Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Like mother, like daughter

I love this chubby little baby hand. I love it when she pats my cheek, I love it when she pokes her stubby little fingers in my mouth, I love it when she tugs on my hair while she's nursing. I love watching her chubby little fingers pick up cheerios or dried fruit and try to share them with me. I even love this chubby little hand when she's pinching me or digging into me with her nails while she's nursing - which she does rather often (both the pinching/digging and the nursing!).

And lately, I love watching this chubby little hand do something just like I do. Since I was a baby, I've been a hair-twirler...when I'm tired, when I'm stressed, when I'm bored...I twirl, I pull, I twist my hair. I don't pull it OUT - I just play with it, between my fingers. It drove my dad nuts. I'm pretty sure it drove my entire family nuts. I think it drives my husband nuts. I can't help it - it's totally reflexive at this point. For some reason, it's soothing.

And now...apparently, Makayla feels the same way. When she's nursing, she grabs her piggy tails and holds on. When she's tired, she walks around with her hands on her head, a piggy tail in each hand - it's irresistibly adorable. She's gotten so used to reaching for her piggy tails that on the rare occasion when I don't put her hair in pigtails, she doesn't know what to do with herself - she's constantly reaching up to her hair, trying to find a pigtail to grab!

How could I ever resist such an adorable, chubby little hand and a fistful of curls?

A hat for you, a hat for me

I think we've all recovered, for the most part, from the plague. This time it wasn't just the kiddos who were sick - this time mama got it. Mamas aren't supposed to get sick. Fortunately, I believe we're all through the worst of it, with just a hint of runny noses hanging on.

Just before the plague hit us, though, I had been busy knitting. My dear online friend Tara, who helped me survive my pregnancy with the twins, is going through her own battle...her mom was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. It's hard to feel helpless when a friend is hurting, so I did what I could - I knit a hat for her and for her mom. It's something so small, but it's something. A little bit of love and warmth and comfort.

All three hats were knit out of Malabrigo Merino Worsted, which is absolutely the softest yarn ever. I just can't get's like butter. The pink hat is Tara's, and I used Leslie's Chunky Knit Beanie pattern. It is a very quick and easy pattern, knit on size 15 needles - it was finished in just a few hours. I double stranded the yarn, since the pattern calls for bulky yarn.

The blue hat, made for Tara's mom, is the Rose Hill pattern, which took considerably longer for me to knit, though it still wasn't a terribly long project. The only problems I had were that my hands are so weak (another post for another day) that I had a hard time making the bobbles, and then when I started the stockinette, I realized that my bobbles were on the wrong side of the fabric. No problem - I just popped them through to the other side...but it still bothers me that I can't figure out where I went wrong. Huh.

And then, after Tara and her mom's hats were done, I found that I loved the chunky beanie SO much that I just had to have one for myself. Fortunately, I still had another skein of Malabrigo just waiting for a a few hours later, I had my own hat! It is so soft, I just want to hold it and touch it and honestly, I would like to sleep with it. But it would probably get all fuzzy and pill-y and wouldn't be quite as nice I'll resist the temptation.

I think I have to force myself to take a break from the knitting needles, because my sewing machine is feeling a bit neglected. It hasn't had any love from me since...well, since I learned how to knit on Christmas day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lemons for lunch

Mackenzie did a little re-decorating with the fruit basket. :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Conversations with a 3-year old

Anthony has been cracking me up lately with the things he says. Well...cracking me up and sometimes making me mad!! He's starting to get more than a little sassy, too.

For example, this week, he asked if he could have some tortilla chips. I told him he needed to have some fruit first. So he picked an apple out of the fruit basket - I watched him. A while later, he told me he finished it, and I gave him the chips. Later, when I was cleaning some things up, I asked him what he did with the apple core (he has a bad habit of leaving them laying around, and I get to find shriveled up cores days later).

Anthony: I put it in the trash can. (then, under his breath...) But don't look in the trash can or the fruit basket or you'll be mad.

Me: What did you just say?

Anthony: I said I put it in the trash can.

Me: No, what did you say AFTER that?

Anthony: I said don't look in the trash can or the fruit basket or you'll be mad.

Me: Why will I be mad? Did you eat an apple?

Anthony: Yes.

Me: Are you telling the truth?

Anthony: Yes. But don't look in the trash can or the fruit basket, because I don't want you to be mad.

So, of course, I looked in the trash can, and there was no apple core, and of course, the apple was still in the fruit basket. Cute.


