Tuesday, March 29, 2011

from nothing to something

One week ago, we were still counting Theo's baby steps.  Last night we went to Borders and I followed him practically from one side of the store to the other - on foot!  I can't believe how much difference a week makes.  My baby is walking.  Really walking!  His confidence got the best of him in that wide open space a few times and he thought about running.  He hasn't quite perfected that yet, but I betcha it won't be long.  Being a parent is the craziest thing - you just never realize how big the little things really are until you are living them with your own child.  (good or bad...ahem, see my post from yesterday if you don't know what I'm talking about).

It never fails to amaze me how my heart can just about burst at the seams with love and pride when my kid masters something that the rest of us take for granted.  Did I mention he's walking!?  It just doesn't feel right to say that already.  Every day he's getting smarter and making connections.  He has a pillow pet that he got for Christmas.  The other day when I said "where's your pillow pet?" he got up and abandoned the toy he was playing with and started looking around for it, saying to himself  "pet pet."  It was just about the cutest thing ever.  (And he found his pillow pet, which is about as big as he is, and then he dragged it all over the place until he moved on to the next toy).  I about died. 

Speaking of making progress, last Sunday we bought the mystery baby a crib and dresser.  And two sets of brand new, itty bitty, so cute and precious little newborn clothes.  More girl stuff than boy obviously, but I did buy some boy stuff.  What if I had just used all Theo's old stuff and they looked just alike?  I wouldn't even be able to tell them apart in pictures from the hospital.  Sidenote- I was looking through my clothes and got all excited to see my maternity/nursing nightgown in the dresser.  Well I can't hardly wear that at the hospital either - all the pictures will look the same once again.  Or maybe that's just an excuse to treat myself to some cute new things.  Lord knows you need all the help you can get to feel pretty in the hours and days after giving birth! 

I bought a convertible car seat for Theo to free up the infant seat for the new baby.  It's the Graco My Ride 65.  It got great reviews and I loved the look of it, but I'm not sold on it just yet.  It was a great value, and maybe some of that is where I'm noticing the difference.  We basically had the top of the line in infant seats and everything seems so much smoother and more deluxe in retrospect, now that we are trying out the Graco seat.  Jury's still out on whether we'll keep it.  For our other vehicle, we are getting the Safety 1st Air Protect, which also got great reviews.  We shall see...

Anyway, we're making progress in all sorts of ways at our house.  Babies are growing and change is coming.  One thing's for sure - time won't stand still whether you want it to or not.


Monday, March 28, 2011

and the Worst Mom Ever award goes to...

