Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple Juice or Hydrocephalus?

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I wanted to actually have some posts that might help people in slightly crappy situations. The internet is full of treasures and crap. But there is no shortage of people sharing their stories to help others feel better because 1. your life doesn't suck as badly as you thought 2. someone else is going through the same crap you are going through. And I have found especially with pregnancy and having kids, lots of weird stuff happens, and you want to know how other people are dealing with the same weird stuff.

So here's a crazy experience that I managed to not blog about a few months ago. It was kind of a big deal at the time, but it happened right before I went to Toronto, which is probably why I never got around to writing about the whole random event.

Anyway, Topher has a really big head. It's a Watson thing I guess. Lily's head has always been in the 90th percentile, and Topher's has maxed out over 100. But, when Topher would go to his doctor's appointments and his head would be ginormous, the doctor just attributed it to genes. As did I. Then at his 1 year well-check, they noticed his soft spot was still very open. And that his head was still in the 100th percentile. So they told us to go get him checked out at the hospital by way of an ultrasound. Super.

So we went and did that, and Topher was so great. They put the gel stuff on his hair, then they started waving their magic wand around, and he just took it like a champ. Of course, I had no idea what I was looking at, but my doctor's office was incredible and they called me a few short hours after our visit to the new Phoenix Children's Hospital in Gilbert (so great to have it so close!) Apparently they had found some fluid and they couldn't tell where it was coming from, so they wanted us to schedule an MRI as soon as possible. Great.

We were back at the hospital about a week later, and I would not recommend getting an MRI for an infant to anyone. I am not a big cryer, but I saw the giant machine they were going to put my baby in and I almost lost it. But I stayed strong for the Tophmeister. I brought his favorite Monkey that he only gets to hang out with when sleeping, or being stuck in an MRI machine. They swaddled him up supertight (Topher, not Monkey), and got the show on the road. Word to the wise- if you have to take your child to get an MRI, and their favorite toy has any metal in it- it will be a no-go. Monkey's gold chains had to stay in the locker. Topher cried a bunch, but the doctor of course said that he did 'great' because he has seen much worse. Thanks a lot.

So then I went home and waited and waited for the results, which took till the next day. And I knew it couldn't be anything, cause Topher has really been developing right on par. But we did just go to the hospital twice in one week for some pretty scary looking tests. The main thing they were looking for was Hydrocephalus. What is that you ask? Basically it is an abnormal buildup of the brain's normal water-like fluid known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The only ways to correct this involve surgery. Thanks, but no thanks. Babies belong in hospitals to be born, and that's it! Fortunately for us all, Topher just has a very big head. The mystery fluid they found in the ultrasound is still a mystery. In my unprofessional, undoctorly opinion, I am going with apple juice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Same old same old...

So, here I am again. I was kind of shocked when I looked at my blog list for the month and saw that I only had 5 posts for June, and it's already the 25th! Yowsers. And as I continued to inspect my blog (no, not for grammatical errors or anything like that, so those are still to be found in abundance!) I decided I liked my 'old look' better than my new one. If only Michael Jackson had felt that way about his looks... Which by the way- did you know he died today?!?! This is not nearly as mind-blowing as when Princess Di died, or at least my mother hasn't called me about it yet, which when the latter died, I very distinctly remember my mom running into my room, where I was sleeping peacefully on the top bunkbed, with my sister below me, and my mother was holding a newspaper ranting and crying about 'My Princess!" She's so crazy. My mom, not Princess Diana. And now the King of Pop is off to... a different place. But not me. I am here, same bat time, same bat channel...

Earnest ChrisTophers

This morning Topher and his dad woke up at about the same time (8 am. Not bad for either of them!) And so they sat at the kitchen table and ate some Honey Nut Cheerios while staring at each other. And I sat across the table staring at them. Oh how I love my Christophers!

Let me start with my little one, who has hit a ton of amazing milestones this week! First of all, he went from being the Three-Toothed Wonder, to being the Five-Toothed Wonder. Kinda out of nowhere. Or at least it seems like it was out of nowhere because the sole tooth that Topher had on top was HUGE. It was about the same width as the two bottom teeth combined. Yes, this made him REALLY funny looking. Really. But all of a sudden, crazy-third-tooth's new friend is just about as big and wide in such a short time. The fifth tooth is beside crazy-third-tooth, and is not crazy and therefore barely worth mentioning.

Then Topher finally realized that we've been practicing eating with a spoon for months now, and that it's not that cute to get food on his forehead everytime he eats. (Ok. It is cute. But so annoying to have to bathe him after every meal!) This made the mirrored Christopher Sr and Jr breakfast eating scene from this morning all the more real, since they were both able to get their spoons from their bowls to their mouths, with minimal spillage.

Third milestone- occassionally, if you give Topher a piece of food, or something that he is wanting, he will say 'Thank You' unprompted. The fact that he says 'Thank You' (or something that sounds a lot like it) at all at this stage of his life (in comparison to where Lily was at this stage in her life) astounds me.

