Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Pool!

One good thing about being on Team Green (not finding out the sex of the baby) other than driving you people crazy, is that the baby pool is WAY more fun!! Take a shot people, see how close you come!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bubbles by Oliver Goss


Where do bubbles go when they fly?
Do they go up, into the sky?
Or down below into the earth
To fill earthworms with their mirth!

Where do bubbles go when they're gone?
Are they somewhat here, or else beyond?
Does it matter what they believe,
or when they go do they just leave?

Is there a bubble heaven, and a bubble hell?
And is there a bubble Nirvana for Eastern blown bubbles as well?
Does it depend on the breath with which they are blown -
Or on the air on which they are flown?

Like the bubbles are you and I.
We all want to know where we go when we die.
For when we "pop" I know one thing well
No bubble is around after they go to tell!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas Blahs

Bleh. You know that feeling when you just want to punch an elf? When you think if you hear Christmas in Sarajevo ONE. MORE. TIME. you are going to throw yourself from your car? When all the presents you were so excited about giving start to look like junk and you can't tell whether your White Elephant gift is funny, too nice or actually just some piece of junk you found in your garage? Yea, thats how you know you have it. The Christmas Blahs.

Your intentions to have a festive season starts off good enough. You get swept up in the excitement of shopping and caroling and decorating the house with lights and a tree, and baking all sorts of things you would never even think of attempting at any other time of the year. You may even get ambitious and decide to buck the Target system and handmake all of your gifts. Then, inevitably, you get tired. Cause these things don't just appear!! In order to decorate the house you have to make three trips to the attic, bug your husband to help you find the the right hammer and nails for light stringing, and become close personal friends with Gloria down at the Hobby Lobby searching for that perfect wreath or blow up Santa in Helicopter lawn ornament. Making a batch of cookies and start a family tradition with your toddler son, requires kicking your oven, 14 trips to HEB, cursing your oven, borrowing cookie cutters from better moms, and finally requesting that Santa bring you a new oven. Picking a tree becomes a real v. fake philosophy discourse. Santa becomes either a rebellion or a web of lies depending on how you were raised and scarred for life. Christmas isn't Christmas until someone has cried, someone has threatened divorce, and someone has gotten drunk (not necessarily in that order).

Also when did the tradition of whoever is youngest has to travel to see all the older family members start? I would like to give that person a stern talking to! If you don't have a child under the age of 18, you should be the one to get in YOUR car and visit all of your kids. Exceptions will be given to those who are bed ridden, infirm or recovering from major surgeries. It is unfair also that since parents decide to divorce, the kids are then shuffled from one house to another on Christmas. Default to the children. It is ONE night people, suck it up and have dinner together, you had babies together, you can stand to give this ONE DAY to your children. Same thing goes with inlaws. My perfect Christmas is one where only children get gifts, my ENTIRE family gathers in one place, and no one treats anyone's girlfriend, wife, friend or other acquaintance with anything but love and goodwill. I firmly believe there isn't an argument alive that can't be solved with some Scrabble.

Every year the week before Christmas I have a meltdown and threaten to boycott Christmas next year. And every year the day after Thanksgiving I get sucked back into the racket because of all these dang Christmas specials and that 24/7 carol station on the radio. Every year I say I won't be a consumer, and every year my knitting needle breaks around the same time I do and off to Target I go with the masses to buy shit no one will ever use, no one will ever remember I gave and will look at for 32 seconds (if I am lucky) before moving onto the present that they ACTUALLY wanted.

Bah Humbug.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Evaluation

We had our speech and nutrition evaluation this afternoon and three hours later, we have some answers.

First, the nutrition portion of the evaluation. The nutritionist was VERY supportive of extended breastfeeding, and Oliver's decision to tandem nurse once the sibling arrives. She mentioned nothing about weaning, and thought it was fantastic! I asked her about the milk issues, and she said pretty much that yea, we could be right, the sugars in milk (cooked out of yogurt and cheese) can upset the tummy at night but during the day the child is so distracted they don't notice. So, no milk still for the Oliver. She does want him to eat more calcium rich foods, so he will probably go back on Soy milk for dinner, and yogurt for snacks. I am really excited because she confirmed that for kids this age, fruits=veggies for the most part. So if your kid is a fruit lover but not so much with the green stuff, its okay, just to make sure that they get enough vitamin A. We also got a chart of nutrient rich foods which would be AWESOME to put on the fridge, if things stuck to our fridge, but I am sure it will just get shoved in a drawer somewhere. Sigh. She also suggested that since his snacks and lunch schedule is somewhat non-existent, we might try a more strict preschool like schedule to help when the baby comes. She said a lot of the time, kids will ask for food for attention when new babies are introduced and to nip it in the bud with a set schedule they are used to. He is 26ish pounds and 33" tall which puts him at 50%ish. Oliver enjoyed sitting in her "boat" (scale) and laying very very still for her measuring tool. Thus ended the nutritionist evaluation.

When the nutritionist left, two more people came to evaluate Oliver's speech and social development. There are two types of language, receptive and expressive. Receptive language is following requests, comprehension of vocabulary, listening skills, etc. Expressive language is the ability to talk back. After many many questions and tests (stacking cups, choosing the eating tool out of three objects, giving two commands that are unrelated, etc.) it was found that he was at a 3 year old level in regards to receptive language (!!!!!), but at a 20 month level in regards to expressive language. The three month delay he has doesn't qualify him for their program as he would have to lag behind at least 6 months for that, but they gave us some tips on how we can work with him. For instance, being very animated when we talk to him about words, not forcing him to repeat, and giving him words for the signs. They said if he doesn't start to learn 2 words a week within the next two months or so, we need to have them come out again. I can't imagine him all of a sudden talking, it blows my leetle mind! Of course, while they were here he said "mine", "this not that" and other phrases, so the evaluation was a bit skewed as to what we deal with on a daily basis. I believe Oliver is trying to have me committed.