Me? Maybe...read on.
I whined and complained the week before last about not getting enough sleep. I'm still only getting a few hours here and there and it's not nearly enough. I feel sometimes like I've met my breaking point. Wait - I did meet my breaking point yesterday and had a meltdown because Theo fell backwards and hit his head on the side of the coffee table. He wasn't even hurt. He cried for about .5 minutes. I cried for about 15 minutes and could.not.stop.
Damn hormones. Damn lack of sleep. Exhaustion. Delirium. Whatever you want to call it. I can literally count on one hand the number of times I have slept more than 7 hours continuously since before Theo was born. That's sad, right? Sadder - I really only need half of a hand. And I could probably count the number of times I've actually slept 7 continuous hours since he was born on both hands.
Before I had kids, I was a great sleeper. I didn't know that was an enviable trait to have back then, but now I do. I fell asleep easy. I stayed asleep til it was time to get up. I could sleep in but not to the point of wasting the day away (unless I wanted to). I wasn't impossible to wake in the morning.
Now, I lie down and toss. And turn. And think. And worry. Stare at the clock. I'm too tired to get up and do anything productive but not sleepy enough to drift off. I've tried counting sheep, singing the alphabet in my head, daydreaming about nothing, and whatever else you can think of. Nothing works. When I do fall asleep, the slightest noise or movement wakes me up.
Before Theo, I worked normal human hours and slept next to my husband every night. Now, most of the time, I sleep by myself during the day. So the nights that I actually get to sleep next to him I spend elbowing him to stop snoring. Or waking up when he comes to bed. Or wishing we had a bigger bed because there's not room for the three of us (me, my body pillow, and him). Once I'm awake - forget it. I lie there for hours. Literally hours. It feels like years.
So you'd think I would sleep good during the week when I get the whole house to myself. Nope, it doesn't make a difference. I have to eat so much at work because of this gestational diabetes, that I'm also drinking all night at work, which means my squished little bladder can only make it a couple of hours at a time before waking me up. So I wake up to pee. Then I toss and turn, etc. You get the point. If I'm still counting things on my hands, I only need one to count the hours of sleep I get on any given day.
I didn't mean for this to turn into another whine session about my sleepless nights (and days). And I don't mean for it to turn into me making excuses for my inexcusable behavior. But this is what I'm leading up to.
Friday I was home with Theo all day. We are entering the toddler phase for sure. It is so exciting in so many ways but I am already seeing how much more challenging life is about to become. Forget the part about how we are adding a newborn into the mix in 6+ short weeks. My kid is walking now. I mean really walking. Way more than he is crawling. He's walking too far to count the steps anymore and his confidence is growing by leaps and bounds every day. So, when I'm home with him I spend a lot of time following him around as he explores his environment so independently. He's of course discovered some things that he is not allowed to touch, play with, etc. Naturally, those are the things that he enjoys the most.
Like that big Peace Lily next to the desk in the den. Friday he was touching it with his fingertips and looking at me, smiling and shaking his head "no." Then he'd even say "ohhh" - his version of "no." I told him "no," "stop," "not a toy," and everything else I could think of. My voice got more stern each time he teased me by touching the plant. I wanted him to do the right thing. I wanted him to listen so bad. He started pulling the leaves and tearing them off of the plant, all the while shaking his head "no," laughing, and saying "ohhh." Obviously he knew that he was doing something he was not supposed to and I snapped. I sternly said "mommy said NO!" again and grabbed his tiny, soft, sweet hand and smacked the top of it. It stung my fingers so I know it stung him. He instantly sat on the floor and put his head down and dissolved into a million huge tears, that were streaming down his bright red cheeks. He let out the worst cry and I stood there in shock for a second at what I had just done.
I've never said that I wouldn't physically discipline my child. I've never judged others for doing it (within reason) and I see how it can be effective at times. But my heart shattered like glass when I saw the reaction that I had created in my innocent baby. Maybe there's a time and place for physical punishment when verbal attempts fail, but I think 12 months is way too young. I don't think he really knew that he was doing anything wrong. He knew I'd said "no" to touching the plant before, but he doesn't understand why. He certainly didn't know to expect that kind of reaction from his mommy when he was just having fun and testing his limits. The better choice would be to put him in a time out. Or move him away from the plant. Or move the plant away from him. Pretty much anything, except for what I did.
I immediately scooped him up and started begging for forgiveness and telling him how much I loved him. He continued howling in protest. I don't know if I've ever felt worse about a single act in my life. The image of his little face won't leave my mind and I've been beating myself up about it ever since Friday afternoon.
Shortly after I got him calmed down, I strapped Theo in his car seat and went to Target to grab a couple of things. I was trying to catch his eye in the rearview mirror whenever he would look up at his mirror and say "I see you!" which almost always elicits at least a smile. I sung songs and talked to him. I felt like I was insulting him by pretending that nothing had happened so I changed my tone and continued my apologetic plea for forgiveness. He just stared quietly out the window. Maybe he would have done that anyway, but I couldn't help but feel like it was a response to what had just happened. He's usually such a happy boy. I changed his spirit. I made him so sad. I hurt his feelings. I wondered what he was thinking and if it changed our relationship somehow.
I know that these things will happen as parenting gets more and more complex and challenging, but this was a first. By the time we left Target, he was pretty much back to his normal self but I can't help replaying the whole scene over and over in my head. Friday night, as I lie in bed wide awake, I started googling things about physical discipline. I found a short piece on physical punishment that hit me hard.
The idea is that we strike our children when we want to gain control of a situation. This is done out of anger, not concern for the child's well-being. The author says that if we could/would take a few minutes to think about the best approach, we would never choose to strike a child. The author questions why it is that we only strike children for discipline. Adults don't strike adults for misbehavior in the workplace or for running a red light. Why is it okay to hit children? It's an interesting thing to ponder. The author also makes the comment that the parent's misbehavior (striking) is often worse than the child's misbehavior (tearing the leaf off of a plant), intentions considered.
Doesn't it make sense that it makes a difference when the child is old enough to understand the threat of being spanked? At least a 2 or 3 year old understands. Theo didn't know enough to make a choice. He didn't know that if he didn't stop tearing up the plant, he was going to feel physical and emotional pain.
Would I have done that had I not been so tired and so near the end of my rope? Who knows. Has Theo forgotten about it completely? I wish I knew. Is he scared of me now? God, I hope not.
One thing I do know is that I learned a lesson from all of this, whether Theo did or not. I'm ashamed of myself and I'll be spending a lot more time thinking about my views on physical discipline.
embarrassed and ashamed,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

31 week check-up check-in

I had my 31 week appointment Monday (although I was only about 30 1/2 weeks).  Baby's heartbeat was in the 130s.  The doctor loved my sugars and was singing my praises for keeping my diabetes under control.  I don't think I have much to do with it, but time will tell.  With Theo, my sugar got progressively worse the further along I was.  Hopefully this time I will still be able to get to delivery day insulin-free. 

I gained a couple pounds this time, which kind of surprised me since I have been on this diabetic diet.  I guess a couple of pounds doesn't amount to much more than different clothes and whether I've eaten or pooped recently, though, right?  Total weight gain so far - 20 lbs. 

