Wednesday, December 30, 2009

9 month check up

& they're still on the preemie charts. which is ok.

size-wise, they're looking like they're 9 mos, but developmentally, they're more like 7 1/2 mos. which is perfect for their adjusted age. it's just so easy to forget (even for me) that they were in fact preemies, bc they're such darn BIG boys. which, in hidsight, i think is just them. they were born big, at what is considered "term" size for twins despite being 7 weeks early, so i think this is just what they would have looked like at 7 mos, had they been term. i think they're just big dudes, like their daddy.

doc was totally unconcerned, said they are right on track & we should be completely thrilled with how great they're doing. (& we are. doesn't stop me from looking forward to the day when they're all caught up!) he's also holding off on officially diagnosing val with asthma. we haven't had to resort to the albuterol since he's been healthy, so we just have to be careful to keep him that way & be watchful of his breathing.

in other less than cool news, their foreskins were also adhering to their penises. not cool. so they had to be pulled back, which the dudes hated (obviously) & N & i will have to keep up at home. if we can't resolve it ourselves, then we move onto a steroid cream, & if that doesn't work, they get re-circumsized. i am NOT happy about this, but we'll do what we need to. apparently adhesions like this are pretty common with circumsized babies, & our doc wasn't worried, but separating the adhesions is NOT pleasant for anyone. my poor little boys! we really want to avoid a re-circumcision tho, so will be keeping our fingers crossed the less invasive methods work.
i feel horrible that i didn't notice it was happening, but honestly i had no idea that wasn't what it was supposed to look like. i've never really closely examined a foreskin before, & i'm the one who always cleans them & stuff. so i feel kind of guilty, but i don't know how i would have known, you know? sigh... at least it's a fix-able thing.

& conrad finally got his second (& last) seasonal flu vaccine, so we are all covered (except N). yay!!!

& lastly, some stats: con was 29inches long & 18lbs 8oz, with a head circumf. of 18 1/4 inches. val: 28 inches long, 19lbs 10oz, & head circumf. of 18inches. they are, as always, prefect little dudes!

oh & i had a check on #3 today. he's just fine. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

my least favorite holiday

i love christmas, but i have never liked new years. out of the last 12 or so years, i can think of maybe 3 that didn't suck & 2 of those started our horribly. there's just so much pressure to have a date, &/or do something really cool, & neither of those things ever worked out for me. even after N & i got together, he's worked almost every new years, so i still ended up flying solo.

the first new years i had that didn't suck, i was at an AWFUL party in chi til almost midnight, when i finally escaped the skanky dudes trying to line up a kiss. that particular party had started with throwing a bunch of computer equipment onto DiverseyPkwy. from the window of the apartment, & ended with a bunch of my roommate's summer camp friends getting naked & extremely weird. ("camp" people are just odd... if you went to summer camp, i'm sure it was great for you, but to the rest of us, all your rituals & stories & jokes are just, well, weird.) anyways, i left the party about 20 to midnight, walked over to my friend amy's apartment, watched the ball drop by myself & then called amy to say i was there & watching her 20yrs of oprah dvds. which was enough to convince her to leave her crappy party & come watch oprah with me... it ended up being a surprisingly good time.

my next decent new years was also in chicago, with my best law school friend (NC--who now lives in L.A. with her fabulous hubby). it was NC, me, NC's brother, NC's then-boyfriend (now husband) & a random friend from her temple. we started in the burbs, finally made it downtown, couldn't catch a cab, finally got the world's smallest, stinkiest cab & then couldn't find our party. so at 1130, we gave up, stopped the cab in front of a random party & crashed it. of course, in a city of millions, we end up at a party thrown by the good friends of a guy i had just dumped, & dumped hard. sigh... miraculously, it ended up being a really fun party despite the initial hostility. it was also the night NC's man confessed to me he was planning on proposing to NC. i don't think i've ever drank so much champagne. which tastes even better when you haven't paid for a drop of it!

my favorite new years was the only one N has had off since i've known him. it was our first as a married couple, & in reaction to our shared dislike of new year's parties, we invited my folks, my best friend & her folks over to hang out. we drank beer, played games all night, wore silly hats & basically had a really fantastic time. i think that was my fav bc it was completely low-pressure & no stress. i'm just not cool enough for new year's, i guess.

anyways, last year i spent the night pregnant & asleep. also my plans for this year, since N is working. actually, who am i kidding... even if he were off, i'd still be asleep. i just don't like new year's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a sleep update

we've moved the boys' bedtime back to 8 , & are letting them nap later in the day, which seems to be working better for all of us so far. They're sleeping 8pm-5am, waking for a bottle, & then going back to sleep til around 8am. & their naps during the day are totalling around 3hrs, so they're getting close to the right amount of sleep, & what's more-- they are putting themselves to sleep!!! we do bottles, a little cuddling & then into their cribs awake/semi-awake, & after a bit of "talking" to eachother, they've been going to sleep! minimal fussing, no crying... it's heaven!
we haven't changed a thing, other than timing. i think they're just ready & i am thrilled that they're doing this on their own. we still have bad nights (as evidenced by my CIO post below) but all kids do, & i think they're mostly attributable to teeth, or tummy aches, or just a plain old bad night for no reason. i'm sure there will still be some back & forth, but i think overall we're making forward progress, & CIO played no part in it. Proof, in my mind, that CIO is soooo NOT the be all & end all of sleep solutions. we may have had (& will have) a few more sleepless nights, but the boys feel secure & loved, know that mom & dad are always here when they need us, minimal hysterics were involved, & the boys get to move at their own pace when THEY decide they're ready. all of which is totally worth a little less sleep for the grown-ups, in my mind.
i also think giving them each a special crib toy helped. val loves his glow-sea-horse (now known as "glowy".... we really need to work on more creative names for these things.) & will use the glow-horse as company, or to help soothe himself back to sleep. it's pretty cute-- i find him curled up with glowy the horse all the time at naps. :) conrad's toy has varied, i really need to get him his own special toy, but i haven't found one yet that says "conrad" to me...

Monday, December 21, 2009

another list, bc i really, really like lists.

update on the sleep situation-- it's teeth... low fever, lots of drool, chewing. definetly teeth. they just haven't popped thru yet & i don't see the tell-tale white bumps under his gums, but i'm pretty sure it's lurking teeth. poor little dude!

we're opening 529 accounts for the boys (& hopefully #3), which makes me happy. i've really wanted to start college funds for them for a long time, & we finally have some funds to get going with. yay us! :)

a private blog i read is currently waiting to see if they just got "the call'-- they recently finished the adoption paper work etc, after almost 3 yrs of waiting & unsuccesssul IVF attempts, & i am sooooo hoping this is their baby. i know you all pry don't know who i'm takling about, (& if you do, out of respect for their privacy, please don't give away any idenitfying names, etc here), but they're an amazing family & will give any baby lucky enough to end up with them a wonderful home... if you're the praying sort, please spare a thought for them tonight. i'm on pins & needles waiting to hear.

i took our birds in for a nail trim today at our vet. (they have a bird-guy who comes in to do grooming. bc our birds hold grudges, & hate to get their nails done, we don't clip them ourselves.) usually i go back into a private room with them while they get trimmed, but i had to run next door to get their pellets today & didn't want them in the cold any longer than they had to be, so i sent them in back without me. when i got back, they guy brought them out followed by a bunch of vet techs, all oooing & aaahing over how beautiful they are, & how well behaved. they're pretty uncommon parrots (we live in a pretty populated area & go to an avian vet, but we're still their only white-bellied caique patients), & while they're pretty good birds, I would NOT classify them as incredibly well-behaved. of course, i loved the compliments, but it was kind of like hearing how good your kids have been for some one else, after they spent the day being holy terrors for you.

odd kitty news: my cat digger has decided he loooves banana chips (unsweetened- they are super gross. we buy them for the birds, & they birds throw them at the cats.), & cheerios (which the babies throw at the cats). & felon the cat loooves yogurt melts. rafter, however, is a true conneisuere, & helped himself to leftover bacon grease N left out overnight. you'd think we were starving them, but i swear they eat better than we do!

i am super excited for the boys' first christmas. i know they're really young, but it is so fun to have kids at christmas time! N is a total grinch & i am the exact opposite-- christmas music since thanksgiving, loads of decorations, i even like holiday shopping. :) & having the boys around make it all that much more fun... even N is getting into the spirit a little!

