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So I get a phone call at 3:58 yesterday afternoon from Jennifer that she is on her way to the pediatrician with the boy. But I can hardly hear her because it seems she’s carting around three elderly emphysematics that are trying to sing row row row your boat in harmony. In rounds. Except that it’s Mateo trying to breathe.

I’m gathering my bag, car keys, and shooting an email to the boss that I’m leaving as I pellet Jennifer with questions, all in an effort to determine if he’s getting enough oxygen: “Is he blue?” No. “Is he red?” Yes. “Did he have a fever?” Low grade. “When did he start doing this?” Immediately upon waking from his nap. “Was the humidifier on?” Yes. “What’s his general disposition?” He’s eating his trail mix as I talk to you, she says.

Apparently, the boy’s stomach is one of his major vital organs.

Fifteen minutes later, I met them at the crosswalk of the medical office building of our pediatrician (conveniently located on the campus of a hospital), breathing was labored, but the singing smokers gone.

His coughing and breathing sounded horrible so it was kinda fun to be that family in the sick waiting room that the other parents are trying to keep their kids away from. The benefit, of course, was that Mateo had both Doodle Sketches to himself.

A quick assessment by the nurse showed barely a fever at 99.6, something I think he had coughed himself into what with all that kinetic energy heating up his body, the one that weighed 28.1 lbs. The doctor came in shortly thereafter and assessed his lungs and throat which were amazingly (but thankfully) clear. For that reason, no antibiotics or breathing treatments were necessary. He said he had croup and gave him an oral steroid (dexmethasone) to open up his airway. As we were getting ready to leave, he started to sound a bit better, but still with the wheezing, which I captured here as he “washes” his hands, in case you want to know what croup sounds like. Turn up the volume. Not only to hear him better, but to hear me ask for confirmation from the nurse that what we’re hearing from him is okay, me in my most professional valley girl dialect. Ugh. This is why I don’t like being on video.

Afterward, we headed home with instructions to turn on a cool mist humidifier in his room, something we’d been doing the last couple nights and naps anyway because both kids have had runny noses since Thursday and cough since Saturday. In addition, we separated them almost immediately after baths last night, lest they start playing, which inevitably leads to chasing, which necessitates running, which requires heavier breathing, which causes coughing, which leads to airway constriction, something we were trying to avoid. Because it was now after clinic hours and dexmethasone is far less expensive at the clinic than the emergency room thank you very much. So off we went, Jennifer with Harper to her room, and me with Mateo to his room, for quiet reading and calmer play.

We braced ourselves for a long night, but they both slept soundly throughout.

Here’s a general description and guidelines for addressing Croup, as laid out by our pediatric clinic. And for my fellow Type A’s out there, a more detailed article on Viral Croup and practical therapeutics written in the American Family Physician Journal.

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Like many women, I made loose plans for ‘after the baby comes’. I thought about when we’d do bills, and the best time to grocery shop, and the most efficient layout of the nursery, and made a plan for whom would do my work while I was on maternity leave.

Being pregnant with twins made me keenly aware, however, that every plan I made was, by necessity, only a contingency. After all, one baby can alter your life at times, but two or more coming at you at once made it more likely that how you planned for something to happen will end up happening some other way. For example, we planned for them do go to daycare, but ended up with a nanny; we planned for a morning at the courthouse for the adoption, we didn’t plan on Mateo throwing up in front of the bailiff. Classic. Flexibility was (and continues to be) paramount.

Which is why not only did I have a boppy and breastpads, but I also had a breast pump and a few different types of bottles on hand. I wanted to breastfeed, but I also knew that with two at once, it might not be a practical. My thought was: if it worked out for the three of us, great; if not, then no big deal, we’ll sterilize the bottles.

Within ten or so days of being home from the hospital, however, Mateo was constantly hungry and Harper wasn’t getting enough to eat and thus becoming dehydrated. And I, after carrying fourteen pounds of babies to thirty-seven weeks, major surgery, and a little hemorrhaging, I was beyond exhausted.