I decided NOW was a good time to bring up what method of birth control we'll be using and I'm contemplating an implant of some sort.  Either Implanon or Mirena.  For those of you who have had one or the other, what was your experience?  I like that Implanon is only for three years.  I feel like we will know three years from now whether we want to have another baby or not.  Mirena is good for five years, but my understanding is that it can be taken out anytime.  Anyway, we had a long discussion about it and the doctor advised me that they won't do any kind of implant on a nursing mom until at least 4 months post-partum due to possible uterine perforations.  That's kinda scary, huh? 

Everything looked good in general.  My abdomen was measuring 30 weeks and I have another appointment in two weeks. 

Any tips about Implanon or Mirena?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


When I hear someone casually use the word "retarded," it makes me cringe, makes me uncomfortable.  It makes my skin crawl.  When I started my blog, I made a list of topics I wanted to blog about and this one has remained untouched 7 months later.  I don't know how to approach the subject because I know people will think I'm too touchy.  Too sensitive.  Too PC.  I'm not, really, but this subject is something that is close to my heart.

I started reading a blog called Enjoying the Small Things with the entry linked up here - it's the story of the author's daughter's birth.  It wasn't until Nella Cordelia was born that Kelle knew her daughter had Down Syndrome.  Her story of that day and since is a beautiful one, both in pictures and words.  Hers is not a special needs blog, but a blog about a family in which there is a child who has special needs.  I'm bringing up Kelle's blog because she wrote a great piece that inspired me to go ahead and express my thoughts about using the words "retard" and "retarded" in a derogatory way.  I encourage you to read said inspiring post about Down Syndrome Awareness here.

My first memory of using the word "retard" or "retarded" is also the last time I used it in a derogatory way.  I was 13 and I had just met the person who would become one of my best lifelong friends.  We were talking on the phone and I said something was retarded and there was a pause on the other end.  She said "my sister is retarded" and without thinking, I joked "yeah, mine is too."  My friend explained to me that her younger sister had Down Syndrome and instantly I felt like the biggest fool with the biggest foot in the biggest mouth. 

From that moment on, I made a conscious effort not to use the r-word so flippantly.  Five years later, I found myself working as a front end manager in a grocery store.  Some of my favorite customers were staff and residents from nearby group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.  They were regulars and it always brightened my day to talk to the regulars - especially the residents who had also begun to recognize me.  A couple of the staff must have noticed that I enjoyed interacting with the residents and suggested that I apply for a job with their agency.  Coincidentally, my friend had been working there for a few months loved it. 

I applied, got the job, and ended up working there for 4+ years (until I relocated to the midwest).  Caring for and spending time with individuals with severe mental retardation and various other physical and mental diagnoses became a passion of mine.  I was their friend and advocate.  These amazing people that I cared for and about were as much my friends and family as I was theirs.  I certainly spent more of my waking hours with them than I did anyone else.  My friend and I eventually moved in together and had several sleepovers with our favorite residents.  We took them to our homes for the holidays so they wouldn't have to sit at the group home.  We included them in so many aspects of our lives outside of work.  It was a unique and special job. 

They drooled.  They limped.  They used wheelchairs.  They made a mess when they ate, if they could even feed themselves.  They wore incontinence briefs and sometimes had accidents in public.  They yelled at the movies and made a scene at restaurants.  They couldn't talk. 

But guess what?

They taught me about trust and not just tolerance, but acceptance.  They reminded me that the greatest joys are found in seemingly insignificant things.  They showed me how much can be said without words.  They exemplified inner beauty.  More than anything, they taught me about judgment.  Judging and being judged.  Being non-judgmental.

Back when I worked with these wonderful people on a daily basis, I was hardcore.  Anytime anyone said "that's retarded" or "you're such a retard" or called someone Corky, I made a scene.  Sometimes I just got mad, but most of the time I tried to explain why it is no longer okay to use these words, references, etc. to make a point. 

I heard a lot of excuses and but-but-buts when I tried to correct people.  Here are some faves:

But-but-but-but, I wouldn't say that to their face.  Besides, I have a cousin that has Downs!  This makes it twice as bad.  First of all, if you wouldn't say it to his or her face out of respect, why would you say it behind his or her back?  And if you have a cousin or uncle or nephew or gerbil with Downs, then you should know better, jerk!  How would your cousin feel if he knew you were making fun of him behind his back?

Well, I didn't reeeally mean you/he/she is a RETARD.  I meant you're dumb/silly/stupid, etc.  Well, then.  Let's have a vocabulary lesson.  "Retard" is a verb, not a noun.  Retard means "to delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.)"  If you mean to say dumb, stupid, or silly, say dumb, stupid, or silly. 

