we have finally finally picked a date for harley’s naming - the ceremony of giving her a hebrew name and thereby basically welcoming her into the jewish community.
her hebrew name will be hagit (or chagit), which means ‘to celebrate.’
we didn’t really have any requirements picking this name, we just started with the letter “H” to stay consistent with her english name and picked something that we thought sounded cool and meant something pretty.
we’ll be having a little gathering of family at my in-law’s house, where a cantor will recite some prayers, officially give her a hebrew name, and say a blessing over the family. and then we’ll eat, naturally.
but the part i’m most excited about? harley will be sharing this very special day with her SEVEN living great-grandparents.
a while back i promised (threatened?) to put up some pics from the state fair (i’m enjoying saying this in my head with a very ‘meh’ tone to the word fair. so it’s kind of like a double entendre (or maybe just a homonym?). only i’m not sure how to get that across except to explain my dumb joke with a lot of words. so now it’s not funny anymore.) we went to a few weekends ago with some friends.
so, now following will be some of my very faves. please to be enjoying them.
or, how i came to spend four days in the hospital with my seven-month old daughter.
so, what the hell happened??
a week ago monday, harley woke up extra early with a loud, barking cough - so i took her to the pediatrician (yay for weekday morning walk-in hours!) to get it checked out. the doctor saw her, told me it was croup, but since it’s a viral infection there wasn’t much to really do for her. she still had no fever, so he wasn’t too concerned, and said it would pass within about 3 nights.
that night, harley managed to sleep for a few hours - but only in our bed, and even then she cried a lot and had started to look pretty uncomfortable. but at about 4am she woke up just hysterical. greg tried to just settle her back down for a few minutes, but eventually took her into her room to change her. i immediately closed my eyes thinking it was my chance to get a few minutes of quiet since i’d been up off and on throughout the night with her…
as soon as he had put her down on the changing table he called my name with sheer panic in his voice.
i came running in to see her chest rising and falling like a trampoline being jumped on by rowdy kids. it was horrifying to watch. she wasn’t really crying, she was too busy just struggling so hard to catch her breath, and it had happened so suddenly.
while we’d mentioned throughout the night that one of us would probably have to take her to the doctor again in the morning, when we saw this we headed straight to the emergency room.
so there we are, 6:30am in the pediatric emergency room, and the doctor assures us it was good we brought her in, but with one dose of the breathing treatment and a steroid injection, her airways should be opened up and we should be able to go home. they said we’d be there at most 4-6 hours.
when one full dose of the epinephrine did basically nothing for her retractions, they warned us we’d probably be there overnight. it worried me like crazy that they were calling that so early - i thought for sure that meant things were terrible. it was because they were about to give her another breathing treatment and knew we’d probably end up sticking around for even more treatments after that, since she clearly needed them.
within an hour they’d given her another treatment, with almost the same minimal effect. about an hour after that we were admitted to a room in the regular peds ward.
the rest of the week was … kind of like groundhog day, actually. each morning was an assessment of the previous night and a call whether or not we should stay one more day. wednesday…thursday… it felt even longer than it was, i guess. croup gets much worse at night, but by then she’d also be so exhausted from how much work it took to breathe, that she was super cranky and crying, which just made the swelling even worse and around and around it went. until either the steroid or just time were enough to see the swelling subside enough for her to start to breathe normally. by friday afternoon, her doctor said he felt comfortable that she shouldn’t need any more treatments and could go home.
i almost can’t even say, “it was so scary.” like a friend told me, “you just go into mommy mode.” i truly don’t remember thinking for a second how awful this was or how scared i felt. i don’t remember consciously taking stock of my feelings at all really, the whole time we were there. that’s not me being a martyr, i was just kind of … numb. (i did, however, kind of lose it at one point late tuesday afternoon. greg and i were both feeling so stressed and had started snapping at each other and i just broke down and started crying uncontrollably. but i left her with greg, took a lap around the peds floor and composed myself, and came back in.)
scared or not… it should go without saying that i don’t want to be back in a hospital with my child again for a VERY long time. like, if the next time could be when she’s giving birth to my grandchild (so long as she’s married to a nice jewish doctor, of course, and not like 16 and tattooed), that would be terrific.
we had her final follow-up from this whole ordeal yesterday afternoon with the doctor. he said she sounds great, looks great, but will probably be a touch irritable (ha! he hasn’t been living with her!) for a few more days from the oral steroid he prescribed, which she finished yesterday. she has been having trouble getting to sleep - sleeping in our arms for 4 days really messed up her (and our!) routine - and she has been just kind of … off.
but today was her first day back at day care, and tonight i came home from work to see her on the couch with greg, a HUGE smile across her face and i got to hear the most precious giggle - as she PROPPED HERSELF UP ON WRISTS AND KNEES AND LUNGED FORWARD. holy cow. i’m so glad my baby is back.
