First Dinner Party with Baby

Dinner parties with children are scary.  At least the idea of hosting one is scary.  Going to other people’s houses is a piece of cake.

A few weeks ago we went to our friends’ home, a gorgeous place, something like what we would dream of having one day.  They have two children, ages four and eight months.  Not to mention the tons of space inside and outside their home.  Simply a great place to host a party.

Our house is not a great place to have a party.  A baby, two cats, and a rambunctious dog, plus a gigantic treadmill in our family room doesn’t suit guests.  Also, our dining table has been taken over by baby stuff and is now housing the dog crate…

Thanks to our friends and their family, I know having a dinner party is an option for us someday.  It is a great time to catch up with friends while the mobile children play and the non-crawlers coo at each other from their respective play areas.  Dinner parties with children may be noisy and interrupted by requests to read stories or have more “bacos” on the salad, but they are nonetheless charming in their own way.

In the mean time, I’m open for invitations.  Anyone want to invite me over?

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After a hiatus…

It has been far too long. In fact, I’d completely abandoned this blog… until I needed to hear other mothers’ stories about managing a challenging twin pregnancy. Reading stories of successful outcomes has been so soothing for my worried heart. I’m hoping that recording the events of my pregnancy will help me reflect on this time in the future. Also, I’d love to provide hope for others in my position.

My husband, Spencer, and I found out we were expecting our third child at the beginning of December. According to LMP, my due date would be August 5th. At my 12 week ultrasound, we found out that #3 was actually #3 and #4. I’d thought we were having twins! During the ultrasound, the specialist discussed the type of twin with which we were blessed  (monochorionic/diamniotic) and one some of the possible complications, including TTTS. At 14 weeks, we found out we were having girls! Also, fluid discordance became an issue. We were monitored weekly until at 16 weeks, TTTS was confirmed. After a fetal echocardiogram at UCSF, we flew to Denver, from the Bay Area, for surgery.

Perhaps I’ll post more about our experience in Colorado in the future. In summary, we had a comforting, amazing experience at Children’s Hospital in Colorado. The team layered 39 connections in the placenta. After one week, the girls looked stable and their conditions had improved. By two weeks post surgery, the heart trouble in my recipient had diminished.

From then to now (22 weeks 2 days) we’ve been sailing relatively smoothly. There was a little scare with MCA dopplers looking off and there is some separation between the amnion and chorion, but it seems be showing some improvement. I expect I will back-track to share more detail on the recent past, but for now, I need a platform for sharing the present. And right now, we are all okay and that’s what I need to savor.

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The Baby Cage

Last week, I gave in and bought Henry a baby cage…

It is actually a little fenced hexagon, but I can’t help but think of it as a little cage for my baby.  We put squishy tiles on the floor, decked it out with a baby gym, and placed it near the sliding glass doors.  Comfy, fun, and sunny.

I decided to buy the baby cage because every time I sit on the floor with Henry, Dana the dog wants to play with us.  She nuzzles her wet doggy nose in my face and paws me with her too-long nails.  I don’t think she’d ever hurt Henry on purpose, but she weighs 45 pounds to Henry’s 15 pounds.  Not a fair fight.

I like that Henry has a place to play on the floor.  He wiggles and coos at the ceiling.  Plus, he’s recently gotten very good at rolling over from his back to his belly… and then screaming in frustration because he can’t flip back over.

I just wonder, how long will Henry tolerate his baby cage?  And when he needs more room to roam, what do we do about the dog?

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Bon Voyage! How to Travel with Baby

Henry, my husband, and I are preparing to take a trip across the country.  Oh, boy!  The anxiety is filling me, just thinking about it…

I’ve scavenged the web looking for sites to give me advice on travelling with at little one.  Here’s what I’ve found:

The Baby Center gives advice on travelling with a newborn to eight-month-old.

The TSA has info on plane travel with babies, including videos.

This is another fun site dedicated to travelling with children.  They even have packing lists!

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Motherhood is…

Motherhood is…
Catching my husband’s cold and putting my faith in my breastmilk. That it will protect my baby from this mucous mess. It is washing my hands feverishly every five minutes to slay the wicked germs crawling all over my skin. It is realizing, with a little squeaky cough and a sniffle, my baby’s got it, too. My heart aches with the unfairness of it all. He must be thinking, ” So this is life, huh?”

Motherhood is…
Rocking my crying fifteen pound bundle as he kicks and wiggles in his discomfort. I rock, stand and bounce, although I haven’t even the energy to pick up a toothbrush. I lie down, still jiggling my sick munchkin. He falls asleep tucked in the crook of my elbow, his head on my arm. I stifle my coughs and my sneezes. He burrows deeper into the cave-like cradle of my arms. My limbs begin to fall asleep. I realize I have to pee. But it can all wait. The world is on hold. My discomfort disrobed, for the love of my babe.

