Monday, February 21, 2011

Virtual Hugs

If you have a moment, can you go lend a thought to my dear friend at "Life in the Detours"?

She is 8dp5dt and getting very faint BFPS, but wishing they were stronger. . . and I am wishing and hoping that they soon will be. In any case, she needs some love, and that's what we do best here in the blogasphere!

ETA: There are two more women who need our love. Kellie lost her baby girl unexpectedly at four months old. And Joy's friend could use thoughts after experiencing a loss after a FET.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Show Tunes

Possibly the next Sophie Menter? In any case, is it too early for piano lessons?

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Babies

It goes so fast. It really does. I am so busy that it tends to blur together, but there are moments and things about these sweet babies that I want to memorialize.

Will (at 2 1/2)

  • Has just had a major growth spurt. He had been fitting 18 (yes, 18) - 24 month pants and all of a sudden, they were all way too short. He is now firmly a 2T in pants and a 3T in shirts and jackets.
  • Has taken to patting my back at night as I rub his. He also calls me "Seetie" (Sweetie).
  • Has learned to try and charm his way out of things. I was asking him to put away his toys this morning before we left the house and he looked at me coyly and said, "You look very pretty today, Mommy." I'll admit it, my heart got a bit melty. I replied, "Aw, thank you, Sweetie. . ." but Mama is no fool. . . "Now, please clean up your toys.
  • Is doing much, much, much better when it comes to hitting. We have introduced the "Mad Spot" where he can go stomp and yell if he is mad or frustrated. The other day, he started to rear his hand back to hit me. He said, "I want to hit Mama!" But he stopped himself and went to the "Mad Spot" and stomped it out. We haven't had to leave the last three playdates (knock on wood). The only problem with the whole "talk about our feelings" thing doesn't translate well with other kids. It turns out that two and three year olds find being told "I want to hit you" just as upsetting as actually being hit.
  • Has communication skills that are crazy. He can tell us anything and everything at this point. He talks in full sentences and makes his needs very well-known. This can be both good (when we can meet his needs) and not (when we can't or it isn't appropriate to do so).
  • He is working on potty-training. His favorite place to "poo-poo" is our master closet. He likes the private time and space. Tonight, he was wearing underwear and I realized it had been too quiet for too long. I knew where to find him - the closet! He was clearly working on something and as I took him from the closet, he said, "No, Mommy, no. I stay in closet. I need to poo-poo." M and I are both afraid that the poo-poo'ing in the closet might become a strange habit. And yet I hesitate to stop it as I don't want to discourage him from pooping when he needs to. So for now, I let him stay in the closet when he needs to do his thing. And hope that by the time he is ready to leave for college, he has moved beyond pooping in our closet.
  • I know everyone thinks this about their children, but he seriously is the best boy ever. I mean it. His heart is so big, his love for his sister is so much. Even other, unbiased adults, have commented on how well he has adjusted to being a big brother and how amazingly good he is with her. He can be so sweet in spite of the tantrums, the toddlerishness, the independance. When he nestles against me during a "rock-rock" or hugs his sister for no reason other than to just love on her, I know the sweetness that lies beneath and I am so very proud to be the mother of this wonderful Little Man.

Emma (at 6 months)

  • I hate to brag, but she is the happiest baby on the planet. We were at a playdate yesterday and a mom that I didn't know very well (and is three weeks away from her own #2) asked me, "Is she always this happy?" I want to know how to answer that question without sounding smug. Because the truth is? She is always that happy.
  • She wakes up every morning and coos and talks to herself for up to twenty minutes. She might go longer, but that's the longest I've ever made her wait. I finally get impatient waiting for her to cy for me, and go in.
  • She greets me with the biggest smiles and a huge screech of happiness every single morning. The girl is crazy-happy about seeing me in the morning. Talk about an ego-boost.
  • She still makes her famous "growling" noises which have earned her the nickname of "Dino Baby."
  • This girl eats her brother under the table. A normal meal for her would be a dish of applesauce mixed with a half of banana, handful of blueberries, and oatmeal plus a dish of 5 - 6 baby carrots blended with 2 oz. of chicken breast, a generous handful of spinach spinach, and two to three large chunks of sweet potato.
  • Sleeping and napping? I am not even going to type out the amazing schedule we have for two reasons. 1) You'd hate me and 2) It would jinx it. Just know that I am down-on-my-knees-grateful for what I have been blessed with.
  • She is sitting independantly for long stretches of time. She can (rather ungracefully, but probably taking after me) move from a sitting to laying down position. She is nowhere near crawling.

