Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, and all of that

We're off in just a few hours to Colorado, otherwise known as Antarctica--this week, at least. Two feet or more of snow with freezing temps for the next several days means Eden's first Christmas will be a white one. And we couldn't be happier.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and may Santa bring you all your heart's desires. Unless it's a pony, in which case you had better have been very, very, unbelievably good this year. For myself, I just hope I've earned a pair of good socks, although I'll settle for a Wii.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

...and another parental milestone is reached: the first major screwup

We knew it was coming, that time when we would finally pause, look on the last 10 months, and have the realization dawn on us:

We seriously messed that one up.

A relatively consistent undercurrent has been running through these posts from day one--our little girl isn't a big fan of sleepytime. We tried to ignore it, we tried to pretend it would fix itself, but we can no longer escape the fact that Eden doesn't sleep well. She doesn't sleep well with us and she definitely doesn't sleep well without us. It's a problem that's been getting slowly worse every month. But, much like mildew in the shower, we were able to ignore it because it didn't seem all that bad at the time. It could always be fixed later, when it got really ugly.

Well, guess what: it's really ugly (Eden's sleep habits, not the shower mildew).

It's all come to something of a head this week; Eden won't fall asleep when we use any of the old tricks, she won't stay asleep once she finally does nod off, and she's made everybody in the house (including herself) absolutely miserable. When Baby ain't sleepin', ain't nobody sleepin'. It took several consecutive days of fighting Eden's sleep demons--and mainly losing--for us to realize that something needs to be done, because what we've been doing obviously isn't cutting it anymore.

In our defense, we didn't really know any better. I mean, seriously, who knew you had to teach a kid how to sleep? Well, just about every baby manual ever written, for one, although that doesn't do us much good since we gave up literacy a couple minutes after college graduation. And probably our parents, for another, who raised their own kids (us) and figured this stuff out eons ago. And, okay, maybe our friends with kids, who have fresh memories of how these things go.

Alright, you've made your point: we screwed up.

So once we get back from Christmas in Colorado, it's time to start from square one with a new sleep regimen. I can't imagine we'll get much sleep during the initial stages--but then, that's not
much different from what we get now. Just with more, you know, temper tantrums.

p.s.--I tried to find some pictures of a sleeping Eden to go with the topic, but since she doesn't sleep, there really aren't any. As rare as sleep is around here, you'd think we'd snap all kinds of sleeping pics and, I don't know, leave them around the house to give Eden ideas or hoard them like gold or stare at them on especially bad days to remind us what sleep actually looks like, but there you are. Instead, I thought I'd put up some shots to trick you into believing she's actually a little angel.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Growing up with the fast-forward button pressed

So Sarah and Eden went to Phoenix for a week to visit the family Robertson and when they came back I had a different daughter. Oh, she looked similar to the old Eden, except maybe with a little more hair and an extra inch of height and ounce of weight, but this girl was doing things I had never seen before. All of a sudden, Eden was not just crawling, but crawling well. She wasn't happy to piddle about in the general area we put her in--she had learned that she could go from room to room, which makes keeping track of her immeasurably more difficult to keep up with. This seems like a simple enough development step, but for Eden it's nothing short of remarkable; until now she never showed any sign that she realized there was more than the few square feet immediately surrounding her. Now she's remembering the veggie puff she dropped in the dining room, or Ne-Hi's water bowl in the kitchen that she knows she's not supposed to play with, and she's crawling to get them--from the living room or the bedroom or the bathroom, at any time of the day. Her world just exploded in size, and she's remembering where it all is.

She's not content with crawling, though; she's now pulling up on couches and chairs to stand on her feet (whose purpose up until now was to provide tickle buttons for Sarah and I to make Eden laugh, or maybe for Eden to gnaw on in a pinch). She's like a mountain climber tossed into the Sangre de Cristos--she can't resist seeing something taller than her and not immediately climb it.

And she's talking now, too. Oh, she's not exactly quoting Shakespeare, yet--her speeches are mainly variations on the na-na-na da-da-da ma-ma-ma theme--but she's trying. I know she's trying, because her vocalizations are directed at things (her momma, mainly). When she's tired or hungry or whiney, it's ma-ma-ma; when she's playing or excited it's ba-ba-ba or na-na-na. She said da-da-da all through the Phoenix trip, but she apparently decided that was so last week, because she hasn't said it once since she got back (or maybe she just doesn't like me).