Friday, December 18, 2009

a CIO nightmare

so in a sleep-deprived fueled horrible decision, i gave in to N & tried to let val CIO last night at midnight (this was after a 4 hr cycle of comforting him, only to have him cry all over again when i put him in his crib), & it was awful. i HATE CIO. hate it. it will NEVER be attempted in our house again. i get that some people think its just great, but i pretty much think those people are on crack. (i don't mean the "he fusses for 5 minutes, then falls asleep CIO", i mean the half hour later "oh, he'll cry himself out" kind of CIO.) it's just cruel. how any one can watch their child scream for that length of time is beyond me. one of my goals as a parent is to make my children feel secure & loved, & CIO just screams abandonment to me. i know i might piss alot of folks off by saying this, but i think it's true-- it's just lazy parenting. you're tired, & can't figure out what they need, or you're exhausted & annoyed that they need you to comfort them, so you let them cry. i mean, really, if they need YOU, well, that's pretty easy to give, isn't it?
do what works in your house, but in our house there will be NO more CIO. ever. period.

so here's what happened last night: val has had a couple nights of horrible sleep. i don't know why. wasn't hungry, not teething, no fever, dry diaper, just wouldn't/couldn't sleep. so he just wouldn't go down last night, & after hours of snuggling him to calm/sleepy state & then laying him down, I gave in to N. (i try to let him try out some of his parenting choices.... he IS their dad, & parenting is a lot of trial & error. & some of his ideas have been really good. this just wasn't one of them. anyways...) i let val cry for 3 minutes, then got up & rubbed his back, made soothing noises, etc, for the next half hour. the poor baby SCREAMED the entire time. if i wasn't near, he's cry until he couldn't breathe, but if i was near, he'd at least take breaths. the hysteria just mounted tho, until finally i was in tears too & picked up my poor baby, who hid his face in my neck & held on to me like his whole life depended on it. CIO? never, never again. i cuddled him all the way to sleep & he slept til 6, when he got up for a bottle & then we got him up at 730 with conrad in an attempt to get them both back on schedule.

i don't know why he's having trouble sleeping all of a sudden, but regardless of how long it takes, we will be persisting with the peaceful go-to-sleep methods forever after.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...

tired, so tired, but must study for final tonight at 630. blah.

round 3 of antibiotics is pending for this stupid infection that won't go away. please cross some fingers that it works, as i'm afraid the next step is catheterization & iv drugs, & that would suck monkey balls.

make that elephant balls if its over the holidays.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a list of random thoughts (bc i like lists)

  • i love the price is right. it's cheesey & the prizes are totally screwy & i just love it. i used to watch with my gram when i was small, my roommate jess & i watched thru law school, & now i watch during the boys' morning nap while doing laundry. there is just something satisfying about watching total strangers go ape-sh*t over a portable electric fireplace & a collection of hot pink high heels. & then of course, there's those who pretty much go into caridac arrest after hearing "how about a new car!" i love it. long live the price is right!

  • my grandpa sent us our first christmas ham this year. he sends one every year to my folks, & i guess now that we have kids, we qualify as a "family" in need of a christmas ham. which is awesome, bc the hams are super delicious. so i called my dad ASAP to claim christmas for our ham. they'll just have to find some other occasion for theirs!

  • i really need to get to the post office this week. i have to mail presents to VA, & NC & i have a pile of baby jeans, sleep sacs, etc for ms. mandy's baby n that are staring at me as i type. plus, i need christmas stamps to send out our holiday cards.

  • i feel mariginally better today, athough my back is still hurting (it's not a muscle pain, it's something internal & seriously uncomfortable & annoying). but i was able to eat this morning, so i think that's helping. i'm hopeful i'll get the results of all my tests today, so they can do something about whatever is wrong. i'd really like to be feeling like myself for christmas. maybe i'm just anemic or something... that would be a nice, easy fix.

  • my brother is supposed to be on his way in today from IL. i'll believe it when i see him, but i'm hopeful he'll make it this time, if only for my parents' sake.

  • the boys have their second round of H1N1 shots this afternoon. we're on the waitlist for the seasonal. (our county is out of the infant seasonal shots, although they have plenty of the other kind... sigh.) i'm hopeful that by some miracle the seasonal will be in & we can get both, but i'll settle for the H1N1.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

meltdowns at the holiday party

N, me & the boys (playing with a paper plate)
me & my poor sweet con man

my aunt had our family christmas party last night, & it was the first time most of the extended fam met the dudes. my family is huge & noisy & ADORES babies, so i had no doubt the dudes would be well-recieved no matter what they did, but i was a little anxious about how the boys would react. we've kept them pretty cloistered, at first for fear of immature immune systems, & then bc of flu season, so crowds are a totally new experience for them.


last time we were in a big group (at N's parents') val had a meltdown, & this time it was conrad's turn. & wow, did he ever lose it. so i spent the first hour i was there trying to soothe a hysterically screaming baby. he finally screamed himself to sleep, & woke up a half hour later all smiles. at which point N graciously offered to take over. figures. val was totally charming & got played musical baby all night. & con man finally calmed down enough to go to my aunts' for a while (my mom's sisters, all of whom look & sound like her, so i'm sure that helped).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

crawling babies, shaking kitties & cheating tigers

my life is uneventful lately. except conrad finally doing some scooting! it's like an inch-worm-- he tucks up his butt, then stretches with his arms. very cute :) i'm sure he'll be fully mobile soon, & then i'll be in trouble. & digger keeps having seizures. they don't seem to bother him, but they sure freak me out & i'm thinking he might need a vet trip soon. the CH (cerebellar hypoplaysia. it's like kitty cerebral palsy) isn't degenerative, so i doubt it's related, but the escalating frequency has me a little worried. & the birds need to go in for a nail trim, since miss scout is prone to foot problems as a legacy of her early months in her prior home.

in discussing tiger's infidelity recently with N, i've found out all kinds of things i didn't really want to know about people we know. it amazes me how many people cheat. especially people i like & respect(ed), who seem to have really happy families. cheating is pretty endemic is N's profession, as it was in the legal field (or at least, in the big firm world. i can't speak for other lawyers.) but it was an atmosphere i hated. it always made me feel like i was a party to their lying, especially when i knew their wives. (i know women cheat too, but if the women i knew were cheating, they were much more discreet about it.)
& i just don't buy the "sex addicition" excuse. bullsh*t. the average man doesn't get to use that excuse, so why is it valid for the rich & famous? & i think the reasons for cheating are probably as varied as the reasons for getting married. some are probably better than others, but is there ever a "good" reason to cheat? i doubt it. why then, why do people cheat? it's a debate N & i have been having for awhile now... what do you all think?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

poop

today has been all about poooooooop.

apricots do not agree with the valinator. nuff said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

some recent pics, just for fun...

the cats have decided that under the tree is their new fav hidey hole. which, od course, only makes it all the more attractive a locale for the dudes. sigh.... here's rafter (aka chunk) being cozy & cute.
finger painting with edible finger paints (i used gerber yogurt with food coloring, but yu could also use pudding.) the dudes LOVED this-- kept them occupied for almost a half hour, which is pretty much unheard of. the con man especialy got into it, & COVERED his plate, then ripped it off his tray & covered the back, all while yelling joyfully. val very methodically covered every inch he could reach & then carefully smeared it all together, taking it all very seriously.

& i just love this picture. (yes, they're wearing hoodies over their jammies. it was cold!!)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

family drama (on both sides)

i forgot to RSVP to N's cousin's baby shower. which was today. crap. obviously i wasn't going, but i did mean to call. it's for one of the cousins who aren't very nice to us (in fact, are pretty damn rude) & who are openly hostile to N's parents. & its the daughter of N's most evil aunt. she has nothing nice to say about us or our kids, & i can take the sh*t about me, but not about my sons. & bc i don't want to start a family war, i just avoid them at all costs. although i might have just caused more problems by spacing on the whole shower thing since now they actually have a reason to dislike me. crap. i guess i'll send a belated gift & apology?
i hate family politics.
why can't N just have a normal family? i mean, mine isn't perfect, (see below), but for the most part, we all get along & if there's a problem it's addressed, not left to fester for 20 yrs before exploding in an huge fight in which unforgiveable things are said.

in other crappy family news, my brother is supposed to come home next week. he lives in IL where he is "finishing school" with his evil ex(?) girlfriend, & NEVER comes home, & only speaks to my folks when he needs something (usually $). i love my brother, but i hate how he treats our family. the last time he came home was when the boys were in the NICU, & he had the flu. his arrival caused a big fight between my mom & me, bc she didn't understand why i wouldn't let him in to see the boys. it still pisses me off, to be honest, but i'm trying to accept my mom's blind spot when it comes to her son. (& honestly, i understand better now having sons of my own, but still...)
anyways, R (the brother) has a knack for ruining holidays. for example-- when i was in college he got tanked on christmas eve, came home & puked all over everyone's christmas presents, then tried to tell us over the reek of booze-vomit that it was from "bad cupcakes". sigh.... only my mom bought that one. 2 yrs ago, he promised to come home, making my mom all excited (bc she always believes him) & then cancelled at the last minute to attend his girlfriend's family christmas instead (also in MI) where he again proceeded to booze it, although he did stop by for about 15 mins. to drop off their dogs for my folks to watch. & then last year, he again promised to come & then bailed at the last minute (literally on christmas morning) which crushed my mom & ruined everyone's day.
without going in to details, N's younger sister also pulls similar sh*t every holiday, so after last year's fiasco, we announced that we would be having all holidays at our house & if any one would like to come, they could, but we were going nowhere & waiting on no one.

R was supposed to come home 2 weeks ago, but (as always) cancelled at the last minute (10am of the morning he was supposed to arrive) claiming car trouble. he says he took his truck to the dealer & asks my folks to send $250 to cover costs. my dad transfers the money & 2 weeks later (yesterday) confides in me that R still hasn't pulled it out of his account. what dealership is going to let a check sit for 2 weeks? sigh....

i love my brother, & so does everyone who meets him. he's funny & just generally charming & really fun to be around. he is also completely unreliable, a habitual liar, & incredible selfish. please understand-- i don't want any one bashing my brother or my family. i worry about R & the effect his behavior has my mom & on his own life, but you can't help those who don't want to be helped, & i just had to vent somewhere.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

the christmas hunt

i've been chipping away at my christmas shopping, i got the big ticket items on black friday, & have been doing bits & pieces since. this afternoon my mom is watching the dudes so my dad & i can hit the local shadow art fair. (http://www.shadowartfair.com/) it's a really funky local crafts fair held my my fav brewery in charming depot town. (depot town is where the old train depot was. & still is, but it's no longer functional. now, it's just the name for a few blocks in ypsi that's home to almost al my fav local things.) kind of a bummer to be hitting the brewery, since my dad's on the wagon & i'm preggo, but i'm thinking i can pick up some cool unique gifties. or hoping, anyways.
i love christmas shopping. i love hunting for gifts, i love the wrapping, i even love the crowds. i know i'm nuts, i'm just a holiday junkie & i'm so excited i can do my own shopping this year, after having to rely on poor N last year, since i was couch-bound.
& i really have nothing more exciting to say today. it's been a peaceful morning. happy saturday kids!

