Friday, August 31, 2012

In Which Connor Is A Dapper Dan

Today Connor and I hit the antique mall and the thrift stores to find Halloween and Steamcon costume pieces.  Connor's been a yeti for two years in a row, and not only would the costume be a bit snug on him but it's pretty warm, which means it's not exactly the best idea in the world for him.  Since he and I are going to Steamcon together this year (Jer will sadly be unable to attend due to military obligations, but don't worry-- I'll get him into costume one of these days) I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. 

So Connor will be going as a Victorian Gentleman, which he approved after I showed him a bunch of pictures of gentleman in Victorian garb.  He actually requested a top hat!  I have no idea where the heck I'm going to get a top hat that would remotely fit him that's in my (extremely cheap) budget.  Perhaps I'll have to try my hand at making one. 

I'll be making him an ascot anyway, so I might as well add that to my list.  I think he'll be quite the dapper gentleman.

Connor has been doing extremely well in recent days; his last seizure was two weeks ago.  I have hope that maybe as he continues to get older his seizures will continue to become fewer and farther between than what we've seen in past years.  I don't expect him to outgrow his seizures, but I think it would be amazing if they became the exception rather than the rule!


In Which We Stay Up Late

Hi there!

We had a super late night last night.  The head nurse came over to show us the new electronic charting system they'll be using, so I ended up staying up well past midnight.  It's funny just how used to sleep I've gotten.

Yesterday we had our meeting with Connor's teacher and school nurse about his upcoming year; school starts up next week!  I went over how to use his g-tube and administer medication, turned in eight bajillion pieces of paperwork, and we discussed some of the things they may see with the little guy over the course of the school year.  I'm excited about his new classroom, and I think it'll probably be a great fit for him. 

I'm hoping that he'll enjoy his classroom and getting the chance to make some new friends.  He didn't have a lot of playdates over the summer, so it'll be good for him to do some mingling with his peers.  And of course I'm really, really looking forward to Connor being in school for other reasons, too.  Hooray for six hours a day of alone time!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In Which Connor Works On His Act

We had a pretty busy day today, spent visiting friends and running errands in preparation for Connor's school year starting up next week.  Connor ended up conking out sometimes around 7:30 in the evening, and I actually fell asleep around 8:30 and slept until shortly before our night nurse was due to get here.  I'm a bit of a night owl, so that's pretty unusual for me.  I'm not sure if it counts as a nap when you fall asleep that late, but whatever you call it I feel much refreshed.  Hopefully it won't throw me off of sleep for the rest of the night!

We've got a big meeting with the school nurse and Connor's teacher tomorrow to deliver all of his medical supplies and show them how to do a g-tube feeding.  Connor will be receiving three of his feedings at school-- basically all of his daytime feedings except for the last one.  It seems crazy that he'll be spending that much time during the week out of the house!  While I'm sure I'm going to miss him terribly during the day, I'm also really, really looking forward to having that time to myself.  Right now he's slated to go to school five days a week (though he's got a ton of appointments over the next three weeks and will be missing three Thursdays in a row as a result) but we'll cut it back if he's obviously overwhelmed. 

This will be a new school for Connor, so hopefully he'll settle into the routine quickly.  He's not much of one for change, so I'm sure we'll see a bit of push-back in terms of transition.  It will probably take a little while for the new staff to learn his quirks, too.  Connor has discovered that he gets a lot of attention very quickly if he slumps over and holds his breath, and recently he's gotten so good at it that even I have difficulty figuring out whether or not he's faking the seizure until he starts giggling or until he turns blue.  He's a good little actor, the stinker.

As an interesting aside, this pretty much confirms that he's fully awake and aware of what's going on during a seizure.  I suppose, though, that he could have just figured out by trial and error that if he slumps over he gets attention, so maybe it doesn't prove anything.

Anyway, with the vast majority of his discipline issues (and he doesn't have very many, thankfully) I can ignore them or redirect his behavior and he'll quit doing them.  This one gets him attention every single time since it's not one that I can ignore on the not-so unlikely chance that it's a real seizure, so I haven't figured out exactly how to get him to stop.  Time outs are wasted on the kid, and taking toys away is pointless since he doesn't really want to touch them anyway.  Spanking isn't a disciplinary tactic I would feel comfortable with.  I used to be able to figure out if it was really a seizure by tickling the bottom of a foot, but now he sometimes still has muscle control of his lower half when he's really having a seizure so that doesn't work so well anymore. 

He hates the oxygen mask and when he comes out of a seizure the first thing he does is push it away, so maybe I'll just start carrying a detached mask around with me and putting it up to his face the second he slumps over.  It's not really something I can do in the car, but if I could curb the behavior other times with it maybe he'd quit doing it while I'm driving. 

If you have advice, I'd love to hear it!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Which We Have A Near Miss

Today one of my neighbors came over and had a cup of tea, and as a result I ended up nearly killing us all, which made for an interesting day. 

We have a gas stove, and apparently when I took the kettle off the stove I accidentally jogged one of the other burner knobs just enough to turn the gas on.  It proceeded to leak through our conversation and well into the day.  Connor was down for his nap and I was unloading the dishwasher a couple of hours later when I started getting a pretty good headache and noticed there was a weird smell in the kitchen.  That's when I also realized it wasn't the fridge making that soft hissing noise I'd been hearing the whole time I was in there.

So I quickly turned off the burner, threw open all the windows, stuck the cats in their carriers and hauled them and Connor outside.  We spent a couple hours out of the house, and when we came back in the smell was gone and everything had aired out.  But I'm glad I noticed it before I decided to turn on my dishwasher, because blowing up my house was totally not on the agenda today.



Monday, August 27, 2012

In Which We Visit Some Animals

We had a busy day today!

This morning Connor and I hit a couple of thrift stores looking for supplies.  I needed a fake fern and some leaves for this year's Steamcon (the local steampunk convention) costume, and if there's one thing that thrift stores carry a ton of, it's fake flowers.  Since my studio is mostly set up now, I know where everything is and apparently that compels me to make stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  My costume's headdress is mostly completed now and I've started work on a wire nest that will hold a bird and a couple of clockwork eggs.  We'll see how it turns out.

