Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Opal 19 - 22 weeks

Opal is a pretty jolly lady for the most part these days.  Sure, she was having some grouchy times around the 19 week mark, as you can see from the picture above, and she's been waking up a ton at night this week because she's got a cold (Sunday night she woke up every hour, oy!), but during the day as long as she's being entertained she's a pretty happy camper.  And why wouldn't she be, living in this crazy silly brother family zoo?  The only thing that would make her happier is some solid food.  Soon, tiny lady, soon!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Namers and such

When I was a kid, I remember how much I loved naming things.  From toys to pets to flour babies (where are you Oliver Otis, my secretly-exchanged-for-a-store-bought-flour-sack-because-I-got-unhealthily-attached-to-you-and-your-little-cut-out-magazine-ad-babyface flour son?), naming was one of my favorite parts of playing.  But maybe it's more of a girl thing to like naming stuff, because Eli has never been interested, and Wolfie's creativity, when called upon, is limited to an eye-spy type mentality, like Building or Window or Lightswitch, said in Wolfie's "crazy eye" voice which signals that he's about to either smack himself repeatedly in the head or throw something up into the air that definitely should not be thrown into the air. 

In Zeb, though, I think we've finally got a namer.  There's this giant bear Nic got me for Valentine's Day at a drugstore senior year of college.  After a brief but intense romantic relationship with Brumby, it's mostly just hung out as part of the nameless hoard of stuffed animals hanging precariously in the net above the diaper changing table, occasionally descending with the other animals for one of their only two functions thus-far in this household - to either get thrown around by a bunch of manic giggling little boys about to make each other squealingly cry, or to get hilariously piled into the crib while whatever kid is currently sleeping there jumps up and down, happy at first then distressed. 

Option two, part one - Wolfie
Option two, part two- Zeb, with the bear in question being sleazed on by Eli

But all these years it has remained nameless.  Finally, this week, I randomly asked Zeb what its name was, and after a few moments of careful deliberation, he came up with a true original - Jhajha!  Here are Zeb and Jhajha hanging out shortly after the naming:

I think Zeb might be the most imaginative one so far.  I mean, Eli can think of some crazy stuff and he gets very creative with the Legos, and Wolfie is certainly very bright and can make all sorts of genius connections and questions and scenarios, but Zeb is the first one to do really imaginative play, complete with characters and their little voices.  It will be neat to see how that plays out as he gets older.  Real emerging human personalities!

In the Woog file, that guy is so thoughtful.  My grandma slipped on ice cream at the mall on Cinco de Mayo, broke her femur, had to have surgery to fix it, and has been in rehab since (she's supposed to come home next week).  It's a terrible situation, and my mom has been over helping my grandpa out a lot.  Anyway, without even being asked, Wolfie randomly decides to draw multiple get-well cards for "GG" (great-grandma).  How sweet is he?  Then there's the times where he picks all the gross hairs and pubes out of the drain during his bath and puts them in a little cup and calls it his "official hair collection."  Just in case you thought he was made of pure spun sugar and golden dreams.

And don't forget the continued whining about dinner.  Wolfie is starting to revolt against all dinners but mac and cheese, as I think I mentioned before.  The full-on sobbing he did over the spaghetti with meat sauce this week would have made you think the meat was carved from his first pet or something.  And oh my gosh, the outrage lately at our weekly beans and rice.  Zeb still crams it down (though even he this week was like "where's mah mac and cheez?" all whinily), but Wolfie and Eli treat it like torture.  Eli, the most vocal anti-bean lobbyist, actually wasn't so bad this week after I bribed him with a cup of my coconut milk.  "It tastes like all the tropical fruits and our vacation to Hawaii!"  I don't mind sharing my overpriced allergen-free nasty vittles when at least someone can respond like that.  The only thing better was Wolfie's review of the chocolate gluten-free-egg-free-dairy-free chocolate cookies when he first tasted one: "This is the best thing I've tasted in my whole life!"  With a review like that, why the heck did they yank them out of stores two weeks later?!

Opal, meanwhile, would probably love to join our dinners.  She's really starting to try to grab everything and cram it into her spitty little gob.  The baby fists are almost always covered in slobber. 

Where's my pastrami sandwich, you guys?
I know she's ready for rice cereal (if not deli meat), but what with her gut issues, I think we're going to wait until next month.  As for now, I think I'll continue to enjoy the ease of a purely boob-fed baby.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not more twirling!

Yesterday I noticed Opal doing something ominous - while nursing, she was scrape-patting the back of her baby-fuzzed head with her fingers.  This is what Zeb did back in his nursing days, which of course evolved into the dreaded twirling once his hair got long enough.  At first it was just while drinking milk bottles, so an obvious transition from nursing self-stroking soothing.  But now, as you faithful readers all well know, he does it all the time.  Until recently we'd just been jokingly speculating that he'd get a bald spot, but this weekend Lizzy spotted an actual nascent bare patch at the back of his poor toddler head.  I think we're really going to have to cut his hair relatively short ahead of schedule.

