Friday, February 26, 2010

Sesame Street LIVE!

Thanks to a great friend of mine (who I obviously trust and like enough to invite her to photograph the birth of my child and therefore my cootchie) we were able to afford to go to Sesame Street Live last Sunday. It was super fun for the entire 45 minutes that Oliver allowed us to stay. To be fair, the people at the Children's Television Workshop DID make Sesame Street 45 minutes long and not an hour and a half with a fifteen minute intermission for a reason.

I wish it was bright enough to video tape him dancing. He didn't just bounce around, he followed what the dancers were doing! The kid rocks choreography!! I told CT as we were leaving, if he was a girl, I would put him in dance lessons. And then my inner feminist kicked me directly in the balls and I hung my head in shame. And to think, I almost deprived the world of another Baryshnikov or...you know, Fred Astaire or....dang, I am out of male dancers. Eh, less competition.

Oliver really did have a bunch of fun. His favorite parts in order of excitement level were: 1. Popcorn 2. Big Bird (Possibly since Elmo start sleeping with the producers, no other characters are given a chance. He probably thought Big Bird was a new character...) So sure, Oliver made us leave before part deux of the performance by his insistence to nurse and my desire not to make a political statement but as CT pointed out, the last half was probably devoted to Elmo (SLUT!) and his "world" in which everyone laughs stupidly at everything and plays different songs with the same tune which is and always will be, Jingle Bells. If I am not careful, I will have to rename this blog "Elmo Sucks and Why" My personal favorite part was being the hugely pregnant woman who hurried out of the theater, scaring at least one very nervous chain smoking mother outside. Funnily enough, the woman said Oliver was the cutest child she had ever seen, while her 3 year old daughter stood close by. Nice. At least she will die of lung cancer.

Here are some very cute pics of my little dude enjoying, as generation before him enjoyed, the magic of Sesame Street Live.

Walking into the Erwin Center with Dada

Perhaps I loved it more than he did...maybe I need to admit that.
Popcorn was a very good way of getting him to be still. How cheap are we? We saved the rest of the popcorn and he ate it after breakfast the next morning. mmmmm
Thanks again Summer!! It was really fun!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

36 weeks and a few days

Look how happy I am to be out of bed in this picture. So, anyway, as most of you already know, Tuesday I woke up to feeling like my body was one big huge cramp. Oliver was nursing at the time, so CT tempted him with juice, and I tried to sleep more. I was still having painful Braxton Hicks contractions, that were sorta pinching at the bottom, so I went ahead and called my midwife to give her a heads up. I had a prenatal visit set up already, but it was canceled due to....oh yea, thats right, freakin' snow. Yea. In Austin, Texas, it snowed like two inches the day that I needed my midwife to come check me. I don't think it has snowed like that since the winter my sister was born, 25 years ago.

Anyway, when the midwife came, she checked me and told me that I was shut up tight down there but that the baby was at +1 station. picture of station in pelvis Pictures, Images and Photos Which was making my cervix all irritated and causing contractions. Throughout the day, I tried to lay down and make them stop, but to no avail. Later, one of my midwife's assistants came to check me. After a false start (she was all nervous and tried to feel the baby's position in a hole where no baby has ever been) she determined that I was dilated to 1cm on the inside of my cervix and 3cm on the outside of my cervix. So, not good. The funny part is, that even thought the baby is SO low, I am STILL measuring 2 weeks ahead. This is not a small and delicate baby.

My midwife, Kristen, (yes she has a name), REALLY wanted me to keep the baby in until Friday, at which time she would be fine with delivering me at home. I have lofty goals of 37 weeks, which is Tuesday. She was super concerned about me going into full blown labor, so she had me order my birth kit and stay on my side. I finally got the contractions to settle down with a glass of wine, a handful of magnesium tablets, some benadryl, laying down constantly, and a warm sock of rice placed on my belly with two ice packs on my hips which ACHED. I slept 10 hours that night, and it was fantastic. My Aunt Liz came to pick up Oliver after the midwife left, to stay a few nights with his grandmommy. This has been the biggest blessing. To have family who are willing and able to help in this way. No way this baby would have stayed inside this long with me running around after Ollie.

Not much happened the next day. Lots more laying around, sneaking some computer time, peeing, etc. I did have a chance to finally fill out Henley's/Callum's baby book which I have been needing to do, and reading the birth stories in Spiritual Midwifery has helped immensely with connecting me to this experience which seems so out of my comfort and experience level. I have to say, going through this has forced me to slow down, reconnect with the young fellow inside of me, and really think about the fact that I will be a mommy to two soon. I am grateful for that. It was almost like the baby made this happen to remind me of the huge life change that it would bring with them. I have to admit, I was feeling pretty cocky that evening. I thought, I got this covered, I feel great, gonna get 10 more hours of sleep. Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh.....

