Monday, July 19, 2010

Eating Take Two

They're eating much better after three weeks.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mood Swing - Part II

I have too many captions for this video.  It is one of my favorites.

1.  "I love my Daddy's face when he hasn't shaved!"
2.  "When I yell it means: "give me my paci!"
3.  "I love kisses!"
4.  "I can have mood swings like my brother."

First Bites

This post is about three and a half weeks late but I am finally getting my act together with putting video on the blog. I had been uploading everything to Facebook to share with friends and family but became really frustrated with it. A lot of times I would wait 30 minutes to upload a video only to find it never processed. I have created a youtube account and will embed from there. We had read to let the baby play with the spoon before you introduced it in the meal so there is a video of that also. Tate looked like he was ready to feed himself from the first time he had the spoon in his hand. His hands are still very much a part of the process much to my dismay. I now undress him before he eats. I now realize the rice cereal should have been MUCH thinner but it works out, they will take a lumpier consistency really easily.

Tate Playing with the Spoon

Ellie Playing with the Spoon

Tate's First Bites

Ellie's First Bites

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weights, Measurements and Eczema – Really Exciting, I Know.

Warning: The following information only has the remote possibility of being interesting to the Grandparents but the pictures at the end are pretty cute.

What I expected: Well baby checkups from a doctor every month or two wherein the babies would be weighed, measured, have their reflexes checked, get vaccinations and I would get to ask questions about feeding, sleeping patterns, rashes, stuffy noses, etc.

What is the case: I am supposed to bring the baby to “Baby Clinic” once a month on a Monday between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. No appointment, just write down your name and wait. When your name is called you are led to a room full of chairs with two scales and a table with two changing pads. There are usually three Health Visitors sitting in some of the chairs talking to mothers. I bring the babies in undress them, weigh them, then argue with someone to measure their length. (Them: “That’s done at your GP’s office” Me: “No, they won’t do it, they said they used to but when you set up down here you took all their equipment and they don’t even have a way to measure the babies.”) Put the babies back into the stroller and talk with a health visitor.

How it pertains to my story: There are several health visitors at the Baby Clinic I am assigned to and only one will give you anything other than what I find when I look on the NHS website.

My story: The first week I went to the Baby Clinic a Mom I had been chatting with in the waiting room whispered to me as she left “get the blond one, she’s the only one who is helpful.” To that mother I am eternally grateful. I now systematically take my time dressing and diapering the babies so I can time it so that I get to conference with this particular health visitor. It has worked two out of the 5 months I have had the babies.

When they were a month old, I brought them in and said “Every time I bathe them they breakout all over then peel. I am only bathing them once a week and I am putting lotion on them everyday but it is still happening. I am pretty sure it is eczema because I had it and it looks like the same as what used to cover the back of my knees.”

“No, worries, just rub a little olive oil on them. They are just new babies, they will grow out of it.”

The next month I come back and again say “the babies are still broken out from head to toe. They are cutting themselves from scratching; I think we need more than olive oil.” I am reprimanded for wanting to overmedicate my children and lectured about the harmful effects of steroid creams and given a bath substitute called Aqueous cream. I am told to rub it all over them following their bath and one other time a day. I do this for two months and at each baby clinic tell a new health visitor that Ellie turns red and screams when we put it on her and show them where my daughter’s neck is bright red and weeping and they say just to keep up the Aqueous cream and she will grow out of it.

Yesterday, I went in to have the babies weighed and measured. I rejoiced when I saw that the blond lady was there. I rushed Ellie to her and showed her that now the backs of her knees, inside of her arms and neck were all bright red and weeping. I explained how I was using the Aqueous cream, doing a lukewarm bath everyday and even putting Diaper cream on the areas because the jar said it helped with Eczema. She told me I should talk to my GP and get an oil based lotion instead of the Aqueous cream. I got really excited that I was being offered something other than olive oil. After a few more minutes of talking about it she asked if Ellie ever turned red when I put the Aqueous cream on her. I said “YES! I keep saying she screams when I put it on her!”

