Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Before His Next Birthday

My baby boy turned two in April! (We won't mention that it was more than a month ago... poor Second Baby!)

Johnny's "camera smile" - I also love this pic because it actually makes my skinny boy look chubby!

I'm ridiculously proud of following through on the "race car cake" he had been asking for:

Johnny is a funny kid.  Second Kids are remarkable in the way they pick EVERYTHING up from First Kid. Johnny entertains us all with knock knock jokes and gross-out humor that he doesn't even remotely understand. Or maybe he does understand it because he's pretty creative with his descriptions of eating "stinky cheese" sandwiches and then changing it to "stinky diaper" sandwiches so that Lucy laughs so hard she can't breathe.  I guess it goes without saying that his verbal development is super advanced. Unfortunately even sass sounds funnier out of his mouth than the four-year-old's. Still, anything for a laugh with this kid. 

He's doing marginally better with sleeping in the Big Kid Bed. Oh, did I tell you that the kids sleep in bunk beds now? Yes, well, they do. And Johnny is not a great sleeper. It takes him forever to get to sleep and then he sleeps lightly (waking on average at least once in the night) and wakes up by 5:15 every day. The only thing he's got going for him is that he takes an awesome nap in the afternoon from 1-3:30ish. I've been wondering if Lucy's tossing and turning in the bunk above him wakes him in the night/early morning and he just can't get back to sleep... It's not awesome, but we're making it work for now.

We had to go to the doctor a few days before his well-child check-up for hand foot and mouth disease. He didn't have any blisters on his hands and feet, but his throat was completely raw, the poor kid. There were about three days there I'm not actually sure he ate anything. I'm not sure we actually slept those three days either, now that I think of it. Anyway, as of April 18, Johnny was 36 inches long and 25 pounds. I always think of him as shrimpy even though his length is 85th percentile and his weight is 25-50th because at the same age Lucy was 2.5 inches taller and three pounds heavier! Having a two-year old in 2T clothing is novel!

Lulu and Johnny are super sweet playing together lately. Lu reads him endless books and Johnny is willing to cater to her very demanding imaginary play rules. My heart just melts every time they play "Rocket Ship" together or Lucy forces him to "marry" her over and over (walk slowly toward each other, hug, then dance). They are always cracking each other up. When Johnny gets upset with me for enforcing some rule, it's Lucy he runs to for comfort.

I think my favorite part of two and four and a half is that these sweet children are turning into such good buddies.

Monday, April 1, 2013

And It's a ...


Lucy and Johnny get a baby brother. I can even tell from the sketchy ultrasound pics that he has the exact same profile as his siblings.  His chin is a little more Lucy than Johnny; I'm pretty sure we've got another little Bubba clone here. Ah well, there's always a chance baby #4 will look like me, right?  HAAAAAAAAA!  He's measuring a week and a half big, as our babies do, and he was so squirrelly it was hard to get non-blurry pics. That is, until he fell fast asleep in a weird position that made it hard for the tech to get the last couple of pics she needed. So. Totally unhelpful.

Friday morning I was dropping Johnny off at my friend's house, and as soon as Lucy saw the kids, she wanted to stay, so I went all by my onsies to the u/s appointment. The Bubba had gone to work early with plans to meet me at the imaging office. I was called back to the ultrasound room and the tech started, and that's when I started texting my Bubba. "The ball is rolling" "Where are you?" "Is everything ok?" over the next 20 minutes. Then I called his office. Then I tried his cell again. He didn't answer any of the texts or calls.  I mean, obviously he had gotten hit by a bus on his way to the appointment, right? So I started planning my attack: call the main office assistant, check with his minions, call the hospitals, police, etc.  All the while the tech is just checking things out and I'm trying to hold up my end of polite chitchat.  Then she swipes on a different part of my belly and then moves it away and says, "Oh, do you want to know the gender?" And I'm like "Too late for that question, I just saw that penis."  The Bubba finally called and texted telling me that he totally spaced and forgot the appointment and had shut himself up in a conference room to get some stuff done without the phone ringing nonstop. (He felt AWFUL about it. I didn't care so much since I was just happy he was not dead in a ditch.) WHEW. So then I was able to enjoy seeing this baby a little bit. Oh, look at that! He's perfect! He's sucking his thumb! He's flexing his toes!