These two amazing children that I have been blessed with are very different. I recently read a blog post that talks about the different love that a parent feels for their children. It was a very good read, as I know that I felt my own guilt as I figured out that while I love both of them very much, I don't love them the same way. And that's okay, they aren't the same people. It just takes realizing that to feel okay with it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And So. It's Come To This

Some would probably say that I "baby" Will. He is 2.5 years old and is still in his crib with all of the sides on. We still "rock-rock" him to bed before each nap and bedtime (we don't rock him to sleep, but we do rock, say prayers, and sing songs and talk about the day together - it my favorite time of the day).

And he is still in diapers.

And we were all happy.

Until very recently, when the costs of two in diapers has really started to hit our pocketbook. I have a grocery budget and diapers comes out of that budget. For the last few of months I was scratching my head, as no matter how coupons I used or sales I shopped, I was still coming up short. Then, a trip to Walmart and $80 later, I realized why (let's not talk about why it took me this long to figure that out). Two babies in diapers is expensive. And one of those so-called babies is old enough to say, "Change my diaper, please, Mommy." So he's not really a baby anymore.

Also, now that most of Will's friends are potty-trained, he is starting to get interested. He last showed potty interest about a month before Emma was born. I was too exhausted to indulge him and worried that he would regress anyway, so I kinda sorta played along with it, but didn't encourage it too much.

The last couple of months, we've been talking a lot more about the potty. We bought fun underwear. We've watched his friends use the toilet. He watches us use the toilet. We talk about pee pee, poo poo, and potty more than frat guys.

So it makes sense that, last Friday, Will announced, "I all done with diapers Mommy. I wear underwear!" I was all for it.

Until I was four pairs of underwear in by noon.

The problem is that when he is naked, he will go in the potty and (to my knowledge) not on the floor. I am relatively sure that he "gets" the urge to go and understands it. But the second that he is wearing anything, be it a diaper or underwear, it's like he reverts. He will come to me and proudly announce that he "has to go potty," and I realize that means that he has alreaday gone potty. Sometimes, I can see that he has that "look" and I will say, "Do you need to go potty?" He will say, "No, I go in my diaper."

Here's the thing. Potty training just isn't a big deal for me. Sure, I'd love to have the extra cash back in my grocery budget. But other than that, I am just not worried about it. I feel like Will is "normal," and in my experience with my friends and their little boys, "normal" boys eventually potty train. I have watched friends "boot camp" their kids, bribe their kids, potty chart their kids, stand on their heads and whistle dixie with their kids. . . and I have seen that they all eventually get the idea. Boys seem to be a bit later than girls on the issue, but not always. And I have noticed that it actually seems like the parents who push it the most are the ones who have the kids who resist it the most.

While I want to encourage his interest in potty training, I don't want to do two extra loadso of laundry by 10 AM. So. . . what to do, what to do.

I'd say he is about 25% potty trained. That and $20 will buy me another two weeks of diapers.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How Can We Help

Danielle asked (in the comments section of my last post), how we can help. I'm glad that you asked.

I contacted the Ben Towne Foundation to ask that very question. Here is an exerpt of the e-mail that I received.

Ben Towne Foundation incorporated last year and had a launch celebration in September. We are thrilled to partner with the Center for Childhood Cancer at Seattle Children's Research Institute. Part of what we are asking people to do is to tell the story of what is happening in Seattle and the future of childhood cancer research. As Seattle becomes known more and more as an epicenter for global health and specifically for cancer treatment and research, the establishment of the Center for Childhood Cancer signifies that childhood cancer will be represented. So, please do tell Peyton's story, and Ben's story and the story of this organization and what is happening right here in our own back yard.

