Tag Archive for Baby Diva

She’s a Poet…and She Knows It!

Today Diva the Kid announced that she was “making a poem” and out popped:

At night his daddy came.
A soft cloud
arisen by the mist.

Now, leaving aside the improper use of arisen I think that is pretty darn good for a 2.5 year old.

Especially since we haven’t been consciously teaching her poetry. She’s been making up a lot of silly songs but as far as I know this is her first self-designated “poem.” Captain Dad has been explaining rhyming words and she can fill in the end of rhyming couplets…but this poem doesn’t rhyme.

Actually, take a syllable off the first and last line and it is a haiku. Maybe it is Wabi Sabi influenced?

Now I just have to teach her to write sonnets.

Toddlerism: How to Mail Your Brother

My daughter and I made Valentine’s for her grandparents and godparents and then talked about sending them in the mail. I told her we’d go to the post office.

“…and then bring them home?” she asked.

No, sweetie, we leave mail at the post office and then the postman brings it to the right person’s house.

Fast forward several days to Valentine’s Day. I tell her it is Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love, etc. We talk about Daddy being her Valentine and I asked if her little brother would also be her Valentine.

In a comically confused and concerned voice, she whispered:

“Leave him at post office?”

Baby Signing Cuteness

Little Diva walks over to Junior and grabs his hand, gently squeezing:

“Squeeze hand for milk. When you want milk, squeeze hand.”

She knows how to help a brother out.

It is a sign that would have come in handy today. I think Junior is about to bust out with his first tooth. From 2:30 pm until about 6:30 pm he nursed almost continually, for an hour without break at one point. If he fell asleep and delatched, he started screaming. This is a baby who never cries and it frightened me a little. Since nursing settled him down, though, I’m guessing it is just a tooth. He’s been chewing on his hand like crazy for the last two weeks.

It has been an AP kind of day. Diva has been wanting to spend more time cuddling on the big bed since brother gets to have full access in his little sidecar co-sleeper–which I must agree only seems fair. But our bed was one of those really high, giant, four poster monsters that seemed like a good idea in the BC (Before Children) Era.

DH was about to dismantle the bed and then decided to remove the box spring to lower things and add in a piece of plywood for support when he had the time. Well, the bed beat him to the punch. We were getting the kids in for nighttime and I was on the bed with Junior. I asked DH for a hug. He obliged. And one of the slats cracked. So now the big wood frame is dismantled, the box springs are back, and the mattress (supported by box springs) is on the floor.

A much safer and happier arrangement for all involved.

Toddlerism: Princess Obvious

Toddler: (climbing off her toddler bed; whump; falls on floor; cries a little)

Me: Are you okay, sweetie? What did you hit?

Toddler: The floor!

Ba-dum-cha!

In other baby news, Junior started his swim “lessons.” They offer free lessons from two to six months’ so he goes in the pool when his sister has her lesson. It is so funny to watch them together. Who would have thought that the same parents and the same parenting could produce two such different children?

Junior just chills. Someone is holding me and it is not mommy? Oh, well…she seems nice. She’s lifting me up? Nice view. Now I’m under water? No problem.

He’s now three months’ and 18 POUNDS. Not sure how tall, but really tall. I’ll find out in a couple of weeks. Pictures coming soon.

Toddlerism: Sassy Little Thing

Busy, busy, busy! But it actually is not Junior’s fault. Who knew a baby could be this easy? My first is the type who usually ends up being an only child–now there’s a theory…only children aren’t more, ummm, spirited and demanding because they are only children, but because their parents decided one was enough.

Anyway, tons of deadlines but I haven’t posted in a while so I’ll let my daughter post for me.

afuiadf;hoa awf;oh af ;oj af

Just kidding.

Here are some of her latest “Toddlerisms”:

No Loki [our giant black and white cat]! No look out MY window! [What’s next? Stop breathing my air?]

Upon being told she’s “one smart cookie”: No…TWO smart cookies.

That’s a funny way to say that!

EeeMOW! EeeMOW! Clipper [her nickname for our Russian Blue] does say that alot. [Calypso must be slightly dyslexic]

Mama: Brother is cute.
Toddler: NOOO!
Mama: Okay, brother is cute and you are cuter!
Toddler: NOOO! Not cuter!
Mama: You are the cutest?
Toddler: NO! Brother cute and [Diva] cute. How ’bout that?

[She’s a tough bargainer that kiddo.]

