Monday, October 26, 2009

Ongoing Goings-On

Life is hectic and it's about to get even crazier.

But a quick recap of what's been going on:

Michael is proving that what everyone said about Katie is true; that she was a trick baby- too easy to be true. This guy is real. Really tough. Unless he is in your arms AND you are walking around, he is crying. When he is hooked up to the boob he is fairly content too - though lately he is boycotting the right one for some reason.

He turned two months yesterday and goes tomorrow for his first set of shots.

He goes to sleep at midnight and sleeps until five. I feed him and he'll sleep again until 9. And that is it. During the day he sleeps no more than 20 minutes at a time. He is not getting enough sleep and is all the more fussy for it.

He is impossible to burp and has stinky farts. He just went 3 days without a poop. I think it's time for an intervention. A little prune juice by proxy. Lucky me. I just love the stuff.

Katie is struggling with this "share mommy" thing. She asks for her binky all the time, wants up on my lap any time she sees me holding Michael and tries to belly up to the boob bar for cocktail hour. I give her the binky and fit both of them up on my lap but mama ain't "got milk?" for that little gal anymore.

She watches a LOT of tv these days. She has forgotten her ABCs and thinks the sole purpose for numbers six, two and four is to get the Disney channel on the remote.

At least once a day both of them decide to meltdown simultaneously. The sound of two kids wailing is worse than nails on a chalkboard. I stand frozen, nauseous and forlorn. I laugh to keep from crying and think, "this is my life?!"

Michael was baptized last Monday evening. We chose Oct 19th as it is the anniversary of his namesake's death. He wore the same gown that Katie wore which was the same gown every Walsh since 1911 was baptized in. And we got no pictures of it. Horrible second child syndrome.
Have a few pics taken of the service but they are shit and I look like a bloated cow so they will not be posted. But the important thing is we have another Catholic in the family. thank heavens.

My cousin Erin had her second daughter on Friday. She sent pictures but I can't download them on this archaic fuckbox of a computer. Pretty baby from the looks of it and they named her Bella. You know you can't give that name to an ugly kid.

In the last week my computer died, my ipod went on the fritz and lightbulbs burned out in the lamp by my bed, Katie's nightlight and TWICE in my mighty mini reading light. I'm afraid to hug Granny with the pacemaker.

My internet browsing/email sending/facebook stalking/blog posting has been severely compromised as I have to use the old laptop that, as you may have noticed, posts blank blogs, randomly deletes whole paragraphs of text and makes noises like a giraffe trying to mate with a turtle.

Manus and Katie caught a cold and gave it to Michael. Further complicating the sleep thing was the sound of Walsh Family Synchronized Night Coughing competitions. In a muted panic, I took Mick to the doctor when we passed the two week mark of the cold yet hadn't passed the eight week mark of his life. He got miraculously better the next day. Something magic about shelling out 50 euro(80 bucks) to the doctor. But, any parent knows; peace of mind is priceless.

I went out with Manus and his brother Friday night for a charity show. I was out from 8 to 11:30pm and it was the longest I'd been away from the children since baby was born. The show was so boring (all about hurling) so I sat and played Texas Hold'Em on Manus' blackberry. Manus apologized for dragging me to something I had no interest in. I was slugging down Bud Lights and NOT holding a baby/soothing a toddler. I WAS IN HEAVEN.

All this is going on as we embark on MAJOR LIFE CHANGE No. 763 "Moving Back to Miami". Three weeks from yesterday we land in Miami. Manus, myself, two kids, a car seat, two strollers and our maximum allowance of 6 suitcases, 3 carry-ons and 2 diaper bags. Something will be accidentally left behind. Fingers crossed it isn't a child.

