Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Charlie! and Other Wonderful and Not-So-Wonderful Things

Hm.  Looks like we are going to accomplish four whole posts in a 12 month period.  Not good.  I think about writing here nearly every day.  The time escapes me and by the time evening rolls around I am so tired my body aches and my brain is fried.  Things have gotten even busier and more hectic since the last blog installment.  Obviously March has come and gone and we now have Naomi's baby brother.  Charlie! Or Charles Robert Caughey.  Wonderful.  His arrival was...not smooth.  He was born a month early, during a big ice storm, while Rob was supposed to be on call (Thank you Dr. Howells for covering call for Rob AGAIN.  Wonderful), as a result of Fun Times With Preeclampsia, the Sequel.  Not so wonderful.  I had it with Naomi too.  He got to spend several days in the toaster oven, came home for two days, then spent three more days in the hospital with a nasty case of jaundice.  Not so wonderful.  Sigh.  It never is easy.  Naomi has adjusted really well to having Charlie in her life.  Wonderful.  Much better than with Lydia, which was kind the typical slow moving disaster common around here.  Lots of screaming that first year with Lydia.  By Naomi.  Pretty much no screaming with Charlie.  Wonderful! Lydia has had a tougher time, this being her first experience with a new sibling.  Lots of jealousy.  Just as she was getting better with that, Naomi started on summer vacation, so Lydia then had to adjust to Naomi being home all day too, as well as Charlie being here.  Not.  So.  Wonderful.  We had a hitting stage, a biting stage, a kicking stage and a screaming stage.  Directed at all of her adult caregivers and not Charlie and Naomi, thankfully.  She did potty train quickly and easily a few months ago.  Very Wonderful to have one of the three out of diapers.  This whole three kids thing was going pretty well as long as Naomi was in school.  It's really oh-my-what-was-I-thinking hard with her not in school.  Irrationally, I still want another baby.  Probably not going to happen to due opposition from Rob, me turning 40 in May (Not So Wonderful) and my lousy obstetric history.  As my niece Grace used to say, that is all "stupid and nasty."  Keep in mind I have A LOT of help. Wonderful.  I have a weekly housekeeper, my Aunt Mary and cousin Gail were helping me every morning from the time Charlie was two weeks old until Mary fell on my (stupid and nasty) steps and severely broke her wrist, requiring surgery (Not so wonderful), our long time nanny Jenn, or Friend Jenn as Lydia calls her, and my cousin Hannah, home from college on summer break.  Friend Jenn and Hannah graciously took over for Mary and Gail after the accident.  Wonderful. I think what is so hard is that I have three children, all of whom need affection, attention, socializing and playing with, and none of whom can really play, socialize or give attention with/to the others.  I keep thinking, if Naomi were a typical 6.5 year old child this would be so freaking easy.  I can care of any two of them at a time with ease and can do all three for a few hours occasionally, but cannot do all three for any length of time or with any frequency and have all four of us be at all happy and content.  Lydia has, with direction, begun playing with both Naomi and Charlie some.  Naomi actually likes it.  Lydia loves roughhousing so I've taught her to play some of the roughhouse type games I play with Naomi too.  I also help Charlie play with  Naomi.  Naomi actually really likes this and laughs and smiles.  Sometimes Lydia will try to snuggle with Naomi while she watches her shows.  These attempts are met with mixed feelings from Naomi but I see potential there. Wonderful.
One of Naomi's favorite summer activities is swimming.  There has not been much good swimming weather this summer.  Very rainy and very overcast and not all that warm.  Not so wonderful.  Hannah and I (mostly Hannah) have had the girls in the pool on many days when swimming was not particularly appealing to either of us.  The children still enjoy it.  Summer school started for Naomi in July for the entire month so that has been fun for her.  She goes three days a week for a short day.  Apparently in big cities they have magical school programs for children like Naomi that run year round.  I can't tell you how much Naomi and we would like this.  We did briefly consider relocating to Pittsburgh to take advantage of these magical programs but quickly decided to stay here, as Rob is very invested in his practice.  It was tempting, though.  There just isn't enough demand for those types of services here.  The population is much smaller and so it is not really economically feasible. Not so wonderful.  Naomi is still riding Dakota, still watching her shows and reading her books.  She has been interested in more new books recently, which is very thrilling, and has been doing things she hasn't done in a while, like rolling on to her belly and trying to push her knees under her (she doesn't get very far as she is not very strong and now her legs are long and heavy) and playing with toys with her hands.  All wonderful.  Today during her stretch out time on the floor she rolled to her side and picked up the linking letters and played with them for a long time.  If Naomi could learn to play by herself like that in any kind of significant way it would make things a lot easier for us and a lot nicer for her.  As it is, she needs to be entertained/assisted all day long.  Its hard for all of us.
I am sure a lot more interesting, or maybe marginally interesting, things have happened since I posted last but my brain is like mush most of the time so I probably can't remember them.  Rob asks me what my plans are every day as he leaves for work and every day I answer "Surviving."  It's true.
Now for the best part of any post, the pictures.  There are a lot of pictures, especially of Charlie.  I hope you enjoy many versions of the same picture wherein the pictured children are demonstrating slightly different facial expressions or slightly different positioning of their limbs. I'm not sure these are all in the right order, chronologically, as some are from the camera and some from my phone.