Friday, December 4, 2009

i should be napping right now. (a confession)

i was up with val from midnight til around 230 this morning & then we all got up at 5, bc, well, its just one of those days. the boys lasted until almost 9 & then went down for a nap, but i was so hungry i had to eat rather than sleep. & i could lay down now & try to snooze til they wake up, but instead i'm here & planning on taking the dudes to ikea with my mom when they wake up. i think we need to get out more while we still can (the threat of bedrest if hanging over me) & i think as long as i allow no strangers to touch them & am militant with the hand sanitizer, we should be safe. (fingers crossed.)

i posted something on another blog & its been making me feel incredibly guilty, so i feel compelled to explain myself. here's my confession: i don't like being pregnant. i know, i'm awful. we tried so hard to get (& stay) pg, & fought for every day past 26 weeks with our boys, & i should be grateful & love every minute of this. well, i am grateful, but i am SO not loving every minute of this. i didn't even love being pg with my dudes (who were planned). i loved the miracle of them, the knowledge that i was their source of life & comfort & nourishment for so long. i loved that i got to know them before they were born, but the day to day of pregnancy sucks for me. i hate being sick, i hate being tired, i hate the awkwardness, the giant clumsy body, the aching joints. i hate that my body is no longer my own.

don't get me wrong, all those complaints are sacrifices i'll gladly make for a healthy child, & i know i'll miss the ability to bear more children when N & i are finally done growing our family (hypocritcal, isn't it?) i love the end result of pg & i love that i can, after out losses & struggles, carry & grow our children myself, but i still don't like beign pregnant. it's kind of like that obnoxious sibling, who you love but don't like. well, that's how i feel about pregnancy-- i love it, but i don't like it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun with Pictures: Twins vs. Singleton, Part I

13 weeks with the twins
13 weeks with a singleton (thanks amanda for the shirt!)

8 weeks with twins (& rafter, aka chunk the cat clawing my leg)


8 weeks with a singleton (with scouty chewing on my fingers, & yes, that's a baby bump, i'm not that plump normally!) there are no pics between weeks 8 & 13 with this pg, bc i am lame. i'll try to document better in the future, but i was flaky with pics for the twins too... regardless, i thought i few comparison shots throughout would be fun (for me at least!)



Monday, November 30, 2009

i keep having "girl" dreams....

twice now (the only times i've dreamt of this baby) it has been a girl. ok, so once it was a girl who turned into a ladybug, but a ladybug is still a "lady" right? hmmmm......

i have mixed feelings about whether a girl or boy would be "better". (yeah, i know the matter is already decided & i don't get a say, but that doesn't stop one from thinking does it?) in some ways, i'd love a girl. just bc it would be cool to have the experience of raising both, & bc i'd love to see N with a little girl, & i think it would be fun to have a daughter (other than the teenage years. but i doubt that's fun for either sex.) but i also love the sound of "my boys". & they'll be so close in age, maybe it would be better if they were all dudes. or maybe being close in age would help a girl feel less the odd man (or girl) out. & there really is something about a mom & sons that i just can't explain fully... i don't know that i'd adore a daughter in the same way i adore my little boys. not that i'd love a daughter any less, but i know the tricks of the trade, so to speak, being a girl myself. moms with boys, do you know what i'm saying here? plus, we already have all the boy clothes, lol!

eh, who am i kidding-- i'll be excited no matter what we're having. but it is fun to ponder the possibilities...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mixed News

i don't really feel like dwelling on this, but i feel like it warrants a post, so here goes:

we had an appt with our MFM doc yesterday & while baby is just fine, he had some less than stellar news for me. apparently the risk of having another preterm baby is way higher than i thought. i was under the illusion that it was the fact i had twins that was the problem last time, but apparently it's just me. with all the surgeries i had on my cervix (years & years ago, i was maybe 21 at the time) & the fact that they can't attribute the premature rupture with the dudes to the pre-e (i wasn't truly full-blown pre-eclamptic "she could have a stroke at any minute" until AFTER delivery. apparently that's really unusual, & pretty much means that my water breaking early likely had nothing to do with my rising blood pressure.) so the surgeries, the preterm labor at 26 weeks, the shrinking cervix & the premature rupture at 33 weeks all means that it's really unlikely we'll make our due date with this one. i really hate when docs give you news like that. i know its their job & all, & just don't like hearing it. i am to think of my due date as a"goal", which is the language they started using when it became clear we wouldn't make it to term with the guys. sigh.... so i'm on prometrium for the duration of the pg in an effort to prevent early contrax & will have weekly u/s starting at 16 weeks to check on my cervix. yay.

don't get me wrong, i'm glad they're taking so many precautions, i just refuse to assume that it is a foregone conclusion that we can't make it to term. i am going to asume everything is fine & that we WILL make 37 weeks. sure, there are lots of reasons we MAY not get there, but not a single reason we CAN'T get there. so we'll just keep our fingers crossed & hope for the best.

i have to say tho, had this been a planned baby, we would have consulted with our docs prior to trying & i think after recieving this news, we might not have tried. i'm thrilled we're having #3, & am going to proceed as tho everything will be fine (bc it WILL), but we know what could have happened with the boys & we know how lucky we were to get to 33 weeks. i just have to assume this kid is here for a reason, so onward we go!

in happy news, i have lots of thanksgiving prep to do today. woohoo! i'm super excited about this cheese ball i'm making... i love cheese! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

orka-ville, here i come!

from my loving husband this morning: "wow, you're really looking pregnant!" which is a true statement, so i don't mind. it's better than being in the no-man's land of "is she pg, or is she fat?"

what IS kind of depressing is that i think i'm as big with this singleton as i was with the dudes at the same point. (eventually i'll post comparison pics, i promise!) i know i was huge with the boys bc there were 2, & i know you're usually bigger with a subsequent pg, but i somehow had convinced myself that i wouldn't be so big this time since i only have one baking. alas, that seems not to be the case.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sleepy Saturday Musings

the boys are both fighting the naps right now, but quietly, so i know they'll give in sooner or later. :) conrad is becoming a thumbsucker, & is going to town on his thumb, which is very cute. doesn't like a paci, but that thumb--ooo boy!

i am very tired (surprise, surprise) & hunting for thanksgiving recipes for N. poor guy, my family usually does traditional armenian food for holidays, & bc he works every holiday we usually celebrate holidays here (with my fam). so he misses out on the american staples like candied yams, etc. so this thanksgiving, since its at our house, i'm making him his candied yams with marshmallows (sounds yucky to me, but he loves it!) & cranberry sauce. & we're doing a real turkey, not just a breast with some other less-traditional protein like usual. i figure its time we start some of our own traditions, so we're mixing the armenian & american this year, & luckily my folks are all excited about it, mostly bc my dad loves to cook & my mom just loves a party, but its working out without offending anyone & N will get some of his holdiay treats.

i had a diet coke today, which i now feel all guilty for, since i wouldn't let caffiene cross my lips when i was pg with the guys. i'm just SO tired, i really needed the caffiene. & i even poured half of it down the drain, i just had to kill the tired headache i had going or i wasn't sure i'd make it thru the day.

monday & tuesday we have appts to check on the new peanut. mon with my OB, & tues is a consult with our mfm (high risk doc) & the NT scan, 1st tri tests etc. & if all is well, i think we'll be breaking the news. i'm showing enough that my family will guess on sight, & since the holidays are coming, i can't really hide from everyone (nor do i want to!) i'll post when the news is officially out, but for now it's still all secret squirrel.

& i will be going to see new moon tomorrow with a bud. doesn't matter that i'm not into pattinson & cast, etc. something about that series is just addictive & i have to see it. we can all use a little cheap escapism in our lives, right?

val has given in to the nap, & con man is doing some serious wiggles, which usually means he'll be out shortly. it's like he has to squeeze out every last ounce of energy before he can crash... funny little boy. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

he does love me!

N showed up, unannounced & unasked, at 430 yesterday. the man took 2 hours off work for no reason other than he thought i sounded like i needed help.

& i did. i love that man.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not in the mood for well-meaning advice.

the boys have been up off & on since 1am. conrad has been up for good since around 430, although i finally got val back to sleep around 6. sigh.... in good news, the con man is in a fabuous mood. mom, however, is not. mostly bc i am somewhat unfairly blaming N for my lack of sleep. he has been gone hunting (leaves at 4am home at 8pm) since saturday & is now back at work (gone 5am to 7pm) until sunday, when he made plans that require me to spend yet another day home alone with the guys WITHOUT ASKING ME. granted, he is just driving a processed deer up to his dad's buddy, it's not like he's having tons of fun, but it would have been nice to be consulted. & he acted all hurt when i scoffed at the idea of taking the boys & driving up there with him, as though sitting in a car for 4 hours with fussy babies, while pregnant & carsick would be some kind of treat. seriously, i wonder sometimes where his brain is. so my dad is riding with him (i guess N really wanted company) & i will be home with the babies. like always.
so much for our little talk about mom needing a day out once in a while.

