Sunday, February 28, 2010
My sister and I have what I would call a "decent" relationship, peppered with the usual sibling drama here and there. We had a great weekend and then. . .
This morning, she followed us to church, since she was planning on leaving right afterward and didn't want to come back north. On the way there, we noticed how slowly she was driving. M was barely going 60 mph and she was quite a ways back. We kept slowing down to let her catch up, but she kept falling behind. When we got to church, she barreled out of her car, brow furrowed, snapping angrily, "Hey, speed racer." And made a few more comments about how she'd had to go 80 - 85 mph on the freeway and didn't want to get pulled over just to keep up with us. I suggested she might have her speedometer checked out since I knew we weren't going that fast (the speed limit is 60 and we weren't even keeping up with the flow of traffic) and was actually concerned something might be amiss with her car. I thought that was the end of it.
We got Will settled in the nursery, got coffee, and went to go sit down. Our good friends met us in the atrium and we all went in together. There was a bit of confusion as we got our seats (they had changed the chair arrangement) and then we were all seated, my sister between my friend and me. I said something to my sister and she stared stonily ahead, refusing to look at me. Since the music was playing and it was loud, I thought she hadn't heard me, so I leaned over and repeated myself, and she still ignored me. Surprised, I said, "What's wrong?"
She turned to me and said in a super snotty tone of voice, "Just because I am not talking, doesn't mean anything is wrong!"
I decided to let it go, but then looked over a moment later, and she was crying. My friend leaned over to ask her if she was okay and she said something I couldn't hear, but motioned in my direction. My friend looked at me with her eyebrows raised. I leaned over again and said, "What is wrong?"
She then responded that she was not pleased to be made fun of for going 80 - 85 mph on the freeway to catch up with us and be a fifth wheel at church. I reminded her that we hadn't said anything until she said something and that we were honestly concerned that something was wrong with her car.
"Nothing is wrong with my car!" she announced. And then she gathered her things.
As in, went home. Three hours away.
It was a crappy end to what had been a good weekend. I have mixed feelings about it. Honestly, I think she overreacted. But I also wish I would have gone after her. I didn't think she would really just go. And she sent me a text message, saying that "she is never good enough for me" and that I "never want to spend time with her" so she was obviously upset about more than just the drive to church, but I think text-fighting is lame. I asked her to come back so we could talk and she went home. I have been upset all afternoon, with pregnancy hormones not helping the situation.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Tonight, she helped with the bedtime routine, which includes a tubby, brushing teeth, and stories. After that, she left so that M, Will, and I could do our "peek-a-boo" goodnight kisses, where he and Daddy close the door, then I open it for one kiss. . . then repeat for two kisses. . . and then a third door shut and open, then kiss goodnight. After the second door opening, he gave me my kiss, but then looked around for my sister, who had already headed downstairs.
"Auntie?" he called. Of course, she immediately came back for the rest of the two kisses. It was precious.
My sister and I have also gotten out for a bit of sister bonding time. We went to Target last night and then for brow waxes this afternoon. Then she watched Will while M and I went to Lowe's and Babies R Us. Oh, the exiting life we lead! In fact, as we headed home after our little outing, I said to M, "What did we do before we had Will?"
He responded that we used to do a lot of nothing and eat out a lot. I asked if he missed it and he replied that sometimes he did miss those carefree days a little bit. . . but never enough to trade the life we have now for those days. I whole heartedly agree.
We had a fun dinner which included milkshakes. . . Will's first! He was definitely a huge fan. He also ate his first "on a bun" hamburger. He liked the milkshake a bit better, but he also chomped several bites down of the burger.
I also got a sweet little Osh Kosh dress for Emma at Fred Meyer. They are doing 70% off clearance prices, so it was $5. It is a Christmas dress in green, red, and pink plaid, complete with a bow. It's six month size and should fit her perfectly at that time of year. I can't wait to see her in it!
It's been a really nice weekend. And we still have a whole day to go!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Here is a face shot - which is pretty much a picture only a mother could love. It looks very alien-esque. Her lil' arm is across her face and her other one is tucked up against her cheek. Her arms were pretty much always across her face during the ultrasound, which I thought was pretty precious. Especially considering that Will slept just like this when he was a newborn.
I was shocked by the nurse that told me I hadn't "ever been pregnant" and therefore was not eligible for the grief counseling for pregnancy loss. I was horrified by the doctor who told me all of my miscarriages were "my fault" for testing for pregnany so soon. I read stories like these all over the blogasphere, so I know that I am not alone in my encounters. My heart breaks for women who have also met with uncaring medical professionals who could seem to care less that our babies are dying or our reproductive systems are failing us.
On Monday, during the scan, I started chatting with the tech, asking her what her favorite/least favorite ultrasounds are. She said abdominal are her favorite, because she gets to see the most interesting things and an abdominal ultrasound has never made her cry. She said that she also loves OB ultrasounds, but that they are also her least favorite because whenever she sees a dead baby, it makes her so sad. But she is not allowed to cry or show emotion. She has to keep herself at a distance, for professional reasons, and also so she does not reveal anything that she shouldn't to a patient. I looked at her sweet, open face and thought to myself that if she had seen something bad on this ultrasound, we would have never gotten to have this conversation and I would have viewed her as callous, indifferent, and cold. I would have silently resented her for not sharing in my pain. I wouldn't know that she would shed tears for my baby later when, she was no longer concerned with adding to mine.
It was just a different perspective, perhaps made possible by my current pregnant vantage point. But it was interesting to see things from another view.
*This is not to excuse medical professions that completely lack compassion or who go out of their way to be uncaring or rude - I ran into those, too. There is no excuse for that, no matter how professional you are trying to be. Human decency and compassion is part and parcel of being in the medical field.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Yes and no.
