Monday, October 07, 2013

Feast and Famine

Last Thursday I had an epic (solo) 2 hour visit with the paediatrician our family doctor refers us to - he wants us to have a second set of eyes going over the Wonder Twins, to make sure he doesn't miss anything specifically related to their prematurity, especially given all the extra stuff we're dealing with - brain cysts and the like,

It was...tough.  First of all, she started by talking to me about Prof. Gantok's brain cyst, which is still there, unchanged.  According to her - there's nothing to do but adopt a "wait and see" policy and go with early interventions if he starts missing developmental milestones.  However, she did use the phrase, "I mean, a cyst is really just a part where there is no brain."  Umm...excuse me?  Things you never want to hear: that there's a part of your kid's brain that is MISSING.  She did follow up with, "There are some kids that are missing huge chunks of their brain and are fine!"  "We all know we don't need our whole brain!"  I had always understood the cyst to be a fluid-filled pocket...not the ABSENCE OF BRAIN.  Awww, poor little brainless Prof. Gantok.  No wonder he looks so alarmed all the time!  We might get a referral to a paediatric neurologist who won't be able to offer any additional assessment, but might be able to provide information on probabilities and outcomes, based on their research.  Not sure if we're going to go down that route, but it's an option.

So THAT cheery news was followed by a lecture on the Great Gazoo's weight gain, or lack thereof.  He's measuring in the 5th percentile, and that's on the "low birth weight, pre-term infant" growth chart, which adjusts for his prematurity.  Basically, I heard that I was starving my baby, by putting "too many limitations" and not paying attention to his hunger cues.  The limitations she identified were: feeding them on a schedule, feeding them both at the same time, feeding them only one boob each, etc.  It was really demoralizing and I came out of the office and sat in Eddie VAN Halen and cried for 15 minutes.  I think any time you're talking to a mum about feeding her kids, it's going to be taken hard, because you want to do the best for your kids and it's a super-charged topic of conversation.  It's a really sensitive topic on its own.  Add to that a doctor without a great bedside manner, and it all adds up to me feeling like the worst mom ever.  The idea that someone under my roof going hungry?  Basically the antithesis of everything I stand for.  Things got marginally better when, after an hour of giving me the gears about my feeding and referring me to this special breastfeeding clinic (my appointment is tomorrow morning), she came back into the room after leaving and said that she averaged his weight gain on a per day basis between our visits with her and he was actually within the acceptable range (20grams/day).  TOO LITTLE TOO LATE, LADY.  The damage had been done.

After a few days of sitting on this, I feel like I have some better perspective.  I still have to find a style of feeding that's going to work with my life and my schedule, in acknowledgement of the fact that I have another baby and a preschooler at home.  I also feel like we have a control subject (Prof. Gantok) who is thriving under the same circumstances.  I think I'm just going to give them both extra boob whenever possible and as a first line of defence and go from there.  We'll see what I learn tomorrow.

These two!

On Friday, we tempted the Boston Pizza fates and posse'd up and took the family out to eat.  That's right, Friday Night Takeout Night became Friday Night Eatout Night.  We went to a REAL restaurant on a FRIDAY night.  It was kind of a big deal.  I made us reservations at Big Crow, which is a barbecue restaurant owned by Anthony Rose, of my birthday lunch at Rose and Sons, fame.  The concept of Big Crow is like a camp-cookout, or Canadian barbecue.  Not the Southern, low-and-slow, super-smoke stuff...more like grilled things, cooked over a wood fire.  The restaurant is behind Rose and Sons - outside, with big tarps and heaters now that the weather is cooler.  There are hurricane lamps strung from sturdy wooden posts, woolen camp blankets, and big, long, rough hewn wooden communal picnic tables and benches.  Water is poured from plastic Hudson's Bay striped pitchers for that added touch.  The staff is 100% hipster but they were really nice to us, considering out of a table of five, only 2 of us were eating.   Originally the roomie was supposed to join us, but bailed at the very last minute.  We ended up cancelling some of our food because the server gave us the whole, "that's a lot of food for 2 people" line, but after our meal, we could have had the extra dishes, no problem.


Jerk chicken wings - nicely charred with a good amount of spice, and their barbecued bacon, both served with Thuet bread.  

A full rack of ribs with chimichurri, corn salad, the tomato-avocado salad we didn't order but were given accidentally.  Not pictured: the pork'n'beans and the ketchup chips (out of a bag) that the Big Yam hogged.

Overall, the portions were decent, the food was tasty, and the atmosphere fun and lowkey.  The music got really loud and the babies cried a bit, but it was worth it to feel like, IT CAN BE DONE (it's important for me to feel like IT CAN BE DONE.  Otherwise, I would go insane and would stop having babies.)  I didn't love the chimichurri on the ribs, and the food could be priced a touch lower, but I'd go back, and this time, ORDER ALL THE FOOD I WANT TO EAT.  

On Sunday we went to JJ & S's house for another themed dinner with the Discerning Coyote and those guys.  The theme was "Oktoberfest" - so what you see pictured above is pork schnitzel, carrots, vinegared cucumber, my German potato salad, my braised cabbage & apples with bacon, and the pièce de resistance, the Discerning Coyote's schweinshaxe - basically, German porchetta - a loin wrapped in a belly, slow-cooked with bubbly crackling.   I wish I felt comfortable telling you how much I ate...but it's pretty gross.  Let's just say it was a two-Tums night.  They also made this awesome sugary, sweet, delicate pear tart.  I love those guys.  They do life right.

We followed it up with Oktoberfest round two on Sunday - featuring sausages from a local butcher and leftover sides.

We continued the Eastern European theme tonight with beet/cabbage borscht, and toasted rye with liverwurst and pickled herring.

Friday was the first "Sports Pack" class for the Big Yam.  I knew it was drop-off, but for some reason, I thought there'd be an observation chamber or that parents would be able to sit in the gym.  But no, I left him there and they closed the door.  He's so tall, but he's one the youngest kids in the class (I had to get an age exemption to get him in because you're supposed to be 3 before the class starts).  It was a little heart-breaking...they closed the door and I saw him standing off by himself, just watching.  I got teary - first day of kindergarten is going to be a write off.  The other kids in the class were more rambunctious and instantly grabbed other kids hands and sat in the circle, but not the Big Yam.  He's so cautious and wary and this was his first time - I can't get that image of him standing by himself out of my head!  When I came back at the end of class they were playing "red light, green light" and he was so tentative again.  My heart - how am I supposed to stand it?

We also signed him up for 15 minute private swim lessons through the City.  The idea is that even though the lessons are short, they learn a s**t ton because they're not sharing 1 teacher with 5 other kids and only getting 5 minutes of actual swim time.  It was kind of hilarious.  He went with the teacher right away - no tears, no looking back, and he was hilarious.  At one point, from the observation deck, the teacher was pulling the Big Yam on a flutter board through the water and I could hear the Big Yam ask, "Where are we going?" LOL.  The Dotytron and I died laughing.

Guess who is (are?) four months old, today:

Their 4 month shot

At 3 months.  I think I must be terrible at taking these month-to-month comparison shots because I can't see a difference???  

Finally, Auntie Em took family photos of us on Sunday and I requested an additional headshot for my LinkedIn account.  These are the outtakes - aka, the shots I'm going to use if I ever become a real estate agent or need a headshot to advertise for a DeVry commercial:

Never not funny.


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