-filled (but not always easy).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Apparently There Is Medicine For That

So, my little 6 week old girl sufers from gas and has almost from the beginning.  And I don't mean cute little baby gas.  This girl passes gas like a trucker (no offense to truckers, I just assume since you all are alone a lot and eat diner food a lot then there might be a lot of gas passing going on in the cab).  While that might sound cute (to the completely deranged) what isn't cute is how difficult it was for her to pass gas.  He face would scrunch up and turn red, her little legs would start pulling and pushing to and from, her stomach would turn into a rock, and she would let loos a painful scream that would make any mother cringe.

So I told her doctor about this at her 2 week checkup because it seemed rather excessive.  He told me that this happens to most newborns (which sounded suspicious, but his MD is from a real university and not from the Internet like mine) and to try the over the counter meds for gas relief.  We tried "Little Tummies", it didn't work, and all the sudden she was sleeping in the swing and that seemed to help.  While she continued to have painful gas it seemed to lessen.  Then, about a little less than 2 weeks ago, the gas came back strong.  We went back to the doctor's on Monday for her 6 week checkup and I again brought up her painful gas.  He suggested I first try the other 2 over the counter remedies ("Gripe Water" and "Mylicon") and if that didn't work then he could prescribe something.

And I said, "What?  Theres's medicine for this?"
And he said, "Yes.  It's what we give colicky babies."
And I thought... well, if I tell you my child is in pain and you have the power to remove the pain then give me that power... dumba**.

So, on Thursday, after I didn't try the over the counter medicine because I wasn't going to buy 2 more useless medicines, Brian called the doctor and we got the prescription medicine.  We gave it to her and almost immediately she calmed down (I know it can't work that fast but it felt like it).  She still has gas, but she can now calmly pass it, without pain and without scrunching her face and body.

Brian and I were speculating why the doctor wouldn't just give me this from the beginning - why make me try the over the counter medicine.  I thought maybe it was because of side effects (the doctor told Brian that the side effects were nausea and headaches - I'll let you know if Chloe tells me she has any of these symptoms) but that didn't seem feasible.  And so I still don't know why the doctor wouldn't want to take away my daughter's pain, but I'm definitely happy it's gone now.

So, my whole point of this is that if you have a painfully gassy baby... there's medicine for that.  Ask for it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bonding with Chloe (and a camera)

I'm not sure if I've told you this or not, but there is a new woman in my life (not Chloe silly... I said "woman").  And she is wonderful.  She is the temporary nanny who basically is paid to hang out with Monkey and have a blast.  My parents have been gracious enough to offer us this help due to my c-section.  Besides the fact that she is wonderful with Monkey and teaches him all kinds ogf new things, she gives me the opportunity to do something very important - bond with Chloe.

I know it seems like I would naturally do this... that of course a mother would bond with her baby - especially a breastfeeding mother... but then there is me.  Ellen + newborn = nothing.  Sersiously, nothing.  I mean if someone tried to harm her I'd kill them but almost out of principle.  It's just that until babies have a personality (which means they need to do more than eat, sleep, pass gas, pee and poop) I'm not that interested.  And I know that if I was still with Evan all day AND Chloe that I would probably gravitate more towards Evan.  It's just the truth people... it doesn't make me a bad mother.

One of the bonding things I do is take pictures because even though I'm not a fan of newborns I can objectively look at her and say how super cute she is.  And the other day, as I was holding her, I figured I would see how good I was at one-handed photo taking.  And now you get to benefit from our bonding.

My first attempt at taking a picture of her super cute feet (hers are thin and long whereas Evan's have always been - and still are - more like mine... Flintstone feet):

And so I figured I would need to address the fuzziness of the photo and I tried again:

And clearly I still needed lessons for close photos so I decided to move on and take a picture of the princess herself:

And then I realized that since I'm always the one taking photos that I didn't have any photos of the two of us together and I needed to fix that:

Oooh - but that double triple chin thing wasn't working for me so I tried a trick our wedding photographer taught me to just lift my chin a little:

And apparently I overdid that... but at least my nose is clean and my chins are gone.  And so I figured that I would return to the one thing I could take a picture of:

I'm not sure she liked the camera in her face as much as I did but it made some memories.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Uncles, Firetrucks, & Boots

This past weekend my brother (Uncle Joe) and his girlfriend (Miss Joanna) came to visit.  Neither one of them has children and I always find it amazing that people without children volunteer to come and be part of our chaotic household.  They handled the chaos well and played with Evan and cuddled with Chloe (and thankfully they weren't looking for some crazy nightlife because Chloe's late night feedings are as nuts as we get right now).

