Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Am Citizen Insane

Let me stop here and point out that "I" is not quite correct, it is more "we" or more like this is totally Rob's brainchild, but I am now on board (but "we are citizen insane" is not the name of the Radiohead song so.....)

In a few weeks we will be announcing a new member of the family and I am not talking about Elinor. Rob is getting a puppy. It's not just any puppy either it is a Great Dane. I am announcing right here that we are insane because I know that getting a puppy and a baby within a few weeks of each other makes us totally off our rocker, and that is the feedback that we will most likely be getting from everyone, so it is fitting for you all to know that we know this.

Rob's obsession with getting a dog started 6-8 months ago and he has steadily brought it up more frequently. We have had a no animal policy since we were married and it's been nice. About a year ago Rob started mentioning he liked Weimeriners. So that was his first possibility until he found out they are high energy and need lots of exercise and space. He abandoned that thought, especially in light of our tiny back yard, and moved on to his second love- which are Great Danes. While these dogs are huge, they are also very nicely tempered and enjoy small spaces and relaxation. They have fairly weak hearts and so are limited in energy and actually only have a life expectancy of 7 years. Which is sad to think about, but not sad enough not to get one. I brought up an idea to get Scout a small pet before the baby so when Elinor comes, she might feel special. I was thinking hamster or even maybe a dwarf bunny. Rob started thinking puppies... He has located a litter that was born 3 weeks ago and will be ready to leave mama somewhere around Aug 25th. They are in Santaquin and while I worked a golf tournament, Rob took Scout down to see them (they were almost 2 weeks old at the time). She LOVED the puppies, handled the mama very well, but when daddy came along and wanted to play, Rob said he "scared the pee out of her... literally". The litter consists of 14 puppies! Only 3 are males, we decided before sight (and terror) we wanted a female. They have a puppy blog if you want to check them out (we are second in line for choice and think we are narrowed down to mint green (my favorite), red, and dark pink.) puppies are here. We are holding out our final choice until we can all meet them and see them as active puppies, for we are going to choose the one with the sweetest disposition and the calmest of the three.

We know it's insane, but we are sort of looking forward to the insanity! It's been just us three for so long, we can't wait to open our home up to two little girls and give them lots and lots of love. Rob is designing a table for the living room that will accommodate a tv, computer and a dog crate big enough for a Great Dane (let me tell you, that is a BIG crate) for she will be crate trained (it seems this fits Danes very well, they like the den like atmosphere), she will not be allowed on the furniture, and we have been warned to keep towels by all the doors for slobber. Rob has already looked into obedience classes that I believe we will all be attending (Scout needs to learn a little bit of power over the dog so she has a little respect). As for the puppy time, I am fairly worried about getting through that. I can't forget my brother Dave's Great Dane puppy Sundance that was bigger then Liz at like 3 months old but still an active, crazy puppy. I just don't want any of my kiddies to go splat. But, she (at least her puppy era) will not be allowed upstairs in the bedroom area (we may be putting the baby gate up early), and no furniture, so I expect to keep them safe.

AND which ever puppy we decide on, she already has the perfect name.....Lola.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elinor's Heart

Yesterday was the big ultrasound and we are very happy to report good news. The ultrasound tech did a lot of measurements of all her internal organs and arms and legs, head, etc. We also got to peak at the 4 heart chambers and watched the little valves open and shut and pump it's blood. We listened and watched a ultrasound rendition of the heart beating and she told us that she didn't detect any abnormalities. She told us the doctor would be in to check for himself.
The doctor came in, looked at what the tech did, got a full account of her heart traumas as I had understood them thus far and then did his own thing with the ultrasound which mimicked what the tech did. He looked at all the brain sections (which the tech didn't do), he also went into a very long, in depth explanation of how the heart works and why some fetuses have an arrhythmia. Then we watched the heart again, he showed me what all the little beats meant and all the little sounds and said that her heart looks GREAT. It seems as if baby bean has corrected her little misfire already. He said it isn't unheard of to have it come back and develop into tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate that can cause some major problems in babies), he did say that he has personally never seen it happen in his 20+ years of experience. That's good enough for me.

We also were notified again that her name is going to be Elinor instead of George, was told she is measuring 6 days bigger then her due date (bring on the 9/9/09), and that she is exactly 4.2 lbs at the moment, and also, she has long legs. In addition, we got a pretty good notion that all organs, brain, bladder, stomach, kidneys, etc are all functioning and formed well. I am quite sure her ears work, since every morning after a long silent night, Scout will come in and cuddle and start talking to me and little Ella starts moving around (it's a very cute thought to me that Scout's little voice will be familiar to her sister, just like mom and dads).

Little reassurances of her health do mean a lot.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A little announcement.....