After the thrift stores Connor went down for a brief nap and then we hopped in the car to meet a couple of friends at Northwest Trek!  Northwest Trek is a wildlife conservation center focused on native species of animals, and it contains a huge free-range area for animals like bison, elk and caribou.  It reminds me a lot of the Arbuckle Wilderness theme park I used to go to with my family as a kid, only minus the ostriches trying to eat the inspection sticker off the car.  Ostriches will eat anything.

It was a beautiful day and the temperature was just about perfect for Connor, so we didn't have to take any breaks.  He could have cared less about most of the animals (except for a sleeping raccoon curled up in its den near the glass, which he seemed to appreciate) but he loved the wind on his face in the tram and was pretty good natured as long as we kept walking.  I'm glad he enjoyed himself; we'll have to go again sometime soon!

This evening our new potential respite care worker is here for orientation as well.  I'm hoping that she'll be a better fit for our family; so far, so good!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Connor stayed up until four in the morning last night, so no blog tonight because I'm bushed!  Consider this a placemarker and I'll put something up tomorrow.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Which Nothing Much Happens

This morning I headed off to the farmer's market.  A friend of mine who works there got married recently and we weren't able to attend the wedding, so I wanted to drop off her present.  Also I was out of blueberries, which is a dire emergency in this house. 

I discovered my favorite local bakery downtown is closing, which is pretty sad.  They've been open for business for over eighty years.  Apparently me really liking a business sounds its death knell; in the past year my favorite local coffee shop, bookstore, and fabric store have all closed too.  This isn't a fun trend.  I guess I'll drop by more often than usual this week and stuff my face full of yummy things while I can still get them.

I spent the rest of the afternoon running errands and catching up on chores around the house.  All in all it was a pretty quiet day!


Friday, August 24, 2012

In Which My Sister Takes Off And I Do Creative-Type Things

My sister had to leave today, which was sad.  I miss her already!  We always have such a great time when we're together, so I was sorry to see her go. 

We got word today that the nursing agency might have found another respite care worker for us, which is pretty exciting! She'll be doing her orientation next week. Hopefully things will go better for us this time around; it would be so, so nice to be able to hit a bookstore or coffee shop every once in a while. 

Other than a lovely walk around the park and a drive around town to delay having to take Mary to the airport, we otherwise spent a quiet day at home.  Connor seemed to be feeling a wee bit under the weather, so he snuggled up on the couch with a blanket while I got out my art supplies and sketched up a series of stockings inspired by botanical prints just for fun. 

The butterfly stocking I'm working on is moving right along, and I figure it will be nice to have something fun to work on when I'm not doing other projects.  This is what happens when I spend too much time leafing through our Alphonse Mucha coffee table book; I go all crazy and start needing to create elaborate projects for myself.  I haven't gone so far as to start wanting to craft elaborately draped art nouveau gypsy women out of felt yet, but that's probably because I've been getting enough sleep lately and aren't working in my customary half-delirious state. 

I'd gotten out another sewing project to finish up today; I wanted to sew the monster felt applique I made a while back onto Connor's flannel poncho.  Cricket had other ideas, though-- apparently she finds this poncho just as warm and snuggly as Connor does.  Also she and the monster needed to hold hands for some reason. 

Crazy cat.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Which We Chill Out And Connor Plays At Gumby

Photo taken by the talented Emerald England.
It's blissfully cool in our house, because we have air conditioning! 

The gentleman who installed it arrived this morning and was finished in about three and a half hours.  It's very quiet-- I can't tell when it's on unless I go stand over one of our floor vents, where it becomes very obvious.  I'm so glad that we don't have to worry any more about what the temperature is outside, because Connor will be comfortable and safe in our house.  I'm really, really not going to miss those twelve hour days in the mall.

Connor had physical therapy today, which went well.  His hamstring, torso and neck flexibility is slowly improving as I've started stretching him out two or three times a day.  He's still not really thrilled with the stretching (except for the torso rotations-- he seems to like those) but he's tolerating it a lot better as he gets used to the regime. 

The next step will be to order him some leg extension splints.  Basically these are wraps that will fit him from thigh to ankle; they have rods that will run down the sides of his legs to keep his knees from bending.  They help with stretching him out, and he'll also eventually be wearing them to bed.  I don't think he'll be terribly thrilled with that development, but it should really help with keeping his joints loose and mobile so he'll be wearing them anyway.  It'll be a while though, because we still have to order them.

Em stopped by shortly after Connor and I arrived home from PT to pick Mary up; they were headed up north so Mary could shoot some portraits for Em and her family as part of their photo exchange.  While she was here, she dropped off the rest of the gorgeous images she took of Mary, Connor and me, and they're all so good I can't figure out which ones I like best!  I'll probably post some of them over the next few days-- like this ridiculously cute shot of Connor in his fedora. 

He's totally wearing that hat on the first day of school, and if I can find him a pinstriped suit he'll be in that as well.  You only get to do the first day of elementary school once, and Connor's going to do it in style!


In Which There Is A Photo And Sisters Are Awesome

Here's one of the great shots of me and my gorgeous sister Mary that Emerald England took at our photo shoot yesterday.  Mary and I are demonstrating our ability to have the Exact Same Facial Expression, because it's so difficult to tell that we are sisters.  No one would ever guess. 

Yay for sisters!  Yay for photography!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In Which We Pose For Portraits

Connor, Mary and I got up bright and early this morning to head up the road aways for a photo shoot!  My sister is a talented professional photographer, and she'd made plans for a photography swap with Emerald England, another wonderful photographer who works in the local area.   Mary wanted Connor and I to come along for some sister and nephew shots, because she is awesome like that. 

Connor was not thrilled with this whole idea.  No one consulted Connor on whether or not he wanted to get up at early-o'-clock and take pictures, even if they were in a garden with gravel roads, which he considers far superior to any other type of road when it comes to entertainment value.  In Connor's opinion, he would have been perfectly fine if we'd taken off without him and let him sleep in. 

But Connor is not in charge around here, which is probably a good thing.  I don't have anywhere in the house to keep grizzly bears, sixty foot tall Christmas trees or the entire tulle aisle of the fabric store, which are all things he demands on a regular basis. 

Anyway, he was a good sport, though towards the end of the shoot he kept trying to fall asleep on us.  Em got some fantastic shots, despite having to work with the fact that my sister and I have the exact same facial expressions and also that Connor was there under protest and as a result Was Never Smiling Ever Ever Again.  He also felt looking in the general direction of the camera was a horrible idea and refused to do it on principle. 

