Month: July 2013

Life as Four

A set of pictures covering about a week and a half.

Chilkoot is a squealer. I don’t know why. When he sleeps, he makes the weirdest sounds. Sometimes he sounds like a small dog that’s been kicked. Sometimes he sounds like an angry squirrel. Just now he sounded like a car alarm, and then a constipated duck. I don’t get it.

He’s a little monster about diaper changes, too. He loves to wait until the change itself to start defecating (or micturating). I’ve learned that he can spew feces about two and a half feet (your welcome for that image). This is approximately 67% greater range than Chilkat at the same age (reference: “… she managed to Hershey squirt about a foot and a half”). Boy diaper changes are getting a little easier, but I still (comparatively) miss girl diaper changes.

When we came home from somewhere on Friday (after a rough trip out of the house, as all trips out of the house are right now), Chilkat dawdled in the garage for a little while saying, “I need to do some work on the house.” She then leaned nonchalantly against the beer fridge, and said, “Hmmm…I need some hammers!”

Chilkat has her own pair of safety scissors, and she really likes to cut string. Being tired parents, we let her do this without much supervision (if any). We found evidence that she may have cut more than just string, however.

I’m going back to work half time next week. Chilkat will be in day care two days a week. KrisDi will still be on maternity leave.

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Initial Thoughts

I have been a father of two for a week now. Consequently, I’m an expert about everything related to having more than one kid. I thought I should bless the world with my insightful observations.

Boys versus Girls

Changing a boy’s diaper is traumatic for all parties. Changer, changee, anyone in the room, and anyone walking near the house. And possibly the NSA. Sorry guys. For the record, NSA, if you have chosen to tap baby monitors, you’ve made a huge mistake. Reflect soberly on your decisions.

First versus Second

If Chilkoot was the only kid in the house, infant parenting (for this infant) would be a piece of cake. The obvious things that are easier with the second kid:

  1. Nursing. KrisDi’s done this before, so 50% of the learning curve has already been climbed. Chilkoot latched nicely at the hospital with no special care. Chilkat? I think it was months before she latched nicely with no special care. KrisDi could tell you more details.
  2. Crying. I know perfectly well (now) that if the kid’s going to cry, he’s going to cry. I didn’t cause it and I may not be able to do anything about it (aside from give him to his mom so he can eat). With foreknowledge, this is much easier for me to deal with.
  3. Everything related to taking care of a small child.

The obvious things that are harder with the second kid:

  1. Everything outside of the definition of “taking care of a small child.” This is not due to the second kid. This is due to two kids.

Chilkat versus Chilkoot

It is impossible to make comparisons between Chilkat-as-she-is and Chilkoot. Except for stupid ones like, “She’s a girl, he’s a boy.” I can make a very long series of stupid comparisons of this nature, but I have chosen a higher path.

It is slightly easier to make comparisons between Chilkat-as-I-recall-her-in-her-infancy and Chilkoot.

Chilkat was much angrier. She cried a lot. But, KrisDi now feels that she might have been underfed and might have just been hungry a lot of the time. Her crying was not super loud for the first weeks or months. I apparently didn’t blog about it, but I have a clear recollection of thinking something like, “OK, wow, Chilkat’s found her lungs now.” Bless Chilkat for that bonus period with reduced hearing damage. Chilkoot found his lungs on his second day or so. And god damn is he loud.

Chilkoot is a much better sleeper. This might be related to the eating thing mentioned earlier. KrisDi’s been waking him every three hours or so to make sure he gets food and to make sure that her mammary glands are taxed to increase production. Otherwise, who knows how long he would sleep. Plus, he’ll let you move him around once he’s asleep! Chilkat never let us do that, unless the greatest Swiss-watchmaker/jewel-thief/pickpocket dexterity and demonic guile was employed.

Chilkat was very strong — holding up her head for a few seconds at a time before we even left the hospital. Chilkoot is even stronger. I think the first day home he held his head up without assistance for nearly 30 seconds. Chilkoot is already pushing up on his legs. And he has strong little legs. He can roll over onto his side (not sure how much of an accomplishment that is). I’m think swaddling is going to be of limited use for this kid. He’ll tear the blankets apart. Right now we double bag him, and if it weren’t for a trick I learned at the hospital last week (tucking his hands into a folded over section of the blanket), his hands would always be free anyway.

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And photos of Chilkoot

Chilkat really likes to point out that I’m not her best friend (Mommy is). She also likes to tell me she doesn’t like me, or that she doesn’t love me. Recently, she told me, “I don’t love you very much any more, Daddy.” Probably when I told her no for something or other.

Chilkoot eats like a fiend. Pretty much eat, breathe, eat, breathe, eat, breathe for a few hours at a time, and then sleep for a few hours. Overall, he’s been a pretty darn good baby so far.

Yesterday morning, while we were out for breakfast, KrisDi asked Chilkat if she wanted a baby sister. She very adamantly answered, “NO!” (and then we fist bumped).