She told me that 5% of children have a reaction to the lanolin in it. She wrote down another bath substitute and an oil based cream. I went directly upstairs to my GP because I was so frustrated that I had been putting it on her for 2 months. When I got upstairs they told me that my doctor would call me tomorrow. I asked if there was no one on call that could write a prescription for something that had already been diagnosed and which the health visitor had told me my daughter was having a reaction to the former prescription. She said no, I needed to wait until my doctor called me tomorrow. I... wait for it... told her I didn’t have a phone. I had decided my daughter was not waiting another day.  (I almost feel bad for the lie but I felt worse that Ellie had been in pain for two months and wasn't getting the treatment she needed.) She told me to sit but I would have to wait. I told her that was fine. It was time for the babies nap anyway. I sat for an hour and a half. I finally got in to see the on call doctor and she immediately started writing prescriptions for what her 8 month old son used.

What made me furious: I asked the doctor if she had tried the Aqueous cream on her son. She responded without thinking that she didn’t because it doesn’t really do any good. (Cut to me smiling on the outside but inside going: AHHHHHHHHHH!) I asked why it was prescribed for my babies and that put her back on her NHS good behavior side and she explained that they tried to prescribe the least invasive (read cheapest) form of treatment first. The health visitor had also bothered to mention that they probably prescribed Aqueous cream because it was cheap.

Unless you are the grandmother of my children and you haven't already, this is really where you want to skip to the pictures.

The Stats:


Weight – 16 pounds 13 ounces (50th percentile)

Length – 2 feet 2 inches (50th percentile)

Head Circumference – 50th percentile

Just call him Marry Poppins because he is practically perfectly proportioned in every way.  Tate does have a long torso so we are already putting him in 6 to 9 month shirts.  The 3 to 6 month shirts show his belly.


Weight – 18 pounds 13 ounces (a bit under 91st percentile)

Height – 2 feet 2.6 inches (a bit under 91st percentile)

Head Circumference – 50th percentile (I think it still has a little rounding left to do from the suction cup.)

In conclusion: The following pictures are currently the only way I can get them to nap for longer than consistently and exactly 38 minutes. Lay them like this and they sleep for 3 hours. I can’t go anywhere because they’re on my bed but I am not complaining.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Summer Picnics

One thing I have discovered that I love about London is how relaxed it gets when it warms up. There is not a lot of air conditioning to be found and suddenly in a land where personal style seems to be as important to some as brushing their teeth something wonderful happens. All of the black, layers and perfectly styled from head to toe city types are replaced by light colored, flowing, fresh faced beach hair relaxed types. It makes everyday feel like Summer holiday and the heat slows almost everyone’s walking pace. There is less bustle and less pushing but, admittedly, more B.O. on public transport. The other side effect of this is people throng to public gardens. It is wonderful to see hundreds of people resting on the grounds of Kensington palace.

Our church has some green space outside of it with lots of shade and several benches. One of our favorite things to do on Sunday has become having a picnics after the service. We still haven’t adjusted to the lack of air conditioned spaces and our house gets really hot during the midday. It is just nicer to be outside and I am not complaining for the excuse. It takes some planning and a lot of equipment but it is totally worth it to just sprawl out on the ground for a few hours.  I go out and set up while Trey goes to the store to get sandwiches , fruit, chips and carrots and hummus.

Ellie and Tate can be occupied for hours just laying around looking at the trees, birds and sky.

It is a special time where we are completely away from distractions.  No T.V., no computer, no work, no people asking us questions about London or the house.

The babies are especially loving to practice rolling over outside. 

It is so fun to see them want to get to something or interact with someone and just flip over and try to swim away.  Tate loves to be left alone on the blanket where he can see us but he feels like he has all the space in the world.

The tricky part is feeding the babies, especially now that they are eating solids.
Step 1: Undress your baby.

Step two: Try to feed your baby while you are both sitting on the ground.

Step 3: Give up (or your back gives up,) put your baby in the stroller and try to protect the stroller from the mess.

