Blame it on work, or the girls, or whatever

I know the pace of this blog has been a bit slow lately. There’s a couple of reasons for that. The first is that I now work a four-day week. On those four working days, I have far less free time. The second is Josie and the girls. Josie has been quite fussy the last few weeks, and the harness has undoubtedly exacerbated that to some degree. When she’s crying, she only calms when we hold her a certain way and rock her, and it can be exhausting on nights where she won’t go to sleep.

But thankfully we’ve also had some really nice peaceful times with Josie. I think we are getting better at caring for her.

Of course the other girls continue to be demanding, too, always wanting to be in action, especially with the recent spate of warm weather.

One way to take care of everyone is to go for walks in Ferguson, which tires out the girls, and lets Josie sleep on my chest in the baby carrier. We went to the library and Walgreen’s yesterday morning, for example, and ran into a friend on our way back home.

Right now all three girls are sleeping. I’m enjoying a bit of time to import some video of a family history interview I shot earlier this week during my furlough from the Post-Dispatch. The subject is Mr. Richter, who is the only living first cousin of my great-grandfather, Frank Becker. A couple days after our interview, he had an operation to remove some cancer. If you think of it, please pray for his recovery.

Josie’s hips

One problem of blogging is deciding how much personal detail is good to expose in a public medium.

In the case of our little princesses, I have generally not discussed medical issues, etc. Not that they haven’t each had their own unique challenges, it’s just I haven’t seen fit to describe them publicly.

This time, I think I will make an exception. Our little Josie apparently has some hip problems … mainly her hip sockets are a little to shallow and in one of the hips, the ball is protruding out of the joint a little too far.

The doctor detects this by moving the legs and listening for a clicking noise. In our case, she sent us to have an ultrasound which confirmed Josie had hip dysplasia.

Because she is only 1 month old, this is a very fixable problem. She will wear a fabric “Pavlik harness” to hold her hips in the correct position. She has to wear the brace 24 hours a day for the next 3 months. After that time, she should be completely fine.

She has had the brace for one night so far. She has been fussier since getting it, but she is still sleeping well, and she has some stretches of being calm. Hopefully she will adjust to it very soon.

The harness is all fabric and velcro, there is no metal. It fits under her clothes and works with diapers … but because her legs are up, some clothing (like onesies) might not work well.

I have mentioned this publicly simply because I’m sure people are going to notice Josie’s harness … or at least notice her legs are always up in a strange position. But it is only temporary, and right about the time that Josie will be ready to start rolling over, she’ll be free to move her legs again.

Ugh

Well, I’ve been a bit under the weather since last Friday, so I’ve been away from the computer more than usual. I have some stuff I wanted to post, but just haven’t had the time/endurance to do it. Ludi seems to be teething, so she has been a bit fussy since yesterday, and Jadzia had a weird episode last night. Not sure if she was imitating Ludi/me, or genuinely not feeling well. Today she seems fine.

In any event, I do think I’m feeling better, and so hopefully we can enjoy these last 3 days of “baby vacation” before I head back to work.

Yoli has been doing well, but obviously has a ton on her plate. Josie is nursing well and growing more beautiful all the time. She has given us 1-2 hours of screaming the last 2 nights, but after those periods has slept much better.

Full house

So we’ve gotten through the first night with three girls. It has been a bit strenuous keeping up with all these girls. The older two are more than enough to keep us occupied, for sure. But they have given us some brief periods of tranquility from time to time.

They are very curious about the baby and like to touch her (or slap her), kiss her, look at her, etc. So far Josie isn’t capable of doing anything to raise their ire. However, the baby is quite a capable crier and pooper. She really kept us up last night. Thankfully, though, we are getting a bit of daytime napping in the last 2 days. In fact, I am quite thrilled to report all four of my girls are still sleeping right now!

Because Josie still doesn’t “do” very much, life in the house in many ways is very similar to what it was before. We still have the same problems of girls getting picky about eating food, fighting over toys (or fighting to have space on the carpet in which to dance), screaming, doing things we just told them not to do, etc. But when we see Jadzia and Ludi have nice sisterly moments, it does give us a hopeful glimpse of what life might be like for these three girls in the future.

We had a brief incident at the hospital yesterday as we were leaving. Yoli was sitting in a wheelchair holding Josie, while a nurse stood by. They waited for me to bring the car around and come in to the lobby with the car seat. Josie was dressed in two layers of clothes (too big for her tiny body) and a beautiful white blanket made by Maud Lawrence, one of my Nan’s relatives. I came in toting the car seat and two little rolled-up blankets to support Josie’s head. A lady standing nearby came over to tell us that the baby wasn’t dressed warmly enough for the frigid temperature outside. I told this woman that the car itself was warmed up and that there were more blankets inside, but this didn’t assuage her. She began accusing us of child abuse and berating the nurse who was helping us, as her husband stood by quietly. She said she would call security, etc. It blew my mind. In any event, the nurse was kind with us, knew what she was doing, and got Josie installed in the car seat nicely.

What a way to welcome a new baby to the world. And what a wonderful feeling it gave Yoli and I as we prepared to start our new life with this new addition.

Seriously, this lady’s intentions may have been good, but her execution left much to be desired.

It goes without saying that Josie survived the drive home.

Video: Family visit

Here’s the second of two videos I shot on Wednesday. This one shows my parents, my brother, sister-in-law and nephews when they came over to the hospital to meet Josie. With four toddlers/preschoolers running around the room, there was potential for much havoc. Thankfully, serious damage was avoided. I’m so glad that Justin and Becca could come up with the boys.

Continue reading “Video: Family visit”