It wasn’t for lack of help. No. After all, it was a team effort among me, Jennifer, my mom, and starting at Day 9, a night nanny (speaking of unplanned contingencies). But as any new mom knows, it is so very hard to sleep soundly what with the weighty responsibility of a safeguarding a miracle from right out of the lap of God. No pressure or anything.

But not a problem, right? I mean just pump and go to bottles and let someone else help with the feeding. Right? RIGHT?

And here’s where I experienced my logical, flexible decision-making colliding head-on with every single fiber of precipitous maternalism. Because OH MY GOD it was quite possibly the most difficult, most emotionally-charged juncture I’ve found myself in during the thirty-four years I had been on the earth. There I was seeking permission from the one person who was vilifying me: me.

Breast is best. That gets pounded into your head from all angles. There are entire factions of humanity specializing in getting your boobage just right for the baby to get the only food that’s going to help them become productive, healthy citizens. Thinking about formula? How selfish. Plan to pump? That’s less demonic but still disappointing. Does it hurt? Do you have an infection? Here’s a head of cabbage, a warm compress and a dose of just-get-over-yourself-and-suck-it-up-for-at-least-six months. What, you are going back to work? How unmotherly.

So, you know, there’s that.

Until today, I don’t even think I’ve touched on this subject here, but it’s often on my mind, sitting back there like a slow-healing wound, one with lots of scar tissue, but that’s also a bit numb around the incision. It was such a traumatic time for me. Just ask Jennifer. Or my mom. Or my sister. Or my sister-in-law. Or our friend, Tanya. Or Alan, a dear friend who’s logic and level-headedness I admire, a man I love dearly, a most compassionate, intelligent, and level-headed child of God. He came over, listened, and just held my hand.

In those days before we transitioned to pumping, and then to formula, I often wept. Uncontrollably. I would be breastfeeding one or both of the babies, holding them close against me, awestruck that these human beings grew inside of me, and I would cry. I would cry because I felt like that in discontinuing breastfeeding, I was failing them, neglecting them. I believe that I actually even said, aloud, that I felt like I was engaging in nutritional murder. It was that difficult, that painful, that dark. I was living proof that the guilt-card of all the breastfeeding propaganda was effective. And that in itself was disappointing – because I consider myself to be an independent thinker, immune to peer pressure.

BUT WAIT! THIS POST ISN’T EVEN ABOUT BREASTFEEDING!

I offer up that intimate and painful experience as a point of comparison to another unexpectedly gut-wrenching parental experience: separating the twins’ sleeping quarters.

I’ve mentioned on my blog that we were headed in that direction, had conversations with other parents, made plans with Jennifer. Mateo sleeps longer in the afternoons, Harper sleeps longer in the mornings. Sleeping in the same room leads to one waking the other. Which means at least once a day, often twice, at least one child isn’t getting the rest they need. And an overtired kid equals the-day-will-suck. Two overtired kids equals the-day-will-suck-and-it’ll-take-forever-to-end. Logical solution? Separate them.

Over the course of a week, we cleaned out the guest bedroom, rented a storage facility, moved guest room furniture to storage, moved tiny things up, got the room safe, and reorganized the closet space. And then on Monday, May 18, Jennifer moved Harper’s crib…
into
her
new
room.
Cue the waterworks. It didn’t help that I had been home sick last Thursday and Friday, translating to four consecutive days with the kids. The only times I’ve had four consecutive days with them was during maternity leave, over Thanksgiving holiday (and Mateo was very ill), and Christmas holiday. And when I get it, I marinate in it. But when I have to go back to work, it shocks me how difficult the transition is for me.

It also didn’t help that Mr. and Miss Crank had runny noses and maybe felt a bit under the weather. Or that we had been very busy over the weekend and they were still recovering. Or that they were beyond exhausted on Monday evening by the time I got home so that what I walked into was thirty minutes of tears and babies that wanted me to hold them both but didn’t want to be held either. It is days like this that I feel like I fail my children for not being there with them during the day.

