Off to school!

Today was Sashimi’s first day of kindergarten.  And his first ride on a school bus.

I have been quite calm about the whole thing because I have been longing for a break during the day from the constant loudness and wrestling and fighting (and loud shreiks of laughter when they are being naughty).  And now that it is quiet in the house, I am not really sure what to do with myself. Yes, the house could be cleaned, and yes, I could be doing lots of one-on-one stuff with Keesadilla while iBean sleeps, but today, I am doing nothing.  I am just taking this whole experience in and realizing that this is the new status quo.  There will be lots of time to clean.

He has been ready for this for so long!

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Money…that’s what I want

“I LOVE MONEY MONEY MONEY!!  I want to have ALL the money when I grow up so that I never have to work!”

Sashimi had been starting to think that money just appears whenever you swipe the stripe.  It started with the purchase of Angry Birds.  Then Angry Birds Rio.  Once he had passed every level on those two games, he started asking for a new game. Every day, Sashimi would get bored and ask that I buy a new game. We told him no, since the games cost money and we did not want to waste our money on something he would get bored of in a matter of hours.  “That’s ok,” he said.  “Just give me your credit card number and I will buy it.”

A few days later, he was pining over some Angry Birds stuffed toys (thanks to the plug on the game’s home page).  I told him that if he wanted a stuffy, he could help me sort the bottles and take them to the depot and I would let him keep the money.  In the meantime, we went out for Mother’s Day Brunch, where the lucky kid found a $20 bill on the floor under our table.  I told him he could put it in his piggy bank, to which he replied “Now I don’t have to sort bottles AND I can get my Angry Birds stuffy!” Money, in his eyes, was something that just HAD to be spent.

The tipping point came when he became obsessed with a toy he saw on TV.  A toy that cost quite a bit of money.  A toy that I was not willing to go out and buy just because.  So he ran to his piggy bank and dumped it out.  He wanted to use his money to go out and buy it himself.  We counted his money: $4.67.  Definitely not enough.  He thought since it looked like a lot (there were a lot of pennies) that SURELY he could buy it and have money leftover for candy, too.

Sashimi does have a basic understanding of numbers, so we went to the store and looked at the prices on a few toys. All of them were more than $4.67.  He was devastated.

Tony and I decided to start giving Sashimi an allowance in exchange for doing some chores.  He gets $5 every time Tony gets paid.  The first allowance, he was jonesing to spend.  He spent it on crap. Then Tony got crafty.  Being the vigilant investor, Tony told Sacha that every time it was allowance day, they would count his money in his piggy bank.  If he had not spent his money, Tony would give him an extra dollar as a reward for saving his money (interest).

Today was allowance day.  Tony gave Sacha his allowance (and he cried out “Yea!  MONEY MONEY MONEY!”) and we counted his money: $29 and change.  We told him that he had enough money to buy something if he wanted.  He looked at Tony and said in all sincerety: “No, I like money more than toys.”

**Good thing, because that toy he wanted is not even available anymore (unless you want to shell out $300 on amazon.com.  WTF?!

And that’s why you listen to Mommy

Sashimi & Keesadilla have a habit of  ignoring me.  They love to listen to me when I say things like “Who wants a freezie?” or “Anyone want to have a bubble bath?”  When I say things like “Don’t do that!” or “Someone is going to get hurt!” or “Stop smelling each other’s bums!” no one listens.  It’s all fun and games until someone farts.

Or breaks a tooth in Bouncy World.

Bouncy World is a place where the boys take all of the couch cushions off and place them all around the living room.  They then bounce from cushion to cushion.  It is the closest approximation they get to having their very own jumpy castle.

Normally, Bouncy World is risky, but only risky in the “have your parents sign these waivers” risky.  Not “please leave your Alberta Health Care Number with the cashier for when she inevitably calls 911,” risky. This time, Sashimi decided to create “Bouncy World Table Jumping.”  It sounds dangerous already, doesn’t it?  No amount of motherly warnings could deter these boys from this amazingly fun game.

The boys jumped from the coffee table onto the cushions, and then on cushions all around the coffee table, the same table that gave Sashimi two stitches on the back of his head this spring.  Keesadilla decided to bounce on one cushion while facing the table. He had a bad bounce.  He smacked his chin on the table, pounding his bottom teeth into his top teeth.  Instant tears.  At first, I could not see any damage.  No gushing red stuff, no pieces of tongue hanging off. Slowly, I started to see a bit of red on his bottom tooth. Then I noticed a tiny chip was missing and blood was filling a hairline crack in the tooth.  Oh crap.  Broken tooth.

I called my mom, who is a dental assistant and was working that day.  They managed to squeeze us in for a quick look at the tooth. By then, Keesadilla had stopped crying and the bleeding had stopped.  When they got him in the chair under the light, he barely opened his mouth (he is 3, after all) and from what the dentist could see, she thought it was fine, and that the sensitivity would settle down within a few days. No biggie. Keesadilla got his prize from the prize dispenser and we went home.

Well, this morning, he was inconsolable.  “It hurts me! Ma dent! It hurts! Bo-bo in my bouche!” I managed to convince him to let me look inside his mouth at the tooth.

OH FUCK.

The back half of his tooth was missing and I could see right into the middle of the tooth.  Was I supposed to see that pink and purply colour there? Pretty sure THAT wasn’t good.  And did I mention it was Canada Day, and a Friday, so half the freaking town was gone for the long weekend?

Through my mom’s contacts, I got in touch with one dentist who agreed to meet us and have a look, and one look was all it took: he said there was no fixing it, the tooth has to come out. The nerve is exposed and the tooth is split right down the middle to the gums. And since Keesadilla is 3, the chances of him sitting for freezing and a tooth-yanking are pretty much nil.  We could man-handle him into some sort of full-body sleeper hold and do it, but that just doesn’t seem like a very good time.

