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Sariah and Christian, a dastardly duo

July 15, 2010

Hey listen, I love my kids. Heck, Christian has only been around for 5 months and I already have a hard time remembering what things were like before he got here. He’s awesome.

Maybe I should be more specific though. I love my kids, individually.

You know how when Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Heart would combine to form Captain Planet — He’s our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero, he’s our powers, magnified, and he’s fighting on the Planet’s side –( I totally just did that without googling the lyrics by the way). Well, Sariah and Christian are very similar. Their powers combined make them much stronger than just two kids. Their neediness somehow grows exponentially. It really defies all current understanding of natural law and mathematics and chemistry and physics and other junk that I ignored in High School.

Let’s take an example scenario:

We’re watching a show or something while Cristina is at the gym. Christian becomes bored with sitting in his bouncer and starts to fuss… so I pick him up and place him on my (currently empty) lap. Sariah, out of the corner of her eye, sees this little interaction play out.

Now, up until this point she has expressed ZERO desire to sit on my empty lap. In fact, if I had picked her up and set her down on my lap, she would probably have squirmed away immediately– indignant that I had the gall to snatch her away from her apple slices (which she meticulously nibbles away at right up until the skin, which she discards. This might make sense until you notice her doing the same thing with apple slices from Subway that have been peeled and sliced already. Nibbles right up to the edge and discards the skinless outer rim of the slice… what the –?)

Anyway, Sariah sees me pick up Christian and she begins the Captain Planet merge by subtly making her way over to me and trying to climb up on my lap.

“Sariah, Daddy can’t hold you right now”

“Whyyyyy” (this noise, supposedly an adverb culled from the English language, is actually more of a high pitched nasal emanation designed to pierce the eardrum of an adult male father like the spear of Achilles through an unlucky Trojan)

“Because I have baby Christian and he is going to get upset if I put him down”

Right on cue, Christian joins in the Captain Planet process and begins to struggle because Sariah is pushing him out of teh way to prove that there is room for both of them. The crying from him is imminent now. The only way to stop it is to get him a bottle, and fast. I stand up and in the process bump Sariah.  She instantly moves into soccer player mode and drops to the floor dramatically clutching at her leg. Now the crying is in full effect. Her cries, of course, startle Christian who was already on the edge.

Captain Planet merge is complete.  Two kids have melted down completely and it takes a Herculean effort (read: Reese’s Pieces) to begin extricating their entwined bad behavior.

The flip side of this is that occasionally, they will merge their powers for good and magically wash away any history of criminal child behavior. For example:

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And then there were two.

February 14, 2010

Well, apparently writing blog posts induces labor. The last time I wrote here, we had just given up on Cristina’s contractions and gone to watch some TV shows on the internet.

Around 10:00 pm (which I think was about an hour or so after I posted my last update here) Cristina’s contractions started increasing in both intensity, duration and frequency. Cristina decided that we should go to the hospital  and we started placing phone calls to our support staff.

I picked up around the house a little bit, packed some last minute stuff into our bags and hopped in the shower. Cristina was on the phone with someone and still laughing and talking through contractions.

Sense of Urgency Level: Hey let’s get some ice cream on the way to the hospital.

After my shower Cristina was hurting a bit more and getting a little antsy to leave, visions of an epidural that would make everything feel all better were starting to crystallize. We called her mom, and found out that she was just a few minutes away. I went outside to move Sariah’s extra carseat into the house in case my parents needed it. Cristina’s mom pulled up while I was outside so we went in to fetch Cristina. 

Sense of Urgency Level:  We really need to get to the hospital, but don’t get a speeding ticket.  

In the five minutes that I spent outside, things had changed pretty quickly. The contractions were starting to come even faster and were getting really painful. We hopped in the car and drove away at about 11:30 pm.

The ride up there was kind of quiet aside from a short discussion about getting a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital. I didn’t drive too fast, just a little faster than usual. By the time we got to the hospital, Cristina was doubled over in pain with the contractions coming in steady waves. We walked her inside carrying picket signs saying “What do we want? EPIDURAL!” and “When do we want it? NOW!” 

Sense of Urgency Level: *&%$#@!

The nurse had Cristina trade her clothing for a hospital gown and climb onto the table. No small feat when your uterus is contorting. Contractions at this point were absolutely excruciating (I think. I don’t actually know for sure. She might have been faking it, but the performance was pretty believable).

So the requirements for an epidural are:

  1. an initial exam of labor progression
  2. completing an entire bag of saline solution intravenously
  3. geting the anesthesiologist to get over there.

So the nurse started working on item number 1 which includes taking blood pressure and hooking up machines and a bunch of other stuff. The nurse was very deliberate in her actions (if you are of a limited vocabulary, “deliberate” is a nice way of saying “Really Freakin’ Slow” ). Finally she got around to examining Cristina to determine progression. She took a quick look and then pushed the intercom button and said: “Call Dr. Byrne, she’s ready”

By “ready” she meant that Christian was pretty much already coming out.

No epidural.

No Dr. Byrne.