He did score pretty low (18 months) on certain "self helping" skills. Such as getting dressed, getting undressed on his own (never has done this), potty communication (related to language), etc. He could have been signed up for the program for that, but I think we will just work on it more on our own. They gave us some ideas about how we can encourage him to be more self sufficient such as, pulling his pants half way up or down and encouraging him to do the rest himself. I chalk this lag up to me being terrified of walking into his room and seeing that he did some finger painting with his poop. Of course, as soon as they left, he took off his shirt and pulled down his pants, no joke.

Other milestones he reached today was talking on the phone with his grandmommy!! Well, he said "hi" and really really tried to say "banana" since he couldn't use both hands to sign it because he was holding the phone.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oliver Writes to Santa

Dear Santa,

I am sorry about my behavior Friday, I was unaware of our meeting and felt most awkward that I did not wear my most festive of outfits, nor did I prepare for such an occasion with a gift. Understandably, I cried in frustration at my parents who brought me to you and placed me unceremoniously on your lap, where I sat trying my hardest to think of what exactly WAS on my Christmas List. Two year olds have bad memories you see, I am nothing without my Google Docs, and I am not permitted to access daddy's iphone until I am 3. I could have kicked myself for saying "ball" when you asked what it was I wanted. UGH! I have balls! Don't send me any balls! It was just the first thing that popped into my head!

Thankfully, I found a loophole. After doing some research online, I read that there are TWO ways of contacting you. One being the traditional meet and greet at a central location, the second - and here is where I had my aha moment - a letter!! So it is with my humblest of apologies for the emotional outbursts yesterday, and my assurences that I have indeed been a good boy, that I give you my list.

Sincerely,
Oliver Goss

The List

  • CD of the Laurie Berkner Band (this lady is a genius)
  • Play food and kitchen, so I can teach my mom to cook the foods I like
  • Musical instruments so I can be as popular as daddy was in school (band kids are the coolest)
  • DVDs of newer Disney/Pixar movies, apparently tastes DO change in 80 years.
  • Dinosaurs
  • Art supplies (except playdough, I snuck a peek at the gifts I am getting from the 'rents)
  • Rug for my new play room!
  • Two words, choo. choo.
  • Water/Sand table

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A week without a daddy

Good lord single parenting is difficult. I have so much more respect for military wives, single moms, and wives to asses after this week. It is exhausting being the only care giver for a small child! Even when they are in the best of moods, you still have to sing 100 verses of the Zoo song, you have to build 43 block towers, you have to watch numerous hours of Sesame Street, and you have to toss a ball of the top of the roof until your arms fall off (again, thanks SO much for teaching him THAT one Pete Wilson!!). You have to read Corduroy Bear one whole time and Go Dog Go one half time before bed, in that order, or you will have a crying and confused baby on your hands. The bedtime water MUST be on the left side of him, within reaching distance and wedged so as to not fall over and soak the baby. In short (too late!!) it is exhausting!!

Meanwhile, your husband calls from San Francisco where I am sure he is doing a lot of hard work in between the open bars, the 4 different parties he had to go to in one night, the Black Crows concert, and the eating of food that remains safe from toddler fingers, to see how you are doing. Ooops, sorry hon, I can only talk for as long as it takes to walk to the restaurant. Huh? What's that you said about Oliver's speech evaluation? I can't hear you over this throbbing music. Sorry, gotta go, this trashed salesgirl is grinding my leg too hard for me to hold my phone. Apparently, there isn't an app for that...

Anyway, we survived, and it made me ever so greatful for the time when my husband IS home. The kitchen is clean, the baby is bathed and put away ever so quietly while I munch on bon bons downstairs, the dog is fed (sorry about that Dante!) and the yard is kept neat and tidy. People need partners for a reason, and while it is POSSIBLE to raise kids by yourself, I don't have a clue why anyone would want to. I am far far too lazy to do it all by myself. His absence did make my heart grow fonder, until I found stripper glitter all over his shirt that is...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Game Day

Football season is upon us, and as all you NFL widows know, this means no good TV watching on Sunday or Monday nights. Eff you John Madden and the Turducken you rode in on!! I am of course talking about American Football, this is not to be confused with European Football (soccer to stupid Americans) which as far as I can tell is just a bunch of hot foreign guys running around in tiny shorts. In my opinion, watching this would be FAR superior to watching five minutes of commercials, commentary, and cheerleader boobs for every ten seconds of actual play time that you get with American Football.

Anyway, CT is forcing the love of all things Cowboys onto our son. Every Sunday after church, he forces the poor PBS loving kid to watch a bunch of huge men in even bigger protective gear push each other around. This of course comes in the middle of trying to also teach him not to push or hit or kick people. Awesome! It is pretty cute to watch Oliver watch football though, I admit! When someone gets tackled he says OH NO! With his head in his hands. When someone has the ball, he encourages them to throw or kick the ball, demonstrating how this should best be done. Mostly though he just begs CT to change the channel to something interesting...oh wait, that's me.

Anyway, the picture above is Oliver enjoying a hot wing on game day. All he needs is a brewski and the picture would be complete.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WordWorld

Oliver is 22 months old, or will be on Wednesday. He was starting to concern me, throwing tantrums for no reason, not sleeping, and just making my life a living hell. He still hasn't said more than a few words I finally made a decision to do something that I have been thinking about for a while.

