Friday, January 27, 2012


My aunt just reminded me that my mom has been here five days already, and I haven't written a word about it yet! [Hi Cathie!] ;) It's nice to know I have dedicated readers who will give me a poke when needed :-)

So yes, Mom is here - she had no trouble on the [albeit long] journey and came laden with goodies and treats from Peru. It was a late-night arrival and I made the trek out to the airport by myself - a rare thing, for me to be out at all after 8 p.m. But it was worth it to see her come through the gates and give her a big, long hug. No matter how old you are, there's nothing like a hug from your mother.

I think Valerie and Gabriel recognized her voice more than they did her face. There is no substitute for warm, in-person vocals. Valerie has already christened her "Rabbit." A wooden puzzle in the shape of a rooster she brought was the unexpected big-hit gift, and Valerie has been taking it to bed with her every night (except last night when it was replaced by a lift-a-flap Winnie the Pooh book that came in the mail from friends in the US). I've kept more or less a normal work schedule this week, although Terry and I had a date night Weds. evening, which was a fun mid-week event. So Mom's had lots of time to make towers out of blocks and Shpresa has also been taking her (and the kids) out for walks to see different points of interest in the city center.

I'm glad it has not been as cold this week since all our wall-unit heaters have conked out and we only have 2 portable space heaters that we take from room to room. Shpresa improvised a hot-water bottle from an empty plastic detergent bottle that has been helpful for Mom since the room she is in is the coldest in the apartment.

I'll have her write a guest post soon once she's had a chance to form more of an impression of the city.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012


It has been COLD here. Power has been unreliable, and since we use electric heat, it's been a little worrisome. So far we haven't lost power for more than 10 minutes or so in the evenings during heaviest use time, but friends a few blocks away were out for like 10 HOURS, and they have a little baby. Even though it's been sunny, I haven't been taking the kids out much. I bought them some play-dough and that's been a huge hit. We make little snowmen and Gabriel grabs the balls and throws them across the room shouting "Gooool!"

Monday, January 16, 2012


The bad news is that G has been sick with stomatitis - Valerie had it at about the same age, which helped me recognize what it was even after the doctor told us it was probably a respiratory infection (at that point he had a fever but the cold sores hadn't really fully developed on his tongue yet). It's kind of interesting to compare, actually - I don't recall that she ever had much of a fever, although her outbreaks looked much, much worse (bleeding gums, ugh), and she also didn't seem to be in as much pain - she ate a lot better than he has been.

Monday morning Terry woke me up saying G felt kind of hot and might have a fever. He was burning up. By the late afternoon the fever went up to 102, and Tuesday evening went up to 103. It would go down in the day but then up in the early evening. And he was miiiiiiiiserable. All day Tuesday, all he wanted to do was lie in my arms and nurse. He didn't want to eat anything, and on Wednesday I realized that he was having difficulty swallowing. The front of his clothes were drenched in drool (so at first we thought it was teething pain). He wanted food, he would point to it and go "eh eh" in this pitiful voice but one bite, and then he'd spit it out crying in pain.

Sooooo heartbreaking.

Thursday I took him to the clinic and they said the back of his throat looked red. I'd noticed his gums were getting red, too, but the doctor didn't think much of that. She said it wasn't strep, but to watch for blisters on his hands and feet. Otherwise she was pretty sure it would turn out to be a respiratory tract thing.

But Shpresa and I both noticed little sores on his tongue later that day, and when I got a good look at them I recognized stomatitis.

Since he couldn't eat food, we've been giving him herbal tea with honey in it, and what clear broths he could manage. Plus breastfeeding of course, his preferred food. He could sometimes take a few spoonfuls of very milky oatmeal. But he hasn't pooped since Friday.

The good news is that he seems to be on the upswing now. He ate a good deal of actual noodle soup yesterday, and this morning woke up a little more bright eyed and bushy tailed (in the immortal words of my father) :-) with actual smiles, and the fun-loving look in his eyes was back. He hasn't had a fever since what, Friday? I think? He's drooling less and I can hear him swallowing his saliva from time to time.

The other good news is that since it's a virus that Valerie has already had, I don't have to worry about him giving it to her. In fact she very well might have given it to him!

I'm worn out, though. His sleep at night has been terrible due to the pain in his mouth. Think about how much a cold sore hurts and then imagine having them all over your gums and three on your tongue. Terry's been away on a work trip for two nights. I think we coped really well the past two days all things considered, but I'm ready for a nap!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

sorry out of office, g sick - updates soon.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I'm back!

Happy New Year, everybody! Here is a lazy picture post to get you started. One of my goals for 2012 is 150 blog posts. I posted 171 times in 2011, so my secret personal goal is actually 175 posts (lucky you!) but my realistic goal is 15o. So you can look forward to lots more pictures of these two little ones in 2012.

Little hug

Stop the presses!!!!
V. wearing a dress!!!!!!

Those red shoes used to be hers, but they work on him too.

By the artificial lake

My little hobbit