Thursday, January 31, 2008

One Week Later

My mother has always said that raising 2 children is easy, and that it is with 3 children where you (the parents) become outnumbered and then you might as well have 12 for all the control you maintain. I have quoted this saying of hers often, but in the last week have realized she said this after having 7 children, not after having 2. So far, that is one week after having baby #2 (now known as Isaac), 2 children is not exactly what I would call "easy", but it is wonderful in many ways and we are adjusting to the demands of parenting a 2 year-old and an infant as they come. Kenny is carrying a significant part of the parenting burden as Isaac and I work out a feeding and eating schedule that leaves me functioning and him satisfied. Time is of the essence since Kenny must return to Peru in about 10 days, something which puts dread and fear into my soul and so of course I am pretending that it won't happen. Caleb seems to like "baby Isaac" and has taken to referring to him as "my baby." He is working on being gentle with the baby and apart from a few meltdowns/tantrums is handling Isaac's arrival on the scene fairly well. I'm not certain he knows that Isaac is a permanent fixture yet, but if not, I am certain he will let us know when that fact finally dawns on him.

This week, in comparison with the week following Caleb's birth, has been 1000% better for me. The labor/delivery were amazing in terms of quickness and easiness. The hospital stay was terrifically rejuvenating and I started feeling like a normal person before I even left the hospital. After Caleb I was shell-shocked, for a long time, a long time. And then there were problems with nursing (Isaac is doing well in this area) and sleeping (again, Isaac is a great sleeper and doesn't need to be held to do it - Hallelujah!) and knowing I had to go back to work (not this time) and a host of other things I just wasn't prepared for. People say it gets easier, and while I know this isn't the case for everyone, it certainly has been for me and I am really enjoying my much shorter road to recovery.

Here are some pictures from the last week:

My two sons

First non-hospital issued clothes. Notice the tan? Isaac was a little jaundiced but not
enough to require extra time in the hospital or photo therapy.

Isaac's first car ride

Caleb sledding with Uncle Lyman

Isaac and Grandest

Isaac and Grandeur

Isaac with Grandma and Grandpa

Isaac's first bedtime story

Caleb and his new bath toys - I don't think Picasso should be worried

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bienvenido al Mundo

At 0537 the morning of 22 January the phone rang informing us that we should hurry to the hospital. At 0602 we arrived at the hospital. At 0757 Nurse Melissa hooked-up Linsey to an IV that included a steady drip of Pitocin. At 1100 Linsey decided that perhaps an epidural could be her friend after all. At 1320 Nurse Melissa came to investigate the situation because the baby's heart rate indicated some type of stress. At 1320 and 30 seconds Nurse Melissa determined that the stress was due to the head of said baby coming into the world. At 1320 and 35 seconds Nurse Melissa called for the doctor while admonishing Linsey not to even think about coughing or laughing. At 1320 and 40 seconds Linsey turned off the rerun of Law & Order that we were watching. At 1325 Dr. Joseph arrived and scrambled to find sterile booties for his shoes and a stool to put at the foot of the bed. At 1330 Isaac Kenneth burst into the world and quickly found his way into the waiting arms of Mommy and Daddy. Isaac entered the world weighing 8 lbs 15 ounces and measured 20 inches. At 1730 Isaac met his older brother Caleb and Caleb gave him a kiss. At 1731 Caleb was running up and down the hospital corridors with Uncle Lyman because hospital corridors are far more exciting than new babies.

Meet Isaac!

Linsey and Isaac
Note that a 5.5 hour labor is much better than a 17 hour labor. The sibling rivalry begins already and Isaac is winning.

Isaac is awfully cute.

Kenny, Linsey, and Isaac

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Destined for Inducement

I have officially run out of steam for almost everything, including, obviously updating the blog. At least there is nothing to report, so I don't feel too bad about this. I am also a little ashamed to admit that even though I feel the need to spend as much time with Caleb as possible in advance of the new baby, since Kenny arrived in the States I have been only too happy to let him spearhead the lion's share of taking care of Caleb. Luckily, Kenny loves time with Caleb and Caleb cannot get enough of his Dad so I don't think either of them is suffering or harboring resentment.

Tomorrow we are slated to arrive at the hospital (as early as 5:30 am - we won't know until they call letting us know there is a bed available) to induce this baby to make his appearance. I am packed and as ready as can be and we think we have a name picked out - or at least we're a lot closer than we've been. I've given Kenny a crash course in updating the blog and I think his technical abilities will allow him to at least post vital statistics and some photos. I've heard everyone's horror stories about going in to be induced and having to come back 2 and 3 times, but we are hoping for that not to be the case tomorrow.