And there's a myriad of other little changes which may not get specifically noticed but which collectively add up to a comletely different Eden. All within the last week or two, most of which I didn't get to see. And while that may be part of why she seems so different, the fact remains that she's doing things now that wasn't doing two Mondays ago. If Eden's life were TiVo, I'd think someone accidentally sat on the remote and fast-forwarded her infancy a little bit. A lot, actually; in a matter days she's gone from being our beautiful little baby to being our beautiful little handful.

She's still not sleeping, though (I write as Eden wakes up from yet another 15 minute nap). At least some things stay the same--much as we might want not want them to.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Every kid loves leaves. And Nans.

So I've been suffering through a bit of writer's block the last few weeks. Not that there hasn't been anything to write about--believe me, epic sagas, operatic melodramas, and slapstick farces have occured since I wrote last (the slapstick was mainly me, and mainly accidental). I've just had a hard time taking those events and putting them down in anything vaguely resembling a coherent thought.

Or maybe I've just been really, really lazy. You decide. Mom, don't answer that one.

Anyway, a couple of days after Thanksgiving Sarah, Janet, and I were raking our front lawn for the first time this autumn when it hit us: why not stick our 9 month old child, who is barely mobile and has a very hard time distinguishing between pureed apricots and toxic sludge, in this 3 foot tall pile of leaves and dirt and goodness knows what else and take lots of pictures? Sure, she could eat a passing cockroach as the pile slowly engulfs her, but it would be so cute!

These are the things that cause kids to hate their parents later in life.

Fortunately Eden survived and we were able to post the results. No cockroaches, no asphyxiation from an overlarge oak-leaf pile, just one cute kid and a happy Nan. She did manage to chomp down at least part of a leaf at some point (Eden, not her Nan). We know because we saw it again when it came back up, along with a conglomerate of breastmilk and mixed veggies. But hey, who hasn't eaten a leaf at some point in their lives?

Oh (and here's the writer's block kicking in again--two weeks of child development summed up in a couple short sentences), Eden has also started to crawl, eat cheerios, and throw temper tantrums. That last one is my personal favorite. Still no teeth, first words, or skinny legs, although by Christmas I expect to have taught her to recite A Christmas Carol while playing Greensleeves on her children's piano. And if she won't perform it for you when you ask, well, I guess it means she just doesn't like you. That, or once again her father got lazy and skipped her training, counting on her spectacular tantrums to make new friends.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tennessee, Thanksgiving, and the whole shebang

Eden, Nan and I got to go to Tennessee this past weekend to meet Eden's Me-Maw. We have been wanting to get out there for a long time, but were unable because of her ITP. Eden lit up when she saw Me-Maw, it was pretty cool to see.Me-Maw lit up, too: "I didn't know what grand meant until I met Eden," she said after meeting Eden for the 1st time.She also got to meet her cousins- Jenny and Jasmine... As well as her aunt Pamela and Uncle Tom. Eden also found a new toy- Me-Maw's walker. It had a little seat on it and really cool wheels. I am thinking about purchasing one for her for Christmas. It kept her entertained for hours (or maybe minutes, but that's a lot right now). She would crawl across the room to get it (oh yeah, I guess we're behind on posts- she's crawling, more on that in another post). We also got to stop in Nashville on the way there and on the way back to give Eden a break. She loved playing with Lola, the granddaughter of an old family friend; I'm just not sure that Lola enjoyed having her hair pulled as much as Eden enjoyed pulling it. Mike and I have discovered that our child is a little bit of a bully. She has started shaking and making the face that you see in the above picture when she doesn't get her way--kind of scary if you ask me. Not real promising for the future. I guess that's about it for our trip. It felt more exhausting than that (maybe it was the 12 hours in the car each way?). Here's one more picture of bath time at Me-Maw's. She loves her rainbow fish book, maybe that's a good sign?? Oh yeah and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

She's so sick, she likes to party 'til the break of dawn

There are several firsts every parent looks forward to with their new child: the kid's first smile, the first time they roll over, the first time they flunk their SAT exam (wait, that's much later). The next time, though, someone says they can't wait until their kid's first cold, punch them in the face for me.