Em did an amazing job with Connor; she didn't talk down to him, put him at ease quickly and he seemed very comfortable with her even if he wasn't excited about being there.  She even knew some sign language, which I think helped tremendously.  The shots that I've seen so far are stunning (if I get permission I'll post one or two here or put up a link to where you can find them), and I can't wait to see the rest.  I wish Jeremy had been able to come too; once Ellen comes home we'll have to get some new family portraits done!

After the photo shoot we drove straight over to the hospital, where Connor had his feet measured for his new ankle-foot orthotics.  Today they just measured his feet to make the custom foot boards for the AFOs, and in mid-September they'll be making the plaster casts of his feet.  Connor managed to try and fall asleep during this appointment too despite having someone messing with his bare feet, which is usually throws him into hypervigilance in anticipation of possible tickling. 

Connor was bound and determined to get a nap in, dang it.  He fell asleep again in the car, and one last time within five minutes of us getting home.  He ended up taking an almost four-hour nap, which is pretty impressive for a child who considers sleep to be more of a hobby than a necessity.  He really needs to get used to getting up early again though, because he starts school up in just a couple of weeks.  Hopefully he'll adjust quickly and we're able to get him back on an early routine before then, or he's going to have a long, long year.

Of course I also got to take a four-hour long nap, so I didn't really mind all that much.

We rounded out the day by watching a terrible movie (Mary and I have an ongoing competition to see who can find the worst B movie in existence) and then spent the late afternoon and early evening scouting out photography locations for the shoot Mary will be doing for Em and her family. 

All in all it was a pretty fantastic day!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In Which We Don't Have Air Conditioning But The Day Was Pretty Great Anyway

Today was supposed to be the day we got our air conditioner put in, but one of the parts that the guy needed to install didn't come in time.  So we rescheduled for Thursday.  Luckily the rest of the week should be mild, so we're still okay as far as beating the heat until then.

So since we didn't need to stick around all day we took a trip up to the botanical gardens.  Normally the gardens are very peaceful (other than the distant sound of traffic, as the highway isn't too far away) but today the tree trimmers were there limbing trees, so things were quite a bit more noisy.  The trees they were working on were extremely tall, so it was interesting to watch the guys hauling themselves up and moving around the trees using nothing but rope harnesses and caribiners.  They'd also cut down a few trees, and every twenty minutes or so we had to move off the pathway so one of the gardeners could haul a huge stump by on his way to the back of the property.  Connor thought it was all pretty great.

We spent the rest of the day at home.  Joanna came over this evening; I decided to use some of my birthday money to get a massage, and Mary wanted to try having one too.  Since I haven't been doing roller derby and we haven't had respite care, stress has made my muscles pretty sore.  Jo pounded on me for a while (I was really, really tight) and now I can actually bend over again without my back feeling like it's going to give out at any minute!  If I could afford it I would totally get a massage every week.  Massages are awesome.

Anyway, we're getting up pretty early tomorrow, so I'm off to bed!


Monday, August 20, 2012

In Which We Have A Quiet Day

We mostly spent today indoors, reading and doing crafty-type projects.  I think it's always a great idea to make sure at least one day of a vacation is a quiet day, so that you have time to relax!  There's no point in a vacation if you spend so much time rushing from one thing to another that you are more tired when you get back than when you came.  I'm not on vacation of course, but my sister is so that's the perfect excuse to spend several hours during the day sitting on the couch reading and eating things in the highly nutritious chocolate food group.  I'm pretty sure if you don't eat enough chocolate on vacation you get scurvy or something. 

Anyway, we did do at least a couple productive things today; we picked up Connor's prescription refills and drove out to his doctor's office to drop off the dozen or so pages of medical information forms, medication administration directions, etc. that need to be filled out before Connor can go to school.  He'll be starting up in just a couple of weeks, which doesn't seem possible.  The summer has really flown by, and first grade is coming up fast! 

I'm extremely happy to say that our air conditioner will be installed tomorrow!  Most of the summer is over now of course, but we could still have a few days where we might need to turn it on.  I'm just so happy that my twelve hour mall window-shopping excursions can come to an end.  I'm also really excited about being able to use my oven, dishwasher and dryer during the day without worrying about heating the house up too much for Connor. 

Hooray for climate control!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

In Which We Are Shipwrecked

We spent today out on the town! 

After sleeping in for a bit (Connor stayed up until two in the morning last night), we grabbed some lunch and then drove down to Olympia for some shopping and general tooling around.  Once we'd exhausted our shopping opportunities there, we headed towards home.  On the way, we popped into Shipwreck Beads, and by "popped in," I mean, "spent a couple of hours tooling up and down every single aisle of beads."  Shipwreck has a 22,000 square foot bead showroom, so that takes a while.

The bead store is completely overwhelming, and basically I end up grabbing a bunch beads that I have no idea how I'm going to use-- I just think they're pretty.  In a store with 30 some odd aisles worth of beads I have to be careful because I think a lot of things are pretty.  It's really easy to go overboard.

Mary and I bought many, many beads, and then we came home and spent the rest of the day pairing them with the 80 bajillion beads I already have (I used to live ten minutes from Shipwreck, so I accumulated a few beads) to make lots of jewelry. 

I now have six new pairs of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet to add to my wardrobe.  I think I'm going to experiment with making felt flowers to go on beaded necklaces in the future.  I might be able to come up with some fun pieces.

Yay for sister time!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Which My Sister Visits

My sister is here!

Connor wasn't sure he was too excited about Aunt Mary being here, until he discovered that there were presents.  Then suddenly he was okay with her being here.  Never underestimate the power of a good bribe.

That doesn't mean he plans to sleep tonight, though.  Currently it's well past 11:00pm and he's still going strong.  At least our night nurse is back tomorrow and I can get some shut eye.  The weather has cooled down and so we don't have to worry about that, which means we can spend all our time enjoying ourselves.

We're going to have all sorts of fun this week, and I'm so happy Mary is here! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

In Which I Forget An Anniversary And The Heat Wave Continues

I realized today that the third anniversary of Jer's injury in Afghanistan came and went last week and didn't even cross my mind.  Jer didn't mention it either.  I think it's kind of nice that we've gotten to the point that we don't feel it's a date we need to dwell on.  While the event definitely changed our lives, mostly what it changed was the details.  Jer's still the same wonderful man I began a relationship with over a decade ago.  I'm pretty glad about that.