Only one more Sunday picnic opportunity left before we are in the States for 8 weeks. Here's hoping the weather stays nice!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the warmth, the shorts, the burgers, the excuse to gather with friends and family, the swimming and I LOVE the fireworks.  I imagine it will be a few years yet until Tate and Ellie get to celebrate the 4th on American soil but they still represented in their red, white and blue (Even those are the colors of the British flag also.)

Let go of my dress!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

5 Months Old!

I can't believe that Tate and Ellie are 5 months old today. It seems like 5 minutes ago we were dying for their first smile and couldn’t imagine a time when they would ever pick up a toy and now we can get them in hysterics (particularly Tate) in a matter of seconds and they are grabbing at everything in sight. Here are a few moments that define how they’ve grown up.

We love books!

We love song time! (Sorry for the huge feet, honey.  You can blame your Gigi.  I do.)

We love to look out the window...

...and people on the street love to look at us!

Tate's feet are his favorite toy.  They never get too far out of reach.

We love to chat with Mommy!

We don't love the stroller so much but Mommy does!

Ellie loves her tongue...

she also loves her tummy time (when she isn't stuck on it)...

...but she especially loves putting them together.

We're drooling a lot.

We're getting close to being able to sit and interested in small details.

This is Mommy's favorite face.  It always makes her laugh!

Tate is getting ready for his modeling career.

 We're both melting Mommy and Daddy's heart.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Medley’s Daily Schedule

5:30 AM Wake up

  • Trey - Feed Babies/Change Babies/Put babies back down

  • Sarah – Boil water and Wash Bottles/Bring Bumbo chairs down to kitchen

6:00 AM Sarah – Shower/Get Ready

6:15 AM Trey – Shower/Get Ready

6:45 AM Set out breakfast for House Guests

7:00 AM Trey – Eat and Work in Classroom

  • Sarah – Eat/Set 10 up Bottles/Make Bed/Set up bedroom for play time

8:00 AM Sarah – Babies wake up/Play time with babies in Bedroom

8:30 AM Trey – Put away breakfast from house guests

8:45 AM Trey – Back to work in classroom

9:30 AM Sarah – Bring babies downstairs: Solid Food in Bumbo seats

10:00 AM Trey – Help Sarah bring babies and bumbo seats back upstairs then back to the classroom to work

Sarah – Feed babies in bouncy seats

10:30 AM Sarah – Change babies then babies play

11:30 AM Nap (Ahh, sounds like a break but it's a trick.  What really happens is I alternate soothing babies back to sleep while they trade off waking up fussing for an hour and a half.)

1:00 PM Trey – Playtime with Babies

Sarah – Make lunch for Trey and I/Eat

2:00 PM Sarah – Feed Babies

  • Trey – Classroom to work

2:30 PM Change Babies

3:00 PM Walk (babies nap in stroller)/Errands (Mostly consists of buying breakfast groceries for 20 people)

5:00 PM Sarah and Trey – Play time with babies/tummy time for babies/check email (This is their fussy time of day.  Our new trick is to sit on the couch, let the babies stand on our laps and look out the window.  It is low key enough not to overtire them and interesting enough because we live on a busy street they will do it for about 30 min.)

6:00 PM Sarah and Trey – Feed babies

6:30 PM Sarah – Sets up bath

  • Trey – Prepares Ellie for Bath

6:35 PM Sarah – Bathes Ellie

  • Trey – Prepares Tate for Bath

6:40 PM Sarah - Bathes Tate

  • Trey – Massage and swaddle Ellie
6:45 PM Sarah sings and rocks Ellie
  • Trey – Massage and Swaddle Tate
6:50 PM Sarah sings and rocks Tate
  • Trey prays and reads bed time Bible story
7:00 PM Sarah - Go down to make dinner

7:30 PM Dinner

8:00 PM TV/Computer Hour

9:00 PM Flat Hunt (via Internet)

10:00 PM Feed Babies

10:30 PM Get ready for bed and straighten up

11:00 PM Bed

In the middle of all of that we answer the door and phone a million times a day and all kinds of questions like can I get a new sheet, can you show me how to email my son, can we get raisen bread for breakfast...

I love them but I can't wait to hand them to their Grandparents and just lie down.