Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Biohazardous-Body-Fluid-Full Day

You read it right. I've been drowning in various bodyfluids and excrement all day. I need some yellow tape around my house that warns of great danger. Here's the scoop...

Incident 1: 11 month old male child removes pants and diaper while in a pack-n-play type bed (read this as ALL CLOTH bed). Child has been suffering from food-reaction diarrhea for two weeks and has a massive raw-bottom rash, worse I've ever dealt with. Hence, he's become VERY aware of how diapers work lately and how good it feels to have the poop off his bottom. Of course this diaper that was removed was full of the nasty stuff and it was smeared all over. Male child also piddled a large puddle for added entertainment.

Incident 2: 3 yr. old male child pees while napping on the napping mat. Not so messy, just inconvenient and more work.

Incident 3: 7 month old female child wet through her diaper, required partial wardrobe change and use of spare diaper cover.

Incident 4: Same female child pooped while sitting in the Bumbo seat. There is only one place for poop to go when a child is sitting in this seat and that is up the bottom crack like a riverway, out the diaper and up the back - way up the back. Child then was cleaned up and turned into a "bag lady" because she used up all her cloth diaper covers. Bag Lady means I cut the corners off a grocery back, stuck her legs through it and tied is at the waist, thus covering her cloth diaper safely. Second wardrobe change.

Incident 5: Same 3 yr. old male child ate a large lunch, had a cookie afterwards and promptly tossed it back up onto the swing when he threw himself onto the swing like superman on his belly.

All in a days work, eh?

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Brother (7 lbs. 13 oz) & Henry (4 lbs. 2 oz.) 7 months old.

Apple's Room: Step 1

Finally, Apple's things are in HER very own bedroom. These are the books I've collected for her since the adoption started. I have another bin full of books that I had from before, too.

Here are some of the bins of baby/toddler clothing that I have. A few of these bins have boy clothes and the four large ones on the right are the things I've gotten for Apple since starting the adoption. The rest I began saving after my sister was born when I was ten and my mom gave me a few of her things. I have tons more downstairs, some in bins, boxes, and hanging up. It's all in Apple's closet now, along with her pram and stroller.

I pulled some things out to photograph. Here are some of my store-bought favorites, all from my friend's 2nd hand boutique except the pink sailor suit. Many are NWT, new with tags, or hardly worn at all since at this time, a very wealthy woman with one child and no family had bought everything her heart desired and she brought it all into my friend's store so I bought it all up. This was in the mid 1990s!




Japanese or European.
I can't begin to tell you how high the quality is on these fabrics; they are so soft!



Japanes brand Familiar, extremely high quality. When the San Francisco boutique closed, I shopped three times as things went from 40% to 90% off. The retial price on this lovely little thing, pre-sale, was $90!!!

Click to see the detail and the shimmer of the cotton.

Remember when I said could sew? Well, I can REALLY sew. I made these in the mid 1990s before I got good.

Japanese pattern

Vogue pattern. This is exquisite. What you can't see in the picture are pin tucks from the shoulders down, making a yoke.

German pattern, reversible jacket.

Jacket back detail.

This is cuter on than the boxy pictures shows. My friend made one for her daughter from the same pattern. The child is now 15 yrs. old!

Back collar detail.

I made this pattern and dress after seeing the exact thing from G*A*P.

German pattern. My all-time favorite.
I can't wait until my little Asian daughter wears this. Click to see the pinafore/cape fabric print and you'll see what I mean.

Same cape, different undersuit.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Moving Apple In

Okay, my housemate and her two kids moved out at the beginning of this month. I put up an ad for another housemate at the flight school nearby but haven't heard anything. That empty room finally got to me. Why are all of my daughter's things out in the garage when her room stands empty? I would LOVE to set up her crib and put the bedding in and paint the furniture and hang the curtains, but I'm still looking at a year and then some before my referral arrives. My compromise is to put the bins of clothes in the closet and maybe her pram, too. What may not fit there can fit in the "schoolroom" closet and drawers for now. I just put her special books on a shelf in there and it felt right. Her special books are the ones I've collected since starting the adoption. I have another collection of books that I'd saved for my future child long before this, but they are in one of the bins that will go in the closet. I will open some of the bins and take pictures of my pre-adoption "Hope Chest" loot. It'll knock your socks off to see how much I actually have, even if I don't count the boy stuff!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Henry Update

***Update Sept. 26, 2009: My boy is BACK! He's a REAL cat, playing, pouncing, running, nipping, getting in trouble and growing. He's just over FOUR WHOLE POUNDS! I have to add that Brother is almost 8 pounds now and Poppy is an ounce or so heavier than Henry. So, the new protocol with Henry will be aggressive (meaning no wait and see time) antibiotic treatment at the sign of any back-sliding and definitely at the sign of any wheezing. I've paid close attention and know what it sounds like when he aspirates. He does it much more than I thought, so he will be prone to pneumonia and must have had this for the past month.***

My tiny little man-cat "crashed" last week. It snuck up on me, I didn't put all the symptoms together, but I finally realized he didn't play any more, slept all the time, didn't ask me for milk or food and stopped eating solids and was decreasing his milk intake. I didn't put it together that three nights last week he woke me up with his wheezing so that I had to "burp him down" to get it to stop and on Friday was breathing rapidly and starting to retract (sides heaving with effort to breath). It was when I realized Poppy was the same weight that I began force-feedings him fortified food and realized - duh! - He has aspiration pneumonia again due to his reflux. He'd just gotten over this when he became mine. I tried to get him some Clavamox through my vet, but couldn't get an appointment for 5 days and they wouldn't just give it to me, even with his history, so I put in a plea to my contact at my local rescue group and she brought me the medication. After just two doses my little man was back, eating like a champ, playing and talking to me again. He's continued to improve by the hour and even gained 2 ounces in less than two days!!! I still hear a faint wheeze but once I do the full course of the antibiotic, he should be fine - until the next time - and I'll be more informed as to the early symptoms.