Houston, We Have Achieved Birth Weight

This morning we had Diva the Toddler’s two year well-baby (a month late) and brought along her sidekick, Junior the Jotunn (aka Bruiser). After waiting for an hour or so to see the doctor, we found out that Diva is indeed EXTREMELY TALL (35.5 inches, 90th percentile) and SKINNY (36 lbs, 50th percentile) and generally a healthy little toddler.

The doctor asked how many words she could say. The child can identify at least five different species of duck (Hooded Merganser, Teal, Buffalo Head, Mallard, and Red Breasted Merganser) and speaks in complete sentences. Seriously, I couldn’t even count the number of words she knows.

For the first time, she had absolutely no problem at the doctor’s office, a step up from at least staying quiet long enough at the cardiologist. No more doctor phobia! We let her bring her duck and her pillow and her “bops.” The doctor asked if we were planning on ditching the paci soon. We only give it to her when she is sleeping or at the doctor’s…and I’m not ready to take it away at night yet. I am so happy she sleeps 11 hours straight, and now is not the time for me to have a few sleepless nights. So the paci at night stays for the meantime. Diva barely flinched during her shots, and so we gave her ice cream at home (and didn’t even have to bribe her in advance).

Since we were already there, we asked if they could weigh Junior so he would not have to come back in two days and wait another hour just for a weigh-in. I was fairly confident he had gained weight and would be at least close to his birth weight. Earlier that morning I got on the scale and weighed a freakin’ ton 25 pounds less than my full pregnancy weight. Then, I picked up Junior and weighed still way too much ten and a half pounds more. At the office, Junior clocked in at 10 lbs 6 oz, two ounces over his birth weight at only eight days old!

Not surprising since he’s been breastfeeding almost every waking moment. And, if his sister’s growth is any indication, I make some fatty breastmilk.

Diva the Cute

Diva the Kid is getting cuter everyday.

She likes to go out into her cottage (Little Tikes) and prepare “tea, with honey and milk” for all visitors. She has to “clean” the dishes afterward, though she is a tad miffed about her sink’s lack of actual plumbing. Then we water our mint plant.

Her current favorite book is the “bird book” (a field guide from which Daddy reads every night). She can identify and name cardinals, blue jays, tanagers, various species of ducks (her favorite is the hooded merganser, followed by the Buffalo Head), turkeys, vultures, owls (she prefers the owls “with ears,” but also knows the “no ear owls” like the barn owl and snowy owl), flamingos and assorted others. She knows “Daddy Cardinals are RED, Mommy Cardinals are BROWN…but how ’bout the BABY Cardinals.” How about them, honey? “Baby Cardinals also brown.”

She chats up a storm and is tall and thin like a beanpole. Typical conversations when we are out go like this:

Stranger: “She’s adorable. How old is she? Three?”

Me or Daddy: “Just turned two.”

Stranger: “Does she talk?”

Baby then blurts out some amusing thought in a full sentence, such as “Mommy has Daddy’s wallet and money outside.”

But she’s still working on some of the grammatical nuances. She regularly exclaims in the affirmative, “Yes it do!” regardless of person, gender, or number, which we find quite sweet, and “NOT” when she means “no,” which we find less so.

She’s also a total cheese snob, which we could have predicted from her first taste of cheese.

Hey, Come Out And Play!

Here’s a post I never thought I would be writing–I’ll be 39 weeks on Wednesday and baby boy still hasn’t shown.

Every time I pick up a bag without warning, my little girl thinks I am “going to work to bring baby brother out.” According to her, little steps are going to drop down and he is going to walk out.

Diva the kid is very eager to meet her little brother. She draws portraits of him, having recently mastered the art of drawing an oval and placing “two eyes, nose, mouth, and HAIR (scribbled most enthusiastically)” in more or less the correct spots.

Everything she associates with being a big girl has become tied in with brother’s arrival. According to her, she will sleep in her own bed and give him the crib, give him all her “bops” (pacifiers), and start using the potty. Somehow I think this transformation will take a bit longer, but who am I to disagree?

In the meantime, though, we are all waiting for the big boy to come out and play. At my 38 week appointment, the midwife said, “How big do you think this baby is?”

I answered, “Well…based on my complete lack of medical training and my single previous experience being pregnant, I think he’s bigger than she was. I think he’s already over 8 lbs.”

She gave me a somewhat indulgent look and responded, “At least!” in a way that implied he was most likely a bit over. Of course, none of this is reliable measurement, but I won’t be surprised if he’s over 9 lbs at this point.

We’re all ready to go now. Granny’s been staying for a week to watch the toddler, I’ve been clearing my work schedule, and Daddy’s been on alert–cell phone on at all times.

We’re all ready, except the guest of honor.

When First We Practice to Deceive

I know toddlers lie.

