Monday, April 26, 2010

Leaving the Nest

3 months in now and while we've been celebrating such milestones as sleeping through the night, blowing bubbles, and face recognition, there is a lurking thought in the back of my mind. The countdown has officially begun in my mind as there are only 2 weeks left before I must return to work. Altough Diego keeps me busy and there are still a few things to tend to before my return, I'm finding it hard to enjoy these remaining moments.

It's a form of empty nest syndrome, only the person leaving the nest is me, and I don't want to. I would give anything to be a stay at home mom. Sadly, the recession will not allow me to. I have a mortgage and bills to pay as well as new goals to save up for which will benefit my little DD.

To make things worse now that my husband has been pulling out all the stops at work since DD was born, he has come to the point where he wants to take a vacation. He wants to fly somewhere, and I explained to him that I was not planning on flying with DD until he was much closer to a year of age. He doesn't seem to mind flying with a young baby, which is not surprising because I basically do all of the care-taking. Nonetheless, he is adamant that we deserve a vacation, and I do not disagree. However, this idea means a worse empty nest syndrome due to the fact that we will be leaving DD with his grandma and aunt for at least 5 days in early June. How will I survive? I do not know.

So I bite my lip and stare at my little DD. Knowing that this afternoon, I will likely be booking a flight to leave him. I will be grudgingly flying from the nest... to the Bahamas.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Normal Boy

During a previous post, Baby Genius?, I discussed how although Diego is not yet a super genius, he is still developing at a normal pace. Therefore, I have no lack of faith at his developmental progress. However, there was a loop that needed closing regarding his development. Last year, while I was still pregnant, an ultrasound found that Diego had Isolated Mild Ventriculomagoly. Instead of re-describing this since I already have in past posts, I will just say that Diego's results were inconclusive with regards to whether or not they would impact him anywhere from something similar to down syndrome, to developmental issues later in childhood, to nothing at all.

Although we were offered various tests, results from which would ultimately help my choice of birth vs. abortion, we only took a couple and let fate handle the rest. There was NO way after years of trying to get pregnant that we were going to let a little isolated mild ventriculomagoly get in our way.

So we continued to get a monthly ultrasound to monitor the issue and although it did not get worse, it did not get better either. During our last prenatal ultrasound, the doctor suggested a post-natal ultrasound to see how his development was after he was born.

And so I found myself back at the ultrasound center, but this time skinnier and with a stroller. The technician performed Diego's ultrasound with him still in his stroller. Even though we thought it would be more comfortable for him, it made no difference because as soon as the gel touched his head, he began crying like he was being abused. The crying continued for about 10 minutes. The technician asked me if I had a pacifier. I explained that he was "over" his pacifier because as soon as I tried to make him take it, he would scream more. But we tried anyway. I wondered who we were trying to pacify him for. His screaming made no difference to how the photos came out. Was she stressing out with his cries?

When she was done, she walked out of the room to show the photos to the doctor. As she walked out, she let out a great sigh... I know my son is a cryer and it stresses me out, but I had hoped it only slightly bugged external people, not stress them out too. So after that, I was feeling even more self-conscious.

The doctor came in the room to examine Diego herself. Then she blessed me with good news, Diego's results were good. There was no longer an issue. Everything appeared normal. My baby is a normal boy.

My heart lifted. You don't know how many hours I had been on the internet last year trying to find out what the probability was that this issue would just go away on its own. We just left it up to fate, and everything worked out.


At 2 1/2 months I also finally got around to fingerprinting Diego. It would have been cute to have gotten his hands and feet when he was first born, because he has naturally long fingers and toes like me so they are already big. I bought some special scrapbook paper for the background, and my mom and I discussed what our strategy would be to get his prints. The feet were a piece of cake, but unfortunately the hands were quite the opposite. It took us hours. We would ink his hand, and he would immediately start crying and clench his hands or try to touch his face with his inked hand. We tried making him fall asleep and do everything while he was unconscious, but he wasn't falling for it. Finally, with plain brute force, we finally got the prints.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Super Hero

I'm woman enough to admit when I've misbehaved or have acted like a biatch. For example, let's take yesterday. To be specific, it was Easter and we had absolutely NO plans, and were glad for it.

It was a dreary rainy and windy day. Javier had been working all week and was in no mood to do anything but hang out, rest, and watch some TV. We hung out upstairs to keep Mokee company while my sister and Will were in Hawaii. The day progressed delightfully uneventfully, and it was really nice to see him bonding with Diego now that he had an extra minute.

It got dark a little after 7pm, and that's when I heard Javier calling me after he had gone downstairs. I asked him what he wanted, and he told me to come downstairs because there was a flood in our bathroom that had soaked through the bathroom walls and into the office and garage. I went down right away.