So, I am doing my part, here on the blog, on my Facebook page, on Twitter, and whenever I talk to people. The whole point of the foundation is to give pediatric cancer a voice. So, here I am, lending a small part of that. Won't you do the same?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Words We Should Never Have To Read. . . Let Alone, Write Or Say

I have been transformed.

I am warning you, if you read this, you will never be the same. Although the transformation might be painful, I think it is ultimately worth it, because it will force you to look outside of yourself and ask, "How can I help?"

But if you are in a bad place yourself, don't read this. If you are not in a place where you will want to jump up and say, "How can I help? How can I change this reality?" Then don't read this.

I am serious. You've been warned.

Infertility is the hardest, most difficult thing I have endured in my life. And yet I promise you, I would endure it 100x over in order to save my children - or others - this fate.

And I will do everything I can to help those that are afflicted. I don't care that I am sleep deprived and have very little spare moments in the day. I have time for this. I have time. For my children are healthy and there are children out there who are not. But for the Grace of God, my children are in their cribs, asleep, and there are children, stuck in hospital, begging to go home. And I can't ignore that.

Full Scale Military Operations Require Less Planning (and Packing)

Things have been a bit. . . busy. . . lately here. Busy is the only word I can really use to describe it. My part time job (that feels more full time some days) eats up most of the time that I used to have for blogging.

It's a good busy in that I have little time to really think about how tired I am. I fall into bed utterly exhausted at the end of each crazy day. I sleep deeply until the kids rouse me (which varies, but is usually around 7:30 - 8:00 AM, so I am fortunate there). The problem is, of course, that oftentimes, I am not getting to bed until well after midnight as the afforementioned part time job keeps me up pretty late.

Still, it's tough to complain when I know there are people dealing with real problems out there. Back in November, a friend of mine's little girl was diagnosed with a inoperable, terminal brain tumor. There is no hope that she will live longer than a year from diagnosis, and that would be an optimistic timeline. Watching his family go through this is heartwrenching and awe inspiring and keeps my own "problems" in perspective.

I just got back from a week with the kids at my parents' house. Holy crimony. Packing with two small children is an adventure all of it's own. I also brought the dog. It was a bit nuts how much stuff I packed. I felt as if we were moving in. I think my parents did, too. They aren't used to the hustle and bustle of two busy children, so they were pretty exhausted by the time I left, too.

As were were stuffing things pack into my car for our return trip home, my parents were laughing at how much stuff I had brought. My mom was the one who pointed out that armies move with less things that I do. Well, armies have to pack lightly. Thanks to the fact that we have a Jeep with some decent cargo space, I don't. Armies do not have a toddler and infant with them. I do ! In some ways, taking them to my parents' house for that long is like going into battle. I need to be prepared with all of the necessary tactical equipment.

We are home today and it feels good to be back on my own turf. It is always good seeing the kids with their grandparents, but it is tough being there without the comforts of home. Will doesn't nap there, even if I lay down with him, which is frustrating since he needs the naps (as evidenced by the two to three hour naps that he takes here). And since we sleep out in their motorhome, I don't feel comfortable putting the kids out there by themselves, which means I am going to bed at 8:00 PM with them, waiting until they are asleep, and then working as quietly as possible to try and scrabble some work together. My parents have the slowest internet connection, so it took me double the time it normally would to get my job done. I still have lots to do this weekend.

While I was at my parents, my sister and brother-in-law announced they are eight weeks pregnant. They had just been for their first ultrasound that day. The baby had a HB of 165 BPM and was measuring right on for dates. While they aren't announcing it on Facebook (like they did last time with all the innocence of first timers), they are feeling much more comfortable and telling family and close friends. Obviously, they are still nervous. Obviously, I completely "get" that.

So, this is where I've been. Thanks to those of you who have been checking in. I'm alive and well, just busy, tired, and lucky to be both of those things. I'll try to be a better blogger, promise!