Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's A Fistula?!

Do you know what a fistula is?  The pediatric surgeon explained it to us in great deal yesterday, drawing out the Kurt Vonnegut asterisk and everything.  For those of you who have never read "Breakfast of Champions":

The doctor sketched out the butthole and went on to explain that Alex has an anal fistula, basically a tunnel of nastiness that needs to be scraped and closed so that Alex won't get another inflamed abscess.  Andy, clearly listening very closely, approached the surgeon after the drawing and tunnel explanation and stated, "I like tunnels."  Later, I had to explain that this was not a tunnel for a choo choo.  It was a tunnel for pus.  Chugga chugga!

The doctor also went on to draw a penis and proclaim that Alex had a botched circumcision, although we probably had noticed that already.  Nope.  Didn't notice a thing.  I always thought Alex had a fab penis.  Go figure.  But, anyway, while they put Alex under for the fistula surgery, they could take care of that pesky penis situation.  Two for one!  Butthole AND penis surgery!  WHAT A LUCKY BOY.

After the surgeon left the room, Chris reviewed all of the doctor's drawings and decided to ask him to come back and quickly sketch a pair of boobies, just to round out the dirty drawings and create a trifecta of sorts.

Anyway, Alex needs to have surgery.  They are going to put him under, which scares the daylights out of me.  The surgeon used the kind of logic that I hate- that Alex has a better chance of perishing due to a car accident or the swallowing of a household marble than he does due to general anesthesia.  Well, thanks doctor.  But what mother wouldn't worry about having their baby put under?  Just to be clear, I am also deathly afraid of car accidents and marbles.  So it was nice to be reminded of that.

If we wanted to, we could pass on the surgery now and just keep our fingers crossed that the fistula doesn't blow up into another super big, gross, oozy abscess.  But, according to the surgeon, it will.  So why not just do the surgery now?  Hey, we can make a whole morning out of it.  Breakfast for everyone but the baby, a quick trip to the hospital so they can gas him, and then maybe afterwards we can stop for pie and gauze.

We talked about the situation on the drive home, which was super awful due to a snow storm.  What should have taken an hour took us close to three.  Chris admitted to being so bored of sitting in the mostly unmoving car that he considered rear ending the vehicle in front of us just so we'd have something to do.  Hey, let's exchange insurance info!  You guys got any snacks?  Lovely weather we're having!  Want to see some drawings of my kid's butthole and penis?

We agreed that just scheduling the surgery is the most responsible course of action, and so today I called and made the appointment for March 21- Alex's nine month birthday and the first day of spring.  That's about three weeks out and the most comfortable time frame I'm willing to deal with.  In the mean time, I will continue to monitor the situation for anything more disgusting.  

Please keep Alex in your nightly prayers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Second Baby!

In the past couple weeks, Alex has sprouted two sharp little teeth, mastered the art of crawling, and started eating finger food.  I seem to recall throwing ticker tape parades for Andy when he accomplished these tasks.  For Alex?  I have expressed great enthusiasm and offered smiles and hugs before excusing myself to clean up the small, but neat, piles of regurgitated carrot left behind on the coffee table by his older brother.

Alex has accomplished each of these tasks well before Andy did.  Andy refused to eat solid foods until after nine months, while Alex has been eating his purees like a champ since five.  Andy's teeth did not come in until about nine months as well, and Andy did not start army crawling (that lazy fatso) until about nine as well.  Wow, was that really all in the same month for Andy?  So was it one ticker tape parade or three?  My mind fails me on the details, as I have developed a strong case of mom brain over the past couple years and just the other day forgot how to spell the word "boat."

Boat.  Boat.  Boat.  After a while, it just doesn't look RIGHT.

I think the main reason that the accomplishments of the second child don't seem as grand and amazing as the first child's is because, as a mom, you get over the fact that you can create a human and that this human you birth is actually, truly a functioning person who will most likely achieve developmental milestones.  I still remember the day we received Andy's social security card in the mail.  While this affirmation of my son being a US citizen is not a developmental milestone, per se, it was still a big day in my eyes, and one that caused me and Chris to laugh for, let's say, three and a half hours.  "We just made this name up!"  we kept repeating, "And now they're putting it on things!"  This baby was just a growth in my belly a few weeks ago.  And now- well, now "it" has a social security number???!!  How completely messed up is that!

And when I received Alex's social security number?  I promptly filed it away after first perusing my copy of Everyday With Rachel Ray, which had also arrived in the mail that day.  Thirty minute meals.  Don't even get me started on what a scam that whole thing is.  But, alas.

Not to say that I'm not Alex's biggest cheerleader in all of his baby milestones.  I most certainly am.  I'm just over the whole disbelief thing.  Yeah, I know I can make humans.  Yeah, I know that they will grow and do awesome things on their own.  I guess I'm becoming kind of smug about the whole thing.

