two months in

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How do people who stage elaborate scenes around their sleeping children do it? I couldn’t take one pic with these donut holes in a halo arrangement without Nicky’s flailing arms sending them rolling across the room.

“donut holes in a halo arrangement” …I need to reexamine my life.

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At two months old Nicky is fully recovered from his nasty experience with meningitis. He regained all the weight he lost while he was sick and is now 5.32kg, 58cm tall and has a head circumference of 40cm. He usually sleeps through the night for six or seven hours at a time and is therefore the world’s best baby. He likes his Rockaroo now and is best friends with the mobile. He likes being carried in the Ergo but dislikes being put in the Ergo (babies are complicated). He often shows off his dimple by smiling at his favourite people, and will sometimes reward us for doing something funny with a breathy little giggle. He loves to snuggle and he still hates tummy time.

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shark bait hoo ha ha

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I swear I bought a new ornament this year that isn’t a deer.

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A few years ago I bought a large wicker basket to use in lieu of a tree skirt. I really liked it; tree skirts are a pita imo; always getting mussed up by pets and kids and sucked into the vacuum cleaner. However, the basket somehow vanished from my storage room after just one Christmas so I had to go buy a new one this week because fuck a tree skirt, honestly. I needed something at least 21″ in diameter to accommodate the tree stand and all I could find was one that was one miserable inch too small, and this fricking enormous one, oops.

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Tried to get a nice picture of her with our Christmas wreath…

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All I care about right now is my skincare regimen. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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This is just beyond. I mean come on.

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Shark-shaped baby sleeping bag from AliExpress.

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the storm before the calm

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Right before Nicky falls asleep is when he tends to have his biggest fusses. You can’t do anything about it; he’s not wet, or hungry, or in need of cuddles. He’s a really good sleeper so he’s not even overtired. It doesn’t happen every time, but usually once a day he’ll cry and yell before passing out, hard, for a good long while.

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Now that we’ve all mostly gotten back into our regular sleep/work/life routine after the drama of last week, I can focus on the holiday season! I had planned to make a spreadsheet to plan & organize the kids’ gifts but I have somehow managed to accidentally buy most of them already? With the combination of all my recent stress and being stuck in the house due to illness I’ve been doing quite a bit of online shopping, and as it turns out have gotten quite a few things for the kids. WHO KNEW. We still have to pick up a couple of things but it’s all pretty much planned out, so now I only need to decide what to get Taylor.

Sym is at her dad’s for actual Christmas this year so we’re doing Mini-Christmas with her in mid-December. My and Taylor’s Christmas pajamas haven’t arrived yet but the kids’ have (see below for a sneak peek…), so we’ll open those, and build all our holiday Lego sets (including maybe a NEW set…). We usually watch Elf on Mini Christmas but we have tickets to the Enchant Christmas light maze so we might not have time. The Christmas Elf may also stop by to leave candy in our shoes if everyone’s room is clean.

I’ll probably start setting up the Christmas tree this weekend; I like to stagger the set up and decoration over a few weeks (just tree; tree+lights; tree+lights+ornaments) to try to get the kids used to it so they are less likely to pull everything off of it. This technique has worked with every child I’ve had in my house EXCEPT for Gwen, but hopefully this year she will be a little less destructive? She’s been a little sassy lately with climbing the furniture, taking things she shouldn’t and making huge messes. Last year we couldn’t put any presents under the tree because she kept unwrapping them all, and just two weeks ago she did the same with her birthday presents so I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

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back home

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BC Children’s Hospital discharged Nicky this morning and he’s home now! It’s such a relief to have him back here. It has been seriously so scary and stressful, like his first car ride was in an ambulance and my first night away from him he was in the hospital with a mystery illness? NOT COOL, DO NOT RECOMMEND. After all the tests and he was diagnosed with parechovirus yesterday, and because the virus was found in his CSF he actually has meningitis. Viral meningitis usually isn’t very serious but because of his age there is a greater risk of serious complications. We have instructions to go back to Children’s right away if he gets sick again but hopefully he just continues to improve. He hasn’t had a fever in over 24 hours now and Taylor said his behaviour has been much more normal (he’s mostly just been sleeping since he got home, which is also normal behaviour for him). We have a few follow-up appointments in the coming weeks, including a hearing test (for the meningitis, it can cause hearing loss as well as other neurological problems, so keep your fingers crossed for us) this Friday afternoon, but the rest of the time I’m keeping him snuggled up right next to me, where he belongs.