In other news, Connor woke up running a fever this morning and had two seizures right off the bat.  Today was not a fantastic day for a fever, as it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year.  I figured the best thing to do would be to vacate the house and rent a hotel room, which I wasn't really looking forward to but couldn't think of another good solution.  Luckily the same gracious friend who let us hang out all day yesterday opened up her home to us again, this time for the entire night if necessary.

Connor ended up rallying towards the end of the day, and his fever disappeared as mysteriously as it came.  So we left for home around 8:30 in the evening.  It's cooled down enough that Connor's back in his room now, and the worst of the hot weather should be over for a while.  If we do get more hot weather it will be after we have our air conditioner installed, which happens on Tuesday.  Then we'll have one less thing to worry about!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Which It Heats Up

It got up to 95 degrees here today; it's currently past 11:00 at night and it's still 80 degrees in my house.  Connor's room has the window open, a fan at the window on, a bucket of ice positioned in front of the fan, and I've been sponging him down every twenty minutes or so.  If it's like this tomorrow-- which it's supposed to be-- we'll probably end up in a hotel for the night.  The night nurse won't be here, and sponging Connor off every twenty minutes through half the night isn't going to be a great option. 

Tuesday and our air conditioning can't get here soon enough!

Connor had a so-so day, he ended up having two seizures.  He had a couple seizures yesterday too; I think it's mostly weather related.  Even though we're spending the vast majority of our time in cool places, it's still a shock to his system every time we transition in or out of a place, and that can't be good for him.  Either that or he's getting sick, which would be bad news in this weather.  We really, really don't need him to have a fever and be dealing with hot weather at the same time.

The good news was that we didn't spend all day today trundling around the mall!  Another military family in the area graciously offered to let us come over to their air conditioned house and hang out, and we ended up staying for about four hours.  It was so lovely to be able to sit and chat with a pleasant person on a couch instead of spending all day trooping through the food court for the 800th time.  It was especially nice since Connor didn't feel well, so he could snuggle up with me and take a nap instead of spending all day in his chair.  And also he got to pet a couple of cute dogs and watch television, so other than the seizures it was probably a fantastic day in his book.

Thankfully it's supposed to cool down on Saturday, though we're supposedly going to have a thunderstorm.  We've had an unusually high number of those this year; this area has one of the lowest storm rates in the country so I usually only hear thunder a couple of times a year.  Unlike the heat I welcome the storms; they're one of the few things about living in Texas that I really miss. 

Bring on the cool weather!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In Which I Turn Thirty

Today was my thirtieth birthday, which officially marks the end of my Wild And Crazy Twenties, in which I did such scandalous things as driving five miles over the speed limit and sometimes, if I was feeling especially daring, eating ice cream straight out of the carton.  But only if no one was looking.

Okay, so I did play roller derby, which involved wearing my underwear on the outside of my clothing in public, but trust me when I say that I was the June Cleaver of the derby world.  True story: one time I was playing in a bout up in Canada and a few derby members of another league mentioned they were going outside for a "safety meeting" and I was welcome to join them.  I cheerfully agreed because I figured that we'd need someone from our team to be a representative at the meeting if we were going to discuss safety issues.  One of my teammates had to pull me aside and explain that, um, no, I probably didn't want to be there as there would be 100% less discussion of safety than I was expecting and 100% more pot smoking.

I'm just glad I found out before I got out there; that would have been a rather awkward moment.

So I've missed my opportunity to do all of the things that, according to most of the magazines on the grocery store shelves, I seem to have been supposed to do in my twenties.  I segued from my extremely straight-laced childhood and teen years, in which the most appalling thing I did was wear turquoise floral wind pants with a bright orange shirt, permed hair and huge tortoise-shell rimmed glasses (trust me when I say that it was pretty darn appalling, and no you cannot see pictures) directly into my just-as-straight-laced college days, where since Jer was the second guy I went out with my freshman year I completely missed out on the serial dating and bar hopping thing I was apparently supposed to be doing. 

Okay, so I don't really think I'm going to regret not having any of those experiences, and my twenties sure as heck had enough crazy things going on in them anyway without adding any binge drinking, arrests or one-night stands to the mix.  If I'd done that stuff I probably would have missed out on many quiet, happy nights spent reading books and drinking cups of tea, which would have been sad.  I also probably would have missed out on marrying Jeremy (who was just as straight-laced as I was growing up, though he had better taste in hairstyles and pants) and parenting Connor, and that would have been considerably more tragic. 

Clean living doesn't seem to have done me a whole lot of good though appearance-wise, because in the process of putting together my garage studio I came across my giant box of old pictures of my last couple of years of college and first years of marriage.  I made the mistake of holding up one of me at twenty and looking into the mirror.  I don't know why I thought this was going to be a good idea; woman readers, I highly suggest you never, ever do this.  Up to that point I thought I hadn't changed all that much; sure I'd gained a few pounds and added a few strands (read: a lot) of grey hair, but with a dye job and a bit of makeup on I figured I looked about the same. 

Oh, boy, was I deluding myself. 

In the picture I have glowing skin, cleavage that didn't need to be hauled back up and strapped into the proper place with industrial strength equipment, and a ridiculously chipper expression on my face.  In the mirror I appear to have been washing my face with a Brillo pad, I have circles under my eyes any raccoon would envy and my general expression seems to be frozen somewhere between Deer In The Headlights and Dangerously Homicidal.  

I'm not sure exactly what lesson I should take from this revelation, other than the obvious Never Compare Myself To Pictures Of Me A Decade Younger Ever, Ever Again.  Apparently spending a few years parenting a child who periodically tries to shuffle off this mortal coil on me and being married to a guy who can check "almost being blown to kingdom come" off his bucket list has done the same job on my appearance that imbibing large quantities of alcohol and/or illegal substances might otherwise have accomplished.

Of course if I could travel back in time I wouldn't want to be twenty ever again.  Glowing skin aside, when I was twenty I was a completely different person than I am now.  I think my personality, unlike my appearance, has mellowed and improved with age.  Motherhood is totally worth it-- I've earned every line and wrinkle.  And hey, just because my life hasn't been stress-free and I didn't do all the things Cosmo seems to think people in their twenties should do doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself.  I've had way, way too much fun being a wife and mother over the past decade to want to go back to my flippant, unmarried, childless life-- even if it would mean I could wear a two piece bathing suit out in public again without scaring small children. 