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Three Grandfathers and a Little Baby

Henry has three Grandfathers.  There’s my dad, Grandpa Chris, who has seen Henry a whopping two times.  There’s my father-in-law, Grandpa Win, who cuddles and kisses Henry and pretends to eat his ear.  Then there’s Grandpa Vince.

Grandpa Vince is my mother’s husband, my stepfather for the past over ten years or so.  Vince and I have had a tumultuous relationship.  When I was in my early twenties, Vince and I got in a horrible fight about what to name the cat that showed up at our doorstep.  I wanted to name her “Piggy.”  He thought “Gracie” sounded good.  I stormed out of the veterinarian’s office when we couldn’t agree on what name to put down on her registration.  I walked back home, threw a temper tantrum, that resulted in a broken plaster sculpture.  Thank goodness those days are over.

Our relationship has improved exponentially in the last few years as I’ve let go of some of the possessiveness I feel for my mother and have started a family of my own.  What has really made a difference in the last few months is Henry.  My relationship with Vince has been completely transformed.  Looking back at my relationship with my stepfather, I never would have thought we’d become so close.  So pleasantly surprised at how grateful I am to have him in our lives.

He is Grandpa Vince.  He loves my “little guy” so much and would do anything for him.  Since Henry was born, Vince has wanted to visit and snuggle my little man whenever he can.  He puts Henry on his knee and plays horse with him, pretending he’s a jockey in a race.  He sings songs (Vince is a master of lyrics) and Henry looks in his Grandpa’s eyes and smiles.   And Vince is always talking to him about things they will do someday when he’s older, like fishing, golfing, checking out the hot rods.  Henry is a very lucky boy to have this very special grandpa who loves him like crazy.  I am so lucky, too.

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Taking one for the team or Thank you breastmilk

Spencer came down with a cold on Monday.  By Thursday, he was completely couch-bound, the “wig wag” of Dana’s dog tail on his leg, too painful to tolerate.  On Friday night, it was my turn…

We’re both terrified of Henry getting sick.  Spencer didn’t touch the baby or get even close to him for two days.  For me, that’s not an option.

Thank goodness for the grace and wisdom of mother nature, because miraculously, Henry hasn’t gotten sick…yet.  When I get sick before Henry, my body makes the antibodies for whatever virus I have, and prepares them in an elixir that contains everything a baby needs nutritionally for the first six months of life.  Thank you, breastmilk, for keeping my baby healthy to the chagrin of the germs floating in the air.


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What is it I’m forgetting? Oh, yeah…Sleep…

So, sleep training was a FAIL.  We plan to try again this Friday.

The night has been going like this:

7:00 pm Put Henry to bed

10:30 pm Henry wakes up and sleeps beside me in my bed…

The rest of the night is restless.  Henry wiggles his little body while I rest my drowzy head on my arm, my neck aching from the strain.  Every few hours I feed him when he starts to cry.  I know I must sleep at some point because I am startled awake several times during the night with the fear that I’ve steamrolled him.

7:00 am We wake up.  I see my smiling happy, “morning-person” baby.  Somehow, this little grin, gives me the energy to get through the day.

Tomorrow night, I swear, will be the last night of this sleepless insanity.

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Fur Babies

Before Henry was born, my two cats and dog were my babies.  My animals and I would snuggle under the covers.  I’d take Dana dog to the dog park every day.  I’d roll around with them on the floor.  I even took pride in grooming them.  Mostly, I was more forgiving of their…um, shortcomings.

For years, we’ve had to feed them all in separate rooms…four times a day.  Cleo, the cat, eats her meals in my bedroom.  Yesterday morning, I awoke to the sound of Cleo puking on the bedroom floor.  I was startled, however, by the awful smell.  Surely, Cleo’s vomit couldn’t smell to awful?  I noticed the laundry basket was on its side.  I thought, “No, way.  My little princess couldn’t have…”  A sniff confirmed the truth.  Cleo had left a sock incrusted pile of poop in my laundry basket.  Hiss!

Here’s Cleo playing in a shopping bag (not said laundry basket.)

So, I cleaned up the poop and the barf, started the washing machine, got ready to jump back into bed.  But guess what?  Ote, cat number two, had done a number two on my pillow…

I change umpteen diapers a day, pick up Dana dog poop, scoop the litter box…but this is just more crap than a mama can handle!

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Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies for Mamas ONLY!

As Henry cries himself to sleep (we’re trying to give him the skills to fall asleep on his own, by effectively pushing him out of the nest and hoping he can fly) I decided to make cookies.  At least I will have cookies to soothe my stomach, if not my aching heart.

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup oat bran

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup salted butter (or two sticks)

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Combine the flour, oats, oat bran, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Add the chocolate chips.

Spoon by teaspoon onto baking sheet, spacing cookies two inches apart.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


***Enjoy your delicious baked delights with a glass of warm tears or cold milk…your choice…***

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