Oh, I don't mean anything by it.  Don't take it so personally.  I do take it personally.  Know why?  Because I spent 40 hours a week for four and a half years with the people that you are making fun of when you use that word and it feels like a personal attack against people that I love.  When you say it, you aren't complimenting anyone or anything.  You are perpetuating a societal culture of intolerance towards individuals with developmental disabilities. 

We have allowed this dehumanization to go on long enough.  The terminology keeps changing because we insist on using whatever term is used to describe people with disabilities and make a joke out of it.  In the early 1900s, the terms moron, idiot, and imbecile were used to describe different levels of mental retardation.  No one associates those terms with people with disabilities anymore because they are all slang for unintelligent, dumb, stupid, etc. 

I think a lot about what we are teaching our kids when we, as parents, use words like "retard" and "retarded."  If a child hears these words repeatedly used in a derogatory fashion, they will assimilate them into their own vocabulary and thought process.  Retard = bad/negative/dumb/stupid, etc.  (The same goes with calling things or people "gay" in a derogatory fashion, but that's another topic for another day).  It only makes sense to me that the association teaches children to be intolerant/fearful/unaccepting when they are exposed to someone who is developmentally delayed.  Who drools, limps, uses a wheelchair, can't talk, and still has accidents when they are 15 years old.  Someone who makes a scene at the movies or the mall. 

Are you teaching your child to walk out of their way to avoid that person at the mall?  Or are you teaching them to smile and say hello?  I want to teach my kids from an early age that there are all kinds of people in the world and their abilities and disabilities make them no more or less human than one another.  It's important to me that my kids know that they are not superior and have no right to make fun of another child because he or she has disabilities and walks or talks different and has to be in a special class at school. 

It's my dream that my kid is the one that stands up for children with special needs and goes out of their way to talk to them, not to avoid them.

When did I start caring or worrying about being too PC or offending someone that has offended me?  At some point, I think I got tired of fighting a losing battle and decided it wasn't always my battle to fight.  So now, most of the time, when someone says the "r" word, I just cringe and think to myself "I wish she/he wouldn't say that anymore."  Here I am, fighting the good fight once again.  If you use the word in ordinary conversation (like so many others do), please make an effort replace it with a word that better reflects what you really mean.  Is that too much to ask?


Thursday, March 17, 2011


I can honestly say that I think I have been more tired this week than at any other time in my life.  Pretty soon I'll have reminders of just how tired I was back when Theo was a newborn, and I'm sure this week won't seem so bad.  But for right now, I'm saying that this week takes the cake for all-time worst sleep.  Every day I have woken up hours before the alarm went off and was not able to go back to sleep.  I have barely been able to keep my eyes open at work and since I can't really spend a lot of time away from my desk, there's little I can do to combat the sleepiness.  Being this tired is miserable.  Seemed like it was better when I at least had a cute, tiny baby to reference as the reason for the deprivation.

It is so bad that I had to tell the babysitter that I'd bring Theo today because I knew I'd be in no position to be able to watch him on so little rest.  I'm exhausted.  It's so frustrating because I go home and I am dead tired and I lay down and my mind is spinning a million miles a minute.  It takes me 30 or 45 minutes to fall asleep and then a few short hours later, I'm wide awake.  I don't know if it's the pregnancy, or if it has something to do with the diabetes, but man.  I hope next week is better.  The reason I said it might have something to do with the diabetes is because I have to eat so often that I'm pretty much always drinking something.  Normally I try to stop drinking anything a few hours before I got to bed so that I won't wake up fifty times to pee.  Not anymore.  I've always got a drink nearby.  So I've been waking up to pee and then I'm not able to go back to sleep.  Fine, if that happens 6 hours into my sleep.  Not fine when it happens 3-4 hours into my sleep four days in a row. 

Oh sweet sleep, I miss you.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011



back and forth.  back and forth.

Sometimes my mind/heart/gut tells me it's one or the other and within a matter of days, I'm entirely convinced of the opposite.  99% of my friends and family say it's a girl, but isn't that just because I already have a boy?  And how are they supposed to have any clue what it is when I, the mother who is carrying the baby inside my very own body, have no clue?  This is very confusing stuff, people. 

I have NO. CLUE.  Not even a hunch.

I am going to be completely surprised either way (and that's the point, right!?).  I think the dada thinks it's a girl because he won't talk about boy names hardly at all.  We are really hurting to come up with a boy name for this mystery baby.  The girl name was easy, although we've wavered here and there.  We literally have nothing for a boy name.  Nothing!  The kid is going to come home with a terrible name like... well, I won't say because undoubtedly whatever I blurt out will be the name of someone's favorite man and I will stick my fat foot in my mouth.

But you get the point.

I don't know what the gender of this baby is, but here are my thoughts based on nothing at all, old wives' tales, online quizzes, and total strangers' opinions.