Yes, I am obviously concerned that Will might sense some sort of preference for a girl from my mom in the future. I really don't think it will affect him too much right now, but down the line, it could be an issue.
The reason that I am not that worried about it, however, is that my mom knows better than to ever make Will feel like anything less than. I am not saying she can't comment on his behavior, my parenting, etc. I fully expect that from her. I am saying that, when he was 8 weeks old and she told me she didn't love him or feel any sort of attachment to him, I was d-o-n-e.
I told her she had burned her third strike when it came to my son. I meant it then and I mean it now. I would walk away from a relationship with my mom if it became toxic for either of my children without a second of hesitation. You might think, yeah, right. But I know my mom. I know that if she thinks she can play games, she will. And I am not playing a game when it comes to the well-being of my kids. I love my mom and I would not do this lightly, but do it, I would.
Would I absolutely hate it if my own daughter ever said or did anything like that to me in the future. You're darn right I would, I wince just thinking about it. And I vow right now to make sure that Emma never has any reason to disassociate from me. I am not saying I will be perfect, I know I will make many mistakes as a parent, but there are lines that you do not cross. My mom crossed some serious lines when I was pregnant with Will and also when he was a newborn. She knows it and she knows better than to cross them again. Since I laid down the law, she has been a better grandmother and she treats Will very well now. Do I hate that I had to get "tough"? Absolutely, but it was one of my first "real mom" moves myself (protecting my son) and it had to be done. I don't regret it.
Wow, I sound really serious and kind of mean in this post. Please don't think I am heartless or that it would easy for me to not have a relationship with my mom, because it would be very hard. And I would let her know why I was walking away and if she seriously made efforts (like therapy), then I would be happy to resume a relationship.
But I made Will a promise when I saw his sweet baby self at his 13 week ultrasound, and I made the same vow to Emma at the 11 week one. I will do everything that I have to do to protect my children, even if it's not easy. I will do my very best to deserve to be their mother, no matter what.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I called her and she was pretty excited. She told me that she was glad because she had just walked in the door with two bags of little girl clothes she just "couldn't resist." She also added that now she could tell me how excited she was and not have to pretend.
My dad wasn't home (he was substitute teaching), so I asked her not to tell him and to have him call me when he got home. When the phone rang at 4:30 and I saw it was my parents' number, I answered it and it was my mom.
She proudly told me that she hadn't told my dad. She then proceeded to tell me that she had spoken to my grandmother who was "thrilled it is a girl!" And my dad was right there, so of course, she ended up being the one to tell him. Not a really big deal, just my mom's usual behavior.
I talked to my dad after that and told him the name. He is happy for us. My mom then got back on the phone and asked me "how sure" we were about the sex because she has known several people that have been told girl only to later find out boy.
M pressed the tech pretty hard for a definite answer. She responded that they are never 100% sure, but that they won't say unless they are "clinically" sure. With Will, the gender was really obvious, and she looked for a long time before making her call. She even had the radiologist come in for a second opinion. He spent most of the time looking at the heart, but also took a quick glance at the netherregions and didn't change the gender determination. Only time will tell for certain, but I feel pretty confident that Sweetpea is a girl. So, that's what I told my mom.
We went to the store with Will in the afternoon and bought a Little Sister onesie as well as a Big Brother In Training t-shirt for Will. They are so cute!
He is also patting my belly now and saying, "Hi, baby!" We are trying to teach him to say, "Emma!" But he keeps saying "Mama" instead. He has some time to learn.
It is really starting to sink in how incredibly lucky we are to have an amazing little boy and a healthy little girl on the way. I feel incredibly fortunate and so very blessed.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The baby is healthy with all major organs accounted for and all bones where they should be. The baby is measuring on time and my cervix is nice and long.
The scan took awhile, especially because our Little Sweetpea was modest and wouldn't move their legs apart. The technician looked for a long time and couldn't determine the sex, so she move on to the brain and spine. Then, the baby flipped over, so the tech went for another look and. . .
Sweetpea is a healthy, beautiful little GIRL!!!!
Her name is Emma Grace and we couldn't be more pleased. We are so blessed to have two beautiful, healthy children. As the tech said, "Awww, now you have the perfect little family!"
I couldn't agree more (though our family was perfect the day that Will joined us and would have been perfect with another boy). I am over the moon with happiness and excitement. Oh, and of course, for those wondering, my mom's reaction was appropriate. But then again, it's what she wanted.
Thank you for the love and support. I will be scanning the pictures as soon as possible so I can post them here.
What a wonderful day!!!!!
Our appointment is at 11:40 AM PST. They are always late at this office. Always.
We also have to have the scan, of course, which took about 45 minutes last time. Then we have to make the appropriate phone calls and pick Will up from my girlfiend. All of this to say, don't be worried if you don't hear from me for a bit.
I am really nervous, with no real reason to be. I have been feeling movement for a few days now. I know the baby is alive. I just will be very relieved to know that he or she is healthy. It will also be nice to really start bonding with this baby. The anatomy scan is where I really started to believe in my pregnancy with Will. I still had worries and concerns, to be sure, but after seeing that healthy bub on the screen, I started to breathe a little easier.
I have opened my heart to this baby a little more than I did with Will, but there is still some reservation. So until I see that heart beating and hear all is well, I have been shielding myself just a tiny bit. Today will change all of that.
It's a big day.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
My mom called last night. She has changed her mind, promises to behave appropriately regardless of Sweet Pea's gender, and wants a phone call with the verdict.
Here's the deal. My mom is terrible at pretending to be okay with something. Not that she's a bad liar or actress, she just doesn't bother pretending. She is also really good at pushing my buttons. She knows exactly what to say and how to say it to rile me up. She almost seems to enjoy it at times.
