Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby Bubbles

Toddlers get hurt. While it is sad to see your little one bump and scrape themselves, I think all parents know going into toddlerhood that there is likely going to be a bit of blood, a lot of mess and possibly some stitches.

What we don't expect as parents is to see our tiny new baby in any pain or through the clear plastic walls of an incubator. We aren't warned about the possibility of tubes up our newborns nose. No one provides us with any sort of buffer about this horrible place called a NICU. We go into the whole thing thinking the labor is going to be the hardest part and then poof! a baby is here and all’s well again.

I've made no secret of my history with the Hopkins NICU. I try not to dwell on it, but there is something about the NICU experience that stays with me- always. When I meet another mom who has gone through this hellish place, I instantly feel connected to her.

I have 3 friends who I have known for a very long time. These ladies were a part of the shelter I surrounded myself with, after P was born.

On Monday, one of them had her second son- he was 3 weeks early. Eighteen months ago, when she was delivering her first son the labor and delivery part was horrendous. I will spare the details, but the girl had an insanely difficult go of it. This time around, the delivery is what you see in movies- three pushes and POP out came the babe. Easy breezy.

As I was on the phone trying to coordinate a sitter for P, so I could go meet the newest little tyke, I got a call from my friend's husband. The baby was sent to the NICU. He had stopped breathing at some point through the night. I'm hearing this news and asking questions as P and a friend of his play in our melting blow up pool on the deck. They are splashing around and fighting over bubbles and sunglasses. I am fighting back tears.

In these moments of desperation and helplessness, I always try to observe what is going on around me. It's like I want to capture the moment in my head exactly the way it happened. I want to remember everything, which is ironic because when P was born, I just wanted to forget everything.

Parker and his friend were so busy in their toddler world, sliding around the pool and inhaling bubble solution because they sucked in instead of blowing out.

In the moment, they were delighted and I was devastated.

As I hung up the phone with my friend's husband with promises to pass the news onto our other friends, I saw something profound. Well profound in Parker's world.

After months of trying, Parker successfully blew his first set of bubbles. Once all the solution was out of the wand and P’s bubbles were floating all around the deck he looked at me with a, "DID YOU SEE THAT!?" expression.

It made his day. It made my day. Thanks buddy, I needed that.

**Baby update: It looks like major acid reflux is the culprit, but we will not know for sure until some more tests are done. The baby is doing better today, but will likely be in the NICU for about a week.

** Welcome to the new followers! I'm not always this much of a downer.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Good Thing He's a Happy Kid

Happy 4th of July! I have a brother who is a Marine and spent more than his fair share of time overseas fighting for our freedom and safety. I have an uncle who is a MIA POW from Vietnam. My grandfather, like most of our grandfathers, fought in WWII and liberated concentration camps, and my grandmother was an Army nurse and is honored in a museum in DC.

You are an inspiring, humbling lot and I love you.

Recently Josh and I heard that the Enchanted Forest is back up and running. Though J and I did not know each other when we were that wee of tikes, we both have fond memories of the Enchanted Forest. Yesterday we took our littleP to check it out. In full disclosure, we really wanted to go check it out for ourselves, we just happen to have a toddler with us who provided a great cover.

Here is a photo journal (of sorts) chronicling our day:

Oh the nostalgia!

If you don't know or don't remember, the Enchanted Forest is centered around Mother Goose Nursery Rhythms. Here you see Jack and Jill falling down the hill. That is their pail of water you see in the background. In the foreground you will see Parker, sitting on Jill’s face.

Then he got stung by a bee.  This is a first for him.  It ruined his world for about 10 minutes.

Then it was all feed the goats! Ride the horses!

There was an unfortunate run in with a very large black sheep. (God I wish I had a video of this!) As Pman approached the largest sheep I have ever seen, the wooly animal looked straight at him and bellowed out the loudest "BAAAA" I have ever heard. Without skipping the slightest hint of a beat, P screamed with terror, turned and ran in the other direction. He did not look back to see if J or I followed. He wanted out and quick! When P runs his shaggy blonde locks bounce about his head. When he is running in a fit of terror from a caged-in sheep it makes the hair bounce all the more pathetic and therefore hilarious.

We also enjoyed an uneventful hay ride and every sliding board the place had to offer. Then we went to visit some friends.  While there P leaned on a broken table and fell flat on his face.  Resulting in a fat bloody lip.

The day ended about 2 hours after his normal bedtime. I was trying to hard to get him to stay up for fireworks, but really the kid had a loooong day. As I dragged him out of the tub he said, "pee?"
I put him on the toilet and he did just that.
Talk about bounce back!