The state offers an early intervention program where a worker comes to your house and looks into why your kid is behind on talking, or motor skills or whatever. In our case, they are sending a case worker who specializes in speech therapy. They assess his nutrition, his environment ("I swear, we don't even OWN belts!!"), his hearing and vision, etc. It is a free program so I was shocked at how fast they could see us. I made an appointment for Wednesday, the 18th (Oliver's 22nd month birthday if you are paying attention).

I was even MORE shocked when he started talking the next day. Since making the appointment, mind you, not HAVING the appointment, just scheduling it was enough, Oliver has added the following words and phrases:
Hat
Grandmama
banana
I don't like ants
I don't know
Kick
More
Granddad (sorta sounds like dada, but the inflection is different)
Please

Sigh. If I had known he just simply had to hear me make an appointment for him, I would have done it months ago. Truth be told, and since hindsight is 20/20, I think the tantrums and the lack of sleeping, and the acting out were all his way of telling me, "hey big huge pregnant mom who is distracted by cute kicks, watch what I am about to do!!!" Personally, using words or sending an email would have been more effective, but it did push me to research some toddler behavior books I wouldn't have otherwise looked into. While trying to get Oliver to quit with the tantrums I started talking to him more, letting him know about plans before, during and after they happened, trying to reduce the frustration levels. In retrospect, I wonder if that had anything to do with his sudden interest in language as well.

That, or the huge whoopin' finally knocked some sense into him. I assure you I jest.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Toddler Man Cometh

My son is driving me crazy. Either the twos have come early, or he has lost the will to live. We have a meltdown an hour, he wakes up every half hours, he has all but given up naps and he pretty much has a blood grudge against his daddy.

Last night, he just about drowned himself by throwing himself down into a full bathtub during a tantrum. I know this is frustration, but when I am so tired, and so frustrated myself that I can't even see straight.

I think CT thinks I am either crazy or sick, because every single night for a week, I have been going to bed at 6pm. I just can't take it any more, I hold and coddle and console this child all. day. long. At the end of the day, my ears are ringing with his cries, and I can't even keep my eyes open any longer.

Finally, yesterday, he got a taste of what Oliver has been like lately. He knows now that at least I am not the crazy one. I took advantage of having CT home and ordered every single gentle parenting book written this weekend, I plan on reading them all immediately. Starting tomorrow morning I am also going to start talking to Oliver more. I think half the frustration comes from him not knowing that we are interrupting his play because we have to go to church, or the store, or cleaning up the trains means that he can have a book read to him, etc.

I also plan on giving him boundaries for the first time in his tiny life. Part of the issue has to be we will give him anything to stop the tantrums, which is frustrating him more because he doesn't know where the walls are. So, rules are going to be enforced. Another HUGE thing that we are going to be doing is putting the baby down earlier for nighttime. I believe he is getting too hungry by waiting until 6 or 6:30 to eat, causing him not to eat, throwing a fit instead and wake up at night being too hungry still. So, dinner time is now at 5:30pm, bath at 6pm, bedtime is at 7pm.

Shout out to all my chicas on Natural Parents who are full of awesome advice, and the friends at church who have offered me books to help!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halfway there!

First, let me say this pregnancy is going SO FAST. It feels like just yesterday I was obsessing about keeping this one fastened securely to my uterine wall, and now the little one keeps reminding me that indeed it is healthy by squirming constantly. Sure, I have Oliver there to distract me, but I don't think that is why it is going by so fast, I think it is because I am so excited by what I know is coming this time, I anticipate the wonderful parts of being pregnancy instead of letting fear take over my ever waking moment. I know that my body was made to do this, that this baby is healthy and that I will have the birth that I want with out 100 people telling me how I should be doing things. Sometime in March or April, I will push a new life into the world and then not have to do anything but snuggle it in our own bed for a week or so. This is, by the way, what CT looks forward to the most with a home birth, not sleeping on the hospital issued "Husband Cot".

I wanted to give a shout out here to my amazing midwife Kristen Elliot. She has had a tough past two months, because babies come when they want, and apparently they all decided to come in October. Normally she delivers no more than 4 babies a month. In October, she caught 8. The last of which was an 11.5 pounder who arrived on my appointment day. Suffice to say, my appointments were bumped many times. Gotta have patience though, especially when it could be ME bumping another mom's appointment in the spring. She made a special trip last time to see me because her assistant made an appointment without her knowledge or consent. I really appreciated her taking the time out of her schedule to do this for me!

Oliver is starting to grasp the idea of having a baby soon. Each time we are with infants, I make a point of holding them, and showing him how to be gentle and how mommy has room on her lap for both babies. He is wonderful with my friend Carolyn's daughter Cora. He dances and makes faces and squeezes her tiny hands and makes her laugh. I love that I am raising a boy who can wrestle a dog one minute, and the next, gently stroke a baby's head. This is the goal people! He isn't all boy, but he is all Oliver.

We have an ultrasound scheduled for the 24th of November, just to make sure all the bits and pieces were where they should be, STILL not finding out the sex of the baby though. It is far too much fun making everyone wait! This is quite the adventure we are embarking on, this family of four we are creating. I wonder if we will parent a little girl differently, I wonder how similar a little boy would look and act to Oliver. The amazing part, is there is no fear, just excitement and anticipation and joy. As wonderful as my last pregnancy was, the worry of the unknown and the fear of the hospital treatment really took over in my last months, and I am glad not to have to deal with that this time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Halloween Flu

Well hello there Ghouls and Boils! I wish we could say that Halloween this year was fun, and Oliver loved going trick or treating, and that we told ghost stories around a crackling fire. I wish we could, but we can't. I had the flu, not sure if it was The Flu, or just a lesser less publicized strain. I avoided hospitalization, didn't go to the doctor to get Tamaflu and was feeling much better in about a week, but the worst of it came right around Halloween. By the way, to anyone who is also suffering this season, a cocktail of Tylenol, Mucinex Expectorant and Mucinex "Full Force" nasal spray is AMAZING along with a little thing I call Auntie Neti(pot). I was able to sleep and breathe most of the time!