Wednesday night was one of the longest nights on record. I was in pain constantly from the horrible period like cramps that never let up and wrapped around my back and the contractions that came regularly, waking me up in intervals. I was honestly just waiting for my water to break. I felt like an animal, I wanted to pace the halls, and squat and get on all fours but I knew that would only aid to speed things along, so I lay there hurting. I felt more restrained than when I was in the hospital, and I hated it. CT was amazing. He rubbed my back, suggested a heating pad for my cramps, got me water, adjusted the heater and vent about a thousand times cause I was DYING it was so hot, so he got about as much sleep as me. Around 5am, they subsided, and only now (after about an hour and a half of sitting up) they are starting up again.

I have no control over this process. I have no plans past "keep the baby inside" this hour, this minute. Oh, that and eat the crap out of the breakfast tacos that my mom is going to be bringing over later...I get to see my baby son today, who has been weaned suddenly and without his permission due to the nature of my situation. He honestly probably won't mind, but if he does, it will break my heart. I still can't wait to see him though!! Stay tuned labor fans, the show ain't over til the fat baby cries. Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with some Lifetime movie and Shear Genius.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Domesticated

Sure I rock out the mom thing, but the whole Suzy Homemaker thing, well, lets just say it is a good thing my husband is a neat nick! I cook, and I do it well, but since I almost always deviate from the recipe, I am not such a great baker as you would imagine. Baking recipes get angry when you substitute say, baking soda for soda pop (oooooh snap!). So when my little sister started being all awesome and making her own bread, I felt I had to at least try this thing called...GASP! baking.

Let me start by saying, I have the crappiest oven known to mankind. It burns everything. So I knew that even if I got the recipe right, the chances of the bread being delish was very slim. Anyway, I figured it would be a good project for Oliver to help with. So one day, with nothing to lose but some flour and water, we began!

Step One: Grease the rising dish. We had to have assistance here because my little butter lover would have run away with the butter and eaten in a closet somewhere had he been unattended.

Step Two: Flour the counter. This is important for two reasons. 1) It helps the dough not to stick 2) It helps the kid to stay interested in the situation while he makes a mess in the flour!

Step Three: Kneed the dough. As you can see from the picture of both of straining, this is not an easy step. Of course, it would help if ONE of us had the strength of an adult.


Here is the video of me being a good mother, and allowing my child to "make bread" followed by a video of the real me, in which I completely take over. MOVE!!!



Sunday, February 21, 2010

SPA DAY!!!

aaaaand back to me. As mentioned on Facebook, a bunch of my awesome girlfriends online banded together to get me the best baby gift ever!! A day at the spa! This is something I would never ever in a million years have purchased for myself, not that I don't love a nice massage, but I am just that cheap. As much as I hate being touched, I really don't mind it when I am paying someone to do so. Keeps the intimacy out of it.

The plan was for the men of my life to head down to Port Aransas to be with family for the day but unfortunately, it was too yucky of weather for my dad to fly, so they stayed at home. Still, I got to have breakfast with two of my favorite parents, so it wasn't a complete loss! Then I headed down south to go relax. They had a very "I Dream of Genie-esque" relaxation room they put me in with a cup of cocoa and my Spiritual Midwifery book. There was another pregnant mama in there with me so we struck up a conversation. I (of course) asked how far along she was, or when she was due or something, and she told me that she was having a C-section next week due to a breech baby. There was sadness in her voice, so I asked her how she felt about that, and she looked at me like no one had ever asked her about that before, and she sorta stuttered out that it was fine. I sorta laughed at myself for asking and said, "I just know how hard it can be when your plans change so drastically like that! Have a wonderful birth!" and then off she was whisked to her massage or whatnot. The rest of the day I wondered if I should have just nodded and minded my own. Dang me for being chatty!!
Before Massage:
So the massage was HEAVEN. I actually invited the therapist to be at the birth and she suggested a doula, which I thought was totally sweet. She did this thing to my neck that felt like she had 14 hands. It was fantastic. Don't even get me started on the hip massage. Lets just say that CT must learn the technique before I will even THINK of having any further children. Absolute heaven. The whole massage started with this....grooming?? exercise where she took a brush and brushed my skin with it. I straight up felt like a horse. Apparently it is to get the circulation going, and I think if I WAS a horse, I would have really liked it. Unfortunately, I am a highly sensitive pregnant woman, so the whole body brushing thing sorta just scratched at my skin. Shrug! The wrap was next. I am not sure what it was supposed to do, but I slept for a good thirty minutes until I woke up sweating. Great nap! That was, until I DID wake up and was afraid that the place had closed while I was in there. Hahhaha!