That evening, Jennifer affording me the opportunity to put them both to bed, she holding one while I put the other down. Mateo went down relatively easy. Harper screamed at the top of her lungs when I closed the door of her new room behind me. Was it the shadows? Did she miss her brother? Did she think I abandoned her? Was she just friggin exhausted?

I went in five minutes later – yeah, me, the one who had no issue with the cry-it-out method – and picked her up to hold her during the next five minutes it took her to fall asleep through post-weeping stutter-breathing, poor baby. Then I went back upstairs and cried as I watched them on the monitors, Harper sleeping soundly, Mateo, on his belly, quietly peeking over the crib bumper looking over at the empty space that used to be his sister’s crib. Did he think she left him? Was a part of him gone?

And even after they both fell asleep, I cried. Off and on until I fell asleep myself. Jennifer did her best to comfort me while avoiding the eggshells I was tossing in my path, the red carpet of my emotional what-the-eff-was-that. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most emotional, the breastfeeding thing was an eleven. The separating of the twins was somewhere around an unanticipated eight.

Why the big deal? Hell if I know. Could be a combination of all those things I mentioned above about the day and the weekend and all that. But I think it’s more the representation of the twins sleeping apart that prompted such a visceral and unexpected emotional response. I mean think about it, they slept in the same space for SIX HUNDRED FORTY TWO DAYS and suddenly there’s the very tangible, very visible change.

Two hundred forty six days in the same womb.

Three hundred ninety six days in the same room.

Yes, I counted. Yes, it really is that dramatic.

I never expected it to be such a thing, this having to now walk through separate doors to get to each child. After all, I’m not one of those twin moms who coordinates or matches the kids’ clothes. I’m all about independence and individuality. Plus? Hello? It’s not like I didn’t know about this…FOR A WEEK! Not like I didn’t INITIATE THE MOVE!

With each passing experience, planning gets more efficient, remaining flexible becomes more second-nature, but damn this unexpected emotional stuff really throws me for a loop.

Chemotherapy round one White cell booster shot next day Wait for ride back to home town day after that Little food, no appetite Blood sugar too high More insulin Bottomed-out white cell count Fever at seven days out Call to oncologist Recommends hospital admission Ride to San Antonio ER admission Three day stay Blood transfusion, antibiotics Feels better Lost too much weight Await next chemo.

Chemotherapy round two on 3/13 White cell booster shot next day Wait for ride back to home town day after that Little food, no appetite lood sugar too high Insulin Bottomed-out white cell count Fever at seven days out Call to oncologist Recommends hospital admission Returns to San Antonio ER admission Blood transfusion Says food tastes like paper, a side-effect of chemo a month ago said he’d rather die than have a PEG (feeding) tube but resigned to its necessity on 3/25 so PEG placed now complicated by Slurred speach Fluid in lungs Shortness of breath Congestive heart failure Low oxygen Day three of hospital stay and counting…

Sis, Grandpa, And Me
On a good day, March 14, 2009 – sis, grandpa, me.

When I was in the sixth grade, I scraped my calf on a picnic-table screw as I backed out of the bench at an art lesson. It didn’t really break the skin that I noticed, but over the course of a couple weeks, the area became tender, swollen, and painful. I didn’t say anything to anyone because I didn’t want to be excused from P.E. class or after-school sports. Unbeknownst to me, a staph infection had set in under the skin, destroying tissue and making me ill, which is probably why one day I felt like I was carrying a 100 lb weight dangling from my knee. One night, I wasn’t hungry for dinner, sitting kind of despondent at the dinner table. My parents asked what was wrong, and now several weeks since the incident, I started crying, “Don’t be mad at me, but…”, and proceeded to lift my pant leg to expose a red, feverish swelling that made my calf look like a softball had been embedded under the surface.