So back to this Halloween business. I had high hopes. One of the major reasons I wanted to have kids was Halloween. Some people love Christmas, but for me, and probably because it was forbidden, Halloween was such a magical and fun childhood thing. I had these ideals of my little man, dressed as the goblin or character of his choice marching down the street demanding sweets of our friends and neighbors. Well, ideals are called that for a reason...if they actually came true, they would call them reals.

First off, Oliver did NOT like his costume. Which was just too damn bad because we had it already and I was not about to spend money on a new costume when we have a perfectly good one already. We finally bribed him with a kit kat bar to at least put on the body part. The hat part we couldn't have super-glued on.

Secondly, I had the flu. So this is what I looked like walking down the street. Awww, look kids, its an elephant and a little boy dressed as a business man!
My favorite part of the whole thing was that when we went trick or treating to our neighbors, there were a few that were unprepared. Oliver then found something in their houses that looked interesting (read: ball) and demanded to be treated to them. He knew exactly what to do with the candy he got though!!

It was really nice to carve a pumpkin with the little man, he drew on his baby pumpkins with markers while daddy used the sharp tools on the big pumpkin. This was the first time we have ever carved pumpkins, and I may have had more fun that Ollie, but it was worth it. I love creating family traditions with my little family!


Happy Halloween everyone!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Art, not Garfunkel

Oliver has been coughing on and off for a couple of days, probably just caught the cold that I had last week, so I decided to take the day off of all activities and stay home. I wanted to take advantage of this lazy day and sort through some newborn clothes, take a diaper count, etc. To see if there was anything I could possibly justify buying. I learned a few lessons today.

1. Never try to take a HUGE box of clothes down from a high shelf when you are alone and 5'2".

2. Thanks to my generosity, we do need newborn covers...yay!

3. We do not need newborn diapers, and most of our newborn clothes are gender neutral, so I won't need to bother with buying new clothes until we know the sex of the kiddo.

4. We have a ton of newborn white onesies so my next project will be to embellish them with dyes, fabric, and appliques.

5. Never. EVER. Turn your back on a toddler.

When I came out from being knee deep in infant gowns, I discovered my child making beautiful art with all of his crayons, several pieces of paper and finger paints. We have GOT to move the craft drawer up...He quickly decided that paper was not big enough to contain his creativity.

Its hard to be mad at such an artistic genius...they are only kids for so long, we just made a few pictures and took a mid afternoon bath before lunch!
video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You asked for it

You like a crying baby? You got a crying baby! So the background to this series of videos is that Oliver is in love with a pumpkin trick or treat basket that we bought at Goodwill for fifty cents. He carries it everywhere, puts his balls (tennis, not scrotum) in it, his juice in it, etc. The dog also loves the basket. It is squishy like a toy, has a handle, and Dante is pretty sure there is that fun white "snow" stuff in it to spread all over the yard. The problem? We only have one basket. So hellarity (misspelling on purpose) ensues every time Oliver decides to take the basket outside, and Dante decides he did so because he wanted her to play with it. video

I got sick of chasing the dog down to get the basket back for Oliver who stands screeching on the porch. So, I put the basket up. Oliver then had the most dramatic meltdown ever. The dog licked herself and went to sleep, ready to steal the basket on another day.

video

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkins and my pumpkin


Since Facebook obviously hates me and my pictures (but OTHER people can upload just FINE)...I decided to by pass the evil and just upload the awesomeness that is my son and fall on my blog.

Let me first say that Halloween is one of the major reasons I decided to become a mom. Hey, don't judge me! For some people it is Christmas, but since I never really got to do the whole dress up and beg for candy thing, I missed that part of growing up and couldn't wait to relive it through my children. Yes, I know, Reformation Fest was a blast, and admittedly it was pretty fun dressing up as your favorite Bible character and it never gets old seeing the virgin Mary bobbing for apples, but it just wasn't the same.

So when I had Oliver, I was PSYCHED. The first chance I got (he was 9 months old) I dressed him as a pumpkin and set him in the front yard with us to hand out candy to the children. Did you know 9 months old have the suck power to get a snickers out of a package without unwrapping it? Its true, they do, so just watch for that. This year was gonna be tops! He is nearly two, and surely he would totally 'get' the whole costume thing, and the candy thing, and everything!

Yea...not so much. So, my son, husband and I will once again be handing out candy in the front yard this year. At least I found super awesome costumes for us...more later.

We also decided to continue a Fall tradition from last year and visited the pumpkin patch. He ran the gambit of emotions, as toddlers are apt to do.

Frustration:
Silliness:


Hunger:

Greed:


Fear:

Happiness:

Anger (at his father's obvious latent homosexuality):


Of course, I was too busy trying to hide my tummy to notice...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Today...

Today I will hug my son a little tighter. Today I will cherish each wiggle. Today I will try not to think about the pink cheeks and tiny toes I never got to see, the body I never got to hold. Today I will count my blessings and not my losses. Today I will distract myself from dwelling on what could not be. Today I am not in labor, I am not anxiously awaiting my son or daughter's arrival. Today was the day I should have been, but am not, a new mommy all over again.