(before anyone starts bashing my husband or talking about how much better i'll feel with sleep, just stop. all i really have to do is tell N i need some time to myself & we'll find a way to make it happen next week sometime. & babies will have a bad night once in a while-- it happens. but this is my blog & i'm allowed to complain about how tired i am & how annoying men can be. & i am prefectly aware of how b*tchy i sound. again, my blog-- i'm allowed.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adventures in Doggieland

So yesterday on the way to meijers i saw a stray dog, running down the road. i'm a sucker when it comes to critters, but it looks like a well-kept dog, so i tell myself it's a lose pet, & i'll stop on the way back if it's still there. on the way home, dog is still there, by now running down the road & acting scared. so i stop, & as soon as the dog sees my car stop, she runs over & jumps into the open door like she's never been happier to see a friendly human.

dog turns out to be a very sweet, beautiful (slightly pudgy) black lab with no collar. I take her home (after a stop to grab a leash & collar, since i can't have a strange loose dog in the house with babies & cats & birds), & she makes herself right at home, helps herself to some cat food & makes friends with digger the kitty. by now the boys are up from their naps & totally entranced with the doggie. (they LOVE animals. the kitties are their favorite toys & conrad loves to watch the birds). i start calling around to see if anyone has reported a lost dog & looking for a no-kill shelter that will take her. the process takes several hours, & during that time, we discover that the dog (now being called "rosie") is perfectly trained & wonderful with both babies & cats.

i see myself & my mom sinking fast, & i know that we just can't add another animal to the mix right now. (& here comes the part where i jusitfy why i couldn't keep her.) we have zero yard, & no fence, & with 2 babies & a 3rd on the way, i barely have time to give the critters we have now the attention they need, let alone a dog who needs walks & run time. we firmly believe that when you adopt a critter, it is for life & with full knowledge of the needs, & i just can't meet the needs of a busy young lab, no matter how perfect she is. sigh.... i still feel sad about it.

anyways, on my 3rd call to the humane society, they tell me a man has just come in & reported a lost lab, but can find none of his info. the nice lady ("nancy") asks why i don't just bring her in to the shelter, & i say she's too nice a dog to be put down in 2 weeks when no one adopts her. at this point, nancy says "oh!" like she's had a revelation, & tells me that bc they are a private shelter, they don't euthanize any animal unlesss the animal is dangerous or terminally ill & in discomfort. healthy, friendly critters are kept & fostered until they find a home. i honestly could have kissed her at that point. i really felt responsible for rosie the dog & was beyond thrilled to find a good place for her. so rosie & i went & checked out the shelter, which was awesome, as far as shelters go. the doggie rooms had sofas, & toys & outdoor runs, it was like a very nice doggie condo. plus, they publish "found dog" reports on line & in the paper, so if some one is looking for her, she has a good chance to be found, & if not, she has a great chance of finding a good forever home.

& to further assuage my guilt, i made a donation to the humane society before i left. so in a few days, i'll call & see if she's been "found" & make sure she's going up for adoption. i know i kind of drive N nuts when i do stuff like this, but he knew that i stop for strays when he married me! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

i have...

nothing to say lately. i am just so darn tired, it's like i'm brain dead. & before anyone says "wait til the boys sleep thru the night" it's not them-- they're back on schedule & sleeping fine at night, & even napping during the day. it's got to be the pregnancy. it's just kicking the snot out of me. no matter how early i go to bed, i'm exhausted by noon. sigh....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

too much sunshine

i've decided i don't really enjoy blogs that are super cheerful all the time. if that's the face you chose to present to the world, that's cool, people write blogs for different reasons, after all. but for me, the blogs i enjoy most are like peeks into some one else's head. it's a voyeuristic pleasure, sure, but it's so much more fun than blogs that are just a bunch of happy status reports. no one is cheery all the time, not every day is a good one, & i'd rather read about the angry & the ugly & the bad right along with the good. i think it's a more realistic approach to writing, & definitely a more interesting one to read.

& now i've pissed of everyone who tries to be nothing but positive, which isn't my intent. please understand, it's not a reflection of your writing choices, but rather of MY reading preferences. it's the same reason that the best fairy tales are the ones that are a little scary too. life is better when it has balance. light without dark is just boring. why do you think the princess is usually an orphan? why is there always a scary witch or terrifying dragon? perfection isn't a fun experience 2nd hand.



p.s. to lurker in willis, mi: I KNOW YOU! i must, willis is tiny. so who are you & how did you find me?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nothing Interesting

N's dad & dad's best bud are spending a few days down here hunting with N. they were supposed to get in around noon, but called at 9 to say they were in chelsea (40 mins from us, but wherer the hunting land is), so N took off about an hour ago to meet up with them, & i got the dudes down for a snooze, so hopefully they'll be in good moods to visit with grandpa mike before we have to rush them out to the flu shot bonanza this afternoon. (seasonal shot at 3, H1N1 at 5).

in unrelated news, i want green bean casserole. like, BAD.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alcohol & Know-It-Alls

I'm taking a nutrition class (required for the dental hygiene program) & last night was our lecture on alcohol, which of course included alcoholism. The professor goes over the health problems caused by prolonged abuse, cirrhosis of the liver being one of the msot serious. She mentions that if it gets bad enough, the only real treatment is a transplant. At this point, a super obnoxious girl who sits behind me decides to chip in with her 2 cents. (if you've ever been in any kind of higher education you pry know the type. she knows everything about everything & has either personally experienced every ailment discussed in class or knows some one who has. & of course, bc of her great wealth of personal experience, she knows more about any given topic than anyone else including the professor. she also brings brownies to this class (did i mention it's a nutrition class?) & frequently spouts off about her incredibly healthy vegan lifestyle, despite the fact that she weighs over 200lbs & seemingly eats packaged brownies like candy. i'm sure you can already tell how much i appreciate her commentary.)

anyways, last night's discussion of alcoholism hit close to home for me, as i have watched someone very close to me struggle with it for over 20 years before finally becoming clean almost 3 years ago. we saw withdrawl in all its horrid glory, as this person quite cold turkey (a stupid, stupid & very dangerous way to quit for a serious addict, in case anyone is wondering.) we saw the after effects, the altered personality, the tremors, the halucinations (no, it's not just drug addicts who go through that kind of withdrawl) & it was incredibly scary, even more so bc this person (my dad) is also a diabetic, which is pretty much the worst additional disease an alcoholic can have. the combo is super dangerous & damaging & we are incredibly lucky that he is here & well & sober today.

so when the professor is talking about transplants, this idiot brownie-eating girl has the balls to say that alcoholics don't deserve the chance, bc their problem is of their own making. excuse me, but who gave her the power to judge another human being? what right does she, or anyone, have to say that a man like my dad, who, although far from perfect, is working to turn his life around, does not deserve the chance to live a life free from addiction? Addicts are not by definition evil people. They have mothers & fathers & sisters & husbands & wives & children who love them, just like any other person.

The ability of some folks to condemn an entire population of people through ignorance, or lack of compassion, or just plain meanness infuriates & amazes me, & leaves me feeling somehow disapointed with the human race generally.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

eating is not fun

when you select your meals based on what will taste the least bad coming back up. ugh.

seriously, i'm almost 11 weeks. i might lose it if this lasts the entire pg like it did with the dudes. i really want to enjoy our last few months with only my boys, & all this puking is really interfering with life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

mental health report

thanks for all the kind thoughts & support yesterday...

my mom showed up & literally kicked me out of the house. so went to noodles & co, had a giant bowl of thai curry soup, which i ate very slowly, without anyone telling me to hurry (N) or crying (the dudes) & it was lovely. i was so tired i couldn't think of a darn thing to do with myself after that, & after an hour of sitting in my car contemplating life, decided i could handle a movie, so i went & watched a christmas carol in 3D, bc that was what was playing when i got to the show. & it was either surprisingly good, or i was so glad to be somewhere quiet & dark i would have liked anything i saw. & then i went home, had a glass of milk & passed out by 730. i don't think i spoke 10 words to N, not bc i was mad, but bc i was so exhausted. when i called this morning tho, i told him we should talk tonight & he seemed amenable.

let me just throw out there as well, N is a huge help. yes, he works alot & yes, he works long hours. on his off days he does take down time for himself, & it is well-deserved. he also helps with housework, does all the yardwork, & is great with the babies. the "daddy" issues we have are no more nor less than the "daddy" issues faced by most new parents. (dads just are not moms. if you don't know what i mean, then woopee for you, but i'm guessing most moms know just what i'm talking about.)

after some contemplation & a long talk with my own mom, i think the problem is not that i need more from N, but that i need some real time to myself. not just the occasional shower (which i consider personal hygiene, not down time) & not a solo trip to the grocery store (which is a chore, let's face it). i need "just me" time. & after complaining that i only really have one babysitter (my mom) i realized i also have N. (duh.) he gets "down time" on his days off, & darn it, i should too. just bc i'm home all the time doesn't mean i don't work. i do, & i work hard. the difference is i don't get any scheduled time off. there is no weekend for a SAHM. all i really need from N is a couple hours a week, where i can leave the house & do something entirely for me that involves not a single chore, & that is what we are going to talk about tonight.

