Monday, May 19, 2008

She's TALKING, a BUSY weekend, and the vampires

Woohoo! Over the weekend Olivia started talking... little bits at first and now it's pretty regular! She's sooooo adorable and has the softest, most mouse-like little giggle and coo. I really MUST get the two of them talking on video and post it... it will melt your heart. Well, Olivia will. Ezra's talking will likely make you think we're unable to keep him happy as it really sounds like yelling/screeching/screaming. When people around us hear it, even after we warn them that he talks like that, they ALWAYS come over to see if they can help... as though he's needing comforting. It's kind of funny and not too surprising since the first few days he chatted like this we thought he was upset too!

So, we had a BIG weekend... on Friday morning my cousin and his wife had their first baby - a little handsome guy by the name of Luke. He's a total doll and I can't wait to meet him. We've loved ogling at his picture and reveling in how fun it is that babies are just flying into the family these days! (Ok, well 3 new ones so far this year and 3 more expected by the end of the year!) After the baby excitement in the morning we rounded out a VERY hot afternoon with a fantastic dip in the pool. It was our second time taking them there and they seemed to enjoy it. Olivia definitely preferred to be glued to my shoulder for the first 3/4 of the visit and was so busy sucking on my shoulder she left hickey marks! Yikes! But, by the end she was also frogging her way around the pool TRYING to kick a little and catch up with her swim-crazy tadpole of a brother. Ezra is SUCH a pool fiend already!

On Saturday Joe and I hauled the kids to Tustin to visit briefly with the lovely families of OCEAN (Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network). They are a great and growing group of families in the Orange County area adopting from Ethiopia and we were THRILLED to show off our bundles of fun. The neatest part was that Olivia and Ezra came out of their shells almost immediately and were smiling and giggling. Often they're a bit shy for a while and have the most serious expressions when people meet them, so it was so neat they were so comfortable there! Thank you to the C. family for hosting! Sadly our visit was only about an hour since we had to zoom home and get the kids to bed.

On Sunday evening Joe and I took the babies to Laguna Beach for family photos and their first experience with the Pacific ocean. They were COMPLETELY entranced by the ocean and getting them to smile was a TOUGH task. I hope we got some good ones with them smiling, but who knows. A friend of Joe's does some photography on the side and I am so grateful to him and his wife for helping us out and doing that. There's no way we could afford to have hired someone, so we are indebted to Bill and Kara BIG TIME! Thank you guys! Hugs and kisses from Olivia and Ezra! Oh, and to me one of the coolest things about having our family photos taken yesterday was that it was our one month of being home forever with the kiddos! How neat is that?!

Then today was a little less fun. Ok, a LOT less fun. The morning started with sticking U-bags (literally STICKING since there's adhesive to hold them on) to my beautiful babies' undercarriages. Then, giving them bottles and hoping they'd pee for us. After a while of waiting, I had enough urine for them both and went to remove the bags so I could pour the contents into the "pee cups." Seriously, have you ever used a U-bag on a baby?! The doc told me they'd peel right off. Huh! Not even close! Talk about torturing your wee ones! It seemed more like the bags had been crazy glued to their skin to never be removed again. It was especially bad with Ezra who was a champ through part of the removal... until we hit a large amount of loose skin that was determined to never be parted from the bag. It was agony peeling it off... I can just imagine the nightmares he'll have from the experience.

After that bit of fun I zoomed to the lab since today I had to have some blood work (including fasting blood work) done and share with them a ridiculously humiliating amount of stool specimens with them. Yep, you read that right. My doctor is trying to figure out what is cycling through Joe and I over and over and ordered a lot of blood and stool work to be done. You can't imagine (or maybe you can if you've BTDT) how incredibly uncool it is to walk through a drug store to the lab in the back carrying 3 days worth of specimens. Ugh. Of course, there couldn't be any less than 30 people crammed in the tiny waiting area to overhear the questions about my specimens and confirming what had been needed. Um, yes. Would you like a megaphone lady so the whole store can hear you ask me about it?! Fun stuff. I really pity the person that actually deals with the stool cultures for people, that must be one of the suckiest jobs ever. Can you imagining opening the jars of poo and looking at it under microscopes and whatever else they must do?! Ewwww. After visiting the vampire in the back and donating a bunch of my hard earned blood to him, I raced out of the store and headed home so my mom could get to work and leave her post as grandma-sitter. :-)

As soon as I got the wee-bots up from their naps, it was race mode. Bottles, change diapers, get them dressed, loaded into the car, and off! Now I had to run THEM to the lab to get THEIR blood sucked and give them the fun stool specimens from the kids. Yeah, there was a LOT of poop scooping at our house over the weekend and I'm NOT just talking about the dogs! ;-) Oh baby, what fun! Now, on to the vampires. After waiting a ridiculously long time to be seen, a terrible phlebotomists proceeded to try and hit a vein in Ezra's itty bitty arm. The poor guy was NOT thrilled to be restrained by his mama, let alone have his arm immobilized and felt for a vein. When the actual needle was stuck in I thought he'd explode from screaming so hard. Then I nearly screamed at the woman when she began wiggling the needle around in his arm and dug for a vein. After a few attempts I told her that was WAY too much digging and she stopped. We then had to wait around for 45 minutes for some guy that does the pediatrics in another part of the hospital who would supposedly have more chance of success.

Joe had met me at the lab for a lunch break and was none too thrilled that he now had to cancel a meeting to wait around for this new guy. I was none too thrilled since now this meant the babies would be having their blood sucked by the nasty vampire when they should be having a bottle and going down for a nap. So much for getting to the lab early and expecting to have plenty of time to get home for the nap routine... bleck.

Long story short, the pediatric guy shows up and luckily seemed to know what he was doing. He hit veins on both the wee-bots on the first try and knew that the previous woman had been planning to take WAY too much blood since there were so many tests being performed and she was going to use full-sized vials rather than the micro-vials. The babies both screamed initially, but about halfway through Olivia was overtaken by an almost eery calm. She even smiled and wiggled as I went to lift her up when she was done. I may be deaf in both ears from having been hunched over them whispering in their ears and restricting their body movements during the ordeal, but that smile made it all better.

You may be wondering what all the tests on the kiddos were for. We took them to see Dr. Feldman in Long Beach a couple of weeks ago to have thorough assessments of their physical condition, developmental milestones, attachment, etc. He specializes in international adoptions and was really incredible. It was a grueling 3 hour visit, and part what he wanted to look at were their blood titers (to see where we should start their immunizations at - were the ones they've already had effective, do we have to repeat the ones done in Ethiopia, etc.), check to be sure there are no underlying issues anywhere, no giardia, etc. Mostly just precautionary stuff, but good to know and also great to have a baseline of for the future if ever needed.

On Thursday we have their next appointment with their regular pediatrician to do a well-baby exam. If the results of the titers are back we'll begin immunizations based upon the needs determined by the blood titers. More fun to look forward too... poor babes! We will also be starting vegetables this week! Woohoo... no more cereal only for solids! I can barely believe that Wednesday is their 5 month birthday! Happy 5 months sweet angels! We love you!

I leave you with some pictures of Friday evening's pool fun...

Where's Daddy??

There he is!