Why I think it's a boy:
1.  Because although I feel different during this pregnancy, I don't feel that different and "they" say that every pregnancy is different anyway.
2.  The heartbeat is always 130s-140s, and so was Theo's.
3.  I am carrying low.  The baby feels high, especially when I'm sitting for hours and hours and he/she is kicking and pushing up into my ribs.  But when I look in the mirror, more of what I actually see is low. 
4.  I didn't notice much of a difference in the amount of morning sickness/nausea I experienced at the beginning.  Supposedly if it's a girl, I would have been sicker.  The nausea was different, but not distinctively worse. 

Why I think it's a girl:
1.  *TMI warning* (back away from the screen if that scares you at all).  I never had a period between babies so I couldn't calculate my due date based on that.  (That's right girls, I haven't had a period in almost 2 years and likely won't have one for much longer than that...don't be jeal, this kind of luxury comes at a price!).  I do know exactly when we conceived and when I calculated my due date by that, it should have been 5 days earlier.  That makes me think girl because I know that boy swimmers move fast and die young.  Girl swimmers are slow and resilient.  Therefore, the girl swimmer would/could have fertilized days after the conception date, resulting in a later due date.
2.  I am carrying more like a watermelon than a basketball.  Maybe it's too early carry to the baby like a basketball though because I think I eventually got to that point with Theo, but right now the bumpage looks more elongated.  Seems like this would have more to do with how the mama's built or how the baby's positioned than the gender of the baby.  Right?
3.  I have been moodier and more emotional/irrational/irritable during this pregnancy.  But that could be totally environmental, as there is a lot more stress and anxiety surrounding this pregnancy. 
4.  Odds.
5.  My pillow points south when I sleep (really!?).

So the only things that make good medical sense are the heartbeats and the conception/fertilization date scenario.  And they seem like equally valid cases, so I'm back to square one.  I know that we skipped finding out the sex for a reason, but it's just fun sometimes to try to make a prediction so that when the time comes, I can say "I told you so."  I'm still glad that we didn't find out, but I wish someone would make my husband talk about boy names, just in case. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

birthday party

I'm a little slow at times, but I didn't forget.  Here are some pictures from my baby boy's big day.

There was cake...lots of cake.  The cake for guests was white with chocolate fudge swirl.
Theo's cake was french vanilla.  When I was nursing, chocolate upset his stomach and since he hasn't really had any since then, I didn't want to take any chances.
All of his first cousins were there.  :)
And of course, all of his bestest baby friends...
along with the best babysitter in the world, whom he adores!
There were presents, presents, and more presents.
Pizza and breadsticks
And finally...CAKE!  Sweet baby Theo did not disappoint with the smashing of the cake.
This is why you have your child's 1st birthday party at home.  (Although it wasn't as bad as I expected).
After party at Theo's crib with his auntie.
And finally, my cute little guy on his actual birthay.  He looks SO big!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

29 week check-up check-in

I found out last Friday, not to my surprise, that I failed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test, meaning that I have gestational diabetes.  I was disappointed, but not devastated like I was when I found out I had it with Theo.  I guess the genetic component is stronger than the environmental component.  My weight gain so far is still 17-17.5 pounds (no change in the last two weeks).  I don't anticipate gaining much more at this point since I'm on a pretty strict diet.  Hopefully I can remain a diet-controlled diabetic like I did last time.  I started checking my sugars on Saturday and so far I have only had one that was over my cutoff.  Shoulda known better...it was after I ate a bowl of cereal.  I learned last time to say goodbye to cereal, orange juice, and any other sugary and delicious thing I crave.  

My abdomen measured 28-29 weeks and the baby's heart rate is still ranging in the 130-140s.  I was very happy after talking to the doctor this time.  She looked at the chart with my sugars so far and my weight gain and said that as long as both stay controlled, I have a good shot at a vaginal birth.  This was really the first appointment I've gone to when I didn't feel like she was pushing for a c-section (because of Theo's shoulder dystocia).  She said since I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she can induce at 38 weeks instead of 39 without doing an amnio.  She even mentioned inducing at 37 weeks in hopes of getting a smaller baby, but this would mean having an amnio to make sure the lungs are mature.  I'd like to avoid having an amnio if at all possible and 37 seems a little too early.  Ask me again when I'm 37 weeks, but right now I think I'd rather wait and let the baby cook for another week.  

Soo...if I have a baby at 38 weeks, we're looking at a 5/12/11 or 5/13/11 (Friday the 13th!) birthday.  That's only a little over 9 weeks away.  How much have we bought to prepare for this baby?  The answer is still "nothing" (with the exception of a couple girly outfits, which have a 50% chance of being useless).  Maybe we should get on that.  We need a crib, 2 convertible car seats for Theo, a double stroller, etc, etc, etc.  

When I was pregnant with Theo, I was never sick.  I've got my second cold in 5 months right now and I can't wait for it to go far, far away.  

Sniff, sniff, cough, cough,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

12 months

Dear Theo,

Here we are, on your first birthday.  The first anniversary of the day you came into my life.  It's such a bittersweet feeling for your mama.  My heart swells with pride and nearly bursts with love when I think about you, much less see your face.  You have come a long way, baby.