Today the sun is shining, to remind me not to cry. Today I will take pictures of the son I have and the belly I am growing. Today is just a day, not a birth day, not a labor day...and that is okay. Today the baby inside is reminding me that they did not leave, not for long, and are back to stay.

Tonight I will not wake to a crying newborn, my breasts will not flow, and my belly will not ache with emptiness. Tonight I will dream, of downy hair, of angel feathers, of my children's lost sibling. Tonight I will allow myself to grieve, to cry for what my life could look like. Tonight my sleep will be restless, but for today...for today, I smile for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Midwife Appointment - 17 weeks


Well, my midwife finally didn't have a birth to go to today! So, that means I had my appointment! The baby has a heart beat of 150ish, fundus measuring right on time and my blood pressure as always is fabulous! She had some amazing labor and deliveries in the past two weeks including a transfer to the hospital (after TWO DAYS) in which she was still able to catch the baby because the doctor was so late getting there. Heh! I LOVE hearing about her other birth stories, could listen all day!

It was really nice because Oliver decided to take a nice long 2 hour nap during our appointment so there was no doppler freak out or begging to nurse, or vying for my midwife's attention. Kristen (midwife) believes I am having a boy - she is of course wrong! - as does my mom. I sure would save a ton of money if it was another boy!! I am not having a gender scan, or actually, a second ultrasound at all. I just feel it is unnecessary unless there was a feeling something was wrong like spotting or something. In which case, I would get an ultrasound just to rule out something like placenta previa (placenta laying over the cervix) but I don't see that happening.

This pregnancy is so relaxed and easy going compared with Oliver's. I was SO anxious to hear his gender, so anxious about labor, and breastfeeding and becoming a mom. Though the home birth process is even more foreign to me than a hospital birth was, so in that way I do feel like a first timer again. Think about how many hospital births you have seen. Perhaps not in person but because of movies, TV shows and The Learning Channel, we all know the process. You go in, you change into a gown, you lay in a bed, they hook you up, you beg for an epidural, they threaten C-section, give you pitocin, threaten a section again, episiotomy, baby out and bottle in the mouth.

With a home birth, nothing is certain. I may give birth in any room, at any time, in any position. I just don't know! It is sorta amazing in that way, that I just have to listen to my body and when it tells me to get on all fours, I do, and when it tells me water would be a good idea, the bath gets filled. The most amazing part? No nurse is gonna come in every three minutes to tell me I am bonding wrong, or that the baby isn't safe, or congratulate me for "trying to breastfeed" before handing me two bags of formula! I am so excited that my baby will be born in an environment of love, caring and joy!

The video has nothing to do with the new baby but it was cute, and it is especially for my sister.
video

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day!

Normally, I would say Gattiland is ALWAYS a good idea. Night or day, I am ready and willing for a delicious pizza buffet, and don't get me started on the ranch dressing. So, when my friend suggested our mom's group go for "Moms Eat Free Monday" I thought, cheap pizza? It is on!! Well, that was, until we got there and realized that every. single. school aged child in the area was there. Oh how you vex me Columbus Day!!

Here is the thing about buffets and toddlers. You have to take at least 15 trips to get everything you need. They are only possible with more than one adult. There is no way you can do it on your own. Remember that riddle about having one boat, a bag of rice, a chicken and a fox to get across a river? That is sorta how it is at a buffet. The baby is the boat. You can't leave the baby at the table alone, but you can only carry the baby and one other item OR if the baby will stand to be in the rolling highchair they provide, hands enough for two things, but you have to kick the highchair to your table.

So here is how it sorta went, and remember, this is with long lines and people apparently from a planet where lines don't exist. Seriously people, I realize you dressed up in your finest cut off shorts and wife beater to come today, but pretend you are in Walmart, you know that place you usually hang out in? They have lines THERE, so I know you know what they are.

Trip One: Baby in highchair, plate on highchair tray, four pieces of pizza gotten after 10 minutes of line. Half way through, baby is no longer in highchair, the diaper bag is. Plate is balanced in my hand and highchair is kicked to table.

Trip Two: Baby at table with friend (thank god!) I run to get two drinks, forks, napkins and watermelon for friend's baby.

Trip Three: Ranch dressing and salad bar for Oliver.

Trip Four: Refill on juice that Oliver has drank as I was running back and forth to the buffet.

Trip Five: Macaroni and cheese which took me 5 minutes because the 6 year old in front of me wanted to be sure to get the exact right macaronis on her plate.

Trip Six: Standing in line again until the fourth person decided there was actually no line, just a bunch of people standing around for their health, and I gave up on pizza.

I burned more calories running to and fro from the buffet and then chasing Oliver around the game room (pretty sure Oliver has ADD now) than I did eating the three tiny pieces of pizza I ended up having. I did end up nursing Oliver in the middle of 4000 school aged kids and their parents though, with no incident of questioning remarks or angry eyes. At that point though, it was just so I could scarf the infinitesimal amounts of pizza I ended up grabbing.

Note to self: check the calendar BEFORE you leave the house!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meltdown #1

Hey, I made it to nearly 17 weeks without an emotional meltdown!! Sure, these human emotions came creeping back almost immediately after I got that positive stick. I cry at the normal girl stuff like sappy movies, kid's books and the occasional country song, but no moment of, "hey, wait, why am I crying and why can't I stop." However, my streak was not to last.