you might think that because we own a house we’re “settled.”
we’re really not.
we frequently discuss if we want to stay in this house “long term,” if we plan to move on soon, or - if it’s something more in the middle - what the varying degrees of “for a little while” might look like.
there’s a pretty solid list of reasons i love the house, but there’s a pretty LONG list of reasons i’d move and things i’d want in the next place. we both knew this wasn’t our dream house. i think we went into it thinking one of 2 things was going to happen: we could make it into our dream house, or we could live in it happily as a starter home, fixing it up along the way, and then make some money on it and move on (to our actual dream house, i guess) (or another quasi-flip? who knows, we’re crazy like that).
we bought our house at a time that we thought was at least close to “the bottom,” although one can never really know these things. it turned out to really not have been the bottom at all (oh! the depths we’ve seen other homes in our neighborhood go - it’s a little nauseating), and even though we’ve started to see prices start to come up ever-so-slightly, we’re nowhere near a “turnaround” just yet. and nevermind the fact that we’ve already put a LOT of money and a LOT of hard work into sprucing up our very-much-a-fixer-upper house, we would still probably lose money. since we don’t need to leave, losing money on our house would obviously fall in the category of Really Stupid Decisions. so, we can’t sell. (thankfully we DON’T need to leave.)
but here’s the rub…
if we did want to sell - even if we believed that fate and/or the perfect homebuyer could smile upon us and our lovely little cared-for-and-mostly-updated cape - we’d still have a ways to go in getting it ready to sell. a few more projects and a healthy dose of staging means spending money. but it also means getting stuff done that’s on the list of stuff WE want to do in the house anyway.
see where this is going?
so since there’s no question that we’d need to put money into our house to get it ready to sell, we know we might as well get started on our top priority projects now and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor spent money. project #1 is: a brand new kitchen. (closely related project #2 is refinishing (including repairing and/or replacing, in some spots) the hardwood floors throughout the house.)
ok, ok, so here’s the tough part. but also kind of maybe the fun part?
greg really wants a pool. but installing a pool is a BIG deal, not to mention expensive! everything i’ve read points to this being a bad idea - “does not guarantee an increase in a home’s value,” “limits the number of prospective buyers,” “costly in installation and maintenance,” etc. it seems clear that the combination of wanting a pool, but thinking this isn’t our forever home, simply doesn’t add up.
which basically brings us back around to - selling our house (and buying a house with a pool, where the massive initial investment has already been made).
(OR, yknow, telling my husband to suck it up - life isn’t fair!! i want to stay at home! but here i am in the office every day while a stranger will get to see our daughter crawl, walk, talk, etc. for the first time. wah!) (not that i’m dramatic or anything.)
so, where are we now?
it’s almost like everything and nothing has been resolved. we’re definitely staying for “a while,” but who knows how long that really is? and we’re definitely going to start some of the projects we’ve been dreaming about, but are we doing it to enjoy our house, or are we getting it spiffy to sell? should we be spending top dollar to make things really awesome, or should we be doing updates as frugally as possible so we can pour as much as we can into the ‘buying a house’ savings account?
yknow what would be great?
if i could think about all of this stuff while floating lazily in the pool.
i found out about the site productiveparenting.com when tamara mentioned it yesterday. i decided to check it out and sign up for the daily email of activities to try with harley, geared exactly for her age and development.
today’s activity was ‘tearing.’
This activity will be entertaining and help develop motor skills. Children love to tear paper! Take a couple of old magazines and show your child how to tear out pages.
since my mom’s home w/ her on fridays, i forwarded the email to her, without comment.
she writes to me:
I read the comments on the site and I agree: “I wouldn’t suggest magazines because they are too much like books. This produces a frame of mind that says “it’s ok to rip pages out of my books. I think scrap paper would be better”
Even scrap paper is sending a message that’s it’s okay to rip / destroy….it’s like giving a puppy an “old slipper” - it’s not fair to then expect that the puppy won’t chew on a new slipper - the puppy cannot distinguish which is old v new. Same with paper - you are directing the infant (providing the material) at this time, but how will that translate into childhood - baby / child will think it’s okay to rip / destroy paper. Baby / child can’t distinguish which is good paper v junk paper. Maybe I am over analyzing, but it just seems like not the most appropriate activity - especially using magazines! I guess if you are using “scrap” paper and the point is made/reinforced that this is only done with “special” paper it’s acceptable…..
Let me know what you think, b/c I don’t want to do anything that will have a negative result down the road….
chill out, mom! so i wrote back to her…
yes, you’re wayyy over analyzing. Babyhood is about experiencing everything new – textures, sounds, experiences. There’s a whole lot of time between ‘ripping paper to experience something new’ and her thinking destroying books is ok.