(& for the record-- the boys sleep fine at night. it's the naps where we have trouble & they are making HUGE strides with our new nap routine. there is no CIO involved, & while we still ahve some "off" days, in general it is awesome. they're sleeping peacefully as i type! i really think the last straw for me was this new pg. it really takes a toll on a body, growing another person.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

just to move that last post...

away from the top, here are some pics of the boys enjoying the nice weather yesterday.




i can't

i just can't today.

we woke at 530, to val screaming in his sleep. i couldn't get him back to bed, so he & i have been up since then. conrad got up at 7, and after breakfast, they both threw up everything they ate. no fever, no coughing, they seem fine. of course, this morning, i'm puking up everything i eat too.
val won't let me out of his sight. cries horribly everytime i go anywhere not in his line of vision. conrad is being his usual cheery self, but my poor vally is having a rough day.

none of this would matter any other morning, but somehow it does today. i am tired, i am run down, i am not eating well or enough, & i have been alone in the house with my babies since wednesday, & let's be honest, even when N is home mom doesn't get a break. actually, i dont know that any of that matters either, except for the fact thst i have reached some undefineable limit.

i am done. i just can't today, & i knew it when i burst into tears at the thought of another day alone in the house. i called my mom, who will be here shortly to spell me, so i can leave. i am not going grocery shopping, or accomplishing anything that needs doing. i just need to be, without my husband, without my kids, by myself.

do i feel guilty? yes. do i need this bad enough not to care? hell yes. i made it 7 1/2mos without a breakdown & i just can't anymore.

i'm hanging on by my fingernails right now, & i don't know how to make things better other than to try to preserve my mental health. funnily enough, before this pg, i was finally feeling like i was on top of things again- the boys & i had a nice routine going & even though it wasn't perfect, i was getting things done, staying on top of the housework, cooking decent meals again, having sex with my wonderful husband, and basically feeling like ME more often than not.

now, i mostly just feel beat down. the best i have every day goes to my boys, & by the time that's used up & the kids are in bed, there's just nothing left. nothing left for anything but the most essential chores, very little wife left for N & virtually nothing for myself.

i need a vacation.

later same day: my mom called to say she can't be here til after 3. i'm so tired i actually feel ill. i just don't know if its even worth going anywhere at this point, just to come home in 3 hrs bc its sunday & everything will close. plus i'm so tired, i'm not even sure driving is a good idea.

i'm so tired. i just feel broken. my poor boys.

fuck. fuck fuck fuck.

Friday, November 6, 2009

silence....

the boys are in bed, N just got called out to do his evidence tech thing (the real life version of CSI) & i have the house to myself. the birds are asleep for the night, the cats are all racked out, & everything is quiet. it's so nice i'm tempted to stay awake a little later than usual just to enjoy the silence.

on a practical note-- the B&E that N got called out for is one of a string in our area lately. there's a crew that breaks into cars in public parking lots, (grocery stores, movie theatres, etc), steals garage door openers & then uses them to break into the houses while the people are still out. might want to hide your garage door opener if you carry one in your car.... we are from now on!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

it's One of Those Days

let me begin by saying N is a wonderful father. he is attentive & loving & very involved. that said, here is what happened in our house this morning.
val wakes up at 6, con follows & both have no intention of going back to sleep. so i get up, grab val (who was yelling bc he can) so he'll shush, hand him to N (who is still in bed) & say "watch val" & go to get the living room baby ready, thinking i'll take the boys out & start the day so N can sleep in. i'm just finishing putting water on for tea, when i hear a thud & just *know*. so i go running back to the bedroom to find a very upset N trying to comfort a screaming val, who has (of course) fallen out of our bed. i grab val, just bc i know he'll calm down faster with mama, & say to N (& i'm not proud of this) "what did you do?" N admits he must have dozed off, & i calm down enough myself to realize he already feels crappy enough & tell N that it could have happened to anyone (& it could). val is none the worse for the wear, & now N is definetly up, so we all get up for the day.
we put the boys down for a nap around 8, both rack out until val has a monster poop (& i mean HUGE. the running-down-his-legs-exploding-out-the-back-all-the-way-up-to-his-neck kind of huge.) so i get up, (i had been trying to nap away a headache) & clean up val & ask N to give him a quick bath while i handle the laundry situation. instead of taking val out of the room where conrad is sleeping to bathe him, N bathes him next to con's bed. so now conrad is up.
we relocate the boys to the living room, & i ask N to watch them for a couple hours so i can nap. he agrees & i remind him to feed the boys the beef i've left out for them. we've talked before about how meat is a new texture for them & they need really little bites until they figure it out.
after being kept up by this stupid headache for an hour, i finally crash, only to be awakened at 10 by N searching for clothes bc conrad has puked up all his beef. i get up, & after quizzing N decide the problem was the monster bites daddy was feeding the dude. during this discussion, conrad also decides to blow out his diaper.
sigh.
i love my husband & he is a great dad. but sometimes i have to remind myself that he is trying & spends less time with them than i do, so there is a learning curve. sigh.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Uninvited Thoughts

i had my first really positive thoughts about this little one on my way home from the doctor the other day. not that i've been thinking negatively, i just haven't been thinking about him at all. anyways, seeing the little arms & legs starting out & the little heart beatinn away is always cool, but on the drive home i caught myself kind of laughing over how the little guy has just been growing quietly away in there while the usual chaos reigns all around. i thought to myself "the little booger" & really smiled over him for the first time. the thought also crossed my mind, totally univited, that another little dude would be pretty cool. amazing, huh? sometimes i surprise myself.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

project nap: day 3

they both took a TWO HOUR nap this morning, & con had a 40 minute nap this afternoon (val is still asleep!) i'm afraid to write more lest i jinx our good luck...

Monday, November 2, 2009

(Finally) an EDD and, in baby related news, more on naps!

just to update my own record keeping: baby #3 is measuring 8w3d, & our EDD is 6/6/10. (2 days before my birthday!) although the doc reminded me that the EDD is more of a goal.... he pointed out that i'm still considered high risk for preterm labor, since its already happened with the dudes & bc of the surgeries on my cervix. yay. & i'm a carrier for group b strep, which apparently can increase your chances of PTL as well. so we'll be followed by the high risk mfm again as well as my OB. but for now baby looks perfect! we talked about VBAC, he's open to trying & supportive of it in general, but did point out the risks to me & baby & said we'll have to keep re-evaluating options as the pregnancy progresses. which is fine by me. when all is said & done, i want what's best for the kiddo(s... all 3 of them). in other good news, there is only a low chance of me developing pre-e again. apparently only 1 in 5 women who have pre-e with one pregnancy will get it in subsequent pregnancies, so that's reassuring.

& on to baby news: day 2 of our new nap plan is not going so well... grampa babysat while i was at the doc, so their morning nap routine was messed up & their nap only about 15 mintues long.
val finally caved into sleep around 230, (next to me on the bed of course, so i can't go do anything else!) & conrad is still fighting it. he's in his swing & i have our "nightnight" music on. he *just* stopped complaining about life & i know he's tuckered, so i'm hopeful he'll give in & nap soon.... poor little guys. i'm letting them dictate the timing of their naps, i don't try to put them down until they give me sleepy cues & con actually already fell asleep once, but almost immediately sneezed & woke himself up & has been fighting it ever since. i decided i'm going to stick with this new nap routine for at least a week before i re-evaluate.
on the plus side, bc N left for work at 230 this morning after we fed the boys, they went right back to sleep & slept til 645!!! yay!! i'm gathering evidence that it really IS his alarm doing the damage in the morning so i can persuade him to consider either sleeping upstairs on the nights he works, or find some other alternative that does NOT involve an alarm clock going off in the boys room at 5am.
& now con's asleep :) patience pays off! now i'm just left sitting here until val wakes up.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sleeping Babies & Snobby Parents

as i sit here watching my exhausted boys refuse to nap, i am left pondering the politics of getting your kid to sleep. a disclaimer: if your precious little angel sleeps through the night & you are convinced that its all due to your stellar parenting, please quit reading NOW.

for the rest of us sleep deprived parents, ever notice how snobby people are about their sleeping babies? i am firmly convinced that having a child who sleeps through the night before age 2 (i mean ALL the way through... not just 5 hrs at a stretch) is largely due to luck & nothing more. N & i are not high stress parents, we don't always rock or feed the boys to sleep; we roll with whatever their needs seem to be on any given night. they just aren't & never have been, "good" sleepers. more personal evidence that its all luck: my family tends to have lots of kids, & within each nuclear family, there is a consistent mix of "good" & "bad" sleepers. it's really just luck folks, & maybe genetics. it's not bc you never rocked your baby to sleep, or always rocked your baby to sleep, or give them a bottle at night, or breastfed until they were 3. you just got lucky. i wish people would bear that in mind before launching into a "how to get your child to sleep" monologue. every kid is different, & there is not a one size fits all solution.

