Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Case of the Missing "L"

When I made my list of potential baby names, Eliot was always on there spelled with one L, one T. Extra Ls and Ts just seemed excessive. Unnecessary. Show-offy. Eliot seemed sleeker, more poetic. Plus, the kids and Josh like the nickname Eli, which is an easier jump from Eliot than Elliot.

Except now, after living with it for 6 weeks, I really wish we'd gone with the more common Elliot. Like, REALLY wish. People are misspelling his name left and right, for one thing. Elliot feels more substantial. More masculine. I just like it more. So much more that I spent the morning researching how to change a baby's name in Illinois. It's a fairly simple process but it will cost over $300. I'm kind of scared to even bring it up to my husband, since naming him in the first place was a total ordeal. But part of me thinks now is the time to do it. There aren't many places we'd have to change it, just with the county, the insurance company, and the doctor's office.

Oh yeah, and every single person we know would think I'm insane.

But Elliot feels right. It fits him.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I will update this blog much more often in the new year, I promise. I'm aiming big - daily posts!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eliot at Home

Did you know baby boys can pee on their own faces? And that they can do this while simultaneously throwing up AND pooping yellow mustard poop all over the changing table? My last baby boy is 15 years old; I'd forgotten how good they are at multitasking.

Eliot turned three weeks old on Wednesday. These three weeks have been a string of days spent puttering around the house in milk-stained pajamas, hair uncombed, teeth unbrushed, sink full of dirty dishes. Every once in a while I shovel down a bowl of cereal, or peck out an email one-handed. Because Eliot, while he does sleep on average 18 hours a day, will only do so if he is being held. The second he is set down in a crib, carseat or swing, his eyes pop open and he starts looking for his next meal. Even if his last meal was only 30 minutes ago. Oh yeah, now I remember, babies NEVER STOP EATING. And since my darling, adorable child whom I love with all my heart has declined to breastfeed, I spend any time not attached to my baby attached to a breast pump. I must have the most hydrated baby in history, because this kid makes a wet diaper approximately every three minutes. He hasn't really figured out how to poop yet. Interesting - you are not born knowing how to poop. He definitely does it, and several times a day, but it's an hours-long, red-faced struggle that makes me feel really bad but also sort of makes me laugh. Poor guy.

In the three weeks we've been home, our one big outing was a trip to Target last week. It required the effort and planning of a military operation, and ended with me sprinting the last block to our house through the snow with a howling baby strapped to my chest. He really hates the Moby, which is a shame since it is my only method of transporting him during the day. We didn't get a stroller yet because it's winter, and pushing 30 pounds of deadweight through six inches of unshoveled ice and snow and then trying to lift it aboard a crowded bus is not my idea of a fun time. So, looks like we'll be staying inside our house until May.

Eliot doesn't cry much, but that doesn't mean he can't make his opinion known. He has a whole repertoire of wild animal noises: gasps, growls, grunts, groans, squawks, coos, and barks that generally mean THE BABY IS DISPLEASED. These are the soundtrack of my nights, since he only sleeps in 45 minute bursts and enjoys eating every hour or so. Once he accidentally slept for 4 straight hours and I woke up feeling like I just had a weeklong vacation.

Good thing he's so cute. I could eat his face off sometimes. I mean, seriously, just look at him.

It took me three days to type this post. With one hand.

I don't ever want to go back to work.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Baby is Cute

I'm too tired for a real post, but here are some pictures of the little man.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Baby Story

Nov 16 - 17, 2010

10:50 AM When I visit the doctor on Tuesday, I am 5 days overdue and certain I won't be going into labor anytime soon. Dr B confirms it. "Nothing's really happening," he says. "Let's strip your membranes."

Go on, Google "strip your membranes." Yeah. In a word, OW. Double OW because he does it twice. We talks about inductions, and how that could be complicated by the holiday. Bottom line: Good luck getting an elective induction the week of Thanksgiving without getting bumped and by your actual doctor. I decide we will take the next appointment they have this week, even though my body hasn't moved into early labor yet, and just hope for the best.

6:00 PM What they have is an appointment for tonight. Tonight! So we order a pizza and throw the rest of my stuff into the suitcase. I'm actually glad it's so sudden. No time to brood or worry about it. If you don't know, I have a degree in Brooding and my masters in Worrying.