how you can help

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If you follow me on social media you are prob caught up with what’s been going on in our lives, but if you missed it, Nicky is sick and is currently being treated for a high fever caused by a mystery illness at BC Children’s Hospital. The doctors think it’s a urinary tract infection but we don’t know for sure and we don’t know when he can come home. I’m really too exhausted (in every possible way) to type everything out again but you can catch up on my instagram. Also thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to us in the past couple days. While I can’t reply to every comment and message, I read them all and it really means so much to know you are all out there rooting for our family.

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I did want to make this post because a lot of people have asked if they can donate money or giftcards to help us out. While I am super appreciative of these offers it really isn’t necessary; the only help I actually needed was with transportation here in Vancouver, and my amazing friend Mark has offered to drive Gwen and I back and forth for visits every day while Taylor stays with Nicky in the hospital. We have universal healthcare that covers 100% of Nicky’s care, and I’m only missing two days of work; Gwen needs one of us here with her so after taking Monday and Tuesday off I’m going to start work again on Wednesday. It’s actually good for me to have things to do to stay busy, I start melting down when I’m not occupied by something; this afternoon I had my 6-week post c-section check up and I started crying in the obgyn’s waiting room because a Sarah McLachlan song was playing on the radio, and then John Legend came on and it was like GAME OVER, MAN.

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Anyway. If you would like to do something for me & my family, you can help us by helping others. Instead of donating to me, making a donation in honour of Nicky to a cause that helps children in need. Two suggestions I have are the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, because they are taking such good care of my little guy, and the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, an organization in Southern California that provides pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings. Thank you.

one month

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Today Nicky is one month old! Taylor and I were actually still up last night with him at the very moment when he was born, but we were watching Jane the Virgin (I just finished marathoning the first two seasons, almost in time to start season three!) and didn’t notice the time until 12:34am, 21 minutes after Nicky’s birth minute of 12:13am.

He had his four-week checkup on Friday and he now weighs 4.34kg, is 54cm tall and has a head circumference of 37.5cm. He also has the WORST infant acne I’ve ever seen right now, my poor spotty little baby. He is finally growing some eyebrows. His hair is turning light brown and his eyes are turning blue (although I’m not convinced they won’t end up green). He likes baths, bottles and his bassinet, hates diaper changes, post-bath massages and tummy time. He enjoys being swaddled and is ambivalent about binkies and the rockaroo. He’s most awake and active in the evening and sleeps for stretches of up to five hours.

When I was pregnant no one believed that I really didn’t have a preference about the sex of the baby. Even now people try to say that the reason I’m happy I had a boy is because I secretly wanted one all along, which is weird. People have also asked if I’m disappointed that I didn’t have another girl, and in a way I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to use the girl’s name I had picked, and sometimes I think about some of Sym and Gwen’s special clothes I saved that won’t be worn again, but these things? A name, some dresses? They don’t compare at all to how sweet and special he is, and how much I (and all of us) love him.

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Happy one month, Nicky!

autumn

A few pictures from last weekend when we actually left the house…

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I’m so busy with work and parenting and homemaking these days that I barely have any time to make anything, but I did put together some new stickers this week! These “Too Sleepy to Live… Too Lazy to Die” Sleepy Skull stickers are available in the shop now.
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the grind

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We’ve been looking for a storage bench to put at the end of our bed for LITERALLY YEARS and the other week Taylor found this one on the Best Buy website of all places? Weird. Anyway it’s pretty much exactly what I wanted and when we ordered it it was on sale & therefore cheaper than all the not-quite-perfect ones I’ve seen so it’s a win.

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On the weekend I was feeling a little ~inspired and made these tiny grey suede boots for Nicky. I need to adjust the pattern a little to get a better fit but I just love them, and the little appliquéd evergreen trees on the soles are so cute.