& while i'm on the topic of sleep, has anyone else noticed how judgemental folks get when you say you don't buy the "cry it out" philosophy? i hate how CIO is considered by so many to be the gold standard of sleep techniques. (if you have been drinking the koolaid, calm down, i'm not knocking your parenting. its a choice every family makes for themselves.) in my mind however, i just don't think it is a productive means of teaching a baby to go to sleep. i don't believe that babies have the capacity to calm themselves when they're so young, & i don't believe that babies have the cognitive ability to understand why they are being left to cry. of course, left to sob long enough, any child will eventually pass out. 1) they exhaust themselves, & 2) its a baby's natural response to a traumatic situation. (any NICU parent can tell you, after traumatic procedures docs often expect your baby to pass out. remember that sleeping little boy handed to you after his circumcision? yeah, that's why. babies can't control their circumstances, so its a defense mechanism when they can't handle whats going on around them--i can't tell you how many times this was explained to N after boys had ultrasounds & scans & x-rays, & tubes put in, etc. but it is still unsettling to see.) in any case, i fail to see how leaving a child to scream teaches that child to put himself to sleep.

how then do we get our boys to sleep? we do whatever they need-- we'll cuddle, or rock, or rub their back, or get a bottle, until they put themselves out. i have to be honest, we don't have alot of trouble getting them down at night. they go out pretty easily betwen 6-7pm every night.
our trouble is the day time sleep. we wake up once at night to eat (they're hungry, this is totally fine with me), but around 4-5am everyday, we start a pattern of restless sleep, where they are obviously still tired, but need alot of help to stay asleep. this means i am usually awake the entire time, until they get up for good around 7-8am. i think this is bc N gets up at 5 when he works, & refuses to turn down his alarm, so the noise & his subsequent rustling around wake them up enough that they think it's daytime. i'm debating moving myself & the boys upstairs (our master bedroom is on the ground floor, the boys' room is upstairs, far away.) i know N will hate the idea, & it will mean i handle nighttime feedings solo, but we need to do something about the sleep situation, bc its just not working for a preggo & exhausted mom, not to mention the little dudes.

& they are AWFUL nappers. they are difficult to get to sleep, & even harder to keep asleep. if their combined naps for the day total 1 hr, we're lucky. they just aren't getting enough sleep & i know it. we're trying a new regime, where we do a "nightnight" routine before naps (when i see them getting tired) & i'm back to letting them sleep in their swings, since at this point all i want is to get them in the pattern of napping. as i type, we are in the bedroom, val has just fallen asleep in his swing & conrad, who is truly exhausted, is fighting it. hard. wish us luck.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The boys, all dressed up! (Conrad is the pumpkin, Val is the skeleton.) I might have already posted these somewhere, but it's halloween so i'm putting them up again!

They're very into toes right now-- their own, & their brother's.
They don't always like to share toes though. Pretty much the whole time I was taking pictures, all Val wanted to do was lay on Conrad & play with his brother's toes. When Con tried to lay on him, however, THIS is what happened.

Con was much more tolerant of sharing toes :)


Friday, October 30, 2009

Kobe & Candy

we did indeed get to go out for our anniversary/N's birthday dinner last night & it was delicious! we went to a super fancy steak house (the kind of place where you have separate waiters for water & drinks & your meal & to bus... it was like havinga small army wait on our us!) anyways, it was REALLY nice. we needed those 2 hrs to ourselves. bad.

both N & i are kind of foodies, but since i left chicago & the big money, we don't get to eat out like we used to & this was really a treat. we had kobe beef for the 1st time, & while i never previously really understood the fuss, HOLY CRAP, do i get it now! it was simply the most delicious thing i have ever tasted. if you aren't familiar with kobe, it's this fancy japanese beef, they're "special" cows, who get massages & lots of beer & a special diet, operating on the theory that a happy cow is a tasty cow. & man, those were some happy cows! it actually melted it your mouth. YUM!

the night didn't end exactly as i'd hoped, since i fell asleep waiting for N to get off the phone with his folks, but it was nice none-the-less. sometimes you just need a reminder that you're a grown-up, with grown-up tastes. today, however, i'm back to hanging with my babies & snacking on baby food :)

the boys are in the midst of dropping off to lala land, & N is out hunting bambi's dad, so for the moment it's just me. (Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.)

& i've cracked into our halloween candy. i always buy good candy, in case we get stuck with leftovers, & this year the kids are in danger of not having any chocolate left by tomorrow night. :)

oh, & i've been wearing maternity pants. sigh. the bella band still works right now too, but since i can't even zip my jeans a little bit, i have to be extra careful with it or i put on an inadvertant show. i can't believe i'm in maternity clothes at 8(ish) weeks with a singleton. yeah, it's technically my 4th pregnancy (only the boys went to term), but GEEZ. N pointed out to me last night that i've reached the "gee, she looks like she might be pregnant, but i better not congratulate her in case she's just fat" stage. isn't my hubby a sweetie? :P sigh.... i need to start taking belly pics, although i was anticipating this belly being so much smaller than the twin belly. that may not be the case in fact tho. i'm either growing a monster or plain old getting fat. which is what it is- i'll lose it eventually.
i just want to hold out another 4 or 5 weeks to break the news & face the storm. why do people have to be so judgy? oh well, i'm going to go have an almond joy. or maybe a cupcake. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bad Names, Good Laughs

I just read that tito ortiz & jenna jameson named their twins boys "jesse jameson" & "journey jett" (after the bands).

seriously. N & i have been cracking up. what are they thinking? granted, i think being named after your mom's porn name & the band jett would be pretty bad even if they were singletons, but it made us start re-hashing all the awful twin names we've heard. it's like people go a little nuts (or stupid) when they find out they're having 2 & try to name them as a "set", (just come up with really awful names). allow me to provide some examples from our own personal experience.

from a set of twins in the NICU with the dudes (boys) : cash & change

twins girls (told to us by the NICU nurses, although we did not meet them): boy & man (yup, they were girls. apparently the mom wanted boys.)

twins boys: tyrod (pronounced tie-rod, as in the car part) & axel

identical twin girls i once knew: elise & elisa (in & of themselves the names are fine, but come one, they're already identical!)

i realize naming your kids is pretty personal, & most people put alot of thought into it. i just think sometimes people get a little carried away. afterall, the kids have to live with these names for the rest of their lives (or until they're old enough to change them. & if i were named man, i'd be counting the days!!)

any ridiculous names, twin or otherwise, that you guys have to share?

Phew...

Val is doing better. we're doing the breathing treatments & steroids thru the end of the week, but he seems to be on the mend!
i hate watching him not being able to get his breath. i don't know that there's much scarier than watching your child struggle to breathe. my little brother had terrible asthma as a child, & the nebulizer brings back all kinds of awful memories of R being rushed to the hospital not able to breathe bc his airways just closed up. sigh... all i can do is hope that we aren't headed the same route, & be thankful that our little dude is breathing easier.

in other news, we got our proofs from the boys photo shoot this morning!! they came out soooooo cute :) we're placing an order ASAP so we can get our prints in time for christmas presents for the granparents. (our photographer is a one woman operation & does everything old school, 35mil film, by hand, so it takes a while, but they come out absolutely amazing-- well worth the wait!) i'll post pics when i get a chance. :)

at the doc's office this morning, they basically put the fear of God in me about getting the H1N1 shot for the boys now.... i think i'll have to stake out some clinics next week in hopes of getting it for them. with N coming into contact with so much of the public, & val having breathing issues, they pretty much told me to do whatever i could to get it for them, since they have no idea when they'll have it at the pedi's office 9the county public health dept is in charge of distributing, & if you ask me, they're doing a really crap job.) where we live they're even rationing the seasonal vaccine (which thankfully the boys DO qualify for, so we're getting it nov.14, the earliest they offer it.) this just sucks. apparently the only reason i was able to get it is bc pregnant women are considered super high risk, so they got the vaccines out to the hospital OBs. i just wish i could find it for my guys. we've had enough sicky scares the past couple weeks to last this flu season.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

at least its not flu...

so val has asthmatic bronchitis. which means he has bronchitis + asthma symptoms, so his airways are closing up, explaining the wheezing & coughing. (he's coughing so hard he's puking.)

so we now have an at home nebulizer, & the kid is getting around the clock breathing treatments every 4 hrs until tomorrow morning, when we go back into the doc. please keep your fingers crossed that it's not getting any worse, & this isn't real asthma, just a very nasty case of bronchitis. my poor baby.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

back to the doctor....

val is still puking, & his cough has turned into a really nasty, near constant bark, so in we go.

N & i still have plans for our anniversary dinner tonight, with gram babysitting, so we'll see what the doc has to say.

thsi is a really boring post, isn't it? i'll try to be more interesting later...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

questions about baby appetites?

its 11am, we've been awake for 4 hrs & we've already played with all our favorite toys, had a snack & a bottle, & taken a nap. now, bc both dudes are cutting a new tooth (they seem to think they have to do everything at the same time), we are chewing furiously on our froggies. (conrad has a wooden frog he likes to rub against his gums, & val has a weird round circular frog-thing that squeeks when they bite it. good times.)

a question: when the dudes were super pukey, we weren't giving them any solids (obviously). they aren't totally themselves, they're still coughing & full of boogers, so their appetites aren't totally back yet, but they seem alot less interested in solids now. conrad especially. sound normal? it seems odd to me, since they so love to eat, but it's also the first time they've been really sick, so maybe this is just par for the course & i don't know it yet. they are eating less overall now too, so maybe it is just that they're still sick. thoughts?