9:30 PM Everything goes smoothly when we check into the hospital. They get me situated and start the pitocin drip at a low dose around 10:30 PM. My labor and delivery nurse comes in, a cute blonde who is a dead ringer for Veronica Mars. I love that show! I take it as a good sign.

12:30 AM I'm at 2 CM so they break my water with the big knitting needle. Josh watches, horrified. A few minutes later, my mom and Josh's mom arrive at the hospital. My contractions are still pretty mild, so we watch a terrible movie (It's Complicated) and settle in for the night.

1:45 AM Every time they increase the Pitocin drip, the contractions get closer together and more intense. I decide to ask for an epidural before they get too gnarly. Like my doctor says, there are no medals for waiting. They tell me it will be 15 minutes but it's actually over an hour before the anesthesiologist comes in. This hour of contractions removes any doubt I have about the epidural. Epidurals are officially wonderful. Give me one, please. The nurses tell me that my doctor is at the hospital. He's going to sleep here so he can be here when I'm ready. I love that man.

2:45 AM Epidural Time. Everyone has to leave the room except for me, the anesthesiologist, and some random nurse. Veronica Mars is on her break. Curses! I fake-casually ask the anesthesiologist how many of these he's done. More than 500. Okay, you may proceed.

3:00 AM That hurt like a mother. The stuff they shoot into your back first to numb it is the worst, sort of like being stung by 50 bees at the base of your spine. The epidural itself was only tough because you have to hold still even through contractions. But it wasn't horrible. I'm not in love with the catheter, but I can't feel the contractions anymore.

6:30 AM I've been able to nap and rest for the past few hours, and I'm hoping the resident will come in to tell me I've made a lot of progress. But she checks and tells me I'm only 3.5 CM. I want to cry. In six hours, I've only dialated one and a half centimeters. It looks like it's going to be a long day. The nurses reassure me, telling me it doesn't mean anything and I could still go quickly once it starts. I am unconvinced. I watch the baby's heartbeat on the monitor and wonder if we've made a big mistake with the induction.

7:15 AM Dr B comes in to check me. They told him I was only 3.5 CM but he wants to check anyway. "The baby's head is right here. You can push it out in three pushes. But wait until I get some shoes on." WHAT? The doctor rushes around getting things ready while the rest of us just look at each other with open mouths. None of us are sure how you can be 3.5 CM and then forty-five minutes later ready to push. Those nurses weren't kidding.

7:25 AM The doctor is ready. Veronica Mars is supposed to go off her shift at 7:30 but assures me she's not leaving. She grabs one of my legs and Josh grabs the other and I start pushing. It's hard at first, because I can't feel the contractions, but after one false start I get it. I push three times and our little boy is born at 7:33 AM. "Someone has red hair!" Dr B announces. The baby promptly pees on him. Ha. He hands me my son and the nurses wipe him down while I hold him. His hair is indeed red. He's so angry, screaming silently at all of us until he catches his breath and cries out loud. I love him so much I feel like my heart will explode. The doctor finishes things up and gives me a few stitches but I don't feel any of it. I can't take my eyes off my beautiful boy. Josh kisses me and tells me I did great. He did too - he looked a little green around the gills but he made it through the whole thing like a champ. The baby measures in at 7 lb 2 oz, 20.5 inches long, and gets a terrific 9/9 on his Apgar. He's absolutely perfect.

*          *           *           *          *

We didn't have a name picked out when we went to the hospital, but we'd narrowed it down to three: Eliot, Clark or Theo. We debated between them right up until we left the hospital - we even had to ask the discharge nurse to come back in 20 minutes so we could make the final choice. I liked Eliot Clark until Josh wrote it on the birth certificate form. Then I wanted to switch it around to Clark Eliot. In the end, everyone else liked Eliot better and it did sound like it belonged with Olivia and Dylan. So we popped Eliot Clark Stoner into his carseat and brought him home.

We've been home now for five days now. Eliot is the sweetest, calmest baby. He never fusses unless he's hungry or cold, and he's so cute you could just eat his face off. The kids are in love with him. We all are.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well Hello

 That ended up being so much easier than I thought. More when we get home on Friday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Induce Me Baby

So we've got a 9:30 PM appointment tonight to induce labor. Here we go!

Progress Report: The Basement

Progress reports are summaries of what we've done in the new house to date and what still needs to be done. Because I'm on my 7th day of maternity leave, still pregnant, and officially bored out of my skull.

WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE: Here's a super embarrassing photo from right after we moved in. Holy mounds of crap, Batman!