Just born.  

Needed oxygen right away.

First time I got to hold him.  He was allowed out of his toaster oven for just a few minutes.  

Wearing his CPAP.  

Finally visiting my room!
These next two were from the two days he was at home before being readmitted.

Oops, back to the OR and just born.

Holding Charlie in the baby nursery after he was done with the CPAP and allowed to be out of his toaster oven a lot.


Ugh oh.  The jaundice was starting.  

Getting dressed to come home.

His first home bath.

These were taken the afternoon before he was readmitted.  Notice how yellow the whites of his eyes are.  Don't know why we didn't see that.  

I got to hold him for twenty minutes every three hours for the duration of his readmittance.  I did not like that.  I did like him being treated aggressively by his pediatricians and saved from brain damage, however.

Back home.  So cute.  So sweet.

Hm.  These are from the night before he went back to the hospital.  Yeah, he's really yellow.

Now this was when he was back home again.

Naomi got fancy new sneaks like the cool kids wear.

Lydia wearing her "bushka."
More Baby Charlie, or as we call him now Charlie Barlie Man, or just Barlie Man if you are Lydia.

My cute girls.

More Baby Charlie, still in his size Newborn clothes.

He looks like E.T. here.  

Lydia enjoyed the "choc-we-it" at Easter.  Maybe a little too much. .
This is the first year Naomi wore a store bought dress for Easter.  Too many children...
Charlie in his nerd suit, or his UVa suit, as I called it.  Dad is an alumnus.
Naomi wore this dress too.  Very Alice in Wonderland.  It is fun seeing the things I made for Naomi on a little girl up and walking, I mean running, around.

Pretty sure this is an out of order newborn shot.
Yellow is still Naomi's favorite color.  She hates the camera flash and always clothes her eyes.  Also, sometimes she's just ornery when I try to take her picture.  I know this because she laughs hysterically when I point out that she is not cooperating.

These next three are so Lydia.  

My big girl and my little boy.
I love him.

Then I got bold and tried for some group shots.

Snuggling.  The best.

Examples of Naomi's purposeful non-cooperation.

This is her laughing hysterically when I tell her I know she's being contrary.  

My favorite of his newborn outfits.  I just went back to the store to try to buy it in a bigger size.  No luck.

Naomi being silly.

Ready for school, waiting for her van.  Naomi loves her van. The princess has a private van because she gets upset (screams) if she has to share with another child, or worse yet, wait for another child.  Ridiculous.  I am glad they school/van company let her get the best possible start to her day.

It never ceases to amaze me when my younger children meet developmental milestones.

Lydia loves, I mean loves, to roughhouse.  She is relentless.  The first thing she says to Rob when he gets home from work is "Daddy.  Roughhouse."

"Stand on Daddy's head."

These next several are definitely from my phone.  Very out of order.

Entertaining Lydia and Naomi and Charlie's joint appointments with the pediatrician.  

Charlie and Lydia came with me to get new glasses and contacts.  

Lydia loves seeing herself on camera.  

Charlie's boy bonnet.  He already outgrew it!  He needs a new one.  ASAP.

We took Lydia and Charlie to a playground while Naomi was off visiting her grandparents in Pittsburgh for one of her vacations. 

We also went out to breakfast Sunday morning, something that is very hard to do with Naomi.  She hates dining establishments.  Boring, as she does not eat b y mouth, and loud, which she does not like.  This can result in Naomi choosing to be louder than all of the other patrons in the restaurant combined.  
Our first swim of the season.

Naomi on her belly!

Lydia modeling various hats. And a bowl.

Lydia snuggled up with Naomi for shows so I was inspired to try to get a good picture of all three of them.  The results are as follows:

Many stop hands.  Lydia is eating a stolen pop tart.  

We're done here.  
My lovely Naomi.

Lydia told me not to take her picture.  Okay.  

Trying to get Charlie to nap in his own bed.  

Lydia does gymnastics.  It's funny.


Naomi splashing in the pool.  

Lydia imitating Naomi's pool style. 

Not napping.  

The ducks needed a bath.  

Naomi still loves her swing.  

So happy.  

At the playground at the park.  Hannah and I took all three.  It went well.  We followed this with a swim.  

Naomi and her new look-a-like American girl doll Daddy brought her back from his trip to Chicago.  Lydia requested a
"Barlie Man" doll, so that is what she got.

Well, That's it for now.