He has developed quite a habit of muttering under his breath. I don't know where he got that. Now it's getting sarcastic, and he's quick. One night this week, I was giving the kids their baths. I had gotten the girls finished and put them in bed, and I had already scolded Anthony several times about splashing too much water out onto the floor. I went back into the bathroom to get him washed up...

Me: Anthony, it is ridiculous how much water is on this floor!!

Anthony: (under his breath) There's not enough.

??? How old are you, again???


Last week, he was in the bathroom for a REALLY long time. I was trying to get the kids dressed to go to children's bible study at a friend's house. I had prodded him several times to get moving and he kept telling me he was "going poop!" FINALLY he came upstairs...

Anthony: You know what I was doing while I was going poop?

Me: Um, no...?

Anthony: I was practicing my bible verses.



On Friday, I was working on an art journal. The pages are made by gluing 10 sheets of newspaper together with glue stick. Anthony wanted to help, so I gave him some extra sheets and he sat beside me at my desk and went to work.

Anthony: Oh my gosh, this is the funnest job ever!

Me: Really?

Anthony: Oh, yes, this is gonna be SO much fun. This is great. This is so fun, mama.

I couldn't get over how completely joyful and enthusiastic he was about such a simple thing!! He was just GUSHING.


He LOVES going to Sunday School, he has a great memory and loves learning his memory verses. He asks me to read his Preschooler's Bible to him all the time, and will sit for me to read 50-80 pages at a time (though getting the babies to let us have that much time is often a challenge!). He told me tonight that he was sad because his Sunday School teachers haven't chosen him to pray yet.

I just can't believe how fast he's growing up!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

12-Month Well Baby Appointment

On Friday, we took the girls for their 12-month well baby visit at the High Risk Clinic with Dr. Chen, the neonatologist.

Makayla weighed in at 17 pounds, 13 ounces, and is 29.5 inches long. Her height is right at the 50th percentile, but her weight is below the 5th percentile (she doesn't LOOK skinny, though!!). Her head circumference is a little above the 50th percentile. Oddly enough, her BMI is no higher than Mackenzie's!! Weird, I know! I discussed my concerns about possible food allergies (again) with the doc, and she did a blood test to check for dairy allergy. It's not the most reliable test, and if it comes back negative, it doesn't rule out a dairy allergy...but it's a place to start. She also has an upper respiratory infection - as you can see in her picture...I'm so tired of snot!!

Mackenzie weighed in at 14 pounds, 14 ounces, and is 27 inches long. Her height is below the 5th percentile, and her weight is WAY below the 5th percentile. Her head circumference is right at the 5th percentile. Both her and Makayla's BMI is 14. Ha ha...mine's probably in the mid 30's!! The doc didn't actually put "failure to thrive" on her list of diagnoses for the visit - she just put "weight gain, poor." She IS thriving - she's just growing v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y!!! Actually, her appetite had just been getting really good right before her surgery...and of course, the surgery was a big setback. The doctor wants us to keep her on infant formula - she's currently on GentleEase - at 27 calories/ounce, plus she wants us to add 1 mL of safflower oil per ounce to give her extra fat. She had her first bottle like that tonight and she drank it fine, so it must not taste bad. We talked about the anemia again; the doc is reviewing her iron dosage and will email me tomorrow. She said we will do more bloodwork in a month with some additional tests to further explore what's going on.

They had to get 4 shots each, one in each leg and two in one arm. Ouch! I performed acrobatics and leaned over the table to allow Makayla to nurse while she got her shots, which did help, but she was pretty mad when she had to get blood drawn a short time later!! Poor Mackenzie couldn't even have a binky, thanks to her palate repair....


In other, completely unrelated news, please pray for my dad. Several weeks ago, he had a biopsy on his prostate, due to having elevated PSA levels. Out of the 12 samples taken, one came back "abnormal," though the doc couldn't call it cancer. The sample was sent off to Johns Hopkins for review, and that pathologist said it IS cancer. As a result of that, my dad had a CT scan and a bone scan. The CT scan showed something on one of his kidneys, and this week, he had an MRI to further look at that. He met with the doctor Friday afternoon, and it is definitely a tumor on his kidney, about 2.5 x 3 cm. The doctors think it is cancer, but totally unrelated to the prostate cancer. He has to meet with a couple different docs, because he has Crohn's Disease, so the typical cancer treatments can throw his Crohn's Disease into a can get complicated. Anyway, we are praying that both cancers (if, in fact, the kidney tumor IS cancer) can be removed completely by surgery. He will have to have two separate surgeries - the doc already told him they can't do it all at once because it would be an 8 hour operation, which they won't do. Please pray for healing and peace for my dad, and for wisdom for the doctors. Thanks!


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