After Massage:

Funny story: I told the massage therapist that I forgot to shave my legs, and she laughed and said, "we have men in here all the time, and they NEVER shave their legs. So don't feel bad!"

Next came some cucumber water (sounds fancy but it is just slices of cucumber in water - would possibly be nice to have for labor) and chocolates while I waited for my pedicure/manicure. Pedicures are more my speed, I do occasionally treat myself to one every now and then. I have been really into purple these days, and so I picked a nice mauvey plum color for the toesies. It was nice just to sit and read and have my toes done. The pedicurist was not very social, which was totally fine with me. I do not like a whole lot of chit chat during my "me" time.

After the toes, came the fingers. I can not tell you the last time I had a manicure. Possibly when I had tons of money to spend on such silly, fun, and needless things. Ah, I miss you two incomes!! I opted for a buff, and was SO happy with the results. I have next to no nails, but they look so pretty and well taken care of now! I really must do this for myself more often. I bet it would cut down on my children getting cut on my jagged nails too. Bonus! The manicurist (same girl as the pedicure) asked me whether I was having a c-section, or was it an induction? I just stared at her waiting for a third option. When none was given, I told her our plans for a home birth. She was really flumoxed, but when I went on to explain some of my reasons, etc. She came around. Except she repeatedly asked me "yes, but what does your DOCTOR say?" "Was your doctor mad when you decided?" "Who does your appointments, you see a doctor for that right??" I just smiled and answered her questions. A spoonful of sugar makes the education go down!

I needed this kind of treatment yesterday. I was feeling large, and heavy and tired. I needed rejuvenation and pampering to deal with the fact that no fewer than 5 people asked me yesterday if I was having twins when I told them I had 5 weeks left to my due date. I actually love being this big, I think it is cute and fun, but it is the PEOPLE who make it so unbearably humiliating. BIG middle finger to Victoria's Secret workers btw. I realize I am not a 34C, you don't need to laugh me out of the store when I ask to purchase something in this size. I also have friends, and they don't happen to be hauling around a baby with them.....yet.

Again, THANK YOU!!! to all who contributed! I will upload pictures as soon as I take a nap....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's a pizza!!!

In my never ending quest to find exciting ways of getting Oliver not to whine, I decided to forgo the regular frozen pizza and went with the handmade type instead. Oh fine, I didn't make the crust. Or the sauce. But I did grate the cheese and place each topping by hand! It counts, shut it. The kit came with two crusts and two packets of sauce, so I took a chance. I gave full reign of one of the crusts to my little chef in training.

I was extremely concerned about his ability to keep the sauce on the crust and not on the counter, but as you can see, when it comes to food, Oliver is all business. I think he actually made less of a mess than I did.

While he lacked a bit of skill in the cheese/topping arena because he was too busy pursuing his first love of eating I thought his cheese placement was precise if a bit sparing and his toppings were masterful. Apparently a pizza only needs one mushroom and 400 pepperonis and the cheese must be tested and retested until you are SURE it is tasty. Who am I to argue with such a culinary mastermind!?

I, of course, took over when it came to the placement of the jalapenos. FOOLISH!! Apparently his favorite topping on pizza is not cheese, not pepperoni, but jalapenos. He ate every single one off the pizza smacking his lips and saying yum each time. See picture below.

I leave you with not one, but TWO videos!!


I had to explain to him that no garlic was worth taking a flying leap off a chair for after this video was taken. Even if I didn't believe it myself. Garlic is SO worth injury!



CT says that he learned that whole "teasing with food" thing from me, but I disagree. I never even pretend to share food.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

35 weeks

Hello pregnancy followers!! I am officially 35 weeks pregnant now, and had my midwife appointment today where we talked about all the stuff we needed on hand, my concerns and fears about the birth and labor, our desires, etc. My mom came to the appointment and CT was there too - well, sorta, he was also wrangling the kiddo who NEEDED to be outside.