The tech was kinda weird about getting pictures of this kid's right hand. She actually made me get up and use the bathroom and do a jig to get him to move. I was a little weirded out. I joked with her about it, "What does this kid have six fingers on that hand or something? Webbed fingers?" and she just said "No, this is just one of the things we look at." But this is my third 20week ultrasound in five years and no one has freaked out about hand pictures yet. Seriously, the ultrasound took about an hour and a half. Finally he opened his right hand.

I learned today that she was watching for it to open and close to rule out trisomy 18. So I guess I forgive her for being a weirdo about it.

I didn't tell Bubba the baby's gender right away when he came home - I made him sweat a little. Do you have any idea how HARD it is to use the pronoun "it" when you already know that it's a "he?" Really hard. Plus I'm a truly terrible secret keeper/liar. But I concentrated and it was entire HOURS before I told the Bubba and Lucy about Baby Brother.

Poor Lucy was pretty disappointed. She tried really hard to hold it together, but her chin trembled, her eyes filled and all we got was a shaky "But I ... wanted ... a SISTER!" So we've been talking about all the fun things about brothers (according to her the list isn't long) and about how it'll be fun being the special only girl and big sister. We're working on it.

To be honest, we were all pretty convinced that this baby was a girl. It's really strange to switch the mindset. Also, boy's names are HARD.  We had a couple of really slam dunk girls' names, but boys'? There's much too fine a line between the few old-fashioned-awesome names (Johnny, Ignatius) and the too many old-fashioned-awful names (Gary, Earl). I wouldn't mind naming this baby after the Bubba, but he's less into this idea. Sigh.

Let the Perfect Boy Name Search begin! (any suggestions?)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Halfway There

My presence on this blog is abysmal.  (Not that you're complaining. You're probably happy to have a break from my brain dumps.)  This is mostly due to pregnancy number three.

I've been knocked (up?) out. First of all, this pregnancy was ... not unplanned but maybe a surprise anyway?  I had two miscarriages last summer. One before our vacation to San Diego and one right after my bloggy trip to New Orleans. Huge bummers. After that, I had a conference of sorts with my Bubba that went something like "Never touch me again, we are never having any other children and that's fine and we're done and stay away from me and I'm concentrating on this half marathon I'm running in January and THE END, got it?" Famous last words, right? Bam. Pregnant.

I couldn't believe I was pregnant.  I didn't let myself get attached to it. I assumed it would be just like before.  I still kept training for the half I signed up for. I was doing good too, time-wise, getting some of the extra couple pounds off-wise. Then I had some scary bleeding and low hormones and a bunch of tests and an early scan and yadda yadda yadda, was totally convinced I was going to lose this pregnancy as well.  But! Baby 3 stuck around! Stubborn little thing it is.  I don't think I was able to believe I was pregant until my 10ish week checkup and heard a strong heartbeat and a scan didn't show any scary reason for the bleeding. Hey! I'm pregnant! Sob!

I got through morning sickness (which hit every evening about 4pm and lasted until I went to sleep) somehow. The kids ate a lot of eggs and toast for dinner if I recall.  Maybe chicken nuggets? Peanut butter? I've already pretty much blocked all of that out. It was a dark time.  And then as soon as the morning sickness subsided I started getting headaches. Headaches that turned me into a raging beast in the afternoons, quietly and not so quietly resenting my children for making noise. Also awesome. (I gave up yelling at my kids for Lent. Does that tell you anything??) I found that exercise seems to help with the headaches. It's a pretty good excuse to go to the gym every day and get some child-free book-listening pseudo-working out time. I do still get headaches occasionally, so I'm still considering seeing an acupuncturist like Susie and Shalini advise me to do. For some reason I just haven't done it. I also will never use a neti pot and am generally scared of seeing the doctor and dentist for fear of bad news. So.

At my 14 week check-up, my midwife was all "Well, I'm not TOO concerned that you've only gained two pounds."  I'm all "Lady? I deserve a freaking MEDAL." I am not a waif. I am ... sturdy. Not fat. Not skinny. I'm a good eater. I like food. I gained 50+ pounds with Lucy. I gained 60 with Johnny. But it's just not as easy to binge on the ice cream this time around. I mean, I'd have to share it with a Little. And we know that's not going to happen.  I am almost 20 weeks now and I have gained 7 pounds. I mean, I win, right? I'm right on track to gain 25-30 pounds! Anyway, I'm beating whatever Kardashian is currently knocked up and that's all that really matters.