One of the things we did while they were here was visit our local fire station (they were having a fundraiser).  We got there pretty late so much of the activities were over, but Evan still got to see the firetruck:

He also got to play with the fireman's gear:

I think being so close to all the gear, buttons, levers, horns, etc made Evan a little contemplative:

And, of course, Chloe was there... sleeping:

Uncle Joe and Miss Joanna posed with Evan in front of the firetruck:

But we had to wait for Chloe's picture with Uncle Joe and Miss Joanna until Chloe was awake.  This meant later that night at home:

I think overall everyone had a good time.  I know Evan liked having new people around to adore him and tell him how wonderful he is... good thing that boy doesn't have a self-esteem problem!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Turkey Tamer

This is what Evan and his sitter do during the day (this is around the corner from our house in the city):

On another note, Chloe went to the pediatrician today and was declared perfect (no big surprise to me)... all 10 lbs of her.  My little butterball.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Evan is Talking!

I mean, he isn't telling us long and convoluted stories but he is slowly starting to use his words (which makes him less frustrated and us less concerned about why our brialliant son isn't talking).  Here are the words he currently says (that I can remember):

  1. Dada (been saying this for as long as I can remember... like last week... just kidding)
  2. Mama (started saying this once I gave birth and I wasn't around him 24/7 - seriously added to my guilt when I would hear him calling my name but I was breastfeeding or doing something with Chloe)
  3. Miss D (this is the woman who is watching him whil I recover from surgery)
  4. Chlo-Chlo (Chloe)
  5. Charlie (which sounds a lot like Chlo-Chlo... this would be Miss D's outdoor cat that Evan helps to find when he goes and visits Miss D's house)
  6. Bel-Bel (Bella cat)
  7. Bubba (old man Bubba cat)
  8. Pool (referring to his blow-up pool)
  9. Grill (which sounds a lot like "pool" unless you listen closely)
  10. Milk
  11. Bowl (which he pronounces the same way the spanish commentator pronounces "goal" for soccer... so it sounds like "boooooooooowl")
  12. Ice (yes, he says it, he knows what it is, he knows where it lives, and he wants to play with it - oddly this was one of his first words)
  13. Egg
  14. Boo-Boo (which is almost always his skinned knees)
  15. Boom
  16. Bad Boom (what Miss D taught him to refer to something dangerous)
  17. Hot (but he won't say cold... he understands it, he just won't say it)
  18. Uh-oh (is this a word?)
I'm sure I've missed some words but they are so random that they are hard to remember.  He still signs for some things like: "all done," "eat," "more," and "open." 

On another note, Miss Chloe found her thumb today.  She seemed to really like it, sucked on it for about 30 seconds and then promptly lost it again.  I'm cheering her on since she won't take a pacifier and my nipple can't be her pacifier forever.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All is Well With the Heart (and the boobs)

Chloe had her follow-up appointment with the pediatric cardiologist about her heart thing-a-ma-bob that you can read about here. Originally the pediatric cardiologist in the hospital felt it was realistic that Chloe would need to be seen monthly to monitor the murmur.  However, today's pediatric cardiologist listened and felt the murmur was so insignificant that he didn't need to see her again until she was 2 years old.  And, the selfish part of me that cringed at the idea of scheduling monthly appointments cheered at the news.  And, the part of my that loves my little girl and is excited that she doesn't have a significant health problem cheered even more.

On another note... looks like my boobs are working just fine.  Chloe, 2.5 weeks after her last pediatrician appointment, has gained some weight.  Most recently she was back to her birth weight of (7lbs 12oz) and today she was a whopping 9lbs 9oz.  It looks like she has gained most of this in her cheeks and in her Buddha belly.