In case the music doesn't clue you in, we have officially decided on a name:


From this day forth, creepy baby george shall be known as either "Ella" or "Elle". YAY! Feels good to have this detail settled. We are indeed sticking to a literary theme for our babies, and one that makes lots of sense is a character from my very favorite Jane Austin novel, Sense and Sensibility. Since Rob is not a book worm like his wife, (and to tell the truth finds Jane Austin type literature particularly distasteful), calling the girl Ella makes lots of sense. Rob may not read a lot, but he sure likes Jazz and one of his very favorite Jazz singers is Ella Fitzgerald. So we are both happy. And hello! Groovy 60's song I've always loved rounds out the package nicely. We like Elle a lot too and figure they will both be used quite a bit, or one will stick better or someday- she may prefer one to the other. We'll see.

As for a middle name, we are not quite decided. Right now, the most likely candidate is Roxy, but it isn't cast in stone. I feel it balances the slight stuffiness of Elinor nicely, but we haven't explored that avenue much, we are just happy to have settled on a first name.

We got Scout's approval tonight, by the way, she poo pooed it at first and when I asked her what she wanted to call her baby sister, she said without hesitation: Cups.

I think we are wise not to go the Cups route, as that may invoke a little teasing now and then.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Pirate of Cedar Hills and other stories

It's been quite some time since I posted a journal of funnies entry, so I got two (plus a bonus new dinosaur pic).

Scout - 4
Some months ago, Rob and I and Scout were shopping at the Smith's by our house and while leaving and as Rob was pulling forward out of the parking lot, a guy walked right in front of the car which inspired Rob to have to slam on his brakes. This guy happened to wear a plain black eye patch and wore long, fairly unkempt, vaguely curly hair. He gave us a look like were totally ruining his day (yes, pedestrians have the right of way, but MAYBE they should think about not walking right in front of moving vehicles from a blind spot). Scout asked us if he was a pirate and that tickled us greatly. The whole way home, Rob weaved stories about the Cedar Hills Pirate, they were all chock full of as many pirate stereotypes he could think of. Example: he was at Smiths buying Parrot food, his hook was being shined currently, and there were stories about being a land locked pirate living on your ship. You get the idea (we are awful). So that was a while ago (maybe 3 months?). A few days ago were were driving in Orem and Rob spotted a guy with the same general appearance standing on an intersection corner, he had no eye patch, but had a very crooked walking stick/cane thing. Rob said, "Scout! Do you think that is the pirate of Cedar Hills?" Scout was a tad disgruntled at the time and retorted, "Dad, you said he was just an old dude with an eye patch!"
Rob and I couldn't stop giggling, we remember her starting to get a little nervous about all the pirate talk that day and us ending it by assuring her that we were kidding and he wasn't a pirate. What we didn't remember and Scout was so kind to obviously remember verbatim-- exactly what Rob had said. We giggled mostly because it was the first time we had ever heard Scout say "dude".

Scout -4

Yesterday, I was tidying up the kitchen and Scout was sitting near the recycling garbage and watching me. She started playing with a milk jug that had been rinsed out some days ago, but had been sitting in a hot summer kitchen with some residual watery milk at the bottom for a long enough time to get nice and smelly. I wasn't paying attention and next thing I knew, she had spilled it on her clothes, hands and kiki. There was only a few drops, but certainly enough to make all those things nice and stinky. She was quite disgusted and smelled her hands and yelled, "mom! Why does it smell like toe?"

I may as well add this one, I found it quite funny and it just happened while writing the Cedar Hills Pirate story just now:
She was lying next to the desk and me while typing and looked around and noticed kiki wasn't around (a freshly washed kiki of course, she got put in the washer right after the milk incident, as it turns out, kiki isn't quite as popular smelling like toe -for either of us). I, for some reason teased her a little (I think I know why, I didn't want to be interrupted and have to stop to look for kiki). She started describing kiki to me (she's green and purple...) I tossed a small blanket that happened to be nearby on her and said "this is a blanket and it's purple". She said "it's green and purple" I said, "this blanket is purple", she- (starting to get a little perturbed) said, "it's GREEN and purple" then she snapped as that was enough teasing she could handle when it comes to kiki and said in a different, more serious, enough is enough voice, "it's KIKI you nut!!!"

Here is the latest dinosaur situation I have felt the need to take a picture of:

I think I am going to go through the posts and find all the funny dinosaur adventures my daughter has created and give them their own label. I guess I find the dinosaur adventures so funny because they are dinosaurs. If assorted dolls and little girl things were in their place, it wouldn't really fall under my radar. On a related note, I just noticed that she is holding up the piece of M&M she was saving for daddy. She found a half eaten package of M&M's today on daddy's table and I told her she could have them. She wanted to share them with daddy, so split them up. Needless to say, daddy's pile progressively got smaller and smaller until it was whittled down to one solitary, red M&M. Then, a little later she was eating it and said, this is the last piece, it's for daddy. For the record, that tiny sliver is still sitting on the desk, waiting for daddy to come home and enjoy.

As promised Cat, here is a taste of the kind of creepy munchkin like dance to Conor Oberst.
It's much better live action, but with a little imagination, you can fill in the blanks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Worry Train......Still Chugging Along

Sigh..... Rob and I and Scout went in for a routine doctor's appointment today and ended up at American Fork Hospital, hooked up to a fetal monitor. Our little bean (we are calling Scout "Bean" and the baby "little bean" for the time being) anyway, she was presenting an irregular heartbeat and signs of fetal distress. After a few scary hours, we were sent home with reassurances and 99% odds that everything will be alright in the end. With that in mind, I will explain the events of the day.