Today I got up at 6:30 because of continued diarrhea - awesome! - which woke the baby up. While the kiddo ate his oatmeal, I started to read a 94 page paper on the Swine Flu vaccination, pretty typical day in our house. Then, just as CT was coming down stairs, I notice that Oliver's juice cup has spilled all over the couch. Oh joy! So glad we spent so much money on a new couch!! I went back to reading after it was cleaned. CT makes himself some breakfast and asks me if I want any, I say no because food in the morning makes me want to hurl even when I am not sporting a fundus.

I decide that yes, some eggs ARE a good idea so CT goes to make me some. Oliver is playing with a ball on the floor, and I hear it bouncing. I thought. Turns out it was CT's coffee that spilled everywhere. Instant anger from CT, which I figured was turned on me for not watching HIS coffee closer. I rush to clean it, CT rants and raves a bit in the kitchen. I notice that CT - who is cleaning up after my shoddy clean-up job (only he can do it right after all) - has left the stove on. I quickly turn it off cause the last thing I need is him yelling at me because the pan burned. He notices a few minutes later and yells "what now you DON'T want to eat?" and I tried to explain that it was because I didn't want it to burn and him get mad at me.

At this point I notice that he has egg on his face, literally, and I grab the towel to wipe it off. He jerks the towel and my arm attached around until I let go of it and in tears now, explain that he just had something on his face and I was gonna get it. He freaks out and asks me what my problem is and that I have been mad all morning. SO not true...but now I can't stop crying. I make MYSELF an egg while sobbing uncontrollably.

I realize this is probably not actually what happened, and that this is just what it looks like in the eyes of a pregnant lady. The rest of the morning went just as badly, it rained, the baby missed naptime and cried for 30 minutes IN the church, I had a ton of coupons to cut, etc. Normal crap sure, but I just want to cry constantly.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Random Videos

Well, in my desire to write more blogs, I decided to get organized today with all my hundreds of pictures and tens of videos. Here are some videos that don't go with any particular blog, but I still want you all to see. So here is a mish mash of all the fun things Oliver has been up to since I last updated videos. Now in all one post!





Oliver dancing in his carseat to Ani DiFranco. Man, once those horns come on, he can't sit still!!

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Baby #2's video debut. This video is LONG so you may want to fast forward to the end unless you just enjoy seeing my huge disgusting white flesh staring at you in the face. In which case...SICKO!
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Oliver helping with laundry day. Some one had to, notice what a mess his room is...it has since seen the wrath of a nesting pregnant woman and is now livable again, at least that is what I told CPS.
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Oliver has various fears that are new and exciting. Here are two of them. First, dead bugs/lizards.
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Next fear, rain. Not just Purple Rain, but all rain. It even frightens him when he sees raindrops on the window of the car. Here is what started it, the first rain after a LONG drought. Poor kid probably didn't know what was happening!

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This is my favorite of the bunch, and while it IS short, it is worth it just for the laugh, albeit fake as a three dollar bill.

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In the Garden


To distract us all from the pain of losing a sister/aunt/sister-in-law to Scotland today, my mother in law came all the way from Dallas to visit us and cheer us up! We went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center right outside of San Antonio (otherwise known as South Austin). I do not recommend going in the Fall, it was a bit like paying $7 a head to look at dried grass and mosquito breeding ponds. Oliver however, did not care one bit about the flowers. He was far too busy pointing out the "OWs" (cacti) and trying to go into restricted areas. Here are some pictures. From our trip I have learned the following things about toddler ownership.

1. Ponds are for throwing rocks into

2. Sometimes the wind needs help to make the best music

3. Running is only fun when you are running ahead, not running behind.

4. Wildflowers are for looking at, but they smell bad

5. Spineless cacti are a great way to freak out your mom

6. Flower sniffing is exhausting!

After our wildflower perusing, we had a lunner (lunch/dinner) at Threadgills. Did you know they have free refills on sides!!? Holy crap it blew my ever-loving mind!! How long have I been going there, wishing I could get just a bit more macaroni or a titch more collard greens and wished I could, but was afraid to be charged another $3? How could I not know!? I told the waitress it was ON next visit, and I meant it, and she knew it...I saw the fear in her eyes.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

Solids Strike


Can kids live on juice? My kid used to be a good eater, he ate veggies and fruits and beans and everything! Well, he never ate meat, or rather, ate meat as much as people are supposed to eat meat, about once a week or so. Now? I can hardly get him to eat anything. It is so frustrating! I promised myself I would never be one of those moms who made him eat everything on his plate, because I really do think kids know when they need food and when they are done, but this is getting to be ridiculous!

Foods I can get him to eat no matter what include:
Cheese
Chips
French Fries
Beans and rice
Green beans fresh from the garden
Carrots from the garden
Peppers from the garden
(seriously, the kid won't eat grocery store produce)

Foods that are hit or miss:
Apples
Bananas
Eggs
Chicken
tomatoes
Greens (only in soups)
broccoli

Foods that are right out:
Red meat
corn
peas

Okay, well, I guess he isn't on a strike...maybe I just need to calm the heck down. I worry that he eats too much fruit and not enough veggies. I think I need to just trust that he knows what his little body needs and supply him with variety. We try to keep sweets to a minimum (which some people believe makes him mistreated -cough, mama, cough) and I would rather him have fruit than ice cream or something. How much fruit is too much? Is it okay that he never sits down to eat a meal? He is constantly picking at food and walking around with it, BIG snacker. Is that okay?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ketchup

My sister is leaving on Saturday to go to Scotland for at least a year. I have been threatened within an inch of my life to keep up with the blog. As I value my life very much, and I don't want my sister and brother-in-love to miss a second of their nephew and sibling's lives, I shall attempt to keep up with my blog.