We have our big ultrasound tomorrow morning. We're rooting for a healthy baby with good organs and limbs and whatnot. I talked about it with Lucy and she's actually super excited about coming with. She said she'd let me know if the baby has finger and toes and arms and legs in the right spots. What a trip, man. Bringing your baby to see your baby's ultrasound? I mean, Lucy was just in this baby's place yesterday, wasn't she? Also she named the baby Daffodil and is beyond convinced that it's a girl.  I hope she's not too disappointed if it's not. She wants a baby sister SO BAD.

How crazy to think that this is real. We're actually having another baby. THREE OF THEM. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THREE BABIES. Holy cats.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Understanding Makeup

Johnny has become very interested in my makeup. I don't often wear anything more than eyeliner, but he very attentively watches me while I apply it and maybe some lipgloss. I will often put chapstick ("lickstick") on him and Lucy, but explain that everything else in my little makeup bag is for grown up ladies. 

Back in October when he got his haircut at the incredibly overpriced kids salon, we were in the waiting area playing with the train table along with all the fancy families also waiting for their fancy overpriced haircuts.  One grandma in particular there with her grandson was what one might call "handsome" except that she really laid it on thick with the makeup.  I'm talking thick foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, blush, red lipstick, the works.  The result was less than beautiful, but not quite scary.

Johnny stood and studied her face for just the longest time and I started getting kind of nervous wondering what was about to come of it.  When he got his eyeful, he walked over to where I was standing, looked up at me and nodded his head very solemnly and just said "Glowm-upp lay-dees."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

At This Point...

I write here so infrequently that even when I want to write something I don't because I feel like it's been too long to even pick it back up.  I mean, there was fall.  I have a million pictures of apple picking and pumpkin picking and costumes and whatnot. It makes me feel BAD that I haven't documented any of that.  And yet.  Today I think I decided that I don't really care.  I don't really have to catch you up with everything that's been going on, right? We can just start from now?

And now.  It's interesting now.  I'm kind of at a place where I'm not sure where I'm going, but I'm sure I have to make some changes.  That sounds awfully dramatic, doesn't it?  Basically my schedule is so full that I hardly ever have time to see friends and just hang out.  And that is the kind of thing that makes my life easier and more fun and just better.  I've discovered that my over-full schedule is super unfulfilling.

I'm in a Bible study that meets weekly. I've liked this study, and one of the things I've learned is that I have to let go of some of the stuff cluttering my calendar to focus more on some other (different)(really important) things.  Ironically, I think Bible study is going to be one of the things to go after the current study ends! For the moment, anyway.

Lucy now goes to preschool three days a week because I got so sick of her asking every single day if she could pleeeeaaaase go to school. So she now goes Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Going into it, I think "Man, three whole hours of FREEDOM!" and then I drop Lu off, do one thing and it's time to pick her up again. It's like it morphs from forever to an instant as soon as I leave the parking lot.  Weird.

I work two evenings a week from 6-9.  It makes for weird afternoon/dinner/bedtime routines for the kids and making dinner and getting ready is always a challenge. The Bubba is able to be home by 5:30 (and then work from home after bedtime) on nights that I work, so I have to be ready and run out the door as soon as I hear his key in the lock.  But I love it. It gets me out and doing intelligent things, I love the people I work with, I love my students. It's also one of the only things I do ALONE. I drive there ALONE in the car. Sometimes I stop at the grocery store on the way home ALONE. This is one of the very few things that're sticking around.

Then there's the church commission of which I am chair. This is my third year as part of the commission, and the second year that I've been an inadvertent chairwoman. It's got to go. It's a fair amount of work and I just REALLY don't feel like it's what I should be doing right now.  I have two biggish projects I'm working on in January and February, and then I can let this go too.

There's the sweet boy I babysit.  I came to the really hard decision that I just can't watch him anymore after the holidays. He and Johnny are only 6 months apart (he's 13mo, J's 19mo) and they're at the point where they are going 100 miles an hour in opposite directions.  It's impossible to get out.  No, not impossible, it's just not much FUN for anyone. Even the 10 minutes of preschool drop-off/pick-up on Wednesday is just this side of abject suckage. God bless mothers of twins - especially with other kids with needs to be met. It's wicked hard.