She says that she was more convinced it was a girl when I was pregnant with Will, so she was both surprised and disappointed when it was a boy. For some reason, the gender isn't "as important" to her this time around. She apologized and admitted her past behavior was "not something to be proud of." This is a first. Whenever we've discussed her reaction previously, she has always justified it.
M is very opposed to me calling my mom. He has very good reason and a lot of history to back his stance up. From our engagement to our wedding, to Will's gender announcement to his birth, my mom has always tried to ruin the big moments of our life together. She isn't even subtle about it. This was the first time I have put on my "big girl panties" and refused to play the game.
But one not-so-small indisputable fact remains. This is my mom. Thirty years ago, this woman was pregnant with me. For the past 30 years, she has been my mom, for better or worse. Our rocky relationship really didn't start until I was out on my own. in my young twenties. For over two-thirds of my life, we had a wonderful relationship. Even with the negativity, I would still classify our relationship as decent. I love her. She loves me. She is my mother and the grandmother of this baby.
I don't really see how I cannot call her.
I just hope I don't regret it.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
For comparison, here are two pictures of me at 18 weeks pregnant with Will.
I think it's pretty close and not a dramatic difference. Not that it really matters. I am gonna get huge. I just think it's funny that people remember me being so much bigger last time.
Now, I know that Jen requested a belly picture of Will every time I did a belly picture of myself, but he happened to be sleeping when I took these. So, you'll just have to settle for a picture of a cute boy on a train! He is wearing his very favorite shirt which has airplanes and helicopters on it. If it's clean, he is wearing this shirt lately. Helicopter is his latest word.
Friday, February 19, 2010
1) It has been sunny this week, which is about as weird here in February as all the snow is everywhere else. It has been nice taking walks, going to the park, and just seeing that bright yellow ball in the sky rather than the omnipresent gray drizzle.
2) I really want a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks with a snickerdoodle cookie. Now, I could go get the mocha when Will gets up from his nap but the snickerdoodle will be a bit more difficult as they no longer sell them in our area. But, dang, those snickerdoodles were good and I would really like one right now.
3) Will has been grabbing my face or arm lately when he is angry or frustrated. He grabs hard, too. It is like a big pinch with his whole hand. I keep firmly telling him "NO" and doing timeouts, but the problem is, he is usually so riled by this time that it ends up in a huge crying fit and the timeouts are not really effective. Like other issues we've had with him (biting, for example), I am sure it's a passing phase, but I am eager for it to be over with.
4) My mom was really not very supportive about Will being a boy. I am learning that sometimes the best defense is just not bother defending myself. I talked to my mom this week and asked her if she was going to be able to have a better reaction this time if it's a boy. She said she "would try" which is my mom-speak for "no." So I just flat out told her that if the phone didn't ring on Monday, she would have her answer. I was not mean about it, but I was matter of fact, and told her that it would really hurt my feelings and damage our relationship if she reacted negatively again. She agreed with me that it was the right decision and I will e-mail her the stats about the baby if it's a boy and call her if it's a girl. It makes me a bit wistful that this is the way it is, but I don't want anything to spoil the magic of finding out the gender of Sweet Pea.
5) My belly popped out last weekend and I am definitely showing now. I need to take more belly pictures but I can't find my camera. When I do, I will take and post some.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
It is probably no shocker that the reason that I am asking is because [insert scary music here] my appetite is back. And it's hungry. And making up for lost time.
I have gained back almost all of the weight that I lost in the first trimester. I am still two pounds down from where I started but with the way I am eating lately, I will probably surpass that starting weight by around midnight tonight.
Now, here's the thing. My goal is a healthy baby. And gaining weight is a good thing. But gaining too much weight is not. So, I am really going to have to ask my doctor how it is medically counted.
I have certainly been indulging my appetite lately. After weeks of eating next to nothing and keeping very little down, now when I am hungry, I eat. I feel as if I am mostly making good choices. Fortunately, my pregnancy cravings are mostly for healthful things like apples, turkey sandwiches with havarti cheese and as many veggies as I can pile on, and ice cold water with lots of lemon slices in it. However, I do admit to eating a plate of chili fries the other day. I also have a weakness for pudding (I know, that is pretty random) and macaroni and cheese (which I don't make for myself, of course, but you know, Will likes it!).
So, I will continue on until my next appointment, trying to eat mostly well, and allowing myself the occasional splurge. And watching those numbers climb.
I cannot believe that we find out whether Sweet Pea is a boy or a girl in just a few short days. Our names are all picked out and we are leaning toward not keeping it a secret this time around. So it will be a big reveal on Monday!!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Now she has a request and I think it's a lovely idea. Please join this group if you can. If everyone who joins invites just one friend, imagine how many people will be honoring her and her family.
I know I will be sharing my RAK on March 9. Will you?
Monday, February 15, 2010
Am I a helicopter parent?
I definitely think that I could be. I like to schedule activities for Will, I like to make sure that we are learning, developing, and growing all of the time. I hate to see him too frustrated (though I will let him try things on his own), so I will step in to help him. But I think those are all normal parenting goals and desires, so when does one cross the line between helping their child(ren) and overparenting?
I recently joined a mothers' group through my church. We are all relatively new moms in the game for two years or less. As I sat around the snack table today, trading recipes, secrets to get our kiddos to eat veggies, and tips on handling separation anxiety, I did feel a bit. . . Stepford Mom. I really try hard not to be one of those moms and none of these moms really are that way, but sometimes, when it comes to kids, food, playing, sleeping, etc., the Donna Reed in all of us has the potential to emerge. We all want what is best for our child(ren) and our intentions are pure, that I am sure of, but when does it become excessive?