EDIT: nevermind. we are clearly still sick. val just had a major "puke on my brother" episode, & while giving them both baths, con just ralphed up a bunch of snot. its the first time they've barfed in a couple days, but i'm pretty sure this explains the lack of appetite. still, if you guys have any thoughts, feel free to weigh in. just thought i'd update.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Naps & Snacks

since the boys have been sickies all week, they've also been spoiled rotten. :) i don't mind in the least, when they feel crappy, i want them to know we're here to make them feel better. now that they're feeling better however, they little dudes have to re-learn how to entertain themselves & boy is it fun. actually it's not bad, but it has set us back in the napping department. my new plan is, (since they nap fine in their swings), to move the swings into the bedroom & have them nap in the swings in the bedroom. genius, right? my theory is that they'll get used to sleeping in the bedroom & i can then transition them to their cribs. we'll see how it works.... it took them a while to fall asleep today, but they are both now napping. in their swings. in the bedroom.

in other news, i am eating pretty much constantly to stave off morning sickness. zofran makes me dizzy & headachey, & phenergan knocks me out cold, so i'm only taking them in emergencies, which means i eat. & eat. & eat. it's a little ridiculous. & of course it's not healthy carrot sticks & salads that keep the puking at bay, it's cupcakes & apple pie & anything pickled. (& lately, pistachios.) with the boys, i gained over 90lbs. (granted, 20 of it was in the last week of the pregnancy when i had preeclampsia & swelled up like a grotesque balloon, but still... it's alot of weight.) i only got back down to 120 before i got KU this time, & i'm a little worried i'm going to end up weighing 200lbs again. sigh.

i'm not trying NOT to gain weight, since that's not healthy for the peanut, but i'd like to gain a normal amount this time, since this is a singleton & i won't need to double my body weight. (ok, i didn't really need to double last time, but they did want me to gain at least 70 lbs. which i was doing, until the pre-e hit.) of course, i also can't NOT eat, bc then i'll be too pukey to function. my hope is that when the pukiness abates i can go back to eating like a normal person.

Friday, October 23, 2009

happy halloween!

we were going to take the boys out to the "zoo boo" at the toledo zoo, but its rainy & the boys are still sickies, so instead we just dressed them up today & decided to carve our pumpkins this afternoon. i tried to get some pics of them sitting up with the pumpkins, but val mostly just wanted to lay on con & play with his brother's toes. so here they are, with our 50lb pumpkins (N likes them BIG), being cute.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

updates

boys are both sleeping & i am hoping they both take big long naps, since they're both sickies. poor dudes. of course, they're in their swings, not their cribs, but i'm also too sick to care & really i just want them to rest. we all had a rough couple of nights.

i did keep my doc appt yesterday, & for the record, the new baby is doing fine. hb was 126 bpm (yay!) & we were measuring 6w5d, which is only a week ahead of last time, but doc said not to worry. the rate of growth is good, & its just so hard to get a really accurate measurement when they're that small, probably all it means is that we aren't as far along as we thought. so another appt in 2 weeks & we should (finally) be able to date this pg & get an EDD.

dang it. conrad's awake.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a glimpse into life as a cop's wife

Maybe once a week, N comes home & when i ask him how his day went, he'll answer "i had a foot chase/car chase/fight today." Bc he loves this stuff, i always smile & say "wow, how cool! tell me what happened!" & he launches into a detailed description of his exploits.

some background about where we live: ypsi is a blue-collar, lower to lower middle class kind of town. we have some nice neighborhoods & areas & probably more than our share of trailor parks & mini-ghettos. some of the scarier parts of town are in what is known locally as "the willow", probably bc of its proximity to the old Ford's plant at willow run. anyways, parts of the willow are nearly completely black. (now before anyone gets up on their racial high-horse, being black has nothing to do with living in the willow or being poor or anything else. N & i also live in a mostly black neighborhood & we really like it here. it just happens to be a fact that the world is not totally integrated. racism still extsts & it exists in ypsi just like anywhere else. sucky, but true.) the willow, especially the black areas of the willow, are notoriously anti-cop, & not entirely without reason. last summer there was a really ugly incident where an african-american man in custody of the local sherriff dept died in the street, allegedly as a result of mistreatment. now, N & the state police had nothing to do with the incident, but bc they are cops, the anti-police attitude affects them as well.

so a couple days ago, N comes home & says he had a foot chase & fight. i ask how it went, here's what he tells me: he was making a traffic stop for bad plates in the willow. the man pulls into a driveway where lots of guys are milling around & tries to pretend like he doesn't know N was tailing him or talking to him. some dialog ensues, & the man gets beliegerant & refuses to follow N to his cruiser, & ultimately takes off on foot. N is pretty quick, so he catches the guy going over a fence & a fight follows. Now, N is a big guy-- 6'3", 200lbs & this man is maybe 5'9" & 160, but N can't control him. he can neutralize the man, but the guy has apparently had fight training, so he's manuevering out of N's holds. They scrap for about 5 minutes, N takes a few hits & finally pins the guy without resorting to his club or mace. he tells me its the 1st time he's ever not been able to totally handle a guy in a fight. (i believe him. i've seen him take down guys with a good 50lbs on him.) Now the general law is that police can stay one step ahead of their attacker. so once the man hit N, N cold have resorted to his weapons using non-deadly force. he chose not to, in part bc he was a white cop alone in a black neighborhood, fighting in the midst of a pretty large group of men, several of whom he's arrested in the past.

at this point in the story, i break with my usual role of confident wife, convinced of her husband's superior abilities, to stop N & say what the hell were you thinking? why didn't you use your club? you have a family to come home to, etc. he points out that it all turned out ok, & several of the guys in the background were actually telling the man to give up, that N was a good cop & he'd be treated fairly. i sigh, thinking, yeah but what if it hadn't turned out that way? & remind myself that i have to trust N's judgement on this stuff & that this is all part of being married to N.

i don't know why i'm relating this story, other than the fact that for the first time in a long time, i was afraid for N while he was telling it to me. generally, i don't let fear for him be a part of our lives. this is his chosen profession, he loves it, & he can't be effective at it if he's worried bc his wife is scared all the time, & i don't want our kids raised in a climate of fear. so it's not that i'm callous or willfully blind to the dangers he faces, i just chose to exist in a world where my husband will come home every night. every so often tho, the worries i hide seep through the cracks.


as an aside-- the man turned out to be high on all kinds of stuff, which is probably why he was so difficult to control.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

hog heaven

& i definetly made the world's best apple pie today. yum.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oink Oink

ok, so i *might* have eaten 9 of the 12 donuts we got at the orchard when we went pumpkin picking.
& i *might* have made a blueberry crisp tonight bc the donuts are gone. but blueberries are good for you, right?

For the Captain's Wife & RocketQueen & other interested parties

Ok ladies, i'm getting ready to finish & send out your "crafts" from august (remember this post?) so i need addresses! (i think i have karianne's, but i know i have no addresses in china, so i need that one!) you can email them to kadrounieATgmailDOTcom. & no fuss about postage, it's my treat.

last chance for anyone else who wants a little something made just for you from my corner of the world, comment now or forever hold your peace! (1st 3 only!)

:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm too grumpy to think of a good title....

today is a wrong side of the bed kind of day for me. i woke up cranky at 530 with conrad, & cant seem to shake the funk. i'm sure its somehow pregnancy related. ugh.
the dudes also seem to be picking up on my crankiness, despite my best efforts to keep a smile on for them. double ugh.

we're still having nap battles... con man will fuss & turn into the world'd grumpiest little man unless i rub his tummy til he falls asleep, & val has been having hysterics unless i rock him to sleep. this is a step backwards from where we'd been, but i do NOT buy into the "cry it out" philosophy. they are perfectly capable of going to sleep without my help (& they've done it before... i'm sure they'll do it again at some point) so i'm guessing they just aren't quite ready yet for whatever reason. i don't want to rush them into anything they aren't ready for, but i'm starting to feel pressure from the pending 3rd kid. the boys still get up once or twice a night for a bottle, which i don't mind-- they're hungry. but i don't know how i'm going to take care of 3 babies getting up at night, or 3 babies not wanting to nap despite being so tired their little eyes are watering. (yeah, i know moms of triplets do it. i am in constant awe of them, but that doesn't change the fact that i don't know how i am going to do it.)
i guess there's nothing to do but let them all proceed at their own pace, which is really what i'd prefer to do anyways, & just trust that somehow things will all work out. they always seem to, so i'm hanging on to that.

in other news, i managed to fall down the stairs twice yesterday. awesome. i did not call my doc, as i haven't had any spotting, & other than being sore from falling, i have no unusual aches & pains. i don't want anything to happen to this baby, but i just can't get excited about it. with the boys, i was so involved with every detail of their development, & now i can't help feeling like this kid is a total interloper. i was really looking forward to a few years of time with my boys, & now it's my boys + one. i know, the best laid plans of mice & men, etc, etc.... i need to just get my head around the fact that we're having 3, & get on board with the new program. maybe all the early u/s will help... it's not that i'm angry at this baby, more that i'm frustrated with myself for not being the mom i think i should be, both to this pending kid & to the boys.

isn't guilt great? sigh....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

testing... (& some pics, just for fun)

my first link! as requested, it goes to MrsCaptain. & i'll happily pimp her blog while i'm linking-- if you don't read it, you should. baby K is pretty much the most adorable little girl on the east coast, & her mom takes a totally cool, laid back approach to parenting that i personally find really refreshing, especially given all our paranoia over vaccinations, & sleeping, & peannut butter, & babyhood generally. so go read, & tell her i sent you! :)

i feel totally silly now for not figuring out how to link eons ago. whatever. thanks karianne!!! :)

& now for some gratuitous baby pics, since i'm posting twice in a day, i might as well have fun doing it!
here's the dudes getting down & dirty with their mesh feeders. sippy cups are mostly for throwing & banging on things right now, but boy, do they love their "sloppies" (aka the mesh feeders, N christened them sloppies after their 1st use!)Val, chillin like a big boy with daddy. (please ignore the mountains of baby-related mess visible in the background. thanks!)& my conrad, who has figured out that you can drink out of a sippy, but prefers to have it held for him while drinking. (although he is perfectly happy to hold it himself when he wants to bang it on things. go figure!)