In minutes, we were on our way to the urgent care clinic where they drained an infection and abscess that had neared the bone. As it was, the infection had left a hole in the side of my leg about an inch wide and half an inch deep. Another couple days without treatment and I may have lost my leg. Or at least that’s what my mom told me at the time. And everyone who knows her knows that she makes shit like that up all the time. It’s the scary nurse in her, and not the person you’d want working your suicide hotline because you’d be all calling in all “it’s just not worth it anymore. I’m on the ledge of a building and I think I’m gonna jump because the ONLY thing I have to live for is my dog.” And she’d be all “is it a pure bred?” And you’d be all “yeah, but so what? I’m standing on the fucking ledge!” And she’d be all “well, pure breds tend to have more issues which means they’ll die sooner than mutts, so, I’m just saying…” CLICK.

Last summer, my grandfather mentioned his throat would hurt. But he didn’t want to go to the doctor because it might interfere with his golfing. THIS IS WHERE I GET THIS FROM. Rather than address the issue head-on, he ignored it until it was cumbersome enough to impede his ability to swallow. His inability to eat well caused him to drop 12 pounds in a month. I think we all knew that with such aggressive growth, it was likely cancer.

By early January, he finally agreed to be seen by doctor and my mom threw around all the medical community weight she had, pulling strings to get him seen as quickly as possible. None too late, either, since he went directly from the exam table to the surgical suite to have a tracheotomy due to an impaired airway. And an aggressively growing cancer at the base of his tongue. Phone calls, last rites, wills, advanced directives, and prayers ensued. And thankfully, he emerged from surgery this side of Heaven.

Longer story short, he’s got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They’ve seen more suspicious ‘shadows’ on contrast imaging, but it’s too early to tell if it’s spread. All other exams and lab work seem to indicate the cancer is encapsulated and has not metastasized. He’s one every-three-weeks chemotherapy treatment into a package of six, with likely fifteen rounds of radiation awaiting him after that. The cancer is treatable, but it’s weakened and immobilized him in ways that he is not accustomed to.

I have no doubt that my aversion for rules and my don’t-tell-me-what-to-do attitude comes directly from the genes of my maternal grandparents. And so I feel for my grandfather when he suddenly has to live a life of directives like “you can’t be exposed to germs” and “you must drink 5 protein shakes a day” and “you can’t lose any more weight or we’ll have to put in a feeding tube.” Well, that last one, that’s my mom’s latest bit of “truth”. And though it is always a possibility, he DID gain 5 pounds last week. It took him leaving the constant scrutiny of his every activity in San Antonio and going home for a few days to do it.

This brings up another thought I’ve been thinking. The following are facts: he is not getting enough to eat to sustain reasonable strength to tolerate treatment. He is immunosuppressed. He should remain indoors. The cancer itself is treatable. It is more likely for him to succumb to complications and comorbidities than the cancer itself. He is prone to bouts of disorientation what with malnutrition and imbalanced electrolytes. He has diabetes. He is eighty years old. My fear, however, is that all this documenting of his diet and measuring of his intake and controlling of his nearly every moment will squeeze out his desire to LIVE. That all this conformity to rules and adherence to every precaution are begotten at the expense of losing his sense of self/dignity.

We hear the updates from my mom and have the tendency to write it off as the predictable and persistent Chihuahua-like behavior of the Type-A/oldest child/15+ years of critical care nursing experienced person that she is. Her nursing background is a double-edged sword. She is too smart about the downfalls of the healthcare system (my grandfather went a day without toilet paper in the hospital because the staff didn’t have time to bring him more), she’s not naïve when it comes to disease progression (she does not simply depend on 5 minutes a day with a doctor to disseminate information), and because of these two things – she is unable to wrap her head around letting the medical professionals do their job (or not) because, dammit, it’s her dad.

