Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a week in the life: a series in seven parts


micah woke up twice in the night, both times having to go to the bathroom with diarrhea. or maybe more accurately softer-than-usual and much more frequent stools. not sure what that's about, but it's wearing me out. we're in the process of getting him to sleep through the night in his own bed (previously he slept with me and julie slept elsewhere, which worked well in the getting plenty of sleep department, and not so much in the marta-and-julie-are-*married*-and-not-just-ships-passing-in-the-night department). it's going ... okay. the rule is he can't get in our bed until the sun comes up, and most nights he only wakes once or twice, and usually just needs the covers put over him and a pat. which i can pretty much do in my sleep. but for the past several nights it's been more like three or four times a night, and involves trips to the bathroom, and i often have a hard time falling back asleep. so, it's feeling a bit like having a newborn again, except that i was so much better able to cope when it was a newborn waking me every few hours. i was the poster mama for "this isn't so bad" and "this too shall pass." now i'm just a grump.

the other thing micah is doing is waking up early. really really early. this morning he was up at 5:00. i tried to get him back to sleep, bringing him to my bed even though the sun was decidedly not up (julie, however, was, on her way to an ungodly early spinning class at the y). but no go. just before six, trixie woke up (an hour earlier than usual, but who could blame her, what with all the racket micah was making, and my grumpy yelling and stomping around). i put them in front of a dvd and slept on the couch for another 45 minutes or so, which made me relatively human and able to cope for the day.

relatively. it was a bad morning. i managed to get trixie up and out the door by 7:50, when our neighbor leif took her and his two kids to school. leif is also on the board of the charter school where all our kids go, and he had a capital campaign meeting at 8:00, so needed her early. i was supposed to be at that meeting too, but have decided there is no way in hell i have time to run a capital campaign on top of everything else i'm doing, and i emailed the school's ceo to that effect. "sorry, won't be there today, maybe ever. love, marta." but then micah and i took to fighting, which was mostly me being pig-headed and cranky, plus a little of micah being ... micah. he threw his breakfast on the floor for no apparent reason. hit me and threw a toy when i put him in time out on the green chair. so it was up to his room for a more serious time-out, for both of us. then we fought about eating the breakfast he had thrown on the floor (he did finally eat most of it) and about cleaning up the markers he had dumped the day before. he tried to convince me that he is "too small. i'm just a little boy! i can't clean up the markers!" i tried to convince him that i would call kate and tell her that micah couldn't come down this morning and play with ada as planned if he didn't clean up. i'm not sure what i was going to do if that didn't work, because i was *desperate* to take him to kate's, but it did work, and i dropped him off for a couple of hours.

i came home, poured my first cup of coffee of the day, cleaned up the disaster that was the house, did the breakfast dishes, vacuumed, took the rotting, smelly compost around to the garden, and finally headed to the park for a run. i almost convinced myself that i had too much to do and should skip the run, but i knew that would be a mistake, and the truth of the matter was that kate was watching micah so i could run. so i ran -- over a narrow rocky path through the woods, along the ridge that follows the creek, and then back again on "forbidden drive," a wide gravel path frequented by bikers and runners. it's a beautiful park just blocks from my house, and one of my favorite running spots. my run was short, maybe two miles, but it routed out my crankiness.

kate and i decided to go to smith memorial playhouse and playground with the kids, where everyone had a good time. until they didn't. ada is two years old and is one of the kids i took care of last year, about 20 hours a week. she and micah are very much like siblings. so there was a bit of pushing, hitting, and throwing, a time-out, a threat to leave immediately if micah didn't help clean up, a relatively uneventful lunch, then more hitting and throwing on the way to the car. fun fun. i managed to keep micah awake on the drive home (he's giving up naps, and often is up until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. if he sleeps in the day, so we're way in favor of no nap, even if it means a little crankiness in the afternoon), but he fell promptly asleep in the time out awaiting him at home, so i just let it go. i set the timer for 45 minutes, put some beans in the pressure cooker for supper, made tuna salad for lunch, and sat down with raising the roof, a book about church growth, which i have been assigned by my pastor to read.

