Saturday, May 26, 2007

Welcome to the Vale of Tears, kiddo

Gus cried his first real tears this week. And I thought I was gonna die.

D was taking care of Gus, and he had left him on the bed (in the middle, on his back, definitely safe place) while he went off to wash his hands after a particularly noisome change. Gus took exception to this and was crying his head off. When I poked my head in to see what all the fuss was about, I discovered Gus lying on his back (as described above), howling away -- with two perfect little tear tracks streaking his perfect little round cheeks. Which just about broke my heart. God only knows how I'll deal with it when they really have something to cry about.

In other news, both boys had their first immunizations this week. I read up on immunizations, then D and I discussed it, then Dr. G (their pediatrician) and I discussed it... and like most other people, we decided to go forward with immunizations. For the obvious reasons -- the odds of them becoming significantly ill from immunizations are way less than the odds of them becoming significantly ill, should they be exposed to someone with whooping cough, or step on a rusty nail. We play the odds around here, and the odds said they were safer getting the shots. But still. A mother worries.

(We did skip the rotovirus shot. These boys will not be in any kind of daycare situation for at least 3 years, and Dr. G said that was where kids are most likely to be exposed to rotovirus [which apparently makes you vomit and then your head spins around], and also the immunization is only a year old. Heck, I don't try new meds on my cats, let alone my kids, unless it is a life-or-death and all the old stuff has been trotted out already.)

The jury is still out on their reactions in total. Gus had his shots on Wednesday and Sam had his on Friday. This necessitated a second trip to Our Homongous HMO for Sam's shots, but I did NOT want TWO fussing babies at once. Turns out that Gus was the fusser and Sam (at least to date) has taken it more philosophically. Gus looked sad and annoyed for two solid days and ran a tiny bit of fever, whereas Sam cried his head off at the office but then quieted down for a field trip to T@rget (our first!) and has been his regular self since then. (Re going to T@rget -- we have a Snap and Go Double stroller, and I discovered that if you have only one infant carrier in the double stroller instead of two, there is LOTS of room in the basket below to stash merchandise. Good to know.)

But Gus seems back to normal now, and is on his way to being protected against lovely things like diptheria and polio. (D's dad had polio when he was a kid, and was in the hospital for a year. And he still ended up with a wizened leg that gave him problems all his life.) So I feel good about them being protected. But it was hard, hard, hard to see their little legs being stabbed with needles... oy vey. And the resultant wails.


A mother worries, nu?

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Smilin' Boys

A brief post here to note that both of the boys are smiling now! Gus smiled very briefly at me a couple of days ago, and my heart nearly flew out of my chest. It was the cutest smile, a happy little ray of light blinking briefly from behind clouds. (He retreated to a frown immediately afterward -- Gus is quite an accomplished frowner already. More than one person has told me that his frown looks just like mine. Not sure that's a great thing, but there it is.)

Naturally, I just about killed myself racing to tell D about The First Smile, who promptly declared it either gas or a figment of my imagination. (D has an unfortunate habit of discounting things I tell him. Annoying, to say the least.)

But this morning I was nursing Gus, and D burst into the room I was in to declare that Sam had smiled at him for the first time! D was clearly elated, and I was very nice indeed and didn't try to pass it off as mere gastrointestinal disturbance. (This is why I'm going to get the Wife of the Year Award, right?) And then a little while later, after I had been nursing him, Sam smiled at me -- about four times in a couple of minutes! Clearly, having mastered the new skill, he wanted to show it off. It was just darling, and different from his brother's smile -- a shy-looking, sweet little smile that flicked on and off again. So adorable.

I tell ya, we live for moments like this around here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two months plus one day

I should have written this on their two month birthday (actually, I should have written a post on their one month birthday too -- oh, well), but real life intervenes. On days when D is gone all day at work, I am pretty much running the entire time to keep up with the young 'uns. I'm starting to call them the Tag Team since it seems like when one isn't crying, the other one is, and vice versa. (Though this is not, strictly speaking, true. For instance, both of them are asleep at the moment -- glory hallelujah! -- which is why I can take a couple of minutes to pound this out. Though I'd like to point out that I am actually holding one of them as I type.)