And all these bags have to be packed this week as we move out of this house and in with the in-laws on Saturday. So far the process has been slow, painful and the teeniest, tiniest bit stressful. Mostly though its just moving stuff from one place to another and into it's appropriate pile. We have:

1. Stuff to throw away
2. Stuff to give to charity
3. Stuff to pack, but need to use this week
4. Stuff to store at Nana and Papa's, subdivided into:
a. stuff we will need if/when we move back here (winter clothes, wall clocks, measuring cups)
b. stuff we may never again take out of a box (maternity clothes, baby clothes, a full night's sleep)
5. Stuff we will need for the next three weeks, subdivided into:
a. stuff that will then be packed for Miami
b. stuff that will then be stored in Ireland
6. Stuff we are bringing back to Miami, once again subdivided into:
a. stuff we will need during the two weeks we stay at my parents upon our Miami arrival
b. stuff we don't need and subsequently can keep in a sealed suitcase until we pack up AGAIN and return to our place on the beach.

It would all be easier without the little helpers. For every two things that go into a box, three things are pulled back out. And Michael's farting doesn't help either.

I think I am heading for my own nails-down-a-chalkboard meltdown myself. Time for a shower. Think I have to shave my legs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

oh happy day

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mom Chronicles. Chapter 7

Okay, confession time.

Katie got a cold and was feeling lousy and all I could think was, "Cool. She'll sleep more."

I've started shaving my legs again just to have an excuse to spend more time in the shower. It's the only alone time that I get.

And it's rarely alone at that as Katie insists on taking a shower with me so she can waste the shampoo washing the walls. She does help with washing my legs, my feet, my belly and of course, my nu-nu; known to some more technically as the hoo-ha.

While most newborns get nice warm baths in a fancy baby tub or maybe the kitchen sink, Mick just gets rinsed off in the shower with me. Not that he has to endure it that frequently. His eye goop dries to crust, he gets a roll of stinky old skin collecting in his armpits, his poor little hands and feet,as sweaty as mine, gather lint in various colors, but only when his head starts smelling like McDonald's again, do we toss him in for a clean up. In the shower, though ,he is very quiet and serene. eh, maybe more like shell-shocked. He is afraid to cry for fear of a mouthful of water. He did pee on my leg as retribution.

But I got the last laugh, for I confess, as I attempted once to change his diaper, (you have to move quick as he's perfecting the urinary arc), he peed onto his own face. I laughed. So hard. While he looked on, puzzled and disturbed.

One day not too long ago, I was brainy and thought to get all of us in the bathtub together. It's a fairly big jacuzzi tub and Katie could play while I washed Michael and relaxed myself in a warm bath. All was well for a while, Katie and I splashing and laughing... I had Michael sitting on my lap, facing me, propped up against my legs. That's when it happened. A warning grunt, a faraway look and one squirt. It all happened so fast. Ran straight down into my crotch and so help me, my first thought was, "so much for the years of wiping front to back..." Hate to have to explain to the doctor how I got a UTI from someone else's shite. That's just gross. (and yet, here I share... someone will say one day, you know that girl - the one that's always talking about the poop.)

Only a mother gets the joy of wiping off poop from bath toys. But on the bright side, didn't have to fight with Katie to get her out of the bath. A technique I should remember?

But so far, the best parenting moment I've had was sitting next to Katie on the couch getting ready to feed Michael and as I positioned my boob to his mouth, a spray of breastmilk shot out and hit Katie on the arm. Her puzzlement as she reached out to wipe her arm was priceless. I laughed so hard I peed myself a little (damn you Kegel's!) Poor girl never knew what hit her.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Same and same

We weren't sure who Mick looked like when he was first born. Me? Manus? Then we looked back at the pictures of Katie. There is a bit of a family resemblance. See if you can tell who is who.

Or maybe we just aren't original enough with our photo ops....

Manus changes the first diapers. Both times. And that shirt. I'm not allowed to give birth if he isn't wearing the Kilkenny colors. Um... obsessed much?

This used to be where I lay my head.

Snug as two bugs in two rugs.

Different baby, same champagne. Some traditions are too good to retire.

And this one, I would SWEAR on a stack of bibles that this was Michael. And then god would send me to hell for lying. This is Katie. Doing her Michael impersonation. Take my word for it, it's good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Things Are Different Here (part VI)

Things are different here when you are having a baby.