I do not want to be a Helicopter Mom. I want Will to make his own decisions, learning from his mistakes and flourishing in his victories. I want him be independent and able to stand on his own two feet. But at the same time, I want him to know that I am always there for him and I want to help guide him in this world. It's a scary place out there and there is such a limited time in which I can really take care of things. I also don't want to be an absentee parent, with one of those kids that you are looking around, wondering where the mom or dad is and why they are not stepping in to help and/or reign in their little darling.
I guess I will just have to keep walking the line. I will make my own mistakes and victories along the way, of that I am sure.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
To discuss this properly, I have to make a teeny, tiny, somewhat horrible confession: I was a teeny, tiny bit disappointed when I found out that Will was a boy. There were many reasons for this. The first and foremost reason was that I was concerned that I would not be a good mother for a boy. I am a bit of a girly-girl myself and honestly don't understand boys a good deal of the time. I am not sports-minded, in fact, am pretty clumsy and uncoordinated. Although I enjoy going to a sporting event, it is far more for the people-watching and food-eating than for the actual game itself. I was afraid that, after everything we'd been through to have him, I would be especially over-cautious and over-protective and turn him into a sissy Mama's Boy. The second reason for my trepidation was that my mom had made her desire for a girl very clear and I wasn't really looking forward to listening to her whine about it.
I had been having some inklings that Will was a boy for about a month prior to our anatomy scan. This was probably very much encouraged by our 13-week ultrasound, where the tech thought she saw boy bits, though she quickly said it was far too early to tell. Looking over the video from that ultrasound, there was definitely something in our child's netherregions, but our unpracticed eye couldn't glean the difference between cord, legs, or anything else. So, I was prepared for the news that our little one was a Little Man, yet I still felt a tug of. . . something when it was confirmed.
When I use the word disappointment, it's not even the right word. I was thrilled he was healthy and I wasn't unhappy he was a boy, in fact within a day of learning of his gender, I was all Team Blue! But there were some fantasies that I had to let go of that involved pedicures, happily baking cookies together (yes, I do think boys can and should do that, too!), and watching my daughter try on wedding dresses. I remember thinking, "Well, if we have another one, I hope that one is a girl." Then I moved on.
So, I figured if we were ever blessed with another child, I would have a strong preference for a girl.
Then, Will was born. And I wouldn't trade him for a million girls in a million super-sweet little smocks with ruffled diaper covers underneath. Cross my heart. He is perfect and I love having a son.
Little girls are wonderful. Many of my friends have little girls and they are adorable. Their clothes kill me with a cuteness that bittle boy clothes just can't achieve. If this child was a little girl, I would be thrilled.
But. . . oh, man, little boys are incredible. They are sweet, they are percocious, they are just. . . .sigh. And what fun it would be for Will to have a brother, a pal, a comrade, someone to be a boy with. My husband has a sister and they weren't that close as kids, with widely varied interests. I am sure they played together occasionally, but all of their childhood stories are of fighting and my MIL backs this up saying she sometimes wondered if they would hate each other as adults after all of the drama they had as kids.
My sister and I, on the other hand, well, we aren't super-close now, but we played together very well as children and got along until we were in our teens (and were forced to share a bedroom, but that's another story). And even now, I would say we have a decent relationship, she is a great auntie, we just are kind of in different places right now as I am fully entrenched in the MotherHood and she is newly married and she and her husband are bound and determined not to have children (a stance she has been consistent on since she was 16, so I really don't think she is going to change her mind).
Of course, we ultimately don't have a preference. We just want a healthy baby, but of course, everyone just wants a healthy baby. Underneath that, I think my husband would prefer another boy, because he keeps mentioning how much easier it would be. He also worries that he wouldn't be a good father to a girl, that he would be the overprotective one, running background checks on potential prom dates and cleaning the proverbial shotgun when they pick her up for the dance.
Me. . . well, if I had to say. . . gah, I really don't have a preference this time. Scouts honor. A little girl would be lovely and I still have those gauzy visions of pedicures and wedding dresses in the recesses of my mind. But another little boy would be wonderful, too, and there are lots of things that I look forward to doing with my son (including not having to pay for the wedding dress - ha, ha!).
Of course, based on the way I am carrying the baby (exactly how I carried Will - must mean another boy!) and the fact that I was super-sick with this pregnancy (much sicker than with Will - must mean it's a girl!), everyone seems to have an opinion. I crave fruits (did with Will, too), sour things like Sweettarts (also with Will), orange juice (could take it or leave it with Will), and don't mind chocolate (with Will, I couldn't stand to even smell chocolate). So, you see, there are some similarities and differences in the two pregnancies, making it difficult to wager a guess.
So, what do you lovely people think we are having? I am putting up a poll for a few days so go make your best guess. If you are really brave, leave a comment with your guess and reason(s) why in the comment secton. We find out February 22nd what flavor of baby Sweetpea is, so check back to see if you are correct!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
M went in to give him some love and settle him back down. I was just about to fall back asleep when his cries rewoke me at 6:30. They were weak cries that might usually signal he was settling back to sleep. I let him fuss for a little while, but though they stayed weak, they stayed constant. When I entered the room, his pathetic little "Mama" greeted me. I reached into the crib for him and the heat hit my hands before his body actually touched me.
Our Little Monkey doesn't mess around when it comes to running fevers. He doesn't stop 'til he hits 103. A dose of infant tylenol usually does the trick. I give that a couple of hours and if it doesn't lower the temperature by at least a degree, a back up dose of infant motrin certainly does. So, it was some water, some tylenol, and taking him back to my bed with me to sing songs and rub his back. Other than his temperature and a little extra cuddles, he seemed okay. He didn't have a stuffy nose, hoarse voice, cough, red ears, extra messy diapers, or any other symptoms. And this remained the case throughout the day. He ran a fever constantly, despite doses of both medications (though they did lower it to 101), didn't eat much, was fussy and grumpy, but I couldn't really put a finger on what was wrong with him. I just snuggled, cuddled, and loved on him and hoped he would start to feel better.