But Opal's a lady baby, we can't have her twirling her way into a preventative crew cut!  It's weird because Eli and Wolfie never soothed themselves with their own hair.  Eli always stroked my hair while nursing (we used to have a song about how Eli loves his mommy's hair).  Wolfie I vaguely remember being a boob slapper.  Now that I think about it, I think the whole pre-twirling stroking thing started with Zeb after he became way too violent with my hair, tugging it aggressively like the little baby ogre he was and is.  That led to me defensively adopting the now-infamous "babyami" hairstyle (named for what Lizzy's friends call the uncooked middle part that poops out of a fire-toasted marshmallow when you remove the stick):

To think I was once embarrassed to leave the house like this
It eventually evolved from the unicorn turd on my forehead to a slightly-less-ridiculous mid-head bun, which is how I often wear it today.  It has many advantages - keeps my hair from strangling me when it gets really long, keeps me from worrying about if my hair is brushed or clean or full of food, and also, when you take it down after sleeping in it, it usually looks something like this, which is very thrilling for a girl with fine stick-straight hair:

and crazy eyes.
Now I realize that taking away the comfort blanket that is my hair by wearing it up all the time might be what is causing my children to start ripping out their own hair.  So I guess I'm going to have to start wearing my hair down more so Opal doesn't turn into a trichotillomaniac like poor little Zeb.
It's cool, you guys, I just want to rip out all YOUR hair, mommy!
In other Opal news, I've noticed she's starting to look a little less like Wolfie and more and more like Daddy, and a little like Eli as a baby, too.  I really was struck by how much she looked like pictures of Nic as a kid when she was sleeping the other day.  Something about her ears, I think.
In Wolfie news, Wolfie finally took his "terrarium" in to school today.  Terrarium of course meaning an unrinsed empty jug of bubble soap filled with gross bugs and dirt from the backyard.  I made sure to ask the teacher because, come on, but she loves Woog and thinks everything he does is sheer golden genius, so of course it wasn't a problem.  I can't believe some of the bugs are still moving around in there after nearly a week in that soapy prison.  Good job Wolfie picking out the right leaves maybe? 

Cinco de Mayo "fun"

Oh stomach viruses.  Just when you think they're finally out of the incubation range and whoever didn't get it is safe, boom, Zeb barfs all over the place.  "I barf Teddybear's hand!" - direct gleeful quote about Sunday's projectile episode.  Nic and I were about to pull out of the driveway with Opal, on our way to take a walk at some unexplored area park Nic found and have a Cinco de Mayo drink with Lizzy at Cantina Feliz, and Grandpa Teddy had just taken Zeb inside for his nap after hours of playing, when Grandpa Teddy comes racing outside yelling "Zeb just puked all over me!"  There were actually several positives to the situation - Zeb managed to empty his gullet in the dining room on a wood floor instead of the carpeted upstairs floors or the rug in the living room, and he didn't hit any of the baby gear crowded into the corners of the room; the barf mostly got all over my dad who was of course wearing his customary seventeen layers of clothing despite the warm weather; and Zeb wasn't upset and seemed totally fine afterwards.  In fact, he hasn't shown another sign of sickness since.  Of course, Wolfie, the only other one to experience this illness as barfing, had two and a half days between his two episodes of puking, so I'm still on high alert.

The attempt at Cinco de Mayo drinks gets a grade of D-.  It wasn't a total failure because I did get to ingest my coveted margarita, as did Nic, but Opal was terrified of the restaurant for some reason.  So I had my drink with Lizzy first, then went outside to check on Nic and Opal and found that she'd been screaming the whole time.  So I nursed her in the car for twenty minutes while Nic had his drink, then attempted to re-enter the restaurant with the now-calmed baby Opal, only to have her start screaming bloody murder as soon as we passed the hostess's stand.  Oh well.  We have the ingredients for margaritas at home now.  I made Nic get actual Cointreau and whatnot instead of the mix, so we'll have to redo Cinco de Mayo this Qdoba Friday. 

Before all that, I took Wolfie to a party at Bounce U Sunday morning.  Due to pregnancy then the newborn period, most of this school year it's been my parents taking the kids to parties.  But recently I've started resuming party-schlepping duties.  Wolfie's interesting to watch at these affairs.  He enjoys all of the activities with gusto, but he's kind of reserved with the other kids.  He's not antisocial because he definitely talks to the other kids and they talk to him, but it's like he's just having his own good time.  The dude is getting difficult about food, though.  He rejected the pizza for having too much sauce.  In fact, he's actually not all that into pizza period these days.  A lot of nights he ends up whining no matter what we're eating, unless it's mac and cheese.  I'm starting to worry he's going to end up on an episode of "Freaky Eaters" a dozen years or so down the line.

