Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beach Wedding

We attended the wedding of David and Kristen on Sunday which took place at Assateague Island State Park in Maryland. It was the first beach wedding I've ever been to and it was quite exciting because the tide was coming in just prior to the ceremony so I wasn't sure if we were going to get wet (we didn't). But there were also wild ponies milling about which is some legacy of when the white people first landed in North America (not kidding)--though I didn't photograph any. Kristen is the sister of Billy, Ken's best friend and the best man at our wedding. He, his partner Fancy and their daughter Ella flew in from Los Angeles. This was the first time we saw them since Ella and Sidney were born so it was a doubly joyous occasion for our two little families. Sidney was pretty well behaved and kept her ad-libbing to a minimum. She even wore the new outfit from Aunt Mary in DC. Wonderful gathering and celebration.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Best Date Night Ever

For Mother's Day, all I wanted was to see Iron Man 2 on opening weekend. The now infamous comment from Amy that my "movie tastes are that of a 12-year-old boy" hold true. A night out to see my favorite actor Robert Downey Jr. with my favorite & main man Ken was my wish. But oh what an even better night we had.

The movie was really good and we watched it at our local theater here in Ballard. After it got out, the night was warmish so we strolled through Old Ballard where Art Walk was happening so all the stores were open late. Folks were out having fun on a Saturday night (I had forgotten what that is like) but we also spotted our favorite local ice cream truck Parfait and had a scoop. It was so liberating to just be together and walking around at night. I know my pre-baby self would have been mortified by how simple and boring that sounds but these times are precious.

We were entertaining the thought of getting drinks but finding the right venue was proving a little difficult. We aren't hipsters or beautiful people (on the prowl) and wanted a welcoming joint to walk into. Sorta tough. But we sauntered over to Ocho where I had heard they have good tapas and drinks. We looked at their menu outside and were waffling about going in when all of a sudden we heard a familiar voice.

Coming up the sidewalk in a dapper hat was our good friend and soon-to-be father Sumeer. His lovely wife and also good friend Suzanne (who is looking fabulous at 34 weeks pregnant) and friends of theirs approached us. What a small world! I could not get over how delightful that was to run into them. When we were supposed to go down to Portland last weekend, among other things I had been planning to attend a baby shower for Suzanne. It was disappointing not to see her then. But man, I just love how there are happy accidents like that in this town. And when we got home, our little one had been well-tended by the sitter and asleep for the night. That's the best Mother's Day gift I could receive.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Words about the Zoo

Sidney and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo yesterday. Pictures HERE.

I have fond memories of visiting the zoo as a child. And back in the freewheeling 70's at the Portland Zoo, you could hand feed some of the animals with a snack pack you purchased at the gate. I only remember this because I used to eat the rye crackers intended for the giraffes so I never had anything to feed them by the time I got to their area. But times have changed and the only animals you can feed at the zoo are the ones you bring in with you.

Yesterday, Sidney and I accompanied the Seattle Stay at Home Moms Group to the Woodland Park Zoo here in Seattle. I didn't really know any of these folks, but the leader of the group had a zoo membership and could get a few people in at half price so that was good enough for me. Actually it was a lovely group of 7 adults with kids ranging from 5 months to 3 years. It's hard to keep a group of that size together(with strollers), mingling among school groups, other parents + strollers and the colorful populous that frequents the zoo at 1pm on a Thursday. There was one particularly loud family who had a few walking adults, an elder in a wheelchair, two young adults and at least 2 children under 10 who were terrorizing the zoo animals. One of the female young adults was supposedly watching the children but would yell for them as the children ran ahead. So when I finally saw her, she looked like she had just stepped out of a hair band video. It was very hard not to notice them.

But enough about the people, there were some magnificent animals there. I think Sidney was taking it in. She seemed quite keen on the elephants, meerkats and giraffes. I couldn't help but notice the sadness in some of the larger animals' eyes. I would imagine that not having to worry about food or predators is something of a relief but to always be confined to such small enclosures and not really get to be a wild animal in the fullest sense can't be fun either. I have really mixed feelings about keeping animals like this. On one hand you give people exposure and in all likelihood a connection to wild animals who need to have legal protection from over hunting and habitat destruction. On the other hand it is wholly unnatural to keep them penned up like that (unless they are injured or born in captivity). So I don't know--it's a hard one.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Croup, update

(Also posted on Sidney's page)

I'm happy to report that Saturday night, Sidney had only one wake up and was awake for a short time. Ken and I took turns comforting, singing and reading to her while we waited for the ibuprofen to kick back in.