It might sound weird to want some symptoms, but I would honestly feel a bit better if he had something else "wrong" with him. Not that I want something to be wrong, but I know what to do with a cold or ear infection, but this lack of something to put my finger on as far as what is wrong is a bit disconcerting. I don't even know what to say to the doctor if I brought him in.
But I will call in today if he is still feverish and acting a bit wonky. Better to be safe than sorry.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
That day was yesterday.
This post is going to be unapologetically whiny. If you want to skip it, I completely understand. In fact, I'd recommend it.
I woke up feeling sick and headachey. I am so done with second trimester all-day-sickness. Please don't misunderstand me, this baby is worth it and I am grateful to be pregnant. This is a small price to pay for a lifetime of miracles with this child. Unfortunately, that doesn't make getting through each and every day with a very active toddler any easier right now. Some days are better than others when it comes to the sickness and yesterday was not a good one.
We had coffee/playdate plans with some girlfriends their kiddos and, honestly, it is sometimes just easier to work through the nasty-yucky feelings and get going. I tried (and failed) at keeping some breakfast down, got us ready, and we headed out.
Playtime was good for Will and he had a fun time. I suffered through it, making several trips to the bathroom. In addition to my unrelenting nausea, I started having these pressure-cramp pains which didn't really worry me (I had them at exactly the same gestation with Will - thank goodness for my blog), but were still irritating and distracting.
After leaving the coffee-place, my girlfriend who is 20 weeks pregnant, was dying for a corndog (it's $1 Tuesdays, after all). We headed to the mall. I was so proud of myself for remembering to put together a check and self-addressed stamped envelope for tickets we were sending away for the Valentine's Day Train we want to take Will on this weekend. It had to be sent today so I had the envelope with me and decided to take it into the mall and mail it from their mailbox so that I could check it off of my to do list. We went to the food court, the kids and my friend ate lunch, and then. . .
I couldn't find the envelope. Which contained a check. Which had to be mailed today. To get on the train (because they apparently run an old-school business that doesn't even have a fax machine).
Yeah, we looked everywhere, including the nasty trash can. We never found it. And we went from the car to the food court, which isn't far. It is one of life's mysteries how I managed to lose that check in 20 minutes and 150 feet. So, one canceled check later, a hopeful call to the train to see if they could hold our tickets there rather than mail them back to us (nope), we are not going to be able to go on the train, and we are out $25 for a canceled check fee.
By the time we got home, Will was grumpy and past his nap. I was grumpy, in need of some food to stay down and a nap of my own. But I am still working (another story there of why I haven't quit) and had to do that. I got into it with a coworker (not my boss and not someone I am accountable to) that felt I hadn't done my job properly. I managed to keep my brain-mouth filter in check and was polite, but still irritated at being called out for something that was not my fault.
Then, M called to say that he had scheduled an appointment with a security vendor to come at 6 PM. The house was "clean" (after my weekend cleaning spree) but not "guest clean." I worked on that, while Will grumped at me (his nap was not nearly long enough and he was still tired) from his playroom. I still hadn't managed to keep anything down and was not in my greatest mom-mode ever. He wanted me to read, I needed to vacuum. He wanted me to dance, I needed to empty the sink full of dishes. He wailed piteously from his playroom, "Mama, story. . . . Mama, dance. . ." I hate it when I have to do mundane chores instead of pay attention to my son, but a girls' gotta do what a girls' gotta do, and fortunately, it doesn't happen very often.
M came home and I was exhausted, hungry (but still sick to my stomach), and irritable and the afforementioned brain-mouth filter was decidedly not in check by this point. When he a little snappy with me, I snapped right back, and seconds before the vendor arrived, we were snarking at each other. Lovely. While M dealt with the vendor, I fed Will dinner, entertained him, and gave him his tubby, all the while wishing someone would feed me dinner and put me to bed!
Yeah, that wasn't gonna happen.
The vendor didn't leave until almost 10, which is when I realized that I hadn't eaten anything (that stayed put) all day. I attempted an apple (nope, food also isn't gonna happen), got into bed, realizing that it was just one of those days that might have gone better if I had just stayed there. There is the small matter of one toddler, however, who definitely wouldn't have allowed that to happen. And who makes even days like yesterday worth it.
And, after all, today is a new day.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I would rather keep quiet than make someone uncomfortable, would rather keep my opinions and feelings to myself than cause a fight, and in general, put up with a lot of crap just to keep the peace. I do this with friends, family, strangers on the street, business associates, etc. It's not that I never stand up for myself or that I never have a snarky little comeback or comment for someone, but it's rare and I have to be pretty provoked.
Well, at least that's the way it used to be.
Pregnant Me, on the other hand, seems to have no brain-mouth filter. I find myself saying exactly how I feel or think about something, with very little regard for the person on the other side. Now, I do try to control this, I really do. I do not believe that pregnancy is an excuse to behave like an arse, but in the heat of the moment, I do not see myself in the wrong. I see myself as perfectly justified in telling this person exactly what I think of them and putting them in their place.
It isn't just the tendency to say somewhat inappropriate things, either. It is that I can literally feel my blood pressure rise when someone says something to me that, under normal circumstances, would barely phase me. I find myself getting really upset about the little things that are really no big deal, but have suddenly become A Very Big Deal.
One example of this would be comments. Usually if I get a negative comment, I roll my eyes or laugh and leave it if it's not offensive to the community at large or delete it if I think it might offend others. I went back to an old post the other day to reread your responses and someone had added a comment that was snarky and directed only at me. It was the kind I would usually just leave and not think about again. But that stupid comment really irritated me. I wanted to fire back a response and started writing one. Then, I took a deep breath and just deleted it. But two days later, it still is irking me. Yeah.
