Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ahhh, love...

We were at a b-day party today, and I overheard the following conversation:

"Do you have a boyfriend?" a little girl asked Katie.
"Sure, I have lots of them."
The little girl asked her something I couldn't hear, and then Katie replied,
"yeah, there's Theo. He is nice and has blue eyes. And Jacob likes me, but I don't know why he calls me Katie-cootie."
(pondering silence followed by...)
"oh yeah, and Alexander thinks he loves me. He tries to hold my hand and kiss me. It's sticky, but I kinda love him too."

For those of you who know the Mentons, you won't be surprised to know that the Alexander Katie was referring to is their son. Time for her daddy to invest in shotguns.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sitting pretty

I can't believe how time flies. Sadie is sitting on her own. It just started yesterday. She won't get into sitting position on her own yet (of course), but still, this is big excitement in our household. Katie is thrilled at the potential of having someone to play with in the near future, and I'm beginning to panic to even think about all the babyproofing that has to be done. There are Polly Pocket shoes embedded in the carpet that must come up immediately. Sadie's also started solids, and hasn't found a food she doesn't like that.

Katie is all of a sudden almost a teenager. What is up with that? One day she's drooling, the next she's telling me that although she was holding one boys hand after the circus (he tried to kiss her throughout, but she held out on him), she really likes his brother because he's cute and quiet. Then she did a flip-flop on me later that night and said that since the older brother didn't try to kiss her, she "loved" the younger one.

Medical issues for the week (because I know you care): Katie has a bladder infection. Sadie has an ear infection. Sadie's reflux has also gotten crazy the last few days, but it may be because she's on antibiotics (I hope). Good times. But honestly, I can't complain.

On a very different front, our friends Jeff and Kathy are still in the PICU with their daughter, Madison. Maddie was born a day before Sadie, and we met them on the PICU floor. Like Sadie, Maddie had a heart condition that was not detected before birth. However, unlike Sadie, there is no fix for Maddie's heart, only measures to assist her over time. She has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means one side of her heart is not developed completely. She underwent two open heart surgeries thus far, and now her family is waiting to see if she can get on the heart transplant list. She's also got to have another surgery to fix a problem with her diaphram that occurred when a nerve was damaged last week in surgery. I went to see her and her family yesterday, and she's one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen. Jeff and Kathy are such strong people - I admire how well they are handling such a tough situation. Please keep Maddie in your prayers/mediatations/thoughts. It all has been a big reminder for me of how fragile life is, not just for this beautiful little girl, but for each of us.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Breastfeeding at 32,000 feet

Sooo... went to Portland last week on a business trip, and I had to take Sadie with me, since she's not weaned and refuses a bottle (still). I convinced mom to go along with me to serve as a nanny (didn't take much arm twisting there), and on Sunday we loaded up 4 large suitcases, 3 carry ons and a travel system and headed to the airport for a day of fun. Upon arrival, we were informed that our flight was cancelled, and that we'd have an extra hour at the airport to get on the next flight on another carrier. We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to security (extra fun, seeing as I had 2 laptops, an LCD projector, two 3-1-1 baggies, a baby, a stroller system, etc.) only to be informed that we had been flagged for a super secret search since our flight carrier had been changed. Sweet.

After disrobing the majority of our clothes, waking the sleeping baby, having the stroller torn apart and having my diaper bag completely rearranged, we took off at a steady trot to barely catch the plane in time. We took a short flight to Atlanta, then switched to another plane to Portland. Talk about a long trip. Sadie totally surprised me on the way out, though, and was a trooper. She slept most of the time, nursed well and didn't fuss the entire way. We had an extra seat to put her carseat in so that I didn't have to hold her, which made all the difference. The plane we were on was decked out - had touch-sensitive LCD screens on the back of the seats and you could even play trivia against other passengers, which was a first for me. We arrived in Portland at 1:00 a.m. (yes, that's PST) and I was thrilled by my 4 am wake up call from Sadie the next day. I wanted to try to stick to her East Coast schedule we'd been working on developing in the last few weeks, though, so 4 am could not be negotiated.

By the end of the week, I was completely exhausted. I'm used to travelling alone (meaning sans children) on business trips, and it was tough to have a long day of meetings while trying to slip out unnoticed to nurse, conclude the day by going into full mommy mode and get up in the morning hours before my first meeting would start. Not recommended. I've got to get Sadie to take a bottle or sippy cup before August (my next scheduled trip), no doubt.

All this said, the trip itself was great. My client, the Consumer Trends Forum International (Website under construction. Don't let the site dissuade you that it is actually a legitimate organization.) had a really good meeting. I had left feeling unsure about my future with them - I currently provide their management services and serve as Executive Director, and have had a tough 6 months as they were very disorganized and lacked direction. Before the meeting I'd spent hours of unpaid time working on a strategic direction document for the meeting, and I was unsure as to how it would be received. Turns out that they were on the same page as me, and willing to make the changes I felt were necessary if the organization was to survive. The Forum they put on was excellent - I enjoyed the speakers (at least the ones I heard) and found a lot of the information provided to be relevent even to my small business. I also found out about and have already become addicted to it. Anyway, I left the meeting feeling that the membership had been empowered, the board was on the right track, and we even managed to diversify the board a bit by adding three new members, which had been a goal. I'm excited to see where we can go with this client.

Enough of work... back to the business at hand - travel with an infant. So, the flight back was not at all like the flights there. We were on United, and compared to Delta, I have to say, they really suck. I've been flying United a lot lately, due to the miles I can save up, but I'm switching as of Friday. It's not worth a free trip with them, and I'd rather pay $20 more and have a comfortable and friendly flight. The flight home was crowded, but not full - but they didn't offer to move me to another seat so that I could put Sadie's car seat in. So Mom and I took turns holding her. For 5 hours. In a row with three people. I was in the middle, sandwiched between mom and a very large man. The guy in front of me reclined his seat the minute we took off, which happened to coincide with the beginning of Sadie's wails, so I had about 9 inches of operating space in which to manuever Sadie on my lap. And she wanted to eat. Several times. Breast. Not sweet potatoes (her favorite) or cereal. As the guy beside me tried to keep to himself, I tried to modestly arrange myself without drawing too much attention (quite a feat considering the size of my mongo-breasts at the moment). Of course we were near the back, and there was only one restroom in coach, so everyone was lined up next to our seats to catch a glimps of my show most of the trip. Sweeeet!! Sadie cried for a couple hours of the trip, which was also fun.

So, that's the fun that was here. I came back home to a very sad Katie who informed me she'd been "worried sick about mommy and Sadie." She's gotten even worse in the bathroom department, and had lots of accidents at school, which have lead to a new UTI. So, to the doctor we a-go tomorrow. Katie's terrified of having the doctors look at her "bottom" (rightly so after all the prodding and testing she's had in the past few months) so I've got to figure out some way of consoling her and keeping her calm. She's also acting like a holy terror, which, combined with Sadie's new breakthrough of teeth (two are coming in) and my exhaustion, has made for a VERY happy weekend in our home. The animals have both gone into hiding, and I think that, if Jason could figure out where they were, he'd join them. I'm sure it's all preparation for him - for the day that both girls are teens and we all PMS at the same time. It'll be grand.