There is a long list of things we need that a company near here puts together in birth kits but I am pretty sure I can handle "paper towels" and "ziploc bag" on my own, thanks. I consulted my Oliver Pregnancy Blog
and wow. What a change from the person I am now...at this point last pregnancy, I wanted to go into labor at 34 weeks and started my "eviction plan" at 36. How stupid was I exactly?? Such a change from, yes, admittedly being very uncomfy, but really not wanting this kid out until 39 weeks at the earliest. I guess we all live and learn! We did a birth plan this time around, because it was an assignment for Bradley Birth class, but it is a bit silly. Most of the things that gave me nightmares last pregnancy are a non-issue this time. Breastfeeding, leaving the baby intact, pushing in whatever position I want, using the tub, etc. are all up to me as I own the birthing place. HAHA! My midwife is so awesome, she even changed her legal documents to say "is given permission to" instead of "has authority to" when it comes to procedures, because as she stated, only I have authority in this situation, and permissions can be revoked. I love her.

In other news, my boobs were given their own zip codes this week. 36F people...and yes, F is a size, apparently. The lady at the store measured me and asked how my milk came in, and when I told her that I could have fed starving triplets, she concernedly looked at me and said, well, you have one size bigger than this, and that is about all we can do for you. HAHA. Looks like I will be in nursing tanks again for 6 months. I am investing in some really nice ones this time, if I have to live in them, I want there to be lace at the bottom. I don't even care if that makes me sound vain!

CT has also agreed to get a contractor to finish up the bathroom tile. We got two quotes today, and will get two more before we decide. I just want it DONE already.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Discipline for the Attached Parent

Lately, at the prompting of certain people in my life who believe Oliver needs more discipline, I have made it my mission to learn more about this particular point of parenting. It used to be so easy! Screaming=boob. Now the kid has all these emotions, needs, boundaries and confusions I have to deal with.

I am not a spanker. Or rather, I am. That is my first reaction, to hit when I am frustrated with Oliver's behavior, or angry with him or just sick of hearing him cry for no reason. This is why it is NOT an option for my family. It would be used incorrectly and with anger, and I know this and will not allow my child to be raised with fear. Fear can be a great parenting tool, until they grow up and you realize that perhaps the reason you never get calls or they have a really hard time telling the truth and living authentically is because you scared the ever loving crap out of them when they were a child. I would like instead to breed an environment of trust, cohesiveness, and cooperation in my house.

So, while I agree that CT and I need to be more consistent, and the kid DOES need boundaries, I have to think that there are more ways than one to accomplish just this, with the end relationship that I want. To this end, I have been reading every form of "gentle discipline" book I can get my hands on. The three I found most helpful were:

Without Spanking or Spoiling

This is more of a work book, lots of things to fill out and quizzes to take to see what kind of kid you want, and what kind of parent you tend to be. Then they sorta give you help on how you can best raise your child according to your values. For instance, if one value you hold quite high is Independence, then you can't really get angry at your kid for always wanting to "help" you cook. What they are really saying is that Parent Patience=Child Independence. In a similar way, if you value empathy in a child (apparently NOT fostered in many boys these days and something I am trying very hard to instill) you must take the extra step to explain why we are sad when our friends get hurt, even if we didn't hurt the friend. Parent Communication=Child Empathy, etc. This book helped me to slow down, look at the situation and see what can be taught/learned from each situation. Oliver is really benefiting, and it is fun to watch him scramble eggs and makes me proud when he hugs his friend who got hurt, gentlemen come from gentle boys.

The Emotional Life of Toddlers

This book really pissed me off the entire time I read it. For someone who is struggling to get her toddler to say ANYTHING, it does not help to read a book entirely comprised of babies who start speaking in full paragraphs at age 9 months. I don't know where they found these tiny geniuses, but a lot of the book I was yelling "uh SURE you can talk it out, they TALK!!!!" However, all in all, it gave some really good advice as to why kids do things that seem contrary to what they actually want. Biting when playing, potty training regression, daycare issues, and even night waking. It doesn't give advice like some parenting books, but it has great tips you can glean from it. It was really just refreshing to read a book that didn't have a philosophy for once, although attachment was touched on several times, and how an attached child is a secure child etc. they approached it from a non-confrontational and less than high and mighty stance.