Another example would be at a Super Bowl party we went to on Sunday. I was in the kitchen, talking with the hostess and her friend. Her friend is a lesbian in a very committed relationship who had just had an IUD put in about six months ago and now is hearing her biological clock ticking. She is in her thirties and her partner on in her young twenties and they didn't feel they were ready, but now they are changing their minds. She started moaning about all of the costs and procedures they would have to go through to get pregnant. Now, this person had no idea that I was A) pregnant or B) had any issues conceiving Will. So, when she started complaining about how she'd love to be straight just so she could accidentally get pregnant and how she can't just "accidentally fall on the turkey baster," she was trying to be funny. She wasn't knocking me or infertile couples, and yet my brain-mouth filter failed me as I said, "You know, all straight couples can't necessarily just 'get pregnant' either." I wasn't mean as I said it, but it was an entirely unnecessary comment to make. Is it true? Absolutely, but not something I would usually say.
She was contrite and then I was contrite and briefly explained our history. The conversation actually turned pleasant as we discussed fertility clinics in the area and procedures but it could have easily gone a different direction. Fortunately, it didn't, but other times, I haven't been as fortunate.
My husband undoubtedly bears the brunt of this. Sometimes, I think it is good for him and our marriage that I am being more open about my feelings. But he is not used to this "new and unimproved" me and doesn't know how to react to my emotions. I have always been sensitive, but my reactions before would have been to cry about something or just be quiet about it. Now, I come back at him with guns blazing. We have definitely been having more arguments lately.
I did not have this problem with Will. When I was pregnant with him, I seemed extra happy, filled with peace and goodwill toward men (and women). This time, I just find my threshold for BS and just life in general, is very low. I don't like this development. In the first trimester, I put myself on 24-hour hold with my reactions to things. If I was still upset about something a day later, I could say something about it. But as the pregnancy progresses, I am finding this self-imposed rule to be more difficult to enforce.
One of my friends thinks it is both about time that I stood up for myself and amusing (and yes, she has been the victim of my lack of filter a couple of times). She thinks that I normally put up with way too much crap and that this is how I should have been acting all along. I tell her not to get used to it and hope to return to my normal state. Quickly.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Beth asked if I was considering a VBAC. I know this is a really controversial area, so I post this here asking that you not judge me too harshly for our decision. There are several reasons why M and I are at this point considering a scheduled c-section (reserving the right to change our minds, of course):
1) Convenience. Yes, I know, this one will probably get me some negative comments. But with a toddler at home that we have to arrange care for, neither of our families in town, and dogs we will have to board, there is a lot to be said for knowing when to arrange everything. My sister has graciously offered to come and stay with Will for the entire time we are at the hospital and is taking time off from her job to do so. She has to request a week's vacation to do this, so knowing when is kind of necessary. Please do not think I am putting the well-being of our baby beneath convenience, but my OB has also assured me that while there are benefits to a baby being born vaginally, there are also benefits to a baby of being born via c-section (less exposure to medications overall if you are using an epidural, less stress for baby if heart decels lead to a c-section last time, etc.).
2) Recovery. I actually feel as if I recovered fairly well from Will's birth. People kept telling me to take it easy, but I felt great within a week post-surgery. When I discussed concerns with my recovery with my OB, he also mentioned how well I recovered, and that I will recover even faster from another c-section, since I won't have to recover from labor and attempted delivery. The nurses on the c-section floor winced when they changed my ice pads, saying that it looked as if I had pushed a baby out, even though I hadn't (lots of swelling from hours of pushing) and that it was almost as if I had double recovery to do.
3) Fear of failure. The hardest thing that I had to deal with during my post-section recovery was my emotional recovery. I felt like a colossal failure for not being able to push Will out on my own. Even to this day, I wish that I had pushed longer, tried harder, etc. And this is with my OB putting his hand on my shoulder, stooping to look me directly in the eye, and telling me that he wouldn't have come out on his own. For whatever reason, the combination of my small pelvis, his presentation, etc., he would never have come out, even if I had pushed for days. He was too high up for a forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery, even after hours of pushing. Of course, I always worry that it was ineffective pushing on my part that led to this development, but my OB assures me it was not. The notes from the doctor that attended my delivery said that I was pushing effectively, but the baby would not turn (even after multiple attempts at physically turning him - explaining part of the reason I was so swollen) or descend. After pushing so long, his head was causing me to swell even more, making delivery even less likely. While I do think I would love the feeling of accomplishment from a VBAC, I fear the emotional effects if I were to fail again.
So that, my friends, is why we are considering a scheduled c-section. As I said, I know this is a tricky area filled with a lot of emotions for a lot of people. I am not 100% sure of our decision at this point, and while I will welcome any advice, please try to be gentle with it!
Beth and Danifred both asked if we will find out Sweetpea's gender and yes, we will be having our anatomy scan on February 22. If it's possible, we would like to know the gender. I don't know if I have a gut feeling or not. Sometimes, I will feel a certain way and it reminds me exactly of how I felt when I carried Will and I will think "BOY." Then, other times, I will feel completely differently and think "GIRL."
Beth asked what I am most looking forward to and worried about having two small children. Well. . . I am most looking forward to having that much more love and laughter in our house. It might sound cheesy, but Will has brought so much of both to us, and I know another child will only bring more. I am most worried about Will's transition and just general lack of time in those hazy, crazy newborn days. I know it must be possible, people do it every day, but I do wonder where the energy and time will come from.