In all fairness, we don’t see the ups and downs of the roller coaster that she is experiencing, managing her father’s care almost exclusively. This is a situation made more difficult by the fact that it’s repeating the cancer/treatment/care routine she managed with her brother (liver/kidney cancer), and her mother (breast/lung/bone cancer), both of whom died while living with my mom and receiving treatment in San Antonio.

“But Rachel”, my mother tells me, “you don’t SEE HIM like I do. It’s so hard to see him like this.” And I believe that ardently. The thought of that alone – witnessing the rapid deterioration of a pillar of your life, crumbling before your eyes to a treatable condition – with my own parent and a sibling takes my breath away.

After a few good days late last week, he spiked a fever on Friday within a few hours of having his trache removed, became disoriented and tachycardic. Too many hours in the emergency room resulted in his finally being admitted late Friday night. My grandfather, an averaged sized man with an oversized spirit, abundant musical and artistic talent, and one-size-fits-all sense of humor, has been reduced to 121 pounds. He may be discharged within a day or two, depending on the results of the cultures. Absent this most recent setback, my grandfather was to begin his second round of chemotherapy today, March 9.

I should add that he has not met the twins. He had gone home to gain 5 pounds when I was last with the kids in San Antonio. My job is walking a tight-wire to the extent that I cannot take a day off. Traveling seven hours in a car with the kids in 36 hours doesn’t work well with the kids. And even if I got the kids there and he is in San Antonio, kids are germy and he’s ill. Risk a crappy trip with the kids to meet their great-grandfather with the possibility of making him sicker? It’s tricky. So this weekend, I will go to San Antonio, driving there and back in a day so I can at least visit with him a bit, even as it pains me that he cannot hold his great-grandchildren in his lap at this time.

The fact is, I don’t know where the balance is – relinquishing assumed control to trust that hospital staff will care for him over night well enough for my mom to get some sleep; the possibility that maybe grandpa would rather quietly enjoy what little quality of life he has remaining rather than proceed with “treatments” that is further suppressing his immunity, energy, and dignity; knowing when to let go and when to keep fighting; or to know when the best fight you can give is…to let go without giving up.

Print_Pepo

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My grandfather, Agapito Lopez, passed away on Easter Sunday, 2009. Just in time to watch the Masters Golf Tournament from heaven, I am sure. You can read my grandpa obit here.

While much of my online journaling has been related to Tato and his illness(es)(es)(es)(es), I need to give props out loud to our little trooper, Harper.

Amidst ear infections #4 and #5 for Tato, Harper had ear infection #2. She apparently also had a fever when we went to the clinic, though you’d never know it because she smiles and laughs in the face of her little body fighting infections.
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Through a week of her brother being pretty damn sick and waking and screaming every hour or two or three, she lived up to her middle name, Grace, in SLEEPING RIGHT THROUGH IT ALL. A miraculous blessing for two very tired mommies. We’ve had two stomach bugs rip through our house in the last six weeks. The first time, her belly was ill for less than two days. This time, she escaped all contagion.

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She sprouts teeth (she now has SIX!) with barely a drip of drool. Has fevers of 102 with no indication in disposition. This makes for an “easy” baby, but it also means that we need to check her more often because she doesn’t “tell” us that something is wrong. We have learned that if she wakes during the night, though, that’s a dead-ringer for an ear infection – because that is the only time she does that. We can only hope that her sleeping through the entire night continues indefinitely.

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Each morning she awakens so very happy and curious and busy, with a near constant look on her face expressing something like “isn’t today AMAZING?? Can you believe we get to have another today? What am I going to DO today?” Oh, that we would learn to emulate her enthusiasm for each moment of each day.

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The only time she’s really fussy these days is if (a) you disappear from her line of sight for too long. She plays well independently, but every once in a while, she just needs to know that you are THERE and will cry out if she doesn’t see you. (b) she’s tired/hungry at the end of the day – which we can’t do a lot about except get her fed, bathed, and put to bed smoothly and efficiently. (c) she’s tired during the day and needs a nap but fights that nap like hell. And I think in exchange for her being so “easy” is the counteracting blood curdling SCREAM that comes from her tiny body when she’s one of those things above. Because I am telling you, all those years of being next to the stage speakers at a concert DO NOT EVEN COMPARE.