So, cross your fingers and check back soon for, hopefully, news of a new baby and some pictures to boot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Announcing the Arrival of...

My sister's new baby: Andrew Jacob. He was born on Sunday evening weighing in at 8 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 inches long. He was a few days late and needed some encouragement to make his debut. But, he is here now and he and his mother are doing well, apart from being exhausted and in the case of the baby slightly jaundiced. His arrival means Caleb is no longer an only grandchild and signals the beginning of a year of babies for our family - 3 more expected between now and July.

Note: his mother does have a blog, but she has never yet posted pictures there so I am taking the liberty of sharing this beautiful boy with the world. Who knows, maybe his cuteness will spark a new, more graphic-filled chapter in the life of her blog, we shall see...

Pretty cute huh?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How Pregnant Are You?

I know it is impossible to be a little bit pregnant or very pregnant or somewhere in between - one is either pregnant or not. But, as I have officially arrived at being the most pregnant I have ever been in terms of number of days, I am feeling decidedly VERY pregnant. And, despite the fact that I am constantly told I don't look pregnant enough (again, another impossible condition to be in) to be 10 days from my due date, I am in fact that pregnant. I'm never quite sure how to respond to the aforementioned comment - usually I just say, well, I'm descended from good peasant stock and don't have any weak aristocratic blood in there to mess things up. Mostly these conversations just remind me that my condition is starting to feel permanent and that I am really beginning to miss seeing my feet, and can't wait to roll over in bed without waking up, or have enough energy to do more than call after Caleb when he decides to take off running.

Over the last few days I have been thinking about Celia's post about celebrity "twin" babies and would just like to point out that the following are no longer pregnant (though in most cases not sharing a baby birthdate with any of them isn't making me all that sad). However, since we are still without a name maybe we could get some inspiration from these latest Hollywood additions...then again, maybe not:

Famously unhealthy and uberskinny Nicole Richie: girl named Harlow Winter Kate

Christina Aguilera: boy name Max Liron

Toni Collette: girl named Sage Florence

David Alan Grier (and his apparently not famous and therefore unnamed wife): girl named Luisa Danbi

Courtney Thorne-Smith: boy named Jacob Emerson

Stella McCartney: boy named Beckett Robert Lee

So the countdown begins and maybe sooner than later I can join the ranks of my celebrity "twins". In that vein, I went to the doctor today for what I hope will be my last pre-natal appointment. Kenny is arriving on Friday - HOORAY!! and we have scheduled an induction for next Tuesday. If we're really lucky the baby will make his appearance before then, but not before Kenny. Then six weeks after that, new baby, Caleb and I will head back to Peru where we will be for a few months before packing up and heading to Venezuela. I keep thinking that our lives are going to settle into some sort of routine, but 2008 doesn't seem to be the year for that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Blessing of Misdiagnosis

Today my mother and I took Caleb to Primary Children's Hospital for a sedated echocardiogram. Sedated because children in the 1 to 4 age range have a very hard time being still long enough to get an accurate reading. And, since we wanted to verify definitively if he had a heart defect, accuracy was key.

Caleb has been under general anesthesia once before. A year ago, he swallowed a coin and had to have an endoscopy performed (this was in Peru and a major contributing factor for why we decided to have baby #2 in the US). For me, the scariest part of the whole experience was when the doctor administered the gas and his little 11 month-old body went from totally alive and moving to pale and lifeless in mere moments. So, I was not exactly looking forward to today's procedure. Further, upon arrival we were told that he would need an IV in order to receive the cocktail of medications - which, for his needle hating (read fearing) mother was definitely not a cause for celebration. But, Caleb was a trooper. He was attended by an unbelievably professional and solicitous team of nurses, technicians, administrative staff and doctors. They successfully inserted the IV on the first try and began administering the drugs immediately, including one with an amnesia effect to erase the trauma of being stuck with a needle.

Caleb is a very strong-willed, determined little boy. Something I'm fairly sure he inherited from me. Not to say that Kenny isn't determined, but he is, shall we say, more graceful and less vocal about his goals that I or than Caleb is turning out to be. This borderline obstinance was in play today as the nurses had to give him the maximum doses of all three drugs in order to get him fully sedated. Less than an hour later they wheeled him to recovery where we waited for him to wake him about 30 minutes later. He was pretty groggy, but still alert enough to know he did not want the IV in his hand, the pulse monitor on his toe, the blood pressure cuff around his leg or any blankets on any part of his body. He was distracted momentarily by juice and cookies and the Disney channel. Another 30 minutes later and he was ready to be dressed and discharged.
The highlights of the day were 1) confirmation from his doctor that the heart defect was a misdiagnosis and that our little boy is not just seemingly healthy, he is in fact healthy; and 2) a bright, blue blanket given to Caleb. I have participated in numerous service projects over the years to make and donate baby blankets for hospitals and other organizations. I have sometimes wondered about these blankets and where they go and if they make a difference. Today I know the answer. Caleb received one such donated blanket at the start of his procedure this morning and it stayed with him the entire day. He even wanted it with him when we got home and when he took his nap. I am grateful to the people who made this blanket that made my little boy feel just a little bit better in the midst of a not so fun day.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