Eden's been a sad, sad little girl for three or four days now, and while she's finally on the upswing I can't say I wouldn't rather have just taken a swift sharp kick in the groin than suffer through this, Eden's first sickness. Her first real sickness, at any rate; that ITP stuff it didn't cause multiple gallons of snot to continuously drip out of her nose, therefore it doesn't really count. She had all of a cold's usual funbag--stuffy and runny nose, fever, diarrhea, and a cough that sounded like her lungs were slowly crumbling in on themselves. A normal person can just blow their nose and be done with it, at least until the mucus cisterns fill up again, but Eden had to face the Dreaded Snotsucking Bulb Of Eternal Suffering, otherwise known as. . . um. . . I'm not really sure what they're actually called, but every parent knows the thing I'm talking about. If you don't know, just search your worst nightmares. Really hard. Way back in the back of 'em. It's still lurking there. It made Eden's life miserable and I know it made yours miserable, too.

Most parents, I'm sure, just dose their sick one with NyQuil and enjoy many blissful hours of relaxation while their kid sleeps it off. We were lucky enough to get a child upon whom cold medicine has the opposite effect. We dosed her right before her bedtime Monday night; 30 minutes later she woke up and stayed up until 6:00 the next morning (ah, now the title makes sense. Okay, so maybe not). Sarah and I couldn't hang--we had to platoon it, taking 2 hour shifts during the night as Eden's pupils dilated and she twitched and quivered and generally went nuts all night long.

Needless to say, the NyQuil went in the trash the next morning.

Fortunately, she's finally on the uptick, laughing and bullying and being something close to her normal self again. Unfortunately, the cold apparently only left Eden because it found larger game; Sarah is starting to feel the chills and tingles of an impending nastiness. Hopefully I won't have to stick a snot sucker up her nose, too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This little frog is scary.

Scary how cute she is, that is.

I can't believe I just said something that cheesy.

Anywho, Tuesday was Eden's first Halloween, and boy did she love it. Or maybe not; it was kinda hard to tell one emotion from another once she was on the sugar high from her 15th York peppermint pattie. I kid, I kid! They were actually Reeses peanut butter cups. We got her all bundled up in her frogsuit (sorry, frog costume--she's wasn't a Navy Seal for Halloween. Although that would've been awesome), loaded her into the stroller, went out the front door to grab some mad sugar loot say hi to friends and family, and realized that we actually live on Elm Street, as in Nightmare On.

It was really, really, really dark. With big, ugly trees overhanging everything. And three dozen cats caterwauling in the background. (Thanks, Randy, for playing host to a fifth litter of feral cats, BTW. The street as a whole thanks you profusely.) No wonder we always have stacks of candy lying around after Halloween.

And, of course, no one was home anyway. But at least we gave it a shot, and it gave us the opportunity to stick Eden in an outfit she'll only wear once for a couple hours and take lots of pictures (hey, that sounds like another article of clothing I'll get to buy her in a quater-century or so). At least she was able to finish it off with the traditional Halloween PJ's, which she's been wearing in anticipation of the event since August.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Go Broncos!

Okay, so they lost. Eden watched the game with Daddy though and showed her support with her one-of-a-kind tshirt, courtesy of Auntie, (for more wonderfully hand crafted items visit, custom items also available). Oh, and by the way, yes, we do know it's too small- we're working on the crawling thing and hoping she'll work some of that weight off, until then... Oh well.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Eden's no-fun day #4, in pictures

Here's a quick photo montage of all the action last Tuesday. And I mean quick; I didn't even take the time to edit out my fat pics or the shots of us looking about as bad as we feel--I just threw 'em all in the slideshow, for better or worse. And no, we didn't do massive amounts of sleeping pills just before the hospital. We actually were as tired as we looked, mainly because someone-who-will-not-be-named-but-whose-initials-are-Eden-Lair didn't sleep much the night before, which meant we didn't either. I'd say it was because she was all a-twitter about her big day the next day but I'd be lying, because it happens more than it doesn't these days. But that's material for another post (most likely at 4:30 in the morning).

Monday, October 23, 2006

And we interrupt this infanthood again...

I haven't posted in almost three weeks now. And no, I'm not bragging, just making an observation. I've had several things I wanted to write about flit through my head, but I must have two windows in my brain open--one for ideas to flutter in, and one for ideas to flutter back out--because I've already forgotten them all. And yes, I attribute that travesty of a metaphor to my recent lack of writing practice.