(So this post is a little belated... I've been busy. Pretend it's a month ago and I just got out of the hospital and you asked me what I thought of having a baby in Ireland and because you asked so nicely, I'll tell you, complete with pictures of really random things.)

St. Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny is nothing like Baptist Hospital in Miami where I had Katie.

Baptist Hospital boasts state-of-the-art, top of the line Hill-Rom brand hospital beds. These beds will do everything short of fixing your coffee in the morning. With the push of a button, you can go from fully reclined to an upright chair position.

In Ireland, you get this -
At Baptist, the air conditioner is adjustable via thermostat controls in each hospital room, ensuring all patients can be kept at the temperature they desire. Rooms utilize reverse isolation to protect patients against airborne contaminants.

In Ireland, flying insects and construction noise come standard.
Baptist offers a "room service" menu allowing individuals to customize their mealtimes.

In Ireland, you can have anything you want for breakfast, so long as it is tea and toast.

Adhering to the cultural standards, the hospital offers the main hot meal at midday. (Here they even call it "dinner" even though we all know it's lunch. And then dinner is called "tea" and it consists of a light snack; sandwich or salad and, wait for it... a pot of tea. Then at around 10 pm they come around offering... TEA! The strong. dark stuff. Perfect to soothe you into a night's slumber and caffeinated goodness for your breastfed newborn.

After Katie was born, I was offered Percocet and Motrin tablets for pain control post cesarean.

In Ireland, you get a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) filled with intravenous Morphine (!) for the first 48 hours post-op. Unlike the electronic pumps they use for PCAs in the states, I had this nifty contraption: The black wristband housed a button that opened the flow of medicine and required five minutes to reset, avoiding pesky overdose issues. The medication was instilled in the pressurized tube that I kept in my pocket. Mama and Baby slept well those first two days.

At Baptist, all visitors to the baby ward were required to present photo identification and have their pictures taken for security purposes.

In Ireland, they just use the Baby Lo-Jack.
Baptist's showers are the size of a phone booth for midgets. You have to go in aiming the side you want most clean toward the water because you can't turn around once you are in there. They have a flimsy fabric shower curtain and a big raised tile ledge that you have to maneuver up and over to get into the stall. I have soaked myself many a time trying to help bathe a patient.

Kudos to Ireland. They know what they are doing in the shower department. Brilliant.
Now, because I am special and because we bought the supplemental private insurance (but mostly because I am special), I had one of the few private en suite rooms. Most of the new moms were stuck, four to a room, their only privacy being a wraparound curtain that enclosed their bed and bedside table and not much else. Those gals had to walk down the hall to use the community bathroom. THAT would suck. When you've just experienced traumatic events to your delicates, you want to have a place you can call your own, a place to store your hemorrhoidal foams, your feminine cleansing wipes, your inventory of twin bed mattresses they call maternity pads...

What they don't tell you in the brochure is that Ireland is BYOT. I knew I had to supply my own baby diapers and wipes, but stock some bath towels! Throw the girl a bone!

Some things are the same in both countries; your newborn sleeps next to you in their very own Rubbermaid under-the-bed storage bin. But score one for Ireland, this cabinet/bedstand was designed to act like a cradle. Literally, this bed rocked!
And the bed wasn't the only thing that rocked. Unlike with Katie, where she was whisked away immediately after birth and kept in the nursery (albeit with my bff Leslie - thankfully on duty that day) for the first few hours of her life while I recovered from the spinal block and awaited my room, Michael was wiped clean, checked over, weighed and Apgar-ed and immediately handed over to Manus. While I was in recovery, M and M were having some serious male bonding time. He got the first, precious skin-to-skin contact and it was there, in that baby room, the two boys made a pact - it was girls v. boys at our house and they were sticking together no matter what. Last night I caught Michael look over and wink conspiratorially at Manus as I struggled unsuccessfully to soothe and quiet his evening tantrum. Manus took him into arms and he fell contentedly silent in seconds.
But perhaps the biggest and best difference this time around, was that there was one more very special person in our baby welcoming committee.
This time around we didn't just make a baby, we made a brother and a sister.