You have said so many words, but you are a stinker.  You say them when you want to.  Sometimes you are prompted, and sometimes you say things on your own.  One of my favorite things you say is "moo."  When you see one of your cow toys, your mouth forms the cutest little "o" and you say "ooooo."  It's one of the most adorable things I've seen.  You say dada constantly.  Getting you to say mama is trickier.  Why is that?  You say "hi" and will wave hello and bye-bye.  I have also heard you say duck and sock, but only once.  When we read your little owl book, you repeat me by hooting.  I can't tell you how much fun it is to see you and hear you learning new things.

You have eight teeth in the front and I'm pretty sure you are working on some more in the back.  On the weekend before your birthday, you had your first fever.  It started on a Friday afternoon and lasted until Saturday evening.  Your mama and daddy were worried because we had never seen you so pitiful before.  You just wanted to sit on our laps, which is totally unlike you.  You are so very mobile and inquisitive.  You almost never stop moving and exploring.  But when you were feeling bad, you just wanted to snuggle with us. You were whiny and slept a lot and your little body was on fire.  Friday night your temperature reached 102.4 and that scared your mama.  I didn't know what to do with a sick baby but we let you lead the way and tell us what you needed.  Your party was Saturday and towards the end of the party, you had some energy.  Maybe it was the cake...maybe it was the attention...maybe it was all the cool new toys.

You had a great party.  We have lots of pictures to share with you.  So many people love you.  You are already so lucky to have such great family and friends. I hope the people that you choose to be a part of your life treat you with as much kindness.

You are taking steps now.  The most we have counted so far is 9.  You get braver every day.  I think if we had carpet at home, you'd be zooming around the house but the slick floors make you a little more tentative.  You'll be walking and running around in no time.  I'm looking forward to seeing you grow and change even more over the next year.

Your eating has been hit or miss lately.  For the longest time, you were happy to eat whatever we offered you, whether is was something you fed yourself or had to eat off of a spoon.  Over the last few weeks, you've become more independent and prefer to eat things that you can pick up with your cute little fingers.  I hope you'll always continue to try new things and be a good eater.  We've started trying to get you away from bottles and onto sippy cups.  Your birthday weekend was a bit of a setback because you didn't want to eat or drink much at all.  Since the bottle is easier and a comfort to you, we just offered you that.  You've started drinking less formula.  You go to the doctor for your one year check up tomorrow and I'm anxious to see how much you've grown.  I think the doctor will say it's time to switch you to whole milk!

You are such a happy, fun baby.  I love you and I like you and I always will.  I'm so lucky to be your mom and I hope every mom loves their baby as much and feels as lucky as I do.  If that's the case, there will be a lot of love going around the world.  You're going to have a baby sister or brother in a few short weeks.  You'll be a great big brother and I'm anxious to see how this new person in our lives changes things.

You're taking steps towards becoming a toddler and we're taking steps towards becoming more experienced parents every day as we learn with you.  You have taught us everything we know about being a mom and dad.  I don't care what anyone else thinks of the way we raise you, but I sure hope you think we're doing alright.  I love you, Peezy.


Monday, March 7, 2011

last day of the first year

What a weekend!

I don't have much time and there's so much to post updates on. 

I got the results of my gestational diabetes test back.

I have my 29 week check up today (although I won't be 29 weeks til Thursday).  How is that possible?

Last week I was thinking about all the milestones we've met with Theo this year and all the ones we didn't...like no trips to the ER, no fevers, no major injuries or illnesses, etc.  Well, we hit one of those milestones head on this weekend.  No. Fun.

We had his first birthday party and I got emotional at the most random moment. 

My best friend's little sister successfully gave birth via VBAC (Congrats, S!) to a beautiful baby girl Sunday morning.

Theo nearly stopped eating and drinking altogether and scared me half to death.  Triple M mode, people - major mommy meltdown.

I spent time with my wonderful family and great friends over the weekend.  I've been reflecting on how happy I am to be surrounded by the generous, kind, healthy people in my life.  It's so easy to take those qualities for granted.

Here's my baby boy on the last day of his first year:

So much more to come,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

12 kinds of random on a thursday

1.  I don't eat crust.  Pizza.  Pie.  Bread.  Chicken Pot Pie.  You name it.  I hate crust.

2.  Theo's babysitter sent me this picture the other day to show me the monkey he's been dragging around her house.  My response:  "Cute, but who is that little kid in the picture and where's my baby?"  He looks so big!

3.  I hate brushing my kid's teeth.  Maybe not as much as he hates it when I brush them, but I really hate it.  I never feel like I'm accomplishing anything (aside from torturing him).

4.  I like bargains, but I don't want to dig for them.  I wish I could be a thrift store shopper, but I don't have the patience.  I almost never pay full price for clothes or shoes, but the deals have to be neatly organized or I get flustered and flee the scene. 