Now we are waiting to hear back from a dental surgery clinic (500 km) away that does dentistry for kids under general anaesthetic.  If they cannot get us in quickly enough, we will have to go the old-school traumatic way and hold my little man down to git’er done. REALLY hoping it does not come to that.  If only he would have listened to his Mommy…

Beautiful baby teeth! Last photo I will have of them in their beautiful entirety.

Patience is a virtue that preschoolers do not possess

Sashimi: MOMMY!  I want a microscope game on the computer!!

K-Man: MOMMY!  I want a mmmovie!!

iBean: WAAAHHHH!

Me: FUUUUUUUCCCKKK (to myself, not out loud).

I had not even showered, eaten breakfast or taken my morning pills when all 3 kids started bellowing their requests simultaneously.  I keep telling the boys that they need to be patient, learn how to be patient, be more independent, but my words totally fly over their heads. iBean is not even half a year old, so I cannot blame her for screeching when she wants to eat or sleep.  But finding a new virtual microscope game for my 4 year old on the computer while she screams?  Not a priority.  Putting her down and letting her cry while I wait for K-Man to select a movie (which takes him a good 10 minutes sometimes)?  Not happening.

So I get 2 boys who cry and whine at me while I take care of the baby.  Then when she is fed and in her crib for naptime,  I start on the easiest of the boys’ demands: movie insertion.  Sashimi is mad that I am helping his brother before him, because clearly, virtual microscopy is more important.  Although, in the grand scheme of child bran development, it probably is, it takes way more of my energy to set that up than to pop a DVD into the player.

There.  Two kids satisfied, now to find some sort of game or virtual science thing for Sacha to do online.  Ah…virtual electron microscope. Slide the petri dishes under and try to match them to their identifications.  That should appease him.  Oh wait, he cannot read.  So I start reading the information to him as he looks at the images and tries to guess what they are.  How the hell does he know what red blood cells look like??  Oh yeah, he’s Tony’s son.

Finally, 30 minutes and five virtual microscopes later, he wants to watch Scooby Doo.  K-Man still entertained with his choice of DVD.  iBean still sleeping.  Mommy can FINALLY make her coffee, pour her cereal and get in the shower (nearly two hours after initially flinging my legs over the side of the bed). I let my hair dry on its own – one of the obvious benefits of a pixie cut. I can style it later if I need to vacate the premise.

Now, can I get some of the house tidied before the dictator-club starts calling out their demands? Oh screw it.  I’m gonna sit and enjoy my coffee first.

 

 

Home Sweet Home

After 18 days in the NICU, Ivy was finally discharged on January 21. She had originally taken her carseat test on the 19th, but to our dismay, she did not pass. Part of that was because the carseat we had, although it is an infant carrier, does not have adjustments small enough for a 4 lb baby. She was swimming in it!
So Tony and I decided to go out and buy a new carseat, and to our great elation, she passed her second carseat test with flying colours. I called Tony at work and told him the good news, and he jumped into his car and drove to Grande Prairie to pick us up. We would surprise the boys when we got home.
The trip home was a bit of a muck up, not because of Ivy, but the roads were altogether NOT cooperative. Ivy slept the whole way, only starting to root around when we were about 10 minutes from home.
We walked in the door and Sacha and Kees were ecstatic! Kees ran around, dancing, wanting to show me Ivy’s room all set up. He wanted to show me all of the trains (Thomas trains) that a friend of Sacha’s had passed down to him. Sacha kept hugging me and telling me how much he loved me and how glad he was that we were home. It was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt, finally being reunited as a family.
Ivy had a good first night at home. She wakes up about every 3-4 hours to eat, then falls quickly back to sleep. Preemies need a lot of sleep for their development, and she seems to know that. She also seems to know how to let off some good burps and poops to make room for all the milk she consumes!

I will post more details in the next few days. Thank you all for your prayers and concern in this time.

The Milk Machine Returns

So after yesterday’s bump in the road with nursing, Ivy has made a full comeback. Immediately after I posted on here, her feeding went back to normal. In fact, this morning has been exceedingly good. In the last 3 feeds, she has taken in 50 mL, 45 mL and 30 mL. Oh, and did I mention that she is waking herself for her feeda and not even waiting the “prescribed” 3 hours between feeds, only waiting 2 hours between these good meals!
Ivy also gained another ounce yesterday, putting her at 3 lbs 15 oz. I think the nurses were being overly cautious yesterday, which is their job, I guess. But I am just going to leave that NG tube in for now! Don’t want to jinx ourselves! And we just learned that Ivy has graduated to the next level of breastfeeding supremacy. She is doing so well that she doesn’t need to be pre- and post-feed weighed any more! Yay! Crossing our fingers for a weekend discharge.

Stellar…whoops!

Little Miss Ivy has become a stellar nurser. Unfortunately, she and I may have gotten a little ahead of ourselves. After over 24 hours of exclusively breastfeeding with no gavage feeds, Ivy pulled out her own NG tube. Since she had been nursing so well, the nurses did not put one back in. Then at her next feed, she decided that she only wanted a little milk, after which she pursed her little lips together and did not want anymore! Well, in a NICU, people get panicky when a preemie baby decides not to eat as much as the doctor says she should, so in went a new NG tube. Ivy was livid, so much so that when I tried to nurse her at her next feed, she started to drink a bit and then she came off and screamed. That was the first time for that sort of reaction. I am pretty sure the NG tube was bothering her, which is not good. But as she was not wanting to nurse, the nurses got some of my pumped milk and gave her a gavage feed. It was discouraging
after such a great day and 2 nights of feeds.