At first we surmised that the leak had come from the bathroom, which we had recently remodeled. Maybe a pipe had begun to leak? Javier was surprised because he had professionally installed all the plumbing. He went to shutoff the water while I donned on rainboots and grabbed our wetvac to begin vacumming up the puddles of water. After about a half an hour of vacumming the bathroom, I proceeded to the office to begin cleanup there. Our wonderful and expensive area rug was soaked and I had to move the printer off the floor before we would have a short circuit on our hands. I had to move heavy furniture to make sure that we got all the water out. As I vacuumed a spot by a wall where a piece of our furniture had been propped up against, I noticed that every time I sucked up water, a new puddle began. Maybe the leak was NOT from the bathroom after all? Maybe it was rainwater seeping into the house.

To test my theory, I must have vacuumed the same spot 10 times, and each time got the same results. I called Javier to relay my scientific findings. He went outside in the dark to take a look at our sump pump, and came back to report that the pump had indeed failed.

It was futile to continue vacuuming because water would continue to flow into the house. Additionally, the weather forecast showed that it would continue to rain tomorrow. Javier's best advice was to somehow channel the water so that it would flow in a "safe" path through the rooms and into the garage where I could sweep out the water.

I believe my response was, "I'm not creative enough to build a channel, I'll just continue cleaning up water until it stops." But he knew, and I knew that I would be there all night if I followed through with my plans.

Still, we argued. I hated to see our house and stuff flooded, and I wanted an instant solution to this problem which I obviously wasn't finding. Javier told me to relax and go upstairs, and he would build the channel. So I went upstairs only to accidentally drop and break a glass jar of spaghetti sauce all over the kitchen floor.

"F!cK!!!!" I yelled in exasperation. Javier came and told me very calmly that it was OK, and that we would solve this problem and not to stress out.

"I don't handle stress very well, you know that." I responded sullenly. I was done.

Javier built a channel out of an old sheet and bags of concrete that he had in the garage. Then he went back outside to look at the pump once again and see why it may have failed. He left the front door open and in a few minutes I could hear water swishing outside. Oh please, oh please, tell me that Javier got the sump pump to work, I thought to myself.

And he came up the stairs to the front door with a big smile on his face. I was so happy when he told me that he got the pump to work. Even though we will still need to replace it, the emergency was abated for now. I told him I wanted to go back downstairs and attempt to clean the mess up again. After a half an hour, I told him it appeared to be OK.

The rest of the night, Javier kept mentioning proudly how he had managed to solve the crisis. And I was very thankful that he had not given up on that old sump pump. Being a contractor, this was an area that he knew like the back of his hand, and I could see the joy in his face when he felt that he had been exceptionally useful. There was no denying how grateful I was that he stuck by me while I was spazzing out. He deserved an honest apology from his damsel in distress, and he deserved to be treated like a superhero receiving his accolade that night. He got what he deserved which he humbly accepted, as any super hero would.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Genius?

Since I haven't had too much exposure to babies in my life, I have no idea the many stages of life that they go through. Because of this I decided to watch Youtube videos of other babies that were two months old, in hopes of being able to benchmark Diego's progress.

There were a lot of videos, but mostly of parents swearing that their child was some kind of genius or ahead in the development game. Take for example the hundreds of videos uploaded by parents that claimed their babies could already talk at 2 months old. There were many videos of babies saying "I love you", which was about as convincing as the videos of dogs saying "I love you" that I've seen in the past. The funniest talking baby video I found was one of a little girl named Allah, who just happened to be able to say her name. The reason I personally found this funny is because Diego has been crying "Allah" since he was born (and better than this chick if I may compare). That's just how he cries: "Allah! Allah! Allah!" My family joked that I may have accidentally brought home a middle eastern baby, however politically incorrect that joke is.

In that case MY baby is the super genius, having said his first words at 0 months old. Not only is he a super genius, but he's also a super grumpy genius, having said his second word at 2 months old. It's no surprise if you've been reading my blog posts, that my baby cries every waking moment and has perfected the frown. His nickname is "Grumpy old man". So it is that when I took him to his 2 month pediatric appointment, he began his grumpiness with the doctor. She tried all different positions to get him to stop crying. One position was the sitting position, and he only cried stronger.
"Ohhh, you don't like that position very much, do you?" the pediatrician asked.

Diego screamed and gargled (because he is now starting to coo), "Nooooooooo!" and gave his cutest frown yet. And the pediatrician looked over at me and just started laughing at his impeccable timing and response.

"It figures my grumpy old man's first word would be 'No'," was all I could say in response to this charade.

But truthfully, I believe we may have gotten through the hump because now he is crying less. Don't get me wrong, he is still a grump (I have yet to catch an elusive smile on camera). But it's so nice to have time enough to be able to make my bed in the mornings without him screaming like he's being abused. Now he lasts more time awake without going into an instant tantrum, he seems to have obtained better vision as if overnight, and he's begun his cooing and baby babble, which I think attributed to the scene with the pediatrician. He's just where he should be in his development as far as I'm concerned, and that's why my baby is a super genius (and I don't have to post any video proof on Youtube).