Lets do a bit of the old catch up shall we? When we last left our hero, he was not weaned and driving me crazy. He is still unweaned but at least he is no longer driving me as crazy! He does say mama, however he never STOPS saying mama now. Sometimes it means me, other times it means he wants something, other times it means he forgot the word for Dada, but mostly it is just used for a roll call. Mama? Yea! Dada? Yea! Resume play. However, when one of us does not answer, the kid mutters under his breath like a curmudgeon sick of those darn kids on his lawn.

Oliver is still potty training very slowly, thinking about getting him some big boy trainers that will make him realize the wetness is bad, but doesn't destroy the carpet. He goes in the potty when he is pantless, but once cloth hits him he thinks potty time is over. Any ideas are appreciated!!

A charming development is his insistence that my belly is actually a "ball". As if I have utilized my skin apron (which HE gave me btw) to facilitate my ball hiding. No, I assure you son, there is a baby in there, not a soccer ball. Speaking of balls, Oliver had a staph infection on his junk for several weeks before we finally got rid of it using several creams, antibiotics and probiotics to counter the antibiotics. He also apparently gave his infection to a friend of his...awesome, my kid is not even two and already is a sesspool of VD.

Speaking of which, the baby which we shall now call "ball" is now onion sized. I am feeling a few twinges that might be the baby, but also might be the tacos I had for dinner. Good heartbeat, thanks to a friend who loaned me her doppler, and seems to be a bit more accommodating than my Oliver was with such things. Still on track for a home birth, decided not to have a second ultrasound as we really don't think it is necessary as we are not finding out the sex. People didn't get routine ultrasounds until about 15 years ago, so I am pretty sure we are fine.

As I said, I will try to keep it updated with videos, pictures, etc. I promise. No really, I do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Imaginary Friends

This weekend, Oliver and I visited some friends I met almost two years ago online. Of course I was apprehensive, more about the solo flight with a toddler than I was about meeting some strange people (and staying with them) who live 2000 miles away! However, the weekend was a great success and I felt so welcomed by my host family! Oliver is a fantastic traveler and he charmed all he met. He nursed on take off and touch down which made his ears pop painlessly - ah nipples, the ultimate pacifier! The only issue we had was me falling asleep during a nursing session and when I awoke, he had unlatched and my breast was hanging out, winking at all who passed. I am sure the newly married couple that were my row mate really appreciated it. Well, I KNOW the husband who sat next to me did, as it was his burning stare that woke me from my slumber.

I got a taste of what a large Mormon family would be like, we had four children (3 and under) running around along with a newborn and a largely pregnant woman on the couch at one point. I loved it, looking into that whole plural marriage thing for myself, ESPECIALLY if we can have a husband like Ashleigh's husband Matt. This man adores his wife and kids, such devotion, even if it was on a delayed time table. I love that Oliver believes every woman is somehow related to him, and every man he meets too. I feel like because of the amazing friends I have, he will believe he was raised in a commune of some sort, surrounded by many hands supporting him and many hearts guiding him.

While I was there, Oliver showed off as to what a great big brother he was going to be. He fell in love with the newest baby there, Alex, son of Amy and Tim. He spent most of his time either holding Alex's hand, kissing his head or shooing other toddlers away from him.
We went to the zoo, which Oliver LOVED until he conked out! It was a lovely zoo with a variety of animals this girl was not used to getting from zoos. Those of you who do not know, the zoo in Austin sucks. More of a wildlife rescue center, so all of the panthers and things are toothless or blind. Sorta depressing! But this place was AWESOME!!

Looking at the sea lions

Taking turns (of course) riding horseys! From left to right: Riley, Wyatt, Oliver, Emma, and Tim.
SSSSS SSSS Snake!
Things I have taken away from this trip:
Amy talks so fast I can't understand most of the words in between the word "Fuck" but I bet they are hilarious!
Ashleigh is the cutest preggo ever and Oliver was convinced that she had a ball hidden on her somewhere.
Emma is sweet and so gentle with babies smaller than her...well except for Wyatt but he deserved it.
Matt will talk the paint off a building about anything and loves food. This was very good for me as I was hungry constantly during this trip, so he made me feel normal!
Riley loves Spiderman pajamas, until he is 23 I will always picture him in those PJs.
Tim is a very patient, sweet daddy and the perfect match for Amy.
Wyatt is the strong silent type, but at least he learned some sign language while we were there!

Thanks again Wilson Family for welcoming me, come down to Austin ANY TIME!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I wish I was an Oliver Goss Weaner...

Yea, I know. Kids wean themselves when they are ready. Don't tell me, this too will pass and they grow up so quickly! In my head I know all this is true, and he will probably wean sooner rather than later because I am pregnant and drying up but tell that to my ta-tas. I am so tired of the begging. The tapping on the breasts and whining until I finally either give up or start yelling. I feel the need to film what I go through on a daily basis with this kid so that people can see what I am talking about when I say distraction doesn't work. Soy milk doesn't equal breast milk no matter what you think.

He STILL wakes up in the middle of the night asking for it and screams like this is the first time I have told him no, EVERY. TIME. We even tried (semi) cold turkey this past weekend, by giving him to my mom for the weekend. He came back just as interested as he left! At this rate the kid will be potty trained before he is weaned. At this point I have narrowed down his feedings to three times a day. Morning, nap, and bedtime. He seems sorta okay with that, and as long as I am reading a book I can handle it without too many teeth being gnashed.

Here is where I wish he could talk, because most of the time he wants to "nurse" he really is bored, or tired, or hungry or thirsty or whatever. It would be nice if he could/would say what he really wanted instead of a catch all solution. I know that most likely, the reason he is still nursing is because he doesn't have the skills to communicate what he really wants, and it would be cruel to take away his one outlet so onward we go!