And finally, Topher just started walking this weekend! We told him he needed to start walking for Sungu's birthday, and he did! He has been cruising along furniture for months. He has also been walking around with assitance from our toy firetruck for months. But walking on his own was just not something he was interested in. The last week and a half he started standing on his own in the middle of a room. He started getting brave and taking three or four steps. Then he finally 'mastered' The Walk in time for Sungu's birthday. What a gift! (To me. Sungu could care less.)

Anyhoo, as I have been watching my son develop in strides over the last few days, I have just had a sense of pride and amazement. When I look at Topher, the word 'earnestness' pops into my head. Even for being 15 months, he is Deep. He is funny, yet serious. He is cute, yet mature. But his true mark of earnestness is that he is so sincere and serious in all that he does. When he eats, when he poops, when he walks, when he stops to hug any and every stuffed animal that crosses his path, he just has this look on his face that says 'I am thinking about what I am doing, I am trying really hard, and I am happy doing it.' And what more can a parent ask for than that?

And now on to Christopher Sr. For Father's Day, Topher 'gave' Chris a copy of 'Mama Mia!' the musical. It came with a note that said 'One day I might want to be in a musical dad, but I know that you will support me in it.' I asked Chris a few days ago what he would think if Topher ended up not liking sports at all- to watch, or to play. And Chris thought about it for a second, and said that he felt that he has wasted a lot of his life playing, but especially watching sports (of course, this epiphany does not mean he is going to stop 'wasting' his life watching sports, because apparently he has come too far...) But God has truly blessed Chris with a love for so many different types of things. He loves 'macho' things like sports, and movies with blood and guns, but he also loves 'not macho' things like musicals, and doing word puzzles with his wife and sister-in-law. So pretty much anything that our kids choose to be interested in, they will have a dad who will earnestly support them all the way. And what more can a child ask for than that?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Gu

Here's a shout out to my favorite little nephew who lives with me!

Today Sungu turned two and my goodness how he has grown! Sungu and his mama moved in with us a little bit before he turned one. Back then he was just a chubby little guy who could not walk, use a spoon, or talk. Now he not only walks and talks, but he dances, and sings! He can point out different letters while reading with his mom, can count in English and Korean (though he has something against the number 1 in both languages. He just says 2 twice. Which is a special kind of genius.)

Sungu is a sweet lover of man and animals, unlike his parents who are not fond of animals, especially not ours. When we went to the zoo a few months ago, he loved posing with all the animal statues! It was so cute. And not just posing with them, but fully hugging them like they were long lost friends being reunited after years of seperation. And when it comes to hugging people, it's always a hug and a kiss, no matter if you are man, woman, boy or girl. He loves to give kisses. Sometimes they are dramatic- as he puts his chubby little hand (if you haven't noticed Sungu's hands before, they are the cutest things ever. He still has an indentation between his hand and arm, where 'normal' people have a wrist) behind your head and plants one on you, and sometimes they are just sweet little fish-face pecks, but they are always full of good love.

Sungu has moved around more in his two years of life, than many people have moved as full grown adults! He started his life in a very nice apartment in Seoul, then he moved to a very small apartment in Seoul for a few weeks before moving to Missouri. Then he moved to Gilbert, and now lives in Mesa. He has had many airplane rides and visits to L.A and Toronto (what a jetsetter!) And now he is getting ready to go back to Missouri for a 10-day stay (where he will see his dad!), and then he will come back here and prepare to move to Sierra Vista (though I am pretty sure he is unaware that he is getting ready for all these things!) For all the changes he has endured in such a short time, Sungu is a very well-adjusted little man. (And that's thanks to his mama who is always The Constant in his life. According to 'LOST' we all need a Constant or else we will surely die!)

We are really thankful for the time we have been able to spend with Sungu these last few months. Especially because it has been amazing to watch him, and Lily, and Topher grow up together. Some cousins have the opportunity to grow up with each other, by living down the street from one another, or at least in the same city. We have no idea where Sungu will end up after February, but are so glad for the time that he has been living down the hall.

Happy birthday Sungu. We love you, and your chubby mitts, and even chubbier heart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Best New Diaper Bag

For the next couple of posts I am going to try to intentionally be 'a helpful mom on the internet'. Whether I succeed or not is an entirely different issue. But that is why I originally started blogging- to help lots of ladies I knew who were pregnant and about to have their first baby, who didn't live in Arizona. I started blogging when Lily was about 4 months old, and I wanted to share my experiences as a 'seasoned veteran', and of my fun times of being pregnant while raising my little 4 month old. Lately I feel like I have been talking less about my kids and my life as a parent and more about randomness. So here I am trying to recenter myself. Or this blog at least.

The 'serious mom topic' I am choosing to attack today is the ever important Diaper Bag. And I found the perfect one for me! It's amazing because it has so many compartments- and that's what sets a great diaper bag apart from the good ones. The front flap velcroes (sp?...) close. When you open it there is a little zipper exposing a cute little area for knick knacks such as keys, extra hair elastics (for Lily mostly), gum/candy, a pen, etc. Very handy. Then in the 'main section' there are two seperate compartments- one for diapers and wipes, and the other for sippy cups and water bottles and flasks... just joking. Then there is an additional pocket in the back, where I will be storing my wallet and car keys. (Or at least I say I will put my car keys there, but I will probably lose them in the diaper section, and spend ten minutes looking for them.)