S is for Summary of 2007

Friends and Family,

So I know it isn't December anymore or 2007 for that matter, but I have hit a bit of a blog wall with this post and so I'm sure you'll forgive my cheating on the date. We have had a wonderful 2007 and are looking forward to an equally eventful and change laden 2008.

January: We celebrated Caleb's 1st birthday January 28th with a Peruvian style, Hawaiian Luau. Caleb is a delightful child who brings us endless joy. He loves to run, sing, read stories, watch airplanes, watch movies and dance. We are sure that after a hopefully short period of adjustment, he will also prove to be an excellent older brother.

February: We took a wonderful family trip to the "resort" town of Lunahuana in Peru. We went swimming, white water rafting and biking. We played in the river and sampled the local seafood.

March: This month we did some exploring in Lima and then took off on one of the most amazing adventures of our lives to visit and explore Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Cuzco is an incredible city filled with beautiful churches and Inca ruins. Machu Picchu is indescribable. It really is extraordinary and nothing about it was disappointing. We'll be in Peru until the Summer of 2008 so if you want to visit this amazing site, you're still welcome to crash with us on the way.

April: Our trip to the Amazon jungle in April was spectacular. We were so thrilled to be able to see this beautiful jungle with its abundance of wildlife and vegetation. And, even though we were in some of the more heavily human trafficked parts of the jungle, the vastness of the Amazon was astonishing. We hope to make it back there someday even with the sweltering heat and ravenous mosquitoes.

May: This month we traveled to Lake Titicaca on the rooftop of the world. This was not the most fun we have ever had, but we are not sorry to have made the trip. Lake Titicaca is so large it seems more like an ocean than a lake. The water is a blue I have never seen before, even in Hawaii - and that is saying a lot. The floating reed islands were fascinating and the people who inhabit them and the other stationary islands in the middle of the Lake were generous and friendly.

June: Caleb started running in earnest this month and our days of keeping him contained came to a sudden halt. He was a late walker and I wished for him to walk forever only to realize that walking leads to running and running leads to chasing and general tiring out of all adults in his vicinity. He also, finally, got his first haircut and went to his first boy/girl party. Okay, so it was for a 1-year old, but there were definitely both genders in attendance.

July: We had a much welcomed onslaught of visitors in July including 1 brother-in-law, 2 sisters-in-law, one sister-in-law's brother, 2 parents (grandparents), 1 sister and 2 brothers. We played tour guide some of the time and just hung out most of the time. Visitors are great, especially when you live a million miles away from home.

August: Kenny and my Dad triumphantly hiked the Inca trail into Machu Picchu over 4 days and 3 nights. I don't know that it was "fun" for them, but I think they appreciated the experience and now can always say they've done it. We ended the month with a weekend trip to Trujillo and Chiclayo to see more of the spectacular sites of Peru.

September: More visitors, hurray (note, all are always welcome anywhere we live regardless of how well we may or may not know you). We also had a little blog-based toy drive for our Church congregation's toddler class and want to say again a great big thank you to those who participated and contributed.

October: It's hard to find a highlight in such an amazing year, but it would be equally hard not to say that our 2 week trip to Paris wasn't at least tied for first in terms of our favorite things in 2007. We visited everywhere we could cram in and had so much fun with our friends Nate and Sina who are posted there until Summer 2008.

November: With the visit of our final visitors of the year we took a trip to one more Peru destination, Nazca, to see the ancient lines carved into the desert floor. Despite the heat and sometimes unpleasantness of the trip, we were astonished by yet another Peruvian phenomenon and thrilled with the opportunity to visit.

December: The month seemed to evaporate as we made preparations for Caleb and me to come to the US and to pack everything else in beforehand so Kenny wouldn't miss out on holiday fun. Caleb has discovered he loves snow and being around family and so many wonderful American delicacies like Hostess Snack Cakes and fresh milk.
We are grateful this time of year and always for each of you and what you bring to our lives. We are grateful for a generous Heavenly Father and loving Savior. We are looking forward anxiously to adventures in 2008 not the least of which will be a new baby (arriving any day now) and a move to Venezuela.

God bless each of you with health, happiness and prosperity this year and always.

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