And hey, good thing my sister and I are taking some pictures next week, so I can pull them out when I'm forty. 

I bet I'll take one look and have no idea what the heck I was complaining about. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In Which Connor Is A Big Boy Now

We had a busy day today!

Connor and I got up bright and early in the morning and headed off to the barber shop, where the little guy got his hair cut.  He's gone to the same place for three or four years now, and unfortunately it doesn't have air conditioning.  So his hair was long enough for full ringlets because the summer has been so hot and we haven't been able to go.  This morning we got in before things heated up, and so now his hair is short again and as a result he looks six years old going on twenty.  I swear that kid grows in hair cuts.

He actually did extremely well this time around; normally cutting his hair is a two-person job because he wiggles so much.  He sits in my lap and I hold him still while our long suffering stylist does her best to cut his hair as quickly as possible so he won't jerk in the wrong direction and lose an ear.  Today there was no wiggling or flinging himself from side to side; he behaved just beautifully.  I shelled out copious praise and he agreed with me that yes, he was a very big boy.  He felt the need to point out that Daddy was also a big boy, and I agreed with him.  We talked about how Daddy holds still for haircuts too.  I neglected to mention to him that Daddy buzzes his own hair over the bathroom sink, because if thinking Daddy held still for haircuts was the motivating factor behind Connor's stellar behavior I wasn't going to screw that up. 

We drove straight to the hospital from the barber shop to pick up Connor's earmolds.  They're a pretty tight fit, so they should last us quite a while.  I was worried that Connor wouldn't leave them in since he's been sans hearing aids for nearly two months now, but once again he behaved beautifully and left them in all day.  I think he was pretty excited to have them back.

By the time we got out of the appointment the day was heating up, so we drove to Ikea, where we spent the next several hours until it was cool enough outside to return to the house.  We have the appointment for our air conditioner scheduled now, but it's not until the 21st, so we've still got a few more days of heat to get through.  I picked up a few sturdy cardboard boxes for my studio, which is starting to come together nicely, and a wall-mounted drying rack to use as an organizer for hanging pieces of work like Christmas stockings or sequined ornaments.  The space isn't finished yet, but I'm really starting to see what it will look like when it's done!

Connor conked out in the car on the way home and slept all the way back; I think all of the appointments plus the added stimulation of having his hearing aids in again tired him out.  I put him down when we got home and he took a good nap.  When he woke up he demanded snuggles, and we sat on the couch for a while as he happily buried his nose in my shirt and I read a book. 

It's nice to know that even though he's a big boy now, he still needs snuggles from Mommy!


Monday, August 13, 2012

In Which Connor Straightens Out

Connor tried out some new leg braces today, and he was able to stand in them without a stander and just a little help from his physical therapist for balance!  It's been a while since he's been able to stand without support from the stander; not only did he regress quite a bit when he had all those seizures a year and a half ago, but his hamstrings are also getting tighter and that makes it more difficult for him to stand up straight.  This is a really common problem for children in wheelchairs because they spend so much time sitting with their legs bent at a ninety degree angle. 

He's getting to be so tall!  He comes up to my waist now when he stands.

The biggest issue with the leg braces is that they are hot, which is of course potentially a serious problem for Connor.  So we won't be using them at home until the air conditioner is installed, which should hopefully be happening any day now.  Once that happens, we'd like to work up to him wearing them all night while he sleeps.  It doesn't sound terribly comfortable, but if we can prevent (or at least delay as long as possible) him from needing hamstring release surgery that would be fantastic. 

Otherwise we spent a good portion of the day out and about again; it got up to 87 degrees today, which meant we needed out of the house.  Tomorrow hopefully won't be too bad, but it will start heating up again on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday the predicted highs are in the 90's which means another twelve hour mall day. 

I'm getting really, really tired of the mall.  Hopefully our turn on the handyman's queue will be soon!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

In Which Connor Is Doing Well

It was another hot day today, so Connor and I spent most of it away from the house in various air conditioned places around town.  We're in line to get our air conditioner installed, but unfortunately everybody else seems to want AC too right now, so there's a bit of a wait.  I'm really hoping it will happen this week; it's supposed to get up into the nineties again on Tuesday and I'm getting very, very tired of malls. 

This week is a busy one for Connor; he has physical therapy Monday, his appointment to pick up his new earmolds (finally!) on Tuesday, and a dental appointment on Wednesday.  So we'll be doing quite a bit of running around.  He was back to his typical happy self today, though he did have one small seizure.  It's the first seizure he's had in over two weeks, which is a pretty good gap for him.  I'm so, so happy we know about the whole not-sweating thing now; we've had some really hot days and he'd probably be in bad shape right now if I wasn't taking precautions about keeping him cool. 

Thank goodness for modern medicine!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

In Which Connor Wasn't Sick And I Sew Some More

Connor started out feeling pretty punky this morning, but he slowly improved as the day went on.  I mentioned yesterday that he wasn't feeling well, but I didn't tell you all why.  Without going into too much detail he wasn't sick; we had a substitute night nurse this week. The week didn't go well from a nursing-care standpoint for a variety of reasons, and the problem culminated yesterday when the nurse accidentally left Connor's g-tube intake valve open, assumed his seizure medication had immediately run back out it and decided to just give him another full dose of Keppra. 

By the time I found out about it, enough time had gone by that he'd already absorbed the medication and emptying out his stomach wouldn't do any good.  So Connor spent all day yesterday acting like he was sedated, and I spent the day hovering to make sure he was still breathing and/or not slipping into a coma, which can happen when you overdose on Keppra.  Fun times.

Needless to say, I called the nursing service and we will not be seeing that particular nurse at our home again.  I will be very, very happy when our wonderful regular nurse is back next week. 

So it's taken quite a bit of time for the drug to work its way out of his system and he was still a bit loopy this morning.  However by the end of the day he perked up and seemed to be feeling much better.  We even got out to a few local stores, though we kept it pretty close to home. 

I spent the time he was sleeping it off working on the butterfly Christmas stocking, which is coming along nicely.  I have the first butterfly done and I'll be starting on the second (of seven) tomorrow.  I had no idea how much I missed sewing until I started getting into this project in earnest; it's very relaxing and I'm able to let my mind wander while I'm working.  I also forgot just how much I love seeing a project I can picture in my head come to life in fabric.