Sunday night, she slept the whole night through but did give us a little surprise before bed when she unexpectedly threw up her dinner and soaked Ken, herself and the floor. An impromptu bath followed and then she wanted to go straight to bed--didn't even want her last bottle. She slept in her bouncer chair due the severity of her congestion and happily stayed there all night. (Note: we don't usually let her sleep in her carseat or bouncer chair for more than a few hours but given the circumstances...)

Today, she's doing much better and is acting very much like herself again. She does have a bit of laryngitis so her cries are muffled or non-existent. Good thing our house is small and sound carries--I feel like my super-mom hearing is being put to the test. The doctor says she's looking good and we're hoping that nasal drainage is all we have left to deal with. We did not hear that cough again after the ER & meds but I'm told all we need to do is take her outside into the cold air and that will help calm it down. I am hoping to resume outdoor activities in the next day or so--the doctor said it's good for her. Playgroups will be a wait and see decision. I guess she's still a little contagious when she's draining.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Adventures in Parenting: The Croup

(Also posted on Sidney's page)

Last night, we were so happy to wrap up this crazy week and looking forward to a short Portland road trip to see the family. We had put Sidney down for bed around her usual time (8pm) and though we noticed that when she cried her voice could cut out or would be muted, we assumed she was one of those kids who might get laryngitis when they get sick. Ken did a late run, showered, then went to bed and I settled down to watch Grey's Anatomy on Hulu. At close to Midnight, I pass by Sidney's door and heard muted crying/whimpering and I went in to check on her. Here's where everything goes sideways.

What I saw and heard freaked me out. The child had been crying so her face was completely wet and her right eye that gets all goopy was...well goopy. But she was hot--so incredibly warm in just a onesy and cotton sleep sack that it shocked me and the noise she was making (is now what I have come to know as the seal-like bark of the croup) sounded like having water in her lungs while simultaneously not being able to breathe. I grabbed her and attempted to thump her back to clear the airway which only made her more agitated and made that seal-bark worse. I even flipped her with her head down to the floor, trying to use gravity to clear the airway as I learned in the infant CPR class. At that point, I yelled across the hall "Ken, GET UP!" He stumbled in and I handed her to him as I ran for the phone. She was breathing but it was labored and again that cough was crazy. I spoke to the answering service at our pediatric clinic knowing that I'd be patched to Children's Hospital. But they were slammed last night and the attendant said it could be 30 minutes before they'd call back. I said, "We're not waiting. Where should we go: Ballard Swedish or Childrens ER?" She said either was fine so we chose Ballard for proximity.

Ken gets dressed in 30 seconds, we grab the diaper bag and buckle her into the car seat. We arrive to a practically empty ER and it must have been the serious look, coupled with the power walk, but the admitting folks waved me in and I tossed my ID and insurance cards on the desk. A nurse came right out and we were in a treatment room within a few minutes. First off they took her temperature which was 104 and they gave her Tylenol immediately. They pretty much knew from the sound of that cough that she had Croup and were going to take steps to relax and reduce swelling of the larynx-trachea area. Over the course of three hours, they gave her steroids orally and did a vapor mist of epinephrine. Her temperature came down slightly and the breathing constriction lessened. However when she did get spin up and start crying, the croupy cough and wheezing occurred so they also gave her a dose of Motrin (ibuprofen). It was concerning enough that they wanted us to go over to Children's Hospital to be sure we didn't need to admit her.

So at 3am, we headed over to Children's Hospital ER (and traffic was a breeze). Mainly we were there to have her observed by pediatric specialists and naturally all the meds had kicked in and she showed glimpses of her sweet, non-sick self to the medical staff while reserving the over-tired, sick kid moments for mom & dad. We were released home about 4:30am. At which point, she was soundly asleep and sitting reclined in her carseat so we just placed it in her room and let her be. We all slept to about 9am this morning. Her fever was gone and she mercifully took 5 long naps throughout the day. Ken and I were hearkened back to the newborn days where we got to sleep in 3 hour increments (shudder). I believe the ibuprofen is helping in addition to using a cold vaporizer, slanting her mattress and using saline drops + bulb-syringing her nose. Now I've heard there may be more nights of excitement when it comes to the Croup, so we're sort of waiting to see what happens tonight.

[Incidentally yesterday a massive recall was announced for Children's Tylenol and Motrin, just in time for our needing it. Luckily I was able to locate a generic.]