Andy is thrilled about Alex's foray into finger food, because that means I've started buying "baby snacks," such as the flavored rice puffs and the things that look like cheese puffs but taste a little like ass, unless you're two or under.  Andy demands his fair share of Alex's baby snacks, promptly sticking his sausage in his tractor (I mean that quite literally) so that his breakfast plate is empty and therefore room enough for a pile of crappy blueberry rice puffs.  "I want baby snacks!"  Andy demands while I swap out one of his banana slices for some of Alex's puffs.  I did this today, cutting the banana slice into what felt like thirty pieces before scattering them on Alex's tray. Alex quickly shoved all of the banana bits into his mouth and then just as quickly threw up.  Sooo- I guess Alex is ready for pre-packaged, specially formulated baby finger food and not so much real, straight from the farm (or Jewel) food.  Whatever.  He's still eating way better than most of us.  By which I mean Andy.  Who still has not retrieved his sausage from his tractor.

Andy is not, however, thrilled about Alex's crawling, as that has upped Alex's annoyance factor right into the eleven range.  Andy can't escape his grabby, eager little brother, who wants nothing more than to just be near his Andy and perhaps try to ingest three or four of his toys.  In order to get the point across that he wants to be left alone, Andy has taken to bouncing on Alex like he's the world's smallest, and most fragile, trampoline.  I have done nothing these past few days (aside from cleaning up banana vomit) except pull Andy off his brother while strongly chastising him that he's hurting his baby.  I feel the point would get across a little better if only Alex didn't giggle like crazy and seemingly love it.

Oh, Alex.  You'll put up with anything just to be part of the gang.

Alex is approaching eight months here in a couple days, and he's changing and growing every day.  But he's still my so very beloved little baby, even as I somewhat nonchalantly greet his major achievements.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The iPad!

We bought an iPad after Christmas, despite Chris' years and years of denouncing anything Apple.  I vaguely remember Chris stealing my iPod in the night a couple years ago and scratching out the Apple logo on the back with an Exacto knife, which might raise the question:  How does a grown man have enough time on his hands to devote that much detail and effort just to make a statement for only his wife to see?  Well, the answer to that particular riddle is that was during the period in which we had no children.  Now we have two children, and poor Chris can't find enough time in the day to search for matching socks, much less destroy one of my possessions.

Anyway, Chris wanted to get an iPad because of the gaming possibilities.  What he didn't realize was that he would NEVER get to use the iPad, because once Andy got a hold of it- well, it quickly became his new favorite toy.  Andy could spend hours on the iPad putting together animal puzzles or playing bus related games.  He's quite good at navigating through the apps and needs no assistance.  If Andy sees either Chris or me attempting to use the iPad, he quickly runs over and yells, "I want to use iPad!" while reaching over to the screen and randomly swiping objects, just to be a jerk.  "No, Andy," I have to yell at him, "I'm in the middle of swapping jewels- THOSE ARE NOT THE JEWELS I WANTED TO BE SWAPPED!"

It's getting to the point where, if Chris or I want to use the iPad, we have to lock ourselves in the fortress of solitude, i.e., the bathroom, in order to get in a little play time.  Of course, this only works for about two minutes since Andy is incapable of letting anyone use the potty without wanting to join in, but since one level of Jewel Mania takes only about a hundred seconds, this is mostly okay.  What has my life come to that I have to sit on the floor next to the toilet in order to try to advance from level 67 to 68?  I should be able to do this in my own living room, while the TV blares my own favorite television show, as opposed to Monkey George, which is Andy's new favorite cartoon obsession.

Sometimes I try to use the iPad when Andy is at school and it's just me and Alex.  Somehow, seven and a half month old Alex is even worse than Andy.  While Andy begs to use the iPad and randomly swipes his grubby fingers while I'm in the middle of something, Alex, who cannot yet speak, will just scream and then plant his entire, slobbery face right in the middle of the screen.  Everybody wants in on the iPad action, it seems.  Five hundred dollars, and it's just another chew toy for the baby and a set of puzzles for the toddler.

Of course, if Andy and Alex are both awake and Alex gets to the iPad first, I have to hear Andy yell, "NO OLLIS (Alex) DON'T EAT THE IPAD!"  A mini-fight ensues between the two boys with Andy yelling and pushing the baby while Alex tries to retaliate with the only weapon he has, his wet little tongue and two sharp teeth nubs.

Which brings me to my next topic:  if Alex learns to speak English from Andy, here are the phrases my beautiful boy will begin spouting:






At least Alex will get the picture sooner rather than later that my name is Mommy, since that's the word Andy uses most.  As in,









And, a new favorite around here,


Wow, Andy.  You don't like Mommy, huh?  Well, let me just say, you do NOT want to cross Mommy.  If you don't have Mommy, you don't have anything.  Because I'm the one who lets you use the iPad, even when Daddy says no, you've been using it enough.  I'm the one who bribes you with cookies.  I'm the one who lets you do pretty much anything you want to do in exchange for taking one bite of protein and/or a vegetable.  I'm the one who buys you toys for no other reason than the vague promise of perhaps ten minutes of having you occupied.  So, you'd better rethink that statement, Andy.  Trust me, you want to stay on my good side.

Now take the iPad and leave me alone.