Of course, I wasn't really excited about the reason I had all this sewing time, but oh well.  The project will probably slow down a bit after today until Connor's in school again, but that's okay because I'd much rather Connor be active and awake than conked out!


Friday, August 10, 2012

In Which Connor Snoozes And I Pick Up A Needle

Connor didn't feel terribly well today, so we spent most of the day at home.  He snoozed on the couch while I did exciting things like organizing my collection of sequins, sorting seed beads and emptying out my card catalog so I could move it to the garage.  I've labeled the drawers by color and I'm storing my rolls of felt in it.  If Connor's up to it, I'm going to stop by the hardware store tomorrow so I can pick up some cedar moth balls.  I have quite a bit of 100% wool felt, and the last thing I need is to get my studio beautifully organized only to have moths eat all my supplies. 

I've gotten far enough into the studio project that I can start doing a bit of sewing again, so I figured it was past time I got back to work on my current Christmas stocking project.  It's a butterfly themed stocking, and I basically got as far as cutting out pieces when we moved all my stuff out of Ellen's room and it went into storage.  I spent some time experimenting with different ways to decorate the wings, in the end I decided to just go with the old standby and cover the whole mess with sequins.  My current motto seems to be "When in doubt, use more sparkly things."  Sequins solve all problems. 

Of course, I didn't end up working on the stocking in my exciting studio-to-be.  I worked on it on the couch while Connor napped and Loki tried to see just how close he could get to my sequin jars with a paw before I ran him off.  Oh well.

The design is pretty simple for this one, so unless I get carried away and add a bunch of crazy things it should be done in a couple of weeks.  Since I started on it, oh, last December, and it's actually for somebody instead of a random project, it might be nice if I actually got it done before Christmas. 

Me?  Procrastinate?  Never!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

In Which I Get Crafty

I've been sitting on my craft room project for a while, but I really want to get it finished up before Connor is in school so I can finally get back to sewing, dang it!  I have a ton of projects I need to finish up and I have to have a place to work on them that the cats can't get into.  It's really hard to finish a project when every time you leave it for more than three minutes at a time you have to dig it out from under the refrigerator when you get back.

So I've got the main painting done, and I'm starting to move the furniture in and figure out where I want everything to go.  I was originally going to go with the same gray that our bedroom and the outside of the house are painted, but I decided that I wanted something a tad funkier.  The color I picked out is by Sherwin Williams and is called "Stunning Shade," which has to be the most unoriginal name for a color ever.  It's basically a deep gray with purple undertones.  On my wall it looks either gray or deep purple, depending on the time of day.  I know most people prefer their studios to be white, but I like color! 

I laid down a carpet remnant left over from the house remodel as a rug, and started putting the major pieces of furniture in place.  I've still got one wall to cover (I'm not sure in what yet, but probably fabric) and I need to hang all the shelves, but it's at least a beginning.

So things are moving along.  My next big project in there will be putting up the ceiling track.  I need a Cozy Little Nook kind of studio area, not an Inescapably In The Garage area, and if I don't rig up a partition between my space and the rest of the garage I'll be stuck with the latter.  I've got some huge canvas drop cloths that, by the time I'm finished with them, will hopefully be fabric walls provided I don't screw them up.  We'll see how things go.

I think that getting the studio itself ready won't be the part that takes the longest-- it will be organizing all my craft stuff.  Today I tackled my bead collection; I'm fond of making jewelry and spent three years living within twenty miles of the largest bead store in North America, so I have a rather extensive stash.  This, of course, is the bead collection that Loki helped me organize a few months ago by dumping the entire tray on the floor.  So I spent about three hours over the course of the day separating out all the beads and organizing them in their new home; the antique printer's tray I found in an antique store a while back.  It's now safely out in the cat-free garage, so if this one tumps over I'll have no one to blame but myself.

I can't wait to get back to making things!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Which We Have A Helpful Home Visit

Today Steve, an awesome occupational therapist from Good Samaritan's Children's Therapy Unit, came to our house for an equipment evaluation.  Basically he took a tour of the house, checked out Connor's current equipment, talked with me about things we're having difficulties with, and then suggested ways we can change things to make things easier for the little guy.  Of course our house is already set up beautifully for Connor, but as he gets older new issues will crop up that we need to problem solve.

The biggest reason we asked Steve to come out was to talk about lift options.  Connor is over forty pounds now, and while I can still pick him up by myself in most situations, he's only going to get heavier and I'd like something in place before I start throwing out my back.  I have the most trouble getting him in and out of his shower chair right now, which is pretty low to the ground.  And while it's pretty easy to get him from his bed to his chair, it's a little bit harder going the other direction. 

A Hoyer lift just won't work for us; they're made to slide underneath a bed, and Connor's bed has a solid base.  Installing a system permanently in the ceiling would probably be pretty expensive.  So Steve recommended a system called the Voyager Easytrack, which is strung between two fairly narrow poles and is close to, but doesn't actually touch the ceiling.  Here's a video for those who are interested in seeing it.  Our insurance should cover it, and it will work with Connor's bed.  And since it's portable, we'd be able to pack it up and take it with us to use while traveling, which is a definite plus.  If any readers have used a Voyager or have other recommendations, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, we also talked about getting a rolling base for Connor's shower chair and his toilet chair.  Right now his toilet chair attaches directly to the toilet in our hallway bathroom, and every time we have guests I have to detach it.  Once Ellen is home, she'll be sharing the bathroom with Connor and we'll have to move the toilet chair off and onto the toilet a lot more often, so it makes since to have one with wheels that simply rolls over the toilet.  That means we'd also be able to roll it into Connor's room when he's bigger and transfer him to the toilet chair using the lift.  The same thing goes for his shower chair. 

Steve also tweaked Connor's stander a bit to fit him better, and we discussed activity chairs for when Connor outgrows his current model.  It was really fantastic to have him here, and I'm so glad that we've got such wonderful people in Connor's world who help make his life as happy and healthy as possible!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In Which Connor Needs His Mommy And Has A Rough Time

Connor felt a little insecure today.  Our normal night nurse is on vacation this week, so we've had a substitute.  If there's one thing Connor is not a huge fan of, it's change.  So last night he refused to go to sleep.  About three in the morning I heard him shrieking at the top of his lungs and got up to go see what he needed. 