Probably because they are confused, embarrassed, scared, or just haven’t learned not to yet.

What I was not expecting is that a 24 month old child could actual practice the art of deception with a complex ruse.

My husband had planned to come home for lunch and mentioned his visit to our daughter. Then he got stuck at work. I broke the news to Daddy’s Girl and she took it fairly well, but casually told me that “Daddy come home for lunch and give baby cookie.”

Generally, she considers fruit dessert, but she had just had her birthday party and various relatives and friends were sneaking her treats.

Normally I would not give her a cookie at lunch but I did not want to disappoint her twice. Since Daddy had said she’d get a cookie, I decided to make good on his promise and give her one.

Later, my husband got home from work and starts playing with baby. Over the monitor, I hear her proclaim, “Mommy give you two cookies at lunch.”

Husband calls out, “Honey, did you give her two cookies?”

I respond, “No, I gave her one…and only because you promised her one.”

Husband replies, “No, I didn’t.”

Already she is playing Daddy and Mommy off each other in such a clever way. What else does she have up her sleeve?

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Life Line or Pipe Dream?

Parenting involves tough decisions, and here’s one:

Should we bank our son’s cord blood?

Our daughter has a congenital heart defect (Tetralogy of Fallot) and received an open heart surgery repair when she was three months’ old. She’s doing great, but will eventually need a valve. Some recent studies and trials show that it may be possible to grow a transplant valve from stem cells that would grow with the recipient–in fact, researchers have grown a heart valve from bone marrow cells.

At the end, I’ll explain why I hope you’ll consider donating cord blood if you are expecting a baby soon.

But this post is about our decision about whether or not to use a private bank to store our son’s cord blood.

Here’s where it gets complicated.

I was pulling my hair out weighing the options with little information, pouring through academic papers that were way out of my field. Finally, I found this really helpful article about whether or not to bank cord blood, that gave me some more information so I could make up my mind.

Will the technology work?
This, of course, is just speculation. Who knows what they will be using ten or twenty years from now. So, no real answers there. If your child has a disease that is currently treatable with cord blood, you can apply for Sibling Donor Programs that will cover the costs for you. Since this is still experimental for heart valves, our daughter would not qualify–but it is good to know about these programs other parents are able to use.

If they do build a transplant valve, will it be more likely that they will use her bone marrow cells or cells from cord blood?

Hard to say. In many children currently being treated with stem cells, their own cells contain the genetic markers for the disease and is therefore unusable. However, that is not an issue when growing a replacement valve. Therefore, our daughter’s bone marrow would provide an exact genetic match without the issues involved in treating children with other diseases. Also, a single cord blood unit often does not contain enough cells to treat the patient. If my daughter is ultimately treated with cord blood, there is a possibility the surgeons will need multiple units, anyway.

Are we more likely to find a match from her brother’s cord blood or from a public bank?

If we do use cord blood at some point for her, it seems likely we would have to turn to a public bank. Although the chances of finding tissue matches among family is higher than finding tissue matches in a group of strangers, the odds are only 25% that any one sibling is a tissue match. On the other hand, it appears that the numbers game changes the odds. If thousands of samples are available in public banks, the odds are much better that one of these will be a match than the blood banked from one sibling. And, as I mentioned above, many treatments require multiple units anyway.

When will she need it?

We’ve gotten different answers from different doctors. Some say in her early teens, while others believe she will be able to wait until her early 20s. This matters, because we’re not sure about the length of storage possible for cord blood. Some studies suggest it may last up to fifteen years or more…or it may not. So, even assuming we bank her brother’s blood and it is a match and the technology is there and it is enough to grow her a valve, the blood may no longer be usable when we need it.

So, what does this all mean?

To bank privately or not is a hard decision. I would spend any amount of money to give my daughter the best shot at a healthy life. Many patients with valve replacements live long, full lives. At the same time, it seems foolish to throw thousands of dollars at a pipe dream–money that could be spent giving her and her brother other opportunities.

Current transplant valve materials all have issues and all require replacement approximately every 15-20 years. Heart surgery is growing by leaps and bounds, however, and it is entirely possible that a valve grown from stem cells (or made out of another material, like the super-elastic, shape-memory metal alloy called “thin film nitinol”) may be a real option for my daughter.

So, that doesn’t let any of us off the hook!!! Please donate cord blood!

Public banks of cord blood will be the source of stem cells for many potentially life-saving treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell anemia, immune deficiency diseases, aplastic anemia, thalassemia and probably more in the future. If you give birth at a qualifying hospital, without any charge you can donate cord blood, which contains stem cells that may save a child’s life.