I was thinking about how they have changed since they were born. For one thing, they are considerably larger. I haven't weighed them in a while (we will have them weighed at their two-month checkup next week) but I am guessing Gus is around 10 lbs and Sam is around 8 lbs. I was clipping Gus's little claws yesterday (as sharp as they are, I am calling them claws!) and I noticed how much larger his hands were than when he was born. I am really astounded at their rate of growth when I take the time to think about it.

Their little faces have changed quite a bit as well. Low be it spoken, Sam really looked rather monkey-like to me when he was born. Now his little face has elongated and his eyes seem to have much more expression than they did at first. He gives me these melting doe-eyed looks now that just kill me. Gus also looks different -- he looked so lost and kind of woebegone for the first few days, but now he tends to wear a more mischievous look. I think that look is created by the very wide-eyed and almost astonished expression he has so much of the time. My neighbor calls him "Bright Eyes" and I think that is a pretty good nickname for him!

The main difference, though, is in their behavior. Obviously, they were totally dependent on us at first, as they still are, and they would snuggle in to our warmth, and cry until they were picked up, if they were hungry or wet or cold. But now they seem to actually notice D and I, and crave attention from us. This is very flattering sometimes -- "Look, he actually knows who I am!" but also results in even less free time than before, if you can imagine that. I pick up one crying member of the Tag Team and soothe him, then look up to see the other one's eyes following me accusingly around the room. "Hey," I can hear the left-out baby thinking, "what's so darned special about him?" Followed, usually, by crying. Put down the baby I'm carrying and pick up the accusing one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

There have been big changes in me as well over the last couple of months. For one, I weigh about 50 lbs less now than my pregnancy high of 203 lbs. (Thank God!) My C section is largely healed, though pain from it still prompts me to take Vicodin -- though much less of it now, usually 1 to 2 tablets in 24 hrs. I look fairly normal these days except for a pronounced pooch at my waistline that makes me look about 5 months pregnant. I've been told that's partly fat but largely stretched-out muscles, that will take some time and remedial exercise to become un-stretched out.

But the biggest change in me is in my emotions. I really was not prepared for the force of the emotions I would feel about these babies. Everything is bigger than life. . . if D does the least little thing that I consider possibly harmful to the babies (such as not carrying them precisely the right way in their sling), I freak. I try hard not to, but I do. I feel shaken and tossed by these emotions sometimes, as if I were in a storm. (I know that's such a cliche', but really and truly, I feel that way.) The least threat to my babies brings on a flood of tears, or forces me to bite my tongue to keep from threatening someone (usually my husband) with swift and lethal retribution if they don't fix things right this instant. I went to Target one day about a month ago -- my first trip to the store by myself after the surgery -- and rushed home in a tizzy to see the babies. The instant I saw them again, I burst into tears. I knew they were safe at home, I knew I would see them again, I knew it all. . . but still.

Did I mention I'm a crazy lady these days?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Songs to walk a crying baby by

(To the tune of "Freres Jaques")

Brother's noisy
Brother's noisy
Yes, he is
Yes, he is
He thinks I should hold him
He thinks I should hold him
Instead of you,
Instead of you.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Kitty watching

Gus noticed a kitty today.
The pic is not of Gus noticing the cat ... though the surprised expression on his face was much the same as when he was staring at our fuzzball this morning. (Sam is on the left; Gus is on the right.) But I thought the pic might help me apologize for being absent for so long from this space. :)
I had put Gus down on our bed to re-swaddle him (for about the zillionth time -- we call both the boys our Little Houdinis because they can undo most swaddles in no time flat when they want to), and it happened to be right beside our old blind cat, Georgina. (She is a bit decrepit, in addition to being blind -- but she still loves to be picked up and held on my shoulder, and still enjoys her catfood, so I don't see her as a candidate for the Big Scratching Post in the Sky yet.)
And for the first time, Gus noticed her! It was wonderful to see the expression of awe on his little chubby face, and to see him reaching, unsuccessfully, to grab her long tortie fur. So while he ogled her, I stood there and told him all about kitties, and how they don't really like to be grabbed, and how they are our friends ... and of course all that was solely for my benefit, not his, at this age!
His attention lasted for about a minute and that was it. Which was just as well since I wanted to swaddle him and get on with my own agenda. But it was wonderful to see him really see something. How cool.