Lucy's soccer ended, thank everything. Two times a week with practice and games was a lot, and though Lucy LOVED it with all caps, it always conflicted with Johnny's tired/cranky schedule and it was never easy to get there and be there and have it be fun for everyone.  I mean, the games were Friday evenings at 6:30.  Bedtime is 7 'round these parts. I'd do it again or something similar, but I don't think I can compromise on the timing like that unless I'm sure that I'll have some help from the Bubba.

Which brings me to a related but different thread to this conversation.  The Bubba and I have been knocking around the idea that we don't like our lifestyle right now.  Unfortunately, that's such a Big Thought for us, we've been sitting on it for a few months.  Basically, we've come to the agreement that the Bubba's work schedule is too crazy.  I mean, we always knew it was crazy and he works so much all the time and TOO much a lot of the time, but then with the more recent bout of 75/80 hour workweeks and the travel, well, it just made sense that his work schedule might not be awesome.  To the tune maybe even of Something Has to Change.  That, too, is way too Big a Thought for us, so now we're stewing on that.  I don't know what it means yet.  I don't think anything as drastic as switching jobs or moving or whathaveyou is on the table just yet.  Just more of How Can We Make This More Manageable?  Because the Bubba LOOOOVES his job. Loves it. Gets excited about it and takes it personally and loves it (when he doesn't hate it because he's taking it personally). But there were some instances of his being bummed because he feels sometimes like he has to choose between doing his job and seeing his kids. And even more instances of me planning our lives with absolutely no regard for what the Bubba is doing because I can pretty safely assume he won't be around.  That basically stinks for everybody. To add to the confusion, the Bubba is maybe looking at a promotion at the end of this year.

But the point, I guess, is that we are open to any new opportunities that may arise including things that may open up abroad. We started doing an online tutorial thing-y to learn Mandarin just for fun.  So there's that.

Anyway. Hopefully I can start from scratch with a clear schedule after the new year and things will be a little easier for everybody around here.  The Bubba and I have to make another date to revisit How Things Are and What We Can Do About It.  Maybe in January.  I'm just hoping for less crazy and more manageable.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First haircut

You send in a baby...

And you leave with a KID.  

Who eats lollipops.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Round of Projects

I've sort of been cheating on knitting for the instant gratification of the sewing machine.  It might be wrong, but it just feels so gooooood.

I've been working on a fall wardrobe for my baby girl.  So far, we have a couple of dresses, a jacket, and I'm currently working on a pair of corduroys.  Add leggings and a sweater/sweatshirt or two and it's everything Lucy will need!

This is a recycled shirt of the Bubba's. I modified this pattern.

Play dress. I'm not sure I love the V-neck on my 4 year old?
Maybe I'm just so used to seeing her in crew neck everything, but the V looks so grown up...
I made up the pattern for this one.
This is from the summer, but she'll be sporting it with a sweatshirt, I'm sure.
It's a favorite. I used an acutal pattern for this one!

This is an experiment gone very right.  I wanted to figure out how to make something reversible, wanting to do a bright corduroy (or something) jacket, so I bought this fabric to make a template with since it was on super sale.

I made up the pattern.  It turned out so cute and cozy, I might not even make the corduroy one!
And, you can't *really* sew without at least trying your hand at quilting, right?

This was my first try.  It's ok. I learned a lot in the making of it.

 So then I made this one in an hour glass pattern for a friend's new baby, Thea. I did a way better job, and I just love the way it turned out.

I made my own applique with fusible interfacing and zig-zag stitched it on.

I haven't COMPLETELY stopped knitting.  I'm working on a hooded sweater jacket with toggles for Johnny. Something like this pattern, but I'm kind of winging it with some super soft grey yarn... (Poor second-child/boy-child. It's so much more FUN to outfit a girl!)  The Bubba just laid some pinstriped pants to rest, so I'm looking forward to salvaging what I can to try to make Johnny some pinstriped overalls with them!

After I'm done with these couple of things I'm not sure what I'll do with myself.  Everyone will have a full wardrobe.  

Wait.  What am I saying?  It'll be Christmas next!