Playful Parenting

I am only about a quarter of the way into this book and it is already making me really want to have enough energy to be a better parent. As I have already stated, this is very much a wrestle around, get down on the floor, and really listen and respond accordingly book. In other words, I am pretty sure the author wouldn't be happy with my current parenting plan of turning on the TV and taking a nap. Of course, I am also pretty sure that the author has never had to make two kidneys and a liver in the span of a week, as he is a man. I really like this book though, I think it is especially critical that parents of boys and more active/less expressive girls read this book. My favorite tidbit so far: When a child says a curse word or a mean word, instead of washing their mouth out with soap (uh....since when is feeding your kid poison a good parenting choice?!) you tell them, "oh say THAT word all you want, but whatever you say, do NOT say 'farfignugen'" It takes the allure of the curse away, and gives them something else naughty to say that is also hilarious. This is definitely a book more for older kids, but I definitely see where it comes in handy for younger too. Case in point: Biting. Oliver has started biting me and CT when he gets too excited during play, so we have made it a game instead of smacking his mouth when he does it. I know he does it because he loves us so hard he wants to eat us, we have ALL felt this way, I feel this way about him even! So, now when he starts to bite us, I say something like "don't really bite, lets pretend!!" And then I chomp chomp on his arm or whatever as if it is a feast, and he does the same to me. Exaggerate how FULL of Oliver I am afterwards, and he giggles so hard!! We all have a blast and he doesn't bite. Well, he bit CT, but I haven't told him the secret yet...

Of course, if all else fails, I can just chase him around with the death car.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!!

My Valentines Day started out like many of them do, wedged between two very handsome men. Don't get excited, one of them was my husband...and the other was two years old. It started earlier than most, around 6am. You see, we are no longer accustomed to co-sleeping, and the last time we did, we were all down with the flu, so now Oliver believes that any time the entire family is in bed together "TZ" must be turned on and his every need must be attended to. Demands for "choo-choo, juice, peeese mama!" started this day of romance for this lovely lady.

The best part of the day, was that while I was the ONLY person (besides the toddler) who didn't drink the night before, I was the one who woke up with what felt like a bitch of a hangover. That's right folks, cause the back aches and alien like rolling in my tummski isn't enough for the pregnancy gods...they must be appeased with: Repeat Morning Sickness. I was up by 7am, and back down for a nap at 8:30am. I would not be deterred from my day of love though - my sweet husband made me breakfast of homemade biscuits (NOT from a can), a homemade card and bracelet - Thanks Stampin' Up!, and a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries!!! MMMMM yea.

Meanwhile, Oliver and I had a busy week of V-day crafts, baking and decorating under our distended belts. We (I) made two valentines day cards, several cupcakes that was meant to be for daddy but may have gotten lost in the shuffle (see picture) and two sugar cookies the dog (child) must have gotten to. Pretty sure he knows nothing about holidays except they mean only one of two things: presents or food. Wait, that may just be good old fashioned American tradition actually...

I think the highlight of the day had to be the fact that Oliver's carseat did in fact fit in my dad's plane, insuring that my son and husband would be gone ALL DAY next Saturday at the coast while I enjoy a luxurious day at the spa!!!! It is also a huge victory in Tumultuous Two-ville that my son was dry for two days with only ONE accident! We aren't quite ready for travel in undies yet though. Now, for your viewing pleasure, cupcake eating!
video

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The TumultuousTwos


Yes, some smug parents call this stage the "Terrific Twos" and to them I say (after I have rolled my eyes) you are a bunch of liars! There is nothing terrific about the tantrums, or the over exaggeration of pain, or the ignoring of my voice, or the avoidance of my eye contact, or the night waking with screaming every hour for half an hour or the refusal to eat. However, I also hate the dismissive parents who call it the Terrible Twos and do nothing to lessen their burden by ignoring the behavior as a "stage". So, we call it the Tumultuous Twos, which reminds us that yes, things are changing, personality and memories are being formed and we are all very confused and frustrated right now, but that is no one's fault and we should look to see what we can do to lessen the transition to preschool age!

I am reading "Playful Parenting" right now, which is a great book but should have a disclaimer on it that says: If you are pregnant, recovering from surgery or laid up in any way, do not read this book because it will make you feel lazy and pathetic as a parent. Cause as much as I would LOVE to crawl around, wrestle, and have tea parties in that tiny chair, my ever spreading ass and my aching hips don't allow it. It does have some really awesome ideas about dealing with tantrums and understanding why kids do and say things that are hurtful to others.

Just about the only thing that is going well and easy is potty training. He STILL won't pull his own pants down, he feels that is a "mama" job, but I guess I don't mind too much. He is learning that pants do not equal diaper, and that is a huge victory. The kid has been using the potty since July and we are still not done. Half of this is my laziness/fear of going full monty and just tossing the diapers. The other half is not knowing what the heck I am doing so just following his cues. Lets not talk about those parents who potty train over the weekend....

Of course, as I write this, he is playing sweetly with his daddy in the other room, making "soup" and reading books which brings me to another point. I call it the "Two-Faced Twos". Part of their plan to drive you crazy in the third year is to behave perfectly around the other parent in the house.