Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brother Gets Married

Whew what a few days we've had!  We flew to a far away destination via two plane flights of several hours each.  Delphinium did a fabulous job on the way there, and a great job for the first flight on the way home.  Then came the final flight, and things broke down a bit.  The trouble lies in traveling past her preferred bedtime.  Naps are all fine and good, but when it gets to evening she wants a real sleep in a real bed, and no amount of cuddling or coddling will change that fact.  She did not cry the whole way, by any means, but she woke up and complained from time to time.

That all being said, it was entirely worth the trip.  The entire slate of wedding-related events went off without a single problem.  Everyone was good-natured, kind, and beautifully dressed to boot.  It's worth remembering that one's family cleans up very nicely when the situation demands.  My brother and his new wife were, of course, the jewels who stole the show.  They practically glowed, and I am not over-stating the point even one little bit.  The grounds of the museum where they held the ceremony were lush and green, and the small number of guests were people who truly know and love the couple.  Much crying ensued as soon as the first glimpses could be caught of the bridal party.  I am really not sure who cried more, the groom or his mother.

The dinner that followed, on the balcony of a favorite restaurant, was again perfection.  The decorations were simple, but festive, and the cityscape outside was just right.  Vegetarian party food can be hard to come by since so many caterers and restaurants think that celebrations equal meat.  However, this vegetarian couple chose very carefully, and the menu included all sorts of delicious choices.  I had the appetizer trio (mmm, mushrooms!) tomato salad (well really I got a the few pieces that Delphinium didn't scarf first) and fried green tomatoes with polenta and black-eyed peas.  Then there was a dessert trio (and the waiter gave the baby her OWN PLATE!) AND cake AND the cookie table.  What's the cookie table?  That's another post.  Let's just say that both of my nieces were in sugary heaven.

In the end we rode the trolley back to our hotel in a state of complete satiation.  The toasts, the food, the setting, the people were all just right.  The next morning my brother and amazing new sister looked relaxed and happy as they sent us off to the airport.  I can say with absolute certainty that it was my second favorite wedding of my adult life, and that is really saying something.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lexicon 26 Months

Pilyo - Pillow
Yoyo- Yellow
Yo - Yogurt
Chippa - Picture
Bisik - Bicycle
Ponoto - Potato
Wa - Water
Tomyato - Tomato (with two different pronunciations one for Mom and one for Dad)
Hop Hop - Rabbit
Hoo Hoo - Owl and Monkey
Nernie and Nert - The Sesame Street Duo
Tuck - Truck
Muse - Music
Peas - Please and Peas
Tan Ooo - Thank You
Bank or Blank - Blanket
Yights - Lights
Yibray - Library
Seep - Sleep
Amuls - Animals
Ou Si - Outside
Nooyuls - Noodles (often she asks for noodles with pasta)
He Yo - Hello
Cun She - Crunchy

And a hundred more that I can't quite remember at the moment.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wedding and Travel Madness

We are officially in wedding week!  My baby brother will be a married man in only a few short days, and we are all SO excited!  There is much too-ing and fro-ing as we try to make all our last minute adjustments.  Thus far, dresses are altered, jackets are purchased, hair is cut, feet are pedicured (is that a word?), and we've even collected a "treasure" box of goodies for the airplane rides.  Now all I have to do is pack for three people, schlep a million pounds of luggage through the airport, and entertain a toddler for seven hours of flying time.

On this trip we have a four hour flight followed by a two hour lay over followed by a three hour flight.  Of course there is no way to predict how she'll behave, but I'm crossing my fingers (oh please! oh please!) that she won't cause too much trouble.  It could happen right?  While this flight is much longer than our last one, we have a serious ace in the hole: Daddy.  We left Daddy at home last time, and went with just Grandma.  I'm really hoping that the combination of the three adults will help to keep her occupied.

By far the dodgiest part of our whole itinerary is the last flight home.  We are smack in the middle of a wide body plane (no windows or aisles) and we arrive at MIDNIGHT!  Now many children would fuss, but then fall asleep in such circumstances, but there is a very likely possibility that she will have none of that.  Wish us luck.   

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moving, but not the House Kind

In spite of a placenta in the front this time, I can finally feel the baby move!  This is an especially reassuring moment for any expectant mom, so I'm glad it's finally come.  She's a busy little monkey just like her sister.  Any time I sit down to relax, she decides it's time to play, so reading, watching TV, and trying to go to bed can all be interesting.  Keep dancing little baby; you've got to get ready for you big debut!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Braxton Hicks!

Whew I do not remember having any of these "practice" contractions with my first baby.  According to the doctor, everybody has them, but many people never even realize it.  Mine have ranged from tingling, tickling, to almost painful, and they start sometimes in the middle of my belly and wrap all the way around to my back.  It is the strangest sensation!  At least I'm not having too many of them, so there's no cause for alarm, but they certainly do stop me in my tracks sometimes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Airplane Activity for Toddlers

On our recent trip down to visit Great-Grandma, I was determined not to let our girl get too far out of hand on the airplane.  Of course there is nothing anyone can do to ensure good behavior, but I was very much wanting to try and hedge our bets.  A friend of mine told me that her mother used to hide toys in balls of yarn, and then she and her sister would have to knit the yarn to get at the toy.  Genius.  Unfortunately Delphinium (her nickname, but it's a long story) is not much on the knitting, being only two years old, so I wanted to come up with a way to use the same idea for her.  Thus we boarded the plane with a "treasure box" tucked into my backpack.