This is my first week back at work and it has been… busy? complicated? hard? chaotic? Our original plan (Taylor works nights from home & looks after the baby while I sleep, I work days from home and look after the baby while Taylor sleeps, ugh this was such a good plan!) went out the window with my emergency c section. Why? Well, if you’re not familiar, one of the ~rules~ for looking after yourself after a c section is that you aren’t supposed to lift anything that weighs more than your newborn baby for 6-8 weeks after the delivery. You know what weighs more than my newborn baby? The daycare kids! As I mentioned previously I can do almost all of our regular activities, but I can’t pick them up, and sometimes they need picking up.

This means I need to have someone here to help me for almost the entire day. I can’t afford to hire a full-time assistant so the task falls to Taylor in the morning/early afternoon and Sym in the late afternoon. Since Taylor is awake for the first half of the day it’s not possible for him to work his regular midnight to 8am shift, so instead he’s working 4am to noon, which means I’m tasked with getting up with the kids if they wake up between midnight and 4. This makes waking up at 7 to get ready for work pretty difficult. Taylor’s sleeping hours are split completely in half: he sleeps from about 1 until 5pm, and then midnight until 4. As a result we are BOTH tired and irritable, which is kind of the opposite of what we’d hoped for, and yet another reason to hate my c section. We are still working out the scheduling kinks, so hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll get our routines down a bit better and stop being so crabby with one another. And hey, it’s only for three to five more weeks, how hard can it be? (DON’T ANSWER THAT, UNIVERSE.)

The upside of this fairly cruddy situation is the kids themselves, which I guess is the part that makes it all worthwhile. Nicky is a pretty chill & easy-going baby, Gwen has mostly been well-behaved and helpful, and Sym has ALSO been well-behaved and helpful (almost more amazing in a teen than a preschooler). They really are the bright spot in this frustrating time.

the first day

Today is my first day looking after the little kids by myself. When we first came home from the hospital Taylor took the whole following week off, and halfway through that week his mom came down to stay with us to help out for a week. This week Taylor is back at work and his mom left yesterday afternoon. Of course, Taylor is working from home right now which means he is the one who is up with Nicky during the night and he’s around in the mornings to get Gwen up and walk the dogs and just generally be a help. But this afternoon it’s just been me and so far it’s alright. Both kids are fed and dressed and alive (as am I, sort of) and I even managed to do some cleaning.

It certainly helps that Gwen is basically the best kid in the world. She really loves her baby brother and all morning she was asking to hug him and for him to sit in her lap! It’s so cute. She has also been tucking her lovey Elke in with him, which is pretty amazing because Elke is very special to her and is not a toy she shares with others. There have been a few small meltdowns (namely because she wanted to wear her cat-themed hooded sweatpants jumpsuit, which was in the wash) but overall I can’t complain about her behavior.

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big sister, bigger sister

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all photos by Taylor Laramie

Throughout my whole pregnancy with Gwen I made every effort to include Symphony. She helped pick the nursery furniture (and even helped build it!) and went baby clothes shopping with me all the time. She was present in the delivery room when her baby sister was born and even picked her middle name (sort of; she suggested Viola which became Violet). Of course, she was 11 at the time, so it was a little different from going through this pregnancy with a 3-year-old.

From the very beginning I talked to Gwen a lot about the baby in mommy’s tummy, how soon it would come out and live at our house and be her friend. When we switched the girls’ bedrooms we let her pick which side would be for her and which would be for the baby, we bought her a toy baby of her very own and got a book about a little girl who gets a new baby sibling to read to her (which I still can’t get all the way through with out crying…). Of course I was still worried about how the changes would affect her since she is still just a little kid.

Thankfully so far both girls seem pretty enamored with their new baby brother. Gwen always wants to hug/kiss/pat him and says “awwwww, that baby so cuuuuuute” (or more rarely “Nicky so cute” because she has an aversion to saying names and tends to call most people “that boy” or “that mom” or “that baby”). She helps by bringing him his blankets and his lovey and talks about how when he’s a little bigger she will share her toys with him and they can take a bath and go to the park and do all sorts of things together. For Sym of course this new baby sibling business is old hat, but she still likes to watch him make his tiny funny faces and wave his tiny hands around. She’ll help by giving him a bottle but she draws the line at diapers (I don’t blame her; Nicky is kind of a poop machine rn).