One thing that probably won't be flittering away (that's the last time I'll use the image, I swear) any time soon is today's blood test result. Today was the first day Eden has been back to the blood clinic in a month; assuming her test went well, she was scheduled for a long-delayed VCUG to check on the enlarged ureter the doctors discovered back when her general health first spiraled down the drain. And don't ask me what any of that means, although VCUG would be a great name for a death metal band, if any of you are thinking of starting one. And Ureter would, I don't know, make a good name for a pitcher for the Royals. Or something.

Well, guess what: Eden's VCUG was postponed (again). And guess why: that's right, her platelet count is down (again). And guess how low:


How she went for 8 weeks strong--her previous test was last month, 8 weeks after her most recent transfusion--with no problems, only to drop precipitously in half that time, I have no idea. Or rather, the hemotologist had the idea that I was looking for, which would be that Eden might've had a virus that knocked her system off track. And, in fact, she did have a virus: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (that was one of my missing posts! I knew I'd remember eventually), which sounds like she'd been hanging out at the wrong leper colonies but really just means she had some cold sores on her lip and a diper rash. Who knows, maybe she just caught one-third of the virus.

Anyway, the hemotologist said that HFMD, otherwise known as coxsackievirus A16 (another good death metal band name), usually isn't serious symptom-wise but can play havoc with an immune system; almost all kids who catch it have their platelets knocked about while trying to recover. So I guess the good news is that this may not be ITP related as much as a case of bad luck and timing. The bad news is that Eden has to go in for another batch of IVIg tomorrow; this will make Round 3 (or is it 4? I can't remember anything anymore) with the transfusions.

So for those of you who usually skip to the end of these posts to see the pics, Eden is sick again, it may just be one of those things that happen, and she's getting pumped full of antibodies one more time tomorrow. And hopefully, hopefully, that will finally be completely and totally it.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, October 02, 2006

When the cat's away...

...the mice sit around all weekend in front of the TV, extremely bored and completely lacking in ambition, self-discipline, or personal hygene. Or mouse, I should say, since both Sarah and Eden flew out in Colorado since Friday--much like the pic above, but in a plane instead of a swing--leaving me here all by my lonesome. Their trip came about so suddenly (web-fare email alert on Wednesday! Purchase ticket on Thursday! Fly out on Friday!) that I didn't have time to make any plans for myself, like climbing Mt. Everest or seeing how many hot dogs I can eat in 5 minutes. So instead I planted myself on the couch and got lost in hours upon hours of football, sitcoms, and other mind-numbing network programming. My brain actually feels lighter after this last weekend.

Anyway, Sarah and Eden have been making the rounds back west, seeing family and friends and new nieces and cousins and what-not. It sounds like it's been a fun yet exhausting trip for them, and they're just about ready to come back tomorrow; Sarah will describe all the gory details when they get back, including a certain unpleasant surprise that goes by the name of a small bird. Those of you who were breastfeeders and had it know what I'm talking about. For those that have no idea, you really, really don't want to know, trust me.

...we now return Eden to her regularly-scheduled infanthood

I just realized that I forgot to post the results of last week's clinic visit, which proves that good news does indeed travel slowly (at least from my brain to the keyboard). That's right, after four and a half months, Eden's ITP saga might actually be coming to a close. We met with the hemotologist last Monday, who said that even though he is not normally an optimistic person (glad he didn't tell us that at the beginning of all of this), since Eden has been relatively stable for seven weeks now, he's willing to cut back the clinic workups to once a month. And she's okay to fly. And we can finally get the long-overdue kidney test out of the way. And she can play soccer again (wait, that's still a few years away).

We decided to test if the doctor was a quack or not by immediately putting Eden in an airplane and sending her halfway across the country (more on that later). We're happy to say he passed.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Meet Lily--the newest member of our garden-themed family

For those of you that don't know, my sister has been pregnant for something like 10 months now, although reliable sources have informed me that to her it's felt something like 50 years. I should say had been pregnant, because last night she had Lily Ann Swackhamer after labor roughly the same length as the pregnancy. Lily turned out to be the epitome of her namesake--tall and skinny, with a crown of thick blonde. Think Calla Lily (this one, not this one) without the thick orange stamen. For you stats hounds, Lily weighed in at 6 lbs, 3 oz and was 20" long. She definitely takes after her mom (tall and skinny with blond hair, not 6 lbs and less than 2 feet tall). We would be flashing her picture to everyone right now, but we don't have any shots of the new Lairpup (shoot, Swackhamer pup, sorry Greg) because somebody hasn't gotten around to sending us any photos of her. As if they're busy, the lazy bums.