This bag is great, and it was really cheap. 10 bucks. Brand new. I would take a picture of it, but I am pretty sure I broke my camera. But if you look on IKEA's website you could probably see it there. When did IKEA start making diaper bags you ask. It's not a diaper bag- it's a computer bag! And it's awesome! And it's all mine. Thanks IKEA. You've done it again. So for those looking for a great diaper bag, you may want to try places other than just Babies R Us and Target. I also hear 'man stachels' (aka man purses) have lots of handy pockets and are pretty roomy. I used to need a gigantic diaper bag when Lily and Topher were infants- cause of the formula, the bottles, the extra clothes, etc. But now that we can just go out with a handful of diapers and sippy cups, a smaller bag will do the trick. Happy bag shopping ladies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Best Wedding Ever

As promised, I am here to tell you about the best wedding I have ever been to. Or maybe just one of the most memorable. Definitely VERY entertaining.

Our lovely friend Braden got married to the girl of his dreams, Emily, this last Saturday. There have been many a rumours about Braden being gay because 1. he's pretty good looking (everyone tries to bring down good looking folk by making up rumours. People said Brad Pitt was gay and look, he now has ten thousand kids!) 2. he's really big into personal hygiene and style (ok... I guess not a lot of guys are into that kind of thing) 3. by Arizona standards, it took him a REALLY long time to get married. (about the same age as Chris- 26. But there were no gay-Chris rumours. Probably because of point #2....)

Anyhoo, Chris, Barb and I got into Barb's amazing little Prius (I think we spent $30 on gas for the whole trip!) and drove on down to San Diego. I was really looking forward to this day of adventure because I would be stuck with two of my favorite people in the world. The conversation was a rolling- we didn't turn on the radio at any point of the trip! And our babies were with Chris' dad and step-mom and step-sister. They went to the zoo and had a blast. So great. Chris' dad dropped the babies off at our house around 7:30pm where Jeehon was ready to watch them sleep, so there wasn't any middle of the night picking up of children. It was kind of an amazing plan executed by very helpful and amazing people.

We left the East Valley at about 8am, filled with Starbucks. We got into San Diego at about 2pm. The wedding didn't start until 4pm, so we were able to sit around with Lindsay, who had been there since the day before because Robert was in the wedding party. We got to the church, which really didn't seem to be in the ghetto part of San Diego, and sat down nicely in our pew, not knowing what was about to happen...

The wedding started. Everything was lovely. Braden had tears of joy. Not surprising (I guess that might be supporting point #4...) Then Emily started reading her vows that she had written, and that's when the fun started. Apparently some hooligan was being chased by the police, and he decided to run into the church we were in. He ran up to the balcony and hid between some pews. The police followed him into the church with their guns drawn. Apparently the videographer who was also on the balcony had laser sights on his chest. Scary. Everyone in the church was told to get down, so we bent down onto the floor. I felt like I was in a very safe place- I was in Jesus' house, next to my strong husband, and very protective mother-in-law.

Chris was watching everything happen and was playing tons of different scenarios in his head. If the perp were to run down the center of the church, Chris was in perfect position to tackle the guy. The only thing that irked my poor husband was that 99% of the time that he is awake, he is packing heat. BUT because he had the wrong holster for a wedding (belt as opposed to a concealed ankle one) his gun was in the car, along with a suit jacket that I had packed for him, which would have allowed him to have his gun on him. Maybe next time he will just wear what I pick out for him without complaint. Maybe.

The police apprehended their suspect and the wedding proceeded. Unfortunately for the bride and groom, instead of everyone talking about how lovely they BOTH looked, we all just talked about the insanity of what we had just witnessed. But for the record, the bride and groom did look incredible, the wedding and the reception were very lovely, and we had a great, great day. The speeches were all hilarious where the sister of the bride complimented her new brother-in-law about being good-looking, and the best man confessed that he had started a rumour in high school that Braden was gay (now we know where and when those rumours started!)

Congrats to Braden and Emily, may your lives together be filled with a lot less excitement than your wedding day. Or at least a lot less criminals.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Checkin In

It's already June! This is my first post of the month and it's already the 8th!
We have been busy in the Watson/Malloy household. I am not sure with what, but time is flying by! The Malloys' time with us is quickly drawing to an end- which means James is coming home from Iraq very soon! July will be their last month with us, but there will be so much traveling going on , that there will hardly be a time when all six of us are in the house all together.

Oh yeah- I went to the best wedding in the world on Saturday! That's why I haven't written! But there are LOTS of dishes waiting to get done, and other things that I really need to get done today, so I will have to leave y'alls in suspense for at least another day or two. Just know that this incredible wedding involved about elven hours of driving to and from San Diego in one day, quite a few of San Diego Police Department's finest, and lots of speeches where pretty much everyone was hitting on the groom. Amazing.