The stand-in night nurse had tried everything she could think of, but Connor still wasn't happy.  She doesn't know sign language, and so she didn't realize he was asking for me.  He saw me and frantically started signing "Want Mommy want Mommy."  I think he had himself convinced I wouldn't be there in the morning.  I picked him up and snuggled him for about ten minutes, and then put him back to bed, where he finally relaxed enough to fall asleep. 

Night nursing is fantastic and wonderful, but there are some things only Mommies are good for.

So today he was a remora; he spent the whole day clinging to me and refusing to let me out of his sight for more than a minute or two.  Every time I sat him on my lap he immediately started drifting off; I think he was exhausted not just from last night, but also because he was so worried I would disappear that he was wearing himself out being so vigilant.  Either that or he's feeling poorly; if he's getting sick he often does the same thing.

I figured he needed some extra reassurance, so I ended up watching a movie with him snuggled up on me, snoozing away.  I tried to put him down in bed when the movie was over, but the second I put him down he woke up and we started the cycle all over again. 

So instead of cleaning the floors, which is what I really should have been doing today but is rather impossible with a forty pound child balanced on one hip, I finished up the rest of the laundry. If I fold it on the couch, I can set Connor down and he doesn't protest because I'm facing him and only a couple of feet away. He conked out in the middle of the second load.

I feel pretty guilty about this whole thing; it had to be terrifying for him to ask for me over and over and not be able to make the nurse understand what he needed.  His regular nurse knows the signs he uses most often now, and she's able to reassure him that I'm right next door if he asks for me. 

Currently he's snoozing away in his bed, and I hope he'll sleep through the night.  And as much as he protests about her, I'm sure he'll be glad to see his regular night nurse when she's back next week and he'll have no trouble making his needs known.

Poor little guy.


Monday, August 6, 2012

In Which We Chill Out And Enjoy The View

Thank goodness, today was so much cooler!  I spent most of the day trying to catch up on dishes, laundry and all the other chores I needed to catch up on.  It's amazing how quickly things can pile up when you aren't running any of your appliances!

Connor spent the day loudly protesting the fact that I was doing chores; even the old "laundry on the head" ploy didn't last him more than a few minutes.  I think he was protesting the contrast between our stimulation-filled mall time of the last few days and the boring quiet time of today.

It wasn't all boring.  The neighbor's cat kept getting into our yard and eating my birds, using my blooming astilbes as cover to pounce from, so I moved the feeder into the middle of the yard on clear ground so that the birds could see her coming. 

Apparently I just exchanged one set of predators for another; we have now become Large Predatory Bird Central as a result.  Not only has our barred owl taken to visiting every single night, but a juvenile Cooper's Hawk has apparently decided that my bird feeder is the perfect place to figure out how to hunt.  He spent a good portion of the morning high up in the tree, taking the occasional break from yelling for mom to try an experimental swoop or two at the feeder.  Once down he'd hop around on the ground, peering in at all the birds hiding in our bushes.  He didn't catch anything, but it wasn't for lack of trying. 

Good thing the cat wasn't around today.  That could have been unpleasant.
It kind of reminded me a little bit of the trip Jer and I took to a B&B on Whidbey Island a few years ago that fed the wild rabbit population.  As a result they had nearly 100 rabbits living in their yard, and every snag, tall tree and power line ringing the property sported a very fat, very happy hawk.  This guy shouldn't stick around too much longer before he starts his migration south, but he's pretty neat to watch now as long as he doesn't eat all of my other birds! 

I swear we live in the suburbs, so I don't know where the heck all this wildlife is coming from.  I love it though, and I hope we see more soon, though to tell you the truth I could do without the aforementioned cat leaving it partially decapitated on my porch.  At least the hawk would eat whatever it is he caught-- once he figures out the whole 'catching it' part of the equation, that is.

Oh well.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

In Which It Is Way Too Hot Here

Today was a record-breaking 95 degrees, so Connor and I spent about eleven hours out at various malls spread across the puget sound area.  He went to bed at around two last night, so I got about four hours of sleep. 

So basically take yesterday's post, subtract a tiny bit of delerium and then add in five more hours of window shopping, and you've got today.  Oh, and I did a survey because what the heck, I had plenty of time, and I earned five whole bucks!  I told Jer he can retire now, because I'm raking in the dough.

Since I did a ridiculous amount of people watching, I now have a pretty good handle on the latest fashions for teenage girls.  It looks like lace and high-low hemlines are really in right now.  Also fabric patterns that, to my mind, look like a huge stack of Lisa Frank (remember Lisa Frank?) sticker albums exploded all over them.  I am kind of okay with not being a fashion plate right now.

I am SO looking forward to air conditioning.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

In Which Connor Reminds Me Why I Love Our Night Nurse So Much

Last night Connor went down to bed on time.  Then he woke up around 11:00pm and decided he wouldn't be going back to sleep for the rest of the night.  Of course it's our night nurse's weekend, so I went through today on about a half hour of sleep.  So forgive me if this post is a little less coherent then normal; my brain isn't really firing on all cylinders right now.

How the heck did I do the whole sleep deprivation thing for six years before we got our night nurse?  Seriously, I have no idea how I was a functioning person.  And how the heck does Connor do it?  He was bright eyed and bushy tailed all day today, whereas I probably looked like I'd been drinking vodka with a sedative chaser.

As much as I would have like to have curled up in the house and stayed put all day, unfortunately it turned out to be just about the hottest day of the summer so far.  Since we don't have air conditioning yet (next week-- thank goodness!) staying at home meant we'd be risking Connor's temperature rising to dangerous levels.  So after I drank a ridiculous amount of caffeine we went to the mall, where we spent the next six and a half hours.  Here's what I learned from today's mall experience.