I can only hope that once my milk completely goes in the second trimester, he will lose interest and start talking!


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Monday, August 31, 2009

Second Trimester


Well, maybe not EXACTLY the second trimester, I am 11 weeks now and technically I won't be in the second trimester for another two weeks or so. However, obviously, as you can tell from the number of posts, I have felt less like ordering a coffin lately and my humor has started to return. I wondered why I started pregnancy blogging with Oliver at 17 weeks, this is why. It sucks being pregnant in the beginning.

So now, I can actually eat things without feeling like surviving is a horrible mistake! I can get off the couch for long enough to shower! I no longer feel I have to decide which is more important, peeing or sleeping! And the best part, I feel like blogging again.

The thing I am struggling with now is a horrible sciatica (trying to find chiropractor and already go to a masseuse) which cripples me into sorta dragging my right leg behind me. Luckily, I can still just make it to my job in the bell tower. In a related story, I also have been suffering from headaches that are making me pretty miserable. I am hoping a chiropractor can help with both.

Other than that, getting excited about this next part, the fun part of pregnancy. Where the baby starts moving and I start looking pregnant and not just fat, etc. All that good stuff before it all goes down hill in the third trimester.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pampered Chef

I am hosting a Pampered Chef party for a friend of mine who has started selling it to try to be able to continue staying at home with her daughter and I thought that even though you might not be able to attend the party, maybe you would like to buy a few things either for yourself or for Christmas presents to support a good cause.

If you shop through this link the total goes towards my party and you get to take advantage of the 20% off stoneware and metal bakeware special.

I really appreciate it!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training


All I have to say is thank goodness he is doing this on his own because I didn't have a clue where to start. About 6 months ago, we got a little potty off Freecycle (gosh I love freecycle!) and for a few months, Oliver just played with it. When he flushed it, it sings, when he touched the "toilet paper" it talked to him about the appropriate amount of paper to use, and when he put blocks in it, well the thing nearly blew up with excitement.

So for several months, that was it, just another toy in the corner. Sometimes we would ask if he needed to go potty, but he would just look at us crazy like and tinkle on the floor when we weren't looking. I made sure to show him each time I went to the bathroom and showed him the signs. Then, one night, during our ritual "naked time" (for him, not us) Oliver decided to sit on the potty. He strained and strained. And finally his product. A toot. It was the proudest toot of our lives! His too! He clapped and clapped and we laughed and clapped!

A few weeks later after having repeated the gas expulsions each night, some pee came out. From the celebration that insued, you would have thought this pee cured cancer. There was dancing, there was clapping and Oliver got to wave bye-bye to his pee as we flushed it down the big toilet. It was cute, but we figured a one time deal, sorta an accident. Afterall, he was only 17 months old and this was supposed to be so difficult! Psychological traumas happen because of incorrect potty training!

One day, at a friend's house, Oliver tapped me on the shoulder before he pooped. He did the sign for it as he was going. This was sorta the wake up call I needed to just make that final step and just DO IT already, he was obviously ready to potty train. So, we got a second potty for downstairs, got some tiny tiny undies (again from freecycle!) and started watching the kid for signs of potty time like a hawk.

We have found that poop is easy, but fast. By the time he has made the sign, he has already started pushing so you better be a fast runner. If we leave him naked, he finds the potty on his own, no prob, but since he is so little, he hasn't learned to take off his shorts himself yet so sometimes we are lucky and sometimes we are not. One day, we were not. We tried to get him to the pot as fast as possible but we ended up with a log on the floor. Or as we would come to know it...a dog treat.

We have accidents, it is still hard for him to remember to go when he is having fun, but that is why we have wood floors I guess! We only use about three diapers a day and the rest of the time he is going in the potty, even the big potty when we aren't at home or when he is being babysat. Not bad for a 19 month old boy. At this rate, it would look like I will only have one in diapers at a time. Please cross your fingers (and legs) for us!

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Guest Writer Entry

I feel like crap, and though I have several blog posts coming, I haven't had the time or energy to write. So I have contracted others. This blog post was written by Jessalyn.

We finally made the leap…I babysat Oliver at my house. I’ve sat on him plenty, just never outside his walls. I’m short on toys so the first order of business was to acquire some. The last time I tried to buy something for him it went horribly awry. This time I figured I should let him pick it out himself. I took him to Kohls and let him loose in the toy corner. Thankfully we were alone so he was able to go from toy to toy creating as much racket as he wanted. We also perused the book selection in case there were any gems to be had. I went in with the intention of letting Oliver pick whatever toy he wanted but found myself judging every selection. This toy is stupid, this toy only has 3 buttons, this toy is boring, this toy only spins, this toy is for girls… I was ashamed of myself! I tried to nudge him toward the toys of my choice…the toys that were “good” enough. He was undeterred. He is his mother’s son. We ended up with a wood toolbox with wooden tools, a pack of Nerf balls and a Sponge Bob chair. I will admit the Nerf balls were my idea. I figured my big baby could make use of them after Oliver lost interest. I gave Ols the soccer ball for the ride home and he seemed quite content with the entertainment. It wasn’t until we got home that I realized the little turd took bites out of it. BITES! Not teeth marks, huge missing chunks! Thankfully, the divots did not impair his joy at kicking it around the house. He also mastered the wooden screwdriver which was labeled 3+. (I cannot be limited by age suggestions, so I let him get it) He made the best grunt face while trying to screw the wooden pegs, but I was unable to catch it on film. I did however take a fantastic video of him jamming out on the Rock Band drums. In the end, a good time was had by all and now we have toys for next time!