at 2:15, despite my deep deep desire to let him sleep, i woke micah, and he was pretty cheerful about it. he had a nursie on the couch, while i read about diarrhea in the american academy of pediatrics baby-to-five-year-old book (my reading was fruitless; i guess i'll have to call the pedi tomorrow ... i'm wondering about lactose intolerance?) at 3:00 we drove to the school to pick up trixie and leif's kids, dropped them off at their mom's work, and headed home. i cut a piece of bread (whole wheat which i baked yesterday) for a snack for trix and sent her off to her piano lesson a few blocks away. julie called to say she would pick trix up so they could do some shopping (my birthday is thursday; they are going on a backpacking trip in a week and a half); as they would be home on the late side, i suggested they just get something to eat and micah and i would scrounge, leave the beans for another night.

i did some church work (i'm on a task force charged with proposing a whole new organizational structure for the church, a vision of which we just proposed to the congregation; i think follow-through is really key at this point, so i'm trying to make lists of everything we need to do in the coming months ...) while micah played (by himself, a once-in-a-blue-moon event!), and then we headed to the playground at the end of the block, where we were joined by kate and ada, after kate's jog. at 5:00 we headed home, made dinner (a salad and red wine for me, avocado for micah, annie's organic whole wheat mac and cheese for both of us), then a bath and a slathering of goop for micah. once again, he actually played! by himself! okay, what he really did is take every single thing out of the play room shelves and spread them all over the floor, but i got half an hour or so of computer time (spent mostly on the first half of this post). (normally i would have put him in front of a video for half an hour, but i had taken t.v. away for the rest of the day during one of the hitting/shoving/throwing episodes).

at about 7:15 trixie and julie arrived home with hiking boots and other fun stuff in tow; trixie my nerdy 4th grader immediately fell on her homework, and julie and micah went off to create some order out of the mess micah had made earlier. they are now reading stories as i type.

the rest of the evening may involve a few moments of catching up for me and julie, although more likely she will fall asleep on the couch while i'm putting trixie to bed. i doubt trix and i will get to the hobbit tonight, though, what with the late start on homework, so maybe julie will manage to stay awake. before that, alas, a messy kitchen awaits, and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put in a load of laundry. it will definitely be an early night -- i'm pretty wiped.

edited to add: i forgot the call i got today (i'm on the lll helpline for two weeks) from a grandmom, whose daughter gave birth last week to a baby with a billirubin level of 13. her docs want her to stop breastfeeding. 13! it's nothing short of malpractice, imho.

9:32 and i'm off to bed.


At September 20, 2006 8:59 AM, Anonymous mamacate said...

Thanks. I love reading your day in the life, partly because I miss you and it's nice to see what life is like, but also because it reminds me a lot of my life (well, when I was the home-mom). And because it makes me feel like my challenges are more like other people's challenges. There have been a lot of times lately when I've felt like (and been made to feel like) my family situation is just horribly messed up and dysfunctional, and admittedly my early-waking, cranky, hitting kid is two years older than yours, but still, it makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone.

And good for you for taking that run. Maybe your inspiration will get me to the gym today...

At September 20, 2006 11:26 AM, Anonymous Meira said...

What a day!

My twins had elevated bilirubin (12) in the hospital and one of the peds mentioned switching to formula. I asked "At what level would you actively treat it?" and he said "20" and I thought: um, we got a little ways to go here, guy . . .
The kid was a little orange for a couple weeks, but ti worked itself out fine.

At September 21, 2006 7:18 PM, Blogger cloudscome said...

I put my boy in the sun when he was orange, no thought of switching to formula...

Sorry you are having those tough days/nights. I have them too.

At September 22, 2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous Margaret said...

Glad to see you back on your blog! Yes, I'm another one who kept the bookmark and checked back every now and then during the summer. I enjoy your snapshots of daily life a lot. I also enjoy your Big Thoughts and am a wee bit disappointed to hear that it took you too far out of balance to write those things here. But overall I'm glad to read your writing, whatever the subject!

My 'favorite' bilirubin story happened when I was doing a hospital visit as an volunteer breastfeeding counselor. The baby's bili was a full point below the hospital's threshold for starting treatment, but they were starting treatment anyway (ie feeding formula despite mom being willing to breastfeed around the clock). When I asked why, the nurse said, well, we wouldn't want that number to go ANY higher! I pointed out that that essentially meant she was lowering the treatment threshold, and wasn't that why there was a protocol in place to begin with? She clearly did not have a clue what I was talking about. :::::SIGH:::::

At September 26, 2006 10:20 PM, Blogger Lilian said...

OH, I can't believe it was your birthday on Thursday! Happy belated birthday!!

I have three long bilirrubin "horror stories," but I'll have to share them with you some other time... I have to try finish reading your other posts and finish my blog book tour for tomorrow :)


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