5.  I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica.

6.  Sunshine, blue skies, and the smell of Spring make me happy.  Literally.  It's like a chemical reaction in my body.  I wouldn't say I get depressed in the Winter but I definitely get happy in the Spring.  Problems seem smaller, people seem friendlier.  I love Springtime. 

7.  On the sunshine and Costa Rica note, I'm dyyyying to go on a vacation.  I get sick of the same scenery and after so long, I start itching to see something new.  I'm hoping we can squeeze in a trip to somewhere new, but close, while I am on maternity leave. 

8.  I like my job.  I've been with the state for almost 4 years (how did THAT happen so fast?) and at my current position for almost a year and a half.  I like it.  I know a lot of people that can't say the same thing, so I feel really lucky.

9. Baby kicks can be kind of annoying while you're pregnant, but they are definitely the thing I miss the most about being pregnant.  Weird.  Same thing kinda goes for having this big giant belly.  It's annoying while it's here, but it makes me feel special.  I like seeing it in the mirror.  I miss seeing it when it's gone.  I'm trying to appreciate it more this time around.

10.  I'm done freaking out about Theo's birthday party.  Whatever happens happens and from here, it's out of my control.

11. On the birthday party note, two of Theo's BFFs also turn one this month (how good does it feel to FINALLY say it's March!?!?  Yes!  The month when Winter ends and Spring begins....hallelujah!) and I'm so excited for what's ahead for these three little boys.  I hope they'll be friends for a long, long time.

12.  A final birthday note...my mom got Theo this wagon for his birthday.  We decided to test it out a few days early.  Can you say happy camper?

It's a big weekend, diabetes test and birthday party...wish me luck!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

this whole unplanned pregnancy thing is not so bad

I was informed by a couple people that my blog yesterday sounded a little hostile.  It was supposed to be funny(ish).  Eh.  You win some, you lose some.

The misunderstanding made me think and look over recent blogs.  Much to my surprise, I got the whiny-complainy vibe a lot and that's certainly not what I intended.  With that being said, it's still my blog and it's what I want it to be.  Beyond that, I hope it's something that other people enjoy.  But like I said, you win some, you lose some.

Today, I'm not whinin' or complainin'.  I'm gonna be thankful, because I have a lot to be thankful for. 

I guess unplanned pregnancies are always going to knock the knocked-up person's socks off, but unplanned doesn't mean unwanted.  Initially, I was terrified.  I was scrambling around so hard to get my socks back on that I didn't even see the beauty in the timing for awhile.  If ever in my life I was going to have an unplanned pregnancy, this is the time.  Other alternatives would have been when I was 19...definitely wasn't ready then.  Or when I was in college...there's a good chance I wouldn't have graduated.  Or right after we got married...we'd been in a long distance relationship for almost 4 years when we got married.  We needed that time to spend alone.  We took a few vacations.  Bought a house.  I finished school.  The timing of our first baby was just right. 

When I got pregnant this time, we knew we wanted to have another baby (at some point).  I'm glad that we hadn't decided we were done when I got knocked up.  With Theo, it took us a while to commit to the idea of having a baby.  It was hard to say "now's the time," because we knew that everything would change.  We didn't have a clue what it would feel or look like, other than it wouldn't be just the two of us anymore.  The same goes with baby number two...I think we would've had a hard time saying "now's the time."  We're comfortable as a family of three.  Theo has certainly changed our lives, but life is manageable with one baby.  It's fun.  Life has a whole new purpose.  We learn as he learns.  Experiencing every first with him and through him is amazing.  It might have taken a long time to switch focus.  We might have stressed over whether Theo was ready or the right age, etc.

All of that is great, but there's a bigger bonus. 

I.  Got.  Pregnant.  Without even trying.  Hello?  If that means nothing to you, you must not know anyone who had to try to get pregnant.  It's something easily taken for granted until it doesn't happen.  I, for one, know to some extent how lucky that makes me.  It wasn't as easy with Theo.  There were months of hopes and wishes followed by disappointment and heartbreak.  And we were still within the normal range for how long it takes for most couples to conceive.  I can't imagine trying for years without success.  I don't think I could do it.  It's too emotionally draining when it's all you want.  With this baby, I never had to wait and hope and wish.  It was a gift that was handed to me unexpectedly. 

I was lucky to get pregnant without trying this time...what's more is that I've managed to stay pregnant thus far.  While I am thankful I have never had the misfortune of experiencing a pregnancy loss, I've had enough people who are close to me go through it to know that it's more than just a pregnancy loss.  It's the loss of a child.  The loss of hopes and dreams and a person you've already come to love.  I won't pretend to know how it feels to lose a baby, but I know how helpless I've felt as I watched when people I care about deeply have gone through it. 