Over the Top? Really?

the lovely Iiri & beautiful Kim (i think... did you mean me, kim? i'm pretending like you did!) nominated me for this lovely award (my 1st) thanks guys! so here goes:

Rules:
You can only use 1 word.
Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers.
Alert them you have given them the award.
Have fun!

1. where is your cell phone? table
2. your hair? up
3.your mother? hero
4. your father? trying
5.your favorite food? dolma
6. your dream last night? weird
7. favorite drink? martini
8. your dream/goal? attainable
9. what room are you in? family
10. your hobby? painting
11. your fear? blindness
12. where do you want to be in 6 years? content
13.where were you last night? bed
14. something that you aren't? awake
15. muffins? blueberry
16. wish list item? videocamera
17.where did you grow up? ypsi
18.last thing you did? bottles
19. what are you wearing? pj's
20. your tv? natgeo
21. your pets? messy
22. friends? welcome
23. your life? hectic
24. your mood? HUNGRY
25. missing someone? sarah
26. vehicle? hooptie!
27. something you're not wearing? socks
28. your favorite store? borders
29. your favorite color? green
30. when was the last time you laughed? today
31. last time you cried? saturday
32. your best friend? M
33. one place i go over & over? meijers
34. one person who emails me regularly? grandpa
35. favorite place to eat? pita-pita (its hyphenated! if iiri can do it, so can i!!)

I'm going to break the rules here, & just say that if you read my blog, you're nominated-- i love you all, & couldn't pick! (plus, i don't know how to do that cool name-link thing. does anyone want to tell me how? i'll be grateful forever!!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

so tired....

i can barely function. i'm making myself stay awake long enough to eat, & i fully plan to be in bed by 7 tonight. stupid morning sickness & stupid phener.gen... i'm taking it over zo.fran in hopes of avoiding the killer headaches & constipation (sorry TMI) that zofran gives me. i was so sick with the dudes last time that headaches was the lesser of 2 evils, but the phener.gan is working so far with this one, other than making me dead on my feet. or maybe thats just the pregnancy. lord, i'm tired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

my thoughts, itemized

item 1: i am not crazy, or brave, or stupid, or a glutton for punishment. sometimes birth control fails, folks. we're making the best of the hand we were dealt. & after all we went through to have the dudes, if this is a child we are meant to have, who am i to question it?
item 2: we had a fantastic time in chicago. it was one of those super fun weddings where everyone dances & the food is great & the booze prolific. (no, i wasn't drinking--calm down!) i even got to spend an unexpected amount of time with the bride & groom, who are 2 of my favorite people in the world. all in all, it was awesome.

item 3: the chicago marathon is HUGE. our hotel room faced the starting line & it took at least a half hour for everyone to cross.

item 4: the bride stole a few ideas i came up with for our wedding, which i loved. i think its such a great compliment when someone likes some quirky thing you did enough to replicate it on one of the most important days of her life. maybe it would have annoyed some folks, but i was totally tickled.

item 5: as nice as it was to have a night to ourselves, i missed my boys more than i can say. i was so excited to see them yesterday, i had N flooring it all the way home. i missed my cuddles so much, i even let the con man take a nap in my arms, which we haven't done in ages. i just couldn't seem to put him down. :)

item 6: the morning sickness is setting in. so yes, i finally feel pregnant. my doc called in some zofran & phenergan for me this morning & i will be picking them up ASAP. i just cant be this sick with the boys to care for. its not their fault we're KU, & i owe them better than a droopy, barfing mom.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Doctor Update

Well, i was wrong about my betas, they were 53 & 187! so pretty decent. :)

we have a SINGLE interuterine gestational sac. (i love my twins, but 2 sets this close together might have killed me!) we're measuring a bit over 5 weeks, so it's pretty early. the doc thought he might see a little flicker of a hb, but its really too early to be sure, so we have a repeat u/s scheduled for the 19th, & will be keeping fingers crossed til then. it's still too early to really accurately date it, but it looks like our EDD will be sometime in June.

We leave tomorrow morning for chicago... i'm really sad about leaving my babies. i know my folks will take fantastic care of them, but it's so hard on me to be apart from them. i didn't think it would be this hard to leave. i know N & i need alone time & i am looking forward to that & this wedding should be a blast, but i'm going to miss my boys SO MUCH. :(

Thursday, October 8, 2009

i forgot to mention...

val is turning into a devoted tummy sleeper. i promised myself that when they were old enough to roll onto their bellies & back & choose how they sleep that i wouldn't freak out if they chose to sleep on their tummies. con for sure prefers his back (arms over his head, legs straight out), but val likes his tummy. so far so good-- no freak out by mom, but daddy has had a few. the NICU folks really put the fear of God into us over SIDS. which is good, bc we've been very cautious about sleep habits, but it makes the time when they are old enough to control how they want to sleep kind of nerve racking. of course, we always put them down on their backs, but what can i say? the guy likes his tummy.

I LOVE my blender & other news

i do. it's awesome. i insisted N get me a new fancy one that was also a food processor, & i love it. it rocks. i make most of the dudes' baby food (except carrots & beets & spinach. something about nitrites (nitrates?) in the soil that is bad for babies. apparently Ger.ber picks carrots, etc. without it. ) anyways-- our old blender really hated peas & refused to blend them, & this one makes a beautiful pea puree. sometimes it's the little things in life that make you happiest. :)

i have to share a moment of triumph here too-- BOTH boys are napping peacefully in their CRIBS right now! woo-hoo!!!! i'm so excited about this, i can't even describe it. who knows how long it will last, but it's a definite step in the right direction.

i also had my first "i really must be pregnant" moment yesterday. i was driving back from the library, flipping radio channels & when a cheesy country song came on, not only did i listen to it, i bawled my eyes out. yup, i'm definetly KU. :P

i'll try to think up a more pithy post next time... i'm feeling sort of brain dead & chill lately.

p.s. if anyone who wants to start thinking healthy baby thoughts for our appt tomorrow, we'd be grateful!!!! nerves still haven't set in yet, but they're lurking in the background. thank goodness i'm busy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

*YAWN*

so the boys both have croup... good times! :P

they're trying really hard to be their usual cheery selves, but they just don't feel very good. N is home with them now while i try to finish up my homework for the week since we're going down to chicago this weekend, so hopefully they'll take good naps for him. we're working on transitioning them to sleeping in their cribs for naps instead of in their swings. so far we're having mixed results, but they've never been good nappers anyways.

i am totally exhasuted & so not inspired to do this stupid homework.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

i just don't feel pregnant

i posted a similar comment on a board & got alot of well meaning "don't you worry, symptoms don't kick in til 6 weeks" responses, which is nice, but not what i meant. what i meant was that i feel like maybe if i had some physical symptoms, i'd start believing that we're actually expecting our 3rd kid.

i wasn't supposed to be pregnant right now, & i just don't feel it. i don't *think* i'm pregnant. i know that sounds stupid, but you know how when you first saw that BFP, you got all excited & just *knew*? You had all this fear & anxiety & joy? I am just not feeling it. I feel anxious that i might have 3 kids under 2, but more as a theoretical concept, not as a reality. when i saw the 1st positive lines i convinced myself they were evaporation lines. of course that only lasted a day, since it's hard to deny lots of + lines over several days, but that initial sense of denial still hasn't quite left me.

i know i'm acting like a total jerk for feeling anything but overjoyed when there are so many people struggling to get pregnant, & i'm sorry for that. i'm just stuck in a state of suspended animation, waiting for the other shoe to drop. i know i have a dr appt friday, & maybe that will make it sink in.

in admitting all this, please don't think that we don't want this child, or that i'm angry. that's not at all what i mean. i'm just waiting for it all to sink in & become reality instead of the bizzarre, surreal experience that i'm feeling right now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FEED ME!

My kids love food. eating=fun in our house. (they are truly their father's boys!) anyways, here's some shots of the dudes enjoying their grub.

We're very into teething biscuits at the moment. Their approaches to eating them are totally different & they pretty much crack me up every time. Conrad dives in with gusto-- he turns the cookie around & around so that it's slimey all over, rubs it all over his face, & ends up with cookie in his ears, his hair, his eyebrows-- everywhere!
Val sucks on only one end of the cookie, & will only work that one end. he won't hold onto the slimey side, & if it falls, he insists that you hand him the dry end. And, as you can see, his face is clean as it can be when you're a baby eating a teething cookie.

When it comes to real grub however, the dude practically bathes in it. Here's Val covered in carrots. he likes to feed himself (i.e. knaw on a spoon he holds himself that is covered in food) so we end up with food on everything that's not covered by a bib.

& here's me & Conrad, who looooves his peas. Not only does he have peas up to his eyebrows in the picture, but he insisted on sucking all the peas off his fingers-- i guess they were too good to waste!