Danifred asked where I would move if we could live anywhere, and I have to say some place with more sun. It wouldn't even have to be tropical, but the gloomy winters get to me here after awhile. I know people always think of RAIN when they think Seattle, but to be honest, it isn't the rain that gets to me. It's the constant gray and the fact that are seasons are less distinct. We don't get a lot of snow, our summers are usually fairly mild (although I do enjoy that), and fall, winter, and spring just kind of blend together into one gray mess. I love the beach, I love the sun, so really anywhere along those lines would be nice. And someplace with a lower cost of living would be a bonus, too. It is irritating how much houses cost here.
And this is going to sound incredibly cheesy. but Danifred also asked what my dream job would be, and I have to say that being a Stay At Home Mom is my dream job. Being with Will every day, getting to see everything he does, the privilege of helping to shape the little person he is becoming, it is the most difficult yet rewarding job I could ever imagine. There are challenges that I never would have anticipated and yet there is nothing that I would rather be doing right now. I had what most people would have considered a "dream job" before I had Will and while there were many great things about my career, there were a lot of downsides, too. That being said, I do plan to return to the full-time workforce eventually, and I would love to get into recruiting. I used to do a lot of that as I was in the management development program at my company and I just came alive when I was working job fairs, sitting on career panels, and interviewing potential candidates. The recruiters used to comment on how natural I was at all of it, both representing the company and also being able to ferret out the best potential candidates.
Ms. J asked if there was a magic time that I felt "safe" in my pregnancies. I honestly don't know that there was a week that I started to get confident with Will. I always worried, even at the end. I knew too many horror stories and I don't know if I really believed we would come home with our very own RLB* until he was placed in my arms. But there was a time when I starting thinking that it could happen. I believe I was about 30 weeks pregnant with Will when I realized, "Huh, we might want to start on a nursery pretty soon." With this pregnancy, I am still very scared. I do believe the anatomy scan (seeing that everything is where and as it should be) will help and this time I am determined to have the nursery done way more in advance. I left a lot until the last minute with Will, because I didn't want to have to dismantle a nursery should the worst happen, but it ended up causing a lot of unnecessary stress and work in those final weeks when I was really too tired. This time, I would like to have the nursery completed by the end of the second trimester so that I can (she says laughingly) try to relax more at the end.
Speaking of relaxing, Ms. J also asked what I want to do differently this time around during the newborn days, and I have to say that's it. I was very stressed when Will was a newborn. I tended to think in terms of every. single. decision. I made being life or death. If I let Will nap in his swing, I was creating life time sleep issues. Same thing if I fell asleep with him or if I didn't do CIO when he was six weeks old. This time, I am going to try and relax. I know it's going to be stressful enough in those first few newborn months, and where the baby sleeps is going to be something that I try not to worry about. Will learned to sleep on his own and I believe this child will, too, and me stressing about it isn't going to make a darn bit of difference. I also just want to try and squeeze the enjoyment out of the early days. Again, I was very stressed last time, wanting to be the "perfect" mom (no such thing), and I spent a lot of time worrying when I should have been enjoying. I will count on you, my trusted readers, to keep me on track with this initiative.
Jen asked what my favorite thing is to make from scratch and it's tied between my dad's super secret hot fudge recipe (because it's so simple and yet people literally have offered to marry me over this fudge sauce) and my mom's recipe for white brownies. These again are simple (I have the recipe memorized - it's five ingredients) and people are usually quite suspicious of them ("They're brownies? But they are white?") until they try them and then they are in love. These little gems are so moist and delicious. . . sigh. I am going to have to go and make some now.
I wish that I was more adventurous (or at least try using it once) with yeast. I would like to make my own rolls and breads from scratch. Oh, and pie crusts! I adore pie and my grandmother made the. very. best blueberry pie in the world. I made a pie once and it actually tasted pretty decent, but it wasn't my grandma's, and it was a. lot. of work. But I think it's one of those things that I could get better at. And now I want pie. These Q&A thing might get dangerous! :)
Jen also asked what my favorite thing is about my house and that's also tied. I love my kitchen. It is a good size, with lots of cupboard and counter space and an island. I wish I didn't have tile countertops, because they are a beast to keep clean, but it is pretty when it is clean. I also love my master five piece bath with a soaking tub in the corner with two windows.
Red asked me if I breastfed Will and if I plan to breastfeed Sweetpea. I did and loved it and I hope to again very much! Breastfeeding was the first thing that I felt my body did right when it came to the whole procreation thing, so it was very gratifying and healing for me.
Now, don't get me wrong. I had my moments of doubt (every single nursing session for the first six weeks - latching hurts like a son of a gun! YES, even when you are doing it right), but I had my mom-hero Amy rooting me on. She tandem nursed twins and pretty much was my guide to everything motherhood, especially in those precarious newborn days. I highly recommend finding a mom-friend or two who you respect and "fit" with her parenting style prior to giving birth. I had two of these special girlfriends that I could call with any questions or panic attacks that I had (one doesn't blog or I would link to her in a heartbeat). Both answered the phone at any and all hours of the day or night. I called Amy sobbing from my bathroom the first time I pumped at three days postpartum. I had only pumped out 1 oz. of milk from each breast (which didn't really matter as I was dumping the milk and we were feeding Will formula to help him clear breastfed-induced jaundice). In her Classic Amy style she said, "Dude, take another percocet and chill. You'll produce more milk that way. And how freakish is it that your nipples are that huge in that pump?"
Anyway, kind of a side track there, but I loved nursing once I got past that initial phase where it does hurt. A lot. It's not for everyone and I know that for some people it just isn't convenient, healthy, or ideal. I feel fortunate that it worked for us and I have no guarantee it will work again (though I plan to try). We had to do some pumping and formula feeding for Will when he faced jaundice, and we did supplemental (formula) bottles often in the first weeks and months just to give me a break and fill his tummy. I nursed a lot in public, but I also had a fantastic nursing cover and I think the crunchy granola environment of the Pacific Northwest helped a bit. I really never felt uncomfortable. I was also extremely fortunate to have a very supportive husband and family. I also did not have to return to work, so my situation was ideal for nursing.