Eden is pumped--now she has someone to bully besides her parents. When we told her of her new cousin, she said, "Bleee--weeeee-hee-ah!" Which we take to mean, "indeed, I am very enthusiastic for the opportunity to socially interact with a family member much the same age as I." Or something.

Congrats, Christy and Greg--we couldn't be happier for you guys and we send all our love. And no, this doesn't mean you can now claim the clothes Eden has outgrown. Okay, maybe some of them.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is it really that bad to drug your child to sleep, really? I'm just asking.

So it's 4 in the morning and here I am, fulfilling a life-long dream of late-night blogging. Just kidding--I'm very, very unfortunately not the only person in the family awake (if I can be called that) at this moment. I'll give you two guesses who the other one is, although you'd be right either way; Sarah may be in bed right now, but I doubt her eyelids are closed. I expect her out any moment, with her mother-like tendencies and all.

Yes, Eden has recently (as in last night and tonight) decided that no morning can be called such unless you can watch the sunrise. And have several hours to prepare for it. Even if you're only four hours into what promised to be a memorable and enjoyable night of solid sleep. And have a full plate of work coming up the next day (not that that particular one applies to anybody in this house, but I'm just saying).

So I've got Eden planted in front of the TV, watching Barney vs. Teletubbies IV--Death Match or whatever late night children's cartoons they play on Noggin at this hour. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it, either, because Vague Flutterings Of Parental Guilt don't officially start until 6 am at the earliest (9 am on Saturdays).

And now I hear Sarah stirring, which means she's about to come out and play her momma card, saying that she can get Eden back to sleep a lot easier than I can (which is true), that she's awake and won't be able to fall back asleep anyway (possibly true), and that I have to work tomorrow (eh) and should really get some sleep (yes!). And I, of course, will play my daddy card and accept.

So, to sum up, this is what Eden should look like right now:

And this is what she actually looks like:

Okay, it's more like this:

Good night--for another two hours, at least. Chances are, I'll see you here tomorrow at the same time. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Who loves her Grandma? Eden does.

Grandma Lair came in for a few days of G-ma lovin' for Eden. We felt bad--she was the home stretch on our month of non-stop family action and we were wiped. So it was a low-key visit, which was fine with Grandma because, as she informed us, she wasn't here to see us anyway--she just came for the munchkin. Okay, so she didn't quite phrase it like that. Or rather, she said it exactly like that, but she said it with love. You see, my mom is a bit sarcastic, and...ah, forget it. Any of you that know my mom know exactly how she said it; any of you who haven't met my mom, you can just write our family off as a little odd. Cheers, mom.

I'm expecting a phone call about this post any minute now.

Anyway, my mom was out here, and we had a great (if low energy) visit. She remarked on how much Eden has changed since her last visit in April, which was good news for us--we'd be a little worried if she hadn't. (See how I do the sarcasm too? I'm tellin' ya, it runs in the family.) My mom also got to experience a Hemotology clinic visit with us--and she got a good one, one where the phlebotomist missed the vein and after several tries had to do a finger-stick-n-squeeze. Eden was, rather understandably, at her screamingest by the end of it. My mom was practically in tears. And Sarah and I where looking at her with a What? look on our face, until we realized that 7 month old babies don't normally get stuck with needles on a weekly basis. It's a little too easy for us to lose perspective on that kind of thing, now that's become routine; we need a fresh set of eyes to remind us that it really, really sucks.

So even though her visit was a bit lethargic on our part, we had a smashing time. And she pulled off a trick that we hadn't seen around here in a long time: she put Eden to sleep on her shoulder. Eden doesn't do that for, like, anyone anymore. And so we have another tidbit to add to the Book of Grandma Lore and Mythology.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Florida (a little taste anyways)

We really did have a wonderful time in Florida and are sad that we don't have more pictures to post, but here's a taste of our time anyways.

I would explain to you how Eden felt about the beach, but I feel like Eden says it all with these pictures...

unfortunately the water was a little nasty...

But we had a beautiful pool to keep us busy...

And a beautiful house to stay at...

Not mentioned, or pictures though was the best part of the trip--getting to meet all sorts of people, watching Zack and Ashley get married, and hanging out with Nan and Aunty. It was a beautiful trip, Zack and Ashley--if you all want to have a 1 year anniversary party or something we'll be there for sure!