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You can see her wheels spinning all the time. If a toy is held in front of a baby, they will tend to grab at it or bat it around. Harper will study it, look to see how it is hanging from your hand, and then deliberately move to the connecting point before pulling it from you and studying some more. She has the appearance of being serious and contemplative, but my gut feeling is that she’s getting a sense of how things work and plotting something. Something that will ultimately get someone ELSE in trouble. So full of mischief and sass, she is.

Sassy

I know some may say my brother isn’t out of the woods yet, but if you ask me, he’s definitely feeling better.

one

two

three

Day 6 of Stomach Bug

This is the first smile we’ve seen on him in over 96 hours. He’s lost 2 1/2 pounds. Pedialtye is our new best friend. And the godparents are godsends for picking it up along with the prescription for Zofran.

I cannot express how heartbreaking it is to hold a near-listless child whose pleading eyes look up to you as he cries out in pain for you to relieve him in some way. And that you are doing all you can. And it is not enough. It isn’t even scratching the surface of his comfort.

He’s off solids, and the pediatrician suggested this morning that we pull him off formula until he can hold something down. It’s been 4 days. He’s hungry and you give him Pedialyte, but small amounts at a time to trick his system into thinking there isn’t anything going in, and thus preventing the trigger that makes everything come out. I got the bug on Monday and threw up more times than I can count. The next morning, my abs were sore like I’d done 300 crunches. So I cannot imagine the cramping and discomfort our little guy is enduring.

Though the Zofran and incremental hydration is working on the upper valves, his intestinal tract cannot be fooled. Anything ingested makes it’s way out, only to burn his raw bottom. Over, and over again.

Yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m., I was at Home Depot along with a whole bunch of construction workers – to purchase a large tarp, plastic disposable gloves, and two 5×5 drop cloths. Had I included a shovel at checkout, there is no doubt that the cops might have met me at the car or followed me home.

His poor butt looks like he went sledding down a mountain of heavy duty sandpaper. And then scooted along a gravel road for good measure. All the gear is down and we are keeping him diaperless or wrapping his bottom parts lightly with a loose cloth diaper. Our washer and dryer are earning their keep.

What does he have? On the heels of ear infections #4 and #5, he got a stomach virus, probably picked up his first day back at daycare last week. Harper has miraculously remained oblivious to the bug. Having her at daycare these last three days has helped us manage caring for Mateo one-on-one while essentially quarantining her. I’m a little nervous, however, about the next several days.

We’re interviewing nanny’s and as soon as we find someone we’re pulling them out of daycare. Mateo has been some version of sick since late August, except maybe 15 or so days. I’m all for getting them exposed early on, but the expense of daycare plus the additional caretaker expense when they can’t go to school is tipping us over and throwing us down the stairs. Concrete stairs. With metal reinforcements. Made worse when the sitter no-calls/no-shows and Jen has to cancel two lessons to take Harper to school and I now have to stay home from work. Translation: loss of income x 2.

My hope is that he is on the mend, and that we don’t end up at the hospital to rehydrate. And that Harper stays healthy. It seems like a lot to ask for in a season when we should be giving thanks instead of asking for mercy. But be there no doubt, we are so grateful for the blessing in our lives – especially in these tough economic times. We hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by as much or as little family – chosen or given – and friends as your hearts can take.

Inspector # 041608

My sister observed – and I did not deny – that I have replaced my techy gadget purchases with obscure boutiquish and quite possibly unnecessary baby gear purchases. But whatever. For those that have asked, the most awesomely stylish fun leg warmers are BabyLegs. We purchased these and these and these and these and these. And I would say that I’m orderering five more pair, but I’m not going to because someone named Matou might try and stop me. They just might show up in photos later.

