Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I don't write Christmas letters...

So I write lengthy blog posts. :)

You don’t have to tell me how fast they grow up. Time is whizzing by, or rather, I just never have any of it. Our new normal is putting the kids to bed, cleaning the house, taking food to a new mom and then looking up to see it’s 11pm on December 15, and I haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet. For anyone.

Yet while I can appreciate people wanting to stop time, I don’t feel that way, not yet. My mom shared with me once something my Aunt Dolly had said when her daughter was young, something along the lines of not wanting to stop time because each new stage in her daughter’s life was her new favorite. (Did she repeat that correctly, Aunt Dolly?) And that sounds about right to me. I think every night, more than once, my husband and I find ourselves both smiling at something silly or sweet or even impressive Calder has done or said, something that makes him even more fun and loved (not sure that’s possible!) than the day before, something that elicits a spoken declaration from Kraemer about how we have such wonderful, perfect (in our eyes) boys. That usually happens right before, or after, we’ve put Calder in time out. Don’t let those long eyelashes fool you.

Happy birthday, Daddy!
Conked out.

Let’s recap. The summer was an absolutely whirlwind. Before I could plan any birthday parties (let’s face it – I was never going to be that ambitious anyway), Beckett came along, and we found ourselves celebrating Kraemer and Calder’s summer birthdays in the middle of visits from Aunt Carolina and Uncle Andy (and Santi!) and Aunt Corinne and Uncle Matt. We took a trip to Kiawah, where we were joined by grandparents and long-time buddies, as a way of a post-baby babymoon – between bedrest, birth and baby hospitalizations, I was way past done with being relegated to my quaint little DC row house. We had visits to DC from both sets of grandparents, and Calder finally got to meet Aunt Kelly, Uncle Preston and cousin Ike (sadly, Calder was sick and not much of a playmate – we resolved that situation when we visited New Orleans/ Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving.) We spent Labor Day with Aunt Amy, Uncle Bruce, cousin Amelia and cousin Quinn. We got to spend more time with Aunt Kristen and Uncle Andrew when we visited Cincinnati in October, which included witnessing Uncle Andrew squeezing into a cow-shaped train car since Calder was too scared to ride alone and Mommy was tending to little bro. (What a sport. Who has that photo?) One of the fun parts about seeing family is how much Calder (and Beckett) loves it. It’ll be two weeks later and Calder will randomly exclaim, “See Ike! Ike’s home!” On the drive home from seeing Aunt Jen and Uncle Mike’s new house, he quipped, “Uncle Mike fun!” I’ve heard all names on numerous occasions, so don’t feel left out.

Mommy and Calder. People tell me his name was made for a judge...
National Mall biking outings
Mommy also braved a flight alone, with two children, one sick, to Cincinnati while Dad traveled to Moldova for work (and wine tours. PLEASE.) It went as poorly as you might expect it to, including a missed flight (not our fault, I’d argue); a majorly DELAYED flight; eight hours in the airport, most of it me alone with two baby boys; a hysterical breakdown (as in, screaming bloody murder, and it was not hysterical in the funny sense of the word); vomit (vomit, not spit up); breastfeeding on the family bathroom floor which eventually just became the airport waiting areas floor because I couldn’t take the bathroom, nor could Calder; unattended luggage; too much luggage; angry strangers; entertained strangers and very kind strangers. This was all followed by, after our arrival in Cincinnati, a trip to the ER because of Calder’s escalating illness and labored breathing, which resulted in a very alarming blood pressure (which upon follow up, we think can be dismissed.)
Gorgeous. I heart DC!
Yup, I love DC, too!

Backyard shenanigans
Poor little man has also been sick pretty consistently since the end of August. In fact, we all have. The pediatrician just smiled smugly at our most recent visit when I asked whether we should be isolating Calder yet again this winter given the rate and intensity at which he’s been sick; apparently this is par for the course for two-year-olds? That said, she very firmly asserted that we must continue to nebulize him daily through the cold and flu season and perhaps longer, depending on what his lungs sound like, and of course throughout the day on days he’s sick. Since summer we’ve also had a few bouts of unexplained vomiting, so that’s something we’re working on with his speech and occupational therapists, since we think it’s related to his chewing and swallowing. Beckett has managed to either fight off most of these illnesses before they start or shortly thereafter, for which I’m indescribably grateful.

Calder finally bit through his pacifier sometime in July or August, I can’t remember which, at which point we simply took it away from him, cold turkey. We’d already hidden his monkey wubs, so once the giraffe bit the dust, that was the end of that. That didn’t go terribly, nor did it go well. I have NO tips for someone trying to wean their child off a pacifier. Between gaining a little brother, losing his pacifier and eventually vacating his crib, Calder had enough change in his life to interrupt his sleeping pattern for at least a couple of months.

Beckett continues to grow like a weed. He’s in the 50th percentile, which to me, is, like, WHOA. He’s a monster. I always laugh when I hear another mom talk about her big baby who is in reality in the 98th percentile and actually is really big for his age. The appointments with the radiologist and urologist confirmed the hydronephrosis/urine blockage, but the hope is that Beckett’s body will grow in all the right places enough over the next year that it’ll fix itself, with no need for surgery. For the time being, we are giving him a daily antibiotic prophylactically every day until he’s 18 months, at which point we’ll schedule another VCUG to see whether the issue is resolved.

Basically, he’s adorable, and we’re smitten.


  1. So I just now am catching up on your blog, and it made my day! Calder in the mister and sprinkler is just too stinkin' cute. And thanks for the shout-out for Aunt Jen and Uncle Mike...I'm honored ☺️. Love you all! P.S. props to Kraemer for the stellar voice work on the pout pout book ��

    1. Not sure why the system converted my winky face into questions marks...sorry!

  2. I have no idea how I missed this one but I still loved it, so many months later. :)