WHAT WE DID: Well, at least it's a little more organized.

STILL TO DO: The area near the front windows will be Dylan's room. The rest will be our family room, and where that blue cooler is in the right corner will be a small bathroom.

The area at the foot of the stairs will be the office. Furnace and hot water heater will be in a walled off utility area. Notice that the posts holding up the house are TREES. That's what you get when your house is 113 years old!

The laundry room is at the back of the house. It needs a little dressing up (and a utility sink) but it's fine for now. Actually, it's pretty freaking wonderful to be able to do laundry WHENEVER I WANT TO. Without quarters! And I can leave crap in the dryer! I love you, ugly utilitarian laundry room.

Abby guards the back door. BEWARE!

And that's it, that's our house, I'm officially out of rooms to show you. Well, there's the yard, but trust me when I say it's not even worth discussing until Spring. 

I'm off to the doctor, who will hopefully tell me that I should go straight to the hospital and have a baby. Or at least tell me I might be having a baby in the next few days. Seriously, next week is Thanksgiving. Get with the program, baby!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Waiting Place

…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go 
or a bus to come
or a plane to go 
or the mail to come
or the rain to go 
or the phone to ring
or the snow to snow 
or waiting around for a Yes or No 
or waiting for their hair to grow. 
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite 
or waiting for wind to fly a kite 
or waiting around for Friday night 
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake 
or a pot to boil
or a Better Break 
or a string of pearls
or a pair of pants 
or a wig with curls
or Another Chance. 
Everyone is just waiting.

- Oh! The Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss

Three's Company

Found: the perfect thing for that huge blank wall above the sofa. It's called a triptych - a photo or print in three pieces. LOVE.

This octopus is kind of scary but mostly fabulous. It's also $1375, which is about $1300 more than I have to spend, so for now it's just a fantasy. But oh man do I love this thing. I think it's less gold and more white in real life - seems like a not so good photo.

AllPosters.com has a budget version that, when framed, comes out to be about $1000 cheaper, but I'm not sure I love it.

There's also a horse version, which can be had for the bargain price of $4,000. Yikes! But it does seem like it would be an easy DIY, doesn't it? Hmmm.

Progress Reports: Rooms You've Already Seen

Progress reports are summaries of what we've done in the new house to date and what still needs to be done. No, I still haven't had a baby. Sigh.

Olivia's Room

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Progress Report: Kids' Bathroom

Progress reports are summaries of what we've done in the new house to date and what still needs to be done. AKA something to do while I'm on maternity leave with no baby in sight.  

WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE BEFORE: Gray walls, and a whole lot of gray and white tile.
WHAT WE DID: Painted over the gray with a fun aqua color, Martha Stewart Lagoon, I think.  Added new shower curtain and rugs, towel storage, hardware and art on walls.

STILL TO DO: Nothing, for now. Someday we will rip out the 22 miles of gray and white tile and install white subway tile in the shower, black penny tile on the floor, and white beadboard on the walls. That is project 1,034 on the list though.

Shower curtain: Urban Outfitters
Towel tower: Ikea
Princess Bride print: etsy seller elloh
Round bath mats: Homegoods
Teal jewel handles: Anthropologie
Frames: Ikea
Small art prints: free, from an advertising promo booklet

Progress Report: Kitchen

Progress reports are summaries of what we've done in the new house to date and what still needs to be done. AKA something to do while I'm on maternity leave with no baby in sight.  

The kitchen is the biggest work-in-progress in the house. It's totally functional so we're not doing much to it for now, but we have big plans for a cosmetic makeover PB (Post Baby).

WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE BEFORE: Okay. Kind of boring. Not much cabinet or counter space. But the cabinets are real wood and in good shape, and the hardware doesn't suck.

WHAT WE DID: Bought a vintage island and hutch on Craigslist, for more counter and storage space. Got a microwave that worked.

the family baby pool - I lose!

Here's the stairwell right off the kitchen. Up goes to the nursery, down to the yard and laundry room.

STILL TO DO: SO MUCH. Paint walls, paint cabs, add trim to top cabs, replace upper doors with glass, add backsplash, new countertops, replace ceiling fan with pendant light, paint hutch, possibly a chalkboard/magnetic wall, eventually new appliances... so yeah, basically everything.

Island: CL
Hutch: CL 
Chalkboard: made from vintage frame
Old Man Painting: thrift store
Hook rack: made it
Working microwave: Thanks Mom!