There was a flurry of activity as they finished with the last monitors. Then all the nurses just stood and waited with their catchers mitts.

First push – Hmm, that didn’t do much. This might take awhile.

Rest

Second push – Aaaand the head is out.

Rest

Third push – Aaaaand we’re done.

And exactly 33 minutes from the time we left our house, we had a new baby boy who cried just a little bit and then settled down and has been pretty peaceful ever since. 

12:03 am on February 13th.

19 inches long (Sariah was 21)

8 lbs. 3 oz. (Sariah was 8 lbs. 12 oz)

Now I have to be honest, he was kinda funny looking for the first hours of his life outside the womb, but he is starting to come together pretty well, almost 36 hours later.

He had two big bruises on his cheeks from the birth and he also had a pretty big bruise on his arm. Otherwise he is really healthy. Breathing is fine. Heart is fine (his first nurse thought she heard a heart murmur but the pediatrician says everything is fine).

I was kicked out of the hospital at about 2:30 am so Cristina’s mom and I went and got Cristina some ice cream and other snacks (I splurged and got the Haagen-Daaz ice cream bar instead of ). Then we went to the 24 hour wal-mart to to get an air mattress, and finally got home a little after 3:30 am where Cristina’s Grandma had been watching Sariah. Sariah had been coughing and couldn’t sleep so I brought her into my bed where she opted not to let me sleep until almost 5:00 am. At a little after 6:00 am, I got up and got myself and Sariah ready to be back at the hospital by 8:00 am

The short version of the rest of the day is that everything went really smoothly and we were discharged by about 6:00 pm. Altogether Cristina about 18 hours in the hospital. Not too bad.

  

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

February 12, 2010

So, here’s the long version of the last two days (please pardon me if you don’t find this interesting, but take solace in knowing that the odds heavily favor me not really finding you interesting either) :

On Thursday (after getting bumped from her Wednesday time slot by women I like to refer to as “an easy lay-bor”) Cristina got a treatment of what’s called Prostaglandin Gel. Basically it’s a gel that has a chemical which induces dilation.

In child’s terms: it’s like a helper that unfolds your slip-and-slide so you can lay it out on a hill and turn the water on.

After the gel was applied, Cristina sat in the hospital under observation for a few hours while I took Sariah with me to do some work at our equipment yard. After several hours of no action (just some minor contractions that only were noticeable only by a contractionomograph machine, they kicked her out of the hospital and I came and picked her up.

We decided to go to the grocery store to get some Pedialyte for Sariah who hadn’t been feeling well and pick up a few other essentials. About halfway through the produce aisle Sariah, in my arms, puked (blargh) all over herself and me. Nice. I put her down on the (blarghhhh) floor where she continu(blarggggghh)ed to throw up several ti(b)mes while (bla) Cristina ran (blarg) to get an employee with a (blllllllaaaaaaarggggh) mop.

I smiled and waved at passers-by.

After Operation: Clean-up on Aisle Five was completed, Cristina quickly checked out while I took Sariah out to change her clothes.

Contractions were still mild.

The next morning, we decided to make a trip to the mall for some good old fashioned walking. For three hours. I tracked the contractions on my phone until we had enough of our stupid umbrella stroller with the wheels that seem to have some kind of mind of their own regarding which direction we go (and since they never seem to agree with each other, or with the person pushing the stroller, they just seem to end up at odd angles and sliding across the floor leaving a trail of purple rubber).

At several points we thought things were progressing enough to start considering a hospital trip, but we never quite made it over that point where you know that something is actually happening. So we drove around doing some errands, walked through a couple model homes, went to Susan’s house (she lives near the hospital) and finally, around 6:30 pm, called it a day and came home to have dinner.

Where I am now.

Typing this.

And now, I hear in the background that Cristina has turned on the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.  So — boom– I’m outta here.

Better luck tomorrow maybe.

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Some details on Christian’s arrival time…

February 9, 2010

So Cristina was supposed to see the doctor yesterday, but some impertinent hussy had the gall to require an emergency C-section right about the time of her appointment.

As a result, the Doctor finally got in to see her at his office at almost 7:00 pm. I would feel bad for the guy but for the following two facts:

  1. He is always way overbooked. Here’s a tip dude, try to keep the number of pregnant women around you to a bare minimum and you won’t have to skip dinner so much.
  2. The guy makes plenty of dough. He could probably write out prescriptions on 10 dollar bills and not even notice.

But we like him anyway.

So he says that the ultrasound Cristina got on Friday that estimated the baby’s weight is probably wrong (he thinks the baby weighs more than the scale does. Christian was, understandably, offended by the suggestion and is currently not on speaking terms with the doctor.  Nevertheless it looks like we are going to try to kick start this labor by using  prostaglandin gel.