Beth asked if I have any belly pictures of me and Sweetpea. Sadly, I haven't taken any yet. I am juuuuuust starting to look more pregnant than fat (or probably just telling myself that). I figure I will be ready to take a few shots in the coming days and I will post them here.
Keep 'em coming (though I might have to start a second post, this one is getting long!).
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Then make these.
I keep enough beef and rolls to make these in the freezer at all times. Seriously, this is an easy dinner and M LOVES them. Will is also getting into sandwiches now, but he also likes the meat and veggies plain. I do use mushrooms, onions, green, and red peppers when I make mine, and I also toss just a tablespoon ranch dressing in with the marinade. It adds a little zest to them that I like.
But try 'em. You will thank me. And I have also used deli chicken breast, too, and it tastes great!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Lately, though, he has been telling us that he has to toot before it comes out. Also, he has been telling us "toot" and grabbing his diaper before pooping, or even telling us that he has a "poo poo" diaper.
To be honest, potty training hadn't even crossed my mind at this point. I know boys usually are not as quick with the process as girls and I also know that some children will regress when a sibling arrives. I wasn't planning on even attempting to start with it until closer to, or even after, his second birthday.
However, the little bit of reading I have done into it says that if kids start with training cues (announcing and acting aware of bodily functions) or show an interest in learning, you should capitalize on it. Sunday night, he announced his intentions in the bathtub and we got him out to sit on our toilet, where he promptly followed through. M and I were shocked.
So yesterday, Will and I took a trip to Walmart and got him his own potty. We came home, set the potty up, and I asked him if he wanted to go potty. He nodded, so we put him on it, and to my shock, he actually went! I was so excited and proud of him, and he was just as proud. We both examined his "deposit" with great delight and called Daddy at work to tell him.
Now, I know this is just a tiny step on the very long road to potty trained status. But it's a good start!
I am definitely more of a "cook." I just have a "feeling" for how things should go together. I love putting together a meal, or baking a cake, spending time researching how to make the "perfect" something. I rarely use recipes, I use them more as a guideline, tweaking things here and there. I love finding new cooking sites and blogs and cooking magazines and watching the Food Network.
Honestly, I am not as much of a "cleaner." That doesn't mean that I just give up and don't clean my house. It's just that it doesn't come naturally to me. I have no love for cleaning, it doesn't soothe me, and I know there are people out there that actually enjoy it. Now, in a perfect world, I would just cook for those people who could clean for me, but it doesn't work that way.
So, since I don't love cleaning, but it must be done, I'd like to do it more easily. I know that people have secrets to cleaning, much as I have little tricks I love with cooking and baking. What cleaners float your boat? How do you scrub your bathroom tile? What makes cleaning easier and more efficient? What tips do you not mind sharing to make me, a natural non-cleaner, a better housekeeper?
Monday, February 1, 2010
Here's the background on me: I had a corporate America sales career which brought me very little happiness or satisfaction but brought in a good living and I was very good at. I worked for an amazing company that treated me well. I always wanted to be a SAHM, but when it came down to actually quitting my job and walking away from the money and the benefits, it was definitely gut check time and a really hard decision. But walk away I did, and I don't regret it for the most part. Being home with my son is a wonderful experience and money isn't everything.
When Will was about 10 months old (and still napping for about 4 hours a day in two different naps), I felt like my world was under control. My house was clean, laundry was done, I actually got to spend Will's nap time watching t.v. and blogging. So what is wrong with that, you ask? Nothing at all, but I felt guilty. I felt guilty that while M was plugging away at a job that he doesn't much care for for 12 hour days, I was sitting around on my @ss doing nothing. Not that being a SAHM is a nothing job, but to be honest, at that time, it was pretty easy. When Will was up and awake, I was a busy, active, engaged mom, but he did sleep a lot and I had free time on my hands.
So, that's when I decided to go for a part time job. It took about two months of searching, but I found a great part time job, that is 100% from home. It is not demanding work, it is sales and marketing, so it fits my background and skills well, and the pay is decent. At first, it worked out perfectly.
And then. . .
I got pregnant and Will dropped his first nap, bringing his total naptime down to less than two hours. I am bone tired and my house is a mess. Laundry? What's that? If I spend Will's entire naptime working, I am exhausted and the afternoons are hell. I don't really see this getting any better, either. When the second baby gets here, I will be even more exhausted and have even less time. Since I will have worked from them for less than a year, I am not entitled to any maternity leave, so any time off I had would be at the discretion of my boss.
My boss is a great guy and I honestly think they would give me a few weeks off. But I don't really know if that would be enough time and I would hate to add stress to myself or leave them in the lurch.
And here's the kicker. M did the taxes this last weekend and when we added in what I had made, it reduced our refund by $600, taking a huge chunk out of what I did earn. Even M said, "It's probably not worth you working."
So, why not just quit? There are several reasons:
1) This job is a great opportunity. It is very difficult to find legitimate work-from-home opportunities that pay this well and treat me with this much respect. It also has the potential to turn into more of a job/career someday when I am ready to return more full time to the workforce.
2) I don't want a huge gap in my resume. Having this job meant that I only had a six month gap in my employment history. I do intend to return to work someday and it would be easier if my resume was maintained.
3) The extra money is nice. It might not be much that I am bringing in, but it is something. That makes me feel a little less guilty about being home full time.
On one hand, I feel as if this is an easy decision. It's too much for me right now and definitely will be in the future. There is no shame in saying that I "can't do it all." I don't need to feel guilty for not being busy 100% of the time.
On the other hand, I do wonder if there will come a time when I can handle it all and wish I hadn't thrown this opportunity away. Sigh.
So, my dear readers, what would you do?