1.) Wear appropriate shoes.  Even though you are in a mall and not out on a trail somewhere, after six hours of walking around wearing sandals you can still manage to get blisters on your feet.
2.) If your kid starts shrieking at the top of his lungs and applauding, it is considered way more socially acceptable if he does it in from of the carousel than in front of the giant window display featuring new bra styles at Victoria's Secret.
3.) Riding the carousel on a half hour of sleep is a really, really bad idea.  You are already kind of dizzy and half delirious, and after a minute or two of spinning in circles you will come perilously close to seeing that food court chicken you just ate for the second time.
4.) Every time you make a circuit around the mall-- even you have been there for six hours and made about 50 circuits-- the girl who is trying to get people to take a survey will attempt to ask you to take it.  This holds true even if you have said "no thanks" on every one of those circuits.  The same goes for the guy selling gym memberships.  If you put your cell phone up to your ear and pretend like you are talking to someone every time you see them, they will let you pass them without following you down the mall trying to talk to you.
5.) If you do pretend you are talking to someone, remember to put your phone on silent when you have it up to your ear, especially if you have your ringtone volume turned up all the way.
6.) Bring an extra set clothes for your child and you, or you may find yourself making an unexpected purchase or two.  Incidentally, did you know that if you drop your iced coffee onto your kid's wheelchair and the top pops off, you can actually spray coffee in a radius of over ten feet?
7.) And finally, choose the mall with the giant chocolate shop inside.  It will be terrible for your diet and/or wallet, but very, very good for morale.

We got home around 7:00pm and it was still over 80 degrees in the house, so I gave Connor his meds and then we went and sat in a coffee shop until they closed.  It's a little cooler now, but I'm still sponging Connor down every twenty minutes or so to make sure he stays cool enough-- the water evaporating should help release heat in the same way sweating does for the rest of us.  I don't have to worry about waking him up, because it's a quarter to eleven and he still hasn't gone to sleep yet.  Whee.

It's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow, so we'll be hitting the mall again.  But hey, no seizures today.  And air conditioning next week!  Hooray! 


Friday, August 3, 2012

In Which Connor And I Go Out On The Town

I'm happy to say that Connor had a much better day today.  He slept through the night and woke up refreshed and ready for a good day.  Since it was quite warm outside we couldn't spend a lot of time out there, but I thought it would be nice to go out for a while and spend some time doing some other things.  I needed to stop by the library and check out a new video for Connor to watch while he does his stander time. 

Stander time is the only time he's allowed to watch television, and since we don't have TV reception I try to mix it up for him.  Unfortunately the video I'd picked out last time was The Magic School Bus collection about the human body, and somehow I didn't realize that when they said the human body, they meant they were going to be driving the bus around in a kid's large intestine and dodging poop stalactites.  He didn't seem interested in the video; it was a little past his level and he lost interest pretty quickly.  So it's time to pick out a different one. 

And also, poop stalactites.  Ew.

Anyway, so we stopped by the library for a while, ran some errands on post, and then drove down to a little coffee shop for a late lunch.  I ended up chatting for an hour with another mother parenting a child with special needs.  We ended up exchanging phone numbers, so hopefully we'll get together some time in the future.  In the world of parenting, it's always nice meeting someone who speaks the same language-- and trust me when I say that parenting a kid with special needs gives you a unique lingo that few people outside the circle understand, just like with any specialized group.  I'd say I've learned nearly as many acronyms from parenting Connor as I have from being a military spouse, and that's saying something.  The army really likes acronyms.

So anyway, it was a good day overall!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

In Which Connor Learns That Sleep Strikes Are Not The Best Of Ideas

Last night Connor slept in ten-fifteen minute intervals until around four in the morning.  Then he crashed, and I finally woke him up around ten.  I have no idea why he had so much trouble sleeping, but I didn't really want to continue the trend by letting him sleep the day away.  I should have known better-- waking this kid up when he's in the middle of a sleep cycle really throws off his groove.

So he was extremely crabby and clingy and whenever I moved out of his immediate eyeshot he acted like his world was ending.  Then around one in the afternoon I couldn't keep him awake any longer and he zonked out sitting upright on the couch.  I gave up, laid him out with a light blanket and he slept until around a quarter to three, which is when I woke him up so we could go to physical therapy.  He was not terribly happy about this.

So about ten minutes into therapy he started getting goosebumps and his color went all mottled and pale, and then he started thinking about throwing up.  At first we thought he was going to have a seizure, but that didn't happen.  I ended up bundling him up in a blanket and sitting him in my lap for a bit, where he promptly tried to fall asleep.  I'm not sure what exactly that was all about-- hopefully it was just the sleep deprivation thing-- but after he'd rested and warmed up a bit he was able to finish the session.  I ran a few errands, during which he was perfectly happy, and while I was putting the groceries away he crashed on the couch again.  We were supposed to go to a wedding in the afternoon, but it was very evident that was not going to be happening.  I let him sleep on the couch for a while, and then ended up bundling him off to bed quite a bit early.

Of course the second I put him down in his room he was promptly Not Sleepy At All, Thank You Very Much.  I figured he'd settle back down quickly, but he lasted about an hour and a half before having a complete meltdown, which is not something he does very often.  I ended up bringing him out into the living room with me, and he promptly snuggled down and fell asleep on my chest.  Evidently he just didn't want to be by himself.  I finally managed to put him to bed again around ten, and so far he seems to be out for the night. 

Thank goodness for night nursing.  After four days of Connor sleeping poorly, I'd probably be in the goosebumps-and-nausea stage of things right now too.  Hopefully he'll get a good night's sleep and we won't see any more of that for a while.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In Which Connor Sounds The Alarm

So since Connor has had no hearing aids for a while, he's slowly upped the volume on the sounds he makes.  It's gotten to the point where he now only has two settings: Off and DEFCON 1.  It certainly sounds like there's some sort of nuclear attack imminent when he's shrieking six inches away from my ear, anyway.  Unfortunately until he gets his new earmolds this is probably a behavior that's going to continue, too.  It's hard to tell a kid to be quiet when he doesn't have a good handle on just how loud he's being.

I took him to go visit a friend with a brand new, adorable baby today, and luckily the gorgeous new arrival is a sound sleeper because Connor was bound and determined to do his very best air raid siren impression.  He's a bit possessive of me and likes to be the center of attention, so he was really not happy with me when I had the impunity to actually hold the baby.  Gasp!  He informed me that daddy would certainly not have held the baby, and he pouted the whole way home.  I actually didn't mind too much because it was a refreshing change from the shrieking.

It will be interesting to see how he ends up reacting to his new sister when she comes home; I'm hoping that he won't be quite as jealous because I'll be giving her a different kind of attention.  It would be a little bit hard to cradle her in one arm-- she's a bit big for that!  He's still probably not going to be terribly thrilled with the whole not-being-the-only-child thing for a while, but heck, what kid doesn't go through that phase when they have a new sibling?

I guess we'll see!

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