Now, some of you may be unfamiliar with this gel business. Let me put it into heavy machinery terms so that it is more relatable to you:

I’m sure most of you have tried to start something like a CAT 963 track loader that hasn’t been run for awhile. You are probably also familiar with how, after using a jump pack to make sure the battery has enough juice to turn the starter, sometimes the engine still won’t quite get going for whatever reason. Well, what do we all do in that situation? That’s right, we spray some starter fluid into the intake manifold which combusts at a much lower temperature than vaporized diesel fuel and Ta-Dah! We have a running engine

So basically the Doctor has his own version of starter fluid and he intends to get the engine going tomorrow. We don’t really know if it will work, but it’s a step in the right direction for sure.

Onward Christian Shoulders

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A Triumphant Return — Social Media Stylez

January 28, 2010

As I told a good friend of ours a couple a months ago,

“You still blog? Ugh, that’s so 2000 and late.”

Because we all know that social media is the new hotness. We be talkin’ ’bout Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Ustream.com, etc…

So look, I know that I totally bombed on writing posts about Christian’s womb time, but frankly, there wasn’t the same flurry of activity that there was surrounding Sariah. This is our second time around the pregnancy block, after all, and if we’re being honest, there is a limited number of jokes that you can make about the female reproductive system (Just kidding, there’s actually no limit to the number of jokes you can make about the female reproductive system, but this is a family blog, so we’re keeping it clean around here).

Nevertheless, I didn’t want Christian to feel bad 15 years from now when he sees that Sariah had a whole website and he got nothing.

So check it out: As of Wednesday Jan. 27th 2010, we found out from Dr. Byrne that Cristina is about 2 cm dilated. This means that the gears are starting to turn in that little play-doh factory and a baby should be popping on out soon.

As I mentioned earlier, we are all about following the crowd and popular trends, so if you want to be dialed in to this birth as it unfolds, you can get connected at the following places:

http://twitter.com/fellin — This is my Twitter feed. I will post very brief real-time updates here as birthing news develops. Some of you probably pride yourselves on not using Twitter. Don’t fool yourselves, I do not think you are somehow cooler than the crowd or unpretentious for not using Twitter. Get over yourself and sign up.

What a Twitter update might look like:Its 2am and contractions R 10m apart, 30 s in duration, Hsptl nurs sez ‘stay home’

www.facebook.com — I will post more detailed updates here in between twitter posts. These updates will probably happen more when we are sitting around waiting for the next big thing to happen.

What a Facebook update might look like:Okay we are checked into the hospital. Cristina is laying here waiting for the anesthesiologist. I took a picture of this hot nurse for my single friend Rusty, What do you think dude?” [picture of hot nurse here]

http://qik.com/shaumah — This is my live streaming video page. From here I can stream video from my phone and anyone on the webpage can watch it in real-time. All videos are saved on the site so if you miss anything, you can just click on any video to view it.

Don’t worry, I won’t be taking video of anything graphic, it’s not my style. Just an occasional video of us hanging out in the hospital room and more after baby Christian comes.

Thanks for playing!!

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Facebook supplanted my blog

June 15, 2009

Stupid Facebook.

The problem with me making any sort of permanent move to Facebook is that although it is nice for short updates, it will not one day be easily searchable, or printed into a book of memoirs, or something equally useful. I think I am going to see if there is a simple and automated way to export my Facebook status updates to the blog. This way I can keep making frequent updates that will highlight some of our day-to-day lives (Facebook status updates) that will show up in the same place as some of these more in-depth posts. Hopefully this will provide some more context and perspective to any of our descendants that are looking to learn more about our lives (I know, this is probably a fine example of an exaggerated sense of self-importance, but hey, that’s just how I roll).

Sorry this post wasn’t very funny, but sometimes there has to be some housekeeping done around this place and it isn’t always entertaining. Although I am wearing a maid outfit as I type this, that’s kind of funny.

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The little things…

June 14, 2009

There are a few little things that crack me up about Sariah…

1. Occasionally (like last night on the way home from her Uncle’s birthday party), she will suddenly start looking around with wide eyes and say “Whoa…. whoa… whoa”. This, of course, is done for no apparent reason. I can only theorize that sometimes, late at night, she can see the dead. Particularly dead horses that are running too fast (hence her usage of the term “whoa”). Regardless of why she is “whoa-ing” it’s pretty funny to watch

2. She, like the rest of us, loves food. Unfortunately, she never likes the food we have for her. No, Sariah prefers other people’s food. Particularly the food that other parents bring to help keep their children quiet during church meetings. If you have ever seen a dog run from person to person during a dinner party trying to score little morsels from generous guests, then you’ll have something of an idea of how Sariah operates. It’s shameless and hilarious.

3. When we first taught her to say “Sorry” after misbehaving, Sariah was pretty resistant towards saying it when we asked her to. Sort of a miniature form of rebellion that we expect to see amplify as she grows closer to her teenage years. As for now, instead of saying sorry when she does something wrong, she likes to say sorry to strangers at random times. This she does repeatedly. I’m pretty sure that the people she is apologizing to must be thinking something along the lines of: “That poor child, her parents must beat her so incessantly that now she has some kind of neuroses wherein she apologizes at the drop of a hat.” This is false of course. We would have to beat her 10 times a day for that kind of response. We typically stick to 3 or 4.

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