I am fortifying his food again. I think I should have done this all along, but I didn't know how. There's not a lot of information online about this and what is out there is terrible stuff - very artificial or just sugar. What I decided to do was this regime:

Fortify his feline-balanced raw meat food with 1/8 tsp. powdered KMR. This adds balanced calories (protein, fat, carbs).

After he eats as much of this as he can, which isn't a lot, I then add the ready-to-feed KMR to it so it's very soupy (this has one more calorie per tbs. than the powdered formula and is smooth, not chalky. One calorie more is about 8% more, so it's significant. He'll then eat this.

Afterward, he'll sometimes get a bite or two of what the healthy cats are having (same raw diet but chunkier), but they eat very fast and even when I offer him is own right next to them, I have to fend them off and it's a little confusing for Henry so he stops eating.

I've added the calorie gel again, once a day only because it's essentially sugar, and do not give him plain milk (kitten formula) any more. I always put at least a little meat (homemade balanced raw feline diet), except tonight because he ate so well and I knew he'd go for it and I wanted to sneak in those calories even though I know he'd be pretty full and I'd have to burp him for awhile. About 30 minutes later he did a huge gag, but, by some miracle, nothing came out. That's the beauty of the raw diet, it's digested so quickly!

I'm giving him the huge calorie push right now because I suddenly noticed that Brother, Henry's brother, is almost fully grown now at six months old. Their bone growth plates are going to fuse soon and then he won't grow any more. If Henry can't get bigger then his diagnostic and treatment options will be limited. My conservative goal is to get him to 5 pounds. My hopeful goal is 6 pounds and in my dreams he finally catches up to Brother and I get my identical twins back again. Right now he's 3 pounds 15.6 ounces.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

29 Months

I'm watching CCAA carefully because in just a short while I will be one year's worth of referral days away from my log-in date! Once I hit that one year mark, I think I'll do the marbles in a jar thing.

The change on my little calerdar in how I mark off the days is because my agency predicted a wait of "24 months with a likely slow down" at the time I began my process. Now that I've reached that 24 month mark, I consider each month I wait, an "extra month."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Super Fun Is...

...playing like Angelina Jolie did in Tomb Raider and doing trampoline ballet in silky pajamas at midnight!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peaches and Moonlight

I know this picture is blurry, I didn't have time to grab my tripod, but it's good enough to show the gorgeous waxing moon and the little planet that rose over my backyard as I was picking my peaches the other night. There is something magical about picking peaches in moonlight. I draw strength and peace from it.

Prepping the peaches for freezing.

Ready for the freezer.

Green Thumb?

I don't believe in green thumbs. You have gardening knowledge, common sense and adequate gardening requirements (soil, water, sun) or you don't. If a weird natural event kills your garden it's not your fault. I have a sunny yard and a sprinkler system that I had repaired and then I went to my local home improvement store and bought some plants. I have a friend who is an experienced gardner and asked her advice as to the spacing of the plants. The rest was a no-brainer since they all go in a sunny spot where the sprinklers reach. Alas, vegetables grew and I'm downright amazed! I admit that I was extrememly encouraged by the fact that there had been a successful garden in my yard in the past so I knew it could be done again.

Strawberries before.

Strawberries after.

Squash before. Notice the edge of the weeds.
That's the boundary of where the play structure went in.

Squash after. Notice the Fushia in the background?
That's the reference point for these two squash pictures.

My goal for next spring is to learn to be a good gardner where I actually have a plan and build boxes and mix soil, maybe even put up string, etc... I really want to can my own veggies for the winter, at least as much as I can. The play structure took up a LOT of space, but I left enough room for at least three garden boxes and I might try either the layered box method or the Mittleider method. I want to save the seeds from my harvest this year and start my own plants along with saving the seeds from good produce that I find in the stores. I know that there are lettuce varieties where one just picks enough leaves to eat and the plant keeps growing new ones.

My apple tree is very healthy and I need only to prune it to keep it the right size for the space it has. It helped that I had a camelia tree removed that had been encroaching on it. My apricot tree is also extremely prolific but the wild creatures took all the fruit this year. I will be better prepared next year. I missed harvesting my plums. I have two trees and they were bountiful, but I waited too long to pick and they disappeared, again a victim of the wildlife (squirrels, rats, oppossums, racoons, birds). My cherry tree is old and probably won't make it another season despite producing a few meager sour cherries right when I moved in. I pruned a dead branch at that time and another major branch has died since then.

I'm very happy with my peaches. They are surprisingly tastey! The tree is in pretty bad shape, though. I removed about 1/3 of the tree that was dead and it has bad leaf-curl fungus. Once the tree is harvested, I will treat it with copper soap and then treat it again pre-spring right before the new leaf buds form.

Until I moved in I knew nothing about trees except that I liked climbing them! I went to my local garden shop, not at a home improvement store, but a privately owned one, and got some helpful advice. I plan to read up and educate myself this winter, too. I will be adding flowers to my yard, in spring, at least in the front, along with another strawberry hedge in front.

I plan to learn a lot about gardening a make the best one I can in the space I have and pass that knowledge and skill on to my daughter. I love that fact that we will be eating organic and sustainably, which, of course, is the most healthy!