Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Berkeley kids

Originally uploaded by billstron
When Bill and I first moved to the Bay Area, my younger sister, Kelly, came to visit. We went to the Berkeley marina and saw all the kids and adults doing the sword fighting with the cardboard fighting equipment, including body armor, etc. She told me that I definitely should not have kids while we were living here because my kids would turn out weird. This picture is Kelly's prediction come true. Just look at Molly here: at Picante, our favorite taqueria, holding two cups up to her ears as though they were seashells. (That Bill and I showed her this is beside the point.) The picture is all the better, though, because not only is there one crazy kid in this picture (mine), but there are actually TWO! See the kid in the background? He was wearing his muscle-y Batman Halloween costume. His older brother, who is across the table and not in the picture, was wearing a crown. It was his older brother! It's totally fine with me, actually. Now that I have a kid I can see why people let them wear whatever they want out in public. I would without exaggeration say that we see a kid in a Halloween costume at least once a month. Just last week, for instance, we saw a kid in an all-out astronaut costume, complete with the space helmet. Seriously! He was walking down the street holding his mom's hand. Yes, he had to stand a little further from her than I would imagine he normally would because of the bulbous helmet. Bill was so taken aback, and got such a thorough kick out of it, that he got locked up. We were in the car, leaving my OB appointment, and we saw the kid while we were at a stop sign. Bill just locked up; he couldn't remember which way to turn or if we should just go straight.

We've had wonderful weather this week, and today we went to the Little Farm in Berkeley. Check out the pictures on flickr if you get a chance.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Molly is starting to learn the names of many of her body parts. Last night, I was asking her where her nose, cheek, knees, feet, arms, hands, ears, etc. were. I was impressed that she knew everything that I asked her. She can't say many parts (with one notable exception of "eb-bow!" for elbow, and it is always said with an exclamation point at the end). She also knows butt--guess who taught her that one.

Today she was getting in her stroller, and she hit her funny bone. She said, "eb-bow...EB-BOW!" and grabbed her little elbow. It was really hilarious, and I laughed a lot even as she was obviously in pain. We all know it just hurts a second when you do that, though, so I don't feel too bad about laughing. It was funny, too, that it was a bit of a delayed reaction for the pain to really occur to her. It's very impressive to me that she was able to identify what hurt, without even thinking about it. This seems like a turning point to me--maybe she will really begin being able to express what hurts when she injures herself or is ill. It will hopefully decrease her frustration with communication.

Monday, February 8, 2010

at the beach

Originally uploaded by billstron
Last weekend we visited our good friends in Santa Barbara. We got to go to the beach at sunset. It was a bit chilly, but the cold did not seem to bother Molly. She had a great time gathering rocks (and giving them to me and her auntie Abacus) and playing in the sand.

This week Molly has been cutting molars. It has not been fun for any of us. It really must hurt when those things cut through. I remember when I was having trouble with my wisdom teeth, which I eventually got removed, and I would imagine that she is experiencing similar pain. She has been waking at 4:30 or 5:00 most of this week, and she has not really wanted to go back to sleep, although she will dose somewhat on Bill's or my chest if we get up with her and sit in the nursing chair or lie on the couch. Today she actually slept until after 8, which she has never in the history of Molly Zelda ever done. This was not unassisted, however. Bill got up with her and they fell back asleep together on the couch.

Today I noticed she felt really warm, and she had a fever of almost 101. I think it must be a common misconception that teething can produce a fever, but our pediatrician says this is not true. So, if Molly has a fever, I know it is something else. I called the doctor and took her in. She has been really snotty (which I believe does have to do with teething), but in general in her usual pleasant mood, with the exception of being a little more fussy with the new molars. Our wonderful doctor (WE LOVE HER!!) told me she is definitely coming down with something, but she did not think it needed to be treated with anything more than baby Tylenol and her two inhalers. The worry is that she might have RSV. Recall from posts from a year or so ago that this is the scary, nasty respiratory virus that Molly was getting preventative shots for last winter because she was a preemie. RSV can develop into pneumonia so we need to regularly give her the albuterol inhaler, which we have here, but we only give her when she needs it. The doc told us to give it to her every four hours as long as her cough persists, even a little bit.

Today she was in a surprisingly good mood for having a fever. She just seemed a little more lethargic and needed more cuddles than usual. I know we are really spoiled here with the weather, but when it rains it is hard! Molly likes to be active and to interact with other kids. When she is sick we can't go to the park or to mommas group, and when it rains we can't even really take walks. Okay, I'm finished complaining about the weather because yesterday, while our families where in freezing wet weather, we spent hours outside without jackets, drinking milkshakes.

The past few weeks have also been a bit challenging. I know that it is Molly's age and development and sore gums, and she will soon outgrow this phase. She has just been really fussy lately. Well, she has been more fussy than usual, which honestly is not so terribly fussy, really. Bill and I have had a lot of discussions about this, though, and how to deal with our frustrations. We have come to the conclusion that she is a tiny little person who needs our love and compassion because this is not such an easy time for her, either. She cannot speak very well so she does not know exactly how to express herself. The main conclusion we reached was that, yes, she will be clingy and fussy, but she will outgrow this. We just need to be patient. Molly is a very spirited child. You hear this expression a lot, but to us, it means that Molly is very emotional. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and affectionate, but she is also clingy and can throw fits if she does not get her way. We think a lot about how to distract her and re-direct her when she is doing something we do not want her to do, and we also try to encourage her independence. It will be really interesting to see how things go in four months when her little sister arrives (oh--we had our ultrasound last week, and we're having another girl!). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will be sweet, affectionate, protective, and loving, but I am a little concerned about how she will do with sharing her parents. One of my very good friends who just had her second child, who was born when her older child was about 20 months old, told me that when her son turned two "something magical happened." He just seemed to suddenly be more independent. I am holding on to that, but I am also dreading that. I love that Molly is so reliant on me, but it can also be stifling. I often become very anxious about how I will handle Molly and a newborn, but I know that I am a good mom, and I will be fine. People deal with much more challenging situations than this--poverty, sickly children, having to juggle a heavy workload and family, etc.--and they do it. I know how lucky I am to only have to work part-time and have a wonderful, loving, devoted husband who adores his daughter(s), and I have a wonderful extended family. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that LIFE IS GREAT!!!!