I know I whine and complain a lot about being pregnant.  That's the nature of the beast.  But it doesn't make me love the fact that I am pregnant right now, that I could get pregnant, or that I'm still pregnant any less.  It doesn't mean that I will value or appreciate the familiarity and the uniqueness of this precious child any less.  I can't wait to watch my kids grow up together.  It's my (and every parent's) wish that they will be the best of friends.  I expect them to fight.  I will probably complain about it a lot, but it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise.  At the end of the day, at the end of vacation, at the end of elementary school and high school and graduate school (if they choose to go)...at the end of their 20s and 50s and 80s, I hope they are still the best of friends.

Now that I'm a mom, it doesn't take much to make me happy.  I'm happy when my kid goes to bed easy.  I'm happy when he loves a new toy.  I'm happy when he takes a step or gets a tooth or smiles at me.  I'm happy that he has feet to walk on and arms to hug with.  I'm overjoyed that he's still here with me, so full of life, and that I've had the chance to know him for almost a year.  I love every second of being his mommy and I can't wait to multiply that by 2. 

No sarcasm here today.  Just gratitude and honesty.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

you gotta be kidding me

Dear Bimbo at the Doctor's Office*,

I woke up to my phone vibrating across the nightstand at 3pm yesterday.  That was your first mistake.  I saw that it was you so even though I was still half (or more like three-quarters) asleep, I answered.  See, my alarm doesn't go off until 4pm and that hour makes the difference between 6 and 7 hours of precious sleep, every bit of which I need.

Moving on.

Next, you told me that the results from my one hour glucose test were "abnormal" and asked if I had ever done the three hour glucose tolerance test before.  Look at your notes, bimbo.  I did it barely over a year ago.  I say "yep."  You then proceed to tell me everything I need to do to prepare for the test.  I just told you I have done it before and surely you can hear the boredom in my voice as I lazily attempt to validate your rules and instructions with monotone "mmm hmms."

Lucky for you, you tell me I can come in on Thursday at 8am.  No, this is not ideal...but when is it ever ideal to have to sit at the doctor's office for 3 hours?  On my day off.  When I should be spending time with my son.  At least you didn't try to FORCE me to come in on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I would have to work right before and again that night.  (Last time I had to do the test, they basically told me I had to do it the next day or my baby could die and it would be my fault.  Then took 4 days to call me with the results).  Unlucky for me, I will be going on no sleep, having been up all night the night before, and starving because I can't eat after midnight.  Not to mention that I will have to pay an extra $23 to the babysitter for my little kid to go on a day he normally doesn't, thereby losing the cash and the coveted time with him.

Sidenote:  I say "lucky for you" because I was prepared to go off on your bimbo self with a speech about how I don't have to come in for the test the next day and how I'm not going to miss a day's worth of sleep over the test.  I was going to tell you that I already know how to monitor my blood sugar and how to eat as if I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was gonna rub it in your face if you insisted that I come in the next day that it takes you people FOUR days to get test results back sometimes, therefore I don't feel the need to stop on a dime to make you happy.  That's why I say "lucky for you." 

Moving on.  Again. 

So far, none of this is sounding too cool.  And it's all your fault, bimbo at the doctor's office.  I have done well.  I've tried to watch what I eat this time.  I cut out sweet tea (for the most part).  DO YOU KNOW HOW BIG OF A BIG FREAKIN' DEAL THAT IS?  I have gained like 11 fewer pounds so far than I had at this point during my last pregnancy.  I'm rocking this. 

So after you tell me all the dumb stuff you have to tell me and I've had a moment to think about all the dumb stuff as mentioned in this I'm-mad-at-you-because-everything-is-all-your-fault-even-though-it's-not-but-I'm-going-to-blame-it-on-you-because-it's-not-my-fault-either-and-I-don't-like-having-no-control-over-my-health-and-my-body letter, you ask if I have any other questions.

Yes.  Yes, I did. 

Bimbo At The Doctor's Office:  Oh, okay. What's your question?
me: What's the cutoff?
BATDO: 140
me: And what was my reading?
BATDO: 143
BATDO: nope. 
BATDO: yep.
sad silence during brief moment of realization
BATDO:  I'm. um. sorry?  Maybe the three hour test results will come back normal?
me:  See you Thursday.


(There's no "click" anymore.  It's the gentle tap of my fingertip on the smooth plastic display that says "end call" in red.  But if I'd said "GENTLE TAP," you wouldn't have understood, would you?  It just doesn't have the same appeal).

Clearly, I was not able to go back to sleep after you dropped that bomb on me.  Being well-rested when you are pregnant AND work third shift is priceless, so the way I see it you owe me WADS of cash.  Plus the $23 for having to have a babysitter on a day I shouldn't.  You're a crummy, crummy person, bimbo at the doctor's office. 

you suck and everything bad is all your fault,

*disclaimer: I'm sure the bimbo at the doctor's office is a perfectly lovely human being.