While we were out at the party, Eli took it upon himself to go spelunking in the cave of costume storage that is his crawlspace.  Which is how this happened:

He also found a cache of my old college-favorite insane platform shoes.  "Which costume do these shoes go to?" he asked over and over, holding my beautiful forgotten sculptural wooden platforms and my KISS-like kneehigh six inch platform boots that I somehow used to wear while biking around cracked-sidewalk New Orleans.  I don't know about the boots, but the wooden ones I'm vowing to rehabilitate (the tops aren't in the best shape) and reincorporate as I get out of my pajama-wearing shut-in lifestyle and back into living in the outside big person world.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hangin' out with Eli

The past two weeks have been mostly full of enjoying the beautiful spring weather, trying to plan for the future, and fighting a mild but persistent stomach bug.  Plus drag queens and a visit from Uncle Andy!

Two weeks ago we took Eli out on an overdue special "date."  I know you're supposed to do that sort of thing pre-baby, but what with Opal being born during the already-birthday-crammed holiday season, it was too hectic by the time it occurred to us to do that.  So we took our video game addict to Dave and Buster's in Plymouth Meeting.  On the way there, we stopped for some root beer float flavored gum for snack-forbidden Mommy, which I shared with Eli in an effort to make him feel like more of a grownup.  Later I realized the gum had expired around last Christmas, but eh, such is weird-flavored gum at a gas station.  Daddy (oh, excuse me, "Dad" is what Eli calls him now) and Eli started off with a creepy abandoned themepark full of clowns shoot 'em up:

Did you know clowns can be cannibalistic mermen?
followed by various racing games.  Check out Eli's ID pic, featuring baby sister:
He played a ton of other games, included a heated air hockey match with yours truly, then finished up with some good old fashioned skeeball, purchased a Dave and Buster's mug with the ticket winnings, and then had his first-ever Blizzard from DQ (mint oreo):

Afterwards, since we were in the area and Eli asked, we decided to pop in at the hotel where Nic and I got married.  Despite new management and over eight years, still looks the same!
The next day was Earth Day, which at Eli's school means "recycled hat parade."  This translates to making a hat out of garbage.  Eli went with a robotic theme:
He said it was the "second biggest," which was of course important to him.  Then this thing sat on the floor in the dining room then the living room for about ten days, after which Zeb decided to rip off the tube on top and peel off the foil, forcing us to actually recycle it.  The hoarder in me, which is mostly activated by kid-related stuff, felt guilty about it, but really come on - isn't the ultimate destiny and purpose of the recycled material hat to end up being recycled?
So Eli was home sick with a stomach bug most of this week.  Wolfie had it last week in that he barfed once on Monday then played and scampered and acted fine all the way up until Thursday when he barfed again at 4AM.  Then he ate and acted fine once again.  So we weren't even sure what was going on until I got it Monday and Eli got it Tuesday, but we didn't barf if you know what I mean.  Thankfully it's a pretty mild bug.  Wolfie's the family barfer in that if his stomach is even slightly messed up, he'll probably spew.  It's actually almost a BBQ tradition at our house that Wolfie barfs by the end of the night. 
I think if I hadn't been up way late Saturday night at a club in the city watching my favorite drag queens from RuPaul's Drag Race (team Alaska, woot!) with Jyl and Sally then I might not have gotten sick at all.  I think I'm just not made for staying out late.  Too often it destroys me for like a week at a time (Sally's birthday party a few years ago).  I'd say it's because I rarely do it and I'm getting old, but back in college I remember long stretches of time where I'd be sick and I wouldn't go out because I knew it would make me sick indefinitely.  Beforehand I was anxious and guilty about leaving Opal at bedtime for the first time, and afterwards I felt guilty that I was so tired and wrecked for Uncle Andy's visit.  But the show itself was soooooooooo much fun.
Anyway, I think Eli is like I was as a kid in that being sick enough with a virus to stay home from school makes him act a lot sweeter.  Not that he was all laid up, either, just spending a lot of time on the can quietly contemplating if his guts would ever be back to normal.  He's really quite a nice funny character of a kid, and I'm enjoying seeing him grow up and become a real actual person.  Look at this guy:

Oh yeah, last weekend he also finally got to do his volcano from Xmas.  I was really impressed with the paint job he did, pretty much exactly what you'd want from a stereotypical baking soda vinegar volcano dealy.  We all gathered round in the backyard to make it erupt:


More updates on the other kids later!