On the drive home from breakfast, KrisDi was telling me that P Dubs had called her to see how we were doing. I asked her, “Did you start crying and beg for help?” Chilkat, in the backseat, started fake crying and then said, “We need help! — See, like this Daddy!” It was hilarious in a way that I can’t adequately portray in text.

Chilkat is getting into more trouble. We had some quite stern conversations about her listening when her parents tell her to do something, even if she doesn’t want to. Also about her not coloring on blankets with markers. I recognized a trend in her behavior: Often when she’s in trouble, she curls into a semi-fetal position and covers her ears. Which is kind of cute.

Chilkat has actually been pretty good about Chilkoot. She’s not always happy about him (for instance, when he’s in KrisDi’s lap and she wants to be there), but she likes to talk about how tiny he is and that he’s cute and nice. She’s such a girl about little cute things. Chilkat likes to touch his head and say its soft, and to tell us we have to be gentle because he’s just little. She mispronounces his name in a very cute way.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but Chilkat has started to notice invisible monsters, ranging from very small baby monsters, to big scary monsters. Sometimes she needs to be held and protected by a parent. Sometimes she wants a parent to catch it and throw it out the front door and tell it to go away. Sometimes she wants to catch it and throw it out the front door and tell it to go away. Sometimes she lets the baby ones in so she can rock them to sleep.

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Welcome Chilkoot

Monday morning, about 1-1:30 AM, Chilkat woke us up by saying, “Mommy?” — we could hear her, but we couldn’t hear her on the monitor, which meant she wasn’t in her room. She was on her way down the stairs, looking for Mommy. She was up and aware, and wanted Mommy to read to her and various other things. Between 1:30 and 3:00, KrisDi got her back to sleep two or three times, but she woke up screaming each time when KrisDi tried to leave. Then the ultimate threat was given: If you don’t stay in bed, Daddy’s coming in, not Mommy.

She was asleep (not without further ridiculousness) by around 3:30. KrisDi and I never made it back to sleep. Our alarms are set for 4:30. KrisDi had started having mild cramps that came around an eight minute interval, but she recalled she might have had something similar about a week before Chilkat was actually born.

We went to work exhausted and came back exhausted. I had a night meeting with Japan from 5-7 PM. KrisDi was having contractions that were irregular but stronger than the morning ones. Some time afterward, they started getting a little closer together and occasionally a little stronger, and we figured:

  1. It will take P Dubs (our designated Chilkat-sitter for this occasion) about 30 minutes to get down here after we call him, and we’d rather have him here than need him here.
  2. It will take about 15 minutes to get to the hospital.
  3. Chilkat was born in a pretty short amount of time, and conventional wisdom says that second+ children take less time than the first.
  4. Because KrisDi tested positive for Group B Strep, we wanted to be in the hospital long enough for her to be on intravenous antibiotics for four hours, as the medical community recommends.

We concluded that maybe it’s not a great idea to wait until we’re absolutely certain. I picked up the phone to call P Dubs, just as P Dubs called me. He’d been talking to KrisDi over the day about periodic contractions, so he wasn’t terribly surprised. He came down around 10:00 PM or so, and hung out with us while KrisDi’s contractions got fairly steadily stronger and closer together. Around 10:30 or 10:45, she was averaging a little over 5 minutes between and a little under 1 minute per contraction over the previous hour. We decided to go to the hospital, even though the recommendation is 5-1-1 (five minutes between contractions, one minute per contractions, for one hour).

We were let into triage at 11:20, where they took interest in Chilkat’s fast delivery. She was 4 cm, 100% effaced, -1 station, bag of waters was taut, but the baby was sunny side up  (not desired). Antibiotics got started at 11:45, they took us to our room at 12:10. I went out to the car to get bags, and while I was gone (about 12:20 AM on Tuesday) KrisDi’s water broke. At that point, she was 8 cm dilated. The nurses had KrisDi do a bunch of weird things to get the baby into a better position (hands and knees, leaning on the bed, a weird position sort of on her stomach). Baby went transverse at some point, according to the doctor. KrisDi started getting the strong urge to push, but was getting a “no” from the staff, maybe around 1:10 AM or so. Around 1:25 or so, she was cleared to actually push. Baby’s head got about halfway out on the first contraction/push. Baby was born on the second contraction/push, at 1:28 AM.

Chilkoot was born a healthy baby boy, 9 pounds 0.1 ounces (75th-90th percentile). 20 inches in length (50th-75th percentile), 35.5 cm head circumference (25th-50th percentile). Strong little guy seems to hold his head up better than his sister did, and can already roll from his back onto his side. If he’s awake, he’s hungry, and he’s quite vocal about it. He’ll fall asleep while eating, wake at the slightest provocation, and then demand food.

Chilkat’s been pretty friendly about him. She typically responds to any questions about him with, “He’s just little!”

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