We’ve really enjoyed them in the couple weeks we’ve had them. A great way to keep warm inside the house and out – you know, for these two weeks a year that the Texas temperatures hover in the 60s. In addition to being super cute, we also like the ease of diaper changes with baby legs rather than pants. I’m sure this is a stage they’re going through – one that will last the next couple years – but changing diapers, especially on a baby not feeling well, is a HOLY TERROR OF PROTEST. So anything to simplify the process short of letting them go in a dirty diaper all day along is totally worth it. And just yesterday, Mateo said his favorite thing about them was that his bare feet remain available for putting in his mouth.

They have been especially useful in the last few days that the RaJenBabies have been afflicted with colds and ear infections, meaning rounds of throwing up – a baby’s version of hawking up post-nasal drip and phlegm. Hungry? Here’s a visual: formula and sweet potato puke. Has a nice ring to it, right? And a splendid color, something nice for a mod sunroom.

We were in San Antonio over the weekend for my nieces’ Baptisms. The RJBs have been unwell for a couple days, so IN LIEU OF THE NAP THEY WOULD NOT TAKE, we went for a walk on Saturday afternoon in Grandma Yoyi’s neighborhood.

On A Walk - San Antonio

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The socks that Mateo is wearing are smartwool socks that I picked up at REI when I went there to get a stainless steel thermos. They were expensive-ish, BUT, and here’s my formerly-known-as-techy-justification-now-translated-to-baby-gear-purchase-justification: if you can find socks that STAY ON YOUR KIDS’ FEET they are worth your next paycheck, right after you pay the mortgage payment. Just last night, I told Matou that I am going through their sock drawer this week and tossing all that are crap. Which means we’ll have around 5 pair left over. Oh sure, there are cute prints on those little booties, but seriously, I want to fill them with catnip and throw them out to the ferrel cats roaming the neighborhood. So far, the best socks we’ve found are the one’s from REI, the knee-high socks from Baby Gap (as seen here), the crew socks by MiniWear from BabiesRUs, and an honorable mention to the non-slip socks from Old Navy (though Harper is REALLY good at pulling these off).

And while I’m outing myself in the babygear category, we received our PeaPod P201 order last week – just in time for traveling to San Antonio. We actually purchased two. While one is big enough to fit both kids – in theory – I wanted something that will last for a while. And if you took a time-elapsed video of Mateo during sleep, he would look like the fast-marching hands of a wall clock in a saturday morning cartoon. So sleeping two in one space would not work.

So far, we like the “tent”/bed with it’s easily inflatable mattress. I love it because it weighs less than my purse – wait a minute, that isn’t saying much – OK, about the weight of a pair of tennis shoes. Folds up to the size of a diaper bag. And is way more convenient for travel than lugging around a pack-n-play. Plus, look how cute it is?

Two Peas In A PeaPod

PeaPod P201

I’ll be mentioning these and other products in my next – if I ever get a round to it – RJB Must Have’s List. It’s like # 5,232 on my list of things to do, which, and I know it may not seem so, but it’s pretty up there in terms of priority.

I have pink eye(s). I suspect, as the doctor did, that this is how whatever germ hosting I got manifested itself in me after one or both kids brought the multi-tasking bacteria home.

If Mateo were a hotel, he’d be located in the Carribean – warm and wet. The guy is always one or more of the following: hands in his mouth, drooly, feet in mouth, congested, coughing, snotty.

Our pediatrician said that we are just building up immunity and that by the time they are five years old they’ll be little motes of self-protective immunity. So, yeah, ok, that’s only ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED TWENTY THREE DAYS from now, give or take.

In the meantime, it seems we never go more than 10 days of household healthiness, though Harper & Matou seem to be the strongest of our bunch. And for the foreseeable future, I get to look like this.

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My Beloved and My Daughter

More Photos!

The Aforementioned

LesbianFamily.org