I go to a practice that employs 3 doctors, you routinely see all three so you know them all so when you go into labor, the doctor that happens to be on call that day, you are familiar with and he is familiar with you. The 3rd doctor only joined the practice a year or so ago, and this appointment happened to be my first with him. So anyway, he asked me the normal questions and blah blah blah, lays me down to check the baby's heart rate. Now, I learned a little something from my molar pregnancy-- be concerned when a doctor takes longer to do something you've seen done a million times and is silent. Silent = bad. My doctor was silent, and after a long time I was like, "what is wrong?" He tells me that the he detects an irregularity in the baby's heart rate. He said right there that at 28 weeks, that could be completely normal, but it's hard to tell with only listening for a few minutes and he wanted to monitor me for a longer amount of time hooked up to a machine. Keeping my panic at bay (who am I kidding? TRYING to keep my panic at bay), I follow him into a little room with lazy boys and monitors and a nurse hooks me up. She leaves and Rob and I are looking at each other like, "are you kidding me (kitten me?)" and we watch the heart monitor record our baby's beats. It seemed all over the place (we later learned that is a good thing), but after 20 minutes, the doctor reviewed it and saw some dips he didn't like. I guess the rate went down really low a few times and he then explained that it could be a pinched cord or the cord could be around the baby's neck. He gave me instructions to monitor the baby's movements a few times a day (10 movements in an hour = good), he reassured me that the baby measured perfectly and is growing right on target, which in this situation is a really good thing. He also wanted to see me again in a week to check the heart again, he said that at this point, a week of growth will be significant enough in umbilical cord growth and strength and baby growth to possibly leave all this behind us, assuming that the baby is still kicking around a lot. I was still hooked up as he was talking and I had told him that I had had a contraction or two during the monitoring and that seemed to concern him a little. But while he was talking he noticed the baby's rate drop again and he asked me if I was having a contraction and I was, so he said, "ok, I've changed my mind, I want to have an ultrasound done again to check the fluids and then I'd like to send you to the hospital and have them monitor you for a little while there." Rob piped up then with many questions, as this was getting fairly scary. He got out of him that it isn't the baby's development that has him concerned, it was stress associated with the umbilical cord. This was somewhat cheering, as thoughts of a baby with a bum heart were swimming through our brains and dying babies that need heart surgery at birth is not quite what we want in our near future. As I've said before-- WE LIKE HEALTHY BABIES!!!

So, we had our ultrasound and got to see little bean, and her fluid looked good. The doctor liked that news, as low levels of amniotic fluid can be a bad sign in this situation. So, we drive over to the hospital and get hooked up in a room and kind of go through the same thing. Scout found all of this quite interesting and fell in love with our nurse, who brought her vanilla "biscuits" and wafers and orange juice. She kept saying that she liked what she saw, and didn't see any of the drops the doc did in the office, this is explained by the baby possibly was hanging on to her cord, or pinching it with her shoulder or other such shenanigans. What she did see/hear was an arrhythmia though. So, I don't know if these two things are connected or what or really what is going on right now. I was armed with the knowledge that this is fairly common at my baby's age and also that in 99% of these cases, the arrhythmia resolves on it's own around birth. I tried to get out of her what happens to the other 1% of babies (as we all know, I now laugh at odds). She wasn't sure and told us that a pediatrician would know more then her about that, I said "surgery?" and she nodded in a non committal fashion.

So, after two hours in the same position, pressing on a monitor because the baby was squirmy and kept kicking it, and Rob having had skipped lunch, and Scout getting progressively more wired thanks to cookies and juice laced with monkey beans, we were very happily discharged and got hamburgers and went home (but not before the nurse gave her a few biscuts for the road).

Tonight, I think I am ok with this, I feel good about the baby showing no signs of distress while at the hospital. I am ok with the baby's "odds" that she will get over this, and be a normal happy healthy newborn, yet, inevitably, I know I will worry. I know I will be doing the fetal movement checks several times a day. I know I will rejoice with every kick she gives my rib cage from now on, knowing that she is alive and kicking. I know I will constantly be thinking about that tiny little heart in there, and hoping it is doing it's thing and being a good little heart for my little one. I suppose I'll know more next week (or not), my appointment is on Tues afternoon, and I will update you all with the latest.

I guess Rob and I are made to be kept on our toes for this one still. Why? Wish I knew. We talked tonight how we again long for the days of Scout's carefree pregnancy. Ah, those were the days......

I did a little internet research today on the subject of irregular fetal heart rates and am feeling a lot better about the whole thing. It seems that it is a low level of these babies that do have any sort of problems, and these babies are associated with having a heart beat that goes very high (over 200) for a period of time and my baby's never went over 160. Even then, this seems to be fixed with medication in utero and after birth. No one said anything about surgery, so that is certainly good news to us. Here is one such example of the articles I read that seemed informative and from a reliable source if you're interested.


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