The treasure box was really a child's size shoe box around 4"x6"x3."  Inside the box were several old jewelry boxes of all different sizes (I knew there was a reason to keep them!) and inside each of them was... something special!  I actually went to Target and spent just $10 on small items I knew she would love.  First she opened a box containing a matchbox car.  That bought us at least fifteen minutes as she drove it all around her carseat.  Next came a purple pony with its own rolling suitcase. This was followed by a squish ball and a string of plastic beads (no no she doesn't play with them alone).  Last, but not least was a collection of stickers and a small box of crayons.

I am proud to say that she played and played with her various goodies.  In hindsight, I would not recommend including a ball because they want to, well, throw it.  However, the other items got all sorts of action both on the plane and after we arrived at our destination.  After she exhausted the fun of the toys, she took out the crayons and stickers and began coloring and decorating the various boxes.  We are planning to take a longer trip to the east coast this summer, and I will absolutely be making another treasure box for that trip.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Wild Ride of Genetics

Once the green wore off, it just seems like this pregnancy is sailing along.  The first time everything seems so new and uncertain, so you spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about how everything will turn out.  This time I do have a toddler to keep up with, but the flip side is that I am so much more relaxed.  Doubtless everything is unfolding as it should.  Right?

At our twelve week appointment, our doctor walked us through the many different tests and appointments we have to look forward to (many of them I actually do look forward to because I love reassurance that all is well). Ultra sounds, blood tests, pee tests, the glucose challenge (disgusting!), and all that other fun stuff we remember from last time.  The one thing that has changed is the genetic testing.

When we were expecting the first time, there were three genetic tests available, and only one of them was actually recommended for the general population.  We went with that one, and found that while I do have a risk factor for cystic fibrosis, my husband does not, so we're all in the clear.  Yay!  Does this mean we don't need any genetic tests this round since we already have our info?  Oh  no, in two years things have really changed.

Now the recommended genetic test covers one hundred different mutations known to cause disease.  ONE HUNDRED!  Since this test is one that screens the parents (no amnio required, so no risk) and I'm the sort of person who wants to know, we both trotted off to lab to make a deposit.  In only three weeks we had our answer.

The doctor called me herself, so that scared me from the outset.  Then, over the course of our ten minute call, the toddler managed to fall and bump her head, the neighbor decided to take up loud tree trimming, and the cats got into a huge hissing match.  Oh yes and my cel phone managed to drop the call THREE TIMES.  It was like a bad joke.  In the middle of all that I tried to take in the news that the husband and I are both carriers for something called Alpha-One Antitrypsin Deficiency.  "But don't worry" she said helpfully "you have the S variety."  She gave me the number of a genetic councilor, and that was that.

First I called My Dear Husband (MDH) who was wonderfully calm as he always is about upsetting news.  We then turned to our friend the internet (I know! I know, but can you really tell me you wouldn't have done the same?) to find out more about the condition.  To be brief, the disease consists of having low levels of a protective protein which the body needs to keep tissues safe from harm.  Those who have the severe form can get lung and liver diseases especially if they drink, smoke, or inhale lots of particulate (like in coal mining or living in a very polluted place).  People with the Z type of the mutation can have very low levels of protection, while those with the S type tend to be much less effected.

After doing our research and meeting with the genetic councilor, we felt much better about the situation.  Each of our children has a 1 in 4 chance of inheriting both copies of the bad gene.  Even if they do, most likely they will feel no effects, and if they do, it will probably not be serious.  Of course there is a small chance that they will see something major over the course of their lives, but I'd like to meet the person who faces no risk of illness.

When you read about genetic testing, there is always the question of whether or not it is worth knowing the truth.  Some people would much rather not know anything.  In fact I spoke to one mom (who knew nothing about my story) and she basically said that if you love and accept your baby you will not have any genetic tests done.  I was taken aback to say the least.  Personally I want the facts, so that I can be be prepared for the realities whatever they may be.  In the end, knowing about Alpha-One does not change one single thing, but it does give me the chance to be prepared come what may.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Preschool Pick

It is official!  Delphinium has been accepted to preschool!  After all our searching and hunting for just the right fit, we were happy enough with a choice to put down money and an application.  We chose a school with a lovely natural setting, small class sizes, and a philosophy that seemed to work with ours.  Now I should feel this lovely sense of release right?  Instead I feel a mixture of sad and anxious.  I want her to go to school because I know she need socializing and play time that I won't be able to give her once the new baby comes.  Still, it's a very tough thought to imagine her away from me, and in the hands of strangers.  What if they aren't nice to her?  What if one of the other children is a pill?  There is just no way to know if you're making the right choice, but no amount of research or classroom visits is ever going to change that.